MUSHIKA'S LONG TRIP HOME
Sri Gananatha sindhoora varna
Amba suta amara vinuta (
|Mousie Mushika, vehicle of Lord
Ganesha is lost. Oops, the mouse has strayed away. Help him to get back to his master Sri
Help him, he has to reach his master.
Mousie (in a worried voice): I must hurry. I have to carry him on an important trip. I am his only vehicle.
"I am tiny", says Mushika in a voice choked with tears, "but I am strong. Look at the huge size of my master whom I carry on my little back. But right now, I cannot figure out where I am. How can I go to my dear master?"
"Hey what is this stuck on the bushes? A clue?", he wonders.
Friends, where is my master Lord Ganesha?
The Ganas are busy polishing their swords and shields. Shoo, shoo dont run on our weapons. Our natha (master) only comes to us when he has a war to fight. Go and ask the colours in Varna land (land of colours).
Mushika goes to the land of colours and shouts, "Tell me quickly where is my master Ganesha?"
The colours ask, "What colour is he, this lord of yours? Is he like Vishnu, the colour of a cloud? Or brilliant white like Saraswati?"
Mushika thinks hard he is said to be the colour of Sindhoora (Sindhoora Varna). Mushika is mighty pleased with himself. I am a clever guy I know so much.
Colours in a chorus, "Sindhoora is red, dont you know that, you silly mouse?"
Mushika: What is
Colours: Sindhoora also means
elephant and Varna means caste. That means the class of elephants.
Colours: Ask Sagara, the ocean. He knows everything.
Mushika runs panting,
scampering on his little feet. He is ready to fall down when he comes to Sagara,
the ocean. He feels very very small and very scared. Sagara is enormous! The
waves come with such power, reaching out, trying to drag him in.
Mushika: My goodness! What
does this new clue mean?
|Mushika thinks, "But whose
face? Karis face. Kari? Makes me hungry, to think of delicious
curry. No, not to a restaurant, but to the forest, that is where I have to go".
Kari Vadana shouts Mushika with all his might. The trees are huge and it is dark in the bushes. He shivers with fear! Again and again, he shouts Kari Vadana!
There is a big thump. The thump of four grey legs. "Who is calling me? Speak up, I cannot hear you!"
Mushika looks up, up and further up till he catches the eye of this gigantic creature - the elephant!
Mushika: I am Mushika
the mouse. I am looking for Kari.
Mushika with Kari, the elephant
|Mushika: O great Sir, you
look so much like my dear master. I cannot find my master. What shall I do? Where can I
Kari, the elephant, in a gentle voice: Can you describe him?
Mushika (cheers up): Oh, my master has a big fat tummy so huge and long, he cannot even see me.
Kari laughs and Mushika squeals with joy. "So that is why he is called he called Lambodara", says Kari swaying his ears wisely.
Mushika: What does that mean?
Kari: Lamba is anything big or long and Udara is of course tummy. But he is also Lakumikara.
Kari says that and ambles off.
"Wait, wait!", says the mouse and scampers after him. "Tell me what is this Laku whatever."
Kari: Oh, lakumi means Lakshmi in colloquial Kannada. Lakumikara means one who bestows prosperity and success. Just look at all those students breaking coconuts for Ganesha the day before their exams. Go now. Your next clue is Amba suta.
|Mushika knows where Amba,
Ganeshas mom lives and he is off like a bullet. Amba looks radiant in her red and
gold saree. "Mushika, my child you look tired and worried. How come you are here
without my Suta (son)", she enquires.
Mushika: Mother Amba, please help me to find your son. I am sure he is making me run around on purpose - just to tease me.
Ambas laughter is like tinkling bells, "What a pair you two are! My elephant-faced son with his potbelly riding on a tiny little mouse! Do you know Mushika, elephants normally avoid rats because they dont want the creatures nibbling their precious ears. Rats dread elephants with their huge feet that can squash them. But look at the two of you, so happy with each other!"
Mushika: But tell me, where is my master!
Amba: Go and ask the amaras (the celestials). They
watch everybodys movement all the time and they will tell you. Good luck, mousie.
Mushika runs to the land of the Siddhas nearby.
They are the celestial ascetics engaged in penance and have supernatural powers (Siddhis).
No, not here either. "Let me ask the Charanas", he says and goes to
them. The Charanas are celestial musicians forever singing and strumming on their
instruments. Ganesha is not to be seen. The abode of the Ganas is nearby. The Ganas
have finished polishing their swords and are now engaged in the service of Lord Ganesha.
Phew! He has come full circle, back to where he started and yet no master. "Where is
he, where is he?", he pesters them
Lord Ganesha being worshipped by one and all
|Mushika looks down from the Heavens at the
world. He is surprised to see so many dancers, musicians, painters, professors scientists,
. (he lost count) So many skills, so many different disciplines,
every single branch of knowledge (Sakala Vidya). They are all worshipping his
dear Master, first and foremost before all others (Adi pujita).
Mushika is very tired but excited! He jumps around in little circles.
He says, "My Lord, my Ganesha, He is the best, the very best! (Sarvottama) I bow to you, dear Master". (Tey namo namo)
After a while,"I am tired and my little feet are sore. I can walk no more. Now you find me!", he says and simply sits down. And then presto! Guess who tickles him with his long soft curved nose! Yes, it is indeed Lambodara, his own Master with a big fat tummy, offering him modakas and other goodies, (lakumikara). Life feels good for little mousie Mushika again!
Dr. Lalita Ramakrishna
|Other stories for kids: Haughty Narada learns a lesson