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     The Wisdom of Vidhura Pandita


Once upon a time there was a wise man who was named as Vidhura Pandita. He then became the minister of king Dhananjaya, who had ruled the kingdom of Kuru with Indapatta as his capital. The king was righteous; and so were the other three existing kings which was namely as Sakka- the king of the devas; Varuna- the king of the Naga; and Venateyya-the king of the Supannas or Garuda.

Once on some occasion, all the four kings met in a garden with each other ,where each one of them argued to be the most righteous of them all. So, the quarrel began, which was not set on by them. So, they requested Vidhurapandita, the wisest person of the time to clear up the argument. Vidhura contented all of them by telling that each was equal just like the four supports of a wheel. Satisfied by his opinion, the Naga king offered him a jeweled ornament from his own neck; and the other kings also provided him with some or the other precious gifts.

When the Naga king was returning back to his palace and Vimala, his companion noticed that his necklace was missing she put forward a question on him and asked for an explanation for this. The king then described the whole story and glorify the intelligence of the Kuru minister for having set on the quarrel of the four righteous kings. Fascinated, Vimala desired to meet the minister. She asked the king, “O lord! Bring me the heart of Vidhura if you love me.” She then pretended to be ill.

At the same time the Yakkha General Punnaka was flying over the Naga kingdom on his white winged horse and saw the Naga princess Irandati entertaining herself on a swing ornamented with flowers and singing a melodious song all by herself in the royal garden. No sooner than he looked at her he lost his heart and fell in love with her. So, he came down there and introduced himself to her. The princess, too, was equally in love with him by his looks.

The &Yakkha General Punnaka then went to the Naga king to ask for the Irandati’s hand for their marriage. As the Yakkha were far more powerful than the Naga the Naga king could not reject his proposal out rightly on the ground by saying that the Yakkha and Naga belonged to two different genus. He, therefore, asked for some time for consideration of the proposal. So, on one hand, he did not ignore the love for his daughter, who continue for the marriage; and on the other he did not invite any opposition of his chief. Yet, he was unsure about his decision.

So, for this he seek advice from his minister, who was cunning and jealous of Vidhurapandita's  wide-popularity. The minister advised him to ask Punnaka to bring the heart of the Vidhurapandita in order to win the princess’s hands. The king accepted the suggestion as it was to fulfill the wish of the sick Queen Vimala, too.

Punnaka accepted the condition for the marriage and went to the court of Dhananjaya in Indapatta. As he knew the king’s weakness for betting he challenged him for a game of dice. He offered his wonderful mare and an all-seeing-gem at wager. Attracted for the gem when the king shuffle for his chance, Punnaka asked him to put his most precious gem, which was none but Vidhurapandita. The game of the dice was thus on. Soon the king lost; and Vidhurapandita was put at the dumping of the Yakkha General. Vidhura wife Anujja fainted when she heard that her husband was to be taken away by the Yakkha General.

Flying on his horse with Vidhura on his back Punnaka reached a quiet isolated place on a dark hillock called the Kala Pabbata and descended upon it. There, he removed his sword out of it's cover and with a lightning speed beat it in the abdomen of his prisoner. The sword, however, did not hurt Vidhura; and was broken. Amazed by this, Punnaka asked the reason for this miracle but Vidhura told him that the answer to such a question would made at an proper time. Punnaka then wished to set him free and take him to Indapatta. But the righteous minister so desirous to practice donations desired to help Punnaka. So, he chose to go along with him to the Naga kingdom.

When Punnaka and Vidhura entered the Naga kingdom they were given a warm greeting. The entire Naga kingdom was then decorated with flags and banners. Decoration ornamented the house-tops and flower-patterned gates were straight all over the path to receive the forthcoming groom.

When the nasty Naga minister wanted an explanation from Punnaka for not having killed Vidhura to bring his heart, Punnaka said, “As I won the costliest jewel of Indapatta from the Kuru king I did not find a matching treasure chest for it”. The reply made the Naga minister speechless.

In the Naga world, Vidhura first gave speech to King Varuna and then to his companion Vimala. Both were happy at his sermonize.

Soon, Punnaka and Irandati were married, and lived happily.

Finally, Punnaka took Vidhura back to Indapatta and presented him the all-seeing-gem. Thus, Vidhura had the two best jewels of the time in his crown: one from the Naga king Varuna; and the other from the Yakkha General Punnaka.

 

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