The Padma Purana
by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes ashokasundari is born which is chapter 102 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 one hundred 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 102 - Aśokasundarī is Born
[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]
1-3. O child, now I shall explain to you all that you said: as to what their splendour originated from, O you best twice-born. Once the great goddess Pārvatī, the best among women, while sporting, said (these) words to the lord: “O great god, in my mind a great longing has sprung up. To me (please) show a grove that is best among groves.”
Śrī Mahādeva said:
4. Let it be so, O great goddess. I shall show you the Nandana, crowded with gods and resorted to by brāhmaṇas and siddhas.
5-11a. Having thus spoken to that goddess, he, Mahādeva, was eager to go to Nandanavana itself with her and the attendants. He, surrounded by crores of attendants, mounted his bull (i.e. Nandī) who was beautiful in all limbs, whose back was divine, who was endowed with ornaments, who was furnished with bells and garlands, who wore multitudes of small bells, who was well-decorated with chowries, silken threads and pearl-necklaces, who resembled a swan and the moon and who had pleasing characteristics. Nandī, Bhṛṅgī, Mahākāla, Skanda, Caṇḍa, Manohara, Vīrabhadra, Gaṇeśa, Puṣpadanta, Maṇīśvara, Atibala, Subala, Meghanāda, Ghaṭāvaha, Ghaṇṭākarṇa, Kālinda, Pulinda, Vīrabāhuka, Keśarīkiṅkara, Caṇḍahāsa, Prajāpatī—these and others like Sanaka, whose power was penance, (accompanied him).
11b-12. That Śiva was (thus) surrounded by attendants numbering crores. Mahādeva, accompanied by the attendants and the goddess entered Nandanavana only which was resorted to by gods and kinnaras.
13-36a. The lord of gods showed Pārvatī that beautiful Nandanavana which was rich with various trees, full of many flowers, which was charming, which was crowded with plantain-trees, and with campaka trees with flowers, with jasmine-creepers having abundant flowers, and full of a number of mālatī creepers, which always shone with branches full of flowers, and with excellent groves of pāṭala-trees, and with great sandal trees of pleasant fragrance. It was full of groves of devadāru trees, and crowded with tall trees, with sarala trees, coconut trees, also with betel-nut trees, with divine date-trees, bread-fruit trees, bent down with the loads of fruits, with trees exuding fragrance—thus it was full of big trees. It was well-adorned with saptaparṇatrees, resembling the lustre of fire. It was full of great rose-apple trees, nimba trees, and citron trees, with orange trees, sindhuvāra trees, priyāla trees, śāla trees and tinduka trees, udumbara trees, wood-apple trees, and was adorned with rose-apple trees. It was full of trees like mango, the king of fruits, Indian fig-trees resembling clouds, divine groves of dark-blue, also with groves of trees with unblown flowers. It was resorted to by (i.e. it contained) large tamāla trees resembling the sun. It was beautified by other trees all resembling dark-blue groves; it was adorned with very auspicious desire-yielding trees full of all desired fruits and giving auspicious fruits. It was full of sweet notes and cries of various birds. It resounded with the auspicious cooings of cuckoos and with bees. It resounded with the notes of birds longing for honey. It was crowded with trees of many kinds and was full of many herds of deer. O son, that (piece of) land shines with various fragrant flowers fallen from trees it is; as it were worshipped with fragrant flowers. O son, there are very auspicious wells, pure with the fragrance of lotuses. They are full of water and are resorted to by swans and ducks. The great Nandana shines everywhere with lakes resembling seas and endowed with the fragrance of water, and with hosts of celestial nymphs. The lordly Nandana grove shines everywhere with halls, white pitchers, beautiful golden staffs, whitewashed palaces and with large hosts of kinnaras. That auspicious appearing Nandana shone everywhere with gandharvas, beautiful celestial nymphs, amusements of deities and with groups of sages and good meditating saints. Magnanimous Bhava (i.e. Śiva) of a great prowess along with that great goddess (Pārvatī) saw that glorious, auspicious Nandana, the abode of the meritorious, the mine of happiness and endowed with the quality of tranquility. In the Nandana grove also the beautiful desire-yielding tree endowed with desired flowers and fruits shone along with rays like masses of lustre of the sun. Seeing such lordly tree the goddess said to Śiva: “O lord, tell (me) the auspicious name of this all-meritorious tree”. That Śiva, the great sun among all the luminaries around, said to the goddess:
36b-39. The great position of this is known as auspicious; and Madhusūdana (i.e. Viṣṇu) is the chief among gods. The divine river (i.e. the Ganges) is the chief among rivers. As the beautiful moon is the chief among those that are pleasant, as the earth is the chief among the elements, as the lord of elephants (i.e. Airāvata) is chief among elephants, as the ocean is the chief among reservoirs, as, O respectable lady, corn is the chief among herbs, as the Himālaya is the chief among the mountains, as metaphysical knowledge is the chief among lores, as the lord of men (i.e. a king) is the chief among all people, in the same way this lord of trees a welcome guest of all, is dear to the lord of gods.
Śrī Pārvatī said:
40-42. O Śambhu, tell me the auspicious and pure quality of this lord of trees.
