Amar Chitra Katha creator UNCLE PAI(Anant Pai) dead at 81.


Amar Chitra Katha creator UNCLE PAI(Anant Pai) dead at 81.


Anant Pai, better known as Uncle Pai, creator of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics has died at the age of 81.
Amar Chitra Katha has shown millions of Indians the route to their roots. Tinkle has been the childhood companion of many for over two and half decades. In 1967, the educational comics series Amar Chitra Katha was launched. Each of the comics in this series was devoted to a person or event in Indian history, religion and mythology. Anant Pai conceptualized of all of these, and wrote the scenarios for most of them.
Anant Pai (17 September 1929 - 24 February 2011) 
He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award this month at India's first ever Comic Convention held in New Delhi on February 19-20.
Apart from being the brain behind these two comics, Anant Pai had also trained thousands of teens in personality development.
Anant Pai was admitted to a hospital last week for treatment of a fracture after he fell from a staircase.
Thursday morning, Pai suffered a massive heart attack and breathed his last around 5 pm.

very rare Amar Chitrakatha

चन्द्रशेखर आजाद


आज भारतवर्ष की स्वाधीनता दिवस पर पेश है: एक महान :देशभक्त और  क्रांतिकारी की जीवनी, जिसने कभी आज़ाद भारत का सपना देखा था और अपनी नज़रिए से उसको पाने के अपना जीवन निव्छावर कर दिया|

 एक युवा जिसने अपने जीवन में २५ वसंत भी  नहीं देखे हों, जिसका नाम भगत सिंह जैसे भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के अत्यंत सम्मानित और लोकप्रिय क्रांतिकारी स्वतंत्रता सेनानी  के साथ जब आज भी लिया जाता हो, जिसके शहीद होने पे महात्मा गाँधी, जवाहर लाल नेहरु, मदन मोहन मालवीय, मोहम्मद अली जिन्ना जैसे दिगज नेता  उसके सम्मान में कहने को मजबूर हो गए हों,  "चन्द्रशेखर सीताराम तिवारी" उर्फ़ "चन्द्रशेखर आजाद"  के अलावें और कौन हो सकता है|
"चन्द्रशेखर की मृत्यु से मेँ आहत हुं ऐसे व्यक्ति युग में एक बार ही जन्म लेते हेँ। फिर भी हमे अहिंसक रुप से ही विरोध क‍रना चाहिये।"  - महात्मा गांधी
"चन्द्रशेखर आजाद की शहादत से पूरे देश में आजादी के आंदोलन का नये रुप में शंखनाद होगा। आजाद की शहादत को हिदुंस्तान हमेशा याद रखेगा।"  - पण्डित जवाहर लाल नेहरू
"पण्डितजी की मृत्यु मेरी निजी क्षति हेँ मेँ इससे कभी उबर नही सकता।" - पण्डित मदन मोहन मालवीय
"देश ने एक सच्चा सिपाही खोया।"  - मोहम्मद अली जिन्ना
 
पण्डित सीताराम तिवारी और जगरानी देवी के सुपुत्र चन्द्रशेखर का जन्म भावरा ( मध्य प्रदेश के झाबुआ जिले) में  जुलाई २३, १९०६  को हुआ था|


१८९९  के अकाल के समय अपने निवास उत्तर-प्रदेश के उन्नाव जिले के बदरका गाँव को छोडकर पण्डित सीताराम तिवारी जी पहले अलीराजपुर रियासत में, फिर भावरा में जा बसे थे । चन्द्रशेखर आजाद के व्यक्तित्व पर अपने पिता का छाप साफ दिखाई देती ही | उन्हीं की तरह चन्द्रशेखर जी साहसी, स्वाभिमानी, हठी और वचन के पक्के थे।

भावरा  में अपने प्रारंभिक स्कूली शिक्षा प्राप्त करने के बाद, उच्च अध्ययन के लिए वाराणसी में संस्कृत पाठशाला  में प्रवेश लिया|  .१९१९ के जलियांवाला बाग (अमृतसर) नरसंहार ने  चंद्रशेखर जी को  काफी व्यथित किया| १९२१  में जब महात्मा गांधी के असहयोग आंदोलन शुरू किया तो चंद्रशेखर जी  ने  सक्रियता से भाग लिया और पंद्रह वर्ष की आयु में अपनी पहली सजा भी भुगती| उन्हें जब क्रांतिकारी गतिविधियों में लिप्त पकड़ा गया और  जब मजिस्ट्रेट ने उसका नाम पूछा, उन्होंने कहा "आजाद"|  कहते हैं कि  हर पन्द्रह बेतों की चोट पे युवा चंद्रशेखर की मुख से "भारत माता की जय" और "महात्मा गाँधी की जय" ही निकला|  तभी  से चंद्रशेखर जी  "चंद्रशेखर आजाद" के रूप में खुद की मर्जी से  प्रख्यात  हुए|  उन्ही दिनों  चंद्रशेखर आजाद ने कसम खाई है कि वह ब्रिटिश पुलिस द्वारा फिर  कभी गिरफ्तार नहीं होंगे, जीयेगे आज़ाद  और स्वतंत्र व्यक्ति के रूप में मर जायेंगे| 


फरवरी १९२२ में चौराचौरी की घटना के बाद गाँधी जी द्वारा असहयोग आंदोलन की वापसी ने भगतसिंह की तरह आज़ाद का भी गाँधी जी और  काँग्रेस से मोह भंग कर दिया|  अब आजाद अधिक आक्रामक और क्रांतिकारी तरीकों से स्वतंत्रता प्राप्त करने के लिए प्रतिबद्ध हो गये |

