The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes king karttavirya visits the hermitage of jamadagni which is Chapter 26 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 26 - King Kārttavīrya visits the Hermitage of Jamadagni

Vasiṣṭha said:

1. Then, on being asked thus by them both, O king, Rāma, with palms joined in reverence, mentioned to them everything that had been done by himself.

2. He told them in due order how he performed penance on being directed by the oldest living member of his

family (viz. Bhṛgu) and how he performed the pilgrimage of holy centres at the behest of Śambhu.

3. He told them about the slaughter of the Daityas on behalf of the Devas and his meeting with Akṛtavraṇa, due to the grace of Hara.

4. All these as well as whatever else has been carried out by himself, Rāma narrated to his parents who felt delighted to hear it.

5. On hearing everything mentioned by him and the details of his activities, both of them were delighted, O king. Both of them attained the acme of happiness.

6. Rendering service thus to his parents, O great king, the leading member of the family of Bhṛgu remained obedient to them as well as to his brothers, without differentiating between them.

7. In the meantime, the lord of Haihaya once desired to go on a hunting expedition accompanied by his army of four constituents (i.e. elephants, chariots, horses and foot-soldiers).

8. The sky was rendered red all round by the rays of the Sun, that deprived the clusters of stars of their brilliance, which had a reddish tinge like that of the Bandhūka flowers.

9. The early morning breeze was blowing gently touching the lily pond and shaking the clusters of Ketakī bushes.

10. The birds taking shelter in their nests on the trees growing on the banks of the Narmadā were chirping, making chaotic notes, pleasing to the ears and the mind.

11. Groups of sages had gone to the holy centres on the banks of the Narmadā and standing in the waters that dispel sins they were chanting hymns eulogising the eternal Brahman.

12. The chiefs of sages habituated to the performance of holy rites, were going back to their hermitages returning from the banks of the river, after duly answering the calls of nature.

13. Every one of the wives of the heroic soldiers (vīra-patnīṣu, probably muni-patnīṣu ‘wives of sages’(?) eagerly engaged in the domestic duties. The cows were being milked for the purpose of Homa, by the daughters of sages.

14. The sons of sages were taking milk to the proper places. The people were eager to perform Agnihotra. The time was pleasant to all living beings.

15. The lotuses were blossoming. The bees were humming sweetly. The birds flew out of their nests and began to chirp all round.

16. Due to the gentle breeze, the time was conducive to the increase of delight in the body of those who were leisurely moving about on elephants in rut or on horses or in chariots.

17-18. People taking flowers and water near the penance grove were proceeding ahead along with many sages dressed in deerskin garments and experts in their self-study of the Vedas. Mantras of high and low order were being chanted very well. The invocatory Praiṣā hymns were being chanted and the sacred fires were being utilized for Homas.

19-20. The holy rites duly mentioned in the scriptures regarding Mantras (Holy words) and Tantras (esoteric gestures) were performed everywhere. The sun which appeared like blazing fire was rising up with dazzling splendour. It dispelled darkness. It covered the entire quarters and the earth (with light) and the darkness of the night perished.

21-22. When the stars vanished and the quarters became brightened up, the king, the lord of Haihaya clan, concluded all his morning duties such as answering the calls of nature etc. and started from his city accompanied by the family priest and all the armies including horses, chariots and elephants.

23. The glorious lord was accompanied by his ministers and other kings of the same age as his. He made the surface of the earth cave in due to the great weight of his armies.

24-27a. With the rumbling sound of his chariots, the king made the quarters resound. He went ahead covering the sky with the dust particles of the ground trodden under the feet of the hosts of his armies. The sky appeared to be crowded with hundreds of aerial chariots.

The excellent king entered the terrifying forest of the Vindhya mountains and stirred it up through the hosts of his armies.

Encircling that forest by means of his soldiers, the king killed different kinds of beasts of prey with his sharp arrows.

27b-31a. There fell down some tigers whose bodies were cut, pierced (and wounded) by means of sharp arrows discharged by the warriors who drew the bowstring upto their ears.

Some of the leaders of the boars fell down on the earth drenched with blood, because their bodies had been cut off by the swords of the foot-soldiers of enormous speed.

Herds of deer whose foreheads were pierced through by the javelins hurled by powerful experts in the discharge of javelins, fell down on the ground like mountains.

Lions, bears, the fabulous eight-footed Śarabhas etc. all the limbs of' whom had been pierced through by shafts lay scattered over the earth wet with blood.

31b-33a. As if it was the end of a Yuga, the forest appeared to be extremely agitated and chaotic as some of the deer fell into the nets, some were about to fall, some were pursued by the hunting dogs, some were fleeing and some were distressed and groaning aloud, because they were frightened and were afraid of danger to their very lives.

