Drona’s cruelty to Ekalavya

Why did Drona refuse to teach Ekalavya?

Was it because Ekalavya was not a Kshatriya? Because Ekalavya was supposedly a low-born compared to his other students?

Why did he extract a bloody sacrifice from Ekalavya?

Check the video on one of the most debated issues from the Mahabharata!

Mahabharata Series -2 | Contradictions in the epic

There are many stories and events in the Mahabharata that appear to contradict each other.

Some stories urge us to embrace life, while some other suggest we give it up. Some stories recommend rituals while some others point to their futility.

Why does the epic present such contradictory ideas ? And how do we understand them?

Listen in to know the how and the why and also find the secret thread that binds these varied ideas together to make the epic work like a single, unified text!

Women Heroes in the Mahabharata

Damsels in distress and knights rushing to rescue them from the clutches of wily witches, scheming step-mothers and dangerous dragons has been the common theme of most fairy tales from our childhood.  These stories from medieval Europe have largely presented women as delicate, helpless beings, incapable of defending themselves, and waiting for a valiant prince to arrive and liberate them from their miserable existence.

Surprisingly for a patriarchal society, this theme of men rescuing women is quite rare in Indian mythology, other than, of course, the famous story of Rama who goes out in search of his kidnapped wife.

On the contrary, Indian mythology is full of stories of women who go all out to rescue their lovers or consorts, with or without their shining armour. These women often save their beloveds from tricky tribulations and sticky situations, accompany them to the warfront, and at times even bring them back from the dead. 

And the Mahabharata, unlike any other work of world mythology, is replete with stories of women champions. Here are some stories of gutsy women who displayed enormous valour in their quest to bring back their loved ones from the brink and beyond of disaster. What is interesting about these stories is that, unlike men, these women chose to rely entirely on their moral courage, wit and wisdom rather than swords and daggers to assist them in their quest.


Let’s begin with Ulupi, who revived her dead lover Arjuna with the Mrithasanjivani gem. As Arjuna lay dead, killed by his own son Babruvahana owing to a curse of the Vasus, it was Ulupi, Arjuna’s Naga wife, who summoned the jewel of the Nagas, placed it on Arjuna’s chest and brought him back to life. According to one version of the story, Ulupi plotted the entire drama of the son killing his father in order to redeem Arjuna from the curse of the Vasus for having slain their brother, Bhishma.


Shachi or Indrani, Indra’s consort, was yet another courageous woman, who was believed to be the source of Indra’s powers. Once, after having killed the demon Vritra treacherously, Indra was so overcome with guilt and shame that he fled Amaravathi, and hid himself in the stem of a lotus in a pond so far away, where he could not be found by other gods.

Unable to find Indra, the gods replaced him with a human, Nahusha. Unfortunately, Nahusha turned out a bad choice as he harassed the gods and the sages, and also tried to persuade Shachi into marrying him.However, clever Shachi managed to get rid of Nahusha by having sage Agasthya curse him into becoming a serpent. She also sought out Indra and convinced him to come out of his hiding and resume his position as the lord of the Devas. Thus, Shachi not only saved her husband from eternal damnation and but also became a kingmaker of sorts, giving back the Devas, their leader.

What makes Shachi’s story interesting is that, in her search for Indra, she is described as having undertaken a long and arduous journey, navigating high mountains and deep seas through darkness and difficulties, very similar to the journey undertaken by Joseph Campbell’s hero.


Equally critical was the role of Damayanthi in tracking down Nala, her husband, who had been banished from his kingdom and forced into hiding. Damayanthi hatched a clever plan to track down Nala. Using a difficult riddle which only Nala could solve, she traced him to King Rituparna’s court. There, Damayanthi’s messenger spread false news about her second swayamvara. Hoping to prevent Damayanthi’s remarriage, Nala rushed to her, and was thus reunited with his family.


Of course, the list of heroic women from the Mahabharatha cannot be complete without the mention of Savithri, who got none other than the Lord of Death to rewrite the destiny of Satyavan, her beloved. After Satyavan’s death, Savithri followed Yama over long distances on his journey to the land of the dead, till he was forced to yield to the persuasive Savithri and agree to return Satyavan alive to her.    

To conclude, it would be unfair to dismiss these mythological women as pativratas, to be lauded merely for their sexual fidelity. It is feminine nature to fiercely protect the loved ones, whatever the cost! And loved their men, these women did! To the extent of even choosing them over gods (Damayanthi) and mighty kings (Savithri) sometimes!

