Brihat Samhita

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

This page describes the cries of crows (vayasa-viruta) which is the ninety-fifth 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 95 - Omens (10): The cries of Crows (vāyasa-viruta)

1. In the case of the people inhabiting the eastern countries, the crow (vāyasa) on the right side indicates good luck; but the crow of the crane kind indicates prosperity when on the left side. In other countries, the case is otherwise. The limits of provinces shall be learnt from a general knowledge of the country.

[Note—Countries to the south and east of the river Sarasvatī are eastern countries.]

2. If the crow (vāyasa) be seen to build its nest in a dead tree in the month of Vaiśākha, there will be plenty and prosperity in the country; but if it be seen to build its nest in a dry thorny tree, there will be famine and fear in the land.

3. If the crow be seen to build its nest in an eastern branch of the tree in the Śarat season, there will be rain at the beginning of the season; if it be seen to do so in a western branch in the rainy season, there will be much rain; if in a northern or southern branch, there will be moderate rain in the middle two months of the two seasons; and if it be seen to build its nest on the top of a tree, there will be abundant rain.

4. If the crow be seen to build its nest in a south-eastern branch, there will be rain here and there; if in a south-western branch, the yellow and green leaves will grow and if in a northwestern or north-eastern branch, there will be prosperity.

[Note—The commentator adds that if the crow be seen to build its nest in a north-western branch, there will be an increase of rats.]

5. If the crow (vāyasa) be seen to build its nest in reeds, dūrvā grass, shrubs, creepers, crops, temples, palaces of kings, houses or in low ground, the country will suffer from thieves, drought and disease and will meet with ruin.

6. If the crow be seen to lay two, three or four eggs, there will be prosperity; if five eggs, a foreign prince will begin to reign; if it be seen to lay six eggs or only one egg or no eggs at all, there will be no prosperity.

7. If the young ones be of the colour of the fragrant substance known as Cauraka, there will be fear from thieves; if of different colours there will be death; if white, there will be fear of injury from fire and if of defective limbs, there will be famine.

8. If a swarm of crows be found to enter a village and cry for no apparent cause, the people will suffer from hunger and if they be seen to fly round and round, there will be suffering from anger; if they be seen in swarms, there will be quarrels.

9. Crows, that are seen to harass men with their beaks, wings and legs, will increase a person’s enemies; if the crow be seen to fly at night, the people will meet with ruin.

10. If the crow (vāyasa) be seen to fly round and round from left to right, there will be fear of troubles from one’s own kinsmen; if it be seen to fly round turning from left to right, there will be fear of troubles from strangers; if it be seen to turn round in haste and fear, there will be a whirlwind.

11. If the crow be seen with its head raised and flapping its wings, a person will meet with danger in his travels; if it be seen to steal away grain, there will be suffering from hunger; and if the feathers of the crow be seen in an army, there will be fight and theft.

12. If the crow be seen to throw ashes, bones, hairs or feathers, the husband will meet with troubles in his bed and if it be seen to carry gems, flowers and the like, there will be the birth of sons and daughters.

13. If the crow be seen with its mouth filled with sand, grain, wet-earth, flowers and the like, there will be gain of wealth; and if it be seen to drag away vessels from places frequented by men of various classes, there will be fears of various kinds.

14. If the crow be seen to strike with its legs vehicles, weapons, shoes, umbrellas, shadows of men or the men themselves, there will be death; if it be seen to go round a person or to throw flowers on him as if by way of worship, the person will be respected and if it be seen to pass excrement on a person, there will be gain of food.

15. A person will gain that object which is brought to him by the crow and he will lose that which is carried away by the crow. If such object be of yellow colour, there will be gain or loss of gold; if it be an article made of cotton, there will be gain or loss of cloth; and if of white colour, there will be gain or loss of silver.

16. If, in the rainy season, the crow be seen to caw from milk trees, from the Arjuna tree, the Vañjula tree, the banks of rivers, sand banks, there will be rain; and in other seasons, if the crow be seen to bathe in dust or in water, the sky will be overcast with clouds.

17. If two crows be seen to cry fearfully from a tree, there will be fear of great danger and if they be seen to cry turning to water or the clouds, there will be rain.

18-19. If the crow (vāyasa) be seen to move its wing fearfully and strike with its feet the branches of trees, there will be fear of injury from destructive fires; if it be seen to throw into the house a red substance, a burnt substance or straw or a piece of wood, there will also be fear of injury from fire. If the crow be seen to cry from the house turning to the east, south, west, or north, the master of the house will respectively suffer from kings, robbers, quarrels and loss of cows, if such quarter be a dīpta one.

