Undaunted iin his efforts, Vikraman went up the tree again, brought down the hanging body to the ground, and carried it on his shoulders to the funeral grounds. The Vedalam (ghost) inside the body addressed Vikraman, saying, "It appears that you are trying to find closure to a difficult problem. Sometimes even the most intelligent people turn simple problems into major ones. Let me tell you a story about such a person who happened to be a Guru.’’
King Surasenar of Avanthipuram had two sons, Vajrasenan and Vikramasenan. As he reached old age, he handed over the rulership to his older son Vajrasenan and left the palace with his wife to become an ascetic (Vānaprastham) in a dense forest. Following his father's tradition, Vajrasenan administered kingly justice, looking after the welfare of his subjects. Prince Manidharan of the nearby country was his Gurukula classmate from a tender age.
As soon as Vajrasenan took the reins, Manidharan married off his younger sister to Vajrasenan and lived in Avanthipuram. Manidharan, bent on making Avanthipuram his own kingdom, gradually usurped power from Vajrasenan. Vajrasenan, taking time and interest in dance, singing, sculpture, and other fine arts, entrusted the reins over time to Manidharan.
Under the rule of Manidharan, anarchy reigned supreme. The council of ministers, upset over the chaos, attempted to meet with Vajrasenan, but Manidharan stopped them. The council went to Vikramasenan, informed him of the anarchy, and encouraged him to take the reins. However, he refused to follow their advice and admonished them, saying his brother's rule should prevail. With no way out of the anarchy, the council sought out Surasenan who was living in the forest.
Having heard them, Surasenan said, ‘’I have no right to interfere with the administration of the kingdom entrusted to my older son once I left for the forest. Just wait for a little while. There will be a remediation of the problem.’’ Though Surasenan sent them away with no solution, he privately agonized over the prevailing conditions in the country.
Surasenan thought deeply about whether there was a solution to the problem. Since he could not find a solution, he went to his children’s Gurukulam (academy) and met with the seniormost Guru there, beseeching him for a solution to the problem. He said, ‘’Maharaja! I am aware of the prevailing conditions in Avanthipuram. The root cause is Manidharan, the brother-in-law of Vajrasenan. Do not worry about it. I will find an equitable solution.’’ That was the promise made by the senior Guru.
The senior Guru reached Avanthipuram Darbar (court). Miserable Vajrasenan, knowing that his Guru came in search of him, extended an elaborate reception. The Guru told him, ‘’It is customary for the graduating students to give presents to the Guru. But I never took anything from you. I told you that I would take it whenever I needed it. Do you remember it?’’
Vajrasenan replied, ‘’I remember it very well. I am prepared to give you whatever you ask for.’’ After he made the promise, the Guru asked him, ‘’Would you break your word?’’ Vajrasenan said, ‘’Guru, why do you say things like that? Breaking one's word is equal to committing murder. Do not hesitate to ask me.’’
Guru: ‘’If that is so, please give me your country as Guru Dakshanai (gift).’’
Vajrasenan, though shocked, managed to conceal it and said, ‘’I won’t break my word. Here is my Rajyam.’’ Even before he could complete his sentence, Manidharan intervened and said, ’Don’t give the country, but give gold and valuables.’
Vajrasenan, thinking it is a crime to break one’s word, told the Guru, ‘’Guru Deva! As you desired, I give my Rajyam (kingdom) as a Guru Dakshanai (Dakshina = donation).’’ He proceeded to remove his crown from his head, put it aside, and got down from his lion-throne.
The guru, looking at Vajrasenan, said, ‘’Vajrasenan! I am at a loss for words to praise you. You could have spent one-tenth of the care to safeguard people’s welfare.’’ The Guru sent his disciple to the forest academy to bring Surasena to the palace.
When Surasena arrived at the palace, the Guru told him, ‘’Your older son gave me his rajyam as a donation. I am passing it on to you. You can break the country into two equal parts and give them to your two sons. This will bring peace to the country.’’ Surasena and his two sons accepted the Guru’s proposal. Surasena divided the country into two equal parts and installed them as kings.
The Vedalam stopped telling the story and addressed King Vikraman, ‘’Is it not stupidity that Surasena divided the country into two parts and gave one part knowingly to the incompetent son Vajrasenan? Initially, the younger son Vikramasenan said he would not interfere with his brother. It is wrong now he became a king of one of the two divided countries.’’
‘’Vikramasenan accepted the rajyam (kingdom). Why is that so? Surasenar, upon becoming an ascetic, promised he would not interfere with the affairs of the kingdom. In what way was the equal division of the country justified? Knowing the answers to these questions but maintaining silence will result in the explosion of your head into 100 pieces.’’
King Vikraman said to the Vedalam, ‘’It is customary that the elder son assumes the kingship when the king leaves. Initially, Vikramasenan did not agree to go against tradition. But his father, older brother, and the Guru put pressure on him, so he accepted half the rajyam. Vajrasenan has a good disposition. That is why he accepted his father’s dictate. He thought he could be an effective ruler like his younger brother if he told Manidharan to leave the county. Surasenar, a forest ascetic, took the country back from the Guru.
Surasenar accepted the Guru’s advice to divide the country into equal parts, considering the welfare of the subjects. There is no question of selfishness. Satisfying the desires of all, King Surasenar and the Guru solved the predicament. Both of them deserve accolades.
Since Vikraman's correct answer broke his silence, Vedalam flew off to take refuge in the moringa tree.