The Goddess Comes In

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter three of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

Avinya

The queen took her fingers from the necklaces and looked around. There was no one in her chamber.

Avinya

She heard it again, this time a bit louder. It was a woman’s voice. Avinya hasn’t heard such a melodious voice before. She looked around again and then looked up.

The dragon was floating, close to the roof. This time it was in a golden brown colour and unlike all previous occasions, it was opaque and solid.

Was that you?” she asked with confusion and excitement.

Yes.”

She heard the same melodious voice again. She stood up and walked a few steps closer. As usual it came down and coiled around her, partially floating, at the same time exerting some of its weight on her. It rested its head on her left shoulder and continued speaking.

Avinya, this is the last time I meet you in this form, and I have got something very important to tell you.

What is it?

My dear, there’s a conspiracy happening against you?

Against me! but who would dare to conspire against me, the queen and the protector of the codes. Everybody in this kingship except the king is below me in the class and sub class hierarchy. Conspiring against me is a severe violation of the code, anyone doing so will also know it. Even if they could escape the authorities, they fear being punished by the lord of war and the lady of wheat. No one would want to die in the hands of their enemies or out of starvation. No, no one would do that

Dear! dear! calm down. Anyone would fear the wrath of the lord and the lady,but what if it is someone from your own class?

A royal? But who?

Srila

Srila! you mean my sister?

Knowing that Avinya needs space to express her emotions ,the dragon uncoiled itself. As soon as the dragon unwrapped, her legs trembled and she dropped herself on the floor. Tears flowed out of her eyes.

No one would have loved her the way I did. WHY?

Because she wants to be the queen. It was her desire from childhood. And now you took it away from her.

What can I do? I can’t stop giving birth to my son and as a princess I too have a responsibility to the state.

No dear, except you no other queen till now have considered being the queen as a responsibility. For them it was a luxury, a way to show their dominance over others, especially other ladies.

What should I do now?

Srila will not let her dream slip away easily. Your son is her main enemy. She’ll do all that is needed to get rid of him. All that you have to do is protect yourself and your son from her.

The dragon floated up towards the roof and before disappearing spoke again.

I shall return to you very soon.

After partially disappearing, it spoke again.

In my true form.

——————————

While floating, Sandhya named the river, Avanthi. It flowed a few yards to the west of the Nihariyan border. To the west of the river is Tanoshiya forest, which is populated by the tanos. Tano means intelligent beasts like centaurs, sphinx, and other similar beasts, in the Varkariya language. It is the common language of all the kingdoms since the empire. Shiya means forest, so Tanoshiya means forest of the tanos.

During the middle of the second age, there had been many clashes between humans and the tanos. Later humans and the tanos split the land, the tanos took the western forest while the humans took the eastern plains, which is named Tihapanum. Tihar means east, tiha means eastern. Panum means plain, so Tihapanum means eastern plain.

They also left a small neutral strip of land between the two. The river Avanthi flows through this neutral strip. As Sandhya reached the village, see saw two men working in their field along the border. Sandhya turned ninety degrees from the river’s direction and swam towards them. As she reached the bank, she flew to the top of a wooden pole of the fence. The men were so consumed in their work, they failed to notice her. She flapped her wings. They looked in the direction of the noise.

Since birth they haven’t seen a single creature coming from the forest, none of their ancestors have seen anything come from that direction. When the border was drawn all the tanos moved to the centre of the forest, all the other animals followed them to the centre.

Sandhya jumped down and morphed into her own form. This time she was in a floor length white silk skirt and a waist length white silk blouse with short sleeves.

—————————–

Avinya was still seated on the floor deep in thought when her personal maid arrived. At first she was sad, she had sacrificed many great things of her life to her sister. With time her sadness turned into anger. The maid had never seen Avinya so depressed before. The maid came near Avinya and asked.

Your majesty, what’s wrong?

Avinya turned her head upwards to look at her maid. Tears still flowing from her eyes. At once Avinya turned down and removed the maid’s left anklet.

