Friday, 15 November 2013

102. Rama meets Jatayu.

                  On the way to Panchavati they saw a mammoth bird looking like an eagle. Rama and Lakshmana thought that it was a rakshasha. With a stance of ready retaliation they asked that bird "Who you are?". But to their surprise the bird, with a sweet, soft and a pleasant voice replied "Oh! my lad Rama!  I am one of your father's friends."
            In the absence of any reason to doubt the words of the bird the brothers accepted the statement. Then with all reverence Rama asked its name and other details. The bird then started telling them his genealogy "For you to know me well I will tell you about me from the beginning. Kardama was the first one to be created. And afterwards came Sesha, and later Samshraya. Samshraya was quite a vigorous one and as such he begot many children. Then Sthaanu, Mariichi, Atri, the great mighty one Kratu, Pulasthya, Angira, Pracheta and Pulah came up. And then came Daksha and Vivaswan (who was also called  Arishtanemi). Lastly was the great resplendent Kashyapa, who was a Prajapati.
             "Oh, Rama, I understand that Daksha had sixty renowned daughters. Kashyapa chose as his wives eight daughters of Daksha Prajapati, namely Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kaalakaa, Taamra, Krodhavasha, Manu and, Anala. 
               "Kashyapa told his young wives 'You all shall deliver sons similar to me. And they can sustain the three worlds.Aditi, Diti, Kaalakaa and Danu agreed for that, but the others didn't. Aditi gave birth to thirty-three sons comprising of twelve Adityas (the Sun-gods), eight Vasus (the Terrestrials-gods), eleven Rudraas (the Fury-gods) and two Ashvinis, the medicine-gods. Diti gave birth to well-known Daityas, the so-called Asuras who owned the forests and oceans. And Danu gave birth to a son named Ashvagriiva or also called Hayagriiva, Horse-headed god, and Kaalakaa gave birth to Naraka and Kaalaka.
            "Taamraa gave birth to five world renowned girls namely, Krounchi, Bhaasii, Shyenii, Dhritaraashtrii, and Shukii. And from each of the five daughters of Taamraa in turn emanated are the other avian species, whereas Kraunchii gave birth to Uluukas, the owls, Bhasiis gave birth to Bhaasaas, the vultures, and Shyenii gave birth to very sharp eagles and falcons, and then Dhritaraashtrii gave birth to swans and all other kinds of graceful water-birds.
              "Dhritaraashtrii gave birth to Chakravaaka water-birds, and Shukii gave birth to a daughter Nata, and Nata's daughter is Vinata. Krodhavasha gave birth to ten daughters namely Mrigi, Mrigamanda, Hari, Bhadramanda, Maatangii, Sharduulii, Shweta, Surabhii, Surasa and Kadruva. Mrigi produced all of the the deer, and Mrigamnda's progeny is Rikshas, Bears, a kind of antelope, and like that the Himalayan yak like species.
            "Bhadramanda gave birth to the girl named Iravati and her son is the elephant the great, Airaavata, the protector of the world. And Hari's offspring are lions and sagely/mighty monkeys, while Sharduulii gave birth to baboons and tigers. Then Maatangi's children are elephants, and Shweta gave birth to eight elephants that are at eight quarters of the world, sustaining the world on their heads.
             "Surabhi gave birth to two daughters, one is named as illustrious Rohini, and the other is Gandharvi. Rohini gave birth to cows and other livestock, while Surasa gave birth to Naagaas, viz., many headed serpents, while Kadru gave birth to ordinary serpents. Manu procreated humans.
             "The Brahmans emerged from her face, the Kshatriyas from chest, the Vyasyas from two thighs, and the Shudras from two feet. This is indicated in the Rig Veda Purusha Shuukta.
             "All the merited fruit-bearing trees are given birth by Anala, and now I will narrate about Vinata, the daughter's daughter of Shukii, and about Kadru, the sister of Surasa.
              "Kadru gave birth to a thousand-headed serpent who is the bearer of this earth, and Vinata gave birth to two sons namely Garuda and Aruna.
Comment.   Garuda is the eagle-vehicle of Lord Vishnu, while Aruna, also called Anuuru, for he is a thigh-less being, is the charioteer of Sun's seven-horse chariot. The seven horses of Sun's chariot are the seven colours in vibgyor as in a rainbow. Aruna and Garuda are of avian origination and attributed to be the speediest propellers, and Jatayu and Sampati belong to that lineage.
End Comment.           
             "Oh, Rama, I took birth from that Aruna, the charioteer of Sun, and my elder brother is Sampati.  I am named as Jatayu, the son of Shyenii.
              "Now that you know me as who I am, I can be your helpmate at your residence if you desire so. My lad, this impassable forest is a beloved one to predators and rakshashas. I can take care of Seetha in case both Lakshmana and you happen to be away." 
              Raghava revered Jatayu by affectionately hugging and stood by him with his head bent.
              Then the human trio along with that very mighty bird proceeded to Panchavati.

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