“The Palace of Illusions”
A novel. A take on a passage of the Bhagavad Gita from a feminine stand point of view. Such great way to get familiar with the numerous characters of the Gospel of the Yogis. Elegantly written and infused with life lessons….. by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
… On Indrakila mountain, where the air is like crystal, Arjun meditated and prayed to Shiva. But Shiva did not Answer. Instead, a wild boar charged him from a copse. Arjun lifted the Gandiva bow, but as he shot, a different arrow flew through the air and struck the boar dead. Enraged by this encroachment, Arjun turned to find a man dressed in skins. He didn’t seem intimidated by Arjun’s threats. When Arjun in his anger shot at him, all his arrows – even his divine astray – fell useless at the hunter’s feet, whereas each arrow of the hunter found its target.
“There I was, bleeding, while the hunter mocked me,” Arjun would tell us later, his voice conveying his astonished outrage. “I, who hadn’t been touched by an arrow since I completed my studies with Drona! I prayed to Shiva for help, but nothing happened. My heart sank”.
Dispirited, he made a garland from wildflowers and offered it to an earthen image of the god in a final attempt to please him. But when he opened his eyes, the garland was gone. “I was sure the God had abandoned me,” he said. “Then I saw the garland – it was around the neck of the hunter, who glowed with a golden light!”
Understanding Shiva’s play, he fell at his feet. The god embraced him and gave him the dreaded Pasupat, asking only that he use it in righteous war…….
Such a good read.