Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RUDRA TRILOGY 1 - READ THE FIRST 5 CHAPTERS

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THE SECRET OF THE IMMORTAL CODE

                                      -         SAPTARSHI BASU








AMAZON reviews on RUDRA TRILOGY-BOOK 1- THE SECRET OF IMMORTAL CODE

- Great Mythological fantasy , expertly narrated by Author


I gave four star to this Book because on details mentioned it is easy to absorb the story as a factual one whereas it is fantastically narrated novel



- Good read! The theme is excellent. 


- Nice work, moving script, gripping , hope to read more , awaiting eagerly the arrival of the curse of nagas, 2nd edition ( of Rudra trilogy).




 THE WAIT IS OVER !!! COMING OUT THIS SEPTEMBER, 2013....

AVAILABLE ACROSS ALL ONLINE STORES AND LEADING BOOKSTORES


( PUBLISHED BY PLATINUM PRESS - LEADSTART PUBLISHING- CHARTING OUT MYTHOLOGICAL BEST -SELLERS LIKE ASURA-THE TALE OF THE VANQUISHED & AJAYA)



(THE RUDRA TRILOGY BOOK 1)

THE RUDRA TRILOGY
SAPTARSHI BASU
Copyright 2012 by SAPTARSHI BASU



Rudra Trilogy Trailer





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NOTES FROM AUTHOR:

Lord Shiva’s gospel of Immortality – AMAR KATHA

Lord Shiva started narrating the legend of immortality ‘AMAR KATHA’ to goddess Parvati inside the Amarnath Cave. Incidentally, two pigeons were listening to the story at that time. As a result they became immortal. Even today the two birds can be spotted around the holy cave. Here Lord Shiva is present in the form of Shiva Lingam of ice. This ice Shiva Lingam forms itself during the waxing moon and reduces during the waning moon

But what if ‘AMAR KATHA' Lord Shiva's doctrine of Immortality was in written form? Depicted by some secret symbols? And later stolen by...then...

   Lord Shiva, the Destroyer, the Creator, the Protector.

  God of all Gods. He had prophesied the life of every living being millions and millions of years before. He had fought many a war to drive away the force of greed, hatred and corruption.

But even today, his teachings are as valuable as it was millions of years before.               
It is said that ancient Hindu text holds many unsolved mysteries of the world. Our Vedas and Upanishads are the source of many discoveries. Famous scholars like Max Muller had gone to great depths researching on them. Vedic literature had helped in the understanding and discovery of atomic energy. The earliest use of astrology can be tracked down to Vedanga, derived from the Vedas.

                     Naadi Astrology is a form of Hindu astrology practiced in Tamil Nadu, India. It is based on the belief that the past, present and the future lives of all humans were foreseen by Hindu sages in ancient time.

It is said that Lord Shiva himself had foretold all of these to Parvati when asked about the future of all her children. The sages who were then present at Mount Kailash also heard that and then they wrote it on palm leaves

This is BOOK 1 of RUDRA Trilogy.



DISCLAIMER

This book is a work of fiction and should be treated as such. No claim regarding historical accuracy is made expressly or implied. Any resemblance is entirely coincidental. 



Rudra Trilogy Mantra:

Bhu…Bhuvanasyaha… Bhuvanasya Pitaram… Ghīrbhirābhī  Rudram... Rudram… Divā Vardhayā Rudramaktau...Rudrapallam Vinashayay ....Ahi Upala Tranam...



A hundred and one are the arteries of the heart,
One of them leads up to the crown of the head.
Going upward through that,
One becomes immortal.

-         Chandogya Upanishad, Chapter VIII




*************************

A NOTE ON RUDRA TRILOGY :

For those who think it to be similar to SHIVA TRILOGY by AMISH, let me put forward the differences:

1) In SHIVA TRILOGY, Shiva is treated as a human being, but in RUDRA TRILOGY ,Rudra and Shiva are God

2) RUDRA TRILOGY, though a mythological fiction, tries to bring forth the secret symbols in our Hindu Mythology and their interesting history.In that way, it draws inspiration from DA VINCI CODE.

3) RUDRA TRILOGY also has an astrological aspect as the theme is closely linked to NADI ASTROLOGY.

WHY RUDRA TRILOGY :

After reading several books on Rig Veda, Hindu mythology and Nadi astrology, I felt that it would be interesting if a series based on mythology and astrology closely linked can be written. A lot of interesting facts from Rig Veda has been depicted in the trilogy .

The trilogy is based on a central hypothesis – that is Lord Shiva’s AMAR KATHA  or the gospel of Immortality told to Goddess Parvati inside Amarnath Cave was in written form conveyed by certain secret symbols.

                  

            ***************************


                             ***********

                 FACTS ABOUT NADI ASTROLOGY :


Nadi astrology is an ancient form of Indian astrology practiced in Tamil Nadu. 

The first step for astrological predictions through Nadi philosophy is getting your thumb print. Each individual has a unique thumb impression, and this is the basis on which the Nadi manuscripts are classified.

Each Naadi is made up of a particular ola or palm leaf, written in vatta ezathu, Tamil script, with a sharp, nail-like instrument called ezuthani. The palm leaves are preserved by rubbing peacock oil on auspicious occasions. These palm leaves are still preserved in the Saraswati Mahal library of Tanjore, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The primary centre for Naadi Shastra is in Vaitheeswarankoil, near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. 

When the British left India they took with them some of the ancient manuscripts and texts delving into Alchemy, Ayurveda, and Chemistry, while those pertaining to occult sciences were left behind and auctioned. The Valluvar community, who specialized in Astrology at the time, bought these palm leaves and made Nadi reading their hereditary profession and means of livelihood.

FACTS ABOUT VALLUVARS:

Valluvars belong to the Hindu community mostly living in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are the hereditary priests preaching and practicing Astrology, Astronomy and Medicine.

Valluvars are believed to have been the priests of the Pallava kings before the introduction of Brahmins and for sometime after their arrival.

The Valluvar Community are in the field of Naadi Astrology since many generations. The main office holding Naadi leaves is at Vaitheswaran Koil, Nagappattinam District in Tamil Nadu.

They are devoted followers of Lord Shiva and believe that the knowledge of practising Naadi astrology had come from His boon.

Some say they maintain deep rooted secrecy about information regarding Lord Shiva and the master Naadi leaf.


It is presumed that the tribe has got its name from Thiruvalluvar, a highly celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher whose contribution to Tamil literature is the Thirukkural, a work on ethics.


N.B.: All descriptions given in the facts in this novel are accurate.



                              **********      

More than 6000 copies sold in Amazon.


Made it's way to top 100 in kindle store.


