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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Raṇavîrasiṅg"

Raṇavîrasiṅg

It is not unknown to you what great difficulties I had in getting this only son, Sundara; how many temples I built, how many Brâhmaṇs I fed, how many religious austerities I underwent, &c., &c.. God after all gave me a son.” Here his sorrow prevented him from proceeding further, and he began to cry aloud, and shed tears. “Do not weep on my account, father. We cannot wipe off what was written on our heads. We must undergo happiness or misery as is thereon written by Brahmâ, cried the prince. Raṇavîrasiṅg was melted at the sight. He took the boy on his lap, and with his own upper garment wiped his eyes. The old man continued, “Thus you, my faithful Raṇavîrasiṅg, know everything. I now wish that I had not performed all that I did to get this son. For when I die at this moment, who is there to take care of him for the next? Kharavadana may devise plan after plan to remove my boy from this world, and secure the kingdom for himself. My only hope is in you. I give him into your hands.” Here the aged father, notwithstanding his illness, rose up a little from his bed, took hold of his son’s hand, and after kissing it for the last time, placed it in Raṇavîrasiṅg’s. “Care not if he does not get the kingdom. If you only preserve him from the wicked hands of the minister whom I have all along seen to be covetous of the throne, you will do a great work for your old master. I make you from this moment the lord of my palace. From this minute you are father, mother, brother, servant, and everything to my son. Take care that you do not betray your trust.” Thus ended the king, and sent at once for the minister. When he came he spoke to him thus, “Kharavadana! See what I am now. Yesterday I was on the throne. To-day, in a few minutes, I must breathe my last. Such is the uncertainty of life. Man’s good acts alone follow him to the other world. Take my signet-ring. [Here the king took the ring from off his finger, and gave it to the minister.] Yours is the throne for the present, as long as the prince is in his minority.

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