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 CLXXXII - Brahma gita: sovereignty of the seven continents

Argument:—Meeting of the Kadamba Hermit with his brothers, their bane and blessing and final success.

1. [Sanskrit available]
The old anchorite resumed and said:—The goddess Gauri dwelt for a full decade of years, on this very Kadamba tree of her own accord; and then she left this arbour of her own will, in order to join her lord Hara on his left side.

2. [Sanskrit available]
This young Kadamba tree, being verified by the ambrosial touch of the goddess, never becomes old, nor fades or withers; but ever remains as fresh as a child in the lap of her mother.

3. [Sanskrit available]
After the goddess had left this place, that great garden was converted to a common bush, and was frequented only by woodmen, who earned their livelihood by woodcutting.

4. [Sanskrit available]
As for myself, know me to be the king of the country of Malwa, and to have now become a refugee in this hermitage of holy ascetics, by abdication of my kingdom.

5. [Sanskrit available]
On my resorting to this place, I was honoured here by the inhabitants of this holy asylum; and have taken my abode beneath this kadamba tree, where I have been in my meditative mood ever since that time.

6. [Sanskrit available]
It was some time ago, that you sir, had come here in company with seven brethren, and betaken yourselves to the practice of your religious austerities.

7. [Sanskrit available]
So did you eight persons reside here as holy devotees since that time, and were respected by all the resident devotees of this place.

8. [Sanskrit available]
It came to pass in process of time, that one of them removed from here to the Sri mountain; and then the second among them, went out to worship the lord Kartikeya in another place.

9. [Sanskrit available]
The third has gone to Benares and the fourth to the Himalayas; and the remaining four remained at this place, and employed themselves to their rigorous austerities.

10. [Sanskrit available]
It was the earnest desire of each and every one of them, to become the sovran lord of all the seven continents of the earth.

11. [Sanskrit available]
At last they all succeeded to accomplish their objects of their selfsame desire, by the grace and boon which [they] obtained from the respective deity of their adoration, that was pleased with the austerity of his particular devotee.

12. [Sanskrit available]
The brethren returned to their habitation, when you had been employed in your devotion; and after their enjoyment of the fruition of this earth in golden age, they have ascended to the empyrean of Brahma.

13. [Sanskrit available]
O sir, those brothers of yours, finding their respective gods propitious to them, and willing to confer blessings upon them, had made the following request of them saying:—

14. [Sanskrit available]
Ye gods! make our seven brothers, the lords of the seven continents of the earth; and let all our subjects be truthful and sincere, and attached to the occupations of their respective orders.

15. [Sanskrit available]
The gods that were adored by them, gladly occupied their prayer; and having assented to their request, disappeared from them, and vanished in the open sky.

16. [Sanskrit available]
They all went afterwards to their respective habitation, and met death except this one who is now here.

17. [Sanskrit available]
I only have been sitting alone, devoutly intent upon meditation; and have remained as motionless as a stone, beneath this kadamba tree, which is sacred to the goddess of speech.

18. [Sanskrit available]
Now as the seasons and years, have been rolling on upon my devoted head, I have lived to see this forest, to be broken and cut down by woodmen, living in the skirts of these woods.

19. [Sanskrit available]
They have spared only this unfading kadamba tree, which they had made an object of their veneration, as the abode of the goddess of speech; and me also whom they believe to be absorbed in inflexible meditation.

20. [Sanskrit available]
Now sirs, as you seem to have newly come to this place, and bear the appearance of aged ascetics; I have therefore related to you all that I have come to know by my cogitation only.

21. [Sanskrit available]
Rise then ye righteous men, and proceed to your native homes; where you will meet your brothers in the circle of their family and friends.

22. [Sanskrit available]
You will find eight of your brothers, remaining in their abode; and resembling the eight high minded Vasus, sitting in the high heaven of Brahma.

23. [Sanskrit available]
After that great devotee had said so far, I interrupted him saying:—I have a great doubt in this wondrous relation of yours, which you will be pleased to expound it to me.

24. [Sanskrit available]
We know this earth to be composed of seven continents only, how then is it possible for eight brothers, to be the lord of them all, at the one and same time.

The kadamba ascetic said:—

25. [Sanskrit available]
It is not inconsistent what I have related to you, there are many such [things which] are seemingly incongruous, but [which] become evident when they are explained.

26. [Sanskrit available]
These eight brothers, having passed their periods of asceticism, will all of them become lords of the seven continents of the earth, in their domestic circles. (i.e. Each thinks himself as such).

27. [Sanskrit available]
All these eight brothers, will remain in their respective houses on the surface of the earth; and will there become the lords of the septuple continents, in the manner as you shall now hear from me.

