Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Indian Traditional Jewellery-4

Edu Varala Nagalu-IV

This is the last and concluding part of the posts relating to Edu Varala Nagalu. 

The story now I am going to narrate is known as "Tulabharam" or the weighing of some one in the weighing scales. It is a tradition or rather practise in India that when some one wants some thing good to happen or desire fulfilled, like getting a job, getting married or recover from illness, they go to temple and pray, promising God/Goddess that if what ever they are asking for happens then they will give something (money, grains, coconuts, jaggery or fruits) equivalent to their weight. So when their desire is fulfilled they go to temple and they are weighed in huge weighing scales against whatever they want to offer. This offering is then made to the God/Goddess.

I have seen children being weighed in the famous Guruvayur temple in Kerala. It is believed that by giving this offering to God, the children remain healthy and happy.

Now this type of offering was first made by Satyabhama, wife of Lord Krishna. As i have already told in my previous posts, Satyabhama was very haughty and egoistic, because of her, beauty, her royal lineage and riches she got from her father. She thought her love for Lord Krishna was pure and ultimate. She was jealous of all other wives, especially Rukmini-the first wife.  She wanted to have all the love of Lord for herself.

Rukmini was incarnation of Goddess  Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and wife of Lord Vishnu). When Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as Krishna, she came to the earth as Rukmini. Rukmini was born as daughter of Bhishmaka-king of Vidharbha.  She was very sweet and gentle, very beautiful, obedient in short a true lady of royal lineage. She came to know of Krishna and fell in love with him. She worshipped him with all devotion and love. Her love was pure and Krishna knew her pure devotion.

Her parents came to know of this and agreed to her marriage with Krishna. But her elder brother Rukmi strongly opposed this marriage as he wanted her to marry her friend Shishupala, crown prince of Chedi for political gains. He made arrangements for this marriage.  Rukmini was frightened and sent a message to Krishna with a brahman. Shishupala arrived on the D-day.

On that day Krishna came, swept her off on his chariot- as she did not want any fight between her husband and her brothers and took her away. When he was accosted by   Rukmi and his friend, he defeated them and left them at the behest of Rukmini with out killing them. He married Rukmini and she became his chief queen and served him with even more devotion and love. Rukmini treated all the other wives as sisters. Lord Krishna loved her, appreciated her devotion towards him as well as her gentle behaviour.

Satyabhama was very jealous of Rukmini as every one were in praise of Rukmini. meanwhile once sage Narada visited her in Dwaraka and during the course of conversation mentions the Lord loves Rukmini more than any one else. This makes Satyabhama very furious and refutes the sage's claim. The sage challenges her to prove it by performing the Tulabharam" Vratham. Its a ritual where Satyabhama has to give away Lord Krishna as Dana (charity) to the sage and can get back Him by paying the sage wealth and riches equivalent to the weight of the Lord. 

She immediately agrees to perform the ritual. Narada cautions her that the Lord and other wives may not agree. But she is so egoistic that she claims that the Lord never crosses the line she draws. She arranges for performing the ritual. The Lord comes to know of it but keeps silent as He is waiting to teach her a lesson.

On D-day Satyabhama, gives away the Lord to the sage as per the ritual. To reclaim Him back, the Lord is made to sit on one side of the weighing scales. On the other side Satyabhama places all the gold and silver coins she has. The scale does not even budge an inch. She brings all her jewellery- Edu Varala Nagalu-diamonds, gold silver, precious gem stones. But the scale does not budge. She then gets all the gold, silver, brass vessels and artefacts of her palace. Nothing happens. Now she is at loss what to do as all the treasures she had were put on to the scales.

The sage taunts her that if she does not come out quickly with the required riches, he would take the Lord to be his slave and publicly auction him on the streets. Now this word spreads to the royal staff and family as well as the queens. All the other queens get very angry. Meanwhile the sage advices Satyabhama to ask for the help of other queens. She approaches other queens except for Rukmini. Even at this stage she thinks she is above Rukmini. The other queens bring all their riches and add to the scales. But it is not sufficient.

Now the sage takes away the Lord and openly auctions Him on the streets. The people of Dwarka are perplexed now. They criticise Satyabhama asking that who she is to donate Him off and when all the riches in the palace could not equal Him, how can their riches save Him. However the thought of loosing Him to some rich man from a far of place infuriates them as they cannot live with out their Lord whom they love so much. So they try to attack the sage. But the Lord pacifies them by saying it is a ritual and He is bound by it.

Meanwhile other queens urge Satyabhama to seek help of queen Rukmini as she is the only one who can save Him now.

Even though Satyabhama doesn't like it, she agrees as other wise the Lord may be auctioned off to some hwere else. So she approaches Rukmini and pleads her to save the Lord.

Rukmini being a gentle lady, agrees. She goes to the Tulasi (basil) plant in her yard, prays to her and plucks the crown(three leaves) off a twig. She then comes to the place where the Lord is being auctioned. She asks all the riches to be removed from the other scale. Then she prays to the Lord and says that if it is always believed that the Lord is bound by devotion and love of His devotees, He may accept her little token of Devotion-the basil leaves-which the Lord loves the most. 

By saying so she places the three leaves in the scale and amazingly the scales weigh more then the Lord. This way Satyabhama realises her foolishness, ego and apologises to Lord, Rukmini and all other queens. 

So God loves His devotees because of their devotion and belief in Him and not because of the rich offerings made to Him.

So that is how Satyabhama used her Edu Varala Nagalu and failed....

Just have a look at the video...

Courtesy YouTube

I am translating this for the benefit of my friends who cannot understand the language:

The Lord is shown serving the sage. Satyabhama and other queens, come to fetch Him and feel very sad at His plight. They plead with the sage to release the Lord. But the sage tells them to weigh the lord with riches and give him that riches if he has to return the Lord. 

The queens take them to the palace and weigh the Lord. First it is Satyabhama to put all her jewellery and riches. Then the other queens follow(except for Rukmini) but it is of no use. Lord's elder brother Balarama (one with the plough) comes to know of this and threatens the sage. But the queens pacify himsaying that satyabhama had performed the ritual and they are helpless.

Balarama orders all the riches from the royal coffers to be brought and put on to the scales. But it is of no use. Rukmini then comes to the place where all this is happening tells them all how futile their attempts are since the Lord who provides the entire universe with so many things cannot be weighed against such worldly riches. She then places the Tulasi leaves and frees the Lord. Sage Narada picks up the sacred Tulasi leaves saying they are more richer than the gold. He then advices everyone that Lord resides in those hearts who selflessly love Him and are His devotees, so one should become such a devotee.

This version is slightly different.

This concludes the topic on Edu Varala Nagalu. I have tried to be as brief as possible. Hope you liked this post..Please do leave your comments and suggestions...I hope Sujatha garu now knows the whole story....

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