Chanakya Neeti

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“A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and
Honest people are screwed first.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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” Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. ! It will destroy you.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no
Friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions -
Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind.
But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“Whore s don’t live in company of poor men, citizens never support a weak company and birds don’t build nests on a tree that doesn’t bear fruits.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”

Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next
five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

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“Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected
everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.”
Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC -275 BC )

Bhavishya Purana

Eleventh among the Puranas, contains five parts. The first part contains a description of the genesis, greatness of the dates and worship of Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Surya. Second, third and fourth parts describe about the greatness of Shiva, Vishnu and Surya respectively.

The fifth part contains a description of the heaven. Like other Puranas, Bhavishya Purana also contains a description of the ancient kings and Chandra and Surya dynasties. Interestingly, Bhavishya Purana contains a description of a game that resembles modern chess to a great extent. In all, the subject matter of Bhavishya Purana seems to be an attempt to prove and establish the supremacy of Brahma.

The Bhavishya Purana is an ancient text authored by Sri Vyasa Muni, the compiler of the Vedic texts. It is listed among the eighteen major Puranas. Bhavishya means “future” and Purana means “history”, so the text’s name would translate literally as “The History of the Future”. Though the text was written many thousands of years before the recorded events took place, by the power of his mystic vision, Sri Vyasa was able to accurately predict the happenings of the modern times. One of the text’s poetic styles is to present the events as though they have already happened. This is a common practice in Sanskrit poetry, and does not indicate that the book was written in modern times. Modern scholars reject the contents of Bhavishya Purana mostly on the grounds that its information is too accurate. But we should ask ourselves: If there was an empowered saint, who knew past, present and future, and if he chose to write a book named “the History of the Future”, shouldn’t it contain accurate information about the modern times, as the title suggests? We cannot disqualify it simply because it speaks accurately of the British controlling India, Hitler fighting the world, and Max Mueller misrepresenting the Vedic teachings. “Veda” means knowledge, and the Vedic texts contain knowledge of everything – past, present and future.

This Purana consists of 7 chapters:

1.1      Biblical and Modern History

[From the Pratisarga Parva, Chapters Four to Seven.]

Suta Goswami said: Once upon a time in Hastinapura, Pradyota the son of Kshemaka was leading an assembly and meanwhile the great sage Narada arrived there. King Pradyota happily honored him. Having him seated on the seat the sage told king Pradyota, “Your father was killed by the mlecchas, therefore he attained Yamaloka or the hellish planet. If you perform a ‘mleccha-yajna’, then by the effect of this sacrifice your father will attain the heavenly planets.”

Hearing this king Pradyota immediately called the best of the learned Brahmanas and started ‘mleccha-yajna’ in Kuruksetra. They built a yajna-kunda which was 16 yojanas in square (128 miles). They meditated on the demigods and offered oblations of mlecchas. There are haras, hunas, barvaras, gurundas, sakas, khasas, yavanas, pallavas, romajas and those who are situated in different dvipas and in kamaru, china and the middle of the ocean; all of them were called with the mantra and burnt to ashes. Then he (the king) gave dakshina (donation) to the brahmanas and performed abhiseka. As a result his father Kshemaka went to the heavenly planets. After that he became famous everywhere as a mleccha-hanta or destroyer of mlecchas. He ruled the earth for ten thousand years and went to heaven. He had a son named Vedavan who ruled for two thousand years.

At that time the Kali purusha prayed to Lord Narayana along with his wife. After sometime the Lord apperared to him and said, “This age will be a good time for you. I will fulfil your desire having various kinds of forms. There is a couple named Adama and his wife Havyavati. They are born from Vishnu-kardama and will increase the generations of mlecchas. Saying this, the Lord disappeared. Having great joy the Kali purusha went to Nilacha

Vyasa said: “Now you hear the future story narrated by Suta Goswami. This is the full story of of Kali-yuga, hearing this you will become satisfied.”

In the eastern side of Pradan city where there is a a big God-given forest, which is 16 square yojanas in size. The man named Adama(Adam) was staying there under a Papa-Vriksha or a sinful tree and was eager to see his wife Havyavati(Eve). The Kali purusha quickly came there assuming the form of a serpent. He cheated them and they disobeyed Lord Vishnu. The husband ate the forbidden fruit of the sinful tree. They lived by eating air with the leaves called udumbara. After they had sons and all of them became mlecchas. Adama’s duration of life was nine-hundred and thirty years. He offered oblations with fruits and went to heaven with his wife. His son was named Sveta-nama(Cain), and he lived nine-hundred and twelve years. Sveta-nama’s son was Anuta, who rulled one-hundred years less than his father. His son Kinasa rulled as much as his grandfather. His son Malahalla ruled eight-hundred ninety five years. His son Virada rulled 160 years. His son Hamuka was devoted to Lord Vishnu, and offering oblations of fruits he achieved salvation. He ruled 365 years and went to heaven with the same body being engaged in mleccha-dharma.

having good behavior, wisdom, qualities like a brahmana and worship of God, these things are called mleccha-dharma. The great souls have declared that the dharma of the mleccha is devotion to God, worship of fire, nonviolence, austerity and control of the senses. The son of Hamuka was Matocchila. He ruled for 970 years. His son Lomaka ruled 777 years and went to heaven. His son Nyuha (Noah) ruled for 500 years. He had three sons named Sima, Sama and Bhava. Nyuha was a devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Once the Lord appeared in his dream and said: “My dear Nyuha, please listen, there will be devastation on the seventh day. Therefore, you have to be very quick that you make a big boat and ride in it. O chief of the devotees, you will be celebrated as a great king”.

Then he made a strong boat which was 300 feet long, 50 feet wide and 30 feet high. It was beautiful and all the living entities could take shelter in it. He then himself rode in it, engaged in meditating on Lord Vishnu.

Lord Indra called the devastating cloud named Sambartaka and poured heavy rain continuously for 40 days. The whole earth, Bharat-varsa, had merged in the water and four oceans came up together. Only Visala or Badarikasrama was not submerged. There were 80,000 great transcendentalists in Visala who joined with king Nyuha and his family. All of them were saved and everything else was destroyed.

At that time all the sages praised the eternal energy of Lord Vishnu. Being pleased by the prayers of the sages, the Vishnu-maya reduced the waters of devastation. After one year gradually the earth become visible. Under the hill there is a place named Sisina and the king was situated in that place with his other people. When the water completely dried up, king Nyuha came back to his place.

Suta Goswami continued: The mleccha, king Nyuha became attached to Lord Vishnu and as a result Lord Vishnu increased his generation. Then he created a language fit for the mlecchas, unfavorable to the Vedas. He named it as brahmi-bhasha, or brahmi language, full of bad words, for increasing the degradation of Kali-yuga. The Lord who is Himself the master of intelligence gave this language to Nyuha. Nyuha named his tree sons opposite. They were known as Sima, Hama, Yakuta and also Yakuta, Sapta putra, Jumara and Majuya. The name of their countries were known as Madi, Yunana, Stuvaloma, Tasa and Tirasa.

Hama who was the second son of his father, had four sons know as Kusa, Misra, Kuja and Kanaam. Kusa had six sons – Havila, Sarva, Toragama, Savatika, NimaruhaI and Mahavala. Their sons were known as Kamala, Sinara and Uraka. And their countries names are Akvada, Bavuna and Rasana.

After telling this story Suta Goswami influenced by Yoga-nidra entered mystic slumber. He woke up after two thousand years and thereupon he said: “Now I’m going to say about the generation of Sima. Because he was the first son of his father he became the king. This mleccha king ruled over the country for 500 years. His son Arkansoda ruled for 434 years. His son Sihla ruled for 460 years. His son Iratasya ruled the same length as his father. His son Phataja ruled for 240 years. His son Rau ruled for 237 years. His son Juja ruled the same length as his father. His son Nahura ruled for 160 years, and he destroyed his many inimical kings. His son Tahara ruled the same length as his father. He had three sons: Avirama, Nahura and Harana. Thus I have explained the generation of mlecchas with the indication of their names only. The mleccha language is considered the lowest language because it bears the curse of goddess Sarasvati. Thus I have summarily narrated the rise of the mlecchas in Kali-yuga.

Sanskrt is the language by which the whole Bharata-Varsa is being praised and glorified. The same language, after going to another country became the mleccha language and mlecchas took advantage of it.

After hearing all this, the sages situated in Badarikashrama, worshipped Lord Nara-Narayana and meditated upon them for 200 years. When they woke up from their meditation, they inquired from their teacher Suta Goswami:

“O disciple of Sri Vyasa, you are so fortunate and greatly intelligent, may you live long. Now please tell us who is the king at the present time?”

Suta Goswami said: “At the present time, the Kali-yuga has already passed its 3000 years. Now the king Sankha is ruling the earth and in the mleccha countries the king named Sakapat is ruling. Please hear about how they came up.”

When the Kali-yuga passed 2000 years, the dynasty of mlecchas increased. They created many paths to grow and gradually the whole earth become full of mlecchas. The spiritual master and teacher of the mlecchas was named Musa. He was residing on the bank of the river Sarasvati, and he spread his doctrince throughout the whole world. As soon as Kali-yuga started, the devotion to the Lord and the language of the Vedas were destroyed. There are four kinds of mleccha languages: Vraja-bhasa, Maharastri, Yavani and Garundika. In this way there are four million kinds of other languages.

For example: paniyam (water) is called pani, bubhuksa-hunger is called bhukh. Paniyam-drinking is called papadi and bhojanam-eating si called kakkanam. Isti is called suddharava, istini is called masapavani, ahuti is called aju and dadati is called dadhati. The word pitri is called paitara and bhrata is bather and also pati. This is the yavani lanugage in which the asva is called aspa, Janu is jainu and sapta-sindhu is called sapta-hindu.

Now you hear about Gurundika language. Ravi-vara (the first day of the week) is called sunday, phalguna and chaitra months are called pharvari (February). Sasti is called sixty, these kinds of examples are there.

Crime is becoming prominent in the holy place of Sapta-puri. Gradually the people of Aryavata are becoming theives, hunters, bhillas and fools. The followers of mleccha-dharma in foreign countries are intelligent and having good qualities, whereas the people of Aryavarta are bereft of good qualities. Thus the ruling of mlecchas is also in Bharata (India) and its islands. Knowing all this, O great and intelligent sage, you should just perform the devotional service to Lord Hari.

The great sage Saunaka inquired: “Please tell us, what was the reason that the mlecchas did not arrive in Brahmavarta.

Suta Goswami said: That was by the influence of goddess Sarasvati that they could not enter that place. By the order of the demigods, when the Kali-yuga pursued his 1,000 years, a brahmana named Kasyapa come down to earth from the heavenly planets with his wife Aryavatil. They had ten spotless sons who are known by the names: Upadhayaya, Diksita, Pathaka, Sukla, Misra, Agnihotri, Dvi-vedi, Tri-vedi, Catur-vedi and Pandey. Among them was the learned one full of knowledge. He went to Kashmir and worshipped goddess Sarasvati with red flowers, red akshata (rice), incense, lamps, naivedya (food offerings) and puspanjali (flower offerings). To please her he praised her with some prayers, asking her for better knowledge of Sankrt to put mlecchas into illusion. Being pleased by his prayers she remainded situated in his mind and blessed him with knowledge. Then the sage went to the country known as Misra and put all the mlecchas into illusion by the greace of goddess Sarasvati.

Then he made 10,000 people as dvijas or twice born brahmanas; he made 2,000 people into vaishyas; and the rest of them as shudras. He came back with them and staying in Arya-desha (India) he engaged in the activites of the sages. They were known as Aryans and by the grace of goddess Sarasvati their generation gradually increased upto 4 million, both the men and women with their sons and grandsons. Their king, Kasyapa muni, ruled the earth for 120 years.

There were 8,000 sudras in the county known as Rajputra (Rajput) and their king was Arya-prithu. His son was Magadha. The sage made him a king and left.

Saunaka inquired: “O disciple of Vyasa, O Lomaharsana, please tell us who were the kings to rule the earth in Kali-yuga, after Magadha?”

Suta Goswami said: When king Magadha, the son of Kasyapa was ruling the earth, he remembered his father’s administration and he separated the Arya-desha (India) into many states. The state which is on the eastern side of Pancala is known as Magadha, the state of Kalinga is on the east-south side, the state of Avanta is in the south, Amarta-desha is to the south-west, Sindhu-desha is on the western side, Kaikaya is to the north-west, Madra-desha is in the north, and Koninda-desha is to the north-east. These states are named according to his sons’ names. After performing a sacrifice he gave the states to his sons. Lord Balabhadra became pleased with his sacrifice, and Sisunaga appeared from the sacrifice as his son. He ruled for 100 years and his son Kakavarma ruled for 90 years. His son Kshemadharma ruled for 80 years and his son ruled for 70 years. His son Vedamisra ruled for 60 years. His son Ajata-nipu ruled for 50 years. His son Darbhaka ruled for 40 years, his son Udayasva ruled for 30 years, his son Nanda-Vardhana ruled for 20 years, his son Nanda-suta, who was born from the womb of a sudri or a low class lady, also ruled for 20 years. His son Pranancala ruled for 10 years. His son Parananda also ruled 10 years. His son Samananda ruled for 20 years. His son Priyananta ruled for 20 years, his son Devananda also ruled for 20 years. his son Yajna-bhanga ruled for 10 years. His son Mauryananda ruled for 10 years. And his son Mahananda fuled for 10 years.

At this time Lord Hari was remembered by Kali. At that time the great and famous Gautama, the son of Kasyapa introduced the Buddhist religion, and attained Lord Hari in Pattana.

Gautama ruled over 10 years. From him Shakya muni was born, who ruled 20 years. His son Shuddhodana ruled 30 years. His son Shakyasimha became the king on Satadri after 2000 years and he ruled for 60 years, by which time all the people were Buddhists. This was the first position of Kali-yuga and the Vedic religion was destroyed.

If Lord Vishnu becomes a king then all the people would follow Him. The activities of the world are carried out by the prowess of Lord Vishnu. He is the master of maya or the illusory energy and whoever takes shelter of that Lord Hari, though he may be a sinful and abominable person, will become liberated.

Buddha-simha was born from Shakyasimha and he ruled for only 30 years. Buddha-simha’s son was Chandra-gupta, who married with a daughter of Suluva, the Yavana king of Pausasa. Thus he mixed the Buddhists and yavanas. He ruled for 60 years. From him Vindusara was born and ruled for the same number of years as his father. His son was Ashoka. At this time the best of the brahmanas, Kanyakubja, performed sacrifice on the top of a mountain named Arbuda. By the influence of Vedic mantras, four Kshatriyas appeared form the yajna.  Among these four Pramara was samavedi, Chapahani was yajurvedi, Shukla was trivedi and Pariharaka was the Atharvavedi. They were accustomed to ride on elephants. They kept Ashoka under their control and annihilated all the Buddhists. It is said there were 4 million Buddhists and all of them were killed by uncommon weapons. After that Pramara became king in Avanta and he constructed a large city called Ambavati for his happiness. It was as big as 4 yojanas or about 32 miles.

Then Suta Goswami said: “My dear brahmanas I’m being influenced by yoga-nidra, therefore, please go to your respective ashramas and meditate on Lord Vishnu.”

After the completion of 2,000 years, Suta Goswami said: When the kali-yuga had passed his 3,710 years, at that time the king was Pramara who rulled 6 years, from him Mahamada was born. He ruled 3 years and his son Devapi did the same. His son Devaduta also did the same. From him Gandharva-sena was born, who went to the forest after ruling for over 50 years and having given his kingdom to his son Shankha. Shankha ruled for over 30 years. Lord Indra sent a heavenly girl to Gandharva-sena named Viramati. A jewel like son was born form her womb. At the time of his birth, there were flowers raining from the sky, many auspicious instruments were played and the wind was blowing pleasingly. The name of the baby was Siva-drishti, who later left for the jungle with his disciples. After 20 years he became perfect in Karma-yoga. When kali-yuga copmleted 3,000 years, the terrible symptoms of kali had appeared. That baby took birth in the secret place of Kailasa, by the benediction of Lord Shiva, to destroy the shakas and to increase the Arya-dharma or the Vedic reigion. His father Gandharva-sena named his son as Vikramaditya and become happy. This child was very intelligent and very pleasing to his parents. When he was 5 years old, he left for the forest to perform austerities and he continued it upto 12 years. After 12 years he went to the holy city named Ambavati with all the opulence and accepted the transcendental throne sent by Lord Shiva. For his security goddess Parvati created a Vetala (a king of ghosts) and sent it to king Vikramaditya’s palace. Once the powerful king went to the temple of Lord Shiva named as Mahakaleshvara, who is the chief of the devas, and who has a bow named Pinaka. There he worshipped Lord Shiva. In that place he built a religious council hall with the pillars made of various metals and decorated with many kinds of jewels and covered with so many plants and creepers and flowers. In that hall he kept a celestial throne. He invited the foremost brahmanas who are well-versed in Vedic knowledge, worshipped them with proper hospitality and heard many religious histories from them. After that one demigod named Vitala come there having a form of a brahmana. Glorifying and blessing the king, he sat down on the seat and said: O master of this earthly planet, king Vikramaditya, if you are very eager to hear them I will describe the stories and histories to you.

Jesus Predicted to be son of God

Ruling over the Aryans was a king called Salivahana, the grandson of Vikramaditya, who occupied the throne of his father. He defeated the Sakas who were very difficult to subdue, the Cinas, the people from Tittiri, Bahlikas and the people of Kamarupa. He also defeated the people from Roma and the descendants of Khuru, who were deceitful and wicked. He punished them severely and took their wealth. Salivahana thus established the boundaries dividing the separate countries of the Mlecchas and the Aryans. In this way Sindusthan came to be known as the greatest country. That great personality appointed the abode of the Mlecchas beyond the Sindhu River and to the west. One time, that subduer of the Sakas went towards Himatunga (the Himalayas).

In the middle of the Huna country (Hunadesa – the area near Manasa Sarovara or Kailasa mountain in Western Tibet), the powerful king saw an auspicious man who was living on a mountain. The man’s complexion was golden and his clothes were white.

I am the Son of God (isa-putra) and I am born of a virgin (kumari-garbha).

Please hear from me, O King, about the religion that I have established amongst the Mlecchas. The mind should be purified by taking recourse of proper conduct, since we are subject to auspicious and inauspicious contaminations – by following the scriptures and concentrating on japa (repetition of God’s names) one will attain the highest level of purity; by speaking true words and by mental harmony, and by meditation and worship, O descendant of Manu. Just as the immovable sun attracts from all directions the elements of all living beings, the Lord who resides in the Surya-mandala (sun globe) and is fixed and all-attractive, attracts the hearts of all living creatures.

Thus ends the seventh chapter of the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana.

1.2      The Prediction of Islam

[From the third part of the Pratisarga Parva.]

Shri Suta Gosvami said: In the dynasty of king Shalivahana, there were ten kings who went to the heavenly planets after ruling for over 500 years. Then gradually the morality declined on the earth. At that time Bhojaraja was the tenth of the kings on the earth. When he saw that the moral law of conduct was declining he went to conquer all the directions of his country with ten-thousand soldiers commanded by  Kalidasa. He crossed the river Sindhu and conquered over the gandharas, mlecchas, shakas, kasmiris, naravas and sathas. He punished them and collected a large ammount of wealth. Then the king went along with Mahamada (Mohammad), the preceptor of mleccha-dharma, and his followers to the great god, Lord Shiva, situated in the desert. He bathed Lord Shiva with Ganges water and worshipped him in his mind with pancagavya (milk, ghee, yoghurt, cow dung, and cow urine) and sandalwood paste, etc. After he offered some prayers and pleased him.

Suta Goswami said: After hearing the king’s prayers, Lord Shiva said: O king Bhojaraja, you should go to the place called Mahakakshvara, that land is called Vahika and now is being contaminated by the mlecchas. In that terrible country there no longer exists dharma. There was a mystic demon named Tripura, whom I have already burnt to ashes, he has come again by the order of Bali. He has no origin but he achieved a benediction from me. His name is Mahaoda and his deeds are like that of a ghost. Therefore, O king, you should not go to this land of the evil ghost. By my mercy your intelligence will be purified. Hearing this the king came back to his country and Mahamada came with them to the bank of the river Sindhu. He was expert in expanding illusion, so he said to the king very pleasingly: O great king, your god has become my servant. Just see, as he eats my remnants, so I will show you. The king became surprised when he saw this just before them. Then in anger Kalidasa rebuked Mahamada, “O rascal, you have created an illusion to bewilder the king, I will kill you, you are the lowest…”

[...]

That city is known as their site of pilgrimage, a place which was Madina or free from intoxication. Having a form of a ghost (Bhuta), the expert illusionist Mahamada appeared at night in front of king Bhojaraja and said: O king, your religion is of course known as the best religion among all. Still I am going to establish a terrible and demoniac religion by the order of the Lord. The symptoms of my followers will be that they first of all will cut their genitals, have no shikha, but having beard, be wicked, make noise loudly and eat everything. They should eat animals without performing any rituals. This is my opinion. They will perform purificatory act with the musala or a pestle as you purify your things with kusha. Therefore, they will be known as musalman, the corrupters of religion. Thus the demoniac religion will be founded by me. After having heard all this the king came back to his palace and that ghost went back to his place.

The intelligent king, Bhojaraj established the language of Sanskrit in three varnas – the brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaisyas – and for the shudras he established prakrita-bhasha, the ordinary language spoken by common men. After ruling his kingdom for 50 years, he went to the heavenly planet. The moral laws established by him were honored even by the demigods. The arya-varta, the pious land is situated between Vindhyacala and Himacala or the mountains known as Vindhya and Himalaya. The Aryans reside there, but varna-sankaras reside on the lower part of Vindhya. The musalman people were kept on the other side of the river Sindhu.

On the island of Barbara, Tusha and many others also the followers of Isamsiha were also situated as they were managed by a king or demigods.

1.3      The Prediction of Buddhism

[From the 29th chapter  of the Pratisarga Parva.]

Long ago in the country known as Citrartha, the inhabitants of the heavenly planets used to come to play during the time of autumn. One day a heavenly apsara know as Manjughosha came to that place where the sage Shuka was residing. Seeing this beautiful boy, she tried to attract him while singing and dancing, being overwhelmed by lusty desires. She praised him with a beautiful prayer holding her hands and bowing down. Somehow, she pleased the muni. Then the glorious Shuka, hearing this auspicious prayer asked her to request a benediction. Manjughosha humbly said: ”O lord, you are the protector of those who came to your shelter, therefore I’m at your shelter, please become my husband”. The sage accepted her and after some time they produced a son named ‘Muni’ who performed austerity very strictly upto 12 years. He married the daughter of Svarnadeva, the god of gold. They gave birth to a daughter named Kinnari. She was very young and beautiful. She performed austerity to please Lord Shiva, and as a benediction lord Shiva intrusted her to a sober sage Makaranda.

Then her father, Muni, asked lord Shiva to bless her, so that they will successfully make progress in this world.

Lord Shiva said: Upto 30 years you will enjoy your country in the middle of the earth, then it will be destroyed. After hearing this Muni went to his place with Makaranda and resided there. As soon as the 29th year started the battle took place among those kings who took birth as the incarnations of the associates of Krishna. Bauddha, the lord of nyuhas (the lessened people) attacked the beautiful city of Netrapala, thinking that this city is wonderfully decorated with various kinds of jewels. The powerful king Bauddha-simha who had seven-million soldiers, fought with those kings who had only three million soldiers. The fight went on terribly between the armies for seven days and nights. The great powerful kings, who killed all the inimical armies protected by Baudha-simha, were Yoga-simha, Bhoga-simha and Vijaya.

After that more Buddhists came from the countries known as Shyama and Japaka, and all of them were magicians. Again they had a large battle which lasted for one month. Then Netrasimha arrived with seven million soldiers protected by eight generals, for the destruction of the Buddhists. Being afraid, all the Buddhists left India completely and went to China to continue the war from there. The opposite army also continued following them. When they arrived on the bank of the Huha river, it was the month of Magh, the second half part of the month of January, the fight took place again. There were one million soldiers each from the countries of Syama and Japaka, and ten million soldiers from China assembled for a fight. On the other side, Krishnamsa, Deva, Netrapala, Mandalika, Dhanyapada, Lallasimha, Talana and Jana nayaka were the generals, each of them having one million soldiers. There was a terrible battle between the Buddhists and the Aryans. In that war seven million Buddhists, and two million Aryans were killed. Being afraid the Buddhists ran away from the battle and went to their home to produce a wooden army with the help of a machinery arrangement. They made ten-thousand elephants (made out of wood) along with warriors, one million horses, one thousand buffaloes, one thousand hogs, one thousand tigers, one thousand swans, and seven thousand camels. All these creatures had wooden warriors on their back. Thus with the wooden army which was 125,000 in number, they killed two million soldiers protected by Krishnamsas. Seeing this wonder Jayanta, the expert fighter shot fire arrows toward the wooden armies, so that they were immediately destroyed, being burnt to ashes. Only three million kshatriyas (warriors) were left, and they glorified the proficient warrior Jayanta again and again. Then the Buddhists from China, made a twenty thousand strong iron horse calvary and sent them to fight. The powerful warrior Yogasimha, riding on an elephant held the bow and arrows in his hands and shot to the neck of the iron warriors. Being afflicted by the arrows of Yogasimha five thousand soldiers were killed. Seeing this, Bauddhasimha made an iron tiger and sent it to Yogasimha. By the attack of that iron tiger the brave Yogasimha was finally killed, and then Bhogasimha riding on a horse, went to fight with the tiger. He killed the tiger by throwing a missile, and roared loudly. Then a lion was sent to him by Bauddhasimha and thus he (Bhogasimha) was killed by a lion. When the son of Swarna-vati (Jayanta) saw that his maternal uncles were already dead, he rode on a powerful horse and went to Bauddhasimha. He took illusory arrows and put the opposite army into delusion along with Bauddhasimha. He captured ten-thousand kings including Bauddhasimha, and returned to Krishnamsas having destroyed the mechanical armies.

Then all of them happily went to the city and forcibly “looted” the wealth from the palace, which was very opulent, and came back the fort of the king. Jayanta came and released Bauddhasimha. After being released he offered his daughter Padmaja to Jayanta and also offered 100,000,000 golden coins for the pleasure of his in law. After that all the Buddhists made their vows there itself saying “We will never go to Arya-desa to invade the country.” Then they offered their homage and left. They went to Netrapala with their three million remaining soldiers.

1.4      The Prediction of India’s Kings

[From the 31st chapter  of the Pratisarga Parva.]

Suta Goswami said: The great powerful king of Madrakesa worshipped the mendicants of the heavenly planets (the Asvini kumaras) for five years and after having received a benediction from them he produced ten sons and one beautiful young daughter named Kantinati. King Madraka invited Maharaj Suryavarna (the present king of Hastinapura), and gave his daughter to him with proper conduct.

Having accepted the new wife, Suryavarna quickly returned to his home with his army. There was a mystic demon named Karbura, the son of Bigbhisana, when he saw Kantimati the daughter of king Madrakesa, he came there and kidnapped her in their presence and went to a mountain called Sahyadri. Seeing this incident Mahiraja became very upset and lamented again and again. Mahiraja came to Hastinapura and sent a message to Krishnamsa. He explained everything to him and immediately with five hundred warriors Krishnamsa went to Sahyadri mountain and said fearlessly: “O best of the demons, please listen. Your father Bibhishana is a great devotoee, and you are the dear son of him, therefore, you should not act in this manner (sinfully) which is the cause of the destruction of family. Do you remember, long ago mother Sita was kidnapped by Ravana and what happened to him?”

The rakshasa said, “Previously she was the daughter of a Gandharva and my beloved wife, but because of a curse by a sage she took birth on the earthly planet. Therefore, feeling her separation I went to Madrakesa. Although I stayed there so many days, being afraid of the king I could not kidnap her. Now she is in my control, but if you defeat me in battle you can take her back. Then Krishnamsa started fighting with him with a sword and it went on for seven nights. Finally he defeated the rakshasa, and with Kantimati came back to Delhi to see Mahiraja. The king (Mahiraja) offered 10,000,000 golden coins to the great Krishnamsa. Then he came to Pramdavana, or the forest called Pramoda, with his friends.

Suta Goswami said: There was a powerful king named Purnamala in Pattana. He worshipped the Vasus for five years and received a benediction from them. By their blessings he had ten sons and a daughter named Vidyun mala. For the marriage of his daughter he invited king Mahiraja and with seven million soldiers he gave his daughter to the son of Mahiraja (Bhima).

Bhima came back happily to his home (Hastinapura) with his beautiful wife. Then the king of paisaca-dasa, Sahoda, came with ten-thousand mlecchas to get Vidyunmala. They came to Kurukshetra by the order of Bali, the grandson of Prahlada Maharaja. They broke the deities of gods, killed so many cows and in the places of sacred water they put cow-blood. Sahoda, the mleccha king, wrote a letter and sent it to Mahiraja. King Mahiraja answered: “O mleccha king, you are the master of the mlecchasi, why are you worried about Vidyunmala? You should know that I’m the one who can shoot arrows just by hearing a sound and I’m the central point of the country of the thieves.”

Then the king went to Kurukshetra with three million soldiers. There was a large, terrible fight between them. At night in the month of Jesta (July), Bali Maharaja came from Patala, the lowest region with ten-thousand demons and killed the soldiers of the king very quickly, eating them again and again. The king, being afraid took shelter of goddess Sarasvati. After that immediately Krishnamsas arrived and killed the ten-thousand demons. They came to Bali, the lord of the demons, and pleased him with their words.

Then Baliraja said: I’m very pleased with you, now you can ask for any benediction.

They said: These demons should never come to Aryadesha (India) with you, all of you should stay always in mleccha-desha and eat the followers of mleccha-dharma.

Baliraja became upset hearing these fearful, terrible words.

Then Krishnamsa said: as long as I’m in this world you should simply stay in your home, after that you come here and do whatever you like”.

Hearing this the mleccha king Sahoda went back to Rasatala, the sixth lowest region of demons.

[From Pratisarga Parva, 4th Part, Chapter 6.]

The sage (Saunka) said: “O great fortunate one, you know everything please tell us about the kings who came after Mahiraja.

Suta Goswami said: The ghostly Kutukoddina, with human nature, was situated in the kingdom of Delhi. The best king Bhapasena, the grandson of Virasena was situated in the beautiful city of Aligarh. This city was protected by yadavas. Kutukaddin with ten-thousand warriors went there and defeated him and returned to Delhi. Then so many kings form other countries came there and defeated him and rejected him from their countries. When Shahoddina heard this, he came to Delhi, conquered the kings and broke all the deities. After that so many mlecchas came from all sides and ruled the kingdom for 5, 6 or 7 years. They had destroyed the places of pilgrimage and the temples, therefore as a reaction they become short-lived. From today, the mleccha kings will continue for a hundred years, therefore O sages, you should quickly go to Vishala (Badarikashrama) with me.

Then all the sages sadly left this place (Naimisaranya) and went to Vishala, the best of the Himalayas and meditated upon Lord Hari, being in samadhi (trance). And after a hundred years all of them attained the kingdom of God.

1.5      The Prediction of Nimbarka Acharya

[From the 7th chapter of the Pratisarga Parva.]

The sun god, being pleased by the praise of the demigods, said: By the order of the Lord Krishna, Sudarshana will take birth in the Dvapara-yuga, and will be known as Nimbaditya (Nimbarka). He will be able to remove the declination of religious principles.

Suta Goswami said: Now you hear about the pastimes of the great Nimbarka. Lord Krishna personally ordered him to appear on the auspicious bank of Narmada river, which flows to the southern side of mountain Meru. That state is known as Tailanga, the place used by the devarsis, the godly sages.

Lord Krishna said: “You receive knowledge from devarsi Narada and establish the true principles of religion. You should remain in Mathura, Naimisaranya and Dvaraka.”

Lord Sudarshana accepted the order of Lord Krishna sarying, “Yes,” and appeared on the earth to fulfill the desires of the devotees. There was a broad-minded holy brahmana living in the auspicious state of Tailanga. His name was Aruna and was well versed in the Vedas and Vedangas. His wife was known as Jayanti. They were living an austere life like the sages. The brilliant luster of Sudarshana suddenly entered in the heart of Jayanti, and by that luster she looked brilliant like the moon. When the time arrived with all auspiciousness and good qualities, in Gaura paksha purnima of Kartika month, Vrisha rasi, the moon in Krittika, the five grahas (planets) situated in higher places, in the evening at the time of sunset, in Masa-lagna, the Lord of the universe (Sudarshana), who engaged the whole universe in Vedic religion, appeared from mother Jayanti (as Nimbarka).

One day Lord Brahma went to Nimbarka’s ashrama just before the sunset and said: O brahmana, I’m very hungry, as long as the sun is in the sky, please give me something to eat. (I will not eat after the sun sets). The brahmana (Nimbarka) gave him food and while he was eating the sun went down. Then the brahmana by his power kept a sudarshana on a nimbe tree. Lord Brahma wondered seeing that sunlike shine and paid his obeisances to the brahmana by lying flat on the ground. Pleased with his austerity Lord Brahma said: Excellent. You will become famous on this earth, and you will be known as Nimbaditya (Nimbarka – One who made the sun appear from a Neem tree).

1.6      The Prediction of Madhva and Sridhara

[From the 7th chapter of the Pratisarga Parva.]

Brihaspati said: Long ago, during the age of treta, O Indra, there was a brahmana named Shakrasharma, in Ayodhya. He worshipped demigods such as the Asvini Kumaras, Rudras, Vasus, and Surya with the mantras mentioned in the Yajur-veda. After worshipping, he satisfied them by offering oblations every day. Thus being pleased with his worship all the 330 million demigods awarded him all desired objects and even the rarest things. By the benediction of the demigods the brahmana lived on this earth for ten-thousand years without getting old and having no disturbance. After leaving his body he become the Sun-god and predominated the sun planet for one hundred thousand years, before going to Brahmaloka. He spent eight thousand celestial years for visiting the higher planets and then returned to the sun planet.

Hearing this, Lord Indra with his sober intelligence began to worship the sun-god along with other demigods in the month of June-July. On the purnima, the full moon day, the sun-god came down to the earth and said to demigods: I will take birth in Kali-yuga in Vrindavana and this brahmana will execute favorable acts for the demigods. He will be born as a son of Madhava, named Madhu and follow the Vedic path.

Suta Gosvami said: Saying this the sun-god created a light from his body and sent it to Vrindavana. Attracting all the irreligious people with pleasing speech he gave them Vaishnavi-shakti or the spiritual energy of Lord Vishnu, the bestower of enjoyment and liberation. Thus he become famous, known as Madhvacarya.

Jiva said: In the age of Dvapara, there was a brahmana named Megha Sharma. He was very much religious, intelligent, learned and a follower of the Vedic path. He was engaged in farming, and with the ten percent profit from farming he was worshipping the demigods every day with devotion. Once there was no rain during the administration of Maharaja Shantanu for five years, but the farm of Megha sharma was about four miles wider and was watered by rain. Naturally the grain-rate increased and Megha sharma became rich by taking advantage of the scarcity. Other people being so distressed took shelter of the king. The king called Megha sharma and said: O great brahmana, I offer my obeisances unto you, please became my Guru and guide us, so that we can be free from the scarcity.

Megha sharma said: when the month of Shravana (July-August) starts, you should call twelve Vedic brahmanas to chant one-hundred thousand times the mantra of the sun-god with the proper mind. Then on the full moon day (purnima) offer one tenth the number of oblations in the sacrificial fire, through the brahmanas. If you could do this as mentioned, you will become free from anxiety. So the king performed accordingly and fed all the brahmanas, then the sun-god being pleased by this poured heavy rain on the earth from all sides. After this king Shantanu, engaged in performing Surya-vrata and become a greatly pious person. Whoever he touched with his hand immediately turned to a young man. By the mercy of the sun-god, Meghasarma lived for five-hundred years, being freed from old age, and then went to sun-planet. After 100,000 years he will attain Brahmaloka. While he was speaking thus, sun-god revealed his identity to Jiva and went to Prayaga (Allahabad) and being in a happy mood he said to the demigods: “In kali-yuga, when the mlecchas will be ruling the kingdom, I will come to Vrindavana and preach for the mission of the Devas.”

Suta said: Then the sun-god descended in Vrindavana as a son of Deva-sharma, named Sridhara. He studied Srimad Bhagavatam very deeply and a great commentary on it which is known as Sridhar-bhasya, the commentary of Sridhara.

1.7      The Prediction of Jayadeva Gosvami

Brihaspati said: Long ago there was a brahmana named Heli, in the beautiful city Pampapura. He was a worshipper of the sun-god and he knew the 64 arts. He avoided the mood of accepting dakshina (donations) and he became an artist, having established a workshop for clothes, paintings, pictures, metal statues etc. He spent five thousand coins to establish it. Whatever profit he made he used for worshipping the sun-god in the month of Magha (January-February) by performing sacrifices. Thus the sun-god Vishvakarma (the architect of the gods) became pleased with this sacrifice and descended on the top of a big pillar in Pampasarovara, the lake named Pampa, having a brilliant shining form. At the noon time, Heli offered food to the sun-god according to his desire. In this way he satisfied the three worlds. After leaving his body he entered into the sun-planet. Therefore O king of devas you may worship the sun-god, he will help you.

Suta said: Lord Indra hearing this from his guru, began to worship the sun-god Visvakarma along with other demigods. Thus being pleased with their worship Tvashta (Visvakarma) said: O gods, please listen to my words, I will appear in a village named Bilvagram in Bengal, and I will be the poet known as Jayadeva, the compiler of Nirukti. Saying this the sun-god went to Bengal and took birth in the house of a brahmana named Kanduke. When he was just five years old, he was engaged in the service of his parents and continued for twelve years. After sometime his parents left their body and Jayadeva did all the final ceremonies (Shraddha) in Gaya. Being satisfied they went to heaven. Then Jayadeva lived in a jungle as a detached brahmana.

At the age of twenty three, a brahmana (someone) offered his beautiful daughter to Lord Jagannatha. At the end of his worship the eternal Lord Aniruddha, having the form of Darubrahma, directly spoke thus: “O Satyavrata, please listen to Me, it is my order that you offer your daughter Padmavati to Jayadeva because he is the body of Mine, or he is as good as Me.” Then he found the detached brahmana (Jayadeva) and leaving his daughter in front of him, he went to his home. Padmavati served her husband for so many years accepting him as a beautiful and learned one. Jayadeva compiled a book known as Nirukta, the Vedic vocabulary, one of the six Vedangas. There were five kinds of Niruktas, but in Kali-yuga they were destroyed by the evil people and Prakrit-bhasha or the illiterate language was established. For the sake of the demigods, Panini the author of Ashtadhyayi grammar, overtook them and established the pure Sanskrit languagae.

Once the evil minded Kali situated in the hearts of thieves, plundered all the money of the brahmana Jayadeva which was given to him by the king. Following this they cut both his hands and legs and went home leaving Padmavati aside. Jaydeva was thrown into a ditch. Padmavati took him out cried and lamented again and again seeing the situation of her husband.

One day, when the king Dharmapala was out hunting. He saw the sage Jayadeva without hands and feet and asked: “Who put you in such a condition?”

Jayadeva answered: “No one put me in this condition, O king. It is due to my previous activities that I am suffering now in this abominable condition.”

Having heard this statement, the religious king put the brahmana on a palanquin along with his wife and brought them to his palace. The king built a dharma-shala, religious institution, after receiving instructions from Jayadeva.

One day those same thieves, dressed as Vaishnavas came to the king and said: “We are very much expert in the scriptures and therefore we have come to you. O best of the kings, Lord Vishnu, while being in the stone (Shalagrama) eats food cooked by us everyday with love. If you don’t believe us, you can see this right here.”

Saying thus the slaves of kali by their power showed the king a four handed form of Lord Vishnu eating. Being struck with wonder, king Dharmapala said to Jayadeva: “O my gurudeva, some vaishnavas, the devotees of Lord Vishnu have come to my palace, and they have shown me the Lord before my very eyes, therefore please come quickly.”

The theives saw Jayadeva and became struck with wonder. They said to the king in a joking mood: “O king, this brahmana was a cook in the palace of the king of Gaudadesa (Bengal). Once he became very much greedy for money and he mixed some poison in the food and offered it to a king. When the king come to know about it he ordered him to be crucified. Then we came to him (Jayadeva), and knowing him to be an offender, we instructed him in the Vedic knowledge. Then the king refused to crucify him, but he cut off his hands and legs. At that time the king became our disciple, having been enlightened by us.”

