JAIN MONK KALAKACHARYA DEFEATED KING GARDABILLA (Post No.5011)

 

 

JAIN MONK KALAKACHARYA DEFEATED KING GARDABILLA (Post No.5011)

 

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 14 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 19-47 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5011

 

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Kalakacharya was a Jain monk in Ujjain which was ruled by Gardabilla at that time. Gardabilla went to the Jain ashram and abducted Kalakcharya’s sister Sarasvati.

 

Though most of the Jains at that time were Kshatrias (warrior caste),they followed non- violence. So Kalakacharya went to the king and asked him to return his sister but he refused like Ravana. He even insulted him.

In the Ramayana we see that Rama sends messengers to Ravana to return Sita but he refused and brought his own destruction.

 

Angered by the king’s insult,  Kalakacharya went to a nearby kingdom and asked him to invade Gardabilla’s kingdom. The neighbour king  was a ruler from Saka race. He told Kalakacharya that he had not got enough strength or army to invade Gardabilla. Then Kalakacharya himself took over as the commander of the army and invaded the kingdom of Gardabilla. This brought down Gardabilla’s rule. But Kalakacharya pardoned him. The defeated Gardabilla went to the forest to spend rest of his life where he was killed by a tiger. His son Vikramaditya had to live with the animals.

 

Later Vikaramaditya gathered enough soldiers and invaded his father’s kingdom and defeated the Saka ruler. This victory was celebrated by starting a new era called Vikrama era from first century BCE.

 

Manu, author of the first Law Book in the world and Tiruvalluvar, author of the Tamil Veda Tirukkural say that one must not estrange good people or saints. If they do that then their kingdoms will perish along with them. Manu gives the examples of Nahusa, Sumuka, Vena and other bad kings.

Tiruvalluvar in his Tamil Veda says,

Even kings, who rest on solid supports, will not be saved,

if men of spiritual power frown upon them – (Kural 900)

If principled men of lofty spirituality and penance are angered

Even a king will be ruined and destroyed (Kural 899)

The story of Kalakacharya’s victory over Gardabilla is found in Jain and Hindu literature of tenth and 12th Centuries, i.e. 1000 or 1500 years after Emperor Vikramaditya. So we don’t know the full story. But the miniature paintings of Kalakacharya are found in many museums around the world including Brooklyn museum in the US.

–Subham–

 

Twelve Types of Sons- Kautilya (Post No.4977)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 4 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 7-04 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4977

 

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Kautilya observes in his monumental work Arthasastra, that wives are indeed for bearing sons—Artha sastra 3-2
A husband with a barren wife is allowed to remarry. Hindus believed that a son is necessary to do the funeral rites so that the dead person can avoid a hell called ‘puth’. That’s why a son is called Puthra.

Medical Care (Maternity care)
In the days of Kautilya great medical care was available for pregnant ladies. The midwife attended to her. The state exempted midwives from curfew rules.2-35
The commodities required for confinement were exempted from tolls 2-21
A pregnant woman gets free ferry service 2-28.
Criminal law exempted her from physical torture during pregnancy and one month after delivery.

Kautilya talks about oblations offered to Indra and Brihaspati  for the welfare of the mother and baby.1-17

Greek Ambassador Megasthenes too says
“From the time of their conception in the womb they are under the guardian care of learned men, who go to the mother and under pretence of using some incantations, for the welfare of herself and her unborn baby in reality gives her prudent hints and counsel. The women who listen most willingly are thought to be the most fortunate in their children”.

Speaking of physicians, Megathenes records
“By their knowledge of pharmacy they can make marriage and determine the sex of the offspring”.

xxx

 

Various classes of sons are described by the Artha sastra (1-17) and they are

1.AURASA
Son begotten by the husband on his wife who has gone through all the required ceremonials

2.PUTRIKAAPUTRA
Son of the appointed daughter
3.KSETRAJA
Son Begotten on a wife of a person by another man, appointed for the purpose, and of the same gotra as that of the husband or of a different gotra (clan)

4.GUUDHAJA
Son secretly born in the house of relatives
5.APAVIDDHA
Son cast off by his natural parents and to belong to that man who performs necessary religious ceremonials to him.

6.KAANIINA
Son of an unmarried girl
7.SAHODHA
Son of a woman married while carrying

8.PAUNARBHAVA
Son of a remarried woman
9.DATTA
He who is given in adoption with water by both the father and the mother (Hindus use water for giving, cursing etc)
10.UPAGATA
Son who either of his own accord or following the the intention of his relatives, offers himself to be son of another
11.KRITAKA
He who is appointed as a son
12.KRIITA
He who is purchased.

