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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 3b

The Marriage of Kardama and Devahûti

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 3b   

 The Marriage of Kardama and Devahûti

(1) Maitreya said: 'After the sage this way had described the greatness of the virtues and activities of emperor Manu he fell silent. The emperor feeling somewhat embarrassed by it then addressed him. (2) Manu said: 'You [brahmins] were in your being connected in penance, knowledge and yoga and being turned away from sense gratification, by the Creator created from His mouth for the purpose of defending Him in the form of praises [Vedic hymns]. (3) And we were by the Father with the Thousand Feet [the Lord of the Universal Form] created from His thousand arms in order to protect them again. Thus the brahmins are called His heart and the kshatriyas [the rulers] His arms. (4) Because the godhead, the One Imperishable who is both cause and effect, defends the both of them, the brahmins and the kshatriyas protect each other as well as the [interest of the] soul. (5) By just seeing how you o supreme one, personally so lovingly explained what the duty of a king is to his subjects, all my doubts have resolved. (6) It is my good fortune o powerful one, that I could see you who cannot be seen easily by those who are not acting in accord with the soul. Happily enough my head could touch the dust of your feet that bring all the blessing. (7) I am lucky to have been granted the great favor of being instructed by you. How lucky I am to have listened with pricked up ears to your pure words! (8) O sage, your honor, now be pleased yourself to listen to the prayer of this humble person whose mind is full of worries out of love for his daughter. (9) This daughter of mine, the sister of Priyavrata and Uttânapâda, is seeking a husband suitable qua age, character and good qualities. (10) The moment she from Nârada Muni heard about your noble character, learning, appearance, youth and virtues, she fixed her mind upon you. (11) Therefore, please accept her o best of the twice-born, she is offered by me believing that she in every way is suitable for your household duties. (12) To deny a thing of one's desire that in fact came by itself is not commendable, not even for someone who is free from attachment to sensual pleasures, let alone someone addicted. (13) He who rejects what is offered [generously] and begs from a stingy person, looses his honor and will see his reputation and renown ruined. (14) O wise man, I heard that you intended to marry and hence have not taken the vow of perpetual celibacy. Then please accept my offer [*].'

(15) The rishi replied: 'Yes I would like to marry and your daughter has not promised herself to anyone. Based upon this a marriage of us according to the rules will be proper. (16) Let that desire of your daughter, which is recognized by scriptural authority, be fulfilled o King. Who would not adore your daughter? Her bodily luster alone outshines the beauty of her ornaments! (17) [But...] wasn't it Vis'vâvasu [a Gandharva, a heavenly being] who, when he on the roof of the palace saw her with tinkling ankle bells and bewildered eyes playing with a ball, infatuated fell down from his elevated position ['his heavenly vehicle'] with a mind in disarray? (18) What man of wisdom wouldn't welcome her, that gem of womanhood who came of her own accord [to seek my hand] as the beloved daughter of Manu and sister of Uttânapâda, she who is not found by the ones who missed the feet of the goddess of fortune? (19) This is therefore my condition: I will accept the chaste girl for as long as she may be with child from the semen of my body. I thereafter free from envy consider to take up the duties of service as respected by the best of the ones of perfection [the paramahamsas] about which the Lord spoke to me [in 3.21: 31]. (20) To me the highest authority is the Supreme Unlimited One, the Lord of the fathers of mankind [the Prajâpatis] from whom this wonderful creation emanated, He in whom it will dissolve and by whom it presently exists.'

(21) Maitreya said: 'He, o great warrior, spoke this much only and became silent with his thoughts focussed on Vishnu's lotus navel. With a beautiful smile on his face, he then captured the mind of Devahûti. (22) After Manu had confirmed the decision taken by the queen mother [S'atarûpâ] and also had probed his daughter's mind about him, he extremely pleased gave her away who endowed with as many good qualities was a good match for him [Kardama]. (23) S'atarûpâ, the empress, lovingly gave in dowry to the bride and bridegroom valuable presents like ornaments, clothes and household articles. (24) The emperor relieved of the responsibility of giving his daughter to a suitable man then with an agitated mind full of anxiety enclosed her in his arms. (25) Unable to part from her he shed tears, drenching his daughter's hair over and over with the water from his eyes and cried: 'O dear mother, my dearest daughter!'

(26-27) After asking and receiving permission to leave him, the best of sages, the emperor with his wife mounted his chariot and headed along with his retinue for his capital, on the road enjoying the tranquil scenery of the hermitages of the sages on both the charming banks of the river the Sarasvatî. (28) Elated to know who was arriving, the subjects of Brahmâvarta went to meet him with songs, praise and instrumental music. (29-30) The city, rich with all kinds of wealth, was named Barhishmatî after the hairs of the shaking body of Lord Boar that had fallen down and turned into the evergreen kus'a and kâs'a grass [grasses used for sitting places and mats] with which the sages defeated the disturbers of their sacrifices in worship of Lord Vishnu. (31) Having spread that kus'a and kâs'a grass the greatly fortunate Manu had created a seat in worship of the Lord of Sacrifice [Vishnu] by whom he had achieved his position on earth. (32) Having arrived in the city of Barhishmatî where he thus far had lived, the mighty one entered his palace that eradicated the threefold miseries of life [of body and mind, as caused by others and of nature]. (33) He, not disturbed by others, enjoyed the pleasures of life together with his wife and subjects and was praised for his reputation of piety, for he was in his heart very drawn to listening with his wives each morning to the celestial musicians and talks about the Lord. (34) Even though Svâyambhuva Manu was absorbed in the deluding oneness of matter, he was as a saint. Being a supreme devotee of the Lord he could not be lead astray by his material enjoyments. (35) He didn't spend his hours idle and spent his life till his last days with listening to, contemplating, recording and discussing the topics of Lord Vishnu. (36) In his being connected with the topics of Vâsudeva thus transcending the three destinations [according to the modes, see B.G. chapter 18], he made his era last for the time of seventy-one mahâyugas. (37) How can the miseries pertaining to body and mind, the powers of nature and other men and living beings o Vidura, ever trouble someone who lives under the protection of the Lord? (38) He [Manu] who always cared about the welfare of all living beings spoke, on the request of the sages, about the many types of duties beneficial to human society of the status orientations [varnas and âs'ramas, the vocations and agegroups]. (39) This is what I could tell you about the wonderful character of Manu the first emperor, who deserved all praise. Now please listen to the advance of his daughter [Devahûti].'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/