To be published by LEADSTART PUBLISHING


Pre-order from September,2013 onwards

                                                  *********





The Blood Triangle

Saraswati Mahal library, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, 11 P.M.
(A day after the bodies were originally found)


The stale wind carried the gruesome stink to a long distance.
On the ground in front of the century old library broken tree-branches lay strewn all over.
Inside the library it was all dark, an eerie feeling grasping the whole of it.
The bodies were about to rot now.
The bodies of the two security guards of the library.
Now turning completely blue, the snake’s venom had made its way through all possible veins in the bodies.
All around, the wreckage was clearly visible created by the storm last night.
The stench was so great it almost made Dr. K.N. Sanjeev to vomit.
Dr.K.N. Sanjeev-Professor of Vedic astronomy and symbology at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
He felt weak.
Any why won’t he be?
One surprise call and then a long disrupted flight, the professor right now felt an ardent urge to churn out the little he had in his stomach.
A double doctorate holder, Sanjeev was probably the only surviving champion of ancient scriptures and symbols.
Now close to his retirement age, his skinny tall figure looked like a wrecked ship.
The professor’s hand unconsciously went to his stubble as he gauzed the library. It pained him to see the current state of things.
It was not the first time he was visiting here.
Dr. Sanjeev had previously visited this oldest library in whole Asia numerous times. His prime attraction being the rare collection of palm leaf manuscripts preserved here from the time of Nayak Kings of Tanjore.
 But this visit was entirely different, a forced one probably to crack the murder as fast as he could.
The police covered their noses and gave a puzzled look at the professor.
‘Sir, hmmm....we are really sorry to bring you like this’ Mr. JK Tripathy , chief of the crime investigation unit of Tamil Nadu police mumbled in front of an irritated, tired looking professor.
Tripathy’s job was at stake. Never ever in the history of the library, any killings had happened. And now, even after a complete day has passed, the police was left with no clue.
He tensely played with his moustache and briefed Dr. Sanjeev on the happenings.
‘The murder had happened around 10:30 pm last night, Sir. The death is due to snake bite...It’s confirmed...but really we are not able to solve why this symbol has been drawn on the chest of the library guards? What does the murderer want to say’ he looked down, scratching his popping out belly.

Thrusting the handkerchief tightly to his nose, Dr. Sanjeev kneeled down and closely watched the symbol.





An upward pointed triangle with something written beneath it.




The blood had oozed out and dried long before, forming a dark brown patch.
More closer look at the wound and he felt that the murderer had used a sword to draw the triangle.
‘It seems to be written in Vatteluttu, the ancient Tamil script...any idea what it means’
Quite an old and nearly extinct script, he thought in his mind.
Historically, people first used the Tamil-Brahmi script, and then over time, developed the Vatteluttu script around 500 AD.
There are two regional variants of Vatteluttu: Kolezhuthu and Malayanma and Dr. Sanjeev felt it was in Kolezhuthu.
Silence proceeded till The Police chief spoke again.
‘Yes Sir...I mean’ he looked up at the old man standing silently by the corpses’ side.
Dr. Sanjeev looked up and saw a pale looking man in late 70’s completely dressed in white.
The darkness have given him a ghostly form, the professor felt.
He was Bhadraka.
Bhadraka, the headman of the Valluvars.
Valluvars- the secret tribe of Lord Shiva guarding the divine secret for generations.
His eyes had the stillness just before a storm.
Rudrapallam Vinashayay – it’s in Sanskrit’ he said in a cold voice.
‘Yes...that what it means...Rudra...something....something’ Tripathy smiled foolishly looking at the Professor.
‘ But what does the triangle means...The murderer had curved it on the chest of both the guards....’
‘Wait...’ Dr.Sanjeev stopped police chief Tripathy and looked closely at the symbol.
‘Ruudra-pallam Vinashayay...Ruudra...rudrapallam...’ he kept on murmuring, his eyes still closed.
Bhadraka looked upon, his heart pulsating quite fast.
But why the triangle, the professor thought.
‘The symbol has a long history. Triangle symbol was probably first used in Indus valley script, also called the Harappan script.
Seals excavated near Kalibangan of Indus Valley civilization belonging approximately to 2600 B.C. has triangle symbol drawn on it. It has many meanings though, the symbol. In alchemy as a matter of fact, it denotes fire. But...’ Dr. Sanjeev chuckled.
Dark lines of doubt appeared on his forehead.
‘But as of why has it been drawn on the body...I really have no clue’ the professor shrugged.
He kept on looking at those blood-clotted signs.
An extinct script and a triangle symbol! Strange.
He thought for a probable co-relation among the two.
A multitude of different triangle symbols has its place even in rongorongo script but it seemed improbable here.
A voice suddenly caught his attention.
It was cold and stern.
‘I don’t think the symbol has any meaning here. The murderer has drawn it just to misguide us’ the man with the golden white beard spoke again.
‘No...I don’t think so. The murderer is clever but there’s surely a relation. Something, he might be trying to say’ Sanjeev kept on thinking of all possible hints.
The script, he tried to decipher the meaning.
“Rudra” he could understand, probably referring to the earliest form of Lord Shiva and “Vinashayay” meant destruction in Sanskrit.
But what was Rudrapallam?
He looked up at the headman of the Valluvars.
‘Any idea what the script means?’
There was stillness in the air. Suddenly an unknown bird cried out in the darkness.
Sanjeev felt that the man’s eyes glowed up once before he spoke.
Bhadraka kept it short.
‘No...I told you before the writing have nothing to do with the murder...just a trap to misguide us all’
An uncanny feeling caught Sanjeev.
Probably the man was lying, but why he couldn’t understand.

The triangle, it holds the key to the murder.
What does an upward triangle means, he questioned himself.
Harappan script...the different seals....having the symbol....all flashed in front of his eyes.
Suddenly a smiled appeared on the Professor’s face.
‘Clever...very clever...’ he chuckled.
Dr. Sanjeev looked excited, his hands trembling in anticipation.
‘Yesssss!!!YESS!!! The Pashupati Seal....the Pashupati seal...It has all the answers!’
Everyone looked at each other.
The Pashupati seal was excavated near Mohenjo-Daro of Indus valley civilization .Dated back to 2600-3000 B.C., the seal depicts a yogi with a pair of horns crowning his head. He is surrounded by a rhino, a buffalo, an elephant and a tiger. Under his throne are two deer.
But what was the link of thousands of year’s old excavated relic with the symbol on the chest of the two dead guards.
Everyone felt baffled!!!
No one had any clue except for one man standing there!
Bhadraka...and he felt a sudden surge of adrenaline.
He trembled .Closing his eyes he started praying.
Till now, the theft was the only thing which occupied his mind.
Except for Bhadraka, no one knew about it. He hasn’t said a word to the police about the theft.
But now, a sudden fear gripped him.
A chill ran down his spine.
Someone has come to know about it!
The divine secret has been broken!!!
The divine secret of the Rudrapallam!!!








Chapter 1





Avathasys dhanusthvam sahasraksha sathe shudhe,
Niseerya salyanaam mukha shivo na sumana bhava.

-         Rudra Prasna 1.11

(
Oh God with thousand eyes,
Oh God with hundreds of bows,
Please break the sharp ends of arrows thine,
Please slacken the string of your bow,
And become God who does us good,
And God who has a calm mind.
)


It is when time is about to begin.
Mother Earth is just a barren piece of land with no life, no death.

He, whose name shouldn’t be uttered is about to kill!

In the dawn of the world, when the silhouette of cosmic night lies with the soft glow of the morning, a figure appears. Shaking in the broken light of dawn. The Universal Father. Prajapati. He leaves his daughter and looks up. His white locks of curled hair partially cover his perspiring face. ‘Did you hear that howl?’ he asks his daughter. He tries to run but it’s too late.

Prajapati shiver with fear as the flaming arrow is pointed towards him. There is no escape.

‘Noooooooooo....Don’t kill me’ begs Prajapati.

Destruction is near!

