Shishu Sansaar | Vikram-Vaitaal Stories-2
|6-Three Men Dispute About a Woman|
6-Three Men Dispute About a Woman
Vaitaal started a new story - "There was a city named Dharm-sthal where lived a Keshav named Braahman. He was a very pious man and worshipped his own made images. Until 20 years of age, he neglected his studies and worshipped Kaam Dev and his wife Rati. One day his father rebuked him for his behavior and he went away from his house and wandered around, that he came under a fig tree which shaded an image of Panchaanan. An evil idea came to his mind, he defiled the image of god and threw it into a nearest tank.
Next morning, whose livelihood was that image, came there and didn't find the image. He got very disappointed and reported the loss to village people. In the meantime, Keshav's parents also came searching him. A man said to them, that he did see a man sitting near the image but what happened to that man or image, he didn't know. The villagers suspected that maybe the same man was the stealer of that image. Keshav also accepted the theft and showed them the place where he threw the image. Villagers got very angry at this and they decided that such a man should be condemned to death. Keshav got frightened at this and from the same moment he decided to obey his parents. Then he became the most learned man of the village.
Keshav had a very beautiful daughter whose name was Madhumaalatee. When she became of marriageable age, all three, her father, mother and brother got worried about her marriage. It is said that "An unmarried daughter is ever a calamity over a house."; and "Kings, women, and climbing plants love those who are near them."; and "A woman cannot be kept in due subjection, either by gifts or kindness, or correct conduct, or the greatest services, or the laws of morality, or by the terror of punishment, for she cannot discriminate between good and evil."
It so happened that once Keshav went to one of his customers and his son went to study, that a young man came in the house. Keshav's wife found him suitable for her daughter and said to her, "I will give my daughter to you." Keshav also made a promise to a youth at his customer's place, and the brother also promised a boy at the place where he went to study.
After a few days father and son came back home accompanied by the two suitors and the third one was already seated there. The first boy's name was Trivikram, the second one's name was Vaaman and the third one's name was Madhusoodan. All three were very qualitative in mind, body, knowledge and age. The father thought, "There is one girl, and three bridegrooms, to whom to give this girl and to whom not to give. It is a strange circumstance. What should we do?"
He then proposed a trial of wisdom. He said - "Whoever will quote the most excellent saying of the wise, I will give my daughter to the same." Trivikram said - "Courage is tried in war, integrity in the payment of debt and interest, friendship in distress, and the faithfulness of a wife in the day of poverty." Vaaman said - "That woman is destitute of virtue who in her father's house is not in subjection, who wanders to feast and amusements, who throws off her veil in the presence of men, who remains as a guest in the house of strangers, who is much devoted to sleep, who drinks liquor beverages, and who delights in distance from her husband." Madhusoodan said - "Let none confide in the sea, nor in whatever has claws or horns, or who carries deadly weapons, neither in a woman, nor in a king."
Madhumaalatee is Dead
While the Braahman was still deciding to whom to marry his daughter, that a serpent bit the girl and she died in a few hours time. All were motionless by the sudden death of the girl. After a while they rose called all kinds of sorcerers, wise men and women but nobody was able to bring her alive. One said - "One always dies who is bitten on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th days of lunar month." The second said - "One always dies who has been bitten on a Saturday or a Tuesday." The third said - "Poison infused on certain lunar mansions cannot be got under." The fourth said - "One who has been bitten in any organ of senses, the lower lip, the cheek, the neck, or the stomach cannot escape death." The fifth one said - "In this case even Brahmaa cannot bring her to life. We go now and you prepare for her funeral rites."
Her father did her last rites and came back. The three boys decided to travel as Indra had adviced to travel. Before parting, Trivikram had taken her bones and became one of Vaisheshikaa, a powerful sect in those days. He took oath to not to commit 8 great crimes - feeding at night; slaying an animal; eating the fruit of trees which give milk, or pumpkins, or young bamboos; tasting honey or flesh; plundering the wealth of others; taking a woman by force; eating flowers, butter or cheese; and worshipping the gods of other religions. He professed the five vows of total abstinence from falsehood, eating meat, theft, drinking spirits, and marriage. He vowed to possess only a loin cloth, a towel to wipe his mouth, a beggar's dish, a brush of woolen threads to sweep the ground for the fear of treading on insects.
