Yeti and Sasquatch

Both of them are mythical creatures said to be inhabiting the the different parts of the world.
Sasquatch is said to be living in North America. and Western Canada. Yeti whose physical description is similar to Sasquatch is said to be living in the Himalayas.


Both are large hairy humanoids. The origin of the word Sasquatch which is also known as Bigfoot name comes from Salish se’sxac, meaning “wild men.” It’s counterpart Yeti is also known as th Abominable Snowman.

Imagined Sasquatch

Many people from time to time claim that they have seen them but till now there is no proof of their existence.


A scapegoat is an innocent person who is made to take the take the blame for the wrongdoings done by others. For example, when a child breaks something in the home and blame is passed by him onto one of his siblings before the parents. In the world of crime, there are persons who bear the blame for the crime done by some other prominent member of the gang. This is done in order to keep the major part of the gang free and to carry on the activities unhindered.

Origin of Scapegoat?

The origin of the term is from the Bible. The story is in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. It goes like this. For religious ritual as was the custom in older days animal sacrifice was performed. Two goats are brought in the place of ritual. One is sacrificed by killing it. But another one is allowed to “escape‘ into the wilderness in the hope that it will carry away all the sins of the people of Israel with it. So it becomes Escaped Goat.

The term “Escaped Goat” when rendered from Leviticus into English became “scapegoat

In any case both the animals are doomed. One is actually sacrificed by killing it and other might die under the burden of sins of others.

Myth of Argus Panoptes!!

Most of us must have seen the peacock. And also the saying “hundred eyed one” or “all seeing”. All these things are related to Argus Panoptes. A person with keen eyesight and watchful is called Argus Eyed.

Peacock is often considered as the most beautiful bird. It is so colorful. Its tail feathers have eyes like patterns. In Greek mythology, these are the eyes of Argus Panoptes. He was the servant and guard of Hera and had hundred eyes fixed all over his body. Panoptes means hundred eyes.

My own picture

Argus Panoptes served Goddess Hera. He was chosen by her as he never slept. Some of his eyes were always open. So nothing escaped his eyes. That is why he was also called All Seeing One.

He was instrumental in slaying Echidna who was a fearsome character which was half human and half snake. She used to lure travellers to her cave and ate them.

Hera was the wife of Zeus. Zeus in Greek mythology was the head of gods. He is similar to the God Indra of Hindu Mythology and was a God of thunder and rain.

Hera and Zeus

Zeus had an extramarital affair with Io. And Hera doubted him and planned to caught them red handed. At one point she was just about to succeed in her mission but Zeus turned Io into a beautiful cow. Hera was aware of this. So she asked Zeus to give the cow to her. He couldn’t refuse.

Zeus was very upset and thought of plans to get Io freed. He took the services of Hermes who is the messenger of Gods. Hermes was a expert storyteller and lute player. He met Argus in the guise of a cattleherd and began telling Argus stories and playing soothing music. One by one Argus’s eyes began closing and he fell asleep. Hermes then killed him and took away the cow.

Hera was very disturbed and sad. She took the eyes of Argus and fixed them on the tail of a peacock which she kept as a memory to the faithful Argus.

Gold Pot! Where is it?

Most of the mythological stories are improbable. These are about extraordinary feats or things. Almost all of these have an religious angle, which lend it credibility. Wite passage of time, it takes deep roots into the psyche of humans. Often there is an element of fear is also there.

One such mythological belief is that there is a gold Pot hidden at the end of a rainbow. The pot is said to buried at the point where rainbow touches the earth.

The legend originated long ago in Ireland. There was time when Vikings invaded it and began looting the public and robbing them of their gold. Over a short period of time, they amassed a fortune of gold and other wealth.

They are said to bury the gold for the sake of keeping it secure. Because at that time, there existed no such facilities such as bank lockers.

The legend of buried gold began when the Vikings departed with the bounty but left some of gold buried.

After the Vikings, leprechauns came into picture. They found this hidden gild. The leprechauns were distrusted of humans and relocated this gold at the end of the rainbow.

