While I was working as the Director of the Research Department of the Bhandarkar Institute, Six Years back, I edited the 'Amaru – Sataka' with the commentary "Srngara – Dipika" of Vemabhupala. I, them, had occasion to consult the Mss. of the numerous commentaries of the Amaru – Sataka, from among which the commentary of Kokasambhava was edited and published by me in the Annals of the Institute, at that time. I also studied the commentary of Rudramadeva – Kumara, subsequently published by Dr. S. K. De, with a thorough study of the recensions of the text of the Sataks, in 'Our Heritage', Vol.II part II, 1954. This Rudramadev – kumara was identified by me as Pratapa - Rudra of the Kakatiya Dynasty, in an article published by me in the Annals of the Bhandarakar Institute, Vol. Xxxiii, Part iii-iv, 1954, pp. 249-254.
The text of the present drama is based on a Photostat copy of a manuscript from the Wilson Collecti on at Oxford, obtained for me by the late Prof. P. K. Gong, through the courtesy of the librarian of Oxford, and is probably the same unintelligible Ms. on which is based Wilson's account of the Present drama in his "Specimens of the Hindu Theatre, "Vol.II.
I am conscious of the hazards I am running in editing this drama from a single unintelligible Ms. I am also conscious of the many imperfections which must have crept in this work and which could have been eliminated but for the crippling paralysis of the right side, from which I have been suffering for the last four years and over.
I have great pleasure in acknowledging the courtesy of Dr. R. N. Dandekar, Padma Bhusana, in including the present work in one of the series published by the Bhandarkar Institute; and my warmest thanks are due to my friend Prof. G. H. Ranade, who typed the translation, the preface, and the Introduction, from my unintelligible scrawl.
I owe a heavy debt of gratitude to Dr. P. L. Vaidya for helping me in interpreting the Prakrta portion and in correcting the proofs.
The Story of Yayati and his wives from the Mahabharata.
The Gods were extremely glad to welcome Kaca who had mastered the wonderful Sanjivani – Vidya and the celestials learnt the art from Kaca and rejoiced. They then requested Indra to go forth and show his prowess and conquer his foes. And thus addressed Indra, accompanied by Apsarasas set out, saying, "So be it". On his way he saw a number of maidens sporting in a lake in the gardens of Gandharva Citraratha and changing himself into wind, he mixed up their garments, placed by them on the bank of the lake. A little after, the maidens, getting up from the water approached their garments that were, indeed, an intermingled heap. And it so happened that the attire of Devayani, from the intermingled heap, was appropriated by Sarmistha, from ignorance that it was not hers, and on this, there occurred a dispute between them. They recr-iminated each other roundly and called foul names to each other. Hearing them, Devayani became extremely angry and began to pull at Sarmistha's clothes who threw Devayani into a well and went home.
After Sarmistha had left, Yayati, the son of Nahusa, came to the spot and saw the dry well. On looking within it, he saw a maiden who in splendour was like the blazing fire. He then addressed her with soothing words, he inquired how she had fallen into the well, and whose daughter she was. Devayani answered: "I and the daughter of Sukra and I ask thee to take my right hand and raise me up. It behoves thee to raise me up from this well."
Yayati, learning that she was a Brahmin's daughter, promptly raised her by her right hand. He then returned to his capital. After he had gone away, Devayani said to her maid, Ghurnika: "Please go to my father and report to him all that has happened; I shall not now enter the city of Visaparvan". Guhrunika, commanded, repaired quickly to the palace fo the Asura – chief; there she saw Kavya. She said; " O Great Brahmana, I tell thee that Devayani hath been ill used in the forest by Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparvan". Kavya speedily went out seeking for her in the woods, and when he found her, he clasped her to his bosom. Devayani told him how she was insulted with cruel and abusive words by Sarmisth and then the father tried to pacify his daughter with words of sweet import his daughter who was afflicted with woe and oppressed by anger.
Then Kavya, who was angry himself, approached Vrsaparvan, where the latter was seated and threatened to leave him and the Asuras. Then Vrsaparvan prayed to Bhrgu to be graceful to him. Sukra then replied "I am unable to bear my daughter's grief; seek you to please her".
Vrsaparvan then approached Devayani and told her "Whatever thon desirest I will give thee, however difficult it may be to grant the same". Devayani answered : " I want Sarmistha with a Thousand maids to wait upon me. She must also follow me where my father bestoweth me".
Commanded by her father sarmistha, accompanied by a thousand maidens, approached Devayani and said: "With my thousand maids, I am thy waiting – woman and I shall follow thee where thy father may bestow thee".
After some length of time, Devayani went to the same woods accompanied by Sarmistha and her maids for purposes of pleasure, and just at that time, Yayati again came there in course of his wanderings, tired and thirsty, in search of deer. He saw them all decked with celestial ornaments and full of Voluptuous languor in consequence of the flowery honey they drank.
And seeing all this, Yayati said: "Oh amiable ones, I would ask you your names and parentage" Hearing the monarch, Devayani answered: " I am the daughter of Sukra, the spiritual teacher of the Asuras. This my companion, my waiting – woman is Sarmistha, the daughter of the Asuraking, Vrsaparvan". After this Devayani quickly sent a maid servant to her father. The maid represented to Sukra everything as it had happened. As soon as he had heard all, sukra came and saw Yayati.
Sukra said to yayati: "Oh thou, son of Nahusa, thou hast been accepted by my daughter as her husband. I bestow her on thee. Therefore Oh son of Nahusa, accept her thy wife. Maintain virtuously he wife. This other maiden, Vrsaparvan's daughter Sarmistha, should ever be regarded by thee, but thou shalt not summon her to bed.
And the king then went through the auspicious ceremony of marriage according to the rites to the Sastras. And having received from Sukra a rich treasure in Devayani and Sarmistha and those two thousand maidens and duly jonoured by Sukra and the Asuras, the best of monarchs, commended by Sukracarya, returned to his capital with a joyful heart.
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