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 ...
[M] (main story line continued) THEN in the morning Somaprabhā took with her a basket, in which she had placed many excellent mechanical dolls of wood with magic properties in order to amuse her friend, and travelling through the air she came again to Kaliṅgasenā.
And when Kaliṅgasenā saw her she was full of tears of joy, and rising up she threw her arms round her neck, and said to her, as she sat by her side:
“The dark night of three watches has this time seemed to me to be of a hundred watches without the sight of the full moon of your countenance. So, if you know, my friend, tell me of what kind may have been my union with you in a former birth, of which this present friendship is the result.”
When Somaprabhā heard this, she said to that princess:
“Such knowledge I do not possess, for I do not remember my former birth; and hermits are not acquainted with this, but if any know, they are perfectly acquainted with the highest truth, and they are the original founders of the science by which it is attained.”
When she had spoken thus, Kaliṅgasenā, being full of curiosity, again asked her in private in a voice tender from love and confidence:
“Tell me, friend, of what divine father you have adorned the race by your birth, since you are completely virtuous like a beautifully rounded pearl. And what, auspicious one, is your name, that is nectar to the ears of the world? What is the object of this basket? And what thing is there in it?”
On hearing this affectionate speech from Kaliṅgasenā, Somaprabhā began to tell the whole story in due course.
“There is a mighty Asura of the name of Maya, famous in the three worlds. And he, abandoning the condition of an Asura, fled to Śiva as his protector. And Śiva having promised him security, he built the palace of Indra. But the Daityas were angry with him, affirming that he had become a partisan of the gods. Through fear of them he made in the Vindhya mountains a very wonderful magic subterranean palace, which the Asuras could not reach. My sister and I are the two daughters of that Maya. My elder sister, named Svayamprabhā, follows a vow of virginity, and lives as a maiden in my father’s house. But I, the younger daughter, named Somaprabhā, have been bestowed in marriage on a son of Kuvera, named Naḍakūvara, and my father has taught me innumerable magic artifices, and as for this basket, I have brought it here to please you.”
Having said this, Somaprabhā opened the basket and showed to her some very interesting mechanical dolls constructed by her magic, made of wood. One of them, on a pin in it being touched, went through the air at her orders and fetched a garland of flowers and quickly returned. Another in the same way brought water at will; another danced, and another then conversed. With such very wonderful contrivances Somaprabhā amused Kaliṅgasenā for some time, and then she put that magic basket in a place of security, and taking leave of her regretful friend, she went, being obedient to her husband, through the air to her own palace. But Kaliṅgasenā was so delighted that the sight of these wonders took away her appetite, and she remained averse to all food. And when her mother perceived that, she feared she was ill.
However, a physician named Ānanda, having examined the child, told her mother that there was nothing the matter with her. He said:
“She has lost her appetite through delight at something, not from disease; for her countenance, which appears to be laughing, with eyes wide open, indicates this.”
When she heard this report from the physician, the girl’s mother asked her the real cause of her joy, and the girl told her. Then her mother believed that she was delighted with the society of an eligible friend, and congratulated her, and made her take her proper food.
Then the next day Somaprabhā arrived, and having found out what had taken place, she proceeded to say to Kaliṅgasenā in secret:
“I told my husband, who possesses supernatural knowledge, that I had formed a friendship with you, and obtained from him, when he knew the facts, permission to visit you every day. So you must now obtain permission from your parents, in order that you may amuse yourself with me at will without fear.”
When she had said this, Kaliṅgasenā took her by the hand and immediately went to her father and mother, and there introduced her friend to her father, King Kaliṅgadatta, proclaiming her descent and name, and in the same way she introduced her to her mother, Tārādattā, and they, on beholding her, received her politely in accordance with their daughter’s account of her.
And both those two, pleased with her appearance, hospitably received that beautiful wife of the distinguished Asura out of love for their daughter, and said to her:
“Dear girl, we entrust this Kaliṅgasenā to your care, so amuse yourselves together as much as you please.”
And Kaliṅgasenā and Somaprabhā, having gladly welcomed this speech of theirs, went out together. And they went, in order to amuse themselves, to a temple of Buddha built by the king. And they took there that basket of magic toys. Then Somaprabhā took a magic Yakṣa, and sent it on a commission from herself to bring the requisites for the worship of Buddha. That Yakṣa went a long distance through the sky, and brought a multitude of pearls, beautiful gems and golden lotuses. Having performed worship with these, Somaprabhā, exhibiting all kinds of wonders, displayed the various Buddhas with their abodes.
