The story of Sade Sathi Sani (Ezharai naatu sani) as told by seventh doll Eka Bhoga valli.
On the seventh day Bhoja raja after his morning duties again started climbing on to the throne of Vikramadhithya. He was stopped on the seventh step by Eka Bhoga valli doll. It told him that he does not have great qualities of the king Vikramadhithya and is not fit to occupy the throne. Then king Bhoja asked that doll, “Doll please tell me about the greatness of Vikramadhithya. The doll started telling the following story:-
When it was time once to go to his six month sojourn to forest, Vikrama entrusted the job of ruling the country to Bhatti and went to the temple of Durga. She told him, “Vikrama, Sade Sathi is going to start from today in your life. Lord Sani is coming to attack you. When you ask him w, why have you come, he will answer that he has come to rule over you for seven and half years. Then you tell him, “God if you attack me suddenly, I will not be able to bear it. Please tell me what I should do?” Then he will instruct you and you obey it in letter and spirit.” Then she gave him sacred ash as well as lime and sprinkled on him the holy water.
As soon as he left the temple, he saw in front of him a black god who was lame. He did as per the instructions of the Goddess. Then Sanaischara told him, “I would agree to your request. All these days you were ruling over the 56 great kings of India. So now you go to Madhurapuri and work under the king of that place called Madhurendra. You should work under him for seven and a half years and at the end be his assistant giving Betel leaf and nut to him for seven and half Nazhigai (three hours).”
Vikramadhithya agreed to do this gave him his ring and t requested the God to rule over his country for seven and half years. He called Bhatti and told him about everything and along with Vetala started towards Madhurapuri. While walking, in the forest he met an extremely ugly woman. Surprised by her ugliness, Vikrama asked Vetala about her., Vetala told him that she is one of the dancers in Indra’s court called Rathnamala. She had fallen in love with Vikramadhithya when he went to Indra’s court to judge a dancing competition. When she requested Indra to permit her to live with Vikramadhithya, he told her, “Vikrama has hundreds of wives who are much prettier than you. Vikrama will be suffering due to Sade sathi and at that time he will be living away from his wives. At that time you can go and live with him. But you take a very ugly form in the day time and your usual form at night.”
Then Vikrama requested her to show her real form and was charmed by it. He asked Vetala to stay guard and enjoyed that night with her under the banyan tree. Next day, he dressed himself as a servant and started along with her to Madhurapuri. On the way he went into a lake to take bath. At that time a serpent called Anantha and a frog called Jalandhar were engaged in fighting in the tank. The snake was about to eat the frog. To make it escape, Vikramadhithya cut some flesh from his thigh and threw it towards the snake. The snake left the frog and moved towards the piece of flesh. Then they both realized that the person who was so generous was a king Vikramadhithya. They told him, “we were both kings and once we insulted sage Narada. He gave a curse that we should become a snake and a frog. He also told us that when a man offers his own flesh, we have to understand that he is Vikramadhithya. We should then become slaves of Vikramadhithya for seven and half years. Later we would regain our usual forms.”
Vikrama accepted them as assistants and reached Madhurapuri. He went and met the king Madhurendra and told him, “Sir, My name is Adhithya, Having heard that you gave proper respect to pure valour, I have come here to offer my services to you.” When the king agreed to take him as servant and asked him what wage he expected, Vikramadhithya replied, “I expect a wage of one thousand gold coins daily as well a palatial house for my stay.” The king agreed.
Vikrama returned to the forest and took along with him Rathna Mala, Anantha and Jalandhara to his new home. Anantha and Jalandhara were requested to guard Rathna mala all the 24 hours. Anantha surrounded the house with his mouth near the main door and Jalandhra lay down like a cap over the house during night. During day time they took the normal human form. Rathna mala took her ugly form during day time and her usual form during night.
