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 ...

163. Story of Mṛgāṅkadatta

THEN Mṛgāṅkadatta, refreshed by breaking his fast, sat down with those ministers of his on the bank of that lake. Then he courteously asked those four ministers, whom he had recovered that day, for an account of their adventures during the time that he was separated from them.

Thereupon that one of them who was called Vyāghrasena said to him:

“Listen, Prince, I now proceed to relate our adventures. When I was carried to a distance from you by the curse of the Nāga Pārāvatākṣa, I lost my senses, and in that state I wandered through the forest by night. At last I recovered consciousness, but the darkness, which enveloped me, prevented me from seeing where the cardinal points lay, and what path I ought to take. At last the night, that grief made long,[1] came to an end; and in course of time the sun arose, that mighty god, and revealed all the quarters of the heaven.

Then I said to myself:

‘Alas! Where can that master of mine be gone? And how will he manage to exist here alone separated from us? And how am I to recover him? Where shall I look for him? What course shall I adopt? I had better go to Ujjayinī; for I may perhaps find him there; for he must go there, to find Śaśāṅkavatī.’

With such hopes I set out slowly for Ujjayinī, threading that difficult forest that resembled calamity, scorched by the rays of the sun, that resembled showers of fiery powder.

“And at last, somehow or other, I reached a lake, with full-blown lotuses for expanded eyes, that seemed to hold converse with me by means of the sweet cries of its swans and other water-birds; it stretched forth its ripples like hands; its surface was calm and broad[2]; the very sight of it took away all grief; and so in all points it resembled a good man. I bathed in it, and ate lotus-fibres, and drank water; and while I was lingering on its bank I saw these three arrive there, Dṛḍhamuṣṭi, and Sthūlabāhu and Meghabala. And when we met, we asked one another for tidings of you. And as none of us knew anything about you, and we suspected the worst, we made up our minds to abandon the body, being unable to endure separation from you.

“And at that moment a hermit-boy came to bathe in that lake; his name was Mahātapas, and he was the son of Dīrghatapas. He had matted hair, he diffused a brightness of his own, and he seemed like the God of Fire, blazing with mighty flame, become incarnate in the body of a Brāhman, in order to consume once more the Khāṇḍava forest[3]; he was clothed in the skin of a black antelope, he had an ascetic’s water-vessel in his left hand, and on his right wrist he bore a rosary of Akṣa seeds by way of a bracelet; the perfumed earth that he used in bathing was stuck on the horns of the deer that came with him, and he was accompanied by some other hermit-boys like himself. The moment he saw us about to throw ourselves into the lake he came towards us—for the good are easily melted with compassion, and show causeless friendship to all.

And he said to us:

‘You ought not to commit a crime characteristic of cowards, for poltroons, with their minds blinded with grief, fall into the gulfs of calamity, but resolute men, having eyes enlightened by discernment, behold the right path, and do not fall into the pit, but assuredly attain their goal. And you, being men of auspicious appearance, will no doubt attain prosperity; so tell me what is your grief? For it grieves my heart to see you thus.’

“When the hermit-boy had said this, I at once told him the whole of our adventure from the beginning; then that boy, who could read the future,[4] and his companions exhorted us with various speeches, and diverted our minds from suicide. Then the hermit-boy, after he had bathed, took us to his father’s hermitage, which was at no great distance, to entertain us.

“There that hermit’s son bestowed on us the arghya, and made us sit down in a place in which even the trees seemed to have entered on a course of penance, for they stood aloft on platforms of earth, and lifted on high their branches like arms, and drank in the rays of the sun. And then he went and asked all the trees in the hermitage, one after another, for alms. And in a moment his alms-vessel was filled with fruits that of themselves dropped from the trees; and he came back with it to us. And he gave us those fruits of heavenly flavour, and when we had eaten them, we became, as it were, satisfied with nectar.

“And when the day came to an end, and the sun descended into the sea, and the sky was filled with stars—as if with spray flung up by his fall—and the moon, having put on a white bark-robe of moonlight, had gone to the ascetic grove on the top of the eastern mountain[5]—as if desiring to withdraw from the world on account of the fall of the sun—we went to see the hermits, who had finished all their duties and were sitting together in a certain part of the hermitage. We bowed before them, and sat down, and those great sages welcomed us, and with kindly words at once asked us whence we came. Then that hermit-boy told them our history until the time of our entering the hermitage.

Then a wise hermit there, of the name of Kaṇva, said to us:

‘Come, why have you allowed yourselves to become so dispirited, being as you are, men of valour? For it is the part of a brave man to display unbroken firmness in calamity, and freedom from arrogance in success, and never to abandon fortitude. And great men attain the title of great by struggling through great difficulties by the aid of resolution, and accomplishing great things. In illustration of this, listen to this story of Sundarasena, and hear how he endured hardship for the sake of Mandāravatī.’

When the hermit Kaṇva had said this, he began, in the hearing of us and of all the hermits, to tell the following tale.


163h. Sundarasena and Mandāravatī[6]

There is a country named Niṣadha, that adorns the face of the northern quarter; in it there was of old a city of the name of Alakā. In this city the people were always happy in abundance of all things,[7] and the only things that never enjoyed repose were the jewel-lamps. In it there lived a king of the name of Mahāsena, and not without reason was he so named, for his enemies were all consumed by the wonderful and terrible fire of his valour, which resembled that of the God of War. That king had a prime minister named Guṇapālita, who was like a second Śeṣa, for he was a mine of valour, and could bear up, like that serpent, the weight of the earth. The king, having destroyed his enemies, laid upon him the weight of his kingdom and devoted himself to pleasure; and then he had a son born to him by his Queen Śaśiprabhā, named Sundarasena. Even when he was a child, he was no child in good qualities, and the goddesses of Valour and Beauty chose him for their self-elected husband.

That prince had five heroic ministers, equal in age and accomplishments, who had grown up with him from their childhood, Caṇḍaprabha, and Bhīmabhuja, and Vyāghraparākrama, and the heroic Vikramaśakti, and the fifth was Dṛḍhabuddhi. And they were all men of great courage, endowed with strength and wisdom, well born, and devoted to their master, and they even understood the cries of birds.[8] And the prince lived with them in his father’s house without a suitable wife, being unmarried, though he was grown up.

And that heroic Sundarasena and his ministers reflected:

“Courage invincible in assault, and wealth won by his own arm, and a wife equal to him in beauty, become a hero on this earth. Otherwise, what is the use of this beauty?”

