Spell of the Seer’s Steps Ring in the Reign of Ravishing Reigns …
If we ponder deep..
Darkness is not the rival of light!
Hunger is not the opposite of satisfaction!
Death is not the enemy of birth!
Light beams brighter amidst darkness!
Hunger makes food taste better!
Death is the precursor of a new birth!
While seeing unseen beauty untold happiness!
While losing sight of seen beauty untold hardships!
While missing beauty reappears, bliss knows no bounds!
- Madness of mood swings in Rushyashrunga with appearance ~ disappearance ~ reappearance of the fallen woman can be expressed in words this way.
Difficulties of the damsel are different! She has to appear before Rushyashrunga; she should not appear to Vibhandaka! Both live together in the same hermitage!
Not appearing to Rushyashrunga will delay the task; appearing to Vibhandaka will not only destroy the task, it will destroy everything! So, playing hide and seek was inevitable for her. But the game of hide and seek meant extreme hardship to Rushyashrunga.
Reaction of Rushyashrunga to the return of the dream girl was radiance in his countenance: “Oh Bachelor of Bliss! You came back? Have you brought the heavenly happiness with you? Do you know how much I sufferred after you left me? I don’t want to go through that again! Here we go, I have made up my mind to go with you to your hermitage. Let’s leave before my father returns, because he doesn’t understand how good you are!”
Can you imagine the relief in the face of the girl hearing these words? She was in cloud nine! She felt as though the doctor prescribed what the patient liked most to savor!
She had no intention to play hide and seek; she wanted the good for her country. She wanted the fabled famine to flee from the frontiers of her nation; she wanted Angarajya to flourish with greenery once again. She wanted the entry of Rushyashrunga to Angarajya. Without batting an eyelid and taking Rushyashrunga with her she rushed to the boat hermitage.
Not far away from the hermitage, the ‘hermitage like boat’ was ready to set sail in the flowing river. The old woman, along with the battery of women from her ilk, waited there with all eagerness. The battery of belles from Angarajya who were squirming with anxiety as to what would happen to the maid on mission felt uetterly relieved looking at her return accompanied by Rushyashrunga!
The shower of tears that flowed down the cheeks of those patriotic women while helping Rushyashrunga board the boat wrote precursor to the unabated downpour that was to undoubtedly inundate Angarajya after a prolonged drought! They tried everything possible to ensure comfort of the Sage who is going to be source of survival for scores of citizens of Angarajya.
As though auguring the arrival of auspicious era in Angarajya drums and musical instruments were played; dance and visual entertainments were performed; varieties of foods and beverages were served making the boat hermitage a floating heaven!
Retain something from the old and entertain something from the new –that is how life blooms. While the boat which was designed as a hermitage ensured continuity of familiar surroundings to Rushyashrunga the art performances, mouth watering food and drinks coupled with fun and frolic from the fraternity of fairies provided complete novelty to the atmosphere!
Without anyone realizing it, the heaven called boat hermitage touched the other bank. Atmosphere of a hermitage was recreated along the route even after touching the ground to ensure that Sage Rushyashrunga, who was not familiar with the outside world, was not inconvenienced to the least! The design of the hermitage was arranged in such a way that it moved with Rushyashrunga till he entered Angarajya!
The good travelled from its hermitage to the ‘hermitage-like-boat’, from ‘hermitage-like-boat’ to the environs resembling hermitage-like-boat on the ground, from there into the heart of Angarajya. That brought the spell of his strides into play – rain started to reign!
Like cursed Ahalya who waited for the arrival of SriRaam, cursed Angarajya which was boiling in the furnace of drought waited for the arrival of Rushyashrunga! The soil which had it mouth open for even a drop of water responded with a godly vibration! Bliss breached borders! That vibration in the soil of Angarajya was in fact reflection of a divine vibration on it after such a long period of time! Heart of Angarajya which had fallen silent long ago started to beat to the tune of the elixir of life emitted by entry of Rushyashrunga!
The usual breeze which made the blood boil with its heat acquired a coolness on caressing the sage! It breezed past him again and again with an eagerness to touch the cool sage to become cooler with each brush with the saint! Cool winds commanded caliginous rain-bearing clouds to come as though to enthrone the Sacred Seer in the citadel of coolness – amid the galaxy of greenery – on the golden throne of wealth!
God knows from where they arrived! One after the other, countless clouds came in procession to Angarajya! Having seen the life giving saint the life bearing droplets found the sky boring; seat of the sage on the surface of earth seemed sweeter! From the cover of clouds to the crown of sage’s plaited head, then to the midst of soil’s parched bed.. marched the rainy drops! First it was a cavalcade of clouds towards the celestial sphere of Angarajya; then it was rush of raindrops from the realm of the stars to the region of Angarajya!
If clouds had descended on the ground as Rushyashrunga wound his way to the palace; frenzy of the citizen had reached the clouds! Rivers formed with the joyful tears of the people merged into the ocean of heavenly rains brought by the sacred seer.
The young seer amid the sea of water appeared to the King like the Lord who lay on the banyan leaf, floating on the water of doom, sucking his flowery toes with the help of his flowery hands!
But, Angarajya which was taking joyous dips in the Rushyashrunga Ocean did not realize the approaching volcanic mountain called Vibhandaka…