The Story of Prince Sudhana and Manohara

05/04/2009 14:39


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"I call to mind my teacher's words: so this was what he meant! Be careful to do nothing of which you might repent. Whatever a man does, the same he in himself will find: The good man, good; and the evil man that evil he has designed. For our deeds are all like seeds, bringing forth fruit in kind."

The story of Prince Sudhana and the kinnari Manohara appears in the Divyavadana. The rendition of the tale that appears below is based on the translation by N. J. Krom that appears in Barabudur: An Archaeological Description.

Sigala Jataka Mati Posaka Jataka Story of King Sivi Vidhura Jataka Story of King Surupa Story of Bhuridatta Kaccapavadana Cula Nandiya Jataka Kancanakkhanda Jataka King Padmaka Jataka Story of Manohara Story of Mandhatar Samuddavanija Jataka Story of the Sibi King Story of the Dharma Seeker Story of Sambula Story of Rudrayana Story of Bhallatiya Valahassa Jataka Story of Maitrakanyaka

Relief 1. The king and court of the kingdom of North-Pancala. In the land of Pancala there once reigned two kings: one over the North and the other over the South. The northern kingdom enjoyed great prosperity, due in part to the goodness of the king, who ruled his subjects justly. The other cause of the northern kingdom's prosperity was the presence of the naga serpent Janmacitraka whose presence in a lake near the capital caused the rains to come on a regular basis. The condition of the southern kingdom, however, was entirely different indeed. Because the kingdom's monarch was cruel and unjust, none of the area's divine beings troubled themselves over whether or not the rain fell. And so many of the southern kingdom's inhabitants had to abandon their homes and re-settle in the north.

Relief 2. The king of South-Pancala journeys throughout his kingdom. The king of South-Pancala eventually noticed all the deserted villages and neglected temples while he was away from the capital on a hunting expedition. When he inquired after the cause of this calamity his ministers begged to be excused from punishment and then told him the truth: that the king's own cruel and injust behavior was in part responsible for the kingdom's ruinous state.

After promising to henceforth rule justly, the king sought for a way to bring the rain-causing naga Janmacitraka to the South. Hearing that the best means to achieve this was through enchantment, the king issued a proclamation that whosoever should bring Janmacitraka to South-Pancala would receive a basket of gold. Attracted by the prospect of a handsome reward, a snake-charmer appeared in court to offer his services. After agreeing to undertake the task, the snake-charmer set out for the lake in North-Pancala where the naga Janmacitraka resided. After taking a look round the lake, the snake-charmer declared that through his power of his enchantment he would be able to capture the naga in seven days.

Relief 3. The enchantment and rescue of the naga Janmacitraka. Meanwhile Janmacitraka became aware of what was going on and believing When the naga Janmacitraka found out what was going on he realized that he would be unable to withstand the snake-charmer's speels of enchantment. So he sought the help of a hunter named Halaka, who made his living along the shores of the lake. Halaka and the naga hit upon a plan in which the hunter would hide near the lake and shoot an arrow through the enchanter as soon as the snake-charmer began to cast his magic spell, but not actually kill him until he had forced the snake charmer to destroy the enchantment. And this was exactly the way it happened. Relief 4. Halaka is entertained by the nagas. Upon the death of the snake-charmer, Janmacitrak rose up out of the lake, embraced his rescuer and invited him to visit his naga parents, who would undoubtedly receive Halaka with delight as well as shower many gifts upon him. While on his way to visit the nagas, Halaka stopped at the hermitage of a rishi and told the sage what had happened. The rishi advised Halaka that, instead of jewels, to ask for the never-failing lasso that was in the nagas' possession. After receiving the lasso, Halaka returned home joyfully. Relief 5. The hunter captures the kinnari princess. In the pursuit of his calling, Halaka eventually came to the foot of a mountain, where he met another rishi wo lived beside a great lake. That rishi told him that the daughter of the kinnara king Manohara, together with her handmaidens, often came to this very lake to bathe. Now the male kinnara and the female kinnari are wonderous creatures with out equal, having the body of a bird but the head of a human being as well as a singing voice that was as sweet as nectar. In addition, they had the power to transform themselves into human forms of most dazzling beauty.

