The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “aviksita’s exploits” which forms the 122nd 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 122 is included the section known as “conversation between Markandeya and Kraustuki”.

Canto CXXII - Avīkṣita’s exploits


Karandhama had a son Avīkṣita, who was so catted because benign planets looked upon his birth—Avīkṣita was a great prince; he was chosen by many princesses and lie also carried off others at their svayamvaras—He carried off Vaiśālinī princess of Vidiśā, and other kings arrayed themselves against him.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Vīryacandra’s[2] beautiful-browed daughter was named Vīrā; she was noble in her vows. She chose the great king Karandhama for her husband at her svayamvara. That valiant king of kings begat of her a son named Avīkṣita,[3] who attained fame on the face of the earth. When that son was born, the king asked the astrologers who could read fate—“I trust my son is born under an excellent constellation, at an excellent conjuncture? And I trust that benignant planets have looked upon my son’s birth; I trust it did not pass into the path of view of evil planets?”

When addressed thus by him, the astrologers spake then to the king—“When the moment, the constellation and the conjuncture have been excellent, thy son has been born to be great in valour, great in his parts, great in strength. O great king, thy son shall be a great king. The planet Jupiter, preceptor of the gods, has looked on him, and Venus which is the seventh; and the Moon the fourth planet has looked upon this thy son; and Soma’s son Mercury also, which is stationed at the edge, has guarded him. The Sun has not looked on him; nor has Mars or Saturn looked on thy son, O great king. Happy is this thy son! he will be endowed with all good fortune and prosperity.”

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

On hearing this the astrologers’ speech, the king was filled with gladness in his mind, and goiug then to his own abode he said—

“The preceptor of the gods has looked on him, and so has Soma’s son Mercury. The Sun has not looked on him, nor has the Sun’s son[4] nor Mars. This word ‘Has looked upon’[5] that ye, sirs, have uttered often,—celebrated by reason of it his name shall be Avīkṣita.”

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

His son Avīkṣita learnt the whole of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas. He acquired too from Kaṇva’s son perfect skill in every weapon. The prince surpassed both the Physicians of the gods in figure, Vācaspati in intellect, the Moon in loveliness, the Sun in splendour, the Ocean in steadfastness, and the Earth in endurance, full of valour as he was. In heroism no one was the equal of that high-souled prince.

At her svayamvara HemAdharma’s daughterVarā chose him for her husband; so also did Sudeva’s daughter Gaurī, Balm’s daughter Subhadrā, Vīra’s daughter Līlāvatī, Vīra-bhadra’s daughter Anībhā,[6] Bhīma’s daughter Mānyavatī, Dambha’s daughter Kumudvatī. And those maidens who, awaiting the precise moment at their svayamvaras, did not approve him,[7] even them the hero prince took by force. Driving off all the kings and the fathers and families of those princesses and trusting in his own valour, the mighty prince was indeed proud of his strength.

Now one day he seized Vaiśālinī of the beautiful teeth, daughter of the Vaidiśa[8] king Viśāla, as she was waiting for the proper moment at her svayamvara; after vanquishing all the kings he seized her by force, because in her own free fancy she chose him not, O brāhman-ṛṣi, just as, proud of his strength, he had seized other princesses. Then all those kings, being repeatedly driven off by that haughty prince and being sorely dejected, spoke to one another, all thronging together,—

“Fie on the birth of you kings, who being endowed with strength submit to this defrauding deed[9] at the hands of a single man, and who are many, of the same caste! A kṣatriya is he who delivers from injury[10] a man, who is being killed by ferocious men; that is the name of such a one; for in vain verily do others bear that name! Of you, sirs, who, though born of kṣatriya lineage, cannot save even your own selves from injury at the hands of this scoundrel, what is your resolution like? Let the praise, which is poured forth to you[11] by bards and minstrels and heralds, he true—let it not be in vain—O heroes, by reason of the destruction of your foes! Let not this story vainly spread itself abont by messengers belonging to other regions,[12] O kings! Ye all rely on your manhood, ye are sprung from exalted families. Who fears not death? Who is immortal without battling? With these thoughts ye whose profession is arms must not abandon your manhood.”

On hearing this the kings were filled with openly displayed wrath; all spoke at once -to one another and-rose up with their weapons. Some mounted chariots, some elephants and others horses; others overpowered with wrath advanced on foot against him.

Footnotes and references:


Canto cxxiii in the Calcutta edition.


I have not found this king elsewhere.


He is called Avīkṣit and Avīkṣi in various passages in the following cantos (see canto cxxx, verse 22); see also MahāBhārata, Aśvam.-p. iii. 80-85, and Viṣṇu Purāṇa IV. i. In the former of these passages he is also called Kārandhama, is highly extolled as a great king, and is said to have reigned at the beginning of the Tretā Age with Aṅgiras as his priest.




Avaikṣata from the root ava + īkṣ.


Or Nibhā.


For caivaṃ nābhinandanti read cainaṃ nābhyanandanta as in the Poona edition.


The adjective of Vidiśā, a town, see p. 343, note †.


For lalanām read vañcanūm as in the Bombay edition.


Kṣatriyo yaḥ, kṣata-trāṇam karoti. This fanciful derivation is also in Raghu-Vaṃsa ii. 53. For a different derivation, see ante, canto cxiv, 36.


For ca read vaḥ with the Bombay edition.


The Calcutta edition reads caratāṃ sā vṛthaivaiṣa bhūpaś cārair dig-antaraiḥ; the Bombay edition caratāṃ sā tathaivaiṣā bhūpāś cārair dig-antare; and the Poona edition caratām mā vṛthaivaiṣa bhūpa-śabdo dig-antare. The first is incorrect; the second is sound whether it reads dig-antare or dig-antaraiḥ, and the third is also good. Comparing these, the best reading appears to be caratām mā vṛthaivaiṣā bhūpāś cārair dig-antaraiḥ, and I have taken this.

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