पण्डित रामप्रसाद बिस्मिल, शचीन्द्र सान्याल, जोगेशचन्द्र के साथ मिलकर चन्द्रशेखर आजाद ने उत्तर भारत के क्रान्तिकारियों को लेकर एक दल हिन्दुस्तानी प्रजातांत्रिक संघ (एचआरए) का गठन किया। काकोरी ट्रेन डकैती  हो या  भगतसिंह का असेम्बली में बम फेंकना  हो या साण्डर्स की हत्या का षडयंत्र या फिर यशपाल द्वारा 1929 में वायसराय की गाड़ी पर बम फेंकना हो,  इन सभी में चन्द्रशेखर आजाद का खुला योगदान था। वह आजाद ही थे जिन्होंने भगत सिंह, सुखदेव व राजगुरू की फांसी रुकवाने के लिए दुर्गा भाभी को गांधीजी के पास भेजा था जहां से उन्हें कोरा जवाब दे दिया गया था। आजाद ने अपने बूत ही झांसी और कानपुर में क्रान्तिकारियों के अड़डे बना दिये थे|


चंद्रशेखर आजाद ब्रिटिश पुलिस के लिए एक आतंक थे, जो  उन्हें  जिंदा या मुर्दा हर कीमत पर आपने रास्ते से हटाने की हर कोशिश कर रही थी|   २७  फरवरी १९३१  को यशपाल को समाजवाद के प्रशिक्षण के लिए रूस भेजे जाने सम्बंधी योजनाओं को अन्तिम रूप देने की इलाहाबाद के अल्फ्रेड पार्क में वह अपने साथियों के साथ चर्चा कर रहे थे, मुखबिर की सूचना पर उन्हें घेर लिया गया। आजाद ने अपने बाकी साथियों को वहां से निकलने का आदेश दिया और खुद अंग्रेजों से मोर्चा लेने लगे। उन्होंने तीन पुलिस वालों को तो मौत के घाट उतार दिया और सोलह को घायल कर दिया। अंत में जब एक गोली शेष बची तो उन्होंने मृत्युपर्यन्त आजाद रहने की अपनी प्रतिज्ञा को पूरी करते हुए आखिरी गोली स्वयं को ही मार ली। पुलिस  आजाद से इतनी भयभीत थी कि उनके मृत शरीर पर कई गोलियां दागने के  काफी देर बाद ही पास पहुंचने की हिम्मत जुटा पाई थी| अंग्रेजों ने चुपके से उनका अन्तिम संस्कार कर दिया लेकिन आजाद की शहादत ने देश में एक लहर फैला  दी। क्रान्तिकारियों ने शमशान से आजाद की अस्थियां सम्मानपूर्वक निकालते हुए शहर में जुलूस निकाला और इस जूलूस में इलाहाबाद समेत कई जिलों की जनता उमड़ पड़ी। अन्तिम विदाई सभा को शचीन्द्रनाथ सान्याल की पत्‍‌नी और जवाहर लाल नेहरू  ने सम्बोधित किया और इस सच्चे सपूत को विदाई दी। 
  विशाल ने मनोज प्रकाशन की यह हिंदी किताब विशेष तौर से आज का दिन यादगार बनाने के लिए  स्कैन किया है, उम्मीद है आप सभी पसंद  करेंगे| 

साथ में कुछ आजाद के कुछ वास्तविक चित्रों पे भी गौर फरमाइए:

Portrait of Chandrashekhar Azad



A letter by Chandrashekhar Azad

Azad with the wife and kids of Master Rudranarayan
Photo taken immediately after Azad shot himself dead


चित्रों का स्रोत: (Picasa Album by Madhukar B V )

जय हिंद!

At the eve of 64th Independence Day of India

 Hello friends, I'm back. From now, sometimes the posts might contain  download link(s), however NOT ALWAYS. The primary goal of this blog was/is  informative materials only. Hoping you'll understand and support as earlier.


While searching materials about next post (coming tonight) found a nice massage & some rare pictures. Sharing as it was: 




India Independence Day Greetings
Thousands laid down their lives so
that our country is breathing this day
Never forget their sacrifice.
Happy Independence Day !!!


Independence a Precious gift of God.
May We Always Remain Independent
A Very Happy Independence Day To You.


Frredom in the Mind,
Faith in the words..
Pride in our Souls..
Lets salute the Nation ..our Inependence Day!
Vande Mataram.



Partition of India


It was one of the worst movements of people in recent history after that of the Jews in the World War II. A nation was dismembered. On August 15, 1947 – India kept her ‘tryst with destiny’. Midnight bore her the precious gift of freedom. Following an announcement on August 17, 1947 Pakistan became the other independent state.


Gandhi, the father of the nation, did not join in the celebrations that followed. He was elsewhere working in riot torn areas, praying for peace. For him independence was tinged with sadness and disappointment. He was ready to withdraw from active politics.

This was the speech made by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru to the Indian Constituent Assembly, on the eve of India’s independence, towards midnight on August 14, 1947

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.


At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?


Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.


That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.


And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.


To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.


The appointed day has come-the day appointed by destiny-and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.


It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed!


We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrowstricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.


On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the Father of our Nation [Gandhi], who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.


Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.


We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune alike.


The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.


We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.


To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.


And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.”
and On 15 August 1947 this was the pictures of India!

