The Brahmanda Purana

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

This page describes the narrative of bhargava parashurama (d): king karttavirya slain which is Chapter 40 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 40 - The narrative of Bhārgava Paraśurāma (d): King Kārttavīrya slain

Vasiṣṭha said:

1. “When the crest-jewel of leading kings, Sucandra fell, his son Puṣkarākṣa came forward to fight with Rāma.

2-3. On seeing Rāma who was extremely terrible in battle and who was comparable to Kāla, the annihilator, that warrior of great vigour who was an expert in all kinds of weapons and miraculous missiles and who was seated in the chariot, discharged a volley of arrows and created a network with them all round the leading member of Bhṛgu’s family. For a short while, the son of Jamadagni became covered with arrows.

4. After suddenly extricating himself from the bondage of arrows, the extremely powerful leader of the family of Bhṛgu, surveyed all round, O great king.

5. On seeing Puṣkarākṣa the son of Sucandra, Rāma was filled with rage, and he resembled the fire that would burn everything.

6. Filled with great anger, he discharged the Varuṇa missile (i.e. one with Varuṇa for its deity). Then clouds rose up rumbling and roaring with terrible noise.

7. Flooding the Earth, O king, with heavy down-pours of water, they showered continuously. Puṣkarākṣa of great vigour discharged the Vāyavīya missile (one with the wind-god for its deity).

8. Thereupon, the clouds vanished immediately. Then extremely infuriated Rāma discharged the Brāhma missile (one with Brahmā for its deity).

9-13. Puṣkarākṣa of great vigour and prowess pulled it up with the same missile (i.e. another Brāhma missile).

On seeing his Brāhma missile restrained, Rāma became furious like a serpent struck with a stick. He seized his terrible axe and rushed against him taking deep breaths. As Rāma rushed against him, Puṣkarākṣa lifted up his bow and fixed five arrows resembling serpents with mouths giving out flames. With these arrows he pierced the heart, head, the left arm, the right arm and the tuft of Rāma in order. This Rāma stunned and agitated much.

On being thus afflicted by Puṣkarākṣa in battle, Rāma stood for a while and then rushed against him. He hit his head with his axe. He split Puṣkarākṣa into two from head to foot.

14. When the pieces fell down, at that time, great surprise was caused to men who were watching it as well as to the heaven-dwellers in the firmament.

15. After slaying Puṣkarākṣa of great strength, out of anger he burned down his army like the furiously blazing fire that burns down the forest.

16. Wherever the leader of the members of the family of Bhṛgu rushed with the prowess and velocity of the mind and the wind, striking with his axe, horses, chariots, elephants and men fell down in their hundreds with their limbs cut off.

17. Being struck with the axe there in the battlefield by Rāma of great power, the soldiers began to scream loud, “Ah father, Ah mother”. Shattered to smitherens they were reduced to ashes.

18. The entire army of Puṣkarākṣa consisting of many families of kings and nine Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers, was struck down within a short while by Bhārgava. It became highly distressed with all the leaders killed.

19. When Puṣkarākṣa fell, Arjuna (the son of Kṛtavīrya) himself, of great power and vigour came there seated on a golden chariot.

20. It was laden with many kinds of weapons. It had all its parts studded with jewels. It had a magnitude of ten Nalvas,[1] O king, and a hundred horses were yoked to it.

21. Having a thousand hands wielding different kinds of weapons, he shone like a meritorious person desirous of ascending to the heavenly world at the destruction of the body.

22. His hundred sons were extremely powerful and great experts in warfare. They arranged the armies in different Vyūhas (battle-arrays) at the behest of their father and stood by in the battlefield.

23. On seeing Rāma equipped with the brilliance of Yama, the god of death and destruction (at the end of the world) in the battlefield, Kārttavīrya, the powerful king, began to fight in earnest.

24. Bent on vanquishing the leading scion of the family of Bhṛgu, he held up five hundred arrows in the right hands and five hundred bows in the left hands.

25. O heroic king, he showered volley of arrows on Rāma, just as the cluster of clouds pours down on a mountain.

26. Being honoured in the battlefields by that shower of arrows, the delighter of the family of Bhṛgu seized his own, divine bow and discharged showers of arrows.

27. Both of them viz. Bhārgava and Haihaya were equally proud (of their ability in) battle and they were engaged in an unparalleled tumultuous fight that caused horripilation to the beholder.

28. For killing the leading scion of the family of Bhṛgu, that powerful king holding all kinds of weapons and miraculous missiles, fitted the Brahmāstra (the miraculous missile having Brahmā for its deity).

29-31a. Rāma performed the ceremonial rite of sipping air (as a substitute for water) and fitted another miraculous Brāhma missile against the previous Brāhma (of Kārttavīrya). Thereupon, both the missiles came into collision, O ruler of men. They increased in their brilliance like the blazing sun in the horizon. On seeing that wonderful spectacle, the three worlds including the Nether worlds became distressed as the two miraculous missiles continued to blaze. The worlds eagerly-wished for their restraint.

31b-34a. On seeing the imminent destruction of the universe, Rāma remembered what had been spoken to him by Lord Kṛṣṇa. Rāma then thought thus—“Protection should be accorded to the world. This miraculous missile should be restrained. Destruction to the world should be prevented by me who hold within myself the part of the Supreme Lord”. After deciding thus, the holy lord of fierce splendour drank up both the miraculous missiles by means of his pair of eyes. Thereby he rendered the universe charming. Thereafter, the noble-souled sage remained meditating for a short while. Due to the power of his meditation, both of the miraculous Brahmā missiles were rendered bereft of their potentiality. They fell down and immediately, the entire world regained normalcy.

34b-35a. The son of Jamadagni was the greatest among great men. He was capable of creating, protecting and destroying everything. Still, in order to conceal his supernatural power, he carried on the usual activities of the ordinary people.

35b-38a. He was a wielder of bows. He was the greatest among heroes. He was the possessor of splendour. He was the leader of good men. He was the speaker of facts in an assembly. He had put in sufficient efforts in the realm of fine arts, lores and sacred literature. He was a wise scholar conversant with the injunctions (of sacred scriptures). Thus he spread his name, fame and intrinsic ability in the mortal world.

After suppressing and rendering the pair of miraculous missiles calm and ineffective, Rāma once again resumed his activities towards the destruction of the leading member of the family of Haihayas, in the battlefield.

38b-39a. He took a pair of arrows from his quiver. He fixed the feathered portions of the arrows to the bowstring. He was desirous of cutting off his crest-jewel but aimed at the pair of the ears of the king which he thereafter cut off.

39b-41a. The noble-souled king who had formerly defeated all the heroes of the universe, had his ears cut off now and he realized his prowess lost and destroyed, O lord of the Earth, as he was humiliated by Rāma. In a trice, O king, the body of the king became faded and pale with ail its dignity and splendour vanished. It was perceived like a picture of a person much distressed in mind and painted by a good artist.

41b-44a. Then the king began to reflect on his earlier glory and prowess which he had acquired by defeating Paulastya (i.e. Rāvaṇa) and others and which exceeded that of any one in the entire world and bewailed his lot. Desirous of victory, the king closed his eyes again and meditated on Datta, the beacon light of the family of Atri. It was due to the blessings of this powerful personality that he was able to repudiate and slight all other kings by means of his vitality.

When respectable Datta of great power and. proficiency did not come within his view, the king became much distressed in his heart and had recourse to the path of meditation, over and over again.

44b-46a. Even when meditated upon, O king, Datta did not come within the purview of his mind. The lord did not come so because the king had committed evil actions. He had harassed a saint of perfect restraint of the sense-organs, a good man without any sin.

46b. Thus, when the noble-souled son of Atri was not seen by the king through the path of meditation, he began to grieve with great sorrow. Due to grief he became deluded too. The noble-souled Rāma who could see through the mind of everyone spoke thus to the king who was grief-stricken—“O king, do not be distressed. Men of great magnanimity do not grieve over anything.

47-49a. It was I who incarnated in the primordial Sarga (creation) for the purpose of granting you boons. Now I have come to kill you. Take courage in your mind. There should be no discussion at all on grief at the time of battle. All the people experience good and bad effects of their own actions brought about by fate, when the fruit of the actions become ripe. No one can bring about any reversal of this good and evil, O Ruler of men.

49b-52a. Since you acquired much merit in the course of many births, you became one who deserved the boons granted by Datta. Now experience the fruit of your evil deeds acquired by yourself.

My father had been maltreated by you. Hence, I have chopped off your ears. Now you can see me taking off your crestjewel by means of my vigour, after destroying your renown”.

After saying thus, the noble-souled scion of the family of Bhṛgu, fixed an arrow and drew the bow. He discharged it against the king. With great rapidity and readiness the arrow cut off the jewel and returned to Rāma.

52b-55a. On seeing this action of the son of the sage, Arjuna, the upholder of the family of Haihayas, prepared himself to kill that Brāhmaṇa in battle—the Brāhmaṇa who was his enemy. He lifted up his weapons.

With different kinds of weapons such as trident, jevelin, iron club, discus, sword, Paṭṭiśa and Tomara (different varieties of iron clubs) he hit the son of the Brāhmaṇa.

With great alacrity and alertness Rāma, by means of hís arrows, cut off those tridents etc. hurled by him just in the middle itself (while they darted at him).

55b-57a. The king sipped air (in lieu of water) ceremoniously and discharged the excellent Āgneya (having the fire-god as its deity) missile which Rāma suppressed quickly by means of Vāruṇa (having Varuṇa for its deity) missile. The king then discharged the Gāndharva missile (having Gandharva as its deity) which the holy lord (Rāma) struck by means of a Vāyavya (having wind god for its deity) rṇissile.

57b-58. Rāma cut off the Nāga missile (having serpents for its deity) by means of the Gāruḍa (having Garuḍa. for its deity) missile, O King.

Thereafter, for slaying Bhārgava in the battle the king took up the trident that had been given to him by Datta and that had never been futile. He took it up with due chanting of mantras.

That trident had the lustre of a hundred suns. It could not be checked by Suras or Asuras.

59. Aiming it at Rāma, he hurled it with his entire strength. The trident fell on the head of Bhārgava, O lord of the Earth.

60. Due to the impact that he was hit by the trident, Bhārgava became pained. He became unconscious, O prominent king, remembering Hari.

61. When Bhārgava fell there, all the Devas became agitated due to fear. Keeping Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara in front they all came there.

62. Lord Śaṅkara who has great knowledge and who is the conqueror of Death, himself resuscitated Bhārgava by means of the Sañjīvanī Vidyā.

63. Regaining his consciousness, Rāma saw the Suras in front of him. O leading king, he bowed down to Brahmā and other suras with devotion.

64-66. On being eulogised by the leading member of the family of Bhṛgu, they disappeared immediately. After sipping air (in lieu of water) ritualistically, Rāma chanted the Kavaca mantra.

He got up with great fury. He appeared to burn everyone by means of his eyes.

After recollecting the Pāśupata missile granted by Śiva, Bhārgava immediately slew Kārttavīrya of great power.

That king who was a devotee of Datta, entered Sudarśana, the discus of Viṣṇu. His body became reduced to ashes, O son of Bāhu.

Footnotes and references:


Nalva=400 cubits.

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