King Vikram marched on to the gnarled old tree and got the Belat.
Belat spoke, “Oh king Vikram! You seem really annoyed. I shall tell you one more story to give your mood a lift.”
Once upon a time there lived a Brahmin, Agniswamy in the town Brahmasthala situated on the bank of the river kalindi. He was very religious person. He had one daughter Mandaravati. She was extremely beautiful and talented. She was now of the age to be married. Agniswamy desired to perform her marriage. He was in seach of a bridegroom who is educated, handsome and man of good qualities.
One day three Brahmins who were young arrived at Brahmasthala. They had come from Kanyakubja. They were all known to each other. They all were handsome, intelligent and came from good families. When they saw Mandaravati, they were fascinated with her beauty and all fell in love with her. They desired to marry her. Each one thought not to allow any other to marry Mandaravati.
All of them approached Agniswamy and requested him to get Mandaravati married to them. Agniswamy did not know whom to slect among the three. He and his family members were unable to take any decision. Finally they decided let Mandarvati select the appropirate bridegroom out of the three Brahmins.
Agniswamy summoned the three Brahmins to his house. Each one thought that Mandaravati would marry them. Mandaravati met each of them one by one and all were equally worthy. It was a tough decision to make. While she was sitting in her room, to her misfortune a cobra entered the room and bit her. She died of the smake poisioning. all the three Brahmins were very sad. Mandaravati was cremated. But the three Brahmins were not willing to leave her.
One of the three Brahmins collected her bones and went to the river Ganga. The second one built a house at the place of the cremation and lived in it. The last one remembered Mandaravatri very much and went on pilgrimage. During his travel he resided in a Brahmins’s house in a small village. The Brahmins’s wife was wicked. One day her child behaved mischievously and she got angry. She threw the child into fire. The child was burnt into ashes.
The young Brahmin felt that he should not stay in such a house and therefore he packed his belonging and started again on his journey. At that moment the owner of the house asked him not to go like that. The owner of the house asured that he will bring the little boy to life again and he took a pinch of mud and put it on the ash reciting ‘mrita sanjeevini’ hymn. The child live again! Then the Brahmin kept the book containing mrita sanjeevini hymn on a table.
The young Brahmin was content and dicided to stay back. When everybody was aslept in the night. The young Brahmin took the book and started his journey back towards Brahmasthala. He wanted to reach as early as possible the place were Mandaravati was cremated. By the time he reached the cremation ground the Brahmin who had been to the river Ganga also returned. Another young Brahmin was there in the hut.
The young Brahmin who had brought the book containing the hymn took a pinch of mud and put it on the ash reciting the hymn. Immediately Madaravati came to life. She was looking all the more beautiful. All three were immensely joyous. But they started quarrelling to marry her.
“I recited the hymn. That’s why she got life” one of them said.
“But I had been to the river Ganga and dipped her bones in the river that is the reason Mandaravati got back her life” another Brahmin said.
How is it possible? All these days I have protected the ash. Therefore Mandaravati is my wife” the third youth said.
Betal asked king Vikram: “oh king Vikram! Now tell me. How was the quarrel resolved? Who is worthy to marry Mandaravati? Knowing the answer if you remain silent, your head will spit into a thousand pieces!”