11th Century Kashmiri (part of northern India) Poet Somdev Bhatt wrote the original spellbinding stories with mystic ends.
The story is about the King Vikramaditya who ruled the Indian Kingdom with the capital at Ujjain.
The King used to get lot of gift in those days!
Once such time, a fruit given by one merchant fell down and a ruby came out.The merchant wanted the King to visit a Banyan tree near a cremation yard.
The merchant said the King will get special occult powers if he can transport the ghost Vetala from one point to another without talking anything. The merchant hidden intention was to rule the Kingdom and kill the King. The Ghost informs the King and he kills the merchant. These stories test the determination of the King. If he speaks out from enthusiasm, the ghost will move back to the tree again.
These stories have been written and re-written in multiple languages across the world. There are comic books and videos available in the Internet.
Who is the husband material?
The story background goes like this. The King Vikramaditya is enticed that he will get occult powers if he could transport a corpse hanging from a tree near the palace grounds. There is a Ghost that is still staying alive in the dead body. The body need to be cremated in the outskirts of the city. The ghost will tell a interesting story with a twist in the end. If the King answers it right, it will go back to the tree. If the King answers it wrong, it will remain on his back to the cremation place. It’s the question of challenge to King’s intellect vs getting the occult powers.
The king always wanted those extra occult powers. So he leaves the palace every night without telling anyone. In those times, the King will leave the palace in disguise to get to know the people’s problems. His ministers and staff may be hiding the happenings in the society to safe guard their livelihood. Or some of them may be secretly planning a take-over of the Kingdom. King has to be on alert all the times!
The merchant has already told the King about the Banyan tree where the ghost resides. The King has to go only after late in the night to avoid been seen by others.
Vikramaditya decided to start that journey that night. It was winter time with lot of rains and gusts making it a perfect night for the ghost hunting. The lightening once in a while gave the sound effects of a thriller movie. With the wind and rains, no one would step outside their house. But the King had this mission.
The king reached the Banyan Tree and found the corpse hanging from the branch. He climbed up and brought down the dead body. The moment he put the body across his shoulder, the ghost started talking. Vikramaditya got startled for a minute. But being the King he has to prove his strength and will-power. The ghost started the story and waited for his response
The ghost asked the King whether he really wanted to do this exercise. You could have relaxed in the cozy comfort of your bed in your palace. The King said I came looking for you!
In another Kingdom, there was a big and beautiful Hindu temple. The head priest and his family stayed nearby to the temple. The head priest has a daughter, Mandravati, beautiful and ready to get married. She used to offer prayers at the temple every day evening. Over few weeks period, three eligible boys saw her and wanted to get married. As in those day, they approached her parents. The parents was not sure how to handle not just one but multiple offers for marriage. The boys were competing among themselves in different ways to get her attention.
The flu season arrived in that country. The daughter got very sick and died suddenly. The family could not handle the loss. After hearing the news, the three boys also came over. Per Hindu traditions, the body was cremated the same day. The family left the place back to their home. One of the boy decided to stay and slept at the same place. The other one took the ashes to be immersed in a holy river in the country. The third one became like a saint and started wandering the country.
During the wandering on the country, the third person heard about the powers of bringing back the head. The residents told him the village head has know the secret and is hidden in a book. The person went to him as a stranger and wanted a place to stay overnight. During the night, he searched for the book and stole it. He came out running and decided to go back to the cremation place with the idea of bring her back to life.
The second person has come back from immersing ash in a river. The three formed a partnership. They decided to use the book and bring the girl back into life. They agreed that the marriage decision will be left to the girl. She can pick whomever she wants.
They recited the spell from the book. Mandravati’s soul came back into human form. The boy’s partnership broke and they started fighting to get her attention. Everyone of them said, she should marry quickly and make the decision fast.
The Ghost, Vetala, asked the King: whom the girl should marry?
Vikramaditya could have pretended silence and take the body to the final place. But this was a challenge to his knowledge as a King. Vikram gave lot of thoughts and analysis to this situation. He said, the person who gave her life back is her creator again. He could be at the father level. So she can’t marry him. The person who took her ashes to the river is like a son to her. The off-springs are suppose to these rituals. So he can’t marry her. But the person, who decided to stay in the ground and slept near her ashes has the true love. He could be suited to be her husband.
Satisfied with the right answer, the ghost flew back to the tree. The King returned back to his palace and decided to do this again on another day.
Matt Ravikumar work as a JDE functional consultant in the ERP sector. His works are available in www.mattravikumar.com and in www.cartooncartons.com. His recent published books are available in Amazon under author search, Matt Ravikumar.