Read the previous part here…
Now I have a question for you. Which of the two people, mixed in such a manner, was Madanasundarī’s husband ? Who should she spend her life with ? Tell me, o wise king. Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!
इत्य् आकर्ण्य कथाप्रश्नं राजा वेतालतस् ततः ।
स त्रिविक्रमसेनो ऽत्र तम् एवं प्रत्यभाषत ॥ १२,१३.५२ ॥
यत् संस्थं तत्पतिशिरः सैष तस्याः पतिस् तयोः ।
प्रधानं च शिरो ऽङ्गेषु प्रत्यभिज्ञा च तद्गता ॥ १२,१३.५३ ॥
इत्य् उक्तवतो नृपतेस् तस्यांसात् पुनर् अतर्कितः स ययौ ।
वेतालः स च राजा जगाम भूयस् तम् आनेतुम् ॥ १२,१३.५४ ॥
King Vikram replied…
The one, on whom her husband’s head was fixed, was her husband. The personal identity, the aham, the ego of the person is in the head, and everyone identifies with it.
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.
The seventh story
The story of Prince Sattvaśīla
ततो गत्वा पुनः प्राप्य वेतालं शिंशपातरोः ।
स त्रिविक्रमसेनस् तं स्कन्धे जग्राह भूपतिः ॥ १२,१४.१ ॥
गृहीत्वा प्रस्थितं तं च वेतालः सो ऽब्रवीत् पथि ।
राजञ् श्रमविनोदार्थं कथाम् आख्यामि ते शृणु ॥ १२,१४.२ ॥
King Vikram went back to the banyan tree and found the Vetāla there. He brought down the corpse and threw it across his shoulders, and started to walk back once again.
The Vetāla said “O king, listen to me. You must be tired. Let me tell you a story to ease your fatigue.”
अस्तीह ताम्रलिप्तीति पुरी पूर्वाम्बुधेस् तटे ।
चण्डसेनाभिधानश् च राजा तस्याम् अभूत् पुरि ॥ १२,१४.३ ॥
पराङ्मुखः परस्त्रीषु यो न सङ्ग्रामभूमिषु ।
हर्ता च शत्रुलक्ष्मीणां न परद्रव्यसंपदाम् ॥ १२,१४.४ ॥
तस्यैकदा दाक्षिणात्यो राजपुत्रो जनप्रियः ।
आययौ सत्त्वशीलाख्यः सिंहद्वारे ऽत्र भूपतेः ॥ १२,१४.५ ॥
तत्र चात्मानम् आवेद्य नैर्धन्यात्तं नृपं प्रति ।
कपटं पाटयामास राजपुत्रैः सहापरैः ॥ १२,१४.६ ॥
ततः कार्पटिको भूत्वा बहून्य् अब्दानि तत्र सः ।
तस्थौ कुर्वन् सदा सेवान् नैव प्राप फलं नृपात् ॥ १२,१४.७ ॥
यदि राजान्वये जन्म निर्धनत्वं किम् ईदृशम् ।
निर्धनत्वे ऽपि किं धात्रा कृतेयं मे महेच्छता ॥ १२,१४.८ ॥
अयं हि सेवमानं माम् एवं क्लिष्टपरिच्छदम् ।
चिरं क्षुधावसीदन्तं राजा नाद्यापि वीक्षते ॥ १२,१४.९ ॥
There is a city on the eastern sea coast, that is named Tāmraliptī. It was once ruled by a king named Caṇḍasiṃha (as brave as a lion). He was a brave king, one who turned his face away from the wives of others, but not from battlefields; he destroyed his enemies, but not the wealth of good men.
Once a leader of the Rājpūt clan from the Deccan, named Sattvaśīla, arrived at the king’s palace. His ragged state showed that the tribe had fallen on bad times, and he pleaded with the king to help them. The king didn’t think too much about this plea, but allowed him to stay back in the palace. Sattvaśīla then started to eek out a living by performing odd chores in the palace compound, something not worthy of a person of his capabilities. Years passed by…
He often thought to himself “I was born in a noble family, then why am I still so poor? And if I was destined to be poor, then why did Ishvara fill my mind with so much ambition?”
“I have been serving the king for many years now, yet I still wear tattered clothes, I never have enough to eat, and the king does not notice me at all!”
इति यावच् च स ध्यायत्य् अत्र कार्पटिकस् ततः ।
तावद् आखेटकार्थं स निरगाद् एकदा नृपः ॥ १२,१४.१० ॥
तस्मिन् कार्पटिके धावत्य् अग्रे लगुडवाहिनि ।
जगाम चाश्वपादातयुतः सो ऽथ मृगाटवीम् ॥ १२,१४.११ ॥
कृताखेटश् च तत्रारान् महान्तं मत्तसूकरम् ।
अनुधावन् क्षणात् प्रापद् अतिदूरं वनान्तरम् ॥ १२,१४.१२ ॥
तत्र पर्णतृणच्छन्नमार्गे हारितसूकरः ।
श्रान्तो महावने सो ऽथ राजा दिङ्मोहम् आययौ ॥ १२,१४.१३ ॥
एकः कार्पटिकश् चाथ स तं वाताश्वपृष्ठगम् ।
प्रानानपेक्षो ऽनुययौ पदातिः क्षुत्तृषार्दितः ॥ १२,१४.१४ ॥
तं च दृष्ट्वा तथाभूतम् अन्वायातं स भूपतिः ।
सस्नेहम् अवदत् कच्चिद् वेत्सि मार्गं यथागतम् ॥ १२,१४.१५ ॥
One day, as he was lost in thoughts like this, the king left for hunting. As usual, Sattvaśīla led the front of the entourage, holding a huge stick and clearing the way, with the king and his horsemen following suit.
As the king searched for animals to hunt he came across a wild boar that crossed their path. The king pursued it deep into the forest, but the boar disappeared into the dense undergrowth. Caṇḍasiṃha stopped and looked around – he was exhausted, and unable to figure out how to get back to his horsemen.
Only Sattvaśīla had managed to follow the king – running through the deep woods, disregarding his own life, hungry and thirsty but determined to keep up with the monarch.
Caṇḍasiṃha spotted him, and felt relieved. “Do you know the way back?” he asked Sattvaśīla.
The one in tattered rags replied…
to be continued…