Shishu Sansaar | Vaitaal Stories-2
"Captain Sir Richard R Burton's Vikram and the Vampire: classic Hindu tales of adventure, magic and romance" / edited by his wife Isabel Burton. [etext Conversion Project, Nalanda Digital Library, NIT Calicut, Kerala State, India]
The first edition of this book was published in 1870. This book lists 11 stories including the last story which puzzled the King Vikramaaditya. He has given a good introduction to the stories of Vikram and Vaitaal. A short description of that introduction is given here --
Vikramaaditya Returns to His Kingdom
As Bharatrahari left the kingdom, the throne of Vikram was empty. When Indra Dev heard this, he sent Prithveepaal, a fierce giant, to guard Ujjayinee till its real master reappears, so he guarded the city day and night.
In less than a year, Vikram got tired of wandering half dressed. Besides he heard that his brother Bharatrahari abdicated the throne, so he and his son returned to their capital. It was midnight when they arrived at the main gate of the city. They were about to enter the city, that a Dev, a monstrous figure, (Notes 29) rose to his feet and asked him - "Who are you, and where are you going?"
Vikram said angrily - "I am the King Vikramaaditya and I am going to my own city. How do you dare to stop me?" Prithveepaal said - "The gods have sent me to guard Ujjayinee Nagaree. If you are really King Vikram, then first fight with me, then you can enter your city." He challenged him in an empty space beyond the gate. His fists were as large as watermelons. The king barely reached to his stomach. They both started fighting. At last the King's good luck prevailed. The giant's left foot slipped, and Vikram held his right foot. His son also helped him, so the efforts of both brought him down. His son sat on the giant's stomach, while the father pressed his neck with hands and eyes with his both thumbs and threatened him to make him blind.
The giant said - "OK, You have defeated me, now I grant you your life." Vikram said half angrily half smilingly - "Surely, You must be mad. To whom you are granting life? If I wanted, I could have killed you." The giant said - "Do not be so proud, O King of Ujjayinee. I have come to save you from near death. I tell you a tale, you listen to it, and decide yourself. By this you will be able to rule the earth without any obstacle and will die peacefully. The king got down from his body and listened to his tale.
The Giant Tells the Story
The giant said - "In short, three men were born in the same lunar mansion, in the same division of the great circle described upon the ecliptic and in the same period of time. You, the first one, were born in a king's house. The second one was born in an oilman's house, and he was slain by the third one, a Yogee who kills all he can to please Durgaa Devee. The Yogee, after killing the oilman's son, has hung him upside down in a cemetery from a Mimosa tree; and now he is plotting for your destruction. He has murdered his own child too."
Vikram asked - "But how did he come to have a child being a Yogee?" The giant said - "That is what I am going to tell you now. In the good days of your father's, Gandharvsen, rule, once the king and his courtiers were enjoying in a forest that they saw a head protruding from the ground. The white ants have surrounded his body and all kinds of insects and worms were crawling up his face, scorpions were in his matted hair locks, still that Saadhu was not feeling them at all. He was inhaling only the smoke from a thorny bush.
The king was so much impressed with that Saadhu that he continually praised him. This praise was so much that he proclaimed in the city that whoever will bring him to his court, he will receive 100 gold coins.
Now there lived a prostitute named Vasantsenaa. She also heard this announcement. She was famous for her wits and beauty. She appeared in the court and offered to bring him with a baby on his shoulder in exchange for merely a golden bangle. The king got astonished to hear this, and he gave her a betel leaf to accept her promise.
Vasantsenaa directly went to the forest where she found the Yogee, faint with thirst, and half dead with heat and cold. Carefully she lit the fire, cooked some sweets and touched it with his lips which he licked with great relish. Slowly he felt something on his mouth and opened his eyes. He saw a beautiful woman near him. He asked - "Who are you and why are you here?"
Vasantsenaa immediately replied - "I am a daughter of a Devtaa. I lived in Dev Lok, and now I have come to live in this forest." The Yogee asked her about her hut and went with her to live with her. She showed him her house and said - "I have got all this because of my vows." The Yogee had started living there like an ordinary man. Later he married her by Gandharv marriage system, and after due course of time they had their first child, a son.
After a few months, Vasantsenaa asked him to go on a pilgrimage to wash her all sins which he readily agreed for. He followed Vasantsenaa wherever she went - to the King's court. People recognized her immediately. They asked her all kinds of questions. The Yogee also heard that conversation. He knew that they had done this to him to take away the fruits of his Tap. So cursing them all, taking the child with him, he ran away from there. He slaughtered the child and began his tap to take the revenge of this.
His prayers were heard, so in the first place, he deprived you from your father; secondly, he developed enmity between you and your brother; thirdly, now he is plotting to kill you. His plan is to offer a king and his son to Durgaa, by virtue of which he will attain the sovereignty of the whole world. But I have taken vow to save you. Therefore listen to me - never trust anybody who lives in forests and kill him whoever wants to kill you." Suddenly Prithveepaal got quiet and disappeared. Vikram and his son entered the city.
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/27/12