DEVI BHAGAVATHAM Skandha 3. Ch.16.

Chapter XVI

On the glory of the Devî

1. Vyâsa said :– After gaining the victory in the battle, the king Yudhâjit returned to the city of Ayodhyâ with his huge army and asked where are Sudars’ana and Manoramâ? He wanted to kill Sudars’ana.

2. He repeatedly exclaimed “Where are they gone?” and sent his servants on their search. Then, on an auspicious day, he installed his daughter’s son on the throne. 

3. Maharsi Vas’istha was engaged as the priest; he and the other ministers began to chant the auspicious hymns of the Atharvaveda and with the jars, filled with water, and consecrated by these hymns, installed S’atrûjit on the throne. 

4. O best of the Kurus! Conch shells resounded; drums, bherîs and tûriyas, resounded; and great festivals and rejoicings took place in the city.

5. The reciting of the Vedic mantrams by the Brâhmans, the chanting of hymns by the bards and the auspicious acclamation of Victory to the new king resounded the whole city of Ayodhyâ with joy.

6. When the new king S’atrûjit ascended on the throne, the subjects were filled with joy; everywhere hymns were sung; drums were resound. At this Ayodhyâ looked as fresh as ever. 

7-8. O King! Though there were thus great rejoicings and festivals, yet some good persons were found that remembered Sudars’ana and gave vent to this feeling of sorrow, thus :– “Alas! Where has that prince gone? Where has that chaste queen Manoramâ gone with her son? Oh! The enemies have killed his father for greed of kingdom.”

9. The saints with their views impartial, thus rendered uneasy, sorry, began to pass away their time there subject to S’atrûjit.

10. After installing duly his daughter’s son on the throne and after having made over the charge of the kingdom to the wise councillors, Yudhâjit turned towards his own city.

11-12. Afterwards Yudhâjit heard that Sudars’ana was staying in the hermitage with the Munis. He started at once for Chitrakûta and went quickly to Durdars’a, the chief of the city of Sringavera, being accompanied by Bala, the chief of the Nîsâdas.

13-15. Hearing that Yudhâjit was coming there with his army, Manoramâ began to think that his son was a minor and became very sorrowful, distressed and terrified. Then she with tears in her eyes addressed the Muni thus :– “Yudhâjit is coming here; what shall I do and whither shall I go? He has slain my father, and has installed his daughter’s son on the throne. Still he is not satisfied and he is now coming with his army here to kill my minor child.”

16-21. O Lord! In days of yore, I heard that the Pândavas, when they went to the forest, lived in the holy hermitage of the Munis with Draupadî. One day the five brethren went a hunting, and the beautiful Draupadî stayed without any fear with other maid servants in the hermitage where there was the chanting of the Vedas by Dhaumya, Attri, Gâlava, Paila, Jâvâli, Gautama, Bhrigu, Chyavana, Kanva of the Atrigotra, Jatu, Kratu, Vîtihotra, Sumantu, Yajñadatt, Vatsala, Râs’âsana, Kahoda, Yavakrî, Yajñakrit, Kratu and other holy high souled Risis like Bhâradvâja and others.

22-23. While the five great heroes Arjuna and others, the destroyers of their enemies, were roaming in the forests, Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu came with his army to the hermitage, hearing the reciting of the Vedic hymns.

24. Hearing thus, that king quickly descended from the chariot so that he might have a sight of these holy maharsis.

25-27. Accompanied by two attendants only, he approached to the Munis and, finding them engaged in the study of the Vedas, waited there with folded hands for an opportunity. O Lord! When the king Jayadratha on entering the hermitage took his seat, the wives of the
Munis came there to see the king and began to enquire “Who is this person?”

28. With the wives of the Munis came there also the beautiful Draupadî. Jayadratha looked upon Draupadî as if she were the second goddess Laksmî.

29-30. Looking at that lovely royal daughter who looked like the Deva girls Jayadratha asked the Maharsi Dhaumya, “Who is this beautiful lotus eyed lady? Whose wife is she and who is her father? What is her name? Oh! From her beautiful appearance it seems that the goddess S’achî has come down on earth.”

31. This fair woman is shining like the celestial nymph Rambhâ surrounded by the Raksasis or like the beautiful creeper Lavangalatika encircled by thorny trees.

