Destiny

Collected by Maya Thakuri

Once upon a time there was a king whose name was Birdhoj. He had seven
daughters but no son. All the seven daughters were very beautiful but it
was the youngest one who was the most beautiful . The youngest one was not
only beautiful but also was very wise and intelligent. And the king loved
all his daughters equally.
To test the wisdom of his daughters the king would often call them by his
side and ask them different kinds of questions on different subjects but
there was one particular question that he often asked to each of the
daughters. The question was, “Whose destiny is it that you are fed by ?”
To appease the king all the daughters except the youngest one would always
reply that they were all fed by the destiny of no one else but of the king
himself. The king always found gratification in their answers but the
straightforward and honest answer of the youngest daughter always disturbed
and annoyed him. Every time her reply used to be, ” I am fed by the
destiny of no one else but of my own.”
With the passing of years, the daughters reached their marriageable age and
the king got them married off one by one. All the princess’ marriages were
grand celebrations with a lot of pomp and show. The king spent lavishly in
each of those marriages and offered a great amount of wealth from the state
treasury as gifts and dowries.
It was, now, the turn of the youngest daughter to marry. But it so happened
that the king, by the time of this age of hers, had developed a kind of
animosity against her and as a result of which he married her to an aged
man who was short and ugly with a big hump on his back. The king made this
marriage a most simple affair and did not give any dowry. After the
marriage was over the king’s parting words to his daughter were, “Fare you
well and now onwards you will be fed by the destiny of no one else but of
your own.”
The king’s wife who had hardly any say in the decisions of the king could
not bear to see the tragic and pitiable marriage of her youngest and
loving daughter and that made her so seriously ill that after about a month
of her marriage she breathed her last.
After the marriage was solemnized the ugly bridegroom took the beautiful
princess along and set out towards a far off land.
They walked and walked for days and days and it was but natural that the
princess got tired and she could walk no further. One day, she was very
thirsty and therefore she expressed her desire to drink water and the ugly
bridegroom took her to a near by pond. And when she had bent to drink the
water from the pond, to her utter surprise, there inside the water in
reflection, she saw a handsome prince staring at her. But when she looked
around her she saw no one except her ugly husband standing and staring at
her. Unable to understand this, she thought that it must be nothing but her
own unconscious mind which was causing this hallucination.
“How sinful and immoral of me that I have started hallucinating handsome
princes when it has not even been one month that I am married,” she thought.
Then, she took some water in the cup of her hands where, there in, again
she saw the same reflection. This made her feel very embarrassed and guilty
and, therefore, she threw the water of her cupped hands back in the pond.
“Why, what made you not drink the water?” asked her ugly husband who had
been observing her all throughout.
She had no answer to this and she did not want to tell him the fact that
she had seen the image of a handsome prince in the water.
In nervousness, she only replied that she rather wanted to have some fruits.
And as they were walking further ahead they came upon a mango grove where
the trees were laden with ripe fruits.
The very sight of the luscious mangoes filled her mouth with water but she
did not dare to tell him the truth fearing that to fulfill her desire he
might venture to climb the big tree which she thought might prove hazardous
for his life considering his frail and weak physical structure. And she
reached out her hand for a nearest branch of the same tree to pick a green
mango hanging there.
On seeing her reaching out for a green mango he called out” Just you wait.
Just you wait. Let me get a ripe one for you.”
And before she could stop her old and frail husband from climbing he was
already half way up scrambling the huge tree and violently shaking and
agitating the top most branches.
And, very soon, there were ripe and luscious mangoes strewn all over the
ground. She really relished the taste of the luscious fruits and when she
had eaten her fill she thanked him and asked her to descend .
But he, suddenly, lost control of his grip on the branch where he was
holding and fell down on the ground with a big thud.
The sight of her husband falling headlong on the ground frightened her
very much and this made her shut her eyes with both of her hands.
But, after some moments’ silence, she heard his voice saying, “I am fine.
You may open your eyes.”
And when she had opened her eyes she was flabbergasted to see the same
handsome prince whose reflection she had seen in the water standing before
her. There was no sign of her ugly husband anywhere nearby. She was
speechless and wonder struck.
Then the handsome prince spoke, ” I am no one else but the same old and
ugly husband of yours who till the last moment had been condemned to live
a life of misery due to a curse from a mendicant.”
Then, from him, she came to know that he was no one else but a prince
named Chandrakanta who, in the course of his hunting, had accidentally
wounded a wandering mendicant; and from him she also learnt how the
mendicant, in anger, had cursed the prince to live a life of an ugly old
