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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Kamandal (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Curator
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Catch of the day: a Sadhu's Kamandal inscribed in hindi "offer by the Maharajah of Surat (Gujarat) february 24th 1940. The Kamandal is at the origin of the contemporary shape of the lota pot.
It's a very unique Kamandal for an important Sadhu, but who was he ?
Who was the Maharajah of Surat in 1940 ?

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This object will perfectly fit one of my story/routine about Shivaji.
coupcoupdaddy
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WOW! WHO? WHO?

Who is Shivaji?

Again, Curator, curiosity abounds.
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The Curator
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It's a story about the Indian Rope Trick.
Alas not in English, we have to translate it.
http://www.surnateum.org/french/surnateu......vaji.htm
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Ah dans La danse cosmique...

Merci, Curator
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Andy Moss
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Who is Shivaji?"

Coupcoupdaddy. Shame on you! Fancy not knowing who the Great hero Shivaji (1627-1680) was (actually to be honest I hadn't got a clue either).He seems to have been an Indian Maratha tribal leader/guerilla/military general who conquered much of the territory of the waning Mughal empire. He was I believe the founder of the 'Maratha Empire'. King Shivaji died due to contracting a disease called Bloody Flux which is a sort of 'intestinal anthrox'.(doesn't sound very nice)

"Who was the Maharajah of Surat in 1940?"

Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Shrimant Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III GCSI, GCIE, GCStJ, Kaiser-i-Hind (known by his friends as Farsy),(10 March 1863–6 February 1939), was the Maharaja of Baroda (which covers Surat) from 1875 to 1939.

Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Shrimant Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwad, GCIE,(29 June 1908-19 July 1968) was a Maharaja of Baroda who succeeded his grandfather Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III at his death in 1939. He ruled for a period of twelve years, from 1939 to 1951, when he was deposed by the Government of India and exiled to England.(ie the nasty english got him in the end)

(I bet you wished you hadn't asked now)
The Curator
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Thank you for that information.
The next question is: who was the important sadhu who received such a precious gift from a maharajah ?
Andy Moss
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I can't match a Sadhu with the date 1940.The following is the best I can do for you.(!!)

Although the kamandal is dated 1940 let us assume that there is a misunderstanding here.(poetic license for me) Let us say that the gift was actually given to the Sadhu a decade or so earlier (late 1920's).The Sadhu in question was a Sufi Sadhu by the name of Hazrat Baba Tajuddin. Read on fellow dreamer.......

"To mention a few of the British devotees of Baba Tajuddin, Mr. Antony MacDonald, the Chief Commissioner of Nagpur and Col. Rowe, the Civil Surgeon, were among the best admirers and devotees of the saint.Even MAHARAJA RAGHOJI RAO BHONSLE OF NAPUR was one of the staunch devotees of the Baba.All these big people of Nagpur sought Baba's blessings to solve their problems, private and worldly."

"That night the Deputy Commissioner had a dream in which he saw Tajuddin Baba approaching him.He stood up and saluted him.Then the saint said:"Come,I will take you on piligrimage.Tell the three sadhus also to follow us."Then the four friends followed in the foot steps of Baba Tajuddin who briskly walked ahead of them.Thus they visited many holy places like Gaya and Prayag. Then the Baba turned around and said:"Come we will go to Jagannath".When the party reached Jagannath, one of the sadhus wanted to puchase a Kamandal(a sadhus's water vessel).The Deputy Commissioner accompained him to a roadside shop and puchased a Kamandal for the sadhu. Later they returned to the party and here the dream ended.Next day,the Deputy Commissioner wanted to communicate his dreams to the three sadhus,but when he went to see them, they had already left Saugor. Then he proceeded to Sakardara to pay homage to Hazarat Tajuddin Baba who had graced him in his dream.So he asked the Sadhu as to how he got that'Kamandal'? The Sadhu replied:"How could you forget so soon?It is the same Kamandal which you had purchased for me in Jagannath."While the Deputy Commissioner was still lost in wonder,Tajuddin Baba walked towards him and said:"Oh my dear child, of wealthy parents,why did you pay so much for a Kamandal that only costs Rupees 2?".The deputy Commissioner now realised that what they had experienced was not a simple dream.He fell down at Baba Tajuddin's feet in overwhelming gratitude for the wonderful experience and the mercy he showered on him."