And one day the prince went out of the town to hunt, accompanied by his soldiers, and by those five companions; and as he was going out, a certain famous female mendicant named Kātyāyanī, bold from the maturity of her age, who had just returned from a distant foreign country, saw him, and said to herself, when she beheld his superhuman beauty:

“Is this the moon without Rohiṇī or the God of Love without Rati?”

But when she asked his attendants, and found out that it was the prince, she was astonished, and praised the marvellousness of the creation of the Disposer.[9]

Then she cried out to the prince from a distance with a shrill and far-reaching voice: “Be victorious, O Prince!” and so saying she bowed before him. But at that moment the mind of the prince was wholly occupied by a conversation which he had begun with his ministers, and he went on without hearing the female ascetic.

But she was angry, and called out to him in such a loud voice that he could not help hearing her:

“Ho! Prince! Why do you not listen to the blessing of such a one as I am? What king or prince is there on the earth that does not honour me[10]? But if your youth and other advantages render you so proud now, it is certain that, if you obtain for a wife the maiden Mandāravatī, the daughter of the King of Haṃsadvīpa, you will be too much puffed up with arrogance to listen to the speech of Śiva,[11] the great Indra, and other gods, much less to the words of wretched men.”

When the ascetic had said this, Sundarasena, being full of curiosity, called her to him, and bent before her and propitiated her. And being anxious to question her, he sent her under the care of his servants to rest in the house of his minister Vikramaśakti.

Then the prince went off, and after he had enjoyed the sport of hunting, he returned to his palace, and said his daily prayers, and took his food, and then he sent for the ascetic, and put the following question to her:

“Reverend mother, who is this maiden named Mandāravatī, that you spoke of to-day? Tell me, for I feel great curiosity about her.”

When the ascetic heard this, she said to him:

“Listen, I will tell you the whole story. I am in the habit of wandering about the whole of this earth and the islands, for the sake of visiting sacred bathing-places and other holy spots. And in the course of my travels I happened to visit Haṃsadvīpa. There I saw the daughter of King Mandāradeva, a suitable match for the sons of gods, not to be beheld by those who have done evil works; she bears the name of Mandāravatī, and has a form as charming as the presiding goddess of the garden of the gods; the sight of her kindles love, and she seems like another moon all composed of nectar, created by the Disposer. There is no other beauty on the earth equal to hers[12]; only you, Prince, I think, emulate her wealth of loveliness. As for those who have not seen her, their eyes are useless, and they have been born in vain.”

When the prince heard this from the mouth of the female ascetic, he said:

“Mother, how are we to get a sight of her beauty, which is so surpassing?”

When the female ascetic heard this speech of his, she said:

“I took such interest in her on that occasion that I painted a picture of her on canvas, and I have it with me in a bag; if you feel any curiosity about it, look at it.”

When she had said this, she took the picture out of her bag, and showed it to the gratified prince. And Sundarasena, when he beheld that maiden, who, though she was present there only in a picture, seemed to be of romantic beauty, and like a flowing forth of joy, immediately felt his limbs covered all over with hairs erect from horripilation, as if he had been pierced with the dense arrows of the god of the flowery bow.[13] He remained motionless, hearing nothing, speaking nothing, seeing nothing; and, with his whole heart fixed on her, was for a long time as if painted in a picture.

When the prince’s ministers saw that, they said to that female ascetic:

“Reverend mother, paint Prince Sundarasena on this piece of canvas, and let us have a specimen of your skill in catching likenesses.”

The moment she heard that, she painted the prince on canvas. And when they saw that it was a striking likeness, all who were present there, said:

“The reverend lady’s likenesses exactly resemble the originals, for when one looks at this picture, one thinks that one sees the prince himself; so the beauty of the Princess Mandāravatī is sure to be such as it is represented in the picture.”

When the ministers had said this, Prince Sundarasena took the two pictures, and being pleased, honoured that female ascetic. Leaving her befittingly dwelling in a separate place, he entered the inner chamber, carrying the portrait of his beloved. “Can it be a face,” [he mused] “or the moon with the blackness of its markings purged by loveliness? Are these the two pitchers of Kāma’s regal coronation, or a pair of breasts? Are these waves of the ocean of beauty,” [or] “a triple belly-dimple like creeping plants? Is this a hip, or Rati’s litter of sport?” In this way studying Mandāravatī, limb by limb, though he had only her painted form before him, he remained fallen upon his couch; and in this state he continued day after day, abstaining from meat and drink; and so in the course of a few days he was completely exhausted by the pain of love’s fever.[14]

When his parents, Śaśiprabhā and Mahāsena, found that out, they came of their own accord and asked his friends the cause of his indisposition. And his companions told them the whole story, as it had happened, how the daughter of the King of Haṃsadvīpa had come to be the cause of his complaint.

Then Mahāsena said to Sundarasena:

“My son, why do you so improperly conceal this attachment of yours? For Mandāravatī is a pearl of maidens, and she will be a good match for you. Besides, her father, Mandāradeva, is a great friend of mine. So why do you torment yourself about a matter of this kind, which is quite becoming, and can be easily arranged by an ambassador?”

When King Mahāsena had said this, he deliberated, and sent off an ambassador named Surathadeva to Haṃsadvīpa, to ask for the daughter of King Mandāradeva. And he put into his hand the portrait of Sundarasena, executed on canvas by that female ascetic, which showed how wonderfully handsome he was.

The ambassador travelled quickly, and reached the city of King Mahendrāditya on the shore of the sea, named Śaśāṅkapura. There he embarked on a ship, and after some days he reached the palace of King Mandāradeva in Haṃsadvīpa.

He was announced by the warders and entered the palace, and saw that king, and after he had in due form delivered to him the present, he said to him:

“Great monarch, King Mahāsena sends you this message:

‘Give your daughter to my son Sundarasena; for a female ascetic, of the name of Kātyāyanī, made a portrait of her, and brought it here, and showed it to my son, as the picture of a pearl of maidens. And as Sundarasena’s beauty so nearly resembles hers, I felt a desire to have his form painted on canvas also, and herewith I send the picture. Look at it. Moreover, my son, who is of such astonishing beauty, does not wish to be married, unless he can find a wife that resembles him, and nobody but your daughter is a match for him in appearance.’

This is the message the king entrusted to me, when he put this portrait into my hand. Look at it, King; let the spring-flower be united to the spring.”

When the king heard this speech of the ambassador’s, he was delighted, and he sent for his daughter Mandāravatī and the queen her mother. And in their company he opened and looked at that portrait, and immediately he ceased to cherish the proud thought that there was no fitting match for his daughter on the earth.

