Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story)

by Somadeva | 1924 | 1,023,469 words | ISBN-13: 9789350501351

This is the English translation of the Kathasaritsagara written by Somadeva around 1070. The principle story line revolves around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the Vidhyādharas (‘celestial beings’). The work is one of the adoptations of the now lost Bṛhatkathā, a great Indian epic tale said to have been composed by ...

170b. Muktāphalaketu and Padmāvatī

THEN King Merudhvaja, seeing that Malayadhvaja was thus overpowered with the fever of love, said to his queen:

“If those two daughters of Trailokyamālin, whom I saw in Pātāla, do not become the wives of my two sons, what advantage shall I have gained? And my son Malayadhvaja is consumed with smouldering flame, because he cannot obtain the younger of the two, though shame makes him conceal the fire of love. It is for this very reason that, though I promised Trailokyamālin’s queen that I would set him at liberty, I do not at once make my promise good. For, if he is set free from his imprisonment, his pride as an Asura will prevent his ever giving his daughters to my sons, as being men. So it is now advisable to propose this matter to him in a conciliatory manner.”

When he had gone through these reflections with the queen, he said to his warder:

“Go to the cave of Śvetaśaila, and say, as from me, in a kind manner to Trailokyamālin, the king of the Daityas, who is imprisoned there:

‘King of the Daityas, by the appointment of Destiny you have been long afflicted here, so now do what I advise, and bring your affliction to an end. Give to my two sons your two daughters, who fell in love with them at first sight, and thus procure your release, and rule your kingdom, after you have given security for your fidelity.’”

With this message the king sent off his warder, and he went and delivered it to the Daitya monarch in that cave. The monarch answered:

“I will not give my two daughters to two men!”

And the warder returned and reported his answer to the king.

Then King Merudhvaja began to look about for some other means of attaining his end, and in the course of some days Svayaṃprabhā heard how he had sped, so she again sent Indumatī from Pātāla to his palace with a message.

And Indumatī arrived, and had herself announced by the female warder, and went into the presence of the great queen, who received her graciously.

And she bowed before her, and said to her:

“Queen, Queen Svayaṃprabhā sends you this message:

‘Have you forgotten your own promise? The seas and the principal mountains will suffer change at the day of doom, but the promises of people like you will not change even then. Although my husband has not consented to bestow our daughters as you wished, reflect, how could he have given them as a present while himself a prisoner? If you release him in a proper way as an act of kindness[1] he will certainly make you a return by giving you his daughters. Otherwise Svayaṃprabhā and her daughters will abandon their lives, and in this way you will fail to obtain daughters-in-law, and also to keep your promise.’

So manage, Queen, to make the king set our lord free on the conditions of compact and security and so on, in order that all may turn out well; and accept this ornament sent by Svayaṃprabhā, studded with various gems, that confer the power of becoming a Vidyādhara, and other advantages.”

When Indumatī said this, the queen answered her:

“How can I take this from your mistress now that she is in trouble?”

But Indumatī urged her vehemently to take it, saying:

“We shall be quite unhappy if you refuse to accept it, but if you take it, we shall consider our affliction alleviated.”

Being thus strongly urged by Indumatī, the queen took from her that jewelled ornament, to comfort her; and she made her wait there, saying to her:

“Remain here, noble lady, until the king shall come this way.”

In the meanwhile the king came there, and Indumatī rose up and, having been introduced by the queen, bowed before him, and he received her graciously. And she gave to that king a crest-jewel sent by Svayaṃprabhā that was a talisman against poison, Rākṣasas, old age and disease.[2]

The king said:

“I will accept this jewel when I have kept my promise.”

But the ready-witted Indumatī said to him:

“A promise made by the king is as good as kept. But if your Majesty will accept this, we shall be very much comforted.”

When she made this speech the queen observed, “Well said!” and took that crest-jewel and fastened it on the king’s head.

Then Indumatī repeated to the king the message of Svayaṃprabhā as she had delivered it to the queen.

Then the king, being entreated to the same effect by the queen, went on to say to Indumatī:

“Remain here for to-day; to-morrow morning I will give you an answer.”

Having said this, King Merudhvaja allowed a night to pass, and the next morning he summoned his ministers, and said to Indumatī:

“Noble lady, go with these ministers of mine, and after informing Trailokyamālin, bring from Pātāla those Asura ladies, Svayaṃprabhā and the others, and all the principal, inhabitants of Pātāla, and the water of ordeal connected with Hāṭakeśvara, in a sealed vessel. And let Svayaṃprabhā and the others touch the feet of Svayaṃprabhā’s husband, in the presence of my ministers, and by solemn oaths make themselves sureties for this—namely, that Trailokyamālin, with his friends and servants, shall ever remain firm in his allegiance to me, and that the Nāgas shall not injure the crops. And let all the lords in Pātāla be sureties to the same effect; and let them all, with their king, give their children as hostages[3]; and let them all, with their king, put this in writing, and drink the water of ordeal in which the image of Hāṭakeśvara has been washed [see notes on the five ordeals]: then I will release Trailokyamālin from prison.”

Having said so much, the king sent off Indumatī with his ministers. She went with them and informed Trailokyamālin of what was being done, and as he approved of her proceedings she went in the same way to Pātāla, and she brought there Svayaṃprabhā and the others, and the water of ordeal, and she made them all do in the presence of the king’s ministers all that he had prescribed. And when King Trailokyamālin had in this way given security, King Merudhvaja set him free from prison with his suite. And he had him brought to his own palace with his family and his attendants, and courteously entertained him; and then he took possession of all the jewels of the Asuras, and sent Trailokyamālin back to his kingdom. And Trailokyamālin returned to Rasātala, his home, and, having recovered his kingdom, rejoiced with his servants and relations. And Merudhvaja filled the earth with abundant treasures that came from Pātāla, as a rain-cloud showers water.

Then Trailokyamālin, the king of the Daityas, took counsel with his wife, desiring to bestow his two beautiful daughters on Merudhvaja’s sons, and he invited him to his palace, with his relations, and came himself to escort him there, remembering the benefit conferred on him.

So he came to King Merudhvaja, who entertained him, and then he said to him:

“On a former occasion your great joy prevented your seeing Rasātala properly. But now come and see it, while we give ourselves up to attending on you; and accept from me my two beautiful daughters for your sons.”

When the Asura king had said this to Merudhvaja, the latter summoned his wife and his two sons. And he told them the speech of the Asura king, and how he proposed to give his two daughters.

Then his elder son, Muktāphaladhvaja, said to him:

“I will not marry until I have propitiated Śiva. I said this long ago. You must pardon this fault in me. When I have gone, let Malayadhvaja marry; for he will never be happy without that Pātāla maiden.”

When the younger son heard this, he said to his elder brother:

“Noble sir, while you are alive I will never perform such a disgraceful and unrighteous act.”

Then King Merudhvaja earnestly exhorted Muktāphaladhvaja to marry, but he would not consent to do so; and therefore Trailokyamālin took leave of the king, who was in a state of despondency, and went back with his suite to Pātāla as he had come.

There he told what had taken place, and said to his wife and son:

“Observe how exclusively bent on humiliating us Fortune is. Those very men to whom formerly I refused to give my daughters in marriage when they asked for them now refuse to accept them, though I ask them to do so.”

When they heard it, they said:

“Who can tell how this matter is in the mind of Destiny? Can Śiva’s promise be falsified?”

While they were saying these things, those maidens, Trailokyaprabhā and Tribhuvanaprabhā, heard what had happened, and took upon them the following vow:

“We will remain without food for twelve days, and if at the end of that time the god does not show us favour, by bringing about our marriage, we will enter the fire together, and we will not preserve our bodies for insult, or merely for the sake of continuing in life.”

When the daughters of the Daitya sovereign had made this vow, they remained fasting in front of the god, engaged in meditation and muttering prayers. And their mother and their father, the sovereign of the Daityas, hearing of it, and being very fond of their daughters, remained fasting in the same way.

Then Svayaṃprabhā, their mother, quickly sent off Indumatī once more to Merudhvaja’s queen-consort, to tell her how matters were going. She went and told the queen the trouble in her master’s house, and so Merudhvaja also came to hear of it. Then that couple abandoned food out of regard for the other royal couple, and their sons did so as well, out of regard for their parents.

Thus in two worlds the royal families were in trouble. And Muktāphaladhvaja remained without eating, and meditated on Śiva as his refuge.

