Friday, 16 October 2020

THE COLOQUY BETWEEN NARADA AND INDRA REGARDING THE TRANSPLANTATION OF THE PARIJATA | VISHNU PARVA SECTION - 126 - 070

CHAPTER CXXVI

(THE COLOQUY BETWEEN NARADA AND INDRA REGARDING THE TRANSPLANTATION OF THE PARIJATA)

Narada and Indra


Vaishampāyana said:—The sage Narada then repaired to the residence of Mahendra; and there he passed the night in witnessing the festivities (held in honor of Siva) (1). The illustrious Adityas, the best of gods, the Vasus, the learned Rajarshis who had attained to paradise through their meritorious deeds (2), the Nagas, the Yakshas, the Siddhas, the Charanas, the sages of ascetic austerities, Brahmharsis by thousands, Devarshis and Moonies (3), the high-souled Saparnas, the highly powerful Marutas, and hundreds of other divine creatures were assembled there (4). The god Maheswara of immeasurable energy, accompanied by Uma and surrounded by his attendants sat at the head of them all (5). That protector of all creatures was surrounded also by those foremost of the Devarshis who suffer no decay even at the end of thousands of Kalpas, (6) who are worshipped by gods equal to Indra, are possessed of self-knowledge, free from pride and who ever tread the path of rectitude (7). The Rudras the progeny of Kasyapa, Skanda, the god of fire, that best of rivers Ganga, Archisman, Tamburu, Bharisa, that foremost of eloquent speakers, those possessed of the ascetic merit, and such other leaders of the divine host, then O Bharata, adored that supreme god Siva (8–9). O ruler of men, other gods devoted to religious ways and austerities and followers of the path of the pious,—followed their above-named leaders (i.e., offered homages to Siva), (10). O king, those men who desirous of good, worship the gods on earth, those men are in their turned worshipped in heaven by the immortals desirous of securing good (11). O descendant of the Kouravas, those men versed in the Vedas, who live according to the ordinances of the Sastras and who adore the gods in the performance of their religious ceremonies for the benefit of their ancestral manes, those are held in high estimation in the next world by the gods (12). O ruler of men, there the illustrious Chitraratha, the king of the Gandharvas together with his son, delightfully played upon the heavenly musical instruments (13). Urnayu, Chitrasena, Hahahuhu, Dumbara, Tamvura and other Gandharvas sang the six different harmonies (14). Urvasi, Viprachiti, Hemā, Rambhā, Hemadantā Ghritachi, and Sahajanyā and other damsels then performed numerous kinds of dances there (15). The self-possessed illustrious Siva accepted these homages with pleasure, and that lord of the world pleased with these worshipful acts of Sakra, went back to his own residence (16).

On the departure of that lord of the created beings, the kings (assembled there) returned to the places whence they came; the gods also honored by Mahendra repaired to their respective abodes (17). When everybody had gone away and Purandara was seated comfortably with his own courtiers, the sage Narada approached him (18). Rising from his seat, Indra received that sage of ascetic wealth, and offered him a seat made of Kusa grass equal to that of his own (19). Thereafter the highly powerful Narada said these words to Mahendra:—"O foremost of immortals, know me now to be the messenger from Vishnu of matchless might (20). I have been despatched here by that illustrious one of immense powers on a mission that will remove one of his causes of pain" (21). Thereupon greeting the sage with sweet and agreeable words, the illustrious Pākasasana said with delight (22):—"O sage, tell me without delay what has that foremost of men said; it is after a long time that the high-souled Krishna has remembered us (23)".

Narada said:—O Mahendra, on some business of mine, I went to Dwarka to see your younger brother Upendra that enhancer of the glory of the Kasyapas (24). I found that subduer of his foes, that hero seated on the Raivataka mountain in company with his wife Rukshmini and offering eulogies to the God having the bull for his emblem (25). I gave him then the flower of the Parijata tree, O sinless ruler of the gods, in order that he may astonish his wives therewith (26). At the sight of that flower, the production of the best of trees that bestows all desires, the wives of Kesava were greatly astonished (27). O bestower of honor, I related to them the qualities of that flower and the creation of the Parijata tree by the high-souled Kasyapa (28). (I related to them) how the self-controlled Kasyapa bound by the neck with a garland of flowers was given away to me by Aditi for the sake of her Punyaka vow (29); how you were given away; by Sachi, and how similarly other gods were given away and O lord of the gods, how Kasyupa and other mighty sages obtained their release, by having paid their ransom (30). On hearing these from me, one very dear wife of your younger brother, named Satyabhāmā, made up her mind to perform the Punyaka vow (31). O lord of the immortals, O bestower of honor, that queen then entreated her husband to help her in the performance of that vow, and your younger brother had pledged himself to that effect (32). O chief of the gods, now hear attentively as I speak, all that Vishnu that foremost of powerful beings, said to me then to convey to you (33). With due deference, your younger brother, Achyuta who deserves all indulgence at your hands has said to you:—"O foremost of the gods! it behoves thee to give me that first and excellent of trees, Parijāta (34). Let, O slayer of the Asuras, the desire of thy sister-in-law be fulfilled; specially O foremost of the gods, as she is bent on a religious deed (35). O lord of created beings, the people of heaven have had the privilege of looking upon that blessed tree; now let the human beings of the earth be blessed with a sight of it through my instrumentality (36)."

