AJAGARA PARVA: Chapter 181

The rescue of Bhima

युधिष्ठिर उवाच भवानेतादृशो लोके वेदवेदाङ्गपारगः। ब्रूहि किं कुर्वतः कर्म भवेद् गतिरनुत्तमा॥
Yudhishthira said: (O Serpent), in this world, you are so superiority versed in the Vedas and the Vedangas, that I should like you will iell me, by what (sorts of) acts men can obtain heaven.

सर्प उवाच पात्रे दत्त्वा प्रियाण्युक्त्वा सत्यमुक्त्वा च भारत। अहिंसानिरतः स्वर्ग गच्छेदिति मतिर्मम॥
The Serpent said : In my opinion, O Bharata, by bestowal of alims on deserving objects, endearing words, truthfulness and unenviousness one can have access to heaven.

युधिष्ठिर उवाच दानाद् वा सर्प सत्याद् वा किमतो गुरु दृश्यते। अहिंसाप्रिययोश्चैव गुरुलाघवमुच्यताम्॥
Yudhishthira said: Snake, between benevolence and truthfulness, which is more praiseworthy? And tell me as regards unenviousness and good behaviour which is the more and which is the less important.

सर्प उवाच दानं च सत्यं तत्त्वं वा अहिंसा प्रियमेव च। एषां कार्यगरीयस्त्वाद् दृश्यते गुरुलाघवम्॥
The Snake replied The superiority or inferiority among charity, truthfulness, forbearance from malice and sweet speech is estimated at by the benefit which each of these tends to produce.

कस्माच्चिद् दानयोगाद्धि सत्यमेव विशिष्यते। सत्यवाक्याच्च राजेन्द्र किंचिद् दानं विशिष्यते॥
Sometimes truthfulness is considered superior to some charitable acts. And, O king of kings, sometimes charity is deemed more praiseworthy than true speech.

एवमेव महेष्वास प्रियवाक्यान्महीपते। अहिंसा दृश्यते गुर्वी ततश्च प्रियमिष्यते॥
And similarly, O lord of the earth, O mighty monarch, abstenance from malice is (sometimes) deemed superior to sweet speech and vice versa.

एवमेतद् भवेद् राजन् कार्यापेक्षमनन्तरम्। यदभिप्रेतमन्यत् ते ब्रूहि यावद् ब्रवीम्यहम्॥
Thus, O monarch, (their superiority or inferiority) depends on their utility. Now if you have anything more to ask, speak out and I shall solve your doubts.

युधिष्ठिर उवाच कथं स्वर्गे गति: सर्प कर्मणां च फलंध्रुवम्। अशरीरस्य दृश्येत प्रब्रूहि विषयांश्च मे॥
(Kindly) tell me O Serpent, how the access of a disembodied being to heaven, how his enjoyment of the rewards and endurance of the punishment consequent on its acts and how its perception through the senses, be conceived. can

सर्प उवाच तिगे वै गतयो राजन् परिदृष्टाः स्वकर्मभिः। मानुषं स्वर्गवासश्च तिर्यग्योनिश्च तत् त्रिधा॥
The Snake replied O king, on account of their own (meritorious or evil) acts men are seen to attain one of the three conditions of rebirth as men, heavenly existence or birth among the lower animals.

तत्र वै मानुषाल्लोकाद् दानादिभिरतन्द्रितः। अहिंसार्थसमायुक्तैः कारणैः स्वर्गमश्नुते॥
By charity, unenviousness, absence of slothfulness and by self-exertion one goes to heaven from this state of men.

विपरीतैश्च राजेन्द्र कारणैर्मानुषो भवेत्। तिर्यग्योनिस्तथा तात विशेषश्चात्र वक्ष्यते॥
(But) by contrary acts, O king of kings, one is either reborn among men or among lower animals. (Therefore)O child, it is particularly laid in this subject,

कामक्रोधसमायुक्तो हिंसालोभसमन्वितः। मनुष्यत्वात् परिभ्रष्टस्तिर्यग्योनौ प्रसूयते॥
That he who is subject to lust, anger malice and temptations, being degraded from the human state again takes his birth among the lower animals,

तिर्यग्योन्याः पृथग्भावो मनुष्यार्थे विधीयते। गवादिभ्यस्तथाश्वेभ्यो देवत्वमपि दृश्यते॥
And as is laid down in the Vedas, gets rid of the existence among the lower animals in order to attain the human state again. And cows, cattle and horses and other animals are (even sometimes) seen to attain to divine life.