And after six nights had passed, in the morning the prince woke up and said to his friend Mahābuddhi, who had formerly been Saṃyataka:

“My friend, I remember that last night in a dream I mounted my steed given me by the hermit Tapodhana, that changes its shape at will, and goes where the mind directs, and had become a flying chariot, and in my despondency I went to a heavenly temple of Śiva, very far from here, on the slope of Meru. There I saw a certain celestial maiden emaciated with austerities; and a certain man with matted hair, pointing to her, said to me, laughing:

‘You have come here in this way to escape from one maiden, and lo! here is another waiting for you.’

When I heard this speech of his I remained gazing at the beauty of that maiden, but found it impossible to gaze my fill, and so at the end of the night I suddenly woke up.

“So I will go there to obtain that heavenly maiden, and if I do not find her there I will enter the fire. What can Destiny mean, by causing my mind to become attached to this maiden seen in a dream, after rejecting, in the way I did, the Daitya maiden offered to me a short time ago? At any rate, I am persuaded that, if I go there, good fortune will certainly befall me.”

Having said this, he called to mind that vehicle given him by the hermit, which would carry him to any place conceived in the mind, and assume any desired form. It turned into an air-going chariot, and he mounted it and set out for that heavenly temple of Śiva, and when he reached it he saw that it was just as it had seemed in his dream, and he rejoiced. Then he proceeded to perform religious ablution, with all the attendant rites, in the holy water there, named Siddhodaka, with no one to wait on him but his friend.

Then his father, King Merudhvaja, who was in his own city, emaciated with fasting, accompanied by his wife, son and suite, heard that he had gone off somewhere secretly, and became bewildered with grief. And all this was at once known in Pātāla, exactly as it had taken place. Then Trailokyamālin took with him his two daughters, and came fasting, with his wife and suite, to visit King Merudhvaja.

And they all resolved on the following course of action:

“Surely, as it is the fourteenth day, the prince has gone somewhere to worship Śiva; so we will wait for him here this day. But to-morrow, if he has not returned, we will go where he is: then, happen what will.”

In the meanwhile Padmāvatī, who was in that hermitage of Śiva named Meghavana, said that very day to her ladies-in-waiting:

“My friends, I remember that last night I went in a dream[4] to Siddhīśvara, and a certain man wearing matted hair came out of the temple of the god and said to me:

‘My daughter, thy sorrow is at an end; thy reunion with thy husband is nigh at hand.’

When he had said this he departed, and night and sleep left me together. So come, let us go there.”

When Padmāvatī had said this, she went to that temple of Gaurī on the slope of Meru.

There she saw with astonishment that Muktāphaladhvaja at a distance bathing in Siddhodaka, and she said to her friends:

“This man is like my beloved. Observe how very like he is! Wonderful! Can he be the very same? It cannot be, for he is a mortal.”

When her ladies-in-waiting heard that, and saw him, they said to her:

“Princess, not only is this man very like your beloved, but observe, his companion also bears a resemblance to your lover’s friend Saṃyataka. So we know for certain that, in accordance with your last night’s dream which you related to us, Śiva has by his power brought those two here, after their becoming incarnate as men owing to a curse. Otherwise, how, being mortals, could they have come to this region of the gods?”

When Padmāvatī had been thus addressed by her ladies-in-waiting, she worshipped Śiva, and in a state of eager excitement remained concealed near the god’s symbol to find out who the stranger was.

In the meanwhile Muktāphaladhvaja, having bathed, came into the temple to worship the god, and after looking all round, said to Mahābuddhi:

“Strange to say, here is that very temple which I saw in my dream, made of precious stone, with the form of Śiva visible within the liṅga. And now I behold here those very localities which I saw in my dream, full of jewel-gleaming trees, which are alive with heavenly birds. But I do not see here that heavenly maiden whom I then saw; and if I do not find her I am determined to abandon the body in this place.”

When he said this, Padmāvatī’s ladies-in-waiting said to her in a whisper:

“Listen! It is certain that he has come here because he saw you here in a dream, and if he does not find you he intends to surrender his life; so let us remain here concealed, and see what he means to do.”

And while they remained there in concealment, Muktāphaladhvaja entered, and worshipped the god, and came out. And when he came out he walked devoutly round the temple three times, keeping his right hand towards it,[5] and then he and his friend remembered their former birth, and in their joy they were telling to one another the events of their life as Vidyādharas, when Padmāvatī met their view.

And Muktāphaladhvaja, remembering the occurrences of his former life, as soon as he saw her, was filled with joy, and said to his friend:

“Lo, this very Princess Padmāvatī, the lady I saw in my dream! And she has come here by good luck; so I will at once go and speak to her.”