When the King Kaliṅgadatta heard of that, he came with the queen and beheld it, and then asked Somaprabhā about the magic performance.
Then Somaprabhā said:
“King, these contrivances of magic machines, and so on, were created in various ways by my father in old time. And even as this vast machine, called the world, consists of five elements, so do all these machines. I will describe them one by one. That machine, in which earth predominates, shuts doors and things of the kind. Not even Indra would be able to open what had been shut with it. The shapes produced by the water-machine appear to be alive. But the machine in which fire predominates pours forth flames. And the wind machine performs actions, such as coming and going. And the machine produced from ether utters distinct language. All these I obtained from my father; but the wheel-machine, which guards the water of immortality, my father knows and no one else.”
While she was saying this there arose the sound of conchs being blown in the middle of the day, that seemed to confirm her words.
Then she entreated the king to give her the food that suited her, and taking Kaliṅgasenā as a companion, by permission of the king, she set out through the air for her father’s house in a magic chariot, to return to her elder sister. And quickly reaching that palace, which was situated in the Vindhya mountains, she conducted her to her sister Svayamprabhā.
There Kaliṅgasenā saw that Svayamprabhā, with her head encircled with matted locks, with a long rosary, a nun clothed in a white garment, smiling like Pārvatī, in whom love, the highest joy of earth, had undertaken a severe vow of mortification. And Svayamprabhā, when the princess, introduced by Somaprabhā, kneeled before her, received her hospitably, and entertained her with a meal of fruits.
And Somaprabhā said to the princess:
“My friend, by eating these fruits you will escape old age, which otherwise would destroy this beauty, as the nipping cold does the lotus; and it was with this object that I brought you here out of affection.”
Then that Kaliṅgasenā ate those fruits, and immediately her limbs seemed to be bathed in the Water of Life. And roaming about there to amuse herself, she saw the garden of the city, with tanks filled with golden lotuses, and trees bearing fruit as sweet as nectar: the garden was full of birds of golden and variegated plumage, and seemed to have pillars of bright gems; it conveyed the idea of walls where there was no partition, and where there were partitions, of unobstructed space. Where there was water it presented the appearance of dry land, and where there was dry land it bore the semblance of water. It resembled another and a wonderful world, created by the delusive power of the Asura Maya. It had been entered formerly by the monkeys searching for Sītā, which, after a long time, were allowed to come out by the favour of Svayamprabhā. So Svayamprabhā bade her adieu, after she had been astonished with a full sight of her wonderful city, and had obtained immunity from old age; and Somaprabhā, making Kaliṅgasenā ascend the chariot again, took her through the air to her own palace in Takṣaśilā. There Kaliṅgasenā told the whole story faithfully to her parents, and they were exceedingly pleased.
And while those two friends spent their days in this way, Somaprabhā once upon a time said to Kaliṅgasenā:
“As long as you are not married I can continue to be your friend, but after your marriage how could I enter the house of your husband? For a friend’s husband ought never to be seen or recognised.... As for a mother-in-law, she eats the flesh of a daughter-in-law as a she-wolf does of a sheep. And à propos of this hear the story of Kīrtisenā, which I am about to tell you.
38. Story of Kīrtisenā and her Cruel Mother-in-Law 
Long ago there lived in the city of Pāṭaliputra a merchant named, not without cause, Dhanapālita, for he was the richest of the rich. And there was born to him a daughter, named Kīrtisenā, who was incomparably beautiful, and dearer to him than life. And he took his daughter to Magadha and married her to a rich merchant named Devasena. And though Devasena was himself very virtuous, he had a wicked mother as mistress in his house, for his father was dead. She, when she saw that her daughter-in-law Kīrtisenā was beloved by her husband, being inflamed with anger, ill-treated her in her husband’s absence. But Kīrtisenā was afraid to let her husband know it, for the position of a bride in the power of a treacherous mother-in-law is a difficult one.
Once upon a time her husband Devasena, instigated by his relations, was preparing to go to the city of Valabhī for the sake of trade.
Then that Kīrtisenā said to her husband:
“I have not told you for this long time what I am now going to say: your mother ill-treats me though you are here, but I do not know what she will do to me when you are in a foreign country.”
