The Brahmanda Purana

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

This page describes the story of an antelope and his beloved: a hymn eulogising krishna which is Chapter 34 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 34 - The story of an antelope and his beloved: A hymn eulogising Kṛṣṇa

Sagara said:

1. “O highly fortunate son of Brahmā, great is the favour done to me because this Kavaca, devoid of any deficiency, has been revealed to me.

2. I have been blessed by Aurva because it was through his favour that I learnt how to discharge missiles. Now, O holy lord, I have become the object of your grace.

3. O preceptor, recount to me in detail how the heroic king Kārttavīrya was slain by Rāma, the leading member of the family of Bhṛgu.

4. That king enjoyed the favour of Datta and Rāma that of Śiva. How did these two heroes come together in the battle, O preceptor?

Vasiṣṭha said:

5. “Listen O king, I shall recount to you the story of king Kārttavīrya and the noble-souled Rāma—the story that dispells sins.

6. After receiving the Kavaca and the Mantra directly from the preceptor, Rāma began to practise the same with great devotion.

7. Rāma stayed at Puṣkara for a hundred years regularly sleeping down on the bare ground, devoted to the performance of the Sandhyā prayers and bath three times a day, and never remaining languid.

8. Everyday, O king, Akṛtavraṇa, brought materials of worship such as sacrificial twigs, flowers, Kuśa grass etc. from the forest and gave them to Rāma, the member of the family of Bhṛgu.

9. Rāma, the most excellent one among intelligent persons, was continuously absorbed in meditation. He thus propitiated lord Kṛṣṇa the destroyer of sins.

10. As he continued his worship and his perpetual meditation, O king, a hundred years elapsed.

11. Once, O great king, Rāma the great sage went to the middle Puṣkara for taking bath. There he saw an excellent miracle.

12. A stag came there running accompanied by a hind. He was being chased by a hunter. He was extremely afflicted and distressed by the heat.

13. He was thirsty, O highly fortunate one, and was eager to drink water. Even as Rāma was watching, he came to the bank of the lake.

14. The hind came afterwards. She was frightened and her eyes were tremulous due to fright. Both of them drank water with auspicious minds.

15-16. By that time, the hunter also came there holding up the bow and having an arrow in his hand. On seeing Rāma, the delighter of the members of Bhṛgu’s family remaining there along with Akṛtavraṇa, he stood there with his eyes fixed far off. Afraid of the scion of the family of Bhṛgu, he then thought thus.

17. “This Rāma is a great warrior. He is capable of destroying wicked persons. How can I kill the stag and the hind hunted by me, when he is within sight.”

18. Occupied with this thought, O excellent king, he remained there itself frightened in his mind on account of Rāma.

19-22. On seeing the pair of deer drinking water as though terribly frightened, the intelligent Rāma began to conjecture. “What is the cause of fear here? There is no roar of a tiger here, nor is the hunter in sight. What is the reason whereby these two are anxious and afraid and have tremulous eyes due to fright.

Or the very species of deer has by nature tremulous eyes due to fright. Therefore, these two even while drinking water look around with roving frightened eyes.

There is no reason here sufficient enough to make them agitated, but they are trembling with fear and sorrow because all their limbs are exhausted and fatigued and they appear shaking and trembling.”

23. On thinking thus, Rāma the intelligent sage stood in the middle Puṣkara lake accompanied by his disciple, while they too continued to stand there.

24. After drinking water they resorted to the shade of a tree. Even as they continued to look at the noble-souled Rāma, they carried on their joyous dialogue.

The hind said:

25. “Darling, we shall continue to stay here as long as Rāma stays here. In the presence of this heroic warrior, we need not have any fear.

26. Even if the hunter were to come here and strike at us, he will be reduced to ashes on being merely glanced at by, the sage.”

27. When these words were uttered by the hind who was pleased to see Rāma, the stag too was delighted. He said to his beloved.

28. “O highly fortunate and graceful lady, what you say is true. I too know the potentiality of the extremely noble-souled Rāma.

29. That disciple Akṛtavraṇa who is seen at his side has been fortunate enough to be protected from the clutches of a tiger by this Rāma. He had been greatly agitated due to the terrorising tiger.

