Vikram yet again brought Betaal down from the tree, and another story narration began. The King of Ujjain, Veerdev, and queen Padma had a beautiful daughter named Anantrati. She had gone on pilgrimage with her friends, guards and soldiers. On her way, she donated many things to the needy and the poor. One day while she was traveling along, a weaver came and gave her a beautiful sari. When Anantrati asked him what the cost of the sari was, he said that it was a gift for her. Anantrati liked the sari very much, and expressed her wish to see more of his work.
The weaver invited her to his house. Anantrati went to his house and when she saw other saris that he had woven; she was very much impressed, and expressed her desire to learn the art from the weaver. Anantrati then continued her travels. Then a man with a pigeon sitting on his shoulder came and told her she should not go any further, as a pair of tigers were resting under a tree a little further up the road.. When Anantrati asked how he knew about it, he said that the pigeon had told him, and that he understood the language of the birds and the beasts, and also conversed with them in their language.
”He then asked the princess if she would like to talk to the pigeon and asked her to hold it. Then he explained to her how the sparrow was complaining to him about her eggs being stolen, and how the female weaver bird complained to him about her husband going away from her, and how he explained things to him and got him to go back to his wife.”
Anantrati was very much impressed with him and asked him if he would teach her the language of the birds and beasts. She invited him to her palace to teach her that language but he refused, saying he could not leave his bird friends to come there. The princess then told him that one day she would come to him and learn the language. After this, princess Anantrati and her associates moved on further. weaver and the Princes Anantrati
The weather was getting bad. Just then Anantrati was not feeling well and realised that she had fever. They went to a Vaidya (doctor of Ayurvedic medicine) who treated Anantrati, and she felt better within two hours. She went looking around in his dispensary where she met three patients, one who was injured by a lion; second one who had goiter and the third one whose backbone was broken. All three were treated by the Vaid and were recovering. All of them had praises for the Vaid. Anantrati was very much impressed with the Vaid.
She expressed her wish to stay back and serve humanity along with the Vaid. After this, Anantrati and her group moved ahead.While they were passing through a jungle, the Princess’s leg was caught in a rope snare and she was left hanging upside down from a tree. Her friends cried out for help. Just then a brave man came along, killed the snake that was lurking on the tree with his axe, and threw a rope over the tree branch.
”Anantrati caught hold of the rope and climbed up onto the branch. She then jumped from the tree into the arms of the man and thus was saved. Anantrati was very much impressed with the courage and presence of mind of the man. She thanked him for rescuing her, and complimented his intelligence and courage. Later, Anantrati returned home. Her parents were very happy to see her but at the same time they wanted her to now get married.”
Anantrati told her parents that she did not want to get married to a royal man, but instead a common man because a common man is more courageous, sincere, intelligent, witty, wise and dedicated. She had realised this when she met these people. So, the king made an announcement for her Swayamvar (choice of her husband made by a princess in public) wherein bachelors from the middle class were invited.
The brave man who had saved Anantrati’s life, the Vaid, the man who knew bird’s language and the weaver, all of them heard the announcement. All four attended the Swayamvar. King Veerdev asked Anantrati to put the nuptial garland on to the bridegroom of her choice. Betaal then stopped and asked Vikram as to who out of these four men, Anantrati should choose as her husband-to-be. He once more forced Vikram to answer or else he would be beheaded.
”Vikram replied that Anantrati was very clever; the weaver was very rich but Anantrati herself was a princess and had no need of money. There would be no point in marrying a person who could understand the languages of birds, as he was good for entertainment, but that entertainment value wouldn’t last, and how could the princess live with such a person for a lifetime?”
Similarly, the Vaid was definitely an asset to humanity and his services were essential for the society, but when it came to making a selection between him and a brave man, the princess would surely opt for the brave, clever man, since the King did not have any son as his heir, and hence a brave and valorous son-in-law would be the best choice to be able to maintain and protect the kingdom. So Anantrati should marry the last man, the one who saved her life. And, just as Vikram said, Anantrati married the courageous man. Betaal was very happy with Vikram’s justification but as per his condition, as Vikram opened his mouth, Betaal flew away…