While they were speaking thus, the earth broke in two and those thieves fell within the earth, being sent to the lowest hell known as patala-loka. Jayadeva began to cry to the thieves and while he was crying his hands and legs appeared to be as they were. Then he explained to the bewildered king what had happened. The king became very happy after hearing everything from him. Jayadeva wrote a song called Gita-Govinda, the song sung for the pleasure of Lord Govinda. The king read the song and attained liberation. “O brahmanas, thus I have narrated the birth story of Jayadeva, now you listen about how the Supreme Lord appeared as Sri Krishna Chaitanya .”

[From Pratisarga Parva, 4th Part, Chapter 6.]

The sage (Saunka) said: “O great fortunate one, you know everything please tell us about the kings who came after Mahiraja.

Suta Goswami said: The ghostly Kutukoddina, with human nature, was situated in the kingdom of Delhi. The best king Bhapasena, the grandson of Virasena was situated in the beautiful city of Aligarh. This city was protected by yadavas. Kutukaddin with ten-thousand warriors went there and defeated him and returned to Delhi. Then so many kings form other countries came there and defeated him and rejected him from their countries. When Shahoddina heard this, he came to Delhi, conquered the kings and broke all the deities. After that so many mlecchas came from all sides and ruled the kingdom for 5, 6 or 7 years. They had destroyed the places of pilgrimage and the temples, therefore as a reaction they become short-lived. From today, the mleccha kings will continue for a hundred years, therefore O sages, you should quickly go to Vishala (Badarikashrama) with me.

Then all the sages sadly left this place (Naimisaranya) and went to Vishala, the best of the Himalayas and meditated upon Lord Hari, being in samadhi (trance). And after a hundred years all of them attained the kingdom of God.

Vamana Purana

This Purana consists of the following 26 chapters:

1.1      Introduction

This chapter contains only 1 section:

 

Narad asks sage Pulastya about Vaaman incarnation:

 

Vaaman Puraan is one of the eighteen Puraans written by sage Vyasa. It contains tales pertaining to Lord Vishnu in his Vaaman (dwarf) incarnation. Sage Pulastya while giving answers to Narad’s enquiry narrates the tale of Vaaman Puraan.

 

All the Puraans give glimpses of Indian civilization and culture and Vaaman Puraan is no exception. It also teaches the virtue of righteousness and religiousness. Vaaman Puraan not only contains the divine tales of Nara-Narayana and Goddess Durga but it also contains tales of famous devotees like Prahlad, the salvation of Gajendra (elephant) etc.

 

Sage Narad asks Pulastya- “O revered sage! Why did Shri Hari take the incarnation of Vaaman? Why did Prahlad fight a battle with the deities despite being a devotee of Lord Vishnu? How did Sati, Daksha Prajapati’s daughter become Mahadev’s consort in her next birth? I am eager to know the answers to all these questions.”

 

Pulastya replied- “O Narad! Once, Sati requested Lord Shankar to make arrangements for a permanent abode. At that time, Lord Shankar had his abode at Mandaar Mountain. Summer season was approaching and Sati quite rightly had apprehensions of living in the open. Lord Shankar told her that as he was a recluse, he never felt a need of a permanent dwelling. Though Sati was not satisfied by his answers yet she kept quiet. This way, both of them continued to live there. The summer season had passed and now it was the turn of rainy season to arrive. Sati made the same request to Lord Shankar. This time, Lord Shankar told her that it was impossible for him to construct a house, as he had no wealth. He also told her that he had only a tiger skin as his clothing, the king cobra- his sacred thread, Padma and Pingal (snakes)- his ear-rings and Keval and Dhananjay as his armlets.

 

After hearing this, Sati became worried as to how she would pass the rainy season without a home. Lord Shankar then assured her that this problem would be easily solved if she lived above the clouds. This way, she would remain untouched by the showers. After this, both of them ascended towards the sky and started living above the clouds. From that day onwards, Lord Shankar came to be known as Jeebhootvaahan (one whose vehicle is the cloud).

1.2      Tales of Lord Shiva

This chapter contains 4 sections:

1.2.1     Shiva Returns to Mandaar Mountain

DAKSHA PERFORMS A GRAND YAGYA

Pulastya says- “This way, both Shiva and Sati lived above the clouds till the end of rainy season. When autumn season arrived, both decided on returning to Mandaar Mountain. Daksha had organised a grand Yagya in which he had invited all the prominent deities and sages except his own son-in-law, Shankar and his daughter, Sati.”

 

Narad was surprised as to why Maheshwar- the lord of all splendours was not invited by Daksha. He was also curious to know why Lord Shankar had become a Kapaali (a mendicant). Pulastya told him that during the period of final annihilation, Lord Vishnu after waking up from his sleep found a divine entity, who possessed three eyes, who had a trident in his hands and who wore a Rudraksha garland around his neck. Lord Vishnu then created ego, which had its evil effects on both Brahma and Shankar. Lord Shiva in his arrogance asked Brahma, his identity and origin. Lord Brahma then arrogantly asked Shankar, his identity. This way, a dispute ensued that later on turned into a fight in which, Brahma defeated Shankar. Lord Shiva severed two of the five heads of Lord Brahma. But the second head fell and got stuck on Lord Shiva’s left palm. Angrily, Lord Brahma created a terrific creature, which challenged Shankar and ridiculed him by saying that as he (Shankar) was a sinner, therefore, he would not dirty his hands by killing him.

 

Lord Shankar was ashamed of himself. He went to Badrikashrama and requested Lord Vishnu for some alms. Lord Vishnu asked Shankar to hit on his (Vishnu’s) left arm. Shankar hit Vishnu’s left arm with his trident and the impact resulted in the creation of three streams. The first stream went up in the sky and established itself as Akashganga. The second one was Mandakini, which was received by sage Atri. The third stream fell on the skull, which was stuck in Lord Shankar’s left palm. This resulted in the manifestation of a divine child who was ferocious and well armed with bow and arrows. Shankar instructed him to kill that creature, which was created by Brahma.

 

A tremendous duel was fought between them, which was inconclusive for thousands of divine years.

1.2.2     Atonement of Lord Shankar

Lord Shiva had committed a grave sin of Brahmahatya. All his efforts of separating Brahma’s skull from his left palm went in vain. In the meantime, an entity named Brahmahatya appeared before him and entered into his body.

 

Lord Shankar decided to go to Badrikashrama to atone for his sins. After reaching there, he became worried when he did not find Lord Vishnu. He went to take a bath in river Yamuna but as soon as he entered the river, the water dried up. He experienced this strange phenomenon at the Saraswati River as well. He then made pilgrimages to numerous sacred and holy places but still did not become free from Brahmahatya. Dejected, he ultimately went to Kurukshetra where he found Shri Narayana and requested him to free him (Shankar) from the sins of Brahmahatya. Lord Vishnu advised him to go on a pilgrimage to Varanasi where he would be liberated from his sins.

 

Following Vishnu’s instructions, Lord Shankar went to Varanasi and visited all the sacred sites like Dashashwamedh temple, Lolarka temple and Keshav temple. While he was worshipping Keshav, he said- “Though I have become liberated from my sins, yet I fail to understand the reason why this skull still sticks in my hand.” Keshav told him that his problems would be solved if he takes a bath in the lake, which was near the temple. Lord Shankar took a bath in that lake and ultimately the skull fell on the ground. The place where the skull had fallen later on became famous as Kapaalmochan.

1.2.3     Sati Gives up her Life

Sage Pulastya says- “O Narad! This way, Lord Shiva became famous as Kapaali. This was the reason why Daksha did not invite him. In the meantime, Jaya, sage Gautam’s daughter went to see Sati at Mandaar Mountain. Seeing her alone, Sati asked about her two sisters, Jayanti and Aparajita. Jaya revealed to her that both of them had gone to their maternal-grandfather’s (Daksha) Yagya. Jaya also told her that all the deities had been invited to the Yagya. When Sati heard this, she was grieved and angry with her father. In a fit of rage, she gave up her life. Seeing her lifeless body, Jaya started wailing. Lord Shiva arrived there and upon hearing Jaya’s wails, asked her why Sati was lying on the ground. Jaya then narrated the whole story. Lord Shankar became so infuriated that it resulted in the creation of numerous Ganas among whom Veerbhadra was the most prominent one.

 

Lord Shiva accompanied by the Ganas went to the site where Daksha was performing the Yagya. A tremendous battle ensued between them and the deities and finally, the deities were overpowered and ran away from the site. Veerbhadra, finding the time opportune, entered the oblation site. When the deities saw him entering the oblation site, they returned and tried to prevent him from doing so. Again, an intense battle erupted between both the sides. The deities used all kinds of weapons but they could not control the onslaught of Veerbhadra and fled.

 

Veerbhadra then went near the sacrificial fire. The sages were terrified and ran towards Lord Vishnu who attacked Veerbhadra with arrows but it did not hurt him at all. Vishnu then attacked him with other divine weapons. But still, Veerbhadra succeeded in neutralising those weapons. Vishnu was enraged and attacked him with his Sudarshan chakra that Veerbhadra swallowed. This angered Lord Vishnu further. He lifted Veerbhadra and dashing him to the ground, pressed Veerbhadra’s stomach as a result of which, the Sudarshan chakra came out from his mouth. But Lord Vishnu spared Veerbhadra’s life. Veerbhadra then went to Lord Shiva and narrated his woeful tale of defeat. Lord Shiva instructed Veerbhadra to leave for a safer haven and himself went to the oblation site accompanied by Bhadrakali. The sages became scared on seeing his terrifying appearance.

1.2.4     The Destruction of Daksha’s Yagya

Fearing Lord Shiva’s wrath, Lord Vishnu went to Hrishikesh and remained aloof for quite some time. Shiva’s anger generated so much heat that it was enough to melt the eight Vasus. As a result, a river named Sita started flowing from there. After being attacked by Lord Shiva, the deities fled from the scene.

 

Lord Shiva then opened his third eye and furiously looked at the flame burning in the Havan-kund. The next moment, the fire went off. Even Yagya was terrified and he took the aerial route in the guise of a deer. Lord Shiva chased him in the appearance of Kaal (Lord of death) with a bow and arrow named Pashupat.

 

In the end, Kaal (epithet of Shiva) was successful in killing the deer, which was Yagya in reality. After his death, Yagya’s body was established among the stars. After narrating the tale of destruction of Daksha’s Yagya, sage Pulastya then goes on to tell Narad that the names of the zodiacs had been given just according to their appearances for e.g. Aries (Mesh) appeared like a ram. Similarly, Taurus (Vrishabh) appeared like an ox and so on.

1.3      Tales of Demons

This chapter contains 6 sections:

1.3.1     Andhak – The Demon King

Sage Narad was curious to know how the demon King Andhak behaved with the deities. He asked Pulastya in this regard. Pulastya replied- “After ascending the throne, Andhak did a severe penance to please Lord Shiva and received a boon according to which he could neither be killed by the deities nor by any mortal. He also received another boon according to which even fire could not burn him.

 

Andhak appointed Shukracharya as his chief priest. He defeated the deities and had gained control over the whole earth. Once, Andhak had gone to see the beautiful sight of Sumeru Mountain. Indra after making adequate arrangements for the security of his capital Amravati came forward to fight him with a huge army. A fierce battle was fought between both the armies. The whole atmosphere was covered in darkness due to the dust. It became difficult for the warriors of both the sides to distinguish between friend and an enemy. The whole battlefield was strewn with dead bodies and blood.

 

Indra unleashed a volley of arrows towards Andhak. In reply, Andhak too retaliated by unleashing a volley of arrows towards Indra. In this duel, both of them got injured. Infuriated, Indra attacked him with his Vajra, which destroyed all of Andhak’s weapons. Indra’s Vajra then chased Andhak who jumped down from his chariot to save his life. Andhak defended himself by attacking it with his fist. As a result, it fell on the ground. Indra then attacked Andhak by unleashing a volley of arrows in his direction. Andhak dodged the assault and ran towards him menacingly. He attacked Airavat- the elephant and mount of Indra with such force that it became paralysed. Seeing his elephant in such a pitiable condition, Indra picked up his Vajra and ran inside the fort to save himself. Andhak then single-handedly destroyed Indra’s whole army.

 

Yamaraj was fighting from the deities’ side. He attacked Prahlad who was fighting from Andhak’s side. It became impossible for Yamaraj to match Prahlad’s valour and bravery. As a result, he was forced to flee from the battlefield. Inspite of having mighty warriors like Varun and Agni in their ranks, the deities could not match the valour of the demon’s army, which comprised of valiant and brave fighters like Virochan, Maya and Shambar. Ultimately, the deities were defeated in this battle. The victorious demon King Andhak returned to Paatal loka with his army.

1.3.2     Sukeshi’s Queries

Sukeshi was the son of demon King Vidyutkeshi. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Being pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva had blessed him with invincibility and gifted him a city, which was situated in the sky. Sukeshi was a virtuous and just king.

 

Once, he had gone into the Magadh forest where he found numerous sages engrossed in meditation. After introducing himself to the sages, he expressed his desire to know about the path that led to benediction. He also wanted to know how a man could achieve respectability and contentment in his life. The sages told him that a man could achieve benediction only by following the path of Dharma. “A religious man achieves both respectability and contentment”, said the sages. Sukeshi then asked them about the characteristics of Dharma. The sages revealed to him that the deities engage themselves in religious activities like Yagya, self-study, study of Vedas and worship of Lord Vishnu. So, all these activities are the Dharma of the deities. “The Dharma of the demons consists of negative qualities like jealousy etc. But they have profound knowledge in policy matters and have great devotion towards Shiva”, said the sages. “The Siddha’s Dharma is to engage himself in activities like practice of Yoga, study of Vedas, self-realisation and devotion to both Lord Vishnu and Shiva”, said the sages. In this way, the sages enlightened Sukeshi on the Dharma of different sections of divine entities.

 

At last, Sukeshi requested the sages to tell something about the hell (Narak). The sages replied that altogether there were 21 hells. The name of the first hell is Raurav, which covers the area of 2000 Yojans. The second hell Maharaurav is twice the area of Raurav. Similarly, the names of the remaining hells are Taamistra, Andhataamistra, Kaalchakra, Aprathisth, Ghatiyantra, Asipatravan, Taptakumbh, Kootshaalmali, Karpatra, Swabhojan, Sandansh, Lohapind, Kalmasikta, Kshaarnadi, Krimibhojan, Vaitarninadi, Shonitpayabhojan, Kshuraagradhaar, Nishitachakra and Sanshoshan.

1.3.3     Sinful Deeds

Sukeshi asked the sages about the sinful deeds, which leads to hell. The sages replied- “People who condemn Veda, deities, Brahmins etc. go to hell. Those who don’t believe in religious texts like Puraan etc. or those who cause obstacles in the accomplishment of Yagya or those who prevent a charitable man from giving donation also go to hell.

 

People who torment others, who steal sandals etc. go to the hell named Kalmsikta. Disobedient children who don’t obey their parents and elders go to the hell named Aprathisth. People who touch their elders with their feet go to Raurav Narak. A selfish person who nourishes himself during drought without caring about his relatives go to the hell named Swabhojan. A person who does not protect people who have taken his refuge goes to the hell named Yantrapeed. A man who misappropriates the deposited money of other people goes to Vrishchikashan Narak. The sinners who copulate on auspicious days or who have illicit relations with other women go to the hell named Shaalmali.

 

This way, the sages told Sukeshi about various types of sinful deeds, which led sinners to different hells.

1.3.4     Jambudweep and Bharatvarsh

Sukeshi expressed his desire to the sages to know about Jambudweep. The sages replied- “Jambudweep is a very large island. It is sub-divided into nine parts. Ilavritvarsh is situated in its central part while Bhadraashvavarsh is situated towards its eastern side. Some prominent places situated around it are- Hiranyakvarsh towards north-east, Kinnarvarsh towards south-east, Bharatvarsh towards south, Harivarsh towards south-west, Ketumaalvarsh towards west, Ramyakvarsh towards north-west and Kuruvarsh towards north. All these nine Varshas are full of natural beauty. The inhabitants of all the eight Varshas except India are never troubled by old age or death. The inhabitants are also religious and virtuous by nature. They attain great accomplishment without making any real effort.

 

Bharatvarsh has nine sub-islands. All these islands are surrounded by oceans on all sides and it is difficult to go from one island to another. These sub-islands are Indradweep, Kaserumaan, Taamravarna, Gabhastimaan, Naagdweep, Karaaha, Sinhal, Vaarun and Kumar. Kiraat live towards east of Bharatvarsh while Yavan live towards the west. People living towards the south of Bharatvarsh are called Andhra and those living towards the north are called Turuyak. Bharatvarsh is mainly inhabited by people belonging to all the major four castes i.e. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. The seven prominent mountains situated within Bharatvarsh are Mahendra, Malay, Sahya, Shukti, Maanriksh, Vindhya and Paariyaatra though there are many more mountains.

 

The following rivers originate from Himalaya Mountain- Saraswati, Yamuna, Hiranvati, Sutlej, Chandrika, Neela, Vitastaa, Eravati, Kuhu, Devika, Ushira, Dhaataki, Rasaa, Gomti, Gandki, Kaushiki, Sarayu etc. Similarly, many rivers originate from the other mountains.

1.3.5     Dashaang Dharma

The sages say- “Dharma consists of ten properties such as non-violence, truth, charity, not stealing the property of others, forgiveness, self-restraint, cleanliness etc. Hence it is known as Dashaang Dharma. These properties are obligatory for people belonging to all castes and creeds. A Brahmin’s life is categorised into four Ashrams- Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanprastha and Sanyaas. A Brahmachari is supposed to acquire knowledge by living a celibate life. After completing his studies, the Brahmachari graduates to the life of a householder. He gets married and performs his duties towards his family. After this, he enters into Vanprasthashram where he is required to go to the forest after abandoning worldly pleasures. At last, he accepts Sanyaas, which is total renunciation. He is supposed to pass the rest of his life doing meditation and penance.”

1.3.6     The Rise and Fall of Sukeshi’s Kingdom

Pulastya says- “After being enlightened by the sages on various subjects, Sukeshi returned to his capital. He taught the demons all that he had learnt. As a result, all the demons became very virtuous. The newly attained virtuosity and religiousness made the demons invincible and powerful. Sukeshi’s capital was situated in the sky. The whole city illumined brightly due to virtuosity attained by the demons. Its illumination even subdued the radiance of Surya (Sun). Now it became very difficult to determine when the Sun rose.

 

The deity Surya became worried at this development. He started pondering on how the demons became so powerful and contemplated over the means to destroy the demons. While Surya was meditating, the fact regarding the demons’ power dawned on him. Surya became furious and angrily glanced at Sukeshi. The city started falling towards earth. Sukeshi became worried and started praying to Lord Shiva. Seeing his devotee, Sukeshi in trouble, Lord Shiva looked angrily at Surya as a result of which, he too started falling towards the earth. When the sages and hermits saw Surya falling down, they advised him to take refuge in Lord Vishnu. Surya curiously asked as to how could he take Vishnu’s refuge as he had been punished by Lord Shiva. The sages then advised him to direct his descent to Varanasi. Surya accepted their advice and landed at Varanasi between two rivers- Varuna and Asi. He was feeling restless because of severe heat and so he decided to take a bath in the Asi River. After taking his bath, he started revolving around both the rivers. In the meantime, all the sages, demons, Apsaras went to Brahma loka and requested Lord Brahma to re-establish Surya in his original abode. Lord Brahma, accompanied by all the deities went to Lord Shiva and requested him to forgive Surya. Shiva was pleased at their humbleness and forgave Surya and re-established him on his chariot. He also gave a new name to Surya- Lolaark. At last, Surya was re-established in the sky.

1.4      Tales of Nar-Narayana

This chapter contains 3 sections:

1.4.1     Manifestation of Nar-Narayana

Sage Pulastya says- “Dharma, the possessor of divine body and who manifested from the heart of Lord Brahma married Murti, the daughter of Daksha. Four sons were born to them- Hari, Krishna, Nara and Narayan. Hari and Krishna engaged themselves in the practice of Yoga while Nar and Narayan went to the Himalaya Mountain and started doing penance for the welfare of humans.

 

Indra became frightened by their arduous penance. He feared that he might lose his authority and power. He sent beautiful Apsaras to disturb their penance. He himself went to that site accompanied by Kamadev and Vasant (spring).

1.4.2     Prahlad meets Nar-Narayana

One Narayan saw all three of them coming and he treated all of them with respect. As he was aware of the reasons for their arrival, he decided to give them a surprise. He made the figure of a beautiful woman on his thigh with a flower. The next moment, the figure transformed into a live woman, which surprised all of them.

 

For Kamadev, the beautiful woman resembled his wife Rati. He became so infatuated by her beauty that he forgot about the actual purpose of his visit. The same thing happened to Vasant and all the Apsaras. Everybody who had come with the desire of victory had actually become a victim.

 

Seeing all of them surprised and amazed, Narayan told them that the beautiful woman was created by him from his thigh. He also instructed them to take away that beautiful woman to heaven. Kamadev and Vasant were captivated by Narayan’s power. They also became terrified. They went back to heaven accompanied by Urvashi and narrated the whole story to Indra. Even Indra was amazed. In a short time, the amazing deeds of Narayan spread in all the directions and the various lokas.

 

Once, Prahlad- the son of demon King Hiranyakashipu asked sage Chyavan about the most revered and sacred place of pilgrimage in the whole world. Sage Chyavan told him about Naimisharanya- the most sacred place of pilgrimage on the earth. Prahlad visited Naimisharanya accompanied by many other demons. After reaching there, all of them took bath in a river. While roaming about in the city, Prahlad saw the trunk of a tree pierced with numerous arrows. Not far from the tree, he saw two hermits doing penance. Two divine bows and a pair of quiver were lying by the side.

 

Prahlad was amazed as to why the hermits would require weapons. He revealed his thoughts to the hermits. Both the hermits replied that a person who works according to his capabilities, earns respect. Prahlad became angry at their reply. He asked them as to what were their capabilities. Actually, the hermits were none other than Nar and Narayan. Both of them told Prahlad that they were invincible and nobody could defeat them in battle. Prahlad’s anger crossed all limits. A tremendous battle ensued between Prahlad and Nar-Narayan.

1.4.3     Prahlad blessed by Nar-Narayana

A ferocious battle was fought between Prahlad and Nar-Narayan in which all types of lethal weapons were used. The battle continued for 1000 divine years. Ultimately, Prahlad was defeated in this battle. He went to Vaikunth and asked Lord Vishnu as to why Nar-Narayan was invincible. Lord Vishnu revealed to them that Narayan was his own incarnation. He also told them that Narayan could be won only by devotion and not by power.

 

Prahlad decided to relinquish his throne and appointed Andhak as his successor. He went to Badrikashrama and made salutations to Narayan in reverence. Narayan was surprised at the sudden change in his behaviour. He asked Prahlad as to what the matter was. Prahlad then said- “Who can defeat you? You are none other than Lord Janardan. You are the one who has taken incarnation of Hrishikesh, Chakrapaani and Hayagreev.”

 

Narayan was pleased by his devotion. He told Narayan that though he was not able to defeat him in the battle but he was successful in doing so by his devotion. Narayan also blessed Prahlad. Prahlad then returned to his capital. Andhak expressed his desire to make Prahlad the king once again but it was turned down by him. Prahlad spent the rest of his life preaching on the virtues of religiousness and truthfulness.

1.5      Manifestation of Vegetation from the Deities

Pulastya says- “Lotus flower manifested from Vishnu’s navel in the month of Ashwin. Similarly, other vegetation also manifested from the different organs of the deities- Kadamb tree from the palm of Kamadev, Dhatura tree from the heart of Lord Shiva, Khair tree from the middle portion of Brahma’s body, Kataiya tree from Vishwakarma’s body.

 

Kundalata manifested from Parvati’s palm, Sinduar tree from Ganesha’s belly, Palaash tree and Gular tree from the right and left armpits of Yamaraj.

 

Similarly, Sarpat manifested from the body of Sheshnaag, black and white Durva grass from the tail and back of Vaasuki Naag, Harichandan tree manifested from the heart of a devotee.

1.6      Mahishasura

This chapter contains 4 sections:

1.6.1     Mahishasura’s Atrocities

During ancient times, there lived two demons- Rambh and Karambh who would torment people. As both were sonless, they decided to do severe penance by keeping their bodies submerged in Panchmad River with a desire of having sons. Indra becoming fearful, took the guise of a crocodile and killed Karambh while he was doing penance in the river.

 

Rambh became so dejected by his brother’s death that he decided to give up his life by severing his head and offering it in the sacrificial fire. As he was about to turn his thoughts into reality, Agni appeared before him and prevented him from doing so and said- “Killing oneself is a grave sin. Don’t give up your life. I am willing to fulfil any of your wish.”

 

Rambh was pleased and requested Agni to bless him with a mighty and powerful son. Agni blessed him by saying- “You will beget a son from a woman of your own choice. But destiny had something else in store for him.

 

Once, Rambh had gone to see Yaksha King- Maalvat. He was impressed by Maalvat’s prosperity and unlimited wealth. King Maalvat possessed lot of animal wealth like goats, lambs, oxen, elephant, horses, cows etc. Rambh saw a beautiful buffalo in the cowshed. He started caressing her body just to appreciate her beauty. The buffalo got aroused and forced Rambh to copulate with her and this resulted in the buffalo’s pregnancy.

 

Rambh returned to Paatal loka accompanied by the buffalo. But the other demons came to know about this unusual incident and as a result, Rambh was excommunicated from the demons’ tribe. Both of them decided to return to Yaksha King Maalvat’s palace. In due course of time, the buffalo gave birth to a beautiful calf, which could change its appearance according to its wishes.

 

Once, seeing the buffalo alone, a bull tried to breach her modesty. The buffalo ran towards Rambh for her safety. Rambh attacked the bull with a sword and injured it. In retaliation, the bull also dashed its horns against Rambh’s chest, which proved to be fatal. Seeing the dead Rambh, the buffalo became engulfed in sorrow. She had no other option but to take refuge of the Yakshas who protected her life. In the meantime, the seriously injured bull fell into a divine lake and died. Amazingly, its body transformed into a demon.

 

The Yakshas decided to cremate Rambh’s body. The buffalo too decided to embrace death by jumping into the burning pyre. But as soon as the pyre was lit, a ferocious demon emerged from it with a sword. He drove away all the Yakshas and killed the buffalo but spared her calf. This ferocious demon later on became famous as Raktabeej. He had defeated all the deities including Indra, Rudra, Surya and Marut. But the calf, which became famous as Mahishasura was even mightier than Raktabeej. All the defeated demons had accepted him as their leader and he was crowned as their king. Mahishasura defeated all the deities and drove them out from heaven.

 

The defeated deities accompanied by Brahma went to Lord Vishnu and narrated their woes to him. Lord Shiva too was present there. Both of them became furious after hearing the atrocities committed by Mahishasura. Divine effulgence appeared from the mouth of all the angry deities. These effulgence got collected at a place resulting in the manifestation of Goddess Katyayani.

 

All the deities presented their weapons to her- Lord Shiva gave his trident, Lord Vishnu gave his chakra, Agni gave his Shakti etc. After acquiring all the weapons, Goddess Durga thundered loudly. The deities eulogised her after which she proceeded towards Vindhya Mountain mounted on her lion. Vindhya Mountain had been cursed by sage Agastya as a result of which, its enormous size turned into a hill. The tale behind this curse is as follows- In the ancient times, Vindhya Mountain was so high that it became very difficult for the Sun to make its movement. The Sun went to sage Agastya and requested him to minimise the size of Vindhya Mountain. Sage Agastya went near the Vindhya Mountain and said- “I am going on a pilgrimage but you are coming in my way. Since I am an old man, it is impossible for me to climb your steep slopes. I request you to reduce your size and remain in the same position till I return from my pilgrimage otherwise you will have to face my wrath.”

 

Vindhya Mountain accepted his request and turned into a hill. Sage Agastya then proceeded on his pilgrimage towards south but did not return according to his promise. He constructed a magnificent hermitage and asked Lopamudra- the daughter of Vidarbha King to stay there and himself returned to his hermitage. Vindhya Mountain remained in that position waiting for sage Agastya’s arrival. This way, sage Agastya solved the problem of the Sun.

 

Goddess Durga chose this very mountain to launch her assault. All the deities, Siddhas, Nagas, Apsaras etc. were present with her.

1.6.2     The Demons – Chand and Mund

Once, the demon brothers, Chand and Mund were passing near the Vindhya Mountain when they saw Goddess Chandika there. Both these demons were stunned by her divine beauty. They had never seen such a beautiful woman in their life. They went to Mahishasura and told him about her beauty.

 

Mahishasura proceeded with a huge army, which comprised of valiant commanders like Vidaalnetra, Vishang, Vaayakal, Agraayudh, Chikshur, Raktabeej etc. The army assembled at the foothills of Vindhya Mountain. There, Mahishasura instructed Dundubhi to go and bring Goddess Durga by any means.

 

Dundubhi went to Goddess Durga and boasted about Mahishasura’s might and power by saying- “The mighty Mahishasura has defeated all the deities who ran out from heaven to save their lives. He is lord of all the three worlds and is invincible but this victorious and mighty king has been enslaved by your beauty. You must not miss this chance of marrying him.”

 

Goddess Durga replied- “I am aware of Mahishasura’s feats. I am most willing to marry him. But there is one problem. There is a tradition in our clan according to which an aspiring husband is required to give a Shulk (tax) in lieu of getting married.” Dundubhi was happy thinking that it would not be difficult for Mahishasura to fulfil her demand. He said- “Mahishasura can even give up his life for your sake.”

 

Hearing this, Goddess Durga laughed loudly and said- “O demon! According to the tradition of our clan, only such a person can marry a woman who defeats her in the battle.” Dundubhi went back to Mahishasura and narrated the whole story. Mahishasura instructed Chikshur to go and bring Goddess Durga after enslaving her. Chikshur proceeded with a huge army. Seeing him coming in the direction of Goddess Durga, Lord Brahma instructed her to use an armour to protect herself. The Goddess refused by saying- “No demon can stand before me in a battle.”

 

All the deities then chanted Vishnupanjar Stotra for her safety. Protected by the Stotra, she was successful in killing many demons. Seeing his devastated army, Mahishasura himself came to fight her.

1.6.3     Killing of Mahishasura

Narad asked sage Pulastya as to how Goddess Durga kill Mahishasura. Sage Pulastya replied- “After the killing of Chikshur, Mahishasura sent Namar to fight Goddess Durga. Namar proceeded towards the Vindhya Mountain accompanied by a huge battalion. After reaching there, he shot a volley of arrows towards the Vindhya Mountain. As a result, the whole mountain was covered by innumerable arrows. This defiant act of Namar made Goddess Durga extremely furious. She attacked her enemies menacingly. She killed some of the demons by her sword, some with her mace and many more were killed by her arrows. Even her mount- Simha killed many demons. The demons were completely surprised by the ferociousness of the attack and fled from the battlefield.

 

Seeing his whole army fleeing from the battlefield, Namar came forward, mounted on an elephant to fight Goddess Durga. He unleashed his devastating weapon- Shakti towards her. At the same time, he also attacked her mount- Simha (lion) by releasing many arrows towards it. But Goddess Durga destroyed all the weapons. In the meantime, the elephant held the Simha with its trunk but the Goddess’s mount somehow released itself from the trap and attacked Namar. Namar fell from the elephant and died.

 

After Namar’s death, Chikshur came to fight the Goddess but both his hands and legs were severed by her. Ultimately, Goddess Durga severed his head as a result of which, Chikshur died. The news of Chikshur’s death spread like a wildfire. Many more valiant commanders of Mahishasura’s army came forward to fight her but all of them were vanquished.

 

At last, Mahishasura came forward to fight Goddess Durga in the guise of a buffalo. Goddess Durga started playing her damru (small drum) and Veena, which resulted into the emergence of numerous ghosts. He attacked the ghosts with his horns, four legs and by violently lashing his tail. He then attacked Durga’s mount- Simha and his violent movements shook even the earth and the mountain. Goddess Durga grabbed his neck with the help of a noose. The next moment, Mahishasura transformed his appearance into an elephant. Goddess Durga then severed his trunk. Mahishasura again changed his guise into a buffalo. Goddess Durga attacked him by unleashing various weapons but the demon escaped unhurt.

 

Goddess Durga suddenly jumped down from her mount- Simha and climbed upon Mahishasura, who was in the guise of a buffalo. Mahishasura started jumping violently. Goddess Durga pressed Mahishasura’s back with such force that he suffocated. She then severed his head. Suddenly, Mahishasura appeared in human form with a sword. Goddess Durga kicked him on his chest and again severed his head. The news of his death created havoc in his army and the demons fled from the battlefield and hid themselves in Paatal loka.

 

The deities became pleased at Mahishasura’s death and eulogised Goddess Durga. She became pleased and after assuring the deities of taking re-incarnation for their welfare, disappeared from the scene.

1.6.4     Reincarnation of Goddess Durga

Revealing the reasons for Goddess Durga’s re-incarnation, sage Pulastya says- “Goddess Durga is also known as Kaushiki as she had manifested from the cell (Koshika) of Uma’s (Parvati’s) body. After the manifestation, she went to Vindhya Mountain with the objective of killing the demons- Shumbh and Nishumbh. She was accompanied by numerous Bhoot ganas (spirits).

 

After Sati’s death, Rudra engaged himself in penance and became a celibate. He had even relinquished his responsibility of leading the deities’ army. When Mahishasura came to know that the deities were bereft of their commander, he attacked them as a result of which, the deities were defeated. The deities went to Lord Vishnu who was at that time living at Shwetdweep. When they reached there, they were surprised to find that Lord Vishnu was aware of their defeat. Lord Vishnu then advised them by saying- “All of you must go to Mena- Maanasputri of Agnishwat and request her to give consent to marry Himalaya. The same Mena would give birth to a beautiful girl who in reality would be the re-incarnation of Sati. All of you must go to Kurukshetra and eulogise her on the night of Amavasya.”

 

The deities were curious to know about the origin of Kurukshetra. Lord Vishnu told them- “During the initial phase of Satya Yuga, there was a mighty king named Riksh, who was the descendant of Soma. Samvaran was the son of Riksh. He succeeded his father at a young age. Samvaran was a great devotee of mine. Vashishth- the son of Varun was his chief priest and had taught him all the Vedas. One day, Samvaran went to the forest for hunting after entrusting his responsibilities to Vashishth. After reaching the forest, he started wandering in search of his game. He saw a beautiful lake full of numerous lotus flowers. He also saw many Apsaras and other divine beauties enjoying themselves by singing and dancing. Samvaran was infatuated by the divine beauty of one of those Apsaras- Tapti, who was the most beautiful among them. Coincidentally, Tapti too saw Samvaran staring at her. She was so infatuated by Samvaran’s handsomeness that she fell unconscious. She was carried by her companions back home.

 

After returning to his capital, Vashishth was surprised to find change in Samvaran’s behaviour. It seemed as if his mind was pre-occupied by something. By his Yogic power, Vashishth came to know about the whole incident. He decided to take the help of Tapti’s father- Surya. He went to Surya and requested him to marry Tapti with Samvaran. Surya did not want to annoy his esteemed guest, so he gave his consent. Vashishth then returned to his hermitage accompanied by Tapti and ultimately Tapti and Samvaran got married.

1.7      Tales of King Kuru and Kurukshetra

In course of time, Tapti gave birth to a son, who possessed all the signs of royalty. After growing up, he mastered all the four Vedas and other scriptures within a very short period. At the raw age of 24, he became a scholar. When he attained marriageable age, he was married to Saudamini- the daughter of Sudama. Later on, he was appointed as the successor by his father, Samvaran.

 

After becoming the king, Kuru ruled his subjects in a just manner but very soon he got bored of his monotonous life. He knew that only those kings became immortal who accomplished amazing feats. He decided to do something for which people would remember him. With the objective of making his name immortal, he went to the most sacred place called Samantpanchak and decided to cultivate the eight virtues – Tapa, Satya, Kshama, Daya, Shauch, Daan, Yuga and Brahmacharya on its barren land. He started ploughing a piece of land with a golden plough, which was pulled by Lord Shankar’s bull and Yamaraj’s buffalo named Paundrak.

 

While he was busy ploughing the field, Indra approached him and asked suspiciously as to what he was trying to cultivate. When Kuru revealed his intentions, Indra made fun of him and went back. But Kuru was not worried and continued to cultivate the land. In a very short time, he had already cultivated the land measuring 7 kosas. One day, Lord Vishnu arrived and asked the same question, which Indra had asked. When Kuru revealed his intentions, Lord Vishnu was surprised and wondered as to from where he would get the seeds to grow these things. Kuru told him that all these eight virtues were present in his own body and it would not be a difficult task to cultivate these things. Lord Vishnu wanted to test his commitment and sincerity and said- “Give the seeds to me. I would sow the seeds while you should plough the field.”

 

Kuru outstretched his right hand but Lord Vishnu cut it into thousands of pieces with his chakra. All the pieces were distributed among the deities but Kuru was unfazed and again stretched his left hand towards Lord Vishnu. But his left hand too met the same fate. In this way, the most generous and benevolent King Kuru offered all his organs to Lord Vishnu. But all the organs were severed by Lord Vishnu. At last, Kuru offered his head as he had nothing else to offer. Lord Vishnu was pleased by his generosity and asked him to demand anything. Kuru replied- “All the area cultivated by me should become famous as a sacred pilgrimage. All the devotees who visit or die at this sacred pilgrimage must attain salvation. This place should be known by my name.”

 

This is how the most sacred place of pilgrimage- Kurukshetra came into existence.

1.8      Bali – The Demon King

This chapter contains 7 sections:

 

Lomaharshan told the sages- “Bali was the descendant of Virochan and the son of Hiranyakashipu. After his father’s death, he defeated the deities and drove them out from their abodes. Very soon, all the three worlds were under his control. He was a virtuous king and so were his subjects. During his reign, every corner in his kingdom would be abuzz with religious activities. As a result, the whole world became devoid of sin.”

 

One day, Goddess Lakshmi arrived and said- “O brave king of the demons! I am pleased by your valiance with which you fought and vanquished the deities. This is the reason why I have come on my own will to bless you.” After saying this, Goddess Lakshmi merged with his body. This way, Bali acquired all the splendours of the world.

1.8.1     Deities go to Brahma Loka

The sages asked- “How were the deities able to defeat Bali and why did Lord Vishnu take the incarnation of Vaaman?” Lomaharshan replied- “After being defeated by Bali, Indra went to Meru Mountain where his mother Aditi lived and narrated the woeful tale of the deities’ defeat. Aditi took her husband’s (Kashyap’s) advice in this regard. Kashyap thought that only Lord Brahma could solve their problem. So, he went to Brahma loka accompanied by the deities.

 

When they reached there, they found numerous Brahmins engaged in religious activities. Lord Brahma too was sitting among them. Sage Kashyap and all the deities made salutations to Lord Brahma and stood silently.

1.8.2     The Deities do Penance

Lord Brahma told the deities that he was aware of their plight. He was of the opinion that the mighty Bali could be defeated only by the Almighty himself and nobody else. Lord Brahma said- “You must go to a place called Amrit, which is situated towards the north of Ksheersagar. The Almighty God is engaged in an austere penance at that place. All of you must go there and try to please him by doing penance and after he is pleased, just request him to take his next incarnation as Aditi’s son.”

 

Sage Kashyap and all the deities agreed to follow Brahma’s advice. All of them proceeded towards Shwetdweep. When they reached there, they were amazed to find the place devoid of any creature. Its boundary seemed limitless and even the Sun’s rays could not reach it. Sage Kashyap initiated all the deities into the austerity named Kaamad- fulfiller of all the desires. After that, all of them commenced their severe penance.

1.8.3     Lord Narayana Blesses Kashyap

Lord Narayan became pleased by Kashyap’s eulogies and austere penance. He appeared before the deities and asked them to demand anything they wished for. Kashyap requested him to give Aditi, the privilege of becoming his mother. Lord Vishnu agreed to take birth as Aditi’s son.

 

The deities became pleased and all of them proceeded back towards Kashyap’s hermitage. When they reached Kurukshetra, the place where Kashyap had his hermitage, they inspired Aditi to commence her penance to please Lord Vishnu. Aditi did a severe penance for 10,000 years. The place where she did her penance later on became famous as Aditivan. Lord Vishnu was extremely pleased by her devotion.

1.8.4     Lord Vishnu Appears

Lomaharshan says- Lord Vishnu appeared and told her that he was most willing to fulfil her wish. Aditi requested him to make her son- Indra, the lord of all the three worlds once again. Lord Vishnu assured her that he would take birth as her son and kill all the demons.

 

Aditi had apprehensions as to how she could bear the weight of Almighty God in her womb. But Lord Vishnu assured her by saying- “Don’t worry. I will give you the strength to do that. In course of time, Aditi became pregnant. But soon after her pregnancy, the earth shook violently because of the unbearable weight of the foetus. Wherever she went, that particular portion of earth tilted down because of the enormous weight. Her pregnancy had significantly eroded the radiance of the demons.

