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Sonali Mandal

Classics Thriller


Sonali Mandal

Classics Thriller

Shri Jantram

Shri Jantram

11 mins 1.0K 11 mins 1.0K

"Google pe gaon" by Rakesh Tiwari inspired me to look up to my village on Google. The vague air view looked so lifeless. At that very moment, I decided to visit my village on my next vacation. I thought of sharing the news on WhatsApp, to my 'girlfriends' group. Four of us decided to join me for the vacation as each one of us badly needed a break from the monotonous city life. 

Aishi is a crime reporter, Rehana is a homemaker and Subhashini is my homey, we work in the same college. She heads archeological history and I am in the psychology department. Rehana said she will manage to send her son to his grandparents' house for a few days. So, It ended up in an all-girls trip.

At the station, our old caretaker had come to pick us in a Bullock cart. The only Toto driver had denied to come as he could not charge his vehicle due to power cut. "Foni" had swept away the cables and uprooted the trañsformer tower. Now all four of us got into the Bullock cart and Bheem guided us on his cycle ahead of us.

Rehana said what's the name of your village? The cartman said it's "Shripur" didimoni. Subhashini said is there any kind of fort or something. I said, "I've never seen one but there may be one of that kind". We didn't talk much, rather enjoyed the ride looking at the lush greenery, the air was ripe with the pleasant, dewy petrichor of the post-rain noon. It just took us half an hour to reach my great grandfather's house. It's a facile brick construction with three sets of rooms on each floor and long stretch of varanda in front, there is separate kitchen and bathroom in the courtyard just like any other house in the village. 

Beehm asked us to freshen up meanwhile he had set our lunch. After the lunch Rehana said " dopo pranzo mi viene l'abbiocco" to everyone's surprise, I translated it, "l always feel drowsy after lunch". All four of us burst into laughter and dossed in the same room. In the evening Bheem brought us tea and samosas, he overheard us talking about the fort, so said he will make arrangements for our visit. It's just a 45 minutes drive and we can come back in the afternoon but we need to start early.

In the evening we thought to visit about 1200 years old Shivakha temple in our village. We didn't hit it off too well at the beginning with the priest, but as we got to talking, we found we got along quite well. Subhashini wanted to know about the fort and who built such a magnificent temple in this less known village? The priest said, in ancient times Lord Shiva visited this place with Mata Parvati when she wanted to know the secret behind this cosmos, Lord Shiva drew the 'Shri jantram' here. Later king Dharmapala of Pala dynasty built this temple in the 8th century. Oh, that's why 'Shripur'! Aishi said spontaneously. Yes. Then I said, what is its importance? Rehana shrugged her shoulder and said it attracts wealth, my dear friend, I too have kept one silver coin engraved in Shri jantram in my locker. Subhashini denied and said it's more than that now listen carefully...

The Shri Yantra, called the “queen of yantras,” (rajayantra) is the symbol of the great divine mother principle, the source of all energy, power, and creativity. Vedic traditions, specifically the Shri Vidya school of tantra, regard the design as the representation of the universe as well as the body of the goddess related to the feminine principle of shakti, or energy. Every line, triangle, and lotus petal symbolizes a specific type of shakti.

The outer square represents the earth element — in Vedic sacred geometry, the square corresponds to the earth. The outside square represents mundane emotions such as anger, fear, and worldly desires. The yogi meditates on the outer square to defeat these disturbing energies. The T-shape structures in the square are considered the gates of the four directions, and the entry points of the yantra.

Next are three circles representing the past, present, and future. Within is the first ring of sixteen lotus petals representing complete fulfillment of all hopes and desires. Specifically, the petals represent the ten organs of perception and action (tongue, nose, mouth, skin, eyes, ears, feet, hands, arms, and the reproductive organs), and the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. The sixteenth petal represents the mind, which gathers and interprets information from the perceptions of the interactivity of the elements.

Next is an eight-petal lotus. Each petal governs a specific activity: speech, grasping, motion, excretion, enjoyment, revulsion, attraction, and equanimity. Within the inner lotus is the first set of interlocked triangles. Those that point upward represent the masculine principle; downward represent the feminine. These triangles also represent qualities and Shaktis.

Starting at the lowermost outer triangle and moving in a counterclockwise circle, they are agitation, pursuit, attraction, delight, delusion, immobility, release, control, pleasure, intoxication, an accomplishment of desire, luxury, mantra, and the destruction of duality.

The next circle has the same sequence and direction, starting from the lowest triangle and moving counterclockwise. The first triangle is the giver of all accomplishments. Next is the giver of wealth. The third is the energy of activities that please all. Fourth is the bringer of all blessings. The fifth is the granter of all desires. Next is the remover of all suffering. The seventh is considered the appeaser of death. Eighth is the overcomer of all obstacles. Ninth is the bringer of beauty, and the tenth is the giver of all good fortune.

