Markandeya Puranam

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Suvahu said: – “I have obtained in its entirety that for which I sought refuge with you, O foremost of kings. I shall go now; may you be happy.” (1)

The king of Kashi said: – “For what did you come to me and what have you obtained? Tell me this, O Suvahu. I have been stricken with great curiosity. (2) Your great ancestral kingdom was occupied by Alarka. You urged me saying “conquering him give me my kingdom.” (3) Therefore invading your younger brother’s kingdom I have brought it to your control. So do you enjoy it according to the custom of your family.” (4)

SUVAHU said: – “O king, of Kashi, hear for what did I make this attempt and make you do it.

(5) This my brother, although acquainted with the real principles, was attached to ordinary objects of enjoyment. (He thought) “my two brothers, although possessed by stupefaction, were gifted with the knowledge of principles.” (6) O king, as our mother, in our fancy, gave

milk to us so also did she impart upon us three the knowledge of principles. (7) O king, our mother placed, before our minds, the knowledge of all these objects which is worthy of being known by mankind; this is not all. (8) As the good feel sorrow at the ruin of the one of many following the same interest so is the case with us, O king. (9) O king, possessed by the infatuation of worldliness he was going down. We have a connection with him; in this body he is our brother. (10) Therefore I ascertained that from calamity he would acquire distaste for the world and accordingly I sought refuge with you for making this attempt. (11) O king, from this calamity he has acquired true knowledge from which has sprung distaste for the world. My object is accomplished and so I depart. May good betide you. (12) Living in Madalasa’s womb and sucking in the same way her breast, may, he, O king, wend the way which is not trodden by the sons of other women. (13) Ascertaining all this in my mind and seeking refuge with you I made this attempt. My object is accomplished. I shall depart again to accomplish the object of my Yoga. (14) O king, I do not consider these men as having their senses in due order but rather deranged who disregard their friends, kinsmen, and relatives when they are assailed by misfortune. (15) The friends, relatives, and kinsmen, in the face of whose efficiency a person is assailed by the deterioration of virtue, worldly profit and desire, are censurable; he is not (at all) to blame. (16) By your company I have accomplished this great work, O king. May you live in happiness, be the foremost of the pious and participate in knowledge. I depart.” (17)

The king of Kashi said: – “You have done a great service to the pious Alarka. But why do you not turn your mind towards doing me good? (18) The association of the pious with the pious always bear fruit; it never becomes futile. Therefore it is but proper that I should advance in your company.” (19)

Suvahu said: – Virtue, worldly profit, desire and liberation are the four-fold objects of a man. Of them you have already acquired virtue, worldly profit and desire. But you have the want of the other (i.e. liberation). (20) I shall therefore describe them in brief. Do you hear with attention. Hearing them and discussing them properly, O king, you should exert for your well¬being. (21) You should, O king, never cherish the ideas of ‘I and mine’. But you should duly think of virtue for in its absence a man becomes destitute of help. (22) Deliberating yourself you should know “To whom do I belong?” Deliberating thus at the end of night you should engage in thinking of external faculties. (23) Everything from the invisible (Purusha) to nature is without any metamorphosis and consciousness; you should therefore know what is visible and invisible; also what else should be known, who should know and who am I?’. (24) Knowing this in particular you will know every thing; to consider what is non-soul (body) as soul and what is not own, as own constitutes ignorance. (25) According to human practice, O king, I am present everywhere. I have thus described to you everything you asked of me and I shall now go. (26) Having thus spoken to the king of Kashi, the intelligent Suvahu went away. And the king of Kashi too, having worshipped Alarka, repaired to his own city. (27) Having installed his eldest son as king, Alarka too, leaving all human associations, entered into woods for attaining the summumbonum of his life. (28) After a considerable time, being above the influence of opposites, and separated from wife and dependants and acquiring incomparable prosperity of Yoga he attained the most excellent beatitude. (29) Beholding this entire universe, with the deities, Asuras and men, bound by nooses composed of the qualities and being perpetually fettered by them (30) -by bonds originating from sons, brothers’ sons, one’s own relatives and those who are not one’s own; and thus appearing as various, and attached by the senses, overcome by miseries; (31) seeing it hopelessly sunk in the mire of ignorance, and finding himself beyond it, the high-minded Alarka sang this hymn:

(32) “Alas what pain! We ruled this kingdom before, but I have come to know this afterwards that there is no felicity greater than Yoga.” (33)

Jara said: – For liberation, do you resort to this most excellent yoga by which you will get the Brahman, obtaining whom you will not grieve. (34) Then I too shall go. O what avail is sacrifice or recitation to me? The blessed always work for ascertaining the true form of Brahman. (35) Therefore obtaining your permission, and being above opposites and not wanting anything I shall so exert for liberation that I may find everlasting peace.” (36)

The birds said: – O Brahman, saying this to his sire and obtaining his permission, the intelligent one, renouncing the company of his followers, went away. (37) His father too, in the same way gradually acquiring good understanding resorted to the fourth stage of life, namely that of Vanaprashtha. (38) Being united there with his son, casting off the fetters of qualities he attained to the highest state of Yoga by virtue of the noble impulse that arose in him at that time. (39) O Brahmana, we have thus described to you in detail what you asked of us. Tell us, what further more you wish to hear of us? (40)