THE CARVED STATUE.
Vidyadhar Malla, the chief of the Karachuli race, a Rajput tribe, was the king of Triling and Kalinga. Bhagurayana was his minister. Charayana was his Vidushaka or confidential attendant. Chandraverma, the king of Lata, was the maternal uncle-in-law of Vidyadhar Malla. He had no son. To satisfy his desire for a son, he dressed his only daughter Mrigankavali as a son to pass her off as such. People knew that the child was a son.
Bhagurayana had heard from the sages that “whosoever shall wed the daughter of Chandravarma shall become the paramount sovereign.” So he told Chandravarma, “My king desires to see your son.” Upon this Chandravarma sent his child to the queen of Vidyadhara Malla to be taken care of by her. Thus the minister contrived to bring Mrigankavali to the palace of his king.
One day, while the king is asleep, Mrigankavali puts a necklace on the neck of the king, being induced by a maid-servant who had instructions to do so by the minister. The king takes this as a wonderful dream. The vision of a beautiful maid agitates his mind. The king thus relates to Bidushaka the story of his fancied vision, “for the burden of the heart is lightened by sharing it with a faithful friend.”
“A glorious halo appeared before me in my dream, bright as the moon’s resplendent disk; within the orb a beauteous maiden moved as gently radiant as the lunar rays in autumn skies.
Advancing near me, she inclined her head in reverence, and, as if pouring ambrosia into my ears, pronounced in softest tones,
‘Glory to the deity of love!’ Then sighing, she took up this string of costly pearls and placed it on my neck. This awoke me, I started up and saw my vision realised. I caught the nymph by her scarf, but she hastily extricated herself from my hands and fled, leaving me this necklace alone the evidence of her presence.” Bidushaka asks his Majesty, “Was not the queen with you when you dreamt? What did she do?”
The king replies, “The queen got angry and left me.” Bidushaka remarks, “Why could not you assuage her anger?”
The king answers, “I was absorbed in the maid of my vision.”
The Vidushaka, however, treats the whole as a dream, and reproaches the king for his fickleness, as he had just before fallen in love with Kuvalayamala, the princess of Kuntala, and recommends him to be content with the queen, as “a partridge in the hand is better than a pea-hen in the forest.”
The prince and the Vidushaka then go into the garden by the back-door, where, over the edge of a terrace, they see some of the fair tenants of the inner apartments amusing themselves with swinging. Amongst them the king recognises the countenance he has seen in his dream, but the party disappear on the advance of the king and his friend.