Fuljhari Raja

There was once a Raja named Fuljhari and he was childless; he and his

wife made pilgrimages to many shrines but all in vain, the wished-for

son never arrived. One day a Jugi came to the palace begging and

the Raja asked the holy man to tell him how he could have a son;

then the Jugi examined the palms of their hands but having done

so remained silent. The Raja urged him to speak but the Jugi said

that he feared that the reply would be distasteful to the Raja and

make him angry. But the Raja and his wife begged for his advice,

and promised to do him no harm whatever he said. At last the Jugi

explained that they could never have a child unless they separated,

and the Raja went right away and the Rani lived with another man;

with this he took his departure.

Then the Raja and his wife consulted together and the Raja proposed to

take the Jugi's advice, as he felt that he could not leave his kingdom

without an heir; so he said that he would go away to a far country,

on pretence of visiting a distant shrine; but the Rani feared that

if, on his return, he found that she had borne a child, he would

kill her or at least turn her and the child out to beg their bread;

but the Raja assured her that he would never treat her in that way

and after making his final arrangements he went off to a far country.

There he stayed some years and in the meanwhile the Rani had five sons;

at last she wrote to her husband to come home and directly he reached

the palace he bade the Rani to bring the boys to him, that he might

embrace and acknowledge them; so they were brought and he took them

one by one in his arms and kissed them, and he saw that they were

all the images of himself. But when he kissed the youngest child he

was suddenly struck with blindness. Then he rose in wrath and ordered

the child to be taken away and killed; but the mother had pity on it

and persuaded the soldiers not to kill it but to convey it away to

a far country.

The child's name was Lita and he grew up and was married to the

daughter of the Raja of the land and lived in his father-in-law's

house. But Lita was always tormented by the thought that he had been

the cause of his father's blindness; although he would not tell anyone

of his sorrow, he used to get up when every one was asleep and spend

the night in tears. One night his wife surprised him weeping and

begged him to tell her what was the matter. She pressed him until he

told her how, immediately his father kissed him, he had gone blind

and how his mother had smuggled him out of the country and saved his

life, but how the recollection of the harm he had done tormented him

and how he longed to be able to return to his own country and restore

his father's sight. His wife on hearing this at once began to comfort

him and assured him that she would help him to obtain a medicine which

would restore his father's sight. In a range of mountains was a Rakhas

who had a daughter who was buried in a heap of Fuljhari flowers; if

Lita went and could persuade the Rakhas to let him marry his daughter,

he could then get a Fuljhari flower and if that were rubbed on his

father's eyes his sight would be restored.

So Lita set out towards the mountains and sat down by the road side

at their foot. Presently the Rakhas and his wife came by; the wife

asked him what he was sitting there for; he said that he was looking

out for some one who would have him to come and live in his house as

a son-in-law. The Rakhas paid no heed to this and proposed to eat up

Lita at once, but his wife begged him to spare the young man and take

him home and marry him to their daughter, who was very lonely. The

Rakhas gave way and they took Lita to the cavern in which they lived

and there was their daughter buried under a heap of flowers. They

made her get up, and told her that they had brought a husband for her.

Lita and his bride lived happily together and were soon deeply

in love with each other, and after a time he told her about his

father's blindness and how he wished to try to cure it with one of

her flowers. She readily agreed to help him; so the next day she

went to her father and said that she wished to pay a short visit to

her husband's home; the Rakhas consented and she and Lita took their

leave. She told Lita that when the Rakhas offered him a farewell gift,

he should take nothing but a hair from the Rakhas' head; this he did

and they tied the flower and the hair up carefully and set off to the

home, where Lita's first wife was awaiting them. She told her parents

that Lita had come back with one of his sisters, and that she now

wished to go back with them on a visit to their home. Her parents

assented and the three of them set out and one evening reached the

outskirts of the village in which Lita had been born. They camped

under a roadside tree, but in the middle of the night they took out

the Rakhas' hair and said to it "Make us a golden palace" and at

once a golden palace sprang up. Next morning all the residents of

the village collected to see the wonderful new palace, and Lita told

them to bring their Raja and he would cure him of his blindness. So

they went and fetched the old blind Raja and directly Lita touched

his eyes with the flower his sight was restored. Then they wept over

each other and told all that had happened. And the old Raja and his

wife came and lived with Lita and his wives and the other brothers

stayed on at their old home; and they all lived happily ever after.

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