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 8 - Description of Separation

1. After passing many days as well as getting engaged in the state-affairs also, the king Śāntanu did not forget beautiful eyed Satyavatī with her thighs as soft as the inner side of the banana. Meanwhile, the monsoon season, finding an appropriate opportunity, encircled his city like an enemy troop with an intension of harassing him who was passing through the stages of cupid in the memory of his beloved.

2. The passion that was vanished in the mind of the king after the death of Gaṅgā, was revealed again at that time. That time, his beloved one was far from him; she was under her father. The condition to have her was unjust; and there was rain awakening and arising lust; now what does he do?

3. The king Śāntanu, seeing his bed devoid of wife, was distressed and perplexed due to separation from his love, when the cloud was thundering slowly during the night as it was lightening in the sky then; and at that time his mind was remembering that fisherwoman Satyavatī again and again.

4. Distressed king was assuming the air-current of the fifth month of our Hindu calendar (Śrāvaṇa) as the flames of fire, as it was scorching his mind though it removes the distress of people due to heat. O friends! All the means of happiness become the means of sorrow only in separation from the beloved one.

5. The sweet sound of the peacocks heard during the twilight was causing pain in the ear of the king as it was not pleasant to his mind. Even the dance of peacocks could not remove the grief which was in his mind due to being devoid of happiness of his beloved.

6. The king Śāntanu, whose mind was attached to fisherwoman Satyavatī was not liking even this earth which was covered mostly by the dark clouds like black-hair of a beautiful lady, green, filled with the sound of birds and fragrance of flowers, and beautiful one.

7. Even the fragrance, making bees intoxicated, served with care day and night by the aristocrat people of the society, planted in the garden besides the royal palace which has become more attractive and brought to him by an air-current, has become bitter for the king in separation from his beloved one.

8. The hands and legs of the king Śāntanu became motionless in separation from his beloved one. His speech was committing mistake while speaking. The time of urine and excretion was too disturbed; and because of all these, his body became weak. The senses certainly torment a lusty person in the world.

9. The king Śāntanu’s hands and legs caught in a dilemma due to separation from the beloved one; his speech started committing mistakes while speaking; his time of dispersal of urine and faeces too became uncertain;and all these together made his body weak. The senses certainly torment a person blinded by lust in this world.

10. Seeing the charming Moon playing in the sky during the bright night of a month (Purṇimā), there appeared the face of a beloved one in the eyes of the king Śāntanu. By remembering that beautiful face again and again, and thinking her to be unattainable for himself, alas, the King’s rate of respiration gradually increased.

11. He thought that this Moon, surrounded by the group of wives like stars, acquiring the love of Rohiṇī and roaming in the sky joyfully, is more fortunate than me. Since stern God has taken away from me my first virtuous wife; and though being the king, I could not acquire my second beloved lady.

12. O Lord of stars! You, playing in the sky and being endowed with the stars, are laughing on me who is very distressed due to being devoid of beloved one; it is not proper for you. You do not know that as soon as the morning will occur, these stars will leave you alone. Who has acquired the constant happiness in this world?

13. The world says that the Moon gives pleasure. But, in my opinion, it is absolutely not true. That aristocrat, who does not donate to a poor one, is not respected by the poor beggars in this world.

14. Therefore, it seems to me that the Moon, getting happy with the stars in the sky, has hidden himself behind the clouds on hearing the king Śāntanu’s distressed talk due to separation from his beloved one. O friend! It is true that very few happy persons keep sympathy for a distressed person.

15. After this, the eyes of the king saw the trees of his garden coiled round by the creepers in such a way that they were like sleeping on their beloved one by twining round. Those dejected, distressed and joyless eyes of a king, seeing their joyous union and own separation, were filled by the tears.

16. Seeing the pairs of Sītā and Rāma, Pārvatī and Śaṅkara; and other Gods and Goddesses in the temple; and experiencing himself alone; the king came to know that the life becomes fruitful by the presence of wife only after thinking for a long about their being along with their wives.

17. “One who is wifeless cannot acquire the merits of performing rituals” remembering this statement of Smṛtikāras, the king Śāntanu became tensed. He, in the absence of wife, not only understood this world devoid of happiness, but also assumed the other world as completely meritless.

18. If a person does not get satisfied through the third human goal kāma by name in this world, then he does not get the fourth human goal mokṣa by name in the other world. The king Śāntanu, understanding the three human goals viz., dharma, kāma and mokṣa as fruitless in the absence of a wife, was secretly crying day and night.

19. It is said that the waves, constantly produced all the sides by the falling of the pile of soil in the reservoir, indeed became tranquil after some time. But this statement could not prove itself true; because the waves of those sexual cravings produced due to the fall of beautiful form of Satyavatī in the mental like reservoir (Mānasarovara) of the king Śāntanu, were increasing day by day.

20. The mind of the king Śāntanu, being attached to the daughter of fisherman, gradually became detached from the activities of state-affairs; and his body, being scorched in the fire of unsuccessful sexual cravings, started becoming weak day by day.

