Indic Varta

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Nothing was visible inside. But the horse moved slowly into the obscure passage and eventually entered the Patal-loka or underworld with his master. After struggling for a long time a little glimpse of light was seen coming from a distance.“But where is the bloody monster?”, the prince exclaimed. At once, they got the sight of a beautiful town with a nice gorgeous palace that left him surprised and mesmerized at the same time. He whispered, “Wow! a wonderful town indeed. It reminds me of Indra’s abode. Isn’t it Kubalaya?”.

Madalsa and Ritudhwaj: An ancient love story of union and re-union from Markandeya Purana

Ancient India was not only a land of old-aged hermits and preachers but she has also given birth to many youths and lovers, who had garnered many strong characteristics and great ideals in their lives. And, keeping firm on these qualities they also tasted the success of bliss in their lives. Our story today revolves around the love story of one such couple. 

The great powerful king, Shatrujit had completed many yagnas or fire sacrifices. In fact, the Lord of heaven, Indra himself came down with his associates and accepted the Somaras of his yagna. As a result, a son was born to him. Everyone used to agree that the prince’s valour was much like Indra, intelligence quite the same as Brihaspati and looks comparable to Madan dev. His name was Ritudhwaj. He had many friends and specifically chose people of his age group as his companion in sports. His days were going awesome spending with his associates, the whole day out in the boundaries of forests or swimming in pools. Overall his life was full of fun.

Meanwhile one day, the two handsome sons of Ashwatara, the king of serpents from the Pataloka or underground came above the earth-surface, disguised in the dress of two Brahmin boys. There, they came across Shatrujit’s son and his companions and became friends with them. In a while, the two of them also joined them in sports. Daily they used to visit in the same way- hanging out throughout the day with Ritudhwaj and his companions and then returning to underworld after sunset and coming back to the world again on the next day. This routine continued for many days and eventually they were impressed by the affection of the prince. Day by day their bond grew stronger. However, they started to come back home late and after they returned home, they could not sleep properly as they would just think about the time they spent above and eagerly waited for the next morning to come.

Ashwatara detected this irregular routine of his sons and one night found them restlessly lying on their bed.

-To follow up, he asked, “Hey my Kumars, you all visit the world daily and I have noticed that you cannot stay even a single day without going up there on the land. How are you enjoying there?”.

-The two guys replied, “Father, there is a king above. His name is Shatrujit and our friend Ritudhwaj is his son. Our buddy excels in everything from beauty to intellect and might. We enjoy a lot getting along well with him throughout the day. That’s great fun!”

-The father further asked, “It seems that your friend is very well-cultured and educated. When meritorious people like my sons are praising him in this way, then Ritudhwaj must be blessed. By the way, you have become so close to him, but have you ever carried any gift for him? You should do something to make him happy. You know! I have no shortage of gems in my store. Can gift him anything from there by your choice!”

-The two Nagaputras said, “To whom? To Ritudhwaj? He is just an awesome and lucky guy. He does not lack in anything. In terms of knowledge also, no one can beat him. This guy is self-independent and does not need or seek anyone’s help. Even we also see ourselves as incapable of satisfying him, whose treasures are also much more than us. Since, you have started this subject of conversation, well… then, let us elaborate on his personal life that we have heard from his mouth. You can relate to them now!”.

The story of Ritudhwaj as narrated by the Nagas was as follows-

One day, a sage named Galab visited the palace of Shatrujit with a handsome white horse. In return, the king also welcomed the wise man with warm respect following all the rites.

-While asked about his visit to the king, the Rishi complained saying, “O Rajan, there is a ferocious demon. He is disturbing my ashrama very much! He daily takes various forms of elephant, lion, tiger, wolf and any other wild animal as per his wish every time and interrupts our tapasya.  He starts tormenting us in whatever wicked ways he can and once done over with his mischiefs leaves behind the whole ashram devastated”.

“But Rishivar, you can just easily destroy him in a glance with your great Siddhis of Tapasya, right?”, asked the king.