Vikramadhithya daily went to the court and helped the king in many ways. Karkodaga and Kodika who were two other servants of the king became very close to Vikrama. They started often coming and visiting Vikrama in his home. Once when they came along with Vikrama at night, they happened to see Rathna Mala in her real form. They then described her beauty to their king. The king wanted to see her. Then they asked the king to dress like Kodika and one night Karkodaga took him inside Vikrama’s home. As soon as the king saw Rathna Mala he was infatuated with her but he dare not do anything against Vikrama who appeared like a greatly valorous Warrior. When he consulted his minister about it, he advised, “The only way is to give a difficult job to Vikrama and remove him from here forever. About one hundred miles from here, there is a city called Vazhavandan. The king of that place has a daughter called Muthunagai (pearl laughter). Whenever she laughs, lots of pearls come out of her mouth. The king used to collect all that and sell it for a very heavy cost. Since a sage was attracted by the girl, he had put her in to his custody and also cursed the entire town. He has made her like a corpse and she is lying in his cave. Ask Adhithya to bring some of the pearls collected from her laughter. Adhithya as a sincere servant will try to do it but will be killed by the sage,”
The king thought that this is a very good idea and instructed Adhithya to bring the pearls from Vazhavandan. Vikrama(Adhithya asked for 40 days time, collected his wages for 40 days and went home and entrusted the job of guarding Rathna Mala to Anantha and Jalandhara. Vikrama after dressing himself like a king went along with Vetala and reached Vazhavandan. There he found that the entire town including the plants was dead due to the curse of the sage. On enquiry from Vikramadhithya, Vetala told, “The sage is very fearful that you will take the princess away. Whenever he goes out, he cuts off the head of the princess and keeps it in the courtyard. When he comes back, he joins the head and talks to her. He is doing a great fire sacrifice. Once it is over, he hopes to rule the entire world. He feels that at that time, he would get married to this Muthunagai.” On his further questioning him, Vetala told. There is a stick on the bed of the sage. From its joints oil oozes. If this oil is applied and the head joined it will join back.”
Vikrama then brought Muthunagai back to life. She enquired as to who he is. When he told he was Vikramadhithya, she laughed (some pearls fell) and told him. “The sage is scared of you. He always feels that you would come one day. I find it the will of God that you have come. But he is a very ferocious one. Please go away carrying me with you. “Vikrama told, “A real hero should not do like that. I want to save you and give life to your town. I will again cut your head and keep it in the usual place and hide. The sage will come and give you life as usual. You act as if you love him and by saucy talk know from him, how he can be killed and how your people can be revived.” Muthunagai agreed. When the sage came she acted as f she loved him. She told that she is afraid that someone will kill the sage. Then the sage told that he cannot be killed easily. She also said that she was sad that all people are her dead. Then the sage told, “Do not be silly. I can be killed only if my head is cut off with one sweep of the sword without one drop of blood spilling from it, and someone keeps playing with my body so that it does not fall on the ground or one drop of blood falls on the floor for three hours. Also your people can be revived easily. For that you have to catch the elephant roaming in the park and sacrifice in the temple. Then a pot will come out of the sacrificing seat. All you have to do it is to open the pot and sprinkle the water all over the town.”
Next day when Vikramadhithya gave her life she told him all this. Vetala gave the following idea, “The sage will come back after twilight. You hide after the second door. I would become a lizard and make sound when he enters the building. As soon he comes in to the second room, I would slam the first door. Then the sage would turn his head to see what happened. At that time, you can cut his head. I will drink all his blood and throw his head in sacrificial fire. You please hold his body erect for three hours.”
The plan was carried out perfectly and the sage was killed. Vikramadhithya hunted for the elephant, brought it to the temple and sacrificed it in the temple. With the pot of water that emerged, all the people were made alive. The king gave Muthunagai in marriage to Vikrama. When the marriage was celebrated Muthunagai laughed a lot and Vikrama collected lot of pearls. After 40 days, Vikrama returned with Muthunagai, entrusted her to Rathna Mala and went to the court. There he handed over the pearls to the king. King was surprised as well as disappointed.
Next day Karkodaga and Kodika came to Adhithya’s house. There, they saw to their surprise one more very pretty girl. They knew it was Muthunagai. They went and told about this to the king. The king again became lovelorn and sent for the minister. When asked for a trick to remove Vikrama forever, the minister told, “There is another way. Beyond the seven seas, there is an island called Nagaloka. There is a town called Nagapuri in that island which is ruled by Nagendra. He has a daughter called Nagakanyaka. If she laughs Naga rathna would fall. You ask him to bring these gems. He would not be able to cross the seven seas and even if he does will not be able to go to Nagapura which is surrounded by poisonous fumes on all sides.”
