Fortune in the form of Sudeva
Prostrations at the feet of Sri Krishna, whose search is the fulfillment of life and beyond which there is no other light to be seen.
Nala had come to a stage where he was not recognisable by anyone and had lost everything including his form which came along with his birth. Nala had left his desire over his physique when he left Damayanti. Even Damayanti too had no interest in dressing up; for whom was she supposed to do it when Nala wasn’t there? In the present day, wife wears make-up while going out but not in home. It is actually for those loved ones in home that she should look good.
Damayanti didn’t wear make-up. Nala’s form went away by itself. It can be justified that Nala is punished this way for leaving his wife in the forest. But what was Damayanti’s mistake? Why was she punished this way? It was because she married a human rejecting the demigods. It was a test of her power and loyalty. But Nala was a bit calm now as Karkotaka had given him some news. Karkotaka had told Nala “You should learn the tactics and sensitive moves of gambling game. You can become the king of Nishadha only if you know them. So, go to Rituparna and learn them. Until you learn them, do his service. Your sin may be compensated if you serve in the house where Raama would be born.”
Nala, who once travelled over elephants, horses, carts, was now walking as a pedestrian. He walked along the forest paths. He walked for 10 days all alone and reached Ayodhya. First, he saw the Sarayu river. It is said that Sarayu is from the Manasa Sarovara, which is formed from Brahma’s mind. He found the Yoopas (pillars), which were symbols of yajna, on the river bank. There were as many yoopas as much yajnas the ancestors of Suryavamsha had performed. Nala crossed the Sarayu river and entered Ayodhya. He went straight to the palace and met the king introducing himself as only “I am Baahuka”. As he always spoke truth alone, he didn’t say his parent’s name. He only said his name and that he is an expert in Ashvahrudaya vidya; there is no other person in the world equaling him in it, he said. This is the real introduction. What is the use of telling about one’s family instead of telling one’s power and capabilities.
There is a jovial story about it. There was a famous clan of Vainikas (expert Veena instrumentalists). At one point of the generation, they didn’t know the alphabet of Veena. They were just worshipping the Veena by offering the panchamrita abhisheka. How ugly it is! Present glory is more important than past glory. Leave aside the history, what we are today is more important.
To involve a person into a conversation, one should start with the topics which interests that person. Then the person shows interest. Or else if one keeps on blabbering his own story, there would be no one to listen. It bores them. So Nala directly talked about the horses which interested Rituparna. Nala observed Rituparna showing his interest in the subject. So, he continued that he is an expert in kingship policies and would give suggestions in it. Expertise is during auspicious situations, developmental activities and also during times of trouble to the state (basically Nala was a good administrator. He lost the game because it was a deceptive one). “The food I cook cannot be cooked by any other. I can give any taste to food. This is not possible for anyone. I am proficient in all arts. I know sculpture, drawing, singing, dancing. Tell me that task which no one is able to do, I shall do it. Keep me for the job”, he said.
Rituparna agreed. Nala had made such an influence. He was like the coal covered with ash. Rituparna too was not an ordinary man. He was a great person. He accepted Baahuka’s job application yielding to some influence. He said “Baahuka, you told many subjects. But I am interested only in Sheeghrayaana (riding the horses at a very fast speed). Do this favour to me. I have appointed you as the president of horse stable. Your salary is 10 thousand gold coins”. (Nala didn’t had the wish for money. He had some other wish. He wanted to learn the Aksha vidya from the king. He needs some time for it. Till then he should wait). “Already there are 2 people for this work- Jeevaka and Vaarshneya (former charioteer of Nala who left Damayanti’s children to her native as per her order and joined as a charioteer of Rituparna). They both will assist you”, he said.
