Narada and Daksha's sons Haryashvas
Narada and Haryashvas

Who are Haryashva (हर्यश्व) ?

Haryashva (हर्यश्व) refers to the sons of Daksha and his wife Asikni.

The Haryashvas were ten thousand in number, begotten by Daksha for the purpose of increasing the population of earth. The sage Narada dissuaded them from producing offspring and they dispersed themselves through the regions and never returned.

Puzzles asked by Narada to Haryashvas

तथैकपुरुषं राष्ट्रं बिलं चाद‍ृष्टनिर्गमम् ।
बहुरूपां स्त्रियं चापि पुमांसं पुंश्चलीपतिम् ॥ 1 ॥

नदीमुभयतो वाहां पञ्चपञ्चाद्भ‍ुतं गृहम् ।
क्‍वचिद्धंसं चित्रकथं क्षौरपव्यं स्वयं भ्रमि ॥ 2 ॥

  1. There is a kingdom where only one man lives
  2. Where there is a hole from which, having entered, no one emerges.
  3. A woman there who is extremely lustful adorns herself with various attractive dresses.
  4. The man who lives there is her husband.
  5. In that kingdom, there is a river flowing in both directions.
  6. A wonderful home made of twenty-five materials.
  7. A swan that vibrates various sounds.
  8. An automatically revolving object made of sharp razors and thunderbolts. You have not seen all this, and therefore you are inexperienced boys without advanced knowledge. How, then, will you create progeny?

Answer understood by Haryashvas for the Puzzles.

भू: क्षेत्रं जीवसंज्ञं यदनादि निजबन्धनम् ।
अद‍ृष्ट्वा तस्य निर्वाणं किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 1॥

The word “bhūḥ” [“the earth”] refers to the field of activities. The material body, which is a result of the living being’s actions, is his field of activities, and it gives him false designations. This body is the root cause of bondage to the material world. If one foolishly engages in temporary fruitive activities and does not look toward the cessation of this bondage, what will be the benefit of his actions?

एक एवेश्वरस्तुर्यो भगवान् स्वाश्रय: पर: ।
तमद‍ृष्ट्वाभवं पुंस: किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 2॥

[Kingdom where there is only one male. ] The only enjoyer is the Supreme God, who is present in all three state ( Waking, Dream, Deep Sleep ) and present as “Turiya” the who observes everything, everywhere. If human do not understand Him, the Supreme through their advancement in knowledge and activities, what will be the benefit of their activities?

पुमान्नैवैति यद्गत्वा बिलस्वर्गं गतो यथा ।
प्रत्यग्धामाविद इह किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 3॥

[There is a hole, from which, having entered, one does not return] Like a person who has entered the “Patala” is not seen to return. Similarly one should enter the light of Supreme God, from where there is no return. What will be the profit?

नानारूपात्मनो बुद्धि: स्वैरिणीव गुणान्विता ।
तन्निष्ठामगतस्येह किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 4॥

[ A woman who is a prostitute] Mixed with the mode of passion, the unsteady intelligence of every living entity is like a prostitute who changes dresses just to attract one’s attention. If one fully engages in temporary fruitive activities, not understanding how this is taking place, what does he actually gain?

तत्सङ्गभ्रंशितैश्वर्यं संसरन्तं कुभार्यवत् ।
तद्गतीरबुधस्येह किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 5॥

[ A man who is the husband of the prostitute] If one becomes the husband of a prostitute, he loses all independence. Similarly, if a living entity has polluted intelligence, he prolongs his materialistic life. Frustrated by material nature, he must follow the movements of the intelligence, which brings various conditions of happiness and distress. If one performs fruitive activities under such conditions, what will be the benefit?

सृष्ट्यप्ययकरीं मायां वेलाकूलान्तवेगिताम् ।
मत्तस्य तामविज्ञस्य किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 6॥

[ A river flowing in both directions] Maya is the river flowing in both directions, who does both functions of creation and dissolution. Thus the river of Maya flows both ways. A living entity who unknowingly falls in this river is submerged in its waves, and since the current is swifter near the banks of the river, he is unable to get out. What will be the benefit of performing fruitive activities in that river of Maya?

पञ्चविंशतितत्त्वानां पुरुषोऽद्भ‍ुतदर्पण: ।
अध्यात्ममबुधस्येह किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 7॥

[ A house made of twenty-five elements ] The Supreme Lord is the reservoir of the twenty-five elements, and as the Supreme Being, the conductor of cause and effect, He causes their manifestation. If one engages in temporary fruitive activities, not knowing that Supreme Person, what benefit will he derive?

ऐश्वरं शास्त्रमुत्सृज्य बन्धमोक्षानुदर्शनम् ।
विविक्तपदमज्ञाय किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 8॥

[A swan] The Vedic literatures [shastras] which describe the Supreme Lord. The swan is one who discriminates between matter and spirit, who accepts the essence of everything, and who explains the means of bondage and the means of liberation. If a foolish leaves aside the study of these shastras to engage in temporary activities, what will be the result?

कालचक्रं भ्रमि तीक्ष्णं सर्वं निष्कर्षयज्जगत् ।
स्वतन्त्रमबुधस्येह किमसत्कर्मभिर्भवेत् ॥ 9॥

[Physical object made of sharp blades and thunderbolts] Death moves very sharply, as if made of razors and thunderbolts. Uninterrupted and fully independent, it drives the activities of the entire world. If one does not try to study the eternal element of time, what benefit can he derive from performing temporary material activities?

शास्त्रस्य पितुरादेशं यो न वेद निवर्तकम् ।
कथं तदनुरूपाय गुणविस्रम्भ्युपक्रमेत् ॥ 10॥

[ How one could ignorantly defy one’s own father] Shastra is the father, since one is offered a sacred thread at the beginning of study of shastras being called as second birth. All the shastra instruct that one should end his material way of life. If one does not know the purpose of the father’s orders, he is ignorant. The words of a material father who endeavors to engage his son in material activities are not the real instructions of the father.


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