Perfection of Truth

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King Thananjaya of Indrapatta had a minister, Vidhurapandita, who is famous for his wisdom. The Queen of the Naga’s hears of him and wishes to listen to him discourse. She knows, however, that her husband, King Varuna, will not have him brought to the Naga court without good reason. She pretends to be ill and says that the only cure will be the heart of Vidhura. Finally Varuna asks his daughter, Irandati to find a suitor who will get the sages heart. Irandati entices Punnaka, a Yakkha general, to go after Vidhurapandita.

Punnaka flies to Idrapatta on his magic horse and challenges King Thananjaya to a chess game. The King bets everything except his body and his white umbrella against the Yakkha’s magic horse and great jewel he borrowed on route to Thananjaya’s court. By the use of magic Punnaka wins the contest and also wins Vidhurapandita who the King admits is property of his court.

Punnaka intends to kill Vidhurapandita and remove his heart before reaching the court of the Naga King. However, he is superstitious of incurring bad luck for killing a sage and so tries to kill Vidhurapandita without touching him. He uses fantastic means to kill the sage in this way, tying him to the tail of his magic horse and flying through the air, attempting to frighten Vidhurapandita into letting go and falling to his death, even hurling him into the void. Vidhurapandita does not die but rather realizes the truth of the Naga Queen’s intention, not for his physical heart but for his wisdom. He prepares a richly decorated seat for the Yakkha and invites him to listen to a sermon on the Way of the Good Man, whereupon the Yakkha is converted to wisdom and offers to set Vidhurapandita free. However, the sage orders the Yakkha to continue on with the journey to the Naga kingdom.

Vidhurapandita is brought before the Naga court and preaches the Way of Truth to them, whereupon they too realize wisdom. Later, the Yakkha returns Vidhurapandita to Indrapatta, where he resumes his duties as counselor to King Thanajaya. All are converted to wisdom by his teaching and are reborn in the Brahmin world.