The Mahavastu (great story)

by J. J. Jones | 1949 | 502,133 words | ISBN-10: 086013041X

This page describes kusha-jataka which is Chapter XXXII of the English translation of the Mahavastu (“great story”), dating to the 2nd-century BC. This work belongs to the Mahasanghika school of early Buddhism and contains narrative stories of the Buddha’s former lives, such as Apadanas, Jatakas and more..

Chapter XXXII - The Kuśa-jātaka

When the monks had heard this exposition of how wicked Māra with his might and his host had been routed by the Exalted One at the foot of the bodhi tree by the mere sound of his cough, they said to him, “Behold, Lord, how wondrous a feat of the Lion-man, of him who has curbed pride and anger, it was, that by a mere cough of the Exalted One Māra and the flower of his army should have been defeated. By one single man, who was without an ally, but who had a heart full of love and was thoughtful, many nayutas of Yakṣas, the flower of the army, were vanquished at the mere sound of his cough. Together with the lions, tigers, hyenas, panthers and elephants[1] and the flower of his army (420) wicked Māra, who brings wickedness in his train and is bent on working iniquity, was vanquished by the lone moon-faced One. How was it that he with the flower of his army was vanquished by the mere sound of a cough?”

The Exalted One replied, “What is there marvellous, monks, in that Māra, his might and his host, should be routed at the foot of the bodhi tree, with the mere sound of a cough, by the Tathāgata who had won supreme enlightenment? There was even another occasion when the Wicked One with the flower of his army was routed by me with the mere sound of my cough when I was a young prince.” The monks asked, “Was there another occasion, Lord?” The Exalted One replied, “Yes, monks.”

Once upon a time, monks, long ago, in the city of Benares, in the province of Kāśi, there was a king named Subandhu,[2] who was righteous, mighty, powerful and rich, ruling over a kingdom containing sixty thousand cities, a kingdom which was thriving and rich and in which force, lawsuits and thievery had been abolished. It was peaceful, well-supplied with food, free from calamities and disturbances, and thickly populated. Now King Subandhu had sixty thousand elephants with tusks of ivory, housings of gold, adornment of golden ornaments, hoofs of coral, and men riding on them.[3] He had sixty thousand horses from Sindh, fleet of foot and decked out with all sorts of trappings; sixty thousand chariots covered with skins of lions, tigers and leopards, merrily rattling as they rolled on, with banners and pennons flying;[4] sixty thousand cows all in heat; sixty thousand women with pendant jewels on their ear-rings, and arrayed in all kinds of finery; sixty thousand couches of gold, silver and ivory; sixty thousand vessels of gold and sixty thousand of silver, and sixty thousand treasuries. Twenty thousand brāhmans always sat at his table. He had abundant wealth in his treasury and granary, abundant female and male slaves, servants, ministers (421) and army officers, and an abundant supply of engines of war and bowstrings.

Now in the bed-chamber of King Subandhu there appeared a large clump of sugar-canes. In the middle of this clump of sugar-canes there appeared one cane more splendid than all the rest, excelling the others in strength, colour, brilliance and foliage. When King Subandhu saw this he wondered, and embarked upon a sea of thought. “What is this a portent of?” pondered he. “Is it a good omen or a bad one?” He summoned the brāhmans, the household priests and the royal advisers, and told them about it. “Sirs,” said he, “in my bedchamber there has appeared a large clump of sugar-canes. In the middle of the clump there is one cane more splendid than all the rest, excelling the others in colour, brilliance and foliage. Examine it, sirs, and ascertain what it is a portent of? Is it a good[5] omen or a bad one? Now do what you have to do.”

Then the brāhmans, household priests and royal advisers examined the clump of sugar-canes, and saw that it was marvellous, lovely, beautiful and pleasant to look on. When they had seen it they greeted King Subandhu with cries of “Victory to the king!” and said to him, “Good luck and increase to your majesty. It is a good omen that has appeared in your palace. From that clump of sugar-canes a young prince will issue who will be virtuous, powerful, mighty, unassailable, irresistible, invincible, charming and beautiful in the eyes of devas and men. Let this be acceptable to your majesty.”

The brāhmans were regaled and entertained by King Subandhu with an exquisite feast of solid and soft food, given a large quantity[6] of gold and dismissed.

Now that clump of sugar-canes grew day and night, and after a time became a tall clump. And the one cane in the middle grew to be the size of a bamboo,[7] smooth, lovely, of good girth, excelling all the other canes.

King Subandhu had (422) a chief queen, named Surucirā,[8] who was charming, lovely, noble of mien, and possessing perfect beauty of complexion.[9] King Subandhu lay down with the chief queen Surucirā on the royal bed, which was begirt with vows of festoons of woven silk, fragrant with perfumes, strewn with garlands and [lit][10] by candlesticks of gold and silver, while hunchbacks, dwarfs, pigmies, eunuchs and chamberlains were in attendance.

Then in the last watch of the night, at sunrise, there issued from the sugar-cane, from the bottom of the stalk,[11] a young boy, who was charming, lovely, noble of mien, and possessing perfect beauty of complexion. The young boy was received by Queen Surucirā.

King Subandhu was amazed when he saw this young boy issuing from the sugar-cane. “How marvellous!” said he. “What will this being become who has issued from a sugarcane?” And King Subandhu celebrated joyful birthday festivities for the boy which lasted a whole week. For seven days he distributed among recluses, brāhmans, the poor and the vagrants and the rest of a large crowd, drink, solid and soft food, perfumes, garlands, ointments, clothes, and sesamum oil, ghee, and other kinds of drink ran in streams. A great crowd of kinsfolk assembled, and many hundred kings and many thousand brāhmans. There was great rejoicing in the home of Subandhu. Hundreds of musical instruments were played and there were hundreds of choruses. The whole city was en fete[12] for a whole week.

When King Subandhu had worthily[13] observed the birthday celebrations for seven days, he spoke to the brāhmans, household priests, and royal advisers, and said to them, “Sirs, give a fitting name to the boy.” And they reflected, “The boy was born of a sugar-cane, let his name then be Ikṣvāku.”[14] They reported to the king and said to him, “Your majesty, (423) this boy was born of a sugar-cane, let his name then be Ikṣvāku.” King Subandhu was delighted on hearing the boy's name from the brāhmans, and the name was fixed on him. Others also were delighted on hearing the boy’s name.

King Subandhu entertained those brāhmans with a plentiful supply of solid and soft food, gave them a large quantity of gold and dismissed them.

King Subandhu appointed four competent nurses to attend the boy. One of them anointed[15] him and lulled him to sleep,[16] another suckled him, another washed away the faeces and urine from him, and the fourth carried him in her arms. Thus perfectly waited on and cared for by the four nurses Prince Ikṣvāku grew apace, like a lotus[17] on the banks of a pool. As has been said by the Exalted One,

The righteous man grows like the banyan tree on a fertile soil; but the unrighteous becomes stunted[18] like a tree planted in the roadway.

And so the lad grew up. When he was seven or eight years old he was taught reading, writing, calculation,[19] numeration,[20] reckoning with the fingers,[21] mnemonics,[22] riding the elephant and the horse, using bows and bamboos, running, jumping, racing, swimming, archery, fighting, cutting, stabbing, leading an army, and king-craft. At all times he was resolutely devoted to virtue,[23] dutiful to his mother, respectful to recluses and brāhmans, politely rising up from his seat to greet them. He had graciousness and gentleness. He was not coarse and surly, but modest and sociable;[24] not forward in talking,[25] but pleasant-spoken. He was beloved by the king, (424) the queen, the women of the palace, the ministers, all the army,[26] the household priests, the merchants, town and country people, and even rival kings. He was dear and charming. He enjoyed good health, and had a regular and perfect digestion, a digestive warmth neither too hot nor too cold. He was destined to live to a great age, the term of his life being eighty-four thousand years. As has been said by the Exalted One,

All[27] beings are doomed to die, for life has death as its end. They will pass on in accordance with their karma, reaping the reward of virtue or of sin.

Those whose deeds are evil will go to hell; the virtuous will go to heaven. Others who have cultivated the Way will go on to final release, rid of all the āśravas.

Now when King Subandhu, after ruling his kingdom righteously for a long time, was eighty-four years of age, he, being subject to the conditions of time, died. Prince Ikṣvāku succeeded to the throne, and as king of Benares and the sixty thousand cities of his father he quelled violence and put down rivals and foes. He was free from troubles, had devoted subjects, and was powerful and mighty, having a great army and a large harem of many thousands of women. But all of these last were without offspring; not one had a son or daughter.

Then King Ikṣvāku, after reigning some time, embarked on a sea of reflection. “I have a wide realm,” reflected he, “and an extensive harem, yet I have no son. I fear that I will go on being childless until I die. Then this country will be invaded by enemies.” King Ikṣvāku consulted with his household priest. “How may I have a son?” he asked him. The household priest replied, “Your majesty, you must let out[28] the women of your harem[29] three times[30] a fortnight, on the eighth, the fourteenth and fifteenth days. Then you will have a son (425) and the family of Ikṣvāku will become extensive.”

When King Ikṣvāku had heard these words of the household priest, he kept Alindā his chief queen in the palace, but let out[31] all the other thousands of women three times a week. “Go,” said he to them, “let each of you take your pleasure with whatever man she likes.” So, from the king’s court there gladly streamed out, like coy does, many thousands of women, decked out in their finery. They went up to various doors. Some chattered as they sought to allure,[32] others laughed, and others went about chasing men. All men were reeling and all were bewildered. And in King Ikṣvāku’s city the men were agitated and bewildered by these mistresses of the king.

Then a certain man of the family of Subandhu, being related to it by birth, who, in his life as a human being, had been of good behaviour in deed, speech and thought and had lived following the path of the ten virtues, passed away from the world of men and was reborn among the devas of Trāyastriṃśa, as a king’s son named Śakra.[33] Reflecting, he asked himself, “I wonder among what group[34] King Subandhu is sojourning? Is he living or is he dead?” Then he realised that King Subandhu was dead, and that his son named īkṣvāku was reigning in his stead. He saw that his household priest had counselled an unjust, unseemly and improper course to King Ikṣvāku, advising him to let out his harem three times a fortnight in order that he might have descendants.

Then Śakra, the lord of devas, disguised himself as a brāhman who was decrepit, aged, senile, advanced in years, and past his prime. His body was covered with wrinkles, his head hoary, and his limbs black with freckles. He came to King Ikṣvāku’s door and said, “I want to see Ikṣvāku.” The door-keeper went into the palace and reported this to the king. (426) “Your majesty,” said he, “there is a brāhman at the door who wants to see the king.” King Ikṣvāku replied, “Give a welcome to the brāhman and let him come in.” And the door-keeper led the brāhman into the palace.

When the king saw the old brāhman he stood up and said, “I bid you welcome, brāhman. Pray sit down, here is a seat for you.” The brāhman hailed the king and went in. The king then asked him, “From what land do you come, O brāhman? What do you seek? What is your pleasure?[35] What can I give you?”

The brāhman replied, “Your majesty, I am come from a far land, having heard of your noble fame and repute. And I have heard, too, that King Ikṣvāku three times every fortnight lets out the women of his harem in the hope of getting descendants. And so, O king, I have come from that far land in order to get a woman. Therefore provide me with a woman.”

When the king heard the brāhman’s words he was pleased and glad, and he called to the chamberlain. “Ho, there, chamberlain,” said he, “make haste to show my harem to this brāhman. Give him whatever woman pleases him.” The chamberlain led the brāhman into the harem, into the midst of several thousands of women, and said, “Brāhman, here is the harem of King Ikṣvāku. Whatever woman is desirable to you, take her and go.”

Now of all those many thousands of women, she who was King Ikṣvāku’s chief wife, the queen named Alindā, and who had never gone out of the harem, was the one chosen by the brāhman. “Let her be mine,” said he. But the queen wept[36] and said “This brāhman is old enough to be my grandfather[37] or great-grandfather,[38] or even a still more remote ancestor. King Ikṣvāku is loyal to his vow and he will not let me go to serve and wait on this brāhman.”

Alindā’s hunchbacked garland-maker was there twining[39] garlands. The hunchbacked woman (427) railed at the brāhman and said, “Brāhman, you are decrepit, aged and senile, yet you desire a tender woman. No tender woman would touch you with either hand or foot. Go to. What have you to do with Queen Alindā? King Ikṣvāku will not let her go.”

The brāhman answered the hunchbacked woman and said, “You are an idle dame, hunchback, go on twining your garlands. I am dear to Queen Alindā, as neither you nor others are.”

Queen Alindā had another slave whose duty it was to grind[40] face-powder.[41] And she, too, railed at the brāhman and said to him, “Brāhman, you are decrepit, aged and senile. You will make the bed-clothes smell with a foul smell. The queen has no desire to see you, not to speak of touching[42] you. Go away. What is Queen Alindā to you? Besides, King Ikṣvāku will not let her go.” But the brāhman replied to the slave, “You are an idle dame. Get on with grinding face-powder. I am dear to Queen Alindā, as neither you nor others are.”

Then Queen Alindā said, “This brāhman shall by no means carry me off.” She sobbed loudly and wept. And while the queen wept her attendants, too, wept, so that there was a loud noise of wailing in the harem. King Ikṣvāku, who was on the upper terrace, heard the loud and great wailing in the harem, and he questioned the eunuchs and chamberlains, saying, “Ho, there, what is this noise of wailing women that I hear?” The eunuchs and chamberlains answered and said, “Sire, Queen Alindā has been chosen by that brāhman, and he says, ‘King Ikṣvāku has given me the choice to take whatever woman pleases me. So let this one be mine.’ And so Queen Alindā weeps, and as she weeps, her attendants, too, set up their wailing.”

When he had heard them say this he entered his harem and railed at the brāhman. “You are a decrepit and aged old man,” said he. “If you wish to eat and drink permanently in the palace, I shall let you do so. But what can you have to do with Queen Alindā? Choose another woman.”

The brāhman replied, “Your majesty, (428) it is true that I am decrepit and aged and afflicted with a cough.[43] Every now and then I faint. I have not the strength to get up myself, and thus I wet my bed. So give her to me, and she will serve me and wait on me. May it not be that my lord Ikṣvāku, having given me the choice of a woman, should afterwards go back on his word. For then I should go and tell people that my lord Ikṣvāku breaks his promises.”[44]

The king replied, “O brāhman, I do not break my promises. Nor do I go back on my word when I have offered a gift. But you are decrepit and aged, while the queen here is tender and delicate, and so she can not desire you. My harem is crowded with many thousands of women. Take the woman that pleases you. Have your pleasure with her, and she shall wait on you.” But the brāhman answered and said, “Enough, your majesty. Let her be mine, who proudly stands there, faultless of limb and bashful of look.[45] Let her be mine who proudly stands there, faultless of limb, with eyes like a doe’s. Let her be mine who proudly stands there, faultless of limb, bathing her face with tears. Talk no more to me, your majesty, of your harem. Let this queen be mine. She will set me on my feet, wait on me and serve me. Let not my lord Ikṣvāku go back on his word after giving me the choice of a woman, and so on as above as far as I will go and tell people, etc.”

The king answered as before as far as “You are decrepit and aged, etc.” Then “Here is this common hunchback, eager for love, though she be but a slave. Let her be yours. Take her where you will, and she will wait on you.” But the hunchback said, “Your majesty, this brāhman is malodorous and wrinkled and hoary-headed. He has the nasty smell of the jujube flower, and he stinks like a goat. I’ll kill myself by taking poison, if your majesty gives me to him. Or I’ll secretly do away with this tottering dotard.”

Then the brāhman said:—

(429) “I’ll be at enmity with all the hunchbacks that cumber the earth, just because this common hunchback wants to kill me.

“Talk no more, your majesty, of this hunchback. Let the queen be mine. She will serve me and wait on me. My lord, do not go back on your word after you have given me the choice of a woman, or I shall go and tell people that you break your promises.”

The king replied, “O brāhman, I do not break my promises, nor do I go back on my word when I have offered a gift. Yet you are a decrepit old man, while the queen is tender and delicate, and so cannot desire you. Were you young, then the queen would yearn for you. However, I am not a man who breaks his promises, so go, take Queen Alindā, and lead her wherever you wish.”

When the brāhman heard King Ikṣvāku he was delighted, glad and pleased. He embraced Queen Alindā, brought her to the entrance and fell over her. Loud laughter arose among the thousands of women. “The queen has gotten her a fine handsome man,” said they. But the brāhman seized the sobbing and tearfully protesting queen by the hand, drew and dragged her along and embraced[46] her now and again. Panting and gasping, passing water all over the place, he firmly held the weeping and genuinely sick[47] queen. In utter despondence she was dragged out of Rājagṛha,[48] banished and made disconsolate.

In a poor hamlet outside the city-walls the brāhman had constructed a crazy and rickety shed, and in it he had arranged grass and leaves on a rickety couch and placed a broken pitcher of water. Into this shed Queen Alindā was made to enter, her garments spoilt and ruined, her jewels broken and torn off, as were all other marks of elegance. (430) And she who had never touched the ground with her feet, had her shoes wrenched off, and her bare feet were broken and torn.

Then the brāhman sat down in the rickety shed and said, “Lady, dress yourself smartly.[49] Wash my feet, and then your own. Then delight me. When I am delighted, it will mean a boon for you,[50] lady. Delight me perfectly with joys, lady. Delight me with talk, lady. Delight me with dallying, lady.” And so for the queen the whole night was spent in listening to his crying, “Now delight me, delight me; raise me up, put me in bed, put me in bed.”

But when the night was past and the sun rose, Śakra stood before her in his own form, his celestial body adorned with bracelets and ear-rings, and shining with sublime beauty. He became the king of devas, wearing fine and bright ear-rings, and as he emitted his radiance the whole shed was lit up with his splendour. Queen Alindā, seeing Śakra, the lord of devas, thus in his own form was intoxicated with passion. “What was I about,” said she to herself, “that I did not take my pleasure with him?”

Śakra, the lord of devas, offered Queen Alindā the choice of a boon.

I am Śakra, the lord of devas, the sovereign of Trāyastriṃśa. Choose a boon of me, lady, whatever you wish for in your heart.

