Shiva Purana: Rudra Samhita: War - 13

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 98

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Lord’s maya (delusory power) spreads, even as Usha’s (Vena’s daughter) love for Anirudha, a grandson of Sri Krishna increases, who she sees in a dream and turns mad, passionate and distressed in love and here, a friend of the princess comes to her rescue. An encounter in dream is a strange phenomenon it seems but soon it causes catastrophic situation when the truth is obvious

Chitralekha kidnaps Anirudha, brings him to the palace but the entry is detected and the king comes to know it very soon and thus, a fight ensues and Vana takes Anirudha into custody

Once, a daughter of Vana, Usha worshipped Madhava as usual in the month of Vaisakha (April/May) generally dressed up in fascinating and propitious clothes. Once, at night, she went to sleep in the palace in her chamber. Plagued with feelings of love and passion, she wanted union with the image of love. Goddess Parvati blessed the princess and therefore, she got an opportunity to unite with Anirudha, the grandson of Sri Krishna in a dream. It was a strange phenomenon with far-reaching consequences. When the dream ended, she got up, was very much disturbed and therefore, shared strange incident of a passionate encounter in the dream with a friend Chitralekha (a woman of extraordinary yogic and magical powers) and then, asked her to bring the man before her, she loved in a dream, a night before.

Chitralekha listened to the daughter of Vana, thought over and said, “O holy woman, how can I bring a man you saw in a dream. I do not know him?”

Usha, the daughter of daitya, felt aggrieved as she was mad in love for the man of her dream and therefore, was ready to finish life. After she knew the intensity of love, passions and madness of princess Usha, Chitralekha, a wise and mature daughter of Kumbhanda, genuinely made efforts to save her and therefore, without waste of time, made efforts to find out the man of princess’s dreams.

After she deeply thought over the mystifying situation, she said, “O Usha, the man who enchanted you in a dream and possessed you wholly is unknown. You appear to be obsessed with the love of a man you do not know exactly. You tell something about him. If he is found anywhere in the three worlds, I shall bring and thereafter, free you from agonies of love.”

She said caringly and assured Usha of positive help. Chitralekha made sketches of gods, daityas, demons, gandharavas, siddhas, nagas and yakasas and various living beings on a piece of cloth. Afterward, she made sketches of human beings. She was a wise woman with extraordinary knowledge of potential excess to men unnoticed. She thought of various dynasties and then, scrawled figures of Shoor, Vasudeva, Rama, Krishna and the greatest among the human beings Pradyumana. Later on, she also drew a sketch of Anirudha, a son of Pradyumana. When Usha saw the drawing, she felt shy and went red as heart pulsated with delight and joy.

She mustered up courage and told, “O dear Chitra, he is the man, a thief, who came at night in the dream and stole my heart.”

AfterUsha made an earnest appeal, she deliberated on the love pangs of Usha and on the fourth day of Krishna paksa (in the month of Jaitha – May/June) she reached Dwarkapuri, the abode of Krishna and instantly, kidnapped Anirudha sitting on the bed. Chitralekha was a yogini (a woman of yoga) of divine insight and strength. Usha was very happy when she found the beloved prince before eyes.

On the other hand, conjectures of the gatekeepers of the queens’ palace worked and through different signs and happenings, they recognised the arrival of a mysterious person in the palace. Now, the curiosity of guards increased and they wanted to find out the truth.

With the entry of a stranger furtively into the heavily guarded palace of princess, the guards became vigilant. Without loss of time, they observed a divine figure, handsome, courageous and samarpriya (beloved young man acting differently) and thereafter, they found him making love to the daughter of the king of demons. It was an audacious act. The mighty men of the gate were apprehensive and worried, and immediately rushed to the son of Bali,Vana, the king of asuras, bowed before him, and said, “O lord, we do not know the man, who entered clandestinely the palace of the queens (the chamber of princess). Perhaps, he is inside. It is possible he is lord Indra, who entered in disguise with intent to enjoy the loving alliance of princess. O great daitya, please tell what to do…after you know the truth, you may do whatever you feel appropriate. We are not at fault.”

Mighty king of demons was extremely astonished when he heard gatekeepers that an unidentified man had transgressed and violated the modesty of princess. He got angry and hurriedly went to the queens’ palace. He found Anirudha, a divine figure in the room of Usha, the princess, and imagined the sin of abuse of a virgin. It shocked and surprised. He wanted to put Anirudha to test and measure his strength and power. Therefore, he dispatched a strong contingent of ten thousand soldiers to kill the intruder. The army of Vana, attacked Anirudha but to king’s utter surprise, the great warrior Anirudha fought and quickly killed soldiers of Vana. A stream of soldiers continued to attack the young divine man but everyone met an unfortunate end at the strong hands of Anirudha. Thereafter, the courageous young man picked up great and dreadful divine power with intent to kill the king of daityas that looked like the fire of annihilation and released it at Vana, who sat in a grand chariot. Vana was grievously injured and at once, disappeared from the battlefield with chariots and horses.

The battle scene assumed a different shape. Vanaasura disappeared when Anirudha assaulted and injured and thereafter, again, after proper preparation, he planned to attack the young man Anirudha. Vana was a very powerful daitya, a great devotee of Shiva. With the strength of maya, he deceitfully tied up Anirutha in strong chains and afterward, imprisoned the grandson of Sri Krishan in a cage. The battle ended immediately.

Vana was very angry and therefore, said, “O son of sudra… push him into the well, which is covered with grass and straw and then, kill the sinner. What else I say? Kill him or else it would prove lethal.” Kumbhanda the minister heard and thought over the consequences. He could foresee not very encouraging occurrences in future. Therefore, Kumbhanda, a wise minister advised Vana not to precipitate the crisis and so, politely told him to avoid confrontation and at the same time, asked Anirudha to express regret and seek forgiveness.

