Chapter 9: The Dynasty of Ams'umân
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-20, 1:11 AM
    Chapter 9: The Dynasty of Ams'umân

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Ams'umân for a long time doing penance with a desire to bring down the Ganges, was unsuccessful and died in due course of time. (2) His son Dilîpa did just like his father not succeed and was also defeated by time. Thereafter Dilîpa's son Bhagîratha performed severe austerities. (3) The goddess [mother Ganga] appeared to him and said: 'I am very pleased with you and will answer your prayers.' With that being said seeing his purpose served [that the Ganges would wash away the ashes, see 9.8: 28] the king bowed down.

    (4) [Mother Ganga proceeded:] 'Who can sustain the force of my waves when I descend upon this earth? Oh master of men, not being sustained I will split her open and land in Rasâtala [the lower worlds]! (5) There is another reason I cannot move towards the earth. Please consider this oh King: when I have to wash away the sins of the people who purify themselves with my water, to whom should I turn with those sins?'

    (6) S'rî Bhagîratha said: 'The saintly forsakers of the world who are peaceful and expert in the regulative principles and purify all the world, will take away the sinfulness you thus accumulate because they, as they bathe in your water, carry within themselves the Vanquisher of all Sins, the Lord [see also 1.13: 10 and 6.1: 15]. (7) The god of destruction, Rudra, will sustain your force, for he is of all the embodied beings the Self in which [or with which], like with the threads of a piece of cloth, the entire length and width of the universe is interwoven [*].'

    (8) After this was said, the ruler propitiated the godhead with his penances. This did not take very long. Very soon oh King, Lord S'iva became satisfied with him [with Bhagîratha **]. (9) 'So be it', Lord S'iva said who is always auspicious to all. Having been addressed by the king he then with great attention took upon him the burden of the Ganges water that is pure because of Vishnu's feet [see also 5.17]. (10) He Bhagîratha, the saintly king, brought her who could purify the entire universe to the place where the bodies of his forefathers were reduced to ashes. (11) Leading the way in a chariot moving at the speed of the wind, he was followed by her. She thus blessed all the countries [they passed through] until she flowed over the burned sons of Sagara. (12) Even though the sons of Sagara were condemned for having offended a brahmin, they by her water just touching their remains went to heaven.  (13) If Sagara's sons whose bodies burned to ashes went to heaven after they came in touch with [the Ganges], then what would her effect be upon those who determined in vows with faith and devotion worship that goddess? (14) That what was described here is not such a great miracle because the water of the Ganges which originates from the feet of Anantadeva [the 'Eternal Godhead'] puts an end to a worldly existence. (15) Saintly people who by their faith have minds that follow the path of goodness [Vishnu], find purification despite of the difficulty to escape from the three modes of nature. They attain the divine Self immediately.

    (16-17) From the loins of Bhagîratha a son was born named S'ruta, from him there was Nâbha - different from the one I mentioned before [see 5.3] - and from Nâbha Sindhudvîpa was born from whom thereafter Ayutâyu was born. His son Ritûparna was a friend of Nala. He received from Nala knowledge about the art of training horses in exchange for gambling secrets. Ritûparna had a son called Sarvakâma. (18) From him there was Sudâsa whose son [Saudâsa] ascended the throne as the husband of Damayantî. He was also known, so one says, as Mitrasaha and Kalmâshapâda. Because of his [bad] karma he had no children. One day he was cursed by Vasishthha to become a man-eater [a Râkshasa].'

    (19) The king said: 'Please tell me, if it is not a secret, for what reason the spiritual master cursed this great soul Saudâsa. That is what I would like to know.'

