पुराण

Ashta-Matrika

Na mantram no yantram tadaapi cha na jaaey stutimaho/ Na cha-aahvaanam dhyaanam tadaapi cha
na jaaney stutikathaa/ Na jaaney Mudsraasthe tadaapi cha na jaaney vilaapanam/ Param jaaney
Mathaathwaadanusharanam klesha haranam

 

पुराण

SELECT STORIES FROM PURANAS

Preface:

Hindu Puranas are replete with Stories with the moral of destroying Evil and vindicating Virtue.They
describe incidents related to Avataras, Devas, Vamshas, Kings, Rishis, Demons, and humanity in
general.The underlining message in all the Puranas is that all the Species in the Lord’s Creation – be it
Devas or Demons, humanity or other living Beings are bound by the basic Principle ie. one sows as
reaps. One’s own ‘Karma’ or action is decided by the previous action in the never-ending cycle of
births and deaths. This current action of any Being shapes the future Karma. The Supreme Force
creates ‘Maya’ or Illusion and influenced by ‘Tri Gunas’ or The Three Characterisics of Satva-Rajas-
Tamas Nature, Maya decides each and every action or the Cause which further leads to the Reaction
or the Effect! Hence, morality is the crux and behaviour is the corner stone of all Beings, with special
reference to human beings.

Veda Vyasas scripted Eighteen Main Puranas besides several Upa-Puranas. The Main Puranas are
Brahma Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana,
Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana, Varaha Purana, Vamana Purana, Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, Skanda
Purana, Markandeya Purana, Agni Purana, Narada Purana, Padma Purana, Bhavishya and Garuda
Purana. Some of the prominent Upa Puranas include Deva Bhagavata, Narasimha, Vayu, Sthala,

Nilamata Puranas.

Some basic facts common to Puranas

The Unknown and Eternal Paramatma or The Supreme Energy materialised the Alternate Power
called Prakriti / Maya which further appeared as Maha Tatwa or the Great Awareness. The latter made
possible the occurrence of ‘ Ahamkara’ or Ego in Abstract Form or the Inherent Consciousness which
got transformed as Bhutas or Tangible Entities the very First Entity being Narayana who created ‘Apo
Naara’ or the Radiant Water who floated on that Water and was hence called Narayana. He deposited
his virility with the resolve of creating and there got manifested a Brahmanda, the Huge Golden Egg
inside which there was seated Hiranya garbha Brahma. The Egg had two parts viz. Diva/ Urthwa
Loka or the Upper Part and ‘Bhuva’or Earth and the Space between these Parts was ‘Akaasha’ the
Sky. There were manifestations eventually of Sapta Lokas (Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Swarloka,
Maharloka, Janarloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka), Sapta Patalaas ( Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talaatala,
Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala); Dasha Dishas or Ten Directions viz. Uttara or North-East or Purva-
Dakshina or South-Paschim or West-Ishanya or North East -Agneya or South East-Nirruti or South
West- Vayavya or North West-Urthwa or Upper Region and Atho Lokas or the Nether Worlds; Sapta
Dwipas (Jambu, Plaksha, Salmaali, Kusha, Krouncha, Shaka and Pushkala); Sapta Samudras (Lavana
or Salt, Ikshurasa or Sugarcane juice, Sura or Wine, Ghrita or Classified Butter, Dahi or Curd,
Ksheera or Milk and Suswada or Sweet Water); Sapta Parvatas (Sumeru , Kailas, Malaya, Himalaya,
Udyachala, Agastyachala, Suvela and Gandhamadana); Ashta Loka Palakas (Indra, Agni, Yama,
Nirruti, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera and Ishana); Kaal maana or Time Calculation (Triti-hundred tritis
oneVedha- three Vedhas one Lava-Three Lavas on Nimesha- Three Nimeshas one Kshana- five
nimeshas one kashta or eight seconds- fifteen kashtas one laghu or two minutes- fifteen laghus one
danda- six to seven dandas one fourth of a day or night-four praharas or yamas one day or night- two
pakshas a month-two months a Ritu or Season- Six months one Ayana-365 combinations of a day /
night one year- one year a Deva year-1200 Yugas comprising Satya of 4800 Deva Years, Treta Yuga
of 3600, Dwapara of 2400 and Kaki yuga of 1200 Deva Years make one a Maha Yuga-100 Maha
Yugas one Kalpa and Two Maha Kalpas are one life time of Brahma; Brahma is now passing through
his fifty first year and his life span is 100 such years; we are now in the 28th Kali yuga of the first day
of the first year of the third Sweta Varaha kalpa, second paraartha in the reign of the Seventh Manu
named Vivaswanta. Kali Yuga is calculated to have commenced on 17th February 3102 BC of Julion
Calendar). Besides the Kaala maana (Time), other notable creations were Manasa (Thought), Vaak
(Speech), Shad Vargas or the Six Aberrations of Kama-Krodha-Lobha-Moha-Mada- Matsara viz.
Desire, Anger, Greed, Infatuation, Arrogance and Jealousy; as also: Pancha Bhutas viz. Earth, Water,
Agni,Wind and Sky; Nava Grahas of Surya, Chandra, Mangala, Budha, Guru, Shukra, Shani, Rahu-
Ketu; Chatur Vedas of Rik-Yajur-Saama and Atharva besides Shat-Vedangas viz. Siksha including
Sangeeta and Nayaaya, Vyakarana, Kalpa Grandha, Nirukta, Chandas Shastra and Jyitisha. Ekadasha
Rudras or Eleven Rudras viz. Mahaan, Mahatma, Matimaan, Bhishana, Bhayankara, Ritudwaja,
Urthwakesha, Pingalaksha, Rucha, Shuchi, and Kalaagni; Sapra Rishis viz. Marichi, Atri , Angirasa,
Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, and Vasishtha;Four Kumaras viz. Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat and Sanatana;
besides Narada-all Brahma’s mind-born sons.; Chaturashramas,Yagnas and Agni Homas like Shodasi,
Ukta, Purushi, Agnishtoma, Aptoryama, Atiratra, Vajapeya, Goshava etc. Other facts worth noting in
the context of Puranas are Fourteen Manvantaras (Swayambhu, Swarochisha,Uttama, Tamasa,
Raivata, Chakshusa, the present Vaivaswata, Savarni, Bhoutya, Rouchya and four more Savarnyas)
and Prajapatis and Vamshas, especially of Surya and Chandra and their lineages.

Daksha Prajapati and his wife Prasuti had sixty daughters, ten of whom were given in charity to
Dharma, seventeen to Kashaypa Muni, twenty seven to Chandra and two each to Rishis Angira,
Krasaswa and Bhuta. Dharma’s wives gave birth among others to Twelve Sadhyas called Jaya Devas
considered as good as Devas reputed in the context of Yagnas like Darsha, Pounamavasya, Vithi,
Vivithi etc. Dharma’s another wife Vasu gave birth to Ashta Vasus like Dhara, Soma, Ayu, Pratyusa
etc. From Angirasa and Vastu Devi was born Vishwakarma and so on. But the most significant
progeny of Daksha’s daughters was from Kashyapa Muni as follows: Indras and Devas from Aditi;
Diti gave birth to Daityas like Hiranya Kashipu (killed in Narasimha Avatara as he tormented his
own son Prahlada) and Hiranyaksha (who dragged Bhu Devi to Rasatala but was rescued by Vishnu’s
Avatara viz. Matsya Deva) as also Marudganas ( when Diti performed a very severe Vrata to destroy
Devas and got conceived from Kashyapa, Indra feigned affection to Diti and when she was asleep
entered her womb and by his ‘Siddhi’called ‘Anima’or miniaturasing cut the child seven times by his
Vajrayudha and made further seven pieces totalling forty nine and after delivery each piece became a
Marud by Kashyapa Muni’s powers and the Marudganas turned out to be share-holders of Yagnas and
as good as Devatas and were Indra’s followers!); Danu Devi gave birth to Danavas whose Chief was
Viprachit and the latter’s wife Simhika gave birth to Simhika who were more cruel and notorious than
Danavas in grit for Tapasya, mainly targetting Sages and Brahmanas. Rahu was the eldest son of
Simhika; the most infamous among the Simhikas were Vatapi, Bhouma and Namuchi. The worst of
Danavas were Shambhara, Maya, Tarakasura, Jambha, Naraka, Pralamba etc. who had passion for
destroying Yagnas, Shraddhas, children and cows too. Devi Kadru another wife of Kashyapa Muni
was the mother of Serpents, the most famed ones of the species being Sesha, Vasuki and Takshaka
besides Iravata, Mahapadma, Kambala, Ashwatara, Shankha, Karkotaka, Dhananjaya, Kaliya and so
on. Khasa Devi had two sons one at dawn time and another at dusk; the elder son had four hands and
four legs with high hair growth all over his body and the younger one had three heads, three hands
and three legs. Bothe were ferocious and grotesque; one wanted to eat his mother out of extreme
hunger and another desired to save the mother. Kashyapa named them Rakshasas; they were weak
and dull but as the dusk grew into night they became invincible and all powerful with the ability to
change into any Form as they wished enjoying the flesh of Devas, Sages, human beings, animals or
birds. Surabhi was the mother of cows and buffalos; Vinata the mother of Garuda and Aruna the
charioteers of Vishnu and Surya; Arista gave birth to Gandharvas; Muni was the mother of Aprasas
or Angels; ILA Devi was the mother of creepers; Tamra gave birth to vultures, eagles and large
birds; Timi to acquatics and Saras to tigers, lions and ferocious animals. Thus Kashyapa Vamsha
stood for Dharma, Kshama, and Virtue and at the same time for Adharma, jealousy, cruelty and
sheer depravity.

Stories related to Manus and Vamshas

As the pace of Creation in the Universe was slow at the beginning, Brahma divided himself into two
one as himself and another as a female called Shatarupa. The latter did Tapsya for ten thousand years
and begot a husband named Swayambhu Manu born on his own. Manu and Shatarupa gave birth to
Veera, Priyavrata and Uttanapada.
Priyavrata ruled Sapta Dwipas of which Jambu Dwipa was a part of Bharata. In his childhood
Priyavrata secured Brahma Gyan (Enlightenment) and declined to marry. Manu admonished his son
that he was too young to become an ascetic and the Almighty created human beings to pass through
childhood, student life, married life, detachment an renunciation and that the golden rule of married
life should be like that of a dew on a lotus leaf and so on. Finally, Privavrata ended up with two
wives; he had the distinction of travelling by his chariot and earmarked the entire Bhu Loka into Sapta
Dwipas and entrusted the Seven Dwipas to be entrusted to his sons.
Varudhini and Pravarakhya: The births of King Swarochi and Manu Swarochisha had an
interesting background. A learned Brahmana youth called Pravarakhya on the banks of River Varuna
observed the required rituals regularly and worshipped guests. Once a Siddha who had knowledge of
Mantras, Tantras and especially of indigenous herbs and their usages arrived and Pravarakhya evinced
interest to visit Himalayas; he gave an exotic herb and asked the youth to apply its ‘lepana’or its
essence on his feet and he could visit Himalayas instantly by closing his eyes. But the Siddha
cautioned that the lepana would dry up by the Sunset. Indeed, Pravarakhya landed in the thick jungles
atop Himalayas and was lost in an unparalleled vision of ice mountain linings and the abundant glory
of flora and fauna, the dizzy views of valleys, waterfalls etc. The youth was fully conscious that he
would have to return by the dusk time. In that place of blissful silence, he spotted a damsel-an Apsara
named Varudhini- and initiated conversation; the friendly dialouge ended up with her sincere entries
to marry her ; when she was refused , she begged him to atleast mate with her once. Pravara a strict
Brahmachari of proven celibacy ran away from her and in the process his lepana on his feet got dried
up and he lost his way. As he was badly delayed for his evening rituals back home he prayed to Agni
Deva who in the form of an elderly Brahmana appeared and reached him home. Meanwhile the
frustrated Varudhini became too passionate for Pravara. A Gandharva boy he was rejected by
Varudhini earlier got scent of the situation and having changed his Swarupa as a Maya Pravarakhya
approached her and said he changed his mind and cheated her into bed on the condition however that
she should close her eyes at the time of their union so that she would not realise that he was not the
genuine Pravara . Varudhini and Maya Pravara lived together for a year and Swarochi was born of
Pravara’s intellect and discipline and Varudhinis’s charm and physical attraction.
Swarochisha Manu’s story was far more interesting. Once King Swarochi he was wandering in a
forest aimlessly and heard a desperate female voice in great anguish as though was being chased.
Soon enough, the female appeared and requested Swarochi to save her by a demon; she said that she
knew some ‘Astras’or Mantrik Arrows from her dead father and he could save her from the Danava
who was chasing her. Swarochi then killed the Danava and a grateful female narrated her story: her
name was Manorama and along with her friends Vibhavari and Kalavati wandered in a forest and
offended a Muni while in his meditation. The Muni cursed Manorama an Apsara to descend to Earth
and her friends to become as lepers. When the Apsaras begged of the Muni, the latter agreed that a
brave youth would be chased by a Danava and the curses of the Muni would be reversed. Incidentally,
the Danava who was killed was Manorama’s own father! Swarochi married Manorama but she was
unhappy that her companions remained as lepers. Swarochi cured both Vibhavari and Kalavati of their
leprosy by his knoweldge of herbal medicines. A grateful Vibhavari said that she was a Gandharva
Kanya ( unwed) and that she could teach Swarochi the language of animals provided that he would
agree to marry her. Kalavati also offered to teach him the ‘Padmini Vidya’ the art of learning the
way to abundant Prosperity that was taught by Devi Parvati herself when Kalavati wanted to commit
self-immolation as her father died of a thunderebolt. Thus Swarochi was fortunate to wed three
celestial damsels in a row![ Incidentally, Padmini Vidya denotes Eight Sources of Wealth viz. Padma
or investments in precious metals used for charities, Maha Padma or wealth from high value
acquisitions leading to large scale deeds like Yagnas, Makara or prosperity involving famous deeds
like battles, Kacchapa is the wealth that is land based to be utilised for Dharma Karyas or Deeds of
Virtue, Mukunda is wealth emerging from Fine Arts leading to fulfillment of life, Nandaka is that
kind of wealth utilised for soclal functions, Neela is that source of wealth involving Dhanya, Vastra
and such other transactions and Shankha is the wealth for one’s own family.]

Having lived happily for six hundred years, King Swarochi one day went a hunting spree and
witnessed a female deer being chased by a boar; the King tried to kill the boar but the deer begged
him to kill it instead but he disagreed since she was defenceless. As she insisted to kill her on mercy
grounds so that she would be able to marry a handsome person in her next birth, he asked as to who
that handsome could be and she replied coyly pointing to the King; the latter stated that it might not
be possible. She then asked her to embrace her once and a miracle would happen by the Vana Devata
or the Goddess of the Forest. The King embraced the deer and the deer delivered Swarochisha Manu.
King Uttama fell prey to a dancing girl and abandoned his own wife Bahula and in a weak moment
abandoned her to forests. He regretted his action latter and tried to recover her but failed. After long
lapse of time a Brahmana called Susharma complained that his wife was kidnapped and it was the
duty of the King to recover her. He then took the help of a ‘Trikalajna’ who knew the Present, Past
and the Future and came to know that the Brahmana wife was under the duress of a Rakshasa; the
King located the Rakshasa and brought him under control. The Trikalajna also informed that in Patala
a Naga Raja called Salapotaka was forcing Queen Bahula to marry him and that she should also look
after the Nagha Princess who was deaf and dumb. With the help of the Rakshasa whose life was
spared by the King earlier even if the Rakshasa kidnapped the Brahmana’s wife, the King reached
Patala and killed the Naga King and sought pardon to the Queen for his foolish act. The Queen
desired that the Naga Princess be some how restored her speech and hearing capacity. Susharma the
Brahmana who was grateful to the King performed ‘Sarasvata Sukta Parayana’( recitation of the
Prayers to Goddess Sarasvati) bestowed the power of Speech and Hearing to the Naga Princess. A
Maha Muni called Karna visited to the Kingdom and was pleased with the King’s good deeds after his
initial mistake in restoring the Brahmana’s wife, the Queen as also the Speech and Hearing capacity
of the Naga Princess and blessed King Uttama to secure a famed son Uttama Manu who would
control the whole world!

King Surashtra had hundred wives but without a single child. He prayed to Surya Deva to extened his
life but all his wives died. He resorted to severe Tapasya standing one legged amid ‘Panchagnis’ or
the Five Sacred Fires in top summer; in acute winter braving the icy exposure in the open and in the
rainy season withstanding torrential rains. He got carried away in a flood by holding the tail of a
female deer and was eventually washed ashore. The deer talked in a female voice and said that she
was his first wife and while in the flood when he held the animal tight, she got pregnant; in her child-
hood, she ran after a deer couple ready for mating and the male deer said she would curse her; when
asked as to how a deer could talk in human voice, it replied that he was the son of a Muni in her
earlier life and mated with a female deer and was born as a ‘Jatismara’with the knowledge of previous
birth. The Muni Kumar turned male deer asked the princess to mate but she refused and the malr deer
cursed the Princess that in the next birth who would be a she-deer. King Surashtra heard about the
background of his wife turned deer and in course of time delivered a boy but the deer died. The King
brought up the boy as Lola with the pet name as Tamasa who became the fourth Manu eventually and
ruled the world.

Sage Rutavaak could not secure a child for long and after prolonged Tapsya finally secured a male
child in the fourth phase of Revati Nakshatra and the son turned out to be a wicked person of great
notoriety. The Sage consulted Muni Garga but the latter could not offer a solution as the last phase of
Revati was adverse. Rutavaak performed relentless Tapasya and by the virtue of its power made the
fourth phase of the Revati Star fall on a Mountain called Raivataka. That specific part of the Fourth
Phase of the Star fell in a Sarovara and due to the impact of the fall was materialised as a baby and a
Sage named Pramucha brought her as Revati. The Muni desired that Revati would marry a youth
named Durdama and Revati insisted to marry only during the fourth phase of Revati Star which
however did not exist since it had already fallen on Raivataka Mountain. The Sage had then to revive
it again by his Tapasya and the Durdama-Revati couple got wedded and gave birth to a son named
Raivata who became the fifth Manu.

The birth of the sixth in the series was traced to a King named Anamishra and Queen Giribhadra who
gave birth to a boy who laughed loudly when he was fondled by the mother. As the mother wondered
about the reason of the laughter, the boy spoke that there was a cat looking at the child! The mother
was frightened and ran away. A Rakshasi appeared in the form of a child frightening the Queen by
hiding the original Prince; the Rakshasi smuggled away the child of a Brahmana couple and ate it but
spared the Prince. As the Prince called Vikrant grew and at his Upanayana function he asked her
mother whether he should seek blessings from his original mother or a duplicate! Apparently, the boy
required ‘Atma Shuddhi’and proceded to tapasya to Brahma for a very long time. The latter was very
pleased and appointed the Prince as the next Manu and named him Chakshusa!

The Story of Surya Deva and Progeny

The Story of the seventh and the current Manu Vaiwaswata was indeed outstanding and eventful.
Surya Deva who was also called Viwaswan married Vishwakarma’s daughter Sanjna Devi. But since
Surya was too powerful and radiant, Sanjna was unable to withstand his heat and light and was so
afraid of him that she could glance him with wobbly and unsteady eyes. The couple gave birth to
Viwasvata Manu and Yama Dharma Raja. Yet, Sanjna Devi could not adjust and continued to suffer
Surya’s heat; Surya got annoyed and cursed her that she would give birth to a River named Yamuna
whose course was uneven and unsteady. Sanjna Devi couple was unable to hold the wrath of her
husband any longer and having created a Chhayaa Sanjna (a shadow of hers) and briefed her to
pretend like the original Sanjna, left for her father’s home. Her father Vishwakarma chided her and
asked her to return to her husband. But she assumed the Swarupa of a mare and commenced
performing Tapasya in a far off Mountain meadows.Vishwakarma and Devas prayed to Surya to
reduce the severity of his Swarupa to sixteenth of his original energy.[ The remaining parts were
absorbed in Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra, Shiva’s Trishula, Kubera’s Palki or palaanquin,
Yama Raja’s ‘danda’ or stick, Kartikeya’s weapon called Shakti and various Astras or Mantrika
Arrows]. Meanwhile Chhaya Devi settled down and gave birth to Shaneswara and River Tapati. In
course of time, Yama Dharma Raja noticed Chhaya Devi’s attitudinal changes in displaying partiality
of treatment to Shanishwara, and River Tapati as against the earlier children. As Yama complained to
Surya about the partiality of Chhaya Devi, Surya confronted her and she blurted out theTruth that
original Sanjna created her as a shadow replacement. On finding out the whereabouts of the original
Sanjna Devi, Surya also assumed the form of a horse and landed where the mare was in meditation.
Presuming that a horse was trying to reach her, the mare sought to secure her rear and in the process
their noses got entangled and two sons named ‘Naasatya’or nose-born and ‘Dastra’ ot teeth-born were
materialised. There after a horse-riding son with Shield and Sword was born named Revanta. Sanjna
was happy that her Tapasya succeeded in reducing the severity of Surya Deva. Eventually
Vaiwaswata became the current Manu, Yama Dharma Raja the Lord of Death, Yamuna and Tapati as
the famed Rivers and Shaneeswara as a Planet. The Sanjna-Chhaya combine also gave birth to two
Ashwini Kumars who became the Physicians of Devas as well as Saavarni the future Manu.
Future Manus-Savarnis, Rouchya and Bhouthya

While the seventh in the series of fourteen Manus viz.Vaiwaswata Manu is the current one,
predictions about future Manus also were provided in the Puranas, especially the Markandeya Purana
in detail. The Eighth Manu would be Saavarni, to be followed by Daksha Savarni, Brahma Saavar ni,
Dharma Saavarni and Rudra Saavarni. There were vivid descriptions about the last two Manus as
follows:

Ruchi Muni was unmarried and as a bachelor was not eligible to Agni Karyas. Pirtru Devatas
appeared and lamented that they were unable to receive any contributions to them; only Grihastis
could pronounce ‘Swaha’ to Agni and ‘Swadha’to satisfy Pitru Devatas and the Muni was disabled to
satisfy the two other kinds of ‘Runas’ or indebtedness to Devas and ‘Atithis’ also. But Ruchi Muni
argued with the Pitru Devatas that ‘Atma Samyam’ or Self-Control was essential to ‘Mukti’ or
Salvation and that he would like to avoid the slush of Samsara or family life. Pitru Devas then advised
Ruchi Muni that Vedas prescribed that Samsara was the natural ladder to Moksha and ‘Samyama’,
‘Niyama’ or Self Control and ‘Karma Phala’ or the fruits of duties and obligations were the steps of
the ladder. The Pitru Devatas further instructed that what was controversial was not the institution of
marriage but overcoming the limits of desire, decency and virtue and that Grihastya was the test of
life! Convinced by the instruction of the Pitru Devatas, Ruchi Muni finally agreed to family life and
performed Tapasya to Brahma; meanwhile Pitru Devatas located a suitable Apsara to wed the Muni
and Brahma blessed him with a glorious son who would be the next Manu viz. Rouchya.
Sage Bhuti swas the ever-angry disciple of Angirasa Muni who was dreaded by even Devas. Surya
Deva desisted from being too hot in his Ashram, and Vayu, Varuna and Chandra could ill-afford to
display their extreme features. The Muni had no children and perhaps that was the cause of his
frustration and temper. The responsibility of managing the affairs of the Sage’s Ashram was entrusted
to one of his disciples named Shanti. Bhuti gave a special instruction to Shanti that there should be
‘Nityagni’ the Constant Fire in the Homa Kunda or the Fire-Pit. Shanti once went out to fetch
‘Samidhas’or twigs for the Homas as also flowers, fruits and other material for the Ashram, he
returned late to the Ashram and to his utter dismay, the Nityagni was put off. Fortunately, Sage Bhuti
was out to perform a Yagna to his elder brother’s Ashram as the latter too did not have a child. Shanti
then prayed to Agni Deva without food for a week and the latter gave his appearance being pleased by
his Stotras. Agni Deva was instantly materialised as ‘Nityaagni’ and he asked Shanti to choose any
boon of his wish; Shanti requested for an illustrious son to his Guru. Agni was pleased with the
selflessness of Shanti and granted the wish to bestow a glorious son to the Muni who would be a
future Manu called Bhoutya; Agni also granted higher Lokas to Shanti.

Dhruva the immortal

Swayambu Manu’s son King Uttanapada married to Suniti and Suruchi and the respective sons were
Dhruva and Uttama. The younger wife and son dominated the King. Once Dhruva desired to sit on his
father’s lap as his cousin too did, the younger queen prevented Dhruva and talked insultingly and the
father remained passive. The young mind of Dhruva was badly hurt and he walked off to his mother
who expressed her helplessness and said that only Bhagavan Narayana could help.The disgusted boy
entered a nearby forest where he encounterd Sapta Rishis and conveyed his anguish that he was not
able to sit on his father’s lap. The Rishis unanimouly advised that he could sit on ‘Moksha Pada’ or
the Seat of the Supreme, let only on his father’s lap provided he could worship Narayana relentlessly
and please Him. Dhruva requested the Rishis to teach him as to how to worship and in one voice gave
him the Upadesha and the Mantra of Om Namo Vaasudevaaya Shuddha Jnana Swarupiney. Armed
with the method of puja and Japa, Dhruva entered a forest named Madhubana on the banks of River
Yamuna, where subsequently Shatrughna of Ramayana killed Daitya Madhu’s son Lavanasura. The
young Dhruva performed Dhyana and Puja of Narayana with enormous concentration and dedication
for years together ; so much so that as a single legged Dhruva leaned to the left, Bhumi too got tilted
and vice versa and in the process, Rivers-Samudras and Parvatas got disturbed. Indra utilised all
kinds of gimmicks to advise, tempt, frighten and subdue the young Dhruva but to no avail. Finally,
delegations of Devas prayed to Janardana but the latter assured that the boy had no ambitions to
dislodge any of them of their positions including those of Indra, Surya, Varuna or Kubera and none of
them needed to fear on that count. Finally, Bhagavan appeared before Dhruva and asked him to
terminate his Tapasya. Dhruva prostrated before Narayana, Dhruva was elevated to heights of trance;
he requested Narayana to reveal himself which no Parama Yogi or Maharshi ever realised. Maha
Vishnu granted Dhruva the vision of his Brihad Swarupa and bestowed to him the unique
‘Dhruvasthaana’-the Permanent Place on the Sky even above the Lokas of Chandra, Surya, Mangala,
Budha, Brihaspati, Shukra, Shani Grahas, and even above the Places of Nakshatras, Sapta Rishis and
Devas. Vishnu assured that while Devas would have the longevity of only Four Yugas and a few only
of Manvantaras, Dhruva was granted existence for a full Kalpa! He called Dhruva’s mother also to
occupy the position of a Nakshatra near Dhruva Loka as she was indeed the very first to inspire
Dhruva towards Narayana!

King Vena and Prithu Chakravarti

In the lineage of Chakshusa Manu and the Puru Vamsha were Angira and his wife Sunita the daughte
Mrityu who gave birth to King Vena. In the beginning, Vena’s kingship was normal but eventually he
ordered that none should perform Yagnas to Devas but to himself. He was so conceited that he
claimed himself as a symbol of bravery, victory and unparalleled knowledge. He enacted Regulations
verging on sacrilege and sought them to be enforced. For long time, the Subjects suffered him with
hatred but the sages revolted and a day arrived when he was imprisoned; in fact Maharshi Atri the
Kula Guru spearheaded the popular uprising. They churned his thighs and there emerged an ugly and
Frightful ‘Kaala Swarup’which was stated to have misdirected his behaviour despite his glorious
ancestry. However when they rubbed his right shoulder, there was a sparkling and imposing Figure
materialised with bow and celestial arrows donning a Kavacha or a Body Safeguard.
The new King Prithu picked up speedy popularity as he proved be an ideal and virtuous
Administrator endeared by Maharshis and commoners alike. In course of time there were no problems
owing to physical ailments, mental tensions and even of natural calamities in the Society. This was
the first King ever who performed Rajasuya Yagna. It was this illustrious Emperor who controlled
Bhumi (Earth); the latter took the Form of a Cow and sought to run away as was she was expected too
much from her by various sections of the Universe. But Pruthu Chakravarti (literally he whose chariot
wheels move forward swiftly without being interrupted by any opponent party) however chased and
forced her to yield maximum milk to one and all in the form that they desired it. Pruthu himsel milked
her having converted Swayambhu Manu as the calf and made her yield food grains to all, while in
regime of Vena the staple food was of flowers and fruits. Various sections of the world milke the
material as they desired; for instance, Rishis converted Chandra as a calf, Brihaspati as the milkman,
Tapomaya Brahma as the milk and Vedas as the container to fill up the milk; Devatas made Indra as
the calf, Surya as the milkman and ‘’Pushtikaahara’ or healthy food as milk; Pitru Devatas requested
Yamadharma Raja as the calf, Antaka Deva as the milk man and ‘Swadha’as the milk; Nagas selected
Takshaka as the calf, Iravata Serpent as the milkmen and Visha (Poison) as the milk; Asuras
appointed Mathu Daitya as the milkman, Virochana as the calf and Maya (Illusions) as the milk;
Yakshas preferred Kubera as the calf, Rajananaabha Yaksha as the milkman and ‘Antardhaana Vidya’
or the Art of Disappearance as the milk; similarly all other species selected their own Milkmen and
calves and Gandharvas opted milk in the form of fragrance; Rakshasas opted for blood, Mountains
preferred ‘Aoushadhis’ and soon thus satisfying every one in his governance!

Current Manu Vaiwasvata and Surya Vamsha

King Satyavrata was the subsequent Manu Vivasvanta who had the distinction of playing a major role
in the context of Vishnu Bhagavan’s Avatara (Incarnation) as Matsya or the Giant Fish. The Story
was when Satyavrata was paying offerings of waters in the River Kirtimala, a tiny fish appeared in his
palms and requested him not to throw it back into the River as big fishes would swallow it and as such
keep it in a container. As the fish was kept in a pot, it became too big for the succsessive containers
and grew into a huge fish which filled in the entire Ocean. The giant fish was none other than
Bhagavan Narayana himself; the Matsyaavatara directed King Satyavrata to await the arrival of a
maamoth Ship and meanwhile the King should collect samples of good human beings, flora, fauna
and so on and load these materials. The Matsya further conveyed that as the Ship would arrive with
Sapta Rishes aboard on it, it would be hooked to the horns of the Fish to be propelled by the Great
Vasuki Serpent when the totality of the Universe would be submeged in water. Lord Brahma would
then be woken up from his slumber as the Demon Hayagriva who would have been killed since he
would attempt to steal Vedas and other Scriptures. Subsequently Brahma would resume the task of
Creation of the Universe afresh!
Manu Vivaswanta gave birth to ten sons including Ikshvaku, Saryati, Nabhaga and Prushaghna.
Episoded related to many of the sons of the Manu are intersting mentioned here-below in brief:
Ikshwaku’s lineage included Puranjaya/ Kakustha, Yuvanashra and Mandhata. Puranjaya fought a
severe battle with Daityas on behalf of Devas by riding a Great Bull who actually was Indra himself
by holding the Kakutsa or the hump of the bull thus obtaining the epithet of Kakutsa or
Indravahana!

King Yuvanashra perforned a noted Yagna targetting Indra Deva to secure a son. During the
Sacrifice days, he felt very thirsty one midnight in the Yagna Shaala and drank up the ‘Mantra Jala’ or
the Sanctified Water kept in a vessel. The Rishis performing the Yagna were aghast to find the vessel
empty next morning as the King drank up the Sacred Water. Eventually, the King got conceived
instead of his Queen and a male child came out fromhis abdomen which had to be cut. The cried for
milk and Indra put his index finger in the child’s mouth and saved him!

The boy thus born was Mandhata, the undisputed Emperor of the World comprising Seven Dwipas
‘from where Sun rose at where it was set!’ He was stated to have discovered Manasa Sarovara on
Mount Kailasha was he was reputed to have performed Tapas at the banks of the Lake. It was
believed that there was a Serpent Mansion where the Emperor prayed under a Jamun Tree from which
its fruits (Blackberry) dropped into the Sarovar making the sounds of ‘Jam’ and the area underneath
the Sarovara was called Jambu Dwipa!

Mandhata’s wife Bindumati was a pious woman and gave birth to Purukutsa and Muchukunda and
fifty daughters. There was an interesting Story about the daughters. Sage Saubhari a very old and
diseased person who did Tapasya under water for twelve years noticed that fishes in water were
having sex and procreating; the Muni got tempted and approached Mandhata to let any of his
daughters marry him. The Emperor was afraid that the Sage might give a ‘Shaap’ if declined and
asked that anybody among the daughters was prepared to marry the Sage; none consented as the Sage
was very old and disgusting physically with diseases. Mandhata had a problem but cleverly replied
that his family custom was that all the daughters would have to wed the same person and none should
disagree. The Sage transformed himself into a handsome youth by his mystical powers and presented
himself. All the girls vied with each other to marry him and the youthful Sage built mansions and all
of them enjoyed. But in course of time, the Sage realised that on account of the fishes in the water, his
spiritual life was ruined and although very late in life reverted back to a more introspective life and
intensified devotion to Vishnu.

Purukutsa married Narmada the sister of Serpent brothers and she took him away to Rasatala the
sub-terrain world under instruction from King Vasuki as approved by Bhagavan Vishnu to overpower
Gandharvas who invaded Rasatala and other Patala Lokas. Nagas were afraid of Gandharvas as some
six crores of the latter descended there for hunting the priceless ‘Ratnas’ / Jewels. Nagas sought
protection and prayed to Vishnu in desperation. Indeed Purukutsa succeeded and Nagas gave a boon
to Narmada that whosoever bathed in River Narmada by reciting a Shloka would be safe from Sarpa-
Visha or Snake- Poison; the Shloka states: Narmadaayai Namah Praatarnamaadaayai Namo Nisha,
Namostu Narmadey tubhyam traahimaam vishasarpatah/ (Devi Narmada! My salutations to you in
the day or night; kindly safeguard me from the fear of Serpents and their poisonous bites!) This
recitation while entering dark places as also while eating food would safeguard from any kind of
poisons thanks to Purukutsa and Narmada!

Trishanku

It was in the lineage of Purukutsa that Satyavrata or the well known Trishanku was born. The latter
kidnapped a Commoner bride from her Vivaha-Vedika or Wedding Platform and his father, King
Traiyaaruni-as prompted by Sage Vasishtha the Guru of the King, banished him for life into his
Kingdom; while living in the outskirts of the Kingdom Satyavrata adopted the ways of a Chandala or
the lowest caste of the Society. Sage Vishwamitra once left away on a long Tapasya for a period of
twelve years and as a long drawn ‘Anavrishti’ (famine) broke up in the Region, Satyavrata provided
food to the Sage’s wife and children. But the latter stole Vasishtha’s cows in his Yagna Shaala and fed
Vishwamitra’s wife and family with cow meat and the unsuspecting family ate it especially due to
hunger. Yet, on return from his Tapasya, Vishwamitra was extremely pleased and felt highly obliged
that Satyavrata supported his family for twelwe long years! But Vasishtha never excused Satyavrata
on three counts: he adopted the ways of Chandala ; he stole the cows from his Ashram and finally he
fed cow meat to the innocent and gullible family of a fellow Sage. Thus he cursed Satyavrata as
Trishanku on the basis of three unpardonable sins especially to Brahmana families! He cursed
Satyavata to become a fulfledged Chandala thus transforming his body complexion and ways of
living. But Vishwamitra espoused the cause of Satyavrata; he not only restored the latter’s original
position as a Prince but also sought him to despatch him in his mortal form to Swarga by the power of
his Tapasya. Devas refused the Prince’s entry to Swarga and the Sage took it as a challenge and
created a duplicate Swarga in the outer space near the original and thus caused the Prince to hang him
upside down creating Trishanku Swarga of the Thrice-Sinned Trishanku!

Harischandra, the son of Trishanku etched himself a unique position for truthfulness and virtue in
Indian mythology. He ruled his Kingdom with commitment and honesty on the strict lines of Dharma
and became a darling of his Subjects. But he had no offspring and prayed to Varuna Deva; the latter
blessed the King with a son no doubt but on the condition of offering the child to him in course of
time. As and when Varuna Deva reminded the King of the Sacrifice appearing as a Brahmana, the
King kept on postponing on some pretext or another. Meanwhile, Sage Vishwamitra developed
extreme jealousy and hatred to Harischandra’s Raja Guru Maharshi Vasishtha; the hatred was so
intense that they cursed each other to become birds and Lord Brahma had to intervene after a few
years and made them reverse the mutual curses. Harischandra’s son Rohitasya learnt about the
background of his birth viz. Varuna Deva’s condition that his father would have to sacrifice him to the
Deva sooner or later and fled away to forests. Varuna Deva cursed Harischandra to suffer dropsy
since the latter could not fulfil his promise. Rohitasya desired to return to take over the Kinghip. But
Indra appeared as an old Sage and advised the boy not to return to the Kingdom, lest Varuna would
not leave him for a sacrifice and suggested that he should better proceed on Tirtha Yatras to negate
the sacrifice to Varuna. Guru Vasishtha arranged that another person would be sacrificed instead of
Rohitasya and prayed Varuna to agree to the arrangement that Harishandra be freed from the disease
of dropsy. Keeping in view the background of his long standing enmity with Vasishtha, Vishwamitra
decided torment Harischandra. He approached the King that he dreamt of Harischandra’s promise to
donate his entire Kingdom to the Maharshi! The gullible King was tricked to believe of the Sage’s
dream and was packed him to Kashi along with his wife and son who had returned back after
TitrhaYatras since he was no longer required for human sacrifice. Vishwamitra tormened
Harischandra thereafter to defray an astronomical amount by way of Dakshna or fees to be paid to
him that he performed for the King in the past; his wife Chandramati and son Lohitasya had to
perform menial jobs and were sold in an auction to a house-holder subsequently; he was employed as
a bonded labour himself at a Burial Ground; his son was dead in a snake bite while the wife brought
the dead body of the son to the same burial ground where Harischandra was a bonded worker; she
had to sell her ‘Mangal Sutra’or the precious possession of a house wife, and even had to tear off half
of her sari to meet the expenses of the burial ! Such were the extreme tests of fate that Harischandra
put to all due to his determination to follow what his conscience had demanded and finally succeeded
as Lord Vishnu, Indra and Devas appeared when finally Chandramati was forced to take away the rest
of her saree to pay for the last rites of the dead son! As he and his wife stood the tests bravely they
attained Vaikuntha as their Example was indeed a banchmark to the posterity! Rohitasya was brought
back to life and was made the King.

Muchukunda who too belonged to the ancestry of King Ikshwaku was the able Commander of the
Army of Devas in a series of battles with Daityas for long time completely disregarding his family
and personal health. Indra expressed his gratitude and asked him for a boon. As he was so tired and
sleepy, Muchukunda asked Indra to let him sleep and the latter agreed especially because one Deva
year was equal to three sixty five human ears and that would provide Muchukunda ample rest. Indra
also gave a boon that none should disturb his sleep and if some bodydid so that person would be burnt
as ash. Muchukunda descended to Earth from Swarga and selected a Mountain cave to sleep.
Meanwhile, Vishnu assumed the Incarnation of Krishna and killed innumerable Forces of Evil on
Earth. The most vicious of the Kings of the times Kamsa was killed by Krishna and the enraged King
Jarasandha decided to uproot Krishna. Since he and his fellow Kings might not be able to do so, he
sought the friendship of Kala Yavana the valiant and cruel Yavana King ; the combined army
surrounded Mathura where his grand father was reigning under the care of Krishna. Just before the
battle was to commence, Krishna left the Mathura Fort by a leisurely walk and Kala Yavana was
puzzled and followed Krishna who entered a Cave. Kala Yavana too entered thinking that Krishna
was a schemy person and shoul be vary of his mischivous plans. The cave was pitch dark and there
was no trace of Krishna. Suddenly the Yavana stumbled a human body and the latter growled with
shouting anger. Muchukunda got disturbed from sleep and as he opened his eyes, Kala Yavana was
burnt like a soft wood into a heap of ash, in keeping with Indra’s boon that who so ever disturbed
Muchkunda would be burnt alive as ash. Then Krishna made his appearance and Muchukunda
recognised Bhagavan who instructed the latter to move to the Ashram of Nara Narayana in
‘Badarikashrama’ to perform Tapasya till his attainment of Mukti.

The stories of Chyavana Muni and Sukanya, King Nabhaga, Pradyumna and Ila Devi
Vaivaswata Manu’s another son Saryati gave birth to Sukanya. The latter when she came of age
visited a forest once along with her companions and playfully prierced into a bush while amused
about what she thought were glowing worms. But they were actually the eyes of a Muni named
Chyavana performing Tapas with eyes wide open and in the process got blinded. The girl got
confused when blood oozed out from the bush and ran away. The blinded Muni realised that a young
princess did the indiscretion and gave a Shaap that the entire military force of the King should suffer
with stoppage of their excretions. Meanwhile Sukanya conveyed to the King of her playful rashness
and of the Muni’s shaap. King Saryati along with Sukanya approached the Muni and prostrated to
him seeking unreserved pardon; the King offered the young Sukanya to wed the old Muni so that she
could serve the Muni in his blindness. In course of time, Sukanya got used to family life serving the
blind Muni in his daily puja and other chores. She excelled herself in her ‘Pativratya’ or undisputed
devotion to her husband.

One day, the two Ashvini Kumars who were the Physicians of Devas passed by the Ashram of
Chyavana Muni and were highly impressed with the selfless and ideal service being performed by
Sukanya as an example of Pativratya. They cured the Muni’s blindness and the grateful Chyavana
offered a boon to the Ashvini Kumars. The latter desired that they would like to have access to
‘Amrit’which was provided to Devas but was denied to them. Chyavana Muni made a request to Indra
but he refused. The Muni took up this as an insult to him and performed an elaborate Yagna an favour
of Brahma Deva and the latter who was pleased by the Muni’s Yagna instructed Ashvini Kumars to
accord the same status to Devas and thus have access to the drink of Amrita eversince.

King Nabhaga was refused of material wealth: Vaivaswata’s another son King Nabhaga advised his
youngest son Junior Nabhaga to perform a sincere yagna in favour of the Planetary Heads since the
junior Nabhaga received a raw deal by his elder brothers in the apportionment of the King’s wealth
when the senior Nabhaga proceeded to Vanaprastha. The Planetary Heads-the Ashta Dikpalakas- were
very pleased with the Yagna and granted enormous wealth. But when the wealth in the form of
Bhumi, Rajya, gold, Dhanya, Dhana, and Vahanas was about to be accepted by the junior Nabhaga , a
dark and short Swarupa with a frightful face and offensive tone objected to receive the wealth so
granted to him. Indeed that dark and dreadful person was Lord Shiva himself chiding the junior
Nabhaga who preferred material wealth to Spiritual Prosperity!

King Pradyumna / Ila Devi: Vaivaswata Manu’s son Vishshta performed a Yagna to secure a son
under the supervision of Sage Mitra Varuna but due to a mistake of the ‘Hota’of the Yagna, a
daughter was conceived to the Queen instead of a son. But the Mantrik powers of the Sage, the
daughter was converted as a boy named Pradyumna. As the latter became a King eventually, he went
on a hunting spree to a forest and entered a prohibited area in the forest despite warnings; that was a
very private area where Shiva-Parvati spent time together and the warning was that who ever entered
there would become a woman. As per Shiva’s instruction, the King became a woman and had to enter
the Royal Palace surrepticiously. Pradyumna callled Sage Vasishtha for help and the latter performed
Tapas to please Lord Shiva. The Bhagavan bestowed a dispensation to the King that he would be a
male for half year and a female for another half when she would be called Ila. During the woman-
hood, Budha the son of Chandra Deva met Ila and their wedding resulted in the birth of King
Pururava who was the foremost King in the Chandra Vamsha to be described later.
Other famed Kings of the Surya Vamsha

King Vidurath discovered a huge cavity of Earth in a forest in his Kingdom. A Muni in the forest
informed that there was a demon of Patala called Kujrumbha made several such cavities in the forest
through which the demon entered and killed the passers by including animals. The Muni however
cautioned the King that the demon had a potent weapon named Sunanda-a Mushala or a Mace which
was originally built by Twashta Prajapati. He further told the King that the Mushala w On return to
the Royal Court, the King consulted his Ministers and asked his sons to take large contingents of
soldiers and kill thd demon after locating him. The demon destroyed the army and imprisoned the
Princes. He also managed to abduct the Princess from the Fort and out of bravado stated that none
could do any harm to him till he possessed Sunanda the Mace and thus forced her to marry him. But
the Princess knew about the ineffectiveness of the Mace if touched by a woman. The King announced
that whosoever could free the princess from the custody of the demon would be wedded to her. An
intrepid youth named Vatsandra came forward and killed the demon, since the Mace was ineffective
as it was already touched by the princess while being kidnapped. The princess and the youth got
married happily.

King Vishal of Vidisha Kingdom was blessed with an extraordinarily pretty Princess named Vaishali.
The King announced a ‘Swayamvara’ or bride’s choice for marriage and many eligible Princes
attended the function. One Prince named Aveekshith or the one who was not viewed by any malefic
Graha / Planet in his birth chart tried to take away the Princess by force. But those other aspirants who
attended the function over powered Aveekshith and imprisoned him. The King then proceeded with
the Swayamvara but Vaishali insisted on selecting Aveekshi only. Meanwhile the King Kardama the
father of the imprisoned youth attacked Vidisha and freed; the Prince felt humiliated and decided not
to wed Vaishali. The disappointed Princess declared that she would wed the Prince or none else! She
retired to a hermitage in a forest and performed Tapasya. Devas were happy with her devotion and
blessed her with the boon of begetting a famous son who would rule the whole Sapta Dwipas soon.
Vaishali wondered that after all she vowed of celibacy excepting Aveekshith. Even while she was
thinking about her vow, a demon called Dhrutakesha tried to kidnap Vaishali and a passing Prince
Aveekshith fought the demon and saved the Princess. On mutual consent, the married as per the
Gadharva way and gave birth to a celebrated son called Marut who indeed became the Supreme
Sovereign of the Sapta Dwipas.

Marut Chakravarti not only controlled Sapta Dwipas but also the Sky, Prithvi, Pataala Lokas and all
the ‘Jalasthaanaas’ or wherever water existed. He performed thousands of Yagnas under the
supervision of Samvarta Muni the son of Angirasa Maharshi and the brother of Brihaspati the Deva
Guru. The Yagnas were lavish glittered with gold and jewellery. Brahmanas who were proverbially
poor full of family needs and unfulfilled desires were surfeit with Dhana-Dhanya-Vastu-Vahana-
Kanakas or cash-foodgrains-material wealth-chariots, horses, elephants and other carriages. The
Chakravarti’s sovereignty was at peak when Dharma or Virtue reigned, human desires were nil,
Varnashrama Rules were predominant, sins were the lowest and Peace and Contentment were the
watch-words. In this idyllic atmosphere however, the ‘Raja Mata’ (Royal Grandmother) sent a
precautionary note to Marut and his father Avikshith that there were some lapses in Security
arrangements of the Empire as some stray cases of poison deaths of Brahmana Vidyarthis or Students
by Nagas from Naga Loka. This information infuriated the Chakravarti and made elaborate
preparations to attack Naga loka and destroy it all together. The Naga Kings were worried and
tightened the behaviour of the miscreant elements in Naga loka and apologised to the Chakravati who
was however adamant. They also approached Aveekshith for intervention and protection. Marut
emphasised ‘Raja Dharma’ to protect his Subjects and decided to go ahead with the attack of the Naga
Loka while the father pleaded mercy to the ‘Sharanaarthis’ or those who erred but sought pardon
which too was an ‘Ashrita Dharma’ of Kshatriyas. Both the son and father took uncompromising
postures and the ‘Raja Mata’ intervened and prevented ego-clashes of the Son and Father. Meanwhile,
those miscreant serpents were rattled that due to their mischief the entire Naga Race faced the huge
problem of destruction and by utilising the Mantra Shakti of the Naga experts revived the lives of the
dead Brahmana Vidyarthis thus putting a lid on the controversial storm.