And he said:

“My daughter’s beauty will not have been created in vain, if she is united to this prince. She does not look her best without him, nor is he complete without her; what is the lotus-bed without the swan, and what is the swan without the lotus-bed?”

When the king said this, and the queen expressed her complete approbation of it, Mandāravatī suddenly became bewildered with love. She remained with her wide-expanded eyes immovably fixed on the picture, as if possessed, as if asleep (though she was wide awake), as if herself a painting. Then Mandāradeva, seeing his daughter in that state, consented to give her in marriage, and he honoured that ambassador.

And on the next day the king sent off his counter-ambassador, who was a Brāhman named Kumāradatta, to King Mahāsena. And he said to the two ambassadors:

“Go quickly to that King Mahāsena, the lord of Alakā, and say to him from me:

‘I give you my daughter out of friendship; so tell me, will your son come here, or shall I send my daughter to you?’”

When the two ambassadors had received this message from the king, they immediately started off together on the sea in a ship; and they reached Saśāṅkapura, and thence they travelled by land, and reached that opulent city of Alakā, which seemed like the original Alakā.[15] They went to the king’s palace and entered with the usual courtesies, and saw King Mahāsena, who welcomed them. And they told that king the answer which Mandāradeva entrusted to them; and when the king heard it, he was pleased, and showed both of them great honour.

Then the king found out the star under which the princess was born, from her father’s ambassador; and he asked his astrologers when a favourable time would arrive for the marriage of his son. And they answered that an auspicious time would present itself in three months for bridegroom and bride, on the fifth day of the white fortnight of the month Kārtika. And so the King of Alakā informed Mandāradeva that the marriage ought to take place on that day, and that he would send his son, and this he wrote in a letter, and committed it to the care of the ambassador Kumāradatta, and another ambassador of his own named Candrasvāmin. So the ambassadors departed, and gave the letter as they were directed, and told the King of Haṃsadvīpa all that had taken place. The king approved, and after honouring Candrasvāmin, the ambassador of Mahāsena, he sent him back to his master. And he returned to Alakā, and reported that the business was satisfactorily settled; and then all on both sides remained eagerly expecting the auspicious day.

And in the meanwhile Mandāravatī, in Haṃsadvīpa, who had long ago fallen in love with the prince from seeing his picture, thought that the auspicious day for the marriage was a long way off, and felt unable to endure so much delay; and being affectionate, she became desperately enamoured, and was grievously tormented with the fire of love. And in the eager longing of her heart for Sundarasena, even the anointing with sandalwood ointment became a shower of hot coals on her body, and a bed of lotus leaves was to her a bed of hot sand, and the rays of the moon seemed like the scorching points of flame of a forest conflagration.

She remained silent, avoiding food, adopting a vow of loneliness; and when her confidante questioned her in her anxiety, she was at last, with difficulty, induced to make the following avowal:

“My friend, my marriage is far off, and I cannot bear to wait for the time, separated from my intended husband, the son of the King of Alakā. Distant is the time, and the place, and various is the course of fate; so who knows what will happen to any one here in the meantime? So I had better die.”

Saying this, Mandāravatī, being sick with separation, passed immediately into a miserable state.

When her father and mother heard that from the mouth of her confidante, and saw her in such a condition, they deliberated with the ministers, and came to the following conclusion:

“That King Mahāsena, the sovereign of Alakā, is on good terms with us, and the Princess Mandāravatī is unable to endure the delay here, so why should we feel any delicacy about it? Happen what will, let us send her to Alakā, for when she is near her beloved, she will be able patiently to endure the delay.”

When King Mandāradeva had gone through these deliberations, he comforted his daughter Mandāravatī, and made her embark on a ship with wealth and attendants, and after her mother had recited a prayer for her good fortune he sent her off from Haṃsadvīpa by sea on an auspicious day, to travel to Alakā, in order that she might be married there; and he sent with her a minister of his own, named Vinītamati.

And after the princess, travelling in a ship on the ocean, had left Haṃsadvīpa some days’ sail behind her, there suddenly rose up against her a roaring cloud, as it were a bandit, showering raindrops like arrows, that sang terribly in the whistling wind. And the gale, like mighty fate, in a moment dragged her ship to a distance, and smote it, and broke it in pieces. And those attendants were drowned, and among them Vinītamati; and all her treasure was whelmed in the ocean.

But the sea lifted up the princess with a wave, as it were with an arm, and flung her up alive in a forest on the shore, near the scene of the shipwreck. To think that she should have fallen into the sea, and that a towering wave should have landed her in a forest! Behold now, how nothing is impossible to Destiny! Then she, in such a situation, terrified and confused, seeing that she was alone in a solitary wood, was again plunged in a sea, but this time it was the sea of grief.

She exclaimed:

“Where have I arrived? Surely it is a very different place from that for which I set out! Where, too, are those attendants of mine? Where is Vinītamati? Why has this suddenly happened to me? Where shall I go, ill-starred as I am? Alas! I am undone! What shall I do? Cursed Fate, why did you rescue me from the sea? Ah, father! Ah, mother! Ah, husband, son of the King of Alakā! Look; I am perishing before I reach you; why do you not deliver me?”

While uttering these and similar exclamations, Mandāravatī wept copiously with tears that resembled the pearls of a broken necklace.

And at that very time a hermit named Mataṅga came there from his hermitage, which was not far off, to bathe in the sea. That sage, who was accompanied by his daughter named Yamunā, who had observed a vow of virginity from her childhood, heard the sound of Mandāravatī’s weeping. And with his daughter he approached her kindly, and he saw her, looking like a doe separated from a herd of deer, casting her sorrowing eyes in every direction.

And the great sage said to her with an affectionate voice:

“Who are you, and how did you get into this wood, and why do you weep?”

Then Mandāravatī, seeing that he was a compassionate man, slowly recovered herself, and told him her story, with face dejected with shame.

Then the hermit Mataṅga, after meditating, said to her:

“Princess, cease to despair; recover your composure! Though you are delicate of body as a śirīṣa flower, the calamity of sorrow afflicts you: do misfortunes ever consider whether their victim is tender or not? But you shall soon obtain the husband you desire; so come to this hermitage of mine, which is at no great distance from this place, and remain there with this daughter of mine as in your own house.”

When the great hermit had comforted her with these words, he bathed, and, accompanied by his daughter, led Mandāravatī to his hermitage. There she remained leading an ascetic life, longing to meet her husband, delighting herself with waiting upon that sage, accompanied by his daughter.

