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Full text of "The Megha dūta, or, Cloud messenger"

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1 


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\ 












i|aruarb CoUrgf 
SItbrari} 

THE BEQUEST OF 

1880-1916 






1 




1 

L 


1 




J 



THE MEGHA DtJTA, 

OR, CLOUD MESSETOER. 

BY KiLIDiSA. 
TEANSLATBD INTO ENGLISH PB08E, 

COLONEL H. A. OUVRT, C.B., 




WILLIAMS AND NOEGATE, 

11, HENEIETTA STREET, COTENT GAEDEN, LONDON ; 

AKD 20, SOUTH FREDERICK STREET, EDINBOROH. 







Lit^wia 



.*^ 



I am the daughter of earth and water, 

And nursling of the sky : 
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores ; 
I change, but I never die. 



STKPHKN AVSTIK, FBZlfTKB, HXBTFOED. 



PREFACE. 



The Meoua Duta, or Cloud Messenger, of Ealidasa, 
is unknown to English readers, except through the 
poetical paraphrase of Wilson, which gives as much 
idea of the original as Pope's paraphrase does of the 
Iliad of Homer. In the Preface to the Second Edition 
of Wilson's work he remarks, " As considerable free- 
dom, or it may sometimes be thought, license, was 
taken in that translation, its use will not, it is to be 
expected, preclude the necessity of mental effort on 
the part of the student, in order to develope the sense 
of the Sanscrit text, whilst it may not unallowably 
lighten his labour, by furnishing him with a general 
notion of its purport. I have acquiesced in the repub- 
lication in the hope that it may afford no greater help 
than it is designed to render, for experience has satis- 
fied me that the aid of translations in the study of 
any language, except for a short time perhaps in 



IV PREFACE. 

the earliest, sta^e of it^ is exceedingly miscliieyous and 
deceptive." 

Thi^ remark has a certain degree of truth in it, 
but" it only applies to those who have unlimited time 
at their command. We live in railroad times, and we 
must keep pace with them ; the object now is to cram 
as much knowledge as possible in as short a space of 
time as possible. Professor Wilson is himself an ex- 
ample of the impossibility of attaining the sense of the 
Sanscrit text without the fullest aid. He thus goes 
on : " The translator has no doubt sometimes not only 
departed from the original forther than was necessary, 
but further than was justifiable, and has occasionally 
mistaken its meaning. Some of these mistakes I have 
corrected." 

Now I would submit, that if such an accomplished 
Sanscrit scholar as Wilson failed in ascertaining the 
meaning of the Sanscrit text, what chance has an 
ordinary student ? The Author of the present work 
endeavoured to arrive at the meaning by the aid of 
Wilson's paraphrase, and having submitted his attempt 
to a friend, who is a perfect Sanscrit scholar, it was found 
to be fiill of errors. Very kindly he pointed out the 
Commentary of Mallinatha, as well as a German 
translation by Schiitze, to the Translator; and with 



PREFACE. V 

these aids the whole has heen revised, and it is hoped 
that it win now serve to lighten the labour of others 
who are engaged in the study of the Sanscrit language. 

There is a prose French translation by Fauche, which 
is remarkable for the ingenuity with which he has per- 
verted the meaning of the original throughout. 

In order better to understand the subject of the 
poem, it may perhaps be necessary to give a short 
account of the plot, as supplied by one of the com- 
mentators. 

A certain Yaksha or inferior deity in the service 
of Kuvera, the god of Wealth, being on duty watching 
the golden lotus flowers on the Lake of Manasa, left 
his post in order to pass the night with his young 
wife. During his absence the elephants who support 
the sky came to the lake and trampled upon the beau- 
tiful golden water-lilies. When Kuvera found that 
his favourite flowers were destroyed, in his anger he 
cursed the Yaksha. " Since (said the god) you have 
neglected. your duty in order to pass the night with 
your wife, I hereby curse you and deprive you of 
your rank, and further banish you for a year to the 
Hermitages of Rama's Mount." The poem opens with 
the Yaksha at Kamagiri, his place of banishment ; he 
is wasted with grief and constantly pining for his 



VI PREFACE. 

beloved^ wben lie suddenly sees a cloud hanging on 
the peak of the mountain. The idea strikes him that 
he might send a message to his wife by means of 
the cloud, to which he immediately makes a reveren- 
tial sacriiice with fresh flowers, and, calling it to him, 
he requests that it will take a message to his wife 
at Alaka, the abode of the Yakshas, where she is sitting 
in love's despair, counting the days till the sentence 
on her lord shall expire. The Yaksha indicates the 
line of march of the Cloud, and describes the beauties 
of his wife in glowing colours. He then gives his 
message, and concludes with a wish that the Cloud 
may never be in his unhappy condition, separated from 
its bnUiant spouse, the Lightning. Wilson remarks 
further that portions of this poem, if translated, might 
'^ offend English fastidiousness ;" if such be the case, 
English fastidiousness must be offended. The object 
of the Translator is to give KaUdasa's meaning in 
English, otherwise it would not be Kalidasa. Besides, 
why should the English be more fastidious than the 
French or Germans? The Yaksha is a child of 
Kature, and occasionally alludes to feelings which, 
however natural, are not openly discussed in the pre- 
sent state of European civilization; but to suppress 
this would be unpardonable in a translator whose 



PREFACE. Vll 



^adeavour is to explain the original in its integrity, 
and moreover would materially injure the completeness 
of the picture. 



THE METRE. 

With regard to the metre of the poem, the following 
free translation from the Sanscrit treatise on Prosody 
called " Sruta Bodha" will best explain its nature. In 
that small work a teacher is supposed to be giving a 
lesson in Prosody to a beautiful young girl. With each 
particular metre, which he explains, he adds some 
compliment to his pupil, to whom he makes violent 
love, in order, it may be presumed, to enliven the dull- 
ness of the subject. The Megha Duta is throughout 
in the measure called Mandakranta, from the word 
" Mandra," slow, and " kram," to advance ; in fact, it 
may be rendered by "Slow coach" in English. The 
following is the extract above alluded to : — 

" If the four first syllables at the beginning of the 
verse (0 thou sweet lotus-smelling little flirt), then the 
tenth, eleventh, and afterwards the two which come 
after the twelfth, and the two others which are the 
last, are long, with a caesura after the fourth, sixth, and 



VIU PREFACE. 



seventh syllables, the best poets, my plump little 
darling, call it a MANDAKRANTA." 



8 415 6 7 8 10 1 n 13 IS 14 15 16 17 



Easchit kantayirahaguruna svadhikarapramattah. 
4 6 7 

1 S 8 4 16 6 7 8 10 1 11 IS 18 14 15 16 17 

A certain Yaksha dues neglecting found himself deprived of greatness. 
II II I I I I I I I I I I I r 

4 6 7 

The master, however, does not explain very clearly. 
The caesura is after the fourth, tenth, and seventeenth 
syllables; what he means is nevertheless the same. 
After the fourth syllable, cor encing to count again, 
the caesura will be six syllables further on,, viz., at the 
tenth, and again at the seventh, still further on, or the 
seventeenth. 



NOTE. 

The blank page has been left on each leaf for the convenience of those 
who may wish to make notes on comparing the translation with the 
Sanscrit text. 



EERATA. 

Stanza 27. — ^Note, for Ktdaka leadpulaka. 
„ 43. — For their taste read its taste. 

45. — Dele comma after radiance* 

68. — For Tripara read Tripura, 
„ 98. — ^Note, fbr Chandrukania read Chandrakanta, 



5» 






1. 

A certain Yaksha aaving been negligent of his 
charge, and having had his greatness set to decay by 
a curse of his master, to be endured for one year, 
which was heavy on account of its separating him 
from his wife, he took up his abode at the Hermitages 
of Ramagiri, where the waters had been sanctified by 
the baths of Janaka's daughter, where there were lovely 
shadow trees. 

The expression " varsha bhogyena " translated literally would 
be, "a rains to be eaten," from "buj," "to eat." The same mode of 
expressing to endure or suffer is prevalent in many other lan- 
guages ; it is used also in Sanskrit for "to enjoy" as well; thus, 
according to the context, "varsha bhogyena" may mean, "a year 
to suffer" or "a year to enjoy." 

Janaka's daughter =Sita. 

Ramagiri == The Mountain of Rama. 

The shadow tree is the " Nameru " (Elseocarpus), or, perhaps, 
any large tree affording perpetual shade ; a commentator remarks, 
" those trees, the shadows of which remain even when the sun is 
in the zenith, are called shadow trees." 

1 



MEGHA DUTA. Z 

2. 

Separated from his wife, having passed several 
months on these hills pining with desire, his arm 
having become bare by the slipping off of the golden 
bracelet; on the first day of Ashada he saw a mountain- 
top-embracing cloud, to all appearance, like a butting 
elephant preparing to thrust against a wall. 

The Yaksha having become quite wasted with sorrow, the 
attenuated arm no longer retained the bracelet. 

Ashada=15 June — 15 July. 

3. 
Having stood awhile before it, this sweet padanus 
fructifying cause, with suppressed tears, this servant 
of the King of Kings fell into a long meditation. 
"At the view of a Cloud the condition of a happy one 
becomes changed to a strong emotion ; how much more 
that of a banished man longing to embrace the neck P" 



The time of the rains, according to Indian ideas, was the 
time dear to lovers. Thus, in the Ritu Sanhara, " ghanagamah 
kamijanapriyah," " The clouds approach, dear to lovers." Vide 
Ritu Sanhara. Translated by the Author, Varsha, II-l. 
Behold the time of clouds surcharged with rain. 
Like to a furious elephant they rise ; 
Or mighty monarch hurrying to the war ; 
In place of standards see the lightning's flash. 
And rolling thunder answers to the drum : 
This is the time, my life, that's dear to love. 
Thus if the happy lover was anxious at the sight of a cloud ; how 
much more one in the condition of the Yaksha ? 



ME6HA DUTA. d 

4. 

The month of Nabhas being near he desired to 
support his cherished wife's life by transmitting news 
of his welfare by the Cloud ; he, therefore, well pleased, 
uttered a welcome, preceded by a friendly address to 
the cloud, which had received (from him) an oblation 
of fresh Kutaja flowers. 

The month of Nabhas^ Jnlj — August, the commencement of 
the rains. 
Kutaja flowers =Wrightea Antidysenterica. 

6. 

How can a cloud, a conglomeration of watery air and 
radiant smoke, carry a message, such as is taken by 
one with intellectual organs? Not taking this into 
consideration, on account of his anxiety, the Guhyaka 
made his request, for those afflicted by love are naturally 
abject to inanimate as well as to animate nature. 



