Thursday, 21 August 2014
Ocean of Milk 8
Dean and Claire arrived from the campground, with a jar of their honey. There was wild boar left for them.
“Did they have myths in India, Uncle Wink? Millie Asked.
“Too many to count, Mil.” He said. “They had myths about wars and floods and other worlds and epics and gods and incarnations.”
“How many gods did they have”
“One for sure. And another thirty three crore. A crore is ten million. A few more than the desert religions.” Said Uncle Wink.
“How many hunters like Orion” Asked Sam.
There weren’t many hunting heroes in Hindu mythology, Sam. The one they had was associated with the constellation Orion, however. He was Rudra of the Wind, on a blazing chariot, who shot Prajapati, who had taken the form of a stag in order to seduce the Dawn. The arrow that pierced him is made up of the belt stars of Orion.”
“A blazing chariot?” I had Sam’s attention.
“Chariots were a big part of Indian mythology its epic heroes. One of the most famous symbols of the country, is the giant Chariot of the Sun God, built at Konarak in 13th century. It has twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels to cross the heavens with. The spokes are sundials that provide the exact time of day.”
“Was there anything else special about Indian chariots?” Sam asked.
“Quite a few things, actually.” Uncle Wink said. “ They were held together with twine, which gave them the flexibility they lacked without springs. My biggest hero compared them to a spiritual journey. The road it goes on is ‘Straight.’‘Without Fear’ is its destination. The body is called ‘Silent,’ And its wheels are right effort. Conscience is the railings, Mindfulness the upholstery, Dhamma the driver. And right view runs ahead. And whether it be man Or whether it be woman, Whoever travels by this vehicles hall draw close to Nirvana.
The most important part of a chariot was its wheels, and made so perfectly that, when set moving, would roll until they stopped upright, and not fall over. My hero thought of the chariot wheel as the Wheel of Life. It’s one of oldest symbols in India, and was used by Emperor Ashoka the Great, 2300 years ago, to represent the dynamism of peaceful change. The ‘Ashoka Chakra’ is on the Lion Capital of Sarnath, and in the middle of the Indian flag. Similar Dharma, wheels or Dharamachakras, are on the flags of Thailand and Mongolia.”
“What’s dharma?” Millie asked, just as the pavlova came out.
“I’ll tell you after dessert.” He said.