And in the meanwhile Sundarasena, who was emaciated with long expectation, remained killing the time in Alakā, continually counting the days, eager for his marriage with Mandāravatī, and his friend Caṇḍaprabha and the rest were trying to console him. And in course of time, as the auspicious day drew nigh, his father, the king, made preparations for his journey to Haṃsadvīpa. And after prayers had been offered for a prosperous journey, Prince Sundarasena started from his home on an auspicious day, shaking the earth with his armies.

And as he was marching along with his ministers he reached in course of time, to his delight, that city Śaśāṅkapura, which adorned the shore of the sea. There King Mahendrāditya, hearing of his approach, came to meet him, bowing humbly; and the prince entered the city with his followers, and, mounted on an elephant, he reached the palace of the king.

And as he went along, the splendour of his beauty fluttered the hearts of the ladies of the city, as the hurricane flutters the lotus-bed. In the palace King Mahendrāditya showed him every attention, and promised to accompany him; and so he rested there that day.

And he spent the night in such thoughts as these:

“Shall I ever get across the sea, and win that blushing bride?”

And next morning he left his army in that very city, and went with King Mahendrāditya to the shore of the sea. There he and his ministers, together with that king, embarked on a large ship, that was well supplied with food and water. And the prince made the small retinue, that he could not help taking, embark on a second ship. Then the ship was let go, and its flag fluttered in the wind, and those two kings, who were in it, shaped their course towards the south-western quarter.

And after two or three days had passed, as they were sailing on the sea, there suddenly arose a great hurricane. And the ranges of forest on the shores of the sea shook to and fro, as if in astonishment at the unprecedented character of the gale. And the waters of the sea, inverted by the wind, were turned upside down, again and again, as affections are by lapse of time. And an offering of jewels was made to the sea,[16] accompanied by a loud cry of woe; and the pilots let loose the sail and relaxed their efforts at the same time, and all excitedly flung out very heavy stones on all sides, fastened by chains, and flung away their hopes of life at the same time; and the two vessels, driven to and fro by the waves, as elephants by elephant-drivers,[17] wandered about in the sea, as if in the mêlée of a battle.

Then Sundarasena, beholding that, was moved from his seat, as if from his self-command,[18] and said to King Mahendrāditya:

“It is through my demerits in former births that this day of doom has suddenly come upon you. So I cannot endure to witness it; I will fling myself into the sea.”

When the prince had said this, he quickly girt his upper garment round his loins, and flung himself then and there into the sea. And when his five friends, Caṇḍaprabha and the others, saw that, they too flung themselves in, and Mahendrāditya did the same. And while, having recovered their presence of mind, they were swimming across the ocean, they all went in different directions, being separated by the force of the waves. And immediately the wind fell, and the sea became hushed and calm, and bore the semblance of a good man whose wrath is appeased.[19]

And in the meanwhile Sundarasena, with whom was Dṛḍhabuddhi, found a ship that had been driven from somewhere or other by the wind, and with that minister of his as his only companion he climbed up on it, as it were on a second swing of incertitude oscillating between rescue and destruction. Then, having lost all courage, he drifted, not knowing his bearings, looking on the whole world as made of water, confiding in his god; and the ship, which was wafted along by a gentle and favourable breeze, as if by a deity, carried him to the shore in three days. There it stuck fast, and he and his companion sprang to shore and to a hope of life at the same moment.

And when there, he recovered breath, and said to Dṛḍhabuddhi:

“I have escaped even from the sea, from the infernal regions, though I went below; but since I have not been able to do so without causing the death of my ministers Vikramaśakti, and Vyāghraparākrama, and Caṇḍaprabha, and Bhīmabhuja, such fine fellows as they were, and also of King Mahendrāditya, who became without cause so good a friend to me—of all these—how can I now live with honour?”

When he said this, his minister Dṛḍhabuddhi said to him:

“Prince, recover your composure; I am persuaded that we shall have good fortune, for they may perhaps make their way across the sea, as we have done. Who can discern the mysterious way of Destiny?”

While Dṛḍhabuddhi was saying this, and other things of the same kind, two hermits came there to bathe.

The good men, seeing that the prince was despondent, came up to him and asked him his story, and said kindly to him:

“Wise sir, even the gods are not able to alter the mighty influence of actions in a previous state of existence, that bestow joy and sorrow. So a resolute man, who wishes to take leave of sorrow, should practise right-doing; for right-doing is the true remedy for it, not regrets, nor emaciation of the body. So abandon despondency, and preserve your body by resolute endurance: as long as the body is preserved, what object of human endeavour cannot be attained? Moreover, you possess auspicious marks; you are certain to enjoy prosperity.”

Saying this the hermits consoled him, and took him to their hermitage.

And Prince Sundarasena remained waiting there for some days, accompanied by Dṛḍhabuddhi.

And in the meanwhile his ministers Bhīmabhuja and Vikramaśakti, having swam across the sea, reached the shore in a separate place. And hoping that perhaps the prince might have escaped from the sea like themselves, they entered that great forest and searched for him bewildered with grief. And his other two ministers, Caṇḍaprabha and Vyāghraparākrama, and King Mahendrāditya, in the same way escaped from the sea, and sorrowfully sought for Sundarasena, and when they did not find him were afflicted; and at last they found their ship unharmed and went to Śaśāṅkapura. Then those two ministers, and the army that had been left in that city, hearing what had happened,[20] went weeping to their own city Alakā. And when they arrived without the prince, lamenting their loss, the citizens wept, and one universal wail was heard in the city. When King Mahāsena and his queen heard that news of their son, they were in such a state that they would have died, if it were not that their allotted term of life had not yet expired. And when the king and the queen were bent on suicide, the ministers dissuaded them with various speeches, which gave them reasons for entertaining hope. Then the king remained in a temple of Svayambhū,[21] outside the town, engaged in asceticism with his attendants, inquiring for news of his son.

And in the meanwhile King Mandāradeva, in Haṃsadvīpa, heard the news of the shipwreck of his daughter, and of that of his proposed son-in-law. And he also came to know that his son-in-law’s two ministers had arrived in Alakā, and that King Mahāsena there was keeping himself alive by hope, being engaged in practising austerities. Then that king also, who was afflicted by grief for the loss of his daughter, and was only prevented by his ministers from committing suicide, entrusted to them the care of his kingdom, and with his Queen Kandarpasenā went to the city of Alakā to visit King Mahāsena, who was his partner in misfortune. And he made up his mind that he would do whatever that king did as soon as he had trustworthy intelligence with regard to the fate of his son. And so he came to King Mahāsena, who was still more grieved when he heard of the fate of Mandāravatī, and sorrowed in sympathy with him. Then that King of Haṃsadvīpa remained practising austerities with the King of Alakā, restraining his senses, eating little, sleeping on darbha grass.

