Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes on ominous cries (viruta) of birds and beasts which is the eighty-eighth Chapter of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Chapter 88 - Omens (3): On ominous cries (viruta) of Birds and Beasts

1. The Kokila or the Indian Cuckoo, the hog, the Śaśaghna, the Vañjula, the peacock, the Śrīkarṇa, the Brāhmaṇi duck, the blue-jay, the Aṇḍīraka, the wag-tail, the parrot, the crow, the dove, the sky-lark, the wild-cock, the osprey, the Harīta pigeon the vulture, the monkey, the Pheṇṭa, the cock, the Pūrṇakūṭa and the sparrow are day birds and animals.

2. The jackal, the Piṅgala, the Chippikā, the flying fox, the owl and the hare are night birds and animals. If the day birds be found to move at night or if the night birds be found to move by day, either the country will suffer or the king will meet with ruin.

3. Horses, men, serpents, camels, leopards, lions, bears, iguanas, wolves, the mongoose, the deer, the dog, the goat, the cow, the tiger, the swan, the spotted antelope, the stag, the jackal, the hedge-hog, the cuckoo, the cat, the Indian crane and the pigeon are both day and night animals.

4. The Bhaṣa, the Kūṭapura, the Kurabaka and the Karāyikā are birds of the species known as Pūrṇakūṭa. The Piṅgalikā, the Pecikā and the Hakkā are owls of the species known as Ulūkaceṭi.

5. The Kapotakī and the Śyāmā are doves of the same class. The Vañjulaka and the Khadiracañcu are fowls of the same class. The Chuchundarī and the Nṛpasutā are rats of the same class. The Vāleya and the Gardabha are asses of the same class.

6. Srotabherī, Taḍākabherī and Ekaputraka are birds of the same class. The Kalahakārikā, and the Ralā are also birds of the same class. The Ralā is a bird two digits high and sounds like a Bhṛṅgāra (a golden pitcher?) at night.

7. The Durbalaka and the Bhāṇḍīka are birds of one species. If these birds be found to pass on the right side, they indicate good luck to the people of the eastern countries. Cikkāra is a species of animal and Kṛkavāku and Kukkuṭa are fowls of the same species.

8. Gartākukkuṭa is also known as Kulālakukkuṭa and Kuḍyamatsya (the wall-fish) and Gṛhagodhika are different names for the house lizard.

9. Divya and Dhanvana are animals of the same species; Kroḍa and Sūkara are different names for the hog; Go and Usra are different names for the cow and Śvā and Sārameya are dogs of the same species.

10. Thus, birds and animals bear different names in different countries. The animals shall first be identified from their names and their cries shall then be interpreted as stated below.

11. If the Vañjula bird be heard to sound as Tittiḍ, such sound is inauspicious; but if it be heard to sound as Kilkilī the sound is auspicious. The other than natural sounds of the hawk, the parrot, the vulture and the crow are inauspicious.

12. If the dove be seen to conceal itself in a carriage or a seat or a bed or enter a lotus flower, it indicates evil. The effects are felt after different periods in the case of different species of this bird.

13. If the dove be wholly white, the effects will be felt after a year; if it be of various colours, the effects will be felt after six months and if of crimson colour with a slight admixture of black, the effects will be felt that same day.

14. If the cuckoo be heard to sound as cicid, it indicates good luck; if as śūliśūli, there will be gain of wealth; if as cacca, it indicates evil and if as cikcik there will be gain of a desired object.

15. If the Harīta pigeon be heard to sound as guggu there will be prosperity; if in any other way, it indicates evil. The sound of the sky-lark always indicates prosperity.

16. If the female crane be heard to sound as kiṣ-kiṣ or as kaha-kaha there will be prosperity; but if the sound be kara-kara, there will also be prosperity but without gain of wealth.

17. If the same bird be heard to sound as koṭuklī, there will be prosperity; if as kaṭuklī, there will be rain; but if the sound of the bird be as koṭiklī or guṃ, there will be evil.

18. If the Divyaka be seen on the left side, there will be prosperity. If it be seen a cubit above the ground, there will be gain of a desired object and if it be seen above the height of a man, the person will become master of the whole country surrounded by the sea.

19. If the cobra be seen to move towards a traveller, there will be a meeting with the enemy, imprisonment, slaughter and ruin; if it be seen to move on the left side, there will be failure of a work attempted but safe journey to and fro.

20. If the wag-tail he seen on a lotus or on the heads of horses, elephants or snakes there will be gain of a kingdom; if seen in pure places and on meadows, there will be prosperity and if seen on ashes, bones, wood, husk, hair or grass, there will be grief for a year.

21. If the francoline partridge be heard to sound kili kilkili there will be prosperity and not otherwise; if at night the hare be seen to go crying on the left side, there will be good luck.

