Chapter 86 — The Sun’s Story of Indu’s and His Wife’s Tapas & Their Ten Sons, the Aindavas

The Sun continued:—

It was, my lord, only the other day of one of your previous kalpas, and at the foot of a mountain, beside the tableland of Mount Kailash that stands in a corner of the continent of Asia, that there lived a man named Suvarnajata together with all his sons and their progeny, who had made that place a beautiful and pleasant home.

Among them lived a brahmin named Indu, a descendant of the patriarch Kasyapa, who was a saintly soul, virtuous and acquainted with divine knowledge. He resided in his house with all his relatives and passed his time agreeably in company with his wife, who was as dear to his heart as if his second self. But this virtuous couple had no children, as no grass grows in sterile soil, and the wife remained discontent at the unfruitfulness of her blossoming or seed. With all the purity and simplicity of their hearts, and the beauty and gracefulness of their persons and manners, they were as useless to the earth as the fair and straight stem of the pure rice plant without its stalk of grains. The unhappy couple left for the mountain in order to make their tapas for the blessing of children.

They ascended Mount Kailash, which lacked any shade from shade trees and was uninhabited by living beings. There they stood fixed on one side, like a couple of trees in a barren desert. They remained in their austere tapas, subsisting upon liquid food which also supported the trees. At the close of the day, and from the hollow of their palms they drank only a sip of water from a neighboring cascade. They remained standing and unmoved as immovable trees, and continued long in that posture, in the manner of an erect wood in heat and cold.

10 In this manner they passed two ages before their meditation met with the approval of the god who bears the crescent of the moon on his forehead (Shiva). 11 The god with the cooling moonbeams on his forehead advanced towards the parched pair, like when the moon casts her dewy light on trees and lotuses dried and scorched under the burning sunbeams of a summer day. 12 The god appeared to them mounted on his milk-white bull, and clasping the fair Uma (Goddess Parvati) on his left, and holding the beaming moon on his head, like spring season approaches green shrubs strewing flowers upon them.

13 The couple’s faces and eyes brightened as they saw the god, just like lotuses hail the appearance of the beautiful moon. They bowed down to the god of the silvery crescent and snow-white face. 14 Then the god rising to their view like the full moon, and appearing in the midst of the heaven and earth, spoke smilingly to them in a gentle and audible voice. The breath of that voice refreshed them like the breath of spring revives the faded plants of a forest.

15 Shiva said, “I am pleased with your meditation, O brahmin! Offer your prayer to me and have your desired reward granted to you immediately.”

16 The brahmin replied, “O Lord of gods, please favor me with ten intelligent male children. Let these be born of me to dispel all my sorrows.”

17 The Sun continued:—

The god said, “Be it so,” and then disappeared into the air. His great body passed through the ethereal path with a tremendous roar of thunder like the surge of the seas.

18 Then the brahmin couple returned to their home with gladness in their hearts. They appeared like the reflections of the two gods Shiva and Uma. 19 After returning, the brahmani became big with child from the blessing she received from her god Shiva. 20 In her pregnant state, she looked like a thick cloud heavy with rainwater. In proper time she and brought forth a boy as beautiful as the digit of the new moon. 21 In this way she bore ten sons in succession, each as handsome as the tender sprouts of plants. They grew up in strength and stature, and were invested with the sacramental thread.

22 In course of a short time, they attained their boyhood and became conversant in the language of the gods (Sanskrit), like the mute clouds become loud in the rainy season. 23 They shone in their circle with the luster of their bodies, as the resplendent orbs of the sky burn and turn about in their spheres. 24 In time these youths lost both parents who passed off their mortal coils to go to their last abode. 25 Losing both parents, the ten brahmin lads left their home in grief and went to the top of Mount Kailash to pass their helpless lives in mourning.

26 Here they discussed what would be best for them, and what would be the right course to take to avoid the troubles and miseries of life. 27 They talked with one another on such topics as what was the best good of humanity in this world of mortality, and many other subjects, such as: 28 What is true greatness, best riches and affluence, and the highest good of humankind? What is the good of great power, possessions, being chief, or even the gain of a kingdom? What forms the true dignity of kings and the high majesty of emperors? 29 What avails the rule of the great Indra, which is lost in one moment (of Brahma). What endures a whole kalpa and must be the best good as the most lasting?

30 As they were talking in this manner, they were interrupted by the eldest brother, with a voice as grave as that of the leader of a herd of deer to the attentive herd. 31 “Of all kinds of riches and dignities, there is one thing that endures for a whole kalpa and is never destroyed. This is the state of Brahma, which I prize above all others.”

32 Hearing this, all the good sons of Indu exclaimed in one voice, “Ah! Well said” Then they honored the eldest with kind speeches. 33 They said, “How, O brother, is it possible for us to attain to the state of Brahma, who is seated on his seat of lotuses, and is adored by all in this world?”

34 The eldest then replied to his younger brothers saying, “O you my worthy brothers, do as I say and you will be successful. 35 Sit in lotus posture and think yourselves to be the bright Brahma, full of his brilliance and possessing the powers of creation and annihilation in yourselves.”

36 Being instructed in this manner by the eldest brother, the younger brothers responded saying, “Amen.” With gladness in their hearts, they sat in meditation together with the eldest brother. 37 They remained in their meditative mood like the still images in a painting. Their minds were concentrated in the inmost Brahma, whom they adored and thought upon, thinking, 38 “Here I sit on the middle of a full blown lotus, and find myself as Brahma, the great god, the creator and sustainer of the universe. 39 I find in me the whole ritual of sacrificial rites, the Vedas with their branches and supplements and the rishis. I view in me the Saraswati and Gayatri mantras of the Vedas, and all the gods and men situated in me. 40 I see in me the spheres of the regents, of the world, and the circles of the spiritual masters revolving about me, with the spacious heaven bespangled with the stars. 41 I see this globe of land and water decorated with all its oceans and continents, its mountains and islands, hanging like an earring in the material system.”

42 Within myself I have the hollow of the infernal world, with its demons, and serpents. I have the cavity of the sky in myself, containing the homes and maidens of the immortals. 43 There is the strong armed Indra, the tormentor of the lords of peoples, the sole lord of the three worlds, who receives the sacrifices of men. 44 I see the bright net of the firmament spread over all sides of heaven, and the twelve suns of the twelve months dispensing their ceaseless beams amidst it. 45 I see the righteous rulers of the sky and the rulers of men protecting their respective regions and peoples with the same care as cowherds take to protect their cattle. 46 I find every day among all sorts of beings, some rising and falling, and others diving and floating, like the constant waves of the sea.

47 “It is I who create, preserve and destroy the worlds. I remain in myself and pervade over all existence as the lord of all. 48 I observe in myself the revolution of years and ages, and of all seasons and times, and I find the same time to be both the creator and destroyer of things. 49 I see a kalpa passing away before me, and the night of Brahma (dissolution) stretched out in my presence, while I reside forever in the Supreme Soul, as full and perfect as the Divine Spirit itself.”

50 Thus these brahmins, the ten sons of Indu, remained in this sort of samadhi meditation in their motionless postures like fixed rocks, and like images hewn out of stones in a hill. 51 In this manner these brahmins, being fully acquainted with the nature of Brahma, and possessed of the spirit of that deity in themselves, continued in their meditation for a long period. They sat in their lotus posture on seats of kusa grass, freed from the snare of the fickle and frivolous desires of this false and frail world.