Louis Jacolliot - The Bible in India - 01 The Story of Krishna: Vischnou appears to Lakmy/Birth of the Virgin
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Louis Jacolliot - The Bible in India – Chapter IX
We shall simply describe, according to the most incontestable Hindoo authorities, the life of the Virgin Devanaguy, and that of her divine son, reserving for the present, all comment and comparison.
The sister of the Rajah, mother of the infant, some days before her accouchement, had a dream, in which Vischnou, appearing to her in all the eclat of his splendour, came to reveal to her the future destinies of the expected child.
“Thou shalt call the infant Devanaguy" (in Sanscrit, formed by or for God), said he to the mother, "for it is through her that the designs of God should be accomplished. Let no animal food ever approach her lips - rice, honey, and milk should be her only sustenance. Above all, preserve her from union with a man by marriage - he, and all who would have aided in the act before its accomplishment, would die."
The little girl at her birth received the name of Devanaguy, as had been commanded; and her mother, fearing that in the palace of her brother, who was a wicked man, she might not be able to fulfil the prescription of God, conveyed her to the house of one of her relatives, named Nanda, lord of a small village on the banks of the Ganges and celebrated for his virtues. Her brother, to whom she announced her departure on pilgrimage to the sacred river, fearing the murmurs of the people, dared not oppose her designs.
Nevertheless, to show his discontent, he but allowed her a most mediocre escort; consisting only of two elephants, which would scarcely have been sufficient for a woman of low extraction.
Towards evening, scarcely had Lakmy commenced her march, when a suite, composed of more than a hundred elephants, caparisoned in gold, and conducted by men sumptuously clothed, joined her; and as night was come, a column of fire appeared in the air to guide them, to the sound of mysterious music that seemed to come from heaven.
And all those who assisted at this marvellous departure understood that it was not ordinary, and that the mother and the infant were protected by the Lord.
The Rajah of Madura became exceedingly jealous, and urged by the prince of the Rackchasos, who desired to thwart the views of Vischnou, sent, by side road, armed men to disperse the escort and bring back his sister to his palace.
He would then have said – “You see the roads are not safe, and you cannot hope to make so long a journey without danger; send a holy hermit in your place, and he will accomplish your vow."
But scarcely had the soldiers whom he had sent, come in sight of the escort of Lakmy, when, enlightened by the Spirit of God, they joined themselves to it, to protect the mother and infant en route.
And the Rajah became furious on hearing of the failure of his evil action. The same night it was made known to him in in a dream, that of Devanaguy would be born a Son, who would dethrone and chastise him for all his crimes.
He then thought to conceal his dark projects in his heart, assured that later he would easily succeed in enticing his niece to his court, should his sister refuse to return to him, and that it would be possible for him to effect her death, and escape the fate with which he was menaced.
The better to conceal his design, he sent messengers loaded with many presents to be conveyed to Lakmy, for presentation to their relation Nanda.
The journey of Lakmy to the banks of the Ganges was but a triumphal march; from all sides the population crowded her passage, saying amongst themselves – “What queen is this who possesses such a splendid escort, this must be the wife of the most powerful prince of the earth." And from all parts they brought her flowers to strew the way, and fruits and rich presents.
But what most astonished the crowd was the beauty of the young Devanaguy, who, although but a few days old, had already the serious countenance of a woman, seeming to understand what passed around her and the admiration of which she was the object.
During the journey, which lasted sixty days, the column of fire, invisible with the sun, reappeared at night, and never ceased to direct the cortege until its arrival. And, most wonderful - the tigers, panthers, and wild elephants, far from flying, as usual, with terror at the approach of man, came gently to observe the suite of Lakmy; and their howling became as tender as the songs of nightingales, that they might not frighten the infant.
Nanda, informed of the arrival of his relative, by a messenger from Vischnou, came two days march from his habitation to meet her, followed by all his servants, and the moment he perceived Devanaguy-he saluted her by the name of mother; saying to all those who were astonished at the word, " she will be mother to us all, for of her will be born the Spirit that shall regenerate us”.