The words of the swan's speeches

बृहदश्व उवाच आसीद् राजा नलो नाम वीसेनसुतो बली। उपपन्नो गुणैरिष्टै रूपवानश्वकोविदः॥
Brihadashva said: There was a heroic king, named Nala the son of Virasena. He was possessed of desirable attainments, handsome and well-acquainted with the management of horses.

अतिष्ठन्मनुजेन्द्राणां मूर्ध्नि देवपतिर्यथा। उपर्युपरि सर्वेषामादित्य इव तेजसा॥ ब्रह्मण्यो वेदविच्छूरो निषधेषु महीपतिः। अक्षप्रियः सत्यवादी महानक्षौहिणीपतिः॥
He stood at the head of all the princes, even as the king of the celestials; and exalted above all, was equal to the sun in splendour. He was the well-wisher of the Brahmanas and the lord of the Nishadhas. He was truthful, the commander of a mighty force, consisting of cavalry and infantry and a large number of chariots and elephants but fond of gaming at dice,

ईप्सितो वरनारीणामुदारः संयतेन्द्रियः। रक्षिताधन्विनां श्रेष्ठः साक्षादिव मनुः स्वयम्॥
He was beloved of women, high-souled and with all passions checked. He was also the refuge of all and the best of bowmen and was like Manu himself.

तथैवासीद् विदर्भेषु भीमो भीमपराक्रमः। शूरः सर्वगुणैर्युक्तः प्रजाकामः स चाप्रजः॥
Like him (Nala) there was a king among the Vidarbhas, named Bhima, who was warlike, possessor of immense power and all accomplishments and beloved of his subjects. But with all these virtues he was without an issue.

स प्राजर्थे परं यत्नमकरोत् सुसमाहितः। तमभ्यगच्छद् ब्रह्मर्षिर्दमनो नाम भारत॥
He, with a fixity of purpose, made great endeavour for obtaining issue. O Bharata, there came before him, a Brahmarishi named Damana.

तं स भीमः प्रजाकामस्तोषयामासधर्मवित्। महिष्या सह राजेन्द्र सत्कारेण सुवर्चसम्॥ तस्मै प्रसन्नो दमनः सभार्याय वरं ददौ। कन्यारत्नं कुमारांश्च त्रीनुदारान् महायशाः॥
Thereupon, O king of kings, the virtuous prince, Bhima, assisted by his wife, satisfied that reverened sage with the most respectful offerings. Damana, thus pleased, conferred upon the king and his spouse a boon of a daughter like unto a jewel and three sons possessed of liberal heart and great fame.

दमयन्ती दमं दान्तं दमनं च सुवर्चसम्। उपपन्नान् गुणैः सर्वैर्भीमान् भीमपराक्रमान्॥
The daughter and the three sons were named Damayanti and Dama, Danta and the illustrious Damana. The latter were possessed of all the virtues, most fearful and of terrible might.

दमयन्ती तु रूपेण तेजसा यशसा श्रिया। सौभाग्येन च लोकेषु यशः प्राप्त सुमध्यमा॥
But Damayanti of slender waist, obtained celebrity all ever the world in beauty and brightness and in good name, luck and glory.

अथ तां वयसि प्राप्ते दासीनां समलंकृताम्। शतं शतं सखीनां च पर्युपासच्छचीमिव॥
And when she attained to age, hundreds and hundreds of female servants and hand-raids, decked in ornaments, waited on her like Sachi herself.

तत्र स्म राजते भैमी सर्वाभरणभूषिता। सखीमध्येऽनवद्याङ्गी विद्युत्सौदामनी यथा॥
There shone in the midst of her hand-maids the daughter of Bhima, of beautiful features and decked with all ornaments like the bright lightning of the sky.

अतीव रूपसम्पन्ना श्रीरिवायतलोचना। न देवेषु न यक्षेषु तादृग् रूपवती क्वचित्॥
The damsel was possessed of extra-ordinary beauty and large eyes and was like Lakshmi (the goddess of riches) herself. Indeed, there was none among the celestials or the Yakshasa who could be compared with her.

मानुषेष्वपि चान्येषु दृष्टपूर्वाथवा श्रुता। चित्तप्रसादनी बाला देवानामपि सुन्दरी॥
No body among men or others, was possessed of such beauty, seen or heard of. In fact, the damsel was most pleasant to look at and more handsome than the celestials.

नलश्च नरशार्दूलो लोकेष्वप्रतिमो भुवि। कन्दर्प इव रूपेण मूर्तिमानभवत् स्वयम्॥
That foremost of men, Nala, was peerless in the worlds; because on earth he resembled in beauty Kandarpa (the god of love) himself in his embodied form.

तस्याः समीपे तु नलं प्रशशंसुः कुतूहलात्। नैषधस्य समीपे तु दमयन्तीं पुनः पुनः॥
Moved with admiration, they (the heralds) again and again uttered the praises of Nala before her (Damayanti) and those of Damayanti before the king of the Nishadhas, Nala.

