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SHREE SHOOKDEO, the sage, said,--O great king! hear the progress of the history. When Shree Krishnù Chund, the root of joy, came to Dwarka, after having slain Kaljumun, released Moochkoond, deceived Joorasindhoo, accompanied by Buldeo Jee, life was revived in all the descendants of Judoo; and joy was diffused over the whole city: the inhabitants began to enjoy ease and happiness.

Sometime after this, several of the descendants of Judoo went one day to the Raja Oogursen and said, "O great king! it is now necessary to make some arrangements for Bulram Jee's marriage, because he is of a marriageable age."

On hearing these words, the Raja Oogursen sent for a brahmin, and entering into many explanations, and giving very particular instructions, said, "Go and betroth Bulram in some good family."

Having thus spoken, and ordered the mixture rolee, rice, a rupee and a cocoanut to be brought, Oogursen marked the brahmin's forehead; and presenting him with the rupee and cocoanut allowed him to depart. He pursued his journey, and arrived at the abode of the Raja Rewut in the Anurta country. Having betrothed Bulram Jee to his daughter Rewutee,

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and fixed upon a favourable moment, he brought the marks for the forehead by the hands of the Raja's brahmin, and presented them to Oogursen at Dwarka; and informed him of all that had occurred, while he was in the Raja's country. The Raja Oogursen was very much pleased with the account; and, giving a festive entertainment, he sent for the brahmin, who had brought the marks, and received them from him; and dismissed him with a large present of money, and afterwards went himself in great splendour and state, accompanied by all the descendants of Judoo, to the country of Anurta, and celebrated Bulram Jee's marriage.

Having proceeded thus far in the narrative, Shree Shookdeo, the sage, said to the Raja,--O lord of the earth! in this manner the descendants of Judoo celebrated Bulram's marriage. And Shree Krishnù Chund Jee, accompanied by his brother, went to Koondulpore; and having fought with evil spirits, carried off Rookmunee, the daughter of the Raja Bheekmuk, who had been betrothed to Sissoopal; and married her at his own home.

Having heard this, the Raja Pureechit enquired from Shree Shookdeo Jee, "O sea of compassion! how did Shree Krishnù Chund go to Koondulpore, and slay the evil spirits, and carry off Bheekmuk's daughter, Rookmunee? Please explain these circumstances to me." Shree Shookdeo Jee replied, O great king! listen with attention, and I will give you a full account of all the circumstances.

In the Bidurbh country there was a city, named Koondulpore, the Raja of which, Bheekmuk, was renowned, and known to fame in all parts of the world. Shree Seeta Jee descended upon the earth in his house. At the birth of his daughter, the Raja sent for astrologers, who came, and having determined upon a fortunate moment, named the child Rookmunee, and said, "O great king! we are of opinion, that this girl will possess an excellent disposition, be a receptacle of beauty, and equal Luchmee in excellent qualities, and be married to the first male, Vishnù."

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When the astrologers had thus spoken, Raja Bheekmuk was highly pleased, and indulged in great rejoicings and made many presents to brahmins. After this, the girl increased daily in stature, like a digit of the moon; and delighted her parents by her childish play. When she was a little older, she engaged in all kinds of rare games with her female companions. One day this young creature, with eyes like a deer, a voice like the kokila, complexion like the flower chumpa, and a countenance like the moon, went with her companions to play at blind man's buff. Whilst engaged in the diversion, her companions said to her, "Rookmunee! you have come to spoil our sport; because wherever you hide with us in the dark, there is a flood of light from the brilliancy of your moon-like countenance, which prevents our being concealed." On hearing this speech, she smiled and was silent.

Having narrated thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said, O great king! she constantly played in this manner with her companions, and her beauty greatly increased every day. In the mean while Narud Jee came one day to Koondulpore; and, having seen Rookmunee, went to Shree Krishnù at Dwarka, and said, "O great king! a young virgin has been born in the house of the Raja Bheekmuk, who is a mine of beauty and virtue and excellent qualities, equal to Luchmee, and worthy of being wedded to you." From the time he heard this account from Narud Jee, Huri thought of her night and day. In this manner, O great king! Shree Krishnù Chund heard of the name and excellent qualities of Rookmunee; and I will now explain how she heard of the fame and celebrity of Krishnù. On one occasion several beggars from different countries went to Koondulpore, and sung the celebrated exploits of Krishnù, his birth at Muttra, his joining with the cowherds' children in childish games at Gokool and. Brindabun; and how he had made the descendants of Judoo happy by destroying evil spirits, and removing the burthens of the earth. All these circumstances they mentioned. On, hearing the

