The Birth of the Asura Taraka ||15||
1Varangi said: I have been ruined, thrown off and injured, terrorized, and afflicted by the terrible lord of Devas many times, as though I were lordless and helpless.
2Unable to see the,other shore of the ocean of misery, I even prepared myself to forsake my vital airs. lf you have any mercy for me, give me a son who wjll be my saviour from the terrible misery.
3-6On being told thus, the great Daitya who was very sad and unhappy, thought thus in his heart: ‘Although I have no desire for demoniac emotions, I do agree, on the basis of the sacred scriptures, that one’s wife is worthy of one’s sympathy. For, one who has a wife (i.e. the householder) upholds all the other Asramas (‘stages in life’) by his (own) Asramn and crosses the ocean of distress and sorrow in the same way as one crosses the sea with boats. It is with the support and help of the wife that householders conquer easily the enemies in the form of sense-organs, the enemies who cannot be conquered by those who rely on others, like the master of a fort who subdues and puts down thieves and robbers. No one is competent to emulate the goddess of the house (i.e. wife).
7(No one can render as much service as a wife) even if he devotes the entire life-time to pious activities. The wife is called Jaya. because the self is reborn in her .
8She is remembered as Bharya because she has to be sustained and nourished. She herself only is said to be Griha (‘House’); she alone is, therefore, remembered as Grihini.
9She is called Kalatra because she is the saviour from the sins of the worldly existence. Who is not entitled to be compassionate towards such a beloved person?
10Devala has remarked that a man (must have) three lights. The three are wife, holy rites and learning and they should be achieved with great effort.
11I am her husband. In this capacity, if I do not protect her from affliction and pain, I shall undoubtedly fall into hell as declared by the Sastras.
12-15I too can conquer Indra. Thus let me be free of the debt (of revenge). Afterwards I will fulfil her desire. I will give her a son of great strength.’ Thinking thus, Vajranga whose eyes became excited due to Anger, began a penance once again with a view to take revenge on Mahendra. On coming to know of his cruel resolve, Brahma came hurriedly once again to the place where the son of Diti was present. That venerable lord (Brahma) spoke to him in sweet voice:
16-18Brahma said: What for do you practise this ruthless restraint, O Daitya, (though) you are face to face with food. Speak it out to me, O (Daitya) of great holy rites. For a thousand years you did not take food. You abandoned the benefit thereof. The food that you got was only for a moment. The renunciation of desires for what has not been obtained is not remembered as much as the abandonment of what has been obtained, O lotuseyed one. On hearing these words of Brahma, the Daitya spoke with palms joined in reverence:
19-20The Daitya said: O grandfather, I will perform a severe penance for the sake of my wife. I am earnest in the endeavour for a son who will subdue the pride of Devas. On hearing these words, the Four.faced Lotus-born Lord was pleased and he said:
21-23Brahma said: Enough of your penance, O dear one; do not get yourself involved in an extensive painful (task). A son of great strength named Taraka will be born to you. He will make the wives of Devas untie their braided and ornamented tresses (i.e. destroy Devas and make them widows). On being told thus the king of Daityas bowed down to Brahma and bade farewell to him. He then went to his wife and joyously made her delighted. The couple, having achieved their object, became satisfied and returned to their hermitage then.
24Varangi of excellent complexion, became pregnant and retained the foetus within herself for a full period of a thousand years.
25-27Then at the end of a thousand years Varangi gave birth (to a son). When that great Daitya who (subsequently) terrified all the worlds, was being born, the entire Earth shook. The great oceans surged and rolled and the mountains quaked. Terrible gusts of wind blew. The excellent sages (were frightened) like a deer struck and wounded by a hunter. They repeated holy names (for the removal of the fear). The sun and other (luminaries) lost their splendour. Mists and fogs enveloped the quarters.
28When that great Asura was born, all the ( other) great Asuras as well as their women became delighted and came there.
29The Asura maidens who were filled with great delight sang and danced. Then, O son of Pritha, as the great festive celebrations of Danavas went on, Devas including Mahendra became dejected in their minds.
30-31Immediately after he was born, the great Daitya of very fierce exploit, was crowned by Kuranga, Mahisha and other Daityas in the great empire of all the Asuras. In this they were accompanied by all the other great Asuras.
