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 ...

[M] (main story line continued) THEN Naravāhanadatta, the son of the King of Vatsa. being united to Alaṅkāravatī, his new wife, remained in the house of his father, pleased with the heavenly dancing and singing of her maids, and enjoying banquets with his ministers.

And one day his mother-in-law Kāñcanaprabhā, the mother of Alaṅkāravatī. came to him and said, after he had hospitably entertained her:

“Come to our palace, behold that city of Sundarapura. and take your delight in its gardens with Alaṅkāravatī.”

When he heard this he consented, and he informed his father, and by his advice took Vasantaka with him, and with his wife and his minister he ascended a splendid chariot created by his mother-in-law by her science, and set out through the air; and while in the chariot he looked down from heaven and beheld the earth of the size of a mound, and the seas small as ditches, and in due course he readied the Himālayas with his mother-in-law, wife and attendants, and it resounded with the songs of the Kinnarīs, and was adorned with the companies of heavenly nymphs. There he saw a great many wonderful sights, and then he readied the city of Sundarapura. It was adorned with many palaces of gold and jewels, and thus, though it was on the Himālayas, it made the beholder suppose that he was looking on the peaks of Mount Meru.[1] And he descended from the heaven and, getting out of the carriage, entered that city, which, as it were, danced with the waving silk of its banners in its joy at having once more a king. And he entered that palace, with the auspicious ceremony performed for him by his mother-in-law, accompanied by Alaṅkāravatī, and with his favourites and Vasantaka. There the fortunate prince spent the day in his father-in-law’s palace, in enjoyments which were provided for him by the power of his mother-in-law.

And on the next day his mother-in-law Kāñcanaprabhā said to him:

“There is in this city an image of the holy self-existent husband of Umā.[2] He, if visited and worshipped, gives enjoyment and even salvation. Around it the father of Alaṅkarāvatī made a great garden, and brought down to it a holy water, rightly named the Ganges-pool. Go there to-day to worship the god and to amuse yourselves.”

When his mother-in-law said this to him, Naravāhanadatta, accompanied by his wife Alaṅkāravatī, and followed by his attendants, went to that garden of Śiva. It looked lovely with its golden-trunked trees, which were charming with their branches of jewels, the clear white flowers of which were clusters of pearls, and the shoots of which were coral.[3] There he bathed in the Ganges-pool and worshipped Śiva, and wandered round the tanks that were adorned with ladders of jewels and lotuses of gold. And, accompanied by his attendants, he amused himself with Alaṅkāravatī on their charming banks and in bowers of the wish-granting creeper. And in those he delighted his soul with heavenly banquets and concerts and amusing jokes caused by the simplicity of Marubhūti. And so Naravāhanadatta dwelt a month there, amusing himself in gardens, thanks to the resources of his mother-in-law. Then that Kāñcanaprabhā bestowed on him, his wife and his ministers garments and ornaments fit for gods, and with his mother-in-law and his attendants he returned in that same chariot to Kauśāmbī, accompanied by his wife, and he gladdened the eyes of his parents.

There Alaṅkāravatī was thus addressed by her mother in the presence of the King of Vatsa:

“You must never by jealous anger make your husband unhappy, for the fruit of that fault, my daughter, is separation that causes great affliction. Because I was jealous in old time and afflicted my husband, I am now consumed with remorse, as he has gone to the forest.”

After saying this, she embraced her daughter, with eyes blinded with tears, and flying up into the air went to her own city.

Then, that day having come to an end, the next morning Naravāhanadatta, having performed the appropriate duties, was sitting with his ministers when a woman rushed into the presence of Alaṅkāravatī and said:

“Queen, I am a woman in the utmost terror; protect me, protect me! For there is a Brāhman come to slay me, and he is standing outside; through fear of him I have fled and come in here to implore protection.”

The queen said:

“Do not fear. Tell your tale. Who is he? Why does he wish to slay you?”

When thus questioned, the woman began to say:


66. Story of Aśokamālā

My sovereign, I am the daughter of a Kṣatriya in this city, named Balasena, and my name is Aśokamālā. When I was a virgin I was demanded from my father by a rich Brāhman named Haṭhaśarman, who was captivated by my beauty.

And I said to my father:

“I do not like this ugly, grim-visaged man for a husband; if you give me to him I will not remain in his house.”

Though Haṭhaśarman heard that, he sat in dharnā[4] at the door of my father’s house until he gave me to him, being afraid of causing the death of a Brāhman. Then the Brāhman married me and carried me off reluctant, and I deserted him and fled to another man, the son of a Kṣatriya. But that Haṭhaśarman managed to crush him by the power of his wealth, and I went to another Kṣatriya, who was well off. Then this Brāhman went at night and set his house on fire. Then he abandoned me, and I went to a third Kṣatriya, and this Brāhman burnt his house also at night. Then I was abandoned by him also, and I became a fugitive, flying in terror, as the sheep flies from the jackal, from that Haṭhaśarman, who wishes to slay me, and follows me step by step. In this very city I entered the service of the mighty Vīraśarman, your servant, a Rājpūt who protects the helpless. When the wicked Haṭhaśarman found that out, he was miserable at having no hope of recovering me, and, being afflicted with separation, he was reduced to skin and bone. But the Rājpūt Vīraśarman, when disposed to imprison him for my protection, was prevented by me, O Queen. To-day it chanced that I went outside the house, and Haṭhaśarman, seeing me, drew his sword and rushed on me to kill me, but I thereupon fled here, and the female warder, melted with compassion, opened the door and let me enter, but he, I know, is waiting for me outside.


[M] (main story line continued)  When she said this, the king had the Brāhman Haṭhaśarman summoned into his presence. He looked at Aśokamālā with an eye inflamed with anger; his form was distorted, he held a sword in his hand, and the joints of his limbs trembled with rage.

The king said to him:

“Wicked Brāhman, do you try to kill a woman and for her sake set on fire your neighbours’ houses? Why are you so wicked?”

When the Brāhman heard that, he said:

“She is my lawful wife. She has left my protection and gone elsewhere. How could I endure that?”

When he said this, Aśokamālā, in distress, exclaimed:

“O guardians of the world, tell me this: did he not in your presence marry me and carry me off by force against my own will? And did I not say at the time, ‘I will not dwell in his house’?”

