THE brahmanas, who had been with Yudhishthira in Indraprastha, had followed him to the forest. It was difficult to maintain such a large establishment. Some time after Arjuna had gone on his quest of Pasupata, a brahmana sage named Lomasa came to the abode of the Pandavas. He advised Yudhishthira to minimize his retinue before going on pilgrimage as it would be difficult to move freely from place to place with a large following. Yudhishthira, who had long felt that difficulty, announced to his followers that such of them, as were unaccustomed to hardship and to hard and scanty fare and those who had followed merely in token of loyalty, might return to Dhritarashtra or, if they preferred it, go to Drupada, the King of Panchala. Later, with a greatly reduced retinue, the Pandavas started on a pilgrimage to holy places, acquainting themselves with the stories and traditions relating to each. The story of Agastya was one such. Agastya, it is said, once saw some ancestral spirits dangling head down and asked them who they were and how they had come to be in that unpleasant plight. They replied: "Dear child, we are your ancestors. If you discharge not your debt to us by marrying and begetting progeny, there will be no one after you to offer us oblations. We have, therefore, resorted to this austerity, in order to persuade you to save us from this peril." When Agastya heard this, he decided to marry. The king of the country of Vidarbha was childless and, so, careworn. He repaired to Agastya to get his blessing. In granting him the boon, Agastya announced that the king would be the father of a beautiful girl, who, he stipulated should be given in marriage to him. Soon the queen gave birth to a girl who was named Lopamudra.