Away from Indian main land there was an island. Its king Ardrak was a friend of Shrenik, the king of Magadh. King Ardrak had a son named Ardrakumar who was brave, youthful, handsome and well behaved.
Once king Shrenik sent an emissary to Ardrak with valuable gifts. Ardrakumar had never seen anything from India. He was impressed by the various types of gifts and was curious to learn about India. He asked king Shrenik’s emissary whether his king had any son with whom he could cultivate friendship. The emissary told him about Abhaykumar who was the eldest and the most intelligent son of Shrenik and was also king Shrenik’s prime minister. Ardrakumar was interested in establishing friendship with Abhaykumar. He therefore sent him highly valuable pearls as token of his friendship.
Abhaykumar very much appreciated this gesture. He was aware that the people of that island knew nothing about the true religion. Abhaykumar thought attracting Ardrakumar to the true religion could therefore be the greatest gift for Ardrakumar. With that in mind, Abhaykumar sent to him a very impressive idol of Lord Adinath.
Ardrakumar had never seen such an idol. For him it was simply a statue. He however faintly felt that he had somewhere seen such a shape. As he tried to think deeply over it again and again, he remembered his previous life. He remembered that he lived in Vasantpur in Magadh and had a wife named Bandhumati. Both of them had developed detachment from worldly life on hearing the sermon of Acharya Susthitji and both had renounced.
After renouncement, once as they happened to be camping at the same place, he felt an urge to have sex with her. Of course, Bandhumati did not comply. It was merely a mental lapse on his part. Still as a consequence thereof he had been born in that island where the true religion had been unknown.
Ardrakumar started devoutly worshipping the idol in secrecy. He felt very grateful to Abhaykumar for the gift of the idol and was craving to see him. His father however would not allow him to go abroad. In order to prevent Ardrakumar from undertaking any adventure, the king instructed a group of selected soldiers to keep continuous watch over him.
Over a period of time, Ardrakumar created confidence among them by his reliable behavior which caused them to relax their alertness. Meanwhile, he made secret arrangements for a ship and one day making sure that no one was watching him, he sailed to India.
Ardrakumar was keen to undo his lapse of the previous life. Therefore despite the foreboding indications, he renounced as soon as he arrived in India and started moving as a possessionless Muni. Once he came to Vasantpur which was his dwelling place in the previous life. There he meditated in a temple.
Now, Bandhumati was reborn there as daughter of a wealthy trader and was named Shrimati. While Ardrakumar was meditating in standing posture, she came there to play along with her girl friends. As a part of the game, each girl had to select one of the poles as a symbol of husband. When Shrimati’s turn came, she somehow caught the feet of Ardrakumar and stated that that was her husband. Ardrakumar was taken aback by this incident. Since he did not want to get involved in any way, he left the place as soon as the girls went away.
As Shrimati attained marriageable age, her father started looking for a suitable match. However, she had not forgotten her play and wanted to marry that Muni. Her father agreed with her, but he did not know how it would be possible to locate and recognize the Muni whom she had seen only for a moment. She told her father that while holding the feet of the Muni, she had noticed an indelible mark there and could therefore easily recognize him, if he came around. Thereupon her father arranged for her to give alms to every Muni that passed through Vasantpur.
That arrangement continued for a long time. However, Shrimati did not lose patience. Eventually, Ardrakumar came there once again. As he came for Gochari (alms), Shrimati immediately recognized him by that mark and held his feet. She said that she had selected him as her husband and had been waiting for him all that time; she could no longer live without him and would court death, if he tried to leave.
It was hard for Ardrakumar to resist her plea. He recalled that all the indications at the time of his renunciation were unpropitious. He realized that his renouncement was untimely and he was destined to lead worldly life for some time. He therefore decided to marry Shrimati.
After some time, Shrimati gave birth to a boy. While his son was still young, Ardrakumar once again thought of renouncing the worldly life. He asked Shrimati to let him go on his mission as she could happily lead her life in bringing up the son. Shrimati did not like the idea of his leaving, but she had no grounds to stop him. She sat at her spinning wheel with tears rolling over her cheeks. When the boy inquired, she said that his father wanted to leave and they would thenceforth be required to lead the lonely life.
Innocently, the boy said that he would bind his father so that he could not go; and then he wound the spun yarn round his father’s feet. Ardrakumar was so overwhelmed with the innocent love of the boy that he decided to stay for as many years as the rounds of thread on his feet. There were twelve rounds. He therefore stayed with them for twelve more years. Shrimati thereafter gracefully permitted him to renounce.
Ardrakumar, who was now known as Ardrakmuni, was very keen to be a pupil of Lord Mahavir who was camping at Rajgruhi at that time. He was also very eager to see his benefactor Abhaykumar. He therefore proceeded towards Rajgruhi.
On the way he came across the men who were entrusted by his father to keep watch over him. They could not face his father because of their failure to keep proper watch. They had therefore followed him to India and were looking for him. As it was not possible for them to go back to their country, they were passing their time aimlessly and were surviving on burglary. Ardrakmuni felt compassion for their fate and advised them to lead renounced life like himself. They considered him as their master and were willing to listen to him. The Muni advised them to join him to go to Lord Mahavir for becoming his pupils.
Later on, they passed by a hermitage where the Muni saw meat being sun‑dried. On inquiring he learnt that its inmates had strange notions about nonviolence. They thought that they should subsist on meat of elephant, because by killing only one animal they could get enough food for all of them to survive for many days. The hermitage was therefore known as elephantine hermitage. One elephant was tied in its compound for being slaughtered.
As Ardrakmuni realized the fate of the elephant, he overcame with compassion for the animal. That compassion induced a spark in the elephant to pay his homage to the Muni. He broke the tie and ran towards the Muni. All the people got scared and tried to hide in safe place to protect themselves from the wrath of the animal, but the Muni stood there unafraid.
As the elephant was rushing straight towards him, the people thought that the Muni would get killed. The elephant however slowed down and calmly approached the Muni and gently stroked Muni’s feet with his trunk. Ardrakmuni blessed him. Then, feeling free and gratified, the elephant went away towards the forest. The hermits got very enraged at the Muni who had apparently caused them the loss of their food.
The Muni explained to them that they had misunderstood the concept of nonviolence as explained in Jain religion. There is no nonviolence without compassion. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin. Distinction should therefore be made between gross violence and subtle violence.
There is too much gross violence in killing an animal with highly sensitive nervous system. Animal life has far greater sensitivity than plant life. As long as a person breathes, observation of absolute nonviolence is not possible. Therefore, to begin with, nonviolence should be taken as total avoidance of all gross violence and resorting to minimum possible subtle violence that may be necessary for survival. Killing an elephant amounts to very gross violence that cannot be justified.
The hermits understood the truth of his teaching and repented for the violence that they had indulged in. Since they were receptive, the Muni explained to them the true religion in detail. In the end, they decided to become his followers. The Muni however advised them to go to Lord Mahavir for becoming his pupils.
At last Ardrakmuni arrived in Rajgruhi. He first went to Lord’s assembly for most humbly offering obeisance to him.
Then he met Abhaykumar and expressed his utmost gratitude for drawing his attention towards the true religion by sending the idol of Lord Adinath. Abhaykumar humbly stated that the Muni was destined to be enlightened and he was simply instrumental in bringing it about. Abhaykumar showed his deep reverence for the Muni and paid homage to him.
King Shrenik also came to the Muni and praised him for the miracles that he had performed with the elephant and the hermits. The Muni stayed with Lord Mahavir as his pupil. For the rest of his life he scrupulously observed all the restraints of a Muni and in the end attained salvation.
King Chandpradyot of Malwa was one of the most powerful rulers during the times of Lord Mahavir. His queen Shivadevi was the elder sister of Chellana, the most beloved queen of Shrenik, the king of Magadh.
Being highly ambitious, once Chandpradyot invaded Magadh. As he was proceeding towards Rajgruhi with his large army, Shrenik could not make out how to effectively counter him. His son and the prime minister Abhaykumar however told the king not to worry, because he had his own plan to handle the situation. Abhaykumar arranged for burying valuable treasures on the southern outskirts of Rajgruhi where the invading army was expected to camp.
On reaching Rajgruhi, Chandpradyot camped on that site and sent a message to Shrenik to surrender. Abhaykumar, on the other end, sent an apparently secret message to Chandpradyot stating that his father had effectively bribed Chandapradyot’s generals who would not seriously fight against Magadh’s army and Chandpradyot was therefore running a grave risk. The message contended that Chandpradyot being the husband of the beloved aunt Shivadevi whom Abhaykumar revered, he was concerned about the well being of Chandpradyot and therefore he had sent the secret message.
The message added that if Chandpradyot had any doubt about the message, he could inspect under the ground where his generals were camping and he would notice there the treasures received by them from Shrenik. When Chandpradyot did accordingly, he came across the treasures that Abhaykumar had buried there earlier. Chandpradyot was therefore convinced about the truth of the secret message. He got scared and hurriedly withdrew from Rajgruhi.
On reaching his capital Ujjain, he called for the explanation of the generals. They solemnly affirmed that they were loyal to him and Abhaykumar had effectively tricked him to withdraw. Chandpradyot also could see the game of Abhaykumar and decided to get hold of him anyhow. He made an offer of a fancy prize for anyone who could bring Abhaykumar to Ujjain.
One city dancer accepted the bid. She arranged for acquiring enough knowledge of Jain rituals and formalities. Then along with two young girls she went to Rajgruhi in the guise of pilgrims. They started going to the temple where Abhaykumar used to go for worship.
Once Abhaykumar saw them praying very devotedly. He was much impressed by their devotion. At the end of the prayer, he inquired about their names, place of residence, etc. She replied that she was the widow of a wealthy man of Ujjain and the two girls were her daughters-in-law who had also been unfortunately widowed. The girls wanted to renounce but she had persuaded them to undertake pilgrimage of important places of worship prior to renouncing.
Abhaykumar felt very compassionate that misfortune had befallen on that deeply religious family. He invited them to his place for lunch. The woman contended that they had been on fast that day. Abhaykumar therefore invited them to come to his place the next morning for termination of the fast. Like a deeply religious lady, she replied, “Who knows what is going to happen the next moment ? It is therefore preposterous to make any plan beforehand.” Abhaykumar was too much impressed by her deep religious thinking and sent the invitation the next morning. After termination of fast, he requested them to stay in Rajgruhi for a few days so that he could get benefit of serving them.
Once the woman invited Abhaykumar to her place for dinner. That time she gave him drinks mixed with Chandrahas wine that brings drowsiness. He thus fell in deep slumber. She had made elaborate plans for such event. He was accordingly smuggled out of Rajgruhi during the sleep and was then carried to Ujjain under escort. She then presented him to Chandpradyot who put him into captivity in his palace.
Of all his belongings, Chandpradyot valued queen Shivadevi; messenger Lohjangh; royal elephant Analgiri; and chariot Agnibhiru as the most precious ones. At that time Bharuch in Gujarat was the most important port on the western coast and was under control of Malwa.
Messenger Lohjangh being a fast rider, he could travel from Ujjain to Bhrugukutch within a day. He had to bring frequent messages from Ujjain. The implications of the messages being adverse to the local people, they detested him.
