The conclusion…

Read the previous part here

“So, when he asks you to perform the ashtānga-namaskarā, you should reply – “I don’t know this method. Please demonstrate it for me, and I will then do it.”

“He will then prostrate on the ground to show you the correct method of the namaskarā, and that is when you should cut off his head with your sword.”

“The sovereignty of the Vidyādharas, which that man desires, will then be yours. You will then rule the earth for years and years to come.”

“If you don’t do this, he will kill you and obtain his desired goal…It was to delay this that I continued to tell you stories and hold you back, but the right time has now come. Go, and be victorious!”

The Vetāla then departed, and the corpse become limp once again.

King Vikram now knew what he had to do. He understood that ShāntiShila was his enemy, and he had planned to kill him all along. Pleased with the Vetāla’s advice, he bowed to him, and then started to walk towards the tree where the evil yogi awaited him…

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

पंचविम्शो वतेालः

The twenty-fifth story

The Conclusion

ततस् तस्यान्तिकं भिक्षोः क्षान्तिशीलस्य भूपतिः ।
स त्रिविक्रमसेनो ऽत्र प्राप स्कन्धे शवं वहन् ॥ १२,३२.१ ॥

ददर्श तं च श्रमणं मार्गाभिमुखम् एककम् ।
कृष्णपक्षक्षपारौद्रे श्मशाने तरुमूलगम् ॥ १२,३२.२ ॥

असृग्लिप्तस्थले गौरेणास्थिचूर्णेन निर्मिते ।
मण्डले दिक्षु विन्यस्तपूर्णशोणितकुम्भके ॥ १२,३२.३ ॥

महातैलप्रदीपाढ्ये हुतपार्श्वस्थवह्निनि ।
संभृतोचितसंभारे स्वेष्टदैवतपूजने ॥ १२,३२.४ ॥

उपागाच् च स तं राजा सो ऽपि भिक्षुर् विलोक्य तम् ।
आनीतमटकं हर्षाद् उत्थायोवाच संस्तुवन् ॥ १२,३२.५ ॥

दुःकरो मे महाराज विहितो ऽनुग्रहस् त्वया ।
त्वा दृशाः क्व क्व चेष्टेयं देशकालौ क्व चेदृशौ ॥ १२,३२.६ ॥

निःकम्पं सत्यम् एवाहुर् मुख्यं त्वां कुलभूभृताम् ।
एवम् आत्मानपेक्षेण परार्थो येन साध्यते ॥ १२,३२.७ ॥

एतद् एव महत्त्वं च महताम् उच्यते बुधैः ।
प्रतिपन्नाद् अचलनं प्राणानाम् अत्यये ऽपि यत् ॥ १२,३२.८ ॥

In an hour, King Vikram reached the spot, where ShāntiShila was waiting for him.

Vikram also saw the yogi seated at the foot of the tree, in the black night, eagerly awaiting his arrival.

He was seated in a circle made from white bones, and there was blood smeared on the ground, and pots filled with blood kept in the four directions. Huge lamps burnt bright, and the sacred homa was lit in the centre. Preparations were ripe for a sacrifice, to please the kula deva of the evil yogi.

King Vikram walked up to him, and ShāntiShila, seeing that he had the corpse with him, rose up, delighted, and said…

“Oh mighty king, you have done me a favor that no one else could have done!”

“To think that you would take up this task at such a desolate place, in the dead of the night!”

“It is indeed true, that you are the king of kings, a man of unparalleled courage. You put the interests of others before your own interests. This is indeed the sign of great men – they do not hesitate from completing their intended tasks, even at the cost of their own lives.”

to be continued…