Mohini asking Rugmangada to kill
his own son Raja Ravi Varma Painting
Background : The
story of a devotee of Vishnu, his troubles with an enchantress and
how his unwavering devotion finally pays off.
Rugmangada was a devotee of Lord Vishnu who strictly
observed the Ekadasi (the 11th day from the full and the new moon)
day, sacred to Vishnu. Jealousy overtakes the demigods and they
decide to test Rugmangada. They send an enchantress, Mohini, to
test Rugmangada. The play begins here.
The heavenly enchantress captivates the king with her beauty and
promises to be his mistress if he will grant her all her desires.
The king agrees to do so. It becomes the topic of conversation.
Then, on one ekadasi day, Mohini approaches Rugmangada and attempts
to embrace him. Repulsed, she reminds him of his promise. But it
is ekadasi day. For her nothing doing - promise is a promise. The
only way she would release him from his promise is by Rugmangada
killing his son, Dharmangada, while lying in his mother's lap. That
too, without shedding a tear! Mohini is adamant and shows no mercy.
Dharmangada hears his father's plight. He appears
at the scene, with his mother, Sandhyavali. He would gladly give
up his life to let his father keep his promise. After much mental
torture, Rugmangada decides that he would rather kill his son than
break the observance of ekadasi. He raises his sword. At that point
Vishnu appears and tells Rugmangada not to kill his son and that
Mohini was a creation of Brahma to test his devotion. Mohini is
dismissed, Dharmangada is crowned king and Vishnu takes Rugmangada
to his abode, Vaikunta.