In order to get rid of him, once while he was returning, they placed poisoned sweets in his travel kit. Lohjangh somehow avoided food on his way and reaching Ujjain he presented the sweets to the king. Before any of them could eat the sweets, Abhaykumar, who was there in captivity, got forewarned of the poison from the odor of the sweets. He therefore warned them not to eat the poisonous sweets. Chandpradyot was pleased with him for saving the life and offered him to ask for anything except release from the captivity. Abhaykumar requested that he may be allowed to ask for it at any time that he may select later on. His request was granted.
Chandpradyot had a beautiful daughter named Vasavdatta. She had been adept in all the arts except music. He was very keen to get a capable music teacher for her. Udayan, the young king of Kaushambi, who also happened to be her maternal cousin, was known as expert musician. He could even lure elephants by his music.
Under advice of his ministers, Chandpradyot arranged for preparing a big fake elephant that exactly looked like a real one. There were mechanical devices within its body that could be operated for causing different types of movements like a real elephant. It was let loose in the forest near Kaushambi with armed operators within.
As Udayan’s guards saw the elephant, they informed him about it. Udayan came there and started playing music. People within the elephant managed to show that the elephant was charmed with the music. Simultaneously however they contrived it to move away from Kaushambi.. Udayan followed and got separated from his followers. After a while he could notice that the elephant was under full impact of his music, he therefore jumped over it. Operators from within soon came out, put him in bondage and hurriedly brought him to Ujjain.
Chandpradyot did not want his daughter to see Udayan who was a very handsome and attractive youth. He therefore told Vasavdatta that he had found an expert music teacher who unfortunately happened to be leucodermic. He therefore advised her to learn music from him sitting behind a curtain. To Udayan he said that his daughter wanted to learn music, but being one eyed, she felt very shy. If he taught her staying behind a curtain, she could learn at ease. If Udayan agreed, Chandpradyot would spare his life and make his stay comfortable in Ujjain. Udayan had no alternative at that time. He therefore agreed and started teaching Vasavdatta.
She was very smart in picking up and her voice was very sweet. He therefore pitied that so smart and sweet girl had only one eye. Vasavdatta too was enamored of his voice and cursed the nature for making him leucodermic.
Once while she was thinking of him, she got inattentive to the lesson. Thereupon Udayan got wild and reproached her by calling her one eyed. Vasavdatta was exasperated to hear that. She however guessed that her father might have deliberately lied to him about her. She also thought that her teacher being leucodermic could also be a lie. She therefore raised the curtain and saw that he was handsome and strong. She got attracted to him. Udayan too was enamored to see her beauty. Both of them fell in love and started meeting privately with the aid of a helpful maid of Vasavdatta.
Once the royal elephant Analgiri got out of control and started destroying every thing that he came across. His keepers failed to bring him back to control. Chandpradyot was perplexed and sought advice of Abhaykumar who suggested that Udayan could control the elephant by his music.
As Vasavdatta came to know about it, she urged Udayan to pick the opportunity to please her father. So Udayan brought Analgiri into control by his music. Chandpradyot was pleased with the performance of Udayan and started giving more latitude to him. He also got pleased with Abhaykumar for his right advice and again offered him to ask for anything except the release from captivity. Like the previous one, Abhaykumar once again requested Chandpradyot to keep his promise in reserve. Similarly there were two more occasions when Chandpradyot offered him to ask for anything except the release from captivity.
Then Abhaykumar asked for the following four boons:
(1) The king and queen Shivadevi may sit over the elephant Analgiri along with Abhaykumar;
(2) Lohjangh would ride the elephant;
(3) Chariot Agnibhiru be set on fire and
(4) The elephant may enter that fire with the four of them over it.
As it was not possible for Chandpradyot to comply with the demands, he set Abhaykumar free. While going back to Rajgruhi, Abhaykumar stated that he was brought into captivity, because the city dancer deceived him in the name of the religion; but he promised that he would take Chandpradyot in captivity in the broad daylight.
Once in the season of spring, Chandpradyot planned a grand festival in his favorite garden. There he invited musicians and also asked Vasavdatta and Udayan to participate. For Udayan that was an opportunity to escape. He asked Vasavdatta to get ready for that. She arranged for the speediest female elephant for the purpose. Udayan managed to take the female elephant’s urine in four pots. Then they rode over her and quickly marched towards Kaushambi.
As Chandpradyot learnt about the escape, he sent his men on Analgiri to pursue Udayan. After 100 miles Analgiri got close to the escapees, so Udayan released one pot of urine and rode ahead while Analgiri stopped for the odor of the urine. That way Udayan released one pot every time Analgiri got close. So Analgiri could not reach them before they safely entered the border of Kaushambi. The pursuers had therefore to go back because the army of Kaushambi was ready to give them a fight.
Chandpradyot got furious and started preparations for invading Kaushambi. His advisers however pacified him stating that any way he had to find a suitable match for Vasavdatta and there was hardly any one better than Udayan; he should therefore bless him as son-in-law. Chandpradyot saw the wisdom of the advice. He therefore accepted the fait accompli and sent jewelry and other valuables as gifts to the son-in-law.
Meanwhile Abhaykumar had not forgotten the challenge that he had given to Chandpradyot. He had located a man who closely resembled Chandpradyot. Then along with that man and two beautiful city girls, he came to Ujjain in the guise of a trader. He rented a house on the main road and started carrying his man tied in a rope to the far off place of a physician, while the man kept shouting that he was Chandpradyot, the king of Malwa and that he was being abducted. To the people who inquired, Abhaykumar used to explain that the man was his brother, who out of insanity, thought that he was the king of Malwa. As that became a scene of daily occurrence, people around got accustomed to it and stopped making any inquiry.
Meanwhile those two city girls were flirting and casting their charm around. Once Chandpradyot happened to see them. He was attracted by their beauty and sent his maid for inviting them to the palace. The girls however spurned the offer. Chandpradyot then sent an expert maid together with valuable gifts to persuade them. Then the girls took her in a corner and apparently secretly said that they were attracted by the king, but they were with their brother who was very scrupulous and therefore were unable to oblige the king. They however pretended to confide that their brother was to go out of town after seven day. If the king could therefore secretly come to the place on that day, they would be happy to serve the king.
Chandpradyot was pleased to get the message. On the appointed day he secretly went to the place without any fanfare. As he entered, the girls invited him to the bedroom. Abhaykumar was waiting there. With the help of his man he tied Chandpradyot tight with a rope. At the regular time, he brought him out in bondage apparently for taking to the physician. Chandpradyot was shouting loudly that he was the king and this man was abducting him.
All the people around were however accustomed to witness that scene. No one therefore came to his rescue and Abhaykumar carried him to Rajgruhi with the help of prearranged convoys. There he was presented to Shrenik who was ready to sever his head. Abhaykumar however pointed out that, as king of Malwa, the body of the captive was inviolable. He was brought to Rajgruhi simply for teaching him the lesson that anything can be done by intelligence. The performance being over, Magadh should better offer to him its friendship. Shrenik accepted the advice, released Chandpradyot from captivity and offered him valuable gifts in token of friendship of Magadh.
King Shrenik loved his queen Chellana very much. Once he decided to construct a special palace for her. At his wish Abhaykumar arranged for a magnificent palace erected on one single pillar. People marveled to see such a palace. All sorts of comforts and luxuries were provided there.
Around the palace, he also arranged for setting up a beautiful garden with specially bred plants and trees that gave different types of flowers and fruits all the year round. Chellana was very pleased with this garden. She used to pluck the flowers herself for adoring her hairs and also for preparing garland for her husband. Shrenik thus used to enjoy there every pleasure of life along with his beloved queen.
There was an aboriginal tribe known as Matang. They used to undertake the cleaning work of the city. Their chief, known as Matangpati, was a highly accomplished many Vidyas. e.g. he could stay invisible, etc.
Once his wife, while she was pregnant, begot a strong urge to eat mangoes. She asked her husband to get mangoes. Matangpati ridiculed her untimely desire because it was not the mango season. She however pointed out that the mango trees of queen Chellana’s garden used to yield mangoes throughout the year and asked him to get mangoes from that garden.
Since he could stay invisible, he could enter the garden unseen. High up on the trees he saw the mangoes. By his magic spell he charmed one of the mango trees to bend down. He then plucked the mangoes from that branch and took them home. His wife thanked him very much for bringing the delicious mangoes.
In the morning, as the queen came for plucking the flowers, she noticed the loss of mangoes. On inquiry, he realized that somebody must have stolen the mangoes and therefore asked the gardener to keep better watch.
The second night too, Matangpati came there and plucked away the mangoes. The next morning the gardener noticed the loss of the mangoes once again. He reported to the queen that he had been vigilant throughout the night and did not notice anyone come in. Still the mangoes had again disappeared from the same mango tree. It was hard for the queen to believe that any burglar could dare to enter her garden. She however made arrangements for additional watchmen to protect the garden from any unauthorized entry.
As Matangpati’s wife could not resist the temptation of eating the delicious mangoes, the disappearance of mangoes continued. Thereupon, Chellana brought this mysterious disappearance to the notice of the king.
Shrenik was wild to know that anyone in his kingdom could dare to indulge in such burglary. He asked Abhaykumar to get hold of the burglar. Abhaykumar kept vigilant watch during the night. He also could not notice anyone even approaching the garden. Yet he noticed in the morning that some mangoes had disappeared.
The next night he decided to keep closer watch. By his minute observation he could notice at midnight, the lowering of the branch of the mango tree and the mangoes being plucked without anyone getting within the garden. He could make out that there was some invisible hand involved.
Then, he arranged for the expert force of watchmen to stay concealed near the mango tree. Next night Matangpati came to the garden and charmed the mango tree as usual. But as soon as the mango tree bent down, the watchmen came out of their hiding place and surrounded the tree as per instructions of Abhaykumar.
Matangpati was not visible but the mangoes that he plucked were visible. It was therefore hard for the burglar to escape piercing the live wall that watchmen had formed. He had to ultimately give way and made himself visible. He was then arrested.
As he was produced in the royal court the next day, king Shrenik was impatient to sentence him to death, because he intended to set an example by beheading the culprit for his daring burglary. Abhaykumar was however impressed by Matangpati’s art and intended to put it to the state use. He had also found out that the accused was not a professional burglar and had resorted to plucking the mangoes simply to satisfy the desire of his pregnant wife. Abhaykumar knew very well how irresistible such desires could be. He had therefore developed a soft corner for the accused and had thought out a plan to save his life.
Accordingly, he suggested that before punishing the accused, the king should learn from Matangpati the mysterious art that he possessed. The king welcomed the idea and asked Matangpati to teach his art. The poor man had no alternative but to comply.
For this purpose he was brought to the palace. There, the king was seated in the royal seat and standing in front of him, Matangpati began teaching the mysterious charms. He used all his diligence. Somehow, Shrenik could not memorize them. He reproached the accused that he was not seriously teaching him.
Abhaykumar thereupon pointed out that the king could not learn, because he was not giving the respect due to a teacher. Shrenik too realized his mistake. He therefore asked Matangpati to occupy the royal seat and the king, himself stood before him as a student. He could then quickly learn the secrets of that art.
Shrenik then consulted Abhaykumar about the appropriate punishment for the culprit. Abhaykumar pointed out that since Matangpati had become his teacher, the king should extend to him the appropriate reward as a preceptor. And what could be a better reward than sparing the life of the preceptor ? The king was pleased with the idea and set Matangpati free.
