Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Rainbow - seven riveting short stories | Carnival in Lousytown by Harshavardhini Pareek. (Part-III)

1. The Legend of Zalim Khan: link.

2. Water Under the Bridge: link.
3. Carnival in Lousytown: Part-I and Part-II.

3. Carnival in Lousytown (Harshavardhini Pareek): This story is about Lousytown - a really very lousy place. From afar, it looked all right. Just like any regular countryside town. But anyone who stepped closer saw all the cracks. (Lack of camaraderie, cohesion? Lack of shared values etc resulting in myriad prejudices, small-mindedness and schisms? The state of the world? Asia?)

The streets were dusty; the lamps were coated with grime. (The streets were dusty: metaphor for an overwhelming amount of unessential, obsolete or retrograde aspects? Need for fresh perspectives/modernity? The lamps: signifying 'light' = knowledge, scientific temper, intellectual energy (the colloquial 'dimaag ki batti'), sharpness of mind, ability to think clearly, fresh approach/perspectives, hope, optimism, progressive aspects) were coated with grime = intellectual inactivity and spiritual impoverishment = stagnation in spiritual and intellectual evolution of humankind = ghor Kaliyug phase at its peak? Kali [metaphoric flower, bloom] can also mean black/dark, indicative of allegoric soot or grime = negative human karma resulting from large quantities of negativity/negative energy in the hearts and minds of humankind [that, in a manner of speaking, overshadows 'light']. | The last phase of Kaliyug (time-cycle), euphemistically known as the ghor kaliyug phase, is also known as the symbolic Dark Age. Dark = lack of 'light', due to an enormous amount of negativity/negative energy viz., ignorance, confusion (dulling of the mind, inability to think clearly and critically), delusion, anger, indifference (lack of social care/social commitment), torpor, intellectual ennui [inactivity, stagnation], despondency, selfish pettiness or excessive narrowness [as of opinions, or views], selfish individualism, retrograde mindset and so forth. It is, as if, the mind is 'asleep' [metaphorically speaking] or is under the influence of an allegoric thick 'fog' [tamas] of pessimism, cynicism, confusion, and whatnot. If the mind is dulled [inability to think clearly or critically, decline in intellectual energy] there is a substantial degeneration or depletion in spiritual values and humanitarian ideals = a coarsely materialistic-society.) 

"Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately reflecting the world outside them, not realising on the contrary that the mind is itself the principal element of creation," said Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. In other words: We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. Therefore, it is necessary to guard our mind against negative thoughts. "We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far," said Swami Vivekananda. ... This (perhaps) is indicative of how the thinking process of a generation also influences the ones afterceding it. That is to say, the beliefs of a generation shape (or greatly influence) a society (societal aspects, values) by influencing or shaping the minds of people (including those of the following generations). Therefore, having an open mind is a good thing; diversity of views is not an impediment. Also, if beliefs do not evolve, it results in obscurantism, which eventually permeates the social fabric (thereby bringing about a civilisational decline).

The trees that lined the streets looked a dull green. (Nature is at her best during rainy season. With the dust washed away from the leaves of trees, nature looks rejuvenated. So, 'the trees that lined the streets looked a dull green' = Lack of mental vigour and subsequent spiritual impoverishment? Absence of allegoric 'rain' to wash away the accumulated spiritual and intellectual 'dust' and 'grime' – small-mindedness, selfish individualism and unessential or obsolete aspects? Besides, need to conserve water so that our trees and plants can thrive?) Flowers (kali can also mean flower or bloom) jostled for place in flowerbeds, most of the times beaten down by wicked weeds, which grew like they owned the gardens. (Abundance of wicked weeds = the proverbial wicked fairy? - symbolising a predominance of intellectual inactivity and retrograde aspects (negative energy and resultant negative human karma) = ghor kaliyug phase at its peak?) The white fences around the cottages were broken and their paint peeling off. (Allusion to a substantial depletion in social values/social commitment and work ethic? Need to unlearn and evolve spiritually and intellectually? Need for organic spiritual confluence? Need to mend fences? | Social values are a set of shared cultural norms and personal values that make up a society's conglomerate value system.) If one were to look beyond the ramshackle fences and the sorry little garden patches, one could see cottages with cracks on walls, dirty windows, limp curtains. All of this was festooned with dirty, yellowing linen hanging on clotheslines. (Allusion to utter indifference and torpor? A precedence of ad hoc fixes, platitudes? Lack of imaginativeness, enthusiasm, dynamism, work ethic and social commitment? Need for a complete Spring Cleaning, i.e. an organic spiritual and intellectual transformation and evolution? Need for a change in mindset and behaviour?) The entire place seemed to be falling apart! Even the pigeons (implying shantih aka peace, co-existence?), which roosted on the central watchtower (Kala-chakra - Wheel of Time? BG 10.33: || aham evākṣayaḥ kālo || ~ "I am also inexhaustible time"), flew around a tad miserably. Everyone and everything seemed to be completely lazy and this is what was so utterly lousy about the place.

(Note:  Master auteur Satyajit Ray's adaptation of Puss in Boots in "Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne" [lit. "The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha"] and "Hirak Rajar Deshe" [lit. "In the Land of the Diamond King" or "The Kingdom of Diamonds"] is top-class. Rather, Hirak Rajar Deshe brilliantly captures the essence of Tagore's "Where the mind is without fear [...]" Jantarmantar Ghaar, magajdholai (brainwashing, straitjacketing of the mind) etc is a reference to intellectual inactivity/regimentation and [resultant] stagnation that invariably results in a civilisational decline (the proverbial quagmire, since the quality of humankind declines). The absence of a reading culture, or a simplistic [superficial] understanding of ideas, concepts, events etc are counterproductive. It only helps to perpetuate obsolete or unessential aspects. Such an attitude is the biggest impediment to positive change of mindset (perspectives, thought process) and behavioural aspects (and thereby social evolution). Fresh thinking/perspectives/approach is required, and therefore intellectual stimulation (intellectual energy) is paramount. Regurgitation is unhelpful. Knowledge and wisdom is like a clear perennial stream, whereas intellectual inactivity (stagnation) or mere regurgitation can only turn this clear stream into a stagnant pond. ... The clear stream of reason (knowledge, imaginativeness, critical thinking, fresh approach, scientific temper etc) turning into a stagnant pond = decline of a people, [and thereby] of a civilisation. It commences with intellectual inactivity/stagnation, straitjacketing of the mind. Intellectual stagnation = obverse of a sharp, curious, thinking mind. (Mind = maan, manas). Intellectual inactivity/lethargy = a dull or blunted mind = inability to cogitate, to think clearly or cogently. Inability to do critical thinking = inability to comprehend or ideate = inability to absorb ideas quickly = intellectual shallowness and intellectual obstinacy = lack of fresh approach/perspectives = an overwhelming precedence of cynical, simplistic [superficial], unthinking or specious discourses, small-mindedness, selfish individualism, blinkered world-view and so forth = an accumulation of unessential, obsolete or retrogressive aspects = the beginning of the decline of a culture. ... There is also the swan analogy. The swan's ability to separate milk and water (or the water from the cream in milk) symbolises the need to develop the mental maturity and intellectual discrimination to differentiate between the enduring (essential, necessary) aspects and the unessential (unnecessary, trivial or obsolete) aspects. In other words, mental maturity and intellectual discrimination help differentiate between what is essential (necessary) and what is unessential (obsolete or trivial). Excessive focus on the latter only serves to obscure the former.

(The proverbial wicked fairy [perhaps] symbolises fixed mindset or fixed intellect, a set way of thinking and acting, inability (unwillingness) to change. Fixed mindset = Ekbuddhi of the Panchatantra tales. atiśaya-ātma-buddhibhiḥ: whose intellect has become fixed. samāhita-ātmā: whose mind is fixed. Positive pride [confidence and belief in oneself] is not the same as negative ego or vainglory. Positive pride is good to have. It can motivate. Negative pride is when one refuses to open their mind to new ideas or refuses to take appropriate action because one is accustomed to a set way of thinking or acting, and does not want to change or mend one's ways. The refusal to do the right thing out of "pride" [arrogance, vanity, conceit] can be detrimental to oneself and others. Similarly, positive greed can help accomplish great things. Avarice is different, though. Similarly, temperate or worthy self-respect is different from self-righteousness, ideals are different from ideology, sustained effort is not the same as quick-fix. "Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value." – Albert Einstein. The story of Trishanku elucidates this. "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." – Albert Einstein. | The wicked fairy is associated with a spindle. In Sleeping Beauty the princess was cursed by the wicked fairy who foretold that on her 16th birthday, she would prick her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle and die. Incidentally, Tagore was never taken by the spinning wheel. He did not agree that spinning a wheel could bring about a great personal improvement. To him, spinning a wheel consists of endlessly turning the wheel of an antiquated machine with a minimum of imagination and a maximum of boredom. Spinning wheel is not to be confused with the Buddhist Dharma Chakra gracing our National Flag.)

