Chapter 334

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Having spoken in this way (unto all things), theregenerate Rishi of austere penances, viz., Suka, stayed on his successcasting off the four kinds of faults. Casting off also the eight kinds ofTamas, he dismissed the five kinds of Rajas. Endued with greatintelligence, he then cast off the attribute of Sattwa. All this seemedexceedingly wonderful. He then dwelt in that eternal station that isdestitute of attributes, freed from every indication, that is, in Brahma,blazing like a smokeless fire. Meteors began to shoot. The points of thecompass seemed to be ablaze. The Earth trembled. All those phenomenaseemed exceedingly wonderful. The trees began to cast off their branchesand the mountains their summits. Loud-reports (as of thunder) were heardthat seemed to rive the Himavat mountains. The sun seemed at that momentto be shorn of splendour. Fire refused to blaze forth. The lakes andrivers and seas were all agitated. Vasava poured showers of rain ofexcellent taste and fragrance. A pure breeze began to blow, bearingexcellent perfumes. Suka as he proceeded through the welkin, beheld twobeautiful summits, one belonging to Himavat and another to Meru. Thesewere in close contact with each other. One of them was made of gold andwas, therefore yellow; the other was white, being made of silver. Each ofthem, O Bharata, was a hundred yojanas in height and of the same measurein breadth. Indeed, as Suka journeyed towards the north, he saw those twobeautiful summits. With a fearless heart he dashed against those twosummits that were united with each other. Unable to bear the force, thesummits were suddenly rent in twain. The sight they thereupon presented,O monarch, was exceedingly wonderful to behold. Suka pierced throughthose summits, for they were unable to stop his onward course. At this aloud noise arose in heaven, made by the denizens thereof. The Gandharvasand the Rishis also and others that dwelt in that mountain being rent intwain and Suka passing through it. Indeed, O Bharata, a loud noise washeard everywhere at that moment, consisting of the words–Excellent,Excellent!–He was adored by the Gandharvas and the Rishis, by crowds ofYakshas and Rakshasas, and all tribes of the Vidyadharas. The entirefirmament became strewn with celestial flowers showered from heaven atthat moment when Suka thus pierced through that impenetrable barrier, Omonarch! The righteous-souled Suka then beheld from a high region thecelestial stream Mandakini of great beauty, running below through aregion adorned by many flowering groves and woods. In these waters manybeautiful Apsaras were sporting. Beholding Suka who was bodiless, thoseunclad aerial beings felt shame. Learning that Suka had undertaken hisgreat journey, his sire Vyasa, filled with affection, followed him behindalong the same aerial path. Meanwhile Suka, proceeding through thatregion of the firmament that is above the region of the wind displayedhis Yoga-prowess and identified himself with Brahma.[1788] Adopting thesubtile path of high Yoga, Vyasa of austere penances, reached within thetwinkling of the eye that spot whence Suka first undertook his journey.Proceeding along the same way, Vyasa beheld the mountain summit rent intwain and through which Suka has passed. Encountering the Island-bornascetic, the Rishis began to represent to him the achievements of hisson. Vyasa, however, began to indulge in lamentations, loudly callingupon his son by name and causing the three worlds to resound with thenoise he made. Meanwhile, the righteous-souled Suka, who had entered theelements, had become their soul and acquired omnipresence, answered hissire by uttering the monosyllable Bho in the form of an echo. At this,the entire universe of mobile and immobile creatures, uttering themonosyllable Bho, echoed the answer of Suka. From that time to this, whensounds are uttered in mountain-caves or on mountain-breasts, the latter,as if in answer to Suka still echo them (with the monosyllable Bho).Having cast off all the attributes of sound, etc., and showing hisYoga-prowess in the manner of his disappearance, Suka in this wayattained to the highest station. Beholding that glory and puissance ofhis son of immeasurable energy, Vyasa sat down on the breast of themountain and began to think of his son with grief. The Apsaras weresporting on the banks of the celestial stream Mandakini, seeing the Rishiseated there, became all agitated with grave shame and lost heart. Someof them, to hide their nudity, plunged into the stream, and some enteredthe groves hard by, and some quickly took up their clothes, at beholdingthe Rishi. (None of them had betrayed any signs of agitation at sight ofhis son). The Rishi, beholding these movements, understood that his sonhad been emancipated from all attachments, but that he himself was notfreed therefrom. At this he became filled with both joy and shame. AsVyasa was seated there, the auspicious god Siva, armed with Pinaka,surrounded on all sides by many deities and Gandharvas and adored by allthe great Rishis came thither. Consoling the Island-born Rishi who wasburning with grief on account of his son, Mahadeva said these words untohim.–Thou hadst formerly solicited from me a son possessed of the energyof Fire, of Water, of Wind, and of Space; Procreated by thy penances, theson that was born unto thee was of that very kind. Proceeding from mygrace, he was pure and full of Brahma-energy. He has attained to thehighest end–an end which none can win that has not completely subjugatedhis senses, nor can be won by even any of the deities. Why then, Oregenerate Rishi, dost thou grieve for that son? As long as the hillswill last, as long as the ocean will last, so long will the fame of thyson endure undiminished! Through my grace, O great Rishi thou shaltbehold in this world a shadowy form resembling thy son, moving by theside and never deserting thee for a single moment!–Thus favoured by theillustrious Rudra himself, O Bharata, the Rishi beheld a shadow of hisson by his side. He returned from that place, filled with joy at this. Ihave now told thee, O chief of Bharata’s race, everything regarding thebirth and life of Suka about which thou hadst asked me. The celestialRishi Narada and the great Yogin Vyasa had repeatedly told all this to mein days of yore when the subject was suggested to him in course ofconversation. That person devoted to tranquillity hears this sacredhistory directly connected with the topic of Emancipation is certain toattain to the highest end.”[1789]

Chapter 335
Chapter 333
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