Read the previous part here…
Vimala asked Śuddhapaṭa for his daughter’s hand in marriage for his son, and Śuddhapaṭa readily agreed.
They saw a good muhurata the next day, and the marriage was solemnized. Dhavala returned to his father’s house a happy man, his new bride in tow.
स कृतप्रश्रयः सर्वैः स्वस्राश्लिष्याभिनन्दितः ।
संबन्धिपृष्टकुशलो विश्रान्तश् च जगाद तान् ॥ १२,१३.१९ ॥
अहं मदनसुन्दर्या जामातुश् च निमन्त्रणे ।
तातेन प्रेषितो यस्माद् देवीपूजोत्सवो ऽस्ति नः ॥ १२,१३.२० ॥
श्रद्धाय चैतत् तद्वाक्यं यथार्हैः पानभोजनैः ।
ते संबन्ध्यादयः सर्वे तद् अहस् तम् उपाचरन् ॥ १२,१३.२१ ॥
प्रातर् मदनसुन्दर्या स्वशुर्येण च तेन सः ।
सहितो धवलः प्रायाद् गृहं तच् छ्वाशुरं प्रति ॥ १२,१३.२२ ॥
प्राप्य शोभावतीं तां च पुरीम् आत्मतृतीयकः ।
ददर्श निकटं प्राप्य स गौर्यायतनं महत् ॥ १२,१३.२३ ॥
निजगाद च तौ भार्याश्वशुर्यौ श्रद्धया ततः ।
एतम् एतां भगवतीं पश्यामो देवताम् इह ॥ १२,१३.२४ ॥
तच् छ्रुत्वा स श्वशुर्यस् तं निषेधं प्रत्यभाषत ।
इयन्तो रिक्तहस्ताः किं पश्यामो देवताम् इति ॥ १२,१३.२५ ॥
अहं तावद् व्रजाम्य् एको युवाम् अत्रैव तिष्ठतम् ।
इत्य् उक्त्वा धवलो द्रष्टुं देवीं तां स ततो ययौ ॥ १२,१३.२६ ॥
One day, a few months after the marriage, Madanasundarī’s brother came for a visit. He was received with a lot of love and respect. His sister embraced him and fed him well, and enquired about her father’s well-being.
He said “Everyone is fine. In fact, I have been sent here by our father to invite you and Dhavala to our house, for a puja that we have kept in the honor of Maa Durgā.”
They readily agreed, and spent the rest of the day catching up on the events that had transpired in the past few months.
The next day, Dhavala set out for this father-in-law’s house, with Madanasundarī and her brother. As they entered Śobhāvatī, he saw the great temple of Devi Durgā. “Come, let us visit this temple” he said to his brother-in-law.
His brother-in-law, in a feeble attempt to dissuade him, replied “But brother, how can we go empty-handed? Let us go home first, we can come back here later…”
Dhavala could not wait so long. “I am overcome with the urge to have a darshana. Please, give me some time, I will go and seek the Devi’s blessings. You both can wait here till I return.”
He then set out to have a darshana of his kula Devi Maa Durga.
प्रविश्यायतनं तस्याः प्रणम्य च विभाव्य च ।
ताम् अष्टादशदोर्दण्डखण्डितोच्चण्डदानवाम् ॥ १२,१३.२७ ॥
स विधिप्रेरणोत्पन्नबुद्धिर् एवम् अचिन्तयत् ॥ १२,१३.२८ ॥
जीवोपहारैर् विविधैर् इमां देवीं जनो ऽर्चति ।
अहं तु सिद्ध्यै किं नैतां प्रीणाम्य् आत्मोपहारतः ॥ १२,१३.२९ ॥
इति ध्यात्वैव तद्गर्भगृहाद् आदाय निर्जनात् ।
खड्गं सांयात्रिकैः कैश्चिद् देव्याः प्राक् प्राभृतीकृतम् ॥ १२,१३.३० ॥
बद्ध्वा शिरोरुहैर् घण्टाशृङ्खलायां निजं शिरम् ।
चिच्छेदैतेन खड्गेन तच् छिन्नं चापतद् भुवि ॥ १२,१३.३१ ॥
चिरं यावत् स नायाति तावद् गत्वा तम् ईक्षितुम् ।
तत्रैव देवीभवने तच्छ्वशुर्यो विवेश सः ॥ १२,१३.३२ ॥
सो ऽपि दृष्ट्वा तम् उत्कृत्तमूर्धानं भगिनीपतिम् ।
व्यामोहितस् तथैव स्वं शिरस् तेनासिनाच्छिनत् ॥ १२,१३.३३ ॥
When he entered the temple, he sat down and meditated for some time. He went into deep meditation on her mighty form, her defeating the Dānavas and flinging the mighty Mahiṣa Asura under her lotus-like feet…he was overwhelmed, and as if by a quirk of destiny, he said to himself…
“People worship Maa Durgā by sacrificing living creatures, so why should I not sacrifice my own self, the ultimate sacrifice, and obtain moksha or liberation, right at this moment?”
He then opened his eyes – the temple was empty. He spotted a sword that had been offered a while back by some pilgrims, lying at the side of the shrine. He picked it up, fastened his hair to the temple bell, and then cut it off in one stroke. His head fell to the ground, on the feet of the Devi. Dhavala fell to the ground, dead.
It had been a while now, and his brother-in-law started to get worried. After waiting for some more time, he decided to look for Dhavala, and entered the temple.
What he saw shocked him beyond belief. A few feet from him, Dhavala lay decapitated.
Not knowing what do to, and how to handle such a situation, he blamed himself for spoiling his sister’s life, and in a fit of depression, picked up the same sword and cut off his own head.
to be continued…