- Father: Matali
- Mother: Sudharma
- Husband: Sumukha
Marriage to Sumukha
Matali was Lord Indra’s charioteer. His daughter Guna Kesi was of marriageable age but he couldn’t find anybody good to marry her. He had rejected all the men so far.
Matali was wondering what to do, when Sage Narada appeared in front of him, singing ‘Narayan Narayan’. “Sage Narada has traveled all the lokas. He must know someone suitable for my daughter to marry,” Matalia thought. He told Narada about his dilemma.
“You have traveled to the Patala lokas,” Matali said. “I wonder if you would know anybody who is a good match for my…” Matali trailed away.
“I can think of someone who will be the perfect match for your daughter,” Narada said. “But I will not tell you, I will show you.”
Narada and Matalia went to Patala. Narada took Matali to a Naga standing in a beautiful garden. “My friend Aaryaka, I would like you to meet Indra’s charioteer: Matali,” Narada said to the Naga.
Aaryaka welcomed the two of them and gave them a good meal. After eating, Aaryaka called his grandson Sumukha. The moment Matali saw Sumukha, he knew he had found the perfect match for his daughter. He was really respectful to his grandfather and there was love and patience in his eyes.
“I have a daughter named Guna Kesi. She is beautiful and very talented. I was wondering if you were interested in getting Sumukha married to my daughter,” Matali said to Aaryaka.
Sumukha and Aaryaka looked at each other is despair. Matali was confused and asked, “Is there a problem?”
“Haven’t you wondered why Sumukha’s father Chirakha isn’t here. I shouldn’t be talking to you about this, Sumukha’s father should be. The reason he isn’t here and Sumukha cannot get married to your daughter is Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu,” Aaryaka said.
Matali was flabbergasted and confused. “Do you know how Garuda stole the pot of Amrita from the devas? Indra promised the snakes would be his natural food,” Aaryaka asked. Matali nodded.
Aaryaka continued, “After that, Garuda started attacking the Nagas continuously. The Nagas promised to send a Naga a month for Garuda to eat in return that Garuda wouldn’t attack them. Last month, my son Chirakha was sent. And this month, Sumukha will be sent.”
Aaryaka started trembling in sorrow. Sumukha tried to comfort him. “There is nothing you can do, but there is something I can do,” Matali said with a smile.
The next day at Amaravati, when Matali entered with Sumukha into Indra’s court, Lord Vishnu himself was present. He bowed down to Vishnu and then Indra. “Why have you brought Sumukha here,” Indra asked.
“My Lord, I have a favor to ask from you. You know how I have been searching for a good match for Guna Kesi. Well, I have found one: Sumukha. However, I have a problem: Garuda,” Matali said.
Indra was suddenly feeling nervous. He thought he knew what Matali was asking of him. He glanced at Vishnu for support. Starting from when Garuda had defeated the deva army, he had started fearing Garuda.
“This month, it is Sumukha’s turn. I was wondering whether you could let Sumukha drink the Amrita so that he becomes immortal,” Matali continued.
Indra didn’t want to fight with Garuda again. After a long time, Indra decided that he would let Sumukha drink the Amrita. He was just about to give it, when the door shattered to pieces and an angry Garuda entered. “Indra!” he screamed. “What do you think you’re doing.”
“I am giving Sumukha the A…Amrita,” Indra answered in fear.
“Are you trying to insult me! He is mines to eat. Do you want what happened last time to happen again? Do you know who I am? I can defeat you easily. I am really strong. I can even carry the weight of Earth with one of my feathers. I am the vehicle of Lord Vishnu himself,” Garuda shouted.
“Garuda,” Vishnu whispered softly. “Garuda.” Vishnu’s voice was so powerful that een while shouting, Garuda heard. “Perhaps Indra doesn’t truly understand your power. I think you need to demonstrate your power. Carry me and show Indra,” he suggested.
Indra was confused. Why was Lord Vishnu telling Garuda to do this. Garuda went up to Vishnu, who climbed on his back. Suddenly, Garuda felt as if the whole universe’s weight were on him. He didn’t feel this way when he usually carried Vishnu. Soon, he couldn’t hold it anymore and collapsed on the ground.
“Garuda, you are acting extremely arrogant. Indra has the right to give his friend Sumukha the Amrita. He isn’t depriving you of his natural food,” Vishnu said.
Garuda pleaded for apology with Vishnu, who forgave him. He then apologized to Indra and Sumukha and left the court. Indra gave Sumukha the Amrita. Guna Kesi got married to Sumukha and they lived happily.