The door of the sanctum Sanctorum creaked open. Fast paced footsteps approached me while I was with Radha Govind.
“Devi Radhanshi” he called, despaired.
I tilted my face to the right while sitting in sukhasana, hands folded in obeiscience towards Radha Govind
“Speak” I replied, serious.
He replied gasping,”The Marauders will soon be here. We will have no choice but to fight.”
“Then fight, it will be” I replied, looking at the face of Radha Govind. “Prepare the men, women and the children. I have already provided you the instructions.”
“But Devi’ he paused. Staring at Radha Govind he continued,” You very well know whom they are here for.”
I exchanged glances and replied while staring at the same,”I very well know. But if they wish for death, I shall offer it to them.”
I took the sword placed at the feet of Radha Govind, made a small cut on the right thumb and did the tilak and said, smiling,” Till now the world has experienced the love and devotion of this servant of Radha Govind. But for the first time, they will experience that the same love can offer death as compassion.”
He obliged and left, closing the door. The walls of the sanctum were lit by earthen lamps. The incense of the sandalwood coming from the incense sticks surrounded the feet of Radha Govind made me a little nostalgic. I smiled at them and examined the sword with my hands to check if it needed sharpening. Realising it to be fit for the upcoming battle, I took the fighting position, unbraided my hair and started praticising with my sword. As I was training, I heard the timid footsteps of someone approaching from the back. I turned spontaneously and put the sword in the direction of the sound.
“AAAAAAAA” he screamed.
“Govind” I exclaimed “Why do you have to approach me from the back. You could have got hurt. And moreover, why do you have to move from your place. Remember, you are situated here as Govind Dev Ji, as an Archa Vigraha and Archa Vigrahas DO NOT move unless someone else moves them. What if someone realises that the Vigrahas that they have been worshipping all along can talk and move.”
Carefully moving away the tip of the sword from his neck with his tiny little hands, he said,” Let me move away the sword. It scares me.” Circumambulating me with his tiny little feet and carrying the flute on his hand as an inspection stick, he said, “Well, your positions are great but not perfect.” Saying this he beat me at my right ankle with his flute.
“See, Devi Radhanshi. Why am I calling you Radhanshi? It doesn’t hold any purpose for me so I will call by your real name, Devi Sari.”
Massaging my ankle I replied,”Are you done? Now please let me practise. I have to teach those rascals a lesson.”
“Tch-tch-tch” he replied oscillating his little right index finger horizontally. “You don’t need to worry Sari. I will take care of them.”
Practising my moves I replied,”Yes, why not? You very well can and then everything will be exposed. The fabric of space and time will untie itself in such a grave manner that nothing will exist.”
He sighed and replied,’Oh Sari. You are like Radha. Always getting serious and making conclusions without knowing the full story”
I stopped the sword and asked him staring,”Then please enlighten me Bagawan? How will you stop them without interfering with the fabric of space and time?”
“For that” he replied smirking and winking spontaneously “you have to wait till the end of my Leela”
I rolled my eyes out of despair and continued practising.
He was going to speak something when the warning bell rang. It was the signal that they had reached the temple premises. I looked at him and he nodded and got situated beside Devi Radha with his ever magnificent Trivanga posture. The door opened again and Jagdish Mishra, the temple devotee entered with a sense of fear,”Devi, you must and at once get the Archavigrahas out and get them to a safe place where this Malechchas of Auragazeb couldn’t find them.”
I nodded, breathing heavily due to the practise and sweating profusely. He was leaving when I asked,”I will but first I will offer those rascals the eternity of death with my very own hands.”
He came closer and replied with hurry and irritation,”Devi, now is not the time. They are after the Archavigrahas. They want to destroy them. And they are too many in number. If we start fighting them, they will surely overpower us. However, if the Archavigrahas are placed in a location then we all can fight with joy and accept the fate that Radha Govind has placed for us.”
“No buts Devi” He looked at them and said,”Now go and then you can fight as much as you want”
I nodded teary eyed smiling. He then went to a corner and started searching through the antiques and found an idol of Radhamadhav.
“What are you doing Mishra ji?” I asked perplexed.