More importantly, like Campbell’s hero, many of these women (Savithri, Shachi) stepped beyond their conventional role, crossing the threshold from the ordinary into the extraordinary, thus undergoing a significant transformation in their personalities in the course of their quest.

In light of these stories, maybe our perception of Indian mythology as having no female heroes needs a serious rethink!

Click the link to listen to the stories of the Panchakanyas, who were as bold as they were beautiful!

What does our horoscope tell us? (The Indian Astrology series)

When we talk astrology, the one word that pops into our mind immediately is horoscope! What is a horoscope or a jataka or a kundali, as we call it in India?

A horoscope is actually a map of the skies at the time of a person’s birth. The chart should ideally have been circular, but it has been reduced to the shape of a square for easy readability, just like we have done with our maps.

Now, this map or horoscope contains 12 boxes that represent each of the 12 rashis starting from mesham or aries to meenam or pisces. Rashis, as you may recollect from my previous video, are constellations in the sky through which the Sun is seen to move, as seen from the earth.

Each of the rashis measures exactly 30 degrees. So all the 12 rashis together add up to 360 degrees, which is the measure of the elliptical orbits of all celestial bodies including the sun and the moon.

However, in the Indian luni-solar system, the moon is given more prominence and a person’s rashi is the rashi in which the moon is found at the time of birth. So, this is different from the Western system of astrology where the Sun’s placement in a constellation decides a person’s zodiac sign. So the westerners follow the sun while we in India follow the moon.

But why do the Rashis start with Aries?

Really long ago, the Indian lunar calendar system got integrated with the Hellenistic or Greek solar calendar systems.  As a result, ancient Indian astrologers adopted the western system of placing Aries or Mesham at the start of the zodiac. That’s the reason why our rashi chart starts with Aries, which marks the beginning of Spring equinox, one of the two times in a year when the duration of the day and night in a day are equal.

Now, coming back to our horoscope, the exact place, date and time of birth is used to arrive at the position of the nine grahas or planets with respect to the rashis. Talking of grahas, it is interesting to note that of the nine grahas, which we tend to associate with planets, only five are actually planets, which are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The remaining grahas are the Sun and the Moon and Rahu and Ketu. You may realise that none of these are planets. Sun is a star, moon is the earth’s satellite and Rahu and Ketu are not real grahas but only represent the points of the intersection of the orbits of the sun and the moon.

Now, these grahas are given lordship over the 12 rashis. While the Sun is the lord of Leo or Simha rashi, the moon lords over Cancer or Kataka rashi. The other five grahas, mercury, venus, mars, Jupiter and Saturn rule over two rashis each. For example, Venus rules over Taurus and Libra and Saturn rules over both Aquarius and Capricorn.

North Indian format vs South India format of horoscope

There are multiple ways in which the rashis and the planets’ placement in them can be represented. The two popular styles are the south Indian and the north Indian styles. In the south Indian format, the rashis are arranged clockwise in a rectangular box starting from the second box on the top left.

And this house represents the Mesha rashi or Aries, the first of the 12 Rashis that spans the first 30 degrees of the constellations. The following Rashi rishabham occupies the next box spanning the next 30 to 60 degrees. All the rashis are thus arranged across the 12 boxes and end with Meenam or Pisces, whose co-ordinates are the final 30 of the total 360 degrees.

The box in the middle represents the earth around which the celestial bodies are seen to move. Remember, our system of astronomy is geo-centric that puts earth right in the middle.

The interesting thing to note about the South Indian horoscope format is that the planets, as lords of the rashis, are arranged in the chart in the same order as they are found in the universe.  So, apart from the Moon that is the closest celestial body to earth occupying Cancer and the Sun occupying Leo or Simha rashi,  we find mercury, venus, mars, Jupiter and Saturn arranged clockwise in each of the subsequent rashis.

However, in the north Indian format, the rashis are not assigned to the strictly designated boxes. So they are not fixed. They change depending on the ascendant or lagna in the horoscope.

What is lagna?

The lagna represents the nakshatra/rashi that is seen rising on the eastern horizon at the date, time and place of a person’s birth. Depending upon the paada of the nakshatra, it is placed in the corresponding rashi. The lagna, which is designated house number 1 in the horoscope, is believed to set the tone for the nature of a person and the events in his or her life.

In the south-Indian format of a horoscope, the lagna is placed in the box pertaining to the corresponding rashi. On the other hand, in the north Indian format, the lagna is always placed in this centre-most box, which becomes the seat of the Rashi that corresponds to the lagna.