The construction of this stanza is peculiar, and does not 
permit of a very literal translation into English. " Kva megha," 
^4n what condition is a cloud" ; '^kva sandesh," "and in what 
condition are tidings ?" This mode of expression is frequent in 
Sanskrit ; "kva — ^kva," where is this, and where is that ? t.e., what 
a distance there is between this and that ? Thus in the Raghu 
Vansa, "kva stiryaprabhavo vansah — kva chalpavishya matih," 
where Kalidasa says, " What a distance between a man of my 
low caste, and the race bom of the Sun ;" literally, Where is the 
race bom of the Sun, and where is a man of my low caste ? 



ME6HA DUTA. 4 

6. 

I know thee as bom in the world renowned race of 
the Pushkaravartas ; you, the changer of shape at will, 
prime minister of Indra, therefore I pray thee, since, 
by the power of fate I am separated from my relation ; 
for a fruitless petition to the good is better than obtain- 
ing your wish from the worthless. 



"Pushkaravarta" from "pushkara," "water," and "vrita," "to 
have place in" — a watery cloud. 



7. 

Thou art the refuge of the wretched, for that reason 
Cloud (Watergiver) bear news of me to my beloved, 
for I am separated from her by the anger of the Lord 
of "Wealth. You must set out for the habitations of 
the Yaksha chiefs, called Alaka, the palaces of which 
glance white in the moonlight on the Head of Siva, 
placed in the exterior gardens. 



Thou art the refuge, etc. This alludes to the wretched lovers 
to whom the cloud's advent, as denoting the rainy season, always 
brought relief. The husband and wife were always together 
during the rains, as no man could travel in India during their 
continuance. 

The moon was borne on the crest of Siva as a diadem. 



MEGHA DUTA. 5 

8. 

Thou being mounted in the road of the wind, the tra- 
vellers' wives will breathe out in full confidence with 
the points of their locks held up while beholding thee. 
Who would neglect a wife distressed by separation, 
when thou art at hand ? Not even one like me, in a 
subservient condition, (would do so.) 



The Indian women were in the habit, when their husbands 
were en voyage^ of braiding their hair into a single lock, called 
Veni, which was not to be unloosed until their return. This 
took place at the advent of the rains. At the sight of the cloud, 
therefore, they held up their locks, thinking " Now we shall soon 
have these unbound." The poor Yaksha had no chance of un- 
loosing his wife's Veni ; but although he was dependent on the 
will of another, he still wished to do all in his power not to neglect 
her ; he consequently triea to comfort her with a message. 



MEGHA DUTA. O 

9 

Softly, softly, as a favourable wind propels thee, and 
on thy left side the water-greedy Chataka exults 
sweetly with a pleasant song. Surely, as delighting 
the eye thou floatest in the sky, the cranes forming a 
row will pay thee homage, as they know by thy ap- 
proach of the happy time of gestation. 



The approach of the Cloud, the harbinger of the rains, which 
is the time of gestation of the cranes, causes them to pay it 
homage. 

The word "garbhadhana*' here translated "gestation," means 
" the propitiatory rite by women in order to produce impregna- 
tion;" thus the passage might be more literaUy put, "because 
they know that the f^te of gharbhadhSna has arrived." 

Mallinatha observes that the word "Valaka," a crane, has a 
double meaning, " Valakanganah, nayansubagam," i.e., "a pretty 
coquettish bright-eyed woman." Thus there is a sly hidden sense* 
The Cloud is told by the Yaksha that as he floats in the air, the 
coquettish bright-eyed women will pay him court, as his approach 
indicates the time of the festival when they were to meet their 
lovers. 



ME6HA DUTA. 



10. 



thou, whose march nothing can oppose, surely 
thou wilt see the faithful wife, thy sister-in-law, dili- 
gently counting the days, not yet dead. Though usually 
hope, as a tie, supports the affectionate hearts of women, 
which during separation, readily droop like a flower. 



f t j%f- k r^^ \\ i~- '~^-~' — -— — ■"-— -^ ^^»»^^^^ 



Sister-in-law was a mere expression of politeness, without any 
definite meaning, for certainly the Yaksha's wife was not related 
to the Cloud. " Hope as a tie :" asabandha, "the band of hope," 
means also a "cobweb," because the web is the spider's hope. 
A commentator remarks, "Like as a flower separated from its 
stalk is supported by a spider's web, so is the heart of a woman 
separated from her husband, supported by hope." 



11. 

The Rajhansas, hearing thy ear-pleasing thunder, 
that has the power to make the earth (in a state) crop- 
ping up with mushroom parasols, and longing to go to 
the Lake Manasa, will become thy companions in the 
sky as far as Kailasa, as soon as they have made pro- 
Tision for the journey of the fresh cuttings of the Lotus 
plant. 

The mushroom buttons spring up during the early rains, — 
thus the Indians have a superstition that their growth is caused 
by the thunder. 

At the approach of the rainy season, the geese, or Rajhansas 
delight in going to the large lakes ; hearing the thunder they 
thus know that their time of flight has arrived. 



MEGHA DUTA. 8 

12. 

Take leave, after having embraced him, of thy dear 
friend, the lofty mountain impressed with the adorable 
footsteps of the Lord of Raghu on its edge — venerated 
by men. To which when, from season to season, you 
having come into intimate contact, your Highness's 
affection is manifested by shedding hot tears caused by 
the long separation. 



The lofty mountain is Ramagiri, the place of the Yaksha's 
banishment. The clouds only hang over its summit once a year, 
during the rainy season. The rain then falling is compared to 
hot tears shed by the clouds, because a year must elapse before 
they can again embrace its summit. 



13. 

Now listen, while I explain to you the idea of your 
road, where, during thy journey as often as thou art 
fatigued, thou canst put thy foot on the mountain — and 
if thou should'st have become attenuated, in the lovely 
water of what river thou can'st replenish thyself. After- 
wards, Cloud, thou shalt hear my message to be 
drunk in with (thine) ears. 



" Attenuated," i,e., thirsty from having shed rain. 



MEGHA DUTA. 9 



14. 



What ! does the Wind bear hither a mountain's 
peak? Under these exclamations of the startled in- 
nocent wives of the Siddahs, as directing their gaze 
upward they behold thy effort, soar from this sweet 
Nichulas covered place towards the North in the sky, 
on thy road humiliating the mighty Trunk-pride of 
the Elephants which support the World. 



The Siddahs were inhabitants of the air, or Sylphs ; it appears 
there were a pair of them; how many wives they had is not 
mentioned. 

The word "Dinnaganam," here translated, "Elephants which 
supix)rt the World," is from " dis+nag," and is equal to " dikki- 
ran" — " one of the Elephants who stand in the eight points of the 
compass," — at n., n.e., e., s.e., s. etc. The indicating Elephants. 

How the Cloud was to humble their pride does not appear. 
Commentators differ ; one says — " The Clouds look on the 
Elephants for support ; the Cloud going alone northward would 
shew them that it was independent of their aid, and thus would 
humble their pride." 

The word "pariharan," besides the meaning of " taking down" 
or " humbling," may also mean " avoiding," which would make 
the sense, " on thy way avoiding the mighty Trunk-pride of the 
World-Elephants (for fea^ they might strike with them and 
destroy the Cloud)." 



MEOHA BCTA. 



16. 



10 



Like the blending of tints in jewels, to the Eastward, 
at the top of the mountain of Valmlka, will appear a 
portion of the bow of Akhandala, by means of which 
thy dark blue body will gain excessive beauty, like that 
of the Shepherd Clad Vishnu from the peacock's tail, 
which possesses glittering beauty. 



"Akhandala" is a name of Indra, from "khanda," to break — ^the 
Rainbow. The Shepherd Clad Vishnu is Krishna, who is always 
represented of a blue colour, and sometimes riding on a Peacock. 



16. 

On thee depends the fruitfulness of the soil ! With 
these thoughts, imbibed from the eyes of the country 
women, who are unacquainted with the play of the 
eye-brows, and which are moist with afiFection, ascend, 
when you have reached the fields of Mala, that smell 
sweet, having been newly turned up by the plough, a 
little to the West, with a light movement, and from 
thence bearing to the Northward. 



The peasant girls, who are innocent, and to whom flirting is 
unknown, cry "On Thee," etc. When you have had the 
gratification of taking their innocent exclamations into your 
thoughts, ascend, etc. 



MEGHA DUTA. 11 

17. 

thou^ who by hard showers extinguishest the cala- 
mity of the woodS; the mountain Amrakuta will bear 
thee travel-tired, worthily on its top. Even the vile 
turn not away the face from a friend if he should take 
refuge by them, having in view former benefits, how 
much less one so noble P (as Amrakuta.) 



The Cloud is here apostrophized as the extinguisher of the fires 
which are the calamity of the woody slopes of Amrakflta. 

Amrakilta means '^ the Mango Peak." 

The Cloud having cooled and extinguished the fires of the 
mountain, it surely would not be so vile as to deny it a short 
rest on its summit. 

18. 
Surely the mountain whose sides are shaded with 
Mango trees, which shine brilliant with ripe fruit, will 
attain a condition when thou hast climbed to its top 
(thy colour like a shining lock of hair) worthy to be 
contemplated by the god-pair ; like a breast of the earth, 
dark in the middle, and white in its remaining expan- 
sion. 



■'^■'x^^^^ir^4->,«\#VyX^^V«N« W\« 



In Indian poetry, the mountains Malaya and Dardura are the 
two breasts of the earth ; some apply the same terms to Mount 
KailSlsa and Anjana. Mount Sahya is said to be the earth's 
*'Jaghana" (the circumference of the hips). Mandakini was 
supposed to be the necklace, and the Yamuna or Jumna her lock 
of hair. The god-pair are the Siddahs. The dark blue in the 
middle may mean that the blue shadow of the cloud on the white 
mountain breast will look like a nipple. 



MEGHA DUTA. 12 

19. 

Wearied by the journey, the mountain Chitrakiita, 
when thou hast proceeded towards it, will be rejoiced 
to sustain thee on its lofty summit, also by heavy rain, 
you naturally moist {i.e. tender-hearted) will extinguish 
its scorching fires, for assistance to the great speedily 
yields fruit. 



This is evidently a spurious verse (see stanza 17, where the 
same thing is much better put). It is merely retained here be- 
cause Wilson has it in his edition. 



20. 

Therefore, having halted awhile in its bowers, which 
are enjoyed by the foresters' wives, and having become 
of lighter gait, through the voiding of thy water, 
and having traversed the path continuing from this 
(mountain) you will see the Reva parted into many 
streamlets at the rock rugged foot of Vindhya, like 
streaks cut to adorn the bodies of elephants. 



