Bhishma Charitra

by Kartik Pandya | 2011 | 48,028 words | ISBN-10: 8171101966

The English translation of the Bhishma Charitra, an important Mahakavya (epic poem) consisting of 20 cantos. This book details the life and legends of Devavrata Bhishma: a major character in the Mahabhara and relative to both the Pandavas and Kauravas. The Bhisma Charitra (Bhismacaritam) was written by Dr. Hari Narayan Dikshit, an important author...

Canto 2 - The Acqiurement of Learning

1. Being advised and consoled by the teachers, King Śāntanu, fallen in the deep ocean of pathos and suffering the pangs of separation, performed the last ceremony of the body of his beloved wife.

2. Thinking of his wife every moment he then got worried about newly born son. And after thinking a lot he then diverted his mind towards the nurturing and bringing up of the child.

3. After completing the concluding ceremony of his wife, King Śāntanu also organised a small programme celebrating the birth of his son. Alas! The course of divine will is really powerful. The course of events as inspired by Divine will has presented the flowers and thorns together! I salute you.

4. Where is the heart scorching death of his beloved wife and where is the mind-pleasing happiness in the form of the birth of a son? By bringing such opposite incidents together in the life of a human-being, does God not show His dictatorial conduct?

5. Oh God! You separate the husband and wife from each other in this world, you seize away the pleasure of mother from the newly born child, you harass an innocent person, and by doing so you do not feel any kind of shame. This is a matter of great grief.

6. After this the king Śāntanu anyhow became steady by accepting the death of his beloved wife as the mere fact and fate. The humans are merely puppets in the hands of Lord when deceived by the almighty.

7. He himself was caring for the physical growth of the child and was giving milk of a young cow in order to keep the trust of his wife of saving the family tree.

8. The king appointed selected females belonging to a Brahmin family who were expert in caring and bringing up his child and always working for the welfare of the royal family.

9. From the view point of politics the king was offering a good amount of money sometimes individually and sometimes collectively to those females and keeping satisfied by honouring them as they were involved in the bringing up of the child.

10. And he was also keeping an eye on the activities of those females with the intrinsic desire of the welfare of his son. In this world no one can predict or understand when one becomes an enemy of others for the sake of money or higher power and position?

11. To diagnose the body of the child everyday paediatric was coming. The king Śāntanu was showing his son to that doctor in front of his eyes only and getting the news of the welfare of his son directly from him.

12. Apart from this, he was devotedly praying Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Śaṅkara every day and night for the welfare of his son. He was donating different kinds of things and fulfilling the wishes of people.

13. And having worshipped the Lord in a particular manner, he kept his son’s name ‘Devavrata’ on the auspicious time of the auspicious day as being guided by the astrologers.

14. The prince, though deprived of mother’s love as per the divine will, reared carefully by the King, started growing up as quickly as the moon grows up during the bright fifteen days of the night.

15. And in very few days the prince, who has won the beauty of lotus by his own face, acquired the magnificence form and became able to laugh, speak and walk.

16. The royal palace’s atmosphere became auspicious and pleasant by the mind pleasing acts of the prince Devavrata and the palace started shining just as the sky starts shining by the light of the moon.

17. That prince child was trying to catch the shadow of oneself as the surface of the palace was very clean, bright and reflective like a mirror;but becoming unsuccessful in holding it and through such activities he was causing happiness in the hearts of the onlookers.

18. When the domestic peacocks of the palace were entertaining the prince through their dance, at that time the prince was indeed reminding us of Kārtikeya, the son of Lord Śaṅkara.

19. Sometimes he was playing different games with those domestic swans. Neither he was crying nor was he insisting for anything. Rather he was making all the members happy.

20. Giving pleasure to all, he, being an ocean of happiness and to please the lotus like mind of his father, having become the Sun, that prince has then become five years old in age. And through sweet sentences he was showing his wealth of speech.

21. Understanding the time to begin with the education of a son, the king Śāntanu called with honour many scholars from the different parts of India.

22. He provided the facility of lodging, facility of food, payment and servants; and thus made them satisfied. If the teachers remain happy, then they surely give precious knowledge they possess.