When she said this, a heavenly voice said:

“The statement of Aśokamālā is true. But she is not a woman. Hear the truth about her. There is a heroic king of the Vidyādharas named Aśokakara. He had no sons, and once on a time it happened that a daughter was born to him, and she grew up in the house of her father, under the name of Aśokamālā. And when she arrived at an adult age, and he, desiring to perpetuate his race, offered her in marriage, she would not take any husband, through exceeding pride in her own beauty. For that reason her father, vexed with her obstinacy, denounced this curse on her: ‘Become a mortal, and in that state thou shalt have the same name. And an ugly Brāhman shall marry thee by force; thou shalt abandon him, and in thy fear resort to three husbands in succession. Even then he shall persecute thee, and thou shalt take refuge with a mighty Kṣatriya as his slave; but even then the Brāhman shall not desist from persecuting thee. And he shall see thee, and run after thee, with the object of killing thee, but thou shalt escape, and entering the king’s palace, shalt be delivered from this curse.’ Accordingly that very Vidyādharī, Aśokamālā, who was in old time cursed by her father, has now been born as a woman under the same name. And this appointed end of her curse has now arrived. She shall now repair to her Vidyādhara home and enter her own body, which is there. There she, remembering her curse, shall live happily with a Vidyādhara prince named Abhirucita, who shall become her husband.”

When the heavenly voice had said this it ceased, and immediately that Aśokamālā fell dead on the ground. But the king and Alaṅkāravatī, when they saw that, had their eyes suffused with tears, and so had their courtiers. But in Haṭhaśarman grief overpowered anger and he wept, blinded with passion. Then his eyes suddenly became expanded with joy.

All of them thereupon said to him:

“What does this mean?”

Then that Brāhman said:

“I remember my former birth and I will give an account of it. Listen.


67. Story of Sthūlabhuja

On the Himālayas there is a splendid city named Madanapura; in it dwelt a Vidyādhara prince named Pralambabhuja. He had born to him, my lord, a son named Sthūlabhuja, and he in course of time became a handsome prince in the flower of youth. Then a king of the Vidyādharas, named Surabhivatsa, came with his daughter to the palace of that King Pralambabhuja, and said to him:

“I will give this daughter of mine, called Surabhidattā, to your son Sthūlabhuja; let the accomplished youth marry her now.”

When Pralambabhuja heard this, he approved it, and summoning his son he communicated the matter to him.

Then his son Sthūlabhuja, out of pride in his beauty, said to him:

“I will not marry her, my father, for she is not a first-class beauty.”

His father thereupon said to him:

“What does her plainness matter? For she is of high lineage and must be honoured on that account, and her father offered her to me for you, and I have accepted her, so do not refuse.”

Although Sthūlabhuja was thus entreated a second time by his father, he would not consent to marry her.

Then his father, in his anger, denounced against him the following curse:

“On account of this your pride in your good looks, be born as a man, and in that state you shall be ugly and with a large mouth. And you shall acquire by force a wife named Aśokamālā, also fallen by a curse, and she, not liking you, shall leave you, and you shall experience the grief of separation. And as she shall be attached to another, you shall commit for her sake arson and other crimes, being maddened with passion and emaciated with grief.”

When Pralambabhuja had uttered this curse, that virtuous Surabhidattā clung to his feet, weeping, and entreated him:

“Pronounce a curse on me also; let our lot be the same; let not my husband alone suffer calamity owing to my fault.”

When she said this, Pralambabhuja was pleased, and, in order to comfort that virtuous woman, he appointed for her this end to his son’s curse:

“Whenever Aśokamālā shall be released from her curse, then he shall remember his birth and be released from this curse, and he shall regain his own body, and remembering his curse he shall be free from pride and soon marry you; then he shall live with you in happiness.”

When the virtuous woman was thus addressed by him she managed to recover her self-composure.


[M] (main story line continued)

“Know that I am that very Sthūlabhuja, fallen here by a curse, and I have experienced great grief owing to the fault of pride. How can proud men have happiness in a previous or in a present state of existence? And that curse of mine is now at an end.”

After saying this, Haṭhaśarman abandoned that body and became a Vidyādhara youth. And he took by the might of his science the body of Aśokamālā and flung it, without its being seen, into the Ganges, out of compassion. And he sprinkled immediately the chamber of Alaṅkāravatī all round with water of the Ganges, brought by the might of his science, and after bending before Naravāhanadatta, his future lord, he flew up into the heaven to his destined prosperity.

All being astonished, Gomukha told this story of Anaṅgarati, which was appropriate to the incident:


68. Story of Anaṅgarati and her Four Suitors

There is on the earth a city rightly named Śūrapura,[5] and in it there lived a king named Mahāvarāha, the destroyer of his foes. That king had a daughter named Anaṅgarati, born to him by his wife Padmarati, owing to his having propitiated Gaurī; and he had no other children. And in course of time she attained womanhood, and, proud of her beauty, she did not wish to have any husband, though kings asked her in marriage.

But she said decidedly:

“I must be given to a man who is brave and handsome, and knows some one splendid accomplishment.”

Then there came from the Deccan four heroes, who, having heard tidings of her, were eager to obtain her, and they were furnished with the qualities which she desired. They were announced by the warder and introduced, and then King Mahāvarāha asked them in the presence of Anaṅgarati:

“What are your names? What is your descent, and what do you know?”

When they heard this speech of the king’s, one of them said:

“I am Pañcaphuṭṭika by name, a Śūdra; I possess a peculiar talent; I weave every day five pairs of garments; one of them I give to a Brāhman, and the second I offer to Śiva, and the third I wear myself, and as for the fourth, if I had a wife, I would give it to her, and the fifth I sell and live upon the proceeds.”

Then the second said:

“I am a Vaiśya named Bhāṣājña; I know the language of all beasts and birds.”[6]

Then the third said:

“I am a Kṣatriya named Khaḍgadhara, and no one surpasses me in fighting with the sword.”

And the fourth said:

“I am an excellent Brāhman named Jīvadatta; by means of the sciences which I possess by the favour of Gaurī, I can raise to life a dead woman.”[7]

When they had thus spoken, the Śūdra, the Vaiśya and Kṣatriya, one after another, praised their own beauty, courage and might, but the Brāhman praised his might and valour and said nothing about his beauty.

Then King Mahāvarāha said to his doorkeeper:

“Take all these now and make them rest in your house.”

The doorkeeper, when he heard the order, took them to his house. Then the king said to his daughter Anaṅgarati:

“My daughter, which of these four heroes do you prefer?”

When Anaṅgarati heard that, she said to her father:

“Father, I do not like any one of the four. The first is a Śūdra and a weaver; what is the use of his good qualities? The second is a Vaiśya, and what is the use of his knowing the language of cattle, and so on? How can I give myself to them when I am a Kṣatriya woman? The third, indeed, is a meritorious Kṣatriya, equal to me in birth, but he is a poor man and lives by service, selling his life. As I am the daughter of a king, how can I become his wife? The fourth, the Brāhman Jīvadatta, I do not like; he is ugly and is addicted to unlawful arts, and, as he has deserted the Vedas, he has fallen from his high position. You ought to punish him. Why do you offer to give me to him? For you, my father, being a king, are the upholder of the castes and the various stages of life. And a king who is a hero in upholding religion is preferred to a king who is only a hero with the sword. A hero in religion will be the lord of a thousand heroes with the sword.”

