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 CVIII

[M] (main story line continued) THE next day, as the new emperor, Naravāhanadatta, was sitting in Vakrapura, in the hall of audience, a certain man descended from heaven, with a wand in his hand, and came up to him and, bowing before him, said to him:

“Know, O King, that I am Paurarucideva, the hereditary warder of the emperor of the Vidyādharas, and I have come here to tender my services to you in that capacity.”

When Naravāhanadatta heard this, he looked at the face of Amitagati; and he said: “It is true, my liege”: so Naravāhanadatta gladly admitted the newcomer to the office of warder.

Then Dhanavatī, finding out by her power what had occurred, with his wives, Vegavatī and the others, and her son, Caṇḍasiṃha, and King Piṅgalagāndhāra with Vāyupatha, and Citrāṅgada with Sāgaradatta, and Hemaprabha and the others, came there, obscuring the sun with their armies, as if declaring beforehand that they would endure no fire and heat in their foes. When they arrived they fell at the feet of that emperor, and he honoured them with a welcome as their rank deserved, but, out of great veneration, he himself fell at the feet of Dhanavatī, and she, being highly pleased, loaded that son-in-law of hers with blessings. And when he told the story of his obtaining magic powers, Caṇḍasiṃha and the others were exceedingly gratified at their emperor’s success.

And the emperor, seeing that his wives had arrived in his presence, said to Dhanavatī: “Where are my ministers?”

And she answered him:

“When they had been flung in all directions by Mānasavega, I saved them by the help of a mighty science, and placed them in different sp ots.”

Then he had them brought by a science incarnate in bodily form. And they came, and inquired after his welfare and clung to his feet. And then he said to them:

“Why and how and where have you spent so many days? Tell me one by one your marvellous tale.”

Then Gomukha told his story first:

“When I was flung away by the enemy on that occasion, some goddess bore me up in her hands, and comforted me, and placed me in a distant forest, and disappeared.

Then I was minded in my affliction to abandon the body, by hurling myself from a precipice; but a certain ascetic came up to me and dissuaded me, saying:

‘Do not act rashly, Gomukha, you will again behold your master when he has gained his object.’

Then I said to him:

‘Who are you, and how do you know that?’

He answered:

‘Come to my hermitage, and there I will tell you.’

Then I went with that man, who by his knowing my name had proved the greatness of his knowledge, to his hermitage, which was called Śivakṣetra.

There he entertained me and told me his story in the following words:

“‘I am a Brāhman named Nāgasvāmin, from a city called Kuṇḍina. When my father went to heaven, I went to Pāṭaliputra, and repaired to a teacher named Jayadatta, to acquire learning. But, in spite of all the teaching I got, I was so stupid that I did not manage to learn a single syllable; so all the pupils there made game of me. Then, being the victim of contempt, I set out on a pilgrimage to the shrine of the goddess Durgā in the Vindhya mountains; and when I had got half-way I came across a city named Vakrolaka.

“‘I went into that city to beg; and in one house the mistress gave me with my alms a red lotus.

I took it, and went on to another house, and there the mistress said to me, when she saw it:

“Alas! a witch has secured possession of you! See, she has given you a man’s hand,[1] which she has passed off on you for a red lotus.”

When I heard that, I looked myself, and lo! it was no lotus, but a human hand.

I flung it away, and fell at her feet, and said:

“Mother, devise some expedient for me, that I may live.”

When she heard this she said:

“Go! In a village of the name of Karabha, three yojanas distant from this place, there is a Brāhman of the name of Devarakṣita. He has in his house a splendid brown cow, an incarnation of Surabhi; she will protect you during this night, if you repair to her for refuge.”

“‘When she said this, I ran, full of fear, and reached, at the close of the day, the house of that Brāhman in the village of Karabha.

When I had entered, I beheld that brown cow, and I worshipped her and said:

“Being terrified, goddess, I have come to you for protection.”

And just then, night having set in, that witch came there through the air with other witches, threatening me, longing for my flesh and blood. When the brown cow saw that, she placed me between her hoofs, and defended me, fighting against those witches all the livelong night.

