Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vikramadhithya and Vetala stories 17-24 and story of Vetala

The seventeenth story
Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its seventeenth story.
In the town of Ayodhya there was king called Veerakethu. There was also a very rich merchant called Rathnadatha. He had an extremely pretty daughter called Rathnavathi. When Rathnavathi came to age, several kings and rich people wanted to marry her. But she rejected their proposal Due to this her father Rathnadatha started getting very worried.
During this time there were a series of Robberies from the homes of rich people in Ayodhya, When the people went and complained to their king Veerakethu, he assured them that he would catch the thief. That night , Veera Kethu dressed himself as a thief and started going round his town. Soon he saw another thief also walking around the town. Both of them got introduced with each other. The real thief invited the king to his house for supper. The king was taken to the deep forest and a Sunken palace there. The real thief asked the king to wait for him and went to take bath. The maid of the thief warned him that he would be killed soon. The king ran away to his palace. Next day he marched with a big army and after a very great war caught the thief. Many of the soldiers of the king were killed. Next day the king decided to hang to death the thief. While the thief was being taken to the place of his death , Rathnavathi saw the thief and fell in love with him. She went to her father and requested him to get her married to the thief. Rathnadatha approached the king and told about the request of his daughter and offered to give away to the country all his property if the king releases the thief. The king refused.
Rathnavathi decided to die by jumping in the burning fire as soon as the thief was hanged. While he was being hanged the thief was told about this. He cried instantly and after some time started laughing, Eventually he died. When Rathnavathi jumped in to the fire . Lord Shiva who was there was impressed by Rathnavathi’s love and requested her spirit to ask for one boon. She said, “My father does not have any other children except me. Please bless him with hundred sons.” Lord Shiva gave this boon and requested to her to ask another boon. She said, “God make me and the thief alive. Let the thief become a good and individual. Please make him marry me.”. Lord Shiva , granted that boon also. Rathnavathi and thief came back to life and married each other.
The Vetala asked Vikrama, “Why did the thief cry first and then laugh?” If you know the correct answer and do not tell it, your head would break in to pieces.”
Vikrama told ,”The thief cried because he was not able to properly compensate the great efforts taken by Rathnadatha to save him and he laughed because Rathnavathi who has refused to marry even kings had fallen in love with him.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The eighteenth story

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its Eighteenth story.

Yasakethu was the king of a country called Shiva Pura.He had a very pretty daughter called Sasiprabha ,One day Sasi Prabha along with her friends, had gone to see a temple festival. A Brahmin lad called Manaswamy happened to see her . It was a love at sight mutually. At that time a elephant started running towards Sasi Prabha. Manaswami, rushed near and carried her to safety. Then Sasiprabha went to her home.
Manaswamy was not able to forget Sasi Prabha. So he approached a very learned magician called Moola deva for help. Moola deva promised to help him. He put a magic tablet in his mouth and he became a very old man. He gave another tablet to Manaswami and he became a very pretty girl. Moola deva took the girl Manaswami to the king and spoke thus, “This girl is my would be daughter in law and I have brought her from Benares. But when I came back I found that my son was missing. Now I have to search and find him out. I have a humble request. Please keep this girl in your palace.”.The king agreed and entrusted the Manaswamy girl to the princess Sasi Prabha. Soon they became very close friends. One day Sasi Prabha told the Mana Swami girl about her love to Mana Swami. Then Mana Swami revealed himself by taking out the tablet in his mouth..That day itself they got married with each other in Gandharva tradition and started living with each other. During day Moola Swamy was a girl and night he became himself.
At this time the son of the Chief minister of Shiva pura got married. Sasi Prabha and the Mana Sawmi girl went to attend the marriage. Though he was marrying another girl, the son of the minister fell in love with Mana Swami girl. He told his father that he would commit suicide if he is not allowed to marry Mana swami girl also. Becoming very sad the chief minister requested the king for the hand of Mana Swami girl. The king was not willing as Mana swami girl was entrusted for safe keeping by Moola deva. But the learned people who knew that if the chief minister goes away the country would go to dogs, compelled the king to give Mana swami girl in marriage to the son of the chief minister. Mana swami when asked by the king agreed provided , the son of the minister should after the marriage immediately go on a pilgrimage for six months. The son of the minister agreed. After the marriage when the son of the minister had gone away , Mana swami started living with his other wife.
Meanwhile Moola deva came to know of this. He came along with his son to the king and requested for Mana Swami girl. When the king told the truth Moola deva threatened that he will curse the king and his kingdom. Afraid of this the king gave Sasiprabha in marriage to Moola devas son.
As soon as this was known, Mana swami came back and claimed with the king that he was already married to Sasiprabha in the gandharwa tradition

