Pratāpacandra Rāya.

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa translated into English prose online

. (page 67 of 84)
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Ikddresse4 him and said, — O Island-born one, thou shalt gel
a son like to what thou wishest !*^ Possessed of greatness,
he shall be as pure as Fire, as Wind, as Earth, as Water, and
as Space !*' He shall be possessed of the consciousness of
his being Brahma's self ; his understanding and soul shall be
devoted to Brahma, and he shall completely depend upon
Brahma so as to be identifiable with it ! — ' "''

Section OOOXXV.

"Bhishma said, — ^'The son of Satyavati, having obtained
this high boon from the great Gk>d, was one day employed in
rubbing his sticks for making a fire.^ While thus engaged)
the illustrious Rishi, O king, beheld the Apsara Qhritachi,
who, in consequence of her energy, was then possessed of
great beauty.* Beholding the Apsara in those woods, the
illustrious Rishi Yyasa, O Yudhishthira, became suddenly
smitten with desire.* The Apsara (Qhritachi), seeing the
Rishi's heart troubled by desire, transformed herself into a
she-parrot and came to that spot.* Although he beheld the
Apsara disguised in another form, the desire that had arisen
in the Rishi's heart (without disappearing) spread itself
over every part of his body.* Summoning all his patience,
the ascetic endeavoured to suppress that desire. With all
his effort, however, Vyasa did not succeed in controlling his
agitated mind. In consequence of the inevitability of what
was to happen, the Rishi's heart was attracted by Ghrita-
chi's fair form.* He set himself more earnestly to the task
of making a fire for suppressing his emotion, but in spite of
all his efforts his vital seed came out.^ That best of regene-
rate ones, however, O king, continued to rub his stick with-
out feeling any scruples for what had happened. From the
^seed that fell, was born a son unto him, called Cuka.* In

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Parva.] oiNTt partaj 698

consequence of this circumstance attending his birfch, he
came to be called by the nanae of Cuka. Indeed, it was
thus that that great ascetic, that foremost of Bishis and
highest of Yogins, took his birth from the tvfo sticks (his
fether had for making fire).' As in a sacrifice a blazing fire
sheds its effulgence all around when libations of clarified
butter are poured upon it, after the same manner did Cuka
take his birth, blazing with effulgence in consequence of his
own energy.^^ Assuming the excellent form and complexion
tiiat were his sire', Cuka, O son of Euru, of cleansed Soul»
shone like a smokeless fire.^' The foremost of rivers, viz»t
Ganga, O king, coming to the breast of Meru, in her own
embodied form, bathed Cuka (after his birth) with her
waters." There fell from the welkin, O son of Kuru, an
ascetic's stick and a dark deer-skin for the use, O monarch,
of the high-souled Cuka." The Gandharvas sang repeatedly
and the diverse tribes of Apsaras danced ; and celestial kettle-
drums of loud sound began to beat.** The Gandharva Vi-
9wavasu, and Tumvuru and Narada, and those other Gan-
dharvas called by the names of Haha, and Huhu, eulogised
the birth of Cuka.'* There the regents of the world with
Oakra at their head came, as also the deities and the celes-
tial and the regenerate Rishis." The Wind-god poured
showers of celestial flowers upon the spot." The entire uni-
verse, mobile and immobile, became filled with joy.'* The
high-souled Mahadova of great effulgence, accompanied by
the Goddess, and moved by affection, came there and soon
after the birth of the Muni's son invested him with the
sacred thread." Cakra, the chief of the gods, gave him,
from affection, a celestial Kamandalu of excellent form, and
ftome celestial robes.^® Swans and Catapatras and cranes
by thousands, and many parrots and Chasas, O Bharata^
wheeled over his head.*^ Endued with great splendour and
intelligence, Cuka, having obtained his birth from the two
sticks, continued to live there, engaged the while in the
attentive observance of many vows and fasts." As soon as
Duka was born, the Vedas with all their mysteries and all
their abstracts, came for dwelling in him, king, even as

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098 11ABABBARATA« [UokMhadkorma

they dwell in his snre.** For all -that, Ouka selected Yrihas*^
pati, who was conversant with all the Yedas together with
Ifaeir branches and corameataries, for his preceptor, remem-
bering the universal practice.**' Having studied all the
Yedas together with all their mysteries and abstracts, aa
^so all the histories and the science of governmet, O puis-
sant monarch,'* the great ascetic returned home, after giv-
iiig his preceptor the tuition*fee. Adopting the vow of a
Brahmacharin, he then commenced to practise the aosterest
penances, concentrating all his attention theroon.^ In even
bis childhood, he became an object of respect with the gods
and Bishis for his knowledge and penances.*^ The mind of
the great ascetic, O king, took no pleasure in the thre»
modes of life with the domestic among them, keeping io
view, as he did, the religion of Emancipation.' "'^

Section CCCXXVI.

