Oct 04, 2023
Oct 04, 2023
Continued from "Hindu Myths Analyzed"
In the era before books and television, the myths were memorized and there were families of storytellers, Brahmins in ancient India, guslars in Yugoslavia, even more recently “barots” in rural Gujarat and Saurashtra. That is why many Hindu myths have more than one version. Perhaps the oral tradition may have inspired the great grammarian Panini to lay down the rules of “Sandhi”. The classification of Sanskrit consonants on the basis of which region of the mouth and throat are utilized to make their sounds, the etymology, philology and semantics of the “Nighantu and Nirukta”, the derivation of nouns from verbs in “Dhatupada” are unrecognized monuments of the genius of Yaska, Panini and their forbears and the earliest systematic study and analysis of language long before that of the Greeks.
|Desire be it for sex, money or power greatly stimulates thinking, but often leads to lack of judgement, as the Gita states.|
The myths were recited to the accompaniment of music and important contributors to public entertainment and education and a means for subtle propaganda. The stories therefore had to be gripping enough to hold the listener’s interest and attention and more than mere entertainment to convey by implication or allegory, a more general principle of behavior or moral, while using words which allowed the teller or singer enough latitude to embellish and spice the offering.
In the myth of Kacha and Devayani, it is never explicitly stated that Kacha wooed Devayani. What is implied is that Kacha was young, handsome and attentive and Devayani was young and fawned upon by her father. The implication is busy fathers of high status often have little time for their children and often spoil them. Frequent contact of two young persons of the opposite sex over a prolonged period, is likely to result in their falling in love. Never in the story is it explicitly stated that it was Kacha’s premeditated plan but the way the story unfolds leaves ample room for the teller or singer to embellish it. Kacha came with the specific purpose of learning the technique of resurrection. It was a closely guarded secret and not part of Education 101 course given by Shukracharya. Kacha was in hostile territory, the kingdom of the Asuras, the enemies of the Devas. He needed a well-placed ally. The story never explicitly narrates such thoughts of Kacha, but the beauty and the genius of the story and the author is leaving to the imagination of the listener or reader what is left unsaid. The average person will be held enthralled by the story, the more thinking one will see the pitfalls of certain situations and learn to avoid them, but the even more analytical reader will learn a way of exploiting the natural tendencies of youth and their hormone dominated behavior, for greater purposes of the state. See Hamilton and Madison’s use of the Federalist papers to pass the Constitution and Amendments with a different appeal to the voting population, state legislators and the power elite (plantation owners in the south and bankers in the northern states).
As expected, the average Asuras react belligerently to the very presence of Kacha just as the average American sees red in illegal immigration from Mexico, while conveniently forgetting that the US obtained Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and California from Mexico by guile, fraud and military conquest, without any provocation like we did recently, in Iraq. The common Asuras like the Minutemen of Arizona decided to take the law in their own hands and killed Kacha and scattered his body parts in the jungle, where he had gone to graze his guru’s cows. And you my dear reader thought fagging was a custom of elite English public schools. It really began in Indian “gurukulas”. Of course Devayani wept when Kacha didn’t bring the cows home, and asked her dad to find Kacha. Shukracharya used his Sanjivani Vidya to resurrect Kacha. The Asura high command like the Pentagon and American presidents are handicapped by attention deficits and synaptic traffic jams; so even after failure in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Kosovo, they rush into Iraq and Afghanistan. A couple of times they killed Kacha and he was resurrected by the doting father for his infatuated daughter.
Finally it dawned on the Asuras that they needed a change in strategy, so they consulted their own general Petraeus, who devised a surge which like an IED explodes after a time delay. This time, they killed Kacha, ground up the remains, burned them to ashes and put the ashes into Shukracharya’s favorite vintage which he drank every Friday evening to celebrate the advent of the weekend, as his name literally means the guru of Friday. Devayani went on her crying jag and her dad tried to pacify her by telling her that men are like Greyhound buses, Keystone trains and sundry commuter subway cars, if you wait another 30 or 60 minutes, another will come along into your life and thus not a cause for lament. Teenagers, whose brains (prefrontal cortex) have been captured by hormones (hypothalamus) are like the Sec, FDIC, FASB, Federal Reserve, EPA, OSHA, Congressmen, Senators, Presidents and the Supreme Court. They are cases of regulatory capture using money to offer them lucrative jobs or campaign financing as they use the revolving door from the regulatory enclosure into the spacious and opulent world of lobbying.
