Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 4-Van
|3-Van Parv, 198-199 of 313|
|Kathaa-G - 4-Van - page 37|
Story of Indradyumn
[3-198] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yudhishthir and Rishi again asked Maarkandeya Jee - "Is there anybody else who has a longer life than you?" Maarkandeya Jee said - "Yes, Without doubt. There is a sage named Indradyumn. When his virtues finished, he fell from Swarg crying - "Oh, My Punya are finished." And he came to me and asked me - "Do you know me?" And I said to him - "Since we wish to acquire Punya, we do not live in one home for more than one night. We live in a town or a village only for a night. A person like us cannot possibly know about you. The fasts and vows we observe make us weak in body and mind that sometimes we do not know even ourselves, so we cannot know you." He asked - "Is there anybody else who has lived longer than you?" I said - "There is one owl living on Himvant, named Pravarakarn. He is older than I, he might know you. The place he lives on Himvant is far from here." At this Indradyumn assumed the form of a horse and took me there where that owl lived. That king asked the owl - "Do you know me?" The owl thought for a moment and said - "I am sorry, I do not know you." The King asked the owl - "Is there anyone else who is older than you?" The owl replied - "There is a lake named Indradyumn. There lives a crane named Naadeejanghaa. He is older than we. You may ask him, he might know." At this Indradyumn took both of us to that lake and we asked him - "Do you know the King Indradyumn?" The crane thought a little and said - "I do not know King Indradyumn." "Is there anyone else who is older than you?" The crane replied - "There lives a tortoise, named Akoopaar, in this lake, he might know him."
Saying this to us he called the tortoise - "O tortoise, Please, come out, we want to talk to you." So the tortoise came out where we were standing. We asked him - "Do you know this King Indradyumn?" He also reflected for a moment, then his eyes were filled with tears and his heart moved and he nearly got deprived of his senses. He joined his hands and said - "I do not know this one. He had done many sacrifices. This lake was excavated by the feet of cows given away by this king to Braahman at the completion of the sacrifice. I have lived here ever since." As the tortoise finished his talking, a divine plane came from the celestial regions. An Aakaashvaanee said to Indradyumn - "Come, and sit here on this celestial chariot and come to Heaven, you deserve a place there." Here are certain Shlok - "The report of virtuous deeds is spread on the Earth and goes to Heaven also and as long as it lasts the person is said to be in Heaven. A man whose evil deeds are spread, he falls down and lives in lower regions as long as those reports last. That is why if anyone wants to go to Heaven he should do virtuous acts." Hearing these words, the King said - "O Plane, just wait, till I take these old people to that place from where I have brought them." He took Pravarakarn and me to our places and then went away riding that plane. being long lived I witnessed it."
Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Thus Maarkandeya told all this to Paandu's sons, Yudhishthir said - "You are blessed that you helped Indradyumn go to Heaven back." Maarkandeya Jee replied - "Devakee's son Krishn has also uplifted the King Nrig who was in hell and helped him to regain Heaven."
[3-199] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yudhishthir hearing this wonderful story of the King Indradyumn, said to Maarkandeya - "Hey Muni, In what condition a man should donate to gain the entry of Indra Lok? Is it in Grihasth Aashram, or in Brahmcharya Aashram, or in youth or in old age? tell me their specific merits also at different stages of life." Maarkandeya Jee said - "This useless life is of four kinds, and Charity, that is also useless is of 16 kinds. His life is useless who has no son and who has not earned any virtue, he lives on other's food; and lastly who cooks for himself and does not offer to Pitri, Devtaa, guests or eats before feeding them. The donation given from the wealth earned wrongly is also useless. A donation given to fallen Braahman, a thief, a false Guru, a liar, a sinner, an ungrateful, seller of Ved, fallen from virtuous vows, who officiates at the sacrifices done for all kinds of people, a Braahman that cooks for Shoodra, a Braahman who does not do his duties as a Braahman, is useless. The donation to a man who has married a girl after attaining puberty, females, who sports with snakes, who is employed in menial jobs - these 16 kinds of donations do not earn merits. The man who gives donation to Braahman enjoys its fruits in old age. That is why if someone wants to Heaven, he must donate anything to Braahman, the Braahman wants."