2500 years back Magadha was a growing kingdom. Kushagrapur in the present state of Bihar was its capital. Before the times of Lord Mahavir, king Prasenjit was ruling over there. He was a devotee of Lord Parshwanath’s order. He had many sons. He wanted to know which one of them was most suitable to be the heir to his kingdom.
For this purpose he administered some tests. Once he invited all of them for a dinner. As they started eating, the king released royal hounds at them. All of them except prince Shrenik ran away. Staying unafraid, Shrenik picked up the food from the plates left by his brothers and started giving that food to the hounds. That way he could keep the hounds at arm’s length, while he ate his food. The king was pleased with his dexterity. He however felt that if he showed his favor for Shrenik, other princes would be jealous. He therefore outwardly remarked that it was not befitting a prince to eat by the side of the dogs.
On another occasion, the king presented to his sons sealed baskets of sweets and earthen pots of water and asked them to eat and drink without opening the baskets or pots. All others were non-plussed by these instructions and left without eating. Shrenik, however, broke the sweets into small pieces by knocking the baskets and started eating as the particles came out of the joints of the baskets. He also noticed that the water pots were new and water was oozing out of the pores. He therefore put a silver bowl below a pot. By the time, he finished eating, enough water had accumulated in the bowl out of the pores. He therefore used it for his purpose. The king was watching all this. He was pleased with the intellect and smartness of Shrenik. Once again however, he outwardly criticized Shrenik for eating particles of sweets like a beggar.
In Kushagrapur, fire used to break out frequently. In order to prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents, the king proclaimed that if fire breaks out any where henceforth, the owner of the house would be held responsible for the negligence and would be turned out of the city. Once it so happened that a wild fire broke out in king’s palace on account of the negligence of some cook. The king announced that the princes could take out and keep anything that they liked from the palace.
Other princes took out jewelry and other valuables, while Shrenik picked up only the royal bugle. When he was asked to explain his choice, he said that he selected the bugle, because it was the symbol of royal victory and proclamations from the bugle are binding to every one. The king was again pleased with his selection and decided that Shrenik would be his heir to the throne. In order to save him from the envy of his brothers, he however did not announce his decision.
True to his proclamation, the king decided to leave the city, because he was supposed to be responsible for the fire in his palace. He then set up his camp a couple of miles away. People concerned with administration had to go there. Later on, other people too started settling in that place. It came to be known as Rajgruhi because of the king’s residence there. Gradually that place grew to be the capital city of Magadha. It turned out to be one of the most well known and thriving cities of that time.
As the princes grew up, the king sent them away as governors in different parts of his kingdom. Since he wanted to groom Shrenik as his successor, he did not allot any governorship to him and intentionally asked him to stay in Rajgruhi. Shrenik however could not make out his father’s design. He felt insulted and thought that he was out of favor with the king. Getting frustrated, one day he left Rajgruhi without informing any one about his departure.
He proceeded eastward and after traveling for a few days he reached the city of Benatat in Bengal. There was a trader named Bhadra whose business had for some time been shrinking without any conceivable reason. Shrenik came to his business place and sat for a while for taking rest. It was a day of some festival. Almost every one was out for shopping. Many of them flocked to Bhadra’s store. Rush was so great that it was almost impossible for him to cope with the unimaginably good demand. Shrenik thereupon volunteered to help him.
On account of the smartness of Shrenik in doing the job, Bhadra could do lot of business that day. By the time he got ready for the lunch, he was done with most of the customers. He was overjoyed with the business that he could make. It was far beyond his expectation. He realized that he could not have made that much business, but for the help rendered by that unknown youth. He was highly appreciative of Shrenik and thought that the briskness of his business that day could be due to the presence of that auspicious young man. He therefore decided to invite Shrenik to come to his home for lunch.
Shrenik was hungry. He therefore gladly accepted the invitation. At lunch, Bhadra, who was much impressed by the personality of Shrenik, inquired about his name and whereabouts. Shrenik did not want to declare that he was the son of king of Magadha. He therefore did not disclose his identity; but he did indicate that he was looking for some responsible work. Bhadra was very pleased with Shrenik’s politeness and good manners. He had no sons and he was getting old. As such, he was badly in need of a smart and reliable person to help him in his business. In Shrenik, he saw his hope for reviving his business and reputation. He therefore invited him to join his business and to stay with him. Shrenik accepted his offer and undertook the task of expanding the business. He had a special knack to please the customers. Very soon he took over all the aspects of business. After his taking over, the business grew by leaps and bounds and in no time Bhadra became a well known entity of Benatat.
Bhadra had only a daughter whose name was Nanda. She was very beautiful and graceful. She was impressed with Shrenik from the day she saw him. In due course she developed love for him. Bhadra too was anxiously looking for a match for her. He was very happy with Shrenik whose qualities, personality and good manners left no doubt in his mind that the young man must have been from a very noble family.He therefore considered Shrenik to be a suitable match for his beloved daughter. He consulted his wife who had also formed the similar opinion for Shrenik. When Nanda therefore expressed her love for Shrenik, her parents were more than willing to satisfy her desire.
When the offer of marriage was put before Shrenik, he said that they knew nothing about himself and asked how advisable would it be to give their only daughter to a stranger ? Bhadra replied that his high qualities and good manners had convinced him that Shrenik must have been from a very noble family. He had therefore no hesitation in offering his daughter to him. Shrenik too was enamored of Nanda’s beauty and grace. As a result of Bhadra’s persuasion, he therefore agreed to accept the offer. Shortly afterwards, Shrenik and Nanda got married with fanfare befitting the status of a wealthy businessman.
After a while Nanda got pregnant. During that time it so happened that the king Prasenjit got very ill and did not expect to survive. He sent his messengers all around to find Shrenik. One of them came to Benatat and found out Shrenik. The messenger informed him about the precarious condition of his father and said that the king was on the deathbed and was anxiously waiting for his return to Rajgruhi. Shrenik faced a dilemma. On one side his father was on the deathbed and on the other side his beloved wife was pregnant.
Shrenik ultimately decided that he should at least see his father before he died. He did not know at that time that his father had selected him to be the heir to his kingdom. He therefore told his in-laws that his father being on the deathbed, he had to go urgently. To Nanda he gave a coded identity which stated that he was the herdsman of Rajgruhi. Then he left together with the messenger.
As he reached Rajgruhi, he was given a warm welcome that he had never anticipated. Soon after that he was crowned and was proclaimed the king of Magadha. In history he is known as king Bimbisar. Prasenjit died shortly after the coronation leaving the entire burden of the kingdom on the new king. Shrenik remained so preoccupied in his new assignment that he almost forgot all about Nanda.
While she was pregnant, Nanda got an irresistible urge to ride an elephant and to endow safety and security for every being. Thereupon her father arranged for a procession wherein Nanda rode an elephant and gave generous donations to all the people who needed the same.
In due course she gave birth to a very handsome, bright son. True to her urge during pregnancy he was named Abhaykumar, meaning bestower of safety and security. From the childhood the boy showed signs of exceptional intelligence and ability. At the age of eight he could master all the arts. At school there was no match for him. He could beat even grown up men in intelligence.
Once while he was playing with his friends, some boy who was jealous of his brightness picked up quarrel with him and called him fatherless. Abhaykumar was annoyed to hear it. Coming home he asked his mother about his father. Nanda was hesitating to tell him about his father who had forsaken her so long and whose identity was not even known to her. In desperation, she showed to him the token that Shrenik had left with her. Abhaykumar looked at it and immediately made out that his father was the king of Rajgruhi. He joyfully broke the news to his mother and grand parents..
That time, Abhaykumar was still a young boy. He however decided to take his mother to Rajgruhi. While reaching the outskirts of the city, he asked his mother to rest in a garden till he could arrange for a fitting reception for her.
That time Shrenik was looking for a capable man to be his prime minister. He deliberately threw his ring in a dry well and announced that whoever could get the ring without getting into the well, would be appointed as his prime minister. Many people had gathered near the well, but no one could think of any trick to get the ring while standing on the platform of the well. While Abhaykumar was passing by, he inquired about the reason for their flocking together.
When he knew about the king’s announcement, he said that he could get the ring on king’s terms, if he could be provided with what he needed for the purpose. King was amused when he was informed that a young boy had come forward to undertake the job. Still he agreed to let him try and instructed his men to provide whatever the boy needed.
Thereupon Abhaykumar called for fresh cowdung and threw it at the ring. Then he dropped a bundle of burning grass over the dung so as to turn it into hard dry cake in which the ring had tightly set in. He then arranged for diverting a water canal to the well. As the well got full of water, the dungcake with the ring came floating on the surface of water. Abhaykumar picked it up and got the ring out of the cake.
The king was very pleased when he heard that the young boy from some unknown place had fulfilled his terms. He wanted to see him.
As Abhaykumar was brought in his presence, the king spontaneously felt as if a current of affection was flowing from his heart. He joyfully embraced the boy and asked his name and place of his residence. Abhaykumar gave his name and said that he was coming from Benatat. Shrenik immediately remembered Nanda and asked Abhaykumar whether he knew the businessman Bhadra and his daughter Nanda. Abhaykumar replied that he was the grandson of Bhadra. As Shrenik learnt that Abhaykumar was his own son, his joy knew no bounds. He warmly embraced him once again and inquired about his mother. Shrenik was overjoyed to learn that his wife whom he had forsaken so long, was waiting just a little away. He arranged for her a reception befitting the queen and mother of the would be prime minister. Thus there was happy reunion of the parents. Abhaykumar, as he came to be known thereafter, was then duly proclaimed as the prime minister of Magadha.
Abhaykumar served in that capacity very long. His intelligence knew no bounds. Number of administrative and political problems arose during the realm of Shrenik. Abhaykumar solved all of them to the entire satisfaction of every one concerned.
Even today, the Jain traders write in their accounting books that they may be endowed with the intelligence of Abhaykumar.
Aimutta was the prince of Polaspur’s king.
Once this seven year old child was playing with a few friends in the streets. It was a very hot day. At this time child Aimutta saw Gautamswami, who was bare-footed and bald, and was making rounds for Gochari (food). Aimutta ran to him and asked him why he was wandering. On hearing the answer Aimutta took Gautamswami to his house.
His mother was pleased with his devotion and welcomed Gautamswami by the greeting, “Maithen Vandami” (I solemnly bow with my head down). Aimutta’s mother introduced Gautamswami as a learned Ganadhar of Lord Mahavir. Aimutta responded that they were so lucky to give him Gochari and proceeded to listen to Gautamswami’s discourse.
When it was time for Gautamswami to leave, Aimutta asked Gautamswami if he could carry the bag (containing food utensils) that Gautamswami was holding so diligently. Gautamswami told him that the bag could only be carried by one who has accepted monkshood.
The boy desired this monkshood, but he was told that he needed his parents’ permission. The mother, upon hearing the request, told him he was only a child and not familiar with the rigorous code of conduct that a Muni has to live by. Aimutta insisted on Diksha (monkshood), saying that the code cannot be known beforehand, and that he was willing to suffer all the hardships that may follow.
He told his mother that he knew two things: (1) One who is born, is sure to die; and (2) One does not know when he will die. Although still a child, Aimutta explained the transitory nature of life to his mother, who remained silent.
After making Aimutta the king for one day, he was permitted to take the initiation before Lord Mahavir. Then he was entrusted to an elderly Muni for training. He then began to learn.
One day, young Aimutta Muni went with the elderly Muni to the lake. While the elderly Muni was resting, Aimutta Muni saw children playing with paper sailboats in the water, and he also put his small pot in the lake and told the other boys how nicely his boat was floating.