सोऽयमेता गतीस्तात जन्तुश्चरति कार्यवान्। नित्ये महति चात्मानमवस्थापयते द्विजः॥
O child, such is the transmigration of a creature according to his (good or evil) actions. But he that is wise reposes his soul in the everlasting Spirit.

जातो जातश्च बलवद् भुङ्क्ते चात्मा स देहवान्। फलार्थस्तात निष्पृक्तः प्रजापालनभावनः॥
The embodied spirit enchained by Fate and enjoying the pleasure or suffering the pain consequent on its acts, takes birth repeatedly. But he that has lost touch of his action is conscious of the destiny of all born creatures.

युधिष्ठिर उवाच शब्दे स्पर्श च रूपे च तथैव रसगन्धयोः। तस्याधिष्ठानमव्यचो ब्रूहि सर्प यथातथम्॥
Yudhishthira said : Tell me, O Serpent, truly and without hurry how the spirit (parted from the corporeal frame) becomes cognisant of sound, touch, form, smell and taste.

किं न गृहणाति विषयान् युगपच्च महामते। एतावदुच्यतां चोक्तं सर्वं पन्नगसत्तम।॥
And, O high-minded being, do you not simultaneously feel the sensations of touch, taste, etc., by means of the senses? O best of Snakes, (kindly) answer all these questions of mine.

सर्प उवाच यदात्मद्रव्यमायुष्मन् देहसंश्रयणान्वितम्। करणाधिष्ठितं भोगानुपभुङ्क्ते यथाविधि॥
The Snake replied O long-lived being, the thing termed Atman taking refuge in a physical frame and manifesting itself through the organs of sense, enjoys properly the perceptible objects.

ज्ञानं चैवात्र बुद्धिश्च मनश्च भरतर्षभ। तस्य भोगाधिकरणे करणानि निबोध मे॥
O the best of the Bharatas, know that the senses, the mind and the intellect assisting the soul in its enjoyment of the perceptible objects are called Karanas.

मनसा तात पर्येति क्रमशो विषयानिमान्। विषयायतनस्थो हि भूतात्मा क्षेत्रमास्थितः॥
O my child, the soul moving out of its proper place and assisted by the mind acting through the organs of sense-the recipients of all sensations-gradually perceives all the sensible objects.

तत्र चापि नरव्याघ्र मनो जन्तोर्विधीयते। तस्माद् युगपदत्रास्य ग्रहणं नोपपद्यते॥
O the most exalted of men the mind of creatures is the cause of all perceptions; and therefore it cannot at one and the same time perceive a plurality of objects,

स आत्मा पुरुषव्याघ्र भ्रुवोरन्तरमाश्रितः। बुद्धिं द्रव्येषु सृजति विविधेषु परावराम्॥
The Soul, O the most valiant of mortals stationing itself between the eye brows, sends the high and the low intellect to different objects (of sense).

वुद्धेश्त्तरकाला च वेदना दृश्यते बुधैः। एष वै राजशार्दूल विधिः क्षेत्रज्ञभावनः॥
O best of kings, knowledge which the yogis drive from the operation of intelligence, manifests the action of the Soul.

युधिष्ठिर उवाच मनसश्चापि बुद्धेश्च ब्रूहि मे लक्षणं परम्। एतदध्यात्मविदुषां परं कार्यं विधीयते॥
Yudhishthira said : Tell me the (kindly) the prominent characteristics of the mind and the intellect (respectively); (because) the knowledge (of their functions) is said to be the principal requirements of those conversant with the Supreme being

सर्प उवाच बुद्धिरात्मानुगा तात उत्पातेन विधीयते। तदाश्रिता हि संज्ञैषा बुद्धिस्तस्यैषिणी भवेत्॥
The Snake answered Through cloudiness of understanding the soul becomes subject to intellect. For this reason, though it (intellect) is known to be subordinate to the son, it guides the latter.

