THE CENTURY ON LOVE
//Salute to Lord Gaṇeśa// May the Lord Shiva shine over with transcending brilliance in the heart of the Yogis as a lamp of spiritual knowledge driving away the thick darkness of infatuation growing with ever increasing speed & volume? The Lord is residing in the form of that permanent flame burning effortlessly to which the cupid (god of desire) is like a moth attracted towards but finally destroys itself; the sole purpose of which is to make mortal immortal with delightful coolness (with his crescent moon light). (1) The glamorous white buildings, amorous young girls, plenty of dazzling wealth although look steady and under your full control may disappear at a certain point of time like that of series of pearl looking rain drops (2). The fine discriminatory power lamp of learned people burns and remains bright as long as it is not struck & extinguished by the passionate glances of these doe-eyed beauties (3). Only those are praise-worthy whose mind is not perturbed by the sight of the beautiful women with sparkling eyes, adorned with lofty breasts as an impudent marker of youthfulness, with narrow waist & creeper-like three delicate lines on their bellies (4).
When a good man engaging himself in the practice of yoga, has his intelligence and mind well restrained and the sweet feeling of love to all humanity, following in his heart then why should he care for the pleasant talk of women! (5). Even for those engaged continuously in reciting the Vedas, propagating for great sacrifices & teaching in favor of getting away from the company of women etc., just remains in the level of discussion only. In fact, who has got the strength to get away from the company of women who have lotus like eyes and whose thighs are adorned with the jewel encrusted girdle? (6) There are valiant men who can crush the temples of rouge elephants, there are also experts who can kill the furious lions but, I can daringly tell before those heroes that such persons are extremely rare who can crush the pride of Cupid (god of love) (7). The women with gentle smile facial love expressions, bashfulness, fright amorous side glances, engaging through sweet talks, bickering with jealousness and playful gestures become the reason of the bondage of men (8). Who is such a man on this earth whose mind is not overwhelmed by the glances of these ladies which resemble with the sights of a frightened and bewildered female deer, the tinkling sounds of bangles & bells of girdle, along with the leisurely movements are better than that of swans? (9). O’ men in the world! Let me speak you a truth without any bias. In the whole seven worlds, there is no pleasing thing like that of a woman with massive buttocks and (at the same time) there is no other misery exists as that (10).
It is the very nature of playful women that they are naturally so but foolish receive them differently & get themselves perturbed as a moth gets attracted towards a red lotus & hovers around it unnecessarily (11). Which dignified man in fact will bend his head before these unworthy lords, leaving apart the soul-elevating Himalayan peaks with the caves resided by Siddhas, trees with branches broken by the rubbing of the shoulder of Shiva’s bull, with the rocks dashed against the Gangetic water, if it were not for women with the eyes similar to that of a frightened little deer’s, piercing their hearts with arrows of love. (12) O’ man, either you concentrate in forest and give a cud of kuśa grass as green as bamboo leaves to the forest deer or give to young women the betel as white as the cheeks of young girls of Śaka (name of a country), torn in the middle by reddish nail tips (13). The world may be criticised as a place of material objects of sensuous pleasures full of lust and illusory and hence is a place of hatred & sin but in spite of that there is no greater virtue (puṇya) than that of the welfare of others and no other object is more beautiful as compared to a lotus-eyed damsel (14). O’ dignified people! Please tell us with all rationality, leaving apart all the prejudices, whether to accept the valleys or the hips of the charming ladies (15).
Why to waste words at length in irrational practices like this- there are only two options before men, either to accept the desire of enjoining the amorous games with the women with lofty breasts or to dwell in the forest (for penance) (16). O’ Maiden, please don’t gaze at us with your half-shut-eyes. All these your efforts will be in vain the reason thereby is, we have left out those youthful days; the infatuation in mind has disappeared. Now we are contemplating a different higher truth and the resent world is just as a straw and its temptations (17). I do not know with what intention this girl of blue-lotus eye is looking at me. All those love-frenzy days are over for me. The fever of passion due to the arrows of Cupid also got pacified. In spite of all, this girl does not desist from her attempts of tempting (18). O’ King! There is nobody on this earth who has overcome the vast ocean-like desire. What is the use of wealth when our youthfulness, the time for all sort of enjoyment is over? Therefore, let us return home before the old-age takes away all the youthfulness from the body of our sweetheart. (19).
