Nathi, the princess of Balapur, was travelling through a forest to see King Artha who dreamed of marrying her. She was wearing the beautiful silk garment that was presented to her by Artha. On the way she saw a naked nun meditating in the forest. She looked young and beautiful. The men around her were singing praises. ‘Who is that?’ the princess asked to her charioteer. ‘That is Jalam, the great goddess of nature who protects the forest’, he replied.
‘I know you are not a goddess.’ Nathi shouted her, ‘Why are you not wearing any clothes? Are you not ashamed? You are questioning the dignity of women. You are a whore.’
Jalam asked, ‘How many silk worms did they kill to make that garment?’
Nathi was silent. She came out from the cocoon of her garments and meditated near Jalam. Nathi was never again polluted by clothes and wore only the skin that God and Nature had presented her. There were no artificial barriers to separate her from God and Nature. She never again thought of exploiting Nature to manufacture clothes.
Jalam turned into a spirit and entered into the silk garment. Numerous silkworms emerged from the garment which was not seen anymore. Jalam like a glow-worm flew into the heavens.
‘God has created us naked.
Why should we meddle with God’s creation?
God has made us beautiful.
Why should we hide our beauty?’ sang the devotees.
Nathi became the great goddess of Nature.
- DENVOR FERNANDEZ