The Muse

The sheer variety of symbols and artefacts in use across the ages and geographies does not necessarily point to a multitude of assumptions and values from which they spring. The study of mythology and folklore then, is a reverse approach to anthropology. This blog is dedicated to my favourite symbols, tales and artefacts - both ancient and contemporary.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


My parents at the Kumbha Mela, Allahabad, May 2013
Millions of bards and stalwarts of prose,
Have previously tried to compose,
Their versions of this miraculous tale,
And some have succeeded where others fail

Among their number, O Father let me be,
Allow me Mother, to show what I can see.
This tale immortal of The Headless One,
I dedicate to my parents, to the Earth and the Sun.

Shiva watches Parvati Sleep. Courtesy: eyeburfi2.tumblr.comOur Mother, ruler of the nine-doored town,
Armed with a ladle and jewelled crown,
Protectress of life, mistress of time,
Fount of mercy and wisdom sublime.

Our Father who roams every realm,
Skull in hand and crescent on his helm,
Lord of the Endless, Himself the End,
His Grace, no one can comprehend.

Outside Her city, by nine gates bound,
Lies a terrifying charnel ground
'Tis the threshold between death and birth,
And play and illusion, sorrow and mirth.

Our wandering Father here finds repose,
And with our Mother on a deer-skin lies, 
Their passion creates, compassion preserves,
And their wrath dissolves all worldly ties.

 While They rested on Their bed,
Malice raised its ugly head,
Envy, sloth and empty pride,
Gnawed at Creation from inside.

Then giants and elves and creatures small,
Aesir, Vanir, Madyr all
Claimed Eminence and the spoils of war
And shook the nine realms to the core. Parents of the world couldn't bear
This sight of Creation in despair

Our Mother rose and drew Her sword
And cut off Her head of Her own accord.

The venom they spewed and the blood they shed
In their belligerence and hatred
Now flowed from Her neck as one stream
Her bodiless mouth opened in a scream.

And then the fount of Her blood divine,
She drunk as though as it were wine,
Her bellicose children stopped and stared,
For this sight had all of them scared.

Courtesy:, Product code: HM68
Our Father who meanwhile lay unstirred,
Now opened His eyes and averred,
Behold young ones! Don't avert your eyes,
Contemplate Her sacrifice.

See how all wounds of foe or friend,
Equally doth Her heart rend,
No matter which among you wins,
All shall bleed if one of you sins.

You who clamour for Eminence,
Regard her and dispel your ignorance,
For the universe emanates from Her
And in Her alone will find its end.

Discard your envy, quell your greed,
Help your sibling in times of need,
Shed your lethargy, check your ire,
Lest you fall prey to your own desire.

Having quoth these words, He closed His eyes,
And Our Parents both dematerialized.
This tale of Götterdämmerung,
Was since that day forever sung.


Anusia said...

I had a very less knowledge on this topic. I get to know some more. Good post.

Prathibha N said...


Shreedhar Shekhar said...

What does 'tale of Götterdämmerung' part at the end mean?