The other important difference is that while the south Indian format is read clockwise, the north Indian format is read anti-clockwise.

So, how do astrologers make predictions?

Each of the nine grahas are vested with certain specific attributes. Some like Jupiter and Venus are considered benefic, while grahas such as Mars and Sun are considered malefic or fiery by nature. Each of the Rashis too possess certain specific qualities. So do the 27 nakshatras.

Each of the 12 houses represent something in a person’s life. For instance, the first house or the lagna, as I mentioned earlier represents the person’s self, his nature and his destiny, the second house represents wealth, the third house siblings and so on.

The important thing to remember here is that all the elements in the horoscope including the planets, rashis and nakshatras are constantly moving. While they keep moving, they are also continuously interacting with each other. The interplay of these elements, their movements and interactions are analysed to make predictions about a person’s destiny.

Does that mean that everything is pre-destined and nothing is left to free will?

Not really! A person’s experiences in life are determined by the karma he has accumulated over time and that karma stems from a person’s own actions both in his past and current life. So in a way, astrology holds the person responsible for all that happens to him or her.

While fruits of the person’s actions may choose to play out at different times in one’s present life or in different lifetimes, there is no escaping one’s Karma. What astrology does is merely link the experiences in a person’s present life to his or her past actions and predict how the fruits of those actions are likely to play out in one’s life.

Celebrating the Celestial (The Indian Astrology series)

Most Indian festivals are based on the lunar calendar or based on the movement of the moon around the earth. Each moon day is called a thithi and most of our festivals are linked to the lunar cycle that starts with the new moon day or Amavasya and ends with the full moon or poornima.

Thus, we have ganesh Chaturthi falling on the fourth day of the waxing moon or Chaturthi, Janmashtami falling on the Ashtami tithi or eighth day of the waning moon or rama navami falling on the ninth day of the waxing moon. And of course, we do have many festivities falling on purnimas or amavasyas like Karthik Poornima, mahalaya Amavasya, etc.

But makara sankaranti being a festival of the sun god, is celebrated based on the solar calendar that tracks the sun’s position in the sky as seen from the earth.

Astrologically speaking, makara sankaranthi marks the day when the sun enters the zodiac called makara or capricon.

So, what is a solar calendar?

A solar calendar is cast based on the seasons in a year and the sun’s relative position to the other stars in space. When the earth moves around the sun, its position with respect to the sun keeps changing, causing seasons.

Even though the earth is moving around the sun, for us here on earth, the sun appears to be moving across the sky. So, the solar calendar tracks the apparent position of the sun relative to the stars in the sky.

Also, as the festival is a celebration of a celestial event, it is believed that it could be among the oldest festivals of India. It is said that the festival finds mention in the ancient epic, Mahabharata as Magha mela.

What makes Makara Sankaranthi a celebration?

For us in the Indian subcontinent, the sun’s appearance in the capricon zodiac heralds the beginning of the warmer months of the year. Imagine the ancient people living in sparse shelters with minimum heat insulation. How difficult winter months must have been for them? Lying outdoors, staring at the sky, they would have observed that the sun’s position in the sky kept changing throughout the year.

And they would have noted that the planet starts to get warmer and the days get longer when the sun starts to appear to the north of the equator. And when this happened, they knew relief from the freezing winters was close by. In the absence of thick jackets, weather-proof houses and heaters, I somehow think the celestial event must have been a very good reason to celebrate! And to harvest crops too!

What is Uttarayan?

The northward march of the sun with respect to the earth’s equator marks the beginning of the six-month period called Uttarayan in the Indian tradition, Uttara meaning north and ayana meaning movement or march.  This repeated cyclical movement of the sun to the north and to the south is caused by the tilt of the earth’s axis.

Mythologically speaking, the six months of uttarayan equals one day in the life of our gods. The remaining six months called dakshinayan, when the sun is seen to move in the southern direction represents the night of our gods. In the Hindu tradition, Uttarayan is considered an auspicious period.

Makara Sankranti is not the same as Uttarayan

It is often thought that Makara sankaranti marks the start of Uttarayan. But that is not true. Uttarayan or the northward movement of the sun begins immediately after what is called the winter solstice.  The winter solstice marks that day in the earth’s revolution around the sun when its north pole is in its farthest position from the sun. It is also the day with the shortest daylight and longest night of the year.