On seeing this the old Muni told Aimutta Muni that he had become a Muni and thus had taken vows not to harm the all kinds of living organisms and here, Aimutta Muni was breaking his vow. Feeling deeply ashamed of himself, Aimutta Muni went to Lord Mahavir with great repentance and while reciting “Iriavahia Sutra,” he began crying. He uttered the words, “Pankkamane Biyakamane” and began to apologize to all living beings. While doing so, he attained Kevalgnan (nothing but knowledge) and ultimately got liberation.
MORAL LESSON: We often say this Iriavahia Sutra ourselves, but only as a recital of words is “Dravya Kriya.” However, if recited with true and sincere repentance, it can become a “Bhav Kriya.”
In the city of Srivasa, there reigned a king named Vikramsingh. One day, as the king was seated in his full court, a stranger came. The king asked him who he was and what was the purpose of his visit.
Without replying to the king’s inquiry, the stranger made the following observation: “There lies a treasure, Sir, beneath the meditation ground of Gorakh Yogini.” The king was startled at these words. He said: “What do you know about it ? Where was it obtained from ?”
Revealing his own identity, the stranger said: “My name is Kurvak. I am the son of the very famous hero Amvada. You must be familiar with the stories of his adventure, bravery and magnanimity. You must also know how far-flung was his vast empire. But, Oh king and gentlemen of the court, you are not likely to know all his background. It is full of mighty events. He started as an ordinary man with hardly any wealth that he could call his own. He tried his best to build up a fortune but he was wholly unsuccessful at first.”
“But then, Oh prince, how did your father become a great king with so much wealth and splendor ?” asked everybody.
He began: “As I have already mentioned, Amvada started as a pauper and he left no stone unturned to become a rich man.
Once in the course of his wanderings, he reached Dhanagiri, where he met Gorakh Yogini and propitiated her. When she was pleased with his propitiation and asked him to ask for a boon. He said: “Endow me with such power as I may do anything I please.” The Yogini said: “What is it that pleases you ?” My father submitted: “I crave for wealth.” The Yogini retorted at once: “Wealth can’t be acquired without bravery, wit and strength.” To this my father said: “Holy Mother ! Whatever you will ask me to do, I shall do. By your grace, I shall not retreat from any venture.” At these words, the Yogini was pleased with him. She said: “If you can fulfill my seven orders, you will attain unexpected success.” My father agreed.
In the course of conversation, the prince continued: “The Yogini had measured my father’s sincerity and she further explained: “As you proceed in the eastern direction from this place, there’s a park named Gunvadan. There you will see a tree named Satasarkara. Fetch me the fruits of that tree.”
Although he had no idea about the tree or the fruit, mounted on ambition, Amvada started at once and traveled the whole night. In the morning, he reached a lake named Kumkum-mandal. He rested there for some time and then looked around.
There he saw a strange sight - men drawing water in jars on their heads and women riding on horseback. He was very curious. He asked a man near him about the reason of this reverse behavior. The man said at once: “Ssh ! Hold your tongue. If it reaches the ear of a lady, we shall be in trouble.” “But why this much fear of womenfolk ?” asked Amvada.
An old lady heard these words. As she was about to say something, a royal procession came near and everybody’s attention was diverted there. Amvada saw to his utmost surprise, a lady seated on a golden throne on the back of an elephant, with a costly canopy above her head, with attendant-ladies gently fanning her with the tail hairs of the Chamari (a cow that is famous for her most smooth tail hairs), and the lady herself, a very embodiment of arrogance and rudeness, slighting at everything in the opposite (male) sex. She held a golden rod in her hands that was shining. She had a large retinue of female attendants preceding and following her elephant. When the procession had passed, the old lady said, “Are you Amvada Kshatriya ? I knew of your arrival for a very long time. Come with me to my house and I shall reply your query.”
Amvada courageously went to the lady’s residence. It was a huge mansion full of unimaginable wealth. As he reached the courtyard, he saw a young lady, the very embodiment of beauty and grace, the like of which he had never seen before. The lady was playing with balls, as many as four at a time, none touching the ground even once.
They were no ordinary balls, but the heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon and two planets, and as she hurled them into the sky, they displayed, respectively, rays, beams and dark shadows that were visible from the ground. Amvada was surprised all the more and he had now many more questions to ask. But before he could say anything, the old lady said to him: “Amvada ! You are on your way to fetch the fruits of the Satasarkara tree at the bidding of Gorakh Yogini; isn’t that right ? Till you get them, you can be with my daughter Chandravati.”
This increased Amvada’s confusion all the more. He did not know what to make of it. Suddenly, Chandravati turned to him and said: “Don’t you worry. You are welcome to play this game. The ball should not touch the ground. If it does, you are defeated, and the defeated party rubs the feet of the victor.” Amvada agreed. The young lady displayed unusual skill of her hands and the balls did not touch the ground even once.
Now, it was Amvada’s turn and the lady extended towards him all the four exceptional balls. Amvada picked up the sun first, but he was scorched by its rays and he fell down unconscious. Chandravati then hurled the sun in the sky, and with him, Amvada too was stuck with the sun in the sky.
When the sun’s chariot-driver Nagada came near the solar region, he took pity on the poor man. He wanted to stare at the moon to get some nectar to restore the man to life, but the moon was nowhere to be seen. When he saw the moon’s consort Rohini, she revealed that the moon was still with Chandravati and that she herself was feeling bitterly the pangs of separation. Nagada consoled the lady, assuring her to get the release of the moon at once and started in search of Chandravati.
When Chandravati saw Nagada coming towards her, she hurled a loop at him, and the fellow was tied hand and foot and dropped down. Chandravati went away minding her own business. When Nagada’s sister Sarpadanstastinkhala came to know of her brother’s plight, she hurried to his rescue. She soon liberated her brother. Once free, Nagada now rushed towards Chandravati with renewed fury. The lady at once asked the sun to stop his driver, which the sun did. He further asked Nagada not to bear animosity towards the lady who was a great Yogini herself and was capable of even overpowering him at times.
At the sun’s bidding, Nagada withdrew. He now acquired some magical powers with which he first killed the old lady Bhadravati. This reduced the power of the daughter who now begged to be forgiven. She was then made to release the sun and the moon. Rohini was happy now to see her husband back. Nagada then took some nectar from her, came at once where lay Amvada and sprinkled a few drops on him. Restored to consciousness, Amvada at once bowed before the sun, who became pleased with him and gave him a boon. The sun made him proof against women’s coquetry.
Amvada was amazed to receive this unexpected boon from the sun. He expressed his gratitude to the sun, who, in turn, gave him two more powers, one equipping him with power to fly and the other with power to cast a net of hypnotism wherever he liked. At the sun’s bidding, Nagada fetched the fruits of the satasarkara tree and gave them to Amvada. He also helped his restoration to the earth.
Amvada now thought of teaching a lesson to Chandravati who had caused him so much trouble. So he appeared before her in the guise of Mahadev. The lady felt profoundly obliged to see the great Lord in her house and fell at his feet. Just then the Lord started weeping in a pitiable tone and the lady felt surprised at the Lord’s affliction. The Lord informed her about the loss of his dear wife Parvati which, he said, was the cause of his present distress. Chandravati offered to do anything for him. At this, the Lord asked her to take the place of his departed wife. The lady was surprised at this unusual request. She was an ordinary human being. How could she be the consort of the divine ? But she was afraid to offend the Lord. So she gave her consent.
Mahadev told her that he was a very careless type of god who depended on the poorest food, dress and vehicle, and as his consort the lady too would be expected to lead a similar life. She was to tonsure her head, put on rags and a coat of black soot on her face and follow him on the back of a donkey. It was agreed that the Lord would come at noon to take the lady with him.
The news of the arrival of Mahadev soon spread around the town and hundreds flocked to witness this curious event. At the right moment, Mahadev appeared. It was now time for the lady to start in the company of her husband. Just at that moment, Amvada withdrew his magic and stood before everybody in his own form. It was a severe joke for the lady who took it bitterly, but it became the source of great fun for the people who had assembled to witness the event.
Amvada informed the lady that the sun was now on his side. He challenged her afresh to the game of balls. There were sharp exchanges between the two after which the game started, and, as was expected, the lady suffered defeat. Amvada, however, did her the favor of taking her as his wife. This was no small gain for him, since Chandravati was no ordinary lady but a great Yogini herself, from whom Amvada acquired four magical powers, viz., flying in the air (Akashgamini), knowledge of other’s thoughts (Chintitgamini), changing one’s guise (Swarup Paravartini), and casting a spell of attraction (Akarsini).
Now, in the company of his wife, Chandravati, Amvada returned. Soon he was in the presence of Gorakh Yogini, at whose feet he placed, to the great joy of the powerful lady, the fruits of the Satasarkara tree. Thus Amvada fulfilled the first order.
Gorakh Yogini now ordered Amvada to fetch her Andharika, the daughter of a Yogi named Kamalkanchan, who lived in the Isle of Harichhatra in the south seas.
Amvada started in that direction through the sky and soon landed in a park on the island. He was then thinking how to find the Yogi. Just then, a man coming in that direction addressed him by name. Amvada was surprised, but his surprise increased when he was told that the man was the Yogi himself, whom he was looking for. When Amvada reached his cottage, he saw the girl Andharika for whom he had come all the way. The girl was sobbing. When her father inquired about the cause of her distress, she said: “Father, this man in your company is a rogue. He has come here to carry me away.” The father consoled the poor girl: “No one can take you so long as I am here.” Then taking Amvada outside the cottage, the Yogi said: “Are you coming from Gorakh Yogini ?” “Yes,” replied Amvada.
The Yogi had two wives, Kagi and Nagi, who lived at a separate house. Amvada was sent to them with an escort. They received him and offered him good food.. Then as he lay to take rest, the ladies changed him into a rooster, themselves turned into two cats, and started teasing the rooster. The rooster felt highly distressed against two adversaries. Just then, the Yogi returned and, addressing the rooster, he said: “You have come, Oh rogue, to rob us of our daughter. You are rightly served.”
For many days, Amvada remained in that state, after which the Yogi requested his wives one day to drive the rooster out into the forest. This was immediately done. The rooster was now at least free from the two cats and was safe in the forest.
One day, it felt thirsty and drank water from a lake. As soon as he had done it, the spell was gone, and Amvada was his own self again.
One day, while roaming in the forest, he heard a woman crying. Moving in that direction, he saw a lady in distress. On being asked by Amvada, the lady gave the following account about herself:
“I am the daughter of king Hans of Rolagpur. My name is Rajhansi. When I reached my youth, my father invited prince Harishchandra to receive me as his wife. Everything was moving according to the schedule. Only the last ritual remained to be performed and I was sent for. I came in my best of dresses, which, among others, contained a blouse from the sun. Suddenly, out of greed for that exceptional blouse, there came a rogue and picked me up to the sky. He applied full force to get the blouse from me but he failed. So he dropped me in this forest and disappeared. I am now helpless, and even the memory of the incident still haunts me and causes me the greatest of agony. I do not know, the rogue may appear at any moment and make me still more miserable.”
“But, fair lady, tell me first how did you get the blouse from the sun,” asked Amvada.
