Sun God, Curiosity and Two Women

Lesson: One might be VENUS, but in presence of the Sun it’s just a dark spot.

The caption above fired my neural network as soon as it emerged. One does not need profound knowledge of Astronomy for being generally interested in the Celestial events and entities. The colorful images of Venus the planet that I had seen earlier got a new

perspective with this Transit. I had seen some posts and sites on 2004 Transit, but watching it with my own eyes was a shocker. Recalling the Venus I remembered, I thought, “OMG! THE Venus is also reduced to a mere dark spot before the Sun! One must be aware of whose presence one is in!”

I thought of Surya, the Sun God characterized in Mahabharat as the father of Karna, invoked by Kunti.

Kunti was the daughter of one of the Yadav kings, Shursen, and adopted by Kuntibhoj as he had no children. When Kunti came in to the care of foster-father, her name changed from original Prutha to Kunti. She was given a boon by the rishi Durvasa that using a Mantra, she could invoke any god she liked, who would come and give her a son. Kunti was curious, and so she used the Mantra invoking the Sun god first. I got reminded of this story because the story that I read went on saying that as soon as Surya arrived in Kunti’s room, the whole place got filled with brilliant light. It was unbearable for Kunti, who could not even look at the god. She requested him to moderate his brilliance a little for her sake. Saying that he was bound by the Mantra to serve her, he took the human form. Kunti’s curiosity gave her, her first son, Karna before she got married to Pandu.

Similar curiosity brought extremely harsh consequence for another woman, Ahilya. She is regarded as one of the Satis (model women, epitomes of virtue) in spite of a story that says she went with Indra and was cursed by her husband, ascetic Gautam for it. The version I know is from Skand Puran, that says that Ahilya was unwaveringly devoted to Gautam, but Indra desired her. One morning Indra took help from his friend Chandra – moon, who made it appear to the Rishi Gautam that it was time for him to go to the river for his morning Sandhya. As he left, Indra took the form of Gautam and asked Ahilya for togetherness. Ahilya went with Indra, Gautam came back and seeing them together, cursed Ahilya to be a stone. One might wonder what was Ahilya’s fault. Somewhere there is an explanation that Indra could only assume the appearance of Gautam, but his moves, gestures and style were different. Ahilya sensed this, but did nothing about it and went ahead. Price? Years of a stone-like existence, bereft of feeling, ability to sense, to live.  Her release from that existence required Ram to arrive.

Are there stories of men, their curiosity and its consequences??

Hmm, must search!

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10 thoughts on “Sun God, Curiosity and Two Women

  1. devalpatel says:

    Nice aunty!!!Love it!!!Same story told by my dada but forgot thanks to you refresh thai gayu…Thanks a lot…

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  2. Anuradha says:

    And on a different note, the Big are not really big if they make even the gifted ones appear so small.

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  3. Anuradha says:

    “One must be aware of whose presence one is in!” Very nice line. You should be a poet.

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  4. Interesting!! Best luck for more:)

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  5. Mother’s grandmother???? Impressive. I also feel it must be demanding to keep the richness:) Keep writing:) I thought i knew both the stories, specially second one, but it was something more to it. Boon in case of Kunti, and Ahalya knowing about slight change in behavior of Indra as Gautam.!!!

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    • The custom of early marriage and early childbirth in the previous generations helped me benefit from Dadi. I used to contest with my mother, telling her that “They are my dada-dadi, not yours!”
      Of course, the detail on the subtle change in demeanor must have been a later addition. It is too complex for a child to understand.

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  6. Hello Madam, You are indeed a good story teller, and again, you remember them so well!!! Enjoyed it!!

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    • Thanks, Arpit.. I accept the compliment on behalf of my mother’s grandmother, Bhanumati Nanavaty. She told us so many stories.. I have to struggle to keep the richness! In her times, there was no access to libraries, bookshops and internet!

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