The Cure


Although Caiicala Sri had visited his house, Deviraman was without children. He did
everything. He constructed a gathering place for the villagers; he built a road; he lit votive
lamps in Pasupatinath, and the year before he had the Harivamsa Purana read. Still,
Subhadra could not conceive. In competition with his contemporaries, Deviraman would win
on all counts– wealth, strength, and wisdom. But as soon as he heard the word,
“childless,” his pride disintegrated and he was completely humiliated. He was old-fashioned
and orthodox, and considered wealth without a son to be worthless.

Moreover, poor Subhadra was also sad. When she saw the women of the neighborhood
playing with their children she too desired children. Because of her simple woman’s nature,
she wore amulets obtained from medicine men, made vows and pledges to the gods, went on
pilgrimages to different shrines and worshipped, but if Fate is deaf, what can one do?
The astrologers advised Deviraman to marry again, but he could not remarry without
Subhadra;s consent. Subhadra was a woman totally devoted to her husband and until now
she had never given him cause to worry She fulfilled his every wish. The thought of the
terrible poverty that he had endured before Subhadra became his bride kept dancing before
his eyes, and they filled to the brim with tears when he remembered it. She had been his
companion in joy and sorrow. The penniless Deviraman had been transformed into a wealthy
man by her. How could he now be so ungrateful as to take a co-wife?

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