Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story)

by Somadeva | 1924 | 1,023,469 words | ISBN-13: 9789350501351

This is the English translation of the Kathasaritsagara written by Somadeva around 1070. The principle story line revolves around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the Vidhyādharas (‘celestial beings’). The work is one of the adoptations of the now lost Bṛhatkathā, a great Indian epic tale said to have been composed by ...

Chapter LXVI

[M] (Main story line continued) THE next night Gomukha told the following story to Naravāhanadatta to amuse him:—


155. Story of the Hermit and his Pupils

In the holy place of Śiva, called Dhaneśvara, there lived long ago a great hermit, who was waited upon by many pupils. He once said to his pupils:

“If any one of you has seen or heard in his life a strange occurrence of any kind, let him relate it.”

When the hermit said this, a pupil said to him:

“Listen, I will tell a strange story which I once heard.


155a. The Mendicant who travelled from Kaśmīra to Pāṭaliputra

There is in Kaśmīra a famous holy place, sacred to Śiva, called Vijaya. In it there lived a certain mendicant, who was proud of his knowledge. He worshipped Śiva, and prayed, “May I be always victorious in controversy,” and thereupon he set out for Pāṭaliputra to exhibit his skill in dispute.

And on the way he passed forests, rivers and mountains, and having reached a certain forest, he became tired, and rested under a tree. And immediately he saw, as he was refreshing himself in the cool breeze of the tank, a student of religion, who had come there dusty with a long journey, with his staff and water-pot in his hand. When he sat down, the wandering mendicant asked him whence he came and whither he was going.

The student of religion answered:

“I come from that seat of learning Pāṭaliputra, and I am going to Kaśmīra to conquer the Pandits there in discussion.”

When the mendicant heard this speech of the religious student’s, he thought:

“If I cannot conquer this one man who has left Pāṭaliputra, how shall I manage to go and overcome the many who remain there?”

So reflecting, he began to reproach that religious student:

“Tell me, religious student, what is the meaning of this inconsistent conduct on your part? How comes it that you are at the same time a religious student, eager for liberation, and a man afflicted with the madness of disputatiousness? Do you seek to be delivered from the world by binding yourself with the conceit of controversy? You are quenching heat with fire, and removing the feeling of cold with snow; you are trying to cross the sea on a boat of stone; you are striving to put out a fire by fanning it. The virtue of Brāhmans is patience; that of Kṣatriyas is the rescue of the distressed; the characteristic quality of one who desires liberation is quietism; disputatiousness is said to be the characteristic of Rākṣasas. Therefore a man who desires liberation must be of a quiet temperament, putting away the pain arising from alternations of opposites, fearing the hindrances of the world. So cut down with the axe of quietism this tree of mundane existence, and do not water it with the water of controversial conceit.”

When he said this to the religious student, he was pleased, and bowed humbly before him, and saying, “Be you my spiritual guide,” he departed by the way that he came. And the mendicant remained, laughing, where he was, at the foot of the tree, and then he heard from within it the conversation of a Yakṣa, who was joking with his wife.[1] And while the mendicant was listening, the Yakṣa in sport struck his wife with a garland of flowers, and she, like a cunning female, pretended that she was dead, and immediately her attendants raised a cry of grief. And after a long time she opened her eyes, as if her life had returned to her.

Then the Yakṣa, her husband, said to her: “What have you seen?” Then she told the following invented story:—

“When you struck me with the garland, I saw a black man come, with a noose in his hand, with flaming eyes, tall, with upstanding hair, terrible, darkening the whole horizon with his shadow. The ruffian took me to the abode of Yama, but his officers there turned him back, and made him let me go.”

When the Yakṣiṇī said this, the Yakṣa laughed, and said to her:

“Oh dear! women cannot be free from deception in anything that they do. Whoever died from being struck with flowers? Whoever returned from the house of Yama? You silly woman, you have imitated the tricks of the women of Pāṭaliputra.


155aa. The Wife of King Siṃhākṣa, and the Wives of his Principal Courtiers

For in that city there is a king named Siṃhākṣa; and his wife, taking with her the wives of his minister, commander-in-chief, chaplain and physician, went once on the thirteenth day of the white fortnight to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Sarasvatī, the protecting deity of that land.

