2 A beautiful offering
The sun had set. The darkness of the dusk was spread everywhere ,only in the west there was some clouds glowing in dim red light. The reflection of these red clouds was falling on the golden peak of Somanath Mahalay ( Hindi word for a large palace or mansion). At this moment, a horse rider came and stood at main gate of rampart of Mahalay (mansion). The main gate of rampart was not closed yet. The head of the guards went ahead and asked," who are you? And from where are you coming?"
The horse rider was a strong and handsome young man of twenty or twenty-two years. From his appearance, it was clear he was coming from a distant land and both he and his horse had exhausted. Raising his one hand and adjusting his big bundle with the other hand, the horse rider shouted with weary expression but in loud voice," Hail Somanath!"
"But your identity card ?" after coming close, the guard asked him sharp tone.
"Take it" the horse rider gave him a silver tube from a silk pouch. The guard opened the tube and took out a letter from it. He read it and examine it carefully then after murmuring something he said,"So you are coming from Bharukachch ?".
" That's right. Dadda Caulukya has sent the offering for Trilok Sundari". The guard glanced at the heavy bundle and after saying "Hail Somanath' stepped back. The horse rider entered the main gate.
There was a large crowd inside mahalay (mansion). The pilgrims from all corners of the country were there to celebrate Maha Shiv Ratri. There were rumors that Mahamood the emperor of Gajani was planning to attack Somanath Mahalay. Due to this many warriors( kshatriya : A Hinduism community devoted to defend religion and country) and knights were gathered there to sacrifice their blood for Dev Somanath from all over India. Many pilgrims were gathered to see Lord Somanath thinking "who knows what will happen in future". Chariots of Kings , horses, elephants, soldiers, servants ,maids, business men, travelers taking all these in consideration there was such a large crowd that had not been seen in Somanath Mahalay since many years. All the inns and the guesthouses of Patan were tightly packed. Many people were resting under trees along the path and under the shadow of houses.
The horse rider was searching for a inn or guest house but there was not a single empty room. Baggers, poor travelers and watchmen lived in the small cells built outside of the inns. Seeing a such empty small cell horse rider stopped. He tied his horse under a tree and unload his heavy bundle carefully. He entered the cell. After cleaning the cell, he untied the bundle and lit the earthen lamp. In this dim yellow light a extremely beautiful young maiden was seen. The horse rider hurriedly closed the door and locked it from outside. After spreading a sheet, he himself laid down in front of the door. He took out his sward from sheath and put it beside him.
Outside of the next cell two sadhus was sitting and talking in low voice. They had caught a glimpse of that beautiful maiden. First they talked in eyes, then one of them came ahead and asked the horse rider," where are you coming from, young man?" .
''What is to you?'' after saying this, young man was laying down there.
"But where are you taking that beauty?" sadhu pressed.
"What is to you?" young man gave the same answer angrily .
Both sadhus looked each other, then after throwing a bag full of gold coins on the young man one of them said," Sell that goods".
The young man sat up. After putting his hand on the hilt of the sward he said," want to give your life ?"
Sadhu laughed and said," oh, this is the matter".
He slowly took out his sward from his clothes and said," I also have this toy, but there is no need of fighting. We want to be friends. If that bag is not enough ,you can also have this" after taking out a string of large pearls from his clothes ,he threw it on young man.
The young man become very angry he asked him loudly," You must be a disguised enemy. If you love your life, tell me who are you ?"
"What is to you? Tell me , you will give me that beauty now or after your death ".
" I will take your life right now" the young man stand up taking his sward. Sadhu also took his sward. In that dim moon light both swards began to clank. The horse rider was very young but after some moments it was evident that he was a good sward man. Standing against the wall he started to attack his enemy, but sadhu was also not simple. As soon as he found out that the young man was very skilled ,he also started to wield his sward skillfully. The other sadhu kept watching silently. In a very short period many travelers were gathered there and started to make a noise. After watching their skills people started to praise them but nobody had any idea about the cause of this sudden fight.
After taking a heavy attack from the young man sadhu fell down with a loud scream. Seeing this other sadhu jumped in fight like a lion, but the young man was tired and he was also wounded, he was bleeding so he began to slow down. At this moment hearing a whoop both warriors were stunned. A strong and valiant warrior was coming forward by rubbing the crowd. Many servants carrying torches were accompany him. In the torch (mashaal) light his light dark face was shining like hot copper. His big dark black eyes were red. There was a special kind of splendor over all his face, body and entire personality. There was a bow on his shoulder, a dagger hanging from his waist and a sward in his hand. There was a shining diamond embedded in his keshariya turban. Raising his hand he shouted," you fools, why are you fighting on sacred land? ". The young man put down his sward seeing this new comer ,but sadhu replied fearlessly staring the new comer with his red eyes ," one who interferes in others fight is fool".
The newcomer asked him seriously with sharp tone," who are you? You can't be a sadhu."
"The same I'm asking you" sadhu replied audaciously.
"The cause of this fight?" The newcomer asked sadhu another question ignoring his audacity.