The ten smaller triangles in the third circle represent, beginning at the same, lowermost triangle and moving counterclockwise: omniscience, omnipotence, sovereignty, knowledge, destruction of all disease, unconditional support, vanquishment of all evils, protection, and the attainment of all desires. The fourth circle of triangles, again starting at the same point and moving counterclockwise, represent: sustaining, creating, dissolution, pleasure, pain, cold, heat, and the ability to choose action.

In the final inner space, the yogi or yogini visualizes five arrows representing the world of the senses, a bow, representing the mind, a noose, representing attachment, and a stick, representing aversion. The central triangle is the giver of all perfection. In the middle of the central triangle is a Bindu, representing pure consciousness and the original state of being.

Three of us grasped the gist but the priest was genuinely impressed, rather unable to believe how can such a young modern woman in jeans and top know such religious affair in great detail! Then Aishi startled everyone and said, but thakurmosai if the original one was drawn here by Lord Shiva himself then where are all the riches? this place seems to be just like a normal Indian village. Now the sun can be seen as a red ball of fire behind the far fields and trees, It was getting dark. So the priest hurried for his evening rituals and Sandhya arthi, he then replied to Aishi's sarcasm and said it's all well protected in the fort of Rani Amravati, but there are too many skeletons in the cupboard so, be careful didibhai. A frisson of fear descended my spine.Yes, said Rehana, are we going tomorrow? Bheem must have made arrangements to the same place isn't it? She looked at me for my approval. The priest said there is no other fort in this area didibhai then he requested us to stay for the arti.

We returned home, dinner was ready, Bheem has arranged for delicious country chicken roast and roties, we enjoyed the dinner to our hearts content without much discussion. As we had to get up early for tomorrow's adventure let's call it day, Subhashini said. We went in our rooms to hit the pillow. 

The next morning the Toto driver Mohan had arrived just on time and started to clean his vehicle then lit an agarbatti as his morning ritual. We reached the fort after an hour ride, but Mohan left us in the main road saying that the fort was abandoned for many centuries, moreover it is said to be cursed. Whosoever stayed here after evening either went missing or found in a state of serious mental imbalance. He urged us to return home in the afternoon itself, he said he can't wait as he has to pick up other rides to the station but he will come back at two pm to take us back.

None of us took Mohan's words seriously, all of us were raring to go inside the fort, it was a huge aboriginal architecture with at least fifty feet high walls for which nothing could be seen inside. We scattered around the fort in different directions to look for a broken wall or cracks to go inside. It was a huge structure constructed in about 30 acres of land which was surrounded by a 20 feet deep dry ditch. This prevented easy access to the fort. But we tried our best to explore the place with our modern equipments. Within half an hour we lost each other's sight and got busy in exploration. I made it very clear to meet at a particular spot below an old banyan tree after 4 hours no matter what may be the case.

After some time I could cross the ditch, four years of my NCC training made it possible for me. I took out my DSLR camera and started clicking random pictures. I spotted a very thin crack and tried to peep inside but couldn't find anything significant. Then I looked at my watch. It was already 2 pm, so I returned to the banyan tree. Aishi and Mohan were already waiting for us. Subhashini returned after some time still puzzled and didn't speak a word. Rehana came last and her eyes were sparkling with joy. When we hit the road it was already half past four, Mohan safely brought us back before 6 pm. 

After dinner I thought of discussing our adventure, Bheem also joined us as he took the last does of khaini for the day. Subhashini said why don't you say earlier that there is such an important monument hidden in this place. There are lots of stone scriptures inside the fort which could just change Indian history the way it is being interpreted now. The next archeology award is mine for sure. Rehana said you may take the stones but the gold is mine, Remember Shri jantram? just imagine tonnes and tonnes of gold coins and jewelry! Oh my God, I am going to the richest man on the earth, sorry women! Why should men have all the fun? She held my hand and started laughing loudly, which made us uncomfortable. Aishi loudly said, you stupid women just shut up! This startled Rehana and she stopped laughing. Then Aishi spoke in a low voice it's nothing but a warehouse of illegal arms, maoist people use such kind of abandoned places for notorious activities, leave this case for me, this is called investigative journalism. Though Rehana was feared for her acerbic tongue and unflinching refusal to compromise, Surprisingly! no one argued to prove their point. 

Bheem listened to all three of them, he even forgotten to put the khaini in his mouth. He is known as a quidnunc in the village. After getting back his presence of mind he asked, What was there in the Amravati fort? What did you see didimoni?

I said "greed"… all three of you are driven to animalistic puffery and nonsense that can constrain and damage the mind and a life. Now go to sleep. Bheem, informed Mohan to drop us at the station tomorrow morning. 

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