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3-Van Parv, 53-79
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Story of Raajaa Nal-2

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Story of Raajaa Nal-2
Ch 57-62
Branched from   O-4-Van-7;    O-4-Van-14
Nal-1    Nal-2    Nal-3    Nal-4     Nal-5    Nal-6
Marriage of Nal and Damayantee

In auspicious Muhoort, Raajaa Bheem arranged the Swayamvar of Damayantee. All kings and princes who wanted to marry Damayantee arrived there. The place was decorated  with golden pillars and flower garlands. The candidates were sitting on the best of their seats. The place was looking like Bhogvatee Nagaree (Naag's city). When the time came Damayantee entered the hall. All people's eyes fell on her faultless face. Thus stealing the hearts of kings and princes Damayantee sat on her seat. Her eyes started looking for Nal, but what she saw? - five people of the same appearance. She got worried. She could not ascertain who was Nal among them. To whoever she looked at, he looked like Nal to her. She thought to herself how to distinguish Nal from the celestial? Then she recalled the marks of celestials which she had heard before, but alas, she could not find any of the marks among any of them. Then she decided to take refuge of Devtaa themselves.

She closed her eyes, and in her heart, prayed them - "Since I have heard about Nal from swans, I have chosen Nal as my husband, so for the sake of Truth, O Dev, please reveal him to me. I have taken this vow, so please reveal him to me, so that I can choose him as my husband." Gods were filled with mercy hearing Damayantee's sincere and faithful prayer and showed their respective marks to Damayantee. As she opened her eyes, she saw their un-moistened  perspiring bodies, winkless eyes, unfading flower garlands, unstained with dust and staying without touching the ground. Naishadh stood to his shadow, with faded garlands, stained with sweat and dust, resting on the ground and with winking eyes. Damayantee thanked gods and chose Nal as her husband. All other kings and princes just remained taking a sigh.

Nal said - "Since you have chosen me instead of celestials, I will always be your obedient to your command. As long as I will be alive, I will remain yours and only yours." Then both sought Devtaa's protection mentally. All Devtaa bestowed them eight boons. Indra bestowed the boon that Nal should always see his godship in all his sacrifices, and he should attain the blessed legions thereafter. Hutaashan (Agni Dev) bestowed him the boon that he would be present as and when he wished, and regions as bright as himself. Yam granted him the subtle taste in food, as well as pre-eminence in virtue. Varun granted him that he would be present as and when he desired and garlands of celestial fragrance. And after bestowing them boons gods went away. Kings and princes also went away. King Bheem then celebrated the marriage of Nal and Damayantee. After some time Nal also returned to his country and passed his time with his wife in joy and pleasure. Later they had a son named Indrasen and a daughter named Indrasenaa.

Devtaa Meet Kali and Dwaapar

Brihadaashwa further said - "Now when those Devtaa were returning from Damayantee's Swaymvar, they met Dwaapar and Kali. Seeing Kali, Indra said to him - "Where are you going with Dwaapar?" Kali replied - "We are going to attend Damayantee's Swayamvar. In fact my heart is upon her for a long time, so I am going to marry her." Indra said smilingly - "But the Swayamvar has ended, Damayantee has chosen Nal as her husband." Hearing this Kali got very angry, he said - "Since she has chosen a mortal in front of celestials, she must suffer for this insult." Indra tried to explain him that she had chosen Nal with their permission, who is that girl who would not choose Nal as her husband, he is full of all kinds of virtues. He resembles Lokpaal himself. He said - "O Kali, Who curses Nal, he is fool himself and destroys himself. He sinks in the bottomless pit of Hell." After having said thus Devtaa went to their Lok. After Devtaa left, Kali said to Dwaapar - "I am unable to suppress my anger, I shall possess Nal, deprive him his kingdom, and he will not be able to sport with Damayantee. You have to help me by entering dice."