After this day, the days start to grow longer and the nights  shorter. And this day falls either on December 21st or 22nd of every year, as per the Gregorian calendar. So, in reality, uttarayan starts the day after winter solstice and not on makara Sankranti that falls in mid-January. And this is the system that is followed by most Indian calendars called panchang.

The Indian Calendar System (The Indian Astrology Series)

Unlike the rest of the world, in India, we don’t have just one new year! Different communities from different parts of India celebrate their new years at different times . The new year of Tamils and Malayalees from the south, the Bengalis and Odiyas from the east and that of the Punjabis from up north falls in mid-April. Whereas in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the start of a new year begins in mid-March. And quite differently, in Gujarat, it is celebrated at the time of Diwali.

So, why do we all have different new year beginnings?

Today, the world follows a standardised system of time keeping based on the Gregorian Calendar system. This calendar is a solar calendar, which is based on the movement of the earth around the sun.

The Gregorian Calendar

According to the Gregorian solar calendar, a year has 365 days and an extra day every fourth year (leap year). A solar year is divided into 12 months with some months having 31 days, some having 30 and February having 28 (0r 29 in a leap year). The year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st.

Of course, we all know this! We follow this calendar for all practical purposes in India too. This Gregorian calendar system was adopted by India during the colonial era. But, what system of time-keeping did we follow before the Europeans arrived?

The indigenous calendar systems of course! Yes, there was not just one, but many systems of time-keeping in vogue in ancient India.

India has always been home to diverse communities and cultures. Each region, community or clan had evolved its own calendar system, based on its own needs. It is said that according to an assessment by the Government of India in 1952, there were at least 30 full-fledged calendar systems being followed in India.

Some of these were solar calendars, some others were lunar calendars.

So, what is a lunar calendar?

A lunar calendar is a calendar system based on the movement of the moon around the earth. The lunar cycle from new moon to new moon is roughly 29 and a half days. So a lunar month is slightly shorter than a solar month and a lunar year with 354 days is 11 days shorter than a solar year.

Although most Indian calendars follow the lunar cycle, they also try and align the year to the solar cycle that decides the seasons.

In order to reconcile the difference between the two calendar systems, every 3 years, a month is added to the lunar year, and the month is referred to as adhik maas.

Our calendars are luni-solar

So, in reality, most Indian calendars follow a luni-solar system that takes into account both the movement of the moon around the earth and the sun’s position in the sky as seen from the earth. This causes a difference to the start of the year and to the number of days in a year.

This is one of the reasons why the new year in the luni-solar calendars does not fall on the same day every year. For example, Ugadi that marks the start of a new year for the Telugu and Kannada people fell on March 25th in 2020, but was celebrated on April 6th in 2019 and on March 18th in 2018.

Apart from the adjustments made to reconcile the lunar and solar cycles, the new year is also decided by the specific calendar in use in a particular region.

In the Deccan region, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra, the the Shaliwahana or Shaka era calendar is followed. According to this calendar, the new year is celebrated on the first day of the waxing or growing moon in the month of Chaitra that stretches from mid-April to mid-May.

The Saka era calendar

In several parts of Western India and northern India, the Vikram era calendar is followed. According to this calendar, the new year begins with the Amavasya or new moon day in the month of Karthika that stretches from mid-October to mid-November.

The Vikram Samvat calendar

Whereas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala that follow the solar calendar, the new year falls on April 14th every year.  Several parts of Eastern India including Odisha and Bengal too follow a similar calendar and their new year too falls around  the same date.

The Tamil luni-solar calendar

On March 22nd, 1957, the Indian government adopted the Shalivahana or Shaka era calendar as the official calendar along with the Gregorian calendar.

The Government of Indian adopted the Saka era Calendar (along with the Gregorian Calendar) as the official calendar in 1957

How Buddha became the 9th avatar of Vishnu

Buddhism, as we all know, had its birth in India and emerged as an extremely popular religion across Asia in the first few centuries after Christ.

Buddhism rose as a faith that challenged the then prevailing Vedic religion. The Buddha is believed to have condemned several Vedic sacrifices and rituals that were practised in the regions of the Indian subcontinent (modern day Nepal and Bihar) where he lived and preached. More importantly, he rejected the Vedas and evolved his own universal philosophy. Not surprisingly, Buddha and his followers were censured severely as a heretic in several Vedic texts and scriptures.

Isn’t it strange then that the same Buddha, who challenged Hindu practices, was later absorbed into Hinduism as an avatar of Vishnu?

Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu at Dwaraka Tirumala temple, Andhra Pradesh

Research scholars offer various theories on us how and why it could have happened.

But before we get there, it is important to understand that neither the term Hinduism nor the Hindu way of life practised today, existed during the times of Buddha. The Hinduism that we practise today is the result of a long period of transition marked by the amalgamation of several religious and folk ideas, and influences of various traditions, practices and faiths including Buddhism.

I use the term ‘Hinduism’ here, to refer to the religion as it is understood today. On the other hand, the term ‘Buddhism’ here does not refer to the modern-day Buddhism or neo-Buddhism practised in India today.

How Buddha become a Hindu god

It so happened that when the great emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism in the 3rd century BC, Buddhism attained the status of the imperial religion and Buddha became its godhead.

Buddhist cannons were carved on rocks across the empire for the people to read and follow. This made Buddha central to Ashoka’s kingship. As Ashoka’s name (as found on his edicts) ‘Devanamapiya Piyadasi’ indicates, Ashoka wished to identify himself as the ‘Beloved of the Gods’, and that god was Buddha!

Or, in other words, Ashoka came to rule in the name of Buddha. Buddha’s ‘Dhamma’ became the royal diktat and his ‘Dhammachakra’ became part of the royal insignia. And, Buddhism became the dominant religion in Ashoka’s empire.

In the centuries that followed, Ashoka’s idea of ‘god-king’ gained huge popularity among Indian kings. With the emergence of Vaishnavism as a major religion around the 4-6th century AD under the Guptas who ruled large parts of northern India, Vishnu started to gradually replace Buddha as the godhead. In fact, many Gupta kings called themselves ‘Bhagavata Vaishnavas’.

But Buddhism was still a significant force to be reckoned with for the constantly evolving Hinduism that had its roots in the Vedic religion. Buddha could not be just cast away!

What probably happened thereafter is best expressed using the popular adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them!”

Buddha began to be gradually assimilated into the Hindu pantheon, and by the 13th century AD, when Buddhism had all but died out in India, Buddha’s assimilation into the Hindu pantheon as an avatar of Vishnu was complete!

Proof of Buddha’s entry into the Hindu pantheon can be found in various Puranas that were composed during the period from 3rd -13th century AD, of which at least four puranas mention Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu. Apart from textual references, we also find Buddha counted among the Dashavatars in the relief works of the famous Srirangam and Airavatesvara temples of Tamil Nadu and the Channakesava temple of Karnataka, to name a few.

Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu in the Channakesava temple, Somanathapura, Karnataka

Although textual and epigraphic evidences suggest that Buddha was included into the Vaishnava pantheon, it appears doubtful if he was accepted on par with the other avatars. For example, according to Vishnu Purana, Buddha was actually born to mislead the asuras and steer them away from the truth (through his teachings?)! Whereas, some Dashavatara lists exclude Buddha, and include Balarama instead.

Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu in a Persian painting

But this is not to say that Buddhist ideas were rejected in toto by the Hindus. There was significant exchange of ideas between the two opposing faiths. In fact, it is argued by some that the Upanishadic thoughts, especially relating to Advaita Vedanta, have borrowed several ideas from Buddhism.

This process of gradual assimilation of Buddhist ideas into Hinduism reached the point of culmination with Buddha being accepted as a Hindu god.

But, why an avatar of Vishnu?

The answer to the question why Buddha came to be identified with Vishnu and not any other deity can be found in Vaishnava theology and mythology.

The Vaishnaivites perceive Vishnu as an all-pervading transcendental phenomenon, similar to the Upanishadic idea of an all-encompassing ‘Brahman’. But the transcendental, immeasurable Vishnu becomes accessible to man when he descends to the earth in various forms or incarnations called avataras.

This idea of Vishnu taking various forms (to fight evil) enabled the process of assimilation of various indigenous deities and cults into the Vaishnava fold, including the Buddha.

Stunning similarities between Vaishnavism and Buddhism

Apart from the basic structure of Vaishnavism that facilitated Buddha’s entry into its fold, the stunning similarities we find in their mythology and iconography also probably assisted the process of assimilation.

For example, an idea comparable to the Vaishnava belief that when evil ascends, Vishnu descends to the earth in order to re-establish ‘Dharma’ can be found in Buddhist scriptures and theology too.

Also, in Buddhist mythology, we find a story that is strikingly similar to the Vamana/Trivikrama avatar of Vishnu, where ‘Buddha covers 6,800,000 yojanas in three strides from the earth to the Devaloka’.

