#38. Mahoṣadha

Cave No. 1

Identification: Goloubew (1927, p. 16).

A prince was banished from his kingdom due to a court intrigue. He managed to reach Videha, his uncle’s kingdom. Shortly, the uncle died. So, the prince was crowned as the king of Videha. He found that there were six very corrupt ministers. So, he curtailed their powers after appointing a prime minister who was the mayor’s son named Mahoṣadha.

Mahoṣadha was renowned for his intellect and acumen in law. His wife was Viśākhā, the daughter of a carpenter. She was a mix of beauty and brains.

The six lecherous ministers used to make unwelcome advances to her in order to corrupt her too. Wise Viśākhā made a plan to expose them. She pretended to be attracted to them. One day, she invited each of them to her chamber at different times in the night. They arrived at their respective hours. One by one, she shoved them into different baskets. Next day, she dragged them all to the royal court and exposed them before the king in her husband’s presence.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 174

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