'•^^'x^x/^ I \j \r\^\^ 



"Muharta," in common parlance, is "awhile," "a short time," 
like we say, "a few minutes ;" it is, however, really an astrological 
term signifying ^ of a day. 

The elephants are frequently cut and fired all over their 
bodies, in some parts of India, for the sake of adornment 



ME6HA DUTA. 13 

21. 

There, having poured out thy shower, proceed, after 
having taken in water from it (the Reva), pervaded 
with scent from the pungent forehead juice of the 
Wood Elephants, and from the rose apple bushes with 
which its rapid course is checked. If, O Cloud, thou 
hast substance (water) within thee, the Wind will not 
be able to sport with thee, for every one who is empty 
is light ; fulness contributes to weight. 

The Mada is a kind of juice which exudes from the temples of 
elephants, particularly in the rutting season. It is constantly 
alluded to in Indian poetry : 

" The forest elephants are seized with rage ; 
Hearing the crashing thunder in the cloud, 
They utter piercing cries ; their shining tusks, 
White as the spotless lotus, opertsa sunt 
Uriginis guttis, apum examine conjunctis." — Ritu Sanhara, 

The Cloud seeks a place, according to one of the commentators, 
where the rapid course of the river is impeded, in order to drink 
with greater facility. 

22. 

The Chatakas, having seen the Nipa flowers, green- 
ish brown, with half-grown filaments, and on the banks 
the Banana, whose first buds have come into sight, and 
having smelt the extremely fragrant scent of the Earth 
in the burnt Woods, will give information concerning 
the road of thee, the Watershedder. 

The Chataka may here mean a sparrow, although its systematic 
name is '^ cuculus melanoleucus " which would make it a kind of 
cuckoo. 



ME6HA DUTA. 14 

23. 

The Siddahs haying beheld the Chatakas, who are 
eager to seize the water-drops, and pointing out, by 
enumerating, the cranes ranged in a row, will honour 
thee when, thou having come at Thunder-time, they 
are hastily embraced by their trembling wives. 



The wives of the Siddahs, being frightened by the thunder 
and lightning, will cling to their husbands for protection. 

" Quam juvat immites ventos audire cubantem, 
Et dominam tenero detinuisse sinu.'' 



24. 

I anticipate, Friend (when, while from love to me 
thou would'st go hastily), thou will'st be spending thy 
time among the hills, scented by the fragrant Kakuba, 
and that thou with difficulty will resolve to journey on, 
being received by the limpid-eyed peacocks, after 
having made their Svagata "Keka." 



The Svagata is the cry of welcome from the peacock at the 
sight of the Cloud, as indicating their season of coupling, and 
also because they suffer much from the absence of rain. 



MEGHA DUTA. 15 

25. 

Hast thou approached DarBamaP the hedges will 
glance white with the Ketakas, opened as it were by a 
neeile. The Sacred trees of the Villages will be dis- 
turbed by the cranes beginning to build; the Jambu 
bushes will become dark through their ripened fruit, 
and the Hansas will not tarry many days. 



The pistils of the Ketakas stick out of the blossom and appear 
like needles coming out of the flower. The Poet observes that 
the rainy season being indicated by the cloud, the fruit will 
ripen and the geese take their yearly flight. 



26. 

When thou hast arrived at the Royal City named 
Vidisa, famous in the regions, thou wilt soon acquire 
the complete fruit of thy quality as a lover. You will 
there drink the water of the VetravatI, the waves of 
which ripple in joy (indicated by) their murmuring 
noise near the shore, like a frowning countenance. 



The river Vetravati, now converted into Vetvah, takes its rise 
in the Himalyas at Eamagiri, and flows into the Jumna. 

This simile of a frowning countenance to indicate the ripple 
of the waves, though more correct, is not half so pretty as the 

iurnpidfioy yc\a(TfjM of -^Schylus. 

You will drink = you will kiss; the river is compared to a 
mistress. 



MEOHA DUTA. 16 

27. 

There, light down on the mountains called Nicha, on 
which the full blown Kadambas will become erect, like 
a body in a state of voluptuous horripilation, and whose 
rocky recesses, reeking with the scent of the imguents 
of harlot pleasure, reveal the licentious games of the 
men inhabiting towns. 

The Indians have an idea that the down all over the body 
becomes erect under the excitement of love, like what we call 
'* goose skin." This certainly appears absurd, but it is very 
general throughout Indian poetry ; they call it "kulaka.'* Perhaps 
learned physicians could explain this Indian peculiarity, if such 
a horripilation really takes place. In the Gita (Jovinda, when 
Krishna meets and is reconciled to Radha, it is remarked — 
Molimen voluptatis in quo oriebatur obstaculum arctioris 
amplexus ex erectione pilorum, etc. 

28. 

After having rested, proceed, sprinkling the Jasmin 
buds of the gardens growing on the banks of the Naga 
nadi, and (after having) made the acquaintance for a 
moment with the countenances of the flower-sellers 
by affording them thy shade, who by their continued 
efforts to chase the sweat from their cheeks, have caused 
their ear water-lilies to fade. 



That is, The flower girls working in the sun, wearing water-lilies 
in their ears instead of ear-rings, wiU be grateful if you afford 
them the comfort of your interposing body, which will shade 
them from the sun. 



MEGHA DUTA. 17 

29. 

Though your way would be circuitous, since you 
proceed northward, be not averse to make the acquaint- 
ance of the palace laps of Ougein. K you are not 
delighted with the eyes of the women of the city, who 
are frightened at the flashes of thy Ughtning, and 
whose glances are tremulous — ^you are cheated. 



The city of Ougein was celebrated for its women of pleasure 
and dancing girls ; it was evidently very wrong in the Yaksha to 
counsel the Cloud to deceive his beautiful Lightning wife, by 
flirting with the beauties of Ougein. 

30. 
Having arrived at the deep water of the Nirvindya, 
whose girdle-band of a row of birds, by the agitation 
of the waves tinkles, and gracefully gliding, flows 
away, and leaves her whirlpool navel exposed to view : 
continue on your road, for the first word of love in a 
woman, is confusion in presence of a lover. 



Around ponds and on the banks of rivers, birds, such as paddy 
birds, etc., line the edge of the water and look Uke a kind of 
border. Kalidasa compares this to a woman's girdle ; the noise 
of the ripple he compares to the small bells which are attached 
to it, and the river's graceful gUding away he likens to the girdle 
slipping off, and allowing the beauty of the form to be seen. 

The sight of the Cloud causes the emotion of the river, be- 
cause it can satisfy its desire for water. The poet compares it to 
a maiden confused in presence of her lover. 

3 



MEGHA DUl'A. 18 

31. 

Having left her behind, you must use the means by 
which the river, Sindhu (whose narrow thread of water 
is like a lock of hair, of a pale lustre on account of 
the withered leaves falling from the trees along its 
banks, and who thus, on account of her state of 
separation from thee, manifests thy happiness), may 
depart from her state of leanness. 



In the absence of rain, the river being nearly dried up, the 
Cloud will thus have an opportunity of restoring her waters. 

The figure of the lock of hair, alludes to the " braid of absence 
or Veni,'* which has been explained ante. 

The state of leanness of the river would manifest to the 
Cloud-lover how she has pined during his absence, and thus 
cause him to feel happy in being so much loved. 

" Use the means " is as much as to say, returning to your 
sweetheart, by your caresses you will restore her to beauty and 
happiness. 



MEGHA DUTA. 19 

32. 

Having arrived at Avanti, where the old men of the 
villages are acquainted with the Story of TJdayana^ 
proceed to the city previously mentioned, the fortunate 
Visala, which is like a beautiful portion of Swarga, 
brought down as it were by the yet remaining good 
works of the inhabitants of heaven, who returned to 
earth when more were still left — a small portion of 
their good deeds. 

Visala is another name for Ougein, as also is Avanti (See 
Wilson's Note, p. 31. 2nd Edition. Megha Duta). Commen- 
tators differ concerning the meaning of the above. The blessed 
in heaven having exhausted its pleasures, which were not sufficient 
to recompense their good deeds on earth, returned to the world, 
carrying with them a piece of Swai^ga or Paradise. To fully 
understand this, reference must be made to the subject of Indian 
religious belief, which is too long to be treated of in a note. 

33. 
Where the Sipra wind (like a lover courting (his 
beloved one) for the sake of gratification of desire), 
carrying far the shrill, indistinct, love-cooing of the 
cranes in the early morning, fragrant from its friend- 
ship with the odours of the opening lotus, limb- 
caressing, removes the enjoyment-produced lassitude 
of women. 

The river flowing past Ougein is the Sipra ; the cool breeze, 
impregnatipd by the fragrance of the lotus on its banks, removes 
the suratagl&nim from the women, that is, it takes away the 
sringarajanitakhedam. 



MEOHA DUTA. 20 

34. 

If thy body be augmented by the window-exhaled 
perfume of the hair toilettes, and have the peacocks 
of the house offered thee the present of a dance, and 
hast thou, thy soul having become fatigued with the 
journey, rested on the flower-perfumed palace roofs, 
marked red with the feet of the beautiful women, 



This sentence has, doubtless, not come down to us in its 
integrity, inasmuch as the sense wants the next Stanza to com- 
plete it. 



35. 

Proceed, reverently beheld by the Ganas who exclaim, 
because they see in thee the beauty of the throat of 
their lord, to the pure dwellings of the ruler of the 
three worlds, the husband of Chanda where the gardens 
are fanned by the wind fragrant with the pollen of the 
water-lily, redolent from the perfumes of the young 
girls, who are continually frolicking in the water of the 
Gandhavati. 



The neck of Siva was blue. Thus the Ganas or inferior deities 
mistake the blue cloud for their lord. 



MEGHA DUTA. 21 

36. 

Even if at any other time you reach Mahakala, stop 
so long as the Sun is within range of the eye/ assuming 
the condition of a magnificent drum at the twilight 
service of Siva — you will then gain the complete firuit 
of thy soft-rolling thunder. 



The god will recompense you for making use of thy thunder 
instead of a tom tom at his twilight service. 

There were three services in Indian temples — morning, mid- 
day, and evening, at which music was generally an accom- 
paniment. 

If at any other time, — i.e., at any time before sunset. 



MEGHA DUTA. 22 

37. 

The Vesyas, whose girdles tinkle as they dance, 
whose hands are tired with the chowries (swung in 
sport) whose handles are inlaid with glittering precious 
stones, will cast on thee glances like a long row of 
honey-makers, when they have obtained thy rain drops 
which alleviate the pain of their nail wounds. 



