On Mahashivratri, Shiv appears before his devotees as promised by Vishnu. The elated devotees exalt him and offer all sorts of obeisance. Sati is in serious trouble with the archers who have been given orders to kill her in the forest. Shiv cannot get his mind off her and goes to save her. The watching Narad wonders about Shiv’s trishul. Trishul ka uddesh? Bhramha says that the depth and breadth of the weapon cannot be explained. Vishnu gives it a shot calling it amongst other things: Shool pani; Mahadev ka trishul teen ki pramukhta ka prateek hai, Brahma sarjan, mera poshan, Mahadev ke vinash ka prateek; Satv gun, rajas gun aur tamas gun bhi…Mahadev batatein hain ki woh in sab gun se pare hain – woh nirgun hain; Swarg, bhu, patal; Ichcha karm aur gyan — Mahadev ka trishul sangharak hai moh maya ka.
The archers stalking Sati plan to shoot her from the opposite side of a river bank when she reached the middle of the length of the river. This time all of them shoot together so as to not miss her. Shiv raises a wall of water to protect Sati. He saves her from the archers but Sati ends up falling into the river.
The abandoned devotees are discussing his (Shiv’s) state of unease. Since none of them have had the prasad yet, they return to the ashram to partake of the feast. As they are about to start, a stranger enters to have a bite of the offerings. He is Vishnu (Narayan) in disguise. In conversation, he predicts that the devotee will soon be of such great help to Mahadev that the world will always remember him.
Indra has called Kaamdev to speak to him. To tell him that he (Kaam) shouldn’t try to take advantage of his (Indra’s) liking of him (Kaam) and plot against the king of Gods. This is based on the information that Kaam is building a weapon (bow and arrow). Kaam says that he is not interested in plotting against Indra. His bow and arrow would never hurt anyone. All his work is about bringing people together and currently his mission is only to get Mahadev and Shakti together. He is a little unhappy that he is unable to do it because he cannot trace Shiv. He adds a little complaint that he was about to get to Shiv but Indra called him away. Indra cautions him to be careful of Shiv: Woh Mahadev hain, kuch bhi kar sakte hain.
Shiv has in the meanwhile jumped into the river and rescued Sati (who is now unconscious) as Vishnu and Bhramha watch on. Shiv holds the comatose Sati loosely in his arms. Bhramha and Vishnu await for Shiv to accept his attraction and also realise that the one he is getting attracted to completes him – she is one half of him.
Satbhish’s father arrives with the bad news that Daksh Prjapati has gone to get his daughters back. Satbhish assures him that he has planned for this eventuality and points to his plan — a large vessel of the most poisonous liquid. Sati wakes up to find Shiv gazing at her unblinkingly. A little disoriented and a lot attracted, she returns the gaze before suddenly realising their rather close physical proximity and quickly gets up. Moving away to bring in some distance, neither is really able to break the gaze.
By Sujata Garimella
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