In the morning they went away, and the cow said to me in an articulate voice:

“My son, I shall not be able to protect you the next night. So go on farther; at a distance of five yojanas from this place there is a mighty Pāśupata ascetic named Bhūtiśiva, dwelling in a temple of Śiva in a forest. He possesses supernatural knowledge, and he will protect you for this one night, if you take refuge with him.”

“‘When I heard that, I bowed before her, and set out from that place; and I soon reached that Bhūtiśiva, and took refuge with him. And at night those very same witches came there also, in the very same way. Then that Bhūtiśiva made me enter the inner apartment of his house,[2] and taking up a position at the door, trident in hand, kept off the witches.

Next morning, Bhūtiśiva, having conquered them, gave me food, and said to me:

“Brāhman, I shall not be able to protect you any longer; but in a village named Sandhyāvāsa, at a distance of ten yojanas from this place, there is a Brāhman named Vasumati: go to him: and if you manage to get through this third night, you will escape altogether.”[3]

“‘When he said this to me, I bowed before him, and set out from that place. But, on account of the length of the journey that I had to make, the sun set before I had reached my destination. And when night had set in, the witches pursued after me and caught me. And they seized me and went off with me through the air, much pleased. But thereupon some other witches of great power flew past them in front. And suddenly there arose between the two parties a tumultuous fight. And in the confusion I escaped from the hands of my captors, and fell to the ground in a very desolate part of the country.[4]

“‘And there I saw a certain great palace, which seemed to say to me with its open door:

“Come in.”

So I fled into it bewildered with fear, and I beheld a lady of wonderful beauty, surrounded with a hundred ladies-in-waiting, gleaming with brightness, like a protecting herb[5] that shines in the night, made by the Creator out of pity for me.

I immediately recovered my spirits and questioned her, and she said to me:

“I am a Yakṣiṇī named Sumitrā, and I am thus here owing to a curse. And in order that my curse may come to an end I have been directed to marry a mortal: so marry me, as you have unexpectedly arrived here; fear not.”

When she had said this, she quickly gave orders to her servants; and she provided me, to my great delight, with baths and unguents, food and drink, and garments. Strange was the contrast between the terror caused by those witches and the happiness that immediately followed. Even fate itself cannot comprehend the principle that makes men fall into happiness or misery.

“‘Then I remained there in happiness with that Yakṣiṇī during those days; but at last one day she said to me of her own accord:

“Brāhman, my curse is at an end; so I must leave this place at once. However, by my favour you shall have divine insight; and, though an ascetic, you shall have all enjoyments at your command, and be free from fear. But as long as you are here, do not visit the middle block of buildings of this palace of mine.”[6]

When she had said this, she disappeared; and thereupon, I, out of curiosity, went up to the middle block of buildings, and there I saw a horse. I went up to the horse, and he flung me from him with a kick; and immediately I found myself in this temple of Śiva.[7]

“‘Since that time I have remained here, and I have gradually acquired supernatural powers. Accordingly, though I am a mortal, I possess knowledge of the three times.[8] In the same way do all men in this world find successes beset with difficulties. So do you remain in this place; Śiva will bestow on you the success that you desire.’

“When the wise being had told me all this, I conceived hopes of recovering you, and I remained there some days, in his hermitage. And to-day, my lord, Śiva in a dream informed me of your success, and some heavenly nymph seized me up, and brought me here. This is the history of my adventures.”

When Gomukha had said this, he stopped, and then Marubhūti began to tell his tale in the presence of Naravāhanadatta:

“When I was flung away on that occasion by Mānasavega, some divinity took me up in her hands, and, placing me in a distant forest, disappeared. Then I wandered about afflicted, and anxious to obtain some means of committing suicide, when I saw a certain hermitage encircled by a river. I entered it, and beheld an ascetic with matted hair sitting on a slab of rock, and I bowed before him and went up to him.

He said to me:

‘Who are you, and how did you reach this uninhabited land?’

Thereupon I told him my whole story. Then he understood and said to me:

‘Do not slay yourself now! You shall learn here the truth about your master, and afterwards you shall do what is fitting.’

“In accordance with this advice of his I remained there, eager for tidings of you, my liege: and while I was there some heavenly nymphs came to bathe in the river.

