Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to make 100 million gold pieces?

Aranya(Forest) Chapter 183 Verse 011
Context: Sage Atri's wife asked him to approach Prince Vainya for money. Atri approached the Prince and praised him that he was omnipotent.

raajan vainya tvam iiSaS ca bhuvi tvam prathamo nrupah--

stuvanti tvaam munigan`aas tvad anyo naasti dharmavit

tam abraviid rushis tatra vacah kruddho mahaatapaah--

maivam atre punar bru`yaa na te prajgnaa samaahitaa

atra nah prathamam sthaataa mahendro vai prajaapatih

athaatrir api raajendra gautamam pratyabhaashata--

ayam eva vidhaataa ca yathaivendrah prajaapatih

tvam eva muhyase mohaan na prajgnaanam tavaasti ha

gautama uvaaca

jaanaami naaham muhyaami tvam vivakshur vimuhyase--

stoshyase abhyudayaprepsus tasya darSanasamSrayaat

na vettha paramam dharmam na caavaishi prayojanam--

baalas tvam asi mu`d`haS ca vruddhah kenaapi hetunaa

maarkan`d`eya uvaaca

vivadantau tathaa tau tu muniinaam darSane sthitau--

ye tasya yajgne samvruttaas te aprucchanta katham tv imau

praveSah kena datto ayam anayor vainyasamsadi--

uccaih samabhibhaashantau kena kaaryen`a visht`hitau

tatah paramadharmaatmaa kaaSyapah sarvadharmavit--

vivaadinaav anupraaptau taav ubhau pratyavedayat

athaabraviit sadasyaams tu gautamo munisattamaan--

aavayor vyaahrutam praSnam Srun`uta dvijapumgavaah

vainyo vidhaatety aahaatrir atra nah samSayo mahaan

Srutvaiva tu mahaatmaano munayo abhyadravan drutam--

sanatkumaaram dharmajgnam samSayacchedanaaya vai

sa ca teshaam vacah Srutvaa yathaatattvam mahaatapaah--

pratyuvaacaatha taan evam dharmaarthasahitam vacah

sanatkumaara uvaaca

brahma kshatren`a sahitam kshatram ca brahman`aa saha--

raajaa vai prathamo dharmah prajaanaam patir eva ca

sa eva Sakrah SukraS ca sa dhaataa sa bruhaspatih

prajaapatir viraat` samraat` kshatriyo bhu`patir nrupah--

ya ebhih stu`yate Sabdaih kas tam naarcitum arhati

puraayonir yudhaajic ca abhiyaa mudito bhavah--

svarn`etaa sahajid babhrur iti raajaabhidhiiyate

satyamanyur yudhaajiivah satyadharmapravartakah--

adharmaad rushayo bhiitaa balam kshatre samaadadhan

026 aadityo divi deveshu tamo nudati tejasaa--

tathaiva nrupatir bhu`maav adharmam nudate bhruSam

ato raajgnah pradhaanatvam Saastrapraamaan`yadarSanaat--

uttarah sidhyate paksho yena raajeti bhaashitam

maarkan`d`eya uvaaca

tatah sa raajaa samhrusht`ah siddhe pakshe mahaamanaah--

tam atrim abraviit priitah pu`rvam yenaabhisamstutah

yasmaat sarvamanushyeshu jyaayaamsam maam ihaabraviih--

sarvadevaiS ca viprarshe sammitam Sresht`ham eva ca

tasmaat te aham pradaasyaami vividham vasu bhu`ri ca

daasiisahasram Syaamaanaam suvastraan`aam alamkrutam--

daSa kot`yo hiran`yasya rukmabhaaraams tathaa daSa

etad dadaani te vipra sarvajgnas tvam hi me matah

031 tad atrir nyaayatah sarvam pratigruhya mahaamanaah--

pratyaajagaama tejasvii gruhaan eva mahaatapaah

pradaaya ca dhanam priitah putrebhyah prayataatmavaan--

tapah samabhisamdhaaya vanam evaanvapadyata.

SHRI K.M. GANGULI'S TRANSLATION, with minor edits by me:
Vol. 3, Chapter 184.

Context: Pandavas completed their 12 year exile in forest.

Sage Markandevya was giving them his advice, in Krishna's presence.

Markandeya continued, 'Do ye again hear from me the glory of the

Brahmanas! It is said that a royal sage of the name of Vainya was once
engaged in performing the horse-sacrifice and that Atri desired to go to
him for alms.

But Atri subsequently gave up his desire of wealth, from

religious scruples. After much thought he, of great power, became

desirous of living in the woods, and, calling his wife and sons together,
addressed them thus, 'Let us attain the highly tranquil and complete fruition of our desires. May it, therefore, be agreeable to you to repair
quickly to the forest for a life of great merit.'

His wife, arguing from
motives of virtue also then said to him, 'Hie thee to the illustrious
prince Vainya, and beg of him vast riches! Asked by thee, that royal
sage, engaged in sacrifice will give thee wealth. Having gone there, O
regenerate Rishi, and received from him vast wealth, thou canst
distribute it among thy sons and servants and then thou canst go
whithersoever thou pleasest. This, indeed, is the higher virtue as
instanced by men conversant with religion.'

Atri replied, 'I am informed,
O virtuous one, by the high-souled Gautama, that Vainya is a pious
prince, devoted to the cause of truth; but there are Brahmanas (about his
persons) who are jealous of me; and as Gautama hath told me this, I do
not venture to go there, for (while) there, if I were to advise what is
good and calculated to secure piety and the fulfilment of one's desires,

they would contradict me with words unproductive of any good. But I

approve of any counsel and will go there; Vainya will give me kine and
hoards of riches.