man. He also told her how on his sincere and repeated requests for mercy
the mendicant had later relented and had said that his curse would be
revoked only after he would marry the beautiful princess Chandrawati .
Actually, Chandrawati had so many times heard about Chandrakanta, about
his chivalry and about his handsome personality. And she was very happy to
know that her husband was no one else but Chandrakanta himself. After
hearing the whole story from him and after wandering many places of his
interests she went with him to his father’s kingdom where they were
received by the king and the queen.
Then one day, the king ordered a grand feast in honor and jubilation of the
home coming of his son together with a beautiful daughter-in-law.
In the meantime, in the kingdom of king Birdhoj, it had come to the
knowledge of the public that the king Birdhoj had embezzled and emptied
the fund from the state’s treasury. It also came to their knowledge that
the six crafty and insidious daughters had very cunningly wheedled the
king out of his wealth and eventually turned him into a pauper.
And the king unable to bear this misfortune, one night, had left the palace
to lead the life of an ordinary citizen.
And he had gone to the house of his eldest daughter and had asked for a
refuge saying, “My darling daughter, whatsoever wealth I had with me I
spent on you six daughters and now I am a pauper. I am old and invalid now
and, therefore, I have come to spend the rest of my life with you and under
your care. I hope you are not going to mind me staying with you.”
The eldest daughter on hearing the plight of her father had said, ” Dearest
father, I would certainly love to have you with me and take care of you for
the rest of your life but as I am already besieged with so many problems
and anxieties here I cannot fulfill your desire. Besides, father, you must
except what your destiny has in store for you. I am sorry father, I cannot
help you.”
The king was shocked and heartbroken by the shellfish words of his eldest
daughter.
Then he had gone to the house of his second daughter and had requested her
for a shelter. But the second daughter, who was no less selfish than the
eldest, also expressed her incapability and asked him to rely on his
destiny.
Heartbroken and sad he hand gone to the third daughter who also had
refused him a shelter.
Then he had gone to the fourth, then to the fifth and to the sixth
daughter. But none of the daughters were willing to take the responsibility
of the old king and provide him a shelter and care in his old age.
This was just too much for the old king and, therefore, he, at last, had
decided to lead the life of a beggar. He was also overwhelmed with grief
and remorse for the cruelty he had meted out to his youngest daughter
who, he thought, would have never turned him down so selfishly. The
despondency almost made him mad and he wandered about aimlessly.
Most of his time he would spend in the woods eating wild fruits and roots
of the trees. He made fire by striking flint stones and ate the meat of
wild animals. And he passed his nights in caves and under big trees.
In the course of his wandering, he had happened to cross the boundary of
his kingdom and entered a neighboring kingdom where the father of
Chandrakanta had ordered a grand feast in honor and jubilation of the home
coming of his son. There, he saw the public in a very festive and joyous
mood. There was jubilation everywhere. The old king, out of curiosity,
asked the people about the reason of the celebration.
And he was told that the kind and generous prince whose name was Chadrakant
had come back from his solitude and the feast was nothing but a
celebration in his honor.
Old Birdhoj, then, walked towards the palace of the king along with other
people.
There, in front of the palace and in the midst of the celebration, was
organized a grand feast and the people were seated to eat .
Chandrawati who was seated in the balcony of the palace recognized that the
old man standing all by himself down below was no other than her own father.
She, then, came running to the place where the king was already seated and
was eating the feast.
She covered her face with her veil and asked him very politely, “Whose
destiny is it that you are fed by ?” The king recognized the voice of his
daughter and replied in a solemn voice, “It is no one else but my own
destiny that is feeding me.”
“Do you believe in your destiny?” asked the queen.
“Yes, your majesty , I have now learnt that one should have faith in one’s
own destiny,” answered the king.
Then the queen, unable to hold herself back any further, hugged her father
lovingly and said, ” Father, I am your daughter Chandrawati.”
Then she narrated him every detail of what had happened to her after she
had left her father’s kingdom.
At last, the king begged for her forgiveness.
When she had heard the story of his plight she requested him sincerely
and lovingly to stay with her for the rest of his life.
Then, after some months of stay in his daughter’s palace, Chandrakanta
helped the old king get his kingdom back .
Then the wizened and enlightened king ruled his kingdom very judiciously
and efficiently.
And in front of his palace he got the following words inscribed, “A person
is fed by the destiny of no one else but of his/her own.”

May the narrator of this tale be blessed with a golden garland,
And the listener, with a flower garland;
May this tale remain in the heaven,
To be here again
At the time of next narration.

Sumber : http://stud.hsh.no/lu/norsk/vidsteen/nepal/Tekstar/tekst10.htm –> 10 ubah jadi 1 s/d …

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