Rajatarangini of Kahlana- (Book-III)

AFTER the resignation and retirement of the late king, the ministers who presided over the council of the people, went to Gandhara, and brought with them the renowned Meghavahana, whom they crowned king; and who afterwards proved to be a good and kind-hearted sovereign; and the expectations that were entertained of him were fully realized. His tenderness for animal life was even greater than that of a Buddhist high priest. He forbade the slaughter of animals in his kingdom, and as compensation to the hunters who lived by killing animals, he paid them money. He performed two Yajnas. He built a village named Meghavana and peopled it with Brahmanas and set up a monastery named Meghamatha. His queen Amritaprabha caused a Vihara named Amritabhavana to be built for Buddhists, and another of his queens Yukadevi, in emulation of her rival, built a wonderful Vihara at Nadavana, one half of which edifice was occupied by Buddhist students and in the other half lived men of the same persuasion with their wives and family. Another of his queens, Indradevi, built a high rectangular monastery and called it Indradevibhavana after her name. Others of his queens Khidana, Masma, etc. followed the same example, building monasteries and calling them after their respective names. This prince led an expedition to compel other kings to desist from killing animals; and carried his arms to the sea, and even to Ceylon, making the subdued kings promise not to kill animals.* When he reached the hill of Rohana in Ceylon, his army rested under the shadows of palm trees. Vibhishana, the king of the country, met him on friendly terms with songs and loud chantings. Then the king of Lanka led the king of Kashmira to Lanka, and entertained him. He forbade the use of flesh among his subjects who, as Rakshasas, largely consumed it. Vibhishana then gave the king of Kashmira several flags in which the Rakshasas were represented in a bowing posture. Even to this day on every occasion that a king of Kashmira goes out, these flags which are called Paradhvajas, are borne before him. Thus he forbade the use of animal food even in the kingdom of the Rakshasas and then returned to his own. From that time none violated the king’s order against the destruction of animals, neither in water, nor in the skies, nor in forests did animals kill one another. We are ashamed to relate the history of this good king to vulgar men, but those who write according to the Rishis do not care for the taste of their hearers. The king died after a reign of thirty-four years.

He was succeeded by his son Shreshtasena who was soon known as Pravarasena and also Tungjina. He set up the images known as Matrichakra and Pravareshvara, and several other images in old places. The prince thought that the whole world was entirely subject to him, and dedicated Trigartta to the god Pravareshvara which he had set up. He ruled over other kings and reigned for thirty years with mercy. He always liked to use his jeweled sword.

Of his two sons, Hiranya became king, and Toramana assisted his brother in the administration of the kingdom. Now the latter forbade the use of the coins struck by king Vala, and largely circulated the Diunar as coined by himself. This brought on him the king’s displeasure, who looked upon it as a mark of disrespect towards himself, and imprisoned his brother. Toramana’s wife Anjana, daughter of Vajrendra of the line of Ikshaku, shared her husband’s confinement, and in the prison she became pregnant. In the fullness of time she was secretly delivered of a boy in a potter’s house, being ashamed of publicity. The potter’s wife brought up the child, its real parentage being known only to her and to its mother. And at the mother’s request the child was called by the name of his grandfather. As the child grew up, he disliked the companionship of the sons of the potter’s neighbours, and the people often wondered to see him play with the children of the nobility and of the wise. At pastimes his companions would select him as king, and he would keep them under his control, and bestow favours on them, nor would he allow them to do anything wrong. The earth which the potter gave him to make pots, he would convert to Shivalingas. It so happened, that Jayendra, the maternal uncle of the boy, met him one day in his play, and caressed him; but seeing something extraordinary in the boy and perceiving some resemblance in him with his sister’s husband, suspected the truth about his birth. The boy did not know him, and remained quite indifferent though informed of his name. Drawn by curiosity, the uncle followed the child and entered with him into the potter’s house, and there discovered his sister. The brother and sister looked on each other and sighed and wept in grief. Then the boy asked the potter’s wife whom he used to address as his mother, who they were. “Child,” said she, “this is your mother, and this is your maternal uncle.” The child became angry on hearing the account of his father’s confinement and acting on the advice of his uncle (who soon after returned to his country) found means to deliver his father from his prison, but the poor man died soon after. His mother then attempted suicide, but was prevented by her son from so doing. He too felt the worthlessness of the world, and set out on pilgrimage. At this time died Hiranya after a reign of thirty years and two months, without leaving any issue.