“Well, I had my training under the scholar lady Saraswati. I used to stay with her along with seven other girls from noble families. One night, at very late hours, when all of us were supposed to be fast asleep, the scholar lady invoked the 64 Yoginis and sought from them the fructification of her own learning. They agreed to help her in exchange for suitable human offerings. The lady then pointed to us and promised them to sacrifice us for their propitiation on the next auspicious day.
Sir, I got frightened and apprised my fellow students with the situation. I suggested that the matter must at once be reported to the king, and, on our own part, we must be forearmed with solar power by propitiating the sun-god, so that we would at least not readily succumb but put up a resistance and save ourselves. When my friends approved my proposal, we went to the king. He offered to move at once, but I persuaded him to go slow, and meet the situation with great tact. When I revealed my own plans, the king approved.
We started propitiating the sun-god from that day and were soon successful. The god bestowed on me this magic blouse and on my seven friends seven lozenges (medicated drops). At the appointed hour, I was advised to put on the blouse, and my friends were to put a lozenge mouth, and we were assured by the sun-god, that would be enough not only to baffle the wicked lady in her evil designs, but even to put an end to her earthly life. The scholar lady did not have even an inkling of suspicion about our solar power acquired of late. Days passed.
One day, the lady told us about an imminent danger to ourselves, to avert which she not only offered to help us, but advised us to be in her room at midday on Sunday when, she promised, she would do the needful to protect us.
On the appointed day, we all assembled in her room, fully prepared for any eventuality. The lady drew eight circles on the ground and seated on of us in each. Then a very elaborate ritual was instituted, at the end of which the lady went to another room to have a change of Sari given to her by the 63 Yoginis. I took this opportunity to put on the blouse, and my friends placed a lozenge mouth. As the lady now returned, eight of us jumped up and took out the Sari from her body. The lady at once fell dead on the ground. Sir, that magic blouse is still with me.”
Amvada now assured the lady of his full protection and convinced her of his great ability to do so. This was not only a great solace for the lady but also an opportunity for her to court a right mate. She made the proposal and Amvada accepted it. They were now leading a very happy life in the company of each other.
One day, it so happened that the lady had taken the fruits of an unknown tree and changed into an ass. The ass came to Amvada braying. He at once arranged to fetch water from the lake that had once restored him to his own form and sprinkled it. The lady was all right very soon. The lady then pointed out the tree whose fruits were so powerful to effect the metamorphosis, and saw herself the lake whose water had restored her to her own form. Amvada now inquired of the Sari but the lady informed him that it was still at her parental home at Rolagpur.
As it was necessary to recover the Sari from that place, the two started for Rolagpur through the sky and were soon in the city park. The king and the queen were happy to see their missing daughter return, and, on being informed by her, they came to the park to receive their daughter’s husband. Amvada was brought to the palace in a grand procession, and the marriage was duly solemnized. Not only was the princess given to him, but also seven of her most intimate playmates. To mark the occasion, the king gave half the kingdom to his son-in-law, and henceforth ordinary man Amvada changed into king Amvada.
The eight wives were sent to his home city, but Amvada moved out himself for the Isle of Harichhatra, since he was yet to pick up and carry away the Yogi’s daughter, Andharika, and to teach the family a good lesson. He took the sky route and was on the island. Then dressed like the Yogi himself, he reached the house, tendered several fruits from the wonderful tree to the two ladies Kagi and Nagi, and asked them to prepare a delicious curry out of them.
As the ladies got busy in the kitchen, Amvada now dressed as Kagi saw the Yogi in his cottage and invited him to taste a wonderful curry at once. The Yogi went home. Andharika was now alone, and it was no difficult job for Amvada to carry her away. The girl shouted bitterly for some time, but what more could she do now ? Amvada proceeded straight to Gorakh Yogini’s and entrusted the girl to her.
Thus Amvada fulfilled the second order of the Yogini.
Gorakh Yogini now ordered Amvada to fetch her a gem necklace from the iron safe of king Somachandra of the Isle of Singhala.
Equipped with prowess, good luck and ambition, Amvada started for the Isle of Singhala. He reached a park there and started devising plans to enter into the palace. Suddenly his eyes fell on a lady who carried a fully blossomed garden on her head. Seeing this exceptional lady, Amvada took her to be princess Chandrayasa herself. So he addressed her by the name. The lady turned at once and said: “Sir, I am not the princess, but her playmate Rajaldevi. My father Birochan is the chief minister here. But you seem to be a stranger.”
In any case, Amvada wanted to put the lady to his use. He said: “Fair lady ! If you excuse my inquisitiveness, what’s that garden-like umbrella on your head?” At this, the lady gave the following account:
“Sir, once I had come to the park in the company of the princess, when both of us got frightened at the sight of an old lady. But the lady moved to us and inquired where we were going. I offered myself to be at her service. At this, the old lady was highly pleased and suggested that if we so desired, she could arrange for us an interview with Mahadev, the great god of destruction. I told the lady that the Lord must be far off and that it would be no easy matter for us to appear in his presence. At this, the lady informed us that she was the Lord’s maid, that the Lord was at that moment at the headquarters, the Kailash mountain, in the company of his consort, Parvatidevi, and that if we so desired she could arrange to take us there.
We agreed and soon we were on the top of the Kailash mountain, and then in the presence of the Lord and the Lady. But we had our own doubts if it was a magic or reality, which was soon dispelled by our guide. The lady then formally introduced us to the Lord and the Lady. They were pleased. The Lord then placed a necklace on the princess neck and bestowed a tortoise-headed rod on me. We were told that the necklace was capable of making the wearer to appear in any guise he or she liked, and that the rod was a sure protection against all enemies and ailments.
But Sir, we were not appeased with these gifts, and I prayed for something that would everyday take us to the presence of the Lord. This request pleased the Lord immensely, and he pointed to an herb named Tridanda bidding us to take some of it. This, we were told, would help to carry us to the presence of the Lord whenever we would desire. We bowed again, and the old lady helped us to be restored to our earthly home. We planted the herb in our courtyard, and everyday we pulled it out to appear in the presence of the Lord and everyday we planted it back.”
But Amvada’s query about the garden was not yet answered. So the lady had to start again. “As we used to go to the Kailash everyday, the sun-god observed us. One day, he could not check the curiosity and asked who we were and where did we go so regularly. When we gave him the full account, he was pleased at our devotion to the Lord. It is he, Sir, who was gracious enough to bestow on the princess a costly ornament and on me this lovely garden. The ornament is so full of luster that it wipes out all darkness. We worship the Lord everyday and spend our time in great happiness.”
Amvada now entered the city. He had to get the necklace from the king’s safe. He now reached the crowded part of the city and installed himself on the pavement as a player of a musical instrument. He took no time to attract a crowd around himself. Everybody admired his wonderful performance. Gradually, the solo music changed into a full way-side open-air opera which was thrown open for participation by the members of the public. The whole city flocked there by and by, and even princess Chandrayasa and her friend Rajaldevi did not fail to turn up.
Rajaldevi soon joined the members of the public, to the great surprise of the princess and disgust of her own parents. A lady of a noble family was not expected to dance in public. The princess tried to dissuade her but failed. At last, Rajaldevi’s father, the minister, reported the matter to the king: “Sire, this seems to be a rogue. He has enticed our girl. Something should be done at once.” When the king heard this, he was very much surprised. He himself appeared on the scene.
Music, poetry and dance are enchanting in themselves, and above all in their skilled presentation. People were deeply absorbed. The presence of the king added dignity to the whole show. Amvada raised his art to the highest pitch, and at the point of climax, he brought its abrupt termination. The king too was very pleased and was keen to bestow gifts on the organizer and leader of the opera, but Amvada humbly declined. That day, the only topic of the town was the grand performance at the way-side opera.
In the afternoon, when Rajaldevi met her friend, the princess made inquiries about the principal actor for whom she had danced in the morning. She reported about the man as far as she herself knew, adding in the end that she was intent on marrying with him. Now, the princess herself started changing her opinion about the man, and expressed a desire to her friend to receive him in her own chamber that very night, if she could arrange such a meeting. Rajaldevi consented to convey the princess’ desire to the man.
At midnight, Amvada was with the princess in her chamber. They talked with great intimacy. But an intelligent man never places his cards before another. Amvada too didn’t. While taking leave, he gave her a duly prepared betel leaf for her chewing.
This betel leaf contained powder of the wonderful fruit, and in the morning everybody saw a donkey moving in the princess’ chamber. There was no trace of the princess. The matter was reported to the king and it spread like wildfire all over the city. Everybody was unhappy. Great physicians were called in, but they could do nothing. Then an announcement went round promising a huge cash reward to whosoever restored the princess.
It was repeated a second time, with a promised reward of half the kingdom. Amvada now changed himself into a Yogi and responded to it. He was brought to the princess chamber where he propitiated the goddess for three days. On the fourth day, the princess was restored to her normal shape. All were now unanimous that this was a very uncommon Yogi. The king gave him a share in his realm and of course the hand of the princess. Needless to add, Rajaldevi too married him. It was not difficult for Amvada now to get the necklace. With the coveted staff, he proceeded straight to Gorakh Yogini and placed it at her feet.
Thus Amvada fulfilled the third order.
Now, Gorakh Yogini ordered Amvada to fetch her the Goddess of Wealth and the monkey from the house of a seafaring merchant in the city of Navalaksa.
Amvada started. On the way, he saw a beautiful park named Sugandh where spring reigned throughout the year. The king stood enjoying its everlasting beauty. Suddenly, he saw a beautiful maiden emerging out of a Bakula tree. He at once started pursuing her, but before he could reach near her, at the pace of a lightning, she walked through a lake and soon disappeared. Amvada could find no trace of her.
The truly ambitious do not sit at rest till the realization of their ambition. Amvada did not move away from the Bakula tree. A few days passed. One day, a stranger came to him with the offer of a fruit, and invited him to meet a lady. The stranger then gave the following account about the lady’s background:
“In the city of Agnikundpur, there reigned a king named Devaditya. He had several queens and many children. One day, one of the queens invited the king to dinner. The lady had very evil designs, and, after dinner she uttered a few enchanted words and changed the king into a parrot. The news of the king’s misfortune soon spread all over the town, and everybody felt very unhappy, since Devaditya happened to be a popular ruler. But what could be done now ? The wicked queen was sent into exile and the first queen Lilavati took charge of the parrot.
Although all arrangements were made to make the parrot’s life comfortable, this could impart no ease to the king in the form of a bird. One day, the bird expressed a desire to court self-immolation by entering into the fire rather than live in an animal form; but, as chance would have it, Acharya Kulchandra arrived in the city just at that time. At the request of all, he took the case in his own hands, assuring everybody that he would restore the king to his original form within the next few days. The Acharya took no more than a week to achieve this miracle. The king, already disenchanted of the mundane life, was now determined to give it up. He abdicated in favor of his son, and followed in the footsteps of the holy man. The queen too joined the holy order of the nuns.
Within a few months after her initiation, the queen, now a nun, was about to give birth to a child. The king, now a Muni, was shocked, since this would besmirch them both in public eyes. The queen humbly said that she was already pregnant at the time of her initiation, but she suppressed it then, lest this should delay her joining the holy order. The queen-nun gave birth to a daughter and died soon thereafter. The king-Muni had now to mother the poor girl. That girl is Amaravati whom you saw. Sir, believe me, the girl is the very embodiment of grace and beauty.