He replied smiling,” These idols were brought here anticipating the current situation. These are not consecrated and hence hold no such significance but those fools don’t know that. They think that every idol is worshipped as Bhagwan. They don’t have any idea that unless the Idol undergoes the process of pranpratishtha (consecration), they are just pieces to us.”
“So, I will take these and run from the main entrance. Seeing the idols, they will come after me. Meanwhile, you use this window to take Radha Govind Dev ji to a safe place.”
“No. Absolutely not. I will not allow you to make such a sacrifice.”
He giggled and then replied,” It is not a sacrifice but a wonderful opportunity to serve my dear Radha Govind Dev Ji. Devi, please don’t take away this wonderful opportunity to serve my Lord. I beg you.”
He held his hand in namaskar to beg when I held it and replied with a grin trying to conceal the immense pain that I was experiencing at that moment,” Mishra ji, your devotion towards Radha Govind Dev ji is priceless. It is seen in several occasions that The Divine comes in aid to protect his/her devotees but it is seldom heard that a devotee comes in aid to protect his/her Lord and today by your conduct, you have earned your place in those seldom ones.”
“You are just exaggerating Devi. It is the mercy of Radha Govind Dev ji that this body is getting such a wonderful opportunity to serve him. Anyway, one day this body would have been perished but due to his mercy it is being expended in his service. What greater boon could I have asked for! Now Devi, give me permission to leave. I must hurry.”
I smiled and left his hand. He took a last glance at Radha Govind as if enshrining their image in his psyche forever and left smiling. I looked at Radha Govind in anticipation but found no more than a stern look depicting a perfect idol.
I went near and with the Angavastram that I was wearing, made a cradle and placed them carefully in it and tightened to make sure that they both lie close to my heart. I then took the sword and went out of the sanctum sanctorium. The sun had already dipped into the horizon and what was left was no more than a faint mark of its departure. I took the torch that was hanging on the pillars of the courtyard and light it. Swords clanking, huge cries, uproar, upheaval. The anticipation shook me about how many devotees and innocents were being killed just for a demon’s evil crusade. During the advent of Treta Yuga when Devas drove the demons to the nether world, the Siddhas made sure that the portal to the nether realm remained sealed so that no demon could enter in the mortal realm but nonetheless, evil does find a way to infect. But now was not the time to ponder. I had to escort Radha Govind safely. I slowly and very judiciously walked the steps looking for any upcoming danger. After the courtyard, lay the white marble stairs which led to the front gate from where towards the right lay the mighty Kalindi. As I reached the stairs, I saw the Malechchas guarding it in vast numbers. Their plan was clear- to kill all those who were part of the temple and then to raze the entire temple to the ground by burning it.
It was not safe so I took the back entrance. I jumped off from the balcony into the garden and then slowly made my way to the back gate. As I was going to cross the gate, Govind’s Murli fell on the ground. I looked at him frustrated at his ill choice of time to conduct pranks on me. I bent to pick up the flute when I realised that an arrow had just passed over me. I quickly got up and saw the arrow stuck to the wall. I quickly searched to find the shooter and saw that he was shooting, seating at a high branch of the peepul tree. This made me angry, very angry. First, they come here to destroy the temple. In doing so, they kill innocents and now they dare to sit on the peepul tree which is the extension of my Hari itselfi. My anger erupted. I took my dagger that was tied to my waistlet, empowered it with my occult power and just threw it straight to pierce his heart. It went and within a moment, the shooter was down. As I approached him, he was suffering immensely but due to the practise of occult, the Prana wouldn’t leave his body. His eyes struck with horror and dismay. I looked straight into his eyes and pulled out the dagger. As soon as I pulled it out, he took a long sigh and his eyes closed. I sobbed for some time while putting the dagger back into the waistlet and took a glance back to find the temple burning. Its flames rising high enough yo touch the premises of Devloka. I unknotted the Angavastram and placed it on the ground. There they lay unmoving, untouched by all that was happening. Suddenly, the gigantous roots of the peepul started spreading out, as if making space just to accommodate enough for a small shrine.. I understood the signal and placed the Archavigrahas of Radha Govind Dev ji inside on the yellow Angavastram and the roots started constricting themselves. As the roots were constricting, I managed to get a last glance at the melodious face of Radha Govind Dev ji still smiling with his flute on his lotus lips. I offered my obeisciences when I saw a group of Malechchas approaching. I took out my sword. The moment they saw me, they stopped and stared as if they had been dumbfounded. I said,”Well, your death has brought you to this moment.”
