The Maha Mrutyunjaya
On top of mount Kailash, there is a secret doorway, that connects the mythical realm to ours. Like all doorways lead to a home, this one too does and is guarded by Nandi and disciples of Shiva. Lord Shiva lives in this humble abode with a tall tower on the summit, which has one single bell – The Shunya. Shunya is connected to all human beings and rings only when a Maha Mrutyunjaya Yagna of the most arduous and sincere kind is invoked.
Though Yama manages the ministry of death, Shiva, the lord of destruction, has linked himself to the death of mortals and supersede Yama’s powers. It can be thus said that ministry of death reports to Shiva.
To the residents of this pristine and godly world the ringing of Shunya is always a cause of concern because Lord Shiva takes death very seriously. He wants to be sure that no untimely deaths in mortal realm should happen.
All prayers go to a certain God and the God decides the intensity and seriousness of the matter and then takes a decision. Sometimes when the matter is beyond the deity’s discretion it goes to one of the Holy Trinity where the matter is resolved. But Maha Mrutyunjaya is an exception. This prayer goes directly to Shiva, and normally a decision is taken within minutes.
Today Shunya has been ringing incessantly, a certain someone was desperately seeking the divine intervention. As soon as the first ring happened the guardians started the process for smooth transition of the soul just in case the lord decides not to entertain the request.
As soon as Nandi heard the gong, he immediately sent for Chitragupta, the Registrar of Ministry of Death, with the personnel file of the person whose petition was to be discussed. Chitragupta, cheerful with a good sense of humor, is one of the favorites of lord Yama and has considerable powers in the ministry.
A while later he hopped in for the meeting with a smile on his face, but even he is intimidated of a face to face with lord Shiva. From the corner of his eye, he saw that Nandi was frantically getting the chillum ready, only Marijuana can control Shiva if his third eye is opened.
Shiva is a God with logic, he always wants to hear the pros and cons of a situation before taking any decision. So, in these hearings Chitragupta plays the defendant while Nandi would plead on behalf of the plaintiff. In short Chitragupta will advocate that life should be taken and Nandi would debate to save it. If Nandi wins life is restored on the mortal and if Chitragupta wins life is taken away.
Today’s case was of Ratnabhargavi, a woman in her early 30’s who had just given birth of a child. A near fatal postpartum stroke had put her on death bed.
Normally, the whole trial was a formality as the personal file usually has a clear reason for the death of the person. Mostly it was Chitragupta who wins these trials because he only has to mention the reason as to why death was planned in the person’s life.
However, Ratna’s case was different. The one that will be remembered for long, probably the one case which will change the whole system, hers’ was the one loophole even gods could not plugin.
When the trial began, Chitragupta opened his files looking for a reason why she was destined to die but could not find any. Excusing himself he started to scan the database once again with trepidation but found no reason.
With trembling voice, he said “Lord I am not able to find the reason for this girl’s death. Mmmm...Maybe it is because ……….the Databases have been updated only a few days back ……and the entire User interface has also been changed…….”
Shiva who does not like delay in such important matters was already a bit annoyed. Looking at Shiva’s face Nandi quickly handed him the Chillum.
Chitragupta was working tirelessly to find the reason for Ratna’s case; he even wondered if it really was a mistake? His spine shivered at thought of explaining that a mistake has been committed to lord Shiva. He was in such close proximity of Shiva that he worried whether he will be punished by the Third Eye or The Trishul.
Seeing a chance here, Nandi took the lead and started putting his brief about Ratna.
“Ratna has been an exceptionally dutiful person Lord. She has been good and understanding in all her relationships. I could not find a single person whom she has hurt sir. Intelligent, modest, caring and above all selfless. I haven’t come across a better person in recent times my Lord. There seems to be all the reason to spare her life My Lord and return her to the world that badly is in short of such good people. If returned to the earth I am sure that she will touch many more lives with her compassion and prove worthy of this extension given.”
Chitragupta by now had even tried the new Custom SQL feature of the ERP upgrade but somehow was unable to determine the reason for this anomaly. He made a mental note to raise a ticket about this glitch and prevent such embarrassment from happening in future. He kept his tablet aside and rose. He knew that if he would give up the case so easily his powers will be questioned. Moreover, if Ratan’s life has been restored when it should not be then there will be an imbalance in the fabric of universe.
