The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “jada’s exposition in his conversation with his father (concluded)” which forms the 44th 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 44 is included the section known as “conversation between Sumati (Jada) and his father”.

Canto XLIV - Jaḍa’s exposition in his conversation with his father (concluded)

Subāhu explains to the king of Kāśī that it was to reclaim his brother Ālarka to a proper frame of mind, that he had induced the king to conquer Ālarka—Subāhu expounds to the king the conditions of attaining final emancipation from existence, and both depart—Ālarka resigns his kingdom to his son, and betaking himself to the forest attains final bliss.

Here ends Jaḍās exposition to his father.

The Birds then conclude by saying that Jaḍa and his father attained final bliss.

Suhāhu spoke:

“In that I have resorted to thee for refuge, O tiger-king, I have secured every object. I will depart. Best thou happy!”

The king of Kāśī spoke:

“What object hast thou secured, Sir? And what aim hast thou attained? Declare that to me, O Suhāhu, for I feel a keen curiosity. Thou didst stir me up, saying ‘Conquer give me the great kingdom, that belonged to my great-grandfather and is dominated by Alarka.’ Thereupon I attacked the kingdom of this thy younger brother, and brought this army for thee. Therefore enjoy it as befits thy race.”[1]

Subāhu spoke:

“O king of Kāśī, hearken, why I made this endeavour, and stirred thee up, Sir, to an unwonted endeavour. This my brother, who understands truth is addicted[2] to unrefined pleasures. My two elder brothers are wise and unbeguiled, because our mother dropped admonition into the ears of both of them and into mine, just as she dropped milk in their mouths and mine during our infancy, O king. Our mother taught those subjects, that men consider should he known, to both of them and to me, but not to him, Alarka, who wished to be illustrious, O king. As merchants, who are travelling for gain, feel a common grief, if one of them perishes, so is it with us, O king. Since he, Alarka, has caught the infatuation of domestic life, and is perishing, O king; since he is related to this my body, and bears the idea of a brother; hence I, concluding that he would obtain the perception of passionlessness through suffering, resorted to thee, Sir, to carry out the undertaking. Therefore he has been brought through distress to passionlessness through instruction, O king; the work has been accomplished; mayest thou fare well. I depart. ‘Having dwelt in Madālasā’s womb, and having drank of her breast, may he not follow the path that is travelled by the sons of other women, O king!’ So I deliberated and I did it all by resorting to thee; and it has been accomplished. I will again depart to seek final beatitude.

“I do not approve of those, O king! who neglect their own family, a kinsman, or a friend, when these are in difficulties; for, though possessed of organs, they are maimed indeed. He who falls into difficulties when he has an able friend, or member of his own family, or kinsman, they should be denied righteousness, wealth, love and final emancipation, but he should not be denied them. Through association with thee, O king, I have accomplished this great undertaking. Well mayest thou fare! I will depart. Mayest thou participate in knowledge, most noble king!

The king of Kāśī spoke:

“Thou hast done a great benefit to good Alarka; how is it thou dost not turn thy mind to benefit me? Since association of good men with good men yields fruit and is not barren, therefore I have attained the prosperity that is bound up with thy patronage.”

Subāhu spoke:

“The four-fold aims of men are known as righteousness, wealth, pleasure, and final emancipation from existence. There thou hast righteousness, wealth and pleasure, all of them,—the last is wanting. I will succinctly expound it to thee; listen now with singleness of mind thereto; and having heard and rightly deliberated strive after bliss, O king! Thou must have no dealings, O king, with the notion “Mine,” nor the notion “I”; for when one considers rightly, righteousness has no correlation in the absence of righteousness. When thou hast thought in thy soul, ‘I must comprehend of what I am’; when thou hast thought in after nights ‘I must consider the external and the internal thou must discern him whose beginning, attributes and ending are imperceptible, who is changeless, devoid of intelligence, both perceptible and imperceptible; and thou shalt discern ‘Who am I?’ When this indeed is discerned thou hast discerned everything. To discern the soul in what is not soul, and one’s own property in what is not one’s own—this is folly. I as such have passed everywhere, O king, according to the intercourse of the world. I have declared all this that thou hast asked: now I depart.”

Having spoken thus to the king of Kāśī, the wise Subāhu departed. And the king of Kāśī having done obeisance to Alarka departed to his own city.

Alarka, also, enthroned his eldest son as king, and abandoning every tie resorted to the forest, for bis own perfection. After a long time becoming purged of the contrary qualities and free from all worldly possessions, he attained an unparalleled pitch of religious devotion and gained supreme and final bliss. Perceiving all this universe with its gods, demons and human beings perpetually bound and being bound in the meshes woven of the qualities; being drawn by the causes brought into existence by sons and other children, by nephews and other relations, and by one’s own and other people’s property, and so forth; oppressed with woe, wearing diverse appearances, wholly enclosed within the mud of ignorance, possessing no deliverer; and perceiving himself wholly passed beyond, the large-minded king sang this song—“Alas, woe is it that I occupied the kingdom formerly! So have I since learnt. There is no happiness superior to religious devotion.”

Jaḍa spoke:

Dear father, do thou practise this sublime religious devotion to attain final emancipation from existence; whereby thou shalt attain to that Supreme Soul, in reaching which thou shalt not grieve. Then I also will go. What need have I of sacrifices? what need of prayers? Action in one who has attained success works towards re-absorption into the Supreme Soul. Obtaining permission from thee, I also, free from the contrary qualities, free from worldly possessions, will so strive after final emancipation that I may attain to supreme bliss.

The birds spoke:

Having thus addressed his father, and having obtained permission from him, the wise Jaḍa, abandoning all worldly possessions, departed, O brāhman. His father also, who was most large-minded, in like course after becoming a vānaprastha entered on the fourth stage of life. There having met with his son, and having forsaken the bonds formed of the qualities &c., he attained supreme perfection, being wise and having acquired self-knowledge at the same time.

All this has been declared to thee, O brāhman, which thou, Sir, did ask of us—at full length and with truth. What else dost thou desire to hear?

Footnotes and references:


For bhunkṣvasva kulocitam read bhunkṣva svakulocitam ?


For śakto read sakto ?

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