Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Vrishotsarga by the Kings ||9||
1O sinless one, you have just said that a king may also perform the aforesaid rites. Did any king in the past perform such rites for anyone?
2Hear, O bird, I shall tell you how a king performed such rites (for an issueless deceased). In the kritayuga, there was a king Babhruvahana by name, in the country of Angas.
3O King of birds. He protected the earth on all sides. Following the laws of the land, he enjoyed the earth, having four divisions.
4-6During his reign, there was no sinner. Fear of thieves or evil doers did not exist. During his reign there was no fear of any epidemic. He followed the path of religion for the welfare of his people. In lustre he resembled the sun, the earth in stability and the mountain in forbearance. Once, he of long arms, with his ample army and armaments went to a great forest.
7He was surrounded by hundreds of horses, roars of warriors, sounding of conches and beating of drums.
8As the king proceeded on journey he was praised by the Brahmanas and other learned people on the way.
9He went to the forest with great pleasure for hunting. He was delighted to see the forest which resembled the Nandana garden of Indra.
10It was full of Bilva, Khadira, and Kapitha-Dhvaja. It was surrounded by the mountains on all sides.
11It was devoid of water, devoid of human beings. It spread over may Joyanas and abounded in deer, lion, and other fierce wild animals.
12Accompanied by his attendants and surrounded by his army he walked into the interior of the forest, killing different animals.
13Leisurely, he struck a deer in the stomach with his arrow. The deer ran helter-skelter with pain, followed by the monarch.
14While his army was left behind, he wandered all alone, hungry and thirsty and entered another forest.
15Then suffering from thirst and seeking for water here and there, he got the indication of a lake from the noise of geese and cranes.
16-17At last he found a lake where he immersed for bath together with his horse. Mixed with the filament of the lotuses, the water was fragrant, clear and cool. As he was tired of travelling a long way, he rested beneath a fig tree on the bank of the lake.
18He fastened his horse to the branches of the tree, spread the coverlet and used the clubs as pillows.
19-20He slept there for a moment being fanned by air. Even as he slept for a moment a certain kingly ghost came there along with hundreds of attendant ghosts. It was a remnant of bones, skin and sinews.
21He was moving here and there, in search of food and drink. He did not rest even for a while. On seeing such a terrible ghost, the king put an arrow on his bow.
22-23aThe ghost looked at the king for a long time and stood before him like a branchless post. The king got curious at the sight of the ghost and put the question to him thus: Who are you? How did you get his deformity?
23b-24The ghost replied: -I have just left my ghost hood and attained a different man. The ghost looked at the king for a long time and stood before him like a branchless post. The king got curious at the sight of the ghost and put the question to him thus: Who are you? How did you get this deformity? The ghost replied: I have just left my ghost hood and attained a different form, just at the sight of you, O long armed one. None is more fortunate than myself.
25-26In this fierce forest, shaken with wind and cyclone, full of flies and mosquitoes, trunks and head, fish, tortoise, lizards, scorpions, bees, serpents are seen with their mouth bent downwards and their feet raised upwards.
27Dry winds are blowing; lightning is flashing; grass is scattered here and there. I see many creatures-Nagas and Salabhas.
28I hear many sounds at some places and at some places I have no sounds at all. At the sight of all this deformity my heart trembles over-whelmingly.
29-32Those for whom the rites of cremation, funeral offering, such as the offering of rice ball, gingelly-water are not performed nor the rites of Dasa-Pindas, Dasagatras nor Sapindikarana, who daring their life were ungrateful, drunkards gold stealers. who died by accident, who were envious, without atonement, attached to women of ill repute, take the form of ghost and suffer for their bad actions through want of food and water.
33O king, please perform their funeral rites since they do not have mother, father, sons and relations.
34-35O king, you perform this good deed for their welfare, so that they may be released from misery and may cross the ocean of distress. Of what avail are the brothers and sons? One should not rely on women for they are expert in selfishness.
36A person reaps what he sows. All objects or belongings remain at home. The relatives turn back from the cemetery.
37Body is consumed by fire; good and evil deeds alone accompany the deceased.
