Kamanita 13 : TO THE OLD KRISHNA TEMPLE

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Kamanita 13 : TO THE OLD KRISHNA TEMPLE

Postby yawares » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:41 am

Dear Members,

:heart: Kamanita And Vasitthi :heart:
[By KARL GJELLERUP]

TO THE OLD KRISHNA TEMPLE

DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG it was before I opened
my lips; but for a very long time, I believe, I sat there
without uttering a word, and let everything Angulimala
had said rise, point by point, before me; and the
more I reflected the more did my wonder grow.
For although I had heard many legends of olden
times where miracles were wrought by the gods, and
particularly of the wonderful deeds of Krishna when he
sojourned on this earth, yet they all appeared trivial when
I compared them with what had befallen Angulimala in
the forest this very day.


And I asked myself now whether that great man,
who had in a few hours transformed the most brutal of
murderers into the gentle being who had just spoken to
me �� that Master who had so easily and surely tamed the
most savage being to be found in the whole realm of
nature �� whether he might not also be able to quiet my
troubled and passion-tossed heart. Would he be able to
banish, by the light of his words, the night-cloud which
grief had caused to settle down upon me? Or was this
maybe more difficult �� a problem the solution of which
went beyond the powers of even the holiest of sages?
I half feared that the latter might be the case but yet
I asked where that great monk whom he called his Master
was to be found, and whether I would be able to visit him.


"The Blessed One abides at present in the same Simsapa wood
which you yourself mentioned. Go there tomorrow but not until
evening. The monks and nuns will then have finished
their silent meditation and will have assembled before the
old Krishna temple, and the Master will speak to them
there and to any others who are present. At that hour
many women and men go there from the town in order to
see the Blessed One and to listen to his illumined teach-
ings; and with each evening the crowd grows greater.
Often these meetings last until late into the night."


"Do not neglect then, noble lady, to go tomorrow
towards sundown to the old Krishna temple; it will long
be a source of happiness to you. I want to get back there
now as quickly as possible. It is not certain, of course,
whether I shall be in time to hear anything. Still, on such
beautiful moonlit nights the monks stay together long,
deep in spiritual discussion, and willingly permit others to
listen."
He bowed himself low before me and quickly
went away.


The next morning I sent a message to Medini,
who was, with her husband Somadatta, just as ready to
bear me company to the Krishna grove.
We drove at once to the markets where Somadatta,
who was attending to his business there, helped us in
seeking out such stuffs as were suitable for the clothing of
the nuns and monks. I also purchased a large quantity of
medicines. Reaching home again we plundered the store-
rooms. Vessels full of the finest ghee, boxes of honey and
sugar, jars with preserves of every kind were set aside for
our offerings. My own cupboards furnished the choicest of
all they contained in the way of perfumed water, sandal-
wood powder and incense; and then we went to the
garden, whose wealth of flowers we did not spare in the
excitement of our new found devotion.
When the longed for hour came all these things
were loaded onto a wagon, to which our oxen were
already harnessed. We ourselves took our seats under the
awning of another carriage and, drawn by the two silver
white, full blooded Sindh horses which every morning ate
some rice from my hand, we drove out of the city
gate. The sun was already nearing the cupolas and towers
of the town behind us; and its rays gilded the dust which
was stirred up along the way by the feet of the multitude
that, like ourselves, had come out to see and hear the Buddha.


We soon reached the entrance to the forest. Here
we stopped our carriage and we pursued our way on foot
like all the others, followed by our servants who bore the
collection of offerings we had brought with us.


Since that night when we two had taken leave of
one another there, I had not been into this wood. And
when I now entered its cool shade in the same company
as before, I was overcome by so piercing a breath of
memory that I froze in my tracks and remained standing
like one stupefied it was a fragrance that seemed to
have been stored up for me there until, with the lapse of
years, its concentrated sweetness had become a poison.
It seemed to me as if my feelings of love had
placed themselves in my way awakened to their full
strength and charging me with desertion and treachery.
For I had not come there, as I knew, to give them fresh
nourishment by inhaling the fragrance of memory but to
seek peace for my disappointed and tortured heart. And
could that not rightfully be called forgetting love, wilfully
renouncing it? Was that not the violation of my word and a
cowardly treachery?
I stood there in fearful uncertainty undecided
whether to go on or to turn back to the great disap-
pointment of Medini, who verily danced with impatience
as others overtook us in great numbers.


The look of the interior of the forest, however
softly illumined by the golden rays of the late afternoon
sun; the gentle admonitory rustle and whisper of the
leaves; the people who at once on entering grew silent
and looked around expectantly and almost timidly; here
and there at the foot of some great tree, a monk wrapped
in the folds of his golden robe, his legs crossed beneath
him, absorbed in meditation; at intervals, one or another
of these rising and without even a look round, moving
quietly away in the direction of the common though as yet
invisible goal �� all this wore an air of quiet mystical
serenity and seemed to bear witness to the fact that here
events were taking place of so unusual and sacred a
character that no power on earth might dare place itself
in opposition to them, aye, that Love itself, if it should
raise a hostile voice, would through that lose its every
divine right.


So I moved resolutely forward, and the words
addressed to Angulimala by the Master concerning the
many generations of people who live and pass away
without a Buddha's being in the world, and of the very
few even among the contemporaries of a Buddha to
whom it is given to hear and to see him �� these words
sounded in my ears like the ringing of a temple bell, and I
felt myself like a favoured one who goes to meet an
experience for which many coming generations would
envy her.


***********to be continued****************

Edited by yawares :heart:
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