Vikram Betaal: The Exchanged Heads
When Vikram put Betaal back on his shoulders, he again started one of his stories: Once upon a tim,e there lived a washer man named Devashish. One day, he was washing clothes on the bank of a river when he saw a very beautiful ......
When Vikram put Betaal back on his shoulders, he again started one of his stories: Once upon a tim,e there lived a washer man named Devashish. One day, he was washing clothes on the bank of a river when he saw a very beautiful lady, and he instantly fell in love with her. He enquired about her and found out that she was the daughter of a Brahmin who lived in a nearby village and her name was Madhusundari.
Devashish went to meet Madhusundari’s parents and asked them for her hand. They readily agreed and soon Devashish was married to Madhusundari.
A few months went by happily. On the occasion of Dussehra, Madhusundari’s brother came to invite his sister and brother-in-law to their place. Devashish agreed and the three of them started their journey to Madhusundari’s home. On the way they happened to pass by the temple of Durga Devi. Her brother wanted to pray to the Goddess, and went to the temple. But as soon as he came near the idol of the Goddess, he was overwhelmed with emotions, and he decided to cut off his head and offer it to the goddess.
When the young man did not come back for a long time, Madhusundari sent her husband to see what the matter was. On seeing the dead body of his brother-in-law, Madhusundari’s husband also decided to offer his own head to the goddess and severed his head with a knife.
After some time, Madhusundari herself went inside the temple to see what was wrong. She was devastated to see both her brother and husband lying on the ground. She decided to take her own life and begged the goddess to give her the same brother and husband in the next life. The Goddess was pleased and stopped her from killing herself. She asked her to join their heads and bodies so that she could grant them life.
Out of excitement, she attached her husband’s head to her brother’s body and her brother’s head to her husband’s body. When she realized her mistake she looked at the Goddess for help but the Goddess said that it was not possible to exchange the heads.
Betaal then stopped Vikram and asked him, “Who among the two is the husband of Madhusundari? Vikram replied with a lot of thought, ” The head is the most important part of the human body, so Madhusundari’s husband should be the body that carries her husband’s head.” As soon as Vikram had finished his answer, Betaal disappeared back to the tree.