Srinivasa Kalyanam, Part 2
BY: SUN STAFF
Nov 24, CANADA (SUN) The marriage of Lord Sri Venkateswara (Lord Srinivasa) with Goddess Padmavathi.
Lord Srinivasa, who was following on horse back, and saw the frightened maidens, who accosted Him with queries. Lord Srinivasa gave the maids details about his birth and parentage. He, in turn, enquired after their princess, her birth and parentage.
When the maids informed Lord Srinivasa that the princess was Padmavati, foster daughter of Akasa Raja, He expressed his interest in her. However, He was repulsed with stones thrown at Him by the maids. He returned to the hills in haste, leaving His horse behind.
When Lord Srinivasa returned, Vakuladevi brought him his usual dinner comprising various delicacies. However, she found him lying on his bed, pining for his love. When she enquired about the cause, the Lord informed her that unless he married Princess Padmavati, he would never be well again. Vakuladevi then asked Him to tell her all about the Princess. The Lord then narrated the story of her (Padmavatiís) previous birth and his promise to wed her.
In olden times, Lakshmi, in the form of Vedavati, was staying in an ashram in the forests. At that time, Ravana, the lord of Lanka tried to tempt her. In anger, Vedavati cursed him saying that she would bring about his death.
To show how true her words were, Vedavati walked into the fire, but Agni, the Fire God rescued her. He took Vedavati to his house and entrusted her to his wife's care. When Ravana was about to carry away Sita from Panchavati, in the absence of Rama and Lakshmana, Agni appeared and offered Vedavati to Ravana as the real Sita who was kept with him by Rama to evade Ravana. Ravana was tricked into thinking that Vedavati was the real Sita.
Ravana took Vedavati to Lanka thinking she was the real Sita, while Agni took Sita to his house and asked his wife Swahadevi to look after her. After the destruction of Ravana, Vedavati entered the fire when rejected by Rama. Then, Agni, offered the real Sita to Rama. Rama then questioned her as to who the other lady by her side was.
Sita informed Rama that the lady was Vedavati who endured Ravana's torture for ten months in Lanka for her sake. Sita requested Rama to accept Vedavati also as his spouse. But Rama declined her request saying that he believed in having only one wife during his life time. However, He promised to wed her in her next birth as Padmavati, born as the daughter of Akasa Raja, when Rama himself would take the form of Srinivasa.
After listening to Srinivasa's story of how he had promised to marry Vedavati in her next birth as Padmavati, Vakuladevi realised that Srinivasa would not be happy unless he married Padmavati. She offered to go to Akasa Raja and his Queen and arrange for the marriage. On the way she met the maid-servants of Padmavati returning from a Siva Temple. She learnt from them that Padmavati was also pining for Srinivasa. Vakuladevi went along with the maidservants to the Queen.
Meanwhile, Akasa Raja and his queen Dharanidevi were anxious about the health of their daughter, Padmavathi. They learnt about Padmavathi's love for Srinivasa of Venkata Hill. Akasa Raja consulted Brihaspati about the propriety of the marriage and was informed that the marriage was in the best interest of both the parties.
After the departure of Vakuladevi, Srinivasa could not rest in peace. He doubted if she would succeed in her mission. He, therefore, assumed the form of a lady fortune-teller and entered the streets of the capital telling fortunes. Padmavathi's maids saw her and invited her to the presence of their Queen.
The maid-servants informed Queen Dharanidevi that the fortune-teller was hesitating to enter the palace without the Queen's invitation. The Queen came out herself and invited the fortune-teller into the palace.The fortune- teller was taken to the presence of Princess Padmavati.
The fortune-teller read the palm of the Princess and told the Queen about the cause of Padmavati's indisposition. She advised the Queen to give Padmavati in marriage to Lord Srinivasa. She also told the Queen that a lady would approach her shortly on behalf of Lord Srinivasa, to formally request Padmavati's hand in marriage.
After the departure of the fortune-teller, Vakuladevi arrived at the palace, and was taken by the maidservants to the Queen. She informed the Queen that she had come on behalf Lord Srinivasa to request the hand of Padmavati in marriage.
Having consulted Brihaspati and heard from his Queen about the prediction of the fortune-teller and the arrival of the messenger from Srinivasa, Akasa Raja decided to hand his daughter in marriage to Srinivasa. He asked the palace purohits to fix a muhurtam for the marriage.
Akasa Raja informed his ministers and other officials of his plans. Immediately, a letter was drafted requesting Srinivasa to come and marry the Princess.
Akasa Raja entrusted the delivery of the letter to Sukamahamunin. Suka went to the Venkata Hill with Vakuladevi. He presented the patrika to Lord Srinivasa, who was very happy. The Lord sent his garland for Padmavati through Suka.
Immediately, Lord Srinivasa called for a conference of the Gods to win their consent for His marriage to Princess Padmavati.
Kubera lent money to Lord Srinivasa to meet the expenses of the marriage.
Lord Srinivasa, along with his consorts and Lord Brahma and Lord Siva started the journey to the residence of Akasa Raja with his vehicle Garuda.
At the palace entrance, Lord Srinivasa was received by Akasa Raja with full honours and taken in procession on a mounted elephant to the palace for the marriage.
In the presence of all the Devas, Lord Srinivasa wed Princess Padmavati, thus blessing Akasa Raja.