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. Sukra fancies his fall from heaven, and passing through many imaginary births.
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He thought of enjoying the company of his beloved, bedecked with garlands of mandara flowers, and inebriated with the drink of ambrosial draughts, like the full-moon accompanied by the evening star.
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He roved about the ideal lake of heaven (Manas Sarovara), filled with golden lotuses, and frequented by the giddy swans and gabbling geese or hansas of heaven; and roamed beside the bank of the celestial river (Mandakini), in company with the choristers (charanas, and Kinnaras of paradise).
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He drank the sweet nectarious juice beaming as moonbeams in company with the gods; and reposed under the arbours of the groves, formed by the shaking branches of parijata plants.
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He amused himself with his favourite Vidyadharis, in swinging himself in the hanging cradles, formed by the shady creepers of the arbour, and screening him from the vernal sunbeams.
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The tender weeds and willows growing as golden shrubberies, and tangled bushes in the beach of the river, were trampled under the legs of heated elephants, as when they infest the lotus lakes on Meru. (i. e. lotuses growing in the lakes of mountainous regions).
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He roved with her to the polar mountain which is full of wonders, as having darkness on one side and lighted on the other. Here they sported together with their tender smiles and fond caresses and embrace.
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He thought he remained in a celestial abode beside the marshy lands of Mandara, for a period of full sixty years; and passed his time in the company of the fawns of the place.
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He next thought to live in a garden at the city of the Gandharvas, where he believed to have lived for an immeasurable period like the genius of Time himself, who is the producer of an infinity of worlds.
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It was at the end of the merit of their acts that they were doomed to return on earth, shorn of their heavenly beauty and the fine features of their persons.
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Being deprived of his heavenly seat and vehicle, and bereft of his godlike form and features; Sukra was overcome by deep sorrow, like a hero falling in the field of warfare.
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His great grief at his fall from heaven to earth, broke his frame as it were into a hundred fragments; like a waterfall falling on the stony ground, and breaking into a hundred rills below.
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They with their emaciated bodies and sorrowful minds, wandered about in the air, like birds without their nest.
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Afterwards their disembodied minds entered into the network of lunar beams, and then in the form of molten frost or rain water, they grew the vegetables on earth.
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Some of these vegetables were concocted, and then eaten by a Brahman in the land of Dasarna or confluence of the ten streams. The substance of Sukra was changed to the semen of the Brahman, and then conceived as a son by his wife.
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The boy was trained up in the society of the munis to the practice of rigorous austerities, and he dwelt in the forests of Meru for a whole manwantara, observant of his holy rites.
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There he gave birth to a male child of human figure in a doe (to which his mistress was transformed in her next birth), and became exceedingly fond of the boy, to the neglect of his sacred duties.
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He constantly prayed for the long life, wealth and learning of his darling, and thus forsook the constancy of his faith and reliance in Providence. (Longevity, prosperity and capacity for learning, are the triple blessings of civil life, instead of austerity, purity and self-resignation of painful asceticism).
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Thus his falling off from the thought of heaven, to those of the earthly aggrandizement of his son, made his shortened life an easy prey to death, as the inhaling of air by the serpent. (It is said that the serpent lives upon air, which it takes in freely in want of any other food).
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Having long reigned in his kingdom of Madras by extirpation of all his enemies, he was overtaken at last by old age, as the lotus-flower is stunted by the frost.
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The king of Madras, was released of his kingly person by his desire of asceticism; whereby he became the son of an anchorite in next-birth, in order to perform his austerities.
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Thus the son of Bhrigu, having passed in various forms in his successive births, according to the desires of his heart; remained at last as a fixed arbour on the bank of a running stream.