Section LXI - King Nala and Damayanti: Leaving the Kingdom in Sorrow

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section LXI including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Mahabharata Section LXI - King Nala and Damayanti: Leaving the Kingdom in Sorrow
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Short summary of the chapter:
After losing his kingdom to Pushkara in a game of dice, Nala is left with nothing but Damayanti as his stake. Despite his despair, Nala remains silent and decides to leave the city with Damayanti, stripped of all his possessions. Pushkara prohibits the citizens from helping Nala, forcing the former king to live on water and eventually fruit and roots in the outskirts of the city. Nala's desperation leads him to try and catch golden-plumed birds for food, only to realize they are the dice that had caused his downfall, now taking his last piece of clothing.

The birds reveal their identity and mock Nala, leaving him and Damayanti in a state of utter destitution. Nala, overcome with grief and despair, instructs Damayanti on the different paths they can take to seek refuge in the southern country. Despite his misery, Nala is determined to protect Damayanti and provides her with guidance on where they can find food and shelter. Damayanti, deeply devoted to Nala, expresses her willingness to stay by his side and provide him comfort, embodying the support and strength of a faithful wife.

Nala reassures Damayanti of his unwavering commitment to her, acknowledging the invaluable support and solace she offers him in his time of need. Damayanti, touched by Nala's devotion, questions why he would suggest she leave him if he truly intends to remain together. Nala's actions and words convey his internal struggle and turmoil, torn between wanting to protect Damayanti and the fear of being unable to provide for her. Damayanti, understanding Nala's pain and confusion, offers to accompany him to the country of the Vidarbhas, where they can seek refuge with her relatives and find peace together.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section LXI - King Nala and Damayanti: Leaving the Kingdom in Sorrow, have a look at the following articles:

Section LXI, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

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Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Mahabharata, Section LXI:

How did Nala lose his kingdom and what did Pushkara propose after winning?

Nala lost his kingdom to Pushkara in a game and was proposed to stake Damayanti as the next wager.

What did Nala do after being stripped of his possessions by the birds?

Nala spoke to Damayanti about the directions leading to different countries and urged her to go to the Vidarbhas for safety.

How did Damayanti respond to Nala's plan to separate in the woods?

Damayanti expressed fear and loyalty, saying she would never leave Nala behind. She suggested going together to the country of the Vidarbhas.

Daily life: King Nala and Damayanti: Leaving the Kingdom in Sorrow:

The story of Nala and Damayanti is a rich narrative filled with loss, adversity, and the enduring power of love and companionship. The couple's dramatic decline from royalty to destitution underscores the volatile nature of fortune, reminding us that life's material blessings are fleeting and unpredictable. Nala's gamble, leading to his downfall, serves as a cautionary tale against risking what we hold dear for transient gains or succumbing to pride and temptation.

In the face of adversity, Nala attempts to push Damayanti away, thinking it's for her good, highlighting a common instinct to isolate ourselves from loved ones when we feel burdened by our troubles. However, Damayanti's refusal to leave Nala's side, even when he points her towards safety and comfort, exemplifies the profound strength and solace found in standing by each other during tough times. This story encourages us to value and lean on our relationships, recognizing that true wealth lies not in material riches but in unwavering support and love.

Implementing this in daily life, we learn to appreciate the impermanence of material success and the importance of nurturing our relationships. When faced with challenges, rather than isolating ourselves or pushing loved ones away, we should remember the strength Damayanti draws from staying with Nala; together, they confront their hardships. In essence, the story teaches us the importance of companionship, resilience, and the courage to face life's trials with those we love by our side, showcasing that together, we can navigate the darkest times.

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