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 CXXXIV - The story of the carcass continued

Argument:—Description of the body of the Goddess, and her food of the carcass, and drink of the blood.

Vipaschit continued:—

1. All this time I was looking at the carcass, that had fallen from above, and covered the whole surface of the earth under it.

2. I distinguished that part of its body which was its belly, and had hid in it the whole earth, with all its seven continents and immeasurable mountain.

3. I was then told by the god of fire, that there was no limitation of its arms and thighs, and of the extent of its head; and that it had fallen from beyond the polar region, which [is] inaccessible to mankind.

4. The Goddess who is so much lauded by the celestials, is the manifestation of vacuum, which of itself becomes dry (i.e. is naturally empty and void).

5. She is represented as accompanied by ghosts and furies, as followed by demons and hobgoblins, which walk in her train, and shine as stars and meteors in the open firmament.

6. Her long and muscular arms, are stretched to the skies as the tall pines of the forest; and her eyeballs flash forth with living fire, and scatter the solar beams all around.

7. The flashing weapons in her hands, were jangling in the sky; and her missiles were darting like flocks of birds flying from their aerial nests.

8. Her flaming body and flashing eyes and limbs, glistened with the glare of a bush of reeds set on fire, or as the sparkling of a flight of arrows in the midway air.

9. Her glittering teeth, shed the lustre of the beaming moon, and brightened the faces of the four quarters of heaven, with a milk white splendour; while her tall slender stature, reached to and touched the sky.

10. She stood supportless, like the stretching clouds of the evening sky; and was mounted on a dead body, as if she rested on the blessed seat of Brahma. (Brahma pada the throne of God, Elysium, Valhalla or Nirvana).

11. She shone in her brilliant form, like the crimson clouds of evening; and added to the ocean of the etherial expanse, the burning blaze of submarine fire.

12. She was flaunting in her decorations of human skeleton and bones, and flourishing her weapons of the mallet and others; and darting her arrows all around, as a mountain scatters its flowers all about.

13. She mounted aloft in the air, with her neckchain of human skulls, sounding with a harsh clattering noise; resembling the rattling of stones, falling down a mountain with the precipitate rains.

14. The gods then prayed to her saying: O mother goddess! we make an offering of this carcass to thee; do thou join with thy adherents, and soon take this corpse for your food, and make an end of it.

15. Upon this prayer of the gods unto her, the goddess began to draw in with her inhaling breath, the blood and pith of the carcass into her bowels and intestines.

16. As the goddess was absorbing the dead blood, by her inhalation of it, the red fluid rushed into her wide open month, like the entrance of the evening clouds, into the cavity of the western mountain (of the setting sun).

17. The etherial goddess drank the blood, thus drawn in by her breath;as long as her lean skeleton-like frame, grew fat from her satiety, and she stood confessed in her form of Chandika.

18. Being thus filled and fattened, by full draughts of the sanguineous beverage; she had the appearance of a blood red cloud, with flashing lightenings shooting from her eyes.

19. The pot bellied goddess, being then giddy with her bloody drink; became loose in her attire, began to flounce her ornaments, and flourish all her weapons in the empty air.

20. She began to dance and toss about in the air, which was almost filled by the bulk of her body; while the gods kept watching on her movements, from their seats on the distant border or boundary mountains.

21. Immediately upon this, the whole host of her female ghosts and goblins, composed of Rupikas and others, flew upon the carcass, as the rainy clouds alight upon mountains.

22. The mountainous carcass, was laid hold by the clutches of Kumbhandas, and torn to a thousand pieces by them; while the Rupikas bored its belly, and the yakshas gored its back with their elephantine tusks.

23. But they could not get or break its arms, shoulders and thighs; because these members of its body, stretched far beyond the limits of the mundane or solar system.

24. They could not therefore be reached unto by the ghosts, who are confined within the limits of this world, and could not go beyond, where those parts were rotten away of themselves.

25. As the goddess was dancing in the air, and her hobgoblins were prancing over the carcass; the celestials remained sitting on the mountain tops, and kept looking on this dreadful scene.

26. The disgusting morsels of putrid flesh, and the stench of the rotten carcass filled the air and blood red clouds shrouding the scene, seemed as burning bushes, forming the fuel of the furnace (for roasting the rancid meat).

27. The chopping of the fetid flesh, raised a sap-sap sound; (meaning the sap of the carcass); and the breaking of its hard bones, sent forth a kat-kat noise (purporting to cut them to pieces).

28. The concourse of the demons, caused a clashing sound; resounding as the clashing occasional by the collision and concussion of rocks and mountains against one another.

29. The goddess devoured her mouthfuls of flesh, roasted in the fire that flashed forth from her mouth, and the offals and fragments that fell down from it, covered the earth below with filth; while the drops of blood that distilled from the draughts she had drank, reddened the ether with tints of vermilion hue.

30. The celestial spectators saw their premises, within the precincts of the visible horizon; and the surface of the continents of the earth, to present the sight of an universal ocean of blood.

31. All the mountains on earth, were covered with blood, which reflected their redness to the cloud on high; which gave the appearance of a red mantling veil, spreading over the faces of the female regent deities of all sides of heaven.

32. The sky below blazed with the flash of the weapons, which brandished in the hands of the goddess all around; and there was no vestige of any city or habitation to be seen on earth. (Lit.: they were lost to sight, but retained in memory: i.e. things absent from sight, are present in the mind).

33. It was an incredible sight to see, that all the moving and unmoving objects of nature should be engrossed and absorbed in the bodies of the ghosts of insatiate death.