When they had been all scattered in this way in different directions by the Disposer, as leaves by a wind, it happened that Sundarasena set forth from the hermitage in which he was, and reached that hermitage of Mataṅga, in which Mandāravatī was staying. There he beheld a lake of clear water, the bank of which was thickly planted with trees bent down with the weight of many ripe fruits of various flavours. As he was weary, he bathed in that lake, and ate sweet fruits, and then walked on with Dṛḍhabuddhi, and reached a forest stream. And going along its bank, he saw some hermit maidens engaged in gathering flowers near a temple containing a liṅga. And in the midst of them he beheld one hermit maiden, who seemed to be the peerless beauty of the world, illuminating the whole wood with her loveliness, as if with moonlight, making all the regions full of blown blue lilies with her glance, and sowing with her footfalls a thicket of lotuses in the forest.

Then the prince said to Dṛḍhabuddhi:

“Who can this be? Can she be a nymph of heaven worthy of being gazed upon by the hundred-eyed Indra; or is she the presiding goddess of the forest, with her shoot-like fingers clinging to the flowers? Surely the Creator framed this very wonderful form of hers after he had perfected his skill by continual practice in creating many nymphs of heaven. And lo! she exactly resembles in appearance my beloved Mandāravatī, whose beauty I beheld in a picture. Why should she not be the lady herself? But how can this be? She is in Haṃsadvīpa, far away from this heart of the forest. So I cannot[22] conceive who this fair one is, and whence she comes, and how she comes to be here.”

And Dṛḍhabuddhi, when he saw that fair maid, said to the prince:

“She must be whom you suppose her to be, otherwise how could her ornaments, though made of forest flowers, thus resemble a necklace, a zone, a string of bells, and the other ornaments usually worn? Moreover, this beauty and delicacy are not produced in a forest; so you may be certain that she is some heavenly nymph, or some princess, not the daughter of a hermit. Let us rise up and stand here[23] a moment to find out.”

When Dṛḍhabuddhi had said this, they both of them stood there concealed by a tree.

And in the meanwhile those hermit maidens, having gathered their flowers, went down into that river with that lovely girl to bathe. And while they were amusing themselves by splashing about in it, it happened that a crocodile came and seized that lovely girl. When those maidens saw that, they were bewildered, and they cried out in their sorrow:

“Help, help, ye woodland deities! For here is Mandāravatī, while bathing in the river, suddenly and unexpectedly seized by a crocodile, and perishing.”

When Sundarasena heard that, he thought to himself,

“Can this really be that beloved of mine?”

and rushing forward he quickly killed that crocodile with his dagger. And when she fell from the monster’s mouth, as it were from the mouth of Death, he carried her up on the bank and comforted her.

And she, for her part, having got over her fear, and seeing that he was a charming person, said to herself:

“Who is this great-hearted one that my good fortune has brought here to save my life? Wonderful to say, he bears a close resemblance to that lover of mine whom I saw in a picture, the high-born son of the King of Alakā. Can he possibly be that very man? But out on my evil thought! Heaven forfend! May such a man never be an exile from his native land! So it is not fitting for me now to remain in the society of a strange man. Accordingly I will leave this place: may prosperity be the lot of this great-souled one!”

After going through these reflections, Mandāravatī said to those companions of hers:

“First take a respectful leave of this noble gentleman, and then come with me; we will now depart.”

When Prince Sundarasena, whose doubts were before unsatisfied, heard this, he conceived great confidence from merely hearing his own name, and he questioned one of her companions, saying to her:

“Auspicious one, whose daughter and of what condition is this friend of yours? Tell me, for I feel a great desire to know.”

When he questioned the hermit maiden in these words she said to him:

“This is the Princess Mandāravatī, the daughter of the King Mandāradeva, the sovereign of Haṃsadvīpa. She was being conducted to the city of Alakā to be married to Prince Sundarasena, when her ship was wrecked in the sea, and the waves flung her up upon the shore; and the hermit Mataṅga found her there and brought her to his hermitage.”

When she said this, Sundarasena’s friend Dṛḍhabuddhi, dancing like one bewildered with joy and despondency, said to the prince:

“I congratulate you on having now been successful in obtaining the Princess Mandāravatī, for is not this the very lady of whom we were thinking?”

When he had said this, her companions, the hermit maidens, questioned him, and he told them his story; and they gladdened with it that friend of theirs.

Then Mandāravatī exclaimed, “Ah, my husband!” and fell weeping at the feet of that Sundarasena. He, for his part, embraced her and wept, and while they were weeping there, even stocks and herbs wept, melted with compassion.

Then the hermit Mataṅga, having been informed of all this by those hermit maidens, came there quickly, accompanied by Yamunā. He comforted that Sundarasena, who prostrated himself at his feet, and took him with Mandāravatī to his own hermitage.

And that day he refreshed him by entertaining him, and made him feel happy; and the next day the great hermit said to that prince:

“My son, I must to-day go for a certain affair to Śvetadvīpa, so you must go with Mandāravatī to Alakā; there you must marry this princess and cherish her, for I have adopted her as my daughter, and I give her to you. And you shall rule the earth for a long time with her; and you shall soon recover all those ministers of yours.”

When the hermit had said this to the prince and his betrothed, he took leave of them, and went away through the air with his daughter Yamunā, who was equal to himself in power.

Then Sundarasena, with Mandāravatī, and accompanied by Dṛḍhabuddhi, set out from that hermitage. And when he reached the shore of the sea, he saw coming near him a lightship under the command of a young merchant. And in order to accomplish his journey more easily he asked the young merchant, who was the owner of that ship, through Dṛḍhabuddhi hailing him from a distance, to give him a passage in it. The wicked merchant, who beheld Mandāravatī, and was at once distracted with love, consented, and brought his ship near the shore. Then Sundarasena first placed his beloved on board the ship, and was preparing to get on board himself from the bank where he stood, when the wicked merchant, coveting his neighbour’s wife, made a sign to the steersman, and so set the ship in motion. And the ship, on board of which the princess was crying piteously, rapidly disappeared from the view of Sundarasena, who stood gazing at it.

And he fell on the ground crying out, “Alas, I am robbed by thieves!” and wept for a long time; and then Dṛḍhabuddhi said to him:

“Rise up! Abandon despondency! This is not a course befitting a hero. Come along! Let us go in that direction to look for that thief: for even in the most grievous hour of calamity the wise do not take leave of their fortitude.”

