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Vaitaal Stories-2

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4-A Truthful Woman

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Vikram and Vaitaal Stories-2 - Story 4 (Keral Version)
"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]

4-A Truthful Woman

Vaitaal said - "Listen to another story, O king. There was a Vaishya Hiranyadatt, who had a very beautiful daughter, Madansena Sundaree. As she was growing her beauty was also increasing. The people of that country, Madanpur, ruled by Beerbar, had spread this news everywhere. So many suitors drew their portraits and sent them to that Vaishya. The Vaishya showed all of them to his daughter and asked her to choose anyone she liked, but she told him that none of them pleased her, then she begged him to find such a boy who has good looks, good qualities and good sense.

Once four suitors came from four different countries. The father asked them to prove their knowledge to him, as he was satisfied with their looks. The first one said - "I am well versed with all Shaastra and there is nobody equal to me in science." The second one said - "I have specialization in archery and I can shoot at an aim which is not seen but only heard (Shabd Vedhee Vaan)." The third one said - "I understand the languages of all water, air and land animals." The fourth one said - "I can make certain cloth which can be sold at five rubies. After selling those five rubies, I give the proceeds of one ruby to a Braahman, one ruby to deity, one I wear myself, the fourth one I give to  my wife, and the fifth one I spend on giving feasts."

The father thought that "the excess of anything is not good. Seetaa was very beautiful that is why Raavan took him; King Bali of Mahaabaahpur gave much alms that is why in the end he became poor. My daughter is too fair to remain maiden, to whom I should give my daughter?" Thinking thus he sat down hanging his head down. After a while he spoke to himself, the boy who is good at Shaastra, is Braahman; the boy who could shoot an arrow at the sound is a Kshatriya; and he who made the cloth is a Shoodra; but the one who understands the languages of all animals is of our caste so I will marry my daughter to him." Thinking thus he proceeded to fix her daughter's marriage.

Meanwhile Madansenaa went to a garden for a stroll, that she saw Dharmdatt Vaishya's son Somdatt who came there with his friend just for pleasure. He saw Madansenaa and fell in love with her instantly. He said to his friend "I have to marry this girl." And saying thus he came to her, held her hand and said to her - "If you will not marry me, I will commit suicide." She said - "Please do not do this as this will involve me in a murder and I will be punished for that." Somdatt said - "I cannot live without you, so you make me the promise."

Madansenaa said - "Oh, Kali Yug indeed has come, lying has increased and truth has decreased in this world, religion is destroyed, crime has increased. My marriage is after five days, but if you will not kill yourself, then I will visit you first then I will be with my husband." Having sworn like this Madansenaa went home and Somdatt also went away.

Marriage day arrived, ceremonies were started, turmeric was rubbed on their bodies, and marriage procession went to bride's house and both were married. Her husband brought his wife home after the marriage. After a few days she was taken to her husband's room. As her husband was about to take her hand, that she jerked it away and told him about Somdatt, his committing suicide and her promise to him. Her husband said - "From your speech, it seems that you are speaking the truth. If you really want to go to him, you may go."

With the permission of her husband, she went to Somdatt's house in her full marriage dress. On the way, a thief saw her and asked her where she was going adorned like that? She told him that she was going to her lover's house. "And who is your protector here?" "Kaam Dev, Rati's husband. Please do not destroy my jewels, I will give you everything when I come back." The thief agreed and he freed her to go and sat down there waiting for her to come back, thinking - these six things lower the man - friendship with a fool, causeless laughter, flattering with women, serving an unworthy master, riding an ass, and speaking any other language than Sanskrit. And these five things are decided before we take birth - age, action, wealth, science and fame. Today I have done a good work.

Meanwhile Madansenaa reached the home of Somdatt. He was fast asleep. As she woke him up, he asked her - "Are you a deity or a saint, or a serpent? From where have you come?" She replied - "I am human, Madansenaa, the daughter of Hiranyadatt Vaishya. Do you remember taking my hand in that grove and told that you would kill yourself, if I did not marry you, and I promised you to visit first and then I will remain with my husband." Somdatt was surprised to hear this, he said - "So, have you said everything to your husband?" Madansenaa said - "Yes, I have told him everything, he has understood the whole situation and I have come here with his permission."

He got very sad hearing this, he said - "This matter is like pearls without dress or food without Ghee, or singing without melody - they are alike unnatural. In the same way unclean clothes will destroy the beauty, bad food will destroy the strength, a wicked wife will worry her husband to death, a defamed son will ruin the family, and a woman whether she loves or hates will be a source of pain. For there are a few things a woman will never do - she never brings to her tongue what is in her heart; she will never speaks out that is on her tongue; and she never tells what is she doing. That is how God has created the woman. You may go home, I have no concern with another man's wife."

Madansenaa went away. On the way she met that thief, but pleased with her truth, he allowed her to go untouched. As she reached her house, her husband said - "No, Not a king, not a minister, not a wife, not a person's hair, not his nails look out of their places. The beauty of Kokilaa is in her notes, an ugly man's in his knowledge, a devotee's in his forgiveness and a woman's in her chastity."

After narrating the story so far, Vaitaal asked Vikram - "Who among the three was most virtuous?"

Vikram was so engrossed in hearing the tale, that he replied - "The thief."  "Say why?"  "Because when her husband found that she loved somebody else, he could not love her anymore. Somdatt let her go because of the fear of the king, but the thief had no fear of anybody, that is why the thief was the best." 

Vaitaal laughed loudly and said - "Here ends my story." and escaped from the bag as before leaving father and son in dismay. Vikram said to his son Dharmdhwaj - "When next time Vaitaal asks me a question, you pinch me before answering his question. Because if this will go on like this, we will never be able to finish our task." But he was not sure that his father's plan will work. As they took him again, Vaitaal again started his new story.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 06/05/13