The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes ikshvaku goes ahunting which is chapter 42 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the forty-second chapter of the Bhumi-khanda (section on the earth) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 42 - Ikṣvāku Goes Ahunting

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The friends said:

1. Who is that Sudevā about whom you talked? Tell us as to how she behaved. You have told (about her). Tell us the truth.

Sukalā said:

2-7a. The great, glorious king, Manu’s son, Ikṣvāku by name, lived in Ayodhyā. He knew the rules of conduct; he was exclusively devoted to religious ends; he knew everything, and he honoured gods and brāhmaṇas; his wife was ever meritorious and devoted to her husband. With her he performed many sacrifices and (visited) various holy places. Sudevā, devoted to truthful conduct, was the daughter of Vedarāja, the brave and illustrious king of Kāśī. King Ikṣvāku married her. Sudevā was beautiful in all limbs, and was devoted to the vow of truth. With her, his beloved,the best king, the meritorious leader of people, enjoyed.

7b-17. Once that great king went with her to a forest. Having reached a forest (on the bank) of Gaṅgā, he always enjoyed hunting, (by) killing lions, boars, elephants and buffaloes. In front of him, who was (thus) sporting, a boar, adorned with (i.e. accompanied by) a large herd of boars and (his) sons and grandsons, arrived. His only beloved female hog remained by his side. With (other) boars and hogs she surrounded him only. The hog, seeing the king of kings who was difficult to conquer and who was engaged in hunting, remained very courageously with his wife and by his sons, grandsons, elders and young ones after having taken the shelter of a mountain. O great king, knowing the great slaughter of those beasts (in the forest), the hog said to his sons, grandsons and wife: “O darling, the very powerful and brave lord of Kosala, Manu’s son, is enjoying hunting, and is destroying many beasts. There is no doubt that the great king, after seeing me, will come here. I have certainly no danger to my life from other hunters; (but) the king, seeing my form, will not forgive me. O dear one, there is no doubt that he, the very lustrous one, full of great joy, with arrows in his hand, holding a bow, accompanied by dogs and surrounded by hunters, will kill me.”

The female hog said:

18-19. O dear one, whenever, in this great forest, you see many hunters equipped with many weapons, you give up your great courage, power and valour, and with your heart dejected through great fear, run away, along with these my sons and grandsons. (Now) seeing this lord of kings and the best of men, what will you do? O dear one, tell me the reason.

20-32. Hearing her words, the boar, the king of hogs, gave the (following) answer to her: “O dear one, listen why I am afraid of a great hunter and go away. Hearing the (sound of) hogs, the great hunters, who are sinful and cunning, commit evils in the inaccessible caves of the mountain. They all are always wicked, always conceive many sins, and are born in the families of sinners. I am scared of dying at their hands; (for) though I die (after being shot by them), I shall again go to a sinful (existence). O darling, scared of an untimely death, I shall go away to a mountain or a mountain-cave. This king, greater than the world, a king of the nature of Viṣṇu, has come. O dear one, on the battlefield I shall fight with valour and bravery with the glorious one. If, by means of my own lustre I shall conquer the king, I shall enjoy incomparable fame on the earth. (If I am) killed in the battle by that best hero, I shall go to Viṣṇu’s heaven. The lord of the earth will be highly satisfied with the flesh and marrow of my body. Due to him the deities of the good worlds will be gratified. This one, with the thunderbolt in his hand, has come. O beautiful one, when I meet with death at his hands, it will be a gain and excellent fame for me. Due to him I shall have glory on the earth and in the three worlds; (and) I (shall) go to Viṣṇu’s world. I was not scared like this; I went agitated, (so) I went to the mountain-peaks. I went there as I was afraid of a sinful (hunter), O dear one; (and) on seeing (this king practising) piety, I have remained (here). I do not know my former sin, committed in another (i.e. former) existence, by the accumulation of which, I went to (i.e. was born in) the species of hogs. I shall (now) wash the former, terrible accumulation of sins with the water of hundreds of very sharp and whetted arrows. O you female hog, giving up your love for me, and taking with you our sons, grandsons, daughters and children in the family, go to the mountain, Give up your folly (i.e. foolish love) for me. This Viṣṇu has come. By his hand (i.e. killed by him) I shall go to that highest position of Viṣṇu. Fortune also has laid open the gates of heaven for me. I shall go to the best heaven.”

