Chapter 30 — The Subsequent Lives of Dama, Byala & Kata

Vasishta continued:—

Upon destruction of the demons, the gods were exceedingly joyous, but Dama and the other demon leaders became immersed in sorrow and grief. Sambara was full of wrath, and his anger was ignited like an all-destroying fire against his generals, whom he called aloud by their names and said, “Where are they?” But they had fled from their abodes for fear of his anger.

Dama, Byala, and Kata hid themselves in the seventh sphere of the infernal regions. There dwelt the horrid instruments of death, formidable as their lord Yama himself, and who were glad with their duty of guarding the abyss of hell. The fearless guards of hell received them into their favor, and having given them shelter in the hell-pit, gave them their three maiden daughters in marriage. In their company, they passed a period of ten thousand years and gave a free vent to their evil desires up to the end of their lives. Their time passed away in such thoughts as these, that, “This is my consort and this my daughter, and I am their lord.” They were bound together with ties of mutual affection as strong as the chain of death.

It happened on one occasion that Yama, the god of retributive justice, came by to survey the state of affairs in that sad mournful pit of hell. The three demons, being unaware of Yama’s rank and dignity, failed to make their obeisance to the lord of hell, and at their peril took him to be one of Yama’s servants. 10 Then a nod of Yama’s eyebrows assigned to them a place in the burning furnace of hell, where they were immediately cast by the stern porters of hell’s gate. 11 There they lay burning with their wives and children until they were consumed to death, like a straw hut and withered trees.

12 The evil desires and wicked propensities that they contracted in the company of the hellish crowd caused their reincarnation in the forms of Kiratis to carrying on their slaughters and atrocities like Yama’s thralls. 13 Getting rid of that birth, they were next born as ravens, and then as vultures and falcons of mountain caves. 14 Then they were transformed into the forms of hogs in the land of Trigarta, and then as mountain rams in Magadha, and afterwards as heinous reptiles in caves and holes. 15 Thus, after passing successively into a variety of other forms, they are now lying as fish in the woodland lakes of Kashmir. 16 Being burnt in hellfire at first, they now have their temporary rest in the waters of the lake and drink its filthy water, whereby they neither die nor live to their hearts content. 17 Having thus passed over and over into various births, and having been transformed again and again to be reborn on earth, they are rolling like waves of the sea to all eternity.

18 Thus like their endless desires, they have been eternally rolling like weeds in the ocean of the earth. There is no end to their pains until the end of their desires.