32. O good ones! Tell truly whose beloved is she? O Brâhmins! It seems that she is the wife of some king, not the wife of a Muni.

33. Dhaumya said :– “O king of Sindhu! She is the daughter of Pânchâla; her name is Draupadî; she is the wife of the Pândavas; they are residing in this forest, having got rid of their fears.”

34. Jayadratha said “Where have those powerful Pândavas of great prowess gone now? Are they dwelling in this forest, free from fears?”

35. Dhaumya said :– “The five Pândavas have gone out on hunting, ascended on a chariot. They will return at noon with their game.”

36-37. Hearing the Muni’s words Jayadratha got up, and going near to Draupadî, bowed down to her and said :– “O Fair One! Is there everything well with you? Where have your husbands gone? To-day it is eleven years that you are residing in the forest.”

38. Draupadî then said :– “O prince! Let all be well with you, wait here for a short while; the Pândavas are coming quickly.”

39. While Draupadî thus spoke, that powerful king, being overpowered with greed and avarice, stole her away, disregarding all the Munis present there.

40-42. O Lord! The wise should never trust any body; if on any body he places his trust, he will surely come to grief. For example, see the case of the king Bali. Bali, the son of Virochana, and the grandson of Prahlâda, was prosperous, devoted to his religion, true to his promise, performer of sacrifices, generous, always giving protection to and liked by the saints and a great warrior. His mind never turned to any irreligious subject and he performed ninety nine Yajñas with full Daksinâs (remunerations).

43-44. But the Bhagavân Visnu, who is all full of Sâttvic purity and who is never affected with passions and changeless, who is always worshipped by the Yogis, He, in the form of a dwarf in his Vâmana incarnation as the son of Kas’yapa Risi, to serve the Devas, stole away his whole seagirt earth and kingdom deceitfully on hypocritical pretext.

45. O Lord! I heard that the son of Virochana was a generous large hearted king. He truly resolved to give what was wanted; but Visnu behaved with him deceitfully to serve the cause of Indra.

46. When the pure, Sâttvik Visnu could assume this dwarf incarnation to bring about the hindrance to Bali’s Yajña, what wonder is that other ordinary mortals would practise things like that?

47. Therefore never trust on any body in any way. Lord! Where there are greed and avarice, reigning in one’s heart, what fear can he have to perpetrate any evil deed?

48-49. O Muni! It is through avarice that men commit sinful deeds; they do not care what good or bad will happen to them in the next world. Thoroughly overpowered by greed, they take away in mind, word and deed other’s things; and thus they become fallen.

50-51. Lo! Human beings always worship the Gods for wealth; but the Devas do not give them wealth instantly; they give them these things through others by making them carry on trade, make gifts, or shew their strength or by making them steal.

52. The Vais’yas worship the Gods simply because they think they will be highly prosperous and therefore they sell many things as grains, cloth and the like.

53. O Controlled one! Is there not the desire to take away the other’s property in this act of merchandise? Certainly there is. Besides the merchants, when they find that when people are in urgent need of buying articles from them, expect that the price of those articles might run higher.

54. O Muni! Thus every one is anxious to take away other’s properties. How, then, can we trust them?

55. Those who are clouded by greed and delusion, their going to places of pilgrimages, their making charities, their reciting the Vedas, all are rendered useless. Though they go to the holy places, etc., still these things bear no fruits to them, as if they have not done these things at all. 

56. Therefore O Enlightened one! You make Yudhâjit go back to his own place. Then I will be able to remain here, like Sîtâ, with my son.

57-58. On Manoramâ’s thus speaking to the Muni, the fiery Maharsi went to Yudhâjit and said :– “O King! You better go back to your own place or anywhere else you like. The son of Manoramâ is a minor; that queen is very much grieved; she cannot come to you now.”

59. Yudhâjit said “O peaceful ones! Kindly cease showing this impudence and give me Manoramâ. I will never go away leaving her. If you do not give her easily, I will take her away by force.”

60. The Risis said “O King! If there be any strength in you, you can take away Manoramâ by force; but the result will be similar to that when the King Visvâmitra wanted to take away the heavenly cow by force from the hermitage of Vas’istha.”

Thus ends the Sixteenth Chapter on the glory of the Devî and the going of the King Yudhâjit to the hermitage of Bhâradvâja, to kill Sudars’ana, in the the 3rd Adhyâya of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
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