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Vrinda/Jalandhar

topic posted Thu, February 15, 2007 - 3:38 PM by  Unsubscribed
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Plot Summary for
Tulsi Vivah (1971)

Rajkumari Vrunda lives in a palatial home with her mom and dad. One day while hunting she is molested by thugs, and Samrat Jalandhar comes to her aid. He rescues her and accompanies her to her parents' home and asks them for her hand in marriage, to which they agree. The marriage takes place with great pomp and ceremony. After the marriage their life is virtually perfect. Then one day, Jalandhar gets a visit from a Sage who tells him that there is war going between the Devas (Gods) and Danavs (Demons), and that Bhagwan Vishnu has been siding with the Devas. Curious to find out more, Jalandhar journeys to his father, Sagar (Ocean), who tells that he had attempted to make peace between the Devas and the Danavs by offering them sweet nectar of life, but Bhagwan Vishnu had taken the shape of a beautiful woman, Mohini, and made sure that only the Devas got the nectar. Jalandhar is angered at this, and declares war against Bhagwan Vishnu and the Devas. Vrunda begs him not to go, as Vishnu is all powerful. When he insists on going, she prays to the Gods and puts a flowered garland (full of blessings) around his neck to ensure his safety. Jalandhar defeats Indra Dev and comes home victorious, along with Indraloks apsaras (beautiful women) and Indrani herself. The enraged Devas appeal to Bhagwan Vishnu, who agrees to do battle with Jalandhar, but again Jalandhar triumphs, and thus becomes Bhagwan Jalandhar. The worried Devas approach Bhagwan Shiv, who refuses to get involved in any war with anyone. In the meantime, Jalandhar gets angry with Vrunda for worshiping Vishnu and cuts her tongue off so as to prevent her from praying. She goes to pray to Vishnu, and he reinstates her tongue. This angers Jalandhar all the more, and in penance Vrunda blinds herself, and is placed in a dungeon surrounded by a wall of fire. Jalandhar now wants the most beautiful woman in the world, and he is told that there is no one more beautiful than Bhagwan Shiva's wife, Parvati. He accordingly sends word for Parvati to come to him. This angers Shiv and he goes to battle Jalandhar. Once again Jalandhar triumphs, and is all set to have Parvati for his own. Parvati and the other Devas now approach Bhagwan Shri Brahma for a solution. In the meantime, Vrunda regains her eyesight, and to her delight finds that Jalandhar has changed, and they spend a lot of time together. Days later, the severed head of Jalandhar comes into their palace, and accuses Vrunda of infidelity. Vrunda is astounded as she has always been true to her husband, but then there was the severed head floating in the air, and there was her husband standing next to her. She soon finds out that the person standing next to her is Bhagwan Vishnu who had assumed the form of Jalandhar, the real Jalandhar had been defeated by Bhagwan Shiv in battle, and his head severed from his body. Now Bhagwan Vishnu and the Devas have to content with Vrunda's wrath - and she wills Vishnu to become of stone for pulling wool over her eyes, and then she turns her wrath on the rest of the Devas. Will anyone or anything be able to stop Vrunda?
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    Re: Vrinda/Jalandhar

    Thu, February 15, 2007 - 3:43 PM
    I don't even like this story in general, although this version of it was slightly entertaining. I only put it down hoping that someone would come along and help me to understand it. I don't see any mercy in it for all of mankind, forgiveness, love and affection, healing, or sankirtana either. Where are the joyful stories that lift everyone up toward heaven?
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      Re: Vrinda/Jalandhar

      Thu, February 15, 2007 - 6:12 PM
      Yes these shortened Hindu movies might not be able to include everything that is there in full in the original tale. It sounds like this is a story meant to glorify Vrinda. It is because of her chastity to her husband, that, even though he was born a demon, he could defeat Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva, however the story goes, because her husband wore her garland. Once Vishnu realised this He tricked her into losing her chastity to her husband by disguising Himself as her husband so when she enjoyed with Him her husband was no longer protected by her chastity and thus could be killed.
      So why did all of this have to happen when Tulasi or Vrnda Devi is one of Lord Krishna's eternal associates? Somewhere in the tale it tells something about a curse, does it not? A curse where Krishna is cursed to become a shila or stone and Vrnda? Krishna won't taste anything without her leaves on it.
      If we could read the entire text if full it might answer why and how all this had to come about. All I can speculate is that Tulasi is eternally Lord Krishna's maidservant. She was His before this story then and afterwards as well. Was it an illusory Brinda that married the demon? That is the question I would look to have answered if ever I were to get a book on the subject.
      Personally I liked the story very much, this version. Not only materially because there were a lot of hips and waists and sari clad women dancing around and singing but the story itself was so rich and Brinda was so full of bhakti for her Deity the whole time that I never really considered anyone but Her Deity to be her husband anyway. At least that was what I got out of the story. I didn't even like when Vishnu enjoyed with her I felt only Krishna Himself should have. Was she cursed by Sridama or Sudama in Vrndavana or was that Srimati Radharani and an entirely different pastime altogether?
      Even though I might not have been happy for her I felt like I might have been making advancement when I shed tears for her, because I felt so sorry she had to suffer like she did. But then again, I've shed lots of tears at the Krusty Krab, Sponge Bob leaves out bowls of onions sometimes by the cash register.
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        Re: Vrinda/Jalandhar

        Thu, February 15, 2007 - 6:33 PM
        Another story that has similarities might be the one with Lord Shiva and Sati. She was told not to go to a function at the house of her father by her husband, because her husband knew her father would just insult him, not that he cared for himself, but she went anyway and when she heard the insults she burst into flames by the power of her own chastity to her husband in order to relinquish any connections with her father. Lord Shiva heard this and cut off the head of prajapati daksa because he was angry his wife was insulted because she was chaste, then his wife took birth as the daughter of the Himalayas and was re-united with her husband, and Daksa got the head of a goat somehow. This story glorifies Sati and chastity and is not something to be artificially imposed on anyone. Still there was a lady Srila Prabhupada saw in 1936(?) who was so chaste she followed the Sati ritual. It sounds very sad but very glorious at the same time.
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