The early morning mist slowly fades. Shafts of sunlight break through the cloud. The wild archer stands with his head held high. His eyes are emitting fire. The hallowing darkness glitters with the burning light of his arrow. Each of His sinews emits anger. His name should never be uttered. It must not be mentioned; only indirectly is He to be referred to. His yellow hair blew in the stormy gust. He looked down. The most powerful, fiercely holding the bow and arrow in His hand howls wildly.

Rudra, He is. The ferocious God. Father of the Maruts. Violent as Agni, the Fire God.

Rudra he is- The One.

Two natures entwines in him, one of cruel and wild and other, the kind one – Shiva. Prajapati trembles. He shakes as the burning arrow of Rudra, the cruel hunter, the avenger, is aimed at him.

Prajapati is the target of Rudra.


Destruction will soon begin!



3500 B.C.
Khandava Forest
(Now lies west of Yamuna River, in modern day Delhi)

The chariot slowly drew up and stopped at the edge of the forest. In the darkness of the night, two pair of eyes examined minutely the landscape.

‘It’s time now!’ the voice commanded the men who slowly started encircling the whole forest.

The voice was of the Blue-bodied one.

The other, in his shining warrior armour looked savagely handsome.

Like an angry tiger he stepped down from the chariot and started stringing his celestial bow Gandiva.

The golden celestial bow with a burning arrow went up to his forehead as the warrior closed his eyes and said a silent prayer.

‘Om Namah Shivaya...’ he kept on chanting as he pulled the string effortlessly and released the arrow.

Vasuki coughed hysterically in his death bed. The dense smoke that surrounded everything woke him up.

What was it? The old king couldn’t make out. Rubbing his eyes, he called for the guards.

But no one responded.

The forest looked illuminated. The sky blazed brightly with a yellowish hue. Shrill cry of animals and birds echoed everywhere.

Vasuki tried to stand up. A veil of panic covered his rough face.

Painful moaning of women and children filled the air. Everyone was running helter-skelter to save their life.

The curse!!!

It was working!!!

‘Fire! Fire!!! Everyone wake up...they have surrounded us...run...’

Vasuki now could hear the shouts of Takshak and his son Aswasena.

Takshak, the present Naga king who had taken over the reins from him.

Takshak, descendent of Lord Rama, the great king of Suryavanshis, of Ikshvaku dynasty.

‘My Lord, the Chandravanshis has betrayed us’ Takshak stumbled in front of Vasuki. He took a long breath before speaking next. Trembling, his words gutted out frantically.

‘You need to come with us at once. The wicked Pandava warrior Arjuna had set the whole forest on fire. It’s treachery. I need to take you to a safe place immediately’

Vasuki looked up. He could clearly see the fear and pain in Takshak’s eyes.

The curse!!! Those words of the greatest Lord...Lord Shiva...That Nagas will be annihilated....it was working.

He closed his eyes for a second. The secret needs to be passed on now. His time was up.

Vasuki’s laughter thundered the whole forest as Takshak kept looking surprised, amazed and foolish.








Somewhere in present day India:


The storm was slowly catching speed as Bhadraka hurried towards the century old library.


Bhadraka, the headman of the Valluvars.

Valluvars- the secret tribe of Lord Shiva guarding the secret for generations.


 
The gate was flung open. The rain had already started. The path leading to the stairs was slippery, the old man tried to keep his balance. A rising wave of tension was mounting inside his feeble heart. The whisper of the gushing wind passing through the leaves made a strange moaning sound. His heart was pounding a hundred times faster. Puddles of mud splashed and spoiled the ironed mundu- his stark white dhoti as he ran towards the entrance. 

The lights had gone off making the whole area ghostly. Clutching his torch, Bhadraka shouted for the guards. Nothing came back in reply, which was odd. What all remained was the eerie hollowness of the night. There was something wrong Bhadraka had felt while sleeping and had immediately left for the library. Completely drenched, he kept on chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya... Om Namah Shivaya’ and praying in his mind as he stepped inside.
The sleepy town of Thanjavur was soaked in the torrential downpour. The roads were mostly blank giving a deserted look. Worn out branches lay scattered on the boundary of the library.

The two guards were already dead!

A shiver ran down Bhadraka’s spine. Numbed by the horrid sight, he kept still looking at the dead bodies. A paralytic silence caught him in its womb making the whole world stand still. How could it be, the thought rattled inside his now hollow head. Slowly, he bend down .The supremo of the Naadi family touched their head and muttered a silent prayer. The bodies were slowly turning blue with the snake’s venom. Thick bubbles of spit were oozing from all corners of their mouth. Bhadraka tried to look around for any possible clue. The prolonged rain had washed away all marks on the ground. Frogs croaked at a distance. The bodies were all wet. Their eyes, all whitened and popping out in immense fear.

They must have died instantly.

 Bhadraka took one quick look at the snake bite.

It must be a cobra, he thought.

Tears came rolling down as he silently closed those bulging eyes of the two guards. Faithful and obedient, they had been guarding the library for years. The peaceful world of naadi astrologers weren’t the same anymore. Their deaths were not mere accidents felt Bhadraka. No past history of snake bites at the library came to his mind. Was it then a planned murder, the holy guru of the Valluvars thought shrugging in fear.

Has someone come to know about the secret!

His heart was pumping hard as he ran inside the Saraswati Mahal library with his frail aged legs. Rustling of the weeds could be heard crushed below his feet. Tiny droplets of water hung from his face, clumps of hair stuck to his forehead.

One of the oldest libraries in whole Asia, it was started as a royal library for the private pleasure of the Nayak kings back in 1500 AD. It contains rare and valuable collection of manuscripts on all aspects of art, culture and literature, and specially astrology. Pakshishastra, a unique book dealing with astrology says that - depending on the star that we were born under and the lunar phase that we were born under, we are assigned to one of these five birds: owl, crow, peacock, cock and vulture. Based on several complex permutations and combinations, depending on the month and the lunar phase and the star that is on the ascent, it will give us the horoscope for that particular bird. The reader has to calculate which bird is ‘his’ and then figure out what his horoscope predicts for the day.

The ancient library was the house of millions of Naadi palm leaves sacredly preserved across centuries.

Inside, it was all dark. Thin mist created by lashing rain water floated in the air like a gliding kite.

Someone must have tempered with the main switch, Bhadraka thought. Bhadraka slowly climbed the steps leading to the main hall. His old lungs gasped for air as he stood near the large portrait. Panting and exhausted, he rested for a while clutching the wall. In the flashing thunder his eyes caught the image of Shiva in tandava dance painted on the ancient walls of the library.

Bhadraka remembered!

It was Lord Shiva who had saved the sacred palm leaves through Thiruvalluvan. Thus forming the community of Valluvars- Shiva’s men who are protecting the secret for generations.

The lord must be angry today!

He struggled in that darkness to look through the large hall. A veil of mystic silence wrapped the entire library. Insects played in the conical beam of the torch as he staggered inside. He walked briskly clutching the walls. The storm was still ravaging outside .He could hear the crashing of broken branches. The cry of a lone dog suddenly caught his ear. Bhadraka looked back to check if anyone was following him.

No one should know about the secret chamber.

 As he dragged himself to the southernmost part of the library, the very sight made him quiver in horror. The torch light reflected on the moist dark staircase. The doorway leading to the hidden chamber was now open, its century old rusted lock broken. He shook in disbelief.

How can it happen!




1540 A.D.
Tanjore


The dream.

It came out stunning Sevappa Nayak, the king of Tanjore. Flies swirled around the stack of leaves, scratching them with their legs and then flying away. He listened with enlarged eyes and opened mouth.

‘But one leaf seems to be missing.’ he said worried. Thiruvalluvan described to the king about it. The heavenly voice has clearly instructed him that the leaf will be larger and contains the symbol of two serpents entwined across a pillar.

The king looked stunned! How can this man, living in a shanty mud hut about two hundred kilometres away from the palace know about the leaf.

But do not read the scriptures in it. It will bring severe destruction to mankind.

From now on, you and your successors will be called Valluvars- Shiva’s men.

 You need to guard the secret forever. In turn, these leaves will provide you with a lifelong occupation of foretelling the lives and future of the people’ the Lord’s warning vibrated inside his now hollow head.

The thought of calamity rattled his mind.

Thiruvalluvan pleaded to the king. He described the danger in minute details. ‘Wait here’ the king said and vanished inside. Moments felt like ages, thought Thiruvalluvan. Soon the Pashtun warriors will come to destroy the leaves. He needs to escape before that.

The king handed over a box to him. His hand shook as he thought of opening it. The anticipation of the object inside the box made his heart palpitate.

A dust storm was approaching the palace. Hoofs of horses clattered on the road. A large black bodied cormorant cried aloud from the terrace .It flapped it wings and disappeared towards the forest. ‘They are coming’ the king panicked.

‘This way’ he showed to Thiruvalluvan. ‘You need to escape fast!’








The police were yet to come. Bhadraka had personally asked Anjunath to call the police before coming here. Lighting his torch he carefully walked down the stairway leading down to the chamber. The steps were a bit slippery. Cautiously he crossed the stairs and walked towards the door.

Outside it was still raining relentlessly. The storm was slowly catching speed. The town of Thanjavur now looked completely drenched.

His hands shivered violently as he opened the door of the chamber. No one has ever dared to come so close to the secret. In his entire life, Bhadraka had never ever entered the chamber. As the head of the Naadi group, he only had the power to walk down the chamber. Closing his eyes, Bhadraka kept on praying as he went inside.

Dark thoughts of despair clasped him as he dragged himself forward. The pale light of the torch reflected on an antique painting and Bhadraka shaked and halted at the sight. A sudden strangeness engulfed his heart. This was the first time he was watching it. But something in the painting made him stop and look at it carefully. He remembered the words of a dying man.

No one knew how the painting came there!

It was old, very old as to say. Looking at the painting one can easily comprehend that it was done by some amateurish hand. Clumsy images hurled across each other. The colours were smudged and now looked worn out and bleak. It was a countryside picture of a blue mountain. The peak of the mountain appeared steep with the colours fading away. Bhadraka’s hand shaked abruptly as he tried to focus the torch at Lord Shiva’s face drawn on the top of the mountain. It appeared as if the Lord was looking down with a tear dropping from His eyes. Two snakes entwined emerged from the northwest side of the mountain looking above.

It was a very strange painting.

Bhadraka remembered his father had  once mentioned about it. That it was a key to some deeply guarded secret. What it was no one knew but as per his father the painting was probably drawn by Thiruvalluvan.

To pass on some secret message!

He went close. Bhadraka’s heart was beating a million times faster. He couldn’t understand a single bit of it. A secret message, strange. To him all it appeared as a crude painting. Nothing more than that. The symbols drawn were all very vague. He thought for a moment looking at the inverted triangle sign .At the place where the two snakes entwined emerged from the mountain, two triangles were drawn one resting on the other




 Bhadraka tried to comprehend what might the symbol mean. The acrid air inside the secret chamber made him nauseate. His head was now clamped with confusion and fear. Bhadraka couldn’t draw any correlation between the snakes and the inverted triangle symbol.

Suddenly his eyes caught something written at the bottom of it. He came closer. The hallowing darkness was making it quite difficult for the old man. He strained his eyes under the pale torch light to read it. With years the letters had worn out making it tougher to decipher. Two symbols were drawn at the start and at the very end.

 Never had he seen such symbols in any of the Naadi scriptures nor any of the naadi leaves.

The text was probably in Devnagri script, Bhadraka felt. His mouth made strange shapes as he tried reading it.

‘Ah...Ahi....Ahi Upala...’ strange, he said in his mind. Bhadraka couldn’t make a single meaning out of it. The crumbled words assembled together read a strange message when translated –

Ahi Upala holds the key.

Bhadraka had never heard any such thing in his entire life. He tried to remember. But nothing reflected in his mind. No, it was something strange. Very strange. A blue mountain, Lord Shiva looking down, serpents entwined and lastly the word- Ahi Upala holds the key. All in all, it severely puzzled Bhadraka. He crossed the painting and walked towards the farthest corner of the dark chamber.




In a secret hidden room
in present day India


‘So you see Mr. Nolan, it’s not myth which has been written into those great ancient texts of ours but true history of India.’ Dr. K.N. Sanjeev stopped, looking both at Nolan and Jaya.

‘At times, though, certain things appear to be symbolic or metaphorical and contain deeper meaning. Like the Samudra Manthan or the churning of the ocean milk as it is called, never happened in reality.’

‘What!!!’ a puzzled Jaya seemed more puzzled and looked squarely at Nolan and then to the Professor.

‘ Yes, Jaya...that’s what I feel. It’s all metaphorical and closely related to the symbol in the leaf ’

‘Have you heard of the Samudra Manthan story Mr. Nolan?’ Dr. Sanjeev smiled at Nolan and started.

‘Let me tell you in short. Once Lord Indra, the King of Devas-the Gods, while riding on an elephant came across a sage named Durvasa who offered him a special garland. Lord Indra accepted the garland, placed it on the trunk of the elephant as a test to prove that he was not an egoistic God. The elephant knowing that Lord Indra had no control over his own ego threw the garland to the ground. This enraged the sage as the garland was a dwelling of Sri (fortune) and was to be treated as prasada or divine gift.

Sage Durvasa cursed Lord Indra and all Devas to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune.

In battles that followed this incident, Devas were defeated and Asuras led by great king Bali gained control of the universe. Devas sought help from God Vishnu who advised them to treat Asuras in a diplomatic manner. Devas formed an alliance with Asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among them.

However, Lord Vishnu told Devas that He would arrange that they alone obtain the nectar.

Mount Mandaar, a spur of Mount Meru, the world axis, was torn out to use as a churning stick and was steadied at the bottom of the ocean by Vishnu in his avatar (incarnation) as the tortoise Kurma. The Asuras held the head of the naga Vasuki, who was procured for a churning rope, and the Gods held his tail.
When Vasuki’s head hit the rocks and he vomited forth poison that threatened to fall into the ocean and contaminate the amrita, then God Shiva took it and held it in his throat, a feat that turned his throat blue.

Thus, Lord Shiva came to be known as Neelkanta or the blue necked.

When the divine nectar Amrita appeared, the gods and the Asuras fought over its possession, though they had originally agreed to share it equally. After many adventures, it was finally consumed by the Gods, who were thus restored in strength.

And what I am trying to say is that this incident never happened.’

The professor seemed like dropping a bomb for sure!

‘The whole churning story happens inside the human body...Chandogya Upanishad seems to give a hint to it. You need to crack the symbol with it...I mean with the process’

‘Wait, Sir...’ Jaya shouted out. ‘I mean then how come Lord Shiva turned Neelkantha if what you are saying is true’

‘Good question...’ the professor chuckled.









Bhadraka struggled to move forward. The walls were swampy with a peculiar smell. He checked the floor for the fear of snake. A squeaking sound was coming from the farthest corner of the secret chamber. Looking at it, Bhadraka started running.

 The wooden cabinet was now thrown open!

The doors swayed with a shrill sound. Trembling in fear, Bhadraka slowly focused the torch with his shaking hands.

Inside, the box holding the Rudrapallam was gone!

Bhadraka couldn’t believe his eyes. The secret which has been protected for thousands and thousands of years was now gone.

The master Naadi leaf!

Fanatically he searched inside the closet. But nowhere could he locate the box. ‘Noooo, nooo...it can’t be...it can’t be’ he kept on rumbling as he searched like a mad man. How can someone do it, Bhadraka completely broke down. He closed his eyes in terror. The future ahead was tumultuous.

If anyone has the power to break the code, it will be dangerous. The leaf, the most sacred naadi leaf preserved the secret of immortality.

The Valluvars has been protecting it for centuries. The Muslim invasion, the British rule none could stop them from protecting the sacred leaf .They had kept the secret guarded for ages.

How someone could stole it, again thought Bhadraka. The horror made him so weak that he sat down. Very few knew about it. The secret was passed to Bhadraka by his father on his dying bed. From that time Bhadraka was given the position of the head astrologer of the Naadi family.

He felt lost. Bhadraka’s head was reeling. Clutching the wall, he gasped for breath. That night was now afresh in front of his eyes. The chanting was reverberating inside his head. It was now getting louder and louder while echoing through the silence of the secret chamber.

Bhu…Bhuvanasyaha… Bhuvanasya Pitaram… Ghīrbhirābhī  Rudram... Rudram… Divā Vardhayā Rudramaktau...Rudrapallam Vinashayay ....Ahi Upala Tranam...


Memories of that peculiar night haunted him now. Right now inside the secret depths of the hidden chamber. Those prolonged chanting, the symbols, the inverted triangle shaped Yajna place everything flashed in front of his eyes. The whole world was now blurred in front of his eyes, the meaning of those sacred words obscure and his frail life still. The old man shaked like a twig amidst a gusty storm.

The cobra bites reminded him of someone but he tried not to believe it.

It can’t be! How can Bala, my own son do this!

He knew a section of the naadis followed and worshipped Bala as their leader, but he never thought this will happen.

Rudrapallam, the master leaf, holding the secret of immortality!

No one had ever set eyes on it. For centuries it had been preserved and protected in that curved mahogany box.

The Valluvars had carried the secret from generations to generations.
Bhadraka closed his eyes and offered his repeated prayers to Lord Shiva.

‘Please forgive us Lord…Please’

He couldn’t think what can happen next.

Rudrapallam, the carrier of secret, the secret of immortality, Lord Shiva’s Naadi leaf was now gone!




                ANCIENT MAP OF TANJORE



Issac Newton's drawing of Temple of Solomon




Pashupati Seal found in Mohenjo-Daro (Indus Valley Civilization, also known as Meluhhan civilization)




Five frequent occurring symbols in Harappan Seals



NADI LEAVES


A MEMBER OF VALLUVAR COMMUNITY








  
Chapter 2



    Present Day


       Somewhere in Nashville, United states,
         An inconspicuous house,
   
    1 am of night



 Nolan Edward was still stark awake.

How can I let him die?

He kept on walking up and down in his night suite with a white, feverish face. A worried pair of eyes searched for an answer as his mind stormed between the past and the present. Sweat beads swamped his forehead .Nolan’s lean, worried body hunched over as he thought of the next day. Jaya, his wife remained asleep unaware of the turmoil going inside Nolan’s heart. The room was small and almost dark, except for the streaks of light coming from his reading lamp.

It was the curse, he remembered. And the time has come.

The soft light reflected on the innumerous prizes and honours kept in the glass case beside his bed. Nolan had won them all throughout his lifetime. He had solved the most gruelling mysteries which shrouded the computer world for a long, long time. But today he felt useless. Useless and restless. As none of his knowledge can save the little boy. He looked out from the window for a moment. Like a sailor having lost his way in midst of a vast ocean. All while he had tried escaping his past. Changing cities and homes frequently.

The curse was about to happen. That goddamn curse! Those words of head Naadi astrologer Bhadraka stormed his mind.

Even though you had only used it for the most difficult research on human life and future, what you have done is very wrong, you have interfered with the most sacred thing on earth and no one can save you from the curse.

Ages before it happened yet now it looked so fresh. Nolan thought. For last few years, he had been running away from the glare of human eyes. The decision to settle down at one of the most unnoticeable villages of Nashville was predominantly his. But his past was slowly catching with him, Nolan felt. 

And there was nowhere to run. Just nowhere!

Nolan felt weak in his knees. Grabbing his study chair he rested on it. He closed his eyes for a moment. Visiting the tumultuous future lying ahead. A fine, sunny day. Plumes of blue clouds shadowing the buzzing street. A beautiful boy with black cropped hair happily cycling in midst of the Oxfam street…all flashed in his mind. A grey car menacing down the road, brakes…noises, shouts…blood goosing out… suddenly all went dark.

He hugged his gown close as the terror was spreading goosebumps all over his body.

Only the code can save my boy!

The darkness outside laid a veil of mourning in his eyes. Somewhere in the woods, a jackal howled. Was it the messenger of death, Nolan thought as he shrugged in horror. The fear coated pain was killing him inside. It was thousands times greater than he had felt at FBI’s investigation last week.

No, FBI hasn’t got the code! They will never, ever get it.
The secret should not go to anyone’s hand at any cost !

He remembered those words. He remembered the professor, Dr. K.N. Sanjeev.

That day, the wheel of destiny had started rolling. The past was now clear in front of his eyes.





Suddenly the fine sunny day turned gloomy dark as he took it in his hand. The professor looked outside at the sky.


‘Better, switch on the lights’ he asked Jaya. Dr. K.N. Sanjeev opened the drawer of his right-hand shelf and took out a magnifying glass. Dr. Sanjeev skimmed the large magnifying glass over the leaf, distorting colours and objects beneath like the lights of a city skyline seen through a rain-spattered window. He closely examined the pillar with the serpents entwined across on both sides drawn on top of the large palm leaf.

‘Sir, I think the pillar might be symbolic to Shiva Lingam, the symbol of Lord Shiva’ Jaya told about her findings last night. The professor had turned completely silent by now. Dark shadows of thought appeared all over his wrinkled face. It was ages, before he looked up from the naadi leaf and spoke again.

‘No, it is not. It’s not a Shiva Linga’ he looked at both of them, mesmerised in his own thoughts.

‘I need to examine it more thoroughly. But what I see for now, it’s something like the Holy Grail’.

‘Whattt ?? You mean like the Holy Grail of Jesus Christ’ Nolan almost shouted.

Dr. Sanjeev fixed his stern eyes on him.