The king sent word for Adhithya and told him that he needed some Naga gems to decorate his crown and asked him to bring it. Adhithya then asked for 60 days time, got the wages in advance for 60 days and told his wives as well as his servants, “There is something is fishy in this request. But as a servant it is my job to obey how I do cross the seven seas.” Anantha told, “Why worry about it? You go to the shore of the sea and think about Jalandhara. He would come there and carry you in his back and leave you on the other side of the seven seas.” Rathna mala told him not to worry and by her magical powers transformed Muthu Nagai in to a doll and kept it in a corner. Vikramadhithya assured all of them that he would return within 60 days and started on his journey along with Vetala. He was transported to a town called Achyutha Nagar Naga Loka by Jalandhara. When he was walking in that place, he saw one old lady crying. , When he enquired she told, “The king of this place has four daughters. The eldest is Achyutha girl. Whomsoever she marries dies on that night. So the king is making all eligible boys of the town marry her. Today it is the turn of my only son. That is why I am crying.” Vikrama requested her to send him instead of her son. Reluctantly she agreed. In the evening all new cloths for the bride groom came from the palace. Vikrama dressed himself in the finery and went to the palace. His marriage with Achyutha girl was celebrated and he along with her was left alone in their bed room. After some time, the girl claimed she was sleepy and went to sleep. Then Vikrama asked the Vetala about the reason .Vetala told him, “The prince of Nagapuri is in love with her. He daily comes to her room through a tunnel in the local temple. As soon he reaches the temple the princess will faint. Then he will come here kill her husband, stare at her for some time and go away. I would take the form of a groom and lie down next to Achyutha girl. Even if he bites me nothing will happen to me. At that time using the magical sword given by Durga, you cut off the tip of his tail. Ashamed, he would run away. We should not kill him, because we are going in search of his sister.”
All the things happened as planned. After the Naga prince ran away, Vikrama awakened his new wife Achyutha girl and enjoyed the night with her. Next day when the corpse bearers came to carry away the corpse of the new groom, they were surprised to see him alive, the king came and met him and Vikramadhithya told who he is and what was ailing the princess. The king also gave the other three sisters of Achyutha girl to him in marriage. Vikrama spent a few days with his four new wives. Then remembering the purpose of his visit, he remembered Anantha who was his servant. Anantha told him, “No human being can go to Naga puri because it is surrounded by poisonous fumes. I would go, meet the king Nagendra and ask the hand of his daughter for marriage with you. He would be elated and withdraw the poisonous fumes so that you can go there,” The things happened as planned and Nagendra gave his daughter Nagakanyaka as wife to Vikramadhithya. Vikramadhithya on his way back collected his other four wives from Achyuthapuri and arrived back to his home. He asked Rathna mala to get food cooked and serve to all of them. Nagakanyaka could not tolerate eating food from such an ugly person. Then Rathna mala as per request of Vikramadhithya took her very pretty form. All of them became happy.
Vikrama went with the Naga gems to his master and gave them. That night again Karkodaga and Kodika saw all the wives of Adhithya (Vikramadhithya), when they visited his house. When they went and told about it, king Madhurendra wanted to immediately see all the ladies. While they were trying to enter the house, all of them were touched by the poison of Anantha and fell down. When Anantha came and told about this, though he Vikrama became angry he excused them and asked Anantha to remove the poison.
When next day Madhurendra told his need to marry all those girls, his minister told, “Let us take Adhithya to the mercury well which is very deep and full of poisonous fumes. When you are there you drop the ring in to the well and order Adhithya to recover it and come away. “As per this suggestion all of them went to the mercury well. But Vikrama suspected something would happen and asked Jalandhara to hide near the top of the well. When the king dropped the ring, Jalandhara caught the ring and immediately gave it to Vikrama. When the king ordered Adhithya to recover the ring and marched out, Vikrama followed him and gave the ring. The king and others were terribly surprised.
Next day While Adhithya (Vikrama) was in the court an old man came and called him. When Adhithya went with him ignoring the king, the king and others followed them. The old man was Saturn god himself. After some time he told Vikramadhithya who took his usual form, “Your seven and half year Saturn period is over. I am very angry with Madhurendra for troubling you like this. I am going to curse them.” Vikrama requested God Saturn not to punish the king and pardon him. Madhurendra realizing that his servant Adhithya was the King Vikramadhithya himself went and fell at his feet and asked for his pardon. Vikrama pardoned him. Then retaining Rathna malai Vikrama gave all the other 6 wives to Madhurendra and returned to his place. Anantha and Jalandhara got rid of their curse and assumed their own form. But Rathna mala was summoned by Indra and she vanished. When she reached his place, Indra hid Rathna Mala in a very deep and dark cave. Vikrama went to Indra loka and found her out. All the dancing girls of Indra’s court fell in love with Vikrama and also came along with him. Realizing that Indra’s court will be bare without these dancing girls, the sages of Indra’s court, met Vikrama on his way back and requested Vikrama for the dancing girls . He gave all the dancing girls except Rant Mala and went back to his town.
The doll then told, “Oh king Bhoja, this is the greatness of Vikramadhithya who occupied this throne. If you think that you are equal to him, then you can definitely go up. Bhoja returned back that day without further climbing