 

xxx


There are various other types of sons born of inter caste marriages

Kautilya was great in describing all the possibilities and allocating shares in the parental property.

It shows that the Hindu family system became very complex even during his time, 2300 years ago!

Source: Kautilya on Love and Morals by P C Chunder

— Subham —

FORGOTTEN INDOLOGIST W H ROBINSON (Post No.4966)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 1 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 13-54 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4966

 

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When I was looking for Bhartruhari’s Ntisataka with full commentary at the SOAS library of University of London, I came across an interesting book explaining the The Story of Sunashcepa in English verse  form from the Aitareya Brahmana of the Rig Veda, I read the brief profile of William Henry Robinson. His profile shows that some people are hooked to ancient Sanskrit under some strange circumstances.

The footnotes under the verses are very informative; This shows his good understanding of the Vedic literature. This is the first time I read the story of Sunashepa in full.

Here is the profile of W H Robinson

 

 

THE STORY OF SUNASHCEPA

Sunahsepa was bought for sacrificing to Varuna in place of Rohita, son of Harischandra, the 28th King of Solar race. But seer Vishwamitra rescued him. Sayana, the most popular Vedic commentator, says no animal or no living being was sacrificed in the fire, but they are all released immediately after the fire was taken around the vedic Yupa posts where they were tied. Without Sayana we could not understand any hymn and so what Sayana says must be correct.

Hindu law makers made it compulsory to recite the Story of  Sunahsepa in every coronation and Rajasuya yajna.

 

–SUBHAM–

 

WHAT DID INDIA GIVE TO THE WORLD?- HENRY S.MAINE (Post No.4964)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 30 APRIL 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 19-05 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4964

 

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“Indian has given to the world comparative philology and comparative mythology; it may yet give us a new not less than valuable than the science of language and folk lore. I hesitate to call it comparative jurisprudence because if it ever exists, its area will be much wider than the field of law.

For Indian not only contains a language (Sanskrit) older than any other descendent of the common mother tongue, and a variety of names of natural objects less perfectly crystallized than elsewhere into fabulous personages, but it includes a whole world of Hindu institutions, Hindu customs, Hindu laws, Hindu ideas, Hindu beliefs, in a far earlier stage of growth and development than any which survive beyond its borders.

There are undoubtedly in it the materials for a new science, possibly including many branches. To create it, indeed to give it more than a beginning, will require may volumes to be written, and many workers to lend their aid:- Rede Lecture 1875

xxx

 

Role of Brads in preserving history!

No race of men is more proud of ancestry than the chiefs of the ruling dynasties of India. The records of their geneologies are maintained with scrupulous care, more particularly in the states of Rajaputana, by a body of hereditary bards, who are endowed wth lands and pensions for the special purpose.

 

Sangam literature also talks of the Tamil bards who sang the panegyrics of kings and chieftains. Another kind of bards stood in front of the palace and sang the praise of the kings in the very early morning.

The descent of the present rulers of Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and many others, from the ancient solar dynasties, and, therefore, thorugh Harischandra, is undoubted all over India.

Jarasandha was the founder of  Pandu dynasty in Magada, whose capital was the ancient Rajagriha. He was a contemporary of Yudhisthira of Mahabharata.

Every Brahman family of India claim to be descended from one or other of the Seven Great Rishis or sages who were exalted to the stars of the constellation – Sapta Rishi Mandla, also known as the Ursa Major (the Great Bear).

 

Homer and Indian Poets

Sir Monier Williams said in Indian Wisdom,

“Much of the Homeric poems are still admired, no one in any part of the world, now dreams of placing he slightest faith in their legends, so as to connect them with religious opinions and practices. In India a complete contrast in this respect may be observed. The myths of the Indian Epics are still closely interwoven with present faith”. – (Page 433, Indian Wisdom)

–from The Golden Legend of India, William Henry Robinson,1909

 

–Subham–

 

31 More Quotations from Poet Kalhana (Post No.4948)

31 More Quotations from Poet Kalhana (Post No.4948)

MAY 2018 GOOD THOUGHTS CALENDAR

 

COMPILED by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 25 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  18-05

 

Post No. 4948

 

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Kalhana was a minister in Kashmir King Harsha’s (1089-1101) Kingdom. He wrote his epic poem in Sanskrit, Rajatarangini (River of Kings). It gives the history of Kashmir. Lst month I publied 30 quotations from him. Now there are 31 more quotes from Rajatarangini of Kalahana.

