Nadijangha’s Story ||7||
1Arjuna said: The miraculous greatness of the place of meeting of Mahi and the ocean has been described by you. l am very much surprised and am highly delighted.
2I, therefore, wish to hear this in detail, o Narada. In whose Yajna did Mahi become wearied and highly distressed due to the scorching heat of the fire?
3Narada said: I shall recount the great narrative as to how the river Mahi was born. Listening to this holy story, o Son of Pandu, you will obtain merit.
4Formerly, there was a king on the earth well-known as lndradyumna . He was a liberal donor, conversant with all Dharmas. The lord was worthy of honour and he honoured others.
5-6He knew what was proper and what improper. He was an abode of discriminating knowledge, an ocean of good qualities. There was no city, village or town which was not characterized by the signs of his Purta Dharma (i.e. building of temples, shrines, parks, tanks etc. for public good) on the whole of the earth. He performed the offering of many girls in marriages in accordance with the Brahma form of marriage.
7-11This king gave thousands and thousands by way of charitable gift to those who sought wealth. On the days or Dasami (‘tenth day of the lunar fortnight’), Dundubhis (i.e. big drums) were placed on elephants and beaten to announce throughout the city that the people should perform the holy rite (of fasting) of Ekadasi the next day in the morning. That king performed many Yajnas continuously, where they drank the Soma juice. This continuity was broken only when the king was engaged in battle. With the Darbha grass spread over it, the earth rose up two Angulas in level. It is possible to count the sand particles in Ganga, the torrents of rain, as well as the stars in the sky, by wise men but not his meritorious deeds. On account of meritorious deeds like these, the king attained the abode of Prajapati along with his physical body, by means of an aerial chariot, o son of the Kuru family. Then he enjoyed all those pleasures which even the immortal ones (i.e. Devas) found it difficult to attain.
12At the end of a hundred Kalpas, once, when the king approached him at the time of service and attendance, Prajapati (Brahma) spoke to him:
13Brahma said: O excellent king Indradyumna, go immediately to the Earth’s surface. You must not remain in my world even for a moment to-day.
14lndradyumna asked: Why do you despatch me to the earth from here now, o Brahma, when much of my merit still remains. Tell me the reason.
15-17Brahma replied: Well-protected merit alone, o king, is not the cause of enjoying heavenly pleasures, without spotless fame extending to the three worlds. Due to the lapse of a great deal of time there has resulted loss of your renown now on the surface of the earth. Go and revive it, o king, if you have any desire to stay in my abode.
18lndradyumna said: How can my meritorious deeds continue to be on the earth, o Brahma? What should be done by me? The means (for doing so) do not occur to my mind.
19-21aBrahma said: Kala (‘Time’) is very powerful indeed. It takes up even me as well as all the Cosmic Eggs. What then in the case of people like you? Hence I consider. 0 king, that this is the proper thing for you to do, that you return to the heaven after making your renown clearly manifest once again.
21b-24aThe king heard these words of Brahma and found himself come down to the earth in the city of Kamlpilya . He himself asked (the people) about himself. his city and his country with great surprise. The people said: We do not know king lndradyumna or his city. which you are asking us. Ask someone of a very long life.
24b-28O people, on this earth, in this kingdom of the conqueror of the earth, who is reputed as the oldest living person? Tell me where he is. Do not delay. The people replied: It is heard that there is a sage in the forest of Naimisha, who is well-known as Markandeya and who can remember (events) of the last seven Kalpas. Go to him and clarify your doubts. Advised thus by them. he went there, saw that sage, bowed down to him and asked him what he had in his mind. Indradyumna said: Your Holy Lordship are well-known in the world now as the oldest living person. Hence I ask whether Your Lordship know king Indradyumna or not.
29Sri Markandeya replied: Within the last seven Kalpas there was no one named lndradyumna. O king, what shall I say? Ask me some other doubt of yours.
30On hearing those words the king became disappointed. He attempted to gather material to make fire. On seeing it, the sage said:
31-34Markandeya said: O gentle Sir, do not commit this rash act. Listen to my words. Even after a hundred years, bliss may come to a man if he remains alive. So I shall do something to prevent and assuage your misery. Listen, gentle Sir. I have an aged friend, a crane well reputed as Nadijangha. He will know you definitely. Hence, come quickly; we shall go to that place. Indeed the life of noble-souled ones has mutual help as its sole benefit and purpose. If he were to know (lndradyumna), without any trace of doubt, he will say so.
35Thus the prominent Brihmao.a and the leading king started with pleasure towards Himilaya, the abode of Nadijangha.
36On seeing his friend Markandeya who had come after a long time, the crane became delighted. He alongwith (other) birds welcomed him with great longing for him and stood face to face.
37At the outset he made all the customary demonstration of pleasure by means of welcome and enquiry after the health. Thereafter he asked him the purpose of his visit, saying “Tell me the reason for your visit.”
38-40Thereafter, Markandeya told the crane about the matter on hand as desired by him: “Do you know Indradyumna who had been a king on this earth? This, my friend, wants to know the same. If not, he would rather forsake his life by entering fire. In order to save his life, tell me if you know the king.”
