THE LEGEND OF KHANA (মহীয়সী নারী খনা)!
Khana is considered in literature as a lady of olden times who authored the famous sayings which are still popular in the rural society of Bangladesh. The exact period of her life is uncertain. Even many doubt as to her very existence. The attributed dates of her lifetime range from 800 AD to 1200 AD. According to one account, she lived in the village of Deuli in Barasat in 24 Parganas, West Bengal. Her father is said to have been one Anacharya, and she was a resident in King Chakraketu’s monastery for a considerable period. But it is only a legend, which may or may not be true. According to another account, Khana was the daughter of the king of Sinhala (Sri Lanka). She was named Ksana (moment) or Khana because she was born at an auspicious moment. Meanwhile, at the court of Vikramaditya, the wife of the astrologer Varaha had given birth to a boy named Mihir. When Varaha cast Mihir’s horoscope, he found, as the legend goes that the boy would die shortly afterwards. Varaha put the child in a pot and floated the pot out to sea. The pot floated to Sinhala where its king brought the boy up and subsequently arranged his marriage with Khana. Both Mihir and Khana studied astrology and became expert astrologers.
According to popular belief, Mihir returned home with his wife, Khana. He became a courtier of Vikramaditya and became famous as an astrologer. One day both father and son faced a problem in astrology. Khana came forward and successfully solved the problem. This drew the attention of King Vikramaditya.’Khana is associated with many popular sayings, known as Khanar Vachan, about the weather, astrology, crops, productivity etc. Khana’s advice used to work as guides for farmers for a long time, telling them when to plant and how to till the soil for different products. She also suggested which way a house should face, where trees should be planted, and where a pond should be dug. Her advice about what and how much one should eat is often cited by mothers to children: ‘A little bit of salt, a little bit of bitter, and always stop before you are too full’. Some of her advice is still followed. May be Khana never existed. It is possible that the myth of Khana was circulated in order to give an authority to the accumulated wisdom of the rural society acquired from experiences and passed on from generation to generation in the name of Khana.
Source: Banglapedia /Eibela Video: TEDx Talks