Vikram Betaal: A Promise Not Kept
King Vikram was adamant on taking Betaal to the sage because he wanted to keep his promise to him. So, he again went back to the forest and fetched the ghost from the tree. When he started walking back towards the cremation ground, Betaal ......
King Vikram was adamant on taking Betaal to the sage because he wanted to keep his promise to him. So, he again went back to the forest and fetched the ghost from the tree. When he started walking back towards the cremation ground, Betaal started to tell him one of the interesting stories he knew.
The ruler of Kishanagar had an extremely beautiful daughter, named Sona. As she was the only child, she enjoyed a lot of freedom. She was intelligent, well read and skilled in the use of weapons. When she reached a marriageable age, the king started looking for a suitable partner for her. The princess coveted to marry a man more skilled than her in every respect. So, she asked her father to make an announcement that she would marry only the person who would be able to defeat her in a fight. The king was very proud to hear his daughter’s views and made announcements in every state, inviting princes to his kingdom.
Thinking that it would be very easy to defeat a young woman, many fighters and princes from all over the country came to take the challenge, but none could succeed. As the princess was taking on the suitors one after another, among them was Uday Varma, the prince of Ayodhyapuri. He watched the fight every day, by joining the crowd. He carefully observed her way of fighting. Within a few days, Uday Varma learnt all her strategies, and was fully prepared to fight her and as anticipated it did not take him long to defeat the princess.
Uday Varma proudly told the king and the queen that he was able to defeat the princess by closely observing her fighting strategies. On hearing this, the princess suddenly said, “Dear prince, I know that you have defeated me, but I cannot marry you.”
The king was surprised by his daughter’s decision and asked her the reason for the refusal. The princess turned towards Uday Varma and asked whether he knew the reason or not. Uday Varma thought for a while and said, “Yes you are right! We cannot get married.” Saying so, he walked away from there.
The king and queen were surprised to see Uday Varma accepting Sona’s decision without any argument. They were unable to understand the whole situation.
Betaal thus concluded the story and asked King Vikramaditya,“Why did Uday Varma quietly accept the decision of the princess? Tell me Vikram, if you do not speak even if you know the answer, your head will split into pieces.”
Vikram replied “Uday Varma had learnt the art of warfare from Sona, just as a student learns it from his teacher. Both of them agreed not to marry each other because they understood that in Bhartiya sanskriti, it is immoral for a teacher to marry his or her student.”
Vikram had rightly answered Betaal’s question. Since he had spoken again, Betaal flew back to the tree. Vikram with his sword in his hand, went after the Betaal once again.