Origin of Chandra,wedding, Shaapa, re-emergence and Stories of his Vamsha
Maharshi Atri performed Tapasya for thousand Divya years and pushed up his virility and the
magnificent deposit in the form of drops from his eyes spread out outstanding illumination in all over
the ten directions. Realising the unique development, Brahma facilitated the emergence of Chandra
Swarupa and provided to him a Chariot to traverses across the entire Universe.Chandra made twenty
one full circles from Prithvi to Great Samudra and in the process transmitted extreme luminosity
which when it touched Bhumi created ‘Anna’ or Foodgrains and derivatives like seeds, herbs,
Aoushadhis and so on. Brahma made him in-charge of Brahmanas and their activities. He organised
an unprecedented Rajasuya Yagna which was attended by a galaxy of Devas and Maharshis, besides
lakhs of Brahmanas who were showered with gifts and ‘Dakshinas’ or cash money. Nine illustrious
women like Sini, Kuhu, Dyuti, Pushti, Prabha, Kirti, Dhriti and so on. At the time of his Avabhruta
Snaana or Sacred Bathing to mark the Grand Finale of the Yagna, Chandra was like a personification
of humility and honesty. But soon Chandra changed his attitude due to conceit and power; he
committed the ‘Mahapataka’ or a great Sin of enticing Devi Tara, the wife of Deva Guru. Brihaspati,
other Devas and Brahma himself chided his nasty and immoral acivity to no avail. Shukracharya the
Asura Guru espoused the cause of Chandra and Tara and a fight broke out between Asuras and Devas
as Deva Guru headed the Deva Sena (Army). In course of time, Tara was conceived and Brihaspati
insisted that the delivery should not be in his residence til Tara’s delivery and that she could join him
after delivery.

Then Budha was born and he grew as an extraordinarily learned Vidwan of Veda-Vedanga-Shastras.
Brahma was impressed with Budha and thus appointed him as a fulfledged Graha or Planet. Budha
performed great Tapasya to atone the sin of his parents. Brahma considering Chandra’s arrogance
and selfishness, made Budha’s placement in the firmament right opposite to that of his father’s but
Budha was friendly with Ravi and Shukra. Budha fell in love with Ila, a beautiful young woman, little
realising that she was actually the King Sudyumna a pious ruler of his Subjects. The King entered into
a forest not knowing that it was a forbidden place as Shiva and Parvati spent their privacy and the ban
was that any male entering there would become a female. Thus the King became a beautiful woman
but due to shyness did not return to his kingdom. Sage Vasishta who was the Raja Guru of King
Sudyumna came to know of the curse and performed severe Tapasya to Maha Deva. Meanwhile,
Budha met Ila per chance and married her and begot a child called Pururava. By then Vasishta was
fortunate to secure Maha Deva Shiva’s ‘darshan’ and requested that his King be returned to manhood.
Shiva granted a partial dispensation that Sudyumna would become a male for half a year and during
the second half continue as Ila Devi.

Pururava after Sudyumana’s retirement proved to be a model King administering the Kingdom on
the strict principles of Virtue as prescribed in Veda-Shastras. Meanwhile, Apsarasa Urvasi, a Celestial
Damsel received a curse that she would have to leave to Earth for a fixed term and since she had the
knowledge of youthful Kings in Bharata Desha she seduced Pururava and expressed her consent to
marry him on three conditions viz. she would consume only ghee or classified butter, that she would
not view her bare body except in bed and that he should take ample care of two sheep brought by her
from Gandharva Loka. Mesmerised by her charm Pururava observed the conditions totally. But in
course of time, her hold over him got somewhat diluted due to the urgent demands of governance.
Also the tenure of the Sage’s curse was over; Indra’s men stole her sheep and the King did not pay
much attention. He chased a few thieves in his Palace and he himself ran to chase them almost unclad
and the celestial ‘thieves’ outsmarted him.Urvasi got terribly upset as Pururava broke the contract on
all the three counts and left him to return to Heaven. Pururava was fustrated as the pangs of seperation
were so severe that in distress wandered aimlessly. By chance he saw Urvashi at Kurukshetra again
and she explained to him that her wedding with him was of purely temporary nature and that he would
have to get over his infatuation.

Jahnu was in the lineage of Pururava whom Devi Ganga desired to marry; despite his disinterst as he
wanted to marry Kaverti, she changed her course and flowed upto an Yagna Shaala where King Jahnu
was performing a SarpaYagna. Jahnu was annoyed and drank her up. The Maharshis begged of Jahnu
to release her as his daughter and the released Ganga thus secured the encomium as Jahnavi.
Nahusha who was also in the lineage of Pururava had the distinction of peforming ninety nine
Ashwamedha Yagnas and was nearly qualified to become Indra who should have executed hundred
Yagnas. Meanwhile there was a temoporary vacancy of Indratwa since Indra fled away since he killed
Vritrasura with the help of the Vajrayudha made out of Sage Dadhichis’s backbone; Vritrasura who
was a Brahmana by birth and Brahma Hatya Sin chased Indra. Brahma thus appointed Nahusha as
temporary Indra. Nahusha who was originally a King of Great Virtue bacame arrogant and power-
mongering as he became Indra and claimed all the privileges belonging to Indra like Vajrayudha,
Iravata the Elephant and even Indra’s wife Sachi Devi. Nahusha insisted that Sachi Devi be his keep!
Sachi Devi was non-plussed at this proposal. As advised by Deva Guru Brihaspati, she asked
Nahusha to come to her residence but he should do so just as Indra was in the habit of arriving at her
residence by a Palki (Palanquin) which actually was carried by Maharshis. Nahusha was excited to
reach her Palace quickly and having got into the palanquin commanded Agastya Muni to reach him to
Sachi Devi’s Place at once; he said ‘Sarpa Sarpa’ meaning ‘Quick, Quick’ and in the process gave a
kick to the Muni to go fast. Asgastya purposively misunderstood the word and converted the arrogant
Nahusha as an Ajagara (Python) and dropped the latter to the depths of Bhuloka into thick forests. As
a repentant Nahusha begged of clemency, the Maharshi granted a reprieve that the ‘Shaapa
Vimochana’ would be possible only when Pandavas reached the forest for twelve long years before
their ‘Ajnaata Vasa’ or Unknown Destiny having lost a bet in the ‘Maya Juda’ or wilful game of
chess. As Draupadi desired to secure a Sugandhika Flower Bheema got into a pond and the Ajagara
caught him and agreed to release him only if he gave correct replies to the Serpent’s queries.
Yudhishtara had to arrive and release Bhima and Nahusha alike. Meanwhile Brihaspati and Agastya
found that Indra was hiding in a lotus stem in Mana Sarovara Lake and brought him back and prayed
to Brahma who exonerated Nahusha from the Brahma Hatya Sin on the ground that Vitra was no
boubt a Brahmana but committed sins of killing several virtuous and innocent persons.
Yayati, the son of Nahusha and his wife Viraja, was a famed Emperor who defeated all the Kings of
the World and married Devayani the daughter of Asura Guru Shukracharya, besides Sharmishtha the
daughter of Vishvaparva, a Rakshasa King. Indra was pleased to gift Yayati a Divine Chariot with
seven powerful horses with which he traversed the world and divided his Empire into seven divisions
to distribute it among five of his sons. A Maharshi gave a boon that if any of his sons could agree to
exchange their youth to his old age then he could secure a fresh lease of youth. His eldest son Yadu
from Devayani refused and so did others excepting Sharmishtha’s son Puru who readily agreed.
Yayati took over Puru’s youth and enabled him travel around to unravel earthly pleasures for long.
But finally returned discovering that the ephemeral joys of the world were endless like Agni in a
Homa kunda assuming larger and larger proportions as long as ghee is served and no human would be
satisfied with food, gold, ornaments or women. By so realising, he returned his youth to Puru and
took to Vanaprastha or retirement.

Kartaveeryarjuna in the Haihava Vamsha from the lineage of Yadu was an illustrious and powerful
Chakravarti who pleased Indra and obtained thousand mighty hands. The origin of Haihava Vamsha
was interesting: Once Surya Deva’s son Revanta rode on the Celestial Horse named ‘Ucchaishwara’
which was manifested in the course of ‘Kshira Samudra Mathana’ or the churning of the Ocean of
Milk. As Revanta reached Vaikuntha, Devi Lakshmi recognised the co-born horse and was engrossed
in her thoughts even as she was in intimate conversation with Lord Vishnu. The latter did not like the
interference and her thoughts and hence gave a ‘shaap’ (curse) that she would become a mare as she
was lost in indifference to him. Lakshmi Devi requested her companion Parvati to persuade Vishnu to
become a horse. The animal forms of Lakshmi and Vishnu gave birth to a male child in the forest and
the boy was picked up by King Yayati’s son Turvasu (Hari Varma) who was performing Tapasya for
several years for a son of celebrity; that boy was named Eka Vira who later became the King. Eka
Vira fell in love with Princess Ekavali the daughter of King Raibhya but a demon Kalaketu kidnapped
her and taken away to Patala; the companion of the Princess called Yasovati however knew a Seed
Mantra which she learnt from Dattareya by means of which Eka Vira reached Patala, killed Kalaketu
and married the Princess. The son of Eka Vira and Ekavali was Kartaveeryarjuna who became the
famed and undisputed Chakravarti eventually.His valour was such that in an encounter with
Ravanasura the villian of Ramayana subdued and arrested the latter’s Ten-Heads under his mighty
arms and released him only when Maharshi Pulastya made an appeal for mercy! The Chakravarti was
no doubt famed universally as he ruled with Dharma as his cardinal principle but in due course of
time, he became too vainglorious and over-domineering. Once he gifted a huge forest to Agni Deva
and the latter comsumed it to satisfy his pleasure; but unfortunately for Agni and the Chakravarti,
Maharshi Vasishta’s Ashram too was burnt off and the Maharshi gave a ‘shaap’to Karta-veeryarjuna
that soon enough Vishnu’s incarnation as Parashurama would appear and the over-inflated
Chakravati would be destroyed , especially because the latter came to ill-treat and even torment
Rishis, Brahmanas and the majority of his Subjects. Indeed the curse took shape and Parashurama was
born. On one occasion, Kartaveerya visited the Ashram of Maharshi Jamadagni the father of Paraush
Rama when the latter was away in Tapasya. As the King and his army landed at the Ashram,
Jamadagni provided hospitality an served nice food to the King and the Army, thanks to the Celestial
Cow Kamadhenu was present there in the Ashram serving food to the students of Jamadagni. The
King claimed the Cow as the Ashram was in the control of the Kingdom. As an altercation between
the Maharshi and the King followed, the King went back but sent his army to overpower the Maharshi
and the Kamadhenu and in the encounted that followeed, Jamadagni was killed and the Celestial Cow
flew off to Swarga. On return from Tapasya., Parashurama learnt of his father’s cold-blooded murder
and in extreme anguish and anger attacked Kartaveerya and killed him. Not satisfied still,
Parashurama invaded the Kings of the nook and corner of Bharat in as many as tewnty one battles and
uprooted the entire clan of Kshatriyas who all by that time earned the disrepute and hatred of the
virtuous Subjects of the respective Kingdoms.

Parashurama’s encounter with Ganesha

After avenging his father’s death and the massacre of the erring Kshatriyas, Parashurama desired to
personally pay homage to Bhagavan Shiva and reached Kailasa; he witnessed Nandeeswara, Maha
Kaala, Ruru Bhairava, Rudraganas and Bhuta-Preta-Piscachas but finally Ganesha stopped him. All
kinds of requests, and prayers failed and Ganesha refused entry to Bhargava Rama as Devi Parvati
and Shiva were engaged in privacy. Finally, the latter lifted his Parashu (axe) and tried to force his
entry; Ganesha lifted his trunk , looped Parashurama with it and encircled him round and round where
by Bhargava visioned Sapta Dwipas, Sapta Parvatas, Sapta Samudras and Sapta Lokas viz.Bhur-
Bhuvar-Swara-Janar-Tapo-Dhruva-Gouri Lokas and Vaikuntha / and Golokas. In the process, the
mighty Parashurama hit one of Ganesha’s tusks with the Parashu that Maha Deva once gifted to
Bhragava and the tusk fell off and blood gushed out. The resting parents of Ganesha were shocked as
Kartikeya rushed and informed them. Parvati’s first reaction was to kill Parashurama but being the
Loka Mata or the Mother of the Universe restrained herself and addresed Parashurama as follows:
‘You are born in Brahma Vamsha to one of the illustrious sons Maharshi Jamadagni and to Devi
Renuka of Lakshmi ‘Amsha’or alternate Form of Devi Lakshmi. How did you do this to my son!
Shiva is your Guru since he taught Trailokya Vijaya Kavacha and countless Asrtras to you. Is this the
Guru Dakshina that you thought fit to give your Guru! You could have perhaps given a better
Dakshina by cutting Ganesha’s head instead of breaking his tusk only! My son Ganesha has the power
of destroying crores of cunning animals like you but was only playful with you; yet,you have only
wantonly hurt himby breaking his tusk-not as an accident but with vengeance; you may know that he
recieves the foremost worship all over the Universe!’ As Parvati addressed on the above lines,
Parashurama felt ashamed of himself, prostrated to his Guru Shiva and Devi Parvati and the Almighty
Shri Krishna the Immortlal. Meanwhile a Brahmana boy was visioned who actually was Vishnu who
analysed the situation; indeed there was no justification of what Parashurama did to Ganesha but
Parashurama was momentarily taken aback by folly as otherwise he was also like Ganesha or Skanda!
Vishnu therefore pleaded being the Universal Parents might not read much into the happening. Vishnu
also assauged the hurt feelings of Parvati and requested her not to impose personal angles into the
unhappy situation; He further said that her son had Eight names viz. Ganesha, Ekadanta, Heramba,
Vighna nayaka, Lambodara, Shurpakarna, Gajavaktra and Guhaagraja! Parashurama pleaded mercy
of Parvati since she was Jagan Mata or the Mother of Creation and begged of Ganesha for pardon of
his indiscretion; Ganesha was graceful enough to agree of partial responsibility and the episode was
closed happily.

Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrisimha, Vamana and Parashurama Avataras

An ‘Avatara’ (Incarnation) is like the lighting of a lamp from another lamp; like-wise, Bhagavan is a
manifestation of same Bhagavan suited to specific purpose and particular end-use. Among such
Avatars of Vishnu, the first well-known manifestation of Matsya which retrieved the Sacred Vedas
stolen from Brahma by Makarasura, the son of Kashyapa Muni by Diti, one of his four wives besides
Aditi, Kadru and Vineeta; Diti’s other sons included Hayagriva, Hiranyaksha, Hiranya kashipu,
Jamba, Maya etc. Makarasura dived deep into the depths of ‘Maha Sagara’ (The Great Ocean) along
with the Vedas and other Scriptures, in the absence of which the entire order of ‘Samsara’ (Universe)
was totally affected: there were no ‘Chatur Varnas’; no Yagnas, Swadhaayas, Vashatkara and the
Sacred Rites thus upsetting the Equilibrium of Universal Traditions and Religious / Spiritual
Practices. This led to the inevitable Avatara as the Preserver of the Universal Order. By assuming the
form of a huge Fish, Vishnu entered the Ocean, killed Makarasura and recovered Vedas and Dharma.
Following a curse given by Maharshi Durvasa, son of Sage Atri, to Indra as the latter ignored the
Maharshi while passing by an elephant, Devi Lakshmi in the form of Rajya Lakshmi, deserted Indra
Loka and the magnificence of Swarga vanished. As Devas, Indra and Brahma approached Vishnu,
Narayana suggested that one way to recall Rajya Lakshmi to Swarga would be to resort to a massive
churning of the Ocean involving not only Devas but also Danavas, Rakshasas, Gandhtavas and
Yakshas. The temptation to Danavas etc. should be to obtain ‘Amrit’ although there might be several
other products of lesser consequence that might emerge as deftly conveyed to the Danavas. The
arrangement of the ‘Samudra Mathana’was that Manthara Mountain was to be set as the churning rod,
Maha Sarpa Vasuki was the string with which to tie up the Mountain and Bhagavan himself as
balancing Shakti as the Avatar of Kurma (Tortoise) to ensure that the Meru Mountain would be made
stable and steady. As the churning started, innumerable of the proud Danavas who opted for the head
of thousand faced Vasuki out of pride got perished due to the poisonous flames where as Devas were
at the tail end. Eventally, a massive ‘Halahala’ or the sky-rocketing poisonous flames engulfed the
Univerese and by the grace of Three Names of Lord Vishnu viz. Om Achyutaya Namah, Om
Anantaya Namah and Om Govindaya Namah, Bhagavan Shankara gulped the blue poisonous flames
in his throat thus giving him the epithet of Neela Kantha. By the power of the three names of Vishnu,
there would never be any hardship faced: Achyutaananta Govinda iti naamatrayam Maha Mantram
hareh/ yo japetpriyato Bhaktaayaa Pranavaadhyam namontakam/ Tasya Mrityu bhayam naasti
visharogaagnijam mahat/ Naamatrayam Maha Mantramjapedyam prayatatmavaan/ Kaala Mrityu
bhayam chaapi tasya naasti kimanyatah (Whoever recites the Three Names viz. Om Achyutaaya, Om
Anantaaya, and Om Govindaaya sincerely and with dedication, none of the poisonous diseases or
Agni- based frights/deaths would affect)! As the churning continued, Maha Lakshmi’s elder sister
Daridra Devi appeared and was directed to stay in the homes of quarrels, Adharmas, violences and
sins as also in the residences where residents of such homes in both the ‘Sandhya’ timings. As the
further churning made progress, there emerged Varuni Devi, Nagaraja Ananta, GarudaPatni, Apsaras,
Gandhavas, Iravata, Ucchaaishrava Ashwa, Dhanvantari, Parijaata Tree, Surabhi, Maha Lakhsmi,
Chandra and Devi Tulasi. All the Devas and Brahma requested Maha Lakshmi to be seated on Maha
Vishnu’s Lotus-like Heart where the whole World would worship on Ekadashi and Dwadashi days.
Devas and Brahma eulogized Kurma Rupa Vishnu and requested him to provide shield to Sesha Nag
and ‘Diggajaas’or the Four Directional Elephants as also Bhu Devi all reting on the permanent Avatar
of Maha Kurma. While the primary reason in the Kurma Avatar was the resurgence of Maha Lakshmi
and her manifestation of Rajya Lakshmi who disappeared in Swaraga pursuant to Durvasa’s curse to
Indra Deva, another major fall-out of ‘Ksheera Sagara Mathana’was the emergence of ‘Amrit’ meant
for Devas, which again was distributed by Devi Mohini, another manifestation of Vishnu.

As Hiranyaakasha, the mighty son of Devi Diti pulled up Bhu Devi and dragged her into the depths of
the Ocean down deep into the netherland of Rasatala, Lord Vishnu assumed the incarnation of Maha
Varaha and killed him. Devi Prithvi heaved a great sigh of relief and prayed to Him saying that he
was her rediscovery, her mighty ‘Adhara’ or the Hold, his unique rescuer and without her existence
was unreal. Since Devi Prithvi was about to sink but for his timely mercy, she was popularly called
Madhavi or the Lord as Madhava. Siince Maha Varaha roared as an acknowledgement of her ‘Stuti’,
the resultant sounds were heard as Sama Veda and he lifted the Earth by his horns in one single ‘go’
and leapt up from Rasatala to restore her back into her original position when Devas showered
flowers and Maharshis recited Vedas, describing the Lord’s playful deeds.They said that the distance
between the Underworld, Prithi and Sky was the only comprehensible Place that one’s imagination
knew as spread over by Him, but the Unknown still remained a great mystery or Maya! Even as
Maha Varaha placed Bhu Devi as a mammoth ship on the endless water, Bhagavan made divisions of
Sapta Dwipas and materialized the four Lokas afresh viz. Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Swarloka and
Maharloka and Lord Brahma resumed his task of Creation.

As Hiranyaaksha was killed, his brother Hiranyakashipu reached Meru Giri and did ruthless Tapasya
for thousand ‘Deva’years and pleased Parama Shiva with the Panchakshari Mantra ‘Om Namah
Shivaaya’ and secured the very exhaustive boon of victory over ‘Mrityu’(death) from Devatas,
Asuras, Human Beings, Gandharvas, Nagas, Rakshasas, Animals, Birds, Reptiles, Siddhas, Yakshas,
Vidyadharas, and Kinnaras, Diseases and ‘Astra-Shastras’. Armed by the all comprehensive boon,
Hiranyakashipu had truly turned to be the Over-Lord of the whole Universe keeping all the Lokas
under his control, commanding Devas and even‘Pancha Bhutas’. He had declared that he should be
worshipped in Temples and Yagnas be performed in his name! In course of time, he was blessed with
a son named Prahlada and as the latter came of the tender age of a boy was sent to Gurukula where all
the glories of Danavas were taught. But Prahlada was a staunch Vaishnava with supreme dedication to
Narayana. When he returned from his early spell of Gurukula to his father, he stunned the latter when
he was all praise for Vishnu and affirmed that Vishnu was the unique driving force of Universal
Existence and that he was the Eternal, Timeless, Indestructible, All- Pervading, Omni Potent and
Omni-scient Paramatma. Hiranyakashipu was in great rage that his opponent Vishnu who killed his
brother Hiranyaksha was being praised in his presence and was about to kill the boy’s Guru; Prahlada
confirmed that his Guru tried his very best to divert him from Narayana to his own father as the
Supreme but failed and thus the Guru was spared. Then Hiranyakashipu himself sought to tutor the
boy by cajoling him, endearing him, self-praising his own achievements and so on. He utilized the
Sama (Advice and Mild reproach), Bheda (seeking to divide Vishnu as an Evil Force and himself as
an Almighty), Daana (gifts of whatever nature on Earth or elsewhere) and even ‘Danda’ by way of
punishment. But, Prahlada never ever relented and continued to extol the virtues of Vishnu. As his
father lost all his patience, he resorted to measures of deadly nature and Prahlada’s conviction too got
redoubled. The paternal care and affection of Hiranya -kashipu were totally replaced by hatred,
vengeance and retaliation for his son who turned out to be his sworn enemy; he exposed him to
poisonous snakes which gave him the kiss of death but Prahlada survived while extolling Narayana;
he threw him into the cages of tigers which ate up his limbs but still the Parama Bhakta survived
singing hymns of Govinda; he got the tender boy crushed under elephants but still the matchless
follower of Madhusudana survived praising the Leelas of Keshava; he threw him from high mountain
tops but still the most trusted devotee survived rejoicing the ecstasy of Madhava’s glories! Finally,
Hiranyakashipu got on to his wits’ end; he said that if Vishnu were ‘Sarva Vyapi’ (All Pervasive), he
asked Prahlada to show that Narayana any where, say in that Pillar and broke it with his mace, or
otherwise he would most certainly stop Prahlada’s breathing. As though there were earth quakes and
storms, there emerged the most fearful Man-Lion, Narasimha, who had half-body as a giant- like
Lion roaring in a manner that the whole World trembled and the other half like a colossal human
being as a personification of ‘Mrityu’ with mighty thighs and legs; the Strange Creation which was
neither human nor leonine lifted the massive body of the Danava on his thighs and tore him into
pieces with sharp nails and hefty hands, rejoicing the drink of the victim’s blood and eating chunks of
his meat! No doubt, Devatas were overjoyed at the death of the Danava but were terrified to vision the
unusual form of Nrisimha and prayed to him to cool down; they prayed to Devi Lakshmi to pacify the
Lord who made efforts to pacify his anger; Prahlada who too was in shock was declared the King to
revive Dharma again.

As the grandson of King Prahlada, the illustrious Danava King Bali (son of Virochana), was born as a
devout Vaishnava and ‘Dharmajna’ but at the same time as an enormous warrior who defeated Devas
and Marudganas and controlled the Three Lokas. But in King Bali’s regime, his ‘Praja’ (the Public)
was extremely happy when Lord Varuna gave optimal rains, Devi Prithvi yielded excellent crops,
cows gave maximum milk, and there was alround Prosperity and Peace.As King Bali was a highly
dedicated to Srihari, the usual bitterness among the Pubic and the Establishment was absent and the
values of ‘Dharma’ and ‘Nyaya’ (Virtue and Justice) in the Society were intact. But Lord Indra was
dislodged from his throne and so were the various Devas. Sage Kashyapa and Devi Aditi prayed to
Shrihari and requested to do justice to Devas and Indra as King Bali used ‘Maya’ to worship Vishnu
and at the same time kept Indra and Devas aloof from Swarga cleverly and keeping the best of all the
Three worlds with him! Kashyapa thus requested Vishnu to be born to the former and Aditi and by
resorting the same kind of Maya, bestow his Throne and Indratwa to to Indra! Bhagavan agreed to be
born to Aditi and Kashyapa as Vamana Avatar. As Vamana grew up as a Brahmachari, he learnt
Vedas and other Scriptures and sporting ‘Mriga Charma’ (Skin of a Deer), Danda (Stick) and wooden
footwear appeared at the Yagna being performed by King Bali and asked for a mere three feet of land
as Bhu daan (charity of Land).Daithya Guru Shukracharya warned that this short man Vamana was a
fake and was Bhagavan Vishnu himself. King Bali stated that if the Brahmachari was Vishnu himself,
which other greater fortune there could be! Vamana then assumed a sky-high proportion of body and
measured one foot as the entire Prithvi with land, Samudra, Parvat, Dwip, etc totalling fifty koti
Yojanas (13-16 kilo mtr. perYojana); by way of the ‘Dwiteeya Pada’(second foot space), Vamana
Deva counted the Nakshtras, Grahas (Planets), Devalokas, Brahmaloka etc. But the second foot still
fell short of the required size of the second foot.Brahma had the opportunity of Vishnu’s ‘Maha
Vishwa Darshan’. As there was no space for the third foot, Vishnu Deva pushed Bali’s head down to
Rasatala and made him the King of Danavas, Nagas and water-based Beings till the end of the Kalpa!
Maharshi Jamadagni of Bhrugu Vamsha did Tapsya and pleased Surabhi the Celestial Cow and was
extremely contented as the Holy Cow fulfilled all his desires and enjoyed a contented life. He married
Devi Renuka and performed a Putra Kaameshti Yagna and was blessed with the son named Parashu
Rama. After his ‘Upanayana Samskara’ and Gayatri Upadesha, he performed rigorous Tapasya,
pleased Kashyapa who taught the Avinashi Mantra Om Namo Narayanaya Namah and performed
Yagnas, Daanaas etc. One day, Haihaya King Kartavirya happened to visit the Ashram of Jagadagni
and was impressed with Surabhi as the Cow that could fulfil all desires and wished to take it away by
force. Surabhi killed the King’s army and reverted back to Swargaloka. The King grew angry and
killed Jamadagni. There Parashurama secured from Lord Vishnu, a ‘Parashu’ (axe), Vaishnava
Dhanush and Shastra-Astras and instructed him to lessen the weight on Earth of highly crazy and
egoistic Kshatriyas by killing them. On return to the Ashram, he found his father killed by
Kartaviryarjuna and rushed to the latter’s Kingdom, killed him, and went all out on a spree of killing
Kshatriayas to completely uproot their clans (except Ikshvaku Vamsa as per his mother’s request). As
Shi Rama pulled down Shiva Dhanush, Parashu Rama surfaced again and challenged Rama to break
Vaishnava Dhanush and when Rama did it, retired to the Ashram of Nara-Narayana thereafter.

Quick retrospective of Ramayana

Swayambhu Manu preformed Tapasya to Lord Vishnu for thousand years and when the latter
appeared, Manu desired that he would like to have Vishnu as his son. The Lord agreed and said that in
fact as a part of the task of Preservation of ‘Dharma’ (Virtue), he would like to appear on Earth from
time to time as and when Dharma was threatened and Evil Forces gathered momentum; he said:
Paritranaaya Sadhunaam Vinaasaaya cha Dushkrutaam, Dharma samsthaapanaarthaaya
sambhavaami yuge yugey! (I shall no doubt take human birth to revive Dharma and punish Evil from
time to time). As promised by Vishnu, Swayambhu was born in Raghukula as King Dasaratha and
became the father of Shri Rama in Treta Yuga, as Vasudeva in Yadava Kula in DwaparaYuga and one
thousand Divya Years hence as Brahmana Harigupta in Samhal Village in Kali Yuga. The two
brothers Hirankaksha and Hiranyakashipu of the Satya Yuga were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna
in Treta Yuga. Muni Pulastya’s son was Muni Vishvava and the latter’s wife was Kaikashi; Ravana
and Kumbhakarna were born to Vishvava and Kaikeshi. Kaikeshi also gave birth to Surpanakha and
later on to the virtuous devotee of Narayana, Vibhishana. Ravana brothers performed severe Tapasya
and secured boons of invincibility from Devas, Danavas and Rakshasas and harassed Devad who fled
from Swarga and prayed to Vishnu who assured that he would soon be born to King Dasaratha as
Rama and demolish the entire race of Ravana; Vishnu also asked Devas to assume the births of
‘Vanaras’ and assist in this holy task. In the Surya Vamsa, Vaivasvata Muni begot King Ikshvaku and
Dasaratha was born to Ikshvaku. Devi Koushalya was born to the King of Koushalya and was wedded
to King Dasaratha at Ayodhya on the banks of River Sarayu.Dasaratha also married Sumitra and
Kaikeyi.He became a powerful yet righteous King with Sage Vasishtha as the Raja Guru and
performed the Putra-Kameshthi Yagna. From the ‘Agni Kunda’at the eventful Yagna, Maha Vishnu
Him self gave Darshan to Dasaratha and assured that he would soon be born to him to save the
Devoted and kill the Evil. He handed over a’Kheer Patra’ to the three Devis; Kaushalya and Kaikeyi
took half each and gave half of their portions to Sumitra; thus the eldest boy was born to Kaushalya,
Bharat was born to Kaikeyi and Lakshmana and Shatrughna were born to Sumitra. Sage Vasishtha
named the eldest as ‘Shri Rama’ since that was the ‘Swataha Siddha’ name as he was the husband of
Shri Devi and the equivalent of Vishnu’s Sahasranaamaas, providing salvation to the devotees and
since his birth was in Chaitra month dear to Vishnu. As the boys grew up, Rama and Lakshmana was
one pair and Bharata and Shatrughna was another. In the meantime, Bhagavati Lakshmi was
materialized as King Janaka found her while digging Earth in Yagna by a plough top called ‘sita’ and
thus named Sita and most endearingy brought up as his own daughter. Sage Vishvamitra derised that
Rama and Lakshmana should protect one Yagna being organized by him on the banks of Ganga, sine
there were always threats of Rakshasas to destroy Yagnas by pouring blood and such other foul
material. Very reluctantly, Dasaratha allowed to let them go to protect the Yagna which apparently
served many purposes as subtly planned by the Sage: one to let the World realize that Rama a mere
teen-ager was of Vishnu ‘Amsa’ and introduced Rama to the Rakshasas that they should better
beware; Vishwamitra could teach the nuances of Shastra-Astra Vidya to the brothers; to afford an
exposure to Rama at Sita Swayamvaraamong the great Kings of the day including a warning to
Ravanasura that the Avatar of Vishnu had arrived; and also to consummate the Sacred Wedding of
Rama and Sita. As visualised the Sage, all these and many other events took place: the killing of
Rakshasi Tadaki and the Rakshasa called Subahu as also the use of ‘Vayavyastra’ to sweep away
demon Maricha to a far off place so that he would have to float again at a later date to assume the role
of ‘Maya Golden Deer’ before Devi’s abduction by Ravanasura; the liberation of Devi Ahalya by
giving her normal form from a stone due to Sage Gautami-her husband’s curse; the smash of Shiva
Dhanush; the wedding of Rama and Sita apart, Lakshmana was married to Urmila, Bharat to Mandvi,
and Shatrughna with Shrutikirti; the rupture of Parasurama’s ego by the shatter of Vaishnava Dhanush
and his exit from the active life into the Ashram of Nara-Narayana.
Even as the City of Ayodhya was going in euphoria with preparations of Shri Rama’s becoming the
Yuva Raja (the Heir Apparent) of the Kingdom, Devi Kaikeyi declared her intention known that
Rama should proceed for a fourteen year long spell of ‘Vana Vasa’ (forest life) and Bharata to
become the Heir Apparent; this was in the light of a boon that Dasaratha gave to Kaikeyi as she saved
him on a war front and she reserved to deman it at this juncture.Bharat was out of station at his
maternal uncle’s place and did not know about the demand; Devi Sita insisted accompanying Rama
and so did Lakshmana; Dasaratha was in a swoon, followed by death; the entire population of the
Kingdom was crest-fallen; Bharata insisted on Rama’s return but on the latter’s refusal took Rama’s
footwear kept on the Throne which was worshipped daily and he became a temporary Administrator
on behalf of King Rama. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana the reached the mountain of Chitrakoot for a
brief stay at the Ashram of Bharadwaja, further on to the Ashram of Atri Muni where the Muni’s wife
Devi Anasuya enlightened the regulations of a ‘Pativrata’ anf finally entered the Dandakaranya where
they stayed for long with Munis visiting their ‘Panchavati’ (a thatched cottage). One frightful day,
demoness Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana and Kumbhakarna, arrived at the Parnashala and proposed
to Rama.Lakshmana cut off her ears and nose and as retaliation two Rakshasas attacked Rama and
Lakshmana and the latter killed the domons. Surpanakha approached Ravana who planned the
arrtaction of the golden deer disguised as Maricha. Sita was tempted to secure the deer and Rama
alone chased the Maya Mriga and killed the demon while the latter shouted loudly the name of Rama
to mislead Sita and Lakshmana so that Lakshmana would leave Sita and Ravana could enter the scene.
Lakshmana drew a line around Panchavati with Mantras and asked Sita not to go beyond the line.
Ravana arrived as a Muni and asked for alms and Sita wanted him to enter the line but Ravana did not
and insisted Sita to come out. As soon as she came out, Ravana appeared in his original form and
abducted her by his Pushpak Viman. As Sita was sobbing loudly, the giant bird Jatayu, who was a
friend of Dasaratha, made desperate attempts to stop Ravana’s Viman but the mighty Ravana slashed
the bird’s wings as it fell down in a faint. As Rama and Lakshmana did not find Sita on their return,
they frantically searched and the dying Jatayu conveyed that Sita was abducted by Ravana. Having
performed obsequies to Jatayu, Rama and Lakshmana reached the Ashram of Devi Shabari a unique
devotee of Shri Rama and treated the brothers with fruits and Rama gave her the boon of Vishnu
Sayujya. Hanuman met Rama and Lakshmana and assured all kinds of assistance to Rama in finding
Sita and eventually to destroy Ravana and his clan. He introduced the fugitive King of Kishkindha
named Sugriva, raised confidence to Sugriva in killing his valiant brother Vaali who occupied his
throne and after reoccupying his throne sent Hanuman to Lanka in search of Sita.The mighty
Hanuman crossed the ocean and spotted Sita in Ashoka Vatika sobbing under an Ashoka
tree.Hanuman convinced Sita as a devotee of Rama by showing Rama’s ring and assured her that very
soon Rama and Lakshmana would reach Lanka with a huge Vanara Sena (Monkey brigade), kill
Ravana and his entire followers and relieve her of bondage. Hanuman created havoc in the Ashoka
vatika by killing all the security personnel, five Senapatis, seven sons of Ravana’s Ministers, and a
son of Ravana. Indrajit the elder son of Ravana who also was a reputed warrior having defeated Indra
and specialized in wars on the clouds thus securing the epithet of ‘Meghanadha’ encountered
Hanuman who feigned Indrajit’s control; Hanuman was face to face with Ravana in the latter’s court
and allowed himself to let his tail burn which was extended endlessly and destroyed a large part of
Ravana’s City as a warning to him that soon Rama and Lakshmana would arrive at Lanka to destroy
Ravana and his entire tribe. On return to Kishkintha, Hanuman conveyed Rama and others about
Sita’s bondage. Rama, Lakshmana and the mammoth Vanara Sena under Sugriva’s leadership arrived
on the sea coast to reach Lanka on the other side of the Ocean. Rama prayed to Samudra Deva (the
Deity of the Ocean) to reduce the force of the violent tides and when Samudra Deva did not relent was
even ready to punish the Deity. Samudra Deva the facilitated the construction of Rama Setu or the
Bridge in the name of Rama across the Ocean; huge boulders were thrown into the Ocean with the
name of Rama inscribed and the boulders floated enabling the construction of the Bridge.Meanwhile
the younger brother of Ravana called Vibhishana, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu approached
Rama for refuge and soon became a confidant of Rama about matters related to Ravana and his
associates. Having crossed the Rama Setu, the gigantic and mighty Monkey Brigade commenced
furious battle with the gallant Rakshasas. Indrajit who was a highly renowned warrior fought and
killed thousands of Vanaras and succeeded in tying Rama and Lakshmana with ‘Nagaastra’, when
Garuda the Carrier of Vishnu appeared and the snakes withered away. Meanwhile Kumbhakarna,
another brother of Ravana who had a giant figure fought recklessly killing tens of thousands of Rama
Sena, but finally fell down to the torrential rain-like arrows of Shri Rama. Indrajit attacked
Lakshmana and made the latter unconscious when Hanuman brought Sanjeevini Mountain with
medicinal shrubs got Lakshmana revived; in the fierce battle that followed, Rama and Lakshmana
destroyed Indrajit. In the meantime, Ravana desired to perform an ‘Abhicharatmika’ (Evil-oriented)
Yagna out of desperation for Victory, but a few brave Vanaras got scent of it and destroyed the
Yagna. Then Ravana rode into the battle with his entire army of massive strength comprising
elephants, horses, chariots and infantry and massacred Vanaras. Indra sent his Divya Ratha (Divine
Chariot) to Shri Rama with Matangi as the Charioteer and the Greatest Battle of Treta Yuga was
fought for seven days and nights, even as all the Devas headed by Indra, besides Brahma and Rudra,
watched the Grand Spectacle of Rama-Ravana Yuddha! Rama had systematically smashed Ravana’s
ten heads, but the destroyed heads were sprouting again and again and Ravana was thundering world
shaking shrieks to show Rama’s helplessness. Lord Shiva gave a boon to Ravana to let the smashed
heads were revived again and again. Finally, Rama pulled up his most powerful ‘Brahmastra’ to
destroy a stock of ‘Ambrosia’in his belly (as hinted by Vibhishana) and crushed his chest which
pierced through Earth and crashed into Rasatala into the nether world. Instantly, Devas who were
visioning the proceedings from the Skies went into ecstasy showering rain of scented flowers on
Rama; Indra, Brahma and Rudra were relieved; Gandharvas and Kinneras sang tuneful of lyrics of the
Lord; Apsaras danced with immense joy; Sanaka and Sanandana brothers who gave a curse to Jaya
and Vijaya the Dwarapaalakas of Vaikuntha as they were obstructed entry to vision Vishnu were
satisfied that out of three births the first human birth was completed; Maharshis and Siddhas recited
Vedas and Scriptures as also hymns extolling Shri Rama. Rama then appointed Vibhishana as the
King of Lanka and blessed him and his progeny to rule till the next Pralaya!

Thereafter Devi Sita was directed to prove her ‘Pativratya’ (Purity) by entering into an ‘Agni Kunda’
since she stayed away for long time in Lanka before a huge gathering of spectators; even Devas,
Brahma and Rudra witnessed the scene, let alone Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, human beings etc.
Agni Devata himself brought back from the Agni Kunda and declared Devi Sita as an ever Pure,
Chaste, Blameless and a peerless epitome of Pativratya. Besides installing Vibhishana as the King,
Indra and Devas too were bestowed with their lost glories denied to them for long due to the much-
hated Ravana and his clan. The precious possessions of Swarga like Pushpaka Vimana of Kubera
Deva were restored to the respective Devas.Accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana as well as
Hanuman, Sugriva, Vibhishana, Vanara Yoddhas (Warriors) including Jambavanta, Nala, Neela,
Subhaga, Sharabha, Sushena, and all the survivors among Vanara Sena crossed the Rama Setu,
proceeded to the site of ‘Shiva Linga Pratishthana’ at Rameshwara and further on to Ayodhya to join
the celebrations of Victory and Rajabhisheka.

On return an anxious Ayodhya awaited the ‘Maryada Purusha’, the Epic Hero and the Most
Significant Avatara of Treta Yuga, proving once again that Lord Vishnu would assume human birth
again and again as and when Dharma was in jeopardy and Adharma tended to take an upper hand in
the Universe.

In Patala Khanda of Padma Purana, Bhagavan Sesha Nag briefly recalled the Events to Maharshi
Vasyayan about the activities of Lord Shri Rama, the Epic Hero of Ramayana, after the killing the
infamous Ravanasura at Lanka providing great relief to Indra and Devas, Rishis and the virtuous as
also the entire humanity. While narrating the Events, Sesha Nag was in a trance as the spell of Shri
Rama was so intense that the Illustrious Serpent, whose bed Bhagavan Vishnu- the incarnation Shri
Rama- rested on. Lord Rama bestowed the Kingship of Lanka to Vibhishana, the younger brother of
the slain Ravana and sat on Pushpaka Viman along with Devi Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Sugriva and
various other stalvarts who fought in the Battle with Ravana. Even as the Pushpaka Viman took off
from Lanka to Ayodhya, there were showers of scented flowers and reverberating sounds of
‘Dundubhis’ (drums) from the skies by Devas and on the entire route on Earth there were loud recitals
of Veda Mantras by Rishis and Brahmanas signifying the ‘Vijaya Yatra’ or the Victorious Return to
Ayodhya. Raghunandan Rama showed to Sita some glimpses of Places like the Rama Setu by which
Vanara Sena or the Monkey Brigade crossed the Ocean, Kishkindha where he met Sugriva and
Hanuman, and the spots where he and Lakshmana searched for Sita. The Pushpak Viman approached
Nandigram, where all these years of ‘Rama Vanavas’ King Bharat was ruling Ayodhya on behalf of
Shri Rama by decorating the latter’s footwear on the Throne, Hanuman was asked to fly earlier and
inform Bharata. As the Vimana touched the ground, there was a high moment of emotional meeting of
Rama and Bharata. As advance notice was sent, the entire City of Ayodyha prepared itself with
festivities and colourful receptions with joyous singing and ecstatic dances to welcome the Maryada
Purusha Shri Rama, Maha Sadhvi Sita, the illustrious brothers Lakshmana and Bharata. With the
Pushpak Viman descending down, the entire population of Ayodhyapuri went rapturous rendering
high-pitched slogans viz.: Victory to Shri Rama, Victory to Devi Sita, Victory to Lakshmana and
Victory to Raja Bharata. Dressed in their best attires befitting the euphoric moments of bliss, the
‘Puravasis’had no bounds of joy in welcoming the Hero and his Parivar emerging from the Viman.
The high tides of humanity who suppressed their emotions during his absence of for fourteen long
years were surcharged with passions and inexplicable hilarity. Shri Rama first entered Devi Kaikeya’s
Chambers and after prostrating before her asked her if there were any other wishes of hers yet
unfulfilled! She stooped her head down in shame and could not utter one word out of remorse and
anguish. From there, Shri Rama accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana visited Devi Sumitra and
Shatrughna and postrated to her too; she expressed overflowing grief and relief and profusely thanked
Rama for his highest consideration for her son Lakshmana. Further on both Rama and Sita entered the
Chamber of Devi Kaushalya who swooned first for some time and after recovery embraced the son
and daughter-in-law and declared that Sadhvi Sita was the finest example of womanhood for ever!
After all the euphoria subsided, Bharat called the Ministers, Astrologers and Maharshi Vasishtha to
decide on the time and date of Shri Rama Pattabhishekam (Coronation). The Historic Celebration of
‘Rama Rajabhisheka’ was a landmark in Treta Yuga attended by Lord Brahma, Devas, Maharshis and
the highly satisfied ‘Praja, and heralded the highly famed Rama Rajya. As Rama was seated as its
Head on the Naksha (Atlas) of ‘Sapta Lokas’ of Prithvi, all the Devas, Daityas, Nagas, Yakshas,
Asuras, and of course the entire humanity were performing their respective duties with devotion and
care as per established regulations of Dharma (Virtue), Nyaya (Justice), Law and Order, and Social
Security. Sadhus and Sages were happy as never before, none resorted to foul means of any kind,
women folk had no difficulties and they too observed the regulations as Pativratas; Sacred Activities
like Yagnas, Vratas, Punya Karyas, Tirtha Yatras, Daanas, Dhyanas, and Veda Pathanas were in full
swing. In response to Rama’s appeals Daityas, Maha Sarpas and other Power Joints of the Rajya, none
dared to follow the ways of the Evil. To Devas too Shri Ram made requests not to impose any ‘Adhi
Daivika’ based problems such as natural disasters like Earth quakes, floods and droughts or excessive
rains or ‘Akaala Maranas’ or premature deaths. The Praja in Rama Rajya were instrtucted to observe
the ‘Varnaashrama Vidhana’, perform useful tasks like construction of wells, Sarovars, Temples,
2Choultries, Udyanavanas or Public Gardens, Pashu Palana or raising cattle, farming and such useful
engagements rather than indulge in unhealthy and anti- social activities such as thieving, pilfering,
causing hurt to others, amassing money and squandering for foul tasks, prostitution, betting, racing,
drinking and yielding to immoral activities. As Shri Rama was an ideal Institution of ‘Sishta
Rakshaka’ (Protector of Virtue and Justice) and ‘Dushta Sikshaka’ (Punisher of the Evil), the normal
Praja (General Public) proved to be a darling King owing to his suave and benevolent treatment and
as a severe chastiser and Task Master of wrong doings.

