Thursday, July 13, 2017

daSama skandHam - The Tenth Canto - 2


One day SUrasEna's son vasudEva entered into wedlock with dEvaki and filled with joy at this festive occasion they started in procession in a chariot. At that time kamsa, the son of king ugrasEna joyously took the reins of the chariot sending them to raptures and began to chauffeur them out of his affection for his sister dEvaki.  They were preceded by a number of musicians playing relentlessly on the trumpets, percussion instruments and blowing the conch. As the festive procession continued dEvaki's father dEvaka decided to shower gifts on his daughter on this auspicious occasion.


dEvaka gifted eighteen hundred chariots with all facilities, four hundred fully gold-decked huge elephants, ten thousand horses and two hundred stylish maidens to serve dEvaki and keep her company. As the newly wed couple started their journey on that royal road....


kamsa loosened the reins to let the horses hasten the chariot. All of a sudden kamsa felt disturbed deep within as an unseen voice from the skies thundered thus...


Prompted by the gleeful appreciations of your sister you are lovingly chauffeuring the chariot. However, you know not that, the eighth child to be born in the womb of this polite and beautiful sister of yours shall slay you!

Link to Telugu page


kamsa, the one to bring disrepute and destruction to the bhOjAs was shocked upon hearing the ethereal voice that spelled his doom and his shoulders shuddered. He pulled his horrifying sword out of its sheath, caught hold of the braid of dEvaki without the least consideration of being siblings, unmounted her from the chariot to slay her. vasudEva rushed to him at once.


Approaching kamsa, the sin-hearted, hubris filled, consumed by the raging fire of anger, vasudEva used his sweet and nectarine speech to calm down kamsa and started speaking so...


Alas! You are the elder brother of dEvaki. You should shower her with gifts of gold and clothes. Or you should felicitate her with sweet speech. Instead you seem to rely on this unseen voice and believing that to be true you are out to slay your sister! O brother, please withdraw yourself, bear patience. This doesn't befit you. I beseech you, please do not kill her.



vasudEva's dhArmic counsel


Your sister is an innocent and weak lass. She is pure-hearted and has only your welfare in mind. Based on the unseen voice you are setting out to dis-honor her. Alas, O meritorius one and born in a great clan, does this slaying of your sister out of anger befit you? Contemplate on it O lord of bhOjAs


Death is also born as soon as one assumes a physical body. The elemental body eventually merges back in the five elements either today or tomorrow or after a hundred years. The indweller jIva sheds its current body, and assumes another life form depending on the merits or sins that have been committed by the previous body just as the caterpillar raises the front part of the body to mount on another leaf and then drags the rear part from the previous leaf. As if the experiences of wakeful state appear clearly in dreams, the accumulated karma of the jIva follows it birth after birth.


Carrying the previous impressions of the sins and merits begotten in the previous births, the mind of the jIva in a given body is perturbed and follows the senses with celerity. Following the senses thus, the accumulated karma is not destroyed even if the jIva assumes multiple births.


Just as the reflection of the Sun and the Moon in pots filled with water wavers due to the wind, the jIva assumes a body befitting its past karmas and moves therein zealously.


The good and bad that one experiences is verily due to the karma performed by them. It is only the performer of the karma that is responsible for them. This is true even for Lord brahma. This being the case there is really no use trying to judge others (and blame them for one's situation).


Therefore one should never cause harm to others. Would causing harm to another because it is beneficial to one be ever condoned? Can one escape the result of such a bad karma?


Although she is related to you as a younger sister, she is indeed like your daughter. She has a good character and is worthy of honour. She is young, a bride who is radiant and opulent. But she is forlorn, terrified and is shuddering. I bow to you, O compassionate king kamsa, be kind and merciful towards her.


Thus vasudEva spoke endeavouring to cajole kamsa through wise counsel  as well as frightful words. However, those words had no calming effect on kamsa. His angry gaze was raining fire and bereft of any compassion he was determined to kill that beautiful dEvaki. Sensing that his words had no effect on the foolish kamsa, vasudEva started to deliberate within himself his further course of action...


One cannot justify cowardice by saying death is certain and succumb to situations. As far as one's intellect can take, one should endeavour to protect oneself spiritedly on the basis of his own strength.


Having determined so...


The best course to follow today is to avert danger to this woman by promising to surrender the newborns. Who knows the future! If this feme covert survives today perhaps a more lasting way-out can be found later. Even if sons are born to me and their immediate death is imminent in his hands, would not fate catch up with him? Wouldn't there be a way to safeguard the newborns? Perhaps there will be. 

Raging forest fire spares the near-by trees but leaps and guts the trees that are very far. Even so, one's own karmas have the far reaching consequences of causing one's own birth and death. Therefore, why stutter.


It seems just to rescue my wife by promising to surrender the newborn sons. If he spares my wife now, perhaps by the time sons are born, situation would overturn. Would God not come to the rescue by then?


The ethereal voice earnestly declared that the child born in dEvaki's eighth pregnancy shall kill kamsa. Why would it not happen? It is best to immediately secure the release of my wife. Thinking thus, vasudEva...


Speaking softly and acting swiftly vasudEva felicitated kamsa with persuasive speech and a smiling countenance although he was inflamed within.


O kamsa you are worried to learn from the ethereal voice that you will die in the hands of the son born to this beautiful woman. I assure you that I'll serially hand over every son who is born of her to you so that you can kill them.


Hearing these assuring words of vasudEva, kamsa nodded his head in satisfaction and accepted the proposal. He spared his sister dEvaki and went off to his abode. vasudEva and dEvaki heaved a sigh of relief and having reached their abode, lived there happily. Days passed along in this manner.


Although suffering constantly at the hands of kamsa, dEvaki basked in divine feelings and gave birth to eight sons and a daughter every year.


Among them,


The first son born to that woman of beautiful teeth dEvaki was named kIrtimantha. As soon as he was born, vasudEva courageously brought the newborn to king kamsa true to his word without feeling greedy about the offspring.


Without going back on the given word, without resorting to betrayal, without feeling of angst, the courageous vasudEva handed over his newborn to the enemy. Is there anyone more brave than vasudEva?


O king (suka addressing parikshit), 

for the one who is established in truth what is impossible to accomplish? 
for the one who is established in awareness, is there any attachment?
for the one who is established in unflinching devotion to God, is there anything that cannot be given away?
for the one who doesn't take cognizance, can any harm be caused?


kamsa spoke thus, appreciating the manner in which vasudEva stood true to his given word and surrendered his newborn.


O vasudEva, take away this son of yours. I am not in danger due to him and hence I am not angry with him. It seems your eighth son will cause my death. I shall kill him when he is born.


Hearing these words of his evil natured brother-in-law, that vasudEva, at whose birth trumpets blew, did not feel overjoyed, was overcome by anxiety and took his son back. Then...

Coming of nArada to mathura

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