Ruru retires into a wood and bewails in melodramatic fashion the death of his beloved Pramadvara. He indulges in a piteous appeal to have his beloved restored to life. A messenger from heaven arrives and tells Ruru that 'The words thou utterest, O Ruru, in thy affliction are certainly ineffectual.' It transpires that it is not Ruru's wish for Pramadvara's resurrection that is pitiful, but just his method
of acquiring said resurrection--apparently he needs to give up part of his own life. Or, as the translator puts it 'a moiety' of his life. Ruru gratefully agrees to the tip-off and Pramadvara is restored to life.( Cut for lengthCollapse )The Characters
(Rishi) Ruru--snake-smiter and lover of Pramadvara
(ex-Rishi) Sahasrapat--appears in the form of a Dundubha snake and is restored to human life by Ruru.Best bits
- The repetition of the word 'moiety' four times in two short paragraphs.
- The evocative description of Ruru's vindictiveness: 'whenever he saw a serpent he became filled with great wrath and always killed it with a weapon'
- The poetic but non-specific description of Dundubhas 'subject like other serpents to the same calamities but not sharing their good fortune, in woe the same but in joy different' (what is their joy? one wonders)
- Ruru working himself into a state of exhaustion searching for the vanished Sahasrapat--'having failed to find him in all the woods, fell down on the ground, fatigued'. He passes out then revives himself and trots off home to discover that his dad can (conveniently!) tell him the story anyway.Speculation
So are Dundubhas always humans in snake form?
Why did Sahasrapat vanish? I'm intrigued...Mental state
Zen-like. Om!ETA: supacat
reflects on the Pauloma Parva as a whole in the comments below.