Jabali says that in Avanti there was a city called Ujjayani which was ruled by King Tarapeeda. He had no son. One night he dreams that Chandra had entered the mouth of his queen Vilasavati. He relates this dream to his chief minister Shukanasa, who in turn confides that in his dream, a figure clad in white placed a lotus in wife's lap.Within a few days both wives become pregnant and each of them gives birth to a boy. Tarapeeda's son is named as Chandrapeeda and Shukanasa's son is named Vaishampayana. They become good friends. Chandrapeeda acquires a powerful horse called Indrayudha who becomes his mate.
After completing their education they return to their capital city. There are lively celebrations. Queen Vilasavati gifts a beautiful prepubescent girl named Patralekha to her son. Tarapeeda names his son as the heir-apparent. Chandrapeeda and Vaishampayana are set forth to conquer the world. Chandrapeeda suppresses all the princes in the world and decides to rest temporarily at Suvarnapura in the Himalayas.
He sees a couple of Kinnaras one day while riding his horse and chases them. They escape from him and in the prince in the process gets lost. He reaches the bank of the lake Acchoda. After drinking water he hears a sweet melody and begins to wander about its source. It originated from the lute of a heavenly damsel dressed sitting in Lord Shiva's temple as her to narrate her story. She begins to narrate.
Mahashveta informs that she is the daughter of a Gandharva. One day when she had come to Lake Acchoda for a bath, she spotted a handsome young ascetic and was infatuated. He was also besieged by passion. She approaches a second young sage Kapinjala who tells her that her object of infatuation is known as Pundarika. He is the son of Goddess Lakshmi.
Pundarika removes the sprout from his ear and places it onto Mahashveta's ear. She wears it around her neck. Kapinjala rebukes him for doing so as he is an ascetic. Pundarika feeling humbled and asks for his rosary back. Mahashveta deceives him by giving him her strand of pearls. Mahashveta is driven nonsensical by her love-sickness. She gets a love letter of Pundarika saying that his life is in her hands. Mahashveta faints. She leaves her palace to meet Pundarika. Then she comes to know from Kapinjala that Pundarika is dead. Mahashveta prepares to sacrifice herself on the funeral pyre. At this moment a divine being admonishes her not to give up her life. She gives up all worldly pleasures and becomes an ascetic.
Chandrapeeda consoles her. He enquires about her companion Taralika. Then she says that her childhood friend Kadambari is grieved by her condition and has vowed not to marry as long as Mahashveta is in grief. Kadambari's parents have asked me to persuade her. She had sent Taralika to deliver her message to Kadambari. Taralika returns with a young Gandharva named Keyuraka. The latter is firm on her decision of not marrying. Mahashveta visits Kadambari who is also accompanied by Chandrapeeda. After Chandrapeeda and Kadambari see each other, the two fall in love.
Mahashveta pesters Kadambari that she should let Chandrapeeda return to his place. Chandrapeeda returns and is reunited with his army. The next day he receives the message that Kadambari is suffering from pain of separation. Chandrapeeda immediately goes to Kadambari. Kadambari requests that Patralekha be left behind as her companion. Chandrapeeda returns to his camp. He receives a letter from his father requesting him to return to the kingdom. Chandrapeeda marches to the capital. He gets message that Kadambari is suffering from love-sickness. He goes forth and meets his army. Vaishampayana went into a state of stupor and seemed to be searching for something. Chandrapeeda finds no trace of Vaishampayana at Lake Acchoda.
He meets Mahashveta. She saw a young Brahmin wandering about who made fervent advances of love towards her. She became angry and cursed him that he would turn into a parrot. Kadambari arrives at the scene accompanied by Patralekha. They both faint after seeing Chandrapeeda lying on the ground. When she regains her consciousness she still thinks that Chandrapeeda is dead and prepares to immolate herself on his funeral pyre.
At this moment, a spiritual voice calls out from the sky. After hearing the voice Patralekha throws herself along with the horse into the Acchoda Lake. Kapinjala emerges from the lake. Mahashveta on seeing Kapinjala enquire about Pundarika. Mahashveta is dejected after she comes to know that she lost her lover for a second time.
Kadamabri sents a messenger to Chandrapeeda's parents and informs them of their son's plight. Tarapeeda, Vilasavati, Shukanasa and Manorama arrive at that place. Tarapeeda begins to spend his days in the forest near his son's body. Jabali reveals that Vaishampayana is that parrot who is present in the hermitage with them. Vaishampayana continues his narration.
King Shudraka is curious and summons the Chandala girl. The girl tells the king that she is Vaishampayana's mother. The king is Chandrapeeda. The mutual curses end. Chandrapeeda is brought back to life by Kadambari's touch. Pundarika appears from heaven in the form in which Mahashveta was infatuated. The couples are united.
Kadambari asks Chandrapeeda about the whereabouts of Patralekha. Patralekha is in fact Rohini who is a demigoddess and a spouse of the Moon who had come to the mortal world to take care of Chandrapeeda during his curse. Chandrapeeda returns to Ujjayini, and Pundarika is established as the King.
(Last Updated on : 19-05-2011)
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