[Advaita-l] idaM na mama - failure part-2 - Historical examples

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 21 23:39:03 CDT 2011

Below I present some details of two wars one in the North and the other a 
centuries later in the South.
So for the question why arent the rites used to protect in old times, here is 
the some information to consider.
Please note that these are just two examples. There is atleast one more incident 
recorded where the attack by 

band of Muslims was stopped in Tirupati. Of those that possibly happened we have 
few records. Whatever is in this post is not complete being only examples. As 
for why such rites did not help in other times... i already presented possible 
In the first incident observe that the bauddha monk failed not because his 
mantra-s were ineffective but there was just no time to prepare for it. While in 
the second instance it looks like the mantrins had sufficient time for the 
I am aware that one can easily say .. ha! this is all anecdotal! who belives 
this crap? I have no answer for that, except saying that this should be read in 
conjunction with the failure part 1 post and other posts that I made recently. 
The artcile is too long.

When va~Nga-paNDita presented this pUrvapakSha (which is encapsulated above) 
before us, we took off into a discussion of the early medieval history of India 
and the developments therein. So many times in the days of our youth we used to 
time-travel, leaving behind this world for that of the past:
-440 CE, the upheavals in the central Asian realm set the Hunnic movements in 
-443 CE a cavalry storm builds in the east and appears at the doors of the 
Isaist Roman empire. This cavalry force of ultimately central Asian origin 
besieged the now Serbian city of Nis with a formidable array of battering rams 
and siege towers. As they broke through the town’s defences, the Isaist Roman 
force defending found themselves no match to the attack and was crushed. This 
was followed by the victorious march of their leader Attila who advanced towards 
Constantinople destroying city after city on his way. Only the walls of the city 
saved it from destruction.
-454 CE The eastern wing of the Huns (commonly called the Ephthalites or hUNa-s 
in saMskR^ita) marched straight against Iran. The Shah Yazdigird sallied forth 
to counter them in north-eastern Iran. The powerful Sassanian sipah met with a 
cavalry much more than it could handle and was battered on the battlefield and 
fled in disarray with heavy losses.
-It was the early summer of the year 454 CE. In the city of kUbha in gandhara, a 
band of bauddha bikShu-s noticed that their shaiva rivals were packing up and 
getting ready to evacuate the pAShupata maTha. The head muNDaka who normally 
avoided the jaTila-s asked why they were packing up. The jaTila replied that a 
great storm was building on the horizon and the evils of kali yuga were to come 
down upon the world. The muNDaka smiled and walked on continuing his japa of the 
lokeshvara mantra. Later in the day he noticed that the patrons were not 
arriving at his vihAra. He stirred out to a neighboring vihAra where other 
bauddha-s were had stopped their study of the sad-dharma-puNDarIka sUtra because 
of some news that the king, the kedAra shAhIya had been defeated midway to 
bAhlika and an army of mlechCha-s was advancing towards the city. Sensing 
danger, the head muNDaka started organizing his flock to flee south towards 
suvastu. But even before he could do so, he heard an enormous clattering of 
hoofs and saw a great swirl of dust darkening the horizon. With in minutes the 
students in the court yard and the door keepers were rolling in the dust shot by 
arrows. The muNDaka ran inside to invoke a protective mantra from 
subAhu-paripR^ichCha, but even as he was entering into his ritual enclave a 
hideous warrior with a deformed head struck off the muNDaka’s head with his 
scimitar. It rolled down and fell near his altar. Another muNDaka was being 
threatened and asked to reveal where the wealth given by the vaishya patrons was 
hidden. Having bundled it up the victorious hUNa warriors uttered fierce cries 
and set fire to the vihara. They circled around the burning campus shooting down 
survivors who tried to flee the smoldering ruins. 