When his daughter had said this, the king dismissed her to her own private apartments, and rose up to bathe and perform his other duties.

And the next day the four heroes went out from the house of the doorkeeper and roamed about in the town out of curiosity. And at that very time a vicious elephant, named Padmakabala, broke his fastening and in his fury rushed out from the elephant stable, trampling down the citizens. And that great elephant, when he saw the four heroes, rushed towards them to slay them, and they too advanced towards him with uplifted weapons. Then the one Kṣatriya among them, named Khaḍgadhara, putting aside the other three, alone attacked that elephant. And he cut off with one blow the protended trunk of that roaring elephant with as much ease as if it had been a lotus-stalk. And after showing his agility by escaping between his feet, he delivered a second blow on the back of that elephant. And with the third he cut off both his feet. Then that elephant gave a groan and fell down and died. All the people were astonished when they beheld that valour of his, and King Mahāvarāha was also amazed when he heard of it.

The next day the king went out to hunt, mounted on an elephant, and the four heroes, with Khaḍgadhara at their head, accompanied him. There the king with his army slew tigers, deer and boars, and the lions rushed out upon him in anger, hearing the trumpeting of the elephants. Then that Khaḍgadhara cleft in twain, with one blow of his sharp sword, that first lion that attacked them, and the second he seized with his left hand by the foot, and dashing it on the earth, deprived it of life. And in the same way Bhāṣājña and Jīvadatta and Pañcaphuṭṭika each dashed a lion to pieces on the earth. Thus in turn those heroes killed on foot many tigers and lions and other animals, with ease, before the eyes of the king. Then that king, being pleased and astonished, after he had finished his hunting, entered his city, and those heroes went to the house of the doorkeeper.

And the king entered the harem and, though tired, had his daughter Anaṅgarati quickly summoned. And after describing the valour of those heroes, one by one, as he had seen it in the chase, he said to her, who was much astonished:

“Even if Pañcaphuṭṭika and Bhāṣājña are of inferior caste, and Jīvadatta, though a Brāhman, is ugly and addicted to forbidden practices, what fault is there in the Kṣatriya Khaḍgadhara, who is handsome, and of noble stature, and is distinguished for strength and valour; who slew such an elephant, and who takes lions by the foot and crushes them on the ground, and slays others with his sword? And if it is made a ground of reproach against him that he is poor and a servant, I will immediately make him a lord to be served by others: so choose him for a husband, if you please, my daughter.”

When Anaṅgarati heard this from her father, she said to him:

“Well, then, bring all those men here, and ask the astrologer, and let us see what he says.”

When she said this to him, the king summoned those heroes, and in their presence he, accompanied by his wives, said to the astrologer with his own mouth:

“Find out with which of these Anaṅgarati has conformity of horoscope, and when a favourable moment will arrive for her marriage.”

When the skilful astrologer heard that, he asked the stars under which they were born, and after long considering the time he said to that king:

“If you will not be angry with me, King, I will tell you plainly. Your daughter has no conformity of lot with any of them. And she will not be married on earth, for she is a Vidyādharī fallen by a curse; that curse of hers will be at an end in three months. So let these wait here three months, and if she is not gone to her own world then, the marriage shall take place.”

All those heroes accepted the advice of that astrologer, and remained there for three months.

When three months had passed, the king summoned into his presence those heroes, and that astrologer, and Anaṅgarati. And the king, when he saw that his daughter had suddenly become exceedingly beautiful, rejoiced, but the astrologer thought that the hour of her death had arrived.

And while the king was saying to the astrologer,

“Now tell me what it is proper to do, for those three months are gone,”

Anaṅgarati called to mind her former birth, and, covering her face with her garment, she abandoned that human body.

The king thought:

“Why has she put herself in this position?”

But when he himself uncovered her face he saw that she was dead, like a frost-smitten lotus-plant, for her eyes like bees had ceased to revolve, the lotus-flower of her face was pale, and the sweet sound of her voice had ceased, even as the sound of the swans departs. Then the king suddenly fell to earth motionless, smitten by the thunderbolt of grief for her, crushed by the extinction of his race.[8] And the Queen Padmarati also fell down to the earth in a swoon, and with her ornaments fallen from her like flowers, appeared like a cluster of blossoms broken by an elephant.

The attendants raised cries of lamentation, and those heroes were full of grief; but the king, immediately recovering consciousness, said to that Jīvadatta:

“In this matter those others have no power, but now it is your opportunity; you boasted that you could raise to life a dead woman; if you possess power by means of science, then recall my daughter to life. I will give her, when restored to life, to you as being a Brahman.”

When Jīvadatta heard this speech of the king’s he sprinkled that princess with water, over which charms had been said, and chanted this Āryā verse:

“O thou of the loud laugh, adorned with a garland of skulls, not to be gazed on, Cāmuṇḍā,[9] the terrible goddess, assist me quickly.”

When, in spite of this effort of Jīvadatta’s, that maiden was not restored to life, he was despondent, and said:

“My science, though bestowed by the goddess that dwells in the Vindhya range, has proved fruitless, so what is the use to me of my life that has become an object of scorn?”

When he had said this, he was preparing to cut off his head with a great sword when a voice came from the sky:

“O Jīvadatta, do not act rashly. Listen now. This noble Vidyādhara maiden, named Anaṅgaprabhā, has been for so long a time a mortal owing to the curse of her parents. She has now quitted this human body, and has gone to her own world, and taken her own body. So go and propitiate again the goddess that dwells in the Vindhya hills, and by her favour you shall recover this noble Vidyādhara maiden. But as she is enjoying heavenly bliss, neither you nor the king ought to mourn for her.”

When the heavenly voice had told this true tale it ceased. Then the king performed his daughter’s rites, and he and his wife ceased to mourn for her, and those other three heroes returned as they had come.

But hope was kindled in the breast of Jīvadatta, and he went and propitiated with austerities the dweller in the Vindhya hills, and she said to him in a dream:

“I am satisfied with thee, so rise up and listen to this that I am about to tell thee.

There is a city on the Himālayas named Vīrapura, and in it there dwells a sovereign of the Vidyādharas named Samara. He had a daughter, named Anaṅgaprabhā, born to him by his Queen Anaṅgavatī. When, in the pride of her youth and beauty, she refused to have any husband, her parents, enraged at her persistence, cursed her:

“Become a human being, and even in that state you shall not enter the happiness of married life. When you are a maiden of sixteen years you shall abandon the body and come here. But an ugly mortal, who has become such by a curse, on account of his falling in love with the daughter of a hermit, and who possesses a magic sword, shall then become your husband, and he shall carry you off against your will to the world of mortals. There you, being unchaste, shall be separated from your husband. Because that husband in a former life carried off the wives of eight other men, he shall endure sorrow enough for eight births. And you, having become a mortal by the loss of your supernatural science, shall endure in that one birth the sufferings of eight births.[10] For to everyone the association with the evil gives an evil lot, but to women the union with an evil husband is equivalent to evil. And having lost your memory of the past, you shall there take many mortal husbands, because you obstinately persisted in detesting the husband fitted for you. That Vidyādhara Madanaprabha, who, being equal in birth, demanded you in marriage, shall become a mortal king and at last become your husband. Then you shall be freed from your curse and return to your own world, and you shall obtain that suitable match, who shall have returned to his Vidyādhara state.”