Vana’s greatest and wisest minister and a man of dharma Kumbhanda after cautious deliberations, said, “O lord, you think deeply. I do not think it would be appropriate to do. It is not a noble karma. If we kill him, it will hurt souls. He appears equal to Vishnu in valour and gallantry. He was angry with you and I understand Chandrachuda enhanced his divine power and brilliance. In courage, he is equal to Sasimauli because even after attaining this age, he is still engaged in the courageous acts, and evinces interest in pursaratha and therefore, he is devoted to the wellbeing of people and believes in noble karma, kama, artha, dharma and moksa. He is a great hero and a very strong man, and even if snakes bite him still he would consider all as blades of grass.” Kumbhanda tried to convince Vana of the futility of act and advised against killing an unarmed warrior. The great asura realised the advent of challenging moments. He deliberated and tried to visualise future events.

Kumbhanda was one of the wisest and shrewd practitioners of art of real politics, and among the daityas none was equal to him in planning and devising strategies.

After he advised mildly the king of daitya, he turned to Anirudha and said, “O sinner, you are not a man of dharma. You violated the chastity of a girl, which is quite bad in taste and conduct. It is advisable that you praise the brave king of daityas and at the same time, in humble and imploring words you accept defeat. Say ‘I am defeated, I lost’, then fold hands and salute the great king. If you agree to what I say, it is possible he grants freedom to you from the shackles or else you suffer agony of chains.”

Wise and modest suggestions cautioned Anirudha but he chose words carefully and said, “O sinner and night-walker, you are not aware of the dharma of a ksatriya. Array, to exhibit pity and weakness and run away from the battleground is painful and uneasy for a brave man, and shoddier than death. I consider it acting against nature of conduct as I told you and would continue to prick like a thorn. For a brave ksatriya, it is a great virtue to die fighting against an enemy. It is unworthy to fold hands for a strong and adequately independent man, and request for life. A warrior never does it.” He was emphatic.

He said that a brave man should never seek forgiveness. In fact, he continued to relate many incidents of bravery and courage and thus, was unwilling to accept what the minister suggested. Expression of courage and determination from the mouth of a young ksatriya, surprised Vanaasura. He thought over and got angry at the audacious conduct of a prisoner, who committed a sin and still stood with confidence without realising the gravity of sin. Vanasura listened to the arguments of Kumbhanda, Anirudha and ministers. At that time, he felt enraged but to his surprise, he heard a voice, “O mighty Vana, you are son of Bali. Therefore, you deliberate on the sensitive issue.”

After a pause, the divine voice said, “O the wisest among the devotees of lord Shiva, it is not good for you to get angry. Shiva is the supreme lord of the created beings. Supreme Lord is witness to all karmas and is aware of the force and light behind words and deeds. The entire universe and animate and inanimate beings function under lord’s control. Three strong gunassattva, rajas and tamas guide. Shiva in the guise of Supreme Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra creates various worlds, preserves and then, destroys.”

“He is the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. Trinity is one. Oneness, if understood can elevate a living being to great heights of divinity.”

The celestial voice, after a pause, said. “Man may think of three lords but in truth, One great lord takes different forms as he is the great delusory force (mayabi).”

Divine voice continued to utter some eternal truths and Vana heard patiently, “O king of daityas, Shiva is the knower of ‘the inner self,’ the great soul of every created being. He is the lord of gods. He is the greatest inspirer and he is Supreme. He is formless, birth less, unborn, imperishable and eternal, and the supreme lord of Maya (delusory powers). In spite of such virtues, he is nirguna (formless and shapeless). O one of the greatest sons of Bali, if you nurse thoughts of Shiva, you consider even a susceptible man, strong and powerful. O wise man, think on the subtle matters and get vigorous in mind and body. Shiva, a lord of delusory forces and beloved of devotees is capable of destroying pride. He will destroy your ego and self-image, in case, you do not listen.”

Divine voice was silent now.Asura Vana left thought of eliminating Anirudha. On the other hand, Anirudha, who struggled in the strong clutches of nagas (snakes), began to remember goddess Durga.

The intruder prince Anirudha thought deeply over the consequences. He knew what he had done. Despite rationale behind the act, he had violated laws of dharma and therefore, fully understood the cost of an offense. Therefore, he visualised not a very bright future and honestly, prayed before goddess Durga, who blessed him and broke the prison cell in little fragments and freed Anirudha

Anirudha said, “O holy refuge of devotees, bestow glory on devotees. Your anger is terrific. O goddess, he tied me with snakes and so the poison of nagas scorches. Please come down and protect.”

Anirudha’s prayers were genuine and he greatly praised Durga (Mahakaali), a black-complexioned goddess, who appeared like coal. He continued to sing glorious hymn to please the goddess. Goddess was immensely delighted and appeared at night on the fourth day of Krishna paksa of the month of Jetha (May/June). She reduced to ashes the snakes that had strongly clutched young Anirudha. Later on, she broke the cage into little pieces and thus, freed the young man from prison.

Later, the goddess freed Anirudha from the custody of daitya Vana and took him to the inner palace of queens, left him in the palace and disappeared. Therefore, goddess Durga, an image of compassion and mercy and the image of power of lord Shiva, liberated Anirudha from the sufferings and pains. Anirudha’s agonies were over and he enjoyed a life of joys and love. Victory over the forces of daitya with the blessings of Shiva was imminent and therefore, Anirudha felt very happy at the imagined joy of conjugal life. He was deeply delighted at the thought of marrying princess Usha. It would be good to see her as beloved queen. Thereafter, he dreamt of gratifying marital relations and so, wandered in dreams of delight, leisure and joy.

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More by :  P C K Prem

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