Live a life of Integrity and Intelligence.
Once there lived a Pandit who had a beautiful wife. In fact, so beautiful that every man who ever laid eyes on her desired her. The prince, the minister’s son, the merchant’s son, and even the barber’s son were among the few that constantly drooled over her. But the Pandit was strict, so no one ever dared to go near and approach.
One day the Pandit had to urgently visit another country. He didn’t have any money so he went to the merchant and loaned 200 Rupees. He told him that his wife would manage some money by tomorrow and pay him back the day after. He went home and told his wife about the loan. She assured him that she would think of some way. The Pandit left in the evening.
The wife had a habit of bathing at the river at the earliest dawn. While she was coming back from her bath the next morning, thinking of ways to pay the merchant back, the king’s son blocked her way and said –
‘I am really enchanted by your looks. I want to take you to the palace tonight. How long will you keep up with that pathetic brahmin? I will give you whatever you want.’
The woman thought for a while and said –
‘Oh, Prince! Why don’t you come to my house at 10 PM tonight? I will fulfill all your needs.’
The prince said he would and they parted ways.
After a while, she met the minister’s son.
‘I am in love with your body. I want to make you the princess of my heart tonight,’ he said.
The woman told him to come to hers at 11 PM. Likewise, she met the merchant’s son and told him to meet her at 12 PM at her house when he too expressed his feelings for her. A little later, she met the barber’s son and told him to come at 1 AM. After this, she reached her home.
She thought for a long time after which she called and asked four of her close friends to come to hers immediately.
‘Friends, taking advantage of my husband’s absence, the prince, the minister’s son, the merchant’s son, and the barber’s son – all tried to seduce me today. I have cleverly called all of them – one at a time – at my home tonight. I want you to come and help me. I want you guys to tell them I like surprises and then I want you to ask them to hide in the black boxes I have in the other room. Once they enter, I want you to shut it and lock it.’
The friends agreed.
That night, after supper they all got ready and waited. At 10 PM, the prince arrived. The woman hid and the friends cleverly made him enter the box. After which they shut it, locked it and placed it in the garden. The prince yelled from inside.
Likewise, at 11 PM the minister’s son came and they did the same. They managed to lock all four men by 1 PM.
The next morning the merchant came to take his money back.
‘What 200 Rupees? I don’t know of any such loan.’ the wife told him.
The merchant was in shock.
‘What are you talking about! Your husband took 200 Rupees from me the day before yesterday. He said you would pay me back today. You are deceiving me. This is not good,’ he said.
‘I don’t know of such commitments,’ she said.
This terrified the merchant. He swore at her and straight away headed to the King’s court. He explained everything to him. Since the merchant was the king’s close ally, he asked one of his guards to go and bring the woman to the court immediately. The guard did so.
‘Did you or your husband take the merchant’s money?’ the king asked.
‘No your highness. We haven’t taken anything from anyone. We are simple people with simple ways.’ she pleaded.
There was a heated discussion after that. The merchant insisted that they had taken money from him while the woman kept denying it. The king listened to all of it. He was slowly losing his patience. The woman understood that the king would support the merchant and not her if everything failed. So she made a move –
‘Okay! You guys may not believe me, but you surely believe in God. What if I called upon my goddess? If she asks me to pay the money back in front of you, I will pay it.’
Everyone was surprised. The merchant scolded her. But the king was a man of faith and spirituality. He wanted to see if that could really happen.
‘You can bring your goddess here, is that what you mean?’ the king asked.
‘Yes, your highness. I can bring her here in front of all of you,’ she replied.
‘Then do it,’ the king ordered.
‘But she is too heavy. I cannot carry her myself. I need a few strong men to come with me to my house,’ she said.
The king asked four soldiers to go with her.
When they reached her home, she asked the four men to wait outside for a while and entered.
She went to each of the black boxes and said –
‘Listen! If you do as I say, I will set you free at my home with dignity. Otherwise, I will take you to court and expose you in front of hundreds of people.’
Each agreed to assist her.
‘If so then I will take you guys to the court now and when the king asks whether I have taken money from the merchant, you guys should deny. Am I clear?’, she said.
All of them agreed. She asked the four men to come in and take the boxes away.
At the court, the boxes were kept in front of the woman. The King went near and asked –
‘Has this woman taken money from the merchant?’
‘No-No-No, she hasn’t,’ came voices from each box.
This amazed the King. He couldn’t hold himself any longer. He had to see the goddess! For the first time in his life!
He wanted that divine experience. So, he ordered his men to open the box immediately. They did so.
Four men stepped out one after another. It wasn’t difficult for anyone to recognize them. The King although disappointed, was amazed at the sight. He asked why they were shut like that. The woman explained everything. The four confessed.
The king was impressed with the woman’s wisdom and heavily rewarded her. He was sad that he couldn’t see the goddess though!
The men apologized. The woman went home pleased.