Nomads of Avrudaka
Samhita (Initiation Ritual)
Rani: Nomads of Avrudaka please give attention. Purohita will instruct the Warders to close the Gates and to take their positions, allowing no one to enter without our permission.
When making any format report to the Rani, Purohita should proceed to a position directly in front of the Rani’s Station between the two altars and give sign of courtesy.
Purohita: The gates are closed and the Warders are in position.
Rani: Purohita and Rishi, you will retire and present the Flag of our Country.
Rishi marches to the side of Purohita.
Purohita and Rishi make the sign of courtesy and retire to the anti-room for the Flag.
Flag carried by Purohita, with Rishi on the right, Second Warder on the left of Purohita, the three march abreast to a point between the two altars and halt.
Rani: Nomads, assist me in saluting the Flag of our Country.
All Nomads give Military Salute. This means dropping hand at once to the side, after touching forehead. All sing one verse and chorus of National Anthem.
Purohita and Escorts then march three abreast, to the throne where Purohita places flag in standard, which is at the right of the throne, steps back one step, salutes the flag, takes her position between the escorts, the three about face, march to a point between the altars, face the throne, give the sign of courtesy. Second Warder about face, Purohita left face, Rishi right face, all three march to their stations.
Rani: Purohita, you will ascertain if all present are entitled to sit in this Darbar.
Purohita comes forward, gives password and watchword to the Rani, and passes on around the hall, receiving the words from each Nomad, to her station, from which she answers.
Purohita: All present are entitled to remain.
Rani: Pundita, you will perform the duties of your office.
All will assume the position of Humility.
Pundita: O, Thou Eternal God, we call on thee who dost not make thy ear deaf to our voice, but hearest us from afar. Absolve us from the sins of our Fathers and forgive those which we have committed ourselves. Whenever, we being but human, 0 God, commit an offense before the Heavenly Host; whenever we break Thy law through thoughtlessness; have mercy, Almighty, have mercy.
However, we may transgress thy law, day after day after the manner of men, O God, do not deliver us unto death nor to the blow of the furious nor to the wrath of the spiteful. Take from us our own misdeeds, nor let us pay,
O God, for others’ guilt.
Deliver us from fault-finding and help us to conduct our work in this Darbar in a spirit of love and harmony.
Protect us from the sins of envy and injustice and help us to do thy will. AMEN.
Response from members: AMEN.
Rani: I now declare this Darbar open. It is now the time to hear complaints, to settle all matters in any way coming before us and to attend to all those duties for which we are legally assembled.
If visitors are present a brief recess is called to extend fraternal greetings after which the regular order of business is taken up.
Rani: Purohita, inquire of the Warders if any strangers are near our gates.
Purohita goes to the door, and instructs Second Warder to make inquiries of First Warder, who reports if candidates are in waiting.
Purohita: Rani, the First Warder reports … persons who are standing at the outer gate and crave your permission to enter.
Rani: Rajah, you have heard this report. These strangers may be brigands come to attack us. What is your advice?
Rajah: Who are they and whence come they?
Purohita: Their names are ….
Rani: Is there any one present who knows aught of these strangers?
Rajah: They are known to me and I will answer for them. Is it not true, O Scribe, that these Strangers have sent messengers to us craving our permission to enter this Darbar?
Scribe: It is true.
Rajah: I would advise to have them enter, be instructed, and receive our obligation lest they go forth and reveal our secrets.
Rani: Our subjects must contribute to the revenues of the State. Have these strangers made such contribution?
Treasurer: They have.
Rani: Purohita, you will retire and ascertain if the strangers are willing to assume our obligation and become and ever remain loyal Nomads of Avrudaka.
Purohita retires and asks: Are you willing to assume an obligation which, while binding you to the members of this Order, will not interfere in any way with your religious convictions, your domestic relations, or your duty to your country?
Stranger: I am.
Purohita: You are able to become a Nomad of Avrudaka because of your connection with The Knights of Khorassan. Therefore, before you enter this Darbar you are required to acknowledge your allegiance to that Order. Do you make such acknowledgment?
Stranger: I do.
Purohita: You will await my return.
Purohita enters in the usual manner and makes the following report:
Purohita: Rani, I have obeyed your orders, and the Strangers await your pleasure.
Rani: You will admit them.
Purohita retires and returns with the candidates who are arranged in single or double file between the altars, facing the Rani.
Rani: It does not suffice that a candidate for our favor be merely honest and virtuous, a good citizen, a loyal subject, a devoted friend, keeping the law of the land. The outside world has many such.
It is by the practice of greater virtues that the members of this Order must be known. Here we are taught a higher Honor, a nobler Charity, a deeper Gratitude and a finer Loyalty.
We are bound in sweet friendship one to another, we speak kind thoughts in gentle speech. Here we look alike with equal eye on every caste and every being whether high or low.
Here each strives for lofty thought and righteous deed, yet none in conscious pride decries another’s lowly gifts.
There are three steps in the roadway to the higher levels.
The first is RIGHT PURPOSE. Have good will to all that lives, letting unkindness, greed and wrath die, so that your lives may be like the passing of soft airs.
The second is RIGHT DISCOURSE. Govern your lips as though they were Palace doors, the King within. All words coming from that Presence must be tranquil, fair and courteous.
The third is RIGHT BEHAVIOR. Let each act assoil a fault or help a merit grow. Like threads of silver seen through crystal beads, let love through good deeds show.
You will now assume our obligation.
Purohita and Rishi quietly and without further instruction face the strangers about towards the Station of Pundita and have them assume the position of Humility.
Purohita: Pundita, the Rani commands that these Strangers assume our obligation.
After the candidates have assumed the position of Humility, Purohita quietly approaches the station of Pundita and receives from her the open Bible with which she faces about and stands in front of the candidate(s) during the time the obligation is being given. After this is complete she presents the book to the candidates each of whom kiss it in turn.
Pundita, to Strangers: You will repeat after me, using your names where I use mine:
I, …, in the presence of God and these Nomads do most solemnly promise and declare never to make known any portion of the Secret Work of this Order to any person not legally entitled to such knowledge.
I will work at all times for the growth and prosperity of this Order and the promotion of harmony among its members, and for what I may conscientiously consider its best interests regardless of my private prejudice or personal feeling.
I will regard the vote to which I am entitled as a sacred privilege, and will always use it honestly and conscientiously.
I will endeavor to practice the lessons taught me here. I will give absolute loyalty to this Order and to the Sisters and Brothers who take this Obligation.
I promise to give them help in time of need, my protection when required, my assistance when asked and my sympathy and affection at all times.
I will not accuse a sister or brother wrongfully and will refuse to hear or speak evil of one of them unless willing to bring charges according to the law made and provided.
I will obey the laws of the Order and endeavor to prevent disobedience in others.
If I should for any reason forfeit my membership in this Order, I will still consider this obligation to be binding upon me until death.
Pundita, to Princess: Princess, these pilgrims are no longer strangers but, having assumed our obligation, are worthy our every confidence.
Princess, to Candidates: Having taken upon yourself the obligation of a Nomad of Avrudaka you will find our thoughts and our hearts open to you.
In order however, that you may know and be known to our membership I will now instruct you in our secret work.
The sign of Recognition is given by ….
The answer is given with ….
The sign of Courtesy is given by ….
The Sign of Distress is given with ….
The Grip is given by ….
The Position of Humility is ….
Wishing to be admitted when a Darbar is in session, you will approach the outer gate and give an alarm. When the gate is open give the … to the First Warder. This will give admittance to the anteroom. The First Warder will give … on the inner gate, the Second Warder will answer with …, which will be answered by … from the First Warder, followed by … from the Second Warder. The wicket will then be raised, through which the member will give the watchword …. The Second Warder will answer with the countersign …, and open the gate. The member will advance to a point midway between the two altars, facing the Throne, give the sign of Courtesy and be seated.
During the Initiation the Women will assume the … when Purohita retires the third time.
I will now explain the gavel raps: One rap calls attention, or calls to order. Two raps is the signal for all members to rise. Three raps is the signal for all to be seated.
Princess: Purohita, face our friends to the throne and Rishi will explain the Emblems of the Order. Candidates about face; Rishi steps in front of the candidates.
Rishi: The Lotus is the emblematic flower of the Order. It plays a distinguished part in Indian Mythology, in which it symbolizes the World, the residence of the gods and the beauty of woman.
The Veil is the ancient emblem of modesty. It is worn by the women members of the order during initiation.
The Yellow Parasol and the Scepter are emblems of royalty and power and are found at the station of the Rani and Rajah, which is called the throne, the parasol being opened and sufficiently large to form a canopy for covering them both.
The Yellow Parasol, closed, is found at the station of the Princess.
The Dawn is an emblem of the transitoriness of human life, and by its return day after day stands as a symbol of the Divine Order in Heaven. It is appropriate to Pundita.
The Three Gates are emblems of the three stages in the journey to higher levels. They are found at the station of Purohita.
The Ancient Coin is the emblem of the Treasurer and is found at his station.
The Pencase is the emblem of the Scribe and is found at her station.
The Kudgha, a short, broad-bladed sword, is an emblem of protection, and is found at the stations of the Warders called the Gates.
The Turban shall be worn by all Nomads of Avrudaka during a Darbar.
A Darbar is the Indian and correct name for the meetings or conventions of the Order.
Princess: Purohita, report our friends duly qualified.
Purohita, to the Rani: Rani, by direction of the Princess I beg to report that these friends are duly informed in our work and worthy of membership in our band.
Rani: My friends, having proven yourself worthy of that honor I have now the pleasant duty of extending to you the glad hand of fellowship into our band and to ask your serious attention to the delineation of the lesson of this order, Loyalty. Give heed to what you shall see and hear and so take it to your heart that your every future thought and act may be tempered with the noble virtue we each here strive to practice.
Hand of Fellowship
When Rani repeats the lines: "I have now the pleasant duty of extending to you the glad hand of fellowship into our band," she simply extends her right hand, does not step down from her station nor grasp the hand of the candidates.
Giving Password to Candidates
Assuming that the candidates are standing in semicircle, back of the altars, Purohita and Rishi followed by candidates, march to a point between the altars, forming a column of twos, then to the throne, where the Rani will communicate the password to the candidates. One line turns to the right, the other to the left, and the candidates are seated for the dramatic work.
Or, if the dramatic work is to be given at some future date the Rani will say:
Rani: My friends, having ‘proven yourselves worthy of that honor I have now the pleasant duty of extending to you the glad hand of fellowship into our band. At this point there is a lesson that you should learn for upon it rests the motive as well as the success of our Order. This is the lesson of Loyalty and it will be exemplified for you at an early date.
You will now be seated in the Santha.
Illustrating the Lesson of Loyalty
The following Dramatic work may be put on in an ordinary lodge room, entering and departing through a convenient door into an ante room, but greater effectiveness can be given the work if a stage setting is made available.
This lesson may be given the candidate at completion of initiation or may be deferred until a more convenient time and given before a larger class even though they have been initiated at different times.
DAMAYANTI—Rani of Nishadha, and wife of NALA.
NALA—Rajah of Nishadha.
SUMITRA—Mother of Damayanti, Rani of Vidarbha.
Minister of Nishadha.
Lady in Waiting.
This work can be made much more effective by having the retinue of the Minister of Nishadha appear on the stage in costume. Can also be supplemented by the use of camels if available.
