Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story)

by Somadeva | 1924 | 1,050,534 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 the artful minister Yaugandharāyana came the next morning to the King of Vatsa, who was expecting him, and made the following representation:—“O King, why do you not immediately inquire about an auspicious moment for celebrating the happy marriage of your Highness with Kaliṅgasenā, the daughter of Kaliṅgadatta, the King of Takṣaśilā?”[1]

When the king heard that, he said:

“The same desire is fixed in my heart, for my mind cannot endure to remain a moment without her.”

Having said this, the simple-minded monarch gave orders to a warder, who stood before him, and summoned the astrologers.

When he questioned them, they, having had their cue previously given them by the prime minister, said:

“For the king there will be a favourable moment in six months from this time.”

When Yaugandharāyaṇa heard this, he pretended to be angry, and the cunning fellow said to the king:

“Out on these blockheads! That astrologer whom your Highness previously honoured on the ground of his cleverness has not come to-day, ask him, and then do what is proper.”

When he heard this speech of his minister’s, the King of Vatsa immediately summoned that very astrologer, with mind in an agony of suspense. He also stuck to his agreement, and in order to put off the day of the marriage he named, when asked, after some reflection, a moment six months off.

Then Yaugandharāyaṇa, pretending to be distracted, said to the king:

“Let your Majesty command what is to be done in this matter!”

The king, being impatient and longing for a favourable moment, said, after reflecting:

“You must ask Kaliṅgasenā, and see what she says.”

When Yaugandharāyaṇa heard this, he took with him two astrologers and went into the presence of Kaliṅgasenā. She received him politely, and, beholding her beauty, he reflected:

“If the king were to obtain her he would abandon the whole kingdom in his reckless passion.”

And he said to her:

“I am come with these astrologers to fix the moment of your marriage; so let these servants inform me of the particular star in the lunar mansions under which you were born.”

When the astrologers heard the lunar mansion stated by her attendants, they pretended to investigate the matter, and kept saying in the course of their calculations:

“It is not on this side; it must be after that.”

At last, in accordance with their agreement with the minister, they named again that very moment at the end of six months.

When Kaliṅgasenā heard that distant date fixed she was cast down in spirit, but her chamberlain said:

“You must first fix a favourable moment, so that this couple may be happy all their lives; what matters it whether it be near or far off?”

When they heard this speech of the chamberlain’s, all there immediately exclaimed: “Well said!”

And Yaugandharāyaṇa said:

“Yes; and if an inauspicious moment is appointed for us the King Kaliṅgadatta, our proposed connection, will be grieved.”

Then Kaliṅgasenā, being helpless, said to them all:

“Let it be as you appoint in your wisdom,”

and remained silent. And at once accepting that speech of hers, Yaugandharāyaṇa took leave of her, and went with the astrologers into the presence of the king. Then he told the proceedings to the King of Vatsa, exactly as they had happened, and so, having settled his mind by an artifice, he went to his own house.

So having attained his object of putting off the marriage, in order to complete the scheme he had in view, he called to mind his friend, the Brāhman-Rākṣasa, named Yogeśvara.[2]

He, according to his previous promise, when thought of, readily came to the minister and bowed before him and said:

“Why am I called to mind?”

Then Yaugandharāyaṇa told him the whole incident of Kaliṅgasenā which was tempting his master to vice, and again said to him:

“I have managed to gain time, my friend; in that interval do you, remaining concealed, observe by your skill the behaviour of Kaliṅgasenā. For the Vidyādharas and other spirits are without doubt secretly in love with her, since there is no other woman in the three worlds equal to her in beauty. So, if she were to have an intrigue with some Siddha or Vidyādhara, and you were to see it, it would be a fortunate thing. And you must observe the divine lover, though he come disguised, when he is asleep, for divine beings when asleep assume their own form.[3] If in this way we are able to discover any offence in her by means of your eyes, the king will be disgusted with her, and will accomplish that object of ours.”

When the minister said this to him the Brāhman-Rākṣasa answered:

“Why should I not by some artifice cause her to fall, or slay her?”

