Praise for the Shiva Trilogy 'Amish's mythical imagination mines the past and taps into the possibilities of the future. lord shiva. Pages·· MB·4, Downloads. I bow before and pay my obeisance to Lord Shiva who is the universal and most In this holy book. wm-greece.info Sita: Warrior of Mithila Amish Tripathi Sita: Warrior of Mithila. The Oath of the Vayuputras: Shiva Trilogy.
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up to The Immortals Of Meluha. Its author Amish, an IIM graduate, created a delightful mix of mythology and history by making Lord Shiva the hero of his trilogy. The Hindu The idea of The Shiva Trilogy excited me because this sort of experimentation with Indian mythology is long overdue in popular literature, especially. footer_author_pic. Amish is a born, IIM (Kolkata)-educated boring banker turned happy author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha.
There's a suspicious character if there ever was one! But, the book is not perfect either. Many issues are brought up and then never addressed again, or explained properly. Or this mysterious plague that seems to affect them, nothing is mentioned as to what it is or why it is happening or how it started and it is never brought up again after that chapter.
Sati annoyed me a bit in this book. Anandamayi, however, was a delight to read about. I couldn't help but grin every time that feisty, saucy girl sauntered onto the page! The author often uses the story to put forth his opinion on many issues - like Karma, ethics, consequentialism, existentialism and the balance of Good and Evil.
Though it is clearly intended to make you think, sometimes it does get a bit too much. I get that the author has tried to give the story as modern a take as possible, but I can't quite digest the fact that these people know of "radio waves" and "accumulator machines" OR that they say things like "You're a year old virgin?? Just me? But maybe that's just me. The desertification of the land to the south of this delta is already complete. Can you imagine the impact on Meluha?
On India? Even our preeminent scripture, the Rig Veda, sings paeans to the Saraswati. It is not only the cradle, but also the lifeblood of our civilisation. What will happen to our future generations without this great river? The Vedic way of life itself is at risk. What we are doing is taking away the lifeblood of our future progeny so that our present generation can revel in the luxury of living for two hundred years or more.
Would it be so terrible if we lived for only a hundred years instead? He could see the terrible side-effects and the ecological destruction caused by the Somras.
An Evil which left only one option: a Dharmayudh, a holy war, to destroy it. The primary relief thus far had been the medicine procured from the Nagas. Or else exotic medicines extracted after killing the sacred peacock, leading to the Brangas being ostracised even in peace-loving cities like Kashi.
A problem we have never truly tackled. It cannot be disposed of on land, because it can poison entire districts through ground water contamination. It cannot be discharged into the sea. The Somras waste reacts with salt water to disintegrate in a dangerously rapid and explosive manner. Did Brahaspati accompany me to Karachapa the first time to pick up sea water? Was that used to destroy Mount Mandar? Brahaspati continued.
When used to wash the Somras waste, over a period of several years, fresh water appeared to reduce its toxic strength. This was proven with some experiments at Mount Mandar. It seemed to work especially well with cold water. Ice was even better. Obviously, we could not use the rivers of India to wash the Somras waste in large quantities. We could have ended up poisoning our own people. Therefore, many decades ago, a plan was hatched to use the high mountain rivers in Tibet.
They flow through uninhabited lands and their waters are almost ice-cold. They would therefore work perfectly to clean out the Somras waste. There is a river high up in the Himalayas, called Tsangpo, where Meluha decided to set up a giant waste treatment facility.
In secret. Ten small pouches are all it takes. It is converted into the Somras drink at designated temples across Meluha when mixed with water and other ingredients. But even that small quantity packs in a huge amount of poison. So this waste facility was set up in Tibet? The river flowed east, so it would go to relatively unpopulated lands away from India. Therefore, our land would not suffer from the harmful effects of the Somras.
The eastern lands that lie beyond Swadweep? What about the Tibetan land around Tsangpo itself? The Meluhans kept track of the people living along the Tsangpo. There were no outbreaks of disease, no sudden deformities. The icy river waters seemed to be working at keeping the toxins inactive.
The Vayuputra council was given these reports. Apparently, the council also sent scientists into the sparsely populated lands of Burma, which is to the east of Swadweep. It was believed the Tsangpo flowed into those lands and became the main Burmese river, the Irrawaddy. Once again, there was no evidence of a sudden rise in diseases. Hence it was concluded that we had found a way to rid ourselves of the Somras waste without harming anyone.
