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:—Story of the Princess Chudala and her marriage with Sikhidvaja and their youthful sports.
Rama! do you keep your view fixed to one object, as it was kept in the mind of Bhagiratha; and do you pursue your calling with a calm and quiet understanding, as it was done by that steady minded prince in the accomplishment of his purpose! (For he that runs many ways, stands in the middle and gets to the end of none).
2. Give up your thoughts of this and that (shilly-shallying), and confine the flying bird of your mind within your bosom, and remain in full possession of yourself after the example of the resolute prince Sikhidvaja of old.
3. Rama asked:—Who was this Sikhidvaja, sir, and how did he maintain the firmness of his purpose? Please explain this fully to me for the edification of my understanding.
4. It was in a former Dwapara age, that there lived a loving pair of consorts who are again to be born in a future period, in the same manner and at the same place.
5. Tell me, O great preacher! how the past could be the same as at present, and how can these again be alike in future also. (Since there can be no cause of the likeness of past ages and their productions with those of the present or future. It is reasonable to believe the recurrence of such other things, but not of the same and very things as of yore).
6. Such is the irreversible law of destiny and the irreversible course of nature, that the creation of the world must continue in the same manner by the invariable will of the creative Brahma and others. (i.e. The repeated creation of worlds must go on in the same rotation by the inevitable will (Satya Sankalpa) of the creative power; wherefore bygone things are to return and be re-born over and over again).
7. As those which had been plentiful before come to be as plenteous again, so the past appears at present and in future also. Again many things come to being that had not been before, and so many others become extinct in course of time (e. g.) as past crops return again and again and vegetables grow where there were none, and as a lopped off branch grows no more).
8. Some reappear in their former forms and some in their resemblance also; others are changed in their forms, and many more disappear altogether (see, for example, the different shapes of the waves of the ocean).
9. These and many other things are seen in the course of the world; and therefore the character of the subject of the present narrative will be found to bear exact resemblance to that of the bygone prince of the same name.
10. Hear me tell you, also, that there is yet to be born such another prince, as valiant as the one that had been in the former dwapara age of the past seventh manvantara period.
11. It will be after the four yugas of the fourth creation, past and gone, that he will be born again of the Kuru family in the vicinity of the Vindhyan mountains in the Jambudwipa continent. (This extravagant sloka is omitted in other editions of this work).
12. There lived a prince by name of Sikhidvaja in the country of Malava, who was handsome in his person, and endowed with firmness and magnanimity in his nature], and the virtues of patience and self control in his character.
13. He was brave but silent, and even inclined to good acts with all his great virtues; he was engaged in the performance of the religious sacrifices, as also in defeating bowyers in archery.
14. He did many acts (of public endowments), and supported the poor people of the land; he was of a graceful appearance and complacent in his countenance, and loved all men with his great learning in the sastras.
15. He was handsome, quiet and fortunate, and equally as valiant as he was virtuous. He was a preacher of morality and bestower of all benefits to his suitors.
16. He enjoyed all luxuries in the company of good people, and listened to the lessons of the Srutis. He knew all knowledge without any boast on his part, and he hated to touch women as straws.
17. His father departed to the next world, leaving him a lad of sixteen years in age; and yet he was able at that tender age to govern his realm, by defeating his adversaries on all sides.
18. He conquered all other provinces of the country by means of the resources of his empire; and he remained free from all apprehension by ruling his subjects with justice and keeping them in peace.
19. He brightened all sides by his intelligence and the wisdom of his ministers, till in the course of years he came to his youth, as in the gaudy spring of the year.
20. It was the vernal season, and he beheld the blooming flowers glistening brightly under the bright moon-beams; and he saw the budding blossoms, hanging down the arbours in the inner apartments.
21. The door ways of the bowers were overhung with twining branches, decorated with florets scattering their fragrant dust like the hoary powder of camphor; and the rows of the guluncha flowers wafted their odours all around.
22. There was the loud hum of bees, buzzing with their mates upon the flowery bushes; and the gentle zephyrs were wafting the sweet scent amidst the cooling showers of moonbeams.
23. He saw the banks decorated with the kadali shrubbery glistening with their gemming blossoms under the sable shade of kadali (plantain) leaves; which excited his yearning after the dear one that was seated in his heart.
24. Giddy with the intoxication of the honey draughts of fragrant flowers, his mind was fixed on his beloved object, and did not depart from it, as the spring is unwilling to quit the flowery garden (so says Hapiz,—no pleasant sight is gladsome to the mind without the face of the fair possessor of the heart: see Sir Wm. Jones' version of it).
25. When shall I in this swinging cradles of my pleasure garden, and when will I in my sports in this lake of lotuses, play with my love-smitten maid with her budding breasts resembling the two unblown blossoms of golden lotuses?