‘Yes, you heard it right Mr. Nolan, the Holy Grail’

 ‘We need to solve as to why it’s used here on the leaf. For, I am sure this clearly is a vital component of the whole puzzle’. He stopped, looking at two completely confused human beings in front of him. The inverted ‘S’ sign was bothering him now. ‘It’s interesting to note here that the Templar knights, a monastic order for the protection of pilgrims to the holy place of Jerusalem found something highly valuable while excavating the underground vaults of King Solomon's temple. Even Isaac Newton who practiced alchemy religiously had studied extensively this Solomon Temple. Some say it’s the Holy Grail.
This angle also needs to be examined’.

He remembered it all. Nolan knew the wheel had again started rolling. And this time his only son was at stake.

The curse was about to happen!



Chapter 3


Seventeen years before


Thanjavur Temple compound,
Tamil Nadu, India              


11pm at night

His sword flashed gallantly in that moonlit night. 

The sharp silver blade glazed. He raised it horizontally in both hands and bowed to an invisible God. Bala wickedly smiled as he rubbed his finger across the edge of the sword. The bandana tied across his head fluttered in the wind. Bala practices for a few minutes, cutting through the top and sides of the imagined opponent’s head, chopping through his upper body, piercing his stomach, splitting him in half, from left shoulder to right hip, his arms moving without thought, cutting so precisely that there was not even a whisper as the steel sliced through the air.

The sword was now ready for the kill!

          It was full moon today. The blue sapphire sky was deep and boundless, gold-tinted stars shone brightly in the sky. The final match was about to start. Bala slowly entered the arena. With his mighty right leg he thumped the ground. The chanting has started ‘Bala, Bala, Bala…’. He looked around. Every inch of his body smelled of power.  Bala, the powerful. Sweat beads gleamed on his forehead as he entered. His beloved Nuga, his pet snake was with him. It hissed sharply sending vibrations in the air. Bala kissed Nuga’s head and placed the cobra back in the bamboo box.

You never know when a cobra comes handy!

The silver light had lightened up the otherwise dark part of the Thanjavur Temple compound. Even in this twenty-first century, the temple is perfectly maintained. The Vimana- the temple tower looked heavenly in that broken light. The kumbam or the dome at the top was a marvelous piece of architectural excellence.  Thousands of devotees offer their prayers to Lord Shiva, the temple God every day and night.

For centuries people had believed that the sacred gopuram, the pyramidal tower over the gateway of the temple never cast any shadow on the ground.
Legends say that when the great king Rajaraja Chola I called his chief architect Sama Varma to built a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, he had put forth one condition. That the temple was not to cast any shadow on the ground at any time of the year. As the temple work progressed, Sama Varma grappled a lot with the problem but was unable to solve it. As year passed, he got extremely tensed as to what the king will do to him if he is not able to solve it. One day a small boy came to meet Sama Varma at the temple .The child was stunned at the astonishing architecture and asked how long it will take to be fully completed. Sama Varma revealed his frustration to this boy. The boy smiled and said that he can do it. The chief architect was amazed at his confidence and asked who he was. The boy introduced him as his own son .For years he had not seen his father which made him come to the temple. The little child said that he will help Sama Varma to solve the problem so that father and son can together go home. And true to his words, the boy did that.






But today was a different night.

 Bala touched the ground and felt the soil in his hand. It was dry. He checked the direction of the blowing winds .Bala rubbed the soil in both hands. It would help him for a better grip of his sword. He looked up and searched for the stars. God was on his side. Bala smiled looking around as he walked to his opponent. Wearing the traditional warrior dress, he looked splendid.

  The competition was a secret one.

Traditional martial art is quite popular in this part of India. It was now entering into the final. The Naadi group, loyal to Bala had staged this martial art competition. Son of the headman of the Naadi family Bhadraka- the head Naadi astrologer, Bala is their leader.

                               Muscles taunt, sweat beads rolling from his forehead, Bala’s eyes were now fixed on his challenger. The chanting was getting louder and louder as the two sword stuck with awe and power. Clouds of dust hang in the air as the two fierce fighter clashed violently. Bala jumped to his left and pulled down his sword. Then, like a skillful warrior he glazed it past his companion’s chest. The battle was getting fierce.

Dhruva, his opponent was also a valiant fighter. He leaped and thumped on the soil. Dhruva’s sword rubbed across Bala’s shoulder .He had a narrow escape. A tickle of blood dropped on the soil.

The Naadis has now all gone silent.

Bala looked at his wound and in a second his expression changed. His eyes were emitting fire. He looked like Rudra, Lord Shiva. The Naadis were now all afraid.

What if Bala gets defeated? Can he take it?
                                     
          


                                        
Chapter 4


Eternity

Mount Kailash,
Near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet


vide hi rudro rudriyam mahitvam yāsistam vartiraśvināvirāvat

(Hence Rudra gained his Rudra-strength:

O Asvins, ye sought the house that hath celestial viands)

 -Rig Veda

Prajapati trembled but nothing can be done now. 


His daughter looked up.

Raising His bow, the wild Hunter drew back the bowstring, arms stretching in opposite direction until it reached a point where He seemed to be floating just above the soft clouds. He stood there with His tautened bow, an expression of divine peace and anger spreading across His face. Time, perhaps has stopped: there was no beginning, there was no end.

The flaming arrow soon left the golden bow.

The death of universal father was inevitable.

Prajapati, pierced sprang up and become the constellation Mrga (the antelope: Orion). Prajapati’s daughter becomes the constellation Rohini (Aldebaran).
The arrow now flies downward from heaven to earth. It flies across space, it hits at a particular moment. That moment became fixed in time. It marked the beginning of time itself.

Thus life of man began on earth.

The ashes of Prajapati create a fiery lake.

The charred residue from the burning arrow became dark animals and the ashes that were scattered in all directions became bovine animals.
Just then the God whose name should not be taken entered and claimed all the animals as belonging to him. The other Gods out of fear gave Him the name Pashupati, the lord of animals. The Gods dreaded and loathed Rudra for aiming his arrow at Prajapati, the Universal father. They excluded him from the holy sacrifice, the Yajna. But they were also afraid that He might kill them with his arrows. So the Gods appeased him with hundred extraordinary hymns and praises. Soma, the elixir of immortality brought by the falcon to earth was now with the Gods. The falcon had managed to escape the arrow of Krsanu, the Gandharva archer and guardian of Soma. The secret of immortality, Soma was now gifted by the Gods to Rudra.

Soon, Rudra cast off his wild nature and took the kind form, Shiva.





Suddenly the colour of the day became those of a depressing dusk, plumes of snow blown high by the storms at the summit of Mount Kailash. Ethereal mist moving like a giant eagle across the great flanks of the mountain casted a demonic shadow on the nearby lake Manasarowar. The air, though chilly cold was filled with enormous tension in it. Somewhere across the vast stretch of the mountain, shards of ice fractures and cracks sending hollow echoes in the air.

The storm was coming.

A few kilometres away in the city of Bhogavati Large flags bearing the symbol of cobra flapped and hurled in the stormy gust. The snake totem was adapted by the Nagas for long.

The Nagas, the people of the hills or mountains.