One day, as she was roaming in the forest, the God of Wealth, who was flying overhead, was attracted by her grace. He came down to her and made an offer of three exceptional gems, one of which is capable of preventing the turbulence of the sea, another the turbulence of the wind, and the third one is capable of protecting against all evil spirits. Extremely intelligent as she is, she accepted the offer with thanks, but as to the proposal regarding their marriage, she skillfully sidetracked it by saying that there should be a fraternal tie between the two. What could the god do but to accept her request ? The sister now requested her brother to equip her with powers that would make her invincible in all situations. To oblige her, the god at once created a vast lake and a costly mansion therein for her to stay. When the king-Muni inquired about his daughter’s future, the god told him that she would be married to Amvada, the man of ambition, and that the girl would herself find him out.”
Amvada felt highly elated at the account given by the stranger. An invitation from such an exceptional lady, who was marked for him, to see her at her own residence ! Amvada reached her mansion and was with the lady herself. It was indeed a happy meeting.
Now, Amvada was anxious to meet the king-Muni and he started at once. At her bidding, a valet accompanied him, leading him through the lake and the forest. Amvada walked behind him. But no sooner had the two covered a short distance than a giant fish swallowed up Amvada. The fish, in turn, was picked up by a crane who held the fish in its beak. In this state, the crane was picked up by a hawk who flew away in the sky. When the valet turned back to see if Amvada was following, he did not see him there, and no clue to his disappearance could he find. He came back and reported the matter to the girl. She was very sorry but didn’t know what to do in the situation.
Being tired of the weight it was carrying, the hawk sat on a tree. A hunter saw the hawk and hit it with an arrow. As the hawk dropped down, the crane was liberated from its claws, and the fish slipped from the crane’s beak. When the hunter pierced the fish, he found a man in its belly. The man had lost consciousness but was not dead. The hunter nursed him carefully and restored him to life. He brought him to his home which was in the city of Navalaksa. Here he stayed for a few days to convalesce. Amvada’s life was now about to take a turn.
At night, as everybody lay asleep, Amvada woke up at the sound of someone going out. It was the hunter’s daughter. Amvada silently followed her. On the way, a Kshatriya girl, a Vaishya girl and a Brahmin girl joined with her. The four then reached the central place in the city. The four were bound for the residence of the seafaring merchant.
At the suggestion of the hunter’s daughter, all the four changed themselves into she-goats. At this Amvada became a he-goat and chased after the four. The she-goats got terrified at this, gave up the idea of going further and returned home. That night’s adventure thus ended in nothing. When they met in the morning, the question that was uppermost in their mind was about the goat’s identity, and the reason of its chasing them last night.
During the following night, they started again in the same manner, and even today the he-goat was there. By his magical powers, Amvada fixed all the four she-goats so that they could no longer move. This humbled the four at once, who now begged pitifully for their release. The he-goat told them that they would be released on condition that they rendered him a service, which was to arrange a meeting for him with the merchant’s daughter Rupini. To this they agreed and earned their release. Now, the five reached the merchant’s house.
The house was a beautiful mansion encircled by a deep ditch full of water to protect it. There was also a standing guard of five hundred strong. Seated near the Goddess of Wealth, Rupini herself was playing with a monkey. Just then the four girls stepped in with the goat in their company. Rupini inquired who it was and why it had been brought.
One of the ladies requested her to direct the inquiry to the goat himself. Amvada now stood in his own form and informed the ladies how powerful he was because of magical powers and how the whole world lay at his feet. These were not mere words of a brag and the ladies were impressed by his manliness. Amvada now demanded of Rupini the goddess and the monkey, at which she gave the following account regarding the acquisition of the two:
“Once I had propitiated Indra, who gave me this wonderful monkey. Not only does the monkey give me precious gems everyday, but my own luck and life are very intimately linked up with him. The moment the monkey is separated from me, I die. So, Sir, you cannot have the monkey without having me, too.”
Amvada was prepared to accept her and to do so at once. But, as it turned out, there were several hurdles to be overcome before this union could be solemnized. As the lady revealed, the man must first acquire a special power called “Aja-vidya”, and then he must marry princess Virmati, daughter of king Malayachandra, and then alone could he marry her.
Being a very ambitious man, to whom nothing was impossible, Amvada started at once and acquired “Aja-vidya”. His next task was to clear the way leading to the acquisition of the princess. As a first step to that, he turned king Malayachandra himself into a goat as he was out for a ride on horseback. This was a great disaster for the kingdom. When all efforts to restore the king failed, the minister ordered a closure of the city gates.
Now, by his powers, Amvada created a huge army consisting of infantrymen, cavalrymen, and elephant-men and seized the city. There was hardly any resistance in the absence of the king, and the city gates had to be thrown open at the order of the invading army. Amvada said that the restoration of the king might not be very difficult provided he was promised the hand of the princess.
This was too small a demand to which all agreed at once. The king was restored to his original form to the joy of everybody and Amvada won the princess with such ease. This cleared the way for his getting Rupini and the monkey, and the four ladies too. With all these latest acquisitions, he hastened to the Sugandh park where Amaravati was passing her days in the deepest distress ever since his mysterious disappearance. He had occasion now to meet his father-in-law, the king-Muni, and earn his sincere and warm blessings. Needless to add, among all his wives, Amvada named Amaravati as number one.
With the Goddess of Wealth and the monkey in his possession, Amvada now reached Gorakh Yogini and presented these to her. Thus he fulfilled the fourth order.
Gorakh Yogini now ordered Amvada to fetch for her the Ravi-Chandra lamp from the house of Birochan, chief minister to king Devchandra of Devpattana in Saurashtra.
Amvada started in the direction of Devpattana. On the way, he saw a Brahmin, who had just returned from that city and was on his way to a certain princess Rohini of Singhpur in the north, near the Mahadruga hills. This lady was in possession of a power to enter into other’s body and the Brahmin wanted to acquire it from her. Amvada asked how he expected to get it from her unless he had something to give her in return. The Brahmin said that he was in possession of a power to hypnotize, and this he was prepared to give to the princess.
Amvada now felt tempted to acquire the power from the Brahmin. So he told the Brahmin that he too was in possession of a power that would give one command of a non-ending affluence. Nothing could be more tempting than the acquisition of a wealthy status in life. The Brahmin was thus easily caught in the snare and parted with his power.
Amvada now changed his destination and in the company of the Brahmin started for Singhpur. Having reached its outskirts, he suggested to the Brahmin that the two should enter into the city not together, but separately.
Amvada now changed himself into a holy woman and planted herself at a central place in the city. Soon she attracted many around her. He made use of the newly acquired power to hypnotize to ensnare all the callers-on. So ran the story throughout the town that the holy woman was capable of forecasting if a man/woman’s wishes would be fulfilled or not. Even the Brahmin came for consultation. The holy woman told the Brahmin in most unmistakable terms that he would never get the power from the princess and that his coming there was wholly useless.
The story of this great woman soon reached the ears of princess Rohini, who at once sent for her. This was the chance the lady was keenly waiting for, and she lost no time to appear before her. The princess received her with due respect and offered her a throne to sit on. Then she placed before the lady many delicacies. The lady declined them all, telling the princess that penance was now her only food. When the princess expressed her eagerness to know how the lady was initiated into the holy order so early in her life, she gave the following account of herself:
“My father Sursen was the king of Surapur. When still a child, I lost my mother, and this was the beginning of my misfortunes. I was sent to a school where the eyes of a certain Vidyadhar, Manibhadra, fell on me, and he carried me away to the Vaitadhya hills. There I was given training in certain powers. When I reached my youth, Manibhadra wanted to marry me, but his rival was his own son, Subhadrabeg.
Subhadrabega became a patricide for my sake, and was himself killed by his own brother Kiranbeg, who entered the field as a rival suitor. So you see, my dear princess, two persons lost their lives for my sake, which upset me very much.
One day, I slipped out from the Vidyadhar’s house, and as I was about to jump into a lake to put an end to this very wretched life, somebody held me fast from behind. It was Kiranbeg. I lived with him for some time.
One day, I discovered that he was a pervert, and I tried to improve him, but he would not listen. You can see, this gave a major turn to my own life. I joined the order of nuns. I spend my days on the bank of the Ganga. At this moment, I am on a pilgrimage, which has brought me to this city.”
The princess was impressed and happy. She gave her own account to the lady, adding in the end that since good luck had brought the two together, she would be happy to make a gift of her great power to the lady. The holy woman thus acquired from the princess her power to enter into other’s body.
Astrologers and soothsayers are men to whom people readily open their hearts. Secrets which are kept closely guarded even from the very near and dear ones cease to be so to these men. The princess now felt quite free with the lady and asked about her own future.
The lady shut her eyes for a few moments and then said, “Princess ! A bright future awaits you. The time for the arrival of your suitor is not very far. He will be a great hero, one among a million, a really worthy person, whom only the luckiest of the ladies may hope to get.” “But, holy mother, how shall I recognize him ?” “My daughter ! You will know him when he sends you a flower vest.” The holy woman then took leave and departed.
Amvada now turned his steps towards Devpattana, for which he had started, and soon reached the city. He accepted the hospitality of the gardener, and by virtue of his power to hypnotize, he soon attracted everybody in that household. To establish a lasting link with the family, he even married the gardener’s daughter.
One day, the mother-in-law told him, “My son ! Show us some of your powers.” Next day, as the lady was going to the palace with two flower garlands, Amvada enchanted them with a magic powder and asked her to give these to the king and the minister, and no one else. The lady went.
Amvada then sprayed some magic powder at the city gate, at the palace gate and at the gate of the minister’s house. Now, all started quaking severely. Some openly forecast from the rumblings that the city would go underground. Terrified, people rushed to the king. As the king was about to say something, he and his chief minister both fell unconscious to the ground.
That started a panic in the town. Doctors were called to attend the king and the minister, but they could not be cured. On the second day, they regained consciousness no doubt, but began yelling like jackals. On the third day, they were dancing stark naked and talking irrelevant things. On the fourth day, they were rolling in the mud, dust and ashes and hurling themselves on the bystanders. On the fifth day, the king was dancing and the minister was playing on an instrument. On the sixth day, both started crying bitterly.
On the seventh day, Amvada inquired from the gardener about the prevailing turmoil and confusion in the city. The gardener’s wife smiled. Soon it became known in the town that all this was the doing of a holy man living at the moment in the gardener’s house. So all flocked in there and requested Amvada to withhold his charm, which he agreed to do on the promise of a suitable reward.
Amvada sought half the kingdom, the princess and the Ravi-Chandra lamp from the house of the minister. The demand was heavy, and in the absence of authority, the people were hesitant to commit. But Amvada refused to do anything to save the city until the reward of things asked for was duly committed. So they reluctantly agreed. Amvada then performed certain ceremonies and soon everything was all right. Amvada’s objective was attained. He not only won half the kingdom and the lamp, but also the hands of three ladies, the princess, the minister’s daughter, and, of course, the gardener’s daughter.
Now, Amvada started for Singhpur. On the way, he heard a piteous lamentation and discovered a young lady with a dead child on her shoulders. He obtained the following account from the lady:
“I am the daughter of a gardener. I am married in this city, and got a son. But my son died during my absence from home, and I could not have a talk with him during his last moments. It is this that upsets me and now I have decided to end my life by entering into a blazing pyre with this dead child.”
