The legend of Black Cave is informed to Hanuma and others by Swayamprabha, the sainted lady who safeguards the paradisaical creation of a demon named Maya. Maya crafted this cave as a heaven on earth, for which the infuriated Indra eliminated Maya. Hema, an apsara, nymphal-virtuoso accords this fantastic creation to Swayamprabha. Swayamprabha offers hospitality to all the monkeys who entered that cave.
इति उक्त्वा हनुमान् तत्र पुनः कृष्ण अजिन अंबराम् |
अब्रवीत् ताम् महाभागाम् तापसीम् धर्म चारिणीम् || ४-५१-१
1. iti uktvaa hanumaan tatra = thus, on saying, Hanuma, there; punaH kR^iSNa ajina ambaraam = again, to one with black deer, skin, dressed in; abraviit taam mahaabhaagaam = spoke, to her, most reverential lady; taapasiim dharma caariNiim = sainted lady, in probity, conducting herself.
Thus, Hanuma on saying therein [that subject,] again spoke to that most reverential and sainted lady who is dressed in black deerskin and conducting herself in probity. [4-51-1]
इदम् प्रविष्टाः सहसा बिलम् तिमिर संवृतम् |
क्षुत् पिपासा परिश्रांताः परिखिन्नाः च सर्वशः || ४-५१-२
2. idam [vayam] praviSTaaH sahasaa = here, [we,] entered, suddenly; bilam timira samvR^itam = cavity, with darkness, overspread; kSut pipaasaa parishraantaaH = with hunger, thirst, overtired; pari khinnaaH ca sarvashaH = overawed, also, anywise.
"Overtired with hunger and thirst we are overawed anywise, and we suddenly entered this cavity, which is overspread with darkness..." [Thus Hanuma is speaking to her.] [4-51-2]
महत् धरण्या विवरम् प्रविष्टाः स्म पिपासिताः |
इमाम् तु एवम् विधान् भावान् विविधान् अद्भुत उपमान् || ४-५१-३
दृष्ट्वा वयम् प्रव्यथिताः संभ्रांता नष्ट चेतसः |
कस्य एते कांचना वृक्षाः तरुण आदित्य सन्निभाः || ४-५१-४
3, 4. mahat dharaNyaa vivaram = extensive, earth's, hollow; praviSTaaH sma pipaasitaaH = entered, we, thirstily; imaam tu evam vidhaan bhaavaan = these, but, this, kind of, mansion; vividhaan adbhuta upamaan = diverse, marvel, similar [marvellous ones]; dR^iSTvaa vayam pravyathitaaH sambhraantaa naSTa cetasaH = on seeing, we are, verily agitated, verily amazed, lost, hearts [agonised]; kasya ete kaancanaa vR^ikSaaH = whose, all these, golden, trees; taruNa aaditya sannibhaaH = young, sun, splendent like.
"We entered this extensive hollow of earth thirstily, but on seeing this kind of these diverse and marvellous mansions we are verily amazed [presuming that this is a dominion of some demon,] and we are agitated [in not knowing dos and don'ts,] and agonised [at our incarceration...] whose trees are all these golden ones, splendent like young sun... [4-51-3, 4]
शुचीनि अभ्यवहार्याणि मूलानि च फलानि च |
कांचनानि विमानानि राजतानि गृहाणि च || ४-५१-५
तपनीय गव अक्षाणि मणि जाल आवृतानि च |
5, 6a shuciini abhyavahaaryaaNi = depurated, edibles; muulaani ca phalaani ca = tubers, also, fruits, also; kaancanaani vimaanaani = golden, aircrafts; raajataani gR^ihaaNi ca = silvern, mansion, also; tapaniiya gavaakSaaNi = molten god [golden,] ventilators; maNi jaala aavR^itaani ca = jewelly, laces, overspread [encased,] also.