When the great minister Yaugandharāyaṇa heard that, he said to him:

“This must not be done, for it would be a very wicked deed. And whoever goes his own way without offending against the God of Justice finds that that god comes to his assistance to enable him to attain his objects. So you must discover in her, my friend, a fault self-caused, in order that through your friendship the king’s objects may be accomplished by me.”

Having received this order from the excellent minister, the Brāhman-Rākṣasa departed, and, disguised by magic, entered the house of Kaliṅgasenā.

In the meanwhile Somaprabhā, her friend, the daughter of the Asura Maya, went again into the presence of Kaliṅgasenā. And the daughter of Maya, after asking her friend what had happened in the night, said to her who had abandoned her relations, in the hearing of that Rākṣasa:

“I came here in the forenoon after searching for you, but I remained concealed at your side, seeing Yaugandharāyaṇa. However, I heard your conversation, and I understood the whole state of affairs. So why did you make this attempt yesterday though you were forbidden to do so by me? For any business which is undertaken, my friend, without first counteracting the evil omen will end in calamity. As a proof of this hear the following tale:—


41. Story of the Brahman’s Son Viṣṇudatta and his Seven Foolish Companions

Long ago there lived in Antarvedi a Brāhman named Vasudatta, and he had a son born to him named Viṣṇudatta. That Viṣṇudatta, after he reached the age of sixteen years, set out for the city of Valabhī in order to acquire learning. And there joined him seven other young Brāhmans his fellows; but those seven were fools, while he was wise and sprung from a good family. After they had taken an oath not to desert one another, Viṣṇudatta set out with them at night without the knowledge of his parents.

And after he had set forth he saw an evil omen[4] presenting itself in front of him, and he said to those friends of his who were travelling with him:

“Ha! Here is a bad omen! It is advisable to turn back now. We will set out again with good hope of success when we have auspicious omens with us.”

When those seven foolish companions heard that, they said:

“Do not entertain groundless fear, for we are not afraid of the omen. If you are afraid, do not go, but we will start this moment; to-morrow morning our relations will abandon us when they hear of our proceedings.”

When those ignorant creatures said that, Viṣṇudatta set out with them, urged on by his oath, but he first called to mind Hari, the dispeller of sin. And at the end of the night he saw another evil omen, and again mentioned it, and he was rebuked by all those foolish friends of his in the following words:—

“This is our evil omen, you coward afraid to travel, that you have been brought by us, since you shudder at a crow at every step you take; we require no other evil omen.”

Having reviled him in these words, they continued their journey, and Viṣṇudatta went with them, as he could not help it, but kept silence, reflecting:

“One ought not to give advice to a fool bent on going his own crooked way, for it only entails ridicule, being like the beautifying of ordure. A single wise man fallen among many fools, like a lotus in the path of the waves, is surely overwhelmed.[5] So I must not henceforth give these men either good or bad advice, but I must go on in silence; destiny will educe prosperity.”

Engaged in these reflections, Viṣṇudatta proceeded on the way with those fools, and at the end of the day he reached a Śavara village. There he wandered about in the night and reached a certain house inhabited by a young woman, and asked the woman for a lodging there. She gave him a room, and he entered it with his friends, and those seven in a moment went to sleep. He alone remained awake, as he had entered a house belonging to a savage. For the stupid sleep resolutely; how can the understanding sleep?

And in the meanwhile a certain young man secretly entered the inner apartment of the house, and went into the presence of that woman. And she remained in confidential conversation with him, and, as fate would have it, they both fell asleep.

And Viṣṇudatta, perceiving it all through the half-open door by the light of a candle, reflected despondently:

“Alas! have we entered the house of a profligate woman? Surely this is her paramour, and not the husband of her youth, for otherwise we should not have this timid secret proceeding; I saw at the first that she was of a flighty disposition; but we have entered here as mutual witnesses, for lack of others.”

While he was thinking he heard outside a noise of men, and he saw entering a young chief of the Śavaras with a sword, looking about him, while his attendants remained in the sleeping apartment.

When the chief said: “Who are you?”

Viṣṇudatta, supposing him to be the master of the house, said in his terror: “We are travellers.”

