Mahaabhaarat | 9-Anushaasan Parv

13-Anushaasan, 19-21
Kathaa-G - 9-Anushaasan - page-3

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3-Ashtaavakra's Marriage

[13-19] Yudhishthir asked - "O Chief of Kuru Race, Is marriage performed for performing religious rites which must be done by both husband and wife, or to produce children for religious motive, or for carnal pleasure which is expected from such a union? In my opinion performing performing all religious duties together is not the reason because they cease with the death. If these duties take one to Heaven, then one attains Heaven after death, while married couple dies one at a time. Then where does the other one remain? men have many kinds of duties, women, as Rishi have said, are false in behavior. When both have different kinds o behavior, then how can their purpose be of performing the duties together? Ved also say that women's behavior is false. Tell me everything clearly."

Bheeshm said - "In this reference I tell you a story of Ashtaavakra and a woman named Dishaa. Once Ashtaavakra asked Rishi Vadanya his daughter Suprabhaa with the intention of marriage. She was very beautiful. In virtue, dignity, conduct manners etc all, she was a wonderful woman. The Rishi said to Ashtaavakra - "Yes, I will give you my daughter, but listen to me. Go to sacred North and you will see many things there." Ashtaavakra asked - "Please do tell me that what shall I see there? I am ready to do whatever you say."

Vadanya said - "When you will be passing over the residence of Kuber, you will cross the Himvant. You will see a plateau where Rudra lives. There live Siddh and Chaaran and associates of Mahaadev also. They are there in various forms, they are of various fragrance and they sing and dance with various kinds of music instruments. It is said that Umaa also did severe penance there to get Mahaadev, and that that place is like by both Mahaadev and Umaa. In olden times, on Mahaapaarshwa which is in the Northern side of the mountain many deities adored Mahaadev. You cross that region and will come to a region which is blue in color like clouds. There you will see a woman doing penance. She is like Shree Herself and she is highly blessed. You should greet her and worship her. After you have seen her and worshipped her, you can ask the hand of my daughter in marriage. If you agree with me, proceed for the journey and do what I have told you to do." Ashtaavakra said - "I will do what you have said and I will proceed to do what you have said."

Bheeshm Jee continued - "So Ashtaavakra set out on his journey and reached the Himvant mountain where Siddh and Chaaran lived. Then he came to the Rivar Bahudaa. He took bath there in one of its Teerth, spread some Kush and laid down to take some rest. He passed the night there and in the morning he rose, took bath there again and performed Hom and worshipped Rudra and Umaa. He rested there for some more time and then proceeded towards Kailaash. On the way he saw a gold gate which was shining with beauty. He also saw Mandaakinee River and Nalinee Lake of Kuber (Mandaakinee is that part of the river Gangaa which flows through Kailaash, while Nalinee is a celebrated lake owned by the king of the Yaksh, so called because of the lotuses which occur there in plenty).

When the Raakshas saw the Rishi coming there, they took Manibhadra as their head and came there to welcome the illustrious Rishi. Rishi also worshipped them and asked them to report to Kuber about his arrival. They said - "Vaishravan is already on his way without our saying anything to him. he knows the objective of your journey. See, he is coming here." Kuber came and welcoming the Rishi said to him - "You are welcome. Tell me what do you want? I will fulfill your wish whatever you will ask for. Please enter my abode as you please. After I have entertained you and your wish is fulfilled you may go wherever you may want." Saying thus Kuber took him in his palace, he washed his feet and offered the Arghya. After they had taken their seats, Yaksh, Gandharv and Kinnar also took their seats.

