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यशवंतराय महाकाव्य

यशवंतराय महाकाव्य

श्री. वासुदेव वामन शास्त्री खरे यांनीं रचिलेंले.


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ALAMBUṢĀ(अलम्बुषा)

  • A celestial woman born to Kaśyapa by his wife Pradhā.
    1) Genealogy.
    Begins from Viṣṇu in the following order: Brahmā-Kaśyapa-Alambuṣā.
    2) How she enticed the hermit Dadhīca.
    In days of yore there was an ascetic named Dadhīca. He began doing tapas on the bank of the river Sarasvatī. Indra was in consternation. Indra sent this celestial maid Alambuṣā to entice the hermit. When the ascetic got down to the river, Alambuṣā approached him with enticing actions and expressions. When the hermit saw her he became passionate and he had seminal flow. The sperm fell into the river. The river became pregnant and delivered a child in due course. He was called Sārasvata. Alambuṣā brought the child before Dadhīca, who blessed the child and said that there would be a drought in the country continuously for twelve years and that at that juncture Sārasvata would recite passages from the Scripture to the Brahmins who had forgotten them. The much pleased Sarasvatī and Sārasvata went back. At that time Indra lost his Vajrāyudha (weapon of thunderbolt) somewhere. The Asuras (enemies of Gods) made an onslaught on the gods and their realm. Indra knew that with a weapon made by the bone of Dadhīca the Asuras could be destroyed. Indra asked the Gods to bring the bone. They came down to the earth and requested Dadhīca to give them a bone. Dadhīca giving his bone died and attained heaven. With his bones Indra made a good deal of weapons such as the Vajrāyudha, wheel weapons, maces and sticks and with them Indra slew all the Daityas (Asuras). After this there was a great famine in the country. As there was no rain, crops failed and lands became dry and the Brahmins left the country. Sārasvata alone remained with his mother. After twelve years the famine and starvation came to an end. By then the Brahmins had forgotten the hymns and mantras of the Vedas. They approached the boy Sārasvata and renewed their memory. [Mahābhārata, Śalya Parva, Chapter 51].
    3) Punarjanma (Rebirth).
    Long ago Indra went to Brahmā. There was one Vasu called Vidhūma also with Indra. When these two were standing near Brahmā, Alambuṣā also came there to pay homage to Brahmā. The garments she had on were displaced by wind. Vidhūma saw the dazzling beauty of her body and was overpowered by libido. Alambuṣā who understood this, was filled with passion for him. Brahmā who saw the changes in them looked at Indra with displeasure. Indra knowing the mind of Brahmā cursed them: “Both of you who have lost meekness shall become human be- ings and then your desire will be fulfilled”. Owing to the curse Vidhūma was born as Sahasrānīka, the illustrious King of Candra vaṁśa (Lunar dynasty) and Alambuṣā took birth as Mṛgāvatī, the daughter of King Kṛtavarmā and his wife Kalāvatī. [Kathāsaritsāgara, Kathāmukhalambaka, Taraṅga 1].
    4) The curse of Tilottamā.
    Sahasrānīka the incarnation of Vidhūma and Mṛgāvatī the incarnation of Alambuṣā fell in love with each other on the earth also. Before the wedding took place Devendra once invited Sahasrānīka to heaven. He lived there for a time as the guest of the Gods. After having defeated the Asuras it was time for him to return. Indra sent Tilottamā to keep company. The charioteer was driving. Sahasrānīka immersed in the thought of Mṛgāvatī was sitting silent. Tilottamā said something which the King did not hear. Tilottamā cursed him that he would be separated for fourteen years from the object about which he was thinking. He was not even aware of the curse.
    5) The period of separation.
    The King returned to Kauśāmbi his capital city. Without much delay the wedding ceremony also was conducted. She became pregnant. One day she told her lover-husband that she had a desire to dip in a blood pond. The King made a pond and filled it with a solution of Lākṣā (wax, when dissolved in water, the water will look like blood) and such other substances. Mṛgāvatī was dipping and splashing in it when an eagle taking her to be a piece of flesh took her away. At the loss of his wife Sahasrānīka lost his senses and fell down unconscious. Immediately Mātali, Indra's charioteer, came down from the realm of Gods and brought the King back to consciousness, and then informing him of the curse of Tilottamā he returned. Without paying any heed