venerdì 4 aprile 2014

Amba's story - Part II

Dying Bhishma
For a year, in the deepest and most inhospitable forest, eating only roots, berries and of her hatred towards Bhishma, Amba meditated and worshiped Shiva.
The God, moved with compassion, sent his son Karttikeya who gave the girl a garland of ever-fresh lotus flowers.
"Take this wreath, Amba - said Kārttikeya - who will wear it will kill Bhishma."
Immediately the girl went in search of a warrior, one kshatriyas, willing to wear the garland and kill Bhishma, but found none.
"Bhishma is good and wise man - they answered her - and then you can not beat him, we can not kill him."
Amba came into the kingdom of Pancala and came to King Drupada, on her knees and asked him to wear the garland, but also Drupada refuse . Angry, the girl threw the garland on a column in the royal hall and il stayed there.
Back in the forest, Amba devoted herself again to the most severe austerities until Shiva appeared in person.
"Amba, your devotion has rewarded you - said the God- in the next life you'll kill Bhishma yourself."
"But when I am reborn - Amba said - I will not remember anything of this life, how will I know to kill Bhishma, the , how can I woman, kill a brave kshatriya?"
"Nothing is impossible for me - Shiva replied - so will it."
Amba could not wait for herfate, she built a pyre of wood, lit the fire and fell upon it, sacrificing her own life, to anticipate her revenge.
As predicted by Shiva, Amba was reborn just as in the palace of Pancala, daughter of King Drupada. A little girl, named Shikandhin.
One day the little Shikandhin saw the garland of lotus flowers still fresh hanging on the column of the royal hall, she went up and put it around her neck.
The father Drupada knew all in an instant, fearing the revenge of the daughter damaged his reign, he sent the girl into exile.
In the forest Shikandhin took full consciousness of her own identity and mission, but it was a woman, how would she do?
The young woman did not despair, and in fact  one day she helped a yaksha, a divine spirit, which had fallen into a trap. When the mysterious being askedher to make a wish, Shikandhin had no doubts, "I want to become a man," she said, and it was so. Shikandhin became Shikandhi, valiant warrior who joined the five Pandava brothers in the bloody war against the Kauravas described in the Mahabharata .
When Bhishma - leader of the Kauravas -  saw Shikandhi before him, he knew that his own hour had come. The code of chivalry prevented him from fighting with a person born as a woman. When he was struck by the thousands of arrows shot by the Pandava warriors, Bhishma defended himself with all his strength, but he did nothing to defend against Shikandhi.
Now dying Bhishma fell to the ground supported by a bed of arrows, indicating that he had pierced his heart he said, "this arrow has been shot by Shikandhi."

[The end]

To read part I click here

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