SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 3 CHAPTER 16

THE THIRD BOOK

Chapter XVI

On the glory of the Devī

1. Vyāsa said:

After gaining the victory in the battle, the king Yudhājit returned to the city of Ayodhyā with his huge army and asked where are Sudarśana and Manoramā? He wanted to kill Sudarśana.

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. Mahāṛṣi Vaṣiṣṭha 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 Śatrūjit on the throne.

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

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

6. When the new king Śatrūjit ascended on the throne, the subjects were filled with joy; everywhere hymns were sung; drums were resound. At this Ayodhyā 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 Sudarśana and gave vent to this feeling of sorrow, thus:

“Alas! Where has that prince gone? Where has that chaste queen Manoramā 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 Śatrūjit.

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, Yudhājit turned towards his own city.

11-12. Afterwards Yudhājit heard that Sudarśana was staying in the hermitage with the Munis. He started at once for Chitrakūta and went quickly to Durdarśa, the chief of the city of Sringavera, being accompanied by Bala, the chief of the Nīsādas.

13-15. Hearing that Yudhājit was coming there with his army, Manoramā 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: -

“Yudhājit 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 Pāṇḍavas, when they went to the forest, lived in the holy hermitage of the Munis with Draupadī. One day the five brethren went a hunting, and the beautiful Draupadī stayed without any fear with other maid servants in the hermitage where there was the chanting of the Vedas by Dhaumya, Attri, Gālava, Paila, Jāvāli, Gautama, Bhrigu, Chyavana, Kanva of the Atrigotra, Jatu, Kratu, Vītihotra, Sumantu, Yajñadatt, Vatsala, Rāśāsana, Kahoḍa, Yavakrī, Yajñakrit, Kratu and other holy high souled Riṣis like Bhāradvāja and others.

22-23. While the five great heroes Arjuṇa 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 Mahāṛṣis.

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 Draupadī. Jayadratha looked upon Draupadī as if she were the second goddess Lakṣmī.

29-30. Looking at that lovely royal daughter who looked like the Deva girls Jayadratha asked the Mahāṛṣi 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 Śachi has come down on earth.”

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

32. O good ones! Tell truly whose beloved is she? O Brāhmins! 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 Pānchāla; her name is Draupadī; she is the wife of the Pāṇḍavas; they are residing in this forest, having got rid of their fears.”

34. Jayadratha said: -

“Where have those powerful Pāṇḍavas of great prowess gone now? Are they dwelling in this forest, free from fears?”

35. Dhaumya said: -

“The five Pāṇḍavas 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 Draupadī, bowed down to her and said:

“O Fair One! Is there everything well with you? Where have your husbands gone? Today it is eleven years that you are residing in the forest. ”

38. Draupadī then said: -

“O prince! Let all be well with you, wait here for a short while; the Pāṇḍavas are coming quickly.”

39. While Draupadī 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 anybody; if on anybody 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 Prahlāda, 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 Dakṣiṇās (remunerations).

43-44. But the Bhagavān Viṣṇu, who is all full of Sāttvic 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 Vāmana incarnation as the son of Kaśyapa Ṛiṣi, 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 Viṣṇu behaved with him deceitfully to serve the cause of Indra.

46. When the pure, Sāttvic Viṣṇu 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 anybody 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 show their strength or by making them steal.

52. The Vaiśyas 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 everyone is anxious to take away other’s properties. How, then, can we trust them?

55. Those who are clouded by greed and delusion, they’re going to places of pilgrimages, they’re making charities, they’re 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 Yudhājit go back to his own place. Then I will be able to remain here, like Sita, with my son.

57-58. On Manoramā's thus speaking to the Muni, the fiery Mahāṛṣi went to Yudhājit and said:

“O King! You better go back to your own place or anywhere else you like. The son of Manoramā is a minor; that queen is very much grieved; she cannot come to you now.”

59. Yudhājit said:

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

60. The Riṣis said:

“O King! If there be any strength in you, you can take away Manoramā by force; but the result will be similar to that when the King Viśvāmitra wanted to take away the heavenly cow by force from the hermitage of Vaṣiṣṭha.”

Thus ends the Sixteenth Chapter on the glory of the Devī and the going of the King Yudhājit to the hermitage of Bhāradvāja, to kill Sudarśana, in the 3rd Adhyāya of Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.