सुरुचिर्नाम काचित्स्त्री अप्सरोगणोत्तमा उपविष्टा हिमवतःशिखरे शिखिसंवृते रमन्ते कामसंतप्ताः किन्नर्यो यत्र किन्नरैर्स्वर्धुन्योघेन संसृष्टे महाघौघविनाशिना । दूतमिन्द्रस्य गच्छन्तमन्तरिक्षे ददर्श सा तमुवाच महाभागा सुरुचिश्चाप्सरोवरा ।देवदूत महाभाग कुत आगम्यते त्वया अधुना कुत्र गन्तासि तत्सर्वं कृपया वद ।
There was one lady named Suruchi (one with taste for excellent knowledge), who was the most excellent of the Apsaraa group. She was once seated on the summit of the
beautiful peacocks, where the passion-filled Kinnara ladies enjoy the company
of their lovers, and where the roaring sounds of the divine river (Gangaa) destroys
hosts of sins. She saw the messenger (Doota) of Indra moving in the sky. That
lady of great merits, the excellent of all Apsaraas, addressed him and said, “DevaDoota!
Meritorious one! From where are you arriving at? Which place are you moving
towards now? Please relate to me everything”. Snow
[APSARAA- अद्भ्यः सरन्ति – are divine damsels produced from the mind of the creator; act as the attendants of the Devas in Svarga.
Indra is the Lord of all Devas. Devas are the superior species with shining bodies.
Kinnaras are mythical beings who have human figures but head of horses.]
देवदूतोवाच साधु पृष्टं त्वया सुभ्रु यथावत्कथयामि ते । अरिष्टनेमी राजर्षिर्दत्त्वा राज्यं सुताय वै वीतरागः स धर्मात्मा निर्ययौ तपसे वनम् ।तपश्चरत्यसौ राजा पर्वते गन्धमादने कार्यं कृत्वा मया तत्र तत आगम्यतेऽधुना । गन्तास्मि पार्श्वे शक्रस्य तं वृत्तान्तं निवेदितुम् ।
Messenger of Indra spoke: Hey lady with beautiful eyebrows (Subhru)! You have questioned rightly. I will tell you everything as it happened. The royal Sage Arishtanemi of righteous conduct felt disinterest in all the worldly affairs; gave off his kingdom to his son; and retired to the forest to engage in penance. That king is doing his penance in the
. I have finished
my work there and coming from there only. I am on my way to Indra’s court, to
report to him all that happened there. Gandhamaadana
अप्सरोवाच वृत्तान्तः कोऽभवत्तत्र कथयस्व मम प्रभो प्रष्टुकामा विनीतास्मि नोद्वेगं कर्तुमर्हसि ।
Apsaraa spoke: Hey Prabhu! Tell me what all happened there! I feel curious about it all. I humbly beg of you. Do not disappoint me.
देवदूतोवाच शृणु भद्रे यथावृत्तं विस्तरेण वदामि ते। तस्मिन्राज्ञि वने तत्र तपश्चरति दुस्तरमित्यहं देवराजेन सुभ्रूराज्ञ्नापितस्तदा ।दूत त्वं तत्र गच्छाशु गृहीत्वेदं विमानकमप्सरोगणसंयुक्तं नानावादित्रशोभितं गन्धर्वसिद्धयक्षैश्च किन्नराद्यैश्च शोभितं तालवेणुमृदङ्गादि । पर्वते गन्धमादने नानावृक्षसमाकीर्णे गत्वा तस्मिन्गिरौ शुभे अरिष्टनेमिं राजानं दूतारोप्य विमानके आनय स्वर्गभोगाय नगरीममरावतीमित्याज्ञ्नां प्राप्य शक्रस्य गृहीत्वा तद्विमानकं सर्वोपस्करसंयुक्तं तस्मिन्नद्रावहं ययौ । आगत्य पर्वते तस्मिन्राज्ञ्नो गत्त्वाऽऽश्रमं मया निवेदिता महेन्द्रस्य सर्वाज्ञ्नाऽरिष्टनेमये ।
Messenger of Indra spoke: Hey lady of auspicious conduct (Bhadraa)! Listen, I will tell you everything in detail. Hey lady with beautiful eyebrows! Since the king was doing a severe penance in the forest, I was ordered by the King of Devas like this; ‘Hey Doota! You hasten towards Gandhamaadana Mountain filled with varieties of trees in this air-vehicle accompanied by the groups of beautiful Apsaraas and many types of musicians, and adorned by Gandharvas, Siddhas, Yakshas and Kinnaras, equipped with all the musical instruments like Taala (cymbals), flutes and Mrdanga (drums); and hey Doota, make King Arishtanemi climb this air-vehicle and bring him here to Amaraavatee city, so that he can enjoy the innumerable pleasures of the heaven.’ After receiving Indra’s command, I climbed on to that air-vehicle which was equipped with all the things he mentioned, and went to that Mountain. After reaching that mountain, I went to the hermitage of that king, and reported to king Arishtanemi what all was spoken by Mahendra.