33b-37a. With sharp weapons the soldiers killed many animals such as boars, lions, tigers, porcupine, broods of rabbits, Camarī, deer, Ruru deer, foxes, Gavayas (avariety of wild oxen), bears, wolves, Kṛṣṇasāra deer, leopards, the red rhinoceros, etc. They killed deer (or beasts) having bodies of various colours and other varieties Nyaṅku antelopes. Some were young cubs sucked by their mothers. Others were youthful ones. Some were old. They killed couples of animals too. Whatever animals they killed were worthy of being killed with weapons (i.e. their slaughter is not prohibited by scriptures). After killing almost all the terrible beasts of prey, the soldiers of the king became overwhelmed with great fatigue.

37b-40a. When the sun reached the zenith in the sky, the king who was distressed by the heat along with his army, felt thirsty and went slowly to the Narmadā.

The king who was afflicted with hunger and thirst entered its splendid waters along with his army and horses.

After taking bath and drinking pleasantly cool water, he munched and crunched the shoots of lotuses white and tasty.

40b-43a. After sporting about in the waters for a long time, the king came out along with his army. He took rest on the banks adorned with groves of trees.

When the sun came down in the firmament, the king accompanied by his army and other followers started from the caverns and forests of the Vindhya mountains in order to return to his capital.

Even while going ahead, he saw the hermitage of the noble-souled sage Jamadagni of meritorious disposition and conduct. It was situated on the banks of the river Narmadā.

43b-44a. Thereupon, the king sent back the army and made them camp a little away from the place.

Accompanied by a few of his attendants he went to the hermitage.

44b-46a. After going to the charming hermitage accompanied by his priest, the king approached the noble sage and bowed down to him.

After congratulating him with blessings, Jamadagni duly honoured the excellent king by means of Arghyas (materials of worship), Pādya (water to wash the feet), Āsana (seat) and other things.

46b-49. After welcoming that honour accorded then by the sage, the king sat on a white splendid seat in front of that great sage.

The sage, seated on a seat of Kuśa grass asked the excellent king who also had occupied his seat, about the health and happiness of his sons, friends, relatives and others. The excellent sage conversed with the king for a short while and then invited him to be his guest. Thereupon, the king who was extremely pleased with him addressed to Jamadagni.

50-53a. “O great sage, grant me permission. I shall go to my city. Since I am having the full complement of my vehicles and armies, O great sage, it is impossible for you to extend hospitality, because you sustain yourself in the forest only with the products of the forest.

Or, even if you can extend hospitality by means of the power of your penance now, it behoves you to permit me to go to the city.

Otherwise, O excellent sage, there may be great trouble to the ascetics bringing about disturbance to their religious observances on account of the inḍisciplined behaviour of my soldiers.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

53b-55. On being told thus, the sage said to him—“Be pleased to stay a while. I shall provide for the hospitality to you along with your followers”. After saying this he called his holy cow and said:

“This is my guest. He has come to me. So, let the due reception be carried out by you.” On being told thus by the sage, the holy cow yielded everything necessary to extend hospitality to the king (and what was befitting the sage), due to the greatness of the sage.

56. Thereupon, the hermitage of the leading member of the family of Bhṛgu, became resplendent like the abode of the king of the Devas.[1] Due to the power of the holy cow, it assumed a form that could not be imagined. On account of the different articles of richness it was something that could not have been achieved by anyone else.

57. Far above, it was surrounded by haloes of light arising from various wonderful plates of gold illuminated by many jewels. Within, it was entirely filled with groups of palaces and mansions whose tops were touching the full moon and white clouds.

58. It shone with various abodes made of the following things severally or by amalgamating two or more of these viz. bellmetal, brass, brass with copper, gold, silver, plaster and mortar, bricks, wood and mud. They were pleasing to the mind and the eyes.

59. There were golden daises and platforms shining brilliantly on account of extremely valuable gems and jewels. There were pleasure groves. There were steps leading to pinnacles with rest-houses in the middle. They shone with sloping beams, rafts, doorways, bolts, walls, thresholds, terrace halls and courtyards.

60-62. His hermitage shone resembling a huge city on account of Valabhīs (the upper parts of buildings), Alindas (the yard in front of doorways), quadrangles, beautiful archways and portals and courtyards with ample expanse. On pillars and walls there were wonderful pictures and paintings of various colours. They were studded with gems. They shone with golden thrones, stools etc. of different heights, high and low, and having excellent gems. There were various kinds of foodstuffs and beverages in various vessels in different places. The houses were richly equipped with all luxuries befitting the Devas. They were pleasing to the eyes and mind with lasses of fascinating beauty and charm.

Footnotes and references:


VV.56-62 and VV. 1-19 of the next chapter form one piece. They contain description of the city created by Jamadagni’s holy cow. The whole chapter is so beautiful that it can pass as a part of classical Sanskrit epics of the Gupta era.

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