 

FESTVAL DAYS:  May 10-Hanuman Jayanti (Telugu region) ; 28 Vaikasi Visakam in Tamil  temples; Agni nakshatram begins 4 ; 28 ends

 

EKADASI/ HINDU FASTING DAYS- May 11, 25

 

AMAVASYAI/ NEW MOON-  May 15

 

FULL MOON DAY/ PURNIMA- May 29
Auspicious Days in MAY -2, 4, 6, 7, 13, 20, 25, 27

 

In the past three years, hundreds of quotations are given in both Tamil and English monthly calendars in my blog. Please use them

 

May 1 Tuesday
Achievement
What cannot be accomplished by anyone who disregard s his own limbs and mind?
Such a person is capable of bold enterprise. Rajatarangini 7-1328

May 2 Wednesday
Acquaintance
Acquaintance with the use of weapons is common but a strategist is not.
7-1529

May 3 Thursday
Aim
Everyone knows how to use a dart but rarely is one aware of its aim. 7-804

May 4 Friday
Beauty
She had full breasts curved like a jar and also the excellent hips. She was the embodiment of joy in love as well as in a home.4-18

May 5 Saturday
Benefits
There is not one action of the cloud which is not beneficial to others, some plants open their blossoms, when lightning flashes through it pains the eyes, others blossom at the roar of thunder which hurts the ears. Nevertheless, the dull witted find in it no other virtue except that of giving of rain 8-1556

 

May 6 Sunday
Bravery
When a bold man, after completing his duty, is about to rest, fate imposes on him burdens of New responsibilities- 8-1791

May 7 Monday

Celebrity
Only among ordinary people a thing of surpassing merit becomes celebrity. Who can lure the attention of the mighty to such superb objects? 4-254
May 8 Tuesday
Certainty
If a tree which protect s a river bank collapse s in a flood, the creeper which lives on it, will surely follow suit.8-3250

May 9 Wednesday
Chance
What is intended for protection may, through a stroke of fate, cause destruction.-7-804

 

May 10 Thursday
Change
Providence by burning the thin grass produces the thick verdure. After a day of acute warmth, it rains.8-1790

 

 

May 11 Friday
Enmity
In spite of constant reconciliations, enmity, even though allayed, repeatedly enters the heart just as a wet garment, in spite of its being repaired, is often torn .7-384
 

May 12 Saturday
Courage
The heroic think an object attainable by courage, the timid by caution; otherwise between them there could be little difference. 6-363

May 13 Sunday
Danger
Danger causes sudden alarm but not when one in the midst of it . Water is chill when it is poured on one’s head but not when one is sunk in it.-8-1097

May 14 Monday

Death
A man will not be slain even by a stroke of  lightning before his time but one who has reached his allotted span might die even from a flower 8-531

 

May 15 Tuesday

Fortune
Fortune which merchants obtain by misappropriation of deposits, which courtesans get by deceiving their lovers, or princes through treason, is after all impermanent. 4-181

Fortune moving about unsteadily, like the lightning playing in the sky, always follow s the cloud of destiny . With whom does it abide permanently? 8-1896

When extraordinary good fortune of overwhelming glory comes to a man, retreating misfortune increases the power of its sorrows.7-795

Fate grants fortune to that person whom those who think themselves wise, persist in considering as unfit 8-491

Fortune like a prostitute daubed with a magic powder conquers even the strong minded, making them unlawful- 8-189
 

May 16 Wednesday
Defeat
Every great person finally meets with humiliating defeat just if he was a common man. Who then could proudly think I am great 8-335
May 17 Thursday

Dependence
By dependent on others, even an animal’s spirit is hurt 7-72

May 18 Friday
Destiny
Destiny can be opposite if and when jackals victoriously control a lion 8-1470
The mighty are cheated by the infirm and those who hold all might in their control, are deluded by the power less 7-959
Who else like him had his head cremated in one place and the rest of his body in another? 8-1473
May 19 Saturday

Devotion
Devotion to one’s sovereign does not change in honest men till they die 7-1322

May 20 Sunday

Diamond
The diamond is not cut by any other precious stone but on the contrary it cuts them. 4-51

 

May 21 Monday
Diplomacy
Let those who know diploma cy recommend to a different occasion either subservience or when expedient the discharge of duty. 8-691

In contentious transactions virtuous conduct is revealed by speech alone

May 22 Tuesday

Great
The great for a few favour s give much of their own. 3-276

None is great except the greedy, in doing good to others 7-502

The reputation of the great does not by any means conform to their birth place.4-41
May 23 Wednesday

Earth
The earth has been preordained for enjoyment of the valiant. 7-1288

May 24 Thursday

Equanimity
The ocean is not warmed by the submarine fire nor does it cold by the snow s of the Himalayas when they enter it. Men of unruffled mind display equanimity either in dejection or exultation 8-2666
May 25 Friday

