MORAL STORIES of VIKRAM and BETAL – 5th Story Leelavati !

There lived a Brahmin in Varanasi. He had a daughter, Leelavati. The Brahmin was too poor. Leelavati was brought up. She was to be married. The Brahmin had no money. It was a problem for him.

One day Leelavati was sleeping in her room, it was midnight. A youth entered her room. He was a robber. But what work he has in poor Brahmins house? He had come to the town to rob the property of the wicked merchant. He was chased by the servants of the king. In order to escape from them he entered Leelavati’s house. Leelavati woke up and asked who he is. He narrated his story. By that time the servants came there in search of the thief. But Leelavati told them that no body has come here in this odd hour. The servants were helpless and they left.

Next day Leelavati loved the youth and married him. The robber handed over all he had robbed to the Brahmin.

Few months passed. Leelavati became pregnant. Her husband had been to another town in search of a job. He had not turned u p even after months. Once he tried to rob in the palace and was caught. He was sentenced to death. Before he was punished he died. The information reached Leelavati. Her father gave her to another Brahmin and marriage was performed. In few months Leelavati delivered a male child.

Leelavati’s son was brought up. He was looking beautiful and intelligent. Leelavati died when her son was ten years old. When he was youth his father also died. He continued business for his livelihood.

Every year to perform his father’s ceremony he decided ot go to Gaya and offer rice ball ritualistically. Once he had gone to Gaya. While he was offering the rice ball in the river there appeared three hands. “To me, to me’ the voice also heard. Two hands were of men and one was that of a woman. Leelavati’s son was surprised. He touched the woman’s hand and asked who she is. So he offered one rice ball to the hand.

The second hand said that he is his father. The hand was that of the robber. The third hand also said that he is his father. Leelavati’s son was astonished. How can a son have two fathers? Again there was a voice from the river. The second hand narrated the story. The third hand said that he brought up Leelavati’s son. One person gave birth and the other brought up, thus Leelavati’s son thought. Now he was in confusion as to whom the rice ball should be offered.

Betaal asked Vikram: “Vikram! I know your capacity to answer. Now tell me to whom Leelavati’s son should offer the rice ball. If you do not answer remember the curse”

“Betaal, one who brings up a child has the right to become a father. The robber was the cause for his birth. But Leelavati’s second husband treated the child his son and brought him up. Therefore the rice ball has to be offered to the third hand”

Vikram answered. Betaal repeated his action.

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