20. If the crow be seen to cry turning to the east when such quarter is benefic, there will be meeting with an officer of the king, or a friend and there will also be a gain of gold, Śālya rice and cooked rice prepared in sugar.

21. If the crow be seen to cry turning to the south-east when such quarter is benefic, there will be a meeting with a person living by fire and the gain of a woman and of precious metals; if it be seen to cry turning to the benefic south, there will be a gain of black gram, horse-gram and excellent meals and a meeting with singers.

22. If the crow be seen to cry turning to the (benefic) southwest, there will be meeting with a messenger and the gain of articles of luxury, curdled milk, oil, flesh and good meals and if it be seen to cry turning to the (benefic) west, there will be the gain of flesh, liquor, grain and the gems of the sea.

23. If the crow be seen to cry turning to the (benefic) northwest, there will be the gain of weapons, of lotus, twining creepers, fruits and meals; and if it be seen to cry turning to the (benefic) north, there will be the gain of food, horse and clothes.

24. If the crow be seen to cry turning to the (benefic) northeast. there will be the gain of ghee and of oxen. The same remarks apply to the crow found seated in the several parts of a person’s house.

25. If the crow be seen to pass close to the ears of a person at the commencement of a journey, there will be good luck and the gain of a desired object; and if the crow be seen to come flying and cawing towards the traveller he will return from his journey.

26. If the crow be first seen to cry on the left side and then on the right side of a traveller, he will be robbed of his money and if the reverse be the case, there will be the gain of money.

27. If the crow be seen to cry and follow the traveller on the left side, there will be gain of wealth; in the case of the people of eastern countries, the crow must follow the traveller on the right side instead of on the left.

28. If the crow be seen to fly crying towards the traveller on the left side, there will be obstacles in the way; but if the person be not a traveller, he will meet with good luck.

29. If the crow be seen to cry first on the right side and then on the left, there will be the gain of a desired-object; if it be seen to cry turning to the traveller or fly before him, there will be immediate gain of wealth.

30. If the crow be seen to cry turning to the traveller and fly away behind him on the right side, the person will soon get wounded, also if the crow be seen to stand on one leg and cry turning to the Moon, the person will get wounded.

31. If the crow be seen to stand on one leg turning to the Sun and scratch its wings with its beak, the chief person will suffer at the hands of his enemies.

32. If the crow be seen to cry in a field full of crops, there will be the gain of a field with crops in it; but if such crow be malefic in character, the traveller will meet with grief before crossing the boundary.

33. If the crow be seen to cry in trees in which there are fruits and flowers and which are covered with glossy and tender leaves and are fragrant, milky, juicy, without wounds, erect and beautiful, there will be the gain of wealth.

34. If the crow be seen to cry in places covered with ripe crops and full of grass, in houses, temples, palaces of kings, the mansions of the rich, green spots, granaries and places where there are benefic objects, there will be the gain of wealth.

35. If the crow be seen to cry seated in the tail of a cow or a snake-hole, there will be the sight of a serpent; if it be seen to cry from the back of a buffalo, there will be fever that very day; and if from a bush, there will be an imperfect gain of an object of desire.

36. If the crow be seen to cry from a heap of rubbish or from a bone on the left side, the person will meet with obstacles in his attempt to gain an object; and if it be seen to cry from an elevated space, a burnt place, or a place struck by lightning, there will be slaughter.

37. If the crow be seen to cry from a good spot with thorny trees in it, there will be success of an undertaking, but quarrels at the same time; if it be seen to cry from a thorny tree, there will be quarrels and if from a place overgrown with creepers, there will be imprisonment.

38. If the crow be seen to cry from a tree whose end has been cut off, there will be suffering from sword cut; if from a dried tree, there will be quarrel; if from a dung hill either before or behind, there will be the gain of wealth.

39. If the crow be seen to cry from the body or the limbs of a dead person, there will be deaths; and if it be seen to cry breaking a bone with its beak, there will be a fracture of bones.

40. If the crow be seen to cry holding in his mouth a string, a bone, a piece of wood, a thorn or any weak substance, there will respectively be suffering from a snake, from diseases, from tusked animals, thieves, creepers and fire.

41. If the crow be seen to cry holding in its mouth a white flower, an impure substance or flesh, there will be gain of wealth to the traveller: if it be seen to cry with its head raised and striking its wings on its sides, there will be obstacles in the way.

42. If the crow be seen to cry holding in its mouth a string, a strap of leather, or a twining creeper, there will be imprisonment and if it be seen to cry from a stone, there will be a meeting with a new traveller who has suffered much from foot-journey.