Rainbow is an amazing natural phenomenon. We know that the light is responsible for this phenomenon. Light consists of seven colours in the human visible range. These are from Voilet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange to Red. When this light passes through a prism it is broken into individual colors.

In nature, when the rain and sunlight are present at the same time, the water droplets hanging in the rain act as prism and split the sunlight into an arc of seven colours. It’s edges seem to be touching the earth surface at the ends.

This is an illusion. No one can touch it. It goes on shifting it’s position. Even if you try to go to the point where it seems to touch the surface shifts away.

Perhaps the moral is that the wealth is there but it is not in the grasp of the seeker.

Blarney Stone

What is Blarney? Dictionary defines it as “a talk which aims to charm, flatter, or persuade (often considered typical of Irish people)”. For example
it took all my Irish blarney to keep us out of court“.

Blarney is a village in Cork Ireland. There is a castle by the same name Blarney Castle. In this castle, on one battlement is a stone made of limestone. The stone is said to have magical powers and anyone kissing it is supposed to get powers of eloquence.

Blarney Castle

Every year thousands of people visit the place from all over the world to kiss the stone and get those powers. Powers to charm others by sweet charismatic talk.

Kissing the stone is in itself a very hard task. Since the stone is set in the battlement wall separated from the main land by a deep chasm or moat.

Kissing the stone

During earlier times, when safety was not considered paramount, it is said that the person was hand head down from heels by a rope and lowered to the stone.

Nowadays it is not so. Since the stone is still at the same place, a railing has been placed on both sides of the stone. Person sits on the edge with his back towards the wall and two people hold his legs while he bends his torso backwards and reaches the stone.

History of the stone:

Although the castle was constructed in 1446, the story of the stone is about 200 years older than that. As with the ancient legends, its origin is also shrouded in the mystery and hypothesis. One legend is that this is the stone which Moses hit with his staff and water came gushing from it. Another legend is that it was Jacob’s pillow which Jeremiah brought to Ireland and since was used as the royal stone by Irish kings. In 1446, King Dermot McCarthy then installed the stone in an enlarged castle he constructed.

How the stone gained magical powers, a local legend claims that an old women, saved from drowning by a king of Munster, rewarded him with a spell, that if he would kiss a stone on the castle’s top, he would gain a speech that would win all to him.

There is even a poem singing the praises of the powers of the stone:

There is a stone there, that whoever kisses,

Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent:

'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,

Or become a member of Parliament.

This Certainly is not Diwali

Today in India, people are celebrating the festival of Diwali, also called Dipawali. Diwali means the lighting of earthen lamps called Diyas. The festival commemorates the victory of good over evil. Light from a Diya is a symbol of enlightenment which dispels the evil represented by darkness or ignorance.

Diya or Earthen lamp

It is said that when Lord Rama alongwith his wife Sita and brother Laxman returned to Ayodhya his home after a banishment of 14 years, the populace was overjoyed and every place and house was decorated with lights. People thus welcomed their prince valiant.

So much for the mythology. Now this festival is not a festival but a suicidal mission. So much crackers are burnt creating a thick pal of smog over the cities. Noise is deafening. People particularly children burn crackers worth crores.

It seems as if some war is going on outside. The talk of eco-friendly or green Diwali is a sham. Even this government which makes so much hue cry about burning of stubble by farmers keeps quite.

Last year was a rather peaceful in comparison due to corona outbreaks. But this year there is no such problem.

Cracker burning

One cannot sleep peacefully. Babies and elderly people are distressed. But these cracker blasters don’t care.

Adulterated sweets are sold without any qualms. This is what a festival becomes which is hijacked by commercial interests. Every business jumps into the selling spree giving discounts and bonanzas.

I suspect that children who are the main actors in this drama even know the philosophy behind this festival.

And had Rama experienced this sight on his arrival, I am sure He would had returned back and headed to the jungles where he had already spent the 14 years of his youth. At least there He would have breathed the pure natural air and avoided his name being politicised.

