Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 11 JANUARY 2018


Time uploaded in London  8-31 AM




Post No. 4606

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.




India is a paradise for lovers of folk tales; all the Indian languages have hundreds of folk tales. Several people have collected them and published them for the benefit of the future generations. Natesa Sastri of Tamil Nadu has published some folk tales in Tamil and English. I am giving below my own translation of a folk tale about ghosts.

A poor Brahmin lived in a town in Tamil Nadu. He tried all the tricks in his bag to earn his livelihood but failed. So, he thought that it was his bad Karma (evil things he did) of the previous birth and it should be spent by going to Kasi—that is Varanasi, the holiest city for the Hindus. He started on his journey with some pack lunch.


In those days, people who go on pilgrimage or long journeys used to take packed lunch that will last at least for a few days. On his way he saw a shady tree and a tank. So he decided to take rest and have his lunch there. First he went to wash his hands and feet in the tank. But he heard a voice, “Don’t wash your hands and feet”. He ignored the warning and went ahead with his plans. When he was about to eat he heard the voice again warning him not to eat. But his hunger did not wait for anything and so he consumed his food. While he was about to leave the place, the third warning came saying not to proceed any further and to stop.


The poor Brahmin stopped and asked who the person was issuing such warnings. A Brahma Rakshas appeared before him and told him his story. Brahma Rakshas means a Brahmin Ghost. If a Brahmin does not do his duty and he meets with some untimely death, then that person will become a Brahmin ghost.

This Brahmin was very greedy and possessive and so he did not teach his music to anyone in the Purva janma/ previous birth and so he became a Brahmarakshas/ ghost. He continued his story saying that he was now tormented by the bad music of a Nagaswara Vidwan in a temple just outside the forest. The ghost requested the poor Brahmin to take it to another place where he cant hear music with any bad or discordant notes (Abaswara).


Nagaswara= traditional music pipes in Tamil Temples

Vidwan = a musician or a scholar


The poor Brahmin readily agreed and asked what he would get in turn. The ghost told him that it would enter the daughter of Mysore Maharaja, King of Mysore, and wait for the Brahmin to return from Kasi/Benares. As soon as he comes into the room of King’s daughter he would run away and the king would give him a big prize. The verbal agreement was done and executed. The ghost put one condition. The Brahmin should do the ghostbusting only once and if at all he tried for the second time he would be finished.


After a few months, the Brahmin returned from Kasi via Mysore. He stayed there in an old woman’s house. When he asked the lady the latest news in that part of the country, the lady told the Brahmin that the king’s daughter was possessed by a ghost and not even the biggest magician or sorcerer of the land could drive it away. And the king had announced a big reward for any one driving the ghost out.  Immediately the Brahmin planned his next move.

When he went to the king the next day, the king did not have much faith in him but allowed him to try ghost busting. As soon as the poor Brahmin entered the room of king’s daughter, the Brahmarakshas recognised the Brahmin and ran away reminding him the condition (that he should not try sorcery for the second time). When the king’s daughter became a normal woman, the king was very happy and gave the Brahmin several villages and a bag of gold coins.


The Brahmin went home and settled happily in life. As the time went by the Brahmarakshas went to the palace of king of Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) and now his daughter was possessed with this Brahmarakshas. That king also tried all the sorcerers to drive it away. When all the attempts failed, he came to know that Mysore Maharaja tried one magician and succeeded. Somehow They found out the address of this Brahmin and contacted him through Mysore Maharaja. It gave him jitters.


The Brahmin had to go to Thiruvananthapuram under the orders of Mysore Maharaja. He went and dragged the matter for many months without visiting the palace citing bad omens. One day he made up his mind and arranged everything for the future of the family and boldly went into the palace. He thought that it was his last day on earth.


He entered the room where the possessed girl was sitting. As soon as he entered the room the Brahmarakshas- Brahmin ghost- recognised him and reminded its condition. It took a big iron rod and came running to attack the Brahmin. His body was shivering but his brain worked. He shouted

“If you come near me I will call the Nagaswara Vidwan’ (of discordant note) to come here. He is waiting just outside”. The minute the ghost heard the name of the Abaswara (discordant note, out of tune) Nagaswara musician it ran away from the palace itself! The daughter of the king became normal. The king was extremely happy and gave the Brahmin a big pot of gold coins and lot of villages.


Even ghosts hate music with discordant notes!

Sing well or Don’t sing at all!




Akbar was a Hindu Saint in his Former Life! (Post No.3988)

Akbar worshipping sun, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore


Compiled by London Swaminathan

Date: 10 June 2017

Time uploaded in London- 7-15 am

Post No. 3988

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.



There are two interesting stories about the Moghul emperor Akbar (1556-1605) and there is a true anecdote as well.

