Kamanita And Vasitthi
[[Translated ~By KARL GJELLERUP]
After midnight while Somadatta and I were on our way back home, we were attacked by several armed men.I felt that I was bleeding copiously from several wounds. My friend was also wounded, though less severely,sudden attack had not remained a mystery to us. None other than the son of the Minister of State,Sātāgira with whom I had wrestled on that unforgettable afternoon in the park for Vāsitthī's ball none other than he had set the hired murderers upon me.Somadatta and I fortunately succeeded in reaching home, where I was obliged to pass several weeks on a bed of pain.
After Vāsitthī heard the bad news,she begged me to immediately leave this town in which I was so threatened with deadly danger because of her presence.Such a farewell I could not abide, and I told her it was not possible to leave without first meeting her alone, With Medinī's help that very night Somadatta informed me of a wonderfully promising plan of hers.
THE PLANNED RENDEZ-VOUS
Next day I started with my ox‐wagons and took care that it should be at the hour when people were on their way to the bazaar or to the law‐courts. In doing so I intentionally chose the most frequented streets so that my departure could not possibly remain hidden from my enemy Sātāgira. After only a few hours' travel, however, I halted in a large village and had my caravan go into night-quarters there, to the great delight of my people. Shortly before sunset I mounted a fresh horse and, wrapped in the coarse cloak of one of my servants, rode back to Kosambī.
Night had fallen and it was quite dark by the time I reached the Simsapā wood. As I carefully guided my horse between the tree‐trunks, I was welcomed by the intoxicating fragrance of the blossoms of the night‐lotus, which rose to greet me from the ancient Krishna pond.Very soon the crumbling roof of the temple, with its swarming images of gods and its jagged and tangled outlines, began to show against the starlit heavens. I was at the appointed place. Scarcely had I swung myself out of the saddle when my friends were at my side. With a cry of rapture, Vāsitthī and I rushed into one another's arms, with the joy of meeting again. All my recollections now are of caresses, stammered words of endearment and assurances of love and fidelity, which absorbed us utterly.
Somadatta and Medini went to sit by the temple not far from us. Vāsitthī and I,now assured one another, with the most solemn oaths, that only 'Death', should be able to part us. Avidly we spoke of my speedy return as soon as the rainy season was over, and discussed ways and means by which her parents should be brought to consent to our union.How all of this was intermingled with innumerable kisses, tears and embraces, I could not now describe to you with even an attempt at truth, for it abides with me only as the remembrance of a vague dream.
**With a look of divine love she caught my hand and pressed it to her cheek and said "Even if we should never again see each other in this world, we shall still remain faithful; and when this painful life on earth is ended, we shall find one another in Paradise and, united there, enjoy the bliss of heaven forever... O Kāmanīta, promise me that.".....
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THE PARADISE BUD
"If it only depends upon that, belovèd Vāsitthī,how could I fail to find you anywhere?" I said, "but let us hope that it will be in this world." "Here everything is uncertain and even the moment in which we now speak is not ours, but it will be otherwise in Paradise."Vāsitthī," I sighed, "is there a Paradise? Where does it lie?"
"Where the sun sets," she replied with complete conviction, "lies the Paradise of Infinite Light; and, for all who have the courage to renounce the worldly, and to fix their thoughts upon that place of bliss, there waits a pure birth from the heart of a lotus flower. The first longing for that Paradise causes a bud to appear in the holy waters of the crystal pools; every pure thought, every good deed, causes it to grow and develop; while all unwholesomeness committed in thought, word and deed gnaws like a worm within it and brings it nearer to withering away." Her eyes shone like temple lights as she spoke thus in a voice which sounded like sweetest music. Then she raised her hand and pointed over the dark tops of the Simsapā trees to where the Milky Way, with a soft radiance upon it as of glowing alabaster, lay along the dark purple star‐sown field of heaven.
"Look there, Kāmanīta," she whispered, "the Heavenly Gangā! Let us swear by its silver waters, which feed the lotus‐pools of the Fields of the Blessèd, to fix our hearts wholly upon the preparing of an eternal home for our love there." Strangely moved, completely carried out of myself and agitated to the very depths of my being, I raised my hand to hers and our hearts thrilled as one at the divine thought that, at that instant in the endless immensities of space, high above the storm of this earthly existence, a double bud of the life of eternal love had come into being.
Vāsitthī sank into my arms as though, with the effort, all her strength was exhausted. Then, having pressed yet another lingering farewell kiss, she rested on my breast to all appearance lifeless. I put her softly onto Medinī's arms, mounted my horse and rode away without once looking back.
*********************************To be continued***********************
Edited by yawares