मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

तक्षक आणि परीक्षित, कोविड-१९ आणि आपण...Recalling Mahabharata During Epidemic of Covid-19

“…Two of Pascal’s best-known passages come into play in connection with the coronavirus. The first has it that “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” The second speaks to the human condition: “Imagine a number of men in chains, all under sentence of death, some of whom each day are butchered in the sight of others; those remaining see their own condition in that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is an image of the human condition.” The coronavirus has forced almost all of us, either in enforced or self-imposed quarantine, to sit quietly in our room, and the news of the continuing deaths it is causing — of the obscure and the celebrated — concentrates our minds on Pascal’s dark human condition….”

कोरोनाविषाणू मुळे  झालेल्या लॉकडाऊन मध्ये महाभारतातील परीक्षित आणि तक्षकाची गोष्ट आठवत राहती.

परीक्षित स्वतः:ला quarantine करून घेतो, social distancing वाढवतो तरी कडक बंदोबस्तातून तक्षक राजापर्यंत पोचतो. लहानपणी थोडी उंच इमारत दिसली तरी वाटे अशाच कोणा इमारतीच्या टोकाला परीक्षित रहात असावा.

खर सांगायचं म्हणजे पांडवांची मुले अश्वथाम्याने मारतो,  या घटनेच्या सोबत महाभारताचा गिअर बदलतो- यादवी युद्ध (तो सात्यकी इतका आवडायचा आणि इकडे त्याचे चाळे बघा), पांडवांचा हिमालयात मृत्यू , आणि परीक्षिताची गोष्ट. लहान बुद्धीला हादरवून टाकणारे, आतर्क्य प्रकार. 

त्या कथेची एक आवृत्ती, मी वाचलेल्या/ ऐकलेल्या गोष्टीपेक्षा जरा वेगळी,  अशी सांगितली आहे:

"... On the other hand, the son of Kadru was worried. He told his followers ” “Assume the shapes of Brahmins. Only Brahmins are not prevented from entering the ave where the yagna is taking place. Bless the king with fruits and flowers. Take a fruit and give it to him. Don’t go fast but slowly. Don’t let the followers of the king identity you.” 

Having said this, Takshak took shelter inside a fruit. Hearing this, all the serpents assumed the disguise of Brahmins. They went to the place where the king was seated, with many fruits and flowers. Brahmins were not prevented from crossing the doors of the King. They blessed the king will fruits and flowers which the King accepted with delight. Seeing a damaged fruit, the king damaged it further with his nails. A tiny red coloured insect was within it. The king saw its black face and told his ministers “Today’s the seventh day for which I was cursed. One minute is left for sunset. It is strange that the Brahmin’s curse is about to fail. This curse is supposed to be infallible. That’s why my mind is tensed. Let this insect be the Takshak and bite me so that the Brahmin’s word is not falsified.”
Having said this, he placed the insect on his head. When the ministers saw this, they warned” Don’t let this happen”. The king was debating with ministers about this, when the Takshak assumed it’s shape and roared like the cloud at the time of end of civilization. The ministers fled as soon as they heard the sound. Everyone was frightened on beholding the dangerous look of Takshak. Takshak held the body of the king with its tail. One thousand tongues of the Takshak assumed the shape of an umbrella. With a sound, Takshak bit the King’s head, after which it disappeared in space. The king was burning along with the platform, in the fire caused by the poison. His body was like a red lotus. The ministers wept at the demise of the king. This news also made everyone in the inner courtyard weep. The funeral rites of the King were immediately performed...."

लहानपणी ऐकल्यापासून ही गोष्ट मला अतिशय भीतीदायक आणि आयुष्यातील अटळता दाखवून देणारी वाटली आहे. 

अर्थात ह्या घटनेच्या आधीची परीक्षिताची वागणूक (१) आणि त्याच्या मृत्यनंतर त्याच्या वारसदारांनी केलेले सर्पसत्र (२) हे सगळेच परीक्षिताच्या मृत्यूइतके क्लेशकारक आहे. 

(१) “…‘Janamejaya said, “In our lineage, no king has ever been born who did not look after the welfare of his subjects and please them. Consider especially the conduct of my grandfathers, who were always devoted to a great life. How did my father, who was like them, come to his end? Describe it accurately to me. I wish to hear it.”’

Souti said, ‘Thus asked by the king, the ministers, who were always engaged in that which brought pleasure to the king, told him everything that had happened. The ministers said, “O king! Your father was always addicted to hunting, like the greatly fortunate warrior and great archer, Pandu. He handed over all matters concerning the running of the kingdom to us. On one occasion, he was roaming in the forest and pierced a deer with an arrow. Having thus shot the deer, he pursued it deep into the forest, alone and on foot, with his sword, quiver and bow ready. But your father could not find that lost deer deep inside the forest. He was sixty years old and aged and felt tired and hungry. He then saw a great sage in that great forest. The lord of kings asked the sage, who at that time was observing a vow of silence and thus the sage did not reply to any of the questions. In his vow of silence, the sage sat motionless and peaceful like a piece of wood, and hungry and thirsty and not knowing that the sage was observing a vow of silence, the king became angry with the sage. Being angry, your father insulted the sage. O best of the Bharata lineage! With the end of his bow, he picked up a dead snake from the ground and placed it around the shoulders of that pure-souled sage. But that wise one did not utter a word, good or bad, and did not become angry. He remained as he was, with the snake around his shoulders.”’…”
('The Mahabharata Volume 1' , अनुवाद: Bibek Debroy)

(२) Arun Kolatkar (अरुण कोलटकर), 'Sarpa Satra', 2003/2004, page 56:
 "...A nice yajnya, this.
Not a single sacrificial post in sight.
No ropes, no knives.
There's no need for the queen,
or anybody else,
to lead the animal to the killing field
and take its life by smothering it,
bludgeoning it,
or worse.
No need to carve up the parts
-omentum, liver, lung, bladder,
and cook them separately;
or to roast
the victim's still-bleeding heart on a spit.
Oh no. Nothing of the sort.
Nothing crude.
It's all sorcery: mantras do it all..."

 'सर्पसत्र', १९२० च्या सुमारास अज्ञात कलाकाराने काढलेले चित्र 

सौजन्य : विकिपीडिया