इति मद्वचनं श्रुत्वा संशयानोऽवदच्छुभे प्रष्टुमिच्छामि दूत त्वां तन्मे त्वं वक्तुमर्हसि । गुणा दोषाश्च के तत्र स्वर्गे वद ममाग्रतः ज्ञ्नात्वा स्थितिं तु तत्रत्यां करिष्येऽहं यथारुचि । दूतोवाच स्वर्गे पुण्यस्य सामग्र्या भुज्यते परमं सुखम् । उत्तमेन तु पुण्येन प्राप्नोति स्वर्गमुत्तमं मध्यमेन तथा मध्यः स्वर्गो भवति नान्यथा । कनिष्टेन तु पुण्येन स्वर्गो भवति तादृशः । परोत्कर्षासहिष्णुत्वं स्पर्धा चैव समैश्च तैः।कनिष्टेषु च संतोषो यावत्पुण्यक्षयो भवेत् । क्षीणे पुण्ये विशत्येतं मर्त्यलोकं च मानवाः । इत्यादिगुणदोषाश्च स्वर्गे राजन्नवस्थिताः । इति श्रुत्वा वचो भद्रे स राजा प्रत्यभाषत नेच्छामि देवदूताहं स्वर्गमीदृग्विधं फलम् । अतःपरं महोग्रं तु तपःकृत्वा कलेवरं त्यक्ष्याम्यहमशुद्धं हि जीर्णां त्वचमिवोरगः । देवदूत विमानेदं गृहीत्वा त्वं यथागतः तथा गच्छ महेन्द्रस्य संनिधौ त्वं नमोऽस्तु ते । इत्युक्तोऽहं गतो भद्रे शक्रस्याग्रे निवेदितुम् ।
Hey auspicious lady! Hearing my words, feeling somewhat doubtful, he said “Doota! I want to ask you some questions for which you must give answers. First of all, tell me what the good and bad qualities are in that heaven-experience. After understanding what the real state of such a place is, I will decide my course of action.” Then the messenger replied: “In the heaven, the best of joys get experienced through the amount of merits one has acquired. Through the excellent merit one gets the excellent pleasures of the heaven. Through mediocre merits, mediocre pleasures get experienced. For the least class of merits, the pleasures obtained are also likewise. Even there (in heaven), the envy about the superior position of others and competitive nature is common for all. For those of least merits, the joy lasts only till the merits reach their end. The descendents of Manu (humans) enter the mortal world when the merits finish off. Hey Raajan! These are the good and bad features of the Svarga-experience”. Hearing these words, Hey Bhadre, the king spoke like this - “Hey DevaDoota! I do not desire for the experience of such a Svarga with such qualities. I will now engage myself in a fierce penance and discard this impure deteriorated body, like a snake discarding its skin. DevaDoota! You take this air-vehicle and go back the way you came to Mahendra’s presence; salutation to you!” Hey Bhadre! Having received a response like this, I went back to the presence of Shakra (Indra) to report this all.