Then the hermit said to me:

‘Go quickly[9] and carry off the clothes of one of those nymphs bathing there,[10] and then you will learn tidings of your master.’

When I heard that, I did as he advised me, and that nymph whose garments I had taken followed me, with her bathing-dress dripping with moisture,[11] and with her arms crossed in front of her breasts.

“That hermit said to her:

‘If you tell us tidings of Naravāhanadatta you may have back your two garments.’

Then she said:

‘Naravāhanadatta is at present on Mount Kailāsa, engaged in worshipping Śiva, and in a few days he will be the emperor of the Vidyādharas.’

“After she had said this, that heavenly nymph became, in virtue of a curse, the wife of that ascetic, having made acquaintance with him by conversing with him.[12] So the ascetic lived with that Vidyādharī, and on account of her prophecy I conceived the hope of being reunited with you, and I went on living there.

And in a few days the heavenly nymph became pregnant, and brought forth a child, and she said to the ascetic:

‘My curse has been brought to an end by living with you.[13] If you desire to see any more of me, cook this child of mine with rice and eat it; then you will be reunited to me.’

When she had said this she went away, and that ascetic cooked her child with rice, and ate it; and then he flew up into the air and followed her.

“At first I was unwilling to eat of that dish, though he urged me to do so; but, seeing that eating of it bestowed supernatural powers, I took two grains of rice from the cooking-vessel, and ate them. That produced in me the effect that, wherever I spat, gold[14] was immediately produced. Then I roamed about, relieved from my poverty, and at last I reached a town. There I lived in a house of a courtesan, and, thanks to the gold I was able to produce, indulged in the most lavish expenditure; but the bawd, eager to discover my secret, treacherously gave me an emetic. That made me vomit, and in the process the two grains of rice, that I had previously eaten, came out of my mouth, looking like two glittering rubies. And no sooner had they come out, than the bawd snapped them up, and swallowed them. So I lost my power of producing gold, of which the bawd thus deprived me.

“I thought to myself:

‘Śiva still retains his crescent, and Viṣṇu his kaustubha jewel[15]; but I know what would be the result if those two deities were to fall into the clutches of a bawd.[16] But such is this world, full of marvels, full of frauds; who can fathom it, or the sea, at any time?’

With such sad reflections in my bosom I went despondent to a temple of Durgā, to propitiate the goddess with asceticism, in order to recover you.

And after I had fasted for three nights the goddess gave me this command in a dream:

‘Thy master has obtained all he desires: go, and behold him’;

upon hearing this I woke up; and this very morning some goddess carried me to your feet; this, Prince, is the story of my adventures.”

When Marubhūti had said this, Naravāhanadatta and his courtiers laughed at him for having been tricked by a bawd.

Then Hariśikha said:

“On that occasion when I was seized by my enemy[17] some divinity saved me and deposited me in Ujjayinī. There I was so unhappy that I conceived the design of abandoning the body; so at nightfall I went into the cemetery and proceeded to construct a pyre with the logs there.

I lighted it, and began to worship the fire, and while I was thus engaged a prince of the demons, named Tālajaṅgha, came up to me, and said to me:

‘Why do you enter the fire? Your master is alive, and you shall be united with him, now that he has obtained the supernatural powers he desired.’

With these words, the demon, though naturally cruel, lovingly dissuaded me from death: even some stones melt when fate is propitious. Then I went and remained for a long time performing asceticism in front of the god; and some divinity has to-day brought me to you, my liege.”

Thus Hariśikha told his tale, and the others in their turn told theirs, and then, at the suggestion of Amitagati, King Naravāhanadatta incited the venerable Dhanavatī, adored by the Vidyādharas, to bestow all the sciences on those ministers of his also.

Then all his ministers also became Vidyādharas; and Dhanavatī said: “Now conquer your enemies”; so on a fortunate day the hero gave orders that the imperial troops should march out towards the city of Gaurīmuṇḍa, called Govindakūṭa.