Yudhishthir asked - "By what means Braahman who accept donation from all the Varn, save others as well as themselves?" Maarkandeya Jee said - "By Jap, by Mantra and by Hom and the study of Ved. The Braahman construct a Vaidik boat by which they can save both - others and themselves. Because Devtaa are already pleased with Braahman so they do whatever a Braahman says. One should feed Braahman on Shraaddh days, leaving either excessively fair or excessively dark in complexion, with diseased nails, lepers, born to widows, or those who support themselves by the profession of arms. If the Braahman called for Shraaddh are dumb, blind or deaf then more Braahman should be invited who are conversant with Ved. One should give only to those who are able to save themselves and others. Entertain your guests with butter for their legs, offering of flowers, light for dark hours, food, shelter and clothes, they do not have to go to Yam Raaj. One can rescue himself by donation a Kapilaa cow.
He who gives 80 Rattee gold (about 10 Maashaa, or a little less than a Tolaa, or about 10 grams) earns the merit of giving away a 100 pieces of gold for ever. He who gives a bull, able to work in farms, goes to Heaven. He gives to a learned Braahman, his all desires are fulfilled. Food is a very good gift, so give food instead of giving anything else. Food itself is Prajaapati. Prajaapati is regarded as Year, the Year is sacrifice, and everything is established in sacrifice, because all have originated from sacrifice. So the food is the foremost of everything. They who give away lakes, tanks, wells, shelter and food and speak softly with all, they don't have to see Yam Raaj. The giver of food walks first, after him the speaker of truth and he who gives to those who do not ask for anythhing, but the three go to the same place."
Yam Lok, Purity, Donations
Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Hearing this Yudhishthir asked Maarkandeya Jee - "O Rishi, What is the distance between Prithvi Lok and Yam Lok? What is its measurement? How people pass it, and by what means? Please tell me all this." Maarkandeya Jee said - "This question of yours contains a great mystery. It is sacred and is much praised by Rishi. The distance of Yam Lok from men's Lok 86,000 Yojan (1 Yojan = 8 miles). Its way is over space, without water and very terrible to see. There is no shade of a tree over it, no water on the way and no resting place for a tired traveler. Men and women and all others who have life are forcibly led away by Yam's messengers. Who obey the messengers of Yam Raaj, and those who have donated horses and other conveyances to Braahman go on those vehicles. Those who have given umbrella in their life time are given umbrella on the way. Who have donated food, water, clothes, are given these things on their way. Who have given light go in the light. Who have fasted for a month ride on a vehicle drawn by swans. Who have fasted for 6 nights go on the vehicles drawn by peacocks. Who has asted for 3 days eating only once a day goes into a region free from disease and anxiety. Who have donated water, they find a river named Pushpodak to drink water on the way. Who have done evil deeds have pus for them. O King, That river serves all purposes. So serve these Braahman that are with you. Who attends Braahman, Indra himself leads the way for him. I have told you about hundreds of subjects, now what do you want to hear?"
Yudhishthir said - "You are so conversant with moral and duty that I wish to hear you more on these subjects." Maarkandeya Jee said - I tell you some things of eternal interests and capable of washing sins. Washing a Braahman's feet is equal to donating a Kapilaa cow in Jyeshth Pushkar. As long as the Earth will be wet by that washing water of Braahman's feet, the Pitri will drink water from the cups of lotus leaves. if the guests are welcomed with asking his welfare, Agni Dev will be happy; and if he is offered a seat, Indra will be satisfied; if his feet are washed, Pitri are satisfied; and if he is fed, Prajaapati is satisfied. A Braahman who eats his food silently keeping his hands between his knees succeeds in rescuing others. As the Aahuti of Ghee in Yagya does not go vain, in the same way edible offerings presented to Braahman do not go waste."