बुद्धिरुत्पद्यते कार्यान्मनस्तूत्पन्नमेव हि। बुद्धेर्गुणविधानेन मनस्तहगुणवद् भवेत्॥
The intellect is called into existence by acts of perception; (but) the mind exists of itself; and the mind and not the intellect, has the power of causing the sensations of pleasure and pain.

एतद् विशेषणं तात मनोबुद्ध्योर्यदन्तरम्। त्वमप्यत्राभिसम्बुद्धः कथं वा मन्यते भवान्॥
O my child, these are the points of distinction between the mind and the intellect you are also conversant with this subject. What do you say?

युधिष्ठिर उवाच अहो बुद्धिमतां श्रेष्ठ शुभा बुद्धिरियं तव। विदितं वेदितव्यं ते कस्मात् समनुपृच्छसि॥
Yudhishthira said: O the best of those endowed with intelligence, you have a superb intellect. Why (then) do you ask me this question, when you are well acquainted with all that should be known.

सर्वज्ञं त्वां कथं मोह आविशत् स्वर्गवासिनम्। एवमद्भुतकर्माणमिति मे संशयो महान्॥
I am at a great loss to understand how you became subject to illusion who performed excellent deeds and obtained an abode in heaven.

सर्प उवाच सुप्रज्ञमपि चेच्छूरमृद्धिर्मोहयते नरम्। वर्तमानः सुखे सर्वो मुह्यतीति मतिर्मम॥
The Serpent said : Even a highly intellectual and wise man is inflated with prosperity. And in my opinion those that are given to luxury lose their sense.

सोऽहमैश्वर्यमोहेन मदाविष्टो युधिष्ठिर। पतितः प्रतिसम्बुद्धस्त्वां तु सम्बोधयाम्यहम्॥
So, O Yudhishthira, I too, intoxicated with the drink of prosperity, have fallen into this degraded state and then having recovered my reason am addressed you thus.

कृतं कार्य महाराज त्वया मम परंतप। क्षीण: शापः सुकृच्छ्रो मे त्वया सम्भाष्य साधुना।।
O tormentor of foes, O mighty monarch, you have rendered me a good service. And by conversing with your pious self I have been freed from this dreadful curse.

अहं हि दिवि दिव्येन विमानेन चरन् पुरा। अभिमानेन मत्तः सन् कंचिन्नान्यमचिन्तयम्॥
In days of yore when mounted on a celestials chariot I used to range through the heavens, elated with pride, I thought of nothing else.

ब्रह्मर्षिदेवगन्धर्वयक्षराक्षसपन्नगाः। करान् मम प्रयच्छन्ति सर्वे त्रैलोक्यवासिनः॥
The Brahmarshis, the celestials, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas, the Pannagas and all the inhabitants of the three worlds had to pay me taxes.

चक्षुषा यं प्रपश्यामि प्राणिनं पृथिवीपते। तस्य तेजो हराम्याशु तद्धि दृष्टेर्बलं मम॥
Such, O king, was the mysmeric power of my eyes, that all whatever creature I cast my looks, I instantly withdrew all his energy.

ब्रह्मर्षीणां सतरं हि उवाह शिबिकां मम। स मामपनयो राजन् भ्रंशयामास वै श्रियः॥
Thousands of Brahmarshis were engaged in drawing my palanquin. And O king, this sin on my part brought about my fall from my exalted position.

तत्र ह्यगस्त्यः पादेन वहन् स्पृष्टो मया मुनिः। अगस्तयेन ततोऽस्म्युक्तः सर्पस्त्वं च भवेति ह॥
One day when the sage Agastya was drawing my palanquin my feet touched his body. Thereupon Agastya cursed me in anger saying "ruin overtake you; do you turn into a snake."

