Chapter 105 — The Magic Spell on King Lavana Is Broken

Vasishta continued:—

After a couple of hours the king returned to his senses, like the lotus flower resuming its beauty after the mists of the rainy weather are over. He shook his body decorated with ornaments upon his saddle, like a mountain shakes with its peaks and woods at an earthquake. His seat also shook under him as he came to his senses and moved his body, just like the seat of Shiva on Kailash Mountain is shaken by the movement of the world-supporting elephant.

As he was about to fall down from the horse, he was held up by the arms of his attendants, like Mount Meru is kept from falling by the hills at its feet and sides. Attendants bore the king in the deranged state of his mind, like the still waters of the sea bear the figure of the moon that is disturbed by the waves.

The king softly asked them, “Where am I and whose court is this?” He was like a bee shut up in the flower cup of the lotus and about to sink in the water saying, “Ah! Where am I, and where am I going?” The courtiers, with a voice as sweet as the lotus uttering to the sun when he is eclipsed by Rahu, respectfully asked the king what was the matter with him. The attendants and all the ministerial officers asked him what had happened, like the gods, terrified at the great flood, asked sage Markandeya about what had happened.

“Lord, we were greatly dismayed,” said they, “upon seeing you in that plight, because the stoutest hearts are broken by accidents proceeding from unknown causes. 10 What were those pleasant objects of your desire that had so bewitched your mind? You know that all objects that appear pleasant for the present prove to be bitter at the end. 11 How could your clear understanding, which has been pacified by the grand doctrines and precepts of the wise, fall in to the false fascinations of the foolish? 12 The minds of fools are fascinated by the trivial and cheap trifles of common people, but they are of no value to the high minded as one like yourself.”

13 “Those who are elated by the pride of their bodies have their minds always excited by uncontrollable passions that take their lead through life. 14 Your mind is elevated above common things. It is calm and quiet, enlightened by truth, and filled with excellent qualities. Yet it is strange to find it out of its wits. 15 The mind unpracticed to reasoning is led away by the currents of time and place, but the noble-minded are not subject to the influence of incantations and enchanting spells. 16 It is impossible for the reasoning mind to be weakened or deranged. A high mind, like towering Mount Meru, is not to be shaken by the boisterous winds.”

17 Thus consoled by his companions, the king’s face resumed its color, as the face of the full moon collects its brightness in the bright fortnight of the month. 18 The moonlike face of the king was brightened by his full open eyes, as the spring season is beautified by blooming blossoms after the winter frost has passed away. 19 The king’s face shone forth with astonishment, and it was mixed with fear, upon remembering the charm of the magician, just like the moon shines pale in the sky after her deliverance from the shadow of an eclipse.

20 He saw the magician and said to him with a smile, as the serpent Takshaka addresses his enemy, the weasel. 21 “You trickster,” said the king. “What was this snare that you used to trap me? How did you disturb my tranquil soul by your wily trick, like a gale disturbs the calm of the sea?”

22 “How wonderful are the captivating powers of spells derived from the Lord, whose influence had overpowered the strongest sense of my mind. 23 What are these bodies of men that are subject to death and disease, and what are our minds that are so susceptible of errors and lead us to continued dangers? 24 The mind residing in the body may be filled with the highest knowledge, yet the minds of the wisest of men are liable to errors and illusion.

25 “Hear ye courtiers the wonderful tale of the adventures that I experienced under this sorcery from the moment I first met this magician. 26 I have seen as many passing scenes in one single moment under this wizard, as had been shown of old by Brahma in his destruction of the divine sorcery of Indra.” 27 Having said so, the king smiled and began to relate to his courtiers the strange wonders that he had seen in his state of hallucination.

28 The king said:—

I saw a region full of objects of various kinds, such as rivers, lakes, cities and mountains, with many boundary hills, and the ocean surrounding the earth.