HomeChildrenThe King who Removed the Veils of Illusion – Part 3

The King who Removed the Veils of Illusion – Part 3

- 9 Mins Read

Dear Readers,

Remember the four suitors of Chandraprabha? Well, their mission was successful – they saved the shopkeeper’s daughter from death.

Her parents and brothers were so happy to see her safe and sound, but now there was the dilemma of who deserved her hand in marriage: the warrior, the alchemist, the skilled craftsman, or the musician?

Here is what some of you have to say about this:


Back in the palace, most of the people who were listening to the story whispered, “You have to give the girl to the one who brought her back to life!”

But at these words Queen Abol-Rani exclaimed, “This is incorrect! The girl was to be given to the warrior! He risked his own life and saved her with his strength and skill to fight. The doctor and the craftsman were only there to support him. Is it not the normal role of doctors and craftsmen?”

“Are you sure, wise Abol-Rani? Is your passionate spirit not troubling your judgment?”

So let’s listen to what really happened. The family was divided as each member had a different opinion. One supported the warrior, another was in favour of the alchemist, another was for the artist who had such a gentle heart, and the rest chose the craftsman. They all had their reasons. No one could agree and the father was confused and unable to make a clear decision. In the end and in agreement with his sons and his wife, he asked the girl to choose for herself.

“Thank you so much for having brought me back to life,” she said, addressing the young men. “I am touched by the love you showed for me. You, warrior, risked your life for me and saved me with your strength and skills in fighting. You love me as a father loves his child. You, healer, and you, craftsman, have acted promptly for me and love me like brothers. You, artist, cried and I felt your tears on my heart. You love me like a lover. It is this love, this pure love of the heart, which I would like to honour.”

And the second veil of Queen Abol-Rani fell, to the astonishment of all.

“I would like to tell a third story. May I?” asked the king. “And if I do not get an answer from you, my queen, no doubt your bracelets will answer in your place.”

The bridesmaids exchanged sly smiles, but the bracelets chimed gently and said, “We are listening to you, King Vikram, and we will answer you.”

So King Vikram began his next story.


