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Consequences of having Reflective Floors

An important turning point in Mahabharata is when Duryodhana visits Indraprastha for attending Yudhishtira’s rajasuya yagya. Walking around, amazed at the grandeur of the palace, at one place Duryodhana mistakes the floor to be a pool of water and raises his clothes. In another place, he mistakes a pool as the floor and falls into it, and Draupadi laughs. You know the rest.

There is a similar story in the Qur’an about a person getting confused with a reflective floor. Here it is a woman – the Queen of Sheba – who ruled over a kingdom which may have included Eritrea, Ethiopia and Yemen. In the story, she visits King Sulayman (the biblical Solomon) with gifts of incense.

The pagan Queen enters the palace and seeing the reflective floor assumes it is water and lifts her skirt. This, of course is against social convention. It also does not help when Sulayman tells her that it was just glass. According to one version the Queen admits her mistake and accepts the King’s religion.

In another version the King too had heard about the Queen. He also had heard that her left foot is hairy and is like that of a goat. To test this he gets the floor shined until it is like glass.

When the Queen of Sheba walks across the floor, Solomon sees the reflection of her cloven foot. Right in front of his eyes, it transforms and becomes normal.The Queen of Sheba tests Solomon’s wisdom, asking him many questions and giving him riddles to solve. He answers to her satisfaction and then he teaches her about his god Yahweh and she becomes a follower.[In Search of Myths & Heroes . The Queen of Sheba | PBS]

The missionaries who are busy harvesting souls in Orissa and Karnataka would be wishing if only conversions were this easy.

One Response to Consequences of having Reflective Floors

  1. harkabir January 19, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    This was the first one where I realised that I too have a half written post on this topic. The crossing of the thoughts is almost telepathic.
    Nice job man, keep it up.

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