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 9 - Description of a Terrible Oath

1. After the king’s departure, from that day only that smiling fisherwoman Satyavatī never laughed; and thinking of her father as not her own father, started becoming sad.

2. That generous lady Satyavatī, thinking of her love with the king Śāntanu and of her desire of hearty marriage and keeping her mind in him only, was secretly imprecating his father.

3. I hate my father who is greedy of royal treasure and who does not understand my feelings. A good lady wishes to have a good husband! She never gets infatuated by the greed of royal treasure.

4. It is his great grace indeed on me, if he wants to make me his wife, after whom the celestial ladies too are mad.

5. But my father wants to put condition to him also; and the condition is such which is unlawful. What will he acquire through this condition who has broken even own daughter’s happiness of marriage seized away nothing.

6. They do not know this fact that those who neglect their present in order to see future, they cannot stay here happily as both of them get vanished.

7. It is surprising that my father does not wish my welfare; but wishes to do welfare of my son. My father is indeed fool. He does not know how can I have a son without being mother?

8. Amongst all types of people, a father is found to be worried for the marriage of his daughter. But my father is amazing who himself has become the hindrance in the marriage of his daughter.

9. This greedy man has spoiled my marriage life through his crooked condition. It seems that I am not his daughter. (Because) A father does not give any pain to his child.

10. But the sweet speech of that king and his impressive form like that of intoxicating liquor of king–these two always motivate me to be his wife.

11. That girl was not staying happily in her father’s house thinking thus in her mind. The sharp edge of a sword due to the pain of separation because of sensual pleasure was scorching her.

12. That girl was looking at the lake full of lotuses, the sky full of stars, the flowers with the bees and the creepers hanging on the trees, being emotional for a long; and this way she was remembering her lover King Śāntanu.

13. As a person suffering from fever does not like even tasty food, similarly she did not like the cooing of the cuckoos, buzzing of the bees, the dance of peacocks and the sound of birds at that time.

14. That lady Satyavatī, suffering the pangs of separation from her lover day and night, was appreciating the life of even Cakavā-Cakavīwho stay together during day-time and that is why experiencing the happiness of their union at the middle of their age by closing her eyes and taking a long breathe.

15. Being away from the lover that lady believed she-deer, she-swan, sheparrot and she-crane more lucky than she as they were staying with their beloved ones.

16. Whenever she was looking into the sky, then seeing the cloud with lightening and the moon with the moon-light making merriment with each other, she was remaining distressed in her mind for a long due to the separation from her lover.

17. She was remaining tensed by thinking of the pain due to sensual pleasure of her lover again and again. Lady in love becomes more sad due to the pain of her lover than her own.

18. She was not willingly getting engaged to remove his thirst and hunger. She was not remaining aware of the time of day and night for thinking of her lover.

19. By seeing such grieving condition of his daughter even her father fisherman got worried about her. After this, he advised his daughter sitting alone in home.

20. O daughter! (You) Give up the thought of the king; where the king of all the kings, Śāntanu; and where are you the daughter of fisherman. O daughter! The convergence of earth and sky is never possible in this world.

21. Sometimes the sky appears to be near the earth. But love is not the cause in this case. (Because) It goes far from the earth. The love of man is never stable towards any lady.

22. O daughter! You do not know these kings. These people forget the daughters of common people after having sexual fun with them. By thinking of these things only I kept such condition before the king.

23. When the sovereign king Śāntanu of India, and where the poor daughter of a poor fisherman! O daughter! Enmity, friendship and marriage these three relations stay better if they exist among the people of equal status.

24. If marriage is made amongst the people of unequal status, then there may be altercation in future. Therefore, intelligent persons always praise the marriage amongst the people of equal status only.

25. If husband and wife are of equal status, then they always stay happily in this society. They neither suffer from physical affliction nor mental agony.

26. Therefore, O daughter! I believe that you are not eligible to marry the king. Hence, O girl! You should also not desire to have him in your mind.

27. By listening to such talk of father also the mind of that lady did not divert from the king. The heart in love with the dearest never accepts the dry control of intellect.

28. Thereafter, that single-minded Satyavatī thinking for a while told to his father, O father! Forgive me; the statements you told are neither appropriate to humanity nor just.

29. In my opinion, the social status is not so important for the marriage of bride and groom. I understood that their understanding of mind only keeps them happy.

30. If husband and wife are of same mind then they love each other. Therefore, no physical or mental pain- both of them have to undergo.