Nehru along with Mountbatten on the first Independence Day in Delhi on August 15, 1947.
Mountbatten swears Jawaharlal Nehru in as Prime Minister of India on August 15, 1947.
After swearing in as the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru gives his first speech holding an Indian flag on August 15, 1947.
Pandit Nehru addressing people from the Ramparts of Red Fort- Aug 15, 1947.

Dividing up a library at the time of 1947 partition [Photo: Life Magazine, August 1947]

Let's be proud to feel the Freedom! Let's say loud we are INDIANS! Let all of us get to-gather & Let's Celebrate Our Freedom!  It is our duty to preserve this Freedom! Carry this forward to the future! We did,We do,We will do! Set the celebration on Air, Share your Joy! Say proudly Vande Mataram! Jai Hind!

ACK-123: Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II)

Align Centre
Chandragupta II (A.D. 380-413/15), also referred as Vikramaditya (Valour/Power of Sun) or Chandragupta Vikramaditya, was one of the most influential emperors of the Gupta dynasty as well as one of the most familiar and celebrated names in Indian history. He was the son of Samudra Gupta & Maharani (the chief queen) “Datta Devi” and grandson of Chandra Gupta I. During his reign, art, architecture, and sculpture flourished, and the cultural development of ancient India reached its peak. The period of prominence of the Gupta dynasty is very often referred to as the "Golden Age" of India.

Biography

Samudra Gupta was followed by his elder son Ramagupta (375-380AD) who was a bit of blot on that proud family's good name. Apparently he was having immense trouble with the central Asian Saka invaders who refused to budge from borders of the empire and threatened to come in. Rama Gupta sued for peace, and the Saka king agreed on one condition that his queen Dhruvadevi be surrendered to him. Which was okay with Ramagupta, but not his younger brother Chandragupta who, disguised as the queen, entered the Saka camp and killed their king. After this Chandragupta also killed his brother and married Dhruvadevi and succeeded the throne.

Chandragupta ascended the throne of Patilaputra (now called Patna, the capital of state Bihar) in about 375AD. Four days after the Hindu festival of Diwali is the Padwa or Varshapratipada, the day on which the coronation of King Vikramaditya is believed to be held.

The Empire

Chandragupta II was a conqueror like his father Samudragupta. Conquests (though not many since Samudra Gupta had pretty much already conquered all there was to conquer), able administration, the arts flourishing, literature being produced in huge quantities, relations with foreign kings being excellent. Inheriting a large empire, he continued the policy of his father, Samudra Gupta, by extending control over neighbouring territories. Westward from 388 to 409 he subjugated Gujarat, his greatest victory came when he managed to quash the stronghold of the Rudrasimha III of Shaka (also called Satraps or Kshatrapas or Indo-Scythians) dynasty and annexed their kingdom in Gujarat ( the region north of Bombay (Mumbai), Saurastra (now Saurashtra), in western India, and Malwa, with its capital at Ujjain). Saka (called the Saka Satraps), whose ancestors were Scythian tribes from the regions around Lake Balkhash (Balqash) in Kazakhstan.

On the eastside, he crushed the Cheifdoms of Bengal creating a coast to coast unified Empire. He created a second capital at Ujjain. In the north west he subjugated Presians, Huns and Kambojas in areas east and west of Amu Darya in Afganistan.

His diplomatic tactics in giving his daughter Prabhavati (by his other queen Kuberanaga*, a Naga princess) in marriage to Rudrasena II. The Vakatakas (Vakattaka) king of Deccan helped greatly in securing the vital territory for himself, which could prove advantageous in the event of an attack upon the Saka- Kshatrapas of the west from the north. When Rudrasena II died in 390 AD, Prabhavati acted as regent for her two sons, thereby increasing Gupta influence in the south. Therefore this period in history is called the Vakataka -Gupta age.

His victory over Rudrasimha III provided exceptional wealth, which added to the prosperity of the Guptas. The Guptas at his period had sea trade with the countries of the west. Broach, Sopara, Cambay were ports that facilitated trade. During this period, Ujjain appears to have been the inland centre upon which most of the trade routes converged. Chandragupta occupied the throne for nearly forty years. Pataliputra was a flourishing city.

The emperor may also have made a matrimonial alliance with a dynasty in Mysore. After this, his empire began from the mouth of the Ganges to the mouth of the Indus River, which is now the region from North Pakistan down to the mouth of the Narmada.

Some of his silver coins bear the title Vikramaditya (“Sun of Valour”), which suggests that he was the prototype for the king Vikramaditya of later Hindu tradition.

His Reign

The Chinese Buddhist traveller-pilgrim Faxian (Fahien), who visited India during Chandra Gupta II’s reign, spoke highly of the system of government, the means for dispensing charity and medicine (the emperor maintained free rest houses and hospitals), and the goodwill of the people. From his description it is known that capital punishment was absent during the reign of Vikramaditya. Poll-tax, land tax and the presence of a strongly embedded caste system. However, he never visited the emperor or his court.

He is almost certainly the King Chandra eulogized in the Sanskrit inscription on iron pillar in the Qūwat al-Islām mosque in New Delhi`s Qutub Minar campus, which dates back to 4th century. This pillar bears an inscription, which states that it was erected as a mark of respect for the Hindu god Vishnu and in the memory of Chandragupta II. The pillar also highlights ancient India's achievements in metallurgy. The pillar is made of 98% wrought iron and has stood more than 1,600 years without rusting or decomposing.The government erected a fence around the pillar to prohibit the popular tradition of standing with your back to the pillar, making your hands meet behind it, as a token of good luck.