Mending walls is a kind of spring ritual. In the poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost, the poet considers the value or otherwise, of boundaries or fences. In contemplating whether good fences make good neighbours, he is including all barriers and boundaries in that - including walls. There is no ingress and therefore no disputes. Frost wonders whether there's another way - particularly perhaps in relation to world issues like the Cold War. His wall-loving neighbour, a hard-working farmer to whom spring means walls to mend, lacks fancy and frivolity. The neighbour in Frost's "Mending Wall," values [has respect for] barriers or fences. ... One aspect of this poem is that the neighbour wisely realises - as the speaker does not - that individual identity (and harmony) depends on respect for boundaries. However, it is not the neighbour (who believes that "good fences make good neighbours") who initiates the ritual of mending the wall; rather, it is the speaker (full of imagination, presumably a poet): "I let my neighbour know beyond the hill." ... This suggests that "if fences do not 'make good neighbors,' the making of fences can," for it makes for talk - even though the neighbour is hopelessly taciturn. Frost himself doesn’t really like the wall; he feels it is unnecessary, unfriendly, outdated, and a bit impolite to have. However, his neighbour, who seems to be steeped in tradition, says, "Good fences make good neighbours." This is an old saying that seems to imply that one can be better neighbours if there are boundaries; that way, one doesn't end up fighting over what property is whose. It helps create lines, which eliminates potential conflict. For example, if there is a tree that is kind-of in-between two houses, who has to rake the leaves every fall? Without a fence, neighbours might argue about this issue, or just silently seethe with unpleasantness as the leaves pile up and the neighbour doesn't rake them. With a fence, the tree definitely belongs to a certain person; they are responsible, and the potential problem is solved. (This has some parallels with the story involving the Parijaat tree – a kalpavriksha, Sri Krishna, Rukmini and Satyabhama.) Frost, however, disagrees. He gives several reasons for this in his poem, but the main reason is that their properties don't really need them. He has apple trees, the neighbour has "all pine," and, as Frost says, "My apple trees will never get across and eat all the cones under his pines." ... Trees don't need to be fenced in or out - they don't interfere with anyone, like someone's cattle would, if untethered. He also mentions that sometimes fences are put up to keep the cows in, but "here there are no cows." They don't have animals to keep in or out, and no property disputes. He also asserts that there is something unpleasant and unkind in a wall, he says that a wall implies that one is keeping something unpleasant away, or something unpleasant in, and that's not very pleasant. In the end, he even compares his wall-loving neighbour to "an old stone-savage," symbolically indicating that keeping walls is a rather uncivilised ritual that is only needed in more unpleasant times. And that walls or boundaries (Tagore's "narrow domestic walls") separate people from the rest of humankind, and so when one separates (or tends to alienate) oneself by nationality, by tradition or culture, by language, by gender etc it breeds misunderstandings. ... Therefore, anyone seeking to understand lack of harmony or camaraderie, or depletion in humanistic values and dharmic ideals etc does not belong to any nationality; he or she is concerned with the totality of everything - the total understanding of humankind, of human civilisation. (It could also be that Robert Frost's poem has connotative meanings.) | Continuing with boundaries or fences, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, like many of Mark Twain's other works, contains a good deal of social commentary. Tom Sawyer Whitewashing the Fence is something one does not quite outgrow. It isn't any old picket fence, though. It's "thirty yards of board fence nine feet high". That's 800 square feet of fence to paint white. (Mainak, a celestial golden mountain, the brother of Parvati and Ganga, was 100 yojana in width, 800 miles.) ... People remember the fence scenario because it's so clever. Tom tricks a bunch of boys into thinking that work - the thing that he doesn't want to do - is fun, so that he can spend the afternoon goofing off. He even gets the boys to pay him for the "privilege" of painting. He turns punishment into pleasure, and pleases Aunt Polly in the process. (Polly is most commonly used for parrots.) Twain provides his own analysis of the situation: Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.)

Note on Mainak: Mainak, the brother of Parvati and Ganga. Is Mainak Parvat the counterpart of Mt. Meru (Mandar Parvat)?

Mainak Parvat = Mt. Olympus? (What made Alexander come to ancient India, the fabled riches? Where is the real Rome?)

Mainak Parvat had wings. (Mountain with wings?)

Apparently earlier all the mountains had wings. They (out of pride) started flying in the air and settling down wherever they wanted. This caused inconvenience to the people at large. Hence Indra (Devaraj) clipped the wings of all the mountains (Vajrayudha of Indra). But Mainak, the golden parvat, 100 yojana [800 miles] in width, took shelter of Lord Vayu (pavana, air) and consequently was protected and allowed to stay in lavan samudra. (Lavan = salt; samudra = sea). BG 10.31: || pavanah pavatam asmi || "of purifiers (dispellers) I am the wind (pavana)" ~ implying dispeller of retrograde/obsolete aspects and negative energy in the hearts and minds of humankind. ... When Sri Hanuman went to fetch Sanjeevni-booti (to revive Lakshman aka Ramachandra, so that he could regain his senses), Sagara asked Mainak to rise to the occasion. Hence, Mainak Parvat rose from lavan samudra to provide a place to (vAtAtmajam, Pavan-Putra, SrI rAmadUtam) Sri Hanuman - to refresh/relax from exertion. However, Hanuman-ji was not tired, besides he was on a mission of Sri Rama, and hence refused to relax, merely touching Mainak Parvat (out of courtesy) before flying off. (Sri Lanka is not the Lanka of the Ramayana we often confuse it for). The real Lanka is [probably] beyond Malayachal, behind Trikut Parvat. Trikut Parvat = Mt Meru, Mt. Kailasha and Mandar Parvat? How big is Mandar Parvat? Is it synonymous with Mt Meru or is Meru a part of Mandar Parvat? Hanuman-ji tearing open his chest to reveal an image of Siya-Rama: probably a tattoo or body-art. Siya-Rama = Sita, also known as Sri Rama, an honorific for Sri Lakshmi. BG 10.27: || narāṇāḿ ca narādhipam || ~ "and among humans I am the monarch" (Cakravartin, Lord of Mankind). As a female Sanskrit name, Rama (pronounced with a long final vowel 'a' - Ramaa) means "rejoicing" and is a name of the Goddess Lakshmi. With two long vowels 'a', Rama (pronounced Ramaa) is a name of Sita. | Sri is indicative of Lakshmi [Sanskrit: lakṣmī.] She is known as Sridevi. Sri = radiance, good fortune, prosperity [both material and spiritual]. Lakshmi comes from LaKsh, derived from the Sanskrit word 'Lakshya', meaning 'the Aim'. It is indicative of unwavering focus or concentration towards achieving the dharmic mission (goals and objectives). Incidentally, Lakmé is the French pronunciation for Lakshmi.)

Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers and central characters of Rome's foundation myth. (Some parallels with Lava and Kush? What is Hindu Kush all about? Kingdom of Kush? Kush ruled from Southern Kosala, while Lava ruled from Northern Kosala. The city of Kusha-vati (near the Vindhya ranges) - for Kush, and the city of Shravastipura - for Lava. Sravasti is also closely associated with Bhagavan Sri Gautam Buddh. Lakshman and Urmila had two sons: Angada and Chandraketu. What could this mean?) Romulus is given the credit for founding Ancient Rome - so legend has it. The story of Romulus, his twin brother Remus, and the founding of the city of Rome is one of the most familiar legends about the Eternal City. (Ayudhya or Ayodhya means: the Invincible City; it can also be called the Eternal City.) Romulus was the eponymous first king of Rome. How he got there is a story like many others, involving a drastic or extensive rise in fortune, and a storied birth. ... Romulus and Remus were abandoned by their parents as babies and put into a basket that was then placed on the River Tiber. The basket ran aground and a female wolf discovered the twins. The wolf nursed the babies for a while before a shepherd found them. The shepherd and his wife then brought up the twins (as foster parents). Romulus and Remus grew up as simple shepherds. (Can 'She-wolf' be an allusion to a woman belonging to a clan and/or kingdom with a wolf emblem, insignia or coat of arms?) ... Aranyadev or The 21st Phantom (believed to be an immortal ghost; also known as "The Ghost Who Walks", "The Man Who Cannot Die" and "Guardian of the Eastern Dark") has an assistant in his trained mountain wolf called Devil. However, is this aranya (meaning forest) of which the 21st Phantom is the deva (Lord, Guardian, Deity) - a reference to Nandan-kanan? The fabled Garden of Eden? Is this garden described in John Milton's "Paradise Lost" - written in a semi-Shakespearean prose that can be hard to get through at times? Is Ayudhya (Ayodhya) the real Rome? Is Ayodhya (Ayudhya) the fabled Garden of Eden?

As a male Sanskrit name, Rama (pronounced with a first long vowel 'a'), means: "blissful, pleasing". Rāmachandra is a masculine name. Rāmachandra comes from the Sanskrit Rāma, which means: black, dark; Chandra means: moon (in Sanskrit). Therefore: Ramachandra means: the Rāmamoon (black/dark + moon. Maybe Rāmachandra was dark-complexioned.) Sheshanaga is also known as Balarama, Lakshmana and Sankarshana. (Sankarshana = a being transferred between two wombs). Sankarṣana is fully independent. Balarama was named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama, Baladeva or Balabhadra, meaning "Strong Rama" and Halayudha (deity of agriculture). He was born under Shravana nakshatra on Shraavana Purnima, or Raksha Bandhan. Sheshanaga (Śeṣanāga) is one of the primal beings of creation, and is sometimes referred as Ananta Shesha. He is also considered a dasa (attendant) as well as a manifestation (partial avatar?) of Maha Vishnu (Divine Effulgence or Primary Brahma?) and is regarded generally as an avatar of Shesha. He is also sometimes considered as the Sankarshana form of Vishnu (perhaps implying empowered entity or partial avatar/manifestation.) Therefore, Lava and Kush were [very likely] Sita and Ramachandra (aka Lakshman's) twins. Maybe they were cousins (or step-siblings?) Sita's mother: Kaushalya. Lakshmana's mother: Sumitra (meaning: well-wisher). Gandhari: blind towards her sons' faults. Kaikeyi: excessive love for her son, Bharata. She was a master manipulator or maneuverer (Kaushalya?) who banished Sri Rama for 14 years, paving the way for Bharata's ascension to the throne? Is this Sri Rama a reference to Sita or to Ravana? Kaikeyi was [thus] a well-wisher (Sumitra?) of Bharata? Kaikeyi hailed from the Kekaya Mahajanapada (kingdom) who were staunch allies of Ayodhya. She was renowned for her horsemanship and once saved [rescued] an injured Dasarath in the battlefield. Bharata's devotion to and love for Rama was unparalleled. He [therefore] agreed to govern Ayodhya, not as its ruler, but as Rama's representative. Thus, Bharata placed Rama's sandals (padukas) at the foot of the royal throne, and neither sat upon the throne nor crowned himself. Bharata's rule was dharmic (Rama-Rajya?), he also assimilated Gandhara. Could Kaikeyi and Bharata [also] have allegorical connotations? Ramachandra/Lakshman [implying janus-faced, untrustworthy, treacherous?] is the same person. Also known as Ravana. Janaka of Mithila/Lanka was related to Dasarath of Ayodhya? Ravana, Vibhisana and Kumbhakarna - three brothers or three different aspects of the same individual?  ... The cosmic phenomenon of "dissolution" (i.e. the fadeout of a time-cycle so that re-energisation can commence) occurs when 'Ananta' becomes 'Sesha'. Can this imply that Ananta (infinite or eternal) in a manner of speaking "dissolves" Shesha - indicative of the fadeout of the kalpa, the time-cycle, so that a new one can begin (implying re-energisation)?