As a petty minded Washerman in the Rama Rajya scandalised Sadhvi Sita once that after all she
stayed in Ravana’s Lanka for long enough and was not above suspicion concerning her character,
Maryada Purusha Shri Rama abandoned her so as to set an example to his Praja. This was the time
when Rama intensified the strictness of his administration in the Kingdom. Sesha Nag narrated to
Vatsyayana that Agastya Maha Muni visited Rama once and in the course of exchange of views,
Rama desired to know from Agastya about Ravana’s background, who was the Villian-in-Chief of
Ramayana forcing Rama to wage a battle with the Demon for kidnapping Devi Sita. Agastya Muni
informed Shri Rama that Lord Brahma’s son was Pulastya and the latter’s son was Vishwavaka with
two wives viz. Mandakini and Kaikasi. Mandakini begot Kubera who by virtue of his Tapsya became
the Chief of Yakshas and a Pushpak Viman. Ravan, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana were the sons of
Kaikasi. Kubera performed sincere and strict Tapasya and achieved the position of a ‘Loka
Palaka’and possessed a Vimana too; he was coming and going to meet his parents by the Vimana.
Kaikasi was jealous of Mandakini and so were Ravana and Kumbhakarna against Kubera. This
prompted Ravana brothers to peform Tapasya, although Vibhishana did the meditation for noble
reasons. Lord Brahma was pleased with Ravana’s Tapasya and blessed him to become the King of a
large Kingdom and made him superior to Devas; as a result Devas fled from Swarga. Ravana
occupied Lanka too and forcibly took away Kubera’s Viman. Although Ravana and Kumbhakarna
were Brahmanas, they took to the habits of Rakshasas, while they suffered Vibhishana who was
virtuous and devoted. But as the evil actions of Ravana and Kumbhakarna were reaching a point of no
return, Devas and Indra reached Brahma for help and along with Rudra they all approached Lord
Vishnu. The latter declared (by way of an Akaasha vaani or the Voice of Skies) that soon a high
merited King of Ayodhya of Surya Vamsa of the clan of ‘Ikshvaaku’named Dasaratha would beget
four sons from three wives viz. Rama to the eldest wife Kousalya, Lakshmana and Shatrughna to
Sumitra and Bharata to Kaikeyi. The declaration also stated that Rama and Lakshmana would
completely destroy Ravana and Kumbhakarna as well as their offsping and instal Vibhishana as the
King of Lanka in a completely new set up following Dharma and Justice.The Akashavaani further
said that several Devatas would be born as ‘Vaanaras’ or monkeys and bears.This was the retrospect
of the demolition of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and others of the Clan.

Having learnt of the family background of Ravana and others from Maharshi Agastya, Rama felt
extremely remorseful that he had perpetrated ‘Brahma hatya’since Ravana was from Brahmana vamsa
which was the like the unique tree bearing the various branches of Vedas and Shastras. Agastya told
Rama that he was the incarnation of Vishnu who was the Kartha (Originator), Palak (Preserver) and
Samharak (Destroyer) and Devi Sita was Maha Vidya Herself and the extreme evil exercised by
Ravana gave relief to the world and as such what Rama did was laudable but not regretful. However if
there was the least feeling of regret, he might as well perform Aswamedha Yagna as the famous King
Manu, Sagara, Marut and Nahusha’s son Yayati had in the past and attained ‘Parama Pada’.Thus the
inspiration to perform the Yagna came forth from Agastya Muni.

As a first step, a suitable, sturdy and steady horse was selected with excellent features. Then under the
supervision of Vasishtha Muni, the Kingdom’s Chief Rishi, Shri Rama tilled a four yojana wide and
long bhumi on Sarayu River banks with a golden plough; selected a suitable Yagna Vedika (Platform)
with the required number of Mandapas and Agni Kundas decorated with jewels; invited Maharshis
and Tapasvis of high standing like Narada, Asita, Parvat, Kapila, Jaatukarnya, Angira, Aashtishena,
Atri, Goutami, Haarita,Yagnavalkya, and Sarvat; constructed suitable Ashramas for the Invitee Rishis
and disciples; Conferences were held to decide on the format, procedure and daily programing;
prescribed do’s and don’ts of physical, moral and spiritual content; ‘niyamas and nigrahas’ (norms
and restrictions) etc. Lakhsmana brought the Yagnashwa at the appointed time, formal Pujas were
performed by Brahmanas and ‘Suvasini’ Women; the Surya Vamsa flag of Victory was hoisted on the
horse; a gold sheet was hung around the horse-neck with an Inscription saying that the horse belonged
to Shri Rama and whosoever stopped it would be severely punished; Shatrughna was made over-all in
charge of the huge armed Sena (Army), elephants, horses, chariots and carts leading the Yagnashwa;
Pushkala the son of Bharata was made in charge of the rear side of the ‘Ashwa’; Bhakta Hanuman
headed the entourage and at the most propitious Muhurta the Yagna Horse was released, along with
the recitals of Veda Mantras and ‘Mangala Vadyas’amid big shouts of Victory to Shri Rama Chandra.
The Procession with the Yagnashva in the lead moved on with instruction from Shri Rama that the
course of the Ashwa should not be conducted as the horse would move freely. The first halt was at the
Avicchtra Nagari where there was a noted Temple of Devi Kamakshi who appeared before King
Samuda performing Tapasya and gave the boon of invincibility; she also asked the King to offer his
entire Kingdom and riches to Shatrughna as he would pass through the Nagari along with the horse of
Ashvamedha Yagna to be conducted Shri Rama of Surya Vamsha and the killer of Ravanasura.
Accordingly, Shatrughna was given all kinds of honours by King Samuda. After a three day halt, the
King made his son a ‘Samanta Raja’of Ayodhya and moved on along with Shatrughna and Pushkala.
As the Yagnashwa moved on nearing the Ashram of Sage Chyavana and Devi Sukanya, Pradhan
Mantri Sumati who was in the entourage of Shatrughna explained their episode: The son of Sage
Bhrigu named Chyavan was engaged in very rigorous Tapasya when King Sharyati was performing
‘snaan’ in the River Narmada and Tarpana to Devas and Pitras; the Princess Sukanya along with her
companions was moving about in a forest on the banks of Narmada. Out of fun, Sukanya nearing a
bush pierced with a piece of wood into perhaps a couple of glittering worms, but got alarmed when
blood spilt out and there were trebles of Earth and lightenings. She ran and informed her father who
was resting on the river banks about the incident. The King went up to the bush and found to his
horror that Sunanya did not pierce the lighting worms but the eyes of a Sage engrossed in Tapasya,
causing him to blindness.The King apologised profusely and offered his teen age daughter to the sick
and aged Sage in wedding as a compensation. The daughter Sukanya served the Sage with sincerity
and once the two Asvini Kumar Brothers who were passing by were impressed with her
‘Pativartya’(seva to husband) and gave her the boons of eye sight to her husband as also youth and
charm. In gratitude, the Sage Chyavan, by virtue of his Tapasya, gave the boon to Ashwini Kumars to
secure sips of ‘Somarasa’ (the Celestial Drink) denied to them hitherto as also fulfledged Devatva
with eligibility for enjoying ‘havis’ or the fruit of Yagnas. Lord Indra was furious at these boons to
Asvini Kumars and raised his hand to punish them all but the Sage Chyavan in turn held Indra’s hand
tight and Indra had no option to gtant the boons to Ashvini Kumars! While Mantri Sumati narrated the
Story of the Sacred Couple of Sage Chyavan and Devi Sukanya, the ‘Sacrifice Horse’, Shatrughna
and the entire entourage reached the Ashram, worshipped them and requested them to visit the Place
of the Rama Yagna, as Hanuman carried the Chyavana couple to Rama Chandra and the Place of the
Maha Yagna in progress.

As the Yagnashva moved ahead, Pradhana Mantri Sumati told Sharughna that they were about to
reach Neelachala and the Sacred Temple of Bhagavan Purushottama with four arms on the Mountain
top. They reached Ratnaathata Nagar where King Vimal who became extremely excited and
organised refreshments to the entire entourage. He also made a symbolic dedication of is Kingdom to
Shri Rama and gave away valuable gifts to Shatrughna and others. King Vimal narrated an unsual
story about the incidents which happened in the past about the Neelachala Mountain. He quoted a
Brahmana visiting the Neelachala Mountain and found outside the Purushottama Temple there were a
few Tirtha Yatris who possessed four hands armed with Gada, Chakra, Saranga and a lotus. Similarly
a Kirata (Hunter) saw spectacls of a few children with ‘Chaturbhjas’armed likewise with glittering
robes! When the children were asked by the Kirata, they said that a few morsels of Maha Prasada
which fell on the ground were eaten, they came out with the Chaturbhujas!

From Neelachala, the Yagnashva halted at Chakranga Nagar ruled by King Subahu, where Prince
Daman felt that the manner the Ashwamegha was publicised all over the World smacked of pride and
ego and ordered his Senapati to keep his army ready to fight. On behalf of Shatrughna, Raja
Pratapagna shouted that the Yagnaashva disappeared and Prince Daman replied that he had kept the
horse and if possible might get it back after a fight! A battle ensued and Raja Pratapagna was defeated
by Daman. Shatrughna wondered as to who was this imp of a Raja Kumar called Daman who did
considerable damage to elephants, horses and chariots and felled on ground the capable Raja
Pratappagna wounded with blood! Price Pushkala the son of Bharata was so angry that he swore to
control or kill Daman. A fierce battle took place and finally Pushkala defeated Daman Kumar whose
body was profusely bleeding and his horse took back to the Court of King Subahu. The King, his
brother Suketu who was a master of Gada Yudhha (Battle of Maces) and Subahu’s son Chitranga an
expert of Battle Designs had all appeared together and designed a ‘Krouncha Vyuha’; the entire
strength of the sea-like army of Subahu was mobilised and put Shatrughna on red alert. The most
powerful warriors of Subahu were kept at the tactical head position and sides of the ‘Krouncha
Pakshi’s war design. Subahu was in desperate and distressed condition as his son was bleeding with
wounds on death bed; revenge was the watchword of Subahu’s entire army. Shatrughna knew the
seriousness of the situation as a minor scuffle restricted to Daman and Pushkala had snow-balled into
a full-fledged battle with military offensives and complicated battle designs. He addressed the Shri
Rama Sena and exhorted its warriors that the situation was such that had to be faced with alertness,
valour and brain power to be able to break the Krouncha Vyuha. Raja Lakshminidhi the son of King
Janaka took a vow that he would face Suketu and destroy the Vyuha designed by the latter in no time.
There was a one-to-one battle as both were equally worked up and it continued for long time with ups
and downs. The warriors then took to ‘Gada-Yuddha’ (mace-war) and it prolonged for long time;
finally, Lakshminidhi was able to overpower Suketu and there were shouts of relief resounded while
both the parties appreciated with each other. In the battle that continued, Pushkala killed Chitranga.
Subahu was extremely upset with the killings of his brother and son and became most desperate to kill
thousands of warriors, elephants, horses and foot-soldiers and finally challenged Shatrughna.
Hanuman who was providing cover to Shatrughna as he was in the defensive position and received
showers of arrows of King Subahu which hurt Hanuman. The highly enraged Hanuman kicked King
Subahu on his chest by his powerful feet and grounded him. It was in a stage of stupor, the King
witnessed a vision when Brahma and Devatas were eulogizing Shri Rama as an Avatar of Vishnu.
Having realised his folly, he made desperate shouts to Daman, Suketu and Vichitra saying that Shri
Rama was none else but Bhagavan Vishnu and the battle should end forthwith. There after he
apologised to Shatrughna for what all had happened, performed ‘Atmarpana’ (Surrender) and returned
the Yagnashva with honour.

As the Yagnashva moved on for a few days, suddenly there emerged a frightful darkness since close
friends of the deceased Ravanasura, two Rakshasas of Patalaloka named Vidyunmali and
Ugradamshtra wanted to avenge Ravana’s death and luckily for them an opportunity came on its own
with the launch of the Yagna and to trap the Rama Sena by hiding the Yagnashwa. The Rakshasa
Brothers succeeded in hiding the horse. Bharat Kumar Pushkal made a deadly declaration that if he
did not return with theYagashwa, then he should be deemed a fictitious devotee of Shri Rama.
Hanuman too took a similar vow. Other warriors too took vows and Shatrugna was not far behind.
Meanwhile the Rakshasa Brothers shouted: where is Rama; we want to kill him and take revenge!
Vidyunmali straightaway targetted Pushkala and threw a ‘Shakti’ on his chest, while Pushkala rained
arrows on the Rakshasa and the latter’s chest was pierced through as lot of blood flowed out from his
heart and Vidyunmali fell on the ground unconscious. Reacting to this sharply, Ugradamshtra threw a
red-hot Trishul from the Demon’s viman on Pushkal’s heart and the latter fell unconscious inside his
chariot. Hanuman witnessed that Bharat Kumar Pushkal was in risk and instantly expanded his body
to pull down the Rakshasa occupants of the Viman, especially Ugradamshtra and hurled a hot Trishul
on the Rakshasa, who in turn used his Maya to bring in a complete cover of darkness in which it was
difficult to perceive who was a companion and who was an opponent. Witnessing these fast
developments, Shatrughna took the name of Shri Rama and slashed the Cover of Maya that
Ugradamshtra brought in by one arrow and with another quick arrow of Sammohanastra on the battle
field. By yet another arrow, he brought down the Viman from where Ugradamshtra was fighting. The
demon used ‘Paashupatastra’ againt Shatrughna and the latter had no option but to utilise
‘Narayanastra’ to balance the former. Meanwhile a recovered Vidyunmali was about to toss a Trishul
on Shatrughna but a smart Shatrughna hacked the hand of Vidyunmali with an arrow and
simultaneously flinged another arrow to pitch down the demon’s head. Soon after in quick action,
Shatrughan also hurled a ‘kripan’ (Small knife) on Ugradamshtra and killed that demon brother too.
As the Yagnyashva ambled along towards the banks of River Narmada, Prime Minister Sumati
suggested to Shatrughna a quick visit to the Ashram of Muni Aranyaka. When the Muni was informed
by Sumati that an Ashwamedha Yagna was being performed, the Sage replied that those foolish
persons who were wasting their time and energy in performing Yagnas and Vratas during the short
life span should be advised to best utilise their time to Shri Rama ‘Smarana’ (Memory) as Shri Rama
was itself an Yagna, a Vrata, a Puja, a Maha Mantra, Veda and Shastra. Then Suman introduced
Shatrughna, Bharat Kumar, Hanuman and others and the Sage was thrilled to see them all and re-
emphasised that there was no other Deity like Shri Rama and no there bhajan better than his.
Shatrughna then arranged Muni Aranyaka’s visit to Ayodhya and the Muni after meeting Shri Rama
in person felt so satisfied that he did not wish for anything else in life and by the grace of Shri Rama
left for Vishnu loka!

The Yagnashva reached the beautiful and properous Devapura at Vindhyas where even building walls
were made of precious stones and the King Veeramani was an extraordinary devotee of Bhagavan
Shiva. The elder Prince Rukmanga arrested the Yagnashwa and brought it to the Capital but since he
came to know that the horse belonged to Shri Rama in connection with a Yagna, the King was
hesitant to approve the action. Nor Shiva, who was prayed to by the King; the latter said that since the
the action was already taken, it would not be in tune with Kshatriya Dharma to take a retreat step. By
way of assurance, Shiva too resolved to fight with Lord Rama, since Shiva as a devotee of Sri Rama
had as much responsibility to the King who also was a great devotee of Shiva. Thus a vicious circle
got into motion. Meanwhile, Brahmarshi Narada alerted all concerned ie. Shatrughan, Shri Rama, the
King Veeramani and the typical ‘Kalaha Priya’ readied the armies of both Sharughna and the King.
Raja Veeamamari called his Senatpati and got an excellent army ready and Sharughna advised
Rama’s army to get readied too.The opening duel was of Rukmanga and Pushkal. Rukmanga recited a
Mantra and the chariot of Pushkala commenced ‘Bhubhraman’ (circling fastly).With difficulty the
Rath was stopped but the enraged Pushkala recited a return Mantra which made Rukmanga’s chariot
fly right up to the Surya mandal where it got burnt and fell down but Rukmanga was thrown out
unconscious. King Veeramani was alarmed with fury approaching Pushkala and as a chain reaction
Hanuman sought to reach Pushkala for rescue but Pushkala became over confident and prevented
Hanuman and asked the latter to help Shatrughna instead. There was a one-to-one battle between
Pushkala and Veeramani and by using a mighty arrow in the name of Shri Rama made Veeramani
unconscious. Surprisingly, Bhagavan Shiva himself entered the battle field at this juncture as King
Veeramani the unique devotee of Shiva fell unconscious! Shiva instructed Veerabhadra to help
Veeramani and Nandi to control Hanuman. Thus Veerabhadra killed Pushkala, Shiva Himself made
Shatrughna unconscious; at the same time appreciated Hanuman’s valour. Hanuman addressed
Bhagavan Shiva saying that quite often, Shiva was confirming his devotion to Vishnu and his Avatar
Shri Rama, but it was surprising that this time he was fighting against Shri Rama! Hanuman replied
that King Veeramani was a great devotee of his and it was a ‘Maryada’ or Courtesy to defend a
devotee just as Rama too would defend his devotees likewise! Basically both were two entities of the
Paramatma! Then Hanuman asked Bhagavan Shankara for granting boons to let all the persons who
died in this battle be resuscitated. Shri Rama made his presence at the battle field when Shiva
prostrated; Shatrughna, Hanuman and all the rest were highly surprised and the persons who were
declared dead in the battle came back alive and all were happpy. Shri Rama then explained to one and
all that the Dharma of Deities was to safeguard the interests of their Bhaktas and what Shiva did in
defending King Veeramani and his side was the best that he had done; that his heart was full of Shiva
and vice-versa and those thought other wise would be dispatched to Kumbhapaka Naraka! Those who
were Shiva’s devotees were Shri Rama’s beloved Bhaktas and those who were Shiva followers were
Vishnu’s devotees too.

Sesha Nag described to Sage Vatsayan that as the Sacrificial Horse reached the precincts of Valmiki
Ashram, Shi Rama’s sons Lava and Kusha -who were unaware that Rama was their father as Devi
Sita staying in Valmiki Ashram under the care of the Sage’s care did not inform the twin boys of the
relationship as they were born in the Ashram after Rama abandoned Sita-reacted sharply against the
inscription on the Golden Plate hung around the Yagnashva; they tied the horse and brought it inside
the Ashram. The soldiers accompanying the horse ignored the two boys who tied the horse out of
child play and started untying the horse and instantly, the hands of the soldiers were severed as they
ran to Shatrughna to inform the incident. Understandably, Shatrughna grew angry but felt that the
boys who did this might not be ordinary but might have perhaps been Devatas at the behest of Indra!
Thus he ordered his Senapati Kaalajit to quickly alert the Army for a full-fledged battle.In the battle
that ensued between the Senapati and Lava Kumara, the Senatapti was killed and there was allround
‘hahakar’(frieghtened shouts) from the Army. Shatrughna asked Pushkal to take a big Army and
proceed against the boy Lava. Pushkal said to Lava that he would be gifted a chariot so that both
might fight on equal terms; as a reply, Lava destroyed Pushkal’s chariot instantly and asked Pushkal
now grounded was heckled by Lava on ‘equal terms’! In the battle that followed Pushkal rained
arrows on Lava and in response despatched a cobra like poisonous arrow aimed at Pushkal’s chest and
the latter fell flat on the ground. Hanuman who was nearby took the body of Pushkala to Shatrughna
who instructed Hanuman to kill Lava mercilessly. The highly charged Hanuman hurled huge trees and
boulders and Lava cut them to pieces as a sport. By the severity and swiftness with which poisonous
arrows were flinged at Hanuman, the latter could not control himself even as the gigantic body that he
assumed fell flat on the ground! The highly puzzled Shatrughna wondered as to who these two boys
were who felled the Most Valiant Hanuman himself! As he drove the Golden Chariot towards the
boys, he felt that their resemblance with Shri Ram was so striking that he asked them as to who they
were and what their parentage was. The boys gave a stiff reply that it was not essential to know such
details since their horse was captured by them and let him try if he could retrieve it. In the course of
the battle, Shatrughna was stunned and stumbled as he had to quickly change his bows that were
broken and the chariots that were destroyed and was finally knock down with unconsciousness. As
Shatrughna was hit, Raja Surath and others surrounded and resorted to ‘Adharma Yuddha’ or unjust
battle and caused Lava to hurt into unconsciousness. As the news of Lava’s state was informed, Devi
Sita was informed and Kusha hurried to the warfront and instantly faced Shatrughna who by now got
revived and nodoubt knew that Kusha and Lava were twins and the sons of Shri Rama, but the most
furious Kush had was on attack with the ‘Narayana Astra’ hurled on Shatrughna but this powerful
arrow was turned ineffective. In reply, Shatrughna took a vow in the name of Shri Rama and rleased
an arrow but the desperate Kusha took the vow on his Mother Devi Sita and retaliated. Shatrughna fell
unconscious again.Sugreeva took over the position of Commander in Chief and fought with Kusha as
also with Lava who recovered again by then. Sugreeva too fell down and Lava and Kusha tied both
Sugreeva and Hanuman and carried them to Devi Sita who was aghast to witness the Maha Viras in
that condition. The boys relented to her instruction to release them but as per Kshatriya Dharma they
would have to return to the Battle Field. On releasing both Hanuman and Sugreeva, Devi Sita came to
know that Shatrughna was lying unconscious. Devi Sita then remembered Shri Rama and addressed
Surya Deva that if she were to be a true Pativrata, Shatrughna should be revived and not only that who
ever lost their lives in the Battle should be also revived! Indeed her wish was fullfilled and all was
well. As per Sita’s instruction, Lava and Kusha released the Yagyashva and the entire entourage
headed by Shatrugna returned to Ayodhya after the successful Victory tour of Yagyashva and all the
defeated Kings who clashed with Rama Sena were paraded before Shri Rama. But Shri Rama was
more curious to learn more about the valour of Lava and Kusha. He was keen on Devi Sita’s return to
Ayodhya and despatched Lakshmana to bring her back, but she refused to return. She agreed however
to send Lava and Kusha after Sage Valmiki trained the boys to sing a ballad before Shri Rama and
others. The boy’s sang the entire Ramayana since the birth of Shri Rama and brothers, including
Sita’s abandon; Lakshmana leaving her to her fate; her rescue by Maharshi Valmiki her ‘Agnatavasa’
delivery of the twin brothers; the Sage’s excellent training of the boys in warfare and Kshatriya
Dharmas, knowledge of Adminstration and of Kingship; Shri Rama’s popularity with Sages, citizens,
and each and every being as Maryada Purusha; Sage Vishwamitra’ s insistence to safeguard his Yagna
and the killing of Demoness Tataki and Subahu; Sita’s Swayamvara; Kaikeyee’s desire to Bharata’s
becoming the Heir Apparent and Ram’s Vanavasi; killing of notorious Rakshasas, Sita’s ‘Apaharana’
(kidnap) by Ravana; Rama’s befriending with Sugreeva and Hanuman; Hanuman’s trip to Lanka to
trace Sita; the crossing of the Ocean; the killing of Ravana and the entire clan, Vibheeshana becoming
the Lanka King; the Rama Rajya; Rama abandoning Devi Sita on the basis of a Secret Report of a
washerman’s allegation about Devi Sita’s character notwithstanding Sita’s pregnancy; and Rama
performing Ashvamedha Yagna. Shri Rama was overwhelmed with emotions at the ballad sung by the
the twins, his pride to have secured such illustrious twins and the remorse to have abandoned Sadhvi
Sita. Already, Sage Valmiki arrived to attend the Ashvamedha Yagna as a respected Guest of Honour
at Ayodhya. He narrated how Devi Sita was fortunately seen by him in the forest that Lakshmana
abandoned her; her transfer to hisAshram and her continuous grief, the birth of Lava and Kusha, his
upbringing with considerable training in Dhanur Veda, Fine Arts, and what all was required by an
ideal Kshatriya and a King including the nuances of Administration, Yoga and Siddhis and an
exemplary human being worthy of the sons of a Maryada Purusha. Valmiki further stated that he
visited Varuna Deva, Agni Deva and other Lokapalakas who had unanimously referred to Devi Sita’s
purity and piety as a Maha Pativrata Sadhvi born into this world; a ready proof of her ‘Shuddhata’ and
highest devotion to Shri Rama was the coming back alive of lakhs of dead persons at the various
battles en route the travel of the Yagnashva, since she wished so! Having heard what all Maharshi
Valmiki stated in Public and in the midst of the most recognised and pious Sages-in-Chief soon after
the Great Singing of Ramayana by Lava and Kusha, Shri Rama asked Lakshman to visit Valmiki
Ashram and invite Devi Sita to Ayodhya, in the context of the Victory Celebrations as also the Sacred
and Historic Termination of Ashvamedha Yagna. As Lakshmana reached the Ashram and requested
Devi Sita, she asked him as to how could she return to Ayodhya having been humiliated and
discarded with baseless allegations.Lakshman narrated most convincingly as to what all happened at
Ayodhya, how the Twins sang Ramayana and the spontaneous reactions and glorious comments about
Devi Sita from the Maharshis, Devas and Loka Palakas (as reported by Sage Valmiki). He prostrated
before her and requested her to visit Ayodhya.The Ashvamedha Yagna concluded with the display of
the pride of Surya Vamsha, the unreserved gaiety of the Praja of Rama Rajya, the relentless recitals of
Veda Mantras by the Maharshis, the blessings of Brahma and Maha Deva; the showers of flowers
from the heavens by Indra, Loka Palakas, Pancha Bhutas and Devas; the joyous singing of Gandarvas
and the celestial dances of Apsaras. Most interestingly, even by the touch of Shri Rama the
Yagnashva (Sacrificial Horse) turned into a human being redeemed after the touch, since Sage
Durvasa cursed the person in the past and when sincerely apologised gave the boon of Rama’s sacred
touch.

Sesha Nag assured Sage Vatsayana that whoever heard or read the proceedings of Shri Rama’s
Ashvamedha Yagna would get rid off Maha Patakas, secure prosperity, excellent health, and
contentment in life; even a chandala or athiest would attain ‘Parama Pada’!

Sita’s ‘Paramdhana’ and termination of Ramavatara:

After the successful completion of
Ashvamedha Yagna, Shri Rama continued his normal routine of observing celibacy and
administration. Shatrughna killed Lavanaura and ruled Madhurapuri; Bharat administered both the
banks of River Sindhu and controlled Gandharvas; Lakshman conquered Madra desha, installed his
sons as the Kings and returned to Rama for providing service to him. Shri Rama did Ashvamedha
Yanga, after installing a Golden Pratima of Sita; in fact he performed several Yagnas in the same
manner. Sage Valmiki exhorted Rama about Sita’s spotlessness and piousness time and again and Shri
Rama finally opined that indeed he was fully aware of her chastity and purity but since the allegation
came from the Praja (Public), Sita should prove her innocence before the people. Sita then declared in
a huge Sabha that if she performed puja to any body else excepting Shri Ram in her mind, thought,
tongue or action then my mother Bhu Devi might take her into her mother’s fold. Immediately, there
was an Earth-quake and Sita entered into a huge cleavage.Bhu Devi herself lifted Sita into her belly
and the great Garuda, the Carrier of Lord Vishnu, lifted her from Rasatala to Vishnu loka as seated on
a Golden Throne. After Sita’s disappearance, Shri Rama ruled for eleven thousand years. One day, an
old Tapasvi came to see Shri Ram and told him that none should enter his Chamber while he was
giving an important message from Lord Brahma in secrecy. Shri Rama called Lakshmana and
instructed that none should be allowed to enter as long as he was conversing with the Tapasvi and
otherwise that person should be punishable with death. Lakshman himself stood at the door and
ensured that none would disturb. The Tapasvi conveyed that since the death of Ravana, Kumbhakarna
and other demons Rama was to live for eleven thousand years and that it was time for Rama to leave
Earth and return to Vaikuntha. While this secret conversation was going on, Durvasa Maharshi
arrived and wished to meet Shri Rama, but Lakshmana declined entry stating that a representative of
Brahma was in an important conversation and that he could not see Shri Rama then. Durvasa grew
angry and threatened Lakshmana with a severe curse if he did not permit entry. As there was no other
alternative between Rama’s instruction and Durvasa’s threat of curse, Lakshman entered River
Sarayu, taking his original Swarupa of Ananta Naga with thousand hoods. After the meeting with
Kaala Deva in the form of the old Tapasvi, Rama realised that Lakshman also having gone, it was
time for him also to terminate his ‘Avatar’; he established Kusha in Kushavati Kingdom and Lava in
Dwaravati as their Kings. Taking a hint from Shri Rama, Vibishana, Sugriva, Jambavan, Hanuman,
Neela, Nala, Sushena and Nishada Raja Guha arrived. Shatrughna performed the coronatation of his
sons at Ayodhya. The rest of them said that they would not like to stay back on Earth in the abscence
of Rama even for a moment. But Rama asked Vibhishana to continue in power at Lanka for long time
and instructed Hanuman to continue on Earth forever to sustain the message of Shi Rama. The rest of
them accompanied Shri Rama into the Sacred Sarayu River. Bharat, Shatrughna, and all the citizens
of Ayodhya along with their wives, Mantris, Servants, Vedikas, Brahmanas, the nearby animals,
birds, and all other Beings who accompanied Shri Rama never looked back. As Shri Rama went deep
into the River, Lord Brahma, Devas, Rishis and all Celestial Beings extolled Raghunatha even as He
took the Huge Form of Maha Vishnu with his four hands along with Bharata as Shankha, Shatrughna
as Chakra, as also Gada with Sri Devi and Bhu Devi beside Him.

Shri Krishna Charitra: his birth,miracles, account of his progeny and Niryana
As the most dreaded Daitya Kalanemi ruled over the entire Martyaloka and harassed the entire Public
day and night, Bhagavan Vishnu terminated him but he came back in his next birth as Kamsha the son
of Ugrasena; it was at that juncture there were a huge stock of Rakshasaas like Arishta, Dheniuka,
Keshi, Pralamba, Naraka, Sunda, and Banasura the son of Bali Chakravarti and most of the Evil was
spread over as Rulers of several Kingdoms. Devi Bhumi was unable to the bear the brunt of such Evil
Forces and made a reverential appeal to all the Devas and through them to Brahma Deva and the latter
made a powerful appeal to Bhagvan Vishnu to save the Earth which was being crushed by
extraordinary pressure on account of the Evil .

In response to the Stuti by Brahma, Bhagavan assured that two of his ‘Keshas’-one Shewta or white
one and another a Shyama or dark complexion would be pulled out to soon descend as his ‘Amshas’or
incarnations on Earth and lighten its weight by uprooting all the Evil Forces and advisedv the Devas
also assume appropriate Rupas as human beings inn the task of destroying the Rakshasas and humans
in the form of Rakshasas.Bhagavan further instructed Yoga maya to perform a series of deeds
including the birth of six sons to Devaki [they were Kalanemi’s sons devoted to Vishnu and the father
cursed the sons that they would be be killed by them in his hands in the next birth as per
‘Harivamsha’] As King Kamsa was obsessed with the warning of Sage Narada that the eighth child of
Devaki would kill him, he imprisoned Devaki and his brother-in-law who agreed to deliver all his
progeny as soon as they would be born, Kamsa spared killing them and merely imprisoned them.
Now, the game plan that Vishnu explained to Yogamaya was as follows: She would transfer Devaki’s
seventh son who would be of Sesha’s Amsha as an embriyo into the Garbha of Vasudeva’s second
wife Rohini so that the Public would believe that out of fear Devaki’s seventh child was a miscarriage
but that Sesha-amsha would be known as Samkarshana as he would be implanted or attracted to
Rohini’s garbha; the Ashtami Putra would be Bhagavan himself born to Devaki but Yogamaya would
be conceived to Yashoda; there would be a transfer of Bhagavan Krishna by Vasudeva to Yashoda
and the girl child Yogamaya would be brought back to Mathura in the prison of Devaki; as in the past,
the Yoga maya , the so called Eighth child thus transferred would fly away and warn Kamsa that the
real Bhagavan was already born and soon kill Kamsa.Bhagavan blessed Yogamaya to undertake the
deeds assigned and Indra would take her as his own sister; she would kill a number of Rakshasaas like
Shumbha and Nishumbha; she would be known as Bhuti, Sannati, Kshaanti, Kaanti, Akasha, Prithwi,
Dhruti, Lajja, Pushti, Usha and various other Shaktis in the Universe.

As per the plan indicated by Bhagavan Vishnu, he was born to Devaki Devi and along with Vasudeva
gave his appearance in his full glorious form with four hands armed with Shankha-Chakra-Saranga
and Gada for a while before taking the form of a boy; the violent winds sweeping Mathura herebefore
bacame cool and calm by the midnight hour; Gandharvas sang tuneful hymns; Devatas showered
celestial flowers from the heavens; clouds made lightenings and mild thunders from the sky;
Vasudeva transferred the child to Gokula into the house of Yashoda and Nanda wading across the
River Yamuna making way during the rain while Sesha Naga provided cover; and Vasudeva brought
the female child Yogamaya from the bed of Yashoda who was unconscious back to the prison in
Mathura. Meanwhile , the Security personnel of the prison of Devaki-Vasudeva were lulled to deep
sleep till the ‘Operation of Child Transfers’, ie Bhagavan Krishna to Yashoda’s bed and of Yogamaya
to that of Devaki’s. Kamsa reached the prison and despite the wailing protests of his sister sought to
toss the child against a stone as he did to seven other babies in the past, but the child flew from his
hands and appeared on the sky as a Mayashakti with eight hands and shouted at Kamsa: Hey Kamsa!
What is the use of your wasted breath in trying to toss me; your death would take place with certainty
soon as the incarnation of Vishnu has already been born and would kill you again as you were the
Kalanemi Daitya in your previous birth; so better plan soon to save your skin! Having said, Devi
Maha Maya disappeared. Kamsa then thought that there was no point in keeping Devaki and
Vasudeva in prison and called for an urgent conference of his Daitya Allies like Keshini, Dhenuka,
Putana, Arishta and others to chalk out an action plan to the Boy was was born and addressed them as
follows: ‘Devas headed by Indra are seeking to kill me and us headed by Jarasandha; we had already
witnessed the trials of Devatas in several of battles in the past, when they could never show their
chests but only their backs! Had Indra forgotten the recent incident of his trial to stop rains in our
Kingdoms and we forced the clouds to burst out and we had plentiful of rains and crops! I feel sorry
for the desperation with which the Devas are once again trying to challengey us; it is highly amusing
that they desire to kill me! In any case we have to be alert any way and double up our efforts!
In right earnest, the efforts of the Daityas to demolish Krishna even as a toddler were planned and
executed; Kamsa first despatched Mayavi Putana in disguise as a pretty woman to breast-feed
poisonous milk to Krishna but quite playfully Krishna bit her nipple as she was instantly killed; the
entire Gokula was aghast as to how the Toddler had a miraculous escape and Nanda prayed to
Bhagavan to save the child from all kinds of mishaps saying: May Bhagavan protect the child from all
the directions of North-South-East and West; may Madhusudana save the child from the Vidashaas of
North East-South East-SouthWest and North West; may Hrishikesha guard the child from the Sky and
may Adi Sesha Deva shield the boy from Earth!

There have been a series of miracles that followed the Putana incident from time to time as the two
brothers were growing in Yashoda-Nanda’s house. One day Madhusudana was kept under a Shakata
(Cart) in the backyard of their house and the child apparently cried for milk and threw up his legs
while lying down and the cart was pushed up and got broken into pieces; the children around
witnessed that the child did threw up the cart with his feet! The parents wondered as to how a child
could do it! They performed a Puja with flowers-fruits-curd and ‘Akshatas’ or rice grains to ward off
any Evil eye! After a few days Gargaachaarya performed Namakarana; the younger one as Krishna
and the elder as Balarama. In course of time, the boys were able to crawl and disappear amid the flock
of cattle and apply cow dung on their bodies; both Yashoda and Rohini were fed up and tied to a
heavy stone used for pounding grains which was kept in between two huge Yamalarjuna Trees in
the backyard and got busy with their houshold chores. Suddenly, there were heavy sounds as the two
huge trees fell down and the neighbours witnessed that two Celesitial Beings emerged from the trees
and flew away! Krishna was called Damodara as there was a scar around his waist due to the black
mark of the rope with which Yashoda tied Krishna to the heavy stone.

As queer incidents like the killing of Putana, lifting of cart, sudden sand storm and uprooting of huge
trees were happening, Nanda desired to shift to Brindavana from Gokula and made the entire
population agree to the arrangement. All the ‘Vraja vaasis’shifted to the new place and in course of
time, the boys came of teen age, adopted distinct dress code, sported a golden headgear with peacock
feathers and flute and excelled themselves as unique flutists especially as cowherds in the large
company of Gopas and Gopikas exchaging practical pranks and mischief. One day, Krishna went with
his friends without Balarama and while wandering came across a frightful water body known as the
place in which Kaliya Serpent and its family stayed; the companions of Krishna suggested that the
particular pond should be avioded as the water in it was highly poisonous as thirsty human beings,
cattle and even birds would die instantly. But Krishna never heeded the warnings and from a tree top
on the banks of the pond dived into it even with full awareness that the tree was burnt due to the
poisonous flames that emitted from the pond. Gopala Ganas raised a hue and cry and informed one
and all in Brindavan and the entire public got collected around the lake. Nanda Kumar wasa lost in
dismay while Yashoda and quite a few Gopikas were readying to leap into the water, but Balarama
cooled down the agitated relatives and the public stating that Krishna was not an ordinary human
being and that he was Bhagavan Vishnu himself; he conveyed to Krishna as follows: Deveshwara!
Are you not aware that you are Ananta; and if so why are you displaying the Manava Bhaava or the
characteristics of human beings! You are yourself the ultimate refuge of the Universe as its Creator-
Presever-Terminator just as the axis of a wheel and its spokes! Indeed you are the embodiment of
Three Lokaas and Three Vedas; Jagannaatha! You have assumed human form to demolish the Evil
Forces and lighten the burden on Earth. Krishna! It is time that you discard this childishness and
human features and quickly control the poisonous teeth of the cruel serpent once for all! There inside
the poisonous pond the whole family of Kaliya surrounded Krishna and the enormous serpent sought
to encircle his body; but Krishna smiled even as what Balarama said and fisted and pounded the most
obnoxious creature in such a way that he held his tail with one hand and jumped up on its hoods and
compressed them with mighty force; as Krishna brought the serpent in total control the latter obeyed
Jagannatha and the unusual spectacle of floating and dancing Krishna atop the creature’s hoods
delighted the entire Vraja Praja! The poisonous water of the pond was full of Kaliya’s red blood and
his wives and children begged of Krishna not to kill it. The humiliated Kalia realised the magnificence
of Krishna and extolled him stating: Even Brahma, Rudra, Chandra, Indra, Marudganaas, Ashvini
Kumaaraas, Vasuganas and Adityas could not commend you adequately, how could I pay tributes to
your excellence! Then Krishna instructed Kaliya and his large family to leave the pond at once and
assured that his formidable enemy Garudmaan would recognise his footprints and let them pass to
reach the Sea in which they could reside fearlesly for long time.

After the Kaliya incident, there were the exterminations of Dhenukasura who entered the group of
cows which Krishna took out along with Balarama and other Gopas as also of Pralambasura who
quietly joined the Gopas and participated in a game of carrying on his back the elder brother Balarama
and flying him away but the latter suppressed the Asura by his ever increasing body weight and
finally the Asura collapsed to death. There were quite a few other killings by Krishna of many Asuras
in an exercise of lightening the evil forces on Earth; Vrishabasura was externinated, Daitya Keshi was
despatched to hell and scores of other Daityas were slaughterd. Then there was the anger of Indra who
was not traditionally worshipped by Vraja vaasis on the arrival of Sharat Ritu but as per the advice of
Krishna they did not; Indra’s fury resulted in torrential rains and washed out Vraja Bhumi but Krishna
lifted Govardhana Mountain by his little finger to protect the Gokula Praja and provided shield to
them all and there by destroying the ego of Indra. But Indra’s fury was only to popularise Krishna’s
magnificence by creating an opportunity that Krishna indeed was Supreme. During the times that
followed, the Gopikas of Vraja displayed intense attachment and infatuation for Krishna that
culminated in Raasa-leelas or ecstatic dances in groups in which there were as many Krishnas as
Gopikas on one to one count besides a Unique Krishna belonging to one and all!
Devarshi Narada then felt that the time was reap enough to provoke and destroy the major villian
Kamsa and made a friendly call to the King. He conveyed to Kamsa the various deeds of Krishna and
Balarama who now entered the teens and that it might be a good idea to invite them to Mathura to
meet their parents and celebrate their trip to Mathura. The evil-minded Kamsa felt that as the Vrja
Brothers might become more powerful and difficult to destroy by the day, he planned for a friendly
trip to Mathura and asked Akrura the Yadava Elder to personally visit Gokula- Brindavan and escort
Krishna and Balarama, ostensibly to attend a Dhanush Yajna on the next Chaturdashi and also enjoy
the celebrations like ‘Malla Yuddhhas’ (wrestling matches) by the notorious Chanura and Mushtikaas.
Kamsa day-dreamt that after killing Balarama Krishnas followed by those of Nanda and Vasudeva
and his foolish and timid father Ugrasena now in prison, he would annexe Gokula-Brindavan easily
and enjoy the property of cows and grains! Akrura left for Brindavana and invited Krishna-Balarama
to Mathura to attend the Yagna and Celebrations; their parents were grieved; Vrajavaasis were
saddened; Gopaas were upset; Gopikas were alarmed at the absence. As he approached Gokula,
Akrura took bath in River Yamuna and happened to meet Krishna and Balarama in person as they too
were whiling on the river banks along with their pals; he was in trance in visioning Krishna and broke
out in a spontaneous ‘Stuti’: My hearty salutations to you the Sanmaatra Swarupa, Achintya Mahima,
Paramatma, Sarwavyaapi, Aneka Rupaa due to Karanaas / Causes but basically of a Singular / Unique
Form— Namo Vaasudeva, Namo Sankarshana , Pradyumna and Aniruddha!.

As Bhagavan Krishna and Balarama entered Mathura, they asked Akrura to leave them alone as they
preferred to walk up by the ‘Raja Maarga’ to enjoy their interaction with the Public; the passers by
were seeing and conversing among themselves in small groups in low tones. Their first encounter was
with a Rajaka or Washerman who happened to be from the Royal Palace of King Kamsa; as the
brothers were attracted to the colourful dresses, they asked the Rajaka to give them a few nice dresses
but the haughty washerman talked rudely and arrogantly which provoked Krishna to beat him and
pulled him down on the ground and helped themselves a few dresses of their choice. A little ahead,
another person kept on staring at the boys and asked them nicely as to where were they coming from;
he said that he was a Maali or a flower seller and invited them to his home nearby and offered them
nice flower garlands; Krishna was pleased at his pleasant conduct and gave him the boon that all
along his life, the Maali would be happy, prosperous and well-contented! The next encounter was
with a Kubja or a short and deformed girl and Krishna asked her as to where was she going and what
was she carrying; as she said she was carrying Gandha or sandal wood paste, Krishna wished to
provide the fragrant paste to him and in turn, he lifted up by her chin and straightened her up by
pressing her feet and she was made straight and shapely at once! She invited the boys to visit her
home nearby where she offered them nice scents and aromatic pastes; such were the memorable
encounters that Krishna and Balarama had while proceding to the ‘Yaga Shaala’ at the end of the Raja
Marga. Inside the Yaga shaala there was a massive Deva Dhanush and Krishna broke it playfully as
the thundering sound was heard all over; as he heard this huge sound, Kamsa realised that the boys
had arrived and that they would have broken the Dhanush! He called Chanura and Mushtika and said
that the next evening Krishna and Balarama would invite at the Yaaga Shaala to a friendly wrestling
and that they should somehow kill them by giving an impression to the Public that the killing was
accidental. Next evening the boys arrived at the Yaga Shaala to participate the Royal Celebrations and
the Trainer of a huge rouge elephant called Kuvalkayapeeda readied the animal to lift up the boys at
the Entrance Gate and trample them; Krishna-Balaramas on arrival understood the intention of the
elephant and as it lifted them up they landed on its back and pounded it with their fists, twisted its tail
and trunk and felled the animal down with a thud and it breathed its last. The entire audience
especially the Yadavas cheered up the boys with resounding applause and the men and women in the
Sports Arena loudly chattered about the ecscapades of the Boys ever since their arrival at Mathura
including their encounters with the Rajaka, Maali, Kubja, Dhanush and the Rougue Elephant; they
kept on discussing about his miracle acts of killing various Asuras, lifting Govardhana Mountain and
the juicy tales of Raasa Leelaas! Meanwhile Kamsa announced that the duo of Krishna an Balarama
would participate in friendly wrestling matches with the fearful wrestlers like Chanura and
Mushtika. There were mixed feelings in the audience that such ‘Malla Yuddhas’ between the
untrained teens and expert wrestlers were not just good jokes but of evil intentions and a few others
felt that such deeds were indeed meant for fun. The wrestling bouts looked funny and comical in the
beginning but as Chanura and Mushtika looked serious, the atmosphere became tense and as the tiny
boys were lifted by the mountain-like professionals, the instrumental music in the theatre stopped and
every one in the audience were holding their breath. Balarama shouted to Govinda: Victory be with
you Krishna! Kill Chanura at once! Krishna sat on the Danava’s shoulders and gave a mighty blow on
his head which was smashed and the tall and powerful Chanura lost his balance and crashed on the
ground with a thud and died instantly! It was then the turn of Balarama to hit on Mushtika’s head,
stomach and knees and the latter too was shattered. Krishna then took full control of another Malla
Raja called Toshkala and both the brothers surrounded him and simultaneously punched and whacked
him and that colossal wrestler too went the same way to death; the pack of other werestlers in the
arena ran for their lives and there were such shouts and hoots from the audience cheering and
acclaiming Krishna and Balarama with victory. As there was ruckus and uproar in the Hall, Yadavas
went wild with ecstacy and other citizens of Mathura too were confident that the last hour of the
tyrant King Kamsa had arrived. Kamsa shouted at the soldiers that let the ‘Gwaala baalakaas’ be
chased and hounded; a smiling Vaasudeva leapt up on the Platform where Kamsa sat with his Security
Chiefs, dragged him down to the Wrestling Arena and overpowered him; thus the most heinous villian
of the Era was exterminated once for all.

Then Krishna and Balarama prostrated before Vasudeva and Devaki who were also in the audience
and the latter embraced the dear sons with affection on one hand and unlimited devotion on the other.
Vasudeva addressed Krishna as follows: Prabho! Be kind to us; the benediction bestowed by you to
Devataas that you would be born to us was amply fulfilled. You had recognised my worship and were
born in our household to destroy evil forces on Earth and indeed my Vamsha had since been purified!-
–We have been in this Maya or Illusion that you are our son and was thus rattled from the fear of
Kamsa and took you to Gokula; since you had grown up there and thus we now do not have that
extreme obsession for you; so far we have witnessed such impossible deeds by you which were not
conceivable of Rudra, Marudganas, Ashvini Kumars or Indra; Now my Moha / passion for you as a
son is not there as now I realise you are Bhagavan Himself to protect the World from the Evil.
After prostrating before the parents and receiving their blessings, Krishna and Balarama greeted
Yadava elders; consoled Kamsa’s wives; released Kamsa’s father Ugrasena from shackles and
appointed him as the King; made Sudharma as the Raja Guru; requested Sandipa Muni to perform the
‘Upanayana Samskara’ of themselves; and entered into the house of Guru Sandipa Muni for tutelage
for Veda Parayana, Astramantras and Astra prayoga, besides the nuances of Dhanurvidya -all in just
forty six days! Sandipa Muni realised that such impossible and para-human abilities were displayed
by Krishna-Balaramaas as though Surya and Chandra were their pupils in his house!). After their
studies, Krishna and Balarama offered Guru Dakshina and the Muni wailed for their son dead in the
Ocean at Prabhasa as he was devoured by a Demon Panchajanya ( who had the shape of a conch
shell). The boys then entered the Ocean, killed the Demon and by blowing a conch shell made of the
skeleton of the Demon entered ‘Samyamani’ the Abode of Yamadhararaja and brought the dead boy
alive and gave the Guru Dakshina to the Muni and his wife!