But the Śavara entered, and seeing his wife in such a position, he cut off with his sword the head of her sleeping paramour. But he did not punish or even wake his wife; but placing his sword on the ground he went to sleep on another couch.

Seeing that by the light of the candle, Viṣṇudatta reflected:

“He did right not to kill his wife, but to kill the adulterer; but that he should sleep here in confidence, after performing such a deed, is an act of surprising courage, characteristic of men of mighty minds.”

While Viṣṇudatta was thus reflecting, that wicked woman awoke and beheld her paramour slain[6] and that husband of hers asleep. So she rose up, and took on her shoulder the body of her lover, and carrying his head in one hand, she went out. And going outside quickly, she threw into an ash-heap the trunk with the head, and came secretly back. And Viṣṇudatta going out beheld it all from a distance, and again entering, remained as he was, in the midst of his sleeping companions. But the wicked woman came back and, entering the room, cut off with that very sword the head of her sleeping husband.

And going out she raised a cry so as to make all the servants hear:

“Alas! I am ruined; my husband has been slain by these travellers.”

Then the servants, hearing the cry, rushed forward, and beholding their master slain, ran upon Viṣṇudatta and his friends with uplifted weapons.

And when those others, his companions, rose up in terror, as they were about to be slain, Viṣṇudatta said quickly:

“Cease your attempt to slay Brāhmans! We did not do this deed; this wicked woman herself did it, being in love with another man. But I saw the whole affair from the very beginning through a half-open door, and I went out and observed what she did, and if you will have patience with me I will tell you.”

Viṣṇudatta with these words restrained the Śavaras, and told them the whole affair from the beginning, and took them out and showed them the trunk with the head freshly severed, and thrown by the woman on that heap of refuse.

Then the woman confessed the truth by the paleness of her face, and all there reviled the wanton, and said:

“Whom will not a wicked woman kill, when won over by another man, like a sword in an enemy’s hand, since enticed by love she commits reckless crime without being taught?”[7]

Having said this, they thereupon let Viṣṇudatta and his companions go; and then the seven companions praised Viṣṇudatta, saying:

“You became to us, while we were asleep at night, a protecting jewel-lamp[8]; through your kindness we escaped to-day from death produced by an evil omen.”

In these words they praised Viṣṇudatta, and ceased henceforth their reviling, and after bowing before him they set out in the morning on their errand, accompanied by him.


[M] (Main story line continued) Having told this story to Kaliṅgasenā in their mutual conversation, Somaprabhā again said to that friend of hers in Kauśāmbī:

“Thus, my friend, an evil omen presenting itself to people engaged in any undertaking, if not counteracted by delay and other methods, produces misfortune. And so people of dull intelligence, neglecting the advice of the wise, and acting impetuously, are afflicted in the end. Accordingly you did not act wisely in sending a messenger to the King of Vatsa, asking him to receive you, when there was an inauspicious omen. May Fate grant you to be married without any impediment, but you came from your house in an unlucky moment, therefore your marriage is far off. And the gods too are in love with you, so you must be on your guard against this. And you must think of the minister Yaugandharāyaṇa, who is expert in politic wiles; he, fearing that the king may become engrossed in pleasure, may throw impediments in your way in this business; or he may even bring a charge against you after your marriage is celebrated: but no, being virtuous, he will not bring a false accusation; nevertheless, my friend, you must at all events be on your guard against your rival wife. I will tell you a story illustrative of this. Listen.


42. Story of Kadalīgarbhā

There is in this land a city named Ikṣumatī, and by the side of it there runs a river called by the same name; both were created by Viśvāmitra. And near it there is a great forest, and in it a hermit of the name of Maṅkaṇaka had made himself a hermitage and performed penance with his heels upwards. And while he was performing austerities he saw an Apsaras of the name of Menakā coming through the air, with her clothes floating on the breeze.

