Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vikramadhithya and Vetala Stories 11-16

The eleventh story of the Vetala:-
Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its eleventh story.
Long ago in the town of Villi there was a king called Dharmadwaja.. He had three queens viz Tharavali, Indulekha and Chandana. They were all very pretty and had a very delicate constitution. At times the king used to wonder which of them had the most delicate constitution.
During the spring festival , the king took all the queens to his garden and was engaged in playing with them. At that time the king caught hold of the braided hair of Tharavali. The lotus she was wearing fell on her body, Unable to bear the weight of the flower , she collapsed.. By that time it became night It was a full moon day. The king went for a walk in the terrace along with his second wife Indulekha. As soon as moon light fell on her skin, it started burning and itching. Doctors were summoned immediately. They made her lie down on a bed of lotus leaves and applied sandal paste. Hearing about this the third queen Chandana came out of her palace. She then heard a sound of rice being pounded far away. Her entire body became black because of this.
Dharmadwaja started wondering who was the most delicate and tender among them.
Vetala asked Vikramadhithya, “King , can you help Dharmadwaja? If you know the answer and tell a lie, your head will break in to pieces.”

Vikrama replied, “Ofcourse , it is the third queen Chandana. In the other two cases there was some contact with the object . In case of first queen, the flower fell on her. In case of the second queen moon light fell on her. But in case of the third queen, there was no contact . So she is the most delicate.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The twelfth story of the Vetala:-
Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twelfth story.
There was a king called Yasakethu in the Anga country.. He had a very great and responsible minister called Deergadarsi. He had also a very pretty wife called Chandravadana. The king was passionately in love with his wife. He wanted to spend all the day’s twenty four hours with her. So he asked his minister Deergadarsi to look after all the administration of the country. In general people started gossiping that Deergadarsi was after power and had made the king slave to love making with his wife. When Deergadarsi heard this rumour he was shocked. That day he consulted his wife Medhavathi about it. She told him, “This is inevitable. I think you ought to go to a long pilgrimage , so that king will not have any other option but to look after the administration of the country. The people of the country then will also realize that you are not interested in the kingship.” Deergadarsi thought , this was a great idea. Next day , he told the king, “ Great king, I have been told by astrologers that I should go on a long pilgrimage. I am starting tomorrow. So kindly look after the administration. “. The king tried his best to dissuade Deergadarsi from going on a pilgrimage. When he did not agree, he left in a huff.
Next day Deergadarsi left on a pilgrimage without telling any body. His wife did not join him in his pilgrimage. After spending several days, Deergadarsi reached a town which was a port. A businessman of the town took great liking for Deergadarsi.. He took him home and provided him with all comforts. After a few days , the businessman was going to the island of Sumathra for business. Deergadarsi also joined him. While they were returning, suddenly the entire sea started boiling over. From the sea arose a tree made of nine gems. On the top of the tree was sitting a very beautiful maiden with a lyre. She was singing very sad songs about the inevitability of fate. After some time she disappeared in to the sea.
After this Deergadarsi returned to his own town. He then met the king, who was very glad to see him. The king was curious and asked him about all that happened to him. Deergadarsi told him in detail . He also told him about his journey in to the sea and how they met the sad maiden . As soon as he heard about the pretty maiden, the king wanted to see her. He entrusted the entire job of ruling the country to Deergadarsi and started his journey. On the way he met a sage called Kusanabha. The sage told him, that he will meet the pretty lady and marry her. He also told him to travel in the ship of Lakshmidatha, a well known merchant. The king dressed himself as a sage and approached Lakshmidatha. He readily agreed to take him to the journey of the Sumathra island. On their way back , again the tree made of gems came up. They also saw the very pretty maiden singing sad songs. The tree , suddenly disappeared. The king jumped in to the sea. Seeing a sage jump in to the sea Lakshmidatha was upset and was about to commit suicide. Then he he ard a divine voice which assured him of the safety of the king.
The king who jumped in to the sea reached a very pretty town inside the sea.He saw a palace made of Gold. The pillars and windows of the palace were made of gems. When he entered the palace, he saw the pretty lady of the tree , there. .He immediately fell in love with that lady. That lady thinking he was a sage immediately fell at his feet. She asked him, “Who are you? Why have you come to this town under the sea? Though you are dressed like a sage, you are definitely a king.”Then the king explained all about himself Then he asked about her. She said, “I am a Vidhyadhara princess called Mrungavathi. For some reason, my father left me alone in this place and has gone somewhere else. Since I live alone, I feel sad . Once in a while I come out of the sea to see others”