Your majesty, what are you doing?” the maid asked shocked. Unless they need something, a royal wouldn’t even speak to a servant and no royal would ever touch a labour. After all, labours are the lowest of  all the classes. Here the queen, highest of the royals is touching the foot of her maid. She at once sat down and tried to prevent Avinya from what she was doing. But, Avinya was quick, she had already removed the anklet.

You have served me loyally and without any expectation since you were twelve. Let me have this anklet as a remainder that I should honour all those who deserve it, and care and protect the innocent, no matter which class they are. This is a promise and I sign it with your anklet”  Telling this, she wore the anklet around her upper right arm.

Then she spoke to herself “All these years I have given all my love and support to someone who don’t deserve it. I have spent the greater part of my life doing her chores.I rejected all the marriage proposals that came to me before she got married. If she had told me that she’s so serious about being the queen, I would have stayed single. Even then someone else would have taken my place. No, Srila is taking the wrong path, as a sister it’s my duty to save her from the hands of evil. I must speak to her regarding this.

——————————

While Avinya wore the anklet, Srila heard someone knock on her room window. It was a black hawk. She ran to the window and opened it at once, the bird flew inside and walked around the large table next to the window and spoke.

Meet the administrator of this city, he will introduce the others who’ll help you to bring your husband to power.

She heard someone open the door. She looked in the direction of the door.

Srila!” 

The prince suddenly entered her room. She was shocked, slowly she turned back. The bird had already flown out. She sighed, and replied with a smile.

Yes, your highness

I met the queen’s maid in the corridor. The queen wants to meet you, she’s waiting for you in her chamber.” Her husband replied.

TO BE CONTINUED.

The Ideal Queen

A housewife cares for,
the house she belongs,
so does the queen,
as the kingdom is,
her very house hold.

A mother protects her,
own dear children,
so does the queen,
as the citizens are,
her dear children.

A lady who is, a friend,
of many, loves them all,
so does the queen,
as she is a friend of,
all other nations.

The Goddess Comes Down

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter two of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

The Kingdom of Nihariya has just recovered from the troubles caused by the crocodile. Sandhya closed her eyes and reviewed the history of the land below. During the first age all the lands below the cliff were uninhabited. The cyclic systems of nature struggled to find balance in the first half of this age. During the latter half of this age, things started to fall in order, they were inspired and commanded by the sound and movement of her breathing. And found order in her tied hair. When everything settled in place, the serpent emerged and marked the end of that age. As a result, that age is also known as the age of the serpent.

Humans arrived at the beginning of the second age. Their place of origin and the way they came here is still unknown. They settled at various places and formed various tribes. At the end of this age, most of the tribes were living in organised villages. At the very end of the second age a few of these villages had grown to become cities ruled by tyrants.

When the beasts arrived, one of those cities, Varkariya, invaded all the others. The empire of Varkariya was born. After the death of its first emperor, his sons and a few other claimants of the throne fought a bloody civil war among themselves thus breaking the empire into many kingdoms. The lands around the city of Nihariya became the Kingdom of Nihariya while the lands around the city of Varkariya became the Kingdom of Varkariya. With the appearance of the second one and the third one, these kingdoms entered a period of structured government and rule by popular kings. And when the beasts returned to the cave, the second age came to an end. This age is called the age of the three beasts.

The arrival of the crocodile marks the beginning of the third age. With its arrival corruption and poverty entered these kingdoms. Frequent wars occurred among the kingdom. This continued until she called the crocodile back. With it ends the third age or the age of the crocodile. Even though the animals have returned to her, their presence is still felt.

While she viewed the past, seven virgin girls from the seven classes of the Nihariyan community felt her presence. Her arrival. At first they felt extreme bliss which they couldn’t explain, they expressed their joy by dancing and after some time they experienced intense peace which made them to sit calmly and dissolve into themselves. All this happened when no one else was around.

The seven classes were formed at the beginning of the third age. During this period each kingdom adapted its own strategy to maintain order. Unlike the other kingdoms which were formed by the sons or other blood relatives of the emperor. Nihariya was formed by the emperor’s five most trusted ministers. They made all five of them kings. Even today Nihariya is ruled by five kings simultaneously. They behave as a single person, to give orders all five must agree. To maintain their rule, the five of them together with a few other aristocrats designed the code of the three gems.