Damayanti is seated alone in a room of the Royal Palace. She is in an attitude of extreme dejection. The room is furnished in Eastern style, as far as possible, and Damayanti is wearing her Crown and Royal robes.
Damayanti: No fairer Prince than Nala has been known in this Indian land. For twelve blissful years, I, Damayanti, have lived with him, Nishadha’s Lord.
No hurt he does, kind to all living things.
True of word is he, faithful, liberal, just, steadfast and patient, temperate and pure. Like a sun he is, shining on his throne ruling his folk in strength and virtue, guardian of his State.
And yet, no man is perfect. ‘Tis such a tiny failing, the love of play. A little flaw in this most perfect gem. All others, with far lesser virtues have many greater faults.
And tonight, possessed by some foul demon, he has gambled for many hours with his evil brother, Pushkara.
And I fear, I fear―
Enter Lady in Waiting.
Great Princess, our Lord in gaming with his brother has lost all his gems, armlets, belt and necklet, the gold of the palace, arid its vessels, his swift steeds and cars. And ever and anon, in casting, the dice fall against him and ceaselessly endures that foolish play. And now, Great Princess, he has sent me here to ask from thee thy bracelets, rings and necklet, and thy crown that he may pledge thy jewels and play on.
Damayanti, removing jewels and crown: Here are the jewels and the crown. Give them to my Lord.
Exit Lady in Waiting with jewels.
Enter Minister: Great Princess, before thy door all the grieved city sits. Say to our Lord Nala for us "Thy folk are here. They mourn that evil fortunes hold their Liege, who was so high and just."
O Princess, we beg thee to plead with him this evil game to stop, ere all is lost.
Damayanti: Nay, it is of no avail. Have I not already begged my Lord this reckless game to stop? My Lord is changed, he is not Nala now, for well I deem this is not noble-minded Nala’s sin, but some ill spell possesseth him to shut his ears to me.
Enter Nala in elegant costume, but showing no signs of Royalty. His appearance should devict a man after a protracted ill run of the dice: O Blameless One! To such shame fallen, to such utmost woe, wretched, demented, am I come, my Kingdom lost, my palaces and servants gone, my jewels, horses, chariots, all anothers. Even thy jewels, in my reckless game I lost. Thy crown, thy bracelets and thy rings will be Worn by others, but I thy Lord am still, and counsel thee for good.
Many and safe are the roads which lead Southward to thy Father’s Kingdom. Within Vidarbha’s walls safety awaits thee and honor and happiness, while I, the cause of all thy woe go forth an exile to the forest.
Damayanti: My heart beats quick, my body’s force is gone, thinking, dear Prince, on this which thou hast said, pointing along the paths.
What! Robbed of Realm, stripped of thy wealth, bare, famished, parched with thirst, shall I leave thee thus in the untrodden wood?
Nala: • I had not thought to leave thee, thou faultless One. Alas, ‘tis from myself that I would flee—not thee, Princess.
Damayanti: Yet, My Rajah, if thou hadst not thought to leave me, why hast thou pointed the way to Vidarbha’s walls? If it be thy thought "‘Twere best she went unto her people"—be it so; I go; but hand in hand with thee, and happy and safe within my father’s gates we will dwell.
Nala: Nay, whate’er betide, never will I go thither. How should I who came there glorious, gladdening thee, creep back, thy shame and scorn, disconsolate?
Damayanti: Then ask me not to leave thee.
Nala: But Pushkara hath won from me my kingdom, he is now Nishadha’s Ruler and hath proclaimed "Whoso yieldeth help to Nala, dieth." I am no longer Rajah Nala, Lord of this great land, but Nala the Exile, Nala the Outcast, Nala the Beggar.
Damayanti: When I came here with thee, thy bride, I shared thy palaces and jewels and all thy wealth. Then I found thee a generous, unselfish Nala. But thou hast changed, thou are not willing now to share misfortunes with thy wife, thou selfish Nala.
