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 XXX - Fall of hiranyakasipu and rise of prahlada

Argument. Slaughter of Demons by Hari.

Vasishtha continued:—

Attend Rama, to the instructive narrative of Prahlada—the lord of demons; who became an adept by his own intuition.

2. There was a mighty demon in the infernal regions, Hiranyakasipu by name; who was as valiant as Narayana himself, and had expelled the gods and demigods from their abodes.

3. He mastered all the treasures of the world, and wrested its possession from the hands of Hari; as the swan encroaches upon the right of the bee, on the large folia of the lotus.

4. He vanquished the Gods and Asuras, and reigned over the whole earth, as the elephant masters the lotus-bed, by expulsion of the drove of swans from it.

5. Thus the lord of the Asuras, having usurped the monarchy of the three worlds, begot many sons in course of time, as the spring brings forth the shoots of trees.

6. These boys grew up to manhood in time, with the display of their manly prowess; and like so many brilliant suns, stretched their thousand rays on all sides of the earth and skies.

7. Among them Prahlada the eldest prince became the regent, as the Kaustubha diamond has the pre-eminence among all other precious gems. (The Kaustubha gem was set in the breast-plate of Vishnu).

8. The father Hiranyakasipu delighted exceedingly in his fortunate son Prahlada, as the year rejoices in its flowering time of the spring (i.e. the father delights in his promising lad, as the year in its vernal season).

9. Supported by his son on one hand, and possessed of his force and treasures on the other;he became puffed up with his pride, as the swollen elephant emitting his froth from his triangular mouth. (Composed of the two sides of the tusks, and the lower part).

10. Shining with his lustre and elated by his pride, he dried and drew up the moisture of the earth, by his unbearable taxation; as the all-destroying suns of universal dissolution, parch up the world by their rays. (Here is a play of the word Kara, in its triple sense of the hand, tax and solar rays).

11. His conduct annoyed the gods and the sun and moon, as the behaviour of a haughty boy, becomes unbearable to his fellow comrades.

12. They all applied to Brahma, for destruction of the archdemon; because the repeated misdemeanours of the wicked, are unbearable to the good and great.

13. It was then that the leonine Hari-Narasingha, clattered his nails resembling the tusks of an elephant; and thundered aloud like the rumbling noise of the Dig-hastes (the regent elephants of all the quarters of heaven), that filled the concave world as on its last doomsday.

14. The tusk-like nails and teeth of Vishnu, glittered like flashing lightnings in the sky; and the radiance of his earrings filled the hollow sphere of heaven, with curling flames of living fire. (The word dvija or twice-born is applied to the nails and teeth, as to the moon and a twice-born Brahman).

15. The sides and caverns of mountains presented a fearful aspect; and the huge trees were shaken by a tremendous tempest; that rent the skies and tore the vault of heaven. (This is the only place where the word dodruma occurs for the Greek dendron in Sanskrit, shortened to dru a tree, the root of Druid a woodman).

16. He emitted gusts of wind from his mouth and entrails, which drove the mountains before them; and his eyeballs flashed with the living fire of his rage, which was about to consume the world.

17. His shining mane shook with the glare of sun-beams, and the pores of the hairs on his body, emitted the sparks of fire like the craters of a volcano.

18. The mountains on all sides, shook with a tremendous shaking, and the whole body of Hari, shot forth a variety of arms in every direction.

19. Hari in his leoantheopic form of half a man and half a lion, killed the gigantic demon by goring him with his tusks, as when an elephant bores the body of a horse with a grating sound.

20. The population of the Pandemonium, was burnt down by the gushing fire of his eye balls; which flamed as the all devouring conflagration of the last doomsday.

21. The breath of his nostrils like a hurricane; drove everything before it;and the clapping of his arms (bahwasphota), beat as loud surges on the hollow shores.

22. The demons fled from before him as moths from the burning fire, and they became extinct as extinguished lamps, at the blazing light of the day.

23. After the burning of the Pandemonium, and expulsion of the demons, the infernal regions presented a void waste, as at the last devastation of the world.

24. After the Lord had extirpated the demoniac race, at the end of the Titanic age, he disappeared from view with the grateful greetings of the synod of gods.

25. The surviving sons of the demon, who had fled from the burning of their city, were afterwards led back to it by Prahlada;as the migrating fowls are made to return to the dry bed of a lake by a shower of rains.

26. There they mourned over the dead bodies of the demons, and lamented at the loss of their possessions, and performed at last the funeral ceremonies of their departed friends and relatives.

27. After burning the dead bodies of their friends, they invited the relics of the demons; that had found their safety by flight, to return to their deserted habitations again.

28. The Asuras and their leaders, now continued to mourn with their disconsolate minds and disfigured bodies, like lotuses beaten down by the frost. They remained without any effort or attempt as the figures in a painting; and without any hope of resuscitation, like a withered tree or an arbour stricken by lightning.