Kuber said - understanding what your pleasure is, Apsaraa will begin their dance and you will be presented with appropriate things." Ashtaavakra said in a sweet voice - "Let the dance begin." Then Urvaraa, Mishrakeshee, Rambhaa, Urvashee, Alambooshaa, Ghritaachee, Chitraa, Chiraangadaa, Ruchi, Manoharaa, Sukeshee, Sumukhee, Haasinee, Prabhaa, Vidyutaa, Prasaami, Dantaa, Vidyotaa and Rati, and many more Apsaraa started dancing. Gandharv started playing divine instruments. Ashtaavakra of so severe penance unconsciously passed one full celestial year there seeing that dance. Then King Vaishravan said - "O Rishi, You have passed a little over a year since you have arrived here. This music and dance, known by the name of a Gandharv, is really enchanting. Now you may go or stay at your pleasure. You are our guest that is you are worthy of worship. This is my house, so please tell us what we should do, we all will obey you." Ashtaavakra said - "O Vaishravan, I am highly pleased with you. I want to go now. This is all worthy for you. By the order of Rishi Vadanya I will now proceed to my journey, let the prosperity be yours." and saying thus he proceeded Northwards.

He crossed the Kailaash, Mandar and the Golden Mountains and came there where Mahaadev lives in ascetic guise. He went round the spot, bent his head in reverence for a while. He came down on the earth and circumambulated the Mountain three times, proceeded on his journey Northwards. He then saw another forest where he noticed many groves throughout. He saw there many lakes and tanks too. He then saw a beautiful mansion built of gold and adorned with gems throughout. This mansion was more beautiful than Kuber's house. It was surrounded by hills of many kinds of gems. Rishi saw Mandaakinee River also where Mandar flowers were growing. The land around was shining with many kinds of gems and diamonds. Thinking where he should take shelter, he proceeded towards the gate of the mansion and uttered these words - "Let those who live here know that a guest has come."

Hearing these words several maids came out from the palace. They were seven in numbers , they were all charming. Everyone stole Muni's heart. The sage could not control his mind even after his trying best. Seeing their beauty his heart lost the peace. Meantime a maid said to him - "Please enter the palace." So he entered the palace. He saw an old lady who was wearing white attire and all kinds of ornaments. Rishi blessed her - "Good be to you." The woman also returned his blessings. She rose from her seat and offered him a seat to him. Sitting there Ashtaavakra said - "Let all maids leave except one who is intelligent and has peace at heart." So all the maids left the place after circumambulating the Rishi. The day passed and the night fell. The sage said to her - "O Revered Woman, The night is deepening, you may go to sleep." So the woman laid down on an excellent bed. But soon after she rose up from her bed and proceeded towards Rishi's bed pretending trembling with cold. Ashtaavakra welcomed her with courtesy. The woman stretched her arms and embraced the Rishi tenderly. But she found the Rishi unmoved and like a wood, so she got sorry and began to talk to talk to him.

She said - "There is no pleasure except the Kaam which women can derive from the person of the other sex. O Learned One, I desire you greatly. You also embrace me. This reward of my company and union is great for you after you have gone severe penance. I loved you at the first first sight, you also love me. Whatever wealth you are seeing here is mine. Be the Lord of these and mine too. Sport here according to your will. I will satisfy you in your every desire. There is no pleasure for a woman like the company of another sex. At such times they do not feel pain, even if they walk on the burning sand."

Ashtaavakra said - "O Blessed Woman, I never approach another man's spouse, because it is against morality. I do not know any kind of enjoyment. Know that I desire marriage for the children, this I say truly. When I get children obtained rightly, I will attain those regions which cannot be attained otherwise. So you should know the morality and resist yourself from this immorality."

The woman said - "O Rishi, Even the gods of Vaayu, Agni, Water are anot agreeable to a woman as the god of Kaam is. Women are fond of sexual union. perhaps among hundreds of thousands only one woman may be found devoted to her husband. When they are under the effect of Kaam, they don't care for their husband, father, brother or anybody. They consider it the only means of happiness and ruin their family. The Creator himself has said this."

Bheeshm continued - "The Rishi who was bent upon finding the faults women said to that woman - "Stop talking to me in this way and tell me what I should do?" The woman said - "According to the time and space you stay here and I will be greatly rewarded." So O Yudhishthir, That Rishi complied with her request saying - "All right, I will stay here as long I can." Then Rishi started working out on her old age. Wherever he cast his eyes on her body he did not like that part of her body. On the other hand he thought, "She is the goddess of this palace, has she been made ugly though some curse? I should reach on any conclusion in a haste." he passed the rest of the day in anxious state. In the evening the woman asked - "What can I do for you?" Rishi said - "Bring some water for my bath. After taking bath I will say my evening prayers."