There they, queen and all, met on the way sick persons, humpbacked, blind and lame, and were thus implored by them:

“Give medicine to us wretched diseased men, in order that we may be delivered from our infirmity; have mercy upon the distressed. For this world is wavering as a wave of the sea, transient as a flash of lightning, and its beauty is short-lived like that of a religious festival. So in this unreal world the only real thing is mercy to the wretched, and charity to the poor; it is only the virtuous person that can be said truly to live. What is the use of giving to the rich or the comfortable?[2] What does the cold moon profit a shivering man, or what is the use of a cloud when winter has arrived? So rescue us miserable creatures from the affliction of sickness.”

When the queen and the other ladies had been thus supplicated by these diseased persons, they said to one another:

“These poor afflicted men say what is true, and to the point, so we must endeavour to restore them to health even at the cost of all our substance.”

Then they worshipped the goddess, and each took one of those sick people to her own house, and, urging on their husbands, they had them treated with the potent drugs of Mahādevī, and they never left off watching them. And from being always with them, they fell in love with them, and became so attached to them that they thought of nothing else in the world. And their minds, bewildered with love, never reflected what a difference there was between these wretched sick men and their own husbands, the king and his chief courtiers.

Then their husbands remarked that they had on them the marks of scratches and bites, due to their surprising intimacy with these invalids.[3] And the king, the commander-in-chief, the minister, the chaplain and the physician talked of this to one another without reserve, but not without anxiety.

Then the king said to the others:

“You keep quiet at present; I will question my wife dexterously.”

So he dismissed them, and went to his private apartments, and assuming an expression of affectionate anxiety, he said to his wife:

“Who bit you on the lower lip? Who scratched you on the breast?[3] If you tell me the truth, it will be well with you, but not otherwise.”

When the queen was thus questioned by the king, she told him a fictitious tale, saying:

“Ill-fated that I am, I must tell this wonder, though it ought not to be revealed. Every night a man, with a discus and club, comes out of the painted wall,[4] and does this to me, and disappears into it in the morning. And though you, my husband, are alive, he reduces to this state my body, which not even the sun or moon has ever beheld.”

When the foolish king heard this story of hers, told with much semblance of grief, he believed it, and thought that it was all a trick played by Viṣṇu. And he told it to the minister and his other servants, and they, like blockheads, also believed that their wives had been visited by Viṣṇu, and held their tongues.


155a. The Mendicant who travelled from Kaśmīra to Pāṭaliputra

“In this way wicked and cunning females, of bad character, by concurring in one impossible story, deceive silly people, but I am not such a fool as to be taken in.”

The Yakṣa by saying this covered his wife with confusion. And the mendicant at the foot of the tree heard it all.

Then the mendicant folded his hands, and said to that Yakṣa:

“Reverend sir, I have arrived at your hermitage, and now I throw myself on your protection. So pardon my sin in overhearing what you have been saying.”

By thus speaking the truth he gained the good will of the Yakṣa.

And the Yakṣa said to him:

“I am a Yakṣa, Sarvasthānagavāta by name, and I am pleased with you. So choose a boon.”

Then the mendicant said to the Yakṣa:

“Let this be my boon, that you will not be angry with this wife of yours.”

Then the Yakṣa said:

“I am exceedingly pleased with you. This boon is already granted, so choose another.”

Then the mendicant said:

“Then this is my second petition, that from this day forward you and your wife will look upon me as a son.”

When the Yakṣa heard this, he immediately became visible to him with his wife, and said:

“I consent; my son, we regard you as our own child. And owing to our favour you shall never suffer calamity. And you shall be invincible in disputation, altercation and gambling.”

When the Yakṣa had said this, he disappeared, and the mendicant worshipped him, and after spending the night there, he went on to Pāṭaliputra.

Then he announced to King Simhākṣa, by the mouth of the doorkeeper, that he was a disputant come from Kaśmīra. And the king permitted him to enter the hall of assembly, and there he tauntingly challenged the learned men to dispute with him. And after he had conquered them all by virtue of the boon of the Yakṣa, he again taunted them in the presence of the king in these words:

“I ask you to explain this. What is the meaning of this statement:

‘A man with a discus and mace comes out of the painted wall, and bites my lower lip, and scratches my chest, and then disappears in the wall again.’

Give me an answer.”[5]

When the learned men heard his riddle, as they did not know the real reference, they gave no answer, but looked at one another’s faces.

Then the King Simhākṣa himself said to him:

“Explain to us yourself the meaning of what you said.”

Thereupon the mendicant told the king of the deceitful behaviour of his wife, which he had heard about from the Yakṣa. And he said to the king:

“So a man should never become attached to women, which will only result in his knowing wickedness.”

