Friday, 8 October 2010

The Mother and her Divine grace

The princes, who had been invited to the Swayamvaram, won the princess hand in marriage responded to the king "Do not bother to entertain us, O King Subahu. You have passed a sleep lessnight. Go and take some rest."He returned to his castle.Inside the castle, preparations were afoot for the bride's journey to her husband's place. Some friendy princes whispered to the king, "Please don't let the coupleleave the castle now. The enemy, like a pack of hungry wolves, is waiting to pounce upon them.
The king was, naturally, in favour of detaining thecouple. But Sudarshan told him, "O King, don't have any fear for of us. The Divine Mother will protect us. I shall lead your daughter safely to my hut. I've no palace.But my forest is in no way less attractive than any palace.
The king did not like to stand in his way. He bade them farewell. A regiment of his army accompanied them. Even then King Subahu was not without anxiety. He, too, followed them. Outside the town, Yudhajit lay in ambush with his soldiers and a few foolish princes. "Here they come!"He shouted when he sighted Sudarshan's chariot. With his sword drawn, he leaped up from hiding.King Subahu did not take long to recognise his voice. He jumped forward and faced him.
Fighting broke out. Sudarshan, calm and composed, prayed to the Divine Mother calling for Her intervention. Suddenly, to everybody's surprise, there appeared aluminous female figure riding a lion, in the very midst of the battle. Yudhajit's elephants panicked at the sight of the ferocious lion. "Look here, my soldiers, the Divine Mother is here to protect us. Go forward fearlessly and destroy the enemy!"shouted Sudarshan.
What! Should you get frightened at the sight of a woman, a prince without a kingdom, and an old king? Come on, let's crush them!"shouted Yudhajit, addressing his soldiers and the few princess who had joined him. He had hardly finished giving out his call when he was struck by a lethal arrow. He fell down and died instantly. Next to fall was his grandson and Sudarshan's step-brother the young Shatrujit.
Many of Yudhajit's soldiers and collaborators diedat the hands of King Subahu and Prince Sudarshan. The rest fled. Soon all was quiet. Subahu prostrated himself before the Goddess. "Mother! Now that you have come to my rescue so compassionately, be pleased to dwell forever in the city of Kashi. I am told Kashi will remain as long as the earthre mains. My prayer is, you be in Kashi as long as Kashiis there!The Goddess agreed.
Sudarshan and his bride, too, prostrated themselves before the Goddess. "Mother! I would have beenno where but for your Grace.Kindly tell me what I should do now.
"Go to Ayodhya andascend the throne. Rule the kingdom with truth and justice. You'll always have my protection,"said the Goddess.
Those princes who were returning from Kashi got an opportunity to be hold the Goddess. They wereoverwhelmed. After the wondrous vision disappeared, they told Sudarshan, "It is because of you that we had had this fortune. We'll ever remain grateful to you.
Sudarshan and Shashikala took leave of King Subahu and proceeded to Ayodhya. Some of the friendly princes went as their escorts. The news of Shatrujit's death and Sudarshan's victorious march had already reached Ayodhya. The ministers and the nobility organised a grand reception for the prince and his bride.

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