BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Having thus despatched his army and waited at Ayodhya for a month Satrughna, the slayer of enemies, proceeded alone.
Having spent two nights on his way he arrived at the holy and picturesque hermitage of the great ascetic Valmiki. And having bowed unto that high souled one he, with folded palms, said "O illustrious Sir, I wish to wait here this day ;I have come here for some business of our master Rama. Tomorrow morning I shall proceed to the dreadful West.
Heaing the words of the high souled Satrughna, Valmiki, the foremost of ascetics, replied saying "O thou of great renown, do thou wait here without any hesitation. O gentle one, this hermitage belongs the descendants of the Raghu race. Do thou fearlessly take thy seat and water to wash thy feet.
Thereupon taking water to wash his feet and feeding upon fruits and roots Satrughna attained to great delight. And afterwards he asked the great ascetic Valmiki saying "O great ascetic, to whom belong the articles of sacrifice in the east near this hermitage?" Whereto Valmiki replied Satrughna", hear I shall tell thee, whose sacrificial ground was this in the days of yore. There was a king by the name of Saudasa one of your ancestors.
His son Virjashaha was a highly powerful and pious king. The heroic Saudasa was fond of hunting from his boyhood. Once on a time while a hunting, he espied two Rakshasas in the forest.
He had heard about them many times before :they were in the shape of tigers and of dreadful figure and were not satiated with devouring many thousand deer. King Saudasa saw those two Rakshasas and found the forest divested of all creatures. And enraged in consequence thereof he slew one of them.
Having slain him and been at ease, Saudasa, the foremost of men, began to eye that Rakshasa. His mate, greatly aggrieved, said to him "O vicious one, thou hast, without any fault, slain my companion I shall therefore mete out becoming punishment unto thee." Having said this the Rakshasa vanished therefrom.
Thereupon in time the pince Virjashaha became king. Saudasa engaged in celebrating a mighty horse sacrifice in the vicinity of this hermitage. Vasishta officiated as a priest at that sacrifice.
It continued for many Ayuta years. For immense riches the sacrifice appeared like one performed by the Devas. Thereupon when the sacrifice was about to be finished the aforesaid Rakshasa, remembering his former enmity, assumed the shape of Vasishta and said to the king Saudasa "O king, today the sacrifice shall end; do therefore, without any delay, feed me with meat.
Hearing the words of the Rakshasa in the guise of a Brahman, the king ordered his expert cook?, saying "Do ye soon prepare such dishes of meat as may satisfy my preceptor Vasishta." Having been ordered by the king the cooks reverentially went away and the Rakshasa assuming their shape brought before the king dishes. The king and queen offered those dishes unto the ascetic Vasishta, who, after being treated to them, perceived that they were of human flesh and, terribly enraged, said: "0 king, let this be thy food which thou hast offered me ;this shall not prove otherwise.
Being enraged on hearing it the king Saudasa took water in his palms and was about to imprecate Vasishta, when his queen, preventing him said "O king, the illustrious great ascetic Vasishta is our preceptor and priest and so thou shouldst not imprecate him." Hearing those words of his queen, the king Saudasa, threw of that powerful water on his own feet which at once became dark. From that time the illustrious king Saudasa became also known by the name of Kalasampada.
Thereupon the king with his spouse again and again bowed unto Vasishta s feet and informed him of what the Rakshasa has done under the guise of a Brahmana. Hearing the words of the king and being apprised that this vile act had been done by the Rakshasa, Vasishta said, "O king, even what I have said angrily shall not prove futile. However I confer upon thee this boon that after twelve years thou wlit be freed from this curse, and by my favour thou shalt cherish no recollection of thy condition extending over those twelve years.
Having thus suffered the consequences of the curse, Saudasa, the slayer of enemies, again obtained his kingdom and governed his subjects. O descendant of Raghu, the sacrificial ground of which thou hast asked me, longs to the king Saudasa." Having thus heard the wonderful story of the king Saudasa and saluted the ascetic Valmiki, Satrughna entered a thatched cottage.