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 XXV - Narrative of dama, vyala and kata

Argument. The demon Sambara defeated by the deities, and his production of other demons by magic and sorcery.

Vasishtha said:—

O intelligent Rama! that dost shine as the delight of mankind in this world, and endeavourest after the attainment of thy chief good, by the accomplishment of thy best objects.

2. Do not let the instance of the demons Dama and Vyala or the snare and snake, apply to thy case; but try to extricate thyself from vain sorrowing (at the miseries of the world), by the lesson of fortitude as given in the story of Bhima and Bhasa.

3. Rama asked:—What is that parable of the snare and snake, which thou sayest must not apply to my case? Please relate it in full, to remove the sorrows of my mind and of all mankind.

4. And how is that fortitude which thou pointest out for my imitation, from the instance of Bhima and Bhasa, in order to get rid from all earthly sorrow?

5. Kindly relate the whole, and enlighten me with thy purifying words, as the roaring of the rainy clouds, serves to alleviate the summer heat of peacocks.

Vasishtha replied:—

6. Hear me Rama! relate to you both these anecdotes, that you may derive the benefit of aping according the same.

7. There lived one Sambara—the chief of demons, and a profound sorcerer in a subterraneous cell, filled with enchanting wonders like a sea of gems.

8. He constructed a magic city in the sky, with gardens and temples of gods in it; and artificial suns and moons emblazoning its vault.

9. It was beset with rich stones, resembling the gems of the Sumeru mountain; and the palace of the demon was full with opulence and treasures of every kind.

10. The beauties in his seraglio, vied with the celestial dames in their charming strains; and the arbours of his pleasure garden, were shaded by an awning of bright moon-beams on high.

11. The blue lotuses blooming in his bed room, put to blush the blue eyed maids of his court; and the gemming swans in the lakes, cackled about the beds of golden lotuses in them.

12. The high branches of aureate plants, bore the blossoms of artificial lotuses on them; and the rows of Karanga arbours dropped down showers of mandara flowers on the ground.

13. His garden-house consisted both of cold and hot baths, and refrigeratories and fire-places for the hot and cold seasons; and the tarku (?) weapons of the demons, had baffled the arms of Indra himself.

14. The flower-gardens on all sides, had surpassed the mandara groves of paradise; and the magical skill of the demon, had set rows of sandal trees, with their encircling snakes all around.

15. The inner compound which was strewn over with gold dust, vanquished the glory of heaven; and the court-yard of the palace, was filled with heaps of flowers up to the knee.

16. The earthen figure of Siva which was exposed for show, had surpassed the image of Hari holding his discus and the mace; and the gems sparkling as fire-flies in the inside apartment, resembled the twinkling stars in the arena of heaven.

17. The dark night of the subterrene dwelling, was lightened by a hundred moon-lights like the starry heaven, and he chaunted his martial songs before his idol deity.

18. His magical elephant, drove away the Airavata of Indra; and his inward apartment was hoarded with the precious treasures of the three worlds.

19. All wealth and prosperity and grandeur and dignity, paid their homage to him; and the whole host of demons, honoured him as their commander.

20. The umbrage of his arms, gave shelter to the whole body of demons; and he was the receptacle of all sagacity, and reservoir of every kind of treasure.

21. This destroyer of the devas (gods), had a gigantic and terrific appearance; and commanded a large army of Asura—demons to defeat the Sura—deities.

22. The gods also sought every opportunity of harassing the demoniac force, whenever this exorcist demigod, went to sleep or somewhere out of his city.

23. This enraged Sambara to a degree, that he broke the trees in his rage, and employed his generals for protection of his legions.

24. The devas finding their fit opportunities, killed the demons one by one; as the aerial hawks pounce upon and kill the feeble and timid sparrows.

25. The king of the demons then appointed other generals over his army, and they were as swift-footed and hoarse sounding as the waves of the sea.

26. The Devas destroyed these also in a short time; when the leader of the demon band pursued his enemies to their station above the heavens.

27. The gods fled from their heavenly abode for fear of them, as the timorous deer fly from before the sight of Siva's and Gauri's bull into the thick thickets.

28. The gods were weakened with weeping, and the faces of Apsaras were suffused in tears. The demon saw the heavenly abode abandoned by the celestials, as it was the desolation of the world.

29. He wandered about in his rage, and plundered and took away all the valuables of the place. He burnt down the cities of the regents of heaven, and then returned to his own abode.

30. The enmity between the deities and demons, was so inveterate on both sides, that it forced the Devas to quit their heavenly abodes, and hide themselves in distant parts of the world.

31. But the enraged gods, succeeded at last by their perseverance, to defeat and slay all the generals and combatants, that were set against them by Sambara.

32. The discomfited demon, then gave vent to his fury, and began to breathe out living fire from his nostrils like a burning mountain.

33. He after much search in the three worlds, found out the hiding place of the gods, as a wicked man succeeds in his purpose by his best endeavours.

34. Then he produced by his sorcery three very strong and fearful Asuras for the protection of his army, with their hideous appearances as that of death.

35. These horrible leaders of his army, being produced in his magic, flew upward with their enormous bodies, resembling the flying mountains of old.

36. They had the names of Dama—the snare, Vyala—the snake, and Kata—the mat given them for their entrapping, enfolding and enwrapping the enemy, according to the demon's wish.

37. They were preadamite beings and devoid of changing desires; and the want of their prior acts (like those of the human kind), made them move about as free as spiritual beings in one uniform tenor of their course.

38. These were not born as men from the seeds of their previous acts, with solid and substantial bodies; but mere artificial forces and airy forms, as facsimiles of the images in the demon's mind.