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to Yama's abode; the Lady Mayaná arrived on the banks of the dread river. 86. When Mayaná saw the river she became fearful. It is a river six months wide. The ferry-boat finishes its voyage in a year. Each wave seems vast as mountain peak.
THE BURDEN OF HER SONG.
87. My fate hath become a lot of misery, as Krishna was of Bindá. The boat is broken and the ropes are worn; how can I pass over, O my guru. That is, if my guru is by me to help me. 88. I will hold the rudder of virtue. O my guru, the boat is broken, and the ropes are worn, but I will cross over.
89. Half her scarf she spread upon the water, and thinking upon virtue, she took her magic seat. 90. Mayaná uttered the words "tudu, tuḍu," and the journey of six months was accomplished in six quarters of an hour. 91. She walked to Yama's palace, where thirty-six krors of Yamas were sitting in the hall of audience. 92. As soon as the Lady Mayaná stood in Yama's abode, on this side and on that side the Yamas began to run away. 93. When Mayaná came to Yama's palace, she spread great alarm; some got colic and some got pains in their heads. 94. She became a Muhammadan doctor and a Hindu doctor, and extracted the poison from their bodies; but when she came to give them medicine every one ran away. 95. As soon as Godá Yama cast eyes on Mayaná, he ran away as fast as his legs would carry him to his own palace. 96. He went to his own palace and hid himself in a room, and from where she, the Lady Mayaná, was, she lost sight of him. 97. The Lady Mayaná went into contemplation and gazed about, and in her contemplation she saw him in his room. 98. Mayaná collected herself together, and laid aside her own proper form. She put on the appearance of a gardener's wife, and went into the palace of Godá Yama. 99. "Godá, Godá", Mayaná cried to him with a loud voice. 100. As soon as Godá Yama saw Mayaná he burst through the tátí walls of his palace and ran away*. 101. Mayaná cried “már már" and chased him through a treeless field, where a hundred ploughmen were ploughing. Like a deer did Mayaná chase Yama. 102. Thence Godá Yama lost his senses and turned himself into a prawn, and jumped into the sea. 103. The Lady Mayaná went into contemplation and gazed about, and in her contemplation her eyes fell on the prawn. 104. Mayaná uttered “turu tuṛu” with a terrible cry, and changed herself into forty-two buffalos, who jumped into the sea. 105. Eating cress she chased Yama. In mid-sea she caught Yama by the neck. 106.
* Compare note on v. 21. All the houses of the peasantry in Rangpur are built of tátí (mat) walls. When a thief is caught in such a house, he attempts, usually successfully, to escape by bursting through these flimsy obstructions.
There Godá Yama, mighty as the thunder-bolt, burst the staff she held in her right hand and fled. 107. 107. Thence Godá Yama lost his senses and he became a minnow and began to swim in the water. 108. Leaving her former shape, Mayaná concentrated herself and became a Pánkáuri and Vánoyár,* by a change of her form. 109. With flappings of her wings she chased him, and in mid-sea she snapped up Godá Yama in her bill. 110. Then Godá Yama, mighty as the thunder-bolt, thrust Mayaná off, and ran away. 111. Thereafter what did Godá Yama do ? He became an eel, and hid himself in the mud. 112. Thence the Lady Mayaná went into contemplation, and her eyes fell upon him in the mud. 113. Mayaná uttered "tuḍu, tuḍu" with a terrible cry, she became a swan; pecking at the mud she chased Godá Yama, and in mid-sea she seized Godá Yama by the neck. 114. He thrust off the Lady Mayaná and fled away. He cast aside his former form, and Godá Yama concentrated himself. 115. He took the form of a maggot and went off to Pátála. 116. When he arrived at Pátála, Yama twisted his beard (boastfully). "Now, how will the syálí, the Lady Mayaná, recognize me." 117. The Lady Mayaná went into contemplation and gazed about, and in her contemplation her eyes fell on the maggot. 118. Leaving her former shape Mayaná concentrated herself, and became an ant by a change of her form. 119. She went to the world of Pátála, and, seizing Godá Yama by the throat, gradually pulled him up out of the ground. 