Then the army of the Vidyādharas mounted up into the sky, obscuring the sun, looking like a rising of Rāhu out of due time, chilling to the foe. And Naravāhanadatta himself ascended the pericarp of the lotus chariot, and placed his wives on the filaments, and his friends on the leaves, and, preceded by Caṇḍasiṃha and the others, set out through the air to conquer his enemies. And when he had completed half his journey he came to the palace of Dhanavatī, which was called Mātaṅgapura, and he stayed there that day, and she did the honours of the house to him. And while he was there, he sent an ambassador to challenge to the combat the Vidyādhara princes Gaurīmuṇḍa and Mānasavega.

The next day he deposited his wives in Mātaṅgapura, and went with the Vidyādhara kings to Govindakūṭa. There Gaurīmuṇḍa and Mānasavega came out to fight with them, and Caṇḍasiṃha and his colleagues met them face to face. When the battle began, brave warriors fell like trees marked out for the axe, and torrents of blood flowed on the mountain Govindakūṭa. The combat, eager to devour the lives of heroes, yawned like a demon of destruction, with tongues in the form of flexible swords greedily licking up blood.[18] That great feast of slaughter, terrible with the rhythmic clapping of hands on the part of Vetālas drunk with blood and flesh, and covered with palpitating corpses for dancers, gave great delight to the demons.

Then Mānasavega met Naravāhanadatta face to face in the conflict, and the prince himself rushed on him in wrath. And having rushed on him, that emperor seized the villain by the hair, and at once cut off his head with his sword. When Gaurīmuṇḍa saw that, he too sprang forward in a fury, and Naravāhanadatta dragged him along by the hair, for the power of his science left him as soon as he saw the prince, and flung him on the ground, and seizing his legs whirled him round in the air, and dashed him to pieces on a rock. In this way he slew Gaurīmuṇḍa and Mānasavega; and the rest of their army, being terrified,[19] took to flight.

And a rain of flowers fell into the lap of that emperor, and all the gods in heaven exclaimed: “Bravo! Bravo!”

Then Naravāhanadatta, with all those kings that followed him, entered the palace of Gaurīmuṇḍa; and immediately the chiefs of the Vidyādharas who were connected with Gaurīmuṇḍa’s party came and submitted humbly to his sway.

Then Dhanavatī came up to that sovereign in the midst of the rejoicings on account of his having taken possession of his kingdom after slaying all his enemies, and said to him:

“My liege, Gaurīmuṇḍa has left a daughter named Ihātmatikā, the belle of the three worlds; you should marry that maiden.”

When she said this to the king, he immediately sent for the girl, and married her, and passed the day very happily in her society.

The next morning he sent Vegavatī and Prabhāvatī, and had Madanamañcukā brought by them from the town of Mānasavega. When brought, she looked upon that hero in his prosperity, who had destroyed the darkness of his enemies, with face expanded and wet with tears of joy; and at the end of her night of separation she enjoyed indescribable happiness, like a lotus bed the open flowers of which are wet with dew. Then he bestowed on her all the sciences, and, having pined for her long, he exulted in the society of his beloved, who had thus in a moment attained the rank of a Vidyādharī. And in the garden of Gaurīmuṇḍa’s city he spent those days with his wives in the joys of a banquet. And then he sent Prabhāvatī, and had Bhagīrathayaśas also brought there, and bestowed on her the sciences.

And one day, as the emperor was sitting in his hall of audience, two Vidyādharas came and said to him with due respect:

“Your Majesty, we went hence, by the orders of Dhanavatī, to the northern division of the land of the Vidyādharas, to find out the movements of Mandaradeva.

And there we, being ourselves invisible, saw that king of the Vidyādharas in his hall of audience, and he happened to be saying with regard to your Highness:

‘I hear that Naravāhanadatta has obtained the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas, and has slain Gaurīmuṇḍa and the rest of his opponents; so it will not do for me to overlook that enemy; on the contrary, I must nip him in the bud.’

When we heard that speech of his, we came here to tell you.”

When the assembly of Naravāhanadatta’s partisans heard this from the spies, they were all beside themselves with anger, and appeared like a lotus bed smitten by the wind. The arms of Citrāṅgada, frequently waved and extended,[20] seemed with the tinkling of their bracelets to be demanding the signal for combat.

The necklace of Amitagati, rising up[21] on his breast, as he sighed with anger, seemed to say again and again: “Rouse thyself, rouse thyself, hero.”