 “Yes, you are absolutely right. Although I have the ability to burn him down into ashes. But by doing that I will diminish my power of penance. So, I have chosen to back away. Instead, we are tolerating everything in silence. Believe me or not, we are just undergoing through a very tough time”. He let out a deep sigh and continued saying, “However, you know, meanwhile an amazing thing happened. Similar to the frustration I have shown now, once I was worried and planning deeply about our future thinking of what will happen to us next. Suddenly, the horse you are seeing with me now came down to my hermitage from the sky. At the same time, a mysterious revelation from the heaven was also heard. The divine voice told me that this horse is been gifted to me by Surya deva, the Sun god. This animal is so energetic that it will not get tired even if it comes back traveling throughout the globe without any halt. Do you know… it can maintain its high speed even in sky, water, mountains or underground. Let me introduce this talent named Kubalaya. The voice also revealed that your son Ritudhwaj has the ability to destroy the demon ridding on this mysterious horse”. Taking pause, Galab now requested, “Please, if you make some hardship in arranging the mission then this poor Brahmin can without any hindrance go on continuing his Tapasya. Also, by performing the noble act your son will also be renowned in the name of Kubalayashwa”.

-Hearing those words, the ruler happily said, “I am really feeling swollen with pride that my son is chosen for this Dharmik act and Satkarya”.

Straight away he summoned his son and making him understand all his duties, handed over the horse in his hand. And, charged with an important task and to prove his full abilities this time, the prince proudly rode the horse, buckled up and taking Galab behind set forth for the ashram.

Then, Ritudhwaj spent some days with Galab and his associates and removed all the little obstacles that the residents of the hermitages have been facing day and night.

Nonetheless, the final day came when the people were found fleeing, screaming in fear leaving their worship in the twilight, as the demon in disguise of a bear appeared there. Hearing a noise of tumult, not wasting a single moment, Ritudhwaj rushed in that direction riding the horse and found the pig rubbing its bushy head against the body of Galab. Patalketu also saw him and breaking out from there started running in the opposite direction with all his demonic force like the flash of a projected arrow. The prince made no late in getting who the pig was in reality and drove Kubalaya towards him. How can the demon match the pace of the divine horse? Ultimately he had to come in front of Ritudhwaj. Instantly the prince hit the swine with an Ardhachandra arrow (an arrow with a tip in the form of half moon). Getting a solid bashing like this could the demon stand there anymore? Being wounded, he just made a terrifying noise and fled away with more speed to save his life. Determined to destroy the demon totally that day, Ritudhwaj followed him on the horse wherever he ran, may be that was the mountains, forests, riverbanks or bushes. While running, at once, the pig fell inside a crater on his path and following him the prince also entered the dark pit at the same speed.

Nothing was visible inside. But the horse moved slowly into the obscure passage and eventually entered the Patal-loka or underworld with his master. After struggling for a long time a little glimpse of light was seen coming from a distance.

“But where is the bloody monster?”, the prince exclaimed.

At once, they got the sight of a beautiful town with a nice gorgeous palace that left him surprised and mesmerized at the same time.

-He whispered, “Wow! a wonderful town indeed. It reminds me of Indra’s abode. Isn’t it Kubalaya?”.

They entered the castle breaking the door. Walking slowly, they wandered around the whole place. But, what a shock! they could not find any single human face there. Suddenly after roaming for a long time, he encountered a beautiful woman in a room walking tensely and quickly. The noble guy moved slowly towards the lady and threw lots of questions at her in one breath- “Who are you? From where have you come? Where will you go? Who owns this castle?”

However, the lady did not bother to reply to him back and turning her face ran away hurriedly upstairs.

-The prince thought, “I am unable to see anyone here in this vast house except the lady. She is also not opening her mouth and going more inside. Anyway, let me follow this female. I don’t fear anyone”. As per his thoughts, he tied Kubalaya to one corner and moved inside alone.

Next, he entered a room and what he found inside was totally unexpected. There he saw a girl lying on a golden bed. Seeing such an attractive lady in such a lonesome area, the prince was surprised.

-The prince started thinking, “Her gorgeousness is unmatched. She can easily defeat Rati, the wife of Madan deva, the love god in a beauty contest. Is she the devi or goddess of Patalpuri?”.

