The twenty-first story
The story of Anaṅgamañjarī
अथ गत्वा पुनः प्राप्य शिंशपातस् ततो ऽग्रहीत् ।
स त्रिविक्रमसेनो ऽंसे वेतालं तं नराधिपः ॥ १२,२८.१ ॥
आगच्छन्तं च तं भूयः स वेतालो ऽब्रवीन् नृपम् ।
राजन्न् उद्गाढकन्दर्पां शृण्व् एकां वच्मि ते कथाम् ॥ १२,२८.२ ॥
King Vikram went back to the tree, and bringing down the Vetāla, placed him across his shoulders and started to walk back.
As the king walked in silence, the Vetāla spoke from his shoulder.
“Oh king! Let me tell you a story of violent attachment.”
अस्ति शक्रपुरीवान्या धात्रा सुकृतिनां कृते ।
दिवश् च्युतानां विहिता विशालाख्या पुरी भुवि ॥ १२,२८.३ ॥
तस्यां बभूव नृपतिः पद्मनाभ इति श्रुतः ।
सच्चक्रनन्दकः स्रीमान् आक्रान्तबलिराजकः ॥ १२,२८.४ ॥
तस्मिन् पृथ्वीपतौ तस्यां नगर्यां सुमहावणिक् ।
अर्थदत्ताभिधानो ऽभूद् धनैर् विजितवित्तपः ॥ १२,२८.५ ॥
तस्यैका च सुतानङ्गमञ्जरीत्य् उदपद्यत ।
स्वःसुन्दरीप्रतिकृतिर् भुवि धात्रेव दर्शिता ॥ १२,२८.६ ॥
दत्ता च तेन वणिजा वणिग्वरसुताय सा ।
मणिवर्माभिधानाय ताम्रलिप्तीनिवासिने ॥ १२,२८.७ ॥
एकापत्यतया चातिवत्सलः स न तां वणिक् ।
भर्तृयुक्तां सुतां गेहात् तत्याजानङ्गमञ्जरीम् ॥ १२,२८.८ ॥
तस्याश् चानङ्गमञ्जर्याः पतिर् द्वेष्यो बभूव सः ।
मणिवर्मा सरोगस्य कटुतिक्तम् इवौषधम् ॥ १२,२८.९ ॥
पत्युस् तु सास्य सुमुखी जीविताद् अप्य् अभूत् प्रिया ।
धनर्द्धिः कृपणस्येव कृच्छ्रात् सुचिरसंचिता ॥ १२,२८.१० ॥
There exists a city called Viśālā, which is like Āmravati, the city of Indra. It is as if this city was made for the sake of the good people who fell from heaven, once their merits had been exhausted.
In it lived a virtuous king named Padmanābha, who was like श्रीमान् सच्चक्रनन्दनः आक्रान्तबलिराजकः – the Lord of Shree, the old who held the chakra and was pleasing to all, and the one who had subdued Bali.
In the reign of that great king, there lived a great merchant named Arthadatta, who was an equal to Kuberā, the Lord of Wealth.
And to him was born a daughter named Anaṅgamañjarī, who was possibly created by God to show mortals how an apsara was supposed to look like.
Arthadatta gave his daughter in marriage to Maṇivarman, the son of a distinguished merchant in Tāmraliptī.
But even though she was married, Arthadatta would not let his daughter leave his house and go to her husband’s, since she was his only child.
Maṇivarman was as distasteful to Anaṅgamañjarī as a bitter medicine to a sick man, she hated him.
But Anaṅgamañjarī was dearer than life to her husband, who loved her as much as a miser loved his hoarded wealth.
to be continued…