The Vesyas were prostitutes who served in the obscene rites 
of the fane of Siva. 

The chowries were fly-flaps made of the tail of the bos 
grunniens or chS,mara ; some of them are frequently very beau- 
tifully mounted with inlaid handles. 

To understand the sense of the above it must be explained 
that these Indians were in the habit of scratching and biting 
when they made love ; thus the cool rain would alleviate the 
burning of the scratches of the Vesyas, and they in gratitude 
would cast amorous glances from their kohl-stained eyes on the 
Cloud 

Another opinion is, that the above bears a different meaning, 
viz., " when they have obtained or felt thy rain drops, pleasant 
as nail wounds." This is the opinion of Mallinatha ; the Tran- 
lator however prefers the former sense. 



MEOHA DUTA. 23 

38. 

Afterwards when thou, encircling it, hurriest on, 
shrouding the woods, the trees of which are like 
stretched-out arms, and thou assumest an evening 
lustre, red like fresh-blown China roses, at the 
beginning of the dance take away from Pacupati the 
desire for the wet elephant skin, while Bhavani with 
a steady eye, her fear being allayed, will contemplate 
thy reverent service. 



This all alludes to certam rites and observances in the Indian 
worship. Siva was in the habit of clothing himself in a wet 
elephant skin covered with blood, while he was commemorating 
his having ta^en such a trophy from a demon whom he had 
vanquished. His wife, Bhavani, disliked this filthy robe very 
much. The Poet says, " You, the dark blue cloud lined with red 
by the setting sun, will have very much the appearance of a 
bloody elephant skin ; thus Siva seeing you, will think that you 
are really what you appear to be, and will not put on his reek- 
ing garment, much to the delight of his wife — ^who will con- 
sequently regard you with looks of devotion." 



MEGHA DTJTA. 24 

39. 

Shew the road of the women going by night to the 
abodes of their gallants with thy lightning, bright as 
the streak of gold on the touchstone; as on account of 
the needle-to-be-pierced darkness they cannot see the 
King's highway ; but be not noisy with thy rain and 
thunder, for they are timid. 

This is very extraordinary advice, and highly improper. The 

Yaksha being married, and the Cloud also, renders it still worse. 

Kalidasa should have remembered his beautiful chorus in the 

Gita Govinda — 

" Vrindava's woods reflect the silver rays 
Shed by the moon, whose brilliant orb 
(Marked with dark spots, fit emblems of his crimes 
For lighting up the paths to guilty loves,) 
Pursues his course across the starry sky." 

The moon is a gentleman in Sanscrit. 

40. 

Thy wife the Lightning being exhausted by long love 
sport (Lightning), pass this night on some palace roof 
awning where the doves sleep; but when the Sun is 
viewed again accomplish the rest of thy journey. 
Those certainly do not linger who. have undertaken to 
carry out their promise to a friend. 



The play of the Lightning in the Cloud is here compared to 
Love sport vilasanSta, which the Commentator explains by 
sphurauata (quivering, darting). 



^ 



Tr _ 

I 



ME6HA DUTA. 25 

41. 

About this time the tears of the Khanditani women 
must be alleviated by a lover, therefore quit quickly 
the path of the Sun, he also is returned to remove the 
dew tears from the lotus faces. If thou obstructest his 
rays, he would not in a little, rage. 



A Khandita is a woman whose husband is unfaithful to her. 
The Poet likens the Sun to a roving lover, the water-lilies 
being the Khanditani women. 
Not in a little rage — i.e,, he would be furious. 



42. 

In the limpid water of the GFambhira, like in a soul, 
thy shadow's reflection, beautiful by nature, will find 
an entrance ; therefore you must not frustrate by your 
prudishness her glances, which are white like lotuses 
(which are) the dartings of her agile Sapharas. 



As soon as thy handsome shadow comes on to the surface of 
the Gambhira she will be influenced with desire for your love ; 
therefore do not say her nay, — ^have no prudishness. The signs 
of her love are shown in her agile gold fish, which dart quick as 
a love-glance. 

The Poet does not mention what the Cloud is to do with his 
Lightning-wife while he is flirting with Miss Gambhira 



MEGHA DrXA. 26 

43. 

Having removed her blue water garment, — whicli, 
dropping from her bank thighs, by her reed branches, 
as by hands, is somewhat firmly held, — then friend 
if thou art gliding down to her, thy departure will be 
difficult ; for who that has known their taste, would be 
able to leave her island jhagana. 



The Cloud having sucked up her water, the two banks remain 

exposed, which the poet compares to the state of a beautiful 

• woman whose garment has slipped down when it has been untied 

by a lover. The reed branches are compared to the hands of 

the fair one, who resists his advances. 

The word Nitambam, which I have translated thighs, means 

The sand islands of the river are compared to her Jhagana, 
which has here the exact sense of y^y^ ^pIDPI of the Song of 
Songs, vii. 1, mistranslated in the A.V. as well as in the LXX. 
The true meaning is o/ ircpioxoi fiJipav <rov. Pingitw pueUa 
Kdwlmryos. Vide Gesen. Thes. 



MEGHA DUTA. 27 

44. 

The cool wind, pleasant from its contact with the 
fragrance of the earth refreshed with the oozing (rain) 
drank in by the elephants, whose trunk-holes sound 
pleasantly, will blow low under you when you desire to 
go to Devagiri, while it causes the fig-tree to ripen. 

It appears that the elephants were fond of inhaling the air 
fragrant from the fresh rained-upon earth flowers, and that they 
made a pleasing somid in sucking it in through their trunk 
holes. 

To Deva Giri, i.e,, the Mountain of God — " to Deva preceded 
by giri," as the text literally says. 

45. 
May est thou, changed into a flower- cloud, by a 
flower rain-bath from the water of Heaven's Ganges 
bathe Skanda, who has there taken up a permanent 
residence ; for by the bearer of the new moon, was this 
Sun overcoming radiance, laid in the mouth of the 
offering consumer, in order to preserve Vasava's host. 



This all alludes to a story in Indian mythology. 

Skanda was the War-god. Siva, the bearer of the moon's 
crescent, threw him into the mouth of Agni, the offering con- 
sumer ; Agni cast him into the Ganges ; the Ganges rejected 
him into a cavern under a mountain, where he grew for a 
thousand years. When Skanda came of age he killed a demon 
who frightened Vasava's or Indra's host, i,e,, the host of heaven. 

The flower-cloud, alludes to a superstition of the people that 
flowers from the Milky Way were rained down on heroes and 
demigods. 



MEOHA DUTA. 28 

46. 

Refresh the peacock, (of whose moulted tail feathers 
studded with rows of stars, Bhavaoi, from affection to 
her son, fastens in her ears in the place of blue lotus 
leaves,) whose eye-comers glance white through the rays 
of Hara's Moon. Afterwards cause it to dance in virtue 
of thy mountain-seizing heavy rolling thunder. 

Skanda the War-god is represented as seated on a peacock. 
The peacock has very white eyes ; dhantapangum means the 
comer of the eyes showing white. The Cloud will cause the 
peacock to dance from delight at the advent of the rainy season. 
See ante. 

47. 
When thou hast propitiated that reed-wood-bom 
god, advance on thy road where the lute-bearing pair 
of Siddahs, from fear of thy rain-drops will avoid thy 
path. Yet delay in order to exalt the fame of Rantideva, 
who sprung from the slaughter of Surabhi's daughter, 
transformed into a stream, spreads itself on the earth. 



When you have sacrificed to the God of War, Skanda, proceed. 
The Siddahs, who will be amusing Skanda with their lutes, will 
get out of thy way for fear of having their lute-strings relaxed 
by thy rain drops. 

Surabhi's daughter means the same as Kapila, a fabulous cow, 
the cow of plenty. 

Parihata= pravritta. 

By the miraculous power of a saint the blood of a cow-offering 
may be turned into a clear flowing river. 



MEGHA DUTA. 29 

48. 

When thou, thief of the colour of the bowman, 
art stooping to take in water, the sky travellers will 
surely, casting their gaze downwards, contemplate the 
broad (though on account of the distance narrow) 
stream of that river, like a beautiful pearl necklace of 
the earth with a large sapphire in the middle. 



The sky travellers = the Siddahs. 

The Bowman S'amgam, from s'amga, **made of horn,'' is 
Vishnu. 

The Siddahs, seeing the Cloud over the river, which, though a 
broad one, will appear to them like a thread on account of the 
distance, while the body of the Cloud will give them the idea of 
a large blue sapphire set in the middle of the thread or necklace. 



49. 

Having crossed this, journey on, making thy image 
an object for the eager glances of the Dasapura women, 
who are acquainted with the brow languishing, who 
from their throwing up their eyelashes are like a 
sporting black buck, who possess the beauty of bees 
that cluster on the kunda flowers. 



Show thyself to the Dasapura women, whose eyes, opened and 
shut quickly, as an antelope springs, thus resemble the black 
buck. Their eyes, being Kohl-stained, resemble clusters of bees 
on the jasmin. 



ME6HA DUTA. 30 

50. 

Having overspread the country called Brahmavarta 
with thy shadow, honour with a visit the cruel field of 
Kuru (memorable) for the battle of the Kshattras when 
the Gandlva-armed-one, with a hundred pointed arrows, 
sprinkled the heads of the soldiers like as thou dost the 
lotuses with thy rain-drops. 



This alludes to the battle of the Kshattras, as told in the Ma- 
habharata. The gandhiva armed-one, is Arjuna. Gahdhiva was 
the name of his bow ; probably from gandi, a kind of wood of 
which bows were made. — Vide Wilson's Notes> page 47. 



51. 

friend, having reached the waters of the Saras- 
vati, which the Ploughbearer reverenced, who leaving 
his delicious liquor marked with the eyes of RevatI, 
for the love of his relations, turned away his face from 
war ; you, black only in colour, will (then) become pure 
within. 



The ploughbearer Balarama, and his wife Revatl, were addicted 
to drinking. When the war between the Pandas and the Kurus 
broke out, Balarama, who was a friend of both parties, retired to 
the banks of the Sarasvati, from which cause the river was sanc- 
tified. A visit to its waters was supposed to cleanse from all sin. 
Being marked with the eyes of Revati, means that he saw them 
reflected in the surface of the liquor as in a mirror. Wilson, in 
his note, page 49, has clearly -mistaken the sense of this passage. 



MEOHA DUTA. 81 

V 

52. 