43. If crows be seen to exchange food with one another, there will be great happiness, if the male and the female crows be heard to cry together, there will be the gain of a woman.

44. If the crow (vāyasa) be seen to cry from a well-filled water pot on the head of a woman, there will be the gain of a woman or wealth; if it be seen to strike the pot with its feet, the person’s son will meet with danger; and if it be seen to pass excrement into the pot, there will be the gain of meals.

45. If, when an army begins to encamp in a place, the crow be seen to cry striking its wings on its sides, the army will meet with success in some other place; and if it be seen to cry without moving its wings, there will be only fear and nothing serious will happen.

46. If the crow, accompanied by a vulture and a heron, be seen to enter an army without fighting, there will be good luck and if they happen to be at strife, there will be fight between the enemies.

47. If the crow be seen to cry from the back of a pig, there will be imprisonment; if it be seen to cry from the backs of two pigs covered with mire, there will be the gain of wealth; if from the back of an ass or a camel, there will be prosperity. According to some, if the crow be seen to cry from the back of an ass, there will be imprisonment.

48. If the crow (vāyasa) be seen to cry from the back of a horse, there will be gain of a vehicle; if it be seen to cry following another crow, there will be blood-shed. The same remarks apply to other birds.

[Note—These must be carnivorous birds such as the owl, the vulture, the hawk and the like.]

49. The crow in the several points of the compass indicates the same effects as those described for other ominous birds.

50. If the crow be heard to cry from its nest, the cry signifies nothing; but if it be heard to cry kava there will be hilarity of mind: and if ka be the cry, there will be a meeting with an intimate friend.

51. If kara be the cry of the crow, there will be quarrel; if kuru-kuru be the cry there will be joy; if kaṭa-kaṭa be the cry there will be gain of rice prepared in curdled milk; if ke ke or ku ku be the cry, there will be gain of wealth to the traveller.

52. If khare-khare be the cry of the crow, there will be a meeting with a foot passenger. If kha-kha be the cry, the traveller will meet with death; if khala-khala be the cry there will be an obstacle to journey and rain that same day.

53. If ka ka be the cry of the crow, there will be obstacles; if kākaṭī be the cry there will be injury to meals; if kava-kava be the cry there will be joy; and if kagāku be the cry there will be imprisonment.

54. If karagau be the cry of the crow there will be rain; if guḍ be the cry there will be fear, if vaḍ be the cry there will be gain of clothes; if kalaya be the cry there will be a meeting of the Śūdras and the Brāhmaṇas.

55. If kaḍ be the cry of the crow there will be gain of fruits; if phala be the cry, there will be sight of serpents; if ṭaḍ be the cry, there will be suffering from blows; if strī be the cry, there will be the gain of women; if gaḍ be the cry there will be the gain of a cow; and if pud be the cry there will be the gain of flowers.

56. If ṭākuṭāku be the cry of the crow (vāyasa) there will be fight; if guhu be the cry there will be injury from fire; if kaṭe-kaṭa be the cry, there will be fight; and such sounds as ṭākuli, ciṇṭici, ke ke and purañce indicate bad luck.

57. If two crows be seen to cry together or to move together, the effects will be the same. All the above remarks apply to omens connected with other birds; and all that has been said about the dog applies also to wild tusked animals.

58. If the creatures of land and water be seen to change their nature in the rainy season, there will be abundant rain and if they do so in any other season, there will be great fears. If there be no honey in the hives, the country will be wasted; and if bees black at the head be seen to disappear, there will be deaths.

59. If ants be seen to throw their eggs in water, there will be no rain and if they be seen to ascend a bank and approach the foot of a tree with their eggs, there will be immediate rain.

60. Effects of omens occurring at the commencement of a work will come to pass that same day. Omens shall be observed at the time of commencement of a work, a journey or re-entry into the house after a journey. Sneezing is said never to indicate good luck.

61. The learned in the science say that a king who observes omens carefully and regulates his acts according to their indications, enjoys prosperity and he will succeed in all his attempts. He will successfully afford protection to his subjects and that he will gain all his objects and will be in the enjoyment of good health.

62. According to some, the cry of a creature beyond the distance of a krośa signifies nothing. If a person meets with a bad omen once, the evils may be escaped by performing the prāṇāyāma 11 times; if he meets with it a second time, he shall perform the prānāyāma 16 times; and if he meets with a bad omen a third time, he shall return from his journey.

[Note—a Krośa = the range of the voice in calling or halloing.]