As the guests were about to relax, armed men rushed towards them with
swords in their hands. But lo! they remained there transfixed! It was the will of the
gods!! They could neither move their uplifted swords nor go back. Padmavarna stepped in
and went to seize the guests.
Brahma said with a smile, " My brother, we are pleased with your
hospitality. Who are you and what do you want of us? We shall be pleased to give you all
that you ask." Padmavarna said, "I am Padmavarna, the king of this region. I
lure rich merchants and kill them and take their wealth."
"We shall gladly give them to you if you carry them with you to
heaven after death."
Padmavarna said, " Why, that is not impossible!"
"Have you seen anyone taking them?"
Padmavarna began to reflect; the words of Brahma were working on his
mind. Brahma said, "My brother! we give you time.
Keep us here in strict guard and go to the cremation ground. Tell me if
you see anyone taking his wealth with him after death."
Padmavarna asked his men to guard them and went to the cremation
ground. He found every minute a dead body coming. They were stripped of everything and
consigned to flames! Not one of them carried any wealth! No, even the body nourished so
tenderly was destroyed!
Padmavarna returned sad at heart in the evening: his mind was filled
with dismay. He related to Brahma what he had seen.