When Devasena heard that, he was perplexed, and being alarmed on account of his affection for his wife he went and humbly said to his mother:
“Kīrtisenā is committed to your care, mother, now that I am going to a foreign land; you must not treat her unkindly, for she is the daughter of a man of good family.”
When Devasena’s mother heard that, she summoned Kīrtisenā and, elevating her eyes, said to him then and there:
“What have I done? Ask her. This is the way in which she eggs you on, my son, trying to make mischief in the house, but both of you are the same in my eyes.”
But Kīrtisenā stood there silent, smiling in bewilderment; and the next day the merchant set out for Valabhī. Then, when Kīrtisenā began to suffer torture at being separated from her husband, the merchant’s mother gradually forbade the female slaves to attend on her. And making an agreement with a handmaid of her own, who worked in the house, she took Kīrtisenā inside and secretly stripped her. And saying to her, “Wicked woman, you rob me of my son,” she pulled her hair and, with the help of her servant, mangled her with kicks, bites and scratches. And she threw her into a cellar that was closed with a trap-door and strongly fastened, after first taking out all the things that were in it previously. And the wretch put in it every day half-a-plate of rice, in the evening, for the girl who was in such a state.
And she thought:
“I will say in a few days, ‘She died of herself during her husband’s absence in a distant land; take her corpse away.’”
Thus Kīrtisenā, who deserved all happiness, was thrown into a cellar by that cruel mother-in-law, and while there she reflected with tears:
“My husband is rich, I was born in a good family, I am fortunately endowed and virtuous, nevertheless I suffer such calamity, thanks to my mother-in-law. And this is why relations lament the birth of a daughter, exposed to the terrors of mother-in-law and sister-in-law, marred with inauspiciousness of every kind.”
While thus lamenting, Kīrtisenā suddenly found a small shovel in that cellar, like a thorn extracted from her heart by the Creator. So she dug a passage underground with that iron instrument, until by good luck she rose up in her private apartment. And she was able to see that room by the light of a lamp that had been left there before, as if she were lighted by her own undiminished virtue. And she took out of it her clothes and her gold, and leaving it secretly at the close of the night she went out of the city.
“It is not fitting that I should go to my father’s house after acting thus; what should I say there, and how would people believe me? So I must manage to repair to my husband by means of my own ingenuity; for a husband is the only refuge of virtuous women in this world and the next.”
Reflecting thus, she bathed in the water of a tank, and put on the splendid dress of a prince. Then she went into the bazaar, and, after exchanging some gold for money, she sojourned that day in the house of a certain merchant.
The next day she struck up a friendship with a merchant named Samudrasena, who wished to go to Valabhī. And, wearing the splendid dress of a prince, she set out for Valabhī with the merchant and his servants in order to catch up her husband, who had set out beforehand.
And she said to that merchant:
“I am oppressed by my clansmen, so I will go with you to my friends in Valabhī.”
Having heard that, the merchant’s son waited upon her on the journey, out of respect, thinking to himself that she was some distinguished prince or other; and that caravan preferred for its march the forest road, which was much frequented by travellers, who avoided the other routes because of the heavy duties they had to pay.
In a few days they reached the entrance of the forest, and while the caravan was encamped in the evening a female jackal, like a messenger of death, uttered a terrific howl. Thereupon the merchants, who understood what that meant, became apprehensive of an attack by bandits, and the guards on every side took their arms in hand; and the darkness began to advance like the vanguard of the bandits; then Kīrtisenā, in man’s dress, beholding that, reflected:
“Alas! the deeds of those who have sinned in a former life seem to propagate themselves with a brood of evils! Lo! the calamity which my mother-in-law brought upon me has borne fruit here also! First I was engulfed by the wrath of my mother-in-law as if by the mouth of death, then I entered the cellar like a second prison of the womb. By good fortune I escaped thence, being, as it were, born a second time, and having come here I have again run a risk of my life. If I am slain here by bandits, my mother-in-law, who hates me, will surely say to my husband: ‘She ran off somewhere, being attached to another man.’ But if someone tears off my clothes and recognises me for a woman, then again I run a risk of outrage, and death is better than that. So I must deliver myself, and disregard this merchant, my friend. For good women must regard the duty of virtuous wives, not friends and things of that kind.”
