Thursday, 18 June 2020

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE DEMON PRALAMVA | VISHNU PARVA SECTION - 69 - 014

CHAPTER LXIX

(THE DESTRUCTION OF THE DEMON PRALAMVA)


Pralamva and Valarama

VAISHAMPAYANA said: - Thereupon leaving off that forest of palm trees the two sons of Vasudeva again came to the Bhāndira tree (1). Traversing that prosperous forestland and tending the ever increasing flock of kine those two beautiful subduers of enemies began to strike their arms and sing. Sometimes they collected the trees and called the kine with their calves by names (2-3). They had ropes hanging on their shoulders and their breasts were adorned with garlands of auspicious wild flowers. And they looked like two bulls with new-grown horns (4). Having the hue of gold and powdered collyrium and clad in apparels of the same color with their respective persons, those two boys appeared like white and black clouds accompanied by rain-bow[1] (5).

[1] The word in the text literally means the bow of Indra. According to the Hindu mythology the rain-bow is supposed to be the bow of Indra who the presiding deity of rain and showers.

Traversing the forest-ways along with their comrades, making beautiful ear-rings with the tips of Kuçā grass or flowers, and putting on wild dresses they sometimes sported on the mount Govardhana, sometimes in the forest and sometimes in the table-land. They thus engaged in a sport which was celebrated all over the world (6-7). Thus following human conduct and engaging in a play introduced by milkmen they who were worshipful even unto the celestials, began to range in the forest (8).

Thus sporting, they, within a short time, reached the Bhāndiraka fig-tree covered with growing branches - the best of the kind (9). They, who were experts in fighting, began to play there with cradles, nets and stones (10). Those two heroes, powerful like lions, began to display there, in the company of cow-herd boys, of their own accord and with delight, many a martial feat (11). While they were thus playing, the foremost of Asuras, by name Pralamva, came there with a view to kill them and began to find out their weak points (12). Assuming the form of a cow-herd and adorned with wild flowers that Asura began to tempt the two brothers with his play and smiles (13). Adopting a human form, although not born in the race of men that foremost of Dānavas, fearlessly joined their company (14). Considering him, who came there in the form of a milk-man, as their friend, those cow-herds began to play with that enemy of the immortals (15). Searching their weak points Pralamva too, who had assumed the guise of a milk-man, cast his dreadful looks at Krishna and Rohini's son (16). Then considering Krishna of wonderful prowess as irrepressible he gave him up and made up his mind for destroying Baladeva (17).
ஹரிணாக்ரீடனம் - பச்சைக்குதிரை தாண்டுதல்
O sinless one, at that time the Lord introduced a new of play of leaping in pairs. And all of them engaged in it (18). Krishna jumped with another milk-boy by name Sridāma and Sangkarshana with Pralamva, O sinless one (19). The other milk-boys, of inferior strength, began to leap with great force in the company of their comrades (20). Krishna defeated Sridāma and Rohini's son Pralamva and other boys were vanquished by those of Krishna's party (21). Thereupon carrying on their shoulders the victorious those, who were vanquished, came delightedly and quickly to the root of the Bhāndiraka tree and soon reached their appointed quarter. And carrying on his shoulders Baladeva, the foremost of Dānavas, Pralamva, began to proceed quickly in an opposite direction like a cloud with the moon (22-23). Being unable to carry the weight of the intelligent son of Rohini that huge-bodied (demon) increased (his body) like a cloud attacked by Sakra (24). Then that foremost of Dānavas Pralamva displayed his own body huge as the Bhāndiraka fig tree and effulgent like a mountain of burnt collyrium (25). Then that huge-faced and huge-necked dreadful demon, having eyes like unto the wheels of a car, a head adorned with a sun-like coronet of five layers and resembling Death himself, shone like a cloud attacked by the sun. The earth sank under the weight of his feet (26-27). As Death carries away men sunk in the waves of the ocean, so the great demon Pralamva, the foremost of heroes, adorned with long garlands and other ornaments and clad in a long raiment, carried away quickly and stealthily Rohini's son like a cloud surcharged with water. While thus carried away by him Sangkarshana shone there like the moon in the sky carried by dreadful clouds (28-30). Beholding himself on the shoulders of the demon the dreadful Sangkarshana began to cherish suspicions in his mind and said to Krishna (31).

