“The king felt happy at this suggestion and approved of the marriage, and so your brother has now gone to meet Jīmūtavāhana’s parents and discuss this with them. So let’s go back to the palace to make preparations, and let your would-be husband also return home, so that he can make preparations as well!”
Malayavatī blushed even more, and her heart felt light with happiness at this news. She slowly accompanied the maid back to the palace, frequently turning around to see Jīmūtavāhana as she walked away.
जीमूतवाहनो ऽप्य् आशु गत्वा स्वाश्रमम् आगतात् ।
मित्रावसोर् यथाभीष्टं कार्यं श्रुत्वाभिनन्द्य च ॥ १२,२३.८८ ॥
जातिस्मरः समाचख्यौ तस्मै स्वं पूर्वजन्म सः ।
यत्र मित्रं स तस्यासीत् सा च भार्यैव तत्स्वसा ॥ १२,२३.८९ ॥
ततो मित्रावसुः प्रीतस् तत्पित्रोः परितुष्यतोः ।
आवेद्य गत्वा पितरौ कृतार्थः स्वाव् अनन्दयत् ॥ १२,२३.९० ॥
निनाय च तदैव स्वान् गृहाञ् जीमूतवाहनम् ।
चक्रे चोत्सवसंभारं स्वसिद्ध्युचितवैभवम् ॥ १२,२३.९१ ॥
तस्मिन्न् एव च धन्ये ऽह्नि तस्य विद्याधरप्रभोः ।
स्वसुर् मलयवत्याश् च विवाहं समपादयन् ॥ १२,२३.९२ ॥
ततो नवोढया साकं तया जीमूतवाहनः ।
तस्थौ मलयवत्या स तत्र सिद्धमनोरथः ॥ १२,२३.९३ ॥
एकदा कौतुकाच् चात्र स मित्रावसुना सह ।
मलयाद्रौ भ्रमन्न् अब्धेर् वेलावनम् उपेयिवान् ॥ १२,२३.९४ ॥
तत्रास्थिराशीन् सुबहून् दृष्ट्वा मित्रावसुं स तम् ।
केषाम् एते ऽस्थिसंघाताः प्राणिनाम् इति पृष्टवान् ॥ १२,२३.९५ ॥
Jīmūtavāhana too returned to his hut, and soon Mitrāvasu reached there as well. They spoke, and Jīmūtavāhana gladly agreed to Mitrāvasu’s proposal. And as he remembered his previous births, he spoke to Mitrāvasu of one in which they were friends, and Mitrāvasu’s sister was his wife.
Mitrāvasu was pleased, and informed the parents of Jīmūtavāhana, who also agreed to the proposal.
Mitrāvasu then returned to the palace, but the very next day, he brought Jīmūtavāhana home, after making elaborate preparations, and on the same auspicious day, got him married to Malayavatī.
Jīmūtavāhana then lived there in the palace, for a few days, with his newly wedded wife, celebrating their togetherness.
One morning, Jīmūtavāhana, along with Mitrāvasu, took off on a long walk to explore the Malaya mountains. They walked a great deal, and finally reached the other side, onto the sea shore.
Jīmūtavāhana was shocked by what he saw there – many many heaps of bones!
“Dear Mitrāvasu, what creature died here, that there are so many piles of bones? Do tell me what happened!”
ततो मित्रावसुः श्यालस् तं कारुणिकम् अब्रवीत् ।
शृणु वृत्तान्तम् अत्रेमं संक्षेपाद् वर्णयामि ते ॥ १२,२३.९६ ॥
नागमाता पुरा कद्रूर् विनतां तार्क्ष्यमातरम् ।
निनाय किल दासत्वं सव्याजपणनिर्जिताम् ॥ १२,२३.९७ ॥
तेन वैरेण गरुडस् ताम् उन्मोच्यापि मातरम् ।
बली भक्षयितुं नागान् कद्रूपुत्रान् प्रचक्रमे ॥ १२,२३.९८ ॥
सदा प्रविश्य पातालं सो ऽथ कांश्चिज् जघास तान् ।
कांश्चिन् ममर्द केचित् तु स्वयं त्रासाद् विपेदिरे ॥ १२,२३.९९ ॥
तद् दृष्ट्वैकपदे सर्वक्षयम् आशङ्क्य नागराट् ।
वासुकिः प्रार्थनापूर्वं तार्क्ष्यस्य समयं व्यधात् ॥ १२,२३.१०० ॥
एकम् एकम् अहं नागम् आहारार्थं खगेन्द्र ते ।
प्रत्यहं प्रेषयाम्य् अत्र पुलिने दक्षिणोदधेः ॥ १२,२३.१०१ ॥
त्वया तु न प्रवेष्टव्यं पाताले ऽस्मिन् कथंचन ।
को हि स्वार्थो विनष्टेषु नागेष्व् एकपदे तव ॥ १२,२३.१०२ ॥
इत्य् उक्ते नागराजेन समयं प्रत्यपद्यत ।
स्वार्थदर्शी तथेत्य् एव गरुडो गुरुविक्रमः ॥ १२,२३.१०३ ॥
तदाप्रभृति चैकैकं नागं भुङ्क्ते दिने दिने ।
वासुकिप्रेषितं सो ऽत्र खगेन्द्रः पुलिने ऽम्बुधेः ॥ १२,२३.१०४ ॥
अतस् तद्भक्ष्यमाणानां नागनाम् अस्थिसंचयाः ।
एते ऽत्र गिरिशृङ्गाभा वृद्धिं कालक्रमाद् गताः ॥ १२,२३.१०५ ॥
His brother-in-law Mitrāvasu replied…
“My dear Jīmūtavāhana, I will tell you all about it.”
“Many, many years ago, Kadrū, the mother of the snakes, conquered Vinatā, the mother of Garuḍa, through deceitful means, and made her a slave.”
“Even though the mighty Garuḍa managed to free his mother, he retained in his mind, a deep hatred for all snakes. And so he began to hunt mercilessly, all the sons of Kadrū, by entering Pātāla every single night…some he ate, others he trampled, and many died just out of fright.
“His behavior alarmed Vāsuki, the king of the snakes. “My whole race might perish in just a few days, if this continues”, he thought to himself. And so he came to an agreement with Garuḍa and said…
“Oh mighty king of birds! I will send you a snake every day for your meal, and in return, you should stop entering Pātāla and hunting down other snakes.”
“What will you gain out of exterminating all of us?”
“Garuḍa thought about it, and agreed. After all, the proposal was to his advantage!”
“And from that day, Vāsuki sends a snake to this shore every single day, and Garuḍa eats them. This heap of bones are of those very snakes who have been devoured by Garuḍa, and have accumulated over the course of time, and now resemble a small mountain…”
Jīmūtavāhana had tears in his eyes, as he heard this story. He said….
to be continued…