1.8.5     Bali’s Queries to Prahlad

Lomaharshan says- “When Bali saw the demons becoming devoid of radiance and power, he enquired about the reasons from his grandfather, Prahlad. He wondered whether it was a bad omen. Prahlad went into a deep trance and saw the whole earth shaking violently. He also saw high tides rising in the ocean. He was convinced that these signs went to prove the inevitable emergence of the deities’ power. Prahlad then meditated upon Lord Vishnu and found him manifesting in Aditi’s womb as a Vaaman (dwarf). He also saw the whole universe existing in his body. Prahlad was surprised but the next moment he controlled himself and told Bali- “Now I know the reason why the demons have become devoid of their radiance and power. Lord Hari is about to take incarnation as the son of Aditi and this is the reason why all the demons have become powerless.”

 

Bali curiously asked Prahlad- “Who is this Hari, the tormentor of the demons? Why should we be scared of him as we have many valiant demons who could defeat him easily.” Prahlad became furious at Bali’s utterances and cursed him by saying- “How dare you say like this! I am ashamed that you have taken birth as my grandson. I curse you to lose your kingdom and fall from grace because you have criticised Lord Vishnu- the supreme saviour.”

1.8.6     Manifestation of Lord Vaaman

Bali felt sorry for hurting Prahlad’s feelings. He said- “Dear grandfather! My intelligence has been overshadowed by my arrogant attitude. You have done the right thing by cursing me. I am not scared of losing all my prosperity and splendour but your anger is unbearable for me.”

 

Now even Prahlad realised that he had committed a mistake by cursing his own son. He said- “Unable to control my anger, I cursed you but now nothing can be done and my words will definitely come true. But don’t worry as my blessings would help you to become a supreme devotee of Hari and you would be protected by him.”

 

Lomaharshan says- “In course of time, Lord Vishnu took birth as Vaaman. This incident of Vishnu’s birth had liberated Aditi and all the deities from their sorrow. Lord Brahma appeared and performed Vaaman’s Jaatkarm. He also eulogised Vaaman and worshipped him. Lord Vishnu was pleased by his eulogy and revealed to him that he took the incarnation of Vaaman to make Indra, the lord of all the three worlds.”

 

Lord Brahma was pleased and presented a black coloured deer skin to him. Similarly, sages like Marichi, Vashishth, Brihaspati, Angira etc. presented Palaash Danda, kamandalu, sacred thread and silken clothes respectively. Lord Vaaman then proceeded towards the place where King Bali was performing his oblation. Lord Vaaman was in the appearance of a hermit. Though he was of diminutive size, yet each of his steps were enough to shake the earth.

1.8.7     Lord Vaaman’s Demands

Lomaharshan says- “The shaking and trembling of earth surprised Bali and he enquired about this strange happening to Shukracharya. He was also surprised by the fact that Agni was not accepting the offerings. Shukracharya, after contemplating for a while on this matter, came to know about Vaaman’s incarnation. He informed Bali that Vaaman was on his way to the oblation site and his each step was causing turbulence on the earth.

 

Bali was pleased that he would get an opportunity to see the Almighty God whom the sages contemplate upon. He was proud of his good fortune that the lord was paying him a visit. Shukracharya aware of the reason for Vaaman’s arrival warned Bali against making any promise to him. Bali replied- “How can I refuse if the Almighty God demands anything from me? I am willing to face any hardship to safeguard my benevolent image. I don’t mind if the deities get benefited by my actions. Even if the lord is coming with the intention of killing me, I am not scared as that is how I would attain salvation. Come what may, I am not going to abandon my charitable nature.”

 

As the conversation between Shukracharya and Bali continued, suddenly, Lord Vaaman arrived at the site. Vaaman’s radiance subdued the power of all demons present there. Lord Vaaman being impressed by the grandeur of Vaaman’s Yagya complimented him for organising such a magnificent Yagya. Bali eulogised and worshipped his esteemed guest. He requested Vaaman to reveal the reason of his arrival and promised that his wishes would be fulfilled. Lord Vaaman smiled and told him that he needed a small piece of land measured by three steps for the performance of Yagya. Bali was surprised by this demand and requested him to ask for more land but Lord Vaaman told him that he needed only that much land.

 

Bali agreed and took a vow to donate a piece of land measured by three steps. Hardly had Bali taken his vow, when suddenly Lord Vaaman expanded his size. His first step covered the whole earth. By his two successive steps, he covered the two worlds. This way, Bali was forced to donate all the three worlds according to his vow. Lord Vishnu then made Indra, the king of all the three worlds and sent Bali to the nether world named Sutal. He blessed Bali by saying- “You would enjoy a long life till the end of this present Kalpa. You would hold the post of Indra till the arrival of Saavarni Manavantar. As long as you remain supportive of the Brahmins and the deities, you would enjoy all the pleasures of life. But if you go against their wishes then you would be fastened by Varun’s noose.”

1.9      Sarasvati River

The sages requested Lomaharshan to reveal about river Saraswati’s origin, which flowed in Kurukshetra. Lomaharshan said- “Saraswati originates from Paakad tree (Indian fig tree). She enters Dwaitvan after passing through numerous mountains. While describing about her majesty, sage Markandeya felt that Saraswati was the source from, which everything originated- all the three worlds, three Vedas, Vidya (learning), heavenly bodies like Sun, Moon etc. Once, sage Markandeya eulogised Saraswati by saying- “O Saraswati! You manifest in the form of cryptic mantra- “OMKAR”. You are the eternal form through which the Almighty God (Brahma) manifests himself in different appearances.”

 

Saraswati was pleased by his devotion and said- “O Brahmin! I am willing to go wherever you want to take me.” According to Markandeya, river Saraswati was initially known as Brahmasar. Later on, she became famous as Ramhalad. Sage Markandeya requested Saraswati to flow in the territory of Kurukshetra where sage Kuru was doing his penance. This way, Saraswati diverted her course towards Kurukshetra.

1.10    Kurukshetra

The sages requested Lomaharshan to describe about the geographical condition of Kurukshetra. Lomaharshan replied- “There are 7 different forest ranges in Kurukshetra. They are- “Kamyakvan, Aditivan, Vyasavan, Phalkivan, Suryavan, Madhuvan and Sheetvan. Nine rivers flow across Kurukshetra- Saraswati, Vaitarni, Aashga, Mandakini Ganga, Madhustrava, Vaasu, Kaushiki, Kaggar and Hiranyavati. Kurukshetra is believed to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage. A pilgrim visiting Kurukshetra should begin his pilgrimage only after worshipping the Yaksha. He should then pay a visit to the famous Aditivan where Aditi had accomplished a severe penance to get a son. By doing this, he is blessed with sons possessing all the good qualities. After that, he should pay a visit to a place called Savan where Lord Hari dwells. A devotee who pays a visit to Lord Vimaleshwar becomes liberated from all his sins and goes to Rudraloka after his death. Some other places of pilgrimage situated in Kurukshetra and which are considered to be very sacred are Paritlav, Kaushiki, Dharani, Daksha’s hermitage, Shaalukini, Sarpeedadhi, the temples at the bank of Panchnad river, Vaaraha temple, Someshwar temple etc.”

 

“A devotee should also pay a visit to Ramkunda where Parashuram had constructed five ponds and filled them up with the blood of the Kshatriyas, whom he had killed. He had pacified the soul of his ancestors by performing Tarpan with the blood of the dead Kshatriyas. The dead ancestors were pleased with him and blessed him in becoming free from the sins, which he had acquired because of killing Kshatriyas.”

1.11    Sage Mankanak Eulogizes Shiva

Sage Mankanak was the Manasputra of Kashyap. He had seven sons, who were famously known as Marud Ganas. They are the one who hold all the movable and immovable objects of this world.

 

Once, sage Mankanak injured his finger by the sharp edge of Kusha grass while he was trying to pluck them for his religious rites. But he was quite surprised when he found vegetative juice (Shaak Rasa) oozing out from the wound instead of blood. He thought that perhaps his blood had transformed into vegetative juice by the virtue of his penance. This abnormal event made him arrogant and he started dancing in joy as a result of which the whole world started to swerve. Lord Brahma became puzzled by this sudden development. He went to Lord Shiva and requested him to stop Mankanak from dancing so that the universe became steady.

 

Lord Shiva went to sage Mankanak and said- “O supreme sage! Being a hermit, you are supposed to have control over your emotions. May I know the reason of your extreme joy, which makes you dance.” Mankanak told him that his penance had given him great power due to which vegetative juice was oozing out from the wound instead of blood and this was the reason for his extreme joy and happiness. “That is why I am dancing”, said Mankanak. But Lord Shiva was not amused and wanted to teach him a lesson. He hit the thumb with the nail of his finger as a result of which, ashes poured out from the wound. Mankanak was surprised by this. Being ashamed, he said- “I know, you are none other than Lord Shiva because nobody else can perform this amazing feat. I am your great devotee. You are the one on whom, deities like Brahma and Vishnu are dependent. I need your blessings so that the virtues of my penance remain intact.” Lord Shiva blessed him and promised to dwell in his hermitage forever.

1.12    Some Sacred Places of Pilgrimage

This chapter contains 4 sections:

1.12.1  Aushanas Tirtha

Describing about the greatness of Aushanas, the most sacred place of pilgrimage, Lomaharshan narrates the following tale- “During Treta Yug, Lord Rama had killed many demons while he was in exile. Once, while he was living in Dandak forest, he had severed the head of a wicked demon with his Kshura arrow. The severed head of the demon was carried by the arrow for quite a distance and coincidentally it got stuck on the thigh of sage Rahodar. It became very difficult for him to perform his religious duties. Bad smell emanating from the severed head was unbearable. Some sages advised him to pay a visit to Aushanas to become free from his problem.

 

Rahodar went to Aushanas and as soon as he touched the holy water of the river, the severed head got detached and fell in the river. Delighted, he went back to his hermitage. From that day, Aushanas also came to be known as Kapaalmochan.

1.12.2  Vashishtha-pavah Tirtha

The sages asked Lomaharshan about the origin of Vashishthapava Tirtha and about the reason why sage Vashishth was carried along by the powerful current of Saraswati river. Lomaharshan said- “There was great rivalry between sage Vashishth and sage Vishwamitra. In course of time, it turned into a bitter enemity. Vashishth had his hermitage at a place called Sthanu Tirtha and Vishwamitra’s hermitage was situated just towards the west of it. Vishwamitra was jealous of Vashishth’s accomplishment.”

 

Once, Vishwamitra asked river Saraswati to bring Vashishth to his hermitage with the help of powerful currents so that he could kill him. River Saraswati became sad and refused to obey him, which made Vishwamitra angry. He again repeated his commands. Seeing no other option, she went to Vashishth’s hermitage and narrated the whole story to him. Vashishth agreed to be carried away by her current.

 

When Vishwamitra saw Vashishth, he furiously started looking for some weapon to kill him. Saraswati became scared and carried Vashishth to safety as she did not want to acquire the sin of collaborating in the killing of a Brahmin. Vishwamitra angrily cursed her- “May your water be mixed with blood and may the demons thrive on your banks.”

 

This way, Saraswati flowed with her water mixed with blood for one year. All the sages, deities, Gandharvas and Apsaras were worried at this happening. But, this was not the case with the demons, who lived happily at the bank of river Saraswati thriving on the blood mixed in her water. They used to live happily- dancing and rejoicing, as if they had won the heaven from the deities.

 

One day, some sages arrived at the bank of river Saraswati and became distressed after seeing her water mixed with blood. They asked her about the reason. She revealed the whole story and the misdeeds of Vishwamitra. The sages then requested river Aruna- the liberator of all sins to change her course and start flowing towards river Saraswati. As soon as river Aruna submerged into river Saraswati, she (Saraswati) regained her purity once again.

1.12.3  Kamyakvan Tirtha

The sages asked Lomaharshan about the origin of Kamyakvan Tirtha. Lomaharshan replied- “Once upon a time, the sages of Naimisharanya came to Kurukshetra to take bath in river Saraswati. But, since they were large in number, the banks of river Saraswati could not accommodate all of them. In their helplessness, they created an imaginary place of pilgrimage named Yagyopavitik Tirtha and took an imaginary dip in it. But many of the remaining sages were unable to do even this.”

 

When Saraswati saw such a large gathering of Brahmins, desirous of having bath in her holy waters, she created a garden (Kunj) and started flowing towards west. This very garden later on developed into a dense forest and became famous as Kamyakvan.

1.12.4  Sthanu Tirtha

The sages then asked Lomaharshan about the origin of Sthanu Tirtha and the importance of Sthanu Vata. They also expressed their desire to know about the reservoir named Saanihitya and how Indra had filled it up with mud. Sage Lomaharshan replied- “Once, Sanat Kumar upon being asked by Baalkhilya and other sages the same question, narrated the following tale- During the period of final annihilation, when the whole earth was submerged in water, Lord Brahma manifested inside an egg. He slept there for thousands of Yugas. When he woke up from his sleep, he found the world devoid of any inhabitants. Being under the influence of Rajo Guna, he planned to commence his creation. At the same time, Lord Vishnu awakened from his sleep and broke that egg after seeing that the whole world had merged inside him. Subsequently, Lord Brahma began his creation starting from the word- ‘OMKAR’. After that, the terms- Bhur, Bhuvah and Swah respectively came into existence. The brilliant effulgence radiating from the egg had dried up the water as a result of which, the remaining water had turned into the shape of an embryo. The reservoir- Saanihitya is situated at the same place where the egg had manifested itself. Meru Mountain is nothing but the outer shell of that egg and all the other mountains are its membrane. The oceans and the rivers are the fluid inside that egg. There is a great reservoir near the navel area of Lord Brahma. A big Banyan tree is situated just in the middle of that reservoir. This tree appears like a pillar (Sthanu). All the three major castes (Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya) originated from that tree. Lord Brahma then created his Manasputras- Sanat, Sanandan etc. Subsequently, he created the Saptarishis and the Baalkhilyas. All the Baalkhilyas did a severe penance for thousands of years without having a morsel of food. They had become very weak but still Lord Shiva was not pleased with them.”

 

Once, Lord Shiva and Uma were travelling by aerial route when suddenly Uma saw the weak Baalkhilyas engaged in penance. She was saddened to see their frail bodies and requested Lord Shiva to end their miseries. Lord Shiva told her that the Baalkhilyas had not attained a bit of virtuousness inspite of their severe penance. “They have still not become free from anger and desires”, said Lord Shiva. But Uma was reluctant to believe his words. Lord Shiva then asked her to wait there and himself went to show their real worth to her to prove his point.

 

Lord Shiva then shed his apparels and became naked. As a mendicant, he visited the hermitages of all the Baalkhilyas. At that time the Baalkhilyas were engaged in penance and hence only womenfolk were present at the hermitages. The womenfolk, infatuated by Lord Shiva, started running after him. When the Baalkhilyas came to know about this, they uprooted his private organ (Linga) and threw it on the ground. Hardly had the Linga fallen on the ground, the whole world got engulfed by the process of destruction. All the sages and learned saints became worried and went to seek Lord Brahma’s help. Lord Brahma revealed to them that this destruction was due to Shiva’s wrath. He also told them about the futility of their penance as they were still under the influence of anger and lust. “You cannot attain perfection until your flaws are removed”, said Lord Brahma.

1.13    Sages Take Lord Shiva’s Refuge

Ashamed, the sages requested Lord Brahma to tell them the way to pacify Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma assured them that they would be forgiven if they took Lord Shiva’s refuge. Lord Brahma went to Kailash Parvat accompanied by all the sages. After reaching there, he eulogised Lord Shiva with deep devotion. The sages also worshipped Lord Shiva.

 

Lord Shiva was satisfied by their eulogy and devotion. He instructed the sages to establish the severed Linga at Saanihitya Sarovar. “By doing this, you would have all your desires fulfilled. The Linga would become famous by the name of Sthanu- the whole world. A devotee who pays a visit to this sacred place of pilgrimage would become liberated from all his sins”, said Lord Shiva.

 

The sages returned to the place of Lord Shiva’s fallen Linga. They tried their best to lift it but were unsuccessful in their attempt. They became worried and went to Lord Brahma for help. Lord Brahma told them- “Since Shiva’s Linga had fallen on his own will, hence nobody except him can lift that Linga.” All of them went back to Kailash Parvat but Lord Shiva was nowhere to be found.

 

Lord Brahma went into a state of deep meditation and sighted Lord Shiva in the guise of an elephant. When Brahma and the deities proceeded on their way, they found a goddess with a kamandalu in hand and offered them Amrit. After being refreshed, the sages asked whether she knew of Lord Shiva’s whereabouts. She told them that Lord Shiva was presently living in the middle of Saanihitya Sarovar. After reaching the reservoir, they found Lord Shiva in the guise of an elephant. They requested him to help them, establish his Linga at the desired place. Lord Shiva agreed. All of them then went to the site of Lord Shiva’s fallen Linga. He lifted it with his trunk and established it towards the west of Saanihitya Sarovar. The sages were satisfied and expressed their gratitude to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, pleased by their eulogy and devotion, decided to make the Linga as his abode.

1.14    Greatness of Sthanu Tirtha

This chapter contains 4 sections:

1.14.1  The Greatness of Saanihitya Sarovar and Sthanu Tirtha

Sanat Kumar says- Describing the greatness of Saanihitya Sarovar, Lord Shiva told the sages that a devotee cannot attain salvation unless he pays a visit to this sacred place of pilgrimage. There is no other Tirtha like this one. “I would be easily accessible to a devotee who worships me with total devotion.” After saying this, Lord Shiva disappeared.

 

In course of time, the heaven became crowded with human beings due to virtues attained by going on pilgrimages to Sthanu Tirtha. The deities became worried at this development and went to seek Lord Brahma’s help. Indra said- “If things continue like this then the heaven will be dominated by mortals and we will have no option but to move out from there. Now, its your duty to protect us.” Lord Brahma ordered Indra to fill up Saanihitya Sarovar with mud so that the Sthanu Linga gets concealed and devotees no longer visited that sacred place of pilgrimage.

 

Saanihitya Sarovar was filled up with mud as Indra created a dust storm, which lasted for several days. But still Indra’s objective remained unfulfilled as Lord Shiva lifted Sthanu Linga and Tirtha Vata (Banyan tree) in his hands. There were some sages present on the bank of Saanihitya Sarovar at the time of this incident. They smeared their bodies with that mud and due to this, all of them went to Brahma loka.

1.14.2  Other Prominent Lingas

Sanat Kumar says- “The sacred places of pilgrimage named Shukra Tirtha and Soma Tirtha are situated towards north and south of Sthanu Vata respectively. Daksha Tirtha is situated towards its south and Skand Tirtha towards its west. The sacrosanct Sthanu Tirtha is situated just in between all these four places of pilgrimage. Near Sthanu Tirtha is a Shiva Linga and Goddess Uma dwells there. There is a Maha Linga established by Takshak towards the north of Sthanu Vata while the Shiva Linga constructed by Vishwakarma is established towards the east.

 

By the side of that Banyan tree (Vata Tirtha) is situated- Bateshwar Linga, which was established by Lord Brahma. Some other prominent Lingas established in the vicinity of Sthanu Linga are- Gokarna Maha Linga established by Ravana, Kumareshwar, Hastipadeshwar Shiva, Siddheshwar Linga, Hibhavateshwar Linga etc.

1.14.3  King Ven, Birth of Prithu

Sage Markandeya then goes on to describe about the splendours of Sthanu Tirtha- Surya was Manu’s father. Ven was Manu’s grandson. He was wicked and always criticised the Vedas. Being displeased by his irreligious son, Ven’s father left for the forest to do penance where he attained salvation.

 

In course of time, Ven’s tyranny spread across the length and breadth of the earth. In a very short time, he became the lord of whole earth. He had strictly warned his subjects against worshipping any other deity except him. Sages became furious by his irreligious stricture and tried to change his mind but their efforts went in vain. Ultimately, Ven was killed by the angry sages. After his death, the sages churned his left hand, which resulted in the manifestation of a dwarf. The sages considered him to be unfit to become a ruler and churned Ven’s right hand for the second time. This time, a divine entity manifested, who had all the auspicious signs on his body. The deities crowned this divine entity as the king and named him Prithu. Prithu proved to be a just king and his subjects were satisfied by his rule.

 

One day, sage Narad arrived at Prithu’s court. Wanting to grab the opportunity, he asked Narad how his father could be liberated from his sins. Narad told him that his father was presently living among the Mlechchas and was suffering from diseases like consumption and leprosy. “He would be cured of his diseases if he is taken to Sthanu Tirtha and made to take a dip in the holy Saanihitya Sarovar”, said Narad.

 

He went to the site and found his father living among the Mlechchas. After taking the Mlechchas’ permission, he brought his father to Sthanu Tirtha. His effort of helping his father to take a bath was resisted by the deity- Vaayu who said- “The waters of Saanihitya Sarovar would get polluted if such a lowly sinner took a bath in it. First of all, you must go on a pilgrimage and visit all the sacred places to make your father pure. Only then he will be entitled to take bath here”.

 

Prithu accompanied by his father went on a pilgrimage and visited all the sacred places. When both of them returned to Sthanu Tirtha, his father had become pure by this time. Ven took his bath and became liberated from his sins. He worshipped Lord Sthanu and eulogised him with total devotion.

1.14.4  Ven Attains Heaven

Sanat Kumar says- “Lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and blessed Ven that he would manifest from his body as Andhak in his next birth. Due to the sins acquired by criticising the Vedas, he would be born in the family of the notorious demon Hiranyaaksh.” Lord Shiva then asked Ven to demand any boon.

 

Ven requested Lord Shiva to bless his attendant who had transformed into a dog due to his sin acquired by eating divine food. Lord Shiva blessed the attendant as a result of which, he regained his original form. Right then, Prithu arrived there. After seeing him, Ven expressed his gratitude for his tremendous effort without which, he would not have been liberated from his sins. After blessing Prithu, Ven departed for heaven.

 

In his father’s absence, Prithu continued to rule justly. He performed many religious activities and gave unlimited donations to the Brahmins. After ruling for a long period, he went to Kurukshetra where he did a severe penance and attained the supreme abode after his death.

1.15    The Origin of Brahmeshwar’s Four Heads

After creating all the movable and immovable living things, Lord Brahma created a beautiful lady. He was so infatuated by her beauty that he expressed his desire to procreate with her help. As a result of this grave sin committed by Lord Brahma, one of his four heads got detached and fell on the ground. He carried his severed head and went to Saanihitya Sarovar to atone for his sins. After reaching that site, he established a four-headed Shiva Linga and worshipped it daily. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before him. He blessed Lord Brahma and said- “You have become free from the sin due to the virtue attained by establishing a four-headed Shiva Linga at this sacred place.” After blessing him, Lord Shiva disappeared.

 

After getting liberated from his sin, Lord Brahma worshipped the idol of four-headed Mahadev and established another Shiva Linga in the middle of a nearby lake. He also created a reservoir, which is named after him- Brahmasar. He established two other Shiva Lingas- one towards the east of his hermitage and another at the bank of river Saraswati. A devotee who goes on a pilgrimage to these sacred places created by Lord Brahma becomes liberated from all his sins and attains salvation.

1.16    Prithudak Tirtha

Describing the majesty of Prithudak Tirtha, Mahadev told the deities- “All of you must pay a visit to this sacrosanct place of pilgrimage situated near Saanihitya reservoir. The day on which Moon, Sun and Jupiter unitedly come under Mrigshira Nakshatra is called Akshay Tritiya. You must go to that sacred place and perform Shraadh of your ancestors.”

 

All the deities led by Indra went to Kurukshetra where Prithudak was situated. Vrihaspati was also present with them. After taking their bath, the deities requested Vrihaspati (Jupiter) to enter into the Mrigshira Nakshatra as directed by Mahadev. Vrihaspati agreed to do that and entered into the Mrigshira Nakshatra along with the Sun and the Moon on Akshay Tritiya.

 

All the deities then worshipped their dead ancestors by offering Pind comprising of sesame seeds and honey. The ancestors were pleased and presented Mena to the deities. The deities in turn presented Mena to Himalaya. Himalaya was pleased to have Mena as his wife. In course of time, three daughters were born to them.

1.17    Birth of Uma and her Marriage to Shiva

This chapter contains 10 sections:

1.17.1  Mena gives birth to Uma

Mena gave birth to three daughters and a son. The eldest daughter- Raagini was red complexioned and had red eyes. Kutila was fair complexioned and had beautiful eyes like that of lotus petals. The youngest daughter- Kali was dark complexioned and had beautiful eyes like the petals of blue lotus. Mena also had a son named Sunaam.

 

When all three of them were of six years, they started to do penance. The deities saw these beautiful girls and were enchanted by their beauty. Aditya and the Vasu Ganas took Kutila to Brahma loka and asked Lord Brahma- “O lord! Will this girl give birth to a son capable of killing Mahishasura?”

 

Lord Brahma told them that she was incapable of bearing the effulgence of Lord Shiva and hence she should be released. Kutila was dejected by Lord Brahma’s rejection and challenged him that she would try every means so as to attain the capability of holding the effulgence of Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma became angry with her arrogant utterances and cursed her to become a river. In a very short period, the furious current of Kutila over-flooded the whole Brahma loka but Lord Brahma managed to control her current. In this way, Kutila remained in Brahma loka in the form of a river.

 

When the deities saw Raagini doing penance, they took her to Lord Brahma. Even she was cursed by Lord Brahma in the same manner as her sister had been cursed. Due to Lord Brahma’s curse, she became Sandhya (evening) and started for the auspicious yoga of Kritika.

 

After losing her two daughters, Mena tried to dissuade Kali from doing penance. But Kali was not to listen. Reacting to her mother’s advises, Kali pronounced ‘U’ ‘Ma’ and as a result she was named Uma by her mother. Uma commenced her severe penance to please Lord Shiva. When Lord Brahma came to know about this, he instructed the deities to bring her along to Brahma loka but the deities were unsuccessful in their attempt as Uma’s radiance was unbearable for them. They returned to Brahma loka and narrated the whole story to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma was convinced that Uma was worthy of being Shiva’s consort. One day, Himalaya, Uma’s father brought her back home.

 

Once, Lord Shiva went to Himalaya Mountain to do penance. When Himalaya came to know of his arrival, he was extremely happy. He made all necessary arrangements for Lord Shiva. One day, while Lord Shiva was engrossed in meditation, Uma arrived there. Lord Shiva was pleased to know that Sati had re-incarnated as Uma. But his joy was momentary as he went back into deep meditation. Uma paid her obeisance by touching Shiva’s feet. Lord Shiva wanting to test Uma’s devotion went into hiding.

 

Uma sought her father’s permission to do penance with the objective of having Shiva as her husband. Himalaya agreed and gave his permission. She started her penance after creating an earthen idol of Lord Shiva. She worshipped that idol with total devotion. Lord Shiva became pleased with her devotion and appeared before her in the guise of a mendicant. On being enquired by Uma, Lord Shiva told her that he was on his pilgrimage to Prithudak. “I am used to all these austerities as I have been practising it since my childhood. But why are you torturing yourself in such a tender age?”, asked Lord Shiva.

 

Lomaprabha, Uma’s companion was also present there. She told the mendicant about the objective with which Uma was doing her penance. “She wants to have Lord Shiva as her husband”, said Lomaprabha. Hearing this, the mendicant laughed loudly and made fun of Shiva. He tried to dissuade Uma from marrying Lord Shiva. Uma became extremely angry and asked the mendicant to keep mum. But when the mendicant continued with his abuses, she got up and tried to move away from the side. Lord Shiva became pleased by her total devotion and appeared in his real form. He assured Uma to go back home and said- “I will send the sages to your house with a marriage proposal. The idol which you have been worshipping with such deep devotion would become famous as Bhadreshwar.

 

Uma returned home and Shiva proceeded on his way to Prithudak.

1.17.2  Lord Shiva sends Marriage Proposal

After paying a visit to Prithudak Tirtha, Lord Shiva returned to his abode. At that time, he was living at Mandaar Mountain. After Lord Shiva’s contemplation, the Saptarishis arrived. After the formal salutations, Lord Shiva told the sages that his wife- Sati has re-incarnated as Uma. “All of you must go to Himalaya and request him to marry his daughter to me”, said Lord Shiva. The Saptarishis abided by his instructions.

 

All of them went to Himalaya with Shiva’s proposal. When Uma came to know about this, she was quite pleased but did not reveal her emotions. Himalaya was in a dilemma. He did not know whether to refuse or accept the marriage proposal. The Meru Mountain advised him to go ahead with the marriage as it would not be proper to refuse the Saptarishis.

 

Mena, Himalaya’s wife said- “O lord of the mountain! The dead ancestors gave Uma to me on the condition that I would get her married with Shiva. The son born to her would kill the demons- Mahishasura and Tarakasura. At last Himalaya agreed. The Saptarishis were pleased and chose an auspicious moment for the marriage ceremony. They said- “Shiva would marry your daughter on Maitra Muhurta- the third day from today when the Moon will enter the Uttar Phalguni Nakshatra.” After saying this, the Saptarishis returned to Mandaar Mountain and gave the good news to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva became pleased and worshipped the Saptarishis. The Saptarishis then went to inform all the deities about Shiva’s marriage.

1.17.3  Uma Marries Lord Shiva

Lord Vishnu, Brahma, the deities and the Ganas were pleased to hear about Shiva’s marriage. Lord Shiva went to his abode- Kailash Mountain to make preparations for the marriage ceremony.

 

Lord Shiva’s marriage procession proceeded towards Himalaya Mountain. His appearance was quite terrifying with a tiger skin around his waist and Gorochan Tilak on his forehead. He had a garland of skulls around his neck. Snakes were coiling all around his body. His mount- Vrishabh (ox) was walking in a majestic way. The marriage procession comprised of the deities, Yakshas, demons and his Ganas. Lord Vishnu had Goddess Lakshmi by his side and was mounted on Garud (eagle) while Lord Brahma was mounted on Hans (swan).

 

When the marriage procession reached its destination, Himalaya received his esteemed guests with great honour and guided them to his palace. The womenfolk envied Uma as they glanced at the handsome appearance of Lord Shiva. Uma was looking divinely beautiful in her white coloured silken apparel. At last, both the bride and the bridegroom entered the canopy where the marriage ceremony was supposed to be performed.

 

Himalaya placing Uma’s hand in Shiva’s, requested him to accept her as his wife. Lord Shiva said- “O king of the mountains! Despite being homeless, I agree to accept your daughter as my wife.” After that, both Shiva and Uma tied the nuptial knot and circumambulated the sacred fire for three times. Both of them made offerings to the sacred fire. As Uma touched Shiva’s feet, Lord Brahma got a chance to have a glimpse of her beautiful face. He was so infatuated by her divine beauty that he ejaculated. Nobody except Lord Shiva was aware of this incident. Lord Brahma tried to conceal his ejaculated sperms (Veerya) under the soil. But Lord Shiva prohibited him from doing so and said- “Don’t destroy this Virya. From it would manifest 80,000 Baalkhilyas.”

Lord Shiva’s prophesies came true and in a very short time, 80,000 Baalkhilyas appeared there. Lord Shiva then returned to Mandaar Parvat accompanied by his consort, Uma.

1.17.4  Vishwakarma Constructs a Palace

After reaching Mandaar Mountain, Lord Shiva instructed Vishwakarma to construct a home. Vishwakarma constructed a spacious home for Shiva, which was spread in the area of 64 Yojans. The home was decorated with Swastika symbols and its walls were made of gold.

 

One day, Lord Shiva jokingly referred to Uma as Kali because of her dark complexion. But Uma did not take his comments lightly and told Shiva that she was going to the Himalayas to do her penance so that he did not dare to call her by that name again. Thus, Uma went to Himalaya Mountain and commenced her penance. Standing on one feet, she engaged herself in severe penance. One day, a lion arrived and seeing Uma standing on one feet, waited patiently for the moment when she would lose her balance and fall into its clutches. Uma continued with her penance for one hundred years by continuously chanting the sacred Brahma mantra. Pleased by her devotion, Lord Brahma appeared before her and asked what she wished for. Uma first of all requested him to bless the lion with immense power. She then requested him to bless her with a golden complexion. Lord Brahma blessed her and disappeared. She abandoned her dark complexioned skin from which manifested Kaushiki. Now, her complexion turned golden due to Lord Brahma’s blessings. Indra appeared before her and sought her permission to take Kaushiki along with him. Uma gave her consent without any hesitation.

 

Indra took Kaushiki to Vindhya Mountain and requested her to stay there. He said- “You would become famous as Vindhya Vaasini and would be revered even by the deities.” He presented a lion to her and went back to his abode. On the other hand, Uma returned to Mandaar Mountain and lived happily. Lord Shiva became so deeply attached to her that he forgot about his duties and as a result of which, the whole world became disturbed. The deities became scared by this development and went to seek Lord Brahma’s advice.

 

Lord Brahma went to Mandaar Mountain accompanied by all the deities. They tried to enter Shiva’s abode but Nandi- Shiva’s mount did not let them in. Helpless, all of them waited eagerly for the time Shiva would come out. Agni seeing rows of swans coming out from Shiva’s abode disguised himself as a swan and thus managed to get inside. He went near Lord Shiva and said- “O lord! The deities are anxiously waiting for you outside. How come, you are not aware of this?” Lord Shiva immediately got up and ran towards the deities.

 

Indra and other deities were scared at the prospect of losing heaven to Lord Shiva’s progeny. So, they requested Lord Shiva not to procreate any child from Uma. Lord Shiva agreed but asked them as to who was capable of holding his out-flowing sperms. Agni came forward and swallowed each drop of Shiva’s sperm. Satisfied, the deities left. Lord Shiva went inside and told everything to Uma. She became furious and cursed the deities that they too would remain sonless just like her.

 

One day before taking her bath, Uma applied Ubtan (mixture of sandalwood, turmeric etc.) on her body. She then peeled off the paste from her body and made an elephant-headed image from it. Maalini, her companion assisted her in taking bath. Maalini was smiling all the while as Uma was taking her bath. Uma became curious and wanted to know the reason of her strange smile. Maalini told Uma about her firm belief that one day, she (Uma) would definitely become a mother. Uma told her that this was impossible as the deities had prohibited her husband, Shiva from procreating a child. But Maalini continued to smile. After taking her bath, Uma went back home.

 

After sometime, Lord Shiva arrived and took his bath at the same place. The elephant-headed image created by Uma was lying there. Suddenly it became alive and started making a hissing sound from his trunk. Lord Shiva delightfully took him to Uma and said- “Look at your son.” Uma was surprised to see that elephant-headed image alive and affectionately embraced him. Lord Shiva again said- “Your son will become famous as Vinayak and the whole world would worship him.” Lord Shiva then entrusted the task of child’s security to Ghatodar.

 

Thus, both Lord Shiva and Uma lived happily. The same Uma later on took incarnation as Goddess Katyayani and killed the demons- Shumbh and Nishumbh.

1.17.5  Killing of Nishumbh and Shumbh

Shumbh and Nishumbh were sons of Danu. They wanted to avenge Mahishasura’s death and sent many demons like to bring Goddess Chandika after enslaving her. First of all, Sugreev was sent followed by Dhumralochan but both of them were killed by the Goddess. When Shumbh and Nishumbh heard of their death, they were infuriated. Nishumbh attacked the goddess with a huge army. Shumbh attacked from the other side. In the fierce battle, Goddess Chandika broke Nishumbh’s sword as well as his shield. Nishumbh then attacked Goddess Chandika with his weapon- Shakti. Goddess Chandika broke it with her Chakra. At last, she attacked him with her arrows at him and as a result, Nishumbh got injured and fell.

 

When Shumbh saw Nishumbh, injured and unconscious, he ran towards Goddess Chandika to kill her. Goddess Chandika blew her conch and made a thunderous noise by pulling the bowstring. Shumbh released the dangerous weapon- Ugradipti in the direction of Goddess Chandika. But her weapon Maholkanaamni destroyed it. Shumbh thundered loudly and attacked Goddess Chandika with a volley of arrows but none could cause any harm to her. Finally, Goddess Chandika attacked Shumbh with her trident. Shumbh fell down unconscious. After sometime, he regained his consciousness and attacked Goddess Chandika with his arrows. But she destroyed all the arrows. In the meantime, Nishumbh had regained his consciousness. He got up and attacked Goddess Chandika with his trident. In the end, Goddess Chandika killed Nishumbh by piercing her trident in his heart. As Nishumbh was dying, an another demon manifested from his body. Even he was killed by her. Her mount Simha devoured all the dead demons.

 

Shumbh became angry at the death of his brother- Nishumbh. He furiously told the goddess- “O wicked lady! Do not be proud of your strength borrowed from others.” Goddess Chandika replied- “O wicked demon! I am the only power of this whole universe. I am the origin of cause and effect. Look! All the divinities are entering into my body.

 

The next moment, all the divine entities, which had earlier manifested from the bodies of the deities united with the goddess. Now, the goddess was alone. A tremendous battle was fought between Goddess Chandika and Shumbh. Ambika attacked him with numerous divine weapons. But, Shumbh neutralised her attack with his own weapons.

 

Shumbh covered the whole body of Goddess Chandika with his arrows. She broke his bow. After this, Shumbh attacked her with his weapon- Shakti, which was broken into pieces by her chakra. Now, Shumbh took out his sword and attacked her with it. She broke his shield and sword with her arrows. Shumbh then attacked her with his mace. Even his mace was broken into pieces.

 

Shumbh had no more weapons left with him. He hit the goddess on her breast with his clenched fist. She slapped him so hard on the face that he fell down. The next moment, he got up and manifested himself in the sky. Now, a tremendous duel was fought between them in the sky.

 

In the end, she dashed him to the ground and pierced the trident in his heart. Shumbh was instantly killed. After the killing of Shumbh, Gandharvas, the deities and Apsaras were so pleased that they danced and rejoiced. The whole atmosphere echoed with the sound- “SHANTI SHANTI” (Let there be peace).

 

After goddess Chandika killed Shumbh, all the deities under the leadership of Indra and Agni started eulogising her- “O Goddess! Be pleased upon us! Protect the whole world, as you are the goddess of this whole universe. You appear in the form of this earth- the base on which everything is situated. Your light illuminates all the living creatures. You are the only power through which creation, nurturing and annihilation takes place. You are the Brahmani, Maheshwari and the Kaumari. We salute you because you have protected us from the terror of the demons. We need your protection from all the calamities of this world.”

 

Goddess Chandika was very pleased by their eulogy. She asked them for any wish. The deities said- “O Akhileshwari! We need your protection. Clear all the obstacles from our path. Eliminate our enemies.”

 

Goddess Chandika replied- “During Vaivasvat Manavantar, I will take incarnation from Yashoda’s womb- the wife of Nand, to kill the demons Shumbh and Nishumbh. After that, I will kill the demon- Vaiprachit in my most aggressive form. One hundred years later, I will manifest myself and would be known as Satakshi because of my hundred eyes. My next incarnation would be known as Shakambhari because I would nurture the whole world during the period of drought. I will kill the demon Durgam during that drought period. I will kill the demon Arun- the tormentor of all the three worlds by taking the form of a bee. Due to this, I will be known as Bhramari. I will take incarnations every time the demons torment the world.

 

Goddess Chandika says- “I will clear all the obstacles from the path of such a man who worships me. If a devotee listens to the great tales of how I killed Mahishasura, Shumbh and Nishumbh, on the eighth, ninth and fourteenth days of any month then he would be liberated from poverty and all his sins. He would become free from fear. A devotee must listen to my divine tales during all the religious ceremonies like making sacrifice, worship and performing Yagya. By doing this, all his enemies will be eliminated. A man who remembers me when faced with dangerous situations remains protected by me.”

 

After blessing the deities, Goddess Chandika disappeared from their sight. All the demons, who had survived after the killings of Shumbh and Nishumbh, went to the nether world to save their lives.

1.17.6  Birth of Kaartikeya

Swallowing of Lord Shiva’s sperm had subdued Agni’s radiance. The deities advised him to take Lord Brahma’s help. While he was on his way to Brahma loka, he came across a river named Kutila and requested her to hold Shiva’s sperm. She agreed and requested him to release it in her waters.

 

In course of time, she became pregnant. The thought of giving birth to an illegitimate child tormented her, so she went to Lord Brahma to take his advice. Lord Brahma instructed her to abort her foetus at Udyachal Mountain, which was covered by the dense forest of reed. Lord Brahma felt that it was a very safe place for her and nobody will be aware of this incident. Kutila followed his instructions.

 

Kutila aborted her foetus just according to Lord Brahma’s instructions. The foetus remained there for 10,000 years after which a child was born, radiant like a rising Sun and eyes like the petals of lotus flower. The child being hungry started to cry. At that time, all the six Kritikas were passing through that forest. They were so mesmerised by the child’s beauty that they started quarrelling among themselves as to who should first feed breast milk to the child. Seeing their quarrel, the child appeared with his six heads. This way, all the six Kritikas fed their breast milk to the child at a time. This is the reason why Kartikeya has six heads.

