Author: Kicks-and-Giggles PM
A tale of arrogance, hatred, revenge, love, compassion, and loss... This is a story based on the Hindu God of Destruction, Shiva, and his marriage to Lady Sathi. Only problem: Sathi's father, Daksh, loathes Shiva and everything he stands for. CATCH THE BIG CLIMAX, COMING UP IN A FEW CHAPTERS! (PLEASE REVIEW!)Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Romance - Chapters: 83 - Words: 129,405 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 05-20-13 - Published: 01-04-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3089216
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Author's note: Wow... okay, so while re-reading some of the previous chapters, I realized that I'm REALLY confusing myself about who Kashyap is and who Brigu is. I keep having to check Wikipedia to set myself straight-no clue why I'm getting so confused between their names! =P Okay, so to set the record straight: Brigu is the "elder" son-in-law who is also an astrologer and Daksh's "right-hand" man. Kashyap is the "younger" son-in-law who is the apothecary/doctor and huge fan of Lord Shiva.
Sorry if you got confused by my confusion, folks!
To clarify: Kashyap was the one who went to Kailash with Dadeechi to invite Shiva to King Daksh's Grand Council, NOT Brigu!
King Daksh returned to his palace days later with a proud smile on his lips. He had been sure his father would see reason sooner rather than later, and Lord Bramha finally had. He'd come to Daksh several days ago with a marvelous match for Sathi: Rishi Angira's son, Sadbhish. The travel to Rishi Angira's had taken less time than he thought, but he had been delayed-to his pleasure-by the rituals involving the exchange of promises to wed their children. Rishi Angira had hesitated at first, saying that it didn't seem right to go against Lord Shiva's wishes like this. Daksh had controlled his anger and told him not to worry of that. Sathi herself had agreed to wed, and King Daksh would protect his family from whatever Lord Shiva decided to throw their way. Daksh reminded him that, along with Sathi, his son would also be getting half his kingdom if he were to marry into Daksh's family. He would have a most esteemed position in Daksh's own council; he would be one of the most revered men in the entire universe. What more could Angira wish for?
There was more he could give, Angira said. He would gladly see his son wed to Daksh's daughter under one more condition: King Daksh had to hand over half of his own powers to Angira. Was he willing to do so?
Daksh did not hesitate in agreeing, but Angira stopped him. He asked him to meet his son first before making any decisions. Perhaps he would change his mind if he knew the truth about Sadbhish.
"Unnecessary," Daksh had said. He knew Angira's sons to be among the finest men in all of his lands. He gladly accepted all of Angira's conditions and requested his immediate presence at his palace. He was eager to finalize this alliance and make Sadbhish his son-in-law. Angira felt the same way and promised to come as soon as they could. Prepare for the wedding, he told Daksh.
So it was with great happiness that Daksh sought out his daughter upon coming home. He told her the good news and blessed her. Prepare for a joyous wedding, he told her. He certainly had much to do!
Brigu came to him much later that evening to find him sharing the good news with his wife. He requested to speak to the king in private and Lady Prasthuti obliged. She had to prepare a grand welcome for their guests anyways.
King Daksh called Brigu forward, taking a seat to write a list of correspondences. "What's on your mind, Rishi Brigu?" He asked.
"My lord… I-I-"
King Daksh quirked an eyebrow at him. "Well?"
"Is this wise, my lord? I've seen Sadbhish… h-how can we let Sathi marry him? It would be unfair to your daughter."
"You need not remind me of what is fair and unfair for my daughter, Brigu. I only seek what is best for her. Sadbhish is both educated and cultured. He is wise beyond his years, and I am sure he will fulfill every one of his responsibilities to Sathi as her husband. He will keep my daughter safe and secure, and that is all that matters to me." King Daksh made Brigu vow to not tell anyone about his opinions and dismissed him immediately. Brigu bowed his head and left the room, but his heart was too heavy. He thought to go to Prasthuti, or perhaps even to Sathi, but he stopped himself. The king was finally in good spirits and the worst thing to do now would be to anger him once more. Such anger would not end well for any of them, including Sathi.
"They will see for themselves," Brigu told himself. "Then they may also decide for themselves."
"I am helpless, my lady. Your sister does not wish for me to help her. Would you have me disregard her wishes?"