When Sundarasena had been thus exhorted by Dṛḍhabuddhi, he was at last induced to rise up from the shore of the sea and set out.

And he went on his way weeping, and crying out, “Alas, Queen! Alas, Mandāravatī!” continually scorched by the fire of separation, fasting, accompanied only by the weeping Dṛḍhabuddhi; and almost beside himself with distraction he entered a great wood. And when in it he paid no attention to the wise counsels of his friend, but ran hither and thither, thinking only of his beloved.

When he saw the creepers in full bloom, he said:

“Can this be my beloved come here, adorned with blown flowers, having escaped from that merchant-robber?”

When he saw the beautiful lotuses,[24] he said:

“Can she have dived into a tank in her fear, and is she lifting up her face with long-lashed eyes and looking at me?”

And when he heard the cuckoos singing, concealed by the leafy creepers, he said:

“Is the sweet-voiced fair one here addressing me?”

Thus raving at every step, he wandered about for a long time, scorched by the moon, as if it were the sun; and so to him the night was the same as the day.

And at last the prince, with Dṛḍhabuddhi, emerged from that wood, though with difficulty, and, having lost his way, reached a great wilderness. It was perilous with fierce rhinoceroses, dangerous as being inhabited by lions, and so was as formidable[25] as an army, and moreover it was beset by a host of bandits. When the prince entered this wilderness, which was refugeless, and full of many misfortunes, like misery, he was set upon with uplifted weapons by some Pulindas, who happened to be on the look-out for human victims to offer to Durgā, by order of Vindhyaketu, the king of the Pulindas, who lived in that region. When the prince was tormented with five fires—of misfortune, exile, the grief of separation, that affront from a base man, fasting, and the fatigue of the journey—alas! Fate created a sixth fire in the form of an attack of bandits, as if in order to exhaust his self-command.

And when many of the bandits rushed towards him to seize him, showering arrows, he, with only one companion to help him, killed them with his dagger. When King Vindhyaketu discovered that, he sent forward another force, and Sundarasena, being skilled in fighting, killed a great many bandits belonging to that force also. At last he and his companion fainted from the exhaustion of their wounds; and then those Śavaras bound them, and took them and threw them into prison. The prison was full of multitudes of vermin, filthy with cobwebs, and it was evident that snakes frequented it, as they had dropped there the skins that clung to their throats.[26] The dust in it rose as high as the ankle,[27] it was honeycombed with the holes and galleries of mice, and full of many terrified and miserable men that had been thrown into it. In that place, which seemed the very birthplace of hells, they saw those two ministers Bhīmabhuja and Yikramaśakti, who, like themselves, had entered that wilderness after escaping from the sea, in order to look for their master, and had been already bound and thrown into prison. They recognised the prince and fell weeping at his feet, and he recognised them, and embraced them, bathed in tears.

Then their woes were increased a hundredfold by seeing one another; but the other prisoners there said to them, in order to console them:

“Enough of grief! Can we avoid the effect of acts done in a previous state of existence? Do you not see that the death of all of us together is imminent? For we have been collected here by this king of the Pulindas in order that he may offer us up to Durgā on the coming fourteenth day of the month. So why should you grieve? The way of Fate, that sports with living beings, is strange; as she has given you misfortune, she may in the same way give you prosperity.”

When the other prisoners had said this to them, they remained there bound with them: it is terrible to see how little respect calamities show even for the great.

And when the fourteenth day arrived, they were all taken thence, by the orders of the king, to the temple of Durgā to be sacrificed. It seemed like the mouth of Death, the flame of the lamp being its lolling tongue, the range of bells being its row of teeth, to which the heads of men clung.[28]

Then Sundarasena, when he saw that goddess, bowed before her, and praised her with mind humbled by devotion, and uttered this prayer:

“O thou goddess that didst quell the oppression of the Asuras with thy blood-streaming trident, which mangled haughty Daityas, thou that givest security to thy votaries, look upon me, goddess, that am burned up with the forest-fire of grief, with a favourable nectar-shedding eye, and refresh me. Honour to thee!”

While the prince was saying this, Vindhyaketu, that king of the Pulindas, came there to worship the goddess Durgā.

The moment the prince saw the king of the Bhillas he recognised him, and, being bowed down with shame, said of his own accord to his friends:

“Ha! this is that very Vindhyaketu, the chief of the Pulindas, who comes to my father’s court to pay him homage, and is the lord of this vast wilderness. Whatever may happen, we must not say anything here, for it is better for a man of honour to die than to make known who he is under such circumstances.”

While the prince was saying this to his ministers, King Vindhyaketu said to his servants:

“Come now, show me this heroic human victim who killed so many of my warriors when he was being captured.”

As soon as his servants heard this, they brought Sundarasena, smeared with clotted blood and defiled with wounds, into the presence of that king.

When the king of the Bhillas saw him, he half recognised him, and, being terrified, said to him:

“Tell me, who are you, and whence do you come?”

Sundarasena answered the king of the Bhillas:

“What does it matter who I am, or whence I come? Do what you are about to do.”

Then Vindhyaketu recognised him completely by his voice, and exclaiming excitedly, “Alas! alas!” fell on the ground.

Then he embraced the prince, and said:

“Alas, great King Mahāsena, see what a fitting return I, villain that I am, have now made for your numerous benefits, in that I have here reduced to such a state your son, whom you value as your life, Prince Sundarasena, who has come here from somewhere or other!”

This and many other such laments he uttered in such a way that all there began to shed tears.

But the delighted companions of Sundarasena comforted the Bhilla king, saying to him:

“Is not this much, that you recognised the prince before any misfortune had happened? WThat could you have done after the event had taken place? So why do you despond in the midst of this joy?”

Then the king fell at the feet of Sundarasena and lovingly honoured him, and Sundarasena got him to set all the human victims free.

And after he had shown him all due respect he took him to his village, and his friends with him, and proceeded to bandage his wounds and administer medicines to him; and he said to him:

“Tell me, Prince, what brought you to this place, for I have a great desire to know.”

Then Sundarasena related to him all his adventures. And that prince of the Śavaras, being astonished, said to him:

“What a wonderful chain of events! That you should have set out to marry Mandāravatī, and that you should then have been wrecked[29] in the sea, and that this should have led to your reaching the hermitage of Mataṅga and to your meeting your beloved there, and that this merchant, in whom you confided, should have carried her off from you, and that you should have entered the wilderness and have been imprisoned for sacrifice, and recognised by me and delivered from death—how strangely does all this hang together! Therefore honour, by all means, to mysteriously working Destiny! And you must not feel anxious about your beloved, for, as Destiny has done all this, she will also do you that other service soon.”

