The Immortals Siva

Tribe of Brahma


disrespect to anyone, but perhaps I do not have the skills to receive training

of this level.

But you do have the skill, argued Shiva. You have the bearing. You

have the heart. You can very easily reach that level.

Sati looked up at Shiva, her eyes showing just the slightest hint of

dampness. The profound sadness they conveyed took Shiva aback.

What the hell is going on?

I am very far from any level, Shiva, mumbled Sati.

As she said that, Sati found the strength to control herself again. The

politely proud manner returned to her face. The mask was back. It is time

for my puja. With your permission Guruji, I must leave. She turned

towards Shiva. It was a pleasure meeting you again Shiva.

Before Shiva could respond, Sati turned quickly and left, followed by


The Guruji continued to stare at a flummoxed Shiva. At length, he bent

low with a formal Namaste towards Shiva and said, It has been my lifes

honour to see you dance.

Then he too turned and left. Shiva was left wondering about the

inscrutable ways of the Meluhans.

Late in the morning the next day Shiva and Nandi entered the private royal

office to find Daksha, Parvateshwar and Kanakhala waiting for them. A

surprised Shiva said, I am sorry your Highness. I thought we were to meet

four hours into the second prahar. I hope I haven kept you waiting.

Daksha, who had stood up with a formal Namaste, bowed low and said,

No, my Lord. You don need to apologise. We came in early so that we

wouldn keep you waiting. It was our honour to wait for you.

Parvateshwar rolled his eyes at the extreme subservience that his emperor,

the ruler of the greatest civilisation ever established, showed towards this

barbarian. Shiva, controlling his extreme surprise at being referred to as the

Lord by the emperor, bowed low towards Daksha with a Namaste and sat


My Lord, before I start telling you about the legend of the Neelkanth, do

you have any questions that you would like to ask? enquired Daksha.

The most obvious question came to Shivas mind.

Why in the holy lakes name is my blessed blue throat so important?

But his instincts told him that though this appeared to be the most obvious

question, it could not be answered unless he understood more about the

society of Meluha itself.

It may sound like an unusual question your Highness, said Shiva. But

may I ask you what your age is?

Daksha looked at Kanakhala with surprise. Then turning back towards

Shiva with an amazed smile, he said, You are exceptionally intelligent my

Lord. You have asked the most pertinent question first. Crinkling his face

into a conspiratorial grin, Daksha continued, Last month I turned one

hundred and eighty four.

Shiva was stunned. Daksha did not look a day older than thirty years. In

fact nobody in Meluha looked old. Except for the Pandit that Shiva had met

at the Brahma temple.

So Nandi is more than a hundred years old.

How can this be, your Highness? asked a flabbergasted Shiva. What

sorcery makes this possible?

There is no sorcery at all my Lord, explained Daksha. What makes this

possible is the brilliance of our scientists who make a potion called the

Somras, the drink of the gods. Taking the Somras at defined times not only

postpones our death considerably, but it also allows us to live our entire

lives as if we are in the prime of our youth — mentally and physically. But what is the Somras? Where does it come from? Who invented it?

So many questions my Lord, smiled Daksha. But I will try my best to

answer them one by one. The Somras was invented many thousands of

years ago by one of the greatest Indian scientists that ever lived. His name

was Lord Brahma.

I think there is a temple dedicated to him that I visited on my way to

Devagiri. At a place named Meru?

Yes my Lord. That is where he is said to have lived and worked. Lord

Brahma was a prolific inventor. But he never kept any of the benefits of his

inventions to himself. He was always interested in ensuring that his

inventions were used for the good of mankind. He realised early on that a

potion as powerful as the Somras could be misused by evil men. So he

implemented an elaborate system of controls on its use.

What kind of controls?

He did not give the Somras freely to everyone, continued Daksha. After

conducting a rigorous country-wide survey, he chose a select group of

adolescent boys of impeccable character — one from each of the seven

regions of ancient India. He chose young boys so that they would live with

him at his gurukul and he could mould their character into becoming

selfless helpers of society. The Somras medicine was administered only to

these boys. Since these boys were practically given an additional life due to

the Somras, they came to be known as the dwija or twice born. The power

of the Somras combined with the tutelage of Lord Brahma, along with their

other inventions, resulted in this select group achieving a reverential status

never seen before. They honed their minds to achieve almost superhuman

intelligence. The ancient Indian title for men of knowledge was Rishi. Since

Lord Brahmas chosen men were seven in number, they came to be known

as the Saptrishi.

And these Saptrishis used their skills for the good of society.

Yes my Lord. Lord Brahma instituted strict rules of conduct for the

Saptrishis. They were not allowed to rule or to practice any trade —

essentially anything that would have accrued personal gain. They had to use

their skills to perform the task of priests, teachers, doctors, amongst other

intellectual professions where they could use their powers to help society.

They were not allowed to charge anything for their services and had to live

on alms and donations from others.

Tough service rules, joked Shiva with a slight wink at Parvateshwar.

