Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 23
BY: SUN STAFF
The Pastimes of Narada
Apr 09, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
[Doha 133] 'Now there were two of Siva's henchmen who knew the whole secret; in Brahman guise they went about and looked on; very whimsical creatures they! [Caupai 134] In that rank where the sage went and took his seat, priding himself beyond all measure on his beauty, sat also Siva's two servants, disguised as Brahmans, and no one guessed who they were.
In Narada's hearing they uttered words of sarcasm: "Marvellous beauty has Hari bestowed on him! The princess will be charmed when she sees his graceful form, and will surely wed him, deeming him Hari in person!" The sage's mind was deluded and no longer under his control, and Siva's servants mocked him to their hearts' content. Though the sage heard their subtle jeers, he did not understand them, for his intellect was all astray. Nobody else realized exactly what had happened, but the king's daughter saw him as he was, and when she beheld his monkey face and repulsive body, she was full of indignation.
[Doha 13] 'Then with her attendant maidens the princess moved on like a swan. She went round, looking at all the kings, bearing in her lotus hand the wreath of victory.
[Caupai 135] 'Never for a moment did she look towards that spot where Narada was sitting, swollen with conceit. Again and again the saint jumped up in his agitation. Siva's servants smiled to see his plight. Then came the gracious Lord, wearing the form of a king. Gladly the maiden cast about him the wreath of victory; so Laksmi's lord carried off the prize and the assembled kings were in despair. Under the influence of illusion the sage was utterly bewildered, as though a jewel had dropped and fallen from his purse.
'Then said Siva's henchmen with a smile, "Go and look at your face in a mirror!" With these words the two ran off in great alarm. The sage looked in the water and saw his face, and when he beheld his form, he grew more wrathful yet and cursed them with a very dreadful curse; [Doha 135] "Go, you twins, deceitful and guilty! Become demons of the night! You laughed at me; now reap your reward, and in future beware how you laugh at a sage!"
[Caupai 136] 'Again he looked into the water and saw his own proper form. Yet was his soul not satisfied; his lips trembled and there was rage in his heart. Swift he sped to Laksmi's lord, thinking, "I shall curse him or myself perish, for he has made a mock of me in all the world!" Hari, the demons' foe, met him on the way, and with him were Laksmi and that same princess. The Lord of lords addressed him in gentle tones: "Wither away, O sage, like one distraught?" At these words Narada was infuriated, and under the influence of illusion all sense deserted him. "You cannot bear to look on another's success," he cried. "You are a mass of jealousy and guile! At the churning of ocean you drove Rudra mad and, egging on the gods, caused him to drink the poison. [Doha 136] Wine for the demons and poison for Samkara, but for yourself Laksmi and the lovely jewel! You're utterly self-centered and deceitful, continually practising guile!
[Caupai 137] You're absolutely independent and there's no one to check you; so you do whatever you please. You make good evil and evil good, with a heart that feels neither grief nor joy. You have tested everyone by perpetually deceiving them; you fear nobody and you think it all good fun. You are not hindered by regard for good or evil deeds, and so far no one has put you right. But now you've made fun of someone important, and you'll get what you deserve! Assume the same form as that in which you cheated me! That is my curse! You made me look like a monkey, so monkeys will be your helpers; you caused my dire disgrace, so you will sorrow for the loss of your wife!"
[Doha 137] 'The Lord gladly took on himself the curse and humbly begged Narada's forgiveness. Then the gracious Lord withdrew the power of his illusion.
[Caupai 138] 'When Hari removed his illusion, neither Laksmi nor the princess was to be seen. Then the sage was terrified, and clasping Hari's feet cried, "Protect me, O thou who relievest thy suppliants' distress! O gracious Lord, may my curse be of none effect!"
'"It is my will," said he who has mercy on the humble.
'"Full many an ill word have I spoken," said the sage; "how may my sins be blotted out?"
'"Go and repeat the hundred names of Samkara and you will at once experience relief. No one is as dear to me as Siva; never for a moment cease to believe it. He on whom Purari bestows not his favour, O sage, wins not to faith in me. Go, wander through the earth with this thought in your heart; henceforward my illusion will not come nigh you."
[Doha 138] 'With these and many other words the Lord consoled the sage and disappeared. Narada departed to Brahma's realm, singing the praise of Rama's virtues.
[Caupai 139] 'When Hara's henchmen saw the sage walking on the road, free from illusion and full of inward joy, they came in terror to Narada, clasped his feet and spoke a piteous word: "O king of sages, we are Hara's servants, not Brahmans. We have done very wrong and have met our desserts. Graciously cancel the curse, O merciful lord!" Narada, who has compassion on the humble replied, "Go you both and be born as demons; great be your power and splendour and might. When you shall have conquered the universe by the strength of your arm, Visnu shall take the form of man and you shall die in battle at Hari's hand, and so be released nor born again in the world." The pair bowed their heads before the sage and departed, and in due time were born as demons.
[Doha 139] 'It was for this cause that in one aeon the Lord became incarnate as a man -- Hari, who delights the gods and brings joy to his faithful people and relieves the earth of its burdens.
[Caupai 140] 'Thus Hari's lives and acts are many -- charming, beneficent and marvellous. Whenever aeon after aeon the Lord descends to earth and performs all kinds of glorious exploits, the high sages have sung his story, composing very sacred verses, and have told of his many unrivalled adventures, at which the wise are not astronished when they hear them. Hari is infinite, and infinite Hari's stories; and all the saints recite them and listen to them in various ways. The glorious acts of Ramacandra cannot be sung in ten thousand aeons.
'I have told this tale, Bhavani, to prove that even wise sages are misled by Hari's illusion. The Lord is sportive and acts for his suppliants' weal; he is to be bound of those that worship him, one who eases every pain. [Sundarakanda or Soratha 140] There is no god or man or sage whom his powerful illusion does not lead astray. This remember and worship in your heart the Lord of mighty illusion.
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