Desire be it for sex, money or power greatly stimulates thinking, but often leads to lack of judgement, as the Gita states.
Devayani said to her father, “I want you to resurrect Kacha and while he lives in his bonzai (Vaman) form in your stomach, teach him the Sanjivani Vidya (resurrection science). Then he can tear his way into the world and out of your body, if necessary with my help and resurrect you with his newly learned powers”. It is only those capable of retrospection, who will see the strategic and clever thinking of Kacha, in charming Devayani. The doting father could not resist the crying daughter and Kacha fulfilled his mission and shortly thereafter asked his guru’s permission to return to the abode of the Devas.
Devayani confessed her love to Kacha and suggested that they get married. Kacha claimed that she had misunderstood his respectful behavior and besides that, since he had been reborn many times by the power of her father and lastly from her father’s body, she was now a sister to him and since he was not of the clan of Egyptian Pharaohs, he couldn’t marry his sister.
Interested readers should read the stories of Yama and Yami, Brahma and Saraswati, Prajapati and Usha, for rejection of incest in Hinduism and compare that to the Greek myth of Oedipus. In Greece and then Macedonia, it was the custom that the conquering new king should marry the former queen. That is why Alexander married the Persian queen Roxanne (Ruksana) even though his preference was for young boys, a tradition he bequeathed to the Afghans even today, and which was the second source of the rise of the Taliban in the nineties after the prime source which was the support of the Pakistani drug transport and smuggling Mafia and the Benazir Bhutto’s ISI. It is not only in Hindu myths but also in American foreign policy that one myth ends with being a set up for the next myth.
Hell hath no fury in comparison to a woman spurned and Devayani’s infatuation metamorphosed to hate. She cursed Kacha that he would forget the resurrection science and thus foolishly prompted him to share his knowledge with other Brahmins serving the Devas. He was sufficiently annoyed and cursed her in turn that no Brahmin would marry her (Once again the primacy of Brahmins and the promotion of segregation in marriage). As is not uncommon in many Hindu myths, one story sets up at its end the beginning of another one and next time Devayani, Sharmishtha and Yayati.
Yayati was the son of Nahusha who because of his merit had earned the right to be the substitute Indra during the compulsory thousand year penance of Indra’s lightning (vajra) killing the dark cloud (Vritra), born of a Brahmin father. Vritra’s blood (rain) brought crops and prosperity to the earth and Hindu humanity.
Nahusha, like Alexander, thought that Indra’s wife Indrani came with the territory like Roxanne. Indrani to avoid Nahusha’s desire said that she would have sex with him only if he came to her in a palanquin carried by the seven sages (rishis). The seven rishis (wise men or sages) occur earlier in the Sumerian myths as the bringers of Sumerian civilization and in Hindu and Sumerian astronomy are what is known in the west as the seven stars of the Great Bear, which also serve as the pointer to the North Star (Dhruva in Hindu mythology and astronomy) and a key to nocturnal navigation and road travel and hence trade. Nahusha orders the seven sages to carry his palanquin to Indrani and uses his whip to beat them while urging them to move faster by saying “sarpa” (move). The word also means snake and the annoyed rishis drop the palanquin and by curse transform Nahusha into a python. He is rescued in another myth, but this one is a warning against illicit sexual desire. Anyway before he was turned into a python, his wife had given birth to a son named Yayati whose love for hunting, crosses his life’s path with that of an older but still immature Devayani, on a rebound from being jilted by Kacha, as we shall see next week.
Continued to Devayani, Yayati, Sharmishtha, Puru
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD