Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Revenge and Death

Rules of war was disobeyed, thus Prithviraj was defeated by Mahmud of Ghori in the second battle of Tarrain. Prithvi was imprisoned and was jailed in Ghor.

Several times Prithvi was brought in the court of Mahmud and was humiliated, but this never broke the brave Prithvi. Inspite of his agony, he looked straight in the eye of Mahmud. Angry on this, Mahmud ordered Prithvi to lower his eyes. Prithvi retorted that the eyelids of Rajputs are lowered only on his death. Mahmud flew into rage and ordered that Prithviraj’s eyes be burnt with red hot irons. This barbaric act was done. The blinded Prithvi was brought to the court very often and was insulted by the merciless king and his courtiers.

During those days Chandbardai, a very close friend of Prithvi who composed Prithviraj Raso, the biography of Prithviraj joined him. Chandbardai assisted Prithvi in every war and was his court poet. He extended his friendship even during the hardest time of the blind Prithvi. Chand entered the court of Mahmud of Ghori in a disguise. Thus he could win the confidence of Ghori and also earn the opportunity to meet Prithvi every now and then. This was the time when Chand created the urge in Prithvi to take the revenge on Ghori. The two got an opportunity when Ghori announced an archery competition. Chand Bardai told Ghori that Prithviraj was a very skilled archer, and he could take aim based only on sound, and did not even need to look at his target. Ghori disdained to believe this; the courtiers guffawed and taunted Chand Bardai, asking how a blind man could possibly shoot arrows. In the spirit of their usual barbaric mockery, they brought the blind and hapless Prithviraj out to the field. Pressing a bow and arrows into his hand, they taunted him to take aim.

Thus, Chand Bardai provided Prithviraj with an aural indication of where Ghori was seated. He gave Prithviraj one further indication of the same, by composing a couplet on the spot and reciting the same in Prithviraj's hearing. The couplet, composed in a language understood only by Prithviraj went thus:

"Char bans, chaubis gaj, angul ashta praman,
Ta upar sultan hai, Chuke mat Chauhan."

(Four measures ahead of you and twenty four yards away as measured with eight finger measurement, is seated the Sultan. Do not miss him now, Chauhan).

Guided solely by sound, Prithviraj shot his arrow through Ghori. He was thus stuck dead by Prithviraj.

Naturally, after this deed, Prithviraj and Chandbardai stabbed each other, to avoid further humiliation at the hands of courtiers of Ghori. But the brave Rajput had avenged the betrayals and humiliations suffered by him. Thus ended the story of the brave and chivalrous Prithviraj Chauhan, the last Hindu king.

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