Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Literature
Rather than let his friend depart alone, Makarand accompanies him in his quest, and they leave the capital in search of this unknown beauty. Soon enough, they meet with success. The two friends lie down to rest in the shade of a tree on the banks of the Narmadaa River. Here, the prince overhears a conversation between a pair of love-birds perched on the tree above them. The male bird is extolling the charms and virtues of Vaasavadattaa, daughter of King Shringaar Shekhar of Kusum Pur. The bird reveals further that this princess had, in her dreams, had a vision of a charming Prince who had smitten her heart. The Princess vividly described the young man to her companion and confidant, Tamaalikaa, and had despaired of ever meeting with him in real life, for her destiny seemed to take her another way. The bird had overheard the description of the Prince and, being a love-bird, had resolved to fly out over the country, locate the young man, and bring him to the Princess.
To cut the story short, the bird leads Kandarpaketu to Tamaalikaa and the group proceeds to Kusum Pur where Tamaalikaa arranges for Kandarpaketu to meet Vaasavdattaa. They meet and duly recognize each other from their respective dreams in a lyrical passage. However, Kandarpaketu learns to his horror that Vaasavdattaa's father, King Shringaar Shekhar, has arranged for her to wed Pushpketu, son of Vijayaketu, chief of the Vidyaadhar, the very next morning. Kandarpketu and Vaasavdattaa flee to the Vindhya Mountains forthwith, mounted upon a magic steed, leaving Makarand behind at Kusum Pur.
After reaching safely in the Vindhya mountains, the exhausted lovers fell asleep. When Kandarpketu wakes up, he finds Vaasavdattaa missing. He searches for her in vain and then, mad with grief, decides to end his life. When he is on the verge of committing suicide by drowning, a voice from the sky rings out and promises him that he will be re-united with Vaasavdattaa. Kandarpketu wanders for several months in the forest, distraught and lovelorn. He finally chances upon a stone image of Vaasavdattaa. He touches the image, and miraculously, the stone turns into a living and breathing Vaasavdattaa.
After regaining life, Vasavadatta narrates to Kandarpketu the series of events that befell her after they both fell asleep in the forests of the Vindhya Mountains. She awoke hungry and went in search of wild fruits to eat. She was then caught between two groups of soldiers, each led by a chieftain who fell in love with her at first sight and wished to possess her. While they were fighting with each other, she managed to escape. During her flight through the forest, she unintentionally trespassed into the hermitage of an ascetic and disturbed his penances. Again, Vaasavdattaa's beauty is the culprit; her mere presence has disturbed years of penance. The hermit curses Vaasavdattaa that her beauty be turned to stone, and that she return to vibrant life only upon receiving the touch of the man who is destined from previous births to be her husband; this husband of many births would control and absorb her siren-like vibes and thus allay the disasters that a loose, beautiful woman visits upon everything that she comes in contact with. By the curse of the hermit, Vaasavdattaa was petrified into stone.
The fact that Vaasavdattaa returned to life upon being touched by Kandarpketu confirms that he has been her husband in former lifetimes and is destined to be her husband in this and future lifetimes as well. Her father, King Sringaar Shekhar, recognizes this and gives her hand in marriage to Kandarpketu. The couple proceed to Kandarpketu's paternal kingdom and live there happily ever after.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 01/31/13