A pillar from Mathura referring to Chandragupta (Candragupta) has recently been deciphered, dates back to 388 CE.

*The Allahabad pillar inscription mentions the marriage of Chandragupta with a Naga princess Kuberanaga.

It is said that Chandra Gupta II was a devout Hindu, but he also tolerated the Buddhist and Jain religions.

His son Kumara Gupta I succeeded after Chandragupta II.

Based on information available at : voice.indiasite.com, www.bhaarat.org, dic.academic.ru, www.webindia123.com, www.indianetzone.com, en.wikipedia.org

This Amar Chitra Katha is provided by “Shailendra Rao”.

ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani

ACK #81 (591)
The story of the Syamantaka Gem is available in the Puranas such as the Bhagavata and the Vishnu. It shows how powerful of the curse Ganesha is.

(This story is related on the fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month, Bhadrapada, the sixth month of the Indian Calendar. Lord Krishna observed this fast to redeem himself from the stigma of telling a lie. )

In good old days, Lord Krishna built a beautiful city named Dwarka amidst the sea. There lived a man named Ugra who had two sons. Their names were Satrajit and Prasenjit (Prasena).

Briefly, Satrajit worshipped the Sun god for a long time. The god was pleased with him & gifted Syamantaka Gem. The God disappeared after gifting him the gem. Satrajit put the gem around his neck. When he entered Dwarka, everybody was surprised to see the heavenly gift. It was dazzling like sun. This gem produced gold eight times of its weight when needed. Satrajit did not part with it with king Ugrasen even when Krishna asked for it saying it would be safe with Him. Prasena, the brother of Satrajit went out hunting wearing the jewel but was killed by a lion. Jambavan (Jambavanta) of Ramayana fame killed the lion and gave it to his son to play with.

Prasena did not return to Dwarka and people were wondering what had happened to him. Satrajit suspected that Krishna might have killed Prasena in order to attain the gem. Krishna, in order to prove his innocence, gathered a search party and went into the forest. A few hours later, they found Prasena's body. Krishna noticed lion tracks around the body and assumed that a lion must have killed Prasena. On following the lion tracks, they came across the body of the dead lion. Krishna noticed that the lion had the marks of a bear's claws and noticed that there were bear tracks around the body. On following the bear tracks Krishna reached Jambavan's cave. Krishna sensing the danger ordered the rest of the party to stay outside while he entered the cave alone and found it in Jambavan's cave, with his child. Jambavan attacked Krishna thinking Him to be an intruder who had come to take away the jewel.

They fought each other for 28 days, when Jambavan, his whole body terribly weakened from the hammering of Krishna's fists, finally recognised Him as Rama.

I now know You. You are the life in all creatures, virility, grit and strength. You are Vishnu, the Primeval Lord, All-prevailing, the Supreme Lord (of the worlds). (Bhagavata 10.56.26)

He Who built a bridge (across the ocean) that is a standing monument to His fame, set Lanka ablaze, and with His arrows severed the heads of Rakshasas, which fell to the ground.

As repentance for his having fought Krishna, Jambavan gave Krishna the jewel and also his daughter Jambavati in marriage. Krishna returned to Dvaraka with Jambavati and the jewel, and returned it Satrajit. Satrajit felt ashamed for casting false aspersions on Lord Krishna. He offered his daughter Satyabhama to him as his wife.

The story of Syamantaka Gem did not end here. Once Krishna was out on a long tour. Satadhanwan (Satdhanwa) and Akrur were two brothers. They were jealous of Satrajit. Some sources (as this Amar Chitra Katha) say that they were angry due Satyabhama’s marriage. Satadhanwan killed Satrajit and snatched the Symantak. On his return Satyabhama told the whole story to Lord Krishna.

Satadhanwan passed on the Symantak to his brother Akrur and asked Akrur to proceed on a long pilgrimage. Lord Krishna and Balram thought that the gem was with Satdhanwa. Satdhanwa rode a horse and left the city. Krishna and Balram followed him. Krishna killed Satdhanwa and looked for the gem. It was not there. Balram became suspicious of Krishna’s designs. He thought that Krishna was greedy and a sinner. He killed innocent people. He left Krishna alone and went his own way.

When Krishna returned to Dwarka alone, people again became suspicious. They whispered to each other that Krishna had exiled Balram from Dwarka for the sake of the gem. Lord Krishna again felt dismayed.

Incidentally Narada visited Dwarka. He found Krishna in a sad mood. He asked him about his anxiety. Krishna said, “Respected Narada, people cast aspersions on me. Can I ever steal? Can I ever tell a lie? Am I a man subject to suspicion? I do not know what curse has befallen me. Kindly help and guide me”.

Narada smiled and said, “you have seen the moon on the fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month, Bhadrapada. Looking at the moon on that day is forbidden”.

“How is it? People see, appreciate and bow before the moon on the second day of the bright half of the lunar month. Why are they forbidden for looking at it on the fourth day?” asked Krishna.

Narada said,” Lord Ganesh, cursed the moon on that day. Anyone who sees moon on that day gets the curse. So a curse has befallen you”.

Once, Ganesh partook of a huge meal of modaka (a sweet greatly favoured by him) and was riding home on his vehicle, the mouse. Suddenly, the mouse was tripped by a snake. Ganesh fell off the mouse and his over-full stomach burst open and out tumbled the modakas.

(Another version of this part is: One day while travelling round the universe on his rat, Ganesha came to Chandraloka (the realm of the Moon)).

