In a remote village of Rajasthan, there lived a young lad by name Bhimsingh. Bhimsingh was a hard working lad and had lost his mother at a very young age. His father had married again, but the father had also passed away recently. It was the habit of Bhimsingh’s step mother to taunt the poor lad continuously and in fact, that was the only thing he could not tolerate. So, one day, after she taunted him a lot for some minor issue, Bhimsingh decided to leave the house and seek his fortunes elsewhere. The very next morning, before the sun was up, Bhimsingh collected a couple of his clothes which were his only belongings and started to leave.
Bhimsingh had a friend and guide in an old man who was his father’s friend and guide too. Before he left the village, Bhimsingh wanted to bid good bye to the old man whom he considered as his Guru. So, when he went to meet the old man, the man advised Bhimsingh to stay back in the village as his parental house would always be the best place to live in. But Bhimsingh was very frustrated and wanted to get out of there. He told the old man to give him advice out of his experience as this was the first time he was going out of his town alone.
“If so,” said the man, “then be it, but,” he added “Wherever you are, follow the following rules and you will be blessed.” “And what are they?” asked Bhimsingh. The old man said, “Number one; always obey your master. Number two; always speak courteously to others so that they are never hurt by your words. Number three; always be honest and hardworking. Number four; never try to act equal with people of higher status than you and lastly, whenever you get an opportunity to listen to good teachings by any one, spend some time to listen to them and register it in your mind. If you remember all these, you will be always well, wherever you are. God Bless!!”
Bhimsingh took leave of his Guru and walked for a long distance and just before night fall, he reached the city where the King’s palace was situated. He sauntered into the market and was fascinated by the large shops selling various items from grains to vegetables, clothes to toys and all things he could imagine. He saw a tall man standing outside a shop selling grains. Bhimsingh went up to him and introduced himself and asked him for a job. The vendor looked at him from head to toe and thought for a while. Then he said, “Hmmm… You are well built, tall and sturdy. Unfortunately, I do not have any job for you, but yes, the Minister, who is my friend, has just dismissed his personal assistant only today and he wanted a replacement. Why don’t you go to him, huh? Go and tell him that I sent you.” And then, the vendor told him the directions to reach the minister’s house.
Bhimsingh was very glad and went to the minister’s house. He got the job immediately and was given a place to stay too with a decent salary and food. Bhimsingh was very very happy and settled down to his new routine. All was going on well. One day the King decided to go on a hunting expedition. Some ministers along with their assistants and soldiers, with lots of elephants and camels made their way to the forest which was a long way ahead. Bhimsingh was also in the group accompanying his master, the minister. At dusk, they reached a village at the outskirts of the forest. The group was very thirsty. Some of soldiers went to a villager’s house and asked if they could get some water.
The villager sadly shook his head and told them that there was no source of water anywhere nearby and the nearest lake was about ten kilometres away.” We all walk every day that far to bring water” he said. “However, there is a step well in our village, but a fearful, ghostly giant lives there and anyone who goes to get water there never comes back. If any one of you is brave enough, you may go there.”
The soldiers came and informed the minister of what they heard from the villager. The minister at once looked at Bhimsingh and said, “Bhim, I think you are the fittest person to go and check whether what the villager says is true or not. Take the villager along and take a couple of pots and go to the well and get us all some water as it is not possible for us to walk ten kilometres more.” Bhimsingh at once remembered the first advice of his Guru -“Always obey your master!”
“Ok Sir”, he said without saying a word of protest and off he was, carrying four pots on a horseback, the old villager accompanying him. After some distance, the villager pointed out to the step well some distance away and excused himself and hurried back. Bhimsingh got down from his horse and looked around. The well was eerie looking alright with no habitation nearby and a huge tree with lots of thorny plants and overgrowth of creepers hanging over wall of the well, hiding the little bit of sunlight there was. Praying to God, Bhimsingh stepped into the well and started climbing down. There was no evidence of any one around. He reached the bottom and saw crystal clear water. He cupped his hands and took the cool water and splashed over his face and drank some. It was so…. refreshing. Just then, there was a huge shadow above and a booming voice was heard.
Bhimsingh looked up to see a fearful sight. There was a Giant hovering around above him. The Giant had no legs and in his hand he held a skeleton. The skeleton was wrapped in a piece of cloth which seemed to be the remnant of a saree. “Who are you? And what are you doing here?????” boomed the Giant. Bhimsingh answered politely about his mission. The Giant was impatient. He said pointing at the skeleton, “Look at my wife. Isn’t she beautiful? Everyone says she looks awful ….” Saying thus, the giant broke into sobs. It appeared that the Giant’s wife was dead long back and the Giant was apparently very fond of her that he was carrying her skeleton all the time. Then once again, he boomed, “You tell me. Is she beautiful or NOT????”