Thus she determined, and, searching about, found a hollow like a house in the middle of a tree, as it were an opening made for her by the earth out of pity. There she entered and covered her body with leaves and suchlike things, and remained supported by the hope of reunion with her husband. Then, in the dead of night, a large force of bandits suddenly fell upon the caravan with uplifted weapons, and surrounded it on all sides. And there followed a storm of fight, with howling bandits for thunder-clouds, and the gleam of weapons for long-continued lightning-flashes, and a rain of blood. At last the bandits, being more powerful, slew the merchant-prince Samudrasena and his followers, and went off with all his wealth.
In the meanwhile Kīrtisenā was listening to the tumult, and that she was not forcibly robbed of breath is to be ascribed to fate only. Then the night departed, and the keen-rayed sun arose, and she went out from that hollow in the middle of the tree. Surely the gods themselves preserve in misfortune good women exclusively devoted to their husbands, and of unfailing virtue; for not only did a lion beholding her in the lonely wood spare her, but a hermit who had come from somewhere or other, when she asked him for information, comforted her and gave her a drink of water from his vessel, and then disappeared in some direction or other, after telling her the road to take. Then, satisfied as if with nectar, free from hunger and thirst, that woman, devoted to her husband, set out by the road indicated by the hermit.
Then she saw the sun mounted on the western mountain, stretching forth his rays like fingers, as if saying: “Wait patiently one night”; and so she entered an opening in the root of a forest tree which looked like a house, and closed its mouth with another tree. And in the evening she saw through the opening of a chink in the door of her retreat a terrible Rākṣasī approaching, accompanied by her young sons.
She was terrified, thinking to herself:
“Lo! I shall be devoured by this Rākṣasī after escaping all my other misfortunes.”
And in the meanwhile the Rākṣasī ascended that tree. And her sons ascended after her, and immediately said to that Rākṣasī [see notes on the story of Kīrtisenā]:
“Mother, give us something to eat.”
Then the Rākṣasī said to her children:
“To-day, my children, I went to a great cemetery, but I did not obtain any food, and though I entreated the congregation of witches, they gave me no portion; then grieved thereat I appealed to Śiva in his terrific form, and asked him for food.
And the god asked me my name and lineage, and then said to me:
‘Terrible one, thou art of high birth as belonging to the race of Khara and Dūṣaṇa; so go to the city of Vasudatta, not far from here. In that city there lives a great king named Vasudatta addicted to virtue; he defends this whole forest, dwelling on its border, and himself takes duties and chastises robbers. Now one day, while the king was sleeping in the forest, fatigued with hunting, a centipede quickly entered his ear unobserved. And in course of time it gave birth to many others inside his head. That produced an illness which now dries up all his sinews. And the physicians do not know what is the cause of his disease, but if someone does not find out he will die in a few days. When he is dead, eat his flesh; for by eating it you will, thanks to your magic power, remain satiated for six months.’
In these words Śiva promised me a meal that is attended with uncertainty, and cannot be obtained for a long time, so what must I do, my children?”
When the Rākṣasī said this to her children, they asked her:
“If the disease is discovered and removed, will that king live, mother? And tell us how such a disease can be cured in him.”
When the children said this, the Rākṣasī solemnly said to them:
“If the disease is discovered and removed, the king will certainly live. And hear how his great disease may be taken away. First his head must be anointed by rubbing warm butter on it, and then it must be placed for a long time in the heat of the sun intensified by noonday. And a hollow cane tube must be inserted into the aperture of his ear, which must communicate with a hole in a plate, and this plate must be placed above a pitcher of cool water. Accordingly the centipedes will be annoyed by heat and perspiration, and will come out of his head, and will enter that cane tube from the aperture of the ear, and desiring coolness will fall into the pitcher. In this way the king may be freed from that great disease.”
And hearing it, she said to herself:
“If ever I get safe away from here I will go and employ this artifice to save the life of that king. For he takes but small duties, and dwells on the outskirts of this forest; and so all the merchants come this way because it is more convenient. This is what the merchant Samudrasena, who is gone to heaven, told me; accordingly that husband of mine will be sure to return by this very path. So I will go to the city of Vasudatta, which is on the borders of the forest, and I will deliver the king from his sickness, and there await the arrival of my husband.”
Thus reflecting, she managed, though with difficulty, to get through the night; in the morning, the Rākṣasas having disappeared, she went out from the trunk of the tree. [see notes on the story of Kīrtisenā]
Then she travelled along slowly in the dress of a man, and in the afternoon she saw a good cowherd. He was moved to compassion by seeing her delicate beauty, and that she had accomplished a long journey, and then she approached him, and said:
“What country is this, please tell me?”
