A Dream Comes True
Heralal was at one time a wealthy merchant of Patalipur. Unwise investments and a generous disposition soon saw all his wealth disappear, and eventually, he was forced to sell his large house and live in a humble cottage.
His misfortunes preyed heavily on his mind, and each day, he would pray to the temple of Kali and pray. One night, depressed and miserable, he rushed into the temple, and falling on his knees before the Goddess, he clutched her feet and, in his anguish, cried,
“Mother, if you do not give your son a sign, he will end his wretched life. “
Later he returned to his poor abode, and sick in mind, he fell into a troublesome sleep. Then in his dreams, a radiant light filled his room, and in the centre of this light, the Goddess Kali appeared, and he heard her voice, Beloved son, for your devotion and purity of heart, go to the town of Kunuj and your poverty will end.”
Early the following day, Heralal, with the dream firmly in his mind, decided to set out immediately for Kunuj. It was a long journey; the heat was intense, and Heralal was forced to rest by day and travel by night. At last, footsore and weary, he reached the outskirts of Kunuj, and coming to the ruins of an old temple, he decided to rest there for the remainder of the night.
During the night, Heralal was awakened by shouting and running feet. Suddenly, a figure brushed by him in the dark and disappeared through the temple. Before Heralal could gather his wits, other figures appeared, heedless of his protests, pounced on him and bound him with ropes.
“We have caught you at last, you miserable thief.” roared one, and in that dim light, Heralal recognized the uniforms of the King’s guard.
Poor Heralal thought his troubles were never ending as he was marched off to the prison.
The following morning Heralal was brought before the town magistrate. Heralal told the magistrate the whole story of his misfortunes in a tearful voice. Luckily, the magistrate believed his story and gave Heralal some good advice.
“You should not believe in dreams because your dream has landed you in trouble. I dreamt that if I went to Patalipur and dug beneath a peepal tree in the backyard of a cottage close by the temple, I would find gold.”
“I would not travel one yard, let alone fifty miles, for a mere dream,” continued the magistrate, “So I advise you to go home and stop believing in silly dreams. “
Heralal stumbled out of the courthouse, his mind in a whirl because he knew the house the magistrate spoke of; it was his own.
Travelling night and day, Heralal rushed back to his home town. The heat and food did not worry him; all he could think of was the gold under the peepal tree.
When he reached Patalipur, he first went to the temple to pray and thank the Goddess Kali for her blessing. That same night, Heralal started digging under the peepal tree. He searched for hours, and though bathed in sweat, he refused to give in.
Then just as dawn broke, he uncovered one, two, or three large earthenware jars. It took all his remaining strength to carry them, one by one, into his house. And what joy, he discovered they were filled with precious gold coins.
Now Heralal is again a wealthy merchant who looks thrice at any investment and is more devoted to the Goddess Kali than ever before.