Favour
In giving births, parents confer their only favour on their offspring but the sovereign does on all occasions 8-694

May 26 Saturday
Enterprise
In the course of daring ventures. It is not surprising if, through providence, a hundred thousand are vanquished by a single man or a single person by a hundred thousand .7-1499

May 27 Sunday
Fear
If the banks of rivers will only smell of a lion, to elephants they will seem as though they are on fire 8-3013

May 28 Monday

Fools
Fools who depend on cheap recognition and move about every where thoughtlessly like beasts deserve to be scorned. 8-215

May 29 Tuesday

Followers
The lightning of prosperity, the crane of celebrity, the thunder of boldness, and the rainbow of prowess, follow the cloud of prudence. 7-1455

 

 

May 30 Wednesday

Futility
What fragrance can a multitude of flower garlands bring to one, whose life has passed away? That is what natural beauty and glory of things mean to a fool. 4-501

May 31 Thursday

Good luck
Good luck will not be impoverished 7-1044

-SUBHAM-

CORONATION OF HINDU KINGS IN ANCIENT INDIA (Post No.4935)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 21 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  15-13 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4935

 

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Ancient Hindu coronations are explained in the Hindu Epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. They followed the rituals prescribed in the Brahmanas (Vedic Literature). They used to recite the story of Sunashepa. It was a symbolic human sacrifice. The Brahmana literature says in very clear terms that all the animals tied to the sacrifice poles are released before the fire sacrifice.

 

Ramayana and Mahabharata describe the state and the pageantry of the great coronation (Rajasuya) of Rama and Yudhishthira respectively. They were consulted as precedents for like ceremonies in later ages. 2000 years ago  Tamil Choza king Perunarkilli performed Rajasuya Yajna for which the other two Tamil Kings of Chera and Pandya countries came. Tamil poetess Avvaiyaar attended the Rajasuya and praised all the three great kings (Ref.Purananuru)

 

Like Hindus recite the story of Sunashepa in Hindu coronations, the British read/recited the Bible. In the coronations of British sovereigns at Westminster, the Holy Bible is brought from off the altar by the Dean of Westminster, and handed to the Archbishop, who “with the rest of the bishops going along with him, shall present it to the Queen/King, saying these words to her/him ‘ Our gracious Queen/King we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords; Here is wisdom; This is the Royal Law ; These are the lively Oracles of God; Blessed is he that readeth, and  they that hear the words of this book, that keep and do the things contained in it…etc.”

 

The Rajasuya (King making) ceremony was specially used for the inauguration of a king, who by conquest or through influence had supremacy over other kings.

 

It was partly a repetition of the Abisheka or bathing (with holy water) ceremony with which every king was crowned at his accession.; and lasted at least one whole year, sometimes for several years. It included many rites, civil and religious peculiar to the various peoples of India.

Aitareya Brahmana

Aitareya Brahmana belongs to the Shakala Shaka of the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world. It describes the heavenly coronation ceremony in detail. Santi Parva of Mahabharata, the oldest and longest epic in the world; says that it is the chief duty of the people of a country to inaugurate a king, because the Devas performed a similar ceremony for Indra.

 

India was the first democracy in the world according to the Rig Veda. The reference to Sabhas and Samitis and the words ‘Chosen’ ‘elected’ prove this.

 

Every king in India was chosen by the ministers and elders of the capital city. Even Valmiki shows this in his Ramayana where Dasaratha consulted his senior citizens. Even Indra, the celestial type of earthly sovereignty was ‘chosen’ by the Devas, for their king.

 

In ancient India, there were two capital cities for two different races. Hasinapura and newly constructed  Indraprastha near modern Delhi was the capital of Bharata Kings of the Lunar Race. Ayodhya was the capital of Ikshvakus of the Solar Race. It is also not far from Delhi.

Abisheka / Anointment

The main ceremony in the coronation of a Hindu king was Abisheka or bathing with holy water. For this the water from all the holy rivers of India and the sea water from four different corners of India was brought and filled in golden pots. After uttering the Vedic mantras the king was bathed with that water. During the repeat ceremonies (Punar Abisheka) it is done again.

Ordinary people also had this type of abisheka during their 60th, 70th, 80th and 100th birth anniversaries. For Brahmins the golden pots, for Kshatrias the silver pot, for Vaisyas copper pots and for Shudras the earthen pots were used in ancient India.