 

After Agni came to know of Kaartikeya’s birth, he proceeded to bring him back home. But Kutila saw him on the way and enquired about his journey. When Agni revealed his intention, she started quarrelling with him for Kaartikeya’s custody. Meanwhile, Lord Vishnu arrived there and enquired regarding their quarrelling. Lord Vishnu after being told the reason advised them to take Lord Shiva’s help as he was the best judge on such matters.

 

Both Kutila and Agni went to Lord Shiva and tried to get his consent. Uma advised Lord Shiva by saying- “All of us must go to that place where the child is living and try to know as to whom he would like to have as his guardian.” All of them went to that reed forest and found Kaartikeya in the lap of one of the Kritikas.

 

Kaartikeya knew about their desires. Seeing them worried, he manifested in four different appearances of Kumar, Vishaakh, Shaakh and Mahasen. Kumar went towards Lord Shiva while Vishaakh went towards Uma. Similarly, Shaakh went towards Kutila while Mahasen went towards Agni. Thus, everybody was satisfied. Lord Shiva then blessed the Kritikas by saying that Kaartikeya would become famous deriving his name from them.

 

All the deities arrived there and decided to make Kaartikeya, the chief commander of their army.

1.17.7  Kaartikeya Kills Taraka and Mahishasura

After being appointed as the chief commander of the deities, Kaartikeya sought his guardians’ permission to kill the demons- Taraka and Mahishasura. All the deities including Lord Vishnu blessed Kaartikeya and wished for his victory. Lord Vishnu eulogised Kaartikeya and praised his valiance.

 

Kaartikeya then proceeded with a huge army comprising of Ganas and Kritikas. Kaartikeya had taken an aerial route so that he could reach his enemies’ territory as soon as possible. The Ganas disguised as birds, followed him.

 

As they were about to reach their enemy’s place, Kaartikeya requested the Ganas to descend to the earth. The Ganas followed his instruction and descended to the earth making a thunderous noise. Some demons like Mahish, Taraka, Virochan, Jambh and Kujambh heard this noise and went to Andhak to inform him about it.

 

As the demons were trying to find out the cause of the noise, a demon- Paatalketu arrived there in an injured condition. The demons were surprised and asked how he got injured. Paatalketu, narrating the incident said- “I had entered sage Gaalav’s hermitage in the guise of a boar with the intention of killing him. Suddenly, an arrow pierced my body. I ran towards the sea coast to save my life where I found large number of people who were planning to kill Mahishasura and Taraka. I have come here to inform you about their plan. I am very scared and worried.” Andhak assured them that there was nothing to worry about as both Mahishasura and Taraka were mighty and it was not an easy task for anybody to kill them.

 

When Mahishasura and Taraka came to know about this, they immediately set out with a huge army towards the sea coast. An intense battle commenced in which both the sides fought valiantly. The Ganas and the Matrikas launched a severe attack on the enemy with all the weapons they had at their disposal. But the demons remained unaffected and their assault was too much for the Ganas to bear.

 

After defeating the Ganas, Mahishasura menacingly ran towards Kaartikeya. Suchakraksh who was fighting from Kaartikeya’s side unleashed his chakra to stop Mahishasura. Mahishasura retaliated by attacking the chakra with his mace but his mace was cut into pieces by the chakra. After destroying the mace, Suchakraksh’s chakra chased Mahishasura. When Banasura saw Mahishasura’s life in danger, he came forward to help him. He attacked the chakra with his 500 hands and grabbed Suchakraksh with the remaining 500. Seeing Suchakraksh in danger, Makaraksh hit Banasura on his head with his mace. Seething in pain, Banasura immediately released Suchakraksh.

 

Seeing his army defeated, Taraka came forward to fight with a sword. He fought valiantly and defeated the Ganas and the Matrikas in a very short time. The defeated Ganas took the refuge of Kaartikeya. When Kaartikeya saw Taraka chasing the Ganas, he killed him with his weapon- Shakti. Taraka’s death scared Mahishasura and Banasura. To save his life, Mahishasura ran away towards Himalaya Mountain while Banasura hid himself in the ocean. Kaartikeya chased Mahishasura as a result of which, he was forced to abandon Himalaya. Mahishasura now took refuge in a cave of the Kraunch Mountain. Seeing the demon being protected by his maternal cousin- Guh (cave), Kaartikeya was in a dilemma. He knew that if he attacked Mahishasura inside the cave then his cousin- Guh might get hurt. He waited for Mahishasura to come out. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh appeared and advised Kaartikeya to kill the demon. Indra too advised him the same. But Kaartikeya did not pay heed and told them that he would kill Mahishasura only after he came out from the cave.

 

Furious, Indra told Kaartikeya that a man did not become a sinner if he killed one person to safeguard his community’s interest. Giving his own instance, he narrated as to how he had killed his own brother- Namuchi. But Kaartikeya was not convinced and refused to act according to Indra’s instruction. Very soon, their arguments turned into a major dispute when Indra boasted of his strength. Kaartikeya challenged him for a duel. Indra proposed a plan according to which, whoever circumambulated the Kraunch Mountain first would be considered as the winner.

 

When Kaartikeya returned after circumambulating Kraunch Mountain, he found Indra sitting there. Furiously, he asked Indra why he was seated. Indra replied that he was the winner as he had already finished circumambulating the Kraunch. Both of them quarrelled but were not able to decide the winner. So, both of them went to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Brahma to take their help. Lord Vishnu advised them that only Kraunch Mountain could decide the winner. Both of them went to Kraunch Mountain and requested him to tell as to who the winner was. Kraunch Mountain said- “Indra is the winner since he was the first to circumambulate me. Kaartikeya became furious and attacked Kraunch Mountain with his Shakti as a result of which, the great mountain was fragmented into pieces. Mahishasura who was hiding in the cave of Kraunch Mountain was also crushed to death.

 

Later on, Kaartikeya felt very sorry for having killed his maternal cousin- Guh and after being advised by Lord Vishnu, he went to Prithudak Tirtha to atone for his sin.

1.17.8  Ritudhwaj Injures Paatalketu

King Ripujeet- a descendant of Raghu lived with his valiant and brave son named Ritudhwaj. Ritudhwaj being a virtuous prince thought it as his duty to protect all the sages and hermits. Under his protection, the sages performed their religious duties without any problem.

 

During Ripujeet’s reign, a great sage- Gaalav lived in his hermitage doing penance. A demon named Paatalketu used to torment him. Although Gaalav was capable of burning Paatalketu to death yet he hesitated to do so for the fear of losing his virtuosity. One day, sage Gaalav was contemplating on the means to get rid of Paatalketu’s terror tactics but was unable to find any solution and let out a deep sigh in frustration. He was amazed to see a horse falling from the sky. As he was looking towards the sky, he heard a heavenly voice- “This horse can travel thousands of Yojans in a single day. Give this horse to Ritudhwaj who will solve your problems.”

 

As per the instructions of that heavenly voice, Gaalav presented that horse to Ritudhwaj and engaged himself in penance. This horse was sent by a Gandharva king named Vishwavasu with a special purpose. Vishwavasu had a beautiful daughter named Madalasa. Infatuated by her beauty, the demon- Paatalketu had abducted her to Paatal loka. He wanted to marry her but Madalasa rejected his advances. Vishwavasu knew that only Ritudhwaj was capable of killing Paatalketu, so he presented that horse to sage Gaalav with the instruction that it should be given to Ritudhwaj.

 

Ritudhwaj went to Paatal loka on that horse and fought a fierce battle in which Paatalketu was seriously injured. Ritudhwaj released Madalasa from Paatalketu’s captivity and married her.

1.17.9  Lord Shiva does Penance

Lord Shiva was so deeply attached to Uma that for 1000 years, he was possessed by only her thoughts. He forgot about his duties and as a result, there was anarchy all over the world. His obsession with Uma had also decreased his radiance. He decided to do penance with the objective of regaining his radiance.

 

When Uma came to know about his decision, she was unhappy but Lord Shiva consoled her by relating the significance of his decision. Before leaving, he entrusted the responsibility of her security to Nandi. He started wandering in search of a suitable place for doing penance. Sometimes, he did penance under the tree, sometimes on the mountain peaks and sometimes on the banks of a river. Initially, he used to eat only kand and Moola but later on he stopped eating even that and lived only on air. This way, 900 years passed during which he travelled to all the three lokas.

 

Ultimately, he even stopped breathing. He inserted a small wooden block in his mouth to stop the air from entering his body. This act of Shiva resulted in the tremendous generation of energy inside his body as a result of which that wooden block blasted off through his skull and fell on the Himalaya Mountain with such force that the wooden block levelled numerous peaks of Himalaya Mountain to the ground. The famous place of pilgrimage- Kedarnath is situated at this very place.

 

After that, Lord Shiva did a severe penance by immersing his whole body in the waters of Saraswati river. He remained immersed in the water for one complete year and did not come out. All the seven worlds including the oceans and the mountains started shaking violently. The stars and the Nakshatras started falling down on the earth. Curious to know why this happened, the worried deities went to Lord Brahma. Even Lord Brahma could not satisfy their curiosity as he had no answer. All of them then went to Lord Vishnu but he too was not aware of the reason.

 

All the deities including Lord Vishnu then went to Mandaar Parvat to see Lord Shiva. But they were surprised to find out that neither Lord Shiva nor Uma were present there. Lord Vishnu was aware of Lord Shiva’s penance in the Saraswati river. Due to the sin of causing Mridani’s foetus to abort, the deities could not know the fact behind this strange event.

 

The deities then performed the most austere Taptakrichcha Vrata to atone for their sin. Lord Vishnu then gave them a glimpse of Shiva Linga, which manifested in his heart. All the deities again worshipped that Shiva Linga and made offerings. Lord Vishnu then took them to Kurukshetra where Lord Shiva was doing his penance in the waters of Saraswati. The deities eulogised Lord Shiva by saying “STHANAVE NAMAH” and Indra requested him to stop doing his penance as the whole world was in turbulence. Lord Shiva accepted their request with a smile and discontinued with his penance.

 

Even after Lord Shiva had stopped doing his penance, the earth continued to shake violently. Surprised, he started wandering here and there to know the truth behind this turbulence. He found sage Shukracharya doing penance on the bank of river Oghavati with the objective of learning the most secret Mritsanjeevani Vidya. Lord Shiva blessed him and his desire was fulfilled but the earth still continued to shake violently. Lord Shiva then proceeded towards Saptasaraswat where he found sage Mankanak was dancing in joy and his steps were causing the earth to shake. Sage Mankanak had acquired tremendous virtues due to his severe penance and as a result instead of blood, vegetative juice secreted from his wound. He had become arrogant and thought that it happened only because of his penance. Lord Shiva then subdued his arrogance by causing wound on his finger from which ashes poured out. Sage Mankanak was ashamed of himself and stopped dancing, and the earth became calm once again.

1.17.10               Lord Vishnu Kills Mura

Mura was the Aurasputra of sage Kashyap and Danu. When he saw the demons being vanquished by the deities, he went to do penance with the objective of getting boons from Lord Brahma. When Lord Brahma appeared before him, he said- “O lord! Bless me with a boon, which enables me to kill anybody merely by the touch of my hand.” Lord Brahma blessed him and said- “So be it.”

 

Getting this boon made Mura very arrogant. He challenged the deities, Yakshas and Kinnars to fight him but nobody accepted his challenge as they were scared of his power. He then entered Amravati- Indra’s capital and challenged Indra for a duel. Indra became terrified and abandoned his abode- heaven. Now, Mura became the lord of heaven and very soon, he invited the other demons to join him in heaven.

 

Once, Mura challenged a king named Raghu who was proficient in rituals for a duel. At that time, Raghu was busy performing his Yagya. He admonished Mura by saying- “What is the great deal in fighting with the mortals? If you are really that brave then you should defeat Yamaraj.” The arrogant Mura then went to Yama loka and challenged Yama. Yama was aware of Lord Brahma’s boon given to Mura. So, he went to take Lord Vishnu’s help. Lord Vishnu advised him to send Mura to Vishnu loka by any means.

1.18    Description of Hells

Lord Brahma, on being enquired by Sanat Kumar on the different hells said- “Those who have illicit relationship or are in the company of sinners go to the first hell. Felling of trees and stealing the fruits of others’ tree lead to the second hell. People who kill creatures unworthy of killing and those who quarrel over property dispute go to third hell. Terrorising the living creatures and deviating from one’s own religion lead to the fourth hell. Behaving deceitfully with friends and taking false oath lead to the fifth hell. Keeping somebody in captivity and causing hurdles in the path of others would lead to the sixth hell. Stealing of royal property or copulating with the queen leads to the seventh hell. Greed and misuse of hard earned money lead to the eighth hell. Stealing of Brahmin’s property and condemning others lead to the ninth hell. People who lack courtesy or who steal sacred texts go to the tenth hell.” Altogether, Lord Brahma described about 16 hells.

1.19    King Danda and Araja

This chapter contains 4 sections:

1.19.1  Andhakasura – The Demon

Narad asks sage Pulastya- “What did the demon Andhak do after entering Paatal loka and how was Lord Shiva’s life at Mandaar Mountain?” Pulastya says- “Andhak was infatuated by Girija’s divine beauty and his lust only became stronger as the days passed by. Although Prahlad tried very hard to convince him and narrated the tale of his birth, which happened only because of Lord Shiva’s blessing. Once Lord Shiva was engrossed in meditation when Uma playfully shut all his three eyes and the whole atmosphere was covered in darkness. An entity manifested from that darkness who was presented to Hiranyaaksh and who later on became famous as Andhak. Prahlad also told him that his lust for his own mother (Parvati) was licentious and most immoral.”

 

In order to dissuade Andhak from going ahead with his immoral intention, Prahlad narrated a story, which described the destruction of an immoral king named Danda. “Sage Shukracharya was the royal priest of King Danda, who performed all the religious rites. He had a daughter named Araja. Once Shukracharya had gone to meet the demon Vrishparva and stayed there for some days. King Danda went to Shukracharya’s hermitage to find out the reasons for his absence. He saw Araja and became enchanted by her beauty. He expressed his desires to Araja that he wanted her at any cost. Araja tried to dissuade him by saying that his immoral action would amount to committing treachery towards his Guru- Shukracharya. She also tried to scare him by citing about her father’s rage, which even the deities feared. King Danda then narrated this tale to force her to accept his proposal-

 

“Vishwakarma had a beautiful daughter- Chitrangada. Once, she had gone to take bath in the river with her companions. Suddenly, King Surath arrived there and being infatuated by her beauty became lovesick. Seeing his pitiable condition, Chitrangada offered herself to him despite her companions’ objection.”

 

After narrating this story, King Danda asked Araja to follow the example of Chitrangada. But she said- “You have narrated only half the story. I will tell you what happened after that.” She then told this story- “The immoral act of Chitrangada had angered her father and he cursed her that her married life would be unsuccessful. One day, King Surath was drowned by the powerful current of the Saraswati. Chitrangada fainted as she could not bear the sorrow of her husband’s separation. After regaining her consciousness, she looked all around but could not find her husband. Once again, she became unconscious and fell in the Saraswati river. The powerful currents of Saraswati drowned her and she was ultimately thrown in Gomti river. Gomti’s current abandoned her near a forest inhabited by ferocious lions.”

 

After narrating her story, Araja told King Danda that she would certainly not accept his proposal as she did not want to meet the same fate as that of Chitrangada. The king told her that the story was still incomplete and narrated the following tale-

 

“When Chitrangada regained her consciousness, she found herself in a dense forest. Seeing her in a sorrowful mood, Anjan- a Guhyak consoled her by saying that very soon, she would re-unite with her husband. He also advised her to go on a pilgrimage to Shrikanth. Chitrangada went to Shrikanth situated towards the south of river Kalindi. After taking a bath in Kalindi river, she visited the Shrikanth temple and worshipped Lord Maheshwar.

 

Meanwhile, a sage arrived there and seeing Chitrangada queried about her staying in a deserted place. Chitrangada narrated the whole story as to how she was cursed by her own father. The sage became extremely furious after hearing her woeful tale and cursed Vishwakarma to become a monkey. He also advised her to go to Saptagodaavar and engage in the worship of Lord Haatkeshwar where one day she would meet Devavati- the daughter of demon Kandarmaali. Chitrangada went to Saptagodaavar and engaged herself in the worship of Lord Haatkeshwar. The sage wrote the following lines on the walls of Shrikanth temple- “Is there anybody who could liberate this beautiful girl from her sorrow?”

 

After that, the sage proceeded on his pilgrimage to Pushkarnath.

1.19.2  Vishvakarma becomes a Monkey

Continuing with his story, King Danda says- “Chitrangada stayed for a long period at Saptagodaavar. She used to spend time by engaging in the worship of Lord Haatkeshwar waiting for the day she would meet her husband. Vishwakarma had become a monkey due to the curse of that sage and started living at Shaalveya Mountain.

 

One day, a demon named Kandarmaali arrived at the foothills of Shaalveya Mountain accompanied by his daughter- Vedavati. The monkey (Vishwakarma) held Vedavati by her hand. Kandarmaali became furious and took out his sword to kill the monkey. Sensing danger, the monkey ran away towards Himalaya Mountain carrying Vedavati in his lap. Kandarmaali chased him. On the way, the monkey abandoned Vedavati at the door of a secluded hermitage and hid himself in the waters of river Kalindi but was drowned. Kandarmaali had seen the monkey drowning and conjured that his daughter too might have drowned along with him. He returned to his abode in a remorseful mood.

 

The ferocious current of Kalindi river carried that monkey to a famous place called Shivi. After regaining his consciousness, he returned to the place where he had left Vedavati. After reaching that spot, he found Anjan accompanied by his daughter- Nandayanti treading along. He mistook Nandayanti for Vedavati and ran towards her. Sensing danger, Nandayanti jumped into the Hiranvati River and was carried by its ferocious current to Kaushal. When she regained her consciousness, Nandayanti found herself near a large Banyan tree. Sitting on the rock in a thoughtful mood, she heard a heavenly voice- ‘Is there anybody who could inform sage Ritdhwaj about his son’s captivity and who has been tied to this Banyan tree?’ Nandayanti was surprised to find a 5 year old child being tied to the topmost branch of the Banyan tree. On being enquired, the child told her- “My name is Jabaali. Sage Ritdhwaj is my father who has blessed me with 5000 years of childhood birth, 10,000 years of adolescence and 20 years of adulthood respectively. But he had also warned me of being held captive for the period of 500 years during my childhood. One day, I had gone to take bath in the Hiranvati River when suddenly, I came across a huge monkey who enslaved me. I am living here in captivity since then.”

 

After narrating his story, Jabaali enquired about Nandayanti’s identity. Nandayanti told everything, which had happened to her. Jabaali advised her to go to Shrikanth temple situated on the bank of river Yamuna and said- “There, you would meet my father Ritdhwaj who comes to the temple daily in the afternoon to worship Lord Shiva. You can seek his help.” Nandayanti went to Ritdhwaj’s hermitage as per the instruction of Jabaali. One day while she was worshipping in the Shrikanth temple, she saw those lines inscribed by the sage, who had once cursed her father- Vishwakarma. She added one more line to that inscription- “Sage Mudgal had prophesised that I would become a queen. Instead of becoming a queen, I am going through my most turbulent period. Is there anyone who could help me out?”

 

After that, she went to the bank of river Yamuna where she found a beautiful hermitage. She entered inside the hermitage and found Vedavati sitting there. Very soon, both of them became fast friends. In the meantime, sage Ritdhwaj had gone to offer prayers in the Shrikanth temple and saw those lines inscribed on its walls. He went into deep contemplation and understood what those lines meant. After worshipping, he left for Ayodhya where he met King Ikshvaaku. He requested Ikshvaaku to instruct his son- Shakuni to release Jabaali from the monkey’s captivity. Ikshvaaku instructed his son to fulfil sage Ritdhwaj’s desire. All three of them including Ikshvaaku went to the site of Jabaali’s captivity. Shakuni being a master archer, cut all the creepers that had grown around Jabaali. Sage Ritdhwaj climbed up the tree and found that Jabaali was tied to the branch. He tried to open the knot but was unsuccessful and called Shakuni for help. Shakuni tried hard to open the knot but even he was unsuccessful. He then cut that branch into three pieces by unleashing a volley of arrows. Thus Jabaali became free albeit partially as he was burdened with the three pieces of that branch.

1.19.3  Search for Chitrangada and Vedavati

In the meantime, both daughters of Yaksha and the demon arrived at Shrikanth Mahadev temple and engaged themselves in the worship of lord Mahadev. One day, sage Gaalav arrived at the temple and was astonished to find two young ladies at such a deserted place. While taking bath, he heard the melodious songs of the two ladies. He became convinced of their divinity as it was impossible for mortals to sing with such expertise.

 

After the worship, sage Gaalav asked them their identity who then narrated the whole story. The next morning, as Gaalav was about to leave, both of them requested him to take them along. All three of them then left for Pushkar Tirtha. After reaching their destination, sage Gaalav decided to take a dip in the holy river. While taking bath, he saw many female fish trying to coax their male counterparts into making love by saying-”If sage Gaalav is not afraid of being in the company of young women then what makes you so scared in copulating with us?” The male fish replied that he was afraid of getting ridiculed by the public. Sage Gaalav was so ashamed of his conduct that he did not come out of the river.

 

Both ladies waited anxiously for sage Gaalav. Suddenly, Chitrangada arrived and was surprised to see strangers standing there. All three of them were looking at each other with surprised expressions on their face when Vedavati arrived there suddenly. She went near Chitrangada and enquired about her identity. Chitrangada narrated the whole story and revealed how circumstances had forced her to reach this place. In a very short time, all four of them became well acquainted with one another. They went to Haatkeshwar temple situated on the banks of Saptagodaavar River and worshipped Lord Haatkeshwar. They started living in the temple premises and spent their time in the daily worship of Lord Haatkeshwar.

 

On the other side, Shakuni, Jabaali and Ritdhwaj were anxiously searching them. During the search, Jabaali went to Shaakal Janpad accompanied by his father- Ritdhwaj. At that time, Shaakal Janpad was ruled by Indradyumna- the son of Manu. After meeting him, Ritdhwaj sought his help in finding his lost daughter- Nandayanti. Indradyumna told him- “O Brahmin! Even I have lost my daughter and don’t know where she is at present. So, all three of us must go in search of our respective daughters.” After saying this, all three of them decided to proceed ahead in search of their daughter.

 

When they reached Badrikashrama, they were amazed to find a young man engaged in austere penance. After formal introduction, it dawned on Indradyumna that the young sage was his own nephew- Surath. Indradyumna requested his nephew to join him in searching his daughter. Ritdhwaj told Surath- “The girl for whom you are doing such austere penance had been taken by me to Saptagodaavar. Come with me and I will help you to re-unite with her.” All of them then left for Saptagodaavar.

 

In the meantime, as Ghritaachi- Devavati’s mother arrived at Udaygiri Mountain to where she came across a monkey and enquired if he had seen her daughter. The monkey told the frail looking Ghritaachi that he had taken a young woman named Devavati to a hermitage near Shrikanth temple. Ghritaachi revealed to the monkey that the girl whom he was referring as Devavati was actually her daughter Vedavati. She requested the monkey to help her in locating her lost daughter. Ghritaachi proceeded towards river Kaushiki in search of Vedavati followed by the monkey. After reaching there, Ghritaachi took a holy dip in the waters of Kaushiki.

 

In the meantime, Jabaali and Ritdhwaj too had reached the banks of river Kaushiki. When Jabaali saw that monkey, he told his father Ritdhwaj by pointing his finger towards that monkey- “This is the same monkey who had enslaved me and tied me up with creepers.” Shakuni, the master archer became furious and sought Ritdhwaj’s permission to kill that monkey. Ritdhwaj pacified him by saying- “Bondage is because of your past Karmas, so it is useless to kill this poor monkey.”

 

He then requested the monkey to free his son- Jabaali from the weight of the three branches, which were still tied to his body. The monkey opened the knots and Jabaali was now absolutely free. Ritdhwaj was pleased and wanting to bless the monkey, said- “You can demand anything from me. I am willing to fulfil any of your wishes.” The monkey replied by saying- “O great sage! Didn’t you recognise this unfortunate monkey? I am Chitranagada’s father whom you had cursed to become a monkey. Bless me that I become liberated from all my sins.” Ritdhwaj blessed the monkey and said- “You would be liberated from all your sins, the day you procreate a child from Ghritaachi. You would also regain your human body on that day.” The monkey became pleased after receiving the blessings.

 

In course of time, Ghritaachi became aware of the monkey’s real identity and developed physical intimacy with it. At first, both of them stayed at Kolaahal Mountain but later on, they shifted to Vindhya Mountain.

 

Meanwhile the group of five people- Ritdhwaj, Jabaali, Shakuni, Indradyumna and Surath reached Saptagodaavar Tirtha. All of them got down from the chariot and took bath in the holy river. The thirsty horses quenched their thirst and satisfied their hunger by grazing on the green grass. After satisfying their hunger, the horses galloped towards Haatkeshwar temple. When Chitrangada, and her companions heard the galloping sound, they climbed on top of the temple and looked all around. Chitrangada saw Ritdhwaj and his companions taking bath and immediately recognised him. Her companion- Nandayanti too recognised Jabaali. They were extremely pleased and climbed down from the rooftop of the temple. They worshipped and eulogised Lord Haatkeshwar to express their gratitude.

 

After sometime, Ritdhwaj and his friends arrived at the temple to worship Lord Haatkeshwar. He recognised Chitrangada and was pleased to meet her. In the meantime, Ghritaachi and the monkey also arrived there. Ghritaachi was pleased to meet her daughter- Vedavati and embraced her. Ritdhwaj instructed the monkey to summon Guhyak from the Anjan Mountain, Kandarmaali from the Paatal loka and the Gandharva King Parjanya from heaven respectively.

 

Guhyak, Kandarmaali and Parjanya arrived at the Haatkeshwar temple and all three of them were pleased to meet their respective daughters. Chitrangada accusing herself for her father’s turning into a monkey, tried to give up her life. But Ritdhwaj consoled her by saying that her father would regain his human body very soon. Ghritaachi too approved his statement and said- “After ten months, I would give birth to a son and on that same day, your father would be liberated from sage Gaalav’s curse and regain his human body.”

 

After ten months, Ghritaachi gave birth to a son who later on became famous as Nala. Vishwakarma became liberated from the curse and regained his human body. Chitrangada was delighted to meet her father. A grand marriage ceremony was organised at Saptagodaavar, which was witnessed by the deities, the Gandharvas and the demons. In this marriage ceremony, sage Gaalav performed the rituals after which, Jabaali was married to Kandamaali’s daughter, Indradyumna to Vedavati, Shakuni to the Yaksha’s daughter and Surath was married to Chitrangada. After the marriage ceremony, everybody returned to their respective places.

 

After completing this story, King Danda once again requested Araja to accept his proposal. But she was not convinced and said- “Say whatever you like but I will never surrender to your evil intentions.”

1.19.4  Sage Shukracharya Curses Danda

Prahlad says- “Blinded by lust, Danda forcibly breached the modesty of unrelenting Araja and returned to his palace. Araja was saddened by the inability to protect her chastity and started wailing.

 

When Shukracharya returned to his hermitage, he found Araja lying down at the entrance. He asked her about what transpired with her. Araja narrated the whole story, which made Shukracharya extremely furious and his eyes were reddened due to his anger. He thundered- “The wicked Danda would become a pauper after losing his wealth and kingdom within a week.” After cursing Danda, he instructed his daughter Araja to do penance so that she could become liberated from her sin and himself went to Paatal loka accompanied by his disciples. Shukracharya’s curse came true and as a result, Danda lost his whole kingdom within a week.

 

After narrating this story, Prahlad told Andhak- “On account of the immoral deeds of King Danda, the deities abandoned Dandakaarnya and it was now inhabited by the demons. Now it must be clear to you that a person who breaches a chaste woman’s modesty against her will is doomed to destruction. Andhak, you must not go ahead with your evil intention of marrying Parvati because she is Lord Shiva’s consort whose might is unmatched.”

 

Andhak replied angrily- “I have driven out the deities from heaven. Why should I get scared of Shiva who is fascinated by his wife’s beauty?” Prahlad tried his best to convince Andhak against going ahead with his evil plan but it had no effect on him. Andhak ordered his lieutenant Shambar to go to Mandaar Mountain and inform Lord Shiva that Parvati should be given to him (Andhak) if he (Lord Shiva) wanted to remain alive. Shambar went to Mandaar Mountain with narrated Andhak’s desire to Lord Shiva. Hearing this, Goddess Parvati who was sitting besides Lord Shiva told Shambar that she would agree to marry Andhak on the condition that he defeats Lord Shiva in a battle. Shambar returned and narrated everything to Andhak. Now, Andhak’s anger crossed all limits and he ordered Duryodhan to prepare for the war. Andhak’s huge army was instructed to assemble. The whole atmosphere reverberated with the sound of bugles and war cries. Andhak proceeded towards Mandaar Mountain with a huge army, which consisted of mighty warriors like Jambh, Kujambh, Shambar, Virochan, Duryodhan and Vrishparva. Destiny led Andhak towards his own death trap.

1.20    Lord Shiva Prepares for the Battle

This chapter contains 7 sections:

1.20.1  Ganas Throng Mandar Mountain

Pulastya says- “When Lord Shiva became aware of Andhak’s imminent attack, he requested Nandi to summon all the Ganas who were more than 700 crores in number. Some of the prominent Ganas like Pashupat, Kaalmukh, Mahavrati, Digambar, Maini, Mahapashupat and Vrishabhdhwaj arrived at Mandaar Mountain to help Lord Shiva at the request of Nandi.

 

On seeing the valiant Gana- Pashupat, Lord Shiva embraced him, which surprised all the other Ganas. They were amazed at the special honour given to him. Lord Shiva realised their astonishment and said- “Although all of you have great devotion towards me but in your ignorance, you have shown disrespect towards Lord Vishnu. All of you except Pashupat don’t realise that both of us (Lord Shiva and Vishnu) are inseparable and there is no difference between us. Pashupat is aware of this and hence he has been accorded the highest honour.” Having said this, Lord Shiva revealed his majestic form of Sadashiva to the Ganas. The Ganas were bewildered on seeing the whole universe existing within Sadashiva. Lord Sadashiva then transformed his appearance into that of Lord Vishnu. The Ganas also viewed the forms of deities like Indra, Surya and Lord Brahma etc. in him. They were now convinced that both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu were the same. The dawning of this realisation liberated them from their ignorance. Lord Shiva blessed the Ganas and embraced them. All the Ganas then took their position all around Mandaar Mountain and readied themselves for the forthcoming attack.

1.20.2  The Battle Commences

Pulastya says- “When the Ganas saw Andhak’s army approaching the Mandaar Mountain, they made a loud roar, which reverberated through the land and sky. Hearing this roar, Lord Ganesha became apprehensive and went to Mandaar Mountain to ask Lord Shiva about the origin of that tremendous roar. Lord Shiva told him- “I am going to fight a battle with Andhak.” Lord Ganesha also expressed his willingness to accompany him. Lord Shiva then entrusted the job of Parvati’s security to prominent Matrikas like Maalini, Jaya, Vijaya, Aparajita and Jayanti. He then went to fight Andhak holding his weapon- trident in his hand and mounted on a bull. The Ganas made a protective ring and surrounded him from all sides.

 

In a very short time, both armies confronted each other and a tremendous battle began in which the Ganas crushed many demons to death. The demons retaliated by attacking them with mace and swords. All the deities assembled in the sky to witness this battle. Mahapashupat attacked the demons with such force that it caused great losses to the enemy. On seeing death and destruction caused in the demon’s camp, Tuhunda- the mighty demon attacked the Ganas with his most destructive weapon- Paridhi, which scared the Ganas and they fled. Then Lord Ganesha came forward to fight Tuhunda. Tuhunda assaulted him with his weapon- Paridhi but it fragmented into hundreds of pieces after dashing against Ganesha’s belly. On seeing the destruction of his maternal uncle’s most destructive weapon, Rahu came running towards Lord Ganesha and held him tightly. Lord Ganesha, Ghatodar and Sukeshi assaulted him simultaneously with their respective weapons. Writhing in pain, Rahu immediately released Ganesha. Seeing the time opportune, Lord Ganesha severed Tuhunda’s head with his axe. After killing Tuhunda, Lord Ganesha attacked the demons but the attack was repulsed by the mighty Bali. In this battle, the Ganas were finally able to annihilate the demons. Shambar protected himself by taking Shukracharya’s refuge and all the surviving demons including Andhak followed suit.

1.20.3  Shukracharya Uses Sanjeevani Vidya

Andhak went to Shukracharya and narrated the woeful tale of demons’ defeat. He also requested Shukracharya to help the demons win the battle. Shukracharya was dejected but he assured the demons that he would make alive, all the dead demons with the help of Sanjeevani Vidya and really all the mighty demons like Jambh, Kujambh etc. became alive once again.

 

When Nandi came to know about this unbelievable incident, he went to Lord Shiva and informed him. Lord Shiva instructed him to bring Shukracharya by any means. “I shall control him by my Yogic power”, said Lord Shiva. Nandi infiltrated into the demon’s army but Hayakandhar spotted him and tried to resist his forward march. Nandi attacked Hayakandhar with his Vajra as a result of which, he fell down unconscious. After this, Kujambh, Jambh and some other demons ran menacingly towards Nandi. They surrounded him from all sides and started assaulting him ruthlessly. On seeing Nandi in danger, Lord Brahma became very worried and instructed the deities to help him.

 

Indra and all the other deities joined Lord Shiva’s army and fought bravely against the demons. The sudden entry of the deities in the battlefield had distracted the attention of the demons and as a result, Nandi got an opportunity to penetrate through the rank and files of demons army. Ultimately, he successfully accomplished his mission and brought Shukracharya to Lord Shiva after abducting him. Lord Shiva wasted no time and swallowed Shukracharya immediately. The next moment, Shukracharya found himself in Lord Shiva’s stomach. Shukracharya made frantic efforts to come out of the stomach but was unsuccessful. Being helpless, he started eulogising Lord Shiva. After becoming pleased by Shukracharya’s extreme devotion, Lord Shiva expressed his desire to bless him with a boon. Shukracharya requested Lord Shiva to give him a way so that he can come out from his stomach. Lord Shiva agreed and asked him to come out immediately. Shukracharya started searching for an exit point but was amazed by the vastness of Shiva’s stomach in which he saw the existence of the whole universe. He made ceaseless effort for one divine year but was unsuccessful in his attempts to come out from Shiva’s stomach. At last, he surrendered to the will of Lord Shiva.

 

Lord Shiva told Shukracharya- “By entering into my stomach, you have become my son. Now, if you want to become free then you should come out through the pore of my Linga.” After saying this, Lord Shiva liberated Shukracharya through his Linga who after being released made salutations to him and joined the demons’ army once again. The demons were extremely pleased at his arrival. Once again, a fierce battle took place, which continued for eight divine years. When the demons realised about the deities’ supremacy in the battle, they started employing illusionary tactics and swallowed all the Ganas and the deities. The scene of the battlefield, Mandaar Mountain became devoid of Ganas and the deities, which made Lord Shiva extremely furious. His extreme anger resulted into the manifestation of Jrimbhayika- a ferocious entity. The mere touch of Jrimbhayika made the demons to yawn. All the deities and the Ganas came out from the opened mouths of the demons. Once again, the battle commenced, which continued for 700 years.

 

When Andhak realised that Lord Shiva was invincible then he decided to acquire Parvati by deceitful means. He sought the help of one of his most trusted commander- Sunda by saying- “O brave Sunda! You are like my brother. I need your help. The battle has continued for such a long period but has still remained indecisive. I have decided to approach Parvati in the guise of her husband- Shiva and I want you to disguise yourself as Nandi.” Sunda agreed to disguise himself in the form of Nandi to help his master.

 

Andhak went to Mandaar Mountain in the guise of Lord Shiva mounted on Sunda’s back who had disguised himself as Nandi. When Parvati saw the injury marks on Shiva’s (Andhak’s) body, she told her companions- “Look, how grievously the demons have injured my husband! Please bring the medicinal herbs quickly so that I can dress his wounds.” Her companions rushed to bring the medicinal herbs and in the meantime, Parvati started observing the wounds of Shiva (Andhak) minutely. She was surprised to see the absence of both the shoulders on his body. She immediately realised that somebody else had come in the guise of her husband- Shiva. Sensing danger, she ran away to protect herself. Her companions ran behind her and Andhak chased all of them. Parvati and her companions hid behind bushes. Being unable to locate Parvati, Andhak returned to the battlefield and the battle continued.

 

The deities were fighting valiantly. Lord Vishnu created havoc among the enemy ranks and Lord Brahma sprinkled holy water from his kamandalu, which had increased the strength and power of the deities. Indra attacked the demon- Bala on his head with his Vajra but it was broken into pieces. On seeing the destruction of his weapon, Indra became scared and wanted to flee from the battlefield. Jambh, the demon made fun of him and challenged him for a duel. Indra then requested Lord Vishnu to provide him with a weapon so that he could fight Jambh but Lord Vishnu sent him to Agni. Agni made a replica of his weapon- Shakti and gave it to Indra. Holding his new weapon, Indra then proceeded on his way to fight Jambh mounted on his elephant- Airavat. Jambh assaulted Airavat with such force that Indra started falling down towards the ground.

 

When the Siddhas and Charanas saw Indra falling down, they provided a magnificent chariot to him so that he could fight with the demons. Meanwhile Indra dashed against the ground with a great thud as a result of which, the earth shook violently.

 

Sage Shamik’s wife thought that the earth was shaking violently due to the impact of earthquake. She requested her husband to carry their son outside the hermitage so that he remains unharmed and said- “The astrologers say that whatever is kept outside home during an earthquake becomes stable.” Sage Shamik was very surprised but still followed her instructions. After the shaking of the earth had subsided, Shamik’s wife requested him to bring back the child. Sage Shamik went outside and was surprised to find two children instead of one. He came back carrying both the children in his lap and asked his wife as to what made the second child to manifest. She told him that the second child will become the charioteer of Indra and assist him in the battle. This second child was none other than Maatali who acted as the charioteer of Indra during the battle.

 

Now, Indra had both the chariot and the charioteer in his possession. He went to the battlefield mounted on his new chariot. On the way, he saw a multicoloured bow and arrows lying on the ground. He picked up the weapons and fought valiantly with the demons. He killed many mighty demon warriors. Jambh and Kujambh ran menacingly towards him but Lord Vishnu severed the head of Kujambh with his Sudarshan chakra. Jambh assaulted Indra with his mace but Indra retaliated by attacking with his Shakti as a result of which Jambh was killed. The rest of the demons fled from the battlefield.

1.20.4  Lord Shiva Kills Andhak

Inspite of death and destruction caused to his army, Andhak still wanted to continue fighting against Lord Shiva’s army. He even dismissed the advises of Shukracharya who wanted a momentary retreat and rebuffed him by saying- “All the deities including Maheshwar and Indra cannot save themselves from my wrath. Very soon, I am going to vanquish them.” He then instructed his charioteer to move the chariot towards enemy’s position. He shot a volley of arrows, which entirely covered the deities. Lord Vishnu advised the deities to kill Andhak along with his charioteer and destroy the chariot so that Lord Shiva could kill Andhak without any difficulty.

 

All the deities then attacked the demons with renewed vigour. Lord Vishnu killed thousands of enemy’s horses with his mace. Skand killed the charioteer and Vinayak accompanied by the Ganas destroyed Andhak’s chariot. After being bereft of his chariot, Andhak attacked the deities with his mace. Seeing the deities in danger, Lord Shiva concealed them within his body and challenged Andhak for a duel. Andhak tried to attack Lord Shiva who was mounted on Nandi. Lord Shiva immediately jumped down from Nandi’s back and attacked Andhak with his trident, which pierced his chest. Even after being seriously injured, Andhak did not die instead he pulled Lord Shiva for one mile holding him tightly in his clutch. Lord Shiva tried to resist by attacking for the second time. But Andhak retaliated by hitting Shiva with his mace causing serious injury on his head. A stream of blood oozed out from the wound, which poured down towards all the four directions. The blood stream which poured down towards east resulted into the manifestation of Bhairav named Kaalraj. Similarly, Kamaraj, Chakramala, Somaraj, Swachcharaj, Lalitraj and Vighnaraj manifested from the other three directions.

