The wise, therefore, have declared religious merit to be the foremost of all things, and not the passage through the four successive modes.
By practising the duties of even one of these four modes agreeable to the directions of the wise, we have attained to true merit, and, therefore, we do not desire the second or the third mode, viz., celebacy with study or renunciation.
It is for this again that the wise have declared religious merit to be the foremost of all things !' Hearing these words of hers, Yama said, 'Do thou desist ! I have been pleased with these words of thine couched in proper letters and accents, and based on reason.
Do thou ask for a boon ! Except the life of thy husband, thou of faultless features, I will bestow on thee any boon that thou mayst solicit !'
Hearing these words, Savitri said, 'Deprived of his kingdom and bereft also of sight, my father-in-law leadeth a life of retirement in our sylvan asylum.
Let that king through thy favour attain his eye-sight, and become strong like either fire or the Sun !'
Yama said, O thou of faultless features, I grant thee this boon ! It will even be as thou hast said ! It seems that thou art fatigued with thy journey.
Do thou desist, therefore, and return ! Suffer not thyself to be weary any longer !'
Savitri said, 'What weariness can I feel in the presence of my husband ? The lot that is my husband's is certainly mine also.
Whither thou carriest my husband, thither will I also repair ! O chief of the celestials, do thou again listen to me ! Even a single interview with the pious is highly desirable ; friendship with them is still more so.
And intercourse with the virtuous can never be fruitless. Therefore, one should live in the company of the righteous !'