Tuesday, 7 April 2020

AN ACCOUNT OF PITRIS | HARIVAMSA PARVA SECTION 18

CHAPTER XVIII

(AN ACCOUNT OF PITRIS)


Markandeya said:—Hear from me everything from the very beginning, O son of Ganga, of my doubts which I again referred to that reverend eternal deity Sanatkumar the foremost of immortals after having been addressed by that effulgent god of gods (1-2). What is the number of those ancestral manes and in what region are they stationed? And where do live the leading gods who derive nourishment from Soma (juice)? (3)

Sanatkumar said:—O foremost of those who perform sacrifices, it is laid down in Scriptures, that there are seven ancestral manes who all live in heaven. Of them four are with forms and three without them (4). O you having asceticism for your wealth, hear, I will describe at length their region, creation, prowess and greatness (5). Of them the most excellent three assumed the form of Dharma (virtue). Hear, I shall describe their names and regions (6). The regions, where the effulgent and formless ancestral manes, the sons of Prajāpati live, are (designated as) eternal (7). O foremost of the twice-born, the region of Virāja is known by the name of Vairāja. The celestials adore them with ceremonies laid down in Scriptures (8). These Brahmavādins, when they deviate from the paths of Yoga come down to Sanatana (eternal) regions and after the expiration of a thousand yugas they take their birth (9). Then obtaining again the recollection of the most excellent Sānkhya Yoga and securing the consummate development of their powers they again attain to that Yoga state which it is so hard to acquire (10). O my child, they are the Pitris who enhance the ascetic powers of the Yogins and they, by their Yoga, propitiated Soma in the days of yore (11). Therefore Srāddhas should be performed particularly for the Yogins. This is the first creation of the high-souled drinkers of Soma (12). Their mind-begotten daughter Mena was the first wife of the mountain chief Himalaya. Her son was called Maināka (13). His son was the effulgent great mountain Krauncha. This best of mountains was white and abounded in various sorts of jewels (14). The mountain-king begat on Mena three daughters, namely, Aparna, Ekaparnā—and the third was Ekapatāla (15). Having carried on hard austerities, which even the Gods and Dānavas cannot practise with difficulty, those three daughters disturbed all the worlds consisting of mobile and immobile creatures (16). Ekaparnā used to live upon one leaf only and Ekapātala used to live upon one Patala flower only (17). And when Aparnā divorced from food began to carry on hard austerities, her mother, stricken with sorrow, consequent upon her motherly affection, prevented her, saying "U. Ma." (18). Thus addressed by her mother, that fair goddess, carrying on hard penances, became celebrated in the three worlds by the name of Uma (19). She also became celebrated by the name of Yogadharmin.[1] O Bhargava, this world consisting of three maidens shall (for ever) exist (20). All the three were endued with yoga energy and bodies[2] perfected by hard austerities. They were all conversant with the knowledge of Brahman and had controlled their carnal desires (21). The beautiful Umā was the eldest and foremost of them. Gifted with great yoga powers she approached the Great Deity Siva (22). Ekaparnā was given away as a wife unto the high-souled, intelligent and the great Yogin and preceptor, the black Devala (23). Know Ekapātala as the wife of Jaigishavya. Those two noble maidens approached those two preceptors of yoga (24). The celestials offer watery oblations for all those regions of Somayagins[3] that are called Somapadā and where dwell the sons and ancestral manes of the Patriarch Marichi (25). They all pass by the name of Agnisvatta and are gifted with immeasurable energy. They have a mind-born daughter by name Achhodā who travels underneath[4] (26). From that (river) has sprung a lake by the name of Achhoda. She had never seen her ancestral manes before (27). That one of beautiful smiles (thou) saw her bodiless ancestral manes. She was begotten of their mind and did not know her. For this misfortune that beautiful damsel was greatly ashamed. Beholding the ancestral mane Vasu, the illustrious son of Ayu by the name of Amāvasu, who was passing through the etherial region in a car along with the Apsarā Adrikā, she thought of him[5] (first) (28–30). On account of her this frailty, that she thought of another and not her own father, that one capable of assuming forms of her will lost her Yoga power and fell down (31). When she fell down from the celestial region she behold three cars of the size of Esarenu and espied in them her ancestral manes (32). They looked exceedingly subtle, indistinct and like fire offered into clarified butter. While she was in distress and falling down with her head downwards she exclaimed "Save me" (33). The ancestral manes stationed on the cars said to their girl who was in the etherial region "do not fear." Then with purely words she began to propitiate the ancestral manes (34). The ancestral manes then said to that girl who was divested of all her merits on account of this transgression:—"O thou of pure smiles, for thy own folly, thou hast been divested of all thy merits (35). The celestials attain, in heaven, to the fruits of their actions which they perform with their bodies in this world (36). (Sometimes)[6] the celestials, by their (mere) determination attain to the fruits of their actions but mankind reap them only when they repair to the next world. Therefore, O daughter, by practising hard austerities in this world thou shalt reap the fruits thereof in the next (37)."

[1] This is a name of the Goddess Uma. It literally means who is naturally intent on carrying on Yoga practises.

[2]The word in the text is Tapamaya body. It is very difficult to render the expression into English. Tapas means hard religious practises, such as, placing one's self in the midst of burning fire, exposing one's self day and night under the Sun and to cold. By such practises a yogin can acclimatise his body to the influences of climate and restrain his passions. Thus Tapamaya body means a body that is used to both heat and cold and all other climatic influences and that has mastered all the functions,

[3] Those who invoke the deities by offering them Soma juice—a delicious drink which is much liked by the gods according to Hindu ideas.

[4] This mind-born daughter refers to a river of the same name that has come down from that region to earth.

[5] The word in the text is Vabre which literally means to choose as a husband. It may also mean to offer benedictory offerings to a deity or person. As it is impossible for a daughter to choose one of her ancestors as her husband the word evidently means here "to accept him and give him offerings as her father". The context proves that the maiden was anxious to behold her ancestral manes and so when she first saw Vasu, she took him for her father and offered him adoration. Later she perceived that he was not her father and her real Pitris were in the three cars. This was evidently a transgression, for which, as is seen later on, she was doomed to take birth as the daughter of Vasu.

[6] We have put in Sometimes only for preserving consistency. In the previous sloka it is mentioned that even the celestials perform actions in this world and then attain to the fruits thereof in the next. Thus the gods also are under the influence of Karma. Whereas in this sloka it is said that by mere determination they attain to the fruits of their actions. Therefore the consistency is not preserved unless we put in the word 'Sometimes'. The author evidently had in view that the celestials, though under the influence of Karma, are sometimes freed therefrom. But that is not the case with men. They cannot avoid the consequences of their actions under any circumstances whatever.

Thus accosted by her own Pitris the maiden began propitiating them. Then realising the truth in their own minds, they all, out of compassion, became pleased with her (38). Knowing that all this is inevitable they asked that maiden to act (in that way) and said to her:—"Thou shalt be born as the daughter of the high-souled king Vasu who is born on earth among men. Being born as his daughter thou shalt again attain to thy own regions which it is so hard to gain (39-40). Thou shalt give birth to the illustrious son of Parāshara.[7] That great Brāhmana saint shall divide the one Veda into four parts (41). Two sons, the illustrious and pious Vichitravirya and Chitrangada, will be born unto the king Shāntanu, who was (in another birth the king) Mahābhisha. Having given birth to these sons thou shalt again attain to thy own regions. On account of thy transgressions towards thy ancestral manes thou shalt come by these inferior births (42-43). Thou shalt be begotten as his daughter by this king on his wife Adrikā. In the eighteenth Dwāpara cycle thou shalt be born as a fish" (44). Thus spoken to by her ancestral manes that maiden was born in Dasha family as Satyavati. First born as a fish she became the daughter of the king Vasu (45).

[7] This refers to Veda Vyasa who compiled and arranged the four Vedas. The word Vyasa means "an arranger" Veda Vyasa is the surname of a Rishi, the son of Parashara, who compiled the four Vedas. The Vedas originally existed in the shape of hymns that were sung by the ancient Aryans and passed from one family to another as sacred heir-looms. For some centuries they existed in this form. It was this great Rishi who first committed them to writing and arranged them in the order in which they are now found. The four divisions are his own creation. On account of this great work he received the appellation 'Veda-Vyasa'.

The picturesque region Vaibhrāja, where dwell the Pitris celebrated in heaven as Varhishadas, is situate in Dyuloka (46). The highly effulgent celestials, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Nāgas, Sarpas (serpents), Suparnas (birds) offer oblations for (the attainment of those) regions (47). They are the offspring of the high-souled Patriarch Pulastya. They were all great, highly meritorious, energetic and used to carry on ascetic observances. Their mind-born daughter was known as Pivari. She was (herself) a great ascetic, the wife of an ascetic, and the mother of an ascetic (48–49).

O you foremost of the pious, at the commencement of Dwāpara Yuga, the great ascetic and Yogin Suka, the foremost of Brāhmanas born in the race of Parashara, will take birth in that Yuga. He will be begotten by Vyasa on Arani like fire divested of smoke (50–51). He will beget on that daughter of the ancestral manes four sons, viz, the highly powerful Yoga-teacher Krishna, Goura, Prabhu and Shambhu, and a daughter by name Kritwā, who will be the mother of Brahmadatta and the queen of king Anuha (52–53). Having begotten these vow-observing teachers of Yoga and listened to various forms of religion from his own sire Vyasa, the immeasurably intelligent, pious and ascetic Rishi Suka repaired to the region from where no one returns—the eternal, undecaying region of Brahman shorn of all troubles, where reside the shape-less Pitris in the form of virtue, and where has originated this theme of Vrishnis and Andhakas (54–55). The ancestral manes of the Patriarch Vasishtha, known as Sukātas, live eternally in heaven and the region lighted by the effulgence that grants the consummation of all desires. The Brāhmanas always offer them oblations (57). Their mind born daughter is known as Go in the region of celestials, who will be given (in marriage) to your family and be the other beloved wife of Suka. The Sādhyas have a well-known daughter, ever enhancing their fame, by name Ekashringā. (58). She lives in the regions effulgent like the rays of the Sun. The Kshatriyas, who wish to reap the fruits of their actions, propitiate the sons of Angiras, who had formerly been rendered prosperous by Sāddhyas. Their mind-born daughter is known as Yashodā (59–60). She was the wife of Vishwamahata, daughter-in-law of Vriddhasharmā and the mother of the high-souled royal saint Dilipa (61). O my son, formerly in the cycle of gods, at the great horse-sacrifice of the king Dilipa the great saints chanted various themes with joy (62). Hearing of the birth of Agni (fire-god) from some descendant of Shandili, those men, who will behold the truthful and high-souled performer of sacrifices Dilipa, will conquer the celestial region (63). The ancestral manes of the Patriarch Karddama, Sudhanwās by name, came into being from the noble Brāhmana Pulaha (64). They, gifted with etherial movements, are living in the regions where the dwellers move about of their own will. The Vaishyas who wish to reap the fruits of their actions, offer oblations unto them (65). Their mind-born daughter is celebrated by the name of Viraja. O Brahman, she will be the mother of Yayati and the wife of Nahusha (66). Thus I have described to you the three orders: hear from me of the fourth order. The drinkers of Soma juice, who were begotten on Swadhā the daughter of Kavi, were the offspring of Hiranyagarbha. The Sudras encompass their gratification (67). The etherial region where they dwell is called Mānasa. Their mind-born daughter is Narmadā the foremost of streams (68). Traversing the southern way she is purifying the creatures. She is the wife of Purukutsa and the mother of Trāsadasyu (59). The ancestral manes are to be adored—and when this is neglected at various cycles the Patriarch Manu introduces the performance of Srāddha in their honour (70).

O foremost of the twice-born, of all the ancestral manes Yama was first born and he protected all created beings by his own virtue. Therefore he is designated in the Vedas as Srāddhadeva (71). When after reciting the mystic formulae, oblation is offered in silver or silver-plated vessels to the ancestral manes it encompasses their gratification (72). Having first propitiated Yama the son of Vivaswān and then Soma, one should offer oblation unto fire; and in the absence of fire unto water (73). The ancestral manes are pleased with him who reverentially brings about their gratification, and confer upon him nourishment, innumerable offspring, wealth and all other desired-for objects. O ascetic, the worship of the ancestral manes is preferred to that of the celestials (74–75). It is ordained by scriptures that before the celestials the ancestral manes should be gratified. The latter are easily pleased, freed from anger and they confer the most excellent gratification on men (76). O descendant of Bhrigu, the gratification of ancestral manes is ever constant. Therefore do thou bow unto them. Thou art ever devoted unto thy ancestral manes and specially unto me (77). I shall do what conduces to thy well-being. Do thou witness it thyself. O sinless one, I shall confer on thee celestial vision together with discriminative knowledge (78). Listen attentively, O Markandeya, to the means thereof. This is not the Yoga state of the celestials but the most excellent state of the celestials (79). Such persons of consummate ascetic powers behold me with their own eyes. Having thus spoken to me who was present before him and conferred upon me celestial vision together with discriminative knowledge, which even the celestials can with difficulty acquire, the Lord of celestials (Sanatkumar) repaired to his wished-for region like the second burning fire (80–81). O foremost of Kurus, hear now, what I had heard, by the favour of that God—(things) above the comprehension of men in this world (12).