 

Lord Shiva then lifted Andhak above his head with the help of his trident, which was still pierced in Andhak’s chest. His body had become red due to the blood oozing out from Andhak’s wound. Lord Shiva had toiled hard to kill Andhak and as a result, he was perspiring profusely. The sweat drops originating from Shiva’s forehead resulted into the manifestation of a divine girl while the sweat drops that fell on the ground from Shiva’s face resulted into the manifestation of a divine boy. Both the children started gulping down the blood emanating from Andhak’s wound. Lord Shiva named the girl child as Charchika while the boy child was named Mangal and blessed both of them. Lord Shiva held Andhak above his head for 1000 divine years, which reduced his body to a skeleton.

 

At last, Andhak realised his mistake and begged for forgiveness. He eulogised Lord Shiva and hailed his greatness. Lord Shiva told him that he would forgive him only when he accepts Parvati as his mother. Andhak agreed not only to accept Parvati as his mother but also Shiva as his father. Shiva became pleased and lowered down his trident. He healed Andhak’s wound by his divine touch. The deities became pleased at Andhak’s change of heart and blessed him. Lord Shiva then took Andhak to Mandaar Mountain.

 

Parvati was still hiding behind the bushes. When she saw Lord Shiva approaching, she recognised him and called her companions to come out from their hiding. Lord Shiva gleefully told Parvati that Andhak had now become her slave. “Look at him. He is making salutations to you. Accept him as your son. Andhak then eulogised Parvati with complete devotion. Parvati became pleased and expressed her desire to bless him with a boon. Andhak said- “I don’t want anything. I just want to become liberated from all my sins and remain in the proximity of Lord Shiva.” Parvati blessed him and made him the Gana of Shiva who became famous as Bhringi.

1.20.5  The Origin of Marut Ganas

Narad asked Pulastya about the battle which Indra fought with the demon at Malay Mountain. Pulastya replied- “Andhak’s followers- Maya and Taar tried to enter Pataal loka after being defeated by the deities. While they were passing close to the Malay Mountain, they decided to live there being enchanted by its natural beauty. The caves of Malay Mountain were inhabited by sages who were Lord Shiva’s devotees. The demons started causing obstacles in the rituals performed by the sages. When Lord Shiva came to know about this, he instructed Indra to go to Malay Mountain and help the sages. Indra went to Malay Mountain and successfully drove out the demons from there.

 

Narad again asked Pulastya as to why Indra was also known as Gotrabhit. Pulastya narrated the following tale- “After her son’s death, Diti requested her husband, Kashyap to bless her with another son so that Indra could be killed. Sage Kashyap advised her that she would get her desire fulfilled after the successful accomplishment of her penance lasting for 100 divine years. In course of time, Diti became pregnant. One day, sage Kashyap left for Udaygiri Mountain to do his penance and Diti was left all alone.

 

One day, Indra arrived at the hermitage and expressed his desire to be at Diti’s service if she permitted. Diti gave permission and Indra engaged himself in serving her. He used to keep the oblation site clean and bring dry wood necessary for the performance of Yagya. This continued for 1000 divine years. One day, Diti was taking rest after her bath. She had postponed her penance for sometime because of her impurity. As she was tired, very soon, she fell asleep. Seeing the moment opportune, Indra entered into her womb through her nostrils and cut the foetus into seven parts. After waking up, Diti realised about her foetus’ destruction. Indra was very scared on the prospect of being cursed by Diti and said- “I am not the cause of your foetus’ destruction. It has been destroyed due to your own impurity. So please don’t curse me.” Diti replied- “You are certainly not responsible for my foetus’ destruction. It was all in my destiny. From the pieces of the foetus manifested the Marut Ganas and since Indra had tried to harm his own uterine brothers therefore he became famous as Gotrabhit.

1.20.6  Marut Ganas of Different Manvataras

Sage Pulastya says- “O Narad! Now, I am going to describe about the origin of Marut Ganas of various Manvantaras. Savan was Swayambhu Manu’s son. He had no sons and when he died, the sorrowful queen- Sudeva heard a heavenly voice, which instructed her to give up her life by jumping into the burning pyre.” “You would become a proud mother of seven sons”, said the heavenly voice. The queen acted accordingly and died after jumping into the burning pyre.”

 

“The souls of the dead king and queen ascended towards the sky. The prophesies made by the heavenly voice came true and Sudeva found herself in her periods. The king enjoyed a physical relationship with the queen for five days. Incidentally, few drops of sperms fell towards earth. After this both the souls departed towards Brahma loka. These falling drops of sperms were gathered by the wives of some sages and stored in a lotus flower. Those women were Samana, Nalini, Vayushmati, Chitra, Vishakha, Harita and Alini. They mistook the sperms for ambrosia and drank it after getting permission from their husbands. But after drinking it, they became devoid of their effulgence and were abandoned by their respective husbands. In course of time, they gave birth to seven sons who became famous as Aadya Maruts during Swayambhu Manvantara.”

 

After having described about the Marut Ganas, sage Pulastya went on to describe about Swarochish Manvantara- “Kratudhwaj was the son of Swarochish Manu. He had seven sons. All of them went to Meru Mountain to do penance as they were desirous of Indra’s kingdom. Indra being scared instructed Putna to create hurdles in their penance so that Kratudhwaj’s sons wishes remained unfulfilled.”

 

“Putna went to the place where Kratudhwaj’s sons were doing penance. There was a river nearby where Kratudhwaj’s sons arrived one day to bathe. Acting according to her plan, Putna too entered into the river to take bath. Kratudhwaj’s sons were infatuated by her divine beauty. They could not control themselves and as a result, they had an ejaculation. Putna was successful in accomplishing her mission of corrupting the thoughts of Kratudhwaj’s sons, who after realising that their penance had gone in vain returned to their father’s kingdom. The released sperms of Kratudhwaj’s sons was swallowed by a fish named Shankhini. One day, she was caught by a fisherman and presented to Kratudhwaj’s sons, who again released her into a nearby pond. In course of time, Shankhini died after giving birth to seven young fish. The seven young fish started crying at their mother’s death. Lord Brahma appeared and advised them not to cry and for this reason, they were called Marut. Lord Brahma blessed them by saying- “All of you would attain the status of deities and would be capable of flying in the air.” After finishing his story, sage Pulastya told Narad that this was how Marut Ganas originated during Swarochish Manvantara.

 

Sage Pulastya says- “Now, I am going to describe about the Marut Ganas of Uttam Manvantara. Jyotishmaan was the son of Vayushmaan and his wife was the daughter of sage Vrihaspati. As they were sonless, both of them decided to do penance to beget a son. The Saptarishis arrived there and enquired as to why they were doing such a severe penance. Jyotishmaan’s wife told the Saptarishis that they were desirous of a son. The Saptarishis blessed her by saying that she would become a mother of seven sons. In course of time, Jyotishmaan’s wife became pregnant. One fateful day, Jyotishmaan passed away. His sorrowful wife wanted to commit Sati. While he was sitting on the burning pyre, suddenly, a piece of burning flesh fell into the nearby river and got fragmented into seven pieces. Seven Marut Ganas manifested from these seven pieces of flesh.”

 

Sage Pulastya says- “During Taamas Manvantara, Ritdhwaj, the son of Taamas Manu did a severe penance with the desire of getting a son. He made offerings of his own flesh, blood and sperms to the oblation fire. Suddenly, he heard a heavenly voice instructing him not to make offerings of his sperms. But the king continued with his offering and as a result, he died. After sometime, seven infants manifested from the oblation fire who later on became famous as the Marut Ganas of Taamas Manvantara.”

 

King Ripujeet was the descendant of Raivat. He was sonless and after being pleased by his extreme devotion, the deity- Sun had blessed him with a daughter named Surati. In course of time, she grew into a beautiful woman. One day, Ripujeet passed away and a grieved Surati decided to give up her life. The Saptarishis arrived there and they were so infatuated by her beauty that they tried to prevent her from doing so. But unrelenting Surati did not listen and gave up her life by jumping into the burning pyre. The sorrowful Saptarishis went away after casting lusty glances on her. Seven infants manifested from the burning pyre, who became famous as Marut Ganas of Raivat Manvantara.

 

During Chaakshush Manvantara, a sage named Manki did a tremendous penance at the banks of Saptasaraswat. But he fell down from grace after being infatuated by the beauty of an Apsara named Vapu. His sperms ejaculated and fell into the Saptasaraswat river from which manifested the seven Marut Ganas.

1.20.7  Lord Vishnu Kills Kaalnemi

After hearing the news of Bali’s coronation, Maya and some other demons went and advised Bali to avenge the killings of his father- Virochan and other relatives by Indra. Bali became furious and marched with a huge army to fight the deities.

 

When Indra heard this news, he started making preparations for the battle and very soon, the deities’ army assembled at the foothills of Udyachal Mountain. A fierce battle was fought between both the armies. The movement of the troops covered the whole sky with dust which subsided only after the tremendous bloodbath wetted the earth with blood. Kartikeya fought valiantly in this battle and killed many demons. The demons too retaliated by vigorously attacking the deities. Lord Vishnu created havoc in the demons’ army by killing many demons in a very short time.

 

When Kaalnemi- the demon saw that his comrades were scared of fighting Lord Vishnu, he attacked the deities with renewed vigour and swallowed many of the Yakshas, Kinnars and the deities. The deities became scared and started running away from the battlefield. The demons became delighted considering it as their victory and the defeat of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu became furious and covered the Udyachal Mountain with a volley of arrows named Naarach. Bali and Maya became terrified and instigated Kaalnemi to fight against Lord Vishnu.

 

Kaalnemi confronted Lord Vishnu with a mace but it was destroyed by Vishnu’s chakra. After destroying Kaalnemi’s weapon, Lord Vishnu first severed both his hands and then his head. The news of Kaalnemi’s death spread like a wildfire in the demons army and they fled from the battlefield.

1.21    King Bali

This chapter contains 2 sections:

1.21.1  Bali Rules Heaven

The mighty Banasura saw the demons running away from the battlefield and came to their rescue. The arrival of Banasura boosted the morale of the defeated demons and they returned to fight the deities. Lord Vishnu advised the deities to fight gallantly and disappeared from the battlefield. Shukracharya assured the demons of their victory because he thought that the deities would be no match for the demons might in the absence of Lord Vishnu.

 

Once again, a fierce battle commenced. Bali attacked the deities ferociously with his mace. Banasura devastated the deities’ army with his thousand hands. Ultimately, the deities were defeated in this battle and the heaven came under the control of demons. The defeated deities took refuge in Brahma loka after abandoning the heaven. Bali ruled the heaven with the help of his relatives.

 

One day, Bali called his father- Prahlad to heaven and requested him to become the ruler of heaven but Prahlad refused by saying- “As I have chosen the path of Yoga after relinquishing everything, it would not be proper for me to get attached to worldly matters once again. Since you have snatched heaven from the deities on account of your valiance, hence the heaven belongs to you.” Bali requested Prahlad to enlighten him on the duties of a king and on the virtuous deeds which would enable him in attaining Dharma, Arth, Kama and Moksha.

 

Prahlad advised Bali to rule in a just manner and for the benediction of the world. He also advised Bali to engage himself in the service of all the three castes so that they remain loyal to him. Prahlad said- “Virtuosity increases when people unwaveringly follow their Dharma. Increase in virtuosity helps a king to rule without any problem.”

 

Bali agreed to rule in a just manner as per the advice of Prahlad.

1.21.2  The Splendors of Bali

Pulastya says- “The just rule of Bali had transformed the Kaliyuga into Satayuga. Even his subjects engaged themselves in virtuous activities like penance and Yagyas. They practised non-violence and always spoke the truth. One day, Goddess Trailokya Lakshmi went to Bali and said- “I have come to bless you because you are a victorious king. You have even defeated Indra and have control over all the three worlds.” After saying this, Goddess Lakshmi entered into the body of Bali.

 

During the reign of Bali, his subjects were happy and prosperous. Nobody experienced the pangs of hunger and everybody’s desire was fulfilled. The prominence of virtuosity and religiousness during Bali’s rule was incomparable and prosperity prevailed throughout his kingdom.

1.22    Mythological Tales

This chapter contains 7 sections:

1.22.1  Dhundhu Performs Ashvamedhya Yagya

Pulastya says- “During his pilgrimage, Prahlad visited many sacred places like Manas Tirtha, Kaushiki, Devahnad and Hastinapur etc. At last he reached the bank of river Yamuna where he worshipped Lord Trivikram (Vaaman).” Narad was surprised at the mention of Vaaman’s name and asked Pulastya- “Lord Vishnu is still to take Vaaman incarnation then how come Prahlad visited his temple? Pulastya says-”Sage Kashyap had an Aurasputra named Dhundhu. Lord Brahma had blessed Dhundhu of immortality. In course of time, Dhundhu defeated the deities and drove them out from heaven as a result of which, they had to take refuge in Brahma loka.

 

When Dhundhu came to know that the deities were living in Brahma loka, he decided to attack Brahma loka. He consulted the demons but they told him that it was impossible for them to reach Brahma loka. Sage Shukracharya said- “Indra had accomplished 100 Ashwamedha Yagyas by the virtue of which, he could go to Brahma loka. If you are desirous of reaching Brahma loka then you too will have to perform Ashwamedha Yagya.” Dhundhu expressed his willingness to perform Ashwamedha Yagya.

 

Shukracharya started making preparations for Ashwamedha Yagya at the bank of river Devika. He appointed his disciples and some other sages belonging to Bhargava’s clan to supervise the Yagya ceremony. The Ashwamedha Yagya commenced and a horse was let loose according to the tradition.

 

When the deities came to know about this Ashwamedha Yagya being performed by Dhundhu, they were scared and requested Lord Vishnu to disrupt the Yagya so that Dhundhu could not reach Brahma loka. Lord Vishnu assured the deities and went to the site where Dhundhu was performing Ashwamedha Yagya in a dwarf appearance. He entered into the Devika River and started drowning according to his plan.

 

When the demons saw the dwarf (Lord Vishnu) drowning, they rushed to save him. After taking him out from the river, they asked him about his identity. The dwarf said- “I am the youngest son of Prabhas. My name is Gatibhaas and my elder brother is Netrabhaas. After our father’s death, my elder brother did not give me my due share in the property. When I insisted, he flung me into this river.”

 

The Brahmins who were performing the Yagya requested Dhundhu to donate wealth to Gatibhaas. Dhundhu agreed and said- “I am willing to fulfil all your wishes. Demand anything you like. Gatibhaas demanded a small piece of land measured by three steps. Lord Vishnu then revealed his giant appearance and covered the whole earth with his first step. His second step covered the heaven and there was no place left for his third step. Lord Vishnu became furious and put his third step on the back of Dhundhu as a result of which he was crushed to death. A large pit measuring 1000 Yojans was created due to the impact of his weight and Lord Vishnu threw Dhundhu’s dead body in that pit.”

 

After completing his story, Pulastya told Narad- “This is how Lord Vishnu became Trivikram for the first time to defeat the evil designs of Dhundhu. Prahlad paid a visit to the temple of Vaaman situated at the place where Dhundhu was killed.

1.22.2  Pururava Regains his Good Looks

Pulastya says- “After worshipping Lord Trivikram, Prahlad went to Lingabhedak Mountain and worshipped Lord Shankar. He also visited many more sacred places like Kedar Tirtha, Badrikashrama, Bhadrakarna and Vipaasha. At last, he reached Irawati and worshipped that Almighty Lord with whose blessings, Pururava was able to regain his good looks.” Narad was curious to know this story.

 

Pulastya says- “Once upon a time, there lived a rich trader named Sudharma. Once, while passing through the Surashtra desert, he was attacked by bandits and robbed of all his possessions. Dejected, he started wandering in the desert like a lunatic. He saw a Shami tree and decided to take rest under its shade. On this tree lived numerous ghosts. On seeing Sudharma, the leader of the ghosts asked him as to where he was going. Sudharma narrated his woeful tale which made the ghosts very sad. The leader of the ghosts said- You must not lose heart. If you are destined to possess wealth then you would become wealthy once again but worrying about your lost wealth will only have ill effects on your health and you would become weak. On being instructed by their leader, the ghosts offered food to the hungry Sudharma. After satiating his hunger, Sudharma asked the leader of the ghosts- Who are you? How could you provide me such a delicious dish in this deserted forest? The leader of the ghosts said- “In my previous birth, I was a Brahmin and my name was Somasharma. I was very poor but my neighbour Somashrava was a rich and prosperous trader. Being a poor Brahmin, I was not able to perform my religious duties. Once, people of all castes thronged Irawati and Nadvala to take a holy dip on the auspicious occasion of Shravan Dwadashi. I followed them and after taking my bath, performed all the necessary rituals. As I was poor, I could donate things of little importance like umbrella, shoes, sweets, curds etc. This was the first and the last time, I had donated anything in my life. After my death, I became a ghost. My companions also never donated anything in their previous life. The delicious food which you had relished just now was due to the virtue of food items donated in my previous life. This Shami tree is due to the virtue of donating umbrella.”

 

Somasharma was surprised and asked the leader of the ghosts whether he could be of any help to him to which the leader requested him to offer Pind Daan at Gaya so that he became liberated from Preta Yoni. Somasharma went to Gaya and performed the necessary rituals of Pind Daan as a result of which, the ghosts went to Brahma loka after being liberated.

 

Somasharma continued to observe the fast of Shravan Dwadashi every year. One fateful day, he passed away and was reborn in a royal family. After reaching youth age, he became the king of Shaakal Puri and indulged in enjoyments and sensual pleasures. After his death, he was born in a Brahmin family. Though ugly, he was well versed in all the scriptures. After a few years, he got married. His wife would make fun of his ugly looks which annoyed him. He went to Irawati and worshipped Lord Jagannath with full devotion. Lord Jagannath blessed him and his ugly looks turned into a handsome appearance. He enjoyed a very satisfied married life and after his death was reborn as King Pururava.

1.22.3  The Description of Nakshatra Purusha

Sage Narad asks Pulastya about the austerity named Nakshatra Purusha which King Pururava had accomplished to please Lord Vishnu. Pulastya says- “All the constellations dwell in different parts of Lord Vishnu’s body. The Mula Nakshatra dwells in his feet, Rohini Nakshatra in his thighs, Ashwini in his knees, Purvashadha and Uttarashadha in his chest etc. A devotee who worships Lord Vishnu- the possessor of all the constellations methodically and according to the rituals attains liberation. Worshipping Lord Vishnu’s different organs helps in attaining good health and a disease free life. Being pleased by this austerity, Lord Vishnu bestows radiance and sweet voice to the devotee. Arundhati had achieved great acclamation due to the successful accomplishment of this austerity. Aditya with a desire of a son had his wish fulfilled in the form of Revant, his famous son. The Apsaras- Rambha and Menaka had acquired unparalleled beauty and sweet voice respectively after successful accomplishment of this austerity. Similarly, Chandra had attained supreme radiance and Pururava regained his kingdom. This way, whoever performed this austerity, his desire was fulfilled.

1.22.4  Prahlad’s Pilgrimage

Pulastya says- “Prahlad went to the sacred place called Rishikanya and took a holy dip in the Irawati River. After that, he worshipped Lord Janardan in the temple situated nearby and then proceeded on his journey towards Kurukshetra. After reaching there, he worshipped Lord Kurudhwaj and paid a visit Lord Narsimha temple. After taking a holy dip in the river Devika, he proceeded on towards Gokarna Tirtha where he took bath in river Prachi and worshipped Lord Vishwakarma. Ultimately after visiting numerous sacred places, he reached Madhunandini where he worshipped Lord Shiva who had a chakra in his hands and Lord Vishnu possessing a trident.”

 

Narad was surprised and asked Pulastya why Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu had held Sudarshan chakra and trident respectively. Pulastya explained- “During ancient times, there was a mighty demon king named Jalodbhav. He had pleased Lord Brahma by his severe penance and was blessed by him to become immortal. After receiving the boon, Jalodbhav became arrogant and started tormenting the deities and the sages. The deities sought the refuge of Lord Vishnu. They accompanied Lord Vishnu to Himalaya Mountain to meet Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva exchanged their weapons. Both of them went to kill the demon who on seeing them got scared and hid in a nearby river. Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva waited eagerly for him on the opposite banks of the river.”

 

“After sometime, Jalodbhav came out of the river thinking that both of them must have departed by now. He climbed up the Himalaya Mountain and both the deities chased him. Lord Shiva attacked him with his chakra while Lord Vishnu pierced his trident in his chest. Jalodbhav died and fell down from the Himalaya Mountain.” After finishing his story, Pulastya says- “This was the reason why both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shankar had exchanged their weapons. The spot where Lord Shankar had kept his foot resulted into the manifestation of river Vitastaa. Prahlad after worshipping Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva at Madhunandini went to Bhrigutung Tirtha situated on the Himalaya Mountain.”

1.22.5  Tales of Upamanyu and Shridama

Sage Narad was still not satisfied by Pulastya’s explanation and asked Pulastya as to what compelled Lord Vishnu to give his chakra to Lord Shiva. Pulastya says- “There used to live a learned Brahmin named Veetmanyu. He was well versed in all the Vedas and other scriptures. His wife’s name was Atreyi and Upamanyu was his son. Inspite of his knowledge, Veetmanyu lived in absolute poverty and found it difficult to make arrangements for daily necessities. One day, young Upamanyu on being hungry started crying. His helpless mother consoled him by saying that if he worshipped Lord Shiva then he would even get nectar and would get liberated from the pangs of hunger for ever. Veetmanyu was surprised and asked as to who this Lord Virupaaksh was. Atreyi narrated the following story- During ancient times, there was a demon king named Shridama. He ruled over the whole earth. Once, he decided to snatch the Srivatsa- Lord Vishnu’s dearest ornament from him. When Lord Vishnu came to know about his intention, he became furious but since he had no weapon at his disposal he went to take Lord Shiva’s help in this regard. Lord Shiva gave Sudarshan chakra to him and said that with the help of that infallible weapon, he could kill anybody. But Lord Vishnu was not convinced about the weapon’s destructive power and expressed his desire to test it on Lord Shiva himself. Lord Shiva agreed and Vishnu released the Sudarshan chakra towards him. As a result, Lord Shiva’s body was severed into three parts- Vishvesh, Yagyesh and Yagyayajak. Now, Lord Vishnu became satisfied and made salutations to Lord Shiva to express his gratitude.”

 

“Lord Vishnu went to the mountain where the demon Shridama lived and severed his head with the Sudarshan chakra. After killing the demon, Lord Vishnu returned to his abode- Ksheersagar.” After finishing her story, Atreyi told Upamanyu that such was the greatness of Lord Virupaaksh. Upamanyu did a severe penance to please Lord Virupaaksh and was blessed by him as a result of which, he never felt hungry in his life.

1.22.6  Gajendra and the Crocodile

Sage Narad requests Pulastya to describe how Gajendra managed to release itself from the jaws of the crocodile. Pulastya says- “There lived a crocodile in a reservoir near Trikut Mountain. One day, a thirsty elephant arrived there to quench its thirst. The wicked crocodile caught hold of the elephant’s leg and dragged it towards the middle of the reservoir. The elephant tried its best to release itself from the crocodile’s jaws but was unsuccessful. Being helpless, it started remembering Lord Shri Hari as it was his great devotee. It picked up a lotus flower and chanted the following stotra- ‘Salutations to that Lord Vishnu who is the originator of this universe. Salutations to the omnipresent Lord Vishnu who is revered by the sages. I take the refuge of Lord Vishnu who is also known by the names of Vishveshvar, Shri Hari and Sanatan Purush.’ This way, the elephant eulogised Lord Vishnu with great devotion.

 

Pleased by his devotion, Lord Vishnu killed the wicked crocodile with his Sudarshan chakra and liberated the elephant. Actually, this crocodile was none other than Gandharva Huhu who had attained the form of a crocodile after being cursed by sage Deval. He was liberated from the curse and went to heaven. Lord Vishnu touched the elephant and it got transformed into a divine human being. This way, with the blessings of Lord Vishnu, both of them were liberated.

1.22.7  The Greatness of Sarasvat Stotra

Sage Pulastya says- “There lived a Kshatriya who kept enemity towards Brahmins. After his death, he was reborn as a demon and spent his life indulging in nefarious activities. Once he saw a hermit doing penance. He wanted to devour him but was unsuccessful in his attempt as the hermit had protected himself by chanting Vishnupanjar stotra. So, he waited for the hermit for four months to come out from his meditative trance. After the completion of his meditation, the hermit was surprised to see a weak and frail demon waiting for him. He asked the demon about his identity and the purpose for which he was waiting there. The demon told him that although he had come with the intention of devouring him, he was unsuccessful in his attempt as he (hermit) was well protected by Vishnupanjar stotra. “I am very impressed by your spiritual feats and I am desirous of learning the same from you. I have committed many sins in my life, so tell me how to become liberated from them”, asked the demon. But the hermit was not convinced and told the demon that he would never preach a demon. He advised the demon to take help of some other Brahmin. The demon went in search of another Brahmin. One day, he saw a Brahmin doing penance and caught hold of him. The Brahmin was frightened and requested the demon- “Wait until I return after giving this fruit to my teacher.” But the demon thought that the Brahmin was trying to escape hence he did not allow the Brahmin to leave. The worried Brahmin went near a burning fire and pleaded for help. Suddenly, Goddess Saraswati manifested herself and told the Brahmins- “Don’t be afraid. With my blessings, you would be able to narrate the means for the demon’s benediction.” After blessing the Brahmin, Goddess Saraswati disappeared.

 

The Brahmin narrated the Saraswat stotra to the demon- You must chant the following stotra thrice in a day- ‘I make salutations to Lord Hari who is also known as Krishna, Hrishikesh, Vasudev, Janardan and Jagannath. May he liberate me from my sins. I make salutations to Lord Vishnu who rests on Sheshnaag and who hails Shankchakra Gada and chakra in his hands, may he liberate me from my sins. Lord Vishnu who manifests himself in each individual soul just like the element of fire manifests itself in a piece of wood. May he liberate me from my sins.’

 

The Brahmin told the demon that the daily chanting of Saraswat Vishnu stotra would enable him to get liberated from his sins. The demon was pleased and after releasing the Brahmin went to a place called Shaalgraam. He engaged himself in severe penance and started chanting the stotra taught by the Brahmin. Ultimately, he was successful in becoming liberated from his sins and went to Vishnu loka.

1.23    Bali Performs Ashvamedhya Yagya

This chapter contains 6 sections:

1.23.1  Bali’s Arrival at Kurukshetra

Pulastya says- “After the departure of Prahlad on his pilgrimage, Bali desirous of performing a Yagya went to Kurukshetra. Shukracharya had invited the descendants of sage Bhargava to supervise the proceedings of Ashwamedha Yagya but his decision was not approved by the descendants of some other sages like Atri, Gautam, Kaushik and Angira. As a result, all of them left Kurukshetra.

 

After their departure, Shukracharya started making preparations for the Yagya and initiated both Bali and his wife- Vindhyavali into the rituals. After that, a horse was let loose according to the tradition. The demon Tarkaaksh followed that horse. The Ashwamedha Yagya continued for three months after which, Aditi gave birth to a child who was dwarfish in size at a time when the Sun had juts entered the zodiac of Gemini. All the deities and sages including Lord Brahma were extremely pleased by Lord Vaaman’s birth. They went to Aditi’s hermitage and eulogised Lord Vaaman. Lord Vaaman became pleased by their eulogy and requested Lord Brahma to help perform his consecrations. On being instructed by Lord Brahma, sage Bharadwaj performed Vaaman’s Jaat karma and Yagyopavit. After that, sage Bharadwaj taught him Vedas and other scriptures which was mastered by Vaaman in less than one month. After finishing his studies, Lord Vaaman sought his Guru’s permission to go to Kurukshetra. Sage Bharadwaj expressed his inability by saying- “How can a mortal like me give permission to the supreme lord? If you want to go to Kurukshetra then how can I stop you from going there? I have some queries regarding your various abodes and would you be gracious enough to enlighten me on that?”

 

Lord Vaaman said- “The whole universe including the sky, earth, ocean, mountains, clouds are pervaded by my existence. All the deities, sages, living and non-living things have manifested from me. When I took my first incarnation of Matsya I had my abode in the holy waters of Manas Sarovar. As my second incarnation of tortoise, I had my abode in the holy waters of Kaushiki River. I had my abode at Hastinapur when I took my incarnation as Govind. As Narayan, I had my abode at Badrikashrama, as Jayesh, I had my abode at Bhadrakarna.” This way, Lord Vaaman described about his different abodes in great detail.

1.23.2  Arrival of Lord Vaaman at Kurukshetra

Pulastya says- “After satisfying Bharadwaj’s curiosity about his different abodes, Lord Vaaman left for Kurukshetra where Bali was busy performing his Yagya. As soon as Lord Vaaman reached Kurukshetra, the whole earth started shaking violently and high tides rose in the ocean. Being frightened of Lord Vishnu, Agni did not accept the offerings made by Bali. Bali was very surprised by all these sudden developments. He asked Shukracharya about the reason for all these strange happenings.”

 

Shukracharya replied- “O king of the demons! Definitely, all these strange happenings signifies the arrival of Lord Vasudev.” Bali then asked Shukracharya as to what was the most appropriate way of honouring his eminent guest. “What donations should I make to him so that he is pleased and satisfied?”, asked Bali. Shukracharya warned him by saying- “Forget about donating anything otherwise you will get into serious trouble.” Bali told him that he would not disgrace himself by refusing to meet the demands made by Vasudev. “The way a man behaves in his speech, action and thoughts is the result of his past karmas. Are you not aware of the incident related with Koshkar which happened at Malay Mountain? Koshkar was the son of sage Mudgal. He was famous for his austerities and his wife too was very virtuous. In course of time, a son was born to them but alas he was blind and deaf. Koshkar’s wife abandoned that child in front of her house. Incidentally, an ogress named Surpaakshi happened to arrive there and after seeing the abandoned child, exchanged him with her own child. She carried Koshkar’s child to Shaalodar Mountain with the intention of devouring him. When her husband came to know about the incident, he reprimanded Surpaakshi for her misdeed. The demon warned the ogress that both of them would be cursed by the Brahmin and advised her to keep the child at the same place from where she had brought him.”

 

In the meantime, Koshkar came out from his hermitage after hearing the cries of Surpaakshi’s child. He was surprised to find some other child instead of his own and told his wife- “It seems that this child is under the influence of a ghost.” After saying this, he protected the child by demarcating a round circle initiated with mantra around him. Right then, the ogress arrived and after keeping the Brahmin’s child on the ground wanted to take back her own child. But she could not enter inside that circle. Koshkar took his child in his lap and went inside the hermitage. This way, the ogress returned to the mountain without her child.

 

Koshkar brought up both the children with great care. He named the ogress’s child as Diwakar while his own son was named Nisachar. As destiny would have liked it, Diwakar turned out to be a very studious child and became well versed in Vedas within a very short time whereas Nisachar was not interested in studies and had a bad habit of criticising everybody. Koshkar became furious and threw Nisachar in a well. There was a Amla tree inside that well and the child survived living on its fruits. This way, ten years passed and one day, Koshkar’s wife arrived at the well to fetch water. On seeing his mother, Nisachar tried to convince her that he was her son but she was not convinced. He then accompanied his mother back home and narrated the reason why he had taken birth as a deaf and blind child. “In my previous birth, I was the son of Vrishakapi and was very famous for my scholarly traits. In due course of time, I became very arrogant and started indulging in all sorts of evil deeds. After my death, I went to Raurav Narak and suffered all the tortures over there. I was reborn as a tiger and after being enslaved by a king, I was kept inside a cage. Once, the king had gone out and the beautiful queen arrived near the cage. I was infatuated by her beauty and expressed my lusty desires to her. She was taken aback by my proposal and said- “How can physical relationship be possible between us?” But I requested her to release me by opening the cage door. The queen opened the door and I became free. I caught hold of her and tried to satiate my lust but right then the guards arrived there and killed me. Once again I went to the hell and after suffering the pains I was reborn as an ass. My master was Agniveshya, a Brahmin. Once, his wife- Sumati wanted to go to her father’s house. Agniveshya advised her to go riding on my back and instructed his servant to escort us. While on our journey, we reached a river and Sumati expressed her desire to take bath. She went to take bath and I waited for her to return. While she was taking her bath, I became infatuated by her beauty and caught hold of her. The servant who was escorting us saw this and became angry. He killed me by hitting with his stick. Once again, I went to hell and was reborn as a parrot. A wicked fowler trapped and sold me to a trader’s son. Although I lived a luxurious life, yet I was not happy because of my slavery. Once, his daughter arrived near my cage and playfully kept me on her breasts. I became infatuated and tried to have physical relations with her. But I was suffocated to death after getting entangled in her necklace. Once again, I went to hell and after suffering the tortures, was reborn as a bull. My master was a Chandaal and I used to pull his cart. Once, his wife was sitting in the cart I was pulling. Unmindful of her surroundings, she was singing songs in a beautiful voice. After listening to her melodious voice, I became infatuated and tried to have physical relations with her. I turned back but the noose around my neck became tight and I was suffocated to death. Once again I went to hell and after suffering the pains, was reborn as a blind and deaf son to you. I remember all my previous lives and I am aware that my physical disabilities are only because of my past sins. I have decided to atone for all my sins by doing penance and indulging in virtuous deeds. After saying this, he went to Badrikashrama to do penance.

 

After finishing his story, Bali told Shukracharya that a man inherits his qualities from his past life and it is impossible for him to change them. “It is applicable to both good and bad qualities. My penance, virtuosity, benevolence and generosity have been inherited from my past life and come what may, I have decided not to shun them.”

 

Pulastya says- “This way, Bali remained firm in his resolve to meet any demand made by his esteemed guest and started waiting eagerly for his arrival.”

1.23.3  Lord Vaaman’s Demands

Bali was pleased that he would get an opportunity to see the Almighty God whom the sages contemplate upon. He was proud of his good fortune that the lord was paying him a visit. Shukracharya aware of the reason for Vaaman’s arrival warned Bali against making any promise to him. Bali replied- “How can I refuse if the Almighty God demands anything from me? I am willing to face any hardship to safeguard my benevolent image. I don’t mind if the deities get benefited by my actions. Even if the lord is coming with the intention of killing me, I am not scared as that is how I would attain salvation. Come what may, I am not going to abandon my charitable nature.”

 

As the conversation between Shukracharya and Bali continued, suddenly, Lord Vaaman arrived at the site. Vaaman’s radiance subdued the power of all demons present there. Lord Vaaman being impressed by the grandeur of Vaaman’s Yagya complimented him for organising such a magnificent Yagya. Bali eulogised and worshipped his esteemed guest. He requested Vaaman to reveal the reason of his arrival and promised that his wishes would be fulfilled. Lord Vaaman smiled and told him that he needed a small piece of land measured by three steps for the performance of Yagya. Bali was surprised by this demand and requested him to ask for more land but Lord Vaaman told him that he needed only that much land.

 

Bali agreed and took a vow to donate a piece of land measured by three steps. Hardly had Bali taken his vow, when suddenly Lord Vaaman expanded his size. His first step covered the whole earth. By his two successive steps, he covered the two worlds. This way, Bali was forced to donate all the three worlds according to his vow. Lord Vishnu then made Indra, the king of all the three worlds and sent Bali to the nether world named Sutal. He blessed Bali by saying- “You would enjoy a long life till the end of this present Kalpa. You would hold the post of Indra till the arrival of Saavarni Manavantar. As long as you remain supportive of the Brahmins and the deities, you would enjoy all the pleasures of life. But if you go against their wishes then you would be fastened by Varun’s noose.” After saying this, Lord Vishnu disappeared.

1.23.4  Lord Brahma Worships Lord Vaaman

Narad asked sage Pulastya as to where did Lord Vaaman go after disappearing from the oblation site. Pulastya replied- “Lord Vaaman went to Brahma loka mounted on his Garud. On seeing him, Lord Brahma gave a warm reception and after worshipping him asked about the reason for his sudden arrival. Lord Vaaman told him that he had sent Bali to Sutal loka for the welfare of the deities and so that they could get their share of the Yagya. Lord Brahma expressed his desire to see the giant form of Vishnu which he had taken while measuring all the three worlds. Lord Vishnu obliged him and showed his giant appearance. Lord Brahma was impressed and eulogised him. He requested Lord Vishnu to remain in Brahma loka in his appearance of Vaaman. Lord Vishnu had agreed to do this and remained there.

1.23.5  Bali Lives in Paatal Loka

Pulastya says- After reaching the nether world, Bali got constructed a beautiful city made of diamonds and other precious stones. Vishwakarma had constructed an enormous sized altar in the central part of the city. The windows of Bali’s palace were well decorated with pearls. Bali lived there in luxury and by enjoying all the pleasures of life.

 

One day, while the demons were engaged in their sensual pleasures, suddenly the fearsome Sudarshan chakra entered Bali’s palace and after making the demons bereft of their radiance went back to Lord Vishnu. Bali was very worried and thought that only his grandfather Prahlad could help him out from this situation. On being remembered by Bali, Prahlad appeared before him. Bali requested him to describe the means which would be benedictory to him. Prahlad was pleasantly surprised by his change of heart and said- “At last, you have realised your mistake. Listen Bali! A man who takes refuge in Lord Vishnu and surrenders himself to his will becomes liberated from all the miseries and sorrows of life. A man who has accepted Lord Vishnu as his master need not fear from anything not even death. All the things which are visible in this universe are the various manifestations of Lord Vishnu himself. A devotee of Lord Vishnu does not have to go to hell and he becomes liberated from the cycles of birth and death.” This way, Prahlad described about the greatness of Lord Vishnu and his worship in great detail.

1.23.6  Bali’s Queries to Prahlad

Bali enquired about the virtues which a man attains by the worship of Lord Vishnu. He also asked Prahlad about the worship and its rituals by which Lord Vishnu is pleased. Prahlad says- “Sages believe that the donations which are made with total devotion and in the name of Lord Vishnu exist forever. Lord Vishnu is extremely pleased if Malati, Shataavari, Champa, Juhi and Naagar flowers are offered to him. He is also pleased when the offerings of Bilva patra, Shami patra, Tamaal and Amaali patra are made to him. He is pleased when sesame seeds are donated during the Hindu month of Maagh. A person who gets a Vishnu temple constructed liberates his ancestors from their sins. Bali, you must get the Vishnu temple constructed and worship with complete devotion. You must try to please Lord Vishnu by making donations of cow, jewels, gold and land. If you engage yourself in such virtuous activities then you will certainly attain benediction.” After saying this, Prahlad disappeared.

 

After Prahlad’s departure, Bali followed his instructions faithfully and engaged himself in the worship of Lord Vishnu. He instructed Vishwakarma to construct a magnificent temple of Lord Vishnu and started worshipping Lord Vishnu accompanied by his wife. He used to clean the temple premises and offer the articles which were dear to Lord Vishnu. This way, Bali and his wife Vindhyavali engaged themselves in the worship of Lord Vishnu with complete devotion.

1.24    Benefits of Studying Vamana Purana

Study of Vaaman Puraan helps a man to enhance his knowledge and makes him free from all kinds of worldly attachments. It also increases his love and devotion towards the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. There are ten characteristics evident in all the Puraans- 1) Sarg. 2) Visarg. 3) Sthaan. 4) Poshan. 5) Uti. 6) Vritti. 7) Raksha. 8) Manvantara. 9) Vansh. 10) Upaashraya.

 

Sarg deals with the descriptions of the origin of this universe. Visarg enlightens us as to how a living thing transforms itself from one species to another. Sthaan, Poshan, Uti and Vritti deal with the descriptions of various means which are employed by a man for his survival. Raksha describes about the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu which he takes for the protection of the humankind. Manvantara deals with the complete description of the history of the whole Manvantara period. Vansh describe about the lineage of all the kings including Lord Brahma. Upaashraya enlightens us on the real meaning of Brahma.

 

Pulastya says- “A man who listens to the divine tales of Vaaman Puraan attains to Vishnu loka after becoming free from all his sins. He attains the same virtues which a performer of Ashwamedha Yagya does. Even listening to one part of Vaaman Puraan bestows great virtues and equivalent to making pilgrimage of numerous sacred places. Narad, Vaaman Puraan is the 14th among all the 18 Puraans which describes about the majesty of Lord Vishnu.”

 

Five names of Lord Vishnu has been mentioned in Vaaman Puraan- Kaaran Vaaman, Narayan, Amitvikram, Shaargang chakra and Purushottam. A devotee who chants any of these sacred names of Lord Vishnu and makes salutation either by speech, thought or deed attains to Vishnu loka.

1.25    Vaaman Incarnation

This chapter contains 2 sections:

1.25.1  Indra does Penance to Atone for his Sins

Pulastya says after being defeated by the demons Indra went to Brahma loka and narrated his woeful tale to him. Sage Kashyap- his father was also present there. Lord Brahma told Indra that he was reaping the fruits of his evil deeds. Sage Kashyap told him that his miseries were due to the sin acquired by the destruction of Diti’s foetus. Indra asked both of them, how his sins could be atoned. Lord Brahma advised him to take Shri Hari’s help.

