The Story of King Vena :



Slokam-1 to 46.


(1) Maitreya said: 'The sages headed by Bhrigu, always aspiring the welfare of all the people, having understood of the citizens that the king was absent, also knew that they were then sure to live on the level of animâls. (2) Vena's mother mentioning the name of Vena had him by the sages enthroned as the master of the world, but the ministers did not agree with this. (3) Hearing that King Vena had ascended the throne did the thieves, knowing that he was a most severe punisher, hide themselves immediately, like rats afraid of a snake. (4) King Vena having ascended the royal seat was very proud with the eight kind of opulences [as derived from the eight perfections of yoga, the siddhi's] and began, inconsiderate, to insult the great personalities, considering himself to be the greatest. (5) Thus, blinded by power, he, proud and uncontrolled as an elephant, mounted a chariot and traveled around causing the earth and sky to tremble. (6) Not permitting any sacrifices to be performed, charities to be given or any butter to be offered in the fire, o twice-borne one, he thus stopped, by beating the kettledrums everywhere, all the rituals of religion. (7) All the sages, after observing the activities of the great rogue that Vena was, considered it dangerous to the people in general and out of compassion came to speak about it as they had always been the performers of the sacrifices: (8) 'Like a log burning from both sides, are the common people alas from both the sides of the king and the thieves and rogues in great danger. (9) Out of fear of being without a king has Vena, although not qualified for it, been crowned and now there is from him as well the danger; how can the people in general then be happy? (10) Like a snake that is maintained with milk even goes against the interest of its maintainer, has Vena, born from the womb of Sunitha, certainly grown into a mischievous nature. (11) Appointed the King there is no doubt that he desires to harm the citizens, but nevertheless we should try to pacify him, not to have the consequences of his sins touch us. (12) In spite of being aware of that impiety of Vena - we have made him King; if he is not receptive to the pacification of our words, will he, for his unrighteous doings, by the public be condemned to burn and will we fry him to our own ability.' (13) Thus having decided approached the sages Vena concealing their anger and spoke to him in sweet words, after they had put him at ease.



(14) The sages said: 'O best of the royals! Please try to understand that what we are about to tell you, o King and will increase your lifespan, strength and good repute, o best one. (15) To those persons, free from attachment, who in their words, mind, body and intelligence acted according the religious principles, will be given the worlds free from misery; they will find liberation and lasting happiness. (16) Let that spiritual life not be missed by you, o hero of the people; the king who misses that which is the cause of prosperity, will fall down from his opulence. (17) O King, the royal rule protecting the people against mischievous officials, thieves and rogues can accordingly collect taxes and enjoy this world as well as the next. (18) It is in those kingdoms in whose cities for sure the Supreme Lord, the enjoyer of all sacrifices, is worshiped, that the people will act according their own occupation in pursuance of the varna-ashrama system [of vocations and age-groups]. (19) The king, o noble one, who is with the Supreme Lord, the original cause of the cosmic manifestation, will find satisfaction, as he, in his position as a ruler, is situated as the soul that keeps the whole world together. (20) With Him, the Controller of the Controllers, satisfied, one can achieve the impossible; for this reason are the people everywhere with their preferred deities by all means with great pleasure all making offerings unto Him. (21) It is He who with all the deities in worship is the recipient. He is the sum total of the Vedas, the owner of all means of worship, the goal of all austerity; therefore you should, o King, to the greater honor of you yourself, direct your countrymen to perform worship by means of the various sacrifices. (22) When the brahmins in the kingdom engage in worship, are all the enlightened ones that are part of the Lord, properly respected and will they, very satisfied, grant the desired result; o Hero, you should not disrespect them.'


(23) Vena replied: 'Oh how childish are all of you indeed, holding irreligious principles for religious ones; you are all in fact forsaking the father in worship of an obsolete one. (24) Those who are of disrespect are not aware that the Lord is there in the form of the king; they can't experience happiness, nor in this world nor after death! (25) What is the name of that enjoyer of sacrifice unto whom you direct your devotion so great? Like with an unchaste woman to her paramour you fall short in affection for the husband! (26-27) The Creator, the Maintainer, the Destroyer, the King of Heaven, the God of the Wind and the God of Death; the God of the Sun, the Rains, the Treasury and the Moon; the God of the Earth, the Fire and the Waters; all these and other powers as well who are capable of blessing and cursing, abide in the body of the king; the king comprises all the gods. (28) For this reason o learned ones, you should worship me in your rituals and not be envious; use those means for my sake, there is no one else to be the prime enjoyer of what is offered.'


(29) Maitreya said: 'Thus deviated the most sinful one, developing a perverse intelligence, from the right path; being offered all respect with their request, he could not accept and became bereft of all good fortune. (30) Thus were all the brahmins insulted by him, who thought himself to be very learned; being broken in their polite request, o Vidura, they became very angry with him: (31) 'To death, to death, this king, this sinner, this dreadful nature who certainly will soon turn the whole world into ashes if we let him live. (32) This man, full of impiety, never deserves the exalted throne to be the God of Man; he shamelessly insults Lord Vishnu, the master of all sacrifices! (33) Who indeed, but Vena alone, born under such a bad constellation, would like this blaspheme Him, by whose mercy all opulence is received.' (34) Thus decided to put him to death they, by the manifestation of their anger, with their angry tone alone, helped Vena, dead in his blasphemy against the Infallible One, out of the world. (35) After the sages had returned to their own hermitages, preserved Sunitha, in her lamentation, the body of her son by means of chanting mantras.


(36) Once, when the sages were bathing in the waters of the Sarasvatî, offering oblations in the fire, they began, sitting at the side of the river, to discuss the matters of truth. (37) They told one another that they at that time had observed that disturbances were developing that roused fear among the people; wouldn't they, without a ruler, suffer the misfortune of having a world full of thieves and rogues? (38) Evidently, as the wise were considering this, could everywhere one looked, dust clouding the sky be seen caused by the running of criminals engaged in plundering. (39-40) They then understood that the disturbance with the people in general who had their riches plundered, was due to the death of he who was their protector; with the state full of thieves they also tried to put one another to an end and bereft of a king they, despite of seeing the fault of that, couldn't manage to subdue the thieving pack. (41) A brahmin equipoised and peaceful, grossly neglecting the poor, is sure to see his spirit coming down, just like water will from a broken pot. (42) The family line of the saintly King Anga should not be stopped; without sin had their semen the potency because of which the kings of this family would be under the shelter of Keshava [he with the beautiful curls]. (43) Thus the wise men decided to churn by their special power the legs of the dead king, whereupon a person named Bâhuka [the dwarf] was born. (44) He was black as a crow, was very short in every way with very short legs and arms, had big jaws, a flat nose, reddish eyes and copperlike hair. (45) Meek he then bowed before the sages inquiring: 'What can I do for you?'. 'Just sit down here' they replied, and thus, o best one, he became thereafter known as Nisâda. (46) His descendants were then called the Naisâda's, they inhabited the hills and forests, because, being born from Vena with Nisâda taking all the sins upon himself, they were feared.