The imagery of Sri Vishnu and SheshaNaga: can it be that SheshaNaga (depicted as five-headed or seven-headed) was Sri Vishnu's bodyguard? Who really was King Mahabali (a benevolent asura king who became arrogant and disrespectful of others including Lord Vishnu)? Mahabali asked arrogantly who was this Vishnu that stood in his way. He also attempted to conquer [wrest] heaven from the Devas (enlightened beings) and Patala from Indra... and was subdued by the Vamana-avatar - the fifth avatar of the Dasavataar. (Pale-red = paTalaH in Sanskrit.) The Vamana(diminutive)-avatar of Sri Vishnu taught King Mahabali that arrogance and negative pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that excessive pride in one's wealth is counterproductive. King Mahabali's patala pravesha = his downfall (metaphoric eclipse? What is meant by Rāmachandra's salilasamadhi? A great white serpent that left the mouth of Balarama? What is the Loch Ness Monster about?) However, the Lord allowed him to visit his people once a year. (Onam celebrates King Mahabali's annual visit). Mahabali bows to Sri Vishnu before his patala pravesha. ... The world-system moves from one kalpa (time-cycle) to another. "Shesha" in Sanskrit texts, especially those relating to mathematical calculation, also implies the "remainder" – that which remains when all else ceases to exist; "that which remains", from the Sanskrit root śiṣ, because when the Brahmaanda (the 'Primordial Egg') is "dissolved" (signifying the fadeout of the kalpa, the time-cycle, so that a new one [i.e. re-energisation] can commence), Shesha remains as he is. | At the fadeout of the kalpa (the time-cycle, so that a new one can commence), Shesha remains as he is. Is this indicative of fixed mindset? (SheshaNaga, therefore, could be Sage Bhringi or Bhringisa – the Rsi with three legs. Nandi and Bhringi are symbolised by two bulls. Bhringi is the antithesis of Nandi. Sumeru and Kumeru? Suryasiddhānt (the ancient astronomical text) locates Meru at the 'Navel of the Earth' and describes it as 'Passing through middle of the earth, and protruding on either side' (a reference to Stonehenge and Easter Islands?) Suryasiddhānt also mentions a Mt Meru in the middle of earth, besides a Sumeru and a Kumeru at both the Poles - a Sumeru at the North Pole and a Kumeru at the South pole. Are they indicative of Nandi and Bhringi, respectively? Mt. Meru is also known as Sumeru. The approbatory prefix "su" resulting in the meaning "excellent Meru" or "wonderful Meru", or maybe "auspicious Meru".)

Red Coral Gemstone or Moonga: Great energy and motivation. Courage, charisma, leadership; physical strength, forcefulness; ambition; rapid advancement and success. Because of it's auspiciousness, the coral, though not a precious gem, has been given a coveted place in Navaratnas. Red Coral: for enhancing self-confidence, administrative capability; perseverance towards success and dominance through the path without hurdles. A representative stone of 'Mars' Planet, which is the lord of 'Aries' and 'Scorpion' Zodiac, it is called by various names: 'Moonga', 'Bhauma Ratna', 'Praval', Gem of Mars, Vidruma, 'Mirjan', 'Pola', The coral tree, Abdhijantu, Being of the ocean. 

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata cannot be comprehended through a casual or cursory reading. They must be understood in totality, one must understand their essence. However, they have been turned into simplistic and largely inane discourses. (Retelling tends to reflect the points of view of the writers and the social environment, social context, socio-cultural context, or milieu.)

The Ramayana is not a victimhood narrative, and Sita is not the groveling shriveling character that she has been turned into. Sita is 'everywoman'. She had faith in herself and the necessary confidence to live a life of dignity. She does not infuse negativity for Ramachandra in her sons' hearts. The Ramayana (like the Mahabharata, 'Great History of the Bharatas') is an interesting tale. It also brings out various aspects of human nature, societal aspects and the changing contours of relationships in all its myriad shades. ... When power, unbridled ambition and their associated aspects are involved, mere emotions do not suffice. Ramachandra's rejection of Sita is selfish and crude, and almost universally condemned while her rejection of him is an example of supreme dignity. It achieves majesty of its own, than what may have been possible through any overt display of hostility. (Ravana, the King of Lanka, was he Sita/Sri Rama's father? Did she leave Ramchandra/Lakshman (after realising they were totally incompatible or that he was duplicitous, deliberately deceptive, untrustworthy? Janus-faced? Sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Psychotic, mentally unstable (someone who exhibited extreme emotion or behaviour)? Obsessive? Possessive, and excessively so? (Do Beauty and the Beast have connotative aspects?) Did Sita release him (metaphorically speaking)? Lakshman and Urmila had two sons: Angada and Chandraketu. Does this mean Ramachandra quietly remarried, or did he commit infidelity? Ramachandra's rejection of Sita: was it direct [e.g. abandonment]? Or was it emotional rejection - jealousy/envy etc arising from his feelings of inadequacy? Neglectful or disengaged (aloof, apathetic, cold and callous, insensitive? very little emotion involved)? Over-engaged (controlling) or high-handed behaviour? Did he attempt to limit the limitless (sort of imprisonment)? Belittling, attributing fault or inducing indebtedness?) Did he have an exaggerated self-image (excessively self-righteous) and/or a sense of entitlement? Deluded? Small-minded, manipulative, calculative? Inconsiderate, mean, maleficent (vindictive)? Deliberately hurtful (through one's words and/or behaviour)? A tenuous, conflict-habituated relationship (characterised by considerable tension, and bitterness) with a façade of being compatible (since he was royalty)? An empty-shell marriage? What about Maharshi Valmiki? He was certainly a well-wisher. Could it be that Sita married the silver-haired Maharshi Valmiki? Is Maharshi Valmiki of the Ramayana, the prodigiously knowledgeable Maharshi Veda Vyasa of the Mahabharata? What does Shikhandi mean? | Also, can it be that Sita was Raja Janaka's daughter, and that Ramachandra/Lakshman is also known as Ravana (Raavan). Were they cousins? Were Dasarath (of Ayodhya) and Janaka (of Mithila/Lanka) related? Ravana attended Sita's Svayamvara. Ravana is also associated with intemperance/debauchery and satyriasis. He is said to have become the King of Lanka by usurping Lanka from his half brother, Kubera. (Kubera's depiction has some parallels with Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas. BG 10.23: || rudrāṇāṁ śaṅkaraś cāsmi vitteśo yakṣa-rakṣasām vasūnāṁ pāvakaś cāsmi meruḥ śikhariṇām aham || ~ "Of all the Rudras I am Sankara [Rudra-Śiva], of the Yakshas and Rakshasas [small-sized beings, the Lilliputians of Gulliver's Travels?] I am the Lord of wealth [Kubera], of the Vasus I am fire [Agni, kundalini-energy], and of mountains I am Meru." Ravana held Sita captive in Ashok Vatika. This is understandable. Is Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna two aspects of Ravana? ... Is Ravana of the Ramayana, Karna of the Mahabharata? Are Karna and Satyabhama one and the same? Who are Vrishali and Supriya (supposedly Karna's wives)? The five Pandavas = five aspects of Krsna Draupadi. However, could it also mean Karna was equivalent to five husbands given his disposition? ... Ravana's ten heads: Swollen-headed? A legend in his mind? Inability to view himself critically? Whimsical, moody and impulsive? Sulky and temperamental? Narcissistic? Does not acknowledge responsibilities (operates as a child emotionally, refusal to grow up, or adapt and evolve)? Full of hot air, ego, vainglory, anger, prejudices and self-importance? Excessively selfish, easily riled, emotionally immature, a unenlightened/vacuous mind, yet exaggerated self-image? A braggadocio? Deluded? A schizophrenic mind? ... Who really was Surpanakha? Is Meghnadh a reference to Ravana? Or are they different people? Indrajit is also known by the sobriquet Meghnadh or Meghnaada (voice like rumbling thunder?)

