What is destined…

Read the previous part here…

After a while, a second person questioned him, and Bhagyadatta had the same response. In fact, whenever anyone asked him anything, he replied in the same manner. And so, everyone in the city started to call him “प्राप्तव्यमर्थं” (Prāptavyamartha)

The king of that city had a young and beautiful daughter named Chandravatee (the one lit by the moon). One day, she and her maid visited the outskirts of the city, where a huge fair had been held, as part of a 10-day long festival. As she was walking about in the fair, she happened to see a very handsome and charming prince, who had come to see the fair, from the neighbouring city. Chandravatee was captivated beyond her control. Taking her maid aside, she whispered to her “Oh my dear, do you see that charming prince beside the shop for bangles? You have to do something, I want to be with him!”

Chandravatee’s maid reassured the princess, and walked up to the handsome prince and said “I have been sent to you by Princess Chandravatee. She has a message for you – “I fell for you the moment I saw you, and I cannot bear this longing for you. If you don’t meet me soon, I will have to die in order to end this sweet pain of mine!”

The prince thought for a moment, and replied “I would love to meet her as well. But how would I be able to enter the palace without anyone’s knowledge?”

The maid replied “Chandravatee will wait for you tonight, on the terrace of the palace. You will find a thick rope hanging from the side of the east wall – you will have to climb up that rope to reach the terrace.”

The prince replied “I will do so, and meet the princess tonight!”

The maid thanked him, and went back to the princess, and conveyed what the prince had told her. Happy at the developments, Chandravatee quickly left the fair, hoping to reach the palace early, and prepare for the meeting later in the night.

As night fell, the prince started to have second thoughts. “No, this is wrong” he thought to himself. It is said…

गुरोः सुतां मित्र-भार्यां स्वामि-सेवक-गेहिनीम् ।
यो गच्छति पुमांल् लोके तम् आहुर् ब्रह्म-घातिनम् ॥ ११२ ॥

guroḥ sutāṃ mitra-bhāryāṃ svāmi-sevaka-gehinīm |
yo gacchati pumāṃl loke tam āhur brahma-ghātinam || 112 ||

Having illicit relationships with the daughter of your teacher, the wife of a friend, the wife of your employer or of your servant, is a great sin.

अयशः प्राप्यते येन येन चाधो-गतिर् भवेत् ।
स्वार्थाच् च भ्रश्यते येन तत् कर्म न समाचरेत् ॥ ११३ ॥

ayaśaḥ prāpyate yena yena cādho-gatir bhavet |
svārthāc ca bhraśyate yena tat karma na samācaret || 113 ||

One should not do things that bring one a bad name, or lead to bad karma, or as a result of excessive greed.

“This action of mine will be ill-fated, and hence best avoided.” Having thought this way, the prince did not go to meet the princess, as was planned earlier.

In the meanwhile, Prāptavyamartha, who was wandering aimlessly next to the palace walls, happened to come across the thick rope that was hanging near the east wall. Curious, he climbed up the rope. As he stepped onto the terrace, the princess, who was waiting for the prince eagerly, ran and embraced him tightly. It was a no-moon night, and hence she could not see much in the dark. But she welcomed him nevertheless, washed his feet, and fed him sweets.

She then made him lie down on the bed, and lay next to him. Feeling his touch, she shivered in excitement and said “My love! I fell in love with you the moment I laid my eyes on you. I have lost my heart to you. I cannot even think of anyone else as my husband.”

When she didn’t get any reply, she asked him “why are you quiet? Why don’t you speak to me?”

He replied “प्राप्तव्यमर्थं लभते मनुष्यः – A man surely gets what is destined for him.”

Chandravatee immediately understood that this was someone else, and not her prince. Disgusted, she called for the maid and got Prāptavyamartha thrown out of the palace. Prāptavyamartha wandered around until he found the ruins of an old house, and decided to spend the night there.

As he was prepared to lie down to sleep, he heard some footsteps.

One of the guards of the palace, who used the ruins as a liaison spot to meet his girlfriend, had come there to spend the night. He found Prāptavyamartha lying down on the floor, and asked him “Who are you, and what are you doing here?

He replied “प्राप्तव्यमर्थं लभते मनुष्यः – A man surely gets what is destined for him.”

” This man cannot stay here, else I will not be able to meet my girlfriend”, thought the guard. He looked at Prāptavyamartha and said in a kind tone ” This house is a ruin, and desolate. Here, this is the key to my house, which is down the road. Go and sleep there tonight. My room is the one on the left, as soon as you enter.”

Half asleep, Prāptavyamartha got up, and slowly stumbled up the guard’s house, which was the only building on the road. As he opened the door, he waited for a moment wondering which room to enter, and then decided that the guard had surely told him to go right. And so he did – he opened the door to the right, and entered the dark room.

The guard had a daughter called Vinayavatee (the one who is disciplined). She was a pretty young girl, and was waiting for her own lover, who she had invited to spend the night, since she knew that she would be alone at home. This was her room, and she had been lying on her bed, waiting for her lover.

She saw the door opening and…

to be continued…

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