WebNovel The Ramayana Part 199

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Page 249.

_And King Himalaya’s Child._

Uma or Parvati, was the daughter of Himalaya and Mena. She is the heroine of Kalidasa’s _k.u.mara-Sambhava_ or _Birth of the War-G.o.d_.

Page 250.

_Strong k.u.mbhakar?a slumbering deep_ _In chains of never-ending sleep._

“k.u.mbhakar?a, the gigantic brother of the t.i.tanic Rava?,-named from the size of his ears which could contain a _k.u.mbha_ or large water-jar-had such an appet.i.te that he used to consume six months’ provisions in a single day. Brahma, to relieve the alarm of the world, which had begun to entertain serious apprehensions of being eaten up, decreed that the giant should sleep six months at a time and wake for only one day during which he might consume his six months’ allowance without trespa.s.sing unduly on the reproductive capabilities of the ” _Scenes front the Ramayan_, p. 153, 2nd Edit.

Page 257.

_Like Siva when his angry might_ _Stayed Daksha’s sacrificial rite._

The following spirited version of this old story is from the pen of Mr. W.

Waterfield:

“This is a favorite subject of Hindu sculpture, especially on the temples of Shiva, such as the caves of Elephanta and Ellora. It, no doubt, is an allegory of the contest between the followers of Shiva and the worshippers of the Elements, who observed the old ritual of the Vedas; in which the name of Shiva is never mentioned.

Daksha for devotion Made a mighty feast: Milk and curds and b.u.t.ter, Flesh of bird and beast, Rice and spice and honey, Sweetmeats ghi and gur,(1038) Gifts for all the Brahmans, Food for all the poor.

At the gates of Ganga(1039) Daksha held his feast; Called the G.o.ds unto it, Greatest as the least.

All the G.o.ds were gathered Round with one accord; All the G.o.ds but Uma, All but Uma’s lord.

Uma sat with Shiva On Kailasa hill: Round them stood the Rudras Watching for their will.

Who is this that cometh Lilting to his lute?

All the birds of heaven Heard his music, mute.

Round his head a garland Rich of hue was wreathed: Every sweetest odour From its blossoms breathed.

‘Tis the Muni Narad; ‘Mong the G.o.ds he fares, Ever making mischief By the tales he bears.

“Hail to lovely Uma!

Hail to Uma’s lord!

Wherefore are they absent For her father’s board?

Multiplied his merits Would be truly thrice, Could he gain your favour For his sacrifice.”

Worth of heart was Uma; To her lord she spake:- “Why dost thou, the mighty, Of no rite partake?

Straight I speed to Daksha Such a sight to see: If he be my father, He must welcome thee.”

Wondrous was in glory Daksha’s holy rite; Never had creation Viewed so brave a sight.

G.o.ds, and nymphs, find fathers, Sages, Brahmans, sprites,- Every diverge creature Wrought that rite of rites.

Quickly then a quaking Fell on all from far; Uma stood among them On her lion car.

“Greeting, G.o.ds and sages, Greeting, father mine!

Work hath wondrous virtue, Where such aids combine.

Guest-hall never gathered Goodlier company: Seemeth all are welcome.

All the G.o.ds but me.”

Spake the Muni Daksha, Stern and cold his tone:- “Welcome thou, too, daughter, Since thou com’st alone.

But thy frenzied husband Suits another shrine; He is no partaker Of this feast of mine.

He who walks in darkness Loves no deeds of light: He who herds with demons Shuns each kindly sprite.

Let him wander naked.- Wizard weapons wield,- Dance his frantic measure Round the funeral field.

Art thou yet delighted With the reeking hide, Body smeared with ashes.

Skulls in necklace tied?

Thou to love this monster?

Thou to plead his part!

Know the moon and Ganga Share that faithless heart Vainly art thou vying With thy rivals’ charms.

Are not coils of serpents Softer than thine arms?”

Words like these from Daksha Daksha’s daughter heard: Then a sudden pa.s.sion All her bosom stirred.

Eyes with fury flashing.

Speechless in her ire, Headlong did she hurl her ‘Mid the holy fire.

Then a trembling terror Overcame each one, And their minds were troubled Like a darkened sun; And a cruel Vision, Face of lurid flame, Uma’s Wrath incarnate, From the altar came.