Here, the bakers instead of singing songs and whistling tunes while rolling out their bread and wheeling out trolleys loaded with goodies, slept in them, snoring! (Kumbhakarna analogy? The very epitome of lethargy, indifference and insouciance? Implying procrastination and collective shirking of responsibility? Consciousness is [metaphorically speaking] asleep?) Instead of pretty little maidens skipping and prancing on the streets, enjoying the glorious sunshine, Lousytown had dopey, sleepy-eyed little maids, slouching along the sidewalks, shuffling their feet in a disgruntled manner. There seemed to be no activity here, and one wondered how Lousytown functioned. Everyone was crabby with each other; rude and lazy were the ways to be. (Lack of social ethics/behaviour, camaraderie, contentment etc?) Well, it was lousy all right and the town sure seemed to be living up to its reputation.

It is said at one time the people in this town were as bright and hard working as in any other fine town. (Allusion to Sat/Satya/Krita Yug - the symbolic "Golden Age"? | Sat/Satya/Krita Yug is the very antithesis of the ghor kaliyug phase; it is associated with re-energisation/rejuvenation: of hope, optimism, camaraderie, intellectual re-invigoration and spiritual awakening, fresh thinking [perspectives], enlightenment, progress, social commitment, non-shirking of responsibility as opposed to platitudes, quick-fix or ad-hoc fixes, and so on.)

One day, a spell was cast on them. (Spell = the allegoric evil fairy? Symbolising a substantial increase in negative energy in the hearts and minds of humankind and resultant negative karma? A significant decline in dharmic aspects and karm-yog (individual and collaborative effort and endeavours for the betterment of society, for realising the larger social goals) = a reduction or shrinkage in happiness, contentment, camaraderie, social commitment (social care, responsibility), intellectual calibre, critical thinking, spiritual humanism/humane gestures, empathy etc.) It made all the residents of Lousytown disagreeable and lousy. Everywhere you looked people had hangdog expressions, they bickered and cribbed - it was awful. And no one really worked, unless absolutely necessary. (Collective apathy? A significant decline in dharma and karm-yog = the figurative 'manifestation' of the ghor kaliyug phase [the last phase of kaliyug] when retrograde aspects/mindset or negative energy [ennui, confusion, pessimism, indifference, ignorance, selfish ambition, narrow individualism, excessive material attachment, narrow worldview etc] are predominant.)

One day, as usual, the Sun dawned on Lousytown and the people began to stir awake. They hated going about their daily tasks. Shops opened wearily. Newspapers were tossed out weakly. Some fell in the rain-drains, which were obviously not clean. Nothing ever happened which was fun and exciting. It was just another lousy day. The people began their daily chores. Shops were arranged and shutters were pulled up. Dull looking wares were displayed for customers who were disinterested. People (looking exhausted) moped around, and it was early in the morning! 

But, wait, not all of them. Who was this? One of the folks was skipping along (implying a vivacious, energetic or enthusiastic personality?) on the cobbled streets of the town square, singing a happy sounding jingle. (Santa Claus? Rudra-Shiva? Vaishajaguru - the Buddha of Medicine, the healer who awakens the minds through the light of his lapis lazuli, and who heals by helping to overcome coarsely materialistic behaviourism or tendencies, anger and ignorance - which are the source of much of the negativism/negative energy? Bhairava? - also called kshetra pAla - the guardian deity of the abode of Shiva (Shambhala, possibly Kailash)? Shambhu Nath - the guardian/monarch of Shambhala? Kailashpati? PasupatiNath? BG 10.23: || rudrāṇāṁ śaṅkaraś cāsmi || ~ "Of all the Rudras I am Sankara." There are 11 Rudras, of whom Rudra-Siva [Sankara] is preeminent. kshetra pAla is always happy and exuberant. kshetra pAla has a dog as vaahan, and is [therefore] also referred as shuna vAhanar. Maybe this should help explain the story involving Yudhisthira and a dog. (Dharma followed Yudhisthira everywhere. It could be a reference to Nandi, Sri Nandikesvara. (Reminiscent of 'Mary had a Little Lamb'.) Yudhisthira is perhaps an aspect of Panchali (Kṛṣṇā Draupadī) and symbolises the personification or embodiment of Dharma (dharmic aspects: nītiḥ and nyaya; principles, values, ideals, effort, thoughts and actions). Thus, the honorific Dharmaraj is used for Yudhisthira. Yudhiṣṭhira meaning "steady in war", from yudh meaning war, and sthira meaning steady (possibly implying: of steady mind, unwavering, steadfast, resolute or firmly determined.) Two other honorifics for Yudhisthira are Bharata (descendant of the lineage of Bharata?) and Ajatashatru (one without enemies). Dharma is also indicated through the imagery of a dog. The dog possesses several excellent qualities: always full of enthusiasm, devoted and virtuous; ever-watchful, he remains at a distance, never abandons or forsakes the master, rather they love and cherish their Master. The dog also accepts a humble place and remains there. This is a symbol of those who accept sufferings and adversity. Even if he does not like his position, he perseveres and does not abandon it. This is  a  symbol  of  the  upright,  the humble, and  the  wise. The dog is without anger or a grudge. This is  a sign of the straightforward and the  simple-hearted. The dog is a dasa, a suitable helper, a confidant: eager to help, assist, or attend to. Has a humble attitude, and a desire to help others, to think about everyone else first before thinking about oneself.)

(Shambhu, one who grants us happiness; Sankara means bestower of happiness. Sankara also means, auspicious. The word Shankara is made up of two words, namely "shanka" and "hara". Shanka means doubt or worries and hara means dispeller. It also means lord. Shankara or Sankara can also mean sankata + hara, i.e. the One who dispels all difficulties. Sam means Chittaananda (Blissful Awareness, possibly implying awakening of the consciousness, sat-cit-ananda). Kara means the one who causes it. Sankara means the One who causes blissful awareness. Siva means, graciousness, auspiciousness, Mangalam. Siva (the good or the auspicious) is all graciousness, ever auspicious, Sarva Mangalam. That is the reason why the epithet, Sri, which indicates these qualities, is not added to the name Siva, Sankara, lsvara etc. It is added to the Avatars, for the Avatars take on a physical form for a specific purpose. They have to be distinguished from other humans, by the epithet. However, Siva is eternally gracious, auspicious, mangala and so the epithet is superfluous. Siva is adored as the teacher of teachers. The form of Siva is itself a great lesson in tolerance and forbearance. Siva is perhaps the Eternal Divine Being without the physical shell, kayaheen.)

Mr. Grumpy, who owned Lousytown's wilted vegetable store, looked up. "Hey there, you don't look like a resident of this place, are you?" he raised a bushy eyebrow and asked the happy fellow.

"Of course not," came the answer. "Do I look lousy? I am from neighbouring Rumourville," he said happily. "Nice to meet you, Sir. Now may I go about my business?"

Mr. Grumpy was just like his name. "No, you may not. Tell me first why you are here and what is your business?" (Poking his nose into everybody's business?)

The jolly fellow smiled enigmatically. "That's none of your business, Sir, is it?" 

Mr. Grumpy made as if to get up from his stool and growled: “If you don't tell me I will break your head and snap your neck, too."

The stranger held up his hands and grinned a little wickedly. "Ok, ok, I'll tell you, but you can't tell anyone else. But, you can surely tell everybody else," he chuckled. (Sukumar Ray's Shabdakalpadrum or Shabda-Kalpadrum. Damaru: it produces Naada, the auspicious cosmic sound of OM or AUM, associated with tranquility and deep meditation (self-reflection, objective introspection). Sometimes loud sounds or unexpected noise (not to be construed as empty trumpeting or showmanship devoid of substance) can help produce the desired effect (or outcome), which tranquility may not have been able to. Thus, damaru or kalpadrum can be part of integrated tactical moves (deception by stratagem.) "Some thing is going to happen right here, in Lousytown. I don't know what it is, I don't know when it will happen, but happen, it surely will. It's big news! (News? 'Daiva-vaani' or 'aakash-vaani' - "celestial announcement from sky" or "sky-voice"?) This something can happen today, tonight or even tomorrow evening, or maybe next week. It's going to happen near the orchard (the fabled Nandan-kanan, the Garden of Eden, in Shambhala tradition?) in the big lousy field. Now get ready, because happen it surely will. I'm really late and am going to run off to finish what I had started." (Ashvamedha Yagna? Ashva = the Unicorn, the allegoric one-horned (eka-shringa) horse: Hayagreeva-avatar or Hayasirsa, implying horse-headed Sri Vishnu? Haya = horse, greeva = jaw, avatar = manifestation in physical form. Eka-shringa or 'one-horned' = imagery for rarity and uniqueness, since the Cosmic Ruler (Secondary Creator or Secondary Brahma, the Almighty or Primordial Being) is also known as vishama (unequaled), atulah (incomparable) and ekah (the one, the foremost). Medha = intellect, implying Highest Cosmic Intelligence, the Cosmic Mind. ... Satyajit Ray's fictional detective character, Pradosh Chandra Mitter aka Feluda's Gyanpeeth? (Mitra anglicized to Mitter.) Yagna = steadfast karm-yog, i.e. sustained effort to bring about an organic transformation and evolution, a sustainable turnaround?) The fellow from Rumourville skipped off, leaving Mr. Grumpy thinking.

(Rumourville: Shambhala, possibly Kailash? Dvarka or Dvaravati (the city of many doors)? Manipura? Mithila? Janakpura? Panchal? Lanka? Rishikesh? Prayag? Vrindavaan [Vṛndāvana]? Haridvar? Kashi? Manasarovar or Maan-sarovar? Mandar Parvat or Mt. Meru? Pataliputra (Palibothra to the Greeks?) Mathura (Methora to the Greeks?) Magadha or Prachya (Eastern Country, Praesii or Prasioi to the Greeks?) Rishi Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay's Aananda Math? Feluda's Gyanpeeth? Gauda Desh or Gauḍa country: the land of Parvati, also known as Gauri (the radiant one) and Durga (the invincible, the unvanquished, aparajita)? Svetadveepa? Vishnu is also śvetadvīpa-patim or śvetadvīpa-patiḥ: the Lord of Śvetadvīpa or the master of Śvetadvīpa.)

