Friday, February 22, 2013

Dance of Siva

DISCLAIMER: The Characters and plot in this story are completely fictional.
"and that was how, this great nation survived over millennia...."
Prof. Ramakanth shastri concluded his speech. He moved forward with folded hands towards the star of the evening. The Jam-packed hall rose to their feet in respect of Bharat Ratna Pandit Rajendra Bihari. The night was darkening, as the Hindol-Bahar alaap was getting started. Delhi closed its eyes to the tune of Pt.Rajendra Bihari.
After the felicitation function organized by UGC for the stalwart of Hindustani music, Prof. Ramakanth Shastri had no other pre-appointments for the entire week. So as usual, he went to Varanasi. Out there, Prof. had many things to do. He was a visiting professor in a major Mutt, he had to perform his own self-enquiry, had to meet masters and listen to them, had to read and research on the old Sanskrit texts.......

 And....... He had a secret which connected him tightly with Banaras.
"Ever since Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya started this institute, many scholars have come and gone this way. But I think no one remembered us. Traditionally and Personally, we are least bothered of it. But, we need to ensure that this prestigious institute would never go into unworthy hands. As you know, its manuscript library, supported by us, is one of the wealthiest in the world. And they are worth of millions of dollars in foreign market. I do not want it to go off our hands."

Maharaja was terribly upset. He took a pause, and then changing his voice to the Royal tone, he asked,
"So I hope now you understand why I ask for your help. You have a fully equipped lab, the manuscript for your reference any time. And above all, a part of the Palace for the guests of your Mutt."

Now it was the turn of the young priest from Haryana to answer. He was sitting on the carpeted floor in a Yogic posture all the while listening to the King of Banaras. In that underground room, in the light of Oil lamps, the young man untied his long hair, set that up and tied back, and spoke with confidence.

"My Lord. I am privileged to have this assignment in my name. But at the same time, I am bit afraid of the path I would need to take to accomplish this. It is not my nature. See, traditionally I am a vaishnavite, and our path strictly prohibits us from going to such paths. Scriptures say that it leads to sins and take you away from lord. But I am forgetting all those old sayings for a greater cause. I am ready to do it, so this eternal Dharma may not perish in the hands of few. I know Jayachandran. He is as passionate to money as for his studies. But I was wondering why he is planning to make use of some innocents for getting this accomplished."

"Firstly, for his own safety... And secondly, to attract more money from the so-called progressive movements. These Manuscripts are considered sacred by millions of Hindus, and if one day, you find it somewhere else - Be it the streets of Varanasi, or the Indian coffee house of Connaught place, or any foreign university - then it will help in shaking the faith and that way, the investors on him can reap benefits."

"So you mean to say, there is a conspiracy associated with it, and it is not just the lust of Jayachandran."

"Exactly. There is an international plot to derail sanathana dharma. And they are pertaining to indirect means like these."

"Hmm. Now I understand." Man in yogic posture closed his eyes contemplating..........
Long ago, before the barbarians invaded India, there lived a genius in Banaras, among masses. As years passed by, he went to Himalayas. After coming back he secluded himself in a dark room. He would open the door twice a day to get food plate in and out. None knew what he was doing. And one day, he came out of the room with a set of four books, and started living normally. He got married and had kids. His story ends there. His Name was Chidananda Bharathi.
Prof.Ramakanth Shastri was comforting himself on the banks of Ganga when a man in black suit approached him. He sat nearby. Professor looked at the new buddy with a smile. The man in black smiled back and passed on a chit to him and left. It had an address and a time.

As Prof.Ramakanth Shastri was approaching the old building in the outskirts of town, he was anxious. He understood something was wrong somewhere. He remembered the day
when he met Maharaja of Kashi. It was on such an evening that he received a chit like this. It had only two words "Chidananda Bharathi".

