Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Sambhava Parva 29

"Vasumat said, 'I am Vasumat, the son of Oshadaswa. I would ask thee, O
king, whether there are any worlds for me to enjoy as fruits of my
religious merits, in heaven or the firmament. Thou art, O high-souled
one, acquainted with all holy regions.'

"Yayati answered, 'There are as many regions for thee to enjoy in heaven
as the number of places in the firmament, the Earth and the ten points of
the universe illumined by the Sun.'

"Vasumat then said, 'I give them to thee. Let those regions that are for
me be thine. Therefore, though falling, thou shall not fall. If to accept
them as gift be improper for thee, then, O monarch, buy them for a straw?'

"Yayati answered, 'I do not remember having ever bought and sold anything
unfairly. This has never been done by other kings. How shall I therefore
do it?'

"Vasumat said, 'If buying them, O king, be regarded by thee as improper,
then take them as gilt from me. For myself I answer that I will never go
to those regions that are for me. Let them, therefore, be thine.'

"Sivi then addressed the king thus, I am, O king, Sivi by name, the son
of Usinara. O father, are there in the firmament or in heaven any worlds
for me to enjoy? Thou know every region that one may enjoy as the
fruit of his religious merit.'

"Yayati said, 'Thou hast never, by speech or in mind, disregarded the
honest and the virtuous that applied to thee. There are infinite worlds
for thee to enjoy in heaven, all blazing like lightning.' Sivi then said,
'If thou regard their purchase as improper, I give them to thee. Take
them all, O king! I shall never take them, viz., those regions where the
wise never feel the least disquiet.'

Yayati answered, 'O Sivi, thou hast indeed, obtained for thyself,
possessed of the prowess of Indra, infinite worlds. But I do not desire
to enjoy regions given to me by others. Therefore, I accept not thy gift.'

"Ashtaka then said, 'O king, each of us has expressed his desire to give
thee worlds that each of us has acquired by his religious merits. Thou
accept not them. But leaving them for thee, we shall descend into the

"Yayati answered, 'Ye all are truth-loving and wise. Give me that which I
deserve. I shall not be able to do what I have never done before.'

"Ashtaka then said, 'Whose are those five golden cars that we see? Do men
that repair to these regions of everlasting bliss ride in them?'

"Yayati answered, 'Those five golden cars displayed in glory, and blazing
as fire, would indeed, carry you to regions of bliss.'

"Ashtaka said, 'O king, ride on those cars thyself and repair to heaven.
We can wait. We follow thee in time.'

"Yayati said, 'We can now all go together. Indeed, all of us have
conquered heaven. Behold, the glorious path to heaven becomes visible."

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then all those excellent monarchs riding in
those cars set out for heaven for gaining admittance into it,
illuminating the whole firmament by the glory of their virtues.'

"Then Ashtaka, breaking the silence asked, 'I had always thought that
Indra was my especial friend, and that I, of all others, should first
obtain admittance into heaven. But how is it that Usinara's son, Sivi
hath already left us behind?'

"Yayati answered, 'This Usinara's son had given all he possessed for
attaining to the region of Brahman. Therefore, is he the foremost among
us. Besides, Sivi's liberality, asceticism, truth, virtue, modesty,
forgiveness, amiability, desire of performing good acts, have been so
great that none can measure them!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'After this, Ashtaka, impelled by curiosity,
again asked his maternal grandfather resembling Indra himself, saying, 'O
king, I ask thee, tell me truly, whence thou art, who thou art, and whose
son? Is there any other Brahmana or Kshatriya who hath done what thou
didst on earth?' Yayati answered, 'I tell thee truly, I am Yayati, the
son of Nahusha and the father of Puru. I was lord of all the Earth. Ye
are my relatives; I tell thee truly, I am the maternal grandfather of you
all. Having conquered the whole earth, I gave clothes to Brahmanas and
also a hundred handsome horses fit for sacrificial offering. For such
acts of virtue, the gods became propitious to those that perform them. I
also gave to Brahmanas this whole earth with her horses and elephants and
kine and gold all kinds of wealth, along with a hundred Arbudas of
excellent milch cows. Both the earth and the firmament exist owing to my
truth and virtue; fire yet burneth in the world of men owing to my truth
and virtue. Never hath a word spoken by me been untrue. It is for this
that the wise adore Truth. O Ashtaka, all I have told thee, Pratardana,
and Vasumat, is Truth itself. I know it for certain that the gods and the
Rishis and all the mansions of the blessed are adorable only because of
Truth that characterise them all. He that will without malice duly read
unto good Brahmanas his account of our ascension to heaven shall himself
attain to the same worlds with us.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'It was thus that the illustrious king Yayati of
high achievements, rescued by his collateral descendants, ascended to
heaven, leaving the earth and covering the three worlds with the fame of
his deeds.'"

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