There after they visited Uddhava, their childhood friend and nephew, requested him to visit the Vraja
places and meet their parents and well wishers as also the Gopikas and narrate to them an account of
their activities at Mathura.Uddhava on reaching the Places met them all, and narrated the happenings.
He returned back, after an emotional and tearful send-off with return messages from all of them,
especially Gopikas.

The two Queens of the deceased Kamsa, Asti and Prapthi, approached their father Jarasandha, the
highly powerful Monarch of Magadha and asked for retribution for the ‘misdeeds’ of Balarama and
Krishna. With a huge army under him, Jaraasandha attacked Mathura with some twenty three
Akshouhinis of infantry, cavalry and elephantry and challenged Krishna and Balarama. But as
Krishna was fighting the massive opponents even with a minor number of Army, he asked for his
(Vishnu’s) Shaaranga Dhanush with limitless arrows and his Gada /Mace called Kaumudi while
Blalarama recalled his Hala / plough and Musala; Jarasandha and his huge army was shattered into
pieces, bur Jarasandha was spared so that he could return back by regrouping his men and material.
Indeed he returned back again and again, getting routed for seventeen times.When Jarasandha was
expected to attack for the eighteenth time, – his allies viz.Yavanas, the Mleccha foreign forces- headed
by Kalayavana attacked Mathura with thirty million barbarian soldiers of desperation and cruelty.
Krishna and Balarama felt that while they would fight with Yavanas, Jarasandha’s army might
simultaneously harm Yadus. Thus they planned to build a new place, named Dwaraka (with twelve
Gates) and asked Visvakarma, the Architect of Devatas who created a beautiful and well structured
fortress City touching the Western Sea. By means of His mystic Yoga Maya (Power of Illusion), the
Citizens of Mathura got transferred, lock-stock and barrel-overnight to Dwaraka and found
themselves in luxurious palaces.

Even as Balarama was defending Mathura, Krishna attracted the attention of Kalayavana, passing
singly by foot, by the Main Gate of Mathura. Kalayavana followed Krishna closely but always
unreachable with some distance apart and led the Mlechha into a mountain cave. Thinking that
Krishna Himself assumed a new ‘Rupa’ (Body) as an old and haggardly person in the cave as Krishna
was known for such powers, Kalayavana kicked the old man fast asleep. Indeed He was not Krishna
but Muchukunda, the son of Mandhata of Ikshvaku dynasty. He was the defender of Demi-Gods
from Daityas for long but since Lord Kartikeya became the Commander of Demi- Gods, the latter
relieved Muchukunda of his duties and Kartikeya advised him of retirement and since then he was
sleeping in the cave, unaware of hundreds of years passed by! By his very looks of fire, Muchukunda
converted Kalayavana into ashes as per Indra’s benediction that if anybody disturbed his slumber
would be burnt to ashes! Muchukunda demanded Krishna to identify himself and the latter disclosed
that he was the son of Vasudeva of Yadu Kula of Chandra Vamsha; Muchukunda then recalled
Gargya Muni’s statement that Krishna the son of Vasudeva and the Avatara of Vishnu would liberate
him! He greeted Krishna and narrated Gargya Muni’s statement and acclaimed him as follows:
‘Bhagavan! Just as in the ‘Devasura Maha Sangraam’when I helped Devatas to demolish Daiytas, the
Daityas were unable to tolerate my radiance; but now I am similarly unable to withstand your extreme
illumination of your Physique now! You are indeed the last and total shield against humanity:
Subsequently Krishna granted a wish to Muchukunda to be reborn as a Sage from his Kshatriya’s
current birth. Muchukunda exited from the cave into a World transformed from what he knew and
realised that Kali Yuga was on the anvil, as the size of humans, animals, birds and trees was reduced
considerably. He proceeded to Gandhamadana mountain and reached Nara-Narayana Ashram and
meditated for the rest his life. Meanwhile, Krishna and Balarama found Mathura under the seige of
Yavanas but with their Chief Kalayavana was found missing, they were shattered by a handful of
Yadava soldiers and of course by Krishna and Balarama.

[Jarasandha imprisoned a number of Kings at Yudhishtar’s Rajasuya Yaga since they agreed to
Krishna becoming the Chief Guest; subsequently when Krishna, Bhima and Arjun visited
Jarasandha’s Palace in disguise as Bramanas to free the Kings, the three of them challenged him for a
duel with any one of them and Bhima was chosen. Jarasandha was not getting killed for many days
and Krishna hinted to tear the opponent’s body by demonstrating the cutting of a branch of a tree and
throwing up the pieces upside down in opposite directions; a Rishi blessed King Brihadhratha (father
of Jarasandha) for a child but he gave only one fruit, where as the King had two wives; he cut the
fruit into two half pieces and distributed to the two wives, but they delivered a child in two pieces; as
the two pieces were discarded, a Demoness called Jara collected them and arranged the body pieces
upside down and a boy came up with life, who was called as Jara-sandha or the one united by Jara.
Hence Krishna’s advice to Bhima to tear the body and throw the two parts apart topsy- turvey.After
Bhima killed Jarasandha, some 21,000 Kings, defeated in wars and imprisoned, were liberated.]
Rukmini’s abductionby Krishna: Maharshi Parashara narrated the story of Devi Rukmini’s abduction
by Krishna. Both of them were fond of each other and desired to wed together. But, Rukmi the brother
of Rukmini hated Krishna and was keen on his sister wedding his friend Sisupala. He influenced his
father King Bhishmak and even arranged their engagement much against the objection of Rukmini. At
the Wedding Ceremony, the Guest List included Kings like Salva, Jarasandha, Dantavakra and such
other opponents of Krishna; the King invited Balarama and Krishna too. Fearing that Krishna, who
proposed earlier to wed Rukmini, might create trouble at the Function, Rukmi as well as Sisupala
prepared for any eventuality alerting their Armies; Salva, Jarasandha, and other well wisheres too
readied their armies too. But so did Balarama. Precisely when the Bride entered the Wedding
Platform, Krishna took away Rumini like a surprise flash and both of them fled away in the Chariot of
Krishna with the flag of Garuda atop.The armies of Sisupala and asscociates could hardly prevent the
Glorious Abduction. Rukmi was unable to bear the insult and followed Krishna’s chariot but was
defeated and his moustache and beard were shorn by Krishna as a symbol of His victory.
Subsequently, King Bhishmaka performed the wedding most appropriately.

Pradyumna was born to Rukmini and Krishna and the son looked exactly like Krishna. When he was
hardly ten days old, Demon Sambara kidnapped the child not knowing that he was the son of Krishna
threw him in the Sea as a huge fish ate him but the child was safe in its belly. A fisherman caught hold
of the big fish and presented it to the King Sambara who in turn gave it to Mayavati the head cook of
the King’s kitchen who cut the fish to find an attractive baby inside. At that very juncture, Brahmarshi
Narada appeared in the kitchen and revealed the Story to Mayavati of Lord Rudra turning
‘Manmadha’ (Cupid) into ashes when he and Rati (Cupid’s wife) aimed Floral Arrows. Lord Rudra
gave boons that in their next birth, Cupid would be born as Lord Krishna’s son Pradyumna and
Mayavati as Rati.As Pradyumna grew as a youngman, Mayavati desired to marry him despite wide
difference of age. Pradyumna was popularly known as ‘Vyuha’ as the Lord of Intelligence, along with
three of His other names viz Vasudeva (Lord of Consciousness); Sankarshana (Lord of Individuality)
and Aniruddha (Lord of Intelligence). Eventually Pradyumna killed Sambara, married Mayavati and
stayed with Rukmini and Krishna at Dwaraka.

Narakasura (Bhaumika): The end of notorious Bhaumika, the son of Bhumi (Demi-Goddess of
Earth), is celebrated till date on the moon fall day preceding Kartika Month of every year as
‘Deepavali’ (The Festival of Lights). Krishna, accompanied by Satyabhama flew by Garuda to
‘Pragjyotisha’, Capital City of Bhaumasura [now in Assaam] , surrounded by mountains and
ramparts defended by fire, water and unmanned automatic weapons as also protected by ‘Mura
Pasha’- thousand miles-long deadly and sturdy wires as designed by Demon Mura . Krishna
shattered the defence fortresses and blew His Panchajanya (Conch shell) with deadening reverberation
as Demon Mura’s frontal fortification was destroyed. When provoked, the Demon tossed his powerful
club which was slashed by Krishna’s Sudarsana Chakra into pieces and devastated Mura. Seven
deadly sons of Mura, who had the knowledge of weapons as fully as their father, pounced in a group
but Krishna’s Supreme powers were no match and they too were cracked. Bhaumasura shot at his
‘Shataghni’- the powerful disc with hundred blades- and later on with his mighty spear with which he
defeated Indra too both of which proved futile. Finally Krishna gave His nod to Sudarsana Chakra
(Wheel) to pull down the Demon and exterminate him.Thus Bhaumasura was sent to ‘Naraka’and
hence his ignominious title as Narakasura.[Another version is that the Demon was arrowed down by
Satyabhama herself, as he secured a blessing from Lord Brahma that only his mother Goddess of
Earth (Bhumi) could kill him; Satyabhama was the reincarnation of Goddess Earth]. It was at Indra’s
distress call that received Krishna’s attention was that the Asura appropriated Varuna Deva’s Royalty
Insignia which was an Umbrella; the Ear- Rings of Aditi- the Mother- Figure of Devas; and ‘Mani
Parvata’ ( Mandara Mountain) where Demi-Gods resided were among the abominable acts of the
Demon. As a gesture of good-will, Satyabhama’s desire to transfer the ‘Parijata’ Tree (which emerged
in the churning process of Ocean) to her garden from the Heaven was obliged by Indra. Krishna on
His part released sixteen thousand royal maidens of Kings defeated by Bhaumasura and consented to
marry them, in addition to the eight principal wives. Goddess Prithvi sought her apology for her son’s
sins and reiterated her own devotion to Krishna. She said : ‘I was blessed with a son (Bhaumika) and
thus you gave me a son and now took him away too now! Please accept the Kundala and other
possessions as he has died now but do kindly spare his progeny of any blames. Achyuta! You are the
Creator-Protector and Terminator and the Unique Form of the Universe; how could I indeed acclaim
and commend you; Do forgive your own son Narakasura for his misdeeds!

Parijata Apaharana: As the victorious Krishna and Satyabhama fancifully reached Swarga dwaara
after the battle with Narakasura, Krishna blew his conchshell and Aditi along with Indra and Devas
welcomed the guests. Devi Aditi complemented Krishna while Indra and Devas performed puja to
Krishna with various flowers but Shachi Devi disallowed puja by the flowers of Kalpa Vriksha as the
Krishna couple were human beings. There after, the latter visited the Garden of Swarga and
Satyabhama desired to take the Tree in her garden in Dwaraka. Shachi Devi flatly refused despite the
persuation of Krishna and Devi; surprisingly Indra too sided with Shachi Devi on the plea that Indra
gifted it to his wife and he had no hold on it. Arguments between Indra and Krishna ensued and ended
up with fights which worsened to fulfledged battles. Indra took up his Vajrayudha and all other
Devas fell in line; Krishna blew up his Shanka while Garutman pulled up Varuna Pasha; Yama threw
his ‘Danda’ on Krishna and the latter’s mace made smitherins of the hyamna danda; Agni’s blistering
arrows were instantly cooled with Krishna’s Jala Banaas; Garuda and Iravata attached each other. As
Indra confronted Krishna with his Vajra and Krishna took up his Sudarshana chakra; Indra was afraid
of the consequences and tried to run back and Satyabhama heckled Indra saying that the latter was
after all the Devendra and it was not proper to show his back as Shachi would offer him a Parajata
garland! Having jeered Indra thus, Satyabhama said that since she was also a woman she talked to
Indra in such a jocular tone but in fact she was never serious in demanding the Parijata tree; as Shachi
Devi said that it was her property and hence she had no intention of stealing other’s property so that
this battle might better end up and as the guests to Swarga might as well return back to where they
belonged. Indra was put to defensive by Satyabhama’s conversation and replied: ‘Why should I be
ashamed of getting defeated by Vishwa Prabhu who is the Cause of the Existence, Preservation and
Termination of the Universe! Who could indeed overcome if that Tinest yet Grossest and Most
Magnificent Form which creates the World and Vedas descends on Earth on his own volition to help
and correct humanity by assuming human form? When Krishna replied to Indra jocularly that he was
after all a human being and what Satyabhama sought was a celestial product, then Indra requested
Krishna not to taunt him further and despached the Parijata Tree to Dwaraka with the assurance that
as long as Krishna would be there in human form, the Parijata tree too would be on Earth! On return
to Earth Krishna accepted eight thousand wives released from Narakasura’s prisons, besides eight
Principal wives viz. Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajiti, Mitravinda, Lakshmana, Kalindi
and Madri.

Aniruddha’s wedding with Usha: Banasura, the grand son of the famed King Bali who gave the
entire Universe in charity in lieu of three feet to Lord Vamana, was the father of daughter Usha who
fell in love with Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumna and the grand son of Lord Krishna. Banasura was a
dedicated devotee of Lord Siva, and the Lord awarded several invaluable benedictions to the Demon
including powerful war weapons and thousand hands to relase the armaments simultaneously. Once
Usha happened to see both Shiva and Parvati sitting together and being an Antaryami Devi Parvati
joked with Usha that one day she would too land up in a situation like that. Usha asked Devi Parvati
as to when would that day arrive! Parvati replied that she would dream of a youth on the night of
Vaishakha Shukla Dwadashi. As the day arrived, Usha did get the dream and informed of the
incidence to her friend Chitralekha, the daughter of Banasura’s Minister named Kushmanda. As Usha
was unable to bear the feelings of love, Chitralekha showed several drawings of eligible amd
handsome bachelors and after a few days, Usha succeeded finally to identify the youth. Then it was
learnt that the youth was the son of Krishna. In course of time, the couple met and their romance
became intense by the day. Learning of the desire of his daughter with Aniruddha, the son of
Pradyumana -the erstwhile Cupid who was burnt into ashes by Lord Siva’s third eye- and the grand
son of Krishna (Avatar of Lord Vamana), Banasura quashed the wedding proposal and reprimanded
his daughter since Krishna was his foe. Banasura prevented his daughter meeting Aniruddha and
when the latter fought with him, he imprisoned Aniruddha. Yadavas in Dwaraka wondered as to what
happened to Aniruddha. On learning from Narada Muni, it was learnt that Aniruddha was imprisoned
in Shonitapur, the Capital of Banasura and Krishna, Balarama and Pradyumna lest by Garuda to that
Place. There, they confronted Pramathaganas of Shiva and fought with Jwara the three footed Chief of
the ‘Parshads’ named Maheswara and defeated him. This led to a full-fledged battle between Krishna
and others on one side and Banasura, Shankara and Kartikeya on the other. As furious Shastra-Astraas
were exchanged by both the Parties, the whole world was affected with Pralayaagni. Balarama
attacked Banasura and the fight got intensified with alarming consequences. Meanwhile Krishna
recalled his Sudarshana Chakra and sliced off the mighty hands of Banasura and was about to cut off
the Asura’s head too. It was at that climatic moment, Shankara addressed Krishna to stop. “Hey
Krishna! I am aware that you are the Purushottama –Parameswara- Paramatmaa and Adyanta-Rahita!
Do get cooled down. I have provided shield to Banasura my devotee and assured that I would stand
guarantee at the time of his peril; please do not falsify my faith in me. He has not done any thing
wrong to you but is egoistic due to my backing and therefore pardon him. Krishna replied: ‘Shankara!
If you so wish as you had given him a benidiction, Banaasura would continue to be alive. In order to
respect your assurance to him, I am withdrawing Sudarshana Chakra; if you had given him protection,
so do I; You should never feel that you are different from me; you should always consider me as
yourself and together we are the Devas, Asuras, human beings and all the rest; all those who consider
us as different from each other are shrouded in Maya or Illusion; indeed, I am pleased and am gone.
Thre after, Krishna and all the rest headed to Aniruddha’s prison, where the latter was released by
‘Naga bandhana’or tight-tied by a serpent which ran away at the appearance of Garuda Deva while
Banasura politely agreed for the Sacred wedding of Usha-Aniruddhaas.

Krishna kills Sishupala: At the invitation of King Yudhishtara to attend the Rajasuya Yagnam
(Horse Sacrifice) being performed by Pandavas especially after the devastation of Jarasandha, Lords
Krishna and Balarama arrived at Indraprastha, the new beautiful Capital City, built by Maya. As a
climax to the Celebrations, a function was held to select the best personality who graced the ‘Yagna’.
Nobody wished to comment but Sahadeva, the youngest of Pandavas, proposed the name of Krishna.
There was all round approval of the proposal and Dharmaraja initiated the procedure by inviting
Krishna.

Just at that time, King Sisupala, a great associate of Jarasandha since killed by Bhima, expressed
displeasure at the selection of Krishna on the proposal of a boy, Sahadeva of Pandavas.He said that
elders in age, experience, wisdom were available and there was no special qualification for Krishna
who ran away from Jarasandha twenty three times in succesive wars and his real capability in wars,
duels, and dealings involving honesty and frankness were suspect. Sisupala critcised Krishna
transgessing all limits of decency. Finally having counted the number of abuses hurled at Him,
Krishna hurled His Sudarsana Wheel to slit Sisupala’s neck. Sisupala was the son of King
Dhamaghosha and Srutadevi, the latter being the sister of Vasudeva whose son was Lord Krishna. In
other words Krishna and Sisupala were cousins. When Sisupala was born, he was dark and ugly with
three eyes and four hands. His parents had almost decided to disown him, but a voice from Heaven
suggested not to do so as an Illustrious Person would soon fondle the child and snip out his extra
limbs and he himself would also kill him.Krishna’s aunt Srutadevi requested Him to postpone the
killing of the child as far as possible. Krishna promised that He would wait till his hundredth abuse.
Incidentally, Sisupala and Dantavakra were stated to be the Demons of ‘Dwapara Yuga’ born after the
curse of Sanaka Kumara brothers to the Vaikuntha Gate Keepers Jaya and Vijaya.
As a sequel to Rajasuya Yagna, there were two major developments: Firstly, the unbearable jealousy
of Kauravas against Pandavas who became extremely prosperous and popular among the various
contemporary Kings and worse than that, the extremely hurt pride of Duryodhana especially when
Draupadi the wife of Pandava sons laughed out loudly when he fell straight into a water pool when he
thought that there was no water but ground and when he lifted up his robes as there was no ground
but a water body. Secondly, the battles of Sisupala’s great friends like Salva and Dantavakra were in
the offing against Yadavas . While seeds of jealousy were firmly sown in Duryodhana’s mind leading
to disastrous consequences for Pandavas thus leading to the Great Battle of Mahabharata, the
destructive attempts by Sisupala’s friends were almost instant. Salva secured earlier an everlasting air-
vehicle from Lord Siva because of deep devotion and landed at Dwaraka when Krishna and Balarama
were away at Indraprastha and overpowered Pradyumna who fled from the battle, as Salva presented
illusory heads of Krishna and Balaram to him.On return, the Lords shattered the airship and Salva too.
Dantavakra and his sons Romaharshana and Viruddha met the same fate. Thus the chapter
of Sisupala’s death was closed. Simultaneously, the run-up to Mahabharata Battle at Kurukshatra was
picking up fast as the foul play of Dices between Shakuni on behalf of Kaurava sons and Dharmaraja
on behalf of Pandavas. Ast he Battle was shaping as an inevitable consequence, Balarama being a
neutral figure, especially since Duryodhana was his disciple while Krishna identified himself as
Pandava’s well-wisher, proceeded on a pilgrimage to Holy Places.His visits covered Prayaga, Ganga,
Gaya, Godavari , Srisailam, Venkata Hills, Kanchi, Madurai, Srirangam, Rameswaram and Kanya
Kumari. He reached Kurukshetra at the time when Bhima and Duryodhana were engaged in a duel
with maces as almost terminating the Great Battle.

Shri Krishna Niryaana was the climax of the termination of Yadukula that got initiated by a few
playful Yadu Kumaraas at Pindaraka Tirtha who dressed the son of Jambavati called Saambu as an
expectant woman and asked a group of Rishis to ascertain whether the woman would deliver a boy or
a baby! The Munis under reference included Kanwa-Narada and Viswamitra who from their Divya
drishti realized the hoax of the fake garbhini and said in anger: that the woman would deliver neither
a boy nor a girl but a ‘Musala’ or a lump of an iron instead and that would result in the destruction of
Yadu Vamsha! The Yadava Boys were stunned at the reply and reported the matter to Ugrasena!
Saambu did deliver a Musala from his stomach which was pounded as powder but the remainder bit
was thrown into the Sea and it was devoured by a fish and a fisherman called Jara caught hold of the
fish and as he cut it he found a sharp iron piece which he kept for subsequent use. Meanwhile, Indra
and Devas despatched Vayu Deva who appeared before Krishna and prayed to him as follows:
‘Devaadi Deva! Indra has asked us as well by Ashtaavasus, Marud Devatas, Rudras, Saadhyas and
Adityas that at our instance you had very kindly assumed an incarnation and lightened the enormous
burden on Earth by demolishing innumerable Danavas and other Dushta Shaktis for a long hundred
years and over and the Three crores of Devas are now at peace; we request you to know your mind as
to how to proceed further’. Bhagavan replied: ‘I am fully aware of my next move; I have already
initiated the process of Yadava destruction as considerable annihilation of the enemy forces of the
virtuous Pandavas including the killing of Jarasandha besides of Kauravas was concluded too. As I
have still to complete the task of terminating Yadavas as I brought them to Dwaraka and that bit of
task too once concluded, I shall be freed of my mortal responsibilities and return to Vaikuntha’. So
saying, Krishna made arrangements by dispatching Uddhava to Badarikaashrama on Gandhamaadana
Parvat to Naranarayana Maharshi Ashrama where he would secure Siddhi after the close of his life.
Select Yadavas including himself, Baladeva and elders like Ugrasena, Vasudeva left for Prabhasa
Kshetra along concerned Devis; remaining Yadavas most of got dead drunk killed each other
including Pradyumna, Saamba, Kritavarma, Satyaki, Aniruddha, Pruthu and Akrura by using the high
grown sea beach grass roots which sprouted from the powder of the Musala delivered from Saambu’s
garbha thus terminating Yadu Vamsha; the elders including Balarama etc who left for Prabhasa
Kshetra took resort to Yogic ends and finally Krishna and the famed charioteer Daruka remained;
Balarama sat under a Tree and from hisface a Maha Sarpa emerged and moved towards the huge
Ocean as worshipped by Sidhas and Nagaas while Samudra welcomed and worshipped and the Maha
Sarpa entered the Ocean. Meanwhile Krishna assumed his full form with four hands armed while
Shankha-Chakra- Gada-Sarangaas performed pradakshinas and he rested under a tree bush.
Imagining that a deer was resting since Krishna’s feet were moving behind a tree bush , Jara Vyaadha
who recovered an iron left-over bit from the fish caught in the Sea, sharpened his arrow and shot at
the Lord’s moving feet and ashamed to do so but the ever merciful Krishna bestowed him Siddhi.
Krishna then sent Daruka to convey the news of Krishna Niryana to his dear disciple Arjuna to
perform the obsequies of himself, of Balarama and the illustrious Yaduveeras; Rukmini and Krishna’s
wives performed Krishna Sahagamana or sacrificing themselves in the a same Fire with which the
mortal human form of the Avatara succumbed. Maharshi Parashara commented thus: As He left,
Bhagavan Krishna discarded his human form and recalled his Soul which is Avyaya- Achintya-
Vaasudeva Swarupa-Amala-Ajanma- Amara- Aprameya- Akhilaatma-and Brahma Swarupa Vishnu!
As Arjuna was totally drowned in uncontrollable grief and distress, Veda Vyasa assuaged his inner
and core-emotions said: Bhagavan Krishna arrived as a human being along with us all as a Marga
darshaka or a moral teacher to prescribe and guide us about the virtuous the innate values of life and
to uproot the evils of the Society that Daityas and many in the form of Human beings came to adopt;
now that the burden of Bhu Devi got lightened Paramatma took up the need and the deed ; since the
noble reason and requirement were fulfilled, he put the World back on its heels and disappeared, since
Jatasya Maranam Dhruvam! Veda Vyasa stated: Jaatasya niyato Mrityuh patanamcha tathonnateyh,
Vipra yogaanasaanaastu samyogah sanchaye kshayah/ Vijnaaya na budhaasshokam na harsha –
mupayaanti ye, Teshaameyveytarey cheshtaam sikshantassanti taadrushaah/ (Whatever is born is
certain to die; which is grown well has to decrease; Samyoga or Togetherness has to terminate as
Viyoga or loneliness; Sanchaya or Increased Collection has to end up as Kshaya or Decay; Intelligent
persons do not get elated too much since exultation might end up in depression or even as damage;
that is the reason why one ought to realise that great heights might lead to great falls too).
Yaschetaccharitam tasya Krishnasya Shrunuyaatsadaa, Sarna Paapa vinirmukto Vishnu lokam sa
gacchati/ (Those persons who listen to Krishna Charitra would surely get relief from sins and attain
Vishnu Loka)!

Maha Bharata in brief

Origin of Veda Vyasa: In the times of yore, there was a pious King Uparichara Vasu of Chedi
Kingdom whose wife Girik was of compelling charm. The King secured from Indra an air-borne
Vimana and in the contemporary world gained fame and respect. Once on the day of Shraddha to his
father and forefathers, his wife desired union with him but the King declined due to the Ceremony and
left for the forest nearby to bring an animal for sacrifice and other material required for the Shraddha.
On return he was overcome by his wife’s desire and spilt out his virility on banana leaf and
commanded a trained falcon to carry the leaf as a packet to his wife since he did not wish to waste it.
He falcon encounterd another falcon and forcibly took the packet away but the packet fell in the flow
of water. In the meantime an Apsara found the dangling feet of a Muni who was in meditation on the
banks of the water body and for fun dragged the feet into water. The Muni cursed the Apsara to turn
into a fish and the fish swallowed the packet that fell in the flow and got pregnant. A fisherman who
netted the fish took it home and there were two babies in its stomach and the King realised by his
mystic powers that the babies were his own. Of the two babies, one was a male child and another a
girl. The King returned the girl child to the fisherman with plenty of money and gifts and retained the
boy whom he made as the next King. The female child eventually grew as Satyavati.
Parashara Muni, the grandson of Maharshi Vasishtha the mind-born son of Brahma, during his
various travels spent a night in a hamlet on the banks of Ganga in the house of the Village chief and
asked his daughter Satyavati to ferrry the Muni to the other side of the river. In the boat, he was sick
of the strong smell of fish and teased her as Matsyagandhi. But noticing her body beauty desired to
have a union with her then and there; he created by his mantra siddhi a misty cover in an island
nearby and enjoyed her. He gave her the boon of conceiving an extraordinary son with universal
reputation and called her as Yojanagandhi or a female who spread fragrance for a Yojana’s width and
breadth; the boon also assured her that her chasity would be intact and that shewould be a queen. Devi
Satyavati gave birth to the illustrious Veda Vyasa who was also famed as Krishna Dwipayana or who
was bornin a Dwipa or an Island. Vyasa had the unique distinction of dividing the originally Single
Veda into four parts as also six Vedangas and scripted Maha Puranas and also Maha Bharata. In an
extremely rigourous penance that he performed,Vyasa attained the vision of Maha Deva and the latter
blessed Vyasa to secure an eminent son. Excited about his vision of Shankara, Vyasa performed an
Agni Homa by creating Agni by the process of ‘Arani ’ or rubbing wooden piecesto light up. Just then
an Apsara or a Celestial Nymph took the the form of an attractive parrot crossed the Agni Kunda and
as his concentration got disturbed she made a flashy appearance of her rare beauty and charm with her
amorous looks The Muni could not control his pttion and dischrged his virility on the wooden sticks
meant for Arani and then emerged from the Arani fire a boy of extraordinary radiance with the
features of his father but with a nose resembling that of a parrot. The boy grew up with unique
faculties of Spitituality as an Expert in Veda Vedangas and understandably Vyasa desired Shuka
Muni to become a Grihasthi but the latter disagreed vehemently. Vyasa used all his means of
persuasion and finally asked him to visit Janaka who through persuasion and arguments succeeded in
convincing to become a Grihasta (House holder). But after a few years of house holding, Shuka Muni
left for Mount Kailash to realise Paramatma and attained Salvation.

After the departure of his son, Veda Vyasa was a frustrated person and carried on with his disciples
Asita, Devala, Vaisampayana, Jaimini, Sumanta and others and after their studies were over, he
despatched them with the tasks of propagating Dharma all over. He left Meru Mountain to meet his
mother Satyavati whom he left long ago on the banks of Ganges. He realised that his mother was
married to the King of Hastinapur, Shantanu on the condition that another son of his, Bhishma born
from his first wife Ganga, would neither marry nor beget a child since there shold not be any progeny
to claim the throne. Shantanu and Satyavati gave birth to Chitrangada and Vichitra-Virya. After
Shantanu died, Chitrangada became the King but in a war with Gandharvas, Chitrangada died and
Vichitravirya was made the King. Bhishma desired that Vichitravirya be married as he was eligible
and when the King of Kasi announced a ‘Swayamvara’ ( bride’s choice among the Invited Kings),
Bhishma forcibly took away three brides- Amba, Ambika and Ambalika to Hastinapura. On arrival,
Amba requested that since she already selected the King of Salva at the Svayamvara, she might be
please allowed to do so and Bhishma agreed. But the King of Salva did not agree and as she returned
back insisting that as per Dharma Bhishma must marry her. Since Bhishma did not agree that even
earlier, Amba left for the forest and became an ascetic. King Vichitravirya married Ambika and
Ambalika but was not able to extend the progeny and died of premature death. Then came up a crisis
of Kingship falling vacant without a heir. Satyavati called for Vedavyasa who was settled on the
banks of River Sarasvati to help continue the lineage through Ambika and Ambalika. Ambika closed
her eyes in bed with Veda Vyasa as she was not happy with the union and thus a blind boy, Dhrita-
rashtra was delivered. Ambalika sent a Servant woman into the bed and a wise boy, Vidura was born.
But when the mistake was realised and Ambalika had to go into the bed, she was too frightened into
paleness afraid of the Maha Muni and thus was born Pandu. No doubt Pandu became the King before
his elder brother who was born blind but since he died of early death due to illness, Dhritarashtra the
blind had to be the King.

Chain reaction of Ganga-King Mahabhisha- Ashta Vasus- King Shantanu: There was a virtuous King
Mahabhisha of Ikshvaku Dynasty who pleased Indra with a series of ‘Asvametha’ and ‘Vajapeya’
Sacrifices and attained Indra Loka after his death. Once he had attended the Court of Lord Brahma
and along with him was seated Devi Ganga. He was immensely attracted to her and she too
reciprocated with her amorous glances. Brahma got disturbed and cursed both of them to take to
human lives as husband and wife. Mahabhisha opted to be the son of King Pratipa of Puru Dynasty.
At the same time Ashta-Vasus ( Eight Vasus) of the Celestial Region headed by Vasu Prithi and their
families visited Sage Vasishtha’s ‘Ashram’ and admired ‘Kama Dhenu’ the Sacred Cow whose milk
bestowed disease-less longevity and sublime happiness. The wife of one of the Vasus, Dyau was
impressed with the Cow and quietly stole it and its calf. Sage Vasishtha found in his ‘Diya Drishti’
( Celestial Vision) that Nandini the Sacred Cow was in the custody of Vasu Dyau and cursed all the
Vasus to be turned as human beings. Being highly repentant, the Vasus beseeched Vasishtha to dilute
the effect of the curse and out of compassion the Sage agreed to one year’s human life to seven Vasus
as their involvement was indirect but Vasu Dyau should have a full life time. The Vasus, who knew
about Brahma’s curse to Ganga Devi, approached her to give birth to Seven Vasus of one year’s
human life each and one life time’s existence to the last born Vasu. But this was agreed to subject to
the condition that her prospective husband should agree to freedom of her action without any
reservation and if he did not, she would quit as the husband. Eventually, Ganga waited on the banks
of River Ganges and awaited the arrival of King Pradipa of Kuru Dynasty for meditation. The King
arrived to perform ‘Surya Namaskaras’ on the river bed and Ganga appeared as a charming woman
and sat straightaway on his right lap, indicating thereby that the place was to seat a son / daughter.
The damsel identified herself as Ganga Devi and replied that she would await his son’s arrival who
was yet to be born. In course of time, King Pradipa got his son, Shantanu, and as he grew as a
handsome youth advised him to meet Ganga Devi who would propose but cautioned that he should
not ask her questions and agree to whatever she asked. Accordingly, Ganga Devi, the eternal beauty,
agreed to wed Shantanu and agreed to her conditions unilaterally. She gave immense happiness to
Shantanu, who became the King after his father’s abdication of the throne. After a year, they were
blessed with a boy, but she took the baby and submerged him in the flow of Ganga! To his great
surprise, Shantanu witnessed the horror of the child’s cruel drowning in the flow but dared not say
one word to his wife. This happening was repeated again and again for seven times and as the eight
child was born, Shantanu protested and Ganga as per their contract left, but requested that the boy be
named as Gangeya.

Gangeya, the exemplary Bhishma of Maha Bharata: For a long time since Ganga Devi left Shantanu,
the latter had no interest in life and Gangeya, who was increasingly aware of his father’s
disenchantment in the duties of Kingship, virtually carried on the burden lightly. As a dutiful son, he
did whatever was possible or even impossible, but for the replacement of the position of a mother.
Once when he accompanied his father on a royal hunt on the banks of River Yamuna and found an
extraordinarily stunning woman whose body flavour was heavenly and intoxicating. Her captivating
physical features sent tremors in Shantanu’s mind and asked his son Gangeya to enquire about her.
The lady replied that she was a fisherwoman and any enquiry about herself be ascertained by her
father only at their abode. The fisherman was not sure whether her daughter’s future would be assured
since a grown up King-in-Waiting was already in place. Gangeya gave an assurance that he would not
put in a claim for Kingship. But this did not satisfy the fisherman as Gangeya’s next kin would
definitely make the claim to the throne. Then Gangeya declared that in view of the apprehensions
expressed by the fisherman and subtly endorsed by his daughter, he would take a Sacred Vow before
all witnesses concerned that he would never ever marry! Shantanu as well as the entire Kingdom were
taken aback by the decision of Gangeya. Shantanu tried to wriggle out of the deal, but Gangeya did
not allow any departure from his vow; he said that the sacrifice being performed was not comparable
to that of Parasurama, who for the asking by his father Jamadagni, had cut his own mother’s head on
the flimsy reasoning of her imagined flicker of mind when she saw a Gandharva bathing; or to
Lohitasya who allowed himself to be sold to a Brahmin as a servant boy, for working heinous
household duties leading to death, to repay his father Harischandra’s debt to Sage Visvamitra; or
obeying the implicit instruction of his father Dasaratha conveyed by Queen Kaikayi to abandon the
self and wife Sita to fourteen years of forest life as an ascetic couple ending by the kidnapping of his
wife and undergoing untold misery and torture! Thus quoting such examples, Gangeya announced to
the whole World that not only he would not marry but protect the entire progeny of the ‘Vamsa’ as
long as he lived! Thus was given Gangeya the indelible name of Bhishma in the generations to
follow!

Pandavas and Kuaravas- Quick proceedings of Maha Bharata: Since the elder issue of Veda Vyasa
from Ambika, Dhritharashtra was born blind, Ambalika’s son Pandu was made the King with the
approval of Bhishma, the driving force of the Kingdom, with Hastinapura as the Capital. The elder
brother had two wives Gandhari and Sauvali, the former being the Prime Wife and the latter was a
keep in the household. Gandhari, the daughter of Gandhara Desa and brother of Sakuni, gave birth to
one hundred sons, the elder two being the notorious Duryodhana and Dussasana (actual names were
Suyodhana and Susasana, standing for Good Warrior and Good Administrator). Gandhari preferred to
close her eyes always, out of sentiment as her husband was blind. Sauvali’s son was Yuyutsu. Pandu
Raja , the earlier King, was married to Kunti, the daughter of King Surasena and the paternal aunt of
Lord Krishna. The Raja also married Madri, the daughter of King Madra. When Kunti was a very
young girl, her father asked her to assist Sage Durvasa in a four month long Sacrifice / Yagna
performed by him and after the end of the Function, he was pleased to teach a Mantra to her which
could invoke any of the Demi Gods and Allied Devatas including Indra, Surya, Yamadharma Raja
and Vayu, as well as allied Demi-Gods like Aswini Kumars. Out of curiosity, Kunti experimented by
invoking Sun God in her private chamber and to her great surprise and dismay she found Surya
Himself standing before her and asked her as to whether she desired a son or a daughter. Being of a
tender age of preteens, she was flabbergasted at the odd statement of Surya’s but since the latter
understood the predicament of the girl, Surya gave her the boon that her virginity would not be
disturbed, but she should however be conceived. Kunti took her personal maid into confidence and
even informing her mother of the incident, she did not step out of her chamber. After nine months, she
delivered a boy of exceeding radiance and attraction with inborn armoury and ear-rings. With the help
of the maid, she arranged the child in a floating box and placed it on a nearby waterbody. A charioteer
of the Court of the King, Atiradha and his wife found the floating casket and as they did not have an
issue, considered the child as a great blessing and brought him up as ‘Karna’ since he had ear-rings in-
born and as Radheya after the name of the step mother. Therafter Kunti considered the incident as
forgotten of her innocent childhood. Subsequently Kunti married King Pandu in a ‘Swayamvara’( as
per the bride’s own choice), but soon thereafter, King Pandu received a curse from a Brahmana who
was targetted by the King’s arrow mistaken for a deer in copulation and the curse was that if he slept
with a woman, he would fall dead at once. The King knew that without begetting a son he would not
be able to cross the River Vaitarani at the entry point of hell itself and the soul would get stuck there
itself! Pandu suggested that Scriptures would allow a virtuous Brahmana to sleep with her and Kunti
informed that she knew a Mantra as gifted by Durvasa Muni and by reciting that she could be
blessed.Thus, Kunti invoked Yama Dharma Raja, Vayu, and Indra from time to time and was blessed
with three sons,viz. Dharmaraja, Bhima and Arjuna respectively. She also passed on the Mantra to
Madri who begot Nakula and Sahadeva as twin brothers. Once when Pandu ventured a wrong move to
invite Madri in bed, Pandu died because of the Brahmana’s curse as expected, and Madri too died in
self-immolation, leaving the two sons to Kunti’s care. Hence they came to be popular as Pancha-
Pandavas.As Pandu died, Dhritarashtra was sworn in as the King and there were quick changes in
Hastinapura, because of a blind King doting on his children especially Duryodhana who was in evil
league as ‘Dushta Chatushtaya’ or the Four Wicked Men along with his younger brother Dussasana,
his maternal uncle Sakuni and Karna (who was declared as the Ruler of a Subsidiary Anga Desa, as he
was barred otherwise from Royal responsibilities and rights since he did not have Kshatria origin as
the son of a charioteer). The Evil Four had constant quarrels with their Pandava cousins, due to
jealousy, as the cousins were far more disciplined and stronger as also since Kuru Vamsa elders and
others liked them more. The Evil Four pretended sympathy for Pandavas and wanted them to move
into a new Palace but their intention was to kill them while sleeping as the Palace was made of lac
and susceptible to quick fire. Thanks to Krishna’s foresight and precautionary measures, Pandavas
exited safe from the burning Palace through a secret passage, as the Evil Four misled the Public that
Pandavas and Kunti were burnt. Meanwhile Pandavas masqueraded as Brahmanas and stayed in a
poor family house on rent. When the turn of sparing a person from the landlord’s house came up for
Sacrifice to a Demon, named Bakasura, (as per a contract with the village heads and the Demon that
instead of his killing the Villagers indiscriminately), Bhima the strong man opted to reach the
Demon’s abode away from the Village and brought relief to the Villagers by killing him in a severe
duel. From thereon, Pandavas still appearing as Brahmanas, moved on to King Drupada’s Court for
Druapadi’s Swayamvara and succeded in the test of destroying a fish on a quickly moving wheel kept
above one’s head by an arrow while viewing its reflection down in a water pool underneath. This feat
was possible only to an ace archer. Karna and Kauvaras attended the Swayam Vara too. Only Arjuna
could perform the feat as Karna who too was a great archer had failed, again causing jealousy on
learning that the Brahmanas were fake and actually they were Pandavas. On hearing the good news
that after all Pandavas were not dead, the Elders of Kuru Vamsa including Bhishna, Dronacharya, and
Kripacharya were overjoyed but the Evil Four were shaken. They agreed that a portion of the
Kigdom be given away to Pandavas as a peace making measure and the Elders like Bhishna
appreciated the gesture. Pandavas thus moved to a new Capital at Indrprastha where a fantastic ‘Maya
Sabha’ or a Palace of Illusions built by the Divine Architect-Designer by the name Maya. Recovering
from their days of misfortune, Pandavas recouped and performed ‘Rajasuya Yagna’and invited
Kauravas including the Elders like Bhishma, Drona, Vidura and Kripacharya as well as the Evil Four.
Lord Krishna who had always been a staunch supporter of Pandavas was honoured as the Chief Guest
and when King Sisupala the evil opponent of Krishna objected and insulted the latter, his Sudarsana
Chakra (Wheel) snipped his head. The Evil Four, especially Duryodhana felt highly envious of
Pandavas, invited them to Hastinapura only to trap Dharmaraja into an unjust chess game with Sakuni
who was an expert in it and defeated Pandavas against stiff conditions of losing their Kingdom and
even themselves including Draupadi, with whom an attempt was made for disrobing. The conditions
were twelve years of forest life and one year of unidentifiable destination where they should not be
recognised failing which, the terms could be doubled! During the forest life of twelve years, Kauravas
tormented Pandavas and during the year long ‘Ajnanavas’ or unreconizable place, took refuge in
changed status with Dharmaraja as Kanku Bhat or Brahmana Adviser to King Virat in his latter’s
court, Draupadi as ‘Sairandhri’ as the Maid in the Queen’s Chamber, Bhima as the cook in the Royal
kitchen, Arjuna as ‘Brihannala’-the transgender dance teacher of the Princess Uttara; Nakula and
Sahadeva as the keepers of horses and cows. During the course of their stay in the Virat kingdom,
Pandavas underwent unknown torture and humiliation including the attempted molestation of
Sairandhri by the King’s powerful brother-in-law, named Keechaka who was quietly eliminated by
Bhima in a night duel. At the end of their stay in cognito, Kauravas tried to capture the cows of King
Virat but by that time Brihannala came into the form of Arjuna as the ‘Agyata vasa’ year was over
and destroyed the Kaurava Army single handedly and having utilised the ‘Sammohana Astra’ or the
‘Mantra’ which lulled the War Stalvarts like Bhishma, Drona, Asvatthama and of course the Evil Four
into long slumber and released the cows of King Virat back home. There were talks of ‘Sandhi’ or
Reconcilliation held by Krishna on behalf of Pandavas but the puffed up Evil Four refused even to a
pin-some space to Pandavas, let alone five villages to the five some and the Great War of
Mahabharata was fought for eighteen days dragging even the Elders of Kuru Vamsa like Bhishma,
Drona and quite a few pious persons by the Evil Four on one side and Pandavas on the other with
Krishna as Charioteer cum unarmed Adviser of Pandavas. A major casuality from the Pandavas side
was that of brave and young Abhimanyu, the son of Arjun and Subhadra, in a ‘Chakra Vyuha’(a
circular closed fight) among many- to-one unjust encounter. There was mass destruction on both sides
and the tragedies of stalwarts including the entire generation of Illustrious Elders who took part in the
Battle as also the Evil Four, with Duryodhana as the last to fall to Bhima, who killed Dussasana
earlier.

Maha Bhagavati allows vision of the dead at Kurukshetra Battle: Pursuant to the Great Battle, the
respected ladies of both Kauravas and Pandavas who lost their husbands, sons, grand sons, grand
fathers, fathers, in-laws and nephews collected on the banks of Ganges and prayed toVeda Vyasa to
secure a glimpse of the departed, since the ladies could not go to the battle field. Among the ladies
were Kunti, Gandhari, Draupadi, Subhadra and Uttara. Dhritarashtra and Pandava Heros were also
invited to the expected miracle-spectacle. The Maharshi performed Pranayama and deep yoga-
oriented meditation to the Unknown and Omniscient Devi Bhagavati. His intense and continued
worship for quite sometime and as an indication of the positive response received from Maha Devi,
there were indications on a huge sky-long celestial screen and there were quick glimpses of the one-
to-one fights and the resultant deaths and reactive celebrations; the screen views of the Linga and
Limbless Bodies of the departed souls which were recognised at once by the concerned eyes, but not
the converse.

Ashvattama punished and Parikshit born: Ashvathama could not reconcile to the death of his father
Drona Acharya who was otherwise invincible but as per Krishna’s advice, Bhima killed an elephant
named Ashvathama and made Bhima shout that Ashvathama was killed and conveyed the news to
Drona Acharya. Drona was horrified at the news, asked Dharmaraja for confirmation and the latter
confirmed: ‘Ashvathama died-the elephant ! But he said further in a very low tone saying ‘
Ashvthama hata: Kunjarah’. Thus Drona was cheated, hung his bow and arrows and sat still in
meditation, when Arjuna showered arrows and killed Drona.

Desirous of killing Arjuna in sleep, Ashvathama did not find him, but thus killed the full party of
Arjuna’s sons in sleep. In turn, Arjuna located Ashvathama and fought a fierce battle. Drona’s son
finally used to ‘Brahmastra’, the most potent Mantric arrow. Arjuna too retaliated by the use of the
same Astra and controlled Ashvathama. Yudhistara and Krishna advised not to kill Ashvathama but
cut the naturally born ‘Shringa’ Jewel ( diamond horn), which itself was an ugly insult to him. The
impact of Ashvathama’s Brahamastra would have normally torn off Arjuna’s pregnant daughter-in-
law Uttara, bur for Lord Krishna’s mystic intervention. The child thus born to Uttara was Parikshith
who was then the last remnant of Pandavas.

As a King, Parikshith was highly spiritual and benevolent. Once when he concluded a Royal hunt and
got thirsty, he visited the Ashram ( Hermitage) of Sage Samaika who was in deep meditation and thus
did not respond to the King’s visit. He was annoyed and picking up a dead snake fallen on the ground
nearby picked it up and placed it around the Muni’s head as a garland. On return to the hermitage, the
Sage’s son Sringi saw the ugly sight and gave a curse that whoever did this insult to my father would
be killed within a week’s time. The King having known of the curse readied himself on the banks of
River Ganges and requested Maha Muni Suka to enlighten him the Great Purana of Maha Bhagavata.
On the seventh day, with all the security in a seven storeyed building on the river banks, Taksha made
efforts to sneak in the building somehow and intercepted a Brahmana by name Kasyapa desirous of
making wealth from relieving the King’s problem as he knew the Mantra of anti snake bite; Daksha
gave away plenty of money to the Brahmana and got rid of him; in fact he tested the Brahmana
whether he could really administer the Mantra and revive an entire tree burnt by poisonous flames of
serpent’s bite; the Brahmana did convert the tree’s ashes to its original position. Later in the evening
Taksha asked disciples to disguise as Brahmanas to carry fruits to the King on the pretext of reciting
Atharvana Veda and the fruit which the King ate contained a small insect which was Taksha himself
assuming an enormous body and killed the King.

