Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Kampilya council meets

The news of the Vrcivan attack had reached Kampilya, the capital of South Panchala. Srnjaya and son Prastoka had several meetings with the Kampilya council since then. As if on cue, a messenger from Bharadvaja’s ashram (hermitage) arrived within a few days of the attack. Bharadvaja had arranged to send messages to Srnjaya and Abhyavartin immediately after his meeting with Vadhryasva and Dabhiti.

The message was simple and direct. The only way the Vrcivans could be countered was if the three rajans came together as allies. Bharadvaja would play an active role in the campaign if they came together. Bharadvaja would decide on the role and contribution by each janapada. If these basic terms were agreeable, then a meeting to work out the exact details would be convened at a secret location on the following full moon day.

Srnjaya conveyed the message to his council. The decision was swift and unanimous. Kampilya would abide by the conditions set forth by Bharadvaja. The decision was conveyed to Bharadvaja’s messenger who then relayed a set of instructions to be executed immediately. The army was to be placed on alert and to prepare for war at once. Every settlement was to be fortified the able amongst the inhabitants to keep vigil instead of looking after their herd. Production of weapons and coats was to be stepped up as was the construction of chariots.

Messengers spawned all over South Panchala and preparations for war began in earnest. Purohits in every settlement were instructed to conduct yagna’s to invoke Agni and seek the well being and protection of one and all.

South Panchala was now in war mode…

Author's note: There are several hymns in Mandala VI that invoke Agni and Indra. There is one hymn that particularly seeks for the well being and protection of the invokers. I reproduce the entire hymn RV 6.002 in its exact form as translated by Griffith.

THOU, Agni, even as Mitra, hast a princely glory of thine own.
Thou, active Vasu, makest fame increase like full prosperity.

For, verily, men pray to thee with sacrifices and with songs.
To thee the Friendly Courser, seen of all, comes speeding through the air.

Of one accord men kindle thee Heaven's signal of the sacrifice,
When, craving bliss, this race of man invites thee to the solemn rite.

Let the man thrive who travails sore, in prayer, far thee the Bountiful.
He with the help of lofty Dyaus comes safe through straits of enmity.

The mortal who with fuel lights thy flame and offers unto thee,
Supports a house with many a branch, Agni, to live a hundred years.

Thy bright smoke lifts itself aloft, and far-extended shines in heaven.
For, Purifier! like the Sun thou beamest with thy radiant glow.

For in men's houses thou must be glorified as a well-loved guest,
Gay like an elder in a fort, claiming protection like a son.

Thou, Agni, like an able steed, art urged by wisdom in the wood.
Thou art like wind; food, home art thou, like a young horse that runs astray.

E'en things imperishable, thou, O Agni, like a gazing ox,
Eatest, when hosts, Eternal One! of thee the Mighty rend the woods.

Agni, thou enterest as Priest the home of men who sacrifice.
Lord of the people, prosper them. Accept the ofrering, Angiras!

O Agni, God with Mitra's might, call hither the favour of the Gods from earth and heaven.
Bring weal from heaven, that men may dwell securely. May we o'ercome the foe's malign oppressions, may we o'ercome them, through thy help o'ercome them.

Map with references to locations mentioned in the story 

No comments:

Post a Comment