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SHREE SHOOKDEO Jun said,--O great king! having gone some distance, and looking on the thoughtful and blushing Rookmunee Jee, Shree Krishnù Chund said, "O lovely creature! banish all anxiety, I will sound my shell, and dissipate your fears; and, on arrival at Dwarka, marry you according to the prescribed rites and ceremonies of the Vedas." With these words Krishnù put his own necklace on her neck; and, seating her on his left, sounded his shell, when the attendants of Sissoopal and Joorasindhoo all started from their sleep; and it was spread abroad, throughout the whole city, that Huri had carried off Rookmunee. Rajas Sissoopal and Joorasindhoo, having heard of Rookmunee's abduction from the guards they sent with her, were exceedingly enraged; and putting on their coats of mail and helmets, and fastening their waist-bands, and arming themselves completely, followed in quick pursuit of Krishnù with all their forces, with a view of engaging him. When they came near, poising their weapons, they exclaimed, "Why are you running away, stand and take your arms and fight? Chutrees and heroical brave men do not show their backs in the field."

On hearing these words, O great king! the descendants of Judoo faced about, and the engagement began on both

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sides. The youthful Rookmunee was at that time greatly alarmed; and, covering herself with a veil, shed tears, and heaved deep sighs, looking intently on the face of her beloved, she thought to herself, "That he endured all these troubles for her sake." Krishnù, who is acquainted with the secrets of the heart, knowing the thoughts of her mind, said, "O lovely Rookmunee! why art thou afraid? In thy very sight I will slay the army of demons, and remove the burthens of the earth, do not be at all anxious."

Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--Raja! the gods, seated at that time in their chariots in the sky, beheld the descendants of Judoo fighting with the demons, and a mighty battle raging, Krishnù stood looking on, whilst Bulram fought. Kettle-drums sounded, bards sang war-songs, panegyrists celebrated the praises of the combatants, horsemen encountered horsemen, elephant riders elephant riders, charioteers charioteers, and foot soldiers foot soldiers. In every direction heroes and brave men attacked and engaged each other; and cowards, leaving the field, ran off with their lives. The wounded stood writhing with pain, headless trunks, with swords in their hands, wandered about in every direction, and bodies were heaped upon bodies, from which a river of blood flowed; the elephants, which were lying dead here and there, appeared like islands, and their trunks like alligators. Muhadeo, accompanied by ghosts, goblins and spirits, wore a garland of heads, which he had selected; and vultures, jackals and dogs tore and fought with each other for the corpses of the slain, and, rending them in pieces, devoured them. Crows plucked out eyes from their sockets, and carried them off. At length, in sight of the gods, Bulram destroyed the army of demons, in the manner that a husbandman would reap a field. Joorasindhoo and Sissoopal, when their whole army was destroyed, took a few wounded men with them, and flying arrived and made a stand at the same place. Sissoopal, expressing

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great regret and shaking his head, said to Joorasindhoo, "It is not right I should live, having lost my honour, and brought disgrace on my family; with your permission, therefore, I will return to the battle, and die fighting; if not, I will take up my abode in the forest; I will become a devotee, and abandon all worldly hopes; my good name and character are lost, why should I live, and preserve life by submitting to disgrace?" Joorasindhoo replied, "O great king! you are a man of understanding and great experience; how shall I advise you? The wise do not allow themselves to be troubled by the events that occur, because another being is the disposer of good and evil; man has no power, but is under the authority of, and subservient to, another; as the juggler makes the wooden puppet dance as he pleases, so is man in the power of his Maker, who acts according to his own will, for which reason you should not be elated in prosperity, nor depressed in adversity; but look upon everything as a dream. I advanced seventeen times to attack the city of Muttra with twenty-three complete armies, and my whole army was seventeen times slain by this Krishnù; I did not give myself any uneasiness, nor was I at all elated when on the eighteenth occasion I destroyed his forces, he ran away and climbed up a hill, which I set on fire; it is impossible to know how he escaped with life, his nature is not to be understood." Joorasindhoo after this again said, "O great king! it is advisable for you to submit to this present crisis of your affairs. There is a saying, that if life is spared, all will go well: as it happened to me to be defeated seventeen times, and again a victory on the eighteenth occasion. Consult, therefore, your own welfare and interest, and act accordingly, and abandon obstinacy."

