Which is Important? The Head or Body
The resolute King Vikramaditya climbed the primeval tree and brought down the cadaver into which Bhethala invoked. No sooner, the King started his journey carrying the corpse on his shoulder the Bhethala in the dead body started speaking to him. Hey King of Kings! Vikramaditya! To ease your journey, I will narrate you a story.
The Bhethala started
Once upon a time, King Vichitrasena ruled Vimkramapuram. He had a stunning beauty, Raja Nandini, as wife. The King was nervous for not having children even after ten years of their married life.
He summoned astrologers to his palace and sought their advice in this regard. The astrologers completing their calculations said, My Lord! If you perform Santhana Lakshmi' Pooja in Shravana you will be blessed with a prince.
King Vichitrasena was in all joy on hearing the advice of astrologers. The couple followed the astrologers' guidance and performed the veneration. By the turn of the year, Queen Raja Nandini delivered a healthy baby boy.
King Vichitrasena was overwhelmed with joy on Prince's birth announced celebration throughout his kingdom. In particular, a weeklong festive revelry was convened at a Temple of Goddess on the occasion, in the capital. As part of the carousing competitions in martial arts were flagged off.
People from various parts of the kingdom flooded the place to take part in the partying and view competitions in battle fights. Several fighters camped in the capital to take part in the sport. One among them was Karthikeya, belonging to a warriors' family.
Incidentally, when Karthikeya visited the Temple to seek the blessings of Goddess, a lovely lady along with her brother came there. She was Suvarnika; daughter of chief of forces Keerthisimha. The accompanied person was her brother Vikramasimha.
Karthikeya was fascinated about Suvarnika. He enquired about her and the family she belonged. He felt that spending a day with her would suffice for a lifetime experience. Karthikeya immediately stood before the Goddess. After all the salutations and respects to the Goddess, he prayed. Mother! I will offer my head as a sacrifice, if I happened to marry Suvarnika, he pledged.
That evening Karthikeya defeated all the opponents and hoisted the flag of his efficiency in the Capital. Keerthisimha was impressed with the hands-on expertise of Karthikeya and invited him for dinner at his residence.
During the conservations while having dinner, Keerthisimha understood that he and Karthikeya's father learnt martial arts from the same teacher. For some reason, he kept this information out of Karthikeya's reach.
Later he introduced his daughter Suvarnika and son Vikramasimha to Karthikeya. Karthikeya was already in love for Suvarnika. Daring Karthikeya asked straight, If you do not think otherwise, I will marry your daughter Suvarnika. Suvarnika with all female shyness slipped into the house.
Keerthisimha bemused for Karthikeya's courage. He even observed his daughter's shy. I will be happy to get her married to a great warrior like you, he assured.
One fine day, Karthikeya married Suvarnika.
The couple stayed there for some days in all pleasure. It was time for Karthikeya to proceed to his native. Everyone bid bye to Karthikeya and Suvarnika. Vikramasimha accompanied them in the same chariot.
While they were about to leave the capital, the Goddess' Temple was visible at a distance and Karthikeya folded his hands to pay respects to the Goddess. Suddenly, the vow to offer his head flashed in his mind.
The very moment it flashed, Karthikeya got off the chariot and Suvarnika and Vikramasimha to wait there for his return.
He walked up to the Temple. Bowing before the Goddess, he said Goddess! Born in a warrior's family, I'm sacrificing my head in conformity to my oath and severed his head with a sword.
Suvarnika and Vikramasimha were disturbed when it was too long for Karthikeya to return from the Temple. Suvarnika asked her brother to enquire about the safety of her husband.
Vikramasimha rushed to the Temple and was shocked to see his brother-in-law dead with his head cut off from body. He could not gather courage to explain the incident to Suvarnika.
Tension surmounted Suvarnika. She was surprised and puzzled at the same time when neither husband nor brother returned from the Temple. She hurriedly reached the Temple. Watching them both lying dead in front of the idol she screamed loudly.
Gazing the idol, sitting cool, she grabbed the sword from husband's hand and raised it saying, Hey Mother Goddess! Take my life too. I can never live with out my husband and brother.
A powerful voice came from the idol, Wait! You are the paramount wife and excellent sister. I grant you a boon. Go on wish any.
I'm fortunate Mother! Make both of them living again, Suvarnika pleaded.
Granted! Join the separated heads to the bodies, they come live, the divine voice stopped.
Suvarnika in all astonishment and confusion attached husband's head to brother's body and brother's head to husband's body. Immediately they rose like waking from a deep sleep.
She was happy for a while and regretted to the mistake she had done.
Bhethala questioned King Vikramaditya, Now, tell me Oh King! Whom should Suvarnika live with? Should she live with husband's body and brother's head or with husband's head and brother's body?
Vikramaditya spontaneously answered, There is nothing to doubt in this. There is a high priority to the head in the Hindu tradition and culture. Hence, Suvarnika should live with the person living with Husband's head.
Bhethala convinced by Vikramaditya's reply and zoomed off with the corpse back to the treetop.