Bahuka Bhavuka – the emotional Bahuka
When we forget our form and nature, the Lord reminds of it to us, and sometimes through a Guru, sometimes through His form. Let us move forward by offering a thousand salutations at His lotus feet.
The story seems to be over, but it is not so; it becomes more thrilling with a number of twists. Life also is like that. Damayanti was now in a dilemma- the sound was Nala’s but the form wasn’t his. While the ears almost believed it was Nala, the eyes did not. The sound of arrival of the chariot was Nala’s but his form was not. Nala and that form had no relation. Hence she had this dilemma.
She began thinking who else could drive the chariot like he used to? Was it Varshneya? She knew Varshneya, he would not come like this. This kind of arrival and speed were all Nala’s knowledge. Would Varshneya have learnt this from Nala without her knowing? She felt this was not possible. Could it be Rituparna? She didn’t know about him. Even though he was as knowledgeable as Nala, the manner and style of driving will be different.
Every individual’s eyes are different. Even if crores of people are born on this earth, their sight will all be different, not same. Also, the thumb of every individual is different. Likewise, one person cannot be the same as another.
Twins for that matter too, have some differences between them. Similarly, in knowledge too. Two of them present were not possible to be Nala, the third one was ghastly, could he be Nala? Would he have come in that form by any chance, she wondered. With form or malformed, even if it was Bahuka’s, the finesse of those arts was Nala’s, no doubt. Thus the mind delved into such delusion. The meaning for the word “भ्रम”/delusion in Sanskrit is to “roam” and in Kannada, means “wrong imagination”.
Here too, the mind keeps roaming like this, unable to say yes or no. But each moment, her doubts started becoming firm. Even though Bahuka was grotesque, whenever she saw him, her mind was content and heart cooled.
If the eyes don’t know, wouldn’t the heart know? A mother’s affection, a lover’s heart or a marriage are not affected by appearance- this is an example. If not, will relationships be firm after a certain age?
Vivaha means Lagna(marriage). Lagna means “to conjugate”. If it is just between bodies, it remains only during youth. If it is between the minds, it remains for a lifetime. But if it is between the souls, it will continue for births together. Here Nala and Damayanti’s marriage was not limited to the body. After much speculation she came to the conclusion that it must be Nala himself. If this was true, had such a deformation come to the handsome one? “Alas!”, she exclaimed.
Since Kali was driven out, she was able to see the rare divine radiance. The body had lost its lustre, hair had been shed, would Nala have taken this form? Thus she doubted. No human knows the truth, only Murahara, Lord Shiva know the truth.
Disappointment flooded in her when she saw Nala. But still, she was an empress and had the skill of performing her duty even then. She thought about what to do next and how to test Nala more. She called her efficient messenger, Keshini for the task. She told Keshini “You go to the charioteer near the chariot and ask who is he and who rode the chariot. Be careful! First do the casual talks and then proceed further”. Generally, the servants get the pride which the masters or one in the higher position won’t have. True master doesn’t have pride. The servants have pride due to lack of maturity. If he was Nala, Damayanti didn’t find it proper to talk to him in such a way by a servant. Moreover, the servant talking to her husband in such a way was not right for her. She took precaution to prevent her husband from getting humiliated and also because of her love towards him. She said “Talk carefully every letter. Ask what we need- Who is he? What is in his mind?”. She trained the servant and sent her for the task. She told to perform the test which was done by Parnaada. Isn’t it when Parnaada recited the verse taught by Damayanti, that a deformed person (Nala) answered? She plotted the swayamvara plan then and brought them all there by her wit. So she was confident that the charioteer would answer to Keshini if he was Nala.
Keshini too was excited in becoming a part of this noble task. It was a good opportunity for her. If she becomes successful in it, then her name would be everlasting along with Nala-Damayanti. Her name ‘Keshini’ means one who is having a nice hair. In ancient times, both men and women had special hair. There was a way of decoration for them too. One should have a head to have a hair! The mind’s activities take the form of hair outwards. So there is close relation between the mind and hair. Keshini went to Nala and talked. If he responds to the call ‘O Naresha’, then it means that he is used to that. Here there is a cleverness also. Naresha means the king and also greatest of men. That is why is clever hail. How many times would he have come here in the procession? He would have got the great welcome.
