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 CV - Metamorphoses of kumbha to a female form

Argument:—Kumbha's relation of her transformation to a woman by right, and her attachment to the prince.

Sikhidvaja said:—

1. If such is the case, sir, that destiny over rules all events, why should you be sorry for aught that has befallen to you, knowing that you are a godson and knowing the knowable also.

Kumbha replied:—

2. Hear, O prince, the wonderful accident that has befallen on me; and I will relate to you all that has happened to me in body.

3. The heart becomes light when its griefs are imparted to a friend, as the thickened gloominess of the cloudy atmosphere, is dissipated after discharge of its waters in rains.

4. The troubled mind is restored to its serenity, by its communication with a sincere friend, as the turbid waters of a jar is cleared by its being filtered with kata seeds.

5. Hear now that after I departed from here, by handing over the spike of flowers to you; I traversed though the regions of air, till I reached the heavenly abode of the God.

6. There I met my father, and accompanied him to the court of the great Indra, where having sat a while, I got up with my father and then parted from him at his abode.

7. Leaving the seat of the Gods in order to come down on earth, I entered the region of air; and kept my pace with the fleet steeds of the chariot of the sun, in the airy paths of the skies.

8. Thus wafted together with the sun, I reached the point of my separation from him; and there took my path through the midway sky, as if I were sailing in the sea.

9. I saw there in a track before me, a path stretching amidst the watery clouds of air, and marked the indignant sage Durvasa gliding swiftly by it.

10. He was wrapt in the vest of clouds, and girt with girdles of flashing lightnings; the sandal taints on his body were washed off by showering rains, and he seemed as a maiden making her way in haste, to meet her lover at the appointed place.

11. Or as a devotee he hastened to discharge in due time his fond devotion, on the beach of the river (Ganges), flowing under the shade of the beaching boughs of the rows of trees on the shore. (This refers to the custom of hastening to perform the sandhya rites on the river side in the evening, as it is customary with other nations to hasten to the mosque or church at the call to prayers and the striking of the church-bell).

12. I saluted the sage from my aerial seat, and said, you, wrapt as you are in your blue vest of the cloud, seem to advance in haste, as an amorous woman to meet her lover (by hiding herself in her black mantle in the darkness of night).

13. Hearing this, the reverend sage was incensed and pronounced his curse upon me; saying, "Be thou transformed to an amorous woman as thou thinkest me to be."

14. "Go thy way, and bear my curse, that every night thou shall become a woman, with thy protuberant breasts and long braids of hairs on thy head, and fraught with all womanish grace and dalliance (and seek about thy lover)".

15. As I was thunderstruck and deeply dejected at this imprecation, I found the old muni had already disappeared from before me; and then I bent my course this way from the upper sky, being quite sick in my heart (at this direful fulmination).

16. Thus I have related to you all, regarding my being changed to a damsel at the approach of night; and my constant thought of the manner, how I shall manage myself under my womanhood.

17. How shall I divulge to my father, the shame of my being a swollen breasted maid at night; and can I reconcile myself to my dire fate, throughout the course of my life. O how wonderful is the decree of fate, that we are fated to bear in this world in the course of time!

18. I am now ill-fated to become a prey to young men, and the subject of fighting among them, like a piece of flesh among ravenous vultures.

19. O what a fun have I become to the ludicrous boys of the Gods in heaven, and ah! how shameful have I been before the sages, who must be quite ashamed of me, and how shall I remain anywhere and before any body in my female form at night.

Vasishtha said:—

20. After saying so far, Chudala became as mute as a silent muni; and remained as quiet as if she were in a swoon.

21. The pretended Kumbha then, seeming to recover his senses and his patience also, thus spoke out to himself; ah! why do I wail like the ignorant (for this change in my changeful body), when my soul suffers no change by this?

Sikhidvaja spoke:—

22. Why sorrow you sir for the body, that art the son of a God; let it become whatever may become of it, it can never affect the intangible soul.

23. Whatever pain or pleasure betides us in this life, is all concomitant with the changing body, and can never touch the unchanging soul.

24. If you who are acquainted with the vedas, and fortified against all events; should allow yourself to be so much moved by these accidents, say what will be the case with others, at all the casualties of life, to which they are incessantly subject.