Piṅgalagāndhāra, striking the ground with his hand so that it resounded, seemed to be going through a prelude introductory to the crushing of his enemies. A frown took its seat upon the face of Vāyupatha, looking like a bow strung by fate for the destruction of his foes.

Caṇḍasiṃha, angrily pressing one hand against the other, seemed to say:

“Even thus will I pulverise my enemies.”

The arm of Sāgaradatta, struck by his hand, produced a sound that rang through the air, and seemed to challenge that foe. But Naravāhanadatta, though angry, was no whit disturbed; for imperturbability is the characteristic sign of the greatness of great ones.

Then he resolved to march forth to conquer his enemy, after obtaining the jewels essential to an emperor of the Vidyādharas. So the emperor mounted a chariot, with his wives and his ministers, and set out from that Govindakūṭa. And all his partisans, the kings of the Gandharvas and the chiefs of the Vidyādharas, accompanied by their armies, marched along with him, encircling him, as the planets do the moon. Then Naravāhanadatta reached the Himālayas, preceded by Dhanavatī, and found there a large lake. With its white lotuses like lofty umbrellas and its soaring swans like waving chowries, it seemed to have brought a present fit for a sovereign. With its lofty waves flung up towards him like beckoning hands at no great distance, it seemed to summon him again and again to take the bath which should ensure him supreme sovereignty.

Then Vāyupatha said to the king:

“My emperor, you must go down and bathe in this lake”;

so he went down to bathe in it. And a heavenly voice said:

“None but an emperor can ever succeed in bathing in this lake, so now you may consider the imperial dignity secured to you.”

When the emperor heard that he was delighted, and he sported in the water of that lake with his wives, as Varuṇa does in the sea. He took pleasure in watching them with the moist garments clinging to their bodies,[22] with the fastenings of their hair loosened, and their eyes reddened by the washing into them of antimony.[23] The rows of birds, flying up with loud cries from that lake, appeared like the girdles of its presiding nymphs advancing to meet him. And the lotuses, eclipsed by the beauty of the lotus-like faces of his wives, plunged beneath the waves as if ashamed. And after bathing, Naravāhanadatta, with his attendants, spent that day on the bank of that lake.

There the successful prince, with his wives and ministers, spent his time in jocose conversation, and next morning he set forth thence in his chariot with his army. And as he was going along, he reached the city of Vāyupatha, which lay in his way; and he stayed there a day to please him. There he fell in love with a maiden, that he came across in a garden, the sister of Vāyupatha, by name Vāyuvegayaśas. She, while amusing herself in a garden on the bank of the Hemabāluka[24] river, saw him arrive, and though in love with him disappeared at once. Then Naravāhanadatta, supposing that she had turned her back on him for some reason other than the real one, returned with downcast face to his quarters. There the queens found out the adventure that had befallen the king by means of Marubhūtī, who was with him (for Gomukha was too clever for them to try him), and then they made all kinds of jokes at the king’s expense, while Gomukha stood by ashamed at the indiscretion of Marubhūti.

Then Gomukha, seeing the king out of countenance, consoled him, and, in order to ascertain the real sentiments of Vāyuvegayaśas, went to her city.

There Vāyupatha saw him suddenly arrived, as if to take a look at the city, and he lovingly entertained him, and taking him aside said to him:

“I have an unmarried sister named Vāyuvegayaśas, and holy seers have prophesied that she is destined to be the wife of an emperor. So I am desirous of giving her as a present to the Emperor Naravāhanadatta; pray do your best to bring about the accomplishment of my wish. And with this very object in view I was preparing to come to you.”

When the minister Gomukha had been thus addressed by Vāyupatha, he said to him:

“Although this prince of ours set out primarily with the object of conquering his enemies, still, you have only to make the request, and I will arrange this matter for you.”

With these words Gomukha took leave of him, and going back informed Naravāhanadatta that he had gained his object without any solicitation.

And the next day Vāyupatha came in person and requested the favour, and the sagacious Gomukha said to the king:

“My Prince, you must not refuse the request of Vāyupatha; he is your faithful ally; your Majesty should do whatever he asks.”

Then the king consented to do it; and Vāyupatha himself brought his younger sister, and bestowed her on the emperor, against her will.