When he had said this, he went up to her weeping, and said:

“Princess, do not go away anywhere now; for I am your former lover, Muktāphalaketu. I became a man by the curse of the hermit Dṛḍhavrata, and I have now remembered my former birth.”

When he had said this he tried, in his eagerness, to embrace her. But she was alarmed and made herself invisible, and remained there with her eyes full of tears; and the prince, not seeing her, fell on the ground in a swoon.

Then his friend sorrowfully spoke these words into the air:

“How is it, Princess Padmāvatī, that, now this lover has come, for whom you suffered such severe austerities, you will not speak to him? I too am Saṃyataka, the comrade of your beloved: why do you not say something kind to me, as I was cursed for you?”

After saying this, he restored the prince, and said to him:

“This punishment has come upon you as the result of the crime you committed in not accepting the Daitya, princess, who offered herself to you out of love.”

When Padmāvatī, who was concealed, heard this, she said to her ladies-in-waiting:

“Listen! He has no inclination for Asura maidens.”

Then her ladies said to her:

“You see that all tallies together. Do you not remember that long ago, when your beloved was cursed, he craved as a boon from the hermit Tapodhana that while he was a man his heart might never be inclined to anyone but Padmāvatī? It is in virtue of that boon that he now feels no love for other women.”

When the princess heard this she was bewildered with doubt.

Then Muktāphaladhvaja, who had no sooner seen his beloved than she disappeared from his eyes, cried out:

“Ah, my beloved Padmāvatī! Do you not see that when I was a Vidyādhara I incurred a curse in Meghavana for your sake? And now be assured that I shall meet my death here.”

When Padmāvatī heard him utter this and other laments, she said to her ladies-in-waiting:

“Though all indications seem to tally, still these two may possibly have heard these things at some time or other by communication from mouth to mouth, and therefore my mind is not convinced. But I cannot bear to listen to his sorrowful exclamations, so I will go to that temple of Gaurī: moreover, it is the hour of worship for me there.”

When Padmāvatī had said this, she went with her ladies-in-waiting to that hermitage of Ambikā, and after worshipping the goddess she offered this prayer:

“If the man I have just seen in Siddhīśvara is really my former lover, bring about for me, goddess, my speedy reunion with him.”

And while Padmāvatī was there, longing for her beloved, Muktāphaladhvaja, who had remained behind in Siddhīśvara, said to his friend Mahābuddhi, who had been in a former life his friend Saṃyataka:

“I am convinced, my friend, that she has gone to her own haunt, that temple of Gaurī; so come, let us go there.”

When he had said this, he ascended that chariot of his, which went wherever the mind desired, and flew to that hermitage of Ambikā.

When Padmāvatī’s ladies-in-waiting saw him afar off coming down in the chariot from the sky, they said to Padmāvatī:

“Princess, behold this marvel! He has come here also, travelling in an air-going chariot. How can he, a mere man, have such power?”

Then Padmāvatī said:

“My friends, do you not remember that on Dṛḍhavrata, who cursed him, I laid the following curse:

‘When my beloved is incarnate as a man, you shall be his vehicle, assuming any desired shape, and moving in obedience to a wish.’

So, no doubt, this is that hermit’s pupil, his vehicle, wearing at present the form of an air-going chariot, and by means of it he roams everywhere at will.”

When she said this, her ladies-in-waiting said to her:

“If you know this to be the case, Princess, why do you not speak to him? What are you waiting for?”

When Padmāvatī heard this speech of her ladies, she went on to say:

“I think that this probably is the case, but I am not absolutely certain as yet. But, even supposing he really is my beloved, how can I approach him, now that he is not in his own body, but in another’s body? So let us for a time watch his proceedings, being ourselves concealed.”

When the princess had said this, she remained there concealed, surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting.

Then Muktāphaladhvaja descended from the chariot in that hermitage of Ambikā, and, being full of longing, said to his friend:

“Here I had my first interview with my beloved, when she had been terrified by the Rākṣasīs; and I again saw her in the garden here when she came, having chosen me for her own; and here I received the curse, and she wished to follow me by dying, but was, though with difficulty, prevented by that great hermit: and now, see, that very same lady flies out of reach of my eyes!”

