Thursday, July 26, 2012

Krishna and Satya

The King of Khosala Nagnajit was very worried. He had a very intelligent and skilled daughter – Satya. Marriage proposals poured in from all kingdoms for seeking her hand in marriage…Satya uniformly refused all of them….Nagnajit was in a fix. He then talked to Satya (she is sometimes called as Nagnajiti)

‘Satya! You have refused all the marriage proposals…Why?’ He demanded anxiously from Satya,

Satya already knew whom she wanted to marry…But she felt very shy to admit that to her father…and besides there was also the question of whether …the man…would be interested in marrying her. Satya considered her father’s question and decided the best answer to the question, ‘Father! Organize a swayamvara for me…I wish to choose only the bravest man and marry him…’

Nagnajit looked at her suspiciously and asked her, ‘Why? Are you going to organize a competition for the princes coming for the swayamvara?’

Satya gave a clear smile as she nodded her head, ‘Father, we have seven bulls…bulls which cannot be controlled easily…anyone who could tame the bulls and yoke them…I will marry only that man…’

Nagnajit looked suspiciously at his daughter. The bulls were huge and ferocious…they could not be easily controlled, unless the king was brave and intelligent and was actually good in dealing with animals…

With a sudden flash, Nagnajit then realized whom Satya was aspiring to get married to and smiled to himself. He wholly appreciated her choice. He also secretly hoped that his daughter would get married to the man….

Nagnajit then organized a huge swayamvar and invited the kings from all over the countries. It was also mentioned that a competition would be organized to decide who married the princess. The Kings and Princes had all heard of Satya and all of them came to try their luck at the competition.

Finally the great day came. All the kings had come and were warmly welcomed by the King of Khosala. Huge palaces were built for the coming guests and huge dining halls were prepared for them…

The kings were also came prepared to show off their wealth and power. They came with thousands of elephants and horses and presented the king with many precious jewels…

The arrangements were excellent and everyone was in a mood to enjoy the hospitality of the king. 

The king then sat and watched the people enjoy themselves as the Kings and princes marveled at the beautiful kingdom. Soon they all assembled at the place of the competition. King Nagnajit spoke to them in a commanding voice, ‘I wish to thank all the Kings and Princes for graciously coming for the swayamvar….’ A loud cheer went on as the King smiled and continued, ‘Satya, is very intelligent and skilled…’ All the kings looked at the beautiful princess sitting with the king and they all smiled, ‘I wish to find the bravest king for my daughter….For this I organize a competition for all of you gathered here….I have seven bulls in the arena…’ On the king’s signal, seven ferocious bulls raced inside the arena. The bulls looked hefty and well-built and looked like they could fell a man by goring at them…. The cheering outside the arena grew louder. Each group which had come with the particular king cheered for him. The people of Khosala cheered loudly for their princess…

The king spoke after the crowd had become quiet, ‘The princess would marry the first prince who could yoke the seven wild bulls together….’ The cheering started again as King Nagnajit said, ‘May the best among you win!’

The king sat down as the cheering went on for a long time. The contest started….

One king got inside the arena, where the seven bulls were placed. No sooner had the king entered the arena, the bull charged on him. The king tried stopping the bull but it was of no use. The king ran away followed by booing from the crowds….The princes and the Kings came forward….But none of them could yoke even a single bull, let alone all the seven of them… 

Soon the princes and Kings were angry and annoyed with Nagnajit, They went and talked to him angrily, ‘If you do not wish to get your daughter married…why bother calling all of us…’ One of sputtered angrily. Nagnajit looked stunned as the King continued as the others nodded their head, ‘You set this task, because you knew it was impossible to do it…’ The kings angrily shouted as Nagnajit. 

Nagnajit was in a fix. He knew that his contest had failed. Not only had the person whom he had wanted to come for the swayamvara, failed to come, the contest was actually back firing on him….If the princes and the Kings got angry…he would have a full scale war on his hands…The kings and the princes would take this as a personal insult and then….Naganjit also realized that even if he averted the war, he could never organize another swayamvara like this…It would not be as well attended as this…

Nagnajit prayed that any one of the Kings would win the competition….

As an answer to his prayers, two dark people drove up in a chariot. They had come alone, with no army…no pomp…no show…just the two of them…But the confidence with which they arrived said it all…It was as if the two of them knew that they were enough to meet up to anything that all the kings and princes together could throw…

Krishna got down from the chariot…Arjuna who was acting as his charioteer, waited for Krishna to get down as he steadied the horses. Arjuna then got down and tied the chariot and boldly walked towards Nagnajit who was being harassed by the princes and kings.

As everyone was watching Nagnajit, no one noticed a smiling Satya…She had come forward to pacify the kings and princess…But watching the Dark Lord with Arjuna, she shyly moved away and went back to her throne. 

Krishna bowed to Nagnajit. ‘I heard that there is a swayamvar for Princess Satya! I wish to try my luck at winning her hand…’ Krishna looked around at the Kings and princes and asked mildly, ‘Am I too late for the competition?’

Nagnajit knew that Krishna was mocking the kings and princes and he resisted the urge to laugh aloud. He shook his head as the princes and kings looked angrily. Nagnajit focused his attention at Krishna, ‘No, my Krishna! As I explaining to these fine people…these are the rules….anyone who tames those seven bulls and yokes them would win Satya’s hand…’

The kings and princes watched on as Krishna said, ‘I would like to do that, my King!’ Nagnajit nodded and gave his permission.

Krishna entered the arena, Nagnajit and Satya watched with baited breath. The other kings and princes were watching with a mixture of nervousness and anger…Krishna grew up among cowherds…he daily took the cows to graze in the cows in the forests near Vrindavan….He was very adept with dealing with animals…None of the kings realized that the competition was organized by Satya to make Krishna come for her… Some other kings were thinking…Krishna just talks a lot…what will he do with these bulls…he will also run away like the others

Arjuna watched the kings and princes for any trouble. He knew what the kings and princes were talking about….He was not worried about Krishna…the thought of Krishna failing never occurred to him…He was just worried about what would happen after Krishna won Satya’s hand. Arjuna was a warrior and a good one…He knew the reason why Krishna had dragged him to the Swayamvara…Krishna expected trouble…and had brought Arjuna along for safety….Arjuna smiled as he saw Krishna…

Krishna saw the bulls who charged at him. Krishna skillfully caught one of the bull by the horn and tackled it…Surprised the bull fell on the mud… Krishna slowly and surely with a confidence of handling animals caught every bull and yoked them together….

The kings and the princes saw the seventh bull being yoked….they had seen it but they could not believe it…The bulls which looked ferocious when they were in the arena, looked like docile house cows before Krishna…The expert manner in which Krishna yoked up the bulls and smiled at Satya made the kings very angry….

The drums were beaten and pipes were played….The princess of Khosala was about to be married….

In midst of the loud music and louder cheering, Krishna majestically walked back from the arena with the bulls tethered to the yoke. 

One of the king started as Krishna entered the hall, ‘This is not right…You have insulted us Nagnajit…’ He looked at a surprised Nagnajit. Nagnajit spoke surprised, ‘What is wrong? It was a competition for all kings and princess…Krishna is the ruler of Dwaraka…He yoked the bulls, what is so unfair about it…’

The king snorted, ‘Ruler? Shame of you Nagnajit….You call him a ruler…He grew up among cowherds and…’

Another king angrily came up, ‘Why…what is so noble about him…He killed his own uncle….’

A king angrily pulled out his sword and pointed it at Krishna, ‘I do not think you are worthy of Satya’s hand…You will have to answer to my sword, if your marry her…’

Krishna pushed the sword with the tip of his finger. ‘The father is willing…the daughter is willing…’ Krishna said as he took the hand of a radiant Satya, ‘…and I won the competition…and you think it is unfair….’ Krishna rolled his eyes.

Arjuna caught Krishna’s eyes. Krishna shook his head. Not here….outside…Arjuna nodded his head and kept a lookout for the kings and princes…

One of the kings shouted, ‘I wage war against you Krishna…I declare war against you for this insult…’ He looked supportively at the other kings. Everyone saw the two dark confident men with a radiant woman in between them. Slowly the kings all nodded, ‘Yes…war it is…’ 

The kings yelled and called out for their troops asking them to stop the three of the them…Nagnajit watched the three of them a little worried. Krishna however looked at his father-in-law and gave him a reassuring smile…Nagnajit felt comforted and smiled…

Outside the city walls, all the kings were ready and waiting for Krishna and Arjuna to come out. Krishna looked at the newly wed Satya and then at the army outside. He sighed, ‘Arjuna! I just got married…I am in no mood to fight…’ He looked with amused eyes at Arjuna…

Arjuna almost laughed, ‘I was about to suggest it Krishna…I will handle this, just stay here…’ He said.

Krishna watched his friend with amused eyes as Satya looked bewildered. Krishna held her hands and shook his head, ‘Don’t worry, Satya! Arjuna is more than a match for them…’ Satya watched the huge army in front of her and looked uncertainly. 

Arjuna first went to the Kings and princes. ‘Please listen to me…Krishna won Satya fairly and she also loves him…Let us leave it at that…’

A king snorted, ‘Is this how you fight Arjuna….I cannot understand how you became to be known as a brave warrior…Stop talking and let us see who is stronger…’ The king said confidently looking at his huge army behind him…

Arjuna sighed and went back to his chariot, ‘They want war…’ He said crossly to Krishna. Krishna shrugged not saying anything. 

Arjuna plucked out his Gandiva and twanged it. A sound like thunder came from it…The kings and the princes began to feel uneasy. They saw Arjuna fire his first arrow…What could one man a single man, do to an army….The kings and princes were about to find the answer to that question the hard way….

The arrows from the Gandiva flew so fast that the kings and the princes and their army could not even make out the arrow…it just whizzed past them with a ferociously furious speed…The kings shot back…but it was like fighting with the rain…torrents and torrents of arrows shot forth with no respite…

Arjuna however was not here to destroy the people…He shot the arrows such that it just hit the bows and arrows of the enemies and broke all of them…He then shot arrows which burnt the dresses of the warriors….

Without their dresses, the kings and the princes all ran away…

Arjuna turned and saw Krishna triumphantly. Krishna smiled and nodded forward. Arjuna drove Satya and Krishna back to the city of Dwaraka….

-From the Bhagawat Purana