Then his mind was bewildered by Kāma, who had found his opportunity; the holy man’s seed fell upon a fresh plantain-flower, and there was born to him a daughter named Kadalīgarbhā, beautiful in every limb. And since she was born in the interior of a plantain, her father, the hermit Maṅkaṇaka, gave her the name of Kadalīgarbhā. She grew up in his hermitage like Kṛpī, the wife of Droṇa, who was born to Gautama on his beholding Rambhā. And once on a time Dṛḍhavarman, a king born in Madhyadeśa,[9] who in the excitement of the chase was carried away by his horse, entered that hermitage. He beheld Kadalīgarbhā clothed in garments of bark, having her beauty exceedingly set off by the dress appropriate to the daughter of an ascetic. And she, when seen, captivated the heart of that king so completely that she left no room in it for the women of his harem.

While thinking to himself,

“Shall I be able to obtain as a wife this daughter of some hermit or other, as Duṣyanta obtained Śakuntalā, the daughter of the hermit Kanva?”

the king beheld that hermit Maṅkaṇaka coming with fuel and kuśa grass. And leaving his horse, he approached him and worshipped at his feet, and when questioned, discovered himself to that hermit.

Then the hermit gave the following order to Kadalīgarbhā:

“My dear child, prepare the argha[10] for this king our guest.”

She said, “I will do so,” and bowing, prepared the hospitable offering, and then the king said to the hermit:

“Whence did you obtain this maiden who is so beautiful?”

Then the hermit told the king the story of her birth, and her name, Kadalīgarbhā, which indicated the manner of it. Then the king, considering the maiden born from the hermit’s thinking on Menakā to be an Apsaras, earnestly craved her hand of her father. And the sage gave him that daughter named Kadalīgarbhā, for the actions of the sages of old time, guided by divine insight, were without hesitation.

And the nymphs of heaven, discovering the fact by their divine power, came there out of love for Menakā, and adorned her for the wedding. And on that very occasion they put mustard-seeds into her hand and said to her:

“As you are going along the path, sow them, in order that you may know it again.[11] If, daughter, at any time your husband should scorn you, and you should wish to return here, then you will be able, as you come along, to recognise the path by these, which will have sprung up.”

When they had said this to her, and her marriage had been celebrated, the King Dṛḍhavarman placed Kadalīgarbhā on his horse and departed thence. His army came up and escorted him, and in company with that bride of his, who sowed the mustard-seeds all along the path, he reached his own palace. There he became averse to the society of his other wives and dwelt with that Kadalīgarbhā, after telling her story to his ministers.

Then his principal wife, being exceedingly afflicted, said to his minister in secret, after reminding him of the benefits she had conferred upon him:

“The king is now exclusively attached to his new wife and has deserted me, so take steps to make this rival of mine depart”.

When that minister heard that he said:

“Queen, it is not appropriate for people like me to destroy or banish their masters’ wives. This is the business of the wives of wandering religious mendicants, addicted to jugglery and such practices, associating with men like themselves. For those hypocritical female ascetics, creeping unforbidden into houses, skilled in deception, will stick at no deed whatever.”

When he said this to her, the queen, as if abashed, said to him in affected shame:

“Then I will have nothing to do with this proceeding disapproved of by the virtuous.”

But she laid up his speech in her heart, and, dismissing that minister, she summoned by the mouth of her maid a certain wandering female ascetic. And she told her all that desire of hers from the beginning, and promised to give her great wealth if the business were successfully accomplished.

And the wicked female ascetic, from desire of gain, said to the afflicted queen:

“Queen, this is an easy matter; I will accomplish it for you, for I know very many expedients of various kinds.”

Having thus consoled the queen, that female ascetic departed; and after reaching her house she reflected, as one afraid:

“Alas! whom will not excessive desire of gain delude, since I rashly made such a promise before the queen? But the fact is, I know no device of the kind, and it is not possible to carry on any deception in the palace, as I do in other places, for the authorities might perhaps find it out and punish me. There may be one resource in this difficulty, for I have a friend, a barber, and as he is skilled in devices of the kind all may yet go well, if he exert himself in the matter.”

After thus reflecting, she went to the barber and told him all her plan that was to bring her prosperity.