Then Queen Alindā, raising her joined hands in adoration of Śakra, lord of the devas, said to him, “Śakra offers me the choice of a boon. My reply is that I choose the boon of a son.” Indra gave her a medicinal pill, saying, “Stir this in water and swallow it. Then you will have a son, who will be like a lion, strong, and able to crush his foes. In prowess there will be no one in the world equal to him. But he will be ill-favoured of complexion and form, because you did not provide me with the thrill of love.” And Indra, (431) having granted this boon to Queen Alindā, caused the rickety old shed to disappear and rejoined the company of the devas in Trāyastriṃśa.

Queen Alindā tied up the medicinal pill in a corner of her garment and entered the palace, her countenance like the lotus and her senses unruffled.[51] “So,” said she, “of all the numerous harem it is I who will have a son.”

King Ikṣvāku, from a distance, saw Queen Alindā come in by the entrance hall, with her countenance like the lotus and her senses unruffled. The king questioned the queen, saying, “Your countenance is like the lotus and your senses unruffled. Did you have pleasure as you lay abed at night? Did you experience the joys of dallying? Or did you find a noble and good man?” The queen replied, “Sire, how could I have pleasure as I lay abed, or experience the joys of dallying? That man was Indra, who had come here in the disguise of a brāhman. The whole night was spent with him crying ‘Raise me up, put me back in bed.’ And when the night was passing into day, at sunrise, he threw off his brāhman’s disguise and stood up in his own form as Indra, irradiating all quarters with his radiance. He offered me a boon, saying, ‘Choose a boon, lady.

“‘I am Śakra, lord of the devas, sovereign of Trāyastriṃśa. Choose a boon of me, lady, whatever you wish for in your heart.’

“Thereupon, sire, I asked for the boon of a son, saying to him, ‘Grant me the boon of a son.’ And Śakra gave me a medicinal pill, bidding me stir it in water and swallow it. Then I should have a son who would sit on the throne.[52] In prowess there would not be his equal in the world. But he would be ill-favoured in complexion and in form, because I did not provide Śakra with the joy of rapture.”

When the king heard this (432) he was wroth with the queen. “Why did you not provide him with the joy of rapture as you were bidden by me to do?” In his anger the king snatched away his queen’s pill, ground it on a stone, stirred it in water and gave it to his four hundred and ninety-nine[53] young brāhman queens to drink on a blade of kuśa grass.[54] But Queen Alindā was not given to drink of the medicinal pill, lest she should beget an ill-favoured son.

The queen questioned her slaves, saying, “What has become of the medicinal pill?” The slaves replied, “Your majesty, your pill was seized by the king, who ground it on a millstone[55] and gave it to his four hundred and ninety-nine young brāhman queens to drink.” The queen asked, “On what millstone was the pill ground?” A slave replied, “On this millstone here, your majesty.” Then Queen Alindā poured a drop of water on the millstone and by means of a blade of kuśa grass drank it with the tip of her tongue. The queen too thus conceived, and so the five hundred became pregnant.

The five hundred queens were delivered after nine or ten months. Four hundred and ninety-nine princes were born who were beautiful, handsome, noble of appearance, and endowed with a perfect beauty of complexion. A son was born to Alindā also, but he was ugly, repulsive, thick-lipped, thickheaded, thick-footed, pot-bellied, and black, the colour of a heap of soot.

The eunuchs and chamberlains reported this to the king.” Your majesty,” said they, “four hundred and ninety-nine queens have been delivered of four hundred and ninety-nine princes, who are beautiful and handsome, but to Queen Alindā has been born a son who is ugly and repulsive, thick-lipped, thick-headed, thick-footed, pot-bellied, and black, the colour of a heap of soot.” (433) When King Ikṣvāku heard this he was enraged and distressed, and he said, “Seeing that I did not give any of the pill to the queen to drink, so as to prevent her having a son, how comes it that a son is born to her?” The eunuchs and chamberlains replied, “Your majesty, after you had ground that pill on the millstone, the queen poured a drop of water on the stone and by means of a blade of kuśa grass drank it with the tip of her tongue. That is how a son has been born to the queen.” The king said, “Let the queen’s son never stand before me. I have no wish to see such a son.”

But when King Ikṣvāku heard of the beauty of the four hundred and ninety-nine princes he was glad and joyful. Merry birth festivities were celebrated for seven days in honour of the beautiful princes, but none in honour of Alindā’s son. He distributed food and drink, solid and soft edibles, clothes, perfumes, garlands and ointments. Sesamum oil, ghee, and various kinds of drink flowed in streams. Four nurses were assigned to each young prince. One anointed him and lulled him to sleep;[56] another washed away the faeces and urine from him; another suckled him, and the fourth carried him about in her arms. But no nurse was given to the queen’s son; Queen Alindā’s own attendants were assigned him. Thus, then, were those princes brought up and reared.

King Ikṣvāku gave all the five hundred young princes names compounded with the word kuśa. One was named Indrakuśa, another Brahmakuśa, another Devakuśa, another Ṛṣikuśa, another Kusumakuśa, another Drumakuśa, another Ratnakuśa, another Mahākuśa, another Hamṣakuśa, another Kroñcakuśa, another Mayūrakuśa, and so on; all were given names compounded with kuśa. But to Queen Alindā’s son, the name Kuśa simply was given.

(434) Then King Ikṣvāku gave to all the four hundred and ninety-nine princes children’s toys of various kinds, but he did not give a toy to Kuśa, Queen Alindā’s son. So Kuśa, when he desired a toy, took those of his brothers, and when he had done playing and amusing himself with them he gave them back. In the same way King Ikṣvāku gave to those princes carriages of various kinds to play with, right royal elephant-carriages, horse-carriages and chariots. But he gave no carriage to Kuśa. When Kuśa wanted a carriage, whether an elephant-carriage, a horse-carriage, a chariot, a team-carriage, a palanquin, a war-chariot,[57] a gallī,[58] a half-gallī, a winged car, or an aerial car, he took those of his brothers and rode in them. Then he gave them back, saying, “Why should I keep them?”

And so the princes grew up. When they reached years of discretion at the age of seven or eight they were taught reading, writing, calculation, numeration, reckoning with the fingers,[59] mnemonics, riding on elephants and horses and in chariots, the use of the bow and the bamboo, running, racing, swimming, archery, fighting, combat, cutting, stabbing, and striking, and leading an army in battle, and in every way established and trained in kingcraft. But no one taught the arts to Prince Kuśa. Yet by his own intelligence, wisdom and energy he became more expert than all his brothers and the rest of the people. Prince Kuśa was expert in archery and excelled everybody in every other art.

Then the thought occurred to King Ikṣvāku: “Let me now test these five hundred princes to see who will become king after me.” So King Ikṣvāku caused (435) five hundred sweetmeats to be made. One large sweetmeat was placed in the middle and covered by the other sweetmeats. “I will know,” said he “that he who picks out the large sweetmeat will become king after me.” When King Ikṣvāku had thus prepared the pile of sweetmeats he summoned the five hundred princes and said to them, “When I give three claps with my hands[60] quickly take the sweetmeats one by one from the pile.” Those other princes all came first, and after them came Kuśa. It was he, of all his brothers, who by plunging in his left and right hand, was the one to pick out the large sweetmeat.

King Ikṣvāku thought, “This Prince Kuśa will become king after me. But he is ill-favoured, ugly, thick-lipped, thickheaded, thick-footed, pot-bellied, and black, the colour of a heap of soot. He is unlovely and repulsive to look on. Who will endure him as king? So let me now test these princes again a second time. I shall have them brought before me at meal-time. I shall know that he who will be the first of them to take his food, will become king after me.”

Then King Ikṣvāku, at meal-time, summoned the five hundred princes and made them sit down. Food was brought in. The other princes waited to be served with food, but Prince Kuśa took his food on the floor and made a heap of food on the floor with whatever eatables he wanted. He took the condiments to put on them and ate his meal laid out on the floor. King Ikṣvāku reflected, “This Prince Kuśa will become king after me. He will be sovereign of the earth, for that he took his food laid out on the ground.”

King Ikṣvāku questioned his household priest a second time, saying to him, “Master, which of these princes will become king after me?” The priest replied, “Your majesty, it is this Prince Kuśa who will become king after my lord. He has the marks of a king.”

When King Ikṣvāku (436) heard the priest he became distressed. “What means is there,” thought he, “whereby this Prince Kuśa shall not become king after me? Let me now secretly bury large treasures in hidden places in various parts of the royal palace. He who, after I am dead, will find out, discover and dig up these treasures, will become king. Thus, perchance, some other prince will become king.”

King Ikṣvāku then buried a great treasure in hidden places in different parts of the royal palace without anyone seeing him. Being advanced in years and near to his death he gave instructions to his ministers, saying to them, “My ministers, whosoever of these five hundred princes will, after I am dead, find out, discover and dig up these treasures, him shall ye consecrate to the throne. There is a treasure within, and a treasure without. There is a treasure that is neither within nor without. There are four treasures underneath the four royal halls. There is a treasure in the water, and a treasure in the ocean. There is a treasure at the joining,[61] and a treasure at the releasing.[62] There is a treasure in a tree-top and on a mountain. There is a treasure where the sun rises and where the light-bringing orb goes to rest. Where the devas live their happy lives, there, too, is a treasure laid. My ministers, what prince soever, without being shown, will find out and dig up these treasures, him shall ye consecrate to the throne. So shall he become king.” Then King Ikṣvāku, being subject to the conditions of time, died.

After their father’s death, the five hundred princes quarrelled among themselves about the throne, each saying, “I am the king, I am the king.” But, owing to their righteous character, they did not harm one another. Then the ministers spoke to them, saying, “Princes, do not quarrel. There are instructions for you from King Ikṣvāku. (437) When your father was about to die he gave us a message, and he who will understand his father’s message will become king.”

The princes replied, “Ministers, tell us what the message given you by our father was.” And so the ministers related to the five hundred princes the message of King Ikṣvāku. “There is a treasure within,” said they, “and a treasure without. There is a treasure that is neither within nor without. There are four treasures beneath the four royal halls. There is a treasure in the water, and a treasure in the ocean. There is a treasure at the joining and a treasure at the releasing. There is a treasure in a tree-top, and a treasure on a mountain-top. There is a treasure where the sun rises, and a treasure where the light-bringing orb goes to rest. Where the devas live their happy lives, there also is a treasure laid. O princes, this was the message left you by your father. Whosoever of you will find and dig up these deposited treasures will become king.”

The four hundred and ninety-nine other princes neither knew nor understood what the treasures mentioned were. But Kuśa, with his great intelligence and reflective power understood the whole matter clearly. And he said, “I shall now explain to you my father’s words, and I shall dig up all the treasures which you have mentioned. When my father said that there was a treasure within he meant that a treasure was laid in the palace doorway within the threshold.” The ministers had this place dug up and a great treasure was found.

“When my father said that there was a treasure without, he meant that a treasure was laid outside the threshold.” The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure which was neither within nor without, he meant that a treasure was laid in the doorway beneath the threshold.” The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

(438) “When my father said that there were four treasures beneath the four royal halls, he meant that there were four treasures laid under the four legs of King Ikṣvāku’s chamber couch, fitted with four legs of gold, which served him as a bed.” The prince had these great treasures also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure in the water, he meant that a treasure was laid in the lotus-pool which is in the royal park Aśokavaṇikā.” There also from the pleasure pool the prince had a great treasure drawn up.[63]

“When my father said that there was a treasure in the ocean, he meant that a treasure was hid in the pool of King Ikṣvāku’s bathing-place.” The prince had this great treasure also dug out of the pool.

“When my father said that there was a treasure at the joining, he meant that a treasure was laid where animals were yoked to the carriage[64] of King Ikṣvāku, whether an elephant-carriage, a horse carriage, or a team carriage.” The prince had that great treasure also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure at the releasing, he meant that a treasure was laid in the place where they tend the animals and where they were unyoked[65] from King Ikṣvāku’s carriage, whether an elephant carriage, horse carriage or team carriage.” The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure in a tree-top, he meant that where the tip of the shade of the great tree by King Ikṣvāku’s reception-room[66] falls at sunrise, and where its last shadow falls at sunset, there too had a treasure been laid.” The prince had these two great treasures also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure on the mountain, he meant that a treasure was laid beneath the slab of stone where King Ikṣvāku’s paint and ointment for bathing the head were mixed.” The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure where the sun rose, he meant that a treasure was laid where Ikṣvāku my father was born of a sugar-cane.” (439) The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure where the light-bringing sun goes to rest, he meant that a treasure was laid where King Ikṣvāku died.” The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

“When my father said that there was a treasure where the devas live their happy lives, he meant that there was a treasure laid where the five hundred princes had food served[67] them by King Ikṣvāku.” The prince had this great treasure also dug up.

Thus all the great treasures were dug up by Prince Kuśa. The ministers, the other princes, the priests, the brāhman royal tutors, the army officers, and all the town and country people marvelled at. the treasures dug up by him. “Behold,” said they, “the great intelligence and reflective power of Prince Kuśa, for wherever a great treasure was laid in the palace of King Ikṣvāku, all of it was discovered and dug up by Prince Kuśa. He will be king.”

But the ministers thought among themselves, “Before Prince Kuśa hears this from others let us set one more test by some other means.” And they spoke to the princes, saying, “Princes, whosoever of you will be the first to worship all the gods and then ascend the throne, he will become king.”

Then the four hundred and ninety-nine princes mounted carriages of various kinds and in quick haste rushed to all the temples of the gods to worship them. But Prince Kuśa approached the golden throne of consecration, raised his joined hands to the four quarters in adoration of the gods and in honour of former kings. Then he reverently saluted the throne and ascended it.

Then, indeed, was Kuśa acknowledged by the princes, ministers, army officers (440) and town and country people to be the most clever one, and he was consecrated king. He was hailed as king by the sixty thousand cities, the town and country people, the royal ministers and the princes. This, then, was how Prince Kuśa won the throne.

When King Kuśa had ascended the throne he showed his mother, Queen Alindā, every mark of respect, honour, reverence, esteem and homage. And when he had thus ruled his kingdom with justice for a long time, he, on a certain occasion, appealed to Queen Alindā, his mother, saying, “Mother, bring me a wife to be my chief queen, who will be lovely and beautiful above all other women.” Queen Alindā replied, “My son, who will give you, who are ill-favoured in beauty, a lovely and beautiful wife? I shall bring you as wife one who is ill-favoured like you and who will thus not be a contrast[68] to you.” King Kuśa said, “Mother, if you bring me an ill-favoured wife, I shall not touch her with a hand or with a foot. Bring me a lovely and beautiful wife. Mother, I have neither seen nor heard of an ill-favoured king, or indeed any king, who could find pleasure in an ill-favoured woman. Śo, mother, bring me a handsome wife.”

Queen Alindā replied and said, “My son, wives and husbands live together happily when they are equal in beauty, for then they are not jealous of each other. A beautiful wife reproaches an ill-favoured husband, and a handsome husband an ill-favoured wife. My son, I shall bring you a wife that is suitable to you, one ill-favoured in beauty, who will not reproach you.” But King Kuśa said, “Mother, I will have nothing to do with an ill-favoured wife. Bring me a wife who is unlike me in appearance.” Queen Alindā replied, “My son, who will give you, ill-favoured in appearance as you are, a wife who is lovely in appearance?” King Kuśa said, “Mother, bring me a beautiful wife, and fetch[69] her from a distant land at the price of gold.”

(441) Then Queen Alindā summoned the ministers and priests and reported the matter to them. “Sirs,” said she, “find a wife for King Kuśa to be his chief queen and foremost of all the many thousands of women in the king’s court.” So the ministers and priests in obedience to the queen sent out brāhmans and messengers to the cities and provinces in all directions “Go, sirs,” said they, “find a maiden who will be suitable for King Kuśa, the son of King Ikṣvāku.”

Now the brāhmans and messengers in scouring the sixteen provinces[70] came to the city called Kaṇṇakubja[71] in the province of Śūrasena.[72] There a king of the Madrakas,[73] named Mahendraka, was reigning. He had a daughter, named Sudarśanā, who was lovely and beautiful; there was none her like for beauty in the whole of Jambudvīpa.

Now this king’s daughter, riding in a chariot drawn by four horses, happened to be going out of the city to the park, in great royal splendour, magnificence and pomp, and attended by her friends and slaves. And those brāhmans and messengers saw her, and they thought, “This king’s daughter is very lovely and beautiful; she is a suitable chief queen for King Kuśa.” The next day, in the morning, the brāhmans and messengers, attired and dressed up, stood at the door of the king’s palace. When King Mahendraka entered his reception chamber, the brāhmans and messengers saluted him and stood before him.

Then a brāhman,[74] having hailed the king, said to him, “Your majesty, in Benares there lives one named Kuśa, the son of King Ikṣvāku. He solicits of you your daughter Sudarśanā as his wife. Now King Kuśa is a distinguished man, as he rules over sixty thousand cities.”

King Mahendraka thought to himself, “Connexion with such a man will be worth while,” and to the brāhmans and messengers he said, (442) “Sirs, King Kuśa now becomes my friend. I give him my daughter to wife.” The brāhman then bought some sweetmeats, and, having summoned the other brāhmans, asked them to choose[75] some. “Friends,” said he, “King Mahendraka here offers his daughter Sudarśanā as wife to King Kuśa. So, friends, offer him this water.”[76] And the brāhmans and messengers did as the brāhman told them. They then addressed King Mahendraka and took their leave. In due time they reached Benares.

The brāhmans and messengers reported to the ministers and the priests. “We have found,” said they, “such a maiden that there is no other maiden like her for beauty in all Jambudvīpa. In the province called Śūrasena there is a city named Kanyakubja,[77] where a king of the Madrakas, named Mahendraka, is reigning. His daughter, who is named Sudarśanā, is lovely and beautiful.” When the ministers and the priests had heard this they reported it to Queen Alindā, saying, “Such a maiden has been found that there is no other maiden her like for beauty in all Jambudvīpa.”

When Queen Alindā heard this, she was glad and pleased. “A wife unlike my son has been found for him,” said she. And she communicated the news[78] to her son Kuśa. “My son,” said she, “such a maiden has been found that there is no other maiden her like for beauty in the whole of Jambudvīpa. In the province called Śūrasena, there is a city named Kanyakubja, where a king of the Madrakas, named Mahendraka, is reigning. His daughter, named Sudarśanā, is lovely and beautiful.”

