(Written by:Santhipriya)

Kusa Marries  
Naga Princess
Thus with the exit of Rama and his brothers in Raghu’s line, their sons in order chose as their leader Kusa, who in all respects was valor and mighty amongst them to guide them and reined their respective states in unison. Once when Kusa was in discussion in his chamber, he was confronted with an unknown voice that blessed ‘Goodness surround The’ whence Kusa saw a stranger woman standing before him and asked her ‘Who are you, respectful lady, how did you enter my chamber when the bolted doors barred others entry into my room and for what purpose have you come? Who is your lord (husband) ? 
The shabbily robbed women whispered ‘Look King, I am lord of self  and  guardian Goddess of your ancestral capital Ayodhya after your father demised. Though your folks are happy race under your splendid rule everywhere, but I am pained to see you remaining mute spectator to the subjects in Ayodhya that remains shattered of its beauty and serenity in contrast to the scene under your ancestral rule. What exists today is the desolation of her streets and ruined houses, ever green grass grown spongy streets now carpeted with rough leaves that scratches feet, veils of fair women turned into spider webs barring all, streets are unsafe to venture in night as jackals howls (meaning rogues and ruffians) and evil spirit engages, lo, the river-banks of Sarayu is scattered with the remainders of buffalo and sheep left over by the wild animals. Oh, King, return, quickly engage your attention on Ayodhya  and revive its status’. Thus spoke the lady and vanished. Kusa  shocked though to hear the news and unable to see reason, still  in mind thanked for her message and immediately set out motion with schemes generated, and got readied his mission with a big force to proceed to Ayodhya. As his mighty army crossed mount of Vindhya and river Ganges, turning dust to mud and again mud to dust, on reaching Ayodhya with speed, he set out to clear the mess, by bannering himself in the city outskirts in a tent to supervise the operation rescue. The fair town swarmed by his men repaired the buildings, deslited the rivers and ponds driving away the snakes and reptiles there in hiding, and restored the city as if bloomed afresh from green groves. His folks were ecstatic dwelling in the renewed city.  
Thereafter he ensured that there was no bar to his folks meeting him anytime to get redressal. Each and every declaration remained not on his lip, but every action spoke of his genuine intent and not law of jungle but law of justice prevailed in redressing the grievances of folks. None of his action or reactions were whimsical, but were as pure as gem and borne out of proper counseling from elders in court. Agent network was strong enough to help him rule with wisdom. He performed Ashwametha Yahya too. 
Then came the grievous heat of summer when Kusa with his consorts went forth to bathe and play in river when an ornament held in one of  his Princess body, a precious bracelet was lost in water. On command of the King, the fishermen searched up till deep inside the river and found it to be resting on the body of Naga Princess Kumudavathi, sister to the King of snakes, Nargaraja dwelling deep inside water pool. When the ornament was sought back, Nargaraja refused to part with and turned back the messengers of Kusa, empty handed.   
Enraged by the reply, Kusa set out powerful arrows to drive away the reptiles and snakes dwelling deep inside the water simultaneously engaging Vishnu’s vahana  (Carrier vehicle) Garuda to finish off the snakes. Feeling nervous with Kusa’s anger and Garuda engaged, serpent King Nargaraja came out of the river, paid handsome tributes to Kusa and not only restored the ornament, but also offered his sister Kumudavathi to wed to him which Kusa joyfully accepted and soon wedded Kumudavathi to spend long years in happy union. In few years Kumudavathi  bore for her lord a noble son who was named Athithi.
………..Continued /14