Hearing the words of the goddess he told her everything about that good tree. (He said:) “This best tree called ‘Kalpadruma’ gives to the very meritorious gods, those that resemble gods, and best gods, whatever they resolve. All auspicious objects are produced from this (tree). The very important gods, superior due to their penance, having obtained here only the very divine (object) full of gems, superior to life (even) which is difficult to get, enjoy it.”
43-49. The goddess heard the wonderful words of Śiva. With his consent she mentally conceived a very virtuous and beautiful gem of a body. The Daughter of the Mountain obtained from that great tree a woman who was (so) lovely in all limbs, virtuous and beautiful that she, helping Cupid, had come to delude the universe. She was the treasure of sport; she was of the form of the accomplishment of happiness; she was endowed with everything; she was having large and lotus-like eyes;her face was lotuslike; her hands resembled lotuses; she was beautiful Lakṣmī; she was like a good figure of gold; like that her hair was clean and very bright in splendour, pleasantly bright, very curly and long, was very delicately tied and was covered with fragrant flowers. That young lady, with her hair tied, looked splendid with the firm knots of hair and excellent form. As on the boundary-line of the trees the line of the muktā-flowers shines, similarly on the parting line of her hair, a chaplet of pearls shone. At the root of the parting of hair of the very respectable lady there was a mark, like the bright preceptor of the demons (i.e. Venus) that had risen. On the brows were two lotuses. The lotus-like navel like that of a deer shone with its mass of lustre. The brilliance of the mark at the root of parting of hair displayed the wealth of her beauty in the good world; so also the pearls on her hair and forehead always spread out beauty.
50-52a. As the beautiful moon shines with lustre, so she of charming movements, shone. As the full moon, the mass of cool rays, shines with the canopy of the moonlight, in the same way her face causing charm and celebrated in the universe, shone. Even the moon is having the spot, and losing the digits everyday, wanes; but her face, always joyful and spotless, is always full.
52b-54a. The lotus, having looked with disapproval at its own fragrance (and thinking)—‘This lady with a lotus-like face and endowed with all virtues is fashioned with my properties’—did not then feel happy on seeing its own exuding fragrance. The wind (moving in) the world blew from her mouth. Being suddenly ashamed, it always remained in water after resorting to it.
54b-55. Some very intelligent people with their judgement restrained by their mind (i.e. after proper thought) said: ‘O good Cupid, as the treasure of a king is full of the bits (i.e. gems) of the sea, in the same way, her mouth, looking charming with the bimba-like lower lip and with the charming smile, is looking charming with gem-like excellent teeth.’
56-64a. She had good eyebrows, her nose fine, her ears were adorned with jewels. Her cheeks having golden complexion, were possessed of brightness. The three lines existing on the neck shone very much. Here (i.e. on the neck) there were three lines with (i.e. respresenting) her good fortune, good character and love. Her breasts were hard, plump and resembled a round figure. They were pitchers of Cupid intended for sprinkling (water from). Her even shoulders looked very beautiful, and were in company of the heart. Her arms were good; they were round, soft, of a good complexion and possessed good marks. Her lotus-like hands were very even, had the colour of lotuses and were very cool. They were endowed with divine characteristics and possessed the marks of a lotus and swastika on them. Her fingers were straight, held lotuses and had nails. The nails were very sharp and were like drops of water. The complexion of her body resembled the interior of a lotus. Her (body) odour was like that of a lotus. The beautiful young lady looked splendid like Lakṣmī. The daughter of the tree was endowed with all good characteristics and was very beautiful. Her feet resembled red lotuses, were very soft, and very beautiful. The nails growing from the toes had the shape of the flashes (shooting) from gems.
64b-66. (Everything) as is laid down in the scientific works (about beauty) was seen in her limbs. Her body looked beautiful due to all ornaments. She had put on a necklace, bracelets and anklets. She shone with the belt and girdle and with the sound of the (tinkling bells) of the girdle. The auspicious one attained great beauty by means of blue silken garment. She, endowed with qualities, (looked very beautiful) due to a divine and a very red bodice.
67. From the idea conceived by her, Pārvatī obtained an excellence—a great production. She obtained joy from the desire-yielding tree. She said (these) words to Śaṅkara:
68. “O god, I saw the tree as you had described it. As an object is conceived, so it is seen.”
69. Then that lady beautiful in all limbs came near their side (i.e. approached them) and with devotion saluted their lotus-like feet.
70. Then she spoke affectionate, pleasant and attractive words: “O lord, O mother, tell me the reason for which I was produced.”
Śrī Devī (i.e. Pārvatī) said:
71-74. Through curiosity about the truth about the tree I conceived you. O good lady, the fruit, i.e. you, the wealth of beauty is instantly obtained. You are undoubtedly my daughter endowed with all good fortune. You will be known in the world as Aśokasundarī. Nahuṣa, lord of kings, well known in the lunar family, like god Indra, will be your husband.
The mountain’s Daughter (viz. Pārvatī), thus gave her a boon and went with great joy, accompanied by Śaṅkara, to the Kailāsa mountain.