The cowherd said:
“This city in front of you is the city of Vasudatta, belonging to the King Vasudatta: as for the king, he lies there at the point of death with illness.”
When Kīrtisenā heard that, she said to the cowherd:
When the cowherd heard that, he said:
“I am going to that very city, so come with me, that I may point it out to you.”
Kīrtisenā answered, “So be it,” and immediately that herdsman conducted her to the city of Vasudatta, wearing her male dress. And telling the circumstances exactly as they were, he immediately commended that lady with auspicious marks to the afflicted warder. And the warder, having informed the king, by his orders introduced the blameless lady into his presence.
The King Vasudatta, though tortured with his disease, was comforted the moment he beheld that lady of wonderful beauty. The soul is able to distinguish friends from enemies.
And he said to the lady who was disguised as a man:
“Auspicious sir, if you remove this disease I will give you half my kingdom. I remember a lady stripped off from me in my dream a black blanket, so you will certainly remove this my disease.”
When Kīrtisenā heard that, she said:
“This day is at an end, O King; to-morrow I will take away your disease; do not be impatient.”
Having said this, she rubbed cow’s butter on the king’s head; that made sleep come to him, and the excessive pain disappeared.
And then all there praised Kīrtisenā, saying:
“This is some god come to us in the disguise of a physician, thanks to our merits in a previous state of existence.”
And the queen waited on her with various attentions, and appointed for her a house in which to rest at night, with female attendants. Then on the next day, at noon, before the eyes of the ministers and ladies of the harem, Kīrtisenā extracted from the head of that king, through the aperture of the ear, one hundred and fifty centipedes, by employing the wonderful artifice previously described by the Rākṣasī. And after getting the centipedes into the pitcher she comforted the king by fomenting him with milk and melted butter.
The king having gradually recovered, and being free from disease, everybody there was astonished at beholding those creatures in the pitcher. And the king, on seeing these harmful insects that had been extracted from his head, was terrified, puzzled and delighted, and considered himself born again. And he made high feast, and honoured Kīrtisenā, who did not care for half the kingdom, with villages, elephants, horses and gold. And the queens and the ministers loaded her with gold and garments, saying that they ought to honour the physician who had saved the life of their sovereign.
But she deposited for the present that wealth in the hand of the king, waiting for her husband, and saying:
“I am under a vow for a certain time.”
So Kīrtisenā remained there some days in man’s clothes, honoured by all men, and in the meanwhile she heard from the people that her own husband, the great merchant Devasena, had come that way from Valabhī. Then, as soon as she knew that that caravan had arrived in the city, she went to it, and saw that husband of hers as a peahen beholds the new cloud. And she fell at his feet, and her heart, weeping from the pain of long separation, made her bestow on him the argha with her tears of joy. Her husband, for his part, after he had examined her, who was concealed by her disguise, like the form of the moon invisible in the day on account of the rays of the sun, recognised her. It was wonderful that the heart of Devasena, who was handsome as the moon, did not dissolve like the moonstone on beholding the moon of her countenance.
Then, Kīrtisenā having thus revealed herself, and her husband remaining in a state of wonder, marvelling what it could mean, and the company of merchants being astonished, the King Vasudatta, hearing of it, came there full of amazement. And Kīrtisenā, being questioned by him, told in the presence of her husband her whole adventure, that was due to the wickedness of her mother-in-law. And her husband Devasena, hearing it, conceived an aversion to his mother, and was affected at the same time by anger, forbearance, astonishment and joy.
And all the people present there, having heard that wonderful adventure of Kīrtisenā, exclaimed joyfully:
“Chaste women, mounted on the chariot of conjugal affection, protected by the armour of modesty, and armed with the weapon of intellect, are victorious in the struggle.”
The king too said:
“This lady, who has endured affliction for the sake of her husband, has surpassed even Queen Sītā, who shared the hardships of Rāma. So she is henceforth my sister in the faith, as well as the saviour of my life.”
When the king said that, Kīrtisenā answered him:
“O King, let your gift of affection, which I deposited in your care, consisting of villages, elephants and horses, be made over to my husband.”