So that maiden Anaṅgaprabhā has become Anaṅgarati on the earth, and returning to her parents has once more become Anaṅgaprabhā. So go to Vīrapura and conquer in fight her father, though he is possessed of knowledge and protected by his high birth, and obtain that maiden. Now take this sword, and as long as you hold it in your hand you will be able to travel through the air; and, moreover, you will be invincible.”

Having said this, and having given the sword to him, the goddess vanished, and he woke up and beheld in his hand a heavenly sword. Then Jīvadatta rose up delighted and praised Durgā,[11] and all the exhaustion produced by his penance was removed by the refreshment caused by the nectar of her favour. And he flew up into the air with his sword in his hand, and after roaming all round the Himālayas he found that prince of the Vidyādharas Samara in Vīrapura. He conquered him in fight, and then the king gave him his daughter Anaṅgaprabhā, and he married her and lived in heavenly felicity.

And after he had remained there some time he said to his father-in-law Samara and to his beloved Anaṅgaprabhā:

“Let us two go to the world of men, for I feel a longing for it; for one’s native land is exceedingly dear to living beings, even though it may be an inferior place.”[12]

When the father-in-law heard that, he consented, but the far-seeing Anaṅgaprabhā was with difficulty induced to consent. Then Jīvadatta descended from heaven to the world of mortals, taking that Anaṅgaprabhā in his arms.

And Anaṅgaprabhā, beholding there a pleasant mountain, being wearied, said to him:

“Let us immediately rest here.”

Then he consented, and descending there with her he produced food and drink by the power of the various sciences.

Then Jīvadatta, being impelled by Fate, said to Anaṅgaprabhā:

“Dear one, sing some sweet song.”

When she heard that, she began to sing devoutly the praise of Śiva, and with that sound of her singing the Brāhman was sent to sleep.

In the meanwhile a king named Harivara, wearied out with hunting, came that way in search of spring water; he was attracted by hearing the sound of that singing, as deer are attracted, and, leaving his chariot, he went there alone. The king first had happiness announced by omens, and then he beheld that Anaṅgaprabhā like the real brightness of the God of Love. Then, as his heart was distracted with her song and her beauty, the God of Love cleft it at will with his arrows.

Anaṅgaprabhā too, seeing that he was handsome, came within range of the god of the flowery bow, and said to herself:

“Who is this? Is he the God of Love, without his flowery bow? Is he the incarnation of the favour of Śiva towards me, being pleased with my song?”

Then, maddened with love, she asked him:

“Who are you, and how have you come to this forest? Tell me.”

Then the king told her who he was and why he had come. Then he said to her:

“Tell me, who are you, fair one? And who is this, O lotus-faced one, who is sleeping here?”

When he asked these questions, she answered him briefly:

“I am a Vidyādharī, and this is my husband, who possesses a magic sword, and now I have fallen in love with you at first sight. So come, let us quickly go to your city before he awakes, then I will tell my story at length.”

When the king heard that he agreed, and felt as much delighted as if he had obtained the sovereignty of the three worlds. And Anaṅgaprabhā hurriedly thought in her heart:

“I will take this king in my arms and quickly fly up to the heaven.”

But in the meanwhile her knowledge was stripped from her by her treachery to her husband, and, remembering her father’s curse, she became at once despondent.

When the king saw that, he asked the cause, and then said to her:

“This is not the time for despondency; your husband here may awake. And you ought not to lament, my beloved, over this matter which depends on destiny. For who can escape from the shadow of his own head, or the course of destiny? So come, let us depart.”

When the King Harivara said this, she consented to his proposal, and he took her quickly up in his arms. Then he went off quickly thence, as delighted as if he had obtained a treasure, and ascended his chariot, welcomed with joy by his servants. And he reached his city in that chariot, which travelled swift as thought, accompanied by his beloved, and he aroused curiosity in his subjects. Then King Harivara remained in heavenly enjoyments in that city, which was named after him, in the society of that Anaṅgaprabhā. And Anaṅgaprabhā remained there devotedly attached to him, forgetting all her supernatural power, bewildered by the curse.

In the meanwhile Jīvadatta woke up on the mountain, and saw that not only Anaṅgaprabhā was gone, but his sword also.

He thought:

“Where is that Anaṅgaprabhā? Alas! Where is that sword? Has she gone off with it? Or were they both carried off by some being?”

In his perplexity he made many surmises of this sort, and he searched that mountain for three days, being consumed with the fire of love. Then he came down and wandered through the forests for ten days, but did not find a trace of her anywhere.

He kept crying out:

“Alas, spiteful fortune, how did you carry off, together with the magic power of the sword, my beloved Anaṅgaprabhā, both of which you granted with difficulty?”

Thus employed, he wandered about without food and at last reached a village, and there he entered the opulent mansion of a Brāhman. There the handsome and well-dressed mistress of the house, Priyadattā by name, made him sit down on a seat and immediately gave this order to her maids:

“Wash quickly the feet of this Jīvadatta, for to-day is the thirteenth day that he has gone without food on account of his separation.”

When Jīvadatta heard that, he was astonished, and reflected in his own mind:

“Can Anaṅgaprabhā have come here, or is this woman a witch?”

Thus he reflected, and after his feet were washed, and he had eaten the food that she gave, he humbly asked Priyadattā in his great grief:

“Tell me one thing: how do you know my history, blameless one? And tell me another thing: where are my sword and my beloved gone?”

When the devoted wife Priyadattā heard that, she said:

“No one but my husband has any place in my heart, even in a dream, my son, and I look on all other men as brothers, and no guest leaves my house without entertainment; by virtue of that I know the past, the present and the future. And that Anaṅgaprabhā of yours has been carried off by a king named Harivara, living in a town named after him, who, as destiny would have it, came that way while you were asleep, attracted by her song. And you cannot recover her, for that king is very powerful; moreover, that unchaste woman will in turn leave him and go to another man. And the goddess Durgā gave you that sword only that you might obtain that lady; having accomplished that, the weapon, in virtue of its divine nature, has returned to the goddess, as the lady has been carried off. Moreover, how have you forgotten what the goddess was pleased to tell you when she told the story of the curse of Anaṅgaprabhā? So why are you so distracted about an event which was destined to take place? Abandon this chain of sins, which again and again produces extreme sorrow. And of what profit can be to you now, my brother, that wicked female, who is attached to another, and who has become a mortal, having lost her science by her treachery against you?”