The Vetala asked”Who is the legal husband of SasiPrabha?.If you know the answer and do not tell it, your head will break in to thousand pieces.”

Vikrama told “ The leagal husband is the son of Moola Deva as she had been given in marriage following religious traditions for a thief does not have the right to the property stolen by him..”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

Nineteenth story

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its Nineteenth story.

There was a great Vidhyadhara king called Jeemootha Kethu. He was bequeathed a Karpaga Vruksha(wish fulfilling tree) . So he lived very happily getting all that he wanted by asking the tree. A son called Jeemootha vahana was born to him (he as a bodhi Sathwa an incarnation of Budha). When Jeemootha vahana became a lad his father entrusted him with the Karpaga tree. Jeemootha Vahana asked permission to do as he wishes with the Karpaga tree. The king agreed. Jeemootha vahana requested the Karpaga tree to give food and wealth for every one in the world and go to heaven. The tree did this and there were no wants for any one in the world. But the cousins of Jeemootha Vahana who did not like what he did waged a war against Jeemootha Kethu, Jeemootha Vahana advised his father to give away the kingship to his cousins .Jeemootha Vahana and his parents went in to the forest and started living there.
In that forest he stuck friendship with a prince called Mithra vasu. One day without knowing who she he is, Jeemootha Vahana feell in love with Malayavathi, the sister of Mithra vasu. With the intervention of Mithra vasu they got married and started living happily.
After the marriage the princess started living with Jeemootha Vahana in the forest. Daily Jeemootha Vahana and his friend used to go for trekking. Once they went for trekking by the sea beach and saw a mountain of bones. When Jeemootha vahana enquired about it Mithra vasu told, “ The God Garuda was once fooled by the snakes who were his mother’s sisters’ children. This made them his sworn enemies. So in spite of the snakes hiding themselves in the Patala(nether world), Garuda , started to hunt and eat as many of them as possible. Due to this Vasuki , the king of snakes approached Garuda and agreed to send one snake per day as his food. These are the skeletons of the snake eaten by Garuda. Even today he must be coming to eat a snake,”\
This made Jeemootha Vahana very sad and he sent back his friend and brother in law Mithra vasu on an errand . While he was waiting he spotted a crying old woman and her son Sanga Chooda. When enquired , the old woman told Jeemootha Vahana , that Sanga Chooda was her only son was the food to be offered to Garuda that day. Jeemootha Vahana offered himself to go instead of Sanga Chooda. Sanga chooda did not agree . He went to bid final farewell to his mother. At that time Garuda came. Jeemootha Vahana offered himself as food. Garuda without realizing that he was not a serpent. Carried him to the mountain to top so that he can eat him. On the way the gem that jeemootha Vahana was wearing fell at the feet of his wife Malayavathi. She realized that her husband was being eaten by Garuda. Malayavathi along with her brother and the parents of Jeemootha Vahana started following Garuda’s path. Sanga Chooda , who came to know of this also started following the path of Garuda.
When Garuda started eating Jeemootha vahana, he found him to be smiling and happy. He felt that something was wrong. At that time Sanga Chooda reached there and told Garuda, that he was a serpent and his food for that day and not Jeemootha Vahana and offered himself. Garuda realized his mistake and asked Jeemootha Vahana to request for any boon. Jeemootha Vahana asked him , “Sir , please stop eating the snakes of Patala from today and give back the life to all these snakes whom you have eaten.” Garuda happily agreed and made Jeemootha Vahana the Vidhyadhara king.
Vetala asked, “Whose sacrifice in this story is great? Is it that of Jeemootha Vahana or Sanga Chooda?”