When she said this to the king, he bestowed on her husband Devasena the villages and other presents, and, being pleased, gave him a turban of honour. Then Devasena, having his purse suddenly filled with stores of wealth, part of which was given by the king, and part acquired by his own trading, avoiding his mother and praising Kīrtisenā, remained dwelling in that town. And Kīrtisenā, having found a happy lot, from which her wicked mother-in-law was removed, and having obtained glory by her unparalleled adventures, dwelt there in the enjoyment of all luxury and power, like all the rich fruit of her husband’s good deeds incarnate in a body.
[M] (main story line continued)
“Thus chaste women, enduring the dispensation of hostile fate, but preserving in misfortune the treasure of their virtue, and protected by the great power of their goodness, procure good fortune for their husbands and themselves. And thus, O daughter of a king, many misfortunes befall wives, inflicted by mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, therefore I desire for you a husband’s house of such a kind that in it there shall be no mother-in-law and no cruel sister-in-law.”
Hearing this delightful and marvellous story from the mouth of the Asura princess Somaprabhā, the mortal princess Kaliṅgasenā was highly delighted. Then the sun, seeing that these tales, the matter of which was so various, had come to an end, proceeded to set, and Somaprabhā, having embraced the regretful Kaliṅgasenā, went to her own palace.
[Additional note 1: automata and “contrivances of magic machines”]
[Additional note 2: the motif of overhearing conversations (section B)]
Footnotes and references:
See Note 1 at the end of this chapter.— n.m.p.
See Vol. I, p. 30, 30n 1.— n.m.p.
Suvṛttayā means “virtuous,” and “beautifully rounded.”
We have already (Vol. I, p. 22) met his two sons and his younger daughter (p. 27 et seq. of this volume). We shall hear much more about him in Vol. IV.—n.m.p.
Cf. Chaucer’s Squires Tale, line 316: “Ye moten trille a pin, stant in his ere.”——See Note 1 at the end of this chapter. —n.m.p.
This may remind the reader of the story of the pestle in Lucian’s Philopseudes that was sent to fetch water. When the Egyptian sorcerer was away his pupil tried to perform the trick. But he did not know the charm for stopping the water-carrying process. Accordingly the house was flooded. In despair he chopped the pestle in two with an axe. That made matters worse, for both halves set to work to bring water. The story has been versified by Goethe, and the author of the lngoldsby Legends.——See Crooke, Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern India, vol. i, p. 50.—n.m.p.
This is obviously wrong, as it was Somaprabhā who had called on Svayamprabhā. It is, however, quite clear in the D. text, where we find it is Kaliṅgasenā who takes her leave.—n.m.p.
Here Dr Brockhaus supposes a line to be omitted. The transition is somewhat abrupt.——The D. text marks the hiatus of a line after the next paragraph, not before it.—n.m.p.
Cf. with the story of Kīrtisenā the substance of two modern Greek songs given in Liebrecht, Zur Volkskunde, p. 187.——There is a certain similarity to the first part of the third day, nov. ix, of the Decameron. See A. C. Lee, The Decameron, its Sources and Analogues, 1909, p. 105.—n.m.p.
See Vol. II, p. 39n1.—n.m.p.
Böhtlingk and Roth in their Dictionary explain the passage as follows:—imam (i.e. patim) vyutthāpya yātā iti, “she was unfaithful to her husband.”
Gotraja, nearly equivalent to the Gentile of Roman law, and applied to kindred of the same general family connected by offerings of food and water; hence opposed to the Bandhu or cognate kindred. She represented that she was a prince whose clansmen were trying to disinherit him.
Other unfavourable omens include a widow, lightning, fuel, smoky fire, pot of oil, leather, dog barking on a house-top, hare, crow flying from right to left, snake, new pot, blind man, lame man, sick man, salt, tiger, bundle of sticks, buttermilk, empty vessel, a quarrel, man with dishevelled hair, oil-man, leper and a mendicant. See Thurston, Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, pp. 242, 243.—n.m.p.
Names of Rākṣasas mentioned in the Rāmāyaṇa.
The sense seems obscure. The D. text reads’ vati after prāntasthito, instead of vahiḥ, thus meaning, by the small duties he takes he is a bliss for this forest region.” See Speyer, op. cit., p. 109. —n.m.p.
Water is the principal ingredient of the offering called argha or arghya.
This gem is formed from the congelation of the rays of the moon, and dissolves under the influence of its light. There is, of course, an elaborate pun in candrakānta.
A really beautiful exaggeration, showing how, in the East, everything must give way to the telling of a tale. —n.m.p.