There are numerous thick clouds in the sky above, on all sides there are peacocks made to dance with joy, on hills by the sight of the clouds, the earth is filled with shooting sprouts, tell me where the passer-by will glance at/set his eyes. Thus, a passer-by finds all the amorous objects on his way (20). In this world that is transient like dream, but bitter in consequence there are only two ways for man of learning and wisdom, he may choose immersing themselves in the nectar of spiritual knowledge or enjoying, or else, spend time with amorous women who empress them in their extensive breasts and buttocks, their palms over the limbs of their body gently (21). What about ordinary persons, even those learned people also get involved in high praising of beautiful women which is a bundle of unclean and nauseous things with various adjectives, such as, lily-eyed, voluptuous- breasts, lotus-like lovely face, fine eye-brows. What dire effects are produced by false illusions? (22) The space all around appears as if strewn with clusters of blooming blue lotuses by the lovely eye-movements of maidens, cupid-charged, sometimes coupled with eye-brow knits, with bashfulness, sometimes with tremor and sometimes naive love-betraying graces (23). Face is bright like Moon, eyes are as if ridiculing lotus, complexion is better than that of gold, hair is blacker than the black-bee, the sizes of the pairs of breasts criticises the temples of elephant, the massive buttocks and sweetness of speech, all these are the natural ornaments of women (24).
Nectar and poison both cannot be found in one place elsewhere other than a woman with sizable hips. If in company, she is like a creeper of nectar but if separated, she becomes a toxic vine (25). Cleverly movements of eyebrows, casting of glances, sweetly talks, shying smiles, slow strides with pauses; all these are the ornaments and weapons of a women (26). Nothing is undesirable for a maiden who has reached her puberty; lovely smile, innocent glances, sweet talks with amorous words all that charms are expected in a deer-eyed maiden (27). If remembered, she produces love fever; seen, makes passionate; touched, makes one infatuated. Its a wonder that she is called a “dear” one! (28) She is the whirlpool of all sort of suspicions; a world of defiance; a city of all devil-daring adventures, a big group of faults; a land of hundred types of cunning deceits; an obstruction to heaven; a gateway to hell; and a bundle of all sort of sorceries. We do not know who has created this gadget of nectar-coated poison to nook the men (29).
The Moon in the sky has not become the face of this women nor have the two water lilies taken the shape of their two eyes. Her slander body is also not made of gold. Knowing all these, she is falsely described by the poets in such a way that the wise become fools and they run after them even if they are made of skin, flesh & bone (30). A man can be in the righteous path, keep his senses under his control and can be modest as long as he does not become the victim of the arrows of Cupid darted through these large-eye d’s black eyelashes drawn up to their ears, does not pierce in them & take away their all restraints (31). This lotus like face of the slender beauty that excels the loveliness of a full Moon at the prime of its age holding nectar in its juicy like lips but like pleasantly flavoured Kimpāka fruit turns into a toxic one in later times (32). How would it have been possible for the honest persons to serve at the door-step of these unworthy kings, had there not been the desirable maidens shining with the splendour of Rising Moon, lotus like loving eyes, wearing jingling waistbands and with the voluptuous breasts pressurizing the waist to bend with them! (33).
