Today's Beautiful Gem: `Adyaapi... (Even now...)' by Bilhana
from `Chaurapaanchasika'

"adyaapi taam na khalu vedmi kim eesapatnee
saapagataa surapater atha krshnalaksmeeh |
dhaatraiva kim nu jagatah parimohanaaya
saa nirmitaa yuvateeratnadidrkshayaa vaa ||

"Even now, I know not if she is Parvati,
or a celestial being cursed to the Earth,
or the very consort of Krishna!
Did Brahma create her to enchant the world,
or did he wish to perceive the
perfection of the youth of womanhood?"

Note: Love (srngaara) is of two types: union (sambhoga) and
separation (vipralambha). Bilhana, who probably lived in the
eleventh century, was said to be romantically involved with the
king's daughter who was under his tutelage. When news about their
relationship ultimately reached the ears of the king, he under-
standably became angry and condemned Bilhana to death. While in
prison awaiting execution, Bilhana recited several (fifty according
to the title of the book) verses celebrating his love toward the
princess. These poems charmed the king and Bilhana became free
again. The `rasa' in these verses is `vipralambha' and they all
start with the word `adyaapi' meaning `even now'. The metre is
Vasantatilaka (Ornament of Spring) with the metrical pattern
--*-***-**-*-- (long syllable -; short syllable *) and the last
syllable can also be short. Bilhana's love poetry ranks with
the best in the world.

Om Saantih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao