In the olden days, there was a very famous merchant in Mumbadevi called Shivnath. He owned three ships. He used to fill these ships with lot of material from Mumbai and go to different parts of the world. In different places he used to sell all his goods and earn lot of money. He had son called Shivnarayan. Shivnarayan grew up and started helping his father in the business. Shivnath always warned his son, “Along with these ships, you go to any part of the world you like. But do not go to Gadbad Pattan.” Shivnarayan also obeyed. After some time Shivnath died. Shivnarayan who was very curious wanted to go to Gadbad Pattan and do business. He just wanted to know what would happen.
So one year after the death of his father Shivnarayan filled up his ship with lot of goods and reached Gadbad Pattan. He reached there safely. He met several big merchants there and told them that he can sell his goods to them. The next day while he was walking on the road, one lady approached and asked him, “When your father was here last time, he married me. So you have to give a part of your wealth to me.” Shivnarayan tried to tell the lady that his father never visited Gadbad Pattan. But she did not agree. She took him to the king for justice. The king asked Shivnarayan to prove that the lady was not his father’s wife. Shivnarayan could not. So he ordered Shivnarayan to give one ship along with goods to her. Shivnarayan had to give her one ship.
Next day Shivnarayan was walking in the streets. One man with only one ear came to him and told him, “I had mortgaged one of my ears to your father and taken a loan of one hundred rupees. Take this one hundred rupees and return my ear.” Shivnarayan tried to tell that man that his father never came to Gadbad Pattan. Not only that he never gave loan. But that man did not agree and took him to the King. King asked Shivnarayan, to give back the man’s ear. When he was not able to do it, he ordered him to give one ship full of things to the man instead of the ear. Shivnarayan became very sad and gave one ship to the one-eared man. Shivnarayan became very sad for not obeying his father’s words.
The very next day Shivnarayan needed a haircut. He went with ten gold coins to the barbershop. The barber asked him, “What will you give me for a hair cut?” Shivanarayan told him, “I will make you happy.” After the hair cut Shivnarayan gave two gold coins to the barber. He said, “I am not happy.” Shivnarayan gave all the ten gold coins he had taken. Even then the barber told, “I am not happy. Make me happy as you have promised.”
Shivnarayan was again taken before the king. King ordered Shivnarayan to make the barber happy. Shivnarayan could not make him happy. So the king ordered Shivnarayan to give one more ship to the barber.
That night Shivnarayan, did not have anything left. So he went crying to the local temple. A sage who was sitting in the temple asked Shivnarayan, why he was crying. Shivnarayan told him his entire story. The sage then gave him, a divine sparkling garland and told him what he should do.
Next day Shivnarayan went to the king’s palace. The one-year-old son of the king was playing in the palace. Shivnarayan put the sparkling garland on the baby’s neck. The baby was very pretty. The king saw this and asked Shivnarayan, whether he can help him. Then Shivnarayan told, “Great king, during the last three days, I have lost three ships because I did not know how to argue. Kindly call those people and again and conduct an enquiry. The king agreed.
First the woman who claimed, that Shivnarayan’s father has married her was called.
Shivnarayan told her, “Madam, I agree that you are my father’s wife. There is a custom in our place that after the death of the husband, the wife should be burned. After burning you, I will give the share of my wealth to your relatives.” The woman refused to be burnt. So the king ordered her to return back the ship.
Next the man with one ear was called. Shivnarayan asked him, “Now I remember that my father used to give loan after taking ears. My father has lot of such ears. You please give me the other ear, so that I can take it home to find out your other ear.” The man refused to give his other ear. The king then ordered him to give back the ship.
Finally the barber was called. Shivnarayan carried the baby of the king along with the sparkling chain. He asked the barber, “This is baby of the king. I am very happy to see him wear the sparkling garland. What about you?” Being afraid of the king, the barber had to say, “I too am happy.’ Then Shivnarayan told the king, “Sir, now I have made the barber happy. Ask him to please return my ship,” The king agreed and asked the barber to return the ship. Shivnarayan, after thanking the sage, immediately left Gadbad Pattan. He then never went to Gadbad Pattan.