King Chandrasen And His Servant Story
Yet again Vikram started walking with Betaal on his shoulders for another night and Betaal started off…On the seacoast was a town named Tamralipi where a young man named Satvasheel was making the rounds of the palace, trying to meet the King, Chandrasen, for a job. But the King’s staff would not allow him to meet the king. Satvasheel did not lose hope and kept trying again every day. One day, while he was talking to a lady vendor selling hog plums, a man came and told them to stand aside as the King’s procession was about to pass by.
On hearing this, Satvasheel was very happy. As soon as the King’s procession passed by, he ran after the king Chandrasen. The King stopped, asked him his name, and then asked him for water. Satvasheel went and got some water from a nearby pond, making a bowl out of a leaf. He then offered some plums to the King. King Chandrasen ate two plums. The king then asked Satvasheel as to what he could do for him. He said that it was his desire to serve the king, and he had been trying for many days to offer his services, but his guards were not allowing him to meet the king.
The king then gave him a ring with the state insignia engraved on it and told him to come to the palace with it and if he showed it to the guards, they would immediately allow him access.
Satvasheel went the next day to the palace, and the king appointed him to serve him. Satvasheel served his master with all dedication. Once, King Chandrasen told Satvasheel that there were many unemployed youths in their state and the reason for that was lack of business. If they were to increase their commerce with nearby islands then it would help to reduce unemployment. But for that, someone must go and search out the islands, approach them, and try to get business from them. For that one has to be dedicated, hardworking and adventurous. Satvasheel told the king that he was ready to go for it.
Chandrasen gave him a boat and crew, and Satvasheel, with several associates, started off. While they were sailing across the water, he saw a flag hoisted on a pole stickling out of the water. Chandrasen had asked him to give all respect to the flag. Satvasheel thought that as the flag was hoisted in the middle of the sea there had to be something underneath. He jumped into the water and went down. There he saw a beautiful woman sitting with other ladies listening to music. Satvasheel told her that he had come from Chandrasen’s country. She then asked him to rest, and then offered him a bath before taking his lunch.
Just as he jumped in the bath tub he came out of the lake, where King Chandrasen saw him. Satvasheel was surprised as to how he reached there.
He told the story to Chandrasen. Chandrasen expressed his desire to visit the place. Satvasheel went along with Chandrasen in a boat to the same place. King Chandrasen fought with all the soldiers that came his way and won over the state. The princess then declared that Chandrasen was the victor, and so was the king from that day. Chandrasen appointed Satvasheel as his representative to rule over the state, and ordered the princess to get married to Satvasheel and be the queen. Just as Satvasheel and the princess bowed to King Chandrasen, gooseberries fell from under Satvasheel’s belt.
Chandrasen reminded him of the afternoon in the jungle where he had eaten plums given to him by Satvasheel. Thus Chandrasen paid off his debt of plums to Satvasheel.
Betaal then stopped and asked Vikram as to who according to him was more courageous, Chandrasen or Satvasheel. He once more forced Vikram to reply or else he would behead him. Vikram replied that according to him,
Satvasheel was the more courageous of the two, and justified his answer by saying that when Chandrasen had jumped in the sea where the flag was hoisted, he knew what was under it already, as he had heard the full story from Satvasheel, so there was no real bravery in doing it. But when Satvasheel jumped, he knew nothing about what would be there awaiting him, even danger to his life, but he did not worry about it and just went ahead. So he was more courageous than Chandrasen.
Betaal praised Vikram’s justification but as he once more opened his mouth, Betaal flew away…