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3-Van Parv, 53-79
Stories-MBH - 4-Van - page 7

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Story of Raajaa Nal-3

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Story of Raajaa Nal-3
Ch 63-65
Branched from  G-4-Van-7;    G-4-Van-14
Nal-1    Nal-2    Nal-3    Nal-4    Nal-5    Nal-6
Damayantee is Alone

Brihadaashwa said - "When Damayantee woke up, she did not find Nal around so she called him around, but he was not there anywhere. She started crying and calling him again - "Where are you? You have not left me alone here? Come and comfort me in this situation. I do not weep for myself, but for you, how you will be doing alone? Why don't you reply me? May that who has brought such misery to such a good man like Nal suffer more than this." Lamenting like thus Damayantee started wandering alne in that forest searching for Nal.

Wandering around she came across a gigantic serpent. He suddenly seized Damayantee in his coils. Damayantee was still weeping and wailing - "Come O Naishadh, Save me, protect me from this serpent. Do you ever think about me? Who will comfort you when you are in distress? Why did you leave me alone in this dense forest?" When she was wailing thus, a huntsman heard her. He came to her and cut the serpent's head with his weapon. He bathed her, fed her, and comforted her. He said - "O Beautiful, Who are you? Why are you here alone in this wood? And how you have fallen in this misery?" Damayantee told him everything. The huntsman started soothing her softly, but Damayantee guessed bad intentions in his eyes, so she became angry, still the huntsman applied force on her, so Damayantee cursed him, "If I have even thought about any other person than Naishdh, this man should fall lifeless." And he immediately fell down dead.

Brihadaashwa continued - "After destroying the huntsman, Damayantee looked around the forest. It was full of wild animals and Mlechchh tribes. After wandering here and there and asking every tree and animals about Nal, she set on northern road and came to a hermitage of sages - Vashishth, Atri, and Bhrigu etc. They welcomed Damayantee and asked who she was and what she was doing there alone? Damayantee said - "There is a king of Vidarbh Desh, Bheem, I am his daughter, and there is a king of Nishadh Desh, Nal, he is my husband, and my name is Damayantee. I am trying to find my husband. Have you seen my husband? Has he come here? If I do  not see Nal within a few days time, I will die, how can I live without him?" Sages said to her - "O Blessed Lady, We can see with our Yaugik powers that your good days will come soon and you will surly see your husband Nal." After having said thus to Damayantee the sages disappeared from there along with their sacred fire.

Damayantee got struck with amazement as if she was seeing a dream. She said to herself, "Where is that place where there were those beautiful trees, river, birds etc? Where have they all disappeared?" She proceeded further in the forest and she found the first forest tree of Ashok laden with flowers. She asked him also - "At least you keep the meaning of your name (Ashok means which removes sorrows), and tell me where is my husband? Have you seen him?" She went round the tree three times and proceeded further in the forest.

Then she came to a place where many merchants were resting with their camels and horses. Seeing that pale, clad in half cloth Damayantee some of them fled in fear, some felt pity, some became extremely anxious, some laughed at her, while some hated her. Some even asked her - "Who are you, a Yaksh, or a Raakshas or a celestial woman? And whom do you seek in this dense woods?" Damayantee said - "O Leader of the caravan, I am neither of them, I am a human being. I am the daughter of a king and a daughter-in-law of King Veersen. Have you had any chance to see my husband King Nal?" The leader of the caravan, Shuchi, said - "I am a merchant and the leader of this caravan, I have not seen your husband here, I have seen only the wild animals. You are the only man or woman I have met in this forest. May Manibhadra, the King of the Yaksh, help us." Damayantee asked him - "Where is this caravan going to?" He replied - "Towards the kingdom of Subaahu, the King of Chedi Desh."

Brihadaashwa said - "Hey Raajan, So Damayantee accompanied that caravan with the hope to see her husband. After many days of traveling, they came to a large lake full of lotus flowers. When all were sleeping in the night there, a herd of wild elephants which came there to drink water, saw the domesticated elephants in that caravan. They got angry seeing them like this and rushed to kill them, but found people sleeping in their way, so they crushed those people and proceeded to the caravan elephants. Some people ran away, some were crushed under the feet of elephants, some climbed on trees and thus that caravan suffered a great loss. In this process, jewels scattered around but nobody bothered to collect them, the were just running away. People were saying, "Maybe we have forgotten to worship Manibhadra. Or maybe this woman is a Pishaach and because of her this calamity has fallen on us. If we will see her now, we will kill her." Hearing this Damayantee ran away in the forest in terror lamenting that what misdeed she might have done which resulted in this shame. Is it because I disregarded Lokpaal in front of Nal?

There were some Braahman survivors from the caravan mishap, so Damayantee accompanied them and came to King Subaahu's country, Chedi Desh. Many people and children surrounded her. She came to the King's palace and by chance the queen-mother saw her. She found her sad so she asked her maids to bring her to her. She asked Damayantee as who she was, was she a Yaksh or celestial being or Devee and why she was wandering in such a pitiable state. Damayantee said - "I am not anyone of them, I am only a human being. My husband and I love each other very much, but once he played dice game and lost everything, so he came out in the forest in a single cloth and I followed him. Once in the forest, he lost that cloth also. We passed many days in the forest without food, but then one night he cut the cloth and went away leaving me seeping without any reason. Now I am looking for my husband."

The queen-mother said - "I am very pleased with you, you may stay with me and my people will look for your husband. He might come here, in course of time, looking for you." Damayantee said - "O Mother, I can stay here on certain conditions. I will not eat the leftover food on a dish, I will not wash anybody's feet, I will not speak to any other man, and if anybody wants me as his wife, he should be punishable by you; and if he tries to see me again he should be killed. I will like to talk to those Saadhu who will go to seek my husband. If you agree with these conditions, I can stay here." The queen-mother agreed. She called her daughter Sunandaa and asked her to employ that goddess-like lady as her Sairandhree. She instructed her to sport with her with joy and respect. Thus Damayantee started living there.


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