#Tattva_Bhagavatam, a special discourse based on the principles of Bhagavatam: 

The test of Baahuka’s emotions

Salutations to the one who is always in concealment but reveals His true self at the right time- Lord Shri Krishna.

Instead of saying that Nala’s life was full, his eyes and heart were filled, but not like we think- his heart was filled with pain and eyes with tears.

Reason for the pain was- those sword-like words stabbed his heart for the second time. Nobody could understand those words except him. In a way, could those words be called Damayanti’s Shokageethe/requiem? The lines were composed by her. When asked by Keshini to answer this, the lines were full of pain.


That’s why Nala was hurt. Nala tried to control his mind with all his might. He was capable of controlling horses of any world, to make them increase their speed. He was capable of managing an army and would usually be able to control the mind but it was difficult in the present situation. When told to reply to Damayanti’s Shokageethe, Nala was burning inside and felt as though he was on fire.

As though standing in a funeral pyre, Nala was standing in apprehension as he spoke. But his speech wasn’t clear. Sometimes the letters and sometimes the words were unclear. Bahuka replied to the remorse filled words and first gave the answer to why he had left at midnight.

“There is a difference between common women and the women of a dynasty. The latter can protect themselves and also the family because of their devotion to the husband in any kind of grave circumstances”. Why he said so was because her character and devotion towards her husband would protect her virtue, purity and also that would protect her clan. “That’s why Nala had not simply left her and gone. He did so since he was confident about this matter”.

“He knew that her righteousness will protect her. This type of women should not be angry. Even if the husbands distance themselves, they don’t do so and are not angry. What he did was to distance himself from her bodily but not mentally. Such Satis/wives are better than the Paris/husbands. (Without telling her name, he asks if she wasn’t of that type)

Such women are full of character, and that protects them. They somehow save their life for the husband”, thus justified Nala. It is true that the gambler left her in the night, but she shouldn’t be angry on him. Does she know what situation he was in at that time?

Bahuka speaks about Shyaama. Shyaama refers to a type of women, which was spoken about in previous Pravachanas. They are said to be superior women.

His life had become troublesome, full of obstacles. It had become like a cloth fallen on thorns. If man has at least a piece of clothing to wear, his senses will be in control, what if even this is unavailable? He didn’t have that too; the birds of Maya/illusion had stolen the lone cloth he had. The Chakravarthi had been reduced to this state, imagine what would have become of his senses!

How to trust that he had come to the right conclusion? He might have taken the decision under so much pressure and difficulty.

Shouldn’t you forgive a person who is haunted by a troubled life, cloth-less and burning depression? He might not have looked after you like a husband usually should, but you must not feel bad. Should you feel bad if someone who is worn out from political corruption, poverty, hunger and surrounded by misery, does something?

After having listened to all this, Keshini’s suspicion mounted since only a person who has some relation to a question being asked will answer it. Why would somebody simply answer it, on behalf of Nala?

While answering, a dam of tears broke open, until then he was lamenting silently, secretly. This was not any ordinary situation. If a Chakravarthi, that too Nala, was wailing loudly, the situation was serious.

It is like this in Raamayana too. After abandonment of Seetha, Raama cries many a times. Nobody can cry like Raama nor fight like him and cannot do good like him to the world. Whatever done or experienced by such great people will be to a great level. It will be an extremity of everything whether it be happiness, sorrow, bravery, mercy, offering or sacrifice. Such women are also like that. Nothing will be in pieces. They love completely and also experience great sadness. So, he did not cry purposely, the sorrow inside him came out as tears. This is the answer to the question of whether Nala loved his family. People doubt the love of Raama on Seetha looking at the situation of Seetha’s abandonment or agnipariksha. Learn about the grief in Raama and then understand that it was not normal situation but was of unhappiness. It is same here also. Damayanti is trying so much to find Nala but why is he like that means not because he doesn’t love her. When he started crying, Keshini consoled him. She then directly went to Damayanti and explained everything about his character, reaction, his breakdown. Damayanti was then more doubtful about he being Nala but his appearance was confusing. This might be the case as well that Bahuka might be a great friend of Nala and might know the Ashva vidya also. Because of the love towards Nala, he might have cried. Damayanti told “Go much deeper in search of truth. Observe his walking style” and gave some clues. She said “Nala has the responsibility to prepare food for his king. He can prepare food without water and fire. Let us test this. Do not give water and fire even if asked. At least try to give it late and see what he does”. What excuses can pity Bahuka give to his king? Keshini again went and did whatever was told and came back dumbstruck. She said to Damayanti “He is not a human being. I had thought he is just silly man but he has divinely powers. Before telling about his magics, I should first tell about his cleanliness. He does many traditions not seen or heard about by me. The door was small for him to enter. But as he went regardless of that, door widened automatically. If it was his house, then there would have been some arrangements. But they are guests here and this happened. As you said, he was sent the cooking materials but not water. He had to wash things but the vessel was empty. He once saw the vessel and it got filled with water. I was scared looking at this. I was seeing what he would do for fire. He once shook a handful of grass, there was fire. Looking at that I came running to you. More surprising is that he corrected the fire with his bare hands.