And while the marriage was being performed she exclaimed:

“Ye guardians of the world, I am being bestowed in marriage by my brother by force, and against my will, so I have not committed any sin thereby.”

When she said this, all the females belonging to Vāyupatha’s household made such a noise that no outsiders heard what she said. But the king was put out of countenance by her speech, so Gomukha was anxious to find some means of ascertaining its import, and he roamed hither and thither with that object.

And after he had roamed about a while he saw, in a certain retired spot, four Vidyādhara maidens preparing to enter the fire at the same time. And when he asked them the cause, those fair ones told him how Vāyuvegayaśas had broken her solemn agreement. Then Gomukha went and told it to King Naravāhanadatta in the presence of all there, exactly as he had seen and heard.

When the king heard it he smiled, but Vāyuvegayaśas said:

“Arise, my husband, let us two quickly go and save these maidens; afterwards I will tell you the reason of this act of theirs.”

When she said this to the king he went with her, and with all his followers, to the spot where the tragedy was to take place.

And he saw those maidens with a blazing fire in front of them; and Vāyuvegayaśas, after dragging them away from it, said to the king:

“This first here is Kālikā, the daughter of the lord of Kālakūṭa, and this second is Vidyutpuñjā, the daughter of Vidyutpuñjā; and this third is Mataṅginī, the daughter of Mandara; and this fourth is Padmaprabhā, the daughter of Mahādaṃṣṭra; and I am the fifth; all we five, when we saw you performing asceticism in the domain of the Siddhas, were bewildered with love, and we made the following mutual agreement:

‘We will all five[25] at the same time take this prince as our dear husband, and no one of us must surrender herself to him alone; if any one of us marries him separately, the others shall enter the fire to bring down vengeance on her who has been guilty of such treachery to friends.’

It was out of respect for this agreement that I did not wish to marry you separately; indeed, I did not even to-day give myself to you; you, my husband, and the guardians of the world can bear testimony as to whether even now I have broken this agreement willingly. So now, my husband marry also those friends of mine; and you, my friends, must not let any other lot befall you.”[26]

When she said this, those maidens, who had escaped from death, rejoiced, and embraced one another; and the king was delighted in his heart. And the fathers of the ladies, hearing what had taken place, came there immediately, and bestowed their daughters on Naravāhanadatta. And those chiefs of the Vidyādharas, headed by the lord of Kālakūṭa,[27] agreed to accept the sovereignty of their son-in-law. Thus Naravāhanadatta obtained at one stroke the daughters of five great Vidyādharas, and gained great importance thereby.

And the prince remained there some days with those wives, and then his commander-in-chief, Hariśikha, said:

“Why, my liege, though you are versed in the approved treatises on the subject, do you act contrary to policy? What means this devotion on your part to the pleasures of love, when it is time to fight? This raising of an expedition to conquer Mandaradeva, and this your dallying for so many days with your wives, are things wholly incompatible.”

When Hariśikha said this, the great king answered him:

“Your reproof is just, but I am not acting for my own pleasure in all this; this allying of myself with wives involves the acquisition of friends; and so is the most efficacious method at present of crushing the foe; this is why I have had recourse to it. So let these my troops now advance to the conquest of the enemy.”

When the king had given this order, his father-in-law Mandara said to him:

“King, that Mandaradeva lives in a distant and difficult country, and he will be hard for you to overcome until you have achieved all the distinctive jewels of an emperor. For he is protected by the cave, called the cave of Triśīrṣa,[28] which forms the approach to his kingdom, and the entrance of which is guarded by the great champion Devamāya. But that cave can be forced by an emperor who has obtained the jewels. And the sandalwood-tree,[29] which is one of the jewels of an emperor, is in this country; so quickly gain possession of it in order that you may attain the ends you have in view. For no one who is not an emperor ever gets near that tree.”

Having heard this from Mandara, Naravāhanadatta set out at night, fasting and observing a strict vow, for that sandalwood-tree. As the hero went along, very terrible portents arose to bewilder him, but he was not terrified at them, and so he reached the foot of that mighty tree. And when he saw that sandalwood-tree, surrounded with a lofty platform made of precious jewels, he climbed up to it with ladders and adored it.

