A beautiful piece of poetry with which Kalhana ends the First Taranga. Yudhistira lost interest in governance and covered himself with sycophants. Irritated, a coup was launched against him and he was exiled. Below verses describe his exile.

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 21.36.31

Then permitted by them to leave his own country, after the fight had been called off and time allowed to him, the king emerged for this purpose from the heart of the city of Srinagara on the high road on which were scattered, in lieu of parched grain, drops of tears of the distressed citizens at the sight of the exodus of the royal ladies who were covered with the dust from the hoofs of the horses. 367

The king having been deposed from the throne his retainers, ladies, treasure and the like were carried off by his enemies while he was fleeing, just as the creepers and fruits from a tree fallen from a high mountain are forcibly borne away by mighty boulders. 368

Proceeding along lovely mountain paths the king, yielding to fatigue, rested under trees; sitting for a while and then moving on, he forgot his great sufferings; anon awakened by shouts of the vulgar which reached his ears from afar, he was seen dejected, his mind sinking in an abyss like the waters of a cataract. 369

After crossing forests heavily perfumed with the scent of many varieties of creepers and herbs and the mountain streams with boulders, which were tossed by the surging waters and which were slippery with moss, his queen, whose slim figure had the semblance of a lovely lotus plant, becoming weary would place her limbs on his lap and faint. 370

From the spur of the mountain on the frontier while the royal ladies offered handfuls of flowers as a leave-taking, even the birds resting in their own nests in the caverns of the mountains rushed down in excitement in flocks and, spreading their wings and bending their beaks towards the earth’s surface, began to cry. 371

The royal ladies, who had tied on their bosom the upper garment which had slipped from their heads, watching their own land from a distance placed their hands on the foreheads and wept tears which streamed like a rivulet on the way. 372

Advertisements