Though it is inspired by a Pre-Vedic saga, this work is purely imaginary. Any resemblance with any of the places, characters, incidents with History, Mythology or any other areas of studies is absolutely co-incidental and unintentional.

Chapter One

Rise of Divodas

When Bharata started from Mandala city, he might not have expected that he would find such a fertile land so far away from his own. Vitasta, the city of the Melukhkhans, by the river Hakra was more than one year's journey from Mandala city. In the journey he had lost many of his people. He didn’t want to lose any more. So, he settled down on the land that was given to him in lieu of a condition by Melukhkhan king Indra. Exchange of one-fourth of his annual harvest was reasonable to Bharata. Bharata’s knowledge, honesty and loyalty brought him closer to Indra and in due course of time they became friends. As a memento of their friendship Indra had handed him over an un-exhaustible source of energy, which could be used as a weapon, called URJA; this he had taken away from Druhyus. Understanding realising the significance of such power, Bharata decided to hide it in a distant and safe place. No place could be better than Mandala. He built up a temple in honour of Indra and hid URJA in an almost inaccessible place in the temple. The secret was known only to the high-priest of that temple and his family, without any documented evidence. The secret passed on from generation to generation in two different places gulfed by a distance of more than 2.3 million dhanush [1 Dhanush = 1.9 Meters | 2.3 million dhanush = 4.5 million meters = 4500 Km.].
After almost twelve hundred years and fourteen generations of Bharata, Divodas became the chief of the Trutsus. It was he, who had observed that the west bank of Airavati was more fertile and could be a better place for living for his tribe. Foreseeing the prosperity they could make, he had approached Sambara, then king of hundred cities, for few pieces of land. Not in empty hands but with terms. He had offered one-fourth of his annual harvest and one-third of his cattle. Sambara’s reply came in form of insult and humiliation to him and his tribe. Not the kind who could be defeated easily; Divodas kept pursuing Sambara with his request and deal. Each time he was met with rude refusals. But none of those had the power to dissuade him from his mission. On the contrary, each refusal made him even more determined to achieve his goal, for he knew his plea was not unjust or unreasonable. To strengthen his prayer he had offered disposal of his army at Sambara’s need. Even that didn’t seem to melt the ice. Annoyed with Divodas’s determination, Sambara thought of teaching him a good lesson. The execution of his thoughts was a brutal and viciou. A midnight attack butchered almost four hundred Trutsus including women and children, burnt down half of their houses and harvest.
Next morning, when Trutsus were witnessing the worst Sunrise of their lives, one man galloped for a lone voyage towards Mandala City. Screams of his people, smokes from the ashes which were houses even a day ago accelerated his pace. Corpse of each women and children gave him the speed of air. The lone voyager, Divodas, was the first in fourteen generations to step in Mandala. His destination was the temple of Lord Indra which was built by great grandfather Bharata. It was not easy for him to be accepted by the concerned people of Mandala as a descendant of Bharata. He had to turn all the stones to prove his identity and claim his legacy. Upon complete satisfaction of the high-priest and the council of Mandala, he was allowed to reach what he had come for. While coming back from the secret chamber with URJA, only one thought haunted Divodas – vengeance.

