(The power and pain of Neelawanti’s story)

Monika Thakkar

The self power of folk literature is being created from folk art. Still the power of folk art is in the hands of nature and it is also there in the soul which is created by God. And the power within the soul which is created by God which is given by some one that is mind.
What is the identity of a mind? What our body actually is a mind? Where actually is the place of a mind in our body? This we should try to know necessarily. It is said that the group’s mind dance-drama, musical invention means folk art.
Here group mind is to be necessarily highlighted. The reason is when the mind’s permission combines together gives birth to folk art and from it to folk literature. If the folk literature is to be thought of it is presentable sensation or feeling. This different sensation which supports the folk literature and the story which remains immortal means ‘Neelawanti`s story’.
In this story a lady named ‘Neelawanti’ understood the language of birds and animals. To understand this language is a matter of honor. But still with the passage of time, circumstances, social and immaturity of educational facility and due to this situation which is created around this happenings, the life of Neelawanti is destroyed completely.
The art which is known and the language skills and to understand the mental sickness, society has done a stratum to her. Folk literature’s power and pain both excessive combinations is there in this story. The discussion to be done on this is a topic of my research.

Folk literature is being created from its self-power. Still the power of folk art is in the hands of nature and is in God’s created soul. Thus, the power of soul form gives speed to the work that means the mind or desire.
“As per the Human Psychologist view, the birth of folk story is from the people’s one mental situation. There was such a condition of a people’s mind, in which there is a union of possibility and impossibility. Thus the description of such mental situation is been specified as Mythopoeic condition by Human Psychologist”.
The medicinal point of view of the above situation is as follows: -
“The internal fabrication of mythic event or false memories that may subsequently be revealed or acted out in multiple personalities, trances, ‘demonic possession’, seemingly psychic phenomena or conviction of their reality”.
When the folk literature study is to be done, then we should go through the courtyard of the folk art. While understanding the folk art, folk art practioner Prof. Dr. Prakash Khandge opinion is that, “Group desire dance-drama musical invention means folk art”. Here there is a need to highlight the group desire. The reason is that the mind’s permissionis to be collected, by which the folk art is produced and from it is folk literature.
“The great neurologist Sigmund Freud and his supporter’s point of view is that in God’s story basic signs are not from nature’s various incidents, but they are from unsuccessful human intellect and the inner desire. Freud has divided human desire into two parts: Awaken Desire and Asleep Desire. As per his view, asleep desire is the centre of basic ancient human desire. Human asleep part is more amplified and effective than awaken part. Prevalent tendency desire coercion has produced asleep desire. As per social view, the desire which is having disorder, the person who is not having knowledge, is appearing in his dreams, searches the way of fulfillment. As per Psycho-analysis disputant view, the origin of folk story shows the way towards the asleep desire or insatiable. Carl Gustav Yung, this psycho-analysis scholar common sensitive desire of a human being, some pre-picture is told in the form of story.
From the above discussion it is known that the centre point of this story is human desire.
The basic core of folk literature is folk story and legends. But let us understand necessarily the meaning of both.
“Ancient Indian spiritual guide has divided the story into two parts: first story and another legend. The story which is not having any base towards reality or truth, which is only produced from the imagination of the producer. Such stories are called tale or legend. Opposite to this, the base of legend is towards some truth. Legend is towards conclusion of the script. It mentions the base of incidents which had happened earlier.
Anand Vardhanacharya, this folklorist has divided the story into 3 parts: -
1.                    Fairy tale 2. Entire story 3. Segment story.
From this we are going to discuss fairy tale along with example.
Dr. Satyendra has divided the fairy tale into 3 parts :-
In the first part of the story, it is classified the persons beyond the human beings like a fairy, a serpent, a demiGod etc. are there. In the second part it is classified are devil, evil person etc. In the third part of story magical enchantment, witches etc. are specifically mentioned.
Dr. Satyendra has written some fairy tales extensive parts somewhat related to the third part of the story are to be discussed here.
If we think of folk literature, it means that feeling, emotions which are coming from sentiments, such various sentiments are supported by folk literature immortal story means ‘Story of Nilawanti’.
This story of Maharashtra is from Ritual dance folk art type ‘Gondhal’. This story is based on ‘folk story songs’. That’s the reason it is presented by singing. The story of Nilawanti how it came in Gondhal is to be discussed here.