When spring approaches, what not is achieved on earth! Fragrant winds, branches of trees sprouted with tender leaves, cuckoos’ passionate sweet brim (for their mates), and the young women with moon like faces having little drops of perspiration on their face; thus, whose qualities is not improved! (34). At the approach of summer things found are: deer-eyed smeared with sandal paste, cool rooms with water sprays, fine flowers, clean moonlight, gentle breeze, jasmine flowers and clean upper-storied mansions. All of these enhance our temptations and passion (35). Even a person well-read in shastras, master of laws & ethics, matured & experienced, cannot make himself eligible for the attainment of higher goal because the association of beautiful ladies having curved eyebrows, is like a key to the lower world (36). If you do not want to plunge into this ocean of mundane world then you better keep yourself away from plunging into the river of a women having triple rows of hairs like that of waves, near her naval part like that of a whirlpool, a pair of lofty breasts like that of floating Cakravāka (a bird) couple, sitting separately in both the sides of the river/pond and face is like a lotus; you better decide what to be done! (37).
Alas! In the pretentions of doing favour to me, I have been deceived by five of my sense organs creating hindrance in the path of higher goal deluding me holding out false and untrue temptations in me like “oh, this is the melodious music for ear, here is the beautiful dancing for my eyes, here is the tasty drink for my tongue, here are the sweet fragrances for my nose and here is the soft touch of their breasts (38). O’ Mundane World, it would not have been difficult to cross/complete your road had it not been stretched by those beautiful women with rolling eyes whose power is difficult to resist (39). O’ wandering mind! Don’t venture into the dense forest of the body of women surrounded by inaccessible mountain-like breasts. You may be robbed there by the thief called ‘Smara’(Cupid) (40). He must be a rare great man of fortune whose heart is not disturbed by passionate feelings at the arrival of fresh youth like rain-pouring cloud of the tree of sexual love, a stream of passionate desire for love sports, the friend of Cupid, an ocean teeming with pearl like speech, moon lights sipped eagerly by Cakora (a bird) like eyes of young women of slender beauty and the glorious mind of lovely joy and happiness(41). In the present world nothing is as problematic as youth as it invites different misfortunes like unhealthy passions; becomes a source of miseries equal to hundred hells; generator of delusions; as if like a thick cluster of cloud on the moon of intelligence; a great friend of Cupid; a progenitor of all unhealthy desires (42).
What is the best sight to see for a lover in young age? It is the doe-eyed maiden’s face booming with love. What is the most fragrant thing to smell? Her mouth-breath. What is the sweetest thing to taste? The honey of her rosy lips. What is the best thing to touch? Her body. What is the best thing for a young man to concentrate upon? It is the budding beauty of a young woman and all the resemblances of her image wherever found in the Nature (43). In fact, who will fall in love with the courtesans who sell their beautiful bodies like goods at the cost of a little money to the blind by birth, ugly faced and old people with crippled limbs, uncivilized rustic folks or to the people born in low & disrespected families or ulcerous leper? (44). In fact, who among the men born in noble families, will ever try to kiss the tender and soft lips of the courtesans? These lips are like spittoons of spies, soldiers, thieves, buffoons and rogues (45). This courtesan, a fire of passion flaming with the fuelling her beauty in which both youth & wealth of a lustful man is offered as an oblation (46). The spring (season) although brings happiness for others, brings sorrows for the separated couples with the help of sweet kuku sound of cuckoo & the ‘Malaya’ (fragrant) air that brings the smell of sandal in it. Alas! when misfortune comes even nectar is bitter and dangerous like poison. (47).
Someone’s greatness, learning, noble birth and discriminatory power, all these will shine as long as he is not a victim of love-fire overpowered by Cupid with the five arrows begin to consume him and all his sense organs (48). I bow down to that great Lord Cupid who has made the great Lords Śiva, Svayambhū & Hari as householders through the deer-eyed women (their consorts), whose greatness cannot be described by words and who has a very rare beggaring description and wonderful glory (49). Those unwise who give away the glorious company of women and take the path of renunciation are severely punished by Cupid so much that some of them become nude, some bare-headed, some with five tufts of hair(pañcaśikhī) or with braided hair (Jaṭila) or mendicants(kāpālika) begging food with broken pots in hand (50). The fish-flagged Cupid is like a fisherman cleverly spreads his net in the ocean of this mundane-world with the help of a bait called women through which he quickly catches men who come running towards it to swallow its lips and caught once are taken to be fried in the fire of love (51). When these women excitingly begin their sports of Love there even lord Brahma will dare not to interfere in their way (52).