As a wise man, he knew that any un-measured use of URJA may devastate all of Sambara’s empire in a blink of an eye. So, he had to learn to control the power. And in order to learn that, he approached Basistha for his discipleship. In due course of time, they became friends – good friends. The rigorous training took ninety days for Divodas to complete. But he mastered the art.
The next challenge for him was to drag Sambara down to fight in a no man’s land so that casualties and damages could be kept at minimal. No place could have been better than, urdha-akam, the battlefield by the southern bank of Airavati. Knowing how skilled warrior the Trutsus were, Sambara would not have stepped into the battlefield, though his army was bigger than that of Trutsus. And at any cost Divodas would not have attacked him in his inhabitant areas where innocent lives could not be spared. Such weakness of Divodas bought Sambara time to invoke Bahalanas and Druhyus in an ally with him. Cunning Bahalanas and heartless Druhyus didn’t leave the opportunity of being in a relationship with the most powerful king of that time. Druhyus had laid down one cunning condition in front of Sambara, which he had agreed to – then and there. Druhyus demanded, upon victory on Trutsus, they would be attacking Mandala in which Sambara had to help them.
The stage was set. As a preface, Divodas sent his messenger to invite his foe in the battlefield. As acceptance of the invitation, Sambara returned the messenger’s head. Sambara announced the war by breaking the most basic war law. Divodas stood in the battlefield with an army of five thousand extremely skilled warriors against an army of twenty seven thousand, led by Sambara. As Divodas anticipated, two blocks of soldiers approached by east and west flank of the field to conduct a scissor attack. The entire Trutsu army took tortoise formation as directed by their leader, who alone stood at least fifty meters ahead of the formation. It was a surprise for the other side. Before they could realize the strategy, a dazzling flash from Divodas’s hands turned the block of twelve hundred soldiers at the eastern flank into ashes. And, even before the enemy side got the chance to be scared of what just happened, the block of western flank met the same destiny. Two flashes were enough to scatter away the entire army of Sambara, but Divodas was on rampage. His controlled channeling of URJA turned almost three fourth of Sambara’s army into ashes. Rests were taken care of by the blood-thirsty Trutsus. Nirmukta, the king of the Druhyus; Kritu, the king of Bahalanas; Sambara and his principal counselor were left alive.
As a war ritual, the prisoners brought to the stone-table at the north of the battlefield. All of them made to bent on their knees, in front of Divodas who was occupying the high-chair of the stone-table. The high-chair was for the victorious, as he was on that day. Instead of starting the conversation with Sambara, he asked Kritu,
“How could one be so ungrateful?”
As he expected, Kritu didn’t reply, he had no answers.
“Have you forgotten – Bolan Pass is still yours only because of us. And it is we who had invited you to build your colonies in this fertile land.” Divodas continued, “It would have been better, had I left you for Dasas to burry you alive there. What do you expect from me, Kritu?”
Helpless Kritu opened his mouth, “Mercy – for self and for my people.”
Remaining silent for few moments, Divodas turned towards Nirmukta, “And you, the opportunist, as always, what brought you here”.
Instead of answering, he made a direct eye contact with Divodas and asked, “What did you use out there?”
“That should not be your concern. And since I am not at your mercy, I am not answerable.”
With slight touch of mockery, Nirmukta replied “Or might be you are not strong enough to reveal the truth.”
“Are you talking of strength? Do you still want us to be testified? Now, let me know your interest, if you may.”
“Not till you tell what happened out there, even if that cost my life.”
“Is your life that costly?”
Ignoring Nirmukta he turned to Sambara, “Now you…..look behind Sambara….look…what you have brought down on this land. You will be treated as the Man who sacrificed thirty thousand lives for his own self and ego. Did I ask too much from you? Would that matter to you, at all? And I had extended terms to you, fair ones. And you, in return, butchered us.”
Sambara returned the words to Divodas, “So did you.”
“Not the civilians. Not innocent lives. Not women and children. If I wished, I could have made your people meet the same fate as your army. But I didn’t.”
Nirmukta steps in, “Don’t try to……….”
Without letting him finish, Divodas roared “Quiet………do not speak”
Nirmukta burst into laughter.
Losing his patience, Divodas pulled out his sword and put held it to Nirmukta’s throat, “One more word and you will not be able to speak again.”
Watching Nirmukta retreating, he closed his eyes. Turning to Sambara, he asked, “This is not what I wanted, dear king, this is not what I wanted. We just wanted to live a smoother live. We have Vitasta, you have hundred Viatastas. And”, pointing at the other side of Airavati, he continued, “…..that is an abandoned land for you. That’s what we had asked from you.”
Sambara replied reluctantly, “Haven’t I made myself clear to you. But, you, shameless one, kept testing our patience.”
“But, I didn’t go to you empty handed. Each time I had made my terms fairer. However, we are not here to argue. Tell me what I should do with you?”
“You are the victorious one……..whatever you think right.” After a little pause, Sambara demanded, “Your decision is not what I am concerned about, but about the question Nirmukta asked. Be truthful, great Divodas, answer him.”
Divodas didn’t answer on that day. He didn’t have to; after all he was the victorious one. As a part of the victory treaty, he took away three fourth of Sambara’s kingdom and left him with the rest on the condition that Sambara will never be able to built his army or any kind of communication system. For both these, he had to depend on Divodas. Sambara ended his life on the day he was released from the prison. Death was a better option rather than living with such humiliating terms. Kritu and Nirmukta were released on the conditions that they would never be seen again in this part of land until and unless they were called upon and there would not be any kind of relation between these two tribes. Divodas declared himself as supreme authority of “Aryabart”. And with due respect and sincerity he invited Basistha to be his chief counselor.
