एक बार देवी पार्वती ने देवों के देव महादेव से पूछा, ऐसा क्यों है कि आप अजर हैं, अमर हैं लेकिन मुझे हर जन्म के बाद नए स्वरूप में आकर, फिर से बरसों तप के बाद आपको प्राप्त करना होता है । जब मुझे आपको पाना है तो मेरी तपस्या और इतनी कठिन परीक्षा क्यों? आपके कंठ में पडी़ नरमुंड माला और अमर होने के रहस्य क्या हैं?

महादेव ने पहले तो देवी पार्वती के उन सवालों का जवाब देना उचित नहीं समझा, लेकिन पत्नीहठ के कारण कुछ गूढ़ रहस्य उन्हें बताने पडे़। शिव महापुराण में मृत्यु से लेकर अजर-अमर तक के कर्इ प्रसंंग हैं, जिनमें एक साधना से जुडी अमरकथा बडी रोचक है। जिसे भक्तजन अमरत्व की कथा के रूप में जानते हैं।

हर वर्ष हिम के आलय (हिमालय) में अमरनाथ, कैलाश और मानसरोवर तीर्थस्थलों में लाखों श्रद्घालु पहुंचते हैं। सैकडों किमी की पैदल यात्रा करते हैं, क्यों? यह विश्वास यूं ही नहीं उपजा। शिव के प्रिय अधिकमास, अथवा आषाढ़ पूर्णिमा से श्रावण मास तक की पूर्णिमा के बीच अमरनाथ की यात्रा भक्तों को खुद से जुडे रहस्यों के कारण और प्रासंगिक लगती है।

पौराणिक मान्याताओं के अनुसार, अमरनाथ की गुफा ही वह स्थान है जहां भगवान शिव ने पार्वती को अमर होने के गुप्त रहस्य बतलाए थे, उस दौरान उन ‘दो ज्योतियों’ के अलवा तीसरा वहां कोर्इ प्राणी नहीं था । न महादेव का नंदी और नही उनका नाग, न सिर पे गंगा और न ही गनपति, कार्तिकेय….!

सबसे पहले नंदी को पहलगाम पर छोड़ा महादेव ने

गुप्त स्थान की तलाश में महादेव ने अपने वाहन नंदी को सबसे पहले छोड़ा, नंदी जिस जगह पर छूटा, उसे ही पहलगाम कहा जाने लगा। अमरनाथ यात्रा यहीं से शुरू होती है। यहां से थोडा़ आगे चलने पर शिवजी ने अपनी जटाओं से चंद्रमा को अलग कर दिया, जिस जगह ऐसा किया वह चंदनवाडी कहलाती है। इसके बादगंगा जी को पंचतरणी में और कंठाभूषण सर्पों को शेषनाग पर छोड़ दिया, इस प्रकार इस पड़ाव का नाम शेषनाग पड़ा।


अगले पड़ाव पर गणेश छूटे

अमरनाथ यात्रा में पहलगाम के बाद अगला पडा़व है गणेश टॉप, मान्यता है कि इसी स्थान पर महादेव ने पुत्र गणेश को छोड़ा। इस जगह को महागुणा का पर्वत भी कहते हैं। इसके बाद महादेव ने जहां पिस्सू नामक कीडे़ को त्यागा, वह जगह पिस्सू घाटी है।

और शुरू हुर्इ शिव-पार्वती की कथा 

इस प्रकार महादेव ने अपने पीछे जीवनदायिनी पांचों तत्वों को स्वंय से अलग किया। इसके पश्चात् पार्वती संग एक गुफा में महादेव ने प्रवेश किया। कोर्इ तीसरा प्राणी, यानी कोर्इ कोई व्यक्ति, पशु या पक्षी गुफा के अंदर घुस कथा को न सुन सके इसलिए उन्होंने चारों ओर अग्नि प्रज्जवलित कर दी। फिर महादेव ने जीवन के गूढ़ रहस्य की कथा शुरू कर दी।


कथा सुनते-सुनते सो गर्इं पार्वती, कबूतरों ने सुनी

कहा जाता है कि कथा सुनते-सुनते देवी पार्वती को नींद आ गर्इ, वह सो गर्इं और महादेव को यह पता नहीं चला, वह सुनाते रहे। यह कथा इस समय दो सफेद कबूतर सुन रहे थे और बीच-बीच में गूं-गूं की आवाज निकाल रहे थे। महादेव को लगा कि पार्वती मुझे सुन रही हैं और बीच-बीच में हुंकार भर रही हैं। चूंकि वैसे भी भोले अपने में मग्न थे तो सुनाने के अलावा ध्यान कबूतरों पर नहीं गया।


