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The Lord’s Marriage

The Lords Marriage
One day, a pair of twins, as they were playing together in accordance with the nature of children, went together under a palm tree. By the evil contrivance of fate, just then a large palm-fruit fell from the tree on the boy’s head like a stroke of lightning on a castor bean plant. Struck on the head in the manner of the crow-and-palm tree fable, the boy died then by the first accidental death. Because he had very slight passions, the boy-twin went to heaven. Cotton indeed rises in the air from its lightness. Formerly, large birds at once lifted up the bodies of dead twins like nest wood, and threw them in the Ocean. At that time, from the deterioration (of the times), the body remained just so. For the avasarpini has decreasing power. Then the second one of the twins, the girl, by nature endowed with innocence, stood with tremulous eyes, like a remnant after a sale. Her parents took her and raised her, and gave her the name Sunanda. After a few days her parents also died. For the twins live but a short time after their children are born. The girl, dazed by wondering what to do, with restless eye, wandered alone in the forest like a deer lost from the herd.

Planting as it were blossoming lotuses in the ground at every step with feet having leaves of straight toes; with legs like the golden quivers of Kamas, and gradually broad, round thighs like the trunk of an elephant; adorned with hips, fleshy, very large, having the appearance of a golden dice-board of the gambler Kandarpa; and with a waist that could be embraced by a hand like a magnet of Love, and also with the navel-region like a pleasure-pond of Love alone; having on the abdomen three waves of wrinkles, like three lines of victory over the women of the three worlds overcome by her beauty; with breasts like pleasure-peaks of Rati and Priti, and arm-creepers like the cords of their golden hammocks; exceedingly beautiful with a neck with three lines having the appearance of a conch; with the color of ripe bimba-fruit surpassed by her lower lip; exceedingly charming with teeth placed inside the pearl- oyster of the lower lip like seed-pearls; with a nose like the stalk of the lotus of the eye; having cheeks that were thieves of the beauty of the halfmoon as if in rivalry with the forehead; with hair clinging like bees to the lotus of the face; fair in the whole body, a river of the nectar of virtue and loveliness, wandering in the forest, she looked like a forest-goddess.

Then seeing her alone, young and beautiful, the twins bewildered as to what to do, approached Sri Nabhi. “Let her be the lawful wife of Lord Rsabha,” saying, Nabhi took her, full-moonlight for the (night-blooming) lotus of the eye. Just then, knowing by the employment of clairvoyant knowledge that it was time for the Lord’s wedding, Purandaras went there. Bowing at the Lord’s feet, standing before him with folded hands like a footman, the Lord of heaven declared: “The man who, ignorant, thinks of encouraging by word or thought the Lord, who is the depository of knowledge, verily he is the abode of ridicule. By the great graciousness of the Master, servants who have been seen always (i.e., old servants), say anything they like at any time. They are (true) servants who, knowing the Master’s wish, declare it. That I speak without knowing, do not for that reason, O Lord, be displeased with me. I think the Master has been free from passion from the time that he was in the womb, devoted to the fourth object of existence (moksa), indifferent to the other three-Dharma, Arth and Kama. Nevertheless, O Lord, the path of conduct for the people will be made entirely plain by you alone, just like the path of moksa. I wish that the great festival of marriage should be established for the conduct of the people. Favor me. O Master, you ought to marry the Ladies Sumangala and Sunanda, ornaments of the earth, suitable for yourself, beautiful.’’ The Master knew by clairvoyant knowledge: “For sixty-three lacs of Purvas I must destroy powerful karma which has pleasure as its fruit. This karma must be inevitably destroyed.” Thinking thus, the Master stood, nodding his head, downcast, like a sunflowers at evening.