The tree then said to him with bodiless voice:

“Emperor, thou hast won me, the sandalwood-tree, and when thou thinkest on me I will appear to thee, so leave this place at present, and go to Govindakūṭa; thus thou wilt win the other jewels also; and then thou wilt easily conquer Mandaradeva.”

On hearing this, Naravāhanadatta, the mighty sovereign of the Vidyādharas, said: “I will do so.”

And, being now completely successful, he worshipped that heavenly tree,[30] and went delighted through the air to his own camp.

There he spent that night; and the next morning in the hall of audience he related at full length, in the presence of all, his night’s adventure by which he had won the sandalwood-tree. And when they heard it, his wives, and the ministers who had grown up with him from infancy, and those Vidyādharas who were devoted to him—namely, Vāyupatha and the other chiefs, with their forces—and the Gandharvas, headed by Citrāṅgada, were delighted at this sudden attainment of great success, and praised his heroism, remarkable for its uninterrupted flow of courage, enterprise, and firmness. And after deliberating with them, the king, determined to overthrow the pride of Mandaradeva, set out in a heavenly chariot for the mountain of Govindakūṭa, in order to obtain the other jewels spoken of by the sandalwood-tree.

Footnotes and references:


Cf Webster’s play, The Dutchess of Malfey, where the Duchess says:
    “What witchcraft doth he practise, that he hath left
    A dead man’s hand here?”
——For a note on the “Hand of Glory” see Vol. III, pp. 150-154.—n.m.p.


I read antargriham as one word.


This method of passing on the hero is somewhat similar to the “older and older” motif, for which see Vol. II, p.190n1.—n.m.p.


In the above wild story the hero has to endure the assaults of the witches on three successive nights. So in the story, “The Headless Princess” (Ralston’s Russian Folk-Tales, p. 271), the priest’s son has to read the Psalter over the dead princess three nights running. He is hardest pressed on the last night; and on each occasion at daybreak the “devilry vanished.” In the same way in “The Soldier’s Midnight Watch” (ibid., p. 274) the soldier has three nights of increasing severity. So in Southey’s Old Woman of Berkeley, the assaults continue for three nights, and on the third are successful.——Cf also the tale of Aristomenes in Book I of Apuleius’s Golden Ass, but here the witches’ assaults take place on a single night.—n.m.p.


Kuhn, in his Sagen aus Westfalen, vol. ii, p. 29, gives a long list of herbs that protect men from witches. The earliest instance in literature is perhaps

                                         “. . . that Moly
That Hermes once to wise Ulysses gave.”
Milton, Comus, 655-656.

See also Bartsch, Sagen aus Meklenburg, vol. ii, p. 37.——Milton’s reference is to Odyssey, x, 302-306. For the possible identification of the herb see Champault, Phéniciens et Grecs en Italie d’après l’Odyssée, 1906, p. 504 et seq.; Bérard, Les Phéniciens et l’Odyssée, vol. ii, p. 288 et seq., and Henry, Classical Review, December 1906, p. 434.—n.m.p.


For the “Taboo” or “Forbidden Chamber” motif see Vol. II, pp. 222, 223n1, 252, 253; and Vol. VII, pp. 21, 21n3, 212. For its connection with the “Swan-Maiden” motif see Appendix I, pp. 213, 234.—n.m.p.


For instantaneous transportations see Vol. II, p. 223, 223n1; Vol. VI, pp. 213, 279, and Vol. VII, pp. 24, 225, 225n1. To the parallels quoted by Ralston may be added, Prym and Socin’s Syrische Märcken, p. 116; Bernhard Schmidt’s Griechische Märchen, p. 94; and Coelho’s Contos Portuguezes, p. 63.


Past, present and future.—n.m.p.


I.e. āśu; but the D. text reads āsu, which suggests that the hermit pointed out one particular girl from “among them” (āsu) and told the youth to get her clothes. Either reading might be correct. —n.m.p.


See Appendix I.—n.m.p.