 

Invitation was sent to all the kings and they came with big presents for the new king. We have a very long list of presents that Yudhisthira received in the Mahabharata. According to Vedic scriptures the ceremony took place in an open air. Fixed erections such as altars and open sheds were demolished at the end of the ceremony.

Women watching from Multi Story Buildings

The interest with which Hindu ladies watched such ceremonies from the latticed windows of multi story buildings are described in Sanskrit literature. Nala Charita (History of King Nala) mentions a lofty balcony from which men and women watched the ceremony. In the Ramayana the mischief making Manthara observed the preparations for installation of Rama as Yuva Raja (prince) from an upper window and at his final installation the women are referred to as watching the ceremonies from the upper windows of overlooking mansions.  Sangam Tamil literature mentions seven storied buildings.

The general arrangements of the coronation ground were the same as other sacrifices. The Aitareya Brahmana explains the symbolism of plan, by comparing its three divisions to Earth (a sitting room) Air (fire place) and Sky (two repositories for food (Sadas, Agnidhriya and Havirdhana respectively). With reference to the last word it is further said Heaven and Earth are the two havirdhanas of the Gods for every offering is made between them.

But there were some modifications for accommodating vast crowds and display the coronation pageants. Kings from neighbouring countries also attended it.

The Brahmana literature says “And that sacrificial mansion crowded with kings and Brahmins and great rishis/seers, looked, O King, as handsome as heaven itself, crowded with the gods.”

Ficus Glomerata Tree and Gold

The throne seat was made of Udumbara wood (Ficus glomerata). It rested on four legs with boards placed on them, just one foot high. It had side boards two feet high. It was well fastened with sacred Munja grass (sachcharum munja).

 

A tiger skin was placed on the seat with hair side upward, and the neck to the east, typical of royal, military, power, the tiger being the hero of Indian beasts.

Ramayana and Venkateswara Suprabada praise Rama as Tiger among men ( Narasardula).

Vishnu Sahasranama refers to three trees of Ficus family (Moraceae) as God Vishnu:

Asvatta (Ficus religiosa)

Vata (Ficus indica)

Udumbara (Ficus glomerata)

 

The king ascended it on his knees, praying to gods to ascend it with him, and they were believed, though unseen, to do so.

According to Vedic literature, every sacrifice must be accompanied by his wife. The Queen-consort, also took part in the coronation ceremony. Ramayana says,

Vasistha, chief for revered age,

High on a throne, with jewels graced,

King Rama, and his Sita placed

–Ramayana 6-130

Soma feast was part of coronation; soma drink is different from Sura (alcoholic drinks) drinks. It may be compared to something like strong coffee (Expresso) or a herbal coffee.

The crown was a small branch of the Udumbara tree set in a circlet of gold (Indus valley seals show it ). The crown was sprinkled with the holy waters.

 

Two strainers are used for bathing the king. He (the priest)  weaves gold (threads) into them. With them he purifies these consecration waters… Gold is immortal life (Satapata 5-3-5-15)

Below the king’s foot the priest throws a small gold plate with “Save him from death’; Gold is immortal life; he thus takes his stand on immortal life” mantra.

Then there is another gold plate with a hundred or nine holes. That gold plate is laid upon king’s head; The king thus lays immortal life into him (Satapata 5-4-12-14)

The signal to the chorus through the response to a verse chanted by the chief reciter, of the sacred syllable Aum to a Vedic verse and of Evam tathaa (so it is), the exact equivalent o modern Amen in Christian church.

Rig Vedic mantras and Yajur Vedic formulas are used in the coronation mantras.

–Collected from  (year 1898) an old book ‘The Golden Legend of India’ by William Henry Robinson and added my own inputs.

 

–Subham–

 

 

MURDEROUS QUEENS OF ANCIENT INDIA! (Post No.4930)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 19 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  16.42 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4930

 

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MURDEROUS QUEENS OF ANCIENT INDIA! (Post No.4930)

Chanakya gives very interesting details of the lady Macbeths of ancient India. after the Non Kshatriya rule in Magada empire, the morality had gone down very much. Kalidasa in the first chapter of his Raguvamsam describes the excellent qualities of the kings of the Solar Dynasty. But after the invasion of Persians and Greeks, the situation had changed.

 

Kautilya alias Chanakya in his monumental work Artha sastra warns against the conspiracies in the harem of the kings. Here are some interesting tit bits:-

 

P C Chunder in his book Kautilya on Love and Morals says,

“The royal harem stinks with an air of suspicion and concealed dangers. The Artha sastra mentions detailed precautions against palace intrigues. Provided with many compartments, enclosed by parapet and ditch, furnished with delusive chamber, underground rooms, secret doors, passages and hollow pillars, the harem is sought to be made proof against snake, fire and poison (Artha sastra 1-20)

women’s compartments are provided with medicines and herbs useful in midwifery and diseases. Guards under the command of Antarvamsika (harem chief) stand on watch between two compartments. Asoka mentions a minister if charge of affairs of women-folk. The officer is called Stri-Adyaksha- Mahaamaatra.