The Moon saw him. The Moon, very handsome, was proud of his appearance. On seeing the elephantfaced, big-bellied Ganapati riding on a rat, he laughed at Ganesha with contempt.

This was an insult and Ganesha was very angry about the Moon. He pronounced a curse "Oh Moon, your handsome appearance has made you too vain. Fool, I am worshipped in all the worlds, but you laugh at me. Receive now the fruits of your foolish pride. Let your beauty, which is the cause for your arrogance and ignorance vanishing! From now on, whoever sees you on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month, the day of my birth, will suffer because of unjust accusations."

The curse shattered the Moon's pride. He realized his mistake, and felt sorry. Standing devotedly with folded hands before Ganesha he prayed to him. "Sir, forgive me and my ignorance. Take back the curse and protect me."

Then the kind Ganesha grew calm. He consoled the unhappy Moon. He said, "Moon, you have realized your fault. What is important is the destruction of your pride. Anyhow, my curse cannot be in vain. But those who are subjected to false accusations will be saved and regain their good name if they see you on the second day of the bright fortnight also." The Moon was satisfied.

Lord Krishna said, “How can I free myself from this curse?”

“Observe fast on every fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month. Worship and make offerings to Lord Ganesh or Siddhi Vinayak, according to your status. You will be free from this sin”, was Narada’s reply.

Lord Krishna acted upon Narada’s advice and became free from the sin.

(Note: there are many variations of both part of this story. However main concept remains same.)

Siddhi-Vinayaka Vrata-the worship of Ganesha-is performed on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada. This belief exists to this day, and people carefully avoid looking at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi (Chaturthi is 4th day which comes after the new moon), the day of the festival of Ganesh.The devotees on this day, get up early in the morning and take bath in water mixed with `til’ or sesame seeds. They worship the earthern or metallic idol of Ganesha and keep a fast. The devotees also believe that those who see the Moon on that day will not suffer, if they listen to the story of the Syamantaka.

Read: Vishnu Purana: Book IV: Chapter XIII
(original source of this story),

Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 10 Chapter 56 (Summary)

Syamantaka Ruby OR Shyamantaka Sapphire?

Of course most devotees already know this story, but a mistake of spelling wrongly as "Shyamantaka" has led to the incorrect idea that Syamantaka was a blue sapphire (Saturn's gem). Even Amar Chitra Katha comic books in India, as well as BBT artists make this mistake, and they spell as Shyamantaka and show the Sun God is giving a blue sapphire to Satrajit. This is completely incorrect. If anyone looks at the Sanskrit they will see it is not spelled Shyamantaka, the real spelling is "SYAMANTAKA" which means the Ruby (Sun's gem) after which this story is named. The story also describes how the people mistook Satrajit "as the Sun God" whenever he wore the gem, so it was surely not a blue sapphire (Saturn's gem).

(By Richard Shaw Brown- read full article Here)

This Amar Chitra Katha is first Contribution by Rajeev Sharma.

This time only Hindi version I’m posting. English will come later.

ACK- 118: Tapati - The Daughter of the Sun God

An out of print ACK # 327

The sources of this story are the Purana & the Mahabharata. The period is considered as Treta Yuga according to old Indian literature & mythology - PBC.

In India, as elsewhere, the folk of the spirit world might woo or be wooed by impressionable mortals. A Gandharva related to Arjuna, the Pandava prince, by whom he was defeated in single combat, the "charming story", as he called it, of King Samvarana (the Lunar Dynasty) and the fairy-like Tapati, a daughter of the sun god, Surya.

Tapati was of all nymphs the most beautiful; she was "perfectly symmetrical" and "exquisitely attired"; she had "faultless features, and black, large eyes"; and, in contrast to an Apsara, she "was chaste and exceedingly well conducted". For a time the sun god considered that no husband could be found who was worthy of his daughter; and therefore "knew no peace of mind, always thinking of the person he should select". One day, however, King Samvarana worshipped the sun, and made offerings of flowers and sweet perfumes, and Surya resolved to bestow his daughter upon this ideal man.

It came to pass that Samvarana went a-hunting deer on the mountains. He rode swiftly in pursuit of a nimble-footed stag, leaving his companions behind, until his steed expired with exhaustion. Then he wandered about alone. In a secluded wood he beheld a maiden of exquisite beauty; he gazed at her steadfastly for a time, thinking she was a goddess or "the embodiment of the rays emanating from the sun". Her body was as radiant as fire and as spotless as the crescent moon; she stood motionless like to a golden statue. The flowers and the creepers round about partook of her beauty, and "seemed to be converted into gold". She was Tapati, daughter of the sun.

The king's eyes were captivated, his heart was wounded by the arrows of the love god Kama; he lost his peace of mind. At length he spoke and said: "Who art thou, O fair one? O maiden of sweet smiles, why dost thou linger in these lonely woods? I have never seen or heard of one so beautiful as thee. . . . The love god tortures me."

That lotus-eyed maiden made no answer; she vanished from sight like to lightning in the clouds.
The king hastened through the forest, lamenting for her: he searched in vain; he stood motionless in grief; he fell down on the earth and swooned.

Then, smiling sweetly, the maiden appeared again. In honeyed words she spoke, saying: "Arise, thou tiger among kings. It is not meet that thou shouldst lose thy reason in this manner."