A solution had been found. This came down to the scientists of Mount Mandar as received wisdom as well. It was simply assumed that the river comes from the east; because it flows west into Branga. The Nagas, with the help of Parshuram, finally mapped the upper course of the Brahmaputra.
It falls at almost calamitous speeds from the giant heights of the Himalayas into the plains of Branga through gorges that are sheer walls almost two thousand metres high.
But Parshuram succeeded and led the Nagas along that path. Queen Kali and Lord Ganesh did. Is it connected to the Tsangpo in any way? At the eastern extremities of the Himalayas, it takes a sharp turn, almost reversing its flow. It then starts moving south-west and crashes through massive gorges before emerging near Branga as the Brahmaputra.
The cold waters of the Tsangpo dilute the poisonous impact to a degree. However, as the river enters India in the form of the Brahmaputra, the rising temperature reactivates the dormant toxin in the water. Though the Branga children also suffer from the same body-wracking pain as the Nagas, they are free from deformities. Sadly, Branga also has a high incidence of cancer. Being highly populous, the number of deaths is simply unacceptable. That is the time when ice melts faster in the Himalayas, making the poison flow out in larger quantities.
Even though we told King Chandraketu how his kingdom was being poisoned, some Brangas prefer to believe that the plague strikes every year because of a curse that the Nagas have cast upon them.
If only we were that powerful! But it appears that at least Chandraketu believes us. This is why he sends us men and gold regularly, to stealthily attack Somras manufacturing facilities, the root of all our problems.
Raise the issue in Meluha or with the Vayuputras? He turned to the one intellectual he trusts, the venerable royal priest, Raj guru Bhrigu. Lord Bhrigu seemed genuinely interested and took me to the Vayuputra council so I could present my case before them, but they were not at all supportive. This was where the issue was effectively killed.
Nobody was willing to believe me about the source of the Brahmaputra. They also laughed when they heard that I was ostensibly listening to the Nagas.
According to them, the Nagas were now ruled by an extremist harridan whose frustration with her own karma made everyone else the object of her ire. Shiva smiled at Kali before turning back to Brahaspati. So the plague could have been caused by their bad practices and karma rather than the Somras. Remember, there is little sympathy for the Brangas amongst the Vayuputras because it is well known that they drink the blood of peacocks, a bird that is held holy by any follower of Lord Rudra.
Emperor Daksha is weak and can be easily influenced. He could have brought about changes in Meluha. The Vayuputra council does not govern your country. On returning to Meluha I received a letter from her telling me that she was disappointed with my tirades against the Somras.
I asked Lord Bhrigu to check with his friends in Pariha. I was told that she had just disappeared. It was a message for me. Keep quiet or else Had I made the issue any bigger within Meluha, I would have lost what little standing I have amongst the Suryavanshis as well.
I would have lost my ability to do anything at all. Though I knew I had to do something, I also realised that the strategy of open lobbying and debate had become counter-productive. There were too many vested interests tied into the Somras.
Only the Vayuputra council could have had the moral strength to stop it openly, through the institution of the Neelkanth. But they refused to believe that the Somras had turned evil. But I had to do something. Maharishi Bhrigu was convinced there was nothing to fear from the Somras waste.
So the manufacturing of Somras continued at the same frantic pace. The Saraswati kept getting prodigiously consumed. Somras waste was being generated in huge quantities. Since the empire now believed that cold, fresh water had worked in disposing of the toxic waste, new plans were being drawn up to use other rivers.
This time the idea was to use the upper reaches of either the Indus or the Ganga. We were going to unleash toxic waste right through the heart of India. Almost as a message from the Parmatma, the ultimate soul, I was approached by Lord Ganesh around this time. He had formulated a plan, and I must admit his words made eminent sense. There could be only one possible solution. The destruction of Mount Mandar. Without Mount Mandar, there would be no Somras. And with the Somras gone, all these problems would disappear too.
When it happened, I knew in my heart that it was time for the destruction of Evil. The Neelkanth appeared. It was the final sign for me: the time to destroy Evil was upon us. The hunting party went down on their knees. Kartik, who was right behind Vishwadyumna, whistled softly as his eyes lit up. Kartik, having proved himself as an accomplished hunter throughout the journey to Panchavati, was the natural leader of one of the groups.
Vishwadyumna had accompanied the son of the Neelkanth. He intensely admired the fierce warrior skills of Kartik. The rhinoceros was a massive animal, nearly four metres in length.