to the consolatory words of his ministers or other inmates of the palace the King went on lamenting and moaning, “ha, my love Mṛgāvatī! Where are you now?” and waited for the end of the period of the curse, execrating Tilottamā. Casting Mṛgāvatī on the Mountain of the Rising Sun the great bird flew away. The horror-stricken queen, thinking of her present condition cried aloud. A very large mountain snake began to draw near to swallow her. A divine person saved her from that situation and vanished. The unprotected Mṛgāvatī decided to commit suicide. It was a forest which abounded in lions, tigers, bears and such other ferocious animals. But none of them came near her; over and above the exertion of carrying, she had to bear the difficulties of her forlorn condition, and she grew weary and worn and became unconscious. Then a hermit boy came there and questioned her who was now lean and ill-dressed, about her condition and consoling her guided her to the hermitage of the great hermit Jamadagni. When she saw the hermit who was as radiant as the Sun, she bowed low before him. “My daughter! Don't fear. You will get a heroic son here who will continue your family. You will be reunited to your husband.” Said the great and noble hermit, who could foresee the future. Somewhat pacified Mṛgāvatī lived in that hermitage waiting for reunion with her husband. After some days she gave birth to a son who had all the symptoms of greatness. At the birth of the child Mṛgāvatī heard an unknown voice saying, “This boy would become the great and renowned King Udayana. His son would get the leadership of the Vidyādharas (the musicians of the Gods)”. At this the queen was immensely pleased. The boy Udayana grew up in the hermitage, an incarnation of all good qualities. The hermit to whom the past, the present and the future were not obscure, performed the necessary rites and rituals becoming a Kṣatriya boy (Ruling caste) and taught him everything including the Dhanurveda (the Science of Archery). As a token of her intense love for the son, she put a bangle with the name of Sahasrānīka inscribed on the arm of Udayana. One day when Udayana was tramping the forest, he saw a snake-charmer catching a snake. Seeing the beauty of the snake he asked the snake-charmer to let the snake free. But the snake-charmer replied, “Oh Prince, this is my daily bread. I earn my livelihood by exhibiting snakes. My previous snake was dead and it was with the help of a good deal of herbs and spells and incantations that I caught this one”. When he heard this Udayana felt pity for him and gave the bangle to the snake-charmer and let the snake free. When the snake-charmer had gone with the bangle, the snake beaming with joy said to Udayana: “I am Vasunemi, the elder brother of Vāsuki. I am grateful to you for giving me freedom. I give you this lute producing exquisite notes of music, betels and some tricks to prepare never fading garlands and paste to make marks on the forehead. Receive them as my presents”. Udayana accepted the presents with gladness and returned more luminous than before to the hermitage of Jamadagni. The snake-charmer took the bangle, given by Udayana to the bazar for sale. The police caught him and took him before the King, because they saw the name of the King inscribed on the bangle. The King asked him how he got the bangle and the snake-charmer told the King the story from the catching of the snake till he got the bangle. “This is the bangle that I put on the arm of my wife. The boy who gave this bangle to this snake-charmer must be my son.” The King was thinking with sadness, when the King heard a voice from above say, “O King! the period of the curse is over. Your wife and son are in the Mountain of the Rising Sun”. At these words the King felt extreme joy. Somehow or other he spent the rest of the day. Early the next morning the King followed by his army, went to the Mountain of the Rising Sun to bring back his wife and son. They took the snakecharmer to show them the way. In due course the King and his train reached the holy hermitage of the eminent hermit Jamadagni. The place was always vibrant with sounds of the repeating and recitation of the Holy scriptures and covered with smoke mingled with the fragrance of burning herbs and other oblations burned in the sacrificial fire. The various wild animals which are born enemies of each other got on amicably there. The hermit who was an incarnation of the higher aspirations greeted the King who was the protector