"The edibles, tubers, and fruits are all depurated... golden are the aircrafts... mansions silvern... ventilators golden and encased in jewelly laces... [4-51-5, 6a]
पुष्पिताः फालवन्तः च पुण्याः सुरभि गन्धयः || ४-५१-६
इमे जांबूनदमयाः पादपाः कस्य तेजसा |
6b, 7a. puSpitaaH phaalavantaH ca = flowered, fruited, also; puNyaaH surabhi gandhayaH = auspicious, scented, aromatically; ime jaambuunadamayaaH paadapaaH = these, completely golden, trees; kasya tejasaa = by whose, splendour.
"Flowered and fruited and also aromatically scented are these auspicious and completely golden trees... by whose splendour [they are rendered thus?] [4-51-6b, 7a]
कांचनानि च पद्मानि जातानि विमले जले || ४-५१-७
कथम् मत्स्याः च सौवर्णा दृश्यन्ते सह कच्छपैः |
7b, 8a. kaancanaani ca padmaani = golden, also, lotuses; jaataani vimale jale = born, in limpid, water; katham matsyaaH ca sauvarNaa = how, fishes, also, are golden; dR^ishyante saha kacChapaiH = ostensibly, with, tortoises.
"Also how the lotuses born in limpid water are golden, and how the fishes along with tortoises are ostensibly golden? [4-51-7b, 8a]
आत्मानः अनुभावात् वा कस्य वै एतत् तपो बलम् || ४-५१-८
अजानताम् नः सर्वेषाम् सर्वम् आख्यातुम् अर्हसि |
8b, 9a. aatmaanaH anu bhaavaat vaa = of yours, innate, owing to prodigy, or; kasya vai etat tapaH balam = whose, indeed, all this, ascesis', prowess; a jaanataam naH sarveSaam = not, knowing [oblivious of,] us, all of; sarvam aakhyaatum arhasi = all of it, to narrate, apt of you.
"Or, is all this owing to the innate prodigy of yours or to whose ascesis' prowess all this is owed... as all of us are oblivious of it, so it will be apt of you to narrate all of it..." [Thus Hanuma requested that sainted lady.] [4-51-8b, 9a]
एवम् उक्ता हनुमता तापसी धर्म चारिणी || ४-५१-९
प्रति उवाच हनूमंतम् सर्व भूत हिते रता |
9b, 10a. evam uktaa hanumataa = thus, she is addressed, by Hanuma; taapasii dharma caariNii = sainted lady, righteous, of conduct; prati uvaaca hanuumantam = in turn, spoke [replied,] to Hanuma; sarva bhuuta hite rataa = all, beings, in well-being, blissful one.
Thus when Hanuma addressed her, that sainted lady, and a blissful one in the well being of all the beings, she replied Hanuma. [4-51-9b, 10a]
मयो नाम महातेजा मायावी दानवर्षभः || ४-५१-१०
तेन इदम् निर्मितम् सर्वम् मायया कांचनम् वनम् |
10b, 11a. mayaH naama mahaatejaa [aasiit] = Maya, named, great-resplendent one [a marvellous fantasist] [was there]; maayaavii daanava R^iSabhaH = a wizard, demon, bullish; tena idam nirmitam = by him, this is, constructed; sarvam maayayaa kaancanam vanam = all this, with expertise in illusiveness [phenomenal expertise,] golden, woodland.
"A marvellous fantasist by name Maya was there, a bullish demon of wizardry and by him with his phenomenal expertise all this golden woodland is constructed..." [Thus, that sainted lady started her narration.] [4-51-10b]
पुरा दानव मुख्यानाम् विश्वकर्मा बभूव ह || ४-५१-११
येन इदम् कांचनम् दिव्यम् निर्मितम् भवन उत्तमम् |
11b, 12a. puraa daanava mukhyaanaam = once, for demons, lords; vishva karmaa babhuuva ha = universal, craftsman, [he] became, indeed; yena idam kaancanam divyam = by whom, this, golden, heavenly; nirmitam bhavana uttamam = constructed, mansion, superb.