At this time there reigned a powerful king at Ujjayini named Vikramaditya otherwise called Harsha. He subdued the whole world, and destroyed the Shakas, a Mlechchha tribe. He was a man blessed with uncommon good fortune, and was also a great patron of the learned. Now in his court lived a great poet named Matrigupta whose fame spread over many countries. He had visited several courts, and at last fixed his residence at Ujjayini, induced by the liberality and justice of its king, and hoping that the merits of persons, and did not favour the hypocritical, the quarrelsome, or the pretentious. The king by his just awards had gained the hearts of all men, and no man of lore had to murmur at the gifts he received of the king. He marked the assiduity of those who served him, and if one could not please him by his work his labour was indeed futile, like selling ice in the Himalayas. He had no servants to pander to his lust, or to speak ill of others, or who were jealous of strangers. He did not take the advice of conceited or self-willed persons, and even a bad man who was once acquainted with him, loved him. “Since by my good fortune, thought Matrigupta, “I have come to this king, I see my hope well nigh fulfilled.” So he determined to serve this wise and sober king, and no more to wander about in different courts. Thus determining, he used to attend the court, as ordered by the king, but would not take his seat among the learned. Everyone who is learned is not great, thought the king, but this man’s earnestness requires special notice. In order to test his merits, the king did not at first show him any favour. He gladly continued, however, to serve the king, and his serviced neither too showy nor too meager, nor was the king displeased with him. Matrigupta followed his master like his shadow, in order to gain his favour. He would not look on the female servants of the king, nor sit with those who envied his master, nor would he speak with the vulgar in the king’s presence, nor would tell him whatever evil things the envious courtiers had said of the king. He did not mind the jokes of the royal servants, but would patiently serve his majesty whatever others might say to lessen his attachment to his master. He would freely speak of the merits of other men and show his own. He was liked by the courtiers. And thus he passed one year.

One day when the king was going out, he saw this man weak and emaciated, and wearing a torn piece of cloth; and he felt grieved that in order to test his merit he had suffered this poor tough worthy and persevering man, wandering friendless in a foreign country, to remain in such affliction; that he had left him to suffer in heat and in cold without taking notice as to how this poor man ate or clothed himself, as to who gave him medicine when he was ill, who consoled him when he was grieved, or who soothed him when he was weary. What could he possibly give in return that he had subjected him to so hard a test? The king could not think of anything he would give him as an adequate recompense for his services. Thus time rolled on till it was winter, and it was a severe winter. It was dark in every direction, days became short, and the sun hurried to the sea to warm himself in the fire within it.

Now, it is so happened that the king awoke in his bed one night; the fire was burning brightly in his room, but the lamp was flickering in the cold breeze, and in order to stir the lamp he called out for his guards. But all were sleeping at ease, and to his call “who waits outside!” the king only heard the reply, “I Matrigupta.” Then, by the king’s order, he entered the splendid room and stirred the lamp. And as he was hurrying out, the king ordered him to wait. Trembling with fear and cold, Matrigupta waited there. The king then asked him how much of the night yet remained. “One prahara” replied he. “How is it that you know the hour of the night, and why did you not sleep,” enquired the king. Considering this to be the opportunity when if he related his condition, his fate would be decided either for good or for evil, Matrigupta quickly composed a verse and said: “Sunk in the sea of anxiety, and oppressed by the chilling month, while hunger has mellowed my voice, my lips are quivering, speaking of contentment within; and sleep like an abused wife has fled far from me; and the night to me endured long, like the reign of a good king.” The king heard him, and after consoling him, sent him back to his place, reproaching himself that even after knowing the sorrows of a worthy man, he had not yet resolved what to do. “The man must be grieved to think,” said the king to himself, “that I have taken his case so coolly. Though I have been thinking of giving him something for a long time, I have not yet found out what to give. His good words now remind me that the beautiful kingdom of Kashmira is at present without a king, and I will bestow that kingdom on him superseding other suppliant kings.” Fully bent on this purpose the king dispatched messengers privately that very night ordering the Kashmirians to crown without hesitation one named Matrigupta who would produce his order. And when the messenger had gone, he did not again sleep that night before he had got his order written out. On the other hand, Matrigupta became disheartened and though that his conversation with the king had been of no avail. “I have done my duty,” thought he, “and my expectation is now at and end; now devoid of further hopes I shall wander about in peace. Through some unavoidable mistake I was led to believe, from what I had heard from others that this king was worth serving. But fame speaks not the truth. The king is intelligent and bestows riches on those he favours; the king is not to blame, my own sins are the cause of my misfortune. If the shores on which the sea casts jewels cannot be reached in the consequence of adverse wind, it is the man’s ill-luck and not the sea that is to blame. If one wishes for rewards, he should rather serve the king’s servants than the king, for to serve the king is a laborious task. Those who worship the feet of Shiva get ashes from the person of the deity, but those who worship the feet of his bull get gold every day. I do not know that I have committed any fault for which the king might take offense. He whom business leads to the king derives no benefit unless applauded by the public, while even the low if admired by the public is taken notice of by the king. Particles of water when in sea, are not taken notice of, but when they are taken up by the clouds, and are thrown back to the embraces of the wavy ocean, they look like pearls.” Thus thought he, and lost all regard for his master the king. Even the wisdom of the wise is lost in misfortune.

