It was Maṇivarman…

Read the previous part here…

“So tell me, o King, who among the three was more blinded with passion? Who was the most infatuated?”

Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

इत्य् एतद् वेतालाच् छ्रुत्वा स प्रत्युवाच तं नृपतिः ।
एतेषु रागमूढः प्रतिभाति ममाधिकः स मणिवर्मा ॥ १२,२८.९४ ॥

इतरौ हि ताव् उभाव् अपि कालक्रमपक्वमन्मथावस्थौ ।
अन्योनसानुरागौ यदि जीवितम् उज्झतः स्म तद् भवतु ॥ १२,२८.९५ ॥

मणिवर्मा त्व् अतिमूढो यो भार्याम् अन्यपुरुषसक्तमृताम् ।
दृष्ट्वैव कोपकाले प्रत्युत रक्तः शुचामुचत् प्राणान् ॥ १२,२८.९६ ॥

इति गदितवतः स तस्य राज्ञो
बत वेतालपतिः पुनर् जगाम ।
निजम् एव पदं तद् अंसपीठाद्
अथ राजापि तम् अन्वगात् स भूयः ॥ १२,२८.९७ ॥

King Vikram replied…

” In my opinion, Maṇivarman was the most infatuated of the three.”

“One can understand Anaṅgamañjarī’s death from over excitement at seeing Kamalākara, and one can also understand Kamalākara’s grief upon the sudden death of Anaṅgamañjarī…

“They were desperately in love with each other, and time had only made their hearts more sensitive from their intense longing for each other…”

“But Maṇivarman? When he saw. his wife lying dead in another man’s arms, from the intense longing that she had for that man, it called for indignation, but far from being angry, he was overcome by grief that stemmed from his infatuation for his wife.”

“This, in spite of her not liking him and making it clear to him that she did not love him.”

“And so it was Maṇivarman who was the most infatuated of the three…”

As the king uttered these words, the Vetāla flew off his shoulder, laughing. And King Vikram once more started to walk towards the banyan tree, determined to fetch him. 

to be continued…