giovedì 8 dicembre 2011

Bhangasvana, the king who wanted to be woman

Indra on his vahana Airavata
In ancient times there was a just and wise king, his name was Bhangasvana. The king was very sad because he had no children who would guarantee his offspring. The idea was to celebrate the Agnishuta, the great sacrifice to Agni, the God of fire, to get a son.

The rite was celebrated with great participation and great precision and worked so that Bhangasvana had one hundred sons.
But the wise king forgot envy and jealousy of the Gods. Celebrating the Agnishuta, he had gravely offended Indra, the King of Gods and Indra decided to take revenge.
One day the king was out hunting and got lost in a dense forest, tired and thirsty, he came in front of a lake where he fell to drink and freshen up, but when he get out of the water he descovered that was transformed into a woman. Desperate, Bhangasvana did not know what to do, how he would get in his home town, how to live in that condition, or understand the reason for that transformation. But he took courage, he returned to the royal palace and explained to his wives and his sons what had happened. He transferred power to his hundred sons and moved into the forest.
Here Bhangasvana became the wife of a hermit and he had a hundred children again. Bhangasvana thought that they were entitled to the throne, led them into his kingdom and said to one hundred other sons to share power peacefully with the new one hundred brothers.
But Indra was not appeased and sowed envy between the brothers, among them a great war broke out during which all perished.
Bhangasvana became desperate and her desperation moved to pity Indra who appeared to the Bhangasvana and explained her the reason for everything that had happened.
Bhangasvana knew she had offended Indra and humbly asked forgiveness from the King of the Gods, who said:
"Your repentance is sincere, so I can bring back to life one hundred of your children, who you want to come back to life the sons you've had as a man or those which she have had as a woman?"
"The ones I had as a woman," said Bhangasvana without even thinking for a moment.
Indra was astonished and asked why.
"The love of a mother is the greatest love that exists on earth - Bhangasvana said - so her suffering for the loss of a child is greater than that of a father."
Indra was struck by the response of the woman, "you have responded well, woman, and I not just back to life all your children, even those born from your previous life as a man, but I will pgive you back your manhood, you will return to being a man. "
"No - Bhangasvana cried - I want to be a woman!"
Indra, even more amazed at the response, demanded an explanation.
"As a woman's love is greater than that of a man - said Bhangasvana - so a woman get the sexual pleasure that is far more intense than the one that gets the man."
And so Bhangasvana remained woman.

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