mahAbhAratam
tasya khila bhAho

harivamsham

harivamsha parva
ch 23

pitR^ikalpaH  - 7

haMsa varNanam - portrayal of swans

--o)0(o--

mArkaNDeya uvAcha - mArkaNDeya continued

te yoga-dharma niratAH sapta mAnasa-chAriNaH |
padma-garbhaH aravinda-akShaH kShIra-garbhaH su-lochanaH || 1-23-1
uru-binduH su-binduH cha haima-garbhaH tu saptamaH |
vAyvam bubhakShAH satataM sharIrANi upashoShayan || 1-23-2

Those swans that ever engrossed in yogic practises subsisting just on water and air, abiding
on the lake banks of mAnasa sarovar have these names: padma-garbha, aravinda-akSha,
kShIra-garbha, su-lochana, uru-bindu, su-bindu
while the seventh one is haima-garbha...

rAjA vibhrAjamAnaH tu vapuShA tat vanaM tadA |
chachAra antaH- pura vR^ito nandanaM maghavAn iva || 1-23-3

On certain occassion king vibhrAja took a stroll in those woods accompanied by the inmates of his palace-chambers, as if indra takes a stroll in nandana gardens along with his ladies...

sa tAn apashyat kha-charAn yoga-dharma-AtmakAn nR^ipa |
nirvedAt cha tam eva artham anudhyAyan puraM yayau || 1-23-4

On noticing those sky-flying swans to be engrossed in yogic exercises, that king became despondent, because he himself is not able to concentrate on yogic practices as much as these birds... returning to his city that king pondered on the same thought...

aNuho nAma tasya AsIt putraH parama-dhArmikaH |
aNu-dharma ratiH nityam aNuM saH adhyagamat padam || 1-23-5

That king vibhrAja had a son named aNuhu; because that prince examines everything in microcosmic manner - aNu-dharma rata – he acquired such a name... aNu- microcosmically; hanti prApnoti - he delves deep, hence aNuhu, is his name...

prAdAt kanyAM shukaH tasmai kR^itvIM pUjita-lakShaNAm |
satya-shIla-guNa-upetAM yoga-dharma-ratAM sadA || 1-23-6
sA hi uddiShTA purA bhIShma pitR^ikanyA manIShiNI |
sanatkumAreNa tadA sannidhau mama shobhanA || 1-23-7
satya-dharma-bhR^itAM shreShThA dur-vij~neyA kR^ita-AtmabhiH |
yogA cha yoga-patnI cha yoga-mAtA tathaiva cha || 1-23-8
yathA te katithaM pUrvaM pitR^ikalpeShu vai mayA |

Sage shuka’s daughter is kR^itvi, an adorable entity to everyone, one who has qualities of truthfulness, immaculacy etc... one who is always engrossed in yogic practices... the best lady adhering to sincerity and righteousness... an incomprehensible personality even for the elevated souls... she is a wife of yogi, a mother of yogi, why all these, she herself is an embodiment of yoga... and she being the brainchild of bArhiShada-s is the daughter of shuka too... such as she is she is given to this prince aNuhu in marriage... I have already covered this topic, as has been said to me by sanatkumAra, while narrating about fatherly gods to you... isn’t it...

vibhrAjaH tu aNuhaM rAjye sthApayitvA nareshvaraH || 1-23-9
Amantrya paurAn prIta AtmA brAhmaNAn svati vAchya cha |
prAyAt saras tapaH chartuM yatra te saha-chAriNaH || 1-23-10
saH vai tatra nir-AhAro vAyu-bhakSho mahAtapAH |
tyaktvA kAmAn tapaH tepe sarasaH tasya pArshvataH || 1-23-11

On certain day, king vibhrAja summoning his ministers and high priests established that prince aNuha on the throne to the intonation of blessing hymns and to his heart’s content... then he repaired to Lake mAnasa-sarovar where the swans are ambling, to undertake ascesis on par with those swans... and he practised ascesis at a fringe area of that lake, indeed, forgoing cravings, food and water

tasya saMkalpa AsIt cha teShAm ekatarasya vai |
putratvaM prApya yogena yujyeyam iti bhArata || 1-23-12

His intention is similar to that of swans... swans wanted to take birth as humans to enjoy luxuries, and this human king wanted to take birth as a swan to undertake an unperturbed ascesis to achieve salvation...