Vikrama replied, “ofcourse the sacrifice of Sanga Chooda is great . Jeemootha Vahana is an incarnation of God and had remarkably kind mind. But Sanga Chooda was an ordinary snake who got back his life. There was no need for him to chase Garuda and offer himself as food.,”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

Twentieth story

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twentieth story.

There was a king called Yasodara in a country called Kanakapura. There was a rich merchant , who had a daughter who was called bewitcher. The merchant approached the king and told him, “ I have an exceedingly pretty daughter called Bewitcher. I want to offer her in marriage to you.” The king sent some wise men to see that girl to find out whether she has ill omens. When the wise men saw her stunning beauty, they concluded that if their king married her, then he will forget the country and would always be with her. They told a lie that she had some ill omens and asked the king to get her married to their commander in chief.
The girl bewitcher was jilted and became angry at this. So one day she purposefully stood in the way of the king’s procession. As soon as the king saw her he fell deeply in love with her. But he could not fulfill his wishes as she was the wife of his commander in chief. Slowly he started loosing his health and was always moody. His valet guessed the reason for this and informed the ministers of the king. They in turn told the king that the girl bewitcher was his subject and he could make her his wife at any time. But the just king did not agree to this. Hearing about this the commander in chief again and again offered his wife as gift to the king. Slowly the king died. Unable to bear the sorrow the Commander in chief committed suicide.
The Vetala asked, “Who is a better person, the king or the commander in chief?”
Vikrama replied “Ofcourse the king, because though he could have easily accepted the girl, he did not do it due to his high regard for principles. What the commander in chief did was the duty of a servant.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

Twenty first story

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twenty first story.
There was a king called Chandravaloka in the country called ChithraKoota. One day while hunting he lost his way and reached the hermitage of Sage Kanva. There he met a girl called Indraprabha , who was extremely pretty. With in an instant both of them fell in love with each other and wanted to get married. That day Chandravaloka approached sage Kanva and made a request for the hand of Indraprabha., The saint readily agreed. The marriage was celebrated next day. After living a week there, the king and his bride left to his capital town of Chithrakoota. On the way , one night they happened to spend below a banyan tree. A Brahma Rakshas who was occupying the tree got very angry with this and was about to kill him. On the request of Indra Prabha, that Brahma Rakshas left them with a condition that they should offer in sacrifice a young Brahmin boy , who was willingly prepared to be sacrificed .Not only that, while he was being sacrificed, his mother hold his feet and the father should hold his hands. The king Chadravaloka should do the act of cutting his head and offering it to the Goddess below the tree. If this was not done within a week, The Brahma Rakshas threatened that he would gobble up them both, in whichever place they hid themselves.
Greatly scared the king and his wife reached Chithrakoota. They confessed their problem to the elderly prime minister of the country. He sent round a notice to all the people that one ton of gold would be offered to the family of the Brahmin boy who would agree to this condition. One Brahmin boy brought it to the notice of his very poor parents and suggested to them that he would offer himself for the sacrifice. Due to the great money that they would get the parents also agreed. The king went along with the boy and , his mother held his feet and father his hands and Chandravaloka was about to cut off his head. At that time the Brahmin boy laughed very loudly. All the people assemble there saluted that boy.

The Vetala asked, “Why did the Brahmin boy laugh?” If you know the correct answer and do not tell it , your head would break in to pieces.

King Vikrama replied” When any person gets into trouble any person will approach their parents for help. If they are not able to help, they would approach the king. When king was not able to help , they would approach the God.
In this case, his parents were helping in the sacrifice, the king was sacrificing him for the sake of the God. Thinking about ths the Brahmin boy laughed.

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

Twenty second story.

