The pseudo swayamvara
Death is a chance, a chance for choosing. The soul should choose God; not once, but a hundred times, a thousand times we should choose him-choose only him. When we choose him hundred times, he graces us one time. That is the end of the infinite samsaara, that is the beginning of the endless bliss.
It should be known that compared to any other matter, achieving the abode of him is of the highest priority. It is the greatest. Let Krishna who is loved by us, protect us, stay with us and reveal himself to us.
What is this pseudo swayamvara? Damayanti wants Nala to come and she wants confirmation that the one who has come is Nala himself. Damayanti already knew that Nala is in Ayodhya. Except for his physique, the way he showed his sorrow and the information which he had, proved that he is only Nala. But his form was not the natural one; it was deformed. Sometimes even demigods and great souls will be in disguise. As poet D.V.Gundappa says, “The Lord may come to you with his blessings in just a common way, as just a layman. But you should have the ability to recognize him. How can the sinned one recognize him?!” Here, Damayanti needed a confirmation that he is Nala. And he should be brought there at the earliest as there could have been a chance of him escaping. It was not that Nala didn’t need Damayanti, but he wanted to get his kingdom back. He needed Aksha Vidya for that. Where we lose, there itself we should gain, there itself we should win. He didn’t want to come to Vidarbha until he becomes a king. How could he go to his in-law’s house in such a condition? Hence he wouldn’t come there by himself, but has to be brought forcefully.
The plan re-swayamvara, which Damayanti thought of, was not a common one. Nala would definitely come there if he comes to know about Damayanti getting married again. If he didn’t, then how would he be called a husband? Husband-ship is there in the very ownership that a man has over his wife. The time given was too less- only a single day. So he had to leave immediately without thinking anything else. And it was possible only for Nala to travel from Ayodhya to Vidarbha in such a short time. It was easy to escape if he didn’t come. And it was easy to answer if he didn’t come within the sunrise as it was the time limit defined. This decisiveness shows how expert Damayanti was in politics. She had a huge risk here. What would be the effect on Nala when he hears the swayamvara news? But Damayanti’s intention was just that Nala should come. While thinking of such a great task, there would be many issues; but we should know how to resolve them in the right way. For the swayamvara, Vidarbha’s messengers had to give message to Rituparna which was possible only by the permission of her father. But Bhimaraja would either reject the plan or may really arrange for the swayamvara. Hence it was not recommended to employ the messengers. Bhimaraja should not know about Damayanti’s plan. Damayanti then remembered Sudeva, who had brought her to her home. She went to her mother and informed about her plan and asked not to tell to father. She asked her consent and told that it would help in bringing Nala there. The mother accepted. Even this is an example of Damayanti’s wisdom.
Damayanti said that Sudeva, who brought her back there and united everyone, should be sent to Ayodhya for the task. Then she called Sudeva and told him to go to Ayodhya and tell king Rituparna “Damayanti has announced a swayamvara with the wish of another marriage. But you have only one day time for it. We have come here to give you the invitation”. We sometimes give invitation for the people whom we don’t like in such a way that they should not be able to come. But here, it isn’t that way. Damayanti surely wants them to come so that she could identify Nala (because only Nala could come in such a pace). She told Sudeva to also tell “Time is very short. You are however a man of valour; if possible, then come”. This is a way of provocating a Kshatriya! Now he would come for sure. The news of swayamvara had not reached anywhere, not even to her father. The invitation was only for Rituparna as it was for only him the news had to be reached.
Nala had to drive the Rituparna’s chariot. The sound that comes when Nala driving the chariot was different which could be easily recognised by Damayanti.
Sudeva had complete belief in Damayanti, he didn’t ask her anything. He accepted and prayed God that no tragedy should happen. He made arrangements for immediate travel to Ayodhya and reached there. He informed Damayanti’s news to the king without any addition or deletion.
It was Damayanti’s fortune that Rituparna accepted the invitation. Or it is that he had to accept the challenge in this form, as an emperor of the Suryavamsha. He then thought how to make it possible. His condition was like asking a bird which had not yet developed it’s wings, to fly up to sky. Vidarbha was more than 200 Gavyutis (Gavyuti is the distance where the sound of a cow’s moo can be heard. It was of those days, when the cows had more power to moo and people had more power to hear. Now it is difficult to understand.)
“How to cover that distance in one day?”, thought Rituparna. What is the use of thinking alone, he called his charioteers. Vaarshneya, though was a charioteer of Nala, said that it is impossible for him or Jivalaka. He told that only Nala had such power. He said that Baahuka might be able to do. The king called Baahuka in a very soft tone. He had to somehow make Baahuka accept it so that he could save his prestige. He told “Baahuka, we have to go to Vidarbha. A big task is awaiting there. Just now the news has reached. There is re-swayamvara of Damayanti. We have only one day left. We have to be there within tomorrow’s sunrise, oh the knower of Ashvahridaya! (This is a challenge for your capability. You had told to tell you a task which no one else could do)”. Nala was shocked. He stood like a statue, not replying; as though his heart beat had stopped.
Nala was not a common man. Ordinary miseries could not shake him. They can’t even touch him. Weapons could not shatter his body or his mind. So strong he was. But he couldn’t resist after listening to the news. He couldn’t express it either. His heart had broken into hundred pieces due to the extreme sorrow and shock. Rituparna didn’t pay attention towards him, as he was only thinking of the travel. Nala was standing still as if he was unconscious. When he regained his consciousness, thousands of feelings waved in his heart. He remembered the swayamvara of the past. He was then the messenger of demigods; this time he had to take Rituparna. He had to make the marriage possible. He started thinking “Did Damayanti do this? Did she get ready for another marriage? Is she my Damayanti only? Or did she accept it with desire? Or is it her plan to bring me there?” See how the husband and wife shared the same thought. It is like tuning many Veenas and if one Veena is played, others too play.
His mind diverted to the negative thought “What if…?”. “How did she make such a decision when she had completely fixed her mind on me? Probably I myself is responsible for it. I am a sinner. This is the right punishment for the injustice I did to her”, he thought. Again, he thought “It is because of the flickering nature of womanhood. No no, the mistake I did is very cruel. It should not be done by any person. Or is it that when I was there in front of her, she loved me and now she doesn’t? Time’s play it is! She might have been disappointed and decided that I may however not come. So she might have come to this decision”. Finally he comes to a conclusion “No, Damayanti would not have done it. She has never crossed Dharma. Anyway, I shall confirm going there”.
It was for the very same reason that Damayanti planned the re-swayamvara plot. “Anything may happen next, but I should know about that”. He changed his decision of not going to Vidarbha without becoming a king to following the orders of the king as his servant. He decided to tell the king that he is ready to go. His words showed firm determination. He vowed “Why one day? I would take you in one morning itself”, such was his determination. With a humble mind, he said “Tomorrow the king will be in Vidarbha before sunrise”.
Rituparna was satisfied, but what about Baahuka! Many servants will be sacrificing their comforts for their master’s happiness. They will compromise with their desires to keep their master happy. It was Nala’s words to the king while he joined him as servant – “If there is a job that no one can do, I will do it for you”. We shall see what happens further.
TattvaBhaagavatam a special discourse by Sri Sri RaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji: full Video :