Mârkandeya Purâna, books 7, 8

Rev. B. Hale Wortham
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Mârkandeya Purâna, Books VII., VIII.
Translated by Rev. B. Hale Wortham
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Title: Mârkandeya Purâna, Books VII. VIII
Translated by: Rev. B. Hale Wortham
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7169]
[Yes, we are more
than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on March
20, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-Latin-1

Originally scanned at sacred-texts.com by John B. Hare.
This eBook
was produced by Chetan Jain at BharatLiterature.
Mârkandeya Purâna
Books VII and VIII.
[New Series, Volume XIII]
[London, Trübner and Company]
Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, May 2002
ART. XIII.--__Translation of the Mârkandeya Purâna__
Books VII.
ONCE upon earth there lived a saintly king
Named Harišchandra;
pure in heart and mind,
In virtue eminent, he ruled the world,

Guarding mankind from evil. While he reigned
No famine raged, nor
pain; untimely death
Ne'er cut men off; nor were the citizens
Of his
fair city lawless. All their wealth,
And power, and works of
righteousness, ne'er filled
Their hearts with pride; in everlasting
And loveliness the women passed their days.
It so fell out, that while this mighty king
Was hunting in the forest,

that he heard
The sound of female voices raised in cry
supplication. Then he turned and said,
Leaving the deer to fly
unheeded: "Stop!
Who art thou, full of tyranny and hate,
darest thus oppress the earth; while I,
The tamer of all evil, live and
Then, too, the fierce Ganeša,--he who blinds
The eyes, and
foils the wills of men,--he heard
The cry, and thus within himself he
"This surely is the great ascetic's work,
The mighty
Višvâmitra; he whose acts
Display the fruits of penance hard and sore.

Upon the sciences he shows his power,
While they, in patience,
discipline of mind,
And silence perfected, cry out with fear,
shall we do? The illustrious Kaušika
Is powerful; and we, compared
with him,
Are feeble.' Thus they cry. What shall I do?
My mind is
filled with doubt. Yet stay; a thought
Has come across me: Lo! this
king who cries
Unceasingly, 'Fear not!' meeting with him,
entering his heart, I will fulfil
All my desire." Then filled with
Rudra's son--
Inspired with rage by Vigna Raj--the king
Spake up
and said: "What evil doer is here,
Binding the fire on his garment's
While I, his king, in power and arms renowned,
in my glory, pass for nought?
Surely the never-ending sleep of death

Shall overtake him, and his limbs shall fail,
Smitten with darts
from my far-reaching bow,
Whose fame this lower world may scarce
Hearing the prince's words, the saint was filled
wrath o'erpow'ring, and the sciences
Fell blasted in a moment at his
But when the king beheld the pious sage
All-powerful, he quaked
And trembled like the sacred fig-tree's leaves.
Višvâmitra cried: "Stop, miscreant!"
And Harišchandra, humbly
falling down
Before the saint, in accents low and meek:
"O Lord!
most holy! most adorable!
Oh, blame me not! This is no fault of mine!

My duty calls," he said, "I must obey."
"Is it not written in the Holy
'Alms must be given by a virtuous king;
His people must be
fought for, and be kept
From every ill'?" Then Višvâmitra spoke

And said: "To whom, O king, should'st thou give alms?
For whom in
battle should'st thou fight? and whom
Should'st thou protect? Oh, tell
me, nor delay,
But quickly answer, if thou fearest sin."
should be given to Brâhmans," said the king:
"Those who are weak
should be protected: foes
In battle should be met and overcome."
Then Višvâmitra spoke and said: "O king!
If thus indeed thou rightly
dost perceive
Thy royal duty, give thine alms to me;
I am a holy
Brâhman, and I seek
A dwelling-place; moreover I would gain
wife: therefore bestow on me thine alms."
The king, his heart filled
with exceeding joy,
Felt, as it were, his youth return, and said:

"Fear not! but tell me, son of Kaušika,
Thy heart's desire; and be it
hard to gain,
Or be it easy, it shall still be thine.
Say, shall I give
thee gold, or
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