While the king of the Pulindas was saying this, his commander-in-chief came quickly in a state of high delight, and entering, said to him:

“King, a certain merchant entered this wilderness with his followers, and he had with him much wealth and a very beautiful lady, a very gem of women; and when I heard of this, I went with an army and seized him and his followers, with the wealth and the lady, and I have them here outside.”

When Sundarasena and Vindhyaketu heard this, they said to themselves:

“Can these be that merchant and Mandāravatī?”

And they said:

“Let the merchant and the lady be brought in here at once.”

And thereupon the commander-in-chief brought in that merchant and that lady.

When Dṛḍhabuddhi saw them, he exclaimed:

“Here is that very Princess Mandāravatī, and here is that villain of a merchant! Alas, Princess, how came you to be reduced to this state, like a creeper scorched by the heat, with your bud-lip dried up, and with your flower-ornaments stripped off?”

While Dṛḍhabuddhi was uttering this exclamation, Sundarasena rushed forward and eagerly threw his arms round the neck of his beloved. Then the two lovers wept for a long time, as if to wash off from one another, by the water of a shower of tears, the defilement of separation.

Then Vindhyaketu, having consoled them both, said to that merchant:

“How came you to carry off the wife of one who confided in you?”

Then the merchant said, with a voice trembling with fear:

“I have fruitlessly done this, to my own destruction, but this holy saint was preserved by her own unapproachable splendour. I was no more able to touch her than if she had been a flame of fire; and I did intend, villain that I was, to take her to my own country, and after her anger had been allayed, and she had been reconciled with me, to marry her.”

When the merchant had said this, the king ordered him to be put to death on the spot; but Sundarasena saved him from execution. However, he had his abundant wealth confiscated—a heavier loss than that of life; for those that have lost their wealth die daily, not so those that have lost their breath.

So Sundarasena had that merchant set at liberty, and the wretched creature went where he would, pleased at having escaped with life; and King Vindhyaketu took Mandāravatī, and went with her and Sundarasena to the palace of his own queen. There he gave orders to his queen, and had Mandāravatī honoured with a bath, with clothes and with unguents; and after Sundarasena had been in the same way bathed and adorned, he made him sit down on a splendid throne, and honoured him with gifts, pearls, musk, and so on. And on account of the reunion of that couple, the king made a great feast, at which all the Śavara women danced delighted.

Then the next day Sundarasena said to the king:

“My wounds are healed and my object is attained, so I will now go hence to my own city; and, please, send off at once to my father a messenger with a letter, to tell the whole story and announce my arrival.”[30]

When the Śavara chief heard this, he sent off a messenger with a letter, and gave him the message which the prince suggested.

And just as the letter-carrier was reaching the city of Alakā, it happened that King Mahāsena and his queen, afflicted because they heard no tidings of Sundarasena, were preparing to enter the fire in front of a temple of Śiva, surrounded by all the citizens, who were lamenting their approaching loss. Then the Śavara who was bearing the letter, beholding King Mahāsena, came running up, proclaiming who he was, stained with dust, bow in hand, with his hair tied up in a knot behind with a creeper, black himself, and wearing a loin-cincture of vilva leaves.

That letter-carrier of the Bhillas said:

“King, you are blessed with good fortune to-day, as your son Sundarasena has come with Mandāravatī, having escaped from the sea; for he has arrived at the court of my master Vindhyaketu, and is on his way to this place with him, and has sent me on before.”

Having said this, and thus discharged his confidential[31] commission, the letter-carrier of the Bhilla king laid the letter at the monarch’s feet. Then all the people there, being delighted, raised a shout of joy; and the letter was read out, and the whole of the wonderful circumstances became known. And King Mahāsena recompensed the letter-carrier, and abandoned his grief, and made great rejoicings, and entered his palace with all his retainers. And the next day, being impatient, he set out to meet his son, whose arrival he expected, accompanied by the King of Haṃsadvīpa. And his force of four arms marched along with him, innumerable, so that the earth trembled, dreading insupportable weight.

In the meanwhile Sundarasena set out from that village of the Bhillas for his own home, with Mandāravatī. And he was accompanied by his friends Vikramaśakti and Bhīmabhuja, whom he found in the prison, and Dṛḍhabuddhi too was with him. He himself rode on a horse swift as the wind, by the side of Vindhyaketu, and seemed by the hosts of Pulindas that followed him to be exhibiting the earth as belonging to that race. And as he was marching along, in a few days he beheld on the road his father coming to meet him, with his retinue and his connections. Then he got down from his horse, and the people beheld him with joy, and he and his friends went up and fell at the feet of his father. His father, when he beheld his son looking like the full moon, felt like the sea, which surges with throbbings of joy and overflows its bounds, and could not contain himself for happiness.[32] And when he saw Mandāravatī, his daughter-in-law, bowing at his feet, he considered himself and his family prosperous, and rejoiced. And the king welcomed Dṛḍhabuddhi and the other two ministers of his son, who bowed at his feet, and he received Vindhyaketu with still warmer welcome.

Then Sundarasena bowed before his father-in-law Mandāradeva, whom his father introduced to him, and rejoiced exceedingly; and beholding his ministers Caṇḍaprabha and Vyāghraparākrama, who had arrived before, clinging to his feet, he considered that all his wishes were accomplished. And immediately King Mahendrāditya, who was delighted at hearing what had happened, came there from Śaśāṅkapura out of affection. Then Prince Sundarasena, mounted on a splendid horse, escorting his beloved, as Naḍakūvara did Rambhā, went with all those to his own home, the city of Alakā, the dwelling-place of all felicities, abounding in virtuous men. And accompanied by his beloved he entered the palace of his father, being sprinkled, as he passed through the city, by the wives of the citizens, who were all crowding to the windows, with the blue lotuses of their eyes. And in the palace he bowed at the feet of his mother, whose eyes were full of tears of joy, and then spent that day in rejoicings, in which all his relations and servants took part.

And the next day, in the long-desired hour fixed by the astrologers, the prince received the hand of Mandāravatī, who was bestowed on him by her father. And his father-in-law, King Mandāradeva, as he had no son, bestowed on him many priceless jewels, in his joy, and the reversion of his kingdom after his own death. And his father, King Mahāsena, without exhausting the earth, made a great feast, in a style suitable to his desires and means, in which all prisoners were released,[33] and a rain of gold was seen.[34] And having beheld Sundarasena prosperous by his union with Mandāravatī, and having taken part in his wedding festivities, in which all the women danced to song, and having been honoured by King Mahāsena, King Mandāradeva returned to his own territory, and the King of Śaśāṅkapura returned to that city, and Vindhyaketu, the lord of the great wilderness, returned to his domain.

