Read the previous part here…
“This brave and loyal friend of mine went to fulfill a task that I had given him, but is now struck by love himself. I now have an opportunity to repay my debt of gratitude to him…”
And so the king told him “O Sattvaśīla! Don’t grieve, for I will help you reach the same place once again and in the presence of that beautiful Asura maiden. You refresh yourself and rest for today – tomorrow, we will set out on our quest…
अन्येद्युर् मन्त्रिविन्यस्तराज्यस् तेन समं च सः ।
प्रायात् प्रवहणारूढस् तद्दर्शितपथो ऽम्बुधिम् ॥ १२,१४.७० ॥
प्राप्य तन्मध्यभागं च दृष्ट्वा तं प्राग्वद् उत्थितम् ।
सपताकं ध्वजं सत्त्वशीलस् तं नृपम् अभ्यधात् ॥ १२,१४.७१ ॥
सो ऽयम् अभ्युत्थितो दिव्यप्रभावो ऽत्र महाध्वजः ।
मयि मग्ने ऽत्र मङ्क्तव्यं देवेनैतम् अनु ध्वजम् ॥ १२,१४.७२ ॥
इत्य् उक्त्वा निकटं प्राप्य ध्वजस्यास्य निमज्जतः ।
मार्गे स सत्त्वशीलो ऽसौ पूर्वम् आत्मानम् अक्षिपत् ॥ १२,१४.७३ ॥
ततो राजापि चिक्षेप तत्रात्मानं तथैव सः ।
अन्तो मग्नौ च तौ क्षिप्रं तद् दिव्यं प्रापतुः पुरम् ॥ १२,१४.७४ ॥
तत्र दृष्ट्वा स साश्चर्यो राजा देवीं प्रणम्य ताम् ।
पार्वतीं सत्त्वशीलेन सहितः समुपाविशत् ॥ १२,१४.७५ ॥
तावच् च निरगात् तत्र सा सखीजनसंगता ।
रूपिनीव प्रभा कन्या प्रभामण्डलकात् ततः ॥ १२,१४.७६ ॥
इयं सा सुमुखीत्य् उक्ते सत्त्वशीलेन तां नृपः ।
दृष्ट्वा युक्तम् अभिष्वङ्गं तस्य तस्याम् अमन्यत ॥ १२,१४.७७ ॥
सापि तं वीक्ष्य राजानं शुभशारीरलक्षणम् ।
पुरुषातिशयो ऽपूर्वः को ऽयं स्याद् इत्य् अचिन्तयत् ॥ १२,१४.७८ ॥
विवेश चाम्बिकाधाम पूजायै सा नृपो ऽपि सः ।
जगामोद्यानम् आदाय सत्त्वशीलम् अवज्ञया ॥ १२,१४.७९ ॥
क्षणाच् च कृतपूजा सा निरगाद् दैत्यकन्यका ।
याचित्वा सत्पतिप्राप्तिं देव्या गर्भगृहान्तरात् ॥ १२,१४.८० ॥
निर्गत्य सा जगादैकां सखीं सखि गवेष्यताम् ।
यो ऽसाव् इह मया दृष्टो महात्मा क्व स तिष्ठति ॥ १२,१४.८१ ॥
The next day the king, having entrusted the affairs of the kingdom to his council of ministers, set out with Sattvaśīla on a ship, towards the same direction. As they reached that halfway spot, Sattvaśīla spotted the huge flagstaff rising out of the sea, with the banners on it, and said to the king..
“There it is! That is the flag post that I saw earlier! I will jump into the sea now, do follow me…”
As soon as Sattvaśīla said this, the flag post began to sink into the raging waters, and so he jumped in after it. The king followed, and soon both had a momentary loss of consciousness. When they came to, they looked around and found themselves in the city that Sattvaśīla had arrived at earlier.
The king looked around in amazement, as they walked up to the temple and bowed to the Devi. As soon as they had done that, the beautiful maiden who had stolen Sattvaśīla’s heart, entered the temple with her maids and attendants.
