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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Raṇavîrasiṅg"

Raṇavîrasiṅg

The old woman, the Brâhmaṇî, was standing at the door with a vessel containing water for her husband. Śubhâśâstrî, for that was the Brâhmaṇ’s name, looked up to the sky for a couple of minutes, after which he heaved a deep sigh, and said, “Alas, the prince, the only son of our former protector, Śivâchâr, is not to remain for more than two ghaṭikâs. A kâlasarpa (black serpent) will sting him. What shall we do? We are poor. If we could begin Sarpahôma(Serpent sacrifice) now we could tie the mouth of the snake, sacrifice it in the fire, and thus save the prince.” So saying the poor Brâhmaṇ cried. Sundara, who overheard everything, jumped down in confusion, and fell at the feet of the Brâhmaṇ, who asked him who he was. “I am a herdsman of the palace. Preserve my master’s life,” was the reply. Śubhâśâstrî was extremely poor. He had no means to procure a small quantity of ghî even to begin the hôma(Sacrifice). He did not know what to do. He begged from his neighbours, who all laughed at his stupidity, and ridiculed his astrology. The prince in a hopeless state of anguish wrung his hands, and in wringing them he felt his ring. Drawing it off his finger he gave it to Śubhâśâstrî, and requested him to pawn it. The latter resorted to the nearest bâzâr, and awakening the bâzâr-keeper procured from him a little ghî, by pawning the ring. Running home and bathing in cold water the Brâhmaṇ sat down for the hôma. The prince, fearing the serpent, wished to sit inside the house, but at a distance from the place of the ceremony. Just at the appointed hour a large black serpent broke through the sky, fell on the head of the prince, whom he was not able to bite, and gave up its life in the fire. “This is no shepherd, but the very prince himself,” said the Brâhmaṇî(Brâhmaṇ woman).Sundara rose up, and running surrounded them thrice, spoke to them thus:—“You alone are my parents and protectors. This night has been a most adventurous one with me. There was every possibility of my escaping every other calamity, and so I did.

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