Then the barber, who was old and cunning, reflected:

“This is good luck, that an opportunity of making something has now presented itself to me. So we must not kill the king’s new wife, but we must preserve her alive, for her father has divine insight, and would reveal the whole transaction. But by separating her from the king we will now batten upon the queen, for great people become servants to a servant who shares their criminal secrets. And in due time I will reunite her to the king, and tell him the whole story, in order that he and the sage’s daughter may become a source of subsistence to me. And thus I shall not have done anything very wrong, and I shall have a livelihood for a long time.”

Having thus reflected, the barber said to the hypocritical female ascetic:

“Mother, I will do all this; but it would not be proper to slay that new wife of the king’s by means of magic, for the king might some day find it out, and then he would destroy us all: besides, we should incur the sin of woman-murder, and her father the sage would curse us. Therefore it is far better that she should be separated from the king by means of our ingenuity, in order that the queen may be happy and we may obtain wealth. And this is an easy matter to me, for what can I not accomplish by force of intellect? Hear my ingenuity. I will relate a story which illustrates it.


42 a. The King and the Barber’s Wife

This King Dṛḍhavarman had an immoral father. And I was then his servant, being engaged in the duties which belong to me. He one day, as he was roaming about here, cast eyes on my wife, and as she was young and beautiful his mind became attached to her.

And when he asked his attendants who she was, they said: “The barber’s wife.”

He thought: “What can the barber do?”

So the wicked king entered my house, and after enjoying my wife at will, departed. But, as it happened, I was away from my house that day, being absent somewhere or other.

And the next day, when I entered, I saw that my wife’s manner had altered, and when I asked her the reason she told me the whole story, being full of pride at what had occurred. And in that way the king went on puffing up my wife by continual visits, which I was powerless to prevent. A prince distracted by unholy passion makes no distinction between what is lawful and what is illicit. The forest is like straw to a sylvan fire fanned by the wind. So, not being in possession of any other expedient for restraining my sovereign, I reduced myself with spare diet, and took refuge in feigned sickness. And in this state I went into the presence of that king to perform my duties, sighing deeply, pale and emaciated.

Then the king, seeing that I seemed to be ill, asked me meaningly the following question:—

“Holla! tell me why you have become thus?”

And after he had questioned me persistently I answered the king in private, after imploring immunity from punishment:

“King, my wife is a witch. And when I am asleep she extracts my entrails and sucks them, and then replaces them as before. This is how I have become lean. So how can continual refreshment and eating nourish me?”

When I said this to the king he became anxious, and reflected:

“Can she really be a witch? Why was I captivated by her? I wonder whether she will suck my entrails also, since I am well nourished with food. So I will contrive to test her this very night.”

Having thus reflected, the king caused food to be given me on the spot.

Then I went home and shed tears in the presence of my wife, and when she questioned me I said to her:

“My beloved, you must not reveal to anyone what I am about to tell you. Listen! That king has teeth as sharp as the edge of a thunderbolt, where teeth are not usually found, and they broke my razor to-day while I was performing my duties. And in this way I shall break a razor every time. So how am I to be continually procuring fresh razors? This is why I weep, for the means of supporting myself in my home are destroyed.”

When I had said this to my wife she made up her mind to investigate the marvel of the concealed teeth while the king was asleep, since he was to visit her at night. But she did not perceive that such a thing had never been seen since the world was and could not be true. Even clever women are deceived by the tales of an impostor.

So the king came at night and visited my wife at will, and, as if fatigued, pretended to go to sleep, remembering what I had said. Then my wife, thinking he was asleep, slowly stretched out her hand to find his concealed teeth. And as soon as her hand reached him the king exclaimed: “A witch! A witch!” and left the house in terror. Henceforth my wife, having been abandoned by the king out of fear, became satisfied with me and devoted to me exclusively. In this way I saved my wife on a former occasion from the king by my intelligence.


42. Story of Kadalīgarbhā

Having told this story to the female ascetic, the barber went on to say:

“So, my good lady, this desire of yours must be accomplished by wisdom; and I will tell you, mother, how it is to be done. Listen to me. Some old servant of the harem must be won over to say to this king in secret every day: ‘Your wife Kadalīgarbhā is a witch.’ For she, being a forest maiden, has no attendants of her own, and what will not all alien servants do for gain, being easily corrupted? Accordingly, when the king becomes apprehensive on hearing what the old servant says, you must contrive to place at night hands and feet and other limbs in the chamber of Kadalīgarbhā.[12] Then the king will see them in the morning, and, concluding that what the old man says is true, will be afraid of Kadalīgarbhā and desert her of his own accord. So the queen will be delighted at getting rid of a rival wife, and entertain a favourable opinion of you, and we shall gain some advantage.”

