I am a history buff. I remember most of the classroom history taught in school. Unfortunately when I chose the sciences and pursued a degree in electrical engineering I couldn’t get much chance to study history academically. I must thank my old friend Ashutosh who rekindled my interest in history with his night long descriptions of court politics, romances and wars. Although not a historian by profession, his study of history is good for a first class historian but I like to call my interest in history of a ‘Archeo-Mythological’ nature.
For instance, in Udaipur there happens to be an excavation site of an ancient ‘Ahar’ Civilization which probably existed in the copper ages. It used to be on the banks of a seasonal Ahar river (now called Ayad) that still flows through the city. I wonder if it is as old as the ‘Mahabharata’ (the mythological epic). If in fact it was on the ancient route while traveling from Dwarka(the Mythological city capital of Lord Krishna) to Mathura(the capital of Yadavas) to Hastinapur(the capital of Kaurava Kingdom) and Indraprastha(new kingdom of Pandavas). Its a theory which would probably be rejected by both historians and mythologists. Nonetheless I like to fancy that Lord Krishna might have used to stop by at this city to have some refreshments served in the Black, Red and White pottery that could have been in Vogue in those days. Now like many literary contemporaries I just tried to create a archeo-mythical amalgamation that sells so well these days but my intention is not to continue with it. I would rather like to take some pure mythological contexts and arrange them into a singular timeline. In simple words let me tell you a story.
Lord Krishna, of all the characters in Mahabharata doesn’t need any introduction so I would cut to the point. People say he was a logician, tactful, highly intelligent and master manipulator but few point out to his bold and highly courageous behaviour mis-attributed as being rebellious. A courage that comes from the confidence of knowing things well and being righteous. Not the pride that breeds from material superiority. Here was a person who was aware and most importantly aware of himself which is in fact a Godlike thing(Much like Bajaj Avenger’s positioning, if you remember the ‘feel like God’ campaign). Awareness comes from being informed. To be informed, one needs to set out on a path of discovery. So here’s my first attempt to write a commentary on Mythology.
Krishna was once blamed for the murder of Prasena, the brother of King Satrajit who owned a prize jewel called Syamantaka. A few days before Prasena went missing on a hunting expedition wearing the precious jewel on his headgear, Krishna, in a casual conversation had asked Satrajit to give him the jewel for safekeeping. A benevolent gesture had turned into a cause of blame now. To acquit himself of the dishonorable act Krishna was out to look for the real culprit. He soon found out that Prasena was attacked by a lion! However the suspected creature was also found killed by something else. The jewel still missing. He eventually meets Jambavan (Ramayana fame) who had acquired the jewel and given it to his daughter Jambavati. Clearly he had to engage in a duel with the ancient bear king to retrieve the gem. After 28 days of hand to hand combat Jambavan realises the divine stature of Krishna and submits. Well Krishna’s intentions were right from the start and he was strong enough to prove it. Jambavan gives the jewel to Krishna along with his daughter Jambavati as a mark of respect. There’s an instant match.
Jambavati became Krishna’s second queen and was close to Rukmani, the first queen. However when Krishna handed over the jewel to King Satrajit on returning to Dwarka, the king realised his mistake and his unreasonable manner surrounding a gem! He in repentance offered his daughter Satyabhama along with the jewel. This time Krishna accepted only the marriage proposal and not the jewel. Let’s for a moment not consider Jambavati and Satyabhama as women but as great achievements. Jambavati represents great strength and Satyabhama, great wealth. To achieve great strength Krishna had to show courage and to achieve great wealth Krishna displayed great integrity. Subtleties such as these are rare in this era.
(Much as expected Jambavati and Satyabhama never could gel well.)
To be continued….