King Kuśa was glad and pleased when he heard his mother’s words, and he addressed his ministers, councillors, brāhmans, priests and royal tutors, saying, “Sirs, (443) in the province called Śūrasena is a city named Kanyakubja, where a king of the Madrakas, named Mahendraka, reigns. His daughter is named Sudarśanā. Go, fetch her for me.” So the ministers and councillors, the brāhmans, priests, and royal tutors, in obedience to King Kuśa, equipped an army of four divisions and set out with great splendour and magnificence.

After they had set out this thought occurred to Queen Alindā: “What means can there be,” she thought, “whereby Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, shall not know what King Kuśa is like in complexion and form?” And it was this that she decided on: “Let me now,” said she, “provide an inner chamber[79] where King Kuśa may divert, enjoy and amuse himself with his wife, without, however, her knowing what King Kuśa is like.” And Queen Alindā prepared such an inner chamber which was plastered inside and outside,[80] draped with festoons of fine cloth, made fragrant with incense, and strewn with garlands of flowers. Here King Kuśa could divert, enjoy and amuse himself with his wife.

In due course the ministers, councillors, brāhmans, priests and royal tutors came to the city of Kanyakubja in the province of Śūrasena. They went to King Mahendraka, hailed him, and standing before him said “Your majesty, your son-in-law Kuśa enquires after your health and that of your court. He asks you to give him your daughter Sudarśanā to be his wife, as your majesty promised.” King Mahendraka saluted and greeted the ministers, councillors, brāhmans, priests and royal tutors, and gave them regal and costly clothes, ornaments and food. The ministers and councillors tarried there for some days, and then they addressed King Mahendraka, saying, “Your majesty, we have come a long way. Give us the bride,[81] and let us go.” Then King Mahendraka, with great royal splendour (444) and magnificence, and to the accompaniment of shouts of “bravo” and “hurrah” from the great crowd of people and the beating of drums, kettledrums and tabours and the blowing of trumpets, performed the rite of giving the bride,[82] and gave his daughter Sudarśanā to be the wife of King Kuśa. And the ministers and priests performed the rite of taking the bride,[83] addressed King Mahendraka and departed.

In due course they reached the park in Benares. Thence Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, was led with great honour and pomp into the city of Benares and into the royal court. She came to her mother-in-law, Queen Alindā, and, having bowed at her feet, stood in front of her.[84] When Queen Alindā saw her daughter-in-law she was delighted, pleased and glad.

Now in the dark inner chamber King Kuśa sat diverting, delighting and amusing himself with the king’s daughter Sudarśanā, with the aid of costly means of joy and pleasure.[85] But as the king’s daughter Sudarśanā was diverting, delighting and amusing herself with King Kuśa in the dark inner chamber this thought occurred to her: “The family of Ikṣvāku to which King Kuśa belongs,” thought she, “is prosperous, wealthy, at peace, rich in food, and an unfailing mine of precious stones. But this bed-chamber of ours is dark, and no lamps are lit in it. We do not see each other with our eyes. I do not know what King Kuśa is like in complexion and form, nor does King Kuśa know me[86] and what Queen Sudarśanā is like in complexion and form. I do not understand the reason[87] why no lamps burn in our bed-chamber either night or day.”

Then Queen Sudarśanā privily questioned King Kuśa, saying, “Sire, this royal family is prosperous, wealthy, and an unfailing mine of precious stones, but in this bed-chamber of ours no lamps are lit by night or by day. We so live together in darkness that we do not see each other with our eyes. I do not know what my husband is like, nor does my lord know me and what Queen Sudarśanā is like. I do not understand the reason why (445) no lamps are lit in our bed-chamber.” King Kuśa replied, “Lady, I, too, do not know why the lamps are not lit in our bed-chamber. But my mother will know, ask her.”

So Queen Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, at dawn of day when King Kuśa had gone out, attired herself and put on her jewellery. She approached Queen Alindā and bowed at her feet. And when she had thus bowed to her mother-in-law Sudarśanā said, “Madam, this royal family is prosperous, rich, and an unfailing mine of precious stones. Yet in our bedchamber no lamps are lit by day or by night, so that we live together in darkness and do not see each other with our eyes. What reason is there that the lamps should not be lit in our chamber?” Queen Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Sudarśanā, my daughter, you both, husband and wife, are sublimely beautiful. I have seen none other like you. The object is, therefore, that you should not see each other’s sublime beauty and become distraught. Besides, I have made a covenant with the gods that you should see each other only after a long time, twelve years after my daughter-in-law Sudarśanā has a son or daughter. This is our family custom.”

Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, replied, “It was indeed a wicked covenant that you made with your gods, whereby we should not see each other for a long time.” Alindā, the queen-mother said, “What can I do? I must keep my covenant with the gods, so that you do not see each other’s sublime beauty and become distraught.” Thus, then, was Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, persuaded by Alindā, the queen-mother.

Some time afterwards Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, prostrated herself before her mother-in-law and appealed to her, saying, (446) “Madam, I wish to see my husband.” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Let be, my daughter. In good time you shall see him.” But Sudarśanā appealed to her again and again. “Madam,” she said, “I should like to see him just once.” Then the thought occurred to Alindā, the queen-mother: “Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, is anxious to see Kuśa. If I do not dispel it her[88] curiosity will become too great.” So she said, “Sudarśanā, my daughter, very well. To-morrow I shall show you King Kuśa in his reception-chamber. A view of the king has been granted to the people.”

Then Queen Alindā spoke to King Kuśa, saying, “My son, Sudarśanā here, a king’s daughter, is anxious to see you. But you are ill-favoured in beauty, and I fear that when she sees what you are like there will be a change of heart in her. Therefore pretend that the handsomest and fairest of these five hundred princes is the king. Make him sit on the throne, and he will have to be pointed out to Sudarśanā as being King Kuśa. Thus Sudarśanā will believe that King Kuśa is of such appearance, and not turn her heart away from him.”

King Kuśa replied, “Mother, let this be done.”

Now of those princes the handsomest and fairest was Kuśadruma. So he, arrayed in regal and costly clothes and jewels in the manner of a king, was led to the throne in the royal[89] reception-chamber, under the pretence that he was the king. All the other princes also were arrayed and decked out, and led in, each to his throne. The ministers, priests, army officers, merchants, citizens, villagers, country people and the royal retainers all sparkled like the attendants of a deva. When his brother, Prince Kuśadruma, had taken his seat on the throne, King Kuśa took a sunshade and held it over his left side.

Then Queen Alindā, with Sudarśanā her daughter-in-law, and attended by many hundreds of other queens came out of the palace and stood at the window.[90] Alindā, the queen-mother, (447) pointed out Prince Kuśadruma as he sat on the throne to her daughter-in-law Sudarśanā. “Sudarśanā, my daughter,” said she, “that is your husband. Look at him.” And Sudarśanā, seeing Prince Kuśadruma seated on the throne, rejoiced in her heart, and said, “Great has been my good fortune in that I have such a comely, handsome and fair husband, who excels the whole royal entourage in beauty.” Sudarśanā, a king’s daughter, then continued her survey of the whole assembly until her keen woman’s perception[91] caught sight of the royal sunshade-bearer. And when she saw him her heart was repelled, and she became distressed and grieved. She said to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, “Madam, King Kuśa is radiant, and the princes are good and fair. The royal assembly shines like an assembly of the devas. But this sunshade-bearer is unsightly; he does not befit such a king who is like the son of a deva. This sunshade-bearer is a monstrosity, thick-lipped, thick-headed, thick-footed, potbellied, and black, the colour of a heap of soot. The whole glory of the royal assembly is marred by the sunshade-bearer. Is there in this wide realm no other man who could bear the king’s sunshade? If my husband is willing to do something to please me, then he will not allow this sunshade-bearer to stand in his presence, but will have another man to bear his sunshade.”

Queen Alindā replied, “Sudarśanā, my daughter, do not talk so. His form does not matter. For though he is ill-favoured in appearance, in moral qualities he is high-minded, virtuous, truthful, righteous, meritorious, strong, and able to defeat rival kingdoms. It is through his might that no enemy has done harm to us in our sixty thousand cities, and in our villages and provinces. It is through his might that we all live in comfort.” In this way Sudarśanā (448) was persuaded by Queen Alindā.

But Sudarśanā then talked privily with King Kuśa. “Sire,” said she, “is there not in your wide realm some other man who could be your sunshade-bearer? The sunshade-bearer you now have is unsightly. If you wish to do something to please me, then send[92] this sunshade-bearer away and appoint another man.” The king replied, “Do not thus revile the sunshade-bearer. What does his form matter? If a man has moral worth, what matters his form? This sunshade-bearer has the moral qualities of being high-minded, good and strong, and through his might no enemy can do harm to these sixty thousand cities.” So Queen Sudarśanā was persuaded by King Kuśa also.

Now King Kuśa, too, in his turn was anxious to see his queen, Sudarśanā, and he appealed to his mother, Queen Alindā. “Mother,” said he, “I have a longing to see Queen Sudarśanā.” Queen Alindā replied, “My son, you are ill-favoured in beauty. If Sudarśanā leams that King Kuśa is like this in complexion and form, it is certain that she will kill herself by some violent means.” King Kuśa said, “What can be done? Some means must be devised whereby I may be able to see Sudarśanā without her knowing who I am.” Queen Alindā replied, “My son, here is a way. When Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the other queens and all the women of the court, goes out to the park to look at the lotuses, then do you too, dressed simply, go to the park, step down into the lotus pool up to your neck and stay there with your head concealed by the lotus leaves. I shall so arrange matters that Sudarśanā herself will come down the steps of the lotus pool to gather lotuses just at the spot where you stand. Because Sudarśanā dotes on flowers and leaves you will see her as you desire to do.”

(449) Now it then happened that florists brought into the royal palace some lotuses which were fragrant and in full bloom, and garlands of various kinds. When Sudarśanā saw these blossoming lotuses she appealed to her mother-in-law, Queen Alindā, saying, “Madam, I wish to see the ponds where these blossoming lotuses grow.” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Very well, my daughter, you shall see all the ponds. Let us set out.”

Then Queen Alindā informed King Kuśa, saying, “My son, so that you may know, I tell you that Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, intends to go out to see the ponds. If you wish to see her, go out to the park, simply dressed, and stand in a place where Sudarśanā may not see you and learn that you are King Kuśa.”

So King Kuśa, in obedience to his mother, at dawn of day went to the park simply clad in ordinary clothes, and sat down waiting for the women. He went down the steps of the pool at the place where there were most lotuses, and sat there concealing himself among the lotus leaves. Then all the women came out. As the Nandana[93] grove is made gay when filled with throngs of Apsarases so was this park made gay by the king’s women.

When Queen Sudarśanā saw those blossoming and charming lotuses in the pools, she said to the other queens, “Ladies, come, let us gather lotuses from the pools.” The queens replied, “Very well, your majesty, (450) let us gather lotuses.” Then Queen Sudarśanā with the other queens went down[94] the steps at the place where King Kuśa stood, Sudarśanā going first.[95] She stretched out her hand for lotuses and was about to gather one when suddenly she was embraced by King Kuśa. And it seemed to Queen Sudarśanā that she had been seized by a water demon.[96] She called out “Help, help.[97] I have been violated,[98] and am being devoured by a water demon.” But all the women stood on one side for they said among themselves that King Kuśa was dallying with his queen, though she would say “Help, help, I am being devoured by a water-demon.” When the women saw that King Kuśa had had his wish, her attendants joined Queen Sudarśanā and the bali[99] offering was made. “The censer is burning,”[100] said they, “the evil has been allayed and done with for you. Hurrah! You have been freed from the water demon.”

Queen Sudarśanā with the other queens then spent the day diverting, enjoying and amusing themselves by the lotus-pond, and in the evening returned to the palace. Queen Sudarśanā entered King Kuśa’s bed-chamber. The king said to her, “My queen went to see the lotus-pond, but she brought no lotuses for me. You do not love me dearly.” The queen replied, “Your majesty, how could I have any lotuses? I had gone down to the pool and was about to pick some when I was embraced by a water-demon, and I came near[101] being devoured by him. But I was rescued by the women of the court. Your majesty, the water-demon in the lotus-pool was exactly like your sunshade-bearer. I should think that they were born of the same mother.” King Kuśa then said to her (451) “My lady, you must not go out again to see the lotus-pond. I, too, was nearly devoured by a water-demon.”

Then at the time of the mango harvest the royal mango growers brought to the palace mangoes of various kinds. When Queen Sudarśanā saw these various mangoes she appealed to her mother-in-law, Alindā the queen-mother, saying, “Madam, I want to see the mango-groves.” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Very well, my daughter, you shall see them. To-morrow I will take you out to the mango-groves.”

Alindā, the queen-mother, summoned the mango growers and gave them instructions. “To-morrow,” she said, “Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court will be coming out to see the mango grove. Therefore have the grove cleaned and swept, drape the trunks of the trees in green cloth, adorn the grove with festoons of bright cloth, make it fragrant with incense and strew it with heaps of flowers.”

The keepers of the park in obedience to Alindā the queen-mother decorated that part of the park where the mango-grove was.

Queen Alindā next informed King Kuśa, saying, “My son, so that you may know, I tell you that to-morrow Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, will be going out to see the royal mango-grove. If, as I think you are,[102] you are eager to see Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, then go, simply dressed in ordinary clothes, to the mango-grove and stand there in such a place where Sudarśanā may not discover that it is King Kuśa who is there.” Following his mother’s instructions he went, simply dressed in ordinary clothes, and stood beneath the finest mango of all in the whole grove.

Then Sudarśanā, attended by the women of the court, with great royal splendour and magnificence and riding in brilliant royal chariots, set out for the mango-grove. Sudarśanā alighted from her chariot and, accompanied by several hundred queens, entered the grove. As in Citraratha and Miśrakāvana, the parks[103] of the devas of Trāyastriṃśa, (452) the kovidāra[104] and the yātraka:[105] trees are graced when they are surrounded by the devas, so the mango-grove was graced when surrounded by the women of the king’s court.

Meanwhile Queen Sudarśanā with the others strolled up and down the mango-grove, picking the fine mangoes, eating the fruit and gathering various flowers. She came to the middle of the grove where King Kuśa was sitting. Then King Kuśa jumped out from beneath the mango tree and embraced Queen Sudarśanā when she was looking the other way. She was frightened and terrified, and thought that she had been seized by a demon[106] of the forest. She cried out, “Help, help.[107] I have been violated.[108] I am being devoured by a demon of the forest.” But the women ran off this way and that. “King Kuśa,” said they, “is diverting, enjoying and amusing himself with Queen Sudarśanā in the mango-grove. But Sudarśanā will go on saying ‘Help, help. Run, women, I am being devoured by a demon of the forest’.”

When the women knew that King Kuśa had diverted, enjoyed and amused himself with Sudarśanā as much as he wanted, they returned to the place with armfuls of flowers. And the hundreds of queens threw handfuls of flowers over King Kuśa and cried out, “Fie on you, demon, fie on you demon.” So King Kuśa let go of Queen Sudarśanā and returned to the palace. Her retinue then gathered round Queen Sudarśanā and made the bait offering. They then said, “The censer is burning; the evil is allayed and done with. Hurrah! You have escaped alive from the demon.”

Then Queen Sudarśanā with the other queens spent the day in the mango-grove, diverting, enjoying and amusing themselves as they wished, and in the evening they returned to the palace. Sudarśanā entered King Kuśa’s bed-chamber. (453) King Kuśa said to her, “The queen went out to see the mangoes, but she did not bring me any. She does not love me therefore.” The queen replied, “Your majesty, how could I have any mangoes? I had gone out to see the mangoes, but I was embraced by a demon of the forest[109] and came near being devoured by him. But I was rescued from his clutches by the women of the court. And, your majesty, the demon of the forest was very much like both your sunshade-bearer and the demon in the lotus-pool. I should think all three were born of the same mother; they are all so much alike.” The king said, “My queen, do not go to see the mango-grove again. I, too, was nearly devoured there by a demon of the forest."

On another occasion, again, did Queen Sudarśanā appeal to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, saying, “I have a desire to see King Kuśa’s troop of elephants. I hear that King Kuśa has a large troop of sixty thousand elephants." Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Very well, my daughter, you shall go out to-morrow to see the royal elephant troop."

Then Alindā, the queen-mother, summoned the mahout and gave him instructions. “To-morrow,” she said, “Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, will be going out to view the stable of the king’s elephants. So have the elephants and their stable decorated." The mahout, in obedience to the command of Alindā, the queen-mother, had the sixty thousand elephants decked out in all sorts of ornaments. They were covered with network of gold, and had gay favours[110] on their tusks and trunks, while their hoofs were like coral. The elephant stable was cleaned and swept, strewn with heaps of flowers, hung with festoons of bright cloth and made fragrant with incense.

Next Alindā, the queen-mother, informed King Kuśa, saying (454) “My son, so that you may know, I tell you that in the morning Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, will be going out to view the royal elephant-stable. So go, simply dressed, to the elephant-stable and stand there in such a place that Sudarśanā may not know that it is King Kuśa who is there.”

So at dawn King Kuśa, in obedience to his mother’s instructions, went to the elephant-stable simply dressed like an elephant-keeper, and sat down near an elephant to wait for Sudarśanā. At length, attended by her mother-in-law, Alindā, and the women of the court and riding in a royal chariot, she came to the elephant-stable. She alighted from her chariot and, accompanied by several hundred slaves, went in. And King Kuśa in the guise of an elephant-keeper sat among the elephants contemplating Sudarśanā.

Queen Sudarśanā, after strolling about the elephant-stable with the women of the court, was leaving to go back to the palace when King Kuśa hit her in the back with a piece of fresh and steaming elephant dung. Her royal garments were soiled by it. Queen Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, protested to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, saying, “Madam, this mahout of the king’s should be flogged. Is it possible that she who is King Kuśa’s chief wife should be pelted by him with elephant-dung?” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Let be, my daughter, go to.[111] This royal mahout is inviolate. So what can we do?” In this way Sudarśanā was appeased by her mother-in-law.

On another occasion, again, did Sudarśanā appeal to her mother-in-law Alindā, the queen-mother. “Madam,” she said, “I wish to see King Kuśa’s herd of horses.” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Very well, my daughter, you shall go out to see King Kuśa’s herd of horses.”

