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A huge wave rose high into the sky, and as it receded, a huge कल्पवृक्ष (Kalpavriksha) came into view. It was adorned by huge branches of gold, with fruits of gems and coral, and sweet-smelling flowers of many varieties.
On it’s trunk sat a maiden, so beautiful that even beauty would become jealous of her. She reclined on a gem-studded couch, holding a Veena in hand…
अहो किम् एतद् इत्य् एवं यावद् ध्यायति स क्षणम् ।
तावत् सा वीणिनी कन्या गातुम् एवं प्रचक्रमे ॥ १२,१९.४४ ॥
Dīrghadarśin thought to himself “What an unusual sight! I wonder what this can all mean?”
As he thought about this, the maiden began to play the veena and sang…
यत् कर्मबीजम् उप्तं येन पुरा निश्चितं स तद् भुङ्क्ते ।
पूर्वकृतस्य हि शक्यो विधिनापि न कर्तुम् अन्यथाभावः ॥ १२,१९.४५ ॥
“He who has sown the seeds of karma, will surely reap it’s fruits, for even fate cannot alter the course of karma done in the past…”
इत्य् उद्गाय क्षणात् तस्मिन्न् अम्भोधौ दिव्यकन्यका ।
सकल्पद्रुमपर्यङ्कशय्यात्रैव ममज्ज सा ॥ १२,१९.४६ ॥
किमप्य् अपूर्वम् अद्येदं मया दृष्टम् इहाद्भुतम् ।
क्वाब्धिः क्व दृष्टनष्टो ऽत्र गायद्दिव्याङ्गनस् तरुः ॥ १२,१९.४७ ॥
यदि वा वन्द्य एषो ऽब्धिर् आकरः शश्वद् ईदृशाम् ।
लक्ष्मीन्दुपारिजाताद्या नास्मात् ते ते किम् उद्गताः ॥ १२,१९.४८ ॥
इति तं चिन्तयन्तं च तत्क्षणं दीर्घदर्शिनम् ।
विलोक्य विस्मयाविष्टं कर्णधारादयो ऽब्रुवन् ॥ १२,१९.४९ ॥
एवम् एषा सदैवेह दृश्यते वरकन्यका ।
निमज्जति च तत्कालं तवैतद् दर्शनं नवम् ॥ १२,१९.५० ॥
इत्य् उक्तस् तैः समं तेन निधिदत्तेन स क्रमात् ।
मन्त्री चित्रीयमाणो ऽब्धेस् तीरं पोतगतो ऽभ्यगात् ॥ १२,१९.५१ ॥
तत्रोत्तारितभाण्डेन तेनैव वणिजा सह ।
जगाम हृष्टभृत्येन सोत्सवं सो ऽथ तद्गृहम् ॥ १२,१९.५२ ॥
स्थित्वा नातिचिरं तत्र निधिदत्तम् उवाच तम् ।
सार्थवाह भवद्गेहे विश्रान्तो ऽहं चिरं सुखम् ॥ १२,१९.५३ ॥
When the maiden had sung the song, the Kalpavriksha started to sink back into the sea, taking with it the couch, the veena and the maiden, all of who disappeared into the waves.
“Oh what a wondrous sight! I have seen something today that I didn’t expect to find in an ocean of all places…I wonder who that maiden was and where she was from…where did she go? But yes, the ocean is a treasure-trove of precious things – after all, didn’t’t the Pārijāta tree, and the amrut, and so many other things come out of it during the Samudra-manthan?”
As Dīrghadarśin was lost in his thoughts, the other people on board the ship spoke out, knowing that the new traveller was perhaps puzzled by this occurrence.
“This lovely maiden always appears to us when we cross this stretch of the sea…this is a new sight for you, but not for us!”
This did not affect Dīrghadarśin, and he continued to stay in a sense of wonder until they reached the shore.
Nidhidatta instructed his servants to unload the wares and transport it back to his house, and he took Dīrghadarśin and went ahead. They then rested well for a few days.
On the twelfth day, Dīrghadarśin called Nidhidatta aside and said…
“I thank you sincerely for your excellent hospitality. I have rested well, but now I wish to return to Aṅga. I wish you all the happiness in this world!”
इदानीं गन्तुम् इच्छामि स्वदेशं भद्रम् अस्तु ते ।
इत्य् उक्त्वा तम् अनिच्छन्तम् अप्य् आमन्त्र्य वणिक्पतिम् ॥ १२,१९.५४ ॥
दीर्घदर्शी स सत्त्वैकसहायः प्रस्थितस् ततः ।
क्रमोल्लङ्घितदूराध्वा प्रापाङ्गविषयं निजम् ॥ १२,१९.५५ ॥
तत्र तं ददृशुश् चारा बहिर् नगरम् आगतम् ।
ये यशःकेतुना राज्ञा प्राङ्न्यस्तास् तद्गवेषणे ॥ १२,१९.५६ ॥
तैश् च गत्वा स विज्ञप्तश् चारै राजा तम् अभ्यगात् ।
स्वयं निर्गत्य नगरात् तद्विश्लेषसुदुःखितः ॥ १२,१९.५७ ॥
उपेत्य च परिष्वङ्गपूर्वं तम् अभिनन्द्य सः ।
निनायाभ्यन्तरं भूपश् चिराध्वक्षामधूसरम् ॥ १२,१९.५८ ॥
With these words, he took leave of Nidhidatta, who was unwilling to let him go, and set out on the long journey back to his kingdom.
It took a lot more days, but finally, Dīrghadarśin reached the borders of his native Aṅga.
King Yaśaḥketu had places spies on the borders of his kingdom, instructing them to report to him as soon as the minister set foot back in Aṅga, and so when they saw Dīrghadarśin return, the spies rushed and informed the king.
Yaśaḥketu, who had been very badly affected by the minister’s absence, came out of the palace gates to personally welcome Dīrghadarśin. He embraced him tightly and taking his hand, led him into the palace.
There, he instructed his attendants to ensure that a warm bath, good food and a soft bed was prepared for Dīrghadarśin, who then freshened up, had food and rested well after a long journey.
The next day, the king called Dīrghadarśin to his chambers and said…
to be continued…