The  recent wedding of Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja, the scion of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore, and Trishika Kumari Singh, of the Dungarpur royal family of Rajasthan was described as “a fairy tale wedding” . The wedding was in the news as much for its old world splendour as for the centuries old curse which pronounces childlessness for the Wodeyars. Yaduveer was adopted just last year as a son and heir by Pramoda Devi, the widow of the previous raja of Mysore, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja.

The story of the curse dates to 1610 when Rani Alamelamma, the wife of a ruler the raja of Wodeyar had defeated,  pronounced a deadly curse — “Talakadu Maralaagali/Malangi Maduvaagali/Mysuru Dhoregalige Makkalagade hogali” before she committed suicide by jumping off a cliff into the Cauvery river. It is said that when the raja of Wodeyar heard of the incident, he was overcome by remorse. As repentence, he had a bronze idol of Rani Alamelamma made which is worshipped to this day by the Wodeyars on the 9th day of Dusshera every year.

The curse itself has many questions marks around it and so do the explanations by chroniclers, historians, archaeologists, geologists, genealogists, analysts, rationalists and others. But it is a chilling fact that in accordance with the first line of the curse, the temple town of Talakad was completely submerged by sand. Its historical temples covered with sand can be seen to this day. True to the second line of the curse, the Cauvery river generates fierce whirlpools near the village of Malangi even today and has partly consumed the village. And the third line of the line of the curse has played itself out in the lineage of the Wodeyars.

Most accounts relate that it is every alternate generation that has remained childless. According to reports, six rulers since the 17th century have been adopted sons. Curses or shraaps are very powerful, partly because it is very hard to escape from a curse. Curses are age old — Hindu mythology and most ancient civilisations elsewhere in the world have many instances of curses. In the Mahabharata, Urvashi’s curse on Arjun is well known and amongst ancient Indian sages, Durvasa is well known to this day more for his curses than his boons.  How do curses happen ?

A curse is the final card that would play out in time, circumventing the laws of time as they govern living people.

When someone becomes angry, inside the brain, neurotransmitter chemicals known as  catecholamines are released causing a person to experience a burst of energy lasting up to several minutes. This burst of energy is extremely powerful and intense, partly because anger is both a physiological  —body  — and psychological  — mind — process and therefore doubly charged. This energy coming from the body, heart and the mind of a person often releases itself in the form of a curse.

Therefore, a curse is an instrument of action — an intense and usually very troubled feeling expressed in words towards a specific end, usually of harm or retribution to correct a wrong. The target can be anything — a person, family, a building, an enterprise, a tree, even a town or city.  The normal laws of existence can be bypassed by curses, and that’s where the supernatural element comes in.

But before coming to the supernatural element of curses it is important to understand that curses are actually justice in action, a levelling out, a karmic play in a way. How ? You have hurt or angered someone by doing or saying something unfair, so the hurt or angered person retaliates by pronouncing a curse on you. In other words, when a curse is put on you, you are paying for something which you should not have done.

But so many people get angry at being wronged and curse and wish another person ill, so why don’t all curses have effect ? The curse requires some basic qualities for it to be effective. If you a Rishi, for instance,  your ‘Tapa’ ensures that your curse has the strength to come true. If you are an ordinary person, the pain and circumstances which cause you to curse must be exceptional. In other words, there must be enough “charge” for a curse to work. Curses rise above the laws of Kaal or Time and can extend beyond death and even over several births.

A curse is the final card that would play out in time, circumventing the laws of time as they govern living people. There is enough of the supernatural in this alone, but it becomes compounded when a person who pronounces a curse dies an unnatural death. Even if a person has not given a shraap but dies in a state of great unhappiness, the death in such circumstances itself serves as a curse or jinx. 

The complete removal or nullification of a curse is almost impossible and always, it has to be deflected or minimised, a way around it has to be sought. Even the person who has given the shraap cannot recall it, but can suggest a way around it. I know a media personality who was cursed in his last birth because he had made a pass at his guruji’s wife. She cursed him, and in this life, he was forced to earn a living polishing people’s shoes on trains.

One day, he found out that this was because he had been cursed in his last birth and the woman who had cursed him had been reborn in a particular village and only she could be of help. He located her, they recognised each other instantly, but she told him she could not take back the shraap but suggested a way out, and today he runs a virtual media empire.

However, minimising or finding a way round a  curse can be done only by someone who has enough knowledge of karmic laws or equals or exceeds the spiritual stature of the curser. A guru or Rishi’s curse, for example, cannot be handled by an ordinary person — it can be done only by someone equal to or higher than the guru or rishi. In most cases, it is best not to continue if you know a place or  project is cursed or jinxed.

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