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 LXXXIII - Worship of kandara alias mangala

Argument. Deification and Adoration of the Rakshasi for her good Services to Mankind.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. The Rakshasi thus continued in her devotion, and remained on friendly terms with the successive rulers of the Kirata country, who kept supplying her with her rations. (The Rakshasi man-eater was turned to Rakshini or preserver of men).

2. She continued by the power of her perfection in the practice of yoga meditation, to prevent all portents, to ward off all dread and danger of demons, and remove the diseases of the people. (All these were done by the Rakshasi vidya now lost, and by supernatural powers gained by yoga).

3. In the course of many years of her meditation, she used to come out of her cell at certain intervals, and call at the head quarters, for her capture of the collection of living creatures kept for her victims. (Man slaughter was not blamable on the part of the cannibal Rakshasi, though practising the yoga; nor was the eating of animal flesh reprehensible in Vasishtha himself, who had been a flesh eating yogi. (See Uttara Rama Charita)).

4. The practice continues still to be observed by the princes of the place, who conduct the animals to be sacrificed to her departed ghost on the hill; as none can be negligent to repay the good services of his benefactor. (Hence the prevalence of the practice of offering sacrifices to the names of ancestors and deified heroes and heroines, and even of demons for their past good services).

5. At last she became defunct in her meditation, and ceased since long to appear to the habitations of men, and lend her aid in removing their diseases, dangers and difficulties. (The good genius of the place left it at last).

6. The people then dedicated a high temple to her memory, and placed in it a statue of hers, under the title of Kandara—caverner alias Mangala devi—the auspicious goddess. (The whole legend of the Kandara of Kiratas, alludes to the account of Mangala Chandi alias Kalika devi—the black and voracious goddess of the Hindus).

7. Since then it is the custom of the chiefs of the tribe, to consecrate a newly made statue in honor of the Kandara devi—the goddess of the valley, after the former one is disfigured and dilapidated. (The Kirantis are said to continue in their idolatry to this day, notwithstanding the conversion of their fellow hill tribes to Mahometanism, except the Kafers—another hill tribe of the Himalayas who are idolators still).

8. Any prince of the place, who out of his vileness, fails to consecrate the statue of the Kandara goddess, brings out of his own perverseness, great calamities to visit his people. (This sort of retributive justice is expressed in the adage "rajadoshat rajya nashta":—"And for the king's offence the people died." Pope's Homer's Iliad I).

9. By worshipping her, man obtains the fruits of all his desires; and by neglecting it, he exposes himself to all sorts of evils and calamities; as effects of the pleasure and displeasure of the goddess to her votaries or otherwise. (The two clauses are instances of affirmative and negative enthymemes coupled together as anvaya vyatireki. The first enthymeme of the antecedent and consequent is affirmative anvayi, and the other a vyatireki or negative one). Gloss.

10. The goddess is still worshipped by dying and ailing people with offerings, for remedy of their illness and securing her blessings; and she in her turn distributes her rewards among them, that worship her either in her statue or picture. (Raxa Kali is worshipped in statue, but Mongla Chandi is worshipped in a ghata or potful of water).

11. She is the bestower of all blessings to young babes, and weak calves and cows; while she kills the hardy and proud that deserve their death. She is the goddess of intelligence and favours the intelligent, and presides for ever in the realm of the Kirata people. (Vasishtha being a theist, reviles like a Vaishnava, the black goddess as a Rakshasi, which a Kaula cannot countenance).