None: Chapter 215

The colloquy between the Fowler and the Brahmana

मार्कण्डेय उवाच गुरुं निवेद्य विप्राय तौ मातापितरावुभौ। पुनरेव स धर्मात्मा व्याधो ब्राह्मणमब्रवीत्॥
Markandeya said : Having introduced both of his parents to that Brahmanas as his highest Gurus that virtuousminded fowler again thus spoke to the Brahmana.

प्रवृत्तचक्षुर्जातोऽस्मि सम्पश्य तपसो बलम्। यदर्थमुक्तोऽसि तया गच्छ त्वं मिथिलामिति॥ पतिशुश्रूषपरया दान्तया सत्यशीलया। मिथिलायां वसेद् व्याधः स ते धर्मान् प्रवक्ष्यति॥
The Fowler said: Behold the power of my this virtue by which iny spiritual vision has extended. For this reason you were told by that self-controlled and truthful and chaste lady, 'Go to Mithila, there lives a Fowler who will explain to you the mysteries of religion.'

ब्राह्मण उवाच पतिव्रतायाः सत्यायाः शीलाढ्याया यतव्रता संस्मृत्य वाक्यं धर्मज्ञ गुणवानसि मे मतः॥
The Brahmana said: O virtuous and vow-observing man, thinking of what that truthful, well-behaved and chaste lady told me, I am of opinion, that you really possess very high qualities.

व्याध उवाच यत् तदा त्वं द्विजश्रेष्ठ तयोक्तो मां प्रति प्रभो। दृष्टमेव तया सम्यगेकपल्या न संशयः॥
The Fowler said: O foremost of Brahmanas, O Lord, what that chaste lady told you about me, was certainly said with full knowledge of the facts.

त्वदनुग्रहबुद्ध्या तु विप्रेतद् दर्शितं मया। वाक्यं च शृणु मे तात यत् ते वक्ष्ये हितं द्विज॥
O sire, I have explained to you all this as a matter of favour. O Brahmana, hear what will be good for you.

त्वया विनिकृता माता पिता च द्विजसत्तम। अनिसृष्टोऽसि निष्क्रान्तो गृहात् ताभ्यामनिन्दित॥
O foremost of Brahmanas, O faultless one, you have wronged your father and mother, for you have left home for learning the Vedas without their permission.

वेदोच्चारणकार्यार्थमयुक्तं तत् त्वया कृतम्। तव शोकेन वृद्धौ तावन्धीभूतौ तपस्विनौ॥
You have not properly acted in this matter, for your ascetic and aged parents have become completely blind from grief at your loss.

तौ प्रसादयितुं गच्छ मा त्वां धर्मोऽत्यगादयम्। तपस्वी त्वं महात्मा च धर्मे च निरतः सदा॥
Go back to please them. May this virtue never forsake you. You are an ascetic, you are high-souled; you are always devoted to your religion,

सर्वमेतदपार्थं ते क्षिप्रं तौ सम्प्रसादय। श्रद्दधस्व मम ब्रह्मन् नान्यथा कर्तुमर्हसि। गम्यतामद्य विप्रर्षे श्रेयस्ते कथयाम्यहम्॥
But all has become in vain, therefore soon go back to console your parents. Have regard for my words and do not act in any other way. I tell you what is good for you, O Brahmana return even today.

ब्राह्मण उवाच यदेतदुक्तं भवथा सर्वं सत्यमसंशयम्। प्रीतोऽस्मि तव भद्रं ते धर्माचारगुणान्वित॥
The Brahmana said: man of virtuous practices, what you have said is certainly true. Be blessed, I am much pleased with you.

व्याध उवाच दैवतप्रतिमो हि त्वं यस्त्वं धर्ममनुव्रतः। पुराणं शाश्वतं दिव्यं दुष्प्राप्यमकृतात्मभिः॥ मातापित्रोः सकाशं हि गत्वा त्वं द्विजसत्तम। अतन्द्रितः कुरु क्षिप्रं मातापित्रोर्हि पूजनम्। अतः परमहं धर्मं नान्यं पश्यामि कंचन॥
The Fowler said: O foremost of Brahmanas, as you assiduously practise these divine, ancient and eternal virtues which are so difficult to be acquired even by pure-minded men, you seem to be a divine being. Return soon to the side of your parents and be quick and diligent in honouring your father and mother, for I do not know, if there is any virtue higher than this.

ब्राह्मण उवाच इहाहमागतो दिष्ट्या दिष्ट्या मे सङ्गतं त्वया। ईदृशा दुर्लभा लोके नरा धर्मप्रदर्शकाः॥
The Brahmana said: By good luck, I have come here and by good luck I have met with you. Such expounders of religion are difficult to get in this world.

