The Mahabharata Home
'Rishyasringa said, 'Here came to-day a religious student with a mass of hair on his head. And he was neither short nor tall. And he was of a spirited look and a golden complexion, and endued with eye large as lotuses; and he was shining and graceful as a god. And rich was his beauty blazing like the Sun; and he was exceedingly fair with eyes graceful and black. And his twisted hair was blue-black and neat and long and of a fragrant scent and tied up with strings of gold. A beautiful ornament was shining on his neck which looked like lightning in the sky. And under the throat he had two balls of flesh without a single hair upon them and of an exceedingly beautiful form. And his waist was slender to a degree and his navel neat; and smooth also was the region about his ribs. Then again there shone a golden string from under his cloth, just like this waist-string of mine. And there was something on his feet of a wonderful shape which give forth a jingling sound. Upon his wrists likewise was tied a pair of ornaments that made a similar sound and looked just like this rosary here. And when he walked, his ornaments uttered a jingling sound like those uttered by delighted ganders upon a sheet of water. And he had on his person garments of a wonderful make; these clothes of mine are by no means beautiful like those. And his face was wonderful to behold; and his voice was calculated to gladden the heart; and his speech was pleasant like the song of the male blackbird. And while listening to the same I felt touched to my inmost soul. And as a forest in the midst of the vernal season, assumes a grace only when it is swept over by the breeze, so, O father! he of an excellent and pure smell looks beautiful when fanned by the air. And his mass of hair is neatly tied up
and remains adhering to the head and forehead evenly sundered in two. And his two eyes seemed to be covered with wonderful Chakravaka birds of an exceedingly beautiful form. And he carried upon his right palm a wonderful globur fruit, which reaches the ground and again and again leaps up to the sky in a strange way. And he beats it and turns himself round and whirls like a tree moved by the breeze. And when I looked at him, O father! he seemed to be a son of the celestials, and my joy was extreme, and my pleasure unbounded. And he clasped my body, took hold of my matted hair, and bent down my mouth, and, mingling his mouth with my own, uttered a sound that was exceedingly pleasant. And he doth not care for water for washing his feet, nor for those fruits offered by me; and he told me that such was the religious observance practised by him. And he gave unto me a number of fruits. Those fruits were tasteful unto me: these here are not equal to them in taste. They have not got any rind nor any stone within them, like these. And he of a noble form gave me to drink water of an exceedingly fine flavour; and having drunk it, I experienced great pleasu e; and the ground seemed to be moving under my feet. And these are the garlands beautiful and fragrant and twined with silken threads that belong to him. And he, bright with fervent piety, having scattered these garlands here, went back to his own hermitage. His departure hath saddened my heart; and my frame seems to be in a burning sensation! And my desire is to go to him as soon as I can, and to have him every day walk about here. O father, let me this very moment go to him. Pray, what is that religious observance which is being practised by him. As he of a noble piety is practising penances, so I am desirous to live the same life with him. My heart is yearning after similar observances My soul will be in torment if I see him not,'"
Next: Section CXIII