(Last Updated on : 30/04/2011)
Santaptaka had decided that he would like to go on a visit to pilgrimages. However in the process he lost his way and landed up in the middle of a dense forest. The forest was filled with wild animals like lions, tigers, bears and wolves. Even many ghosts lived there.
After he roamed in the forest, he came upon a banyan tree from where a dead body was hanging and five ghosts were eating it. Their eyes were huge and they were mere skeletons. When the ghosts saw Santaptaka they grabbed him and each of them were fighting as to who would have his flesh first.
Santaptaka was scared and was in a puzzle. He started praying to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu came down to him and called Manibhadra, the king of the Yakshas to adopt the form of a ghost and fight with the other ghosts. Manibhadra obeyed Vishnu. There was a terrible fight and in the course of the fighting, Manibhadra caught hold of the dead body that was in the banyan tree and vanished. When the ghosts saw that their food was being taken they chased him but of no avail.
The ghosts thereafter returned to eat the Brahmana. Then they remembered the stories of their earlier lives. They fell at the Brahmana's feet and told to pardon them. Santaptaka was puzzled at these developments. Each of the ghosts narrates their stories. After the stories had been told, Lord Vishnu had appeared before Santaptaka and the five ghosts. The ghosts were forgiven. Six vimanas came down and took Santaptaka and the other five ghosts to Vishnu loka.
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