Monday, September 11, 2017

The Dance of Mohini

I have long maintained that most of the ancient Hindu texts are meta-narratives that discuss common themes in proliferation and counter proliferation. Whether historically accurate or mere works of imagination, they contain ideas that are applicable in a variety of situations.

One particular story arc that sticks in my mind is the "Dance of Mohini". The original story has been discussed elsewhere in greater detail by numerous experts. For our purposes, I think we can reduce it to the following - the adversary is seduced into using their most potent weapon against themselves.

The attractive aspect of the "Dance of Mohini" is that it uses a subterfuge - a gesture of peace - as opposed to the traditional escalation framework. The subterfuge lulls the adversary into a false sense of security and that decline in security consciousness is used to bring the enemy to death's door.

In the story itself, the Demon King Bhasmasur is seduced into thinking that he is merely dancing with a beautiful woman who will soon be his bride. His longing and lust for the woman allows him to forget that his right hand possess the power of death. In the dance, the beautiful woman - Mohini raises her right hand over her head and King Bhasmasur does the same - turning himself into ashes.

Those of you who have followed discussions on the disreputable forum will recognize that this idea was proposed almost 15 years earlier in a different context. I can't say for sure if anyone listened to me back then but the idea has a je ne sais quoi about it.


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