Introduction

“The Heavenly Parasol”,is about a divine ”Parasol”which had the power to put an end to calamities on a land. However, it could cast its shadow over a sovereign only and nobody else. One day, the king of Pragjyotisha arranged a Swayamvara for his daughter Amritaprabha, so that she could choose a husband for herself. Amritaprabha came into the court where her suitors were sitting. She chose Meghavahana,the prince of Kashmir,to be her life partner. Both Meghavahana and Amritaprabha went near the king to seek his blessings. All of a sudden, the heavenly beautiful, dazzling and white parasol of Varuna appeared beside Meghavahana and cast its shadow over him. The king said that the parasol favoured only the sovereign of the whole world and that he was going to be very famous.

The king explained that it was the parasol of Varuna, the god of the seas, and it cast its shadow only on a sovereign of the whole world. Meghavahana was happy with the good omens. He returned home with Amritaprabha and the heavenly parasol. Meghavahana was requested by the authorities to become their king for he was brave, famous and good natured.

Meghavahana accepted their offer and became the king.

Meghavahana passed a law against the killing of living beings in his kingdom. Once, he thought of conquering the island of Lanka and teach the demons the peaceful ways of life. But he did not know how to cross the sea with his army.

Service before Self.

All of a sudden, he heard a call which said even under the rule of Meghavahana, he was being killed. Meghavahana ran towards the place where the man was shouting.He came near a Durga temple and saw some sort of human sacrifice in progress on the steps of the temple.He found a man pleading for mercy and a barbarian standing over him with a raised sword.

Meghavahana ordered him to stop. The barbarian recognised the king and fell at his feet. He said that he was the leader of the barbarians and his son had fallen ill and was on his death bed. He wanted to kill the man and appease the gods to save his son. He also said, if his son died, the rest of his group would give up their lives. The barbarian said that the man was wandering about alone and friendless in the forest. According to the barbarian, the life of the victim was insignificant when compared to the lives of his son and troop members. Meghavahana looked at the terrified man and made his decision. He told the barbarian that he would save his son as well as the victim. He asked the barbarian to offer his body in sacrifice to the goddess.

The barbarian was shocked and told that a king’s life should be protected at all times. The barbarian hung his head and kept quiet. Meghavahana decided to kill himself. He drew his sword and was about to strike himself with it. Then someone held back his hand. God Varuna appeared before him.

Nobility and Compassion

God Varuna praised Meghavahana for his nobility of mind and compassion. He said that he had created that illusion to test Meghavahana. God Varuna said that he had come to reclaim his parasol, which was carried away by the father of Meghavahana’s father-in-law. The parasol had the powers to suppress the calamities in his land. Meghavahana bowed to Varuna and returned the parasol to him. He requested god Varuna to help him cross the seas and conquer the island of Lanka. God Varuna granted him the boon and promised to pull away the water whenever Meghavahana wanted.

The next day, Meghavahana rode into the sea on his horse. The sea water parted and Meghavahana was able to reach Lanka with his army. He befriended Vibhishana, the king of Lanka, and everything ended peacefully. When Meghavahana returned home, Amritaprabha found the parasol missing. Meghavahana told her that it was not his at any time, but its owner’s blessings would guide him through out his life.