There seems to be a corrupted reading here. Both the B. and D. texts read: hṛta-vastrāārdra-vasanā, which literally means, “the robbed one clothed in wet clothing,” which is absurd. We have just read that she has taken off her clothes to bathe, and on seeing they had been taken, follows the thief, covering her nakedness as best she can with her hands. Unable to make sense, Tawney changes “dress” to “bathing-dress,” which is, of course, ridiculous. The intended sense is fairly clear, though the correct reading is unknown. It must either be “with moisture as her only dress,” or “with her body (or skin) dripping with moisture.” The italics show where the substituted word occurs.—n.m.p.


The three India Office MSS. read saṃstavād.


Cf. Vol. III, p. 25,25n2; and for what follows Vol. II, p. 234.


It was one of the marvellous things which came up at the Churning of the Ocean. See Mahābhārata, i, 18.—n.m.p.



All the India Office MSS. read’ dyāpi for yo’pi and two seem to read āpātane. I find āpatana in the Petersburg lexicon, but not āpātana. I have translated the passage loosely so as to make good sense.

The Sanskrit College MS. gives a reading which exactly suits my translation:

Sachandrārdhaḥ Śivo’dyāpi Harir yaś cha sakaustubhaḥ Tatlayorvedmi kuṭṭanyā gocharāpatane phalam.

——D. fully agrees with this reading, except that for yaś cha it has yacca. This changes and improves the meaning slightly:

“That Śiva still retains his crescent and Viṣṇu his kaustubha jewel, they have to thank for it, I am sure, the fact that they did not fall into the clutches of a bawd.”

The italics show the translation as suggested by Speyer, op. cit., pp. 143, 144. —N.M.P.


Tawney could not have been pleased with B.’s reading, prāptam —“was seized.” Read prāstaṃ, with the D. text —“thrown down.” —n.m.p.


More literally, “smeared with blood and relishing it.” Böhtlingk and Roth seem to think rasat refers to some noise made by the swords.


All the India Office MSS. read bhītam for the bhimam of Brockhaus’ text.


Speyer (op. cit., p. 169) would read khe in preference to svau; thus, Citrāṅgada makes strong movements with his arms in the air. Tawney must have realised that svau, “own,” was superfluous.—n.m.p.


Speyer (op. cit., p. 144) would read, with the D. text, utphalan instead of B.’s utphullaḥ; the latter word does not signify “rise up,” but “wide open” or “expanded.”—n.m.p.


Cf Vol. I, p. 69,69n2.—n.m.p.


See Vol. I, pp. 211, 212. Whether “antimony” or “galena” is the correct translation here is hard to say. As both are usual for the eyes, in the form of a black powder, mistakes have often occurred, not only by the Hindus and Mohammedans (Watt, Economic Products, vol. i, p. 271), but even by geologists (La Touche, Bibliography of Indian Geology, vol. ii, p. 13). In modern days galena is used much more than antimony, of which the Indian output is very small; so also in Burma, whence some of the Indian supplies were derived. (See my Mineral Resources of Burma, pp. 111, 112, with bibliographical references.) The English word antimony is probably derived from the Arabic al-ithmid. For its etymological history see L. L. Bonaparte, “Antimony,” Academy, 23rd February 1884, p. 135. —n.m.p.


The word means “having sands of gold.”


The word asmābhir has been omitted in Brockhaus’ text. It follows pañcabhir in the three India Office MSS. and in the Sanskrit College MS.


Two of the India Office MSS. have bhāvanīyaṃ. In the third the passage is omitted. But the text of Brockhaus gives a good sense.


I read praṣṭhās, which I find in two of the India Office MSS., No. 1882 has prasthās.


An epithet of Śiva.


For a note on sandalwood see Vol. VII, pp. 105-107.—n.m.p.


See Vol. II, pp. 96,96n1, 97. Cf. also the story of Aschenkatze, in the Pentamerone of Basile (Burton, vol. i, pp. 59, 6l); the Dummedha Jātaka, Cambridge Edition, No. 50, vol. i, p. 126 et seq; Preller, Römische Mythologie, p. 96; Kuhn, Sagen aus Westfalen, vol. i, pp. 241, 242, 244, 245; Ovid’s Metamorphoses, viii, 722-724 and 743 et seq; and Ralston’s Tibetan Tales, Introduction, p. lii.

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