Episode # 417 – The “Nala-Upakyana” – King Nala & Damayanti fall in love for each other!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Arjuna obtaining a “curse”, but an indirect “Anugraha” that he would have to spend one full year in the “Manushya-Lokha” amongst women, with a disguised identity, wherein he would be dancing and singing along with them. Of course, for a “Kshatrya Prince” like Arjuna, this would be a huge insult and derogatory to live such a life, but Indra reminds Arjuna about his one-year “Agnyaatavasa” wherein he and his brothers have to spend a disguised life without being identified by Duryodhana and Co. Indra assures Arjuna that all whatever music and dance that he is learning currently in the “Svarga Lokha” would be of immense help during that one-year time period. As this happens, Sage Lomasha too arrives and as per Indra’s instruction, Sage Lomasha goes down and conveys to Yudishtra and Co. that Arjuna is safe and secure in the “Svarga Lokha” with Indra and that, he would return soon to unite with all of them! As Yudishtra hears this, he is extremely happy for his brother and all of them are eagerly awaiting Arjuna’s return. 

Moving on thus, as Sage Lomasha leaves Yudishtra’s place, Sage Brihadarsha comes to see Yudishtra. Sage Brihadarsha is one of the greatest sages the world has ever seen and his “Tapo Balam” is extremely strong. Learning that Yudishtra and Co. are around, Sage Brihadarsha makes his way to meet Yudishtra and talk with him. As Yudishtra pays his respects to the great sage, both of them sit together and start talking with each other. As the conversation goes on, Sage Brihadarsha narrates an important story to Yudishtra. Sage Brihadarsha explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Please do not think that you’re suffering a lot because of the loss that you obtained in the gambling game. There are people who had suffered even more than you! I shall narrate one such example wherein a king lost all his wealth and kingdom to the gambling game and he had to suffer enormously for the subsequent seven years or so!” 

As Sage Brihadarsha says thus, Yudishtra is also interested greatly. He replies thus, “Oh great Sage! Who is that king who suffered more than what I do? I’m very eager to know the story behind it. Please narrate it to me!” As Yudishtra says thus, Sage Brihadarsha commences the story of King Nala and how he lost all his wealth to the gamble. Sage Brihadarsha says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Once upon a time, there was a great king by name Nala. He was the king of the Nishada Desha. There was another king by name Bheema of the Vidharba Desha. This King Bheema had a daughter by name Damayanti. As Damayanti grew up, she and King Nala fell in love with each other. Some people from the Nishada Desha went to the Vidharba Desha and explained about the handsome features of King Nala to Damayanti. In the same way, people from the Vidharba Desha came to the Nishaada Desha and explained to King Nala, the beauty of Damayanti. Thus, even without seeing each other, both King Nala and Damayanti fall in love with each other! The white swan birds from either sides went as messengers to each other to convey each other’s love!” 

Sage Brihadarsha continues thus, “Oh Yudishtra! As these things were happening, nothing was known to King Bheema. In other words, King Bheema never knew that his daughter was already in love with another king. Unknowingly thus, since his daughter has attained the marriage age, he arranged for a grand “Svayamvara”. As the arrangements are intact, it is a grandeur event wherein all the kings from different territories are readily seated and are awaiting their luck to marry Damayanti. King Nala is also on the way for this event, as the news was conveyed to him. As King Nala is on his way, meanwhile, Sage Naarada hurries to the Indra Lokha and talks to Indra thus, “Oh Indra! There is an important event that is taking place in the Manushya Lokha! Do you know about it?” As Sage Naarada asks thus, Indra replies back, “Oh Sage Naarada! I’m also wondering why of late, nobody is coming towards the “Svarga Lokha”! What is happening in the “Manushya Lokha?” As Indra asks thus, Sage Naarada gives a smart reply thus, “Oh Indra! Why are you so aloof? You don’t even know what is happening around you? I didn’t think you would be such a great fool! Damayanti’s Svayamvara is happening in such a grand fashion! All the kings are going to be part of it! Why don’t you also go and try your luck? Now, don’t tell me that you do not know who Damayanti is!” 

This poking reply from Sage Naarada irks Indra a bit. His ego is hurt! So for today, let us understand up to this point. Is Indra going to take part in Damayanti’s Svayamvara? Or, does he have other plans? Let us wait and witness in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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