Friday, 14 December 2012

32. Legends of Shiva and Vishnu bows.

       "Oh, my lad, Rama!  I heard a lot of sensational news about you!  I heard that you smashed effortlessly Shiva's bow, and I also have heard about your other deeds, like elimination of Tataka et cetera.  I agree that smashing of that particular bow of Shiva is quite awesome and even unimaginable.  I have now brought another outranking bow.  This is the catastrophic bow received through my dad Sage Jamadagni.  Try to flex it with an arrow on the bowstring stretching up to your ear.  If you could take aim with this bow, then I grant that you are quite valorous and I would like to have a duel with you."
      On hearing that sentence of Bhaargava Rama, king Dasharatha became nervous, and with a downcast face,  adjoined his shaking palms asked him "Aren't you a Brahman with inviolable ascesis, and whose rancour on Kshatriya-s has calmed down long back?  Why this hostility again?  As my sons are quite young, you should rather award aegis to them rather than fight with them.
Vividly: 'peace is the primary object for Brahman-s... though that was once disturbed in you, you redeemed it after your eradication of the then ruthless Kshatriya-s... thus your rancour was appeased then... and then you peacefully retired for inviolable ascesis and acquired still higher bliss by them... do you now wish to violate your own intrinsic nature of peacefulness being a blissful one, being an all-knower, being an elderly Brahman, that too on mere boys...
      "Aren't you from the bloodline of Bhaargava-s who always conduct themselves in self-study of Vedas and self-principled ways... haven't you readily discarded weapon-wielding on your promise to the Thousand-eyed Indra...
Annex: 'how can you abrogate your own promise of 'astra sanyaasa'  i.e.'reclusion from weaponry...' by wielding a weapon now, and thus becoming yourself a self-critical personality, and thus making the entire Brahman-hood as a self-contradictory class...
      "Such as you were, you on becoming a dedicatee to probity, haven't you given the planet earth to Kashyapa and haven't you repaired to forests, and haven't you flagged yourself on Mt. Mahendra...
      Annex: 'if so, is this for showing the flag or else is it for keeping the flag flying... in anyway, it is inapt of you to eliminate the progeny of your own donee... Kashyapa... and if you say that 'I don't kill you all nonentities, but my target is this Rama...' then my reply will be like this...
      "Or, oh, insurmountable sage, have you chanced upon us for a total annihilation of ours... when Rama is singularized and eliminated, do you think that we all will be living..."
      Annex: 'should you leave off  Rama and eliminate rest of us all, Rama will not live... or, if you leave all of us and eliminate Rama alone, none of us will live... anywise it is an 'anywise' annihilation of ours... for I am still living for my Rama, and my Rama alone...'
      Bhaargava Rama did not care to listen to the ranting of Dasharatha and spoke to Rama
"These are the two strong and sturdy unsurpassed longbows, well-designed by gods and well-crafted by Vishvakarma, the Divine Architect, and these are very important among all bows and well-worshipped by all worlds.  One was broken in your hand, and the other is the one I am now holding in my hand.  Out of the two longbows, gods gave one to restive Trymbaka, God Shiva for a combat with the demon Tripura, the demon.  And you have broken that. This is the second one and the choicest gods gave this to Vishnu, thereby this is named after Him as 'Vishnu's bow...' this is an indestructible and enemy-citadel conquering longbow... and this is identical in its efficacy with Rudra's longbow.
      "Once, all the gods were asking the Grandparent, Brahma, as to who was more powerful between Shiva and Vishnu.  Brahma guessed the intent of the gods viz. to create adversity between those two, Shiva and Vishnu and to instigate a duel between them.  The Grandparent is the best stickler of truthfulness, as truth cannot be demonstrated on hearsay evidence.
     For your eyes only:  It is not quite clear as to how Lord Brahma managed to make Mahadeva and Vishnu fight a duel.  The following legend is, therefore concocted.
Begin Concoction.
      Legend: Brahma thought that it would be better to enact a drama to cleanse the one-sided mentalities of these lesser gods.  So, he produced the following script, and himself becoming the writer-director of that drama. That script is as follows:

