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 7 - Wandering in the Forest

1. Then that beautiful day came which was awaited by all the citizens. The citizens have doubled the beauty of the city which was already decorated.

2. The elegance of the royal palace was becoming more and more attractive; and by looking at its beauty even the craft of goods was blushed.

3. The king Śāntanu traditionally consecrated his son on throne by pouring on him the mixture of sacred water collected from all the sacred places, rivers, great rivers and oceans.

4. It was not so that the entire sky did not resound by the sound of Vedic chanting of mantras by the priests, auspicious songs sung by ladies and by the play of musical instruments simultaneously at that time.

5. The pleasant surprise was that even Indra, along with the other gods in an invisible form for others, immediately came in that ceremony to see the consecrating ceremony of the prince (at that time).

6. At that time the slogans like ‘May prince Devavrata be victorious one’; ‘May king Śāntanu be victorious’ were repeatedly heard. Indra was pleasantly surprised to experience the sense of respect in the minds of the subjects for their king Śāntanu.

7. All gods too became happy on seeing themselves being worshipped;and therefore they all made the prince Devavrata prosperous by blessing on him good wishes.

8. That festival lasted for many days. All the subjects have gathered happiness. But on this occasion of happiness the king Śāntanu also recalled his beloved wife who had passed away.

9. The recollection of his beloved wife brought paucity in the happiness due to the prosperity of his son. Someone has rightly said that being devoid of the beloved one, no one gets happiness.

10. Thereafter, the earth in the form of a beautiful lady adorned herself by the beauty of the jasmine plants like a lady in order to make the king Śāntanu happy who was afflicted by the recollection of his wife.

11. The king Śāntanu, experiencing solitude in the palace due to his mind fixed in the recollection of his beloved one and being allured by the fragrance of a spring season, thought of wandering in the forest to entertain his mind. The forest is said to be an abode of absent-minded persons.

12. He neither took his army, nor any bodyguard; nor did he allow any of his servants to come with him. Having told to the prince and the chief-minister, he went out alone only for wandering in the forest.

13. The earth in the form of a beautiful lady held its new glamour for her king. But he did not experience any kind of happiness. How a person devoid of his beloved can have happiness?

14. The excellent person does not get any kind of happiness in the world without the excellent woman. The other means of happiness cannot make a person happy who is being scorched by the fire of separation from his beloved one.

15. On the other hand the land of the forest was trying to make the king Śāntanu happy through her refulgence of spring. But the redness of new sprouts grown up on the trees was being looked like the fire of the forest to the king.

16. It is surprising that he became angry on seeing the bees humming on the flowers of the creepers and he thought of punishing them like that of scoundrels teasing noble girls.

17. The cooing (warbling) of the cuckoos, sitting on the young trees of mangos, filled sorrow in the ears of the king; and it is surprising that even the fragrance of the lotuses did not give any happiness to the nose of that king.

18. The various kinds of creepers, having the bunch of flowers like their breast, the green leaves like a beautiful sārī;, and being shaken by the air current emanating from the Malaya Mountain, also did not give any kind of happiness to the king Śāntanu.

19. The bees, sitting on the stalk of the lotus, increased the memory of his beloved one; and the pairs of swans swimming in the lake also did not give any happiness to the king.

20. The buds of the flower camelī;, making the forest scented through their fragrance, same as the bud of the jack fruit tree and of beautiful colour; and becoming the garland of a conchiferous throat of a beautiful lady; did not give any happiness.

21. Not only that, but he turned away his eyes from the flowers of Pandanus on seeing the bees hovering on them. A liar is not liked by a straight person.

22. At that time, the king Śāntanu, the sovereign king of country India, seeing the trees decorated with their tender and transient leaves as well as encumbered by the flowers like that of Aśoka, and his own state of mind sorrowful, became very sad.

23. After that, his mind remained long in the memory of his beloved one by looking at the pomegranate tree which was standing in front of him, full of fragrance and thorns, bright, loaded with ripe fruits and speaking the language of birds.

24. At that time, his beloved wife like a Rati, the most beautiful lady, giving happiness to the mind of her husband, serving her husband, separated because of death, stood besides him.

25. The mind of Śāntanu, grieved by the absence and memory of his beloved one, did not find any sort of happiness in the forest. There is no doubt that even pleasure giving nature also becomes painful like enemy in times of separation from beloved one.

26. After this the king Śāntanu, walking absent-mindedly and thinking of his wife, luckily reached to the bank of the river Yamunāof unsullied water.

27. On seeing that Yamunā River worshipped by the people and believed to be a younger sister of the river Gaṅgā, he experienced the sense of ineffable happiness in his mind. The affluence gives the signs of its arrival.

28. That auspicious Yamunā river, with her waves arisen like hands and with the sounds of birds of her like speech, welcomed the king Śāntanu. Where do the noble persons not get the respect?

29. The king Śāntanu experienced deep sense of happiness in his mind after reaching near the river Yamunā, the daughter of the Sun-god and his thigh like that of an axis of a chariot started trembling suddenly.

