Chapter 58 — The Two Leelas See Padma Revived

Vasishta continued:—

Meantime, the goddess of wisdom stopped the course of Viduratha’s life, like we stop the flight of our minds at will.

Leela said, “Tell me, goddess, how much time has lapsed since the corpse of the king was laid in this tomb, and I was absorbed in my deep meditation?”

The goddess replied:—

A month has passed since these your maid servants have been waiting here watching your body, which they thought lay asleep in the room. Hear, excellent lady, what has become of your body after a fortnight when it became rotten and evaporated in the air. Seeing your lifeless corpse, as cold as frost lying on the ground and turning as dry as a log of wood, or rather as a withered leaf on the floor, the royal ministers thought you had committed suicide and removed your putrid carcass out of the room. What more shall I say than they laid your corpse on a heap of sandalwood and, having set fire to the pile with a sprinkling of ghee, they quickly reduced it to ashes.

Then the family raised a loud cry that their queen was dead. They wept bitterly for sometime, after which they performed your funeral ceremonies. Now when they will see you coming here in your same body, they must be astonished and think that you have returned from the next world of the dead. 10 Now my daughter, when you appear before them in this your purer and spiritual form, they must look upon you with astonishment. 11 For you have not your former form at present, but it is changed to a purer one, agreeably to the desire and temperament of your mind. 12 For everyone sees everything outside himself according to his inner feelings as, for example, the sight of shadowy ghosts is frequent to children who have a fear of devils at heart.

13 Now, O beautiful lady! You are an adept in spiritualism and you have a spiritual body on you. You have forgotten and forsaken your former body and all the desires coexisting with it. 14 Those who see spirit do not see material bodies. Their intelligent view is to see material bodies in the light of autumn clouds which are void of substance. 15 Upon attainment of the spiritual state, the material body becomes like an empty cloud, or like a flower without its fragrance. 16 When a man of pure desire is conscious of his attainment of the spiritual state, he loses the memory of his material body, like a youth forgets his embryonic state.

17 It is now the thirty-first day that we have arrived at this place, and I have caused these maid servants to fall into a deep sleep this morning. 18 Now Leela, let us go before the willful Leela and use our will to let her discover the form of the truthful Leela and see how she behaves towards you.

19 Vasishta said:—

So saying, they wished themselves to be perceived by the willful Leela, and stood before her in their ethereal forms of goddess and her inspired dame. 20 At this instant, the Leela of Viduratha looked at them with staring eyes and found the room lighted up by the full luster of their bodies. 21 The apartment seemed to be lighted by the bright orb of the moon, and its wall seemed washed with liquid gold. The ground floor shone as if paved with ice, and all was full of splendor.

22 After seeing the brightness of the bed chamber, Leela looked up at the goddess and the other Leela and rising respectfully before them, she fell at their feet. 23 “Be victorious, O ye goddesses!” she said. “You have blessed me with your visit. You who know all, know that I have come here first to prepare your way.” 24 As she was speaking this way, they received her with good grace, and then all three in their youthful bloom sat together on bedding, like luxuriant vines on the snow capped peak of Mount Meru.

25 The goddess said, “Daughter, tell us how you came here before us. How you have been, and what you have seen on your way here?”

26 The younger Leela answered, “As I lay unconscious on that spot, upon the shock of my death, I was enveloped in darkness like the new moon and I felt myself burned away by the flame of the funeral fire. 27 I had no sense or thought of anything good or bad, but remained with my eyes closed under my eyelids. 28 Then immediately after I had recovered from my trance of death, O great goddess, I found myself assuming (by mistake a new body agreeably to my former impression) and moving into the midst of the sky.”

29 “I mounted on the vehicle of winds and was borne like fragrance to this mansion through the ethereal space. 30 I found this house guarded by its warders and lighted with lamps, having a costly bedstead placed in midst of it. 31 I am looking upon this corpse, my husband Viduratha, who has been sleeping here with his body covered under flowers like the spring god in a flower garden. 32 I thought he was taking his rest after the fatigue of the warfare and I did not want to disturb his repose in this place. 33 I have now related to you, my gracious goddesses, all that I have seen and thought of since I have been restored to my new life.”

34 The goddess spoke, “Now I tell you Leela, who has such beautiful eyes and moves like a swan, that I will raise the corpse of the king to life from his bed.” 35 Saying so, she breathed the breath of life like the lotus lets off its fragrance. It fled into the nostrils of the carcass like a creeping plant crawls into a hole. 36 It entered into the heart through the vital sheath, as wind penetrates into the hole of bamboo. The breath of life was filled with desires, like the waves of the sea sparkle with pearls.

37 The infusion of life added color of the face and body of King Padma like rainwater refreshes the fading lotus in a drought. 38 By degrees the members of the body became renovated, like a garden with its returning flowering season, and like the sides of a hill become green with fresh grown bushes and vines. 39 The body of the king shone like the queen of the stars with all her digits of the full moon when she enlightens the whole world with the beams of her radiant face. 40 All his limbs became as tender and dewy as the branches of trees in spring. They regained their bright and golden color like the flowers of the spring season. 41 He opened his eyes which were as clear as the sky, their two pupils rolling like two orbs of light enlightening the world with their charming and auspicious beams. 42 He raised his body, as if Vindhya Mountain was uplifting its head, and cried with a grave and hoarse voice, “Who waits there?”

43 The two Leelas responded saying, “Your commands.” He saw the two Leelas in attendance upon him, humbly bending themselves at his feet. 44 Both were of the same form and features and of like demeanor and deportment towards him. They were alike to one another in their voice and action, as in their joy and gladness at his rising.

45 Then looking at them he asked, “What are you and who is she?”

At this the elder Leela responded, “Please hear what I have to say. 46 I am Leela, your former consort. I was joined with you as two in one, as sounds and their senses are combined together. 47 The other Leela is only a reflection of me, cast by my free will for your service.”

48 “The lady sitting here beside the bed is the goddess of wisdom, the blessed Saraswati and mother of the three worlds. Set her on the golden seat before you. 49 It is by virtue of our great merit that she has presented herself to our sight and brought us back from other worlds to your presence in this place.”

50 Hearing this, the lotus-eyed king rose from his seat and with wreaths of flowers and a strap of cloth hung about his neck, he prostrated himself at her feet. 51 He exclaimed, “I hail you, O divine Saraswati who does confer all blessings on mankind. Please confer on me the blessings of understanding and riches with a long life.”

52 As he was saying so, the goddess touched him with her hand and said, “My son, be possessed of your desired blessings and gain your blessed abode in future. 53 Let all evils and evil thoughts be far from you, and all your discomforts be dispersed from this place. Let an everlasting joy descend in your hearts and a great population fill your happy realm. May all prosperity attend on you forever.”