Friday, 20 July 2012

The Story of an Enlightened Bramhana


(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'So it came to pass that Rahûgana ['he who outshines the sun'], the ruler of Sindhu and Sauvîra, while he was traveling on the bank of the river Ikshumatî needed another palanquin carrier and had sent out the leader of his carriers to look for a suitable person. His search led by chance to the excellent brahmin [Jada Bharata] who, being a stout young man with firm limbs and the strength of an ass, was chosen by him who deemed him capable of carrying the load. Even though he wasn't fit for the job, the great soul carried the palanquin, being forced to it. (2) Engaged this way the blessed brahmin constantly looked three feet ahead [not to step on ants]. Thus being all the time out of pace with the others the palanquin was shaking. Rahûgana noticing this then said to the men who carried him: 'Oh carriers, please walk in pace! Why is this palanquin carried so uneven?'

palanquin(3) They, hearing their master speak reproachful, told him apprehensively that it was due to the fourth carrier: (4) 'Oh it is not so oh god of man, that we who always obey your orders, have fallen in neglect. We certainly do the best we can, but it is this new man who recently has been contracted to work with us, because of whom we can't do our work as carriers. He is rather slow!'

(5) Although he from the intimations was certain that the problem had risen because of a fault of one of them, king Rahûgana, hearing the fearful words of the servants, in spite of his political experience, because of his kshatriya nature slightly gave in to the violence of anger. Unto him of whom the spiritual effulgence of his innate intelligence could not be clearly distinguished he with a mind full of passion said:(6) 'Alas, what a trouble it is my brother! All alone on such a long journey you certainly must have gotten very tired. And these colleagues of you aren't of much help either. Nor is your cooperative, firm body very strong. You must be troubled by old age my friend!'

Thus he sarcastically criticized him severely. But there was no protest of a false belief of 'I' and 'mine' with him who carried on in silence the palanquin as before. As someone on the spiritual platform he was of such a particular disposition concerning the physical matters of having a from ignorance resulting, final vehicle of time, a physical body that consists of a mixture of the natural modes, the workload and material intentions. (7) Thereupon again being shaken because of the uneven carrying of his palanquin Rahûgana getting very angry said: 'Fool! What nonsense is this! You, living corpse, ignore my reproaches completely. You just forget about them! Are you out of your mind? Just like Yamarâja with the common people, I will teach you a lesson so that you'll know what your position is out here!'

(8) Despite of the load of nonsense from the side of him who angrily out of passion and ignorance rebuking thought that he could rule as a god of man, as a learned scholar and a by countless devotees honored votary of the Lord, the self-realized brahmin smiled faintly free from pride with the poise of a master of yoga, a friend of all living beings and then addressed the not so wise ruler as follows. (9) The brahmin said: 'What you so clearly stated oh great hero does not contravene [what I factually am]. That would have been the case if I would [really] be this body, that carrier of the load. If to acquire a well-fed, strong body would be the way, I can tell you that that is no subject of importance to a person of self-realization who is present within the body. (10)To be strong and stout, skinny or weak, to be in physical or mental pain, to be hungry, thirsty, afraid, quarrelsome, desirous, old aged, sleepy or sensually motivated, to be angry, false, illusioned or of lamentation are with this body things belonging to the one born, but they are not the reality of what I [originally] am [see also B.G. 2: 20]. (11) To be a living soul bound to death [to be a 'living corpse'] is something settled by nature oh King, [it applies to you as well, for] everything has a beginning and an end. But, oh respected one, when one has an eye for what is unchangeable within the things of transformation - to which one [as you defend] sees servants and masters - one speaks of doing the right thing in yoga. (12) Discriminating to the person [as you do in acting as the master] betrays a narrow vision and I do not see what other use it, apart from the convention, would have. Who is [of this arranged order] the master and who is the one to be controlled? Nevertheless, oh King [with you as my 'master'] what can I do for you? (13) From my state of self-realization oh King, you gathered that I was a disheveled, mad ignoramus. [If that would be true], what use would it then have to be punished by you? How can one teach a crazy, stupid person something? It is like grinding flour!'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'The great sage consequently responding to all the words that had been used, then calm and peaceful rested his case - as for the cause of matters strange to the soul he accepted that things happened as a consequence of what he had enjoyed in the past, and so he, in order to put his karma to an end, continued to carry the king's palanquin as he did before.(15) Oh best of the Pându dynasty, he, the ruler of Sindhu and Sauvîra, factually was also of a great faith concerning the matters of control in relation to the Absolute Truth. Thus being qualified hearing what the brahmin said about that which eradicates the falsehood in the heart and is approved by all yoga practices and literature, he hastily came down [from his vehicle] and threw himself head-on flat on the ground at the lotus feet to be excused for his offense. That way giving up his false claim that he as the king should be respected he said: (16) 'Who are you among the twice-born ones, moving so secretly around in this world? I see you wear a sacred thread. Of which forsaker of the world are you [the disciple]? From where and for what purpose have you come here? Are you, as someone of pure goodness, here for our benefit or maybe not? (17) I don't fear Indra's thunderbolt or S'iva's trident nor to be punished by Yamarâja, neither do I fear the heat of the sun's rays, the moon, the wind or the weapons of the heavenly treasurer [Kuvera]. My greatest fear is to offend the brahmin class. (18) Could you therefore, as someone who fully detached conceals the power of wisdom like a dullard, as someone who completely indifferent is wandering around, please speak to us, because none of us oh saint, is able to fathom to any degree the  meaningful yogic words you uttered. (19) I was just on my way to ask the direct incarnation of the Lord of spiritual knowledge [Kapiladeva], the master of yoga and best preceptor of the saintly scholars concerning the reality of the soul, what in this world would be the best engagement, the most secure shelter [see 3.25]. (20) Are you in your goodness maybe Him in person who without revealing your true identity travels the surface of the earth to study the motives of the people here? How can someone bound to family affairs who misses the intelligence know about the final destination of the masters of yoga? (21) Seeing that one -  like you moving as a carrier - gets tired when one physcally is engaged in a certain way, I suppose [with my reproaches] that also the desired line of conduct [as a material phenomenon] originates from something, the same way as the imagination of water or something else is brought about by its absence [when one is in need].  (22) Because of the heat under a cooking pot, the milk put in it gets hot and because of the hot milk the hard kernel of the rice in it is cooked. Even so there is for the person - who [like a grain of rice] has to comply with the [heat of the] material world -  the bondage to the sensual experience of material existence. (23) The governor who as a human ruler over the citizens wishes his subjects all the best should be a servant who doesn't grind the flower that is already ground [pointlessly imposing his will upon the lesser ones], but rather - by fulfilling his occupational duties - worship the Infallible One for whom performing one is released from all kinds of sin. (24) Be therefore from the truthfulness and goodness of your repentant self, so good to show me, this maddened and proud god of man, kindly your causeless mercy as a friend of all people in distress, so that I can find relief from the sin of being in contempt of  such a great personality as you. (25) You as a friend of the Friend of All, are as someone far removed from the bodily concept of life not put of balance at all, but even when being as powerful as Lord S'iva [S'ûlapâni] a person like me will with my practice of being haughty with the great for certain soon be destroyed.'