When the day dawned, and the king took his seat in the court, he ordered a peon to call in Matrigupta. The peons forced the despairing sage into the royal presence, and when he had bowed to the king, the king signed to his record-keeper to deliver him the order. The king then addressing Matrigupta asked him if he knew the way to Kashmira. “Go there,” said he, “and deliver that order to the ruler in charge of the country.” He made him promise by his royal person that he would not read the order in his way. “I will do as you command,” said Matrigupta, and went out of the court, not knowing the good fortune that awaited him. And the king resumed his usual work. The people were grieved to see Matrigupta travelling friendless and helpless, and blamed the king for employing so worthy a man in this work of carrying letters. “The foolish king,” said they, “has considered this man fit to undergo toils, because he served him diligently day and night in hope of future good. Servants serve their master in hope of bettering their future, but when the master does not understand their purpose, he thinks them fit only to serve. The serpent in the hope of freeing himself from the fear of Garuda served Narayana. But Narayana thought the serpent accustomed to bear heavy weights, and so ordered him to bear the earth. This learned man saw that the king favours the learned, and being himself learned took shelter with him, but who understands human nature so little as the king who has thus employed the learned Matrigupta? The peacock dances with joy at the sight of the rainbow in the clouds, believing it to be a tail of their kinsman, but the clouds return him nothing but raindrops.” Poor Matrigupta felt neither doubt nor anxiety, he consoled himself with the good omens he met in his way. Once he saw a khangjana bird sitting on a serpent’s head; at another time he dreamt that he had ascended a palace, and crossed the sea; and assured himself thereby that the king’s orders must be for his benefit. “If I gain even a little in Kashmira,” thought he, “that would be preferable to anything in any other country.” In the way he found no difficulty, being hospitably entertained wherever he lodged. At last the snow-white Himalaya, rising to the skies, appeared before him, variegated with diverse trees; and he breathed the air bearing the perfumes of the pines and particles of Ganges water. In Kramavarta he found a drum which can be seen even now at Shurapura. Here, in this populous Kramavarta he heard that for some reason the ministers of Kashmira were waiting at that place. He therefore left his old dress, put on a white one, and went to the ministers to deliver them king Vikramaditya’s order. As he went to the ministers auspicious signs were seen, the crowd therefore collected behind him, anxious to see the result of his message. When he arrived at the house, and the door-keeper learnt that he had come from the king of Ujjayini, he quickly informed the ministers of his approach, and with their permission Matrigupta entered into their presence. And when the ceremony of welcoming was over, the ministers pointed out to him a magnificent seat to sit upon, and asked him about the orders of Vikramaditya; whereupon he humbly presented to them the writing which they received bowing. The ministers then retired to read the order, and returned meekly asked him if his name was the great Matrigupta. He smiled and replied in the affirmative. Then they called those who were near, ordering them to bring things for coronation. The crowd became great and boisterous like a rough sea. Matrigupta sat on a golden seat with his face towards the east, and the people bowed to him, and bathed him king. The water streamed along his breast as the Reva along the Vinddhya Mountain. When he had bathed and was anointed and adorned with ornaments and seated on the throne, his subjects informed him that when the throne had became vacant they had applied to Vikramaditya for a king, and Vikramaditya had sent him to them. “Now be you our protector.” Yet it was not to Vikramaditya alone that he was indebted for a throne; for there were others who helped him to it. “Still” said they “you need not lower yourself in your own estimation by thinking that you are obliged to any for the post you have attained.” Matrigupta heard this and smiled, remembering the benefit he had received from Vikramaditya. That day was passed in giving gifts, etc, and on a subsequent day when his ministers asked him to enter into the interior of his territory, he sent a messenger to Vikramaditya with large presents; and feeling himself ashamed of getting so good a country compared even with that of Vikramaditya himself, he sent another of his servants to him with edible things though of small value, and also sent a verse composed by himself with tears of gratitude in his eyes, to the following effect:

