Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 14
BY: SUN STAFF
Kama Shoots at Siva under the Mango Tree
Tamil Nadu, c. 1820
Feb 15, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
[Chanda 3] Fled wisdom with her allies, and on the field of battle her warriors turned to flee, then went and hid themselves in the sacred books, as in mountain-caves. In all the world arose a turmoil: 'What is going to happen, O Creator? Who will protect us? Who is it has two heads whom Rati's lord is threatening in wrath, with bow and arrows in hand?'
[Doha 84] All creatures in the world, moving and unmoved, called male or female, overstepped the limits of their nature and fell subject to Love. [Caupai 85] In the hearts of all was a yearning for Love; the boughs of the trees saw the creepers and bent down towards them; the rivers swelled and ran to meet the sea; ponds and lakes met in union. When such was the state of inanimate creation, who can describe the acts of conscious beings? Beasts on the land and birds in the air and fish in the water paid no heed to time and season but gave themselves up to love. All were blind and restless with passion; the cakava and his mate regarded neither night nor day. Of gods and demons, men, Kinnaras and serpents, sprites and goblins and ghosts and vampires I make no special mention, for these are ever slaves to love; but even adepts and anchorites, great sages and ascetics, under Love's influence forgot their austere vows.
[Chanda 4] When great ascetics and hermits were subdued by Love, why speak of baser men? The wise, who used to see the whole created world as Brahma, now saw it as Woman. Woman saw the world as Man, and men as Woman. So for an hour this sportive mystery, fashioned by Kama, prevailed within the universe. [Sundarakanda or Sorath 85] All lost their self-control, for Love had stolen their hearts; at that time only those escaped whom Raghubir protected.
[Caupai 86] This strange experience lasted for an hour until Kama approached Sambhu. At the sight of Siva Love was afraid, and the whole world regained its former state. At once all creatures were at peace, like drunkards when they cease from their drunkenness. When Kama looked on Rudra, the invincible and inaccessible, [ ] he was frightened; he was ashamed to retreat, yet could do nothing. He made up his mind to die, and devised a plan; forthwith charming spring, king of seasons, was revealed, and fresh young trees in rows sprang into lovely blossom. Forest and grove, pond and lake, in every quarter took on a wondrous beauty, as though passion were everywhere outpoured; and at the sight Love woke to life, even in dead souls.
[Chanda 5] Even in dead souls Love woke to life; no tongue can tell the beauty of the woods. Cool, mild and fragrant winds that fan Love's flame began to blow; many a lotus opened on the lakes, where swarms of bees hummed sweetly; swans, cuckoos and parrots made melodious song and Apsaras sang and danced.
Kama, the God of Love
[Doha 86] But though Love practiced all his arts in a myriad ways, he and his army were defeated. Siva's trance was undisturbed, and Love waxed wroth. [Caupai 87] Spying the strong branch of a mango tree, Kama climbed up on it in a rage. He fitted his arrows to his bow of flowers, and angrily taking aim drew the bowstring to his ear. He shot his five arrows and they lodged in Siva's breast; his trance was broken then and he awoke. The Lord's soul was much disturbed; he opened his eyes and looked in all directions. When he saw Kama hidden among the mango leaves, he grew so angry that the three spheres trembled. Then Siva opened his third eye and as soon as it looked on Kama, he was burnt to ashes.
A grievous cry of lamentation went up throughout the world; the gods were afraid but the demons were glad. The sensual were sad when they thought on the delights of love, but aspirant ascetics were relieved.
[Chanda 6] Ascetics were relieved, but Rati fell fainting when she heard of her husband's fate. Weeping and wailing with many a piteous lament, she went to Samkara. She stood before him with folded hands and earnestly besought him to relent. Siva, the gracious Lord, whose wrath is soon appeased, looked on the helpless woman and spoke a word of comfort:
[Doha 87] 'Henceforth, Rati, your husband shall be called the Bodiless; and bodiless he shall pervade all beings. Now hear how you shall meet him again. [Caupai 88] When Krsna shall take birth in the family of Yadu to relieve earth of her heavy burden, your husband shall be born as Krsna's son; my words shall not prove false.' When Rati heard Samkara's words, she departed.
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