brahmadattasya tanayaH sa vibhrAjaH tu ajAyata |
yogAtmA tapasA yukto viShvaksena iti shrutaH || 1-24-1
King vibhrAja who conducted ascesis by the side of swans
has ultimately renounced his
mortal body and took rebirth as the son of brahmadatta, with his name viShavaksena...
kadAchit brahmadattaH tu bhAryayA sahito vane |
vijahAra prahR^iShTa AtmA yathA shachyA shachI-patiH || 1-24-2
tataH pipIlika rutaM sa shushrAva narAdhipaH |
kAminIM kAminaH tasya yAchataH kroshato bhR^isham || 1-24-3
shrutvA tu yAchyamAnAM tAM kruddhAM sUkShmAM pipIlikAm |
brahmadatto mahA-hAsam akasmAt eva cha ahasat || 1-24-4
On certain occasion brahmadatta was taking a stroll jubilantly in a garden along with his wife lady sannati, as if indra would take a stroll along with his consort shachI-devi... then, he heard a call of an ant... it is a lovey-dovey talk of male ant cajoling the female ant to pander to his need, because she is turning him down for quite some time... on hearing that turgid love-talk, brahmadatta suddenly emitted a loud laugh, because, even a smallest creature like ant is in the cobwebby nature of earthly pleasures...
tataH sA saMnatiH dInA vrIDita iva abhavat tadA |
nirAhArA bahu tithaM babhUva varavarNinI || 1-24-5
prasAdyamAnA bhartrA sA tam uvAcha shuchismitA |
tvayA cha hasitA rAjann AhaM jIvitum utsahe || 1-24-6
sa tat kAraNam Achakhyau na cha sA shraddadhAti tat |
Then his queen sannati, being an irreproachable lady, went into a state of consternation, presuming herself, or her own misdeed, to be the cause of the loud laughter of the king... she asked him many times about the reason for his laughter, because she alone is present at that time with the king... but he always evaded the reply... then her dismay grew large causing her to give up ailment, by which the king had to appease her, still evading proper reply... she then persisted and resentfully asked him like this, “I have no reason to live further because you laughed consumedly in my face...” Then the king said to her, “No, No... I did not laugh you off... I laughed on hearing ants’ conversation... “
uvAcha cha enaM kupitA na eSha bhAvo asti mAnuShe || 1-24-7
ko vai pipIlika rutaM mAnuSho vettum arhati |
R^ite deva prasAdAt vA pUrva-jAtikR^itena vA || 1-24-8
tapo-balena vA rAjan vidyayA vA narAdhipa |
yadi eSha vai prabhAvaH te sarva-sattva-rutaj~natA || 1-24-9
yathA aham etat jAnIyAM tathA pratyAyayasva mAm |
prANAn vA api parityakShye rAjan satyena te shape || 1-24-10
Her apprehension is redoubled and she resentfully said to him, “ants’ conversation...? Humans listening to it...! who on earth can understand the conversation of ants, excepting those that are endowed with such a faculty by the grace of gods, or by the merit drawn from earlier births... if you really have that faculty of understanding the speech of any living being, oh, king, tell me everything about it duly demonstrating your skills... otherwise I pledge to give up my life, as I construe that it is me at whom you laughed...
tat tasyA vachanaM shrutvA mahiShyAH paruSha akSharam |
sa rAjA parama Apanno deva-shreShTham agAt tataH || 1-24-11
sharaNyaM sarva-bhUteshaM bhaktyA nArAyaNaM harim |
samAhito nirAhAraH ShaD rAtreNa mahAyashAH || 1-24-12
dadarsha darshane rAjA devaM nArAyaNaM prabhum |
On hearing those bitter words of his wife king brahmadatta went into sore straits, and he in anguish sought rescue from the best of best gods – shrIhari – remaining in utter devotion for six days and nights, and the king has seen that god nArAyaNa in vision...
uvAcha chainaM bhagavAn sarvabhUta anukampakaH || 1-24-13
brahmadatta prabhAte tvaM kalyANaM samavApsyasi |
iti uktvA bhagavAn devaH tatrae eva antaradhIyata || 1-24-14
Then the god in vision has said to the king, “Oh, brahmadatta, everything will be alright by tomorrow morning...” saying so, that god vanished from there itself...
