The initiation of Pritha into the Mantras

वैशम्पायन उवाच सा तु कन्या महाराज ब्राह्मणं संशितव्रतम्। तोषयामास शुद्धेन मनसा संशितव्रता॥
Vaishampayana said : O great monarch, that damsel observant of vows, began with a pure heart, to propitiate that vow observing Brahmana.

प्रातरेष्याम्यथेत्युक्त्वा कदाचिद् द्विजसत्तमः। तत आयाति राजेन्द्र सायं रात्रावथो पुनः॥
O king of kings, that foremost of Brahmanas sometimes saying “I will come in the morning" made his appearance in the evening or at night.

तं च सर्वासु वेलासु भक्ष्यभोज्यप्रतिश्रयैः। पूजयामास सा कन्या वर्धमानैस्तु सर्वदा॥
(But) that damsel at all hours entertained him with excellent food, drink and bed.

अन्नादिसमुदाचाराः शय्यासनकृतस्तथा। दिवसे दिवसे तस्य वर्धते न तु हीयते॥
And her hospitality towards him as regards his food, seat and bed increased rather than decreased day by day.

निर्भर्त्सनापवादैश्च ततैवाप्रियया गिरा। ब्राह्मणस्य पृथा राजन् न चकाराप्रियं तदा॥
Even if the Brahmana reproved, found fault with and spoke harsh words, to her, Pritha did not do anything disagreeable to him.

व्यस्ते काले पुनश्चैति न चैति बहुशो द्विजः। सुदुर्लभमपि ह्यन्नं दीयतामिति सोऽब्रवीत्॥
At several times the Brahmana came after the appointed time or did never come at all and (on many occasions) asked for food when it could only be procured with utmost difficulty.

कृतमेव च तत् सर्वं यथा तस्मै न्यवेदयत्। शिष्यवत् पुत्रवच्चैव स्वसृवच्च सुसंयता॥
(But at all these times) Pritha said "everything is ready," and placed the meal before him. And like a disciple, like a daughter or like a sister, with a pure heart.

यथोपजोषं राजेन्द्र द्विजातिप्रवरस्य सा। प्रीतिमुत्पादयामास कन्यारत्नमनिन्दिता।॥
That faultless jewel of a damsel, O king of kings, caused the satisfaction of that foremost of the Brahmanas as he liked.

तस्यास्तु शीलवृत्तेन तुतोष द्विजसत्तमः। अवधानेन भूयोऽस्याः परं यत्नमथाकरोत्॥
That most exalted of the twice-born ones was highly pleased with her manners and character and on account of her ministrations tried his very best for her welfare.

तां प्रभाते च सायं च पिता पप्रच्छ भारत। अपि तुष्यति ते पुत्रि ब्राह्मणः परिचर्यया॥
And O Bharata, her father asked her every morning "O daughter, is the Brahmana satisfied with your ministrations?”

तं सा परममित्येव प्रत्युवाच यशस्विनी। तत: प्रीतिमवापायां कुन्तिभोजो महामनाः॥
And that renowned damsel replied “yes very much". Thereupon, the high-minded Kuntibhoja felt a great joy.

ततः संवत्सरे पूर्णे यदासौ जपतां वरः। नापश्यद् दुष्कृतं किंचित् पृथायाः सौहृदे रतः॥
When on the expiration of a whole year, that best of devotees could not find any cause to be dissatisfied with Pritha, devoted to his service.

तः प्रीतमना भूत्वा स एनां ब्राह्मणोऽब्रवीत्। प्रीतोऽस्मि परमं भद्रे परिचारेण ते शुभे॥
That Brahmana, then, with a joyful heart said to her “O gentle and graceful maid, I have been highly pleased with your ministrations.

वरान् वृणीष्व कल्याणि दुरापान् मानुषैरिह। यैस्त्वं सीमन्तिनी: सर्वा यशसाभिभविष्यसि॥
O auspicious girl, ask for (such) a boon as is very difficult for men to receive in this word, by virtue of which you will be able to ecclipse all the ladies in fame.

कुन्त्युवाच कृतानि मम सर्वाणि यस्या मे वेदवित्तम। त्वं प्रसन्नः पिता चैव कृतं विप्र वरैर्मम॥
Kunti said: O best of those versed in the Vedas, all my desires have been gratified in as much as you as well as my father are pleased with me. So, O Brahmana, I think I have already received boons.

ब्राह्मण उवाच यदि नेच्छसि मत्तस्त्वं वरं भद्रे शुचिस्मिते। इमं मन्त्रं गृहाण त्वमाह्वानाय दिवौकसाम्॥
The Brahmana said: O gentle girl of sweet smiles, if you do not desire for boons from me, then take this Mantra for invoking the gods.

यं यं देवं त्वमेतेन मन्त्रेणावाहयिष्यसि। तेन तेन वशे भद्रे स्थातव्यं ते भविष्यति॥
Whatever god you may invoke by (uttering) this Mantra, he will be, O gentle girl, quite under your control.

अकामो वा सकामो वा स समेष्यति ते वशे। विबुधो मत्रसंशान्तो भवेद् भृत्य इवानतः॥
Whether he desires or not, that god, (whom you may invoke) by virtue of the mantra (will come to you) in a gentle guise and like a slave will be subject to you.

वैशम्पायन उवाच न शशाक द्वितीयं सा प्रत्याख्यातुमनिन्दिता। तं वै द्विजातिप्रवरं तदा शापभयानृप॥
Vaishampayana said : Then O king, afraid of being cursed by that foremost of the twice-born ones, that faultless girl could not refuse him a second time.

ततस्तामनवद्याङ्गीं चाहयामास स द्विजः। मन्त्रग्राम तदा राजन्नथर्वशिरसि श्रुतम्॥
Then, O monarch, that Brahmana initiated that girl of faultless proportions into the Mantras, placed in the beginning of the Atharvaveda.

तं प्रदाय तु राजेन्द्र कुन्तिभोजमुवाच ह। उषितोऽस्मि सुखं राजन् कन्यया परितोषितः॥ तव गेहेषु विहितः सदा सुप्रतिपूजितः। साधयिष्यामहे तावदित्युक्त्वान्तरधीयत।२२।।
O lord of kings, having thus initiated her (into the mantras), he said to Kuntibhoja, “O Monarch, being always duly worshipped and gratified by your daughter I have lived happily in your house. I will now depart". Saying this he vanished away.

स तु राजा द्विजं दृष्ट्वा तत्रैवान्तर्हितं तदा। बभूव विस्मयाविष्टः पृथां च समपूजयत्॥
The king was wonder-struck at beholding him vanish at that very spot. He then properly adored Pritha.