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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 9

The Downfall of Saubhari Muni

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 9   

 The Downfall of Saubhari Muni

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The three sons of Ambarîsha [see previous chapters] were Virûpa, Ketumân and S'ambhu; from Virûpa there was Prishadas'va and from him there was a son called Rathîtara. (2) Rathîtara had no sons and so was [sage] Angirâ requested to beget children with his [Rathîtara's] wife, which led to the birth of ['kshetra jâta'-] sons with brahminical qualities. (3) They again were all sons of Rathîtara, the head, as they, born from his wife, belonged to his family indeed, but they were remembered as the dynasty of Angirâ and called double-born [of mixed caste] since they were born from that field [or kshetra]. (4) When once Manu sneezed was from his nostrils the son Ikshvâku born [see also 8.13] and of his hundred sons were Vikukshi, Nimi and Dandakâ the most prominent. (5) Twenty-five of them became kings in Âryâvarita in the east [in the Himalaya and Vindhya mountains], o King, as also [did twenty-five of them] in the west [of that region], three ruled in the middle, while the others ruled over other places. (6) He, king Ikshvâku, once during ashthaka-s'râddha [offerings to the forefathers made in January, February and March] ordered his son: 'Bring me pure flesh [from hunting] o Vikukshi, go for it right now, without delay.'

(7) So he thereto went to the forest to kill animals suitable for the oblations, but when he was fatigued and hungry ate the hero forgetful [that the flesh was meant for the sacrifices] a rabbit [•] (8) He offered what remained to his father who on his turn asked their guru [Vasishthha] to purify it and he replied: 'All this is polluted and unfit to be used.'

(9) Informed by the spiritual master knew the ruler what his son had done and so drove he out of anger over him having violated the vidhi his son out of the country. (10) He in the discussions with the scholar who was his tutor thereto incited, gave according the knowledge [of the Absolute Truth] he thus received, as a yogi up his vehicle of time, and thus achieved the supreme position. (11) Upon the abdication of his father came Vikukshi back to rule over this planet earth in worship of the Lord with different yajñas and was he thus celebrated as S'as'âda ['the rabbit-eater']. (12) Purañjaya ['the conqueror of the residence'] was his son. He was also known as Indravâha ['carried by Indra'] and Kakutstha ['sitting on the hump of a bull']. Hear now about what he did to get these names. (13) There had been a devastating war, a fight of the godly with the Dânavas, in which he being of the best assistance, for the godly turned out to be a hero in conquering the demoniac. (14) By word of the God of Gods Lord Vishnu, the Supersoul and Master of the Entire Creation, became Indra engaged in His service as His carrier, as a great bull. (15-16) He, highly praised and well-equipped, with a first-class bow taking up the sharpest arrows, mounted him and sat on the hump, prepared to fight. Favored by the power of Vishnu, the Original Person and Supersoul, captured he, surrounded by the servants of heaven, in the western direction the daitya residence. (17) A battle took place between them and him that was so fierce that it makes one's hair stand on end to hear how he in the fight came forward and sent the Daityas with his arrows to Yamarâja. (18) Confronted with his shower of arrows fierce as the fire at the end of time, gave the Daityas all together their attack up and ran they who were not killed off to their own places. (19) Conquering over them turned he, the saintly king, all their wealth and wives over to the carrier of the thunderbolt [Indra] and were him thus given the names.