Amvada tried to console her, dilating at length on the transitoriness of life and uncertainty of human existence, but the lady would take nothing. “Tell me, Sire, don’t I have a genuine cause to be aggrieved?” she said very bitterly. “I could not talk with him during his last moments.” Amvada told her that a dead person could not be restored to life, and inquired if she would feel consoled and happy if the boy could be revived for some time to give the woman a chance to talk with him. She said, “Yes.” This was not difficult for him to arrange with his power to enter into other’s body. The dead child now said: “Mummy! Why do you weep so much ? It is my Karma that gave me a short span of life, and we are helpless before it. Please be calm and don’t bewail my loss.” The child was dead again.
Amvada still remembered the forecast he had made as a holy woman to Rohini to the effect that her man was about to come, and that he would send her a vest made of flowers. He now requested the gardener’s daughter to prepare for him a flower vest and carry it to the princess. This she gladly did for her benefactor. Amvada was a lucky man. He was married with the princess by her own brother.
It was now time for him to return with all his wives, and more particularly with the Ravi-Chandra lamp, which was his assignment for this mission. Soon he was in the presence of Gorakh Yogini, to whom he presented the lamp. The Yogini was highly pleased and blessed him.
Thus Amvada fulfilled the fifth order, his luck favoring him all through, but more than that, his own ambition, bravery, and exertions.
Repeated success fires ambition. And this was so in Amvada’s case. The Yogini now gave him the assignment to fetch her the rod that fulfilled all desires. The rod, she told him, was in the possession of a versatile Brahmin named Someshvar who lived in the city of Kodinna at the foot of the Sindhu mountain in the land of Sauvira.
Amvada started in that direction. On the way, he saw a river, on whose surface he saw a hut floating, which had a thatch of banana leaves. He observed it very closely and saw a Yogi behind the hut. Inside the hut stood a she-deer whose body was shining like anything. The Yogi was seen fanning the animal. It looked very unusual, and Amvada thought of detecting the mystery behind the whole thing. He first fixed the hut on the river, and then lifted himself up in the sky and swooped down on the Yogi. When the Yogi tried to resist, he threw the Yogi up in the sky. The fellow dropped dead on the ground.
Amvada now brought the hut to the river bank and checked all its belongings. The animal was tied with a golden chain. There lay on the hut floor a golden image, a pair of earrings and two very solid canes, one red and the other white. Amvada did not know what to make of the whole situation. But to make an start, he picked up one of the canes and started beating the animal, and, lo and behold, the deer changed into a beautiful princess.
Giving her own account, the princess told him that she was the daughter of king Birsingh of Bhojakatakain Bangadesh, that her own name was Ratnavati, that one day when she was out on horseback to fetch mercury from a certain well the horse took her in a wrong direction, and she was in a dense forest. “There, sir, I fell in the hands of a Yogi,” the princess continued, “and the Yogi liked me and I could manage to escape.”
The lady continued: “But the fellow did not give me up. He came to my father’s court one day and right there erected a pole of a luxuriant banana tree. He then invited the king to pierce it. As the king did so with his sword, a fine lady came out of it. The king then inquired if this was a real person, or just magic. The Yogi assured the king that this was a real person, a lady in flesh and blood, as living as any other, named Ratnamala, the daughter of a Vidyadhar named Manibeg.
He further told the king that the lady had been brought there for him and that she would be his provided the king agreed to help him. The king considered it to be a nice bargain and agreed at once without giving the proposal any consideration.
The Yogi then said: “Sir ! On the eighth day of the fortnight, a special propitiation of mine will reach its fruition. You have to join with me on that day with the princess on the bank of the Suparna and see through its finale.” The king agreed and the Yogi departed.
But the minister was unhappy about the arrangement, and on the appointed day, he advised the king at least not to take me in his company. The king too regretted now for the consent he had given in a hurry and without sufficient consideration. As the two were discussing, the Yogi appeared at the court to take us both with him. When the king requested him to spare me, the Yogi refused to do so, telling my father that my presence was particularly required for his purpose, and that if the king would fail to honor his words, then a mighty calamity would befall on him.
“So, Sir, I started in the company of my father, and we were on the bank of the Suparna. The Yogi was with us to make sure that no one dropped out. On the way, he picked up two canes, one red and the other white, from the forest. Then we entered into a cave with him, there was blazing a sacrificial fire. The Yogi sat propitiating his deity with various offering in the fire. It appeared to us now that we were wholly lost in his hands and there was no escape.
After some time, he took me into the cottage and beat me with the cane which changed me into a golden deer. Then he returned to the fire, gave three sweet balls in my father’s hands and asked him to consecrate them in the fire desiring at the same time the fruition of his propitiation. My father did as he was asked to do. Soon the Yogi dashed him into the fire and changed him into the golden image, which you yourself saw in the hut.”
As the lady forgot to throw light on the earrings, Amvada asked about them, to which the lady made the following revelation: “These had been acquired by the Yogi himself from the goddess. They are very exceptional things, Sir, and when thrown in the sky, one is capable of shining like the moon for a whole year, and the other like the sun for a full two years.”
With all the secrets acquired from the lady, Amvada now revealed his own identity. The princess was happy to be in the company of such a worthy person. The two got married on the spot. The lady then expressed a desire to return to her own city, where her brother, Samarsingh, who had really no information about them, was in charge of the administration in the absence of his father. This was a good idea of which Amvada approved and the two started at once.
As they reached the city, they found it seized by enemies, as it usually happened in the absence of the king. Amvada was, however, more than a match for the whole army. He challenged it and made it flee. In the city, the two were received by Samarsingh, who got full report about her companion and savior of the city from his own sister. A fitting reception was arranged for the couple.
But these unforeseen adventures had so long kept Amvada away from his own mission, which he was now anxious to fulfill. So without telling anybody, one night he just disappeared and took the sky route. Soon he was in the city of Kodinna.
When he made inquiries about the Brahmin, he was told by the people of that city that there were at least twenty-one Brahmins in that city bearing the same name and having similar versatility. Amvada was confused. He must have the right man in order to have the all-bestowing rod. He took shelter in nearby temple to spend the night there. He did not sleep in the new place, but just lay waiting until sunrise.
At night, he heard the footsteps of somebody approaching the temple and soon he saw it was a lady, who slowly approached near a stone image in the temple. The image, the figure of a woman, expressed great anger at the lady’s delayed arrival, and the lady begged to be forgiven on the plea that this was forced on her by the late return of her father, Someshvar, from the king’s palace. This apparently satisfied the image, who now descended from the pedestal and started dancing before the god of love in the company of the lady.
Just at that moment, Amvada made his surprise appearance and asked who they were. The lady was taken a back for a moment. Then, gathering courage, she asked who he himself was. “Well, I am Panchasirsa from the western region.” said Amvada. The lady expressed no more interest in him and went on minding her own business in the company of the image.
After some time, the image asked her companion: “Wouldn’t you like to return now to Vasavdatta’s house?” “A nice idea, indeed,” said the lady, “But, pray, who is to drive our chariot and take us there.” “Why, here is Panchasirsa. He may help us,” said the image.
But Amvada was a very clever man and he would do nothing without striking a suitable bargain. He agreed to take the ladies to wherever they wanted to go, but only for a suitable consideration. The two were no less shrewd than he, and they wanted to enjoy fun at his cost.
Now, Panchasirsa looked around for the bulls, and they were nowhere to be seen. He said: “Where are the yoke animals ?” The two burst out laughing. “With a pair of yoke animals, no one will need you to drive the chariot. Even a child will be as good for the purpose. Well, man, it’s not your business. Come and have a ride with us.”
This was too much of a challenge for a hero of Amvada’s stature. Still he sat on the chariot but fixed it with his power so that it would move no longer. The pride of the two was thus shattered, and they begged to be forgiven, but the man would not budge until the two agreed to share with him the secret of flying a chariot without yoke animals. Well, as there was no alternative to break the impasse, they did oblige the man, and the chariot, with the three passengers on, was now rushing through the air. Soon they were with Vasavdatta, who was pleased to receive her friends and entertain them with offers. Amvada was introduced to her as the new chariot-driver.
The four then visited another of the ladies friends, one Nagshri, who cordially received them. As the four ladies were in the midst of merry-making, Amvada thought of playing mischief. He offered them betel leaves containing magic powder for their chewing. As they gladly put the stuff in their mouth, they all changed into deer. Amvada now picked up the deer that was Chandrakanta and returned to her city. The deer soon found her own home, Amvada following at a safe distance. Thus he got the clue as to where exactly the all-bestowing rod could be.
When the Brahmin came to know of his daughter’s plight, he became very sorry. The matter was brought to the notice of the king, who left at once to see the deer with his own eyes. On the way, his eyes fell on a man who was driving a chariot that had no yoke animals. The king took him to be an exceptional man with the gift of divine powers. He inquired if he was a Dev or a Vidyadhar, to which the man replied that he was the latter. The king then apprised him of his difficulties, but the man responded that though capable of ridding him of the situation, he was not particularly inclined to get involved in such earthly matters.
The two now reached the Brahmin’s house and the deer was brought there. The man made a careful observation and said: “It’s a tough job, Sir. I have to apply a good many of my powers to cure her. But then what about my reward ?” Reward was no consideration in such a difficult situation when the specialist was free to quote any fee. The man asked for the all-bestowing rod and the king agreed. Chandrakanta was soon restored to her own form. At Chandrakanta’s earnest request, the man went to the nether world where her three friends were still roaming in the same animal form. They too were rescued from that miserable state. Everybody was happy, and Amvada’s mission was fulfilled.
With the all-bestowing rod, he was soon before the Yogini, who was very happy to receive it. She blessed the hero profusely for the effective fulfillment of the mission.
Thus Amvada fulfilled the sixth order of the Yogini.
Gorakh Yogini’s seventh and final order for Amvada was to fetch her the velvet from the crown of king Chandishwar of the city of Soparak in the southern region.
With the Yogini’s blessings, he started for the south, and having passed through many villages and towns, he reached a park named Devbrahma in the outskirts of the city. It was a beautiful park full of many trees profusely bearing fruits and flowers. He was particularly attracted by the smell of a juicy fruit and stood beneath the tree. As he was about to extend his hands, a monkey, who was perched on a branch, said: “Sir ! Listen to me first, before you touch the fruit; otherwise you will be deformed.” Amvada stopped. The monkey continued: “To the south of this park, there’s a hill, Tungagiri, on which there is a mango tree. Bring a fruit from that tree, and then you are free to touch the fruits of this.”
Amvada was surprised. What could be special about that mango tree ? What’s the relation between that tree and this ? If there be any, why so ? In any case he went there. As he was about to pluck a fruit, the branches of the tree shot up towards the sky. But Amvada was undaunted. He jumped up and was on the tree itself. At this, the tree got uprooted and started floating in the air, with Amvada enjoying the landscape that was spread beneath. The tree soon reached the Nandanvan and stopped therein. Amvada now alighted from the tree.
As he looked around, he saw a channel with flames emerging from it. Many beautiful men and women in wonderful dresses and jewelry were coming and going out, or moving to and fro. Musical instruments were playing soft music. As he was enjoying the scene, a divine person came and stood beside him. Said he: “Hello, sir, how was the ride on the mango tree ?” Amvada was startled, but in a moment, he composed himself and retorted: “Who was the monkey ? Why is this fire ? Why is this drama ?”
