Durga Puja Story - The King Who Wanted A Child

The King Who Wanted A Child

In days gone by, there lived a very great and powerful king, who had a noble and beautiful wife. They were the perfect couple and the people of their kingdom were also very happy with them. The royal couple paid special attention to all the needs of their subjects, and heard their woes and alleviated them to the best of their abilities. However, they had one sorrow that saddened them immensely-thay had no children and so their palace was bereft of any sound or chatter of little ones.

Soon the queen suggested to the king that he marry her own sister, as, then, perhaps her sister could beget a child. The king was stunned, but all his ministers and courtiers thought it was a good idea, and advised him to remarry. They all felt strongly that there should be an heir to the throne, and although it was against the wishes of the monarch himself, they were able to persuade him in the larger interest of the kingdom.

Soon, another splendid and grand marriage took place(since polygamy was prevalent then) and everyone rejoiced and the older queen did not feel jealous. She made a great occasion of the day. The younger king was also beautiful and obeyed her elder sister a lot.

Alas, there was still no news of a baby's arrival, and the king became very worried again. So, the two queens thought up a scheme-(the younger queen) made a false show of pregnancy and told the king that the court astrologers had forbidden him from going anywhere near the 'pregnant' queen until the baby was born. As the king was very happy, he agreed to do as he was told.

This state of affairs went on for nine month until the time for the birth of the baby arrived. The queens were now in a state of panic. They decided to pray to Devi Durga, and told the king that since the goddess had been so kind to them, they would like to visit the great temple, situated far away, to offer their gratitude. The king also decided to go along with them and no one could persuade him not to do so. He made arrangements for his prime minister to look after the kingdom, while he went to the temple to worship. At last the caravan of the king and the two queens started. As they neared the temple, the elder queen said: "O King, we have forgotten to bring the silver canopy that we were to offer to Durga Ma, and without that our offerings would be at naught." So the king again went back to his kingdom to fetch it.

Well, now the queens made the entourage travel very fast and reached the temple. They went straight to the altar of the goddess and lay prostrate before her, with tears rolling down their eyes. The goddess asked them about their sorrows and they made their confessions in front of her. On hearing this, Devi Durga put a coconut in the lap of the younger queen, and lo behold, a beautiful little baby started to cry in her lap! Everyone was astonished and thrilled. They danced with joy and sang in the praise of the goddess.

In the meantime, the king arrived, and seeing the commotion, asked everyone what the matter was. He was overjoyed to hear the news and rushed up to the altar and lay face down before the goddess.

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