Thursday, February 19, 2009

The story of Paramdvara and Ruru

         Today, even as I was busy with some dull work at home, I happened to listen to a story narrated on the That Anta Heli (ಥಟ್  ಅಂತ  ಹೇಳಿ ) programme on TV.

          I understand that it is one of the most unique love stories in world literature. The storyline goes that Paramdvara (meaning the most beautiful girl in the world) loses her parents and grows up with a Rishi, who adopts her. If I heard & remember right, Ruru is the son of the Rishi (disclaimer: I am not sure!!). They, Paramdvara and Ruru, grow up together since childhood and develop a liking for each other at some stage. One day while roaming in the forests, Paramdvara is bitten by a snake and dies. The snake then transforms itself into a handsome prince(??) , who says that Paramdvara can come back to life again, if someone is willing to donate half of his/her life and then, the prince runs away!!( Such transformations are not uncommon in Hindu mythology or western fairly tales. While in fairly tales, the prince always ends up marrying the girl, but it doesnt happen in Hindu mythology. Remember Rama-Ahalya??). You should have by now guessed what happens next. Ruru comes forward to donate half of life, Paramdvara comes back to life….. they get married.. and lived happily ever after!!

        I couldn't listen to the story very clearly, but this seems interesting. If you happen to know the story better, or know of a webpage that narrates the story in more detail, please post it here as a comment or feel free to mail me!!


nagesha said...

Name of the beautiful woman in subject is pramadvara. Not parmdvara.

nagesha said...

Sauti now goes on to tell another story. A great Rishi named Sthulakesa found a female infant dropped by the river side and was filled with compassion and love, so he took the child in for upbringing and named her Pramadvara. When she grew older, Ruru fell in love with her and they were engaged in marriage. Sadly, days before the wedding, she was bitten by a poisonous snake and died.

Ruru overcome with sorrow cried out in the woods and a messenger in heaven explained that "her days have run out" and there is no normal way to bring back a person from the dead. He stated that the gods had actually set a "beforehand" method of bringing her back which would require Ruru to give up half of his remaining life to bring her back to life. He did so and obviously this was a special case since it said that the gods had a pre-set method to do this since in normal circumstances, when a person dies they don't come back to life.

They became married but Ruru made a vow to kill a serpant wherever he found it. It is also noted later on that Ruru is a Brahmin and that Brahmins should not practice such himsa out of anger. He went in the forest one day ready to kill another snake but the snake replied that his name was Dundubha and that he has done no harm and should not be killed. He explained that he used to be a great Rishi named Sahasrapat. He explained that he had a friend with great spiritual power named Khagama. As Khagama was performing a fire sacrifice, Dundubha played a joke by making a mock snake to scare him. He became so mad that he cursed him to become a serpent. The catch was that he would only be a serpent until the man named Ruru came along! What a tragic but truly amazing puzzle this portion was.

Srivatsava Vajapeyam said...

You are right. I know of this mistake for over 6 months now. And I havent updated the post!!
Thats why I call myself 'Waste Body'!!