The sweet talks with passionate ardour of these doe-eyed beauties used very delicately in privacy laden with love, breathing deep affection, full with emotion, softly uttered, moist with sincerity, evoking more passion snatch away all reservations (of mind) one may have (53). The beloved with bloomed fragrant ‘Malati’ flowers on her head, with body adoring with sandal & saffron just put over and with delicate yawning in face, when found making love on one’s chest is the true heaven (Svarga) and anything rest described in scriptures is secondary to that (54). The body smeared with saffron paste, trembling pearl-necklaces on golden breasts, anklets with tinkling sound similar to that of swans whom in this world will not such lovely women captivate? (55). Those poets who describe women as abalā (weaker sex) are certainly mistaken, as they are not so! Had it been the case, they would have not made Indra & other such powerful persons under their captive, just with their short glances (56). Let her massive breasts trespassing beyond bounds, her ever moving eyes, often knitting eyebrows, tender lips with redness cause pain in my heart. But, why should this row of hairs, set like luck indicating letters and painted at the hands of Cupid himself, occupying the middle portion of body is creating so much temptation in me? (57). In fact, who is the dear one for these ladies who while speaking with someone, look at someone else with all passionate eyes; whereas think about someone else (58).
In fact, he is a cheat, a fallacious one who despises young girls. He ultimately cheats himself & others by aspiring for heaven the ultimatum of which is enjoyment with Apsaras (harlots of heaven). He ridicules young girls but ultimately desires the same reward through penance because heaven is nothing but the abode of damsels (and all sort of enjoyments) (59). A slender beauty in a moonlit night of summer while walking through a garden and while passing from the shadow of one tree to the other, try to remove/avoid the moonlight falling on her chest with the help of her breast covering part of cloth (however the act ultimately makes the things more visible through this removal & closure of cloth) (60). When we do not see her there is a desire to see. When she is seen then there is a desire to embrace that long-eyed woman. When that is also fulfilled then there is an attempt to become one with her as an inseparable unity (61). Fortunate men only are able to drink the honey of the lips their sweet-hearts lying over their bosom with scented dishevelled hair, tired after the amorous sports with weary cheeks & chin and with drops of perspiration on the temples and also with the eyes partially closed in sweet ecstasy (62). (At the arrival of rainy season, a pravāsī who is away from his sweet-heart thinks in a foreign land) What is the use of going home (after a long gap) if she would have died because of unbearable pain of separation then it is in vain, if she is alright then what is the use of going! (Thus, he is struck off) (63). The enjoyment of love with eyes half-closed in excess of ecstasy, mutually conducive excessive happiness enjoyed by both the members in a union is the fulfilment of love called fullness of sexual delight or healthy sex (64).
Initially she says- “oh no, no” but as she develops some further interest, she prepares herself and starts loving; and gradually becomes impatient and her desire is aroused to greater height. As she strengthens love and faith, she gradually moves with shyness to give the height of the pleasure from her side by letting her body be enjoyed. Such association/company of a noble-born lady is delightful. (65). As long as she is in front our eyes, she is like nectar but as she goes out of sight, she burns the lover more than deadly person (means pleasure turns into pain). (66) Strong lovesickness that paralyses consciousness cannot be cured by the chanting of mantras nor with medicines. It is also not curable with various types of Vedic rituals/ healings meant to bring peace of mind. It slowly destroys the resistance of mind and body, disables the limbs and makes the eyes look wild and the head giddy (67). Definitely Cupid (god of love) is the obedient servant of the damsel with attractive eyebrows because she overpowers the hearts of those who are aimed at by her glances. (68) There may be lamps shining, fire blazing (and in spite of the existence of) stars, Sun and Moon shining, the whole world is all darkness for me without the love of that deer-eyed one (69). With a face lovely like Moonstone (Candrakānta), with hair style like that of Indranīla (Sapphire), with palms like Padmarāga (Ruby), she shone as if full of gems. (70).