38Therefore, for your welfare, you perform immediately the funeral rites of the kinless deceased, as you are mortal yourself.
39With your emaciated form and fierce book, you seem to be a ghost. O King of ghosts, now, tell me all about yourself in order to relieve my anxiety. Thus asked, the king of ghosts began to tell all about himself.
40O best of kings, I shall tell you all about myself from the very start. After hearing the causes that obtained ghost hood for me, you will have sympathy for me.
41There is a city Vidisa by name, full of pleasure and prosperity. It has many Janapadas and abounds in abundant treasure.
42It has forests of flowers where dwell the holy sages. I too lived there, O king; engaged in the worship of gods.
43I belong to the Vaisya caste, and my name is Sudeva. I propitiated the deities with oblations and the manes with sraddhas.
44I presented gifts to the Brahmanas and donated food.
45I gave money and precious articles to the poor and the needy. But by bad luck all that went in vain.
46I had no progeny, no friends, no kins and no friends who could perform my funeral rites.
47-49For that reason, my ghost hood became perpetual. Now hear, 0 king, there are sixteen principal Sraddhas the eleventh day, monthly, half-quarterly, six monthly, etc. The dead who do not receive these Sraddhas tum into ghosts perpetually even though hundreds of other Sraddhas are performed for them. Knowing this, O king, you perform Sraddhas and release me from ghost hood.
50For, a king is the relative of all castes. Therefore, I request you to release me from ghost hood. I give you the best of jewels in my custody.
51Taking pity on me, O king, you act in such a way that I may be released from ghost hood.
52-53(Moreover, I may sell you why I became a ghost). My kins being disinterested in me did not perform Vrishotsarga in my favour. Hence, I was transformed into ghost. I feel constantly hungry and thirsty, for want of food and drink. Hence, this deformity and leanness without food.
54I suffer pain due to hunger and thirst, for this ghost-hood is malevolent.
55I therefore, pray you, O king, for you are the ocean of pity.
56aTell me, O ghost, how one is released from; ghost hood.
56bThe people can infer about the present of a ghost at home by signs and tormentations.
57I shall now tell you about tormentations given by the ghost to the people on earth. When the menses of the women go in vain and the family does not multiply.
58-62When men die young it is tormentation by ghost. Sudden loss in profession and insult among the people, sudden setting of house on fire, permanent quarrelling at home, false praise, suffering from consumption and foul diseases are due to tormentation by ghost. When the money invested in the customary way bears no fruit but is destroyed, it is due to tormentation by ghost. When crops are ruined even after proper rains, when commerce is unsuccessful, when wife creates tension, it is due to tormentation by ghosts. By these tormentations, O king, people can know about the presence of ghost at home.
63If Vrishotsarga is done properly, one is released from ghost hood. Hence, 0 king, I pray you to perform Vrishotsarga in my favour.
64I authorize you to perform this rite for me. Once, I killed a certain prince and as a result thereof I became ghost.
65O king please take this precious gem from me and with the money received through it, perform Vrishotsarga for me on the full moon day in the month of Karttika or Asvayuj or on the day conjunct with Revati. For performing Vrishotsarga you invite the learned Brahmanas and set up fire as prescribed in the Sastras.
66-67Then perform sacrifice, reciting the prescribed mantras. You shall feast the Brahmanas, spending the money obtained by the sale of this jewel When this is done, I shall be released from ghost hood, O king.
68Sri Krishna says: -The king took the jewel, saying, ‘be it so’.
69-71He had no alternative but to perform the rite, for he had taken the gem from the ghost. When the ghost and the king were talking together, there was heard a resounding noise of bells and trumpets. At the indication that the king’s Caturanga army was close by, the ghost disappeared. The king too left the forest for the capital.
72Then on the Karttiki Purnima with the money realized from the sale of the jewel, the king performed Vrishotsarga for the ghost.
73The ghost obtained a new body as splendid as gold, at the end of the rite. He approached the king in the new splendid body and eulogized him. Attributing his release from ghost hood to the pious deed of the king he was grateful to him for the obsequies he had made in his favour.
74Thus, I have told you how the ghost was released. What else do you desire to hear?