‘Twas thee I wed, and not thy kingdom; I left my father’s palace to be thine and now that thou hast lost thy realm so much the greater is thy need of me. If Nala is an exile, outcast, beggar, then is Damayanti exiled, outcast, beggared, too.
Nala slowly leaves the stage followed by Damayanti.
Several months later. Damayanti, deserted by Nala has found the way to her father’s kingdom. She and her mother are talking in a room of the palace. She has caused search to be made throughout the land for Nala.
Damayanti: Have all the messengers gone forth?
Sumitra: Into all the regions of this land thy father hath sent forth men to find thy husband. Through towns, cities and villages they pass seeking for Nala.
Damayanti: ‘Tis well, for if thou wouldst have me live, I tell thee true dear Mother, it must be by bringing back my Nala, my own Lord and only so.
Sumitra: Well thou knowest that thy father is striving night and day to learn where Nala is. But my daughter, thou hast been here many weeks, and never once have we questioned thee until now. Why art thou alone here, knowing naught of Nala, thy husband?
Damayanti: An evil Spirit entered into Nala and he gambled with his wicked brother, Pushkara. And cast by cast the dice against him fell. And cast after cast the passion of the dice kept hold on him, until not one of all his faithfulest could stay his hand.
He lost his gems, horses, palaces, all, and at last his kingdom and we were exiled.
Sumitra: What! and did Pushkara send thee forth into the forest?
Damayanti: Nay, II went with my husband. What else would I have done?
Sumitra: Thou sayest well, my daughter. I had not thought thee so light that thou wouldst quit thy Lord or leave his side because he lost his wealth. There is no friend given to sad men better than a wife.
Damayanti: For three days and nights we lay without the city gates, our food brought out to us by loyal ones under cover of the darkness. But Pushkara, watching, saw those that rendered loving service to my Lord and me, and put to death our friends. Learning this, we fled in horror to the forest, fearing lest others, tempted by our helpless state, also fall before the tyrant’s wrath.
Hither and thither we strayed, outcast, our drinking place the common pool, our food such fruits, and roots as miserable hunger plucks from earth, until at length we spied a little hut. There upon the bare ground we sank to sleep, and while I slumbered, Nala abandoned me.
Sumitra: The Gods protected me from the knowledge that thou wert couched in that poor hut, its floor thy bed and he, thy Lord, deserting thee, else grief and anguish had driven me mad.
Damayanti: When I awoke and found him not, sudden anguish seized my frightened heart, and, lifting high Thy voice, I cried, Nala! Ha! Lord Nala! why hast thou abandoned me? Now am I lost, doomed, undone, left in this lonely gloom.
Wert thou not named, O Nala, True and Just? Yet art thou such to quit me while I slept? Madly I called and wildly wept. None answered. I was alone in the forest. I left the tiny hut and wandered on, seeking, ever seeking Lord Nala.
There were many dangers in that dark and lonely wood. Once a prodigious snake, glittering and strong and furious for food, knitted his folds about my body, and I, overwhelmed with horror and the cold enfolding death, cried out for Nala.
But that hour a hunter roving through the brake heard my wailing and with quickened steps came nigh and with keen shaft clove through the gaping mouth and crown of the snake, killing it.
Sumitra: It is a dreadful thought, that thou, so tenderly reared should have faced such dangers alone. But tell what else befell thee.
Damayanti: As I went through the woodland where ill sprites and fiends haunt with swinging snakes the undergrowth, ever calling for my Lord Nala, I met a caravan.
Merchantmen with trampling horses, elephants and wains, made passage of a river, running slow, in clear, cool waves.
When I spied that throng, my heart maddened with anguish, weak and wan, half clad, bloodless and thin, these locks matted with dust, I broke breathlessly in upon them.
Some fled in fear, some gazed speechless with wonder, some called out mocking me with words of scorn.