Young Ramakanth was overwhelmed when he read this name out. He doesn't know how many times he read that name alone. On the backside it was written as 3:40 PM. Ramakanth was serving his master in the Mutt in Kashi, along with his studies in prestigious Banaras Hindu University during that time. He informed the Mutt authorities that he had an appointment at 3:30 and asked them to arrange for someone else for assisting the master for evening prayers. He was not sure what is going to happen at 3:40. But he prepared himself and waited at the entrance of the Mutt. Exactly at 3:40, an old fashioned horse carriage stopped in front of him. He entered it without a word.

As the carriage started moving, from the darkest corner of the carriage, he heard a gentle voice "Dear Sir, it would be appreciable if you can close your eyes and start the evening meditation." Ramakanth was bit scared. He obeyed the voice. After about ten minutes, with a sharp left turn, the carriage stopped. "You may please step down" The voice said.

Ramakanth stepped down to see that he was standing in a grand courtyard of a mansion. It was an old but elegant structure. The walls were ornated with Madhubani paintings. It was completely bright and colorful. While standing there in amazement, Ramakanth felt a gentle touch in his shoulder. Before he could turn his head, the hand stopped him from looking back.

"Mr. Shastri, wouldn't it be better if we do not know each other? You are not my guest. My job is only to take you till your destiny." Ramakanth noted that he told "Destiny" and not "Destination".

"OK... But I came here seeing a name in the chit."

"Ohh...Yes. I know. That name brings you anywhere we wish you to be. But don’t worry. You are getting a chance to know that name better. Please walk as directed by me."

The voice lead him to an underground tunnel, which ended up in a room lit with oil lamps.There he saw a man in Royal looks. When they were left alone, the host introduced himself "I am the present Maharaja of Kashi". Ramakanth was spellbound. He couldn't raise his voice. He somehow managed to greet him in the traditional way. King was in his fifties. His Sharp eyes had a magnetic power. He was dressed normally. The
diamond studded ear-rings were sparkling in the dim light. Face was glowing and the moustache had a Royal look.

Ramakanth was hesitantly standing at one corner. King sat on a chair and asked him to sit on the nearby chair. But instead he sat on the carpeted ground in his yogic posture.
Chidananda Bharathi was a Sanskrit scholar from Bihar. During one of his Himalayan sojourns, it is believed that he went to Kailash and got vision of Siva. He came back and settled in Varanasi. For the next five years, he secluded himself in a dark room and wrote five massive books on palm leaves. They are called "Halaahala Chandrika" (The moonlight of Poison). Siva, who drank poison to protect the world and who wore Serpent as ornament is considered to be the ultimate source of all knowledge, especially that ehich is relating to poison. And it is believed that Chidananda Bharathi got advice from Siva and that lead to the creation of this book.

Since this is a very sensitive knowledge, Bharathi put them in coded manner. The first four volumes are available in market and contains the classification of poisons, the treatment method for various poisons etc. It is being used by medical students extensively for treatment. But the fifth volume was hidden somewhere in Banaras. It contained the details on the preparation of Poisons - of various kinds, of various origins, of various strength. And none had read it before.

Ramakanth was holding that manuscript in his hand. The same old book. Written directly by Chidananda bharathi. He couldn't believe his eyes. Even before he joined BHU as a student, he had translated and wrote commentaries on the other four volumes. It got very popular, and that was the reason for the Mutt to bring him to Varanasi for better nurturing him. Ramakanth had mentioned regarding the fifth volume in his book and now he is holding the same book.Tears started rolling off his eyes. He was in a trance.........

He opened his eyes listening to Maharaja's voice
"We want your expertise to decode certain formula from this text. You may choose the section you want to decode. But it wouldn't be given to you in full. Any setup mentioned in the book will be provided. And I have other offers for you."

"But why you want to experiment this? Who is it that you want to eradicate? I cannot help you kill someone." He protested.