He couldn't tell anyone else, but he could tell everyone else. Mr. Grumpy got to his feet and rushed, yes, rushed into his shop. He searched in all its dark corners till he found what he was looking for - a bullhorn. (The bull, especially the Zebu Bull or Brahma Bull, is a familiar motif in the Indus seals; insignia, emblem or coat-of-arms of the Vrishni? The Indus Yogi Seal or the Pashupati Seal, wherein a pair of bullhorns crowns the head of a three-faced figure? PasupatiNath? Keshavah? Imagery for Supreme Dharma: Vrisha Uttamam or Dharmadhyaksha? Personified Dharma: Vrishaakritih or Vrishaparvaa? Could this bullhorn-wearing figure also represent the Rishabha-avatar [one of the 24 avatars]? (Rishabha or Rshabha is derived from Vṛṣabha [Vrishabha] - the great bull. The Eternal Divine Being is called Vṛṣabha [Vrishabha] - the Great Bull. The illustrious god of gods [Mahadeva] is Vrisha Uttamam or Dharmadhyaksha [Supreme Dharma] - personification of dharma (Vrishaakritih or Vrishaparvaa). BG 10.38: || daṇḍo damayatām asmi nītir asmi jigīṣatām maunaḿ caivāsmi guhyānāḿ jñānaḿ jñānavatām aham || ~ "Among all means of chastisement/suppressing adharma (negative energy/negativity/negative characteristics and resultant negative karma) I am sagacious retribution [daṇḍo], and of those who seek victory I am statesmanship or right actions [nītiḥ]; I am silence [maunaḿ] of the secrets [guhyānāḿ], and the Self-knowledge [atma-vidya or atma-gyana] of the knowledgeable (i.e. of the wise I am the wisdom, the supreme wisdom that dispells all illusions; in other words, supreme or highest enlightenment, the stage where nirvana is attained, the state of a Buddha.") The other Indus Seal depicting a deity with three faces, seated in yogic position on a throne, with the hands resting on the knees, wearing bangles on both arms and an elaborate headdress? The heels are pressed together and the feet project beyond the edge of the throne (vajrasana?). The feet of the throne are carved with the hoof of a bovine as is seen on the bull and unicorn seals. Five symbols of the Indus script [hieroglyphs] appear on either side of the headdress, which is made of two outward projecting curved horns, with two upward projecting points, with a branch with three prongs or peepal leaves emerging from the center? - A Buddha-like figure? BG 10.26: || aśvatthaḥ sarva-vṛkṣāṇāḿ || ~ "among trees, I am the peepal (ashvattha)." The Peepal [aśvatthaḥ] - the Bodhi Tree, the 'tree of enlightenment', or Transpersonal World Tree is the personification of Sri Vishnu/Keshavah/Narayana/Hari. The Bodhi tree, the Tree of Enlightenment, is also the symbol of Sri Gautama Buddha's message in general, since he had overcome his human [mundane, banal, narrow, selfish] boundaries - of geography, language, history, culture etc, and become one with the world spirit. Ashvatha literally means, "Where horses stood" [ashva + tha.] Horse = Unicorn? Hayagreeva [greeva = jaw] or Hayasirsa [sirsa = head] = the horse-headed Sri Vishnu? (Several Indus seals depict a one-horned horse-like creature with bovine hooves.) ... The peepal tree has its own symbolic meaning of enlightenment and peace. In Sanskrit, this tree is known as Ashvattha, Bodhivriksha and Plaksha. This tree represents the entire cosmos. This majestic tree is reputed to be imperishable; it is the tree of Eternal Life. The Ashvatha is quite remarkable because it grows both upwards as well as vice versa. The branches themselves morph into roots, so even if the original tree decays and perishes, its branches underneath are young and continue to enclose the parent.)

It had not been used for years and had cobwebs. Mr. Grumpy dusted it off quickly and hurried back outside.

He was excited, and after a long time, too. He picked up the horn and spoke into it, startling the few people who were trundling along the cobbled street. "Hark! Hark! All you lousy people of Lousytown. Listen up everybody. Something is going to happen." He paused, a bit out of breath, and looked around importantly at the people who had begun to gather around him. "Near the orchard, next to the field, something big is going to happen. But, what it is and when it will be, no one knows. Get ready all of you, this is big news and I've heard it with my own old ears, I have." (Old ears = Karna? Old ears are obverse of big elephant ears. Big elephant ears = great listening ability. Listening is different from merely hearing. ... Are Karna and Satyabhama one and the same? Is Karna the shallow, selfish, rude, vain, arrogant/conceited, imprudent, impulsive, condescendingly proud and excessively materialistic Satyabhama, strong willed and known for tantrums? Karna's attitude towards Panchali is condescending; as an ally of Duryodhana he uses derogatory words and humiliates her. The story of the Tulsi leaf placed by Rukmini being worth more in weight than that of Satyabhama's wealth probably enunciate the significance of Tulsi and how a humble offering to God is greater than any material wealth. BG 9.26: || patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati tad aham bhakty-upahritam asnami prayatatmanah || ~ "Whosoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water - with love, devotion or a clear consciousness [prayatatmanah, a clear maan], I will accept it." ... This implies that the Avatar sees, appreciates and values the thought behind the gesture, not the offering itself. On a side note, is Rukmini actually Rukmi, the king of the Vidarbha kingdom, and the only ruler who did not take part in the dharma-yuddha (battle of ideas, principles, values, vision, inclusivity and progress - for the future of humanity, for a prosperous, humane and vibrant society to emerge?) Rukmi, son of Bhishmaka [the ruler of Vidarbha] was also an ambitious prince and did not want to incur the wrath of the powerful and ruthless Emperor Jarasandha. Bhishmaka was probably a vassal of Jarasandha. Shishupala, a relative of the Krishna-avatar, was also a vassal of Jarasandha and hence an ally of Rukmi.)

People began to whisper, first slow and soft, and then excitedly. It was midweek. Sunday was three days away. In that part of the world, all things of importance happened on Sundays. And this seemed important, surely. (Sun/Surya - signifying a new dawn? BG 10.21: || jyotisam ravir amsuman || ~ "of lights (radiance, luminaries) I am the radiant sun" - it could be a reference to the Summer Solstice, a day having the longest period of daylight. It therefore [allegorically] implies personification, manifestation or embodiment of the effulgent Sun [Savitr]. In other words, 'harbinger/creator/initiator of a new dawn'.

It took a lot for old Mr. Grumpy to actually make such an announcement. And look, he was repeating it, too! His face had turned red with exertion; after all, he wasn't used to doing much. (Implying a couch potato? An idler, slacker, feckless or indolent person, someone who is habitually lazy?)

With Mr. Grumpy's announcement, it seemed the air (pavana) around Lousytown had begun to buzz and vibrate. (A breath of fresh air? The gradual dispellment or receding of the allegoric 'fog' of torpor, cynicism, hopelessness, joylessness, listlessness, lack of camaraderie etc? BG 10.31: || pavanah pavatam asmi rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham || "of purifiers [dispellers], I am the wind [pavana], and among the warriors, I am Sri Rama" ~ i.e. "warrior" against negative energy (negativity, negative characteristics) in the hearts and minds of humankind viz., retrograde mindset, intellectual ennui, narrow individualism or selfish ambition, platitudes, indifference, torpor, parochialism/selfish worldview, pessimism, despondency, and the like. Change (learning and unlearning, organic change and evolution) can only come from within. That is real transformation. (Sita is the human identity of Sri Rama, the Rama-avatar. The Sanskrit sita simply means white - signifying inner perfection, purity of mind (sattvic aspects: noble traits and qualities, absence of ego, vainglory, delusion, selfish ambition, narrow perspective etc. Possessor of true/eternal/non-transient knowledge [para vidya] or the supreme wisdom that dispells all illusions. In other words, one who is truly enlightened: the stage where nirvana is attained, the state of a Buddha. Buddha = the Wise One or the Enlightened One. Pure white symbolises pristine - purity of mind, the final state of Kundaini energy. Jyotirlingam? The allegoric Syamantaka mani? When kundalini reaches the Sahasrara, the 7th chakra or crown chakra, the highest chakra, it [allegorically] shines forth like a diamond disc/chakra [symbolically depicted by brilliant white] ~ signifying the light of wisdom = Surya-Kotti Samaprabha: as radiant as a million Suns (Syamantaka mani? Jyotirlingam? Maanikya, Gem of the Sun? Koh-i-Noor?) White also signifies calmness, serenity, tranquility and spiritual perfection, as well as embodiment of true/eternal [non-transient] knowledge [para vidya] - the supreme wisdom that dispells all illusions.)

People stood about, bunched in groups, hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, talking about the big announcement. One went to grab a copy of the newspaper to check, but it was not surprisingly, an old edition. (Need for reform and re-interpretation, unlearning of retrograde, obsolete or non-essential aspects? Need for intellectual energy, intellectual re-invigoration: fresh perspectives, fresh approach/thinking... to achieve an organic turnaround?)

