The Sustainer

“I surrender to you, Lord Ganesha.
You are the speaker.
You are the listener.
You are the giver.
You are the sustainer.
I am your disciple.
Protect me from the front and back.
Protect me from the north and the south, from above and below.
Protect me from all directions…”
(from Ganesh Upanishad – Ganapatyatharshirsham)

In the jungle of Bandhavgarh which is in the Indian state Madhya Pradesh, there are the remains of a fort spread over 580 acres at an elevation of 811 metres above the sea level.
It was built in the 3rd century AD and it was the seat of power of the Vakatak, Kalchuri, Solanki, Kuruvanshee and Baghel dynasties.
The poet Kabir stayed here during the 16th century.
The fort also gave shelter to the Mughal emperor Humayun’s wife when Shershah pursued him.
To acknowledge this help, Humayun’s son, Akbar, issued silver coins in the name of Bandhavgarh.
In 1617, the capital of Baghel dynasty was shifted from Bandhavgarh to Rewa and the fort was vacated after a while.
It was then taken over by wildlife.
By chance I saw this beautiful statue of Lord Ganesha standing at a Bandar-log (term used in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book to describe monkeys – specifically, Langur monkeys).

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