Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arachne and Chenkannan - Spiderwoman and Spiderman

Greek mythology: Story starts off with a woman and her next life as Spider
Arachne: Wild-eyed* mortal
Mortal woman with excellent weaving and embroidery skills.
Athena: Green-eyed* goddess
The greek goddess of wisdom and skill and elegance
Duel between the mortal and the goddess:
She boasted too loud about her skills as a weaver. She once even boasted that she is better than Athena.
Annoyed by her arrogance, Athena called out a duel and both wove.

Athena's work had God Poseidon and mortals as inferior beings to teach Arachne her place.
Arachne's work had the flaws of gods - illegitimate dirty playboy conquests of Zeus.

This insult and mockery angered Athena and she struck the work with her shuttle and tore it into pieces. And she touched Arachne's head and injected guilt and shame. Which made the mortal woman hung herself on a rope.

To teach other mortals a lesson, Athena turned her into a spider. Till today the species Arachnida continues to hang on a thread and keeps weaving constantly and endlessly.

Hindu mythology: Story starts off with a spider and it's next life as a King.
Chenkannan :  Red-eyed king
Chenkannan - Chola King, his name literally means red-eyed king. This king in his previous life was a pious wide-eyed spider.

Spider: Wide-eyed* spider
Spider - ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Daily it used to spin a web over Lingam (Idol of Shiva) under the Jambu tree to prevent it from getting soiled by falling leaves.
White elephant: open-eyed* elephant
And in same place another devotee of Shiva a white elephant lived too, which felt annoyed by the dirty web and cleaned the place to retain the holiness and adorned the linga with flowers.
Elephant clears the web and does puja and next day spider builds the web over the Linga to protect. This continued for sometime.
Duel between spider and the elephant:
The annoyed spider one day entered into trunk of the elephant and bit it hard, the pain and poison caused the elephant to die. The spider died as well when Elephant fell to death.
Lord Shiva was pleased by service of both the Elephant and the Spider.

Lord Shiva gifted spider it's next life as a King.
Gifted curse:
Chenkannan built a huge temple for Lord Shiva in Thiruvanaikaval but the actual place of worship of Lord Shiva ie sanctum sanctorum would be small and is in basement level in contrast to the entire infrastructure of the temple.
Even in his next life as King he couldnt forget the feud with elephant and had to build the temple to prevent entry of elephants into Shiva's sanctum sanctorum ;-)

*wild-eyed - idealistic and unrealistic
*green-eyed - jealousy
*wide-eyed - childlike
*open-eyed - watchful


Greek : You can take amour propre out of a mortal, but you cant take jealousy out of a goddess bitch.

Hindu : You can make a king out of a spider, but you cant take the spider out of the king.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pelops and Chiralan - Sons offered as feast to Gods

 Pelops people at Zeu#83FF6.jpg
Image source
Greek mythology:
Son of Tantalus, king of Mt.Sipylus.
Cannibal feast:
To offer Olympians maybe to humiliate them, the dad voluntarily cut his son Pelops into pieces and made his flesh into a stew and served it to gods.
Demeter, who was mourning about her daughter's kidnap by Hdes wasnt thinking and ate the shoulder and the stew. The other gods understood the plot and got angry.
They brought Pelops back to life with the remains but since his shoulder was digested by Demeter, had to be replaced with ivory.
After Pelops' resurrection,he was taken to Olympus, was taught drive the divine chariot.

Hindu mythology:
Son of Sirutonda, king of Chola dynasty.
South-Indian puranas insist on importance of panhandling and "guest is god" mantra, in hinduism it is a great sin to deny food to a hungry soul and greater the sin to treat guests with disrespect. And if the beggar is a devotee of Shiva, all the more sinful.
They have thousands of stories to insist this and playful avatar/disguise stories of the gods to test their devotee's devotion. This is one of them.

Cannibal dinner:
Lord Shiva once disguised as Vairavar and visited Sirutonda nayanar and asked for food.
He asked for a 5 year old boy without deformities to be cooked and served.
The parents compiled and happily cooked their son except the head and served their guest - panhandling devotee of Lord Shiva.

