Clever Jadhoji – An Indian Folk Tale

This is the story of a wise old priest whose clever idea helped two princes divide their country between the two. However, this story has been retold in slightly different ways. In one version you will see Sabal Singh being rude with Jadhoji but in the original version of the story both the princes are equally good. The two of them had great respect for Jadhoji.

Version 1 Version 2
Sabal Singh rude Sabal Singh good-mannered
Serendranagar Saurashtra
Rampur Chuda
Jadhoji Bhatt, the clever old priest
  • Jadhoji Bhatt was an old priest. He served the Royal family of the kingdom of Surendranagar.
  • He was alert, bald headed. He was a holy man. He was a learned man.
  • After serving the Royal family for several years, Jadhoji retired recently.
  • Vallabhji, his nephew took the office of the Main Priest.
  • Even after retirement, Jadhoji was inquiring about the palace, news, about the two princes who ruled the country.
  • The two brothers were Arjan Singh and Sabal Singh.
  • Arjan Singh was a good king. He respected Jadhoji and loved him.
  • Sabal Singh was a ruffian. He was unfriendly with Jadhoji.
Questions & Answers
A Bad News!
  • One evening Vallabhji returned from the palace with a bad news – the kingdom of Surendranagar was going to be divided into two.
  • Surendranagar – The good part of the country. Fertile. Majority of people lived in Surendranagar.
  • Rampur – Was a backward area. It was not at all fertile. It was less populated.
  • Jadhoji wanted Arjan Singh to rule the Surendranagar part because Arjan Singh was the good ruler. He was kind-hearted and wise.
  • If Sabal Singh ruled this area, soon the rich country would become poor. That would be the end of two countries.
Jadhoji Visits the Palace
  • The next day Jadhoji went to the palace. He was thinking how he could make sure Arjan Singh got Surendranagar.
  • Seeing Jadhoji, Arjan Sing sprang up from the seat and welcomed the old man.
  • Sabal Singh was still adamant. He didn’t get up.
  • Sabal Singh asked Jadhoji to devise a plan to divide the kingdom. He smiled a wicked/evil/bad smile at Jadhoji showing his red teeth.
  • Jadhoji was scared of Sabal Singh. He knew that Sabal Singh would demand Surendranagar.
  • No, Surendranagar should be ruled by the good Arjan Singh.
  • Jadhoji thought for a while and then told them an old story.
  1. Why did Jadhoji want Surendranagar go to the safe hands of Arjan Singh?
Jadhoji tells a Story
  •  A sage had two disciples (students)
  • At the end of their studies, they were making preparations to go back.
  • The sage asked the two disciples to swallow a piece of paper.
  • One of the disciples swallowed the paper (or whatever) but the other didn’t.
  • Jadhoji left the palace, promising he would solve the problem by the next day.
  • Next morning, Jadhoji sent a secret message to Arjan Singh through his nephew, Vallabhji. The message was, “do as the good disciple did!”

Why did Jadhoji tell the princes the story of the rishi and his two pupils?

Arjan Singh Gets Surendranagar
  • That evening Jadhoji went the palace and gave two chits (rolled papers) and informed the princes that either ‘Surendranagar’ or ‘Rampur’ was written on either chits.
  • It was therefore decided that whoever got the corresponding chit would own that part of the country.
  • The princes picked a chit each. Arjan Singh swallowed the chit that he picked.
  • Everyone stood dazed, confused.
  • Jadhoji asked Sabal Singh to open his chit. When opened, ‘RAMPUR’ was written on it. This way, Jadhoji solved the crisis. Sabal Singh got Rampur and Arjan Singh got the prosperous Surendranagar.
  • Now, how did Jadhoji know that Sabal Singh would get Rampur? Any idea?
  • Here is the answer. Jadhoji had written ‘Rampur’ on both the chits. When Arjan Singh swallowed the chit that he got, Sabal Singh did not swallow. When he opened the chit, obviously he found Rampur written in it!
  1. Why do you think that Jadhoji was really clever?
Additional Questions & Answers
  1. How was Arjan Singh different from his brother Sabal Singh?

What do you think?

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