Adventures of Nishadhats - Sriharsa (second half of the 12th century)

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Adventures of Nishadhats
Sriharsa (second half of the 12th century)

In the middle of India, the Nishadha country is located in the Windhaya Mountains, and its noble and generous king Nala was its ruler. A different country, Vydarbha, was located near Nishadhi, and there, the daughter of Damayanti, a beautiful, who was not equal to either among the gods or among the mortals, was born to the king of Bhimima. In the surroundings of Naly, courtiers often glorified the beauty of Damayanti, surrounded by Damayanti, they often praised the virtues of Nali, and young people, having never met, fell in love with each other. One day, in the royal garden, Nale succeeds in catching a zealous goose, who promises to let Nala fly him, fly to Vydarbha and tell Damayanti about his love. Nala releases a goose, and the one, fulfilling her promise, flies back to Nishadhu and, to the great joy of Nala, tells him about Demyanti's reciprocal love.
When Damayanti was entering a blossoming youth, king Bhima, at her request, appoints her to Svaymvaru, the free choice of the bridegroom's bride. Damavanti, who is attracted by hearing about her beauty and charm, is hurried not only by kings from all parts of the earth, but also by many heavenly men. On the way to Virdabhu, the king of the gods Indra, the god of fire Agni, the lord of the waters of Varuna and the god of the death of Yama, meet Nala and ask him to be their messenger, who would suggest Damayanti to choose for himself four or four of his husbands. No matter how bitterly Nala is to take such a charge, he carries out his conscientiousness from the sense of respect for the gods. However, Damayanti, after listening to the Nishadha, comforted him with the admission that he was dear to her more than any god, and she would choose only his grooms. The divine vision has penetrated the intentions of Damayanti, Indra, Agni, Varuna and Yama - each takes on the image of Nawali on the ruin, and Damayanti, as Tsar Nishadhi and himself stand next to the gods, have to choose between the five Nalas. The heart tells her the right decision: she distinguishes the gods from their unflagging eyes, the fluffy flower wreaths, their unpolluted legs that do not touch the earth, and resolutely points to the true Nalo - in a faded wreath covered with dust and sweat. All Demayanty's seekers, both gods and kings, recognize her choice, praise the depths of her feelings, present the rich gifts to the bridegroom and bride; and only the evil spirit of Kali, also appearing on the svaymvaru, penetrates the hatred of Nala and swears to take revenge on him. However, the story of the revenge of Kali: his inspiration into the soul of Nala, the loss of the Nala kingdom and all that he owns, while playing in the bone, his madness and wanderings in the woods, separation from Damayanti and reuniting with it only after many calamities and suffering - a story detailed in "Mahabharata" - remains outside the scope of the poem of Sriharshi. Unlike Mahabharata, she ends with a description of the wedding of Nala and Damayanti and their happy love.