kR^itva abhisandhiM tapasA mahatA sa samanvitaH |
mahAtapAH sa vibhrAjo virarAja aMshumAn iva || 1-23-13
tato vibhrAjitaM tena vaibhrAjaM nAma tat vanam |
sarastachcha kurushreShTha vaibhrAjam iti saMj~nitam || 1-23-14

On performing a great ascesis with utmost concentration that great ascetic king vibhrAja shone forth like radiating sun, and because he irradiated that forest and lake are called after him... 

yatra  te shakunA rAjan chatvAro yoga dharmiNaH |
yoga bhraShTAH trayaH chaiva deha nyAsa kR^ito.abhavan || 1-23-15
kAmpilye nagare te tu brahmadatta purogamAH |
jAtAH sapta mahAtmAnaH sarve vigata kalmaShAH || 1-23-16

Later this king, four cursing swans that are abiding by the tenets of yoga, and three more cursed swans that deviated from righteous path, all have discarded their physical bodies... and all the seven swans have taken rebirth in kAmpila city as brahmadatta et al...

j~nAna dhyAna tapaH pujA veda veda a~Nga pAragAH |
smR^itimanto.atra chatvAraH trayaH tu parimohitAH || 1-23-17

Four of the seven dharma-abiding swans took rebirth as scholarly brAhmaNa-s endeavouring in intellectual pursuits, meditation, cogitation, rituals, and veda-s and their ancillaries... other three swans took rebirth like this...

svatantraH tu aNuhAt jaj~ne brahmadatto mahAyashAH |
yathA hi AsIt pakShi-bhAve saMkalpaH pUrva-chintitaH |
j~nAnadhyAnatapaHpUto vedavedA~NgapAragaH || 1-23-18

As has been cursed, swan svatantra, who was the seventh son of kaushika, with his name as pitR^i-varti, has now taken rebirth as the son of king aNuha, with his name as brahmadatta, yet possessing faculties of intellectual pursuits, meditation, cogitation, rituals, and veda-s and their ancillaries, drawn from previous births...

Chidra-darshI su-netraH cha tathA bAbhravya vatsayoH |
jAtau shrotriya dAyAdau veda vedA~Nga pAragau || 1-23-19
sahAyau brahmadattasya pUrva jAti saha-uShitau |

There used to be two ministers to king aNuha who by their names are called as bAbhravya and vatsa... these two ministers are from very erudite family of brAhmaNa-s... and the fifth and sixth swans named Chidra-darshi and su-netra, who wished to become ministers of swan svatantra, in the event of his taking birth as human king, have now taken rebirth as the sons of these orthodox brAhmaNa ministers, respectively...

pA~nchAlaH pA~nchikaH chaiva kaNDarIkaH tatha aparaH || 1-23-20

The fifth one named kavi among the seven sons of kaushika, who had always been taking birth as a fifth brother in all the previous six births, has taken birth in this seventh life as pAnchAla... while the sixth one, namely kha-sR^ima took birth as kaNDarIka... these two took birth as the sons of ministers to the king...

Recap; sons of kaushika: vAgduShTa, krodhana, hiMsra, pishuna, kavi, kha-sR^ima, pitR^i-varti.

pA~nchAlo bahu R^ichaH tu AsIt AchAryatvaM chakAra ha |
dvivedaH kaNDarIkaH tu ChandogaH adhvaryuH eva cha || 1-23-21
sarva sattva ruta j~naH tu rAJA AsIt aNuha-AtmajaH |

pAnchAla has assumed the position of a mentor in the court of brahmadatta, because he is a high scholar in many Rik-s, i.e., Rig-Veda... while kaNDarIka assumed the position of adhvaryu, a high priest, in the religious ministry of brahmadatta, because of his lofty scholarship in sAma-veda... while brahmadatta himself is a scholar in the speech-patterns of all living beings...

pA~nchAla kaNDarIkAbhyAM tasya sakhyam abhUt tadA || 1-23-22
te grAmya-dharma abhiratAH kAmasya vasha vartinaH |
pUrva jAti kR^itena Asan dharma kAma artha kovidAH || 1-23-23

King brahmadatta has more affinity with these two, pAnchAla and kaNDarIka, and coming under the influence of desires, these three are preoccupied in rustic pleasures... yet, they are discriminative between spiritual and material living, owing to the scrupulous faculties drawn from earlier births...    

aNuhaH tu nR^ipashreShTho brahmadattam akalmaSham |
rAjye abhiShichya yoga AtmA parAM gatim avAptavAn || 1-23-24

Thus king aNuha has anointed brahmadatta in kingdom and repaired to forests wherefrom he departed to higher abodes...