-On the other end, the woman also looked at the prince in the same way and pondered in her mind, “What a great looks to die for… uff God! How can anyone be so handsome? Is he a devata, or Gandharva or the Lord of knowledge himself”.

Thinking this, the lady sat up on her bedstead, but staying stable for some time fainted and fell on her bed again.

-The prince stepped forward to console her politely addressing, “Chill out! Don’t fear. Don’t fear”.

The first lady whom Ritudhwaj saw previously arrived there and started to swing a fan made of palm leaf to cure her soon.

“Please tell me, who this noble lady is? Why did she black out like this after seeing me?”, the prince asked.

Ignoring him, the lady continued serving the other woman without answering. Her care slowly made the lady get up again.

-Now, the woman opened her mouth for the first time and told her, “Friend, this good-looking man in front of you has come here riding on a horse. He is asking about you. If you permit me, I can give your introduction to him”.

The pretty woman whispered something in her ears and gave her the sign to go forward with her expression.

-Then, without any pretense, the lady disclosed everything to Ritudhwaj, “O stranger, we don’t know who are you, from where you have come? Meet my friend, she is Madalsa,  daughter of Viswavasu, the ruler of Gandharvas. Till now she is staying here alone after Patelketu, the son of demon Vajraketu kidnapped her. She was playing happily in her garden. Suddenly a terrifying darkness came down and the monster pulled her here by force before anybody can understand. He has also threatened to marry her on the coming auspicious day. He expects to marry her on the next thirteenth. But, my friend is not agreeing to this marriage. Obviously, the rascal doesn’t deserve her. In the meantime, the mother of the devatas, the holy cow Surabhi has come here and informed her that there is nothing to worry about. That evil will not get her as the lifespan of the demon is just one day. The next day, a prince will hit him with his arrow as he would go for disturbing the sages in the disguise of a pig. That man is only suitable to be your future husband.”

-The woman added up saying, “O gentleman, now listen about me. I am Kundala, a tapasyi and the mental child of Vindhyaban and wife of Pushkarmali. Another demon Nishumbha has killed my husband. From then onwards, I was wandering in the holy places in search of salvation to get free. As soon as I heard the news that my dear friend is abducted, I came here. Here I met her and till then gave company to her. Well, when I went outside to see whether the shameless Patalketu is actually beaten up by somebody, I indeed found him dead, powerfully stuck by an arrow. Again, my friend has lost consciousness in seeing you. This might be in shame or confusion or out of any hope or surprise”. “I think this is due to your infatuating handsomeness. Am I right Madalsa? What do you say?”, she  made fun of her friend and turning to the prince she enquired, “Well… are you that…?”

-Hearing Kundala’s words, the warrior smiled and came forward saying, “O beauty, I am Ritudhwaj, son of Raja Shatrujit. I found a pig creating annoyance in the ashrama of those Rishis and shot my arrow. It was harshly wounded but couldn’t find where it hid then. So, his search made me come here on the horseback”.

Now, knowing about the identity and deeds of the prince Madalsa again put her face down with love, delight and shyness merged together. No words came from her mouth, apart from the fact that there were tears of joy in her eyes.

-Also, being happy for her friend Kundala said, “Then, why make an unnecessary delay? Mata Surabhi’s worlds are always infallible. You seem to speak the truth. Let’s proceed to the next”.

-Ritudhwaj was ready for his reply. He said, “I only abide by my father’s orders. I cannot make such a crucial decision for my life without his permission. Let me return to my home first. After that, I will definitely come back and organize our marriage ceremony full of lights in the most pompous way”.

-In return, Kundala appealed saying, “O Veer. Don’t knock back. My friend is not any ordinary girl. One needs long penance to get her hand. Though there is a certain glow down in her charms at present, still can’t you pick out the divine connection in her beauty? It is your duty to accept her. Trust me… if you marry her now here and then, take her to your father, he will also be happy”.

