Ilächikumär was silent but his mind was racing with thoughts. He felt that he would not be able to live happily without the girl and was willing to make any sacrifice for her. He was even prepared to learn acrobatic skills for that purpose. His parents misunderstood his silence as disappointment and felt that in time he would recover. They tried to divert his attention to other matters to help him forget and Ilächikumär allowed them to believe that they were succeeding. But his mind was made up. When the acrobat group decided to leave the town of Ilävardhan, Ilächikumär secretly left his home and joined the acrobat group.
He discarded his fancy clothes and put on an acrobat’s uniform. He started learning their skill. He was smart and diligently learned the acrobatic skills. The girl fell in love with him and helped him to learn the skills. With her help he easily mastered the skill and soon became an expert acrobat. When the group reached the city of Benätat, he requested the father of the girl to organize a show at the royal court. Thereafter, the chief went to the young king and requested him to watch the performance of the young acrobat and to award him a suitable prize for his skills.
The king agreed and the acrobats erected the poles in the compound of the royal palace where the officers of the state and the elite of the city were invited to watch the performance. The king occupied his seat in the balcony of the palace. Bowing to him, Ilächikumär went over the pole. Jumping onto the rope he started displaying his acrobatic skills. He walked on the rope with ease and grace. He also performed risky jumps and somersaults. It was a superb performance. No one had ever seen such acrobatic feats. Everyone was highly impressed with his skill. Ilächikumär felt gratified by the appreciation of the people. He thought that it was enough to please the king as well. He came down, and bowed to the king again and requested an appropriate award.
During the performance, however, the king’s attention had been diverted by the beautiful girl. She fascinated him. He saw how she gazed lovingly at Ilächikumär throughout the performance. He thought that he could easily gain her if he somehow got rid of Ilächikumär. The chief acrobat approached the king and asked if he had enjoyed the performance. The king pretended that his mind had been occupied with problems of the state and he was not able to give his full attention to the performance. He requested Ilächikumär to show his skill again. Accordingly, Ilächikumär got on the rope again and displayed his skills. At the end of the show, the king pretended to be drowsy and asked him to repeat the performance. Ilächikumär could not believe it. He suspected that there was something wrong. However, since he was still eager to accomplish his cherished goal of marrying the girl, he decided to try again.
He started the ropewalk once again. He triumphantly looked around. While up there, he noticed a beautiful woman offering sweet food to a young monk. She was in the prime of her youth and was very attractive and highly graceful. What surprised Ilächikumär was that the monk was completely unaffected by her beauty. He compared it to his own situation. He had changed his entire life for the beauty of one girl and the monk was impervious to the lovely woman in front of him. He was amazed by the self-control and detached attitude of the monk towards the beautiful woman. What power kept the monk aloof in the presence of that woman? In addition, while remaining aloof, peace radiated from his face! This detachment of the monk raised a succession of thoughts in the mind of Ilächikumär.