23. On the auspicious day with the auspicious constellation, having worshipped all the gods traditionally, the king Śāntanu while giving the responsibility of his son Devavrata in the hands of different teachers humbly said thus:

24. Even a foolish person becomes a scholar by the grace of a teacher. Thinking of the same, here I am offering my son in your hands with a wish to teach him everything.

25. This child has been devoid of mother’s love and always been reared by the attendants. He is the sole support to my family and he is like my own breath. Please teach him systematically.

26. The qualities which are required for a prince and which are meant for the betterment of the people should be taught to him by you all with your devoted minds.

27. Whenever my son gets intoxicated of being a prince, immediately make him to drink the juice of black plum in the form of the importance of a teacher.

28. Please make the wooden stick of his conduct and thought more and more clean and clear by the cat of cleaning and polishing it in the form of limpid donation of learning, which also breaks the knots which are in the form of blemishes of senses.

29. I wish that through knowledge which is in the form of Sun keeps on developing prince’s intellect which is in the form of a lotus under your instructions and this way he makes progress in shifting his family to the higher standard.

30. My son, who is a credit to my family is like Vasudevatā as well as vitalbreath, you all please fill him with noble instructions. Teach him honesty in the performance of deeds by adding light, and light up this lamp with the fire in the form of power of judgement.

31. You all the teachers train my son in such a way that even a strong person, a deceiver, an ascetic, a deity, a scholar etc. cannot defeat him.

32. You all bestow my son in such a way that he can easily and properly tackle the activities of the nation Kuru. Enemies cannot harass him and he will acquire fame in this world.

33. By handing over my dear son unto you, I am keeping stern cliff on my heart. Therefore my affection for him will remain calm until he is with you for rigorous training.

34. By hearing such words of the King, all the teachers became happy. They expressed their agreement to the King by assuring success desired by the King of training his son completely.

35. They said, O king! Now you become free from all kinds of worries. We shall indeed be successful in training and making him literate. We shall all try to fulfil your wishes soon.

36. You are obedient, just and fair. You have very well honoured us. Therefore we shall surely overcome with your desired task. People

respecting the qualities of others never remain unhappy in this world.

37. O king! Whatever knowledge do we possess; we shall impart it on this child. We shall never commit parsimony and haggling in teaching him.

38. The teachers with tranquil mind never keep any difference between own children and their disciples. Rather they have more attachment for their disciples than their own children.

39. O king! In your son more interest for study is seen. Having studied, he will surely acquire the great fame in the world.

40. Having heard blessings given by different scholars to his son, the king Śāntanu understood the fulfilment of his cherished desire as the small beam of muscus kept in the palm.

41. After this, everyday all the teachers started imparting training on him, who was eager to study, their specialised knowledge of the subject serially and properly.

42. Those teachers explained him the special knowledge of sentence and its meaning, then the different arts of sentence-structure and also taught him different kinds of Yoga-Vidyā; resulting in the physical growth as well as the strength in body.

43. To that humble prince, they taught him the Vedas, Holy Scriptures, handling of arms both used as missiles and for throwing, the science of politics, humanity, modesty, war strategy and popular equity.

44. They also taught him just system of public governance, sense of devotion without any laziness towards parents, warfare, control of sense organs etc. on its proper time.

45. That prince, keeping sense of devotion towards teachers and always studying sincerely, also kept on growing physically as well as educationally.

46. Having seen the good qualities being developed in the prince, all the teachers became as happy as the farmers become happy on seeing the well grown crops on their respective parts of land.

47. If the image of an object is seen in the clean mirror, then what is new in it? Similarly there should be no doubt that a faithful person is seen under the influence of good advice.

48. The king Śāntanu, having affection for his son, became extremely happy on hearing the development of qualities of learning. He experienced supernatural satisfaction in the mind as well as in every parts of body on hearing the good qualities of his son.

49. In his kingdom, everyday the Sun in the form of the qualities of the prince started rising in the hearts of people, in every direction of every town and village; and the moon in the form of popularity of the prince started shining on every night removing the distress of the people.

50. All the teachers, having understood prince Devavrata as endowed with all learning and fulfilled with all specialities, thought of organising attractive convocation ceremony on the completion of his training.

51. The king Śāntanu, having heard this auspicious and pleasant thought of teachers, having understood own cherished desires being successful and bathing in the unparalleled sea of happiness, himself made the arrangement for this function.

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