The Exchanged Heads
Vikram again went after betaal , caught him, put him on his shoulder and started walking. Vikram said angrily – “Why do you deceive me?”. Betaal said – “I am very happy to see your justice, that is why I go back to the tree and celebrate it. Don’t be angry, because you are a just King. But I pity upon you, that you are making untiring efforts without relaxing, as if you wish to achieve something. So just to pass time, listen to this story now.” Betaal started his story and Vikram started listening.
Once upon a time there lived a washerman named Dhavala. He once saw a
very beautiful lady at pond. He instantly fell in love with her and pleaded with his parents to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. His parents did accordingly and the girl, Madanasundari, got married to him with her parents consent. She then went with Dhavala to live with him.
Once brother of Madanasundari, came to Dhavala to invite his sister and
brother-in-law to their place for festival season. Dhavala agreed and the three
of them were travelling to Madanasundari’s maternal home. On the way they happened to pass by the temple of Durga Devi, the goddess of power. Her brother wanted to pay a visit to the goddess, and went to the temple. But as soon as he came near the goddess, he wanted to make a massive sacrifice to the goddess. So he bowed before the goddess and cut his head off as a sacrifice .
Madanasundari was worried when her brother did not come out of the temple and she then sent her husband to see what the matter was. On seeing the state of his brother-in-law, the husband was also moved deeply and he decided to offer his own head too to the goddess and cut his own head with his sword.
Madanasundari, after a long wait came and saw both her brother and
husband lying on the ground and then decided to take her own life but asked the
goddesss to get the same brother and husband in the next life. The goddess was pleased and stopped her from dying and asked her to join their heads and bodies and then she granted them life. In a hurry, Madanasundari, had exchanged the heads of her brother and husband. So after this started a great dilemma , as to who would be the husband of Madanasundari.
Betaal stops and asks King Vikram asks this question: O king, Who among the two is the husband of Madanasundari?
Vikram replied with a lot of thought, “The body that carries her husband’s head
is is her husband. The head is the most important part of the human body, and
the rest of the body is identified by the head.”
As soon as Vikram had finished his answer, Betaal slipped from Vikram’s shoulder and hung back on the tree.