When that virtuous woman said this to Jīvadatta he abandoned all passion for Anaṅgaprabhā, being disgusted with her fickleness, and thus answered the Brāhman lady:

“Mother, my delusion has been brought to an end by this true speech of thine. Whom does not association with persons of virtuous conduct benefit? This misfortune has befallen me in consequence of my former crimes, so I will abandon jealousy and go to holy places to wash them out. What can I gain by taking up an enmity with others on account of Anaṅgaprabhā? For one who has conquered anger conquers this whole world.”

While he was saying this, the righteous husband of Priyadattā, who was hospitable to guests, returned to the house. The husband also welcomed him, and made him forget his grief; and then he rested, and taking leave of them both, started on his pilgrimage to holy

Then, in course of time, he roamed round to all the holy bathing-places on the earth, enduring many toils in difficult ways, living on roots and fruits. And after visiting holy bathing-places he went to the shrine of the dweller on the Vindhya hills; there he went through a severe penance, without food, on a bed of kuśa grass.

And Ambikā, satisfied with his asceticism, said to him, appearing in bodily form:

“Rise up, my son, for you four are four Gaṇas of mine. Three are Pañcamūla, Caturvaktra and Mahodaramukha, and thou art the fourth, last in order, and thy name is Vikaṭavadana. You four once went to the sand of the Ganges to amuse yourselves, and saw there a hermit’s daughter bathing. She was called Cāpalekhā, the daughter of Kapilajaṭa. And she was solicited by all of you, distracted with love.

When she said: ‘I am a maiden; go away all of you,’ the three others remained quiet, but thou didst forcibly seize her by the arm.

And she cried out: ‘Father, father, deliver me!’

Then the hermit, who was near, came up in wrath. Then thou didst let go her arm; then he immediately cursed you, saying:

‘Wicked ones, be born, all of you, as human beings.’

Then you asked the hermit that the curse might end, and he said:

‘When the Princess Anaṅgarati shall be demanded in marriage by you, and shall go to the Vidyādhara world, then three of you shall be released from your curse. But when she has become a Vidyādharī, then thou, Vikaṭavadana, shalt gain her, and lose her again, and then thou shalt suffer great sorrow. But after propitiating the goddess Durgā for a long time thou shalt be released from this curse. This will happen to thee because thou didst touch the hand of this Cāpalekhā, and also because thou hast much guilt attaching to thee, on account of having carried off the wives of others.’

You four Gaṇas of mine, whom that hermit thus cursed, became four heroes in the Deccan: Pañcaphuṭṭika, and Bhāṣājña, and Khaḍgadhara, these three friends, and you the fourth, Jīvadatta. Now the first three, when Anaṅgarati returned to her own place, came here, and by my favour were freed from their curse. And thou hast propitiated me now; therefore thy curse is at an end. So take this fiery meditation and abandon this body, and consume at once the guilt, which it would take eight births to exhaust.”

When the goddess Durgā had said this, she gave him the meditation and disappeared. And with that meditation he burned up his wicked mortal body, and at last was freed from the curse, and became once more an excellent Gaṇa. When even gods have to endure so much suffering by associating with the wives of others, what must be the result of it to inferior beings?

In the meanwhile Anaṅgaprabhā became head queen in Harivara, the city of the King Harivara. And the king remained day and night with his mind fixed on her, and entrusted the great burden of his kingdom to his minister named Sumantra. And once on a time there came to that king from Madhyadeśa[13] a fresh teacher of dancing, named Labdhavara. The king, having seen his skill in music and dancing, honoured him, and made him the instructor in dancing of the ladies of the harem. He brought Anaṅgaprabhā so much excellence in dancing that she was an object of admiration even to her rival wives. And from associating with the professor of dancing, and from the delight she took in his teaching, she fell in love with him. And the professor of dancing, attracted by her youth and beauty, gradually learnt a new strange dance,[14] thanks to the God of Love.

And once she approached the professor of dancing secretly in the dancing-hall, and being desperately in love with him, said to him:

“I shall not be able to live for a moment without you, and the King Harivara, when he hears of it, will not tolerate it; so come, let us depart elsewhere, where the king will not find us out. You have wealth in the form of gold, horses and camels, given by the king, pleased with your dancing, and I have ornaments. So let us quickly go and dwell where we shall be secure.”

The professor of dancing was pleased with her proposal, and consented to this. Then she put on the dress of a man and went to the house of the professor of dancing, accompanied by one female servant, who was exceedingly devoted to her. Thence she started on horseback, with that teacher of dancing, who placed his wealth on the back of a camel. First she abandoned the splendour of the Vidyādharas, then of a throne, and now she put herself under the shelter of a bard’s fortune. Alas! fickle is the mind of women! And so Anaṅgaprabhā went with the teacher of dancing and reached a distant city named Viyogapura. There she dwelt in happiness with him, and the distinguished dancer thought that by obtaining her his name of Labdhavara[15] had been justified.

And in the meanwhile King Harivara, finding out that his beloved Anaṅgaprabhā had gone somewhere or other, was ready to abandon the body out of grief.

Then the minister Sumantra said to the king to comfort him:

“Why do you appear as if you do not understand the matter? Consider it yourself. How, my sovereign, could you expect that a woman who deserted a husband that had by means of his sword obtained the power of a Vidyādhara, and repaired to you as soon as she saw you, would be faithful even to you? She has gone off with something that she has managed to get, having no desire for anything good, as one to whom a blade of grass is a sprout of jewels, falling in love at sight with a blade of grass. Certainly the teacher of dancing has gone off with her, for he is nowhere to be seen. And I hear that they both were in the concert-hall in the morning. So tell me, King, why are you so persistent about her, though you know all this? The truth is, a fickle dame is like a sunset, momentarily aglow for everyone.”

When the minister said this to him, the king fell into a musing, and thought:

“Yes, that wise man has told me the truth. For a fickle dame is like human life; connection with her is unstable; she changes every moment, and is terrible, bringing disgust at the end. The wise man never falls into the power of deep rivers or of woman, both of which drown him who falls into their power, while they exhibit wanton sportfulness. Those men are truly masters of themselves who are free from excitement about pleasures, who are not puffed up in prosperity, and who are unshrinking in dangers: such men have conquered the world.”

After saying this, King Harivara abandoned his grief by the advice of his minister, and remained satisfied with the society of his own wives.