26. When shall I embrace my beloved one to my bosom on my bed daubed with the dust of powdered frankincense, and when shall we on cradles of lotus stalks, like a pair of bees sucking the honey from flower cups?
27. When shall I see that maiden lying relaxed in my arms, with her slender body resembling a tender stalk, and as fair as a string of milk-white kunda flowers, or as a plant formed of moon-beams?
28. When will that moonlike beauty be inflamed with her love to me? With these and the like thoughts and ravings he roved about the garden looking at the variety of flowers.
29. He then went on rambling in the flowery groves and skirts of forests, and thence strayed onward from one forest to another, and by the side of purling lakes blooming with the full blown lotuses. (The lotus is the emblem of beauty in the east, as the rose is in the west).
30. He entered in the alcoves formed by the twining creepers, and walked over the avenues of many garden grounds and forest lands, seeing and hearing the descriptions of woodland sceneries (from his associates).
31. He was distracted in his mind, and took much delight in hearing discourses on erotic subjects, and the bright form of his necklaced and painted beloved was the sole idol in his breast.
32. He adored the maiden in his heart, with her breasts resembling two golden pots on her person; and this ween was soon found by the sagacious ministers of the state.
33. As it is the business of ministership to dive into matters by their signs and prognosis, so these officers met together to deliberate on his marriage.
34. They proposed the youthful daughter of the king of Syrastra (Surat) for his marriage, and thought her as a proper match for him, on account of her coming to the full age of puberty (lit. to the prime of her youth).
35. The prince was married to her who was a worthy image (or like co-partner) of himself;and this fair princess was known by the name of
Chudala all over the land.
36. She was as joyous in having him, as the new blown lotus at the rising sun; and he made the black-eyed maid to bloom, as the moon opens the bud of the blue lotus. (Lotuses are known as helio-solenus, the white ones opening at sun rise and the blue kind blooming with the rising moon).
37. He delighted her with his love, as gives the white lotus to bloom; and they both inflamed their mutual passions by their abiding in the heart of one another.
38. She flourished with her youthful wiles and dalliance, like a new grown creeper blooming with its flowers, and he was happy, and careless in her company by leaving the state affairs to the management of the ministers. (The words hav Chavavilasa, implying amorous dalliance, are all comprised in the couplet "quips and cranks and wanton wiles, nods and becks and wreathed smiles".—Pope).
39. He disported in the company of his lady love, as the swan sports over a bed of lotuses in a large lake; and indulged his frolics in his swinging cradles and pleasure ponds in the inner apartments.
40. They reveled in the gardens and groves, and in the bowers of creepers and flowering plants; and amused themselves in the woods and in walks under the sandalwood and a gulancha shades.
41. They sported by the rows of mandara trees, and beside the lines of plantain and kadali plants; and regaled themselves wandering in the harem, and by the sides of the woods and lakes in the skirts of the town.
42. He roved afar in distant forests and deserts, and in jungles of Jam and Jam bira trees; they passed by paths bordered by Jati or jasmine plants, and, in short they took delight in everything in the company of one another.
43. The mutual attachment to one another was as delightsome to the people as the union of the raining sky with the cultivated ground; both tending to the welfare of mankind by the productiveness of the general weal. (This far-fetched simile and the mazy construction of the passage is incapable of a literal version).
44. They were both skilled in the arts of love and music, and were so united together by their mutual attachment, that the one was a counterpart of the other.
45. Being seated in each others heart, they were as two bodies with one soul; so that the learning of the sastras of the one, and the skill in painting and fine arts of the other, were orally communicated to and learnt by one another.
46. She from her childhood was trained in every branch of learning, and he learned the arts of dancing and playing on musical instruments, from the oral instructions of Chudala.
47. They learned and became learned in the respective arts and parts of one another; as the sun and moon being set in conjunction (amavasya), impart to and partake of the qualities of each other.
48. Being mutually situated in the heart of one another, they became the one and the same person and both being in the same inclination and pursuit, were the more endeared to one another (as a river running to the milky ocean is assimilated to the ocean of milk, so all souls mixing with the supreme soul form one universal and only soul).
49. They were joined in one person, as the androgyne body of Uma and Siva on earth; and were united in one soul, as the different fragrances of flowers are mixed up with the common air. Their clearness of understanding and learning of the sastras led them both in the one and same way.
50. They were born on earth to perform their parts, like the God Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi; they were equally frank and sweet by their mutual affection, and were as informed as communicative of their learning to others.
51. They followed the course of the laws and customs, and attended to the affairs of the people; they delighted in the arts and sciences, and enjoyed their sweet pleasures also. They appeared as the two moons, shining with their beams.
52. They tasted all their sweet enjoyments of life, in the quiet and solitary recesses of their private apartments, as a couple of giddy swans sporting merrily in the lake of the azure sky.