बृहदश्व said :-

1. O king, the king Nala, having forsaken दमयन्ती saw a great fire burning in that dreadful forest.
2. There in the midst of that great fire he heard the voice of some living creature, which cried every now and then, saying,``O Nala of holy fame, come hither.
3. `` Be not afraid,'' said Nala and having entered into the conflagration, he saw the king of the snakes lying in a coil.
4. Then the king of snakes, with hands folded and trembling with the hands folded and trembling with fear, spoke to Nala, ``O king know me to be the sake, कर्कोटक by name.
5. O Lord of men, once I cheated the great sage Narada of austere penance; and he, filled with great rage, cursed me thus:-
6. ``Remain here like an immoveable object till Nala takes you away from this place and then you shall be freed my curse."
7. On account of his curse. I am unable to move even a step further; be pleased to release me and then I shall instruct you as regards your welfare.
8. I shall be your companion; there is no other snake equal to me; I shall be very light; so you take me and go quickly."
9. Having thus spoken to the king, the king of the snakes became of the size of the thumb; and the king Nala, having taken him, went to a region free from fire.
10. Having come upon an open ground, free from fire, the king desired to leave him there, whereupon the snake कर्कोटक spoke to him again.
11. O king of the Nishadhas, go further counting your own steps; O mighty-armed one, I shall render the great good to you."
12. Then the king began to count his own steps and at the tenth step ( the snake) bit him. And as he was bitten, his form was immediately changed.
13. Beholding himself thus changed, the king Nala became struck with wonder; the king also beheld the snake assuming his real form.
14. Thereupon the snake, Karkotaka, in order to console Nala, spoke to him thus, `` I have changed your form that the people may not recognise you.
15. O Nala, he, by whom you have been troubled with great pain, will reside in your body greatly afficted on account of my poison.
16. O great king, as long as he will not leave you, he will reside in you misearably (unhappily) with the limbs filled with my poison.
17. O king of men , I have saved you, innocent and undeserving as you are, from him by whom, out of anger or hate been put into great distress.
18. O excellent person, O king you shall have no fear from animals having fangs, or from your enemies or from the Brahmanas versed in the Vedas, through my favour.
19. O excellent king, you shall have no pain from my poison, And you shall be ever victorious in battles.
20. That king go from here to the king ऋतुपर्ण, who is skilful in dice, calling yourself that you are a charrioteer बाहुक by name.
21. That king will exchange his skill at dice for your knowledge of maintaining horses, and that prosperous one, born in the family of इक्ष्वाकु, will be your friend.
22. When you will obtain skill at dice, you shall meet with prosperity; and you shall find your wife. So be not filled with grief.
23. O king. when you will wish to behold your own form, you should remember me and put on this piece of cloth.s
24. Wearing these pieces of cloth, you will recover your own from." Having said thus, he (the snake) gave him two beautiful pieces of cloth.
25. O descendant of Kuru, O king having thus advised Nala, and given to him the garment, the king of the snakes disappeared then and there.


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Last Updated : November 11, 2016

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