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Chapter 12

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘It behoveth, O king to tell me truly which of thetwo viz., man or woman derives the greater pleasure from an act of unionwith each other. Kindly resolve my doubt in this respect.”

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited this old narrative of thediscourse between Bhangaswana and Sakra as a precedent illustrating thequestion. In days of yore there lived a king of the name of Bhangaswana.He was exceedingly righteous and was known as a royal sage. He was,however, childless, O chief of man, and therefore performed a sacrificefrom desire of obtaining an issue. The sacrifice which that mightymonarch performed was the Agnishtuta. In consequence of the fact that thedeity of fire is alone adored in that sacrifice, this is always dislikedby Indra. Yet it is the sacrifice that is desired by men when for thepurpose of obtaining an issue they seek to cleanse themselves of theirsins.[30] The highly blessed chief of the celestials, viz. Indra,learning that the monarch was desirous of performing the Agnishtuta,began from that moment to look for the laches of that royal sage ofwell-restrained soul (for if he could succeed in finding some laches, hecould then punish his disregarder). Notwithstanding all his vigilance,however, O king, Indra failed to detect any laches, on the part of thehigh-souled monarch. Some time after, one day, the king went on a huntingexpedition. Saying unto himself–This, indeed, is an opportunity,–Indrastupefied the monarch. The king proceeded alone on his horse, confoundedbecause of the chief of the celestials having stupefied his senses.Afflicted with hunger and thirst, the king’s confusion was so great thathe could not ascertain the points of the compass. Indeed, afflicted withthirst, he began to wander hither and thither. He then beheld a lake thatwas exceedingly beautiful and was full of transparent water. Alightingfrom his steed, and plunging into the lake, he caused his animal todrink. Tying his horse then, whose thirst had been slaked, to a tree, theking plunged into the lake again for performing his ablutions. To hisamazement he found that he was changed, by virtue of the waters, into awoman. Beholding himself thus transformed in respect of sex itself, theking became overpowered with shame. With his senses and mind completelyagitated, he began to reflect with his whole heart in this strain:–Alas,how shall I ride my steed? How shall I return to my capital? Inconsequence of the Agnishtuta sacrifice I have got a hundred sons allendued with great might, and all children of my own loins. Alas, thustransformed, what shall I say unto them? What shall I say unto myspouses, my relatives and well-wishers, and my subjects of the city andthe provinces? Rishis conversant with the truths of duty and religion andother matters say that mildness and softness and liability to extremeagitation are the attributes of women, and that activity, hardness, andenergy are the attributes of men. Alas, my manliness has disappeared. Forwhat reason has femininity come over me? In consequence of thistransformation of sex, how shall I succeed in mounting my horseagain?–Having indulged in these sad thoughts, the monarch, with greatexertion, mounted his steed and came back to his capital, transformedthough he had been into a woman. His sons and spouses and servants, andhis subjects of the city and the provinces, beholding that extraordinarytransformation, became exceedingly amazed. Then that royal sage, thatforemost of eloquent men, addressing them all, said,–I had gone out on ahunting expedition, accompanied by a large force. Losing all knowledge ofthe points of the compass, I entered a thick and terrible forest,impelled by the fates. In that terrible forest, I became afflicted withthirst and lost my senses. I then beheld a beautiful lake abounding withfowl of every description. Plunging into that stream for performing myablutions, I was transformed into a woman!–Summoning then his spousesand counsellors, and all his sons by their names, that best of monarchstransformed into a woman said unto them these words:–Do ye enjoy thiskingdom in happiness. As regards myself, I shall repair to the woods, yesons.–Having said so unto his children, the monarch proceeded to theforest. Arrived there, she came upon an asylum inhabited by an ascetic.By that ascetic the transformed monarch gave birth to a century of sons.Taking all those children of hers, she repaired to where her formerchildren were, and addressing the latter, said,–Ye are the children ofmy loins while I was a man. These are my children brought forth by me inthis state of transformation. Ye sons, do ye all enjoy my kingdomtogether, like brothers born of the same parents.–At this command oftheir parent, all the brothers, uniting together, began to enjoy thekingdom as their joint property. Beholding those children of the king alljointly enjoying the kingdom as brothers born of the same parents, thechief of the celestials, filled with wrath, began to reflect–Bytransforming this royal sage into a woman I have, it seems, done him goodinstead of an injury. Saying this, the chief of the celestials viz.,Indra of a hundred sacrifices, assuming the form of a Brahmana, repairedto the capital of the king and meeting all the children succeeded indisuniting the princes. He said unto them–Brothers never remain at peaceeven when they happen to be the children of the same father. The sons ofthe sage Kasyapa, viz., the deities and the Asuras, quarrelled with eachother on account of the sovereignty of the three worlds. As regards yeprinces, ye are the children of the royal sage Bhangaswana. These othersare the children of an ascetic. The deities and the Asuras are childrenof even one common sire, and yet the latter quarrelled with each other.How much more, therefore, should you quarrel with each other? Thiskingdom that is your paternal property is being enjoyed by these childrenof an ascetic. With these words, Indra succeeded in causing a breachbetween them, so that they were very soon engaged in battle and slew eachother. Hearing this, king Bhangaswana, who was living as an asceticwoman, burnt with grief and poured forth her lamentations. The lord ofthe celestials viz. Indra, assuming the guise of a Brahmana, came to thatspot where the ascetic lady was living and meeting her, said,–O thouthat art possessed of a beautiful face, with what grief dost thou burn sothat thou art pouring forth thy lamentations?–Beholding the Brahmana thelady told him in a piteous voice,–Two hundred sons of mine O regenerateone, have been slain by Time. I was formerly a king, O learned Brahmanaand in that state had a hundred sons. These were begotten by me after myown form, O best of regenerate persons. On one occasion I went on ahunting expedition. Stupefied, I wandered amidst a thick forest.Beholding at last a lake, I plunged into it. Rising, O foremost ofBrahmanas, I found that I had become a woman. Returning to my capital Iinstalled my sons in the sovereignty of my dominions and then departedfor the forest. Transformed into a woman, I bore a hundred sons to myhusband who is a high souled ascetic. All of them were born in theascetic’s retreat. I took them to the capital. My children, through theinfluence of Time, quarrelled with each other, O twice-born one. Thusafflicted by Destiny, I am indulging in grief. Indra addressed him inthese harsh words.–In former days, O lady, thou gayest me great pain,for thou didst perform a sacrifice that is disliked by Indra. Indeed,though I was present, thou didst not invoke me with honours. I am thatIndra, O thou of wicked understanding. It is I with whom thou hastpurposely sought hostilities. Beholding Indra, the royal sage fell at hisfeet, touching them with his head, and said,–Be gratified with me, Oforemost of deities. The sacrifice of which thou speakest was performedfrom desire of offspring (and not from any wish to hurt thee). Itbehoveth thee therefore, to grant me thy pardon.–Indra, seeing thetransformed monarch prostrate himself thus unto him, became gratifiedwith him and desired to give him a boon. Which of your sons, O king, dostthou wish, should revive, those that were brought forth by theetransformed into a woman, or those that were begotten by thee in thycondition as a person of the male sex? The ascetic lady, joining herhands, answered Indra, saying, O Vasava, let those sons of mine come tolife that were borne by me as a woman. Filled with wonder at this reply,Indra once more asked the lady, Why dost thou entertain less affectionfor those children of thine that were begotten by thee in thy form of aperson of the male sex? Why is it that thou bearest greater affection forthose children that were borne by thee in thy transformed state? I wishto hear the reason of this difference in respect of thy affection. Itbehoveth thee to tell me everything.’

