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The City with nine gates
By Ramesh
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Added on: 27 November 2004
Author: Ramesh
Posted by: gopal
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Jai Jai ShriGokulesh, There is an incessant struggle going on between the spiritual aspect and the material aspect of nature. This is spontaneous and happens without any voluntary effort on the part of all living beings including humanity at large. However, we human beings have been gifted with discrimination and can sift between right and wrong and the good or evil. The Vedas prescribe various methods for liberation of this soul. However, these paths are rather elaborate and beyond the understanding of the common man, who is altogether materialistic. To overcome this gap, various stories have been narrated in our Upanishads and Puranas. Ramayana and Mahabharat are the other source of these narrations, which simplify the philosophy of Karma and Gnana. The philosophers and sages of ancient India wanted to preach the code of conduct and educate the common man and to drive home the teachings imparted mythical properties to the characters as a symbol of characteristics. The symbolism of ten heads are the five gyanendries (senses) and karmendries (sense organs) and attainment of moksha by Ravana is only after these have been harnessed. These principles are repeated several times via stories as emphasis to their importance. Such instances abound in these books and they have to be analyzed in the proper manner so that the intended benefit can be derived. The five-headed Kaliya in Krsna Leela is metaphorically representative of the five senses, which were successfully harnessed by Krsna before banishing Kaliya from the Yamuna. The Bhagwad Gita in itself is an allegory of the Human Mind, which is being constantly bombarded by several temptations and the perpetual war going on between the vices and virtues like the War of Kurukshetra. Arjuna is the common man and the advice imparted to him by Sri Krishna is a concise and complete guide of the code of conduct and ethics. The Bhagwad Gita is unparalleled by any other book on Management or ethics and Human psyche. Another allegorical story is that of Puranjana, narrated by Narada to Pracina Barhi in the fourth Canto of Shrimad Bhagwat Purana. The name Puranjana means one whose sole aim in life is to enjoy the sensuous pleasures of this body. His friend was Avijnatha (One who is not known). The king traveled in search of pleasure and arrived at a city with beautiful parks, streams, fountains, walls and towers topped with gold, silver and iron. The Walls are representing the skin and flesh, the streams are the arteries and veins in the human body and the towers represent the brain or the head which are crowned with the three gunas Satva(goodness) Rajas(Passion) and Tamas(Cloud of ignorance). This Utopian City was most suited for giving vent to pleasures through all the five senses. In this beautiful city, the king met a beautiful and young lady attended upon by ten servants (which are allegorical to the five organs of sense and five organs of perception) accompanied by their retinue of several wives. The lady willingly offered the city of nine gates to Puranjana. ( The city of nine gates is allegorical reference to the Human Body, which has nine openings, the five facing east are the two eyes, two nostrils and the mouth, the southern and northern gates are the two ears and the two gates in the west are the organs of evacuation and generation) The King willingly accepted her offer and indulged in sensuous and carnal pleasures for several years until he was defeated by Chandvega, which is symbolic of the passage of time and literally translated means that which is fleeting. The 360 soldiers of Chandvega are the days and nights of the year. A snake with five heads tried to defend the King but it was futile and the king was ultimately defeated by the onslaught of time. The five heads of the snake represent the five vital airs- prana (respiration), apana (evacuation), vyana (Circulation), udana (reaction) and samana(digestion). Kalakanya, the daughter of Kala (Time) who personifies old age and senility attached herself to the king . Finally the King disowned by his wife, kith and kin, died. Having narrated this story of Puranjana to Pracina Barhi, Narada explained that a person who ignores the unknown friend, the Benevolent Lord meets the ignominious end, which was the fate of Puranjana. The Lord is ever ready and willing to offer succor to the devotee who prays to him in order to derive strength and fortitude to meet the onslaught of degradation.

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