This myth is considered to be the main myth associated with the goddess Bahucharaji and the temple premises bears testimony to such belief-system.
A King named Raja Vajsingh was from Kalri village and ruled 108 villages of Chuwala, Gujarat. He was married to a princess Vagheli of Vijapur taluka’s Vasai village. The king had other wives too, but unfortunately was not blessed with a child. When this princess conceived and a child was born in the middle of the night it was a girl child. The queen decided to keep this a secret and conveyed to the king through her maid that the queen had delivered a boy.
The queen always dressed the child, named Tejpal, in male costumes and took all the ladies around in confidence and sustained this secret till the child was of a marriageable age. Soon Tejpal was engaged to the princess of the Chawada, of the kingdom of Patan and were married.
Soon the princess came to know the much kept secret of Tejpal not being a man that all thought him to be. The princess was very unhappy and returned to her mother’s home, but the mother realised something was amiss. On enquiring she told her mother the truth and the news reached the king.
The king decided to find out the truth for himself and sent an invitation to Tejpal along with the others in the family, to visit them for “fun and food” as mentioned in the invitation.
Based on this invitation, 400 people all dressed up in ornaments and finery came to Patan along with Tejpal. When the food was being laid the king of Patan suggested that Tejpal took a bath before dining and since he was the son-in-law, he would organise a royal bath for him with a rubbing by his choicest of men. Tejpal was worried at the thought of a bath in the presence of men and when he was forcibly being taken for a bath, he removed his sword and ran away on a red mare. All present were surprised at this behaviour of Tejpal.
Tejpal, fled out of the kingdom of Patan and rode off on his mare to a dense forest on the outskirts of Patan. Unknown to Tejpal, a bitch had followed him from the kingdom and when they reached the middle of the forest (referred to as Boruvan) it was evening. Tejpal was very tired and thirsty and stopped near a late (this lake is supposed to have been in the present day location of Mansarovar, near the temple premises). The bitch that was following them jumped into the lake to quench its thirst and when the bitch came out it had turned into a dog.
|A Painting in the temple premises depicting the entire myth|
Tejpal saw this and was surprised and to check this once again he sent his mare in the water first and soon it came out as a horse. Tejpal then took off her clothes and jumped into the lake and when she came out all signs of being female had disappeared and he had got a moustache! Tejpal was truly a man now!
Tejpal spent the night there and next day morning left the place after he had made a mark on a tree (now known as the famous Varakhdi Tree in the temple premises, as seen in the temple premises). The King of Patan, was well informed about the blessings of Ma Bhauraji but did have doubts if his son-in-law had actually turned into a man. It is said that Bahucharaji appeared in his dream and confirmed the same.
Later, along with his wife and in-laws, Tejpal, went to the place where he had made a mark on the Varakhdi tree, and is supposed to have constructed a temple and is supposed to have installed an idol in the honour of Bahucharaji. This Varakhdi tree today is a major place of reverence in the temple premises.
Needless to say that, this legend goes on to add credence to the theory of Bahucharaji’s association with those who lack masculinity. She is thus referred to as “purushattan denari”, giver of masculinity, in local hymns and bhajans.
Next time we will see references of eunuch's in epics and thier associations with Bahucharaji - a classic case of a common assiciation with myths that are well known.