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Kraustuki  asked  Markandeya-  ‘O  great  sage!  Now  tell  me  something  about  Swarochish

Manavantar?’

Markandeya replied- ‘Once upon a time, there lived a Brahmin at the bank of river Varuna. One day, a guest arrived at his place. The Brahmin treated his guest with due respect. After formal introduction, the Brahmin became aware that his guest was not an ordinary person. He had travelled around the world with the help of some special mantras he knew and medicinal herbs, which he had in his possession. The Brahmin was quite impressed. He too wanted to see the whole earth. He requested his guest to give the mantra and the medicinal herb so that he could travel around the world just like him. The guest applied some medicinal solution on his legs. After this the Brahmin went to see the Himalaya Mountain. While wandering there, the solution, which had been applied on his legs, got washed away. As a result, he now became immobile. He started looking all around himself. He found numerous Apsaras entertaining the Kinnars, Gandharvas and deities. The Brahmin was very much pleased to see the happy atmosphere prevailing all around Himalaya. He thought of going back to his place but was unsuccessful, as the medicinal solution had been washed. He became very sad. An Apsara by the name of Varudhini saw him in a miserable condition. She became infatuated by him. When she went near him, he asked- ‘Who are you? Who is your husband? What are you doing here?’

After  this,  he  narrated  his  own  story and  said-  ‘I had  come  from  Aruna  nagar  to  see  the Himalaya. But I am unable to return home as the medicinal solution, which was applied on my legs has been washed. Varudhini told the Brahmin that she was an Apsara. She also expressed her deep love towards the Brahmin. She requested the Brahmin to stay there and not to go back home. She assured him if he did, as per her instructions then he would enjoy an eternal youth. He would never become old. Varudhini forcibly tried to embrace the Brahmin. This made the Brahmin very angry.

He  said-  ‘Varudhini!  The  sacred  scriptures  prohibit  a  Brahmin  from  indulging  in  sensual pleasures because it gives sorrow not only in this world but also after his death.’ But Varudhini was not satisfied by his answers. She threatened to give up her life if the Brahmin did not marry her. The Brahmin did not agree. The Brahmin purified himself by performing Achaman and began worshipping Agni. He said- ‘O Agni! You are the root cause of all Karmas. The deities bless us with rain only after you are pleased. O Agni! I need your blessings. I want to go back home.’