Friday, September 13, 2013


King Solomon is not a Hindu character, nor he is related to Hinduism in any way. He is very famous Christian Biblical character. He was the last King of Israel just before its division. I had heard his name before also when I was working in Nigeria in a theological library but it was only a name sake only. I did not know anything abut him. But when I came to Ethiopia, lived there for four years, from 1989 to 1992, and worked there in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies Library of Addis Ababa University then only I came to know about him more. Ethiopian kings consider themselves the descendants of Solomon. How?

There is a very old legend about Solomon continuing from about 3000 BC. There was a Queen of Sheba in Ethiopia in those times with her capital at Axum. She went to see the King Solomon and brought his child with her to Ethiopia. She gave birth to a son who later was crowned as the King of Ethiopia by his father Solomon himself. Since then his descendants had been ruling Ethiopia till 1974, when its last ruler King Haile Selassie, the Lion of Judah, was killed. The account of their meeting is written in "Kebra Negast" (means the Glory of Kings) which is very important book of Ethiopia. This story is supported by Bible, Quran and Jews' Talmud also.

It is so popular that a few books have been written on this theme, even a few films have also been made on this story, but still they are so uncommon for common people that they do not know about it unless they are specifically in that field. It is next to impossible to know about it in India, unless somebody has interest in Ethiopian studies, leave alone Hindi readers. There are some paintings also related to them.

When I came to know about it, a curiosity rose in my heart to read it. Luckily I found a book in the Ethiopian Studies Library and I borrowed it. It was so well and charmingly written that it brought the story live to my mind. I finished it in one day only. When I read that book it seemed to me be a beautiful divine love story. It fascinated me so much that I decided to translate that book in Hindi and I did it. This translation is still with me.

Then I read about Solomon also. His life story is also so fantastic that I could not resist myself to tell people about him. I think I have yet to find a king like him in our Hindu history. A selected bibliography of books and films has also been compiled on "Solomon" and "Solomon and the Queen of Sheba", that is also with it.

He was a fantastic king. I will write something about him in my next blog, till then....

Sushma Gupta

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ganesh Chauth

Ganesh Jee is our one of the five main Deities - Shiv, Ganesh, Devee, VIshnu and Soorya. He is not only the one of five main Deities, but also to be worshiped first among all of them. He is the god of wisdom and prosperity

Ganesh Chaturthee is his birthday. He was  born on Bhaadrapad Krishn Chaturthee. Although this festival is celebrated all over India but it is more important and popular in southern India, especially in Mahaaraashtra. There its celebration continues for five, seven, or ten days. Some even stretch it to twenty one days, but ten is the most
popular time for its celebration. In the tradition of the right hand path the first day is the most important. In the left hand path tradition the final day is most important.

Ganesh Jee is invoked before the beginning of any auspicious work so that it is completed without any hurdle, because he is the Deity of removing all hurdles. It is also believed that for the fulfillment of one's desires, his blessing is absolutely necessary. His ride is Mooshak (mouse) and his  most loved food is Modak (Laddoo). He is the son of Shiv and Paarvatee, and the brother of Kaarttikeya - the general of the gods, Lakshmee Jee - the goddess of wealth, and Saraswatee - the goddess of learning. 

There are many stories about Ganesh Jee, you may read them at,  only a couple of stories are given here.

Birth of Ganesh and His Elephant Head
How he was born is an interesting story but there are several versions as how he got the elephant-head,

Legend has it that once Paarvatee Jee was taking bath in Shiv's absence that Nandee came inside, Paarvatee Jee got very embarrassed, so she asked her friends as what to do. She could not trust Nandee in this way. They suggested her to create a man of her own trust, So once when Paarvatee Jee was taking bath she created a boy out of the sandalwood dough that she used for her bath and breathed life into him. She asked him to stand as her guard at the door so that nobody can come in while she was taking her bath. The boy said "All right" and stood at the door as a guard.

Now Shiv was away to kill demon Jalandhar He had killed the demon and came back to his home with a great victory. When he came home he found a boy guarding his house. He wanted to come inside his house but the boy did not allow him to come inside at any cost. The boy always insisted - "I cannot let you enter the house as it is my mother's instruction." Shiv Jee was in a flux. He did not know that he had a son, who was that boy who was claiming that he was his son.

When even after long persuasion the boy did not allow Shiv to enter his own house, Shiv got angry and a fight broke in between both of them. A little later Shiv cut the neck of that boy and entered his house victoriously. When Paarvatee Jee saw Shiv inside the house, she asked him how did he enter the house? Shiv told her the whole story and told also about the killing of that boy.

Paarvatee Jee started crying, saying that she was her son and if he did not bring her son back to life, she will die. Shiv Jee got very sad. He sent his Gan to find a newborn's head whose mother was sleeping turning her face from her child. The Gan went here and there and found a she-elephant who was sleeping  turning her head from her child. They cut her child's head immediately and brought it to Shiv Jee. Shiv Jee also immediately fixed that head on the trunk of the dead boy and brought him to life.
Why People do not See the Moon Today?                                    
There is strong tradition that people do not see the Moon today. Once his mother Paarvatee cooked twenty-one types of delicious food and a lot of sweet porridge for him on one of his birthdays. Ganesh Jee ate so much that even his big belly could not contain it. Mounting his little mouse, he embarked on his nightly rounds. His mouse suddenly stumbled upon seeing a huge snake. To adjust His belly, Ganesh put that snake around his stomach as a belt.  All of a sudden, he heard a laughter emanating form the sky. 

He looked up and saw the Moon mocking at him. This was a great insult to Ganesh Jee. he got very angry at this. He cursed the Moon that whoever looks at him on my birthday will be accused wrongly. This curse shattered the pride of the Moon and he asked for his forgiveness and prayed him to take back his curse.

Ganesh Jee calmed down, he said - "My purpose is served. My purpose only to shatter your pride. Although my curse will not go in vain, but I assure you that people will regain their good name after seeing you on the 2nd day of the Shukla Paksh or by listening to the story of Syaamantak Mani." the Moon got satisfied.

That is why people do not see the Moon on this day.

Sushma Gupta