The guy was convinced by this proposal and by his affirmation, Kunadala arranged the whole ceremony. Tumburu, the celestial musician among the Gandharvas and their family priest was summoned. He immediately brought all the necessary articles for the wedding to the Patal-loka and helped them to tie the bond as per sacred rules. On the other hand, Madalsa could not control her ecstasy. And, her joy was equally shared and reciprocated by Ritudhwaj. Step by step, the sacred fire burnt up, sacrifice was given through the ghrita or the clarified butter, the tune of the mantras echoed and the auspicious ceremony was completed. No doubt, the newlyweds were witnessing the happiest moment of their life. And, finishing all her responsibilities, Kundala, who was also happy for her friend, set for pilgrimage again.

However, a time of darkness has arrived again. As the couple tied in the nuptial knot and was preparing to leave the underworld cheerfully on Kubalaya, a group of demons arrived there to accomplish the tasks left over by Patalketu and stood blocking their path.

“Alas! Alas! He is taking her right away… taking her away”, shouted the demons bursting the curtain of the ears pointing out “Kill him! Kill him”.

They were all armed with various fierce weapons. In fury and applying full force, they started showering them on him encircling from every side. However, in no time the fearless prince eased off all of them midway in the air with great expertise. This enhanced the anger of the demons more and more and this was also finally destructed by the warrior as he threw the dangerous Twastra weapon that the monsters could not stop. The way in which sixty thousand sons of King Sagar were smashed by the fire of rage from Sage Kapila’s eyes, similarly, in the flame of that divine weapon, gradually all the evils present there were exhausted, leaving no trace behind.

Riding on Kubalaya, picking up Madalsa and taking her lady love behind, Ritudhwaj reached the gate of the underworld. The impressed woman was now more delighted as the light of the world fell on their face after so many days. They chose to go for a trip in their honeymoon phase, enjoying the beauty of the forest to the fullest on Kubalaya, walking in the bushes and among the trees, swimming in the clear water of lakes and tasting delicious fruits from the tree. Ultimately, after all their satisfaction was over they set for the kingdom. As estimated, at that time Shatrujit was the proudest of all in his kingdom for both his son’s victory and marriage with the Gandharva princess. He welcomed his son and daughter-in-law inside, heard all the events and blessed the couple.

Can’t reveal in words about the kind of crackers, music and catering arranged for everyone in the kingdom, who gladly got together in their reception dressed up well and how long they enjoyed the food!

Slowly but surely, the noble wife of Ritudhwaj beavered away at earning the love and respect of everyone in the palace by her behavior and dutifulness. Above all, needless to say, Ritudhwaj and Madalsa’s life were very happy.

As a savior of public riding on the horse named Kubalaya, the people gradually started calling him by another name- “Kubalayashwa.”

-After a few months passed like this, one day, Shatrujit called Ritudhwaj and said – “O son, are you aware of the fact that when the sages sit in meditation in the forest, how many obstacles come to them? Kumar Ritudhwaj, why don’t you yourself take out time for sometime, visit there to delve into and act on the rising issues?”

On receiving the king and father’s order, the prince rode out every morning on Kubalya to review the situation in the ashramas which used to drop him off at home at noon. Then, he used to spend the rest of the day till night with his Madalsa. This was continuing for a long time until, at last, one day, Patalketu’s younger brother Talketu visited there to calm the fire of revenge that he stored in his heart for many days. The treacherous guy disguised himself in the attire of a holy sage built a beautiful ashram on the banks of river Yamuna and coolly sat in meditation but remembering his previous enmity running every time in his wicked mind.

-As the prince came there, he was absolutely surprised thinking “Was this place not empty before? Now, this ashram is here, suddenly. But, how?”. Nonetheless, as usual, the fearless Ritadhwaj entered that ashram.

Managing to hide his brother’s enmity towards Ritadhwaj that he has been stuck to, the sage brought a fake smile making a happy face.

-He said, “O young man. I desire to make a wish to you. Look how I have been meditating here for a long time but unable to achieve the taste of success. Now, I am thinking of doing some Yajna and you know for this I need to pay Dakshina at the end. But, you tell me, where will I, a poor ascetic get that much money? I beg you, please solve my financial issue”.

