Another marriage, and another deception…

Read the previous part here

People started to notice his dejected appearance and alerted his father Prajñāsāgara, who came running to see what had happened. The son by then had fallen onto the ground, in stupor, babbling deliriously. From his speech, Prajñāsāgara managed to understand what had happened, and he felt embarrassed at this unexpected turn of events.

Nevertheless, he felt that the situation was out of his control, and didn’t have a clue as to what to do next.

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

स तं दृष्ट्वा झटित्य् एव गाढाभिष्वङ्गतो गतम् ।
सप्तमीं मदनावस्थां जगाद प्रकृतीर् नृपः ॥ १२,२२.६७ ॥

कथं ब्राह्मणनिक्षेपः कन्या सास्मै प्रदीयते ।
तया विना च नियतं पश्चिमाम् एत्य् असौ दशाम् ॥ १२,२२.६८ ॥

अस्मिन् नष्टे पितास्यैषो मम मन्त्री विनङ्क्ष्यति ।
एतन्नाशे राज्यनाशस् तद् इह ब्रूत का गतिः ॥ १२,२२.६९ ॥

इत्य् उक्तास् तेन राज्ञा ताः सर्वाः प्रकृतयो ऽब्रुवन् ।
राज्ञो धर्मं निजं प्राहुः प्रजानां धर्मरक्षणम् ॥ १२,२२.७० ॥

मूलं तस्य विदुर् मन्त्रं स च मन्त्रिष्व् अवस्थितः ।
मन्त्रिनाशे मूलनाशाद् रक्ष्या धर्मक्षतिर् ध्रुवम् ॥ १२,२२.७१ ॥

पापं च स्याद् द्विजस्यास्य ससूनोर् मन्त्रिणो वधात् ।
तस्माद् रक्ष्यो ऽयम् आसन्नो ऽवश्यं ते धर्मविप्लवः ॥ १२,२२.७२ ॥

दातव्या मन्त्रिपुत्राय विप्रन्यस्ता कुमारिका ।
कालान्तरागते विप्रे क्रुद्धे प्रतिविधास्यते ॥ १२,२२.७३ ॥

एवम् उक्तः प्रकृतिभिस् तथेति प्रत्यपद्यत ।
स राजा मन्त्रिपुत्राय दातुं तां कूटकन्यकाम् ॥ १२,२२.७४ ॥

In the meanwhile, the king heard of this, and came there in person. He saw the condition of the minister’s son, and called his advisors aside and said…

“This boy is in love, and in desperate stages of love! But how can I have him a girl who has been entrusted to me and left in my care? If he does not get her, he will surely die.”

“And if he dies, his father, who is also my minister, will die, and if he dies suddenly, my kingdom will be ruined….So what am I to do now?”

The king’s advisors replied…

“It is said that the primary duty of a king is the protection of his subjects, by ensuring a smooth conduct of the affairs of the kingdom.”

“Now, this smooth conduct depends on expert advice and good counsel, and good counsel is only obtained from good ministers, like Prajñāsāgara. If he dies all of a sudden, without us having found an able replacement, the kingdom will surely suffer.”

“Also, by indirectly causing the death of a Brāhman and his son, you will incur a great sin.”

“So our recommended course of action is to give the maiden in marriage to the minister’s son. This is the true way to uphold Dharmā. We will tackle the matter of the first Brāhman, once he is back. We may be able to placate him with wealth or position…”

The king agreed, and so decided to give Manaḥsvāmin, who was in female form, in marriage to the ministers son.

आनीतश् च स निश्चित्य लग्नं राजसुतागृहात् ।
कन्यारूपो मनःस्वामी तं जगाद महीपतिम् ॥ १२,२२.७५ ॥

अन्येनान्यार्थम् आनीताम् अन्यस्मै मां ददासि चेत् ।
कामं तद् अस्तु राजा त्वं धर्माधर्मौ तवाद्य तौ ॥ १२,२२.७६ ॥

अहं विवाहम् इच्छामि समयेनेदृशेन तु ।
एकशय्यां न नेतव्या पत्या तावद् अहं हठात् ॥ १२,२२.७७ ॥

यावत् तीर्थानि षण्मासान् परिभ्रम्य स नागतः ।
एवं न चेत् कृत्तजिह्वां दन्तैर् जानीहि मां मृताम् ॥ १२,२२.७८ ॥

Having decided thus, he summoned the female Manaḥsvāmin to his chambers and told her of his intentions.

Manaḥsvāmin replied…

O revered king, if you are determined to give me, one who has been entrusted to your care, to a person other than who was intended to be my husband, then I must comply.”

“For you are a king, and matters of justice and fairness are known to you…”

“But I will consent to this marriage only on one condition. I am not to be considered as his wife until my husband spends six months on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and other sacred teerthas on the way.”

“if this condition is not agreed to, let it be known that I will commit suicide immediately!”

The king said…

to be continued…