Chapter 7 — Shukra Imagines Embracing the Fairy Nymph

Vasishta said:—

Thus Shukra, being among the gods in the celestial city, forgot his former nature without passing through the pangs of death. Having halted awhile by the side of Sachi’s consort (i.e., Indra), he rose up to roam about the paradise, charmed with all its various beauties.

He looked with rapture on the beauty of his own body and longed to see the lovely beauties of heavenly beings, just as a swan is eager to meet the lotuses of the lake. He saw his beloved one among them in the garden of Indra’s paradise, her eyes like those of a young deer and with a stature as delicate as that of a tender amra vine. She also saw the son of Bhrigu and lost her self control. Thus he observed all her indications of amorous feelings. His whole body dissolved in affection for her, like a moonstone melting under moonbeams, and so did hers likewise in tenderness for him. He, like the moonstone, was soothed by her cooling beauty, beaming like moonlight in the sky. She also, being seen by him, was entirely subdued by her love to him.

At night they bewailed like ruddy geese at their separation from one another, and at daybreak they were filled with delight on seeing each other. They were both as beautiful to behold as the sun and the opening blossom of the lotus in morning. Their presence added a charm to the garden of paradise, which promised to confer their desired bliss.

10 She committed her subdued self to the mercy of Kama, the god of love, who in his turn darted his arrows relentlessly into her tender heart. 11 Her body was covered with Kama’s arrows, like a lotus blossom hidden under a swarm of bees. She became as disordered as the leaves of a lotus disturbed under a shower of raindrops. 12 She fluttered at the gentle breath of playful winds, like the tender filaments of flowers. She moved as gracefully as a swan, her eyes as blue as the petals of blue lotuses. 13 She was deranged by the god of love like a bed of lotuses is disturbed by a mighty elephant. Her lover, Shukra, in his fancy, saw her in that plight.

14 At last the shade of night spread over the landscape of heavenly paradise, as if the god of destruction (Shiva) was advancing to bury the world under universal gloom. 15 A deep darkness spread over the face of the earth and covered it with thick gloom like the regions of the polar mountains where the hot, blazing sun is hidden by the dark shade of perpetual night, as if hiding his face in shame under the dark veil of gloom.

16 When the assembled crowds of the place retired in different directions to their respective homes, the loving pair met together in the midst of the grove. 17 Then the love smitten lady approached her lover with sidelong glances, like a bird of air alights from her aerial flight in the evening to meet with her mate on the earth below. 18 She advanced towards the son of Bhrigu, as a peahen comes out to meet the rising cloud. She saw a white washed building, a couch placed inside.

19 Bhargava (Shukra) entered the white hall like Vishnu entering the milk ocean accompanied by his beloved Lakshmi who held his hand with her down-cast countenance. 20 The apsara fairy graced Shukra like the lotus-stalk graces the bosom of the elephant. She spoke to him sweetly with words mixed with tender affection. 21 She told him in a sweet and delightful speech filled with expressions of endearment, “Behold, O my moon-faced lover! I see the curve of your bow is bent for my destruction. 22 Kama is shooting his arrows to destroy this lovelorn maid. Therefore protect me from him. I am so helpless from his rage that I have come under your protection.”

23 “Know, my good friend, that the duty of good people is to relieve the wretched from their distress. Those who do not look upon them with a compassionate eye are reckoned the basest of men. 24 Love is never abused by those who are acquainted with erotica, because the true love of faithful lovers endures to the end without any fear of separation. 25 Know my dear, that the delightful draught of love defies the dewy beams distilled by the moon, and the sovereignty of the three worlds is never as pleasing to the soul as the love of the beloved.”

26 “I derive the same bliss from the touch of your feet as lovers when they first love one another. 27 I live by the nectar of your touch, as the kumuda blooms imbibe ambrosial moonbeams at night. 28 As the fluttering chakora is delighted drinking moonbeams, so this suppliant at your feet is blessed by the touch of the leaf-like palm of your hand. 29 Embrace me now to your bosom filled with ambrosial bliss.”

Saying so, the maiden fell upon his bosom with her body soft as a flower and her eyes turning like a small leaf in a gentle breeze. 30 The loving pair fell into their trance of love in that happy grove, like a couple of playful bees creep into a lotus cup under the fair filaments of the flower shaking by the gentle breeze.