The Padma Purana

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

This page describes ashokasundari is saved and ayu gets boon which is chapter 103 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 third 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 103 - Aśokasundarī is Saved and Āyu Gets Boon

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Kuñjala said:

1-2. At that time Aśokasundarī was born as the best woman. She, of a charming smile, skilled in singing and dancing and enjoying all pleasures along with the very beautiful daughters of gods sported in the excellent, meritorious Nandana endowed with all desired objects.

3-4. Vipracitti’s son Huṇḍa, who was always violent, impetuous and very lustful entered Nandana. After seeing Aśokasundarī, endowed with all ornaments, he was, at her sight, pierced by the arrows of Cupid.

5. He, of a huge body said to her: “O auspicious one, who are you? To whom do you belong? For what reason have you come to this excellent Nandana (garden)?”

Aśokasundarī said:

6. Now listen. I am the daughter of the very meritorious Śiva. I am the sister of Kārtikeya and the Mountain’s Daughter (i.e. Pārvatī) is my mother.

7. Due to childhood (i.e. being a child) I have playfully reached the Nandana grove. Who are you? Why are you asking me like this?

Huṇḍa said:

8-11. I am Vipracitti’s son, endowed with good qualities and characteristics. I am well-known as Huṇḍa, haughty due to might and power. O you of a beautiful face, even among the demons I am the best, and there is no other demon like me among gods, in human worlds or in other worlds (like that) of serpents in respect of penance, glory in the family, or wealth and pleasures. O you of large eyes, on seeing you I have been struck by the arrows of Cupid. I have sought your refuge. Be pleased to favour me. Be my dear wife, dear to me like my own life.

Aśokasundarī said:

12-20. Listen, I shall tell you the cause of all contacts between well-born men and women; so listen, O Huṇḍa, it is the way of the world in this mundane existence that the husband of a woman would be suitable to her in respect of virtues. There is a reason why I shall not be your worthy wife. O lord of the demon-kings, listen with a subdued mind. When I was born from the lord of trees, I was thought of by Pārvatī, after properly grasping Śiva’s mind. With the god’s consent, the goddess also produced my husband. He will be (born) in the lunar dynasty. He will be very intelligent and religious-minded. He will be a conqueror, and will resemble Jiṣṇu of (i.e. Viṣṇu or Arjuna) in valour, and will be like fire in brilliance. He will be omniscient, veracious, and will resemble Kubera in (point of) charity. He will be a sacrificer, a lord of charity (i.e. a great donor), and will be like Cupid in handsomeness. He will be named Nahuṣa, will be righteous and a great treasure of virtues and good character. He is given to me by the goddess (Pārvatī) and the god(Śiva). My husband will be famous. From him I shall obtain a handsome son, endowed with all good qualities. Due to the grace of Śiva, I shall obtain from him a son (named) Yayāti, resembling Indra and Viṣṇu, and dear to people in the world, and brave in battle.

21. O brave Huṇḍa, I am a loyal wife, and am especially the wife of someone else. Therefore, completely give up the wrong notion and go (away) from here.

22a. He just laughed and said (these) word to Aśokasundarī.

Huṇḍa said:

22b-30a. What you said (that) the goddess and the god (have given Nahuṣa as your husband) is not proper. That righteous one, named Nahuṣa will be (born) in the lunar dynasty. You are senior in age, so he who is younger is not fit (to be your husband). A younger woman is commended (to be the wife), and not a younger man (to be the husband). O good lady, when will that man be your husband? Freshness and youth will certainly perish. O you of an excellent complexion, beautiful women always become dear to men on the strength of their youth. O you of a beautiful face, youth is the great capital of women. Supported by it they enjoy pleasure and objects as desired by them. O good lady, when will that son of Āyu come to you? Listen to me. Youth exists just (for) today. It will be useless (later). Listen, he will have to pass through conditions like living in the womb, childhood and adolescence. When will he be endowed with the splendour of youth and be fit for you? O you of large eyes, with the splendour of youth, drink an intoxicating drink. Enjoy happily with me.