“You who always do good to others, do not wear the appearance of what you do; like the cloud that rains without thundering. Thy favour is known by the fruit.”

Matrigupta then entered into the interior of the country accompanied by his vast army, and commenced his reign. There was no limit to his charity or manliness. Once he made preparations for a religious feast, but when everything was ready he had not the heart to kill animals; and he forbade the destruction of animals in his kingdom. He prepared a certain kind of food in which gold dusts were mixed, and when he distributed this food everyone was satisfied. His good qualities and bounties attracted more persons to his court than to the court of Vikramaditya. And he bestowed his gifts with judgment. The poet Mentha or Matrimentha, as hie was sometimes called, lived in his court, and composed a work named Hayagrivabadha. This work, when in progress, he showed to the king, but the king did not pronounce any opinion till the book was complete, when the king rewarded the author by bestowing wealth on him, and placed the copy in a golden vessel lest its beauty be lost, so that the poet considered himself doubly paid. He set up an image of god Madhsudhana which he named Matriguptasvami. The villages which he bestowed on this god were afterwards retaken by Mamma to defray the expenses of building the house of his father-in-law. Thus reigned Matrigupta for a period of four years, nine months and one day.

Now, on the other hand, the son of Anjana, after he had performed the ceremonies for the salvation of the souls of his ancestors, with the waters of holy places, heard that a stranger had usurped the throne of his forefathers, and was ruling in Kashmira. This inflamed him so much as to make him forget his grief for the death of his father. When the prince arrived at Kashmira, he learnt the state of the country; and the ministers came to him, and were ready to revolt against Matrigupta. But he declined to countenance their rebellion. “I am eager,” he said, “to destroy Vikramaditya, but I am not angry with Matrigupta. For what is the use of harassing those who are weak and cannot endure pain? There is glory in rooting out those who are strong. What can be more frail and feeble than the lotuses which envy the moon, and what propriety is there that such lotuses should be torn by elephants’ tusks? It is strange that one should show his valour on those who are not his equal; he who is really great will not be angry with his inferiors.” He turned his anger against Trigartta and conquered it, and commenced his march against Vikramaditya. But on his way he heard that Vikramaditya was dead. This news so much afflicted him, that he neither bathed nor ate nor slept that day but sighed and wept for his dead antagonist. On a subsequent day he heard that Matrigupta had left his kingdom, and had come out of Kashmira, and was in the neighbourhood of the place where he himself then was. Suspecting that it was come of his partisans who had driven Matrigupta out of the kingdom, he went to the ex-king clad in a simple dress, and after the ceremonies of welcoming were over, gently asked him the cause of resigning his kingdom. The other replied after sighing and with a sad smile, “O king, dead is that virtuous monarch who made me king, I am like a sun-jewel that brightens so long as the sun shines on it, but is a common stone when the sun is set.” Who has injured thee,” then asked Pravarasena, “that thou grievest for Vikramaditya, unable to be revenged on those who have done thee harm?” “Who is so strong as can injure me,” asked Matrigupta with dignity, “think not that Vikramaditya poured ghee on ashes, or sowed seeds on barren soil.” “But,” continued he, “even the inanimate objects are grateful to those who do them good. The sun-jewel looks dim when the sun is set, and so does the moon-jewel when the moon is out of sight. I will therefore go to the holy city of Varanasi, and enjoy the pleasures of devotion by being a hermit. For without Vikramaditya the world is dark. I cannot look on it through fear, far less enjoy it.” Astonished at his words the young prince replied, “ True, O king, that the world has produced jewels, since it is adorned by persons like you; who can understand human nature better than Vikramaditya, since he discovered your noble qualities. Long was the path to gratitude closed, now you are traversing the way. The low and the ungrateful think that it is though their good fortune that they receive gifts from their masters, and they argue that if they had not worth in them, their masters would not single them out, when there was other poor friends. Or if they had not discovered some faults in their masters, and if their miserly masters had not stood in fear of them, would they have given them away anything? But if a small benefit is done to the good, it increases a hundred-fold. Thou, chief