What was going to happen? Was someone coming to town? Was someone going somewhere? What was going to happen? (All are awaiting the appearance of the Avatar, in the sense that every faith is awaiting the arrival of a major personage, but humankind, under the symbolic spell or allegoric 'fog' of narrow selfish aspects, redundant discourses, intellectual ennui etc confused? The Rig Veda says: || Ekam Sat Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti || ~ Truth or Satya (Eternal Divine, the Sanaatan or Eternal Purusha) is one, but the wise know it as many. In other words: God is one, but we can approach the Almighty in many ways. ... The Universal Form - the Vishva-roop or Viraat-roop - of the unmanifested Primordial Being (The Eternal Divine Being, Cosmic Ruler, Secondary Creator/Brahma, the Almighty) in physical body [Avatar] is, in a manner of speaking, the amalgamation of various peoples into one body. This form is immeasurable, unlimited, all-expanding, inexhaustible and all-pervading. BG 11.5: sri-bhagavan uvaca [Sri Bhagavan said]: "Behold, by hundreds and thousands, My different forms: celestial, varied in colours and shapes." (rupani sataso 'tha sahasrasah nana-vidhani divyani nana-varnakrtini ca.) BG 11.7: || ihaika-sthaḿ jagat kṛtsnaḿ paśyādya sa-carācaram mama dehe guḍākeśa yac cānyad draṣṭum icchasi || ~ "O Arjuna, behold at once in this [manifested] physical form of Mine the universe! This universal form can show you whatever you now wish to see and whatever you may want to see in the future. Everything - moving and non-moving - is here completely, in one place." BG 11.8: || na tu māḿ śakyase draṣṭum anenaiva sva-cakṣuṣā divyaḿ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ paśya me yogam aiśvaram || ~ "But you cannot see Me with your earthly [human] eyes. Therefore I give you divine eyes (divyaḿ cakṣuḥ = manas cakṣuḥ, the mind's eye or transcendental eyes/vision). Behold My mystic opulence!" BG 11.16: || aneka-bāhūdara-vaktra-netraḿ paśyāmi tvāḿ sarvato 'nanta-rūpam nāntaḿ na madhyaḿ na punas tavādiḿ paśyāmi viśveśvara viśva-rūpa || ~ "O Lord of the universe, O universal form, I see in Your [manifested] physical form/body numberless arms, bellies, mouths and eyes, expanded everywhere, without limit ['nanta-rūpam = limitless, inexhaustible form that pervades the whole cosmic manifestation: Vishnuh]. I see in You no end, no middle and no beginning." BG 11.53: || nāhaḿ vedair na tapasā na dānena na cejyayā śakya evaḿ-vidho draṣṭuḿ dṛṣṭavān asi māḿ yathā || ~ "The form [universal form - vishvah-roop] you are seeing with your transcendental eyes cannot be understood simply by studying the Vedas, nor by undergoing serious meditation or penances, nor by charity, nor by worship. It is not by these means that one can see Me as I am." BG 11.54: || bhaktyā tv ananyayā śakya aham evaḿ-vidho 'rjuna jñātuḿ draṣṭuḿ ca tattvena praveṣṭuḿ ca parantapa || ~ "My dear Arjuna, only by undivided (selfless, non-discriminative) service (to humanity, through steadfast effort towards achieving the social objectives, devoid of fruitive activities - aspiration for personal glory or material benefits or speculative knowledge) can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you begin to comprehend Me." ... Sri Krishna, the Krishna-avatar, is the Cosmic Person - Cosmic Teacher/Cosmic Ruler/Eternal Divine - albeit, in physical form [Avatar]. The Śrīmad Bhāgavataṃ, also known as Bhāgavata Purāṇa, says: || krishnas tu bhagavan svayam || ~ Sri Krishna [the Krishna-avatar] is the Cosmic Teacher and Cosmic Ruler; the Yogi of the Yogis; the Deva of the Devas; the Synthesis of the universe. The supreme spiritual master. Savyasaci: the mighty-armed one, the master of limitless might. The Primal Lord. (Deva = higher or enlightened beings than mere humans, manava; possibly based on intellect, calibre, abilities, knowledge, creativity, innovation, leadership and team-building and so forth. BG 7.26: || vedaham samatitanivartamanani carjunabhavisyani ca bhutani mam tu veda na kascana || ~ "O Arjuna, as the Cosmic Ruler, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living beings/entities (Jivatma - the individual/human souls); but Me no one knows." BG 10.40: || nānto 'sti mama divyānāḿ vibhūtīnāḿ parantapa eṣa tūddeśataḥ prokto vibhūter vistaro mayā || ~ "There is no end of My divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite manifestations." BG 4.5: śrī-bhagavān uvāca (Sri Bhagavan said): || bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna tāny ahaḿ veda sarvāṇi na tvaḿ vettha parantapa || ~ "O Arjuna, many are the births I have passed through and thou too. But I know them all, whilst thou knowest not (i.e. I remember them all, but you cannot)." (Parantapa = one who concentrates the most.) 

As the day passed, the news spread. The townsfolk actually spoke to each other, even the most sullen ones could not but resist asking and listening to what the others had to say. (Interaction, speaking and listening = the gradual 'melting of the ice', since it helps humans to become more and more warmhearted? It [therefore] brings about the steady dispellment or dissipation of the allegoric 'fog' of ghor kaliyug phase?) Mr. Grumpy became a star and felt very important as people stopped by his store and spoke to him about his announcement. (The grouchy, surly, discontented and ill-tempered Mr. Grumpy could be a metaphor for society's problems, a personification of selfish intent, perspectives and priorities, narrow worldview/thinking process, conceit/self-importance, volubility and loquaciousness, coercive or sniggering machismo, belligerence (aggressively hostile attitude, wrongful wrath), sense of entitlement, torpor, retrograde or obsolete mindset, rigid social conditioning, indifference, lack of social ethics (rudeness, contemptuous, indecorous/unpleasant manners or disrespectful behaviour) etc which impact or shape the prevailing societal dynamics, fragility, situations and conditions. ... Bheeshma always found logic to justify his point of view, whatever it is that he wanted to believe, he was always right, implying rigidity in thinking, emotions and behaviour, fixed mindset. Bheeshma, therefore, can also symbolise old school of thought. Bheeshma on a Bed of Arrows = to restrict, curb or withhold (entrapment), breaking the shackles of rigidity. We find Karna to be in the same mold. Callous attitude: insensitive, emotionally hardened or unfeeling (rhinoceros-like). This could explain: Bheeshma being practically immortal and Karna's kavacha that is said to have made him invincible.)

"Who was the fellow? Have you seen him before?" asked the usually very lazy reporter from the local daily. Mr. Grumpy's imagination took over as he answered: "Now let me see, the fellow was thin as a reed, he had large eyes (Vishalaksha?) and a crooked tooth." (Chanakya analogy?) His lips were pink and cheeks flushed with health. (Lohitah? Reddish-hued? Reddish-hued = Lohitah or Rohit, used for Vishnu. Maanikya? PaTalaH Bhairava? paTalaH-putra? - Personification of the pale-red (paTalaH) lotus? Pale-red = paTalaH in Sanskrit. Putra could mean: embodiment, personification or manifestation. The pale-red lotus is the Highest Lotus or Supreme Lotus; this lotus is highly revered and signifies the highest deity.)

"The hair that peeked from under his pointed hat was golden. Yes, it was, it glinted in the sun." (Pointed hat? Mt Meru - supported on the back of the Kurma[tortoise]-avatar, the second avatar of the Dasavatar? BG 10.23: || meruḥ śikhariṇām aham || ~ "Of mountains I am Meru" or "I am the very pinnacle of Meru" ~ implying Feluda's Gyanpeeth - a vast unfathomable reservoir of timeless wisdom, knowledge, inspiration and consciousness? Golden hair? Implying the sun over the head? BG 10.21: || jyotisam ravir amsuman || ~ "of lights (radiance, luminaries) I am the radiant sun". ... The exceptionally lustrous Syamantaka mani, possibly an allegory for the Cosmic Mind, implying Highest Cosmic Intelligence? Sudarshana Chakra? Symbolic "halo" - signifying Supreme or Highest Enlightenment? Deva [deity or personification] of a new dawn? Personification of the Sun? Keshavah? Buddha Amitābha - the best known of the five Dhyani-Buddhas?  

(Note: Amitabha, [Sanskrit: "Infinite Light"] also called Amitayus ["Infinite Life"], hence Amitābha is often called "The Buddha of Infinite Light." Buddha Amitabha is depicted wearing ornaments and a crown and holding the ambrosia vase from which spill the jewels of eternal life. This is quite similar to the imagery of Vasudeva Dhanvantari who holds the pot or vase of celestial ambrosia [piyush] - signifying rejuvenation, re-invigoration, positivity or positive aspects. (Vasudeva = deity, deva or personification of the earth.) Amitābha is also the Buddha of the comprehensive love. Similar to Kamadeva - god of love, Cupid? BG 10.28: || prajanaś cāsmi kandarpaḥ || ~ "of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa (Kamadeva or Cupid), the god of love." The Buddha Amitabha's two main disciples [just as the Buddha Shakyamuni had two] are the Bodhisattvas Vajrapani and Avalokiteshvara, the former to the Buddha's left and the latter to the Buddha's right. 