30-31. This Rāma, O highly fortunate lady, is the youngest son of Jamadagni. On seeing his father insulted by Kārttavīrya, he had become infuriated. He took then the vow of exterminating kings. In order to get it fulfilled, he had formerly gone to the world of Brahmā.

32. Brahmā had commanded him, “Go to the region of Śiva.” On receiving his behest, this sage went to the presence of Śiva.

33-34. He recounted to him all the incidents concerning the king and his father. Mahādeva, the merciful lord, honoured the scion of the family of Bhṛgu and gave him the excellent Mantra and the unbreakable Kavaca of Kṛṣṇa, his own pāśupata missile as well as other sets of missiles too.

35. He joyously bade farewell to him, after giving the weapons eagerly and with due regard. O gentle lady, he has come here eager to practise the Mantra.

36-37. This righteous sage of good intellect repeats (the Mantra of) Kṛṣṇa’s Kavaca everyday. Thus, this noble-souled sage has spent a hundred years practising the Mantra. But, O gentle lady, it has not been fully mastered. There is one adequate reason in his matter.

The quality of Bhakti (Love of God) is considered to be threefold:

38-40a. The three types of devotion are (1) Uttamā (the highest) (2) Madhyamā (the middle one) and (3) Kaniṣṭhā (the lowest). O lady of tremulous eyes.

The devotion of the following persons is of the highest type viz. Śiva, Nārada, noble-souled Śuka, saintly king Ambarīṣa, Rantideva, Māruti (i.e. Hanumān), Bali, Vibhīṣaṇa, noble-souled Prahlāda, Gopīs (i.e. cowherḍesses of Vṛndāvana) and Uddhava.

40b-42a. The devotion of the middle type, O lady of splendid eyes, is that of the leading sages such as Vasiṣṭha and others, as well as Manu and others.

In regard to other people, it is of the lowest type.

Rāma has only this middle type of devotion, though he is always devoted to the control of all sense-organs and worships the lord of cowherḍesses. Hence, he has not realized, the Mantra.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

42b-43. “On being told thus, that hind who had been delighted in her mind, immediately asked her husband ābout the characteristics of devotion that yields love.

The hind said:

“Well done, my darling, O highly fortunate husband, your words are divine. How did you get such perfect knowledge as this. Tell me that now.”

The stag said:

44-46. “Listen, O my beloved of high fortune. Perfect knowledge is caused by meritorious deeds. That merit has. accrued to me today, due to the vision of Bhārgava.

This scion of the family of Bḥṭgu is a meritorious soul. He is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He has conquered the sense-organs. He always serves his preceptor. He has enthusiastic eagerness-in the performance of the holy rites—Nitya (daily) and Naimittika (occasional). Hence, on seeing him today, O lady of brilliance I have attained perfect knowledge.

47-48. This knowledge indicates the auspicious and inauspicious aspects of all the living beings existing in the three worlds. The story of noble-souled Rāma became known to me only today. It yields merits unto those who listen. It dispels their sins. Whatever Rāma is going to do is also known to me.

49. Even in millions and millions of years, the Kavaca will not be realized along with its Mantra without the Uttamā (highest) type of devotion that has been mentioned by me.

50-51. If this scion of the family of Bhṛgu, O gentle lady, gets the blessings of Agastya, he can understand the Stotra (Prayer) named Kṛṣṇa-Premāmṛta which accords excellent devotion. After understanding it, he will attain the spiritual result of the Mantra and the Kavaca. That sage has already understood the real inner meaning. He is merciful and accords freedom from fear. He will surely instruct him in the knowledge of reality that yields joy.

52-55. Through the prayer named Kṛṣṇapremāmṛta in which the whole life-story of Śrīkṛṣṇa is told through names and which he will learn from this sage (i.e. Agastya) of great intellect, Rāma can realize the Kavaca and Mantra. Having realized it, he will kill the ruler of Haihaya along with his sons, ministers, friends, armies and vehicles. O beloved, he will make the earth devoid of kings twenty-one times.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

After saying this, O king, to the hind the stag stopped. Then he knew the reasons for his own status of being a stag.

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