"She's lost, Mahadev," Revathi replied. "She is so blinded by her affection for our father that she doesn't recognize that he's manipulating her. She doesn't see that she's punishing herself to lifelong misery. Are you going to just stand by and let her suffer so?"
"Revathi," Chandra said calmly, laying a hand on her shoulder. Revathi bit her lip, realizing she had been harsher than she had intended.
"Forgive me, Lord Shiva," Revathi said. "I-I'm just…"
"You are worried for your sister," Lord Shiva finished for her.
She nodded. "Mahadev, I don't know the reason for which you distance yourself from Sathi. I neither have the authority nor the desire to question that reason. All I do know is that she is suffering like no one should ever suffer. She does not deserve it, my lord, it's unfair! Without you, she is slowly dying on the inside. I'm afraid that if this goes any further, she will be but a walking corpse-"
"Lady Revathi," Shiva cut her off sternly. There was a strange pain in his eyes that disappeared almost as soon as it had appeared. He softened quickly and said, "I care for Sathi as well. Please, go now. Rest assured that Sathi will soon be relieved of her grief."
Revathi turned to Chandra, her eyes brimming with tears of joy. Hopefully, she asked Lord Shiva, "Does that mean… you will marry her, my lord?"
Shiva looked less than pleased as he stared off into the distance as though he could see something there. Finally, he said, "Only the future can reveal its intentions for each of us."
The groom and his father arrived the next morning at King Daksh's doorstep. They were welcomed by the King himself who, with Brigu by his side, led them to the Grand Council-Hall where they would be properly received by Prasuti. King Daksh sent a servant to fetch Prasuti and sat before Rishi Angira. Prasuti, upon hearing about the arrival of the groom, quickly jumped to her feet. She sent Adithi and Kyathi to Sathi's room to ready her in her best garbs. Today was a very joyous day, she said, unable to contain her excitement. Without further ado, she rushed to the Grand Council-Hall, intent on meeting her future son-in-law.
She froze when she got there, barely holding back a scream. Rishi Angira and Sadbhish sat before her; the father looked to her expectantly, the son stared at the ground. King Daksh called her name purposefully, reminding of her duties as host to these most important guests, but she could hear nothing. Her eyes were wide with horror as she looked at the young man before her.
Sadbhish, the youngest of Angira's sons, was also the wisest and most educated. He had spent years traveling the world, learning all there was to know of the ways of mankind and the path to god. He had dedicated himself to gaining the ultimate knowledge and power of the gods through meditation for nearly a hundred years. He had become successful, but at a terrible cost. It was during the time that he had lost himself in meditation to Lord Vishnu that a fire had spread through his small home, burning it to the ground. Sadbhish had been so deep in trance that he didn't feel the pain until the fire had consumed half of his face. Only when a passer-by had dragged him out and doused him with water did he awake and realize what had happened.
When he returned home, his father despaired. He called upon every apothecary he knew to help find a remedy for the awful, scarred flesh on his son's face, but there was nothing to be done for it. Sadbhish, once a handsome man, had turned into a walking nightmare. He could not go into the streets without making children scream and their parents cower them from him. Instead of bearing the humiliation every day, Sadbhish chose to shut himself into his home deep in the wilderness and devote his life to Lord Vishnu's service. When Angira had come to him to speak of marriage, he refused. What woman would agree to marry him, he asked his father. And even if she did agree, how could he knowingly let her ruin her life? As his wife, she would have to suffer the same humiliation that he did, and nobody deserved that doom. He would not willingly destroy an innocent woman's happiness.
But Angira had argued with him. King Daksh knew of his conditions, he told him, and so did Lady Sathi. She herself had given the king her consent for this marriage. If Sadbhish did not marry her, was that not destroying her happiness as well?
Sadbhish refused. If she had given her consent, then she was foolish. She did not know what the consequences would be. He did. She deserved better than him, much better, and he would be committing a crime if he let her fool herself.
Angira would not hear it. Remember that you are my son, Sadbhish, he said. It was his duty to follow his father's orders, and Angira was ordering him now to marry Lady Sathi.
Sadbhish had always been a kind-hearted man. He had always followed the rules and done right by his family. His father and his brothers were all he had in his life and his greatest fear was losing them as well. He begged his father to not force him to do this, but Angira was unyielding. Agree to the alliance, he demanded, or be prepared to never see him again.