In a beautiful kingdom lived a king and queen who had no children and this plunged them into a profound sorrow. They often went to the goddess Parvati to give offerings and gifts, so that she would send them a son.
Finally, after a long time, the queen gave birth to a son.
They called him Madhukar. The king and queen were very happy and felt a deep gratitude towards Parvati. They continued to bringher rich offerings and raised the young Madhukar in reverence of her. Wherever the young prince would go walking or riding, if he came to a temple dedicated to Parvati in any of her divine forms, he entered with an offering, sometimes only a handful of rice or a few flowers.
When Madhukar reached adulthood, he married the daughter of a neighbouring king. Her name was Kumudini and she was very beautiful with a gentle and loving personality. Soon the old king entrusted the kingdom to Madhukar. Thus Madhukar became king and Kumudini his queen.
It was a few days before the spring festival when Madhukar and Kumudini decided to visit the family of the young queen. Their kingdom was not very far, so the royal couple started their journey and took as their escort and charioteer the king’s advisor and best friend. Four spirited horses carried them at lightning speed.
On their way, they came upon a beautiful temple dedicated to the goddess Parvati, so Madhukar asked his adviser to stop and he jumped down from the chariot. “Let me collect some lotus flowers so I can give an offering to the goddess Parvati. She is responsible for my birth. Wait for me.”
He picked a few flowers in a nearby lake and entered the temple, offering the flowers to the goddess and promising to offer some more on his return. Then he went out, climbed into the chariot and they left.
When the spring festivities ended, after bidding farewell to the family, Madhukar, Kumudini and the adviser started back. Near the temple of the goddess, King Madhukar again ordered the chariot to stop so he could offer lotus flowers to the goddess. Alas! There were no lotus flowers in bloom.
Madhukar entered the temple, invoking the goddess and asking her what he could do. There was no appropriate gift, so he thought that the best way to pay homage to the goddess was to offer his own life. He did not think further, but drew his sword and beheaded himself.
Queen Kumudini and the adviser waited a long time but, in vain, the king did not reappear.  “Allow me, your Majesty, to go and find the king. When he meditates, he is so immersed in his meditation that he does not realise the passing of time.” The queen agreed, and the adviser entered the temple. He saw the body of his king. Terror seized him and his entire body started to shake. In his heart mingled the pain of the loss of his friend and the compassion for the young queen. How would he tell her this terrible news? No, it was not possible. In a gesture of despair, he seized his sword and he too beheaded himself!
The queen, who saw no one return, not her husband nor the adviser, was seized with fear. She got down from the chariot and entered the temple. When she saw the two bodies, she threw herself on the floor and started to cry loudly: “What else is there for me anymore? I have nothing on this earth, so my life is meaningless. I want to die.” And she tried to reach the king’s sword.
On their way, they came upon a beautiful temple dedicated to the goddess Parvati, so Madhukar asked his adviser to stop and he jumped down from the chariot. “Let me collect some lotus flowers so I can give an offering to the goddess Parvati. She is responsible for my birth. Wait for me.”
He picked a few flowers in a nearby lake and entered the temple, offering the flowers to the goddess and promising to offer some more on his return. Then he went out, climbed into the chariot and they left.
When the spring festivities ended, after bidding farewell to the family, Madhukar, Kumudini and the adviser started back. Near the temple of the goddess, King Madhukar again ordered the chariot to stop so he could offer lotus flowers to the goddess. Alas! There were no lotus flowers in bloom.
Madhukar entered the temple, invoking the goddess and asking her what he could do. There was no appropriate gift, so he thought that the best way to pay homage to the goddess was to offer his own life. He did not think further, but drew his sword and beheaded himself.
Queen Kumudini and the adviser waited a long time but, in vain, the king did not reappear.  “Allow me, your Majesty, to go and find the king. When he meditates, he is so immersed in his meditation that he does not realise the passing of time.” The queen agreed, and the adviser entered the temple. He saw the body of his king. Terror seized him and his entire body started to shake. In his heart mingled the pain of the loss of his friend and the compassion for the young queen. How would he tell her this terrible news? No, it was not possible. In a gesture of despair, he seized his sword and he too beheaded himself!
The queen, who saw no one return, not her husband nor the adviser, was seized with fear. She got down from the chariot and entered the temple. When she saw the two bodies, she threw herself on the floor and started to cry loudly: “What else is there for me anymore? I have nothing on this earth, so my life is meaningless. I want to die.” And she tried to reach the king’s sword.
But before her hand could touch it, Parvati herself appeared in the middle of the temple and said in a soft but firm voice, “Stop, my child! Do not commit the irreparable. I do not understand these human sacrifices. They are stupid and useless. In the world I come from, sumptuous offerings do not count, and life is not a gift that we appreciate. But a pure heart, open and full of devotion touches us deeply, whether or not something is offered. Your husband was one such sincere devotee. For a devotee his despair was particularly silly, but I cannot but be sensitive to his heart, so open and so full of love. So I grant all of you a boon. If you want to revive your husband and his friend, take their heads and adjust them to their bodies and they will live.”
With this the goddess disappeared.
Overjoyed, Queen Kumudini hastened to put the heads in place, but she rushed. The bodies immediately came to life and the two men stood up next to the queen. Alas! In her haste, Kumudini had given her husband the head of the adviser and the adviser’s head to her husband.

King Vikram paused and asked, “Tell me, little bracelets, to whom is Queen Kumudini rightly married?”


And you, dear reader, what is your answer? How do you justify your choice?

What if you have no clue? Take the time to ask the question to yourself in a very quiet way: first relax your body and rest in your heart for a few minutes. See if an answer comes to you then. Be patient and let it come in its own time – maybe a few days later while you are doing something completely different. Stay open and be alert!

Let’s see if we will manage to bring down the third veil of Abol-Rani. Please send your answers to contributions@heartfulnessmagazine.com.

Next month, we will discover the ending and listen to the final story from King Vikram.

To be continued…


Artwork by VERONIQUE NICOLAI


Editor

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