-Hearing the request the simple-minded prince asked, “O Rishivar, tell me how can I help you right at this moment?”

“O prince, I can see the shining necklace on your throat. If you kindly give that then for my needs it will be enough. You never leave anyone’s prayer unfulfilled. Hence, I also hope that my wish will also be fulfilled today. I have one more request for you. I will be chanting the Varuna mantra in the water for the nourishment of all the people of your land. Since none of my disciples are present at this moment, so you will protect this ashram of mine. Please take responsibility”, the monster urged in an innocent tone.

Ritudhwaj was totally unable to understand the hypocrisy.

-He opened the expensive ornament hanging around his neck and said, “Done. I am now here to protect your ashram. You can go to Yamuna water and perform your process of yagna. I assure you that until you come, I will protect your ashram”.

Talketu had great fun in mind hearing those words and took a dip in the holy water of Yamuna but did not get up. He directly rose to a different place taking a deep breath that took him near the kingdom. He went to king Shatrujit’s court and ratted on making a sad face, “O Maharaja, you sent your son to protect us right? But what should I say about the mishap? Today one demon appeared and came face to face with our prince and a fight started. Both of them were leaving no chance for his opponents till ultimately the monster pierced our prince’s chest with a spike”.

-Having a sudden shock, with eyes full of tears the old king asked, “What the hell are you talking?”.

-The evil continued his lie saying, “Yes Maharaja, then the prince fell down and his horse started to shout. The demon has run away with the horse. We all are very saddened by this and have come here to complete the death sacrifice of our beloved prince with utmost care. All these occurred in front of me. He actually sacrificed his life for us. I am feeling very distressed in grief”. Then he moved forward and handed over the ornament that he took from Ritudhwaj and said, “O king, perform all your duties for this and after-life remembering the glorious deeds of our brave prince every time. Look, I brought this necklace. Keep it to yourself. We are ascetics. We do not need any treasure. Now, let me return”.

Talketu said this and left leaving everyone in the palace sad and crying. Madalsa fell unconscious after seeing her husband’s belonging. After regaining consciousness she started crying without stopping and ultimately this choked her throat and took away her last breath. Thus, the death of these two young lives left the whole palace upset. Soon, the mourning spread outside and wiped out the happiness of Shatrujit’s entire kingdom.

Though the king cried a lot initially, however, he soon managed to control his senses. After all, he had his duty to fulfill as the leader of his people. He came forward and comforted everyone.

“Hey, the people of my kingdom, look my brave son has died trying to save a holy man and his wife has accepted the same path hearing the news. What can be of more fortune for everybody of us? Stop weeping over the noble death of the two”, he shouted.

Thus, he consoled the whole kingdom and even managed to calm down his queen who also supported him in this tough time. He then fulfilled all his next duties by performing the last rites in the waters of Yamuna.

On the other end, the traitorous demon came out of water in front of gullible Ritudhwaj who has been waiting calmly for a long time on the banks.  He said, “Thanks of lot man. You really have done lots of favors for me. I will remain highly grateful. Yes, my yagna is a success. Now, you please return to your home. Your family must be waiting. Hurry up!”.  Not waiting for a single second, the prince went for his kingdom riding on his horse.

Clip-clop… clip-clop!..

“What a shocking gloom has grasped my kingdom. Why is such melancholia? Kubalaya are you feeling the same as me?”, murmured the surprised young man as he just put his step into his homeland.

Now, it was not late for the people to figure out that the news they have heard previously was an utter lie. Gathering around, they all followed the prince to the palace. Seeing their son, his parents were happy and still felt sorry for Madalsa.

“O father, what happened? Nobody on the way seemed to be happy. They are all sad for some unknown reason that I am unable to comprehend. What is troubling every one of you. Please tell me right now?”, craved the prince.

The king revealed everything to him that has happened. Who would not be saddened if were in the place of Ritudhwaj? But being a strong man and a prince, he managed to wipe out his tears and pain within his heart.

“If I weep, this will not be a good example for my subjects”, he thought inside, and “I will never remarry”, declared with a broken heart.

He continued his days taking care of his old parents and indulging in entertainment with his close companions.

