The Penance of The King

The Penance of The King :

A long time ago there was a king named Raghuvir. King Raghuvir had one weakness. He was addicted to gambling. One day it so happened that king Raghuvir in a moment of recklessness pledged his kingdom in a game of chance and lost it. His opponent staked his claim on the kingdom and banished King Raghuvir out of the kingdom.

The King was completely disheartened. He wandered for days till one day he saw a hermit in deep penance in the middle of a forest. King Raghuvir went to the hermit and paid his respects to him and told him his whole story. The hermit was a very spiritual man and realised that the king was a weak willed man. So using his powers he created a palace and offered to let the king stay in the palace for the night. The king gladly agreed.

Inside the palace king Raghuvir was delighted to see a beautiful girl waiting to serve him. As he was very tired, the king ate and drank the delicious food and drink that she served and went to sleep. However the next morning King Raghuvir was surprised to see that he was on the forest floor. The palace and the beautiful woman had disappeared. He went to the hermit and asked him why they were not there any more. The hermit replied that he had created them out of his powers. He also taught the king a spell and said, “If you chant this for forty days continuously standing in a cold stream, you can get any thing you want.”

The king did accordingly. But at the end of forty days of standing in a freezing cold stream the spell did not work. He went to the hermit again and the hermit said, “You also have to stand in the middle of a burning fire for forty days and repeat the chant.”

King Raghuvir built a fire around himself and stood in the middle of the intense heat and chanted the spell for another forty days. At the end of forty days, he tried the spell - this time sure of success. But to his disappointment, it did not work this time either.

Betal stopped and asked King Vikram, “Surely a hermit would not utter falsehood. But yet, King Raghuvir could not acquire power. What do you think was the reason for his failure?”

King Vikram answered, “Spiritual power can be gained only by having a pure and unselfish heart. King Raghuvir’s only motive was to indulge in worldly pleasures. That is why his penance was ineffective.” Betal said, “You are indeed right. But you have spoken again. So the time to part has come again.”

Betal floated away to the banyan tree yet again, followed by a persevering King Vikram.

The Penance of The King

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