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Sudhana brings the tree of the rebels to his father. but at last he yielded. and following the directions given by Manohara. When the present king's purohita heard that he would lose his present position should Sudhana become the king. he reached the kingdom of the kinnara's after long travelling. Although the purohita knew well that the meaning was only that the prince had been successful. Sudhana hears from his mother what has happened. Sudhana was then secretly brought into the palace and Manohara went to her father. which he asked the brahman to interpret. One of them became the king's spiritual advisor or "purohita. which gave the hunter total power over her person. and told him the way to the land of the kinnaras. As soon as Prince sudhana set is eyes on the young beauty his heart was consumed with love. Then it occurred to him to inquire of Halaka in what way he had met with her." while the other attached himself to the crown prince. At some distance from the capital he saw a number of kinnaris fetching water and was told it was for the bath of the king's daughter Manohara who could not get rid of the human smell. The king is advised to sacrifice the kinnari. he heard what had happened. so he searched for her everywhere but to no avail. The intended victim came to hear of her fate. She surrendered to Halaka the magic jewel that she bore on her forehead. This second brahman persuaded Sudhana to promise that he would appoint the brahman to be his purohita once he had ascended the throne. Manohara is given to prince Sudhana. With the help of the quell rebellion that had already caused seven other expeditions to fail. Sudhana receives information from the rishi. and that the victim must be a Story of Prince Sudhana and Manohara 05/04/2009 14:39 Halaka was determined to try and capture the kinnari princess and with the help of the magic lasso he was able to succeed in this task. The prince is sent out on a fighting expedition. Relief 6. Relief 7. but soon changed his mind and became friendly. And so Sudana and Manohara returned to the court of North=Pancala. Relief 11. http://www. Relief 9. In order to make that her husband would find her. Now life was nothing to him without his beloved. to his horror. he devised a scheme that would get rid of the prince once and for all. Fearing that his lovely prisoner would be taken from him. to find out what he would do with Sudhana. While he was seated under a tree. he managed to escape and reach the rishi's dwelling. Sudhana and the water-drawing kinnaris. Relief 12. he threw the ring into one of the water jugs. In this way he managed easily to crush the rebellion and hastened to prepare for the return journey. the prince begged her to take care of his beloved wife. The queen found no other way of rescue than to give back the magic jewel so that Manohara could take flight through the air. Sudhana hastened to his palace to see his beloved Manohara. he unexpectedly received help from an army of yaksas. king Druma. After giving her the precious gem from Manohara's forehead. He advised Sudhana's father to send the prince on a most dangerous mission-. At first the king would not hear of Manohara being offered up. the queen. Here. not far from the rebellious country.htm Page 2 of 3 . Sudhana receives help from the yaksas. To announce his presence. there she handed him a signet-ring to give to Sudhana when he should try to trace her. Relief 15. Before Sudhana set out to put an end to the rebellion. At that very moment the crown-prince of North-Pancala approached the lake together with his hunting-party. sent to him by the yaksa-king under the command of his general Pancika. Manohara submitted to her fate. Relief 13. One day two brahmans had appeared in the city. Manohara's flight. Manohara relates her adventures to her father. he then went to his mother who told him the truth of the matter. Relief 14. she fled to her mother-inlaw and begged her to save her. he told the king that the dream predicted evil. he received the prince graciously but all the same required him to give some proofs of his ability. Relief 8. Relief 10. Halaka directed him to the hermitage of the rishi by the lake. and although the king tried to prevent the prince from getting away by setting guards on the walls of the city.he went to see his mother. That same night the king dreamed a dream that filled him with anxiety. After the young couple were married they spent their days together in happiness. At first the king threatened to have him chopped into pieces. which could only be averted by a solemn ceremonial sacrifice. Halaka thought it better to offer her to Prince Sudhana of his own free will. so it was recognised by Manohara in her bath and she at once questioned her servant whether any man had been seen outside the city. Manohara first went to the rishi near whose dwelling she had been captured. Sudhana takes leave of his mother. As her attendants flew away in terror.borobudur. Relief 16. After paying his respects to his father and presenting the treasures of the conquered enemy.

Sudhana recognises Manohara from the group of kinnaris. and gaining the consent of Druma to depart.The Story of Prince Sudhana and Manohara 05/04/2009 14:39 Relief 17. Relief 19.htm Page 3 of 3 . The youthful couple enjoy themselves at Druma's court. they returned to Pancala where they were received with rejoicing. The prince brilliantly proves his skill in the use of the bow.borobudur. The archery-contest. Needless to say he was able to select the right http://www. Relief 18. After a while the prince began to long for his own country. The prince is required to pick out his beloved from a number of kinnaras who resemble her exactly. There was now nothing in the way of the young couple's and they passed their days pleasantly at the court of king Druma. Relief 20. Sudhana was enthroned king by his father and lived in great happiness with his beloved Manohara. More Avadanas and Jatakas copyright 2002 borobudur. All Rights Reserved. not forgetting to show by charity and virtue that he understood how human happiness depends only on the virtuous conduct of former lives. Sudhana and Manohara distributing gifts in Pancala.