What happened here is, someone claimed that he is the executed minister of the dead king, who had a soft corner in people’s hearts and seized the throne. Though the story is gripping and captivating, the reality is that no one knows who he is. Is he an opportune who launched himself seeing the empty throne, in connivance of the dead minister’s teacher? Or did he just chance to be at the right place at the right time? Or is he the minister himself, who escaped and let an innocent die in his place? Who knows? That he dispelled all doubt by asking intimate questions to acquaintances add much to the plot of him being a plotter, not a bystander. And note how similar is this to the story of Bahra Tegin, the Kabulshahi.
The son of that king who had been the Indra on earth, the far-famed king Jayendra, whose arms reached his knees, then enjoyed the land. His pillar-like arms supported the statue of the goddess of victory, radiant in fluttering silk, being garbed in the wave of his steadfast fame. This king had for minister one who was adorned with remarkable virtue and devotion to Siva called Sandhimati, the best among men of intellect.
No such device exists in the world which is capable of removing the instability of the ears of kings, who are like elephants in rut.
“This man of very remarkable intelligence should be mistrusted” by speaking in this wise the sycophants made the king take a prejudice against that counsellor.
Then having forbidden him audience the enraged king, without any cause, deprived him of all his possessions and reduced him to lifelong poverty. When he was withered by the summer heat of the king’s enmity, the courtiers did not cheer him even by holding converse. No sooner is a king in earnest in receiving a report, than those who stand before him repeat the words openly like echoes. He, however, was not daunted by the displeasure of the sovereign or by indigence; he was delighted that he had secured, free from impediment, the service of Siva. At this time, owing to the might of coming events, was broadcast in every house a mysterious speech in this wise “the realm will, in future, belong to Sandhimati.”
“A rumour does not spread unless it is started” thus having hearkened to his entourage the king, thereupon, became nervous and lodged him in the prison-house. There, while he was withering away with his feet tortured by the grim fetters, there came to an end the tenth year and at the same time the king’s term of life. That king, while he was about to die without a son, began to be consumed by the agony arising out of the malady as well as by worry on his account. Seething with the flaming fire of hatred, he did not think that, without the death of the minister, it was possible to resist destiny. Whatever device to stultify what is willed to happen the unsophisticated should employ, you may be sure that, that itself is the open door designed by destiny. On a heap of burnt embers to a spark of fire glowing feebly, if the Creator particularly desires to convey incomparable power, he makes the man who wishes to extinguish it mistake a pot standing near it, containing a lot of butter which has been melted with the heat, for a pot of water. Thus, by order of the king, Sandhimati was impaled by cruel officers in charge of executions at night and killed. When he heard that he had been impaled, the dart of sadness of the king, who was worn out by disease, came away first and then only his life. When after thirty-seven years the king died without any lineal descendant, the land ceased to have a king for some days.
Then learning that Sandhimati had been killed in that manner, the heart of his Guru named Isana, lost control albeit he was a man who had controlled the self. As in the case of the Sirisha flower which is easily destroyed, in this life, alas! in the case of men of intellect their benevolence is the one thing, like the flower stalk, which survives. He went to the funeral ground to render the final honours, as was meet for him to do, to the cultured minister who was withering away as if he were a pauper. He saw that nothing had remained of him but the bones which the wolves were pulling violently, the moveless skeleton having been held fast at the base of the stake. With the sound issuing in front from the apertures in the skull filled with air, he seemed to be sorrowing over such a plight. “Alas I my son! To see you in such a plight I am alive until to-day!” So saying the bone pierced by the stake was pulled out by him. His feet were covered by the hair, grey with dust, which crumbled from the skull; Isana carried that skeleton while keeping off the growling wolves.
Then, as he was preparing to perform the fitting ceremonies, on the forehead inscribed by the Creator, he deciphered this Sloka.
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“Poverty so long as there is life, ten years’ imprisonment, death on the top of the stake, then there will be sovereignty.”
Of the three Padas of the verse he, who was’ conversant with Yoga, had seen the meaning; about the verification of the import of the fourth Pada, which remained to be seen, he was seized with curiosity. And he wondered, in his bewilderment, how this was going to happen; then, while he was long musing over the incomprehensible power of Providence, he argued.
“Occupied in different affairs, with the limitation of dependence, everyone strives to frustrate Fate’s persistent operations with energy. It is amazing that its wondrous power, even in these conditions, comes to light through whose might the success of various events is achieved free from hindrance.
In the city of Manipura Arjuna, who had been slain, was restored to life through the glamour of the Naga maiden by Providence which is the sea of all marvels.
Pariksit who had been consumed while in the womb of his mother by the magic weapon of the son of Drona was revived, through the glory of Krsna, by the Creator, the highest of rulers.
Kaca reduced to ashes by the gods and the Nagas swallowed by Tarksya — to restore them to life who else but Providence could have ventured!”
Arguing in this wise he remained in eagerness to see the fulfilment of the prophecy and having fixed his residence at that very spot, he kept a watch and ward on the skeleton. And so, once, at midnight, Isana, who had lost his sleep owing to the anxiety about that miracle, smelt the perfume of divine incense. He heard an uncanny sound of the clang of many cymbals and bells struck violently and the loud din of tambourines. On opening the window he then saw Yoginis standing inside a halo of light. Noticing their excitement and that the skeleton had been removed, the startled Isana proceeded to the funeral ground with a drawn sword. Thus he saw hidden by a tree that the skeleton, which had been placed recumbent in the centre of their troupe, was being modelled with all the limbs by the troupe of the Yoginis. With the rising tide of desire for sensual enjoyment with a lover, the nymphs, drunk with liquor, having failed to find a virile man, had sought out the skeleton and had carried it away. Each different limb was furnished from their own limbs and having from somewhere brought the male organ, in a moment, they thus set him up complete with all the limbs.
Next, the spirit of Sandhimati which had been wandering about not having taken possession of another body, the Yoginis having attracted by Yoga placed it therein. Then, as he was being massaged with divine emollients, he awoke as if from sleep and, at will, as the leader of the troupe, he had with them the joy in the way of love. The bewildered Isana began to get apprehensive as the night was wearing out, lest the nymphs might take back the limbs conferred by them. With a shout the resolute man advanced to the place with a view to preserve them, whereupon the troupe of the Yoginis instantly vanished from view.
Then was heard their voice— “Have no fear, O Isana! there is no loss of limb on our part and towards this chosen lover no deceit. Through having been our chosen lover he, who has been modelled with a divine body, will be renowned on earth as Sandhiman and because of his gentlemanliness as Aryaraja as well.”
Then clad in celestial garments, wearing a garland and decked with celestial ornaments, the resplendent Sandhiman having regained memory of the past saluted his Guru. Isana, on his part, when he embraced him who had become very difficult to meet even in dreams, who can describe the pitch of excitement he had reached? While the two of them together, in turn, pondered over the cycle of life which, at the same time, is futile and marvellous — on this subject the conversation of these two which flowed was calm and thoughtful.
Then having heard the news from somewhere, the residents of Srinagara, young and old together with the ministers, arrived at that very spot. From the lack of resemblance to his former figure, the doubt that he was not the same man was dispelled by him by asking everybody relevant questions. To the prayer of the citizens to rule over a realm where a king was lacking he, who was free from desire, acceded with difficulty at the behest of the Guru.
– Ranjan Pandit’s translation