And after Anaṅgaprabhā had dwelt some time with the teacher of dancing, in the city named Viyogapura, he, as fate would have it, struck up an acquaintance with a young gambler named Sudarśana. Then the gambler, before the eyes of Anaṅgaprabhā, soon stripped the teacher of dancing of all his wealth. Then Anaṅgaprabhā deserted her husband, who was stripped of all his fortune, as if in anger on that account, and threw herself into the arms of Sudarśana. Then the teacher of dancing, having lost his wife and his wealth, having no refuge, in disgust with the world, matted his hair in a knot and went to the banks of the Ganges to practise mortification of the flesh. But Anaṅgaprabhā, who was ever taking new paramours, remained with that gambler. But one night her lord Sudarśana was robbed of all that he had by some robbers, who entered his house in the darkness.

Then Sudarśana, seeing that Anaṅgaprabhā was uncomfortable and unhappy on account of their poverty, said to her:

“Come and let us borrow something from a rich friend of mine, named Hiraṇyagupta, a distinguished merchant.”

After saying this he, being deprived of his senses by destiny, went with his wife and asked that great merchant Hiraṇyagupta to lend him some money. And the merchant, when he saw her, immediately fell in love with her, and she also with him, the moment that she beheld him.

And the merchant said politely to Sudarśana:

“To-morrow I will give you gold, but dine here to-day.”

When Sudarśana heard this, beholding the altered bearing of those two, he said:

“I did not come here to-day to dine.”

Then the great merchant said:

“If this be the case, at any rate let your wife dine here, my friend, for this is the first time that she has visited my house.”

When Sudarśana was thus addressed by him, he remained silent in spite of his cunning, and that merchant went into his house with Anaṅgaprabhā. There he indulged in drinking and other pastimes with that fair one, unexpectedly thrown in his way, who was merry with all the wantonness of wine.

But Sudarśana, who was standing outside, waiting for her to come out, had the following message brought to him by the merchant’s servants, in accordance with their master’s orders:

“Your wife has dined and gone home; you must have failed to see her going out. So what are you doing here so long? Go home.”

He answered:

“She is within the house, she has not come out, and I will not depart.”

Thereupon the merchant’s servants drove him away from the house with kicks.

Then Sudarśana went off and sorrowfully reflected with himself:

“What! has this merchant, though my friend, robbed me of my wife? Or, rather, in this very birth the fruit of my sin has in such a form fallen to my lot. For what I did to one, another has done to me. Why should I, then, be angry with another, when my own deeds merit anger? So I will sever the chain of works, so that I may not be again humiliated.”

Thus reflecting, the gambler abandoned his anger, and going to the hermitage of Badarikā, [also see notes on badarikā] he proceeded to perform such austerities as would cut the bonds of mundane existence.

And Anaṅgaprabhā, having obtained that exceedingly handsome merchant for a dear husband, was as pleased as a bee that has lighted on a flower. And in course of time she attained undisputed control over the wealth, as well as over the heart, of that opulent merchant, who was deeply in love with her. But the King Vīrabāhu, though he heard of the matchless beauty residing there, did not carry her off, but remained strictly within the limits of virtue. And in course of time the wealth of the merchant began to diminish, on account of the expenditure of Anaṅgaprabhā; for, in a house presided over by an unchaste woman, Fortune pines as well as virtuous women. Then the merchant Hiraṇyagupta got together wares and went off to an island named Suvarṇabhūmi to trade, and he took that Anaṅgaprabhā with him, out of fear of being separated from her, and journeying on his way he at last reached the city of Sāgarapura. There he fell in with a chief of fishermen, a native of that place, Sāgaravīra by name, whom he found in that city near the sea. He went with that seafaring man to the shore of the sea, and with his beloved embarked on a ship which he provided.

And after the merchant had travelled in anxiety for some days over the sea in that ship, accompanied by Sāgaravīra, one day a terrible cloud of doom appeared, with flashing eyes of lightning, filling them with fear of destruction. Then that ship, smitten by a mighty wind, with a violent shower of rain, began to sink in the waves. That merchant Hiraṇyagupta, when the crew raised a cry of lamentation, and the ship began to break up like his own hopes, fastened his cloak round his loins and, looking at the face of Anaṅgaprabhā, exclaimed: “Ah! my beloved, where art thou?” and threw himself into the sea. And he oared himself along with his arms, and, as luck would have it, he reached a merchant-ship, and caught hold of it and climbed up into it.

But that Sāgaravīra tied together some planks with a cord and quickly placed Anaṅgaprabhā upon them. And he himself climbed up upon them, and comforted that terrified woman, and went paddling along in the sea, throwing aside the water with his arms. And as soon as the ship had been broken to pieces the clouds disappeared from the heaven, and the sea was calm, like a good man whose wrath is appeased. But the merchant Hiraṇyagupta, after climbing up into the ship, which was impelled by the wind, as fate would have it, reached in five days the shore of the sea. Then he went on shore, grieved at the loss of his beloved; but he reflected that the dispensations of Destiny were irremediable; and he went slowly home to his own city, and being of resolute soul, he recovered his self-command, and again acquired wealth and lived in great comfort.

But Anaṅgaprabhā, seated on the plank, was piloted to the shore of the sea in one day by Sāgaravīra. And there that chief of the fishermen, consoling her, took her to his own palace in the city of Sāgarapura. There Anaṅgaprabhā, reflecting that that chief of the fishermen was a hero who had saved her life, and was equal to a king in opulence, and in the prime of youth and good looks, and obedient to her orders, made him her husband. A woman who has lost her virtue does not distinguish between high and low. Then she dwelt with that chief of fishermen, enjoying in his house his wealth that he put at her disposal.

One day she saw from the roof of the palace a handsome Kṣatriya youth, named Vijayavarman, going along the high street of the town.

Falling in love with his good looks, she went up to him and said:

“Receive me, who am in love with you, for my mind has been fascinated by the sight of you.”

And he gladly welcomed that fairest woman of the three worlds, who had fallen to him, as it were, from the sky, and took her home to his house. But Sāgaravīra, finding that his beloved had gone somewhere or other, abandoned all, and went to the River Ganges, intending to leave the body by means of ascetic practices. And no wonder that his grief was great, for how could a man of servile caste ever have expected to obtain such a Vidyādharī? But Anaṅgaprabhā lived at ease in that very town with Vijayavarman, free from restraint.

Then one day the king of that place, named Sāgaravarman, mounted a female elephant and went out to roam round his city. And while the king was looking at that well-built city named after him, he came along the street where the house of Vijayavarman was. And Anaṅgaprabhā, finding out that the king was coming that way, went up to the top of the house, out of curiosity to behold him.

And the moment she saw the king she fell so desperately in love with him that she insolently exclaimed to the elephant-driver:

“Mahout, I never in my life have ridden on an elephant, so give me a ride on yours, and let me see how pleasant it is.”

