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The Raja Who Went To Heaven

Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

Once upon a time there was a Raja, who had many water reservoirs
and tanks, and round the edges he planted trees, mangoes, pipals,
palms and banyans; and the banyan trees were bigger than any. Every
day after bathing the Raja used to walk about and look at his trees,
and one morning, as he did so, he saw a maiden go up to a banyan tree
and climb it, and the tree was then carried up to the sky, but when
he went in the evening he saw the tree in its place again; the same
thing happened three or four days running. The Raja told no one, but
one morning he climbed the banyan tree before the maiden appeared, and
when she came, he was carried up to the sky along with the tree. Then
he saw the maiden descend and go and dance with a crowd of Gupinis
(Divine milk maids) and the Raja also got down and joined in the dance.

He was so absorbed in the dance that he took no note of time; so
when at last he tore himself away, he found that the banyan tree had
disappeared. There was nothing to be done, but stay where he was;
so he began to wander about and he soon came to some men building a
palace as hard as they could. He asked them for whom the palace was
being built, and they named his own name. He asked why it was being
built for him, and they said that Thakur intended to bring him there,
because he was a good ruler, who did not oppress his subjects and
gave alms to the poor and to widows and orphans.

There was no difference between night and day up in the sky, but
when the Raja came back, he found that the banyan tree was there,
and he climbed up it and was carried back to earth by it. Then
he went home and told his people that he had been on a visit to a
friend. After that the Raja used to visit the banyan tree every day,
and when he found that it did not wither although it had been taken
up by the roots, he concluded that what he had seen was true and he
began to prepare for death. So he distributed all his wealth among
his friends and among the poor; and when his officers remonstrated
he made them no answer. A few days later he died, and was taken to
the palace which he had seen being built.

It is said that what you give away in this world, you will get back
in the next; there you will get good wages for what you have done in
this life.

Next: Seven-tricks And Single-trick

Previous: Sit And Lakhan

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