Samvarana opened his eyes and beheld Tapati. Weak with emotion he spoke and said: "I am burning with love for thee, thou black-eyed beauty, O accept me. My life is ebbing away. . . . I have been bitten by Kama, who is even like a venomous snake. Have mercy on me. . . . O thou of handsome and faultless features, O thou of face like unto the lotus or the moon, O thou of voice sweet as that of singing Kinnaras, my life now depends on thee. Without thee, O timid one, I am unable to live. It behoveth thee not, O black-eyed maid, to cast me off; it behoveth thee to relieve me from this affliction by giving me thy love. At the first sight thou hast distracted my heart. My mind wandereth. Be merciful; I am thy obedient slave, thy adorer. O accept me. . . . O thou of lotus eyes, the flame of desire burneth within me. O extinguish that flame by throwing on it the water of thy love. . . . "

Tapati replied: "I am not mistress of mine own self. I am a maiden ruled by my father. If thou dost love me, demand me of him. My heart hath been robbed by thee."
Then, revealing her identity, Tapati ascended to heaven, and once again Samvarana fell upon the earth and swooned.

The ministers and followers of the king carne searching for him, and found him "lying forsaken on the ground like a rainbow dropped from the firmament". They sprinkled his face with cool and lotus-scented water. When he revived, the monarch sent away all his followers except one minister. For twelve days he worshipped the sun constantly on the mountain top. Then a great Rishi, whom he had sent for, came to him, and the Rishi ascended to the sun. Ere long he returned with Tapati, the sun god having declared that Samvarana would be a worthy husband for his daughter.

For twelve years the king lived with his fairy bride in the mountain forests, and a regent ruled over the kingdom.

But although the monarch enjoyed great bliss, living the life of a Celestial, the people of the kingdom suffered greatly. For twelve years no rain fell, "not even a drop of dew came from the skies, and no corn was grown". The people were afflicted with famine; men grew reckless, and deserted their wives and children; the capital became like to a city of the dead.

Then a great Rishi brought Samvarana back to his capital with his Celestial bride. And after that things became as they were before. Rain fell in abundance and corn was grown. "Revived by that foremost of monarchs of virtuous soul, the capital and the country became glad with exceeding joy." A son was born to the king, and his name was Kuru.

[From “Indian Myth and Legend” by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913), CHAPTER IV (Demons and Giants and Fairies)]

Legand about Tapti river

The Tapti is the one of few Indian rivers that flows westward and falls into the Arabian Sea, in the Gulf of Khambat, to be precise. Mostly river flows eastward and falls into the bay of Bengal.
According to the Puranas, ancient Hindu texts, the Tapti is the daughter of the Sun god, Surya, who created her to save himself from his own intense heat. Tapti is also known as Tapi (taken from the Sanskrit word taap, which means heat). In the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, it is mentioned that Tapti had married Sanvaran & the mother of Kuru, from whom the Kuru Dynasty started.

From Kuru was descended the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the principal protagonists of the Mahabharata, one of the two major epics of Indian Mythology, the other being the Ramayana, the epic about Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu sent to earth to destroy the terrible asura (demon), Ravana.

Note: In Hindu mythology, the Solar Dynasty (Surya-vanshi) & the Lunar Dynasty (Chandra-vanshi or Soma-vanshi) are two principal houses of the Kshatriya Varna, or ruling caste. The Solar Dynasty claims descent from the Sun (Surya), while the other principal house, Lunar Dynasty claims descent from the Moon (Soma).

About Tapati river read at : www.famous-india.com, Wikipedia

There were some posts related with both dynasty in this blog & some more will follow. That's why recommend to read about:

1. "The Origin of the Solar Dynasty" at www.suite101.com & Wikipedia.
2. "The Origin of the Lunar Dynasty (Chandravanshi)" at www.suite101.com & Wikipedia.
3. "The Kuru Dynasty " at Wikipedia, vahini.org


Soure of the dynasty tree: vahini.org

Many many thanks to “Apoorva Chandar” for providing Amar Chitra Katha.

ACK- 117: Kumanan-The Generous Tamil King of the Sangam Age

An out of print ACK #280

This Amar Chitra Katha is about a generous king of the ‘Sangam Age’. I was unable to find any details about Kumanan, but as came to know about Sangam Age, felt proud to be an Indian. It was a discovery for me.

The ‘Sangam Age’ is the earliest known period of organized life and history of the Tamils. Though there are some disputes about the exact dates, but roughly it goes back to the period of pre-Aryan and non-Aryan. During this period the first, second and third Sangams flourished and Tamil poets of that era produced several literary works. The Tamil poets throw considerable light on the everyday life and also reveal their culture, polity and social set-up. In the Sangam age Tamil Nadu was ruled by three kingdoms namely the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas. The Sangam Age is considered the Golden Age of Tamils.

The Sangam period

(~ from the book "In the Kingdom of Nataraja" by Chantal Boulanger)

From the fourth century B.C. we can establish with certainty the existence of the Pandya, Chola and Kerala (Chera) dynasties which formed a relatively stable political structure, based on an interplay of alliances. The Pandya kingdom and its dynasty chosen by the Goddess, who became a queen, is mentioned in Sanscrit texts of the fifth century B.C., by Megasthenes (third century B.C.), in the “silappadikaram”, a Tamil poetical novel from the second century A.D., and then by numerous authors, notably by Marco Polo in the thirteenth century. Remarkably, it is always described as having the same political structure and remains famous for the beauty of the pearls it exports.

