As in Story – 2, we have read that Monkey Sage had given curse to Punjikasthala. Now read below part third of Lord Hanuman Tales.
Prays to Lord Shiva Prays to Lord Shiva
The monkey sage decided to soften the curse. He said, “I am very sorry, Punjikasthala. I cannot take back this curse. But as soon as you give birth to Lord Shiv’s incarnation, the curse will end. Pray to Lord Shiv.”
Shortly, Punjikasthala could feel something happening to her body. She rushed to a nearby river a noticed fur growing on her body.
Her face became just like that of a monkey and she grew tail, too! She was overcome with grief annd wandered here and there, in the forest.
Suddenly, she remembered the sage’s advice to pray to Lord Shiv. Punjikasthala soon created a small lingam and prayed to Lord Shiv and goddess Parvati before going to sleep.
Instantly she fell asleep peacefully.
The next morning, she again sat down to worship Shiv and Parvati. Then she continued her aimless journey till she came across a small hermitage.
She decided to stay here.
Punjikasthala as Anjana
Though Punjikasthala looked like a monkey, yet no one in the ashram mocked at her.
In fact, she was given fruits to eat. She ate the fruits happily, as she was feeling hungry after a long day.
One of the oldest hermits noticed her and asked who she was. Punjikasthala was about to disclose her identity, but she stopped suddenly.
She did not want to embarrass herself in front of others, by telling them that she was once an apsara who was cursed to become a monkey.
She thought people would mock at her for being cursed. She decided that she needed to start all over again with a new identity.
Looking at the tranquility in the hermit’s eyes, Punjikasthala sighed. She said in a weak voice, “Umm, my name is Anjana.” ‘To begin afresh, I need a new name. The name will bring a new destiny,” she thought.
Anjana Decides To Help Sage
The old hermit praised Anjana’s courage. “You are a very fearless woman, Anjana. You were wandering alone in this forest at night.
We generally do not step out at that time,” he said, trembling at the thought.
Anjana was confused at what the hermit said. “A gigantic demon called Sambasadan lives here. He has terrorised all the people of this forest. He is likely to attack our ashram today,” the hermit said and trembled again.
Anjana was very grateful to the hermits for the kindness and protection they gave her. So, she wished to help them in return. The hermit told her that they were devising a plan to defend themselves against the demon.
Anjana said in a decisive tone, “I will also help you in the fight.” The hermit accepted her offer to help and started the preparations.
Anjana made a small lingam on the ground and prayed to Shiv and Parvati.
Anjana Meets Kesari
Anjana prayed to Shiv and Parvati, “These kind people have provided me with protection. They have fed me and given me shelter. Now, it is my responsibility to help and keep them safe. My Lord, please give me strength so that I may fight this monster!”
Anjana felt like someone whispering these words to her, “No one but his own blood can destroy Sambasadan, my child! May victory be yours!” Anjana’s spirit was awakened by this benevolent voice. She was sure the Lord and the goddess had answered her prayers and they would, further, lead her to victory.
She picked her weapons up and readied herself for the battle. Just then, Anjana saw a well-built, powerful looking man standing next to her. His face was turned away, so she could not see him. He was also looking at the weapons. Anjana could make out that the man was a trained fighter, may be a king.