Then (455) Alindā, the queen-mother, summoned the grooms and gave them instructions. “To-morrow,” she said, “Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, is going out to view the royal herd of horses. Decorate all the sixty thousand horses and have the stable cleaned and swept and strewn with heaps of flowers.” The grooms in obedience to the command of Alindā the queen-mother, decorated the sixty thousand horses with all sorts of trimmings, cleaned and swept the stable and strewed it with heaps of flowers.

Next Alindā, the queen-mother, informed King Kuśa. “Kuśa, my son,” she said, “so that you may know, I tell you that Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, will be going out to view the royal stable. If you are eager to see her then go, simply dressed, to the stable and stand there in such a place that Sudarśanā may not know that it is King Kuśa who is there.” So King Kuśa in obedience to his mother’s instruction, at dawn of day disguised himself as a groom, scattered hay for the horses and sat down to wait for Sudarśanā.

In the meantime Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, together with her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, and all the women of the court set out for the stable riding in bejewelled palanquins. Sudarśanā stepped out of her palanquin and, attended by several hundred queens, entered the stable. And King Kuśa stood behind the horses contemplating Sudarśanā.

Queen Sudarśanā, after strolling about the stable with the other women, was leaving to go back to the palace when King Kuśa hit her in the back with a piece of fresh and steaming horse-dung. And her royal garments were soiled by it.

Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, said to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, “Madam, that groom must be flogged. Is it possible that she who is King Kuśa’s chief wife (456) should be pelted by a groom with horse-dung?” Alindā, the queen-mother, answered, “My daughter, forget it. These royal grooms are inviolate. So what can we do?”

On yet another occasion did Sudarśanā appeal to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen mother.” Madam,” she said, “I have a desire to see King Kuśa’s collection of chariots. I have heard that King Kuśa has a large collection of sixty thousand chariots.” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “Very well, my daughter, to-morrow you shall go out to view King Kuśa’s collection of chariots.”

Then Alindā, the queen-mother, summoned the keepers of King Kuśa’s chariots and gave them instructions. “To-morrow,” she said, “Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, together with the women of the court, will be going out to view King Kuśa’s collection of chariots.” And the chariot-keepers, after hearing the queen-mother’s words, on the next day[112] got ready the sixty thousand chariots, which, draped in skins of lion, leopard and tiger and in white cloth, moved with a merry rattling, with banners, flags and pennons flying.[113]

Next Alindā, the queen-mother, informed King Kuśa. “My son,” she said, “so that you may know, I tell you that to-morrow Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with the women of the court, will be going out to view the royal collection of chariots. If you are eager to see her, then go, simply dressed, to the chariot shed and stand there in such a place that Sudarśanā may not know that it is King Kuśa who is there.”

Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, with Alindā the queen-mother and all the women of the court set out for the chariot shed riding in royal chariots. In the meantime King Kuśa, in obedience to his mother’s instructions, at dawn of day went to the chariot shed simply dressed in the guise of a chariot-keeper, and sat down among the chariots to wait for Sudarśanā.

Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, alighted from her chariot and, accompanied by several hundred queens, entered the chariot shed. After strolling about the chariot shed with the other queens, she was leaving to go back to the palace when King Kuśa hit her in the back with a piece of fresh and steaming cow dung. (457) Her royal garments were soiled by it. Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, said to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, “Madam, that chariot-keeper should be flogged. Is it possible that she who is King Kuśa’s chief wife should be pelted by him with cow dung?” Alindā, the queen-mother, replied, “My daughter, forget it. This royal chariot-keeper is inviolate. He is the guardian of the king’s store of chariots. So what can we do?” And Sudarśanā was appeased by Alindā, the queen-mother.

On another occasion a fire broke out in the royal elephant-stable, a great blazing conflagration.[114] Thousands of elephant-keepers and the mahouts, and a large crowd of other people rushed to the elephant-stable to put out the fire but they were not able to extinguish the flames. All the women of the court were frightened and terrified by the fear of fire, being afraid that it would bum the royal palace also. They all ran away from the neighbourhood of the elephant-stable and sat waiting to see who could put out the blaze.[115] The great crowd strove until they were tired,[116] but they were not able to extinguish the blazing conflagration, nor was the crowd able to throw down the thick, bulky and burning roofs of the elephant stables.[117]

Meanwhile King Kuśa was strolling up and down outside the city. One of the ministers went to report to him, saying, “Your majesty, so that you may know, I tell you that a fire is blazing in the royal elephant stable.” When he heard this, King Kuśa mounted an elephant and came at a gallop, attended by his retinue, to the elephant stable. All the women of the court saw the king rushing in. And as he rushed in, by his sole effort the blazing roof, (458) sides, and joints[118] of the walls were thrown away from the elephant stable. He also cut off with his hand and at one stroke[119] the bonds of those elephants which were tied with thongs. He threw out the elephants which had been overcome by the fire, flinging them to one side away from the danger of fire.

Thus the burning elephant stable was instantly extinguished by King Kuśa, and the whole troop of elephants rescued from the fire. Countless thousands witnessed this display of energy and bravery by King Kuśa, and gave vent to thousands of cries of “bravo!” The women of the court witnessed the manly bravery of King Kuśa, and in their gladness and joy all exclaimed, “Behold the strength and bravery of King Kuśa.”

Then a hunchbacked woman gladly and impulsively calling “King, king,” shouted at[120] King Kuśa:—

Seated on his throne,[121] strong, rich in splendour, and mighty, he illuminates all the world around him, like the moon in the sky.

Like Kāmadeva, red-eyed like the partridge, he shines; the powerful valiant king has rescued the elephants.

King Kuśa was pleased with the hunchbacked woman and offered her the choice of a boon.

’Tis a good hunchbacked dame who praises the king. I will give you four garments of Benares cloth.

Now when Sudarśanā heard the hunchbacked woman speak the praises of Kuśa, she thought to herself, “It must be King Kuśa (459) whom this woman is praising.” When she saw that King Kuśa was of such complexion and form, she was stricken in her[122] heart, and became distressed and grieved. “Alas I” said she, “that my husband should be like this, ill-favoured in complexion, repulsive, thick-lipped, thick-headed, thick-footed, pot-bellied, black, like a heap of soot. There is no difference at all between him and an ogre.” And in her anger with the hunchbacked woman she said:—

Can we not cut off with a sharp sword the tongue of this woman who sings the praises of the king?

The hunchbacked woman sought to appease Queen Sudarśanā with the verse:—

Kings can hold over one the threat of prison or of death. So I tell his praise to safeguard my own life.

When Queen Sudarśanā had seen that King Kuśa was like that, ugly and hideous, she no longer found joy in the king’s court which hitherto had been so delightful, like a home of the devas, and so full of good things. She had no desire for food and drink. “I will not eat or take nourishment,” said she. “What is life to me, since I have to live with an ogre?” And Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, appealed to her mother-in-law, Alindā, the queen-mother, saying, “Madam, let me free. 1 will go back to Kanyakubja, to my mother and father. If you do not let me go I will presently do violence to myself and kill myself.”

Alindā, the queen-mother, reflected, “It is better that this king’s daughter lives than that she should die.” So she said, “My daughter, go where you wish.”

(460) So Sudarśanā, the king’s daughter, followed by a hunchbacked woman, mounted her horse-carriage, left Benares and set out on her journey. In due course she came to Kanyakubja, to her mother and father. Meanwhile, when King Kuśa entered his bed-chamber in the evening, he could not find Queen Sudarśanā. Search was made for her all over the palace, but she could not be found anywhere. And King Kuśa fretted, sorrowed and grieved at not finding Sudarśanā. From all his numerous harem he refused to take another woman.

When he learnt that Queen Sudarśanā, followed by the hunchbacked woman, had gone to her people’s place, King Kuśa appealed to Alindā, his mother, saying, “Mother, I, too, will go to Kanyakubja, to Mahendra,[123] the king of the Madrakas, and my father-in-law, and bring back Queen Sudarśanā.” Alindā, the queen-mother, on hearing Kuśa her son saying that he would go to Kanyakubja, was overcome by love for her son and regard for the kingdom, and she staggered, collapsed and fell to the ground, filled with sorrow for her son. “Behold,” she said, “the harm I did through my ill-luck.[124] When I sought out Sudarśanā, the daughter of Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas at Kanyakubja, and brought her here, I did not know how things would turn out for my son, King Kuśa.”

Then Alindā, the queen-mother, spoke to her son, saying, “My son, you are the son of King Ikṣvāku. You have been delicately nurtured and brought up in comfort. The country people feed on barley meal, dress in woollen clothes, and draw a bare sustenance from their daily toil. How will you fare as you travel among them?” King Kuśa replied. “Mother, I shall earn my living as I go along by dancing, singing, playing, and by various other arts and means. Do not worry, mother.”

King Kuśa thus appeased his mother and established his brother Kuśadruma on the throne, saying to him, “My brother, (461) rule over these sixty-thousand cities, with the villages and the provinces. These sixty-thousand elephants, decked out in all their trappings, covered with net-work of gold, and having hoofs like coral are for you. And so are the sixty-thousand horses, all of them fleet steeds from Sindh decked out in all sorts of trimmings, and these sixty-thousand chariots, draped in skins of lion, tiger, leopard and in white cloth, and moving with a merry sound with sunshades, banners and flags aloft,[125] all are conveyances for you. Guard this realm until I shall come back.” Next King Kuśa gave instructions to his ministers, saying, “This young prince, Kuśadruma, will be your king until I come. Bear this in mind, and so govern the kingdom in righteousness and protect the citizens and the country people.”

After he had thus instructed his ministers, put his brother, Kuśadruma, on the throne, and taken courteous leave of his mother, King Kuśa took his lute and set out towards the north. Earning his living by various means as he went on his way to his father-in-law in Kanyakubja, he in due course reached the district of Kanyakubja. In a certain village there he came to a house, and an old woman gave him lodging in a shed. Now in that village a festival was in progress, and the old woman said to King Kuśa, “My son, there is a festival in the village here. Go to the middle of the village, and there you can get something to eat and drink. Then when you have fed come back here.”

King Kuśa in obedience to the old woman went to the middle of the village. There he so played on his lute and sang his songs that all the villagers approved of him. And the people being thus pleased gave him a milk-bowl[126] full of various eatables, a large water-jug[127] of gruel, a dish of curds and various (462) condiments. King Kuśa carried all this food to the old woman’s shed. When the old woman saw the food she was glad. “For,” said she, “the minstrel will have one meal here, and in the early morning he will move on. The remains of the food will last me for two or three months.” But as he chattered with the old woman King Kuśa ate up half of the food that was in the milk-bowl. The old woman saw it. “Now,” said she, “he will presently give me the remainder of the food.” But King Kuśa was hungry and ate up all the food in the milk-bowl; not a mouthful was left. Then the old woman thought to herself, “Now that the minstrel has eaten all the food in the large milk-bowl, he will be satisfied. He will not be able to eat the sweetmeats[128] in the water-jug also, and thus there will be enough to last me for a long time.” But King Kuśa was hungry after his travel, and ate up the jugful of sweetmeats, the dish of curds and all the condiments. Nothing was left for the old woman.

The old woman was filled with despair. She cried out “Help, help![129] Come, run to my aid. An ogre in human form[130] has come into my house and is going to devour me.” But King Kuśa said, “Mother, why do you cry out? What are you doing? Are there no ugly people in the village also? Do not be afraid, nor cry out. I will stay here to-night and to-morrow I will be on my way.”

And King Kuśa rose up in the early morning[131] and set out. In due course he reached Kanyakubja, (463) where he entered a garland-maker’s booth. “I shall settle down[132] at the master garland-maker’s,” said he, “live here, and so become an expert at his craft.”

Now at that garland-maker’s booth there were being made neck-garlands, fragrant crests, and wreaths for the king. And King Kuśa made such neck-garlands, fragrant crests, and wreaths, so well and cleverly fashioned, so pretty and so shapely, that all the garland-makers were amazed when they saw them. “Look,” said they, “what a fine master this is, what a brilliant craftsman, who makes such neck-garlands, fragrant crests, and wreaths, so well and cleverly made, so pretty and so shapely, that we have never seen their like before.” And King Kuśa inscribed all with his name so that Sudarśanā should know they were the handiwork of King Kuśa.

Then these neck-garlands, fragrant crests, and wreaths were taken to the palace and handed to Sudarśanā, “Look, Sudarśanā,” said they, “at these bouquets; how well made they are, how pretty, how cleverly fashioned and how variegated.” And Sudarśanā had taken the finest of the neck-garlands, crests and wreaths, and was on the point of putting them on[133], when she saw the name of Kuśa. She thought to herself, “These are the handiwork of King Kuśa. He must have come here as an ordinary person.”[134] But Sudarśanā rejected those made by King Kuśa and selected others crudely made.[135] Her mother, her sisters and the women of the court remonstrated[136] with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you reject these finest neck-garlands, crests and wreaths and choose others crudely made?” She answered them, saying, “I want none of those. Let me have this.” But she revealed her secret reason for this to no one.

Thus King Kuśa derived no profit from his stay at the garland-maker’s. So he left (464) and settled at a master potter’s, where various earthenware vessels were made for the king’s household. There King Kuśa made earthenware vessels which were so well and cleverly fashioned and so shapely, that all the potters were amazed when they saw them. “Look,” said they, “what a fine master this is, what a smart craftsman who has made these vessels which are so well and cleverly fashioned and so shapely that we have never seen their like before.” On every one of them King Kuśa had carved his name as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know it was the handiwork of King Kuśa.

These vessels were taken by the female slaves of the court into the palace and handed to Sudarśanā. “Look, Sudarśanā,” said they, “at these vessels; how lovely and fine they are, and how well and cleverly fashioned. Take the one that pleases you.” And Sudarśanā was on the point of taking the finest and most beautiful of all the vessels when she saw the name of Kuśa on it. She thought to herself “This is the work of Kuśa.” She therefore rejected it and selected others crudely made in their place. Her mother, her sisters and the women of the court remonstrated with her, saying, “Vessels as fine as these have never before been brought into the palace. Why do you not choose these fine vessels?” She answered them, saying,” I do not want that. Let me have this.” But she revealed the secret reason for this to no one.

King Kuśa thus derived no profit from his stay at the potter’s. So he left and settled at a master joiner’s. There various kinds of joinery work were made for the royal household—chairs, sofas, (465) benches, bedsteads, footstools, fine seats, ayakvas,[137] dishes,[138] antakoṭas,[139] and various other articles of joinery. Then King Kuśa turned out such articles of joinery, so well and cleverly made and so shapely, that all the joiners were amazed when they saw them. “Look,” said they, “what a fine master and brilliant craftsman it is who has made articles so well and cleverly fashioned that we have never seen their like before.” King Kuśa inscribed his own name on all of them as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know they were the work of King Kuśa.

The slaves of the household brought this joinery work to the palace, and the loveliest articles were selected and handed to Sudarśanā. “Look, Sudarśanā,” said they, “at these

articles of joinery; how fine and lovely they are. Choose what you like.” And Sudarśanā was on the point of choosing the finest and loveliest of all the chairs, sofas, benches, foot-rests, footstools, fine seats, ayakvas, antakoṭas, dishes and tables,[140] when she saw the name of Kuśa on them. She thought to herself, “These are the handiwork of Kuśa.” So she rejected these articles of joinery and chose others crudely made. Her mother, her sisters and the women of the court remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you reject such fine articles of joinery and (466) select others crudely made?” She answered them, saying, “I do not want these. Let these be mine.” But she revealed the secret reason for this to no one.

Thus King Kuśa derived no profit from his stay at the joiner’s. So he left and settled at a laundryman’s,[141] where the clothes of the palace women, including those of Sudarśanā, were washed. Now King Kuśa recognised Sudarśanā’s clothes and he washed them. He rinsed them so well and washed them so clean and spotless, that the laundrymen were amazed when they saw them. “Look,” said they, “what a fine master and what a smart workman it is who has washed and rinsed these clothes so well and made them so clean and spotless, that we have never seen their like before.” King Kuśa wrote his name in ink[142] on them as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know it was the work of Kuśa.

These clothes were then brought by the household slaves to the palace. Those which belonged to the queens were delivered to the queens, and those which belonged to the women of the court were delivered to them. The women saw how clean, pure and spotless the clothes of Sudarśanā were. They marvelled and said that Sudarśanā’s clothes, being the brightest of all, well washed, pure and spotless, were worth a double or treble washing fee[143] from Sudarśanā. She, too, was pleased (467) until she saw Kuśa’s name where the laundryman had written his name in ink on the edge of the garment,[144] and learnt it was Kuśa’s work. After that she would not take them herself; but two of her attendants said, “Let us two take them.”

Now all the women of the court handed over the fee for washing their own clothes to the slaves. But Sudarśanā was not willing to pay for washing hers. Her mother, her sisters and the women of the court remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, seeing that your clothes are so well washed and cleaned and all are excellent,[145] why do you not pay him the washing fee?” Sudarśanā replied, “Why do you worry? It will be given him some other time.” But she did not reveal the secret to anybody.

King Kuśa thus did not derive any profit from his stay at the laundryman’s. So he left and settled at a master dyer’s. In that dyer’s workshop the clothes of the women of the king’s court, including those of Sudarśanā, were dyed. There also did King Kuśa recognise Sudarśanā’s clothes, and he dyed them so well, with such colour and variety of hue, that all the dyers were amazed. “Look,” said they, “what a fine master and smart workman is this who dyes clothes so well and with such variety of colour, that we have never seen their like before." King Kuśa wrote his name in ink on all of them as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know it was the work of Kuśa.

Then the household slaves gave to the queens the clothes which belonged to them, and to the women of the court those belonging to them. The women of the court were amazed (468) when they saw Sudarśanā’s clothes. They were dyed so well, so beautifully and so brightly that they thought Sudarśanā should pay a double or treble dyer’s fee.[146] The clothes were handed to Sudarśanā, and when she saw them so well dyed, so beautiful and bright, she was joyful and glad, until she saw in the place where the dyer had put his mark the name of Kuśa. She thought to herself, “This is the work of Kuśa.” And she would not accept the clothes, but offered them to her attendant.

The women of the court handed over the fee for dyeing their clothes to their slaves, but Sudarśanā was not willing to pay the fee. Her mother, her sisters, and the women of the court remonstrated with her, saying,“Sudarśanā, your clothes have been dyed so well, so beautifully and brightly that you ought to pay double or treble the dyer’s fee. But you refuse to pay it.” Sudarśanā replied, “Why do you worry? It will be paid some other time.”