यथावृत्तं निवेद्याथ महदाश्चर्यतां गतः पुनः प्राह महेन्द्रो मां श्लक्ष्णं मधुरया गिरा । दूत गच्छ पुनस्तत्र तं राजानं नयाश्रमं वाल्मीकेर्ज्ञ्नाततत्त्वस्य स्वबोधार्थं विरागिणम् । संदेशं मम वाल्मीकेर्महर्षेस्त्वं निवेदय । महर्षे त्वं विनीताय राज्ञ्नेऽस्मै वीतरागिणे नस्वर्गमिच्छते तत्त्वं प्रबोधय महामुने तेन संसारदुःखार्तो मोक्षमिष्यति च क्रमात् । इत्युक्त्वा देवराजेन प्रेषितोऽहं तदन्तिके मयागत्य पुनस्तत्र राजा वल्मीकजन्मासौ निवेदितो महेन्द्रस्य राज्ञा मोक्षस्य साधनम् । ततो वल्मिकजन्मासौ राजानं समपृच्छत अनामयमतिप्रीत्या कुशलप्रश्नवार्तया ।
He was in great surprise and again spoke to me soft and sweet. ‘Doota! You again go there and take the king who has developed dispassion to the hermitage of Vaalmiki who knows the Knowledge of the Supreme truth (JnaataTaatva), for his enlightenment purpose. You present this message of mine to the great Sage. ‘MahaaRishi! This king has lost interest in the worldly pleasures. He is endowed with the quality of humbleness. He does not desire the pleasures of our heaven. Hey MahaaMuni! Please explain to him the Supreme truth, so that this king who is suffering the pain of Samsaara will attain liberation through the proper practice.’ With such an instruction I was sent back to the king by Mahendra. I took him to the Sage born out of the ant-hill (Valmika); and presented the king to him, along with the message of Indra; and the king placed his request for the method of attaining liberation. Then the Sage born out of the Valmika, showing great affection towards the king questioned him about the purpose of his visit while enquiring
about his welfare.
[Rishi is a MantraDrashtaa – in whom a Vedic Mantra is revealed
‘Valmika’ is an ant hill. Vaalmiki is so named because he came out of the Valmika which was built all around his body, when he woke up from his fierce penance.]
राजोवाचभगवन्धर्मतत्त्वज्ञ्न ज्ञातज्ञेयविदांवर कृतार्थोऽहं भवद्दृष्ट्या तदेव कुशलं मम । भगवन्प्रष्टुमिच्छामि तदविघ्नेन मे वद । संसारबन्धदुःखार्तेः कथं मुञ्चामि तद्वद ।
King spoke: Bhagavan! You know the exact duty to be performed by all. You know that truth which has to be known! You are the excellent of all Knowers. I am fulfilled by your sight. That itself is the greatest well-being of mine. Bhagavan! I want to ask you this question, please answer without denial of any sort. How will I free myself from the wretched suffering of Samsaara? Explain to me.
वाल्मीकिरुवाच शृणु राजन्प्रवक्ष्यामि रामायणमखण्डितम् । श्रुत्वावधार्य यत्नेन जीवन्मुक्तो भविष्यसि ।
वसिष्टरामसंवादं मोक्षोपायकथां शुभां ज्ञातस्वभावो राजेन्द्र वदामि श्रूयतां बुध ।
Vaalmiki spoke: Listen O king, I will relate to you the entire Ramayana without leaving out any portion. By listening to it and contemplating on those instructions, you will become a JeevanMukta. I who know my true essence will now relate to you the dialogue between Vasishta and Rama which contains the auspicious means of attaining liberation. Listen to what I say now, Wise one!
