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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Raṇavîrasiṅg"


The cradle-swinging, naming, and other ceremonies were duly performed, and the prince grew up under the great care generally shown to a king’s son. His name the elders fixed as Sundara(the fair). The minister whose only wish was to get the throne for his family, was much disappointed at the birth of a son to his master. The whole kingdom rejoiced at the event, and the minister was the only man who was sorry. When one is disappointed in his high hopes and expectations, he devises plans to take away the barrier that lies in his way. Even so, Kharavadana said to himself, “Let me see how affairs progress. The old king is near his grave. When he dies, leaving a son in his minority I myself must be his regent for a time. Shall I not then have opportunity enough of securing for ever for myself and my family the throne of Vañjaimânagar?” So thought he within himself, and was quiet for a time.

Śivâchâr, who was a very shrewd man, on several occasions, read the minister’s mind, and knew very well how his intentions stood. “This cruel devil may murder my only son. I care not if he usurps the throne. What I fear is, that he may murder him. Na daivam Śaṅkarât param. No other god but Śaṅkara. And he must have his own way. If it is so written on the prince’s head I cannot avoid it.” Thus sighed Śivâchâr, and this sorrow (śôka), made him leaner day by day. Just ten years after the birth of Sundara, the king fell ill and lay on his deathbed.

Śivâchâr had a servant, named Raṇavîrasiṅg, whom he had all along observed to be very honest and faithful. That servant the king called to his side, and asking all others except Sundara, who was weeping by his father’s pillow, to leave the room, addressed him thus:—“My dear Raṇavîrasiṅg! I have only a few ghaṭikâs before me. Listen to my words, and act accordingly. There is one God above us all, who will punish or reward us according to our bad or good acts. If by avarice or greed of money you ever play false to the trust that I am going to repose in you that God will surely punish you.

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