Krishna appears open but is, in fact, elusive, enigmatic or unfathomable. From classical texts we gather that Sri Krishna (kṛṣṇa, Krsna) possessed a magnetic personality (possibly that's why the allegory of the peacock, mayur). Other descriptions suggest: radiant/bright crimson cheeks (the colour of lotus petals, the personification of the pale-red lotus, the highest lotus - signifying the highest diety, the highest Avatar), sharp nose (raised nose), beautiful ears, reddish-soled feet, lustrous toenails, expressive eyebrows, broad forehead, black hair (bluish curling hair), arching neck marked with three lines, enchanting smile (attractive, glittering, gentle and playful smile), ever fresh (like an endlessly blooming springtime), coral lips, black eyes, dancing eyes, eyes shaped like lotus petals (Pundarikaksha, Padmalochana, can also mean large-eyed, Vishalaksha). Features largely due to the delicate blending of the martian, saturnine, venusian and lunar characteristics. That is: due to the dominance of the influences of the Moon and Venus, with Saturn and Mars. Vishnu and Krishna are one and the same. Vishnu is Virupaksha (one with oblique eyes). Virupaksha and Rudraksha are non-different. Sri Vishnu is also Srivatsankita or SrIvatsa-vakshAh: the one who bears the sign of Srivatsa. (The Śrīvatsa mark is believed to be a mark on Vishnu's chest; it is the mark of the Goddess of prosperity, well-being, fortune - Sri Lakshmi.) Krishna is confident, witty and courageous. Krishna's eyes are very enchanting and head is bedecked with peacock feathers. Krishna wears shark-shaped earrings and uses a buffalo horn as a bugling instrument. Krishna standing in Tribhaṅga posture, Syamasundara, Tribhangi roopam or Tribhangi Mudra: Tribhaṅga or Tribunga is a (tri-bent posture) standing body position or stance. It is a mudra (body posture or gesture) associated with the highest Avatar. It distinguishes the Avatar from other humans, and [also] indicates that the Avatar is much higher than even the best of humans. A unique (divine) gem, Kaustubha, hangs around Krishna's neck, along with a garland of ever-fresh flowers (vaijayanti garland, made of flowers of at least five different colours.) There is a scar [marked with three lines] on the waist due to the rope tied by Yasodha (maybe some allegory is involved here). Krishna's voice is described as deep as rumbling thunder, though the peacock and swan analogies suggests otherwise. | Broad forehead: Shyambhala? Personification of destiny or Lord of Destiny (Bhagya-Vidhaata)? Bhala = forehead. Did Shyambhala become Shambhala? Krishna's form is the vessel of pure spiritual energy - eternity, knowledge, and bliss - and it is therefore sundara through and through. Krishna is also the form of eternal knowledge and bliss.)

Krishna possessed all the sixteen characteristics/qualities (kalahs) of a total (complete) Avatar, apart from sixty-four other qualities, attributes and traits, such as: a pleasant personality, effulgent (a warm radiant persona?), highly learned, fluent, highly intelligent, wise and wily (possessing ingenuity), a genius, firmly determined, an expert evaluator of time and circumstances, grateful, magnanimous, shy, steadfast, self-controlled, strong, forbearing, possessing equilibrium of the mind, wonderful linguist (this is understandable since people pray to god in several languages), forgiving, heroic (chivalrous), possessing dharmic principles, compassionate, respectful, gentle, serious and solemn (sober), liberal, all-auspicious, popular, affable (personable), happy, self-satisfied, well-wisher of humankind, all-cognisant, most powerful, ever-fresh, possessing a transcendental form of eternity, full of knowledge and absolute bliss (true contentment), and so forth. Krishna is also said to be changeless. This could mean the appearance of the Avatar does not change, despite myriad honorifics (as Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita), and that, the highest Avatar (Leela Purusha-uttama, Cosmic/Universal Teacher) remains unaffected by changing circumstances or the transience of things, events etc (i.e. is not easily disturbed, remains unfazed, possessing equanimity, sangfroid.) 

Vajrapāṇi (Sanskrit, "Vajra in [his] hand" or Holder of the Thunderbolt Scepter) is one of the earliest-appearing bodhisattvas. Vajrapani is extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolises one of the Buddha's virtues: Mañjusri manifests all the Buddhas' wisdom, Avalokitesvara manifests all the Buddhas' compassion and Vajrapani manifests all the Buddhas' power as well as the power of all five tathagatas. (In Sanskrit, Vajrapani is also known as Vajrasattva.) Vajrapani is one of the earliest Dharmapalas and forms a triad with Amitabha and Avalokitesvara. For the yogi, Vajrapani is a means of accomplishing fierce determination and symbolises unrelenting effectiveness in the conquest of negativity. (As Boudhya Dharma, the way of the Buddha, expanded in Central Asia, and fused with Hellenistic influences into Greco-Buddhism, the Greek hero Heracles was adopted to represent Vajrapani. He was then typically depicted as a hairy, muscular athlete, wielding a short "diamond" club.) In Japan, Vajrapani is known as Shukongōshin ("Diamond rod-wielding god"), the wrath-filled and muscular guardian god of the Buddha, standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples under the appearance of frightening wrestler-like statues. (Some suggest that the war deity Kartikeya, who bears the title Skanda, is also a manifestation of Vajrapani, who bears some resemblance to Skanda because they both wield the vajra [possibly symbolising analytical knowledge and compassion] and are portrayed with flaming halos.) Vajrapani's taut posture is the active warrior pose, based on an archer's stance. He wears a five-pointed Bodhisattva crown to depict the power of the five tathāgathas. Vajrapani's expression is wrathful, his left hand deftly holds a lasso, around his neck is a serpent necklace. He has a third eye (possibly implying insight.)

Avalokiteshvara, (Sanskrit: avalokita, "looking on"; ishvara, "lord") - the bodhisattva ("Buddha-to-be") of infinite compassion and mercy, possibly the most popular of all Buddhist deities, one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas, and much liked wherever Boudhya Dharma flourishes. He supremely exemplifies the bodhisattva's resolve to postpone his own Buddhahood until he has helped every being on earth achieve nirvana. Avalokitesvara ("lord who gazes down [at the world]" or "the lord who looks in every direction" or "he who perceives the world's lamentations" or one who always looks upon all beings with the eye of compassion, is also referred to as Padmapani ("Holder of the Lotus"). The bodhisattva's six qualities are said to overcome hindrances: great compassion, great loving-kindness, lion-courage, universal light (wisdom, enlightened mind?), leader of devas and human beings (manavas), the great omnipresent Brahman (supremely knowledgeable or eternal quest for knowledge?) | Avalokiteshvara is the earthly manifestation of the self-manifested (svayambhu, self-made?), eternal Buddha, Amitabha, whose figure is represented in his headdress (crowning glory?), and he guards the world in the interval between the departure of the historical Buddha, Gautama, and the appearance of the future Buddha, Maitreya. (On a side note: who really was Aananda, Sakyamuni Buddha's most famous disciple?) In Sri Lanka, Avalokiteshvara is called Natha or Natha-deva, and sometimes identified with Maitreya Bodhisattva, or confused with Maitreya, the future Buddha, the Buddha yet to come.

Avalokitesvara (a compassionate, empathic and determined bodhisattva who works tirelessly to help sentient beings) is the bodhisattva who has made a great vow to assist sentient beings in times of difficulty, and to postpone his own Buddhahood until he has assisted every sentient being in achieving Nirvana. Avalokitesvara is regarded in the Vajrayana teachings as a Buddha. In the Mahayana teachings he is regarded as a high-level Bodhisattva ("Buddha-to-be"). Ekādaśamukha (Eleven Faced Avalokitesvara): According to legend, his head once split with grief (after realising the number of negative beings [possibly implying those possessing negative energy or negative characteristics] yet to be saved.) Amitabha Buddha caused each of the pieces to become a whole head and placed them on his son in three tiers of three, then the 10th, and topped them all with his own image. (Crowning Glory? Crest-jewel? Reminiscent of Krishna's peacock-feathered crest?) Sahasra-bhuja Sahasra-netra (Thousand-Armed, Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara - sees and helps all): Sometimes the 11-headed Avalokiteshvara is represented with thousands of arms, which rise like the outspread tail of a peacock around him. Maybe this legendary tale has powerful spiritual metaphors. ... When one begins on the Bodhisattva path (of helping other sentient beings, i.e. welfare of humankind), one is bound to be disheartened or disappointed every now and then, due to one's unperfected Compassion and Wisdom. (Implying lack of equanimity or sangfroid, since instant change, transformation or positive turnaround is impractical?) This is when the need of a good inspiring teacher might come in. One can either get affected by obstacles and lose one's Bodhicitta (the heart of wishing to help all beings, and along with oneself, attain Enlightenment) or overcome them and become [spiritually] stronger - like Avalokiteshvara. ... There are only two choices when an individual faces spiritual obstacles: to be forever weak and [therefore] trapped by the obstacles (challenges, difficult situations) one does not cross, or to cross them and become [spiritually, morally and intellectually] stronger with the experience. When one advances, one moves towards Buddhahood (Supreme or Highest Enlightenment; the possessor of the supreme wisdom that dispels all illusions, and thus, one becomes a better human being). When one does not, one either backslides [patan] or comes to a spiritual standstill. When Avalokitesvara was overcome with disenchantment and exasperation, His consciousness beseeched the Buddhas for help. Of the Buddhas who came to aid Him, one was Amitabha Buddha, who became His Guru. With the Buddha's help and knowledge, He attained a new form - one with a thousand helping hands of Compassion coupled with the eyes of Wisdom in each palm. (Reminiscent of the auspicious symbol Swastika on the palm of Vignesh - the remover of obstacles: Ganapati, Sri Ganesha?) With this, He renewed His vow to saving [i.e. helping them become better human beings, attain Enlightenment, achieve nirvana] not just limited sentient beings, but all sentient beings. Mahāyāna Buddhism relates Avalokiteśvara to the six-syllable mantra: oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ (translated as "the jewel in the lotus"). ... This is somewhat reminiscent of the Kausthubham or Kaustubha Mani - the unique/divine jewel believed to be adorning the neck of Sri Vishnu. Thus, Sri Vishnu (the Preserver, Stabiliser and Maintainer aspect of the Cosmic Ruler/Cosmic Teacher, Secondary Brahma, the Almighty) is also known as Kaustubha (one who wears the Kaustubham.) In the SrImad bhAgavatam (12.11.10) the SrIvatsa mark is described as the reflection of the Kaustubha mani that bhagavAn wears, representing the Eternal Being's Atma-jyoti: kaustubha vyapadeSena svAtma jyotih bibharti ajah | tat-prabhA vyApinI sAkshAt SrIvatsam urasA prabhuh || ... So, is Avalokitesvara similar to Devaguru Brihaspati? Atma-jyoti: two halves of the same consciousness?