Both started to eat and Vairavar insisted Chirutonda to ask his son to join the dinner. The confused helpless Sirutonda Nayyanar didnt know what to do and not to offend the guest he went out and called for his son, to both parent's surprise their son came running back.
The parents were so happy and rushed to see the guest, the dinner and the guest both had disappeared.
The lord Shiva, his wife Parvati and his sons Ganesha and Murugan showed up and blessed the family and took them to their abode in heaven and gave them place to reside there.

You can accept and comply to the request of a cannibal only if he/she has the ability to resurrect.
Armin Meiwas - german cannibal , that Florida guy -Tyree Lincoln Smith can't bring you back to life, so politely refuse to serve them or to be served and call 911.

My mom, while growing up, she would tell all these stories and read articles from newspapers about black magic which would say that all sacrifices would ask for the first born child. And she would say that a mom's position is justified if she has to sacrifice her kid, because she could pop out any baby anytime before menopause but if she looses her husband she just becomes an outcast. That taught me my place and deep inside that I should never say no to her, till today ;-)

I behaved, I behave and I will behave, mommy. Indian tiger parenting for you all. ;-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Prometheus and Ganesha - Trickster Robin Hoods

Greek mythology:
Prometheus - Son of titan Iapetus and the nymph Asia.
He made human from clay - mud and water and combined it with wind - entire babyhood skipped and Athena brought it to life by breathing life into clay.
Prometheus made clay Pinocchio :)

Settling of accounts: Mortals and Immortals
In the trick at Mecone, a sacrificial meal marking the "settling of accounts" between mortals and immortals.
Prometheus placed two sacrificial offerings before the Olympian:
-a selection of beef hidden inside an ox's stomach (nourishment hidden inside a displeasing exterior),
- the bull's bones wrapped completely in "glistening fat" (something inedible hidden inside a pleasing exterior).
The obvious selfish Zeus chose the latter and realised that he had been tricked.

Bring back fire to the humankind:
He stole fire back in a giant fennel stalk and gave it back to mankind.
-Settling of accounts - Zeus hid fire from humans
-Bring back fire to the humankind - Pandora, the first woman was sent to live with men.
Eternal punishment :
Chained to rock in Caucasus and his liver is eaten by eagle daily and regenerated by night.

Hindu mythology:
Ganesha - Son of Shiva and Parvati
He was made from sweat, scruff and turmeric paste by his mom and she gave him life - entire babyhood skipped.
Parvathi made scrub Pinnochio :)

Settling the ideal spot for idol: Devas and Asuras (Demigods and Monsters)
"Ranga Vimana" - Lord Vishnu's supreme idol was a gift given to Asura Vibhisana for his backstabbing service offered against his brother Ravana in Ramayana. He was supposed to take the gift to his hometown in SriLanka and wasnt supposed to place it on ground, because if he did so, it could never be lifted off from ground again. So, he flew with the idol to Sri Lanka.

On his way to Lanka he saw Cauvery river and wanted to freshen up. Lord Ganesha disguised himself as a cowherd boy and presented himself in his vicinity. Vibhishana asked him to hold the idol and instructed him to not keep it on the ground till he finished bathing in the river. Lord Ganesha agreed and when Vibhisana dunked into river, Ganesha placed the idol on the ground in right spot. And that become one of the holy places for Lord Vishnu Srirangam. (Similar story exists for Gokarna, same kind of story but with Ravana and Mahabelshwar Temple - Lord Shiva and same trick by same Ganesha)
-When he spoiled Asura Vibhishna's plan, he chased him and hit him on his forehead before he revealed himself.
Eternal punishment:
Every trick of his would end up as good thing for human but instead he would have been punished for that, thus he is a prime god with deformities, he has elephant head, with one tusk and pot belly and is short and stout. He is a evergreen bachelor and a virgin god.

John Gray's "Woman - you cant live with them, you cant live without them" is so true right?

Greek gods decided to send the first woman Pandora with a box to avenge their vengeance.
Indian gods ripped this guy of his good looks and made him totally repulsive to woman and forever bachelor.

"I have body of a god, but unfortunately Buddha - should actually be Ganesha"


On side note, I am going on vacation and I maynt be able to catch up with regular posts of yours or comment on those, will check in between, sorry about that.