From thence go along by Khanakhala, to the from 
the King of Mountains-descended, Jahnu's daughter, 
the ladder steps to Swarga for the sons of Sagar, who 
laughing as it were with her foam, at the frowning 
Gauri, seizes on Sambhu's hair, while with her wave 
hands she clings to the Moon. 



Go along to the Ganges descended from Himaljas. 

Gunga, or the Ganges, was brought down from heaven by the 
pious austerity of Bhagiratha, the son of Sagar. As the earth 
would not have been able to bear the sudden descent of so great 
a river, Sambhu or Siva, allowed it to fall on his head. Q^uri, 
his wife, was jealous at seeing Gunga playing with her husband's 
hair, so she is represented as frowning, while Gunga laughs at 
her. 

The moon being on Siva's crest, Gun^ is decribed as clinging 
to it with her wave hands. 

The Ganges being brought to earth by Bhagiratha, was used 
to wash the ashes of the 60,000 sons of Sagar, who thus obtained 
admission to Swarga, or heaven ; she is thus described as forming 
a ladaer for them. 

Kesagrahanamkarodindulagnormihasta, expresses the seizing 
on the hair, and the clinging to the moon with her wave hands. 



ME6HA DUTA. 32 

53. 

K you, like a heavenly elephant having the fore- 
quarters inclined in the sky, thinkest to drink of its 
limpid waters, clear as crystal, at the moment thy 
shadow glides gently over the river, it will attain a 
beauty, as if the Junma had flowed into it out of its 
proper place. 



The Ganges is said to be clear ; the Jumna, which flows into 
it at Allahabad, is yellow and muddy. The dark shadow of the 
cloud floating over the surface of the river would give it the ap- 
pearance of the confluence of these rivers. 

The heavenly elephants are those who support the sky. — 
Vide ante, stanza 14. 



54. 

Having arrived at the snow-white mountains, her 
birthplace, whose rocks are scented with the navel- 
smell of the musk deer who is seated there, reclining 
upon one of the fatigue-removing horns, you will 
appear like scraped-up black earth by the beautiful 
white buU of the three-eyed one. 



^^^^■^•^*^» ** ^'■•^ >* *^*/Vl %^x^>^^* ^ 



The source or birth-place of the Ganges is the snowy range of 
the Himalyas. The musk deer are there very numerous. 

The blue cloud resting on one .of the snowy peaks or horns 
of the snow-clad mountains, will appear like black mud on the 
horns of a white bull. 

Trinyana, " the three-eyed," means Siva. 



MEOHA DXJTA. 33 

55. 

If, through the blowing of the wind, the conflagra- 
tion of its forests, produced by the friction of the pine 
trunks, and spread by the tails of the y&ks, should 
afflict him, you must cause it to be allayed by a 
thousand hard rain-showers; for to aUay the pain of the 
afflicted is the finiit of those endowed by fortune. 



It is a fact that the friction of the boughs of the trees in high 
winds sometimes causes the forests to take fire. 

The Y^k is the chamara from whose tail the chowries are 
made. Their tails, being on fire, serve to spread the conflagra- 
tion, according to the poet. 



56. 

The Sarabhas, not enduring thee when thundering, 
from excessive pride will try to leap over thee who art 
not to be surmounted, (merely) to break their own 
bodies. Confound them with the laughter of a loud 
clatter of hail and rain. For who, attempting a fruit- 
less commencement, will not become an object of 
contempt ? 

The Sarabhas, according to the poets, were eight-legged 
animals, who infested the snowy range of the Himalya. They 
attempted the impossibility of leaping over the clouds. 

The Cloud is told to meet their effort with a smile of derision, 
in the shape of a hailstorm. Wilson has — 

" White as a brilliant smile thy hailstones fly," 
but that is not the sense of the passage. 

5 



ME6HA DUTA. 34 

57. 

There, inclining with reverence, circumambulate the 
rock evidently marked with the footprint of the half- 
moon-diadem-bearing god, perpetuaUy worshipped by 
the Siddahs with sacrifice ; which when looked upon, 
believers, when the body is separated, absolved from 
sin, will on this account be qualified to obtain the 
eternal abode of the Guanas. 



Many places in the East are marked with the foot-prints of 
some god or saint, which superstition the priests turn to good 
account. 

The circumambulation, or Dakshina, was a kind of religious 
ceremony. Wilson's notes remark that a similar observance, 
called " Deasil,'' was in use in the highlands of Scotland. The 
body being separated means the passing into another form of 
existence. 

The Ganas were the inferior deities of Siva's heaven. 

58. 

Being filled with wind the reed sounds sweetly. The 
victory over Tripara will be sung by inspired Kinnaris. 
If now thy rolling thunder like a drum sounds in the 
caverns, certainly the concert of Pasupati will be in a 
state of completeness. 



*N,^*'\y>^ IKI wv»-^y 



The Kinnaris were the wives of the Kinnaras, followers of 
Kuvera, the god of wealth. 

Tripura was a demon slain by Siva ; the concert was to cele- 
brate that victory. 



MEGHA DUTA. 35 

59. 

To the Snowy Hills (Him%as) skirt, progressing ; 
go to that celebrated spot the Krauncha pass, the 
gate of the. Kansas, the fame path of Bhrigupati. 
Thence go to the northern region, in oblique direction, 
shining lite the dark blue foot of Vishnu prepared for 
the humiKation of Bali. 



The Ejauncha pass, Bhrigupati's road of i&me, is explained by 
a legend in the Vishnu Parana. 

Bhrigupati opened the pass by shooting an arrow at it. 

Through the fissure the wild geese, or Hansas, pass to go to 
the Lake Manasa. 

Yishnu came down to earth to free the world from the 
tyranny of the giant Bali. It appears that he lifted up his foot 
in order to kick him, but on Bali's submission he refrained. — 
See Wilson's note, page 58. 



ME6HA DUTA. 36 

60. 

Having soared upwards, be the guest of Mount 
Kailasa (whose high table-land joints were untied (were 
broken) by the arm of the ten-faced one), the look- 
ing-glass of the goddesses, whose horn-elevation, like a 
water-lily, stands expanding into the heavens, like an 
accumulated burst of laughter of the three-eyed one, 
(reaching) to every region. 



The ten-headed one is B&vana, a demon who tried to poll up 
Mount Kailaaa, but he only succeeded in loosening it a little. 
The smooth precipices covered with ice are compared to a mirror 
of the goddesses, clear and beautiful as Siva's laughter. Its 
peaks shoot forth into the heavens. Byron says of the Andes — 

<< Where the roots of the Andes strike deep in the earth, 
As their summits to heaven shoot soaringly forth. '* 
The very same description, and nearly in the very words, that 
Kalidasa used 2000 years ago. 

Tridasavanita, 'Hhe goddesses." 

The Mountain Kailasa was said to have glass sides. 



■ i 



MEGHA DUTA. 37 

61. 

I anticipate that the mountain^ white like a slice cut 
from a two-tusked elephant, (you, glittering like glossy 
powdered antimony, having ascended its sides,) will 
gain a lustre fit to be contemplated with a steady eye, 
like as if Halabrita has cast his dark blue garment on 
his shoulders. 



The blue cloud being reflected on the White Mountain it will 
appear as if Halibrita, or the plough-bearer, had put on his 
blue great coat. 

The translator does not feel satisfied with the translation of 
stimitatanayanprekshanlyam, by ''regarded with a steady 
eye ;" it may mean an " eye moist with a£Eection.'' In a very 
excellent verse translation by Max MUller, the passage is thus 
given : — 

^' Dann wird der Berg, der anzusehen gleich 

Wie ein Au^ daafriach geschminket, 

Dem Bama gleich, dess dunkles Kleid 

Auf weisse Schultem niedersenket." 

Which sense is evidently incorrect, according to the text of 

Wilson, and also of the Calcutta edition. 

Halabrita, from Hala, "a plough," and bhrita, '' possessing." 



MEGHA DUTA. 38 

62. 

If Gauri, after Sambha, having taken off her snake 
bracelet, and handed her {i.e., supported her), were to 
take a strolling walk on this pleasure mountain, 
making thy body into a structure of divisions {Le., a 
ladder), compress its showers inside, and make thyself 
a staircase road, agreeable to .the touch of the feet in 
ascending. 



Grauri is a surname of Parvati, the blonde goddess, from 
gaori, light yellow.. Sambhu means '* a venerable person,'' and is 
here applied to Siva. Mount Kailasa was the scene of his loves 
with his youthful bride, ParvatL Sport Mountain, Kridasaila. 

Thy body formed into wave arrangements — Bhangibhaktya. 

It is difficult to arrive at the real meaning of these two words. 
Commentators explain Bhangi=11rminam, bhaktya=rachaniya, 
which should make the sense ^ wave arrangements." 

Wilson takes a different view — 

'' Close in thy hollow form thy stores compressed." 
The translator believes that the idea of Kalidasa was, that the 
Cloud should form itself into a staircase, whose steps were to be 
formed of its body changed into waves. 



MEGHA DUTA. 39 

63. 

As then, undoubtedly by the friction of the bracelets, 
as by thunderbolts, thy rain will be ejected, and the 
young goddesses will use thee as a shower-bath ; if, 
friend, seized by heat, thou art not able to escape from 
them, cause them when they are eager to frolick, to be 
frightened by thy grating thunder. 



The lightning-bracelets, Valayakulisa, " bracelet thunder- 
bolts.'* According to the Indian popular belief, the thunderbolts 
and diamonds were composed of the same material. The 
thunder was supposed to loose the clouds from their rain. The 
poet therefore says that the friction of the diamond bracelets of 
the young goddesses would cause the Cloud to eject its rain. 

Having acquired heat, i.e., if their play becomes too hot for 
you — too annoying to you, etc. 

Sport-desiring (young goddesses) ** kridalola," the sky-larking 
(young goddesses). WUson takes a different view of the sense : 
" But should they seek thy journey to delay, 
A grateful solace on the svZtry day^ 

According to some commentators, the translation should be — 
" The young goddesses will use thee as a squii-t, they being very 
hot" 



MEGHA DUTA. 40 

64. 

Imbibe the water of the golden lotus-giving {Le., pro- 
ducing) Manasa, and willingly for a moment give the 
head of Airavata the pleasure of a veil, shaking the 
leaves of the kalpa trees with a rain-dropping wind. 
Enjoy this, chief of mountains, whose crystal white- 
ness is broken by thy beauty (Le., surpassed). 



The Kalpa trees are the trees of Paradise, which are also 
called **"Wish trees," as they afford everything wished for. 
Instead of leaves and blossoms they bear beautiful garments of 
various kinds. 

Airavata is the chief of the sky elephants. 

