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3-Van Parv, 53-79
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Story of Raajaa Nal-1

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Story of Raajaa Nal-1
Ch 53-56
Branched from    G-4-Van-12    [O-4-Van-7;     O-4-Van-14]
Nal-1    Nal-2    Nal-3    Nal-4     Nal-5   Nal-6
After Arjun had left for Swarg Lok to take Divine Astra. Paandav were living in the Kaamyak forest. Once Rishi Brihadaashwa came to Yudhishthir in that Van and found him very sad and in disappointment. He said - "Hey Yudhishthir, You are not the only one like this, before you there was a king name Nal who has lived like you." Yudhishthir got very surprised to hear this and asked him to tell his story, so Rishi Brihadaashwa told him this story [MBH, 3-Van Parv, 53]

Nal and Damayantee Fall in Love

There was a king named Nal who was the son of the King Veerasen of Nishadh Desh. He was very well versed in the knowledge of horses and otherwise too, he was very qualitative. He was very fond of playing dice game. And there was another king like him - Bheem of Vidarbh Desh. He had everything but a child. He made lots of efforts but of no use. Once a Brahmarshi named Daman came to him. He and his wife pleased the Rishi with their services. Pleased with them the Rishi granted their wish, that they will soon have a beautiful daughter and three mighty sons. So they had. They named their daughter Damayantee and the three sons Dam, Dant and Daman. Bheem's sons were very mighty and the daughter was very beautiful. She soon became celebrity of the world. Neither any goddess, nor Yaksh, nor Apsaraa had such beauty as hers. Even Devtaa wished to possess her. Nal was also not less handsome in the three worlds, he was like Kaam Dev. Now both were so beautiful that the people who traveled one from country to another used to sing the praise of their beauty in both countries. This praise developed a kind of attachment in both Nal and Damayantee's hearts for each other and it was growing strong to stronger everyday.

Now Nal always started thinking about Damayantee and passing his time in solitude in his palace gardens. Once when he was taking a stroll there, that he saw several swans with gold wings. He caught one of them. The swan got frightened and said - "Please do not kill me, I will do something to please you. I will praise you before Damayantee in such a way that she will never choose any other man as her husband." Hearing this Nal freed him. The swans flew and came to Vidarbh Desh. As Damayantee saw them she also found them extraordinary and ran to catch them, but they all scattered in all directions. Her all maids also ran after them, but the Swan after whom Damayantee ran, took her in a lonely place and talked to her in human speech - "There is a king of Nishadh Desh, named Nal. There is no other man like him. He is equal to Ashwinee Kumaar in beauty. If you become his wife your life will be blessed. We have never seen any man, any Gandharv, any Devtaa like him. s you are a jewel among women he is the jewel among men." Damayantee said - "You speak thus to Nal also." The swan replied "So be it" and he flew away to Nishadh Desh.

Brihadaashwa said - "After talking to swan, Damayantee lost her all peace of mind because of Nal. Soon she started looking pale and sad. She wept all the time. Seeing this her maids told the king about her illness. First the King Bheem got worried but then thought that "Oh, My daughter has grown up now, I should organize her Swayamvar." So he organized it and sent messages to many kings and princes about her Swayamvar. In course of time people have started gathering in Vidarbh Desh to grace the occasion.

At the same time, two celestial Muni, Naarad Jee and Parvat, arrived in Indra Lok. Maghaavat (Indra) worshipped them and asked them about the peace and the news in other Lok. They told him that everything was all right. The King of Vidarbh Desh was organizing his beautiful daughter Damayantee's Swayamvar, it is going to take place shortly. All kings and princes want to have her. At the same time other Lokpaal Agni etc also came there and they also heard this news. They all said - "We will also go." and they also set out to Vidarbh Desh to attend Damayantee's Swayamvar. When Nal heard about the Swayamvar of Dmayantee, he also set for Vidarbh Desh with his all valor. He was looking like the god of Love himself, resplendent as the Sun. Seeing his valor, all Lokpaal got disappointed that maybe Damayantee would not marry them. So they approached Raajaa Nal and said to him - "You are devoted to truth, please help us, we want to marry Damayantee, so be our messenger to her."

Nal as Devtaa's Messenger

Brihadaashwa continued - "Nal assured them to do it whatever they wanted him to do. Then he asked them - "Who are you? What do I have to do for you?" Maghaavat saaid - "We are immortals and we have come here for Damayantee. I am Indra; he is Agni; he is Varun, the Devtaa of Waters; and this is Yam, the Devtaa of Death. You go to Damayantee and and inform her that the gods are coming to see your Swayamvar. Indra, Agni, Varun and Yam want to have you, so you choose one of them as your husband."

Nal said with folded hands - "Hey Dev, I have also come here for the same purpose, that is why it is not proper to send me there. How can a person who has come to marry a girl, recommend others for marriage, so please spare me." Indra said - "But you have already promised us then why would you not do accordingly?" Nal said - "The Princess' palace is heavily guarded, how can I enter the palace?" Indra replied - "That we will see." So Nal went to Damayantee's palace. He saw Damayantee - the most beautiful girl on the Earth. She was surrounded by her maids. Nal's love increased seeing her.

As Damayantee saw Naishadh, she got up from her seat thinking "Who is he - a Yaksh, a Devtaa or a Gandharv?" So she asked him - "Who are you who has come here to waken my love, and why have you come here? And how come that nobody saw you coming here?" Nal replied, "O Beautiful, I am Nal. I have come here as the messenger of the gods - Indra, Agni, Varun and Yam. They want to marry you, so you choose one of them as your husband. It is through their power that nobody has seen me coming here. That is why I have come here, now you do whatever pleases you."

Brihadaashwa further said - "Damayantee said with love - "You tell me what should I do for you? Whatever is mine and I myself are all yours. Since the day I have met the swans, I am in love with you. If you will leave me, I will take poison, or burn in fire, or jump in water or hang myself with rope." Nal said - "Are you going to choose a man against Lokpaal? You will kick them whose even dust of the feet I am not equal? Displeasing the gods may bring death to a mortal, so please choose one of the celestials. Who is that woman who will not choose Hutaashan (Agni Dev)?" Damayantee said weeping - "Bowing to Devtaa, I choose you over celestials." Nal said - "Do as you please. Since I was bound to my promise, I came here bringing the message of others, so how can I seek my interest." Damayantee said - "I have known a way by which no blame or sin will attach to you. You come in the Swayamvar along with Devtaa, and there I will choose you as my husband." Hearing this Nal returned to Devtaa.

Devtaa asked Nal what happened there - "Did you see sweet-smiling Damayantee? What message she has given for us? Tell us everything." Nal told them everything, he said - "I could enter Damayantee's palace unnoticed. I delivered your message but her mind was on me only. She said - "Come in Swayamvar with gods, and I will choose you in their presence, thus no sin will attach to you." This is all happened there. Now everything depends on you, O gods."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 01/06/12