Vaishampāyana said:—O delighter of your race, having heard the words of Vasudeva's son, Mahendra said these words to Narada that foremost of eloquent speakers (37): "O foremost of the twice-born ones: take thy seat; thou hast spoken aright and properly; I shall entrust thee with a return message for Vishnu of matchless powers (38). On Narada resuming his seat, Sakra also, with the former's permission seated himself down on a seat similar to that of Narada (39). Thus seated, the lord of the gods that slayer of Virtra, cast a glance on his own magnificence[1] and filled with delight thus addressed the sage Narada (40)".

[1] Literally his prowess and energy.
 

Indra said:—Mighty and pious sage! After the usual enquiry regarding his health and welfare, Janārddana, that source of happiness to all creatures should be informed of these words of mine by thyself (41):—"There is not the shadow of a doubt that leaving me, thou art the lord of the worlds. O infallible one, the Parijāta and all other precious possessions of heaven are thine own (42). O divine one, thou hast sojourned to the earth only for relieving her of her burden, and thou art behaving thyself in the human way only for the sake of the success of thy mission (43). When after the fulfilment of thy earthly mission thou shalt return to heaven, I shall fulfill, O Adhokshaja, all the cherished desires of thy (beloved) wife (44). O Kesava, it is not at all proper to take the precious things of heaven down to earth merely for the sake of a trifle, and this has been the long-standing practice (45). If, O mighty lord, I trangress this long-standing rule obtaining in heaven, what shall the Prajapatis themselves say (46)? The high-souled Brahman with his sons and grandsons hath established permanent rules regarding all actions in the worlds (47). If I venture to walk beyond the path thus laid down by Prajapati Brahman, surely that intelligent lord when apprised of my transgressions will hurl down curses on me (48). If we ourselves break through these bindings of the standing customs then the Daityas and their partisans, as well as others will violate it without the slightest hesitation (49). If for the sake of thy wife thou takest the excellent Pārijāta down to earth, then, O bestower of honor, the inhabitants of heaven will be much depressed (50). O sage, let my brother, seeing the course of the times, be satisfied with those luxuries only which the uncreate Brahman has ordained for the enjoyment of the human kind (51). O sire, whatever possessions I have got in heaven, Krishna is at liberty to enjoy them when he remains here (52). Janārddana is filled with the arrogance that attends those who eat rich dishes of meat, and therefore it is that he is following the course of sin, leaving virtue aside (53). Born as a man in the human world, the conduct of Krishna towards me his elder brother,—this conduct which he offers me under the influence of his wife—would surely, O Nārada, in my opinion redound much to his discredit (54–55). This seizure of the precious possessions of heaven will be a direct insult to me; and insult offered by the relatives is all the more disgraceful. (56). Let the slayer of Madhu enjoy in succession, virtue, wealth and desire, those possessions of the pious ordained by the lotus-born Brahman (57). If I were to allow this Pārijāta tree to be taken down to earth, who will, even commencing with the daughter of Puloma, pay me the slightest regard (58)? Moreover, seeing and touching the Pārijāta tree on the face of the earth, men will no longer endeavour for the attainment of Heaven, as they will then enjoy the blessings of heaven on earth itself (59). O Nārada, if the mortals enjoy the blessings of the Pārijāta tree, what difference there will be then between themselves and the gods (60)? The acts which men do on earth, they enjoy those acts here; now if they be blessed with the possession of the Pārijāta, they will no longer exert themselves for attaining heaven (61). O sage! Pārijāta is the best of all the precious possessions of heaven, and it is the glory of heaven; this glory removed, the earth with its mortals will be as good as heaven with its immortals (62). Obtaining as they will, the blessings of heaven on the face of the earth, men will not celebrate sacrifices, nor will they perform acts of pious liberality, having been easily raised to the status of the immortals (63). Now, O sage, mortals, out of a desire for attaining heaven, gratify ourselves by reverentially performing sacrifices, Japas and Anhikas everyday (64). Possessed of the blessings of the Pārijāta, they will not think of adhering to these observances; and if they are neglected, we shall also dwindle away in our strength being deprived of their benefit[2] (65). We rear the corn on which men on earth live, by showering on them sufficient rain from here; and they also in their turn gratify ourselves by the celebration of sacrifices and acts of pious liberality (66). If when possessed of the blessings of Pārijāta, hunger, thirst, disease decrepitude, death, dissatisfaction, stinking smells and other dreadful visitations of Providence do not afflict men any longer, why should they strive for the attainment of Heaven (67–68)? For these reasons, it is not at all advisable to take down the Pārijāta tree there. Thus, O twice-born sage, should Vishnu that performer of sinless deeds, be addressed by thee (69). If thou wishest to please me, O sage, thou shalt also do, after mature judgment, all that: would go to gratify my brother Kesava (70). Let Kesava if he desires it, take down to Dwarka, garlands, gems, jewels, the Agura sandal, and beautiful garments and such other things which the mortals are entitled to, for the enjoyment of his wife. But it behoves him not to plunder heaven now (71–72). I shall give whatever gems he may desire to have, I shall give beautiful ornaments of all sorts, but I will never give him, O sage, the Pārijāta tree that most beloved possession of the inhabitants of heaven (73)".

[2] It is believed that the burnt offerings in the celebration of sacrifices &c, constitute the chief sustemance of the immortals.

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

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