Ananthashayana Vishnu and the Reclining Buddha

Not to forget, the uncanny resemblance in the iconography of Buddha and Vishnu – be it in Buddha’s Dharmachakra and Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra or in the posture of the Ananthashayana Vishnu and the Sleeping Buddha.

Buddha’s Dharmachakra and Vishnu’s Sudarshanachakra

The story of Buddhism in India is, in some ways, also the story of the all-embracing Hinduism. The inclusive nature of Hinduism and its tolerance and acceptance of diverse (and often, opposing) ideas and ideologies is the reason why it continues to survive and flourish as the world’s most ancient way of life!

Key resource: The Buddhist Vishnu: Religious Transformation, Politics and Culture – John C Holt

The man who loved like a woman…

Ruru & Pramadvara – A story from the Mahabharata

Indian mythology is replete with stories where wives and lady loves undertake extraordinary journeys to save their beloveds from tricky tribulations and sticky situations, at times even bringing them back from the dead.  The stories of Satyavan-Savitri, Nala-Damayanti, Arjuna-Ulupi show how women moved heaven and earth for the sake of the men they loved.

But, it’s not often that one finds stories of a husband or lover who is willing to walk the extra mile for the sake of his lady love or wife. In that sense, the story of Ruru and Pramadvara that finds mention in the Adi Parva (Pouloma sub-parvan) of the Mahabharata is unique for it illustrates that a man too is capable of as much love as a woman.

Ruru was born in the illustrious line of Sage Bhrigu. He was the son of Pramati, who was the grandson of Sage Bhrigu.

When Ruru was a grown man, one day he happened to see Pramadvara, the beautiful damsel born to the Apsara, Menaka and Vishvavasu, the king of the Gandharvas. Immediately after her birth, Pramadvara had been abandoned by Menaka on a river bank. A sage named Sthulakesha had found the girl child and had brought her up as his own. With time, Pramadvara had blossomed into a beautiful woman.

So, when Ruru first set his eyes on Menaka’s daughter, he was smitten.  Soon, with the blessings of his father- Pramati. and Pramadvara’s foster father- Sthulakesha, Ruru and Pramadvara were engaged to be married. A wedding date was fixed and, the young couple started to look forward to their marital union.

However, it turned out that cruel destiny had different plans for them.

One day, when Pramadvara was playing with her friends in the forest, a venomous snake sunk it fangs into the body of the girl. As soon as she was bitten, Pramdvara fell down senseless on the ground.  On hearing the news, Ruru rushed to see his beloved and was overwhelmed with grief to see the beautiful Pramadvara lying dead on the ground.

Unable to bear the sight of his dead lady love, Ruru wept loudly.  He cried out loud saying if indeed he had remained true to his austerities as a Brahmin, had performed the prescribed rites, respected the elders and had selflessly given away alms, then his dear Pramadvara would have to rise from the dead.

On hearing Ruru’s lamentations, the messenger of the gods responded saying that no amount of bemoaning by Ruru could help Pramadvara, for once the mortal life of a person was over, there were no means of reviving them.

However, the messenger offered a consolation….there was one way by which Pramadvara could be brought back to life. If Ruru was ready to give up half of his life for Pramadvara, she could be brought back from the land of the dead. Hearing this, Ruru was overcome with joy. He readily agreed to give up half of his long life span for his dear, beloved Pramadvara.

At once, the permission of Yama – the lord of death was sought. Yama consented to allow Ruru to revive Pramadvara.  Immediately thereafter, Pramadvara arose from the dead, lovely as ever, filling the grieving Ruru’s heart with untold joy. The lover couple was ecstatic to be back together again.

Ruru and Pramadvara were married shortly thereafter, and the couple spent many a wonderful year rejoicing in each other’s company.

Thus, Ruru stands tall among men, who are capable of as much love as a woman, and can even make the ultimate sacrifice of partaking their lives with their lady loves.

Gems & Jewellery in Indian Mythology

India, since ancient times, has been a gold-crazy country. For all the spices, silks and muslin it traded with the Roman empire, India received its payment in gold.

At a point in time, so much of gold was flowing out of the Roman empire for settling balance of payments with India that, a Roman senator feared that his empire would go bankrupt!

With so much love for gold, it is hardly surprising that jewellery had an important role to play in our stories.

Watch the video to find out how gold and jewellery have been used with great imagination and creativity in out stories!