34. The dancing demons were waving their arms in air, in a manner as if they [were] weaving nets for catching the aerial birds; and were lifting and dropping them up and down, so as they seemed to measure the height and depth of the firmament.

35. They stretched out the entrails of their victims, from the earth below to the solar circle above; and appeared to measure the distance with lines and cords.

36. The gods seeing the earth thus endangered by the portentous carcase and its surface converted to an extensive sheet or ocean of blood.

37. They felt themselves dismayed and distressed, from their seat above the polar mountain; and beyond the boundary of the seven continents, where the stench of the putrid carcass could not stink into their nostrils.

Rama asked said:—

38. How is it sir, that the stench of the carcass could not infect the gods, in their seats on the polar mountain; when the fallen dead body is said to extend even beyond the limits of the mundane system?

Vasishtha replied:—

39. It is true, O Rama, that the dead body stretched beyond the limits of the mundane sphere; but its belly lay within the boundaries of seven continents, and that its head and thighs and its head and feet were without it.

40. But from its breasts and the two sides and its loins and waist, which lay out of this sphere, one could have a clear view of the polar circle, as well as that of its mountainous top.

41. Sitting in those parts and places, the gods could well behold the pinnacles of the mountain; which were surely bright to sight, and as white as the rainless clouds of the skies (i.e. white as fleecy clouds).

42. Then the maters of furies of heaven, kept on dancing on the wide spread dead body; while the hosts of ghosts were devouring its flesh, as the corpse lay its face turned downwards (i.e. upside down or topsy turvy).

43. Seeing now the streams of reddish blood running around and the putrid stink of rotten body spreading on all sides; the gods all felt sorrowful at heart, and grieved among themselves with exclaiming (as follows).

44. Ah alas! whither hath that earth disappeared, with all the bodies of waters upon her; where are those multitudes of men fled from it, and where are the mountains swept away from its surface.

45. Alas for those forest of sandal, mandara and kadamba woods which had so ornamented the earth! and woe for the flower gardens, and the happy groves of Malaya mountains!

46. Where are those uplands of the lofty and gigantic snowy mountains of Himalaya which appear now to be reduced to lurid clay, by ire of the redhot blood, of the bloody ghost of the carcass.

47. Even the gigantic Kalpa trees, that grew below the Krauncha mountains, in the continent of the Krauncha dwipa; and which had spread its branches up to the Brahma-loka, are now reduced to dirt.

48. O thou lordly milky ocean! where art thou now, that hast produced the moon and the goddess Laxmi from thy bosom; and that didst yield the parijata flower and the celestial ambrosia of the gods of yore. (48b) O thou ocean of curds! what has become of thee, that was full with thy waving forest of billows; which rose as high as mountains, and bore about sweet butter with their foaming froth. (48c) O thou mellifluous sea of honey, which was bordered by mountains studded by cocoa-nut trees; whose fruits afforded sweet liquor for the beverage of goddesses, where hast thou and they fled at present.

49. O Krauncha dwipa! that didst abound in Kalpa arbour which were inseparably clasped by the twining ivy of golden hue; say where art [thou] hid with thy towering Krauncha mountain. (49b) O Puskara dwipa! where art thou now with thy limpid fountains, which were ever decked with beds of lotus bushes, sported upon by the silvery swans of Brahma? (49c) O where are thy Kadamba groves gone, with their outstretched branches on all sides; and whose sheltered coverts were frequented by aerial nymphs, for their secluded amusements.

50. O where is the Gomedha dwipa gone with its springs of sweet waters, and the flowery gardens about its holy places? And where [are] those vales and dales, which were beautified by Kalpa trees and their golden creepers? (50a) Ah! where is the Saka dwipa with its forests of heavenly and ever verdant arbours, the very remembrance of whose fair spectacles, raises in the minds the sense of holiness and the sensations of heavenly bliss.

51. Ah! where are those tender plants, which waved their leaves at the gentle breeze; and where are those blooming flowers, which had brightened the scene all around. (51b) The devastation of all these beauties of the landscape, fills our mind with pity and grief; and we know not how much more piteous and painful must it be to the majority of mankind.

52. Ah! when shall we see again, the sugar-cane field beside the sea of saccharine waters; and the hardened sugar candy on the dry lands about; when shall we see the sweetmeats made of molasses and confectionary dolls of sugar.

53. When shall we see again, sitting on our golden seats on Mount Meru the merry dance of the beauteous Apsaras daubed with sandal paste in their arbours of tala and tamala trees; and wafted by the cooling breeze of Kadamba and Kalpa trees on sylvan mountains?

54. Ah! we remember the memorable Jambuvati river, which flows with the sweet juice of jambu fruits, and passes through the Jambudwipa to its boundary ocean (i.e. the Indian ocean in the south).

55. I oft remember said one, the giddy song and dance of celestial nymphs, in the thick and shady groves of sailendra-trees, and in the coverts of mountains beside the heavenly stream; and it rends my heart like the lotus flower, as it opens its petals in the morning.

Another one said:—

56. Look at this ocean of blood, sparkling like the melted gold on the top of the golden mountain of Meru; and brightening the beams of the rising and setting sun, or as the moon-beams spread over the face of all sides of heaven.

57. Alas! we know not where the earth is gone, with all her circumambient oceans about the continents; nor do we know where that high hill of Himalaya has fled, which was the resort of many rainy clouds, and yielded the lotus flowers on its summit. (57b) We know neither where those rivers, forests and groves have gone, which decorated the earth before; and pity for the cities and villages and their people, that are now to be seen no more.