Sunday, November 29, 2015

The story of Gopichand

Gopichand and Biruwa were brother and sister. As Gopichand grew up, he became a gudariya (a hermit). His sister got married to a rich person and went to live with her in-laws.

Since Gopichand became a gudariya and went from house to house to beg alms, his mother advised, “Go to beg alms anywhere in the world, but don’t ever go to your sister’s.” “She won’t even look at you, let alone treat you well.”

However, Gopichand thought that his sister would recognise him and treat him well. So he decided to visit Biruwa. When he went to Biruwa’s house, she denied to recognise him and said, “Why my brother would turn into a hermit?” “He is so rich that he doesn’t have any worries at all.”

Although Gopichand tried to convince her that he was her brother, she pretended not to recognise him and instead hit him with kharra barhni (broom). She gave him a roti (chapati) of rice bran and showed him a corner in the stable to sleep.

Being treated so badly by his sister, Gopichand cried the whole night in the stable. He prayed to the Lord and said, “My sister didn’t recognise me and gave me a roti of rice bran on a broken clay pot piece (khapata) and a small clay tumbler (fuchchi) of water.” “Hey mother Earth, please split apart so that I can put these things with you. I will ask for them when I will need them.”

As he prayed, the earth split wide and he put the roti and water tumbler inside the crater. The earth then again closed to normal.

In the morning Gopichand went to Biruwa and said that he was leaving. Bidding farewell, he at once left for his home.

When Gopichand reached his home, he asked for his mother Sunaina. When he met her, he explained everything – the bad treatment from her sister, being given roti made from rice bran, water in a clay pot and made to sleep in the stable. She said, “I had told you earlier – go to beg alms anywhere in the world but never go to your sister’s place. However, you didn’t listen to me.”

He then asked her to prepare 18 bhar (loads) of eatables consisting sweets, beaten rice, curd and all sorts of delicacies. He also requested his friends and relatives to accompany him to his sister’s house.

This time when he reached Biruwa’s house, she saw the bhars and welcomed him. She was happy that her brother had arrived. She brought a pot of water to wash his feet and mattresses to rest.

However, Gopichand said he would not wash his feet with the water. His friends washed their feet but he did not.  He said he would show what happened when he visited Biruwa as a sage. He said, “I will show you how I was treated.”

He then took all to the stable. Reaching the place where he has put the roti and water, he asked, “Hey mother earth, please split wide open and let me have my meal that I asked you to keep for me.”

To their amazement, the earth split and he got the bran roti and water back. He asked Biruwa, “Not tell me who gave me this?” “I am the same Gopichand whom you beat with broom.” 

Biruwa was ashamed in front of Gopichand’s friends. She cried and asked him to forgive her. But Gopichand did not budge.

He went back to his home and never visited Biruwa again.

Narrated by: Sangita Chaudhary, Terhauta VDC, Ward No. 1, Saptary District
Collected by: Manisha Chaudhary and Suman Chaudhari

Gudariya: A beggar
Kharra: A broom made from bamboo twigs
Barhni: A broom made from wild grass
Khapata: A piece of clay pot
Fuchchi: A clay tumbler used for drinking water
Bhar: Load of eatables carried on both ends of a bamboo staff

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