41-42Nadijangha replied: O leading Brahmana, now I remember (the events of the last) fourteen Kalpas. Far from seeing him, I never remember having heard any news about him. There was no king named Indradyumna on the earth. Only this much do I know, O leading Brahmana.
43Narada said: On hearing that his age was so much, the king was surprised and asked: “What is it on account of which there was such a long life of yours? Is it charitable gift or penance? I am surprised (at it).”
44Nadijangha said: On account of the greatness of Ghritakambala and of the boon of the Trident.bearing Lord, I secured this long life. This body of a crane is due to a curse.
45In my previous birth I was a Brahmana’s son on the earth, the son of the good sage Visvarupa, of the same spiritual lineage as Parasarya.
46I was a boy (‘Balaka’), a great favourite of my father, I fondly called Baka (‘a crane’) by him. O gentle Sir, during my boyhood I was naturally very rash.
47-51Once on a Makarasankranti day in (the beginning) of Uttarayana (‘Northern transit of the Sun’), I took away the emerald Sivalinga of my father while he was busily engaged in the worship of the deity. On account of my childishness and rashness I took it away and put it in a pot of ghee. In the morning, when the night came to a close, as my father removed the remnants of the previous day’s worship, he found the Siva shrine vacant. On seeing it (so) he became terrified. He asked me in a sweet voice: “Dear boy, tell me where you have kept the Linga concealed. I shall give you whatever is desired by you, something to eat or anything else liked by you.” Thereupon, due to my childish nature and because I was greedy of the foodstuff (promised), the auspicious Linga was taken out of the pot of ghee and handed over to my father.
52After some time I died and was reborn in a palace as the son of the overlord of Anarta . I could then recollect the (events of the) previous birth.
53It was all due to the greatness of ghee-covering (of the Linga) [‘Ghrita-Kambala’] when the sun was in Capricorn. It was due to the contact of the ghee and the Linga, although due to childishness and contemptuous disregard.
54Thereupon, the Linga was installed by me remembering the previous birth. Ever since then, I used to smear (i.e. cover), Lingas with ghee.
55I continued to do this in accordance with my capacity after inheriting the kingdom of my forefathers. Then the delighted Lord, the consort of Parvati, said to me:
56“I am delighted with your Ghritakambalapuja in the previous birth. I have given you the kingdom (on that account). Now choose whatever you desire.”
57-60aOn being chosen by me Siva granted me the lord-ship of the Ganas on Kailasa as desired by me. Even as I bowed down to him and stood before him in the same body, Siva who was perpetually delighted, said to me: “From today onwards if any other man were to worship me with ghee on the Makarasankranti day, he shall surely become a Gana of mine.” After saying this, O gentle Sir, Siva made me the lord of a crore of Ganas with the name Pratipa Palaka and I stood by the order of Siva.
60b-63Though I obtained the royal glory, yet, as the Providence would have it, I was not competent to retain it. This glory was like a bee that hovered round and round with the six feet such as Kama (‘Lust’) etc. and was naturally very fickle. Like a mad elephant I wandered (everywhere). I was devoid of the thought of what should be done and what should not be done. I was exceedingly haughty and proud. Just as a mean, baseborn man, in spite of obtaining ]earning, nobility of birth and riches, becomes a victim of calamities, in the same manner as rivers fan into ocean (I too became overwhelmed by calamities).
64When some time elapsed thus, in the course of my wanderings, I casually went to a mountain where the caves were blocked by ice (boulders).
65The sage Galava (was staying) there with his wife and was engaged in penance for ever. He was Jean and emaciated due to severe austerities with the network of blood vessels (clearly visible).
66This physical body of the Brahmana was not at all fond of worldly pleasures and benefits. He was devoted to severe penance for the sake of endless happiness after death.
67-68His wife, a lady of excellent complexion, vanquished the whole universe with her excessive beauty. She was a slenderbodied, dark-complexioned, fawn-eyed lady with plump and protruding breasts. Her speech was slightly faltering like the inarticulate sound of a swan expressing joy. In her gait, she resembled an elephant in rut. She had ample buttocks but very slender waist. She had very long tresses.
69Her navel was depressed. (It seemed) that she was created by Brahma who desired to see all beauty, scattered (in different objects), concentrated in one individual.
70-74aI became immodest on seeing that beloved wife of Galava, O gentle Sir. I became hit with volleys of arrows by the Flower-bowed Lord (i.e. Kama Deva). Even the sages who are supposed to possess discretion are so, only as long as they are not looked at with the side-glances by fawn-eyed women. This was resolved by me in my mind as I desired to abduct her. (I mentally planned) that I would kidnap in such and such a manner, that lady well-guarded by the power of penance of the sage. (I thought) ‘If the sage curses me for her sake, it will be my discomfiture. Either she becomes my wife or I court death. So I shall become a disciple of this sage and be devoted to his service. On getting an opportunity, I will kidnap her. This lady is not suited to this sage.’
