Sukanya – The Dedicated Princess

- March 15, 2021

By Srinidhi Murthy

Long ago, there lived a kind and just king named Sharyaati, who had many daughters. Though he showered all of them with a lot of love and affection, he was particularly fond of Princess Sukanya. Apart from being as beautiful as her sisters, Sukanya was also wise and well-mannered.

One day, all the princesses went to the forest to see the lake. There was a huge anthill near the lake with two lights glowing through two holes on it. A strange sight indeed! Princess Sukanya was so intrigued. She thought the lights were two flies or glow worms and decided to catch them. She poked her fingers through the holes. At once there was a loud cry and then blood started oozing from there. The princess was horrified and ran away in fear.

Illustration: ACK Design Team | Script: Shanta Iyer

She hurriedly made her way back to her father’s court but when she reached there, Sukanya was startled to see that most of the courtiers were suddenly suffering from severe pain in the eyes. She guessed that there must be a connection between the strange event she had witnessed in the forest and what was happening in the court. She quickly narrated the entire incident to her father.

King Sharyaati immediately rushed to the forest. The anthill was, as the princess had described it, only there he also saw a sage within it. The lights had been his glowing eyes, and now they were oozing blood. The King realised that his beloved child had unintentionally blinded a meditating hermit. He immediately fell at the feet of the sage, beseeching him to take back the curse on his courtiers and to forgive his daughter.

The sage was none other than the famed Chyavana Rishi and he replied that he had not cursed anyone. The courtiers were just reaping the fruits of his daughter’s actions. The king proposed to look after him. The sage declined and said that he would need only the service of his daughter.

Illustration: ACK Design Team | Script: Shanta Iyer

Sharyaati was in a dilemma. He could not let his citizens suffer for a mistake the princess had committed. At the same time, how could he let his young daughter come and live in the forest with the sage!
Sukanya intervened and solved his problem. She wanted to take the responsibility for her actions. She proclaimed that she would marry Chyavana Rishi and remain by his side. Immediately the courtiers were relieved from the pain in their eyes. The young princess married the blind sage as per her vow.

Sukanya lived with the sage with utmost kindness and sincerity. One day, the young and handsome celestial twins, the Ashwini Kumaras spotted young Sukanya. They were charmed by her youth and beauty and asked her to live with them instead of that blind and old ascetic. Sukanya was furious with the twins and angrily replied that she was a loyal wife and would never dream of leaving her husband.

The Ashwini Kumaras were chastised and offered to restore the vision and youth of her husband. Sukanya was ecstatic hearing those words. But the twins added one tricky condition to their offer of rejuvenation. They said they would take a dip in the river along with Chyavana Rishi and all three of them would emerge from the waters looking identical. If Sukanya identified her husband, his youth and vitality would stay with him forever. Sukanya agreed to their condition and informed her husband about this proposal.

Illustration: ACK Design Team | Script: Shanta Iyer

So Chyavana Rishi and Sukanya went with the Ashwini Kumaras to the river. Then two young celestial twins and one aged man entered the water. When they emerged they were all young, handsome and identical. All the three claimed to be the real Chyavana. Sukanya looked from one to the other and could see no difference whatsoever.

She closed her eyes and prayed to Goddess Durga to help her identify her husband. The Goddess told her that celestial beings never blink. With a smile, Sukanya opened her eyes and observed the three young men in front of her. Only one young man blinked. Sukanya easily recognised her husband now.

The Ashwini Kumaras blessed the happy couple and returned to their abode.

Read the complete story in our title Sukanya. Now available on the ACK Comics App, Kindle, Amazon, Flipkart, and other major e-tailers. 

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