The hUNa-s rode rapidly through gandhara, southwards pillaging the towns and 
slaughtering the inhabitants. A band of pAshupata shaiva ascetics fleeing from 
this terror crossed the sindhu river and reached a military outpost to the great 
emperor kumAragupta mahendrAditya. They brought news of the terrifying advance 
of the hUNa-s. The military outpost conveyed the message to the emperor who was 
holding court at Udayagiri. He had already received an envoy from the Shah of 
Iran with a request to supply elephants in the war against the hUNa-s, in 
addition to a request for Hindu mercenaries to fight the Isaists. The news from 
a band of bauddha refugees had also reached the emperor that the huNa-s were 
already poised to ford the sindhu and launch a thrust into bhAratavarSha. The 
emperor summoned his son the yuvarAja, skandagupta, and asked him to lead the 
senA to oust the mlechCha-s from the land of the Arya-s.
Udayagiri skanda
After having made the military preparation for the advance into the pa~nchanada 
to quell the hUNa-s the prince sent a messenger to the vAkATaka-s, his allies to 
send him a reserve force. Then he went to the cave of Udayagiri, where the god 
after whom he had been named was enshrined. The brAhmaNa-s drew a vijaya-maNDala 
and having placed the consecrated kumbha-s at its corners led skandagupta to its 
center. Here he was consecrated with the ShaDAkSharI mantra and asked to lead 
his troops even as the son of rudra led the devasenA against tAraka and mahiSha. 
A homa was offered to mahAsena for the victory of the prince with oblations of 
red sesame seeds. Blood red banners of kumAra were erected in front of the great 
shrine in udayagiri. Each of the sapta-mAtR^ikA-s were also offered bali-s to 
inspire the troops in battle, even as the mAtR^ikA-s had attacked the hordes of 
shumbha and nishumbha. The vAkATaka general leading the auxiliaries had invoked 
the terrible bhairava and consecrated his sword in shmashAna for victory in the 
impending battle. Thus having invoked the deva-s, four divisions of the imperial 
army headed for the pa~nchanada numbering around 60,000 men. The hUNa-s 
apparently had about 80-90,000 (the bauddha account of this war given in the 
text chandra-garbha-paripR^ichCha gives the exaggerated counts of the army of 
skandagupta being 200,000 and that of the mlechCha-s being 300,000).
In the spring of 455 CE decisive encounters between skandagupta’s army and those 
of the hUNa-s took place near the banks of the sindhu in its middle reaches. The 
hUNa-s tried to deploy their favored tactic of firing and riding. But the 
disciplined imperial infantry kept its distance from the hUNa-s whose composite 
bows were affected by the subcontinental climate. Then the Hindu long-bow corps 
went into action – having greater range and power than the hUNa bows, and 
unaffected by the climate it had a deadly effect. In the fierce encounters which 
are described as having the din of the roaring ga~NgA in spate (ga~NgA dhvaniH) 
the Hindu archers brought down the horse-borne hUNa-s even before they could 
close in on the gupta warriors. After the hUNa charges were repeatedly broken by 
the gupta infantry which had ambushed them, skandagupta ordered the gupta 
cavalry to swoop on the mlechCha-s "like garuDa-s on hUNa sarpa-s which had 
raised their hoods". The sudden cavalry counter attack took hUNa-s by surprised 
and they were mercilessly put to sword. The khan of the hUNa-s ordered his men 
to ride out in a rapid escape, but they were ambushed by another force of 
infantry that skandagupta had pushed to their rear. With the reach of the 
long-bow they were able to strike from a distance with hail of cloth-yard shafts 
on the hUNa-s. Now they were utterly broken and the surging gupta cavalry 
surrounded the khan of the hUNa-s and two other tegins. Now khan and these 
tegins were summarily executed by skandagupta (Thus we may reconstruct from the 
chandra-garbha-paripR^ichCha) thereby ending this hUNa invasion.

