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God of Destruction

 
by Purnima Kak

Miharkula, who is generally known as God of destruction, was one of the last ruler who belonged to White Hun race, invaded India in fourth century AD. Pt. Kalhan has given him the title of God of Destruction because of two famous events in his life.

In 530 AD he was defeated by king Yasovarman, and had to flee India. While on his flight he changed his mind and persuaded the king of Kashmir to Grant him asylum. While he wormed his way into Valley his baggage also included the train of elephants. While ascending the Piir Panchal the foot of an elephant slipped and the tusker went hurtling down the mountain. As life is dear to man so is to the beast and unfortunate elephant trumpeted distressfully appealing perhaps for the help. But Mihirkula who was cruel and of violent nature enjoyed the fatal moaning in the spirit of the supernatural beings inimical to mankind.  So much did his ear feel ticked by the sound that he caused another elephant to be hurled down in order to cater to his enjoyment. He became intoxicated with it, and his appetite for this ‘monstrous music’ grew and a hundred elephants found their death that day in the gorge of Pir Panchal to satiate the perversity of the Miharkula.

The spot where the elephant slipped has acquired the name of ‘Hastivanj’. Another famous event was that he wanted to divert the river Chandrakulya, (at present tsuntikul). While doing so laborers confronted a rock in mid stream and could not remove it even with all their combined might. The presence of the rock caused an obstruction and the King’s plan was thus wrecked. But Miharkula was dead set to complete his mission at any cost.

Meanwhile, on one night when he was deeply concerned, he saw a dream and the God spoke to him about the problem which was hanging heavy on his heart. God said that his men who were striking against the rock was the citadel of a might Yaksa, who was an ascetic wedded to celibacy and was bound to repel any effort to overthrow him by physical might. As a celestial being, the Yaksa was vulnerable to chastity and were a chaste woman touch the rock, he would not have the power to obstruct.

The King was delighted, for he had been provided with solution and commanded that a chaste woman be asked to touch the rock. It was privileged upon the ladies of the palace and of high families to approach the rock in order of priority and each of them returned with a stain on her fair name when the rock stood still. The reputation of so many ladies became suspect that people came to regard the dream as another whim of King to harass his subjects.

When the ladies of the noble stock had failed to move the rock, the turn to try her luck fell to the lot of a poor woman. Chandrawati was the wife of a potter. Those others who had endeavored in vain sneered at her when she approached the rock. This potter’s wife trod with confidence and touched the rock. The wonder happened and the rock moved by her touch. The King was full of wrath and had all those woman of high families slaughtered who had failed to move the rock. Truly has the title suited him the God of destruction.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

Kashmir History and Politics

 

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