31. Virtues and vices do not belong to any one class of the society;and to get into relation through love-marriage, the equality of caste and class is not considered.

32. If any father under the influence of greed sells his daughter to a husband in marriage; it means if he wishes to acquire something in return to his daughter; that father is surely censured in the world.

33. The educated persons of the society never believe in trading of bride and groom in marriage as good. O father! It is a matter of great regret that you wish to sell me out through your perverse condition.

34. I do not find any flaw in the king Śāntanu; he himself wishes to make me his wife, and he is liked by my mind too; but you are unnecessarily putting hindrance between us two.

35. If I become the wife of the king Śāntanu then my life would be successful. And if it does not happen then I shall jump into the river.

36. My mind in the form of a horse, which is thoughtful and always walking on a virtuous path, always runs after the king Śāntanu; and in search of that best amongst all people, my mind never stays with me for a moment also.

37. Therefore, you give up your parsimonious condition and offer me in marriage to the compassionate the king Śāntanu. If you do not do accordingly then, O father! You will not see your daughter alive in no days.

38. By listening to the firm determination of his daughter, the wrinkles of the forehead of fisherman were contracted. In the world, a person with a blunt intelligent because of selfishness does not like the advice given heartily.

39. At that time only, prince Devavrata, like fulfilling the wish of almighty God and like completing the dispute between father and his daughter, arrived there to renounce his own happiness for the happiness of his father.

40. At that time, Satyavatī saw him like a son; and a fisherman like an enemy. The nature of a person plays very vital role in making the judgement of the form of any object or a person.

41. Satyavatī joyfully welcomed the prince with her blessings. But the fisherman only bent his head. Thereafter, he, welcoming the prince appropriately, spoke to him with joined hands thus.

42. O prince! I think I must have done some meritorious deeds in my previous birth at some auspicious time by seeing you present in my house.

43. My house has become blessed today by your presence and I see my future more lucky like present time.

44. The scholars say that the sight of a meritorious person like you who takes birth for the welfare of people is propitious. By the shadow of the Moon, the darkness disappears.

45. My mind is not able to make any decision being agitated by the resolution and uncertainty of your arrival. There you please tell the reason of arriving here for the satisfaction of my mind.

46. The prince told to the fisherman saying so that he has come for the happiness of his father. He duly wishes to make your daughter, who is endowed with virtues and charming due to jewels, his wife as per the tradition and rituals.

47. I am happily renouncing my right to the throne as a prince along with all my happiness and wishes to fulfil your condition. Therefore, O venerable one! Now you happily offer your daughter in marriage to make her my father’s wife.

48. These ministers are witness of this statement (of mine); and I never speak untrue. Therefore, you now allow your daughter to be my father’s wife leaving aside worrying about the progeny of your daughter.

49. I shall always see your daughter as my mother Gaṅgā. You do not worry about it. The beloved wife of a king does not beget grief.

50. At that time, the father of Satyavatī became happy on hearing the statement of Devavrata, the son of Gaṅgā. But he immediately becomes tensed. The mind of a greedy man is never steady.

51. That evil-minded fisherman deceitfully and impudently spoke, O Prince! Pardon me; still my mind has not become free from the doubts.

52. I do not doubt on your statement, as you will surely keep your statement. A wise person fond of immaculate fame and strongly determined never speaks untrue statement.

53. But when your son will think of his right to throne, then becoming royal mother of the state, my daughter will be a subject of great dispute.

54. At that time, your statement will also turn in vain and there will surely be strife in your family. My wishes too will vanish. Therefore, I shall not approve such marriage.

55. I cannot throw the progeny of my daughter into the family where there is possibility of family strife. An intelligent person does not entertain such activity which may be agonising to the race in future.

56. Therefore, how can I allow the marriage of my daughter with a king who already has a son? How can I ask my daughter to walk on that path which is full of thorns of shambling?

57. The face of prince Devavrata became stern on hearing such statements of that fisherman; the eyebrows were twisted; the lips started quivering; and the eyes turned red.

58. An intelligent prince thought for a while by looking at that fisherman standing with joined hands; and immediately understanding his deceitful intension spoke to him with the mind to do welfare of his father thus.

59. I do not wish my happiness for the sake of my father’s happiness. I think that he always becomes happy. And, therefore I have the definite solution to your despicable doubt also.

60. I shall not be unhappy if I have to give up my last breath also for the sake of the happiness of my father. It is my notion that my birth as a son will be successful by serving that man who has given me birth as his son by giving me this body form.