Thus King Kuśa did not derive any profit from his stay at the dyer’s. So he left and settled with a master maker of bowls.[147] There at the king’s command various kinds of eating and drinking bowls of gold and silver, inlaid with precious stones, were made for the use of the court. King Kuśa made such lovely and well-fashioned eating and drinking vessels of gold and silver, inlaid with precious stones, that there was no bowl-maker who could make their like. And when the bowl-makers saw such bowls (469) they were amazed. “See,” said they, “what a fine master, what a smart craftsman it is who makes such bowls of precious metals, that we have never seen their like before.” And on them all King Kuśa inscribed his name as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know that they were the handiwork of Kuśa.

When all the royal gold and silver bowls were finished the master bowl-maker delivered them to King Mahendraka. When the latter saw the bowls which had been made by King Kuśa, he was amazed and concluded that such bowls, inlaid with precious stones, had been made by an expert master. King Mahendraka handed over the precious vessels to the eunuchs and chamberlains, saying to them, “Go in to the court and let the queen and my daughter Sudarśanā first have those which they like, and then offer them to the other queens and the women of the court.” The eunuchs and chamberlains took the precious bowls into the women’s apartment and delivered them to the chief queen. “Your majesty,” said they, “these precious vessels were sent by the king. Your majesty and your daughter Sudarśanā are first to take those which you like, then the others are to be given to the other queens and the women of the court.”

Her mother, her sisters, the women of the court, the eunuchs and chamberlains said to Sudarśanā, “Sudarśanā, these precious bowls for eating and drinking were sent by your father. Do you first choose those which you like, then it will be allowed to the other queens and all the women of the court to choose.” And Sudarśanā was about to select the finest of all, which was well-made, well-finished and shapely, when she saw on it the name of Kuśa. She thought to herself, “This is the handiwork of Kuśa.” So she rejected it and chose others of crude workmanship. Her mother, her sisters, (470) the women of the court, the eunuchs and the chamberlains remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you reject such beautiful precious bowls, the finest of all, and select others crudely made?” She replied, “I do not want this, let me have that.” But she revealed the secret of it to no one.

Thus King Kuśa derived no profit from his stay with the master bowl-maker. So he left and settled at a master goldsmith’s. There by the king’s command golden ornaments of various kinds were made for the court, such as, tiaras, sandals,[148] chaplets,[149] screens,[150] furbelows,[151] jewelled ear-rings, baskets, strings of pearls,[152] mirrors, bracelets, rings, girdles, slippers,[153] rings for toes and fingers.[154] And King Kuśa made such fine ornaments of gold, so magnificent, superb, well made, well-finished, refined,[155] purified, delicate, pliable[156] and resplendent, that all the other goldsmiths were amazed when they saw them. “See,” said they, “what a fine master, what a smart craftsman it is who has made these ornaments of gold; so well fashioned, finished and shapely are they that we have never seen their like before.” And on all of them King Kuśa engraved his name as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know that they were the handiwork of Kuśa.

When all the ornaments had been finished by the goldsmiths (471) they were brought[157] to King Mahendraka. And when that king saw the ornaments made by King Kuśa he was filled with wonder. “See,” said he, “what well-fashioned, well-finished and brilliant ornaments these are. They have been made by an expert master.” King Mahendraka handed the ornaments to the eunuchs and chamberlains, saying, “Go and give these to the chief queen and to Sudarśanā to make their choice first, and afterwards to the other queens and all the women of the court.”

The eunuchs and chamberlains took the ornaments into the king’s court and delivered them to the chief queen and Sudarśanā. “Your majesty,” said they, “these golden ornaments have been sent by the king. Do you and your daughter Sudarśanā first choose what you like. Afterwards they will be given to the other queens and all the women of the court.”

Sudarśanā was about to select the most brilliant, well-made, well-finished and shapely ornament, when she saw on it the name of Kuśa. She thought to herself, “This is Kuśa’s handiwork.” So she rejected it and chose those crudely and unskilfully made. Her mother, her sisters and the women of the court remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you so perversely reject the finest of all the golden ornaments, which are well-made, well-finished and shapely, and the work of an expert master, and choose those which are crudely and unskilfully made?” Sudarśanā answered, “I do not want that. Let this be mine.” But she did not reveal the secret of it to anybody.

Thus King Kuśa derived no profit from his stay at the goldsmith’s. So he left and settled at a master-jeweller’s. There at the king’s command (472) various kinds of jewellery were made for the women of the court, such as necklaces of pearls, gems, beryl, shell, stone, red coral, crystal, white coral and ruby, necklaces of sixty-four strings,[158] jewelled ear-rings, jewelled nets,[159] tiaras, bracelets, bangles and girdles. King Kuśa made such well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely jewellery that all the jewellers were amazed when they saw it. “See,” said they, “what a fine master, what a smart craftsman it is who makes such well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely jewellery that we have never seen the like before.” And on all the articles King Kuśa carved his name as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know that they were the handiwork of Kuśa.

When the ornaments had been finished by the jewellers they were brought to King Mahendraka. And the king was filled with wonder when he saw those made by Kuśa. “See,” said he, “what a fine master, what an expert craftsman is here.” King Mahendraka handed the ornaments to the eunuchs and chamberlains. “Go,” said he to them, “give these ornaments to the chief queen and Sudarśanā to choose what they like first, and then give them to the other queens and all the women of the court.” And the eunuchs and chamberlains took the ornaments to the court and delivered them to the chief queen and Sudarśanā. “Your majesty,” said they, “these ornaments have been sent by the king. Do you and your daughter Sudarśanā select what you like. Afterwards they will be given to the other queens and to all the women of the court.”

Sudarśanā was about to select the finest of all the ornaments, which was well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely, when she saw on it the name of Kuśa. She thought to herself, “This is the handiwork of Kuśa.” (473) So she rejected it and chose others more crudely and unskilfully made. Her mother, her sisters, the women of the court, the eunuchs and chamberlains remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you so perversely reject such jewels, which are well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely, and choose those which are crudely and unskilfully made?” Sudarśanā answered, “I do not want them. Let me have this.” But she did not reveal the secret to anybody.

Thus King Kuśa did not derive any profit from his stay at the jeweller’s. So he left and settled with a master maker of shell bracelets.[160] There at the king’s command various ornaments and vessels of shell and ivory were made for the women of the court, such as bracelets of ivory, boxes for eye-salve,[161] caskets of ivory, ointment boxes in fantastic shapes,[162] vases of ivory, furbelows[163] of ivory, foot-ornaments[164] of ivory, sīṃhakas,[165] armlets of shell, sofas[166] of shell, vessels of shell for holding oil, perfume and paint, mats[167] of shell, lids of shell, necklaces of shell, girdles of shell, vocakas[168] of shell, palanquins[169] of shell, and coverings of shell. And King Kuśa made various articles and ornaments of ivory and shell which were so well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely that all the workers in shell and ivory were amazed when they saw them. “See,” said they, “what a fine master and what a smart craftsman it is who makes such ornaments and articles of shell and ivory that we have never seen their like before.” And on all of them King Kuśa carved his name (474) as a mark, so that Sudarśanā might know they were the handiwork of Kuśa.

When all the ornaments had been finished by the workers in shell and ivory as the king had ordered, they were delivered to King Mahendraka. When the king saw the excellent, brilliant, skilled and superb handiwork of Kuśa, he was amazed. “See,” said he, “what we have here made by a clever master.” The princes, ministers and king’s retainers observed the articles made by Kuśa, and when they had seen them they, too, were amazed, and said they were the work of an expert master.

King Mahendraka handed over the ornaments and vessels to the eunuchs and chamberlains. “Go,” said he to them, “into the women’s quarters and let the chief queen and Sudarśanā my daughter first choose what they like. Then let the other queens and the women of the court have their choice.” The eunuchs and chamberlains took the ornaments and vessels into the women’s quarters and delivered them to the chief queen. “Your majesty,” said they, “these ornaments and vessels of shell and ivory have been sent by the king. Do you and your daughter Sudarśanā first take what you like. Then a choice will be given to the other queens and all the women of the court.”

When Sudarśanā saw the ornaments and vessels of shell and ivory she observed one which was better made and fashioned, more lovely and brilliant than all the others, and the work of a fine master. She extended her hand, and was about to take it when she saw on it the name of Kuśa. And she thought to herself, “This is the handiwork of Kuśa.” So she rejected it and chose others which were crudely and unskilfully made. Her mother, her sisters, the women, the eunuchs and chamberlains remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, (475) why do you so perversely reject these which have been made by a fine master and are the loveliest of all, well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely, the work of a fine master, and choose others which are crudely and unskilfully made?” Sudarśanā answered, “I want none of those; let me have this.” But she did not reveal the secret to anybody.

Thus King Kuśa derived no special advantage[170] from his stay with the worker in shell and ivory. So he left and settled with a master machine-worker.[171] There at the king’s command various kinds of machine-made[172] staffs were produced for the women of the court. Various toys were made by machine, and fans. Fans in the form of palm-leaves[173] were machine-made, fans in the form of peacocks’ tails,[174] and footstools and couches with machine-made legs. Mahāśālikas[175] and bracelets were made by machine. Various artificial[176] birds were made by machine, such as parrots, śārikas,[177] cuckoos, geese, peacocks, woodpeckers, ducks, morambas,[178] and pheasants. Vessels for holding sesamum oil were made by machine. Various kinds of artificial fruits were made by machine, such as bhavyas,[179] pomegranates, citrons, fruit of the vīrasena,[180] grapes, mangoes, rose-apples, figs, elephant-tree apples, coconuts,[181] breadfruit, fruit of the kṣīrika,[182] of the nīpa,[183] of the kadamba,[184] and dates.[185] Such were the various machine-made articles produced there.

King Kuśa produced (476) such machine-made articles, so well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely, that all the machine-workers were amazed when they saw them. “See,” said they, “what a fine master, what a smart craftsman it is who has made such well-turned[186] articles, so well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely, that we have never seen their like before.” And on all of them King Kuśa inscribed his name as a mark, so that Sudarśanā should know they were the handiwork of Kuśa.

When all the articles had been finished by the machine-workers, they were delivered to the king. And Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, was amazed when he saw the articles which had been made by Kuśa. “See,” said he, “how well-fashioned, well-finished and shapely are these things made by a fine master.” The king then handed the articles to the eunuchs and chamberlains. “Go,” said he to them, “take these to the women’s quarters, and give them first to the chief queen and my daughter Sudarśanā, and afterwards to the other queens and all the women of the court.”

The eunuchs and chamberlains took the articles into the women’s quarters and handed them to the chief queen and her daughter Sudarśanā. “Your majesty,” said they, “these machine-made articles have been sent by the king. Do you and your daughter Sudarśanā first select what you like. Afterwards a choice will be given to the other queens and all the women of the court.” Śudarśanā extended her hand and was about to take what she saw was the finest of the articles, well-fashioned, well-finished, and shapely, when she saw on it the name of Kuśa. She thought to herself, “This is Kuśa’s handiwork.” So she rejected it, and chose other articles, which were crudely made. Her mother, her sisters, the women of the court, the eunuchs and chamberlains remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you perversely reject the things which are well-fashioned, well-finished, shapely, and the work of a fine master, and choose others which are crudely and unskilfully made. Why do you not choose the finest of all?” (477) Sudarśanā answered, “I do not want that. Let this be mine.” But no one knew the secret of it.

King Kuśa thus derived no profit from his stay at the machine-worker’s. So he left and settled with a master worker in cane.[187] There, various articles of cane were made for the king, such as fans, fans in the shape of palm-leaves, sunshades, receptacles,[188] baskets, cane stands,[189] cane posts,[190] and cane carriers.[191] Such were the varied articles made at the king’s command for the women of the court. And King Kuśa, in the company of all the other cane-workers, made the varied articles of cane for the women of the court in such a way that not one of the cane-workers could produce their like.

When all the articles of cane had been finished as ordered, they were brought to the king. And he sent them by the hands of the eunuchs and chamberlains to the women’s quarters, where they were delivered first to the chief queen and Sudarśanā. “These,” said they, “are sent to you by the king. Do you first select what you like. Then a choice will be given to all the women of the court.” The chief queen chose what she liked, and then said to Sudarśanā, “Now do you choose the articles of cane which please you.” But when she saw that the finest, the most superb, the best wrought, the most exquisite articles of cane, which had been made by King Kuśa and were the marvel of the people, were inscribed with Kuśa’s name, she rejected them, and chose others crudely made. (478) Her mother, her sisters, the women of the court, the eunuchs and chamberlains remonstrated with her, saying, “Sudarśanā, why do you reject the fine and superb articles of cane, and choose others crudely made?” She answered, “I do not want those; let me have these.” But they did not know the secret reason why she did not choose those regal articles.

Thus King Kuśa did not derive any profit from his stay with the worker in cane. So he left and went to the kitchen of Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, where he joined the chief cook, saying to him, “I will stay here and do whatever task you order. I am skilled at work like this.” The chief cook appointed King Kuśa to his kitchen and gave him instructions, saying, “Now get on with your work.” There in the royal kitchen King Kuśa prepared such varied kinds of meat, condiments, herbs, and victuals, whether sour, salt, acid, pungent, astringent or sweet,[192] that all the royal cooks never saw such cooking before. And in all his life Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, had never before tasted such flavour.

When Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, entered the refectory,[193] he could not have enough of eating the varied and exquisite kinds of meat, condiments, herbs and victuals, whether sour, salt, acid, pungent, astringent or sweet, which had been cooked by King Kuśa. The king was amazed and questioned the chief cook, saying, “Here, tell me, what cook was it who cooked my food to-day? In all my life I have never tasted with my tongue such excellent flavour.” And the chief cook respectfully informed the king, saying, “Your majesty, a stranger has been appointed as cook in the kitchen. It was he who cooked your majesty’s food.”

(479) The king thought to himself, “This skilful cook must be made welcome in every way. He must be kindly treated, so that he will never leave.” And the king gave instructions to the chief cook, saying, “Here, chef, bring in the cook who prepared my food to-day, so that I may see him.” So when the king entered the refectory the chief cook presented King Kuśa to him, saying, “Here is the cook who prepared your majesty’s food.” Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, saw that King Kuśa was ugly, repulsive, thick-lipped, thick-headed, thick-footed, pot-bellied, and black, the colour of a heap of soot. Seeing this the king was amazed. “Ah! not so,” he exclaimed, “he is really beautiful, though his exterior is uncouth. He has such an understanding of flavouring and a delicate sense of taste.”[194] A generous allowance was duly assigned to him. Royal food, solid and soft, was put before him, and when he had eaten, drink was given him and a garland hung[195] round his neck. And King Mahendraka gave orders, saying, “Let this cook have free access[196] to the palace.” So he lived in the royal palace honoured and esteemed. He was beloved of the king, and beloved of, dear to, and popular with all the princes, ministers and army officers.

Then Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, gave instructions to the eunuchs and chamberlains, saying to them, “Ho, men, let this cook boldly enter the women’s quarters and let him become a plaything of the women.” So King Kuśa boldly entered the palace, while the women said, “This man has been given us by the king to be a plaything.” And the women boldly played with him, made sport with him, mounted on his back,[197] and made him carry them in various other ways.[198] Sudarśanā suddenly saw King Kuśa (480) being ridden by the women. And when she saw him she was frightened and alarmed. She was annoyed and angry[199] with the women, and reproved them, saying, “Is it permissible that women should make a man carry them?” But the women answered and said, “Sudarśanā, why are you annoyed and angry with us, and why do you reprove us? If this plaything of ours[200] were your husband, then you could be jealous of him.”[201] Sudarśanā replied, “Never mind my jealousy. The point is that it is not proper for you to make this man carry you. I shall not be pleased[202] with the woman who rides him.”

Now when Sudarśanā saw King Kuśa in the women’s quarters she became downcast of countenance and afflicted by sorrow. Yet she did not approach him nor speak to him. But King Kuśa said to her, “Are you frightened on seeing me here?” Sudarśanā answered, “Why have you come here? It is a wonder that you were not seen on your way, whether at night or in daytime, and that you were not killed by someone who took you for a demon of the forest. Go back to your wide realm and your spacious halls. Divert, delight and amuse yourself with your own people. What will you do here?” King Kuśa answered, “I will not go without you. The land from which I come has no charm for me.”

Sudarśanā said:—

Now what am I to do? Or why should I be blamed?[203]

My heart is a-flutter as though I had seen a demon[204] of the sea. What am I to do? Or why should I be blamed? My heart is a-flutter like (the heart of) a straying deer when it sees the hunter.

(481) Blame me not, but night and day hurry back along the way you came. Return to your own kingdom, Kuśa, I do not wish to see your ugly countenance.

The king replied:—

O stately lady, swart of complexion, with firm hips and a slender waist, I am distraught for love of you. I have no desire for my throne.

O lady of the well-developed bosom, though I know[205] what land I came from I wander distraught over the earth. O lady, of the soft fawn-like glance, I am mad with love.

The queen said:—

You are out of your mind, since you desire one who does not desire you. O king, you love one who does not love you. This is not the mark of a wise man.

Kuśa replied:—

When a man wins a lady whether she loves him or loves him not, men praise his success. He who fails is a sorry fellow.

The queen said:—

You can gratify even a thousand women in one night. But through loving one woman only you incur great misery.

(482) The king replied:—

I know none of that misery, O glorious lovely lady, in chaste living accomplished. You will be my wife.

The queen said:—

Talk not of my chaste life; it is worth nothing to you.[206] You will make love elsewhere, to a lioness or a jackal.

Kuśa replied:—

Speak not so, O lady of the fine hips and slender waist. Even recluses win bright renown among us[207] by their chaste living.

For, lady, they shine in this world by virtue of their well-spent lives, and are reborn in heaven in Tridaśa,[208] where they enjoy the pleasures of sense.

This I tell you, O lady of the fine hips and slender waist, no other man is your lord but Kuśa of the lion voice.

The queen said:—

If what the prophets say be true, you can cut me to pieces ere I become your wife.[209]

The king replied:—

I have no wish to cut you up, O lady of the fine hips and slender waist, whole as you are will you become my wife.

(483) A great realm is mine, rich in horses and in men, infinite in extent, and having abundant clothing and food.