One of them said smiling,”Oh my dear, you are anyway killing us by your beauty. We won’t mind death by your soft hands but before if you could just spend this night with us, we will do anything you want.”
They all laughed and looked at each other. I smirkingly replied,”You men think that you can conquer women by your brute strength and treat them as items of enjoyment. Well, today I will shatter this delusion of yours in a very torturous way.”
One of them replied,”Please my dear, we will like to see that too. Looking at your figure, we are sure that you will be good in bed but let’s see if you are equally good at fighting.”
I replied with a smirk,”With pleasure.” I took out my dagger and charging it with my occult powers aimed at one of their tongue. As I threw, it just cut the tongue open and it fell on the ground. He groaned while the others watched in dismay. The dagger after finishing its job came straight back to me.
“Who wants to be next?” I asked with a grin.
They all howled and approached me altogether. Surrounding me from all sides, one of them said,”First we were thinking to take you willingly but now no more. We all will take the pleasure of your flesh here and then leave you to rot and become the feast of the animals that creep here during the night.”
“It is not wise to delude yourself with things that you have no chance to fulfil. It may just kill you.”
“Let’s see” the other replied. Saying they all charged towards me. The moment, their swords were going to touch mine, they stopped or should I say as if they were being stopped by something or someone. They were rolling their pupils in dismay but couldn’t do anything. They were petrified. I was examining how it happened when I heard the rustling from the adjacent banyan tree. I went closer when suddenly a hooded figure jumped out from the top. I put my sword close to the neck when a soft voice said,”It is not wise to pull swords at someone who comes in your aid and considers you their friend, Devi Radhanshi.”
I asked perplexed,”Who are you and how do you know my name?”
“I will answer all your questions but first please put away your sword. It scares me.”
With a mocking smile, I put it away. She pulled off her Angavastram and said,”I am Kishori, the daughter of Ashutosh and Shambhavi. I was passing through when I saw the temple been attacked so I decided to hide in the banyan tree to see if there are any survivors to rescue and I found you approaching the peepul tree and placing the Archavigrahas. I was going to come down when I found these Malechchas approaching so I waited so that when the appropriate time arrives, I could be of assistance and well, I was right.” She looked at me smirking and asked,”So Devi, what should we do with these Malechchas who treat women like disposable clothes?”
I went back to them, looked into their eyes and replied to her,”Well, l have never cursed anyone but today from the austerities and devotion with which I served my beloved Radha Govind, I curse them to Preta Yoni in which they will be tormented tremendously and they won’t get a moment of relief till eternity.” I took a fistful of water, charged it and threw it at them.
“But they will turn to Preta when they die first. Well, the misconduct that they exhibited only shows how stone hearted they are” replied Kishori. “So, they will turn to stones which are just a manifestation of their Guna. Their prana won’t leave their body for the next 200 years. They would feel hunger, pain and all the sensations but won’t be able to do anything. And they will only get liberation from this form when Radha Govind Dev ji gets back his rightful place at the sanctum sanctorum.” As she said, all the men turned to stone. Then she placed the stones circumambulating the peepul tree. After she finished, I asked her,”Well, in the midst of everything, I forgot to ask. Where did you learn such advanced level of occult?”
She replied scratching her head, “Well, my friend had imparted me this power as a token of our friendship. She calls herself Lalita.”
“Is it so?” I replied with awe. “Well, I also have a close friend by the name of Lalita.”
“Well, I think we do have many things in common” she replied with a giggle.
“Well, Devi. Where will you go now?” She asked.
“Well, I have no idea.”
“Then you could accompany me. I will also get a companion for my travel and together we can fight those Malechchas.”
I replied with a smile,”I accept your proposal, Devi Kishori. So where will we be heading next?”
“To Jaipur. I have some unfinished business there.”
“So Jaipur it is.”
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