एको नरसहस्रेषु धर्मविद् विद्यते न वा। प्रीतोऽस्मि तव सत्येन भद्रं ते पुरुषर्षभ॥
There is hardly one man amongst one thousand, who is leaned in the mysteries of religion. O foremost of men, I am highly pleased with you. Let prosperity and good fortune be yours.

पतमानोऽद्य नरके भवतास्मि समुद्धृतः। भवितव्यमथैवं च यद् दृष्टोऽसि मयानघ।॥
O sinless one, I was at the point of falling into hell, but I have been saved by you. It was ordained and therefore I did meet you.

राजा ययातिौहित्रैः पतितस्तारितो यथा। सद्भिः पुरुषशार्दूल तथाहं भवता द्विजः॥
O foremost of men, as the fallen king Yayati was saved by his virtuous grandson, so have I now been saved by you.

मातापितृभ्यां शुश्रूषां करिष्ये वचनात् तव। नाकृतात्मा वेदयति धर्माधर्मविनिश्चयम्॥
I shall serve my father and mother at your command. No vicious-minded man can ever expound the mysteries of virtue and vice.

दुर्जेयः शाश्वतो धर्मः शूद्रयोनौ हि वर्तते। न त्वां शूद्रमहं मन्ये भवितव्यं हि कारणम्॥
As it is very difficult for a Shudra to learn the mysteries of eternal religion. I do not consider you to be a Shudra. There must be some reason for all this.

येन कर्मविशेषेण प्राप्तेयं शूद्रता त्वया। एतदिच्छामि विज्ञातुं तत्त्वेन हि महामते। कामया ब्रूहि मे सर्वं सत्येन प्रयतात्मना॥
You must have been born as a Shudra as a result of your past Karma (in a previous birth). O high-souled one, I eagerly desire to learn truth of this matter. Tell this to me with attention and according to your inclination.

व्याध उवाच अनतिक्रमणीया वै ब्राह्मणा मे द्विजोत्तम। शृणु सर्वमिदं वृत्तं पूर्वदेहे ममानघ॥
The Fowler said: O foremost of the Brahmanas, O sinless one, Brahmanas are worthy of all respect from me, hear about the story of my previous existence.

अहं हि ब्राह्मणः पूर्वमासं द्विजवरात्मजः। वेदाध्यायी सुकुशलो वेदाङ्गानां च पारगः॥
O son of the best of Brahmanas, I was a Brahmana previously (in my another birth); I was well-read in the Vedas and earned in the Vedangas.

आत्मदोषकृतैर्ब्रहान्नवस्थामाप्तवानिमाम्। कश्चिद् राजा मम सखा धनुर्वेदपरायणः॥
Through my own fault I have been degraded to my present state. A certain king learned in the science of arms was my friend.

संसर्गाद् धनुषि श्रेष्ठस्ततोऽहमभवं द्विज) एतस्मिन्नेव काले तु मृगयां निर्गतो नृपः॥
O Brahmana, from his companionship, I too became proficient in archery. Once upon a time the king went out hunting,

सहितो योधमुख्यैश्च मन्त्रिभिश्च सुसंवृतः। ततोऽभ्यहन् मृगांस्तत्र सुबहूनाश्रमं प्रति॥
Surrounded by his ministers and followed by his best warriors. He killed many deer near a hermitage.

अथ क्षिप्तः शरो घोरो मयापि द्विजसत्तम। ताडितश्च ऋषिस्तेन शरेणानतपर्वणा॥
O foremost of Brahmanas, I too shot a swift and fearful arrow. A Rishi was wounded by that arrow with head bent.

भूमौ निपतितो ब्रह्मन्नुवाच प्रतिनादयन्। नापराध्याम्यहं किंचित् केन पापमिदं कृतम्॥
The Brahmana fell down on the ground and screaming aloud said "I have done no wrong, what wretch has done this?

मन्वानस्तं मृगं चाहं सम्प्राप्तः सहसा प्रभो। अपश्यं तमृषि विद्धं शरेणानतपर्वणा॥
O lord, taking him for a deer I soon went near him and saw that Rishi pierced by my that arrow with head bent.

अकार्यकरणाच्चापि भृशं मे व्यथितं मनः। तमुचतपसं विप्रं निष्टनन्तं महीतले॥ अजानता कृतमिदं मयेत्यहमथाब्रुवम्। क्षन्तुमर्हसि मे सर्वमिति चोक्तो मया मुनिः॥
For my wicked deed I was very much aggrieved in my mind. I said to that Rishi of severe austerities who was loudly crying lying on the ground, “I have unconsciously done this." I again said to that Rishi “you should pardon ine for this sinful act.”

ततः प्रत्यब्रवीद् वाक्यमृषिर्मा क्रोधमूर्छितः। व्याधस्त्वं भविता क्रूर शूद्रयोनाविति द्विज॥
But the Brahmana, becoming exceedingly angry said, “You shall be born as a cruel fowler in the Shudra order."