120. Leaving her former shape Mayaná concentrated herself, and became her ownself by a change of form. 121. She threw him down on his face, and began to belabour Godá Yama. She continued belabouring him till her hands were weary. She then turned him on his back, and began to kick him. 122. Then Godá Yama, mighty as the thunder-bolt, became a house pigeon and flew off to the sky. 123. Mayaná changed her shape, and became a falcon and a hawk, and she pecked at him and cast Godá Yama down from heaven. 124. 124. Thence Godá Yama lost his senses, and became a mouse changing his form. 125. He went to Kathiya the oilman's house, and hid himself under his máchá.† 126. 126. The Lady Mayaná went into contemplation and gazed about, and in her contemplation her eyes fell upon the mouse. 127. Leaving her former shape Mayaná concentrated herself, and became a cat by a change of form. 128. She changed herself from being one cat into forty-two cats, and surrounded the house of Kathiyá the oilman. 129. One danda, two dandas, three danḍas passed, and the ill-natured woman caught good-natured Godá Yamá. 130. She made him descend from the máchá, and with a sudden leap the Lady Mayaná seized him by the neck. 131. Thence Godá Yama, mighty as the thunder-bolt, slipped out between the interstices of her claws and fled. * Two kinds of fish-eating birds.
† A bamboo bench.
Yama left his former shape, and concentrated himself. He became a Vaishnava and changed his form. 133. He used the earth castings of crabs instead of sandal-wood paste, and made his rosary of Sáil seeds. 134. Hopefully he took a branch of a castor-oil tree (for his stick), and going into a Vaishnava pújá house, sat himself amongst the worshippers. 135. The Lady Mayaná went into contemplation and gazed about, and in her contemplation her eyes fell upon the Vaishnava. 136. Mayaná gave up her former shape. She concentrated herself, and took that of a bee. 137. In the place of one bee she became forty-two bees, and set out for the place of worship, and she flew around the heads of all the Vaishnavas there. 138. All the Vaishnavas said, "Brothers, hear the news. What sinful Vaishnava is in this assembly ?" 139. As soon as Godá Yama saw the bees, he slipped under the quilts of the Vaishnavas. 140. As soon as the Lady Mayaná found out where he was, she settled down upon Yama's neck. 141. 141. Not being able to bear the stings of the bees, Godá Yama ran away from the place. 142. Mayaná laid aside her beeshape, and, after concentrating herself, took her own form. 143. She seized Godá Yama, and plucked up from the ground an armful of eluyá grass. 144. Fifty-two times sixteen scores of ropes she twisted, sitting at a place where three roads meet,* and tied her own waist to that of Godá Yama. Then she carried off Godá Yama beating him with a rod of cane.
145. "Hear, O Godá Yama, while I make my petition. Set free my husband, who is my only wealth."
GODÁ YAMA SPAKE.
146. "Thy husband I will not set free", and thereupon Mayaná began to weep.
THE BURDEN OF HER SONG.
147. My husband is no longer in my house, O lord of the unhapFor whom shall I abide in the days of my youth ?"
148. Mayaná uttered “tuḍu, tuḍu" with a terrible cry, and all the Heavenly Munis came down on hearing her voice. 149. In a chariot of flowers, came Gorakh the Vidyadhara. Riding upon a flail, came Nárada
* The fact that a place, where three roads meet, is considered especially favourable for performing magical rites, is worth noticing. I need hardly draw attention to similar customs obtaining in Europe. In Tirhut,-it is customary, when a person is sick, to cast away at midnight at a place where three roads meet, an offering of some yellow cloth, a fowl, and some condiments, over which some charms have been recited. It is believed that the disease will then leave the sick man, and seize upon the wayfarer who first comes across the offering in the morning.
the best of munis. 150. On the back of Vásoyá came Bholá, the lord of the world. Riding on a bow and arrow came Ráma Chandra and LakshThe five Pánḍava brothers came down here and there; there is no counting the number of munis who came from heaven. 152. Mayaná parted her hair in two, and fell at the feet of Gorakh Náth.
153. "Help, help, O Gorakh the Vidyádhara. He hath carried off my husband, who is all my wealth. He will not give back my husband, who is my wealth.”