 

Indra then went to the north of Kalinjar Mountain and started living in a hermitage situated on the bank of river Mahanadi. He did penance for one year. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Vishnu appeared and blessed him saying- “Your austere penance has liberated you from the sin of destroying Diti’s foetus and very soon, you will regain your kingdom.” After receiving the blessing, Indra went to Aditi’s hermitage and narrated the tale of his defeat at the hands of demons. Aditi knew that Indra would not have been defeated had Lord Vishnu been on his side during the battle. So, she went to Lord Vishnu and worshipped him with devotion. Lord Vishnu assured her that very soon, he would incarnate as her son and destroy the demons. Having said this, a part of Lord Vishnu’s effulgence entered into Aditi’s womb.

1.25.2  Bali Abuses Lord Vishnu

After Lord Vishnu had established himself inside Aditi’s womb, the demons became devoid of their radiance. Bali was surprised by this sudden development and asked Prahlad about it. Prahlad went into deep meditation and saw Lord Vishnu manifesting in Aditi’s womb. After coming out from his meditative trance, he told Bali that the demons had lost their radiance due to Shri Hari who is about to take incarnation at the request of the deities.

 

The arrogant Bali made fun of Shri Hari by saying- “Who is this Shri Hari? We have many mighty warriors in our ranks who are more powerful than Vasudev.” Prahlad was a devotee of Shri Hari and he did not like the arrogant utterances of Bali. He cursed him by saying that very soon he would meet his downfall and lose his kingdom. After being cursed, Bali realised his mistake and begged for forgiveness. Prahlad too had calmed down by that time and said- “Even though Lord Vishnu is omnipresent, I cursed you being under the influence of my ignorance. My words will certainly become true but don’t lose heart. Go and take refuge in Shri Hari- the supreme protector. He will liberate you from all your sorrows.” After saying this, Prahlad went on his pilgrimage.

1.26    The Deities Resting Days

Lord Vishnu takes rest on Sheshnaag during the whole period of Uttaraayan, which begins just after the last day of the bright lunar phase in the Hindu month of Ashaadh is over. After he goes to sleep, all the deities, Gandharva, Devamaata etc. follow suit.

 

Narad requested Sage Pulastya to shed light on the days when the deities take rest. Sage Pulastya replied- “A devotee should consider the eleventh day of the Hindu month of Ashaadh Shukla Paksha, when the Sun enters the zodiac of Gemini as the day when Lord Vishnu goes to rest. A devotee should make a replica of Sheshnaag and after worshipping the idol of Lord Vishnu, lay him down to rest on the twelfth day. Kamadev is said to take rest on the thirteenth day on his bed made of Kadamb flowers. The Yakshaganas take rest on the fourteenth day of the Hindu month of Ashaadh Shukla Paksha. Their beds are made of yellow lotus. Lord Shiva is believed to take rest on Purnima. His bed is made of tiger skin.

copyrights @ Frank Fernandes

 

Shiva Maha-Purana

First of all, Sage Shaunak expressed his desire to Sutji about knowing the means, which could help a man in this era of Kali to attainment lord Shiva, by cleansing all the impurities of his mind and rectifying his inherent demonic tendencies. Sutji then described about Shiv Mahapuran – the supreme of all the puranas, which was narrated by Lord Shiva himself and which was later on retold by Sage Vyas with the permission of Maharshi Sanatkumar, for the benediction of common man. Sutji said, “By understanding the mysteries of Shivmahapuran and singing its praises, a man attains greater virtues than that which could be attained by being charitable or by the performance of all the `yagyas’. Contemplating on the subject matters of Shivmahapuran give auspicious fruits just like a ‘Kalpa-taru’ (A mythological tree which fulfills all the wishes). Shiv Mahapuran contains twenty-four thousand shlokas and seven.

Shivmahapuran is the best means for man’s liberation.

PROPER METHOD OF LISTENING TO

SHIVPURAN Sage Shaunak requested Sutji to tell about the proper method of listening to Shivpuran, so that the man kind gets complete benefit. Sutji replied-

“First of all, an auspicious moment should be determined by an Astrologer. After that, friends and relatives should be invited, especially those who have the tendency of being away from such occasions. The sages and the virtuous people should be invited too. The ‘Katha’ must be help in scared places like Shiva temple, any place of pilgrimage or in one’s home after doing a Bhumi Pujan of the land Where one intends to held the Katha of Shiv Puran. The canopy should be well decorated.” “After making a resolution and doing worship of Ganapati – the destroyer of all hurdles and obstacles the Katha should be commenced. The person who is telling the ‘Katha’ should be facing north and all the listeners should sit facing east. The person who is telling the ‘Katha’ should be a scholar and should be capable of clearing all the doubts from the listener’s mind. There should be no kind of distraction during the ‘Katha’ period. A devotee, who listens to the Katha leaving behind all of his worldlys worries get complete benefits. A devotee should also make donations and offerings according to his capacity and capability otherwise he would become a wretched man. The Mantra ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAY’ should be chanted through out the period of Katha.

RIGHT OF LISTENING TO SHIVMAHAPURAN:-

An uninitiated person does not have the right to listen to the Katha of Shivmahapuran. So a man desirous of listening to Shivmahapuran should first get initiated.

AUSTERITIES TO BE FOLLOWED:

A devotee who has taken the vow of listening to the Katha of Shivmahapuran, should follow a celibate life. He should sleep on the floor and should have only fruits in the diet. He can have his normal dinner only after the completion of the Katha. The diet should be fresh and pure. He should also try to avoid sinful tendencies like lust, anger, greed, attachment and condemning other, etc. Making donations of even meager things give undiminishing virtues.

RITES PERFORMED ON COMPLETION OF OBSERVANCE:-

After the methodical completion of the Katha, a devotee should perform UDDYAPAN (Conclusion of the Katha), which is similar to the CHATURDASHI UDDYAPAN. The devotee should also Charitably make donations to all the brahmins who have helped in the performance of Katha. On the next day the ‘Path’ of SHIV GITA should be performed. If the devotee (listener of the Katha) is a householders, then he should perform ‘Havan’ with the ghee prepared from Cow’s milk, for the pacification of the unhindered completion of the Katha. The Havan should be performed, either with the help of ‘Rudra Samhita mantras’ or ‘Gayatri Mantra’ or with the shlokas of Puran.

This Purana consists of the following 7 Chapters:

1.1      Vidyeshwar Samhita

This Chapter contains 24 sections.

1.1.1     Sages Enquire

Viddyeshwar Samhita which is classified into twenty five chapters, has a narration in its first chapter which goes as follows-

Once upon a time, the sages were performing a yagya at Prayag kshetra. Sage Sutji came to know about this and arrived there. All the sages were very pleased to see him. They requested:-

“Lord! Though we have heard many tales from you regarding the man’s benediction, but today we want to listen to something special. Because in this present era of Kali, when all the castes have forgotten about their respective duties we want to know is there any way to prevent the deterioration in the human values?”

Sutji replied:-

“O Great men! Your enquiry has great relevance in this era of Kali. I will certainly tell you about the way by the help of which a man can achieve benediction. Shivmahapuran contains the essence of Vedantic philosophy, which gives worldly pleasures as well as Salvation. Mere remembrance of it destroys all the sins of a man. One who studies the Rudra-Samhita attentively, his gravest of sins are destroyed instantaneously. One who studies Rudra-Samhita’ silently, sitting in front of Bhairav-idol, all of his aspirations are fulfilled. A man gets liberated from the sin of killing a brahmin, if he studies Rudra Samhita while circulbulating around a Banyan tree.”

“Kailash Samhita is even Superior than Rudra Samhita, as it elaborates upon the meaning of Omkar. Shivmahapuran is created by lord Shiva Himself. It contains twelve Samhitas which are – Viddyeshwar, Rudra, Vinayak, Uma, Matri, Ekadash-rudra, Kailash, Shat-rudra, Koti-rudra, Sahastra Koti, Vayaviya and Dharma.”

“Initially it contained one lac shlokas but it was precised to twenty-four thousand shlokas by sage Vyas. The present ShivPuran is the fourth one which consists of seven Samhitas. The earlier three Shivpuranas are unavailable. The scientific analysis of the Vedantic mysteries are the main subject of this divine Shivpuran. The study of Shivpuran helps a man to attain Dharma, Artha, Kaam and Moksha.

1.1.2     Proposition and Means

Sutji continued with his narration:-

“During the initial period of ‘Svet Varah Kalp’. Six prominent sages collected near Triveni and started debating as to who was the greatest deity, among Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh. Their debate remained inconclusive, so they went to lord Brahma to seek the answer.

Lord Brahma told them:-

“O revered Sages! The source of Vishnu, Rudra all the deities including myself and all the other creations is none other Mahadeo. Union with the Shiva should be the objective of a man to attain that objective. Listening to the qualities of Lord Shiva, singing devotional songs in his praise and contemplating on him are the greatest means, which help to unite with Shiva.”

1.1.3     Listening, Kirtan, Contemplation

SHRAVAN KIRTAN MANAN

Purification of the mind by the help of doing worship and chanting the name of God is called contemplation. Singing devotional songs in the form of stotra, or hymns of the vedas or even in one’s own language is called Kirtan.

The above mentioned three activities are the supreme means to attain liberation.

1.1.4     Greatness of Shiva Linga

According to Sutji, if a person is incapable of following the above mentioned three activities i.e. Shravan, Kirtan and Manan then he should worship the Shivalinga. Even by doing this he can attain liberation from all the bondages of the world.

Describing about the majesty of Shivalinga, Sutji says: “Lord Shiva is the manifestation of Almighty God (Brahma) himself and for this very reason he is known as NISHKAL. Because of his divine beauty, Shiva is called SAGUNA (God with form). The term SAGUNA is also expressed in another way, that is SAKAL. Shivalinga is worshipped since it symbolizes the form of Shiva. Lord Shiva is also considered to be NIRGUNA (without any qualities.)”

“In the first Kalpa of Swetvarah, a battle was fought between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to prove their superiority. Lord Shiva manifested before arrogance. After that he also showed them his form in the shape of Shivalinga. From that day onwards the Shivalinga became famous.”

1.1.5     The Deities go to Kailash Mountain

Nandikeshwarji narrates the tale of battle between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu.

“Once while travelling lord Brahma reached the abode of Lord Vishnu. He saw Lord Vishnu. He saw lord Vishnu resting on Shesh-Nag and being attended by Garuda and other attendants. When Brahmaji saw that Vishnu did not get up to receive him, he became very angry. Very soon, Verbal dual erupted between them. It became so severe that a battle was fought between them, which continued for very long time. All the deities arrived from the heaven to watch the battle. They became very worried when they saw no sign of battle coming to an end. They decided to go to lord Shiva, to seek his help.

1.1.6     Anaal-Stambh (The Pillar of Fire)

“Though Lord Shiva knew everything, but still feigning ignorance, he asked about the well beings of the world. The deities told him about the battle, fought between Brahmaji and Vishnuji.”

“Lord Shiva then sent his one hundred Ganas to pacify both of them. He too went there accompanied by mother Parvati, boarded on a chariot. When Lord Shiva reached there, he saw that Brahmaji and Vishnuji were about to use their deadly weapons- Maheshwar and Pashupat respectively. Fearing the destruction, which these deadly weapons might have caused, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of ‘Analstamba’ (pillar of fire) between them. Brahmaji and Vishnuji had already released their weapons- Maheshwar and Pashupat. Both the weapons fell into that pillar of fire and got destroyed.

“Brahmaji and Vishnuji were very surprised to see the pillar of fire, which was so enormous in size that it reached the sky and penetrated down the earth. Vishnuji transformed himself into a boar and went to the ‘Patal’ (nether world) to find the base of that ‘Pillar of fire’. But he was unsuccessful in his attempt and came back.

Similarly Brahmaji transformed himself into a swan and flew up in the sky to find its limit. While going through the aerial route he met a withered ‘Ketaki’ flowers, which had still some freshness and fragrance left in it.”

“Lord Shiva smiled at the futile attempts of Shri Brahmaji and Vishnuji. As a result of his smile the Ketaki flower fell down from the branch. Ketaki flower told Brahmaji that he had been present there since the beginning of the creation, but was unable to know about the origin of that ‘Pillar of fine’. The flower also advised Brahmaji against making any effort in that direction, as it would be of no use.”

“Brahmaji then sought the help of Ketaki flower to give a false witness before lord Vishnu, that he (Brahmaji) had been successful in seeing the limit of that pillar of fire. Ketaki flower agreed. Both of them went to Vishnuji and Brahmaji told him that he had seen the limit of that Pillar of fire. Ketaki flower gave a witness. Vishnuji accepted the superiority of Brahmaji.”

“Lord Shiva became very angry with Brahmaji. He proceeded to punish Brahmaji for his falsehood. Lord Vishnu requested Lord Shiva to spare the life of Brahmaji. Lord Shiva became pleased with Vishnuji and accorded him the same status as Hat of his own.”

1.1.7     Shiva Obliges Brahma

Nandikeshwar continuing with the tale said:

“After according same status to Vishnuji as that of his own, Lord Shiva opened his third eye from it manifested ‘Bhairav’. He ordered Bhairav to kill Brahmaji. Bhairav severed the fifth head of Lord Brahma with his sword. Brahmaji became very terrified. He was trembling in fear. Lord Vishnu felt pity on his condition and requested Lord Shiva to forgive him.

Lord Shiva then stopped Bhairav, but told Brahma.

“You spoke untruth with a desire to become worshippable. It is my curse that, you will not be worshipped by anybody. You will posses only four heads.”

Brahmaji begged his forgiveness. Lord Shiva feeling pity on Brahmaji gave him a boon of being the presiding deity of all the yagya. Similarly the Ketaki flower also prohibited from being used during worship. But when Ketaki flower tendered his apology Shiva gave blessing that it would be fortunate to be offered to lord Vishnu during the worship.

1.1.8     Consecration of Maheshwar

Lord Vishnu and Brahma made salutations to lord Shiva and offered him a seat. They then worshipped him. This was the first time, Brahma and Vishnu had worshipped lord Shiva. Shiva was very pleased. Shiva-ratri has been continued to be celebrated since that day. This particular day is considered to be the most auspicious day for the worship of Lord Shiva.

A devotee who fasts on Shiv ratri remaining only on fruits, attain virtues equivalent to the worship done for the whole year.

The idol of Shiva is consecrated on this day.

Lord Shiva has himself told the deities that he had manifested in the form of Pillar of Fire’ in the month of Agahan and during the constellation of Ardra. He also said-

“One who has my darshan on this day (Shivratri) or worships me in my form of linga is dearer to me than Kartikeya. The place where, I manifested in the form of Pillar of fire will become famous as Lingasthan. Because of its resemblance with the ‘Mountain of Fire’, it will also be known Arunachal.”

Later on Shiva brought back to life all the people who had died in the battle, fought between Brahmaji and Vishnuji.

1.1.9     Omkar

Lord Shiva then preached Brahmaji and Vishnuji on the five duties (Panchakritya) saying that ‘Shrishti’ (creation), ‘Sthithi’ (position), Samhar (Annihilation), Tirobhav (Concealment) and ‘Anugrah’ (obligation or kindness) are the five duties by which this world functions.

The source of this world in ‘Sarga’ or Nature. The establishment of this world is ‘Stithi’ or position. The tendency of this world to destroy is Samhar or destruction. The feeling of absence of this world is Tirobhav or Concealment and Moksha or Salvation is obligation or Anugrah.

Lord Shiva then goes on to explain that the first four duties like Sarga (Nature) etc help in the nurturement of the world and the fifth duty Anugrah is a giver of Salvation.

Lord Shiva also told them (Brahmaji & Vishnuji) that he (Shiva) had blessed both of them to look after the two duties i.e. Shrishti and Sthiti. Rudra and Mahesh have been entrusted with the job of Sanhar & Tiribhav. “The fifth duty ‘Anugrah’ has been kept by me.” Said Shiva.

After describing about the allocation of the various duties, Lord Shiva described the meaning of ‘OMKAR’ to them. He said that OMKAR signified the world and contained the power of both Shiva and Shakti. This powerful mantra gives all kinds of worldly accomplishment as well as salvation.

After that Lord Shiva initiated both Brahmaji and Vishnuji with the OMKAR’ mantra. He also preached them on the importance of the worship of Shivalinga.

1.1.10  Rituals of Shiva Worship

On the request of the sages, Sutji describes about the methods of worshipping Shiva Linga. He says

“One should construct a Shivalinga either of mud, rock or metal and establish it in such a place where it can be worshipped daily without any hindrance.”

“The ‘Char’ (mobile) Linga should be small in size and the Sthira (Fixed) linga should be large. The Linga should be constructed along with the pedestal. The rule for constructing a Shiva Linga has been specifically described. The breadth of thickness of the Linga should be twelve times the thickness of the devotees (one who is constructing the linga) finger, while the length should be twenty-five times. After establishing the linga in the above mentioned way, it should be worshipped after performing the Shodasopachar. The thumb also symbolise a Shiva linga and its worship can be done. While worshipping the Shiva Linga, the mantra OM NAMAH SHIVAY should be continuously chanted. Chanting this mantra for five crore times, helps a man in attaining to the abode of Shiva. Worship of Shiva done during the mid night is considered to be especially fructifying.

1.1.11  Sacred Pilgrimages of Shiva

There are numerous places of pilgrimages connected with Shiva at the banks of river Ganges and river Indus. River Saraswati is considered to be a sacrosanct river and having an opportunity of living at its banks, helps in attaining to the abode of Brahma.

Similarly, there are famous temples of Lord Shiva at Kashi, Naimisharanya, Badrikasharam and Kedar etc. There are many temples of Shiva at the banks of holy river like Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari, Narmada, Kaveri, Sarayu, Tungabhadra etc. Worshipping Shiva at these places bestows undiminishing virtues and liberates a man from all of his sins.

1.1.12  Conduct of the respective Castes

On the request of the sages, Sutji described about the virtuous and invirtuous activities of a man according to the respective castes be belong. He said:

“A brahmin who performs the rituals, as described in the Vedas, only is entitled to be called a Dwija. A brahmin who is not that proficient in the Vedas is called a ‘Kshatriya brahmin’. A brahmin engaged in agricultural activities and business is called a Vaishya-brahmin’. A brahmin who is in the habit of condemning and criticizing others, is called a ‘Shudra-Brahmin’.

“A Kshatriya who looks after the welfare of his subjects is called a king, while the rest of them are known as simply Kshatriya. A Kshatriya who indulges in business is called a Vaishya Kshatriya. Similarly a Kshatriya who engages himself in the service of the three superior castes – Brahmin Kshatriya and Vaishya is called a Shudra Kshatriya.

1.1.13  Types of Dharma

Dharma is considered to be of two types-

1) Dharma performed by matter and Materials.

2) Dharma performed by indulging in physical activities.

The performance of Yagya etc comes in the first category. Making pilgrimages of holy places comes in the second category. During the Satya-Yuga, meditation was the way to attain self knowledge. During Treta-Yuga, it was attained by penance, during Dwapar Yuga it was attained by performing ‘Yagya’ while in the present era of Kali Yuga, idol worship is considered to be the means to achieve self-realization. Invirtuosity invites sorrow while virtuosity bestows joy and happiness.

‘THE IMPORTANCE OF AGNI-YAGYA’ The sages then asked Sutji about the Agniyagya Brahma yagya and Guru Puja in order of importance.

Sutji said-

“Performing ‘havan’ by offering matter and materials into the sacred fire, is called Agni yagya. This ritual is especially meant for the brahmachari (Celibates). Performing havana during the evening time brings prosperity, while performance of havana during the morning times gives long life. Making sacrifices to the deities during the day time is called ‘Deva Yagya’. A brahmin should perform ‘Brahma yagya with the help of the study of the Vedas.”

“First of all lord Shiva adopted an auspicious day for himself and named it Sunday. After that he named the Six remaining days of the week and attributed them to the following deities respectively – Monday (Durga), Tuesday (Skand), Wednesday (Vishnu), Thursday (Yama), Friday (Brahma), and Saturday (Indra).

Worshipping the deities on their respective days give peace properity and all kinds of accomplishments.

1.1.14  Appropriate Place and Time for Worshipping Shiva

IMPORTANCE OF PLACE:

In the Viddyeshwar Samhita of Shivapuran, describing about the importance of place and time for worship of Shiva says-

“Worshipping Shiva at a pure place in a house gives appropriate fruits, while worship done in a cowshed gives virtue, which are ten-times more than the former one. Worshipping Shiva at the banks of a river gives, ten times more virtues than the second one. Worship of Shiva done either in temple, under the basil plant etc. or at the banks of Sapt Ganga, gives ten times more virtue than the third one. If Shiva is worshipped at the seashore than the fourth one, while worshipping Shiva on the peak of a mountain, gives ten times more virtue than the fifth one. But worship done with a fully concentrates mind, gives the best fruits.

IMPORTANCE OF TIME: During the Satya-yuga performance of Yagya and donations gave complete results. During the Treta-yuga it gave half, while in the present Kaliyuga it gives one-fourth results. Virtuosity performed with a pure heart does not go in vain. The other auspicious days in order of their increasing importance are ‘Surya-Sankranti’, Tula Sankranti and Mesh-Sankranti, Lunar eclipse and Solar eclipse respectively.

1.1.15  Worshipping the Idol of Shiva

It has been mentioned in the sixteenth chapter of Viddyeshwar Samhita that all the desires of a man are completely fulfilled, if he worship even in earthen idol of Shiva. For making an idol of Shiva. Day should be acquired from the base of river , pond, well or any such other place. In this clay fragrant powder and milk should be added to make it into a paste. After the constructing of idol is complete, it should be worshipped by all the sixteen types of rituals Shodasopachar.

If the Shiva Linga is constructed by somebody else, then three ‘sera’ of Naivedya should be offered to the deity, whereas if one himself has constructed the Shiva-Linga then the one-fourth of a ‘Sera’ should be offered.

If such an idol s worshipped for one thousand times, then it helps a devotee in attaining to the Satyaloka. Performing ‘abhishek’ of such an idol helps in self-purification, offering fragrance gives virtues, Naivedya increases the life span and worshipping it with ‘Dhoop’ gives wealth and prosperity respectively.

Worshipping the idol with a burning lamp gives knowledge to the devotee, whereas offering beetel leaves gives splendours.

A devotee who worships Lord Shiva in the hindu month of Magh and on Krishna Chaturdashi achieves longevity of life. Both, worldly pleasures and salvation are achieved by worshipping Shiva.

Worshipping Shiva in the hindu month of Kartik by going Japa, penance etc gives special fruits and the devotee becomes free from all kinds of diseases.

If a devotee worships lord Shiva on Sunday he becomes free from rebirth.

1.1.16  The Majesty of Pranav Panchakshar

The root sounds Akaar, Ukaar, Makaar, Bindu and Naad, which are free from the delusions and which originates from the mother Nature are called Pranav. It is of two types:-

a) Gross, b) Subtle. (Pranav Mantra OM AND OM NAMAH SHIVAY!

It symbolizess the unified power of Shiva and Shakti and destroyes all the sins of a man. A man desirous of worldly pleasures must chant the mantra ‘Hrishva Pranav’ containing the three root sounds A, U, & Ma, which symbolizes Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh respectively. On the other hand a man aspiring for the salvation, must chant the mantra ‘Deergha Pranav’ containing A, U, Ma, Naad and Bindu.

Before commencing the study of Vedas pronouncing OMKAR is a must. By chanting ‘Pranav’ for nine crore times man becomes pure. By chanting it for further nine crore times a man develops a control over natural forces like wind, smell and earth etc.

This Pranav mantra is considered to be most powerful and helps a man to attain the abode of Shiva.

1.1.17  Worldly Bondage and Salvation

In the eighteen chapter, all the sages requested Sutji to explain the meaning of bondages of life and Salvation

Sutji replied-

“Because of the eight types of bondages which a man feels on this earth, the soul is also known as “Jeeva”. The Jeeva becomes liberated only after becoming free from these eight bondages. These eight bondages are – Nature, Intelligence qualitative- ego and the Panchatanmatras i.e. Sound, touch, appearance, taste and smell.

“Each soul is binded by these eight aspects of the Nature. The actions performed as the result of these bondages is called Karma. A man reaps the fruits of his actions- Whether good or evil. He either enjoys pleasures or suffers because of sorrow, due to this Karma.” The soul takes rebirth in a cyclic was binded by the effects of his Karmas. The eight Chakra’ are nothing but the eight forms of the nature. Shiva is beyond the reach of these eight chakras, on the contrary he has full control these eight chakras. So a man can become free from the bondages of this world, only by worshipping Shiva Linga. The linga is both gross as well as subtle. There are five types of Linga on this earth.- SWAYAMBHU LINGA, BINDU LINGA, PRATISTHIT LINGA, CHAR LINGA, GURU LINGA. A person desirous of worldly pleasures should worship the cross Shivalinga, where as one who is desirous of attaining salvation must worship the subtle Shiva linga.”

1.1.18  The Worship of Parthiva Linga

Sutji then explains the greatness of worshipping a Parthiva Linga-:

“Parthiva Linga is the most supreme among all the Shiva-Lingas. All the aspirtions of he deities as well as men are fulfilled by the worship of Parthiv linga. During the era of Satya, jewel was considered to be of prime importance, where as during Tretayuga and Dwaparyuga, gold and mercury had the prime importance respectively. In the present era of Kali, a Parthiva Linga hold this place of honour. The worship of Parthiva Linga begets more virtues than even penance. Just as Ganga among the rivers, Kashi among the sacred places of pilgrimages, Omkar among all the mantras are considered to be superior, In the same way Parthivalinga is considered to the supreme among all the Linga. Worshipping, a Parthiva linga with a ‘Nishkam bhava’ helps a man to attain liberation.”

1.1.19  Methods of Worshipping Parthiva Linga

Elaborately describes about the methods of doing worship of Parthiva Linga:-

“After becoming fresh in the morning, a man should wear a rudraksha garland in his neck and apply bhasma (Ash) on his forehead. He should then worship the Parthiva Linga. He should chant the various names of Shiva, while worshipping the Parthiva Linga, like Har, Maheshwar, Shambhu, Shoolpani, Mahadev, etc. After worshipping the Parthiva Linga, it should be immersed in the river, Then the mantra – OM NAMAH SHIVAY should be canted with complete devotion. This is the method which has been described in the Vedas for the worship of Parthiva Linga.”

1.1.20  Number of Parthiva Shivalingas

The numbers of Parthiva Linga differ according to one’s desires. For example a man who is desirous of learning and knowledge must worship one thousand Parthiva Linga. A man who is desirous of wealth must worship. One thousand five hundred Parthiva Lingas. A man who is desirous of attaining salvation must worship one crore Parthiva Lingas.

Parthiva linga, which is equivalent to the height measured by the four fingers and which has been established on a beautiful pedestal, is considered to be the best. Parthiva Linga which is the half of the above mentioned height is considered to be ‘Medium; and still half than the second category is considered to be inferior Parthiva Linga. It is better and advisable to worship a single Parthiva Linga daily, because it is equivalent to the worship of the whole world. Nobody is barred from worshipping Shiva, except the people whose ancestors had been cursed by the sages like Dadhichi, Gautam. Such people should also worship the eight idols (earth, water, fire, air, sky, sun, moon and the host) alongwith the Parthiva linga.

A brahmin should worship Parthiva linga as per the methods described in the vedas. Worship should be done, facing north.

1.1.21  Importance of Naivedya and Bilva Leaves

Sutji then described about the important of Naivedya offered to Lord Shiva.

“A devotee gets liberated from all of his sins merely at the sight of the Naivedya, which have been offered to lord Shiva. He attains great virtues by having the Prasada.”

A man must not accept the Prasada if the worship have been done under supervision of a ‘Chandala’, but some of the Shivalingas like Baanlinga, Siddhalinga and Swayambhu Linga are exceptions to this rule. The prasada which has been offered to the Shivalinga and remains lying on it, is prohibited from having, but the prasad which is not touching the Shivalinga should be accepted.

BILVA (WOOD APPLE)-: Bilva fruit is considered to be a form of lord Shiva It’s greatness has been eulogized even by the deities himself. It is believed that all the places of pilgrimages, dwell in the Bilva-leaf. Lord Shiva is believed to have his abode in the roots of the Bilva tree. A devotee who waters the roots of the Bilva tree attain greater virtues than offering water to the deities of all the places of pilgrimages. Similarly a devotee who worships the roots of the Bilva tree attains to the abode of lord Shiva.

1.1.22  The Majesty of Shiva’s Name

Sutji then goes on he explain the greatness of Shiva’s name and the importance of Bhasm (Ash) and rudraksha beads in his worship.

The name of Shiva is as sacred as Ganges; Similarly ‘Bhasm’ and ‘Rudraksha’ are as holy as river Yamuna and Saraswati respectively. Therefore a devotee who possesses the name of lord Shiva on his lips, Who applies Bhasm on his person and who wears a rudraksha in his neck attain the virtues similar to that of taking a bath in the sangam. In the ancient time, a king by the name of Indrayumna got liberated from the bondages of the world, just by chanting the name of Shiva.

1.1.23  The Importance of Bhasma in Shiva’s Worship

Bhasma are of two types:-

1) Mahabhasma and 2) Swalpabhasma.

‘Shrota’ (listener), ‘Smart; (rites according to the smritis) and Laukik (worldly) are considered to be the Mahabhasma. There are many types of Swalpabhasma

‘Shrota’ and ‘Smart’ are meant only for the brahmins. For the rest of the castes, ‘Laukik bhasma’ is appropriate. A brahmin must apply bhasma, only after initiating it with the mantras. The ashes which remains after burning dry cowdung is called Aagneya Bhasma. Applying ‘Tripunda’ on the forehead with the ashes after the completion of Yagya, is to the upanishad rituals like Sandhya and Japa should only be performed after applying tripunda on the forehead.

1.1.24  Importance of Rudraksha

Rudraksha is very dear to lord Shiva and hence all the sins of a man get destroyed if he chants the name of Lord Shiva using a Rudraksha beads. He also attain salvation after his death. It is believed that the origin of Rudraksha is connected with Shiva penance.

Once while Sadashiv was performing his penance, his eyes opened due to some disturbances. He was so remorseful that tears rolled down from his eyes. These tear-drops are believed to be the origin of the Rudraksha trees.

Rudraksha of specific colours have been prescribed for different castes. For example a Brahmin, a Kshatriya, a Vaishya and a Shudra have been instructed to put on Rudraksha of white colour, red colour, yellow colour and black colour respectively.

A person who wears eleven hundred Rudraksha on his body, he unites with Shiva. Rudrakshas are of various types i.e. EKMUKHA RUDRAKSHA (one opening) to rudraksha with fourteen openings. Each type of rudraksha has specific mantra and specific deity connected with it.

1.2      Rudra Samhita

This Chapter contains 149 sections.

1.2.1     Shrishti-Khand

The sages express their desire of knowing about the manifestation of Shiva and Uma, their marriage and their life as a householder and the other aspects of Shiva’s divinity

Sutji narrated the story of Narad’s attachment and lust – how they were ultimately destroyed. He also narrated of Narad’s deep desire to know about Shiva.

1.2.2     Victory of Narada over ‘Kama’

Once upon a time a Narad was performing a penance in the cave of Himalaya mountain. Indra becoming fearful sent Kamadev to obstruct his penance. But Kamadeva was unsuccessful in his attempt as the place where Narada was doing penance was the same place where Lord Shiva did penance. After the completion of his penance, Narada became arrogant that he had defeated Kamadeva. He went to Kailash mountain and narrated about his feat to Lord Shiva. Narada was naïve not to realize the fact hat is happened only because of the divine power of Shiva.

Lord Shiva listened to his arrogant statement. He advised Narada not to reveal this secret to anybody. But Narada went to Brahmaloka and boasted about his feet to Lord Brahma.

Lord Brahma listened to his boisterous statements and advised him not to reveal this to anybody.

But Narada was not satisfied. He wanted to give the news of his achievement to Lord Vishnu. So, he went to Lord Vishnu’s abode and boasted about his feat of defeating Kamdeva.

Lord Vishnu with a desire to subdue his inflated ego, manifested his illusionary power with the blessings of Lord Shiva.

1.2.3     Narada’s Ego Subdued:

While Narada was returning from Vaikuntha Loka, he saw a beautiful city. This city was ruled by a king named SheelNidhi. The king had a daughter and her Swayamvar was being organised. Numerous kings had arrived to take part in that Swayamvar. Narada, curiously entered the place were Swayamvar was being held. The king requested Narada to study the lines of the palm of the princess. Narada was infatuated by the princess beauty. He returned back to Lord Vishnu and expressed his desire of marrying that princess. He also requested Vishnuji to make him as handsome as himself (Vishnu).

Lord Vishnu made Narada’s whole body very beautiful except his face. Which he made like a monkey. Narada being unaware of this happily went back to Swayamvar site. Narada sat among the kings – his face resembling like a monkey Lord Vishnu too was present there. The princess saw Narad, whose face was looking like a monkey. She was amused. Ultimately she put the garland around the neck of Lord Vishnu and went to Vaikuntha Loka alongwith him.

Some of the Shiva’s gana too were present there in the guise of a brahmin. Their names were Marud ganas. When they saw Narada to see the reflection of his face in the water.

When Narada saw his face in the water, he saw that he was looking like a monkey. He became very furious and cursed the Marudganas to be the born as demons, even though being brahmins by birth.

Furious Narada then went to Lord Vishnu and cursed him- “You too would suffer due to separation from your wife, during your incarnation of Ram and the monkey would come to your help.

1.2.4     Vishnu Preaches Narad:

Lord Vishnu accepted Narada’s curse without any hesitation. He then removed the illusionary powers by which Naradas’ mind was influenced Now, Narada regretted his actions. Lord Vishnu told Narada that everything happened because of Shiva’s divine illusions.

“You did not pay heed to his advice and hence Shiva by his illusions, has taught you a lesson. Shiva is beyond the reach of the three basic qualities-Satva, Rajo and Tamas. Therefore you must worship and contemplate on the name of Shiva. All of your sins will be destroyed.

After preaching Narada,, Lord Vishnu vanished from his sight. Narada then descended down to earth and while having darshan of numerous Shivalingas, he saw two of the Marudganas, whom he had cursed. He told both of them that they would take birth from a giantess’s womb, but their father would be sages. He also told them that they would become very famous due to their devotion, Narad went to lord Brahma and requested him to tell about the divinity of Shiva.

1.2.5     Brahmaji Preaches Narad:

On Narad’s request Brahmaji said-

“During the period of Mahapralaya (Final annihilation) nothing exist, except Shiva. The power which Shiva manifested from his own self came to be known as Ambika. This Ambika is understood to be the cause of the whole world as well as the Nature. Lord Shiva then created a Shivaloka, which is known as Kashi. It is the abode of Shiva and Parvati. A man who makes a pilgrimages of Kashi attains salvation.

1.2.6     The Origin of Vishnu

Lord Shiva, felt the need of somebody, who could look after the creation in his absence, as he wanted to retire along with Ambika at Kashi. The unified energy of Shiva and Ambika, resulted into a radiant physical form of a child. The child asked Shiva about his name and purpose of his being.

Lord Shiva named the child as Vishnu and advised him to do a penance which would help him to attain all kinds of accomplishment. He then offered him the knowledge of Vedas, through his breath. For this reason it has been said-

“YASYA NISHVASITAM VEDAH ”

Meaning: Whose exhaled air is Veda.

Vishnu followed the instruction of Shiva and did a tremendous penance for twelve years, but still he was not successful in having a darshan of lord Shiva for the second time. He became worried. He heard a heavenly voice, instructing him to do further penance.

Vishnu then recommenced his penance. It continued for many days. By the blessings of Shiva, numerous fountain of streams errupted from his body, which spread in all directions in the form of Brahma. Vishnuji was very pleased to see that stream. He went to sleep in that streams due to which he also came to be known as ‘Narayan’. One who has his abode in the water. After that, all the five elements manifested from his self. The three qualities- Salva, Rajos and Tamas as well as the ego manifested from his body. Similarly, five Tanmantras (Subtle form of matter), Panchabhuta (Sky water, air, fire and earth) and ultimately five sense organs and five organs of action also manifested from. Altogether twenty-four types of element manifested from the body of Shri Vishnu.

1.2.7     Origin of Brahmaji

Brahmaji told Narad-

“While Vishnuji was sleeping in the water, a lotus flower manifested from the navel of Vishnu according to the wish of Shiva. On that lotus was seated with four heads. I did not see anything except that lotus flower. I had a desire to know about my identity. So I entered into the hollow tubular stalk of that lotus flower, but I was not able to find the source. I returned back to the same place. Suddenly I heard a voice which instructed me to do penance. I did a tremendous penance for twelve years with a desire to know about my creator. Being pleased with me, lord Vishnu manifested before me with in his Chaturbhuj form, but I could not identify him, being influenced by the illusionary power of Shiva. I quarreled with him.”

1.2.8     Dispute Between Brahmaji & Vishnuji

“I asked him as to who he was. Vishnuji replied that he was the fulfiller of all of his desires. But I replied to him that I only was the creator, nurturer and the supreme soul of this world. Vishnuji became angry and said that undoubtedly I (Brahma) was the creator of this world, but he (Vishnu) was the one, who had created me (Brahma) and the whole world. Vishnuji also ordered me to take his refuge and promised to protect me. But being an ignorant I did not believe him. A fierce battle was fought between both of us. A Shiva linga manifested between us to end the battle. We requested that Shivalinga to show its real identity. That Shivalinga had destroyed our pride.”

1.2.9     Shabda-Brahma

We heard a sound OM. We became curious to know the origin of that sound. Vishnuji saw a letter ‘A’ towards the south of that Shivalinga. He also saw the letters ‘U’ and ‘M’ centre towards the north of the Shivalinga and in its centre respectively. He also saw the mantra ‘OM’, which was dazzling like a Sun. There was no beginning and end to this mantra OM. As we were making efforts to know about its origin, suddenly Shiva appeared in the form of a sage. He gave us the knowledge regarding OM. He also revealed to us that I originated from the letter ‘A’, Vishnuji originated from letter ‘U’ and Shiva himself originated from letter M. The letter A signifies creation, U Signifies nurturement and M signifies salvation.

The three letters A, V & M also symbolizes the basic causes of creation. A or brahma also symbolizes the semen, U or Vishnu symbolizes the Vagina and the sound of OM is Maheshwar- the combined sound of A, U and M. All the three united from which manifested a golden egg. This golden egg remained submerged in the water for one thousand years. The almighty then cut that egg into two halves, from which appeared heaven and Earth. We also saw the divine beauty of Maheshwar.”

1.2.10  Shabda-Brahma Tanu

Then we saw all the vowels and consonants emanating from the physique of Mahadeva. Vishnuji saw the forty eight letters within OMKAR, which in fact were the two following mantras- “TATPURUSHAY VIDDYAMAHE MAHADEVAY DHIMAHI, TANNO RUDRAH PRACHODAYAT.” And “TATSAVITURVARENYAM BHARGO DEVASYA DHIMAHI DHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT.”

“After that we also received the Mahamrityunjay mantras like ‘OM JOOM SAH”, “HRAUM HRIM JOOM SAH” and “TRAYAMBAKAM YAJAMAHE”. After that we received the five lettered mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAY”, the chintamani mantra ‘KSHAMYAUM’, the dakshinamurti mantra – “OM NAMO BHAGAWATE DAKSHINAMURTAYE MAHYAM MEGHAM PRAYACHCHHA SWAHA. At last we received the great mantra TATVAMASI. Vishnuji was so enchanted by this mantra that he started chanting this mantra. We then prayed to Shiva-the creator, the nurturer and the destroyer.

1.2.11  Shiva Enlightens Brahma & Vishnu

“Shiva became very pleased with both of us. He preached us the contents of Veda. Shiva told Vishnuji about the methods by which his (Shiva’s) worship could be done. He revealed to us that Vishnuji actually had manifested from the left portion of his Shiva’s body and myself from the right portion of his body. He also blessed us that he would manifest his incarnation of Rudra from our body and also that the purpose of this incarnation would be to do annihilation. Lord Shiva revealed to us that his consort Uma, was in fact mother Nature and her power in the incarnation of Saraswati would be my consort. Laxmi, who would also manifest from the nature would be the consort of Vishnu.”

1.2.12  Age of Brahma, Vishnu & Rudra

Bramhaji told Narada:

“Lord Shiva informed us that my day consists of four thousand eras and similarly my night too consists of four thousand eras. Since a month consists of thirty days and a year consists of twelve months. In this way my age was fixed to be of one hundred years. One day of Vishnu is equivalent to one year of Brahma. Vishnu’s age too was fixed to be of one hundred years. The day of Rudra is equivalent to one year of Vishnu and his age also was fixed to be of one hundred years.