of the virtuous, like a tested jewel, art loved by the good. So do me a favour by not resigning the crown, and let the people know, that I too am a partial to men of merit. This kingdom was first given to thee by Vikramaditya, I bestow it on you now, so accept it again.” Matrigupta heard this noble speech, and smiled and said, “I am compelled to be a little uncivil to give expression to my feeling, but though it may be harsh, yet I must, that I disregard your noble gift. You know my former low position, and I know yours, ouir present greatness is felt by ourselves alone. You cannot understand the motive which induces me to reject, nor can I understand that which induces you to offer me the kingdom. Being now a king, *how can I accept your gift? Or if I had wished to enjoy the kingdom why should I forsake it myself? Shall I slight the gift of my benefactor for mere enjoyment, and leave the duties that befit me now? The benefit which he did to me, I can never repay; it is therefore lost in me. I will now follow him, and show that he was not mistake in his estimation of me. This is all that I have to do in this world. This then I will perform, all leave off all enjoyment.” Then said Pravarasena that he would not touch Matrigupta’s property while he was alive. And when Matrigupta went to Varanasi and became a hermit, Pravarasena, true to his words, used to send him the income derived from Kashmira. Matrigupta, on the other hand, distributed the money in charity to the poor; and thus lived for ten years. Thus three men Vikramaditya, Matrigupta, and Pravarasena vied with one another in virtue.

Pravarasena subdued many kings, and his fame spread far and wide like that of Agasta muni, and his army reached the sea in their march of conquest; and the perspiration of his elephants made the waters of the Ganges look like the confluence of that river with the Yamuna. He defeated the people of Saurashtra and upset the administration of the kingdom. His mind was so bent on the acquisition of fame, that he was indifferent to all earthly things, having neither attachment nor looked towards any object. Pratapasila otherwise called Shiladitya, son of Vikramaditya, was expelled by his enemies from his father’s territory. Pravarasena reinstated him, and brought back the throne of the kings of Kashmira from the capital of Vikramaditya. Pratapasila for seven times refused to acknowledge the supremacy of the king of Kashmira, and the latter had to subdue him seven times. On the eighth occasion, Pravarasena called Pratapasila a brute and intended to take his life. The latter, however, saved himself by self-humiliation, and suggested that if he was a beast, his life was too insignificant to be destroyed. Pratapasila also amused the Kashmiran king by dancing before his court like a peacock, and imitating the voice of that bird; whereupon Pravarasena not only him under his protection, but also bestowed riches on him.

After conquering the world, he lived in the city raised by his grandfather, but felt a desire to found a city in his ow name. In the village of Sharitaka Pravarasena proposed to build a city. But before he did so, he wished to set up Pravareshvara Shiva, and he employed artisans for the purpose. But an image of Shiva sprung up from the ground from among the instruments of the workmen, and it was named jayasvami from Jaya the name of one of the sculptors. The god Vinayaka Bhimasvami who faced towards the west, without any human agency turned himself and faced towards the east, for the welfare of the intended town. The king further set up images of five goddesses Sadbhavashri and others, each having shri after her name.  He caused to be built a large bridge of boats on the Vitasta, and from that time the bridge of boats became known to the world. His maternal uncle jayendra built a large Buddhist Vihara named jayendra-vihara after his name. And his minister Moraka, who ruled Ceylon, built a beautiful house named Morakabhavana. The new city which was enlarged by Vishvakarmma and Soma, was raised on the southern bank of the Vitasta, and contained thirty-six lacs of houses, it contained several market places, and its high houses touched the clouds, from whose tops, in the rainy season the earth could be seen drenched with rain; and in Chaitra sprinkled with flowers. In this city alone the rows of the houses of amusements were built just on the river, and the hill of recreation was in the centre of the town, from whose top the whole city could be seen. In the hot season the inhabitants of the city could get the cool waters of the Vitasta at their doors. And the royal gifts to the gods of the city were so rich, that they could buy the world a thousand times. The forehead of the king was marked with the sign of sula over which his white hairs flowed like the Ganges on the head of Shiva. Thus reigned Pravarasena for sixty years.