The king was delighted with the mendicant, and wished to give him his kingdom. But the mendicant, who was ardently attached to his own native land, would not take it. Then the king honoured him with a rich present of jewels. The mendicant took the jewels, and returned to his native land of Kaśmīra, and there by the favour of the Yakṣa he lived in great comfort.


[M] (Main story line continued) When Gomukha[6]  had said this, he remarked:

“So strange are these actions of bad women, and the dispensations of Providence, and the conduct of mankind. Now hear this story of another woman who killed eleven.[7]


156. Story of the Woman who had Eleven Husbands

There was in Mālava a certain householder, who lived in a village. He had born to him a daughter, who had two or three elder brothers. Now as soon as she was born her mother died, and a few days after, one of the man’s sons died. And then his brother was gored by an ox and died of it. So the householder named his daughter “Three-slayer,” because, owing to the birth of this ill-omened girl, three had met their death.

In course of time she grew up, and then the son of a rich man, who lived in that village, asked her in marriage, and her father gave her to him with the usual rejoicings. She lived for some time with that husband, but he soon died. In a few days the fickle woman took another husband. And the second husband met his death in a short time. Then, led astray by her youthful feelings, she took a third husband. And the third husband of this husband-slayer died like the others. In this way she lost ten husbands in succession. So she got affixed to her, by way of ridicule, the name of “Ten-slayer.” Then her father was ashamed and would not let her take another husband, and she remained in her father’s house avoided by people.

But one day a handsome young traveller entered it, and was allowed by her father to stop as his guest for a night. When Ten-slayer saw him, she fell in love with him, and when he looked at that charming young woman, he too was captivated.

Then Love robbed her of her modesty, and she said to her father:

“I choose this traveller as one husband more; if he dies I will then take a vow.”

She said this in the hearing of the traveller, but her father answered her:

“Do not think of such a thing, it is too disgraceful; you have lost ten husbands, and if this one dies too, people will laugh consumedly.”

When the traveller heard this, he abandoned all reserve, and said:

“No chance of my dying; I have lost ten wives, one after another. So we are on a par; I swear that it is so by the touch of the feet of Śiva.”

When the traveller said this, everybody was astonished. And the villagers assembled, and with one consent gave permission to Ten-slayer to marry the traveller, and she took him for her husband. And she lived some time with him, but at last he was seized with an ague and died. Then she was called “Eleven-slayer,” and even the stones could not help laughing at her; so she betook herself in despondency to the bank of the Ganges and lived the life of an ascetic.


[M] (Main story line continued) When Gomukha had told this amusing story, he went on to say:

“Hear also the story of the man who subsisted on one ox.



157. Story of the Man who, thanks to Durgā, had always One Ox

There was a certain poor householder in a certain village, and the only wealth he had in his house was one ox. He was so mean-spirited that, though his family was on the point of perishing for want of food, and he himself had to fast, he could not make up his mind to part with that ox. But he went to the shrine of Durgā in the Vindhya hills, and throwing himself down on a bed of darbha grass, he performed asceticism without taking food, in order that he might obtain wealth.

The goddess said to him in a dream:

“Rise up! your wealth shall always consist of one ox, and by selling it you shall live in perpetual comfort.”

So the next morning he woke, and got up, took some food, and returned to his house. But even then he had not strength of mind to sell that ox, for he thought that, if he sold it, he would have nothing left in the world, and be unable to live.

Then as, thin with fasting, he told his dream with reference to the command of the goddess, a certain intelligent friend said to him:

“The goddess told you that you should always have one ox, and that you should live by selling it, so why did you not, foolish man, obey the command of the goddess? So sell this ox, and support your family. When you have sold this one, you will get another, and then another.”

The villager, on receiving this suggestion from his friend, did so. And he received ox after ox, and lived in perpetual comfort by selling them.[8]


[M] (Main story line continued)

“So you see, Destiny produces fruit for every man according to his resolution. So a man should be resolute; good fortune does not select for favour a man wanting in resolution. Hear now this story of the cunning rogue who passed himself off as a minister.


158. Story of the Rogue who managed to acquire Wealth by speaking to the King [9]

There was a certain king in a city in the Deccan. In that city there was a rogue who lived by imposing upon others.

And one day he said to himself, being too ambitious to be satisfied with small gains:

“Of what use to me is this petty rascality, which only provides me with subsistence? Why should I not do a stroke of business which would bring me great prosperity?”

Having thus reflected, he dressed himself splendidly as a merchant, and went to the palace gate and accosted the warder.

