Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The birth of Ginger and garlic

A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away (time and distance amount to nothing in a mythological story), the Devas and Asuras were at war. Neither were immortals and there were heavy casualities. So, the Devas decide to churn the Milk sea(Vishnu's private Jacuzzi)to get the Divine Nectar called Amrit.

So, they approach Vishnu, use Vasuki as rope, Mt. Mandara as churning rod, yada yada yada.. find it here.. http://www.balagokulam.org/kids/stories/dashavatara.php#kurma

Now, most retellings of this story leave out a very important part. As Lord Vishnu took on the form of Mohini(a very beautiful Apsara) and tried to seduce the Asuras while slyly distributing all the nectar to the Devas, two guys from the Dark side saw through his/her bluff. They were the two strapping young Asuras named Rahu and Ketu (They had their fair share of celestial nymphs and could easily spot the wolf among the sheep).

So these two Demons jump line and join into the Deva queue and Mohini busy with the clever show she was putting on, feeds the Amrit to the two. On Surya's prodding and realising her folly, she releases the Vishnu chakra(a very deadly discus) on the two and cuts their heads off.

Now, here's the interesting part. Since the Amrit had already passed by their heads and throats by then, their heads were immortal which became the stars Rahu and Ketu. These are termed in Hindu Mythology as Demon stars (Rahu.. Ketu.. Demons.. stars.. get it?). They are mighty pissed off at Surya till this day and occasionally gobble him up to create eclipses.

The Amrit, which went through their throats spilled on the earthly ground and gave seed to the Ginger and Garlic plants. Since they are born from Amrit, these two plants have medicinal properties. While the Asura qualities make them harmful at times.

TRUE STORY!!

(This story was told to me by a teacher of mine back in 3rd or 4th standard in an SUPW class. SUPW stands for socially useful productive work. We were taught to stuff like Knitting so one day we guys took a stand and refused to do any knitting in that class. The teacher decided to tell us this story to pass the time. I couldn't find this story anywhere else on the Internet and so decided to reproduce it here.

On a sidenote, I have always wondered why Mohini isn't counted among Vishnu's Dashavatar. Anybody have any idea?

ps1: Devas->the good guys(Jedi), Asuras->the bad guys(Sith), Vishnu->Yoda, Apsara->celestial nymph, Surya->sun god

ps2: for those whom it is not obvious enough.. True Story is Barney stinson's catchphrase for all the totally far fetched stories he tells

8 comments:

rahul said...

aah more crap about vishnu/ "Lord" Krishna

worshiping him is a blasphemy, if he were a mortal he would have been hanged for his sinful ways

The post ain't crap, the protagonist is and will forever continue to be as he is immortal hehe

No religious feelings were meant to be hurt.

I am agnostic but the way things are going i wouldn't mind becoming an atheist

Akshay said...

Ohh, the illu theme team was missing a crucial member so far!! Damn! :P

Twig Schandra said...

I'm not so sure about Mohini's not included in the Dasavathaar. I remember seeing her picture as one of the avatars in 'pedda bala shiksha' - in my child hood days.
But I quite looked your teacher's way of story telling.
:-)

harsha said...

matsya,kurma,vamana,varaha,narasimha,
parashurama,rama,krishna,buddha,kalki

twig, where is the room for mohini. the 10 are accounted for

Sooth said...

some of this might be known to you:

1. matsya -> water

2. kurma -> water + earth

3. varaha -> a fast animal on earth (Rhinoceros. Not wild bore (sookara) as many people think)

4. narasimha -> animal + man

5. vamana -> man with most of tamasic character - begging is tamasic

6. parashurama -> man with most of rajasic character

7. Raama-> man with most of satvic character

8. krishna -> Complete avataara with manifested and unmanifested in it.

9. buddha -> is NOT one of dasaavataaras, as you can see it was all in increasing order of greatness and all know who they were even when they were just born. Some say Sri Paada Sri Vallbha is the 9th avataara which fits this list.

10. kalki


Puraanaas talk about other avataaraas of God too, not just mohini, like the sage vaamana etc., but the dasaavataaraas has some significance.

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen" - Einstein.

Can you explain time dilation with common sense?

Sooth said...

I mean wild boar...

harsha said...

Hello...
@Sooth : I am glad you still check on my blog. thanks for commenting.

Firstly, this post was written in jest as a comedy. So, definitely, there would be lot of mythological inaccuracies. which is an oxymoron in itself because mythology can never be accurate.

Yes, I do know about the other avataras.. but since the "Mohini" is a character which is very influential in several of Vishnu's antics, I was hoping it would be among the more prominent ones.

Once again, this story is simply in fun and mythologically inaccurate as further evidenced by my writing that Rahu and Ketu were 2 different demons where as its 2 parts of the same man-snake.

And about the time dilation, my opening line is an obvious pun on the Star Wars opening line.
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away..."

Sooth said...

cool...

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