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The king then called a meeting at his palace the very next day and described in detail Sattvaśīla’s devotion, and then rewarded him with wealth and land. “These rewards do not come close to what you deserve”, he proclaimed.
Sattvaśīla now lived the life of a prosperous man, but stayed with King Caṇḍasiṃha as one of his closest confidants.
एकदा तेन राज्ञा च स सिंहलपतेः सुताम् ।
याचितुं सिंहलद्वीपम् आत्मार्थं प्रेषितो ऽभवत् ॥ १२,१४.३२ ॥
तत्राब्धिवर्त्मना गच्छन्न् अर्चिताभीष्टदेवतः ।
आरुरोह प्रवहणं राजादिष्टैः सह द्विजैः ॥ १२,१४.३३ ॥
गते तस्मिन् प्रवहणे मध्यभागम् अशङ्कितम् ।
उत्तस्थौ जलधेस् तस्माद् ध्वजो जनितविस्मयः ॥ १२,१४.३४ ॥
अभ्रम्लिहाग्रः सुमहाञ् जाम्बूनदविनिर्मितः ।
विचित्रवर्णविचलद्वैजयन्तीविराजितः ॥ १२,१४.३५ ॥
तत्कालं चात्र सहसा समुन्नम्य घनावली ।
भृशं वर्षितुम् आरेभे ववौ तीव्रश् च मारुतः ॥ १२,१४.३६ ॥
तैर् वर्षवातैः स बलाद् आकृष्याधोरनैर् इव ।
आसज्यत ध्वजस्तम्भे तस्मिन् प्रवहणद्विपः ॥ १२,१४.३७ ॥
तावच् च स ध्वजस् तस्मिन् वारिधौ वीचिविप्लुते ।
वहनेन समं तेन प्रावर्तत निमज्जितुम् ॥ १२,१४.३८ ॥
One day the king sent Sattvaśīla on a mission, to the island of Laṅkā, and this mission would change both their lives. The king wanted Sattvaśīla to ask the ruler of Laṅkā the hand of his daughter in marriage.
Sattvaśīla didn’t want to delay his journey, and so he prayed to his kula devta and started out the very next day, along with a few Brahmins whom the king had appointed to accompany him.
The ship set sail and soon was in the high seas. After a while, the sea turned choppy, and suddenly, out of nowhere, arose a huge flag pole that startled everyone on the ship. Its top touched the clouds and it was made of gold, and had a lot of flags on it, each in a different color.
As it rose, thunder and lightning was heard, and a huge black cloud started to pour, resulting in a storm so ferocious that few had heard of, let alone experienced in person.
The ship was driven towards that huge flag post by the storm, much like an elephant is driven to a post by a mahout. The flag post then began to sink back into the rough seas, taking the ship along with it.
ततो द्विजास् ते तत्रस्थाश् चण्डसिंहं स्वभूपतिम् ।
उद्दिश्योद्घोषयामासुर् अभ्रह्मण्यं भयाकुलाः ॥ १२,१४.३९ ॥
तद् आकर्ण्यासहिष्णुश् च स्वामिभक्तेर् अनुध्वजम् ।
स सत्त्वशीलो निस्त्रिंशहस्तो बद्धोत्तरीयकः ॥ १२,१४.४० ॥
आत्मानम् अक्षिपत् तत्र निरपेक्षो महोदधौ ।
उदधेः कारणाशङ्की वीरः प्रतिविधित्सया ॥ १२,१४.४१ ॥
मग्ने च तस्मिन् वातोर्मिदूरोत्क्षिप्तम् अभज्यत ।
वहनं तच् च तत्स्ताश् च निपेतुर् यादसां मुखे ॥ १२,१४.४२ ॥
स च मग्नो ऽम्बुधौ तत्र सत्त्वशीलो निरीक्षते ।
यावत् तावद् ददर्शात्र पुरीं दिव्यां न वारिधिम् ॥ १२,१४.४३ ॥
तस्मिन् मणिमयस्थम्भैर् भास्वरे हेममन्दिरे ।
सद्रत्नबद्धसोपानवापीकोद्यानशोभिनि ॥ १२,१४.४४ ॥
कात्यायनीदेवगृहं मेरुप्रोन्नतम् ऐक्षत ॥ १२,१४.४५ ॥
तत्र प्रणम्य देवीं तां स्तुत्याभ्यर्च्य तदग्रतः ।
इन्द्रजालं किम् एतत् स्याद् इत्य् आश्चर्याद् उपाविशत् ॥ १२,१४.४६ ॥
Fearing the inevitable, the Brahmins started to call out to King Caṇḍasiṃha, crying out loud for help. When Sattvaśīla heard their cries, he could not hold back, such was his devotion towards his master. He tightened the cloth around his waist, grabbed his sword, and jumped into the churning sea, following the sinking flag.
As soon as he jumped off, the ship was carried further into the roaring waters, and it broke into pieces. All those aboard were killed instantly.
Sattvaśīla felt a moment of disconnection from the present, but when he found his senses and looked around him, he was astounded. He was in a magnificent city, but there was no trace of the ocean!
The city glittered with huge palaces of gold, that had bejeweled pillars, and adorned with gardens that had mighty tanks with steps made of precious gems.
In the middle of all this, was a large temple of Mā Durgā, as tall as Mount Meru, with walls of precious stones and a high pataka (flag) that was studded with jewels.
Sattvaśīla prostrated himself before the Devi, sang a स्तोत्रम् (stotram) in her praise, and then sat down there, wondering if he was in a dream and this was all Maya, or reality.
Suddenly, the door of the temple opened, and…
to be continued…