Of magic and skill…

Read the previous part here…

“If fate does not want it, you cannot even die by your own wishes.”

“I now intend to visit a few teerthas, and perform tapasya, so that I never again have to feel the pain of poverty.”

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

अर्थैर् विना कथं प्राज्ञो ऽप्य् आर्य दुःकेन बाध्यसे ।
किं न वेत्सि यद् अर्थानां शरदभ्रचला गतिः ॥ १२,२९.२४ ॥

आहृत्य रक्ष्यमाणापि यत्नेनान्तविरागिणी ।
असन्मैत्री च वेश्या च श्रीश् च कस्य कदा स्थिरा ॥ १२,२९.२५ ॥

तद् उद्योगेन स गुणः को ऽप्य् उपार्ज्यो मनस्विना ।
आनीयन्ते हटाद् बद्ध्वा येनार्थहरिणा मुहुः ॥ १२,२९.२६ ॥

इत्य् उक्तो भ्रातृभिर् धैर्यं क्षणाज् ज्येष्ठो ऽवलम्ब्य सः ।
उवाच को गुणस् तादृगर्जनीयो भवेद् इति ॥ १२,२९.२७ ॥

ततो विचित्य सर्वे ते वदन्ति स्म परस्परम् ।
विचिन्त्य पृथ्वीं विज्ञानं किंचिच् छिक्षामहे वयम् ॥ १२,२९.२८ ॥

When the eldest one spoke thus, the youngest replied…

“Jeshta (elder brother), you are wise, and learned, then why are you pained just because you are poor?”

“It is well-known that riches are as fickle as a cloud in autumn – they pass on…”

“Who can count on wealth, or a fickle woman, because even though one does anything to guard and protect them, both are insincere in their affections and hostile to the one who possess them…”

“And so it is the duty of the wise to engage in sincere effort and acquire talent and skill, which will enable him to bind wealth like a deer to a stake and thus obtain happiness…”

Hearing such wise words, the eldest regained his composure and said…

“So what kind of skill or talent should we acquire?”

They conferred between themselves and finally came to the conclusion in unison “Let us search far and wide and acquire some magic powers!”

निश्चित्यैतच् च संकेतस्थानम् उक्त्वा समागमे ।
एकैकशस् ते चत्वारश् चतस्रः प्रययुर् दिशः ॥ १२,२९.२९ ॥

याति काले च मिलितास् ते संकेतनिकेतने ।
किं केन शिक्षितम् इति भ्रातरो ऽन्योन्यम् अब्रुवन् ॥ १२,२९.३० ॥

अथात्रैको ऽब्रवीद् ईदृग् विज्ञानं शिक्षितं मया ।
येनास्थिशकलं प्राप्य प्राणिनो यस्य कस्यचित् ॥ १२,२९.३१ ॥

उत्पादयाम्य् अहं तस्मिन् मांसं तदुचितं क्षणात् ।
एतत् तस्य वचः श्रुत्वा द्वितीयस् तेष्व् अभाषत ॥ १२,२९.३२ ॥

अहं तत्रैव संजातमांसे ऽस्थिशकले किल ।
जाने जनयितुं लोमत्वचं तत्प्राणिसंभवि ॥ १२,२९.३३ ॥

ततस् तृतीयो ऽप्य् अवदज् जाने तत्रैव चास्म्य् अहम् ।
तत्प्रान्यवयवान् स्रष्टुं जातत्वङ्मांसलोमनि ॥ १२,२९.३४ ॥

And having decided in this manner, the four went in separate directions, after agreeing to meet at a particular time and place one year henceforth.

A year passed fast, and the four soon found themselves back with each other, at that appointed spot and at that appointed time.

They asked each other what they had learned.

The first said…

“I have mastered the art – if I find the bone of any animal, I can immediately produce on it the flesh and blood on that animal.”

The second said…

“And when the flesh of any animal has been included on a piece of bone, I can produce the skin and hair of that animal on it.”

The third said…

“And when the hair and flesh and skin have been produced, I can create the limbs of that very animal…”

The fourth said…

to be continued…