21. Seeing this condition decreasing day by day, prince Devavrata, his all ministers and servants tried very much to know the cause of Śāntanu’s grief day by day.

22. Those royal doctors, who were expert in the science of medicine and able to cure even great diseases, also tried day and night; morning and evening to know the cause of the disease of the king after examining his condition.

23. But those all royal doctors even though trying very much could not be successful in knowing the cause of the disease of the king. O friend! It is not a matter of surprise; Listen to my statement–No one can understand the Rājayoga in this world.

24. The cause of pain of the king Śāntanu’s mind could be known neither by the ministers, nor by the servants; and not even by the prince Devavrata. ‘On telling own sorrow, it may give pain to others’ therefore great persons do not reveal their sorrows even in their dreams.

25. Then, prince Devavrata, seeing all his people sad after trying very much, wished to know the cause of his father’s affliction through secret means. Therefore, he immediately sent his spy on the same way on which the king Śāntanu has gone for wandering in the forest.

26. Intelligent, endurable and of the nature of removing the worries of his Lord, expert in knowing the secrets, that spy, secretly asking about the king to the persons meeting in the way and those who have seen the king and asking them of the direction the king has approached, reached to the bank of the river Yamunā at the end of a week.

27. There also, he anyhow asked about the king approaching to a person who was looking like belonging to a degraded caste. That person, being sadhearted because of the grief of his daughter, told him the entire course of love-affair of the king during his talk.

28. And he told further that his daughter is pained since that day;she always remembers the king Śāntanu only in her mind. I am also remaining little tensed due to the pain of my daughter. But, O Brother! That condition of mine is same even today.

29. That intelligent spy, assuming his journey to be successful in his mind and knowing all the things to be known about the king, immediately returned to the prince; and he informed him the entire course of a king as told by that man.

30. Prince, hearing an unsuccessful love story of the king as told by a spy, thought for a while. Then going in solitude, he magnanimously, seriously and patiently estimated the happiness of himself and that of his father through his intellectual balance.

31. A son should protect the happiness of his birth-giver parents more than that of his own. Therefore, I wish that I give a chance of living a happy life to may father. It is not righteous to have greed for the benefits of a kingdom in my mind. (Because) The kingdom is for breeding the duty; but the duty is not to acquire the state.

32. If the princehood, given by father, is becoming an obstacle in his happiness, then it is worth condemning and I must give up this for his happiness. If I do not give up this state, then I, becoming the destroyer of my father’s happiness in the world, will never acquire peace of mind even after gaining the kingdom.

33. It is a matter of great grief that my father, though being popular and the king of all kings in this entire world stay sad in the absence of a wife. But there is no doubt in it. Because if a person even though endowed with all types of happiness in this world, is deprived of sensual pleasure, then he does not become happy. This sensual pleasure is an inherent nature of animals.

34. If I shall renounce this prince-hood of mine, then all my tasks will happen accordingly. As - my father will be happy on me after acquiring that beloved lady as his wife; I, motherless, shall have a mother; I shall be very popular in the world; and I shall be benefited spiritually also.

35. Śrī Rāmacandra, the best of Raghu race, had gone to the forest renouncing the prince-hood to express his love towards his father in Tretāyuga. All the wise persons respect this ideal of him even today in the world. It is proved from this that I should also renounce my right to the throne as a prince.

36. Who does not praise Puru in this world, who has become famous by giving away his youth to his father for the fulfilment of sexual cravings? It means all people praise him. As I am born in this great race of him only;therefore it will be indeed justifiable to follow this path of renunciation.

37. So great is my father! Who is not accepting the condition put forward by the father of his beloved one to acquire her even though being pained very much by the separation from her; and tolerating pain day and night. Who can be second father loving his son like him in this world? In my opinion, there is no one.

38. Our sages and saints of tranquil-mind have proclaimed their opinion in a loud voice that ‘A son is expected to consider his father like a God’. Through this also, it is proved that it is not proper for me to have infatuation towards the kingdom; and now I must renounce my prince-hood for the sake of my father’s happiness.

39. Such a son like me is censured, whose father remains sad and unhappy day and night being devoid of pleasure of wife because of him. If I do not serve my father renouncing the greed for the kingdom, then the history (of the nation) will surely point me out as cruel and crooked one.

40. And, if I shall express this wish of mine in front of my father, then he will never give me permission for this because of loving me. Therefore, I must put effort secretly through my intellect. There is no work in this world which cannot be done by intellect.

41. Thus, thinking and determining patiently, Devavrata, the son of Gaṅgā, with a wish of sacrificing his right to the throne as a prince for the sake of his father’s happiness, immediately went off with his spy and some ministers to ask for the hand of his father’s beloved lady Satyavatī, the daughter of fisherman, for his father as his wife.

42. For the sake of his father, that devoted son, with a wish of making him happy by the acquirement of wife for him, was moving towards this path happily and with satisfaction; at that time, alas, he was not aware of the movement of a cycle of fate. God secretly makes an assault on some vital spots of a human-being, but does not make any kind of sound.

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