The code has three rules named after three gems.

The code of Ruby: Obedience to the superior class, that is, each class should respect and obey the members of the class above them. There are only seven classes but the kings claimed that they received the codes from the lord of war and lady of wheat, so the higher lords and ladies formed the first class. Higher lords and ladies are supernatural entities that appeared from The Great Goddess.

The classes are,

Higher lords and ladies

Royal, this includes the families of the five kings.

Aristocrat and bureaucrat, this includes central and provincial ministers, provincial governors, village and city administrators and bureaucrats at all levels.

Scribes.

Military, Warriors and soldiers.

Merchants, traders, large land and ship owners who use labours.

Peasants, small land owners who work on their own fields.

Labours and Servants.

The code of Emerald: Attachment to the country. A law that prevents people from traveling beyond the borders of the kingdom. Even travel between provinces is discouraged.

The code of Saphire: Attachment to the class, one should only marry within the class and should not try to move up or down the class hierarchy.

Those seven girls were not the first to feel the presence of the first one. The first person to feel the presence of the Great Goddess is the youngest queen of Nihariya, Queen Avinya. Her husband was coronation just two months ago. In Nihariya the throne passes from father to the eldest son, but he can become king only if he is married and his wife gave birth to a son. The king’s sons can get married only after reaching their twenty first birthday. The kingship passes to the prince who has a son first. He is coronated one month after the child’s birth.

Avinya married the king’s second son fifteen months ago. The elder prince’s wife gave birth to two daughters but Avinya gave birth to a son, therefore her husband was coronated king and she became Queen Avinya.

Sandhya got up and jumped off the cliff, halfway down she morphed into a swan and flew down and landed elegantly on the pool at the bottom of the cliff, formed by the falling river. Then she let herself float down with the river, while floating she thought about Avinya.

Avinya, it is not the name given to her at birth. Kings and Queens has the right to choose their name during coronation. Many preferred their old name but some chose a new name. So did she.

She has been personally using that name since she was three years. She doesn’t know what it means, she doesn’t even known how she learned it. But that doesn’t matter, she loves the way it sounds and has been using it to refer to herself ever since.

Sandhya presented herself to Avinya in the form of a dragon. She chose that form because the dragon is a symbol of feminity. Not only the dragon, anything curved and which flows is a symbol of feminity. Rivers, fire, curved vases, robes, chains, creepers, snakes are all symbols of feminity. Things that are straight and still are symbols of masculinity. Mountains, towers, straight trees, poles, wells are all symbols of masculinity.

The dragon was immaterial, just floating light and colours. The colours and shape changed with time. It never made any noise, all the emotions and messages were conveyed by the changing shape and colours. Avinya managed to understand most of the messages except a very few complicated ones which she hasn’t deciphered yet.

As she grew older and taller, the dragon started to coil around her body instead of floating in the air. After coiling it kept its head on one of her shoulders.

Being a princess, the codes and all other laws derived from it were taught to her from childhood. The idea that the royals are superior to the other classes is reinforced in her.

From her side, she too believed in the importance of the codes for the sustenance and stability of the kingdom. On the other side she believed that there is someone greater than the lords and ladies of nature.

Sandhya returned from her thought to the present, as she reached a village. At the same time Avinya was also thinking about her last few days. The dragon is becoming more material over the last few days. First she heard the sound of air displacement as the dragon moved, then later when it wrapped around her. she heard the sound of friction as the dragon rubbed over the silk of her saree. Finally, for the first time in her life, yesterday she felt the pressure exerted by the creature, specially on her shoulders. She moved the fingers of her right hand over her breasts and her necklaces. Like all the other queens, she too was wearing the three necklaces. The shortest one was a chocker and contains a large ruby in the centre. The next one was a bit longer and passed along her cleavage and has an emerald. The third one was long enough to reach the bottom of her breasts and has a sapphire. She is wearing them because along with the other queens, she is one of the protectors of the codes.