वे कबूतर अमर हुए और अब गुफा में होते हैं उनके दर्शन

दोनों कबूतर सुनते रहे, जब कथा समाप्त होने पर महादेव का ध्यान पार्वती पर गया तो उन्हें पता चला कि वे तो सो रही हैं। तो कथा सुन कौन रहा था? उनकी दृष्टि तब दो कबूतरों पर पड़ी तो महादेव को क्रोध आ गया। वहीं कबूतर का जोड़ा उनकी शरण में आ गया और बोला, भगवन् हमने आपसे अमरकथा सुनी है। यदि आप हमें मार देंगे तो यह कथा झूठी हो जाएगी, हमें पथ प्रदान करें। इस पर महादेव ने उन्हें वर दिया कि तुम सदैव इस स्थान पर शिव व पार्वती के प्रतीक चिह्न में निवास करोगे। अंतत: कबूतर का यह जोड़ा अमर हो गया और यह गुफा अमरकथा की साक्षी हो गर्इ। इस तरह इस स्थान का नाम अमरनाथ पड़ा।

मान्यता है कि आज इन दो कबूतरों के दर्शन भक्तों को होते हैं। अमरनाथ गुफा में यह भी प्रकृति का ही चमत्कार है कि शिव की पूजा वाले विशेष दिनों में बर्फ के शिवलिंग अपना आकार ले लेते हैं। यहां मौजूद शिवलिंग किसी आश्चर्य से कम नहीं है। पवित्र गुफा में एक ओर मां पार्वती और श्रीगणेश के भी अलग से बर्फ से निर्मित प्रतिरूपों के भी दर्शन किए जा सकते हैं।

In the epic Mahabharata, the story of Belaarsen is seldom mentioned.

Belaarsen was the son of Ghatotkacha, and the grandson of Bhima. He was a brilliant warrior, and was given a boon of three magical arrows from Lord Shiva (Teen Baan), which is why he's also known as Teen Baandhari.
When the Kurukshetra was about to begin, Belaarsen promised his mother he'd participate in the war if he felt the fancy, only to aid the losing side, and wished to watch the war as a spectator otherwise.
During Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna went around asking people how long they'd take to end the war on their own. Even mighty warriors like Arjuna estimated they'd take 28 days, however Belaarsen promised Krishna he could end the war in a minute.
Krishna, perturbed, visited Belaarsen disguised as a Brahmin. He asked Belaarsen to demonstrate his arrows and realized they were infallible. The first arrow Belaarsen fired would mark all the things he wished to destroy. The second, if used, would mark all the things he wished to save. The third, finally, would destroy all the things the first had marked. To test out these arrows, Krishna asked Belaarsen to shoot down all the leaves from a nearby tree. However,he kept a leaf hidden under his  foot. Belaarsen, upon firing his first arrow, saw it mark all the leaves on the tree and then prick Krishna's foot. (This is another theory why Krishna's foot was a weak spot, along with Durvasa's curse)
Seeing this, Krishna realized it wasn't in his power to hide anything from Belaarsen's arrows, and the Pandavas wouldn't be safe from him.
 It dawned upon him that this man could single-handedly destroy the world if he so wished to, and he decided to nip this threat in the bud.
First, he explained to Belaarsen that if he chose to aid the losing side, the other side would start losing, and he'd be oscillating between the two sides and eventually be the only man left. He was also aware that Belaarsen was a generous man, and never refused to grant someone a boon, so he asked Belaarsen for his head as a sacrifice, to anoint the battlefield in the blood of the bravest Kshatriya. Belaarsen, obviously, grew suspicious of the Brahmin, and asked him to reveal his true self. Upon seeing Krishna in his divine glory, Belaarsen agreed to sacrifice himself on the condition he could watch the war. Krishna agreed, lopped his head off, and mounted it on a pole next to the battlefield.

Eventually, after Kurukshetra ended, the Pandavas were arguing over who had been the best warrior. Krishna suggested they go and aasked Belaarsen. On being questioned, he said "All I could see were two things. One, a divine chakra spinning all around the battle field, killing all those who were not on the side of Dharma. The other was Goddess Mahakali, who spread out her tongue on the battle field and consumed all the sinners as her sacrifice".
Hearing this, the Pandavas realized it was Lord Narayan, and Goddess Mahamaya who had cleansed the world with this war, and they had been mere instruments of this divine cleansing.



Having been seated on a window seat since seven songs, the indulgence in his favorite music band with headphones on was attacked by a gentle touch on his shoulder. He opened the eyes and moved his head, following a hand that led him to a pretty face of a middle-aged lady sitting beside him.


With the volume of the music so high that he could feel every beat directly banging his eardrums, he tried to guess what she could be saying based on gestures and movements of her lips.

"Excuse me, Can I please exchange my seat with your window seat?" were probably the words. "Okay now, I know it's a desirable seat but I came to this seat first so it belongs to me and despite how sincere I look I'm not going to give up my seat for you when I find no reason to do so, like you being sick or too old or blah whatever! So please let me enjoy my Linkin Park!", he already said in his head. This untold reply could explain his silent poker face for next few seconds following her request. But obviously that exaggerated reaction would not have been appreciated, therefore, he decided to utter some decent words out of his mouth demanding to know a good purpose for him to sacrifice his Window seat, but he stopped again.


