[Advaita-l] मदालसायाः आलोलिका (स्वापिका) (The Lullaby of Queen Madalasa)

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Wed Mar 2 13:01:43 CST 2016


In ब्रह्माण्डपुराणं, there is a beautiful episode called “ मदालसोपाख्यानम्” 
(the Madalasa Upakhyana) that details how a King named कुवलयाश्व (ऋतध्वजः)
[ KuvalayAswa (also Ritadhwaja)] married a great ब्रह्मवादिनी   
who was also the queen by name मदालसा  (Madalasa).

The king demonstrates great prowess in order to marry and 
finally gets the hand of the great queen Madalasa.  The couple, 
in due course of time give birth to 4 sons namely (1) Vikranta (विक्रान्त) 
(2) Subahu (सुबाहु)  (3) Shatrumardana (शत्रुमर्दन) (4) Alarka (अलर्क),  

When the first 3 sons were born, the names for them were 
selected and fixed by King himself. The King chose the 
names very selectively by considering the meanings and
assigning those attributes to his sons. For instance, the name 
“Vikranta” meant “One who posses great valour and courage; 
“Subahu” meant “One who posses powerful and beautiful hands 
and shoulders; “Shatrumardana” meant “One who conquers his enemies”. 

When King used to select the names, the Queen Madalasa 
used to laugh at the King’s choosy naming method.  Thus, when 
4th son was born, the King asked Madalasa to select a good 
name for her son as every time she was laughing at his selection of names. 
Thus, she named her 4th Son as “ALARKA” (अलर्क) and chanted the
 benedictory verse “चिरं जीवतु धर्मात्मा”” (Long Live by observing righteousness). 
The King was aghast at this name of his 4th son because the meaning of the 
name “Alarka” meant “Mad Dog”. He was dismayed at the naming of 
his beloved 4th son because the names of his first 3 three sons 
were very beautiful and meaningful.  

Meanwhile, at the birth of their every son (first three of them), 
Queen Madalasa used to put them (Vikranta, Subahu, Shatrumardana) 
in cradle and used to sing a Lullaby when they cried.  While rocking the cradle, 
the Queen Madalasa used to sing a Lullaby that was pregnant with 
“vedantic teaching”.  Right from the infancy, she induced “Atma Jnana” in
 the form of the Lullaby.  Thus, all the three sons became self-realized 
with the power of their mother’s Lullaby and lost interest in ruling the kingdom.  
Thus, all three retired to forest for performing tapas. 

The Lullaby Song of Queen Madalasa, thus came to be known as 
“మదాలస జోలపాట” in Telugu.  Thus, it can be concluded that the parents, 
especially, the mother can influence her child directly. The episode of 
Queen Madalasa stands testimony to the fact that “Mother is the First Teacher” 
at home and every mother should strive to become one like Queen Madalasa 
who had sown the seeds of spiritual knowledge to their children right from
infancy itself in the form of Lullaby every night. 

For the benefit of the readers, I am presenting that Lullaby in
the form of 8 slokas.   


शुद्धोऽसि रे बाल न तेऽस्ति नाम कृतं हि वै तत कल्पनयाधुनैव ।
पञ्चात्मकं देहमिदं न तेऽस्ति त्वं वास्य रे रोदिषि कस्य हेतोः ॥ (१)

O  Child ! For what reason you are crying? Don’t cry. Thou Art ever Pure and 
Eternal, devoid of Names and Forms. You are the form of Bliss, 
untouched by Sorrow.  You have superimposed the sorrow upon yourself
and owing to ignorance, are wailing.   The sorrow arose owing to the
false identity with body and hence experiencing sorrow which is
the cause of your cry.  Since, Thou Art Existence, Knowledge, Bliss 
Absolute and not the body consisting of 5 elements, 
where is the point in crying.  All these names and forms are ephemeral 
and are imaginary. .  So, don’t cry.

न वै भवान रोदिति विश्वजन्मा शब्दोऽयमासाद्य महीसमूहम ।
विकल्प्यमानो विविधैर्गुणार्थैः गुणाश्च भूताः सकलेन्द्रियेषु ॥ (२)

Don’t Cry ! Thou Art Ishwara – the Creator and Lord of the Universe.   
As the creation is a “vikalpa” born out of ignorance, 
where is the point in wailing and crying?  Hence, don’t cry.