-The two snake children stopped their narration here.

-After telling this pathetic story they asked Ashwatar, “You were urging us to present a gift? Now, tell us father, what gift can bring him joy? By what we can see satisfaction on his face? Till then he does not cast his eyes on any woman. Can we give him any woman of equivalent qualities as Madalsa had? That replacement is no longer possible”.

Saying these, the two serpents became silent leaving their father in deep thought.

“Let me see what I can sort out”, Ashwatara sighed and left.

Then, the king of the serpents went to a pilgrimage site in the Himalayas called Plakshavataran with his brother Kambal and sat in deep penance to please devi Saraswati. After some time, the day came when the goddess was satisfied and came down to give him his desired boon in a divine form.

-Ashvatara urged, “May I be an eloquent singer in my life from now!”.

The goddess granted the Nagaraja’s request, gifted them sweet melodious voices, and disappeared.

Next, he climbed the peak of Kailasa and started singing hymns in the praise of Lord Shiva through his soothing voice. Satisfied with that, Shiva came to give him what he wants. Seeing Shiva, Ashvatara bowed down in joy and said – “O my benevolent lord,  Ritadhvaja is the son of Shatrujit Raja and best friend of my two sons. His wife Madalsa passed away. I want her to be my daughter as a blessing. But she must be in the same condition as she was during her expiry retaining the same form. And, also let her remember all the previous happenings in her life. This is the reward I pray for”.

Yes, Mahadeva fulfilled his prayer by saying, “Tathastu. Your desire will come true. Arrange a Sraddha, the death ritual for your ancestors. Then you accept the mid part of the food offered in the form of Pind. Remembering me, offer the oblations to your forefathers. You will Madalasa coming out from your middle hood”.

Thus, as per Lord Shankar’s words Madalsa actually emerged from there. As she was in the same form retaining all the memories she had during her death, she got puzzled when she saw Ashwatara in front of him.

-She asked in a trembling voice, “Who are you, the one with a huge hood? What is the name of this place? How did I get here? My husband is a very strong and brave person but died at the hands of a demon. I was unconscious by hearing the news. I don’t know what happened after that.”

In reply, Ashwatara said with an assuring voice, “Hey lady! Good to see you. I am Ashwatara, the king of snakes. This Patalpuri is my kingdom.”

Madalsa was quite obviously shocked in fear as she heard the word about Patalpuri. Seeing her trembling while 

-Asvatara tried to convince her new daughter saying, “Have no fear. You will be glad to know that Ritdhvaja did not die to protect the sages. Patalketu’s brother Talketu, the great conjuror, tricked Kumar, taking away his necklace and lying to everyone in the palace. This made you die in grief. The price had returned safely into the kingdom and as soon as he heard your news he got an immense shock and vowed not to marry again. I have two sons and both of them are very dear and near to Ritudhwaj. They play together. Seeing him in trouble and for my children’s sake, I made you born again through pleasing the Gods. Please stay back at my place for some time and later on I will arrange your reunion with Rithadhwaj. For now, let us not reveal the fact to anyone and maintain your secrecy”.

-Next, he went to his sons and told them, “Till now you both are unable to do any good from your friend. Now, bring him to my palace anyhow. I want to meet him once”.

-To obey their father’s instructions the two serpents went up again in the form of human beings and while playing insisted Ritudhwaj by saying, “Hey buddy, our father wishes to see you once. Can you come with us?”.

The prince agreed immediately and went with his friend. He thought that their home would be situated on the other side of the river bank but they took his hand and entered the underworld. There, the two snakes came to their original form of snakes and seeing their hoods the prince was stunned.

-The two serpents assured him saying, “We are the sons of the king of snakes Nagaraj. This is Nagpuri. Don’t fear us, friend”.

He was again surprised and amazed by entering the streets and lanes of the city.

-“Is it another heaven?”, Ritudhwaj exclaimed in astonishment.

Then they moved inside the palace of the king. There Ashwatara was sitting on his throne and two beauties were fanning him from two sides. Seeing his persona Ritudhwaj was impressed.