Janamejaya’s ‘Sarpa Yagna’ stopped by Sage Asita and Veda Vyasa:: When King Parikshith met his
end, his son Janamejaya was hardly a lad of eleven years and was declared as the next King. Guru
Kripacharya trained him in the Science of Archery, Administration and Dharmasastra. He was
married to Vapustama the daughter of King of Kasi and carried on with pious activities. Meanwhile a
Sage Uttanka approached Janamejaya and provoked him to take revenge on his father’s killer Taksha
and perform Sarpa Yagna (Sacrifice of Serpents) and command Taksha into the Fire Pit ( Homa
Kunda) and Sacrifice all the Serpents in the process. Sage Uttanka told the King that his father could
not go to heaven because of snake bite. Convinced thus, the King ordered that theYagna be arranged.
Thousands of snakes were burnt off and Taksha was so afraid of his life that he sought refuge from
Indra. But, so revengeful were Janamejaya and Sage Uttanka that they were prepared to command not
only Taksha but even Indra to Sarpa Yajna and haul them into the Fire Pit! Taksha thus approached
Sage Asita to call on the King and to refrain from proceeding further in the Sacrifice as thousands of
innocent Snakes were burnt off, for the sake of Taksha. Veda Vyasa explained the Episode of Sage
Asita and King Ruru to the King. In the olden days, there was a Sage Jaratkratu who was practising
high devotion to Devi Bhagavati in a forest. He had a vision of his dead father and forefathers in a
cave who asked him to marry and suggested an eligible woman named Jarat Karu, who was the sister
of Vasuki. Meanwhile the co-wives of Sage Kasyapa, viz. Kadru and Vinita had an argument as to
what was the colour of the horses of the Sun God’s chariot. Vinita guessed the color as white but
Kadru had a bet that the colour was black. It was agreed that whoever lost the bet would have to carry
the other on her back always while going to places. Kadru asked her sons to colour the horses black to
win the bet. While some of her sons obeyed her but others did not. Kadru cursed those who did not
comply be burnt off in a Fire pit and Vinita virtually became Kadru’s slave. Vinita’s son ‘Garuda’ the
Carrier of Maha Vishnu, asked for the cause of her sorrow and she narrated as to what happened.
Out of his affection for his mother, Garuda approached Kadru to pardon his mother and Kadru agreed
provided that Garuda could bring Amrit ( nectar) from the custody of Vaikuntha. Garuda was bent on
relieving his mother’s curse and fetched a jug of Nector from Vaikuntha. Kadru was delighted and
released Vinita. All the family members and friends of Kadru were invited and asked to clean up
themselves before taking spoonfuls of Amrit. But Indra quietly stole away the jug of Amrit. The
invitees of Kadru returned from their baths and found that the jug was missing. They were
disappointed but tried their best to lick any drops from out of the jar that might have spilt on the grass
( Kusa) and as they licked their tongues were cut and hence were known as ‘dvi-jihvas’ or two
tongued ever since. Vasuki and others who were troubled by Kadru approached Lord Brahma and
complained against Kadru, the mother of snakes. He blessed them and said that the younger sister of
Vasuki, Jarat Karu, should be proposed to wed Sage Jaratkaru. But the Sage was highly short
tempered and the bride should be very obedient and trustworthy and the couple would beget a child
who would enlighten, control and discipline the whole community of snakes and lighten the burden of
their over-haughtiness to the world. That was why, Sage Asita prevailed upon King Janamejaya to
stop the unique Sarpa Yagna and Veda Vyasa too approved of Sage Asita’s request. Maharshi Vyasa
had suggested that instead of the revenge-oriented Sarpa Yagna, he should rarher build a spacious
Temple dedicated to Devi Bhagavati and also perform Devi Maha Yagna and such other Spiritual
activities to release the soul of late King Parikshith and relieve the curse of the Brahmana boy.
Some doubts in connection with Maha Bharata

Sage Jaimini requested Markandeya Maharshi for clarifications on a few doubts on the proceedings
of Maha Bharata and the Maharshi suggested that the Sage might approach Holy Birds in
Vindhyachala. Understandably, Jaimini asked Markandeya as to who the Holy Birds were and the
latter related a Story that involved Indra, Narada and Apsaras or the Celestial Damsels. Narada visited
the Court of Indra once and the latter requested as to how the Brahmarshi could be entertained: either
by Songs of Gandharvas or by the dances of Apsaras. Narada preferred the dance of Apsaras and
named a specific Apsara called Vapu as she was preferred by Narada. The co-Apsaras challenged
Narada’s preference and a dance competition followed; Narada said that whosoever could attract the
attention of Durvasa Muni would be declared the best. The dance extravaganza disturbed Durvasa
Muni and cursed Apsara Vapu who resorted to loud singing to become a bird for sixteen years in a
series of births and deaths, that she should not give birth to a baby-bird and that she should die by a
sharp weapon before securing her original form.The related story was that there were two brothers in
the lineage of Garuda the Avian King and the Carrier of Vishnu. The brothers were named Kank and
Kandahar; Kank flew freely once and witnessed the scene of a Demon Vidyudrup and his union with
his wife Madanika, an Apsara. The demon objected and killed Kank. The infuriated Kandahar killed
the demon and Madanika desired to become the wife of Kandahar and changed her form as a bird.
Madanika was Vapu in her previous birth and the former and Kandahar gave birth to Taarkshi who
married a Brahmana boy. The bird became pregnant at the time of the Great of Maha Bharata and
while flying, Arjuna’s arrow hurt her and two eggs fell out of her abdomen and the elephant on whose
back Arjuna’s opponent was riding saved the eggs under a big bell. At the end of the battle, a Sage
named Shami found a big bell and underneath the bell were four chicks. The Sage took the chicks to
his Ashram and brought them up and as they grew, they learnt Vedas from the recitals taught to the
Sage’s students. One day the grown up birds spoke in human voice and sought the permission of the
Sage before flying away since their studentship was over! The wonder-struck Sage asked how the
birds possessed such amazing powers and the latter replied that they were actually the sons of a Muni
named Vipulaswan and their names were Sukrish and Tambaru, that his father was engaged in a
Yagna when Indra appeared as an old bird and asked for human flesh, that the sons refused to
sacrifice themselves while the father did the Sacrifice, that Indra said he was testing them of their
devotion and while dying the father blessed the sons to keep their knowledge of the Scriptures in tact
as ‘Jatismaras’ or those born would retain the memory of their previous birth! Guru Shami was
pleased at the happening and blessed the Holy Birds to migrate to Vindhyas for propagating Dharma!
Having learnt about the competence of the Holy Birds, Sage Jaimini who visited the Vindhyas and
posed four relevant questions in connection with Maha Bharata:
Why did Paramatma the Primeaval Force take to various Temporary Forms of existence!
The reply was simple: The Avyaktam Shasvatam Vishnum Anantam Ajamavyayam or the
Imperciavable, Everlasting, All-Pervading, Endless, Unborn and Indestructible Supreme takes to
different Forms as an ordinary Being as a Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-Lion, Midget, or a Full Human
Being, depending on exigencies only to ensure Universal Equilibrium so that minimal Virtue was
mainained and the permissible level of Evil was not crossed. The Holi Birds asserted: Yadaa yadaahi
Dharmasya Glanirbhavati Jaiminey! Abhyudhaanamadharmasya tadaatmaanam srujatasyasou/ (As
and when Dharma is distressed and Adharma is encouraged, Paramatma assumes an appropriate Form
and corrects the imbalances in the Universe; some times as human being or other times as in any
Form of Creation!)

Why did Draupadi consent tomarry all the Pandava Brothers together! Indra suspected danger to
his position and killed Trishira the son of Sage Twashta. The Sage went into a rage and plucked a
strand of hair from his head and offered it homa kunda and by his mantrik power created the mighty
Vritrasura with the specific mission to kill Indra. Indra already lost his sheen since he killed Trishira
and requested Sapta Rishis to mediate for extending his life. But Indra killed Vritra too disregarding
the pact between the Sapta Rishis and Twashta. These actions angered the Rakshasa community and
Indra backed by Devas. Continuous warfare resulted in choas and harassment of Devas, Maharshis,
Brahmanas, men, women and children. Bhu Devi experienced enormous weight of sin and made an
appeal to Indra and Devas. As a result, Yuhishtara the eldest of Pandavas came to be born by Indra’s
virility to Devi Kunti, Bheema was born to Kunti as the radiance of Indra was passed through Vayu
Deva; Indra gave away a part of his own Shakti to Kunti by means of which Arjuna was born; Indra’s
virility was transferred through the two Ashwini Kumars to Devi Maadri to result in the birth of
Nakula and Sahadeva. Thus Indra’s manliness was responsible to create the Pancha Pandavas by the
‘Amsha’of Indra either directly or through his Alternate Forms! Moreover, Indra’s wife Shachi Devi
as the ‘Yagneshani’ was created from Agni and hence Draupadi was Indra’s better half. Yogeshwara
Purusha Indra could divide his own radiance into as many parts as he wished. Thus, it was amply
justified that Draupadi was the common wife of all the Five Pandavas as asserted by the Holy Birds.
Why did Balarama atone for the sin of Brahma Hatya during his pilgrimage! Balarama the elder
brother of Shri Krishna remained neutral during the Great Battle of Maha Bharata between Pandavas
and Kauravas, mainly since Duryodhana of Kauravas, the arch enemy of Pandavas, was his disciple in
Gada-Yuddha or the battle of Maces in which Bheema of Pandavas was an expert too. Along with his
wife Devi Revati Balarama proceeded on pilgrimage for twelve years. In course of his travels, he
consumed ‘toddy’ an intoxicant drink and entered a garden of flowers and fruits and enjoyed the
atmosphere along with his wife. He entered a hermitage in the forest where there was a congregation
of Brahmanas being addressed by Suta Muni. The entire congregation stood up in reverence of
Balarama excepting a Brahmana as the latter realised that Balarama was intoxicated. Balarama
became furious and killed the Brahmana as the congregation left in disgust at the tragedy. On
recovering his senses Balarama realised his great folly and decided to atone for his Brahma hatya Sin
as also observed fast during his further pilgrimage and later on worshpped Puloma Saraswati to pay
for further penance.

Why were the defenceless sons of Draupadi killed in sleep! Once Sage Vishwamitra decided to
harass King Harischandra, partly due to the long standing hatred of the King’s Raja Guru Sage
Vasishtha but mainly to test the King for his virtue and truthfulness. Vishwamitra approached the
King once and requested him to perform one yagna and the latter readily agreed. The Sage said: ‘ Let
us presume that the Yagna was already performed and the Dakshina was already due to the Sage’.
The King smiled and said that he was ready to give away the expenses for the Yagna and also his
Dakshina. The Sage said that the expenses would be on his terms viz. the entire kingdom excepting
the Queen Shaibya and Prince Rohitasya. That would be in addition to the dakshina! As the King had
suddenly become a pauper and was further indebted towards the payment of Dakshina, Viswamitra
harassed Harischandra as he was asked to leave his Kingdom which was all over excepting Varanasi
the Place of Shiva. The Muni appeared again and again asking for the dues and the Five Lokapalakas
sought to intervene as the persecution to Harischandra became uncontrolled. Vishwamitra cursed the
Lokapalakas to be born as human beings. The Lokapalakas were frightened and begged for clemency
from the Muni. The Sage softened the curse thay they would not get entangled with the worldly
affairs after their births and would be killed in sleep without much prolongation of life. It was due the
curse of Vishwamitra to the Lokapalakas that Draupadi gave birth to the sons who were killed in sleep
by Aswatthama, the son of Dronacharya. Ashswatthama wanted to avenge the killing of the Acharya
by Arjuna as Yudhishtara shouted a blatant lie to the Acharya about Ashwathaama being killed but
whispered that an elephant called Ashwatthama was killed; following this Drona stopped the fight
and let Arjuna kill the unarmed Drona too.

Episodes related to Shiva and Parvati

Shiva Purana narrated an intersting link of the most revered Devis: Lord Brahma created Sandhya
and Manmatha as his ‘Manasika’ or mind born children. He got infatuated with Sandhya and Lord
Rudra chastised Brahma and the latter looked for an opportunity when Rudra might also be a victim
of passion and Vishnu said that Maha Deva was above such temptations. Meanwhile Sandhya Devi
who was ashamed of Brahma’s passion resorted to fierce Tapasya to Maha Deva for thousand years
under the tutelage of Maharshi Vasishtha in disguise as Sage Medatithi as per Brahma’s instruction.
Since there was no response from Shiva she got desperate and tried to jump into the Homa Kunda
(The Sacred Fire-Pit) in the Yagna being performed by Medatithi. Shiva made his appearance as she
desired that none on her clan should ever be a victim like Brahma, that she should be an example of
chastity and her husband should never cast a lustful eye on another woman. Shiva granted her wishes
and advised that she might now fall into the fire-pit thinking of a person whom she desired to be her
husband in her next birth. Shiva further gave her the boon that she would be the daughter of Daksha
Prajapati as Sati Devi and as the daughter of Himavan as Parvati Devi in her subsequent two births.
Sandhya then leapt into the fire-pit thinking of Medatithi (Vasishtha) as the husband in the immediate
next birth. The Prana Vayu or the Vital Air of Sandhya’s burnt body was carried to the Solar System
and Surya Deva converted it into three parts as Pratah Sandhya-Madhyahnika Sandhya and Sayah
Sandhya or of the morning-noon-evening timings of a day. The Sages at the Yagna were wonder
struck that Sandhya was re-born as a girl-child as named Arundhati and was married to Vasishta
when she came of age and earned the examplary fame of chastity; the practice of Vedic weddings is
followed by the visioning of the Arundhati Star on the Sky by the new-weds as a part of the wedding
procedure till date.

Daksha Yagna, Sati’s sacrifice, Shiva-Parvati’s wedding, Kumara’s birth and Tarakasura Vadha
Brahma blessed Daksha Prajapati to beget a daughter with the ‘Amsha’ or part-manifestation of Devi
Bhagavati as Devi Sati. Already Daksha got sixty daughters, ten married to Dharma, thirteen to
Kashyapa Muni, twenty seven to Chandra, two to Bhuta Ganas, two to Kushashwa, six to Garuda and
so on. As Sati Devi came of age, she fixed her mind on Rudra Deva and resorted to severe Tapasya.
Rudra agreed to marry her, Brahma proposed formally and the marriage took place with pomp and
show. Sati and Rudra shifted from Kailasa to Himalayas where Bhagavan enlightened Sati Devi on
many matters of Spiritual Significance including the nuances of Mantra-Tantra-Yantra and Yoga. But
meanwhile, Daksha Prajapati got increasingly jealous of Rudra Deva. At the ill-famed Daksha
Yagna, Daksha denied ‘Pradhana Havis’or the prime part of the Yagna to Rudra as per the usual
practice and even as Sage Dadhichi pointed out the lacuna, the caution was ignored. Sati Devi felt that
there was a mistake made by her father and insisted on attending the yagna despite Shiva’s warning
and his subsequent approval with great reluctance asNandi and Rudra Ganas accompanied her.
Daksha ignored her entry at the Yagna and in fact talked disparagingly against Rudra Deva. She could
not contain Daksha’s criticism of Maha Deva and having produced Yogic Fire ended herself to unite
with Bhagavan. As Nandi informed Shiva of the tragedy, the latter pulled out a few hairs from his
Jatajuta or the coarse knotted head- hair against a mountain and the energy so created broke the
mountain into two parts, one of which having materialised Veerabhadra and another Devi Bhadra
Kaali. The enraged Rudra asked them to destroy Daksha Yagna. Veerabhadra beheaded Daksha and
together with Bhadra Kaali turned the Yagna into smithereens. Devi Bhagavata Purana stated that
Shiva picked up the body remains of Sati Devi and performed furious Shiva Tandava to release his
pent up emotions of intense love of Sati and hightened anger for Daksha; Vishnu apprehended Pralaya
and used his Sudarshana Chakra to spread out the body remains of Sati and hundred and eight
Shakti Peethas came into being. Veda Vyasa affirmed that worship at these Siddha Peethas or even
hearing about these would destroy sins and bestow powers to the devotees concerned. Eventually, the
instant fury of Shiva was cooled down by the prayers of Brahma and Devas and the ever merciful
Shiva agreed to the resuscitation of Daksha by fixing the Goat-head of the Sacrificial animal. The
ever grateful Daksha begged of Shiva’s clemency and re-organised Daksha Yagna once again with
Maha Deva occupying the High-Seat at any Yagna eversince.

Devi Parvati’s wedding with Maha Deva:

Of the sixty daughters of Daksha Prajapati, Swadha Devi was married to Pitru Devas and gave birth to
Maina, Dhanya and Kalavati. The three of them once desired to have a ‘darshan’ of Vishnu and while
waiting their turn did not recognise the illustrious Sanaka-Sanandana- Sanat Kumara and Sanatana
Brothers. The brothers took offence that the girls did not recognise them and cursed the girls to be
born in Bhu Loka. The girls begged of forgiveness and the kind Rishis provided dispensations to the
curse that Maina would be the wife of Himavanta; Dhanya would be the wife of King Janaka and
secure a daughter called Devi Sita who would marry Shri Rama after breaking the Shiva Dhanush or
Maha Deva’s own Bow; and Kalavati wed marry Gopa Vrisabhan and give birth to Devi Radha the
Spiritual Beloved of Shri Krishna. Thus Maina Devi became the wife of Himavanta and gave birth to
Jagadamba herself, besides hundred sons born with wings; Indra was jealous of the sons and clipped
their wings excepting of Mainaka who hid himself in Dakshina Samudra as a mountain and years
later helped Hanuman during his reconnaaissance trip to Lanka to search Devi Sita. Devi Parvati from
her childhood was intensely devoted to Maha Deva and dreamt of marrying him. Her parents too
were cherishing the wish to have Shiva as their son-in-law. But, after Sati Devi’s yogic end, Shiva
was roaming around restlessly as a grobe trotter; his memories of Sati made him perspire once and out
of his sweat were born Bhauma whom Bhu Devi nurtured and the former eventually attained a
position in the Solar System as Mangala Deva or Mars.

At the instance of Devi Parvati, Himavan requested Maha Deva to assist him in his Tapasya but
Shiva refused. She encountered Shiva and argued that she was Prakriti or Nature and Shiva was Maha
Purusha and that his meditation would yield speedy results of his Tapasya! Shiva was impressed of
her Spiritual Knowledge and finally agreed that she could assist him in his Tapasya. It was at this
juncture the all- powerful Tarakasura , the son of Vajrang and the grandson of Diti, who did
unprecedented Tapasya, secured Brahma’s boon of invincibility excepting by a son of Shiva,
presuming that Shiva was highly disillusioned after the death of Sati and it was highly unlikely that
there could be even a remote possibility of Shiva’s wedding and of the birth of a son to him. But
being aware of Parvati being engaged in personal devotion to Shiva, Brahma advised Indra and Devas
to pursue the prospect of Shiva’s physical nearness to Parvati and seek the help of Kama Deva
Manmatha’s help to provoke Shiva’s passion. But the plan misfired as the Nirvikara Shiva was
annoyed and burnt off Madana into ash by the severity of his third eye, leaving Rati Devi into lurch
as she was widowed in the bargain. Her earnest prayers to Shiva that her husband was victimised for a
Deva Karya or a Task to Benefit Devas, the merciful Maha Deva gave the dispensation that
Manmatha would join Shiva Ganas then and could be visible to Rati Devi only and gave the further
boon that eventually Manmatha would be born to Shri Krishna and Devi Rukmini as Pradyumna and
Rati Devi would be his wife as Mayavati again. The highly disappointed Parvati intensified her
Tapasya and Bhagavan too melted gradually and consented to marry Parvati, as convinced by Vishnu,
Brahma and Indra. Shiva deputed Sapta Rishis to test Parvati’s seriousness to marry him. The Rishis
returned fully convinced but Shiva himself desired to test and in the disguise of a Brahmana to
dissuade her to marrya her stating that he was a Bhutanatha, a near Digambara and an uncouth and
frightening entity with matted hair and serpents and ash all over his body. Parvati vehemently reacted
and showed him the door. But she felt that the Tapasya apparently did not satisfy him and out of
desperation tried to jump into a fire pit, when Maha Deva gave darshan to her and said: Why did you
not realise that we are the Etranal Prakriti and Maha Purusha ourselves!

When the wedding announcement was made by Vishnu and Lakshmi, the entire Universe got
transformed with ecstasy. Indra and Devas as also Sivaganas, especially Nandi, Bhairava; Maina and
Himavanta; Sapta Matas viz.Brahmi, Mahendri, Maheswari,Kaum,ari,Vaishnavi, Vaarahi, Indri and
Chamunda were overjoyed; Gandharva-Yaksha-Kinnara- Apsaras went into frenzy. The wedding was
celebrated as the most memorable event of the Yugas and Kalpas.

The birth of Skanda: After the Wedding, Shiva and Parvati moved to Kailasa to spend their conjugal
happiness, Tarakasura’s evil activities reached a peak and a delegation of Devas headed by Brahma
approached Vishnu who in turn prayed to Shiva about the grim situation. In a great hurry to meet
Vishnu, Brahma and the Delegation of Devas, Shiva spilt his semen off ground and Agni Deva
transformed into a pigeon pecked up the drops but could not contain the drops. Maha Deva himself
suggested to Agni that the drops be better injected into a woman of immense virtue. Agni identified
six women of extraordinary virtue and injected the drops into their skin pores . They too could not
contain the heaviness and of extreme effervescence and as advised by Himalaya left the drops in the
flow of Ganges which carried to the bushes of reed (Sarkanda) and there appeared a boy of
mysterious radiance. Even while this sequence of events were taking place, Parvati Devi was
extremely furious and cursed the Deva Ganas who were all responsible for the huge wastage of Maha
Deva’s virility and cursed them all to become barren!

The birth of Kartikeya, as Krittikas had a role to play, took place at the most sancrosant time viz.
Krittika Nakshatra Shashti of Suddha Margasira; Sage Viswamitra arrived and gave him the name of
Guhya as he bestowed the totality of Vedic Knowledge; the Six Goddesses offered their six heads
and six mouths; he was known as Shanmukha. As he grew for a couple of years or so he grew
restless and moved on to Krouncha Mountain and proved his valour by crumbling it. Shiva Ganas
located him and brought him to Shiva and Parvati who knew no bounds of joy that he was finally
home. He was crowned as the King of Kailasha puri and Indra appointed him as the Senapati or the
Commander in Chief of Deva Sena. Tarakasura confronted Devas and ridiculed them that he took
refuge of a boy little realising that indeed he was a ‘wizard boy’! Having despatched a few warm up
weapons, Skanda Deva engaged him with light Astras which attracted ridicule but taking an
opportune time, threw the Shakti missile suddenly and deftly that the Demon’s chest was pounded and
the greatest menace to the Universe was smashed for ever.

The erstwhile foe’s right and left shoulders called Banasura and Pralamb who suppressed Devas into
miserable submission for long many years were cut off by Skanda and the remnants of enemies were
wiped too without a scar even!

Glories of Maha Deva, his manifestations , origin of Shiva Lingas, Dwadasha Lingas and
significance of Shiva Ratri

Slow-poison of Atheism by Arihan led to the killings of Tripurasuras by Maha Deva:
As Skanda Kumara killed the most dreaded Tarakasura, his sons Tarkasha, Vidyunmali and
Kamalaksha who were dejected at their father’s death were anxious to take revenge against Devas
who planned for the birth of Shiva’s son Kartikeya. They all resorted to extreme Tapasya to please
Brahma and secured boons to construct three invincible forts built of gold, silver and iron situated in
the Skies, Earth and the Lower Worlds and dominated the Universe tormenting the three lokas and
tormenting Devas and Rishis. Devas had to vacate the higher lokas and approached Brahma and
subsequently to Vishnu for succor. Vishnu realised that the Asuras were adept in ‘Karmakanda’ or
performing rituals as per Vedas and Scriptures and as such some another method of deviating from
the Rituals. Vishnu created from his body an Athiest called Arihan who made way to the Asuras and
in the garb of teaching them rituals taught the medium of Reasoning and created confusion in their
minds the concepts of faith versus logic or religion versus skepticism.Thus the slow poison of non-
belief got spread out from the Asura Kings to their Subjects. Thus firm grounds were prepared for the
destruction of their castles in which rituals were abolished and the ‘why and what’ kind of so-called
rationalism prevailed. Then it was a very easy situation of the invincible forts to be destroyed in one
go by Maha Deva himself by his most potent weapon viz. the Pashupataastra to terminate the Asuras
and uproot their followers.

Demon Jalandhar supported by Lakshmi but fascinated with Parvati and killed by Shiva :

Even as a child born at Gangasagar the terminal point of Ganga and the Ocean, Jalandhar was so
mighty and energetic that when he kicked Brahma in his neck who fondled the child the latter had
tears in his eyes! Samudra brought up the child and thus Lakshmi the daughter of Samudra had a soft
corner for her brother. As Jalandhar grew up he was married to Vrinda the daughter another Daitya
King Kalanemi and the became the most cruel King of Daityas himself and forced Indra and Devas to
vacate their positions in Swarga.Vishnu remained neutral due to Lakshmi’s reluctance to harm
Jalandhar; instead the latter had access to Ksheera Samudra the abode of Lakshmi-Narayana. Narada
Muni meanwhile created a problem for Jalandhar on two counts that Shiva’s riches and powers were
by far the most superior and that his wife Parvati was the prettiest woman in the Universe. Jalandhar
sent Rahu as an emissary to Parvati with a proposal to wed him and the latter was motionless at the
Daitya’s audacity and kicked out Rahu as he was a mere emissary. She complained toVishnu about
this incident and the latter adopted the same technique of approaching Jalandhar’s wife Vrinda
disguised as a Brahmana with a similar proposal of marrying her. Some time later Vishnu
impersonated as Jalandhar and approached Vrinda and on knowing the truth later, she cursed Vishnu
before her self-immolation that he too would face similar situation later; indeed Rama was looking for
Sita all over as she was abducted by Ravanasura! Jalandhar instigated the Shubh-Nikumbh brothers to
attack Shiva who no doubt subdued them but assured them that eventually they would be terminated
by Devi Bhagavati herself. Finally Jalandhar faced Shiva in a battle and the latter slit his throat by a
fiery ‘chakra’ produced from his left toe! Vishnu suffered a guilt complex at the self-immolation of
Vrinda and performed penance. Maha Deva asked Parvati to rally the support of Lakshmi and
Sarasvati in this context and the three Devis materialised three seeds of trees viz. Amla, Tulsi and
Malati and sprayed them at the Place where Vrinda self-immolated. The seeds were sprayed at
Vrinda’s immolation place and as they grew to become big trees they were sent to Vaikuntha as
tokens of blessings to Vrinda’s soul there!

Demon Shankhachooda was terminated by Shiva while Vishnu impersonated the Demon to cheat the
latter’s wife Tulasi!
In his earlier birth the Demon Shankhacooda was Sudama the Chief Attendant of Lord Krishna’s
‘Raasa mandali’ or The Dance Group of Gopikas and Krishna at Brindavana; he was a ‘Jatismara’ or
the person with the knowledge of previous birth. He was cursed by Radha Devi due to an indisrcetion
to become a Demon. Sudama fell in love with Devi Tulasi and she too was cursed to be born along
with Sudama as his wfe and she too was a jatismara. Shankachooda was fortified with constant
recitation of Narayana Kavacha and thus became an invincible demon with enormous strength and
fortitude; he defeated Devas and dislodged Indra and Devas from their thrones. The latter approached
Maha Deva who sent Pushpadanta with a warning to Shankhachooda but the demon had the audacity
of attacking Maha Deva him self! Shiva sent Shivaganas along with Bhadrakaali but to no avail. Then
Ganesha and Kartikeya led Devas along with the Eleven Rudras, Dwadasha Bhaskaras and a huge
contingent of Pramatha Ganas. While Shankachooda was waging the battle, Vishnu spread out his
Maya and entered Devi Tulasi’s chamber as Shankhachooda and pretended that there was a victory in
the battle and that he was tired to rest with her. In the course of their union, Tulasi cursed Vishnu even
as the news of her husband’s death was learnt. The distraught Tulasi who lost her chastity gave a
curse to Vishnu to turn ino a Stone. Vishnu however blessed Tulasi to accept her as his consort and
become immortal as a Tree who was worthy of daily worship all over the World. As a result of
Tulasi’s curse Vishnu turned out to be a ‘Salagrama’ worthy of daily worship too.

Andhakasura’s each blood drop was drenched out by Chandika Devi as instructed by Maha Deva
Originally a darling boy of Devi Parvati, Andhakasura bacame a menace to the Universe. In a playful
mood, she closed Shiva’s eyes and the perspiration on the latter’s forehead created a boy of muscular
strength called Andhaka. Parvati nurtured the boy with affection and care. When the Daitya King
Hiranyaksha pleased Maha Deva with the King’s rigorous Tapasya for several years and obtained the
boons of longevity and invincibilty, Lord Shiva also gifted Andhaka to the King to assist him and
treat him as his own son. Together, both Hirankasha and Andhaka conquered the Three worlds and
the former even sought to pull down Bhumi besides Vedas and Scriptures to Rasatala and Vishnu had
to assume the Form of Varaha and destroyed Hiranyaksha. Andhaka then resorted to severe Tapasya
and obtained the boon that none other than Shiva could kill him. Empowered with the boon, Andhaka
became arrogant and tormented Devas and Rishis even ignoring Parvati and Shiva. Meanwhile Daitya
Guru Shukracharya pleased Maha Deva with his meditation and secured ‘Mrita Sanjeevani’ Vidya
and stalled the killings of Daitya-Danavas and revived the dead ones also. A fiery Shiva was incensed
that the Vidya was being misused and killed Shukracharya; as he was being killed, the Guru expressed
his sincere regret and the merciful Shiva released the Guru through his semen. Shiva then applied his
Trident and killed Andhakasura but thanks to his boon of Brahma, the Daitya multipled himself for
each drop of his blood. Maha Deva had then to instruct Devi Chandika to expand her tongue and
drenched out the blood of Andakasura’s body totally. Shiva lifted the body of the Demon as the latter
prayed to Maha Deva to grant him admission to Siva Ganas.

Gajasura’s boon to reside in his belly and got killed to attain Shiva Ganatwa:

Gajasura’s boon to reside in his belly and get killed only by Maha Deva: ajasura an ardent devotee of
Shiva performed severe penance and secured the boon of Shiva’s residing in the belly of the Asura. A
highly agitated Parvati requested Vishnu to locate the missing Shiva. Vishnu disguised himself as a
street player along with Nandeeswara searched all over the Kingdom of Gajasura and came to learn
that Shiva was inside the King’s belly. The dance of Nandi pleased the Asura and Vishnu requested
the latter to release Shiva on the condition that Shiva could exit from the belly by making him secure
everlasting glory and that was how Shiva wore the skin of the Elephant-Demon as ‘Gajambara
dhaari’ and assumed the name of Krittivaseshwara. [Another interpreation is that having pierced out
of the Asura’s belly, Shiva blessed the latter to let his head get fixed on his son’s shoulders and make
Gajasura’s memory permanent as Ganesha!]

Several such Shiva Leelas were ascribed to Maha Deva like the Daitya Nirhada the maternal uncle of
Prahlada who initiated the practice of co-Daityas killing Brahmanans in the form of tigers when the
Brahmanas were asleep at Yagna Shalaas and Shiva too assumed the form of another tiger to kill the
Asura tigers. On one Shiva Ratri, thousands of Brahmanas were awake after Shiva Lingaarchanas and
Shiva assumed thousands of tiger forms to kill the perpetrator Asuras. Another story described was
that of Vidal and Utpal Daityas who entered the Shiva Ganas in their forms during a ball game in
which Shiva and Parvati were at play and the Omnisceint Super Gods hit the balls so hard that the
masquerading Asuras died instantly and the balls got converted as Siva Lingas.

Basic Manifestations of Shiva :

Incarnations as Pancha Mukhaas or the Five Faces are: Sadyojaata in white complexion looking west
ward blessing Brahma to initiate the process of Creation; Vamadeva in red complexion looking
northward in deep meditative posture; Aghoresha in blue complexion looking southward representing
destructive as also regenerating energy with Roudra Mukham; Tatpurusha in yellow complexion
looking Eastward as a deluding or misleading Purusha Swarupa and Ishaana facing South East being
copmlexion-less Sada-Shiva who is Eternal, Omni Present- Omni Scient and Omni-Potent!
The Ashta Murtis or Eight Swarupas of Shiva are Sharva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bhima, Pashupati,
Ishana and Maha Deva; these Swarupas represent Pancha Bhutas or Five Elements of Earth-Water-
Radiance- Ether and Sky , besides Sun-Moon-and Kshetragjna. Sharva is All-Knowing, Bhava is the
Bestower and All- Merciful, Rudra is the Punisher and the Corrector, Ugra or the Destroyer , Bhima
the remover of all kinds of difficulties, Pashupati the Liberator of Samsara or the Earthly-bondages or
chains, Ishana the Supreme Witness of Actions and Sufferings and Shiva the ever-provider of
coolness and fulfillment also manifested in Moon as Maha Deva.

The Ekadasha Rudras are Kapali, Pingala, Bheema, Virupaksha, Vilohita, Shastra, Ajapaada,
Ahirbudhya, Shamshu, Chand and Bhava who are the regular and constant destroyers of Evil Forces
and the ever generating demonaic Shaktis in the Universe.

The corresponding Dasha Shakti Swarupas or the Counter-Part Maha Vidyas are: Maha Kaal-Kaali,
Tar- Tara, Bhuveneshwar-Bhuvaneshwari, Shodasha-Shodashi or Shri Vidyesha-Shri Vidyeshi,
Bhairava-Bharavi, Chhinna mastak-Chhinnamasta, Dhumavan-Dhumavati, BhagalaMukha-Bhagala
Mukhi, Matanga-Matangi and Kamal-Kamala.

Arthanaareshwara is a significant and Composite Form of Purusha and Prakriti. As Brahma felt a
major limitation of not being able to procreate freely and immensely, a Celestial voice was conveyed
to him that he should perform Tapasya to Bhagavan Shiva sincerely. Shiva manifested him self as
Arthanaareshwara and provided guidelineds to create male and female beings and thus expedite the
process of procreation.

Tri- Sishu Murtis were the Triplets born to Atri-Anasuya couples. Sage Atri was the Manasa Putra or
the the mind born son of Lord Brahma; the couple performed a powerful penance to Maha Deva and
the severity of the Sacrifice was such that extreme heat from the fire-pit radiated all over the world
and Devas approached Brahma who along with Vishnu conferred with Shiva and appeared before Atri
and Anasuya and desired to test her chastity in the forms of Munis who demanded that they should
serve food to them naked! She donned tree leaves and served food. Three boys were born: Chandra
with Brahma’s Amsha, Dattatreya with Vishnu’s Amsha and Durvasa with Shiva’s Amsha. Devi
Anasuya (literally meaning as the person without jealousy) was thus the unique woman with Tri
Murtis as her kids!

Durvasa: Being of the Amsha of Maha Deva, Maharshi Durvasa was stated to be of extremely short
temper. An interesting happening was narrated by Sage Suta to the congregation of Rishis
about Maharshi Durvasa: King Ambarisha was highly virtuous and pious who was in the
habit of observing fasts and worship to Bhagavan on every Ekadasi (eleventh) day of a month
and on the next day of Dwadasi (twelfth) day, he would break the fast only after a Brahmana
or more would commence their food. It was on a Dwadasi day that along with several of his
disciples, Durvasa made a sudden appearance, agreed to join for mid day meals and took
away all his Sishyas for taking bath in a river nearby. Just at the nick of time when Dwadasi
was nearing its end, Durvasa and disciples did not return; the King had to cut-short the fast
and took one sip of water and precisely at that split second Durvasa and others arrived.
Durvasa became furious that the King did not wait for him but had a sip of water already; he
pulled out a lock of hair which became a flame and would have turned the King into ash but
for the instantaneous appearance of ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ (since the King was a very high
devotee of Lord Vishnu) which not only put off the fire but chased the Sage. A celestial voice
was heard not to hurt the Sage as he was of part embodiment of Bhagavan Siva and that he
was only testing Ambarisha.The King beseeched Durvasa’s sincere pardon and so did
Sudarshan Chakra too. There were many other instances when Sage Durvasa used to test the
real characteristsics of illustrious personalities- apparently to enlighten the posterity – like Sri
Rama who was once ordered not to be disturbed by anyone but Lakshmana had to do so
since Durvasa arrived and as an atonement discarded even Lakshmana for his wrong action;
when Durvasa was taking bath in Ganga naked by intention or mistake, Draupadi tore a part
of her sari to cover the Sage, and he blessed her that at the time of ‘Vastrapaharanam’ (
Draupadi’s disrobing) in an open Court, the piece of cloth would come to her rescue as
Dussasana tried to disrobe her; and finally saved another great embarrassment to Pandavas
and Draupadi by the sudden arrival of Durvasa with many disciples while she was unable to
cook so much of food for all of them, but Lord Krishna arrived and suppressed the hunger of
all of them as a morsel of rice remained in the utensil and that turned to be plentiful to
Durvasa and disciples!
Other manifestations of Maha Deva: Bhagavan Shiva assumed innumerable other forms. He
appeared as Yakshewara to humble Devas as they became arrogant as they secured ‘Amrit’
after churning Ocean and asked them to cut pieces of grass and they were so mighty but they
failed and realised that He was Maha Deva Himself; He incarnated as Hanuman when Lord
Siva was infatuated with Mohini, Saptarishis carried His semen to Anjana Devi through Vayu
Deva, as a child swallowed Sun God to release him only after Deities requested the child when
Sun agreed to be Hanuman’s teacher, joined Lord Rama as His devotee, assisted Rama to
locate Sita as also destroyed Ravana along with his clan and had became immortal eversince;
He assumed the form of Mahesha along with Girija since Bhairava, the door keeper of
Kailasa, made Parvati unhappy causing Her to curse as mortal named Vetal who performed
penance of such intensity that pleased Siva and Parvati; He embodied as Vrishabha
(Appearance of an Ox) to enter the lower lokas (nether worlds) with the aim of punishing
Vishnu’s wicked sons but when they were destroyed Vishnu fought with Vrishabha not
knowing the Ox-like form was of Siva’s; when Vishnu prayed to Siva the latter presented
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Sudarsan Chakra to Vishnu. Lord Siva disguised as a Yatinath to test the depth of devotion by
a Bhil couple named Ahuk and Ahuka and sought resting place overnight but even while Ahuk
said that their hut was just enough for two persons, Ahuka agreed to sleep outside to let the
guest sleep inside the hut, while a wild animal killed Ahuk yet Ahuka quietly tried to jump in
the husband’s funeral pyre when Lord Siva manifested and blessed that the couple to become
Nala and Damayanti in the next birth as the Lord would appear as a ‘Hamsa’ (Swan) to unite
them; Siva disguised as a beggar to another poor woman who was hesitating to look after an
orphan boy as she had her own child too, yet advised the woman to bring up both the kids,
since the orphan boy was the son of King Satyarath who was killed by enemies while the
Queen went to forest along with the just born child but was killed by a crocodile in a river thus
prevailing on the poor woman not to abandon the orphan and eventually found a pot of gold to
her surprise; Lord Siva appeared as Sureshwara in the guise of Indra when child Upamanyu
performed concentrated penance to Bhagavan to become rich as he did not have enough money
to buy milk when his poor mother said that Siva could only provide money but as a result of
his penance Indra appeared and not Siva which disapponted Upamanu to resume the Tapasya
with far higher devotion and Siva Himself appeared; and Bhagavan’s Incarnation as Kirat
(hunter) when a forest bound boar (actually a Demon Mookasura sent by Duryodhana) killed
by Arjuna and Kirata simultaneously was claimed by both ending up in a mutual fight and
finally a victorious Siva was impressed by Arjuna’s valour and gifted ‘Pasupatastra’, the most
potent arrow of the World!
Nandikeshwara: As regards Nandikeshwara, the origin was that Sage Shailada secured a boon from
Maha Deva that a son of extraordinary Spiritual Knowledge would be born with four hands and three
eyes but would be short lived for seven years only. The boy was born was a prodigy of Vedas. But
realising that the lad would be short-lived, the Sage took to severe Tapasya again to Maha Deva who
blessed the boy to live for ever! He instructed the Sage that a garland worn by Shiva himself should
imbibe His powers and sprinkled water from His locks as the water flowed as ‘Panchanadi’or five
rivers. Shiva then appointed the boy as the Chief of Shivaganaas. Devi Parvati brought up the boy as
her own and gave Nandeswara full freedom in their house-hold! Any prayer to Shiva should be
through him only!
Bhairava: was created from Bhagavan Siva’s third eye as He decided to snip the fifth head of
Brahma who annoyed the Lord for the sin of temptation with his own daughter. But the sin of
removing a head of Brahma construed as ‘Brahma hatya’ (killing a Brahmana that too of the
stature of Brahma) haunted Bhairava and he wished to atone the sin by begging alms in the
skull of the dropped Head. He reached Vaikuntha and Lakshmi Devi gifted a Vidya or learning
called ‘Manorath’ or fulfilment of one’s mental wishes. Lord Siva dropped oegrass (a plant in
sea akin to elephant grass) in the skull-bowl and directed Bhairava to Kasi as this sin of
Brahmahatya could not enter the Temple but he went to Patalaloka intead. As Bhairava
dropped the skull, he got rid of the sin for-ever.The place where the skull fell is regarded as that
of ‘Kapala Moksha’ or Salvation of the Skull.

Sharabheshwara: is another incarnation of Maha Deva, in the curious form of a giant bird
which is part-lion and part-human [depicted as a figure in the Temples of South India]. When
Lord Vishnu assumed the incarnation of Narasimha (Man-Lion) and devastated the Demon
Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahlada- the die-hard devotee of Vishnu, Narasimha continued His
fury for a long time and various efforts including Prahlad’s prayers and even Veerabhadra’s
intervention in the form of a mighty fight proved futile. The Giant Bird was able to control
Narasimha and flew the latter away held by its beak. On way, Lord Vishnu recovered His
normalcy and praised Siva for averting a universal havoc. The body of Narasimha was
destroyed and its Lion’s Head was worn in a garland of Sharabhevara or Lord Siva.

The Story of Siva Linga’s Origin:

In the secluded and thick forests of Darukavana, select Rishis and Yogis called were engaged in deep
Tapasya and their wives who were all Maha Pativratas were engaged in serving the Tapasis in their
Spiritual Activities of ‘Karma Kanda’ like ‘Japa-Homas’. Maha Deva arrived in that atmosphere to
test the depth and earnestness of their devotion in the disguise of a semi lunatic but as an
astonishingly handsome youth; he was half-naked some times laughing and some times crying but
behaving erratically. Out of curiosty in the beginning and as a temptation eventually the women folk
including the elderly ones, not to mention of the youthful ones and of course the ‘kanyas’ made a
beeline to the handsome young man and the Rishis found a noticeable transformation in their outlook
with sympathy and soft corner. Some entrerprising women even tried to converse with the person but
he did not respond positively. As the men in that small Society reprimanded him and even threatened
him to leave the Place, he did not reply and laughed away as though they were in a negative mode.
Finally, his presence became a nuisance upsetting their peace of mind as the women folk started
getting more and more attracted to him by the day. In one go, the Rishis confronted him and cursed
him that his Linga be dropped. Brahma appeared and admonished the Maharshis and apologised to
Maha Deva. The Munis too realised their terrible mistake and sought unreserved apologies to the
youth in disguise. Maha Deva no doubt accepted their sincere apologies but reprimanded them for
their flippant reactions without trying to assess the truth; he said that the entire Srishti occurred due to
Stree and Pumlingas and one shopuld not hasten to wrong conclusions ; a Brahmavaadi might be a
naked person, or ash-smeared or even a child and least-communicative as he might be engrossed in
inner-meditation enjoying bliss or crying for the betterment of Society around and as such ‘prima
facie’ interpretations might be misleading. This was how Shiva guided the Rishis not to confuse Maya
for Satya or Illusions for Reality! Maha Deva also suggested that ‘Karma Kanda’ could certainly be a
foundation to the path for Self-Realisation or a means for Salvation but not the end by itself just as
mistaking wood for the forest!

Shata-Rudreeyam: Thus Linga Formations are representations of Maha Deva and worship to Lingas is
most certainly the worship to Shiva and his virility itself. While there are crores of Linga Swarupas
made of sand, rock, metal and various other matetial bases all over the Universe, distinct Beings like
Brahma-Vishnus, Deva-Danavas, Yaksha-Gandharvas, Muni-Manavas and others were stated to
worship Shiva Lingas in their own ways having materialised them with varying materials and varying
names of Shiva. This staggering mateial base with which the Lingas were made and distinguished
with different names of Maha Devas was called Shata Rudreeyam.: Brahma meditated the feet of a
Golden Linga called Jagat Pradhana; Krishna to the head of a black stone Linga named Urjit;
Sanakadi Munis to the heart of Jagadrati Linga; Sapta Rishis worshipped a Darbha Linga named
Vishwa Yoni; Narada conceived an all-pervasive Akaakasha Linga and worshipped Jagatvija; Indra
worshipped a Vajra Linga named Vishwatma; Surya to a copper Linga called Vishwasruga; Chandra
to a pearl Linga named Jagatpati; Agni worshipped Indra Nila Mani Linga called Vishweshwara;
Brihaspati to a Pushparajamani called Vishwa Yoni; Yama Dharma Raja to a brass Linga called
Shambhu; Shukracharya paid penance to Padmaraaga Man Linga called Vishwakarma; Kubera
worshipped a Golden Linga called Ishwara; Vishwa Deva Ganas prayed to a Silver Linga named
Jagatgati; Ashtavasus to a Glass Linga known as Bhavodbhava; Marud Ganas to TriLoka Linga made
of three metals called Umesha/ Bhupesha; Rakshasas prayed to an Iron Linga called Bhuta Bhavya
Badhavya; Guhyaka Ganas prayed to a Mirror-made Shiva Linga named Yoga; Jaigeesha Muni
performed puja to Maya Linga named Jaigeeshwara; King Nimi did penance to a Ugala Netra Linga
or Two Eyed Linga called Sharva; Dhanvantari worshipped Gomaya Linga (cow-dung) in the name of
Sarva Lokeshwareshwara; Gandharvas made pujas to a wooden Linga called Sarva Shreshtha; Lord
Rama made intense Japa to Vidyunmani Linga named Jyeshtha; Banasura made sacrifices to a
Marakata Mani Linga named Varishtha; Varuna Deva revered Sphatika Mani Linga named
Parameshwara; Naga Ganas prayed to Munga (Black Pearl) Linga named Lokatrayankara; Shani
Deva performed Japa on Saturday Amavasya Midnights to Bhavari Swarupa Linga (Honey Bee)
called Jagannatha; Ravana worshipped Chameli Flower Linga named Sudurjaa; Siddha Ganas prayed
to Manasa Linga called ‘Kama Mrityu Jaraatiga’; and so on.