TO BE CONTINUED.

The Great Goddess, A Poem

In a cave so dark,
was a lady so bright,
she is a goddess there.

She was called,
and is still called,
“The First One” there.

Her breath which was,
the only noise and,
motion in the cave.

Her hair which was,
tied up so tight,
fell down, on the floor.

Her waist which was,
slim and curved,
moved so smooth.

She sneezed then by,
mistake though, but it,
was so loud and clear.

At last she spoke,
her voice was so,
soft and melodious.

From each of those,
actions there came,
a creature though.

A snake from breath,
a bison from hair,
a swan from waist.

That’s not all,
a dragon from sneeze,
and bees from speech.

The snake was there,
to symbolise the,
cycles of nature.

The beast was there,
to represent untamed,
liberty and freedom.

The dragon was there,
to signify starvation,
and destruction.

The bird was there,
to remind them of,
order and beauty.

The bees were there,
to make them know,
of many things small.

She made them all,
a jewel to wear,
as she thought.

She turned the snake,
into a nose ring and,
the dragon a toe ring.

The bees were beads,
of a chain around,
her thin white neck.

The swan coiled around,
her waist to become,
a waist chain there.

The beast that was,
left alone, was made to,
decorate, her hair.

She was now both,
good and bad, that,
made her whole.

For all men there,
she was great and,
called her mother nature.

The cave was known,
by some wise men,
as the universe.

But here for me,
she will be,
The Great Goddess.

The Goddess Comes Out

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter one of the novel
The Great Goddess

A lady was seated deep within a cave, meditating. She was wearing a blue silk saree with a three inch gold border. She was motionless and surrounded by darkness and silence. She was and is called “The First One“. The only motion and sound that could be found there was that of her breathing. From her rhythmic and cyclic breathing appeared a serpent. As soon as it appeared it coiled onto itself, chasing its own tail. It symbolises the cyclic processes of nature that she controls. She heard its noise and opened her eyes. She made herself glow and looked down at the creature by just turning her eyes but without moving her face. She kept looking at it for some time. She found no problem with it so she turned the creature into a gold nose ring and wore it on her left nostril.

Her hair was tied in a tight bun which represents concentration, structure and order but with time due to its own weight it loosened and gave way and her hair fell down. It was unintentional motion. From this motion appeared three great beast, a bison representing expansion, a horse representing uncontrolled liberty and freedom, and a boar representing disorder. All three ran out of the cave, creating havoc. She saw the troubles created by these creatures with her inner eye. She thought about it. She understood that uncontrolled expansion or uncontrolled liberty is unstable, they both leads to disorder. Now she knew that uncontrolled expansion leads to collapse under its own weight, its the same reason why large stars and large empires collapse soon. She also learned that uncontrolled liberty and freedom leads to anarchy. She knew some thing was missing. But, before that she needs to call back the beasts into the cave. Untill now all her thoughts were composed of images but now she needs sound, sounds with meaning that she could use to command the beasts, that is “words“.

She decided to compose a language. She opened her mouth, her throat vibrated, “A“*(look footnote). She made sound and she heard her voice for the first time. She continued. “AA“, the long vowel, ” I” and all other vowels, diphthongs, consonants, double consonants and consonant clusters. Then she composed the morphological and grammatical rules. Then at last she composed words and then gave meaning to each one. After completing, she used this new language to command the beasts.

Her voice went out of the cave, in search of the beasts. But before it reached the beasts, from her intellectual and creative processes, mainly her understanding of the beasts and composition of the language, appeared a lady. “The Second One“. She is a symbol of wisdom and creativity but she remained motionless. The first one looked at her and decided to give motion, for that she decided to give the second one a partner. The first one moved her waist a bit to the right, as her spine moved from it appeared a dancer. “The Third One“. She represents structured and ordered motion.

When the beasts returned, she again tied her hair as before, then caught the tails of all three beasts at once and turned them into a jewel and tucked it on her hair. The jewel has three sapphires which represents the three beasts.

