Folklore of the Santal Parganas | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Raja Who Went to Heaven, The

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.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Raja Who Went to Heaven, The
Tale Author/Editor: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Book Title: Folklore of the Santal Parganas
Book Author/Editor: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Publisher: David Nutt
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1909
Country of Origin: India
Classification: unclassified

Back to Top