So Sadbhish had agreed. He joined his father on his trip to King Daksh's palace and sat before Lady Prasthuti now with his eyes cast down in shame. He could feel her gaze piercing his skin-the same gaze that he hid from every day. He could feel the disgust rolling out of her body, and wondered if she would run from him as everyone else did.
"M-My lord," Prasthuti gasped after finally getting a hold of her emotions. "W-What is this?"
And now the horror was in her words. Sadbhish turned his face away in a pathetic attempt to hide the reddish-purple skin, but what good was it now?
"Whatever you wish to say, you can say before our guests, Prasthuti," King Daksh said.
Prasthuti turned to him, her hand fisted at her side. "No," she said firmly. "This marriage cannot happen!"
Without another word, she turned on her heel and ran from the Grand Concil-Room.
Angira lurched to his feet. "What is this, King Daksh?! You call us to your home and this is the respect you show us?"
"Forgive me, Rishi Angira," King Daksh replied, also standing. "Please do not take insult-"
"How can I not?" Angira roared. "You swore that your family knew about my son. You swore their consent to this allegiance."
"They do consent to this allegiance, Rishi," Daksh replied calmly, "but you must also pay heed to a woman's sensibilities. My wife simply needs the time to adjust-surely you can understand that! Furthermore, she was not refuting this marriage because of your son. She was refuting it because my daughter has been ill as of late and is not strong enough to get wed immediately. My wife was only saying that-"
"Spare us your tales, King," Angira scoffed, waving him aside. "My son and I are leaving-"
"Rishi Angira," Daksh said, his voice booming through the hall authoritatively. "Do not make the mistake of drawing back on our agreement now. Remember that along with this allegiance and the powers that your son will be receiving, you yourself will be privy to half of my powers as the Lord of Mankind. Denying those powers would be foolish."
Angira stared at him angrily, but his greed got the better of him. He breathed heavily, but returned to his seat, realizing the truth of Daksh's words. As he tried to calm himself, a new voice rang through the hall. "Narayana, Narayana," Narada called cheerfully. "Am I disturbing anything, brother?"
"Rishi Narada," Daksh barked, less than happy to see him. Angira and Sadbhish both rose to their feet and bowed to the Rishi in welcome.
Narada nodded to them all. "Rishi Angira! I had heard that my brother was seeking an alliance for dear Sathi with your son, but I could not believe it! I knew he was brave, but so brave as to go up against-" he received a glare from Daksh and quickly corrected his words. "Oh, no matter! And this must be the happy groom. Welcome to King Daksh's humble abode, Rishi Sadbhish. It is a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance."
"Likewise, Rishi Narada," Sadbhish replied, attempting to disguise his anguish with politeness. To his immense relief, Rishi Narada's gaze was kind and unbiased, only lingering on Sadbhish's face for the polite amount of time before turning to his brother.
"Forgive me, King Daksh, but I could not help overhear what just transpired between you and Lady Prasuthi. All is well, is it not?"
"It appears that King Daksh failed to mention my son's condition to his sweet wife," Angira snapped resentfully. "The lady was under the impression that she would be receiving a wholesome and handsome son-in-law."
"Ah, so she was surprised by the burn, was she?" Narada asked, turning to Sadbhish. He smiled, "Very unfortunate, that. If she could look beyond it, perhaps she would realize that she was also receiving an intelligent and capable son-in-law. Parents can be superficial when it comes to their children, however… if only there were a way to remedy that unfortunate scar. Is that something you would like as well, Sadbhish?"
The young man blinked, surprised. He looked to Narada uncertainly. "I-It is not possible, Rishi Narada," he said.
"We have tried every remedy known to mankind. Nothing can fix it," Angira said.
"Oh, not every remedy, I'm sure," Narada smiled, his eyes twinkling.
"Speak plainly, Narada. What do you know of that can help?" King Daksh demanded.
"Well, brother, rumor has it that there is a wonderful sculptor who lives near the mountains. He is said to be the descendent of a demi-god who had the power to pour life into rock. The sculptor now uses this same magic to form the subject of his artwork into whatever shape they wish for! All he needs to do is create a sculpture and-poof! It may be a far stretch, yes, but it is certainly worth a try. Perhaps he can make a statue of young Sadbhish here and remedy the part of his body that's been burnt?"
"We must try," King Daksh replied and Angira nodded in agreement. "What is this sculptor's name?"