"There is, on the banks of the river Yaa-Mooná, a district assigned to Bráminos, named Brasthala. In it there lived a Brman Agnisvámin, who mastered the Vedas had completely. To him there was born amazingly beautiful daughter Mandáravatí. Indeed, when Providence had created this maiden of novel and priceless beauty, he was disgusted with the nymphs of Heaven, his own previous handiwork.
And when she grew up, there came there from Kányakubja three young Bráhmans, equally matched in all accomplishments. And each one of these demanded the maiden from her father for himself, and would sooner sacrifice his life than allow her to be given to another.
But her father would not give her to any one of them, being afraid that, if he did so, he would cause the death of the others; so the damsel remained unmarried. And those three remained there day and night, with their eyes exclusively fixed on the moon of her countenance, as if they had taken upon themselves a vow to imitate the partridge.
Then the maiden Mandáravatí suddenly contracted a burning fever, which ended in her death. So the young Bráhmans, distracted with grief, carried her when dead, after she had been duly adorned, to the cemetery, and burnt her.
One of them built a hut there and made her ashes his bed, and remained there living on the alms he could get by begging. And the second took her bones and went with them to the Ganges, and the third became an ascetic and went travelling through foreign lands.
As the ascetic was roaming about, he reached a village named Vajraloka. And there he entered as a guest the house of a certain Bráhman. And the Bráhman received him courteously. So he sat down to eat; and in the meanwhile a child there began to cry. When, in spite of all efforts to quiet it, it would not stop, the mistress of the house fell into a passion, and taking it up in her arms, threw it into the blazing fire. The moment the child was thrown in, as its body was soft, it was reduced to ashes.
When the ascetic, who was a guest, saw this, his hair stood on end, and he exclaimed,
“Alas! Alas! I have entered the house of a Bráhman-demon. So I will not eat food here now, for such food would be sin in a visible material shape.”
When he said this, the householder said to him,
“See the power of raising the dead to life inherent in a charm of mine, which is effectual as soon as recited."
When he had said this, he took the book containing the mantra and read it, and threw on to the ashes pinch of dust, over which the mantra had been recited. That made the boy rise up alive, exactly as he was before. Then the mind of the Bráhman ascetic was quieted, and he was able to take his meal there.
And the master of the house put the book up on a bracket, and after taking food, went to bed at night, and so did the ascetic. But when the master of the house was asleep, the ascetic got up timidly, and took the book, with the desire of restoring his beloved to life.
And he left the house with the book, and travelling day and night at last reached the cemetery, where that beloved of his had been burnt. And at that moment he saw the second Bráhman arrive there, who had gone to throw her bones into the river Ganges. And having also found the one who remained in the cemetery sleeping on her ashes, having built a hut over them, he said to the two,
“Remove this hut, in order that by the power of a certain charm I may raise up my beloved alive from her ashes.”
Having earnestly solicited them to do this, and having overturned that hut, the Bráhman ascetic opened the book, and read the charm. And after thus charming some dust, he threw it on the ashes, and that made Mandáravatí rise up alive. And as she had entered the fire, she possessed, when resuscitated, a body that had come out of it more splendid than before, as if made of gold.3
When the three Bráhmans saw her resuscitated in this form, they immediately became love-sick, and quarreled one with others, and each desiring her for himself.
And the first said
“She is my wife, for she was won by the power of my charm.”
The second said
“She belongs to me, for she was produced by the efficacy of sacred bathing-places.”
And the third said
“She is mine, for I preserved her ashes, and resuscitated her by asceticism.”
“Now king, give judgment to decide their dispute - whose wife ought the maiden to be? If you know and do not say, your head shall fly in 1000 of pieces.”
When the king heard this from the Vetála, he said to him,
“The one who restored her to life by a charm, though he endured hardship, must be considered her father, because he performed that office for her, and not her husband;
and he who carried her bones to the Ganges is considered her son;
but he, who out of love lay on her ashes, and so remained in the cemetery embracing her and practising asceticism, he is to be called her husband, for he acted like one in his deep affection.”
When the Vetála heard this from king Trivikramasena, who had broken silence by uttering it, he left his shoulder, and went back invisible to his own place. But the king, who was bent on forwarding the object of the mendicant, made up his mind to fetch him again, for men of firm resolution do not desist from accomplishing a task they have promised to perform, even though they lose their lives in the attempt.
Kalos Art Symbiosis
Art when its exceed its word-form limits