Description of the Divyas (Ordeals) ||44||
1Arjuna enquired: O great sage, I wish to hear the different kinds of Divya ordeals. How and which of them are to be carried out, so that merit and sin become clear thereby.
2Narada said: Learned men know that Divya ordeals are eight in number, viz. Sapathas (solemn oaths), Kota (drinking holy water), Dhataka (balance), Visa (poison), Agni (fire), Taptamasaka (heated piece of coin or gold), Phala (ploughshare) and Tandula (rice grains).
3-5In those matters where there are no witnesses, when two persons argue mutually, in a case of treason, in false accusations, in rash activities etc. the unknown (guilty man) can be found out by means of oaths. For the sake of (pointing out the truth), solemn oaths have been taken by great sages and Devas. King Javana took a false oath before Vasishtha. Within a year he became poor and miserable along with his family, O descendant of Bharata.
6If a person takes false oaths, it is like a blind man going to the abode of his enemy. The foolish one opens the doors of the Raurava hell for himself.
7-8Sinners think thus, ‘No one sees us.’ Devas do see them. (Similarly) the inner Purushas of themselves see them. The Sun, the Moon, fire, wind, firmament, the earth, water, heart, Yama, day, night, the two Sandhyas (dusk and dawn) and Dharma—all these understand the activities of a man .
9Realizing this (it is necessary) that one shall take only truthful oaths. By taking false oaths one ruins oneself both here and hereafter.
10He shall be pure (in body and mind) and say thus: “This is the truth that I say, since you are the witness thereof. Grant me the benefit whether auspicious or otherwise.” Saying thus, he shall touch the feet of the Sun-god (Bhattaditya).
11-12While taking the oath, a Brahmana should touch a scriptural text, a Ksatriya should touch a weapon, a Vaishya should touch MA (his professional goddess, Lakshmi’s idol) and a Sudra his own preceptor. In the case of all the people this is generally applicable that they should touch their mother, father or any other person worthy of reverence. The form of Kosa ordeal has already been (rather ‘will be’) explained to you, O son of Pandu.
13-15The king shall give Kosha (pail of holy water) to people of all the castes except Brahmanas. The man shall be made to drink the water with which his favourite deity is bathed. If a man is equally (impartially) devoted to all the deities, he shall be made to drink the water with which the idol of the Sun god is bathed. Tn the case of all fierce deities the arrow or other weapons should be bathed or taking a solemn vow, fresh water of the deities’ bath be given to drink. The fruit (result) of the Kosha ordeal must be revealed within twenty-one days .
16-18Henceforth listen to the procedure of Maha Divya ordeals. On account of the confidence(?), the Divya ordeal will remove all doubts. Brahma formerly said that the ordeal must be administered Sasiraska (and) in the case of heinous and fierce crimes Asiraska too shall be clearly administered. The king shall not administer it (Siraska) to the saintly men and bachelors among the four castes. The Dhata ordeal (of the balance) should not be administered when there is violent blowing (of wind). The ordeal of fire should not be administered during hot season.
19-23The ploughshare ordeal should not be administered in the case of religious students: nor the ordeal of rice in the case of those who have ulcers in the mouth; poison ordeal should not be administered to those who suffer from leprosy and biliousness as well as to Brahmanas. The ordeal of heated coin is righteous and faultless. Everyone deserves to be administered it. In a country where people die due to sickness, one shall not administer the ordeals of solemn oaths and Kosha (drinking sacred water). Some people withstand (obstruct) the power of Divya ordeals by means of Asura (demoniac) Mantras. In their case, one shall employ persons of devout and virtuous pursuits capable of resisting their effects. After finding out the obstructors of the Divya ordeal, the king should banish those sinners permanently from his realm. Indeed they are thorns to the people of all the worlds. The king should endeavour always to find them out.
24-27Indeed, they are of evil conduct and thieves of thieves. One should subject to lesser ordeals those persons whose defects have been observed before but who are conversant with virtue and are engaged in righteous activities and not in big undertakings. O descendant of Bharata, the king shall have faith in the words of those persons who have never uttered lies ever since their birth. Even after understanding the devout and pious habits of a person, if the king administers (the ordeals) out of greed or anger, he himself becomes defiled. Therefore a Divya ordeal shall be administered in the case of sinners. The ordeal of Dhata (balance) is described at the outset.
28-32In the south-eastern part of level ground two posts of any Yajniya (i.c. worthy of being used as posts in a sacrifice) tree shall be fixed- Each post shall be seven cubits (Hastas) long, of which two Hastas shall go beneath the ground leaving five above the ground. The distance between the posts shall be four Hastas. A transverse beam should be carefully fixed over the posts. The balance rod, the cross bar, shall be free from cuts and cracks. It shall be hard and firm. It should be taken from any of the following trees: Khadira (Acacia Catechu), Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna), Simsapa (Dalbergia Sissoo) and Sala (Vatica Robusta). Two slings shall be suspended from the transverse beam. Thus the balance shall be made facing the east (i.e. the posts supporting the beam must be on the south and the north). It shall be steady. The place selected must be very clean.
33-35The balance may be on pillars of stones(?) Either a merchant or a goldsmith or a clever brazier shall be made the person holding the balance. He shall be impartial towards enemy and friend. The clever judge shall announce to the person holding the balance thus: “If a person holds the balance falsely, he will go to the same worlds (hells) as are declared in the case of the slayer of a Brahmana or in the case of the slayer of women and children.
36-37In one of the slings (pan of the balance) he shall place the known man (? the accused) who has observed fast. The learned man shall place in the second sling pure white clay. He shall avoid, bricks, pebbles, ash, skulls (lids of broken pots) and bones. After weighing him (the umpire) shall make him get down.
38-44A Patra (a leaf on which something is written) shall be placed on his (of the accused) head and he shall be placed on the sling) along with the Patra. On the Patra the following Mantra should be written as has been enjoined by the Self-born Lord previously: “O goddess named Tula. (Balance), you arc the daughter of Brahma. The syllable TU is said as having the sense “Weighty” and the syllable LA the sense “lightness”. Therefore, you are spoken of as “Tula” because you have both the weighty and the light joined together. O splendid lady, relieve this accused one from suspicion.” The judge then places once again that man in the balance along with the Patra. If he goes up (decreases) in weight, he shall be (considered) pure and devout . If he goes down (becomes heavy in weight) those who are conversant with Dharma know that he is not pure. If the sling snaps or the balance rod breaks, (the judge) shall make him sit in the balance once again. Thus, the knowledge shall be free from doubts and justice shall not be given up. All this should be done on a Sunday after worshipping the Sun. Henceforth I shall expound the Visa (Poison) ordeal. Listen.
45-49It is said to be of two types. Ghatasarpa Visa (the poison of the Serpent kept in a pot) or anyone of the poisons, Sarihga (derived from the Sringa plant) or Vatsandbha (aconite) or Hima Sailabhava or Haimavata (originating in the Himalayas). Poison weighing seven yavas (barley seeds) or six besmeared with ghee (should be given). The following should be written on a Patra: “O Poison, Son of Brahma, you abide by and cling to truth and virtue. Save this man from sin. Be nectar on account of his truthfulness.” The Patra is then placed on the head of the accused. Those conversant with Dharma know that if the poison is digested without any (adverse) effect such as vomiting, unconsciousness etc., (the judge) shall consider him pure. A hungry serpent is kept in a pot. The Mantra written on the Patra in the previous (case) is uttered. The accused is also kept hungry. Clapping seven times(?) the accused touches the serpent. If the serpent does not bite him he is considered free from guilt .
50-52Listen from me the Fire Ordeal as ordained by Viranci (god Brahma) : Seven circles are to be drawn in front of the Sun-god. The decision is that the circle should be drawn consecutively (?) (from the west) to the cast. (The diameter of) each of the circle should be sixteen Angulas and the distance between each circle should be the same (sixteen Angulas). All ordeals are to be performed in the presence of gods and Brahmanas. The accused should have observed a fast and clad in wet cloth.
53The ordeal shall be supervised by the king or an officer authorized by him. It shall be conducted in the presence of learned Brahmanas and ministers.