The Dev now started his delineation. “I am Hans, ruler of Lakshmipur in the nether world. It is I who had placed the monkey on the tree and improvised the mango tree to bring you here. This was an assignment to me from the Vidyadhars, and there’s a purpose behind the whole thing. King Sivakar of the city of Sivankar did not have a son. He propitiated all means for it, but to no effect. Then a Muni named Vishvadvipa gave him a fruit to be shared by the king with the queen.
But the king acted foolishly and took the whole fruit himself. Soon he developed all signs of pregnancy. This was a great shame. He stopped appearing at the court and canceled all public engagements. But the matter could not be suppressed and the report spread like wildfire throughout the town. No one had now any doubt that the king would meet with a premature end.
From the seventh month since conception, the king started having false pain, and it was terrible and unbearable. The king had no rest even for a moment. The Vidyadhars then held a meeting, at which one suggestion was that Dev Dharanendra should be propitiated; but the question was, who was to do it for the king ? At last, the king’s brother Sivasankar offered to do this which was approved by everybody.
The propitiation started on an auspicious day, and the Dev made his appearance on the seventh day. Necessary submission was made on behalf of the king. Dharanendra at once brought some allusion water from the temple of Lord Parshwanath and prescribed its use by the king. The water gave him relief.
At the right time, a son was born to the king without causing any difficulty, and the king’s long-standing desire for a son was thus fulfilled, but the king died shortly thereafter. Dharanendra himself crowned the newborn boy as king and named him Dharanendra Chudamani after himself. It is for his sake that the Dev created the nether world, and the way there is through this fire.
In this new world created by him, Sir, Dharanendra has provided all facilities for its residents. There’s also a temple dedicated to Lord Parshwanath, who is worshipped by the devotees and propitiated for the removal of evils. Such is the commandment of the founder that all Vidyadhars who are sixteen or above must compulsorily pay homage to the Lord at least on the four prescribed days in the month, failing which they would not only be deprived of their Vidyas but may even turn into lepers. Today, Sir, it’s one of the prescribed days, and you see so many Vidyadhars, men and women, around the fire.”
The Vidyadhar stopped at this point, but his account didn’t reveal the purpose for which Amvada had been brought here. So when the point was raised, the Vidyadhar started again. “Sir, it has been very unfortunate that on one of the auspicious days, the king himself violated the commandment by mistake, and thus he has not only forfeited his powers, but is also suffering from a virulent type of leprosy. The Dev was propitiated again but he is in a violent rage and would not pacify. The queen herself is on an indefinite fast and has already fasted for twenty-one days. The Dev now appears to have mellowed down a little. He appeared to the queen in a dream. It is at his suggestion that you have been brought here to save the king. It is from the Dev again that we came to know of your arrival at the Devbrahma park at this time.”
The Vidyadhar now brought Amvada to Lakshmipur, and, needless to add, the king was cured of his leprosy. This became an occasion of great rejoicing in the city. The hero was duly honored by the king and the queen. Therefrom Amvada returned to the city of Soparaka, where he had yet to fulfill his mission. It was spring season, and he saw princess Sursundari in the park. He sat down dressed like a Muni and applied his hypnotic powers to attract the princess towards him. When she came and sat down, the Muni started narrating his experience in diverse lands, Banga, Kaling, and many others, and at one moment, as the princess was wholly absorbed, he gave her a pinch of enchanted ashes, which the lady affixed on her forehead.
When the king received the report of the princess meeting an unknown Muni in the park and talking with him for a long time, he felt perturbed. He asked his men to arrest the fellow at once. As they came near him, they were all hypnotized and could do nothing. They sat down with their heads bent low. Even the same thing happened to the police chief. And then came the king, but he too fell a victim of the spell and sat down helpless. Amvada made full use of this chance and took out the velvet from the king’s crown.
Later, at the earnest request of the princess, he withdrew the spell, which he had no reason to continue after his mission had been fulfilled. The princess now married him. With the velvet in his possession, Amvada once more stood before Gorakh Yogini and placed it at her feet.
Thus Amvada, the man of ambition, blessed by his auspicious Karma, fulfilled all the orders of the great Yogini, who now blessed the hero from the bottom of her heart. By dint of his great adventures, Amvada was now a master of several kingdoms, husband of 32 worthy ladies, anyone of whom would be considered a great acquisition, and commander of many powers, charms, and magic, most powerful, most gifted, most worthy, admired by men and Devs alike.
Lack of wealth is not as great a handicap in a man’s life as lack of enterprise, and in the absence of the latter, even the wealthiest of men cannot achieve anything. Amvada started as a poor man. He had neither the support of influential parents, nor the backing of resourceful friends, and yet by dint of his ambition, capacity and endeavor, he attained a status difficult to conceive even in a dream.
Three things in particular helped him: his Karmas, his great exertions, and Gorakh Yogini’s guidance. A man of ambition, Amvada was now known all the world over as a great hero.
Oh king and gentlemen of the court ! I am now nearing my story’s end. The great man of whom I have tendered you a complete account is my own parent. He was so grateful to his inspirer, the Yogini, that he visited her thrice every day to pay homage. In great affection, the Yogini called him Vidyasiddha (perfected in arts). She was so favorably disposed towards my father that she often bestowed on him very exceptional gifts and powers. It is in this way that he came to acquire the great treasure of king Harishchandra which lay hidden beneath her meditation seat. All that I have recounted at this court, Oh king and gentlemen, about this great man is a true account of him obtained firsthand, and there is no concoction, distortion or interpolation by me at any stage.
At the death of the worthy lady, my father became very much depressed. At this time, he met Gandhar Keshi, a Jain spiritual stalwart, and Amvada said to him: “Holy Sir, I have heard that Jainism is powerful and helpful, but does it compare with Shaivism ?” To this the Gandhar gave the following reply: “Oh king ! A little knowledge about anything cannot give you a full view of it. A frog in the well knows nothing of the mighty ocean. So long you have followed only the Shaiva path and you hardly know much about the path of the Jinas. Your acquaintance with it will itself resolve your doubts.”
At my father’s request, the Gandhar obliged him by paying him a visit at his palace. From that day on, everyday, the great scholar developed at length the Jain spiritual theme for the enlightenment of the king. This had a tremendous impact on the king who became inspired and courted equanimity as a first step, and then the twelve vows of a Shravak.
The Gandhar told my father that Lord Mahavir himself was in that region and Amvada paid homage and obeisance to the Lord in the city of Vishala. He said to the Lord: “Bhante ! When shall I be liberated of this mundane life ?” To this the Lord said: “Amvada ! You will become the twenty-second Tirthankar named Devtirthakrit in the next Utsarpini (up-phase) of the time-cycle. Amvada was now on his way to Champa, and the Lord apprised him that in that city there lived a great Shravika Sulsa by name who was very much advanced in equanimity. Amvada had at once a desire to meet the lady of whom even the Lord spoke in so eloquent terms.
Posing as Brahma, he now descended at the eastern gate of the city. All people came to pay homage, but not Sulsa. Next day, he appeared as Shiv at the southern gate, and on the third day as Vishnu at the western gate. Only he failed to attract Sulsa. So Amvada appeared as a Tirthankar and he did it on the fourth day descending at the northern gate of the city and holding a holy congregation there. Sulsa reacted: “It’s all a sham. A Tirthankar who is already liberated would not come down, and there cannot be a twenty-fifth Tirthankar. I am not going to witness this bit of jugglery.”
Now, Amvada came to meet Sulsa, the great Shravika, at her own residence and to congratulate her. He revealed to her how he had very skillfully organized the tests, and how the great lady reacted correctly each time untouched by them. “How true the Lord’s words about you !” he added.
The king then returned to his city and fixed himself in those spiritual activities that would later acquired for him the name Karma to become a Tirthankar. He became a devout Shravak and attracted many others by his example. In the end he fasted until death, as prescribed in the Jain scriptures and earned a life in the celestial regions. All his 32 queens followed in his great footsteps.
Coming to myself, Oh king ! Because of the coming up of the inauspicious Karma, my vast kingdom is now gone, and is in occupation by my enemies. I am a pauper without means even to support myself. In the expectation of getting some of my father’s treasures and throne now hidden under the meditation seat of the Yogini, I went there, when my departed mother descended from her celestial abode and stood in my way. She told me that she and all her co-wives were now engaged in safeguarding the treasure and the throne and that I should not strive to unearth them. She told me frankly that I had no luck for wealth and advised me to depart.
Since, Oh king, my own luck does not help me, I thought it might be reversed if I could win some lucky person on my side. And so I am here to invoke your assistance in the expectation that it would brighten up my own prospects.”
The prospect of a windfall gain allured the king at once, and he came to the spot. As he was about to dig it, a voice was heard from under the ground saying: “Oh king ! This is not meant for you. So desist. It’s all marked for king Vikramaditya of Ujjain.” The matter ended there.
King Vikramsingh returned to his own city, and out of compassion for prince Kuruvak, he sanctioned for him a suitable pension for his support.
Long, long thereafter, Amvada’s treasures and throne were unearthed by Vikramaditya, the great king of Ujjain, who not only started an era after his own name, but became a legendary hero all over India. His name is remembered to this day with great respect and admiration.
A prince, Andharaj, was blind since his birth but he was very generous hearted. He would gave away in charity even his ornaments. The minister of the state was annoyed at such conduct of the prince as it proved very difficult to provide him the new ornaments everyday.
One day, the minister complained to the king: “Your Majesty, wealth is consumed in three ways: giving in charity, enjoyment and destruction. Giving charity is no doubt the best way of consuming the wealth as both the donor and the recipient are benefited. However, it has its own limitations. Excess in anything should be avoided. If the prince continues this flow of charity our royal treasures will be gone in no time.”
The king replied: “Minister, you are right but I do not intend to offend the prince so you may find out some other way to maintain the treasures without offending the prince.”
Keeping this in mind, the minister found a way. He called the prince in seclusion and said: “Dear Prince, I know your fondness for ornaments and so I have taken out for you some old ornaments worn by your forefathers. I would like to give them to you if you would not offer them to the beggars. When you wear these ornaments you will bristle with the glory of the king of kings or a divine prince. But beware, the world is full of selfish people. No sooner they see these ornaments, they will plot in various ways to deprive you of these ornaments. Someone might say: “These ornaments are quite cheap and low. They are made of iron, you should not wear them, but you should disregard their words.”
The prince said: “I agree to your conditions. I shall not part with them in favor of anyone and I shall punish anyone who would speak about them as made of iron. Give them to me for my use.”
Having thus prepared the mind of the blind prince, the minister gave him iron ornaments to wear. The prince was overjoyed and he sat in front of the main entrance of the royal palace. As usual, some of the beggars approached him. With surprise they said, “Prince, how is it that you are wearing iron ornaments today. It does not befit you to wear such ornaments.”
Hearing these remarks the prince picked up his stick and bit the beggars. He said: “You scoundrels, you want to rob me of my ornaments. I am fully aware of that. Get away from here.” The beggars ran off.
Later on, some royal attendants came over and expressed great wonder to find the prince decked with iron ornaments. Out of regard for the prince they said: “Your Honor, these ornaments of iron grant you no glory. We have ample ornaments of gold, then how is it that you chose today to wear iron ones ?” The prince said: “Mind well, I shall take you to task if you condemn my ornaments. I never wore such ornaments prepared by my ancestors.” No sooner did one of the attendants begin to retort than the prince beat him with the stick too. The attendants departed.
Some of the relatives of the prince who approached him to pass their remarks about the ornaments also met with the same fate. The prince paid heed to nobody’s advice.