brahmadattasya bhAryA tu devalasya AtmajA abhavat |
asitasya hi durdharShA sannatiH nAma nAmataH || 1-23-25
tAm eka bhAva saMpannAM lebhe kanyAm anuttamAm |
sannatiM sannati matIM devalAt yoga dharmiNIm || 1-23-26

brahmadatta took lady sannati as his wife, who is the daughter of the invulnerable asita-devala... she is an immaculate lady endowed with unique dedication with flexile behaviour – saM nata mati – all good qualities derived from the training of asita-devala...

pa~nchamaH pA~nchikaH tatra sapta jAtiShu bhArata |
ShaShThaH tu kaNDarIko abhUt brahmadattaH tu saptamaH || 1-23-27

The fifth one in seven births has become pA~nchika aka pAnchAla, while the sixth one became kaNDarIka, and the seventh one – brahmadatta...

sheShA viha~NgamA ye vai kAmpilye sahachAriNaH |
te jAtAH shrotriya kule su-daridre sahodarAH || 1-23-28
dhR^itimAn sumanA vidvAn tattva-darshI cha nAmataH |
veda adhyayana saMpannAH chatvAraH Chidra-darshinaH || 1-23-29
teShAM saMvit tatha utpannA pUrva jAti kR^itA tadA |
ye yoga niratAH siddhAH prasthitAH sarva eva hi || 1-23-30
Amantrya pitaraM tAta pitA tAn abravIt tadA |

Rest of the seven swan brothers, viz. four cursing swans, have taken rebirth in the same kAmpilya city, but in a very poor scholarly family... they by their names are: dhR^itimAn, sumana, vidvAn, tattva-darshi... these four have become teachers of veda... these are endowed with faculty of - Chidra-darshana – hole-finding – fault-finding – censorious towards those who transgress from righteous path... this wealth of righteousness has accrued to them owing to their merited acts drawn from their earlier births... and on one day, intending to start on their journey to pass through the pearly gates, they called upon their old father, the poor brAhmaNa who gave birth to these four in this human life, and informed him about it...

adharma eSha yuShmAkaM yat mAM  tyaktvA gamiShyatha || 1-23-31
dAridryam anapA kR^itya putra arthAn chaiva puShkalAn |
shushrUShAm aprayujya eva kathaM vai gantum arhatha || 1-23-32

That old man is startled at the news of departure of his sons and said like this, “your departure on discarding me is unconscionable... our poverty is not yet alleviated, nor your filial due is achieved... how you wished to walk out leaving me as an unassisted old man... what becomes of me...”

te tamUchur dvijAH sarve pitaraM punareva cha |
kariShyAmo vidhAnaM te yena tvaM vartayiShyasi || 1-23-33
imaM shlokaM mahArthaM tvaM rAjAnaM saha mantriNam |
shrAvayethAH samAgamya brahmadattam akalmaSham || 1-23-34
prIta-AtmA dAsyati sa te grAmAn bhogAn cha puShkalAn |
yathA IpsitAn cha sarva arthAn gachCha tAta yathA Ipsitam || 1-23-35

Then they pacifically said to their father, “we will make an alternative arrangement, sire, with which your old age will pass off peacefully... please approach the unimpeachable king brahmadatta when he is with his ministers and recite this verse... then, on listening this verse he will be gladdened and endows you with whatever wealth and comfort you would like to specify... then you can be on your own as you please...”

etAvat uktvA te sarve pUjayitvA cha taM gurum |
yoga dharmam anuprApya parAM nirvR^itim AyayuH || 1-23-36

Saying this much to their poor father and adoring him befittingly, those four brothers have set forth on a retunless path as final release has bechanced on them...

--o)0(o--

iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvaNi pitR^ikalpe
[haMsa varNano nAma] trayoviMsho.adhyAyaH

Thus, this is the twenty-third chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, portraying the swans.

 --o)0(o--

Prev ch 22 : pitR^ikalpaH - 6  chakravAka
varNanam - portrayal of chakravAka birds
contents Next chapter : 24  pitR^ikalpaH - 8 - pitR^ikalpa samAptiH – legend of brahmadatta
verse-transliteration:  ks ramachandran
< ramachandran_ksr @ yahoo.ca >
verse-rendition advisor : gilles schaufelberger
 < schaufel @ wanadoo.fr >
page maintained by : Harindranath Avaroth :
<  harindranath_a @ yahoo.com >
translation : desiraju hanumanta rao
< desirajuhrao @ yahoo.com
>
E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 30-10-07