Sibling Rivalry

Sanathkumara once asked the revered sage Sutha Mahamuni - “Oh knower of all knowledge, oh teller of great stories, can you please explain me in less than 4000 words as to when this ‘Sibling Rivalry’ started”.

Sutha Mahamuni cleared his throat, as he usually did before giving lengthy answers, a habit he had acquired by insisting on additional answer sheets during his exams in Gurukul.
“Oh Sanathkumar, the man who comes up with more questions than Siddarth Basu, the one who takes listening skills to different levels, listen. This sibling rivalry is existent from time immemorial. When Narada was telling Krishna the story, in which Samba Sadashiva answered a similar query from Nandi, this story was not told. Because I am making this story up for you. So please listen.”

Ganapathi and his brother Subrahmanya once had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to God Shiva for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subrahmanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. But the wise Ganapathi went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents and asked for the prize of His victory.
God Shiva reckoned that Ganapathi should be declared winner because of his street smartness. Parvathi, like the dutiful wife that she is, disagreed completely. Who won in the end, nobody really knows. But, thats not the point here, the point here is that this is the first recorded sibling rivalry incident in all of Puranas.

“Hmm interesting”, quipped Sanathkumara, satisfied with the explanation.

“No no no, what is actually interesting is how the words ‘Sibling Rivalry’ is linked to this story”, Sutha Mahamuni said with a smug smile on his bearded face.

Before Sanathkumara could ask the obvious question, Sutha Mahamuni continued, “After this incident, Nandi started jokingly referring it to as ‘Kailasa Rivalry’. It also came to be known as ‘Shivling Rivalry’. And then, and then my friend, one day some Bengalis joined the Shivagana and started pronouncing it as ‘Sibling Rivalry’!”

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