The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes padmavati succumbs to gobhila’s fraudulent approach which is chapter 49 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the forty-ninth chapter of the Bhumi-khanda (section on the earth) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 49 - Padmāvatī Succumbs to Gobhila’s Fraudulent Approach

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The brāhmaṇa’s wife said:

1-9a. O you glorious one, once on the best mountain she saw a beautiful grove, adorned with groups of plantain-trees, with the śāla trees, tala trees, tamāla trees, coconut trees, with big betelnut trees, mātuliṅga (i.e. citron) trees, orange trees, and charming jambu trees, with auspicious campaka trees and pāṭala trees that had blossomed, and also with kuṭaka and bunyan trees; it was full of aśoka and bakula trees, and was adorned with various other kinds of trees. She saw that holy mountain with trees that had blossomed. Everywhere it appeared beautiful, as it was full of many kinds of minerals. She also saw an excellent lake full of holy water on all sides, shining with fully developed lotuses and other fragrant golden lotuses, with white lotuses and fully developed red lotuses, with blue lotuses, white lotuses and with waterfowls, with other aquatic birds, and was full of various minerals. The lake was white all round, and was full of groups of many kinds of birds. The mountain was graced everywhere by auspicious and sweet cooings of cuckoos and was everywhere agreeable due to the sounds (produced) by madhura trees. It looked lovely by the excellent humming of the bees.

9b-13. The princess saw the mountain like this, charming and excellent, and the lake beautiful all round. Padmāvatī, the daughter of the Vidarbha-king, while playing and engaged in sporting in water, and on the bank of the lake with her friends, saw that auspicious forest full of flowers everywhere, and laughed and sang sportively due to fickleness and powerful feminine nature. O brāhmaṇa, that beautiful lady, thus sporting in that lake moved happily.

Viṣṇu said:

14-15. The best demon Gobhila, the servant of Kubera, endowed with all enjoyments, was going in a divine aeroplane along an aerial path (i.e. in the air). At the time he saw the fearless, broad-eyed daughter of the Vidarbha-king.

16. She, the best of all women, the dear wife of Ugrasena, matchless in beauty in the world, shone beautifully in all her limbs.

17-25. (He thought:) ‘Might she be Rati, (the spouse) of Cupid, or (Lakṣmī) the dear (wife) of Hari, or goddess Pārvatī or Śacī (the wife of Indra). No other woman like her, the best among women, is seen on the globe. The beautiful woman shines with her beauty and arts as the beautiful full moon shines among the stars. This woman with a charming smile (shines) as a swan in lakes. Oh, how beautiful does her form appear! Oh, what an amorous gesture! Who is this charming woman having beautiful round breasts? To whom does she belong?’ The demon Gobhila thought like this about (that) beautiful Padmāvatī. O brāhmaṇa, for a moment he thought as to who she was and to whom she belonged. With superior knowledge he knew that she was the daughter of the Vidarbha-king. There was no doubt about it (in his mind). She was the wife of Ugrasena, devoted to her husband. She stood by her own power, and was not easily attainable even by men. Ugrasena, who has sent this young lady to her father’s house, is a great fool. He is unfortunate. How would the (king) of a fraudulent mind ever live without her? Or is the king impotent that he would leave (i.e. he has left) her?

26-28a. Seeing her he instantly became enamoured. ‘This chaste lady is difficult to be secured even by men. How can I go (near her) and enjoy her? Lust afflicts me very much. If I shall go without enjoying her, then I shall die today only. There is no doubt about it; since lust is very powerful.’

28b-35. Being anxious like this, Gobhila observed mentally (i.e. thought to himself). Taking up an illusory form of king Ugrasena, the demon Gobhila fully became as the great Ugrasena was in point of gait, voice and language; and putting on garments and apparel (like Ugrasena) and being of the same age, and putting on divine flowers and garments and having besmeared his body with divine sandal, and with his entire body (rendered) handsome as was the lord of Māthura, and thus being full of (i.e. exactly like) Ugrasena, and being equipped with great trickery and (fine) figure and handsomeness he remained on the top of the mountain, after having resorted to the shadow of an aśoka tree. Seated on a slab, the wicked-minded one with the neck of the lute (in his hand), was singing a melodious song, enchanting the universe. The wicked-minded one, enamoured of her beauty, sang a song equipped with the beating time, measure and execution, and adorned with the seven notes. O brāhmaṇa, he, seated on the mountain-top was full of great joy.

36. That beautiful Padmāvati, who was in the midst of her friends, heard that melodious song, equipped with beating time, measure and the musical time.

37. ‘Who is this pious one that is singing a song which gives great pleasure, which is full of fine execution and endowed with all ideas?’

38-42. The princess with curiosity went there with her friends and saw the mean demon Gobhila in the garb of the king, wearing divine flowers and garment and with his body besmeared with divine sandal, with all his limbs decorated with ornaments, seated on a spotless slab, resorting to (i.e. in) the shadow of an aśoka tree. The loyal wife Padmāvatī (thought): ‘When did my glorious lord, the king of Māthura, and devoted to religious practices, come, after having left far behind his kingdom?’ When she was thinking (like this), the sinful one called her hurriedly: “O my darling, come on.” She was amazed and was doubtful as to how her lord had come (there).

43-46. She was ashamed, was afflicted, and then hung down her face (and thought:) ‘I am sinful, of a bad conduct. I have turned fearless. There is no doubt that the glorious one will be just angry with me.’ When she was thinking like this, that wicked one too hurriedly called her: “O my darling, come on, O dear one, O you of an excellent face (i.e. beautiful one),separa-ted from you I cannot sustain my life; and life is very dear to me; I am longing for your love; I am greatly unable to leave you.”

The brāhmaṇa’s wife said:

47-48. Thus addressed, she, full of bashfulness, saw the handsome one. Then the demon Gobhila, having embraced that virtuous Padmāvatī, the daughter of Satyaketu, took her to a secluded place, and fully enjoyed her as he desired.

Sukalā said:

49-54. The beautiful one did not find the mark (known to her) on his testicle. Taking up her garment, she became afraid and afflicted. Angrily she spoke (these) words to that mean Gobhila: “Who are you of the form of a demon, who are acting wickedly and who are merciless?” O king, she, with her eyes full (of tears) due to grief, trembling, and oppressed with the burden of affliction was bent on cursing him: “O you wicked one, having come (here) in the guise of my husband, you have destroyed my excellent chastity—my best virtue. Having wailed melodiously, you have destroyed my existence. (Now) see my power; here (i.e. now) only I shall give you a very fearful curse.” She, who desired to curse Gobhila, spoke like this.

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