His son Yudhishthira-II born of his queen Ratnaprabha then reigned for twenty one years and three months. One of his ministers named Vajrendra, son of Jayendra, built a village named Bhavachchheda with chaityas. He had other chief ministers named Kumarasena of great renown.

He was succeeded by his son Narendraditya alias Lakshamana, born of his queen Padmavati. He had two ministers Vajra and Kanaka sons of Vajrendra; and his queen’s name was Vimalaprabha. He died after a reign of thirteen years, after building an office for depositing books and records.

His younger brother Ranaditya otherwise called Tungjina then came to the throne. This king had a mark of shangka on his head. He was a very powerful king. He destroyed many of his enemies and devastated their country. His queen’s name was Ranarambha. The goddess Bhramaravasini took birth in human form as Ranarambha to be his queen.

Ratisena king of Chola, when he went to worship the ocean, found Ranarambha among the waves, where she was shining like a cluster of jewels. From her childhood she used to speak of heavenly things, and when she attained her youth, many kings sought her in marriage, but her father would not marry her to any of them. And when the minister of Ranaditya arrived as messenger proposing her marriage with his master, Ratisena wished to refuse the suit; but the goddess in human shape asked her father to marry her to the king of Kashmira as she was born, she said to be his wife. Whereupon her father without delay, sent her to the house of his friend the king of Kuluta, to which distant country Ranaditya gladly came and married her, and made her the mistress of his zenana. But she being a great goddess was afraid to touch a man, to avoid which she had recourse to enchantment. At night through magic she used to leave a woman exactly like her in the king’s bed, and herself used to go out in the shape of a black bee.

The king raised two temples, and called them after his own, and his queen’s name, and caused two images of Shiva to be sculptured there. He also built a hospital for the sick, and barrack for a battalion. In the village of Sinharotsika there was an image of the sun, which he named Ranapurasvami, and made it famous. Another of his queens named Amritaprabha raised an image of a god on the right side of Ranesha and it was named Amriteshvara, she also set up an image of Buddha within the monastery which was built by Bhima queen of Meghavahana.

The queen Ranarambha taught the king the incantations of Shiva Hatakeshvara, by virtue of which one could enter the world below. For many years the king devoted himself to becoming an adept in this art. He retired first to Ishtika, and afterwards to Nandishila; and at last succeeded in his efforts after many years. Told of his success in a dream, he dived into the waters of Chandrabhaga and proceeded to the cave of Namuchi, pursuing his way for twenty-one days through the cavern, he and citizens came to the dwellings of daitya females, with whom they made themselves free. Thus after resigning for three hundred years, the king went to the god of Patala where salvation is certain.  On the other hand, when the king and his party were dallying with the daitya girls, the queen retired to Shveta Dvipa. Of the many dynasties of kings, the lines of Raghu and Gonanda were the best, and in these Rama and Ramaditya greatly loved their people. The subjects of both these kings followed them to the next world.

Him succeeded his son Vikramaditya, a powerful king, who set up a Shiva named Vikrameshvara. This prince had two ministers named Brahma and Galuna. The former raised a monastery named Brahma matha, and the latter caused his wife Ratnavali to erect a Vihara. After reign of forty-two years his powerful younger brother Baladitya succeeded him.

Baladitya subdued his enemies, and his powers caused his foe-man’s wives to weep. His columns of victory can be still be seen, near the northern sea. He conquered Bangkala, and built a city there named Kalmavya for the habitations of Kashmirans. And in Kashmira he built a village named Bhedara in the district of Madava for Brahmanas to dwell in. His favourite queen Vimva set up a Shiva to avert the evils that attend the Vaishya caste, and named it Vimveshvara. His ministers were Kharga, Shatrughna, and Malava, three brothers; they raised a temple, a house of gods, and erected a bridge.

