When the string between the mother and children was plucked
While we don’t know about ourselves properly, how will we know about others? The Shastras say that once we get to know ourselves, that is the end of all worldly miseries and the beginning of bliss. Sri Krishna is the one who makes that for us. Prostrating to his feet, let us move to the discourse.
The matter of discourse too is introduction; introduction of Damayanti. Damayanti was at her mother’s own sister’s house. She was there as a Sairandhri, as a servant. She was doing the service of Sunanda who was actually her sister and was far more younger than her. No one knows who is she. If it is to be known, then it is by God only. Only God knows who we are. He is not a petty one; he is Su-deva, the biggest God, Sri Krishna. A brahmana of the same name Sudeva enters the palace of Chedi kingdom in search of Damayanti. Being one of the thousands of brahmanas summoned by Bhimaraja, Sudeva who was Bhimaraja~Damayanti’s sudaiva (fortune), saw Damayanti in the form of Sairandhri. He got the doubt; the same face, the same voice, the same radiance but not the same form of body. Still, he recognised her. He searched for signs on her, he searched for a mole in between her eyebrows. He sensitively observed that mole which was hidden by the dust on her face.
In this situation, Vyaasa writes the same verses as in Raamayana. The situation is Anjaneya finding Seetha. He found Seetha in Ashokavana but he got doubt. Seetha had become lean, her body colour was faded, her clothes had become old, her ornaments had lost their lustre. So he was in a doubt. Here too, the same situation can be seen; hence Vyaasa has copied the verses exactly the same.
For example: स्वगणेन मृगीं हीना श्वगणेनवृताविव |
Sva means own self, shva means dog. The verse means that she is surrounded not by her own people but by the demons who are like dogs.
Some don’t differentiate between ‘aa’ and ‘haa’, they don’t differentiate between the alpapraanas and mahapraanas. This verse illustrates how important it is. Seetha was like the moon on the first day of Shukla Paksha. She was so lean. She was like the Rohini star affected by planets.
16 versus are exactly the same from Raamayana, some others give the same meaning. Is Vyaasa a copycat? Can we also copy similarly, when Vyaasa himself has done it? No, it isn’t like that. Mahabharata has lakhs of versus written by Vyaasa. Moreover the steno Ganapati puts a condition that Vyaasa should not stop anywhere while narrating. Then why did Vyaasa copy those verses? It is because Vyaasa remembered Seetha here. He found similarities between Seetha and Damayanti. It is to say that Raama-Seetha are equivalent to Nala-Damayanti, he copied those verses. Both of them had faced the same miseries.
Sudeva was sure that she was Damayanti. He was waiting to meet her when she was alone because we tend to accept certain matters when we are not in any company. So he waited. Damayanti would not meet anyone except the brahmanas. So she agreed to meet Sudeva. Sudeva asked her a question which she never expected : “Aren’t you Damayanti?” Damayanti was shocked. She could not disapprove it. He had already identified. Also, he said that he was a friend of her brother Dama.
While we are in a foreign land, we open up ourselves if we find anyone from our native region. We feel they are close to us. All the memories until then refresh once. Damayanti too was waiting for such a situation probably. As soon as Sudeva asked her, does she know about wellness of her parents and her children, she started crying. She started telling her story. She answered for what was asked and also she told what was not asked. Sunanda watched this scene, she was surprised. She went to her mother and reported that “Mother, something has happened to Sairandhri. She is crying terribly while talking with the brahmana. He has not done anything, but she is weeping. It is better if you call and enquire.” The king’s mother was first of all a bit leaned towards Damayanti as she loved her. She got tensed when she heard that Damayanti was weeping. She called Sudeva to come immediately. She asked him to frankly tell who she was. Sudeva revealed the secret maintained by Damayanti. He said “She is the daughter of the Vidarbha emperor Bhimaraja.” The king’s mother was astonished by hearing this. One reason was that Damayanti is an empress. Another reason was that Damayanti is her own sister’s daughter. She knew that Damayanti has a mole between the eyebrows and thought of verifying it. She asked Sunanda to wash Damayanti’s face. Until then Sunanda was being served by Damayanti, but now it was reversed. Damayanti was an empress and Sunanda’s sister too. So it wasn’t wrong. Moreover, Damayanti was the rarest woman; serving her was good. Damayanti’s mole was visible when her face was washed. It was like a moon illuminating a clear sky. Thousands of thoughts ran in King’s mother’s mind. Damayanti was her daughter, her sister’s daughter. She remembered how Damayanti came to the palace like a mad woman. “She was troubled by the children too on the roads. I appointed her for service too. What more troubles she might have faced!? She might have cleaned the eaten plates too”, she felt. Everyone was silent. They hugged her and cried for hours. Damayanti didn’t know still her relationship with the king’s mother. The king’s mother said “The relationship we share is of a mother and a child. You are my sister’s daughter. It is evident from the mole.”
Kanakadasa says: “Oh woman, leave the sorrow. I am the sister of Bhimaraja’s spouse”.
“How much pain you might have suffered in my home? Why didn’t you tell me in the beginning only? You and Sunanda are equal to me.” She hugged and consoled again. Her gesture was not of a king’s mother, but was that of a mother. She continued “We are the daughters of the king of Dasharna state. My sister is married to Bhimaraja. I’m married to Chedi’s king Virabahu. You were born when I was at Dasharna itself. That was the last time I saw you. You feel this house as your home. You are like my daughter. Whatever is mine here, is also your’s.”
Damayanti was very happy. She bowed to the queen saying “What is there to tell? Without knowing who I was, you treated me as your daughter, gave no bit of sorrow” and expressed her desire to see her parents and children. Queen agrees to it and tells Sunanda “Damayanti is your sister and she is willing to go home. Send her.” The king Subahu sent a part of his army for her protection and people were ready to serve her. Like this, Damayanti reached her cradle home with the glory.
There is “Neechabhanga Rajayoga” in astrology. For those who have that yoga, it seems that the work never gets completed but will be done at the end. This happened to the king Bhima as well. He thought that daughter and son-in-law will never be found. They were not found even after searching everywhere. He was ready to give or do anything to those who find them. He was ready to give his kingdom as well. One day he got the message from Sudeva and then came his daughter like his life has come back. He was very happy. But it was not the time to rejoice completely as only half of his joy had returned. He was waiting and searching for Nala. Only if he comes back then there was fulfilment. Otherwise Damayanti would also be lost. Let us see the next part later with the hope of goodness coming.
Picture courtesy: Internet
TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji full Video :