When the barber said this to the female ascetic she consented, and went and told the whole matter to the king’s head queen. And the queen carried out her suggestions, and the king, who had been warned, saw the hands and feet in the morning with his own eyes, and abandoned Kadalīgarbhā, thinking her to be wicked. So the female ascetic, together with the barber, enjoyed to the full the presents which the queen secretly gave to her, being pleased with her aid.

So Kadalīgarbhā, being abandoned by Dṛḍhavarman, went out from the palace, grieved because the king would be cursed. And she returned to the hermitage of her father by the same path by which she came, which she was able to recognise by the mustard-seeds she had sown, which had sprung up.[13]

Her father, the hermit Maṅkaṇaka, when he saw her suddenly arrived there, remained for some time suspecting immorality on her part. And then he perceived the whole occurrence by the power of contemplation, and after lovingly comforting her, departed thence with her. And he went and told the king, who bowed before him, the whole treacherous drama, which the head queen had got up out of hatred for her rival.

At that moment the barber himself arrived, and related the whole occurrence to the king, and then proceeded to say to him:

“In this way, my sovereign, I sent away the lady Kadalīgarbhā, and so delivered her from the danger of the incantations which would have been practised against her, since I satisfied the head queen by an artifice.”

When the king heard that, he saw that the speech of the great hermit was certainly true, and he took back Kadalīgarbhā, recovering his confidence in her. And after respectfully accompanying the departing hermit he rewarded the barber with wealth, thinking that he was attached to his person: kings are the appointed prey of rogues. Then the king, being averse to the society of his queen, lived in great comfort with Kadalīgarbhā.


[M] (Main story line continued)

“Many false accusations of this kind do rival wives bring, O Kaliṅgasenā of irreproachable beauty. And you are a maiden, the auspicious moment of whose marriage is fixed at a distant date, and even the gods, whose goings transcend our thought, are in love with you. So do you yourself preserve yourself now, as the one jewel of the world, dedicated to the King of Vatsa only, from all assaults, for your own excellence brings you enmity. I, indeed, my friend, shall never return to you, since you are now established in the palace of your husband: good women do not visit the house of a friend’s husband. O fair one! Besides, I have been forbidden by my own lord. And it is not possible for me to come here secretly, induced by my affection for you, inasmuch as my husband possesses divine insight and would find it out; with difficulty, in truth, did I obtain his permission to come here to-day. And since I can be of no use to you now, my friend, I will return home; but if my husband should give me permission I will come here again, disregarding modesty.”

Thus Somaprabhā, the daughter of the Asura king, spake, weeping, to Kaliṅgasenā, the daughter of the mortal king, whose face also was washed with tears, and after embracing her, departed swiftly to her own palace, as the day was passing away.

Footnotes and references:


Takṣaśilā has been identified by General Cunningham with the ruins of an ancient city near Shah-deri, one mile to the north-east of Kāla-ka-serai. Mr Growse has pointed out to me that I made a mistake in stating (after Wilson), in a note, that the precise site of Kauśāmbī, the capital of the King of Vatsa, which Kaliṅgasenā reached in one day in the magic chariot, has not been ascertained. He says: “It has been discovered by General Cunningham. The place is still called Kosam, and is on the Yamunā, about thirty miles above Allahābād. The ruins consist of an immense fortress, with earthen ramparts from 30 to 35 feet high, and bastions considerably higher, forming a circuit of 23,100 feet, or exactly 4 miles and 3 furlongs. The parapets were of brick and stone, some of the bricks measuring 19 by 12½ by 2½ inches, which is a proof of their great antiquity. In the midst of these ruins is a large stone monolith, similar to those at Allahābād and Delhi, but without any inscription. The portion of the shaft above-ground is 14 feet in length, and an excavation at the base for a depth of 20 feet did not come to the end of it. Its total length probably exceeds 40 feet. There was, I believe, some talk of removing it to Allahābād and setting it up there, but it was found to be too expensive an undertaking.” Śrāvastī, which Kaliṅgasenā passed on the way from Takṣaśilā, has been identified by General Cunningham with Sāhet-Mahet, on the south bank of the Rapti, in Oudli.


