Shishu Sansaar | Vikram-Vaitaal Stories-2
|11-The Last Story|
11-The Last Story Which Puzzled the King
Vaitaal spoke - "O King Vikram, There is a queer time coming. Braahman will disgrace themselves by becoming soldiers and thus being killed; Shoodra will wear Yagyopaveet; in fact the whole society will be of mixed castes. Wars will last for six weeks and their causes will be forgotten soon; there will be no Gems of Science. People will shave their beards instead of their heads. They will never offer Tarpan to their ancestors. They will quarrel about their faith. Their tempers will be fierce. These outcast people will be ruled by women chiefs, they will prostrate in front of such women who cannot even kill one head. They will dance for themselves holding hands of strange women. Women will eat with their husbands and with other men, and yawn and sit carelessly before them showing the backs of their heads.
The women will not allow their husbands to have more than one wife, and even that single wife will not be available when her husband will need her services, being busy in collecting wealth, in ceremonial purification and feminine duty, in preparation of daily food etc etc. What Raam said of Seetaa - "If I chanced to be angry, she would bear my impatience like Mother Earth without murmur; in the hour of necessity, she would cherish me like a mother cherishes her child; in the moments of repose, she would be a lover to me; and in times of happiness, she would be my friend." And it is said - "A religious wife assists her husband in worship; she gives her all mind to make him happy; she is as faithful to him as a shadow to the body; she esteems him whether rich or poor, good or bad, handsome or deformed; in his absence or sickness she renounces all gratifications; and at his death she dies with him."
But these women will talk aloud and make the house a scene of variance, they will have no fear of losing their noses or ears, they will hold other men's hands, accept presents from them; and the worst of all they will show their white faces openly without the least sense of shame. They will dance and sing instead of taking care of their children. And do you think that they will be satisfied by this only? No, the more they will have the more they will desire.
There will be a white race of people who will lead their women into every kind of temptation and when any accident will occur they will blame them only, they will go to magistrate, and make all evil as public as possible. When all this change will be over, they will be restless, take flight and fall in Aryaavart (India) like locusts. Starving in their own country they will find ample food here to eat and to carry away also. They will be as selfish as crows.
In the beginning they will hire a shop near the mouth of Gangaa River and they will sell lead and bullion, fine and course woolen cloth and all the materials of intoxication. Then they will become soldiers from shopkeepers, they will beat and be beaten. At last they will spread like a host of ants all over the land."
Vikram was in a silent mood otherwise he would not have allowed him to speak all this ill-omened discourse to pass uninterrupted. He did not speak, Vaitaal continued - "Those days will be very bad for the kings of India, when the red-coated men of Shak will be amongst them. Now listen to me.
There will be a city named Dharmpur in Vindhya mountains whose king will be Mahaabal. He will be well skilled in art of war. He will duly regard omens. He will encourage his men for single combats. He will promise Heaven to those who will die in battle. Honors will be offered to those who never turn their backs in the war. but King Mahaabal will be attacked by white people who will employ gold, fire and steel against him. They will use the terrible fire weapons and bullets as big as hurled by the bow of Bharat. (Notes 185) Mahaabal will march out of the city to meet him. In front of him will be flags on which Garud bird, bull of Shiv, Hanumaan, the lion, the tiger, seven palm trees etc.
The white outcastes will come in a red thin line spitting fire like a Jwaalaamukhee. (Notes 187) King Mahaabal will receive them with his troops formed in circle, another in the shape of half-moon, another in the shape of cloud, another in the form of lion, tiger, carriage etc. But as the white will spit fire, elephants will return killing their own people. Mahaabal will enter his palanquin and will run away to the forest along with his wife and only daughter. For some time they will live on jungle food and maybe on games too.
After a while they will come to a village where Bheel will be living. They will ask the King to throw his arms, but the King will shoot his arrows so fast that none of the Bheel will be able to come to him. But he will have failed to bring his inexhaustible quiver. This conflict will continue for three hours. At length an arrow will hit the King's head and he will fall dead. Seeing the King dead, his wife and daughter will run away towards forest. Thus they will escape the Bheel. Then they will sit after four miles of journeying and will think about many things. They are beautiful, but the forest is dark, dense, fearful. They don't want to be touched by Bheel so they will rise and start walking again.
By chance two white people, a father and his son, with their party will be searching for more people and to slay them all. That they will see footprints going towards the forest and will identify them of women. They will be surprised on their discovery. The father will say - "How come that these human footprints are in this forest?" The son will say - "These are of women, a man's footprint cannot be so small. And see this print, this looks like a married woman's footprint. See how she treads on the inside of her soul because of the bending of her ankles."