The second boy, Vaaman, tied up the ashes in a bundle and followed the precepts of Manu, the lawgiver - to perform five great sacraments, wear black antelope hide; not to cut hair, beard, and nails; taking bath three times a day; standing in water in winters, sitting surrounded by fire in summer and standing outside in rainy season; live in a hut without a house; wholly silent; and eating only fruits and roots.
The third boy, Madhusoodan, took a wallet and neckband, became a Jogee and began to wander far and wide. In order to see Brahm he followed these duties - hearing, meditation, fixing the mind, and absorbing the mind. He combated the three evils - restlessness, injuriousness, and voluptuousness by settling the deity in his spirit, by subjecting his senses and by destroying desires. Though he was connected with worldly affairs, still he was not indulged in them as he did not consider them realities. He practiced Praanaayaam, 84 Aasan (postures) etc.
One day Madhusoodan went to a house for food. The householder offered him food and sat himself also along with him to take food. He said - "No guest must be dismissed in the evening: he is sent by he returning Sun and whether he comes at a right time or wrong time, he must not leave without being entertained. Let me not eat any delicate food without asking first my guest to partake of it." As his wife served the food, that her child began to cry and wouldn't be quiet even after lots of persuasion, so she got angry and threw him into the fire which burned him instantly.
Seeing this Madhusoodan rose immediately without eating. The master asked - "Why don't you eat?" He said - "I am an A-Tithi, that is OK, but how can eat in such a house where such devilish act has been performed. He who does not control his passions lives in vain. A foolish king, a person puffed up with riches, a weak child, desire that which cannot be procured. And "A king destroys his enemies, even when flying; and the touch of an elephant, as well as the breath of a serpent, are fatal, but the wicked destroys while laughing."
The master went to another room, brought a book (scroll) in which Sanjeevanee Vidyaa was written. He immediately restored the child by using that book saying - "Of all precious things the most valuable is the knowledge, because other riches may be stolen, or diminished by expenditure, but knowledge is immortal, the greater the expenditure the greater the increase. It can be shared with none, or it defies the power of a thief; or it can be distributed to everyone."
Madhumaalatee is Alive The Jogee thought if I could get hold of this book, I can make my beloved alive. With this resolution he sat down to take food and remained in the house to spend the night. After taking the food all went to sleep, but the Jogee couldn't sleep. When four hours of night passed, he got up, stole the book and went straight to the spot where Madhumaalatee was burned. There he found his two companions talking about their experiences. As he arrived there, both of them had recognized him and asked aloud - "What new did you learn?" He said - "I have learned the science of restoring the dead to life." Both of them immediately spoke together, "If you have really learned it, then bring our beloved alive."
He proceeded to start the process. All the three drew their blood and offered to Chandee Devee. Then they made a burnt offering of their flesh and each one prayed - "Grant me to see, O Goddess, our beloved alive again, for which I present my flesh to you, invoking you for being kind to me." Then they made a heap of bones and ashes which have been kept carefully by Trivikram and Vaaman. A white vapor arose from the ground and gradually condensed into a woman form - Madhumaalatee. She asked them to take her to her mother's home.
Now they started quarreling about her to make his own wife. Trivikram told if he had not kept those bones for such a long time, Madhumaalatee could not have been revived. Vaaman told that if he did not keep her ashes, Madhumaalatee could not have been revived. But Madhusoodan told that they had already kept the bones and ashes for so long, but were not able to revive her; only he revived her with his knowledge."
After telling the story so far, Vaitaal said to Vikram - "Thus nobody could decide who belonged to Madhumaalatee, maybe King Vikram can tell us that."
Vikram immediately replied - "To Vaaman who kept her ashes." Vaitaal asked - "But if Trivikram had not preserved her bones how could she be revved? And if Madhusoodan had not learned the science of revival, how could she be restored to life? At last it seems to me. What your royal wisdom says?" Vikram said - "Devil, Trivikram who preserved her bones, he reserved the right of being her son by doing that act; therefore he could not marry her. Madhusoodan who restored her to life, was naturally her father; so he could not marry her. Therefore she could be of Vaaman only who kept her ashes."
Immediately Vaitaal jumped out from the bag and suspended from the tree. Vikram thought- "I think I should sit down and listen to his story, perhaps walking and listening to the story together confuses me." Vaitaal opposed the idea of this as it was contrary to covenant between the King and Vaitaal. Vikram repeated the words of his contract and told that those words were not in his contract. Vaitaal kept quiet at this, then said - "I will not say a word." But he was also bound by Destiny, so as Vikram set off, he again started telling a true tale.
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 06/05/13