Dwadasha Jyotir Lingas: Nandeshwara described the most Celebrated Twelve Shiva Lingas viz.
Kedarnath in Himalayas [Uttaranchal], Bhima Shankar in Dakinya [Pune, Maharashtra],
Vishweshwara in Varanasi, Triambaka on Godavari Banks, Somanath in Sourashtra [Gujarat],
Mallikarjuna in Shri Shaila [Andhra Pradesh], Mahakaala in Ujjain [Madhya Pradesh], Omkareshwara
[also in Madhya Pradesh], Vaidyanath at Deogarh [Bihar], Nageshwara near Dwaraka [Gujarat],
Rameshwara [Tamil nadu] and Ghishneshwara [near Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra].
Somanath is a Sparsha Linga and the Water Body Chandra Kund is stated to cure Leprosy and
Tuberculosis. Its legend originated from Daksha Prajapati’s Curse since Daksha married off twenty
seven of his daughters to Chandra but the latter displayed extreme affection for Rohini to the
complete neglect of others and Daksha cursed Chandra to gradually disappear from the Sky. There
was havoc to the worlds in the absence of Chandra as there was neither moon shine nor coolness in
the nights and worse still there were no ‘Aoushadhis’ nor Brahmanas whose Lord Chandra was
performing Yagnas. Lord Shiva sorted the problem of creating Shukla Paksha or the First Bright
Fortnight as Chandra would reach a peak of Shine upto Pournami and in the subsequent fortnight of
Krishna Paksha would wane upto Amavasya.

Shri Shailam: Shiva and Parvati appeared as Mallikarjuna and Bhramaramba as Kartikeya left for
Tapasya on the Krouncha Mountain since he felt cheated on his return from a ‘Bhu Pradakshina’or
circumambulation of Earth as per a Pact approved by his parents for an earlier wedding but his brother
Ganesha did not do so and merely performed three Pradakshinas around his parents much faster than
Kartik; Ganesha knew that the Pradakshinas were as good as Bhu Pradakshina around their parents as
per Scriptures! Shiva and Parvati tried to reach Kartikeya on Mountain to pacify him. Devi Parvati
assumed the form of bees all over her body to kill Mahishasura and hence her Avatara as
Bhramaramba. It is stated that Vrishabha Deva the Carrier of Maha Deva did severe Tapasya at the
same Place and Shiva Parvatis obliged their darshan in the form of Mallikarjuna and Bhramaramba
here. Also Rama installed a Sahasra Linga there and so did Pandavas the Pancha Pandava Lingas.
Further, Adi Shankara is stated to have scripted his memorable Work of ‘Shivananda Lahari’ here.
Ujjain: Lord Shiva’s Swayambhu (Self- Generated) Linga as Mahakaal on the banks of River
Kshipra is a unique specimen of Jyotirlingas maintained on Tantrik Principles. The mythological
background of the Temple related to a pious Brahmana well versed in Vedas and Sciptures who gave
birth to four highly learned sons named Deva Priya, Priyamedha, Survita and Suvrata. A demon
called named Dushana lived on a nearby hill Ratnamala who could not tolerate the very concept of
Vedas and their applications and particularly hated the Brahmana brothers and on one day along with
his co-demons encountered the brothers while they were engrossed in an ‘Abhisheka’ to the
Mahakaala Linga. As the demons surrounded the Brahmana brothers and were about to kill them,
there was a frightful and reverberating roar of ‘Humkaara’which instantly exterminated the killer
demons. The Brahmana brothers prostrated gratefully before the Linga and recited soulful stotras and
Maha Kaala made his unique appearance and intensified their Tri-Kaala pujas which were continued
grom generation to generation. The experience of early morning ‘Bhasmabhishekas’ with the bhasma
/ ash of the first dead body of Ujjain as purified appropriate Mantras with the Sacred waters of River
Ksdhipra continues to be awe-inspiring till date! Ujjain, the erstwhile Capital of Avanti has a glorious
past as it was ruled by Mauryas and Guptas, especially by Vikramaditya and his renowned ‘Nava-
Ratnas’ or the Nine Gems of Poets especially of Kalidaasaa, Vetala Bhatta and Varahamihira; his step
btother Saint Bhartuhari who spurned on Kingship is still reputed for Bhartruhari caves as one went
inside beyond a point would never return! Kala Bhairava Idol in the Temple in the vicinity of the
Caves accepts half of any intoxicating liquor and leaves behind as a ‘Prashad ‘ or return of the
Offerings. Ujjain is one of the Seven Illustrious ‘Mukti Sthalaas’ or Salvation Places in Bharat,
besides Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanchipuram and Dwaraka.

Omkareshwara: Situated on the banks of River Narmada on the Mandhata Island formed in the shape
of OM in Sanskrit, Omkareshwara is another famed Jyoir Lingas. The Legend was that Narada
provocked the powerful Vindhya Mountain as the latter boasted of his height and might; Vindhya was
noboubt high but was not comparable to that of Meru Mountain, Narada said. Vindhya Raja felt
jealous and resorted to concentrated Tapasya to Maha Deva who granted Vindhya’s request to
establish a Shiva Linga on the banks of Narmada River. Puffed by Shiva’s presence there, Vindhya
grew taller and taller to compete with Sumeru. This disturbed Surya’s routine circumambulation of
the Universe as he had to return half way as one half of the Universe remained dark. Devi Bhagavati
asked Sage Agastya from Varanasi to visit Vindhya Raja who out of veneration for the Muni bent
down as Agastya asked Vindhaya to be in that position till he returned and the Muni had yet to return
from Dakishna Bharat eversince!

Kedareswara:

Flanked the snow-clad peaks of Himalayas at a height of 3585 m from Sea level Kedar
is the highest point of human comprehension where the Kedareshwara Jyotirlinga is present. The
incarnations of Vishnu as Nara and Narayana Maharshis in the form of Mountains meditated to
Shiva for times immemorial. Pandavas performed penance to Shiva for the welfare of humanity and
the latter was materialsed as a Swayambhu Linga as Kedareshwara- a large expanse of Black Stone
with an inclined elevation in the middle. The belief is that the Pancha Pandavas in their final journey
reached the Temple chasing a Bull- Lord Shiva Himself-and Bhima sought to catch the tail but failed;
finally they all attained Salvation at the Mountain Top. It is also believed that Adi Shankara too
attained his Moksha on the Mountain Top.

Bhima Shankar: Located in the Ghat Region of Sahyadri Hills near the head of the Bhima River that
merged with River Krishna too, Bhima Shankara Jyotir Linga was stated to have materialised on its
own as Maha Deva killed Demon Bhima the son of Kumbhakarna, the brother of Rananasura. Demon
Bhima wished to avenge the killings of his father and King Ravana by Shri Rama and secured the
boon of invincibility against Devas and other Beings from Brahma by the dint of extreme penance.
Besides dislodging Indra and Devas from their Seats of Power, the Demon Bhima provoked Maha
Deva as the Demon tormented his devotee a staunch Shiva Bhakta named King Kamarupeshwara
insisting that instead of worshipping Shiva the Demoon should worship him instead. As the Demon
was about to destroy the Shiva Linga worshipped by the King, Mahadeva appeared and sliced the
demon’s head and the sweat from Shiva’s forehead while killing the demon turned into a water flow
since called Bhima River. The Jyotir Linga manifested as a powerful representation of ‘Artha
Nareeswara’ bestowing proof of fulfilment of devotees who throng the Temple in large crowds
especially on Mondays and Shiva Ratris. As in respect of Ujjain, the Swayambhu Linga here too is set
at a level lower than the normal Ground. The Bhima Shankar Temple is also stated to have ben
associated wirh the killing of Tripurasuras and there was a manifestation of Devi Parvati in a Place
nearby as Kamalaja since Brahma worshipped her.

Another version from the Koti Rudra Samhita of Shiva Purana indicated Dakininam Bheema
Shankara as the slayer of Bhimasura and that Bhima Shankara’s Temple was situated at Kamarup
(Assam) on Bhimapur Hill where King Sudakshina was saved and the Jyotir Linga was consecrated as
Shiva Rathis were celebrated with tremendous pomp and show with great fervour. Yet another version
stated that Bhima Shankar Jyotir Linga appeared as a Swayambhu at Kashipur near Nainital which
was chronicled as the Dakini Country where Bhima of Pandavas married a Dakini woman named
Hidimba and there too there was a Jyotir Linga as Swayambhu.

Varanasi: Famed as the Place of Devas that was founded by Bhagavan Shiva Himself some thousand
years ago, Kasi the confluence of Rivers Varana and Asi, has a hoary legend with world-wide
reputation, referred to in Rig Veda and Puranas. This was the spot where Bhagavan Vishweshvara
manifested as Avimukta Jyotirlinga. Brahma was stated to have made such extraordinary Tapasya to
such an extent that Vishnu moved his head across so fast in disbelief and his ear-ring fell on the banks
of the River Ganges and continued his search there and the Sacred Spot was named ‘Manikarnika’
ever since. As Brahma recited Vedas in praise of Maha Deva once, the latter was annoyed as
Brahma’s wrong and misleading stanza was recited and Shiva sliced one of Brahma’s ‘Pancha
Mukhas’ or Five Faces in great exaspration; the sliced head found a lasting Place as Brahmakund.
Varanasi is also reputed as one of the Shakti Peethaas where Sati Devi’s ear-rings fell where Devi
Vishalakshi’s shrine stands now. The Shrine of Devi Annapurna exists where during a long spell of
famine broke in Kasi and Devi Bhagavati herself served ‘Anna’ or cooked rice food to one and all
daily and Maha Deva too was a beneficiary as a beggar of the charity of food so received into the
Brahma Kapala of the sliced head of Brahma since the Brahma Hatya sin haunted Shiva till his
Vimochana! The illustrious Harischandra Ghat where King Harischandra was posted as a Slave at
Smashana or burial ground continues its operations of despatching the Souls of dead bodies to
Kailasa! Ranging from Kings and Queens, Foreign Plunderers, Saints like Adi Shankara,
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Dayananda, Tulasi Das, and Guru Nanak, non-Hindu
Followers and even athiests have been attracted to this Unique Kasi and Lord Vishweswara blesses
them all!

Tryambakshwara:

Located some thirty kilometers away from Nasik in Maharashtra the Jyotirlinga
attracts thousands of pilgrims round the year providing boons of fulfillment of material desires and
spiritual solace. This is the Source Point of the Holy River Godavari; the famed couple of Sage
Gautama and his wife Ahalya made such selfless prayers to end the long spell of famine and Lord
Varuna blessed a constant flow of Water. As the incessant flow of water and the resultant abundance
of foodgrains created jealousy of co-Sages and their wives, they created a Maya Cow which destroyed
grains. Gautama killed the Maya Cow and the co-Sages banished the Gautama couple to a lonely
hermitage on the mountain called Brahmagiri.The Sage made an extraordinatry penance and the
pleased Maha Deva who bestowed a doubled boon of calling up Ganga in the form of a River called
Gautami and also to manifest a Jyotir Linga named Traibakeshwara. There was a legendary allusion
that when Narayana created from his navel a lotus stem and on top of it Brahma was generated,
Brahma did not approve of Narayana’s superiority and when a quarrel followed, a mammoth Shiva
Linga manifested on its own as a Column of Fire. The Column had no beginning nor top but Brahma
lied that he found the height of the Fire Column and quoted a Ketaki Flower as a witness. Shiva gave
a curse that the Ketaki flower should not be utilised for worship to any Deity and that there should not
be worship to Brahma. Brahma gave a return curse to Shiva that the Trayambakeshwara Linga should
be pushed underground. Indeed, the Trayambakeshwara was under Brahmagiri and the Jyotirlinga is
small in size in a depression on the floor with water constanly oozing out from the top. Varaha Tirtha
is famed as Lord Vishnu had a bath in the River in Varaha Swarupa. Kushwa Tirtha is called so as
Sage Gautami spread his Kushasana or Darbhasana while receiving the waters of Ganga.
Vaidyanath (At Deogarh/Parli?): Ravanasura performed a relentless penance for several years but
Shiva remained unresponsive. He dug up a pit and worshipped Shiva Linga and sacrificed his hands
one by one and finally Shiva appeared and gave the boon of invincibility of Devas, ignoring however
human and other Beings on Earth. He also secured the boon of a carrying Shiva to Lanka for
adoration in his Puja Griha; Shiva gave a Linga but cautioned that it should not be kept on ground,
lest it would not be pulled out again. Devas were concerned that Shiva’s absence from Kailasha
might adversely affect Dharma and thus prayed to Parvati and Ganesha to ensure that the Shiva Linga
would not reach Lanka. Parvati with Varuna creatred an illusion of sweet water and Ravana was
tempted and got his stomach bloated; he asked a passer- by boy (Ganesha) to hold the Linga for an
ablution and the boy kept the Sacred Linga on the ground and got stuck: that was the famed Jyotir
Linga of Vaidyanath.

The controversy is whether this Linga is at Deogarh in Jarkhand off some 220km from Patna or at
Parli or Kantipura in Maharashtra. In Deogarh, million devotees worship especially in the Shravana
Month (July-August). Several pilgrims traditionally carry Ganges water from Sultanganj to Deoghar,
a distance of hundred kilometers, to perform Abhisheka to the Linga and some Sadhus even carry by
walk water barefooted! The Legend was that Ravanasura desired to perform ablutions and as there
was no water, he used his fist to hit the Earth and there emerged a pond called Shiva Ganga.
In Parli in Maharashtra the legend is that Amba Yogeswari desired to marry Vaidyanath (Maha Deva)
and waited for the bridegroom party to arrrive even past the Muhurta or the precise time of wedding
and Amba cursed the party to turn into Stones. Another Story ascribed to this Kshetra was that after
Samudra Mathana or the churning of the Ocean of Milk, Dhanvantari was hidden among fourteen
gems inside the Shivalinga and as Demons tried to take them away forcibly, huge flames came out
and the latter had to retreat. The belief among the devotees is that after performing Abhisheka,the
Tirtha water contains medicinal properties to cure all kinds of diseases. This Sacred Place is also
considered as Mohini Avatara of Vishnu distributed Amrit to Devas and denied to Danavas. A
Vateswara Temple in the vicinity is believed to contain a Vata Vriksha (Banyan Tree) where the
incident of Satyavan and Savitri occurred and Yama Deva blessed the couple with long-life! A Pond
nearby named after Muni Markandeya signified the hallowed place where the Muni embraced the
Shiva Linga to escape death and Maha Deva was pleased by his devotion and granted eterrnal life.

Nageswara Jyotirlinga (Dwaraka/ Naganath/ Jagdeshwar):

The Place of Maha Deva’s manifestation of a Jyotirlinga as Nageswara at Dwaraka in Gujarat or
Naganath at Aoudh in Prabhasa Kshetra in Maharashjtra or as Jagdeshwar near Almora in
Uttarakhand is a controversy but all the three palces have substantial following of devotees in all the
Kshetras. The legend was that there was a Demon couple named Daruka and Daruki and the latter
performed extreme meditation to Devi Parvati who granted her the boon that whereever she went their
forest too should travel and the demons created havoc by way of destroying Yagnas and Spiritual
Tasks and killing Brahmanas and devotees. Sage Ourva gave a curse to the demons and followers
would be destroyed on Earth and the latter had to move into the Seas where too they attacked Ships
and harassed the Ship mates. One Vaishya traveller of a Ship named Supriya who was a staunch
devotee of Maha Deva was thrown into a prison along with fellow shipmates by the demons and as
Vaishya appealed to Shiva the latter appeared and destroyed the Demon and his party. The devotees
commemorated the joyous monent as Maha Deva manifested on the Sea Coast as Nageshwara Linga.
Some 18 km from Dwaraka the Jyoirlinga of a small size appeared as set underground of a few feet
and it could be touched by devotees. The Story was that Sant Namadeva and approached the Linga
and rendered soulful bhajans (group singings) even while a band of Brahmanas were reciting ‘Rudra
Paaraayana’ and the Temple Management asked the Sant’s party to shift to the back of the Temple
and when the bhajans were sung the Shiva Linga turned around facing the Bhajan Party and the
Management of the Temple prostrated to Namadeva. As the Temple is closed, the belief has been that
snakes hover around the Linga with their hoods opened up. A huge Shiva Idol was built to beckon
devotees visiting the Nageswara Linga.

The Naganatha Jyotirlinga at Naganatha in Aoudh in Maharashtra was stated to have been visited by
Adi Shankaracharya. The legend of this Linga was that when Pandavas visited the Place during their
‘Aranya Vasasa’or forest life after being banished as nomads for twelve long years following their
loss of Kingdom as Yudhishtara lost the game of dice, Bhima discovered a pond of warm milk in the
surroundings and as he tried to dig up the milddle of the pond there was blood gushing out; Bhima
reached the depths of the pond and was surprised to notice that blood gushed out from a Shiva Linga
of extreme radiance. The Story of the demons Daruka and Daruki are also in vogue in this Kshetra.
Interestingly there are idols of a sulking Parvati and pacifying Shiva as though Daruki’s killing was
not appreciated by Parvati and Shiva explained the need to do so.

Bala Jagdeshwara Jyotirlinga at Darukavana in Almora has the Story of ‘Balakhilyas’or dwarf
Maharshis perrforming a strict discipline of Tapasya along with their families and Maha Deva
desirous of testing them appeared there as a semi-lunatic, half-clad but hefty and handsome youth.
The womenfolk came to be inreasingly infatuated with the highly reticent and unresponsive youth of
wonder and the group of Rishis encounterd the youth one day and gave a ‘shaap’ that his ‘Linga’ or
manhood should be dropped! Indeed that dropped Linga of Shiva was manifested as an extremely
brillinat Jyotirliga as Jagdeshwar who has no physique, Gunas or Characteristics, Sex, Age, Time,
Distance and Tatwas. The Rishis were ashamed of their suspicion that the semi-lunatic youth was
seeking to woo their women folk but Maha Devaarrived there to guide them that Karma-Kanda or
worship for the sake of physical discipline was not enough but that should be accompanied by
mental purity and forbearance as well! The main bye-line Mantra from Shukla Yajur Veda which
resounds in the Pujas at the Temple is: Aum Traamabakam Yajamahe Sugandham Pushti Vardhanam,
Urvarukamiva bandhanaan Mrityor Mokshiyemaamritaat/ (We pray to Maha Deva whose eyes are
the Sun, Moon and Fire; may He protect us from disease, poverty and fear and bless us with
prosperity, longevity and good health!)

Rameshwaram: Signifying the celebrartion of victory following the devastation of Demon Ravana
and his clan, Lord Rama performed the installation of Shiva Linga in gratitude and dutiful homage to
Maha Deva. Having crossed the ‘Setu bandhana’ or the bridge across the Sea, Rama decided to install
the Linga after prayers at Varanasi and despatched Hanuman to pray Vishwesvara and bring a
fascimile of the Kasi Linga for installation but since Hanuman could not return by the Muhurtha or
the Exact Time of Auspiciousness, Devi Sita improvised a Langa Swarupa out of Sea-shore Sand and
was consecrated formally amid the chanting of Veda Mantras. On return, Hanuman was disturbed that
he could not bring the Kashi Linga and tried to remove the ‘temporary’ Shiva Linga and tried his
best to replace it with what he brought from Kashi but could not; instead a seperate Linga was
installed in the vicinity of the Sand Linga. There are thirty six Tirthas or Water-wells around the
Temple-twenty within the Temple Complex itself and all of these are stated to possess medicinal
properties. It is customary that several devotees take bath from the water-wells and walk with wet
clothes into the nearness of the Jyotirlinga for ‘Darshan’ for worship to it.

Ghrishneshwara: There was a pious Brahmana Sudharma who had no progeny as his wife Sudeha
was barren. She proposed that her younger sister Ghushma / Kusuma- a staunch devotee of Shiva – to
wed her husband and made them agree. Eventually, Kusuma gave birth to a boy. But the elder sister
became jealous and one day threw the child in a nearby pond; but a Shiva Linga was immersed in the
pond too. Kushma wept at the loss of the child and intensified her faith to Maha Deva. A few days
hence, the dead body of the child floated and there was commotion all over in the village. Maha Deva
granted his vision to Kusuma and conveyed that he would punish Sudeha but Kusuma requested Shiva
to pardon her sister. The ever merciful Shiva brought life to the dead son and the entire village
realised the miracle of the dead boy coming back alive . Kusuma prayed to Shiva that he should stay
in the pond for ever and that was the origin of Ghrushneshwara or Kusmeshwara Jyotirlinga,which is
some thirty km away from Aurangabad in the village of Verul or Yelur where River Yela flows. The
Jyotirlinga of Ghrishnashwara as also accompanied by Devi Parvati as Grishneshwari. It is stated that
the Patel of the Village secured a treasure in a snake-pit and enabled the construction of a Temple to
house the Jyotirlinga.[Ellora and Ajanta caves, which are World Heritage Sites also Shirdi are 30 km,
106 kmand 130 km away from the Ghrishneshwara Temple ].

Upalingas:

Apart from the afore-described Dwadasha Jyotirlings, there are quite a few Upalingas too
like Atrishwara Linga in a forest named Kamda on Chitrakuta Mountain where the Maharshi saved
people from prolonged drought for some fifty years; once Arti fainted out of thirst and his wife
Anasuya went in search of water; Devi Ganga appeared and offered water from a spring and Anasuya
carried a Kamandalu-full of water and quenched Atri’s thirst. It was from that Spring emerged the
Sacred Mandakini River and as the result of the Tapasya, the prolonged drought ended and Bhagavan
Shiva appeared as the Atrishwara Linga. Mahabaleshwara Linga emerged maily at Gokarna and
partly at Murudeshwara, Dhareshwara and Gunavante in Karnataka; Ravanasura obtained Maha
Deva’s Atma Linga but despite the warning that it should not be kept on ground upto Lanka from
Kailasa , he had to stop over to attend to ablutions and trusted Ganesha who appeared as boy wh
downed the Linga which got stuck to the ground. The mighty Ravana tried to pull it out but parts of
Linga were scattered yet the Linga was fixed to the Earth. Batuknath Linga appeared as a result of
intense Tapasya for several years by a son of Dadhichi Muni called Sudarshan since he sinned on
Shiva Ratri by sleeping with his wife and without taking bath performed ‘Abhisheka’ to the Shiva
Linga. Devi Parvati requested Shiva to pardon Sudarshan as otherwise he was a steadfast devotee.
Satisfied by the sincere atonment of Sudarshana, Maha Deva manifested himself as Batuka Natha
Linga. Similarly there were many such manifestations of Maha Deva as Hatakeshwara Linga
signifying Prakriti-Purusha combine at Daruka Forests in Uttaranchal Forests; Rishishwara Linga at
Naimisharanya; Laliteshwara Linga on way from Deva prayaga to Kedareshwara and Pashupatinatha
Linga in Khatmandu, Nepal.
Pancha Bhuta Lingas: Representing the Pancha Bhutas or the Five Elements of Prithivi (Earth),
Aapas (Water), Tejas (Radiance), Vayu (Air) and Akasha (Sky), Five Lingas were manifested as
follows: Prithvi Linga as Ekamreshwara with Kamakshi as his consort at Kanchipuram in Taminnadu;
Jala (Water) Linga as Jambukeshwara with Akhilandeshwari as his consort at Tiruvanaikaval in
Trichinapalli, Tamilnadu; Tejo Linga as Arunachaleshwara with Unnamalai Devi as his consort at
Tiruvannamalai again in Tamilnadu; Vayu Linga as Kalahasteswara with Devi Jnana Prasoonamba as
his consort at Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesha and Akasha Linga as Vaidya Nateshwara / Nataraja along
with Devi Shivakami at Chidambaram in Tamilnadu.

The Prithvi Linga called Ekamreshwara manifested on its own to enable Bala Kamakshi to perform
Tapasya in the vicinity of a Ekamra Vriksha or a Mango Tree in Kanchi Kshetra. The Linga is of
hand size of the shape of a Plantain Tree flower signifying the imprints of the bracelets of Mahadeva’s
embrace of Devi Parvati! The legend of the manifestation of the Linga was that as crores of Shaktis
who claimed equality to Parvati, Mahadeva smiled and all the Shaktis got disrobed and Parvati closed
his three eyes so that he did not have to see their nudity. But when Mahadeva’s eyes were closed there
was Pralaya and ‘Surya Chandradi Devas’ disappeared. Parvati was stunned and regetted her
indiscretion which actually was an extraordinary sin as the entire Universe was extinguished! Parvati
fell on Shiva’s feet and he asked her to take the Swarupa of a Bala and perform Tapasya in Kasi first
as Katyayani the adopted baby of Katya Muni; at the time of famine in Varanasi, Bala provided food
all the population of Kasi and gor the encomium as Devi Annapurna. Subsequently Bala shifted to
Kanchi as directed by Mahadeva and did Tapasya under the Ekamara Vriksha at Kanchipura and grew
up as Kamakshi; that indeed was the background of the Ekamreshwara Linga.

The Jala Linga at Jambukeshwara manifested on its own under a Jambu tree in forest in Tiruvanai –
kaval near Chandra Tirtha a tributary of River Kaveri. The legend was that there were two members
of Shiva Ganas called Pushpadanta and Malyava who were cursed to become an elephant and a
spider; they both worshipped the Jala Linga in their own ways; the elephant with flowers and bathing
the Linga with its trunk while the spider ensured that tree leaves would not fall on the Linga by
spinning a web . The elephant complained that the spider made the Place dirty above the Linga and
the spider defended that the falling of tree leaves would convert dirtier. In the quarrel that followed
both died and Shiva granted Kingship to the Spider in its next birth and the elephant was reborn again
in the same form and the King built several Shiva Temples including the Jambulinga Temple in which
the Shiva Linga was partly submerged in water.

Arunachaleshwara Linga in Tiruvannamalai has the legend that both Brahma and Vishnu found an
‘Agni Stambha’or a huge Pillar of Fire and their efforts to know its beginning and end proved futile.
Brahma performed Manasika Puja or worship in mind and so did Vishnu; pleased by their devotion
granted them the boon to convert the endless Agni Stambha to a miniatured Linga which could be
worshipped not only by Devas but human beings aslo. Interestingly, even at the Pralaya or the Great
Dissolution the Land of Arunachaleshwara was in tact. The Arunachala Mountain Range has Pancha
Mukhas or the Five Faces of Lord Rudra viz. Tatpurusha, Aghora, Sadyojata, Vamana Deva and
Ishana. It is strongly believed that a full ‘Pradakshina’ or circumambulation of the fourteen km
distance of the Mountain would be as good as a Pradakshina of Maha Deva himself. A huge mass of
devotees push around the Mountain barefooted on every full moon night and the Pournami of Chaitra
Month happens to be very special culminating into a ten day festival of ‘Kartika Deepa Darshana’
when a mammoth lamp is lit in an open vessel with three tonnes of ghee atop the mountain.
Shri Kalahasteswara Linga too was stated to be a Swayambhu or Self-Generated on the banks of
River Swarnamukhi some 36 km away from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. This is essentially a Vayu
Linga and successive Kings of Chola, Raya, Pallava and Pandya Vamshas made enormous
contributions of the Buildings of this famed Shiva Linga. The Temple has the Legend that Three
Species of God’s creation viz. a Spider called Shri, a Snake called Kaala and an Elephant called Hasti
were very devout followers of the Swayambhu Linga; Shri the Spider weaved cobwebs on the top of
the Linga as Kala the serpent placed Gems on the Top of the Linga and the Hasti collected waters
from the Sarovaras and by throwing sharp currents of water worshipped by way of ‘Abhishekas’or
washings of water. Thus the Spider-Snake-Elephant trio worshipped Shiva on their own thus
justifying their Actions. Another Story of Kalahasti to related to a legend of Bhakta Kannappa a
hunter who offered his hunt as Naivedya or offering every day. One day the Linga showed three eyes
weeping and bleeding blood. Kannappa had extreme anguish and cut and fixed one of his own eyes to
that of Maha Deva. As the latter’s second eye too commenced crying, Kannappa never hesitated and
fixed his second eye on Maha Deva’s face. That was the heightend faith of Kannappa. Maha Deva
appeared and restored the eys of Kannappa and desired that he should be near to the Linga and
eversince he joined the band of sixty three Nayanars in the vicinity of Kalahasteswara. The Kalahasti
Temple is reputed to ward off Rahu-Ketu Doshas or deficiencies of Graha Dosha, Sarpa Dosha or of
unmarried women or women of barrenness.

Shri Nateshwara (Akasha) Linga at Chidambaram in Tamilnadu is famed for the ‘Chidambara
Rahasyam’ or the Secret of ‘Shunya’ or ‘Nothingness’ of the Universe signifying ‘Akasha’ and the
Ever-Repetitive Cyclical Process of Srishti-Sthiti-Laya or Creation-Preservation-Termination. The
legend is that Adi Sesha, the bed of Lord Vishnu, desired to witness the Cosmic Dance of Maha Deva
and came down to Earth as Patanjali or the one who descended. A high devotee of Shiva called
Vyaghrapada who prayed to Mahadeva to grant him the powerful paws of a tiger with which to pluck
the leaves of BilwaTrees for worship also desired to witness Shiva’s Cosmic Dance. Maha Deva
along with Devi Shiva Kami gave an appointment to Patanjali and Vyaghrapada to witness the Unique
Shiva Tandava or the Cosmic Dance of Shiva. Lord Vishnu as well as Brahma and Devas went ino
ecstacy as they were fortunate to vision the spectacle of the Tandava.

Significance of observing Shiva Ratri
Austerities by way of day/night fasts and devotion on Maha Shiva Ratri falling on Krishna Paksha or
the Dark fortnight of Phalguna Month is considered as extremely fruitful. In the early morning of
Shivarati Day, a devotee should take a vow to observe the day/night fast and perform Archanna,
Abhisheka, Japa with ‘shodasopacharas’ or Sixteen Services like Gandha-Pushpa-Dhupa-Deepa-
Naivedyas every three hours followed by ‘Jagarana’ till next morning. Next morning, the devotee
should perform Punah-Puja and Bhojan to Brahmnas along with dakshina. It is stated that obeservance
of Shiva Ratri Fast- Puja-Jagaran even by mistake, let alone proper and systematic worship, would
lead to enormous fruits.

In this connection, Suta Muni described in Shiva Purana an episode to Sages at Naimisharanya as
follows: There was a poor hunter named Gurudruha who got extremely hungry along with his family
members on a full day and that night happened to be Shiva Ratri. He entered a forest on the eve of
Shivaratri and waited for any animal as a prey to satisfy the hunger of the family; he waited near a
waterbody over a ‘Bilwa Vriksha’ or a bel tree under which there was a Shiva Linga as a coincidence.
Having waited for three hours ( first Prahara) in the night, he was lucky to sight a female deer along
its kids approaching the waterbody to quench their thirst. He pulled out his bow and a arrow ready to
aim at the mother deer and by a twist of fate the branch of the bel tree on which he sat moved, some
leaves of the branch showered on the ShivaLinga and some water in a vessel carried by him spilt
down on the Linga, thus performing the first Prahara Puja! The deer which was very sensitive even to
small sounds of leaves and water falling from the tree noticed that thd hunter was ready to kill it. The
animal made a sincere and convincing request to the hunter that if he allowed it desired to leave the
deer kids to their father and definitely return back to be killed by him. The hunter agreed very
reluctantly and let the animals leave. The second Prahara was closing but there was no trace of the
animal. But the sister of the earlier deer approached the pond along with her kids and the earlier
happenings repeated viz.the hunter pulled out his bow and arrow, the bel tree leaves as also the water
drops from the hunter’s vessel fell on the Shiva Linga and the sister of the earlier deer made a similar
request and the hunter let the animal leave as in the case of the earlier deer thus accomplishing the
next the worship of the Shiva Linga. As the third Prahara was closing, the husband of the original deer
came in search of his wife and the kids and the happenings of the previous Prahara repeated again.
During the Fourth Prahara, all the animals arrived viz. the original deer, her sister and the respective
husbands. But the psychology was the hunter was transformed as the animals displayed their
truthfulness and high sincerity, spared all the animals and performed sincere worship to the Shiva
Linga with Bilwa leaves and water from the pond. Luckily for him he sighted a few fruits from a
banana tree nearby with which he performed ‘Naivedya’ and served the Prashad to his wife and
children. He repented for his evil deeds as even animals displayed virtue and sincerity. Bhagana Shiva
revealed himself and blessed him that in his next birth he would be a Nishad again during Shri
Rama’s incarnation of Vishnu and attain Vaikuntha there after!

The Legends of Venkatachala, Jagannatha and Badari Kshetras

Venkatachala : Skanda Purana described that King Akasha performed an elaborate Yagna on the
banks of Arani and while tilling in course of the Yagna tilled the land of Yagna and found a girl child
whom he named as Padmavati and brought her up with care and affection. Sage Narada who visited
the King saw the child and predicted that as she grew of age would wed Lord Srinivasa of
Venkatachala. Padmavati as she grew up went out to a forest along with her companions and
encountered a handsome youth called Anant ( Srinivasa) who tried to draw her into conversation and
proposed but she rebuffed out of semi-acceptance. But Anant desired Padmavati immensely and sent
an emissary named Vakulamala to King Akasha and the latter was happy at the alliance and soon the
holy wedding took place in style. Among the various celebrities, Devi Lakshmi too attended and
congratulated the new couple! [ But Srinivasa had to borrow hefty money from Kubera to defray the
wedding expenses and the interest money itself continues to be repaid till date from the earnings of
donations being made by the lakhs of devotees!] Padmavati’s earlier birth was Vedavati who was a
companion of Devi Lakshmi and when the latter became Shri Rama’s spouse, Vedavati proceeded for
Tapasya to forests but Ravanasura misbehaved with her and she ended her life by jumping into fire
and cursed Ravana that soon he and his clan would be wiped out by Lord Vishnu’s Avatara. As the
drama unfolded of Sita’s abduction following Lakshmana’s insult to Ravana’s sister Surpanakha,
Ravana’s masquerading as a Maya Tapaswi, Maricha’s taking to the Form of a Maya Mriga (Deer),
Rama-Lakshmana’s battle with Ravana and his clan and the latter’s great destruction, then the
question of Sita’s purity of character was raised by Rama. Agni Deva who had for long concealed
real Sita’s identity as she was transferred to Patala, Maya Sita was actually the wife of Agni viz.
Swaha Devi; indeed Swaha Devi was Vedavati who turned later as Maya Sita and thereafter as
Padmavati Devi!

Skanda Purana delineated some telling episodes highlighting Venkateswara Mahatmya. One was that
of a Nishad (Hunter) named Vasu, his wife Chitravati and son Vira. Nishad was the Chief of his clan
living honestly and peacefully. His daily practice was to offer cooked rice and honey as ‘Naivedya’ to
Venkatachalapati and eat the ‘Prashad’. One day, the Nishad who to go out and entrusted the task of
offering the Naivedya to his son Vira but instead of performing the offer to Shrinivasa, he gave some
to Agni, some to tree bushes and the rest was consumed. On return, the Nishad was extremely agitated
that the daily offering was not made to Venkateswara and was even about to kill his son for the
greatest sin that he committed; just at that time Lord Venkateshwara appeared before the Nishad in
full glory with his four hands ornamented and armed and prevented him from harming the son and
said that the acts of his son was in fact worth emulation but not condemnation for he performed a
‘homam’ as an offering to Agni Deva, a homage to Nature and only the remainder as the left over
‘Prashad with devotion. Bhagavan thus appreciated the father and son and blessed them.

The above happening was reported by the Nishad to the King of the Land named Tondaman. Even as
a Prince, the King was noble, intellectual and devotional. Once as a Prince, he went on hunting in a
forest and chased a wild elephant which crossed the River Swarnamukhi and reached the Ashram of
Suka Maha Muni and found a parrot in the Ashram which was always screeching the name of
‘Srinivasa, Srinivasa’. The Prince chased the bird upto the mountain top where it vanished but he met
the Nishad who said that the parrot was a pet of Suka Muni and was always in the habit of screeching
the name of Srinivasa. The Nishad then narrated his story of worship to Srinivasa by offering cooked
rice and honey. In fact the Nishad took the Prince to have a darshan of Srinivasa and the latter was
thrilled. On return to the Kingdom, the Prince was informed by his faher to take over as the King
since the latter was retiring. On taking over the responsibility, Tondaman was busy; suddenly after a
few monnths, the Nishad approached the King agitated and conveyed that in a dreamt he visioned a
Varaha Murti and said: ‘Nishada! You must reach the King atonce and command him to perform
‘Abhisheka’with lots of milk to a ‘Shila’ (Stone) underneath a specific thick bush, pull it out and ask
a Shilpi (Sculptor) to form a Varaha Murti with Bhu Devi on his lap. King Tondaman followed the
instructions of Venkatachalapati as per the Nishada’s dream and consecrated the Temple in a
magnificent manner. Among the Brahmanas who attended the function, one requested the King to
please arrange look after his pregnant wife till he returned from a Tirtha Yatra . The King agreed and
after a few months, the Brahmana returned but found the woman had a miscarriage and expired. The
King felt extremely guilty and approached Srinivasa who in a dream directed his wives to take dips in
Asthi Sarovara Tirtha; as they did so, the Brahman’s wife who had a miscarriage and died also
emerged along with the Queens. This miracle was witnessed by thousands of devotees and the
Brahmana was overjoyed!

King Tondaman was in the daily habit of worshipping Bhagavan Venatachalapati with golden lotuses.
He wondered one day how Tulasi leaves pulled out of muddy plants got mixed up with the lotus
flowers and a voice came from the Skies that there was a pot-maker (Kumhara) in Karmapuri who
also did daily puja to the Lord and that he accepted both the pujas of the King and the Kumhara too
in the same manner! The King reached the Kumhara and the latter and his wife denied that they never
perfomed any puja but they heard a voice that the King would knock at their door and simultaneously
a Pushpaka Viman would land to take them to Vishnuloka! Apparently the Kumhara couple did great
pujas in their previous births! The King returned to Venkateshwara and a benign Lord appeared and
bestowed lasting bliss to him too!

In the vicinity of Tirumaleshwara Temple are Tirthas like Swami Pushkarini, Papanashana Tirtha,
Krishna Tirtha, Akashaganga Titha, Chakra Tirtha and so on; each one of these Tirthas had a Sacred
Background. For instance Swami Pushkarini washed off the sin of Brahmana Kashyap who had the
power of saving a curse; King Parikshit was cursed by Shringi , the son of Samika Muni, as he was
infuriated that the King put around a dead snake around the neck of the Muni who was engrossed in
deep tapasya. The Great Serpent Takshaka was to bite the King within a week’s time as a result of the
curse and Brahmana Kashyap had powers of preventing Daksha to do so but the Brahmana was
purchased by Daksha and thus did the sin of not saving the King. Papanasha Tirtha eradicated the
extreme poverty of a Vedic Scholar called Bhadramati with several sons and daughters and as per an
advice of Narada Muni gave a token of ‘Bhudaan’of five feet of Land that he received from a rich
donor. As the Bhudaan was given away to another vituous Brahmana the Lord appeared in person and
fulfilled all of his desires and provided Salvation later; indeed the Brahmana who received the
donation was Venateswara himself! Akasha Ganga Snaan was prescribed by Matangi Muni to Anjana
Devi and Vayu Deva as the Snana bestowed to them an Illustrious Son Hanuman! On a subsequent
time, a Brahmana called Ramanuja did Tapasya of extreme rigour with Panchagnis or Five Sacred
Flames around him irrespective of Heat-Cold-Rain and attained Narayana Darshana and gave the
double boon of Enlightenment and the presence of an Eternal Water Spring of Akasha Ganga.
Eight-folded approach to Venkateshwara: While Suta Muni narrated Skanda Purana to the congre –
gation of Sages at Naimisharanya he prescribed an Eight-fold Bhakti Route to Lord Venkateshwara:
1) To display ‘Snehabhava’ or feelings of Friendship sincerely towards His Devotees; 2) To provide
Service and Satisfaction to the Devotees; 3) To perform Puja without expectations;4) To direct or
dedicate all actions to Him; 5) To generate Bhakti and love in all the Jnanendriyas or Sense Organs
like eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin and the corresponding Karmendriyas or Actionable Organs like
seeing, hearing, smelling, speaking and feelings of the Lord; 6) To hear and cogitate about the
‘Mahatmya’of the Lord and accord importance to whatever is said, described, sung, taught and
thought of the Lord; 7) To always keep the name of Srinivasa on one’s lips, thoughts and heart and 8)
finally dedicate oneself to Lord Ventateshwara and take comprehensive and absolute refuge unto
Him! Those who are fortunate of seeing even a glimpse of the Idol of Venkateshwara are sure to
experience the awe and satisfaction of nearness and lasting memory and familiarity. Those who think
of Srinivasaeither of curiosity, greed, love of materialism, fear, or a casual occurrence undergo a
tangible tranformation of outlok, approach to life and morality. If even a casual approach to the Lord
has a multiplier effect, one could imagine the far reaching impact of the Eight-fold dedication to Him!
Just as Fire is capable of pulling down a huge mansion within minutes, the stock-pile of sins gets
ablaze into ash as fast, provided one takes the shelter of Srinivasa. Human life is indeed difficult to
attain compared to several other species and asylum unto the Lord would surely assure Salvation.
Purushottama (Jagannatha) Kshetra: Sage Jaimini narrated the Story of King Indradyumna,an
ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu who was keen on having a darshan of the Idol of Neela Madhava at a
Temple situated in the Nilachala Mountain on the East Coastal side of Bharata Varsha in the Utkala
Region and asked his Priest to ascertain the route and arrange for the trip. One of the Pilgrims
(Bhagavan Himself) who said that he just returned from there and described the details of the route.
The King and his large entourage undertook an arduous journey and having crossed Mahanadi
camped overnight and the Local Chief of Utkal Region gave the disheartening news that there was a
huge sand storm and the Idol of Neela Madhava was underneath a heap of debris. Brahmashi Narada
appeared and consoled the King and asked him perform hundred Yagnas and then NeelaMadhava
would manifest from under the debris. Narada further said that a ‘Vata Vriksha’ (Banyan Tree) with
four branches would appear near the debris; that Vishvakarma the Celestial Artist would carve out
four Idols of Jagannatha, Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra the sister of the brothers and a Sudarshana
Chakra; that a conch-shaped Purushottama Kshetra would get materialised and that Lord Brahma
himself would consecrate the Wooden Idols but the instructions of Neela Madhava must be followed
by the King in spirit and deed. Sughat the son of Vishwakarma completed the construction of the
Temple within five days while made the Idol of Nrisimha Deva which was installed by Narada. The
task of carving wood from for the four major Idols was taken up and a celestial voice was heard
saying that the Idols would emerge on their own, that the oldest worker be sent inside the the Main
Gate which should be closed till the job was over, that the sound of drums be kept on till the task was
going on inside to cover the sounds from there, that if somebody heard the sounds from inside then
he or she would be stone-deaf forever and if somebody saw any activity from inside that person would
lose vision forever! On the fifteenth day a celestial announcement was heard that the Idols were
almost ready; instructions were given about the colour schemes of the Idols viz. deep blue cloud for
Janannatha, white for Balabhadra, Crimson red like rising Sun for Subhadra and deep red to the
Sudarshana Chakra. As the finishing touches were being provided, Indradyumna was in trance and at
the time of consecration, Narada, the King and the entire entourage entered the Sanctum Sanctorium
chanting Dwadasha Mantra viz.Namo Vaasudevaya in praise of the Lord, Purusha Suktum addressed
Balabhadra, Sri Suktam for Subdhadra Devi and appropriate Mantras to invoke Sudarshana Chakra.
Finally at the Muhurat Time , Lord Brahma initiated the most hallowed function of ‘Kumbha-
bhisheka’ on Shuddha Vishakha Ashtami on Thursday with Pushyami as the Nakshatra as witnessed
by Deva-Yaksha-Kinnaras and Maharshis. The famous nine day Ratha Yatra commenced on Shuddha
Ashadha Vidiya and returned from the banks of Bindu Tirtha on the eighth following day.The Annual
Ratha Yatra continues till date.

Badari Kshetra: Badari Kshetra is one of the most outstanding and ancient Pilgrimage Points on
Himalayas where Bhagavan Narayana resides. Maha Deva himself was stated to have advised Skanda
Kumara that among the various Kshetras of Bharata Desha, Badari was the unique Place of worship
as that not only carried the footprints of Vishnu but Kedara Kshetra was in the same region where the
magnificent Shiva Linga was also present thus affording double advantage of worshipping Shiva and
Narayana, signifying the unity of both the Swarupas of the same Deity. Again, Badari had been the
abode of Agni Deva as he was called ‘Sarvabhakshaka’ or the Consumer of each and every material
and was rightly acclaimed as ‘ Sarva Papa Naashaka’ or the destroyer of all kindss of sins; Vishnu
gave the boon to Agni that he would be a purifier par excellence. Lord Shiva also sensitised Skanda
that there were Five Sacred Shilas (Rocks) representing Naradi, Narasimhi,Varaahi, Garudi, and
Markandeyi and each one of the Rocks was capable of bestowing boons to whosoever worshipped to
them as these were the very Shilas that the Five of the Illustrious Personalities did extreme Tapasyas
and secured the Vision of Vishnu in His full and glorious Form.

Another legend ascribed to Badari Kshetra related to a mass Prayer by Devas to Brahma that in the
successive yugas access to Vishnu was a great facility but in Kali Yuga it was not so easy. Brahma
headed the Delegation of Devas to Narayana lying on ‘Ksheera Sagara’ or the Ocean of Milk and
complained . Narayana replied that all the Devas were irresponsible and ignorant that Narayana was
difficult to reach in the Kali Yuga ! In fact, he was far easier to access in the Kali Yuga than in the
earlier Yugas and the Delegation should realise that a fulfleged presence of His was readily available
to only to Devas but to human beings even at Badarikashrama! As Devas were ashamed of their lack
of awareness, they made instant Yatras along with their families and that was how there was added
magnificance of the Kshetra. There is a strong belief down the ages in the current Yuga that visitors
who visit the Hallowed Place would have their sins demolished and attain Vishnu Swarupa whose
heart would be replete His vision, whose tongue and ears with His glories, whose belly full of even a
morsel of the Prashad offered to Him, and whose kneeled head touched the feet of His Idol.
Kapala Tirtha in Badarika is popular for performing ‘Pinda Danaas’ to ‘Pitru Devas’ as that was the
hallowed place where Maha Deva snipped Brahma’s fifth head as the latter did the great sin of
infatuation of his own daughter Devi Saraswati. Brahma Tirtha was the Place where Vishnu in his
incarnation as Hayagriva emerged and expanded his broad thighs to kill Madhu-Kaitabha demon
brothers as the latter secured permission from the Avatara that they should be killed simultaneously
on the Sea where there was no water. Badari is one significant Place where River Saraswati is visible
with her full force adjecent to the Kapala Tirtha where Pitru Karyas are executed.

