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24-Dice Game

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24-Dice Game of Shiv and Paarvatee

Vakrokti Verses of Mayoor
Read about Mayoor here

chandra grahena vin? na-asmi rame ki? pravartayasyevam
devyai yadi rucitamida? nandinn ?h?yat?? raahu? ||4 ||

Paarvatee: Without staking some gold, I would not like to play. (Chandra means in archaic usage, gold. But here it may mean simply that since Shiv doesn't have any money, Paarvatee will not play without the stake of Chandra, the Moon). "Why are you make me (to play) like this?"

Shiv - "Nandee (the attendant of Shiv), Call Raahu, if it (Chandra Grahan) pleases the mistress. (If she doesn't like to play without (Chandra Grahan = the lunar eclipse), call Raahu, who will seize the Moon to create the Lunar eclipse]

Why Raahu and Ketu devour every year the Moon and the Sun?
[The story of the churning of the ocean Amrit Manthan has an epilogue after getting the nectar. The complete story of Samudra Manthan can be read in vikipedia here]

The story relevant here reads as follows - "As the nectar appeared on the ocean (according to some versions Dhanvantari, the incarnation of Vishnu and the first physician appeared with the nectar in his hand), by the joint effort of Dev and Asur, the Asur seized the pot of nectar (from the hands of Dhanvantari) and all began to quarrel over the possession of the pot. Then Vishnu appeared in an attractive form of Mohinee, persuading the Asur to handover the Amrit Kalash to Him who will serve it to both if they seated in two different rows. Accordingly, both sat in two different rows and Mohinee began to serve to the row of Dev only.

Knowing this, a demon Raahu, in the guise of dev had seated in their rows and drank the nectar served by Mohinee. But at the same time, the Soorya and Chandra pointed out this to Mohinee (Vishnu) who ordered his weapon disc Sudarshan to cut of his head into two immediately. Thus the two halves head and body separated, but still live. The head called Raahu devours every now and then, but could now swallow Chandra and Soorya to revenge. This is called "Grahan" or eclipse of the Sun and Moon according to Hindu mythology. Astrological accounts for the shadow nature of Raahu (Chhaayaa) and Ketu (comet) as the heaven bodies (Graha). The form of Raahu is described as that of a serpent, Raahu 's head is its head and his tail is called Ketu. This is the reason for referring to him as serpent also in the next verse by pun.

h? raahau ?itada???re bhayak?ti nika?asthite rati? kasya
yadi necchasi sa?tyakta? sa?pratyevai?a haarahi? ||

Paarvatee - "Alas, How anybody can have enjoyment (play) with the sharp-fanged terrifying Raahu (beside)?" (How can any one rejoice keeping a serpent by his side?)

Shiv replies interpreting it like this - "If it does not please you, I will remove the garlands of snake (haar + ahi = snake garland worn as ornament by Shiv)."

[Shiv wears serpents as ornaments as very often called naagabh??a?a. Shiv wears the skin of a tiger and has a snake twined round his neck. These two items of attire he acquired after defeating these beasts when they were sent to destroy him by jealous Rishi. Symbolically the serpent is the Jeev or the individual soul which rests upon Shiv, the Paramaatmaa or the supreme soul. The five hoods mean the five senses - Eyes, Ears, Tongue, Nose and Skin; or the five Tattwa - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. The five hoods also represent the five serpents represent the five Praan, which hiss in the body like the serpent. The inhalation and exhalation are like the hissing of the serpent. The individual soul enjoys the worldly objects through these Tattwa. When the individual attains knowledge through control of these senses and mind, he finds his eternal resting abode in Shiv, the supreme soul. This is the esoteric significance of Shiv's wearing the snake on his body. Shiv wears serpents as ornaments on his body. This indicates that Shiv is absolutely fearless and immortal. Generally serpents live for hundreds of years. Thus wearing of serpents by Shiv signifies that he is eternal.]

Aropayasi mudhaa ki? na'hamabhij?? kila twadaakasya |
divyaa varaa Sahasraa sthit veti na yuktam abhidhaatum ||

Paarvatee - "Why do you falsely attribute meanings otherwise (to my speeches)? I didn't mean any of your allegations. (a?ka means allegation or blemish and also lap).:

Shiv - "That is not fair to say that I do not know your a?ka = lap) after you had been sitting on it for thousands of divine years."
[Paarvatee is seated on the lap of Shiv according to mythological accounts. Here is a link to the image described as Aanandeshwar and Aanandeshwaree as such:

itthaa pashupati-pe?ala-p??aka-l?l?-prayukta-vakrokte? |
har?a-va?a-tarala-taarakam Ananamavy?d bhav?ny? va? ||

May the face of Bhavaanee, with the pupils of the eyes sparkling with joy, during the skilful dice play with Pashupati with these puns like tender nooses (pe?ala-p??aka-l?l? = skilful dice play and with the charm of nooses) protect you.

This means that Paarvatee wanted to avoid playing dice in all ways, but was compelled by Shiv leaving no chance to escape, by replying tit for tat for every excuses put forward by Paarvatee. She was pleased by the skilful replies of Shiv who escaped all the nooses to hook him and threw them at herself in return so that she was left no other way than to continue playing. The phrase "pashupati-pe?ala-p??aka-l?l?" also seems suggest the noose thrown to control the bull (Pashupati also means Jeev) running aghast in a sport.



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on February 12, 2013