54-59aWhen it is evening, the accused in a pure condition should face the east folding both the palms of his hands. Making his hands even (unfolded?) in another quadrangular mystic circle (the judge and others) should announce the charge-sheet (lit. what has been done etc.). He should wear a garland. They should (firmly) tie seven leaves of Asvattha tree to his hands with a newly spun cotton thread. An iron ball eight Angulas in width and fifty Palas in weight should be heated in fire. At the outset the Sun is worshipped and then the Fire-god with red flowers, red sandal powder and incense. A Patra (letter of the charge-sheet) should be tied to the head of the accused after writing the following Mantra thereon as Brahma utters it:
59b-62a“You are, O Fire-god, the set of the four Vedas. You are invoked in the Yajnas. Since you sanctify and dispel sins, you are called Pavaka (‘the purifier’). You are the mouth of all the Devas. You are the mouth of the expounders of Brahman. You are stationed in the stomach of all living beings. So, you know the good and the evil. Reveal yourself to the sinners, O Pavaka. Be flaming and brilliant unto them. Or in the case of those who are pure in mind, O powerful one, be cool.”
62b-65Then the accused should cross the circles slowly. After crossing them (all) slowly, he shall drop the iron ball on the ground. The leaves are removed then from his hands and grains of rice are pressed on his palms. If the hands are seen without any injury, he is considered to be pure and virtuous. If he drops it (the iron ball) down out of fear or if it is seen below(?) he shall be made to handle the lump of iron once again. This is the procedure proclaimed. Henceforth I shall describe the procedure for Taptamasa (heated nugget of gold). Listen.
66-69A vessel made of iron, copper or clay, four Angulas deep and sixteen Angulas square in the base shall be filled with ghee or oil twenty Palas in weight. When it is heated well, the replica of a pulse made of gold (a nugget of gold weighing one Masci) shall be dropped into it. The Mantra mentioned in the case of ordeal by fire (shall be written on a Patra and) placed on the head of the accused. The accused must lift the heated lump of gold by means of the thumb and another finger. If he lifts it up unhesitatingly and without boil or swelling it should be known that he is guiltless. I shall describe the ordeal by Phala (ploughshare). You listen to it, O Dhananjaya.
70-73A flat piece of iron eight Angulas and not more long and four Angulas wide and weighing twelve Palas is called Phala (ploughshare). The Mantra mentioned in the case of ordeal by fire should be (written on a Patra and) placed on the head of the accused. The accused shall lick thrice (once according to Smrti-Candrika II.119) a six Angula portion of this sheet (after being heated?) and take back his tongue. Cow’s milk is given as an excellent means of cleaning it. Then the tongue is examined. If it is burned, the accused is not let off. If it is clean, it should be understood that he is not guilty. Henceforth I shall mention the age-old procedure of the ordeal by Tandula (rice grains).
74The ordeal of rice grains should be administered in the case of theft and not at all in the other cases. Rice grains are kept soaked in water overnight.
75-77In the morning, they are undoubtedly to be given for chewing (eating?). With his face to the east, he should be charge- sheeted thrice on a leaf either of Pippala or Bhurja and not of any other tree. The rice-grains cleared of the husk should be purified. Placing them in an earthen pot, the accused should be seated before the Sun-god. The pure rice-grains should be sanctified religiously with the (following) Mantra:
78“You are administered by persons well-conversant with Dharma as a means of purification (or test) of human beings. You are eulogized. It behoves you, O rice grain, to save (us) by means of truth and virtue.”
79It is then given to the accused for chewing. He sits facing the east and spits out the rice. After they have been spit out (while the suspect is) facing the sun, if blood is seen therein the accused shall be pronounced guilty.
80Thus, there are held eight types of divine ordeals, O scion of the family of Kuru, in front of Bhattaditya when the guilt of suspects is dispelled.
81Similarly those conversant with tradition mention two types of divine ordeals by water. One is known as Jalahasta and the other as Majjana.
82-83The time taken by a vigorous person discharging an arrow and then taking it back is noted. The accused is pressed down for so long under water. If he remains alive, he shall be pronounced guiltless. Such is this spot of Bhattaditya, O descendant of Bharata. It has come to be on the earth by the kindness of Bhanu through (my efforts).