One of the most AWESOME books I’ve read in the recent past.
So many novel ideas. A unique way of bridging mythology, philosophy, modern day issues
I found the whole concept of maika, information related to Vikarma, courtship of Shiva and Sati captivating!
Thank you for the wonderful read!
Here’s an excerpt from the Trilogy which resonated with me most:
“What are you thinking, my friend?” asked Gopal
Shiva turned to the chief Vasudev. ‘I was thinking that the primary source of Evil is human greed. It’s our greed to extract more and more from Good that turns it into Evil. Wouldn’t it be better if this was controlled at the source itself? Can we really expect humans not to be greedy? How many of us would be willing to control our desire to live for two hundred years? The dominance of the Somras over many years thousands of years has admittedly done both Good and Evil, but it will soon perish for all practical purposes. Isn’t it fair to say then that it has served no purpose in the large scheme of things? Perhaps it would have been better had the Somras not been invented. Why embark on a journey when you know that the destination takes you back to exactly where you began?…”
“Are there any journeys which do not take you back to where you began?”
Shiva frowned. ‘Of course there are.’
‘So what’s the point of it all?’
‘But that is the biggest folly, great Neelkanth; to think that we are on this path in order to get somewhere.’
‘No. The purpose is not the destination but the journey itself. Only those who understand this simple truth can experience true happiness.’
‘So are you saying that the destination, even purpose, does not matter? That the Somras had to just experience all this; to create so much Good for millennia and then to descend into creating Evil in equal measure. And then to have a Neelkanth rise who would end its journey. If one believes this, then in the larger scheme of things, the Somras has achieved nothing.’
‘Let me try to put it another way. I’m sure you’re aware of how it rains in India, right?’
‘Of course I am. One of your scientists had explained it to me. I believe the sun heats the waters of the sea, making it rise in the form of gas. Large masses of this water vapour coalesce into clouds, which are then blown over land by monsoon winds. These clouds rise when they hit the mountains, thus precipitating as rain.’
‘Perfect. But you have only covered half the journey. What happens after the water has rained upon us?’
Shiva’s knowing smile suggested that he was beginning to follow.
Gopal continued. ‘The water finds its way into streams and then rivers. And finally, the river flows back into the sea. Some of the water that comes as rain is used by humans, animals, plants – anything that needs to stay alive. But ultimately, even the water used by us escapes into the rivers and then back into the sea. The journey always ends exactly where it began. Now can we say that the journey of the water serves no purpose? What would happen to us if the sea felt that there is no point to this journey since it ends exactly where it begins?’
‘We would all die.’
‘Exactly. Now, one may be tempted to think that this journey of water results in only Good, right? Whereas the Somras has caused both Good and Evil.’
‘But of course,’ Shiva smiled wryly, ‘you would disabuse me of any such notion!’
Gopal’s smile was equally dry. ‘What about the floods caused by rains? What about the spread of disease that comes with the rains? If we were to ask those who have suffered from floods and disease, they may hold that rain is evil.’
‘Excessive rains are evil,’ corrected Shiva.
Gopal smiled and conceded. ‘True. So the journey of water from the sea back into the sea serves a purpose as it makes the journey of life possible on land. Similarly, the journey of the Somras served a purpose for many, including you. For your purpose is to end the journey of the Somras. What would you do if the Somras hadn’t existed?’
‘I can think of so many things! Lazing around with SAti for example. Or whiling away my time immersed in dance and music. That would be a good life…’
Gopal laughed softly. ‘But seriously, hasn’t the Somras given purpose to your life?’
Shiva smiled. ‘Yes it has.’
‘And your journey has given purpose to my life. For what is the point of being a chief Vasudev if I can’t help the next Mahadev?’
Shiva smiled and patted Gopal on his back.
‘Rather than the destination it is the journey that lends meaning to our lives, great Neelkanth. Being faithful to our path will lead to consequences, both good as well as evil. For that is the way of the universe.’
‘For instance, my journey may have a positive effect on the future of India. But it will certainly be negative for those who are addicted to the Somras. Perhaps that is my purpose.’
‘Exactly. Lord Vasudev had held we should be under no illusion that we are in control of our own breathing. We should realize the simple truth that we are “being breathed”;”When our purpose is served, our breathing will stop and the universe will change our form to something else, so that we may serve another purpose.’Shiva smiled.