Characters

  1. Vikramaditya: The king of Ujjain
  2. The shepherd boy: An innocent and good-natured boy who sat on the judgement seat.
  3. The king: A nearby king who wished to sit on the judgement seat.
  4. The angels: The angels who made the king realize that he was not worthy to sit on the judgement seat.

Introduction

This story is about Vikramaditya who was the king of Ujjain. He was famous for his justice. After his death, his palace and his fort slowly and slowly changed into ruins. The place where his palace stood turned into grassland where shepherds grazed their cattle.

Summary

The shepherd boys found a beautifully carved stone peeped out from the earth

The old palace of Ujjain was ruined and buried under the sand and dust throughout the time. Trees grew and the people forget about them. The shepherds of the nearby villages to these ruins of Ujjain took their herds of cattle to the forest for grazing. The boys had leisure time to play when the cows were engaged in grazing. One day the boys found a place very suitable for their childish play. The place is uneven and one end of the beautifully carved stone peeped out from the earth. In the middle there was a green grass mound, looking just like a judge’s seat.

One of the boys ran forward with a whoop and seated himself on it. He called other boys to bring their cases before him and he would have trails. Then he straightened his face and become very grave to act the part of a judge. The other boys thought it was fun and quickly made up some quarrel and appeared before him. When the judge had sat down on the mound, he was just a common boy. He seemed quite different when he had heard the case. He had become very grave and took the case seriously. His tone and his manners sounded strange and impressive. He gave wise judgement on hearing the trails. The boys still thought it was fun but when they presented another dispute, the judge’s answer was quite impressive and satisfactory to both parties. The judge pronounced the judgement as if it were out of the depth of a long experience with clearly-spelled wisdom. The incident has become a strange experience for all the boys.

The news spread like wildfire

Soon the news of these plays of boys spread through the countryside and the people from all villages began to take their disputes to the court of the herd-boy on the grass under the green trees. They were all satisfied with their judgments. Thus, all the disputes in the neighbourhood were settled amicably and justly.

The shepherd boy, by chance, seated himself on the mound, and not knowing anything about the seat of Judgement, he acted like a judge. He was innocent and was a good-natured boy. He had no cunning thoughts. He was a happy boy, contented and playful. Thus, sitting on the Judgement seat of Vikramaditya he dealt with the disputes and settled them justly.

After a few days, the news of the court in the forest reached the king’s notice. He thought that the boy must have sat on the Judgement-Seat of Vikramaditya. He spoke that all at once without thinking. The learned men agreed that it was so for they knew that the ruins in yonder meadows were once Vikramaditya’s palace. The king had always desired to be possessed with the spirit of law and justice. He thought of digging the place to find the Judgement Seat. So, the work began and they discovered the Judgement Seat below the mound. It was a black marble slab supported on the hands of twenty-five stone angles. It was surely the Judgement-Seat of Vikramaditya.

The Judgement Seat was taken before the King

With great rejoicing, the Judgement Seat was brought to the palace of the king. It was put in the chief place in the hall of justice. Then the nation was ordered to observe three days of prayer and fasting and on the fourth day, the king would ascent the new throne publicly.

People gathered in large numbers to see the taking of the seat. When the king was about to sit on the Judgement-Seat, one of the twenty-five angels spoke: “Stop, do you think you are worthy to sit on the Judgement-seat of Vikramaditya? Have you not desired to rule over the kingdoms that are not yours?”

The king knew that his own life was unjust. He confessed that he was not worthy. The angel asked him to fast and pray for another three days. With these words, the angel spread its wings and flew away into the blue. The king saw that the seat was supported only by twenty-four angles.

The king was not worthy of the Judgement seat

Three days passed. This time another angel asked the king if he did not covet the riches of another? He confessed that he had. The angel asked him to fast for another three days and flew away. This went on for ninety-six days and he observed fasting for three days more. It was the hundredth day. As he was about to occupy the seat, the last angel spoke. It asked the king if he was pure in his heart. The king confessed he was not. The last angel too flew away into the sky bearing the slab on its head.

The king realized the truth. Only when he was pure in heart, like a little child, could be perfectly just. That was why the shepherd boy in the forest could sit on the Judgement-Seat of Vikramaditya.

Conclusion

The story ends with the statement of the last stone angel who flew away with the judgement seat. The twenty-fifth stone angel explains the mystery that only one who was pure in heart, like a little child, could be perfectly just. A child is said to be a symbol of God. His heart is always pure and conscience clear. A child is far away from selfishness and betrayal. That was why the shepherd boy could sit where no king in the world might come, on the judgement seat of Vikramaditya.