Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review – The Return of the Mauryas

History is written by the winners and the losers are lost in transition. The book The Return of the Mauryas penned by Subodh Kumar Singh throws light on the glorious history of Tharus. In his book, he claims that the ancestors of Shah Kings descended from the Magar community and the first kings of the Shah dynasty had matrimonial links with the Sen Kings of Nepal, who were actually Tharus.

"The Magar Kings had the tradition of marrying the daughters of Tharu Kings. Prithvi Narayan Shah himself married a Tharu princess called Kaushalyavati," Singh claims.

"During his last days, Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of the Shah dynasty, gathered all his relatives, courtiers and officers around him and advised them on how to conduct their work and themselves. On his death bed, the king said that he was a Magar King."

The Return of the Mauryas sheds light on the Sakya Mauryas of Tharu origin that issued Sakyamuni Buddha and Emperor Ashoka. It elucidates how once again the descendants of the Buddha and Ashoka emerged as the rulers of the entire Terai and Nepalmandala after the fall of Mauryan Empire.

The author says that he found out that the enigmatic Tharus had a great history, but its glorious past was mystified after they converted themselves to Rajput in the seventh and eighth century Christian era.

In the second chapter of the book, he explains about the rise of Rajputs and how the Thervadin Tharus, the classical Kshatriyas, of the ancient past took the title of Singh and Sen in the medieval age. In the third chapter, he talks about the Sen Kings of the Terai, who had matrimonial relation with the Shah Kings of the hills. According to him, the historical facts reveal that the Shah Kings and the Sen Kings had married among themselves right from the inception of the House of Gorkha. He mentions that all the Shah Kings from Darvya Shah to Girvana Yuddha Bikram Shah were born from a Tharu mother.

The book has been reviewed by esteemed newspapers and news agencies. Below are the links to the reviews garnered by the book.

The Times of India

Book flattens Nepal king's divine myth

Zee News

Nepali author demolishes King's blue blood claim

The Rising Nepal

The Return of the Mauryas

Avail a snapshot of the book by clicking the link below.

Prints Asia 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cattle delights in Shukrati

Every dog has his day. It's true in case of cattle, at least, during the Shukrati celebrations. Shukrati is most popularly known as Tihar and Deepawali. Some call it Diya Bati and Hunka Pati in the Eastern Nepal. On the day of Govardhan Pooja the cattle owners colour their cattle, goats and serve them Ayurvedic concoctions.

When I approached a cattle owner, he was grinding a handful of Dulfi (Leucas aspera). After grinding, he filtered the juice with a white piece of cloth. The juice was green and had strong aroma. He told that the juice had healing properties. It keeps the cough, cold and fever at bay.

Dulfi (c)

Leucas aspera is used in traditional medicine in the Philippines to treat scorpion bites. It is reported to have ability to help reduce fever. The juice of the flower can be extracted and used to treat sinusitis, headaches and intestinal worms in children, as mentioned in Wikipedia.

He then prepared another mixture. A handful of black pepper powder was mixed in mustard oil. The yellowish black mixture is again an anti-dote to cough and cold. In Ayurvedic medicine black pepper has been used to aid digestion, improve the appetite, treat coughs, colds, breathing and heart problems, colic, diabetes, anaemia and piles. Click the link for details.

These concoctions not only cure the animals but also provide them strength to fight. The cattle herders organise a fight at the grazing fields, generally a river bank in Govardhan Pooja. The strongest one takes the hurra, a bale of grass home.

Read in detail about the Shukrati celebrations by clicking the link below.