"Once he was the Universal Craftsman to the lords of demons by whom this divinely golden and superb mansion was constructed... [4-51-11]
स तु वर्ष सहस्राणि तपः तप्त्वा महत् वने || ४-५१-१२
पितामहात् वरम् लेभे सर्वम् औशसनम् धनम् |
12b, 13a saH tu varSa sahasraaNi = he, but, years, thousands; tapaH taptvaa mahat vane = ascesis, on practising, in [this] horrendous, forest; pitaamahaat varam lebhe = from Forefather [Brahma,] boon, obtained; sarvam aushasanam dhanam = entire, of Sage Shukra, wealth [the architecture or, the wealth of immoderate beseechers of wealth.]
"But he on practising ascesis for thousands of years in this horrendous forest, obtained a boon from Brahma, the Forefather, [which entails acquirement of] entire wealth of Sage Shukra...
"But he on practising ascesis for thousands of years in this horrendous forest, obtained a boon from Brahma, the Forefather, [which entails acquirement of] entire wealth of those people, who immoderately and avariciously beseech all the available gods, to accord all wealth to them only...[4-51-12b, 13a]
Sage Shukra, better known as Shukraacaarya, is the mentor and clan-priest of demons. He was an astounding expert to canonise the Architectural Engineering, creating paradisiacal constructions, materialising materials just from out of thin air and the like. Likewise, many humans beseech gods near at hand, to bestow wealth as godsend without an iota of their personal strain, with a confidence that when Shukraacaarya could deliver material comforts to demons from out of thin air, gods must also be bestowing riches on them, as gods have no other function than this. Hence, this demon Maya, being a demon, wanted to loot the wealth of his own demon-priest Shukraacaarya, viz., the Architectural Engineering. And Brahma granted it, as a crosswise benefit to gods.
विधाय सर्वम् बलवान् सर्व काम ईश्वरः तदा || ४-५१-१३
उवास सुखितः कालम् कंचित् अस्मिन् महावने |
13b, 14a. vidhaaya sarvam balavaan = methodised, everything, dynamic one; sarva kaama iishvaraH tadaa = all, wishes, ruler of [invested with privileges for all wishes,] then; uvaasa sukhitaH = resided, comfortably; kaalam kamcit asmin mahaavane = time, some, in this, great, forest.
"That dynamic one methodised everything and then resided comfortably in this great forest for some time, privileged with all his wishes... [4-51-13b, 14a]
तम् अप्सरसि हेमायाम् सक्तम् दानव पुंगवम् || ४-५१-१४
विक्रम्य एव अशनिम् गृह्य जघान ईशः पुरंदरः |
14b, 15a. tam apsarasi hemaayaam saktam = him [demon Maya,] in apsara, [the paradisiacal nymph,] with Hema, engaged with; daanava pungavam = demon, eminent one; vikramya eva ashanim gR^ihya = charging, thus, Thunderbolt, on taking; jaghaana iishaH purandaraH = eliminated, administrator [of worlds,] enemy-strongholds destroyer, namely Indra.
"Indra, the Administrator of Worlds and destroyer of enemy citadels, on taking His Thunderbolt eliminated Maya, when that eminent demon was engaged with an apsara, a paradisiacal nymph, called Hema... [4-51-14b, 15a]
इदम् च ब्रह्मणा दत्तम् हेमायै वनम् उत्तमम् || ४-५१-१५
शाश्वतः काम भोगः च गृहम् च इदम् हिरण्मयम् |
15b, 16a. idam ca brahmaNaa dattam = this one, also, by Brahma, beneficed; hemaayai vanam uttamam = for Hema, woodland, marvellous one; shaashvataH kaama bhogaH ca = everlasting, wish, enjoyments [fulfillers,] also; gR^iham ca idam hiraNmayam = mansion, also, this one, golden.