Before whose splendour : '^ chhaya " means shadow as well as 
splendour. Thus the reading may be, according to some of the 
commentators — " Delight thyself with the Prince of the Moun- 
tains, whose crystal radiance by th^ shadow will be darkened ;" 
but then the word " visada," in the compound " Chhayabhinnas- 
pbatikavisadam/' must be regarded as a substantive instead of 
the adjective, which the former sense would require. 



tisi. 



HEGHA DXTTA. 41 

65. 

« 

On his lap, like on that of a loved one, you will cer- 
tainly recognise Alaka with her Ganges dukula fallen 
down, having seen her, thou who marchest at will. 
When thy time is arrived {i.e., the rains), her lofty 
palaces sustain a heap of water- vomiting clouds, like a 
loving woman with her curls arranged with a row of 
pearls. 



Alaka, lying on the slopes of Kailasa is said by the poet to be 
the mountain's mistress, with her garment slipped down so that 
her beauty is exposed to view. At the cloud's time, i.c., during 
the rains, the clouds hanging over the palace turrets resemble 
the heavy locks of a woman. The pearly zone is formed by the 
cloud's wife, the lightning. 

7ia tvam dristva na punaralakam jnasyse. Here the na — na 
makes the affirmative. 

On his lap — i.e.y on the slopes of Mount Kailasa. 

66. 
As containing Kghtning, - Love-sporting women. 
With Indra's bow, - - - - Having pictures. 
Thunder agreeably deep, - Drums struck for me concert. 
Water contained within, - Floors made of precious 

stones. 

Art thou lofty ? Summits reaching the sky. 

Where palaces are able to vie with thee in several 
qualities. 

Languishing love-sporting women are compared by the poet 
to lightning. It must be recollected that the Lightning in the 
Cloud is his wife. 



ME6HA DUTA. 42 

67. 

The women there, are with the the lotus in the hand. 

In the locks the new-blown jasmin is interlaced, the 
beauty of the face is coloured a pale white, with the 
poUen-producing Lodra, in the luxuriant hair is the 
fresh Kuravaka, in the pretty ear the Sarisha, and on 
the hair-parting, the Nipas which spring up on thy 
arrival. 

All the flowers with which the Yakshinis are adorned have a 
special season for coming into blossom. Nipas blossom in the 
Rains ; the Kunda, or Jasmin, in the Autumn ; the Lodhra in 
the Winter ; the Kuravaka in Spring ; the Serisha in Summer 
— (Vide translation of Rita Sanhara by the author.) It is to be 
observed that Kalidasa here shows that all these flowers blos- 
somed continually together at Alaka. 

68. 
Where, having women for companions, the Yakshas 
revel on the palace terraces, fiill of precious stones, 
made as it were of flowers, through the glittering of 
the stars, addicting themselves to wine of aphrodisiac 
juice, the growth of the kalpa trees, while the drums, 
of a sound, deep and soft, like thine, are gently beaten. 

Mallinatha adopts a different sense. " Strewed with flowers, 
which sparkle like stars," according to him, is the meaning ; but 
Ave other commentators disagree, and the author, thinking that 
Mallinatha is wrong, has adopted the sense above. It appears 
that the wine made from the fruit of the Kalpa trees was 
ratirasam, '^ flavoured with aphrodisiac properties," a kind 
of philtre which produces the effects mentioned in the following 
stanzas. 



HEGHA DUTA. 43 

69. 

By the Mandara blossoms, fallen from the hair by the 
agitation of their motion, by the golden lotus broken 
in pieces, dropped from the ear, by pearls, the strings 
of which are adorning their ample breasts, and by the 
necklaces, at the dawning sun are disclosed the nightly 
ways of loving women. 



Mandara (Erithrina fulgens) one of the five trees of Paradise. 



70 {Calcutta Ed. 71). 

If there the lovers, from desire, into their impudent 
hands throw the garments of the Yaksha women, the 
waist-strings of which being loosened had become 
slack; in vain do they, covered with shame, throw a 
handful of chuma on the jewel lamps with lofty flames. 



The word Nivi signifies a kind of wrapper which Indian 
women wear round their loins, fastened with strings. 

The Chuma is a sjireet powder of some sort, with which the 
women, according to the poet, endeavoured to extinguish the 
lamps. 

A Commentator observes that the lamps were the jewels 
themselves. 



MEGHA DUTA. 44 

71. 

By their guide, the perpetually going (wind), the 
clouds carried to the top of the lofty palace floors, 
similar to thee, having spoilt the painting with their 
water-drops, fall off sickened through the windows, as 
it were by dread, being skilled in the imitation of the 
breaking forth of smoke. 



^ /N^k^V^K^X Ak<-^ 



It appears that inceuse and perfume were constantly escaping 
from the women s apartments at Alaka. 

The clouds having by their rain spoilt the paintings on the 
roofs of the palaces, and fearing the consequences, they separated 
themselves into small tufts, and pretended to be the legitimate 
steam issuing from the windows. 

72. 

The moonstones hanging in thread nets there remove 
the enjoyment-produced lassitude of limb ia the 
women, caused by their being embraced in the arms of 
their lovers, which (moonstones) excited by the moon- 
rays, clear through the absence of thy obstruction, shed 
drops of bursting water. 



The Chandrakanta is the moonstone, a very common gem, to 
which the power of absorbing the moon's rays, and then causing 
them to exude in the shape of cool water, has been super- 
stitiously ascribed by the Indians : they were also supposed to 
have the power of removing the Suratiglanim from women, as 
mentioned above. 

Suratiglanim = Sringarajanitakhedam. 



MEGHA DUTA. 



45 



73 {Calcutta Ed. 76). 

Knowing that the god, friend to the Lord of Wealth, 
personally dwells there, Manmatha being fearfiil, com- 
monly there does not bear the bow strung with bees. 
His work is effected by the blandishments of artful 
women, whose arched eyebrows are not imsuccessful 
against the lovers, their target. 



The friend of Kuvera is Siva, of whom Manmatha, the god of 
love, was afraid, having once before felt his anger, when he 
was reduced to ashes by a fiery glance of that god, because he 
(Manmatha) had inflamed him with love for Sita. The words 
sabrabhangaprahitayanai admit of two interpretations, " with 
frown discharged glances," etc., etc., or " with glances sent from 
their arched eyebrows," etc., etc. 



74 {Calcutta Ed. 78). 

There, to the northward of the palace of the Lord of 
Wealth, is my dwelling, to be recognized from afar by 
its ornamental door, beautiful as the bow of the Lord 
of Gods (Indra), in the gardens of which is the young 
Mandara tree, caused to grow by my beloved wife, like 
an adopted son, bending down through the weight of 
its clusters, attainable to the hand {i.e. within reach.) 



The Lord of Gods = Indra. Beautiful as Indra's bow— 1.«., the 
rainbow. 



MEGHA DUTA. 46 

75 {Calcutta Ed. 79). 

And from this, a flight of stairs formed of emerald 
slabs leads to a large oblong pond, covered with golden 
lotus, with stalks glossy like lapis lazuli. The Kansas, 
which make their residence in its waters, throw aside 
regret, for when they see thee, they think no more 
of the adjacent Manasa. 



The Hansas, or geese, seeing the cloud which will fill their 
pond with rain, no longer think of taking their accustomed 
flight to Manasa. 



7Q {Calcutta Ed. SO). 

On the banks of this is a beautifid mountain for 
sport, whose summit, composed of sapphires, is worthy 
to be seen on account of its being enclosed by golden 
plantains. "This is the favourite of my beloved,*' — 
thus I think in my remembrance, I, unhappy, when, 
with disordered mind, I regard thee whose sides are 
flashing with Lightning. 



These pleasure mountains were artificial — " Kritamadri," i.e., 
made mountains. '^ He walked in the rainy season on the arti- 
ficial mountains, inhabited by peafowl, drunk with desire." — 
Baghu Yansa, xix. 37. 

Beautiful women are compared to lightning, thus the Light- 
ning reminds the Yaksha of his wife. 

Hashing with, lit., beflashed with. 



MEGHA DUTA. 47 

77 {Calcutta Ed. 81). 

Contiguous to a grove of Mandhavi flowers, sur- 
rounded by Kuruvakas, is the Red Asoka, with tremu- 
lous blossoms, and the lovely Kesara. The one, like 
me, longs for the beautiful feet of thy friend, the other 
desires the wine of her mouth, under the pretext of a 
longing. 



•^*^r %/ ^*%*%,-> 



There is a jeu de mots here intended ; rakta, ^' red," means 
also "devoted," — thus, "is the devoted Asoka," may be read. 
The word, Kanta, "lovely," means also "beloved," — thus, the 
" lover Kesara " may be uhderstood. To properly understand 
the point of this, it is necessary to refer to a very pretty Indian 
superstition ; the Asoka only blossoms when trodden on by a 
beautiful woman, and the Kesara only when it has been kissed 
by her lips : thus, in the Baghu Yansa, Adja, deploring the 
death of his wife, says : — " Thy death, sweet wife, is even 
deplored by this Asoka, shedding flowers instead of tears, when 
it remembers that it was touched by thy foot, with its sweetly 
tinkling anklets, a favour not easily to be obtained." — Baghu 
Vansa, viii. 62. 

Pretext of a longing, envie defemme enceirUe, 



MEGHA DUTA. 48 

78 {Calcutta Ed. 82.) 

In the centre (of this grove) firiend, is a roosting 
pillar of gold, with a square base of crystal, which base 
is set with jewels, which glitter like a scarcely-grown 
reed, on which at the decline of day, your friend, a blue 
neck, alights, which by my wife's hand-clapping (where- 
by her two bracelets sweetly tinkle) is made to dance. 



Yasayashti, lit^ a house-post ; here a kind of artificial perch 
for the peafowl to roost on at night. Thus in Eaghu Yansa, xyi, 
14 : — ** With only part of their tails remaining, on account of 
the burning of their bowers, the tame peacocks, their perches 
being destroyed, fly into the trees to roost." 

The precious stones resembling reeds, ^fere emeralds, put 
there to attract the birds by their colour, as resembling verdure. 



79 {Calcutta Ed. 83). 

By these indications treasured up in your heart, and 
having seen painted figures on the doors of the chank 
and lotus, firiend, thou wilt properly know my 
dwelling ; now certainly, from my absence, having 
small lustre, for the lotus retains not its beauty in the 
absence of the sun. 



The Chank and Lotus, — sankhapadma — two of the nine 
treasures of Kuvera. The Chank is a shell found in Ceylon 
(Voluta gravis), much used in Indian temples. At one time it 
was a source of considerable revenue to the government. 