Brahma: Mahadeva, who is the destroyer of Tripura, or say triple-citadels?
Shiva: Why? It is me, of course.
Brahma: Why do you boast that way of yourself?  Is it the long-arrow of your longbow?
Shiva: Yes of course.
Brahma: Then, how is that that Vishnu is said to be the presiding deity of that long-bow?
Shiva: Yes, it is he, but I shot it from my bow.  Hey! Is this a real confusion, or, are you playing like Narada?
Brahma: No Sir.  The other day Vishnu was telling that he alone did that master task.
Shiva: How can it be!  In the triple of doer-deed-instrument, instrument cannot become the doer... has his language gone topsy-turvy, noun is becoming verb and verb is lost to adjective and...
Brahma: Ok, Ok... we do not care much for grammar as we care more for communication;  grammar is PaNini's headache... but what he said was that he alone did it... not you...
Shiva: Then why I am called... why that longbow is given to me... you have got it done by Vishnu... you have unnecessarily spoiled my dance program...
Brahma: Not that... I said what he said... let's not quarrel ourselves...
Shiva: I not only quarrel but wage war, if it comes to my interests and my devotees' interest... how many times I have not done so...
Brahma: That is what Vishnu was telling... every time you gave a boon to every demon, and involved yourself enmeshed, and Vishnu had to come and rescue... 'has he forgotten the episode of Bhasmaasura...' thus Vishnu is saying and asking...
Shiva: Now I don't tolerate... I will take him to task...
Exit Shiva - Enter Vishnu.  Brahma reverses the above dialogue and says that to Vishnu
Vishnu: No, No, highly objectionable... I will take him to task... I will take him to task... 
End Concoction.                                                      
       "The animosity thus created by Brahma triggered a fierce and hair-raising duel between Shiva and Vishnu.
      "The 'hum' sound of Vishnu ruinously overpowered and the longbow of Shiva slipped, and the triple-eyed God, Mahadeva, was frozen.
      "Then gods became apprehensive.  They along with the assemblages of sages and celestial carana-s had come together and appealed to those two for appeasement in the matter of wielding authority, and then those two superior gods, Shiva and Vishnu, reconciled with each other.  On seeing the bow of Shiva rendered inert by the mettlesome Vishnu,  the gods along with the assemblages of sages deemed Vishnu to be the paramount.  Rudra became indignant and handed over that longbow, which was already fitted with unloosened arrow, to the sagely king among Videha kings, namely Devaraata.

      COMMENT: This longbow of Shiva is reported as given after the devastation of the ritual of Daksha Prajaapati, the father of Sati and the father-in-law of Shiva as said earlier: dakSa yaj~na vadhe puurvam dhanuH aayamya viiryavaan | This ritual of Daksha is a composite of many problems.  Shiva, either as god or as the son-in-law of Daksha was not invited to that ritual, Shiva's consort Sati self-immolated herself in  her father's ritual, Viira Bhadra and other deputies of Shiva depredated that ritual, and this shiva keshava yuddha 'duelling of Shiva and Vishnu...' happens... all to show - a single person's disinterestedness ruins even a holy marriage.  Here Daksha was uninterested to give his daughter Sati in marriage to Shiva.
End Comment.

      "Oh, Rama, this one is the longbow of Vishnu, and Vishnu handed over this to Sage Riciika, the son of Bhrigu.  That great-resplendent Sage Riciika on his part  handed over this divine bow to his son who is my father Sage Jamadagni.
       "Adhering to a barbarous mentality Kaartvaviirya Arjuna put my father to death, when the ascetically powerful father of mine had isolated himself from arsenal.  When I came to know of the unregenerate and highly perfidious murdering of my father, I rancorously extirpated Kshatriya-s as and when they are born, that too not for one time, but I did so for thirty-seven times going around the earth... and on getting the entire earth under my control I performed a Vedic-ritual, and at the end of that Vedic-ritual, I gave all that earth to the sage Kashyapa, a sage with divine soul and with pious observances, as a ritualistic-generosity... and I am at present on Mt. Mahendra practising ascesis and thus conjoined are the powers of ascesis in me.
      "On hearing about your breakage of Shiva's longbow, I wanted to meet you and here I am.  Oh, Rama, try to wield this supernatural and superlative longbow of Vishnu, which is passed on to me from my forefathers and my father.  Keep your fealty to Kshatriya-hood in view, and wield this as you have wielded Shiva's longbow. 
      "Take an aim with an arrow that conquers enemy's citadels, fixing it on this supramundane longbow... and  should you be capable of it, I will then give you a duel."

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