Uttaradhyayana Sutra ► Twelfth Lecture: Harikēśa

Posted: 15.09.2015

Twelfth Lecture:[1] Harikēśa

Harikēśa-Bala was born in a family of Śvapākas (Chāṇḍālas); he became a monk and a sage, possessed of the highest virtues, who had subdued his senses. (1)

He observed the rules with regard to walking, begging, speaking, easing nature, and receiving and keeping (of things necessary for a monk)[2] controlled himself, and was always attentive (to his duty). (2)

He protected from sin his thoughts, speech, and body,[3] and subdued his senses.

Once on his begging tour, he approached the enclosure of a Brahmanical sacrifice. (3)

When(the priests) saw him coming up, emaciated by austerities, in a miserable condition, and with the poorest outfit, they laughed at him, the ruffians. (4)

Stuck up by pride of birth, those killers of animals, who did not subdue their senses, the unchaste sinners, made the following speech: (5)

“Who is that dandy coming there? he is swarthy, dreadful, with a turned-up nose, miserably clad, a very devil[5] of a dirty man, with a filthy cloth put on his neck? (6)

“Who are you, you monster? or for what purpose have you come here? you miserably clad devil of a dirty man! go, get away! why stand you there?” (7)

At this turn the Yakṣa, who lived in the Tinduka-tree, had compassion on the great sage, and making his own body invisible spoke the following words: (8)

“I am a chaste Śramaṇa, controlling myself; I have no property, nothing belonging to me, and do not cook my food; I have come for food which is dressed for somebody else at the time when I call. (9)

“You give away, eat, and consume plenty of food; know that I subsist by begging; let the mendicant get what is left of the rest.” (10)

“The dinner has been prepared for Brāhmaṇas, it has been got ready especially for ourselves and for us exclusively; we shall not give you such food and drink; why stand you there?” (11)

“The husbandmen throw the corn on high ground and on low ground,[5] hoping (for a return). For the like motive give unto me; I may be the field which may produce merit (as the return for your benevolence).” (12)

“All the world knows that we are (as it were) the field on which gifts sown grow up as merit; Brāhmaṇas of pure birth and knowledge are the blessed fields.” (13)

“Those who are full of anger and pride, who kill, lie, steal, and own property, are Brāhmaṇas without pure birth and knowledge; they are very bad fields. (14)

“You are only the bearer of words as it were, you do not understand their meaning, though you have learned the Vēdas. The saints call at high and lowly (houses); they are the blessed fields.” (15)

“Detractor of the learned doctors, how dare you speak thus in our presence! This food and drink should rather rot, than we should give it you, Nirgrantha.”[6] (16)

“If you do not give me what I ask for, I who observe the Samitis, who am protected by the Guptis,[7] who subdue my senses, what benefit, then, will you gain by your sacrifices?” (17)

“Are here no Kṣatriyas, no priests who tend the fire, no teachers with their disciples, who will beat him with a stick, or pelt him with a nut, take him by the neck, and drive him off?” (18)

On these words of the teachers, many young fellows rushed forward, and they all beat the sage with sticks, canes, and whips. (19)

At that turn king Kausalika’s daughter, Bhadrā, of faultless body, saw that the monk was beaten, and appeased the angry youngsters. (20)

“He is the very man to whom the king, impelled by the devil (who possessed me), had given me, but who would not think of me; he is the sage whom princes and gods adore, who has refused me. (21)

“He is that austere ascetic, of noble nature, who subdues his senses and controls himself; the chaste man, who would not accept me when my own father, king Kausalika, gave me to him. (22)

“He is the man of great fame and might, of awful piety and power; do not injure him who cannot be injured, lest he consume you all by the fire (of his virtue).” (23)

When the Yakṣas heard these well-spoken words of (the Purōhita’s) wife Bhadrā, they came to the assistance of the sage, and kept the young men off. (24)

Appearing in the air with hideous shapes, the Asuras beat the people. When Bhadrā saw them with rent bodies spitting blood, she spoke again thus: (25)

“You may as well dig rocks with your nails, or eat iron with your teeth, or kick fire with your feet, as treat contemptuously a monk. (26)

“Like a poisonous snake is a great sage of severe austerities, of tremendous piety and power; like a swarm of moths you will rush into a fire, if you beat a monk on his begging tour. (27)

“Prostrate yourself before him for protection, you together with all of them, if you want to save your life and your property; for in his wrath he might reduce the world to ashes.” (28)

When the Brāhmaṇa saw the disciples bowing their back and head, and holding out their hands, not minding their occupation; with streaming eyes, spitting blood, looking upwards, their eyes and tongues protruding, like as many logs of wood, he became heartbroken and dejected, and together with his wife he appeased the sage: “Forgive us our injury and abuse, sir! (29, 30)

“Forgive, sir, these ignorant, stupid boys, that they injured you; sages are exceedingly gracious, nor are the saints inclined to wrath.” (31)

“There is not the least hatred in me, neither now, nor before, nor in future. The Yakṣas attend upon me, therefore they have beaten the boys.” (32)

“You know the truth and the Law; you are not angry, compassionate sage; we take refuge at your feet, we together with all of them. (33)

“We worship you, mighty sir; there is nothing in you that we do not worship; eat this dish of boiled rice seasoned with many condiments. (34)

“I have got plenty of food; eat it to do us a favour!” The noble (monk) said “yes,” and took food and drink after having fasted a whole month. (35)

At that moment the gods caused a rain of perfumed water and flowers, and showered down heavenly treasures; they struck the drums, and in the air they praised the gift. (36)

“The value of penance has become visible, birth appears of no value! Look at the holy Harikēśa, the son of a Śvapāka, whose power is so great.” (37)

“O Brāhmaṇas, why do you tend the fire, and seek external purity by water? The clever ones say that external purity which you seek for, is not the right thing. (38)

“You (use) Kuśa-grass, sacrificial poles, straw and wood, you touch water in the evening and in the morning; thereby you injure living beings, and in your ignorance you commit sins again and again.” (39)

“How should we sacrifice, O monk, and how avoid sinful actions? Tell us, ascetic, whom the Yakṣas hold in honour, what do the clever ones declare to be the right method of sacrificing?” (40)

“Doing no injury to living beings of the six orders, abstaining from lying and from taking what is not freely given, renouncing property, women, pride, and deceit, men should live under self-restraint. (41)

“He who is well protected by the five Saṃvaras[8] and is not attached to this life, who abandons his body,[9] who is pure and does not care for his body, wins the great victory, the best of offerings.” (42)

“Where is your fire, your fireplace, your sacrificial ladle? where the dried cowdung (used as fuel)? Without these things, what kind of priests can the monks be? What oblations do you offer to the fire? (43)

“Penance is my fire; life my fireplace; right exertion is my sacrificial ladle; the body the dried cowdung; Karman is my fuel; self-control, right exertion, and tranquillity are the oblations, praised by the sages, which I offer.” (44)

“Where is your pond, and where the holy bathing-place? how do you make your ablutions or get rid of impurity? Tell us, O restrained monk whom the Yakṣas hold in honour; we desire to learn it from you.” (45)

“The Law is my pond, celibacy my holy bathing-place, which is not turbid, and throughout clear for the soul;[10] there I make ablutions; pure, clean, and thoroughly cooled I get rid of hatred[11] (or impurity). (46)

“The clever ones have discovered such bathing, it is the great bath praised by the seers, in which the great seers bathe, and, pure and clean, they obtain the highest place.” (47)

Thus I say.

Share this page on: