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The Vampire's Third Story : Of a High-minded Family

Page: 6/8

Hindu Books > Stories > Vikram And The Vampire > The Vampire's Third Story : Of a High-minded Family

Page 6

The goddess then began to relate her position to the Rajput. She said, with tears, "In the king's palace Shudra (or low caste acts) are done, and hence misfortune will certainly fall upon it, and I shall forsake it. After a month has passed, the king, having endured excessive affliction, will die. In grief for this, I weep. I have brought much happiness to the king's house, and hence I am full of regret that this my prediction cannot in any way prove untrue."

"Is there," asked Birbal, "any remedy for this trouble, so that the king may be preserved and live a hundred years?"

"Yes," said the goddess, "there is. About eight miles to the east thou wilt find a temple dedicated to my terrible sister Devi. Offer to her thy son's head, cut off with shine own hand, and the reign of thy king shall endure for an age." So saying Raj-Lakshmi disappeared.

Birbal answered not a word, but with hurried steps he turned towards his home. The king, still in black so as not to be seen, followed him closely, and observed and listened to everything he did.

The Rajput went straight to his wife, awakened her, and related to her everything that had happened. The wise have said, "she alone deserves the name of wife who always receives her husband with affectionate and submissive words." When she heard the circumstances, she at once aroused her son, and her daughter also awoke. Then Birbal told them all that they must follow him to the temple of Devi in the wood.

On the way the Rajput said to his wife, "If thou wilt give up thy son willingly, I will sacrifice him for our master's sake to Devi the Destroyer."

She replied, "Father and mother, son and daughter, brother and relative, have I now none. You are everything to me. It is written in the scripture that a wife is not made pure by gifts to priests, nor by performing religious rites; her virtue consists in waiting upon her husband, in obeying him and in loving him--yea! though he be lame, maimed in the hands, dumb, deaf, blind, one eyed, leprous, or humpbacked. It is a true saying that 'a son under one's authority, a body free from sickness, a desire to acquire knowledge, an intelligent friend, and an obedient wife; whoever holds these five will find them bestowers of happiness and dispellers of affliction. An unwilling servant, a parsimonious king, an insincere friend, and a wife not under control; such things are disturbers of ease and givers of trouble.'"

Then the good wife turned to her son and said "Child by the gift of thy head, the king's life may be spared, and the kingdom remain unshaken."

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