chaturNAM tu pitA yaH asau brAhmaNAnAM mahAtmanAm |
shlokaM saH adhItya putrebhyaH kR^ita-kR^itya iva abhavat || 1-24-15
sa rAjAnam atha anvichChan saha mantriNam achyutam |
na dadarsha antaraM ki~nchit shlokaM shrAvayituM tadA || 1-24-16
In the meanwhile, the four brAhmaNa scholars have given a verse to their aged father with which that old man felt that he achieved everything in this world... On the next day morning, that old man rushed to the king’s palace, with an eagerness to read that verse to the king when he is with his ministers, and without wasting further time...
atha rAjA saraH snAto labdhvA nArAyaNAt varam |
pravivesha purIM prIto ratham Aruhya kA~nchanam |
tasya rashmIn pratyagR^ihNAt kaNDarIko dvijarShabhaH || 1-24-17
chAmaraM vyajanaM chApi bAbhravyaH samavAkShipat || 1-24-18
At the same time in the morning, king brahmadatta is returning to palace in a golden chariot after taking a holy bath in a lake, as god nArAyaNa blessed him during last night... kaNDarIka, the son of one minister, maintained the reins of that golden chariot while pAnchAla, the son of another minister babhravya, fanned the king with royal-fans in that chariot... in effect, all the three are present at one place to listen to the verse...
idam antaram iti eva tataH sa brAhmaNaH tadA |
shrAvayAmAsa rAjAnaM shlokaM taM sachivau cha tau || 1-24-19
Deeming this as a best opportunity to make the verse audible to those three, that old brAhmaNa started to recite that verse given by his four sons... that verse is like this:
sapta vyAdhA dashArNeShu mR^igAH kAla~njare girau |
chakravAkAH shara-dvIpe haMsAH sarasi mAnase || 1-24-20
te abhijAtAH kurukShetre brAhmaNA veda-pAragAH |
prasthitA dIrgham adhvAnaM yUyaM kim avasIdatha || 1-24-21
We who took birth as four brothers among the seven sons of kaushika in kurukshetra, among the seven tribals in dashArNa province, among seven beasts on Mt. kAla~njara, among seven chakravAka birds on an island, among seven swans near at Lake mAnasa, have now taken birth as scholarly brAhmaNa-s, i.e., as four sons of this old man... now, we four have started our journey on a long, long way... what for you three are dawdling here...
tat shrutvA moham agamat brahmadatto narAdhipaH |
sachivaH cha asya pA~nchAlyaH kaNDarIkaH cha bhArata || 1-24-22
srasta rashmi pratodau tau patita vyajanau ubhau |
dR^iShTvA babhUvuH asvasthAH paurAH cha suhR^idaH tathA || 1-24-23
muhurtam eva rAjA sa saha tAbhyAM rathe sthitaH |
pratilabhya tataH saMj~nAM prati AgachChat arindamaH || 1-24-24
Comprehending the gist of that verse, brahmadatta along with two of his minsiters is stupefied. While the reins and whip slithered from the hands of charioteer, while the royal-fans slipped through the fingers of the fanner, and while the people and friends have been witnessing this malady occurred to them, those three remained on the chariot as if transfixed....but on regaining senses after a while they alighted the chariot and rushed to the old man who recited the verse...
tataH te tat saraH smR^itvA yogaM tam upalabhya cha |
brAhmaNaM vipulaiH arthaiH bhogaiH cha samayojayan || 1-24-25
Recollecting life as swans on the banks of Lake mAnasa, and the curse-like prognostication of four brothers, and redemption from it, brahmadatta honoured that old brAhmaNa with abundant riches, comforts etc...
abhiShichya sva rAjye tu viShvaksenam arindamam |
jagAma brahmadatto atha sa dAro vanam eva ha || 1-24-26
Then brahmadatta anointed his son viShvaksena as the king and repaired to forests along with his wife...
