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  • A Gandharva maiden. Pramohinī and four Gandharva maidens were absolved from their curses by a drop of water from the river Narmadā. The story recounted to Yudhiṣṭhira by Nārada is as follows: Five Gandharva maidens Pramohinī, Suśīlā, Susvarā, Candrikā and Sutārā were friends. Pramohinī was the daughter of Śukasaṅgīti, Suśīlā that of Suśīla, Susvarā of Svaravedī, Candrikā that of Candraka and Sutārā of Suprabha. On a day in spring all the five went about collecting flowers in a forest. As they went on walking they reached the pond named Acchoda. They bathed in that pond and after that made an idol of Ambikā with clay and adorned it with golden ornaments. Putting marks on it with Kumkum (Saffron) and Candana (Sandalwood-paste) they danced around the idol with devotional songs. As they were doing so, the eldest son of sage Vedanidhi came to bathe in the Acchoda pond. He was very charming to look at with eyes like lotus, broad chest and round and brawny hands. He looked like another Kāmadeva (Cupid). He was wearing a deer-hide and around his waist was a yellow waist-band of Muñja grass. The five girls were attracted by the ascetic youth and stopping their dancing they at first thought of making him their guest. The more the girls looked at him the more they saw a resemblance of Kāmadeva in him and they decided to make him their husband. The girls started to approach him with amorous looks and perplexed by this move, the ascetic youth fled away from the place. The girls searched for him everywhere and he was not to be found. They found an emptiness on all sides. They thought that perhaps he might be a magician. They felt themselves in the plight similar to that of the gopīs who searched for the missing Kṛṣṇa. Somehow taking courage they reached their homes and fell down before their mothers. The mothers asked them why they were so late and they replied they knew not the passage of time speaking with the Kinnarīs who arrived there. Their bodies were hot and the mothers thought that it might be due to their brisk walking for such a long distance. Telling a lie like that to hide their secret, they lay on the ground thinking about him and him alone. They did not make the Kelīmayūra (peacock kept for pleasure) dance, did not teach the parrot in the cage, did not pet the mongoose nor did they converse with their pet Śārikā. The night seemed to them like a yuga and as soon as it was morning they ran up to the Acchoda pond. The brahmin boy came there that morning also for bathing. The five girls encircled him and requested him to marry them. He made several excuses and tried to get away from them. Then Pramohinī breaking the circle went and caught hold of him by his legs, Suśīlā and Susvarā caught hold of his hands, Sutārā embraced him and Candrikā kissed him on his cheeks. At last in despair the brahmin boy cursed them and turned them into devils. The girls were not to be subdued like that. They also cursed him in return and made him also a devil. All the devils formed like that by curses and countercurses lived in the same place in the forest. After a long time one day the sage Lomaśa came that way by chance and the burning effulgence of Lomaśa due to his severe penance made him unapproachable to the devils and they stood at a great distance from him. But the brahmin devil by the strength of his penance in his previous life knew Lomaśa and falling before him in prostration told him everything that had happened. Lomaśa was greatly moved by his story and he took them to the banks of the river Narmadā. At that time a wind blew and drops of water from the river, changed them into their original forms and they stood praising Narmadā. Then following the advice of Lomaśa the brahmin boy married the five girls and lived on the shores of Narmadā bathing in it, drinking its water and worshipping it. They lived there for long happily and then attained Viṣṇuloka. [Chapter 22, Padma Purāṇa] 

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