Kamanita And Vasitthi
[By KARL GJELLERUP]
THE ROUNDELAY OF THE BLESSÈD
"How glorious that must be," thought Kāmanīta.
"But that is, I imagine, a very difficult accomplishment,
although it looks as if it were nothing. I wonder whether I
shall ever be able to learn it."
"You are able now; all you have to do is desire it,"
answered his neighbour in blue, to whom the last question
Instantly Kāmanīta had the feeling that something
was lifting his body upward. He was already floating away
across the pond towards the bank and soon he was in the
midst of the greenery. Whithersoever his glance was
directed, there his flight followed, as soon as the wish was
formed, and as quickly or slowly as he desired. He now
saw other lotus pools equally splendid as the one he had
just left. He wandered on through charming groves where
birds of bright colours sprang from branch to branch, their
melodious songs blending with the soft rustling of the
tree‐tops. He floated over flower‐strewn valleys where
graceful antelopes trotted and played without fearing him
in the least, and finally he let himself down on the gentle
slope of a hill. Between the trunks of trees and flowering
shrubs he saw the corner of a lake where the water
sparkled round large lotus blossoms, several of whose
flower‐thrones bore blissful figures, while several others,
even of the perfectly opened ones, were empty.
It was plainly a moment of communal festivity. As
on a warm summer evening fire‐flies circle hither and
thither under the trees and round about the shrubbery in
noiseless, luminous movement, so here these radiant
forms swayed singly and in pairs, in large groups of
chains, through the groves and around the rocks. At the
same time it was possible to see from their glances and
gestures that they were conversing animatedly with one
another, and one could easily divine the invisible threads
of the exchanges which were being carried on between
the noiseless passers‐by.
In a state of sweet and dreamy shyness Kāmanīta
enjoyed this charming spectacle, until gradually there
grew in him a desire to converse with these happy ones.
Immediately he was surrounded by a whole com‐
pany who greeted him kindly as the newly arrived, the
Kāmanīta wondered much, and inquired how it
was that the news of his coming had already been spread
abroad all over Sukhavatī.
"Oh! when a lotus opens itself all the other lotus
flowers in the lakes of Paradise are moved, and every
being is conscious that another has somewhere among us
awakened into bliss."
"But how could you know that I happened to be
The figures floating around him smiled charmingly.
"You are not yet fully awake. You look at us as
though you are seeing dream‐figures and are afraid that
we might suddenly disappear, and that rude reality will
once again surround you."
Kāmanīta shook his head.
"I don't quite understand. What are dream‐figures?"
"You forget," said one white‐robed figure, "that he
has not yet been to the Coral Tree."
"No, I have not yet been there. But I have already
heard of it. My neighbour on the lake mentioned it; the
tree is said to be such a wondrous one. What is there
But they all smiled mysteriously, looking at one
another and shaking their heads.
"I would like so much to go there at once. Will no
one show me the way?"
"You will find the way yourself when the time
Kāmanīta drew his hand over his forehead.
"There is yet another wonderful thing here of
which he spoke... yes, the Heavenly Gangā... by it our
lake is fed. Is that so with yours also?"
The white‐robed figure pointed to the clear little
river that wound round about the foot of the hill and so,
by easy turnings, onward to the pool.
"That is our Source. Countless such arteries inter‐
sect these fields, and that which you have seen is a similar
one, even if somewhat larger. But the Heavenly Gangā
itself surrounds the whole of Sukhavatī."
"Have you also seen it?"
The white‐robed one shook her head.
"Is it not possible to go there, then?"
"Oh, it is possible," they all answered, "but none of
us have been there. Besides, why should we go? It cannot
be more beautiful anywhere than here. Several of the
others, to be sure, have been there, but they have never
flown there again."
His white‐robed visitor pointed towards the pond:
"Do you see the red figure, almost at the other
bank? He was there once, though it is long, long ago. Shall
we ask him whether he has flown again since then to the
shores of the Gangā?"
"Never again," at once came the answer from him
of the red robe.
"And why not?"
"Fly there yourself and bring back the answer."
"Shall we? Together with you I might do it."
"I should like to go — but not now."
Forth from a neighbouring grove there floated a
train of happy figures. They wound a chain about the
meadow shrubbery and, while they extended the chain,
the figure at the end, a light blue one, seized the hand of
the white‐robe. She stretched out her other hand invitingly
He thanked her smilingly, but gently shook his
"I would prefer to be a spectator still."
"Yes, better rest and awaken. For the present,
farewell." And, gently led away by the light blue, she
floated thence in the airy roundelay.
The others also, with kind and cheerful greetings,
moved away so that he might have quietude in which to
***********to be continued****************
Edited by yawares