But now here am I come having abandoned[210] throne and realm.

Distraught by love for you, I care not for my kingdom.

The queen said:—

You might as well dig a hole in the rock with the wood of the karṇikāra tree,[211] or catch the wind in a net, as desire one who does not desire you.

You desire me, but I do not desire you; you love me, but I do not love you. Go back to your kingdom. Why do you weary yourself?

The king replied:—

This is no weariness for me, it is but living a chaste life. Somewhere or other, lady, you will become my wife.

The queen said:—

Let this chaste life of yours be regarded as worthless. Go, woo a lioness, a jackal, or even an ass.

Then Kuśa, the son of a king, the heroic, the invincible in combat, since he was noble and wise,[212] spoke these words:—

(484) If I go away, O lady of the fine hips and slender waist, I will first bind you with fetters. What will your people do?

The queen said!—

You must not sin[213] against that dharma you once upheld. Bearing that dharma in mind how can you wish to bind me?

The king said:—

I have the power to bind[214] you, O sovereign lady,[215] and make you go where’er I will. What can your father do?

I can if I like gratify a thousand women in one night. But you are my choice, O sovereign lady of the gleaming teeth.

The queen said:—

I know, your majesty, that you are strong and valiant. But you are ugly and hideous, too. You are repulsive, though you are a mighty lord.

You are thick-lipped, thick-headed and pot-bellied. I have no wish to see you. So do not weary yourself.

These high walls, these lofty towers and copings, and these warriors on elephants will stop you.

These fight with swords, axes, arrows and well-sharpened knives, and they shall seize you, O king.

(485) Thus did King Kuśa and Sudarśanā indulge in varied altercation with each other. But no one else knew that he really was King Kuśa. Then it happened that neighbouring and hostile kings, who were mighty and powerful and had great armies, heard that Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, had a daughter named Sudarśanā, who was lovely and beautiful. They learnt also that she had deserted King Kuśa and had returned to her father. Her husband, King Kuśa, found no favour in her eyes, because, so she said, he was ugly.

These seven kings, therefore, got together an army of four divisions—elephants, cavalry, charioteers, and infantry, and joined forces in order to secure Sudarśanā. Now of these seven kings, he who was noblest by birth was the king named Durmati, and he was also the strongest and the mightiest of the seven. The seven kings set out with great pomp and splendour, and in due course reached the park of Kanyakubja.

Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, sent a separate messenger to each of the seven kings, saying, “This daughter of mine, Sudarśanā, is the wife of King Kuśa, so I cannot give her to another.” When the seven kings heard this statement of Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, they were enraged and furious,[216] and, each with his own troops, they invested the city of Kanyakubja.

Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, entered the city, closed the gates, and prepared to endure a siege.[217] And he thought to himself, “Now I am beleagured by these seven kings. All of them are mighty and powerful, and I am not equal to giving them battle. If I give my daughter to one of them, the other six kings will be offended. What then am I to do?” In his anger King Mahendraka reproached his daughter Sudarśanā, saying, “Why did you run away from your husband and come here? For now, because of you, I am besieged (486) by seven kings. If any of the seven offers me violence I will cut you up into seven pieces, and give a piece to each of the seven kings.”

When Sudarśanā heard her father’s words, she became alarmed, terrified and distressed. She appealed to her mother, saying, “Mother, if these seven kings, contending with one another for me, will attack, then bum my bones to ashes and collect them, and make a shrine[218] for me. And at the entrance to the shrine you will plant a karṇikāra tree. Then when the summer is past and the first rainy month is come, that tree will be laden with flowers and be as beautiful as gold. Then you will remember me, and say, ‘Such was the beauty of my dear Sudarśanā’.”

When the chief queen heard the words of her daughter Sudarśanā, she became alarmed, terrified and distressed. Sobbing and weeping she exclaimed, “How can I live without my daughter?”

Sudarśanā thought to herself, “So courageous, strong and valiant is King Kuśa that these seven kings cannot give him battle. Let me then plead for my life with King Kuśa.” So Sudarśanā went to King Kuśa, talked pleasantly to him about various things, and then said to him, “Your majesty, thus does my father threaten me. If, says he, these seven kings cause him any harm, then he will cut me up into seven pieces and give a piece to each one of them.” King Kuśa conversed with Sudarśanā and then said to her, “In loving you I have, it seems, done you a great injury. What will you do to me?”[219]

Thus did King Kuśa sit and talk with Sudarśanā. And the talk was heard by Sudarśanā’s mother, and after she had heard it she (487) also saw King Kuśa. “Who may this be,” she asked, “whence is he come? Is he a minstrel, a trader, a currier, a barber, a caṇḍāla,[220] or a pukkasa,[221] who thus dares to reprove and threaten my daughter?” But Sudarśanā raised her joined hands to her mother and said to her, “Mother, do not talk so. This man is neither a musician, nor a trader, nor a slave, nor a currier. He is the eldest of the five hundred sons of King Ikśvāku, and called Kuśa. Do not, mother, think that he is a slave.”

Gleaming white like a shell and thronged by women is this nobleman’s rich court, and yet you deem him a slave.

Furnished with vessels of gold and teeming with women is this nobleman’s rich court, and yet you deem him a slave.

He has sixty thousand cities. Thriving, prosperous and peaceful is this nobleman’s rich court, and yet you deem him a slave.

He has sixty thousand elephants with trimmings and housings of gold. With their long[222] tusks these mighty beasts issue forth,

Ridden by village chiefs armed with swords and lances. Rich is this nobleman’s court, and yet you deem him a slave.

He has sixty thousand chariots, moving with a joyous sound, decorated, made of iron, well-wrought, covered with leopard’s skin,

And ridden by village chiefs armed with bows and in armour. Rich is this nobleman’s court, and yet you deem him a slave.

He has sixty thousand horses, the best of thoroughbred steeds, (488) having girths of gold and bejewelled bits,

And ridden by village chiefs carrying nets, and armed. Rich is this nobleman’s court, and yet you deem him a slave.

Twenty thousand brahmans always eat at the king’s table, and day and night they are ever honoured and esteemed. Rich is this nobleman’s court, and yet you deem him a slave.

Five hundred princes abide there, all knowing father and mother. Rich is this nobleman’s court, and yet you deem him a slave.

He has sixty thousand treasuries, a father and a greatgrandfather..[223] where the king and lord of men named Kuśa is. In beauty and energy there is not his equal in the world.

Sudarśanā’s mother, the chief queen, when she heard these words, was delighted that she had such a son-in-law who was endowed with all good qualities. And she related her daughter’s words to Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas. “Your majesty,” said she, “that you may know, I tell you that King Kuśa has arrived here.” But the king on hearing these words of the queen’s was alarmed and agitated, and his hair stood on end. He said, “Lady, how mad, how demented you are, when you say that King Kuśa has arrived. What is King Kuśa like? Where did you see King Kuśa?” The queen replied, “Your majesty, I am not mad nor demented. Assuredly, King Kuśa is he who cooks the food in your kitchen, and is the plaything of the women in your harem.”

When the king heard this he was still more alarmed, agitated (489) and distressed. He said, “Have I not trouble enough in that seven kings keep me beleagured? And now there is the trouble that the great King Kuśa has come here incensed with Sudarśanā. In his anger with me he will cause trouble within the city when I ride out.”[224] And Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, thus alarmed and frightened, went into the women’s quarters. He held out his joined hands to King Kuśa and begged for his pardon, saying, “Forgive me, your majesty, if I have done you any wrong.” But King Kuśa assured his father-in-law, saying, “Be not afraid. There is no need for you to ask pardon of me.”

Then Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, instantly led King Kuśa to the bathroom, and had his hair and beard trimmed by barbers. He was anointed with fragrant oil worth a hundred pieces,[225] bathed with royal bathing powders, rubbed with royal ointments and dressed in royal finery. Wearing strings of pearls he was led to the same seat as his father-in-law and was entertained[226] with music played on the five musical instruments.[227]

Then was heard the high loud-sounding roar of the armies of the seven kings. And King Kuśa questioned his father-in-law, saying, “Your majesty, why do I hear the uproar and shouting of a great concourse of men?” The king replied, “Seven kings are investing this city on Sudarśanā’s account, and I am besieged. The shouting is that of the armies of the seven kings.”

King Kuśa consoled his father-in-law, saying, “Be not afraid, your majesty, I shall contrive that these seven kings will submit to us and do our bidding.” And King Kuśa thus instructed his father-in-law. “Your majesty,” said he, “have the ears of all these mighty elephants, of all the horses, of all the quadrupeds, and of all the people stopped with wax,[228] lest they hear my lion-roar and your own forces be scattered.”[229] Then King Kuśa climbed on the back of a mighty elephant (490), and, having had the city gate opened, he rode out attended by a great crowd. He gave vent to his lion-roar, and as he roared his lion-roar all the seven kings with their might and their hosts were vanquished. They were captured alive, and, with their arms securely bound behind them, were brought to his father-in-law, Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas. All the seven mighty kings fell at the feet of Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas. “Hail, your majesty,” said they, “we come to you for refuge and we are ready to do your bidding.”

Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, asked his son-in-law Kuśa, “My son, what is your pleasure that I should do with these seven kings? As you bid me so shall I do.” King Kuśa replied, “Your majesty, in your harem you have a number of daughters. It is meet that they should all be married. Now these seven kings are all of them noble, and have great forces, wealth and wide realms. Therefore, your majesty, dower[230] your seven daughters with a thousand pieces of gold and give a daughter to each king. Thus these seven kings will become your sons-in-law and will be powerful partisans of yours. All rival kings, seeing that you have a great army and following, will be submissive and obedient to you, and no hostile king will stand up to you.” Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, replied, “Very well, my son. I shall do as you bid me.” And Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, dowered each of his seven daughters with a thousand pieces of gold, and with great royal pomp and ceremony gave a daughter to each king. Thus sons and grandsons were secured as allies.[231] The seven kings were sent by Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, with great honour and respect each to his kingdom. “Go, my friends,” said he, “and rule each over his own realm.” (491) After these kings had been sent away, King Kuśa stayed on for some time. Then he addressed his father-in-law Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, saying, “Your majesty, I announce to you that I too am going back to my own land.” Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, replied, “My son, do not go. I owe my life to you, and my whole kingdom was rescued from danger by you. I am old, advanced in years, of great age, and my youth is past. I am your father and you are my son. Govern this kingdom and do not go away.” King Kuśa said, “Your majesty, I have been here a long time. My kingdom is unsettled and my mother is anxious. I declare to you that I am going.” Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, replied, “It is very much against my will that you go.” King Kuśa said, “It is very much against my own will also that I go.” Then Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, summoned his daughter Sudarśanā and told her of this. “My daughter,” said he, “your husband, King Kuśa, is a most valiant man. So strong and powerful is he that through him you and I and the whole kingdom were saved from danger, and all the kings submit to him. Sudarśanā, my daughter, be worthy of King Kuśa, your husband. Serve him with affection and honour.” Sudarśanā reverently assented to her father’s exhortation.

Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, with great pomp and ceremony, gave his daughter Sudarśanā to King Kuśa. And the latter, attended by an army of the four divisions, elephants, cavalry, chariots and infantry, was sent back to his own kingdom. “Go, my son,” said Mahendraka, “back to your own kingdom.”

On his way back to his kingdom King Kuśa stayed in the grove of a place which was furnished with parks, and where there was a large lotus-pond. While he was bathing in the lotus-pond King Kuśa saw his reflection in the water and realised how ugly, hideous and repulsive he was. He looked again, and seeing how unlovely his body was he said to himself, “Verily, there is good reason why Sudarśanā, daughter of Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, should despise me for my misshapen, ugly and repulsive body.[232] (492) Let me now then destroy myself.” And he decided to kill himself. But Śakra, lord of the devas, in his home in Trāyastriṃśa[233] became aware that King Kuśa was intending to kill himself. And Śakra thought, “This King Kuśa is in the way of becoming a Bodhisattva who will confer welfare and happiness on all beings. But he intends to kill himself because he is ugly and hideous, and then he will be of no use to the world.”

And Śakra, lord of the devas, bringing with him the celestial gem called jyotirasa[234] which was in the centre of the celestial single rope[235] of red pearls, appeared in the sky and spoke to King Kuśa, saying, “Your majesty, do not lay violent hands on yourself. But fasten on your head this single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem in it.[236] When you have this tied on you there will be in the whole of Jambudvīpa none equal to you in complexion and form. If you wish to recover your former complexion and form, then hide this single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem in your dress, and your complexion and form will be as before.”

After King Kuśa had bathed in the lotus-pond, anointed himself with ointments and donned his royal garments, he fastened the single rope of pearls[237] on his head. Then he contemplated his face in the lotus-pond to see if there was any difference. And as he thus contemplated himself he discovered that he was lovely and beautiful. For complexion and form, his like had never been seen in Jambudvīpa. When King Kuśa saw himself so exquisitely beautiful, he became glad and elated. “No more,” said he, “will Sudarśanā, the daughter of Mahendraka, king of the Madrakas, despise me, or any one else deem me ugly.”

King Kuśa was standing in front of his own doorway[238] and was about to enter when he was stopped by the porters. (493) “Who are you, fellow,” they asked him, “who would have the impudence to enter the king’s palace? Do you not know that King Kuśa is difficult of access and hard to appease. Take care you do not presently find yourself in trouble and misfortune.” King Kuśa replied, “I am your master. I am King Kuśa.” The porters said, “Do we not know King Kuśa and what he is like? It would be a piece of good luck[239] if King Kuśa were like this. For then we, as well as the whole kingdom and the family of Ikṣvāku would be blessed with the greatest of blessings in having a king of such beauty, endowed with such lovely, beautiful and perfect complexion and form.” King Kuśa thought to himself, “This man does not recognise me.” And he hid the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa jewel in his dress. Then the door-keeper saw King Kuśa in his own form, and, alarmed and terrified, he fell down at his feet. “Your majesty,” said he, “we did not know that you were the king.”

King Kuśa entered the palace and approached the queen. But she too stopped him and said, “Who are you, fellow, whence do you come, who would have the impudence to enter the royal palace? Do you not know that it is not safe to enter the harem of King Kuśa? Do not venture into the palace, lest you find yourself in trouble and misfortune.” King Kuśa replied, “Madam, I am your husband. Know that I am King Kuśa.” The queen said, “You are not my husband. You are not King Kuśa. Do I not know what King Kuśa is like in complexion and form? It would indeed be a piece of good luck if King Kuśa were like you in complexion and form, for then I should be blessed with the greatest of blessings.”

King Kuśa then hid the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa in his dress, and resumed his former appearance in complexion and form. Sudarśanā said, “Your majesty, why do you display this trick of illusion?” King Kuśa replied, “Madam, this is no trick of illusion. On the contrary,[240] I was contemplating doing away with myself when Śakra, lord of the devas, (494) gave me this single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem in it, saying, ‘Your majesty, do not kill yourself, but fasten this single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem on your head, and then in the whole of Jambudvīpa there will not be your equal in complexion and form. When you wish to recover your original complexion and form, hide the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa jewel in your dress. You will then have your old appearance back.’ It is thus a favour done me by Śakra, lord of the devas.” Queen Sudarśanā said, “I, too, have had a favour conferred on me by Śakra, lord of the devas, in that he has made you like this in complexion and form.” And the queen added, “Your majesty,” said she, “never hide the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa jewel. Let such sublime beauty be yours at all times. You will thus be more acceptable to the whole kingdom and to all the people.” And so King Kuśa retained this complexion and form, and went on his way like a deva.

Then the four hundred and ninety-nine princes in Benares, the ministers and officers heard that King Kuśa was coming, and they all went out to meet him. King Kuśa came riding on a stately elephant and accompanied by an army of four divisions. Now the princes and army officers did not recognise King Kuśa, and they inquired of one another, saying, “Who can this king be who comes and who is so comely, beautiful, dignified, with noble complexion and form, and mounted on an elephant? We do not see King Kuśa.”

King Kuśa thought to himself, “They do not recognise me.” So while riding on the elephant he hid the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem in his hand, and forthwith he resumed his former appearance of complexion and form.

The four hundred and ninety-nine princes, the ministers and the army officers on seeing King Kuśa in his own form were alarmed and terrified. They fell at his feet and said to him, “Hail, your majesty, we did not (495) know that it was our king.” Then King Kuśa explained matters to his brothers, the ministers and the army officers. “Friends,” said he, “Śakra, lord of the devas, gave me this single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem, saying, ‘Tie it on your head and there will be none like you in complexion and form The princes, ministers and army officers said to the king, “We have had a great favour conferred on us by Śakra, lord of the devas, in that your maiesty’s complexion and form have been made like this.”

And so King Kuśa came to Benares with great royal magnificence and splendour and possessed of a noble complexion and form. He entered the royal palace where he greeted Alindā the queen-mother, bowed at her feet and stood before her. Now Alindā the queen-mother did not recognise King Kuśa. She asked, “Where is my son, where is King Kuśa?” King Kuśa replied, “Mother, I am your son. Iam King Kuśa.” But the queen-mother said, “You are not my son. You are not King Kuśa. Surely King Kuśa has been killed by some-body or is dead, for he does not appear. Alas! I shall die unprotected since[241] I have lost my son.”

Then King Kuśa, seeing his mother lamenting so, put away the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem in his dress, and resumed his former complexion and form. Alindā the queen-mother was glad when she saw her son in his old complexion and form. She asked him, “My son, how is it you came to have such complexion and form?” King Kuśa replied, “Mother, Śakra, lord of the devas, gave me a single rope of pearls with a jyotirasa gem in it. When I tied this on me[242] my complexion and form became as you saw just now.”[243]

Alindā the queen-mother was delighted, glad and pleased. She said, “I have seen my son with such nobility of complexion and form as I could wish him to have.” And all the women of the court, also, seeing King Kuśa’s nobility of complexion and form were delighted, glad and pleased.

Thus, whenever King Kuśa tied on the single rope of pearls with the jyotirasa gem (496), which had been given him by Śakra, lord of the devas, he became like a deva, and whenever he hid it in his hand he resumed his former complexion and form. So King Kuśa ruled at Benares with illustrious success and prosperity, triumphant over rivals and foes.

And on that occasion the Exalted One recited the following verse before the Four Assemblies[244] and the rest of the multitude.

All the affairs of the virtuous man turn out successful, as happened to King Kuśa who was re-united with his wife and his people.

