Revival of Indradyumna’s Renown ||10||

1Narada said: On hearing the words of the vulture, Indradyumna became afflicted with sorrow and surprise. He took leave of him and got ready for his death.
2On seeing him desirous of dying along with the owl and others, and considering his (i.e. the vulture’s) longevity to have some connection with it, he (i.e. the vulture) said:
3“Do not do like this. Listen to my words, O gentle Sir. There is someone longer-lived than I. He will certainly know what has been desired by you.
4In the Minasa lake there is a tortoise well-known by the name Mantharaka. There is nothing unknown to him. Come, we shall go there.”
5Thereupon, the king, the sage, the vulture and the crane along with the owl, became delighted. With a desire to see the tortoise they started on their journey.
6The tortoise had settled himself on the bank of the lake. On seeing these from a distance, he became terrified and so he went down under the water very quickly.
7The owl then laughingly said to him these words: “Why have you, O tortoise, vanished? Why have you turned your face away from your guests?
8Agni is the sire of Brahmanas; the Brahmana, of the people of all the castes; the lover, of women; the father is the sire of the sons; and the guest is the sire of all.
9Why have you become averse to all (etiquettes regarding) hospitality after eschewing this great virtue? Why do you take on yourself the sin of everyone? I Speak out, O tortoise. Reply to this now.”
10The Tortoise said: I am a long-lived one. I know how to perform the good rite of hospitality. I know that honouring visitors has been laid down decisively in the sacred treatises.
11-16Let the great (and important) reason thereof be heard. I shall tell it to you. In aJI these days I have never been
averse to any guest. I have been performing the holy rite of honouring and welcoming all. But I am afraid of this king Indradyumna who appears to be honest and simple-minded and who is the fifth among you. This king had been performing a Yajna formerly in the city named Raucaka. At that time my back (shell) was burnt by the sacrificial fire. The wound thereof has not yet healed. So I have become afraid once again that he will burn me here on the earth by means of the power of distillation (i.e. squeezing of Soma juice). At the end of this statement of the Tortoise, O most excellent one among the descendants of Kuru, there fell a shower of flowers from the sky released by groups of celestial damsels. When the fame of the king was revived, divine musical instruments were played.
17They were surprised much. They saw an aerial chariot standing in front. It bad been brought there for the sake of lndradyumna, presided over (i.e. occupied and driven) by a messenger of Devas.
18Suras and Brahmanas offered him fresh blessings. Shouts of praise were heard in the sky.
19Then, stopping the aerial chariot, the m!ssenger of Devas said (thus) loudly to lndradyumna, even as the heavendwellers were listening:
20The Messenger of Devas said: Your spotless renown has been revived, O King, in all the three worlds. Hence get into this aerial chariot quickly.
21Be pleased to go to the world of Brahma for a stay there for a period of a Kalpa. I have been sent by him for the purpose of bringing you.
22-23(Even) if there is limitless quantity of merit, one shall be staying in heaven only as long as his renown spreads over the whole of the earth. It is for this purpose of attaining the abode of Suras that the holy rite of Purta, such as the construction of lakes, parks, wells etc. has been laid down in Dharmasastras.
24Indradyumna said: These are my friends, viz. (sage) Markandeya, the Crane, the Owl, the Vulture and the Tortoise. The power of these has been the cause of my prosperity.
25Therefore, if these too proceed to the world of Brahma along with me staying at the head, I shall go to the world of Brahma myself and not otherwise.
26He who acts (favourably) without depending upon the action and reaction of others is caJled a (true) friend by learned men.
27-30Those who are engaged in selfish activities are mere Asundharas (‘bearers of vital airs’). While death is natural, life is an aberration. The greatest acquisition of living bejngs is the affection and friendship of other living beings. The following are sinners: wretched people, lustful ones, those who do not truthfully abide by their promises, those who are inimical to elders and those who cause the death of friends-all these fall into hell. But these five who (arc prepared to) die for others’ sake are good penons. The redemption of my fame and renown is (due to) the power of these noble-souled ones. If they go to heaven along with me, O messenger of Devas, I will also go and not otherwise.
31-33aThe Messenger of Devas said: All these were Ganas of Hara. They were cursed and so they had fallen (from their positions) and come to the earth. At the end of their period of curse, O Icing, they will go back to Siva. So, O king, leave them off and you alone come with me. They do not like to leave lord Mahesvara. Heavenly pleasures do not appeal to them.
33bJndradyumna said: It it is so you can go, O messenger. I will not come to heaven.
34I shall try to become a Gana myself. Heaven and heavenly pleasures are censured for the various defects such as impurity, utter destruction etc.
35-39Though laid down in the Vedas, I do not desire heavenly pleasure. He who is stationed there faces downfall again. This fear does not disappear from his mind. I do not desire heaven from which a man is sure to fall off. Even when I had tbe (balance of) merit, I had been dropped down by the Four-faoed Lord from his world. I am ashamed thereby. How will I go back to him? After saying this to the messenger, the king asked the tortoise the reason for his longevity even as the messenger was listening with wonder: “O tortoise, how did you get this long life? You are my friend and comrade. You are my preceptor by whom my renown was redeemed.”
40-41The Tortoise said: Listen, O king, to the di vine story that destroys sins through the listening. The story is sweet and is connected with the greatness of Siva. A man who listens to this story with attention, O king, becomes rid of all sins. It is after attaining the favour of Sambhu that I gained this longevity and the birth as a tortoise.