When Devasoma became sixteen years of age, that boy, who had captivated everyone’s hearts with his knowledge, modesty and good qualities, suddenly caught a fever and died.
Yajñasoma was shattered, and along with his wife, embraced the dead body of his son, their tears refusing to stop, and both were unwilling to let the others take away the body to be cremated.
The elders assembled there observed this for a while, and then called Yajñasoma and said…
ब्रह्मन् संसारगन्धर्वनगरस्य न वेत्सि किम् ।
परावरज्ञो ऽपि गतिं वारिबुद्बुदभङ्गुराम् ॥ १२,३०.१३ ॥
ये सैन्यैः पूरितधरा हर्म्यपृष्ठेषु हारिषु ।
लसत्संगीतनादेषु रत्नपर्यङ्कवर्तिनः ॥ १२,३०.१४ ॥
श्रीखण्डद्रवलिप्ताङ्गा वरस्त्रीपरिवारिताः ।
व्यलसन्न् अमरंमन्या भूलोके ऽस्मिन् नराधिपाः ॥ १२,३०.१५ ॥
ते ऽप्य् एककाः श्मशानेषु रुदत्प्रेतानुयायिषु ।
चिताधिशयिनो यत्र जग्धाः क्रव्यात्कृशानुभिः ॥ १२,३०.१६ ॥
शिवाभिर् वलितोपान्ताः कालेन कवलीकृताः ।
न रोद्धुं शकिताः कैश्चित् तत्रान्येषां कथैव का ॥ १२,३०.१७ ॥
तद् एतं प्रेतम् आश्लिष्य विद्वन् वद करोषि किम् ।
इत्याद्य् अबोधयन् वृद्धा मिलितास् तं द्विजं ततः ॥ १२,३०.१८ ॥
ततस् तेन कथंचित् तं मुक्तम् आरोप्य तत्सुतम् ।
शिबिकायां गतप्राणं कृतप्रेतप्रसाधनम् ॥ १२,३०.१९ ॥
बान्धवा वैशसोदश्रुमिलद्बन्धुजनान्विताः ।
श्मशानं प्रापयामासुः कोलाहलसमाकुलाः ॥ १२,३०.२० ॥
“Oh learned Bhāhman, are you not well-versed in the Vedās? Don’t you know that the world is all māyā, and that everything is as temporary as bubbles on the surface of water?”
“Look at those kings who ruled the earth with their vast armies, enjoying themselves beyond enjoyment, calling themselves immortal, lying on bejeweled couches in the largest of palaces, with hundreds of servants at their disposal, their bodies annointed with the finest perfumes and sandalwood paste…their hundreds of lovers…”
“Even they were consumed by the flesh-consuming flames, along on the funeral pyres, with people weeping for them…they were consumed by flames and wild animals, and they had considered themselves as the foremost among men…”
“When they could not escape this fate, then what does one say of ordinary mortals such as you and me? What good can come of you holding your son’s dead body and not letting go?”
Yajñasoma was thus convinced by the elders, and he finally let go of the body. People then made preparations for the last journey, and they then started the journey to the cremation grounds, accompanied by the sounds of the drums and the wails of the mourners who cried loudly on account of their untimely loss.
अत्रान्तरे च तत्रासीच् छ्मशाने कोऽपि तापसः ।
वृद्धः पाशुपतो योगी मठिकायां कृतस्थितिः ॥ १२,३०.२१ ॥
वयसा तपसा चातिभूयसा सुकृशां तनुम् ।
बिभ्राणो भङ्गभीत्येव सिराभिः परिवेष्टितम् ॥ १२,३०.२२ ॥
नाम्ना वामशिवो भस्मपाण्डुरोमावृताकृतिः ।
विद्युत्पिङ्गजटाजूटो महेश्वर इवापरः ॥ १२,३०.२३ ॥
स तापसो ऽत्र तत् कालं दत्तोपालम्भखेदितम् ।
मूर्खं शठं ध्यानयोगाद्यवलिप्तम् अहंकृतम् ॥ १२,३०.२४ ॥
भिक्षाफलव्रतधरं शिष्यम् अन्तिकवासिनम् ।
जगाद दूराच् छ्रुत्वा तं जनकोलाहलं बहिः ॥ १२,३०.२५ ॥
उत्तिष्ठ गत्वात्र बहिर् विज्ञायागच्छ सत्वरम् ।
कुतो ऽत्राश्रुतपूर्वो ऽयं श्मशाने तुमुलारवः ॥ १२,३०.२६ ॥
इत्य् उक्ते गुरुणा तेन स शिष्यः प्रत्युवाच तम् ।
नाहं यामि स्वयं याहि भिक्षावेला ह्य् अपैति मे ॥ १२,३०.२७ ॥
तच् छ्रुत्वोवाच स गुरुर् धिङ् मूर्खोदरतत्पर ।
अह्नो ऽर्धप्रहरे याते भिक्षावेलात्र का तव ॥ १२,३०.२८ ॥
श्रुत्वैवैतत् स तं क्रुद्धः कुशिष्यः प्राह तापसम् ।
धिग् जराजीर्ण नाहं ते शिष्यो न त्वं गुरुर् मम ॥ १२,३०.२९ ॥
Now there lived near the cremation ground, an old Pāśupata sanyāsi. His name was Vāmaśiva, and he had acquired occult powers through intense tapasyā. His body was shrunken due to old age and the tapasyā that he had undertaken. In fact, it seemed bound by his veins, of the fear that it may break anytime.
He was covered in ashes, his matted hair as yellow as lightning, and he looked like a true disciple of Śiva.
Now at that time there was dwelling in that cemetery an old Pāśupata ascetic possessing supernatural power, who lived in a hut. His name was Vāmaśiva. His body was emaciated with age and excessive asceticism, and bound round with veins, as if with fear that it would break. He was covered all over with hair white with ashes, his matted locks were yellow as lightning, and he looked like a second Śiva.
When Vāmaśiva heard the procession approach, and the lamenting of the people accompanying it, he looked at his shishyā and said…
“Son! What is that sound outside? I have never heard so much commotion before. Go and see what is happening, and tell me.”
The shishyā was too egoistic to take any kind of orders from his guru. And so he retorted…
“Why should I go? I live on alms that I get from begging all day, and it is time for me to set out. Go and have a look for yourself!”
Vāmaśiva was taken aback.
“You fool! All you can think of is food. The day was just started, so what is the urgency for you to go and beg so early?”
The shishyā decided that he had enough of this.
“You are the fool, not me, you old idiot! I am no longer your shishyā, and you are no longer my Guru. I am leaving this very instant, go find someone else to stay with you!”
He threw the begging bowl and his stick onto the ground, and walked away in a huff.
to be continued…