The queen's plight8

While King Rama Gupta and his Queen, Dhruva Devi, were out on a holiday, accompanied by a few of their soldiers, they were captured by the army of King Shaka.

King Shaka sent the captured King a message: “I will allow you to go back to your kingdom only if you give up your wife and allow her to marry me. Dhruva Devi rightfully belongs to me, because originally I was supposed to marry her.”

Rama Gupta was surprised. “Dhruva Devi, is this true?” he asked. His wife admitted, “It is true. My father arranged for me to marry King Shaka, but at the eleventh hour he changed his mind. Shaka is such a bad man; he is undivine in every way. And I was so beautiful, so good and divine, that my father decided not to allow me to marry him.”

Rama Gupta said, “Indeed, you are so beautiful that I will never part with you. I will fight Shaka.”

When Shaka heard this, he laughed and laughed. “Already you are conquered,” he told Rama Gupta. “What kind of fight will this be? You are practically dead. How are you going to fight if you are half dead? Now you are going to see your wife for the last time. I will force her to come and marry me. But for a few days let me allow you and your wife to stay with your conquered army. I am enjoying your imprisonment and mistreatment.”

Afterwards, Rama Gupta said, “O Queen, if I don’t give you to King Shaka, I will lose my entire kingdom. Again, if I give you away, I will feel miserable. But to be very, very frank with you, I want to remain king. So I am going to send you to this brute. When you get married, I will feel sorry, for I will miss you, but I want to go back to my kingdom.”

The Queen was horror-struck: “I knew it, I knew it!” she cried. “What a rogue you are! Your brother would not have done this kind of thing.”

Then Rama Gupta became furious: “Don’t bring Chandra Gupta into the picture. Why has he not come to help us, if he is such a great hero?”

“He does not even know what happened to us,” said the Queen. “If I could only send a message to him!”

“How will you send a message? Our army is now in chains, and many people have been killed,” the king said.

But it happened that Chandra Gupta was wondering why his brother had not yet come back: “He left the palace for only a few days’ rest; now he has been gone two weeks. What is delaying him?”

So Chandra Gupta decided to go searching for his brother and the Queen. He asked some of his friends and soldiers from his brother’s army to accompany him. It was not long before Chandra Gupta heard that his brother was being held captive by King Shaka, and he went looking for him. When Shaka’s soldiers saw Chandra Gupta coming, they laughed and laughed. “They have so few people. Let them go and see how badly we are treating their royal king and queen.”

When Chandra Gupta came, Dhruva Devi started screaming and weeping. “Your brother is giving me away to King Shaka so that he can go back and rule his kingdom,” she said.

Chandra Gupta was shocked. “How can you do this kind of thing? Think of how great our father was! For your kingdom you will give up such a kindhearted and beautiful woman?”

“Enough of your wisdom!” Rama Gupta said. “I need name and fame. I will get infinitely more by being King than by remaining with this wife.”

Dhruva Devi was so horrified that she fell down on the ground. Chandra Gupta said to her, “Sister, I will not allow my brother to give you away. I will fight for you, and I will take you back.”

So, with his very limited army he fought King Shaka’s soldiers and won. Then he went to King Shaka, and also killed him. Afterwards he came and freed his brother and his wife and took them home.

GIM 48. 14 January 1979