by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519
The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...
The Gandharva form of marriage, its Courtship and ceremonial rites.
2. Hear me, O lotus eyed prince, she said, what I tell you in good earnest; that since I am obliged to become a woman every night, and continue to be so for ever more.
3. I wish to fulfill the part of my womanhood, by joining myself to a husband by legal marriage for all that time.
4. I want to taste the pleasure of conjugal union, with a dear friend, who is of his own accord so very friendly to me, and without any endeavour on my part: so I hope you will interpose no difficulty in my way.
5. So I choose you sir, as my husband, of all others in the three worlds: therefore be pleased to accept me for your wife every night.
6. The delightsome pleasure of conjugal union, has come down to us ever since the commencement of creation; and therefore our obedience to the ordinance of nature, can entail no guilt on our part.
7. I desire this that we may do as we like, without desiring or disliking anything; and be far from expecting the consequence of what we like or dislike.
8. Sikhidvaja answered:—I see friend, neither any good nor evil, of accepting your proposal; so you are at liberty to do as you like.
9. Being possessed of the indifference of my mind, at every thing in the world; I see everything in the same and in an equal light: so I let you have your option as you may like.
10. If so, then I say that this day is very favourable for celebrating the marriage ceremony; it is the full moon of Sravana, and all lucky asterism according to my best calculation.
11. On this day of the full moon, our marriage may take place both in the day as well as night-time in the Gandharva form (by mutual choice and consent).
12. It will be celebrated either on the summit of the Mahendra mountain, or on the delightful table-land there abouts; or in the grotto of some mineral mine, and in the light of the shining gems and mineral ores in the mountain; (serving as lamps and candle lights in the festivity).
13. The rows of stately trees all around, will shed their flowers at the nuptial ceremony;and the twining creepers on them, will represent the dance of nanch girls by their tremulous shaking. (Dance and music being necessary accompaniments of marriage festivities).
14. Let the bright luminary of the night, accompanied by his consort train of shining stars, witness our marriage from the high sky with their wide open and glaring eyes.
15. Rise, O prince, for your marriage;and let us both hie to cull the forest flowers, and prepare the sandal paste and collect the scattered gems, in order to deck our nuptial seats therewith.
16. Saying so, they both rose together, and culled the flowers and collected the gems.
17. Then in a short time, they repaired to the gemming steppe, and heaped it with flowers of various kinds.
18. They had their marriage vests and necklaces ready on the spot, and the God of love helped with the supply of every thing required on the occasion.
19. Having thus prepared the paraphernalia of their nuptials, and stored them in a golden grotto of the mountain, they both repaired to the sacred stream of the heavenly Ganges Mandakini, for making their holy ablutions therein.
20. Here Kumbha served as the priest, to lave the holy water profusely on the lofty head and elevated shoulders of the prince; as the elephantine clouds of Indra, pour the rain water in plenteous showers, on the towering tops and height of hills.
21. So also did the prince act the part of the ministering prince, and washed the body of his beloved princess now in the form of Kumbha. Thus did the two friends anoint and absterge by turns, the persons of their quondam and future consorts.
22. Bathed and purified, they adored the gods, the munis and the manes of their ancestors, for the sake of their honour, and without any desire of getting any good or gain from them: for they well knew that they could benefit nothing their service, as the deities, the deified spirits and the divine sages.
23. They took their frugal and repast, as their nature and the course of the world required; and seasoned with the nectarine juice of their good and refined intelligence.
24. They wore the whitish barks of Kalpa trees, as their clean marriage raiments, and ate its fruits as their wedding cakes; then they repaired to the altar for their nuptial ceremony.
25. At this time the sun descended below his setting mountain, as if to consummate their conjugal union in secret.
26. As it now became dark and dusk they discharged their evening service and offered their prayers; and groups of stars now appeared on the plain of the firmament, to witness their union in marriage.
27. Then came the sable night the only friend of the happy pair, spreading the veil of darkness over the face of nature, and smiling with the blushing of snow white lotuses and lilies of the valley.
28. Kumbha collected the rich stones, and placed those gemming on the table land of the mountain, while Brahma lighted his two lamps of the sun and moon together in the heavens.
29. Being then changed to the female form, Kumbha anointed the prince with the fragrant sandal paste, agallochum, camphor powder and pulverised musk.
30. She adorned his person with strings, bracelets and wristlets of flowers, and dressed in a robe of the thin bark of Kalpa tree.
31. His body was also decorated with the filaments of Kalpa plant, and clusters of parijata flowers and with many other flowers and gems from his head to foot.
32. She appeared also at this time in her bridal garb and maiden like figure, with her big and swollen breasts, and with all her youthful grace and blandishments.
33. She thought that as she was now attired and appeared as a nuptial bride, she must now offer herself to a husband worthy to her.
34. Here am I as a lovely bride, said she to herself, and there is my husband in my presence; I must ask him to accept my hand, nor is this time to be slipped from hand.
36. She went to him and said:—"I am Madanika by name and thy loving wife I therefore bow down at your feet, with the regard due to a husband.
37. So saying, the beauteous lady, bent down her head with female bashfulness; and made her obeisance to her lord, with the pendant locks on her head.
38. And then she said to him:—"O thou my lord! do thou adorn me with ornaments also, and then light the nuptial fire, to attest thy acceptance of my hand."
39. Thou appearest as exceedingly fair to my eyes, and makest me quite fond of thee; and thou seemest to me to surpass the God of love in the beauty of person, even when he wedded his Rati at first in his youthful bloom.
40. O prince, these wreathed flowers on thy person, appear as the brightsome beams in the body of the moon; and those strings of flowers pendant on thy bosom, seem to me as the stream of Ganges, gliding on the breast of the Sumeru mountain.
41. With the flowing braided hairs on thy head, thou appearest as the mount of Mandara, with the clusters of creepers hanging down from its top; while thy head itself appears as golden lotus, with its hanging hairs resembling the filaments of the flower, and studded with strings of blackening bees.
42. The gemming ornaments and flowery decorations of thy person, add to it the lustre and gracefulness of the mount Meru, with its mineral ores on one side and its floral beauty on the other.
43. After her flattering speech was over, the new bride and bridegroom, and future husband and wife sat contented together, unmindful and forgetful of their past conjugal relation.
44. The brave princess now Madanika by name, and the noble prince Sikhidvaja the saint, both sat together on a golden seat (of the mineral mountain); which added fresh lustre to the beauty and decoration of their persons.
45. They were bedecked with their head dresses, garlands of flowers and ornaments of gems and pearls, and were furnished with flowers and ointments, and clad in fine cloths all over their bodies.
46. The young lady Madanika blazed as Venus with her maddening beauty, and appeared as the goddess Gowri—the surpassing paragon of beauty, at her wedding festivity.
47. The noble lord having embellished his noble lady with his own hands, thus spoke to her after her toilet; "O thou fawn eyed fairy, thou art as graceful as the goddess of grace and prosperity".
48. I pray for all that prosperity to attend on thee, as it does with Sachi.—The queen of heaven, in the company of her lord Indra; and as it subsisted between the mutual pairs of Hara and Gowri; and Hari and his consort Lakshmi—the goddess of fortune.
49. Thou appearest as a limpid lake of lotuses, with thy breasts blooming like lotus buds; and thy black blue eyes resembling the cerulean lotuses (nilumbiums); and the sweet fragrance of thy lotus like person, inviting the buzzing bees fluttering all about thee.
50. Thou appearest likewise as a tender shoot of the Kalpa plant of Cupid, with thy rubicund palms resembling its reddish leaves; and thy swollen breasts likening to its blooming buds, and every part of thy body, is as delicate as its delicious fruits.
51. With thy cold and cooling body, and thy moon like face and its smiles as moon beams, thou art as beautiful as the full-moon, and equally delightful to sight.
52. Rise therefore my beauteous lady and ascend on the matrimonial altar, and there perform the marriage ceremony, standing on the slab of stone, marked with creeping plants and their fruits. (The gloss says, that this stone or stool, is also painted with the colours of the nine sorts of precious gems nava-ratna, that are sacred to the nine planets).
53. The altar was studded with strings of pearls, and bunches of flowers suspended on all sides; and it had four large cocoanut fruits, hang over the four sides of its square.
54. There were pots filled with the holy water of Ganga set about it, and the sacred matrimonial fire was lighted amidst it, and fed with the fuel of the sandal wood and other fragrances.
55. They turned round the flaming fire by the right hand side, and then sat on seats of leaves with their faces turned towards the east.
56. After sitting on the altar, the matrimonial couple kindled the nuptial fire, and made offerings of sesame seeds, and fried rice upon its flames.
57. The married pair turned again about the sacred fire, and offered to each other their own selves and loves as their marriage dowries.
58. They showed to one another their shining faces, as their nuptial presents; and completed the ceremony by going round the fire, and scattering the fried rice upon it.
59. The husband and wife now parted other hands, from their hold of the palms of one another; and their smiling faces, appeared as the lunar disk on the new moon.
60. After this they went to sleep on a flowery bedstead which they had newly prepared before, when the moon had already run her course of the first watch of the night.
61. She cast her beams to fall aslant on the bedstead, as when the attendant women cast their glances askance on the bridal bed.
62. She next spread her bright beams all about the leafy bower of the pair; as if to listen to the pleasant conversation, of the new married couple.
63. The pair having sat there awhile, in the light of the mineral lamps, retired to their sleeping bed, which they had prepared beforehand in a secluded spot.
65. There were heaps of lotuses of golden hue, as also mandara and other sorts of flowers, to drive away fatigue by their fragrance.
66. The flat of the flowery bed of the bridal pair, resembled the plane of the broad and bright moon, and a level surface covered by the cooling ice.
67. It bore likewise the resemblance of the wide sea, whose waters are impregnated by the bright moon, and whose surface supplies a bed to Ananta—the sleeping spirit of the endless God.
68. The loving pair then lay themselves down, and rolled upon their snow white bed of flowers; as when Mandara mountain, rolled about and churned the Milky ocean.
69. They passed their bridal night in mutual caresses and conversation on topics of love, and the live long night glided before them as a few moments only.