Chapter 14: King Citraketu's Lamentation
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-17, 1:34 AM
     

    Chapter 14: King Citraketu's Lamentation

    (1) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'How could Vritrâsura with a nature of passion and ignorance and being that sinful minded oh brahmin, have such a strong determination in Nârâyana, the Supreme Person? (2) With [even] the gods whose minds are of pure goodness and the saints who have unblemished souls, only rarely is observed that they develop devotion for the lotus feet of Mukunda, the Lord of Liberation. (3) countless species next to manIn this material world there are as many living entities as there are atoms, some of them are human or related to the human form and among them only a few act to do good. (4) Oh best of the twice-born, one always sees that among those who believe in liberation only a few desire liberation and that among the thousands of them only a few are really liberated, are really perfect. (5) And among the millions and trillions [of living beings] you in the midst of those who found liberation and perfection oh great sage, will very rarely find someone who considers Nârâyana the Supreme One and has a mind that is completely peaceful [compare B.G. 7: 3 & 7: 26]. (6) How, [with the truth of this,] could Vritra then, being so sinful and the cause of such suffering all over the world, in the full of his fire of giving battle have an intelligence that was fixed on Krishna? (7) I am in great doubt about this and would very much like to hear oh master, how he managed to please the Thousand-eyed One in battle with his bravery and strength.' "

    (8) S'rî Sûta said: "After the powerful son of Vyâsa had listened to the inquiry of the devout Parîkchit he expressed his compliments and explained it to him. (9) S'rî S'uka said: 'Please listen carefully oh King, to the story about this as heard from the mouths of Vyâsa, Nârada Muni and Devala Rishi. (10) Once there was a king, an emperor over all the earth who lived in S'ûrasena and was named Citraketu ['the light of excellence']. During his rule the earth delivered everything one could wish for oh King. (11) He had thousands and thousands of wives, but from none of them the king got a single child, even though they were very well capable of giving birth. (12) With all his beauty, magnanimity, youth, good birth, education, opulence, welfare and all other good qualities he was endowed with, he was full of anxiety in his role of being the spouse to that many wives bearing no children. (13) Neither his great opulence nor all his queens with their beautiful eyes, nor all the lands he ruled as the Emperor could make him happy. (14) One day however Angirâ, the very powerful sage who traveled around in his countries, unexpectedly arrived at the palace. (15) In order to pay his respects according to the customs, he stood up from his throne and offered him worship. After thus having proven his hospitality he offered him a comfortable seat and sat down next to him in proper self-restraint. (16) Then oh Mahârâja the great rishi himself bowed down complimenting him who in all humility sat beside him on the ground and addressed him speaking as follows.

    (17) Angirâ said: 'Is everything all right with your health and the material order of the state, the order of the king [in the form of priests, ministers, territories, subjects, fortresses, the treasury, the police and the army] that is so much alike the seven material layers protecting the living being [consisting of the totality, the ego and the five objects of the senses; mahat-tattva, ahankâra and tanmâtras]? (18) The king submitting himself to [the needs and demands] of these elements of his rule can achieve welfare and prosperity oh god of man, and so will each and all who depending on him offer their wealth and services. (19) Is it so that your wives, citizens, secretaries, servants, merchants as also your ministers, intimates, governors, landholders and offspring, all comply with your rule? (20) When the mind [of the king] is controlled all the subjects will comply and then everyone, including the governors, no longer being negligent, will make his contribution. (21) From the anxiety of your pale face I can tell that something is bothering you, that you for some or another reason aren't quite happy mentally.'

    (22) He [Citraketu] who desired offspring and this way was questioned by the muni despite of his greater learning oh King, bowed deeply before the sage in great humility and replied as follows. (23) King Citraketu said: 'Oh great one, what of the external and internal affairs of the embodied souls would not be understood by yogis who by dint of their austerity, spiritual knowledge and meditative absorption are freed from all sins(24) Nevertheless, even though you know everything, you ask me what's on my mind oh brahmin. Let me now with your permission dilate on what you asked me. (25) Having a great empire even desirable to the demigods, all the wealth and the upkeep doesn't give me any pleasure because I have no son. To me it is all like trying to satisfy one's hunger and thirst with everything else but food and drink. (26) Save therefore me and my forefathers from getting lost in the darkness oh great wise. Make it so that we get a son and thus may defeat that [threat] which is so difficult to overcome.'