Yellow Sapphire Gemstone or Pukhraj: gem of teacher [guru] of universe (Brhmaanda, Brahmaanda), Brihaspati or Jupiter (associated with benevolence and Sattvik aspects). Hence, placed at the highest hill in the row of all gems. Pukhraj signifies knowledge, wisdom, virtue, fortune, justice, education, future, dharma (dharmic principles, values and ideals), philosophy, devotion, spirituality (spiritual humanism, humane gestures, empathy), prosperity, generosity and amicableness to all sorts of people. Yellow sapphire harmonises. Guru is the major instructor or teacher and influences action with the highest order and balance. Guru directs action in the most harmonious and uplifting manner and balances inner and outer input while simultaneously performing and monitoring action. Enlivens activity in the brain (intellectual energy?) while directing action. It signifies highest-order thinking - Knowledge has organising power. It's use brings about affection and harmonious relations. Jupiter (associated with benevolence and amicableness) is believed to bestow humans with the knowledge of law, ethics, wit, wisdom, worldly happiness, vitality, intelligence, longevity, good health, food grains (bountiful harvest, implying association with Sri Lakshmi?), general prosperity, success, mental peace, fame, respect, spirituality (spiritual humanism, contentment) and freedom from health hindrances. In Sanskrit: Pusparaga, Yellow sapphire, Guru-Ratna, Gem of Guru, Pushparaaj or Puspa-Raja, King of flowers, Vascapati vallabha, Beloved of Jupiter.

The Buddha had often cautioned/advised not to judge people from appearances and their external behaviour. Angulimala, of low moral status, the robber and murderer, is one of the best-known figures of the Buddhist scriptures, because of his dramatic life story. He had already gathered 999 fingers, and only one more was needed to complete the 1,000 - to accomplish his task of stringing together a garland of one thousand fingers, a thousand human right-hand little fingers - an impossible honorarium asked by his teacher. This powerful and athletic serial killer had already successfully resisted several attempts to apprehend him. So steeped was his mind in the habit of killing without scruples... that he took up his sword and shield and buckled on his bow and quiver and followed behind the Enlightened One (the Buddha)... who had appeared on the road between Angulimala and his mother. (Does it imply rakshasic and paishachic tendencies?) Anglimala expected to easily overtake the Buddha and quickly finish the job but then a very strange thing happened. Even though the Buddha was only walking, serene and unhurried, Angulimala, despite his formidable strength and speed, found he couldn't catch up with the former. Eventually, exhausted, angry, frustrated and soaked with sweat, Angulimala screamed at the Buddha to stop. Then the Buddha turned and with neither anger nor fear, speaking quietly and directly, told Angulimala that the Buddha had already stopped. That the Buddha had stopped harming and now it was time for him, Angulimala, to do likewise. Angulimala was so struck by these words that there and then he stopped; he threw away his weapons and followed the Buddha back to the monastery where he became his disciple. (It is perhaps a story about spiritual healing, spiritual transformation. However, human right-hand little fingers bring to mind the story about Krishna lifting the Govardhana Hill on the little finger of the left hand. | The Buddha walking, serene and unhurried: the Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama or Gautama Shakyamuni) is part of the Dasavataar. Vikram means: one who is wise, diligent, brave and strong as well as victorious. The Sanskrit word -kram is a root word meaning 'step or stride', so the name Vikram can be understood to mean Vishnu's stride in itself, or as a name which reflects the qualities of Vishnu's stride. | Vishnuh = Long-striding (as with vigour). In Vedic texts, Vishnu's stride is said to be over the Earth, the Sky, and the all-pervading omnipresent essence of the Universe (Brhmaanda, Brahmaanda?)

Vaiṣajyaguru: the buddha of healing and medicine, depicted as one of the trinity of Buddhas, the others being the founder Śākyamuni (Siddhartha Gautama) and Amitabha. Also described by his aura of lapis lazuli-coloured light. (Neelkanth analogy? The 'blue-throated one'?) Vaishajaguru can also be considered as the healing aspect of Shakyamuni Buddha, as he is often called the Medicine Buddha, the Supreme Healer. (Reminiscent of Vaidyanatha, an honorific associated with Shiva, the dispeller of negativity/negative energy aspect of the Cosmic Ruler/Cosmic Teacher?) Vaishajaguru cures suffering using the medicine of his teachings: To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli; to correct retrograde thinking or obsolete views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva; to help heal mental afflictions (illusions, delusions). Vaishajaguru helps overcome the inner sickness of coarse material attachment, anger, prejudices, hatred, and ignorance (unenlightened, vacuous mind) - so as to be able to overcome one's negative karma (which is the outcome of negative energy). | Marici: Marici is one of the Saptarishi (the seven enlightened personages). In Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Marici is a deva or bodhisattva associated with light and the sun. Marici has also sometimes been included as one of the Twelve Heavenly Generals associated with Vaishajaguru, the Buddha of Medicine. Her depiction, whether on an open lotus, or as a multi-armed woman standing or sitting on the back of a boar, or when she is shown riding a chariot pulled by seven boars or sows, is reminiscent of Sri Varahi and/or the Varaha-avatar - the great one-tusked boar, believed to be the Supreme form of Sri Vishnu. The Varaha-avatar is the third avatar of the Dasavataar, and is said to have rescued the earth from being submerged by water. (This could be allegoric.) There could be two aspects to this avatar: the Adi-Varaha avatar of Sri Vishnu - the great one-tusked boar (the Supreme Form of Sri Vishnu), and the Sveta Varaha avatar. BG 10.21: || maricir marutam asmi || ~ "of the 7 Maruts (wind gods of the Rig Veda) I am Marici." (Wind god = deity or deva of the wind, implying dispeller of negativity/negative energy from the hearts and minds of humankind.) | Is the light of Vaishajaguru's lapis lazuli a reference to the Shyamantaka Blue Sapphire? (Not to be confused with the Syamantaka mani, Koh-i-Noor or Maanikya - the gem of the Sun, a reference to the highest Avatar.)

Blue Sapphire Gemstone: Blue sapphire or Neelam is the gemstone meant for Saturn (Shani, Sanskrit: Śhani). Shani literally means the "slow-moving-one". The word shani comes from Śanayē Kramati Saḥ; the one who moves slowly, because Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun. According to mythology, Shani oversees the "dungeons of the human heart and the negativity that lurks there." Shani is a deva and son of Chhaya (silhouette, kayaheen?) and Surya, thus he is also known as Saura (son of sun-god); he is also regarded as one who removes obstacles as well as an avatar of Shiva. Shani Dev is considered to be a Good Teacher (Shanecharaya) who represents Patience, Effort, Endeavour and Endurance and even brings Misfortunes (due to one's karma). Shani gives humankind the results of one's actions through appropriate/proportionate punishments (retributive justice, an acceptable response to negative karma) and rewards. He is known as the greatest teacher and well-wisher for the dharmic (those who follow dharmic principles, values and ideals) as well as the greatest punisher for those who follow the path of negativity and unjust actions. Sani or Saturn represents wisdom, integrity [strong morals], longevity, discipline, authority, ambition, leadership; affluence, contentment, glory, perfection; spiritual achievement through humility; denial, delays, difficulties, adversity; conservatism (non-extravagance? timeless, classic - best of both worlds?) and dutifulness (highest human qualities). Its role is often symbolised as that of an assistant (someone who helps). Its influence is often seen as restrictive or obstructive yet its influence also seeks to bring balance. Neelam could spur a person towards greats heights [achievements] and could also desert him or her [propel into oblivion]. Sanskrit names: Neelam, Blue sapphire, Neela-mani, Blue jewel, Indra-neelam, Royal blue gem, Sani-ratna, Saturn's gem. (Devaguru Brihaspati-Shukracharya-Shanecharaya: is it a triad, a triangle? Adrishyo Trikon of the Byomkesh Bakshi titles?)

(Lord Dhanvantari is associated with Ayurveda and considered one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.) According to the samudra-manthan stories, Lord Dhanvantari emerged holding the vessel of celestial ambrosia (piyush - signifying re-invigoration, rejuvenation, re-energisation, positive aspects.)

Maanikya: This is the gem of the Sun (Syamantaka mani, Jyotirlingam - implying personification or embodiment of the Sun = harbinger/creator/initiator of a new dawn (epoch, Maha-Yug), the highest Avatar, Supreme or Highest Enlightenment [the Avatar's mind, Sudarshana Chakra]). BG 10.21: || jyotisam ravir amsuman || ~ "of lights (radiance, luminaries) I am the radiant sun." Maanikya is associated with concentration of mind and lustrous skin, intellectual capabilities, self-respect, courage, confidence, optimism and writing and speaking powers. It is also associated with leadership qualities. Maanikya [Maanik] or Ruby, is called Suryamani in Sanskrit. Also known as: Padmaraga, Red-lotus colour gem, Shona-Ratna, Red jewel, Ravi-Ratna, Gem of the sun.



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