We met this gentleman in Vol. I, p. 136, when Yaugandharāyaṇa learned a charm to alter his shape. He appears again in the next chapter.—N.M.P.


An idea made familiar in Europe by the “Cupid and Psyche” and “Beauty and the Beast” cycles of stories.—n.m.p.


See notes on pp. 46n2 and 86n1.—n.m.p.


In the D. text the simile is better brought out: “The one wise man fallen among many fools is like a lotus fallen on the waves.” See Speyer, op. cit., p. 111.—n.m.p.


Cf. the “Tale of the Jewish Doctor” Nights, Burton, vol. i, p. 294.—N.M.P.


The words “without being taught” seem strange here. The word in the B. text is aśikṣilā, but in the D. text it is aśaṅkitā, “without any scruple,” which seems much more likely.—n.m.p.


See Vol. II, p. 169.—n.m.p.


The country lying between the Himālayasonthe north, the Vindhya mountains on the south, Vinaśana on the west and Prayāga (Allahābād) on the east.


See Vol. II, p. 77n1.—n.m.p.


See note on p. 104n2.—n.m.p.


Cf., for the artifice used to ruin Kadalīgarbhā, Dasent’s Popular Tales from the Norse, pp. 65, 66.


Cf. the fortieth story in Grimm’s Kinder-und Hausmärchen, where the girl finds her way by the peas and lentils which had sprung up. See also the second story in Gonzenbach’s Sicilianische Märchen, where the girl scatters bran; and the forty-ninth story in the same collection. See also Bartsch’s Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche a us Meklenburg, vol. i, pp. 265, 313, 441-444 and 447, where peas are used for the same purpose. See also De Gubernatis, Zoological Mythology, p. 165.-The tale from Grimm referred to above is No. 40, “The Robber Bridegroom,” and in the English edition by Margaret Hunt a note in vol. i, p. 389, states it is derived from two stories heard in Lower Hesse: in one, ashes are strewn on the road to mark it instead of peas and lentils. A third and less perfect version comes from the district of the Main. In this it is a king’s daughter to whom the bridegroom shows the way by means of ribbons which he ties to every tree. See also J. Bolte, Anmerkungen zu den Kinder-und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm, vol. i, p. 370.

The motif also occurs in Perrault’s Le Petit Poucet, in which Hop-o’-my Thumb marks his way by the help of little white stones. In his Les Contes de Perrault, Paris, 1923, p. 306 et seq., Saintyves gives several analogues to the incident of the track. See, for instance, Le Père H. Trilles, Proverbes, Légendes et Contes Fangs, Neuchātel, 1905, pp. 254-257, for a West African variant. Here the method is laying twigs at all places where paths cross. Ashes are found in numerous tales, while in a Gascon version (J. Bladé, Contes de Gascogne, vol. iii, pp. 41, 42) it is linseed; dried peas in a Picardy story (E. Cabnoy, Littérature Oralc de la Picardie, p. 254); bran and salt in a Breton version (Mélusine, vol. iii, p. 309). In the Pentamerone, eighth diversion of the fifth day (Burton, vol. ii, pp. 541, 542), we have a rather unusual addition. First of all a track of ashes is made, and later one of bran. As chance would have it, an ass comes along and eats it all up, so that, in spite of their precautions, the children are lost. In the tale of the “Fellah and his Wicked Wife” in the Nights (Burton, Supp., vol. v, pp. 349, 350) we find bran again used as a track. See Chauvin, op. cit., vi, p. 179n1, where a few further references will be found. Finally, in an Assamese version husks are used to mark the way (see J. H. Hutton, Folk-Tales of the Aṅgāmī Nāgas of Assam,” Folk-Lore, vol. xxvi, 1915, p. 87).—n.m.p.