When Padmāvatī heard him speak thus, she said to her ladies-in-waiting:

“True, my friends, it is really my beloved, but how can I approach him, before he has entered his former body? In this matter Siddhīśvara is my only hope. He sent me the dream, and he will provide for me a way out of my difficulties.”

When she had formed this resolution, she went back to Siddhīśvara. And she worshipped that manifestation of Śiva, and offered this prayer to him:

“Unite me with my beloved in his former body, or bestow death on me. I see no third way of escape from my woe.”

And then she remained with her friends in the court of the god’s temple.

In the meanwhile Muktāphaladhvaja searched for the princess in the temple of Gaurī, and, not finding her, was despondent, and said to that friend:

“I have not found her here. Let us go back to that temple of Śiva; if I cannot find her there I will enter the fire.”

When that friend heard it, he said:

“Good luck will befall you! The word of the hermit and Śiva’s promise in your dream cannot be falsified.”

With these words did Muktāphaladhvaja’s friend try to comfort him. And then Muktāphaladhvaja ascended the chariot and went with him to Siddhīśvara.

When Padmāvatī saw him arrive, she still remained there invisible, and she said to her ladies-in-waiting:

“Look! He has come to this very place.”

He too entered, and seeing that offerings had been recently placed in front of the god, Prince Muktāphaladhvaja said to that companion of his:

“Look, my friend! Someone has been quite recently worshipping this symbol of the god. Surely that beloved of mine must be somewhere here, and she must have done this worship.”

When he had said this he looked for her, but could not find her; and then in the anguish of separation he cried out again and again:

“Ah, my beloved Padmāvatī!”

Then, thinking that the cry of the cuckoo was her voice, and that the tail of the peacock was her hair, and that the lotus was her face, the prince ran wildly about, overpowered with an attack of the fever of love, and with difficulty did his friend console him; and, coaxing him, he said to him:

“What is this that you have taken up, being weak with much fasting? Why do you disregard your own welfare, though you have conquered the earth and Pātāla? Your father, Merudhvaja, and King Trailokyamālin, the king of the Dānavas, your future father-in-law, and his daughter Trailokyaprabhā, who wishes to marry you, and your mother, Vinayavatī, and your younger brother, Malayadhvaja, will, if you do not go to them, suspect that some misfortune has happened, and, fasting as they are, will give up their breath. So come along! Let us go and save their lives, for the day is at an end.”

When Muktāphaladhvaja’s friend said this to him, he answered him:

“Then go yourself in my chariot and comfort them.”

Then his friend said:

“How will that hermit’s pupil, who has been made your vehicle by a curse, submit to me?”

When the prince’s friend said this, he replied:

“Then wait a little, my friend: let us see what will happen here.”

When Padmāvatī heard this conversation of theirs, she said to her ladies-in-waiting:

“I know that this is my former lover, by all the notes tallying, but he is degraded by the curse, being enclosed in a human body; and I too am thus afflicted with a curse, because I laughed at the Siddha maiden.”

While she was saying this the moon rose, red in hue—the fire that devours the forest of separated lovers. And gradually the moonlight filled the world on every side, and the flame of love’s fire filled the heart of Muktāphaladhvaja.

Then the prince began to lament like a cakravāka at the approach of night; and Padmāvatī, who was concealed, being despondent, said to him:

“Prince, though you are my former lover, still, as you are now in another body, you are to me a strange man, and I am to you as the wife of another; so why do you lament again and again? Surely some means will be provided, if that speech of the hermit’s was true.”

When Muktāphaladhvaja heard this speech of hers, and could not see her, he fell into a state which was painful from the contending emotions of joy and despondency; and he said to her:

“Princess, my former birth has returned to my recollection, and so I recognised you as soon as I saw you, for you still wear your old body; but as you saw me when I was dwelling in my Vidyādhara[6] body, how can you recognise me, now that I am in a mortal body? So I must certainly abandon this accursed frame.”

When he had said this he remained silent, and his beloved continued in concealment.

Then, the night being almost gone, and his friend Mahā-buddhi, who was formerly Saṃyataka, having gone to sleep out of weariness, Prince Muktāphaladhvaja, thinking that he could never obtain Padmāvatī as long as he continued in that body, collected wood[7] and lighted a fire, and worshipped Śiva embodied in the liṅga, uttering this prayer:

“Holy one, may I by thy favour return to my former body, and soon obtain my beloved Padmāvatī!”