(20) From Purañjaya was a son born called Anenâ, his son was Prithu and the son he begot was Vis'vagandhi who on his turn had a son called Candra whose son was called Yuvanâs'va. (21) S'râvasta was his son and he built a town called S'râvastî; by S'râvasta was then Brihadas'va begotten and from him was there Kuvalayâs'va. (22) It was him being of a great power who, together with the twenty-one thousand sons that surrounded him, for the satisfaction of sage Utanka killed a demon named Dhundhu. (23-24) He was thus known as Dhundhumâra [the killer of Dhundhu]. All but three of his sons had been burned by the fire from the mouth of Dhundhu. The only ones that remained alive were Dridhâs'va, Kapilâs'va and Bhadrâs'va, o son of Bharata. Dridhâs'va's son was Haryas'va and the renown Nikumbha was his son. (25) Nikumbha's son was Bahulâs'va and his was Kris'âs'va. After him was there Senajit of whom Yuvanâs'va was born. Yuvanâs'va had no sons and retired [together with his wives] to the forest. (26) Together out there with his hundred wives was he depressed so that the sages very merciful with him with the greatest care began a [fertility] ceremony known as Indra-yajña. (27) He one night being very thirsty entered the sacrificial arena and seeing all the brahmins fast asleep, drank he of the sanctified water himself [instead of keeping it for his women]. (28) After they all woke up and next found the waterpot empty, o prabhu, inquired they who was responsible for drinking the water that was meant for giving birth to a child. (29) Understanding that by providence it was drank by the king prayed they all to the Supreme Lord saying: 'Alas, the power of God is what rules!' (30) So opened, lo and behold, thereafter when the time was ripe, the lower abdomen of king Yuvanâs'va itself at the right side and was a son born with all the qualities characterizing a good king. (31) Who now would supply the child with milk? It was crying so much thirsting for it that king Indra said: 'don't cry my child, just drink from me' and gave it his index-finger to suck. (32) The father didn't die of the baby he gave birth to because of the mercy of the divine scholars. Yuvanâs'va afterwards achieved the perfection doing tapas in that very place. (33-34) Dear king, Indra gave the child the name Trasaddasyu ['the fear of the rogues'], and of him indeed were crooks like Râvana and such, most afraid. Thus ruled Yuvanâs'va's son Mândhâtâ by the power of the Infallible One the surface of the earth with its seven continents as its one and only master. (35-36) He also in full awareness of the true self worshiped Yajña, the Lord of Sacrifices, the God and Supersoul of everyone above the sensual, in great ritualistic performances that were attended by all the godly whom he rewared with large sums. All ingredients, the mantras and the regulative principles, the worship and the worshiper and the priests with all the dharma of proceeding to the time and place, together contributed to assure that the interest of the true self was done justice. (37) About all the places mentioned stretching from where the sun rises above the horizon to everywhere he sets, speaks one as the field of action of the son of Yuvanâs'va, Mândhâtâ.

(38) In the daughter Bindumatî of a king called S'as'abindu begot the ruler [Mândhâtâ] Pûrukutsa, Ambarîsha and Mucukunda who was a great yogi . Their fifty sisters accepted sage Saubhari as their husband. (39-40) He [Saubhari] performing an uncommon austerity saw, submerged in the deep of the Yamunâ river, in his penance how a big fish was enjoying in sexual matters. Sexually awakened begged the learned one the king [Mândhâtâ] for a single daughter. The king said: 'You may take my daughter, o brahmin, if that is what she chooses.'

(41-42) He thought to himself: 'Women don't like me, I'm too old, I'm not attractive to them, wrinkled, with gray hair and a head-tremor; I'll be rejected! Let me make it this way that my body is desirable to the women of heaven, not to mention the daughters of worldly kings!' Thus was the resolve of the mystic. (43) Announced by an envoy was the sage admitted into the in every possible respect opulent quarters of the princesses where he, the one person he was, by all the fifty princesses was accepted as their husband. (44) Quarrels ensued among themselves when they gave up on their good relations in being attracted to him saying things like: 'He's the person suited for me, not for you.' (45-46) He, as a result of his austerity knowing many a mantra, enjoyed with his wives consequently an unlimited opulence with everything that one could wish for: all kinds of finely furnished houses and quarters, parks, the clearest water in ponds amidst fragrant gardens, costly bedding and furniture, clothing and ornaments; there were bathing places, palatable dishes, there was sandalwood paste and a dress-up with garlands and decorations of all men and women who in constant glee were followed by the song of birds, bumblebees and professional singers. (47) Just to observe Saubhari's family life struck the ruler over the seven continents [Mândhâtâ] with wonder so that he could no longer pride himself on his own position as the emperor of the world blessed with all opulence. (48) And Saubhari, always engaged in the happiness and diversity of the material affairs of his household, was in his enjoyment, just as a fire fed with fat, never satisfied. (49) He one day, sitting down wondering how his straying away from the true self could have taken place, had to conclude that it had been caused by a couple of copulating fish: (50) 'Alas, see how I, who was such a great ascetic, so observant and strict to the vow, have fallen down from the ascetic life I practiced for so long; just because of what aquatics do under water! (51) He who desires liberation has to give up the association of people vowed to sensual affairs; he should in every respect avoid to employ his external senses, he should move alone in a seclude place and fix his heart on the lotus feet of the Lord Unlimited and if he seeks company, he should associate with like-minded people like saints. (52) On my own as a renunciate was I, under water, associating with fish (!) and got I fifty wives, not to mention the five thousand sons I begot; I see no end to my duties here and hereafter that are occupying my mind. Under the influence of the modes of matter am I, out for my own interest, lost in the great attraction for material things.'

(53) Thus [regretfully] living at home passed the time and became he, detached, situated in the renounced order of life; he went to the forest and was followed by all his wives as he was their object of worship. (54) There in his penance being of the severest austerity conducive to self-realization, engaged he, now familiar with the fires of the personal self, himself with the Supreme Soul. (55) O Mahârâja, the wives who saw their husband spiritually progressing, managed to follow under that influence just like flames do with a fire that extinguishes [compare B.G. 9: 32].

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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/