Keshini now goes and tells that it was good he came. She said “Damayanti asked about your wellness and I am her friend”. What should Nala answer now? Should he tell that he is not well? He had faced this with Parnaada in Rituparna’s court. Now when Damayanti’s messenger came he remembered past things. When he hears about Damayanti, Nala feels happy and also eagerness. Keshini continued saying that Damayanti wished to know when they started and for what reason they came there. She is expecting the true, righteous answer. This question was to know whether her try reached Ayodhya. If he answered to it as yesterday, then there is no doubt about he being Nala as he is the only one who can ride that fast. The next question was for what reason he came. Nala always speaks truth and that too it was asked by Damayanti. So he could not lie and said that they came for swayamvara. But Rituparna did not say that. When one’s wife, ardhangi, one’s queen is getting married for the second time, anybody’s eyes gets filled with tears. There exists great sorrow. This happened to Nala. Now there is no Kali in him. If he was there, then there would be no progress. It is possible to gain his original form. He can regain his kingdom, his sons also. But what about Damayanti? Her heart is broken and thus ready to marry another. This hurts a lot. But if we remember her character, beauty then this could be a lie. If tears fall down when telling this, then it means that he is someone related to Damayanti. Even after Kali had gone, the results of his blunders had not ended like the sweets left after the festival or the marks of the cut left behind after the heal. He controlled his sadness in front of the messenger. Odd is that he answered the second question first. The news of Swayamvara was troubling him a lot. He continued saying ” Listening to the news, my king came here choosing the horses which could run fast and cover 100 yojanas. I am his charioteer”. He also told that they started in the morning from Ayodhya. Keshini clearly got the answer. She thought how to enquire about Nala. Thinking that asking about Vaarshneya would be easier for it, she asked “Who is the third one? To whom does he belong?”. It was a witty question. She thought that he would open up about Nala then. She continued “Who are you? Where do you hail from? If he is the charioteer, then how did you get the job?”. These were very clear questions. She meant that if Vaarshneya was a very good charioteer, then he must be better as he got the job. Bahuka answered: “He is the charioteer of Punyashloki Nala. (You can observe Nala’s possessiveness about Vaarshneya here). But he joined Rituparna when Nala couldn’t protect him. Coming to my matter, I am an expert in horse science and cookery. Rituparna has appointed me in appreciation of my skills. (Here, a special usage of language is observed. Samskrita uses ‘Sooda’ for cookery expert. Tamil has the same meaning for ‘Soota’ and ‘Sooda’ as Tamil has no ‘ta’ syllable). Nala was such a chef that once his dish is tasted, no other person’s cooking would satisfy the tongue. Keshini wanted the same to happen. Both the skills in a same person. She asked “Oh is it?! Did Vaarshneya separate from Nala when he went to the forest? Then Vaarshneya should know where Nala is right? You both are together, have you talked anything about it? Did he tell anything about Nala to you?”. The irony is Keshini asking Nala that where is Nala. She should have been in the police department. She let out secrets one by one without him coming to know. Poor Nala answered innocently as it was. He told “No one knows where and how Nala is, but he has lost his form and is living secretly”. Keshini however was brilliant, she would swallow the hand itself if only palm was shown. But Nala is giving his full hand. He was much more excited, he told “Only Nala’s soul knows who he is. No other person knows it. Haan! There is a probability that his second soul (Damayanti) might know. But now he can’t be identified by the features as the previous features are no more present”. He kept quiet after saying this. Keshini was trying to interpret his words. She is thinking about employing the final weapon.
Keshini was curious, when it was getting cleared that he was Nala himself, she projected her main weapon from the stock. She asked him whether he was familiar with the verses said by Parnaada at Ayodhya and told those details. “Didn’t you give reply to these? Now Damayanti wants to listen to those, they are close to her heart. Oh Baahuka! Oh the great intellectual! Oh the great minded one! Please reply again”. What Nala experienced then signifies today’s discourse’s title- “Emotional Baahuka”. The way of speaking changed in Nala. His heart was filled with wounds of sorrow, as if being hurt by the sword which had hurt him previously. The ocean of sorrow in his heart filled his eyes with tears. He tried to control it, he tried not to showcase any changes in his face and eyes. Still, his eyes were floating in tears.
When will Nala be freed? When will he become normal? Let it happen at the earliest. Let us pray at the feet of Krishna for it.
TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji: full Video :