Markandeya Puranam

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As her son, shorn of attachment, grew up day by day the queen taught him knowledge of self in the shape of ministering to him in sickness etc.. (1) As he duly acquired strength and the heart of his father he attained to self-knowledge by his mother’s words. (2) Having been thus instructed from his very birth the wise (son), with his mind shorn of attachments, did not think of entering the life of the house-holder. (3) She gave birth to her second son and the father gave him the name of Suvahu and thereat Madalasa laughed. (4) And she soothing him in the same way as before, that highly intelligent one obtained the same kind of knowledge. (5) And when after the birth of the third son the king named him Satrumardana that one, having fair eye-brows, laughed for some time. (6) In the same way he was instructed from his boyhood by that slender-waisted damsel. He was without any desire and rendered no pious offices. (7) And when the fourth was born, the king, desirous of giving him a name, looked to Madalasa of pure ways who smiled gently. And while she was thus smiling, the king, somewhat stricken with curiosity, said to her. (8) – Whenever I was ready to give a name you laughed. Tell me the cause. Vikranta, Suvahu and Satrumardana, the names I gave, I believe are all good names. The Kshatriyas should have names embodying ideas of heroic spirit. (9-10) If they do not find room in your mind, O auspicious lady, you assign a name to this fourth son. (11)

Madalasa said: – What you have said, O great king, I must carry out. I shall give a name to this fourth son. (12) This virtuous one shall he celebrated in the world by the name of Alarka. This your youngest son shall also be intelligent. (13) Hearing this meaningless name Alarka given to the son by his mother, the lord of the earth, smilingly said: -(14) “O auspicious lady, this name, which you have given to my son, is meaningless. Why is this O Madalasa?” (15)

Madalasa said: – “I have given the name, O great king, out of fancy only but in consonance with custom. Listen, O king, to the meaninglessness of the names given by you. (16) The wise describe the soul as omnipresent but kranti means going from one place to another. (17) But the Lord of the body being omnipresent does not go (from one place to another). So the name of Vikranta in my view is meaningless. (18) O king, ‘in consequence’ of the soul having no form, the name of Suvahu which you have given to your another son, is meaningless. (19) The name of Satrumardana, which you have given to your third son, has also no meaning. Listen to the reason hereof. (20) When the self-same soul lives in every body, then O king, who is its enemy and who its friend? (21) Elements are destroyed by elements. But can that which has no form perish? On account of the separate existence of anger and others such a conception is meaningless. (22) If in pursuance of custom such imaginary names are conceived why does then Alarka appear meaningless to you?” (23) Thus addressed with excellent words by his queen the highly intelligent king said to his beloved spouse who had spoken the truth “this is so”. (24) And when the fair-browed lady again engaged in the same way in instructing her son in the knowledge of self the king said: (25) – “What are you doing O foolish one? You are going to bring ill-luck upon this my son as before by initiating him into the knowledge of self. (26) If you wish to encompass my pleasure, if you regard my words, then lead this son to the way of desire. (27) The road of action should not be destroyed, O reverend lady, nor should the funeral cake be withheld from the manes. In consonance with good or bad actions the ancestral manes go to heaven, are born as lower animals, or as men or in any other life. When they are stricken with hunger or thirst and are weakened accordingly men, by constantly offering them funeral cakes and oblations of water, relieve the ancestral manes. And O fair-browed lady, in the same way they please the deities and guests. (29-30) Gods, men, ancestral manes, goblins, ghosts, Guhyakas, birds, worms, insects and all depend on men for their subsistence. (31) Therefore, O slender made lady, perfectly instruct my son in the duties of a Kshatrya which may lead to his well-being both in this world and in the next.” (32) Thus addressed by her husband that most excellent lady Madalasa instructed her son Alarka by way of consoling him: (33) “Grow, my son, and gratify my lord with acts. Be you for the good of friends and destruction of enemies. (34) Blessed are you, O my son, who, freed from your enemies, will govern the earth for a long time. May all enjoy happiness by your rule, and may you, by acquiring religious merit, be immortal. (35) You should attentively gratify the Brahmanas at every Parva, satisfy the desires of your friends, should think of doing good to others and abstain from violating others’ wives. (36) By

celebrating various sacrifices you should gratify the celestials, with profuse wealth you should please the twice-born; you should satisfy the females with numberless articles of enjoyment and your enemies with fight, O heroe. (37) In boyhood satisfy your friends, in youth your worshipped relatives by obeying their commands, in manhood the females having ornaments of noble ancestry and in old age, O my son, in the forest, the rangers thereof. (38) While ruling you should gratify your friends, protect the pious, celebrate sacrifices, destroy the wicked and enemies in battle on behalf of kine and Brahmanas and then meet with death.” (39)