And having said this, he consumed his body in that blazing fire.

And in the meanwhile Mahābuddhi woke up, and not being able, in spite of careful search, to find Muktāphaladhvaja, and seeing the fire blazing up, he came to the conclusion that his friend, distracted with separation, had burnt himself, and out of regret for his loss he flung himself into that same fire.

When Padmāvatī saw that, she was tortured with grief, and she said to her ladies-in-waiting:

“Alas! Shame! The female heart is harder than the thunderbolt, otherwise my breath must have left me, beholding this horror. So, how long am I to retain this wretched life? Even now, owing to my demerits, there is no end to my woe. Moreover, the promise of that hermit has been falsified; so it is better that

I should die. But it is not fitting that I should enter this fire and be mixed up with strange men, so in this difficult conjuncture hanging, which gives no trouble, is my best resource.”

When the princess had said this, she went in front of Śiva, and proceeded to make a noose by means of a creeper, which she fastened to an aśoka tree.

And while her ladies-in-waiting were trying to prevent her by encouraging speeches, that hermit Tapodhana came there. He said:

“My daughter, do not act rashly! That promise of mine will not be falsified. Be of good courage! You shall see that husband of yours come here in a moment. His curse has been just now cancelled by virtue of your penance; so why do you now distrust the power of your own austerities? And why do you show this despondency when your marriage is at hand? I have come here because I learned all this by my power of meditation.”

When Padmāvatī saw the hermit approaching, uttering these words, she bowed before him, and was for a moment, as it were, swung to and fro by perplexity. Then her beloved Muktāphalaketu, having by the burning of his mortal body entered his own Vidyādhara body, came there with his friend. And Padmāvatī, seeing that son of the king of the Vidyādharas coming through the air, as a female chātaka beholds a fresh rain-cloud, or a kumudvatī the full moon newly risen, felt indescribable joy in her heart. And Muktāphalaketu, when he saw her, rejoiced, and, so to speak, drank her in with his eyes, as a traveller, wearied with long wandering in a desert, rejoices when he beholds a river. And those two, reunited like a couple of cakravākas by the termination of the night of their curse,[8] took their fill of falling at the feet of that hermit of glowing brilliancy.[9]

Then that great hermit welcomed them in the following words:

“My heart has been fully gratified to-day by seeing you reunited, happy at having come to an end of your curse.”

And when the night had passed, King Merudhvaja came there in search of them, mounted on the elephant of Indra, accompanied by his wife and his youngest son, and also Trailokyamālin, the sovereign of the Daityas, with his daughter Trailokyaprabhā, mounted on a chariot, attended by his harem and his suite. Then the hermit pointed out Muktāphalaketu to those two kings, and described what had taken place—how he had become a man by a curse, in order to do a service to the gods, and how he had been delivered from his human condition. And when Merudhvaja and the others heard that, though they were before eager to throw themselves into the fire, they bathed in Siddhodaka and worshipped Śiva, by the hermit’s direction, and were at once delivered from their sorrow.

Then that Trailokyaprabhā suddenly called to mind her birth, and said to herself:

“Truly I am that same Devaprabhā, the daughter of the king of the Siddhas, who, when undergoing austerities[10] in order that the emperor of all the Vidyādharas might be my husband, was ridiculed by Padmāvatī, and entered the fire to gain the fulfilment of my desire. And now I have been born in this Daitya race; and here is this very prince with whom I was in love, who has recovered his Vidyādhara body. But it is not fitting that, now that his body is changed, he should be united to this body of mine, so I will consume my Asura body also in the fire, in order to obtain him.”

Having gone through these reflections in her mind, and having communicated her intentions to her parents, she entered[11] the fire which had consumed Muktāphaladhvaja. And then the God of Fire himself appeared with her, on whom, out of pity, he had bestowed her former body, and said to Muktāphaladhvaja:

“Muktāphaladhvaja, this lady, Devaprabhā, the daughter of the king of the Siddhas, for thy sake abandoned her body in me; so receive her as thy wife.”

When the God of Fire had said this, he disappeared; and Brahmā came there with Indra and the rest of the gods, and Padmaśekhara, the king of the Gandharvas, with Candraketu, the sovereign of the Vidyādharas. Then that prosperous king of the Gandharvas[12] gave his daughter Padmāvatī, with due rites and much activity on the part of his followers, as wife to Muktāphalaketu, who bowed before him, congratulated by all. And then that prince of the Vidyādharas having obtained that beloved, whom he had so long desired, considered that he had gathered the fruit of the tree of his birth, and married also that Siddha maiden. And Prince Malayadhvaja was united to that Daitya princess, his beloved Tribhuvanaprabhā, whom her father bestowed on him with due rites.