The king requested her to marry him. She agreed but told, “During Ashtami and Chathurthi days, I would go alone somewhere. You should neither enquire where I am going nor follow me.,”. The king agreed to this condition .They started living a very lovely life there. But when she went somewhere alone after taking his leave on a Chathurthi day, the king followed her in stealth. She went to another island. There an ogre called Jaladushta came and swallowed her. The king was upset, jumped on the ogre and tore his stomach. Mrungawathi came out unscathed. She then told him, “That was due to the curse of my father. On one Chathurthi day, I starved and came to this spot to do pooja to Lord Shiva. My father who is used to take food with me did not get food on that day. . He became furious and cursed me that on all Chathurthi and Ashtami days, this ogre called Jaladushta would swallow me. Then I would come out tearing his stomach. On the day when some king helps me to come out, I can again go to the land of Vidhyadharas. So king, I would be now flying to my land. I was extremely happy with you. “
The king begged her to be with him till he reaches his own native kingdom. Mrungawathi agreed. But due to the passage of time, she lost the power of Vidhyadharas. They reached the town of the king. Minister Deergadarsi received them. But next day, the minister committed suicide.
The Vetala asked, “King , why did Deergadarsi commit suicide.? If you know the correct answer and do not tell it to me, your head will break in to pieces.”.
Vikramadhithya replied, “Deergadarsi loved his country. He knew that the king did not take any interest in ruling because he was hopelessly in love with the former queen. Due to him, now the king had brought home a more prettier queen. This would mean, he would not take any interest in ruling the country. He felt that this was because of him. Due to this guilt , he committed suicide.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The thirteenth story of the Vetala:-
Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its thirteenth story.
In the town of Ujjaini, there lived a very learned Brahmin called Deva swami. He had an equally learned son called Chandra Swami. Chandra Swami was very much attached to Gambling. One day he went to the Gambling hall and lost al that he had. When he was not able to play his gambling debts, the owners of the gambling joint beat him. At one stage they thought he was dead. So they abandoned him in a forest and went away. After three days Chandra Swami woke up.. He crawled in to a Shiva temple near by. At night one Sanyasi came back with food he has begged from others. He took pity on Chandra Swami and offered him his alms. Then Chandra Swami told him, “ Though I am in this pitiable state , I am a learned Brahmin. Since the food that you have is alms, I should not accept it. Then that Sanyasi did some chants. Immediately a golden palace with lot of servants appeared. Some ladies came out of the house and offered food to Chandra Swami. The food was very tasty and the ladies very pretty. Chandra Swami accepted their hospitality that night and slept with them. But when he became morning, he was back in the dilapidated Shiva temple along with the beggar Sanyasi.
Chandra Swami , then begged the Sanyasi to teach him those chants. The Sanyasi told him, “It is extremely difficult to learn those chants. Once I teach you with full concentration , standing in a neck deep water you have to keep on chanting. You would be offered with several goodies by evil spirits, when you are doing the chants If in between you listen to them , the chants would not be effective for you as well as me I would warn you at that time. Then a big funeral pyre will appear before you. You have to jump in to the fire, Then the God will give you the power of the chant..” Chandra Swami insisted that he would do the chants with concentration. When he started chanting , he saw in his reverie, him getting married and getting a child. At this time he was happy and wanted to end it all. The Sanyasi warned him at this juncture. Then the fire appeared before him. His wife and child in the reverie prevented him from jumping in the fire. He was tempted to continue living with them .Anyway with this doubt he jumped in the fire. Everything disappeared. The Sanyasi also lost the power of the chant.
Vetala asked “Oh king, why did Chandra Swami loose the power of the chant?.If you know the answer and do not tell me the truth, your head will break in to pieces.”
Vikrama replied, “Oh Vetala, all meditations should be done with single mindedness and without any doubt. Chandra Swami was attracted by the family life in the reverie and doubt arose in his mind about the need for jumping in the fire. That is why he did not succeed.

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The fourteenth story of the Vetala:-

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its fourteenth story.