It had bumpy brownish skin that hung over its body in multiple layers, suggestive of tough armour. Its most distinctive feature was its nasal horn, which stuck out like a fearsome offensive weapon, to a height of nearly fifty centimetres. These beasts have terrible eyesight, but they have a fantastic sense of smell and hearing.
They were quiet animals who kept to themselves, but if threatened, they could charge wildly.
Few could survive a direct blow from their massive body and terrifying horn. Kartik reached over his shoulder and drew out the two swords sheathed on his back.
In his left hand was a short twin-blade, like the one his elder brother Ganesh favoured. In his right was a heavier one with a curved blade which was certainly not appropriate for thrusting. This weapon was perfect for swinging and slashing — a style of fighting Kartik excelled at. Make as much noise as you can. I want you to drive it forward.
Too many soldiers charging in will cramp us. All it would need to do is swing its mighty horn and it would cause several casualties. Do you really think our arrows can actually penetrate deep enough to cause serious damage? Along with the noise, the stench of your soldiers will also drive the animal forward. Like all warriors, Vishwadyumna admired humour in the face of danger.
But he checked his smile, not sure if Kartik was joking. The soldiers meanwhile, moved upwind, behind the rhinoceros. Having reached his position, Kartik whistled softly. A volley of arrows attacked the animal as the soldiers began to scream loudly.
The rhinoceros raised its head, ears twitching as the arrows bounced harmlessly off its skin. As the soldiers drew closer, some of the missiles managed to penetrate enough to agitate the beast. The animal snorted mightily and stomped the dirt, radiating strength and power as light gleamed off its tiny black eyes. It lowered its head and charged, its feet thundering against the ground.
Kartik was in position. The beast only had side vision and could not see straight ahead. Therefore, it was no surprise that it crashed into an overhanging branch in its path, which made it change its direction slightly.
At which point, it saw Kartik standing to its right. The furious rhinoceros bellowed loudly, changed course back to the original path and charged straight towards the diminutive son of Shiva. Kartik remained stationary and calm, with his eyes focused on the beast.
His breathing was regular and deep. The animal was running, guided by the memory of where it had seen Kartik last. Vishwadyumna fired arrows into the animal rapidly, hoping to slow it down.
But the thick hide of the beast ensured that the arrows did not make too much of a difference. It was running straight towards Kartik. Vishwadyumna could see the boy warrior holding his swords lightly.
That was completely wrong for a stabbing action, where the blade needs to be firmly held. Just when it appeared that he was about to be trampled underfoot, Kartik bent low and, with lightning speed, rolled towards the left. As the rhinoceros continued running, he slashed out, his left sword first, pressing the lever on the hilt as he swung. One of the twin-blades extended out of the other, slicing through the front thigh of the beast, cutting through muscles and veins.
Admirably, it still continued its charge, its three good legs heaving against its bulk as it struggled to turn and face its attacker. Kartik ran forward, following the movement of the animal, now circling in from behind the beast. He hacked brutally with his right hand, which held the killer curved sword. The blade sliced through the thigh of the hind leg, cutting down to the bone with its deep curvature and broad metal.
With both its right legs incapacitated, the rhinoceros collapsed to the ground, rolling sideways as it tried to stand with only two good legs, writhing in pain.
Its blood mixed with the dusty earth to make a dark red-brown mud that smeared across its body as it flailed against the ground, panting in fear.
Kartik stood quietly at a short distance, watching the animal in its final throes. Vishwadyumna watched from behind, his mouth agape. He had never seen an animal brought down with such skill and speed.
Kartik approached the rhinoceros calmly. Even though immobilised, the beast reared its head menacingly at him, grunting and whining in a high-pitched squeal.
Kartik maintained a safe distance as the other soldiers rapidly ran up to him. The son of the Neelkanth bowed low to the animal. I am only doing my duty. I will finish this soon.
He took the letter from Kanakhala and dismissed her. With a polite Namaste towards her Emperor and Empress, Kanakhala turned to leave. The last few months had inured her to the strange goings-on in Meluha. Kanakhala had lost all respect for her emperor. She continued with her job because she remained loyal to Meluha. But what earthly reason could there be for the Swadweepan emperor to go as well? Daksha began to cry.
Veerini immediately reached over and snatched the letter from him. As she read through it quickly, Veerini let out a deep sigh of relief as tears escaped from her eyes. For Bhrigu, the greatest gain would be that the Somras would not be targeted by the Neelkanth.