The window seat! It is a preference of general public because of some obvious reasons including it being airy and distraction from chaotic rush inside the bus. Additionally, it may provide scenic beauty that may range from the ordinary hustle bustle of towns to landscapes where nature does not hesitate to present herself as impeccable muse. But for him, window seat holds some deeper meaning rather philosophical. He sits there comparing life to a journey of that in a bus.


Whenever he wants to reach a destination, there are two faces of reality that he becomes aware of. First, the apparent outside reality where everything seems so transient that he finds it left behind with each passing minimal unit of measuring time. On the other face of it, there is he, finding himself at the same place every time he gets hold of his apparent inside reality. Each time looking through the frame of a window seat, he feels 'the backfire effect' that apparent outside reality has changed inexplicably but he probably has not. And although at every bus stop, some parts of his outside reality become part of his inside reality and vice versa, it still remains almost the same. And while the destination may change and he may take a different bus, the journey feels the same.


This was all nuisance to be told to people and obviously not a suitable reason to get rude. He was still not prepared mentally to exchange the seat.


But, the next moment only, he plugged out his headphones, smiled and replied, "Sure Ma'am, it's a pleasure."

THE MODERN UTTARAKAAND

Disclaimer (For the 'Times of Offence”):

The following piece of writing is not meant to hurt anyone's religious or mythological sentiments, and written solely for the sake of entertainment. If you find yourself offended after reading it, remember that I've not read UTTARAKAAND myself but very fond of 'reprised’ version of art.


Raam has been really silent lately. He doesn't talk much, infact he doesn't talk at all. Despite of his charming face, he looks dull, like the moon on a cloudy sky. The romanticism between him and Sita has turned to melancholia and not like the residual sadness of True love or extremity of utter submission and dedication to your beloved spouse. Rather, it feels suffocating, a situation that a relationship has to face when it is influenced by external factors despite the strong connection between two people. Sita is witnessing everything. She knows, like everytime, he needs her help. She really wants to stand by his side and get it all sorted, but even she could not help laughing at the irony that this time this is exactly what he doesn't want; to let her stand by his side. So she takes the responsibility to enact what he wants.


The phone beeps and Raam recieves 'the mail’ from Sita :


“Look Raam, we needed to talk but now I just want to sort it my way.. Honestly, it's not working anymore. I know you love me. I've never doubted that, not even the times when I gave the 'Agni Parikshas’ of giving proofs that I'm only yours despite all the PDAs. I knew, even then, that our love doesn't need evidences, atleast you don't need evidences. But what to do about people. I understand that, it's okay. You hold an important position and media is all around you. To run the state(always the priority) and maintain its harmony, some soldiers ought to be sacrificed. I do not mind being one of those soldiers. I toh don't even have to die, just get separated from you. I will do that, for you, for the state. And you need not worry the tag that ‘your wife left you’. I will leave in silence so that your masculine image doesn't get hampered. Laxman will drop me somewhere I can live without getting in any contact with people I have spent my life with and for. I have always loved forests and apparently forests too have loved me equally that every now and then destiny conspires me to go into forests. Anyway, I wanted a solo trip, let it be this way(trying to be funny please smile). So yes, as soon as Laxman gives farewell to me I'll go internet-less. But don't you worry about anything. I can live in peace only with the hope that you are living good and benefitting our state. I also am very hopeful that our memories will be enough for both of us. I shall try my best to find truth in the saying that 'love stays even when the person doesn't’. I want to keep writing but I know no matter how much I write I will still feel I missed a lot of things that I wanted to convey. Your presence made me more like me. The fact that getting separated from you is like losing a little of myself, is really heavy but your love that makes me feel like flying, is keeping me steady and will keep me steady in future too.
In summary note:
I love you but Goodbye.

After few years, Raam needs proof to accept his sons and Sita finally comes to face Raam.

“ I don't know how to start but I think this would be okay - What the hell is this!
You know what, Since I left I always dreamt of meeting you again. But not even in one of those thousands of dreams, I had expected that it will be like this!
Matlab hadd hi ho gayi. Tum or tumahara state and this world! Simply putting, I can give infinite evidences for purity of my love as a lover or a wife. But as a mother, my motherhood will not be in custody for any judgement.
Fed up with you and this relationship and all these proofs. You continue to keep being 'Shakht launda’ in Zakir Khan style.
Par ese bhi kya Shakhti, wo bhi pighal jata hai but tum Nahi pighal sakhte.

I’m letting go of you and this world. I need my girls. Dharti, where are you yarr. You’ve always been there from the starting. I need you again.