1.Akbar’s previous birth

2.Akbar and a Hindu ghost

3.Akbar and Surya Namaskar


In the Agra Fort there is an image of a man named Mukunda. He was a celebrated saint who decided to end his life by throwing himself in the river Jamuna, which flows by the fort. The reason for his decision was that he accidentally swallowed the hair of a cow by drinking milk without straining it. Though he punished himself by committing suicide, that was not thought a sufficient punishment. So, he was condemned to be born as a Mohammedan in his next birth, but in view of his sanctity, the harshness of the sentence was partially mitigated and he was born again as Emperor Akbar.

Akbar and the Hindu Ghost!

Hindu villagers attribute diseases like cholera and small pox to village goddesses. But there is a strange story about a historical personage. Hardaur Lala, son of Bir Sinha Deva (Veera Simha Deva), the miscreant Raja of Orcha in Bundelkhand, who at the instigation of Jahangir, assassinated the accomplished Abul Fazl, the literature of the court of Akbar. His brother, Jahjhar, succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, and after sometime, suspecting Hardaur of undue intimacy with his wife, he compelled her to poison her lover, with all his companions, at a feast in 1627 CE.


After this tragedy, the Princess Kanjavati, sister of Jahjhar, was about to be married. When the mother issued wedding invitations, Raja Jhajar mockingly suggested that one invitation should be sent to Hardaur.


Thereupon she in despair went to the tomb of Hardaur and lamented his wretched end. To her surprise Hardaur from below the earth answered her and promised to attend the wedding.


The ghost kept his promise and attended the marriage ceremony. Subsequently he went to the bedside of emperor Akbar at midnight and asked him to erect platforms in his name. If the king did so there would not be any damage by storm or drought in any part of the country. Akbar also did so. Since then the ghost of Hardaur was worshipped in every village in Northern India. But one unsolved problem in this story is a chronological error. Akbar died in 1605. Hardaur was murdered in 1627. (So it may not be Akbar, may be his son)

Akbar and Surya Namaskaram

“Emperor Akbar endeavoured to introduce a special form of Sun Worship into his dominions. He ordered his subjects to adore the sun four times a day; morning, noon, evening and midnight.  His Majesty had one thousand and one Sanskrit names of the Sun collected and read them daily, devoutly turning to the sun. He then caught hold of his both ears by their upper parts and turning himself quickly round used to strike the lower ends with his fists. He ordered his band to play at midnight and was weighed against gold at his solar anniversary (birth day)  — from Blockman’s translation of Ain-i-Akbari.

The Ain-i-Akbari or the “Constitution of Akbar”, is a 16th-century, detailed document recording the administration of emperor Akbar’s empire, written by his vizier, Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak.

All the three stories are summarised from ‘The Gods of India’ by Rev E Osborn Martin, London, year 1914.



Funny Ghost Story from Indian Villagers!


Article No. 2109

Compiled  by London swaminathan
Date : 30 August  2015
Time uploaded in London :– 20-22

We always read about bad husbands beating their wives. But in all parts of the world there are bad wives who torture their husbands as well. We know the suffering of Socrates at the hands of his wife. His famous quote is: if you want to become a philosopher, marry a bad woman.” That was a true story. Here is a funny ghost and a bad wife story from Indian villagers.

In a village there was a poor Brahmin who was beaten by his wife every day. He also accepted the torture like a ritual. One day he got fed up with his wife’s treatment and decided to go out for ten days. He told his wife, “Look, My darling! I have an important business in the neighbour town. I am leaving today. I will be back after ten days”. Immediately she told him, “Every day I used to beat you with broomstick asking for money. Now who do I beat with the broomstick. I can’t eat without doing that.”

He told her, “Don’t worry about it. I have already trained the tamarind tree in the back garden. It will take all your beatings. You can do it without any hesitation.”


She also did it for ten days. The ghost that occupied the tamarind tree was suffering for ten days. The Brahmin returned after ten days and she took him to the Tamarind tree and showed what she did for ten days. As soon as she left the place, the ghost in the tree called the Brahmin and told him that he could help him to get out of poverty and his wife’s cruelty. It told him that it would go to the palace and possess the king’s wife. It promised him to leave her only when he came and do some exorcism. The Brahmin also agreed to it.

When the queen was possessed with the ghost the king called the famous exorcists in the country and in spite of that the ghost did not leave her. Then the Brahmin approached the king and told him that he could easily drive away the ghost. As soon as the ghost saw the Brahmin, it left the queen according to the original plan. The king amply rewarded the Brahmin. He became very rich overnight. But the ghost warned the Brahmin that he should not help anyone this way any more.

After leaving the queen the ghost went and took over the control of minister’s wife. Immediately the king sent a word for the Brahmin. In spite of the warning of the ghost, he boldly went to cure the minister’s wife. The ghost reminded him of its warning. But the clever Brahmin told that he was not ready to do that job. But his wife only drove him out of the house to do the job. The moment the Brahmin told about his wife, the ghost started shivering and shaking. It asked the Brahmin where his wife was. The Brahmin told the ghost that she was just near the door of the minister’s house. The ghost ran away in a fraction of a second. Once again the king gave him more money and provided him security. His wife could not beat him any more!

Wife Beating Husband

Who are Yakshas?

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Who are Yakshas




Images of Yakshinis and Yakshas.