« PreviousContinue »
“... nec quicquam tibi prodest Aerias tentasse domos, animoque rotundum Percurrisse polum morituro."
-Hor. Car. i. 25, 4. 81. Cf. Bhagavad., ii. 46—"Not disposed to meditation and perseverance is the intention of those who are devoted to enjoyments and dominion, and whose minds are seduced from the right path by that flowery sentence which is proclaimed by the universe, who delight in texts from the Vedas, and say, 'There is nothing else than that,' being covetous-minded and considering heaven as the chief goal, and which offers regeneration as the reward of actions, and enjoins many different ceremonies for the sake of obtaining pleasures and dominion. ... Let the motive for action be in the action itself, never in its reward ; . . . perform thy actions, being the same in success or failure. The performance of works is far inferior to mental devotion.” Everything but the performance of actions without regard to future results, all virtuous acts, except those performed solely for the sake of virtue, are, as it were, the mere haggling of merchants, with the intention of making the highest profit.” Cf. also Bhagavad., xviii. 66— “Sarvadharmân parityajya mân ekam saranam vraja
aham tvâm sarvapâpebhyo mochayishyâmi.” “ Abandon all religious duties, come to me as the only refuge, so will I deliver thee from all sin."
83. Sapharî, a little fish, supposed to be a carp.
84. “Women seemed the only objects," &c. The text literally translated is—"Drishtam nârîmayam idam aśesham jagadapi,” “This world seemed altogether made up of women.” 86. Cf. Bhagavad., ii. 15“ Yamhi na vyathayanty ete purusham purusharshabha
samaduḥkasukham dhîram śo mțitatvâya kalpate.” “The man whom these outward things do not affect, and who is the same both in pain and pleasure, that man is fitted for immortality."
92. The removal of hunger and thirst are not really pleasure, only a temporary removal of a pain. Cf. Plato, Rep., 584-Πώς oύν ορθώς έστι το μη αλγείν ηδυ ηγείσθαι, ή το μη χαίρειν ανιαρόν ; ουδαμώς. ουκ έστιν άρα τούτο, αλλά φαίνεται, ήν δ' εγώ παρά το αλγεινόν ηδυ, και παρά το ηδυ αλγεινόν τότε η ησυχία, και ουδέν υγιές τούτων των φαντασματων προς ηδονής αλήθειαν, αλλά γοητεία της. Ως γούν ο λόγος έφη, σημαίνει. Ιδε τοινυν, ήν δ' εγώ, ηδονάς αι ουκ εκ λυπών εισιν, ίνα μη πολλάκις οληθης εν τω παροντι ούτω τούτω πεφυκέναι ηδονην μεν παύλαν λύπης είναι, λύπην δε ηδόνης.
96. Benares is chosen as a city of special holiness and the resort of mendicants. There are seven cities of so great sanctity in the popular belief, that to die in them leads to final union with the Supreme Being. The following verse gives them
“Ayodhyâ Mathurâ Mâyâ Kâsî Kânchi Avantika
-“ Meghaduta,” Wilson, p. 31, note. 97. Cf. Juvenal, Χ. Ι6ο“... In exsilium præceps fugit, atque ibi magnus
Mirandus que cliens sedet ad prætoria regis.” Expressed by Dryden as follows:
Repulsed by surly grooms, who wait before
The sleeping tyrant's interdicted door.” 101. This śloka gives the rule by which an ascetic should live. Avadhúta-charya means wandering about as a mendicant, separated from worldly feelings and obligations. This is the life of one who has attained to the fourth order in the Brâhman caste, and is called a Sannyasin, or a Yati. “Let him remain without fire, without habitation; let him resort once a day to the town for food, regardless of hardships, resolute, keeping a vow of silence, fixing his mind on meditation.”—Maņu, vi. 43.
“With hair, nails, and beard well clipped, carrying a bowl, a staff, and a pitcher, let him wander about continually, intent on meditation, and avoiding injury to any being.”—Manu,
“ In this manner, having little by little abandoned all worldly
attachments, and freed himself from all concern about pairs of opposites, he obtains absorption into the universal spirit.” Maņu, vi. 81.
With the life of the Hindû ascetic we may compare the instances given of Elijah in the Old Testament, and of St. John the Baptist in St. Mark i. 6.
103. Cf. Sak., 175—“Amsavyâpi sakuntanida nichitam bibhrajjațâmandalam," " Wearing a circular mass of matted hair enveloping his shoulders, filled with birds' nests.” This is a portion of the description of the sage Kaśyapa.
