Kesidhwaja

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 24 Jul 2011 09:38 and updated at 24 Jul 2011 09:38

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

vp.6.5 The term Vasudeva means that all beings abide in that supreme being, and that he abides in all beings 10, as was formerly explained by Kesidhwaja to Khandikya, called Janaka, when he inquired of him an explanation of the name of the immortal, Vasudeva. He said, "He
vp.6.6 Means of attaining liberation. Anecdotes of Khandikya and Kesidhwaja. The former instructs the latter how to atone for permitting the death of a cow. Kesidhwaja offers him a requital, and he desires to be instructed in spiritual knowledge.
vp.6.6 Parasara. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, the explanation formerly given by Kesidhwaja to the magnanimous Khandikya, also called Janaka.
vp.6.6 Maitreya. Tell me first, Brahman, who Khandikya was, and who was Kesidhwaja; and how it happened that a conversation relating to the practice of Yoga occurred between them.
vp.6.6 Parasara. There was Janaka, named Dharmadhwaja, who had two sons, Amitadhwaja and Kritadhwaja; and the latter was a king ever intent upon existent supreme spirit: his son was the celebrated Kesidhwaja. The son of Amitadhwaja was Janaka, called Khandikya 2.
vp.6.6 [paragraph continues] Khandikya was diligent in the way of works, and was renowned on earth for religious rites. Kesidhwaja, on the other hand, was endowed with spiritual knowledge. These two were engaged in hostilities, and Khandikya was driven from his principality by Kesidhwaja. Expelled from his dominions, he wandered with a few followers, his priest and his counsellors, amidst woods and mountains, where, destitute of true wisdom, he performed many sacrifices, expecting thereby to obtain divine truth, and to escape from death by ignorance 3.
vp.6.6 Once whilst the best of those who are skilled in devotion, Kesidhwaja, was engaged in devout exercises, a fierce tiger slew his milch cow 4 in the lonely forest. When the Raja heard that the cow had been killed, he asked the ministering priests what form of penance would expiate the crime. They replied that they did not know, and referred him to Kaseru. Kaseru, when the Raja consulted him, told him that he knew not, but that Sunaka would be able to tell him. Accordingly the Raja went to Sunaka; but he replied, "I am as unable, great king, to answer your question as Kaseru has been; and there is no one now upon earth who can give you the information except your enemy Khandikya, whom you have conquered."
vp.6.6 Upon receiving this answer, Kesidhwaja said, "I will go, then, and pay a visit to my foe: if he kill me, no matter, for then I shall obtain the reward that attends being killed in a holy cause: if, on the contrary, he tell me what penance to perform, then my sacrifice will be unimpaired in efficacy." Accordingly he ascended his car, having clothed himself in the deer skin (of the religious student), and went to the forest where the wise Khandikya resided. When Khandikya beheld him approach, his eyes reddened with rage, and he took up his bow, and said to him, "You have armed yourself with the deer skin to accomplish my
vp.6.6 destruction, imagining that in such an attire you will be safe from me; but, fool, the deer, upon whose backs this skin is seen, are slain by you and me with sharp arrows: so will I slay you; you shall not go free whilst I am living. You are an unprincipled felon, who have robbed me of my kingdom, and are deserving of death." To this Kesidhwaja answered, "I have come hither, Khandikya, to ask you to solve my doubts, and not with any hostile intention: lay aside therefore both your arrow and your anger." Thus spoken to, Khandikya retired a while with his counsellors and his priest, and consulted with them what course to pursue. They strongly urged him to slay Kesidhwaja, who was now in his power, and by whose death he would again become the monarch of the whole earth. Khandikya replied to them, "It is no doubt true that by such an act I should become the monarch of the whole earth: he, however, would thereby conquer the world to come; whilst the earth would be mine. Now if I do not kill him, I shall subdue the next world, and leave him this earth. It seems to me that this world is not of more value than the next; for the subjugation of the next world endures for ever; the conquest over this is but for a brief season. I will therefore not kill him, but tell him what he wishes to know."
vp.6.6 Returning then to Kesidhwaja, Khandikya desired him to propose his question, which he promised to answer; and Kesidhwaja related to him what had happened, the death of the cow, and demanded to know what penance he should perform. Khandikya, in reply, explained to him fully the expiation that was suited to the occasion; and Kesidhwaja then, with his permission, returned to the place of sacrifice, and regularly fulfilled every necessary act. Having completed the ceremony, with its supplementary rites, Kesidhwaja accomplished all his objects: but he then reflected thus: "The priests whom I invited to attend have all been duly honoured; all those who had any request to make have been gratified by compliance with their desires; all that is proper for this world has been effected by me: why then should my mind feel as if my duty had been unfulfilled?" So meditating, he remembered that he had not presented to Khandikya the gift that it is becoming to offer to a spiritual preceptor, and, mounting his chariot, he immediately set off to
vp.6.6 the thick forest where that sage abode. Khandikya, upon his reappearance, assumed his weapons to kill him; but Kesidhwaja exclaimed, "Forbear, venerable sage. I am not here to injure you, Khandikya: dismiss your wrath, and know that I have come hither to offer you that remuneration which is due to you as my instructor. Through your lessons I have fully completed my sacrifice, and I am therefore desirous to give you a gift. Demand what it shall be."
vp.6.6 Khandikya having once more communed with his counsellors, told them the purpose of his rival s visit, and asked them what he should demand. His friends recommended him to require his whole kingdom back again, as kingdoms are obtained by prudent men without conflicting hosts. The reflecting king Khandikya laughed, and replied to them, "Why should a person such as I be desirous of a temporary earthly kingdom? Of a truth you are able counsellors in the concerns of this life, but of those of the life to cone you are assuredly ignorant." So speaking, he went back to Kesidhwaja, and said to him, "Is it true that you wish to make me a gift, as to your preceptor?" "Indeed I do," answered Kesidhwaja. "Then," rejoined Khandikya, "as it is known that you are learned in the spiritual learning that teaches the doctrine of the soul, if you will communicate that knowledge to me, you will have discharged your debt to your instructor. Declare to me what acts are efficacious for the alleviation of human affliction."
