In the previous episode, we had witnessed Kali-Purusha preparing himself to unleash his wrath upon King Nala and Damayanti, as he is seeking revenge towards King Nala for marrying Damayanti. We’ve witnessed that Kali-Purusha was just a bit too late for the “Svayamvara”, wherein King Nala married Damayanti, and upon Indra’s instigation in a sarcastic manner, Kali-Purusha gets extremely angry. He somehow wants to punish King Nala for marrying Damayanti, whom Kali-Purusha wanted to desperately marry. Thus, Kali-Purusha was waiting at the doors of King Nala, to somehow enter inside him and wreak havoc. As fate would have it, one fine evening when King Nala is performing his “Nitya-Anushtaanm”, he doesn’t wash his feet properly. Using this opportunity, Kali Purusha enters King Nala’s body through the unwashed portion of his feet! Now the havoc begins! So let us witness how King Nala gets into a mess and what happens further.
The next morning, King Pushkara from a neighbouring state comes to meet King Nala. King Pushkara wants to play a game of gambling with King Nala. Thus, as the plan is being made, Kali-Purusha once again sees a golden opportunity here! He decides that as the game progresses, he would enter into the gambling dice and wreak havoc! This is exactly what happened in the case of Yudishtra as well. Readers should once again recollect that Sage Brihadarsha is explaining this entire story of King Nala to Yudishtra, to highlight the point that there is a past history in a similar way wherein a king had already suffered because of this. Coming back to King Nala’s context thus, King Pushkara makes the request of calling King Nala for a game of gambling, which King Nala could not reject. Thus, King Nala accepts the invite for the gambling game. Next morning, the stage is all set for the game to begin, and as the game commences, the dice is being rolled! King Pushkara is winning every round and King Nala is strangely on the losing side! Kali-Purusha starts unleashing his fury and vengeance through the dice and King Nala is on a complete losing spree!
As the game progresses further, even though King Nala ends up on the losing side every time, his interest and addiction towards the game only increases further and further! He bets more and more of his property, gold, money, treasury, etc. and ultimately ends up losing everything one after the other! As the game progresses further, Damayanti also tries to stop her husband from going ahead with it! King Nala has one son and one daughter – Indrasena and Indrasenaa. Even their words went into deaf ears! As hopes are reducing, Damayanti calls for the charioteer by name Vaarshneya. Damayanti instructs him thus, “Oh Vaarshneya! Please take my two children and drop them at my father’s place. If they are here, chances are high that my husband would stake them and play! I cannot tolerate my children being lost to someone else!” As Damayanti instructs thus, Vaarshneya does the needful and he never returns back. What is his job here anymore? Everything is lost, isn’t it? Hence, Vaarshneya deserts King Nala and joins somewhere else for a job! There was a king by name Rituparna, of Ayodhya. Thus, Vaarshneya goes to King Rituparna, seeking a job and King Rituparna too offers him a job as his charioteer. This is one side of the story!
Now coming back to King Nala, he has lost everything including his kingdom as well! Now King Pushkara chases King Nala out and he is draped only with one dhoti and one piece of cloth on his top. Damayanti is also left with just one saree for her to wear. All her wealth and jewels have been lost to King Pushkara. Thus, both King Nala and Damayanti are roaming around in the forest, as they are exiled from their kingdom by King Pushkara. As both of them are wandering around thus, there is a stage wherein they did not even get proper food to eat. At that moment, King Nala spots a bird flying over him. He decides that probably this bird can be captured, killed and can be consumed as food for the time being. However, now the question is how does King Nala capture the bird? He doesn’t have his bow and arrows too! Thus, after a thought, he removes his dhoti and tries to capture the bird within it. However, unfortunately for King Nala, the bird doesn’t get stuck into the dhoti, and instead, takes away the dhoti along with it and flies away!
As the bird flies away thus, it talks from the sky: “Oh Nala! You might be thinking that I’m just a bird! You’re mistaken by that thought! I’m none other than Kali-Purusha! It was me who rendered you without a kingdom. It was me who entered into the dice and made you lose all your wealth and treasury. It is me now who has snatched your dhoti also! I’m doing all this to teach you a lesson – How dare you touch a woman whom I was about to marry? I was desperate to marry Damayanti and you cheated upon me, didn’t you? Now you shall experience all sorts of suffering as a token of punishment for what you did to me! This is just the beginning! There is much more to come!” As King Nala hears thus, he is stunned beyond words! Damayanti too realizes what has happened! Till now, she was thinking that the fault was on her husband, but now she understands that it was all the job of this wretched Kali-Purusha! Thus, both of them cry to each other and now more than anything else, King Nala has even lost his piece of clothing! He is standing nude in front of Damayanti! Now how will both of them wander and sleep? Thus, Damayanti tears a piece of cloth from her saree, wraps her husband with it and hugs him along with her with all her love and affection. With this, both of them fall asleep for the night.
Such is the suffering that both of them have to undergo! As Kali-Purusha has proclaimed, this is just the beginning! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and let us join hands with the Nala-Damayanti couple to express our concern for the unlucky ones! We shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode, and witness how the couple suffered henceforth as well! Stay tuned!