GORAKH NATH SPAKE.
154. "Hear my words. All the munis have taken advice, and have blessed thee, Lady Mayaná. 155. Go, O Mayaná, we give to thee a boon. Let there be a fœtus developed for seven months now within thy womb." 156. Even as the munis blessed her, her body which was as light as sola (pith) gradually became heavy.
THE MUNIS SPAKE.
157. "In eighteen months, it will be born, in its nineteenth year it will die. But, if it worship a Háḍi's feet with steadfast mind, it will not die." 158. On hearing this Mayaná delayed there no longer. She started for her palace and arrived there in safety. 159. She took nine káoṛís in her hand, and departed to the banks of the Gangá.* 160. With the nine kcáorís she bought a piece of land, and then returned to her own palace. 161. She broke up the old house and made a bier, and with it went some firewood on litters on men's shoulders. 162. Oil, ghí, mustard, and sesamum began to go. She called all her relations, and she cut some fresh bamboos and made a bier. 163. She took the pious king away upon the bier she had prepared, and the Lady Mayaná herself was carried off upon the door of the house. 164. Mayaná began to sing the Song of the Excellence of Hari. She began to praise him as she was carried to the river's bank. 165. She built a funeral pyre running north and south, she buried posts and made a platform. 166. By the side of each post she set a jar of ghí. Beneath each of them she set a jar of oil. Mustard seed and sesamum she scattered over the pyre. 167. Mayaná uttered the words "Guru, Guru" with a terrible cry, and Gorakh Náth came there and stood visible.
"Protect me, O protect me, O Gorakh the Vidyadhara.”
* It must be noted, that throughout this poem, the word Gangá does not refer to the river commonly known as the Ganges. It always refers to the Brahmaputra.
GORAKH NÁTH SPAKE.
“Go forth Mayaná, I have given thee a boon. Within the fire thou shalt perceive the cold of Mágha. 169. Mayaná began to spread vermilion all over her forehead. 170. She put on a silken scarf. She took a golden knife and a mango branch in her hand, and she laid out the king towards the north and south. 171. Mayaná laid the king's head on her right hand, and she put her own head on his left hand. 172. In each household a citizen gave one piece of firewood. The pile of firewood almost touched the sky as well as the earth. 173. Water and sandal-wood did Chandra, the merchant, scatter upon the pyre. Not a single near relation was present to set it alight. 174. One who lived near the door of the king,—a bráhman guru,―stretched forth his hand and applied the torch. 175. Each relation cast one vessel of water on the pyre. Together they lustrated the pyre, once, twice, and five times. Saying "Hari bol,” they set it alight. 176. E'en as the fire smelt the smell of the ghí, it blazed up with a great roar. 177. For seven days and nine nights Mayaná stayed within the blaze, and even her apparel though offered to the flames did not take fire. 178. Mayaná burnt the body of the pious king, and placed the ashes in her lap. There sat Mayaná, like a Gosvámí in his house. 179. Mayaná burnt the body of the pious king and the smoke rose up to heaven. There sat the Lady Mayaná like unmelted gold. 180. The little relations said to the big relations, "Brothers, thrust at her. Let all the relations thrust at her." 181. The Lady Mayaná is sitting within the fire. She cries: Hear, O relations, I have a child of seven months in my womb. Let not all the relations thrust at me.” 182. The little relations said to the big relations, "Brothers, let us go to Chánd the merchant, and ask his advice. 183. 183. Ye know Chánd the merchant from childhood. Let us see what answer he will give." 184. Behind the door sat the merchant playing dice; and through the lattice, did they make reverence to him.
"Why, O relations, why and wherefore have ye all come ?"
THE RELATIONS SPAKE.
186. “For seven days and nine nights Mayaná hath been in the fire, and yet the Fair Mayaná hath not been burnt.”
187. "This Mayaná hath obtained a boon from Gorakh Náth. Fire doth not burn her, nor doth she sink in water. Were the three worlds to come to an end, she would not go to Yama's abode. And yet, O relations, ye wish to slay her. 188. Sit ye in a place where three roads meet, and