Then having ascertained the Lord’s purpose, Purandaras at once summoned gods for the tasks of the wedding-preparations. Then the Abhiyogika-gods at the order of Pakasasana made a pavilion that was like the younger brother of Sudharma. Its pillars of gold, jewels, and silver shone like peaks of Meru, Rohana, and Vaitadhya piled together. Golden pitchers, giving light, shone like the circles made by a Cakrin’s cowrie-jewel. Golden daises shone there with rising rays of light, as if surpassing the sun, unable to endure another light. Some entering were reflected in the walls of jeweled slabs; some did not attain to the functions of the retinue in it. Set on the jeweled pillars, tall puppets shone, looking like dancers tired from a concert. There were arches in every direction with kalpashoots, like bows that had been made ready by Manobhu. Arches of sapphire on the crystal door-posts resembled a row of parrots placed in the center of a row of autumn clouds. In some places the pavilion gave the appearance of a pleasure-pool of nectar with its dense light from the floor paved with crystal. In some places it showed a collection of divine, extensive safflower-colored cloths (as it were) with shining piles of projecting ruby slabs. In some places it looked like sprouts of auspicious barley sowed repeatedly with its very beautiful shoots of light from sapphires. In some places, by its unbroken reeds of light from the emerald ground it caused fear* to the green auspicious bamboos that had been brought. Under pretext of a canopy of white, divine cloth, it was inhabited, as it were, by the heavenly Gangas with a desire to see the ceremony. Around the canopy were hung pearl-wreaths that shone like joyful laughter of the eight quarters. Four lofty rows of jeweled pitchers, like treasures of Rati, were placed around by the goddesses. Green bamboos shone, giving support to the pitchers, indicating the growth of the Master’s family which was the support of all the world.

The Lords Marriage
“O Rambha, make the wreaths; prepare the durva-grassB, Urvashi Ghrtaci, bring the ghee, curd, etc., for the groom’s reception; Manjughosa, have women friends sing sweetly auspicious* songs; Sugandha, prepare the perfumes. Tilottama, put the best svastikas on the door; Mena, receive with delightful conversation the ones who have arrived. Sukesi, bring the hair-ornaments for the brides and groom; Sahajanya, show the place to the men of the wedding procession. Citralekha, paint the various pictures in the shrine; quickly make ready the vessels filled with gifts, Purnini. Pundarika, decorate the full pitchers with lotuses; put the groom’s chair in the proper place, Amloca. Bring the brides’ and groom’s shoes, Hansapadi; quickly smear the pavilion-ground with cow-dung, Punjikasthala. Why are you playing elsewhere, Rama? Hema, why do you look at gold? Kratusthala, why are you confused, as if drunk? What are you thinking, Marichi? What are you looking at, Sumukhi? Why are you not on this side, Gandharvi? Why do you joke idly, Divya? Time for the ceremony is near. Then with all your heart hurry, each one of you, to your wedding-task that must be done.” From the bustling of the Apsarases instructing each other in this way, and frequently calling names, a mighty tumult arose.

Sumangala and Sunanda then were seated on a seat by some Apsarases for the sake of the auspicious bath. They anointed their bodies with fragrant oil, while a low toned auspicious song was being sung. They rubbed them with finely ground powder, the ground being purified by a falling heap of unguents. On their feet, knees, hands, shoulders, and forehead, they made tilakas, like nine pitchers of nectar, clinging to the body. They touched their bodies on right and left with spindles of safflower-thread, as if to test the perfect symmetry. Carefully they made an application of ointment to the brides, restraining them from motion, like nurses. Just then in the same way, excited with pleasure, they made an ointmentremoval like a brother of the application. Seating them on another seat, they bathed them like their household-divinities with water from a golden pitcher. They dried their bodies with fragrant, redbrown cloths and bound their hair with a soft cloth. After putting linen garments on them and seating them on another seat, they squeezed water from their hair, like a rain of pearls from heaven. With divine perfumes they perfumed the hair somewhat moist, distinguished by an abundant beauty increased by unctuous smokecreepers. They adorned their feet with the juice of red lac, resembling the luster of dawn falling on a lotus-bed. They smeared the bodies of these women-jewels with beautiful ointment, like gold with ocher. On their necks, palms, breasts, and cheeks, they drew vines with leaves, like the glorification of Love.