22. If the monkey be heard to cry as kilikili the traveller will not meet with success. According to some, if the wild cock be heard to cry as cuglu or like a monkey, the traveller will meet with success.

23. If the blue-jay be seen to move to the right of a person with worms, insects or bone in its mouth or makes the Svastika figure in the sky by its flight, the traveller will soon gain wealth.

24. If the crow and the blue-jay be seen to pass to the right fighting, the jay suffering defeat, the traveller will be killed and if the reverse be the case, there will be success.

25. If the blue-jay be heard to sound as keka like the Pūrṇakūṭa on the left side, there will be success; but if krekra be the cry, it indicates evil. However, the appearance of the blue-jay always indicates success to the traveller.

26. If the Aṇḍīra be heard to sound as ṭī, it indicates good luck and if the cry be ṭiṭṭiṭṭi, it indicates evil. If the Pheṇṭa be seen on the right side, it indicates good luck. The sound of this bird signifies neither good nor evil.

27. If the Śrīkarṇa be heard to sound as kvakva on the left side, it indicates good luck; but if the cry be cikcik the effects will be indifferent; if otherwise, the sound signifies nothing.

28. If the Durbali be heard to sound as cirilvirilu on the left side, there will be the gain of a desired object and if it be seen to move from left to right, there will be immediate success of work.

29. If the Durbali be seen to move from left to right crying cikciki there will be prosperity but not success of work; if it be seen to pass from right to left, there will be slaughter, imprisonment and fear.

30. If the Sārikā be heard to sound krakra or fearlessly as tretre, the traveller will soon get wounded and there will be much shedding of blood.

31. If the Pheṇṭaka be heard to cry as cirilv-virilvi on the left side, there will be prosperity; if the sound be otherwise there will be evil.

32. If the cry of the ass be long and on the left side, it indicates good luck. If the sound be Oṃ, a person proceeding on a journey will meet with success; otherwise, the cry is malefic.

33. If stag and the deer be heard to sound as Ā and if the spotted antelope be heard to sound as O, there will be good luck; if otherwise there will be misery.

34. The cock crows as Kuku except when it sounds fearfully at night and also when ill; the long natural and high sound heard in the morning indicates prosperity to the country, the town and the king.

35. The Chippikā sounds in various ways. The Kulu-kulu sound is auspicious; other sounds are inauspicious. The sound of the cat is always auspicious to a traveller; if the cow be seen to sneeze, it indicates the death of the person proceeding on a journey.

36. The owl is often seen flying after its mate setting up the joyous cry of huṃhuṃ or gugluk. The sound is benefic. If the sound be gurulu or kiskisi, it is always malefic. If the owl be seen to sound frequently as balabala. there will be quarrel; but if the sound be ṭaṭaṭṭaṭa, there will be misery. All other sounds are malefic and do not indicate good luck.

37. If the crane with its mate be heard to sound together, it indicates good luck. But if one of them he heard to sound alone or if they be heard to sound one after the other, such sound is not auspicious.

38. If the Piṅgala be heard to sound as cirilvirilvi, good luck is indicated. Any other sound is inauspicious.

39. If the Piṅgala he heard to sound as iśi, it stops the journey. If it be heard to sound as kuśukuśu, there will be quarrel. I shall now state what has to be done to make this bird foretell future events.

40. The tree in which the bird Piṅgala may happen to dwell shall be visited by a person who has bathed either in the evening or in the twilight hours; the person shall first worship Brahmā and the other Devas. He shall then adorn the tree with a fine new cloth and with sandal-paste.

41. At mid-night the person shah take his station alone to the north-east of the tree and pronouncing the mantras given below within its hearing call upon the bird to divine his thoughts and indicate the issue; he shall solemnly call upon the bird to do so in the name of every thing holy excepting the names of the Devas.

42. “O you giver of prosperity, I entreat you to divine my thoughts; you are praised as knowing all languages.

43. I mean to leave only after being informed by you and I will question you from the north-eastern corner early in the morning.

44. O you giver of prosperity, I call upon you to indicate by signs, the issue of the object I have in view.”

45. If immediately after this, the bird be heard to sound the cirilvirilvi there will be success of the undertaking, but if the sound be either diśikāra or kucā-kuce, there will be much mental suffering.

46. If the bird be mute, then also there will be success. The effects described for the numerous points of the Circle of Horizon apply here also; and if the bird be seated in the topmost branches, the effects will fully come to pass; if in the middle branches, one-half of the effects will alone come to pass.

47. All that has been said for the thirty-two points of the outer-circle, the eight spoke lines and the centre apply to the sound of the house-lizard in these positions. Again, if the blind mouse be heard to sound as chicciḍ, the sound is malefic, but if the sound be tittīḍ, it is benefic and indicates good luck.