"O Krishna, I am being carried away by this Daitya huge like a mountain and clad in a coat of mail who has displayed a great illusion and assumed the form of a man (32). This wicked-minded Pralamva has grown exceedingly in pride and his power has doubled itself. How shall I vanquish him" (33) ?

Krishna knew very well the character and strength of Rohini's son and therefore smilingly and quietly said to him in joyous words (34): - "O god, thou art identical with the universe and art subtler than the subtle. Thou art merely showing the conduct of a man (35). Do thou meditate thy own Nārāyana form at the time of the revolution of the worlds. Do thou now know of thy own true form and body (which thou didst manifest at the time of the) union of the ancient Rishis, powerful on account of their own faculties, of the oceans, Brahma and water (36-37). The sky is thy head, the water is thy form, the earth is thy forgiveness, the fire is thy mouth, the life of all the worlds is thy breath, the air is thy abode, and thy mind is the creator all (38). Thou art of thousand faces, thousand limbs, thousand feet, thousand eyes, thousand lotus-navels and thousand rays, and the slayer of thy enemies (39). The celestials behold what thou didst display before. None can find out what had not been said by thee before (40). Whatever is capable of being known in this world thou hast made them all known. All the celestials do not know what thou alone dost know (41). The deities see thy own natural etherial form and worship that artificial form of thine, begotten of thy own self (which thou didst assume in the golden age) (42). The gods cannot see thy end and therefore thou dost pass by the appellation of Ananta.[2] Thou art alone subtle and beyond the comprehension of the subtle (43). O god, thou art the pillar of this universe. And stationed in thee this world, the source of the origin of all creatures, is upholding all the regions (44). My body extends over the four oceans[3] and thou hast instituted the division of the four Varnas[4]. Thou art the lord of the four Yugas[5] and the eater of the fruits of the four Hotras[6] (45).

[2] Literally means one having no end. The God has no beginning or end.

[3]  According to the Hindu mythology the world is bounded by the four oceans on the four sides. This figuratively refers to the universal form of the God.

[4] There are four principal Varnas or castes, the Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. The Brahmanas are said to have sprung from the mouth of Brahma and belong to the sacerdotal class. The Kshatriyas, or the military caste, are said to have arisen from His arms. The Vaisyas or the trading class are said to have sprung from His thighs and the Sudra or the servile class from His feet. The earliest reference to the origin of caste is seen in ā hymn of the Rig Veda called Purusha Sukta. There are various other accounts seen in the various Puranas.

[5] Juga is an age of the world of which there are four namely, Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali.

[6] An article intended as fit for offering with fire. Burnt offering, oblation with fire.

Although we both are of one body, we have assumed two different forms for protecting the universe, mobile and immobile. As I am the Lord of the universe so thou art (46). I am the eternal Krishna and thou art the ancient Sesha[7]. Thou art the ever-existent god Sesha of the world. The world is upheld by our body divided in twain (47). I am identical with thee and thou art at one with me. Both of us are highly powerful and of one body (48). What is the use, O God, of waiting like one having no sense? Do thou strike forcibly, with thy fist, firm as a thunder-bolt, the head of this Dānava, the enemy of the celestials" (49).

[7] A name of Baladeva. It is also the name of the serpent-king, the thousand-headed snake who was the couch and canopy of Vishnu.

VAISHAMPAYANA said: - Hearing those words of Krishna and recollecting the ancient history the mighty-armed son of Rohini was filled with his own strength pervading the three worlds and with his well-formed fist resembling a thunder-bolt struck the wicked Pralamva on the head (50-51). His head, shorn of its fore part, entered into the body of the Dānava and he too, divested of his life, touched the ground with his knees (52). Thereupon, with his body out-stretched on the ground Pralamva looked like a cloud scattered on the sky (53). As streams of water, mixed with various minerals, come out of the summit of a mountain so blood came out of his body shorn of head (54).

Having thus slain Pralamva and withdrawn his own strength the powerful son of Rohini embraced Krishna (55). Thereupon Krishna, along with the gods stationed in the sky and milkmen began to chant the glories of the highly powerful Baladeva with benedictory hymns bespeaking his victory (56). In the sky was heard an invisible voice of the celestials declaring "This Daitya has been by force killed by a boy of unwearied actions" (57). Thus on that Daitya, irrepressible unto the deities, being slain, the celestials, stationed in the sky, gave him the name Baladeva after his action. Therefore all the worlds call him by the name of Baladeva (58-59).

Source: https://archive.org/details/AProseEnglishTranslationOfHarivamsh

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