The tales of Vikram and the Vampire originated in the land of India. It is a collection of stories of a king named Vikram and a ghost - Betal. Originally the stories were written in Sanskrit. The tales constitute a series of stories intended to impart moral lessons to readers or listeners.
It all started with a promise from King Vikram to ghost Betal to go on a journey to finish his prayers. During their expedition, Betal insisted on narrating a story and asking a question from Vikram at the end of it. But he added some conditions to it. First, if Vikram answered correctly, Betal would fly back to the place they started from. Second, if Vikram chooses not to answer, his time will end. Lastly, if Vikram is not aware of what the answer is, then will stay on the course and Betal will narrate a new story.
The Sagas of Vikram And The Vampire/Betal
Once upon a time, there lived a King named – Roopsen, who ruled the Burdwan Kingdom. Once, a young man – Birbar, approached the King for some work. The King appointed Birbar as his guard. King Roopsen compensated Birbar well.
A few days later, King Roopsen heard a lady crying bitterly in a field nearby. Roopsen ordered Birbar to go and inquire about the matter. Roopsen secretly followed Birbar after giving him orders.
Birbar realised that the lady was an omen warning the King about an impending danger in his life. When Birbar asked for a remedy to avert this danger, the lady said there was a temple nearby. If Birbar surrenders everything and serves the temple, The King’s life will be spared.
After giving a thought to the lady, Birbar left his home with his family to serve the temple. However, the conditions in the temple were quite harsh. Birbar and his family couldn’t survive in the temple and died eventually. When this piece of information reached the King, he not only became hopeless but In grief and despair, he decided to take his own life. Suddenly, the Goddess of the temple appeared before the King and blessed him for being pure in heart. The King requested the goddess to resurrect Birbar and his family and Lo! The family was restored.
Vikram And The Vampire/Betal
After narrating the whole story, Betal had a question for Vikram, “Birbar sacrificed himself and his family and the King too was also about to sacrifice his precious life. In your opinion whose sacrifice is bigger?”
Vikram pondered over the question and said, “I am convinced that King’s sacrifice is more considerable as it was Birbar’s duty to protect the King, but King was not required to protect Birbar. But out of his love and kindness, the King expressed his wish to sacrifice his life.”
Betal fled back to the tree trunk upon hearing the answer from Vikram.
The moral of the story is “never give up on your responsibilities”. As we see in the story, the king has his duties toward his people and especially to his loyal employees. He must stand by his faithful subjects and do the needful to protect them and their families. In this case, particularly, he was about to give up his own life for Birbar.
This is the story of a king and his reliable soldiers. The king in return is quite compassionate towards his serviceman. Once the king told one of his guards, Birbar, to check why a lady was crying in the fields. Upon finding the reason from the women that his King’s life was in danger, Birbar decided to provide service in the nearby temple with his family. While servicing the temple, they lost their lives.
When the King came to know about his sacrifice, he was so devastated that he was willing to kill himself. While doing so, the goddess appeared in front of the king and spared his life. But the King said he will only accept if the goddess spares his guard Birbar and his family’s life too. Upon hearing this, the Goddess gave their lives bask as well.
1. How many stories are there in the series of Vikram and the Vampire?
There are 24 stories in the series of Vikram and the Vampire. All stories became so popular that they were later drafted in different languages like English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, and Marathi. All 24 fictional stories revolve around the journey of Vikram and the vampire Betal.
2. What made King Roopsen different from other kings?
King Roopsen was a very kind and gracious king. He made sure that he paid his servicemen well. When he saw what his guard, Birabar and his family did for him, he was so overwhelmed that he decided to give up his life, which under normal circumstances no other king would have done for his subjects.
3. Was Vikram ever able to get rid of the Vampire?
It is quite hard to say this as people have different versions depending upon their perspectives. Some say that after many attempts, Vikram was able to help Betal with his prayers and he was finally free as a spirit. While others say that Betal kept flying back and Vikram kept rescuing him.
4. Are Vikram and Betaal stories good for learning valuable lessons?
Yes, the Vikram and Betal stories are good for learning valuable lessons. Some valuable lessons are discussed here in this story.