32On acquiring the great kingdom, O most excellent one among the sons of Pandu, Taraka spoke these cogent, wellargued words to the excellent Danavas:
33-34“O Asuras of great strength, all of you listen to my words. After hearing let your intellect (determination) he made firm (in carrying out) my suggestions. An everlasting enmity (with Devas) has become deeply rooted on account of our own birth and parentage. I will make that enmity conducive to the victory over them.
35But I think that such a (confrontation) with Suras can be successful only through penance. Hence, O sons of Danu, I shall, at the outset, perform a severe penance.
36-38Thereafter we shall conquer Suras and enjoy the three worlds. Indeed, a person with a suitable means attains
stable success. One not endowed thus is fickle. He is incompetent to safeguard even that which has been acquired.” On hearing those words of that Asura, all the Danavas became struck with wonder. They hailed him with the shouts ‘Bravo! Bravo!’. He went to an excellent cave of the mountain Pariyatra .
39-43There flowers of all the seasons lay scattered. Different kinds of medicinal herbs illuminated it. It had different kinds of shelters where exudations from various minerals spread. It had many shapes. It was full of birds of different species. It had various springs and fountains and lakes of various sorts. After reaching that cave, the Daitya practised a severe penance. He got initiated in the cult of Pasupati with special modes of worship. He repeated the (famous) five Mantras. He did not talce food. He perf armed Paiicatapas (‘penance in the middle of five fires’). Thus ten thousand years elapsed. Then he began to cut off one Karsha (i.e. a weight of sixteen Masas) of flesh from his body everyday and put it in the fire by way of Homa. Thereby he became devoid of flesh. With his body devoid of flesh, he became a mass of penance.
44All the living beings around blazed with his splendour. All the Suras became very anxious. They were scared of his penance.
45In the meantime, Brahma who became excessively pleased, went to the peak of that mountain in order to grant boons unto Taraka.
46Seated in his chariot drawn by Swans, he reached the king of mountains. The Lord then spoke to Taraka in a sweet voice:
47-48Brahma said: Get up from your penance, O son. There is nothing which is impossible for you now. Choose a boon in accordance with your desire, whatever may be in your mind. On being told thus, Taraka, the Daitya, spoke to the Lord with palms joined in reverence:
49-51Taraka said: O Lord, we have contracted (hereditary) enmity with the Amaras. It has become the duty of our tribe. Daityas have been exterminated by them mercilessly. My idea is that I should be the redeemer of those (Daityas). Let me be the person who cannot be killed by any living being or any missile of great potentiality. I shall not be killed by Devas too. This is the boon that is in my mind. Grant this boon unto me, O Lord of Devas. I do not desire any other boon.
52-53Thereupon, Viranca, the leader of the immortals spoke to that Daitya: “Possession of a physical body by an embodied being is not seen without death. To one who is born, death is inevitable. This truth has been noted in the Vedas. Thinking thus choose your boon so that you need not fear.” Then the great Daitya (thought that death could very well be) from an infant of seven days.
54-55Taraka said: Excepting a boy of seven days, I shall not be killed by any of the Devas. Let me be the person who cannot be killed otherwise. The great Asura who was requested (to modify his boon) by him and who had been deluded by false prestige, chose from Brahma (this mode of) death. Brahma then told him, “So be it” in accordance with the directions of Hara.
56-58The lord went to heaven and the Daitya to his own abode. The chief Daityas surrounded that Daitya like birds crowding round a tree laden with fruits. When Taraka, the descendant of Diti, became established in that great kingdom, in a place stated by Brahma, on the northern shore of the peat ocean, the trees there, O son of Pritha, became very splendid and auspicious (blossoming and bearing fruits) in all the seasons.
59All excellences, viz. beauty, splendour, fortitude, intelligence and uninterrupted glory-every excellence without any flaw or defect, attended the Danava.
60He smeared his limbs with black aloe. He was adorned with a great crown. Beautiful armlets were tied (round his arms). He was seated on a great throne.
61Celestial damsels danced before him. Excellent Gandharvas sang (to delight) him. The Moon and the Sun were kept on the path for the purpose of light, and the Windgod (had to serve) for fanning (him). The Planets which loudly proclaimed the command for long life went ahead of him(?).
62Thus that Daitya enjoyed, after getting the kingdom through the power of his arms. He became haughty because he had an army with all component parts raised and increased. He addressed his ministers once and said as follows.