And he introduced him into the king’s presence, and he offered a complimentary gift, and said to the king:

“I wish to speak with your Majesty in private.”

The king was imposed upon by his dress, and much influenced in his favour by the present, so he granted him a private interview, and then the rogue said to him:

“Will your Majesty have the goodness every day, in the hall of assembly, to take me aside for a moment in the sight of all, and speak to me in private? And as an acknowledgment of that favour I will give your Majesty every day five hundred dīnārs, and I do not ask for any gift in return.”

When the king heard that, he thought to himself:

“What harm can it do? What does he take away from me? On the contrary, he is to give me dīnārs every day. What disgrace is there in carrying on a conversation with a great merchant?”

So the king consented, and did as he requested, and the rogue gave the king the dīnārs as he had promised, and the people thought that he had obtained the position of a high minister.

Now one day the rogue, while he was talking with the king, kept looking again and again at the face of one official with a significant expression. And after he came out, that official asked him why he had looked at his face so, and the rogue was ready with this fiction:

“The king is angry because he supposes that you have been plundering his realm. This is why I looked at your face, but I will appease his anger.”

When the sham minister said this, the official went home in a state of anxiety, and sent him a thousand gold pieces. And the next day the rogue talked in the same way with the king, and then he came out and said to the official, who came towards him:

“I appeased the king’s anger against you with some judicious words. Cheer up! I will now stand by you in all emergencies.”

Thus he artfully made him his friend, and then dismissed him, and then the official waited upon him with all kinds of presents.

Thus gradually this dexterous rogue, by means of his continual conversations with the king, and by many artifices, extracted from the officials, the subordinate monarchs, the Rajputs, and the servants, so much wealth that he amassed altogether fifty millions of gold pieces.

Then the scoundrelly sham minister said in secret to the king:

“Though I have given you every day five hundred dīnārs, nevertheless, by the favour of your Highness, I have amassed fifty millions of gold pieces. So have the goodness to accept of this gold. What have I to do with it?”

Then he told the king his whole stratagem. But it was with difficulty that the king could be induced to take half the money. Then he gave him the post of a Cabinet Minister, and the rogue, having obtained riches and position, kept complimenting the people with entertainments.


[M] (Main story line continued)

“Thus a wise man obtains great wealth without committing a very great crime, and when he has gained the advantage, he atones for his fault in the same way as a man who digs a well.”

Then Gomukha went on to say to the prince:

“Listen now to this one story, though you are excited about your approaching marriage.


159. Story of Hemaprabhā and Lakṣmīsena

There lived in a city, named Ratnākara, a king, named Buddhiprabha, who was a very lion to the infuriated elephant-herd of his enemies. And there was born to him by his queen, named Ratnarekhā, a daughter, named Hemaprabhā, the most beautiful woman in the whole world. And since she was a Vidyādharī, that had fallen to earth by a curse, she was fond of amusing herself by swinging,[10] on account of the pleasure that she felt in recalling the impressions of her roaming through the air in her former existence. Her father forbade her, being afraid that she would fall, but she did not desist, so her father was angry and gave her a slap.

The princess was angry at receiving so great an indignity, and wishing to retire to the forest, she went to a garden outside the city, on the pretence of amusing herself. She made her servants drunk with wine, and roaming on, she entered a dense tree-jungle, and got out of their sight. And she went alone to a distant forest, and there she built herself a hut, and remained feeding on roots and fruits, engaged in the adoration of Śiva. As for her father, he found out that she had fled to some place or other, and made search for her, but did not find her. Then he fell into great grief. And after some time the king’s grief abated a little, so he went out hunting to distract his mind. And, as it happened, that King Buddhiprabha went to that distant forest, in which his daughter Hemaprabhā was engaged in ascetic practices.

There the king saw her hut, and he went into it, and unexpectedly beheld there his own daughter emaciated with ascetic practices. And she, when she saw him, rose up at once and embraced his feet, and her father embraced her with tears and seated her on his lap. And seeing one another again after so long a separation, they wept so that even the eyes of the deer in the forest gushed with tears. Then the king at last comforted his daughter, and said to her: “Why did you abandon, my daughter, the happiness of a palace and act thus? So come back to your mother, and give up this forest.”

When her father said this to her, Hemaprabhā answered him:

“I have been commanded by the god to act thus. What choice have I in the matter? So I will not return to the palace to indulge in pleasure, and I will not abandon the joys of asceticism.”

