I requested the administrator of a group @ Flickr to publish the following collage of Behula.
He normally does not allow a collage but said he can make an exception if he finds the story interesting. I sent the following note ... which is quite long... and told him that I can shorten the note if he agrees to my publishing the collage.
Here is the story :
It is a story from Indian folklore - a story of human courage against celestial wrath.Behula is the daughter-in-law of Chand 'saudagar' ( = merchant).Chand , a devotee of Shiva , refuses to offer his prayer to godess Manasa and thus earns her wrath.He loses all his merchandise and wealth during his return trip home after a very successful business trip.But, he does not yield.Godess Manasa , with her control over the snakes, strikes next by killing his son Lakhinder on the night of his marriage with Behula by a snake bite.Behula was a very courageous woman.She places the dead body of Lakhinder on a raft and starts for the heaven .On her way, she faces lots of problems but she reaches her destination without being cowered down .She manages an entrance to the court of god Indra ( Zeus of Indian mythology) and pleases all the gods by her song and dance. She earns back the life of Lakhinder and persuades Chand to offer godess Manasa a half-hearted prayer .Chand complies reluctantly and gets back all his wealth. Goddess Manasa gets her recognition as the deity only after Chand 'd offering the 'prayer'.As a footnote , I shall add that Indra and Shiva were the gods of Aryans' mythology and Manasa was a goddess of the aboriginals.Snake was their 'totem'.