When the elephant-driver heard this, he looked at the face of the king, and in the meanwhile the king beheld her, like the splendour of the moon fallen from heaven.

And the king, drinking her in with insatiate eye like a partridge, having conceived the hope of gaining her, said to his elephant-driver:

“Take the elephant near and comply with her wish, and without delay seat this moon-faced dame on the elephant.”

When the king said this, the elephant-driver at once brought that elephant close under the house. When Anaṅgaprabhā saw that the elephant had come near, she immediately flung herself into the lap of the King Sāgaravarman. How came it that, though at first she was averse to a husband, she now showed such an insatiable appetite for husbands? Surely her father’s curse made her exhibit a great change of character. And she clasped the king round the neck, as if afraid of falling, and he, when his limbs were irrigated with the nectar of her touch, was much delighted. And the king quickly carried off to his own palace her who had surrendered herself by an artifice, being desirous of being kissed. There he made that Vidyādharī enter his harem, and after she had told him her story he made her his principal wife. And then that young Kṣatriya, finding out that she had been carried off by the king, came and attacked the king’s servants outside the palace; and there he left his corpse, not turning his back in fight; for brave men do not submit to insult on account of a woman.

And it seemed as if he was carried off to the abode of the gods by the nymphs of heaven, saying:

“What have you to do with this contemptible woman? Come to Nandana and court us.”

As for that Anaṅgaprabhā, when she had come into the possession of the King Sāgaravarman, she roamed no more, but remained faithful to him, as rivers are at rest in the bosom of the sea. And owing to the force of destiny she thought herself fortunate in having obtained that husband, and he thought that his life was complete by having obtained her for a wife.

And in some days Anaṅgaprabhā, the queen of that King Sāgaravarman, became pregnant, and in due time gave birth to a son. And the king made a great feast on account of the birth of a noble son, and gave the boy the name of Samudravarman. And when that son attained his full stature, and became a young man distinguished for might, the king appointed him Crown Prince. Then he brought to his court Kamalavatī, the daughter of a certain king named Samaravarman, to be married to him. And when that son Samudravarman was married, the king, being impressed by his virtues, gave him his own kingdom.

That brave son Samudravarman, being thoroughly acquainted with the duties of Kṣatriyas, when he had obtained the kingdom, said to his father, bowing before him:

“Father, give me leave to depart; I am setting out to conquer the regions. A lord of earth that is not intent on conquest is to be blamed as much as the effeminate husband of a woman. And in this world only that fortune of kings is righteous and glorious which is acquired by one’s own strength after conquering the kingdoms. What is the use, father, of the sovereignty of those kings who hold it merely for the sake of oppressing the poor? They devour their own subjects, ravenous like cats.”[16]

When he had said this, his father Sāgaravarman replied:

“Your rule, my boy, is young; so for the present secure that; no demerit or disgrace attaches to one who rules his subjects justly. And war is not meet for kings without considering their power. Though you, my child, are a hero, and your army is numerous, still you ought not to rely upon the fortune of victory, which is fickle in fight.”

Though his father used these and similar arguments with him, the brave Samudravarman at last, with great difficulty, induced him to consent, and marched out to conquer the regions. And having conquered the regions in due course, and reduced the kings under his sway, he returned to his own city in possession of elephants, horses, gold and other tributes. And there he humbly honoured the feet of his delighted parents with great jewels produced in various regions. And the glorious prince gave, by their orders, to the Brāhmans great gifts of elephants, horses, gold and jewels. Then he showered gold in such profusion upon suppliants and servants that the only thing in the country devoid of wealth was the word poor, which had become without meaning.[17] The King Sāgaravarman, dwelling with Anaṅgaprabhā, when he beheld the glory of his son, considered that his objects in life had been accomplished.

And the king, after spending those days in feasting, said to his son Samudravarman in the presence of the ministers:

“I have accomplished, my son, what I had to accomplish in this birth. I have enjoyed the pleasures of rule, I have not experienced defeat from my enemies, and I have seen you in possession of sovereignty. What else does there remain for me to obtain? So I will retire to a holy bathing-place, while my body retains strength. For see, old age whispers at the root of my ear:

‘Since this body is perishable, why do you still remain in your house?’”

Having said this, the King Sāgaravarman, all whose ends were attained, went, though his son was opposed to it, to Prayāga with his beloved. And Samudravarman escorted his father there, and, after returning to his own city, ruled it in accordance with the law.

And the King Sāgaravarman, accompanied by his wife Anaṅgaprabhā, propitiated the god Śiva in Prayāga with asceticism.

And at the end of the night the god said to him in a dream:

“I am pleased with this penance of yourself and your wife; so hear this: this Anaṅgaprabhā and you, my son, are both of the Vidyādhara race, and to-morrow the curse will expire, and you will go to your own world.”

When the king heard that, he woke up, and Anaṅgaprabhā too, who had seen a similar dream, and they told their dreams to one another.

And then Anaṅgaprabhā, delighted, said to the king:

“My husband, I have now remembered all the history of my former birth. I am the daughter of Samara, a prince of the Vidyādharas, in the city of Vīrapura, and my name has always been Anaṅgaprabhā. And I came here owing to the curse of my father, having become a human being by the loss of my science, and I forgot my Vidyādharī nature. But now I have recovered consciousness of it.”

While she was saying this, her father Samara descended from heaven, and after he had been respectfully welcomed by the King Sāgaravarman he said to that daughter Anaṅgaprabhā, who fell at his feet:

“Come, daughter, receive these sciences; your curse is at an end. For you have endured in one birth the sorrows of eight births.”[18]

Saying this, he took her on his lap and gave her back the sciences.

Then he said to the King Sāgaravarman:

“You are a prince of the Vidyādharas named Madanaprabha, and I am by name Samara, and Anaṅgaprabhā is my daughter. And long ago, when she ought to have been given in marriage, her hand was demanded by several suitors, but, being intoxicated by her beauty, she did not desire any husband. Then she was asked in marriage by you, who were equal in merit, and very eager to marry her, but, as fate would have it, she would not then accept even you. For that reason I cursed her, that she might go to the world of mortals. And you, being passionately in love with her, fixed your heart on Śiva, the giver of boons, and wished intently that she might be your wife in the world of mortals, and then you abandoned your Vidyādhara body by magic art. Then you became a man, and she became your wife. Now return to your own world linked together.”

When Samara said this to Sāgaravarman, he, remembering his birth, abandoned his body in the water of Prayāga[19] and immediately became Madanaprabha. And Anaṅgaprabhā was rekindled with the brightness of her recovered science, and immediately becoming a Vidyādharī, gleamed with that very body, which underwent a heavenly change. And then Madanaprabha, being delighted, and Anaṅgaprabhā also, feeling great passion stir in both their hearts at the sight of one another’s heavenly bodies, and the auspicious Samara, king of the sky-goers, all flew up into the air, and went together to that city of the Vidyādharas, Vīrapura. And there Samara immediately gave, with due rites, his daughter Anaṅgaprabhā to the Vidyādhara king, Madanaprabha. And Madanaprabha went with that beloved, whose curse had been cancelled, to his own city, and there he dwelt at ease.