When the king discovered from this speech of hers that she would not abandon her intention, he had a palace made for her in that very forest. And when he returned to his capital, he sent her every day cooked food and wealth, for the entertainment of her guests. And Hemaprabhā remained in the forest honouring her guests with wealth and jewels, while she lived herself on rootś and fruits.

Now one day there came to the hermitage of that princess a female mendicant, who was roaming about, having observed a vow of chastity from her earliest youth. This lady, who had been a mendicant from her childhood, was honoured by Hemaprabhā, and when asked by her the reason why she took the vow, she answered:

“Once, when I was a girl, I was shampooing my father’s feet, and my eyes closed in sleep, and I let my hands drop. Then my father gave me a kick, and said: ‘Why do you go to sleep?’ And I was so angry at that that I left his house and became a mendicant.”

Then Hemaprabhā was so delighted with the female mendicant, on account of the resemblance of her character to her own, that she made her share her forest life. And one morning she said to that friend:

“My friend, I remember that I crossed in my dreams a broad river; then I mounted a white elephant; after that I ascended a mountain, and there I saw in a hermitage the holy god Śiva. And having obtained a lyre, I sang and played on it before him and then I saw a man of celestial appearance approach. When I saw him, I flew up into the sky with you, and when I had seen so much, I awoke, and lo! the night was at an end.”

When the friend heard this, she said to Hemaprabhā:

“Undoubtedly, auspicious girl, you must be some heavenly being born on earth in consequence of a curse; and this dream means that your curse is nearly at an end.”

When the princess heard this speech of her friend’s, she received it with joy.

And when the sun, the lamp of the world, had mounted high in the heaven, there came there a certain prince on horseback. When he saw Hemaprabhā dressed as an ascetic, he dismounted from his horse, and conceiving admiration for her, he went and saluted her respectfully.

She, for her part, entertained him, and made him take a seat, and feeling love for him, said:

“Who are you, noble sir?”

Then the prince said:

“Noble lady, there is a king of auspicious name called Pratāpasena. He was once going through a course of asceticism to propitiate Śiva, with the view of obtaining a son. And that merciful god appeared to him, and said: ‘Thou shalt obtain one son, who shall be an incarnation of a Vidyādhara, and he, when his curse is at an end, shall return to his own world. And thou shalt have a second son, who shall continue thy race and uphold thy realm.’ When Śiva said this to him, he rose up in high spirits, and took food. Then he had one son born to him named Lakṣmīsena, and in course of time a second named Śūrasena. Know, lovely one, that I am that same Lakṣmīsena, and that to-day, when I went out to hunt, my horse, swift as the wind, ran away with me and brought me here.”

Then he asked her history, and she told it him, and thereupon she remembered her former birth, and was very much elated, and said to him:

“Now that I have seen you, I have remembered my birth and the sciences which I knew as a Vidyādharī,[11] for I and this friend of mine here are both Vidyādharīs, that have been sent down to earth by a curse. And you were my husband, and your minister was the husband of this friend of mine. And now that curse of me and of my friend has lost its power. We shall all meet again in the world of Vidyādharas.”

Then she and her friend assumed divine forms and flew up to heaven, and went to their own world. But Lakṣmīsena stood for a moment lost in wonder, and then his minister arrived, tracking his course. While the prince was telling the whole story to him, King Buddhiprabha arrived, anxious to see his daughter. When he could not see his daughter, but found Lakṣmīsena there, he asked for news of her, and Lakṣmīsena told him what had happened. Then Buddhiprabha was cast down, but Lakṣmīsena and his minister remembered their former existence, their curse having spent its force, and they went to their own world through the air.

He recovered his wife Hemaprabhā, and returned with her, and then taking leave of Buddhiprabha, he went to his own town. And he went with his minister, who had recovered his wife, and told their adventures to his father Pratāpasena, who bestowed on him his kingdom as his successor by right of birth. But he gave it to his younger brother Śūrasena, and returned to his own city in the country of the Vidyādharas. There Lakṣmīsena, united with his consort Hemaprabhā, and assisted by his minister, long enjoyed the delights of sovereignty over the Vidyādharas.