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அக்ரூரன் அக்னி அசமஞ்சன் அதிரதன் அந்தகன் அரிஷ்டன் அர்ஜுனன் அனு அஜமீடன் அஸ்தி ஆபவர் ஆயு ஆஹுகன் இந்திரன் இளை உக்ரசேனன் உக்ராயுதன் உசீநரன் உதங்கர் உபரிசரவசு உல்பணன் ஊர்வசி ஊர்வர் ஏகலவ்யன் ஔர்வர் கக்ஷேயு கங்கை கசியபர் கண்டரீகர் கண்டூகன் கபிலர் கமலாதேவி கம்ஸன் கருடன் கர்க்கர் கர்ணன் காதி காந்திதேவி கார்த்தவீர்யார்ஜுனன் காலநேமி காலயவனன் காலவர் காளியன் கிருஷ்ணன் குசிகன் குணகன் குரோஷ்டு குவலயாபீடம் குவலாஷ்வன் கூனி கைசிகன் சகடாசுரன் சக்ரதேவன் சங்கன் சததன்வன் சத்யகர்மன் சத்ருக்னன் சத்வதன் சந்தனு சந்திரன் சனத்குமாரர் சன்னதி சாணூரன் சாந்தீபனி சால்வன் சிசுபாலன் சித்திராங்கதன் சிருகாலன் சிவன் சுனீதன் சூரன் சூரியன் சைசிராயணர் தக்ஷன் தசரதன் தந்தவக்ரன் தமகோஷன் தரதன் தன்வந்தரி தாரை திதிக்ஷு திரிசங்கு திரிவிக்ரை திருமிலன் திரையாருணன் திலீபன் திவோதாஸன் துந்து துந்துமாரன் துருவன் துஷ்யந்தன் தூம்ரவர்ணன் தேவகன் தேவகி தேவாவ்ருதன் தேனுகன் நந்தன் நரகாசுரன் நஹுஷன் நாரதர் நாராயணன் நாராயணி நிகும்பன் நிசுந்தன் நித்ராதேவி நீபன் பஞ்சஜனன் பத்மாவதி பப்ரு பயோதன் பரசுராமர் பரதன் பரத்வாஜர் பலராமன் பார்வதி பிரதீபன் பிரம்மதத்தன் பிரம்மன் பிரலம்பன் பிரஸேனன் பிராசேதஸ் பிராப்தி பிருது பிருதை பிருஹதாஷ்வன் பிருஹஸ்பதி பீஷ்மகன் பீஷ்மர் புதன் புரூரவன் பூதனை பூமாதேவி பூரு பூஜனி மதிராதேவி மது மதுமதி மயன் மஹாமாத்ரன் மாயாதேவி மார்க்கண்டேயர் முசுகுந்தன் முஷ்டிகன் யசோதை யது யயாதி யுதிஷ்டிரன் ரஜி ராமன் ருக்மவதி ருக்மி ருக்மிணி ரேவதி ரைவதன் ரோஹிணி லவணன் வசிஷ்டர் வருணன் வஸு வஸுதேவன் வாயு விகத்ரு விதர்ப்பன் விப்ராஜன் விரஜை விருஷ்ணி விஷ்ணு விஷ்வாசி விஷ்வாமித்ரர் விஷ்வாவஸு விஸ்வகர்மன் வேனன் வைவஸ்வத மனு ஜராசந்தன் ஜஹ்னு ஜாம்பவான் ஜியாமோகன் ஸகரன் ஸத்யபாமா ஸத்யவிரதன் ஸத்ராஜித் ஸத்வான் ஸஹஸ்ரதன் ஸ்ரீதாமன் ஹயக்ரீவன் ஹரி ஹரியஷ்வன் ஹரிஷ்சந்திரன் ஹிரண்யகசிபு