An exchange with my acquaintance SRA on apotropaic rites related to temples 
prompted me to record this brief note. The light of the theravAda bauddha-s, the 
mighty king parAkrama-bAhu the Great (i.e. parAkrama-bAhu-I), came to power in 
Shri Lanka around 1153 CE. Few years after he came to the throne, he sent 
emissaries to other theravAda bauddha kings in Asia to announce his devote 
support for the sangha. narAthu, the king of Myanmar scorned the Lankan 
messengers and tortured them. He also imposed economic sanctions on Lanka. In 
the meanwhile parAkrama-bAhu was busy in local wars in course of which he 
conquered the whole of shrI-lankA and unified it under a single bauddha banner. 
In 1164 CE parAkrama-bAhu decided avenge the insult of the Lankans and launched 
a massive attack on Myanmar with a formidable fleet equipped with an years 
supply of grain for his large navy, an amphibious landing force of war-elephants 
and uniquely crafted long-range poisoned arrows. Despite cyclones and loss of 
multiple ships parAkrama-bahus fleet under admiral nagara-girI and chera 
mercenaries established a bridgehead at Kusumiya and captured the city with the 
amphibious landing force. Then the Lankan sea-borne army invaded Myanmar and 
penetrated as far as the capital Arimardhanapura. The Burmans resisted with much 
fury but parAkrama-bAhu ordered his navy and army to keep pressing on till they 
destroyed the killed the king of Myanmar. The ports were blockaded by the 
Lankans and their army finally stormed Arimardhanapura and killed narAthu.

This successful adventure tempted parAkrama-bAhu to invade and conquer south 
India. He found a great excuse for this program in the form of the internal 
struggle between two pANDya contenders for the throne and the choLa allies of 
one them (kulashekhara). He claimed to act in support of the other party 
(vIrapANDya) against choLa-s and kulashekhara. parAkrama-bahu dispatched his 
powerful admiral lankApura to deal with the Tamil kingdoms. lankApura conquered 
Ramanathapuram near the setu and built a heavily fortified camp named 
parAkramapura after his king. From here lankApura brought in a large lankan land 
army and sent it towards Madhurai, where he besieged and defeated kulashekhara. 
Then the Lankan army placed vIrapANDya as puppet in Madhurai and controlled it 
from a fortified camp they built named paNDuvijaya. They used this fort in 
tandem with parAkramapura and continued the war on the choLa-s inflict many 
blows on them and even sent Tamils captured in India to build monuments in 
Lanka. Around 1171 parakarama-bAhu probably filled with bauddha zeal ordered the 
conquest of rAmeshvaraM. The lankan navy blockaded the temple city and an 
amphibious landing force with elephants launched a direct attack on the temple. 
They first uprooted the huge temple doors and carried it away. Then finding 
their way to the temple treasury they seized all its treasures and took control 
of the shrine and prevented worship of shiva.

The choLa king rAjadhirAja-II was shaken by the desecration of the temple and 
called upon a learned tAntrIka of the Urdhva-srotras, j~nAnashiva to perform 
abhichAra rites to destroy the lankans who had desecrated the jyotir-li~Nga. 
j~nAnashiva began an elaborate abhichAra prayoga invoking the terrifying 
5-headed, 18 handed form of shiva, who wears a garland of 108 skulls. An image 
of shiva in this form is also found in the chandella fort near Kajuraho where 
they routinely invoked him before doing battle with the turuShka-s. j~nAnashiva 
performed the rite unfazed for 28 days. The choLa army had been hammered by the 
lankans in multiple battles till that point, but is said that the fury of 
mahAdeva entered them. rAjAdhirAja-IIs army fell upon the desecrating bauddha-s 
in rAmeshvaraM and smashed them in a quick assault. The lankan admiral lankApura 
himself was leading the desecration and was struck by an arrow. The choLa-s 
beheaded him and nailed his severed head on the gates of the pANDuvijaya camp as 
a befitting offering to mahAdeva.

The details of this event are recorded in the ArpAkkaM inscription 18 Km from 


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