tasya khila bhAho


harivamsha parva
Chapter 22

pitR^ikalpaH – 6

chAkravAka varNanam – portrayal of chArvAka birds



mArkaNDeya uvAcha – mArkaNDeya continued

tataH taM chakravAkau dvAu UchatuH saha-chAriNau |
AvAM te sachivau syAvas tava priya-hita-eShiNau ||1-22-1
tatha iti uktvA cha tasya AsIt tadA yoga-AtmikA matiH |
evaM te samayaM chakruH shuchivAk tam uvAcha ha ||1-22-2

When the swan svantantra is talking that, then two more swans of that flock said this to him,
“if you become a king, we two shall become your well-wishing ministers, because we always seek your welfare as dear friends of yours...” “So be it” – said svatantra, the seventh swan, making an accord with those two. When those three swans are building castles in the air in this way, then the second swan, named suchi-vAk, said this to them...

The chapter heading chakravAka varNanam – portrayal of chArvAka birds – does not go along with the matter in the chapter. Life as chArvAka-s is over in the last chapter itself, and they are now in the life of haMsa-s, swans. Even the colophon at the end of chapter of chitrashAla edition says – pitR^i-vAkye – which vAkyam of pitar-s is unfindable in the text. May be it is pitR^i-kalpe. However, these are retained because chitra-shAla edition has them like that.

yasmAt kAma pradhAnaH tvaM yoga dharmam apAsya vai |
evaM varaM prArthayase tasmAt vAkyaM nibodha me ||1-22-3
rAjA tvaM bhavitA tAta kAmpilye na atra saMshayaH |
bhaviShyataH sakhAyau cha dvAu imau sachivau tava ||1-22-4

“Wherefore you are craving for a materialistic living deviating from the spiritual life, therefore take note of my word... you, svatantra... you will become the king of kAmpilya and these two cohorts of yours will become your ministers...

“Whereas we the other four swans, we will take birth in a chaste brAhmaNa family in the same kAmpilya city, and we will become the most eminent scholars in veda-s, and then on spending a life unentangled by riches or power, we will get salvation... so, you need not think that this is a curse, but it is a blessing in disguise...” 

shaptvA cha an-abhibhAShyAM tA~n chatvAraH chakruH aNDajAH |
tAM trIn abhIpsato rAjyaM vyabhichAra pradarshitAn ||1-22-5

Having said so in a curse-like manner those four of the avian brothers have stopped talking to the rest, i.e., three of them who diverging from their main stay longed for kingship...

shaptAH khagAH trayaH te tu yoga-bhraShTA vichetasaH |
tAn ayAchanta chaturaH trayaH te saha-chAriNaH ||1-22-6

Then those three swans that transgressed from their yogic path and received curse-like wish fulfilment have become perturbed, and started begging excuses from the four associates who cursed them...

teShAM prasAdaM te chakruH atha etAn su-manA abravIt |
sarveShAm eva vachanAt prasAda anugataM vachaH ||1-22-7

The four swans who cursed have become kind-hearted and spoke these words that contained some benefit of the curse...

antavAn bhavitA shApo yuShmAkaM nAtra saMshayaH |
itaH chyutAH cha mAnuShyaM prApya yogam avApsyatha ||1-22-8

“Undoubtedly this curse will become the terminator of your mortality... when this life of swans comes to an end you will take up the life of humans, wherefrom you get final release...

sarva sattva rutaj~naH cha svatantro ayaM bhaviShyati |
pitR^i prasAdo hi asmAbhiH asya prAptaH kR^itena vai ||1-22-9
gAM prokShayitvA dharmeNa pitR^Ibhya upakalpyatAm |
asmAkaM j~nAna saMyogaH sarveShAM yoga sAdhanaH ||1-22-10

When this swan svatantra gets rebirth as human i.e., as brahmadatta, the king of kAmpilya, he will be conversant with the speech factor of all living beings... in fact, it is he who is the root cause for our enlightenment, because he once said that we should offer our food firstly to manes, as in the case of the cow we all offered to manes in past life...

imaM cha vAkya saMdarbha shlokam ekam udAhR^itam |
puruSha antaritaM shrutvA tato yogam avApsyatha ||1-22-11

In the next life, when our human lives come to an end, we end up ourselves in final release... there will be a situational verse to this effect, listening to which we will get emancipation from the cycle of rebirths...” So said the swan suchi-vAk to other swans...” thus mArkaNDeya is continuing his narration to bhIShma, and bhIShma is reiterating it to dharmaja. 

This ‘situational verse’ is a coded message to brahmadatta from others asking him to relinquish human life; this occurs as 19th verse in Ch 24. sapta vyAdhA dashArNeShu mR^igAH.... 1-24-20


iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvaNi pitR^ivAkye [chAkravAka
varNano nAma] dvAviMsho.adhyAyaH

Thus, this is the twenty-second chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating portraying chAkravAka birds.


Prev ch 21 :  pitR^ikalpaH-5 :
efficacy of beatification of manes
contents Next chapter 23: pitR^ikalpaH-7
haMsa varNanam - portrayal of
verse-transliteration:  ks ramachandran
< ramachandran_ksr @ >
verse-rendition advisor : gilles schaufelberger
 < schaufel @ >
page maintained by : Harindranath Avaroth :
<  harindranath_a @ >
translation : desiraju hanumanta rao
< desirajuhrao @
E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 15-10-07