“There she is”, said Sattvaśīla to the king. And the king realized that Sattvaśīla was right – she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. “No wonder he is so much in love with her”, thought the king.
The maiden too noticed the king sitting there. A royal look about him, with marks on his body that bore testimony to the many wars that he had fought and won…
“Who is this extraordinary man?” she wondered to herself as she entered the garbha griha.
The king, on the other hand, ignored her and walked off towards the garden, taking Sattvaśīla with him.
The maiden bowed to the Devi, and prayed for a good husband, and after she came out, told her attendants “Go find out who that person is, and request him to accept our hospitality. He seems to be a distinguished and respected individual, and surely deserves special caring and our best hospitality.”
आतिथ्यं गृह्यताम् एत्य प्रसादः क्रियतां त्वया ।
इति चैषो ऽर्थ्यतां पूज्यः पुमान् को ऽप्य् उत्तमो ह्य् असौ ॥ १२,१४.८२ ॥
एवं सखी तयोक्ता सा विचित्योद्यानवर्तिने ।
स्वस्वामिनीनिदेशं तं प्रह्वा तस्मै न्यवेदयत् ॥ १२,१४.८३ ॥
तच् छ्रुत्वा स नृपो वीरः सावहेलम् उवाच ताम् ।
एषैवातिथ्यम् अस्माकम् अन्यत् किम् उपयुज्यते ॥ १२,१४.८४ ॥
एतच् छ्रुत्वा तया गत्वा सख्या सा श्राविता तदा ।
मेने मान्यम् उदारं तं सर्वथा दैत्यकन्यका ॥ १२,१४.८५ ॥
ततश् चाकृष्यमानेव धैर्यपाशेन तेन सा ।
नृपेण मानुषायोग्ये ऽप्य् आतिथ्ये निःस्पृहात्मना ॥ १२,१४.८६ ॥
पत्यर्थं पार्वतीसेवापरिपाकसमर्पितम् ।
मत्वा तत् स्वयम् उद्यानं विवेशासुरपुत्रिका ॥ १२,१४.८७ ॥
विचित्रशकुनालापैर् वाताञ्चितलताभुजैः ।
विकीर्णकुसुमैर् आरान् नन्द्यमानेव पादपैः ॥ १२,१४.८८ ॥
उपगम्य च सा तत्र यथावत् प्रश्रयानता ।
आतिथ्यग्रहणार्थं तं प्रार्थयामास पार्थिवम् ॥ १२,१४.८९ ॥
ततः स सत्त्वशीलं तम् उद्दिश्योवाच तां नृपः ।
अनेन कथितां देवीम् इहाहं द्रष्टुम् आगतः ॥ १२,१४.९० ॥
गौरीं ध्वजपथप्राप्यपरमाद्भुतकेतनाम् ।
सा दृष्टा तदनु त्वं च कान्यातिथ्यार्थितात्र नः ॥ १२,१४.९१ ॥
The attendants then went to the garden, and having found the king sitting on a bench nearby, bowed to him and conveyed the message of their mistress.
The king answered nonchalantly “sitting in this garden is entertainment enough, what other form would entertainment would I require?”
The attendants went and reported this back to the maiden, who was surprised at his response. Here was a human, who had expressed no desire for the pleasures that she had offered him. Drawn by his absolute control on the self, the Asura maiden went into the garden herself. Maybe this is the husband that I had prayed for, she thought, as she walked towards the king.
The king saw her approaching him, the trees seemed to honor her by swaying and bending as she passed them, showering flowers on her…
She bowed in front of the king, and humbly requested him to accept her hospitality.
“I came here to have a darshana of the Devi, hearing about her magnificent temple, from this man over here”, said the king, pointing to Sattvaśīla. “We were guided by that magnificent flagpost, and we also saw this splendid city, had a beautiful darshana of the Devi…what other hospitality can we possibly need?”
The maiden replied…
to be continued…