Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter LXXI - Remorse of suchi

Argument. Remorse of Karkati at her transformation to a Needle from her former gigantic form.

Vasishtha continued:—

After the carnivorous fiend said:—

1. Karkati, had feasted for a long period on the flesh and blood of human kind; she found her insatiable voracity to know no bounds, and never to be satisfied with anything.

2. She used to be satisfied erewhile, with a drop of blood in her form of the needle; and she now became sorry, at the loss of the insatiable thirst and appetite of her former state.

3. She thought in herself, O pity it is! that I came to be a vile needle; with so weak and slender a body, that I can take nothing for my food.

4. How foolish I have been to forego my former gigantic form, and change my dark cloudy figure for something as the dry leaf of a forest tree.

5. O wretch that I am, to have foregone my dainty food of flesh flavoured with fat. (The Raskshasa cannibals are raw flesh-eaters and feeders on the fat of animals).

6. I am doomed to dive in dirt, and drop down on the ground; to be trodden and trampled over under the feet of people, and soiled and sullied in the filth.

7. O me miserable, helpless and hopeless thing, and without any support or status of mine; from one woe I fall to another, and one danger is succeeded by another unto me!

8. I have no mistress nor maidservant, nor my father nor mother; I have got no son nor brother, nor any one to serve or befriend me.

9. I have no body nor abode, nor any refuge nor asylum anywhere; nor have I a fixed dwelling in any spot, but am driven about, like the fallen leaves of forest trees by the driving winds.

10. I am subject to all accidents, and exposed to every kind of calamity; I wish for my extinction, but it wishes not to approach unto me. (Death flies from the destitute).

11. What else have I done to have given away my own big body, in the foolishness of my heart; than parted like a madman, with a precious jewel for a paltry piece of glass.

12. One calamity is enough to turn the brain out of order; but what will be my case when it is followed by other calamities in endless succession.

13. I am hung up (with the cloth) to be suffocated by the smoke, and dropped down in the streets to be trodden under foot; I am cast away with the dirt, and hid under the grass to my great distress.

14. I serve at another's will, and am guided by my guide; I am stark naked while I sew for others, and am ever a dependant on another's guidance.

15. Long do I drudge and trudge for a paltry gain, and stitching alone is all the work that I have to perform for life. O unlucky that I am, that my ill luck even is so very luckless.

16. I see the demon of despair rising before me, upon my penitence of this day; and threatening to make an end of this body, of which I have made an offering to him.

17. What better fate can await on me, after my loss of so big and bulky a body by my foolishness; than to be annihilated into nothing, rather than be a thing which is good for nothing.

18. What man will pick me up, who am as lean as a mollusk (or thread worm); from the heap of ashes, under which I lie buried by the wayside.

19. No keensighted man will take into his consideration a wretched and a forlorn being; as nobody living on a high hill, ever stoops to take notice of the grass growing on the ground below.

20. I cannot expect to raise myself higher, while I am lying in the sea of ignorance; what blind man can perceive the glorious sun-light, who is guided by the flash of fireflies?

21. I know not therefore how long I shall have to labour under my difficulties, when I find myself already drowned in a sea of misery.

22. When shall I be restored again to the form of the daughter of Anjanagiri mountain; and will stand as a pillar over the ruins of the nether and upper worlds?

23. When shall I have my arms reaching to the clouds, and my eyes flashing as lightning; my garb becoming as white as snow, and my hairs touching the sky.

24. My big belly resembling a huge cloud, and my long breasts hanging below as pillows;shaking with the motion of my body, in its dancing like the pinions of a peacock.

25. The ash-white light emitted by my laughter, cast the light of the sun into the shade; and my former high stature, threatened to devour the terrible god of death.

26. My hollow sockets deep as the holes of mortars, flashed erewhile with living fire; like the rays of the sun; and my large legs moved as two monumental pillars in my rambling.

27. When shall I have my big belly, with its large cavity like a pot-belly; and when shall I have again my soft black nails, resembling the dark and humid clouds of autumn.

28. When will those tender smiles return to me, whereby I moved the great Rakshasas to my favour; and when shall I dance in my giddy circles, at the music of the tabor amidst the forests.

29. When will that big belly of mine, be filled with potfuls of fattened liquor; and be fed with heaps of the flesh and bones of dead bodies.

30. When shall I get me drunk, with drinking the blood of human gores; and become merry and giddy, until I fall fast asleep.

31. It was I who destroyed my former brilliant body, by my bad choice of austerities, and accepted this petty needlish form, like one taking the sulphate of gold, instead of that precious metal.

32. Ah! where is that huge body which filled all sides, and shone as the sable hill of Anjanagiri; and what is this puny and pinny form of the shape of a spider's leg, and as thin and lean as a tender blade of grass.

33. The ignorant are found to throw away a golden jewel, as useless on the ground as a piece of glass; and so have I cast aside my shining body, for a bit of this blackest needle.

34. O great Vindhya with thy hollow and snow covered caves! why dost thou not destroy thy dull elephants by thy native lions? It is I that am as silly as an elephant—gaja murkha.

35. O my arms! which used to break down mountain peaks, why do ye fail to pluck the butter-like moon with thy moony nails?

36. O my breast! which was as fair as the side of the snowy mountain, even without my glassy ornaments; why dost thou not show thy hairs, which were as large as leeches that feed on lion's flesh?

37. O my eyes! that used to dispel the darkness of the darkest night, and kindle the dry fuel with your glaring fire; why do ye cease to lighten the air with your effulgence?

38. O my shoulder blades! are ye broken down and levelled with the earth? or are ye crushed and smashed or mouldered and worn out by age?

39. O my moonbright face! why dost thou not shine over me with thy bright beams; resembling the everlasting light of the orb of the moon, now at an end for ever?

40. O my hands! where is your strength fled today? See ye not, how I am transformed to an ignoble needle, that is moved about by the touch of the foot of a fly?

41. Alas! the cavity of my navel, which was as deep as a well, and beset by hairs resembling rows of beautiful plants about it; and my protuberant posteriors, which likened to the bottom of the Vindya hills.

42. Where is that towering stature reaching to the sky, and what is this new earned contemptible form of the needle; where is that mouth, hollow as the vault of the sky, and what is this hole of the needle? Where is that heap of my flesh meat, and what is this drop of watery food? Ah! how lean have I grown, but who is to be blamed for an act of my own doing?