Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Temples of India-7


The story of Jimuthavahana and Sankhachuda

We need to learn about this story, for this is how the place AppanaPalle got its name. 

Jimuthavahana was the son of Vidyadhara King Jimuthakethu. Vidhyadhara means those who have wisdom. Females are known as Vidyadharis. In Hindu mythology they are described as spirits of air, possessing great beauty, great magical powers. 

Jimuthavahana though very young, was a good king, kind, righteous and dutiful towards his subjects. He was caring and dutiful to his mother and father.

His parents who were old wanted to stay on the mountain named Malaya for sometime. Malaya mountain described in various Hindu mythologies, is said to be covered by thick virgin forests, surrounded by beautiful nature, a variety of colourful wild flowers, rivulets, waterfalls, ponds full of lotuses, many animals and birds living with peace and harmony. The air coming from the mountain (in the early morning hours) laden with the fragrance of sandal wood and flowers is said to be very beneficial to the living beings. 

He leaves his kingdom in the hands of his relatives and accompanies his parents to serve them. There he meets Malayavathi daughter of King Vishvavasu and marries her. 

One day while roaming around the slopes of Malaya along with Mitravasu, son of King Visvavasu and brother of Malayavathi, he comes across heaps and heaps of bones. he learns that they are the bones of Nagas(serpents). Mitravasu explains that Garuda the golden eagle, king of the birds and son of Vinata used to kill and eat the snakes. During this process,  many were killed, many eggs were broken and serpents died even before their birth. Young ones perished. 

So Vasuki, the King of serpents made a pact with Garuda saying that every day he will send one serpent for feeding him. Each day one serpent from one of the houses in his kingdom is to be supplied. That was how so many Nagas were killed and their bones and remainings were dumped in heaps.

Jimuthavahan feels sad at this destruction. He slowly wanders around on the mountain slopes looking at the ocean below thinking that it is the duty of a King to save his subjects. But Vasuki, the Naga King did not do that.

Suddenly he hears a woman crying. He walks towards the place and comes across a young man and an old woman crying inconsolably. The young man's name is Sankhchuda- a prince of Nagas. He was chosen for the day to be food for Garuda. The Messenger(sertvant) of the King Vasuki hands him red clothes to be worn and then stand on the sacrificing rock so that Garuda can see that he is the one that is food for him. 

The woman cries saying that my only son whom I begot after so many prayers and hundreds of vows is going to be killed. How can I live with out him? 

Jimuthavahan moved by the pleas and crying of the old woman offers himself to be food for Garuda in place of Sankhachuda. Sankhachuda does not agree to this. He says that it is his duty to obey his kings orders. 

Jimuthavahana argues and argues but Sankhachuda does not agree. He bids adieu to his mother and goes off to visit the shrine near by for one last time before Garuda eats him. 

So what happened next.....was Sankhachuda was killed? 

Just read it in my next post.......

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