Chapter 109 — Migration of the Tribals; Mind Creates All

The king continued:—

As the displeasure of destiny continued these disasters to rage in this place, prematurely overtaking the forest and people with the disasters of the last dissolution, some of these men with their wives and children went out from that place in search of some new places to live in foreign lands; like clouds disperse and disappear from the sky after the rainy season is over. Wives, children and close relatives accompanied them, clinging like the members of their bodies, but the lean and infirm were left behind like branches broken from trees.

Some of these emigrants were devoured by tigers as they went out of their houses, like hatchling birds are caught by falcons as they come out of their nests. Some entered into the fire like moths to put an end to their miserable lives. Others fell into pits, like fragments of rocks falling from the hills.

I separated from the connections of my father-in-law and others and depending upon myself, I escaped narrowly from that distressed country with my wife and children. We passed pitfalls, storms, wild beasts and snakes without any harm. We came out of that forest safe from all the deadly perils along the way. Arriving at the edge of that forest, we got under the shade of some palm trees where I let my children down from my shoulders as burdens of my sin and sorrows. I halted here after my tiring journey and lengthened troubles, like one who had fled from the confines of hell. I took my rest like the withering lotus from the scorching sunbeams and heat of summer. 10 My tribal wife also slept under the same tree, and my two children lay fast asleep in each other’s embrace under the cooling shade.

11 Afterwards my younger son, Prach’chhaka, who was as dear to us as he was the less intelligent, rose up and stood before me. 12 He said with a depressed spirit and tears gushing out of his eyes, “Father give me soon some meat-food and drink or else I die.” 13 The little boy repeatedly made the same request, saying with tears in his eyes that he was dying of hunger. 14 I told him that I had no meat and the more I said so, the more he repeated his foolish craving, which could neither be supplied with nor put down to silence.

15 I was then moved by paternal affection and affliction of my heart to tell him, “Child, cut off a slice of my flesh, and roast and eat it.”

16 He agreed to it, and said, “Give it then.” His hunger was so pressing and his vitality was so exhausted that he could not decline to crave my flesh for his food. 17 Being then overpowered by affection and compassion, I thought of putting an end to all my grief with my life which had become so intolerable to me at his extreme distress. 18 Being unable to endure the pain of my affection, I despaired of my own life and resolved to resort to death as my only friend at this last extreme.

19 I collected some wood and heaped them together for my funeral pile. Having put it on fire, I saw it blazing as I wished. 20 As I was hurrying to throw myself on this burning pile, I suddenly was roused from my reverie by the sound of music proceeding from this palace, hailing me as king and shouting “jaya!” for my victory.

21 I understood this conjurer had wrought this enchantment on me and put me to all these imaginable troubles for so long a period. 22 Like the ignorant, I was subject to a hundred changes of fortune.

Vasishta speaking:—

As the great and mighty King Lavana was describing his fluctuations of fortune, 23 the sorcerer suddenly disappeared from sight. The courtiers looked around with staring eyes, then addressed the king saying, 24 “Our loyal lord, this man was no sorcerer with his own mercenary views. It was divine magic shown to our lord to demonstrate the lot of humanity and the state of the world.”

25 “Evidently this world is a creation of the mind and the imaginary world is only a display of the infinite power of the Almighty. 26 These hundreds of worldly systems display the various powers of omnipotence that delude even the minds of the most wise to believe in the reality of unrealities, as it were by the spell of magic. 27 This delusion being so powerful on the minds of wise, it is no wonder that our king would be overpowered when all common minds are laboring under the same error.”

28 “This delusive magic was not spread over the mind by any trick or art of a conjurer who wanted nothing more than his own gain. 29 They who love money never go away by themselves without getting something. Therefore we are tossed on the waves of doubt to take him for a sorcerer.”

30 Vasishta said:—

Rama, though I am sitting here at this moment before you and others of this assembly, yet I am quite aware of the truth of this story. It is no fiction like the tale for the boy that I told you before, nor is it any invention or hearsay of mine.

31 Thus the mind is enlarged by the various inventions of its imagination, just as a tree is extended by the expansion of its boughs and branches. The extended mind encompasses all things, like an outstretched tree spreads over the ground. The mind’s comprehension of everything and its familiarity with the nature of all things serve to lead it to its state of perfection.