And after some days had elapsed, King Mahāsena, perceiving that his son Sundarasena was virtuous and beloved by the subjects, established him in his throne, and went himself to the forest. And Prince Sundarasena, having thus obtained the kingdom, and having conquered all his enemies by the might of his arm, ruled with those ministers the whole earth, and found his joy in the possession of Mandāravatī ever increasing.


163. Story of Mṛgāṅkadatta

When the minister Vyāghrasena had told this story on the bank of the lake to Mṛgāṅkadatta, he went on to say to him:

“This wonderful tale, Prince, did the hermit Kaṇva relate to us in the hermitage, and at the end of the tale the compassionate man said to us, to comfort us:

‘So, my sons, those who endure with resolute hearts terrible misfortunes hard to struggle through, attain in this way the objects they most desire; but those others whose energies are paralysed by loss of courage, fail. Therefore abandon this despondency, and go on your way. Your master also, Prince Mṛgāṅkadatta, shall recover all his ministers, and shall long rule the earth, after having been united with Śaśāṅkavatī.’

When that great hermit had said this to us, we plucked up courage and spent the night there, and then set out from that hermitage, and in course of time reached this wood, travel-worn. And while here, being tortured with excessive thirst and hunger, we climbed up this tree sacred to Gaṇeśa to get fruits, and we were ourselves turned into fruits; and we have now, Prince, been released from our fruit-transformation by your austerities. Such have been the adventures of us four during our separation from you,[35] brought about by the curse of the Nāga; and now that our curse is expired, advance, united with us all, towards the attainment of your object.”

When Mṛgāṅkadatta had heard all this from his minister Vyāghrasena, he conceived hopes of obtaining Śaśāṅkavatī, and so passed that night there.

Footnotes and references:


The Sanskrit College MS. reads dīnāyāṃ for dīrghāyām.


When applied to the good man, it means “his heart was benevolent and large.”


See Vol. III, p. 228,228n2.


I follow the reading of the Sanskrit College MS.—āyati-darśinā.


The Sanskrit College MS. gives prāchyāṃ śaila-sṛṅga-tapovanam.


In his Golden Town, L. D. Barnett treats this as a separate story. See pp. 37-56. —n.m.p.


The Sanskrit College MS. reads sukhite jane. The sense is the same.


See Vol. II, pp.107n1, 108w; Vol. IV, p.145n1, and Grohmann, Sagen aus Böhmen, p. 242.


The Sanskrit College MS. reads dhātuḥ sāmāgryya —(sic) vaichitryam.


See Vol. III, p. 259.—n.m.p.


The Sanskrit College MS. reads manye (I think) for Hara.


The Sanskrit College MS. reads sadṛśī and anyatra.


For falling in love with a picture see Vol. IV, p.132n1. For the conventional signs of love in the Greek romances see Rohde, Der Griechische Roman, p. 157 et seq.


Tawney has merely made a paraphrase of this passage describing Mandāravatī’s beauty, and with the kind help of Dr Barnett I have made an entirely new and complete translation.—n.m.p.


The captial of the God of Wealth.


Offerings to the sea are still common among tribes on the coast. In parts of Kāthiāwār a fire is lighted on the seashore, butter is thrown into it, and milk and sugar are poured into the sea. The fishing caste, particularly at the end of the monsoon, when fishing craft put out to sea, pour milk, spirits, flowers and coco-nuts into the sea. Their festival at the close of the stormy weather is generally known as the Nārali-purnima, or coconut festival, held at the full moon of Sāvan or August, when people go to the shore, offer coco-nuts, and have their foreheads marked with red bya Brāhman. Koli women on the Bombay coast wear glass bangles only on the left wrist, because on their wedding-day the right-arm bangles are taken off’and thrown into the sea to win its favour for their husbands. W. Crooke, Religion and Folklore of Northern India, 1926, pp. 55, 56. See also the same author, “Water, Water-Gods (Indian),” Hastings’ Ency. Rel. Eth., vol. xii, p. 717.—n.m.p.


Böhtlingk and Roth give nāgabandha in this passage as “eine Schlange als Fessel.” I do not quite see how to bring in this translation, though I fear that my own is not correct.


I read dhairyād for adhairyād.


Storms play an important part in Greek [and Arabian] romances. See Rohde, Der Griechische Roman, pp. 428-468.


The Sanskrit College MS. has jñāta-vṛttāntā.


“The self-existent” a name of Śiva, Viṣṇu and Buddha.


I read tanna, which I find in the Sanskrit College MS., for tatra.


The Sanskrit College MS. has ehi for iha.


Instead of B.’s abjeshu śālishu read with the D. text abjeshu sālishu, “the lotuses with their bees.” See Speyer, op. cit., pp. 139,140.—n.m.p.


I read sudurdharṣām; the Sanskrit College MS. reads senanīm (sic) iva durdharṣām; the word translated “rhinoceros” can also mean “sword”; the adjective before it may mean “uplifted,” and the word translated “inhabited by lions” may perhaps mean “commanded by a king.”


This seems practically nonsense. For galalambibhih we should read gartalambibhiḥ, which would mean that the snake-skins clung to the holes in the prison-walls.—n.m.p.


I follow the reading of the Sanskrit College MS., which gives daghna instead of lagna.


The Sanskrit College MS. reads vyāsaktavīraśirasaṃ.


I read, with the Sanskrit College MS., pātaḥ for prāptiḥ.


 Vṛttāntaṃ should probably be vṛttānta, and should be joined with the words that follow.


If confidential, how was it that “all the people there” knew all about it at once? The B. text reads raraḥ-śuciḥ, which obviously troubled Tawney, as he omitted the second word entirely. But if we read harañ cuśam, with the D. text, all becomes plain, as the messenger speaks his words aloud before the whole court. See further Speyer, op. cit., p. 140.—n.m.p.


An allusion to the phenomenon of the tides


For references to this custom, both in Eastern and European tales, see Chauvin, op. cit. vi, p.101n2.—n.m.p.


The Sanskrit College MS. gives vṛṣṭa-hiraṇya-vastraṃ —in which gold and garments were showered on the people.


I read śāpopanīte, with the Sanskrit College MS.

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