ततस्तस्माद् विमानावयात् प्रच्युतश्च्युतलक्षणः। प्रपतन् बुबुधेऽऽत्मानं व्यालीभूतमधोमुखम्। अन्याचं तमहं विप्रं शापस्यान्तो भवेदिति॥
Thus deprived of my prosperity I fell down from that conveyance. And in the course of my fall I found myself turned into a snake with my head downwards. (Then) I besought that Brahmana “Kindly free me from this curse.

सर्प उवाच प्रमादात् सम्प्रमूढस्य भगवन् क्षन्तुमर्हसि। ततः स मामुवाचेदं प्रपतन्तं कृपान्वितः॥
O divine sage, graciously pardon me (because) I have been mad through pride. Thereupon, he, moved with pity addressed me while I was falling down, thus

युधिष्ठिरोधर्मराजः शापात् त्वां मोक्षयिष्यति। अभिमानस्य घोरस्य पापस्य च नराधिप॥
Yudhishthira, the best of the virtuous will liberate you from this curse. And O Monarch, when this horrible sin of pride (in you).

फले क्षीणे महाराज फलं पुण्यमवाप्स्यसि। ततो मे विस्मयो जातस्तद् दृष्ट्वा तपसो बलम्॥
Will come to an end, you will enjoy the fruits of your virtue." I was then lost in wonder on beholding the strength of his asceticism.

ब्रह्म च ब्राह्मणत्वं च येन त्वाहमचूचुदम्। सत्यं दमस्तपो दानाहिंसाधर्मनित्यता।॥
And it is for that reason that I have put to you these questions relating to Brahma and the Brahmanas. Truthfulness, self-control, asceticism, benevolence, unenviousness and adherence to virtue,

साधकानि सदा पुंसां न जातिर्न कुलं नृप। अरिष्ट एष भ्राता भीमसेनो महाबलः। स्वस्ति तेऽस्तु महाराज गमिष्यामि दिवं पुनः॥
O king and not race nor (illustrious) family, are the means by which persons must attain salvation. May your younger brother Bhimasena be all hail; and O mighty monarch, may you be happy. I shall now go to heaven again.

वैशम्पायन उवाच इत्युक्त्वाऽऽजगरं देहं मुक्त्वा स नहुषो नृपः। दिव्यं वपुः समास्थाय गतस्त्रिदिवमेव ह॥
Vaishampayana said : Having said this, the king Nahusha giving up his snake shape and assuming his celestials body returned to heaven.

युधिष्ठिरोऽपिधर्मात्मा भ्रात्रा भीमेन संगतः। धौम्येन सहितः श्रीमानाश्रमं पुनरागमत्॥
And the virtuous and prosperous Yudhishthira too, accompanied by Bhima and Dhaumya came back to his hermitage.

ते ततो द्विजेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः समेतेभ्यो यथातथम्। कथयामास तत् सर्वधर्मराजो युधिष्ठिरः॥
Then Yudhishthira, the best of the virtuous, related, in detail, all that had happened, to the assembled Brahmanas.

तच्छ्रुत्वा ते द्विजाः सर्वे भ्रातश्चास्य ते त्रयः। आसन् सुव्रीडिता राजन् द्रौपदी च यशस्विनी॥
Hearing all that, O king, all the Brahmanas, his three brothers and the renowned Draupadi were greatly amazed.

ते तु सर्वे द्विजश्रेष्ठाः पाण्डवानां हितेप्सया। मैवमित्यब्रुवन् भीमं गर्हयन्तोऽस्य साहसम्॥
And those best of the Brahmanas desirous of the welfare of the Pandavas, condemning the rashness of Bhima, told him not to do such an act again.

पाण्डवास्तु भयान्मुक्तं प्रेक्ष्य भीमं महाबलम्। हर्षमाहारयांचक्रुर्विजह्वश्च मुदा युताः॥
The Pandavas too were greatly delighted at seeing the highly powerful Bhima out of danger and continued to dwell there happily.