Ekadashi Vrata-the Legend of King Rukmanga

As ‘Eakadashi’ or the eleventh day of any month is stated to be a special day for worship of Vishnu,
observance of of ‘Upavas’ (Fasting), Puja and Vrata are stated to be of significance to qualify for the
nullification of sins and a stepping stone for attaining ‘Vaikuntha’. In fact the advantage of peforming
Vrata in full faith and devotion is stated to reap the fruits of Ashwamedha Yagna and Rajasuya
Yagna, besides avoiding ‘Yama Darshana’ or the need for the visits of hell. With no exaggeration,
observance the Eakadasha Vrata is said to be superior than the bathings in the Sacred Rivers/
Kshetras like Ganga, Kashi, Pushkar, Kukukshetra, Narmada, Devika, Yamuna, Chandrabhaga etc. To
signify the import of the Ekadahsa Vrata, King Rukmanga of Surya Vamsha was in the habit of
publicising the Vrata by consistent announcements on Elephant tops to alert all the citizens to
compulsorily observe day long fasts with the exceptions however of those above eighty years of age,
expectant mothers, Kumari Kanyas, and with severe diseases or of disturbed minds. As the Law was
enforced with strictness, there were bee-lines of citizens to ‘Vishnu Dhaama’; but Lord Yama Dharma
Raja had free time and Chitragupta was jobless as the paths leading to various Narakas which were
always overcrowded with the dead souls waiting in long queues for their turns before admission to
specified Narakas were to be decided had turned quiet ! Dharma Raja was alarmed that the order
books were thinning day by day. Lord Brahma was approached and having examined the Order Books
he too was astonished and created a Damsel named Mohini and fully briefed her about the purpose of
her creation. On the manifestation of Mohini, Brahma Maya overcame King Rukmanda and decided
to marry her at any cost. She agreed but on her terms viz. when ever she decided to do any thing
should be instantly carried out without asking questions as otherise she would leave the King at once.
She demanded annulment of the Vrata and indeed King’s passion for its obesrervance was gradually
eroded too! Since then, performance of the Vrata became optional and discretionary! But indeed the
faith continues among some Human Beings especially of Vishnu Bhakatas,albiet rather feebly till
date.

Ego clashes of illustrious personalities

Puranas were replete with Stories of personality problems due to the inter-play of Satvika- Rajasika-
Tamasika ‘Gunas’ and indeed such clashes were common not only between Devas and Demons,
Vamshas vs. Vamshas, Kings versus Kings of course, Maharshis versus Kings and Maharshis among
Maharshis, let alone mutual quarrels caused due often to non-issues and wasteful arguments. Glaring
examples were Parashurama versus King Kartaveeryarjuna and the blood-shed that followed with
Parashurama uprooting traces of Kshatriyas in a series of battles; and King Nahusha and Agastya
Muni as the King filled in a temporary vacancy of Indra,claimed Sach Devi as his wife and rushed to
her by a Palanquin traditionally carried by Maharshis and kicked Agastya Muni to hurry up and the
latter twisted the meaning of the expression ‘Sarpa Sarpa’ (quick quick) as Maha Sarpa or a Python
and threw Nahusha down to Mountain Valleys in Bhu Loka. The above instances were described in
the above pages. Following are a few other examples of such personality clashes:
King Nimi Vs. Maharshi Vasishtha : King Nimi of Ikshwaku dynasty was extremely righteous desired
to perform a Homa in the name of Bhagavati. The Raja Guru Vasishtha Muni agreed to be the Head
Priest and conduct the Yaga. As all the preparations were ready just on the appointed time, Vasishtha
Muni sent word that Indra Deva wished to perform a Yagna and thus the homa by the King be
deferred to another date. King Nimi was furious and went ahead with his Yagna as scheduled in the
absence of Vasishtha Muni. On return Vasishtha saw that the Homa was in the process and cursed the
King to drop dead and since the Sacrifice was not yet concluded, Nimi became a ‘Videha’ or body-
less to enable the King to complete the ‘Purnaahuti’or the Grand Finale of the Yagna. Lord Yama
Dharmaraja was pleased with the Yagna and gave him the option of entering the first Jeeva Body of
Brihaspati or continuing the Videha Body and the King preferred to be ‘Videha’ or body-less.The
King on his part gave a return curse to Vasishtha to die too and the latter prayed to Brahma Deva who
was Vasishtha’s Manasa Putra. Brahma blessed Vasishta to enter Mitravaruna’s Jeeva Body which
was kept in tact; the earlier Mitravaruna was infatuated with Aprara Urvashi and two issues were born
of whom one was Agasti who became an ascetic and the other was King Ikshwaku. Mitravaruna’s jiva
body was still in tact even Brahma created Vasishtha; now the jeeva body of Vasishtha since dropped
dead as a result of Nimi’s curse had entered the duplicate of Mitravaruna without any loss of original
Vasishtha’s wisdom and radiance!

King Yayati Vs.Danava Guru Shukracharya: King Yayati married Shukracharya’s daughter Devayani
and Sharmishtha the daughter of a Rakshasa. But Shukracharya was unhappy that Yayati married
again and there were misunderstandings between the wives. Devayani complained to her father and
Shukracharya cursed Yayati to become old and impotent. Yayati could have given a return ‘Shaap’
but reconciled to the father-in-law’s curse and requested him to pardon him. Danava Guru diluted
the Shaap that if any of the King’s sons was prepared to take over the old age of Yayati, then he
might regain his youth back. The youngest son of Sharmishtha named Puru volunteered to lose his
youth and let his father regain his youth. The fall out was that Yayati regained his youth and enjoyed
life for thousand years and finally got vexed up and his ways of youth and returned it to Puru with the
blessings of Puru’s redoubled youth!

Vasishtha Vs. Vishwamitra: Yet another instance of the display of ‘Ahamkarra’ or intense Self-Image
was in respect of the too powerful Munis. Vasishtha was the ‘Manasika Putra’ of Brahma while
Vishwamitra a Kshatriya King Kaushika. The King visited Vasishtha’s Ashram and demanded
Nandini the calf-daughter of Kamadhenu the Celestial Cow as the calf rightly belonged to him as the
King and Vasishtha flatly refused and by his Yogic powers the King failed to possess Nandini. The
provoked King performed such extreme tapasya that he possesed enormous mystic powers and was
called a Rajarshi to start with and a Brahmarshi subsequently and carried his grudge and jealousy for
Vasishtha always. King Trayaruni of Purukutsa Vamsha was advised by Guru Vasishtha to banish the
Prince Satyavrata (Trishanku) from the Kingdom since the latter abducted a commoner bride from the
wedding platform by force despite her defiance. Satyavrata moved out to the outskirts of the Kingdom
and adoped the ways of living a Chandala. But he helped Vishwamitra’s wife and children by feeding
them during a long spell of famine when the Brahmarshi went away for twelve years. But he served
them cow meat to Vishwamitra’s family. Vasishtha cursed Satyavrata as Trishanka or on three counts
viz.the latter abducted a commoner’s bride, he adopted the way of life as a chandala and served the
cow-meat to Vishwamitra Muni’s family. Yet, Trishanku was endeared by Vishwamitra and sought to
send him to Swarga in human form and when Devas kicked him created Trishanku Swarga by using
his Tapasya Phala. What was worse he harassed King Harischandra to such an extent that his son
died and wife became a desperate wretch. Vasishtha was fed up and cursed Vishwamitra to become a
crane and in turn the latter cursed Vasishtha a Sarasa bird and both the birds quarrelled with each
other for many years and Brahma had to intervene to relieve them of their mutual curses and bring
about a rapproachment.

Yagnavalkya and Vaishampayana:

The illustrious Yagnavalkya Rishi was the disciple of Sage
Vaishampayana who taught Yajurveda to the former. The Guru and Sishya once had a heated
argument about the interpretations of the Veda and the Guru demanded that whatever the Sishya
learnt from him be vomitted in the form of digested food. As the vomit came out some of the co-
Students of the Guru assumed the forms of ‘Titthiris’ (partridges) and picked up the ‘Ucchishta’ or the
remains of the vomitting and the same came to be titled as Taittiriya Samhita and the Yajurveda came
to be called Krishna Yajur Veda. The disillusioned pupil Yagnavalkya decided not to approach a
human Guru and prayed to Surya Deva to accept him as his Guru. Pleased by Yagnavalkya’s
penance, Surya descended in the form of a horse and disclosed a new form of Yajur Veda called as
Shukla Yajur Veda not known to Vaishampayana too; the Shukla Yajur Veda or Vajasaneya (Vaaji
being a horse) materialised from his manes; the Shukla Yajur Veda has the rhythm of a horse gallop!
Surya Deva directed Yagnavalkya to approach Devi Sarawati also to sharpen the memory of the
Maharshi. Pleased by his prayers, Saraswati gave the boon to Yagnavalkya of acquiring qualities of a
unique and erudite scholar of unprecedented fame!

Prahlada Vs. Nara Narayana Maharshis: Some times misunderstandings erupt suddenly and
unmindfully leading to unhappy and even disastrous consequences on account of ego clashes. This
happened even to King Prahlada a unique and unswerving Narayana Bhakta. As Hiranyakashipu was
killed by Vishnu’s incarnation of Narasimha Deva, King Prahlada was crowned and his governance
was exactly opposite to that of his cruel father as it was highly virtuous and dedicated to Narayana.
But the King came to know of a disgraceful incident viz. a highly poisonous snake dragged Chyavana
Maharshi’s feet while he was bathing in the Sacred River Narmada into Rasatala. King Prahlada came
to know of the incident and apologised to the Muni profusely; during his dharmic discussions with the
Muni, Prahlada requested as to which were the most Sacred Places of Bharata. Chyavana singled out
Nimisha and he visited that Place at once. In the Nimisha Forests, Prahlada moved about looking prey
of deers for his food and found a huge tree on which there were two pairs of ovesized bows and
arrows hung and under the tree there were two Munis in deep meditation. The King wondered that it
was ridiculous to see two Rishis seated on Mrighacharma or deer skin in deep meditation and also
sporting bows and arrows. Prahlada approached them and ridiculed them that they were neither Rishis
nor warriors; Nara Narayanas were provoked and challenged the King. The mild fight with one arrow
from Nara was met with five arrows from Prahlada. This led to a mighty battle; Nara overshadowed
the Prithvi, Akaasha and Dishaas. Prahlada pulled up Brahmastra but Narayana released Maheshwa-
rastra. Prahlada was incensed and attacked Narayana with his mace. Narayana Muni rained flames
from his eyes and Prithvi trembled and quakes caused heavy destruction. Prahlada prayed to
Bhagavan Vishnu and the latter appeared and cautioned the King that Narayana Muni was simply
unconquerable on any battle front by Devas or Daityas. Vishnu further stated : ‘ As a matter of fact, I
am Narayana Maharshi myself’! Prahlada prostrated before Narayana Maharshi, renounced Kingship
in favour of Andhakasura the son of Hiranyaksha the brother of Hiranyakashipu and took over the
Sacred Path of High Devotion.

Saraswati and Lakshmi Devis: Markandeya Purana in the Chapter related to ‘Kamakshi Vilasa’, there
was a reference on how Mahendra and Brahma became victims of the ego-clash of Devis Saraswati
and Lakshmi. Motivated by her self-pride and arrogance, Sarasvati claimed that she was superior to
Lakshmi as she was the Goddess of Learning in the whole Universe while Lakshmi claimed that she
was the root cause of wealth and prosperity. Both the Devis approached Indra and the latter opined
that Lashmi was not only the origin of ‘Bhoga Bhagyas’ but also the consort of Narayana. Saraswati
was enraged at this reply, called Indra as characterless since he spoilt the purity of Ahalya Devi, that
he was arrogant, schemy and partial minded; thus she cursed Mahendra to become an Elephant. Devi
Lakshmi felt sorry that on account of her support to her he was victimised but since the curse of
Saraswati was to be observed, Indra might descend from Swarga to Simhachala Kshetra in Bhuloka to
pray homage to and seek permission from Narasimha Deva to enter Hari Kshetra in Kancheepura.
Lakshmi further stated that in the form of an elephant he would meditate deeply and on entering the
Hari Kshetra would discover two lizards on his back which actually were Brahmana boys who on
instructions from their Guru were collecting wooden twigs for homams but were turned as lizards on
account of shaap by one Yaksha since he was disturbed. Soon as the elephant entered Hari Kshetra,
Indra recovered from Saraswati’s shaapa and the boys too got back their original forms and blessings
from Indra. Vishwakarma the Celestial Builder who construtced the Varada Raja Kshetra in Kanchi
arranged the two lizards -one made of gold and another of silver- as hung on a ceiling girder to the
East of the Temple still by bestowing the boon of prosperity by Lakshmi Devi once they are touched!
Continuing the narration of the ego-clash of Saraswati and Lakshmi, Markandeya referred to the claim
of mutual superiority as both the Devis approached Brahma Deva for his opinion and he favoured
Lakshmi instantly. Sarasvati was highly disappointed with Brahma and took away the ‘Danda’ or the
Insignia that Vishnu once gave to enable Brahma to undertake Srishti or Creation of the ‘Charachara
Jagat’. This action of Saraswati disabled Brahma to undertake further Srishti. He did not desire to
entreat Saraswati to return the Emblem but he performed a massive and unparelleled Yagna at the
Harikshetra; however Brahma did not ask Saraswati to participate the Yagna. The latter felt that she
was bypassed and out of fury created a Maya Shakti which created huge flames to destroy the Yagna.
But the saviour of Hari Kshetra Narayana arrested the hands of Maya. Saraswati took this as a
challenge and released Kapalika Shakti but Vishnu in the form of Narasimka Deva destroyed the
Shakti. Enraged by her discomfiture, Saraswati released Daityastra but Daityari Narayana disabled the
Astra. Vagdevi then created a ‘Karaala Vadana Kalika’ but Vishnu materialised an Eight-Hand Maha
Swarupa and suppressed the Kalika Devi by sitting heavy on her shoulders. Finally with all her
powers being exhausted, Saraswati was humiliated and frustrated and took the Form of Pralaya
Swarupi called Vegavati River with disastrous speed from Brahma loka down to Earth heading
towards Hari Kshetra. Vishnu sensed the impending danger and decided to resort to her ‘manbhanga’
by his standing nude like a huge log of wood across the lightning flash of gushing waters. Saraswati
having visioned Narayan’s nudity felt ashamed and instead of facing him entered a ‘Bhu Bila’ or a big
fissure of Earth and escaped. Then the Yagna resumed without any hindrance and after the
‘Purnahuti’ Varaja Raja Swami manifested himself and handed over the Insignia to Brahma Deva to
resume Srishti again. Such was the high drama that followed the ego-clash of Saraswati and Lakshmi
Devis.

Play of ‘Maya’:

The Story of Narada Maharshi
Narada Maharshi and Veda Vyasa exchanged their own experiences about the play of ‘Maha Maya’or
‘Prakriti’(The Great Illusion) in the Hermitage of Vyasa on the banks of River Saraswati. Vyasa
narrated in passing about the incidents relevant to his family as to how his father was enticed with his
mother viz.Parashara Maharshi and Satyavati a fisher woman; how his mother Satyavati insisted to
sleep with his dead younger brother to beget children to uphold the family royalty; how he himself got
tempted with an Apsara called Ghritachi and gave birth to Suka Muni; how intensely he loved his son
and wanted him to become a house holder; how frustrated was he till Janaka as ‘Videha’(Body-less)
was able to become a Grihasti; how elated that he felt when finally his son agreed tobe a Grihasti and
finally how distraught his son attained Salvation!

It was then the turn of Narada to narrate his autobiography and how Maha Maya had influnced his
own life. Narada (‘Nara’ stands for knowledge and ‘Da’stands for Giver or Provider) is popular as a
‘Loka Sanchari’or a Universal Tourist. He is also popular as ‘Kalaha Priya’ or as an instigator but his
end-objective would always be for ‘Loka Kalyana’ or for Universal Benefit. Even at the time of
generation as a Manasika Putra or Mind-Born son of Brahma, Narada was engulfed with Maya as
Brahma asked the son to become a house-holder and procreate progeny but Narada refused flatly; he
said : would there be a fool to leave the outstanding nectar of service to Krishna and take to the drink
of poison called Samsara! Brahma was terribly disappointed and visibly angry especially since the
earlier brothers of Narada viz. Sanaka-Sanandana-Sanatana and Sanat Kumaras also politely refused
to become ‘Grihasties’ and Narada’s reaction was more assertive disregard of his consideration to a
father! Brahma then cursed Narada to become a yogi; a quixotic, glibly and dreamy person with
frivolous nature; as an indulger in ‘Shringar’(Romance) and Music; a Veena Player, a talkative
wanderer; as the son of a servant maid, and after repeated births finally he would return to Brahma
and become a Supreme Gyani! Narada was taken aback by such lashing of curses from Brahma and
having requested the father to bless him to be a Jatismara or with memory of previous births and a
staunch devotee of Narayana, gave a return curse to Brahma too that he would not be worshipped in
the entire Universe by way of Srotra, Kavacha, Mantra , Puja, Vrata or Agni Homa for the next three
Kalpas!

Narada was reborn as a Gandharva Prince named Upabarhana -literally meaning as one with
Devotion. He was married to fifty daughters of another Gandharva King and the eldest of his wives
was Malavati an illustrious Pativrata. He however had a flimsy fancy for Rambha and for this
indiscretion Brahma cursed him to terminate his life by the yogic of death; thush he practised Yoga by
breaking Six Chakras (Muladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Agjna) and
Sixteen Nadis (Ida, Sushumna, Medha, Pingala, Praanahaarini, Sarva Jnanaprada, Manah Samyamani,
Vishuddha, Niruddha, Vayasancharini, Jnana jrumbharana karini, Sarva Pranahara and
Punarjeevanakarini) and died the Yoga way! Malavati got furious that on a flimsy cause of fancying
Rambha, Brahma gave the disproportionte penalty of death to Narada and protested to Devas and Tri
Murtis that she woul immolate in Homagni. Vishnu realised how powerful a curse of Maha Pativrata
like Malavati could be and assumed the form of a Brahmana Vidyarthi enquring of Malavati whether
the death of her husband was due to physical nature and if so he could be revived by the means of
Ayurved; or else if the death was due to Yoga, then too there would be ways of reviving him the Yoga
way! As the death was due to Yoga, the Brahmana boy prayed to Agni and the jatharagini of the
Gandharva was kindled; Kama Deva gave back to the latter’s desires and aspirations; Vayu gave back
his breathing; Surya restored his eye-sight; Vani his powerof speech; Dharma revived his Gyan and
Brahma and Vishnu revived the Gandhrava Narada finally.

Another episode of Narada’s life related to Daksha Prajapati’s curse to him to become a Grihasti or a
house holder as Narada instructed the Prajapati’s progeny of Haryasvas to avoid Samsara or family
life. Narada and a Devarshi Parvata undertook a journey to Bhuloka once and due to rainy season
halted at King Sanjaya as their valued guest. The King asked his unmarried daughter Damayanti to
supervise the daily needs of the Rishis for their worship. In course of time Narada developed a fancy
for Damayanti since their common interest was music. Parvata Maharshi noticed visible change in
Narada and the Princess and confronted Narada who confirmed his longing for the Princess. Parvata
Maharshi got annoyed, cursed Narada to get a monkey face and left the Kingdom out of disgust.
Meanwhile Damayanti- Narada romance prospered as both were lovers of music. Damayanti argued
that Kinnaras had horse faces too but were music experts par excellence; having convinced her
parents thus she married Narada. After a few years Parvata Maharshi paid a visit to the Kingdom and
finding that Narada- Damayanti couple were happy, withdrew the curse of Narada’s monkey face as
the couple was happy. Such was the impact of Brahma’s curse to Narada that he should be a Grihasti
and no longer a Brahmachari.

Yet another Story of Narada was about his womanhood! Lord Vishnu and Narada were exchanging
views about the impact of Maya and indirectly mentioned that he saved himself from it excepting that
he was cursed by Brahma and Daksha and had problems. Vishnu asked for his vehicle Garuda and
suggested to Narada to go for a drive across the sky. He stopped Garuda at the City of Kannouj and
desired that he and Narada could refresh bathing in a Lake. Narada kept his clothes, Kamandalu, and
Veena on the banks of the Lake and dipped first in the water. The moment he dipped and came out,
Narada turned into a charming and youthful maiden not knowing his memory and identity. Vishnu
quietly slipped out along with Narada’s personal belongings and disappeared. Meanwhile, King of
Kannauj arrived at the Lake for a swim and was overwhelmed with the outstanding beauty of the
woman (Narada) and asked her antecedents; she did not know but the took her to his Capital and
married her as per Vedic tradition and named her Sowbhagya Sundari. The King declared her as the
Principal Queen and their marital life was a total success and gave birth to twelve sons. But as there
was a terrible war all the sons were killed and the Queen and King reached a lake to observe the
obsequies of the sons and the Queen too had a dip in the Sarovara and she emerged from the water as
Narada! Such was the power of Maha Maya that Vishnu taught to Narada who learnt its impact the
hard way! The Basic Laws prescribed by Maha Maya Bhagavati as enforced by the Trinity and their
deputies and the actions are as per the mix of their Actions are performed as per their Gunas in
various proportions as per their ‘Prarabdha’ or fate ! That was the lesson for Narada!

Stories describing the implied messages of Bhatavad Gita Chapters

Shri Krishna asked Arjuna to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra as that was the Kshatriya Dharma (Duty
of a Kshatriya) and dedicate all actions and results to Bhagavan, as the latter was the Cause of every
action, the Causation or the basis of action and the Causer or the Creator of the Cause. Bhagavan
defined that out of the Eighteen ‘Adhyayas’ or Chapters of Bhagavad Gita, five Adhyayas constituted
five of His faces, five Adhyayas his ten hands, one Adhyaya was his belly, and two were his feet.
Padma Purana asssured that intelligent persons who read one Adhyaya of Gita a day, or half of it, or a
quarter of it or even a Stanza at least would pave way to Mukti and cited the example of Susharma
who was no doubt a Brahmana but a chronic sinner; he did neither ‘dhyana’ nor ‘Japa’ nor even Atithi
Seva or Service to Guests; on the other hand, he was a drunkard, meat-eater and a womaniser. One
day, he died of a snake-bite and after suffering several Narakas and births as the retribution of his sins
was born as a bull and served under an oil extractor for many years died of hard work and exaustion.
A few kind persons contributed prayed for its salvation and among them was a Veshya (Prostitute)
who donated some ‘punya’on her account. In the rebirth the bull was born as a Brahmana in the same
village as a ‘Jatismara’ or with the memory of the previous birth. He located the Veshya and asked her
as to which Punya she donated to the dead bull. She said that she bought a parrot which used to mutter
a stanza and that gave a soothing effect. The Brahmana learnt from his powers that the parrot learnt
the stanza from the cage in which a Rishi stayed in his Ashram but a hunter stole the parrot and sold it
to the Veshya. On reaching the Rishi, the Brahmana was told that the Stanza that the parrot learnt was
from the First Chapter of Gita!

A Vedic Pandit Deva Sharam of Purandarapura of Dakshina Bharata was anxious to learn ‘Tatwa
Gyana’and approched a ‘Mahatma’ (Great Learned Person) in this connection. The Mahatma directed
the pandit to a Goat Keeper called Mitravan in a forest who was seated on a rock on the banks of a
river bed nearby. Mitravan nattated to Deva Sharma about his experience of a tiger attacking a group
of goats; while all the goats fled away, one remained as though it invited the tiger to eat it up. The
tiger asked the goat as to why it also did not run away as other goats did. The goat asked as to why the
tiger did not pounce on it and the tiger replied that its hunger vanished suddenly. Both the tiger and
the goat asked a Mahatma who in turn referred both the animals to a Vanara Raja (Monkey). The
latter replied that there was a highly religious Brahmana named Sukarna who meditated at a Shiva
temple nearby for several years and that he should be asked as to why the tiger did not suddenly lose
appetite and did not pounce on the goat which was readily willing to eat it up. Sukarna replied that
there was a ‘Maha Purusha’ or a Great Saint inside the temple and when he (Sukarna) requseted him
to teach ‘Tatwa Gyan’ or Self-Realisation, the Maha Purusha asked him to read an inscription on a
rock outside the temple which stated : Karmanyevaadhi kaarastey maa phaleshu kadaachana, maa
karmaphalaa heturbhuh maa tey sangostwa karmani/ (Partha! You have freedom only to perform
your duty; the rest is not relevant to you; but you should perform the duty without expecting returns
and rewards! Bhagavan further clarified that a ‘Tatwa Gyani’ or He seeks Self-Realisation and a
‘Sthita Pragna’or he with stable conscience has to be one who treats happiness or sorrow with
eqanimity, without desire, fear, or anguish: Duhkeshwanu dwignamanaah Sukheshu vigataspruhah,
Veeta raaga bhayakrodhah sthidheermuniruchyatey/ Thus the chain of Deva Sharma-the Mahatma-
Mitravan the goat-keeper-the Tiger and the Goat-the Vanara Raja-Sukarna-and the Maha Purusha
revealed the Message of Tatwa Gyan which simply stated that one should practise one’s own duty and
Tatwa Gyan would unfold itself! This indeed is the message in the Second Chapter of Bhagavad Gita.
The Third Chapter titled Karma Yoga gives the Message that ‘Swadharma’ or one’s own duty needs
to be followed at any cost, even if the Dharma of others is attractive: Shreyan swadarmo vigunah
paradharmatswanushthaat, Swadarmey nidhanam shreyayah paradharmo bhayaapah/ A Brahmana
named Jada practised ‘Vaishya Dharma’ or the profession of a businessman, amassed considerable
wealth, became a victim of vices, desired to amass more money, travelled a lot, was killed by a
gangof robbers , finally became a Pretatma (Goblin).and stayed on tree. Jada’s son who was a dutiful
Brahmana went out in search of his father and having learnt that his father was killed by robbers
proceeded to Varanasi and stayed under the same tree coincidentally overnight and before sleeping
recited the above Stanza of Gita. Instantly, the father in the form of Pretatma appeared after liberation
and was taken away by an air-plane to Vaikuntha and asked the son to proceed to Varanasi and in the
course of Shraddha recite the Third Chapter of Gita so that the forefathers too would attain Salvation.
Recitation of the Fourth Chapter describing JnanaYoga redeemed two Apsaras who were cursed by a
Tapaswi named Satyatapa as they were bathing nude to attact the attention of the Tapaswi whom
Indra suspected to dethrone him and instructed the Apsaras to disturb the Tapaswi. The Apsaras were
cursed to become two bilwa trees next to each other on the banks of Ganga in Varanasi and when they
begged of pardon the kind Tapaswi agreed for redemption from the curse when a Mahatma called
Bharata would lie down between the trees and recite the Fourth Chapter of Gita. As soon as the
recitation was over, the trees dried up and when Bharata reached his Ashram, there were two
‘Kanyas’(maidens) awaiting the return of the Mahatma to thank him. Eversince then the Apsaras
(Kanyas) regularly recited the Jnana Yoga chapter; it was in this Chapter Lord Krishna declared:
Yadaa yadaahi Dharmasya glanir bhavati Bharata! Abhyuddhaanamadharnasya sadaatmaan
srijaamyaham/ Paritraanaaya Sadhunaam vinashaya cha dushkrutaam Dharma samsthaapa –
naarthyaaya sambhavaami yugey yugey/ (Arjuna! As and when Virtue is affected adversely and Vice
dominates, I shall take an incarnation to vindicate virtue and destroy the Evil).

In the Karma Sanyasa Yoga dealt with in the Fifth Chapter of Gita, the story of a Brahmana named
Pingala of Madra Desha was illustrated as he ignored the duties of a Brahmana and took to music and
dance and his expertise secured the favour of the King. Pingala married a low class woman named
Pingali who eventually disliked the Brahmana and killed him in sleep. Owing to their sins, Pingala
and Pingali went through hells and in their next births became a vulture and parrot respectively. Being
aware of the memory of past lives, the Vulture met the parrot and tore the latter apart and the parrot
got thrown in a pond and died but a hunter trapped the vulture in a net and that too got killed.
Surprisingly, both the birds attained salvation! The explanation given by Yama Dharma Raja was that
though both the birds were sinners, their dead bodies fell in the same stream on the banks of which a
Muni sat reciting the fifth chapter of Gita underlining the Karma Sanyasa Yoga.

The episode of King Janashruti of Pratishthanapuri on the banks of River Godavari was described in
the Sixth Chapter as he was a rare example of virtue, fame and noble deeds. When the King was
strolling on the terrace of his palace he overheard the remarks of a group of ‘Hamsas’ (Swans) since
he understood the swan language that the greatness and vitue were nealy reaching the level of
Mahatma Riek who resided in the Temple of Chandra sekhara at Manikswar on top of Himalayas in
the Kashmira Region. The King decided to visit that Mahatma and proceeded with huge entourage
and several chariots- full of gifts including gold, jewellery, clothes, foodgrains and cattle. On way
from Pratishthanapuri to Maniksawara the King visited many Tirthas including Kasi, Gaya, and
Mathura. King Janashruti reached the Shiva Temple at Manikswara and spotted a beggar-like Sadhu
stationed on an empty cart who was identified as the Mahatma Riek. The King offered the chariots-
full of gifts, the Mahatma became furious and shouted on the King saying that he could not be
purchased with huge gifts! The King profusely apologised and fell on the feet of the Mahatma
shivering with fear and shame. As the latter cooled down a bit, the Mahatma confessed that he
attained celestial vision by constantly reciting the Jnaana Yoga from the Sixth Chapter of Gita:
Yadaahi nendriyarteshu na Karmaswanushajjyatey, Sarva Sankalpa Sanyaasee yogaarudhasta
dochatey/ ( A Sadhaka or Yogi would become ripe only ‘Indiraas’ or body parts of exrernal and
internal nature and their demands are overcome, Karmas or Actions are subdued and the concepts of
‘You’ and ‘I’are eliminated and then only, a person would truly become a real Yogi!

The Seventh Chapter titled Vigyana Yoga gave the example of Shankhakarna who followed the
profession of a Vaishya ; having become extremely rich and prosperous he married for the fourth time
and being avaricious desired to travel to Places to obtain further riches! He was bitten by a serpent
and eventually became a serpent. He appeared as a snake in the dreams of his children and asked them
to dig up a specified shrub in the backyard of his residence to discover crores of cash and jewellery.
The sons who recited the Seventh Chapter of Gita discovered the riches which they decided to utilise
for charitable purposes; the father too was liberated as the sons who were extremely pious and
reversed the selfish pattern of their father. The underlying message of the Chapter is that Dharma
begets Dharma and vice-versa and Vigyana is the doorstep to Dharma. The father lacked the capacity
to differentiate duty and virtue as against irresponbsibility and evil.

Akshara Brahma Yoga is the title of the Eighth Chapter of Gita which underlines the Basic Truth that
Parbrahma is the Supreme and Indestructible. The episodes of Bhava Sharma a Brahmana who
married a Veshya (Prostitute) with unforgivable habits of meat-eating, wine-drinking and debauchery
and a Brahmana couple called Kushibala and Kumati who were involved in base tantras and were
examples of deceipt, greed and anger. The couples died and were converted as ‘Brahma Rakshasas’ or
Huge Demons. They stayed on two Tada Vrikshas or Palm Trees and often regretted their misdeeds.
They exchanged their views as to how to obtain ‘Mukti’ or liberation from their current lives. Once, a
Veda Vedya Brahmana who came under the shade of the Palm Trees advised the Rakshasa Couple
that they could be liberated if they could receive BrahamaVidya’s Teaching, Adhyatmika Tatwa
Vichara or the Awareness of Inner Consciousness and KarmaVidhi Gyan or knowledge of performing
Karmas or deeds then they could be liberated from their present condition. The Brahma Rakshasis got
utterly confused and said: Kim tat Brahma!! Kimadhyatmakam! Kim Karma! ( Who is that Brahma!
What is that Adhyatma! And which is this Karma!) As soon as the Brahma Rakshasis muttered these
words, a miracle happened as the Brahma Rakshasa couples got Mukti and so did the Palm Trees too.
These were the opening lines of the Eighth Chapter of Gita! The further lines of the Stanza are: Adhi
bhutam cha kim proktam Adhi Daivam kimuchyatey? To this query of Arjuna means: What is Adhi
Bhutam! What is Adhi Daivam!. To this query Krishna replied: Aksharam Brahmaparam Swabhaavo-
dhyatmamuchyatey, Bhuta bhaavodbhaava karovirangaha karma sanjnitah/ (Arjuna! The Supreme
Soul is Brahma and His nature is Adhyatmika or the Internal Features, Adhi Bhoutika or the External
Features and Adhi Daivika or the happenings created by Paramatma Himself!)

The significance of the Ninth Chapter of Gita was explained by the instance of a Sacrificial Goat at
one Yagna by Madhava a Brahmana who resided on the banks of River Narmada.. The goat talked
suddenly in human voice to the surprise of the ‘Ritviks’ and onlookers. It said that Yagnas were
meaningless as all the human beings would have to go through the process of birth-childhood-youth-
old age and death. The same fate was awaiting the goat too, the animal said. The onlookers asked the
goat as to who was it in the previous birth and it narrated the story that it was a Brahmana who
performed a sacrifice to Devi Chandika as his son was ill; but Devi cursed him as it was improper to
sacrifice a goat to cure his son’s illness and cursed the Brahmana to become a goat. The goat further
narrated that there was a King named Chandra Sharma in Kurukshetra who gave in charity a ‘Kaala
Purusha Pratima’ at the time of Solar Eclipse but a chandala couple emerged from the Pratima and
were about to devour the King and the Brahmana and the latter was quick in reciting the Ninth
Chapter of Gita entitled ‘Raja Vidya Raja Guhya Yoga’and the chandala couple called ‘Paapa’ (Sin)
and ‘Ninda’ (Blame) disappeared at once. The substance of the Chapter is : Ananyaschintanaamtoma
maam ye janaah paryupaasatey, teshaam nithyaabhi yuktaanaam yoga kshemam vahaamyaham/
(Those who always think and meditate of me, surely I look after them and assure them of their
welfare). Ever since then the King always recited and reflected the purport of the Chapter. Eventually,
the goat was released to freedom.

Vibhuti Yoga was the title of the Tenth Chapter of Gita. A Brahmana called Dhirabuddhi visioned of
Atma Tatwa and Bhagavan Shankara had immense affection for the Brahmana. Once when Bhagavan
sat on the mount of Kailasha, a Hamsa (Swan) fell at his feet with a thud and bemoaned that while
flying above a Pond in Saurashtra it crossed a lotus shrub and its natural color of crystal white got
fully black since the lotus shrub released sixty five bees which blackned the swan. The lotus shrub
was in its third previous birth was a Brahmana house-wife called Sarojavadana who was no doubt a
Pativrata but was immersed in play with a Mynah bird in a cage when her husband called her and the
Brahmana cursed her to become a Mynah. The Mynah was brought up by a Muni Kanya and the Muni
was in the constant recital of the the Vibhuti Yoga or the Tenth Chapter of Gita and the bird learnt the
‘Adhyaya’ fully and in its next birth became an Apsara. The Apsara was bathing in a Sarovara when
Sage Durvasa out of fury cursed her to become a lotus shrub and the Swan crossed that very shrub
that released the sixty black bees which changed the colour of the Swan! Such was the power of the
Vibhuti Yoga in which Lord Krishna told Arjuna that all kinds of ‘Vibhutis’ or manifestations were
his own like radiance, powers, virtues, meditation, prosperity and victory. The Vibhutis in this
context included the swan crossing the lotus shrub was out of ignorance; Sarojavana’s attachment to
the Mynah was out of attraction; her husband’s curse was due to anger; the accursed Mynah’s
learning of the Tenth Chapter was due to concentration and memory power; her becoming an Apsara
was an upgradation of life; Muni Durvasa’s curse was an expression of anger to create a lotus shrub;
Dhirabuddhi’s vision of Atma Tatwa and Bhagavan Shiva’s affection was due to the devotee’s
extreme devotion!

The Eleventh Chapter of Gita is entitled Vishva Darshana Yoga and one illustration of the
effectivness of the yoga related to the Episode of a Prama Bhakta named Sunandana Muni residing in
Meghankara Nagar on the banks of River Pranita. The Muni undertook a travel to visit ‘Tirthas’and
on way stopped over in a village where the village head warned the Muni that a Rakshasa moved
about in the village and might catch hold of a stranger as per an Agreement with the Rakshasa that
none of the villagers be killed for his food but might eat up a stranger if required. Next morning it
was learnt that by mistake the son of the Village Head was killed! The Muni asked the Head as to how
the Rakshasa arrived in the first instance! The background was that there was a Brahmana Farmer in
the village who did not heed the loud cryingsof a stranger when he was chased by a huge vulture and
fell in a ditch; the Brahmana Farmer could have easily saved the stranger by lending a helping hand
by lifting the stranger but the Brahmana did not bother; a Tapasvi detested the casualness of the
Brahmana and let the stranger to be killed and thus cursed the Brahmana to become a Rakshasa. On
hearing the background of the Rakshasa, Sunandana Muni recited in full the Eleventh Chapter of Gita
and liberated not only the Rakshasa but also lifted to Vishnu Loka by a Vimana the Village Head’s
son killed by the Rakshasa too. The Chapter quoted Shri Krishna’s instruction to Arjuna saying: ‘ I
am enabling you Arjuna! To view the vision of my Supreme Form who has no beginning nor end;
whose might is unlimited; who has countless hands; who possesses Surya and Chandra as his eyes;
who has a fiery and radiant face like Agni and who has a powerful and red-hot scorching Form!’
The Twelfth Chapter is considered as a highlight of Bhagavad Gita since it deals with Bhakti Yoga. A
young Prince of Kolhapuri of the south-west of Bharata Varsha visited the most reputed Maha
Lakshmi Temple and prayed to Lakshmi Devi most sincerely as the latter was pleased to respond to
the euologies and asked the Prince of his desire. He narrated that his father King Brihadratha had half-
completed an Ashwamedha Yagna and died while the Sacrificial Horse no doubt returned from its
‘Vijaya Yatra’ or the Victory March but was missing and the Yagna remained half-accomplished. He
requsted Devi Lakshmi to restore the horse and let the soul of his dead father who was still embalmed
in oil be given the satisfaction of completing the Yagna. Bhagavati Lakshmi directed the Prince to
appoach a Siddha Samadhi Muni at the very entrance of the Temple and that he would do the needful.
As directed, the Prince made the request to the Muni and was astonished to invoke certain Devas who
confessed that the horse was hidden by them under the instruction of Indra Deva. He pulled up the
Devas concerned and commanded that the horse be brought there at once. Indeed the horse was
brought there in tact. The Prince was so impressed that he emboldened himself to request the Siddha
Muni hesitantly whether his father whose body was still in oil could be brought back to life so that he
could complete the Yagna himself! Siddha Muni smiled and asked the Prince to take him to Yagna-
shala and having reached there sprinkled ‘Mantra jala’ or the Sanctified Water and the King came
back to life again. The Prince was totally taken aback and asked the Muni as to how the miracles
happened including the admonition to Devas to bring back the horse and what was more thrilling the
revival of his dead father back to life! The Muni gave a cool reply that the powers that he attained
were due to his constant recitation of Bhakti Yoga Chapter of Bhagavad Gita! The Holy Book’s
Bhakti Yoga Chapter states: ‘A devotee who is free from likings and dislikings as also from happiness
or unhappiness and who dedicates all his deeds to me totally with unreserved faith is my favourite!’
‘Kshetra Kshetragna Yoga’ was elucidated in the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad Gita: On the banks
of the twin River Tunga-Bhadra in the Southern Part of Bharata Varsha, there was a popular Kshetra
called Haraihara where a Vedic Brahmana named Hari Dikshit lived. His wife Kuvaacha was
however a characterless slut. Looking for a companion in bed, one night she treaded into a forest and
faced a Tiger. The tiger felt that if the woman faced was of morality, she should not be killed but the
animal pounced on Kuvaacha and killed her straightaway. The woman experienced several hells like
Rourava and was born as a Chandalini. As she grew up she became a victim of diseases and reached a
Temple of Jambhaka Devi where a Brahmana always recited the thirteenth chapter of Gita the essence
of which was to distinguish the ‘Kshetra’or the human body and the ‘Khetrajna’or the Supreme
Being. The woman was fed up through harrowing experiences in Narakas and the incurable diseases
in her current life and the meaning of verse by verse of the thirteenth chapter that the Brahmana
explained to her was like ambrosia to her inner self and a totally transformed Kuvaacha attained
Salvation.The exhortation to Arjuna by Bhagavan Krishna explained the body of every human being
was like Kshetra and by inference those who realise this basic Truth would tend to perform honest
efforts and aim at Ishwara Prapti.Lord Krishna further asserted: ‘ Arjuna! Do realise that I am the
Kshetrajna; the real Jnaana is the awareness of the Kshetra and Kshetrajna’!

The Fourteenth Chapter of Gita dealing with ‘Gunatraya Yoga’ highlighted ‘Bhava Bandhana
Vimochana’ or Relief from the shackles of ‘Samsaara’or worldly desires and provided the illustration
of the King of Simhala , Vikrama Betala who went on a hunting spree on horses chasing a few hares
with a few dogs showing the way. The hares crossed a breach but the dogs could not; there was a
peaceful Ashram of Vatsa Muni who along with his disciples always recited the Gunatraya Vibhaga
Yoga of Gita.One of the disciples of the Muni cleaned up his feet with water before entering the
Prayer Hall of the Ashram. The sand and water mix turned muddy and the hares fell in the slush. As
soon as the hares fell in the slush they were air-lifted by a Vimana bound for Vishnu Loka thanks to
the recitation of the Fourteenth Chapter. Meanwhile the dogs chasing the hares fell in the slush and
they too were air-lifted to Gandharva Loka. Then followed King Vikrama at the Ashram and the
Prayer Hall and asked the Muni as to why the hares and dogs went to higher lokas. The Muni
explained that there was a Brahmana named Keshava and his wife Vilobhana who were both quite
vily; the Brahmana killed his wife and in the subsequent birth became as dogs while the wife turned
into hares.Both these were the beneficiaries of the recitation of the Fourteenth Chapter. Lord Krishna
gave the message of the ‘Adhyaaya’: ‘Once the three Gunas of Satva-Rajasa-Tamasa, which are
responsible of old age and death, then human beings break away from the chains of Samsara and
attain Salvation. The person concerned who worships Krishna with unreserved devotion would cross
the barriers of the Tri-Gunas and would be able to step into the ‘Parama Brahma Sthiti’ or the Highest
Salvation!’

The ‘Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga’ of Gita was illustrated by an uncontrollable Rogue Elephant
called Arimardan on the Court of King Khangabahu of Saurashtra in Gujarat. Several Elephant
Tamers from the Kingdom and many others failed to tame even by using heavy iron rods, piercing
tridents and such other weapons even while streams of blood flowed but each time the tamers tried,
Arimardan turned more and more violent. One day a Brahmana arrived and touched and cajoled the
wild animal with affection as the onlookers wondered as to how such a miracle occurred! The
Brahmana confirmed that he was a regular reciter of the Chapter of Gita. The King then ordered that
the elephant be set free and as a result even boys and girls played with it on the Sreets. Bhagavan
Krishna then addressed Arjuna saying: ‘Ignorance, arrogance, pretentiousness, egotism, anger and
Self-Image are all features of Asuras while the Three enemies of human beings viz.Kama (desire),
Krodha (fury) and lobha (avarice) were destoyers of one’s own Soul and entry points of Naraka which
are avoided by intelligent persons . The ignorance of the elephant misdirected him and taming was
accomplished by affection, humility and peacefulness.

The Chapter titled ‘Shraddha Traya Vaibhava Yoga’ which is the penultimate Adhyaya of Gita
illustrates the Story of King Khangabahu of Simhala Dwipa, his servant and their elephant. One
Dussahana drove the elephant in a race, made it run too fast by poking it by an ‘Ankusha’ and out of
annoyance the animal dropped Dusshahana dead. The servant in his subsequent birth was born as an
elephant in the same Royal Court. The new elephant (Dussahana) was gifted by the King to a Poet
who in turn sold it to the King of Malwa for a good price. But on reaching Malwa, the elephant took
suddenly ill and lied down without food and water. Many experts treated it but to no avail. Medicines,
charities and Prayers did not help. Finally, a Brahmana recited the Seventeenth Chapter and the
elephant started recovering and tried to stand up but fell down dead. The Brahmana who recited the
Chapter explained that the dead elephant in its earlier birth was Dussahana and as as a result of the
recitation attained Moksha. King of Malwa continued the reading of the Chapter and attained Sayujya
later. Lord Krishna told Arjuna: The features and ways of life are normally shaped by every human
being by his own ‘Swabhava’ or personal traits.

The Final Chapter of Bhagavad Gita named ‘Moksha Sanyasa Yoga’ contained the quintessence of
Vedas and Shastras signifying the termination of Samsara Bandha or the shacles of Life. It is the
destroyer of ‘Arishadvargas’ or the Six Enemies of humanity viz. Kama-Krodha-Moha-Mada-Lobha-
and Matsarya; the final goal of Siddha Purushas and the High-Point of Entertainment of Maharshis.
Sincere recitation of this Grand Finale of Gita constitutes sure steps forward to Moksha or the total
break-away from the endless cycles of Life! The Episode behind the Final Chapter was that when
Indra was enjoying a dance-music ensemble of Apsarasas, a few Vishnu-Dootas rushed in to convey
that a new Indra would be soon installed in Swarga Loka. Indra wondered whether the Indra-Elect
performed hundred yagnas successully or constructed lakhs of water-bodies or planted crores of trees
for the joy of the travellers or organised countless ‘Anna Danas’ and charities as he did. He reached
Bhagavan Vishnu and expressed agitation about the news of the new incumbent and whether his own
position was at stake! Vishnu smiled and asked Indra to meet the new-elect at Kalikagram on the
banks of Godavari who was a constant reciter of the Final Chapter of Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu further
assured Indra that he too could retain his position if he performed likewise too. Indra visited the Indra-
Elect in the form of a Brahmana and realised that each such recital of the Final chapter would be
equated to the fruit of performing one Yagna plus all the Punya Karyas or the benevolent and splendid
tasks that Indra did in the past qualifying him to achieve ‘Indratwa’! The Supreme Message of the
Moksha Sanyasa Yoga is thus summed up as: Sarva Karmanyapi sadaa kurvaano madvyapa-
ashrayah, Madprasaadaadavapnoti Shasvatam padamavyayam/ (Do accomplish the everlasting and
indestructible ‘Parama pada’ by performing the needful ‘Karmas’ and keeping complete faith in me!
Interesting Origin of Bhandasura, Manifestaion of Lalitha Devi and Bhandasura Vadha
As Tarakasura was harassing the world and was gloated with a boon from Brahma that only Maha
Deva’s son Skanda could exterminate the Asura, Indra and Devas were anxious that Devi Parvati
should soon wed Maha Deva. The latter approached Vishnu and requested for a quick solution as
Maha Deva was absorbed in very long Tapasya after he was totally disenchanted after Devi Sati’s
self- sacrifice pursuant to Daksha Yagna since Sati was frustrated that her husband Shiva was insulted
by her father Daksha in non-invitation of his Yagna to Shiva. In response, Vishnu looked amorously
sideways to Devi Lakshmi and there got manifested Manmatha with arrows of flowers and a sugar-
cane bow. Brahma blessed Manmatha to become an Embodiment of Love on the Universe. Indra and
Devas got the hint and requested Manmadha to utilise all their skills to kindle attraction of Maha
Deva in favour of Devi Parvati who was already serving Shiva in Tapasya by arranging the wherewith
all like fruits, flowers and other material utilised in Shiva’s puja in progress. Manmatha agreed and
released an arrrow of flowers. For a split second, Maha Deva opened his eyes and saw Parvati with a
momentary fultter of thought of liking for her, but soon got over that feeling and discovered as to
who was behind this disturbance as Manmatha was lurking behing the trees! A furious Maha Deva
opened his third eye and converted Manmadha as a heap of ash!