Yudhishthir asked - "What is that purification by which a Braahman keeps himself pure?" Maarkandeya Jee said - "There are three kinds of purity - purity of speech, purity in deeds, and purity achieved by the use of water. He who attains all three kinds of purities goes to Heaven. A Braahman who adores Sandhyaa in the morning and in the evening, who recites Gaayatree is freed from all the sins. All become auspicious and favorable for him. Braahman are like blazing fires. Whether a Braahman is a knower of Ved or not, pure or impure, he should never be insulted. Learned say that ablutions in Teerth, recitation of holy ones, and conversation with good and virtuous are all worthy acts. Carrying three staffs, the vow of silence, matted hair, shaving of the crown, covering the body with barks and skins, worshiping fire - all these things are useless if the heart is not pure. The indulgence of the six senses is easy, if purity be not sought in the object of enjoyment. Abstinence, however, which itself is difficult, is scarcely easy without purity of the objects of enjoyment. O King of kings, among the six senses, the mind alone that is easily moved and is the most dangerous! Those high-souled people that do not commit sins in word, deed, heart and soul, are said to undergo ascetic austerities, and not they that suffer their bodies to be wasted by fasts and penances. He who has no feeling of kindness for relatives cannot be free from sin even if his body is pure.
Fasts and other penances cannot destroy sins, however much they may weaken and dry up the body. The man whose heart is not pure suffers only torture by undergoing penances in ignorance of their meaning. He is never freed from sins of such acts. The fire he worships does not consume his sins. It is in consequence of holiness and virtue alone that men attain to regions of blessedness, and fasts and vows become efficacious. Subsistence on fruits and roots, the vow of silence, living upon air, the shaving of the crown, abandonment of a fixed home, the wearing of matted locks on the head, lying under the canopy of heaven, daily fasts, the worship of fire, immersion in water, and lying on the bare ground --these alone cannot produce such a result. Only they who are possessed of purity succeed, by knowledge and their deeds, to conquer disease, decrepitude and death, and acquire a high status. As seeds that have been scorched by fire do not sprout forth, so the pains that have been burnt by knowledge cannot affect the soul.
Some obtain the knowledge of identity with the Supreme Soul from but two letters (of the Ved), while others obtain it by hundreds and thousands of rhythmic lines. If one has known his identity, he has got salvation. If somebody does not have means, his efforts are futile. The soul that is bounded by the animal organism is incompetent to know Him. That Supreme Soul, however, is capable of being known by the pure intellect. The existence of the gods as stated in the Ved, the efficacy of acts, and the capacity for action of being furnished with bodies, are noticeable in every Yuga. To be free from these should to be sought from purity of the senses. Therefore, the suspension of the function of the senses is the true fasting. One may attain to heaven by asceticism, one may obtain objects of enjoyment by the practice of charity and may have his sins purged off by ablutions in Teerth. But complete emancipation can be had only by knowledge."
Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yudhishthir said - "O Rishi, Please tell me the rules of that charity which is meritorious." Maarkandeya Jee said - "O Great King, Listen to the mysteries of charity as told by Shruti and Smriti. A man who performs Shraaddh Gajachchhaayaa under the Ashwatth Tree (Peepal Tree, some say it is fig tree) enjoys the fruits of it for a 100,000 Kalp. He who founds a Dharmashaalaa (inn) and employs a person to take care of it gets the fruits of all the Yagya. He who donates a house near a river in a Teerth place, its fruits are inexhaustible. Whatever things are given according to the season, it gives the merits 10 times; which are given in changing seasons, it gives the merit 100 times. A guest who comes to one's house for food is Indra himself. Whatever is given to Braahman earns inexhaustible merits. A gift given on a particular lunar day gives twice the more merits than a gift given on any other day. A gift on the last day of the last month of the year produces merit that is inexhaustible. A gift also that is made while the Sun is on the solstice points, and a gift made on the last day of the Libra, Aries, Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces, during eclipses of the Moon and the Sun, produce merit that is inexhaustible. Gold has sprung from fire, the Earth from Vishnu and cows from the Sun. He who gives away gold, land, and cow, he attains the regions of Agni Dev, Vishnu and Soorya Dev. There is nothing so eternal as a donation."
Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 02/10/13