30b-38. Hearing the words of Huṇḍa, Śiva’s daughter, full of fright, again spoke to that lord of demons: “When the twentieth yuga called Dvāpara will come, the righteous Bala (i.e. Balarāma), the incrarnation of Śeṣa and son of Vasudeva, will take the divine daughter of Revata as his wife. O illustrious one, she is already born in the best yuga called Kṛta. She is older than he by the measure of three yugas. That Revatī has become dear to Bala (rāma) like his own life. When the future Dvāpara (yuga) will come, she will be born here. Formerly she was born as Māyāvatī, an excellent daughter of a gandharva. The best demon Śambara kidnapped and confined her. In that yuga, the best hero Pradyumna, the son of Mādhava, the lord of Yādavas, is declared to be her husband. He will be her husband. This future (event) is seen by ancient illustrious and noble (sages) like Vyāsa. Such are the words uttered about me by the goddess, the mother of the world, and the daughter of Himālaya, at that time, O demon.

39-42. And you, covetous through greed and passion are talking (words) which are wicked, full of sin, and without (i.e. not supported by) the Vedas and religious treatises. Whatever, good or bad is firmly ordained in the case of a person according to his former deeds, takes place in his case. If the words (that are) in the mouth of gods and brāhmaṇas come out and are true, they shall never be otherwise. This is ordained due to my destiny, and that of that Nahuṣa. Having thought of the union (of us two) like this only the goddess and Śiva also said (like that).

43-44. Realising this, be calm and give up the wrong notion haunting your mind. O demon, you shall certainly not be able to lead away my mind. I am a loyal wife, firm in mind; who can lead me away? I shall burn you with a great curse. O great demon, go from here.”

45-48. Hearing these words of her, the mighty demon Huṇḍa thought in his mind (i.e. to himself): ‘How would this one be my wife?’ Thinking like this, the deceitful Huṇḍa vanished. Then leaving her and speedily going out from that place, the next day he came there fashioning illusion full of sin. O my son, the demon having taken up a divine, illusive form of a woman, became of the form of (i.e. turned himself into) a lady through illusion. That very beautiful young lady took up an illusory form. Engaged in laughing and sports she went to that place, where Śiva’s daughter (i.e. Aśokasundarī) stayed.

49-50. As if affectionate (towards her) she said (these) words to Aśokasundarī: “O you blessed one, who are you? To whom do you belong? O young lady, why do you stay in the penance-grove and practise the penance drying up your passion? Tell me, O very fortunate one, for what reason (you are practising the penance) very difficult to practice.”

51-53. Hearing those auspicious words uttered by the demon of an illusory form who had concealed his original form and who had a longing (for her), that lady, who was very much afflicted, quickly told him the account of her creation as it had formerly taken place, and also all the reason for (taking up) the penance. (She) also (told him about) the harassment done by that wicked demon. She did not recognize his illusory form, and (so) through affection she told him (everything).

Huṇḍa said:

54-57a. O respectable lady, you are a loyal wife, you are engaged in good vows. Your character and behaviour are good, your actions are pious, and you are a very chaste lady. O good lady, I am a loyal wife, and am devoted to my husband. I, a great chaste woman, am practising penance for my husband. That wicked Huṇḍa also killed my husband. For his destruction I am practising great (i.e. severe)penance. Come to my holy hermitage. I stay on the bank of the Ganges.

57b-62. That daughter of Śiva was addressed by her (i.e, Huṇḍa) with other charming and convincing words, and Huṇḍa, through friendly feeling, deluded her. Deluded through folly she was very speedily attracted by him. He brought her to his divine, matchless and very beautiful house. O son, on the peak of Meru there is an excellent city, known as Vaidūrya, full of all good qualities, very auspicious and named Kāñcana. The entire city of the demon was thronged with tall palaces, with pitchers, staffs and chowries. It was full of dark-blue groves resembling clouds, and full of various trees, also with wells, pools and lakes and with rivers and reservoirs. It shone with great jewels and with ramparts furnished with gold, and rich in objects satisfying all desires.

63. That Aśokasundarī then saw that beautiful city. “O friend, rell me to which deity this place belongs.”

64-65a. He said: “It belongs to that lord of demons whom you have seen before. It is the place ofthat demon. O illustrious one, I am that best demon. O you of an excellent complexion, through illusion (i.e. by deceiving you) I have brought you (here).

65b-67. (Thus) speaking to her he took her to his golden palace, full of many mansions, and resembling the peak of Kailāsa. He, oppressed by passion, seated that beautiful lady on a swing, took up his original form, and then the lord of the demons, afflicted by the arrows of Cupid, joined the palms of his hands, and said (these) words to her:

68-70. “O good lady, there is no doubt that I shall give you whatever you desire. Resort to me who, being oppressed by passion, am attached to you, O you of large eyes.