'*Bhishma said, — 'Thinking of Emancipation, Cuka ap^
preached his sire, and possessed as he was of humility and
desirous of achieving his highest good, he saluted his great
preceptor and said,' — Thou art well versed in the religion of
Emancipation. Do thou, O illustrious one, discourse to me
upon it« so that supreme tranquillity of mind, O puissant
one, may be mine !* — Hearing these words of his son, the
great Rishi said unto him, — Do thou study, O son, the reli-
gion of Emancipation and all the diverse duties of life !'-^
AX the command of his sire, Cuka, that foremost of all
righteous men, mastered all the treatises on Yoga, O Bfaa-
rata, as also the science promulgated by Kapila.* When
Yyasa beheld his son to be possessed of the resplendence of
the Yedas, endued with the energy of Brahma, and fully
conversant with the religion of Emancipation, he addressed
him,* saying, — Qo thou to Janaka the ruler of MithiUU

* Although the Yedas came to Cnka of their own accord, yet ho
was, in deference to the universal custom, obliged to formall/ acquire
tbem from a preceptor. — T.

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Parva.] canti parva, 697

The king of Mithila will tell thee everything for thy £man«
cipation.® — Bearing the comraand of his sire, king, Cuka
proceeded to Mithila for enquiring of its king about the truth
of duties and the Refuge of Emancipation/ Before he set
out, his sire further told him, — Do thou go thither by that
path which ordinary human beings take. Do not have re-
course to thy Yoga- puissance for proceeding through the
skies.— At this Cuka was not at all surprised (for he was
humble by nature).* He was further told that he should
proceed thither with simplicity and not from desire of plea-
sure. — Along your way do .not seek for friends and spouses,
since friends and spouses are causes of attachment to the
world.* Although the ruler of Mithila is one in whose sacri-
fices we oflSciate, still thou shouldst not indulge in any
feeling of superiority while living with him. Thou shouldsb
live under his direction and in obedience to him. Even he
'will dispel all thy doubts.*^® That king is well versed in
all duties and well acquainted with the scriptures on Eman-
cipation. He is one for whom I officiate in sacrifices. Thou
shouldst, without any scruple, do what he bids.^* — Thus
instructed, the righteous-souled Cuka proceeded to Mithila
on foot although he was able to traverse through the skies
over the whole Earth with her seas." Crossing many hills
and mountains, many rivers, many waters and lakes,* and
many woods and forests abounding with beasts of prey and
other aniraals,^^ crossing the two Varahas of Meru and Hari
successively and next the Varsha of Himavat, he came at last
to the Varska known by the name of Bharata.^* Having
seen many countries inhabited by Chins and Huns, the
great ascetic at last reached Aryavarta.^^ In obedience to
the commands of his sire and bearing them constantly in
his mind, he gradually passed along his way on the Earth

* Yy&sa was the priest or Ritwija of the house of MithilA and as
euch the kings of Mithilft were his *Yajyas* or 'Yajamftnas.' The duty
of a *Y»janiftna* is to reverence every member of the priest's family*
The sire, therefore, cautions the sou that he should not, while living
-with the king of Mithilft, assert his superiority over him in any res-
pect.— T.

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698 MABABflARATA. [Mokshadharma

