The Eternal Father: Vikram and Betaal story 08

Vikram and Betaal story- Long ago a Brahmin lived in Avantipur. The Brahmin’s wife had died at childbirth and she had left him a beautiful daughter. The Brahmin loved his daughter very much. He worked day and night and tried his best to make his daughter happy.

Bishakha, the Brahmin’s daughter, grew up to be a very beautiful and intelligent woman. She also loved her father very much. One day, when Bishakha was sleeping, a man quietly climbed into her room through the open window and hid behind the curtains. She asked, “Who are you?” The man replied, “I am a thief.

The king’s guards are after me. Please help me.” When the king’s guards knocked on her door, Bishakha told them that she did not know anything.

anything. The thief who was hiding in her room was saved. He thanked her and quietly left, through the way he had come. They often saw each other at the market. They had begun to fall in love. So one day they decided to get married.

Bishakha was scared that her father would be very angry because she wanted to marry a thief. So she decided to get married to the thief secretly. They were happy until one day the thief was caught by the king’s guards and sentenced to death for robbing a rich man’s house.

Bishakha was shattered for she was carrying his child in her womb. When the thief died Bishaka’s father got her married to another man and in a few months the baby boy was born.

This man accepted the boy as his own. Bishakha died when the boy was only five. The man took up the role of a responsible father and the boy grew up to be kind and intelligent. They had loved each other a lot but then one day the man died too. As he grieved for his father, the boy decided to pray for both his parents’ souls.

As he was about to offer his prayers, three hands came out of the river water. One hand was wearing bangles. It said, “Son, I am your mother.” The young man offered his prayers to his mother. But he was confused about the other two hands. One of them said, “Son, I am your father who has given birth to you.”

The third hand was silent. When the young man asked, it said, “Son, I am your father too, the one who has brought you up with love and care.”

Betaal asked, “Great king, tell me now, who out of the two fathers should the son offer his prayers to?”

Vikramaditya said, “He was the father who had brought him up. He had fulfilled the duties of a father. If he had not cared for the child when his mother died the child would have died too. Only he has the right to be called the young man’s father.”

Betaal said, “You are right again” and flew back to the tree.

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