by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246
This page describes parashurama visits agastya’s hermitage (ashrama) which is Chapter 35 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.
1-3. O sage, the knower of the great reality, expert in the matters concerning meditation and spiritual knowledge, minds engrossed in devotion to the lord have been blessed by you, because you narrate good stories, O highly fortunate one. Recount to me in detail what the hind asked her lord after hearing directly from the stag Bhārgava’s entire activities in the past, present and future along with the story of Nārāyaṇa.
4. Listen, O king, I shall narrate the great story of the stag. The knower of the real principle that he was, he explained to her everything asked by her.
5. After hearing the story of the noble-souled scion of the family of Bhṛgu, she, out of reverence, asked her husband once again, matters and principles of perfect knowledge.
The hind said:
6. “Very very excellent, O highly fortunate one. Undoubtedly you have realized your desires because by seeing him (i.e. Bhārgava) you have acquired perfect supra-seṇsuous knowledge.
7. Therefore, tell me everything concerning yourself and me. O lord, tell me the reason, the invisible result of our actions whereby we have been born in the species of lower animals.”
8. On hearing this speech of his beloved, that stag himself narrated in detail the life story of the hind and himself.
The stag said:
9. “O my beloved of great fortune, hear how we attained the status of a deer. In this world, O highly fortunate one, it is our innate disposition that is the cause of our worldly existence.
10-11. It is the cause of the worldly existence of a Jīva (living being) and that comes into the path of Remembrance due to the activities whether good or bad (done in the previous birth). Formerly, in the land of the Draviḍas, in a family of Brāhmaṇa endowed with different kinds of luxurious assets,
I was born as the fourth son, darling. I was well known as Sūri.
13b-14a. Śivadatta of great fame, performed the sacred thread ceremony of all in due order. He taught us all the Vedas along with their ancillary subjects and esoteric doctrines.
14b-15a. All the four of us were eagerly devoted to the study of the Vedas. We were absorbed in the service of the preceptor. We were enthusiastic in acquiring knowledge.
15b-16a. Every day it was our duty to go to the forest and fetch fruits, water, sacrificial twigs, Kuśa grass and clay. After fetching them, we handed them to our father and then started our study of the Vedas.
17b-18a. Early in the morning, we all took our bath in. the great river. With delighted minds, we offered water libations, performed Japas (chanting of holy names) and climbed the excellent mountain.
18b-20. It was full of these trees: viz. Sālas (i.e. the Sal tree), Tamālas (Xanthocymus epictorius), Priyakas (Chironjia sapida), Panasas (the jack fruit tree), Kovidārakas (Bauhinia variegata), Saralas (pine trees) Arjunas (terminalia elatagabra), Pūgas (Areca palms), Kharjūras (Date Palm trees), Nārikelakas (Coconut trees), Jambūs (Rose apple), Sahakāras (A kind of mango trees), Kaṭphalas Bṛhatī trees (a medicinal tree) and many other trees of various kinds, trees that gave everything to others, that had cool shades and that echoed with the chirping sounds of different kinds of jovial birds.
21. The mountain was frequently resorted to by tigers, lions, bears, rhinoceroses, musk-deer, very big elephants, the fabulous eight-footed animals, Śarabha and others lurking in their dens.
22. It had many flowering plants such as Mallikā (jasmine), Pāṭalā (the trumpet flower), Kunda (another variety of jasmine), Karṇikāras, Kadambakas (Naticlea cadamba) and other flowers—all sweet-scented having their pollen-powder scattered everywhere by the wind.
23. The mountain appeared to be scraping the sky out of curiosity, by means of its peaks, blue, yellow, white and red in colour, on account of the various gems and jewels scattered there.
24. It was as it were roaring with the loud rumbling sounds of its springs and rivulets which, coming out of their hollow crevices, fell down from very great heights. It was infested with various animals such as tiger etc.
25. There, our eyes were attracted by diverse curious scenes and we the brothers did not remember even ourselves. We got separated from one another.
26. In the meantime, O darling, a thirsty hind came there, desirous of drinking water at the top of the waterfall.
27. Even as she was drinking water, an extremely terrible tiger came there by chance and seized that frightened hind.
28. Seeing the seizure of that hind, I became frightened and I fled. The place being rugged and steep I fell down and died remembering the hind (at the time of death).
29. That hind too died and was born again as you, O darling. Remembering you, I was reborn as a stag. I do not know where my elder brothers have gone.
30. This story concerning you and myself has come to my memory. Listen, O gentle lady, I shall tell you the past and the future.