राजोवाच को रामः कीदृशः कस्य बद्धो वा मुक्त एव वा एतन्मे निश्चितं ब्रूहि ज्ञानं तत्त्वविदांवर ।
वाल्मीकिरुवाच शापव्याजवशादेव राजवेषधरो हरिराहृताज्ञ्नानसंपन्नः किंचिज्ज्ञ्नोऽसौ भवत्प्रभुः ।
The king spoke: Best among Knowers! Who is Rama? What was he like? Whose son was he? Was he bound or liberated? Tell me in detail all that I have to know.
Vaalmiki spoke: Only because of some curse, Lord Hari took the form of a king, to honor the words of the devotees thus making the curse fructify; and so became a lesser form of a Knower, by accepting the ignorant state.
राजोवाच चिदानन्दस्वरूपे हि रामे चैतन्यविग्रहे शापस्य कारणं ब्रूहि कः शशाप चेति मे वद ।
The king spoke: Rama is of the nature of the Supreme blissful state. He is the form of Supreme Chaitanya (Supreme Reality). What was the cause of the curse? Who cursed him? Tell me all about it.
वाल्मीकिरुवाच सनत्कुमारो निष्काम अवसद्ब्रह्मसद्मनि। वैकुण्ठादागतो विष्णुस्त्रैलोक्याधिपतिः प्रभुः ब्रह्मणा पूजितस्तत्र सत्यलोकनिवासिभिः विना कुमारं। तं दृष्ट्वा ह्युवाच प्रभुरीश्वरः सनत्कुमार स्तब्धोऽसि निष्कामो गर्वचेष्टया अतस्त्वं भव कामार्तः शरजन्मेतिनामतः । तेनापि शापितो विष्णुः सर्वज्ञ्नत्वं तवास्ति यत्किंचित्कालं हि तत्त्यक्त्वा त्वमज्ञ्नानी भविष्यसि । भृगुर्भार्यां हतां दृष्ट्वा ह्युवाच क्रोधमूर्च्छितः विष्णो तवापि भार्याया वियोगो हि भविष्यति । वृन्दया शापितो विष्णुश्छलनं यत्त्वया कृतमतस्त्वं स्त्रीवियोगं तु वचनात्मम यास्यसि । भार्यया हि देवदत्तस्य पयोष्णीतीरसंस्थिता नृसिम्हवेषधृग्विष्णुं दृष्ट्वा पञ्चत्वमागता तेन शप्तो हि नृहरिर्दुःखार्तः स्त्रीवियोगतः तवापि भार्यया सार्धं वियोगो हि भविष्यति । भृगुणैवं कुमारेण शापितो देवशर्मणा वृन्दया शापितो विष्णुस्तेन मानुष्यतां गतः । एतत्ते कथितं सर्वं शापव्याजस्य कारणं इदानीं वच्मि तत्सर्वं सावधानमतिः शृणु ॥
Vaalmiki spoke: SanatKumaara who was free of all desires lived in the abode of Brahmaa. Once Vishnu, the Lord of the three worlds arrived there and was worshipped by Brahmaa along with all the other residents of SatyaLoka, except SanatKumaara. Lord Vishnu observed him (not paying respects to him) and said “SanatKumaara! You are arrogant and acting conceited because you have conquered all desires. Therefore you get born as a man filled with desires with the name of SharaJanma”. Vishnu was also cursed by him; “You are an all-knower; for some time-span you will lose that and will become ignorant”. Sage Bhrgu saw his dead wife and losing himself in anger said “Vishnu! You will also suffer the agony of separation from your wife.” Vrindaa cursed him “Because of your deceit, you will attain separation from your wife by the power of my words.” DevaDatta’s wife, who was standing on the bank of River Payoshni, lost her life when she saw the terrifying form of Narasimha. Her husband feeling the agony of his wife’s separation cursed Narasimha, “You will also be separated from your wife.” In this manner, Vishnu was cursed by Bhrgu, Kumaara, Devasharma and Vrindaa; so he attained the human form. I have now told you how these curses were caused. Now whatever words I say from now on, listen with full attention.