“Apologies my Lord. But I request the matter to be adjourned to a later date”
Shiva was furious at this request, delaying the process would mean pain and suffering to the mortal, this was unacceptable. A few seconds in mythical realm is like days in Mortal world and a delay in decision would seem less here but would be devastating for the family and Ratna.
Nandi quickly interjected saying that maybe there was an error and perhaps Bhole Shankar could grant this Maha Mrutyunjaya in Ratna’s favor. Seemed Nandi too had fallen for Ratna. Afterall she was such a person - Easy to be with, easy to fall in love with and always generous. After going through her personal file even Nandi could understand why so many mortals were trying to save her.
Afraid that Lord might grant Nandi’s plea, Chitragupta made one last attempt. He searched the database for raw data, however this was going to take some time and to buy some time he said
“There is one thing however that Nandi has overlooked dear Lord. You see her birth was a result of an accidental pregnancy. Mr and Mrs. Iyengar never wanted a third child. Maybe her birth itself was a mistake and her untimely death corrects the anomalies set about by her birth.”
“But the file doesn’t state that reason. Does it?” interrupted Nandi with a mocking question.
“I’ll soon find the reason my friend however how would you feel if prayers of an atheist are answered?” asked Chitragupta referring to Ratna’s husband.
“You got it factually wrong my friend. He is an agnostic not an atheist. The fact that he is doing the Maha Mrutunjaya Yagna proves he is ready to believe in existence of God and what better than turning a doubter into a believer who would then spread the knowledge of gods existence to the world with gusto. Also the little child needs her …..”
Nandi was cut short with Shiva's raised hand. There was a pin drop silence and the howling winds of the Himalaya were sounding more menacing in the stillness of the moment.
Shiva closed his eyes and remembered the day when Maharishi Vashista had leaked the Maha Mrutunjaya Mantra to the mortals. The mantra was made so that gods would plug the loopholes in the divine system. However, now the Mantra would be used by mortals to create a new loophole. He, in presence of Vishnu and Brahma, had proclaimed even then in his booming voice -
“Deaths is the only leveler in the mortal world dear Vashist and we three had thought it through when we created this universe. However now even death could be conquered and Maharishi Vashista, you need to shoulder this burden of Maha Mrutunjaya.”
However, the burden is now squarely his and Shiva knows that the responsibility is a burden of a virtue and though no one will ever question him it is his duty to do justice and restore the balance.
In calm voice the Lord finally spoke “Death like Life is a reality, and a fairer one. Death comes in equal measure to all, sadly that’s not true with life. Hence when someone makes of life a celebration and success that person deserves to live and even death can’t take away such people. Ratna, I think needs to be given a chance to ……”
And a beep on Chitragupta’s tablet stopped him mid-sentence. Chitragupta felt embarrassed, but a notification would only mean that the raw data analysis has been done and result was out. He quickly apologized to lord Shiva for this distraction and explained how he has sent a custom raw data for analysis and a result had appeared.
And when Chitragupta saw the data, he was astonished for the result was a very rare one. Unable to verbalize his thoughts he simply passed the tablet to Nandi. Nandi’s eyes widened for he had never argued a case for such a person. Finally passing on the tablet to Shiva he meekly said, “I guess Chitragupta will have his way.”
Bowing low with folded hands both Nandi and Chitragupta left with a smile on their face.
Shiva decided not to intervene and Ratna’s soul left her earthy home.
To all you readers who are still wondering what happened I’ll have to explain you the divine system. You see all souls have an ultimate aim of attaining moksha. Once this happens, some souls with excellent history gets the chance of becoming God. It was point system devised by Lord Brahma himself. It seemed that Ratna’s soul was a very old soul with just a few points left to become a god. When she gave birth to her daughter, the points maxed out and hence the soul was left without purpose in the mortal world. Of course, the family did not and would never know this and hence the Maha Mrutyunjaya Yagna.
Sadly, the delay of few minutes of this debate in mythical world caused seven months suffering to Ratna.
However, Ratna will be promoted to be a god, and her soul will now play an important role in mythical realm.