Chapter 71 to 137

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Markandeya said: – His son was Khaninetra, endued with great strength and prowess. In his Yajna, the Gandharvas, filled with surprise, sang. (1) There was none equal to Khaninetra on this earth in the performance of sacrifices. He celebrated an Ayuta of sacrifices and made a

gift of the earth with oceans. (2) Having made a gift of the entire earth unto the high-souled Brahmanas, and having acquired articles by asceticism he released it. (3) The riches, of that highly charitable king, being multiplied the Brahmanas had to accept gifts from no other king.

(4) He collected profuse gifts for sixty-seven thousand, sixty-seven hundred and sixty-seven sacrifices. (5) O great Muni, he had no son. Therefore to collect meat for the performance of sacrifices in honour of the Pitris for having a son he went out a-hunting. (6) Without any soldiers, he, alone on horse back, with leathern finger protectors, arrows, bow and swords, entered into a huge forest. (7) As soon as he urged on his steed for going elsewhere, a deer, issuing out of the dense forest, said to him: “Having slain me do you accomplish your object”.


The king said: – “Seeing me the other deer have fled away in great fear; why are you, sacrificing yourself, anxious for death”? (9)

The deer said: – “O great king, I have no issue and therefore useless is my birth. O king, thus I see no necessity of living”. (10) Thereupon coming there another deer said to him in the presence of the other deer “O king, there is no use of killing him. (11) Slaying me, accomplish your work with my meat. Then only I shall achieve my object and be greatly benefited. (12) O great king, you are willing to celebrate a sacrifice in honour of your manes for having a son. How will you thus accomplish your end with the meat of that deer which has no issue? (13) You should procure things befitting the work undertaken. By a bad smell, that of sweet scented articles is not determined.” (14)

The King said: – “The deer has just mentioned to me the fact of his having no issue as the cause of his disgust for the world. Relate now why you, out of disgust, wish to renounce your life.” (15)

The deer said: – I have many sons and many daughters. I always live in the midst of the forest fire of sorrow consequent upon anxiety for them. (16) O king, the deer are always very weak and are therefore brought under the control of all. I have a great attachment for my children and accordingly I am very sorry. (17) For I live in a perpetual dread of men, lions, tigers, wolves, and others, even of the dogs and jackals, O lord, who are inferior to all creatures. (18) Therefore, for those children of mine, I always wish that the earth may be freed from the fear of men, lions, etc. (19) Even for bringing them up I wish that the kine and horses, that graze on grass may meet with death. (20) When my young ones go out into different directions, hundreds of thoughts possess me whose mind is full of attachment. (21) (Methinks) my son, while roaming in the forest, is either ensnared in a net, or assailed by a thunderbolt or has been belaboured by men or lions. (22) If one amongst them comes home (I always think) “one has come perhaps others have wandered away into the great forest; what may be their state.” (23) O king, when all my sons come to me, I feel a little delighted and then begin to think of their well-being for the night. (24) When the dawn sets in I pray for their well-being for all the day and when the sun sets I pray for the night. I always wish that they may meet with well-being for all the hours of the day. (25) I have thus related to you, O king, the cause of my anxiety; therefore show me the favour and discharge the shaft at me. (26) I have thus described and you have heard, O king, why being afflicted with a hundred miseries, I wish to renounce my life. (27) Those, who lay violent hands on themselves, repair to the regions void of the sun. But O lord, the beasts, of sacrifices, attain to better regions. (28) Formerly the fire became a beast and even Varuna, the lord of waters, became so. And then the sun too, meeting with death in the shape of a beast of sacrifice, attained to the region of Uchriti. (29) Therefore, O lord, confer upon me this Uchriti. And then obtaining a son, you will achieve your object. (30)

The first deer said: – O king, do not slay him; he has many sons and blessed and fortunate is he therefore. Therefore, kill me, for I have no issue. (31)

The second Deer said: – Blessed are you, for you have the misery for one body – I have many bodies and therefore innumerable are my sorrows. (32) When I was single I had one single misery on account of my attachment for my body. When I took a wife that misery became two-fold. (33) When the children were born the miseries multiplied themselves proportionate to the number of their bodies. (34) Are you not blessed as you have not taken

your birth for this excessive misery? My birth in this world is for misery – and this will bring in impediments in the next world. (33) And as I always think and try for the protection and maintenance of my children I shall forsooth be born in hell. (36)

The King said: – O deer, I cannot discern, whether a man, with sons, is blessed or one who has no issue. I have undertaken this sacrifice for children, therefore my mind is full of doubts.

(37) True, a son brings on miseries in this world and the next, but I have heard that a man, who, has no son, is involved in debts. (38) Therefore, O deer, without slaying any animal I shall engage in hard austerities for a son like the former king. (39)