The Right Groom for The Bride :
On the banks of the Ganges, there lived a Brahmin named Devendra. He lived with his wife, son and daughter. As the years went by, their daughter grew up into an extremely beautiful and intelligent young maiden. Her name was Sulochana. It was time to give her hand in marriage and everyone in the family was worried because they wanted to find
the right groom for Sulochana.
One day Devendra met his old friend Raman. Raman had a son who was a learned and good looking young man. Raman and his wife eagerly offered their son Rahul as his daughter’s groom. Devendra promised to get back to them after consulting his wife and
daughter. When he got home, his wife had news for him also.
While he was away, another family had also offered to accept Sulochana as their son Pavan’s bride. Pavan was also a very accomplished and handsome young man.
Later that day their son came home with another proposal for Sulochana. The name of this suitor was Mahesh. He was also a worthy young man.
The family decided to organise a Swyamvar where the bride would choose the groom for herself. On the appointed day all the three men arrived. They were all strikingly good looking and seemed to be equally worthy. Just then the bride arrived on the scene. She was a picture of grace and loveliness. The moment the three young men set their eyes on her, they were madly in love with her. But before she could even look up to choose her
husband, a snake appeared from nowhere and bit her. The girl fell to the floor with a sigh. Her body went blue and she died instantly. Seeing their lovely daughter dead on her wedding day, Devendra and his wife died heart broken. When their son saw this, his
heart raged against this cruel fate. He ran a sword through his heart and died.
The three suitors were also heart broken. The first one Rahul performed the last rites of the girl he had hoped to marry and went to live on the banks of the Ganges as an ascetic. The second suitor Pavan could not bear the thought of living without the girl. In his desperation, he collected the ashes of her body and putting them in an urn and built a cottage near the cemetery and lived there. As for the third suitor, he just wandered around with a grief-stricken heart. One day he passed a tantrik’s house. The tantrik was deep in
meditation outside his hut. There was a fire burning in front of him. Suddenly, the tantrik’s little son came running out of his house chased by his angry mother.
He fell into the fire and was reduced to ashes. The tantrik’s wife wailed with grief. Hearing her, the tantrik was aroused out of his trance and to Mahesh’s amazement, chanted a mantra and brought the boy back to life from the ashes. Mahesh remembered the words of the mantra. He went straight to the banks of the Ganges to Rahul. Both went to Pavan who had the ashes of Sulochana in an urn. The three got together and after
fearfully invoking their gods in prayer. Mahesh chanted the mantra. And there in front of them stood Sulochana again, looking as lovely as she had done before.”
With this Betal asked King Vikram, “Who do you think Sulochana should choose as her husband and why? Remember, if you know the answer and remain silent, your head will break into pieces.
King Vikram thought for a while and said, “Mahesh brought her back to life. So his act was that of a father’s. Rahul performed her last rites. He therefore acted like her son. But it was Pavan who collected her ashes in an urn and remained near the cemetery. So I think amongst the three, he is the one who is most suitable to be her husband.”
Betal said, “You have judged wisely O king. But you know that if you utter a word, I will fly back to my place on the banyan tree.”
So saying Betal slipped off his shoulders to fly back to the banyan tree.
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