Then Merudhvaja having, on account of his son Malayadhvaja’s complete success, anointed him to be sole ruler of a kingdom extending over the earth with all its islands, went with his wife to the forest to perform austerities. And Trailokyamālin, the king of the Daityas, went with his wife to his own region, and Indra gave to Muktāphalaketu the splendid kingdom of Vidyuddhvaja.

And this voice came from heaven:

“Let this Muktāphalaketu enjoy the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas and Asuras, and let the gods go to their own abodes!”

When they heard that voice, Brahmā and Indra and the other gods went away delighted, and the hermit Tapodhana went with his pupil, who was released from his curse, and Candraketu went to his own Vidyādhara home with his son Muktāphalaketu, who was graced by two wives. And there the king, together with his son, long enjoyed the dignity of emperor over the Vidyādharas. But at last he threw on him the burden of his kingdom, and, disgusted with the world and its pleasures, went with the queen to an ascetic grove of hermits. And Muktāphalaketu, having before obtained from Indra the rule over the Asuras, and again from his father the empire over the Vidyādharas, enjoyed, in the society of Padmāvatī, who seemed like an incarnation of happiness, for ten kalpas, the good fortune of all the pleasures which the sway of those two wealthy realms could yield, and thus obtained the highest success. But he saw that passions are in their end distasteful, and at last he entered a wood of mighty hermits, and by the eminence of his asceticism obtained the highest glory, and became a companion of the lord Śiva.


170. Story of King Brahmadatta and the Swans

Thus King Brahmadatta and his wife and his minister heard this romantic tale from the couple of swans, and gained knowledge from their teaching, and obtained the power of flying through the air like gods. And then they went, accompanied by those two birds, to Siddhīśvara,[13] and there they all laid aside the bodies they had entered in consequence of the curse, and were reinstated in their former position as attendants upon Śiva.[14]


[M] (Main story line continued)

“Hearing this story from Gomukha in the absence of Madanamañcukā for a moment only, hermits, I cheered my heart with hope.”

When the Emperor Naravāhanadatta had told this story, those hermits in the hermitage of Kaśyapa, accompanied by Gopālaka, rejoiced exceedingly.

Footnotes and references:


I read muchyate, with the three India Office MSS. and the Sanskrit College MS.


The “κακῶν καὶ γήραος ἄλκαρ” of Empedocles, Frag, iii (Diels). Sir Thomas Browne, in his Vulgar Errors, Book II, chap. v, sect. 11, makes mention of the supposed magic virtues of gems. He will not deny that “bezoar is antidotal,” but will not believe that a “sapphire is preservative against enchantments.”


All the India Office MSS. and the Sanskrit College MS. read apatyāni for asatyāni. I have adopted it. In śl. 29 two MSS. and the Sanskrit College MS. have sarvāṅga, the other sarvāṅgaṃ. I do not understand the passage.


See the note on pp. 99-100 of this volume.—n.m.p.


See Vol. I, pp. 190-193.—n.m.p.


The Sanskrit adjective corresponding to the noun Vidyādhara is, of course, Vaidyādhara, but perhaps it is better to retain the noun in English.


I read āhṛtya for āhatya. The three India Office MSS. and the Sanskrit College MS. have āhṛtya.


See Vol. VI, p. 71n3.—n.m.p,


Probably the passage also means that they sunned themselves in his rays.


I read tapasyantī for na paśyantī. See Taraṅga 117, śl. 177 et seq. The three India Office MSS. and the Sanskrit College MS. have tapasyantī.


All the India Office MSS. and the Sanskrit College MS. read anupraviṣṭām.


Gandharvarājāya in Brockhaus’ text must be a misprint. MS. No. 1882 has Gandharvarāḍvyagraparigrahas, which satisfies the metre and makes sense. This is also the reading of the Sanskrit College MS. No. 3003 seems to have the same, but it is not quite clear. No. 2166 has vyadra for vyagra.


I read tadbhāryāsachivau; the three words should be joined together.


In the original we find inserted here: “Here ends the story of Padmāvatī.”

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