Parvateshwar did not respond but Daksha, Kanakhala and Nandi guffawed

loudly. Shiva took a quick look at the prahar lamp by the window. It was

almost the third prahar. The time that Sati would probably come out to


But they followed their code of conduct strictly my Lord, continued

Daksha. Over time, as their responsibilities grew, the Saptrishis selected

many more people to join their tribe. Their followers swore by the same

code that the Saptrishis lived by and were also administered the Somras.

They devoted their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and for the wellbeing

of society without asking for any material gain in return. It is for this reason

that society accorded these people almost devotional respect. Over the ages

the Saptrishis and their followers came to be known as the Tribe of Brahma

or simply, the Brahmins.

But as with all good systems over long periods of time, some people

stopped following the Brahmin code, right?

Absolutely, my Lord, answered Daksha, regretfully shaking his head at

the familiar human frailty. As many millennia went by, some of the

Brahmins forgot the strict code that Lord Brahma had enforced and the

Saptrishis had propagated. They started misusing the awesome powers that

the Somras gave them. Some Brahmins started using their influence over a

large number of people to conquer kingdoms and start ruling. Some

Brahmins misused other inventions of the Saptrishis as well as Lord

Brahma and accumulated fabulous wealth for themselves.

And some of the Brahmins, interjected Kanakhala with a particular sense

of horror, even rebelled against the Saptrishi Uttradhikaris.

Saptrishi Uttradhikaris? inquired Shiva.

They were the successors to the Saptrishis my Lord, clarified

Kanakhala. When any of the Saptrishis knew that he was coming to the

end of his mortal life, he would appoint a man from his gurukul as his

successor. This successor was treated for all practical purposes like the

Saptrishi himself.

So rebelling against the Saptrishi Uttradhikaris was like rebelling against

the Saptrishis themselves?

Yes, my Lord, answered Kanakhala. And the most worrying part of this

corruption was that it was being led by the higher chosen-tribe Brahmins

like the eagles, peacocks and the swans. In fact, due to their higher status,

these chosen-tribes were actually not even allowed to work under the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, lest they get enticed by the lure of the material

world. Yet they succumbed to the temptations of evil before anyone else.

And chosen-tribes like yours, the pigeons, remained loyal to the old code

despite working for the Kshatriyas? asked Shiva.

Yes, my Lord, replied Kanakhala, her chest puffed up with pride.

The town bell sounded out the beginning of the third prahar. All the

people in the room, including Shiva, said a quick short prayer welcoming

the new time chapter. Shiva had learnt some of the ways of the Meluhans. A

Shudra came in, reset the prahar lamp precisely and left as quietly as he

came. Shiva reminded himself that anytime now Sati would start her dance

lessons in the garden.

So what revolution caused the change your Highness? asked Shiva

turning to Daksha. You, Parvateshwar and Nandi are Kshatriyas and yet

you clearly have taken the Somras. In fact I have seen people of all four

castes in your empire look youthful and healthy. This means that the

Somras is now given to everybody. This change must have obviously

happened due to a revolution, right?

Yes, my Lord. And the revolution was known as Lord Ram. The greatest

emperor that ever lived! Jai Shri Ram!

Jai Shri Ram! repeated everyone in the room.

His ideas and leadership transformed the society of Meluha dramatically,

continued Daksha. In fact, the course of history itself was radically altered.

But before I continue with Lord Rams tale, may I make a suggestion?

Of course, your Highness.

It is into the third prahar now. Should we move to the dining room and

have some lunch before continuing with this story?

I think it is an excellent idea to have lunch your Highness, said Shiva.

But may I be excused for some time? There is another pressing

engagement that I have. Could we perhaps continue our conversation

tomorrow if that is alright with you?

Kanakhalas face fell immediately while Parvateshwars was covered with

a contemptuous grin. Daksha, however, kept a smiling face. Of course we

could meet tomorrow my Lord. Will the beginning of the second hour of the

second prahar be all right with you?

Absolutely, your Highness. My apologies for this inconvenience.

Not at all my Lord, said an ever smiling Daksha. Can one of my

chariots take you to your destination?

Thats very kind of you, your Highness. But I will go there by myself. My

apologies once again.

Bidding a Namaste to everyone in the room, Shiva and Nandi walked out

quickly. Kanakhala looked accusingly at Daksha. The emperor just nodded

his head, gesturing with his hands for calm. Its all right. We are meeting

tomorrow, aren we?

My Lord, we are running out of time, said Kanakhala. The Neelkanth

needs to accept his responsibilities immediately!

Give him time, Kanakhala. We have waited for so long. A few days is not

going to cause a collapse!

Parvateshwar got up suddenly, bowed low towards Daksha and said, With

your permission your Highness, may I be excused? There are more practical

matters that need my attention as compared to educating abarbarian.

You will speak of him with respect Parvateshwar, growled Kanakhala.

He is the Neelkanth!

I will speak of him with respect only when he has earned it through some

real achievements, snarled Parvateshwar. I respect only achievements,

nothing else. That is the fundamental rule of Lord Ram. Only your karma is

important. Not your birth. Not your sex. And certainly not the colour of

your throat. Our entire society is based on merit. Or have you forgotten


Enough! exclaimed Daksha. I respect the Neelkanth. That means

everybody will respect him!

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