Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 4 Chapter 26:1-16

Book 4: Chapter 26

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 26: Verses 1-16
Puranjana goes a hunting to the forest and the queen gets angry with him

Narada resumed : Armed with a mighty bow, clad in his gold armour, equipped with his inexhaustible quiver and attended by his eleventh general, Puranjana one day mounted his car drawn by five horses and fit for swift marches, and proceeded to the forest called Pancaprastha. The car had a pair of shafts, two wheels, one axle-tree, three flag-staffs, five cords, a single rein, one charioteer, a seat (for the owner of the chariot), two (central) poles (to which the yoke is fixed), five recesses and sevenfold was capable of five kinds of motion and was provided with appurtenances of gold. Leaving behind his wife, who (however) did not deserve such (callous) treatment, the proud king, who was totally given up to the passion for game, set about hunting there, bow and arrow in hand. Following the ways of the demons, he became hard-hearted and cruel and killed with his sharp arrows a number of wild animals in the woods. The scriptures restrict the scope of hunting and lay down that a king (alone), if he is excessively fond (of hunting), may kill in the forest according to his needs (only) such animals as are fit for sacrifice (and that too) on sacred occasions (Sraddha etc.), recognized in the scriptures. The wise man who performs his duties thus defined (in the Sastras) is not tainted by that action, O ruler of kings, thanks to the enlightenment that dawns on him (as a result of such actions). Full of egotism, he who does his duties otherwise (in violation of the restrictions imposed by the scriptures) is bound (by such actions). Having fallen into (the whirlpool of) transmigration, and deprived of his judgment, he goes down in the scale of spiritual evolution. The slaughter of wild animals that had their bodies lacerated by his arrows decorated with variegated feathers and died with great pain was something hard to bear for those possessed of a tender heart. While (engaged in) killing hares, boars, bisons, Gayals, black antelopes and porcupines, fit for sacrifice, and many other creatures, he felt (much) fatigued. Exhausted with hunger and thirst, he desisted from the cruel act and returned home; and, when he had finished his bath and duly taken his meals, he lay down to rest and was (thus) relieved of his fatigue. He graced his person with perfume, sandal paste and wreath of flowers etc., and, well adorned all over, (now) thought of his queen. Sated with refreshments, delighted with perfume etc., and highly proud of his royal state, and his mind seized with passion, he missed his beautiful wife, who helped him in discharging the duties of a householder. As if sad at heart, he enquired of the ladies of the gynaeceum, O king Vedisat (Pracinabarhi) : "Is everything well with you and your mistress, 0 charming damsels? The household wealth in this house looks not so splendid as before at this moment. (How is it ?) What wise man would stay like a miserable creature in his house neglected as a chariot without wheels etc., if there was no mother, or wife looking upon her husband as God (Himself) in that house. Where is that lovely lady, who cheers me up when I am drowning in an ocean of misery, brightening my intellect at every step ?"



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