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  • Vikramāditya, who is believed to be one of the mighty emperors of Bhārata, was an extraordinarily wise, righteous and valiant ruler. There are several stories in all the languages of India, prevalent everywhere. They are generally called Vikramāditya stories. Vikramāditya was the son of Mahendrāditya, King of Ujjayinī. Mahendrāditya and his wife Saumyadarśanā were in great distress as they were childless. Sumati, the Prime Minister, Vajrāyudha, the army commander, and Mahīdhara, the priest, were as distressed as the royal couple. The King and the queen engaged themselves in fast and prayer. In the meanwhile, the Devas found life extremely difficult due to the wicked deeds of the barbarians, and they went to Kailāsa and told Rudradeva of their grievances. They said, “Oh! Lord! All the asuras exterminated by yourself and Mahāviṣṇu, are born on the earth as Barbarians. They commit great sins such as killing the Brahmins, obstructing sacrifices carrying away hermit damsels etc. The sacrificial offerings in the sacred fire with Vedic Mantras by Brahmins, is the food of Devas. Because of the troubles caused by the Barbarians in the earth, the sacrifices are hindered and the Devas are in trouble due to lack of food. So a being, mighty and strong enough to exterminate all the Barbarians on the earth, should take incarnation.” Śiva agreed and sent the devas back to their world. Then he called Mālyavān and told him to take birth as the son of Mahendrāditya in the city of Ujjayinī. Śiva added. “You should exterminate all the Barbarians and reinstate rituals and ceremonies. The Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, ghosts etc. will be under your control. You will be an emperor there with divine powers.” Accordingly Mālyavān took birth as the son of Mahendrāditya. That infant was Vikramāditya who became a mighty emperor later. [Kathāsaritsāgara, Viṣamaśīlalambaka, Taraṅga 1]. 

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