23. Fairy Cat Pupastis

Karimukha was travelling towards north crossing Serengeti plains. A river emerged out of the vast Ruvenzori lake and flowed towards north. That river was called White Nile. They travelled further along the Nile for a long distance. Another large river joined Nile called the Blue Nile. Then the Nile flowed between the great Sahara desert in the west and Nubian desert in the east. Then it flowed towards Mediterranean sea which was lying between Africa and Europe. People called this country Egypt.

“White Nile and Blue Nile look like our Ganga and Yamuna rivers. In this river also there are crocodiles with long faces”, remarked Balarama.

“These crocodiles depend on the fish for their food. May be this river is longer than our Ganga.”

Throughout their route there were fertile green fields.

Cool breeze was sweeping over the land like waves. There were thick green trees along the river banks. On both sides, these were cultivated fields of wheat, maize, paddy and cotton. Fruit yielding trees were found in many groves. Their journey almost reached the delta of the Nile.

The people threw inquisitive looks at the foreigners riding on an elephant. Large pyramidal structures were seen. They enquired about them with an old gentleman. He called them the Great Pyramids. They were the burial places of their Emperors called Pharaohs. The embalmed bodies of ancient royal persons were housed in these pyramids.

“In our country dead bodies are usually burnt or buried in the ground. What is the reason for preserving the bodies here?” asked Balarama.

“We believe that there is another life for the dead, in another world. After death the ghost has to undergo various tortures in the underground world called “Duwath” whose ruler is Osiris. Anubis is his assistant with the head of a jackal who leads the souls there.

Only after going through these rigours, the soul will attain rebirth. For that the body should be intact. So the internal organs like intestines, lungs, etc. are preserved in jars. The head and body are embalmed with medicinal oil, and dressed and kept in a box. This is called a mummy.

We believe the royal families as divine. They are the human forms of Horus. The Pharaoh (Emperor) who is presently ruling, hails from the dynasty of Menas. They preserve this divinity by not marrying outside. Even the present king has married the daughter of his father’s brother.

They came to the Nile river side after knowing their political system, cultural background and beliefs. A crocodile was basking on the shore. A cat jumped near the water to catch a fish. The cat in its anxiety for the fish did not notice the crocodile. The crocodile swiftly caught the cat. Krishna aimed his Chakra towards the crocodile. On seeing the dazzling Chakra the crocodile withdrew into water leaving the cat. The cat escaped and jumped out from the clutches of crocodile. The people who were witnessing this miraculous escape of the cat and the dazzling rotating disc, roared with excitement and wondered. Shouting, you have saved “Pupastis”

Pupastis! The locals surrounded them with admiration. The heroes could not understand the reason for such excitement on the escape of a cat. They explained that cats are regarded as the goddess Pupastis, who was also called Bastet. She is the daughter of Sun God RA. She is responsible for ripening grains. You have saved our sacred cat miraculously! They were astonished by the dazzling light and speed of Chakra and its coming back to Krishna. They were sure that these were no ordinary men!

This news spread like wild fire and reached the ears of the Pharaoh. The visiar (minister) of the king came and met them and respectfully extended an invitation to the court. The king welcomed and introduced these honoured guests from the country of Sindhu. He praised their divinity and the wonderful disc weapon. He expressed warmth and friendship to the divine persons hailing from a country of ancient civilization like that of Egypt. Sage Naradha also descended to the court. The dancing girls of the Emperor sang and danced in honour of the Indian guests.

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