Sunday, July 14, 2013

The 'Bhasmasur' Syndrome

Once upon a time, Lord Shiva was pleased with the prayer of a demon (asur) who asked for a boon that he may be able to burn anyone to ashes (bhasm) mere by placing his hand on enemy’s head. As promised, Shiva had to grant it to him. That demon then came to be called as ‘Bhasmasur.’ He later became a threat for he tried to burn Shiva himself.  However, Lord Vishnu rescued Shiva by enticing the demon, posing as the dancer ‘Mohini’. ‘Bhasmasur’ got the taste of his own medicine and was reduced to ashes. We all are quite familiar with the story. Although it is a mythological tale, in history it does repeat itself. There are many such ‘Bhasmasuras’ and we have instances in politics, where creation became life-threatening for the creator itself. Here are a few such examples.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Congress: The urge to rule the land of Punjab led Congress to fuel Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a self proclaimed religious leader to fight the Akalis. Congress used him as a pawn that later became a threat to their throne. Sant Bhindranwale grew too big for the Congress and even dominated the Akalis. Congress now had had to fight a bigger demon of its own making and paid for its folly with the life of Indira Gandhi (then PM) and the blots of Operation Bluestar and anti-Sikh riots on its face. 

HAMAS and PLO: A Palestinian organization, HAMAS, is understood to have been raised and promoted by the Israeli secret agency, MOSSAD to counter PLO (Palestenian Liberation Organisation). However, later HAMAS sided with PLO and turned on Israel itself, creating more troubles for MOSSAD. 

USA and Taliban: We all are aware that Afghanistan was caught in the tussle between the two superpowers, Russia and America. To counter the Russian influence, America and Pakistan covertly promoted Al-Qaida and Taliban, which not only wrought vast destruction in Afghanistan but later went out of hands and turned upon USA. The result was the 9/11 attack on Twin Towers in the USA, and now Pakistan too, on whose land these organizations flourished, is facing the music. 

India and LTTE: Indian Government secretly supported LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) an extremist body of Tamils in Srilanka, against Srilankan Govt. The fight continued till one day Srilanka requested India to come and help them control LTTE. Indians went there proudly thinking their own protégé would readily listen to them. Reality was rather exactly opposite. India lost more than 2000 army men and retracted red-faced. There is no answer for this political blunder. However, LTTE avenged India’s interference by killing Rajiv Gandhi.

What is unique in human race that has taken it so far ahead of other creatures? Intellect, we say. Thinking, analyzing an experience and learning from it, we say. True for all sciences and arts and skills; with that we have attained this present stage of technology. But, does that happen when we take some of the most important decisions of our lives that concern us, or sometimes thousands of others or even full nation’s future? To fight one demon, we often create a bigger one who turns upon us like a boomerang. Leave international matters, in our daily lives too, we create many such long term troubles by behaving irresponsibly and sometimes unethically. 

Every addiction and bad habit will sooner or later assume the form of a ‘Bhasmasur’ and we may not get a ‘Mohini’ to rescue us. We feed the devil and then blame our fate. Hence, a little thought and a small long term planning can save us from many a trouble. 

 Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it

(All the images have been taken from the Internet)


  1. A really informative post and a great way to compare all these events to the mythical Bhasmasur. Some of it was new for me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well written AS. All the examples are eye openers. Everyone has to pay for their bad deeds in some way or another (Except for cases like Aurangzeb who butchered so many and still lived a long life fairly trouble free. But you can see that decline of Moghul empire started right after his death). If your deeds have been good it will pay for generations. But no one learns from the past.

    Well regarding Kamini, even Lord Shiva himself was a 'victim' of her. You should read Bramhand Puran's 'Kamini prasang' (verses 1-77). As you would find, the language of purans is such that none of our Gods are ever called wrongdoers. Rather they just become 'victims'.

  3. Excellent points. The lesson here is to think twice before helping someone because he/she may turn against us.

    Can we add India liberating Bangladesh in this category?

  4. That's very thought provoking but sadly we don't learn form mistakes.

  5. Hi Shrikant

    thanks a lot! i am really happy that u found this post helpful :)

  6. Hi Nihar

    Thanks a lot!!

    yes, we learn nothing from past, we just keep brooding over it. Aurangzeb too would have paid in his next birth for I believe none can can escape the law of Karma.
    Was her name 'Mohini' or 'Kamini'. I have read and heard 'Mohini' only. I have not read those verses. You seem to be very well versed with Vedas and Puranas!! hahah!true, our Gods are always just 'victims' :)

  7. Hi SG

    thanks a lot!

    Ya, here I mean when we sow a wind, we must be ready to reap a whirlwind..as the old saying goes :)

    Using a wrong tactic to curb another wrong will only lead to more troubles.

    I dont think so (regarding India-Bangladesh),what do you think?

  8. Hi Saru

    Thanks a lot! ya, thats the biggest problem with us :)

  9. Yes,many a time it so happens that the dog bites the feeding hand itself.Good points.

  10. Hi Rudraprayaga

    Yes, this happens many times..thanks!

  11. Sorry that was Mohini not Kamini. There is so many stories like that every few pages in Purans and so many names that rhyme like that, it is easy to do mistakes :) Thanks for correcting.

  12. Hi Nihar

    It's oki, these mythological names are really so confusing

  13. Well written, yes it is true that what goes around comes around, so if we sow bad, we reap bad, nobody can escape the outcome of their own deeds, decisions or actions! So it is better to realise sooner than later!

    Take care, Cheers!! :)

  14. Hi Sai!

    thank youu!

    yes, exactly, we just cannot escape the outcomes..

    did u start gymming for adding muscles?


  15. It is my first time here at your blog and I liked the way you have drawn parallels between mythology and modern world. after all, fiction is just a modified reflection of the real world...

  16. Hi Reshma

    Thanks you! I am happy that u enjoyed the post :)

    yup, true

  17. AnonymousJuly 20, 2013

    fabulously defined !!
    Super Like this post !!
    You have categorized and defined the Bhasmasura.. and the repeated human folly of repeating them and not learning from history ..fight the demon .. yourself .. rather than feeding another to portray a messiah .. and then a bigger threat ..
    I recall , digvijay singh .. referring Modi as Bhasmasura ... I think he should have read your article .. :D

  18. Hi mysay.in

    thanks a lot!! I am really so happy that u enjoyed this post :)

    I think every politician is one 'Asura'...lol!


  19. Amazing post! Loved the way u linked bhasmasur incident with political blunders that innocent people had to pay for...

  20. Hi Shaivi

    thanks a lot! I am glad u enjoyed the post..u r right, only common pple have to pay for the political blunders.

  21. That is absolutely true - We will eventually face the consequences of our own actions (and words). But some people think they are too clever and are arrogant enough to not accept this simple fact of life. These are the people who get back with interest.

    I didn't know that HAMAS was initially promoted by MOSSAD!

    Destination Infinity

  22. Hi Destination Infinity

    ya, some people think they are smarter than the law of karma. Ya, MOSSAD only promoted HAMAS initially and later became sick of it!

  23. AS, how right you are! We ourselves create troubles that threaten our very own lives later on. But do we learn lessons from our past? Sadly no. Hmmm...Well written and greatly articulated thoughts.

  24. Hi Pankti

    Thanks a lot!! I am really glad that u liked the post! Yes, I agree, our most of the troubles are self-created even then we do not mend our ways!