Kali and Dwaapar Take Revenge from Nal

Brihadaashwa said - "After making this pact Kali came to Nishadh Desh and started living there to find a loophole in his life so that he can play his game. Twelve years passed before he could find a loophole in his life. One day, after answering the call of nature, Naishadh did his Sandhyaa Vandan. He forgot to wash his feet before doing Sandhyaa, and Kali got the opportunity so he possessed Nal. After possessing Nal he went to Pushkar and instigated him to play Chausar (dice game) with Nal saying - "Play Chausar with Nal, with my assistance you will surely win the game, then you may take his kingdom and rule." So Pushkar went to Nal and invited Nal to play Chausar. Dwaapar also, in the form of main dice called "Vrish", approached Pushkar. Pushkar challenged Nal in front of Damayantee, so after a number of times of challenges he could not refuse it.

Nal started playing. Possessed by Kali, he started losing everything he had - gold, silver, chariots, etc. Nobody could stop him playing dice. He continued to lose. Nal's Saarathee could not tolerate any more, so he came to Damayantee and reported her the account of the game. Damayantee came to Nal and said - "Your people wan to see you." But Nal did not reply a word. Thus Nal and Pushkar played for many months and Nal's condition got worsened.

Brihadaashwa said - "Damayantee smelled the danger. She called her faithful maid Brihatsenaa and asked her to call councilors on behalf of Nal and tell them that Nal has lost everything in dice game. The councilors approached Nal, but Nal did not reply. Embarrassed Damayantee went back to her apartment. She again thought something and sent for Nal's Saarathee Vaarshneya and said to him - "Take these two children to Kundin Pur. After leaving them there, you may stay back there or if you want to go somewhere else, it is your wish." So Vaarshney went to Vidarbh Desh, left the children there and wandered there for some time. Then he went to Ayodhyaa, to King Rituparn, and joined his service as his charioteer.

Nal and Damayantee in Exile

Brihadaashwa said - "After Vaarshney had left, Pushkar had won everything of Nal. Pushakr said smilingly - "Let us play more. But now what to put on stake? Remains only Damayantee." Hearing this Nal got furious but did not speak anything. He took off all his ornaments and royal attire, wore only a single cloth and set out for forest. Damayantee also clad in a single cloth followed him. Coming to out of the city, Nal stayed there three nights, living only on water, because of Pushkar's orders, nobody helped him.

Next day Nal went to look for some fruits and roots, Damayantee followed him. After a good search Nal found some birds with golden feathers. Nal thought, "They will be our good dinner and bring some money too." So he threw his cloth he was wearing with the intention of catching them,  but as soon as he threw that cloth on them, they flew carrying that cloth. Nal remained standing nude and lowering his eyes to the ground. From sky they said - "We are the dice of the game. We did not want you to take this cloth also from the kingdom that is why we are taking this cloth also."

Seeing all this Nal said to Damayantee - "These dice have taken my last possession also. Now you listen to me attentively. This path goes to Southern country via Avantee and Rakshvat Mountains. This is called Vindhya Mountains also. Here River Payaswinee flows towards sea. This road leads to Vidarbh and that one goes to Kosal." When Nal said this to Damayantee several times, Damayantee started crying and said - "I know why are you saying his to me. How can I go leaving you here in this forest when you are without kingdom, without wealth, without clothes and even hungry?" Nal said - "O Damayantee, When a person is in distress, he has no friend or medicine like a wife, but I do not want to hurt you that is why I am saying all this to you." "But then why do you show me the way repeatedly? If it agrees to you, we both can go to Vidarbh, my father will heartily welcome you."

Nal said - "I will never go there in this condition, where I have once gone with so much valor, I cannot go now [in this condition]." Brihadaashwa continued - "Saying this Nal wrapped half cloth around his body sharing with his wife. At last they came to a place of stay for travelers (inn) and as both were tired and hungry, they slept on the floor. Now Damayantee slept soundly, Nal could not sleep. He thought, "Is death better than this kind of life? Should I leave my wife behind, and maybe when she is separated from me, she might go to her relatives. But if she will be with me she will surely be in distress." So he looked around something to separate himself from Damayantee, and he found a sword without sheath. He separated himself from Damayantee by cutting the cloth by that sword, and went away leaving Damayantee sleeping there.

But after going a few steps he came back to see Damayantee and started crying, "Oh, Even Pavan Dev and Soorya Dev have not seen her, and I am leaving her here like this sleeping on the ground? How she will wander in the forest without me?" He again left, but again came to see her. Kali took him away from his wife and love drew him near her. At last he went away leaving his wife alone in that fierce forest.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/15/10