The faith of the people in the legend of the Neelkanth was strong. If the Neelkanth declared that the Somras was evil and decided to toe the Naga line, so would his followers. For Dilipa it meant the killing of two birds with a single stone. Daksha would be rid of the troublesome Neelkanth and be able to blame all ills on the Nagas once again.
The plan was perfect. Except that Daksha could not countenance the killing of his daughter. He was willing to put everything on the line to ensure that Sati was left unharmed. Bhrigu and Dilipa had hoped that with the rupture in relations between Daksha and his daughter, the Meluhan emperor would support this mission wholeheartedly.
They were wrong. Veerini had covertly kept in touch with her daughter Kali through all these years of strife, and had made Daksha aware of the river warning and defence system of the Nagas.
All that had to be done was to get the alarm triggered in time. He was to escape and return to Meluha after that.
The Arishtanemi brigadier and acting general of the Meluhan army had carried a homing pigeon with him to deliver the news of the subsequent battle to Daksha. The happy message for the Meluhan emperor was that the progeny Daksha cared for — Sati and Kartik — were alive and safe. Veerini looked at her husband. He shook his head. And never breathe a word of this to anyone. He took the letter from Veerini and set it aflame, holding it by the edge for as long as possible, to ensure that every part of it had charred beyond recognition.
Night had fallen on the Panchavati guest colony just outside the main city. Sati and Shiva were in their chambers, having just returned from the city. They had not even told the Suryavanshis that Brahaspati, their beloved chief scientist, was still alive.
They were to meet him again the next day. He is a rare sight in Meluha, since he usually chooses to spend his time meditating in his Himalayan cave.
He helped my father get elected as emperor because he believed my father would be good for Meluha. Beyond that Lord Bhrigu has had no interest in the day-to-day governance of Meluha.
He is a simple man, rarely seen in the so-called powerful circles. That may have been unusual, but what about the other things that Brahaspati said? Perhaps they were in Pariha at the time. And yes, the talented and lovely Taraji, who worked at Mount Mandar and had been sent to Pariha for a project, did disappear suddenly.
It was announced that she had taken sanyas. Renouncing public life is very common in Meluha. But what Brahaspatiji revealed today was something else altogether. But is it actually so or is he mistaken? This decision of yours can change the course of history.
What you do now will have repercussions for generations to come. It is a momentous occasion, a big battle. You have to be completely sure. What made Brahaspatiji disappear for over five years? What was he doing in Panchavati all this while? I feel this is an important question; perhaps linked to the back-up manufacturing facility for the Somras that father had told me about. But if the Somras is Evil, that facility is the key.
A manufacturing facility can always be rebuilt.
But wherever it is built, it will always need the Saraswati waters. Kali told me at Icchawar that her people attacked Meluhan temples and Brahmins only if they were directly harming the Nagas.
Maybe those temples were production centres that used the powder from Mount Mandar to manufacture the Somras drink for the locals. She also said that a final solution would emerge from the Saraswati. That the Nagas were working on it. We need to find out. You thought that Ganesh had killed Brahaspatiji. Now that the truth has emerged, you are willing to listen. It was late the next morning, four hours into the second prahar.
Shiva sat with Sati at his side in his private chambers. Parvateshwar and Bhagirath stood in front, holding a plank. The Meluhan general and the Ayodhyan prince had just returned after surveying the destroyed battleships. Lord Parvateshwar has identified them. These ships had navigated through a lot of sea water, judging by the molluscs on them. They needed the best to be able to make the journey quickly.
He simply does not have the capability. He is just a follower in this plot. You have to target him, of course. He is not. Emperor Daksha too is incapable of leading this conspiracy. In the hands of a lesser king, this can lead to a lot of wrong.
There is a master who has brought the royalty of Meluha and Swadweep together. Someone who also managed to procure the feared daivi astras. Heaven alone knows if he has any more divine weapons. It was a brilliant plan. It cannot be Emperor Daksha or Emperor Dilipa.
This is someone of far greater importance, intelligence and resource. And, one who is clever enough to conceal his identity. Kali and Sati were also present.
Before they do so, I want you to slip into Meluha quietly and take our people to Kashi. I will meet you there. After that, you are on your own. After that we can travel on boats plying on the river. With luck, we will reach Devagiri in another two weeks.
