The wife and the thief…

Read the previous part here…

The talk of मार​ (Manmatha) only happened during lovemaking, and not due to people speaking of death…

हेमदण्ड (clubs of gold) only existed in the hands of doorkeepers, and not as levies of fines and taxes on people…

And so Sūryaprabha was rich in all manners, and had all the wealth in the world, but he also had one source of grief…even though he had many wives, he had no offspring.

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

एतस्मिंश् च कथासंधौ ताम्रलिप्त्यां महापुरि ।
बभूव धनपालाख्यो धुर्यो धनवतां वनिक् ॥ १२,२६.७ ॥

तस्य चाजायतैकैव नाम्ना धनवती सुता ।
विद्याधरी च्युता शापात् सौन्दर्येणैव सूचिता ॥ १२,२६.८ ॥

तस्यां च यौवनस्थायां स वणिक् पञ्चतां ययौ ।
तद्धनं राजसानाथ्याद् आक्रान्तम् अथ गोत्रजैः ॥ १२,२६.९ ॥

ततो हिरण्यवत्याख्या वणिजस् तस्य गेहिनी ।
आदाय रत्नभरणं निजम् अप्रकटस्थितम् ॥ १२,२६.१० ॥

धनवत्या तया साकं स्वदुहित्रा निशामुखे ।
पलाय्य दायादभयाद् गृहाद् गुप्तं विनिर्ययौ ॥ १२,२६.११ ॥

ध्वान्तेन बहिर् अन्तश् च सा दुःखेनान्धकारिता ।
कृच्छ्राद् बहिःपुरं प्रायात् सुताहस्तावलम्बिनी ॥ १२,२६.१२ ॥

तत्र संतमसे यान्ती विधियोगाद् अलक्षितम् ।
अंसेनाताडयच् चौरं शूलाग्रारोपितस्थितम् ॥ १२,२६.१३ ॥

Now, at this point in the story, I would think it apt to mention Dhanapāla, a wealthy merchant who lived in the magnificent city of Tāmraliptī. He was the most wealthy merchant in the city, second only to the king.

He had just one daughter, a beautiful maiden named Dhanavatī. She was so beautiful that it almost was like she was a Vidyādharī who had been cursed to spend a lifetime on earth.

When she grew up, Dhanapāla died and his relatives seized all his property, and rumour has it that even the king was involved in the deception.

One night, his wife, Hiraṇyavatī, gathered her own jewels and ornaments, that she had carefully hidden, and left her house secretly in the middle of the night, along with her daughter Dhanavatī.

With great difficulty, she managed to reach the outskirts of the town, holding her daughter’s hand tightly, for outside was the darkness of the night, and within her was the darkness of grief.

As she ran along in the darkness, as fate would have it, her shoulder brushed hard against a thief who had been impaled on a stake.

He was still alive, and his pain being aggravated by the blow he received, he cried out in pain..

“Oh no! I am hurting, and now it hurts even more…who has rubbed salt in my wounds!”

Startled, Hiraṇyavatī said to him…

to be continued…