Nala’s physique was horrible, but his words were gems. He does his work efficiently. He could read the hearts of horses, he could come to know their happiness~sorrow. The horses’ diseases, pain vanished after he came. He increased the population and capabilities of horses. His suggestions, timely works, his personality became one with Ayodhya. All works were being done without any trouble. He was being respected by the assistants too. He had no problem outside, but inside him, there was pain of losing his kingdom, children and wife. All had been added. Two enemies Nala and Kali were experiencing pain through a single body. Nala’s was a natural body, Kali had entered Nala’s body. Nala had followed dharma and shoucha always and even after his marriage for 12 years but just because of a small mistake in observing shoucha(purity), Kali entered Nala. Imagine our situations! It is as if we have put on the board ‘Entry for Kali’. Kali was finding very hard to live in Dharmaatma, Nala. People love those qualities which they have. There is an example for it. Once a fisherwoman had an unavoidable circumstance where she had to stay in a florist’s house. But she couldn’t get sleep due to the flowers’ fragrance. She then kept her fish basket over her head and then she had a sound sleep. Same is with Kali. The worms which live in drainage, die if put in pure water. Kali was experiencing trouble hundred times more than that of Nala. Also, he was being troubled by Karkotaka’s poison every moment. Karkotaka had bitten in such a way that the poison affected only Kali. Nala was not affected by poison, tactically Karkotaka changed his form. While Nala and Damayanti were boiling in the grief of separation, Kali was boiling in the poison.
Nala sang a verse every evening and cried
मनसा क्षुत्पिपासार्ता शांताशीते तपस्विनी |
स्मरन्ती तस्य मंदस्य कंवसात्योपतिष्टति ||
“Where is she? She is suffering from hunger and thirst. How is she? What is she doing? Whose service is she doing? Is she remembering that idiot or not?”
Even though a grief is small, it hurts more if it cannot be shared. Nala’s grief was big and could not be shared. So, he cried without being able to withstand the pain. The assistants heard it daily and out of curiosity they asked him one day who is being addressed in the verse and whether it’s him only. Nala told “It is not about him. It is about an idiot king Nala and his wife. He is an idiot because he has deserted his wife which pushed both him and his wife into grief. Now he is burnt in the fire of grief. Leave aside sleep, he is not even dozing; he is suffering from such a pain. He sings out of sorrow at night. He is not qualified for her. She followed him during difficulties too, she was there with him even when he went to the forest. Still he deserted her. Is she alive or not? First of all, it is a forest. There will be ghosts, cruel animals and demons. She is alone, young, innocent about forest life. She might have been troubled by hunger and thirst. That idiot abandoned her and went”, Nala told as if he was a third person. He cries and sings every day like this.
“Doesn’t he love her?”, the doubt may arise. Because even in swayamvara, he went to ask her to marry the demigods, even though he desired her. But it is not so. He loved her so much that he was not even dozing, leave aside the sleep. He was always thinking of her. Nala, who was an emperor, was now serving a king as horse keeper. Did his sorrows, which didn’t come to an end anywhere, came to an end in the ancestral house of Raama?
While in Vidarbha too, Bhimaraja had the same pain. After a long wait Damayanti was born to him. Also, she was very beautiful and had been brought up with a special care. She had been married to a man of good clan too. When everything was well set, this grief came in the form of Kali. For men, valour is the highlight while beauty is the specialty for women. Additionally, Damayanti had a noble character too. Bhimaraja in search of his daughter and son-in-law, sent the best brahmanas as spies to find them. Why brahmanas is because they have an easy entry everywhere. He also announced that one who finds them would be rewarded with one thousand cows, town and village. He who brings at least their news would be given a thousand cows. In this way, a big search was kick started.
One among them was Sudeva. He went to kingdom Chedi and to Kundinapura palace. There he saw Sairandri and was suspicious. She had same face, voice, walk. But how could she be like this? She had weakened and was covered with dust. This was the case for Hanumantha as well. When Hanumantha went in search of Seetha to Lanka, he saw her being lean with her hair, cloths spoiled. She had kept her jewelries in a piece of her own cloth. Hanumantha had seen that during the time of abduction. He saw it and was confirmed that she is Seetha.
The same happened here also. Sudeva confirmed that she was Damayanti from her nature of being. But how could he proceed. How can he talk to a strange woman in a strange place? Sudeva means luck but nothing else. Here ends one part and there is a thought of what next. Best of brahmanas can never fail. He will find somehow. Let us see tomorrow, what happens next.
TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji: full Video :