Leaves from the scrapbook-2

As described here these entries are from the scrapbook of Somakhya.
Entry 11; Arasa, year Pramādin of the first cycle: It was our first day at Kshayadrajanagara. I had exhausted all that was there to talk with my cousins Mandara and Saumanasa by lunch that day. Somehow, I got past the most unappetizing lunch that my aunt had cooked. Luckily, a little after lunch the cousins wanted to study for one exam or another even though it was the vacations. This gave me a chance to sneak out and go to see my friend Indrasena and his brother Pinakasena. On reaching there Indrasena first asked me about Vrishchika. I wondered why. I realized that she had not told him that she and the rest of her family had gone to Nepal even as I had left for K’nagara with my mother. With much trepidation he wondered if Vrishchika had lost her feelings for him. I had to assuage him that knowing the caturbhaginī well they were not the ones who would communicate what was irrelevant to him. I had to also tell him that they were after all the caturbhaginī and that emotions should be secondary in relationship a true vīra might have with them. This awakened him like Matsya by Gorakṣa.

Pinakasena was also doing stuff in preparation for that famous mathematics competition that Mandara was studying for. He raised the question of describing all the following curves with single equation in a one parameter space: straight line, circle, parabola, hyperbola, cardioid, lemniscate, tri-lemniscate, tri-hyperbola, 3-flower etc. Because of the hours we had spent pondering about these curves we were able to give him that right away as the following polar equation with a single parameter a:
\rho=\left(\cos \left(a\cdot \theta \right)\right)^{\frac{1}{a}}


When a=1 it is a circle; a=-1, a line; a= 1/2, a cardioid; a=-1/2, a parabola; a= 2, a lemniscate; a=-2, a hyperbola; a=3/2, a 3-flower; a=3, a tri-lemniscate; a=-3/2 a tri-hyperbola with 120^o asymptotes; a=-3, a tri-hyperbola with 60^o asymptotes and so on (the n-gon conics). In general if a=\frac{p}{q} where p and q are mutually prime integers then it is a curve of p lobes or branches. If \frac{p}{q} is negative then it is a diverging curve and if it is positive it closes with maximal radius of a unit. If \frac{p}{q}; p=1, q>1 then the curve internally loops with the number of crossovers being the floor of the square root of q.

Both Indrasena and Pinakasena were sort of cursing themselves that it could be so easy. I pointed out that it was indeed the easy part and pulled out the theorem of the intersection of three ellipses with shared foci on a triangle and informed the upātreya that it was the least of the questions that the mahārathin-s were supposed to surmount in such competitions.


Prove the lines passing through the points of intersections of the three ellipses with foci on a triangle are concurrent.

Another was to double the cube as the yavana-s did to Apollo with ellipses. Then I assuaged him that there was no point struggling for such competitions – if one was truly a mahārathin one would know it and competitions should not matter. If one were not a mahārathin one should study such things just for mental entertainment or knowledge acquisition and play those games as a professional of which one is a master.

Indrasena then revealed to me how he had figured out a way to find genes that had really undergone selection in different Hindu populations. We looked at the genes he identified for sometime and thought about what they might imply.