"What is the cause of your interference?"
"then see the reason" the newcomer warrior struck the sadhu with his sward. The sadhu was ready for this. And both engaged in the extraordinary skillful fight in no time.
At this moment the crowd heard a very gentle voice," shant papam ,shant papam (clam down sin , clam down sin)". It was weak at first then became clear. Then a divine figure seemed approaching. The crowd stepped back with reverence quickly. Both the warriors also stopped their hands. The newcomer was a holy man with glowing skin and good height. There was tripund ( a mark that indicates he is a devotee of lord Shiva and his caste is Brahmin) on his lustrous forehead. He had Matted hair rolled up over the head , long snow white beard reaching up to the navel. He was wearing patten made of sandalwood on his feet , lionskin on his waist and a sacred thread on his body. He had the line of omniscient on his forehead. His gaze was gentle and fearless. The crowd knelt down on the ground saying " hail omniscient".
The young man prostrated. The newcomer warrior also touched the feet of the divine figure. But the sadhu was standing there with sward in his hand, staring at the divine figure.
The old great man put his hand on the newcomer warrior and said gently," Crown prince Bheem Dev , Hail you!. But there should not be any bloodshed on the sacred land. Put your sward in sheath ".
Bheem Dev put his sward in the sheath silently. Then The omniscient (I will use hindi word Sarwagya because this was his name ) looked at the sadhu with a gentle smile and said," Mighty Emperor Mahmood ! May you live long, child ! you disguised as a sadhu but you could not play it well. You have started fighting on the sacred land. Now you too put your sward".
Hearing the introduction of the sadhu the crowd became agitate and surprised. They stared at the sadhu with wide eyes. But Sarwagya raised his hand and said," shant papam ,shant papam (calm down sin, calm down sin). There should no place for lust ,anger and greed in the sacred land".
"the emperor also put his sward in the sheath". Now Sarwaghya turned towards the young man and said gently," you have brought the offering from Bharru Kachchh."
" Hail Sarwagya!"The young man clasped his hands and said politely.
"open the door and consecrate it" Sarwagya said to the young man gently.
The young man touched the ground with his head and said," Hial Sarwagya, Hail Swaroop! But the offering is for Trilok sundari. Dadda Chalukya has ordered that the offering should be consecrated to Acharyapad Rudrabhadra."
" Child, Chalukya and Rudrabhadra both are obedient to me. Open the door". The young man did not say anything further and opened the door. Gang Sarwagya called affectionally," Come out child , Chola" . A celestial beauty came out slowly and fell down at feet of Sarwagya.
Seeing this celestial beauty, everyone was mesmerized. The crown prince Bheem Dev was spell bounded and staring her without blinking an eye. Gang Sarvagya raised her and said," Be fearless, follow me. The crown prince and the emperor both of you too. Don't worry about your companion. He will be treated" after saying this, Gang Sarvagya raised his both hands and gave blessing to the crowd silently. And he started walking slowly towards the main palace. Chola, Bheem Dev, the young man and the emperor followed him quietly. Sarvagya stopped near the moon cistern and clapped . A maid came and greeted him. Sarvagya pointed towards Chola and said to him,"Bring her to Ganga's palace and tell her arrange a rest room for her for time being and bring her after taking bath in gangajal ( water of river Ganga) bring her to the adytum tomorrow in wee hours ( at 4 o clock in the morning this time is called brahmmuhrta ), then I will offer her to Dev ".
The maid after saying " as your command" brought her away. Sarvagya chuckled lightly and said ," Child, Bheem Dev . May your wish come true! I'm blessing you. Now go and take rest."
Bheem dev bowed and went to his palace. Sarvagya kept standing there silently for few moments, then said to the emperor," Sultan, Tell me what should I do for you?"
" So , you are Gang Sarvagya ?" the emperor asked.
"Everyone thinks so, Sultan(emperor)".
" you are a priest of this temple since 27 years ?"
" No, Not a priest but a petty servant of Dev Somanath "
"Do you want something from the emperor of Gajani?"
"Sultan , I never asked anything even from Dev Somanath. Serving Him without any demand is my only doxy. "
The emperor kept thinking silently for some times. Gang Sarvagy asked,"What are you thinking ,Sultan?"
" You tell , You are the omniscient"
Sarvagya chuckled lightly and then he said," Sultan, I have given my blessing to you. Is that not enough?"
" But what about the thing I'm thinking about?"
" Even with this sward ?"
"Sultan, you too know this that everything inside this body is negligible, who lays everywhere ,is everything". But now you should leave, It is very dark night, and the road is arduous. Season too is unfavorable. Your horse and your companion are waiting at the main gate. The watchmen of mahalay (mansion) will guide you there safely."
The emperor looked at Gang Servagya for a moment and then he raised his head towards sky and look at the peak of mahalay(mansion). He thought about that celestial maiden for a moment. Then he bowed down his head and started to get down from stairs without paying respect to Gang Servagya.
Raising his both hands, Gang gave him blessing.