|Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end of it:|
|A Tiger Like Husband|
|This is a summary of a story from the Adi Parvan of the Mahabharata:|
|The Pandavas had fled into the forest. They were tired and fell asleep; only Bhima, the second Pandava, renowned for his prowess; was keeping watch. A man-eating rakshasa caught the scent of the Pandavas and sent his sister Hidimba to capture them. She fell in love with Bhima, transformed herself into a lovely maiden and proposed to him. He refused. Meanwhile, the rakshasa arrived and challenged? Bhima to a wrestling match. Bhima accepted the challenge and killed him. The others woke up hearing the noise. Hidimba introduced herself, and declared her love for Bhima. She told Kunti; ?I have forsaken my friends, my dharma and my kin; and good lady, chosen your tiger-like son for my man ...., whether you think- me a fool, or your devoted servant, let me join you, great lady, with your son as my husband.?|
|Ultimately, Yudhisthira agreed to the marriage on condition that they would spend the day together but that Bhima would return every night. The couple roamed all over the world during the day. In due course Hidimba gave birth to a rakshasa boy named Ghatotkacha. Then the mother and son left die Pandavas. Ghatotkacha promised to return to the Pandavas whenever they needed him.|
|Some historians suggest that the term rakshasa is used to describe people whose practices differed from those laid down in Brahmanical texts.|
|(i) Who was Hidimba? Why was show sent to Pandavas and what did she do? Explain.|
|(ii) How did Hidimba plead with Kunti for her love?|
|(iii) Why were Pandavas sent to the forest?|
|(iv) On what conditions did Bhima agree for marriage with Hidimba?|
|A Prayer to Agni|
|Here are two verses from the Rigveda invoking Agni, the god of fire, often identified with the sacrificial fire, into which offerings were made so as to reach the other deities: Bring, O strong one, this sacrifice of ours to the gods, O wise one, as a liberal giver. Bestow on us, O priest, abundant food. Agni, obtain, by sacrificing mighty wealth for us.|
|Procure, O Agni, for ever to him who prays to you (the gift of) nourishment, the wonderful cow, May a son be ours, offspring that continues our line?.|
|Verses such as these were composed in a special kind of Sanskrit, known as Vedic Sanskrit. They were taught orally to men belonging to priestly families.|
|(i) Why were offerings made to Agni? Explain.|
|(ii) Mention the language in which prayers were made and why?|
|(iii) How and when were the sacrifices made?|
|(iv) List the objectives of the sacrifice.|
A Tiger - like husband
(1) Hidimba was a rakshashi who was sister of a man-eating rakhasha named Hidimb.
Hidimb caught the scent of humans and thus he sent her sister to capture pandavas so that she and her brother can kill and eat them.
When she reached there and saw Bhim, she fell in love for him and transformed into a beautiful woman and proposed Bhim for marriage. She then pleaded Kunti also for accepting her as daughter-in-law.
(2) She pleaded to Kunti and said that she has left her kins and even rakhsha dharma and has fallen for Kunti?s son Bhima. She also said that she will always be a devoted servant to Kunti.
(3) Pandavas escaped the episode of Lakshagriha through the tunnel and were hiding themselves in jungle.
(4) Bhim married Hidimba on the promise that both can stay together and roam in day time but he will have to return to Pandvas in night. This was particularly necessary for safety of Pandavas from fear of attack from nocturnal rakhshas.
A Prayer to Agni
(1) Offerings were made to Agni because Agni is considered to be God associated with sacrificial fire and it was considered that this fire is a medium through which all offerings will reach to other deities too.
(2) These prayers were composed in Vedic Sanskrit. This was not the language of common use but was used by only Brahmins and Priests therefore it was composed in Vedic Sanskrit because these were to be spoken by priests only.
(3) Sacrifices were performed collectively, though some were performed by the heads of households for the well-being of the domestic unit. More elaborate sacrifices, such as the rajasuya and ashvamedha, were performed by chiefs and kings who depended on Brahmana priests to conduct the ritual.
(4) Sacrifices were performed mainly because people prayed for various well beings such as cattle, sons, good health, long life etc. The sacrifices to Agni were a medium through which it was considered that sacrifices and prayers will reach to other deities. Therefore priests used to pray all deities such as Soma, Indra etc. through sacrifices in fire.
They prayed for completion of any new start, wealth and sons so that their lineage is carried forward.
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