“My beloved wife! Where have you gone! Did this night, after seeing your beauty as fair as moonlight, get jealous and take you away from me?”
“Or did the moon, that was vanquished by your exquisite beauty, comfort me with it’s cool as sandalwood rays earlier, only to take it’s revenge on me now, since I am missing you so much?”
“Is that why it’s rays now feel as burning coal, or arrows that have been dipped in poison?”
The night passed by with Harisvāmin crying for his wife, his grief increasing with each passing moment…
प्रातर् बिभेद विश्वस्य करैः संतमसं रविः ।
भेत्तुं न चक्षमे तस्य मोहान्धतमसं पुनः ॥ १२,२०.१८ ॥
विलब्ध इव चक्राह्वैस् तस्य तीर्णनिशैस् तदा ।
भेजे शतगुनीभावं करुणाक्रन्दितध्वनिः ॥ १२,२०.१९ ॥
स्वजनैः सान्त्व्यमानो ऽपि वियोगानलदीपितः ।
न च लेभे द्विजयुवा धृतिं तां प्रेयसीं विना ॥ १२,२०.२० ॥
इह स्थितम् इह स्नातं कृतम् अत्र प्रसाधनम् ।
विहृतं च तयात्रेति ययौ त्व् इत इतो रुदन् ॥ १२,२०.२१ ॥
मृता तावन् न सा तत् किम् आत्मैवं हन्यते त्वया ।
अवश्यं ताम् अवाप्तासि जीवञ् जातु कुतश्चन ॥ १२,२०.२२ ॥
तद् धैर्यम् अवलम्बस्व तां गवेषय च प्रियाम् ।
अप्राप्यं नाम नेहास्ति धीरस्य व्यवसायिनः ॥ १२,२०.२३ ॥
इति बन्धुसुहृद्वाक्यैर् बोधितः सो ऽथ कृच्छ्रतः ।
दिनैः कैश्चिद् धरिस्वामी बबन्ध धृतिम् आस्थया ॥ १२,२०.२४ ॥
अचिन्तयच् च सर्वस्वं कृत्वा ब्राह्मणसाद् अहम् ।
भ्रमामि तावत् तीर्थानि क्षपयाम्य् अघसंचयम् ॥ १२,२०.२५ ॥
The next morning, the sun rose and dispelled the darkness that had enveloped the world, but failed to dispel the darkness of distress that had settled on poor Harisvāmin.
His cries grew louder, even more than a hundred cakraváka birds that were heard every night. His friends and relatives tried to comfort him, but young Harisvāmin was burning in the pangs of separation, and was unable to regain his composure.
He wandered all around his house, tearfully speaking about every nook and corner, and how his wife had been there just a day back…”Here she was combing her hair, and here she was after she stepped out of a bath, here is where she entertained herself…”and he went on and on.
His friends consoled him and said…
“She is not dead, so why are you killing yourself by lamenting so much? She will return, but only if you are able to get a hold of yourself. Wipe your tears, gather some courage and go and look for her.”
“अप्राप्यं नाम नेहास्ति धीरस्य व्यवसायिनः – There is nothing in this world that a man with a firm resolve cannot obtain.”
Finally, in a few days, Harisvāmin managed to calm down, and rekindled hope in his heart, that he would be able to find his wife, And so he thought to himself…
“I will give away all that I have, in charity, and then do a teerth yātrā, visit the holy places of pilgrimage, and atone for my sins.”
“Maybe this way, I will be able to once again unite with my beloved wife…”
पापक्षयाद् धि तां जातु प्रियां भ्राम्यन्न् अवाप्नुयाम् ।
इत्य् आलोच्य यथावस्थं स्नानाद्य् उत्थाय सो ऽकरोत् ॥ १२,२०.२६ ॥
अन्येद्युश् च विचित्रान्नपानं सत्त्रे द्विजन्मनाम् ।
चकारावारितं किं च ददौ धनम् अशेषतः ॥ १२,२०.२७ ॥
ब्राह्मण्यमात्रवित्तस्य निर्गत्यैव स्वदेशतः ।
प्रियाप्राप्तीच्छया सो ऽथ तीर्थानि भ्रमितुं ययौ ॥ १२,२०.२८ ॥
भ्राम्यतश् च जगामास्य भीमो ग्रीष्मर्तुकेसरी ।
प्रचण्डादित्यवदनो दीप्ततद्रश्मिकेसरः ॥ १२,२०.२९ ॥
न्यस्तोष्माण इवात्युष्णा वान्ति स्म च समीरणाः ॥ १२,२०.३० ॥
शुष्यद्विदीर्णपङ्काश् च हृदयैः स्फुटितैर् इव ।
जलाशया ददृशिरे घर्मलुप्ताम्बुसंपदः ॥ १२,२०.३१ ॥
चीरीचीत्कारमुखरास् तापम्लानदलाधराः ।
मधुश्रीविरहान् मार्गेष्व् अरुदन्न् इव पादपाः ॥ १२,२०.३२ ॥
तस्मिन् काले ऽर्कतापेन वियोगेन क्षुधा तृषा ।
नित्याध्वना च स क्लान्तो विरूक्षक्षामधूसरः ॥ १२,२०.३३ ॥
भोजनार्थि हरिस्वामी प्राप ग्रामं क्वचिद् भ्रमन् ।
पद्मनाभाभिधानस्य गृहं विप्रस्य सत्त्रिणः ॥ १२,२०.३४ ॥
तत्र दृष्ट्वा स भुञ्जानान् विप्रान् अभ्यन्तरे बहून् ।
द्वारशाखां समालम्ब्य तस्थौ निःशब्दनिश्चलः ॥ १२,२०.३५ ॥
And so, the very next day, Harisvāmin performed the ritualistic penance, gave away all that he had, and then set out on his pilgrimage.
He wandered for months together, and then the summer came upon him, like a lion with the blazing sun for a mouth, and a fiery-red mane of harsh rays. The wind blew heat onto his face, as if warmed by the breath of travelers grieving after being separated from their wives.
And the lakes, dried up by the harsh summer, exposed their beds filled with dry white mud, as if showing their broken hearts – all their water being robbed by the sun.
The trees on the roadside seemed to lament the departure of the beautiful spring, a shrill moan emitting from their barks, with leaves dried up, as lips, from the unrelenting heat.
The summer left Harisvāmin worn out with distress, hunger and thirst, and he continued to travel, covered with dirt, hungry and eager to find a place to rest.
He then reached a village, and chanced upon the house of a Brāhman named Padmanābha, who was conducting a yagna.
Harisvāmin saw many Brāhmans lined up outside the house, waiting to be fed, and so he managed to reach the doorpost, and leaned against it, silent and motionless.
to be continued…