GREAT HINDU HEROINES PADMINI & RANI SAMYUKTA (Post No.7503)

COMPILED BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No.7503

Date uploaded in London – 27 January 2020

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PADMINI, queen of Rana Rattan Sing of Mewar , and a  lady of exquisite beauty, has been deservedly given an exalted place in the epic of Rajput chivalry by col. Tod and also by Malik Mohammad Jayasi in his Padmavati, a classic work of Hindustani literature . The traditional belief is that the immediate cause of Alauddin Khilji’s invasion of Chitor was his infatuation of Padmini.  History records the chivalrous role of Padmini and a number of other women of Mewar at the time when the famous citadel of Chitor was besieged by Alauddin.

The valiant Rajputs offered a heroic resistance against his onslaught for eight months; but at last to give way in view of the superior numerical strength of the Delhi army.  Before the final surrender of the citadel , however of 26th august , 1303, hundreds of brave women , under the leadership of Padmini plunged themselves in to the fire of JAUHAR – self immolation – to escape pollution and captivity by the Muslim invaders.

The funeral pyre was lighted within the great sub terranean retreat in chambers impervious to the light of the day, and the defenders of Chitor beheld in procession the queens, their own wives, and daughters , to the number of several thousands.

This is the greatest sacrifice of women in the history of the world. This is the bravest act of women the world has never seen.  The fair Padmini closed the throng, which was augmented by whatever of female beauty or youth could be tainted Tartar lust. The women were conveyed to the cavern for security. They were saved from dishonour. Thus Padmini and several thousand Hindu women preferred heroic death  to a disgraced existence.

HEROIC SAMYOGITA

In the bardic traditions of Rajasthan there are thrilling references to the selfless patriotism and heroic exploits of her daughters. The bards’ folk songs are echoing in the walls of the mighty forts. Every stone and sand particle in the surrounding Thar desert are reverberating with the glorious sacrifices they made.

The first example in this category is Samyogita (RANI SAMYUKTA), daughter of Jjayachandra, the ruler of Kanauj. She married Prithiviraj in a swayamvara. When Mohammad of Ghor marched with reinforced troops for the second time to meet his adversary Prithiviraj on the Tarain near  Thanesar, she is said to have armed her lord for the encounter and exhorted him with the following words—

“To die is the destiny not only of man but of the gods; all desire to throw off the old garment; but to die well is to live for ever. Think not of self; but of immortality; let your sword divide your foe and I will be your arthaanga (other half) hereafter”

Prithiviraj fought with reckless valour, but was at last overpowered and killed by the Muslim invaders. True to her vow, the devoted spouse sacrificed her life by mounting his funeral pyre.

We praise Gargi Vachaknavi of Vedic lore as the oldest and most intelligent woman in the world. And in the same way we can praise Rani Samyukta as the most intelligent and bravest woman in the historic period. She and Rani Padmini will inspire Hindu women for generations to come.

Xxx subham xxx

Veera Matha–‘Mother of Heroes’ in the Vedas and Tamil literature

Greatest of the Hindu Heroines Rani Padmini of Chittoor. When lustful Alauddin Khilgi wanted to take her she entered fire with hundreds of women to save her honour in 1303 AD.

Veera Matha–‘Mother of Heroes’ in the Vedas and Tamil literature

Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, and the 2000 year old Sangam Tamil books praise Hindu women as mother of heroes- Veera Matha. They agree on one more point. They say that those who die in the battle field will go to heaven. Bhagavad Gita and Purananuru are very clear about it. Women are blessed with Vedic mantras to give birth to heroes. Lalitha Sahasranama praises Goddess Sakthi as Veera matha. Tamil poet Bharathi goes one step further and says this country will call a woman Maladi (infertile woman) only if she doesn’t give birth to heroes. This is a novel concept.

They were all forerunners to Swami Vivekananda who thundered that Fear and Cowardice are to be shunned most. He always advocated youths to go forward by quoting the Upanishad mantra, “Uhthishta, Jagratha, Prapyavaran Nibodhatha”-Arise, Awake, Stop not till the goal is reached!

Poet Kalidasa says in Kumara sambhava (Canto VII-87):

“The bride was greeted by the Creator with the words: “Blessed one, be you the mother of a Hero” (In Sanskrit : Veeraprasavaa Bavethi).

A Tamil poet puts it beautifully in a verse in Purananuru:

What a Hero’s Mother (Veera Thay in Tamil) said:

“ You stand against the pillar

Of my hut and ask me:

Where is your son?

I don’t really know.

