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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 1.djvu/132

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TENTH Khanda


1. When the Kurus had been destroyed by (hail) stones[1], Ushasti Kâkrâyana lived as a beggar with his virgin[2] wife at Ibhyagrâma.

2. Seeing a chief eating beans, he begged of him. The chief said: "I have no more, except those which are put away for me here."

3. Ushasti said: "Give me to eat of them." He gave him the beans, and said: "There is something to drink also." Then said Ushasti: "If I drank of it, I should have drunk what was left by another, and is therefore unclean."

4. The chief said: "Were not those beans also left over and therefore unclean?"
"No," he replied; "for I should not have lived, if I had not eaten them, but the drinking of water would be mere pleasure[3]."

5. Having eaten himself, Ushasti gave the remaining beans to his wife. But she, having eaten before, took them and put them away.

6. Rising the next morning, Ushasti said to her: "Alas, if we could only get some food, we might gain a little wealth. The king here is going to offer a sacrifice, he should choose me for all the priestly offices."

  1. When they had been killed either by stone weapons, or by a shower of stones, which produced a famine in the land. Comm.
  2. Atikî is not the name of the wife of Ushasti, nor does it mean strong enough to travel. Sankara explains it as anupagâtapayodharâdistrîvyañganâ, and Ânandagiri adds, Svairasamkâre 'po na vyabhikârasanketi darsayitum âfikyeti viseshanam. She was so young that she was allowed to run about freely, without exciting any suspicion. Another commentator says, Grihâd bahirgantumarhâ anupagâtapayodharâ.
  3. Or, according to the commentator, "water I can get whenever I like."