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recital of Huri's wonderful actions, the inhabitants of the city were greatly astonished, and said to each other, "When shall we see him, of whose exploits we have heard." By some means, the beggars contrived to enter the court of the Raja Bheekmuk, and began to sing of the famous deeds, and the attributes of Krishnù. At that time the beautiful Rookmunee had gone up to a balcony; and the voices of the beggars, reciting Krishnù's exploits, reached her ears. She wondered and was absent in mind; and turning round and peeping, wanted to see the beggars. The Raja's daughter, having heard Krishnù's history, remained absorbed in thought of him; the creeper of love sprung up in her breast; she was delighted and agitated by turns. Huri stole away her senses, memory and mind. Shree Shookdeo Jee continued,--O lord of the earth! in this manner Shree Rookmunee Jee heard of the fame and celebrity of Krishnù, and from that day she continued to think of him day and night, during the eight puhurs, and sixty four ghurees; whether asleep or awake, sitting, standing, walking, eating, drinking or engaged in amusement; and celebrated his good qualities with songs. She was in the habit of rising very early, and having bathed, and made a mud image of the goddess Parbuttee, she put upon it the mixture roolee, rice and flowers; and preparing perfumes, lamps and consecrated food, propitiated the goddess with joined hands, and downcast looks, and pronounced these words in presence of the image, "Take pity on me, O Parbuttee! give me the lord of the Judoos as a husband, and remove all my troubles." In this manner Rookmunee passed her life. One day she was amusing herself with her companions, when the Raja Bheekmuk, beholding her, began to think and say to himself, "She is now of an age to be married; if we do not marry her to some one quickly, people will laugh. There is a saying, that it is useless for a man, in whose house there is a grown-up unmarried daughter, to offer gifts, or perform good acts, or be engaged in prayers, or religious penance; because he

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obtains no benefit from the performance of such acts, until he shall have discharged the debt due to his daughter." Having thus reflected, the Raja Bheekmuk came into his court; and, having summoned all his ministers and relations said, "Brothers! my daughter is marriageable, it is necessary to look out for a bridegroom for her, of good family, a "mine of good qualities, an abode of beauty and of a good disposition."

On hearing these words, they mentioned the families, virtues, personal appearance and power of the Rajas of many different countries; but Raja Bheekmuk did not approve of any of them. Then his eldest son, named Rookum, began to say, "Father! Sissoopal, the Raja of the city of Chunderee, is very powerful, and in every respect our equal, betroth Rookmunee to him, and gain reputation in the world."

O great king! when the Raja would not acquiesce in his opinion, his younger son, whose name was Rookumkesh, said, "Father! give Rookmunee to Krishnù, and betroth her through Basoodeo." Bheekmuk was highly delighted at these words, and commended his son's speech: "You, although only a child, are more intelligent than the rest, I approve entirely of what you have said; there is a saying, enquire from persons of high and low degree, in order to give confidence to your own judgment; seize upon what is valuable in the discourse of each; this is the custom of the world." After this the Raja again said, "Rookumkesh has given good counsel; amongst the descendants of Judoo, the Raja Soorsen is very celebrated and of great renown, whose son Basoodeo Jee is; and in his house the immortal Vishnù, the god of gods, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee, has been born, and destroyed the mighty Kuns, and all evil spirits; and, having removed the burthens of the earth, has shed splendour on the family of Judoo, and conferred happiness on all the descendants of Judoo, and other subjects; we shall acquire fame and greatness in the world by bestowing Rookmunee on such

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a personage as Shree Krishnù Chund Jee, the lord of Dwarka." At these words, all the people of the court were highly delighted, and said, "O great king! you have determined well, and will not meet with such a bridegroom, and of so good a family any where else. It is, therefore, most advisable to give Rookmunee in marriage to Shree Krishnù Chund Jee." When, O great king! all the courtiers had thus spoken, Raja Bheekmuk's eldest son, Rookum, was exceedingly wroth, and said, "These stupid, ignorant people speak without thinking, and do not understand Krishnù's condition; he has lived with Nund sixteen years, and is universally called a cowherd; he tends herds, and wears a blanket, and eats his labourer's food, seated on a fig tree: he is a village cowherd, and has no caste or rank. And how do we know whose son he is. Seeing that no one knows any thing about his father and mother; some look upon him as the son of the cowherd, Nund, and others as Basoodeo's son; but no one has yet found out, to a certainty, whose son Krishnù is; and, therefore, each person speaks of him as he pleases. O great king! all people honour and respect us, and know our family; but since when have the descendants of Judoo become Rajas? What matters it, that lately they have acquired greatness, the first stain cannot yet begot rid of? He is called the servant of Oogursen; how can we possibly obtain a great name in the world by betrothing Rookmunee to him. There is a saying, that it most fitting to contract marriages, enmities and friendships with equals. And if we give her to Krishnù, the world will call me a cowherd's brother-in-law; and my good name and reputation will be utterly ruined." O great king! Rookum went on to say, "That Raja Sissoopal of the city of Chunderee was a very mighty and potent prince. From dread of him the world trembles, and the throne has descended in his family from time immemorial. Your best plan, therefore, is to give

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[paragraph continues] Rookmunee to him; and please never mention Krishnù's name again before me."