It may be, monks, that you will think that the king named Kuśa at that time and on that occasion was somebody else. You must think otherwise. For at that time and on that occasion I was King Kuśa. You may think that at that time and on that occasion Mahendraka, King of the Madrakas, was somebody else. You must not think so, for he was this Śākyan, Mahānāma. You may think that Alindā the queen-mother was somebody else. You must not think so, for she was Queen Māyā. You may think that Sudarśanā was somebody else. You must not think so. She was Yaśodharā here. You may think, monks, that he who was chief of the seven kings and named Durmati was somebody else. You must not think so, for he was wicked Māra, and the other kings were his henchmen. Then, too, was wicked Māra with his might and his host routed by the noise of my cough, just as he has now, with his might and his host, been routed at the foot of the bodhi tree by the noise of my cough.

Notes on the Kuśa-jātaka:

This is Pali Jātaka No. 531 (J. 5. 278 ff.). The Mhvu. version differs considerably from the Pali. It is far more circumstantial and detailed. The metrical version which follows at the beginning of Vol. 3 shows greater agreement with the Pali.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The text has two names for them, vāraṇa and kuñjara.

2.

Otherwise unknown.

3.

The added compound iṣutomarapāṇino, “with arrows and axes in their hands,” is, as Senart remarks, an obvious gloss.

4.

The text adds sakhurapravālāni, “with hoofs like coral,” which is obviously due to an error of the scribe in inadvertently re-writing a word which had occurred a few lines earlier.

5.

Lañcaka, corresponding to kalyāṇa above. For lañcaka, see Vol. 1, p. 90, n. 2.

6.

Utsaṅga, interpreted by Senart as a “large number,” after BR., which cites Lal. Vist. 168, 16. But utsaṅgāṃ kṛtvā seems a strange expression for “giving a large number,” and, perhaps, we should render “made their laps (full of) gold” (hiraṇyasuvarṇasya) i.e. “filled their laps with gold.”

7.

Velu, Pali veḷu, Sk. veṇu.

8.

Otherwise unknown.

9.

Śubhavarṇapuṣkalatā, cf. Pali pokkharatā.

10.

Lacuna in the text.

11.

Mūladaṇḍa = daṇḍamūla.

12.

Satkṛta, “honoured.”

13.

Anupātram, “comme il convenait pour le personnage” (Senart).

14.

I.e. from ikṣu, “sugar-cane.” Pali Okkāka. Not, of course, identical with the Ikṣvāku who was the progenitor of the Śākyans. See Vol. 1, p. 77, 293 ff. In the Pali Kusa-jātaka this preliminary folk-tale of the birth of Ikṣvāku (Okkāka) is wanting.

15.

Udvarteti, Pali ubbaṭṭeti. Cf. Sk. udvartana.

16.

Supeti, cs. of supati from svap.

17.

The text names lotuses of four different colours.

18.

Viruhyati, “grows badly,” but Senart considers that the true reading is vilujyati, “is cut off,” on the analogy of pralujyati (see p. 323, n. 4). One MS. reads viluhyati.

19.

Saṅkkyā.

20.

Gaṇanā.

21.

Mudrā. For discussions as to the meaning of this word here, as well as of the two in the preceding two notes, see T. W. Rhys Davids at Dial. 1. 21 and I. B. Horner, Book of the Discipline, 2. 176. It may be worth recalling here, as possibly giving a clue to the meaning, that in Mhvu. 1. 135 mudrā is the name of a kind of writing (lipi). In the translation (p. 107) it was left untranslated, with a reference to Senart’s suggestion that the meaning was “l’écriture des sceaux,” i.e. a special kind of writing for use on seals, as the Chinese, for example, also had. Miln. 79, also, seems to connect mudrā (muddā) with writing, when it says that memory arises from it, for by his training in lipi a man knows what syllable follows another. Woodward Verses of Uplift, p. 38, renders muddā by “craft of signs manual” and adds in a note that “undoubtedly the ancient Indian practice of bargaining by signs is meant.”

22.

Dhāraṇā, “learning by heart,” see Miln. 79. Cf. dhāraṇakā, “repeaters of the scriptures)” (ibid.).

23.

Niścitaguṇagṛhīta. Cf. guṇagṛhya, “attached to merit” (MW.).

24.

Sukhasaṃvāsa, “easy to live with.”

25.

Pūrvālāpin, see p. 62, n. 3.

26.

Bhaṭabalāgra, “hired troops.”

27.

This gāthā, without the last line, is found at S. 1.97.

28.

Ośiritavya, see Senart’s note, Vol. 1, p. 380.

29.

Strīkāgāra, a misprint for strīyāgāra, which is the form on pp. 425, 426.

30.

Trikṣutto, the v.ll. are triṣkṛtya and trikṣatto.

31.

Ośiṣṭa, past. part, of osarati, osirati, ośirati. See n. 1.

32.

Lobhaye, causal potential = aorist, and sg. for pl. The metrical version (Vol. 3, p. 1 text) has lobhenti.

33.

There are plenty of allusions in our text to the belief that good men could be reborn in the person of a god of the old pantheon.

34.

Kāya, sc. “of devas.”

35.

Ruccati, Pali for * rucyati, middle of ruc, but here apparently retaining the force of its original causative formation. Kinte ruccati = what makes you take delight? At least, it is impersonal, while the Pali is used with a personal subject. See P.E.D., s.v. A variant form is rucyati.

36.

Praruṇḍa, see p. 207, n. 1.

37.

Ayyaka, Pali and BSk.

38.

Payyaka, Pali and BSk.

39.

Gūhayati. Senart explains this (and guhāhi, next page) as being equivalent in sense to granthayati (and granthāhi), from granth, “to tie.” He cites in support avaguh from Vol. 1, p. 304, and the sense given to udguh in BR.

40.

Pīṣikā from piṣ.

41.

Varṇaka.

42.

Praṣṭum = spraṣṭum.

43.

Kāsanaka, from kāsa, “cough.”

44.

Literally, “grants requests falsely (or deceitfully),” mìthyāyācanāṃ karoti.

45.

Mandaṃ prekṣati, cf. Pali mandākṣa, which Halāyudha gives as = “bashful” (see P.E.D.).

46.

The turn of this sentence in the original is passive, for ākaḍḍhati, “draw” (from kṛṣ, see p. 229, n. 1) the predicate of Alindā, must be taken in a passive sense. Kaṭṭīkriyati, “drag,” is explicitly passive, though the form is doubtful, there being no other example, except kaṭṭīyamānī immediately below, of a form kaṭṭ corresponding to kaḍḍh. Laggati, “embrace," is the usual Pali form of lagnati, “to stick to,” but here apparently the double “g” was wrongly taken to mark a passive form.

47.

Reading na-ālaya glāyantīm for ālāpena galantī of Senart’s text, which he admits is a “pis aller,” necessitating as it does not only a neuter sense for vahati in aśrūhi vahantehi (? read sravantehi) but also the sense of “to drip” for galati. For ālaya glāyanti cf. Pali gilāna ālaya—“pretence of illness.” Two MSS. have nālāya. Senart’s rendering of his text is, “tout inondée dans ses lamentations de larmes qui se précipitent.”

48.

The mention of Rājagṛha here is strange, for Ikṣvāku was king in Benares.

49.

Sunivasta for sunivastra (Pali sunivattha) which latter form is found in one MS. and in the metrical version in vol. 3, p. 6 (text).

50.

Literally, “I delighted (am) a boon to you,” varante ramito aham, in which phrase Vol. 3, p. 6, has the more correct form rāmito.

51.

Pure, pariśuddha.

52.

Siṃhāsanapīṭha. Senart doubts the correctness of this, for there is no point in referring to this obvious fact. By deleting the na, as in two MSS., we would have sapiṭhā corresponding to sadṛśa (like a lion) in the parallel passage above, but there is nowhere any instance of sapīṭha in this sense. If a change is necessary it would be better to read siṃhāsapīṭha (siṃha-āsa-pīṭha) “lion’s seat” = “throne,” though the last two elements are rather tautological, as they are, too, in the text reading. This emendation would also support that of siṃhāsupīḍa (p. 458 text) into siṃhāsapīṭha.

53.

The text here and in the next paragraph speaks of five hundred queens or ladies as being given the drink. The number, of course, was four hundred and ninety-nine, and it would seem that ekūnā, “one less,” has been inadvertently dropped out. This prefix is found below with the numeral giving the number of the princes born to them, ekūna-pañcaśatāni.

54.

Kuśāgreṇa, cf. Pali kusaggena bhuñjati or pivati, “to eat or drink (only as little as) with a blade of grass.” (P.E.D.) The meaning here too, is, of course, “a tiny portion,” but as the word kuśa has a significance in the sequel, the full literal translation is given.

55.

Niṣadā, BSk. Pali nisadā, Sk. dṛṣad. For this interchange of n and d the P.E.D. compares Pali nijjuha and Sk. dātyūha. Immediately above the king is said to have used an ordinary stone, śilā, for the grinding.

56.

Supeti. See p. 376, n. 3.

57.

Syandamānikā, Pali sandamānikā.

58.

The word gallī is not found in the dictionaries, and there is no means of knowing what sort of carriage is meant by the word. No carriage of this name is mentioned in the lists of carriages in Nd. 1.145 and Miln. 276. Words approximating in form to gallī are gaḍi, “a draught ox” and gali, “a draught animal.”

59.

Mudrā, see p. 376, n. 8.

60.

Literally “at three claps of the hand,” trīhi tālehī.

61.

Yojana.

62.

Mocana. These two words have to be rendered here in their general or root sense, otherwise there will be no riddle. Their special senses will becoṃe apparent when the riddle is solved.

63.

Ukkaḍḍhāpita, from ut-kaḍḍh, “to draw out.” In the other instances the verb is utkhanāpita, from utkhanati, “to dig out.”

64.

Literally, “when the carriage is yoked,” yasmiṃ pradeśe yānaṃ yujyati. Yojana, the word used in the riddle has the special sense of “yoking.”

65.

Literally, “where the carriage is set free,” yānaṃ muccati, hence mocana of the riddle.

66.

Darśanaśālā.

67.

Pariviṣāpita, causative of pari-viṣ. The solution of this riddle hangs on the secondary sense of deva as a title of honour, e.g., of a prince.

68.

Literally, “will not make a contrast,” ullāsaṃ na kariṣyati. For this sense of ullāsa, cf. its use in rhetoric to denote “giving prominence to any subject by comparison or opposition” (MW.).

69.

Reading, with Senart, vyapakarṣeṇa for vyayakarmeṇa.

70.

Generally “great provinces,” mahājanapadā, see Vol. 1, p. 157, n. 2, and p. 240, n. 2.

71.

Pali, Kaṇṇakujja, “a district in Jambudvīpa. It is mentioned in a list of places passed by the Buddha on his way from Verañjā to Bārānasī.” (D.P.N.)

72.

Pali Śūrasena, or Surasena, “one of the sixteen Mahājanapadā, in the south of the Kuru country.” (D.P.N.)

73.

Or Madras, Pali Madda. Two or three other Pali tales speak of marriage alliances between this people and the people of Benares. (D.P.N.)

74.

I.e. the spokesman among the messengers.

75.

Vāreti, corresponding to the double causative vārāpeti of Pali. The simple causative vareti, “solicits,” “choose in marriage,” is found on the preceding page. This method of celebrating the betrothal savours of sympathetic magic, the sweetness of the confections (modaka), being supposed to portend or influence the happiness of the forthcoming marriage.

76.

Udakam. We might, perhaps, expect modakam, Mahendraka also being asked to partake of the sweet confections symbolical of the event. But the use of water, e.g., pouring it on the hands of the parties to a bargain, was a recognised legal symbol that the bargain was closed. See Vol. 1, p. 297, n. 3.

77.

So spelt here.

78.

Rocayati for the usual ārocayati, but the reading is not certain.

79.

Garbhagṛha.

80.

Liptopalipta, cf. Pali ullitāvalitta, A. 1.101.

81.

Literally, “let the ‘carrying-away’ be done,” vivāha kriyatu, vivāha being equivalent to kanyā-dāna, “the giving of the bride,” while āvāha = kanyā-gahaṇa, “the taking of the bride.” See SnA. 448.

82.

Vivāhadharma.

83.

Vivāhadharma, but we should expect āvāhadharma. See n. 3. p. 395.

84.

Pratyusihāsi, an unusual form from prati ut-sthā, which Senart, however, thinks should be retained. Usually the verb means “to rise from one’s seat as a mark of respect.”

85.

Mahārahehi upabhogaparibhogehi.

86.

Kīdṛśā me Sudarśanā. Me, here and immediately below, is strangely placed, unless it is a mistake for se = asya, “does not know what his Sudarśanā is like.”

87.

Antaram, “the obstacle against,” but, as Senart suggests, the true reading may be kāraṇam as in the repetition below.

88.

Se = asyā: Cf. p. 13, n. 5.

89.

Rājakṛtya. For the force of the suffix -kṛtya see Vol. 1, p. 295, n. 1.

90.

Siṃhapañjara, Pali sīhapañjara. Sc. of the reception-chamber.

91.

Sahasrastrībuddhi, “perception (equal to that) of a thousand women.”

92.

Mellehi. See Vol. 1, p. 308, n. 1,

93.

A park of the devas. See Vol. 1, p. 27, n. 1.

94.

Okasta. See Vol. 1, p. 188, n. 6.

95.

Literally, “the other queens (anyā devīyo to be supplied from the context) putting Sudarśanā in front,” Sudarśanāṃ agrato kṛtvā.

96.

Rākṣasa. See Vol. 1, p. 73, n. 5.

97.

Avidhā. See Vol. 1, p. 251, where the exclamation is left untranslated. In the present passage, however, the force of it is clearly that given in the translation.

98.

Praveśitā. So translated on the analogy of praviś, “to have sexual intercourse,” and the expression in Divy. 541, praveśitā dārakam, “pregnant with a boy.” In the repetition below, however, p. 452 (text), one of the MSS. shows a variant pravakṣitā, which would seem to suggest that at least one copyist felt the want here of a “verb of saying” to introduce the queen’s words. As the text stands they are denoted by “ti” simply. Such a verb would definitely suit the context better.

99.

One of the five great sacrifices or rites enjoined by Manu. It consisted in throwing the remains of the morning or evening meal into the air, generally at the door of the house, as an offering more particularly to the household deities, but also, as here, to the spirits of the wilds.

100.

? Kaṭacchu jvalitā. Katacchu, Pah, “ladle, spoon,” also occurs in Divy. 165 (kaṭaccha), and 398 (dhūpakaṭacchu). The latter instance would seem to show that kaṭacchu could be used for the vessel in which incense was burnt. The idea is that the incense was burnt as a kind of purificatory rite for Sudarśanā after her contact with the supposed demon.

101.

Manāsmi = manāgasmi.

102.

Me simply, in the text. It may be explained as an ethic dative. A similar instance occurs in Vol. 1, p. 131. (Translation, “as far as I am concerned,” p. 103.)

103.

See Vol. 1, p. 27.

104.

See Vol. 1, p. 27, n. 1.

105.

Yātraka must be the same celestial tree as that named pāriyātraka, Vol. 1, p. 267 (text) and pāripātra, p. 27, ib. See Vol. 1, pp. 27, 221.

106.

Piśāca, see Vol. 1, p. 74, n. 2.

107.

See p. 401, n. 4.

108.

See p. 401, n. 5.

109.

The text has me vanapiśācena āliṅgitā, where me is untranslatable, and its correctness may be questioned.

110.

? patimokāni. Possibly this is the same word as pratimodaka in Vol. 1, p. 195, (Trans, p. 154, n. 6), where the allusion is to certain decorative features of a city gate. Were it not for the fact that the MSS. readings at the present place seem to suggest paṭimoka or pratimoka as the more probable form, one would be inclined now to accept Senart’s suggestion in Vol. I that the word is a derivative from pratimud (Caus. pratimodaya—“to make glad,” etc.). At least the context here makes it clear that the allusion is to trimmings put on the elephants’ tusks and trunks (dantapatimokāni śuṇḍāpatimokāni). But the MSS. here make the word still more obscure by having the syllable ke or ka between the ti and mo.

111.

Mellehi. Although the repetition below has marṣehi, “forget it,” Senart is inclined to retain mellehi, which is also found on p. 448 (text) of the present volume, while the related form, millehi, occurs in Vol. 1, p. 368 (text). See Vol. 1, p. 308.

112.

Aparajjukāto from Pali aparajju (= Sk. aparedyu:) + suffix ka + atas, adverbial suffix of “time.”

113.

The translation of sakhurapravālāni, “with hoofs like coral,” is omitted as being out of place. It must obviously be referred to the thousands of horses (aśvasahasrāṇi—implied), but coming as it does in a series of epithets describing the chariots it is practically impossible to render. Its presence is due to the careless application of a stereotyped formula to a context in which it is not wholly appropriate. Cf. p. 373, n. 4.

114.

Agnidāha. Dāha, Prakrit for dāgha. Cf. Vol. 1, p. 23 (text). The form is used throughout the present passage.

115.

Literally, “the burning of the elephants,” hastidāgha.

116.

Khijjante = khidyante. But it would be simpler, perhaps, to read svijjante (or -ti) from svid, “they perspired.”

117.

Sc., in an attempt to prevent the fire spreading or to save the elephants. The text has been emended here to read uttaptāni (“burning” or, perhaps uttarāṇi “upper parts”) bahujano for the compound word printed as bahujanauttakāni, which as Senart remarks does not admit of any analysis that gives sense. This rearrangement of the two parts of the apparent compound, besides giving adequate sense and supplying a subject, bahujano, to the verb of the clause, śaknoti, corresponding to janakāyam the subject of the śaknoti of the first clause, would seem to be justified also by the hiatus between them. Their mistaken order in the text may be regarded as a copyist’s error.

118.

Reading, as Senart suggests, talakāṇḍakāni, “surface-joints,” for talakaṇṭakāni. But it is not clear to what part of the building the term refers.

119.

Chaṭacchaṭāya. Senart compares chaṭacchaṭāye at Vol. 1, p. 317, which he explains as “lourdement,” literally “en grande masse.” Trans, p. 265, “heavily.”

120.