[M] (Main story line continued) By hearing these stories told one after another by Gomukha, Naravāhanadatta, though he was excited about his approaching marriage with his new wife Śaktiyaśas, spent that night as if it were a moment. In this way the prince whiled away the days, until the day of his marriage arrived, when, as he was in the presence of his father the King of Vatsa, he suddenly saw the army of the Vidyādharas descend from heaven, gleaming like gold. And he saw, in the midst of them, Sphaṭikayaśas, the King of the Vidyādharas, who had come out of love, holding the hand of his dear daughter, whom he wished to bestow on the prince, and he joyfully went towards him, and saluted him by the title of father-in-law, after his father had first entertained him with the arghya and other usual ceremonies. And the king of the Vidyādharas stated the object of his coming, and immediately created a display of heavenly magnificence becoming his high position, and by the might of his supernatural power loaded the prince with jewels, and then bestowed on him in due form his daughter previously promised to him. And Naravāhanadatta, having obtained that Śaktiyaśas, the daughter of the king of the Vidyādharas, was resplendent as the lotus after collecting the rays of the sun. Then Sphaṭikayaśas departed, and the son of the King of Vatsa remained in the city of Kauśāmbī, with his eyes fixed on the face of Śaktiyaśas, as the bee clings to the lotus.

[Additional note: on nail-marks and tooth-bites]

Footnotes and references:


Cf. the Yakṣa to whom Phalabhūti prays in Chapter XX. The belief in tree-spirits is shown by Tylor in his Primitive Culture to exist in many parts of the world (see the Index in his second volume). Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology (p. 70 et seq.) gives an account of the tree-worship which prevailed amongst the ancient Germans. See also an interesting article by M. J. Walhouse in the Indian Antiquary, vol. ix, June 1880, pp. 150-153.——For other references to this important subject see those already given in Vol. I, p. 144nl, and Vol. II, pp. 43n1, 96n1 and 97n.—n.m.p.


The Sanskrit College MS. reads anena for aśanena. Dr Kern wishes to read suhitasyāpy aśanena kim. This would still leave a superfluity of syllables.——The D. text reads suhitasyāśanena, thus preserving both the sense and the metre.—n.m.p.


See note at end of chapter.—n.m.p.


So in the “Tale of the Fisherman and the Jinni,” Nights (Burton, vol. i, p. 65), a black slave comes out of the wall when the magic fish are cooked. Cf. Chauvin, op. cit., vi, p. 56.—n.m.p.


This part of the story may be compared with the story of “As tres Lebres,” Coelho’s Contos Populares Portuguezes, p. 90, or that of the “Blind Man and the Cripple,” Ralston, Russian Folk-Tales, p. 240 et seq.

——For a long bibliography of tales containing riddles as one of the main incidents see Chauvin, op. cit., v, p. 193, and vi, pp. 42, 43.—n.m.p.


We do not get back to No. 155 as we should, for it was really the pupil who told Nos. 155a and 155aa (see p. 178).—n.m.p.


In the notice of the first ten Fasciculi of this translation which appeared in The Saturday Review for May 1882 the following interesting remark is made on this story:

“And the story of the woman who had eleven husbands bears a curious, but no doubt accidental, likeness to an anecdote related by St Jerome about a contest between a man and his wife as to which would outlive the other, she having previously conducted to the grave scores of husbands, and he scores of wives.”


Thus the poor man escaped his fate of poverty, and the story forms an example of the “Escaping One’s Fate” motif which is so common in Hindu fiction. It has been fully treated in an excellent paper by W. N. Brown in Studies in Honor of Maurice Bloomfield, 1920, pp. 89-104. The story in our text is, as Brown states, a poor variant of a much more elaborate tale in Dharmakalpadruma, ii, 4, 109 et seq., of which both text and translation are given by Hertel in Zeit. d. d. morg. Gesell., lxv, p. 445. In this story all three children of an unfortunate king escape their fate owing to the cleverness of a faithful minister. All are reduced to getting their own living the best way they can. The second son has but a single ox which he uses to drag a load of grass daily to market. This would have gone on indefinitely had not the minister found him and instructed him:

“Every day sell your ox. When it is sold, Fate will again give you the means of livelihood.”

For fuller details and variants see Brown’s article mentioned above.—n.m.p.


So in the Novellæ Morlini, No. 4, a merchant, who is deeply involved, gives a large sum of money to the king for the privilege of riding by his side through the town. Henceforth his creditors cease their importunities. (Liebrecht’s Dunlop, p. 494.)


For a long note on “Swinging as a Magical Rite” see J. G. Frazer, Golden Bough, vol. iv (Dying God), pp. 277-285. He seems, however, to have missed the importance of the erotic element in swinging. For this and several useful references see Havelock Ellis, Psychology of Sex, Evolution of Modesty, p. 174.—n.m.p.


I follow the Sanskrit College MS,, which reads vidyābhiḥ saha saṃsmṛtā.

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