On hearing these words, the courtiers felt deep regret, and remained silent through fear; and the Raja Bheekmuk did not say any thing. Upon this Rookum sent for an astrologer; and having fixed upon a lucky day and fortunate moment, forwarded the nuptial gifts to the Raja Sissoopal by the hand of a brahmin, who went with them to the city of Chunderee, to the court of the Raja Sissoopal. On seeing him, the Raja made a salutation, and enquired from the brahmin, "Say, O god! whence have you come, and with what object?" The brahmin gave him his blessing and explained the reasons of his arrival. Raja Sissoopal was delighted at hearing them; and having sent for his family priest, received the nuptial gifts and dismissed the brahmin with many presents. He afterwards invited Joorasindhoo and other Rajas, who came with their armies; and he also went forth with his troops to the marriage. The brahmin, who had taken the marks for the forehead, said on his return to the Raja Bheekmuk, "O great king! I have given the marks to the Raja Sissoopal, and he is coming to the marriage in splendid procession: arrange your plans accordingly."

Raja Bheekmuk was at first very sad, when he heard these words: afterwards, having reflected and thought upon the matter, he went into his palace and mentioned the subject to his wife, who immediately sent for musicians, and invited all her female relations; and gave a great festive entertainment, with a view of celebrating the marriage in due form, and with all the prescribed ceremonies. The Raja then came forth, and ordered his minister and counsellors "To collect together all things necessary for the marriage;" and they immediately carried the Raja's order into full effect by procuring every thing. People saw and heard what was being done: and a report got abroad in the city, that "Rookmunee was to have been married to Shree

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[paragraph continues] Krishnù Chund, but the wicked Rookum would not permit it; and that now she was to be married to Sissoopal."

Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O lord of the earth! such was the talk in each house in the city: and in the palace, the women sang and played, and made the necessary preparations; brahmins read the Vedas, and caused all the usual customs of marriage to be duly observed: large kettle-drums resounded in many places; pillars formed of sprouting plaintain were fixed in the earth, and golden water pots, placed in front of each door; strings of flowers and garlands were fastened in every direction, and on one side, the inhabitants of the city apart, swept and spread with cloths the markets, roads and cross-roads. Whilst there was this bustle and preparation inside and outside the house, some female friends of Rookmunee came and said to her, Rookum has given thee to Sissoopal; and now Rookmunee; you have become a queen." Engaged in thought, and drooping her head she said, "My affections, words and vows are all centred in the lord of the world, (Krishnù.)"

Having thus spoken, Rookmunee was much depressed in spirits, and sent for a brahmin, to whom she explained all her wishes, with joined hands and with many supplications; and treating him with great consideration, said, "O great king! take my message to Dwarka, and having mentioned it to Dwarkanath (Krishnù), bring him here with you, I shall be under the greatest obligation to you, and shall think that I am indebted to your kindness in obtaining Shree Krishnù, as my bridegroom." The brahmin replied, "Tell me what message I am to take, and I will mention it to Shree Krishnù Chund. He is the lord of compassion: and if he should compassionately consent to come, I will bring him with me." When the brahmin had thus spoken, Rookmunee Jee gave into his hands a letter, written in the most affectionate terms, and said, "Deliver it to Shree Krishnù Chund, the root of joy, and say to him for me, that his servant, with joined hands and the

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greatest supplications, looks upon him, as being acquainted with the secrets of the heart, and knowing the inmost thoughts of every one. What more need I say? I have sought his protection: my character is in his hands, let him act in such away, that it may be preserved, and come quickly and see me."

