This is another one of the intriguing Vikram Betaal stories. Once upon a time, there lived a rich Brahmin by the name of Vishnuswamin, who was performing a huge sacrificial rite. He had three sons and each was extremely particular about three specific things. The eldest was fastidious about food, the second about women and the third about beds.
Vishsnuswamin wanted a tortoise for his sacrifice. So, he sent his three sons to get one. They did find one, but each of them refused to touch it and bring it back home, as each claimed to be as fastidious as the other.
A fierce quarrel broke out amongst them and they approached the king and requested him to decide who among them was the most fastidious. The king decided to test them all. He invited the first one to a very special feast prepared very exquisitely. But the first son, refused to touch the food claiming that the he smelt burnt corpses in the rice. On investigation, the king found that the rice was procured from a field near a cremation ground. The king was truly impressed.
He then decided to test the second son by sending an extremely beautiful woman to him. But the second son sent her away saying that she smelt like a goat. On investigation, the king found that she had been fed goat milk in her childhood. The king was impressed by the second’s son’s fine taste in women.
Then he decided to test the third son, by letting him sleep in a bed with seven huge mattresses. In the middle of the night, the third son awoke with a lot of pain and a red bruise on his shoulder. It was found that there was a strand of hair in the bed below the seven mattresses.
The king was extremely impressed by the sensitivity of the third son as well. He could not decide who amongst the three was best, but employed them in his court and decided to use the special skills of the young men in his own interest.
Betaal then asked King Vikram, “Who among the three was the most fastidious? Vikram replied instantly, “The third son! The bruise on his shoulder was a definite evidence of his sensitivity, while the other two sons could have obtained information from elsewhere too.”
As soon as Vikram had finished his answer, Betaal flew back to the tree.