The Markandeya Purana

by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237

This page relates “the story of kuvalayasva and madalasa (continued)” which forms the 25th chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 25 is included the section known as “conversation between Sumati (Jada) and his father”.

Canto XXV - The story of Kuvalayāśva and Madālasā (continued)

Kuvalayāśva, returning home, lives in perfect happiness with Madālasā—He succeeds his father Śatrujit—A son is horn to them, Vikrānta—Madālasā prattles to the infant.

Jaḍa spoke:

Reaching then his city he narrated the whole story fully to his parents, how he had regained his slender-limbed one who had died. And the beautiful, slender-limbed lady bowed at the feet of her father and mother-in-law, and did honour as before to her kindred with obeisance, embraces and such greetings, according to propriety, and their ages. Then the citizens held a great festival there in the city.

And Ṛtadhvaja long enjoyed himself with his beautiful-waisted wife, both among mountain torrents, and on river sand-banks, and amid pleasant woods, and in groves. She also, longing to consume her merit by the delights of love, enjoyed herself with him, her greatly-beloved, in pleasant places.

A long time afterwards the king Śatrujit, having ruled the earth worthily, underwent the law of Death. Then the citizens inaugurated as king his high-souled son Ṛtadhvaja, noble in conduct and action.

While he duly protected his subjects as if they were his own sons, Madālasā gave birth to her first-born son. The father gave that clever child the name Vikrānta. The retainers were pleased thereat and Madālasā laughed. Madālasā spoke to her infant hoy in the way of prattle,[1] as he lay on his hack crying not unmelodiously.

“Perfect art thou, darling, nor has thy name been given thee now in mere fancy. This very body of thine is composed of the five elements, not indeed for this reason dost thou cry—wherefore then? Nor indeed does your highness (this title is thy birth-right) cry because thou art a king’s son. Doubtful are the various good and bad qualities, that are connected with the elements, in all thy organs. Since in a man here the elements, extremely weak, increase by the means of the elements, namely, by means of the food and water and other nutriments given, of what hast thou no gain, of what hast thou no loss? Do not grow infatuated at this thy bodice which is already decaying, and in that thy body; thy body is given thee by good and bad deeds; the bodice is fastened on thee by persons infatuated with pride and other passions. Do thou greatly esteem each aggregate of elements— some one aggregate as a dear father, some other as a child, some other as a mother, some other as a loved wife, some other as thy own property, some other as not thy own. A man beguiled in mind thinks that evils tend to assuage evils, that enjoyments tend to happiness. Again the unwise man, greatly beguiled in mind, thinks that these very evils are pleasures. Laughter, gazing at the bones,[2] a pair of excessively bright mocking eyes, firm plump flesh in the breasts and elsewhere, in a woman—that is Love’s abode; is not woman hell? The carriage rests on the earth; and the body is seated in the carriage; and even in the body there is another seated, the soul. There is not the same perception of ownership in one’s body, as there is this excessive infatuation with it.”

Footnotes and references:


Ullāpana: not in the dictionary. Ullāpa is said to mean “calling out in a loud voice,” “change of voice in grief, sickness, &c.;” but no such meaning is admissible here.


Asthi-sandarśana; this seems meaningless. Akṣi-sandarśana seems superfluous.

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