“Meet our father, Ashwatara”, his two friends said.

The prince touched the feet of the king and Ashwatara also blessed him a lot.

-The ruler of the snakes said, “O son, I know that you have nothing to run out of. But still, today you are my guest. Tell me what you desire. I also lack nothing. I would present you with whatever you wish to have. Diamonds, gems, jewelry – what do you want?”

-Ritudhwaj replied, “Yes father, I am also a prince. What should I lack?”.

By their invitation, Ritudhwaj stayed for some time in the palace. On the other hand, Ashwatara did his best to keep him happy and get rid of his sorrow. Further, during this stay, many attempts were made to make the guest disclose his inner thoughts, but every time the introvert Ritudhwaj clammed up the topic with his words.

-Then, one day, again he poked Ritudhwaj with the same question, “Is there anything still left that you desire in your life?”.

-The two Nagaputras who were listening to their conversations interrupted this time saying, “Father, our friend has only one sorrow. He had lost his beloved wife. Her name was Madalsa. He always remains anxious about the impossible, which is to see her once again. If she comes back to his life again, only then my friend will be satisfied”.

-Ashwatara smiled and said, “Well, I have the power to do that. I know Maya. You can rely on me. I can bring her back. Do you want to see?”.

-Then, as fixed up, he took them to some distance from there and pointed his finger saying, “Were not you waiting for this? Take a good look there. Doesn’t she belong to you?”.

The prince can clearly see his lost wife there

-“Dear, O dear”, Ritudhwaj rushed towards her anxiously. But, Ashwatara interrupted him on the mid way.

“No no. Hold on! Don’t move a step further. If you somehow touch her, she will disappear forever”, said the king letting Ritadhwaj down.

The prince did not expect these words and hearing those he fell to the ground and fainted.

Thus, Madalsa also witnessed how he also lost consciousness just like she fainted hearing the news of her demise. Everybody present there saw Ritudhwaj’s love for his deceased wife Madalsa.

Ashwatara came forward and helped in bringing his consciousness with care. However, as soon as he got over, he lifted his two hands in front uttering crazily, “She is mine! She is only mine!’”.

– “Ha.. ha… O, dear son. That was a joke. We were examining you. Do not take my words seriously anymore. She is the real Madalsa standing in front of you. Go ahead and meet her”, said the king being symathetic towards the pitiable condition of the guy, and further, slowly disclosed to him all the truths about how he got her back to life.

Hearing all these, Ritudhwaj could not resist his joy.

“Will remain ever grateful to you all, O king”, said the brightened-up lover to his friends and their father.

“Then hope you won’t mind if I address you as ‘my son-in-law’… Will you?.. Ha… Ha!”, joined old Ashwatara in the mood of celebration with all the other young people present there, laughing out loudly.

Ritudhwaj remembered his horse Kubalaya that immediately appeared there from the void. Riding on it the couple returned home. As they narrated the whole event everybody in the kingdom were burst out with joy and celebration.

The lovers met each other for the first time in Patal-loka and again got re-united in a similar place. Their initial meeting might be due to any divine inference or just a mere coincidence, but the love they slowly raised in their hearts was due to their common understanding of life that includes higher ideals, innocence, commitment, patience, efforts to fight back, care for each other, distributing that devotion more towards the welfare of others and finally search for universal bliss. All of these in turn helped to pave all the possible paths for their ultimate reunion. Also, the detachment that they went through also taught them huge wisdom that in turn helped them to live a very successful life journey in later days. Needless to say, Ritudhwaj and Madalsa had a very happy life and always kept up their good deeds. Moreover, their love story and noun good behavior as king and queen spread everywhere, later on. Madalsa is remembered in history for her extreme wisdom. She used to give her children the knowledge of Brahma Gnana on her lap while singing lullabies. On the other hand, Ritudhwaj gained popularity in the name, Kubalayashwa Naresh after the name of his pet horse, Kubalaya, who had produly neighed while accompanying and supporting his master throughout the entire journey.


Sachitra Kishore Puran Samagra by Din Bhaktadas, Akshyay Library

Upendrakishore Rachanabali

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