Kumaravyasa says “The paddy crop, which can’t even tolerate drizzle, how can it tolerate a rain of fire, oh Mahadeva?!” Damayanti’s state was very similar to it. She was roaming around the forest after losing everything, including Nala. It is tough to see those people in sorrow who actually deserve to be happy; this can be said about Damayanti too.
Lord Raama who lost Seetha had started asking about her whereabouts from every plant and tree he looked around. He spoke to Kadamba and Arjuna trees confessing about Seetha’s love for them and questioned about where she is. Raama stood in front of Ashoka tree wailing, requested the tree to tell about Seetha and inturn make Him ashoka (free from sorrows). Damayanti had done exactly the same while asking the trees about Nala. She even had started blabbering to the trees not to provide resting space for the birds if they do not provide with the information about Nala.
Damayanti barges in front of a tiger and starts asking about Nala. Does anyone stand in front of a tiger and even speak with it? But the miserable state of Damayanti made her do it. Damayanti explains to the tiger about her being the princess of Vidarbha, queen of Nishadha, the wife of Nala and asks the tiger to free her of all the pain by informing her about Nala or to eat her so that she once again can be born to become the wife of Nala. The tiger, not knowing what to say, turned around and started walking in the direction where Nala had departed thereby giving her information about Nala in its own language. But Damayanti did not understand the language of tiger.
This was the case with Raama too. Seetha’s information was first shared by animals to him. Though river Godavari knew the information, though she was persuaded by tress and plants, she didn’t say it because of fear of Raavan. When Raama asked the animals, they got up and moved towards the southern direction and lifted their heads pointing the sky. Raama didn’t understand this, but Lakshmana did. They followed that path where they could find signs of Seetha one by one: the flowers which were spilled from her head, broken chariot of Raavan and his dead bodyguards. Finally Jatayu was seen.
Here, the tiger did the same thing. But Damayanti thought that the tiger didn’t listen to her and went away.
On the way, Damayanti talked to a huge mountain. She praised the mountain and told it about her family, how she loved Nala, swayamvara, marriage life, Nala’s gambling game, forest life, herself abandoned by Nala and other such details. She told about Nala that he was a terror to enemies, a virtuous one, knower of Vedas, performer of Somayaaga, orator, donor, brave, a good administrator and that she was his wife. She told that she had lost him and asked the mountain to find him. When there was no response, she moved towards the northern direction. She walked without water and food for three nights and three days. A similar incident occurred in Raamayana too where Raama talked to Prasravana mountain.
While she walked in that condition for days together, she found a hermitage of sages. She went there and when they enquired about her, she introduced herself and narrated her entire story. The sages told her not to worry and to wait for few days for Nala’s arrival. They told that they have seen this through their yogic vision. They blessed her to have a good life. It was a miraculous incident for her gifted by the nature because if she would have not met the sages, she would have committed suicide.
Humans have limitations; they can’t withstand too much of either happiness or sorrow. Everyone loses something or the other in their life. When someone dies in home, the family will grieve initially, and after time passes, they forget it. Sometimes they even ask whether they have to perform the Shraadha rites or not.
Sundarakanda has an incident where Seetha attempts for suicide without being able to withstand grief. She had no weapon or poison; so she thought of killing herself with the ribbon fibre by fastening it around her neck. But then she experienced good omens. Her left eye which was like a lotus, her shoulder on which Raama rested and which was always pasted with sandal and her left lap quavered, which were good omens indicating her not to end her life but to hold it so that good would happen in coming days. The Siddhas and Chaaranas appeared before her and assured it too. Probably Damayanti too had some similar experience.
Everything is soothing now; but then, she opened her eyes. She saw that she is there in the forest again. She couldn’t see any hermitage. Then what was it that she saw? It was a consolation offered by Dharma. This is an example for the way Dharma protects us if we live according to Dharma. Let us too learn Dharma from Damayanti. She is not just Damayanti, she is Dharmayanti. Dharma protects them who submit themselves completely to it.
It was a dream for Damayanti, now she couldn’t see it anymore. It is like winning an election, becoming the chief minister and ruling the state in dream and eating the same starch and pickle after waking up. Before a few moments she was consoled by sages, but now she can’t see them. It was Dharma’s way of consoling her. We remember Raama again here. Raama says to Lakshmana “It is satisfactory for me that at least she is there on the earth on which I am living. It is convincing for me that the wind which blows over her, blows over me too”. Damayanti had the same feeling. She was ascertained that Nala is somewhere on the earth, and so she would not stop trying. She was tensed again where to find him in the dense forest. But she was not afraid; she was an empress however. She was determined to search Nala, but was not afraid- because she had affection. Fear is there only where there is no affection. People worship God in two ways – fear and affection. Though Shani is good, people fear him; this is a large class. Another way is through affection, like Shabari who worshipped Raama and Meera who worshipped Krishna. Shabari was staying alone in a hut in forest, constructed by her Guru. Did she fear? No, because she used to be completely dissolved in Raama. Similarly, Damayanti had one determination, one aim that is to see and be with Nala.
She now moved towards town in quest of Nala. Forest life is better than that of town. She meets citizens of towns. We shall see how people react on seeing her and whether they accept. Let us see those parts further. Nala’s story is much more curious. Tomorrow, Saturday, we shall see how Damayanti overcame Kali’s troubles. Let us be free from Kali’s ailments. Let us offer today’s discourse at Krishna’s feet. Energy spills as we talk, but is collected as we remain silent. Let us continue to be in this submissive mindset.
Picture courtesy: Internet
TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji: full Video :