“He used his vidya when there was nobody. See, after all this, he lived for truth. Even after he lost to Pushkara in gambling, he could have won him with his strength. But he did not cross his lines. Such is the bravery. Nothing happens even if he touches the fire, water comes whenever he wanted it. This is much forward than today’s all remote sensors. Tapas (penance) is greater than all. “Then one strange thing happened. When he crumbled a flower and threw it on the floor, instead of fading it shined and became more aromatic. Strange is that flower when crumbled became fresh and new. I saw these miracles and ran here”, she said.

Though Nala had not kept any of these powers for publicity, they were ever residing in him. This is the move of a Punyashloki (‘Punyashloki’ is exclusive for Nala). Involuntarily, Damayanti uttered “My husband came!”. The only doubt that remained was of his physique. Crying and crying, Damayanti asked Keshini to perform another test by stealing. Keshini was supposed to steal a small amount of the food cooked by Nala, without his knowledge. Though Nala was such a great emperor, Damayanti had many times wished to savour his cooking! Keshini was ready to do anything that Damayanti said. In haste, she went and brought the hot items cooked by Nala, herself burning her hands. But out of the wish to do what Damayanti desired, she was not conscious of her hand being burnt too. As Damayanti was aware of Nala’s cookery, as soon as she kept the food in her mouth, she exclaimed “This is cooked by Nala!”. But still that problem of his physique haunted. “Why such form? Was he cursed? Why this ugliness?” – thinking these, she got ready for the final test of Baahuka’s emotions.

Even though the eyes lie, the tongue never lies. The tongue can identify the toy coconut which the eye fails to recognise. Here, due to Baahuka’s ugly form the eyes may lie; but the tongue cannot lie after tasting his cookery which was exactly as same as Nala’s cookery in taste, fragrance and other parameters. Damayanti could not control herself now, she started to sob. After crying for a long time, she washed her face and then prepared for the final test. She told Keshini “Take my two children in front of him. Ask him if he knows them. Observe what he says”. Who doesn’t melt on seeing children? If he doesn’t, then his heart is a rock. On seeing anyone’s child, the heart melts as children are equivalent to God. So, if he doesn’t melt on seeing those children, then he would not be Nala. If he was Nala, then surely shall he melt. Keshini went to him again, this was the ‘n’th time she was going. Bahuka saw her coming but along with two children with her. By seeing them he identified that they are his children. How could he not recognise his own children? He forgot that he was disguised as Baahuka. He jumped to them and made them sit on his lap and cried continuously. He could not control his emotions and he melted completely. He did these all before Keshini could utter a single word. Is there anything equivalent to the love towards one’s child? No!

As it is said:

अंगादंगात् सम्भवन्ति हृदयादधिजायसे |

आत्मा वै पुत्रनामासि तं जीव शरदां शतं ||

“Every part of child is formed from the respective part of the parents. It is born from the heart. The child is another form of the parent”. As the Shastras say, the father enters into the mother and takes birth as the child. The child is not different from the parent. Humans get immortality through either of the two ways. One is by renunciation-Sanyaasa. Another way is by their progeny, as they remain through their offspring. As the love for their children is unequalled, Bahuka broke down on seeing his children and became Nala. He cried loudly. But after a second, he realised that he was disguised as Baahuka. Immediately he controlled his sorrow. He sent the children towards Keshini. Then he gave justification before she could ask anything: “I too have children of the same age. They resemble these kids. So, I broke down as soon as I saw them. Don’t mistake me for this”. Keshini was silent. He continued “Mother! You please don’t come this way. I prostrate to you. First of all, I am from another state; if anyone sees you coming here, it may yield wrong meaning”. Keshini just said “Ok” outwardly but thought inwardly “Me coming here or not is Damayanti’s will”.

Then she went to Damayanti and narrated what happened in detail. Damayanti was more or less clear that he was Nala. She now got ready for a face-to-face meet with him. Why didn’t she do it earlier itself? Because it was a question of her paativratya (loyalty to one’s husband). As she was sure to a major extent, she sought her parent’s permission and was ready to meet him. But there were two big questions, one from each side. Without them being solved, the family cannot be united.

It is agreeable if Damayanti’s question was not solved; but Nala’s question was surely needed to be answered. Otherwise the family would not be united, failing which there would be no good to the world. The question was created by Damayanti herself, even though unknowingly. Now there was preparation of the mega face-to-face to shoot those questions to each other. Let us see it tomorrow.

Picture courtesy: Internet

TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji: full Video :

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