    (27) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being beseeched, the most powerful and merciful son of Brahmâ made him cook a preparation of sweet rice for Tvashthâ [the demigod father of Vis'varûpa, see 6.8], which he then offered in worship of him. (28) The sage then offered the remnants of the sacrifice to the first and most perfect queen of all the king's queens who was called Kritadyuti, oh best of the Bhâratas. (29) Thereafter he said to the king: 'Oh King, there will be one son who will be the cause of jubilation as also lamentation for you', whereupon the son of Brahmâ left. (30) After having eaten the food of the offering Kritadyuti proved to be impregnated by Citraketu, the way the goddess Krittikâ received a son [named Skanda] from Agni. (31) Her fetus gradually developed little by little from the semen of the king of S'ûrasena, just like the moon does during the bright fortnight of the month. (32) And thus in due course of time a son was born who created the greatest delight among the inhabitants of S'ûrasena when they heard about it. (33) The king, very happy with his newly born son, bathed and decorated himself with ornaments and then arranged for the brahmins to perform the birth ceremony with many benedictory words. (34) He donated to the brahmins gold, silver, garments, ornaments as also villages, horses, elephants and sixty crores of cows. (35) In order to increase the opulence, the reputation and longevity of his newly born son, he with great attention like a raincloud showered all one could wish for. (36) Just like a poor man who has an increasing affection for the riches he gained with great difficulty, the pious king, as a father, day after day felt more love for the son he with so much difficulty had received. (37) Also the mother developed ignorantly an excessive affection for the son and that led, with all the co-wives of Kritadyuti, to a feverish desire to have sons as well. (38) As good as he all day cared about the son, king Citraketu was also extraordinarily attracted to the wife who gave him the son and not so much to the other wives. (39) Because of having no sons and being unhappy for being neglected by the king, they then lamented, condemning themselves out of envy. (40) A woman who has no son is at home by her husband and the co-wives who do have sons, disrespected and burdened with the load of sin. She is then despised like a maid-servant. (41) What would a maid-servant have to lament when she finds her honor in faithfully serving her husband? But if she is there like a maid-servant to the maid-servants, she is most unfortunate. (42) The queens, who burned [in lamentation and envy] because their king enjoyed the wealth of a son from their rival Kritadyuti, having fallen out of grace thus developed a very strong hatred. (43) Out of their minds because of their enmity the women unable to accept the king['s conduct], became extremely hard-hearted and administered poison to the boy. (44) Kritadyuti walking around the house was not aware of the sin committed by the co-wives and thought, looking upon her son, that he was fast asleep. (45) When the boy had lied down a long time she, as a sensible woman, therefore gave the nurse the order: 'Please oh friend, bring me my son.' (46) Looking after him the nurse saw him lying down with his eyes turned upwards and his life force, mind and senses gone. She then falling to the ground cried: 'I'm doomed!' (47) As soon as the queen heard that she with an agitated voice in loud words of regret was striking her breast with both her hands, she also hurried in and saw, upon approaching her son, that her child unexpectedly had deceased. (48) Overcome by grief she fell unconscious to the ground with her hair and dress in disarray. (49) Next oh ruler of man, all the inhabitants of the palace and all the people, men and women who had heard the loud crying nearby, came and all lamented greatly being equally aggrieved, just as did pretentiously the ones who had committed the crime. (50-51) Hearing that his son had died for reasons unknown, the king couldn't see properly anymore. Followed by his entourage of ministers and brahmins he on his way constantly fell and slipped. Because of his affection his lamentation grew [like fire] so that he fell unconscious down at the feet of the dead boy. Heavily breathing with his hair and dress disheveled, he [coming to] wasn't capable of uttering a single word anymore because of his choked up voice and the tears he cried. (52) The queen, seeing her husband crying heavily in his grief over the deceased child, the only son of the family, cried along in every possible way and thus added to the anguish of all the people, including the officers and ministers, who had gathered there. (53) The flowers in her scattered hair slipped down while her two with kumkum powdered breasts got wet from the teardrops that, mixed with her make-up, fell from her eyes. She lamented about her son with a sound that reminded one of the sweet cries of a kurarî bird.

    (54) 'Alas, oh Creator of my fate, how much You fail in Your wisdom! With the father alive while his offspring is dead You prove to be someone who acts against His own creation. Such a contradiction makes You an opponent.  (55) If there in this world is no regular order to the death and birth of the ones embodied, then let it be so that things happen as a result of one's karma. [But with] this [taking away of my son] You personally are cutting away the bond of love that You created for the growth of Your creation! (56) And you my dear son, shouldn't give up on me. I am so miserable without you as my protector. Look what grief you gave your father. With you we can easily overcome the darkness that is so difficult to defeat without a son. Please don't abandon us any longer, do not go away with the merciless Lord of Death. (57) Get up my sweet son, all the children, all your playmates are calling for you to come and play with them oh prince of mine. You've slept so long and must be really hungry by now. Please take my breast to drink and drive away the grief of your relatives. (58) How unfortunate not to see the charming smiles any longer of you who were born from my flesh. Have you, now that you've closed the eyes of your lotus face, really left for the other world, the place of no return? Have you been taken away by the cruel Lord of Death? No longer I can hear your sweet prattle.... .'

     (59) S'rî S'uka said: 'Citraketu, with the woman bewailing her dead son this way in several lamentations, was very much aggrieved and cried loudly. (60) With the king and his wife thus lamenting, all their subjects cried equally aloud and thus all the men and women of the kingdom were out of their wits of sadness. (61) Sage Angirâ, who knew that they because of the misery that fell upon them had lost their senses and were helpless, then visited them together with Nârada Muni.'