When Rookmunee Jee, O great king! dismissed the brahmin with these words, he meditated upon Krishnù, and repeating his name started for Dwarka; and through his love for Huri, arrived immediately. On arrival, he beheld the city in the midst of the sea, surrounded on all sides by extensive forests and hills, and beautiful groves; in which were heard the cries of animals, and notes of birds of all kinds. There were elegant tanks, filled with pure water; in which the lotus was in full bloom, and bees buzzed in swarms around: on the bank, geese and cranes and other birds were disporting; gardens of fruits and flowers of every kind extended for many toss, on the borders of which betel plantations flourished. Gardeners were standing at the wells, singing sweet melodies; and, plying the water-wheels and buckets, poured forth water in every direction; and the quays were thronged with female water-carriers. As the brahmin progressed, after having viewed this beautiful scene with delight, he saw very lofty castles on all sides of the city, having four gates, and doors studded with jewels, and inlaid with gold. Inside the city were five and seven-storied houses of gold and jewels, glittering with great splendour, and reaching to the sky: the spires of which were as resplendent as lightning. Flags and banners of various colours were waving: perfumed odours came forth from the doors, blinds, air-holes and trellis-work: at each door were pillars of plantain sprouts, and golden water-pots, filled with water: wreaths of flowers and garlands were fastened in every direction; and there were sounds of musical rejoicing in every house. In many places the Pooranùs were recited, and people discoursed of Huri. The eighteen different classes lived happily and at ease, the quoit Soodursun protecting the city.

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Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--Raja! viewing this beautiful and elegant city, the brahmin arrived at the court of the Raja Oogursen; and, giving him his blessing enquired, "Where does Shree Krishnù Chund Jee dwell?" Some one pointed out his house; and when he arrived, and stood before the gate, the watchmen made a salutation on seeing him, and enquired, "Say, whence do you come, and from what country have you brought a letter?" He replied, "I am a brahmin, and an inhabitant of Koondulpore, and have come to deliver a letter to Shree Krishnù Chund from Rookmunee, the daughter of Raja Bheekmuk." The door-keepers answered, "Be pleased to go into the house, Shree Krishnú Chund is sitting opposite on a throne." At these words, when the brahmin entered, Huri, on seeing him, immediately descended from his throne, and making a salutation, received him with the greatest respect and dignity.

Having seated him on his throne, and washed his feet, he took the water with which his feet had been washed, and waited upon him with the same assiduity, that a person would observe in attending upon a deity.

At length Krishnù, having rubbed him with perfumed paste, and having finished his ablutions, placed before him all kinds of delicacies; and afterwards presented him with pawn, and sprinkling him with saffron and sandal, placing a garland of flowers on his neck, took him to a chamber, ornamented with precious gems, and placed him on a bed with curtains, and studded with jewels.

O great king! he was weary and fatigued with his journey, and soon fell into a most pleasant sleep. Shree Krishnù sat for a long time near him from an anxious desire to hear what he had to communicate to him; and kept constantly saying to himself, "That the brahmin would wake soon." When, at length, he found that he would not rise, he became uneasy; and sitting at the foot of his bed, began to rub his feet. The brahmin was awakened by this, and sat up. Then Huri made

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kind enquiries, and said, "Your government, country and person are auspicious, explain to me your circumstances, for what purpose have you come here, and conferred happiness on me by your arrival?" The brahmin replied, "O abode of mercy! be pleased to listen with attention, and I will explain the reasons of my coming: Since, O great king! the daughter of Bheekmuk, Raja of Koondulpore, heard of your great name, and your many excellent qualities, she has her thoughts fixed on you constantly, night and day, and desires to attend upon your lotus-like feet. A chance offered of her doing so, but it was rendered unsuccessful." Krishnù enquired, "What the chance was?" The brahmin said, "O kind to the poor! one day the Raja Bheekmuk having assembled all his courtiers and relations, said to them, 'Brothers! my daughter is of an age to be married; we must now fix upon a husband for her.' When the Raja had thus spoken, they mentioned the families, virtues, renown and power of a great many Rajas, of whom, however, he did not approve. Upon this, Rookumkesh mentioned your name, at which the Raja was delighted, and acquiesced in what he proposed, and said to them all, 'Brothers!' his words are engraved in my mind, as though they had been engraved on stone, what is your opinion?' They replied, 'If, O great king! you were to search the aggregate of the three worlds, you would not meet with such a bridegroom, and such a family as his: for which reason, you should, without any delay, quickly give Rookmunee in marriage to Shree Krishnù Jee.' O great king! this had been resolved upon, when Rookum prevented its being carried into effect, and betrothed Rookmunee to Sissoopal; and he has gone forth to the marriage, taking all his army of evil spirits with him."

Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--O lord of the earth! the brahmin, having thus informed Huri, delivered Rookmunee Jee's letter to him, who

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received it with the utmost affection, and placed it in his breast; and after reading it said with delight to the brahmin, O divinity! suffer not any anxiety; I will accompany you, and, having slain the evil spirits, will fulfil Rookmunee's wishes."

The brahmin was restored to confidence by these words; but Huri was occupied with anxious thoughts of Rookmunee.

Next: Chapter LIV