MEGHA DUTA. 49 

80 {Calcutta Ed. 84). 

Go quickly, assuming the form of a young elephant, 
with a view to her protection, and reclining on the 
before-mentioned pleasure-mountain with the beautiful 
summit ; you must then open thy lightning-eye, making 
however a very small flash (like a swarm of playing 
fireflies) into the interior of the house. 

Open thy lightning-eye, — i,e,, mild, summer lightning — poeti- 
cally put as the mild glance of the eye of the Cloud. The 
Cloud is told to reduce itself to the size of a young elephant in 
order not to frighten her, as she might suppose that a thunder- 
storm was imminent, if it were to retain its gigantic proportions. 

81 {Calcutta Ed. 85). 

She, the brunette, the delicate, with teeth like jasmin 
buds, with ripd bimba lips, the slender-waisted, the 
timid roe-eyed, the deep-navelled, she, who walks 
slowly on account of the weight of her hips, slightly 
bent forward by (the weight of) her two breasts ; who 
is as it were the first creation of Brahma among young 
women. 

The word "syama," may also mean, "A woman who has 
never borne children;" the common and ordinary sense is 
"yellowish brown." 

A commentator, Bharatamallika, says that it means "A woman 
who is warm in the cold season, and cool in the hot season, and 
who has naturally soft limbs.** 

Sronlbhara has the meaning of jaghanadoshat, ».«., the detri 
mental effects of the circumference of her hips, ix.y detrimental 
to her walking. 

7 



MEGHA DUTA. 50 

82 {Cakutta Ed. 86). 

Thou mayst know her, sparing in talk, my second 
life (I, her companion, being far away), from her 
resemblance to the lonely Chakravaki. I imagine that 
my young wife, from much pining in the course of 
these heavy days, will have become much changed, 
like a lotus cold-season-nipped. 



The Chakravaka, in Indian popular belief, was cursed by 
Bama, and constantly obliged to separate from its mate every 
night. 



83 {Calcutta Ed, 87). 

Surely, therefore, the eyes of my beloved, from 
violent weeping, are swollen, and the colour of her lips 
destroyed by the heat of her sighs ; her face leaning on 
her hand not fully displayed on account of the pen- 
dulous state of her curls, bears the (likeness of the) 
wretched state of the moon, when his lustre is obscured 
by thy interposition. 



Dindodaimyam=indu, moon; dairnya, affliction — the un- 
happy state of the moon, or the tormented state of the moon. 



MEGHA DUTA. 51 

84 {Calcutta Ed. 88). 

At thy view she falls before thee, being then either 
engaged actively in the daily Bali offering; or picturing 
my resemblance conceivable as emaciated from separa- 
tion ; or enquiring of the sweetly-taUdng cage-dwelling 
Sarika, "Surely thou rememberest thy mate, lonely 
one, for truly thou art his beloved." 



The Calcutta Edition reads pui^, " the city " — " as thy view 
falls on the city." 

Tn% Sarika (gracula religiosa) is one of the most common hill- 
birds in India ; the talking Maina. 



85 {Calcutta Ed. 89). 

Or, dear one, having placed the vina on her 
dirtily-clothed thigh, wishing to sing a song consisting 
of well-arranged words concerning my family (having 
somehow or other caused the strings wet with tears 
to vibrate), again and again, forgetting the musical airs, 
though even composed by herself. 



Dirty garments, or garments neglected, were a sign of sorrow. 
Wilson has — 

^^ And round the robe-neglected shoulder slung.*' 



MEGHA DUTA. 



52 



86 {Cakutta Ud. 90). 

Or she is arranging on the ground, by way of count- 
ing the still remaining months of the period fixed 
upon, by means of flowers thrown on the threshold, or 
rejoicing in reunion (with me) treasured up in her heart 
— for of parted lovers that is the usual pastime of 
women. 



The Indian women were in the habit of hanging up flowers 
according to the number of the days that their lovers or 
husbands were to be absent. They then threw them on the 
floor, one by one, to ascertain the number of days that they had 
passed alone. This flower register is here alluded to. 

In the Calcutta Edition the reading is matyogam, instead of 
samyogam ; the meaning, however, is quite plain. The sense of 
hridyanihitarambham is, as Mallinatha observes, '^ the imagina- 
tion of obtaining, *' etc. 



87 {Calcutta Ed. 91). 

During the day, being employed, her absence from 
me may not so much distress her ; but at night, I fear, 
thy friend, void of pastime, suflfers heavy sorrows. 
Placed close to the window, observe this virtuous wife 
at midnight resting on the ground, — ^in order to render 
her happy by my message. 



Vt'X.^'V/VV 



The Calcutta edition has saidhavatayanastah, instead of 
sannavatS,yanastah, which would make the rendering ^^ standing 
by the comer of the palace.'* 



MEGHA DUTA. 53 

88 {Calcutta Ed. 92). 

She, who there from mental agony may be flung on 
her side on the lonely bed, emaciated like the eool- 
rayed-one on the eastern horizon, the measure of one- 
sixteenth of its diameter only remaining, passing the 
night, which by means of enjoyment at will was passed 
with me like a moment, with hot tears, caused by 
separation. 



The construction of the latter part of the stanza is difficult 
and obscure. Wilson has very beautifully rendered it, and 
with great delicacy : — 

" Now seeking sleep, a husband to restore ; 
And waking now, his absence to deplore." 
Himansoh, an epithet of the moon = Cool-rayed. 

89 {Cakutta Ed. 94). 

With sighs which hurt her lip buds, she throws aside 
her locks rough from clean washing, which certainly 
are falling down on her cheek. " A close union with 
him I may perhaps find in sleep." Thus reflecting, she 
longs for sleep, the approach of which is hindered by 
the breaking forth of her eye- water. 



It must be recollected that she was a child of nature, and 
that this poem was written two thousand years ago ; any 
apparent want of delicacy of sentiment must not militate 
against our appreciation of the excellence of the beautiful 
Yakshini. 



MEGHA DUTA. 54 

90 {Calcutta Ed. 95). 

The top-knot which she tied on the first day of sepa- 
ration, which, at the termination of the curse, my 
sorrow having ceased, shaU be untied by me,— having 
become fatigued by the touch of this, she removes it 
repeatedly with her hand (the nails of which are 
neglected) as from its hard and rough state it Mis 
painfully on her cheek globes. 

The Indian women of rank always removed their chaplets of 
precious stones when their husbands left them. 

The top-knoty or Yeni, has been already explained as the 
Braid of Absence. 

Grandabhogat means, literally, the convexity of the cheeks. 

A Commentator remarks that women in the absence of their 
husbands neglect their nails. 

91 {Calcutta Ed, 93). 

Covering the eye, which went towards the moon rays 
(cold like Amrita entering through the windows) with 
former love, she withdraws through weariness with her 
tear-heavy lids, like to an Hibiscus mutabilis in cloudy 
weather — ^not awake, not asleep. 

When she was happy formerly she greeted the entering moon 
rays. 

A commentator remarks — Moonlight delights in the presence 
of a lover, but it excites powerful feelings in his absence. 

According to Indian popular belief, the Hibiscus mutabilis, 
which is a kind of water-lily, always slept at night, and only 
awoke or opened its flowers under the influence of the sun's 
rays. Thus, in the day time, on a cloudy day, it would be only 
half-open — neither asleep nor awake — like the Yakshini in the 
absence of her sun— her husband. 



HE6HA DUTA. 55 

92 {Calcutta Ed. 96). 

She, the delicate young wife, wearing in intense 
misery her body, all the ornaments of which have been 
discarded, incessantly thrown on the edge of the couch, 
will without doubt cause thee to shed tears in the form 
of water-drops, for commonly all of moist interior (i.e., 
soft hearts) are pitifully-disposed souls. 



Commentators say that she discarded her ornaments because 
she was too weak to wear them* The word Abarana, '^ orna- 
ments," is from the root bhri, '* to bear or support," hence the 
comment. 

The Cloud being moist within, Le,, having rain within, is com- 
pared to a soft-hearted person. 



93 {Calcutta Ed. 97). 

« 

I know that the heart of thy friend is filled with 
affection for me, I would therefore presume that she, at 
this our first separation, has become thus : the condition 
of believing myself happy does not make me a boaster ; 
shortly wilt thou, brother, have all that I have said 
made evident. 



She is thus, i.e., as has been described in the preceding verses. 
" From a self-conceit that I am beloved." Subhagammanya- 
bhavah, lit., " state of imagination of being beloved." " Do not 
suppose that I am boasting, like a conceited fellow, of being a 
favourite of the women. 



MEGHA DUTA. 56 

94 {CakuUa Ed. 94). 

The eye of the roe-eyed woman whose side glances 
are shut out by her locks, and which is destitute of kohl, 
and of which from disuse of wine the brow-play is 
forgotten, I think will (when at thy approach it is 
twinkling upwards) obtain a resemblance to a reed 
tremidous from the contact of a fish. 

**0f whose eye." The commentator says that the left eye is 
here meant. 

The twinkling of the left eye, as well as a pulsation or 
throbbing of the left thigh, in women, was a sign of luck, as we 
shall see in the next stanza. 

95 {Calcutta Ed. 99). 

Thus, her left thigh, free &om my finger-nail marks 
by the course of fate, deprived of the long- worn pearl 
rows, accustomed to the soft rubbing of my hand at the 
end of enjoyment, pale as the stem of the golden plan- 
tain tree, will become tremulous. 



Yachaspatigovinda, a learned pundit, remarks, ''her thigh 
has become of a pale yellow from grief, as formerly it was 
brown ! ! 

The word Hastasamvahananam, here translated ''soft rubbing 
of my hand," means, more particularly, shampooed, to remove 
lassitude, at which operation the natives of India are very 
expert. The Yaksha intends it to be understood that he per- 
formed the act of shampooing in order to remove the surata^ 
glanim of his wife, thus doing the office of a chandrukanta, or 
moonstone. — See stanzas 72 and 33, where the cool Sipra wind 
performs the same office on a similar occasion. 



MEOHA DUTA. ^57 

96 {Calcutta Ed. 100). 

If> Cloud, at this time slie should have obtained 
the sweetness of sleep, there floating and withholding 
thy thunder, wait, for the measure of a yama, so as not 
(when she has obtained me her lover somehow in a 
dream) to cause it to be one, in which the knot of her 
arm tendrils immediately drops from my neck. 



The day of the Indians was divided into eight parts, of three 
hours each, called Yama. 



97 (Calcutta Ed. 101). 

