Kavi Samaya: Milk, Water and Cakravakas

This verse plays with two poetic conventions of an avian nature.  The first is that haṃsas, the all-white birds that act as the vehicles of Brahma and Sarasvatī, can, among other things, separate a mixture of milk and water into its constituent parts.  The second is that cakravākas, monogamists par excellence, are fated to be with each other only by day; every night they are forced to part at the rise of moon, to their great distress.

 

चक्रवाकमिथुनच्छलनीर-

क्षीरयोरकृत हन्त विभागम् ।

व्योमनामसरसीकृतकेलिः

सायमेष सितरश्मिमरालः ॥

It is evening.

The moon, arrayed in white, is a haṃsa.

Gliding through the sky that is his lake,

he separates

water from milk –

cakravāka from wretched cakravākī.

 

10.31 of Nārāyaṇācarya’s Rāghavendravijaya

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