1.2.13  The Methods of Worshipping Shiva

On the request of the sages, Sutji retold the preaching which had been narrated by Brahmaji to Narad. Describing the method of Shiva worship he says-

“A devotee should get up early in the morning and contemplate on Shiva, who gives benediction. After that, he should finish his daily routing work and perform rituals like ‘Sandhya’ and Vandana etc. After that, he should worship Shivalinga according to vedic rites like Panchopachar, Sodashopachar etc. He should also perform ‘Abhiseka’ with various offerings. At last, the should beg pardon for his sins.”

1.2.14  Acquiring of Shiva Lingas by the Deity

Once, Brahmaji went to ‘Kshirsagar’ (the abode of Vishnu) accompanied by the deities and asked lord Vishnu how a man could be liberated from his sorrows. Lord Vishnu told them that this objective could be met b worshipping Shiva-Linga.

All the deities, then prayed to lord Shiva, who after becoming pleased instructed ‘Vishwakarma’ to construct a Shivalinga for them. Vishwakarma then made a Shivalinga for Kuber, a Shivalinga of yellow diamond for Dharmaraj, a Shivalinga of dark coloured diamond for Varun, a Shivalinga of Indraned diamond for Vishnu and a goldden Shivalinga for Brahmaji. Similarly Vishwadeva was given a Shivalinga made up of silver, the Ashwini Kumars were given Shivalinga made up of bronze, Laxmi was given a Shivalinga made up of Crystal (Sphatik), Sun-god was given a Shivalinga made of copper and the moon was given a Shivalinga made of pearl.

1.2.15  Methods of Worshipping Shiva Linga

Brahmaji has described the following methods for the worship of Shivalinga-

“After performing the rituals like ‘Aachaman’ and Pranayam a devotee should apply a tripunda on his forehead and wear a rudraksha on his body. After the study of Shanti-path and the performance of Devata-Namaskar, he should make a resolution if he has any wish to be fulfilled. Then the worship of Shivalinga should be done, with the help of Mahima-Stavan and offering flowers to the Shivalinga. The purity of the mantras should be maintained while chanting them.

1.2.16  The Virtues of Worshipping Shiva Methodically

It has been mentioned in the Shivapuran that making offerings in the form of lotus, Shatapatra, , Shankhapushpi, the leaves of wood apple tree, helps a man in attaining wealth and prosperity. For becoming free from disease, fifty lotus flowers should be offered to the Shivalinga. Mrityunjay-Jap should be chanted for five lac times, for all types of accomplishment. One lac dhatura-fruits should be offered for long life, worldly-pleasure, as well as for attaining salvation.

1.2.17  The Origin of Kailash & Vaikunth

Brahmaji revealed to Narad how the process of creation commenced-

“After Lord Shiva vanished from our sight, I transformed myself into the appearance of a swan and Vishnuji transformed his appearance into that of a boar with the purpose of commencing the process of creation. First of all, I created the water. I poured a palmful of water into it and an egg manifested which consisted of all the twenty four elements. This egg was very enormous in size which made me confused. I did penance for twelve years. Vishnuji appeared before me. I requested him to bring that egg to consciousness. Vishnuji entered into that egg. As a result of this, Kailash mountain, and all the seven worlds came into existence. After that the static living things were created, which symbolized the dark quality (Tamogun). After that I created four footed animals like cows and Ox etc. inspite of these creations, I was not satisfied, so I again went into meditation.

As a result the deities were created which symbolized the virtuous quality (Satoguna). Once again I meditated and the human species came into existence, which symbolized the medium quality (Rajoguna). With the permission of Lord Shiva, I then created spirits like ghosts etc. After that I created my five Manasputras- Sanak, Sanadan etc. But they were so ascetic and detached from the world that they showed their disinclination in contributing in the process of creation. This made me angry, tears rolled down from my eyes. With the permission of Vishnuji, I did a tremendous penance to have a darshan of lord Shiva.

1.2.18  The Emergence of Rudra-Avatar

Brahmaji said to Narad:

“When I accomplished my penance, Lord Shiva manifested in his incarnation of Rudra from in between the eyebrows. Half of his body resembled like that of a woman (Ardhanarishwar). I requested him help me in my creational activities. Rudra created his hosts (Rudragana) who resembled like him. I requested him to create the mortals, to which he laughed and said, that he liberated mortals from their sorrow, so how could he fasten them with bondages. Rudra requested me to create the mortals and then he vanished.

1.2.19  Creation

Preaching Narad on the essence of Shivatattva, Brahmaji said-

“With the permission of Shiva, I created the five basic elements from which the matter is made and also all types of arts. I also created the time. Despite all these creations, I was not satisfied. I created sage Marichi from my eyes, Sage Bhrigu from my heart, Sage Angira from my head, Sage Pulaha from my Vyan Vayu, Sage Pulatsya from my Udan Vaya, Sage Vashishth from my Saman Vayu, Sage Kratu from my Apan Vayu, Sage Atri from my ear, Daksha Prajapati from my vital air You (Narad ) manifested from my lap. Sage Kardam and Dharma manifested from my Shadow. Then I divided my body into two parts, and from each of the two parts. Manu and Shatarupa manifested respectively. Both of them got married and in this way commenced the conjugal creation. Priyavrata and Uttanpad were the two sons born to them. Shatarupa also gave birth to three daughters whose names were Aakuti Devahuti and Prasuti. Sage Ruchi was married to Aakuti, Sage Kardam was married to Devahuti and Daksha Prajapati was married to Prasuti. Sage Yagya and Dakshina were born to sage Ruchi and Aakuti.”

“Numerous daughters were born to sage Kardam and Devahuti. Similarly twenty-four daughters were born to Daksha and Prasuti. Daksha married thirteen of his dhauthers to Dharma.

The rest of his daughters were married to sages like Pulastya etc. All the three worlds are inhabited by the progenies of these sages. The same Daksha Prajapati had sixty daughters in another Kalpa, who were married to sages like Kashyap. Etc. In this Kalpa, ‘Sati was one of his daughters who was married to Lord Shiva. ‘Sati’ being distressed by the disrespect sown by her father-Daksha, to her husband-Shiva, had given up her life, by jumping into the sacrificial fire. In her next birth she was born as Parvati and was again married to Shiva. This way, I created this world with the permission of Shiva.”

1.2.20  Gunanidhi, The Brahmin’s Son

Naradji asked lord Brahma, when did lord Shiva make Kailash as his abode and what was the reason of friendship between Shivaji and Kubera. Brahmaji narrated the following story- v There used to live a brahmin by the name Yagyadutt in Kampilyanagar, who was proficient in the performance of Somyagya. He had a son named Gunanidhi. Though he was a scholar but at the same time he was irreligious and kept bad company. He used to indulge in evil activities like gambling.

His father – Yagyadutt was unaware of his evil activities. Whenever he asked his wife about Gunanidhi habits and conduct, his wife used to tell lies and praised the conduct of Gunamidhi. Thus Gunamidhi’s condition became worst day by days.

Yagyadutt married Gunanidhi with a girl belonging to a well to do family. But his habits had not changed. His mother tried her best to make him understand, but it was of no avail.

One day Yagyadutt saw, a gambler wearing his ring. He asked him about that ring. The gambler told him that his son – Gunanidhu had lost it to him, in the gamble. He also informed him that he had also lost numerous ornaments and other properties in the gamble.

Yagyadutt became very angry. He married with another woman after abandoning his wife and son.

1.2.21  Gunanidhi’s Salvation

When Gunadhi came to know about his father’s second marriage, he moved to another place, cursing his fate. He kept on walking till he became tired. He sat under a tree and started thinking about his further course of action. He heart was full of remorse and he repented for his past actions. As his mind was engrossed in such kind of thoughts. He saw somw villages going towards temple. They were carrying prasad in their hands.

“Since Gunanidhi was hungry, he followed them and after reaching the temple he sat at the main gate of the temple. IN the night, after the accomplishment of the Pujan, the devotees went to sleep. Gunanidhi entered the premise went to sleep. Gunanidhi entered the premise of the temple. The flame of the lamp was gradually becoming dim as the result of which he could not see properly. He tore some pieces of cloth, he was wearing and made a thick wick and put it in the lamp. Now the light was sufficient to enable him to see whatever had been offered to the deity.”

“He carried as much fruits and other eatables as possible and tried to sneak out from the temple. Unfortunately, he dashed against a devotee woke up and chased him shouting thief-thief.”

“Hearing his cries all the other devotees woke up and caught Gunanidhi. He was given such a nice thrashing that proved to be fatal and as a result Gunanidhi died.”

The Yamadut’s arrived to take his soul to yamloka. But right then, the Shivaganas arrived and prevented the Yamadutas from carrying his soul. They informed the Yamdutas that Gunanidhi was entitled for Shivaloka as he had devoutly observed the Shivaratri fast, had listened to the tales of Shiva and lighted up the lamp which was about to go off. The Shivaganas also informed the Yamadutas that, in his next birth Gunamidhi would become the king of Kalinga.”

“In this way Gunanidhi attained to Shivaloka. In his next birth he was born as a son of king Arindam- the king of Kalinga. He was named as Dama.” “When he was still young, his fatherArindam dies. So Dama succeeded him as the king of Kalinga. He renovated all the Shiva-temple, which came under his jurisdiction and passed a stricture which made the worship of lord Shiva compulsory for all the subjects. By the blessings of lord Shiva, he became the king of Alkapuri and was known as Kubera.”

1.2.22  Shiva Blesses Gunanidhi

“During the Padma kalpa, Sage Vishrawa was born to sage Pulastya- the manasputra of lord Brahma. Vishrawa’s son – Vishrawan ruled over Alkapuri for a long time. This city was constructed by the deity Vishwakarma. Vishrawan was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.” “During the kalpa named Meghawahan, Gunanidhi did a tremendous penance for ten lac years. As a result of this penance his body was reduced to skelton.”

“Lord Shiva became very pleased with him and appeared before him, accompanied by his consort Parvati. He told Gunanidhi to ask for any boon, which will be fulfilled.” “When Gunanidhi heard Shiva’s Voice he opened his eyes, but his eyes were dazzled by the sheer radiance of lord Shiva. He requested Shiva to restore the power of sight in his eyes. Shiva blessed him, as a result of which he was now able to see the divine sight of lord Shiva. But he became jealous of Uma, who was present by the side of Shiva. He was wondering as to who was this lady, dearer to Shiva than him. He glanced cruelly towards her. As a result of this his left eye lost the power of sight.” “Parvati asked lord Shiva as to why was this sage (Gunanidhi) looking cruelly towards her. Shiva replied- “He is none other than your son. He is looking at you in astonishment as he his bewildered at the feats achieved your penance.” “Lord Shiva then blessed Gunanidhi to become the king of the kings. He also assured him that he will always be present in the vicinity of Alkapuri. After being blessed by Shiva, Gunanidhi also made salutations to Parvati.

Parvati said-

“Since you have looked at me angrily your hatred and enemity (Bair) towards me was clearly visible. For this reason you will be known as Kubers.” After blessings, Gunanidhi both Shiva and Parvati to a place called Vaishveshwar. Kailash mountain was situated near AlkaNagri.

1.2.23  Shiva goes to Kailash

When Rudra – the Ansha of the Almighty brahma, heard about the tremendous penance, Kubera was doing he started to play his ‘damaru’ (drum), the sound of which reached all the three worlds. Rudra then reached the place where Kubera was doing penance.”

“Hearing the sound of his damaru, all the deities including Brahma, Vishnu and Sadashia appeared before him.”

“When Kubera saw lord Rudra before himself, he offered his seat to him and worshipped him. He also worshipped the other deities. Rudra was so pleased with Kubera that he decided to stay near him. He called Vishwakarma and ordered him to conduct his abode at Kailash mountain, so that he could live in could live in the vicinity of his great devotee-Kubera. Kubera constructed a beautiful city as per his instruction. An auspicious moment was chosen and Shiva went to live at Kailash mountain. He was coronated by the deities.”

Brahamaji in this way told Narada about Shiva’s departure to Kailash mountain.

SATI KHAND

In the Sati Khand of Rudra-Samhita, Narada enquires lord Brahma about the reason, why lord Shiva married Sati, inspite of being a ‘yogi’. He also requested Brahmaji to tell, how Sati became the daughter of Daksha Prajapati and in her next birth as Uma the daughter of Himalaya. How did Uma get lord Shiva as her husband?- asked Narada

Lord Brahma narrated the following tale-

“A girl by the name of Sandhya manifested from my being. I was amazed by her heavenly beauty. Right then a divine entity appeared before me, whose beauty could not have been matched even by the deities. He was Kamadeva- the god of love. He influenced me to such an extent that I forgot that Snadhya was my daughter and got infatuated by her.”

“When Rudra came to know about my lust for Sandhya, he admonished me and ridiculed about my character. I felt ashamed. But I also became jealous of Rudra. I decided to influence him with the power of infatuation, but I was unsuccessful in my attempts. I remembered lord Vishnu and he tried to make me understand about the futility of my attempts, as according to him (Vishnu), Rudra was beyond the reach of any human emotions.”

“But I instructed my son – Daksha to help in the procreation of a girl child from the womb of Ashwinivirini. Thus Sati was born. Sati later on became famous of Uma and got Rudra as her husband on account of her tremendous penance.”

“Though Rudra was free from all kinds of attachment, but still he became so influenced by the desire for procreation that he married with Sati. He enjoyed a blissful married life for a very long time.”

“Rudra father in law, Daksha in his arrogance started condemning his son in law -Rudra. Once, Daksha organised a grand yagya ceremony. He gave invitation to everybody except Rudra and Uma. Despite of Rudra’s disinclination to allow Sati to go to her father’s yagya, She insisted and ultimately she was successful in convincing Rudra, to allow her to go.”

“When Sati reached there, she was not given respect by her father-Daksha. Not only this, Daksha made fun of Rudra. Feeling dishonoured, Sati gave up her life by jumping into the sacrificial fire.”

“When Rudra got the news of Sati’s death he became extremely furious. To take revenge, he created Veerbhadra from his locks of hair. Veerbhadra went to Daksha place and destroyed his oblation site. He severed Daksha’s head. All the deities became afraid and prayed to Rudra, to have mercy. Rudra then brought back Daksha to life and helped him the accomplished of the still incomplete Yagya. The site where Sati had died later on became famous as Jwalamukhi devi.”

“The same Sati in her next birth was born as Parvati to Himalaya. By her tremendous penance she again got lord Shiva as her husband.

After that lord Brahma told Narada about the manifestation of Kama – the god of love.

1.2.24  The Manifestation of ‘Kama’

“When I became infatuated by the divine beauty of Sandhya, my infatuation resulted into the manifestation of my another Manas-putra named Kamadeva. His beauty and qualities were incomparable. His manifestation not only inflicted me with lust, but also my other Manasputras became filled up with lust. Kamadeva made salutations to me and asked as to what was his name and purpose of being. I gave him the name ‘Pushpavan’ and instructed him to help in the process of procreation. I also blessed him that nobody would remain unaffected by his influence including myself and Vishnuji.”

1.2.25  Brahma Curses Kamadeva

After being named by lord Brahma as ‘Pushpavan’, Kamadeva was also given various names as Manmath, Kama, Madan etc by sages like Mareech, etc. They also said to him that he would be married to ‘Rati’ the daughter of Daksha.

Kamadeva himself was infatuated with the beauty of Sandhya. To test the authenticity of Brahma’s boon, Kamadeva took out his five arrows and wanted to examine their power. The names of their arrows were Harshan, Rochan, Mohan, Shoshan and Maran.

These arrows had effect on all the people present there including lord Brahma and Sandhya. Getting affected by those arrows, fourty nine types of thoughts emerged in Brahma’s mind. Similarly, flaws were clearly visible in Sandhya’s behaviour.

Kamdeva became convinced of his powers and capabilities. But Dharma – the manasputra of Brahma was saddened by this event. He prayed to lord Shiva.

When Lord Shiva saw the condition of Brahmaji, he became amused and made fun of him and his Manasputras. Everybody was ashamed.

Due to his shame, Brahmaji perspired profusely. From his perspiration were created the Pitraganas. Similarly from the perspiration of Daksha Prajapati was created the most beautiful woman-Rati.

Brahmaji was very angry with Kamadeva because of whom he was ridiculed by Shiva. He cursed him and said- “You would be charred to death by the arrow of Shiva.”

Kamadeva became very scarred and said that he was only testing the authenticity of his boon and he had no other evil intention. He also requested Brahmaji, not to curse him.

Feeling Pity on him, Brahmaji consoled him that, although he would definitely get killed by the arrow of Shiva’s sight, yet he would regain his physical body as soon as Shiva get’s married. Lord Brahma then went to Brahmaloka.

1.2.26  Kama Married Rati

Daksha requested Kamadeva to get married with his daughter – Rati. Kamadeva was very pleased at this proposal. Both Kamadeva and Rati got married.

1.2.27  Sandhya does Penance

Sandhya was very ashamed of herself. For the atonement of her sin she decided to do penance. She went to Chandrabhaga mountain and commenced her tremendous penance.

Lord Brahma then instructed Vashishtha to go to her in disguise and help in getting her initiated. He went to Chandrabhaga mountain in the guise of a brahmin and gave the mantra – OM NAMAH SHANKARAYA OM to her and also told her the methods of doing worship, then he returned back.

1.2.28  Sandhya Receives a Boon from Shiva

After sage Vashishtha who was disguised as brahmin went away. Sandhayd did penance as per his instructions. After the passing of one Chaturyuga, she had a darshan of lord Shiva.

Shiva being pleased by her devotion asked her to demand anything. Sandhya said-

“Nobody should have lust towards the member of his own clan. There should e no virtuous and chaste woman greater then me in this whole world. Anybody other than my husband who looks at me with evil intentions become an impotent man.”

Lord Shiva blessed her by saying-

‘EVAMASTU!’

Lord Shiva then categorised the life-span of a man into four parts – Childhood, adolescence, youth and old age. He than told her that it was written in her destiny to die by burning. He also advised her to go and surrender her body in the sacrificial fire of the yagya, performed by Medhatithi. “Before jumping into the sacrificial fire, just remember anybody, whom you want as your husband, and your wish would be fulfilled in your next birth, When you would take birth as a daughter of Daksha Prajapati. Your father-Daksha Prajapati would marry his 27 twenty daughter to Moon, but the moon would have affection only towards Rohini and rest of his wives would be neglected by him. For this reason he would be cursed by Daksha. All the deities would take your refuge.”

After blessing Sandhya in the way lord Shiva went back to Kailash mountain.

1.2.29  Sandhya’s Birth & her Marriage with Sage Vashistha

When lord Shiva went away. Sandhya got up and went to the place where Medhatithi was performing his yagya. She made a mental resolution to have that brahmin as her husband, who in reality was vashishtha and then entered into the sacrificial fire. The fire of the yagya burnt her body and carried it ti the solar-system, where it was divided by the sun-god into three parts and established in his chariot. The names of these three parts were Pratah-Sandhya, Madhyanha-Sandhya and Sayam Sandhya. Sandhya Vital force was absorbed by lord Shiva.

When the yagya ended, the sages were surprised to see the presence of a girl, who was radiating like gold in the sacrificial fire. They took out that girl child from that yagya-kunda. The sages then brought up that girl with love and affection. She was named Arundhati.

When she attained the age of five, Brahma Vishnu and Mahesg arrived and married her with Vashishth. Arundhati enjoyed a happy life and became famous for her chastity.

1.2.30  Appearance of Spring Season (Vasant Ritu)

Brahmaji told Narada that since the day he was hermiliated by Shiva, he had grudges against him and wanted to take revenge. “I wanted to subdue the arrogance of Shiva by proving it to him that even he could be binded by attachment. I asked Daksha and sages like Mareech as to how this feat could be achieved. As a result ‘Rati’ and ‘Kama’ manifested. I instructed Kama to influence Shiva by his powers. Kama agreed but requested me to create a suitably divine women for Shiva. Myself and Daksha became worried and during that time we exhaled fragrant air through our nostrils, which resulted into the creation of spring season. The spring season was looking divinely beautiful in her physical form. I handed over her to Kama and thus all the three of them (spring season, Kama and Rati) went to influence lord Shiva who was in his deep state of meditation.

1.2.31  The Creation of Marganas and Kama’s Futile Attempts

Kama tried his best to bring lord Shiva under his influence. All the living creatures were spell bound by his powers except lord Shiva and Ganesha.

Kama returned back to Brahmaji ad told him about his unsuccessful attempts. Brahmaji sighed heavily. From his sighes were created the ferocious ganas. These ganas were shouting ”aray-Maray”(Kill-Kill). They eve tried to attack lord Brahma, Kama then pacified the anger of these ganas. These ganas were named as Maar.

Lord Brahma then sent these ganas to Shiva along with Kama and Rati to give it a second try. Once again their attempts went futile. All of them returned to lord Brahma and expressed their inability in influencing Shiva.

1.2.32  Dailogue Between Brahma & Vishnu

Lord Brahma then remembered Vishnuji, who appeared instantaneously. Brahmaji revealed about his intentions to him. LordVishnu told him that it was foolishness on his part to have enemity towards Shiva. But when lord Brahma kept on insisting, he revealed to him that this could be only achieved by the blessings of Goddess Parvati. Lord Vishnu said-

“If she becomes pleased with you, then she could help you in achieving your goal by taking birth in a human form and having Shiva as her husband. Instruct Daksha to do penance so that Parvati takes birth in his house.”

1.2.33  Goddess Durga

After lord Vishnu went away, Lord Brahma started meditating on the form of goddess Durga. She appeared before him. Lord Brahma said-

“I need your help in binding Shiva with your maya.”

Goddess Durga told Brahmaji that Lord Shiva in his incarnation of Rudra was beyond the reached of any kind of Maya. But when Brahmaji kept in insisting then goddess Durga agreed to help him in his effort. She said-

“I will take birth as the daughter of Daksha Prajapati and try to please him by my penance.”

After assuring Lord Brahma she vanished. Lord Brahma too went to his abode.

1.2.34  Daksha Worships Devi

With the permission of lord Brahma, Daksha did penance for three thousand years. As a result goddess Jagdamba appeared before him. She blessed him by saying that she would take birth as his daughter and by her tremendous penance would attain Rudra as her husband. But she warned Daksha that if he showed any kind of disrespect to her, she would end her life.

1.2.35  Daksha Curses Narad

With the permission of lord Brahma, Daksha Prajapati created many thing just by his mental resolution. But finding the absence of any kind of evolution and development in them, he went to Brahmaji to take his advice.

Brahmaji instructed him to create by the help of copulation. Daksha Prajapati then married Asikti – the daughter of Panchajan. Ten thousand sons, including Haryasya were born to them, but all of them were directed by Narada to follow the path of salvation.

After that, Daksha married Panchajani from whom were born thousand of son, but all of them followed the path of salvation and were not interested in creation. Narada was instructed in changing their mind.

Daksha Prajapati became very furious with Narada and cursed him to become an eternal wandered. He said-

“You will never remain at a place for long.”

1.2.36  Birth of Sati

When lord Brahma came to know about Daksha Prajapati’s anger towards Narad he went to him and cooled him down. Subsequently sixty daughters were born to Daksha. He married his ten daughters with Dharma, thirteen daughters with Kasyap. Twentyseven daughters with Moon, two daughters with Bhutangiras, two daughters with Krishashva and the remaining six daughters with Garuda. Daksha mediated on the form of Bhagawati, and was instructed by her to do penance. Daksha did a tremendous penance and thus was born Uma to Daksha and Virani. Uma was brought up with great love and affection. Uma used to worship lord Shiva by singing devotional songs in his praise.

1.2.37  Sati does Penance

When Sati attained marriageable age, Daksha started worrying. Sati understood the reason behind her father’s worried. She went to her Mother Virani and expressed her desire of marrying lord Shiva.

Her mother made all the arrangements so that Sati could worship Shiva without any problem. Sati commenced her austerity named Nandavrata which continued for a year. Being impressed by her austerities, all the deities descended down from heaven to see her.

1.2.38  Brahmaji makes a request to Lord Shiva

All the deities and the sages requested lord Shiva to get married, but Shiva did not want to curtail his freedom by getting married. When the deities insisted he told them to find a suitable match for him.

Brahma and Vishnu told Shiva about the tremendous penance Uma was doing to him (Shiva) as her husband. They also requested him have to go to her (uma) and fulfill her desire. Lord Shiva agreed.

1.2.39  Shiva Blesses Uma with a Boon

After Uma had accomplished her penance named Nandavrat, lord Shiva appeared before her and asked her to demand anything. Uma because of her shyness could not say anything. Lord Shiva knew about her desire so he said-

“You will have me as your husband.”

Uma’s face beamed with joy, but she shyly requested lord Shiva to keep this proposal before Daksha. Shiva agreed and said- ‘Tathastu’. He then went back to his abode- Kailash.

Sati narrated the whole story to her parents. Both of them became very happy with this news. Lord Shiva then instructed Brahmaji to put a formal proposal to Daksha regarding his marriage with Sati. Lord Brahma went and informed Daksha about lord Shiva’s proposal. Daksha was very happy at the proposal. Brahma then came back to lord Shiva.

1.2.40  Shiva Married Sati

Lord Shiva was anxiously waiting for his arrival. When Lord Brahma arrived he curiously asked about Daksha’s response. When lord Brahma told him about Daksha’s approval of the marriage. Shiva was very pleased at this.

Lord Shiva proceeded towards Daksha’s abode on the auspicious moment of Phalgun, Krishnapaksha and on the thirteenth day of Phalguni Nakshatra. Sitting on the back of Nandi and accompanied by all the deities including lord Brahma, Vishnuji he reached Daksha’s residence.

The marriage-procession was received by Daksha with great respect. Shiva narrated Sati in an auspicious lagna. Being pleased, all the deities eulogised Shiva and danced in joy.

1.2.41  Lord Brahma Faces the Wrath of Shiva

Daksha presented invaluable things to his daughter- Sati as dowry. Similarly the brahmins were presented with large quantities of wealth.

Lord Brahma was enchanted by the divine beauty of Sati. With a desire to see her face, he put logs of wood which were wet, into the yagni kunda and poured ghee on them. As a result the atmosphere was filled up with smoke.

Now Brahma removed the piece of cloth which covered her face. He became infatuated by her beauty. When lord Shiva discovered about his evil intentions he ran towards him menacingly. Lord Shiva wanted to kill him, but the deities prayed to spare his life. Lord Vishnu eulogised and worshipped him and only then his anger was subdued. Thus lord Brahma was forgiver by Shiva.

1.2.42  Deformed Face of Brahma

Though lord Shiva had forgiven Brahmaji, yet he instructed him to apologize by bowing down his head. Brahma did as he was instructed Lord Shiva then established on his head. Brahmaji became ashamed and asked as to how could he atone for his sins. Lord Shiva instructed Brahmaji that by worshipping him he could appropriately atone for his sins. He than instructed Brahma to go to the earth where he would be worshipped as ‘Rudra Shir’. Shiv said-

“Your worship would help the brahmin in accomplishing every kinds of work. Taking lessons from you people would not dare to have extramarital affairs.

1.2.43  Shiva-Shakti as Husband & Wife

After reaching Kailash mountain, lord Shiva instructed all his ganas (attendants), not to disturb them (Shiva and Shakti). When all the ganas went away Shiva and Shakti enjoyed a blissful union for twenty five Deva-years.

1.2.44  Shiva-Shakti Depart for Himalya

When the rainy season arrived, Shakti requested Shiva to make a residence in such a place to that they could not be disturbed by rain etc. Lord Shiva smiled and said-

“Dear Sati! The clouds and rain will not dare to disturb if you are present by my side, no matter whereever we live – even if we live on the peaks of Himalayas.

Sati requested him to make Himalaya as his abode. Lord Shiva agreed and both if them shifted to their new abode at Himalaya, where they lived for ten thousand ‘Deva-years’.

1.2.45  The Importance of Devotion in Kaliyuga

Sati requested lord Shiva to enlighten her mind by giving discourses. Shiva revealed to her the importance of devotion in the Kaliyug. He said that the value of knowledge (gyan) and asceticism (vairagya) would diminish to the extent of extinction in the era of Kali and only devotion would help a man in attaining liberation. Lord Shiva said-

“I had burnt the time (Kala) for the benefit of the devotees, with my third eye. For the sake of my devotees, I even abandoned Ravana without any partiality. For the welfare of my devotees, I even instructed Nandi to punish sages Vyas, who was exiled out of Kashi.”

Shiva preached on may topics like devotion types of devotion, yantra, mantra, scriptures etc.

1.2.46  Sati’s Doubt

Devarshi Narad who was listening to the divine tales of Shiva, narrated by lord Brahma with rapt attention, requested him to describe about other characteristics of Shiva. Brahmaji said-

“Once, lord Shiva accompanies by Sati, arrived at Dandak aranya, where Sri Ram was wandering in search of Sita, who had been abducted by Ravana. After walking for some time Lord Shiva saw Sri Ram and Laxman. Lord Shiva made salutations to Sri Ram. Sati was surprised at Shiva’s behaviours. She asked lord Shiva about the reason he made salutations to Sri Ram. Shiva told Sati that he (Sri Ram) was his deity and an incarnation of lord Vishnu. But Sati was not satisfied by this reply. She wanted to test, whether Sri Ram was really an incarnation of lord Vishnu or not. She disguised herself as Sita and went to Sri Ram. But Sri Ram recognised her real identity and addressed her as Mother. Sati was ashamed but asked Sri Ram as to why did Shiva made salutations to her.”

Sri Ram narrated the following story-

1.2.47  Shiva does not see Sati as his consort

Once, lord Shiva requested Vishwakarma to construct a grand palace and a magnificent throne for him. When everything was ready, Shiva invited all the deities for the crowning ceremony of lord Vishnu.

Lord Vishnu was requested to be seated on the throne and was worshipped by all the deities including Shiva himself. He assured lord Vishnu that all of his (Vishnu’s) incarnations would be shown respected by his (Shiva’s) devotees ( Ram) am the incarnation of Vishnu.”

Sati was now completely satisfied. She was also ashamed of herself that she had doubted Shiva’s words. She went to lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva stopped looking at Sati, as her consort, because she had personified herself as mother Sita. This fact was even corroborated by a heavenly voice. Now Sati’s heart was filled up with sorrows.

She followed disenchanted Shiva to the Kailash mountain, where he commenced his meditation and went into Samadhi. She sat down without saying a word. When lord Shiva came out from his Samadhi, he saw her stire sitting their. He felt pity on her and drove away her guilt and sorrows, by giving discourses.

1.2.48  Daksha’s Animosity towards Shiva

Once, the sages organised a yagya at Prayaga, which was attended by all the deities. Lord Shiva too had come, accompanies by Sati. He was eulogized and worshipped by all the deities and the sages.

Daksha arrived there and after making salutations to lord Brahma sat down without showing any kind of respect to Shiva. After that, all the deities and the sages came and made salutations to Daksha, but Shiva sat where he was sitting.

The ignorant Daksha cursed Shiva that from now onwards his (Shiva’s) share would not be kept in the yagya.

At this Nandi- the vehicle of Shiva became very angry and cursed Daksha that from today onwards the brahmins would fail to understand the essence of Vedas.

Lord Shiva then pacified Nandi’s anger and both of them went back to their abode. Daksha too went back to his place and started having hatred towards Shiva.

1.2.49  Daksha Performs Yagya

Daksha organised a yagya at ‘Kanakhal’ in which everybody except Shiva and Sati were invited. Sage Dadhichi arrived and not finding the seat for Shiva went back, saying that it was impossible to accomplish a yagya without Shiva.

Then Daksha commenced the yagya with the assistance of other sages who were present there.

1.2.50  Sati’s Arrival at the Oblation Site

When Sati saw all the deities going happily, she became curious to know where they were going. She requested her companion to ask the moon as to where he was going in such a cheerful mood.

The moon told her companion that they were going to attend the yagya ceremony, being organised by Daksha.

Sati was very surprised at this information. She went to lord Shiva and sought his permission to go there. Lord Shiva then told Sati that her father did not invite them because of the animosity he was having towards him (Shiva).

Sati became very furious and decided to go there to know about the reason why Daksha was performing the yagya without inviting her husband-Shiva. Shiva sent Nandi and other rudraganas as her escorts.

1.2.51  Sati’s Dishonor

When Sati reached, where Daksha was performing his yagya, she met her mother and sisters. They met her with all the respect and honour. But Daksha did not even caste a glance at her. Imitating him many other people did the same.

But Sati not bothering about the disrespect shown to her made salutations to both her parents. When she reached near the yagya-mandap she saw that shares of all the deities was there except that of Shiva. She became furious and asked her father as to why was Shiva not invited to the yagya.

Daksha then made fun of Shiva and cursed him. This made her more angry and she declared that she would give up her life in everybody’s presence. After the declaration her mind was engrossed by the thoughts of Shiva.

1.2.52  Sati Gives Up Her Life

Sati then sat in padmasan and closed her yes. By her yogic powers she united with Shiva and her lifeless body fell into the yagya-kunda. This incident shocked everybody and the rudraganas furiously picked up their weapons. Right then a heavenly voice was heard.

“O mean Daksha! Share on you! you are a sinner and a fool. Now you are certain to face the wrath of Shiva. Because of your act, the deities too will have to suffer.”

Daksha became scarred. He immediately eulogising lord Vishnu.

1.2.53  Manifestation of Veerbharda & Mahakali

When Nandi informed Shiva about Sati’s death, he became very furious. He angrily pulled out a locks of hair and dashed it against the mountain, which got divided into two parts. From one part manifested the valiant Veerbharda and from the other part Mahakali.

Veerbhadra and Mahakali were instructed by Shiva to destroy the yagya of Daksha and to kill all the people who were present during the time of Sati’s death, including the deities and the sages.

1.2.54  Veerbhadra & Kali Assemble their Army

After getting the instructions from lord Shiva, Veerbhardra marched with a huge army which included the mighty Shivaganas like Dakini, Bhairav and Kapalish etc. Goddess Kali to joined him with her army which consisted of all her nine incarnations like Katyayani etc. As the army marched on numerous auspicious signs were visible.

1.2.55  Daksha Experiences Inauspicious Signs

On the other hand Daksha experienced many inauspicious signs. His left eye, left army and left thigh started throbbing. He saw the vultures flying over his head. He heard the sounds of jackals howling.

1.2.56  Lord Vishnu Preaches Daksha

Daksha then prayed to lord Vishnu to rescue him from the imminent wrath of lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu preached Daksha and said-

“Daksha! Since you have committed the greatest sin by dishonouring Shiva and Sati. Even I can not prevent the calamities which you are certain to face.”

As lord Vishnu was preaching Daksha suddenly there was a loud commotion. The army of Veerbhadra had arrived. Daksha was frightened and again prayed to Vishnu to save his life.

Lord Vishnu again expressed his helplessness and told him that because of him all the deities too would have to suffer.

1.2.57  Daksha Gets his Head Severed

A terrible battle was fought between the armies of Veerbhadra and the deities. The deities got defeated and fled away. They went to lord Vishnu and sought his help. Lord Vishnu decided to fight on the side of the deities.

The battle recommenced for the second time. Lord Vishnu having a dual fight with Veerbhadra and the deities were fighting against his army.

Suddenly everybody heard a heavenly voice which said that Veerbhadra was invincible. Hearing this, Lord Vishnu and Brahmaji went to their respective abodes.

Daksha ran for his life and hid himself behind the attar where the yagya was being performed. But Veerbhadra pulled him out from there and severed his head. He then threw his head in the agni-kunda. After this he returned back to Kailash accompanies by his army.

1.2.58  Contention between Kshuva & Dadhichi

Narad, who was listening to the divine tales of Shiva with rapt attention, was very curious to know about the reasons why lord Vishnu attended a yagya where Shiva was not invited and why did he fight a battle against veerbhadra despite knowing about his invincibility.

Lord Brahma told him that all this happened due to the curse of Sage Dadhichi-

In the ancient times, there used to live a king named Kshuva, who was a great friend of Sage Dadhichi. Due to some reasons both of their developed animosity towards each other. Dadhichi considered himself superior because of being a brahmin, on the other hand Kshuva considered himself superior on account of his wealth. The dispute took a worst turn and Dadhichi punched him on his head. As a result Kshuva felt down unconscious. When he regained his consciousness he attained sage Da dhichi with his weapon named Vajra, which injured Dadhichi.

Dadhichi sought the help of Shukracharya. Shukracharya healed his wounds by his mantras. He also taught Dadhichi the mahamrityunjay mantra. Dadhichi then did a tremendous penance to please lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before him and blessed him with three boons, they were 1) his bones, would become as hard as lightning (Vajra), ii) he would not be killed, iii) he would never be humiliated.

Armed with these three boons, Sage Dadhichi again went to fight Kshuva. He kicked him, in return Kshuva too attacked him with his weapon named Vajra, but it did not have any effect on Dadhichi as his bones had become as hard as lighting.

King Kshuva did a tremendous penance to please lord Vishnu. Vishnu revealed to him that Dadhichi had become immortal because of the blessings of lord Shiva, but assured him that he would certainly help him in defeating Dadhichi.

1.2.59  Battle between Vishnu & Dadhichi

Lord Vishnu then visited the hermitage of Sage Dadhichi, disguised as a brahmin. On being asked by Dadhichi about the purpose of his arrival, he said that he had come with a desire of a boon on his heart.

Sage Dadhichi, by his yogic power came to know about the real identity of a ‘Brahmin’. He told that he had been caught. Lord Vishnu was ashamed.

Lord Vishnu then went back to Kshuva and instructed him to go to sage Dadhichi and act as if he had accepted his superiority.

“Kshuva went to sage Dadhichi and did as he was instructed to do, but Dadhichi did not believe his words. Now lord Vishnu became angry and tried to kill him by his sudarshan chakra, but he was not successful, as the chakra, which was given to him by lord Shiva himself, was not willing to harm a devotee of Shiva.

“Lord Vishnu then tried to kill Dadhichi by shooting volley of arrows. The deities too attacked with their weapon. Sage Dadhichi threw a handful of Kusha grass, initiated with mantras towards them, which destroyed all the weapons of the deities.”

“In the meantime lord Brahma arrived on the scene accompanies by Kshuva. He told the deities that it was futile to fight with Dadhichi as he was invincible, due to the boon given by lord Shiva,”

“Ultimately King Kshuva begged his forgiveness for his offence. Dahichi forgave him but cursed Vishnu including all the deities that they would be burnt to ashes by the wrath of Rudra.”

“This was the reason why all the deities and lord Vishnu attended the yagya, organised by Daksha and got defeated by Veerbhadra.”

1.2.60  The Deities go to Lord Shiva

The deities after being defeated by Veerdbharda went to Brahmaloka and narrated everything about the destruction of Daksha’s yagya and also how his head was severed by Veerbharda.

Brahmaji became very sad. To bring Daksha back to life and to accomplish the still unfinished yagya, he went to lord Vishnu to take his help. All the deities accompanies him.

Lord Vishnu told them that it was wrong on the part of Daksha to have shown disrespect to Shiva. The deities were wrong to support him. Lord Vishnu then went to Kailash mountain, accompanied by Lord Brahma and all the other deities. All of them eulogized and worshipped Shiva. They also requested him to bring Daksha back to life.

1.2.61  Daksha becomes Alive

Lord Shiva became very pleased and agreed to make Daksha alive. All of them went to Kanakhal-the place where Daksha had organised the yagya ceremony. Veerbhadra too accompanied them.

When they reached the site, Lord Shiva could not hold his laughter after seeing the destruction of the site. Anyway, he joined the head of a goat to the torso of Daksha’s body and made him alive. He also compensated for all the losses which had been caused by the destruction. All the deities became very pleased and they eulogised Shiva.

1.2.62  Daksha Organizes Yagya once again

Becoming pleased by the invocation and eulogy of the deities, Lord Shiva preached Daksha in the following way-

“The person who has the right knowledge (gyani) is the supreme among all human beings. An action which is performed in one’s ignorance and jealousy does not liberate a man from his world bondages.

O Daksha then accomplished his yagya singing the praise of lord Shiva. He also give lots of donation to the brahmins. They everybody returned to their respective houses being fully satisfied.

Sati – the daughter of Daksha was reborn as Gauri- the daughter of Himalaya and Maina. By her tremendous penance she again had lord Shiva as her husband.

1.2.63  Parvat Khand: Himalya Marries Maina

Narada requests lord Brahma to shed light on the birth of Maina and also too she was married with Himalaya.

Brahmaji Said-

“After relinquishing her body, Sati – the daughter of Daksha attained to the abode of Shiva. In her next birth she was born to Maina – the wife of Himalaya and was known as Parvati. Maina had done great service to Sati in her previous life considering as her own daughter. For this reason she was blessed and got Parvati as her daughter. Parvati did tremendous penance and got lord Shiva as her husband.”