So there you have it. With a bit of poetic license the mystery has been solved.
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Also, Ji is a common honorific, especially used with holy personages. Shiva is Shiva. There are so many stories about Shiva, you could probably not read all of them in one lifetime.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Thanks again. Your help is highly appreciated.
It seems to me that the dates in India are not the same as ours. Am I wrong ?
The Curator
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Shastriji Maharaj is one of the important sadhus in Surat in 1940, so...
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It's highly probable that Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Shrimant Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwad offered this lota pot Smile to Shastriji Maharaj on February 24th 1940.
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Quote:
On 2008-04-28 08:29, Andy Moss wrote:
I think you may have your man.

http://www.swaminarayan.org/shastrijimaharaj/index.htm


Without your help, it should have been far more difficult.
Thanks again.
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And guess what.... http://www.baps.org/shastrijimaharaj/pictorial/34.htm
The uncle of Pratap Singh met Shastriji Maharaj. Maharaja Shrimant Sayajirao Gaeikwad died in 1939, so the Kamandal may have been offer as a souvenir.
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Catch of the weekend:
Originally developed to facilitate thread count in textiles, this collapsible magnifier is useful when an easily carried, fixed focus glass is needed. Especially for tiny details on Hauntiques like scratches made by ghosts or small Cthulhian entities. A 1930 German copper square loupe with a strong ground glasse lens that quickly unfolds to become selfstanding. As the Curator I was cruelly missing one of those...

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Also, a more authentic spelling of shiva is siva, pronounced with the hindi lisping s sort of half way between sth an sh, unaspirated. most of my hindi friends distinguish between guys named siva (pretty rare) and the god by using the honorific "Lord" in English(Sri Sri in hindu). Also, Shaivist is the term for a hindu who primarily worships siva. Lord Siva's consort is Kali Maa (Great Kali).

of interest also might be the fact that at least in recent years in indian politics the kamandal has been the symbol of conservative hindus opposed to affirmative action policies for the untouchable caste.
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I didn't know that the Kamandal was a political symbol now.
This Kali is also part of the collection.

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jfquackenbush
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It's become so pervasive it's almost on the same order as the Donkey and Elephant in US politics, maybe not quite that closely associated, but certainly very widespread to the point that it is often used in political rhetoric by all the parties. Back in the seventies something called the Mandal Commission, named Mandal after its chairman, was established to investigate the status of the so-called "backwards castes" in India. As a result of the commissions findings, the Congress Party Government instituted a broad quota based system for hiring Dalit's or untouchables for government jobs. Those quota's have largely been blamed by conservatives in India's BJP governments as the cause of the rampant corruption and inefficiency in the Indian government. When they campaigned for office, I believe in the eighties, they coined the slogan Kamandal versus Mandal, and the whole political system is often described as the Kamandal and Mandal conflict.

That's a great piece of work by the way. Another fun story, when I was last in India for work, my trip happened to coincide with Durgapuja, the holy day for the devi Durga. I went with some hindu friends to a temple to Kali-ma in Vrindaban, which is sort of like the hindu equivalent of Mecca or Jerusalem, and attended a ritual cleansing. The goddess at that temple was in the same pose there, with Kali-ma standing atop the prone body of Siva on cremation grounds. I was told that her standing there naked is her symbolism of total liberation of the spirit from Mokhsha of the body supported by the understanding represented by Shiva. Of course there are other interpretations, but I quite like the discord in the iconography of Kali as surrounded by gruesome death images but twisting the interpretation of those images into something positive and life giving. Kali Ma means "mother Kali" after all, and for many of her worshippers she is understood as the mother of the universe.
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The Curator
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Catch of the day: " “Paradise, or the Garden of Eden. With the Countries circumjacent Inhabited by the Patriarchs" (Not exactly the same map as the illustration but very close. Probably middle 17Th century -the one here is dated 1690 - mine looks more like this one by James Moxon: http://www.oldmaps.com/pf_detail.asp?map_id=80192 )

Quote:
This may appear to be a straightforward map of the Middle East. However, closer inspection will reveal some extraordinary details. The picture in the top right hand corner shows Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, while a number of descriptions on the map refer to other stories from the Bible.

The map was made in 1675, and appeared at a time when Protestants in England believed, very literally, in the truth of the Bible. Adam and Eve, Noah's flood, Joseph and his coat of many colours: all these stories were believed to be actual historical events. As a result, Paradise (or Eden) was often shown on maps, as if these stories had really happened. The following references to biblical stories also appear on the map:

'Ninevah where Jonas preached'

'Jonas flies from the land'

'The way that Jacob with his family and cattle travelled when he fled from his father-in-law Laban to his own countrie (sic)'

'That is the Kingdom of Sheba from whence the Queen of Sheba came to hear the wisdom of Salomon (sic) and presented him with gold, jewels etc.'

'The mountains of Ararvat where the Ark of Noah rested (with a small picture of the Ark alongside)'



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The Kamandal, Trishul (and Damru), Shanka, Ring (Eye of Maya), Chillum) and Holy Padukas.
+ a small statue of Kali.
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