But others said, "This is a spirit of the forest or the hill come to work us harm. Drive her away with stones, clods or clubs."
Nor had I time to ask of Nala ere they drove me forth.
Sumitra: Oh, cruel ones: to think that thou, a Rajah’s wife and daughter of a royal house should have been driven away and mocked by those who should have helped thee.
Damayanti: So, woe-begone and wild, I drew at last nigh to a city, at the evening hour.
And as I entered, sorrow stricken, wan, foot-weary, stained with mire, with unsmoothed hair, unbathed, with eyes of madness, those who saw me wondered and stared, and watched me as I toiled down the long city street. The children stopped their play and followed my steps, so that encompassed by a crowd, I came unto the King’s door.
On the palace roof the mother of the Rajah stood and marked the throng and the sad wayfarer.
Then to a nurse spake the Queen-Mother thus: "Go thou and bring yon woman unto me."
So downwards came the nurse, bidding the rude folk back, and to the roof of the great Palace led me.
Sumitra: May the Gods grant that the story of thy agony may be nearing the end. Had I known of the evil by which thou wert surrounded, thy mother had not lived to greet thee on thy return.
Damayanti: Then the Queen courteous besought: "Tell me thy name and whose thou art and whence. No lowborn form is thine albeit thou comest wearing no ornaments and wandering
alone, not fearing aught, by some spell safe."
And to her I spake, "A woful woman I and woful wife, but faithful to my vows. Highborn, but like a servant, like a slave, lodging where it may hap, and finding food from the wild roots and fruits wherever night brings me my resting-place. Yet is my Lord a Prince, noble and great with countless gifts endued. But hard fate decreed that he should fall into the rage of dice and, losing all, flee into the forest. There I followed but it chanced at length I slept and my Prince abandoned me, who never wrought him wrong.
That Lord 11 seek by day and night, with heart and soul on fire. Seek but still find not, though he is to me brighter than light which gleams from lotus cups. Divine as are the Immortals, dear as breath.
Sumitra: It is well. Thy sufferings may have bruised thy tender body, but the soul and heart of Damayanti remain unchanged.
Damayanti: Then said the queen: "Stay with us here, thou illstarred lady. Great the friendliness I have for thee. Thy loyalty will overcome the evil spell which holds thy Lord within its wicked power. But tell us first thy lost husband’s name that the people of our court may seek him."
Then when I made known to her my name and Nala’s, the Queen staying her tears, exclaimed: "My sister’s daughter dear, thou art. Thy race and mine, Princess, are one."
And so it was that, an ample troop gathered for my guard, I journeyed hither, and here I wait my Lord.
Sumitra: ‘Twas pleasant Chedipur, and the Queen was Sabahu’s wife, my younger sister. The gods protected thee, and directed thy path to thy kindred. Thy loyalty to thy erring Lord will be rewarded and he will be brought back to thee.
Here a clamor is heard without and the Mother directs an attendant to retire and ascertain the cause, or a stage is used an attendant enters and addresses the mother.
Attendant: Most Noble Lady, a great caravan is without the gates and its chief seeks audience with my lady, Damayanti.
Sumitra: See that, refreshment is provided for man and beast and bid the chief before us.
Attendant bows and retires.
Enter Minister and addresses Damayanti.
Minister: Greeting, O most noble Princess. From far Nishadha come we here. Since Lord Nala left us we have suffered much. The evil one, Pushkara, did so vilely treat our people that with one accord they gathered from the city, and the country, from the field and from the grove, from mountain and from valley and banished the vile Usurper from the throne. And our land is without a ruler, so we come to thee to know if thou canst find Lord Nala. We will give him back his Kingdom.
Damayanti: Even now my father’s messengers are searching far and near. My time is spent in sending forth the searchers. Ah! many the weary times some one, some where, hath sent us word of Nala, and when one hastening to the place on swiftest steed returned, ‘twas but to tell of some slight likeness, a trick of speech or fancied look, that made some stranger resemble my beloved Lord.
