Mahadev who wandered with her body like a maniac, determined to destroy everything, such was the pain of losing Sati, abandoned her? Is she in a trance?
Devi Sati continues, “He abandoned me…mentally, at first. But I knew, that very moment that it was over.” She looks at me. Her tone is calm but her visage loses its glow for a moment. For a fleeting moment, but I noticed that.
“People think,” she says, “it was my sudden rage, enkindled by tremendous insult, when I consigned myself to the fire.” Her eyes seem to reflect those flames as she dwells in the past. “Nobody knew it was the consequence of the conflict I had created in the past.” She looks at me and says, “And, that conflict involves you.”
Involves me? My heart races faster as anxiety grips me. I shuffle, adjusting my sari unnecessarily.
“No,” Devi Sati raises her left hand. “Don’t take my words in a wrong way. It was entirely my mistake. And I suffered. Just like you are suffering because of your silly mistakes,” she says, crossing her long legs. She wraps her hands around her knees and looks at the silhouette of nature.
My mistakes. My mind runs back to the past. I try to count my mistakes. Yes. I have counted two when I hear Devi Sati sigh.
“You know, we accuse others and our destiny for the mishaps in our lives, fragile lives, but if we analyze closely, it’s mostly our own mistakes, ignorance,” she says. “I was a very curious and stubborn woman. I wanted proofs, reasons, tests; unable to trust easily.” She smiles wanly. “Devi Sita, mistrust makes you restless and provokes you to do something that shouldn’t be done,” she finishes.
Curiosity, tests, mistrust. All these terms seem familiar to me. I can feel a string of comfort developing between us. “But why do you say that Mahadev had abandoned you? This is hard to believe.”
Devi Sati sighs before speaking. ‘While on our occasional excursion on the earth, we met two men, roaming frantically in the forest. Shree Ram! Mahadev said, his eyes reflecting happiness and reverence. Mahadev bowed in a respectful greeting.
Who could be this man who accepts a respectful bowing from none other than Lord Shiv. I thought.
Devi Sati keeps going, ‘We learned that Shree Ram’s wife, you, Devi Sita, had been abducted by Raavan. My ever suspicious mind churned. I couldn’t contain my curiosity after we returned to Kailash.
‘Why would you bow, so reverently, before a simple helpless man?’ I asked.
Mahadev smiled, a knowing smile. “Because he is not just a simple helpless man. He is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu,” he said.
“If he is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, then why he is roaming around in the forest, so helplessly, in search of his wife? Doesn’t he know where Devi Sita is? Why can’t he just go and get her back from wicked Raavan?”
He nodded lightly. “Because right now he is in a mortal form, Sati. And, thus he would have to fight his destiny. He is bound to suffer, experience his share of struggles and agonies.”
“Is he really divine?” I was not convinced.
He looked at me. “Undisputedly!"
I pondered. “It seems you don’t believe me. You want to test his divinity?” he asked. “To satisfy your doubts?” His visage turned grim.
“I think there’s no harm in testing Shree Ram’s divinity. It would be an honour to accept my defeat if he is your deity. I would think that I have earned another ‘Darshan’ of Lord Vishnu,” I said.
Something flickered in Mahadev’s eyes but I was too enthralled to notice that.’
Devi Sati pauses and takes some deep breaths. “I decided to test Shree Ram’s divinity!" I think her voice quivered. "And, the way I had chosen to test him, Devi Sita…it terrifies me even now when I think about it.”
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