Vikram and Betaal story- When King Vikramaditya went to fetch Betaal again, the ghost was amused. “Dear king, you must be bored of dragging me down again and again,” he said. The king remained silent. The ghost continued, “All right, I shall tell you another story. It will keep the boredom away.” And Betaal began to tell another story.
Once upon a time, a very pious Brahmin lived in the kingdom of Kanuj. He had a young daughter named Vidruma. People said that her face was like the moon and her colour was like molten gold. Vidruma was very beautiful. In that same city, there were three very learned young Brahmins.
All three of them loved her very much. They had even approached her father on several occasions to seek her as their wife. But the Brahmin had refused all of them. One day Vidruma fell very sick.
The old Brahmin tried everything to save her but alas! She died due to her illness. The three young Brahmins were very disappointed by her death. They wept for days and finally decided to dedicate their lives to her memory. The first young Brahmin built a hut near the cemetery and made a bed out of her ashes. He then began to spend his days begging for food and sleeping on the bed.
The second Brahmin collected Vidruma’s bones and dipped them in the holy waters of the Ganges. He then began spending his life living by the side of the river, under the stars. The third young Brahmin decided to live the life of a monk. He wandered from village to village, begging for food and shelter.
One day when he was visiting a village, a simple trader invited him to spend the night in his house. When they sat down for dinner, the trader’s little boy began to cry very loudly. No matter how much his mother tried to calm him, he kept on crying. Finally, the woman was irritated. She picked up her son and threw him into the stove. The boy quickly burnt to ashes. The young Brahmin was horrified by the whole event.
Trembling with anger he got up from where he sat before his plate of food and said, “You people are so cruel to kill an innocent child. I will not eat in this house for it shall be a sin.” His host begged him to stay.
“Please forgive us O great monk. I pray you to stay so that you may see no cruelty has taken place. I can bring my son back to life. He is perfectly safe.” The man then fetched a tiny book of prayers and chanted some mantras.
The beautiful boy rose from the ashes, alive and hearty. The Brahmin was amazed. He could not believe his eyes. Suddenly he had an idea. When his host went to bed, the Brahmin quietly took the book of prayers and left the village to come home.
He was planning to bring Vidruma back to life. But for that, he would need her ashes and her bones. He went to the cemetery where the other two Brahmins were living. “Brothers,” he said, “I have found a way of bringing the beautiful Vidruma back to life.
But I would need her bones and her ashes.” The two Brahmins were overjoyed to hear this. They brought her ashes and her bones and placed them before the third Brahmin. The third Brahmin then began to chant the mantra and soon Vidruma rose from her ashes. She looked more beautiful than she used to.
The three Brahmins were very happy. But they began to fight amongst themselves as to who should marry her.
Betaal stopped and asked the king, “Tell me king, who do you think deserved the most to be her husband?” King Vikramaditya said, “The first Brahmin.” Betaal was smiling.
“The third Brahmin brought the mantra to bring her back to life. He did the duty that a father should do. The second Brahmin kept her bones. He did what a son would do. But the first Brahmin slept with her ashes. It is what a lover would do. Thus he deserved the most to marry her.” Betaal said, “You are right.” And he flew back to the Peepal tree.