Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were happily residing in Kailash. Once Goddess Parvati requested Lord Shiva, "Will you take me to Nandankanan?"
Lord Shiva smiled and looked questioningly at Goddess Parvati, "Why?"
Goddess Parvati said, "I have heard that the tress there are the most beautiful and hold many mysteries within them I would like to see such a place myself "
Lord Shiva smiled and nodded his head.
The next day Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva went to Nandankanan. There the Goddess was wonder struck on seeing the beautiful trees and flowers there. She looked around gazing in wonder. She looked at one tree in particular and turned to Shiva, "Why is this tree so different from the others?"
Lord Shiva smiled, "It is not an ordinary tree, Parvati That is the Kalpataru."
Goddess Parvati looked astonished and turned her gaze from the tree to Lord Shiva as she saw the Kalpataru the tree which could grant any wish.
"Is it really the Kalpataru?" Goddess Parvati whispered looking at the tree.
Lord Shiva laughed, "Well you can test it yourself. You can wish for anything."
Goddess Parvati looked teasingly at Lord Shiva and closed her eyes. Then she spoke, "Kalpataru! I wish to have an intelligent and beautiful daughter now."
Goddess Parvati opened her eyes to see a beautiful baby at the base of the tree! She picked it up and cuddled it.
"Ashokasundari! You are Ashokasundari!" She sang as she kissed the baby.
Right in front of their eyes, the baby grew to a beautiful young woman!
She bowed to Goddess Parvati, "Mother! I was created for you What do you want me to do?"
"Go forth and enjoy yourself my child!" Goddess Parvati said. "When the time is right, you will have Nahusha as your husband "
Ashokasundari blessed by her mother and father roamed about the gardens of Nandakanan.
Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva returned back to Kailash.
Near Nandanakanan, there lived an asura Hunda. When Hunda saw Ashokasundari, he was spell bound by her beauty .
He went to her, "Beautiful lady! Will you marry me?" He spoke gruffly pulling Ashokasundari towards him.
Ashokasundari pushed Hunda back and shook her head, "No! I do not wish to marry you I wish to marry the person who was chosen for me by my mother," Ashokasundari said smiling, and was about to walk away when Hunda blocked her way.
"You don’t even know who it is that you are going to marry. You are willing to wait for someone whom you don’t know. Can’t you just marry me? I am begging you."
Ashokasundari shook her head once more, "My mother Parvati has chosen this man for me. I will marry no other person other than him." She insisted again.
By now Hunda was annoyed. The nerve of the woman to refuse to marry him one of the most powerful asuras in the world..
Hunda angrily caught Ashokasundari by her hand and pulled her, "I am Hunda " He said angrily, " I am the most powerful asura in the world .When I come and ask you for something, you should do it to me immediately," Hunda said becoming more and more red as he spoke.
Ashokasundari pushed Hunda with all her might.
As the asura fell back Ashokasundari pulled out her sword and pointed it at him and looked at him with his eyes blazing, "How dare you force me to marry you I have told you I am not interested? Now get lost before I lose me temper."
Hunda saw that there was no point in angering Ashokasundari anymore. He knew that if he pushed her any further, she could never accept to marry him Besides she was in her own territory. Hunda wondered whether he could get her out of Nandakanan..After that probably....
A few days later, a young woman was sitting near Nandakanan looking very unhappy and dejected.
Ashokasundari had just finished her morning prayers when she saw the beautiful woman. She went towards her, "What is the matter? You look so unhappy. Why?"
The woman looked at Ashokasundari and looked at the ground looking brokenhearted. Ashokasundari came forward and sat beside the woman, "What has happened sister? You look unhappy. Is there anything I can do to?"
The woman took a deep breath as tears poured out of her eyes and she finally spoke, "I have no one no one of my own."
Ashokasundari stroked the woman’s hand looking at her waiting for her to continue.
The woman said, "I just lost my husband. He...He...is not not coming back. He is dead," the woman said choking on the last word.
Ashokasundari looked at the woman feeling sorry for the woman. The woman continued, "I..can’t think of going back to my our house anymore. It feels so lonely. I feel so alone," The woman sobbed quietly wiping the tears from her eyes.
Ashokasundari shook her head. "Sh! Sh! Listen, I will come and stay with you for some days. It will probably help you You will not be alone anymore," She said looking at the woman.
The woman’s face brightened when she heard this, "You..You really would come with me? You are such a nice person thank you so much!"
Soon Ashokasundari and the woman left for the woman’s house. As Ashokasundari went near the house, as a feeling of unease came over her.
The house was in the middle of the dense forest What sort of people would stay in the middle of the dense forest? She wondered. However she did not say anything.
When they reached the home, Ashokasundari looked around the house and was about to ask the woman, when she found the woman missing!
She looked again and found no sign of the woman. She went around the house and found it deserted. Feeling frightened Ashokasundari was about to call out for the woman, when she saw a rough hairy hand close her mouth and pull her towards it.
She could smell the stale breath of the man as it whispered, "I told you to marry me when I asked you didn’t I?"
Ashokasundari looked stunned to hear the voice of Hunda! She realized that the woman must have been Hunda in disguise She struggled against the strong grip of the monster as the monster’s grip tightened.
Hunda pushed Ashokasundari back and she hit the tree behind her as her vision blurred for a minute. Before she could get up Hunda came close to her Ashokasundari pushed Hunda with all her strength.
Hunda was lying dazed as Ashokasundari spoke angrily, "How dare you touch me without my permission? For this I curse you," Hunda was terrified, as his expression paled,
"I, Ashokasundari curse you that you will be killed by the man, who will become my husband. You will be killed by Nahusha!" Ashokasundari intoned angrily. Saying this Ashokasundari vanished from there and went back to the heavens.
Hunda was stunned at the curse.
He slowly thought things over.
Ashokasundari was destined to marry Nahusha. However, Ashokasundari has not yet married Nahusha because he has not yet come on earth. That probably meant that Nahusha has not even born on earth now. Hunda’s eyes narrowed as he realized the truth, If he killed Nahusha before Nahusha grew up to kill him. Then Hunda would become invincible.
Hunda smiled slyly.
-From the Padma Purana