Ashtavakra Gita : In Sanskrit : http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/ashtgita.pdf
Ashtavakra Gita : Sanskrit text and translation by Swami Nitya Swarupananda : http://www.scribd.com/doc/2673274/AshTavakra-Geeta
Ashtavakra Gita : Sri Ramana Maharshi Site : with Audio : http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/ashtavakragita.html
Story of marriage of Ashtavakra : http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m13/m13a019.htm
There are many dharma and karma duties that couples must do together and which single people are not eligible for.
Dharmaraja Yudhisthira wanted to know about marriage.
- If marriage is for going to heaven, and spouses die at different times, does it make sense?
- Is marriage only for having children for dharmic reasons?
- Is marriage only for the pleasure of a spouse?
In answering this question, Bhishma told Dharmaraja the story of Ashtavakra’s marriage.
Ashtavakra, of severe penances asked RSi vadanya for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Her name was suprabha.
“In beauty she was unrivalled on Earth. In virtues, dignity, conduct, and manners, she was superior to all the girls. By a glance alone that girl of beautiful eyes had robbed him of his heart even as a delightful grove in spring, adorned with flowers, robs the spectator of his heart.”
Vadanya laid down a condition. Go North, he said!
“‘Passing over the kingdom of kubEra, you will cross the Himavat mountains.
Then you will see the plateau on which Rudra resides.
- It is inhabited by Siddhas and Charanas.
- It abounds with the associates of Mahadeva, frolicsome and fond of dance and possessed of diverse forms.
- It is peopled with also many Pisachas, O master, of diverse forms and all daubed with fragrant powders of diverse hues, and dancing with joyous hearts in accompaniment with instruments of different kinds made of brass.
- Surrounded by these who move with electric rapidity in the mazes of the dance or refrain at times altogether from forward or backward or transverse motion of every kind, Mahadeva dwells there.
- That delightful spot on the mountains, we have heard, is the favourite abode of the great Deity.
- It is said that that great god as also his associates are always present there.
- It was there that the goddess Uma practised the severest austerities for the sake of (obtaining for her lord) the three-eyed Deity.
- Hence, it is said, that spot is much liked by both Mahadeva and Uma.
- In days of yore there, on the heights of the Mahaparswa, which are situate to the north of the mountains sacred to Mahadeva, the sessions (yugas?), and the last Night(kAlarAtri), and many deities, and many human beings also (of the foremost order), in their embodied forms, had adored Mahadeva. ”
Further north there is a beautiful, blue, cloud like forest. A lovely lady tapasvi dwells there. Go and revere her and come back and you shall have my daughter’s hand in marriage.
On going north, aSTAvakra, came upon the river bahudaa.
- He bathed in the tIrtha and offered water to the dEvAs.
- He spread some kus’a grass and rested during the night.
- In the morning he performed agnihOtra with vedc chants.
- He worshipped rudra and uma.
- He rested at a lake in the course of the river.
Further he saw the mandAkini and the naLini.
- The Rakshasas led by maNibhadra, who protected the naLini lake came and received him with honour and informed him that kubEra was coming out to greet him.
- vais’rAvaNa (the son of vis’ravas, the son of pulastya) kubEra (the half brother of Ravana रावण) together with the yakSAs, Kinnaras, gandharvAs and Apsarasas, entertained him with music and dance. He spent a divya samvatsara there.
Further north, he crossed kailAsa, mandAra and the suvarNa parvatAs.
“Beyond those high and great mountains is situated that excellent region where Mahadeva, dressed as an humble ascetic, has taken up his residence. He circumambulated the spot, with concentrated mind, bending his head in reverence the while. Descending then on the Earth, he considered himself sanctified for having obtained a sight of that holy spot which is the abode of mahAdEva. Having circumambulated that mountain thrice, the Rishi, with face turned towards the north, proceeded with a joyous heart.”
Further north was a beautiful forest.
- It was adorned with the fruits and roots of every season,
- and it resounded with the music of winged warblers numbering by thousands.
- There were many delightful groves throughout the forest.
- The illustrious Rishi then beheld a charming hermitage.
- The Rishi saw also many golden hills decked with gems and possessed of diverse forms.
- In the begemmed soil he saw many lakes and tanks also.
- And he saw diverse other objects that were exceedingly delightful.
- Beholding these things, the mind of that Rishi of cleansed soul became filled with joy.
- He then saw a beautiful mansion made of gold and adorned with gems of many kinds. Of wonderful structure, that mansion surpassed the place of Kubera himself in every respect.
- Around it there were many hills and mounts of jewels and gems. Many beautiful cars and many heaps of diverse kinds of jewels also were visible in that place.
- The Rishi beheld there the river Mandakini whose waters were strewn with many Mandara flowers.
- Many gems also were seen there that were self-luminous, and the soil all around was decked with diamonds of diverse species.
- The palatial mansion which the Rishi saw contained many chambers whose arches were embellished with various kinds of stones. Those chambers were adorned also with nets of pearls interspersed with jewels and gems of different species. Diverse kinds of beautiful objects capable of stealing the heart and the eye, surrounded that palace. That delightful retreat was inhabited by numerous Rishis.
Retold by Satya Sarada Kandula, based on the translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli of the Mahabharata.