atha enaM sannati dhIrA devalasya sutA tadA |
uvAcha parama-prItA yogAt vana gataM nR^ipam || 1-24-27
jAnantyA te mahArAja pipIlika rutaj~natAm |
choditaH krodham uddishya saktaH kAmeShu vai mayA || 1-24-28
itaH vayaM gamiShyAmo gatim iShTAm anuttamAm |
tava cha antarhito yogaH tataH saMsmArito mayA || 1-24-29
His wife sannati, the daughter of asita-devala, spoke in this way to that king brahmadatta who by his yogic disposition has entered an eremitic life in forest, “I know, oh, king, that you are proficient with the speech of ants... but I had to talk resentfully just to divert you from your involvement in materialistic life to a spiritual way of life... I think I have succeeded in rekindling the yogic power latent in you as we have come this far, wherefrom we proceed towards the most cherished supreme goal...”
sa rAjA parama prItaH patnyAH shrutvA vachaH tadA |
prApya yogaM balAt eva gatiM prApa sudurlabhAm || 1-24-30
King brahmadatta, gladdening to hear such bolstering words from his wife, braced himself with further ascesis and attained higher abode, which is otherwise unachievable, just by the dint of his own will-power...
kaNDarIko.api dharmAtmA sA~Nkhya yogam anuttamam |
prApya yoga gatiH siddhau vishuddhaH tena karmaNA || 1-24-31
kramaM praNIya pA~nchAlyaH shikShAM cha utpAdya kevalAm |
yoga AchArya gatiM prApa yashaH cha agryaM mahAtapAH || 1-24-32
Minister kaNDarIka also achieved highest abode following the course of yoga with a crystal clear policy and by following sAnkhya system of yoga... while minister pAnchika aka pAnchAla propounding pAnchAla samhita, a treatise of veda-s, and tutoring the tenets of veda-s to many students, attained highest heaven as any yoga-AchArya would attain, along with renown in this world for his work...
evam etat purA vR^ittaM mama pratyakSham achyuta |
tat dhArayasva gA~Ngeya shreyasA yokShyase tataH || 1-24-33
ye cha anye dhArayiShyanti teShAM charitam uttamam |
tiryak yoniShu te jAtu na gamiShyanti karhichit || 1-24-34
shrutvA cha idam upAkhyAnaM mahArthaM mahatAM gatim |
yoga-dharmo hR^idi sadA parivartati bhArata || 1-24-35
sa tena eva anubandhena kadAchit labhate shamam |
tato yoga gatiM yAti shuddhAM tAM bhuvi durlabhAm || 1-24-36
All these legends that have happened long time back in this way have become evident to me owing to the divine vision given by sanatkumAra, hence, oh, bhIShma, hold it fast, because you will be benefited by it... not only to you, oh, bhIShama, these legends will yield results to those that hear attentively and keep them abreast... the life of such of those people will be best as long as they are on earth, and on exiting from here they will not recur in animal wombs... never... listening to these legends which are with profound meaning itself yields non-recurrent course... axioms of yoga-dharma will always be prevalent in one’s own heart inculcating a sense of dharma in every action of theirs...as such, be associated with these teachings... someday these will bring serenity to soul, with which one can course through a sublime path, which is otherwise unachievable as long as one is on the earth...” Sage mArkaNDeya said thus to bhIShma...
evam etat purA gItaM mArkaNDeyena dhImatA |
shrAddhasya phalam uddishya somasya ApyAyanAya vai || 1-24-37
somo hi bhagavAn devo lokasysa ApyAyanaM param |
vR^iShNi vaMsha prasa~Ngena tasya vaMshaM nibodha me || 1-24-38
Sage mArkaNDeya narrated all these legends to bhIShma in earlier times... these are recapitulated now in the course of narrating about vR^iShNi dynasty... fatherly gods will be sated with the offertories in shrAddha, beatification, with which soma is enriched... if soma is nourished well, it will nourish entire vegetation and cattle on earth through god soma, produce of which can again be offered as havis, viands to gods... this is cyclic...
iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvaNi pitR^ikalpa samAptiH
nAma [yadvaa brahmadatta charitam nAma] chaturviMsho.adhyAyaH
Thus, this is the twenty-fourth chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating the legend of brahmadatta, the concluding part of pitR^i kalpa.
23: pitR^ikalpaH - 7
haMsa varNanam - portrayal of swans
|contents||Next chapter 25:
emergence of soma, the moon
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|E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 30-10-07|