like a bird passing through the air.'' Passing through many
delightful towns and populous cities, he saw diverse kinds
of wealth without waiting to observe them.^^ On his waj
he passed through many delightful gardens and planes and
many sacred waters. ^^ Before much time had passed he
rei^ched the country of the Videhas that was protected by
the virtuous and high-souled Janaka.^' There he beheld
many populous villages, and many kinds of food and drink
and viands and habitations of cowherds swelling with men
and many herds of cattle.^* He beheld many fields abound-
ing with paddy and barley and other grain, and many lakes
and waters inhabited by swans and cranes and adorned with
beautiful lotuses.'^ Passing through the Yideha country
teeming with well-to-do people, he arrived at the delightful
gardens of Mitbila rich with many species of tre^**
Abounding with elephants and horses and cars, and people!
by men and women, he passed through them without wait-
ing to observe any of the things that were presented to his
eye.** Bearing that burthen in his mind and ceaselessly
dwelling upon it {viz., the desire of mastering the religion
H>f Emancipation), Guka of cheerful soul and taking delight
in internal survey only, reached Mithila at last.'* Arrived
at the gate, he sent word through the keepers. Endued with
tranquillity of mind, devoted to contemplation and Yoga,
he entered the city, having obtained permission.** Proceed-
ing along the principal street abounding with well-to-do
men, he reached the king's palace and entered it without
any scruples.** The porters forbade him with rough words.
Thereat, Cuka, without any anger, stopped and waited.*'
Neither the sun nor the long distance he had walked had
fatigued him in the least. Neither hunger, nor thirst, nor
the exertion he had made, had weakened him. The heat of
the Sun had not scorched or pained or distressed him in any
^degree.*' Among those porters there was one who felt com-
passion for him, beholding him staying there like the midday
Sun in his effulgence.** Worshipping him in due form and
isaluting him properly, with joined hands he led him to the
^rit ch3iinber of the palace.'* Seated there, Caka, O soa.

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Fi»rV€k] OAHTl PABVA. 699

began to think of Emancipation only. Possessed of equable
splendour he looked with an equal eye upon a shaded spot
and one exposed to the Sun's rays.'^ Very soon after, the
king's minister, coming to that place with joined' hands, led
him to the second chamber of the palace.*' That chamber
led to a spacious garden which formed a portion of the
inner apartments of the palace. It looked like a second
Chaitraratha. Beautiful pieces of water occurred here and
there at regular intervals. Delightful trees, all of which
were in their flowering season, stood in that garden." Be-
lies of damsels, of transcendent beauty, were in attendance..
The minister led Cuka from the second chamber to that
delightful spot. Ordering' those damsels to give the ascetic
a seat, the minister left him there.^ Those well-dressed
damsels were of beautiful features, possessed of excellent
hips, young in ears, clad in red robes of fine texture, and
decked with many ornaments of burnished gold.** They
were well skilled in agreeable <;onversation and maddening
revelry, and thorough mistresses of the arts of dancing and
singing. Always opening their lips with smiles, they were
equal to the very Apsaras in beauty.** Well-skilled in all
the acts of dalliance, competent to read the thoughts of
men upon whom they wait, possessed of every accomplish-
ment, fifty damsels, of a very superior order and of easy
virtue, surrounded the ascetic.*' Presenting him with water
for washing his feet, and worshipping him respectfully with
the offer of the usual articles, they gratified him with ex-
eellent viands agreeable to the season.** After he had eaten,
those damsels then, one after another, singly led him through
the grounds, showing him every object of interest, O Bha-
vata.** Sporting and laughing and singing, those damsels,
eonversant with the thoughts of all men, entertained that
auspicious ascetic of noble soul.^ The pure-souled ascetic
born in the fire-sticks, observant without scruples of any
kind of his duties, having all his senses under complete
control, and a thorough master of his wrath, was neither
pleased nor angered at all this.^^ Then those foremost of
beautiful women gave him an excellent seat.^* Washing

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700 H4HABR4RATA, [Mok^hodharmM

his feet and other limba, Cukasaid his evening prayers, sat
on that OKcellent seat, and began to think of the object tor
which he had come there.** In the first part of the night,
he devoted himself to Yoga. The puissant ascetic, passed
the middle portion of the night in sleep.** Very soon wak-
ing up from his slumber, he went through the necessary
rites of cleansing his body, and though surrounded by those
beautiful women, he once again devoted himself to Yoga.**
It was in this way, Bharata, that the son of the Island-
born Krishna passed the latter part of that day and the
whole of that night in the palace of king Janaka.' '**•

Section CCCXXV II.

"Bhishma said, — 'The next morning, king Janaka, Bha-
rata, accompanied by his minister and the whole household,
came to Cuka, placing his priest in the van.^ Bringing with
him costly seats and diverse kinds of Jewells and gems, and
bearing the ingredients of theArghya on his own head, the
monarch approached the son of his reverend preceptor.'
The king, taking with his own hands, from the hands of his
priest, that seat adorned with many gems, overlaid with aa
excellent sheet, beautiful in all its parts, and exceedingly
costly, presented it with great reverence to his preceptors
son Cuka.^*^ After the son of (the Island-born) Krishna had
taken his seat on it, the king worshipped him according to
prescribed rites. At first offering him water to wash his feet»
he then presented him the Arghya and kine.^ The ascetic
accepted that worship offered with due rites and fnanh-ag.
That foremost of regenerate persons, having thus accepted
the worship offered by the king,* and taking the kine also
that were presented to him, then saluted the monarch.
Possessed of great energy, he next enquired after the king's
welfare and prosperity.^ Indeed, king, Cuka embraced in
his enquiry the welfare of the monarch's followers and ofiBcera
also. Receiving Cuka's permission, Janaka sat down with
all his followers.* Endued with a high soul and possessed
ef high birth, the monarch, with joined hands, sat diowa