Then she decided to return to her meditation. Before she closed her eyes she sneezed, and from it appeared a crocodile. It slowly crawled out of the cave. She ignored it and returned to her meditation. The crocodile was a symbol of destruction. It caused disasters, wars, starvation, and all such things. The screams of the people who were affected by this crocodile disturbed her. She opened her eyes again and called the crocodile back to the cave. As it returned she stood up and trampled its neck with her left leg. The crocodile turned into a silver ring that coiled around her middle toe.

Then she decided to move out of the cave but as she made her first step the second one and the third one approached her and asked her to adorn them too. She smiled and turned the second one into a throatlet around her neck because the second one appeared primarily from her voice, similarly she turned the third one into a waist chain around her waist because the third one appeared from her waist.

Then she moved out of the cave and looked at herself in the light. She was perfect and beautiful and she was satisfied. She named herself “Sandhya“. She is both silence and sound, order and disorder, creativity and destruction. She had been in the cave for millenniums or even many million years, the time period between her appearance in the cave and the appearance of the serpant is unknown to anybody, probably millions of years. It is known as the first age. How she came there is also not known to anybody. It is known as the great mystery. The period between the serpant and the three beasts is the second age. It consists a period of two hundred thousand years. The period between the three beasts and the crocodile is the third age and consists a period of twelve thousand years. What follows that is the current and fourth age.

The landscape outside the cave was a cold desert completely flat and covered by ice. It is a plateau and the only odd feature in that landscape is the cave and the peak of an active volcano behind it.

She felt thirst, but there is no water anywhere. She knew there is water beneath the ground, warm water heated by the volcano. She hit the ice with her right ankle, the ice cracked, the crack went down, deep down, till it reached ground. Then it stopped. She hit again at the same spot. This time the ground cracked and the crack went down all the way till it reached water. Water oozed out with tremendous pressure forming a spring, a hot spring, a geezer to be precise.

She drank from the spring and before she finished drinking the spring had grown into a stream and then into a great river downstream. She walked downhill along the river until some noise from the river disturbed her. She turned her head and looked at the middle of the river. A lady walked out of the river. She is the lady of the river. She walked near Sandhya and bowed down and thanked Sandhya for liberating her from the clutches of the lord of the volcano. She complained to Sandhya about the atrocities of the lord of the volcano.

Oh, great mother! The lord of the volcano treats both me and the lady of ice as his slaves. Even though we are his sisters, he doesn’t treat us as such. If we don’t obey his commands he threatens to vaporize both of us by dipping us into one of his lava lakes. Every now and then he takes me to the bottom of the volcano and partially boils me, he also takes my sister there and partially melts her.

The lady of ice appeared there in the middle of the conversation. Just a few moments after the lady of the river finished her complaint, the earth shaked and the volcano erupted once and with it the lord of the volcano appeared on top of the peak. He had a sword in his right hand. The blade of the sword was a combination of both steel and fire. In a single leap he jumped and landed right in front of the three ladies. He raised the sword to attack Sandhya. Sandhya blowed and the flame of the sword extinguished, he was shocked,until now no one has done this to his sword. Before he recovered from the shock Sandhya got hold of his neck and carried him up, then raised her right leg and placed him chest up on her thigh and broke his backbone. He screamed in pain. The ground shattered and the volcano erupted once again and became dormant. She placed him slowly on the ice and sat beside him and spoke to him.

My dear! You are one of my sons, you had been blinded by your ego. You shall become active at the end of this age.” All the lords and ladies of nature are Sandhya’s sons and daughters since they appeared from various parts of her body during the first phase of her meditation before the appearance of the serpent. She took the sword and stood up and went towards the lady of ice and said “From now on you shall be the protector of this land.” And gave the sword to her, as the fingers of the lady of ice made contact with the sword, a layer of ice appeared on the blade. Then Sandhya spoke to both of them. “Take care of your brother.” And she continued her journey downstream untill she reached a cliff. At the edge of the cliff the climate was much warmer and there was no ice. She walked to the very edge of the cliff and sat on the rock and looked down at the Kingdom of Nihariya.

(*It is not the English “A”. It is the “A” of French or the first vowel of most Indian languages.)

To be continued.