The ditty of the desert road

He who eats once is a tyāgin;
He who eats twice is a yogin;
He who eats thrice is a bhogin;
And he who eats four times a day
is verily destined to be a rogin!

Some find rest by going home,
Some find rest on the bed,
Some find rest in a woman,
But for some there is no rest,
except that which death brings.

Eight are the cremation grounds, the mahāśmaśāna-s:
caṇḍogra in the eastern reaches of the va~Nga-s,
yamajvāla where the sea laps the draṃiḍa shores,
varuṇakapāla where the ānarta-s have their drinks,
kuberabhairava where one learns mahālīlādevī’s teachings,
śrīnāyaka, outside which the andhra-s flock to brothels,
aṭṭahāsa, wherein cerikā-s are possessed by bhūta-s,
ghorāndhakāra, from beneath which hiṅgulā prances,
And kilikilārava where saṃkarṣaṇa slew the ape of gargantuan proportions.

He marched forth seize the ball and horseshoe of śaktigola;
He was bold in and ruthless in his advance like bhagadatta;
But he came face-to-face with the utkrāntida of the vaivasvata.
He had all the power of this world but now he is all gone,
there beneath the yonder stone he lies whitening to bone.

He had attained total mastery of the horseshoe that lay under water,
much like our old ancestors gained mastery of the fire under water,
but as he fought great the mleccha lord he met yama-rājña,
now food for bacteria, the ṛbhu-s of life at the śmaśāna.

We may ask: were these brought to their final rest by citragupta ?
Nay, like pārikṣita-s of yore they sit weaving at the place of yama.
But some say verily such a kṣatriya-s end is no cause of sorrow.

~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on December 10, 2014.

 
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