The Mauryan Empire (third century B.C.) expanded to include all of North India and a great part of the Deccan, developing along the merchant routes already established between the North and the well organized kingdoms of the South. Emperor Ashoka might have gone down as far as Kanchipuram. He is mentioned in one inscription as being the first king of this city, which would explain why it became a great Buddhist center, and remained famous as one until the seventh century A.D. The son of Ashoka traveled to Sri Lanka but, as all the emperors of the Mauryan dynasty, he respected the Dravidian kingdoms (Chola, Pandya and Chera).

Archaeologists found inscriptions dating from that time in “Damili”, a mixture of Brahmi (the most ancient North Indian writing) and Tamil. It is interesting to notice that those inscriptions do not have vowels in the words. Some of them contain letters from the Tamil alphabet used to translate sounds impossible to render in Brahmi, which indicates that this alphabet already existed, although it was never engraved on stone.

After the fall of the Mauryan Empire, North Indian dynasties conquered most of the Deccan, although they never succeeded in invading the three Dravidian kingdoms. They brought with them Sanscrit and Brahmins and they exerted a tremendous cultural influence.Very quickly, even in the South, the inscriptions (on copper plates) were all in Sanscrit, most often registering gifts of land to Brahmins.

Written at the beginning of the Christian era, a large anthology of poems referred to as the “from the Sangam” evokes the life in the three kingdoms, especially that of the city of Madurai, where was held the assembly of poets, the “Sangam”. Although written in Tamil, we already begin to detect a Sanscrit influence which will only grow in the later centuries. The authors of those texts are almost all known and among them were women, including the very famous poetess Auvaiyar. Despite the Sanscrit influence, which is minimal in the early poems, it is where we find what remains of Dravidian culture in its purest state.

These texts describe three prosperous kingdoms in which the kings spend their time conquering each others’ towns. Poetry, dance and religion were held in high esteem. The most popular religion was the non-orthodox Dravidian beliefs on which we will dwell later in detail.
In addition, we find Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism, all of which came from North India and were in fashion at that time. The last poems from the Sangam anthology were written at the end of the third century of our era.

In these poems, women, although subordinate to men, were considered the pillars of society: the fate of the family and the kingdom depended on their good behavior. The sovereign never held audience without being accompanied by his queen. His personal guard was composed of women warriors. The marriage ceremony was simple, celebrated under a canopy by tying a string around the bride’s neck. The ideal for a man was to die on the field of battle and for the spouse to immolate herself on a pyre (Dravidian custom). Men and women who died in this manner achieved divinity. The ideal of this society was rather Spartan. It was said, “The Dravidians loved life and worshipped death”.

Love of life, dance, music, and all other pleasures were described with empathy in these poems. This was most probably due to the prosperity of the country, especially of the towns, which enjoyed a lucrative trade with the Romans through Egypt.

Here is a small quotation from the Tiru Kural, the most famous work of the Sangam, which shows some of the spirit of these times, and somehow renders the ornate style Tamils love to use:
“In sweet simplicity,
A woman's gracious form hath she;
But yet those eyes, that drink my life,
Are with the form at strife!
The light that on me gleams,
Is it death's dart? or eye's bright beams?
Or fawn's shy glance? All three appear
In form of maiden here.
If cruel eye-brow's bow,
Unbent, would veil those glances now;
The shafts that wound this trembling heart
Her eyes no more would dart.
As veil o'er angry eyes
Of raging elephant that lies,
The silken cincture's folds invest
This maiden's panting breast.
Ah! woe is me! my might,
That awed my foemen in the fight,
By lustre of that beaming brow
Borne down, lies broken now!"
(Robinson and Pope, 1977, p 223)

Some more details are available at Wikipedia.
Many many thanks to “Apoorva Chandar” for providing Amar Chitra Katha.

ACK-114,115 & 116: Great Sanskrit Plays:Ratnavali, Vasantasena & Udayana

Today in some states of India people are celebrating New Year as Ugadi & Gudi Padwa . It falls on the first day of the month of Chaitra (March-April).

Ugadi, as called in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra indicates the start of a new year for people in those states.

Ugadi is derived from ‘Yuga adi’ where ‘yugameans time, era or period and ‘adimeans beginning. Gudi in marathi is a Bamboo stick which is decorated and at the top of which a cup or a glass is placed and Padwa means the ‘adi’ described earlier.

Note: It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April).

Plays of Ancient India

Indian drama is analyzed by Bharata in the Natya Shastra, probably from the third century CE or before. Bharata ascribed a divine origin to drama and considered it a fifth Veda; its origin seems to be from religious dancing. In the classical plays the Brahmins and noble characters speak Sanskrit, while others and most women use Prakrit vernaculars. According to Bharata poetry (kavya), dance (nritta), and mime (nritya) in life's play (lila) produce emotion (bhava), but only drama (natya) produces "flavor" (rasa). The drama uses the eight basic emotions of love, joy (humor), anger, sadness, pride, fear, aversion, and wonder, attempting to resolve them in the ninth holistic feeling of peace. These are modified by 33 less stable sentiments he listed as discouragement, weakness, apprehension, weariness, contentment, stupor, elation, depression, cruelty, anxiety, fright, envy, arrogance, indignation, recollection, death, intoxication, dreaming, sleeping, awakening, shame, demonic possession, distraction, assurance, indolence, agitation, deliberation, dissimulation, sickness, insanity, despair, impatience, and inconstancy. Causes, effects, and moods manifest the emotions. The spectators should be of good character, intelligent, and empathetic.

