From over the last few weeks, my mind has been pre-occupied with Hindu mythology. I am trying to recollect the stories that were told to me many years ago – I had cherished and parked somewhere in my mind but never refreshed. The last few weeks have been special. I have started revisiting them, digging them out of my memory and try to document somewhere. In the current world where would you document thoughts? In a blog, Google photos or videos, Facebook or in my case this time, Youtube!
It is a marvelous world – the world of Hindu mythology. The stories are interesting, have sparks of magic – igniting the engine of creativity, high entertainment value and a moral to take back. As children, with limited exposure to reality and several hours to spare for nothing, these stories give wings to imagination and above all, with no animation at all. The animation is programmed in the brain. The child chooses the image of a character, the clothes worn, the voice, the location and speed at which the character moves, interacts, flies or whatever. The right brain is put to work more and more, till the time it becomes hungry enough to crave for more.
The Story of Bhasmasura
I read the story of Bhasmasura to my three year old. She had a soft side for Bhasmasura since he was burnt ultimately and Mohini was “naughty” and put him in this situation. I did not argue with her about why Bhasmasura had to face this. Maybe he tried to trouble Lord Shiva with a boon given by Him. Firstly, she would not understand. Secondly, I wanted her to take a stand on what she thinks is right or wrong.
The story when read by people of various age groups have different takeaways. For example, her six year old cousin thinks – “Why did Lord Shiva have to run away from Bhasmasura? He always had a “third eye” at his disposal and should have just burnt Bhasmasura and go back to Kailasa having learnt a lesson.”
One would think why did Lord Shiva – the omniscient – not suspect Bhasmasura’s next move? Or not check his intention when granting a boon?
“But a story is a story, never ask for reasoning” my grandfather used to say to us when we would ask questions like these.
Today, after several years, when I revisit the story, I had new morals to learn as a grown up, especially those that relate to my life. I thought – “Everyone makes mistakes. Even Lord Shiva. The omniscient. But you should have that dear friend to help you sort out your predicament and move on!”
I started putting together scripts for the story of Ghatotkacha- the son of Pandava Bhima. His mother was an asura (demon). So that made him half demon. This also meant he had magical powers – to fly, increase or decrease his own size and to become invisible. Lord Krishna gave Ghatotkacha a boon – no one in the world would be able to match his sorcery skills except Krishna Himself.
So Gods do learn from their peers’ mistakes!