“Varangal’s Ganapati Kakatiya’s Gajasena Pramukh Jaayan in 1240 B.C. created ‘Nritya Ratnavali’. In this information is given that Kalyani Chalukaya’s king Someshwar Third (Bhulokammal) in his kingdom in Bhootmatru mahotasav has arranged the program Gondhal.
“Yoginichakra or ‘Shaktichakramel’ reference of this words like ghost- demon group denominatorwere used in Gondhal. To prove this many proof is found in literature. In the 17th century magnanimous poet Krishnadasin his book ‘Atamtirtha-Prakash’ has presented an estimateto prove it many referencewere given. In the Krishandas book there is a description of Panchaleshwarache Mahatmya. King Panchal who destroyed the devils Shumbha-Nishumbha. And to help the king the Goddess Satyadevi the ghost who were with her, for those Krishnadas has told it as ‘Yoginichakra”.
From the above description it is understood that there is a category of ghost-devils which are related with folk art type Gondhal. That’s the reason that Nilawanti’s miraculous story is attached with this type of art or with the medium of this folk art type it is presented.


There is a girl named Nilawanti. Her marriage was done in the childhood. It means that when she was ignorant, she got married. Nilawanti came from a very wealthy and a prosperous family. She was very intelligent and beautiful. When she was at her mother’s house she has done the study of Kokshastra. The folk art type ‘Gondhal’ or Nilawanti’s story when was it written is not mentioned anywhere, but Kokshastra which is also known by the name Rati Rahasaya is written by a King Venudutt may be in 11th or 12th century. This King has mentioned his name as a writer as Kokkoka. The story of Nilawati may be from 11th or 12th century. KokShastra or Rati Rahasaya is a book related to Kaam Shastra. Nilawanti got its perfect knowledge. Because of this knowledge she was able to understand the language of birds and animals. She was proud to receive this supernatural power, but still she had faced a bad effect in future.
When the Nilawanti became a grown up girl, her in-laws came to take her. Nilawanti was the only lovable child of her parents. Her parents make all the preparation while sending her to her in-laws house and with deep eyes they are sending her. Her married life is moving very happily. One night while Nilawanti was pressing her husband’s legs. In midnight a Jackal was barking besides the river. After listening to the Jackal’s barking, the very movement Nilawanti understood his language. The Jackal was telling that in the bank of river one corpse is coming flowing and there are two rubies tied in its waist. Whosoever will give me this corpse for eating will get those two rubies. After listening to this, Nilawanti tries to wake her husband, but he was fast asleep and he doesn’t get up. That’s why Nilawanti slowly goes from there and she takes with her two pumpkins to swim properly in river and uses it as a base for swimming. The noise of pumpkins makes the Nilawanti’s husband awake and he starts following her. In the darkest night, where my wife is going, with this question her husband started following her. With the help of pumpkin she started entering the river and  started taking out the corpse from the bank of river. There are two rubies tied on the waist of the corpse. She couldn’t open the knot with her hands, so she tries to open it with her mouth. Within that moment, a thunder is strike in the sky and this scene in the lighting is seen by her husband. Her husband misunderstands her that she is in a habit of eating dead body. After seeing this he gets frightened. He thinks that if I calls her then she will leave the dead body and will see him. That’s why he runs towards his house and sleeps in his own bed. Nilawanti tucks the two rubies in her waist and comes back home. She sleeps in her bed. Her husband’s whole body was trembling with fear. Nilawanti’s husband is scared so much that slowly-slowly he has reduced his food and he is becoming slender day by day.
He has not discussed this subject with his parents. One day his father asks that what has happened to him. How you have became so restless? Then with a lot of fear, he tells that Nilawanti is having a habit of eating corpse. After listening to this, his parents gets scared. His father planned to keep a watch on his daughter-in-law and will try to understand what actually the matter is. After the first incident Nilawanti was kept all alone in a separate room on the top floor. Nobody was talking to her properly. From that time her wildlife started.