Judas Peep Hole

The front door of the flat where we lived in Mumbai was fitted with a peeping hole. The person inside upon hearing the bell could check through this glass hole to ascertain who is outside. It was for security purposes. We never knew that this device is called Judas, or Judas hole or Judas peeping hole.

Must be remembering the Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. It was he who is said to have betrayed the Lord. The device is named after him. Judas or Judas peep hole or Judas spy aperture is a device which is fitted in the door. Although these holes allow both the outsider and insider to peep through, Judas hole is considered one way. The person from outside can Spy on the inside.

President Barack Obama looks through the Oval Office door peephole as his personal secretary Katie Johnson watches 3/12/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The device gets its name from Judas Iscariot the twelfth disciple of Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus on Wednesday when he in lieu of some money told the whereabouts of Jesus and agreed to hand Jesus to Sanhedrin. Spy Wednesday gets its name because this is the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. Because Judas is thought to be sneaky, his actions conjured up the image of a spy.

Jesus and Judas

Coconut Plant: Kalpavriksha

Coconut grow in the coastal areas. In India, whole of the coast is dotted with coconut trees. Kerala tops the list in coconut plantations. Known as Coconut in English, Narikela in Sanskrit & Nariyal in Hindi, coconuts can grow to between 15 and 30 m tall in plantations. Their trunks are ringed with scars where old leaves have fallen. The top of the trunk is crowned with a rosette of leaves.

Fruits are called coconuts. They are oval and covered with a smooth skin which can be bright green, brilliant orange or ivory coloured. Below the skin is a thick fibrous layer which is used for coir. The next layer is the shell of the seed with the three characteristic ‘eyes’.

The coconut finds so many uses. The shell may be used to make charcoal which is used in the water filters for absorbing the coloring contaminants.  The inside of the shell is lined with a white, edible layer called the meat. This is used to make chemicals, and medicinal products. The fluid inside the seed cavity is known as coconut water. This fluid contains many minerals and is taken as such to rejuvenate the body. It is recommended in case of dehydration caused by diarrhea. It has a cooling effect and removes the body heat in summers. When seeds germinate, the new shoot sprouts from one of the eyes. Due to so many uses, in India it has been called the ‘tree of heaven’ or ‘Kalpavriksha‘.

In India, it has great spiritual value. The three ‘eyes’ of the coconut represent the three eyes of the great god Shiva. An earthen pot or pitcher, called a purnakumbha is filled with water and mango leaves and a coconut is placed on top. This purnakumbha is used in the ritual of worship and adoration of the gods, called puja. It is placed as a substitute for the deity or by the side of the deity. The purnakumbha literally means a ‘full pot’ in Sanskrit. It represents Mother Earth, the water the giver of life, the leaves life itself, and the coconut divine consciousness.

In South Asia, coconuts are named Sriphala or fruit of the Gods and symbolize complete usefulness, selfless service, prosperity and generosity. The palms are believed to be the embodiment of the ancient Indian concept of kalpavriksha, or the tree which grants all wishes. It plays an essential role in many religious and social functions in South Asia.

Coconut is an integral ingredient of South Indian cuisine. It is used in one form or another in the food. It is used to make chutneys, thickened with milk and sugar to make delicious sweets. It is milk is used in many fish preparations. Its oil is used for cooking and hair dressing.

Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha is the founder of Buddhism, the religion practiced by millions in this world. Hindu religion considers him as an avatar of Vishnu. He was born to Mahamaya the chief wife of King Suddhodhana of Sakyas.

His mother had a dream in which she was carried by demigods to divine lake called Anavatapa in Himalayas. She was bathed by heavenly guardians. A great white elephant holding a lotus in his trunk came and entered her side.

The dream was interpreted by king’s astrologers that a child would be born to her who shall either become a great emperor or a great teacher. Other interpreted the dream that the boy will see four sad events and decide to renunciate the world’s wealth and luxuries and riches.

