The holy feet of Krishna, shelters mathematics of both addition and subtraction. He only takes away when misfortune strikes and he gives when fortune strikes. Come what may in life, let it unite us with His feet; let this be our prayer.
What Rituparna had thought to be impossible, had become possible. He reached Vidarbha within one morning though he had one full day’s time. Moreover Baahuka had spent time to select the horses, Rituparna’s shawl had fallen down, counting of leaves and fruits by Baahuka, teaching of Aksha Vidya, lamenting of Kali, all these series of events had taken away much of the time. They had reached Kundinapura by evening. But there were no signs of welcome there. Moreover the guards were surprised seeing their chariot entering the town, as if it was unexpected. Even the guards didn’t know their arrival. None were aware of this trick of Damayanti, isn’t it?! The guards and the citizens informed Bhimaraja about it. He was still more surprised for their sudden visit. He made arrangements for their welcome. Isn’t it necessary to obtain permission to enter another state?! If it was the case of a common man, he had to wait for many days, outside the premises. But as Rituparna was a king, he had special arrangements.
Rituparna’s chariot entered Kundinapura. While entering, it made a loud noise in all ten directions. Such was Nala’s talent in driving the chariot. He was capable of coaxing not only animals, but even non-living objects like the chariot.
As the chariot moved forward, there was an incident. The horses of Nala’s original chariot which had come along with his children to Kundinapura as told previously, were able to recognise the owner just by listening to the noise made while driving the chariot. Even if other horses had been used to drive the chariot, they knew the chariot’s sound. Animals have this unique power. In this manner, the horses began dancing and neighing loudly with joy at their owner’s arrival. The scent of musk cannot be hidden. A person chewing cardamom cannot hide its fragrance emanating from his mouth as he speaks. Likewise, even though Nala was in disguise, the familiar beings did not fail to recognise him. Next, Damayanti recognised him. She was his better half and knew about every inch of his body and personality. Her heart was pounding with joy. Apart from her, the peacocks on the palace roof and the elephants in the shed were also able to recognise him and started making sounds. Thus, the chariot was welcomed by the neighing of horses, screaming of peacocks and trumpeting of elephants. The sound of the chariot was like the thunder of the clouds, listening to which Damayanti felt happy that Nala had arrived.
Her excitement of seeing him from the terrace when he arrived, led to several thoughts in her mind- “No, I won’t wait any longer. I will die if I don’t see Nala who has characteristics as beautiful as the face of the moon and has worn the necklace made of precious gems. If I don’t touch him today, I won’t be alive. If he who has the gait of a lion and mighty elephant doesn’t walk towards me, I shall die. He has never uttered a lie or committed a mistake in all these years of companionship, in seclusion, in rest, in friendship. He is forgiving, brave but not cruel, soft-hearted and has great control over the mind. Some people are secretly lowly, but he is not like that even in dreams. He stays as a neutral gender with any woman other than his wife. Of such greatness is his personality.”
In this manner, she was immersed in his thoughts and qualities, in his remembrance and agony. After having found a voice in Ayodhya that echoed her pain, after having reached there in just one day and after having heard of the arrival of the chariot, if it was decided that it wasn’t him, how would it be?
She climbed the roof to fill her eyes with his appearance. She could see 3 people on the chariot, Rituparna, Vaarshneya and an ugly man with short hands. She was disappointed and thought what was the point in calling that.
If these are on one side, then on the other side Rituparna was getting down from the chariot like an unexpected guest. That is the problem faced by people who are at high positions. What would you do when you visit a wedding and there is no arrangements done for it? This is his situation as well. There was no festoon, no welcome. He was surprised and somehow went to king Bhima. Rituparna was confused and Bhima as well. With the feeling of a question of why he came there, Bhima welcomed Rituparna. Bhima was thinking why Rituparna has come without a reason since he was not aware of the discussion done in his antahpura (inner rooms of the palace), the secret of ‘strimantra’. Mantra means secret discussion. So in Hindi, sachivalaya is also called as mantralaya. Bheema asked Rituparna about the reason of his coming, after all the hospitality. Rituparna did not know what to tell. He looked everywhere and could not see any other king. So he said “It was long time since we met. So came for your blessings”. Bhima was much more surprised as they had travelled for hundreds of yojanas only for blessings. He thought there must be some other reason but could not ask that directly because of the formality. (This formality is a problem many a times). After all the arrangements, he left for them to take rest. Rituparna was also tired because that was a journey for life. It was curiosity then, but now he was tired and felt he would need 2 days of rest. Journey would definitely make them tired as there were many weather changes. So Rituparna agreed to rest and went to the room.
They were three who came from Ayodhya, but only two of them went to meet the king. There could be either of these two reasons for Baahuka not meeting Bhima.Either, they didn’t take Baahuka along with them as they thought that he wasn’t eligible to be taken there because of his deformed body Or, Baahuka himself might have felt shy to go infront of the king. So Baahuka waited there itself. When those two went towards the palace, Baahuka went towards chariot house. The sound of the chariot remained the same then too. As per the scriptures, he consoled the horses and gave them proper treatment needed to be given after long journeys. He too rested in the chariot. Damayanti was present there at that time. Though the chariot advanced, she stood stagnant there. Her mind was full of answer-less questions and emotions. The chariot’s sound, covering the large distance in such a short time, the answer which Baahuka had given to the Brahmana in the past, all these enunciate that he was Nala. But his physical form was dead opposite. Damayanti stood stagnant carrying such hundreds of questions.
To be continued tomorrow….
Picture courtesy: Internet
TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji: full Video :