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

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Story of Raajaa Nal-5

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Story of Raajaa Nal-5
Ch 70-72
Branched from  G-4-Van-7;    G-4-Van-14
Nal-1    Nal-2    Nal-3    Nal-4     Nal-5     Nal-6
In Search of Nal

Brihadaashwa said - "After a long search, one Brahman Parnad returned to Vidarbh and said to Damayantee - "Searching for Nal, I went to Ayodhyaa and appeared before the son of Bhangaasur; and I repeated the words in front of Rituparn, but hearing those words, neither the ruler, nor the courtiers reacted. I repeated those words several times, then I came back from his court. While I was returning, a servant of the King took me to Baahuk named person. He is the charioteer of the King. His appearance is very uncomely, and his arms are very short. He is very good in driving chariot with speed and is skilled in all kinds of arts. I repeated those words in front of him also, weeping he asked about my welfare repeatedly and said - "Chaste women, though in distress, protect themselves and thus attain heaven. Although they have been deserted by their husbands, still they do not get angry because of that. They lead their lives virtuously. She need not to be angry. A beautiful woman should not be angry with a man whose cloth has been taken away by birds in order to procure food." Hearing his words, I came here soon. Now you have known this, you do whatever you think best.

Hearing all this Damayantee came to her mother and said to her - "Mother, Let my father did not know this, I wish to do this alone. I want to use Sudev for this purpose. Let Sudev go to Ayodhyaa to bring Nal here." Damayantee worshipped Parnad with lots of money and sent him to take rest saying that she would give him more wealth after Nal had come there.

Plan to Meet Nal

She also appreciated his services he rendered to her in this regard. Then she called Sudev and in the presence of her mother said to him - "Sudev, You go to Ayodhyaa, and tell the King Rituparn, that Damayantee is going to hold another Swayamvar. All other kings and princes are also going there. I think the ceremony is taking place tomorrow. If it is possible for you then go there without any delay. Tomorrow she will choose her second husband, because she is  not sure if Nal is alive or not." Hearing this Sudev left for Ayodhyaa.

Brihadaashwa said - "O King, Hearing Sudev, King Rituparn called Baahuk and said to him - "You are very good at horse and driving, if it pleases you, I can attend the Swayamvar of Damayantee." Hearing this the King, O Kuntee's son, filled with sorrow. he thought "maybe Damayantee is doing this in intense sorrow, or maybe she has designed this scheme for my sake. I am sure she will not do such thing especially when she is the mother of my two children. I will surely go with Rituparn." He said to Rituparn - "I will surely go with you to Vidarbh in one day." He returned to his stable and checked for good horses there. He selected some Sindhu-born horses. When Rituparn saw those horses, he said - "What? Did you get only these horses in our stable? Will they be able to carry us so far?"

Baahuk replied - "Each of these horses has one curl on his forehead, two on his temples, four on his sides, four on his chest, and one on his back. And I am sure that these horses will take us to Vidarbh Desh. If you have any other horses in mind, tell me, I will yoke them in your chariot." Rituparn said - "You are the expert, you know better." Without delay, Rituparn, Baahuk and his other charioteer Vaarshneya set for the journey. Baahuk was driving the chariot. King of Ayodhyaa was surprised to see the speed and handling of the horses. Vaarshney also praised the skills of Baahuk in horses. He thought in his mind - "Is he Maatali (Indra's charioteer), or Shaalihotra, or is he King Nal? Or it may be possible that this Baahuk knows the science of horses which Nal knows, because I can see that Baahuk's knowledge of horses and that of Nal's are same, besides Baahuk and Nal are of same age too. If there is any difference between them, it is of appearance only. But Baahuk's uncomely appearance is not going to change my opinion." Vaarshney continued to think like this. The King was very happy to see all this.

On the Way

Brihadaashwa further said - "Baahuk was crossing rivers and mountains etc like a bird flies in the sky. While the chariot was going like this, that Bhangaasur's son Rituparn found that his upper cloth had dropped down. The King didn't lose a moment and said to Baahuk, "I want to get it. Let Vaarshney pick it up." Nal replied - "The cloth is  very far, we have traveled one Yojan (9 miles) since then. Sorry, it cannot be recovered."

In the meantime, Rituparn came to a Vibheetak tree with fruits in a forest. Seeing that tree Rituparn said to Baahuk - "O Charioteer Baahuk, Now you see my proficiency in calculation. All men do not know everything. There is nobody who is good in every science of art. Everybody doesn't have the entire knowledge. The leaves and fruits of this tree that are lying on the ground exceed those are on it by 101. The two branches of the tree have 50 million leaves and 2,095 fruits. You might examine these two branches and their boughs."

Baahuk said - "You are taking credit of that which is beyond my perception, but O King, I can know it by my senses by cutting down the Vibheetak tree. When I will actually count them, there will be no place of doubt. That is why I will cut it in your presence and then count its leaves and fruits. Let Vaarshney hold the reins of these horses." The King interrupted - "Baahuk, We don't have time to lose." Baahuk said politely - "Just stay at your place or if you are in hurry, then take Vaarshney as your charioteer, the road is straight and simple." At this Rituparn said - "There is only one charioteer in the world, that is Baahuk, and through his help only I expect to go to Vidarbh Desh. That is why whatever you say, I will do, but I have to reach Vidarbh Desh in time." Baahuk said - "I will proceed only after counting the leaves and fruits of that Vibheetak tree. Do you agree with me?" Rituparn said reluctantly - "OK, Count them, and only after counting them you will know that I was right."

To the surprise of Rituparn, Baahuk immediately got down from the chariot, felled that tree, counted its leaves and fruits and said to the King - "O King, You are right, your this knowledge is wonderful.  I would like to know this art." Rituparn said to Baahuk - "I am good at dice also, besides being well versed in numbers." Baahuk said - "I want to learn that also. I will teach you the knowledge of horses." Rituparn agreed. So both exchanged their knowledge to each other. As he learnt the dice techniques from Rituparn, Kali came out of his body through vomiting poison of Karkotak.

And when Kali [afflicted by curse of Damayantee] came out [of Nal's body] that curse also left Kali. Nal, for all these years, had been cursing Kali, so one day Kali said - "Control your wrath, Indrasenaa's mother (Damayantee) has already cursed me when she was deserted by you. Since then I have been living in you afflicted by venom of Karkotak. If you will not curse me, people will sing your praise and they will be free from my fear." So Nal controlled his wrath and Kali immediately entered Vibheetak tree. While Kali was talking to Nal, all could see him. As he left Nal, Nal immediately rode on the chariot and resumed his journey to Vidarbh. After Kali had left him, now Nal was free from calamity, though he had not assumed his own form yet.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 10/19/11