Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What happened to Narada?

Sri gurubhyo namaha.
--continued from the previous post ---

Narada said - '' O DvaipAyana, when the king Taladhvaja asked me thus, I thought it over earnestly and said - '' I do not know whose daughter I am, nor do I know quite certainly where my father and mother are. Somebody placed me here by this tank and has gone away, where to I do not know. O king, being now a helpless orphan, I do not know where to go to, or what to do. Destiny is powerful and I do not have the least control over it, you know Dharma and you are a king. O king nourish me, as Iam now your dependent.''
When I spoke thus, the king looked into my eyes and became love stricken for me. he commanded his attendants to bring an excellent rectangular palanquin for me to be carried on the shoulders of four men. Instantly the servants went away and brought for me a beautiful palanquin. I got on it and the king gladly took me home. Then, on an auspicious day and in an auspicious moment, he married me in accordance with the due rites and ceremonies, witnessed by the Holy fire.
I became dearer to him than even his own life and the king with great fondness named me Saubagya Sundari. The king began to sport with me amorously according to the rules of the Kama sastra, in various ways and with great enjoyments and pleasures. He left all his kingly duties and state affairs and began to remain with me day and night, deeply immersed in amorous sports. His mind was so merged in me as a result of this love play, that he could not notice the time passing away. After drinking the Varuni wine, he began to enjoy me in nice gardens, beautiful lakes, lovely palaces, excellent mountains and enviable forest glades, and thus became completely subservient to me.

O Vyasa, being incessantly engaged in amorous sport with the king and remaining obedient to him, the truth about my previous body,male ideas, nothing remained in my memory. I remained always attached to him and I constantly thought ' this king is very much attached to me, I am his dearest wife and he always thinks of me, I am his chief consort, capable of giving him enjoyment'. My mind became his entirely and I completely forgot the eternal Brahmajnyan and the knowledge of the Dharma sastras. O muni, thus fixed in the various amorous sports, twelve years passed as if in a moment and I could not realize that. Then I became pregnant, and the king became overjoyed. He performed all the necessary ceremonies pertaining to my impregnation and holding of the child in my womb. The king used to ask me always about the things that I liked and tried to satisfy me. Ten months passed thus and in an auspicious lagna under a nakshatra which was favorably strong, I gave birth to a son. There were great celebrations held on the birth ceremony of the child and when the period of birth - impurity was over, the king saw the face of the child and was greatly delighted. I then became the dearest wife of the king. Two years after that, I became impregnated again and the second auspicious son was born. Thus in due course of time, I gave birth to twelve sons, to the kings great liking, and was engaged in rearing those children. And so I remained enchanted. Again, in due course, I gave birth to eight more sons and my household was filled with happiness. The king performed the marriage ceremonies of all those children in a fitting manner and our family became very big with sons and their wives.
Then I had grandsons and they increased my attachment and the consequent delusion with all their playful sports. There were times that I felt happy and prosperous and at other times I felt pain and sorrow when my sons fell ill. Then my body and mind became very much troubled with their sorrows. The quarrels amongst my sons and my daughters in law brought terrible pain and remorse in my mind. O muni, I was thus greatly immersed in the terrible ocean of these imaginary thoughts - sometimes happy and sometimes painful, and I forgot all my previous knowledge of the self and the sastras. I was merged in the thought of myself as a woman and lost myself in the everyday household duties. I began to think that ' I have so many powerful sons and daughters in law, oh, I am fortunate and am full of merits amongst women'. Thus my ego and pride increased. Never for even a moment did it even occur to me that I had been Narada and that the Bhagavan had infact deceived me with his Maya. I was deluded thus by Maya and passed away my time in the tought ' that I am the kings favorite wife, chaste and of good conduct and following good achara, I have many sons and grand children, I am indeed blessed in this samsara and am happy and prosperous'.
Once, a powerful king of a distant country turned out an inveterate enemy of my husband and came to the city of Kanuj to fight with my husband. he came accompanied by chariots and elephants and the full fourfold army. My sons and grandsons went out and fought a valiant battle, but owing to the great Destiny, the enemies killed all my sons. The king retreated and returned to his palace. Then the enemy king went back to his own country after killing all my sons and grandsons. I rushed to the battlefield, crying loudly. Seeing my beloved sons and grandsons lying on the ground in that horrible and distressed state, I became merged in the ocean if sorrow and lamented their loss by weeping loudly and wildly -' O my sons, where have you gone leaving me thus? Alas! Fate is very dominant, and very painful and indomitable. It has broken me today.'
By this time, the Bhagavan Hari came to me in the garb of an aged brahmin. His dress was sacred and beautiful to behold, it seemed that he was versed in the vedas. Seeing me weeping distressedly in the battlefield he said - '' O Devi, it seems that you are the mistress of a prosperous home and that you have a husband and sons. Why then are you weeping thus and feeling yourself distressed? All this is simply an illusion caused by your Moha (delusion), think, who are you? Whose sons are these lying here? Now think of your best hereafter, don't weep, get up and be comfortable''.
'' O Devi, to show respect to your sons and others gone to the other worlds, offer them water and Til (sesame). The friends of the deceased ought to take their bath in a place of pilgrimage, never should they bathe in their houses. Know this as ordained by dharma.'' Narada said - '' O DvaipAyana, when the old brahmin addressed me thus, the king and I and our other friends got up. The Bhagavan Hari causing this creation, in the form of a brahmana, led the way and we quickly followed him to that sacred place of pilgrimage. Thus Vishnu took me kindly to the tank named Pumthirtha (Male thirtha) and said - '' Better take your bath in this tank, forego your sorrows that are of no use, now the time has come to offer water to your departed sons. Better think that you had millions of sons born to you in your previous births and for that your millions of sons and daughters lost their lives, you had millions of fathers, husbands and brothers and you lost them again. O Devi, now tell me for whom will you grieve? All these, then, are merely mental phenomena, this world is full of delusion.''
Narada said - '' On hearing his words, I went to bathe in that Pumthirtha. Taking a dip, I found that, in an instant, I became a man. Bhagavan Hari, in His own proper form was standing on the edge with a lute in His hand. O Vyasa, when getting out of the water, I came to the bank and saw the lotus eyed Hari, pure conciousness then flashed in my heart. Then I realized '' I am Narada, I have come to this place and being deluded by Maya, I got the female form''. When I was thinking thus, Hari exclaimed, '' O Narada! Get up, what are you doing standing in the water?'' I was astonished, and on recollecting my feminine nature, very severe indeed, began to think why I was again transformed into a male form.''

To be continued...............
From a 1921 translation (adapted at parts and verbatim at others) of the Bhagavatham.