Post No.7614

Date uploaded in London – 24 February 2020

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While examples are rare in literature where women damps and crushes such an interest in her beloved, we have an outstanding example of woman striving for such a contingency, triumphing over temptations of the flesh, instructing him in self- knowledge and winning him over to her ways. This is Chuudaalaa of the Yoga Vasishta.

Daughter of Saurashtra Prince, beautiful and pious, she was while in her teens wedded to Shikidwaja, a valiant prince of Ujjaini. It was a happy match, and life passed on smoothly with them, since both were accomplished in arts and sciences and were of kindred tastes. But with the advent of age and with her personal charms diminishing, she realised the necessity of true knowledge and the hollowness of material pleasure. With her mind trained by instructions Chudala asks herself the questions,

Can it be that I shall know my own self, the substratum of reality in me, what I am in thinking and feeling and willing?

Upon her dawns the knowledge that the world of sense is imaginary. With this she feels the touch of unparalleled comeliness overspreading her appearance. The king is surprised and interrogates,

Have you tasted the nectar and turned imaging?

Me seems you have acquired a priceless treasure.

She replies, I have come to know of things in their proper perspective — their emergence from and their merging in finality. I pray for nothing and I am self -contained. That is why I have turned so lovely.

The king laughs at the Idea and takes her to be mad, and entreats her not to sever her connection with the world of senses. But that was not to be, Chudala takes to solitude and yogic regimen, acquires supernatural powers, but does not leave the palace. In course of a time, knowledge dawns upon the king too. He turns religiously minded and leaves the kingdom and goes to the forest abruptly despite Chuldala’s repeated entreaties.

Chudala invisible through yogic efficacy seeks him out after he had been absent for eighteen years. By this time, with his previous desire for enjoyment exhausted, he becomes a true ascetic. Chudala implores the king to be thorough going in his renunciation, to eschew everything including the inborn impressions of his previous birth. This done, the king becomes really enlightened; and this is the marvel that Chudala achieves.

The sublimation of the intellect as in Arundhati, of feeling as in

Radha , and of spirit as in Chudala are three important landmarks in the process

of womanly enlightenment as depicted in classical Sanskrit. Women as martyrs rarely appear in Buddhist doctrinaire accounts, but women as nuns wedded to service of humanity are more frequent. The one noble example of affection through service is Patralekha in the Kaadambari. She is the best e example of championship unfeigned and undaunted by the dawn and of return of love.

Woman may be a poet or a philosopher or a scholar, and even a brahmachariny

like Maitreyi or Chudala. But her claim to recognition lies through her service of her lord and through her being the mother of a great son, wise or valiant like Rama, Shankara, Chaitanya or the heroic Bharata, as the case may be. This is the attitude of even romantic love stories. Vadavadatta is great because of her being the mother of Naravahana datta.

Source – Great Women of India, AdvaIta Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora,1953

Also read
Wife’s three Tests to her Husband! Story from Yoga Vasishta … › 2014/05/31 › wifes-three-tests-to-her-husband-st…

31 May 2014 – His queen was Chudala from Saurashtra country in ancient India (now part of Gujarat state). She was very beautiful and extremely intelligent.

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