vp.6.7 Kesidhwaja describes the nature of ignorance, and the benefits of the Yoga, or contemplative devotion. Of the novice and the adept in the performance of the Yoga. How it is performed. The first stage, proficiency in acts of restraint and moral duty: the second, particular mode of sitting: the third, Pranayama, modes of breathing: the fourth, Pratyahara, restraint of thought: the fifth, apprehension of spirit: the sixth, retention of the idea. Meditation on the individual and universal forms of Vishnu. Acquirement of knowledge. Final liberation.
vp.6.7 "BUT," said Kesidhwaja, "why have you not asked of me my kingdom, now free from all annoyance? what else except dominion is acceptable to the warrior race?" "I will tell you," replied Khandikya, "why I did not make such a demand, nor require that territory which is an object of ignorant ambition. It is the duty of the warrior to protect his subjects in peace, and to kill in fight the enemies of his sway. It is no fault that you should have taken my kingdom from one who was unable to defend it, to whom it was a bondage, and who was thus freed from the incumbrance of ignorance. My desire of dominion originated in my being born to possess it: the ambition of others, which proceeds from human frailties, is not compatible with virtue. To solicit gifts is not the duty of a prince and warrior: and for these reasons I have not asked for your kingdom, nor made a demand which ignorance alone would have suggested. Those only who are destitute of knowledge, whose minds are engrossed by selfishness, who are intoxicated with the inebriating beverage of self sufficiency, desire kingdoms; not such as I am."
vp.6.7 When king Kesidhwaja heard these words, he was much pleased, and exclaimed, "It is well spoken!" Then addressing Khandikya affectionately, he said, "Listen to my words. Through desire of escaping death by the ignorance of works I exercise the regal power, celebrate various sacrifices, and enjoy pleasures subversive of purity. Fortunate is it for you that your mind has attached itself to the dominion of discrimination. Pride of your race! now listen to the real nature of ignorance. The (erroneous) notion that self consists in what is not self, and the
vp.6.7 "Then," said Khandikya, "do you, who are the chief of those versed in contemplative devotion, explain to me what that is; for in the race of the descendants of Nimi 2 you are best acquainted with the sacred writings in which it is taught." "Hear," replied Kesidhwaja, "the account of, the nature of contemplative devotion 3, which I impart to you, and by perfection in which the sage attains resolution into Brahma, and never suffers birth again. The mind of man is the cause both of his bondage and his liberation: its addiction to the objects of sense is the means of his bondage; its separation from objects of sense is the means of his freedom. The sage who is capable of discriminative knowledge must therefore restrain his mind from all the objects of sense, and therewith meditate upon the supreme being, who is one with spirit, in order to attain liberation; for that supreme spirit attracts to itself him who meditates upon it, and who is of the same nature, as the loadstone attracts the iron by the virtue which is common to itself and to its products 4.
vp.6.7 Khandikya then said to Kesidhwaja, "Illustrious sage, inform me what is that perfect asylum of the mind, resting on which it destroys all the products of (human) infirmity." To this, Kesidhwaja replied, "The asylum of mind is spirit Brahma(), which of its own nature is twofold, as being with or without form; and each of these is supreme and secondary 12. Apprehension of spirit 13, again, is threefold. I will explain the different kinds to you: they are, that which is called Brahma, that which is named from works, and that which comprehends both. That mental apprehension which consists of Brahma is one; that which is formed of works is another; and that which comprehends both is the third: so that mental apprehension (of the object or asylum of the thoughts) is threefold. Sanandana and other (perfect sages) were endowed with apprehension of the nature of Brahma. The gods and others, whether animate or inanimate, are possessed of that which regards acts. The apprehension that comprehends both works and spirit exists in Hiranyagarbha and others, who are possessed of contemplative knowledge of their own nature, and who also exercise certain active functions, as creation and the rest. Until all acts, which are the causes of notions of individuality, are discontinued, spirit is one thing, and the universe is another, to those who contemplate objects as distinct and various; but that is called true knowledge, or knowledge of Brahma, which recognises no distinctions, which
vp.6.7 Khandikya replied to Kesidhwaja, and said, "The explanation which you have given me of the real nature of contemplative devotion has fulfilled all my wishes, and removed all impurity from my mind. The expression mine, which I have been accustomed to use, is untruth, and
vp.6.7 cannot be otherwise declared by those who know what is to be known. The words I and mine constitute ignorance; but practice is influenced by ignorance. Supreme truth cannot be defined, for it is not to be explained by words. Depart therefore, Kesidhwaja; you have done all that is necessary for my real happiness, in teaching me contemplative devotion, the inexhaustible bestower of liberation from existence."
vp.6.7 Accordingly king Kesidhwaja, after receiving suitable homage from Khandikya, returned to his city. Khandikya, having nominated his son Raja 24, retired to the woods to accomplish his devotions, his whole mind being intent upon Govinda: there his entire thoughts being engrossed upon one only object, and being purified by practices of restraint, self control, and the rest, he obtained absorption into the pure and perfect spirit which is termed Vishnu. Kesidhwaja also, in order to attain liberation, became averse from his own perishable works, and lived amidst objects of sense (without regarding them), and instituted religious rites without expecting therefrom any advantages to himself. Thus by pure and auspicious fruition, being cleansed from all sin, the also obtained that perfection which assuages all affliction for ever.

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