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Seventh Skanda

Chapter 2: Hiranyakas’ipu, the King of the Demons, on Bereavement

(1) S’rî Nârada said: ‘When the brother [Hiranyâksha] thus was killed by the Lord in the form of a boar [see 3.18-19] was Hiranyakas’ipu very afflicted with anger and grief o King. (2) Enraged biting his lips on this, stared he into the sky that smoked with the blazing fury of his eyes and spoke he. (3) With his terrible teeth and fierce look ghastly to behold, raised he, in an assembly of the Dânavas, his trident with a frown on his face saying the following. (4-5) ‘O Dânavas and Daityas, Dvimûrdha [‘the two headed one’], Tryaksha [‘the three-eyed one’] S’ambara and S’atabâhu [‘the hundred-armed one’]; Hayagrîva [‘the horsehead’], Namuci, Pâka, Ilvala and Vipracitti! Pulomâ, S’akuna and all others, listen to the words I have to tell you and may you thereafter all quickly, without delay, act to them. (6) My so very dear brother and well-wisher was with those powerless enemies, the godly who conspiring behind his back were of worship, killed by Hari who was supposed to treat us all equal. (7-8) He has forsaken His own love for us and is now, abominable in mâyâ, behaving like a wild beast in His as a child jumping from this to that form to the like of His worshiping devotees. I will with my trident cut His neck and make Him swim in blood for the sake of indeed [Hiranyâksha,] he who was so fond of drinking it. Thus I’ll please my brother and find my own peace. (9) When He, that most deceitful enemy of all is finished will, like with the drying up of the branches and leaves of a tree that is cut by its roots, the same happen to those guys of God whose life belongs to Vishnu. (10) Meanwhile all of you go to that world so neatly kept by the rulers of Brahmâ and see to the destruction of all those repenting and sacrificing bookworms who according to vows donate in charity. (11) Vishnu by the twice born exhaustingly worshiped, is sacrifice personified, the Supreme Person of the full of dharma; He is the one shelter of the religion of them gods and sages, forefathers and all the others. (12) Wherever the twice-born keep their cows, study their Vedas and are busy with their varnâs’rama ado, set all those towns afire or cut down all the trees of the place.’

(13) Proving him their respects took they the instructions of their master on their heads and terrorized they, the experts in destruction, all the people. (14) The cities and villages, pasturing grounds, orchards and gardens, fields, forests, hermitages and mines, farms and mountain places, cowherd camps and the capitals as well, they all burned down. (15) While others with firebrands set the dwellings ablaze, demolished some of them with picks the bridges, surrounding walls and the city gates and took some others axes to destroy the source of livelihood by cutting down the fruit trees. (16) When time and again the people were thus disturbed by the followers of the king of the Daityas, gave the godly their positions up and wandered they, not seen by the demons, all over the earth. (17) Hiranyakas’ipu, very distressed about the loss of his brother performed the obsequies and pacified his nephews. (18-19) S’akuni, S’ambara, Dhrishthi, Bhûtasantâpana, Vrika, Kâlanâbha, Mahânâbha, Haris’mas’ru and Utkaca as also their mother Rushâbhânu and Diti, his own mother, he addressed as a well adapted person in sweet words saying this, o ruler of man.

(20) Hiranyakas’ipu said: ‘O mother, mother, o sister in law, o nephews, you do not deserve this lamentation about our hero of enlightenment who in front of the enemy desired the most glorious death. (21) Of all beings in this world living together like travelers amassing about a drinking place, o my sweet mother, are by divine ordinance the ones that were brought together in one place led apart according their own karma. (22) The eternal inexhaustible soul is, free from the tinge of matter, capable of going anywhere; knowing all and transcendent takes that soul up the self of a body that under the influence of the material world gives him various qualities [see B.G. 13: 22]. (23) Just as reflected in water the trees are moving, seems it also in case of an optical illusion to be so that [with heat e.g.] the ground moves. (24) Likewise does the adhering mind, that is confused of the modes of matter, the same way agitate the changeless living entity, o my mother, making the entity despite of being formless believe that it belongs to that bodily form. (25-26) This soul, confounded indeed with his formless existence, falls in love with the body and has beloved ones and enemies, allies and strangers in his karma about the material affair. Faced with births and dying, lamenting different ways and lacking in discrimination as to what the scriptures say, is he full of anxiety and forgetful about the right discrimination. (27) Concerning this one often recites an ancient story about Yamarâja in discussion with the friends of a deceased one. Listen closely. (28) Once there was a king in Us’înara known as Suyajña who was killed by his enemies in a war. His kinsmen sat around him. (29-31) With his jeweled armor scattered here and there and his ornaments and garlands fallen down, lay he there in his blood pierced by the arrows through his heart. With his hair loose and his eyes obscured, had he of anger bitten lips, was his lotus face covered with dust and lay his arms and weapons cut off on the battlefield. When the queens ascertained that the master of Us’înara thus hacked up by providence had been killed, were they in tears and pounded they their breast constantly with their hands, crying over and over again ‘O, husband’, falling down at his feet. (32) Wailing out aloud for their beloved husband moistened they the lotus feet with the tears red of the kunkum of their breasts and with their ornaments and hair loosened lamented they heart-rending, sobbing pitiably:

(33) ‘Alas by the merciless providence o Lord of us, have you, o beloved one, been taken away beyond the range of our sight; the state and the inhabitants of Us’înara you formerly provided their livelihood, but now that you’re finished are you the cause of an increase in their lamentation. (34) You were such a grateful husband to us o King, how can we and your retinue live without you; you who art our best friend, tell us where those, who were of service at your lotus feet, have to follow you now you’ve left us.’ (35) The queens thus lamenting had taken the dead husband on their lap, not wishing the corpse to be buried. In the meantime was the sun setting in the west. (36) Hearing the kith and kin of the ruler lamenting so loudly came Yamarâja in person in the form of a boy to them and spoke he.