Or, perhaps, “croaked at,” the verb being saṃrāveti. Possibly the use of this particular verb is to be explained by the description of the voice of the hunchbacked woman in the corresponding Jātaka in Pali, khujjāgajjitaṃ gajji, “shouting aloud with the harsh voice of a humpback.” (J. 5.299.)

121.

Reading siṃhāsapīṭha for siṃhāsupīḍa. See p. 384, n. 2. Two MSS. have °pīṭha and one of them also °sapīṭha.

122.

Se = asyā: Cf. p. 13, n. 5. The form recurs below on the same page.

123.

So for Mahendraka, here.

124.

Aho mama mandabhāgyāye anartham, literally, “Behold the harm of me unfortunate.”

125.

Text adds sakhurapravālāni, “with hoofs like coral,” on which misplaced epithet see p. 373, n. 4.

126.

Gopiṭaka. The word is also found, apparently in this sense, in Divy. 70.

127.

Alinda (v.l. aliṇḍa), which Senart can only explain by assuming that it is connected with alivgera, “a small vessel for water” (BR.).

128.

Modaka. Above, however, the jug was said to be full of “gruel,” odana.

129.

Avidhāvidham. See p. 401, n. 4.

130.

Reading praveṣṭitakāyo tnanuṣyarūpena, “his body invested with a human form,” for praveśitakāyo, etc., “his body made to enter.” At the same time, it is strange (but inexplicable), that the past part, praveśita should appear once more in such close proximity to the interjection avidha. See p. 401, n. 5.

131.

Adopting Senart’s conjecture of pratyūṣaleśakāle for pratyūṣadeśa°.

132.

Allīna, Pali past part, of ā-līyati, “to join, stick to.”

133.

Literally, “(saying) I shall put them on,” ābandhāmi tti.

134.

Or, “in simple dress,” prākṛtakena veśena.

135.

Prākṛtakāni, “simple, natural or crude ones.”

136.

Literally, “she was spoken to,” vuccati, pass, of vac.

137.

Or ayyakka, or appakka—an unidentified article.

138.

Or “tables,” phelaka. Cf. Divy. 504, phela (?) = “table.”

139.

Unidentified.

140.

Phela and phelika. See p. 414, n. 2.

141.

Coḍakadhovaka. Cola, “clothes,” is found in Sanskrit and in Pali.

142.

Bhallātaka, “the Acajoa or cashew-nut, the marking-nut (from which is extracted an acid juice, used for medicinal purposes, as well as a black liquid used for marking linen)” (MW.).

143.

Reading dhovāpaṇika for dhovāpanika. Cí. rañjāpanika, “dyeing fee” (below p. 468, text), which has once the v.l. rañjāpaṇika.

144.

Reading, as Senart suggests, daśānte for deśante of the text.

145.

Lañcaka, see Vol. 1, p. 90, n. 3.

146.

Rañjāpanīya, a variant of rañjāpanika, the form found elsewhere on this page, is taken as being for rañjāpaṇika, which is actually the reading of one MS. at one of its occurrences. Cf. p. 415, n. 4.

147.

Taṭṭakāra, cf. Pali taṭṭaka, “a bowl for holding food.” “According to Kern, Toev., s.v. taken into Tamil as tattav, cf. also Av. taśta. Morris (J.P.T.S. 1884, 80) compares Marathi tasta (ewer).” (P.E.D.)

148.

? pādāstaraṇa.

149.

? suvarṇamālā, “golden wreaths.”

150.

Kilañjaka, ci. Pali kilañja.

151.

Veṭhaka. See D. 1.105, and note at Dial. 1. 130, where reference is made to Cunningham, Stupa of Bharhut, Pl. 1, showing laywomen having “only very elaborate headdresses and necklaces, a skirt from the waist to the ankles, and a very broad and handsome girdle worn over the top of the skirt.”

152.

Reading muktāvalikā for the mukhaphullaka of the text, which is inexplicable. Senart, however, is averse to adopting the former, because of the difficulty of accounting for its corruption into the latter.

153.

? pādāstaraka.

154.

Pādāṅguliveṭhaka. Cf. Vism. 446. aṅguliveṭhaka.

155.

The text has sunirvāyantāni, which Senart says is “infiniment suspect.” He very doubtfully suggests the rendering “bien tissés,” apparently regarding the word as a derivative of ve, vayati (Pali vāyati), “to weave,” but the prefix nir, which has a negative force, would seem to make this quite impossible. Perhaps the word should rather be regarded as a corrupt or irregular form of a participle of nirvā, “to extinguish.” The idea conveyed by this would be that the gold was burnt in fire to rid it of dross (cf. the next term sunirvāntamalakaṣāyāṇi, from nir-vamati), and left there until the fire was extinguished, or, more directly, that the gold was “burnt out,” hence, “purified.”

156.

Karmaṇiya.

157.

Allīpita, part, of allīpeti or allīpayati, the BSk. form of the causative of ālīyati, “to cling to,” Sk. ālāpayeti, Pali alliyāpeti cf. allīna, p. 413 n. 1. Found several times in the Mhvu. At its first occurrence, 1. 311, it has been rendered (1. 259) by “clung,” though “brought” would suit the context just as well.

158.

Or “of forty strings,” ardhahārā, “half-necklaces.”

159.

Reading, as Senart suggests, maṇivākarā for maṇivakkalā of the text. Cf. Pali vākarā, the equivalent of Sk. vāgurā (vāgulā).

160.

Saṅkhavalayakāra. The sequel shows, however, that he made other articles besides bracelets (or “rings,” valaya).

161.

Añjanīya.

162.

? rocanapiśācika. Rocana is probably for rocanā, “a particular yellow pigment, commonly called go-rocanā” (M.W.), the name of the contents being used to denote the receptacle. Cf. añjanīya in the preceding note. Piśācika would refer to figures of goblins, etc. (piśāca), adorning the boxes; or, perhaps, the boxes themselves were fashioned in the form of grotesque figures.

163.

Viheṭheka, for veṭhaka See p. 418, n. 4.

164.

? Pādamayā.

165.

An unidentified article. Possibly the allusion is to some ornament named analogically with Pali sīha-kuṇḍala, “lion’s earring,” i.e. a very precious earring.

166.

Saṅkhaśayyā, obviously miniature ones serving as ornaments.

167.

? Small table-mats.

168.

An unidentified article.

169.

See n. 7.

170.

Viśeṣa is here used for artha, which is the word employed in this formula elsewhere.

171.

Jantakāra, sic for jantra°. Senart explains jantra as a prakritising form for yantra. The MSS. vary between jantra and yantra.

172.

Jantramāṣṭa. Māṣṭa is obscure. Senart suggests that it is “une dérivation prakritisante” from mṛṣṭa, part, of mṛj, hence “polished.” Possibly it is equivalent to “turned,” as by a turner on his lathe. But in the absence of definite indication as to the exact mechanism, it is safer to render by a general expression like “machine-made.”

173.

Tālavaṇṭaka. Sk. tālavṛnta, tālavṛntaka.

174.

Morahastaka. Pali morahattha.

175.

An unidentified article.

176.

There is no word corresponding to this in the text, but its insertion in the translation is obviously necessary.

177.

See Vol. 1, p. 226, n. 2.

178.

Unknown species of birds, but most likely related to peacocks, mayūra, mora. Senart suggests that the true reading is moraka—“peacock.”

179.

Fruit of the bhavya tree. See Vol. 1, p. 205, n. 2.

180.

Or the āruka, “a medicinal plant of cooling properties growing in the Himalayas.” (M.W.)

181.

Nālikera, =? nālikera.

182.

See p. 234, n. 3.

183.

“The tree Nauclea Cadamba, a species of Aśoka tree” (M.W.).

184.

According to M.W. the same as the preceding, but the P.E.D. identifies it as Nauclea cordifolia.

185.

? kharjaralatika. . Sk. kharjūra, the tree PhEnix sylvestris, date-tree.

186.

Māṣṭaka. See p. 422, n. 3.

187.

Literally, “a master of the varuṭas,” varuṭānām mahattaraka. Varuṭa here seems to be for varuḍa, “a low mixed caste (one of the seven low castes called Antya-ja, whose occupation is splitting canes” (M.W.). Varuṭa itself denotes “an artisan of a particular class (placed among Mlecchas or barbarians).” (M.W.)

188.

? Pālaka.

189.

? vetramañcaka.

190.

? vetramethika.

191.

? vetrapeṭhaka.? sic for °peṭaka.

192.

These six flavours (rasa) are also mentioned at Miln. 56.

193.

Bhaktāgra, BSk., Pali bhattagga.

194.

Rasāgra. Cf. Pali rasagga, which, however, is only used in combination with °aggita and °aggin. For the BSk. form corresponding to the latter see p. 287, n. 7.

195.

Ālabdha, a form arising from confusion of the two stems labh and lamb.

196.

Literally, “enter with unclosed door,” anāvṛtadvāro... praviśatu.

197.

Pṛṣṭhimaṃ āruhitvā, not as Senart renders, “le prenant sur le dos.”

198.

Literally, “in various (means of) carrying,” nānāvāhikāye.

199.

Kṣīyati. Cf. use of Pali khīyati in the same sense.

200.

Vayam, which must here be taken as equivalent to the genitive.

201.

Se īrṣyāyase. Senart renders, “tu aurais le droit de te mettre en colère,” only adding the remark that the present īrṣyāyase “ne comporte pas le sens conditionnel.” He thus assumes a denominative īrṣyāyati (from īrṣyā) for the regular Sk. īrṣyati. But it would seem better to let īrṣyā stand as a substantive and assume that yase is a corruption, concealing some form of bhavati, possibly bhave. On such a supposition, se - asya, which is ignored in Senart’s rendering, can be readily construed, “there could be jealousy of him”; or se might be emended into te, “you could have jealousy = you could be jealous.” Cf. the next sentence, eṣā mama yā īrṣyā sā bhavatu, “let this jealousy of mine be.”

202.

Sāta Pali, Sk. śāta.

203.

Garahāmi. Senart considers that this does not give good sense here or in the repetition, and a MS. reading of the latter, garahayāmi, suggests to him the emendation into āhvayāmi, “whom shall I call on?” But this leaves the genit. kasya unexplained; it requires some violence to the syntax to make it the direct object of the verb. It would seem better to retain garahāmi, in spite of the fact that it has to be given a passive force. The point of the question becomes clear when in the third stanza Kuśa is urged to return home atarjanto, “without blaming (me).” It should be added, however, that in a note on the parallel passage in Vol. 3, p. 16, where he prints anūrjako, “without food,” Senart says he would prefer the same reading here also.

204.

Rākṣasa. See Vol. I, p. 73, n. 5.

205.

Omitting na, “not,” with at least one MS. Cf. also the corresponding verse at J. 5. 294.

206.

Ayam te bhavati (for bhavatu of the text) pāpaka[?], “it is bad for you.” Ayam... pāpaka: masc. instead of neuter with brahmacaryam.

207.

Vayam, has to be taken as an oblique case. Cf. p. 427, n. 2.

208.

See Vol. 1, p. 124, n. 2.

 

209.

The inconsequence of this sentence is obvious. In fact, our text here departs from the tradition as represented by the Pali version. (J. 5. 296.) The first verse of the stanza is practically identical in both versions, but the Pali variant of the second may justly be regarded as the more authentic. It reads n’eva me tvaṃ pati assa kāmam (= me, so Comy.) chindantu sattadhā ti. (J. trans. renders, very loosely, “mayst thou in seven pieces be cut ere thou King Kuśa wed.” But in spite of the ti this cannot be regarded as a direct quotation of the augurs’ words. Sudarśanā, i.e. her Pali counterpart, rather sums up their augury in her own words—“you shall not be my husband, let them cut me (= though they cut me,) in seven pieces.”) As the sequel shows this was to prove no mere fancy on the part of the augurs, for Sudarśanā was in real danger of meeting this fate if she persisted in her refusal to accept Kuśa. The Mhvu. version is na te bhāryā bhaviṣyāmi kāmaṃ chiṇdāhi khaṇḍaśa: where, in spite of the allusion to the augurs in the preceding verse, the cutting-up is what Sudarśanā dares Kuśa to do, and not the punishment which the augurs had in mind as being likely to be inflicted on her for her obstinacy.

210.

Chorayitvā from chorayati, choreti. This verb has been already met with, p. 391 (text) of this Vol., where the meaning “to leave” is not very apposite, and where the translation has preferred a rendering nearer to the usual sense of the verb. See p. 350, n. 4. Here, however, the sense is clearly “to leave,” as in the passages of Lal. Vist. and Divy. cited in the note referred to.

211.

The text reads karṇikāṛe ca karṇikām. Senart explains the latter word as = Pali kaṇṇikā, “the corner of the upper story of a palace or pagoda,” and assumes that the point is that the wood of the karṇikāra tree (see Vol. 1, p. 186, n. 2) is useless for this purpose. The line reads pāṣāṇe khanase kūpaṃ karṇikāre ca karṇikām, and on Śenart’s supposition the literal translation would be, “you dig a hole in the rock and a housetop in (=? with) the karṇikāra.” This obviously does not make sense, and even if it did, it would not present a figure of vain toil. It is always possible to cut a hole in a rock, given the right tool. The latter part of the line has therefore been emended into karṇikārasya dārunā, as in the corresponding Pali (J. 5. 295), “with the wood of the k. tree,” the obvious implication being that it would be useless to try and cut a hole in the rock with a tool made of this wood.

212.

Yaṃ ārūḍhaprajño. The participle ārūḍha, “raised,” is unusual in this applied sense. The right reading, perhaps, is audāra BŚk. = udāra. There is no parallel to this passage in but cf. the epithet applied to Kuśa at J. 5.305, soḷārapaññāno, which the Comy, explains as = uḷārapañño. The MSS. are very uncertain here.

213.

Reading aparādhyam for aparāyam of the text, as in the repetition in Vol. 3, p. 19. Senart made this restoration independently of Vol. 3, at the same time emending tam eva into tam na.

214.

The text has maṇḍayitvā, “adorn,” which, as Senart suggests, should be emended into bandhayitvā, or, perhaps, daṇḍayitvā, “punish.”

215.

Or Prajāpatī; as a proper name. Sudarśanā is so named once or twice in the metrical version at the beginning of Vol. 3.

216.

The reason for their anger is clearer in the Pali version, for there we are told that Sakka (Śakra) had sent a message, purporting to be from Mahendraka himself, to each king separately, inviting him to come and take Sudarśanā. It was only when they met before Kanyakubja that they realised that they had all come in quest of one and the same lady.

217.

Literally, “sat down besieged,” oruddha āsati.

218.

Elūka = eḍūka, eḍuka or eḍoka, “a sanctuary filled with relics.” Cf. Vol. I, p. 154, n. 7.

219.

This is Senart’s interpretation of a very uncertain passage. As the text stands it contains besides the pot. kareyam with the force of an aorist, the 3rd pers. pot. kuryāt for the 1st pers.

220.

“The generic name for a man of the lowest and most despised of the mixed tribes, born from a Śūdra mother and Brāhman father” (MW.).

221.

“Epithet of a degraded mixed caste (erroneously identified by lexicographers with the Cāndālas), the offspring of a Ni-shada by a Śudrā mother” (MW.).

222.

Reading īṣādantā, “having tusks as long as a plough-pole,” for iṣādantā of the text. For the term see references in P.E.D., s.v. īsādanta.

223.

Lacuna, which leaves the stanza rather incoherent.

224.

Reading vāhyena for avasānena. So Senart.

225.

Śatapāka... taila. See P.E.D. for references.

226.

Upasthihiye, a hybrid passive form; cf. Pali upaṭṭhīyati and upaṭṭhahīyati.

227.

Pañcāṅgika tūrya. See Vol. 1, p. 135, n. 2.

228.

Madhusikthaka, “a kind of poison” (M.W.). But madhusitthaka at V. 2. 116 is “beeswax.”

229.

Bhajjiṣyati, fut. pass, of bhañj. One MS. has bhañjiṣyanti.

230.

Literally, “having had (made) them adorned with a thousand (pieces of) gold,” suvarṇasahasramaṇḍitāṃ kṛtvā.

231.

? sandhī ca kṛtā putrapautrikā.

232.

Samucchraya. See Vol. I, p. 134, n. 1.

233.

See Vol. I, p. 25, n. 2.

234.

Literally, “light-flavour.” It is better to leave the term untranslated in the absence of definite information as to the identity of the gem. To render by “magic gem” or a similar expression would be merely describing it, and that in vague terms, while to the narrator it was known as a very special stone which went by this name. The Pali jotirasa occurs in Miln. 118 (Trans, in S.B.E. 35. 117—“wish-conferring gem,” which is a literal rendering of the definition given at DhA. 1. 198—sabbakāmadadaṃ maṇiratanam.) But it is not exactly a “wishing-gem” in the present context. The Skt. jyotīrasa occurs Rām. 2. 94-6 and MBh. 4. 24. The “magic” jewel given to Kusa by Sakka in J. is called verocana (J. 5. 310) which is obviously related in meaning to jyotirasa. In J., however, the jewel is a talisman only, protecting Kusa in the fight. There is no hint that it was used to transform Kusa’s appearance.

235.

Or “row,” ekāvalikā.

236.

The syntax here is not clear. Imāṃ ekāvalikām and jyotirasaratanam are acc., apparently in apposition. When first mentioned the jyotirasa was described as being in the centre of the rope of pearls, and the form of the sentence would almost lead one to gather that Śakra brought along only the special gem. But the sequel shows that he had the whole row with him. The apposition of the whole and the part in the text may be rendered in translation by the insertion of “with.”

237.

No express mention of the jyotirasa here.

238.

That is, of course, the doorway of his temporary lodging. He had not yet reached home.

239.

Literally, “let it be good luck,” bhadraṃ astu.

240.

Api tu.

241.

Reading yaṃ for yo.

242.

Tato me’pinaddho etena—The reading can hardly be correct, as the participle agrees neither with ekāvalikā nor with ratnam. Perhaps we should read apinaddhena, instr. absolute, which would well fit in with the syntax.

243.

Literally, “became like that,” edṛśo saṃvṛtto.

244.

I.e. the assembly of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen devotees, as at A. 2.132. Another set of four assemblies is also mentioned in the Pali texts, viz. nobles, brāhmans, householders, and ascetics. (D. 3.236). But the former group is the one more likely alluded to here, as it appears in a similar context in J., e.g., J. 1.40.