Looking above Vasuki, the Naga king of Bhogavati situated at Ashtapada Mountain closed his eyes for once. His kingdom was next to Kailash and what he watched was the forecast of a looming danger. The wild breeze has a torrid smell of darkness in it. Standing at the terrace of his palace, he watched his people. Nonchalant to the eminent danger, they kept on with their daily chores. Damp withered leaves and broken-off twigs in the lawn being cleared by his gardener. The horses were gazing lazily on the field. The stillness of the mountain awakened a strange feeling inside him. A benevolent king, Vasuki had always loved his people. There had been dangers especially from the Garuda tribe, but today it seemed different. The depth of the silence evoked the murmuring of the curse in the air as he open his eyes. Last few nights Vasuki had not been able to sleep. Images of the curse had torn apart his dreams, making him to wake up abruptly. He looked up above at the ash-grey sky searching for something. The storm kept on, the clouds still marooned at the peaks. Their arch enemy- the Garudas, also called the Suparnas had a peculiar fashion of attack. Vasuki knew how ruthless they are. Each time before their attack, some hovering eagles could be watched above the sky. But today, no such sign of the enemy tribe was informed. Yet, a deep rooted thought lingered inside him. Flooding his lungs to the brim, Vasuki exhaled. He watched his own breath taking shape of a cobweb and wondered. The valley now sparkled with tiny flames, like stars blazing in a clear sky. Lights shone from the windows, the kitchen chimney scribbling smoke over the treetops. Beyond the half-opened windows, dusk was summoning the birds to their roosts. The streets were filled with their babble; birds thickening the foliage of rudrasana trees lining his courtyard. All looked so serene yet so tumultuous.


‘Something is very wrong’ he murmured in his mind.


That very moment a slim, dark creature escaped Kailash fugitively. It kept on travelling till it crisscrossed along the edges of Mandaar Mountain. Its chapped blackish skin reflected in the snow. The snake raised its hood and looked sideways to make sure no one was watching him. The task was extremely risky but the prize was equally high. The eye spot on its hood looked cunning. Unaware of everyone’s eyes in Kailash the sly serpent had succeeded in his goal. He kept on panting having covered so much distance at ethereal speed. The coveted steal was now in its mouth.

Amarkatha, the immortality secret of lord Shiva will soon be transferred!
Visvasphani’s heart was trembling with excitement. A sudden scary thought occurred in his mind of what will happen once Lord Shiva founds it’s gone. If by any chance the Lord gets to know the truth it will bring a curse on his whole tribe. Suddenly he closed his eyes for a moment.

A curse, a lifelong curse on the Nagas!

But then nothing could be changed now.

Visvasphani thought of all the riches he had been promised .He felt relief.Guarding the secret he took refuge against a huge rock stealthily. His eyes glowed as he shed his snake skin and slowly transformed back to his human form. Lord Shiva will never suspect the Nagas, he thought and smiled. They had always been with him in all troubles. Their king Vasuki was the greatest disciple of the Lord. Visvasphani looked up above. The sky had suddenly turned gloomy. Mount Kailash was now draped in rain-clouds hanging low and tinged with the hue of the twilight .He gave out a sigh of relief. The assignment has been completed.

Soon, the secret will be passed on to the Asura king and he, Visvasphani will be awarded with the deserving prize.

The city of Bhogavati where Vasuki ruled was now covered by dark nimbus clouds. Something was very wrong, he felt. What it was he couldn’t make out but the anxiety was killing him inside. The severe anxiousness kept on rattling him till at last he called upon his Commander, Karkotaka. ‘I have a feel that something is wrong at my Lord’s abode .It’s making me restless. I need to see to it immediately’.

A lifelong devotee of Shiva, Vasuki immediately left in his chariot for Kailash.



  ‘It can’t be’ roared Lord Shiva.

Shiva, the Destroyer, the Creator, the Protector. God of all Gods. King of the Ganas.

He woke up from his marijuana trance and found it was gone!

Someone has stolen it! How could it be, a theft in Kailash!

I can’t even relax for a moment, Shiva thought.

His divine eyes were emitting fire. He stood up from the tiger skin holding his trident firmly. The two kundalas-ear rings, Alakshya and Niranjan in the ears of the Lord sparkled in that snowish hue.

The secret which He had saved for thousands of years was now stolen!

  ‘It can’t be…It can’t be…Nandiiii’ Shiva shouted and called Nandi who was in deep slumber. He woke up and felt that Kailash, the serene abode of Ganas was not the same anymore. Their king was now furious. The air was thick in turbulence.   
                            
Someone must have come in disguise!

The sky which was clear a few hours before now looked dark. ‘Yes my Lord’ he gazed at Shiva in fear.

‘Have you seen anyone coming?...’ . ‘No my Lord’ Nandi looked around and found Parvati running towards then looking worried. ‘What happened? Why are you shouting?’ Parvati was still panting as she spoke her words. Behind her at a distance, Mount Kailash stood brooding. The first light of the morning melting down its flanks.The first light of the morning melting down its flanks. Clouds streamed past the mountain peaks, spirits fleeing the rising sun.

 ‘Call my commander immediately. Call Ganesha ’. Shiva ordered.

The supreme Lord closed his eyes for a moment.

For thousands of years He had helped maintaining harmony among all the tribes. The Devas, the Asuras, the Kiratas, the Nagas, the Yakhshas everyone had obeyed him. This treachery would end it all, Shiva felt.

The sun was breaking free of the mountains. Over the distant snow cliffs, a flock of birds drew a black thread all across the sky.

And now... the ferocious war which He had tried to avoid all these years will soon begin! And nothing can stop it now.

The secret needs to be recovered at any cost!



Chapter 5



Bhadraka’s legs were now shaking violently. The acrid smell of the dark secret chamber suffocated him, like someone holding his neck and strangling him. The police can be here in any minute. He trembled as he moved .The rain outside has now slowed down a bit.

What will he say to the police, Bhadraka thought.

I can’t say about Rudrapallam, the secret which we had guarded for centuries can’t be made public!

Vision from the past appeared before his eyes like old ghost. He remembered how the Valluvars had fought to guard the secret for centuries.

Clutching the nearest pillar, he made his way to the staircase.

A loud thunder crashed on a nearby tree. The eerie sound filled Bhadraka’s heart with despair. Now with the Rudrapallam gone, it might invite Lord Shiva’s wrath.

Shadows appeared. Broken Shadows. Voices could be heard nearby. He recognized one of them as Anjunath, his personal secretary. They were all coming in search of him.

The dark chamber fell into an almost tangible silence. All he could hear was those words. Feeble, shaking words of a dying man. It vibrated inside his ears.

 ‘My son, now take the oath of your life …whatever happens, you will never let anyone know about the Rudrapallam…you will save it even if you have to sacrifice your own life..Our ancestors guarded it for thousands of years, we have to carry on with the secret’.


Again, the chanting reverberated inside his now hollow head.

Bhu…Bhuvanasyaha… Bhuvanasya Pitaram… Ghīrbhirābhī  Rudram... Rudram… Divā Vardhayā Rudramaktau...Rudrapallam Vinashayay ....Ahi Upala Tranam...


Bhadraka’s stomach tightened. His aged body convulsed with a sudden pang of fear. The tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth and no matter how many times he swallowed, he couldn’t chase away the dryness that had taken him over. The nausea slowly subsided, but left a sour coating at the back of his throat. Closing his eyes, he let his head hang slightly, the knots finally loosening their deadly grip on his stomach.