Fiendlike forms by thousands Started from his side, ‘Gainst the sacrificers All their might they plied: Till the saints availed not Strength like theirs to stay, And the G.o.ds distracted Turned and fled away.

Hushed were hymns and chanting, Priests were mocked and spurned; Food defiled and scattered; Altars overturned.- Then, to save the object Sought at such a price, Like a deer in semblance Sped the sacrifice.

Soaring toward the heavens, Through the sky it fled?

But the Rudras chasing Smote away its head.

Prostrate on the pavement Daksha fell dismayed:- “Mightiest, thou hast conquered Thee we ask for aid.

Let not our oblations All be rendered vain; Let our toilsome labour Full fruition gain.”

Bright the broken altars Shone with Shiva’s form; “Be it so!” His blessing Soothed that frantic storm.

Soon his anger ceases, Though it soon arise;- But the Deer’s Head ever Blazes in the skies.”

_Indian Ballads and other Poems._

Page 286. Urvasi.

“The personification of Urvasi herself is as thin as that of Eos or Selene. Her name is often found in the Veda as a mere name for the morning, and in the plural number it is used to denote the dawns which pa.s.sing over men bring them to old age and death. Urvasi is the bright flush of light overspreading the heaven before the sun rises, and is but another form of the many mythical beings of Greek mythology whose names take us back to the same idea or the same root. As the dawn in the Vedic hymns is called Urki, the far-going (Telepha.s.sa, Telephos), so is she also Uruasi, the wide-existing or wide-spreading; as are Europe, Euryana.s.sa, Eurypha.s.sa, and many more of the sisters of Athene and Aphrodite. As such she is the mother of Vasishtha, the bright being, as Oidipous is the son of Iokaste; and although Vasishtha, like Oidipous, has become a mortal bard or sage, he is still the son of Mitra and Varu?a, of night and day. Her lover Purravas is the counterpart of the h.e.l.lenic Polydeukes; but the continuance of her union with him depends on the condition that she never sees him unclothed. But the Gandharvas, impatient of her long sojourn among mortal men resolved to bring her back to their bright home; and Purravas is thus led unwitingly to disregard her warning. A ewe with two lambs was tied to her couch, and the Gandharvas stole one of them; Urvasi said, ‘They take away my darling, as if I lived in a land where there is no hero and no man.’ They stole the second, and she upbraided her husband again. Then Purravas looked and said, ‘How can that be a land without heroes or men where I am?’ And naked he sprang up; he thought it was too long to put on his dress. Then the Gandharvas sent a flash of lighting, and Urvasi saw her husband naked as by daylight. Then she vanished. ‘I come back,’ she said, and went. ‘Then he bewailed his vanished love in bitter grief.’ Her promise to return was fulfilled, but for a moment only, at the Lotos-lake, and Purravas in vain beseeches her to tarry longer. ‘What shall I do with thy speech?’ is the answer of Urvasi. ‘I am gone like the first of the dawns. Purravas, go home again.

I am hard to be caught like the winds.’ Her lover is in utter despair; but when he lies down to die, the heart of Urvasi was melted, and she bids him come to her on the last night of the year. On that night only he might be with her; but a son should be born to him. On that day he went up to the golden seats, and there Urvasi told him that the Gandharvas would grant him one wish, and that he must make his choice. ‘Choose thou for me,’ he said: and she answered, ‘Say to them, Let me be one of you.’ “

c.o.x’S _Mythology of the Aryan Nations._ Vol. I. p. 397.

Page 324.

_The sovereign of the Vanar race._

“Vanar is one of the most frequently occurring names by which the poem calls the monkeys of Rama’s army. Among the two or three derivations of which the word Vanar is susceptible, one is that which deduces it from vana which signifies a wood, and thus Vanar would mean a forester, an inhabitant of the wood. I have said elsewhere that the monkeys, the Vanars, whom Rama led to the conquest of Ceylon were fierce woodland tribes who occupied the mountainous regions of the south of India, where their descendants may still be seen. I shall hence forth promiscuously employ the word _Vanar_ to denote those monkeys, those fierce combatants of Rama’s army.” GORRESIO.

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