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twenty second story.
Lot of learned Brahmins were living in city called Somavathi in the Kalinga country. Among them one of the greatest was Yagna soma. After a long time he did not get any children but at a ripe old age he got a son. He was called Deva Soma
Deva some grew up in to a very learned lad. Unfortunately he died at the age of sixteen. His parents became very sad and refused to part with the dead body. The learned people of the village consoled him in various ways and Deva Soma’s body was taken to the cremation ground. All people accompanying the dead body were crying loudly.
In the cremation ground there lived a very old sage who had mastered the occult powers. He asked his disciple to go and find out the reason for so much sorrow. The disciple refused to go , because he was angry with his teacher. Then the teacher saint himself went there. The body of deva Soma was pretty but that of the saint was worn out by old age. So the saint decided to leave his body and enter the body of Deva Soma. After deciding this he first cried and then he danced with joy. When his soul entered the body of Deva Soma, he woke up from death. The sage within deva soma told them, “In this brief period of death , I have seen God. He wanted me to lead a life of the sage. People including his parents agreed with sorrow and left the cremation ground.
Vetala asked , “Why did the sage cry first and then dance with joy.”

King Vikrama replied, “The sage had got used to his body since birth. He had achieved a lot including mastery of the occult using that old body. So he cried because of the sorrow at leaving that body. But then he realized that by entering the body of the youth, he could master the occult further and live a very healthy life.. Because of this knowledge he danced with joy.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

Twenty third story(first version )

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twenty third story

There was a king called Nakshtra Raja in the town of Gopura. One day he happened to see a very pretty girl called Avanthikal in the street. He married her , then and there and was taking her to his native place. Here he was attacked by a gang of thieves. Nakshtra raja killed all of them.. Then he told Avanthikal to take rest under a tree and left to bring some food for both of them. There a prostitute got attracted by him and kept him with herself.
When Avanthikal was getting scared , one merchant who happened to go that way was attracted by her and took her with him. One day while they were alone a mouse disturbed them. The merchant caught and killed the mouse. He bragged about this to Avanthikal. Avanthikal then told about her previous lover who had killed several thieves and not only that but she committed suicide. The merchant thought that the king Nakashtra raja would come and trouble him further. So he also committed suicide. By this time the king returned and he also committed suicide. At that time the prostitute came in search of the king and finding that she was the reason of death of so many people, she also died.

Vetala asked, “whose suicide is the greatest?”

King Vikrama replied., “The death of the prostitute is greatest because she left her life on her principle. In the case of others, they all died due to passion,.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

Twenty third story (second version )

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twenty third story
In the city of Tharalipthi there was a great merchant , His only daughter was Dhanavathi.When she became a lass , the merchant died.. All his relatives stole away all the money of the merchant. Then her mother Hiranyasvathi , took all the money and jewels available and fled from that town with her daughter. When they were walking in darkness through the forest , Hiranyavathi’s shoulders hit against the feet of a thief who was hanged to death. He cried in pain. Hiranyavathi said sorry. Then that thief told her that to get salvation he needed a son. So if Hiranyavathi agrees to marry her daughter to him, he would give all his stolen wealth and also permit Dhanavathi to beget a son from any male of her choice. Hiranyavathi agreed to this proposal and a marriage was performed to the thief. As soon as the marriage was performed , the thief died. After cremating him mother and daughter reached the town of Vakraloka and started living a wealthy life there. One day Dhanavathi saw a very learned Brahmin in the next house and wanted to beget a son through him. His name was Manaswami. He wanted to spent the nights with a prostitute who used to charge five hundred gold coins for a night. So when Hiranyavathi approached him, he agree to be with Dhanavathi for a night , provided he was given 500 gold coins. Hiranayavathi agreed .Manaswami spent one night with Dhanavathi.
After 10 months when Dhanavathi was about to beget a child, she had a dream in which God Shiva appeared and told her “ A son will be born to you. Take him and abandon him in front of the palace along with one thousand coins.” Dhanavathi followed the instructions .
That night God told the king about this child and asked him to bring him up and make him the king of the country. The king who was not having any children, rushed our brought the child along with one thousand coins and brought him up. He called him Chandra Prabhan. The boy grew up in to a very great king. He was made the king after his father’s death. To grant salvation to his father Chandra Prabhan went to Benaras and offered Pinda(rice balls) to the fire. But as soon as he offered the rice balls, three hands were extended to receive the Pinda. The hands were that of the thief, Brahmin and the king.