After some days a lapwing was flying in the sky and while flying she was telling that in the neighboring village there is a graveyard. In that graveyard area there is a ‘Barwaat’ means a square well in which there is a treasure. The person who is having rubies with him can touch the water of that well. By which the water in the well will get divided into two parts and the person will get the treasure. As Nilawanti listens this, in the midnight she goes out of the house. As her father-in-law is keeping a watch on her, so he starts following her. She goes to the graveyard and she touches the water in the well with the red ruby. The water gets divided into two parts and the treasure can be seen. Nilawanti starts thinking that how I would carry so much wealth with me so she starts digging a big pit in the graveyard. She starts digging till her waist and the well’s wealth she starts carrying in her veiland collects in that pit. During this span of time her father-in-law reaches there. This process she does constantly. Her father-in-law thinks that she is going near the pit and eating the corpse and when she feels like drinking water she comes near the well to drink the water. After seeing this scene whatever her father-in-law sees, get frightened. Because of this he is getting scared and starts running towards the house. The next day, very strict words were used for Nilawanti and she was informed to go to her mother’s house. She is asking question that why she is been told to go to her mother’s house? Now there is no such reason or festival. Her father-in-law tells lie that a message has come from her mother’s house that she has been called there for some days to take some rest.
Both father- in-law and mother-in-law have decided that she should be left behind in the forest or should be pushed her down from a high hill and get killed. With this approach her father-in-law starts whole preparation and harness the vehicle. He carries eatables and drinks along with him. When Nilawanti is going out of her house, that time on the wall, lizard was chirping. The language spoken by the lizard is understood by Nilawanti. She tells Nilawanti that you have got the wildlife because of jackal and lapwing. But you needn’t worry. You should be gentle. For the time being you don’t tell about your knowledge to anyone. But when you will get the fourth wealth fortune, then that time you tell your secret. After listening to this she goes out of the house. What is going to happen opposite to her later on she comes to know now itself. Father-in-law and daughter-in-law Nilawanti both goes together. On the way, at the time of lunch she feels hungry. That time she tells to stop the vehicle, but her father-in-law doesn’t stop the vehicle, after making a lot of request still the vehicle is not stopped. When she understands this she shouts aloud and tells to stop the vehicle. Father-in-law stops the vehicle. In the shade of a tree, a coarse blanket is put for sitting and both sits on it for eating meals. During this time, two crows come there and talks with each other that if she gives us food then they will tell her the place where the King has hidden his wealth. She understands the language of crows. She gives them food and she speaks with them in their language. The crow shows her the place where the wealth is hidden. During this time period Nilawanti’s father-in-law thinks that she will give food to the crow and will make me like them and these crows will break his eyes and she will eat him. With a fear he tells her to move from this place at the earliest. Both starts moving from that place. He starts searching the highest hill so that she should be killed at the earliest. He approaches a different way. Nilawanti understands that, this is not the way to her mother’s house. Her father-in-law doesn’t listen to her and increases the speed of the bullock cart. In a thicket both mongoose were crying. Their voice is heard by the Nilawanti. She lovingly tells her father-in-law to stop the vehicle. Her father-in-law stops the vehicle. She gets down from the vehicle and she asks the story to both the mongoose. Then the female mongoose tells that when a poisonous snake aired on my husband then his eyesight has gone. Now he will never be able to see. Now how we will survive? Then the squirrel who is sitting on the tree says that if a red stone equivalent to the earth is touched to his eyes, he will get back his eyesight. Nilawanti takes out the rubies which are tucked in her waist and rubs on the mongoose eyes and his eyesight comes back. Both the mongoose gives her lot of thanks and assures her that whenever she requires help she should inform her. Mongoose promises her that she should give them a chance to favorher. As it has become night so she tells Nilawanti to stay with them. But Nilawanti is unable to sleep in the night. On the tree, little spotted male owl and female owl were talking with each other that in the east direction there is a square ‘Barav’ or well. In this well, a snake is staying bearing pearl (Nagmani). At night, that snake comes out and keeps aside his pearl and in the pearl light he is grazing. If that snake is killed then the person who gets the pearl will become wealthier. If that pearl is shown in the river then the water in the river will be divided in two parts and in that well there is lot of wealth. After listening to this Nilawanti along with the help of mongoose have planned to kill the snake. The mongoose has called his friends. Near the well mongoose fifty-six friends get collected. Seeing this incident Nilawanti father-in-law got frightened. Nilawanti told his father-in-law that don’t get frightened and please be quite for some time and be brave. Just see what is happening. All mongooses assaulted on the snake and killed the snake. Nilawanti took that snake pearl and touched the water in the well. By this the water got divided into two parts and she got lot of treasure from it. All the treasure she filled in her vehicle and the vehicle started shining yellow in colour. Father-in-law thought that the vehicle has caught fire and he came running. And when he saw the whole wealth then according to what the lizard told when all she will get the fourth profit. Later on she told all the incidents happened to her father-in-law in detail and what actually has happened. Father-in-law asked to forgive him and said she is fortune of his house and brings back her home. After coming back home she bowed to all the members in the house and she gives back the red rubies to her father-in-law.