She, having been aroused by the wind cool' from 
thy water-drops, and refreshed with the young buds 
of the jasmin, commence to address her, the respected 
one, by a deep-sounding speech, whose eye (thou stand- 
ing at the window) remains steady at thy lightning's 
flash. 



She remains with a steady eye before the lightning, because it 
is of such a mild summer nature as not to dazzle her! — 
KalyanamaUa. 

8 



MEGHA DUTA. 58 

98 {Calcutta Ed. 102). 

Know tliat I, the Cloud, am a dear friend of thy 
lord (for now thou art not husbandless). In thy 
vicinity I have come with the tidings deposited in 
his affectionate mind ; I, who with agreeable rumbling 
sounds urge to speed the crowds of lagging travellers 
who are anxious to imbind the veni. 



If the tired traveller sat down for a moment, the sight of the 
Cloud was sufficient to urge him to continue his journey. — 
BharatamaUika, 



99 {Calcutta Ed. 103). 

She, longing, with a beating heart, having heard 
this announcement, directing her face upwards, and 
having seen and honoured thee, like Maithali (did) the 
Son of the Wind (Hanuman), will, friend, atten- 
tively listen to the rest — to women, tidings delivered 
of a husband through a friend is only a little less than 
reunion (with him). 



Maithali is another name for Sita, the wife of Bama. The 
Son of the Wind was Hanuman, the son of Pavana (the Wind). 
When Sita was carried away to Lanka, or Ceylon, by Havana, 
Hanuman brought her tidings of her husband, hence she hon- 
oured him. Wilson quotes an Arabic proverb, " Correspondence, 
they say, is half an interview.* 



MEGHA DUTA. 59 

100 {Calcutta Ed. 104). 

And, long-Kved one, on account of my speech to 
you, and in order to satisfy yourself, say thus : " Thy 
husband is a sojourner at the hermitage of Samagiri, 
not quite dead ; he asks, woman, after thy welfare, 
you the separated one ; for as (our) bodies are subject 
to decay, on this point consolation should be obtained 
first. 



Ayushman was a respectful mode of address from an inferior. 
It is the first word in the drama of Sacuntala, where the 
Charioteer addresses the King — equivalent to " May the King 
live for ever." It is considered a want of politeness in the East 
to suppose that great men ever die. It is related of MasiUon 
that, preaching before the King, he said "nous monrons tons" — 
but, seeing the King's eye fixed on him, he corrected himself — 
** c'est ^ dire presque tons " — ^in fact, he said " Ayushman." 



101 {Calcutta Ed, 105). 
"He, the far-dweller, with his emaciated, pain- 
scorched, tearful, deep-sighing body, becomes joined 
with thy body, also emaciated, burning, pining, tear- 
dissolved — only however in a longing imagination, as 
a hostile fate obstructs his path. 



What though to distance driven by wrath divine. 
Imagination joins his form to thine — Wilson. 



MEGHA DUTA* 60 

102 {Calcutta Ed. 107). 

"He, who in presence of thy female companions, 
that which might be said aloud, is desirous of whis- 
pering in thy ear, &om a longing for a contact with 
thy face, now away beyond ear-range and not accessible 
to eye-sight, by my mouth, says thus, pining, in a com- 
posed verse. 



Under the pretence of saying something of a private nature, 
although he never said anythuig but what he might have said 
aloud, the Yaksha was in the habit of stealing a kiss, just as we 
do now on similar occasions. 



103 {Calcutta Ed. 107). 

" In the stalk of the priangu I see thy slender limbs, 
thy glance, in the eyes of the timid roe, the beauty 
of the moon in thy cheeks, in the fullness of the 
peacock's train thy (luxuriant) hair, in the gentle 
ripple of the brook thy brow-play, fair one ; but 
thy parallel is surely nowhere combined (in any of 
these). 



All the beauties which are in the tendril I see in thy limbs, — 
of thine eyes, in the roe's, — of thy face, in the moon, — ^thy full- 
ness of hair, in the fullness of the peacock's tail, which also 
reminds me of its ornaments, — ^thy languishing looks, in the 
ripple of the brook ; — but in thee alone are all these points of 
beauty united. 



MSOHA DUTA. 61 

104 {Calcutta Ed. 108). 

" Have I painted thee, as seized with love's rage on 
the rock in red chalk, and wish to represent myself 
as prostrate at thy feet, my sight is repeatedly ob- 
scured by gushing tears ; even here, cruel fate will not 
allow the union of us two. 



The word which has been rendered "red chalk" is dhaturaga 
— earthy red, a mineral red or metallic red — something which 
the country produced, and with which the Yaksha used to 
scratch figures on the rock. 

Dhatu means any elementary substance— datri, Bramah the 
creator. 



105 [Calcutta Ed. caret). 

" Removed afar from thy face, fragrant as the earth 
wet with showers, fair one, I, emaciated and wounded 
by the five-arrowed (god). Reflect, on this account 
how the days of the hot season will pass, till, by 
outspread clouds adhering to the regions above, the 
heat of the sun will be expelled. 



This verse has been omitted from all editions, — ^texts, as well 
as translations,— except Wilson's. There can be little doubt that 
it is spurious. It has been translated here merely because Wil- 
son's edition is the one generally used by Sanscrit students. 
Certainly it is very trite and stupid, and the poem would not 
lose by its omission. 



MEGHA DUTA. 62 

106 (Calcutta Ed. 109). 

" Seeing me with outstretched arms in the air, for 
the purpose of a close embrace, when I have somehow 
obtained thee in the vision of dreams, the deities of 
the spot will surely abundantly let fall tear-drops 
big as pearls on the young shoots. 



The deities of the place, i,e,, of Ramagiri. The dryads or 
fauns, sialldeva. 



107 {Cakutta Ed. 110). 

" The snowy-mountain wind, suddenly breaking the 
pods of the young shoots of the devadara trees, which, 
fragrant from the exuding sap, is directed towards the 
south, will be embraced, precious one, by me, in the 
idea that perhaps it may have touched thy body 
previously. 



The Devadara is the gigantic pine of the Himalya. 



MEGHA DUTA. 63 

108 (Calcutta Ed. 111). 

" How can the long hours of the three watches be 
reduced to a moment P How can the sunshine of the 
day be softened at all times P Thus my heart which 
desires that which is difficult of attainment through 
the bitter anguish of separation from thee, timid- 
eyed one, has lost its support* 



might this night appear to me as a moment. might this 
sun's heat be all day cool to me. Thus I often wish — but as it 
is impossible, I have no remedy. 



109 (Calcutta Ed. 111). 

" Much reflecting, however, I find support in myself ; 
therefore, virtuous one, do not thou be giving way 
entirely to despondency. Who ever obtained uninter- 
rupted happiness, or exclusively endless misery P The 
state of man, like the rim of a wheel's course, is now 
up and now down. 



This comparison of the lot of man to a wheel's course is 
common to many languages. The translator has met with it in 
Arabic and Persian, and the well-known lines ascribed to 
Anacreon are to the same purport : — 

Tpoxbs fyfAOTos 7^ ola 
fiiorhi Tp4x» KvXurBtls. 



MEGHA DUTA. 64 

110 {Calcutta Ed. 113). 

" On the bearer of (the bow) Samga arising from his 
serpent couch, the curse hanging over me will be at an 
end, these four months cause to pass, shutting the eyes ; 
hereafter we will enjoy many souls' delights, enhanced 
by the separation, in the moonlight nights of the mature 
autumn. 

The bearer of Samga is Yishnu ; Samga is the name of his 
bow. 

The Yaksha recommends his wife to pass the remaining part 
of their separation in sleep. 

Yishnu sleeps on the thousand-headed snake, and only arises 
when autumn approaches at the month Ashada. 



Ill {Calcutta Ed. 114). 

" And once again haply thou wilt be on the couch 
with me as formerly, clinging to my neck ; suddenly 
thou wilt awake somewhat weeping, and being re- 
peatedly asked (the reason), you will relate to me, 
with half-suppressed laughter, * You rogue, I saw thee 
in a dream making love to another.' 



This must allude to something that really happened to the 
Yaksha before his banishment. I saw you kiss another — ^ramayan 
kamapL 

Drushlassvapne kitava ramayan kamapi tvam mayeti. 



MEGHA DUTA. 65 

112 {Calcutta Ed. 115). 

" As by this token you will know that I am well, 
black-eyed one, give not way to distrust on account of 
any detraction. They say that love becomes in a 
degree destroyed on account of absence of enjoyment. 
At the sight, howeve^, of a token, the feelings are 
augmented, and they become a heap of affection.'' 



Asit, black ; lit., not white. 

The Calcutta Edition reads " chakitanayan," which would 
alter " black-eyed one'* into " timid-eyed one." 



113 {Calcutta Ed. 117). 

friend, hast thou undertaken this service of friend- 
ship for me? Certainly, the refusal of a reply will 
not lead me to doubt reticence on thy part. In silence, 
indeed, thou givest rain to the soliciting chatakas. 
The reply of a virtuous one to the request of peti- 
tioners is, performance. 



The chataka is said only to drink the rain in the air as it falls. 

9 



MEGHA DUTA. 66 

114 {Calcutta Ed. 116). 

Having, therefore, in the first place consoled this 
my loved one in her bitter mourning, descend from the 
mountain peak (made sacred by having been dug up 
by the horns of the bidl of the] three-eyed one) with a 
token, sent as a message to me of her welfare, and thus 
sustain an existence drooping like a jasmin blossom 
at dawn. 



This stanza is generally admitted to be spurious. 



115 {Calcutta Ed, 118). 

Having performed this request of my heart in a 
manner becoming a friend, whether from friendship 
or from a feeling of pity on account of my misery, 
go, Cloud, richly stored with rain, to those regions 
which thou desirest, and mayst thou never, like me, 
be separated from thy Lightning (wife). 



ME6HA DIJTA. * 67 

116. 

Having heard the message, the Cloud indeed men- 
tions it to the God of Wealth, whose heart relenting, 
he made an end to the curse, laid aside his anger, and 
rejoined the couple. Thus he removed their sorrow 
and rejoiced their hearts with enjoyment after separa- 
tion, and made them taste happiness perpetually. 



SAMAPTAM. 



Note. — In the foregoing translation the object of the Author 
has been to give the sense of the Sanscrit text, and he trusts that 
it will be found sufficiently literal to ease the labours of those 
who wish to study the original text. That it is free from 
errors entirely can be hardly expected. A poem written two 
thousand years ago must contain passages and allusions which 
we can now only see obscurely, or which are lost to us for ever. 



STEPHEN AUSTIN, PRINTBB, HERTFORD. 



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