 

According to Kautilya, a minster who has passed the ‘Love Test’ may find employment in the royal harem. It is interesting to note that Antarvamsika is a highly paid officer. According to Kautilya he draws 24,000 Panas, second in rank in the matter of pay to the Prime Minster, Chief Priest, Commander-in-chief, the Crown Prince, the Queen and the Queen Mother who receive 48,000 Panas each(AS 5-3).

Pana= ancient coinage in gold or silver

With spies in various garbs, ole men and eunuchs watching the inmates including the palace guards, the harem is sealed off from inside. Ascetics, buffoons and public prostitutes are not allowed to go in. Even queen’s relatives are not allowed in unless someone falls sick.

 

Vatasyayan too observes in Kamasutra: No woman of place should be allowed to go out of the palace nor any outside to enter except who are known to be of good character. (KS 4-2-83)

According to Kautilya, before meeting the king even the queen has to submit to body searches by old maid servants. The proof of personal purity must be established before the king could touch any woman.

 

Kautilya cites number of instances in which the king was surprised by assassins in the harem, “for hidden in queen’s chamber, his own brother slew king Bhadrasena; hiding himself under the bed of his mother the son killed king Kaaruusa; mixing fried rice with poison, as though honey, his own queen poisoned Kaaasiraaja . Similarly, many other queens slew their husbands with poison painted an ankletor coated on a gem or her zone, or a looking glass or with a weapon hidden under her tuft of hair (AS 1-20; also Kamandaka 7-51-54.

Kautilya’s apprehension for the personal safety of the king is justified by other sources.

Both Roman historian Curtius Rufus (first century CE) and Greek author Diodoros Siculus (fierst century BCE) refer to the episode of an eastern queen who fell in love with  a low born person, a handsome barber, advanced him in the court circle, murdered or caused to be murdered her first husband, the reigning and king and finally, set up the paramour on the throne. She was the mother of Agrammes, ruler of Prasii and Gangaridae.

 

The Jain traditions also record a similar story. They describe Nanda as the son f a barber by a courtesan (Parisistaparvan 6-232)

 

The Divyaavadaana reports that Asoka kept a close watch on his harem. once a royal lady gossiped with a prince. Both were beaten to death at the king’s order (Divya.377)

 

The Mudraaraaksasa also confirms the tradition of intrigues and palace revolutions. According to Manu, only women devoted to him and well examined and found  safe as regards their dress and ornaments should be allowed to touch him when fanning or bathing him or applying perfumes to his body (Manu 7-219) Even the Mahabharata states that the king should trust nobody, not even his sons (Santi parva 85-33

-to be continued………………….

–Subham–

 

 

HINDU KING’S 24 HOUR SCHEDULE (Post No.4927)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 18 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  21-06 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4927

 

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Chanakya, the oldest economist and political thinker in the word, has listed the qualities of a great king. Along with that he has given a time table for a day for a king. Each period is approximately one and half hour. The stateman who created the mighty Magadan empire and the mightiest Magadan army, which created fear in the army of Alexander, has written many books such as Arthasastra and Chanakya Neeti.

 

Let us look at the Arthasastra where he enumerates the qualities and routine of a king:

One day is divided into two parts Day time and Night time:

Day

1.receiving guards and checking finances

2.attending to the affairs of the city and the country peoples

3.bath, food and study

4.receiving revenue and meeting superintendents

5.despatching writs, meeting council of ministers and hearing secret information

6.favourite entertainment

7.superintending the army in its branches

8.considering military plans with Commander-in- chief; at the end of the day offering the evening prayer.

 

Night

1.receiving secret emissaries

2.bath, food and study

3.entering the bed chamber amid music

  1. sleep

5.sleep

6.rising with music and recalling sastric  injunction and contemplating on the day’s duty

7.considering administrative measurers and sending out spies

8attending to spiritual matters, physicians, cooks and astrologers etc. entering court.

 

Qualities of a Hindu King

An ideal king must undergo a broad education in arts and sciences

Conquer his senses

Avoid others wives and properties

Devote himself to the maintenance of Law and Order

Strive diligently for the welfare of the subjects

(AS Chapter 1)

 

Al Basham, author of The Wonder that was India, says

“The Arthasastra, despite its advocacy of every dishonest expedient for the acquisition and maintenance of power, puts the kingly duties in simple and forceful language, setting an ideal such as few ancient civilizations can boast of.”

