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YAMAJIHVĀ - यमजिह्वा

A prostitute. In Kathāsaritsāgara, Śaktiyaśolambaka, 1st Taraṅga, there is a story about her as follows:-- In the city of Citrakūṭa Ratnavarmā a wealthy Vaiśya, had a son named Īśvaravarmā. In order to avoid his son falling under the influence of prostitutes, the father decided to teach “veśyātantram”, to Īśvaravarmā while he was a boy. Yamajihvā, the prostitute undertook this task for a reward of 1000 Niṣkas. (a gold coin of that time). After completing his education on the wiles and tricks of prostitutes, he was sent by his father to start a trade with a capital of five crores of Niṣkas. Īśvaravarmā and his friend Arthadatta on their way, stopped at a park on the outskirts of the city of Kāñcanapura. There he fell a victim to the bewitching charms of a prostitute named Sundarī. He spent the lion's share of the money given by his father, on her. On the advice of his friend Arthadatta he was about to leave the place when Sundarī pretended to be in danger of falling into a well and asked for his help. Īśvaravarmā was again caught in her trap and he was forced to spend the res of his money also on her. When he was rendered penniless the prostitute and her mother deserted him. Īśvaravarmā returned home to his father, empty-handed. Ratnavarmā took his son to Yamajihvā again and told her the whole story. He said that his son fell into this plight because Yamajihvā's training was not effective. After listening to the whole story, Yamajihvā promised to recover the whole amount lost by Īśvaravarmā. She brought her trained monkey named “Āla” and placed 1,000 Niṣkas before him. She taught him to swallow the whole amount. After that, she taught him to give out by vomiting, the swallowed money in instalments of twenty, thirty, forty etc., as ordered. Then Yamajihvā said to Īśvaravarmā:--“Take this monkey with you and go to Sundarī's place. Make him swallow the money in secret and get it again from him, in instalments, in her presence. She would think that the monkey is an inexhaustible source of wealth and would be prepared to buy it at any cost--even by offering her whole wealth in return. At first you must pretend to be unwilling to part with the monkey. In the end, you must make him swallow 2,000 Niṣkas which he would be able to give out in two days at the rate of 1,000 on each day. Exchange him for her whole wealth and leave the place immediately.” With this advice Yamajihvā sent Īśvaravarmā with the monkey. He went to Kāñcanapura in the company of his friend Arthadatta after receiving two crores of Niṣkas from his father. When Sundarī knew that Īśvaravarmā had come again with more money, she welcomed him with due respect and invited him to live with her. He accepted her invitation and took up his residence there. One day, he brought the monkey into the house and in the presence of Sundarī asked him to produce various amounts of money for different purposes. The monkey promptly vomited the various amounts separately without making any mistake. Sundarī and her mother Makarakaṭī were naturally amazed at the marvellous performance of the monkey. Īśvaravarmā explained that the monkey was capable of giving in this way, 1,000 Niṣkas daily. Sundarī made up her mind to purchase the wonderful animal at any price. She requested Īśvaravarmā to give her the monkey in exchange for the crores of Niṣkas she had taken from him earlier. But he turned down her request. At last she persuaded him to sell the monkey to her for the entire wealth she possessed. Īśvaravarmā secretly made the monkey swallow 2,000 Niṣkas before handing it over to Sundarī and left the place at once to go to Svarṇadvīpa for trade. Āla, the monkey gave Sundarī 1,000 Niṣkas on each of the first two days, but on the third day she was disillusioned. In her disappointment and anger, she beat Ālan. The enraged monkey attacked both Sundarī and Makarakaṭī and harmed them by biting and tearing with its nails. They in turn, beat him to death. Thus Sundarī lost all her ill-gotten wealth and was reduced to utter poverty and distress.

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