The Gunas are in a small village not far from there. Go now. Veerbhadra and Krittika turned around. Shiva knew Veerbhadra would not abandon her to her fate so easily. You will be of no use to your mother if you are dead, Bhadra. If you cannot get them out, I will. But do not do anything rash. Promise me. What have you discovered here? Why are you so afraid suddenly? Is there going to be a war?
Is Meluha going to become our enemy? Had you asked me a month back, I would have said this would be the safest journey possible. A lot has changed since then. You have to tell me the truth. I deserve that. Anandmayi, Ayurvati and Kartik were settled comfortably on soft cushions in the dining room. Kshatriya in word and deed, Anandmayi and Kartik partook of the delicious rhinoceros meat. The Brahmin Ayurvati restricted herself to roti, dal and vegetables.
You need to enjoy your childhood. He has so much to contribute to society, to the country. And yet, he was almost eaten alive by dumb beasts because he was trying to save me. Parvateshwar and Bhagirath walked in. Just by looking at them, Anandmayi could tell that they had discovered what she feared. Parvateshwar sat next to Anandmayi and held her hand. He looked at Ayurvati, his pained expression bearing witness to his stark misery.
It was the custodian of Ram Rajya. It seems Swadweep is in on the conspiracy as well. But Ayodhya is certainly involved. She looked at Parvateshwar. He seemed lost and unsure. Change was horrible for the Suryavanshis, for the people of the masculine, used as they were to unchanging rules and stark predictability. She smiled warmly. He halfsmiled back. Kartik quietly put his plate down, washed his hands and walked out of the room. Non-Nagas were not allowed inside the inner city.
In truth, many of them, Brangas included, refused to enter due to a strong superstition about the misfortune that would befall those that did. And anyway, nobody wanted to enforce an entry ban on them.
The five tree idols showed the ancient King, respected as the seventh Vishnu, in the five different roles of his life known to all: a son, a husband, a brother, a father and a godly king. Each banyan trunk depicted him in a different form. In each form, in a manner that somehow appeared natural, the sculptors had made the idols look towards the temple of Lord Rudra and Lady Mohini at one corner of the square.
Their idols, on the other hand, were placed in the front section of the temple as opposed to the back as in most temples, with the effect that the two deities appeared to be looking at all five tree idols as well.
It seemed as if the architects intended to show the great Mahadev and the noble seventh Vishnu being respectful to each other. But it was an order of Bhoomidevi, our founding Goddess, that Lord Ram always be shown alone in Panchavati. Especially at the five banyans. Perhaps she wanted us to always remember that great leaders, like the Vishnus and the Mahadevs, may have millions following them. But at the end of the day, they carry the burden of their mission alone. He is the one who stands between Evil and India.
If he fails, life in the subcontinent will be destroyed by Evil. Ganesh shook his head.
Ganesh frowned. He never lied to Kartik. He considered his brother an adult and treated him as such. They are the elite. They are addicted to the benefits they derive from Evil.
It is obvious that the elite will want to stop him. How has it entrenched its claws so deeply? You are not to tell anyone else. Ganesh sat next to Kartik and explained to him about what Brahaspati and Shiva had discussed the previous day.
Brahaspati felt like he was being interrogated. We know it will get rebuilt. The Nagas tell me the reconstruction has been surprisingly slow. Not with Meluhan efficiency. So we have to find a permanent solution.
If we can somehow control that, we could possibly control the poisonous impact of the Somras waste. Many ingredients can be easily replaced. But two of them cannot. The first are the bark and branches of the Sanjeevani tree, and the second is the Saraswati water.
We cannot control the availability of the Sanjeevani tree. Meluha has large plantations of it across its northern reaches. How many plantations can one destroy? Besides, trees can always be replanted.
That brings us to the Saraswati. Can we somehow control its waters? By taking one of its main tributaries, the Yamuna, away from it and redirecting its flow towards the Ganga. How can anyone think that they would have the ability to change the course of a river? What happened a hundred years ago was an earthquake that changed the course of the Yamuna.
And Meluhans do have the technology to change the course of rivers. They built giant embankments to block and change the course of the Yamuna to make it flow back into the Saraswati. Destroy the Yamuna embankments? I had considered it, but that is impossible as well. They have many fail-safe options. It would take five brigades and months of open work to be able to destroy those embankments.
We would obviously have had to work in secret with a small number of people. We cannot take the Saraswati away. But could we make the Saraswati much less potent in the production of the Somras?