Markandeya says- ‘When King Uttam reached Utpalavat forest, he saw a woman eating a Sriphal fruit. The king asked that woman whether she was the wife of that Brahmin- Susharma. The woman replied in the affirmative and said- ‘The demon abducted me while I was sleeping. Since that day, he has kept me here. I am very afraid of that demon.’ The king then asked the woman about the demon’s whereabouts. The woman pointed towards the direction of the demon’s path. The king went in that direction.

When the demon saw the king approaching him, he bowed down in reverence and said- ‘O king! What can I do for you?’ The king asked- ‘Why have you abducted the wife of this Brahmin.’ The demon replied- ‘I am not the demon who devours human beings. I devour their ‘flaws’. I have many beautiful wives.  So where is the need of aspiring for  another woman?  Actually, the Brahmin is a very learned man and has mastered the mantras. By chanting Rakshodna mantras during oblations, he has increased my hunger by making incantations. Therefore, I have abducted his wife to prevent him from accomplishing any Yagya.’

The king became very sad. He thought- ‘What a grave sin I have committed by abandoning my wife! Earlier, that sage too did not find me fit for giving Ardhya. Now, this demon is also aware of the importance of one’s wife in religious ceremonies. How cruel I have been to my wife.’ The demon told the king- ‘O king! What should I do for you?’ The king replied- ‘Devour the flaws of this woman so that she becomes humble. After that, carry her back home. The demon acted as per the instructions of King Uttam. As a result, the Brahmin’s wife became very humble. She said to the king- ‘It seems, there is no fault of this demon. Perhaps, I must have caused separation between a husband and wife, in my previous life and for that very reason, I was forced to suffer this separation with my husband in this present life. The demon said- ‘O king! What else do you want from me? The king said- ‘You must be present before me whenever I remember you.’ The demon agreed. He carried the Brahmin’s wife to her home.

Leave a Reply