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...
Argument. The Rakshasi's account of herself, and her reconciliation with the Prince.
1. The apish Karkati of the forest, having heard the speech of the prince, pondered well in herself the sense of the words, and forsook her levity and malice.
2. She found the coolness and tranquillity of her heart after its fervour was over; in the manner of the peacock at the setting in of the rains, and the lotus bed at the rising of moonbeams.
3. The words of the prince delighted her heart in the same manner, as the cries of cranes flying in the sky, gladden the passing clouds in the air.
The rakshasi said:—
4. O how brightly shines the pure light of your understanding, it glows as serenely by its inward effulgence, as it is illuminated by the sun of intelligence.
5. Hearing the grains (words) of your reasoning, my heart is as gladdened, as when the earth is cooled by the serene beams of the humid moon-light.
6. Reasonable men like yourself are honoured and venerated in the world, and I am as delighted in your company, as a lake of lotuses with her full blown buds under the moon-beams.
7. The society of the virtuous, scatters its blessings, as a flower garden spreads its fragrance all around; and as the brightness of sun-beams, brings the lotus buds to bloom.
8. Society with the good and great, dispels all our woes; as a lamp in the hand, disperses the surrounding darkness.
9. I have fortunately obtained you as two great lights in this forest;you both are entitled to my reverence here, and deign now to acquaint me, with the good intent which has brought you hither.
The prince answered said:—
10. O thou sprout of the savage race of Rakshas! the people of this province are always afflicted in their hearts by a certain evil.
11. It is the obdurate disease of Vishuchi or choleric pain, which troubles the people of this part, I have therefore come out with my guards to find her out in my nightly rounds.
12. This choleric pain is not removed from the hearts of men by any medicine, so I have come out in search of the mantra revealed to her for its cure.
13. It is my business and professed duty, to persecute such wicked beings as thyself, that infest our ignorant subjects in this manner, and this is all that I have to tell thee and do in this place.
14. Therefore, O good lady! do thou promise to me in thy own words, that thou shalt never injure any living being in future.
The rakshasi replied:—
15. Well! I tell thee in truth, my lord! that I shall hence forward never kill any body.
The prince replied:—
16. If it be so O thou liver on animal flesh! tell me how shalt thou support thy body by thy abstaining from animal food?
The rakshasi replied:—
17. It is now passed six months, O prince! that I have risen from my entranced meditation, and fostered my desire for food, which I wholly renounce today.
18. I will again repair to the mountain top, and betake myself to my steadfast meditation, and sit there contented as long as I like, in the posture of an unmoving statue.
19. I will restrain myself by unshaken meditation until my death, and then I shall quit this body in its time with gladness. This is my resolution.
20. I tell you now, O prince! that until the end of this life and body of mine, I shall no more take away the life of any living being, and you may rely assured upon my word.
21. There is the mount Himalaya by name, standing in the heart of the northern region, and stretching in one sweep, from the eastern to western main.
22. There had I dwelt at first in a cave of its golden peak, in the shape of an iron statue, and also as the fragment of a cloud, and borne the appellation of Karkati the Rakshasi:—(the crablike crooked Sycorax).
23. There I obtained the sight of Brahma by the austerity of my devotion; and expressed my desire of killing mankind, in the shape of a destructive needle.
24. I obtained the boon accordingly, and passed a great many years in the act of afflicting living brings, and feeding upon their entrails in the form of the choleric pain.
25. I was then prohibited by Brahma to kill the learned, and was instructed in the great mantra for my observance.
26. He then gave me the power of piercing the hearts of men, with some other diseases which infest all mankind.
27. I spread myself far and wide in my malice, and sucked the heart blood of men, which dried up their veins and arteries; and emaciated their bodies.
28. Those whom I left alive after devouring their flesh and blood, they begat a race as lean and veinless as they had become themselves.
29. You will be successful O happy prince in getting the mantra or charm for driving the Visuchika pain; because there is nothing impossible of attainment by the wise and strong.