When Joorasindhoo, O great king! had given this advice, Sissoopal recovered confidence, and, taking with him all his armed followers, who had escaped wounded, he accompanied Joorasindhoo in a state of great sorrow and regret, and they went

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thence after their defeat. And now listen to the account of what happened in the family of Sissoopal. As his mother began to prepare festive entertainments in expectation of the arrival of her son, some one sneezed in front of her, and her right eye began to palpitate; when she beheld this unfavourable omen, her forehead throbbed.; and in the mean while, some one came and said to her, "Your son's army has all been destroyed, and he has not obtained the bride, and he is running away thence to save his life." On hearing these words, Sissoopal's mother was greatly troubled, and became speechless.

Rookum having heard of the flight of Sissoopal and Joorasindhoo, came and sat in his court in a state of great rage and excitement; and began to say in the presence of all, "How can Krishnù escape from me? I will now go and slay him, assure as my name is Rookum: otherwise, I will not return to Koondulpore." O great king! having made this vow, Rookum took with him a complete army, consisting of 109,350 foot, 65,610 horse, 21,870 chariots and 21,870 elephants; and advanced to fight with Shree Krishnù Chund, and surrounded the army of the descendants of Judoo. He then said to his followers, "Do you destroy all the descendants of Judoo, and I will go on in advance, and bring Krishnù here alive and bound."

On hearing these words, his followers began to fight with the descendants of Judoo; and he went forward in his chariot, and, on approaching Shree Krishnù Chund, called out, "O deceitful villager! what do you know of the nature and duties of government? In the same way, that in your childhood you stole milk and curds, you have come and carried off a beautiful woman; I am not a herdsman, inhabitant of Bruj." With these words, he seized some arrows, and discharged three poisoned ones from his bow at Krishnù. Perceiving the arrows coming towards him, Shree Krishnù Chund warded them off, (or stopped them midway). Rookum

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discharged more arrows, with the same result on the part of Krishnù; who, having prepared and arranged his bow, let fly several arrows with such force, that the charioteers and all the horses of the chariot were destroyed; and Rookum's bow was pierced, and fell from his hand. Huri after this cut in pieces and cast on the ground all the weapons Rookum used against him. He was exceedingly enraged, and seizing a shield and sword, leaped from his chariot, and rushed towards Shree Krishnù Chund, as a mad jackal would rush upon an elephant, or as a moth would fly into a lamp. On coming up, he attacked the chariot of Huri with a club, who immediately laid hold of and bound him, and was on the point of killing him, when Rookmunee Jee interposed, and said, "Do not kill him, he is my brother, release, lord, your servant; what can such a blind fool know, who looks upon the husband of Luchmee as a mortal. You are the first and eternal god of devotion; and have became manifest, O divine being! for the sake of your worshippers. How could this silly creature recognize you, who are celebrated as the compassionate benefactor of the poor?" Having thus spoken she added, "Good men take no thought of the faults of fools and children, as the lion pays no regard to the barking of a dog. If you kill him, my father will be afflicted; you ought not, therefore, to put him to death. Wherever your feet fall, all men live happily; it would be strange indeed, if having such a relation as you, Raja Bheekmuk should suffer grief on account of his son."

O great king! after this speech, Rookmunee Jee once again thus said, "You have shown great affection towards my relation, in having laid hold of and bound him, and in being prepared with a sword in your hand to kill him." Afterwards, she was very much agitated, and trembling, with downcast eyes and sobbing, she fell at his feet, and throwing open her breast, began to say, "O Krishnù! give my brother to me as an act of charity; and acquire renown for yourself in the world by this deed." Shree Krishnù Chund Jee's anger

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was entirely cooled by hearing these words, and looking towards Rookmunee, he did not deprive Rookum of life; but made a sign to his charioteer, who immediately pulled off his turban, and tying his hands behind his back shaved his moustachios, beard and head, leaving seven locks of hair, by which he fastened him to the chariot.

Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said, O great king! Shree Krishnù Jee thus treated Rookum; and Buldeo, having slain and put to flight all the armies of the demons, hastened to meet his brother with the same celerity as a white elephant runs about a place, abounding with water lilies, destroying devouring, and scattering about the flowers in great fury. At length he reached the presence of Krishnù; and perceiving that Rookum was bound, addressed Shree Krishnù Jee with great warmth and anger, "What is this you have done in binding your brother-in-law? You cannot leave off your bad habits; you have shown little sense in binding him; and by this act, Krishnù, you have severed the relationship, and brought a stain upon the family of Judoo; who will now connect himself with us? When he came before you to fight, why did you not expostulate with him, and send him back?"

O great king! having thus spoken, Bulram Jee released Rookum; and, having entered into explanations with him, dismissed him with the greatest politeness; and then joining his hands, Bulram, the abode of delight, said to Rookmunee Jee with great humility of manner, "O beauteous Rookmunee! it has not been our fault, that your brother has been subjected to this treatment; it is the recompense of his deeds in a former birth; and it is honourable for Chutrees, and their usual practice to arrange armies, and fight for land, wealth and women with each other; be not displeased at what has happened, but believe what I say, defeat and victory happen to him according to his fate, and this world is a sea of troubles; who from his entrance into it tastes of happiness?

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but men, being under the influence of delusion, estimate according to their different judgments, and form opinions of good and evil, pain and pleasure, victory and defeat, good and bad fortune. The soul, however, has no sensation of delight or misery, from these things do not vex yourself with the thought of your brother having been disfigured. The wise consider the soul as immortal, and the body as mortal. For this reason, the soul is not affected by any disgrace that happens to the body."

Having narrated thus much, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O incarnation of justice! when Bulram Jee had thus advised Rookmunee, she having heard and reflected upon what he had said, was ashamed in presence of her husband's elder brother. In the midst of the army, she said to her husband, "O lord of Bruj! drive on the chariot;" she covered herself with a veil, and spoke sweetly to Huri, "Buldeo is standing before us; O husband! drive on the chariot quickly."

When Shree Rookmunee Jee had thus spoken, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee directed the chariot towards Dwarka; and Rookum having returned to his own people, and suffering great anxiety, said to them, "I started from Koondulpore with this vow, that I would go and destroy Krishnù and Bulram and all the descendants of Judoo, and bring Rookmunee here, my vow has not been accomplished; and I have instead of performing it, lost my honour; I will not survive this disgrace, but abandoning my country and home, and family and all worldly affairs, will become a religious ascetic, and seek death somewhere." When Rookum had thus spoken, one of his household said, "O great king! you are a great hero, and very renowned, it was their good fortune to have escaped alive from your hands, they are indebted to the strength of their fate for this escape, otherwise, what enemy could encounter you, and escape alive? You are possessed of great understanding; why, therefore, do you think of

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pursuing such a course as you have mentioned? Sometimes defeat occurs, and sometimes victory, but it is the attribute of the brave and resolute not to lose confidence. Suppose your enemy, has escaped to-day, we will destroy him some other time." When he had thus advised him, Rookum replied, "I have been defeated by them, and my good name is gone, and I am most heartily ashamed; may I die, if I return to Koondulpore, but I will establish some other village."

Having thus spoken, he peopled a city with inhabitants, to which he conveyed his children, wife and wealth. He named it Bhojkutoo; in this manner Rookum established a village.

