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The Great Distress caused by Love. 18. A dog, wretched, worn out, lame, deaf, without a tail, and covered with sores, overcome with hunger, and with a piece of broken pot tied round his neck, still runs after his mate. Love destroys even that which is already dead.
The Mighty Power of Objects of Sense. 19. A man may live by begging; his food may be tasteless, only enough for one meal; his bed may be the bare earth; he may have no attendant but himself; his clothes may be in a thousand pieces through age, hardly able to hold together. Alas! even then objects of sense do not quit their hold over him!
Dispraise of Beauty. 20. The beauties of a woman are praised by the elegant poets; her breast is compared to two pots of gold, her face to the moon, her hips to the forehead of an elephant; but yet the beauty of a woman does not merit praise.
21. A moth may fall into the flame of a candle through ignorance; a fish may take a piece of meat fastened to a hook, not knowing what it is; but we who know perfectly the many entanglements of fortune yet do not give up our desire. Ah! in what a thicket of error do we wander!
The Setting Forth of Evil Men. 22. Lotus fibre is enough for our food; water suffices for us to drink; we may lie on the bare earth; we may be clothed in bark raiment. I approve not the evil behaviour of bad men, whose senses are led astray through the thirst for gold.
Setting Forth the States of Honour. 23. This created world was ruled in former times by great sages; by others afterwards it was cast away like
straw, after they had conquered it: even now heroes rule fourteen divisions of the world. Whence then is the feverish desire that men have for a few cities?
24. Thou art a king: I am of the number of the spiritual teachers, honoured for my wisdom by the world. Thy riches are celebrated: my fame is celebrated by poets. Thus, 0 giver of blessings ! there is not a great interval between us. Thou hast thy face averted from me, but yet I have no desire for thy favour.
The Setting Forth of Freedom from Desire.
25. Hundreds of princes always have been, and always are, incessantly disputing for the possession of earthly enjoyments, and still kings do not abandon pride in their possessions. Owners of the earth in their folly display delight in the acquirement of even the very smallest particle, while, on the contrary, they ought to manifest sorrow.
26. This earth is but an atom of clay surrounded by the line of ocean. Kings have subdued it in hundreds of battles, and have divided it among themselves. These wicked, contemptible men might give or they might not: there is no wonder in that! But shame on those lowminded persons who beg alms from them.
The Description of Evil Servitude.
27. I am not an actor; I am not a courtesan; I am not a singer; I am not a buffoon; I am not a beautiful woman: what have I to do with king's palaces ?
28. Once wisdom was employed to gain relief from pain; afterwards it began to be used for the attainment of pleasure. Now, alas! men who dwell on the earth plainly care nothing for the sacred wisdom, therefore day by day it goes farther from them.
The Setting Forth of Egotism or Pride. 29. That man is truly born great whose white skull is worn by Śiva (the enemy of Kâma) as an ornament lifted up on high. What means, then, this unequalled burden of pride which kings now display, who are worshipped by other men, intent solely on saving their royal lives ?
30. Thou art the lord of wealth; I of speech : thou art a hero in war; my skill is shown in subduing the proud by the power of my eloquence: men bow down before thee, but they listen to me that their minds may be purified. If, O king! thou hast no desire for me, still less is my desire for thee.
31. When I was possessed of a small amount of knowledge, my mind was filled with pride, even as an elephant is blinded by passion, and I thought within myself that I knew everything. When I had learnt many things from wise men, I discovered my foolishness, and my mad excitement left me.
Condition of Indifference. 32. Time has gone by, passed without difficulty through the pleasing society of beautiful women. We are wearied through our long wanderings in the path of transmigrations. We lie on the banks of Śiva's own river, and we invoke him with piercing cries, calling “Śiva! Śiva! Śiva!”
33. When honour has fled, when wealth is lost, when one's desire has departed and one has gained nothing; when one's relations are dead, one's friends have vanished, one's youth has faded by degrees: then there is only one thing left for a wise man—a dwelling in a mountain cave, whose rocks are purified by the stream of the Ganges.
34. Why, O my heart, dost thou attempt day by day to conciliate the favour of others, bringing forth no fruit of thy toil ? Surely, if a purified will were in thee, all thy desires would be fulfilled, and there would be no need to pay court to other men, for thou wouldst be at rest inwardly.
The Path of Enjoyment. 35. In health there is the fear of disease; in pride of family the fear of a fall; in wealth the fear of the king; in honour the fear of abasement; in power the fear of enemies; in beauty the fear of old age; in the scriptures the fear of controversy ; in virtue the fear of evil ; in the body the fear of death. Everything on earth is beset by fear; the only freedom from fear is in the renunciation of desire.
36. What have we not attempted for the sake of those lives of ours which are as unstable as the drop of water on the lotus-leaf? Even we commit sin by boasting of our own virtues shamelessly before those rich men whose minds are senseless through the intoxicating power of wealth.
37. Homage be to time! The delights of the city, the great king with his crowds of courtiers, the counsellors which stand before him, the women with faces beautiful as the moon, the assembly of haughty princes, the bards, the reciters—these are all borne away by time, and become but a memory.
Setting Forth of Kåla. 38. Those from whom we were born have long since departed; they also with whom we grew up exist only in memory: we too, through the approach of death, become, as it were, trees growing on the sandy bank of a river.
39. In the house where there were many, now there is but one; where there was but one, there were many, and then again but one. So Kâla and Kâlî toss day and night backward and forward as though they were dice, and play with men on the chessboard of this world as if they were chessmen.
40. Shall we dwell beside the divine river in a life of penance ? or shall we desire the society of virtuous women ? or shall we study the multitude of the scriptures, whose poetry is even as nectar? We know not what we shall do, seeing the life of man endures but the twinkling of an eye.
41. Surely the retreats amid the Himâlayas, where the Vidyâdharas dwell among the rocks cooled by the spray of the Ganges, must have ceased to exist, since men enjoy that sustenance which they have gained from others to their own disgrace.
42. When may we sit at peace on the banks of the heavenly river, whose banks of sand are dazzling white in the moonlight ? and when shall we, when the nights are perfectly still, wearied with the satiety of the world, utter cries of “Śiva ! Śiva ! Śiva !” while the tears flow from our eyes ?
43. Mahadeva is the god we worship, and this river is the heavenly river; these caves are the dwelling, the abode of Hari. Kâla, moreover, is our friend, and the rule of life which we observe has freedom from humiliation. What more need I say on this matter ?
44. The Ganges falls from heaven on the head of Siva; from the head of Siva on to the mountain; from the top of the mountain to the earth, always falling lower and lower: even in so many ways is the fall of one whose judgment has departed from him.
45. Desire is like a river. Its waters are men's wishes, agitated by the waves of desire; love takes the place of crocodiles; the birds that fly about it are the doubts which haunt the mind. The tree of firmness growing on the bank is washed away by the flood; the whirlpools of error are very difficult to cross : the lofty banks are the cares of life. The ascetics who, pure in heart, have succeeded in crossing it successfully, are filled with joy.
46. As we look at the ever-changing three worlds, the desire hidden with us, violently attracted towards objects