“The lady said, ‘The affection that is entertained by a woman is muchgreater than that which is entertained by a man. Hence, it is, O Sakra,that I wish those children to come back to life that were borne by me asa woman.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Thus addressed, Indra became highly pleased and saidunto her, O lady that art so truthful, let all thy children come backinto life. Do thou take another boon, O foremost of kings, in fact,whatever boon thou likest. O thou of excellent vows, do thou take from mewhatever status thou choosest, that of woman or of man.’

“The lady said, ‘I desire to remain a woman, O Sakra. In fact,–do notwish to be restored to the status of manhood, O Vasava.–Hearing thisanswer, Indra once more asked her, saying,–Why is it, O puissant one,that abandoning the status of manhood thou wishest that of womanhood?Questioned thus, that foremost of monarchs transformed into a womananswered, ‘In acts of congress, the pleasure that women enjoy is alwaysmuch greater than what is enjoyed by men. It is for this reason, O Sakra,that I desire to continue a woman; O foremost of the deities, truly do Isay unto thee that I derive greater pleasure in my present status ofwomanhood. I am quite content with this status of womanhood that I nowhave. Do thou leave me now, O lord of heaven.–Hearing these words ofhers, the lord of the celestials answered,–So be it,–and bidding herfarewell, proceeded to heaven. Thus, O monarch, it is known that womanderives much greater pleasure than man under the circumstances thou hastasked.'”

Chapter 11
Chapter 13
🙏 धर्म और आध्यात्म को जन-जन तक पहुँचाने में हमारा साथ दें| 🙏