Yathni's Travel to Kailash

Age rating: Everyone
A story based on Hindu mythology. The principal character,Yathni is a little girl . She is a devotee of Lord Ganesha. Pleased with her devotion, Ganesha takes her on an excursion to Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The story tells as to how was this excursion.
Synopsis: Yathni’s Travel to Kailash
The story starts with a Prelude. It is Kailash. Indra, Agni, Vayu and other gods are waiting for the arrival of Lord Shiva.

It is a meeting convened by Lord Shiva to discuss the draught situation in the state of Tamilnadu in India. A large number of people had gathered on the banks of the Cauvery River in Thanjavur District of the State and were conducting a ‘Homam’ to propitiate the gods. The fertile land had become barren due to the absence of timely rain. Famine had struck many parts of the State. Mass prayers were conducted in all the temples. Lord Shiva felt sorry for the sufferings of the people. Therefore, he has summoned all concerned for knowing the remedial measures taken.

Indra who was in charge of rain reported to Lord Shiva the progress made in redressing the situation. Lord Shiva asks Indra the reason for the draught. Indra replies that it is due to global warming and the resulting climate change. He explains the reasons for the global warming and explains how it is man-made. He talks about the efforts made by Mr Al Gore, the former vice president of the United States. He also tells about the Kyoto agreement.

Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva then says that the increasing evils of the human society are due to the decreasing moral values. He says that it is agonizing to see that countries like India which used to follow the paths of Dharma are showing signs of deterioration. He suggests that in order to arrest this trend and restore the value systems there must be certain incentives for those who keep up the values of life. Ganesha then says, ‘I have a plan. There are a number of young boys and girls who steadfastedly keep up the value systems. Why not arrange an excursion trip to one of them to Kailash? In the first instance, we can select somebody from India.’ Lord Shiva readily agrees and says that just as there are cultural exchange programmes between the nations on earth, this can be a cultural exchange programme between Kailash and Earth.’ Ganesha has been asked to proceed with the plan.

The main story starts thereafter. Yathni is a little girl studying in Fifth Standard. She is a devotee of Lord Ganesha. Yathni’s paternal grandfather, Muthu Thatha, guides her on moral values through the practices of Hindu religion. There are interesting anecdotes about Ganesha which Muthu Thatha tells here.

Ganesha is impressed by the conduct of Yathni and chooses her for the excursion to Kailash. He appears before her in person and tells her about his plan. Ganesha meets the parents of Yathni and explains in detail the proposed excursion. There are interesting conversations here between Ganesha and others. Among others there is a beautiful explanation of the Advaita philosophy. Everybody is thrilled and agree to the proposal.

Ganesha comes with his consorts-Siddhi and Buddhi and also brings the Pushpaka Vimanam-the celestial airplane- to take Yathni to Kailash. On the way, there are two halts-one at the North Pole and another at Moon.

The first halt is at North Pole. Based on the facts, a broad picture about the North Pole and the Arctic region have been given here. The endangered species like the Polar Bear and the birds like the black-legged Kittiwake have been explained. Basic awareness material about biodiversity has also been given. Mention has been made about Santa Claus and the Christmas song titled ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’.

The next stop is at the Moon. Facts about Moon, the Apollo 11 Mission, the landing on the Moon by Neil Armstrong, Apollo 8 Mission, earth rise etc are explained here. The outer space has been vividly described. In order to make the journey interesting, a lot of conversation is going on between Ganesha, Siddhi, Buddhi and Yathni. Some interesting anecdotes from Hinduism and Hindu way of life are explained in this context. These anecdotes become sub-stories of the main plot.

The next stop is at Kailash. This is not Mount Kailash on the Himalayas. But it is something found in Hindu scriptures. Nobody knows how it will be. There are a lot of imaginations based on scriptures to explain this place. For example there is no land in Kailash. Everybody walks in air. Houses are made of gold, silver etc. All people are young and beautiful. Everything looks hanging. Here Yathni has an audience with Lord Shiva. Thereafter, she is taken to Devalokam, the world of gods. Devalokam has also been explained with a lot of imaginations. Here she is entertained with a dance drama. The subject matter is Krishna’s dance with the gopikas and is taken from the Naraayaneeyam of Bhattathri.

In the introduction to the story, I have explained certain things about Hinduism and the Hindu way of life particularly to those who do not know much about Hindu mythology or the Hindu way of life.

• Lord Ganesha, the elephant faced god, is one of the gods mentioned in Hinduism.
• Kailash is the place where Lord Shiva, one of the Trinitys of Hinduism is stated to be residing.
• A pooja is a form of worship of gods and goddesses where they are invoked and symbolically offered the hospitalities.
• ‘Homam’ is a form of worship. In a ‘Homam’ a part of the gifts of nature like the rice grains, ghee etc is offered to the gods through Agni. This is in order to propitiate them and get their blessings for the well being of all the human beings on earth.
• Just like earth, there are thousands of worlds which are under the control of the Trinity. Two of these important worlds are the ‘Devalokam’-the abode of the devas and the ‘Asuralokam’-the abode of the asuras. Devas represent the positive qualities like wisdom, activity, selflessness etc. Asuras, on the other hand, represent the negative qualities like ignorance, lethargy, selfishness etc.
• Indra is the king of Devalokam. It is one of the responsibilities of Indra to ensure that the earth remains fertile through periodic rains. In this process, he is assisted by Varuna (the rain god), Agni (the fire god), Vayu (the wind god), Surya (the sun god) etc. In other words, it is the responsibility of Indra and others to assist the Trinity in the preservation of the Universe till the ordained date of destruction.

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