    (20-21) S'rî S'uka said: 'In the past Saudâsa one day wandered around and killed a Râkshasa, but he let his brother go. This brother wanted to avenge him. With evil intentions posing as the king's cook he presented his spiritual master [Vasishthha], who came to dinner, the flesh of a human being that he had cooked. (22) The mighty master checking his food, immediately found it unfit for consumption and most angrily cursed the king with: 'Because of this you will become a man-eater!' (23-24) When the sage discovered that the Râkshasa was to blame, he for twelve years performed penance [for having unjustly cursed the king]. Saudâsa had taken a palmful of water in order to curse his guru, but his wife Madayantî prevented it. He then spilled the water that was potent with the [s'apa] mantra over his legs whereupon the king saw that all directions, the sky and the surface of the earth were teeming with living beings. (25) After he had developed the propensities of a Râkshasa he obtained a black spot on his leg [because of which he was known as Kalmâshapâda]. Living in the forest he [once] saw a brahmin couple having sexual intercourse. (26-27) Because he was hungry he seized the brahmin whereupon his wife said: 'You must be very unhappy, poor and hungry indeed, but a Râkshasa you are not! You are actually a great warrior from the Ikshvâku dynasty, the husband of Madayantî. Oh hero, it does not become you to act against the dharma. Please release my husband, this twice-born soul whose desire to get a son has not yet been fulfilled. (28) Oh King, this human body is there to serve the completeness of the Supreme Being. Thus seen, the killing of him oh hero, would equal the destruction of all that virtue! (29) This man is a brâhmana well versed in the Veda who austere, of good behavior and endowed with all good qualities wants to worship the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality who because of His attributes is known as the true Self in the heart of all living beings. (30) How can he, this brahmin and best of all sages, deserve it to be killed by you with your knowledge of the dharma, by you who are the best of all saintly kings oh master of the state? It is like a father killing his son! (31) He is a saint free from sin, a speaker of the Absolute Truth. How can you who are appreciated in the highest circles have the heart to kill him? That is tantamount to killing an unborn child or a cow. (32) I am mortified, I cannot live without him for a second. If you want to eat him, then eat me instead.'

    (33) While she was pleading and lamenting this pitiably as a woman missing her protector, he, Saudâsa, condemned by the curse, devoured him like a tiger does its prey. (34) The moment the wife of the brâhmana, the chaste woman, saw that the man who was about to impregnate her was eaten by the Râkshasa, she cried loudly from the depth of her heart and pronounced angrily a curse against the king. (35) 'Because you have devoured the husband of a woman aching for intercourse, you oh sinner, will suffer the curse of also finding death when you try to impregnate a woman, you traitor of civilization!'

    (36) After this way cursing Mitrasaha ['indulgent toward friends' or Saudâsa] she, being devoted to be with her husband, found her destination by stepping into the fire that burned the bones of her husband. (37) When Saudâsa twelve years later was released [from the curse of Vasishthha] and tried to make love to his wife, he was checked by the queen who reminded him of the curse of the brâhmanî. (38) Thus he henceforward had to forget about being physically happy with his wife and, as ordained by fate, therefore remained childless. Vasishthha then got the permission to beget a child in Madayantî, his wife. (39) She not delivering carried the child for seven years in her womb.  [With Vasishthha] striking her abdomen with a stone, a son was born who for that reason was called As'maka ['by a stone']. (40) From As'maka Bâlika was born. This child was protected [against Lord Paras'urâma] by a human shield consisting of women and was named thereafter [Nârîkavaca]. When there were no rulers anymore [because Lord Paras'urâma had killed them all] he became known as Mûlaka ['the root of'], the progenitor of the kshatriyas. (41) From Bâlika there was a son named Das'aratha, his son was Aidavidi and from him there was king Vis'vasaha who fathered Khathvânga who became emperor. (42-43) On the request of the demigods he most fiercely killed the Daityas in battle after which he, coming home and knowing that he had only a second to live longer, fixed his mind by praying: 'Neither the earth, my kingdom nor my dearest wife, neither my sons and daughters nor my opulence or life are as worshipable to me as the members of the brahmin community who enjoy the respect of my family [***]. (44) Not even as a child I was attracted or enjoying that what goes against the dharma, nor did I at any time consider anything [or anybody] else as more substantial than the Lord Hailed in the Scriptures, Uttamas'loka. (45) The demigods granted me the boon that I could have whatever I wanted, but that claim over the three worlds I could not accept. All that I desire in this world is to be fully absorbed in the Supreme Lord [compare B.G. 9: 34]. (46) The godly ones are with their senses and minds distracted [by the modes] and do not know the Dearmost Eternal One of the Soul who always resides in their hearts. What then is to be expected of others [see B.G. 18: 55]? (47) Let me therefore surrender myself to Him the One Soul who created the universe, and in loving service give up my attachment to matters brought about by the so very powerful material modes, matters that are like Ghandarva towns [or castles in the air].'

    (48) Thus determined by an intelligence firmly in the grip of Nârâyana, he gave up all his ignorant, on different matters founded, love and thus got situated in his original position of loving service [his so-called svarûpa]. (49) That what is known as the Supreme Brahman that defies all description, is not something impersonal or empty as one might think. It is the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva about whom the devotees are singing [see also 1.2: 11].'