In chapter 6 Chanakya alias Kautilya harps on the necessity of an ideal king’s

magnetic personality

intellectual acumen

spirit of enthusiasm

and deep rooted self-possession.

Kautilya elaborates on these qualities:

Born of a high family

godly, possessed of valour

seeing through the medium of aged persons

virtuous and truthful

grateful, having large aims

highly enthusiastic

not addicted to procrastinations

powerful to control his neighbouring kings

of resolute mind

having an assembly of ministers and possessed of a taste for discipline.

 

source book- Kautilya on Love and Morals, P C Chunder

 

–subham—

 

POEMS ON INDIA (Post No.4880)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 4 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  7-42 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4880

 

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Following are some of the poems about India composed by famous people. Tamil poet Bharati has composed lot of verses on India in Tamil. I will give the English translations of those separately.


FREEDOM

Freedom from want and hunger
Freedom from disease
Freedom from ignorance and illiteracy
Freedom from caste and communal tensions
Freedom from foreign interference
These are not just dreams
These are free India’s aspirations
And for their fulfilment each one of us must be
Prepared for hard work and sacrifice
Together we can
Together we must
—–Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, Govt. of India

Xxx

 


HAIL TO THE MOTHER!

Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleams
Cool with thy winds of delight
Dark fields waving, Mother of might
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming ,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother, I kiss thy feet
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.
——Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

Xxx

 

An Adieu

 

India, farewell! I shall not see again

Thy shining shores, thy peoples of the sun

Gentle, soft mannered, by a kind word won

To such quick kindness! O’er the Arab main

Our flying flag streams back; and backwards stream

My thoughts to those fair open fields I love,

City and village, maidan, jungle, grove,

The temples and rivers! Must it seem

Too great for one man’s heart to say it holds

So many many Indian sisters dear,

So many unknown brothers? That it folds

Lakhs of true friends parting? Nay! But there

Lingers my heart, leave-taking; and it roves

From hut to hut whispering “he knows and loves!”

Good-bye! Good-night! Sweet may your slumbers be,

Gunga! And Kasi! And Saraswati!

—Edwin Arnold

March 8, 1886

 

xxxx

Past Glory

My country! In thy days of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
and worshipped as a deity thou wast—
Where is thy glory, where the reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou,
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well—let me dive into the depths of time
And bring from out the ages, that have rolled
A few small fragments of these wrecks sublime
Which human eye may never more behold
And let the guerdon of my labour be,
My fallen country! One kind wish for thee!

 

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (1819-1831,Kolkata)

 

xxxx

Munshi’s Poem

Beyond the rugged plane

Andd the flowing stream

And life on these

Shines forth the

Light of knowledge

That Indian stands for.

–Kulapati K M Munshi

 

xxx

Sarojini Naidu’s Poem

Thy Future calls thee with a manifold sound

To crescent honours, splendours, victories vast;

Waken, O Slumbering Mother, and be crowned,

O friend, my country’s friend, O voice incarnate, free,

O India’s soul!

–Sarojini Naidu

 

xxx

 

Concern for India

Heavens have concealed thunderstorms under the horizons
Let not the nightingale of the garden remain unaware of the danger
Get concerned about the motherland
O! I innocent compatriot. Trouble is
In store for you,
There are signs of your destruction
In the skies above
Look at what is happening now, and
What is in store for the future,
Nothing would be gained by harping-on the tales of the past
Take heed, sons and daughters of Hind

—Poet Iqbal’s  poem,
Taswir I Dard

 

SARE JAHAN SE ACCHHA SONG

 

Our India is the best amongst the countries of the world. We are its nightingales and it is our garden.

That highest peak – neighbour of the sky is our guard.

A thousand rivulets play in its lap.

And due to them it has become the envy of the heaven.

religion does not teach us mutual hatred. we all are Indians and India is our country.

—Poet Iqbal (English translation of his Sare Jahan se achha Hindustan Hamara

 

xxx

BHARAT AMAR
INDIA, my INDIA, where first human eyes awoke to heavenly light!
All Asia’s holy place of pilgrimage, great Motherland of might!
World mother, first giver to human kind of philosophy and sacred lore,
Know ledge thou gav’st to man, God love, works, art, religions open door,
O even with all that grandeur dwarfed or turned to bitter loss and maim
How shall we mourn who are thy children and can vaunt thy mighty name?
Before us still there floats the ideal of these splendid days of gold
A new world in our vision wakes, Loves India we shall rise to mould.
India, my India, who dare call thee a thing for pity’s grace today?
Mother of wisdom, worship, works, nurse of the spirits inward Ray!
—-Dwijendra lal

Xxx

 


BHARATHOM

Spreading her glory everywhere
India is developing
Adding strength and influence
India prospers day by day.