So saying, he, of great ascetic merit, hastened
to Vainya's sacrifice and reaching the sacrificial altar and making his
obeisance to the king and praising him with well-meaning speeches, he
spoke these words, 'Blessed art thou, O king! Ruling over the earth, thou
art the foremost of sovereigns! The Munis praise thee, and besides thee
there is none so versed in religious lore! '

To him the Rishi Gautama, of great ascetic merit, then indignantly replied saying, 'Atri, do not
repeat this nonsense. (It seems) thou art not in thy proper senses. In
this world of ours, Mahendra the lord of all created beings (alone) is

the foremost of all sovereigns!'

Then, O, great prince, Atri said to
Gautama, 'As Indra, the lord of all creatures, ruleth over our destinies,
so doth this king! Thou art mistaken. It is thou who hast lost thine
senses from want of spiritual perception!

Gautama replied, 'I know I am
not mistaken; it is thou who art labouring under a misconception in this
matter. To secure the king's countenance, thou art flattering him in
(this) assembly of the people. Thou dost not know what the highest
virtue, is nor dost thou feel the need for it. Thou art like a child
steeped in ignorance, for what then hast thou become (so) old in years?

While those two men were thus disputing in the
presence of the Munis, who were engaged in Vainya's sacrifice the latter
enquired, 'What is the matter with them, that maketh them talk so

Then the very pious Kasyapa learned in all religious lore,

approaching the disputants asked them what was the matter. And then

Gautama, addressing that assembly of great Munis said, 'Listen, O great
Brahmanas, to the point in dispute between us. Atri hath said that Vainya
is the ruler of our destinies; great is our doubt on this point.

On hearing this, the great-mind Munis went
instantly to Sanatkumara who was well versed in religion to clear their
doubt. And then he of great ascetic merit, having heard the particulars
from them addressed them these words full of religious meaning.

And Sanatkumara said, 'As fire assisted by the wind burneth down forests, so a Brahmana's energy in union with a Kshatriya's or a Kshatriya's joined
with a Brahmana's destroyeth all enemies.

The sovereign is the
distinguished giver of laws and the protector of his subjects. He is (a
protector of created beings) like Indra, (a propounder of morals) like
Sukra, (a counsellor) like Brihaspati and (hence he is also called) the
ruler of men's destinies.

Who does not think it proper to worship the
individual of whom such terms as 'preserver of created beings,' 'royal,'
'emperor,' 'Kshatriya' (or saviour of the earth), 'lord of earth', 'ruler
of men', are applied in praise?

The king is (also) styled the prime cause
(of social order, as being the promulgator of laws), 'the virtuous in
wars,' (and therefore, preserver after peace), 'the watchman,' 'the
contented,' 'the lord,' 'the guide to salvation,' 'the easily
victorious,' 'the Vishnu like,' 'of effective wrath,' 'the winner of

battles' and 'the cherisher of the true religion.' The Rishis, fearful of
sin, entrusted (the temporal) power to the Kshatriyas.

As among the gods
in heaven the Sun dispelleth darkness by his effulgence, so doth the king
completely root out sin from this earth. Therefore is the king's
greatness reduced from the evidences of the sacred books, and we are
bound to pronounce for that side which hath spoken in favour of the king.

'Then that illustrious prince (Vainya), highly pleased with

the victorious party, joyfully said to Atri, who had praised him

erewhile. 'O regenerate Rishi, thou hast made and styled me the greatest
and most excellent of men here, and compared me to the gods; therefore,
shall I give thee vast and various sorts of wealth. My impression is that
thou art omniscient.

I give thee, O well-dressed and well-adorned one, a
hundred millions of gold coins and also ten bharas of gold.

Then Atri, of
high austere virtues and great spiritual powers, thus welcomed (by the
king), accepted all the gifts without any breach of propriety, and
returned home. And then giving his wealth to his sons and subduing his
self, he cheerfully repaired to the forest with the object of performing

ybrao a donkey's feelings/observations
*This Sage Gautama is arguing that Mahendra (Indra or the demi-God of Heaven) is the greatest of sovereigns. Ramayana's Gautama had a wife by name Ahalya. The same Indra commited adultery with Gautama's wife in Ramayana Bala Kanda. Gautama cursed him that Indra would have eyes all over his body. Same Gautama cursed his own wife Ahalya to become a stone.

*The Priests had two goals. 1. They should say that Priests were supreme. 2. They should not incur the ire of kings. Hence, kings should be made equal to Lord Vishnu. Otherwise, kings will not give hundred million gold coins.

*The ten bharas of gold mentioned above, has not been translated by Ganguli somehow. Bhara means weight. Here, Atri's weight in gold. 10 x Atri's weight say at an average of 50 kg., will 500 kilos of gold.

*This Prince Vainya's beggar Atri happens to be sage Atri husband of Sati Anasuya. Father of God Dattatreya, said to be an integrated form of all the three Gods Creator Brahma, Patron-maintainer (vishnu) and destroyer Siva. Atri is one of the seven Great Sages of Hindu tradition. And this gentleman, goaded by his wife, praising a Prince as the Supreme Lord of Humans. Sage Sanatkumara supporting him, raising kings to the level of Lord Vishnu.

*The tradition of Brahmins and poets praising erstwhile kings continued even in the 20th Century India, even after the British left.

*The practice has slightly changed in the 21st Century. Modern Brahmins are the bureaucrats and the Media Editors. They praise the ruling politicians as Gods and demi Gods, in exchange for favours.

*What is the place for working class in this scenario? It is the class which digs the gold ore, melts it and extracts gold. Does it get at least food?

*This fight between the Brahmins and the Rulers and the subsequent symbiotic compromise is not limited to Hinduism. The Church and Crown fought in England, France, Germany and Spain. They too had to compromise at some point and enter and continue some sort of pelf and power sharing arrangements.

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