On their foreheads they made a beautiful sandal-tilaka like a new circle for the descent of the goddess Rati. They decorated their eyes with Collyrium so they resembled black bees that had gone to a cluster of blue-lotuses. They bound their coils of hair with wreaths of full-blown flowers, as if an armory had been made by the God of Love for himself. They put wedding clothes on them that had the moon’s-rays surpassed by the rows of fringe hanging down. On their heads they put diadems shining with various jewels like the sun and moon of the east and west quarters. They put jeweled ear-rings in their ears, thieves of the wealth of pride of the ground of Meru sprouting with jewels. They also put divine pearl ear-rings resembling new flower-clusters on their ear-creepers. They put on their necks gold ornaments, filling the sky with the light of various jewels, stealing away the beauty of contracted rainbows. On their arms they joined armlets adorned with jewels resembling insignia fastened to the bow of the God of Love. They put necklaces on their high breasts giving the appearance of rivers rising and falling on high ground. Pearl bracelets were put on their wrists, like basins full of water on the ground around creepers. They presented to their hips jeweled girdles that had a row of tinkling bells, like reciters of auspicious* things of the goddess Rati. They put jeweled anklets on their feet that tinkled, tinkled, as if praising their virtues. After the goddesses had prepared them thus, and had lifted them up and led them to the shrine, the Ladies were seated on a golden throne. The Lord, Vrsabha-marked, begged persistently by Namucidvis, who had come, to be ready for the wedding, reflected, “Customs must be shown to the people; and I have karma with pleasure as its fruit to be destroyed,” and consented. Then Mahendra, knowing proper procedure for the occasion, after he had bathed and anointed him, adorned him suitably with ornaments, etc. His path cleared ahead by Mahendra, as if by a staff-bearer, with salt being waved by the Apsarases at his sides, with very beautiful, auspicious songs being sung by the wives of the Indras, having the way shown by the Samanikas and other goddesses, with musical instruments* being played by Gandharvas, etc., with spontaneous joy, the Master went to the door of the pavilion by means of a divine vehicle.

The Master himself, knowing what was proper, descended from his chariot there, and stopped at the place which had a creeper for a boundary, like the waves of the Ocean (at the shore). There the Lord, supported by the Lord of the gods, shone like an elephant resting against a tree. The women of the pavilion set down in the door an earthenware covered box filled with fire and salt that made a crackling noise. One woman in front carried a silver dish characterized by auspicious things, such as durva, etc., like the night of full moon carrying the moon. Another in front, lifting in her hand the churning-stick like auspiciousness personified, was clothed in a safflower-garment for the reception of the groom. “O Arghada, give a respectful reception to the one entitled to it (the groom); lift up instantly the fresh butter; take curd from the dish like nectar from the Ocean. O Sundari, take up the sandal-stuff brought from Nandana; joyfully raise the durva brought from the ground of Bhadrasala. The bridegroom, the best of the three worlds, with a living festoon made from the rows of eyes of the people that have come together, is at the festooned door. His body entirely covered by his upper garment, he stands erect like a young kinggoose veiled by the Ganga’s waves. The flowers are being blown away by the wind and the sandal is drying up. O Sundari, do not keep, do not keep the bridegroom long at the door.”