"To answer your first question, for two reasons. First to prove that it works and second so that the modern science cannot find any evidence.Now to the second question, I want to kill the V.C. of this university. And before you ask me why let me try to resolve it. Because he wants to sell the Holy scriptures in our Manuscript library for money and he has made plans to do that, involving some innocent staff in the university. I find no lesser punishment to anyone who deceives the nation, to one who sells his mother. I am King, even though the government agrees or not and I cannot stand still when Adharma propagates. I have to react. I might have to punish, or even kill." He paused and added

"And you know Varanasi is the Land of death. Siva, the destroyer plays his mighty Thandava here. It is the destruction of the evil. That alone will ensure protection of the good."

Young Ramakanth was looking confused. The Vice chancellor, Mr. Jayachandran was considered as a great personality who had immense knowledge in Hindu Mythology and scriptures. He could not believe the words which he heard.

"But Mr. Jayachandran? Such a great scholar? A person who has seen the shores of this vast sea of Sanskrit literature. Would he do this?" he puzzled.

"Ha Ha Ha..."Maharaja laughed. “Haven’t your Guru told you that bookish knowledge is not the real knowledge? Don't you know that it has no ability to change men? Don't you even know that even after reading Chidananda Bharathi for so long?? Ha Ha..."

Ramakanth was amazed by such a reaction. He thought, Yes Bharathi has told the same thing.

He recited that verse:

"शास्त्रं यदुक्तं इदमत्र पुस्तके,
श्रीशंकर ज्ञानं भारती कीर्तितं
जीवप्रदं मृत्यु संतारणं, किन्तु
मृत्युञ्जयार्चनमेवामृतार्ण्णवं "

"shaastram yaduktham idamathra pusthake Shree shankara jnaanam bharathee keertthitham
Jeeva pradam mruthyu samthaaranam, kinthu
- The science told here in this book, the knowledge of Shankara and which is sung by Bahrathi, is life giving and helps to cross death. But Worshipping Mruthyunjaya only is the ocean of nectar(After having which there is no birth or death).

"Exactly!!!" exclaimed the king.Ramakanth was still looking at the Manuscript, that king extended his hand to get it back.

"See, it is so unsafe to let this knowledge go outside. So it was always under our custody. Chidananda bharathi made a tunnel from his home to the room of the then Maharaja and presented him with this text asking him to keep it safe. Now we are in an extension of that tunnel. Maharajas have used them rarely to protect the kingdom and Dharma. But we cannot practice such a thing in public during wars. Hence it is always kept as a secret.None of those who made use of this scripture earlier also didn't get any information other than what they needed to know. And that is how we ensure that, we keep this secret safe."

Ramakanth was getting slowly convinced.King continued to speak:
"Ever since Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya started this institute, many scholars have come and gone this way. But................"
Prof. Ramakanth had the chit still in his hand, as he entered the house. He was wondering if the history was repeating itself. After Jayachandran was dead, there were many investigations, but no test could find the trace of this poison. It was such a silly mixture prepared in an uncommon way. Ever since then, he was living in a small room in the Mutt. He had almost forgotten the entire story in his assignments with UGC and other prime education centers. And then suddenly.

He felt uncomfortable, but he was sure that someone who wants the Sanatana Dharma to live only would know about this and would call him like this. He was confident that he would be able to help them out.

The house was empty.... There was nothing inside except for a round table covered with dust in the central hall. Prof.Ramakanth moved towards the table, and could find a news paper which had the news of the function to felicitate Bharat Ratna winner Pandit Rajendra Bihari.
It was then that he noticed the main news of that day, besides the column which contained felicitation news. It Read:

Netas eat Nation's wealth - New Scam Story
New Delhi: In one of the largest scam ever in the History of India, the CAG has reported that there has been a loss of 2000 Lakh crore to the nation...........................

Prof. Ramakanth, read the story carefully, regarding the brokers of corruption ruining the nation.

He had made his mind to help the hosts, even before he felt a gentle touch on his shoulder. He didn't turn back to see, but waited for the stranger to direct him to his "Destiny".
Outside the old house, streets of Varanasi ran normally. Siva was still dancing his mighty dance of Death.

No comments:

Post a Comment