भूतानि भूतोपरि दुर्बलानि वृद्धिं समायान्ति तथेह पुंसाम ।
अन्नाम्बुदानादिभिरेककस्य न तेऽस्ति वृद्धिर्न च तेऽस्ति हानिः ॥ (३)

Just as the gross elements with combination among themselves,
is subjected to increase (वृद्धि) and decrease (क्षय), 
similarly, this body, made of gross elements, too, is 
subjected to change and decay.  The Inner Self (Atman) is 
beyond these attributes, untouched.  And, Thou Art That.  
Hence, don’t cry.

त्वं कञ्चुके सज्यमानो निजेस्मिन्नस्मिंश्च देहे मूढतां न व्रजेथाः ।
शुभाशुभैः कर्मभिर्देहमेनं मदाभिमूढैः कञ्चुकेऽस्मिन्पिनद्धः ॥ (४)

Thou, having worn this armor called “body”, becoming deluded, 
are identifying with it.  Thou Art the Witness but out of ignorance 
and under the influence of “I-ness” and “My-ness” are 
trapped in the meshes of samsAra.  
Hence, don’t cry.

तातेति किञ्चित्तनयेति किञ्चित अम्बेति किञ्चिदपितेति किञ्चित ।
तवेति किञ्चिन्न ममेति किञ्चिद्भौतेषु सर्वं मुहुरालयेथाः ॥ (५)

By getting entangled in the mesh of Ignorance called samsAra,
this “body” is identified sometimes with father, sometimes with son, 
sometimes with mother, sometimes with brother, sometimes as a 
relative, as a friend as a foe etc. in several births down the line. 
All these are due to false identity of attachment with the 
body owing to Ignorance.  This ignorance is due to non-awareness 
of the identity with the Supreme Innermost Self which is of the form of Bliss.

दुःखञ्च दुःखोपशमं शमाय भोगाय जानाति विमूढचेताः ।
तान्येव दुःखानि पुनः सुखानि जानाति विद्वानविमूढचेताः ॥ (६)

In order to do away with sorrows, the ignorant fool runs after 
momentary pleasures.  The intelligent, having endowed with 
power of discrimination, would strive to do away with 
both pleasures and pains.  For him, just as pain is an obstruction, 
so as the pleasure.  Such a person is called “vidvAn”.  
Thou Art That.  Hence, don’t cry.

सहोत्थितं दर्शनमक्षियुग्मं अत्युज्ज्वलं तत्कलुषं वसायाः ।
कुचोऽति पीनं पिशितं घनं तत्स्थानं ततः किन्नरकं न योषित ॥ (७)

Upon careful observation of the anatomy of a woman, one comes
to the conclusion that it is made up of flesh.  Not knowing this,
the deluded men run after them and thus, thus, end up in 
getting entangled in pain and  cycle of birth and death.

यानं क्षितौ यानगतं च देहं देहेऽपिचान्यः पुरुषो निविष्टः ।
ममत्वमथ्याॅन्न तथा यथा स्वे देहेऽतिमात्रं च न मूढतैषा ॥ (८)

On this earth, take birth several bodies endowed upAdhis.  
These are subjected to change (called yAna) (यान). But, there is a 
Supreme Self called “Purusha” who is seated inside the body
who is Eternal and Witness.  Thou Art That, O Child!  Don’t identify 
yourself with the yAna but Thou Art that Supreme Purusha.  
Hence, don’t cry.

Note: समानेप्यभिमानविषये देहे एव दृढं अभिमानं कुर्वन्नति मूढ इत्याह यानं इति 
(ie., the Jiva abhimana is called yAna)


Thus, everyday, the Queen Madalasa used to sing the above Lullaby.  
In no time, her first 3 children namely (1) Vikranta (विक्रान्त) (2) Subahu (सुबाहु)  
(3) Shatrumardana (शत्रुमर्दन) got vairAgya, left the kingdom and 
went to forest for performing severe penance. 

Hence, the King Kuvalayaswa got annoyed and tell his 
queen not make the 4th son Alarka (अलर्क)  a virakta.  
Accordingly, Alarka was initiated into pravrutti-mArga by his mother madAlasa. 
Later, with the grace of jagatguru dattAtrEya, the 4th one also gets the 

Dedicating this mail to all those glorious mothers.


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