Thursday, September 1, 2022

Raja Baja Bandar

 Raja Vaja ne Vandara

Grand Dhairya, Lakshmi and I were on morning walk in the Suryajyot Lake Garden near our house in Gandhinagar. There was a monkey family of 20 plus playing at one corner of the garden. The infants were jumping from one branch to another of the trees or running around on the ground while the adults were watching them as well as the humans around. It was a good scene to watch the joyful infants jumping and running around when the Sun was rising and birds were singing in the pleasant morning. 

The infants of monkeys are otherwise smarter compared to human babies in the initial 16 months. But as soon as the human infant becomes toddler with the change of hyoid bone position it takes over the race. 

Gandhinagar is facing problem of monkey menace as the population of langoors is increasing. One can’t grow mango, drumstick and papaya. They will come at regular intervals and damage the plants. No chance to grow vegetables in open. 

While walking in the garden, my wife asked me to explain the Gujarati proverb “Raja Vaja and Vandara”. Why the King has been compared with the harmonium and the monkey? 

The harmonium is one of the most popular music instruments. It is a pump organ has 39 keys. It makes sound by blowing airthrough reeds, which are tuned to different pitches to make musical notes. Often noticed that whenever a musical programme starts either the microphone create weird sound or the harmonium sting disturbs the music. If the key of the harmonium is loose and one of the strings lost its position the music is gone. None can predict thereafter the fate of the programme. The harmony of the programme once disturbed by the harmonium none can repair it. 

Monkeys are also unpredictable in their behaviour. Monkeys are highly social omnivores, organized in clans as large as several hundred individuals headed by an old male. Like us, monkeys form strong friendships and bitter rivalries. They fight for each other and take care of one another. And the leader of a monkey troop, when deposed, will even exhibit signs of depression. When we watch their behaviour we get the sense that their emotional lives may share something in common with our own.

There is verse in Sanskrit:

मर्कटस्य सूरापानं मध्ये वृश्चिकदंशनम्। 

तन्मध्ये भूतसंचारो यद्वा तद्वा भविष्यति ॥

When a monkey is drunk, stung by a scorpion and possessed by ghosts anything can happen. None can predict the outcome of such situation. 

What if it is provided with an ambience where it can splurge on all of its whims and fancies? On top of that, it is provided with the means to fulfill them without any hurdles anywhere! Nobody to ask nor to question! What will be the outcome? Just as the verse satirically says, 'totally unpredictable'. Some of the Kings in history were falling in this category. Power hysteria in history.

This is a metaphor of the unstable human mind. The lust is the liquor intoxicated by attachment, jealousy of others is a scorpion cutting each time with the poison of hatred and the demon of the ego rides over above all. The human turns monkey. 


राजा वाजा ने वांदरा। 

राजा बाजा और बंदरियाँ। 😁


1 September 2022


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