Noble thoughts…

Read the previous part here

He was named Jīmūtavāhana. He was courageous and yet compassionate, and attentive to the teachings of his gurus.

When he grew up, his father made him crown prince, considering his noble qualities, and on the advice of his ministers.

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

देव कल्पतरुर् यो ऽयम् अस्ति वः सर्वकामदः ।
अधृष्यः सर्वभूतानां सैष पूज्यः सदा तव ॥ १२,२३.१२ ॥

नास्मिन् सति हि शक्रो ऽपि बाधेतास्मान् कुतो ऽपरः ।
एतच् छ्रुत्वा स जीमूतवाहनो ऽन्तरचिन्तयत् ॥ १२,२३.१३ ॥

अहो बतेदृशम् इमं संप्राप्यामरपादपम् ।
नासादितं किम् अप्य् अस्मात् पूर्वैर् नस् तादृशं फलम् ॥ १२,२३.१४ ॥

केवलं कैश्चिद् अप्य् अर्थैर् अर्थितैः कृपणोचितैः ।
आत्मा चैषो महात्मा च नीतौ द्वाव् अपि लाघवम् ॥ १२,२३.१५ ॥

तद् अहं साधयीष्यामि कामम् अस्मान् मनोगतम् ।
इति निश्चित्य स ययौ महासत्त्वो ऽन्तिकं पितुः ॥ १२,२३.१६ ॥

तत्र संविहिताशेषशुश्रूषापरितोषितम् ।
सुखासीनं तम् एकान्ते पितरं स व्यजिज्ञपत् ॥ १२,२३.१७ ॥

तत त्वम् एव जानासि यद् एतस्मिन् भवाम्बुधौ ।
आशरीरम् इदं सर्वं वीचिविभ्रमचञ्चलम् ॥ १२,२३.१८ ॥

विशेषेनाचिरस्थायिप्रकाशप्रविलायिनी ।
संध्या विद्युच् च लक्ष्मीश् च दृष्टा कुत्र कदा स्थिरा ॥ १२,२३.१९ ॥

एकः परोपकारस् तु संसारे ऽस्मिन्न् अनश्वरः ।
यो धर्मयशसी सूते युगान्तशतसाक्षिणी ॥ १२,२३.२० ॥

तत् तात क्षणिकेष्व् एषु भोगेष्व् अस्माभिर् ईदृशः ।
एष कल्पतरुः कस्य कृते मोघो ऽभिरक्ष्यते ॥ १२,२३.२१ ॥

यैर् वा मम ममेत्य् एवम् आग्रहेनैष रक्षितः ।
पूर्वैस् ते कुत्र कुत्रायं तेषां कश् चैष को ऽस्य वा ॥ १२,२३.२२ ॥

तस्मात् परोपकारैकफलसिद्ध्यै त्वदाज्ञया ।
तातैनं विनियुञ्जे ऽहं कामदं कल्पपादपम् ॥ १२,२३.२३ ॥

And when Jīmūtavāhana was made crown prince, the ministers of his father, desiring his welfare, came to him and said…

“O benevolent prince! This Kalpa-vrksha has been in our kingdom for many generations, and it fulfills the desires of those who approach it with true devotion. In fact, even you were obtained through the blessings of this wishing tree.”

“As long as we have this tree, even Indra Deva cannot harm us, what to speak of lesser mortals!”

When Jīmūtavāhana heard this, he thought to himself…

“Oh, how my ancestors wasted the powers of this divine tree! Even though they had such a miraculous medium, they never obtained from it any fruit worthy of it’s stature…”

“All they asked from it was material wealth, and so made themselves contemptible, and this tree as well.”

“I will do better than them, and give this tree the status it deserves…”

And so the prince went to his father, and after ensuring that they both had enough time to speak for a while, started to reason with him by saying…

“Dear father, as you know, in this ocean of worldly existence, all that we behold is fleeting, it is momentary, much like waves that appear and disappear with the twinkling of an eye…”

“Twilight, the dawn, and Sri Lakshmi, the Devi of fortune, do not stick around for long. When have they ever been stable, much less permanent?”

“The only thing that remains, that is permanent in this cycle of change, is charity. It bestows fame and merit that last for hundreds of Yugas!”

His father nodded, as the prince continued…

“And so, father, why do we keep to ourselves, this magical kalpa-vrksha, given that everything we can obtain from it is so momentary?”

“Where are those ancestors of ours, who always thought this tree to be their personal possession? For which of them does it still exist, and which of them exists for it?”

“And so, if you permit me father, I would like to worship this kalpa-vrksha, the one that grants all desires, and obtain from it something that can be beneficial to the whole of humanity.”

His father replied…

to be continued…