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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Sorath Rai Diyach

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Junagadh was once governed by King Rai Diyach. His lone sister was barren. She spent most of her time in prayer since she desired to have a child. Finally, a saint informed her that she was going to become pregnant with a son one day. He will, however, be required to murder King Rai, his uncle.

She was devastated. What noise would a son make if he were to be the cause of her brother's demise, she wondered aloud. She did, however, give birth to a boy a few months later. She hardened her heart in response to the prophecy, placed her infant in a straw basket, and sent it floating down the river.

The basket sailed to the kingdom of King Annirai on the opposing bank. Dami once knew a shepherd who frequented the river and fetched water from the river every morning with his wife. But to their astonishment, they came across a basket with a young toddler. Dami and his wife adopted the infant and nurtured him as their own because they were infertile. His name meant "gift of water," Beejal.

When Beejal reached adulthood, he led the family's herd to the forest and grasslands to feed. One day, he noticed that someone had killed a deer and thrown its guts onto a branch of a tree. After some time, they began to sing as the wind blew on them, attracting both animals and birds. Beejal quickly realised that this was the result of the intestines drying out. So he fashioned a string instrument for himself and decided to take them out of the tree.

When his bow struck the cords, the sound would entice animals. There was never a day when Beejal's family went without food. He would then quickly turn them into a game. He became well-known for both his hunts and his enchantment with music.

As luck would have it, Beejal and Annirai's sixty-first daughter were both born around the same time. The unwelcome kid of King Annirai had also been abandoned on the river. In Rai's kingdom, a potter by the name of Ratno visited the riverbank to gather clay. He also discovered a baby in a basket and brought it home. She was given the name Sorath, and Ratno was her father.

As the young girl got older, word of her beauty quickly spread. As a result, when Annirai learned about Sorath's unrivalled beauty, he went to the potter Ratno and asked for her hand in marriage. Ratno was quick to concur.

He left with Sorath's wedding procession to Annirai's Kingdom after visiting an astrologer about an ideal time for the ceremony. Rai learned about it while they travelled Junagadh. He felt angry when he learned that the most gorgeous girl in his realm will wed another King and he requested Ratno's hand in marriage. Sorath was married to Rai because he was unable to defy his King.

Annirai felt enough insulted by a stolen bride to assault Junagadh. Rai Diyach's soldiers successfully repelled attack. After receiving humiliations one after the other, Annirai declared Rai should be executed. He piled costly stones and diamonds onto a big dish and presented it as a gift.

Meanwhile, Beejal had been married at his parent's request. Hearing this, his wife graciously took the reward, trusting in her husband's abilities. When Beejal learned what had occurred, he became angry. Rai was renowned for being a devoted fan and supporter of music. Beejal was not going to allow his work to be used to support such a horrific crime.

He soon became aware of the seriousness of the situation, though. He would be executed along with his family if he rejected Annirai and the King had his head. On the other hand, he would have brutally slain a great King and a music enthusiast.

Beejal carried out his duties. He travelled to Junagadh and sung, "To the palace has come seeker, with his instrument, Would implore for the gift of the head by his enchanting music," while he played his instrument at the fort's gates all night.

Rai Diyach was mesmerised by Beejal's instrument as the melodic notes reached his ears. He instructed Beejal to ask for anything he desired as he yelled out to Beejal from the royal window. "I must let you in on a secret. Permit me to visit you and speak with you in person "Answered Beejal.

To transport him up to the palace, King Rai dispatched a palanquin. When Beejal entered the palace and sat down next to the King, he remained silent. He simply played his guitar, though. Rai was so taken with Beejal's music that he promised him gold, jewels, and wealth, but Beejal turned them all down and kept playing.

King experienced a spiritual and soulful experience in which he was at one with the Divine because the music was so uplifted that he went into a trance. In this condition, Beejal said to him: "Oh Gracious Husband of Sorath, help me. Fill the empty bag of this seeker. I have abandoned all the doors and sought yours."

The King vowed to fulfil Beejal's dream after becoming entranced and consumed by the music. However, Beejal remarked, "I will only be content if I have your skull in my bag."

The King attempted to reason with him after learning of this odd demand. Even his wife, Sorath, one of his courtiers, begged Beejal to withdraw with tears in their eyes. Beejal, nevertheless, persisted and pressed for the fulfilment of the promise made to him. King Rai honoured his promise and gave Beejal his head. "I would repeatedly behead myself if I carried about millions of skulls on my shoulders. That wouldn't even be able to gauge how ecstatic your string is!" Rai announced.

"At your feet, seeker, I would offer hundreds of head sacrifices! However, the nation as a whole's sacrifice is likewise insufficient." The King continued before he executed himself.

The story continues as a poem.

"Everyone at Junagadh was horrified, and the kingdom cried out in anguish.

The flower of Girnar is plucked; curse is heaped up on curse,

Hundreds of women like Sorath are ready to die in the raging pyre,

Behead their heads with hair and face well made up,

Offer willingly to shepherd,

Women wail loudly that yesterday night king died!"

This information circulated quickly. As directed by Annirai, Beejal brought Rai Diyach's head immediately to his king. When Annirai saw this, his anger was sated by his terror. Annirai scolded Beejal after being shocked and scared. "You mean, man? You persisted in killing the kindhearted, trustworthy man notwithstanding his appeal to reason! I'm terrified of what you can do to me if you can behead Rai Diyach! As a result, I give you the go-ahead to go from my realm."

When Beejal heard this, he was struck with regret. He sprinted like a lunatic back to Junagadh. Beejal likewise dove into the flames with the severed head of Rai Diyach in his hand, paying for the wrongdoing with his life, as Sorath committed Satti before the blazing pyre of Rai Diyach while the entire Kingdom of Junagadh wept.

Once more, the narrative is expressed as a melody: "After Sorath's death, silence reigned; Khangar's pitched their tents; Music began, and strings moaned; This was how they would sing mourning songs, To make their monarch happy."

Rai Diyach, Sorath, and Beejal all perished. Beejal's wife, a materialistic woman drawn to wealth, was left widowed and spent the remainder of her days begging. Annirai, who had instigated Beejal to kill King Rai out of fury and jealousy, was mortified.

The kindness of Rai Diyach, the strength of Beejal's craftsmanship, the sacrifice of Sorath, and the repercussions for a foolish woman who desired to acquire gems without thinking about the possible cost are all depicted in this tale. It also mentions fate and faith, both of which one cannot avoid.

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