If you havent watched Prometheus movie yet, watch it, worth the watch. I liked the movie, too many open questions and if I have to predict the future, the sequel is going to be terrible and stupid.

The creator/engineer of human with helmet kinda looks like Lord Ganesha with trunk- proboscis and has of an elephant  just like Ganesh :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tithonus and Bhishmar - Senile peter pans

Greek mythology: Tithonus
Tithonus - Son of King Laomedon and water mymph Strymo.
Image source
Lust of Eos:
Eos the amorous biracial - greek titaness and goddess of Dawn fell in love with this guy. Her fling with Ares caused her to be cursed with unsatisfiable sexual desire by the jealous Aphrodite.
So, she kidnapped him to added him to list of her male-concubines.
Gift and the curse:
She asked Zeus to make him immortal and Zeus granted her wish but she forgot to ask for eternal youth. And yes Zeus granted the gift of immortality with curse of not granting eternal youth.
Senile life:
So, he lived forever, wrinkled. He babbled  forever. Maybe had Alzehimer's too.

Hindu mythology: Bhismar
Image source
Bhishmar - Son of King Shantanu and River Ganges
Lust of Shantanu:
Shantanu wanted to marry the fisherman's daughter Satyavati. His son Bhisma volunteered to be the matchmaker and approached Satyavati's dad and asked him to marry off his daughter to his dad. Satyavati's dad asked for reverse dowry.
Dowry is what father of the bride is  supposed to give groom's family. Here the father-of the bride asked for dowry to son of the groom.
He asked Bhimsa to give up throne, to which Bhisma agreed, and when the dad still hesitated that his kids may claim in future, he took celibacy oath of life, so that no children shall be born to him to claim the throne from his legacy.
Too bad, neither of them knew about IUI and IVF else he would have become virgin-dad.
Gift and the curse:
The proud dad Shantanu, yep pleased with his son's pimping skills, offered him a boon that Bhisma would regret forever.
He gave his son the gift to live forever with curse of no eternal youth. Bhimsa got the boon that let him choose the time of his death.
Senile life:
In Mahabharatha war, Arjuna his grand-grand-grand-grand son, shot arrows at him and pierced the entire body.
This guy had to live and endure the pain and suffering from that and stayed alive in the battlefield till the end of the war.

Immortality without eternal youth is like buying luxury cars without warranty or free service coupons (Thanks ABFTS)

I know we have too many lessons to be learned or too many morals to be drawn from this, but I am gagging on those, would you like to share your moral of the story?

For more comparitive mythology stories, go here

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teiresias and Illa - Transvestite by accident

Summer and work both are keeping me busy, so this mythology is my fallback.

On another note, G is dad for second time for a gorgeous son. Congrats G!

Greek mythology : Teiresias
Teiresias was born as a male child to nymph Chariclo and Everes.
He once saw two snakes who were busy at that moment. He hit them with a stick and disrupted the coitus game.
Hera the wife of King of gods Zeus wasnt happy so she cursed him to become a woman.
Post-op life :
This guy after becoming a woman married and had children.
Sentence and Parol:
And continued his life as a woman for seven years and his curse was undone by another pair of snakes again busy.

Hindu mythology : Ila

Illa was born as male child Sudyamma to Manu and Shraddha.
He once stepped into Saravana by mistake, sacred grove of goddess Parvati where Shiva and Parvati get busy and stay busy all the time ie coitus play field.
This forest was no virgin forest, ie if ever a man was to enter this forest, he would loose his masculinity and become a woman.
The spell made sure that nothing was male there - even trees and animals everything shall be transformed to females to ensure that Shiva was the only male around there - monogamy, monopoly whatever.
Post-op life:
He Illa(sun god) married Budha(not Buddha)(moon god) and gave birth to Pururavas.

Sentence and Parol:
After heavy pleading, Parvati reduced it to month-month deal. One month as a male and one month as a female. And finally after a horse-sacrifice ie bribing the alpha god Shiva, he was completely restored back to a man.

  • A wild woman kicked you in the nuts?
  •  Had too many hormone injected Salmon steaks?
  • Love watching Justin Bieber youtube videos?
It is not end of the world.