Thursday, August 3, 2017

Revathi and Balarama - Part 2 of 2

"Why don't you tell us about yourself, king?" Krishna asked the king, as they had reached the kingdom of Dwaravathi. The moats of the country were drawn in and the princess and the king were treated with utmost respect.
It was only after this that Krishna started talking. Balarama for his part was strangely silent. If Krishna found that odd, he made no mention about it. But absolutely everyone could know that Krishna's eyes were looking unduly mischievous. Even more mischievous that he usually looked.
Kakudmi, unfortunately did not know much about Balarama and saw nothing unusual as he continued. "As I have told you, I am the king of Kusasthali." Kakudmi paused as he studied his beautiful daughter. She blushed slightly and she looked almost dazzlingly beautiful as Kakudmi turned to Krishna. "I wanted to find a good groom for my daughter."
Balarama nearly gasped as he caught himself at the last minute as the king continued. "I could not find anyone on earth or even among the Devas. So I approached Lord Brahma."
"Lord Brahma?" Krishna murmured. "You went to Satyaloka?" (Satyaloka is the realm where Lord Brahma resides.)
Kakudmi nodded as he realized that Krishna had understood his problem. But for the benefit of Balarama, Kakudmi continued. "When we arrived at Satyaloka, Lord Brahma was listening to the musical presentation of the Gandharvas, the musicians of the Devas."
Balarama frowned as Kakudmi continued. "I waited for the presentation to get over. That proved to be a mistake." Kakudmi said heavily.
"Mistake?" Balarama asked almost harshly.
"Yes." Kakudmi continued. "You see the time in the different realms pass differently. A few minutes in Satyaloka is a few years on earth. Me and my daughter were there for the entire musical presentation. So, by the time the presentation was over, all the people that I knew on earth were dead - even their families were all gone. Nothing remained."
"Then what happened?" Balarama asked and now he was really intrigued.
"At that time that I was talking to Lord Brahma, I did not realize this. I told him of my problem and asked him to suggest a good groom for my daughter." Kakudmi looked at the fierce eyes of Balarama and continued. "Brahma told me of what had happened and he instead told me another story and asked me to come back to Raivataka."
"What story?" Krishna asked, struggling not to smile. He just knew where this was going.
"He told me the story of Chakshush Manu, a powerful king who ruled over the earth." Kakudmi sounded worried as he looked at the two brothers.
"What about him?" Balarama demanded impatiently.
"Not him." Kakudmi corrected slowly. "His daughter - Jyotishmati."
"Who is Jyotishmati?" Balarama was almost exasperated as he threw up his hands in despair.
"Chakshush Manu conducted a great sacrifice and Jyotishmati was born from the fires. She was supposed to be a great beauty. When she grew up, she wanted to marry the mightiest man of them all."
"Ok." Balarama said realizing that he had to let the man go at his own pace.
"So, Jyotishmati first approached Indra."
"Indra?" Krishna asked and he rolled his eyes looking very mischievous.
Kakudmi nodded. "But Indra said that Vayu, the Lord of the Wind was stronger than him. And he sent Jyotishmati to the Lord of the Wind."
Balarama and Krishna looked at each other as Kakudmi continued. "Vayu said that he was not strong enough and that the earth was stronger than him and that the Goddess of the Earth would know who was stronger than Vayu."
Now, Balarama realized why Krishna had been smiling the whole time and he nearly blushed.
Naturally, Kakudmi did not realize this, as he continued. "The Earth Goddess told Jyotishmati that Sesha, the thousand headed Snake on which Lord Vishnu rested was even more powerful than the earth because Sesha held up the very earth on his head."
"Sesha?" Balarama nearly croaked as Krishna just could not stop laughing.
"But the story does not end there." Kakudmi said, not realizing the mood of the two brothers. "Lord Brahma it seems told Jyotishmati, that an incarnation of Lord Sesha would appear on earth, but he would appear 27 Yugas after she was born."
"Oh." Was all Balarama could manage as he was struggling not to look at laughing Krishna.
"Jyotishmati was furious with this, when Brahma told her that she would cross those 27 yugas and still marry the man." Kakudmi said as he looked at the two brothers a little hopefully. "I just do not know what this story has to do with me or my daughter."
Naturally, Revathi, the daughter of Kakudmi who was Jyotishmathi reincarnated, married Balarama, who was supposed to be the incarnation of Sesha, the thousand headed snake on which Lord Vishnu rests.

(The story of Jyotishmati, the daughter of Chakshush Manu, is found in the Garga Samhita.)