108. Telang explains brahmajnânavivekinaḥ by “those who possess the discrimination (i.e., between things real and unreal) resulting from knowledge of the Brahma.” This stanza says that it is more difficult to abandon the riches which we actually possess than to get rid of the desire for earthly possessions; but what we actually have is so uncertain, and of such doubtful duration, that it can hardly be said to be ours to give up; how much less those things which we only desire and wish for. The writer attempts to prove that the giving up of actual riches in possession may be a difficult matter, but the giving up of the desire for riches is, or ought not to be at all difficult.
112. Cf. Shakespeare, “As You Like It," act ii. sc. 7.
5. Cf. Chaucer, “Man of Lawes Tale,” 15–
“Herkneth what is the sentens of the
wyse, Bet is to dye than haven indigence.”
8. Telang in his notes to the Vairagya Sataka explains this stanza as alluding to the idea that Siva and Pârvatî form a single body, half of which is male, half female. Siva, though he is so far under the dominion of love as to have his wife half of himself, is also the first as to withstanding love.
9. This sloka, slightly altered, occurs, Msich., act iv. 124, in
Sarvilaka's speech, which is entirely made up of aspersions on the character of women generally. Cf. Euripides
Δήλον ως γυνή κακον μέγα.-Hippol. 627.
Πάιδας τεκνδυσθαι, θηλν δ' ούκ είναι γένος:
Toíovde. -Hec. 1181. 11. This stanza is one containing a play upon words throughout. The epithets which are used in a complimentary sense referring to a woman's external form may also, together with the substantives which they qualify, be used in a bad sense as applied to mental characteristics. From this point of view the stanza might mean “Hardness of heart, eyes not looking straightforward, a deceitful face, a stupid look, sluggishness, cowardice, crafty behaviour;—such qualities may be subjects of boasting, but are really evil, and wise men avoid women of this kind.” The wise man does not judge women merely by their external appearance;
such want of discrimination is only worthy of the beasts; he looks within.
Cf. Vairágya Sataka, sloka 62.
13. Prahasana, translated “comedy," is one of the ten Rúpakas or forms of dramatic representation.
“ Hair grey with age.” Palita-kamaka-bhajam, lit.“having grey ears," i.e., grey hairs round your ears. Cf. Raghuv., xii. 2“ Tam karnamalamagatya .
palitachchhadmanâ jarâ.” “Old age under the guise of grey hairs
Creeping to the bottom of his ear." 18. Jätah, “born indeed," i.e., born to some good purpose. Cf. Vairágya Sataka, sloka 29. Dhruva, “ the pole-star,” that which is fixed or permanent. The tortoise below the earth and the pole-star above it are probably chosen as examples of two things at the extreme limits of the universe. “ Neither above nor below” may be explained as referring to men who are no
profit to others, either from a high position, as the pole-star, or from a low one, as the tortoise : they have no share in any useful work. They are like gnats, aimlessly buzzing about. For the fig tree as symbolising the world of sense and passion, cf. Bhagavad., xv.
23. Men find no pleasure in hunting, in war, or in love, because their minds are always set on some extraneous object. Cf. Vairâgya Śataka, ślokas 5 and 48.
26. Bali was a virtuous Daitya king, who by means of devotion and penance gained the mastery over the three worlds. Vishnu, on being appealed to by the deities, became manifest in his Avatâra of the Dwarf for the purpose of overthrowing Bali's power. In this form he begged from Bali as much ground as he could cover in three steps, and his boon being granted, stepped over heaven and earth in two strides. Out of respect, however, for Bali's virtues, he left him the lower region or Pâtâla.
29. Cf. Vairágya Sataka, sloka 74, and also Bhaghavad., vi. 8–
“ Jnâna vijnâna třiptâtmâ kâțastho vijitendriyaḥ
yukta ity uchyate yogi samaloshţâśmakânchanah." “The man whose soul is satiated with spiritual knowledge and discernment, who is unchangeable, who looks upon a stone, a clod of earth, or gold as having exactly the same value—he indeed is called a devotee."
34. What penance, it is asked, has the deer practised that he is able to pass his life in peace and contentment.
38. The well used by Chanđâlas, a tribe of outcasts, is distinguished by a piece of bone suspended over it.
PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.
EDINBURGH AND LONDON.