صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


285. “Now also wait thou with thy hand upon thy heart. Until I return after fifty years have passed away.”

THE QUEEN SPAKE. 285. “Lift up thy head, o king, and see a pair of juicy cocoa-nuts over my heart. The pair of cocoa-nuts shine forth with lustre. 287. I will open the nuts and put them to thy mouth, thou hast not strength in thy body (to pluck them). It is a fruit, which if a man refuse, he will suffer the pangs of hell four times fourteen times.

THE KING SPAKE. 288. “Hear me, o lady, daughter of Haríś Chandra. When a secret hath been divulged, the meaning of its words become plain. 289. In front rideth an elephant's maháut, behind him the king. Far have I gone, and (I have learned that) the great house of my pilgrimage is at a far distance. 290. I have tasted the fruit of the cocoanut and my belly was not filled. In vain have I, a householder, suffered* in my servitude.”

THE QUEEN SPAKI. 291. “Hear me, my king. My pleasant loved one, one petition have I to make unto thee. 292. “Do not, O pious king, go to a far country. Give me one little child, that I may keep him in my lap. 293. I will keep him and nurse him in my lap, and I will touch thee when I see my darling child. 294. I will place the sun-shade and staff of thy royalty over my child's head. I will be the mother of the king and will enjoy the kingdom.” 295. The queen spoke of a child, and the king heard her words and said,


296. “What thou desirest is not a chini chámpá plantain, that I may mix it with water and give it thee to eat. It is not the fruit of a tree, that I can pluck it, and place it in thy hands. 297. Fate hath not given thee a child. What can I do? 298. I will repeat the charms of the gurus of old, and will become a seven months' child within thy womb. 299. Thou shalt call me 'son.' Thou shalt open the covering of thy breast, and shalt give me milk.”

THE QUEEN SPAKE. 300. “I spake to thee of a child, and thou speakest to me of milk. Thou art my wedded husband, how can I call thee son.' 301. I knew

* Lít. Died. A popular song makes Gopí Chandra charge his wives with intriguing with Khetuwá Lankes'var as a last resource for getting away. But this is not borne out by any copy of this poem which I have seen,

not, O king, that there were but a sheep* and a jackal within thy heart, Not one káori of sense hast thou in thy body. 302. (Thy mother) because she is a widow, wisheth to make her daughter-in-law a widow too. Even if my husband pass her house, jealously) doth she turn her eyes

[ocr errors]

upon him."


303. “Ha! thou daughter of a vile one ; thou hast abused my mother. I might have stayed a few days, but I will go to-morrow." 304. He could not bear the childishness of the damsel, and so the fair king went to the place of audience. 305. (There was a grove) of twelve supárí trees and thirteen tál trees, and in its shade sat the king's son. 306. The brahmans and the relations all sat in a row, and Bír Simh, his Bhándárí, gave him the accounts of the kingdom. 307. On a golden seat sat Mayaná with her feet on a silver stool. The Lady Mayaná went to the audience of her good son. 308. The full cutcherry hummed with the noise of the crowd, and there the fair Mayaná stood. 309. When the king saw his mother, he made obeisance; as he made obeisance, he tied his cloth around his neck.

MAYANA' SPAKE. 310. Long live the widow's son. May Dharma bless him. May the years of his life be many as the sands of the sea. 311. I thought the widow's. son had gone to be a pilgrim; but lo, till to-day he is here with his fair wife. 312. The Satya Yuga is passed, we are in the second Yuga, the third Yuga will come. But in the Kali Yuga sons will marry early. 313. The Kali era is a foul era, and hath now approached. Each sitteth alone and enjoyeth another's wealth. 314. Kings will no longer do justice in their kingdom, and sons will no longer offer sacrifices for their fathers. 315. Wives will no longer be faithful to their husbands. Pupils will no longer reverence their teachers. 316. Behold, four miscreants went to destruction. 317.

317. The miscreant who doth not reverence his teacher, him even jackals will not eat. Even crows will not touch the body of a Vaishnava. 318. Let a miscreant be cast into fire and he becometh dust and ashes. Let him float upon the water and he becometh food for fishes. 319. He is buried beneath the earth and he becometh food for

No where do I see salvation for a miscreant."



320. My darling blue lotus, how canst thou become an eremite ? Men will say there goeth one who hath no mother.” 321. The king made up his mind to be a pilgrim, and at a cross-road his queen began to weep.

* I. e. That your heart contained nothing but cowardice and treachery.

[ocr errors]

THE QUEEN SPAKE. 322. “How canst thou wish to go to a far country ? Oh wait and pass the charms of Mayaná through an ordeal. 323. Oh put her to the test of burning oil. If she survive that ordeal, then shave thy head and go forth a pilgrim.” 324.

324. The king heard this and hastened to the hall of audience. 325. He sat in the audience chamber, and could not make up his mind. Often and often he called for his servant Khetu, his younger brother.


326. “My servant Khetu, take heed unto my words. Go* unto my mother's palace.” 327. On hearing this, the servant did not delay. 328.

Say this to Mayaná—(“Thy son) would put thee to the test (of burning oil')." 329. Hearing these words, Mayaná laughed. “This is not thy thought, but a conspiracy between thy wives. All the thoughts they teach thee, will become barren. 330. Instead of one ordeal, I will pass through seven, and then will the Prince leave his house."

THE KING SPAKE. 331. “I say unto thee, Khetu, and take thou heed unto my words. 332. Build thou up a furnace deep and wide. Strip off the three fibres of three cocoa-nuts, and place the bare (nuts round the furnace as supports for the cauldron).” 333. Khetu set a cauldron holding sixty mans upon the furnace, and into the cauldron he poured eighty+ mans of oil. 334. He cast upon the flames fuel of śál wood, and set it blazing. Over all he placed a

335. For seven days he ceaselessly added fuel. 336. One day, two days, five days passed. After seven days he lifted the cover. 337. “ The oil is hot, even as fire,” such words did Khetu speak unto the king. 338. Thy servant was ordered to make (preparations for) the ordeal by oil. 339. What command hath the king of kings for his servant ?"



