Vetala Tales [1] is a popular collection of short stories from India of unknown age and antiquity, but predating the 11th century CE. It exists in four main Sanskrit recensions revisions. In addition, there also exists many modern translations into Indian and other vernaculars. The collection consists of a series of unrelated tales, all told within the context of a frame story similar to Scheherezade's in Arabian nights. The exact content of the frame stories varies between versions, but always involves the core element of King Vikramaditya carrying a dead body to a yogi or holy man in a cemetery.

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Saturday, October 29, Table of contents of the stories of Vikramadhithya as retold by P. Who was Vikramadhithya?

Tuesday, June 28, Afterward. This story of Vikramadhithya Singhasan Bathisi presented by me is the version that is popular in Tamil Nadu. The version popular in North India is almost same but the order of the dolls and their names are very different. I have summarized the stories in to a very short form as the original stories are very lengthy , with very many descriptions.

The story of Shalivahana as told by Jnanaprakasavalli doll. The story of Shalivahana as told by Jnanaprakasavalli doll Retold by P. Ramachander On the thirty second day Bhoja raja after his morning duties again started climbing on to the throne of Vikramadhithya. There was only one more step guarded by Jnanaprakasavalli doll. It told him that he has all great qualities of the king Vikramadhithya and is fit to occupy the throne.

It invited him to occupy the throne. The doll started telling the following story. There was very learned Brahmin called Ramakrishna in that town. At the right age he got married. But the astrologers told him that a son born to him in the month of Chithra on a Friday and with the star Rohini after twelve years would become one of the greatest people on earth. So he immediately left his wife and undertook a pilgrimage for twelve years. He was returning on the appointed night to home to meet his wife.

There was a sudden floods and he was stopped in Prathishtanapuri. There he told about his problem to a potter. The potter told him that he has an unmarried eligible daughter who would be willing to bear his child. The boy Shalivahana was extremely intelligent and had an extreme fascination towards pottery. From the time he was a child he started making dolls of soldiers, cavalry, infantry, soldiers of elephant regiment, chariots, weapons and so on. When he grew up he became such a wise man that the king Viswanatha Raja appointed him as his second minister.

That king was paying tribute to king Vikramadhithya. Shalivahana the minister stopped paying Tribute. Shalivahana sprayed magical water on his dolls and crores of them came alive, pounced on the armies of Vikramadhithya and killed them.

Realizing that his end was near, Vikramadhithya tried to flee. Then Shalivahana send a mud arrow against him. That arrow cut off the head of king Vikramadhithya and it fell amidst his queens. They all died in the pyre that was lit to burn Vikramadhithya.

Afterwards Shalivahana ruled over Ujjaini for a very long time. It also told him that all the 32 dolls are now free of their curse and would return to heavens. King Bhoja asked the doll about the nature of the curse. When once Lord Shiva entered her chamber he saw us and looked at us with passionate eyes.

This infuriated Goddess Parvathi, who cursed us to become dolls as we stood in front of Lord Shiva like the dolls. When we begged for forgiveness, she told us to become dolls in the throne of King Vikramadhithya, tell the story of that great king, to king Bhoja and then return to her.

Since our job is over we are returning. Do you need any boon king? I request you to bless all those who hear the stories of Vikramadhithya which were told by you to me, to live with peace, happiness and valour. King Bhoja kept the idol of Lord Shiva on the throne and did pooja to it. As soon as it was over the throne rose up to heavens and vanished. After that king Bhoja ruled his kingdom in a just manner for a long long time. The story of eight deva maidens as told by Neethivakyavalli doll.

The story of eight deva maidens as told by Neethivakyavalli doll Retold by P. Ramachander On the thirty first day Bhoja raja after his morning duties again started climbing on to the throne of Vikramadhithya.

He was stopped on the thirty first step by Neethivakyavalli doll. It told him that he does not have great qualities of the king Vikramadhithya and is not fit to occupy the throne.

Vikramadhithya had a very wise minister called Budhisindhu. He had a son called Anarghala. Like all young people Anarghala was wasting away his time in empty pursuits. So one day Budhisindhu called his son and told him about the need for utilizing his time properly and learn all that has to be learnt. Anarghala realized that what his father was advising was correct and went to the northern part in search of a teacher. He found a good one and learned all that needs to be learned.

Afterwards, he was returning to his own country. On the way he found a lake and by the side of it a very pretty temple. Half the lake had warm water and the other half cold water.

Anarghala decided to spend his night by the side of the temple. That night eight deva maidens rose from the warm water side of the lake, went to the temple and did pooja. The God came in person and talked with them. Later when they were going back, they invited Anarghala to accompany them and jumped inside the lake.

Since Anarghala was afraid of jumping in the lake, he did not follow them. Later when he went to his home and later Visited Vikramadhithya, he told him about this incident. King Vikrama immediately visited the lake and the temple along with Anarghala.

He also saw the eight deva maidens and was invited to follow them. Without any hesitation he jumped in to the water and reached along with them to their golden house. All of them were greatly appreciative of the valour of Vikramadhithya and offered him of their services.

They told him they were the eight occult powers, Anima, Garima, Mahima, etc. When Vikramadhithya said he was not interested, they converted their powers as eight gems and gave them to him.

They said that anyone having those gems will have those powers. While he was returning he met an old man who was completely neglected by his family members. Taking pity on him king Vikramadhithya gave all those eight gems to him. He was that generous.

If you think that you are equal to him, then you can definitely go up. Bhoja returned back that day without further climbing. Monday, June 27, The story of the wild boar as told by Rukhmanivalli doll. The story of the wild boar as told by Rukhmanivalli doll Retold by P. Ramachander On the thirtieth day Bhoja raja after his morning duties again started climbing on to the throne of Vikramadhithya.

He was stopped on the thirtieth step by Rukhmanivalli doll. We are scared because of it. Please help us and save us. With lot of difficulty they found it and started chasing it. All the princes were not able to follow the boar but Vikrama gave a good chase and saw it enter a cave. Vikrama followed the boar in side.

There he saw a shining town made of gold. He went on touring the town till he reached a palace. When he entered the palace, he saw a great king sitting there. That king introduced himself as Maha Bali the son of Virochana. When Vikramadhithya introduced himself, king Bali expressed great happiness in being able to receive such an honoured guest. Vikrama told the king that the pleasure was his because he has been able to meet Bali, with whom the Lord Vishnu himself came to beg.

Maha Bali enquired with Vikrama as to why he has come. When he said he came simply, Maha Bali told him that he himself wanted to see the great king Vikramadhithya and sent a wild boar to bring him here. Then Maha Bali wanted king Vikramadhithya to ask for any present of his choice. When Vikramadhithya told him that he needed nothing, Maha Bali gave him a juice drinking which an old man will become a youth and an acid by pouring which everything will become gold. King Vikramadhithya accepted the presents.

While on his way back a poor very old Brahmin and his son met him and asked him for wealth. When king Vikramadhithya told that he has nothing except the juice which will make old ones young and an acid which would make all metals in to gold. He asked them to choose one of them. The old man wanted the juice and the Youngman the acid.


List of Vetala Tales



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