The Loss and Gain of The Hermit :
A long time ago in the kingdom of Gaya, there lived a Brahmin couple. The man’s name was Bhagvandas and his wife’s name was Champa. A son was born to them. They named him Uday. Uday was a very intelligent and smart boy and grew up to become a handsome
and intelligent young man. But as fate would have it, he suddenly caught an illness and died.
Great was the grief of both the parents. They were inconsolable. When the time came to cremate Uday’s mortal remains, the parents were even more full of sorrow. They cried and cried till their cries attracted the attention of a hermit sitting in mediation some distance away. Using his powers, the old hermit divined that the parents were crying so
inconsolably because of the death of their only son.
He decided that his soul should enter the body of Uday. The old hermit first cried very bitterly. Then he laughed aloud in joy and lay down and his soul left his body. Great was the joy of Bhagavandas and Champa when they saw their son Uday getting up as if from a deep sleep. Everyone watching was tilled with awe. To Bhagavandas and Champa who did not really know what happened, it was a god sent blessing.
With this Betal turned to King Vikram and asked. “Tell me O wise king, why did the hermit first cry and then laugh?”
King Vikram answered, the hermit first cried because his soul was to vacate a body that had been bearing it for so many years. The hermit laughed with joy because he was happy that his soul was getting a strong, young body again.”
“Very well answered O King Vikram,” said Betal. “You are really a very discerning king. But I feel you know too much for your own good. That is why you keep losing me repeatedly.”
So saying, Betal slipped away to the banyan tree and King Vikram had to turn
back to begin his task all over again.
The Loss and Gain of The Hermit
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