31. The hunter who pursued us so closely but kept back far away being afraid of Rāma, has now been devoured by a lion.
32-33. Having given up his life, he will go to heaven, due to his act of refraining from killing us. Water has been drunk by us both here in the middle Puṣkara. This scion of the family of Bhṛgu, who has directly assumed the form of Viṣṇu, has been seen by us. Therefore, the sin committed in many births has been destroyed.
34. We shall see Agastya and hear prayer that yields our goal. Hence, we shall go to those auspicious worlds after reaching which one will never bewail (i.e. one is free from sorrows and miseries).
35. After saying this to his beloved hind that stag of pleasing appearance, stopped talking. Looking at Rāma without any agitation, he became delighted in his mind.
36-37. In the company of his disciple, Bhārgava heard what was being recounted by the stag. He became surprised, O leading king. He decided in his mind to go to the hermitage (āśrama) of Agastya, accompanied by Akṛtavraṇa. Being much delighted he started immediately after taking bath and performing the daily round of routine duties.
38. While going along his path, the hunter was seen lying dead at the attack of the lion, by the noble-souled Rāma who was surprised.
40. Even as he was pondering over what was conducive to his own welfare as mentioned by the stag, the pair of deer too came closely behind him.
41. Drinking water at the Puṣkara lake and sprinkling water over their bodies, the stag and the hind came in front of the hermitage of Agastya even as Rāma was glancing at them with surprise.
42. Seeing Puṣkara involved in bad condition(?) the lofty-minded Rāma concluded his Sandhyā rites and proceeded toward Agastya’s hermitage.
43-44. After going (to the holy spots such as) Viṣṇu’s steps, the Kuṇḍa (sacrificial pit) of the Nāgas (serpents, elephants) established by the seven sages (?), he performed Ācamana rite with its pure waters and went to Agastya’s abode where, O king, the Sarasvati (? river), the daughter of Brahmā came in order to fill the three Kuṇḍas for the performance of Agnihotra by god Brahmā.
45. There, on its banks, Bhārgava saw the wonderfully auspicious and meritorious hermitage (āśrama) of Agastya resorted to by many sages.
46-48. It was resorted to by deer and lions coining together with calm minds (forgetting their mutual innate enmity). The following trees abounded there viz. Kuṭaja (wrightia anti dysenterica), Arjuna (terminalia Arjuna), Nimba (Margosa), Paribhadra (pine tree), Dhava (grislea Tomentosa) Iṇguda (Terminalia (atapha) Khadira (Acacia Catbhu), Asana (? Terminalia Tomentosa) Kharjūra (Date palms) and Badarī (jijube).
Accompanied by Akṛtavraṇa, Rāma entered the hermitage and saw the tranquil-minded sage Agastya seated there. He was meditating on the eternal Brahman (and looked) like a lake with the water still and devoid of ripples.
49-50. In a hut made of tender leaves and sprouts, he was seated on a silken Bṛsi (the particular seat of a sage) and was wearing a deer-skin.
Uttering his name, O great king he bowed down to him—“I am Rāma, son of Jamadagni. I have come here to see your holiness. Be pleased to know it by means of my obeisance—obeisance unto you, O sanctifier of worlds”.
51. When Rāma said this, he opened his eyes slowly and looked at Rāma. Uttering words of welcome, he requested him to take seat.
52. He caused Madhuparka (material of hospitable reception) to be brought through a disciple. The leading sage offered it to Rāma and enquired of him the happiness in his family as well as the excellence of his penance.
53-55. On being asked by him, Rāma said to Agastya—“O holy lord, I am happy in every respect, due to the pleasure of seeing you. But I have a small doubt which please clarify through your nectar-like sweet words. A stag was seen, by me, O holy lord, in the middle Puṣkara lake. Everything concerning me both past and future, was narrated by him. I was. surprised on hearing it. Hence I have sought refuge in you.
56-5 7. Protect me mercifully, O holy lord. I am practising the great Mantra taught by Śiva. The Kavaca of Kṛṣṇa too was granted by Śiva and I have been practising it. More than a hundred years have elapsed. But I have not attained the spiritual result thereof. Kindly mention (the reason thereof)”.
58-59. On hearing this question of the noble-souled Rāma, the sage meditated for a moment. O great king, and mentally understood what the stag had said. He understood that the stag had come to his hermitage (āśrama) along with the hind in order to hear the prayer “Kṛṣṇāmṛta”. The sage pondered over the reason thereof and consoled Bhārgava by means of nectar-like words.
Footnotes and references:
Name of a tree with aromatic bark and medicinal seeds—MW p. 244 called ‘kāyphal’ in Marathi.