Some time has passed since Sudeva came from the Court of Ayodyha with the word that one seeming somewhat like the Rajah Nala, served Rituparna as charioteer.
And I said: "Good Sudeva, thou hast well done. If thou wilt help me find again my wandering Lord and bring him home, great guerdon will I give."
And I bade him return and as though a simple traveller say to Rituparna in the presence of his charioteer: "The daughter of King Bhima, Damayanti, whom men say thou once did wish to wed, maketh again to hold her high Swa-yam-va-ra. None knoweth whether Nala be alive or dead and the law hath made her free to choose another husband. The time draws nigh and the Kings and Princes from all lands repair thither. If thou wouldst win Damayanti, Great King, speed quickly, for tomorrow’s sun shall bring the day."
I have commanded that when the Rajah Rituparna arrives his charioteer be sent at once to me, for my heart tells me that at last my weary quest is ended. Well I know no other hand than Nala’s can so guide those coursers swift as to travel hence from Ayodhya in one day. If indeed that charioteer were Nala, they should even be now at Vidharbha’s gates.
Enter Nala disguised as Charioteer Vahuka.
Great Princess, I crave thy pardon. Thy servants say it is thy will that I appear before thee, to answer thy questions.
Damayanti: Didst ever, thou charioteer Vahuka, if indeed thy name be Vahuka, know one who left his innocent wife asleep in the wild forest, weary and worn from following her husband?
Knowest thou the man? I’ll say his name to thee, ‘twas Nala, Rajah Nala. Tell me how this Prince could thus abandon in her need, his true and loving wife?
Nala: There lived a man, evil and rash that had a noble wife. False to his word he was, and thus it fell, that somewhere, for some reason, (ask not me) he quitted her, this rash one. And so, wrenched apart from hers, his spirit bad and sad muses and moans with grief’s slow fire consumed, night time and day time.
Such a man thou seest, Princess, a man consumed with grief and loss and shame, a menial, nay, a nameless slave, who asketh but to go unquestioned hence.
Damayanti: Nay, Nala, my beloved Lord, no menial thou, no nameless slave. Didst think that I, thy wife, would fail to know thee in that garb? Didst think my eyes were blinded by much weeping? Nay, thy rags and wretchedness, but serve to reveal my Lord, as summer clouds, striving to obscure the sun merely veil great Surya’s glory, and enable us to look upon his greatness, which undimmed we may not view. Nala, I know thee.
Nala: Yet answer this. How should a wife, right-minded to her Lord compass to choose another as thou hast done?
Thy messengers ran over all regions proclaiming "Bhima’s daughter Damayanti chooseth a second husband. Whomso she will as pleaseth, being free."
I drove the chariot of the Rajah, Rituparna, and came at headlong speed. A servant, and yet, owing to my skill as charioteer and the mad pace at which I urged the steeds, no other Lord save him I serve is here.
Damayanti: And so you came? But why, believing Damayanti false?
Nala: I came—I came—
Damayanti: O Lord Nala, dost know so little of the wisdom of a woman’s heart? ‘Twas my device to bring thee quickly. Truly, thou hast said no other Lord is here. But one received the message, and he because Nala was his charioteer. Well I wist no man in all this world could urge the fleetest coursers so many yojanas in one day, save thou.
It is true that never even in fancy have I wronged thee, Dear Prince.
And here the minister from thine own kingdom awaits to give thee back thy throne and realm. Thy people did not doubt me and knew that I would find thee.
Minister: O Rajah Nala, thy people have risen against the false Pushkara, and he is now an exile. They have sent me here to find thee and to implore thee to return. Without Vidarba’s gates the loyal guards await thy coming. Within thy palace are thy crown and scepter with thy kingly robes of State. Thy people need thee now.
