The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “dama’s exploits (continued)” which forms the 135th 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 135 is included the section known as “conversation between Markandeya and Kraustuki”.

Canto CXXXV - Dama’s exploits (continued)


Duma bewails his father’s death and vows vengeance against the murderer.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:[2]:

At the tidings of his father’s death declared by that ascetic[3] Dama blazed out with exceeding wrath, as fire is intensified[4] with clarified butter. Now that steadfast king burning with the fire of wrath, O great muni, crushed his hands together and spoke out this speech;—

“Like a master-less wretch my dear father has been slaughtered, while I his son actually live, by a very cruel man who has overwhelmed my family. Let not people utter the calumny[5] that I, such as I am, condone this by reason of impotence. I am in authority to quell the unruly and to protect the well-behaved. My father has been slain even by him—seeing that, my enemies live.[6] What is the good then of this much lamentation? And why again the cry, ‘Alas! dear father!’? What should be done by lamentation here, that I, such as I am, will do here. When I give no gratification to my sire with the blood that spurts from that Vapuṣmat’s body, then I will enter the fire! If no water-oblation be made to my dear slain father with the blood of that king in fight,[7] and if no feast be given duly to twice-born brahmans with flesh, then I will enter the fire! If those who are named Asuras, gods, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Vidyādharas, and Siddhas give him assistance, even them also I, such as I am, possessed with fury will reduce to ashes with multitudes of weapons. I will kill in battle that king of the Southern country, who is cruel, very unrighteous[8] and unworthy of praise, and I will then enjoy the whole earth also; or failing to kill him I will enter the fire. I will forthwith slay him, most evil-minded, who slaughtered an old man among the ascetics,[9] who dwells in the forest, is greatly agitated at peaceful words,[10] accompanied as he is by all his kinsmen, friends, and army of foot-soldiers, elephants and cavalry. Let all the assembled bands of my gods see the destruction that I, such as I am, will verily make, taking my bow, armed with a sword, and mounted in my chariot, meeting my enemy’s might. Whoever shall be his comrade today when he comes to battle with me again, I am prepared, with my two arms as my soldiers, speedily to destroy his family utterly.[11] If in this battle the king of the gods with thunderbolt in hand, and the lord of the pitṛs too raising his terrible sceptre wrathfully, and the lord of wealth, Varuṇa and the Sun strive to safeguard him, I will nevertheless slaughter him with multitudes of choice sharp arrows. May the vultures be satisfied this day with the flesh and blood of that man, by whom was killed, while I the son am powerful, my dear father, whose mind was subdued, who was without fault, who dwelt in a small spot in the forest,[12] who ate only fruits that had fallen, who was friendly to all beings!”

Footnotes and references:


Canto cxxxvi in the Calcutta edition.


The Bombay and Poona editions make the story more precise by inserting a verse here—“That śūdra ascetic as commanded by Indra-senā went and relates to Dama his father’s death as narrated above.”


For samākhyātaṃ budham read samākhyāte badhe as in the Poona edition.


For uddhṛtaḥ read uddhataḥ, as in the Poona edition.


For nyāya-vādo jane tasyāpy read nāpavādo janena syād as in the Poona edition.


The Poona edition reads Pitaraṃ cāpi nihataṃ dṛṣṭvā jīvaty a-sattamaḥ, “and seeing my father slain, the evil man lives.”


Or read saṅkhye’vinipātitasya, “to my dear father, who was slain not in battle, with that king’s blood”? The Bombay and Poona editions omit the second quarter-verse and read as the third quarter-verse kuryām pitus tasya ca piṇḍa-dānaṃ, “Let me with his blood make the water-oblation, and with his flesh a fitting feast to brāhmans and the oblation of the funeral cake to that father of mine; if not, then I will enter the fire!” Tasya in the first quarter-verse may refer to pituḥ, but by position tasya māṃsena corresponds to tac-chonitena; the result is extraordinary, but see verses 34 to 36 on page 683 below.


The Poona edition reads niṣṭhūram for niḥ-śūram; and the comment, explains ā-dhārmikam as atyantam a-dhārmikam.


For tāpasa-vṛddha-mauninam the Bombay and Poona editions read tāpasa-vṛddha-ghātinaṃ; but both violate the metre. Read tāpasa-vṛddha-ghātaṃ?


The Poona edition reads the second quarter-verse thus— vana-sthagam sādhu-vidhiṃ vidagdham, “a forest-rogue, observing good ordinances, punning;” but sādhu-vidhiṃ is erroneous. The Bombay reading is similar.


For tathaiva read tasyāśu as in the Poona edition, or tasyaiva as in the Bombay edition.


Kānanākhaṇḍalauko, or -kā as in the Bombay and Poona editions.

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