Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 13
BY: SUN STAFF
Ravana's Wife's Lamenting (top); Ravana's Body on the Funeral Pyra (bottom)
Ramayana, Andhra Pradesh, c. 1760
Feb 05, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
I have told the beautiful story of Uma; now hear the glorious acts of Sambhu. From the time that Sati went away and quitted her body, Siva became a detached ascetic. He continually repeated the name of Raghunayak, and in this place and in that listened to the tale of Rama's virtues. [Doha 75] Siva, Consciousness and Bliss, the home of joy, divorced from ignorance and pride and lust, roamed the earth with thoughts fixed on Hari, source of pure delight to all the world.
[Caupai 76] Here he taught sages wisdom, and there he recited the virtues of Rama. Though free from desire, yet the all-wise god grieved for the loss of his faithful wife. In this way a long time passed while his love for the feet of Rama ever grew greater. When he saw Samkara's strict rule of life and devotion, and that nothing could move him from his heart-felt faith, Rama, who is grateful and gracious, beautiful and full of loving-kindness, manifested himself in his great glory. He gave all praise to Samkara, saying, 'Who else could accomplish such a vow?' Rama told Siva all that had occurred; he told him of Parvati's birth, and graciously declared in detail Girija's exceeding holy deeds. [Doha 76] 'Now, Siva', he said, 'if you truly love me, hearken to my prayer; grant this my request, and go and wed the daughter of the Mountain King.'
[Caupai 77] 'Though this be not fitting,' said Siva, 'yet a master's request cannot be refused. Lord, this is my highest duty, obediently to do your will. One should approve and act on the word of a mother or father or guru or master without a moment's thought. In every way you wish me well; so Lord, I obey your command.'
The Lord was well content when he heard Samkara's words, devoted, wise and dutiful, and said, 'Hara, your vow has been accomplished; now remember what I have said.' With these words he vanished, and Samkara laid up in his heart the vision of his form.
Then the Seven Seers came to Siva, and the Lord addressed them courteously; [Doha 77] 'Go ye to Parvati and test her love; then send Himalaya and have her brought home and remove her doubts.'
The Monkeys Search for Sita (top); Arrival of the Monkey Generals,
Gaja, Gavakshaand and Gavaya before Sugriva (bottom)
Ramayana, Andhra Pradesh, c. 1760
[Caupai 78] When the Seers saw Gauri there, she seemed to them to be Austerity herself. The sages said, 'Hearken, mountain maiden! Why are you practicing this severe penance? Whom are you propitiating? What is it you desire? Why not tell us the true purpose of your heart?'
'I am too deeply ashamed to tell you,' she replied; 'you will laugh at my folly when you hear it. My soul is stubborn and heeds not advice, but would build a wall on water. I believe Narada's words to be true and would fly without wings! Now mark, O sages, my senseless folly; I ever long for Siva as my husband!'
[Doha 78] When they heard her words, the Seers laughed and said, 'Truly you are a daughter of the mountain! Tell me, who ever listened to Narada's instructions and had a home to live in? [Caupai 79] He gave advice to Daksa's sons and they never saw their home again; he ruined Citraketu's house, and did the same to Hiranyakasipu. Any man or woman who listens to Narada's advice is sure to leave home and become a beggar. To all appearance he is good and noble, but inwardly he is full of guile, and he wants to make everyone like himself. Such is he on whose word you rely when you long to wed an inveterate ascetic, vicious and shameless, of hideous guise, wearing a necklace of human skulls and snakes about his body, naked, without family or home! Tell me, what happiness will be yours if you do win such a husband? You have been thoroughly deceived by that swindler's allurements! Siva only married Sati to satisfy public opinion, and then deserted her and brought about her death! [Doha 79] Now Siva sleeps at ease without a care and eats the food of beggary. Can women ever dwell in the homes of nature's solitaries?