Such auspicious songs being sung aloud by the goddesses, she gave a respectful reception to the bridegroom deserving a respectful reception from the three worlds. Her loud-tinkling armlets beginning an auspicious song, as it were, she, having bimba-lips, kissed the forehead of the Lord of the Three Worlds three times with the churning-stick. With the shoe on his left foot the Lord broke the earthenware dish filled with fire as easily as a jar filled with snow. Then the Lord went to the shrine, being dragged by a safflowercloth thrown around his neck by the one giving the reception. The hand-thread, adorned with a mainphala like a bulb of love, was tied on the hands of the brides and groom. In front of the mothergoddesses the Lord sat on a high golden throne like a lion on the peak of Meru. When they had ground the bark of the sami and asvattha trees, the women (Mahendi) placed hand-ointment in the hands of the brides, like a pregnancy-whim of the tree of love. Then the Lord, clever, at the arrival of the auspicious moment quickly took with his own hands their hands with the hand-ointment. Then Sutraman threw a ring in the hand-ointment in the hollow of the hand, like a rice-seed in a pond. With these two fair ones taken by both hands, the Lord looked like a tree with two creepers clinging to two branches. The eyes of the brides and groom sped toward each other, like the water of the rivers to the Ocean on the auspicious occasion of the conjunction of the stars. Then glance was joined with glance, motionless as water free from wind, as mind was joined with mind.

Reflected in the pupils of each other’s eyes, they looked as if entering each other’s hearts from love. Now, the gods, Samanikas, etc., having become servants, stood at the Lord’s sides, like Vidyutprabha, etc., at the sides of Meru. The two brides’ women-attendants, clever in the art of ridicule, began to sing comic songs. “Eager to eat the sweetmeats, like a man with fever to drink the Ocean dry; what, pray, is the intention of the best man? His gaze fixed on the pastries, greedy like a confectioner’s dog; what is the intention of the best man? The best man is eager to eat cakes like a poor boy who has never seen them before in all his life; what is his intention? The best man is greedy for areca nuts, like catakas (birds) for water, like beggars for rich men; what is his intention? Now the best man is longing for the leaves of the betelcreeper, like a calf for grass; what is his intention? The best man is greedy for sandal-powder like a cat for fresh butter; what is the intention of the best man? The best man longs for ointment like a buffalo for the mud of a field; what is the intention of the best man? The best man, whose eye is wavering, desires the garlands, like a drunk man the remains of the sacrifice; what is his intention?”

The Lords Marriage
Listening to comic songs of this kind, the gods stood, their ears pricked up from curiosity, as if painted in a picture. Thinking, “This custom must be taught to the people,” the Lord looked on indifferently like an umpire in a dispute. Balasudana tied the garments of the Ladies with the garments of the Lord, like those of boats with those of a great ship. The Chief of the gods, like an Abhiyogika-god, mounted the Master on his hip with devotion, and went to the house containing the altar. Quickly the Ladies were put likewise on their hips by two of Indra’s wives and made to go with the Master, their fingers un-separated. They entered the altar-house by the east door with the brides and groom who were the head-jewels of the three worlds. There a Trayastrinsa-god quickly made appear a fire in the altar-fire-hole, as if it had sprung up from the middle of the earth. From the lighting of the fuel, lines of smoke disappeared in the sky, after a long time forming ear-rings for the Khecara-women. To the accompaniment of auspicious songs by women, The Master circled the fire with Sumangala and Sunanda until the eighth stanzas were completed. When they let go hands, Vasavas untied their garments, while blessings were being sung.

Then Maghavan and his wives danced with graceful gestures of the hands. Joy arising from the Master’s festival acts as stagemanager. After him, other gods danced, delighted, like creepers on a tree made to dance by the wind. Some gods gave cries of “Hail! Hail!” like Bards; some danced with various steps like actors; others sang charming melodies like Gandharvas; others played clearly with their mouths as musical instruments; some took quick leaps like monkeys; others made all the people laugh like clowns; others drove away the people like door-keepers. Devotion to himself being shown thus by the gods intoxicated with joy, the Lord, both sides adorned by Sumangala and Sunanda, ascended the divine vehicle and went to his own house. After performing in this way the wedding-ceremony, bowing to the Lord, Adribhid went to his own abode like a stagemanager whose play is finished. Beginning from that time, the wedding customs observed by the Master were followed. For the practices of the great are for the guidance of others.

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