of the ascetics, with the hospitality becoming his status. The King who saw Mṛgāvatī with their son was overcome with gladness. Their reunion caused a shower of Ambrosia (Amṛta). The King stood before the hermit with folded arms and bowed head for permission to depart. To the King the hermit Jamadagni said: “Oh, King, you are welcome to this hermitage. To those such as you who are of the ‘Rajoguṇapradhāna’ caste (Ruling race) the peaceful atmosphere of our hermitage may not be appealing to the heart. But a holy hermitage is more respectable than the palace of an Emperor. There is no place for unhappiness here. You might have known that the reason for your separation is a curse. When you were returning from heaven with Tilottamā, you were so much engrossed in the thought of Mṛgāvatī that you did not pay any heed to the conversation of Tilottamā. She was displeased with your behaviour and cursed you. In future, if ever you happen to get into a position which will cause you mental trouble you can be assured of the presence of this Jamadagni.” The King said, “I am extremely grateful to your Eminence for this great boon. I am fully aware of the fact that the presence of the holy hermits who have under their control the eightfold prosperities, is always a harbinger of peace and prosperity. I am very sorry to say that the exigency of my presence at the capital due to the pressure of work in connection with the ruling of the country compels me to cut short my visit to this holy hermitage. I shall be looking forward with pleasure to occasions which will enable me to pay visits to this Holy abode.” Much pleased at the speech of the King the hermit said to Mṛgāvatī: “My daughter! Not only myself, but all the inmates of this hermitage are highly pleased at having got you in our midst for so long. We are sorry to part from you. Now look! the animals of the hermitage are standing round you and shedding tears. Still we are consoled at your reunion with your husband. Naturally you are of a very good character and your life in this hermitage has given you a nice training and so there is no need for any more advice from me at this time.” Saying this he drew Udayana to his side, kissed him on his head and said to the King again: “This son is a decoration to your dynasty. This handsome boy has been taught everything becoming a royal prince. Let him be a costly gem to you”. Thus blessing the boy the hermit led him to the King. The joy at her r{??}nion with husband, her shyness at being near him, her sorrow at having to depart from the hermitage and the surging feeling in her mind--all these made her dumb and so being unable to say anything she expressed her love and regard for the hermit whom she loved as her father, by some motions of her body and took leave of him with her son. The blessed King and his train, looking at the men, beasts and birds which accompanied them for a while, took leave of them and proceeded to the capital city. On reaching there the King anointed his son Udayana as King. Sahasrānika then went to the Himālayas to practise ascesis with his wife. [Kathāsaritsāgara, Kathāmukhalambaka, Taraṅga 2]. (b) Enticing Tṛnabindu.
    A story is seen in the [Bhāgavata] of how Alambuṣā enticed the King Tṛṇabindu. He married Alambuṣā and a daughter named Iḍaviḍā (Ilabilā) was born to them. This Ilabilā was married to Viśravas, to whom a son named Kubera (the Lord of wealth) was born By Alambuṣā Tṛṇabindu had three sons called Viśāla, Śūnyabandhu and Dhūmraketu. “Tam bhejelambuṣā devī Bhajanīyaguṇālayaṁ Varāpsarāyāste, putrāḥ Kanyā ceḍabiḍābhavat Tasyāmutpādayāmāsa Viśravā dhanadaṁ sutaṁ Prādāya vidyām paramā- Mṛṣiryogeśvarāt pituḥ Viśālaḥ śūnyabandhuśca Dhūmraketuścatatsutāḥ Viśālo vaṁśakṛdrājā Vaiśālīṁ nirmame purīm”. “He who is the seat of all laudable qualities (Tṛṇabindu) was honoured by Alambuṣā (as husband). Iḍaviḍā their daughter was given in marriage to Visravas and to them was born Dhanada (Kubera). His father who was a great hermit taught him everything required. Three sons Viśāla, Śunyabandhu and Dhūmraketu, were born to them. Viśāla who was the founder of the Dynasty, built a city called Vaiśāli.” [Bhāgavatam, Navama Skandham, Chapter 2, Stanzas 31-33]. Alambuṣā took part in the birthday celebration of Arjuna. [Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 49] (See Footnote)
    Note: *) Alambuṣā was the mother of the Celestial maid Kalāvatī. See the word Ṭhinṭhā Karāla.]
     
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