Her breasts are large as Jupiter (Guru), her face like Moon, legs are like Saturn with low motion. With all these she appears to be the embodiment of planets (71) One who wants to dive deep into the meditation then the twinkling of her eyes as curved like the hood of serpents never allow him to do so (72). O’ beautiful lady! How is it that you are so skilful in the archery that you are targeting minds without arrows but just by using strings of your qualities (73)? The only great lover of this Universe is Lord Shiva as he has taken the half of his beloved with him. So also, there is no ascetic like him who has detached from the association of women. The rest are just poisoned by the snake in the form of Cupid and neither in a position to enjoy the material world fully nor in a position to renounce completely (74). Sexual perversion for a man due to passionate desires at the ripe of old age is improper & unethical. Similarly, lust of a women at the old age of falling breasts is also not proper. (75). It is better to be bitten by a serpent that is long, crookedly-crawling which has the hue of a blue lotus than to be bitten by the glances of a women. There are many doctors (Vaidyas) in all the directions who can cure the snake bite but there is neither medicine nor a doctor who can heal a person who is entrapped by the passionate glances of an innocent maiden (76).
Couples who are in good relationship with each other, even in physical separation also, on account of distance and absence, they feel the unity. However, in case the heart is broken, their togetherness also adds to their separation (77). O’ my friend! Keep yourself far away from this blazing fire of sight glances of crooked women that are like poisonous serpents whose hoods are spreading with their sporting graces. A man bitten by the serpents can be cured by medicines but a Māntrika Yogin also leaves away a person who has been injected poison by the serpent in the form of a clever women (78). Why are you worried if her breasts are massive, buttocks are pretty and face is so charming? Why is your mind so perturbed for all these things? If you would like to have them then earn merit by meritorious acts. Cherishing objects are not obtainable without plenty of merit (79). Cluster of flowers look like blazing love fire into which the hearts of women separated from their lovers gone out as travellers to distant countries, are thrown as oblations as it were. Female cuckoos look with keen desire at the mango trees. The breeze from the Malaya hills with sandalwood forests, charged with the fragrance stolen from the young petals of flowers, blow gently reliving the fatigue and warmness in a sultry day. (80)
There are creepers of lightning, fragrance of Ketaki flowers, thundering sounds of clouds from one side. Along with it, there are also ‘kekā’ sounds (some indistinct cries) of the peacocks. How the days of separation of these beloved ladies of beautiful eye-lids will be spent without their lovers? (81). Some of the indescribable but somehow analysable inherent qualities of these doe-eyed ladies are: at the beginning they, with their budding beauty & youth along with fresh fragrances inspire for consummation through different sporting activities of love affair and then and as the consummation reaches its culmination with a success, they win everything. Thus, they are the gurus of this vidya of looting the hearts of man by engaging him through her playful activities with a guaranteed victory to the lord of love “Cupid” (82).The wonderful nights of the month of Chaitra fill the joy in some who are lucky enough to have the following in their vicinity: young women having zest in amorous love affair and slow elegant movements, sweet ‘coo’ sounds of cuckoos ringing in the ear, green creeper bowers with full of flowers, the company of poets singing love songs, beautiful moon beams of moon light(83).White washed cleaned buildings, Moon shining brightly, beloved’s lotus face, the fragrant Malaya blown breeze-fine-dust, garlands with sweet smells- all these would disturb a lover not in the austere man scoring the pleasures of the senses.(84)
