Once again Vikram caught hold of Betaal and started walking, carrying him on his shoulder. As usual, to pass time, Betaal started with another story. In the city of Ujjain, there lived a poor Brahmin who had a son named Gunkar. Gunkar had a bad habit of stealing from home to go and gamble. As usual, one night he stole money from his father’s cupboard and set out for a night of gambling.
Meanwhile, the moneylender’s men came to the Brahmin’s house to collect the money he had promised them to give on the full moon day. The Brahmin asked them to wait as he was ready with the money. Just as he picked up his pillow to take the keys, he was shocked as they were not there. He realized that Gunkar had taken his money to go gambling. The moneylender’s men did not believe him and thought that he was telling them a false story, and they caught hold of him and took him away.
The moneylender beat him very badly. He then made the Brahmin his prisoner and ordered his men to go and tell his family members that if they wanted him released, they should come with the money they owed him and then they could take him away. Gunkar’s mother gave the moneylender all her jewellery and got her husband released.
Meanwhile, Gunkar was still over at the gambling house. When he went home, his father was very angry and threw him out of the house.
Gunkar left the house, and the city also. He kept walking without knowing where to go. He realized how difficult it was to survive as there was no love, mercy or favour in this society. He wandered here and there, hungry and thirsty. Finally, he fell down and lay there under a tree. A Saint who was passing by picked him up and took him to the cave where he resided. Gunkar told him that he was very hungry and he wanted to eat. The Saint asked him what he would like to eat.
Gunkar replied that he would eat anything given to him. The Saint produced a betel leaf with magic and asked him to eat that.
As soon as Gunkar ate it, his stomach was full. Later, the Saint asked him to take a rest inside his cave. As soon as he went inside, he was shocked, as it was like a palace in there. There was also a beautiful woman. When Gunkar asked her who she was, she said that she was the power of the Baba (Saint) and that he had asked her to take special care of Gunkar. Gunkar then went back to Baba and asked him as to what this was. The Baba replied that these were his supernatural powers and he should not further question him. Gunkar told Baba that he would like to stay there forever. But Baba refused saying that he could stay there as a guest for eight days.
He lived a luxurious life for eight days. After this, the Baba came and asked him to leave. Gunkar requested Baba to teach him the mantras with which he acquired the supernatural powers, but the Baba refused, saying it was very difficult to attain them.
But Gunkar was adamant. The Baba agreed to teach him, but said that he would have to do it in two steps, the first step being meditation, mantras and penance. Gunkar agreed and started his penance. Gunkar then completed first step and came back to the Baba. Baba was very pleased with him and asked him to go on to the next step. But Gunkar told him that before going for the second step, he wanted to go and see his family. Baba agreed. With his powers, Baba got him gifts for his family members and money for his father.
Gunkar then left for his town. His parents were happy to see him. He stayed there for a few days and then returned to the Baba. He completed the second step of his penance and came back to the Baba, very happy that he could now attain anything he wanted. The Baba asked him to supply some food for him with his powers. Gunkar called for food, but nothing happened. He was surprised and asked the Baba as to why he had not attained the supernatural powers he had worked so hard for?
Saying this, Betaal stopped and asked Vikram as to why did Gunkar not attain the supernatural powers in spite of completing all the steps of austerity and penance? Once more he forced Vikram to reply.
Vikram replied that Gunkar did not acquire those powers because he went to see his family halfway through. To attain a goal, one should concentrate and not let one’s mind deviate towards any other matters. Gunkar got distracted because of his family and so could not achieve his goal.
Betaal agreed, but as he had once again succeeded in forcing Vikram to talk, as per his condition as soon as Vikram opened his mouth, Betaal flew away…