My womb is only a lair

For that tiger.

You can see him now

Only in the battlefields” —(Purananuru Verse 86 by Kavarpendu)

(Purananauru is part of Sangam Tamil Literature. It is an anthology of 400 poems).

There a hymn in the Rig Veda praising Veera Matha:

Rig Veda: Tenth Mandala ,Hymn 86

10-86-43

So may Prajapati bring children forth to us; may Aryaman adorn us till old age come nigh.

Not inauspicious enter thou thy husband’s house. Bring blessings to our bipeds and quadrupeds.

10-86-44

Not evil eyed, no slayer of thy husband, bring weal to cattle, radiant, gentle hearted;

Loving the gods, delightful, bearing heroes, bring blessing to our quadrupeds and bipeds

Heroes go to Heaven

Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (II-37) says:

“Either slain thou shalt go to Heaven; or victorious thou shalt enjoy the earth; therefore arise, O son of Kunti, resolved on battle.

Puram verses 26, 62, 93, 287, 341, 362;PathiRRu Pathu 52 give the same message to the heroes. There are more Tamil verses where in the poets talk about kings reaching heaven after dying. There are even special funeral ceremonies conducted by Brahmins for the kings who die elsewhere. If the kings die due to natural causes Brahmins spread the dharba grass under the king’s body and cut them into pieces by saying ‘let you go to heaven where the heroes go’. Avvaiyar describes this ceremony in a praise to Athiyaman Anji (Pura Nanuru verse 93): you escaped from this ceremony because you are a hero wounded in the battle field.

All these are echoes of Kalidasa who lived a few centuries before the Sangam poets. Kalidasa sings about wounds that happened in the battle fields throughout his works. In Raghuvamasam 14-4 he says Kausalya and Sumitra were fond of the word ‘Veeramatha’. But having seen the wounds inflicted by the Rakshasas on young Rama and Lakshmana , their mothers Kausalya and Sumithra did not want to hear that sound of Veera matha.

Pictre: Rani Lakshmibhai of Jhansi was killed by the British

Slogans on the Flags

“The kings of Surya Vamsa (solar race) Raghu and Ajan took all your name and fame, but not your lives– were written with blood on the flags with arrow heads”. That is, out of mercy, Raghu and Aja let you all run alive. The interesting message Kalidasa gives in this sloka (Raghu.7-65) is that devoted workers of politicians (Kings) wrote slogans like this 2000 years ago!

So political workers writing with their blood for their leaders is nothing new!

Ascetics bless Sakuntala Veera Prasavini Bhava (Be a mother of heroes)”.

In Sakuntala 7-28,  Sakuntala was blessed by the elders:

“ With a husband the equal of The Breaker of Dark Clouds (Indra)

With a son like his son, Jayanta, no other blessing fits you but this;

Ravana was equal to Rama

Rama was so happy to meet a great hero like Ravana in the battle field, says Kalidasa in Raghu 12-89. Heroes never favour unequal fights.

Like Tamil poets Kalidasa used words like battle wounds on the chest (not on the back), wounds or injuries due to arrow and bow in the hands in several places (Raghu III-68, II-64,  18-48, 16-84, VII-65, 12-89, 13-73, 16-1).

In the Asvameda Yagna (Horse Sacrifice), Kshatriya women(Kings’ wives) have to cut the horse into pieces.

Picture of Kittoor Rani Chennamma

தமிழ் REFERENCES:

1.பாரதி பாடல் Bharathi Poems:

“வீரரைப் பெறாத மேன்மைதீர் மங்கையை

ஊரவர் மலடி என்று உரைத்திடு நாடு”—பாரதி

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2.புறம் 86 (காவற்பெண்டு)

சிற்றில் நற்றூண் பற்றி, ‘நின் மகன்

யாண்டுள்ளனோ? என வினவுதி; என் மகன்

யாண்டு உளன் ஆயினும் அறியேன்;ஓரும்

புலி சேர்ந்து போகிய கல் அளை போல

ஈன்ற வயிறோ இதுவே;

தோன்றுவன் மாதோ, போர்க்களத்தானே!

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3.Lalitha Sahsranama லலிதா சஹஸ்ரநாமா

Praneswari pranadatri panjasatpeedarupini

Visrungala vivikthasdha veeramatha viyathprasuhu:

ப்ராணேச்வரி ப்ராணதாத்ரீ பஞ்சாசத்பீடரூபினி

விஸ்ருங்கலா விவிக்தஸ்தா வீரமாதா வியத்ப்ரஸூ:

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