In all six stanza should be sung or told and after that if the person tries to sing the story, it is a legend that he becomes mad. It is told by the ancestors that the story of Nilawanti is written by Budhu-Bhikku of Deulgaon. But there is no such proof for it. This story is not to be sung further, its specification is not found anywhere. From the people’s confusion the folk literature which is produced is immortal.
From the above story some important points are to be high lightened: (key notes)
1.                    In the whole story no other name or character other than Nilawanti and no such surname is mentioned.
2.                    In this geographic situation river, well, forest is mentioned but there is no specific name for it.
3.                    To maintain the miraculous and to increase its attraction it is a doubt by many persons that the poet may have confused and may have resolved.
4.                    From the mythopoeic mental situation, there may be the birth of such story. From such situation the story which is born, if the whole story is sung, it is an opinion of the public that the person who is singing may get mental problems.Its six stanza itself is very attractive and involves all of them.
5.                    The book ‘Nilawanti’ is a mysterious book. Shri Maruti Chitaampalli (Nature practioner and literature) has tried to present his study on it.
As per my study, in Spiritual Shahiri, near about in 1750, the person who is counted the best is Hybatibaba Pusesavalikar has created Shahiri on it. During this period from 1605 to 1625, a book named ‘Nilawanti’ was published. The writer of this book was Bhaskaracharya.
This book is identified as mysterious or greedy book. The person who is reading this book and tries to understand the knowledge, he himself is very intelligent or is either get deceptive.
In the public opinion such examples are there that the person who are reading such book has to squander and the reader either dies within 6 months. As per the public opinion, during the government rule in year 1932, it is known that the book was tried to be destroyed.
The folk lore scholar Durga Bhagawat has tried to search a lot this book but she couldn’t find it. But the book which was not found she has written an article on it. In that article it was mentioned that Swami Vivekanand has read this book. Such rumor was heard during that time after his death.
In the book ‘Nilawanti’ all animals, cattle, insects, small microbes etc. with it world’s fame, worldly, secular, customary physical-unphysical, not only this but including ghosts also. This all can be enchanted through enchantment. The person who learns this knowledge and enchants, that things or creature is trying to either contact him or tries to talk to him.
In the natural science, the birds and animals understand the language of nature. They are having supernatural knowledge. That’s why the nature has made them dumb. If the reader is able to understand the supernatural knowledge, he doesn’t stay in this world. That’s why we call him deceptive. The birds and animals know the curiosity of the nature and when the human being gets known, the natural mind is unable to except this or they are unable to digest it. While doing study this is the only reason found.
In Nilawanti’s book first stanza is of the ant who is enchanted. Till here we get information. Many scholars point of view is that the birth of folk art is from black magic. The Nilawanti story is presented in the ritual form ‘Gondhal’. So it is clear that this story has come from black magic.
In the story of Nilawanti, whatever she has received perfection, her intelligence and the fight between understandability and misunderstand ability. From this fight, the methodical course of Nilawati is the visit of power and pain is presented effectively.
We could have thought of literature. The book may be very valuable, but anyone can’t read this. The person who tries to read this leaves the world. The power of literature and those who are unable to read is clarified here. Without reading, literature is incomplete.


Dr. Monika ShantilalThakkar, Assistant professor at Lokakala Academy, University of Mumbai. More than 26 International, National and State level conferences attended with Paper Presentations. Renowned as Writer, Director, Actress, Anchor and Researcher.
Fellowship Holder: CCRT, Government of India.
Member of 4 State Government Committees.
Books Published: Folk Theatre forms of Maharashtra (English), Vidushak Sankalpana: Swaroop (Marathi),
Book Edited: Lokleni (Marathi)

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