Mythology is very closely linked with the lives of the people in India. These stories are not only alive and well, they continue to energize people’s imagination. Perhaps they provide meaning to their/our daily lives, by reminding us all that nothing is in vain, that our every act and sacrifice one makes has some sort of universal significance. Our thoughts, words and actions have consequences rippling through time and space.
One such fascinating story is about a king named KarthaVeera.
King KarthaVeera is a powerful ruler belonging to the Hehaya Dynasty. Hoping for more power and might he undertakes a prolonged prayer and meditation ritual, focusing on Sage Datta Treya, who possesses greater spiritual powers than most people. Upon pleasing the Sage, King KarthaVeera asks for and receives several blessings, including a very long life, one thousand arms and a golden airplane. He is now all set for a care-free, arrogant life.
Very pleased with himself, the king collects all his lady friends and goes for swim and fun in the River Narmada, in Central India.
He gets into the water, and using his one thousand arms he builds a dam in the river, and enjoys his party. Careless and self-absorbed, the king doesn’t see the surrounding river water rising to enormous levels.
In the meantime, Ravana, King of Lanka, is enjoying a feast in his river-side bungalow on the bank of Narmada with his wives, family and servants. The rising waters of the river get into his rooms and terrance, upsetting him enormously. He sends out his men to find out the reason for the flood. Learning about the mischief of KarthaVeera, Ravana comes out to challenge the merrymaker king.
“Who are you, down there in the river, upsetting my party?” Ravana demands, his ten heads looking down toward the river.
“This is me, King KarthaVeera! Haven’t you heard the name? If not, where in the universe do you live? Huh?”
“Who? Kartha – what? I’ve never heard the name! Some worms think they can play clown with Ravana!” Ravana shouts back. “Do you dare fight me? Come out then!”
KarthaVeera takes on the challenge. A vigorous fight starts. At the end of the fight, King KarthaVeera turns around with a smirk toward his lady friends, as though asking them to keep watching the merryment. As everyone looks on, KarthaVeera captures Ravana and binds his legs and twenty arms with ropes, and orders his deputies to imprison him. Beaten and shamed, Ravana closes his eyes. His pride is deeply hurt.
Satisfied of his achievement, KarthaVeera returns home, dreaming of his next excitement. . .