King Sharyati was a kind and religious minded person. He considered his foremost duty to give paternal love to his subjects. One day he went on an excursion in a forest along with the royal family. They saw a pleasant spot and camped there. The princes and the princesses began roaming about. The king and the queen sat on a raised spot. They were busy is discussing the affairs of the state.
The young princess Sukanya saw two gems shining on a maund of earth. The princess, along with her brothers and sisters watched the gems in astonishment. Out of curiosity the tried to poke out these gems with a stick. But in doing so blood began to flow from the spot instead of gems. All of them ran to the kind and told him the whole story. Everybody came there. All felt very sad. The king exclaimed, “My daughter, what have you done!”
“What is the matter father?’ asked the princess.
“These are not gems. These are the eyes of the Rishi Chayvan that you have godged out. He has been meditating here fore times immemorial. That is why mud and earth have been deposited all over his body. Now what will happen? The king Sharyati spoke in a sad tone.” The groans of the Rishi were clearly heard.
Sukanya was restless. She had committed a sin unknowingly. She was in deep thought for some time and then said, “Father! Do not be sad, I will atone for the sin I have committed.”
Your atonement will not bring back the Rishi’s eyes Sukanya,” said the king.
“I will be his eyes, father. I do not wish to free myself only by asking for forgiveness. I am your daughter. I believe in compensation through penitence. I will marry the Rishi Chayvan.”
Struck with the triple sentiments of sorrow, astonishment and joy, the king though of the unequal match of the age-old Rishi and the delicate and tender princess. Seeing his father in distress Sukanya said, “Do not be worried on my account, father! I will live happily repenting and serving Rishi.”
Marriage was performed. Even gods were pleased on seeing the extreme sacrifice and unshakable faith of Sukanya. The god Ashwani Kumar restored the Rishi’s youth and sight. Both led a happy married life thereafter.
It is sacrifice and renunciation that is blessed. Great should make great sacrifices.