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arts / rec.arts.books / The God of War (Book 1) by Arindam Banerjee, Melbourne

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o The God of War (Book 1) by Arindam Banerjee, MelbourneArindam Banerjee

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The God of War (Book 1) by Arindam Banerjee, Melbourne

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From: banerjee...@gmail.com (Arindam Banerjee)
 by: Arindam Banerjee - Sat, 13 Apr 2024 03:35 UTC

Published in the following facebook timeline yesterday -
https://www.facebook.com/arindam.banerjee.31149359/
the first book of

The God of War – 1
The Chinnamasta Devi

Nothing can stand between a woman and her way – this all men, who are
experienced, do know. An enraged woman is more fierce than an angry
tigress; if diversion is not possible, it is wisest to move away - be
elsewhere, if submission is too expensive.

The Great Goddess, the Mahadevi, is the most womanly of women. Her rages,
when Her way gets thwarted by Her husband, the Good Lord, the Mahadeva,
are the most terrible.

“Run, Shiva, run!” Had He done so, a lot of trouble could have been
avoided. But our dear Lord Shiva, He has no guile, nor is He a coward. He
is simple and straightforward. He simply repeated to his wife, Sati,
“You must not go to your father’s house”.

Must not, indeed! How dare He! What did He think he was? Her master?
Was She His slave, to have to obey His wish? Did He think that She would
be restricted anyhow? She was His equal, His partner, and this He had
better know, in no uncertain terms.

And yet, She knew, She was bound to Him. She could not just leave Him, and
do as She wished, as if the marriage bond meant nothing much. He had to
agree to Her leaving Him to go to Her father’s house.

But She could go into terrible rages, and that She did. Our dear lord,
Shiva, stood His ground. He was not finding any chance to explain.

In Her rage, and in efforts to frighten Shiva into submission, the
Mahadevi took on the most horrible postures – far beyond the scope of
any mortal woman. Finally She cut off Her own head, held it in one of Her
hands, and directed the blood flowing out of Her neck into the mouth of
Her severed head.

This form of the Mahadevi, Her most violent and terrible form, is known
and worshipped to this day as the Chinnamasta Devi.

As we know, upon seeing this form of the Goddess, Shiva relented and gave
Sati the permission She wanted. The consequences for that, He knew in
advance, for Shiva is all-knowing, cutting through the barriers of Time.

Yes, the consequences would be terrible, as Shiva knew full well. Why did
he then stop remaining unmoved? Was it because in the Chinnamasta, with
His Divine Vision He could see, resulting inevitably from that terrible
form, the creation of his wonderful son, the Kumara? He, the most
brilliant, the bravest, the invincible, the kindest, the most beautiful
and the most charming of Gods – the Shuvramaniyam? How could He stop the
birth of such a God!

The God of War – 2
The Marriage of Shiva

Other Gods may love finery and pleasure, but not Shiva, the Good. Lonely
he existed, in the most remote haunts, meditating most deeply into the
core of all things, to find sec rets unknown. In such search, there is no
scope for any show-off. There is no competition! Practically all are
incurious, self-satisfied, absorbed in their own immediate matters. “Let
him be – he is mad, or in the grip of drugs.”

Only those blessed by Shiva may understand - little though it be - about
the ways of the Great God, the Mahadev.

To be single, alone, to roam for ever and ever the vast expanses of time
and space, to probe into the deepest with the most minute detail; gaining
ever increasing knowledge, strength, wisdom, insight, compassion… and
not to be able to share! Is that a blessing or a curse, the grandeur of
loneliness? Not to find, nor even to know, in the fleeting moments of
conjugal intimacy, the reflection; and yet, what is not the reflection, of
one’s innermost feelings and longings! Of what purpose the grand
beauties and challenges of the universe, if all that remain confined to
just the self’s experience - never to be shared, never to be continued?
But where, where was the significant other? The One, who with Her magic,
would transform His life, make new life?

Thus desire rose deeply in the Mahadev. It radiated from His being,
spread through the aether, making all that was sensitive and desirable
tremble with anticipation. All those who could feel, felt; no one felt
more deeply than Sati, the daughter of the King Daksha, the king of the
Gods, and men.

Sati had adored Shiva from the moment She had heard of Him. There could
be no one else for Her. Her strength of character, Her immense beauty and
charm, Her grace and kindness – had no other source; and grew from day
to day. The glow from all that matched the desire in the Mahadev – they
were destined to meet, and marry.