Now this king had a daughter named Ananggalekha; an astrologer seeing her one day with her father prophesied to the king that his son-in-law would reign hereafter, and that the line of Gonanda would end in Baladitya. The king not wishing that the kingdom would pass away from his line through his daughter, tried to oppose the fate; and instead of marrying her to a king he married her to a beautiful man named Durlabhavardhana, of the Ashvaghama Kayastha caste, thinking that as his daughter was not married to one of the royal family she would not be able to inherit the kingdom. This Durlabhavardhana was the illegitimate son of Naga Karkota, begotten for getting the kingdom, but the king was not aware of the fact. What the wise neglect, Fate makes it great. He fortunately became beloved of all on account of his just actions and good intellect, and his father-in-law named him Prajngaditya because of his great intellect, and bestowed much riches on him.

On the other hand the princess being the favourite of her parents, and filled with youthful pride, slighted her husband. Her association with the desolate, her luxurious habits, the frequent visitation by young men, her abode in her father’s house, and the mildness of her husband- all these corrupted her. Having frequent opportunities of seeing the minister Kharga he fell in love with him, and abandoned herself to him. This amour secretly gratified gradually wore off her shame, fear, and dignity and she gradually became exceedingly shameless. The minister bribed the servants with gifts and honours, and had free access to her apartments, and gratified his passion for the princess to the fullness of his heart. Her husband by her constant neglect of him came at last to suspect of her bad character. The thoughts of his wife’s misconduct reduced him in body. One night he suddenly entered her apartment in order to ascertain the truth. He found her fast asleep in the embrace of her paramour, her bosoms heaving with long breathings. He burnt with anger at seeing her in this state of unpardonable guilt- a sight that would have enraged even others than husband. And swayed alternately by anger and grief, he with great difficulty, and after much deliberation, controlled his anger. The woman whose passion gets the better of her sense is very pleasant among her female companions in private; looks into the streets; dislikes the sight of her husband and of men like him; sights the anger of her husband; and attends when her husband is ill spoken of; speaks with her female companions when her husband wants her; ad praises those who are against him; and turns away from his kisses and cannot bear his embraces, nor feel any pleasure in them; and pretend to sleep when in bed with her husband. They are miserable, thought Durlabhavardhana, who follow love, for men of little wit are undone by it. Who has better control over his passion than he who has duly subdued jealously which is like spasmodic cholera. “The woman” he continued “is for the gratification of passion, and like other things, can be enjoyed in common; wherefore then a man whose feelings are disciplined, be angry on such account? Women are naturally fickle, and who can keep them under rules? Or what is the use of keeping them so? If the meeting of two persons to gratify a passion is an honourable act, what then is dishonourable? And since one’s own body cannot be proved to be his, how can a woman be called “mine?” If she deserves death because she gives me pain, why do I not first kill love which is the prime root of all? And to destroy love, I must destroy jealousy first. For he who has destroyed jealousy, has totally destroyed affection within half a minute.” Thus he thought, and wrote on Kharga’s cloth the following words, “Though you ought to have been killed, yet have I spared you; this you should remember.” When Durlabhavardhana had gone out of the room unperceived, the minister awoke, and read the writings in his cloth. This moderation of Durlabhavardhana won the minister to his side. He forgot his lust and the princess, and meditated how to repay the goodness by which his life was saved, in so much that he did not sleep well being buried in thoughts and how to repay the goodness of the injured husband.

Now after a reign of thirty-seven years and four months Baladitya died,, and with him the Gonanda dynasty became extinct. And while the chief ministers neglected the affairs of the kingdom, the grateful Kharga duly crowned the late king’s son-in-law, bathing him with the waters collected from holy places and poured from a golden vessel; and the kingdom thus passed from the Gonanda dynasty to that of Karkota Naga as passed the Ganges from heaven to the head of Shiva.

There reigned ten kings. From the beginning fifty-three.

Here ends the third book of Rajatarangini by Kahlana, son of Champaka Prabhu the great minister of Kashmira.


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