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Saturday, 16 November 2013

laghu abhiyAna

'That small group of daitya-s quiet, wordless, slightly off the seashore into the valley -- via sinuous routes, was proceeding towards the nagara swiftly. Walking in front of this group was rAvaNa with a gigantic parashu on his shoulder. Behind him was the old daitya general sumAlI. In the moonlight of chaturthI, these wavering black shadows of the daitya-s were appearing most strange. This group of daitya-s had absolutely no problem in walking through the fearful lifeless plains and uneven paths. Every bhaTa in the group, was full of hope for victory.

sumAlI approached rAvaNa and placed his hand on his shoulder. rAvaNa lowered his ears and said -"Is there any other order mAtAmaha?"

"No son, everything is pre-planned. But will your bhaTa-s be present on time? I hope they wouldn't be unmatta after madyapAna in the frenzy of the utsava?"

"That will not happen mAtAmaha, they're being led by mAtula akampana."

"Then it is fine, nAgarAja will also receive our madyabhANDa at the right time. But son, wait till the right moment. I know these nAga-s well very. viSha and madya does not intoxicate them. They consume divyoShadhI-s and somA. Due to this, in a way, they are all mR^ityunjaya-s"

"Do not worry mAtAmaha, this parashu of rAvaNa does not regard anyone and then taking their lives serves no purpose. We want to capture the dwIpa. If the nAga-s accept our raksha samskriti, then they can even rule the dwIpa on our behalf."

"We'll see this later son, war first, politics later. See here, the pura is front of us. I hope that we will find out bhaTa-s at the city gate."

"Our bhaTa-s are hiding behind the gate."

"Then we should be vigilant now."

"Handle the rear of group only. I will take care of the rest. We've many friends in the nagara. We've friends in rAjasabhA too. All daitya-s, asura-s, dAnava-s and rAkshasa-s are our friends anyways. yaksha-s, deva-s and gandharva-s will not oppose either. Only nara-s and nAga-s are left. What power do they have?"

"It if fine, but son, never count the enemy as lesser, be cautious."

Replying to this, rAvaNa pressed the hand of his old nAnA and smiled. The daitya was reassured.

After some time rAvaNa laughed and uttered-"mAtAmaha you are a friend of the father of nAgapati. vajranAbha will only welcome you."

"What else? When I'll tell him that this is the younger brother of digpAti kubera --dashAnan rAvaNa, he will reverentially offer you abhyutthAna."

"svasti, then our foremost weapons are these madyabhANDa-s."

"Understand these ratnamaNi-s to be weapons too son. When we'll gift this gold, ratnamaNi-s and madyabhANDa-s amicably, he will drink the surA brought by us after being unmatta with Ananda. These nAga-s like our spicy madya, and whoever drinks the aromatic madya prepared by me, can not forget it, he will become inebriated. As soon as we'll see them intoxicated and their guard lowered, we'll finish the rest of our task"

"What can be a better yukti than this mAtAmaha, but do you recognize nAgapati vajranAbha?"

"No, his father was my kR^ipApAtra and a friend. He helped me once in a war against asura-s. vajranAbha knows this and will welcome us believing us to have arrived as friends."

"So we will befriend him after conquering, mAtAmaha?"

"As the samyoga will be, we may have to kill him. Look here is the gate in front of here. Everyone be on your guard. I shall walk forth and get the gates opened."

The old asura proceeded. At the gate he called out-"dwAram dehi, dwAram dehi."

dwArpAla brought his head out of the door opening and said-"Who are you?"

"Noble guests of the nAgarAja, do you not know, nAgarAja will revere us today? Speak, have you received the order?"

"I have not, do you have the chinha?"

"Here it is" -the old daitya took out a narsimhA and blew it loudly. The daitya-s, hidden hither and thither, came forth and decapitated him, and opened the gate.

All daitya-s entered the nagara. The sentinels started fighting. But rAvaNa did not stop at the gate, he continued advancing quickly towards the rAjaprAsAda with his subhaTa-s. A handful of sentinels, which were at the gates were killed and the asura-s captured the gate. No one heard anything of this.

