Chennai: God has endowed us with the capacity to think. But we do not make use of it, and then when things go wrong, we blame Him, said K. Sambandan in a lecture. The story of Damayanti’s swayamvara, however, shows the shrewdness of Damayanti. This story is found in the Mahabharata. Damayanti is a beautiful princess, whose swayamvara is arranged by her father. She has heard of the exploits of King Nala, and wants to marry him.

Nala comes for the swayamvara, and so do many others. Among them are four celestials. The celestials insist that Nala go and inform Damayanti that they are there for the swayamvara, and that she must choose one of them as her husband. Nala agrees reluctantly to do their bidding. He conveys to Damayanti the message from the celestials. She tells Nala, not knowing who he is, that she will marry none other than King Nala. Nala brings her reply to the celestials.

On the day of the swayamavara, the celestials change their appearance so that they resemble Nala. As Damayanti comes round, garland in hand, her attendant introduces each suitor to her. But when it comes to Nala, she does not know what to say, for there are five men with the same appearance.

But Damayanti is not fooled. She observes them all closely. She notices that four of the men before her do not blink. Their feet do not touch the ground. The flowers in the garlands they are wearing have not withered. All these are indications that they are not mortals. Thus she finds out who the real Nala is and garlands him. Thus by being shrewd and using some commonsense, Damayanti gets the husband she wants. If she had not used her commonsense, she would have ended up marrying one of the false Nalas, and would have been unhappy.

Life has many difficulties, and we have to use our God-given faculties to the utmost, to be able to face these difficulties. There is no point in hoping someone will help us, or in panicking. Most often, we do not make the right decisions because we do not analyse a situation. None can give us easy solutions to our problems. It is up to us to be sensible. God cannot be blamed, if we are not sensible.