[9-20] Bheeshm said - "The woman brought some fragrant oil to massage his body and cloth to wear. With his permission, she massaged the oil over his whole body. Rishi went to the room where he had to take bath. There also that woman gave him a good bath in person. Between the massaging the oil and taking the bath, the Rishi did not know that he had passed the whole night. When he came out of the room, he found the Sun rising, He got very surprised to see this. He asked himself - "Is it reality or some kind of misunderstanding?" He worshipped the Sun god and asked the woman as what he should do? The woman had prepared some delicious food, when Rishi ate it, he felt as if he was taking Amrit. But he could not eat it much. Again the day passed and the evening came. The old woman asked him to go and sleep. Rishi went to bed and the woman also went to bed. Both were in different beds initially, but at midnight the woman entered the Rishi's bed.

Ashtaavakra said - "O Blessed Woman, I do not intend to have physical relationship with other person's spouse, so please leave my bed.
Bheeshm continued - "Thus insulted by Rishi, the woman said - "I am at my own, so by having me you will not attach to any sin."
Ashtaavakra said - "No woman can be of her own, this is the opinion of the Creator himself, that a woman can never be independent."
The woman aid - "I am torn by desire, I will be devoted to you, rather you will attach to sin if you will refuse me."
Ashtaavakra said - "Many faults are attached to such people who act like this."
The woman said - "I bow to you please accept me. If you want to have only your wife then I offer myself to you. Accept my hand in marriage. If there will be any sin attached, it will attach to me only."
Ashtaavakra said - "How is it that you are at your own? Because there is no woman in the three worlds who is at her own. When she is maiden, her father protects her, when she is married, her husband protects her and when she is widow, her son protects her. Thus women can never be independent throughout their life."
The woman said - "I have taken the vow of Brahmcharya from the childhood, thus I am still a maiden. Please marry me and do n ot doubt on my devotion."

Ashtaavakra said - "As you are inclined to me, I am inclined to you too. I should know this that by obeying my inclination I will not act against the wish of Rishi Vadanya. Will this be beneficial to me? Here is an old beautiful woman adorned with beautiful clothes an ornaments, why her beauty is covered by this old age? She lookes like beautiful maiden, but what form she might take later, nobody knows. I should stick to truth."

[13-21] Yudhishthir asked - "Tell me why that woman had no fear of Ashtaavakra's curse, although he was so powerful? Then how did he succeed in coming back from that place?

Bheeshm said - "Ashtaavakra asked the woman - "How did you succeed in changing your form? Tell me the truth, not any lie. I wish to know this, know that you are speaking to a Braahman."
The woman replied p- "Wherever you live in the three world, the union of a man and a woman is there. Listen to me now, that this device was used by me to test you. Know that I am the embodiment of Uttar Dishaa (Northern direction). You have seen the lightness of the female character. Even the old women suffer from the sexual desire. Brahmaa Jee and other Devtaa are very pleased with you. With whatever object you have come here, it is to know me. Your father-in-law has sent you here so that I may instruct you. I have instructed you according to the wishes of the Rishi. Now you may return to your home. Your return journey will not be so difficult. You will get the girl you have chosen as your wife. Now you go back to your room. What else you want to listen from me? I will tell you in accordance with truth. Rishi Vadanya had pleased me before to honor you. I have told you all this."

Bheeshm said - "Hearing her Rishi Ashtaavakra joined his hand in respect, asked her permission to go back, and came back to his Aashram. After taking rest, with the permission of his relatives he went to Rishi Vadanya. He told him what he had seen and what had happened with him. He said - "I proceeded to Gandhmaadan Parvat and saw a very superior goddess. She received me with great courtesy and mentioned your name in talking. She instructed me on various matters and after that I came back." The learned Rishi Vadanya gave his daughter to him saying that "You are the fittest groom for my daughter.

B heeshm said - "Ashtaavakra said - "So be it and married his daughter. he then lived in his Aashram free from any kind of worry."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 05/19/12