Now the daitya-s entered the nagara playing the drums and trumpets. No one opposed them in the prAsAda. Some of these mingled with the crowd as there was a huge mob assembled in the prAsAda. Many people were moving in and out and creating a great din under the influence of madya. The asura-s too mingled with them and added to the noise, and started doing madyapAna as well. Today was actually nAga-samvatsara ceremony. rAjaprAsAda was beautifully decorated.

***

A melodious vAdya was being played in one corner of the sAbhA-maNDapa. After some time, a prauDha man, seated on a golden vimAna arrived in the maNDapa. The vimAna was carried by divyAngana-s. Many vArvanitA-s were singing mangalgIta-s ahead of it. This was bhogirAja nAgapAti vajranAbha.

The music grew loud as soon as vajranAbha arrived in the sabhAmaNDapa. dundubhi-s roared at the simhadwAra. All the people stood up hailing the king with their hands on their knees. No one had the order to stand upright in front of bhogirAja. At the same time, another dundubhi sounded at the other side of the maNDapa. And in just one moment, the vajravaksha dashAnana rAvaNa with parashu in his hand and daityapAti sumAli, with a huge khaDaga, wearing red vastra-s, entered in the sabhAmaNDapa. Everyone was utterly surprised by looking at these two mahAtejasvi purUsha-s. All the vadya-s playing in sAbha came to silence. No one could understand whether the visitors were friends or enemies. nAgarAja vajranAbhi was staring at the parashu buried in the vajra like fist of rAvaNa.

At the same time daitya sumAli moved forth and said-"svasti nAgarAja, I am daitya sumAli and this is AyuShmAna dashanana rAvaNa, my dauhitra and younger brother of digpati wealthy kubera. rAvaNa has an intention which he will request soon. For now please accept our gift." Saying this daityapAti gave his cue. daitya servants brought forth the madyabhANDa-s in front of the nAgarAja. Chests full of ratnamaNi-s were also brought.

nAgapati was pleased at the look of these valuable gifts. He left his simhAsana and stood up. He moved ahead, embraced rAvaNa, smelled his head and then with tearful eyes and great affection said-"swAgat bhadra, just as lokpAla dhanesha is my friend, so are you. I know your father vishrvA muni." Then he turned his face towards the daityendra and said-"daityapati, your are my pUjya father figure. You are welcome, here is the Asana, be seated."

nAgapati sat with daityendra sumAli and dashAnana rAvaNa on his own simhAsana. bandi-s praised nAgaraja soon after he sat. kinnara-s and gandharva-s started singing. apsarA-s started dancing. After this, on the order of nAgarAja, madyapAna began. Vessels full of marakata were given to guests by naga-s.

daitya-s were delighted after drinking madya. Seeing the right opportunity, sumAli signaled. daitya-s started pouring madya to naga-s from madyabhANDa-s and offered them to naga-s. nAgarAja laughed and drank the aromatic madya from the hands of sumAli. Slowly the sanyama of drinking was lost and the madya too reached the brain of naga-s creating intoxication. At this time all instruments started playing loudly. The dancers started doing bhAvanR^itya. Every nR^ityAnganA, joined her hands together such that both thumbs touched the nose, first did praNama to nAgarAja and then to the guests -- and only then, she stated her dance. Various kinds of sajjA-nR^itya, vilAsa-nR^itya and bhAva-nR^itya were taking place. After this started the bhangimA-nR^itya. In every nR^itya nATaka the story was also played along with gAyana and vAdana. After this yuddhAbhinaya was performed. devAsura-samgrAma was enacted. Brave and noble minded characters started acting. madyapAna went on with full frenzy. nAgarAja had drunk huge amount of madya as a result of immense anandam. daitya-s were giving him even more madya. sumAli was encouraging them. Suddenly noises were heard from outside. And before anyone could be ready, daitya-s armed with heavy khaDaga-s, parashu-s, trishUla-s, shUla-s, mudhgara-s, appearing from all four directions, entered the sabhAmaNDapa and started slaughtering. The naga-s were getting slayed in no time. Great havoc spread all around. nAgarAja astonishingly looked at rAvaNa and said-"Son what is this?". rAvaNa lifted his parashu. He jumped and stood up on the simhAsana. He waved his parashu in the air and spoke in an ocean like deep voice-"vayam rakshAmaH."'

-translated from 'vayam rakshAmah (pUrvArdha)' written by shrI chatursena shastrI (with all due apologies).

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