[Caupai 80] 'Now heed what we have to say. We have chosen a good husband for you, very handsome and pure and pleasant and good-natured, whose glory and mysterious acts the Vedas hymn. Faultless is he and the perfection of virtue, Laksmi's lord, who dwells in the city of Vaikuntha. Such is the husband we shall bring to make him yours.
When Bhavani heard this she smiled and said, 'You spoke truly when you called me daughter of the mountain! Perish my life, but not my stubbornness! Gold, too, comes from the rock, but for no amount of burning does it abandon its natural quality. I shall not discredit Narada's word; whether my house be established or ruined, I am not afraid; he who mistrusts his guru's words can never hope to win happiness or success. [Doha 80] Mahadeva may be full of faults and Visnu the abode of every virtue; but the heart's concern is with him in whom it delights.
[Caupai 81] 'If I had met you earlier, great sages, I should have listened to your advice and obeyed you; but now that I have vowed my life to Sambhu, how can I weigh his faults and virtues? If you are so very persistent and cannot be content without arranging a betrothal, there are plenty of young men and maidens in the world, and sportive match-makers need not be idle. But, but it for ten million lives, this is my firm intention, either to marry Sambhu or to remain a virgin. I will not turn a deaf ear to Narada's counsel, though Mahesa himself bid me to do so a hundred times! I fall at your feet,' said the Mother of the world, 'and beseech you to go home, for it is late.'
When the sages beheld her love, they cried, 'Glory, glory to Bhavani, Mother of the world! [Doha 81] You are Maya and Siva is the Blessed Lord, Mother and Father of the whole world!' Then the sages bowed their heads before her feet and departed in an ecstasy of rapture.
Hanuman's Encounter with Surasa and Sinhika (top); Hanuman being Accosted by Lankini (bottom)
Ramayana, Andhra Pradesh, c. 1760
[Caupai 82] The sages went and sent Himalaya, who besought Girija to return and brought her home. Then the Seven Seers went to Siva and told him all that Uma had said. Siva was entranced when he heard of her love, and the Seven Seers went home rejoicing, while the all-wise Sambhu began with a steady concentration to meditate on Raghunayak.
Now at that time there was a demon, Taraka, of tremendous strength of arms and might and energy. He vanquished all the spheres and the lords of the spheres, so that the gods were robbed of happiness and wealth. He grew not old, nor could he die; he was invincible. The gods fought many a battle and were defeated. Then they went and cried to the Creator; and when Brahma saw that all the gods were in distress, he comforted them and said, [Doha 82] 'The demon will die when a son is born of the seed of Sambhu; it is he that shall conquer him in battle.
[Caupai 83] Hear what I say and make a plan; if God lend his aid, it will succeed. Sati, who abandoned her body at Daksa's sacrifice, has taken birth in the house of Himalaya. She has practiced penance to win Sambhu for a husband, but Siva has left all and sits in a trance. Though there be grave doubt about the issue, listen to what I suggest. Go and send Kama to Siva to disturb Samkara's contemplation. After that, I shall go and bow the head to Siva and persuade him with all the force at my command to wed her. That is the only way to help the gods.
The gods all approved of the suggestion and heartily applauded it. Then appeared the god with the five arrows and the banner of the fish. [Doha 83] The gods explained all their troubles, and when he heard them, Mara pondered and said with a smile, 'To quarrel with Sambhu spells danger for me! [Caupai 84] However, I will do what you ask, for the scriptures say that one's highest duty is service, and he who gives his life for another's weal is ever commended by the saints.' With these words he bowed to them all and went off, bearing in his hand his bow of flowers and taking his attendants to help him; and as he went, Mara thought to himself, 'To oppose Siva means certain death for me!'
Then he spread abroad his influence and made the whole world subject to his power; and as soon as Kamadeva grew angry, all scriptural bounds were in a moment abolished. Continence, vows, all kinds of self-control, patience, duty, mystic wisdom and knowledge, right conduct, prayer, austerity and detachment – the whole army of sound judgment took to flight in terror.
Submit an Article
Copyright 2005, 2012, HareKrsna.com. All rights reserved.