The father will say - "Come, Let us look for the women. And look at this other footprint, it is much longer. The toes have scarcely touched the ground, whereas the marks of her heel are deep." Son will say - "Then let us look for them and when we find them, you give me the one who has shorter feet and take the other one yourself." Deciding like this they will, at last, find the women lying on ground half dead with fear and fatigue. Each tackles his prize on his horse back to their tents. The son takes the queen and the father takes the princess. They both marry their women and in due time the father is blessed by a son and the son is blessed by a daughter."
After telling this story Vaitaak asked Vikram - "Now tell me O Vikram, What relationship will be between these two newborn children?" Vikram pondered and pondered but could not speak. Vaitaal was impatient to hear the answer, but Vikram was still silent. In the meantime Vaitaal said - "In the meantime wouldn't you like to hear another story?" Vikram was walking fast. He saw the fire burning at a distance, so he hurriedly proceeded towards it.
Vaitaal did not leave the hope, he said - "Perhaps the young king can reply my question." but Dharmdhwaj also wouldn't reply at all. Vaitaal again spoke - "May I know that why didn't you reply my question? Is it because of your complete ignorance or because of your inability? I suspect the latter one is correct." Vikram kept silence squeezing his lips tightly.
Vaitaal Saves Vikram
Vaitaal continued - "Now I will fulfill my original promise, now you will derive that benefit from me which nobody can bestow you except me. But first would you let me have a little fresh air?" Dharmdhwaj pulled his father's sleeve but Vikram didn't pay any attention to it, nor he spoke a single word. Vaitaal again spoke - "Now you listen to what I have to tell you. Remember this saying, "A man is justified in killing one who has a design to kill him."
The young merchant Maldev who placed costly gifts at your royal feet; and Shaantaa-Shil who is working on his spells, incantations and magical rites in a cemetery on the banks of Godaavaree, are the same person - the same terrible Jogee, whose wrath your father aroused in his foolishness and whose revenge your blood alone can satisfy . I am the oilman's son. That Jogee, fearing from me, lest I interfere with his projects, slew me by the power of his penance, and had suspended me downward - as a trap for you.
That Jogee who has sent you to fetch me, will thank you for bringing me to him and cast on to his feet. I warn you to beware. He will take you to the temple of Durgaa and after he had finished your praise, he will ask you to do Sa-Ashtaang Pranaam to him." Then Vaitaal whispered something in Vikram's ears. Then a rustling sound was heard - Vaitaal was disengaging himself from his dead body tied in the bundle and Vikram felt the burden of the bag very light. He bade farewell to the King and his son and went away.
The King proceeded towards the Jogee. He was beating a skull like a drum. He was surrounded by various kinds of spirits. The King approached the Jogee, untied his bundle, and took out the corpse. Shaantaa-Shil's eyes glittered in dark. He thanked Vikram to bring it there. He repeated certain charms facing south. Then he sacrificed the human flesh untouched by steel to Devee along with other things. He then filled the skull with burning ambers and motioned the King and his son to follow him to Durgaa Temple - the Shamshaan Kaalee. King saw that her idol was standing with one leg on the chest of his husband Shiv and the other one on his thigh.
The Jogee kept the skull in front of her, and took out a sword from his clothes and murmured - "Prosperity to shrine and your son for ever and ever." and he muttered some prayer. Then he said to Vikram - "See, The Sun is now about to rise and our work is soon going to finish. Pay your respects before this deity by doing Sa-Astaang Pranaam. This will spread your glory. The Eight Powers ( 8 Siddhi) and Nine Treasures (9 Nidhi) will be yours."
Vikram suddenly remembered Vaitaal's warning. He brought his joined hands to touch his forehead, touched his eyebrows with both thumbs several times and replied with great humility - "O pious person, I am ignorant of the ways to do such rites. You are a spiritual teacher, please teach me how to do it, then I will do it." The cunning Jogee had fallen in his trap. As he bent down to salute Devee, Vikram immediately drew his sword and cut his neck. At the same time Dharmdhwaj pulled his father to escape from the fall of the idol which fell with a loud sound.
At the same time a small thin voice was heard - "A man is justified in killing one who has a design to kill him." Then the glad sounds of triumph and victory were heard from all around. Indra himself came there to shower the flowers on Vikram and asked him to ask for a boon. Vikram said - "Let my this history be famous throughout the world." Indra said - "It is well. As long as the Sun and the Mon will shine upon the Earth your adventure will also be remembered over the Earth. Meanwhile you rule the mankind."
Vikram took the two corpses and threw them in the ditch. At once two heroes started their new life. Vikram said to them - "When I call you, then you come." Vikram returned to his palace with his son.
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 06/05/13