(37) S’rî Yamarâja said: ‘How regretful to see this bewilderment of these elderly people. Don’t they see the law of nature ruling every day? To the same nature as to where this man returned will they themselves return, nevertheless they meaninglessly weep! [compare B.G. 2: 28]. (38) We, alas, think that, because we at present are without the protection of our parents, we thus, weak as we are, don’t have to worry that we’d be eaten by the predators, supposing that He who has protected us in the womb would also protect us thereafter. (39) O poor women, the Supreme Controller by His own will creates all of this, while He Himself remains the same, and it is Him who no doubt also maintains and destroys; all that moves and does not move, is, so one says, the plaything of the Lord who at all times is able to give protection or to annihilate. (40) Something lost in the street can, protected by destiny, be preserved despite of the fact that one stays home, or just the same, God willing, be lost; despite of being unprotected can one under His protection remain alive whether one is at home or in the forest, but this one struck down did, well protected, not survive. (41) All that are embodied have their own type of birth according their karma and disappear also in due course of time therefrom; but all this does not apply to the soul, even though he, situated within this material world, in various forms is bound to her different modes. (42) This body of the person born of ignorance is just as separate from him as the material of a house is separate from its indweller; the same way is man separate from the body in which he with water, earth and fire took birth, and which, transforming in time, is vanquished again. (43) Just as fire in wood is observed separately, just as the air within the body has its separate position, just as the all pervading ether stays with itself, so too stands the living entity apart from its material encasement with its modes. (44) [The body of] this one [called] Suyajña is there right before you and you, o foolish people, now cry for him, but he who heard and spoke with it in this world, could never be seen by you! (45) Although residing within this body is the great ruler of the body, the life air, not the listener, nor the speaker; the soul stands apart from him, the life air, that is locked up within the body with all its sense organs. (46) The soul in control achieves and gives up again high and low-class bodies that are characterized by the five elements, the senses and the mind, and in doing so differs he [as the so-called linga, the subtle body] by dint of his own spiritual potency indeed from that what he assumes [see also 4.29]. (47) As long as one is of fruitive activity is one covered by the subtle body [consisting of mind, intelligence and false ego]; from that bondage is there the reversal [of the control from the soul to the one by the body] and the misery which follows the being identified with the illusory of matter [B.G. 8: 6]. (48) Just like with the seeing and talking in a daydream is it useless to cling to the factual of the modes of nature: everything that the senses produce in a dream is false. (49) It is for this reason that having the eternal as well as the temporal in this world is something that is not lamented by those who are of knowledge, otherwise, as you’ll understand, wouldn’t it be possible to deal with those who do like to sob over things [see also B.G. 2: 11]. (50) Some hunter in the forest who was directed to decimate the number of birds, spread a net and luring with food here and there he captured them. (51) He saw there a pair of kulinga birds foraging and as the hunter allured the female bird was it killed by surprise. (52) O queens, the male seeing how the female bird caught in the ropes of the net was seized, was very aggrieved and not knowing what to do began the poor thing out of affection to lament for its mate: (53) ‘Alas how cruel providence is, the Almighty of Mercy, to my wife; how awkward, what else can I do but lament over the poor one? (54) As He likes He may take my life too, what, for God, is the use of my half of the body really, what a poor life it is to suffer that pain for a lifetime! (55) How unfortunate are my babies waiting for their mother in their nest. How can I without the mother maintain the young that can’t fly as yet?’ (56) With the bird with wet eyes thus very sad lamenting at a distance over the loss of his beloved, managed the relentless hunter to sneak upon him and take him down by piercing him with an arrow.

(57) And so, o ignorant ones, is it with you not facing the finality of your existence; lamenting over your husband won’t bring him back, not even in a hundred years.’

(58) S’rî Hiranyakas’ipu said: ‘The boy thus expounding philosophically astounded the hearts of all the relatives and they thought everything that the eye could meet was just temporary [see also B.G. 2: 18]. (59) Yamarâja in this form having given instruction then disappeared, whereupon the relatives of King Suyajña did what needed to be done for the funeral. (60) So what would there for you be to lament about? Whether it belongs to you or to someone else, whether it concerns yourself or someone else, in this material world is the idea one has of oneself and of others the result of being preoccupied with the body in combination with a lack of knowledge about that what is embodied.’

(61) S’rî Nârada said: ‘Diti and [Rushâbhânu,] the wife of the deceased brother, hearing the speech of the king of the Daityas promptly gave up their great bereavement and engaged their hearts in the real philosophy of life.’