(The hunter in the wilderness of Sansara)
The Hunter stood, towering over the Kaku Bodhi plant at his feet,
chewing on a large chunk of his thick beard. He did not notice a
batticha alighting on his shoulder. The next moment a battichchi joined
her mate. The male bobbed its head about, chirping in agitation and
finally caught a strand of his beard in beak and pulled gently.
The Hunter touched his face as one would if an ant crawled over cheek
or in anxiety bit. The battichcha plucked a few hairs from the Hunterís
beard and flew to the Kaku Bodhiya. The battichchi joined her partner
instantly. She carried a piece of straw in her beak.
The Hunter turned his eyes towards them with some interest. He
noticed that a few strands of straw and grass had already been carefully
placed in a crook of the tree close to which the birds were now perched.
The battichcha and battichchi had begun building a nest in the Kaku
The Hunter took off down the mountain suddenly as though he had
remembered something that he had neglected, measuring his descent with
heavy steps. The next moment, remembering something else, he turned and
went into the kitchen.
He grabbed a bunch of fruit from a basket and left. He cast his eyes
around furtively, perturbed by the unsanctioned act of taking alms meant
for the Hamuduruwo. The Hamuduruwo was not visible, but it was as though
the ascetic voice grazed his ear in a volume that wavered between
audible and inaudible. Perhaps the Hamuduruwo was reciting some gathas
as he offered the Buddha Poojawa.
The Hunter stopped at the cave located half way down the mountain and
dropped the fruit without fixing his eyes on anything specific. The
drummerís daughter was fast asleep, exactly where she had falled, near
For three days the Hunter brought food to the cave in this manner.
His day had been completely transformed. He would go down to the foot of
the mountain but didnít venture into the jungle as had been his
practice. He gathered some fruit as quickly as possible. He broke a
couple of beehives that some bears were feasting on.
The creatures looked at him in surprise as he pushed them aside and
grabbed the honeycombs. They were even more amazed by the fact that the
Hunter did not pause to exchange pleasantries. They looked at one
another and at the receding figure of the Hunter.
As was customary, the Hunter attended to the minute tasks pertaining
to the Hamudurusoís needs/ On occasion, when the Hamuduruwo looked at
him, the Hunter was not able to suffer the calm and yet intense gaze of
the Humuduruwo. He did not meet gaze with gaze.
The drummerís daughter was lost in the realms of deep sleep for three
And yet, each morning as the Hunter woke up he realized that she had
in the middle of the night had her fill of the food he had brought for
her. When he looked into the cave, he always found her sprawled across
the floor, in deep sleep, as silent as the drum.
The birds were industriously building their nest atop the Kaku Bodhi
Tree. As she came closer to motherhood the work on the tree house too
grew correspondingly intense.
For a long time thereafter, the Hunter would take up position on
various spots on the rock, unflinching even as his skin was caressed by
the intense cold winds sweeping over the summit, standing like a rock
that is unshaken by praise or blame, fame or misfortune.
It was as though he was deaf to all the once familiar and friendly
calls of the many creatures resident in the vast jungle that had been
bequeathed to him. He noticed, however, that his body, so used to the
cool shade of the forest was bathed in the midday heat and that his feet
were getting scorched like something that was engulfed by the fire of a
On the fourth day he noticed that there were four eggs in the nest
neatly built by the battichchas.
That night there was a full moon. A coolness had spread across the
surface of the rock that had been set on fire by the midday sun.
He sat by the pond, looking at the entrance to the Naga Ladyís cave.
The entrance had taken on a magical quality in his eyes, bathed as it
was with moonlight.
As he sat there he noticed the drummerís daughter, woken from a three
day long slumber, walking towards the pond. She was moving slowly. She
passed him and waded into the pond.
The thick hair that enveloped his entire body suddenly stood on end.
She spent a long time in the pond and finally waded out, cleaving the
water as she moved. She came out at a point that directly faced the
Hunter, squeezing the silvery water from her long locks of hair. He
body, fresh and healthy, had taken on a golden hue in the moonlight.
The Hunter seemed mesmerized by the endless aesthetic that was bathed
in moonlight, and looked upon some mysterious and illusionary dance that
was taking place on the other side of the pond outside the Naga Ladyís
cave, locked in a trance.
The drummerís daughter came right up to him and stood so close that
their bodies almost touched and finally fell at his feet, sprawled on
her back, naked and inviting.
It was as though his lips had been wetted by a drop of milk squeezed
out of a nipple made erect by the touch of her fingers as she stood next
His entire body, intensely agitated, struggled upon her golden hued
body, just as the moonlight dances upon a muscle that is being
repeatedly flexed. Even as his body was thus engrossed in a struggle
that did not seem capable of yielding resolution, he brought his wits
together and cast his eyes over the girlís body and towards the cave
The Naga Lady was gliding out of the cave. She began an undulating
dancing in and with the moonbeams. He could not stop the cobra that lay
coiled within him; it uncoiled itself and stood up, spouting fire and
venom. The drummerís daughter writhed before him, her arms outstretched,
pleading for embrace.
The next instant he went cold and was rendered immobile. The
Hamuduruwo was approaching the pond, marking his way with slow and
The Hamuduruwo came right up to him and with his face grazed by the
calmest expression looked at the drummerís daughter. Not seeing the
Hamuduruwo, the drummerís daughter looked in amazement at the Hunterís
face which was struck with perplexity and then began betraying a certain
The next moment, her eyes were lit as though by a flash of lightening
and erupted in an invincible anger. She sprung on the Hunter, clawing
his face like an enraged she-bear. She ripped open the skin on one side
of his face.
The Hunter did not indicate any pain nor a recognition of the fact
that he was bleeding. He continued to look at the Hamuduruwo without
The drummerís daughter, realizing that she could not secure the grasp
of his gaze, disentangled herself from the sorrow of lust, grabbed with
her fingernails her thighs and bosom, still pulsating with the madness
of desire, and turned the other way in dejection.