Friday, 2 December 2016

Roles For Hanuman Ji In Mahabharat

Lord Hanuman is well known for his extreme devotion to Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman is always depicted in the Indian folklaire as an icon of true devotion and a symbol of the power of true devotion and chastity.
Lord Hanuman's devotion to Lord Rama is symbolic of the devotion of the enlightened individual soul towards the supreme soul.
Many stories from the Indian literature tell the tales of Lord Hanuman protecting devotees of Lord Rama and helping those who seek his either spiritually or otherwise. Swami Tulasidas has written these lines in respect of Lord Hanuman's great character, in praise of his powers and also devotion.

Roles For Hanuman Ji In Mahabharat:

Mahabhisha, however stared. He stared at her to his heart's content. In fact, his gaze was so intent- or was it the presence of the god of winds, Vayu deva- or was it mere chance that Ganga's garment slipped from its precarious position exposing her full womanly endowment to all those present. The celestials, Brahma included, bowed their heads and closed their eyes, allowing Ganga to make the necessary adjustments. But Ganga had eyes only for the erstwhile mortal who looked back at her calmly, his amorous intent writ clear upon his face. Mahabhisha stared and Ganga stared back and their game of stares irked Brahma considerably, who used all the four mouths at His disposal to place upon Mahabhisha the starer a terrible curse.

This curse of Brahma was not the only curse being pronounced upon a divine spirit at that time.

Visiting the earthly hermitage of the sage Vasishta were the eight spirits, known as the Vasus. Vasus were responsible for cosmic phenomena such as the climatic conditions of the worlds and each Vasu had taken for himself a pretty wife whom he dearly loved. One of those wives was greatly impressed by the supernatural abilities of Vasishta's famed cow, Kamadhenu. She saw tremendous benefits in keeping the cow to herself. Therefore, knowing that Vasishta would scarcely permit a transfer of ownership of his dear cow, she implored her husband Dyaus to steal and make away with the animal. Dyaus was momentarily torn between fear of the sage's wrath should he come to learn of his culprit (and a powerful sage such as Vasishta would, without doubt, learn) and the promise of amatory delights that were sure to come from his pleased wife. Dyaus chose. He enlisted the help of his seven brothers and made away with Kamadhenu in Vasishta's absence. His mischief, however, was not to remain hidden from Vasishta's knowledge for long. Upon returning to his hermitage and seeing his beloved cow missing, Vasishta used his sagely vision to divine the truth of what had happened. And thus, at the precise instant when Brahma the four headed was issuing a curse on Mahabhisha for having stared, Vasishta mimicked His action and placed upon the eight Vasus the same curse. Birth as mortals upon Earth, for having exhibited behavior unworthy of beings of higher status.

Now while Mahabhisha was bold enough to ask Brahma to choose which family he'd be born into (deriving this boldness from his perception of the intensity with which Ganga reciprocated his erotic intent), the Vasus timidly requested Vasishta to release them from the curse. Vasishta, who learned the part each of the eight had played in the cownapping, promised to the Vasus that seven of them would be released from their curse within a year of their birth. Dyaus, also called Prabhasa, however, would have to suffer for longer. Vasishta added to his misery by also imposing a rider on his curse that forbade him the pleasure of womanly contact in his life on Earth as a mortal. The Vasus accepted Vasishta's pronouncement and were on their way to the heavens when they met Ganga and told her of all that had happened. As they were finishing, they realized that she was, in fact, their deliverance from Vasishta's curse. They requested to be born as Ganga's own sons on Earth who could return to her waters and be drowned in them within one year of their birth- all except Dyaus Prabhasa. Ganga considered their proposal and saw the opportunity to fulfil her own amorous desire in this process, for a mother to give birth would also require a father to seed her first. The very thought of birthing the children of Mahabhisha the starer excited her and she agreed.

Mahabhisha the starer had chosen a king named Pratipa of Hastinapura to be the father of his earthly reincarnation. His choice had been conveyed to Ganga, who promptly set to work to extract a commitment from that king that she would be his daughter-in-law. Pratipa granted her wish and it came to be that Shantanu, the youngest son of Pratipa and successor to the throne, fell madly in love with a woman he met by the banks of the river Ganga. Not knowing her to be the personification of the river and unaware of his own previous identity, Shantanu married Ganga, agreeing without reservation or hesitation to her strange condition that he not question any action of hers lest she leave him forever. The months passed and Ganga became pregnant with their first child. As soon as the child was born, however, Ganga drowned it in her waters. She did this for six other children that she bore from king Shantanu. The king for his part remained silent, though it pained his heart to see the woman he loved mysteriously walk toward the Ganga and drown infant after wailing infant in the river upon its birth. Then Ganga became pregnant for the eighth time and Dyaus or Prabhasa was reborn as Devavrata, who would go on to be known as Bheeshma. Ganga, in the hope that she might be able to deliver this Vasu from his curse too walked once more to her own waters but as she was about to place the infant to drown to his redemption, Shantanu commanded her to stop and in doing so, broke his word and upheld Vasishta's curse (without knowing, of course). Shantanu, who was Mahabhisha who had stared when no one else had stared, now asked question after question when he shouldn't have.
"Who are you, cruel woman? Why have you murdered seven of our children? Why were you about to murder the eighth? Why must I not ask you what the meaning of your actions is?"
Ganga answered. She revealed her identity as the goddess who granted deliverance by flowing as the channel that connected all of Brahma's worlds. She told Shantanu about Vasus and angry sages and cows that were stolen. She told him that the child he had saved was actually the most cursed of them all. But most importantly, she told him that their time together was at an end. No longer were they to remain husband and wife. She took their son with her, promising to return him to Shantanu when father and son were ready to be re-united.

And thus it was that Devavrata, yet unnamed, and who would be renamed Bheeshma, paid the price for the mischief of Dyaus. I shall be back soon with another story to tell...

No comments:

Post a Comment