Apr 232011
 

‘Now a voice so fair, ascending,
Fills the air with love unending,
Rises on the silver moonbeams
Woven from Apollo’s sun streams.

‘”Bold Orion, Starman leaping,
How my heart for you is beating.
I have set you there so thy fame
Lights the path of this, the sky-train!”

‘Next she calls with gentle words
The creatures of her wooded world,
Speaks to them with tender charm
To keep the slightest safe from harm.

‘“Sweet you are as honey, bee.
Bear and Stag, come follow me.
Jump with me across the river.”
Seeks she souls with bow and quiver.

‘Then the Goddess steps up on it –
Disc of night, the lamp of dreamers –
As the steeds with hooves of onyx
Take to flight with sweet Selene.

Mar 022011
 

That hero Sudyumna, accompanied by a few ministers and associates and riding on a horse brought from Sindhupradeśa, once went into the forest to hunt. He wore armor and was decorated with bows and arrows, and he was very beautiful. While following the animals and killing them, he reached the northern part of the forest.

There in the north, at the bottom of Mount Meru, is a forest known as Sukumāra where Lord Śiva always enjoys with Umā. Sudyumna entered that forest.

O King Parīkṣit, as soon as Sudyumna, who was expert in subduing enemies, entered the forest, he saw himself transformed into a female and his horse transformed into a mare.

When his followers also saw their identities transformed and their sex reversed, they were all very morose and just looked at one another.

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: O most powerful brāhmaṇa, why was this place so empowered, and who made it so powerful? Kindly answer this question, for I am very eager to hear about this.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: Great saintly persons who strictly observed the spiritual rules and regulations and whose own effulgence dissipated all the darkness of all directions once came to see Lord Śiva in that forest.

When the goddess Ambikā saw the great saintly persons, she was very much ashamed because at that time she was naked. She immediately got up from the lap of her husband and tried to cover her breast.

Seeing Lord Śiva and Pārvatī engaged in sexual affairs, all the great saintly persons immediately desisted from going further and departed for the āśrama of Nara-Nārāyaṇa.

Thereupon, just to please his wife, Lord Śiva said, “Any male entering this place shall immediately become a female!”

Since that time, no male had entered that forest. But now King Sudyumna, having been transformed into a female, began to walk with his associates from one forest to another.

Sudyumna had been transformed into the best of beautiful women who excite sexual desire and was surrounded by other women. Upon seeing this beautiful woman loitering near his āśrama, Budha, the son of the moon, immediately desired to enjoy her.

The beautiful woman also desired to accept Budha, the son of the king of the moon, as her husband

Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 9

Mar 022011
 

“I was the only son of my mother and father, and I was exceedingly aspiring, and my daring was very great. I thought there was no enterprise in the world too mighty for me, and after I had achieved all the adventures that were in my own country, I equipped myself, and set forth to journey through deserts and distant regions.

And at length it chanced that I came to the fairest valley in the world, wherein were trees of equal growth; and a river ran through the valley, and a path was by the side of the river. And I followed the path until mid-day, and continued my journey along the remainder of the valley until the evening; and at the extremity of a plain I came to a large and lustrous Castle, at the foot of which was a torrent.

And I approached the Castle, and there I beheld two youths with yellow curling hair, each with a frontlet of gold upon his head, and clad in a garment of yellow satin, and they had gold clasps upon their insteps. In the hand of each of them was an ivory bow, strung with the sinews of the stag; and their arrows had shafts of the bone of the whale, and were winged with peacock’s feathers; the shafts also had golden heads. And they had daggers with blades of gold, and with hilts of the bone of the whale. And they were shooting their daggers.

“And a little way from them I saw a man in the prime of life, with his beard newly shorn, clad in a robe and a mantle of yellow satin; and round the top of his mantle was a band of gold lace. On his feet were shoes of variegated leather, fastened by two bosses of gold. When I saw him, I went towards him and saluted him, and such was his courtesy that he no sooner received my greeting than he returned it. And he went with me towards the Castle.

Now there were no dwellers in the Castle except those who were in one hall. And there I saw four-and-twenty damsels, embroidering satin at a window. And this I tell thee, Kai, that the least fair of them was fairer than the fairest maid thou hast ever beheld in the Island of Britain, and the least lovely of them was more lovely than Gwenhwyvar, the wife of Arthur, when she has appeared loveliest at the Offering, on the day of the Nativity, or at the feast of Easter”.

The Mabinogion

Jul 272010
 

Soon after her husband came, and when he had kissed and embraced her, he fell asleep. Then Psyche (somewhat feeble in body and mind, yet moved by cruelty of fate) received boldness, and brought forth the lamp, and took the razor, so by her audacity she changed her kind.

But when she took the lamp, and came to the bedside, she saw ‘the most meek and sweetest beast of all beasts, even fair Cupid couched fairly, at whose sight the very lamp increased his light for joy, and the razor turned his edge.

But when Psyche saw so glorious a body, she greatly feared, and, amazed in mind, with a pale countenance, all trembling, fell on her knees, and thought to hide the razor, yea verily in her own heart; which she had undoubtedly done, had it not through fear of so great an enterprise fallen out of her hand. And when she saw and beheld the beauty of his divine visage she was well recreated in her mind.

She saw his hairs of gold, that yielded out a sweet savour: his neck more white than milk: his purple cheeks, his hair hanging comely behind and before, the brightness whereof did darken the light of the lamp: his tender plume-feathers dispersed upon his shoulders like shining flowers, and trembling hither and thither; and his other parts of his body so smooth and soft that it did not repent Venus to bear such a child.

At the bed’s feet lay his bow, quiver, and arrows, that be ‘the weapons of so great a God; which when Psyche did curiously behold, and marvelling at the weapons of her husband, took one of the arrows out of the quiver, and pricked herself withal, wherewith she was so grievously wounded that the blood followed, and thereby of her own accord she added love upon love; then more and more broiling in the love of Cupid, she embraced him and kissed him a thousand times fearing the measure of his sleep.

But alas while she was in this great joy, whether it were for envy, or for desire to touch this amiable body likewise, there fell out a drop of burning oil from the lamp upon the right shoulder of the God. O rash and bold lamp, the vile ministry of love, how darest thou be so bold as to burn the God of all fire when he invented thee, to the intent that all lovers might with more joy pass the nights in pleasure?

Cupid and Psyche, Apuleius