In the city of Vishala there was a rich merchant called Arthadatha. He was extremely rich. He had an extremely pretty daughter called Anangamanjari. During her child hood she was very close friend of a Brahmin youth called Kamalakara. When she was in teens this turned to love. Kamalakara was very poor and could never even dream of marrying Anangamanjari. Her father searched all over the world for a suitable groom for her and gave her in marriage to a handsome merchant youth called Maniverma. Since Arthadatha could not even imagine living away from his daughter, he made Manivarma live along with them in their house. Manivarma loved Anangamanjari totally. Once he decided to visit his parents for one month. At that time Anangamanjari thought of her lover Kamalakara and became love lorn. One day coming out of her house , she went in to a dense garden and attempted to hang herself. Her friend Malathi found and saved her. When Malathi asked her the reason for such a step, Anangamanjari told to her about her love to Kamalakara. Malathi that day went in search of Kamalakara. She was surprised to find that he was also love lorn and wanted to be with Anangamanjari. Malathi fixed a rendezvous for them in the king’s garden. Anangamanjari went to the garden at the appointed time. Kamalakara also came there and he embraced Anangamanjari. Due to the high emotions Anangamanjari died by stoppage of breath. Kamalakara seeing this also died immediately. At this time Maniverma chanced to return. As soon as he saw the dead Anangamanjari , he also died suddenly.
Malathi felt very guilty and she prayed in the temple of Goddess located in the garden. The goddess gave back their lives but without the previous emotions of love. Anangamanjari and Maniverma returned to their home.
Vetala then asked, “Here are three people who died because of love. Whose death is the most strange? If you know the answer and do not tell it, your head will break in to pieces,”
Vikrama replied “the death of Manivarma is most strange. The other two people loved each other and died because of that. But Manivarma died in spite of knowing that her wife died because of the love to another man.”
As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The fifteenth story of the Vetala:-

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its fifteenth story.
There was a poor Brahmin called Vishnu Swami in Pataliputhra. He was very poor. He had four sons. Vishnu swami died suddenly. His four sons had no other go , except learning some trade and earning money. They fixed a spot where they have to return after one year and one traveled towards east, another towards west, another towards south and the other towards north. Exactly after one year they reached the pre determined spot.
The eldest told,”I have learned the art of creating a skeleton even , if I get a piece of bone of the dead person.
The second one told ”If I Get the skeleton, I can remake the flesh and skin.”
The third one told, “If you get me an animal with flesh, bones and skin, I can create all its internal organs.,”
The fourth one told, “If you give such a recreated animal to me, I can give life to it.”
The four brothers wanted to try out , what they have learnt. They went to the nearest forest. They got a piece of bone. The eldest created the skeleton, the second one, flesh and skin and third one the internal organs. Then they saw that it was a lion. The fourth one gave it life. That lion immediately ate all the four brothers.
The Vetala asked , “Who is the guilty among the four, who was responsible for their death?”
Vikrama replied, “Ofcourse, it is the fourth one. Till he gave life to the animal, very well knowing it is a lion, it could not have harmed them.”
As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The sixteenth story of the Vetala:-
Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its sixteenth story.

In the town of Varanasi , there was a rich Brahmin called Hari Swami . He had an extremely pretty wife. . One summer day when Hari Swami and his wife were sleeping on a terrace, a Vidhyadhara called Madana Vega saw Hariswami’s wife , fell in love with her and took her away. Next day When Hari Swami woke up he thought that his wife has either deserted him or has been kidnapped by some body . Since she was having great love towards him , he thought that she had only been kidnapped. So he decided to go in search of her in all temple towns of India, as she was very religious. He gave away all his property and then started on a pilgrimage. After some time a very horrendous famine made its appearance. Hari Swami could not get any food and was starving. One day he reached a house of another Brahmin, who was giving free food to all., When Hariswami went to his house, the Brahmin’s wife gave him sumptuous food in a metal plate., Taking this Hari swami went near a river , kept it on the shore below a huge banyan tree and went to take bath., At that time an eagle caught hold of a poisonous cobra, and was eating it sitting on one of the branches of the great banyan tree. The poison of the cobra fell on the plate kept by Hari Swami. Hari Swami came and ate all the food. Immediately he realized that he has eaten poisonous food. He ran to the Brahmin’s house and asked him to summon a doctor and save him, for otherwise the sin of killing a Brahmin(Brahmahathi) would fall on them. But they could not save Hariswami. That Brahmin drove away his wife for supplying poisonous food to Hari Swami.
The Vetala asked ? Whom will the sin of Brahma Hathi affect-The eagle, the snake or the Brahmin couple who gave food?
Vikrama replied , “ None of them have committed that sin. The snake did not do any sin , because it spit the poison when its enemy the eagle was eating it. The Sin was not committed by the eagle because it was only taking its normal food. The Brahmin couple had given Hariswami good food and not poisoned food. So they have also not committed any sin.
As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

1 comment:

  1. Very Nice story. well written in lucid language.

    ReplyDelete