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Parva.] «Am fiet4. 701

on the bare ground and enquired after the welfare and un-
abated prosperity of Vyasa's son.' The monarch then asked
his guest the object of his visit/^

" 'Cuka said, — Blessed be thou, my sire said unto me that
his Yajamana, the ruler of the Videhas, known all over the
world by the name of Janaka, is well versed in the religion of
Emancipation.^^ He commanded me to come to him without
delay, if I had any doubts requiring solution in the matter
of theVeligion of either Pravritti or NivrittL He gave me
to understand that the king of Mithilft would dispel all my
doubts.^' I have, therefore, come hither, at the command of
my sire, for the purpose of taking lessons from thee. It
behooveth thee, O foremost of all righteous persons, to in-
struct me !^* What are the duties of a Brahmana, and what *
is the essence of those duties that have Emancipation for
their object. How also is Emancipation to be obtained ?
Is it obtainable by the aid of knowledge or by that of
penances ? — "

" 'Janaka said, — Hear what the duties are of a Brahmana
from the time of his birth. After his investiture, O son.
with the sacred thread, he should devote his attention to
the study of the Yedas.^^ By practising penances and duti*
fully serving his preceptor and observing the duties of Brah-
macharyya, puissant one, he should pay off the debt he
owes to the deities and the Pitris, and cast off all malice.^*
Having studied the Vedas with close attention and subjugat-
ed his senses, and having given his preceptor the tuition-
fee, he should, with the permission of his preceptor, return
home.^* Returning home, he should betake himself to the
domestic mode of life and wedding a spouse confine himself
to her, and live freeing himself from every kind of malice,
and having established his domestic fire.^^ Living, in the
domej^tic mode, he should procreate sons and grandsons. After
that, he should retire to the forest, and continue to worship
the same fires and entertain guests with cordial hospitality.^*
Living righteously in the forest, he should at last establish
his fire in his soul, and freed from all pairs of opposites, and
easting off all attachments from the soul, he should pass his

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702 MABIBHARATA. [Mokshadkarm^

days in the mode called Sannyasa which is otherwise called
the mode of Brahma. — '•

" 'Cuka said, — If one succeeds in attaining to an under-
standing cleansed by study of the scriptures and to true
eonceptions of all things, and if the heart succeeds in free-
ing itself permanently from the effects of all pairs of oppo-
tities, is it still necessary for such a person to adopt, one
after another, the three modes of life called Brahmacharyya,
Garhastya, and Vanaprastha ?^^ This is what I ask thee.
It behooveth thee to tell me. Indeed, O tuVer of men, do
tell me this according to the true import of the Yedas 1 — *'

" 'Janaka said, — Without the aid of an understanding
cleansed by study of the scriptures and without that true
conception of all things which is known by the name of
Yijnana, the attainment of Emancipation is impossible.
That cleansed understanding, again, it is said, is unattain-
able without one's connection with a preceptor." The pre-
ceptor is the helmsman, and knowledge is the boat (aided by
whom and which one succeeds in crossing the ocean of the
world)* After having acquired that boat, one becomes crown-
ed with success. Indeed, having crossed the ocean, one may
abandon both.** For preventing the destruction of all the
worlds and for preventing the destruction of acts (upon
which the worlds depend) , the duties appertaining to the
lour modes of life were practised by the wise of old." By
fbbandoning acts, good and bad, agreeably to this order of
acta, one succeeds, in course of many births, in attaining to
Emancipation.*" That man who, through penances perform-
ed in course of many births, succeeds in obtaining a cleansed
mind and understanding and soxil, certainly becomes able
to attain to Emancipation (in a new birth) in even the very
first mode, {viz., Brahmacharyya).f " When, having attained
to a cleansed understanding. Emancipation becomes his and

* It is certain that one must abandon all acts before one can attain
to Bmancipation. But then acts shonld not be cast off all at once. II
Is according to this order that they should be abandoned, i. «., in th»
order of the several modes. — T.

t The *karana»' are the inner faculties.^T«

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Parva.] oanti part a. TOS'

in consequence thereof he becomes possessed of knotvledge
in respect of all visible things, what desirable object is there
to attain by observing the three other modes of life ?**"
One should always cast off faults born of the attributes of
Sajas and Tamas. Adhering to the path of Sattwa, one should
know Self by Selff* Beholding one's self in all creatures
and all creatures in one's self, one should live (without being
attached to anything) like acquatic animals living in water
without being drenched by that element.'^ He who succeeds
in transcending all pairs of attributes and resisting their
influence, succeeds in casting off all attachments, and attains
to infinite felicity in the next world, going thither like a bird
soaring into the sky from below." In this connection, there is a
saying sung of old by king Tayati and borne in remembrancOi
sire, by all persons conversant with the scriptures bearing
upon Emancipation." The effulgent ray (i. «., the Supreme
Soul) exists in one's Soul and not anywhere else. It exists
equally in all creatures. One can see it oneself if one's heart
be devoted to Yoga.'' When a person lives in such a way
that another is not inspired with fear at his sight, and when
a person is not himself inspired with fear at the sight of
others, when a person ceases to cherish desire and hate, he
is then said to attain to Brabma.^^ When a person ceases to
entertain a sinful attitudo towards all creatures in thought,
word, and deed, he is then said to attain to Brahma.^'* By
restraining the mind and the soul, by casting off malice that
stupifies the mind, and by throwing off desire and stupefac*
tion, one is said to attain to Brahma."* When a person
assumes an equality of attitude in respect of all objects of
hearing and vision (and the operations of the other senses)
as also in respect of all living creatures, and transcends all
pairs of opposites, he is then said to attain to Brahnuu''

* /. tf., when Eoiancipation and omniscience have been attained in
the very first mode of life, no further need exists for conforming to
the three other modes of life. — T.

t /. e., behold the Supreme Soul by hie own Soul. — T.

X Instead of *p&pakam' some texts read *p&vakam,' meaniag *of
the nature of fire.*— T.

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704 MAO ABB Am ATA, [l/ofc</iadhamt

When a penon casts an equal eye upon praise and dispruse,
gold and iron, happiness and misery,'' heat and cold, good
and evil, the a^^reeable and the disagreeable, life and death,
he is then said to attain to Brahma.^* One observing the
duties of the mendicant orders should restrain one's senses
and the mind even like a tortoise withdrawing its out-stretch-
ed limbs.*^** As a house enveloped in darkness is capable
of being seon with the aid of a lighted lamp, after the same
manner can the soul be seen with the aid of the lamp of the
understanding.*^ O foremost of intelligent persons, I see
that all this knowledge that I am communicating to thee
dwells in thee. Whatever else should be known by one de-
sirous of learning the religion of Emancipation is already
known to thee.*' O regenerate Rishi, I am convinced that
through the grace of thy preceptor and through the instruc-
tions thou hast received thou hast already transcended all
objects of the senses. f" great ascetic, through the grace
of that sire of thine, I have attained to omniscience, and
hence I have succeeded in knowing thee.*^ Thy knowledge
is much greater than what thou thinkest thou hast. Thy
perceptions also that result from intuition are much greater
than what thou thinkest thou hast. Thy puissance also ia
much greater than thou art conscious of.*^ Whether in con-
sequence of thy tender age, or of the doubts thou hast not
been able to dispel, or of the fear that is due to the unattain-
ment of Emancipation, thou art not conscious of that know*
ledge due to intuition although it has arisen in thy mind.^
After one's doubts have been dispelled by persons like us,
one succeeds in opening the knots of one's heart and then,
by a righteous exertion one attains to and becomes conscious
of that knowledge.*' As regards thyself, thou art one that
hast already acquired knowledge. Thy intelligence is steady
and tranquil. Thou art free from covetousness. For all that,

* After 'manasA,' 'saha' is underBtood. It does not mean that the
senses are to be restrained by the mind, but the words imply thai the
mind and the senses are to be restrained. K. P. Siogha renders the
line correctly. The Burdwan translator, as usual, is careliBs.— T.

t K. P. Siogha skips over this Ycrsa.— T.

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Parva.] OANTl PABVA. 705

O Brahmana, one never succeeds in attaining to Brahma,
which is the highest object of acquisition, without exertion.*"
Thou seest no distinction between happiness and misery.
Thou art not covetous. Thou hast no longing for dancing
and song. Thou hast no attachments.** Thou hast no attach-

Online LibraryPratāpacandra RāyaThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa translated into English prose → online text (page 67 of 84)