74b-82I came to that decision and so assumed the form of a disciple. Urged by the inevitable future, I bowed down to Galava and spoke the following words. In the case of the following things, everything will be in accordance with what has been formerly done by men, viz. intellect, friendship and endeavour. “I am endowed with discrimination and detachment, O holy lord, and I have approached you. I am your disciple. I have to be taught (by you). I bow down to the sentient Brahman, visible in the form of Galava. He is the great sage who is my helmsman and who is to take me across (the ocean of worldly existence) which is boundless. He is Vishnu who has taken the form of a Brahmana. I have been bitten bythe blackserpentof Avidya (‘Ignorance’). I am afflicted with its poison, O Jangulika (‘Snake-doctor’), revive me by means of the great Mantras of sound advice. The great tree of excessive delusion is growing within the Avapa (‘water-basin round a tree’) of the heart. Let it be destroyed by the sharp-edged hatchet of your (wise) sayings. Let this tree which grows (as an obstruction) in the path of liberation and which is watered by the association of the foolish ones, be cut now by means of the axe of learning by (you), the carpenter. I resort (to you). I am your disciple devoted to your service for a long time. I shall bring sacrificial twigs, Darbha grass, fruits and roots, logs of wood and water. Bless me, the humble one, who have approached you.”
83Already I had been nicknamed Baka formerly (i.e. in previous birth) and now I resorted to the deceitful tactics of a Baka thus. Thereupon, the sage who had always fixed his mind on straightforwardness blessed me.
84I became excessively humble and began to please him along with his wife. Everyday, I tried to delight them strenuously in order to gain their confidence.
85The sage was wise. He did not have full confidence in his wife who could be a target (of attack of vicious persons). Moreover, he knew about the general conduct of women. Hence the Brahmana used to sleep keeping her in his lap (guarding her closely).
86On another day that Brahmna lady happened to be in her monthly period. Having confidence in me, the poor lady slept in a place away (from the sage) at night.
87Thinking this to be a good opportunity, I became delighted. At midnight I asswned the guise of a robber and abducted her.
88On being taken away by me, the lady lamented loudly. I (pacified her saying) ‘no’, ‘no’. Recognising me by my voice, she spoke to the sage:
89-90“This wicked fellow of fraudulent tactics like those of a crane, covering himself with the cloak of piety and misbehaving much, is taking me by force. Save me from him, O Galava. He has been your disciple. Now he has become a robber. He desires to abduct me. Hence protect me (O Sage). Worthy of being sought refuge in, be my resort and refuge.”
91Simultaneously with her utterance of these words the sage Galava awoke. Saying “Stop, stop” to me he paralyzed my movement.
92Paralyzed by the sage, I stood motionless like a form painted in a picture. I became ashamed and felt as though I was entering my own limbs.
93Then the infuriated Galava approached me and said those words as unbearable as thunderbolt, whereby I became a crane.
94Galava said: Since I have been deceived by you, O meanest among men, by adopting fraudulent tactics of a crane, you will be a crane for a long time.
95Thus, because I resorted to an evil thing, I was cursed by the sage. By trying to enjoy another man’s wife I came to this disaster.
96There is nothing else which shortens the life-span of a person than enjoying another man’s wife.
97That chaste ascetic lady whose limbs had been defiled by my touch, took her bath after being released by me and cursed me in the same manner.
98On being cursed by both of them, I trembled like the leaves of the holy fig tree. I bowed down to the couple there and said:
99“I am a Gana of lsvara himself. Still I was rude and immodest (and harmed) you both. Just as you have restrained me, in the same manner kindly bless me too.
100Indeed in the case of a Brahmana, there is a razor in the speech, but the heart is butter-like. They may be angry but when entreated they become pleased in a moment.
101Since I opposed you, you alone must be my refuge. To those who falter in their steps on the ground the ground itself is their support.
102Even the lordship of Gai:ias has become a cause of regret for me. The riches of a rude and immodest fellow come to an end in disaster.
103Men of discrimination know by means of their intellect the calamity coming from others. But the mean-minded do not know both (?) without their own exprience.
104After attaining splendour, learning and prosperity an immodest fellow becomes proud and haughty like me and never retains his position for a long time.
105To those who are blind with pride, the cause of pride are learning, wealth and nobility. These alone cause restraint in good persons.
106The intellect of those who have not conquered their own self is not inclined towards good result and consequence. Those people like me cause the bad reputation of being ‘Fickle’ to Sri (i.e. wealth and glory).
107Hence, O excellent sage, be pleased. Put an end to my curse. Good men are always of forgiving nature, even in the case of impolite persons.”
108When I put forward such pleading words humbly, the sage became inclined to be pleased and he put an end to my curse.
109Galava said: When you assist King Indradyumna in reviving his lost reputation, you will attain liberation.
110Thus due to the curse of the sage, I became a Baka in the family of Kasyapa. Ever since, I am staying on the Himacala mountain.
111As a result of the Ghrtakambala (i. e. worship of the Linga by smearing it with ghee), I obtained kingdom and long life. Now I have the ability to know the events of the previous life and other similar powers. Through the curse of the sage Galava I got the form of a crane. So, O gentle Sir, everything asked by you today has been recounted.