25. To be sorry in sorrow;is very sorrowful in the wise; and therefore you who have yourself spoken these precepts before, should now be overwhelmed in sorrow, but remain as unmoved, as you are wont to be unshaken all along.

Vasishtha related:—

26. In this did the two hearty friends, continue to condole with one another; and console themselves by turns, under the cooling shade of the grove where they sat together.

27. At last the bright sun who is the light of the world, set down in darkness like an oilless lamp, by involving Kumbha under despondency of her female form.

28. The full blown lotuses closed their folia, like the closing eyelids of the busy worldlings; and the footpaths became as deserted by their passengers, as the hearts of loving wives are forlorn in the absence of their husbands, devoted to travelling and staying in distant countries.

29. The upper sky borrowed the semblance of the lower earth, by its spreading the curtain of darkness over the groups of its twinkling stars, like the outstretched nets of fishermen enfolding the finny tribe. (The similarity of the dark curtain of the sky overspreading its shining stars, to the black nets of fishers enveloping the silvery fishes under them).

30. The black vault of the sky, was smiling above with its train of shining stars, as the blue bed of lakes was rejoicing with its chain of blooming lilies below; and the sounding black bees and beetles on the land, resounded to the cries of the ruddy geese in the water.

31. The two friends then rose and offered their evening prayers at the rising of the moon, and chanted their hymns and muttered their mantras, and took their shelter under the sylvan retreat.

32. Afterwards Kumbha, changed as he was in the female form, and sitting before Sikhidvaja, lisped his faltering speech to him in the following manner.

33. Sir, I seem to fall down and cry out and melt away in my tears, to see myself even now changed to my feminine figure in your presence.

34. See Sir, how quickly are the hairs on my head lengthened to curling locks, and to how they sparkle with strings of pearls fastened to them, like the brilliant clusters of stars in the azure sky.

35. Look here at these two snowy balls bulging out of my bosom, like two white lotus-buds rising on the surface of waters in the vernal season.

36. Look how my long robe is stretched down to the heels, and how it mantles my whole body, like the person of a female.

37. Look at these gemming ornaments and wreathes of flowers decorating my person, like the blooming blossoms of spring ornamenting the forest tree.

38. Lo! the moon-bright vest covering the crown of my head (like the disk of the moon resting on the hairy crest of Siva); and the necklaces hanging about my body (like the flowery wreathes of Kama).

39. Look at my features, how they are converted to their effeminate comeliness, and see how my whole frame, graced all over with feminine loveliness.

40. O! how very great is my sorrow, at this sudden change of mine to a woman; and ah! tell me friend, what am I to do, and where to go with this my female form.

41. I perceive also the change to take place in my inner parts, and in my thighs and posteriors; Kumbha said so far to her friend, and then remained quite mute and silent.

42. The prince also, seeing him thus, remained in his mute gaze and silence, and then after a while, he oped his mouth and spoke as follows:—

43. It is of course very sorrowful and pitiable, to see you thus transformed to a female; but you, sir, who know the truth, know also that there is no contending with fate.

44. Whatever is destined, must come to pass; and wise men must not be startled at or feel sorry for the same; because all those events betake the body only, and cannot affect the inward soul.

Kumbha replied:—

45. So it is, and I must bear with my feminine form, with an unfeminine soul. (So it is no disgrace to be an effeminate female, combined with the grace of a manly soul).

46. I will no more sorrow for, what is never to be averted; but must endure with patience what I cannot abjure. Relying on this principle, they alleviated their sorrow for what was impossible to avoid.

47. They passed their nights in peace, and slept in the same bed without touching one another; and Kumbha rose in the morning in his masculine form again, without any trace of his female features and feminine beauty or grace.

48. Kumbha was Kumbha again, by being shorn of his female form;and thus he passed as bisexual and biform being of the Brahman boy Kumbha by day, and of Chudala the princess by night.

49. In his male form, Kumbha continued as a friend to the prince in the day time; and in female form of Chudala, he lived as a virgin maid with him at night.

50. Thus did Chudala cling to her husband, as a string of necklace hangs upon the neck and breast of a person. They then continued to wander in the company of one another, to different countries and over distant hills, to satisfy their curiosity.