Gubhaju and the Magician

Newari folktale

Gubhaju and the Magician

Newari folktale

In the old days, there lived Jamun Gubhaji, a spiritual master, in the city of Patan. Patan was rife with merchants, consumers, artisans, and entertainers from the plains to the mountains. One day a magician from the grasslands arrived in Patan. This self-proclaimed magician bragged about his grand magic and claimed that none could stand before his miraculous powers. He stood at the center of the city gathering a large crowd of onlookers as he cut open the belly of his assistant and took out his heart and liver, and placed it upon a banana leaf on the ground. The crowd gasped in amazement. 

Jamun Gubhaju, being a great magician himself, stood among the crowd and understood the magician’s illusions. To teach this conceited magician a lesson, Gubhaju transformed himself into an eagle. Then, he pounced upon the heart and the liver that lay upon the banana leaf and flew high up in the air. 

The helpless magician looked on as the eagle soared above the clouds, clearly out of everyone’s reach. He knew that his assistant would soon die without the heart and liver. The people of Patan knew about Gubhaju’s powers and told the magician to seek him and ask for forgiveness. For a long time, the magician kept on searching for Gubhaju’s house in the labyrinthine alleyways of Patan. When he finally found the Gubhaju’s residence, he frantically knocked on the door. 

As soon as he knocked on the door, a Myna bird announced, “The swindler has arrived.” The magician, completely startled, reached inside but could not believe his eyes when he saw that Gubhaju’s wife was firing up the oven to brew alcohol, using both her feet as firewood. The awestruck magician expressed his distress to Gubhaju’s wife who then directed him to her husband could be. 

 “Go deep into the forest, and upon a grassland, you will find him grazing the goats,” she said.   

The magician went to the forest and spotted Gubhaju. From a distance, the magician saw that Gubhaju had placed his left foot upon the trunk of the tree, and with his power, the tree had bent, and the goats were happily eating the leaves. The magician approached Gubhaju and begged for forgiveness. He promised to never boast of his magic again.  Gubhaju then handed the heart and the liver over to him. The assistant was brought back to life. With his pride now reduced, the magician soon returned to his land.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter to
Get Our Updates

Himalayan Cultures
Indigenous Cultures of the Himalayas.
Traditions, rituals, languages & philosophies
© 2020 Himalayan Cultures. All rights reserved.