This bumper issue is based on three great Sanskrit plays:

1. Ratnavali by Emperor Harsha.

2. Mrichchakatikam ( The Little Clay Cart) by Shudraka.

3. Svapnavasavadatta by Bhasa.

Kalidasa refer to Bhasa with reverence. Therefore Bhasa belonged to a period, a hundred or two hundred years before Kalidasa(of the fourth century A.D.). Mrichchakatikam by Shudraka revolves round the love of Vasantasena for Charudatta, the impoverished merchant. Ratnavali is attributed to Emperor Harsha, who ruled from Kanauj in the seventh century A.D.


#205 (#643) Ratnavali


Ratnavali is a famous Sanskrit drama about a beautiful princess named Ratnavali and a great king named Udayana, composed in four acts by the Indian emperor Harsha. Harsha wrote three Sanskrit plays: Nagananda (available in this blog), Priyadarshika and Ratnavali.

This play is a comedy of court life, centring round the light-hearted love-intrigue of king Udayana with a lowly maiden of unknown descent, their secret meetings through the help of a jester and the damsel's friend, the jealousy of the queen and her anger and resentment, and finally her acceptance of the situation when the maiden is discovered to be her lost cousin.

Summary

The play is a sequel to the story of Princess Vasavdatta of Ujjaini and King Udayana of Kaushambi. Because of certain events that were happening, Vasavdatta had to fake her death. In order to keep the relation strong between Ujjaini and Kaushambi, they sent Vasavdatta's Sinhalese cousin, Ratnavali, to be married to Udayana. In the mean time, Vasavdatta's faked death was a success and she had returned, reuniting with Udayana and reclaiming her position as Queen of Kaushambi.

Ratnavali, however, was unaware of this. During her voyage her ship was wrecked and she was cast adrift until a merchant ship found her and took her to the palace, where she was disguised as a commoner by the name of Sagarika. Vasavdatta made her a Lady-in-waiting and assigned her to the care of Medhavini, the myna bird.

Fearing that Udayana would be swayed by her new attendant's beauty, Vasavdatta took steps to hide Ratnavali/Sagarika from from her husband. Soon after, the festival of Kamadeva}Madana took place at the palace. Sagarika was intended to stay home to care for her charge, but another companion of the Queen's named Susangata offered to watch Medhavini in her stead. When Sagarika reached the festival and saw Udayana, she fell in love with him, but was sent home due to Vasavdatta's jealousy. Through a series of unlikely events, Susangata and Sagarika plotted to unite the king and Sagarika. In the end, Sagarika marries Udayana as his third wife.

Read more at Wikipedia

#70 (#657) Vasantasena

Little is known of Sudraka, and he is known through only his attributed contributions to Sanskrit literature. Sudraka was an Indian King. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him -Mricchakatika (The Little Clay Cart) [or Mrcchakatika or Mricchakatika or Mrichchhakatika is the play written in the 2nd century BC. It is set in Pataliputra (modern-day Patna)] , Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana (short one-act monologue), Padmaprabhritaka.

Plot

The Little Clay Cart refers to the toy cart with which the son of Charudatta, who has been reduced to poverty, plays.

Rife with romance, sex, court intrigue and comedy, the plot of the play has numerous twists and turns. The main story is about a young man named Charudatta , and his love for Vasantasena , a rich courtesan or nagarvadhu. The love affair is complicated by a royal courtier, who is also attracted to Vasantasena. The plot is further complicated by thieves and mistaken identities, and thus making it a hilarious and entertaining play.

Recommend to read an article: www.sandeepweb.com

#125 (#621) Udayana


ACK Udayana is adapted from Bhasa's Svapnavasavadatta (Vision of Vasavadatta)

One of the greatest pioneers of classical Sanskrit drama, Bhasa is said to have lived around 3rd Century A.D. He is one of the earliest known Sanskrit dramatists of ancient India. An Indian scholar, Mahamahopadhyaya Ganapati Sastrigal, rediscovered thirteen of his plays in the year 1912. Most of these surviving works are romances taken from the famous epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, although two of Bhasa's plays do boast original plots: Avimaraka and Charudatta which became the basis for a later play, The Little Clay Cart, possibly written by the legendary King Shudraka.

Not much is known about the life history of Bhasa. There are no written records of his life nor is there a biography of Bhasa. Bhasa deviated from the accepted dramaturgical practices of the day by depicting battle scenes and murder on stage. He had a profound influence on the dramatists that would follow him, including India's greatest poet, Kalidasa. His influence is seen in the works of the great dramatist Kalidasa, who consciously imitated and improved upon some of Bhāsa’s literary motifs.

Summary

Perhaps the most noted play of Bhasa is Svapnavasavadatta (Vision of Vasavadatta). The story revolves around King Udayana who is pressurized by his state minister to marry the daughter of a very powerful ruler in order to gain power to protect his kingdom from foreign invasions.

The King, however, is too devoted to his wife to consider such a marriage. But the Queen, ready to sacrifice herself to save the kingdom, stages her death in a palace fire, then secretly returns to wait upon the new queen and be near her husband. The play is so well constructed that a 9th century critic is said to have remarked that "when the whole of Bhasa's plays were thrown into the fire, the Svapnavasavadatta alone remained unconsumed by the flames!" The play is so well written that it won the hearts of the sternest critics.

Read more about Bhasa www.absoluteastronomy.com, Wikipedia,

(All above mentioned information are based on Wikipedia, www.absoluteastronomy.com, www.iloveindia.com, www.imagi-nation.com etc.)

Many many thanks to “Apoorva Chandar” & “Anupam Agrawal”for providing English & Hindi Amar Chitra Katha respectively.

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