Bhimsingh remembered the next advice, that he should not hurt others with his words and so he said, “Yes Sire, she is as beautiful as the moon!!” To his surprise, the Giant was so happy and said, “You are the first person who has made me happy. What do you want? I promise to grant you what you want. Do you want me to show you the dead Kings’ treasures hahahahahahaha………..” His booming laughter resonated so loudly that Bhimsingh almost slipped into the water. Then he realised that the Giant was actually offering him a deal!
Bhimsingh politely told the Giant that all he wanted was that the Giant should leave this well and go away to some other place. The Giant gladly agreed and before leaving picked the pots Bhimsingh was carrying and kept the four filled pots outside the well in a jiffy. With a Swoooosh, he left the place with the skeleton. Bhimsingh went back with the water as if nothing had happened and told the minister that there was plenty of water in the well and they could use the same. He did not mention anything about the Giant. The whole retinue was happy to have sweet cold water and the King was especially pleased at the attitude of Bhimsingh and told the minister that he was interested in hiring Bhimsingh as his personal assistant.
Now, Bhimsingh was the King’s personal assistant and was doing his duty always keeping advice number three in mind, to be honest and hardworking. The King was very much impressed by Bhimsingh’s sincerity and began to give him all the important tasks. Bhimsingh was also happy and was also made a part of the King’s security guards to be with him always.
The King had a wicked cousin brother who wanted to kill the King and usurp the Kingdom. He kept planning in many ways, but due to the presence of Bhimsingh could not do anything. So he slowly became friendly with Bhimsingh and kept flattering him always. One day he offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to Bhimsingh. Bhimsingh remembered the fourth advice of the Guru and politely refused the offer telling the prince that he was not equal to them in status and hence would always prefer to be submissive.
The prince was very enraged that this plan to lure Bhimsingh did not work out and so, in a rare moment, on a day when Bhimsingh was not well and could not come for duty, slowly poisoned the mind of the King saying that Bhimsingh was really planning to kill the King and that his spies told him that he was meeting someone in the neighbouring Kingdom often to plan his strategy. The King did not believe this but the prince had bribed two ministers also to concur with his version and when the two ministers also echoed the prince’s ‘theory’, the King started suspecting Bhimsingh. The prince told the King that there should not be any delay in executing Bhimsingh and also suggested a plan for the same.
Accordingly, the King summoned the contractor who was building his new fort at the farther end of the city and told him that he should chop off the head of the person who would come the next day and ask him, “Is the work finished yet? How much longer will it take?” The body should be buried and the head brought and shown to him. The contractor found this order very strange but if the King ordered something no questions were to be asked!
The next day, the King summoned Bhimsingh and told him to go to the new fort that was being built and ask the contractor, whether the work was finished yet and how much longer was it going to take. Bhimsingh, as usual truly and sincerely believing the King took his horse and was riding his way to the fort. On the way, while passing the Kali temple, he saw that there was a discourse going on in the lawn of the temple on “the good qualities a human being should inculcate”. Bhimsingh remembered the fifth advice of his Guru and thought he would just spend half an hour listening to the discourse and thereafter continue with his mission. The discourse was so absorbing that Bhimsingh forgot about his mission and stayed on for a full three hours there.
In the meanwhile, the wicked prince was getting increasingly impatient as he had not got news of the death of Bhimsingh. “I shall go and see for myself!” he said to himself and wore a disguise and mounted his horse and sped away in full speed to the fort. He called for the contractor and asked him, “Is the work finished yet? How much longer will it take?” He was of course meaning the work of ‘execution’ of Bhimsingh, but to his dismay, the contractor, pulled out a sword in a flash and the next moment the prince lay dead. The contractor buried the body and was taking the head to the King.
The King in the meanwhile unable to contain his curiosity, rode himself in disguise to the fort. On the way, he saw Bhimsingh who was hurriedly mounting his horse near the temple. The King was shocked and Bhimsingh recognised the King and sought pardon. The King was hesitant to tell Bhimsingh to go to the fort and therefore told him to go back to the city and he returned to the palace, only to see the contractor waiting with the Prince’s head which he alone recognised. The King was shocked and upset but could not show his feelings and told the contractor to take the head and bury it with the body. That night, on some intuition, the King thoroughly searched the Prince’s room and found all his plans of overthrowing and killing the King written in a detailed manner with instructions to his friends on what to do after Bhimsingh’s death. The King understood the truth and felt happy that the sincere Bhimsingh was not killed. He thanked the divine intervention that saved Bhimsingh and him and made Bhimsingh his minister.
Bhimsingh married a lady of equal status and lived happily ever after. He often visited the old man, his Guru, in the village and thanked him for all his words of advice which had brought him to this position.