Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 11


Hanuman rescuing Rama and Laksmana
Kalighat, Calcutta, late 19th c.

Feb 03, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.

At that time Daksa was Prajapati. Brahma saw and considered him to be in all ways worthy and made Daksa chief of the Lords of creation. When Daksa was invested with such high office, he became exceeding arrogant; never was a man born into the world whom dominion did not intoxicate. [Doha 60.] Daksa called all the sages together and they began to prepare a great sacrifice; he respectfully invited all the gods who receive a portion of the sacrificial feast.

[Caupai 61.] Kinnaras, serpents, adepts and Gandharvas, and all the gods with their wives came to the sacrifice; all the gods, except Visnu, Brahma and Mahesa, made ready their chariots and came. Sati saw the various beautiful chariots passing through the sky, while celestial nymphs sang songs So sweet that their melody would disturb the meditations of a saint. Then she questioned Siva, and he explained what it means.

Hanuman fighting with Ravana
Kalighat, Calcutta, late 19th c.

When she heard of the sacrifice her father had decreed, she was somewhat gladdened and thought, 'If Mahesa grant me permission, I will make it an excuse for going to stay there for a few days.' But because she was still sore grieving that her husband had abandoned her, and remembered her sin, she spoke no word; but at last in persuasive tones, full of awe and embarrassment and affection, Sati said, [Doha 61.] "There is a great festival at my father's house; if my lord be graciously pleased to allow me, I will go to attend it, as in duty bound.'

[Caupai 62.] 'It is well,' said Siva, 'and it would please me too, but it is scarce fitting, for he has not invited you. Daksa has summoned all his daughters, but because of his quarrel with me he has left you out. Once he was displeased with me in Brahma's court and that is why he slights me to this day. If, Bhavani, you go without being invited, you will lose all self-respect, affection and honour. Though one may certainly go uninvited to the house of a friend, a master, a father or a guru, it is not well to visit one who bears a grudge.'

With many arguments Sambhu warned her, but she would not be advised, for she was under the dominion of fate. 'If you go,' said the Lord, 'without being asked, in my opinion it will not be well.' [Doha 62.] Thus Hara did all he could to dissuade her, but when Daksa's daughter would not be stayed, Tripurari gave her his chief officers as an escort and bade her farewell.

Hanuman fighting with Ravana
Kalighat, Calcutta, late 19th c.

[Caupai 63.] When Bhavani reached her father's house, no one welcomed her for fear of Daksa. Only her mother received her kindly; her sisters met her with derisive smiles. Daksa never even asked her how she fared, and when he saw Sati, he was consumed with fury.

Then Sati went and looked at the sacrifice and nowhere saw any portion offered to Sambhu. Then she recalled what Samkara had said, and when she realized the insult offered to her lord, she so burned with rage that the grief she had formerly experienced was nothing like this overwhelming pain. There are many kinds of anguish in the world, but none so grievous as an insult to one's family.

So Sati thought and was infuriated; though her mother did all she could to placate her, [Doha 63.] she could not bear the slight put upon Siva and would not be appeased. Then she vehemently challenged the whole company of guests and cried in wrath, [Caupai 64.] 'Hear, all you guests and mighty sages, who have planned together this insult to Samkara! Right soon shall each one of you reap the fruit of it, and my father too shall dearly rue the day! Wherever blasphemy is heard, spoken against the saints or Sambhu or Laksmi's lord, there it is ordained that, if it be possible, the blasphemer's tongue should be cut out, or if not, that one should close one's ears and run away. Mahesa, the demon's foe, Father of the world and friend of all, is the Universal Spirit; he it is whom my senseless father is insulting, and this body of mine is begotten of Daksa's seed; therefore laying on my heart him who bears the moon upon his brow and the bull upon his banner, I shall forthwith abandon it!' So saying, she consumed her body in the sacrificial fire, and a cry of lamentation arose throughout the hall of sacrifice.

Hanuman Showing his Heart
Kalighat, Calcutta, c. 1870

[Doha 64.] When Sambhu's henchmen heard of Sati's death, they began to destroy the oblations; but when the high sage Bhrigu saw the sacrifice being destroyed, he preserved it.

[Caupai 65.] When Samkara heard all these tidings, he was wroth and dispatched Virabhadra, who went and utterly destroyed the sacrificial offerings and punished all the gods as they deserved. All the world knows the fate of Daksa, a fate that all Sambhu's enemies must meet; everybody knows this story, and so I have told it in brief.

As she was dying, Sati asked a boon of Hari, that in all her future lives she might be devoted to Siva's feet. That is why she entered the house of Himalaya and was born again as Parvati.

From the time when Uma came to the house of the Mountain King, the place enjoyed perfect prosperity and success; all about it hermits made charming retreats, and the monarch of the mountains granted them fit places to dwell in. [Doha 65.] On that fair mounting all the trees, flourishing in their various kinds, bore never-failing flowers and fruits, and mines disclosed their manifold precious gems. [Caupai 66.] Pellucid water flowed in all the streams, and all the birds and beasts and bees were happy; all creatures laid aside their natural enmities, and dwelt upon the mountain in mutual love.

Girija's entrance to the house made the mountain as glad as a votary when he wins to faith in Rama. In the king's palace was ever some new festivity, and Brahma and all the gods sang his glory.

Kalighat, Calcutta, c. 1870


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