Vetala asked,” In which hand should he offer the pinda?” and warned Vikrama that knowing the correct answer if he does not tell it , his head will break in to pieces.

Vikrama replied, “He should offer it to the hand of the thief because, the Brahmin got money to beget him and the king was given money to nurture him. So both of them were only doing the job of a servant and not father.”

As soon as he told this the Vetala disengaged itself and went to the Drum Stick tree

The twenty fourth story

Again Vikramadhithya caught hold of the Vetala from the Drumstick tree and started walking towards the house of the sage. The Vetala told its twenty fourth story.

There was king called Dharma. He had a wife called Chandravathi. They had a daughter called Lavanyvathi. Once relatives of Dharma usurped his kingdom and drove the royal family out. Dharma was carrying with him lots of Gold and money. On their way they had to cross a forest full of thieves. Dhrama asked his wife and daughter to flee. Though Dharma fought with the thieves he was soon overpowered and killed. Chandravathi who was watching all this hiding from a distance started fleeing further.
During this time , the king of a nearby town was walking in the same forest along with his son. They both saw footprints of two ladies fleeing. One feet was small and another big. They decided that the father would marry the girl with large feet and the son would marry the lady with small feet.
Then the found out the story of the queen and his daughter. Unfortunately the daughter had a big feet and the mother had a small feet. Sticking to their original decision the father married the daughter and the son married the mother. Eventually both of them gave birth to a son and a daughter.
The Vetala Asked “How many type of relations to the children born to the king and his son have? What is their relation? And warned that Vikrama has to tell the correct answer if he knew it and If he does not tell the correct answer, knowing it , his head will break.
Vikrama was completely puzzled and did not tell any answer but continued to carry the Vetala. Then the Vetala addressed him as King Vikramadhithya and asked his pardon and then told its story.

The story of Vetala
Then Vetala told its own story, “I was a priest of a temple in Chozha desa and was called Kalathiyan., I used to offer lord Shiva several food articles daily as Naivedhyam, . One night having forgot to take the food articles offered to the God back home, I reopened the shut doors of the temple. There I saw Goddess Parvathi lying on the lap of Lord Shiva. He was telling all the stories that I told you just now. I returned home late and when wife became angry I told her about the incident and she compelled me to tell her all the stories. I made her promise not to tell the stories to any one . But she told them to several people . Lord Shiva got very angry at this and cursed me to become a Vetala. When I begged him for forgiveness, he asked me to hang upside down on a drum stick tree in this forest. He told that you would one day come to catch me. He instructed me to tell all those 24 stories. He further said that you will answer the questions at the end of the first 23 stories but would not be able to answer the question at the end of the last story. He further told me to serve you all your life and when You go to heaven, I will also get salvation.”
The Vetala then told him, “ The sage Gnanaseela who has requested to bring me is not a good man. He wants to become the greatest person and wants me as his slave. As soon as you take me there he would request you to salute falling on the floor , the fire that he is worshipping with an intention of cutting your head and making it fall in the fire. Please tell him that you do not know how to salute falling on the floor. He will show you. Then cut his head off and put in the fire.”
Vikrama agreed and acted accordingly. Then Goddess Kali appeared before Vikrama and said, “Son, I am happy with you. Request for the boons that you want.”
Vikrama said, “This slave of yours should always have a pure mind and great power and you should come before me, whenever I request. Not only that the 999 kings who have been sacrificed by Gnanaseela should be given their life back.” Goddess Kali gave those boons and disappeared.
Vikrama then returned to his capital along with Vetala who became his slave.

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