Sukalā said:

33. O friends, having heard those words of the magnanimous hog, his beloved, with her heart sinking, then spoke.

The female hog said:

34-51. The herd, of which you are the lord, (shines) being adorned by sons, grandsons, friends, brothers and other kinsmen and relatives. The herd, adorned by you only, shines. O you glorious one, what will be the condition of this herd without you? O dear one, due to your power only these roaring boars, my young sons, roam on the mountain. Fearless on account of your lustre, they eat well the bulbs and roots. Due to your lustre, they are not very much scared of lions and men in inaccessible places, forest-bowers, villages and cities and on this mountain, as they are protected by your lustre, O you very valorous one. Abandoned by you, all these young sons of me will be afflicted, confounded and senseless. All these young ones will never see (i.e. have) a happy course after going (from here). A beautiful woman does not at all look charming without her husband. (Even though she is) decorated with divine, golden ornaments, garments, food, clothes, father, mother, brothers and sisters, mother-in-law, father-in-law and others, she does not shine without her husband, as the night without the moon, (or) a family without a son (does not shine), (or) as a house without a lamp never shines. Similarly, O you, who cut off (i.e. remove) the pride (of your enemies), the herd does not at all shine without you. As a man does not shine without (good) behaviour, (or) an ascetic does not shine without knowledge, (or) as a king does not shine without (good) counsel, in the same way this (herd) does not shine (without you). As a boat full (of goods) does not (go on well) in an ocean without a fisherman, (or) as a caravan does not (shine) without its leader, similarly this (herd) does not (shine without you). As an army does not shine without a general, similarly this army of hogs (does not shine) without you, O you highly intelligent one. It will be helpless like a brāhmaṇa without (the study of) the Veda. Having entrusted the responsibility of the family to me you are going (to fight). Knowing that death is easy (i.e. would come easily) how are you having such a pledge? O dear lord, I shall not be able to sustain my life without you. O you highly intelligent one, with you alone I shall enjoy heaven, earth or even hell. I am telling you the truth and the truth only. O lord of the herd, we two—you and I—taking the sons and grandsons and the excellent herd (with us) shall go to an inaccessible place with a big cave. One goes to fight (only) after abandoning (i.e. being prepared to abandon) one’s life. Tell me now what gain will there be in death (i.e. dying at the hands of the king)?

The boar said:

52-60a. You do not know the excellent way of life of the brave. Now listen to it. If a warrior desiring to fight with another warrior, goes to him (and says): ‘Fight with me, I have come (here) to fight (with you)’, (and if the man) does not give (i.e. is not ready to have) a fight with (that) other man through desire, greed or delusion, then, listen, O dear one, he would dwell in the Kumbhīpāka hell for a thousand yugas. There is no doubt that it is the highest duty of kṣatriyas to fight (when challenged to fight). If the fight fought by him after going to the battlefield is won by him, he enjoys great glory and fame. If he, extremely fearless due to his valour, is killed while fighting, he obtains (i.e. goes to) the world of the brave and enjoys divine pleasures. O dear one, listen, he would dwell in the world of the brave for twenty thousand years, and during that period he is honoured with the practices of gods. There is no doubt. Here comes the brave son of Manu, asking for a fight. I must certainly give it. The welcome guest asking for a fight, and of the form of the eternal Viṣṇu has arrived. O auspicious one, I must offer him a reception in the form of a fight.

The female hog said:

60b-61 a. O dear one, how shall I (be able to) see your valour when you would fight with the magnanimous king?

61b-66. Saying so, and hurriedly calling her dear sons, she said (to them): “O sons, listen to my words. The welcome guest in the form of the eternal Viṣṇu asking for a fight, has come. I have to go where this (my lord) will go. As long as (this my) lord, your protector, remains here, you go away to the inaccessible opening of a mountain-cave. O (my) children, live there happily, avoiding skilful hunters. I must go there only where he (i.e. my lord) will go. This your eldest brother will protect the herd. All these (your) uncles will protect you. O my good sons, leaving me (here), go away, all of you.”

The sons said:

67-68. This best mountain is full of many roots, fruits and much water. There is no fear for anyone. Life is happy. You have both, all of a sudden, uttered these, fearful (words). O mother, tell us the reason for all this.

The female hog said:

69-70. This very terrible king, of the form of Kāla (i.e. god of death) has arrived. Longing for hunting, he sports in the forest by killing many beasts. He is the very powerful and unassailable son of Manu, named Ikṣvāku. O my good sons, this (god of) death will kill (you). My good sons, go away.

The sons said:

71-73. He, who goes (away) after abandoning his mother and father is wicked-hearted. He goes to a very terrible and fearful hell. He who, after drinking the holy milk of his mother, becomes shameless and spiritless, and goes (away) leaving his mother and father, goes to a pussy hell, stinking with the bad smell of insects. Therefore, we shall leave (our) father here only, but shall take our mother (with us).

74-75. In this way depression of spirits for the sake of Dharma and Artha (moral duty and worldly interest) overcame them. All of them full of power and lustre remained after having grouped themselves into an array. Full of daring courage and energy, and with valour, they, roaring and sporting, saw (there) the king’s son.

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