"This marvellous woodland, these everlasting wish-fulfillers, and this golden mansion, are beneficed by Brahma for Hema... [4-51-15]
दुहिता मेरुसावर्णेः अहम् तस्याः स्वयंप्रभा || ४-५१-१६
इदम् रक्षामि भवनम् हेमाया वानरोत्तम |
16b, 17a. duhitaa merusaavarNeH aham = daughter, of Merusaavarni, I am; tasyaaH svayamprabhaa = of her [of that apsara,] Swayamprabha named [meaning Self-Splendent]; idam rakSaami bhavanam = this, safeguarding, mansion; hemaayaa vaanarottama = of Hema, oh, best monkey.
"I am the daughter of Merusaavarni, oh, best monkey, named Swayamprabha and I am safeguarding this mansion of her, [that apsara] Hema... [4-51-16b, 17a]
मम प्रिय सखी हेमा नृत्त गीत विशारदा || ४-५१-१७
तया दत्त वरा च अस्मि रक्षामि भवनम् महान् |
17b, 18a. mama priya sakhii hemaa = my, dearest, nymphean-friend, Hema; nR^itta giita vishaaradaa = in dance, music, virtuoso; tayaa datta varaa ca asmi = by her, bestowed, boon, also, I am; rakSaami bhavanam mahaan = safeguarding, mansion, superb.
"Hema is a virtuoso in dance and music and my dearest nymphean-friend, and she bestowed a boon upon me [by which none can dishonour me, and thus] I am safeguarding this superb mansion... [4-51-17b, 18a]
The Universal Architect is given the title of vishva karma and he will be proficient, right from the skills of a blacksmith to that of an outstanding engineer. His works are always guided and as directed by Indra. Indra's logic is that there shall be one vishva karma in all three worlds, like one Indra to three worlds. But whenever Indra lies low, the demons get works done through the heavenly vishva karma, instead of appointing their own architect as their clan-priest Shukraacaarya's treasure of architecture is lost. This treasure of architecture of Shukraacaarya is usurped by this demon Maya, through Brahma. As Indra cannot defy the boon of Brahma, he baited this Hema, the apsara, to make Maya to woo her. Accordingly, demon Maya brought the nymphal-virtuoso Hema to this cavernous paradisiacal mansion and was subjected to elimination by Indra. After the elimination of this Wonder Architect, Hema departed to Brahma's abode, bequeathing this mansion to Swayamprabha. From then on Hema resided in brahma loka 'Brahma's abode...' as said at: ghR^itaaciim atha vishvaaciim.... naaga datam ca hemaam ca... in Ayodhya part II, Ch. 91, verse 17. When Sage Bharadwaja gave hospitality to Bharata, that sage says this.
किम् कार्यम् कस्य वा हेतोः कांताराणि प्रपद्यथ || ४-५१-१८
कथम् च इदम् वनम् दुर्गम् युष्माभिः उपलक्षितम् |
18b, 19a. kim kaaryam kasya vaa hetoH = what, work [effort,] which, or, reason; kaantaaraaNi prapadyatha = impervious forests, come to pass; katham ca idam vanam durgam = how, also, this, forest, impassable; yuSmaabhiH upalakSitam = by you all, is seen [discovered.]
"What is your effort or for what reason you came to pass this impervious forest, and how you all have discovered this impassable forest... [4-51-18b, 19a]
शुचीनि अभ्यवहार्याणि मूलानि च फलानि च |
भुक्त्वा पीत्वा च पानीयम् सर्वम् मे वक्तुम् अर्हथ || ४-५१-१९
19b, 19c. shuciini abhyavahaaryaaNi = wholesome, edibles; muulaani ca phalaani ca = tubers, also, fruits, also; bhuktvaa = on dining; piitvaa ca paaniiyam = on drinking, also, soft-drinks; sarvam me vaktum arhatha = about all, to me, to say [inform,] apt of you.
"Dine on these wholesome edibles, fruits and tubers, also on drinking soft drinks, it is apt of you to inform me all about [your mission..." Thus Swayamprabha gave hospitality to the monkeys.] [4-51-19b, 19c]
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इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये किष्किन्ध काण्डे एक पंचाशः सर्गः
© Nov, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao]
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