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 XLV - Gadhi reborn as a chandala, and made king over the kir tribe

Argument. Gadhi reborn in a Chandali, His Life and Election as King of Kir.

Vasishtha said:—

Then Gadhi, standing as he was amidst the water with his sorrowful heart, saw many other occurrences in the clearness of his mind.

2. He saw a village in the vicinity of Bhuta mandala (Butan) full of its inhabitants, and that he was reborn there in the womb of a Chandala woman, in which he remained with great pain.

3. Confined in the cavity of the womb, he felt his body pressed by the pressure of the intestines, while his senses were sorely annoyed by being constrained to abide the stink of the ordure and filth in the intestinal parts of Chandala woman.

4. After the foetus was matured, he was born in proper time, with its black complexion like a dark cloud of the rainy season, and soiled with filth all over its body.

5. It grew up to childhood and then to boyhood in the Chandala's house, and moved about here and there like a pebble thrown up by the current of the Yamuna stream.

6. It reached its twelfth and then its sixteenth year of age, and had its body fully developed like a rainy cloud increasing in its size.

7. Then accompanied by a pack of hounds, the lad roved from one forest to another, and continued to hunt after and kill the wild deer, in his occupation of a huntsman.

8. He was then joined with a Candali spouse, as black as the leaf of a tamala plant, and who with her budding breasts, and palms, resembled the newly sprouting stalks and leaves of trees.

9. She was black and swarthy in her whole complexion, except her two rows of milk white teeth, and had all her limbs as brisk and supple as the tender creepers of the forest.

10. They sported together in the skirts of the forest in their youthful dalliance, and wandered about the flowery meadows, like a couple of nigrescent bees.

11. When tired they took their seats on beds of leaves and creepers, which were spread over the plains, like those strewn over the skirts of the Vindhya hills, by the driving winds.

12. They reposed in woodland groves, and slept in the caverns of mountains; they sat on heaps of leaflets, and had their abode under shrubberies and bowers of creeping plants.

13. They decorated their heads with kinkirata flowers, and their necks and bosoms with blossoms of various kinds. They hung ketaka flowers in their earholes, and made necklaces of amra florets.

14. They rolled on beds of flowers and roved about the foot of the mountain; they knew all the arbours where to resort, and were skilled in archery and hunting the deer.

15. They begot many children as the offshoots of their race in the hilly region; and they were as rude and rough as the prickly thorns of the khadira plant.

16. After passing their youth in family life, they came gradually to their decay and decline; till at last they were overtaken by decrepit old age, which was as dry of pleasure as the parched ground of the desert.

17. Then returning to their native village in the Bhuta or Bhota district, they built for themselves a poor hut of leaves and straws, and there lived as recluse hermits (passing their lives in holy devotion).

18. Gadhi found his body worn out with age, and grown as thin and lean as a dry leaf, and as a withered tamala tree growing in a mountain cave; which for want of moisture soon dwindles into decrepitude.

19. He saw his Chandala family increasing in its members, and himself becoming cramped in his means and crabbed in his speech in his extreme old age.

20. As Gadhi found himself to be the oldest man alive among the Chandalas, and had his comfort in the members of his family in his dotage:—

21. He came to see at last all his family to be swept away by the cruel hand of death, as the rain water carries away the fallen leaves of the forest.

22. He continued to lament over their loss, with his heart rent with sorrow; and his eyes were suffused in tears, like those of a stag deer separated from its companions.

23. Thus passing some days in that forest with his heart overflown with grief, he left at last his natal land, as the aquatic fowls quit their native lake, when its waters and the lotus plants are dried up.

24. He travelled through many countries with his sad and sickly heart, without finding a spot of rest and repose; and was driven to and fro, as a cloud is carried by contrary winds.

25. On one time he entered the opulent city of the Kirs, and observed the birds flying over it, like so many balloons hanging in the air.

26. There he saw rows of trees on both sides of the road, waving their variegated leaves and clusters of flowers like enamelled cloths and gems; and the path strewn over with beautiful flowers of various kinds up to the heels.

27. He then came to the royal road, resembling the milky path of heaven;and found it filled by soldiers and citizens, and their women without number.

28. He saw there the auspicious royal elephant decorated with its gemming and embroidered trappings; and appearing as the golden mountain of the gods moving on the earth.

29. He learnt it to be rambling about in search of a new king, to be elected in lieu of the last king who was lately dead. The royal elephant was employed as a jeweller to select the best gem to be placed on the royal throne.

30. The Chandala remained to look steadfastly on the elephant with his curious eye, and found it to be no other than a hill in motion.

31. As he was looking on it with amazement, the elephant came to him and lifted him with his trunk; then setting him on his head with respect, bore him as the mount Meru bears the sun on its top.

32. Seeing him to be sitting on the animal's head, the people sounded their trumpets; the noise whereof was as loud as that of the resounding ocean, to the roaring of the diluvian clouds in the sky.

33. Then the acclamation of 'Victory to the king,' rose from the assembled throng and filled the air around; and seemed as it were the united cry of matutinal birds over the waking (or rising) world.

34. Next rose the loud voices of the panegyrists, which, moved in the air like the dashing waves of the sea.

35. Then the matrons joined to anoint him as their king, and moved about him like the waves of the sea; surrounding the Mandara mountain after its labour of churning.

36. The respectable ladies adorned him afterwards with many ornaments of various gems, as the sea laves the rock on its shore; with the many coloured waves under the beams of the rising sun.

37. Youthful maidens poured cooling ointments on him, as the raining clouds pour down their waters, on the tops of mountains.

38. Other women decorated his person with wreaths of fragrant flowers, with their tender hands; as the season of spring adorns the forest with variety of flowers, with her hands of the tender stalks and branches.

39. They put a great many paints and pastes upon his person, which decorated it, as the rays of the sun, paint the mountain with the many colours of its minerals.

40. His body being decorated with ornaments made of gems and gold, attracted all hearts unto him; as the mount Meru is attractive of all hearts, by the variegated clouds of evening shining upon it.

41. He was adorned by beauteous maids, with shoots of creeping plants; which gave him the appearance of the kalpa tree, entwined by its creepers.

42. Being thus anointed and decorated, he was attended to by all the royal family and subjects; as a shady and flowering tree, is resorted to by the travellers.

43. They all assembled and installed him on the throne, as the gods join together, to place Indra on the throne, after he is borne on the back of the Airavata elephant.

44. In this manner, was the Chandala made a king in the city of the

Kirs; and he was as much overjoyed at his unexpected good fortune, as a raven is delighted to find a stout dead deer in the forest.

45. His feet were rubbed by the lotus like hands of the Kiri queen, and his body daubed with odorous powder of frankincense, which gave it the brightening appearance of the evening with the crimson clouds.

46. He flaunted in the Kir city and in the midst of their women, as a lion struts in the company of lionesses in the flowery forest.

47. He now forgot his former pains and sorrows; and his person was as much cooled, as by wearing a necklace of pearls, dropped from the heads of elephants killed by lions. And he was as much delighted at the enjoyment of the luxuries in company with these good people, as a sun-burnt elephant is refreshed, in a lake full of water and forage.

48. He reigned here for sometime in his self-gotten kingdom, having extended his power and mandates on all sides; he ruled the state through the medium of the ministers, and was himself known by the name of Gavala throughout his dominions.