The legend of her life is narrated in the Vishnu Purana. Saivy was devoted to her husband, she was compassionate, honest, pure, adorned with every female excellence, with humility, and discretion. The King and his wife daily worshipped the god of gods, Janardhana, with virtuousness, meditations, oblations to fire, prayers, gifts, fasting, and every other mark of entire faith, and exceptional devotion.
On one instance, when King Satadhanu and Saivy had fasted on the full moon of Kartika, they had bathed in the Bhagirathi. When they came up from the water then a heretic approach them, who were the friend of the Raja's military preceptor. The King, out of respect of his friend, entered into conversation with the heretic. But Saivy remained silent reflecting that she was observing a fast. She turned from him, and cast her eyes up to the sun. On their arrival at home, the husband and wife, as usual, performed the worship of Lord Vishnu. After a while King Satadhanu, triumphant over his enemies and died and the princess ascended the funeral of her husband.
King Satadhanu was born as a dog in consequence of the fault committed by him, by speaking to an infidel and impious person when he was engaged in a solemn fast. His wife Saivy was born as the daughter of the King of Kasi, with the knowledge of the events of her pre-existence, accomplished in every science, and endowed with every virtue. Her father was anxious to give her in marriage to some suitable husband, but she constantly opposed his plan and the king was prevented by her from accomplishing her nuptials. With the eye of divine intelligence Saivy knew that her own husband had been regenerated as a dog. Once she went to the city of Vaidisa she saw the dog, and recognised her former husband in him. Knowing that the animal was her husband, or King Satadhanu she placed upon his neck the bridal garland, accompanying it with the marriage rites and prayers. When the dog in the form of King Satadhanu ate the delicate food presented to him, expressed his delight after the fashion of his species. At this Saivy was much ashamed, and, bowing reverently to him.
Saivy whispered to King Satadhanu (the dog) to recall the memory that in the previous birth he was an illustrious prince and for the ill-timed politeness She said that on account of ill timed politeness he has been born as a dog. In consequence of speaking to a heretic, after bathing in a sacred river, he had been cursed to born as a dog. Thus hearing the King Satadhanu recollected his former condition, and was lost in thought, and felt deep humiliation.
With a broken spirit Satadhanu (dog) went forth from the city, and falling dead in the desert, was born anew as a jackal. In the course of the following year the princess Saivy knew what had happened, and went to the mountain Kolahala to seek for her husband. Finding him there, the lovely daughter of the king of the earth said to her lord, thus disguised as a jackal to recollect his previous birth. The King Satadhanu thus addressed, knew that what the princess had spoken was true, and thereupon desisted from food, and died. He then was born as a wolf; but his blameless wife knew it, and came to him in the lonely forest, and awakened his remembrance of his original state.
Saivy told him that she is not a wolf but the illustrious sovereign Satadhanu. Upon this, recollecting himself, the prince abandoned his life, and became a vulture; in which form his lovely queen still found him, and aroused him to knowledge of the past. The vulture died and the King Satadhanu was next born as a crow; when again the princess, who through her mystical powers was aware of it, said to him (crow) the same thing what she has related before. Having abandoned his body, in consequence of the recollections excited by these words, the king next became a peacock, which the princess took to herself, and petted, and fed constantly with such food as is agreeable to birds of its class.
The king of Kasi instituted at that time the solemn sacrifice of a horse. In the ablutions with which it terminated the princess caused her peacock to be bathed, bathing also herself. The princess Saivy reminded Satadhanu how he had been successively born as various animals. On recollecting this, he resigned his life. In the next birth he was born as the son of a person of distinction and the princess now assenting to her wishes of her father to see he wedded, the king of Kasi caused it to be made known that she would elect a bridegroom from those who should present themselves as suitors for her hand.
When the election took place, the princess made choice of her former lord, King Satadhanu who appeared amongst the candidates, and again invested him with the character of her husband. They lived happily together, and upon her father's decease, Satadhanu ruled over the country of Videha. He offered many sacrifices, and gave away many gifts, and begot sons, and subdued his enemies in war. Having duly exercised the sovereign power, and cherished benignantly the earth, he died, as became his warrior birth, in battle. His queen again followed him in death, and, conformably to sacred precepts, once more mounted cheerfully his funeral pile. The king then, along with his princess, ascended beyond the sphere of Lord Indra to the regions where all desires are for ever gratified, obtaining enduring and unequalled in heaven.
|More Articles in Indian Mythology (496)|