30. Receive of me immediately, O raja! the mantra which has been uttered by Brahma for removal of the choleric pain, from the cells of arteries vitiated by Visuchika.
31. Now advance towards me, and let us go to the neighbouring river; and there initiate you with the mantra, after you both are prepared to receive it by your ablution and purification.
32. Then the Rakshasi proceeded to the river side that very night, accompanied by the prince and his minister, and all joining together as friends.
33. These being sure of the amity of the Rakshasi both by affirmative and negative proofs, made their ablutions and stood on the bank on the river.
34. The Rakshasi then communicated to them with tenderness, the effective mantra which was revealed to her by Brahma, for the removal of Visuchika pain, and which was always successful.
35. Afterwards as the nocturnal fiend was about to depart by leaving her friendly companions behind, the prince stopped her course with his speech.
The prince said:—
36. O thou of gigantic stature! thou hast become our preceptor by thy teaching us the mantra, we invite thee with affection, to take thy repast with us at ours tonight.
37. It does not become thee to break off our friendship, which has grown like the acquaintance of good people, at our very first meeting.
38. Give thy ill-favoured feature a little more graceful figure, and walk along with us to our abode, and there reside at thy own pleasure.
The rakshasi replied:—
39. You can well provide a female of your own kind with her proper food; but what entertainment can you give to my satisfaction, who am a cannibal by my nature!
40. It is the food of a giant (Rakshasa) alone, that can yield me satisfaction, and not the little morsel of petty mortals; this is the innate nature of our being, and can not be done away with as long as we carry with us our present bodies.
The prince answered said:—
41. Ornamented with necklaces of gold, you shall be at liberty to remain with the ladies in my house, for as many days as you may like to abide.
42. I will then manage to produce for your food, the robbers and felons that I will seize in my territories; and you will have them supplied to you by hundreds and thousands at all times.
43. You can then forsake your comely form, and assume thy hideous figure of the Rakshasi, and kill and take to your food hundreds of those lawless men.
44. Take them to the top of the snowy mountain and devour them at thy pleasure; as great men always like to take their meals in privacy.
45. After your recreation by that food and a short nap, you can join your meditation; and when you are tired with your devotion, you can come back to this place.
46. You can then take the other offenders for your slaughter; because the killing of culprits is not only justifiable by law, but it amounts to an act of mercy, to rid them (of their punishment in the next world).
47. You must return to me when you are tired of your devotion; because the friendship which is formed even with the wicked, is not easily done away.
The rakshasi replied:—
48. You have well said prince! and we will do as you say; for who is there that will slight the words of the wise that are spoken to him in the way of friendship?
49. Saying so, the Rakshasi assumed a graceful form, and wore on her person necklaces and bracelets, and silken robes and laces.
50. She said, "Well raja, let us go together"and then followed the footsteps of the prince and his counsellor, who walked before her and led the way.
51. Then having arrived at the royal abode, they passed that night in their agreeable repast and discourse together.
52. As it became morning, the Rakshasi went inside the house, and there remained with the women; while the prince and the minister attended to their business.
53. Then in the course of six days, the prince collected together all the offenders whom he had seized in his territory, and brought from other part.
54. These amounted to three thousand heads which he gave up to her; when she resumed her fiercely dark form of the black fiend of night.
55. She laid hold of thousands of men in her extended grasp, in the manner of a fragment of cloud retaining the drops of rain water in its wide spread bosom.
56. She took leave of the prince and went to the top of the mountain with her prey, as a poor man takes the gold, that he happens to get in some hidden place.
57. There she refreshed herself with her food and rest for three days and nights; and then regaining the firmness of her understanding, she was employed in her devotion.
58. She used to rise from her devotion once after the lapse of four or five and sometimes seven years, when she repaired to the habitation of men and to the court of the prince.
59. There passing sometime in their confidential conversation, she returned to her retired seat in the mountain, with her prey of the offenders.
60. Thus freed from cares even in her lifetime, she continued to remain as a liberated being in that mountain &c. &c.