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should not dare, at any time, to tell him who lived in the path of piety an untruth, but, particularly, when she had been enjoined, by him, to inform him what had passed.
“When the Muni, princes, had heard these words, and knew that it was the truth, he began to reproach himself bitterly, exclaiming: Fie, fie upon me! My penance has been interrupted; the treasure of the learned and the pious has been stolen from me; my judgment has been blinded. This woman has been created, by some one, to beguile me. Brahma is beyond the reach of those agitated by the waves of infirmity.' I had subdued my passions, and was about to attain divine knowledge. This was foreseen by him by whom this girl has been sent hither. Fie on the passion that has obstructed my devotions! All the austerities that would have led to acquisition of the wisdom of the Vedas have been rendered of no avail by passion that is the road to hell.' The pious sage, having thus reviled himself, turned to the nymph, who was sitting nigh, and said to her: 'Go, deceitful girl, whither thou wilt. Thou hast performed the office assigned thee by the monarch of the gods,- of disturbing my penance by thy fascinations. I will not reduce thee to ashes by the fire of my wrath. Seven paces together is sufficient for the friendship of the virtuous: but thou and I have dwelt together.* And, in truth, what fault hast
1 Or, ‘immersed in the six Úrmis' (HH), explained hunger, thirst, sorrow, stupefaction, decay, and death.
न त्वां करोम्यहं भस्म क्रोधतीव्रण वह्निना।
thou committed? Why should I be wroth with thee? The sin is wholly mine; in that I could not subdue my passions. Yet fie upon thee, who, to gain favour with Indra, hast disturbed my devotions, - vile bundle of delusion!'
“Thus spoken to by the Muni, Pramlochá stood trembling, whilst big drops of perspiration started from every pore; till he angrily cried to her: 'Depart, begone.' She then, reproached by him, went forth from his dwelling, and, passing through the air, wiped the perspiration from her person with the leaves of the trees. The nymph went from tree to tree, and, as, with the dusky shoots that crowned their summits, she dried her limbs, which were covered with moisture, the child she had conceived by the Rishi came forth from the pores of her skin, in drops of perspiration. The trees received the living dews; and the winds collected them into one mass. This”, said Soma, “I matured by my rays; and gradually it increased in size, till the exhalation that had rested on the tree-tops became the lovely girl named Márishá. The trees will give her to you, Prachetasas. Let your indignation be appeased. She is the progeny of Kańðu, the child of Pramlochá, the nursling of the trees, the daughter of the wind and the moon. The holy Kandu, after the interruption of his pious exercises, went, excellent princes,* to the region of Vishnu, termed Purushottama,
* The word "princes" is here supplied by the translator; and, for its epithet, “excellent”, all the MSS. I have seen give HTH:, an adjective in the singular number, and belonging to Kandu.
where, Maitreya,' with his whole mind, he devoted himself to the adoration of Hari; standing fixed, with uplifted arms, and repeating the prayers that comprehend the essence of divine truth.” 2
1 There is some confusion, here, in regard to the person addressed: but the context shows that the insertion of Maitreya's name is an inadvertence, and that the passage is a continuation of Soma's speech to the Prachetasas.
* The phrase is ब्रह्मपारमयं * * जपम् । 'made up of the further boundary of Brahma’; implying either comprehending the Supreme or Brahma, and transcendental wisdom, Pára'; or consisting of the furthest limits (Pára) or truths of the Vedas or Brahma’; that is, being the essence of the Vedánta philosophy. The hymn that follows is, in fact, a mantra or mystical prayer, commencing with the reiteration of the word Para and Pára; as:
पारं परं विष्णुरपारपारः :
परः पराणामपि पारपारः॥ Para means “supreme, infinite'; and Pára, 'the further bank or limit', the point that is to be attained by crossing a river or sea, or, figuratively, the world or existence. Vishńu, then, is Parań, that which nothing surpasses; and Páram, the end or object of existence: he is Apárapárah, the furthest bound of that which is illimitable, or space and time: he is Paraṁ parebhyah, above or beyond the highest, being beyond or superior to all the elements: he is Paramartharúpí, or identical with final truth, or knowledge of soul: he is Brahmapárah, the object or essence of spiritual wisdom. Parapárabhútah is said to imply the further limit (Pára) of rudimental matter (Para). He is Parah, or chief, Paráńám, of those objects which are beyond the senses: and he is Párapárah, or the boundary of boundaries; that is, he is the comprehensive
The MSS, which I have examined exhibit, without exception, T: परेभ्य:. .
The Prachetasas said: “We are desirous to hear the transcendental prayers by inaudibly reciting which the pious Kańđu propitiated Kesáva.” On which Soma repeated as follows: “Vishnu is beyond the boundary of all things; he is the infinite; he is beyond that which is boundless; he is above all that is above; he exists as finite truth; he is the object of the Veda; the limit of elemental being; unappreciable by the senses; possessed of illimitable might. He is the cause of cause; the cause of the cause of cause; the cause of finite cause; and, in effects, he, both as every object and agent, preserves the universe. He is Brahma the lord; Brahma all beings; Brahma the progenitor of all beings; the imperishable. He is the undecaying, eternal, unborn Brahma, incapable of increase or diminution. Purushottama is the everlasting, uncreated, immutable, Brahma. May the imperfections of my nature be annihilated (through his favour). Reciting this eulogium, the essence of divine truth, and propitiating Kesáva, Kandu obtained final emancipation.
“Who Márisha was of old, I will also relate to you; as the recital of her meritorious acts will be beneficial to you. She was the widow of a prince, and left childless at her husband's death. She, therefore, zealously worshipped Vishńu; who, being gratified by her adoration, appeared to her, and desired her to demand a
investure of, and exterior to, those limits by which soul is confined; he is free from all incumbrance or impediment. The passage may be interpreted in different ways, according to the ingenuity with which the riddle is read.
boon; on which she revealed to him the wishes of her heart. I have been a widow, lord', she exclaimed, 'even from my infancy; and my birth has been in vain. Unfortunate have I been, and of little use, O sovereign of the world. Now, therefore, I pray thee, that, in succeeding births, I may have honourable husbands, and à son equal to a patriarch (amongst men). May I be possessed of affluence and beauty; may I be pleasing in the sight of all; and may I be born out of the ordinary course. Grant these prayers, Othou who art propitious to the devout.'* Hrishikeśa, the god of gods, the supreme giver of all blessings, thus prayed to, raised her from her prostrate attitude, and said: “In another life you shall have ten husbands of mighty prowess, and renowned for glorious acts. And you shall have a son, magnanimous and valiant, distinguished by the rank of a patriarch, † from whom the various races of men shall multiply, and by whose posterity the universe shall be filled. You, virtuous lady, shall be of marvellous birth;t and you shall be endowed with grace and loveliness, delighting the hearts of men. Thus having spoken, the deity disappeared; and the princess was, accordingly, afterwards born as Márisha, who is given to you for a wife.”1
This part of the legend is peculiar to our text; and the
रूपसंपत्समायुक्ता सर्वस्य प्रियदर्शना ।
अयोनिजा च जायेयं त्वत्प्रसादादधोक्षज ॥ + पुत्रं च सुमहात्मानमतिवीर्यपराक्रमम् ।
प्रजापतिगुणैर्युक्तं त्वमवाप्स्यसि शोभने ॥ Márisha was, thus, promised a son “endowed with the attributes of a patriarch."