It all started with the great astrologer Thiruvalluvan. Bhadraka remembered. He closed his eyes and let his mind swim back to the past.

Thiruvalluvan, the founder of Valluvars- Shiva’s men. ‘Var’ symbolizes a community or a group of men in Tamil dialect. It was Thiruvalluvan who got a boon which completely changed their way of life.

If Thiruvalluvan was successful in saving the Naadi leaves, he would be granted success for many generations to come. And thus, for generations after generations the Valluvars has been practicing Naadi astrology.





Tanjore, 1540.


( Currently known as Thanjavur. )

A poor astrologer living in one of its far off village was having trouble with his dinner. The peacock oil lamp gloomily burnt at one side of his small mud house. The fire flies casted peculiar shadows on the wall .Thiruvalluvan was extremely worried. His livelihood was now at stake. The little income he earned visiting the Tanjore palace will soon be gone. The Nayak king was benevolent and had shown keen interest in astrology. But will the Mughal’s threatening invasion little luck remained with him.

Tanjore, now called Thanjavur was situated in Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Sevappa Nayak, the founder of Thanjavur Nayak dynasty was now at its throne. A lover of art and culture, he patronized learned men in his kingdom. Splendid temples, rich in architecture were built during his regime. Men and women loved and respected him for his compassion.

But then, their happiness was short-lived.

A storm of dust created by hoofs of horses emerged on Tanjore’s border. The skyline looked wretched. Dark, strong horses with pashtun warriors alighted on them. Their eyes were sharp and devoid of mercy. Their leader and king was Farid Khan, the great Pashtun warrior. His sword glittered as he pierced through the wind. Blood drooping from it. His fearlessness has earned him the title Sher Khan – the tiger. Bahar khan, the Mughal governor of Bihar was highly impressed by this young man’s bravery and rewarded him the title.
Sher khan who defeated the great Mughal emperor Humayun and started the Suri dynasty.

History knew him better as Sher shah Suri.

And now, he was close to Tanjore’s throne.



Thiruvalluvan tossed and turned in his straw bed. His heart was full of anxiety and fear. He was always in a habit of sleeping early but today it seemed difficult. His wife was already snoring away in deep slumber. Thiruvalluvan’s restless mind wouldn’t let him sleep. He felt time was slipping by. Outside it was pitch dark. He could hear sudden cries of wild animals. Slowly his eyelids got heavy.

About two hundred kilometers from Thiruvalluvan’s house, a group of men dressed in warrior armors were now entering the Tanjore palace.

Farid khan’s army had defeated the king. Dead bodies flung wide lay strewn on the roads. A violent war was fought but then, the pashtuns were far too skilled and ruthless. Sevappa Nayak, the king was offering his evening prayers when Farid khan entered.

‘Search the whole palace’ he ordered.  Farid khan’s voice thundered against the palace walls. ‘And bring me whatever interesting you get. Jewels, stones, gold…everything’

The queen and other women of the Tanjore palace trembled as they looked down from the terrace. They watched in awe as Farid khan roamed like a tiger on the huge compound of the palace. Together, they all prayed to Vaitheeswaran, Lord Shiva.

Only the Lord can save us now!

‘What are these’ Farid khan mocked as he looked at the bundle of leaves. ‘Is the king so poor that he keeps such trivial things in his palace’ the pashtuns heartily laughed. In front of them lay thousands and thousands of palm leaves bundled together .A collection of fifteen to twenty such leaves was sewed in a group. Farid khan sat down to examine them closely. There were peculiar inscriptions in all the leaves. He couldn’t understand a single bit of it.
Then suddenly his eyes caught the leaf lying at one corner of the piled stock. It was different from all of them. Farid khan took it in his hand. His hand felt sticky. Thin film of oil spreaded over the leaf. It was heavier than others. A strange glow emerged from it. The inscription was also quite different. Farid khan ordered his commander to have a close look at it. The symbols drawn on the leaf were all very peculiar, he thought.

Compared to the rest, it was quite larger. It was about four inches in width and approximately twenty inches in height. The normal leafs were hardly one and a half inches in width and around ten inches in height.

At the top of the leaf, two snakes remained entwined across an egg-shaped pillar. One was facing upward with an open mouth, while one was moving down the pillar with closed jaws. The serpent with the open mouth was facing east, while the one below was facing west. In between them, Farid khan noted that the pillar was brownish and had a mark resembling a perpendicular stick with something written on it.



Farid khan’s intelligent and cunning mind could now gauze that it was the carrier of some key message. But what it was, it was hard to decipher. He ordered that the king should be brought to him immediately.



He abruptly woke up with the sudden shrill cry .Thiruvalluvan didn’t know what time it was. The sky has completely changed its colour. The birds were shouting at the top of their voices. He got up and opened the door. A fire was burning just outside his house. It was of a strange shape, Thiruvalluvan thought. He wondered how the fire had happened all together.

All of a sudden, everything went still .The animals who were shouting were all gone. The sky glowed in crimson light. Thiruvalluvan shrieked in fear. Someone was dancing violently inside the flames. In one hand, the drum swayed in the air. The other hand held a trishula up towards the sky. He stepped back. Thiruvalluvan’s whole body was shaking violently. He couldn’t imagine his eyes. The tiger skin flashed in Thiruvalluvan’s eyes. He dropped down to his knees. Then slowly the voice emerged out of the fire.

‘Do not fear. Listen to me very carefully. I have chosen you for a very important task. If you are successful, for generations to come will remember you as a great astrologer and you will be rewarded. But remember, you can never let out the secret’.

Thiruvalluvan trembled in fear as he heard the voice. It was now approaching him. He closed his eyes. Bending down, he spreaded his hand at the feat of the figure. He offered his prayers repeatedly.

He has been chosen for the most important task.

Bhadraka had heard this story many times from his father.

That Lord Shiva himself came to save the Rudrapallam!



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A NOTE ON RUDRA TRILOGY :

For those who think it to be similar to SHIVA TRILOGY by AMISH, let me put forward the differences:

1) In SHIVA TRILOGY, Shiva is treated as a human being, but in RUDRA TRILOGY ,Rudra and Shiva are God

2) RUDRA TRILOGY, though a mythological fiction, tries to bring forth the secret symbols in our Hindu Mythology and their interesting history.In that way, it draws inspiration from DA VINCI CODE.

3) RUDRA TRILOGY also has an astrological aspect as the theme is closely linked to NADI ASTROLOGY.

WHY RUDRA TRILOGY :

After reading several books on Rig Veda, Hindu mythology and Nadi astrology, I felt that it would be interesting if a series based on mythology and astrology closely linked can be written. A lot of interesting facts from Rig Veda has been depicted in the trilogy .

The trilogy is based on a central hypothesis – that is Lord Shiva’s AMAR KATHA  or the gospel of Immortality told to Goddess Parvati inside Amarnath Cave was in written form conveyed by certain secret symbols.


                  

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6 comments:

Binu Nair said...

Nice work, moving script, gripping...amazing work...waiting to read the curse of Nagas....

swagatika said...

Bowled over!!! amazing

Vinay Mathur said...

The concept of symbols is amazing...read the 4 chapters and awesome...will soon buy it

Swati Pradhan said...

Just awesome...when is the paperback coming out...EAGER TO READ!!!!

Aditi Bhattacharjee said...

spellbound...

Aditi Bhattacharjee said...

spellbound...

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