The respectable lady (i.e. Aśokasundarī) said:

O lord of demons, you cannot at all lead me astray. Do not even entertain in your mind the delusion about me that has come (to you). I am difficult to be secured by mean demons who are great sinners. There is no doubt about this. Do not talk (like this) again and again.

71-72a. That goddess, born after (i.e. younger sister of) Skanda, endowed with penance, burning with great rage, desiring to destroy that demon, and throbbing like the tongue of Death again spoke to that mean demon:

72b-79a. “O sinner, you have done a fierce deed for (i.e. leading to) the destruction of yourself, for (i.e. bringing about) the destruction of your family and these your kinsmen. You have brought a burning, bright flame of fire to your house. As an inauspicious, deceitful bird, risen with all (kinds of) misery, brings about the destruction of the house of one whose house it enters, as that bird would desire the destruction of (the man’s) kinsmen, all wealth and family also and (then) enter (the man’s) house, in the same way, I, desiring your destruction, have come to your house. Undoubtedly I shall now destroy everything belonging to you—your wealth, grain, family, life, sons and grandsons etc. O demon, since you brought me who was practising a great (i.e. severe) penance, and who, longing for a husband, was desiring (to marry) Āyu’s son, Nahuṣa, my husband will destroy you.

79b-88. Formerly (only) the god had (fore) seen this remedy in my case. This popular verse, (which) the wise sing, is true. It is actually observed in the world; the wicked-minded do not realize it. There is no dout [doubt?] that one who is to experience pain, pleasure etc. from one does experience it from that very person. You will go to (man). With one’s finger-tip one touches a very sharp, fine-edged, good sword. Now know (that touching) me like that would cause anger (in me). Who, being rash and going to a lion who is angry and roaring loudly, would clip the hair from his face? He, who longs for death, desires to enjoy me, who am of a truthful conduct, restrained and remaining in (i.e. practising) penance. He, now, since he is prompted by Death, desires to seize the gem of a black, living cobra; and you, deluded by Death, are sent by Death, O fool. Therefore such wicked thought is produced (in your mind). Do you not realise it? Except the son of Āyu, who looks (i.e. would look at me)? Any other (man than Āyu’s son) will die by looking at my form.”

89-92. She, who was a chaste lady, who was grieved, who was disturbed with distress, who was controlled, and was observing a religious vow, spoke like this and went to the bank of the Ganges. “Formerly, I, who had practised a severe penance with a desire for (obtaining) a groom, will again, desiring your destruction, practise a hard penance. I shall then go to my husband, when I shall see you, killed by the magnanimous Nahuṣa with sharp arrows like thunderbolt and resembling serpents, (and see you) the sinner, fallen on the battlefield, with your hair loose, and with blood (oozing from your body).”

93-94. Having made such a great vow for the destruction of Huṇḍa, that firm daughter of Śiva resorted to the excellent bank of the Ganges. As bright, burning flame of fire, full of brilliance would burn the great worlds, the daughter of the lord of gods, burning with rage, practised, on the bank of Ganges, a penance difficult to practise.

Kuñjala said:

95-96. O noble one, having thus spoken, Śiva’s daughter, having bathed in the water of the Ganges, went to her own city, called Kāñcana. That young Aśokasundarī, of a slim body, and endowed with truthfulness, practised penance to bring about the death of Huṇḍa.

97-98. Huṇḍa also, with his heart burnt by the curse became afflicted, and, being very much tormented by the fire of words, thought. Having called his minister named Kampana, he said to him. He told him the important news of her curse:

99-100. “I have been cursed by Aśokasundarī, the good daughter of Śiva: ‘You will die at the hands of my husband, Nahuṣa.’ That child is not (as yet) born; but Āyu’s wife is carrying. Act in such a way that the curse would be false.”

Kampana said:

101-104. Having kidnapped the wife of Āyu bring her (here). In this way your enemy will not be born. Or, with strong (medicines) cause her abortion. In this way also your enemy will not be born. Mark the time of the birth of that wicked Nahuṣa. Having carried him away, bring him (here) and kill him of a sinful mind.

Having thus held consultation with that Kampana, the demon (Huṇḍa) exerted himself to destroy Nahuṣa.

