Vikram Betal A promise not kept

in Stories > Moral Stories > Kids > Vikram Betal Stories
It was a dark night and was raining from time to time.Gusts of wind shook the
trees. There were strange noises and in between the thunderclaps the moaning
of jackals could be heard. Flashes of lightning revealed fearsome faces and
there were strange and mysterious laughter of the spirits.
But inspite of such a weird atmosphere king Vikramaditya did not swerve a
bit. He climbed the ancient tree to bring the corpse down and soon he began
crossing the desolate cremation ground, with the corpse lying on his shoulder.
The Betaal that possessed the corpse spoke: 'O King , I pity you as you are
making untiring efforts without relaxing as if you wish to achieve something.
Instead of enjoying a comfortable sleep on a cozy bed, youíre still coming
after me. You seem to be quite adamant. Such arrogance may not help you
keep your promise if you had given one to anybody. Youíll realize the futility
of the whole thing if only you listen to my story.'
The Betaal then narrated this story. The ruler of Kishanagar, Rajendra, was
extremely strong and courageous. He was a good ruler and cared about his
people very much as he would not do anything unjust. His subjects were
happy and contented. They had no problems. His queen, Prema, gave birth to
a beautiful daughter, Sona.
Being an only child, Sona enjoyed a lot of freedom and was brought up like a
boy. She grew up clever not only in studies but in the use of the bow and
arrow and sword. She learnt the art of self-defence. When she reached
marriageable age, her parents began searching for a suitable husband for her.
But Sona disagreed to their proposal as she had some definite ideas and views.
She said to her parents that ,'Dear Father, I want that my husband should be
one who is highly skilled in fighting and who is able to overpower, me in
fight. Suppose if our kingdom face an enemy in the future, he should be able
to fight & defeat them in war. If you agree to this condition then, you may
make an announcement'.
The King & Queen were very proud to hear about their daughter's
thoughts.The announcement was made in Kishanagar as well as in the
neighbouring kingdoms. Thinking that Sona is only a girl,and it should not be
a difficult to win a fight with her, many suitors came forward to accept her
challenge as they also knew that Sona being the only heir they would have
complete sway over the kingdom once they married her.
But when they (the suitors) met Sona face to face these princes realized it was
not that easy to defeat her. Everyone of them was routed by Sona, and they
had to go back disappointed. She was taking on the suitors one after another,
among them was Udayavarma, the prince of Chandanghar.
He watched the fight every day , by joining the crowd. He carefully watched
how Princess Sona fought and the different strategies she adopted to meet the
method of fighting followed by each prince. One
day, he could not control himself when he saw a
particular way she used the sword.
He got up and shouted 'Bravo!' in appreciation and
encouragement. Sona turned to look at him,
wondering who he might be who could understand
the intricacies of each and every stance and step
during the fight.
But among such a large crowd she could only get a
glimpse of him.
By now Udayavarma had learnt all her strategies, and the next day he was
ready to fight with her. The two fought cleverly and fiercely. Neither of them
was prepared to surrender to the other. During her fight Sona tried all her
tricks, but Udayavarma was able to meet every one of them. She soon
discovered that he was a good swordsman and that she would not be able to
subdue him so easily. Soon Sona was defeated by Udayavarma.She stopped
the fight and joined her parents.
Cheers rose from the audience who was watching the proceedings very
eagerly. When Udayavarma came forward to present himself to the King and
queen, Sona recognized him as the one who had cheered her in
encouragement the other day.She asked Udayavarma and he confessed to it.
Now Sona knew how he had succeeded in overpowering her. She came
forward and said to him that 'My condition was that I would marry anyone
who would defeat me in the contest. Though youíve defeated me, I canít
marry you. You can yourself find out the reason.' Udayavarma thought for a
while and said . 'Yes what you say is right, O Princess. I should not marry
you.' He bowed to her and left the palace.
The king and queen were surprised over their daughterís decision as according
to her contest Sona insisted that she would marry only that man who would
defeat her in the fight and Udayavarma had achieved it , but now she was not
ready to marry him and even Udayavarma, too, had meekly accepted her
decision, saying he could not possibly claim her hand. How strange! They
were unable to guess what really was the cause?
The Betaal concluded the story and asked King Vikramaditya,
1) 'O king ! Iíve some doubts.I think Sona was proud of herself that she was
an expert in warfare and that's why she announced that she would marry only
whoever defeated her, didnít she?
2) As she scored a victory over one prince after another, she was becoming
more and more arrogant.
3) Then came Udayavarma who succeeded in overpowering her. Again it was
her from keeping her word.
4) Why did she say he did not deserve her hand in marriage in spite of his
victory over her?
It was all because of her arrogance, wasnít it? If you know the answers to my
questions that speak out if you don't then I warn you that 'your head will be
blown to pieces!'
King Vikramaditya did not take much time to answer the questions Betaal had
asked. He said
1 & 2) ' I donít think Sona was arrogant.'
3) Though she had agreed that condition that Udayavarma had defeated her in
sword-fight but she didnít keep her word. That's true, but this doesn't makes
her arrogant. If we think deep, we can find out what had
prompted her to take such a stand. She certainly was one
who would keep her word.
4) Unlike other princes, Udayavarma did not go for a fight
with her straight away, instead he sat in the crowd and
watched her fighting and in between he had studied all the
strategies that she adopted while fighting, just as a disciple would learn from
his teacher.
And a teacher cannot marry his or her student. Itís
universally accepted that oneís father, mother and teacher
are all like a god. Sona realized that Udayavarma was
first her student and then a suitor and she was not willing
to accept that relationship for the purpose of marriage.
Udayavarma too thought on the same lines and realized
that he could not marry Sona, because she was like his
teacher. So he respected the wishes of his teacher, thatís
why he decided not to press his claim to her hand.
The relationship between a teacher and his student is more sacred than that
between others. Thatís why Sona went back on the condition she herself had
stipulated. Betaal knew that king will definitely speak out the answer so he
flew back to the ancient tree carrying the corpse along with him.
Vikramaditya drew his sword and went after the Betaal.
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Vikram Betal Stories



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