Let a person reside on the banks of the holy Ganga which will remove all the sins or may rest on the lovely breasts of a young woman with an attractive necklace on them (85). A beautiful lady while she is on a secret travel to meet her beloved, she is facing certain un-to-do happenings. She is travelling in a pitch darkness of night so intense so as not to allow even a pin to move within it with uninterrupted rain from sky having thunder storms. However, the lightning with golden lines although helps on her way for visualization also creates fear in mind for being exposed. Thus, it creates both pain & pleasure (86). Your hairs are grown like that of a hermit having control over sense organs, two of your eyes are stretched up to your ears like that of Vedantic thought stretching beyond Vedas, the teeth like that of Brahmins spreading across wearing white cloths, the pitcher like beautiful breasts are always adorned with pearl necklace or in other side free young boys always have their desire on them. Thus, although your body is a place of serenity & salvation, the opposite of agitating passions, rouses in our heart the deepest passion. (87). The strong pride of beloved remains in their heart resisting the approaches of their lovers can continue only as long as the air from Malaya Mountain carrying the sandal smell does not blow (88). Who would not become love-seek when the spring comes with fresh air filled with the sweet smell of mango flowers and the black-bees hovering around it with joy? (89)
In a hard-scorching summer, fortunate men only can get the pleasure of garlands with fragrant smell, cool air with the swings-fans, cool rays of Moon, dusts of beautiful flowers, water ponds, Malaya breezes, pure wine, cleaned upper storied floor, thin dresses and the lotus-eyed women (90). Sky profusely covered with clouds, earth filled with newly came up sprouts (kandalī), the air carrying the fragrance of jasmine and kadamba flowers, gardens with sweet resounding of peacock-herds; all these enhance the feeling of longings for love in a man whether he is in separation or in company of his sweetheart. (91). Whom does this season of clouds not delight being comparable with a young woman? It enhances the love-passions with all its attitude carrying the bloomed fresh sweet fragrances of jāti flower along with the heavy clouds/heavy and lofty breasts of women. (payodhara= 1: Clouds, 2: breast) (92). Because of continuous rain these lovers are not able to come out of their mansions and this is a nice opportunity that they are embraced deeply by their long-eyed beloveds to get out of the shivering of cold. The wind moist with rain-water drops becomes so cool to remove the fatigue caused due to the amorous love-sports of these lovers thereby causing a durdina(a rainy day is called so) a sudina(a good day) for these loving couples(93).
Having slept for half the night and after getting involved in the amorous sports in the rest with his beloved and after getting tired after the amorous activity there is hardly any unfortunate lover who with weary limbs and burning thirsts does not get a chance to drink cool water mixed with moonlight poured from the equally tired beloved’s hands in these storied mansions (94). During the season when the priyaṅgu creeper is in full bloom; kunda and mandāra are lowering with cool breeze, a time when black-bees hover around them for sweet touches; in such time spending nights for a young conjugated man in a house without an embrace of a doe-eyed beauty even for a moment can be equated with the dwelling place of lord Yama.(95) During this Hemanta(dew) season fortunate men only lie happily inside their houses after having good food with curds, milk and ghee and wearing saffron coloured clothes, bodies anointed with saffron paste and embracing their sweethearts with circular big breasts, mouth filled with betel leaf with different amorous sports in due intervals (96). The winter behaves like a lover with the ladies. It scatters their hairs, closes their eyelids, pull off their cloths forcibly, causes their limbs to shake, blows over their lips & teeth causing pain with sītkāra sound (97).
The wind of the winter behaves with these ladies in the manner of a lewd lover in the sense that it forcibly kisses their cheeks by causing ‘sit’ sound in their face (due to extreme cold). It also stimulates their breasts despite of their protective cover and causes their thighs shake due to extreme chillness and makes the cloths away from their big buttocks (98). A person does not have an interest in a thing that does not appeal to him (even if the thing may be very attractive for others). The instance of this is: The Moon itself which does not appeal to a lotus in spite of all its attractiveness (99). Some are inclined to renunciation whereas some take pleasure in ethical teachings yet there is another who roam around the sexual pleasure (100) *.Thus, the text, Sṛṅgāraśatakam (the II in the series), written by Bhartṛhari, is completed herewith.*The above gives an idea that there are three connective texts connecting to the aforesaid three themes.