Markandeya Puranam

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JARA said: – The righteous-souled Alarka duly governed his subjects as if they were his sons who were all filled with joy and established in the duties of their respective orders. (1) He attained great joy by inflicting punishment upon the wicked and affording protection to the pious. He gratified the deities with great sacrifices. (2) To him were born sons who were possessed of great strength and prowess, noble and pious minds and who never trod wrong ways. (3) Self-controlled as he was, he acquired wealth by virtue and virtue by wealth. He enjoyed all worldly objects without their interfering with each other. (4) Thus governing the kingdom, being equally mindful of virtue, worldly profit and desire, many long years passed over his head like a single day. (5) Enjoying various sweet objects of life, he did not feel distaste for them; nor was he satiated with the acquisition of virtue and wealth. (6) His brother, by name, Suvahu, living in the forest, heard, that not having been able to control his senses, he was carelessly given to the enjoyment of worldly objects. (7) Thinking on this for some time and desiring to awaken him, the king thought that an alliance with the monarch’s enemies would be the best means. (8) With a view to take away their kingdom, the accomplished (Suvahu) repeatedly sought the help of the king of Kashi who was a master of an army and powerful animals. (9) He made a display of his soldiers against the king and sent messengers to him asking him to make over the kingdom to Suvahu. (10) Fully knowing his own duties, Alarka was reluctant to make over the kingdom at such a command and replied to the envoy of the king of Kashi. (11) “Let my elder brother coming to me with brotherly feelings beg the kingdom. From fear of an attack I shall not make over even a small portion of my land.” (12) The greatly intelligent Suvahu did not beg the kingdom of his brother. Begging is not the duty of a Kshatrya. Prowess is his wealth. (13) Then encircled by his entire army, the king of Kashi advanced for attacking the kingdom of the monarch Alarka. (14) Making alliances with the feudatory chiefs and vassals of the kingdom, the invador, through the servants of those chiefs, attacked Alarka and brought him under his control. (15) By well-laid sieges he assailed the army of Alarka and brought the guards of the forts, forest-patrols and wood-men under his subjection. (16) And among the feudatory chiefs of Alarka, some were won over by the grant of subsidies, some by creating dissensions and others by conciliation. (17) Thus afflicted by the policy of his enemies the king became weakened. His treasury was largely drawn upon and his capital was invaded by the enemy. (18) Thus assailed and finding his treasury drawn upon every day the king became greatly cheerless and his mind was very much agitated. (19) Overwhelmed by a mighty distress, he thought of the ring about which his mother Madalasa had spoken before. (20) Purifying himself by a bath and making some exalted Brahmanas utter the benedictions, he took out the piece of writing and saw the letters distinctly written on it. (21) When the king read aloud the inscription signs of, joy appeared on his person and his eyes were expanded with excess of delight. (22)

(The words were): – Association should be renounced with whole heart; if one cannot do it, he should associate with the pious; for the association with the pious is a (powerful) panacea. (23) Desire should be renounced with all heart. If one cannot do it, that should be directed towards liberation; for liberation is a powerful medicine for this. (24) The king read aloud the words many times and began to think of what leads to the well-being of mankind. Having settled that this can be acquired by liberation and thinking that liberation would spring from association with the pious, the king began to ponder over the subject of association with the pious. Then with a greatly disturbed mind, he went to the highly blessed Dattatreya. (25-26) Having presented himself before that high-souled and sinless one, he saluted him; and having adored him with due rites he said. (27) “O Brahmana, show your favour to me. You are

the refuge of those who seek refuge with you. Remove my sorrow, who am greatly assailed by it and possessed by desire.” (28)

Dattatreya: – “I shall, O king, remove your sorrow this very day. Tell me truly, O monarch, what is that sorrow of yours.” (29)

Jara said: – Thus accosted by that greatly intelligent Rishi the king began to reflect. Me-thinks, the abode, of the three kinds1 of pain, is self. (30) The wise and highly intelligent king, reflecting long and repeatedly upon the self with the help of self, smilingly said. (31) “I am not earth; nor water; nor light, nor wind, nor ether. But having been united with the body I desire happiness. (32) In this body which is composed of five elements, pleasure and pain vary as regards their measure. If they belong to me, no good will be to me, me that live in some thing else (than body); (33) that have numberless bodies to go through in the course of eternity and that happens to be up and down on account of the diminution or growth of pleasure and pain. When freed from egoism the self appears in its true light. (34) Seeing the self in the subtle Tanmatras forming the third (stage of Prakriti), what pleasure or pain can attach to me who am sheathed with a body composed of five elements. (35) Pain exists in mind. What is called pleasure belongs to the mind also. As I am not my mind, therefore I have neither pleasure nor pain. (36) As I am not my consciousness, as I am not my mind; as I am not my understanding, how can pain, which is begotten by inner faculties and which is alien to me, be mine? (37) As I am neither my body nor my mind, it appears that I am separate both from my mind and body. Therefore whether pleasure or pain exists in the mind or in the body, I have nothing to do with either of them. (38) The one born before this body desires to have this kingdom. If this body be only a mass of five elements on account of the tendency of attributes, what have I to do with it? He (my brother) is in it (body). He, however, is different from his body as I am from mine. (39) He, that has no hands and various other limbs, he that has no flesh. No bones and no nerves and arteries, what has he to do with elephants, horses and cars and treasures? Man has nothing to do with them. (40) I have no enemy, I have no pain, I have no pleasure, I have no city. I have no treasury. I have no army consisting of horses and elephants and others. He has not them. Nor has any one else, as I have not got them. (42) As one Akasha (space) is seen at manifold, when put into jugs, jars, Kamandalu etc., so the self which is one and the same, appears as Suvahu, the king of Kashis, and myself, in different bodies, on account of the diversity of bodies.”