Nala faces Minister and place hand on his shoulder: Most faithful servitor, thy loyalty to him who was under the spell of the evil one, shall be rewarded.
Return thou to Nishadha, say unto my subjects, that Nala and Damayanti come again and once more will rule over that fair land. See that a feast lasting for many days is provided for our loyal folk. The gods protect thee on thy journey; we follow anon.
Minister: Gladly I go on such an errand. Glorious will be the welcome when thou comest, O Lord Nala.
Nala, turning toward Sumitra: Once more I leave Vidarba’s sheltering walls, and with me, Nishadha’s Queen, thy daughter, Damayanti, goes again to her own home.
Sumitra: Thou sayest well, my son. There is no friend given to fortunate men, better than a wife. We go to make ready for thy long journey.
Several days later. Nala and Damayanti have returned to their palace in Nishadha. If curtain is used, Nala and Damayanti can be in position a little to one side, but before the throne, which should be a large chair, on a platform, if possible. The Minister on the opposite side of stage and throne. If no curtain, let Nala and Damayanti enter from the side, with the Minister following a few steps in the rear. Nala and Damayanti walk across the stage, taking positions as stated above, the Minister remaining at one side of the throne.
Minister: Lord Nala, thy folk who stand without thy palace walls and crowd the streets, rejoice that thou, their liege Lord, so high and just, reigns o’er Nishadha as before.
Nala: Go thou and choose from among that loyal throng and bid the chosen ones to enter.
Nala, to Damayanti: ‘Tis well to honor thus these faithful friends, whose long search and untiring service have given me back my Queen and my Kingdom.
Minister returns with faithful retainers following, thus giving an opportunity to arrange a tableau for the closing.
Damayanti: Again we stand within the palace where thy Fathers dwelt and thou art rightful Lord of this, thy land. The evil dreams, the nights of pain, have passed and great Surya, the sun in splendor, shines upon us.
Nala: Princess, the end is reached of our long woes. The realm is mine again, once more Nishadha’s throne belongs to me.
And all this, Damayanti, I owe to thee. Thy loyalty to one who left thee, lonely and deserted in the forest, thy faithful and unwearied search for him who wrought thee wrong, thy wise device to bring him to thy presence once again, all these prove that thou art far more fit to govern than is he who lost his kingdom by the dice.
Henceforth thy will shall rule Nishadha. The seat of honor and the scepter are thine. Thou art my Queen, thy most loyal subject I. Taking the crown, he places it upon Damayanti’s head and kneels kissing her hand as curtain falls, or if the work be given in a lodge room he leads her to and seats her in Presiding Officers chair after investing her with Crown.
Rani: Rajah, we have attended to our duties. Is there more that should be done ere we declare this Darbar closed?
Rajah: I know-of nothing further except to pay honor to the Flag of our country.
Rani: Purohita and escorts, you will retire the Flag of our country to its resting place.
Purohita, Rishi and 2nd Warder march by the shortest route to a point between the two altars. Purohita in the center, Rishi on the right, 2nd Warder on the left. Halt, make the sign of courtesy. Advance to the throne, when all three salute the Flag. Purohita advances and removes the Flag from the stand; resumes her position, when all face about and march to a position between the altars and face about.
Rani: Nomads of … Santha No. …, join me in saluting the Flag of our country. Give military salute.
Purohita and escorts face about and, march to the Princess station, then facing toward exit, march in single file to the anti-room.
Rishi leads upon re-entering, followed by Purohita and 2nd Warder, who remains at her station. Rishi and Purohita marching to Princess station, facing the throne with Rishi on the right, marching to a point between the two altars, give the sign of courtesy, then to respective stations.
Rani: Nomads of Avrudaka, the hour of parting is at hand. Before we leave, let us call to mind’ once more the teachings of the Lesson of Loyalty, and the solemn Obligation which binds us together.
We will have our closing Ode.
Rani, after seeing that all Rituals are secured: I now declare this Darbar closed. *.