30. After this, he experienced the fragrance which was filled in that atmosphere, attracting the minds and not available on the earth. The presence of virtuous persons is ostensible.

31. He started walking on the bank of the river Yamunā in search of a source of that fragrance thinking ‘From where does this fragrance emanate?’ Destiny is indeed powerful.

32. Going ahead he saw an extremely beautiful lady, sitting on a mat of the bank’s way, having the face so beautiful like that of moon, holding the flower of a lotus and pleasing his mind.

33. That extremely beautiful lady, with the eyes like that of deer and of beautiful face, also kept her eyes on the king.

34. Then, both of them become happy by looking at each other with smiling face and being acquainted with each other. The mental anguish of the king disappeared. How a misery can stay by going near the sea of happiness.

35. One should not doubt in the fact that the mental wish of a person travels in the ruled chariot of the Lord. Therefore, at that time the sentiment of love, dear friend of cupid, woke up in the mind of the king Śāntanu.

36. The king Śāntanu, having become insipid due to the absence of his wife since long and with the determination of making his wifeless life improved which was deteriorating his respect in the society, spoke to that lady thus.

37. O Karabhoru! Who are you? O pretty-faced! Tell me, what is your good name? And O deer-eyed! What are you doing right now on the bank of the river Yamunā of this forest?

38. I am the king Śāntanu from Bharata clan; and I am wandering in this forest as per my wish. My mind is very keen to know you completely.

39. Such fragrance, satisfying the sense organs, giving happiness, surprising, never experienced till day and by smelling which I am feeling myself satisfied, O Beautiful one! Tell me from where does it come?

40. By listening to such a talk of the king Śāntanu, that lady stood up from her seat like a she deer; and with smiling face she, of beautiful face and sweet-voiced, spoke to the king by bowing him down.

41. O king! My eyes have become meaningful as I am seeing you. I do not doubt in the fact that the merits of my previous birth have indeed resulted today.

42. That person has come to me to see whom people crave for. I believe that almighty God has bestowed grace upon me. (Because) Without His grace the grace of a king is not achieved.

43. O king! I am the daughter of the leader of fishermen of this province and my name is Satyavatī. I drive the ferry-boat in the river Yamunāduring the day time for livelihood of my father’s family.

44. Once sage Parāśara with his grace bestowed me with the beautiful fragrance. O king! Since then my body constantly emanates such fragrance.

45. This day of today is certainly auspicious in my life. Tell me, what can I serve you for? O king! This ferry-boat will become more pure by serving you today.

46. The king Śāntanu immediately got spell-bound on her by experiencing the intoxication of her body creating agitation in the minds of people and by the nectar like speech of her delighting the hearts of people. The bad condition of virtuous persons does not stay for a long.

47. The extremely charming fragrance of that lady has doubled the beauty present in the mind of that King, who does not wish to have perfumed gold?

48. He, thinking that lady as his wife in his mind, told her lovingly, O auspicious one! Be my wife.

49. My mind, as fixed in you, will indeed not get peace now without you.

Therefore, you be my queen. O dear one! Oblige on this Puru race.

50. The mind of that lady named Satyavatī, the proprietor of physical charm, fluttered by listening to the word of a king; her face bloomed like a blossomed lotus; her lips smiled up; she then immediately bent her eyes down; and said to the king thus.

51. O king! I express my gratefulness to you that you are talking about making me your woman who is devoid of virtues. I am not free in giving my consent on this proposal even though I wish. Therefore, you talk to my father in this matter.

52. My mind is also getting attached to you. Still I am not able to make decision in this matter. O king! At this moment, I am dependent on my father. Therefore, O king! You put this proposal in front of him.

53. The king Śāntanu reached to the chieftain of the fishermen as per the advice of Satyavatī. After receiving the welcome by him, he modestly asked him for the hand of his daughter in marriage to make her wife.

54. (But) He said to the king that if the son begotten through my daughter will be undoubtedly enthroned as prince, then just now I am giving you my daughter in marriage.

55. If you do not keep my condition, then you cannot have my daughter. No father wishes to see his daughter’s child defeated in the world.

56. Thereupon, the king said to the fisherman that your condition is not lawful. My intellect does not allow me to disregard justice for the sake of my personal happiness.

57. On the earth, that person, extending his happiness by the assassination of human-values, is not respected by his own people walking on the path of justice only.

58. I shall not assassin the human-values to provide happiness to this momentary body. In my opinion, the fire of kingly duties is more painful than the fire of separation from the beloved one.

59. Thereafter, Satyavatī also convinced her father in many ways, but he did not give up his condition. An obstinate person does not like even the matter of well-being.

60. After this, the king Śāntanu, saying to Satyavatīthat ‘I am going’, leaving his seat and keeping the memory of his beloved wife in his heart, immediately left that place by riding on the horse.

61. The king Śāntanu went to the forest with a wish to have peace of mind; but being more agitated, he returned to the royal palace. It so happened like a gambler went out with a wish to win the game but returned home by loosing in the game. Man cannot understand His will, as the will of almighty God is really amazing.

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