तयोरदृष्टः कामोऽभूच्छृण्वतोः सततं गुणान्। अन्योन्यं प्रति कौन्तेय स व्यवर्धत हृच्छयः॥
Although they had not seen each other, yet they conceived a love (for each other) produced by their repeatedly hearing each other's accomplishments. O son of Kunti, that mutual attachment began to grow very strong.

अशक्नुवन् नलः कामं तदाधारयितुं हृदा। अन्तःपुरसमीपस्थे वन आस्ते रहोगतः॥
And then Nala, incapable of holding it in his bosom, passed much of his time in solitude in the gardens adjacent to the inner apartments (of his palace).

न ददर्श ततो हंसान् जातरूपपरिष्कृतान्। वने विचरतां तेषामेकं जचाह पक्षिणम्॥
There he saw, one day, a lot of swans, with golden wings, roving in those woods. Of them he caught one with his hands.

ततोऽन्तरिक्षगो वाचं व्याजहार नलं तदा। हन्तव्योऽस्मि न ते राजन् करिष्यामि तव प्रियम्।२०॥
Thereupon that sky-roving one spoke unto Nala. "O king, it behoves you not to kill me. I will render some good to you.

दमयन्तीसकाशे त्वां कथयिष्यामि नैषध। यथा त्वदन्यं पुरुषं न सा मंस्यति कर्हिचित्॥
O prince of the Nishadhas, I will speak of you before Damayanti and in such a manner that she will never mind to have any other person (for her lord) but yourself."

एवमुक्तस्ततो हंसमुत्ससर्ज महीपतिः। ते तु हंसाः समुत्पत्य विदर्भानगमंस्ततः॥
Thus spoken, the king liberated the swan. Thereafter the swans, spreading their wings, betook themselves to the country of the Vidharbhas.

विदर्भनगरौं गत्वा दमयन्त्यास्तदान्तिके। निपेतुस्ते गरुत्मन्तः सा ददर्श च तान् खगान्॥
Arriving at the city of the Vidharbhas the birds alighted from heaven before Damayanti, who also beheld them.

सा तानद्भुतरूपान् वै दृष्ट्वा सखिगणावृता। हृष्टा ग्रहीतुं खगमांस्त्वरमाणोपचक्रमे॥
Damayanti surrounded by her hand-maids, having seen those birds of extraordinary beauty, desired to catch those rovers of the skies without loss of time.

अथ हंसा विससृपुः सर्वतः प्रमदावने। एकैकशस्तदा कन्यास्तान् हंसान् समुपाद्रवन्॥
Thereupon the swans fled in all directions in that charming forcst; and the ladies ran after them, each pursuing one.

दमयन्ती तु यं हंसं समुपाधावदन्तिके। स मानुषी गिरं कृत्वा दमयन्तीमथाब्रवीत्॥
The swan which Damayanti pursued, led her into a solitary corner of the gardens and addressed her a human speech the following words,

दमयन्ति नलो नाम निषधेषु महीपतिः। अश्विनोः सदृशो रूपे न समास्तस्य मानुषाः॥
“O Damayanti, there is a prince among the Nishadhas, named Nala, who is in beauty, like the Ashvins; and he has not his equal among men.

कन्दर्प इव रूपेण मूर्तिमानभवत् स्वयम्। तस्य वै यदि भार्या त्वं भवेथा वरवर्णिनी॥ सफलं ते भवेज्जन्म रूपं चेदं सुमध्यमे। वयं हि देवगन्धर्वमनुष्योरगराक्षसान्॥ दृष्टवन्तो न चास्माभिर्दृष्टपूर्वस्तथाविधः। त्वं चापि रत्नं नारीणां नरेषु च नलो वरः॥ विशिष्टया विशिष्टेन संगमो गुणवान् भवेत्।
In beauty he is like Kandarpa (the god of love) himself in his embodied form. O fair complexioned one, if you becomes his wife. O you of slender waist, your birth and also your beauty may be of some avail. We have, as a matter of fact, seen celestials, Gandharvas, men, Nagas and Rakshasas; but never have we seen one like him (Nala). As you are a jewel among the maidens, so Nala is the best among men. The best united with the best is of merit.

एवमुक्ता तु हंसेन दमयन्ती विशांपते॥ अब्रवीत् तत्र तं हंसं त्वमप्येवं नले वद। तथेत्युक्त्वाण्डजः कन्या विदर्भस्य विशाम्पते। पुनरागम्य निषधान् नले सर्वं न्यवेदयत्॥
O Prince, Damayanti, was in the above way addressed by the swan. She (Damayanti) in retum said to the swan, “you also thus speak unto Nala."O Prince, the bird having uttered to the daughter of Vidharbha "So be it" returned to the country of the Nishadhas and described everything to Nala himself.