Mar 022011
 

The firmament was now flooded with moonlight, as if the moon’s orb, which had not yet risen far, was, like the waterpipe of the temple of the universe, discharging a thousand streams of the heavenly Ganges, pouring forth the waves of an ambrosial ocean, shedding many a cascade of sandal-juice, and bearing floods of nectar; the world seemed to learn what life was in the White Continent, and the pleasures of seeing the land of Soma;

the round earth was being poured out from the deptbs of a Milky Ocean by the moon, which was like the rounded tusk of the Great jioar; the moonrise offerings were being presented in every house by the women with sandal-water fragrant with open lotuses; the highways were crowded with thousands of women-messengers sent by fair ladies; girls going to meet their lovers ran hither and thither, veiled in blue silk and fluttered by the dread of the bright moonlight as if they were the nymphs of the white day lotus groves concealed in the splendours of the blue lotuses;

the sky became an alluvial island in the river of night, with its centre whitened by tlie thick pollen of the groves of open night lotuses ; while the night lotus-beds in the house-tanks were waking, encircled by bees which clung to every blossom; the world of mortals was, like the ocean, unable to contain the joy of moonrise, and seemed made of love, of festivity, of mirth, and of tenderness : evening was pleasant with the murmur of peacocks garrulous in gladness at the cascade that fell from the waterpipes of moonstone.

*

Destiny is strong. We cannot even draw a breath at our own will. The freaks of that accursed and most harsh destiny are exceeding cruel. A love fair in its sincerity is not allowed long to endure; for joys are wont to be in their essence frail and unlasting, while sorrows by their nature are long-lived. For how hardly are mortals united in one life, while in a thousand lives they are separated. Thou canst not surely then blame thyself, all undeserving of blame. For these things often happen to those who enter the tangled path of Harivaipia, and it is the brave who conquer misfortune

“This evil Love,’ thought he, “has a power hard alike to cure and to endure. For even great men, when overcome by him, regard not the course of time, but suddenly lose all courage and surrender life. Yet all hail to Love, whose rule is honoured throughout the three worlds!’ And again he asked her: “She that was thy handmaiden, thy friend in the resolve to dwell in the woods, and the sharer of the ascetic vow taken in thy sorrow — Taralika, where is she?’

Kadambari, Bana

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