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Somprabha's Marriage

2006-07-13 23:17

  The King Trivikramsen again went back to that old tree on which Vetala was resting. He took him down and Vetala took his original place on the shoulder of the King. The King started his journey again and Vetala started telling him a tale to divert his mind.

  Long long ago, there lived a Brahman named Hariswami, who was a minister of King Punyasen, in Ujjaini. He had a son whose name was Devaswami. And he also had a daughter named Somprabha, who was famed for her matchless beauty.

  Slowly slowly she grew up and when the time of her marriage came closer, she told her mother to give this message to her brother and father: “I will marry a man who is possessed with heroism and knowledge or magic power. I will not marry with any other man who does not possess any one of these qualities.”

  When her father heard this, he got fully confused and started searching for her husband who comes in one of these three categories. King Punyasen sent him as an ambassador to negotiate in a treaty with a King of Deccan, who had come to invade him. When he had completed the King's assignment, a Brahman who had heard about the beauty of his daughter Somprabha, came and asked him to marry his daughter with him.

  Hariswami listened this very patiently and said, “ My daughter Somprabha demands something special in his husband. She will not have any man as her husband. She will not have any man as her husband who does not possess either heroism, knowledge or magic power, so tell me, which of these three you possess.”

  “Sir, I possess Magic power.” The Brahman replied.

  “Alright, show me your Magic power.” Hariswami asked the Brahman.

  And then that Brahman immediately prepared by his skill, a chariot that would fly through the air. After that he took Hariswami in the magic chariot and showed him the heaven and all the world. And after this he brought him back to the King of Deccan to which he was sent on business. Then Hariswami promised his daughter to that Brahman who possessed the magic power and fixed the marriage on the seventh day from that day.

  In the meantime, one other Brahman came in Ujjaini and asked Devaswami, son of Hariswami, for the the hand of his sister Somprabha. Then Devaswami said to the Brahman, “My sister does not wish to have a husband, if he does not have any one quality out of these either knowledge or heroism or magic power. Now tell me, what type of quality you have?”

  “I have the quality of heroism.” said the Brahman and he displayed his skill in the use of missiles and weapons.

  Then after witnessing his heroic skills, Devaswami promised to give his sister to him and fixed the marriage on the seventh day from that day as his father did with the man who possessed the magic power quality.

  Now at the same time, a man came to Devaswami's mother, the wife of Hariswami. He also asked for the hand of her daughter Somprabha. Then she said to him, “My daughter needs a husband who is well versed either in knowledge or heroism or magic power. tell me, what you have, out of these three?”

  “I am master of knowledge.” said the man.

  After asking some questions about past and future, she promised to give the hand of her daughter to him on the same seventh day.

  On the next day Hariswami came back from Deccan and told his wife about the engagement of Somprabha to a Brahman who possess magic power. Then his wife and son also told him about the other two persons who met with them for the hand of Somprabha. They also told about the promises which they have made with the two Brahmans possessing heroism and knowledge. After hearing this, Hariswami felt confused, as three bridgegrooms had been invited on the same seventh day.

  On wedding day, the three persons arrived in Hariswami's home. All the three bridgegrooms. One was man of knowledge, other was man of heroism and the third one was the man of magic power. All were eager to marry Somprabha.

  Suddenly, a strange thing happened. The bridge Somprabha was found to have disappeared. She was searched also but could not be found anywhere.

  Then Hariswami said to the man of knowledge to tell him where his daughter has gone.

  “Sir, your daughter has been taken by Rakshas Dhumrasika to his own habitation in the Vindhya forest.” said the man of knowledge.

  After hearing this, Hariswami was terrified and said: “Alas now how will I get her back and how she is to be married?”

  This was heard by the man of magic power. He said, “Don't worry Sir, I will take you there, were the Rakshas Dhumrasika stays in Vindhya Forest.”

  After saying this, he prepared a chariot, as before, that would fly through the air with all kinds of weapons. Then he told Hariswami, man of the knowledge and man of heroism, to get into it and in a moment, he carried them to the stay of Rakshas in Vindhya Forest.

  When Rakshas saw all this, he got annoyed. Then the man of heroism, who was put forward by hariswamy, challenged him to fight.

  Then a wonderful fight took place like Rama and Ravana. In a very short time, the man of heroism cut off the head of the Rakshas When Rakshas died, they took Somprabha from his house, and all returned in the chariot of magic power man.

  All reached the house of Hariswami, but the marriage did not go forward. A great dispute arose among the man of Magic power, the man of heroism and the man of knowledge.

  The man of knowledge said: “If I had not known where Somprabha was, how could she have been found? So she ought to be mine. I am the only man to whom she should be married.

  But at the same time, man of magic power said:“If I had not made the chariot which could fly in the air, how could you all have gone to the house of that devil and fought with him. So, I am entitled to marry Somprabha.

  After this, the man of heroism said bluntly, “If I had not killed the Rakshas in the fight, who would have brought Somprabha back here. So she must be given to me.”

  After hearing the statements of all the three bridegrooms, Hariswami remained silent being puzzled in the mind seriously.

  “So tell me King, to whom Somprabha ought to have been given?” asked Vetala.

  King Trivikramsen after thinking seriously replied to Vetala “ Somprabha ought to be given to the man of heroism because he won her by his power at the risk of his life by killing that rakshas in flight.”

  When Vetala heard this from the King, he left seat from his shoulders and went as before, to his own place.

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