Faith

Honesty overrules destiny

Nala, a great king endowed with excellent graces, handsome looks and, above all, upright character, and Damayanti, the breathtaking princess of Vidarbha kingdom, are well matched in all respects and their love is sparked by divine grace through swans from Brahmaloka. But in the Swayamvara arranged for her by her father, what should have been a straight choice becomes a challenge for both of them when the celestial Indra, Varuna, Yama and Agni, also participate as suitors. Despite the twist and hurdles that crop up, both Nala and Damayanti stand by dharma and their upright character helps them to get united in marriage, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse.

The gods, Indra and others first intercept Nala who is on his way to attend the Swayamvara. Though they know him to be a suitor, they make a request that puts him in a tight spot. Nala has to represent their wish to marry her and convince her to choose one among them. Since Nala has already promised to help them, he cannot go back on his word. The gods grant him the divine power to enter the palace without being seen by anyone. In Damayanti’s presence, he introduces himself as Nala, king of Nishada, who has now come as a messenger of the gods and not as a suitor. He conveys their message that she has to choose one among them as her husband.

But Damayanti is determined to marry only Nala and makes this very clear in her reply message to the gods. Even if they take part as suitors, she will garland only Nala. Nala faithfully reports Damayanti’s stance to the gods who are impressed at the candour and true love for each other. Through their grace, Damayanti is able to identify the real Nala from the gods in Nala’s form and garlands him.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:19:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/honesty-overrules-destiny/article30765040.ece

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