61. Today I am undoubtedly doing that work which is dear to my father in the presence of all the Gods, saints, sages, persons, rivers, oceans, mountains, trees; the earth and the sky as witness.

62. In the presence of all these and in my complete consciousness, today I take a terrible pledge that, “I shall always remain celebate by becoming ascetic in this birth”.

63. “I shall ever stay without women, I completely renounce marriage and coition in every way, I shall never desire to have any lustful woman, and there will be no progeny through my semen.”

64. “I renounce that pleasure by having which the happiness of my father is vanished. And, if this pledge be untrue, then I shall not achieve liberation.”

65. “Now you trust on my vow. Your wish has come to an end. Therefore, you should now give your daughter to make the wife of my father; and thus you should keep your statement.”

66. The earth started trembling; the sky started sparkling; and there spread quietude in all the directions by listening to the horripilating and mindpleasing pledge of Devavrata, the son of Gaṅgā.

67. At that time, the mouths of Gods remained wide-open. The celestial women were too surprise; and they, showering the rain of flowers on Devavrata, spoke (that), ‘This prince is marvellous.’

68. And all the ten protecting deities of all ten directions getting wonderstruck spoke that the prince has taken very ‘terrible’ oath. As a result he will always acquire the great popularity on the earth and will become famous as ‘Bhīṣma’ by name.

69. Lord Brahma, sitting on the seat of lotus, said that, “O prince! There is no doubt that you are worth felicitation, you have renounced a woman, who gives heavenly pleasure and the basis of all kinds of happiness for the sake of your father’s happiness for pleasure. You are really worth felicitation”.

70. “Being impressed by this your renunciation, today I give you a boon that you will be able to acquire all the happiness of ‘divyaloka’ which is acquired only by those having virtuous sons (even without marrying and without begetting sons).”

71. The minds of ministers who have come with the prince, withered like the ruined lotuses by the blow of elephants by hearing that horrible oath of prince, which was making animate and inanimate objects gloomy.

72. Those ministers could not speak any thing as they were not able to make the decision of ‘what should be done in this matter’. It is surprising that though they were very eloquent, they became speechless! As they were deceived by the almighty God.

73. But at that time, the father of Satyavatī was very happy. It is a matter of great regret that wicked persons remove their coldness by setting fire in others houses.

74. That fisherman, getting happy in his mind by thinking of his wishes to be successful and with joined hands, spoke to the prince who was worshipped by the flowers like Swāmi Kārtikeya, the son of Lord Śaṅkara.

75. O prince! Pardon me, as I am yours. Now I am giving my daughter to make her the wife of your father. No one has seen or heard of you so generous like you.

76. You only say on my behalf to the king Śāntanu that he always looks after my daughter affectionately; a man should always heartily respect his lady who is selected by himself.

77. My daughter is not sensible. So, if she commits any mistake in serving the king, then he forgives her. Being foolish, I request you this only.

78. Thereafter, that fisherman spoke to his daughter Satyavatī, O Daughter! You have indeed obtained your lover. Because, O Sinless One! Today I am allowing you to be the wife of your lover and the king Śāntanu.

79. Therefore, O daugher! Now you leave this place to be the wife of the king Śāntanu; and please forgive me, O strong-hearted! Who can stop the will of almighty God? Man becomes just a cause of it.

80. Then, Satyavatī, with tears in her eyes, spoke to her father, O father! It is really painful to me that you have given up humanity. It is very tormenting to me that you have deprived this prince of self-minded like that of butter from the pleasure of woman at this moment.

81. It is a matter of great shame that I am your daughter. Therefore, I pray Lord Brahma, the Creator of Universe, that He never makes me your daughter in any of the birth.

82. Prince Devavrata requested to noble-minded Satyavatī, who was thus rebuking her father, O mother! Do not get angry on your father; and do not feel any kind of regret in your mind.

83. Now you should go to our home as soon as possible. My father is always waiting for you. He will surely be delighted by seeing you (there).

84. After this, that lady Satyavatī, who has devoted herself as the wife of the king Śāntanu and therefore, becoming eager to serve him, devotedly bowed down the river Yamunā which was flowing in front of her eyes; and then she became ready to go after looking at her father despicably for a moment.

85. After this, prince Devavrata immediately offered various types of ornaments; soft and beautiful clothes and thus satisfied that fisherman. Thereafter, with his due permission he took his daughter Satyavatī respectably to his home back in his chariot.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: