The Marriage of Rishyashringa

As we know Rishyashringa had never sighted a woman. He still thought that the courtesan whom the king had sent to entice him was actually a young rishi. His father the rishi Vibhandak asked him who had come to the ashram that day. He answered that the person was handsome with long hair. His skin had a golden glow and his eyes were like lotuses in full bloom. His lips were so full of juice and his body gave of a pleasing perfume. He was so attractive and pleasing and around his feet he wore necklaces with sweet sounding bells. When he spoke the words had a ringing tone which filled my being with joy. He would sway in different poses as if being swayed by the wind and he kept on touching and embracing me which made me feel so good. He fed me sweet and tasty fruits the like of which I had never seen before. My mind is full of thoughts of him and my body feels as if it is on fire. I want to go to him to practice the techniques which gave him so much beauty and power.

His father understood that some beautiful woman had seduced him. He replied that these were demons in disguise that lure young rishis away from their path of tapas. They destroy the effort of many years. As a rishi his mind should be stable and he should not allow these demons to distract him. Even though not convinced Rishyashringa decided to listen to his father.

Vibhandak spent the next three days searching the forest for the courtesan but he could not find anyone. Thinking she had gone away the rishi went into the forest to gather fruit and wood for his yagnas in the forest.

The young courtesan was waiting and as soon as the rishi went in to the forest she went to meet Rishyashringa. Again Rishyashringa was so attracted to her that he forgot everything in her presence. He followed her to the boat on which she was living. The minute Rishyashringa came on the boat she asked her people to take the boat to king Lomapada’s kingdom of Anga.

As soon as Rishyashringa set foot in to the kingdom of Anga it started raining after four years. The king’s desire to bring Rishyashringa to force Indra to send rain was fulfilled. The king gave his daughter in marriage to the young rishi but he was still frightened of his father Vibhandak who could curse him for what he had done.

The king tactfully arranged people on the route Vibhandak would take to come to his capital. The rishi returned to the ashram and not seeing his son divined what could have happened. He set out for Lomapada’s capital hoping to curse him in his anger. On the way he was treated very well by the people the king had kept. By the time he reached the capital his anger had cooled off. When he saw that his son had married the king’s daughter he was very happy. He told him to remain with his wife till he had a child and then return to him in the forest.