O great king! Rookum dwelt there, being at enmity with the Raja Bheekmuk; and Shree Krishnù Chund and Buldeo Jee proceeded on their journey and arrived near Dwarka. The inhabitants of the city received intimation of their approach by the dust, caused by their chariots, which reached the sky. When they knew that Huri was coming, they completely arranged and prepared the city for his reception. Its beauty equalled that of the three worlds, who can attempt to describe it; at that time there were rejoicings in every house. Pillars of plantain were fixed at each entrance, golden waterpots filled with water and sprouts, were placed in every direction; flags and banners waved; garlands and wreaths of flowers were fastened in different places, and crowds of women were standing in every market, road and cross-road, holding lamps with four wicks; and the Raja Oogursen, accompanied by all the descendants of Judoo, advancing in musical procession to meet them according to the prescribed forms and ceremonies, escorted Bulram, the abode of pleasure, and Shree Krishnù Chund, the root of joy, to the city. The beauty of the scene baffles description; all the inhabitants, both men and women, were delighted. They came into the presence of Krishnù and presented their offerings. And the women sang songs of rejoicing at the gates and doors of their houses, and from sheds and house-tops, and performing the ceremony

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[paragraph continues] "Arta," showered down flowers. Shree Krishnù Chund and Buldeo Jee displayed towards all great fascination of manner, and delighted them greatly; and progressing in this manner, they arrived at the palace and took up their abode there. Some days afterwards, Shree Krishnù Jee went one day to the royal court, where Rajas Oorgursen, Soorsen, Basoodeo and all the grandees of the family of Judoo were sitting; and, having made a salutation, said, in their presence, "O great kings! it is called a devil's marriage, if a man carry off a woman, after having gained a victory in battle."

On hearing these words, Soorsen Jee sent for a family priest; and explaining to him said, "Fix a day for Shree Krishnù's "marriage." He immediately drew forth an almanac, and having decided upon a favourable month, day, time, constellation and an auspicious period with respect to the sun and moon, fixed upon a day for the marriage. Raja Oogursen then gave the order to his ministers to collect all necessary materials, and make preparations for the marriage; and sitting down wrote letters of invitation to the members of the family of Koroo and Judoo, and all Rajas, far and near; and despatched them by the hands of brahmins. O great king! all the Rajas were highly gratified at receiving the letters of invitation; and started off, accompanied by brahmins, pundits, bards and beggars.

When Raja Bheekmuk received intelligence of these events, he delivered over to a brahmin many dresses, arms, ornaments, studded with gems, chariots, elephants, horses and male and female servants, sedan chairs; and, having made a vow in his mind respecting the giving his daughter in marriage, with very great humility, sent off all the different presents to Dwarka. The Rajas of the different countries came, and the brahmin also arrived, whom the Raja Bheekmuk had despatched with presents. The beautiful appearance of Dwarka at that time cannot be described. When at length the marriage-day came, after having gone through all the prescribed

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forms and ceremonies, they conducted the bride to a building, erected for the occasion, and adorned with flowers, and placed her upon a seat; and all the great chiefs and members of the family of Judoo came, and sat there also, at that time, pundits recited the Vedas; Huri circled round with Rookmunee. Drums and other musical instruments resounded; the delighted gods rained down flowers. Demi-gods, saints, bards and celestial musicians were all spectators from the sky. The wives of the gods, ascending their chariots; and collecting together, and stooping down, all sang songs of rejoicing. Taking hold of Rookmunee by the hand, Krishnù circled her round, and seated her on his left. They untied the knot, and re-turned the board used for sitting on at meals, and then performed pooja to the family Devee. Huri, unloosing Rookmunee's bracelet, joined with her in the sport of eating milk, boiled rice and sugar together. The lord of the universe was highly delighted; all the spectators were filled with joy, and pronounced benedictions: "May the marriage of Huri and "Rookmunee last long, whose natures have imbibed the spirit of nectar." They gave presents to all the brahmins, who came; and robes of honour to the bards and panegyrists; and, having allowed them to take leave, had all the Rajas of the different countries escorted back.

Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--O great king! whoever shall read or hear of the actions of Huri and Rookmunee; and, having heard and read, shall remember them, will obtain religion, absolution from sin and celebrity. Moreover, whatever benefits are to be gained by the sacrifice of a horse and other sacrifices; by the gift of a cow and other gifts; by bathing in the Ganges and other holy bathing places; by going on a pilgrimage to Prag and other holy spots; will be bestowed on hearing and reciting this history.

Next: Chapter LVI