With their impeccable skills and architectural expertise Trutsus built up one of the most structured city in entire Aryabart. To maintain a visual symmetry the city was built in a matrix format. The city was divided in three distinctive categories of houses. The first category was for the royal family and their relatives, friends and members of the court. Second category was for the warriors and other intellectual members of the tribe. The third category was for the farmers and other general members of the tribe. At the western end of the city, towards the river Airavati a huge temple of Lord Indra was built - similar to the one in Mandala city. In front of the temple a great stone table was constructed, where Divodas use to hold a weekly court. At the edge of eastern end of the city was the royal house of Divodas. The entire city was approachable through parallel roads forming a perfect matrix. It was surrounded by high walls made of rough stones. At the four corners of the city there were four watch-towers. The city was divided into blocks. Each block consisting of sixteen houses was known as Anupada. A constitution of sixteen Anupadas was known as Janapada. And constellation of sixteen Janapadas was known as Mahajanapada. Bharatbart, as they had named their city, in honour of ancestor Bharata, became the one of the two largest Mahajanapadas of Aryabart. It also worked as a secondary port of Melukhkhan, which attracted many traders and became a trade route for days to come. Experienced Basistha in consultation with Divodas’s economical and financial counselor Sompurok built up a tax system for the vessels and traders who used the port. As a treaty with Bahalanas, Divodas set up an entry point to Aryabart through Bolan Pass to collect taxes from traders. In lieu of taxes, each of the traders were offered one night of free stay and one free meal at the inns at the entry points. This arrangement attracted more traders as the days passed by. Such tax system was adequately supported by agricultural yield.
Divodas concentrated on diplomatic affairs. Allies with powerful tribes like Alinas, Anus, Bhrigus, Matsyas, Panis, Purus, Dasas and others were necessary to rule in a land like Aryabart which was distinguished from other lands by its diverse nature. All these allies were initiated and executed by Basistha. After defeating Sambara the news of magical power possessed by Divodas, had spread like breeze. As a result, none of these tribe-chiefs thought twice to build the allies. Beside these diplomatic aspects, he encouraged education system and culture of science. Under proper guidance of Basistha, schools were built up, which were known as “Pathyasala”. And in a place, known to only few close acquaintances, Divodas built up a research facility where several scholars used to practice different streams of sciences under supervision of Bhaskara. The place was protected by Rakhsasas, the demon-warriors, whom Divodas had brought from Lankadweep.
He married Arundhuti, daughter of Anu-king Puloka. He was the first to marry someone outside of his tribe. It was not that everybody appreciated this arrangement, but couldn’t gather enough courage to oppose him. Anuses were happy, of course, for obvious reasons. In due course of time Arundhuti gave birth to Devovata, son of Divodas. The entire city was flooded with joy. To celebrate his happiness, a grand gathering was arranged in which all the allies were invited, even Bahalanas and Druhyus. From then on, it became a protocol to hold such gathering once in two years not only to celebrate their treaties but also to discuss different issues of importance.
When all started sailing smoothly, time came for Basistha to part. Divodas was not ready to accept this arrangement at any cost, “You cannot leave me, Maharshi! You cannot abandon me like this.”
“Even if I want I cannot abandon you.” Basistha replied, “But…”
“There cannot be any buts, any reasons whatsoever.” Divodas stopped Basistha, “Just tell me what you need to carry on your Sadhana. I will arrange everything. You know, I can.”
“Of course you can. Have I ever questioned you ability, Divodas.”
“Then why do you want to part?”
“We are not parting, not at all. But for each and everything, there is right time and right place.” “Then allow me to accompany.”
“Everybody has to carry out the responsibilities he is delegated with. Yours and mine are different. We have spent as much time together as we were destined to.”
“Then change it. Change the destiny.”
“I cannot do that, Divodas.”
“Don’t tell me you cannot. You are the only living being who can move to all the seven layers, who can pay visit to the high lord at his will.”
“I may be blessed to do so, but I cannot change the destiny.”
Realizing the inevitable Divodas urged with all his might, “Then who will guide Devovata? He and this land need you, don’t you know that?”
“He will walk his own path. Behind his each step your guidance will be there. And when time calls, he will have to depend upon his own virtues – as you did. And remember, I am never away from you. Whenever you need, if the need qualifies as genuine to call my presence, I will be there. But for now I have to go, I have to prepare myself for the days to come.”
“What are you intending to mean by that, Maharshi?”
“Time does not stop or end with lives of yours or mine. It keeps moving forward keeping everything behind. It does not stop, it does not wait. One never knows what mystery it has to unfold at the very next step. So, is it not worthy to remain prepared?”
“I have understood, Maharshi! You don’t want me to know what future has stored for us. Nevertheless, you always will be in my heart.”
“So will you.”
After few moments of silence, Divodas said, “Allow me to arrange a farewell.”
“Physical absence doesn’t mean I am not with you. Then why should we bid farewell.”
That was last conversation he had with Basistha. Next day morning, when Divodas came to look for him, Basistha was not there, as if he never was.


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Jayashis Halder

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