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THE WONDROUS STORY OF JANGALI
Slta devi herself gave initiation to Jahgall and NandinT, just as Paurnamasi-Yogamaya gave initiation to the two young dutls (girl-messengers of Radha and Krsna) Vlra and Vrnda. Jahgall was a dashing, harsh type and NandinT was soft and gentle. Jahgall was male, but was able to assume a female form. He went into the wild jungle full of bears and tigers near Gauda, the erstwhile capital of Bengal and began to do bha-jana there in his own kutira, assuming a female form. One day a number of hunters came there. They were thirsty, so when they saw the cottage they went there to get some water to drink. They saw her churning milk in the lonely forest, sur¬rounded by wild tigers and bears, so they offered their humble obeisances to her with devotion and went to the king to tell him of the wonder. The king then took some ministers along to see for himself. It took them hours to reach the place and when they arrived there they were almost dead of thirst. After Jahgall served them all water, the king asked her: "What are you doing here?" Jahgall said: "I am here to perform worship". The hunters told the king: "Maharaja, we saw her as a man, dressed in women's clothes." The king asked Jahgall: "Why are you, as a man, dressing like a woman and dwelling in this forest?" Jahgall answered: "I am always a woman". The king then ordered his servants: "Bring a woman here to test her sex.
They brought a woman from the nearest village who took off JahgalT's clothes and saw that she was not only a woman, but she was even having her period. The king was subse quently astonished to see her assuming a male form again. With devotion the king offered his obeisances unto her and told her to return to the urban world. Jahgall, however, said: "I am a orest-dweller, I have enough courage to stay here alone.In 'Prema Vilasa' the story is slightly different. There it is described that while NandinI remained with STta-devI to serve her, Jahgall took to the woods, that were infested with tigers and bears, to perform penance. When the Muslim-king of Bengal met her there he wanted to rape her. However, when he removed her garments he found out that she was a man, so he doubtfully asked her: "O ascetic girl, are you a woman or a man?" Jahgall replied: "I am a woman, not a man." The king then had a man and a woman brought from the nearest village to test her sex.The woman who inspected her testified that she was a female and the man who inspected her testified that he was a male. Jahgall said: "The saints always see me as a woman and call me mother. Ordinary men, however, first see me as a woman, but when their mind grows wicked they see me as a man (hence the man who tested her saw her as a man). The king then apologised, saying: "Mother, I am an offender please save me with your footdust. Jahgall then bestowed her grace on the king, who built an abode for her there named Jahgall Tota (Jahgall's garden).