[M] (main story line continued)

“Thus divine beings fall by virtue of a curse, and, owing to the consequences of their own wickedness, are incarnate in the world of men, and after reaping the fruit appropriate to their bad conduct they again go to their own home on account of previously acquired merit.”

When Naravāhanadatta heard this tale from his minister Gomukha, he and Alaṅkāravatī were delighted, and then he performed the duties of the day.

Footnotes and references:


Dim traditions of this mountain seem to have penetrated to Greece and Rome Aristophanes (Acharnians, v, 82) speaks of the King of Persia as engaged for eight months (????????). Clark tells us that Bergler quotes platus,

Neque ille mereat Persarum sibi montes qui esse perhibentur aura (?)”

(Philological Journal, vol. viii, p. 192) See also Terence, Phormio, i, 2, 18.; Pers, III, 65. Naravahanadatta’s journey through the air may remind the reader ot the air-voyage Alexander in the Pseudo-Callisthenes, ii, 41. He sees a serpent below him, and a (ἄλος??) in the middle of it. A divine being whom he meets, tells him that these objects are the earth and the sea.


I.e. Śiva.


See note on p. 128-and Clouston, Eastern Romances, pp. 166, 167.


See note in Chapter LV, p. 20S2n1, of this volume.—n.m.p.


I.e. city of heroes. See Cunningham's Ancient Geography of India, p. 99.


Cf. the properties of the magic ring given to Canace in the “Squire’s Tale,” and Grimm’s story of “Die Drei Sprachen” (No. 33, Kinder-und Hausmärcheii). See also Tylor’s Primitive Culture, vol. i, pp. 18, 423. In the Edda, Sigurd learns to understand the language of birds by tasting the blood of Fafner. For other parallels see Liebrecht’s Dunlop, p. 184, and note 248.——For analogues to Grimm’s tale, see Bolte, op. cit., vol. i, p. 322 et seq.—n.m.p.


Cf. the seventy-seventh chapter of this work, the second in the Vetāla Pañcavinśati, and Ralston’s exhaustive note in his Russian Folk-Tales, pp. 231, 232, 233. Cf also Bernhard Schmidt’s Griechische Märchen, p. 114, and Bartsch’s Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche aus Meklenburg, vol. i, p. 486. The Pseudo-Callisthenes (Book II, chap. xl) mentions a fountain that restored to life a salt fish, and made one of Alexander’s daughters immortal. This is perhaps the passage that was in Dunlop’s mind when he said (p. 129 of Liebrecht’s translation) that such a fountain is described in the Greek romance of Ismenias and Ismene, for which Liebrecht takes him to task. See the parallels quoted by Dunlop and Liebrecht. Wheeler, in his Noted Names of Fiction, tells us that there was a tradition current among the natives of Puerto Rico that such a fountain existed in the fabulous island of Bimini, said to belong to the Bahama group. This was the object of eager and long-continued quest to the celebrated Spanish navigator, Juan Ponce de Leon. By Ismenias and Ismene, Dunlop probably means Hysminias and Hysmine. See also Birlinger, Aus Schwabeti, p. 185. Kuhn, in his Herabkunft des Feuers, traces this story back to the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa.——See Vol. II, p. 155n4.—n.m.p.


Here there is an elaborate pun. “King” may also mean “mountain,” "race” may mean “wings,” and the whole passage refers to Indra’s clipping the wings of the mountains.


A form of Durgā or Kālī, which is especially connected with human sacrifice and tantric practices. See Vol. II, p. 214 et seq., where in the Mālaltī Mādhava the heroine is offered up as a sacrifice to Cāmuṇḍā. For a list of Durgā’s other names see p. 179 of this volume. —n.m.p.


Cf the remarkable passage which M. Lévêque quotes from the works of Empedocles (Les Mythes et Legendes de l’Inde et de la Perse, p. 90):

“Ἔστιν ἀνάγκης χρῆμα, θεῶν ψήφισμα παλαιός
ἀίδιον, πλάτεεσσι κατεσφρηγισμένον ὅρκοις
εὖτέ τις ἀμπλακίῃσι φόνῳ φίλα γῦια μιήνῃ
αἵμασιν ἢ ἐπίορκον ἁμαρτήσαα ἐπομόσσῃ
δαίμων, οἵ τε μακραίωνος λελάχασι βίοιο,
τρίς μι μυρίας ὥρας ἀπὸ μακάρων ὐλάλησθαι
φυόμενον παντοῖα διὰ χρόνον εἴδεα θνητῶν,
ἀργαλέας βιότοιο μεταλλάσσοντα κελεύθους.”

I have adopted the readings of Ritter and Preller, in their Historia Philosophice, in preference to those of M. Lévêque. It is clear that Empedocles supposed himself to be a Vidyādhara fallen from heaven in consequence of a curse. As I observed in an article in the Calcutta Review of 1875, “The Bhagavad Gītā and Christianity,” his personality is decidedly Indian.


The D. text has natāmbikaḥ,and bowed to Durgā.”—n.m.p.


Cf. Odyssey, ix, 27, 28.


Comprising the modern provinces of Allahābād, Agra, Delhi and Oude.


For anṛtyata I should like to read anartyata.


I.e. one who has obtained a prize.


Prajā means “subjects” and also “offspring.”


The word artha means “wealth” and also “meaning.”


The story of Anaṅgaprabhā may be the origin of the seventh novel of the second day in the Decameron of Boccaccio.——Possibly, but the point of Boccaccio’s story of the “Soldan of Babylon” is that, after all her intrigues, she is married to the King of Algarve as a virgin, thus it really comes under the “Deceitful Wives” motif, and the more lovers she has the more corrupt and deceitful is woman shown to be. It has been suggested that the story has historical foundations somewhere between 1315 and 1320 (see Lami, Novelle Lelterarie di Firenze, 1754, pp. 209, 225, 257, 273). The “False Virgin” motif is, however, a very old one in fiction (see, for instance, the Mahābhārata, Udyoga Parva, cxv et seq.). For other analogues see Lee, The Decameron, its Sources and Analogues, pp. 36-38.—n.m.p.


Prayāga—Allahābād, the “place of sacrifice,” κατ’ ἐξοχήν. Here the Gaṅgā and Yamunā unite with the supposed subterranean Sarasvatī.——It is this triple junction (triveṇi) that accounts for the special holiness of Allahābād. See further Führer, Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions of the North-Western Provides and Oudh, p. 127 et seq. See also Vol. II, p. 11 0n2, of this work.

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