Viṣṇu said:

105-108. The glorious, righteous son of Aila, named Āyu, the ornament of the Soma family, the best king and the sovereign emperor knowing all practices, engaged in the vow of truthfulness, resembling Indra and Viṣṇu, ruled under one umbrella (i.e. ruled as the universal sovereign) by means of penance, glory, might, charity, sacrifices, meritorious acts and restraint on the earth. The king (Āyu) did not have a son. So he was unhappy. The righteous one thought: ‘How can a son be born to me (i.e. How can I have a son)?’

109. Āyu, the lord of the earth, entertained such a thought. Being composed, he made a great effort for getting a son.

110-113. Atri’s son Dattātreya, the high-souled brāhmaṇa, the great sage, with his eyes red due to (having drunk) spirituous liquor, was sporting with a woman. The virtuous one, intoxicated by wine, having seated a young, auspicious woman, best of all women, on his lap, sang, danced and heavily drank liquor. The best among the great meditating saints, the best sage, (who was) without a sacred thread, (and) with his body smeared with sandal and aloe wood paste, shone with divine garlands of flowers and appendages of pearl-necklaces.

114-118. The king, having gone to his hermitage, and seeing the best brāhmaṇa and being well-composed saluted him with his head (bent down), and falling prostrate before him. That pious son of Atri having seen that best king who had come before him with devotion, resorted to meditation. O best one, the king passed a hundred years like this. Having called him who was steady and calm and greatly devoted, he said these (words): “O king, why do you torment yourself? I am void of brāhmaṇic practices. I never had. brāhmaṇahood. I am greedy of wine and flesh, and always attached to women.

I do not have power to give a boon. (Please) serve (some) other brāhmaṇa.”

Āyu said:

119-123. O glorious one, there is no other best brāhmaṇa like you, who grants all desired objects and arethe greatest lord in the three worlds. O you illustrious one, you are Viṣṇu, the Garuḍa-bannered one, the highest lord, (born) in the family of Atri in the form of a brāhmaṇa. O chief of the lords of gods, O highest lord, I salute you. O you who are affectionate to those who submit themselves to you, I have sought your refuge. O Hṛṣīkeśa, emancipate me. You stay (i.e. take pleasure in) causing illusion. I know you to be one who knows the beings living in the universe, who is the chief of the universe, who is the lord of the world and the killer of (the demon) Madhu. O Govinda, O you of a universal form, protect me only. My salutation to you.

Kuñjala said:

124-128. When a long time of many days passed, Dattātreya, in an intoxicated condition, said to the best king: “Do as I tell you. Give me wine in a cup; and the meal of flesh that is got cooked.” Hearing those words of him, that Āyu, the lord of the earth, being eager, speedily got wine in a cup, and quickly cut off well-cooked flesh with his hand, and, O best one, the best king gave these to Dattātreya. That best sage became happy in mind. Seeing (Āyu’s) devotion, prowess and great service to the preceptor, he spoke to that humble Āyu, the lord of kings:

129. “Well-being to you, O king, ask for a boon that is difficult to be obtained on the earth. I shall now give you everything that you desire.”

The king said:

130-135. O best sage, through pity for me you are truly granting (me) a boon. Give me a son endowed with virtues, omniscient, possessed of good qualities, having the might of gods, and unconquerable by gods and demons, kṣatriyas, giants, fierce demons and kinnaras. (He should be) devoted to gods and brāhmaṇas, and (he should) especially look after his subjects. (He should be) sacrifices, lord of charity (i.e. the best donor), brave, affectionate to those who seek his refuge, a donor, an enjoyer, magnanimous and learned in Vedas and sacred treatises, skilled in Dhanurveda (i.e. archery), and well-versed in sacred precepts. His intellect (should be) unbeaten; he (should be) brave and undefeated in battles. He should possess such qualities, be handsome and one from whom the race would come forth. O illustrious one, give me (such) a son sustaining my family, if you, through grace, want to give me another boon, O lord.

Dattātreya said:

136-138. Let it be so, O glorious one. You will have a son, in your mansion, who will be meritorious, will perpetuate your race and show compassion to all living beings. He will be endowed with these virtues, and with a portion of Viṣṇu. He, the lord of men, will be a sovereign emperor, comparable to Indra.

Having thus given him a boon, the great meditating saint gave the king an excellent fruit and said to him: “Give this to your wife.” Saying so, and dismissing that Āyu, who had bent before him, after having congratulated him with blessings, he disappeared.”

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