Chapter 16 — Shukra’s Original Body Is Brought Back to Life

Vasishta continued:—

The god Yama interrupted Shukra’s long lamentation and addressed him in words that sounded as deep as the roaring of a cloud.

Yama said, “Now, O Shukra, cast off your body of the devotee at the Samanga River and enter this dead body in the manner of a prince entering his palace. You shall perform austere penance with this your first born body and by virtue of that you shall become the teacher of the daitya race of giants. Then at the end of the great kalpa, you shall have to leave your mortal body forever, as one casts off a faded flower. Having attained the state of living liberation by merit of your prior acts, you shall continue as the teacher of the leader of the great asura demons forever.”

“Farewell. We shall now depart to our desired dwellings. Know for certain that there is nothing desirable to the mind that it cannot accomplish.”

Vasishta speaking:—

Saying so, the god vanished from before the weeping father and son, moving in the burning sky like the dispenser of light, the sun. After the god had gone and gained his destined state among the gods, the two Bhrigus remained to contemplate on the inexplicable and unalterable course of destiny. Shukra entered his withered corpse, as spring enters into a faded plant, in order to adorn it again with its spring bloom and its springing blossoms. 10 His brahmin body immediately fell down on the ground, staggering as when a tree falls down with its uprooted trunk, and immediately became disfigured in its face and limbs. 11 The old sage Bhrigu, seeing the dead body of his son come back to life, sanctified it with propitiatory mantras and sprinkling of water from his sacred water pot (kamandalu).

12 The veins and arteries and all the cells and cavities of the dead body were again supplied with their circulating blood, just like dry river beds are filled with floods in rainy weather. 13 The body filled with blood made the limbs bloom like the growth of lotuses in rainy lakes and the bursting of new shoots and buds in spring plants. 14 Shukra then rose up from the ground breathing the breath of life, like a cloud ascending to the sky by force of winds.

15 He bowed down to his father standing in his holy figure before him, like a rising cloud clings and kisses the foot of the lofty mountain. 16 Then the father embraced the revived body of his son and shed a flood of affectionate tears upon him, like a high risen cloud washes a mountain top with showers. 17 Bhrigu looked with affection on the newly risen old body of his son and smiled to see the resuscitation of the body that he had begotten. 18 He was pleased to know him as the son born of himself and to find his features impressed on him. 19 Thus son and father graced each other by their company, as the sun and lotus-lake rejoice to see one another after the shade of night. 20 They rejoiced at their reunion, like a loving pair of swans at the end of the night of separation, and like a joyous couple of peacocks at the approach of rainy clouds. 21 The worthy father and son sat awhile to pause after all their works and troubles were at an end, then they rose up to discharge the duties that were at hand.

22 They set fire to the body of the Samanga River brahmin and reduced it to ashes. For who is there among earth-born mortals who should ignore the customary usages of his country?

23 Afterwards the two devotees Bhrigu and Shukra continued to dwell in that forest, like the two luminaries of the sky, the sun and moon. 24 They both continued as living liberated guides of men by their knowledge of all that was to be known, and by preserving the equanimity of their minds and the steadiness of their dispositions amidst all the changes of time and place. 25 In course of time Shukra became the teacher of the demons, and Bhrigu remained in his patriarchal rank and authority among the sons of men.

26 Thus the son of Bhrigu, who was first born as Shukra, gradually was led away from his holy state by his thought of the heavenly nymph, and subjected to various states of life to which he was prone.