The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “about the svarocisa manvantara (continued)” which forms the 63rd 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 63 is included the section known as “exposition of the manvantaras”.

Canto LXIII - About the Svārociṣa Manvantara (continued)

The Apsaras Varūthinī had by the Gandharva Kali a son who was named Svarocis—He delivered a maiden Manoramā and her father the Vidyādhara Indīvara from a curse—and married her.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Then with her he sported on mountain tops, which charmed the heart with their blossoming forests, and midst charming lakes, and in pleasant glens, and on sand-banks in the rivers, and in other delightsome places, with merry heart, O brāhman. With eyes closed fast during their embraces, she thought by reason of his ardour that his form was that of the young brāhman surmounted with fire. Then after a time she conceived a child, O best of munis; it took its form from the Gandharva’s energy and her dwelling in thought on the brahman. Then he having soothed Varūthinī in her pregnant condition departed, still assuming the brāhman’s shape; she gave him a loving dismissal.

The child was born a boy, with a splendour like the blazing orb of light, illuminating all the regions of the sky with his own lustre like the sun. Because he shines with his own lustre,[1] like the sun, the boy became therefore famed by the appropriate name Svarocis. And the noble boy grew day by day in age and with a multitude of good qualities, just as the new moon increases with its daily increments; he acquired skill in archery, and learnt the Vedas in due order and the sciences; then the noble boy entered on the period of early manhood.

Once upon a time, while he who was fascinating in his ways was roaming on Mount Mandara, he saw a lonely maiden helpless with fear on the mountain’s slope. Seeing him, at once she uttered the words “Save me!” “Fear not!” he exclaimed to her whose eyes were flooded with fear; “Why is this?” said the high-souled youth in heroic speech. Thereupon she gave him this account, in words broken by her palpitating breath.

The maiden spoke:

I am indeed the daughter of the Vidyādhara Indīvara, Manoramā by name; I was born of Marudhanvan’s daughter. Vibhāvarī daughter of the Vidyādhara Mandāra was my friend, and Kalāvatī, the muni Pāra’s daughter, was my other friend. With them I went to Kailāsa’s lofty[2] slope. There I saw a certain muni; exceedingly thin was his face through his austerities, wasted was his neck through hunger, vigourless was he, deep sunk were the pupils of his eyes. I laughed at him, and then he grew enraged and cursed me, in a very infirm voice and with his shoot-like lower lip somewhat quiverinq[3]—“Since thou hast laughed at me, O ignoble and bad ascetic maiden, a Rākṣasa shall therefore overcome thee in no long time indeed.” But when the curse was pronounced, my two friends upbraided the muni—“Fie! through thy want of forbearance, done is thy brāhman-hood, done all thine austerities! Thou art violated through thy wrathfulness, thou art not greatly worn out[4] through austerities. The dwelling-place of forbearance is verily brāhman-hood; the controlling of wrath is the performance of austerities.” Hearing this the sage of measureless glory cursed both of them also,—“Leprosy in the limbs shall light on one of you, and consumption on the other.” Exactly as he said, it befell them both immediately.

So on my track also a mightly Rākṣasa is approaching. Dost thou not hear his loud roar, as he thunders forth, even close at hand? today is the third day that he quits not my back. Now out of all the multitude of weapons I give thee the weapon which strikes to the heart; save me from this Rākṣasa, O high-minded youth! Rudra, who wields the bow Pināka, himself gave it to Svāyambhuva originally; Svāyambhuva gave it to Vaśiṣṭha the chief of the Siddhas; he moreover gave it to Citrāyudha, my mother’s father; he again, as father-in-law, himself gave it to my father as a wedding gift. I, though a maiden, learnt, O hero! from my father how to use this Heart of all weapons, which destroys every foe. This is it, take it quickly, the essence of all weapons, then slay this vile-souled Rākṣasa who has come into conflict with sacred spell.[5]

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

“Yea!” then quoth he, and she sprinkling water on it gave him the Heart of weapons together with the spell for stopping its secret virtue.

In this interval appeared that Rākṣasa. Then with apall-ing aspect, and roaring with a loud roar, he came hastily on. He looked at that demon who was exclaiming—“Overpowered by me, to what dost thou resort for deliverance? Come speedily to me! What good is it to delay thy being devoured?” Seeing him at hand, Svarocīs thought, “Let him seize her, so will the great muni’s word become true with regard to her.” The Rākṣasa approaching with haste seized the maiden of beauteous waist, as she was piteously bewailing, “Save me, Save me!” Then Svarocis enraged looked at the active and most terrible weapon, and plunging it into that Rākṣasa looked on it with unwinking eyes. Vanquished thereby[6] the night-stalking demon then quitted her and said—“Be gracious! let the weapon be kept in peace, and hearken! I have been delivered by thee, O most glorious hero! from a very grievous curse, which was inflicted by wise and exceedingly fierce Brahmamitra. It is a benefit (none other greater can I receive from thee, O illustrious hero!), whereby I have been delivered from a great and most sore curse.”