Ganesha was playful and materialised a Purusha from that heap. Ganesha was delighted at his
Creation and embraced the Purusha. He advised him to worship Maha Deva so that he could
grant Siddhis to him; Ganesha gave the instruction of ‘Shata Rudreeya’ and the Purusha
recited hundred times and sought Shiva’s boons; the boon was that half of his enemy’s Shakti
should be dissipated while he faced them and that the Astra-Shastras of the enemy should
become futile; the boon further assured that he should enjoy his privileges for sixty thousand
years! As Brahma learnt of the purport of the boon he stated out of desperation : Bhand!
Bhand! why was this boon was granted! Eversince the Purusha came to becalled as
Bhandasura. Bhanda became a terror to the Universe and Asura Guru Shukra gradually honed
his battle skills. He called up Mayasura and made him construct another Amaravati and
declared himself as Indra. He acquired a Kireeta which was gifted to Hiranyakashipu by
Brahma. Shukra gave him an Umbrella given to him by Brahma and he was never bothered
him by disease or fatigue. Thus Bhanda became an Apara Indra with all the fanfare of
Indraloka. Bhanda had eight warrior sons and four daughters. Eventually, Indra and Devatas
became subservient to Bhanda. Being a staunch devotee of Maha Deva, his progeny too
adopted the father’s qualities; his sons were Indra Shatru, Amitraghna, Vidyunmaali,
Vibhishana, Ugrakarma, Ugradhanvu, Vijaya and Shritiparaga. There were regular Yagna
Karyas and the Havya bhoktas were Bhanda and his followers! Vedaadhyayana was common
in the houses of common Asuras of Bhandasura’s households.

Bhanda’s grandeur was ever growing for sixty thousand years but gradually, the spendour
slackened and his virtuosity too commenced to wane. That was the time that Vishnu was
waiting for as Indra was almost on a breaking point; a Loka Mohini Maya was created with
the mission of enticing Bhandasura and also despatched a few Apsaras led by Vishvachi to
attract Bhanda’s key persons in the Court and the Sacred deeds like Yagnas were affected;
Vedas were forgottten and Shiva’s worship took a backseat.Guru Shukracharya’s cautions
were ignored and thrown to winds. Sage Narada then took up the mission of reviving the self-
confidence of Devas who were dormant in their spirits and self-assurance so far; he
prompted Devas to virtually wake up and worship Parashakti. Infused by Narada’s sermons,
Devas were activated and got refreshed with enthusiasm and reinforcement of devotion to
Devi Parvati.While Bhanda’s advisers, army and Praja were gradually sinking in moral
turpitude, Devas came to enjoy confidence and morale boost-up. Guru Shukracharya warned
Bhanda and his men that Vishnu did lasting and irrevocable damage by spreading Maya and
inciting them into fast slippages of their erstwhile demeanor of excellence. On realising their
mistakes, Bhanda made last-dig amends by reviving Shiva Puja, Homas and Vedadhyanas,
but alas his efforts lost the punch and determintaion.

Lalitodbhavana, Stuti by Devas and Wedding with Shiva : Devas were engaged in collective
and continuous efforts of Yagnas and homas. On one glorious day, Indra and Devas
witnessed a huge illumination from the ‘Mahaagni Kunda’ within a circular shaped radiance
a profile of a Devi fully ornamened and bright silk dressed with four hands with a Paasha,
Ankusha, a Sugarcane bow and five arrows with a smile beaming on her face appeared.
Devas were in bliss to witness that Supreme Vision and commended her. As Lalita Devi gave
her appearance, Brahma arrived along with Maharshis and so did Vishnu by his Garuda Vahana.
Shiva also arrived by his Vrisha Vahana. Narada and Devarshis, Gandharvas, Apsaraas too reached
there and Vishwakarma was asked to build a suitable Nagari to accommodate several visiting
dignitaries including the Mantraadhi Devata Devi Durga, Vidyadhi Devata Shyama and Ambika.
Sapta Matru Devatas viz. Braahmi, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Vaaraahi, Indraani, and Chamunda came as
also Ashta Siddhi Devatas viz. Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Praapti, Praakaamya, Ishitwa and
Vasitwa. Crores of Yoginis made a bee-line too. Bhairavas, Kshetra palakas, Maha Saasta,
Ganeswara, Skanda, Veerabhadra were there to readily serve Devi. Brahma then proposed to Hari that
this was the opportune time to perform the Sacred Wedding of Devi Lalita and Maha Deva. With
mutual consent, the wedding was celebrated under the auspices of Vishnu the brother of Lalita Devi.
The latter gifted to her an arrow of never fading fragrant flowers; Varuna Deva gave a Naaga Paasha,
Vishwakarma gave an ‘Ankusha’; Agni gave a ‘Kireeta’; Chandra Suryas gave her sparkling ear-
studs; Ratnaakara Samudra gifted a variety of Ornaments; Devendra gave an ‘Akshya Madhu Patra’
or a Vessel containing eversasting ‘Madhu’; Kubera rewarded a Priceless Chintamani necklace;
Ganga and Yamunas gave Vinjaamaras or hand fans; Indra and Devatas, Dikpalakas, Marud Ganas,
Sadhyas, Gandharvas, Pramathaganas were delighted to hand over therir respective weapons to
Lalitha Devi. Then Maheswara and Maheswaris were given a ‘Vedokta Mantraabhisheka’. As both of
them were seated on a Golden Throne, Brahma named Lalita Devi as Kameshwari or Kamakshi. As
the whole Universe was thus replete with joy, excitement and anticipation the Bhandasura would
soon be eliminated, Sage Narada prostrated and made a formal request to launch the Vijaya Sena
Yatra or the Victory March to kill Bhandasura.

Lalitha Devi’s Vijaya Yatra and Bhandasura Vadha: The Victory March commenced with
sky-reaching reverberations of ‘Vaadyas’ or sound instruments of Mridangas, Murajas,
Patahas, Jhallaris, Hundukas, Gomukhas, Barbaras, Hunkaaras and so on. From Lalita’s
Ankusha emerged Sampatkari Devi who alighted an Elephant called ‘Rana Kolahala’who in
turn materialised countless elephants. From Lalita Devis’s Pashaayudha were materialised
innumerable horses of varied descriptions like Vanayjas, Kambhojaas, Sindhujas, Tankanas,
Parvateeyas, Paaraseekas, Kaala vandijas, Yavanobhutas and Gandharvas. Armed by her
various hands, Lalita sat on a horse back even when Dandanatha or Senapati named
Shrinatha led her army while the former in turn created several Chandi Shaktis seated on
Mahishas / buffaloes or Lions; in fact, the Stree Shaktis created for the occasion were
twelve in number viz. Panchami, Dandanaatha, Sanketa, Samayeswari, Samaya Sanketa,
Vaaraahi, Potrini, Vaartaali, Maha Sena, Agjna, Chakrewsari, and Arighna. Besides, there
were sixteen Mantra Nayikas named Sangeeta Yogini, Shyama, Shyamala, Mantranayika,
Mantrini, Sachiveshi, Pradhaanesi, Shukapriya, Veenavati, Vainiki, Mudrini, Priyakapriya,
Neepapriya, Kadambesi, Kadambavanavaasini and Sadaamada. Meanwhile, a Figure
representing Dhanur Veda with four hands, three heads and three eyes gifted a Dhanush
(Bow) and two containers full of Arrows to Jagadamba saying these would be useful to fight
Bhandasura.Hahagriva then described Parameswari with the following Pancha Vimshati
Naamaas viz. Shri Lalitha, Maha Raagni, Paraamkusha, Chaapini, Tripura, Maha Tripura
Sundari, Sundari, Chakranatha, Saamraajni, Chakrini, Chakreswari, Maha Devi; Kameshi,
Parameshwari, Kamaraga Priya, Kaama koti, Chakravarti, Maha Vidya, Shiva, Ananga
Vallabha, Sarva Paaatala; Kulanatha, Amnaaya naaatha, Sarvaamnaya Natha, Sarvamnayna
Nivasini and Shringrara Nayika; reciting these names of Lalita Parameshwari would bestow
name and prosperity.

Tri Ratha Varnana: Ahead of Laliteswari’s chariot called Kiri Chakra Ratha, were the Geya
Chakra Ratha and Geeti Chakra Ratha. The Nine-Storyed front-running Chariot that moved
towards Bhandaasura had huge contingents of Shaktis and these were Ashta Siddhis and
Matrikas afore-detailed and Prakata Shaktis viz. Sarva Sankshobhini, Sarva Vidraavini,
Sarvaakarshanakrunmudra, Sarva Vashankari, Sarovanmadana Mudra, Yashti, Sarva
Mahaankusha, Sarva khastra charikaa Mudra, Sarva Beejaa, Sarva Yoni, and
Sarvatrikhandika. Also there were sixteen Chandra Kalaa Shaktis named Kaamaakarshi
Kalaa, Budhyaakarshini Kalaa, Ahankaaraakarshini Kalaa, Sabdaakarshini Kalaa;
Gandhaakarshini Kalaa, Chittaakarshini Kalaa, Dhairyaakarshini Kalaa, Smrityaarshanika
Kalaa, Naamaakashinikaa Kalaa, Beejaakarshinikaa Kalaa, Atmaakarshinikaa Kalaa,
Amritaakarshinikaa Kalaa and Shareeraakarshinika Kalaa. On the eighth Storey of the
Chariot, are four armed and three eyed of the radiance of Surya Chandra and are charged with
high emotions to kill Bhandasura. On the seventh Storey were Stree Shaktis like Ananga
Madana, Ananga Madanaaturaa, Anangalebhaa, Ananga Vegaa, Anangaankusa, and
Anangaalingapara all of whom were anxiously waiting to terminate Bhandaasura. On the
sixth storey of the Chakra raja Ratha are like Kaalaagni and they possessed Agni Baana,
Agni Dhanu, Agni Khadga who were all materialised from the Kaamaagni Shaktis and their
names were Sarva Sankshobhini, Sava Vidraarini, Sarva -akarshana, Sarvaahlaadani, Sarva
sammohihi, Sarvastambhana, Sarvjrumbhana, Sarvonmaadana and Sarva Dwandwaksha –
yankari. On the fifth Storey were ‘Kulotteernas’ who had crooked eye-brows and carriers of
Parashu, Paasha, Gada, Ghanta, and Manis. These Stree Shaktis were Sarva Siddhiprada,
Sarva Sampadprada, Sarva Priyankara, Sarvanga Sundari, and Sarva Soubhyagyadayani;
these were basically the boon-bestowing and merciful Devatas. The fourth Storey Devatas
were ten in number viz. Sarvajna, Sarva Shakti, Sarvaish -warya prada, Sarva Sarva
Jnaanamayi, Sarva Vyadhi Nivaasini, Sarvaadhaara Swarupa, Sarvaahapara,
Sarvanandamayi, Sarva Rakshaa Swarupini and Sarvepsita phala pradayaini. The third Storey
Shaktis Vaagadheeswaris, and Veenaa-Pustaka Dharinis called Vashini, Kaameshini,
Bhogini, Vimala, Aruna, Javini, Sarveshi, and Kaalini; these were all Rakshasa Samhara
kaarinis. The Shaktis in the second Storey of the Chariot are as powerful as Lalitaa herself
and were very close to her and were equally armed like Lalita herself and they were always
ready to help, protect and be of forgiving nature! These magnanimous Shaktis were called
Kameshi, Bhaga, Nityaklinna, Bherunda, Vahnivaasini, Maha Vajreswari, Dati Twarita, Kula
Sundari, Nityaa, Nilapaakaa, Vijaya, Sarva Mangala, Jwaalaamaalini and Chitra. Such was
the magnificent presence of Maha Shaktis accommodated in the Chariot . Similarly Shaktis in
the Geya Chakra Ratha Prathama Madhya or the central portion of the first Storey was
Sangeeta Yogini who was very intimate to Sri Devi and was the Residence of
Mantrinis.Other storeys of the Ratha too were similarly brilliant with other Shaktis. The front
chariot was of ten yojana’s height; the accompanying Geeti Chakra Ratha had a height of
seven yojanas and that of Kiri Chakra Ratha was of six yojanas in which Laliteswari was
sitting brilliantly.

Preamble to Dev’s battle with Bhandasura: As the Three Chariots were on the move,
Rakshasas were mortally frightened and there were deadly omens to them while Devi’s
entourages were in top spirits anticipating emphatic Victory. The fool hardy Bhandasura was
bragging away as in a dream world that a woman called Lalitha was coming to fight who
nodoubt was stated to be beautiful and graceful and that instead of encountering in a battle he
would like to invite her to a private encounter!! Ha ha! Bhanda’s younger brothers Vishukra
and Vishanga were the World’s most dreaded and terrifying warriors and the erstwhile
devotees of Maha Deva who only knew how to subdue and conquer and were unaware of
fear or surrender. As Bhanda was in the fancyand romantic world, the brothers tigthtened the
screws and bolts of the chatiots and charioteers. The Great Rakshasa warriors who frightented
Devas and kept on them leash as they woud to slaves were so strong that each of them were
able to make a multitude of Devas demoralised for a very very long sixty thousand years of
Bhandasura’s unchallenged sovereignty aided by thousands of Akshouhinis of unique strengh
and of Mastery of Crookedness and Maya! Such powerful Rakshasas uprooted Indra, created
a fresh Swarga with modern facilities, controlled Lokapalakas, PanchaBhutas, Tri Murtis, and
finally approached a Woman to lead! The Rakshasa warriors included Kutilaaksha,
Durmnada kuranda, Karanka, Kaalavaasita, Vajradanta, Vajramukha, Vajraloma, Vikata,
Vikataasana, Karaalaaksha, Karkataka, Dirgha Jihva, Humbaka, Karkasha, Pulkasa,
Pundraketu, Jrumbhakaaksha, Tikshna shringa, Yamantaka, Atimaya, Ulukajitat,
Kujvilaashwya, Attahasa, Mushaka, and Kumbhotkacha.

Bhandasura’s Associates exterminated: Lalitha Devi sounded her ‘Pataka Dhwani’ or the
Sound of The Fluttering Flag as a mark of attack and Bhandasura responded with his
‘dundhibhis’ or war drums which deafened the Three Worlds. As a trail exercise, Kutilaksha
commenced the Operation with ten lakh Akshouhinis and Sampadkari Devi attacked
Durmada and in the first round there were casualities with an edge to Durmada. Sampakari
showed her red eyes and in no time the Stree Shaktis extinguished the well trained
oppposition and even before the re-fill arrived Durmada was killed. Kutilaksha shouted on
Sapatkari and said that there was no great reason to celebrate the initial sacrifice which
normally assessed the depth of the opposition; so saying, Kutilaksha attacked by a horseback
appearing once in the Raksasha camp and suddenly opposite the Devi’s camp; while on one
side, Kutilaksha and Samvasraswati were grappled with each other, Kuranda faced
Samatkari.The latter put up such an encounter that the rapidity of each other’s arrows covered
up Surya and the clash of their Astras provided illumination to periodically dispel darkness!
Finally, Kuranda fell and Bhandasura realised the Shaktis meant business! Karanka and five
Daitya Senapatis were then despatched who created a ‘Rana Maya’called Sarpini which
created poisonous flames and showered serpents but Nakuleshwari Shakti utilised
Garudaastra and also showered Mongooses. As Karanka and five other Senapatis were
destroyed, Bhandasura and Kutilaksha instructed Seven more Senapatis to face the attack
from the side of Devi; these Senapatis were all born to Rakshasi Keekasa (born of Bones)
and were named Baalaka, Soochi Mukha, Phaalamukha, Vikarna, Vikataanana, Karaalaayu
and Karataka.The Sapta Senapatis were asked to proceed with three hundred Akshouhinis of
army to attack Lalita Devi directly. But the invincible Shaktis displayed their penchant for
blood-drinking and apart from the Sapta Senapatis the massive army was destroyed.
Vishanga the brother of Bhandaasura entered the battle and surreptitiously went under
Lalitha Devi’s chariot and managed to hit his arrow on her hand fan. Kameswari and Tithi
Nityaa Shaktis were highly infuriated and Kameswari told in a rather apologetic tone to Devi
that since her chariot was fully secured by Maha Mantra Shaktis, the Rakshasaas were trying
to use their Maya in the night to make an entry from the rear side under the chariot’s wheel
and now the Shaktis viz. Vanivaasini, Jwaalaamaalini would then display their power. Then
the Nitya Shaktis aimed their arrows and killed countless Daityas ; Kameswari killed
Damana, Bhagamala shot straight into the Senanayaka Dirghajihva, Nityaklinna annihilated
Humbeka, Bherunda Shakti thrashed Hulumallaka, Vahni vaasaa Shakti crushed Kaklusa,
Maha Vajreswari Shakti destroyed Kesivahana, Shivaduti Shakti sent Plukasa to Yamapuri,
Twarita cut Pundraketa into pieces; Kulasundari smashed Chandabahu, and so on. The villian
who started the Adharma Yuddha viz. Vishanga tried to escape but Kameswari Devi caught
him by his neck and tore off his Kavacha with her sharp nails and in the process he escaped
narrowly but Kameswari let him off as a retreating timid was not fair to run after and what
was more the night was just entering the early morning hours. There were floods of blood and
unbearable smell of putrid dead bodies all over. Devi Lalita instructed Jwaalamaalini to
encircle the entire area with flames to make the army of Bhandasura and also clean up the
mess of dead bodies of his army. Her chariots were lifted up the Mahendra Mountain while
Dandini Shakti remained on the left of Kiri Chakra Ratha, Shyamala Devi was in the southern
side, in the North was Sampadeswari and in the front Hayasana was present. As
Bhandasura’s sons were asked to attack and display their prowess, Bala Shakti of nine years
of age requested Devi to please let her play with the sons of Bhanda along with a fresh
battalion of two hundred akshouhinis and Lalita smiled and consented. Bala Shakti uprooted
the progeny of Bhandasura and wiped out the army despatched afresh. At this juncture
Bhandasura was not only agitated but demoralised. Vishukra then set up a Maha Yantra and
made a desperate bid when Ganesha saluted Lalita and took her permission to face the Maha
Jaya Yantra as conceived by Vishukra. Gajasura arrived to operate the Most Potent Yantra.
MahaVighna Nayaka took the forms of Six Vighna Nayakaas viz. Aamoda, Pramoda,
Sumukha, Durmukha, Arighna and Vighna karta and each of these were the Chiefs of crores
of ‘Herambas’; these six forms of Ganesha and the crores of Herambas moved ahead of him
and their mere ‘Hunkaaraas’ wiped out akshouhinis of Daityas, while the power of their
trunks destroyed the remnants. Ganesha himself attacked Gajasura and killed him even as
Vishukra who invented the so called Jaya Yantra was destroyed into smitheerens. An
undaunted Bhandaasura was nodoubt frustrated and humiliated but the show had to go on and
hence sent his brothers Vishukra Vishangas. Vishukra was so notorius that Trilokas were
shivering at one stage and he was the Yuvaraja / successor of Bhandaasura. Both the brothers
planned to attack Devi together instead of dividing themselves in two directions. Lalita Devi
consented that Mantrini Dandini might take the onslaught of the brothers. Mantrini was for
all practical purposes the Maha Raajni Lalita herself! All the associated Shaktis of Mantrini
were in such inspired disposition as their morale was sky-high; some alighted horses, some
were in chariots and others mounted elephants. Shyama Shakti provoked Vishukra; Nakuli
Devi fought with Vishu, Maha Maya Kunti with Peshu, Bhauravi with Madada, Laghu
Shyama with Kushura, Swapnesi with Mangala, and so on. Vishukra released Trishaastra
which made all the Shaktis highly thirsty and the army of Lalita had tough time to cope up
the situatation. Dandini prayed to Sura Samudra and the intoxicated Shaktis were joyfully
killng the Daityas with redoubled excitement. The Trishastra instead of creating thirst of
water thus ended up in the thirst of Madhu and the Devi Sena had a glorious time in killing
the Daityas with redoubled vigour and adventurism! Danda Nayika encountered both the
brothers together and hit Vishanga with a ‘hala’( plough) and Vishukra with ‘Musala’(mace).
Bhandasura exterminated: With the death of his dear brothers, sons and Senapatis and army
of several akshouhinis, Bhandasura was crestfallen and depressed; yet, he proceeded with
Kutilaaksha and thirty five Senanayakas and two hundred and eighty five Akshouhinis of
army; excepting one woman in Shunyaka Nagari, his Head Quarters, the entire population
went fight in the final battle. He alighted his huge chariot drawn by lions; countless of his
army members had little space to travel by Bhumi and had to fly on the sky. Soon on spotting
Devi Lalita, he despatched the Astra of ‘Andhataamishra’ and she retalliated it with
‘Vishwaavasaastra’ / ‘Suryaastra’ and blunted his arrogance. He threw ‘Antakaastra’ and
Devi replied it with the Astra of Maha Mrityunjaya. He used ‘Sarvastra Smriti’ and she
destoyed it with Dharana / Medhaastra. Bhanda utilised Bhayastra to frighten Shaktis but
Amba used ‘Aindraastava’ to relieve fears. The Asura used Maha Rogastra and she sent back
‘Naama Trayaastra’ which released the resounding voices of ‘ Achyuta-Ananda-Govinda’
along with ‘ humkaara’ sounds. Bhanadasura threw at her the ‘Ayushnaasha’ or Life
Destroying Arrow, and Devi replied that Astra with ‘Kala Sankarshini’ or Life Extending
Astra. The desperate Bhandasura then forwarded Maha-Asura-Astra which was the super-
combination of the energies of several notorious Asuras like Madhu-Kaitabha, Mahishaasura,
Dhumralochana, Chanda-Mundeswara, Chikshibhu, Chamara, Rakta beeja, Shumbha-
Nishumbha, Kalakeya, Dhumra and so on. There were ‘Hahaakaaras’from the Devi Sena and
the combined strength of various Asuras was too overwhelming. Devi then laughed
boisterously and materialised Durga who was the Composite Form of all Devaas; Maha Deva
provided to her a mighty ‘Shula’, Vishnu his Sudarshana Chakra, Varuna his conchshell,
Agni his heat and radiance, Vayu a bow and arrows, Indra his Vajraayudha, Kubera his
chashaka or drinking vessel, Yama his Kala Danda, Maha Danda, and Paasha; Brahma his
Kamandalu or vessel, Iravata his bell, Mritya Devata her Khadga and metal resistor, Samudra
his ‘haara’ or necklace, and Vishwakarma gifted ornaments.

Then Devi Lalita assumed various forms: as Durga she was in full form of unusual
splendour; as Narayani she alighted a Simha Vahana and fought; and she destroyed
Mahashasura as Chandika as described in ‘Durga Saptashati’. Bhandasura released
‘Mookaastra’ and Devi in turn created the Astra of ‘Vakvaadini’. He used Vedaapaharana
Astra and she met it with her right hand thumb! Bhanda’s ‘Arnavaastra’ created huge flows
of gushing water which was arrested by an Adi Kurma of yojana’s height and width as
created by Devi’s right hand’s pointing finger. Bhanda sent an Astra called Hairanyaaksha
which created thousands of ‘Hiranyakshas ‘and Devi created Maha Varaaha from her right
hand middle finger who destroyed them all. An infuriated Bhanda produced crores of
Hiranyakashipus but an unperturbed Devi frowned from where emerged Prahladaas and
Nrisimha Rupas from her right ring finger who were like Pralaya Rudras laying the Hiranya
kashipus on the Deva’s lap and pulled out his intestines and blood. Similarly Devi Lalita
created Vamana Devas from her right hand little finger to control Balendras; Parashu
Ramas to kill Kartaveerarya- arjunas from her left hand thumb; Shri Rama to destroy the
ten headed Ravana and Kumbhakarna and Lakshmana to kill Indrajit and from Devi’s left
pointing finger; Balarama from materialised from Devi’s left middle finger to kill Asuras;
Vaasudeva was created by the left hand ring finger of Lalita Devi and he terminated
countless Rajaasuras and other Rakashasaas like Kamsa, Sishupaala, Dantavaktra,
Poundraka, Shambara, Pralamba, Narakasura, Banaasura and so on and thereby reduced the
weight of Evil on Bhumi and from her left hand little finger created Kali Deva who ended up
Huna-Yavana- Kirataka and others. As all the Evil Forces were uptooted by Durga Devi thus,
Devi Lalitamba liquidated Bhandasura’s Senapatis with Narayanaastra and finally only
Bhandasura was left out. She then released ‘Maha Kameshwaraastra’ which had the
extraordinary radiance and energy of thousand Suryas and ultimately the greatest menace in
Tri Lokaas was demolished; the Sunyaka Nagari was burnt off with the flames of the
Kameswarastra and thus the Dwiteeya Swarga which Bhandaasura created sixty thousand
years ago was turned into heaps of ashes; and so did Bhandasura whom Ganesha
materialised from the ashes of Manmatha as a play! With the termination of Maha Bhanda,
Devas celebrated with resonant sounds of Celestial Drums and showers of flowers from
Swarga and they were re-installed in their original positions. Whosoever reads or hears the
Legend of Lalita Devi’s victory over Bhandaasura would become fearless; they would attain
Siddhis, Bhakti, Shakti, Arogya, Keerti , Aishwarya and Mukti ! At the huge relief that Tri
Lokas came to experience, Brahma-Vishnu-Rudras-Indra and Devas-Adityaas-Vasus-
Maruds- Sadhya Devatas-Siddha-Kimpurusha-Yaksha-Nishaachara-Daityas felt so gladdened
in their hearts and Maha Devi Lalita sat on a Golden Throne looking relaxed and satisfied;
there was a fresh wave of hope, virtue, courage, confidence and happiness began again to all
the Beings with relief and fulfillment. Brahma and others made a spontaneous
Commendation at the Victory of Maha Raajni Lalita Devi.

Victory Commendation and revival of Manmatha: Brahma then introduced Rati Devi the
widow of Manmatha and requested her to terminate her widow-hood and Lalita Devi
readily agreed to do so and asked her to be bathed and dressed up as a ‘Sumangali’ with
chandana-kumkuma, flowers and ornaments. Manmatha got revived. Devi bestowed boons to
him saying that from the hair roots of his body he would materialise crores of Manmathas for
ever and that he would ensure all the married couple to get marital satisfaction for ever;
those who blame him would fail in their marriage unions and males turn out to be impotent
and females turn out as frigid and barren. The Nava Manmatha was further blessed by Devi
that Maha Deva would renounce Vairagya and would be so fond of Parvati that he did not
leave her thus acquiring the epithet of ‘Arthanaareswara’ Manmatha’s Senaani was Chandra,
and Peetha mardakas were ‘Raaga’ or sweet musical notes, Mandanalaya or provocative
winds and the sweet cooing of Kokila or Koel.

Maha Devi destroys Mahishasura and his clan

The most ferocious and brutal Demon of the times, Mahishasura, harassed and subdued King
Indra and all the Devas including Surya, Agni, Pavan, Yama, Varuna etc. and occupied the
Throne of the Swarga. Mahishasura’s cruel acts created havoc among the helpless Munis and
human beings and there was no end to the persecution that they were subjected to. The
Trimurthis-Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara- got so angry that they their eyebrows released
massive Fires of Fury which got combined as a huge ‘Agni Parvat’ (Fire Mountain), into which
the individual Energies of all the Devas headed by Indra got merged too. The Form of Maha
Devi so materialised created a luminous face with combined Shaktis in a formidal feminine
form: while Yama’s powers created her hair, Vishnu’s power provided both her arms,
Chandra’s radiance gave sparkling jewels, Indra contributed the belly, Varuna’s powers created
thighs, Prithvi the rear, Brahma contribruted the feet, Surya provided the fingers of the feet;
Vasuganas contributed hand fingers; Kubera’s ‘Tejas’ created the nose, Prajapati’s energy
provided the teeth, Pavaka created all her three eyes, both the ‘Sandhyas’ gave away
‘bhrukutis’ (mid-portion of eye brows) and Vayu supplied the Devi’s ears. Maha Deva then
contributed his Shula from his own, Narayana gave away a Chakra born out of his Chakra,
Varuna gave a Shankha, Hutashana / Agni his Shakti, Vayu the Dhanus with powerful arrows,
Indra gave his Vajra and a bell from Iravata, Yama gave his ‘Kaladanda’, Varuna a ‘Pasha’,
Daksha Prajapati his Akshaya Maala (Rosary), Brahma his Kamanadalu (water vessel), Surya
supplied his rays into Maha Devi’s skin pores; Kaal gave away his ‘Khadga’ (sword); Samudra
Deva contributed pure pearls, shining clothes, valuable chudamani, precious ear-rings, and
bangles; Moon gave away ‘Bhuja Kirtis’ (Shouder-Ornaments), neck laces, and finger rings;
Vishwakarma donated ‘Astras’, ‘Kavacha’ (Body Secure); Himalaya provided the carrier
Simha (Lion); and like wise all the various Devas gifted various items of their valuable
possessions. When suddenly, there was a bewildering roar of a Lion’s resound, the ‘Trilokas’
shuddered and felt that it was the end of the Universe! Mahishasura and his followers got
startled with unprecedented shivers and took time to realise that indeed that was not the end of
the Universe, but the beginning of the historic battle. Maha Devi’s radiance got spread all over
the directions when her thousand arms came into flashes of mercurial actions. The Senapati of
Mahishasura’s army named Chakshusa began a fierce fight and an additional ‘Chaturangani
Sena’ (Four-winged army force comprising soldiers, horses, elephants and chariots) of an
Asura named Chamara joined the stream while another sixty thousand chariots and following
army led by Udagra too joined the Force. A further Force of one crore chariots reinforced the
existing army of Mahishasura, which was led by Maha Hanu. Another Asura called Asiloma
led a five crore ratha sena, and yet another Rakshasa named Bakshal brought in sixty thousand
chariots further reinforcements, thus making a highly formidable force; further forces joined
the fray from other directions. On the other hand, Maha Devi’s ‘niswas’ and ‘ucchvas’
(exhaling and inhaling of breathing) created crores of her army and killed crores of enemy
forces too. The hell-like of Mahishasura army was destroyed like flies in huge flames. In this
melee, Chakshura’s charioteer died, his chariot was destroyed and as he tried to leap over Maha
Devi, her Lion tore his body into pieces; Chamara became offensive as Chakshura died and
sped up his elephant towards Devi along with his ‘Mayavi’ Shakties; Devi’s lion leapt in the air
sky-high and with one pounce squeezed his elephant to death and Chamar’s body was hit with
such a smash that there were no traces of his body parts. In the battle that ensued, Udagra was
hit by Devi’s forceful throws of stones and boulders, while Uddhatasura was crushed by
Devi’s mace hits. Next, the demon Bashkal was destroyed by her Bhindipala and Tamra and
Andhak were shot by her arrows. By the blaze of her Three Eyes, Maha Devi burnt off three
demons called Ugraveerya, Ugrastha and Maha Hanu. She cut into pieces the head of
Bidalasura by the might of her sword. Durdar and Durmukh tried to send mantik arrows at her
but the return arrows sent them away to Yamaloka. Devi Kaalarathri used Kaladanda and
Kalasura was put to instant death. She sported her Khadga with a light touch and Ugradarshan
flew away to a far off place never to return. Asiloma who led a five crore army of Charioteers
fell like a sick bird on the battle ground with the fire that emerged from Devi’s angry
eyebrows! The Devi Ganas and the Great Lion who went berserk as Mahishasura’s army made
a depleted and demoralised retreat to save them.

Now, Mahishasura led a fresh reserve of army, assuming his original form of a Mahisha or a
buffalo, made several offensive gestures by way of forcefully pulling up his powerful horns
high, by taking speedy circlings, by throwing up his mighty tail and by thumping his hooves
making sounds like earth-quakes. The Asura jumped forward towards the Lion who created
havoc and killed many of his warriors, whereby Maha Devi became livid with rage but
Mahisha too got enraged and dug deep into the Earth and threw mountains by braying with
frightful reverberation. The Asura’s breathing was so heavy that mountains shivered and sand
storms got into motion with high velocity. Chandi Devi desired to kill Mahishasura in one go,
but Maha Devi restrained Chandi and threw a powerful rope around the buffallo neck; She then
assumed the form of a roaring lion, then as a huge elephant, and like a mammoth ‘Veera
Purusha’. Meanwhile Chandika Devi consumed a huge cup of wine, got drunk with a
resounding laugh with blood red eyes and said like a drunkard; ‘Oh miserable Stupid! Keep on
with your roar as long as my wine is swallowed; your last moments have now started ticking
and you should soon leave this World as your ignominous life would get terminated.’ By so
saying, Chandi jumped up and strangled Mahishasura’s mighty neck and sliced it open; soon
Rishi ganas performed ‘Veda Parayana’, Gandharvas sang sonorous hymns of praise for Devi
Chandi who was but a shadow of Maha Devi, Apsaras danced to their glory and Devas headed
by Indra went into deep raptures in great jubilation with unreserved gratitude to Parama Maha
Devi. In one high voice, all the Devas glorified Maha Devi as follows: ‘We greet with
reverence that Ambika Devi, whose capability is spread all over the moving and non-moving
objects of the universe, whose Supreme Energy enables all the Deva Murthis to be on their
own; whose Origin or Qualities defy description by Brahma, Vishnu or Mahendra, let alone
illustrious Maharshis; and whose unparalelled kindness and consideration is ever-fulfilling and
never failing to humanity. We salute Devi Chandika who would ever neglect nor ignore those
who have unqualified faith and commitment in that Punya Swarupa or the Embodiment of
Propitiousness and also never spare those who persist in evil deeds and never have the psyche
of remorse nor any sense of guilt. Highly pleased by the above commendations of Devatas,
Maha Devi gave an opportunity to them to ask for boons and they said politely that after the
killing of Mahishasura, they had no further requests to make, excepting that She should kindly
respond as and when exigencies might arise in future and She said: ‘Thadhaastu’! (Be it so!)

Shumbha and Nishumbha executed by Maha Devi

The immortal Story of the killing of Shumbha Nishumbha Demon brothers as was told by
Mahatma Markandeya. The most infamous Danava brothers, from the notorious lineage of
the Hiranyakasipu, attacked Indra the King of Devas; diverted the ‘havis’ or the uncooked
offerings to Agni at Yagnas meant for Devas to themselves; performed the tasks of Surya,
Chandra, Kubera, Varuna, Vayu and other Devatas and turned all the Devas from Swarga,
who became wanderers and as refugees in forests. They remembered the assurance given by
Devi Vishnu Maya, when they celebrated Her victory at the devastation of Mahishasura and
his followers; at that time She said: ‘As and when You remember me when faced with a
hardship, I will demolish your difficulties at once!. `

As Devas extolled Maha Devi, Devi Parvati was bathing in the pure water of Ganga and
realizing that Devas were dislodged from the Swaraloka, appeared before them as Ambika
whose popular name was Kaushiki or Kalika of dark skin but of unprecedented charm and
beauty. Devas realised that Devi Kaushiki decided to reside at the top of Himalayas. Two
Danavas named Chanda and Munda, the followers of their Masters Shumbha and
Nishumbha of the lineage of Hiranyakasipu, happened to vision Kaushiki Devi on the
Himalayas and were completely taken aback at her extraordinary magnificence.They hurried
up to their Masters and conveyed to them of their greatest discovery of Devi Kausiki. They
said that their Masters had no doubt achieved the most precious possessions of the Universe
like the Iravata Elephant, Ucchaiswa Horse, Parijata Tree, Hamsa (Swan) Viman, Maha Padma
Nidhi of Kubera, Kinjilkini called Kamal from Samudra Deva, Kanchanashraavi named
Umbrella from Varuna Deva, the most valuable Ratha or Chariot from the Foremost Prajapati,
Maranaprada Shakti of Lord Yama, the most potent ‘Pasha’ of Varuna Deva, all the richest
‘Ratnas’ or jewels of Samudra Deva and the ‘Uttariya and Vastra’ (clothes) sanctified by
‘Vahni’ (Flames) of Agni Deva; But without possessing the Rarest ‘Stree Rathna’ or the Most
Invaluable Jewel of a Woman was visioned by Chanda and Munda would pale into
insignificance before that prized possession! When Chanda and Munda described so much
about the ‘Stree Ratna’, Shumbha and Nishumbha sent an able emissary called Sugreeva to
Devi Kausiki to convince her about their unique qualities of proven bravery and
capability.Devi replied: What ever had been said was indeed correct, since the two great
brothers were the mightiest warriors in the Trilokas, but she had a ‘Pratigna’ or Vow viz.:
Whosoever could win me over in a battle, crush my pride and equalise my Shakti would be my
Master; now, let either Shumbh or Nishumbh try their luck and take on me in the duel and why
delay further? As the emissary told Devi in great anger that let alone Shumbha or Nishumbha
but even he could take her by hair and present her before his Masters, as Devi replied coolly
that it was not proper to harm an emissary and as such he would better convey what she had
said to his Masters.

Enraged by this arrogance of Devi, Shumbh instructed Dhumralochan to bring her by hook or
crook. The latter ran up to Devi Ambika with a view to humble her, but by her mere ‘Hunkaar’
sound, the Demon got turned into ash; his huge army of soldiers came to action as they shot
arrows, a variety of objects like Shulas and Shaktis and despatched horses, elephants and
chariots. The Carrier of Ambika, named Kesari (Lion) got provoked with anger and with an
earth-shaking roar, jumped out in lakhs of Forms and tore the bodies of soldiers apart into
pieces. Shumbha went into white rage with biting lips as Dhumralochana was turned into ash
and his large army of front ranking soldiers was destroyed; he ordered Chanda and Munda to
march a huge army and drag ‘that woman’ tied up by her long hairs and present her before him.
When Chanda Mundas led an ocean-like ‘Chaturanga Bala’ or the Four Divisioned army
comprising Charioteers, Elephants, Horses and Foot Soldiers adept in offensive warfare with
high skills of military power, they all witnessed a grand and lonely female figure sporting a
mischievous smile on the mountain top.From the smile of Devi’s face, there was a sudden
transformation of her skin to black, her eyes became red, her teeth got protrusive and her
tongue was elongated. This appalling figure of Devi jumped from the mountain top along with
the roaring Lion, creating lakhs of such figures all over, and playing one elephant against
another, one horse against another and one chariot against another, breaking heads, and turning
the battle field into streams of blood and disfigured bodies without heads of many, limbs of
several and carcasses of lakhs of dead animals. As the ocean-like army of committed soldiers
was massacred, both Mundasura and Chandasura rushed towards Ambika Devi, one raining
away strings of ‘Astras’ and another flinging sharp weapons at mighty speed simultaneously,
She threw around illusionary meshes which placed both of them into straight-jackets and with
powerful blows smashed their heads; the ferocious Devi took the broken heads of the Asura
brothers into her hands and laughed so violently that thundered the Earth and Sky, thus
attaining the memorable epithet of Chamundi.

The desperate Shumbha and Nikumbha ordered that the entire reserve army be marched with
Udhayudh leading eighty six core Group of Commanders, Kambu Daitya with eighty four,
Kotiveerya with fifty, Dhumravamsajat with hundred Group Commanders, each of them
being equal to the combined efforts of Devas who ran away once before as they could hardly
defend Indra’s Chair. Noticing the desperate effort of the Danava brothers, Parama Devas
including Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Kartikeya and Indra collected their respective Shaktis;
Brahma flew by his Hamsa Vahana (Swan) along with his Brahmani Shakti, Vishnu by Garuda
as also Varaha Shakti, Narasimha Shakti etc. Devi Chandika asked Shiva to warn the Shumbha
and Nishumbha brothers to end up the war even at this stage and make a retreat to Patala and
leaving Swarga. But the highly arrogant brothers heckled at Maheswara and there was no way
but to return to the battle field. Brahma utilised Brahmani Shakti to pour forceful waterfalls
from his Kamanadalu; Maheswari Shakti through Tri-Shulas, Vaishnavi Shakti through
innumerable ‘Chakras’, Kaumari Shakti through Shulas, Indra by Vajra, Varahi Shakti by
Damshras, Naarasimha Shakti by the help of sharp nails etc. The highly notorious core Group
commanders were thus destroyed without trace.

Raktabija, the sister’s son of Shubha and Nishumbha Brothers had the boon of creating as
many Raktabija Danavas as the blood drops of each new body. Devi Ambika desired Chamundi
to lap up the blood even before fresh Raktabijas were born. But there was a mismatch in the
blood drops and the instant creation of further Danavas and hence Devi decided to extend her
tongue so farther that finally blood drops dried up and Raktabija met his termination.Both
Devas and Munis witnessed this strange happening and were mesmerised as to how Devi
Ambika tackled the tricky situation

When even the invincible Raktabija got killed despite his crafty tricks, Shumbha and
Nishumbha came face to face against Devi. Both the brothers rained arrows on her while she
poured heavy waterfall-like Astras from the clouds and kept the brothers at dismay. Suddenly,
Nishumbh hit the head of Devi’s lion on his head. Devi retaliated like a lightning and used an
‘Astra’ named ‘Kshurapra’, and destroyed his sword; he used a Shakti while Devi despatched a
double Shakti. He threw a ‘Shula’ against her but she shielded it with her ‘Mushtighaath’
(grasp of her grip). He threw at Devi his mace and she responded it with her Trishul. Losing
further patience, Devi Ambika finally felled Nishumbha on the ground with a torrential knock
of her arrows. As Nishumbh fell down, Shumbha expanded his body all over the sky assuming
eight hands with a variety of potent arms and approached her like a flash. That was the time
when Ambika sounded her conchshell as though the ultimate time had arrived to script the end
of Shumbha. In the most ferocious form of Kaali, Devi Ambika jumped up sky high and as she
came down with a thud and as Shumbhasura released his final Astra called ‘Ugradeepti’
emitting flames and heat which was controllled by her ‘Maholka’ Astra. Then Devi said: ‘you
‘Duratma’, you have still not realised my Power. This is all my Creation; I am the Cause, I am
the Doer and I am the Act; you are a part of my scheme; never think high of you; your time of
death is ticking!’

As she was saying this, Shumbhasura reached to her like a flash and tried to jump at her but
she slapped him so hard that he tumbled down. She pierced her Shula right into his heart and
he fell on to earth with a thud as there was a quake and Rivers and Oceans overflowed and
mountains quivered momentarily. But soon there was a clear sky, good omens appeared, there
were pleasant rains of flowers, Apsaras danced to their glory, Gandharvas sang melliflous
hymns in praise of Devi, Trimurthis exclaimed that truth was vindicated, Devas led by Indra
fell into raptures with joyful tears in their eyes and Maharshis and Yogis predicted the arrival of
a propitious era here again.

Extremely gratified by the eulogies of Devas, Maha Devi assured unremitting support to Devas
as and when there would be a need besides saving the virtuous and punishing the guilty as an
integral part of Her scheme of activities. She stated that in the course of Vivaswata
Manvantara, She would be born again as Vindhyachalavasini and kill Vaipachitta named
Danavas; while She would eat the Rakshasas at that time, She would be known as
‘Raktadantika’ as Her teeth would look like blood-red ‘Dadimi Kusuma’. Some hundred years
hence, Munis would make Group Prayers for her as there would be severe drought and famine
of water and Munis could percieve her by her red eyes alone as ‘Shataakshi’ since She woud be
‘Ayoni janita’ or born on Her own. As there would be no rains for long time, She utilised Her
own Physique and generated food grains and vegetables to sustain humanity to be acclaimed as
‘Shakambhari’ and assuming a frightful form at Himalayas killed a very treacherous Demon
called Durgama. When Muniganas would pacify her with their prayers, She would be popular
as Bhima Devi.When another ‘Mahasura’, called Aruna would torment Trilokas some time
later, She would assume the form of Six-legged ‘Bhramaras’ (Bees) in countless numbers and
annihilate the Asura and his companions.

Epilogue:

Vedic Faith is Everlasting despite pulls and pressures!

Even as extension of Dwapara Yuga there had been threats to Arsha Samkstiri / Hindu
Culture, vide Shi Krishna’s efforts to decimate the Yavana King who joined hands with
Jarasandha of ‘Maha Bhagavata’. The strength and glory of the eras of Panadava clan
declined after Parikshit, Janamejaya and Shataanika. In the weak lineage of the Kings, the
King Pradyot performed Mleccha Yagna and Kali along with his wife was stated to have
made an appeal to Bhagavan Narayana not to create hurdles in the spread and might of Kali
Yuga and Narayana assured Kali that soon a man named ‘Aadam’ and woman named
‘Havyavati’ would promote the cause of Mlecchas and speed up the spread of Kali Yuga.
Vishnu himself appeared to have advised a Mleccha King named ‘Nyuh’to build and
launch a huge Ship (Novah’s Ark?) to save Believers of God. There was continuous storm
for forty days and Oceans overflowed and submerged Earth.

In the initial period of Kaliyuga, Bharata Varsha gradually adopted Videsha Samskrti; new
culture, life-style and even language. For instance, earlier languages got corrupted and new
expressions emerged: Vraja Bhasha, Praakruti, Sanskrit or Sanskrit based Prantiya
Bhashaas and various Dravidian languages got adapted to ‘Gurundika’ (English) and other
Mleccha (Alien) Bhashas. In the process, the Vedic Dharma witnessed change and
evolution. As the Rulers changed, so did the cultures but the core remained intact. Buddha/
Ashoka created a new verion of Hinduism; Vikramaditya resisted the onslaught of
Barbarians like Shakas, Mlecchhas, Yavanas, Tursharas, Parasikas (Persians), and
Hunas.Shatavahanas controlled Shakas, Chinese, Bahmikas, Kamarupas, Rome and
Ishaamashih (Jesus Christ). King Bhoja resisted the cult of Prophet Mahammad.But
Pathans overpowered Prithviraja and thus the Bharata Varsha witnessed dissipation of
Hindu Dharma, Varnashrama became a virtual non-entity excepting in very feeble form. It
was in such extreme situation, the glorious contribution made by renowned ‘Acharyas’ to
revive and sustain Hindu Dharma; the illustrious such Acharyas included Ramananda,
Nimbaditya, Madhavachray, Jayadeva, Shankaracharya and his great followers like Giri
Sharma, Vana Sharma, Purib Sharma, Dundi Raja and so on; Ramanujacharya, Chaitanya
Maha Prabhu, and so on. The role of Regional Kings like Shivaji and even Kings of alien
Dharmas like Akbar-as Hindu influence in reverse-was evident on the large canvas of
Hinduism. Thus like the ‘Jeeva Nadis’ (ever flowing Rivers of Bharata Varsha) as Ganges,
Vedic Culture will indeed survive, albeit incorporating and absorbing external and internal
influences in the process of evolution, and continue in its Core Form for ever till the
existence of humanity!

About RAM Chandrakausika राम च 51

Ram51 is a researcher in the various fields of Musicology, Philosophy and History as well as old languages. One of his first topics is the wide scope of Indo-arabic cultures as represented in various art-forms religion and history. Below a list of selected Research topics which sum up partitionally the task of anthropological Frameworks in totaliter : Sanskrit Hinduism and Mythology Hindustani Music, The Muqhal Empire Gharanas from North India Kashmir Sufiyana The Kashmir Santoor Traditional Folk Music from USA Philosophy in Orient and Okzident Genealogy of musical instruments Ethnomusicology, Arabic Maqams, No Theatre fromJapan, North american poetry, Cultural heritage of mankind and Islamic architecture... View all posts by RAM Chandrakausika राम च 51

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