Go and say this unto my mother. 310. "The ordeal by oil is ready before the king. The king doth summon thee ; O Mother, come quickly'."


341. “Do I eat at thy fathers' hand, or at the hands of the fathers of the king. At thy command, what ordeal shall I pass through ?" 342.

* Note the force of a here, and in vv. 328 and 332. It has entirely lost any spocial meaning of its own; and is used as a pure expletive to add strength to an imperative.

+ Sic in original.

These words Khetu told the king, who heard them, and became furiously enraged. 343. The king took his evening towel for washing his body, and flung it to Khetu. 311.

341. And Khetu shook that towel, and with it bound tightly the lady Mayaná, and cast her into the oil. 345. Even as the lady Mayaná fell amid the oil, the flames rushed up with a roar to heaven. 346. Mayaná sunk into the oil up to her neck, and, as she did so, she took the oil into her hands and patted it into her head as if she were bathing. 347. Seeing calamity (approaching) the king became furiously enraged. He called Khetu, calling him, “ Slave, slave," and began to abuse bim. 348. “Lift up the cover and place it over my mother, and for nine days continuously, do thou add fuel to the flames.” 349. One day, two days, three days passed away. But Mayaná concentrated herself and took the form of a grain of mustard. 350.

350. After nine days, Khetu lifted up the cover and when he could not see the queen, he began to cry. 351. Thus did he say unto the king. Thy mother is dead, and gone to Yama's abode. 352. Wherefore dost thou keep thy págari on thy head? Behold (I am unclean) and the assembly of bráhmaņs will not drink water at my hand.” 353. The king cried "Mother, mother” and began to weep.

[ocr errors]


354. “Fate hath made me motherless, O lord of the unhappy. Such was written in my destiny. No longer will I see my mother.” 355. He took a handful of twigs in his hand and began to search amidst the oil. 356. Once, twice and thrice he searched. At the third time of searching he fished up the towel. No trace of Mayaná's body was within the fire. 357. Sixteen men took the cauldron on their shoulders, and they flung out the oil at a place where three roads meet. 358. With a loud roar the flames rose to heaven, but Mayaná in her form of a mustard seed remained hidden in the Dub grass. 359. Suddenly Khetu began to weep, and when she heard the sound of his weeping, Mayaná felt pity for him.


360. “Weep not, weep not, Khetu, my servant. Cease thy tears. am Mayaná. I have not been burnt within the furnace:” 361. He took up the sixty-man cauldron in his hand and brought it before the king. 302. Mayaná in fact underwent seven ordeals, and passed them all.

THE KING SPAKE. 363. Hear, O lady Mayaná, my mother. From what siddha hast thou learnt thy magic arts ?”

MAYANA' SPAKE. 364. “ Thou askest me from what holy man I have learned my arts. I have learned them from Gorakh Náth himself. 365. I tell thee, learn

thou thy knowledge from Khola the Hádi.” 366. When the king heard the name of a Háại, he stopped his ears with his hands. For she had uttered an impious word with her tongue.


367. “ A Hádi is of a vile caste. He cleanseth privies and doth not bathe. Shall I, a king, make obeisance to a Hádi for twenty-two dandas !

[merged small][ocr errors]

368. "Hear me, my child, speak thy words in a whisper, so that the Háại may not hear. If he cursed thee, thou wouldest die at once. 369. Thy subjects feed their lamps with oil and ghí: but that Háời feedeth his lamp with merely Ganga water. 370. As many lamps as there are in the houses of thy subjects, so many hath that Hádi in his little hut. 371. In whosesoever house he eateth, to whosesoever house he goetb, simply at the word of his mouth he causeth the sea to stop its motion.” 372. The king sat in his audience chamber and could not make up his mind. Repeatedly he called his servant Khefu, his younger brother. 373.

6. Where hast thou gone, my brother ? First would I eat pán,* then I would have the pandit of the days of my father come to me." 374. Khetu heard these words and made no delay. He hastened towards the pandit's house. 375. " I say unto thee, O reverend pandit, and pay thou heed unto my words. The king would see thee in his palace. Haste thee to the hall of audience." 376. He dressed himself in a dlıuți of modest kind. Loosening out his brahmanical cord, so that the threads appeared in pairs, he passed it round his neck. 377. He took his papers relating to the Almanac under his arm, and proceeded to the king's hall of audience. 378. The hall was full, the crowd gave forth a confused noise. At this time did the pandit, the son of a pandit, present himself. 379. "Incarnation of justice” he said and made obeisance. “Tutelary Deity of my family" said the king making obeisance in return. 380. He called him “ Reverend Brother,” and made him sit upon the couch. "O reverend Sir, thou art the crest-jewel among prophets. 381. What day will the king sew for himself a beggar's wallet and quilt? What day will the king shave his head ? 382. What day will the great king besmear himself with ashes ? What day will the pious king pierce his two ears ? 383. What day will the pious king wear nought but a languți ? What day will I carry a beggar's platter in my hand ? 384.

What day will I start for a far country ? Read me aright, and prophesy me this." 385. Taking every precaution to ensure good luck, he produced bis Almanac. Such power was there in that Almanac that it could speak itself.

* That is to say, “immediately." Chewing pán is such a mechanical and continuous action with a Rangpurí man or woman, that the phrase "to do a thing after eating pán", means to do it at once. Cf, vv. 398, 553 and 692,

« السابقةمتابعة »