Svarocis spoke:

Why wert thou cursed formerly by the high-souled muni Brahmamitra, and what kind of curse was imprecated on thee?

The Rākṣasa spoke:

The brāhman Brahmamitra had mastered the thirteen sections of the Atharva Veda, and had just studied the Āyurveda which is divided into eight parts. And I was well known by the name Indīvara; I was the father of this maiden. I was the son of the swordsman Nalanābha king of the Vidyādharas. And at first I besought the muni Brahmamitra., “Deign, adorable Sir![7] to communicate to me the whole of the Āyurveda.” But though entreated often by me who remained bent with respect, he did not bestow on me the science of the Āyurveda, O hero: then indeed I gained the science of the Āyurveda, as he was communicating it to his disciples, by rendering myself invisible[8], O sinless man.[9] Now when the science was gained after a space of eight months, I gave way to excessive and repeated fits of laughter out of my great delight. Recognizing me by the laughter, the muni, enraged and with quivering neck spoke thus to mo in harsh words—“Since thou in invisible form, like a Rākṣasa,[10] hast snatched the science from me, O evil-minded one, and despising me hast indulged in laughter; therefore thou shalt be assuredly cast out as a terrible Rākṣasa by my curse, O wicked one, after seven nights.” On his uttering this, I propitiated him by prostrating myself before him and by other acts of deference; the brāhman with his mind immediately softened, said to me again—“What I have uttered will assuredly come to pass, O Gandharva; it can not happen otherwise; but after becoming a Rākṣasa, thou shalt regain thy own form, when with memory dead and in anger thou shalt wish to devour thy own child. Thou shalt be turned into a night-stalking demon; when smarting with the fire of thy child’s weapon, thou shalt again obtain thy own consciousness, and recover thy own body, and likewise thy own station in the Gandharva world.” Since such I am and since I have been delivered by thee, O illustrious hero, from this most fearful demon-condition, therefore perform my request. This maiden give I thee as wife, accept her; and take, O high-minded man, the whole of the Āyurveda with its eight parts, which I acquired from beside that muni.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Having so spoken he, gleaming in heavenly raiment, bedecked with garlands and ornaments, and bearing his pristine heavenly body, bestowed the science. After bestowing the science, he next proceeded to give his daughter. Then the maiden spoke to her father who had regained his own form, “Although love[11] has sprung up exceedingly with me, even at first sight, for this high-souled man, who is especially my benefactor, O father; yet this maiden is my friend and thatone also, they are afflicted with pain for my sake; hence I do not desire to gratify myself in delights with this man. Such baseness cannot be displayed even by men; how shall a woman like me behave so with things pleasing to her disposition. Since such I am and since those two maidens are afflicted with pain for my sake, O father, I will likewise remain in their pain, burnt with the fire of their grief.”

Svarocis spoke:

By the favour of the Āyurveda I will make thy two friends fresh again, removing thy great grief, O maiden with beautiful waist.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Then Svarocis married that beauteous-eyed maiden, whom her father himself gave, according to the rites on that mountain. And having comforted[12] the proud maiden then given away, the Gandharva departed then to his own city by a heavenly course.

And then Svarocis also, accompanied by the slender maiden, went to that garden, where the pair of maidens dwelt speechless and diseased[13] through that curse. Then unconquered Svarocis, knowing their condition accurately, brought them both back to a healthy body by means of medicines and potions which cure disease. Then the two maidens, most resplendent, freed from disease, beautiful, rendered that mountain more luminous[14] than the regions of the sky by their own beauty.

Footnotes and references:




For attamam read uttamam.


For kiñcit-kalpitādhara-pallavaḥ read kiñcit-kampitādhara-pallavaḥ?


Ati-karṣitaḥ; or, “thou art not greatly attracted by austerities.”




For tadābhibhūtaḥ read tadābhibhūtaḥ?


For bhagavān read bhagavan? Or, for arhasi read arhati?


For antardhāya-gena read antardhāna-gena?


For anadha read anagha.


For rākṣasenaiva read rākṣaseneva ? He was a Gandharva then.


For anarāgo read anurāgo ?


For ābhi-śāntya read abhi-śāntvya ?


Agadāturam ; a compound adjective from a-gada and ātura.


Uj-jyoti; not in the dictionary.

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