Ayan weds Indumati –
When the Swayamvara began in an ambient air, nobly attired Princess Indumati crisscrossed each row in the lofty hall to make her Maiden’s Choice, Lord of love for herself, keenly observing the arts of love expressed by the audience through the veil of wedding vestured clad, while her abigail kept pronouncing their pomp, pride and excellence in her maid’s ear in her own way. On their part beaming noble chiefs of the time from several states, swarming the hall like cluster of bees in garden, trifled with their gestures to reach the Maid’s heart when she passed through them.
As gesture of pomp, while a Prince twirled a Lotus, another carelessly pulled out the diamond necklace hanging from his neck, replacing its sides on shoulder, another tossed the gold lined robe hither thither. Unmoved by their art and acts of gestures which did to attract her attention, as Princess Indumati went by each suitor King and Prince, the unmindful abigail (accompanying girl) passing along with her fair Princess, led her maid past the Kings in order. The accompanying abigail whispered on her maid’s ears the worthiness and talents of each one of the suitor assemblages as they crossed each one of them.
Exceptional in all, Ayan, noble in beauty, sat silently drowned deep on his thoughts unconcerned of other Princes, and waited for his turn when Princess Indumati reached him. As she reached him she fully engrossed his attention through the eye to eye meeting. Flashing modesty and grace, beaming Ayan was her selection, and ignored accompanying dame’s call of ‘shall we pass. In flash of moment, when Princess Indumati laid the wreath on the neck of mighty dauntless Ayan, there raised loud rejoice from the audience in endorsement of the perfect union.
Clouds of gloom disappeared from the face of King of Vidarbha who rushed towards Ayan and embraced him, took him to seat of throne followed next to eloquently praise to the assemblages the talents and virtues of the Prince whom his daughter has selected as her lord and set the stage for knotting Ayan and Indumati. The Pundits who sat ready to perform the rites lost no time in raising fire in the pit hole (a hole made in the ground for sacrificial fire, also called Yagya Kund) for conducting the rituals for the marriage ceremony, and united both Ayan and Indumati with due rites with assemblages as witnesses to the ceremony. Once the grave marriage ceremonies were accomplished, hallowed by the witness of Fire and hailed by all onlookers, the newly wedded couple got ready to proceed to the land of Kosala and Ayan promised to return back again with his relations.
Thereafter King of Vidarbha travelled with the newly wed and led the joyous convoy carrying lordly gifts till they reached halfway to their home land, bade good bye and returned back to his Kingdom. Meanwhile the disappointed wooers in Swayamvara combined together and followed the train of King Ayan who was on home way journey with his convoy. The vengenceful combine menacingly obstructed the marchers’ midway and in the melee attempted to carry off the bride in act of revenge on Ayan. However alert Ayan placing Indumati to safety, charged back on the invaders with fierce force. Midway in the ravage battle that ensued, Ayan wasted no time in applying the magical weapon gifted to him by Priyamvadha. At once the foes were completely rooted and battle stilled. Happy and triumphant Ayan returned to Ayodhya accompanied by Indumati.
King Raghu’s ears were adequately posted with the entire episodes through his agents, and even before Ayan reached home the rejoiced King hailed his son’s glory by welcoming the newly wed couple in pomp and style. In the next few days he transferred the yoke of Kingship to his worthy son and tread himself into the jungle for the quite way of parting the earth. Newly anointed King Ayan fared no less in kingship compared to his father as both were supreme in their own manner. His folks felt not orphaned, foes whenever they raised their heads were vanquished. As the years passed and Ayan entered life’s last stage, and took the counsel of hermits for the joys of supreme by quelling his senses and weaning away the thoughts from earthly pleasures of life to reach the world of bliss, though for namesake he remained the ruler of the Kingdom, while the counsel ran the show on his behalf. In the meanwhile detached from earthly bond, his father Raghu too released his soul to join the land of supreme. When the news of his father’s demise reached Ayan, he broke down and grieved, however on plea of his counsel, soon he absorbed back his grief and returned to rule the Kingdom by himself for the sake of welfare of his folks. In the next few years Ayan was blessed with a son, as bright as Sunshine and famous through entire corners of the world. The son was affectionately named Dasaratha.
………Continued / 6