At the onset of dawn
With her darkness gone
Happiness flourishes on
In the minds of everyone

Oh, Motherland, like a Kamadhenu
When your chains are broken
There in the faces of villages
Is seen the smile of prosperity

The depressed, and the lazy
The sufferer and the greedy
Shall have no place
And with these will go illiteracy.
Vennikulam Gopalakurup

—A poem in Malayalam prescribed for fourth standard in Kerala

Xxxx

 

from A H H Murray’s book Highway to Empire

–subham–

WHY SHOULDN’T YOU TELL A WOMAN A SECRET? A NAGA STORY (Post No.4877)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 3 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  7-43 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4877

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

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There are lot of stories in India about the Naga race. They were the people who wore snake charms or totem symbols or perhaps their leaders wore Naga/snake crowns. But in course of time people started believing they were real snakes or serpents. All stories develop like this in all parts of the world. Facts are hidden in myths. Let us look at some stories: –

 

The conflict between the snake and garuda/eagle have given birth to several stories around the world. Lot of countries have flags or emblems or coins or currencies showing the enmity between the Garuda/eagle and the snake. India has such stories from the Mahabharata to Puranas

 

The Naga who revealed the secret to a woman!

Once a Naga fleeing in fear of a Garuda/ eagle assumed human shape and took refuge in a house. The lady of the house agreed to hide the person for a fee of 500 elephants.  After sometime the lady asked the Naga how and where from he was going to get 500 elephants. The Naga fell in love with her and revealed his real identity. The lady revealed this secret to another woman. That woman disclosed this to Garuda who was in the human form. Garuda took the human form to search for the fleeing Naga. The result was the poor serpent / naga was killed by the eagle. The moral of the story is NO WISE MAN SHOULD DISCLOSE A SECRET TO A WOMAN. This is a folk tale told along with the Naga stories

 

KING UDAYANA OF VATSA AND THE LUTE

Once Udayana , the king of Vatsa kingdom, was roaming in a forest  in pursuit of a deer. At that time he saw a serpent caught by a hunter. Moved with pity the king asked the hunter to release the serpent and promised him to give something else. The hunter replied, “My Lord, this is my livelihood. I maintain myself by exhibiting snakes. I ma a snake charmer. They dance to my tunes. On hearing this Udayana gave him his costly golden bracelet and then the hunter released the snake. The serpent was very much pleased with the king and it gave him a wonderful lute.

 

The hunter saw the name of King Sahsranika on the bracelet and so he took it to the king. This lead to the reunion of the consorts Sahsranika- Mrgavati who were separated for 14 years. Mrgavati was Udayana’s mother.

 

It is said that Vatsa raja used the lute to capture wild elephants.

 

STORY OF JIMUTA VAHANA

The feud between the Garuda and Naga has found a place in most of the Sanskrit literature. The fairy tale of Jimutavahana is very popular and Katha Sarit Sagra narrates this story twice.   Brhat Katha Manjari and 25 tales of Vetala also narrate this story. King Harsa has dramatized this story in his play Nagananda. Nagas freed from the danger of Garuda due to the sacrifice of Jimutavahana is the theme in the story.

PANCHATANTRA HAS TWO STORIES ON NAGAS

 

Pancha tantra, the oldest fable book in the world has two stories on Nagas

In the Story of Poor Brahmana and the Gold Granting serpent, we find the following story:-

 

Haridatta was a poor agriculturist and he had very little production in his field. One day he saw a snake in his field. He worshipped it and offered it milk. Next day when he came to the field he found a gold coin where he saw the snake the previous day. He started offering milk to the snake every day. And he obtained a gold coin every time he went to the field. Haridatta’s son, knowing this miracle, became very greedy. He thought the ant hill where the snake lives must be full of gold coins. So he planned to kill the snake and dug out the ant hill. The snake bit him and he died. His father felt very sorry. The snake gave Haridatta a costly jewel and asked him not to come again.

 

Different versions of the story are found in western literature as well. They have copied it from India. Greek story teller Aesop also copied lot from Pancha Tantra fables.

There is another story in Panchatantra where the snake appears as the son of human parents. On the day he was married to a woman, he assumed human form in the wedding night. His father burnt the snake’s skin and prevented him from returning to animal form again.

 

Such stories present Nagas as humans and animals.

 

–subham–