28. [Sanskrit available]
Every one of these eight persons had each a wife at home, who were of unblemished character and persons withal; and resembled the eight stars or planets of heavens, in the brightness of their bodies. (They were equally chaste and fair and loving wives also).

29. [Sanskrit available]
After these eight brothers have departed, to conduct their protracted devotion abroad; their love born wives became disconsolate at their separation, which is altogether intolerable to faithful wives.

30. [Sanskrit available]
They in their great sorrow of spirit, made painful austerities to the memory of the absent lords; and conducted a hundred chandrayana vows and rites, to the satisfaction of the goddess Parvati. (The Olympian Juno, and the patroness of chastity).

31. [Sanskrit available]
Invisibly the goddess appeared to them, and spake her words to them separately in their inner apartments; after each and every one of them had performed her daily devotion to [the] goddess.

The goddess said:—

32. [Sanskrit available]
O Child, that hast been long fading away by thy austerities, like the tender shoot under the scorching sun; now accept this boon to thy heart's desire, both for thyself as also for thy husband.

33. [Sanskrit available]
Hearing this voice of the goddess of heaven, the lady Chirantika, offered her handfuls of flowers to her, and began to address her prayer to the goddess, to her heart's satisfaction.

34. [Sanskrit available]
The reserved and close tongued damsel, uttered her words in a slow flattering voice flushed with joy; and addressed the heavenly goddess, as the peahen accosts the rising cloud.

Chirantika said:—

35. [Sanskrit available]
O goddess, as thou bearest eternal love to Siva—the god of gods, such is the love I bear also to my husband, O make him immortal.

The goddess replied:—

36. [Sanskrit available]
Know, O goodly minded lady, that it is impossible to gain immortality, from the inflexible decree of destiny, ever since the creation of the world. No devotion, austerity nor charity can buy life, ask therefore some other blessing.

Chirantika said:—

37. [Sanskrit available]
O goddess! if it be impossible to attain immortality, then ordain it thus far; that he being dead, his soul may not depart beyond the confines of this house of his.

38. [Sanskrit available]
When the body of my husband, falls dead in this house; then confer me this boon, that his parted soul may never depart from this place.

39. [Sanskrit available]
Be it so, O daughter, that your husband being gone to [the] other world, you may still continue to be his beloved wife, even after his demise.

40. [Sanskrit available]
Saying so, the goddess Gauri held her silence in the midst of the air; as the sound of the clouds is stopped, after its betokening the welfare of the world.

41. [Sanskrit available]
After disappearance of the goddess in air, the husbands of these ladies returned to them from all sides, and at the lapse of some time after they had received their desired blessings.

42. [Sanskrit available]
Now was there a mutual interview of the wives with their husbands, and general meeting of the brothers with each other, and with their friends and relatives.

43. [Sanskrit available]
Hear now a wonderful event, which happened to them at this time; and which presented itself as an obstacle, towards the achievement of their noble purpose.

44. [Sanskrit available]
It was at the time when the brothers were employed in their devotion, that their parents had gone out with their wives in search of them, and were wandering about the hermitages of saints, with their sorrowful hearts.

45. [Sanskrit available]
Unmindful of their personal pains and pleasures, for the sake of the welfare of their sons, they intended to see the village of Kalapa, which lay on their way.

46. [Sanskrit available]
Passing by the village of munis or saints, they espied on their way a white man of short stature, with grey and erect hairs on his head, and his body bedaubed with ashes.

47. [Sanskrit available]
Thinking him to be an ordinary old passenger, the parents forgot to do him due honour, and let the dust of the ground they trod upon, fly unwarily to his sacred person. This irritated the old passenger, who thus bespake to him in his ire.

48. [Sanskrit available]
You great fool that are going on pilgrimage in company with thy wife and daughters-in-law; don't you heed me the sage Durvasas, that you slight to do me due reverence.

49. [Sanskrit available]
For this act of thy negligence, the boons so dearly earned by thy sons and daughters in law will go for nothing, and will be attained with their contrary effect.

50. [Sanskrit available]
On hearing this malediction the old parents and their daughters in law, were proceeding to do him reverence, when the ancient sage disappeared from their sight and vanished in air.

51. [Sanskrit available]
At this the parents and their daughters, were greatly dismayed and disheartened; and returned disappointed to their home, with their melancholy countenances.

52. [Sanskrit available]
Therefore I say, there was not the only inconsistency, in each of the brothers reigning over the seven continents all at once; but there were many other odds awaiting upon them as on all human wishes; and these occurring as thickly one after the other as the sores and ulcers growing on goitres. (Or pouches on the throat).

53. [Sanskrit available]
There are as many oddities and vanities, always occurring in the wishes, and aerial castles of the vacuous mind; as the numberless portents and comets and meteors and unnatural sights, are seen to appear in the empty sky.

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