Entry 12; Bhauma, year Pramādin of the first cycle: It was the day of the manifestation of Vīrabhadra and Bhadrakālī. As planned in the evening we went to the temple of Candreśvara where we saw the electrician who had a shack near Indrasena’s house. He was of a śūdra-jāti of artisans by origin and was dressed up like Vīrabhadra. He held a heavy steel trident in his hand and a circle of people had gathered around him. Even as Mars rose in the asterism of the Kṛttikā-s, the deshika offered a bali to Bhava with the Puṣṭipati mantra from the Taittirīya-śruti at the northern balipīṭha. At the fire pit in the front courtyard of the shrine the deśika then made an offering with the incantation rudrāya bhaumāya svāhā । as ordained by sage Bodhāyana. Then the conchs blared and the chariot of Rudra and Rudrāṇī was taken forth. By then we could see Mars dimly through the fringes of the trees above the Eastern horizon. The electrician immediately broke out into a frenzied dance and began to suddenly speak in Sanskrit. Impersonating Vīrabhadra in his march against the deva-s at Rudra’s behest he began to jump up and down and whirl his trident with great ferocity. He spoke of striking Indra and Viṣṇu. He spoke of chopping off Sarasvatī-s tongue. He roared that he had smashed the face of Pūṣaṇ! And again he yelled that he had torn out the eyes of Bhaga. Finally picking up the skull of a goat he whirled around at a dizzying speed. Any other man might have collapsed with all that whirling that he did. I watched bewildered along with Indrasena and Pinakasena as he yelled again and again beating his ḍamaru. Some of the people gathered there brought ash fresh from the cremation ground and smeared it on his forehead and dusted him with it. Then he began chanting: “ so’ham so’ham । jaya jaya rudra mahāraudra bhadrāvatāra mahābhairava kālabhairava kalpāntabhairava kapāla-mālā-dhara khaṭvāṅga-carma-khaḍga-dhara pāśāṅkuśa-ḍamarū-śūla-cāpa-bāṇa-gadā-śakti-bhindipāla-tomara-musala-mudgara-pāśa-parigha-bhuśuṇḍī-śataghnī-cakrādy-āyudha-bhīṣaṇākāra sahasra-mukha-daṃṣṭrā-karālavadana sarvatomukha viśvatomukha vikaṭāṭṭahāsa visphārita brahmāṇḍa-maṇḍala viśvarūpa virūpākṣa viśveśvara । bhadro’ham haribhadro’ham vīrabhadro’ham ।” Then continuing to beat his drum and running around he began to narrate the incident of Vīrabhadra emanating an enormous number of ferocious bhadra-s from all parts of his body.

Then people started asking him questions for oracular prognostication. He gave answers and they came to us and other V1s for having the answers translated. Then I asked for a prognostication and he gave me a bad one. Thankfully he pointed to Indrasena with his trident and said he would be there to shore me up when that time comes. Pinakasena asked if he might become a vīra like his brother. He gave a detailed response that after undergoing rudrāveśa he would unite with a dūtī named Shallaki (śallakī) and then he would become one. He further added that they would protect our kula once I, Indrasena, Lootika and Vrishchika die. I found that answer to be very strange in more than one way and wondered if my apprehension of the “pattern” was incorrect – after all other than the caturbhaginī there was never supposed to be another. It hinted at the existence of an orthogonal kula.

Entry 13; mṛtamīna: We returned early next morning to collect packets of bhasma when we saw the electrician still dancing unfazed. We heard that he had continuously danced through the night and that he was going to do so till midday. The sky was overcast and there was moisture in the air but no rain. My mood matched the somber weather as I pondered over the āviṣṭa’s prognostication; I was turning over in my mind the kinds of mantra-prayoga-s that might be able to see me through it and all the vighna-s that could come in the way. I pondered what implications of the absence of Lootika might mean when the time came but I told myself that in the ultimate struggle a man is always all by himself. The ātreya-s seemed to sense my mood from my silence. Indrasena suggested that we go to brāhmaṇāhāraśāla to give ourselves to the bhoga of bhojana. I agreed and somehow convinced my aunt and mother that I would rather not eat at home. As were walking to the āhāraśāla Pinakasena wondered if āveśa was avaidika and whether we should give much attention to it. Indrasena correctly told him that it was entirely within the vaidika circle though not a codified practice performed by brāhmaṇa-s as part of their system. He pointed to the āveśa-s had by brāhmaṇa women during which my great ancient ancestor Kabandha ātharvaṇa spoke using them as the medium.

Thereafter Pinakasena asked about Rudrāveśa and its foundations. I told him of it deep Indo-European provenance. In Indo-Aryan tradition we had the case of Rudra animating the corpse of a brāhmaṇa at the holy town of Kāyāvarohaṇa in Gujarat and then he walked all the way to Ujjaini where he is said to have initiated his student in the Pāśupata doctrine. They say this animated brāhmaṇa was Lakulīśa. The muni in the ṛgveda hints at possession by Rudra as he is flying in the air. This tradition of Rudrāveśa continues down to the Bhairava-tantra-s. Even in the medieval period the brāhmaṇa Appayya Dīkṣita underwent a muni-like possession using dhattura. Among the yavana-s we have the tale of Aristeas of Proconnesus who was dead when Apollo animated him and wandered in that possession to the land of the Central Asian Iranics knows as the arimaspa-s. Then under the possession of Apollo he is said to have appeared as crow in Italy. Indeed, even yavana hero Odysseus’s travels were made known to Demodocus in a possession by Apollo.


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