|Third-type vidyādharas? Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.|
I came across these nice verses in the Pṛthivīrājavijaya
of Jayānaka (ed. Ojhā). One of Pṛthivīrāja's ancestors is hunting in the forest when he comes across a white palace (actually, now I see that his was built by him) where he finds an odd fellow sound asleep. The king cannot figure out for a while what the man is, although the bees in v. 37 seem to give it away. The translations are idiomatic (traduttore trattore and all that).
puṣpasrajām amaralokabhuvām upāstim
ārabdhavadbhir alibhir madhuraṃ dhvanadbhiḥ |
vidyādharo 'yam iti kaiścana mūrtimadbhir
vidyākṣarair iva samāśritayāmikatvam || 4.37
Like formidable embodied syllables of a spell,
bees humming sweetly "This is a vidyādhara
were his night-watchmen as they started to worship
his garland of flowers from the world of immortals.
taṃ vīkṣya bhūpatir acintayad eṣa tāvad
asvapnatāṃ vyabhicaraty atha śeṣaśāyī |
devo 'yam etad api nāsti sa dṛśyate yais
teṣāṃ bhavanti na hi divyadṛśāṃ vikalpāḥ || 4.39
The king beheld him and thought to himself:
"Well, that's odd: he's asleep (therefore not a god)*;
I have it! It's the god [Viṣṇu], he sleeps on a snake!
But that can't be either: for those with a divine vision
would not entertain doubts after having seen Him."
*Gods do not sleep.
nātrāsate na ca manuṣyaviśeṣam enam |
saṃbhāvayāmi na ca vaiśravaṇasya yo 'pi
dhartā naraḥ spṛśati so 'pi mamopadhānam || 4.40
He does not bear any of the signs of gandharvas
! But he is not some special human either.
Nor can he be that odd fellow who carries Kubera,
for he too touches my footstool (in obedience).
nāgo 'pi nāyam uragatvavibhinnayāpi
mūrtyā na hi vyabhicaranty ahayaḥ phaṇitvam |
lobhasvabhāvamalinā khalu jātir eṣā
ratnaṃ varākadhanavad vijahāti nāṅkāt || 4.41
No, he's no nāga
. Though they shed their slithering bodies,
they could never hide their hoods. What's more: that lot
is well-known to be greedy, never would they cast away
precious jewels as if they were worthless. (But he does!**)
**In a previous verse some jewels seem to fall off the sleeping fellow.
vidyādharatvam api yad †dvija†pādalepa-
kaukṣeyakāñjanamalatrayakalmaṣaṃ syāt |
tat tāvad asya na bhavaty atha yaḥ prakāras
turyas tam asya mukhadarśanato vidhāsye || 4.42
(We all know:) vidyādharas
would be smeared
on their feet, on their eyes, or else, carry*** a sword.
No sign of those on this fellow. Let me just check
his mouth whether he be of that fourth kind.
***This is weird. How can we take a sword to be a kalmaṣa
? I also wish someone could tell me how to take 'dvija
Anyhow, the king does proceed to examine the mouth of the funny being. Just as he does so, the man's mouth opens slightly and his 'pill' (gulikā,
later said to be a siddhagulikā
) pops out and rolls under the king's foot. This was the source of his powers, and at the same time a sure sign to the king that he is a fourth-type vidyādhara
(the ones who pop pills so to speak). The vidyādhara
wakes up in terror as he realizes that his pill is gone. I find the next image quite funny: he bows his head in shame as if looking for places down here - he knows that his career as a high-flier is over. Well worth a read, Jayānaka is a good poet.
[By the way: if you do decide to download the book, DLI has it in several 'versions' (same book, multiple scans). One of them is legible, but there are pages missing. These can be recovered from the other version, which is an inferior scan. Finally, a third version cannot be accessed, the link is broken or something.]