Daksha had many daughters; the youngest of them was Sati; she was the only
one yet unmarried. For Sati, he organised a grand sway-am-var, the
ceremony where the bride freely chooses for her husband whoever she
wanted. Gods and kings came to attend the sway-am-var, to win the hand of
the matchless Sati.

It all happened so long ago, that it may appear unbelievable to us now
what the Gods looked like, in the time of Sati. We are informed by Sister
Nivedita, who faithfully followed the popular Indian traditional
thinking, that They cast no shadow, for They were illumined from within,
and that They were unblinking! When she wrote her book “Cradle Stories
of Hinduism” there was no notion of computers, let alone androids or
cyborgs! Strange, how the sounds from the distant past may provide some
understanding for the realisations in the near future! Cyclic, then, is
the nature of the universe, with time and space forever jostling; and at
time, splashing.

As our knowledge about the Gods are far from perfect, we can but humbly
try to understand Them as best our wits and knowledge can manage. Where do
They exist? In our stories, They come to Earth from time to time.
Otherwise, They inhabit a region we can know nothing about – it is
Heaven, which we may reach, with our spiritual form, after we die. So
what are we? If we believe in the Gods and Heaven, then we are Gods in
mortal form, if we are good; if we are bad, we are devils destined for
Hell. If we do not believe in the Gods and Heaven, then there is no
question nor notion of any intrinsic good or evil; consideration exists
only for convenience and profit. Those unsure are clouded by the veil of
ignorance; when that veil is removed, one finds one’s true status, as
fundamentally divine, albeit flawed maybe!

At the time of Sati, and right up to the legends in the Mahabharata, the
Gods and Goddesses roamed the Earth, and mingled with humans, often
exhibiting Their superior powers. We worship Them to this day, even though
They do not exist in physical form as they once did. We additionally
associate Them with physical and abstract aspects of Nature: thus the God
of Absolute Truth, Agni, manifests as sacred fire; Surya, the most giving
of Gods, manifests as the Sun. Goddesses manifest as rivers; in
manifestations of knowledge and music as Sarasvati; in the show of grace
and wealth as Lakshmi. To the rational mind this seems romantic; to the
“romantics” this is the height of ecstatic experience! To be
perennially enveloped, most directly, and all the time, by the Gods and
Goddesses! Reliable and constant sources of joy and inspiration! Unfailing
guides for the avoidance of perils and evils!

To repeat, the Gods Who came to Earth hoping to wed Sati were, as Sister
Nivedita informs us, unblinking and illuminated from within. Did They
originate from some planet orbiting a distant star? Were They very
advanced beings who had changed their bodies with high technology to be
immortal? Were They responsible for the genetic manipulation of Earthly
hominids to make them in their own image? Did They create, over billions
of years, the non-human species? Who knows!

Shiva had not been invited by Daksha for the sway-am-vara. Daksha hated
Shiva, for Shiva had not bowed down and touched his feet, at the banquet
for the ceremony that made Daksha the Overlord. Yes, Daksha was the King
of the Gods, everyone else bowed down and touched his feet; but Shiva,
being the greatest God, did not do that, out of sheer kindness. Had He
touched Daksha’s feet, Daksha’s head would have rolled off instantly,
for that is what happens when the superior genuflects to the inferior!
What was equally galling was that Shiva, unlike Daksha and the other Gods,
had no use for pomp and finery. Instead of fine silks and jewels, Shiva
wore ashes and a pink loin-cloth, and had only a staff and a bowl for
further material possessions. Like any beggar! Daksha’s pride made his
anger and hatred for Shiva grow more and more; while Shiva on the other
hand quite forgot the incident.

In a great circle in the splendid court of Daksha, the Kings and Gods sat
on magnificent thrones, awaiting the decision of Sati. What could she do?
The One she wanted to marry would not be there!

Sati entered the circle with trepidation. Any of the great personages
there, seeking her hand, would provide a luxurious life for her. Her
father would be happy and proud, with the new alliance. She would be
hailed a dutiful daughter. All would be smooth sailing!

But, no! There was nothing in the circle of suitors but despair for Sati.
She threw up her garland of flowers in the air, in desperation, saying out
loud, that if Shiva considered her worthy, may He receive her garland!


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arts / rec.arts.books / The God of War (Book 1) by Arindam Banerjee, Melbourne

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