Gautam Buddha

He was born as Siddhartha and Gautam was his Gotra. When he was born he immediately stood up and walked 5 steps and declared that this is his last birth. King was worried and tried every means to keep the boy away from all the events that can pain the boy and make him take up the path of renunciation. He was to married his cousin Yashodhara in a contest showing great skills and strength.

As the destiny would have it, he happened to see the four events predicted by the astrologer. First was when he saw an aged man in last stages of infirmity and decrepitude- actually the God himself in the disguise.

Siddhartha asked his charioteer Channa who this repulsive man was. Channa explained that everyone who is born has to pass to this state. Then he saw very sick man, then a dead man which was the last straw to break his resolve and last one was a ascetic in red robes with peaceful face.

He returned to his palace and was in great pains. Even the news of the birth of his son Rahul did not bring any peace to his mind. That night he left his home with Channa and his dear horse Kanthaka and on reaching the forest cut off his flowing hair and removed his jewelery and robes and gave it to Channa to give it all to his father. The horse died instantly on parting with his master.

Then for years he wandered here and there. He practiced great penances and tortured his body and was reduced to a skeleton. He realized that this is not leading him anywhere. He began begging for food and regained some strength.

He sat under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya and a village girl Sujata gave him rice boiled in the milk. He partook them and bathed and for next 49 days sat in meditation and at the end truth was revealed to him and he became Buddha.

After initial reluctance he started spreading his peace message and made so many people his disciples and many Kings who could not appease the Brahmins as they did not belong to warrior caste patronized Buddha. He toured all the North India from one end to another. He also converted his father, son Rahul to Buddhism and allowed his mother and other women to become Buddhist nuns.

Buddha in Bodh Gaya, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When his end was near, he knew it and told his followers not to continue with the process of new successor. As was his nature, he would beg one house and whatever they gave him never refused. He was given contaminated pork meat by Chunda the smith. He ate it and was attacked by dysentery. He moved to Kusinagara and left this world there.

Karamnasa River

The rivers in India are considered very holy. People worship them because they sustain the lives by providing water for irrigation, bringing with them very fertile soil.

Water which sustains the life on this planet. All the great civilizations had prospered along the banks of rivers. In the Indian subcontinent, Indus valley civilization prospered on the banks of the great river Indus. Living near the river had many advantages. Agriculture was carried out near the rivers.

Nile provides the Egypt with its fertile land along its banks else rest of the Egypt is dry and unsuitable for agriculture. The Punjab which is called the granary of India owes its agriculture to the five rivers. Then greatest of  them all is Ganges which flows through the whole length of North Indian plane. Millions of people inhabit the areas adjacent to this river. The river is benevolent and are considered very sacred.

In India, most of the holy places are located on the rivers. People take bath in them to wash away their bad deeds which have been committed by them consciously or deliberately. Huge congregations gather on the rivers holy places to thank the river which nurtures them.

But, there is one river which is accursed in Indian mythology. Its name is Karamnasa which means the destroyer of one’s good deeds. The river originates in Kaimur hills in Bihar. It is a tributary of Ganges which it meets near Chausa.

Karamnasa River

According to the legend, Suryavanshi King Satyavrata ruled Ayodhya. He immersed himself in worship and wanted the Gods to help him rise directly to heavens. He approached Rishi Vashisht but he showed his reluctance after which he approached Rishi’s sons who also did not help.

Then another Rishi Vishwamitra came forward with help and helped him to ascend to the heavens. But as he approached the heaven, Gods who were already angered, hurled him down on the earth.

As he was descending down at terrific speed to crash, Rishi Vishwamitra interceded and put brakes on his descend but in the process, King got suspended in the mid air with his face downwards. Due to this conditions he is also called Trishanku.

He hung over this river and the saliva from his mouth due to drooling fell into he river contaminating it. Thus the water is considered polluted and in the olden times brahmins did not even let a drop of water from it to touch their body. While crossing the river, they gave special instructions to the boatman not to splash any water on them.

The river ultimately mingles with Ganges which is capable to washing and purifying everything which comes into its contact.

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