Chapter 24 — The Ravages of Time

Rama continued:—

Time is a self-willed sportsman, like a prince, who is inaccessible to dangers and whose powers are unlimited. This world is like a forest and a sporting ground of time where the poor deluded worldlings are caught in his snare like bodies of wounded stags.

The ocean of universal deluge is merely a pleasure-pond for time, and its undersea fires bursting there are merely lotus flowers. Time makes his breakfast of this vapid and stale earth, flavored with the milk and curd of the seas of those names. His wife Chandi with her train of Matris (the Furies) ranges all about this wide world like a ferocious tigress. The earth with her waters is like a bowl of wine in the hand of time, dressed and flavored with all sorts of lilies and lotuses.

In the hand of time, the lion with his huge body and startling mane, his loud roaring and tremendous groans, seems like a caged bird of sport. Mahakala (Transcendent Time), like a playful young cuckoo, appears in the figure of the blue autumn sky, warbling as sweet as the notes of a lute of gourd (in the music of the spheres).

The restless bow of death is found flinging its sorrowful arrows with ceaseless thunder claps on all sides. 10 This world is like a forest in which sorrows range about like playful apes, and time like a sportive prince in this forest, is now wandering, now walking, now playing and now killing his game.