Continuing with his story Brahmaji said-

“Once Himalaya – the king of the mountains, decided to marry with the desire of expanding his lineage. The deities came to know about his desires and so they went to the Pitras and requested them to give their daughter – Maina, so that Himalaya could marry her. The Pitras agreed at this proposal. Thus Maina got married wih Himalaya. After the marriage ceremony the deities returned back to their respective abodes.

1.2.64  Maina gets Liberated from the Curse

Daksha had Sixty daughters, ‘Swadha’ was one of them and was married to the Pitras. In due course of time three daughters were born to them – Maina, Dhanya and Kalawati. Once all the three of them went to Swetadweepa to have a darshan of lord Vishnu. Right then, sages like Sanak, Sanadan etc arrived there. Everybody present there stood up in reverence, but Maina, Dhanya and Kalawati could not identify who they were and hence they remained sitting. Not only that, they did not even make any salutations to them.

The sages became angry and cursed them to be born as humans in their next birth. Maina, Dhanya and Kalawati became very afraid and requested to be pardoned.

Sages Sanak feeling pity on them told that Maina would become the wife of Himalaya, in her next birth and give birth to Parvati, Similarly Dhanya would be married to king Janak and Sita would be born to them, similarly Kalawati would be married to Vrishbhan and Radha would be born to them. Sage Sanak also told them, that in this way all three of them would attain to the heaven.

1.2.65  Invocation of Ua

Brahmaji told Narad that after getting married with Maina, Himalaya enjoyed a happy married life for a long time.

Once, lord Vishnu paid a visit to his place, accompanied by all the deities. Himalaya was very pleased by his arrival. After making salutations, he asked for the purpose of their visit.

The deities revealed to them that very soon the incarnation of Sati – Parvati is going to take birth.

“Therefore, O Himalaya! be prepared for that glorious occasion.” Said the deities.

Himalaya was very pleased at this news. The deities started invocating Uma.

1.2.66  Goddess Uma Consoles the Deities

Being pleased by the invocation made by the deities Goddess Uma assured the deities about her arrival in this world. She told that her incarnation would take place in the house of Himalaya and by the virtues of her tremendous penance she would get lord Shiva as her husband. She also told the deities that she was satisfied by the service of Maina, done to her in the previous life. After being assured the deities went back satisfied.

1.2.67  Maina and Himalya Commence Penance

Himalaya and Maina commenced their penance with the objective of getting Uma as their daughter. Maina did a tremendous penance which lasted for twenty-seven years.

Goddess uma became very pleased by her penance. She appeared before her and asked her to demand anything she wished for. Maina expressed her desire of having one hundred valiant sons and a daughter, who would be worshipped by the people in all the three world.

Goddess Uma blessed her by saying Tathastu. Maina narrated this incident to her husband Himalaya. He became very pleased. In due course of time one hundred sons were born t o Maina. One of the sons was Mainak who possessed supreme qualities. Due to some reasons, Indra had severed the wings of Mainak’s ninety-nine brothers, but by taking the refuge of ocean Mainak was able to survive the assault of Indra’s Vajra.

1.2.68  Birth of Parvati

Himalaya and Maina engaged themselves in the worship of Shiva and Shakti, day and night. After some days Parvati manifested herself by taking birth. After her birth the whole mountaneous region of Himalaya became illuminated by her radiance.

1.2.69  Divine Childhood Plays of Parvati

After taking her birth, Parvati gradually started growing up. Varioua names given to her like Girja, Uma, and Jagdamba. Himalaya and Maina felt proud of their fate, which had made them the parents of an incarnation. Seeing the childhood plays of Uma, their hearts knew no bounds.

One day sage Narad arrived there Himalaya requested him to study the palm of Parvati, as he was curious to know about her future. After studying the lines of the palm, Narada predicted that Parvati was destined to be the wife of an entity, who would be beyond the reach of all the three qualities. He also revealed to them, that her husband would be devoid of any flaws and would be self born-Rudra.

Narad told Himalaya that to have Rudra as her husband, Parvati will have to accomplish great austerities and penance. Narad then went away.

1.2.70  The Dreams of Parvati and Himalya

When Uma had attained the marriagable age, Maina requested her husband a suitable bridegroom for her. Himalya told her that the words of Narada would never go in vain hence Uma should be asked to do penance, so that she could have Rudra as her husband.

But Maina was disinclined in forcing her tender daughter – Parvati in to such hardhsips like penance. Parvati then told Maina about her dream, in which she had seen a brahmin instructing her to do penance in order to have Rudra as her husband.

Maina told Himalaya about Parvati’s dream. Himalaya then revealed to Maina about his own dream, in which he had seen lord Shiva doing penance at Kailash mountain. He had tried to give Parvati to him (Shiva) was unwillingly to have her service. But Shiva ultimately changed his mind after being satisfied by Parvati’s replies/

Himalaya said- “I saw in my dream that Parvati had pleased Shiva by her tremendous penance and ultimately both of hem got married. Maina was satisfied and waited eagerly for that auspicious moment.

1.2.71  The Birth of ‘Bhaum’-Mars

Once, when the ganas of Shiva praised the glory of mother Sati, lord Shiva became overjoyed just like an ordinary human being. In his joy, he travelled all around the three world without any clothes on his body. He returned back to Kailash and went into meditation.

While he was engrossed in his Samadhi, three drops of perspiration originated from his forehead fell down on the earth. From those drops manifested a very beautiful infant, who was of reddish complexion and who had four arms.

Seeing the child lord Shiva became concerned about his upbringing. Right then, mother earth manifested and lord Shiva entrusted the job of child’s upbringing. The child was brought up by mother earth with great love and care. The child was named ‘Bhaum’ as he was nurtured and brought up by ‘Bhumi’ (earth).

When the child grew up, he went to Kashi and did a tremendous penance to please lord Shiva Lord Shiva became pleased with him and blessed him by granting him ‘Mangalloka’, which was superior even to the ‘Shukraloka’. The same ‘Bhauma’ is established in the solar system by the name of ‘Mars.’

1.2.72  Shiva Arrives at Himalya

One day lord Shiva accompanied by his ganas like Bhringi, Nandi, etc, arrived at Himalaya, with the purpose of doing penance. When Parvati father Himalaya came to know about his arrival, he went to receive him. After he had made his salutations to Shiva, he was instructed by Shiva to see that he is not disturbed while doing his penance.

Himalaya made all the necessary arrangements so that Lord Shiva could perform his penance without being disturbed. One day Himalaya arrived at the place where lord Shiva was doing his penance. Parvati too came along with him. Himalaya requested him to keep Parvati, so that she could be at his service. Lord Shiva declined to keep her with him, fearing her presence might cause hindrance in the path of his penance. Now, Himalaya became very concerned about his daughter’s future and wandered whether Parvati would remain unmarried.

1.2.73  Conversation between Parvati & Shiva

When Parvati saw her father becoming worried by Shiva’s response she decided to intervene. She said to lord Shiva-

“I am ‘Prakriti’ (Nature) and you are the ‘Purusha’ (almighty). You exist in the ‘Sagun’ form (with form) because of me. In my absence, you will find it impossible even to exist.”

Lord Shiva was impressed by her knowledge. He allowed her to be present near her. Himalaya and Parvati became very pleased.

Parvati used to come daily at the place where lord Shiva was doing his penance. Her companions too used to come along. She used to engaged herself in the worship of lord Shiva with great devotion.

Though lord Shiva was very much impressed by her devotion, but he decided that he won’t marry her until she has proved her mettle by her tremendous penance.

The deities were tormented by a demon named. Tarakasur. They went to lord Brahma to seek his help. Lord Brahma sends ‘Kamadeva’ to disturb the Samadhi of Shiva, so that being influenced by him Shiva married Parvati and ultimately kills Tarakasur.

This attempt of Brahma was unsuccessful. Shiva ‘burnt’ Kamadeva with the help of his third eye. Parvati, then redoubled her effort to attract the attention of Shiva by engaging herself in a tremendous penance.

1.2.74  The Birth of Vajrang

Narada was curious to know about Tarakasur. He asked Brahmaji to narrate his tale.

Brahmaji said-

“Kashyap-the son of Marichi, had thirteen wives Diti was the eldest among them. She was the mother of Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Both her sons were killed by lord Vishnu in his incarnations of Nrisimha and Varaha respectively. Diti became very sad by the death of her sons.

After somtime she again became pregnant but the foetus was destroyed by Indra’s weapon- Vajra in the womb itself. However Indra was not able to destroy the foetus completely, but was only successful in dividing the foetus into forty-nine parts. These forty-nine parts, later on became famous as ‘Maraudganas’.

Again Diti gave birth of Vajrang, who was very valiant and brave. When he grew up, Diti ordered him to defeat the deities. With his mother’s permission and blessings, Vajrang defeated the deities and held them captive. He fastened all the deities. With strings and himself became the king of heaven.

Seeing the pitable state of the deities I (brahma) went to Vajrang accompanied by Kashyap and requested him to free the deities. Vajrang agreed to free them but said he did not have any aspiration of becoming the king of heaven, he only wanted to teach a lesson to Indra.

Vajrang returned the heaven to the deities. Later on the married Varanji who had been created by me (Brahma). While Vajrang was of virtuous nature, Varangi was met.”

1.2.75  Birth of Tarakasur and his Penance

Varangi gave birth to Tarakasur- the valiant and brave demon. During the time of his birth , the world was affected by inauspicious events like earthquakes, cyclones etc, His name Tarakasur was given by Kashyap.

After he grew up, Tarakasur went to Madhuvan to do penance. His tremendous penance scarred the deities. Becoming pleased by his penance, lord Brahma appeared before him and asked him to demand anything.

Tarakasur demanded two boons – there should be no man as powerful as him and except Shiva’s son nobody should be able to kill him. Lord Brahma blessed him by saying ‘Tathastu’.

After receiving the boons, Tarakasur returned back to Ronitpur and was crowned as the king by Shukracharya. He then defeated the deities and drove them out from the heaven. Now it came under the rule of the demons.

1.2.76  Tarakasur Relinquishes Heaven on the Advice of Lord Brahma

After being driven away from the heaven, the deities went to lord Brahma to seek his help. They asked him as to how they could get rid of this menace called Tarakasur.

Brahmaji revealed to the deities that Tarakasur could be killed only by such a person, whose parents are Shiva and Parvati. He also advised them to make efforts, so that Shiva agrees to marry Parvati.

Lord Brahma them went to ‘Tarakasur’ who had now become the king of heaven, and tried to convince him to return it back to the deities. Tarakasur agreed to relinquish the heaven and give it back to the deities. The deities went back to the heaven.

1.2.77  Kamadeva Sent to Lord Shiva

Lord Brahma told Narada that the deities decided to send Kamadeva to influence lord Shiva so that the marriage between him and Parvati is felicitated.

Indra called Kamadeva and told him that the demon king Tarakasur could be killed only by such a person who was the son of Shiva and Parvati. Indra instructed Kamadeva to arouse passion in lord Shiva, so that he agrees to marry Parvati.

Kamadeva, accompanied by his wife Rati went to lord Shiva to accomplish his mission.

1.2.78  Efforts of Kamadeva

After reaching the place where lord Shiva was engrossed in his meditation, Kamadeva made repeated attempts to arouse passion in the heart of lord Shiva, but his actions were no avail.

Right then, Kamadeva saw Parvati arriving accompanied by her companions. She was looking divine in her beauty. Just at that moment lord Shiva too had come out of his meditational trance. Kamadeva thought that it was the most appropriate moment to have a go.

Kamadeva struck lord Shiva with his ‘Kamabana’ which did have a deep impact on him. Lord Shiva was struck by the awesome beauty of Parvati and his heart became full of passion for her. But at the same time he was surprised at the sudden change in his behaviour. He realized that it was an act of Kamadeva.

1.2.79  Kamadeva Reduces to Ashes

Lord Shiva looked all around him. He saw kamadeva standing towards his left side, with a bow and arrows in his hands. Now he was fully convinceed that it was indeed an act of Kamadeva.

Kamadeva becameterrified, he started remembering god, but before the deities could come at his rescue the third eye of lord Shiva got opened and Kamadeva was reduced to ashes.

Parvati got scarred after seeing Lord Shiva in such a destruction anger. She went to her house along with her companions. Rati- the wife of Kamadeva wept unconsolably.

The deities arrived and consoled her by saying that by the grace of lord Shiva, her husband would be alive once again. After that the deities went near lord Shiva and did his worship. They told him that it was not the fault of Kamadeva, as he had acted in accordance with the aspirations of the deities. They also told him the mystery of Tarakasur’s death. The deities then requested him to make Kamadeva alive once again.

Lord Shiva told the deities that Kamadeva would take birth as the son of Krishna and Rukmini in the era of dwapar. A demon by the name of Shambar would throw him off in the sea. He would kill that demon and marry Rati, who too would be living in a city near the sea.

But the deities were not satisfied. They requested lord Shiva to help Rati to unite with her husband. Lord Shiva then told them that Kamadeva would become his gana, but he also warned them against revealing this fact to anybody. Rati then went to the city where the demon Shambar was expected to appear in the era of dwapar. The deities too went back to the heaven.

1.2.80  The Anger of Shiva Subsides

Lord Shiva’s anger did not subside after the death of Kamadeva and the whole world started to feel the wrath of lord Shiva’s fury. All the living creatures became terrified. They went to lord Brahma and prayed to him, to save them from Shiva’s wrath.

Lord Brahma went to lord Shiva and conveyed their request to him. Lord Shiva agreed to relinquish his anger. Lord Brahma then carried Shiva’s ‘fury’ to the sea and went to the sea. He requested the sea to posses it until the final annihilation. The sea agreed to do this. This way Lord Shiva’s fury entered into the sea and all the living creatures felt a sign of relief.

1.2.81  Narada Preaches Parvati

When Parvati reached her home, she became very sad as she was unable to bear the sorrow of Shiva’s separation. Sage Narada arrived there. Her father Himalaya narrated the whole story to him

Sage Narada then gave the five lettered mantra – “OM NAMAH SHIVAJ’ to her and he also instructed her to do penance. Parvati heart was filled up with new enthusiasm.

1.2.82  Parvati does Penance

After taking the permission of her parents and relinquishing all of her ornaments and royal apparels, Parvati went to the same place where Lord Shiva himself had done penance. This sacred place was situated at the Himalayas, from where the holy Ganges originated. Parvati companions too had accompanied her.

Parvati commenced her penance which gradually became severer day by day. She did penance for three thousand years by chanting the five lettered mantra- OM NAMAH SHIVAY and performing other kinds of austerities. Becoming impressed by her tremendous penance even the deities flocked to see her. Parvati did her penance, surrounded by fire on all her sides during summer. In rainy season she did her penance without any shelter and during winter she used to do penance by immersing herself in neck deep water.

1.2.83  The Deities go to Lord Shiva

Parvati’s power created such heat in the atmosphere that the whole world started to burn. All the deities & sages went to lord Brahma and told him about the effects, Parvati’s penance was having on all the three worlds.

Lord Brahma accompanied by all of them went to Vishnuji. They visited the place where Parvati was doing her penance. They realized that lord Shiva was the only remedy and hence all of them went to lord Shiva and made salutations to him.

1.2.84  Salutations Gives His Approval

Lord Shiva enquired about the purpose of their arrival. Lord Vishnu then revealed to him that how distressed and tormented were the deities by the activities of the demon – Tarakasur.

He also told Shiva that he could be killed by such a person, who is born out of the parentage of Shiva and Parvati. Lord Vishnu then told Shiva about Parvati’s penance.

Initially lord Shiva refused to comply with their request but when the deities continued with their insistence, he ultimately gave his conscent. The deities became very pleased.

1.2.85  Parvati’s Love for Shiva Tested by the Sapta-Rishis

After the deities went back, lord Shiva summoned the Saptarishis (Vashishth etc) and instructed them to test Parvati’s love for him. The Saptarishis went to Parvati and tested her resolve to marry lord Shiva. They tried to deter her by all means, but Parvati was firm in her resolve. They went back to lord Shiva and narrated the whole story.

1.2.86  Lord Shiva Tests Parvati

Lord Shiva then himself went to Parvati in the guise of a brahmin. Parvati on seeing a brahmin welcomed her with full honour.

Shiva asked Parvati as to why was she doing penance. Parvati told him that she wanted to have Shiva as her husband. Lord Shiva, who was in the guise of a brahmin started cursing Shiva to see how Parvati reacted to it.

Parvati replied that inspite of her penance Shiva did not appear, so she has decided to give up her life in burning pyre. After saying like this Parvati requested the Brahmin to go back and she herself entered into the burning pyre but remained unharmed Lord Shiva was very pleased to see her firm resolve and devotion. He again asked her as to what was the purpose behind doing such a tremendous penance.

1.2.87  Parvati’s Reply

Parvati told the brahmin; who in reality was Shiva himself that, she wanted to have Shiva as her husband at any cost. She said-

“You say that lord Shiva does not possess anything – not even wealth. He does not put on clothes on his body. You also say that he is not fit to be a bridegroom of me. But all of your utterances prove your mean intelligence.”

1.2.88  Shiva Reveals his True Identity

Parvati continuing with her statements said that Shiva was the most capable deity in all the three world. “There is no sin greater than condemning Shiva.” Said Parvati.

As Shiva, who was in the guise of Brahmin was about to say something Parvati said to one of her companion-

“This condemner should be killed, if this is not possible then we must leave this place at once.”

As she was about to leave that place, lord Shiva revealed his true identity and by holding her hand said- “You have been my wife since time immemorial where are you going?”

Parvati became very pleased and her heart was filled up with extreme joy. She requested him to take to her father regarding their marriage. Lord Shiva agreed. He went back to Kailash mountain and narrated the whole story to his Ganas – Nandi, Bhairav etc. Everyone became very happy and awaited eagerly for the day Shiva would marry Parvati.

1.2.89  Shiva Demands Parvati as his Consort

Parvati, after successfully accomplishing her penance came back to her home. Everybody was happy at her arrival.

After sometime Himalaya went out to take his bath in the river Ganges. Meanwhile lord Shiva arrived in his appearance of Nataraj and started dancing in front of Parvati’s mother – Maina. She was so pleased by his dance that she wanted to present jewels to him in appreciation, but Shiva refused to take them. He expressed his desire to marry Parvati, which made Maina furious.

In the meantime, Himalaya arrived and she informed him what Shiva had said. He became angry too and ordered his attendants to drive away Nataraj (Shiva) from that place. Shiva then showed his divine appearance due to which Himalaya had the vision of Lord Vishnu and Parvati sitting by the side of lord Shiva in him. Himalaya was very surprised.

Lord Shiva again demanded Parvati to be made as his consort, but Himalaya in his ignorance again refused it. Nataraj then returned back to his abode.

After Shiva went back, Himalaya had a feeling that perhaps it was lord Shiva himself, who had arrived in the appearance of Nararaj. He realized what a grave blunder had been committed. Because of their guilt consciousness, both Maina and Himalaya felt the germination of devotion in their heart.

1.2.90  Shiva’s Delusionary Power

Indra and the other deities became afraid when they saw both Himalaya and Maina having deep devotion towards lord Shiva. They apprehended that if Himalaya happily agrees to marry Parvati with Shiva, then he would no longer live on the earth- He would attain salvation. His departure would make the earth devoid of jewels and other kinds of wealth.

To prevent this from happening, they went to Vrihaspati and requested him to influence Himalayas mind by condemning Shiva. But Vrihaspati refused to comply.

The deities then went to lord Brahma and made the same request. Brahma refused to meet their demand.

Now the deities went to lord Shiva and requested him not to marry Parvati as it would make the earth devoid of all kinds of wealth. Lord Shiva feeling pity agreed to help them.

Lord Shiva went to Himalaya in the guise of a hermit and started cursing himself (Shiva). Maina was deeply influenced by the hermits word and decided not to marry Parvati with Shiva. She also threatened to give up her life along with Parvati. If Parvati was married with Shiva against her wish.

1.2.91  Shiva Instructs Sapta-Rishis to Convince Maina & Himalya

Lord Shiva summoned the Saptarishis and instructed them to convince Maina and Himalaya to marry Parvati with him, so that Tarakasur could be killed. He feared that his actions would have created many misconceptions in their minds.

The Saptarishis went to Himalaya and tried to make him, so that Tarakasur could be killed. He feared that his actions would have created many misconceptions in their minds.

The Saptarishis went to Himalaya and tried to make him understand that there was not any other way out than marrying Parvati with Shiva. They also warned both Himalaya and Maina if they did not give their conscent to marry Parvati with Shiva, then she would be forcibly abducted by him (Shiva), causing death and destruction to their whole clan. The Saptarishis then narrated the following story-

1.2.92  Anaranya, The King

There was a king named Anaranya, who belonged to the lineage of fourteenth Manu-Indrasavarni. He was a great devotee of lord Shiva. He had five queens from whom one hundred sons and a very beautiful daughter named Padma were born.

When Padma grew up, the king started looking for a suitable match. One day while Padma was taking her bath in the Bhadra river, sage Pippalada arrived there. He became enchanted by Padma’s beauty.

After gathering informations about her from the people, he went to king Anaranya and expressed his wish to marry Padma. He threatened him of dire consequences if she was not married to her.

Anaranya became frightened and gave his daughter to him. Sage pippalada happily went away accompanied by Padma. But both the king and the queen went to the forest because of the sorrow of giving their young daughter to an old sage. The queen died because of her grief. The king, because of his deep devotion towards Shiva attained to the abode of Shiva.

1.2.93  Padma and Pippalad

On the request of Himalayas, Sage Vashishth who was one of the Saptarishis narrated the story of Padma the princess and sage Pippalad-

“At the time of his marriage sage Pippalad was old and weak, but still Padma devotely performed the duties of a faithful wife.

To test her faithfulness towards her husband, Dharmaraj arrived at the bank of that river where Padma was taking her bath. He was in the guise of a young and handsome prince. He coaxed Padma to leave behind her ‘old husband’ and come along with him. Padma became furious and cursed him. Dharmaraj became very pleased and revealed his true identity. He also asked as to how the effects of her curse could be nullified.

Padma told her that his sins would result in having four legs during the era of Satya, but they reduced to three during the era of treta, which would again reduced to two legs during the era of Dwapar and ultimately he would have only one leg during the era of Kali. Padma also told her that even his single leg would disappear during the ending phase of Kali. “This would apropriately act as an atonement for your sins.” – said Padma.

Dharmaraj blessed her by saying that she would have ten sons and also that her husband would possess youth and long life for eternity.

After listening to this story. Himalaya agreed to marry Parvati with Shiva. The Saptarishis then went back to lord Shiva and gave the good news to him.

1.2.94  Himalya Sends Lagna-Patrika

Himalaya then requested sage Garga to prepare a beautiful Lagna-Patrikas which were then sent to his near and dear ones. He then requested Vishwakarma to construct a beautiful ‘mandap’ for the marriage, which was constructed by him in a very short time.

1.2.95  Lord Shiva Invites the Deities

Lord Shiva invited all of his Ganas to the marriage ceremony. He also instructed sage Narada to intimate all the deities, sages and the celestial entities.

After getting the invitation from Shiva everybody started making preparations to be a part of Shiva’s marriage-procession. The seven mothers- Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Aindri and Chamunda dressed him up beautifully Shiva then performed all the necessary Karmas to pacify the planet. At last this wonderful marriage-procession of Shiva proceeded towards the in-laws house.

1.2.96  Lord Shiva’s Marriage Procession

Shiva proceeded with his marriage procession which considered of crores of his ‘Ganas’ and deities like Vishnu who were boarded on their vehicles. Even Narad and Lord Brahma were present in his (Shiva’s) marriage procession.

First of all, Shiva sent Narada to Himalaya’s house to inform him about their (marriage procession) arrival. Himalaya sent his son-Mainak to receive them.

1.2.97  Shiva Divine Plays

When Maina saw that the marriage procession was coming she curiously told Narad about her desire to see her son in law.

Shiva understood the arrongance which her desire contained. He wanted to teach her a lesson. He sent all the deities one by one. Maina mistook each one of them to be Shiva, but was later informed by Narada that in fact they were not Shiva but the attendants of Shiva.

Maina was very delighted and wondered how handsome the master (Shiva) must be, if the attendants were so handsome. Right then Shiva arrived with his Ganas – His body coated with ashes on it. His Ganas too were looking ferocious. Maina could not bear this horrible sight and lost her consciousness.

1.2.98  Maina’s Wail

The maid servants arrived instantaneously and helped Maina to regain her consciousness. She started crying and cursing everybody. She thought was responsible for her daughter’s marriage with Shiva. Nobody was spared- Narad, the Saptarishis and even her own sons. She even admonished Parvati by saying.

“Did you do severe penance to get such a horrible husband like this (Shiva)?”

Lord Brahma and Narad tried to console and convince her, but it was of no avail. When Himalaya tried to intervene, he was soundly rebuked. Maina threatened him that if this marriage took place then it would be the last day of her life.

At last lord Vishnu arrived and tried to pacify her anger by saying that her anger was baseless as she had not seen the real appearance of Shiva, which bestows benediction. Lord Vishnu and Narad then eulogised Shiva who on being pleased showed his most enchanting beauty.

Maina now became fully satisfied. Himalaya too felt proud of her daughter’s good fortune. At last Shiva entered the Mandap (canopy) where marriage ceremony was going to be organised. He saw Parvati sitting there. Both of them were very delighted to see each other.

1.2.99  Himalya Bestows Parvati to Shiva

After the marriage ceremony was over, Sage Garg helped Himalaya in performing the rite of Kanyadan, amidst the chantings of vedic mantras. The women’s were singing auspicious songs. Himalaya presented large quantities of dowry to Shiva. Parvati’s companions were engaged with Shiva in jocular and humorous conversation.

1.2.100               Shiva Brings Back Kamadeva Alive

Rati- the wife of Kamadeva, seeing the moment opportune, arrived and requested Shiva to bring back her dead husband back to life. Her wailings made the other goddesses very sympathetic towards her. They too requested Shiva to make her dead husband back to life.

Feeling pity on her condition. Shiva brought back Kamadeva back to life from the ashes which Rati had given to him. On seeing her husband alive, Rati’s heart was filled up with extreme joy. Both of them eulogised lord Shiva and expressed their gratitude.

After the marriage ceremony was over the marriage-processionist sought the permission of Himalaya to make a move, but he requested them to remain there for some more days.

1.2.101               Shiva’s Departure

Shiva remained at his in-laws house for many days. One day he sought the permission of Himalaya to go back. Everybody became sad at the prospect of Shiva’s departure. Especially Maina who was very saddened by this news. At last it was time for Shiva to depart for Kailash, accompanied by Parvati.

Lord Shiva and Parvati were blissfully enjoying their martial status, unaware of the eagerness with which the deities were awaiting the arrival of their progeny.

Tarakasur – the demon continued tormenting the deities. When their miseries became unbearable they went to lord Brahma to seek their help. All of them then went to lord Vishnu. They told him that even after passing of such a long duration of time, Parvati and Shiva had not yet become parents. They requested lord Vishnu to remind Shiva about the purpose behind his marriage.

Initially lord Vishnu showed his disinclination to disturb Shiva’s martial bliss, but when the deities insisted he went to Shiva accompanied by all of them. All of them eulogised Shiva and Parvati. The deities then requested Shiva to make his contribution in the destruction of Tarakasur.

Shiva understood everything. Some drops of his semen fell down on the ground. One being insisted by the deities. Agni transformed his appeared in the form of a pigeon and pecked up those drops of semen.

Right then Parvati arrived there and became extremely furious on seeing the semen going waste. She cursed the deities that their respective wives would remain issue less as the consequences of their mindless acts.

Agni was having inflammation in his stomach because of the Shiva’s semen. Lord Shiva advised him to transfer it into the womb of any noble woman. Agni followed the instruction and injected the semen into the body of six women through the pores of the hair on their body.

Those women could not bear the extreme luster of the Shiva’s semen. They went to Himachal and evacuated it. Even Himachal could not bear its extreme effulgence and immersed it into the flowing Ganga. River Ganga carried it with her current and established it amidst bushes of reed (Sarkanda). Instantaneously a beautiful child manifested from it. His birth made all the deities extremely joyous including Shiva and Parvati. It was the sixth day (bright half of the lunar month) of the hindu month of Margashirsha. He was Kartikeya.

1.2.102               Kartikeya

Sage Vishwamitra arrived at the spot where the child had manifested. On the repeated insistence of the child, Vishwamitra performed his purification rites and named him ‘Guha’.

The divine child blessed Vishwamitra and bestowed divine knowledge to him. He also blessed him to become famous as ‘Brahmarshi’. Agnideva arrived there and gave a divine weapon named ‘Shakti’ to that child. Guha went to the Kroncha mountain and banged his weapon on it. The mountain could not bear the effect of the blow and started crumbling down. Innumerable demons living on that mountain came to kill him. But the child killed all of them by his weapon.

When Indra heard about his bravery, he came along with other deities to fight him Indra assaulted Guha with his Vajra on the right side of his body, which resulted into the manifestation of a very powerful entity named ‘Shakh’. Indra again assaulted him on the left side of his body, from which manifested an extremely powerful entity named ‘Vishakh’. Indra assaulted Guha for the third time- this time his chest was the target. From this third blow of Indra manifested ‘Naigam’.

Guha accompanied by all the three powerful entities- Shakh, Vishakh and Naigam attacked Indra and his army, but they fled away.

Six goddesses arrived on the scene. All of them tried to feed that small child out of affection. They started quarelling among themselves. Right then they were surprised to see the child appearing with six head. Now their problems were solved. Each of the goddesses fed their breast milk to the child. They took Guha with them and brought him up with great love and care. Guha later on became famous as Kartikeya.

1.2.103               Search for Kartikeya

One day, Parvati curiously asked Shiva about his semen which had fallen on the ground. Lord Shiva summoned the deities and asked them about it. The deities narrated the whole story. Both Shiva and Parvati were very pleased to know about Kartikeya.

Lord Shiva then ordered his Ganas to bring Kartikeya from the possession of Kritika. The Ganas reached Badrikasharam where Kritika lived. When Kritika saw the Ganas she became very frightened but Kartikeya gave him solace. The Ganas requested Kartikeya to come along with him.

Kartikeya happily took permission from his mothers and proceeded to meet Shiva and Parvati.

1.2.104               Kartikeya’s Coronation

At the time or Kartikeya’s departure, the mothers had become very emotional. Kartikeya consoled them. He then boarded the beautiful chariot which had been sent by Parvati and proceeded towards Kailash mountain.

All the deities including Shiva were eagerly awaiting his arrival. When Kartikeya reached Kailash mountain, he was given a royal reception. The whole atmosphere was filled up with joy. Everybody was celebrating. Each of the deities presented him their respective weapons to him.

Lord Shiva coronated him as the king with the help of the brahmin. This way he had now become the lord of Kailashpuri.

1.2.105               Kartikeya’s Amazing Character

Kartikeya narrated a story connected with himself:-

“One day a brahmin, whose name was Narad came to me and requested me to help him find his he-goat which had got lost. He told me that the goat was supposed to be offered as the sacrifice.

“If the goat was not found, my vow would remain unfulfilled.” Said Narad

I went in search of that goat. I found it in the Vishnuloka where it was creating nuisance . When the goat saw me, it tried to attack me with its sharp horns. I climbed on its back. After travelling through all the three worlds, the goat returned back to his original place. I climbed down from its back.

Narada arrived and demanded his goat. I told him that his Yagya had been accomplished by my blessings and there was no need to sacrifice the poor goat. Narada – the brahmin went back satisfied.

1.2.106               The Battle

The deities were very encouraged by the presence of Kartikeya amidst themselves. They were beaming with confidence and enthusiasm. The deities assembled at the seashore. Tarakasur arrived their with his huge army. The battle began.

Tarakasur appeared to be invincible. His blow was so severe that Indra fell down unconscious. All the ‘Lokpalas’ met the same fate. After that Tarakasur fought with Veerbharda and made him unconscious. Even Lord Vishnu could not sustain for long and was ultimately defeated.

Lord Brahma requested Kartikeya to fight with Tarakasur as nobody except him would be able to kill him.

1.2.107               Killing of Tarakasur

On being instructed by lord Brahma Kartikeya came forward to fight with Tarakasur. Tarakasur ridiculed the deities for taking the shield of a small child.

“If he gets killed by me, the responsibility should lie on you.” Thundered Tarakasur.

A fierce battle started between both of them in which both of them got injured. At last seeing an opportune moment, Kartikeya hit Tarakasur on his chest with his weapon- Shakti. The blow proved to be fatal and as a result Tarakasur died.

Kartikeya feat was hailed by all the deities. After killing Tarakasur, Kartikeya went to mother Parvati, who affectionately took him into her lap. He was eulogized by all the deities.

1.2.108               Killings of Pralamb & Banasur

The mountain – Kraunch, who was tormented by the activities of the demon named Banasur, went to Kartikeya and narrated his woeful tales.

Kartikeya threw his weapon – Shakti in the direction which Banasur lived. The weapon banged right on target and returned back to him. Bamnasur was burnt to ashes. Kraunch went back being very pleased. The mountain – Kraunch established three Shivalingas to please lord Shiva. The names of these three Shivalingas were – Kumareshwar, Pratigyeshwar and Kapaleshwar.

Once upon a time, the deities were trying to reach the abode of Lord Shiva- Kailash mountain. Their preceptor Vrihaspati was walking ahead of all of them. Meanwhile a demon by the name of Pralamb started creating turbulence. After being tormented by his activities, Kumud – son of Sheshnag took Kartikeya’s refuge. Kartikeya killed the demon with his divine weapon – Shakti.

1.2.109               Ganesh

Once Narada had a desire to listen to the tales of Ganesha. Brahmaji replied-

“There were various Ganeshas in different Kalpas. During the period of ‘Shweta-Kalp’, Ganesha was born to Shiva and Parvati, when they went to Kailash mountain shortly after their marriage.

“Once while going to take her bath, Parvati instructed Nandi, to stand guard at the entrance and not to allow anybody to enter the premise without her permission. Lord Shiva arrived there by chance. Despite of Nandi’s refusal to allow him, in he went inside. Parvati did not like this.

One day it happened so that Once again, Parvati wanted to take her bath. She made an idol from the dirt of her body. She made the idol alive and instructed him not to allow anybody without her permission. She also gave him a stick for his protection.

Incidentally lord Shiva arrived once again. He tried to enter inside but Ganesha refused to let him go inside. But when Shiva tried to go inside forcibly, Ganesha hit him with his stick. Lord Shiva became furious and ordered his ganas to kill him.

1.2.110               Ganesha Defeats The Shivaganas & The Deities

The ganas of Shiva attacked Ganesha but all of them were no match for him. After being defeated by Ganesha, the Shivaganas went to Shiva and narrated everything.

While the Shivaganas were narrating their stories, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and some other deities arrived there. Lord Brahma then went to Ganesha to convince him, but as soon as Ganesha saw him he tried to attack lord Brahma. Brahmaji came back without achieving anything. After this lord Shiva himself came to fight Ganesha.

1.2.111               Shiva Severes Ganesh’s Head

A fierce battle was fought between Shiva and Ganesha. When Lord Shiva realized that Ganesha was dominating the fight, he severed his head with his trishul.

1.2.112               Ganesh Becomes Alive

Parvati became extremely furious at the death of Ganesha. Her anger resulted into the manifestation of innumerable goddesses, who started creating havoc on the deities.

The deities became frightened and they were forced to take the refuge of Parvati. They eulogized her and requested to be pardoned. Parvati told them that they could be saved only when Ganesha becomes alive and becomes worshippable just like thee (Deities).

The deities went to lord Shiva and requested him to make Ganesha alive once again. Lord Shiva instructed them to go in the northern direction and bring the head of any creature they might find and join it with the trunk of Ganesha. The deities followed the instruction and went in the northern direction.

They found an elephant which had only one tusk. They severed the elephant’s head and joined it with the trunk of Ganesha. By the blessings of Shiva, Ganesha became alive once again. The deities worshipped Ganesha and returned back to their respective abodes.

1.2.113               Ganesha’s Marriage

Both Kartikeya and Ganesha grew up to become handsome youths in due course of time. Shiva and Parvati started to think about their marriage.

When Ganesha and Kartikeya came to know about the plan of their marriage both of them started quarreling among themselves as to who should get married first.

Lord Shiva and Parvati devised a plan to sort out this problem. They told them that whoever between them return after circumambulating the earth, will get married first of all.

Kartikeya and Ganesha agreed. Kartikeya proceeded on his journey to circumambulate the earth. Ganesha was very intelligent. He requested his parents – Lord Shiva and Parvati; to sit at a place together and circumambulated them for seven times and said-

“According to Veda, Circumambulating one’s parents give virtues equivalent to that of circumambulating the whole earth. So now you must get me married first.”

Lord Shiva and Parvati were very impressed by his intelligence. They decided to get him married with Siddhi and Riddhi-the daughter of Vishwaroop Prajapati. In due course of time two sons were born to them Kshem and Labh.

While Kartikeya was returning after circumambulating the whole earth, he met sage Narad on the way. He told Kartikeya about Ganesha’s marriage. Kartikeya became very sad and felt like having been cheated by their parents.

When Kartikeya reached Kailash mountain he made salutations to lord Shiva and Parvati and without saying anything, went to Kraunch mountain to do his penance.

Parvati was very sad. She went to Kraunch mountain to meet Kartikeya accompanied by Shiva. When Kartikeya saw them coming he moved to another place. Lord Shiva and Parvati followed him and ultimately met him. Both these places have religious significance. Having a darshan of Kartikeya on the full moon day of Kritika nakashatra is considered to bestows immense auspicious and destroyes all the sins of a man.

1.2.114               Yudh-Khand: Tripurasur- The Three Demon

Narada requested lord Brahma to narrate how lord Shiva annihilated the demons. Lord Brahma narrated the tale of Tripurasur.

“After the killing of Tarakasur, three of his sons started doing their penance. The eldest among them was Tarkasha, younger to him was Viddyunmali and Kamalaksha was the youngest. I (Brahma) became very pleased by their tremendous penance.”

“They requested me to create three invincible forts for them, which should be full of all kinds of wealth and splendour and which nobody could be able to break.”

“A golden fort was constructed for Taraksha; for Kamlaksha a fort of silver was constructed and for Viddyunmali iron-fort was constructed. I had ordered the demon named Maya to construct these forts. One of these forts was constructed in the sky, the other was constructed on the earth and the third was constructed in the nether world.”

“After constructing the forts for them Maya took the responsibility of protecting them. I (Brahma) warned the three demons that they would be killed by lord Shiva. After this I came back.”

1.2.115               The Deities Eulogize Shiva & Vishnu

The three demon-brothers started tormenting the deities. The deities went to lord Brahma and narrated about their miseries. Lord Brahma instructed them to seek the help of Shiva.

They went to lord Shiva and explained about their woes. They also requested Shiva to eliminate those three demons. Lord Shiva instructed them to go to lord Vishnu and said-

“The Tripurasurs are very virtuous so they could not be killed. You all must go to lord Vishnu and try to seek his help.”

The deities then went to lord Vishnu and made the same request. Lord Vishnu performed an oblation. Thousands of armed spirit appeared from the yagya-kunda. Lord Vishnu sent these spirits to kill the three demon-brothers. But these spirits were no match for the Tripurasurs might and they had to run for their lives. They came to lord Vishnu and narrated the whole story. Lord Vishnu became very worried. He sent back all the deities and started thinking about the means, Tripurasurs could be killed.

1.2.116               Emergence of Atheism

Lord Vishnu came to the conclusion that the Tripurasurs could not be killed till they remain Virtuous and religious. He then created an illusionary entity from his body who had no hairs on his head. He had worn dirty clothes and a bag was hanging down his shoulder. He also had a broom in his head.

The entity asked lord Vishnu about the purpose of his existence and his name. Lord Vishnu told him that his name was Arihan. He also instructed him to create a scripture which stresses upon the importance of action (Karmavad0 and which is different from the rituals explained in the Vedas. Lord Vishnu specifically instructed him to keep the language of that scripture as simple and degenerated as possible.

Lord Vishnu then preached Arihan on the science of illusion which stressed that the heaven or the hell does not exist anywhere else, but on this earth itself.

Lord Vishnu instructed Arihan to get Tripurasurs initiated into with this philosophy so that the demon-brothers become irreligious. Vishnu ordered Arihan to make his residence in a desert with his disciples.

“You should propagate your philosophy when Kaliyuga arrives” – said Lord Vishnu.

After giving his instruction lord Vishnu disappeared. Arihan then created four illusionary entities from his bein who were supposed to act as his followers. Their names were Rishi, Yati, Keerya and Upadhyay.

Now the time had arrived to enter the forts of Tripurasurs. All of them entered the forts and in a gradual manner started increasing their influence. As a result the Tripurasurs became irreligious. Not only that their subjects too became irreligious in a very short time.

1.2.117               The Deities Eulogize Lord Shiva

When the deities saw that the Tripurasurs had become irreligious completely, they went to lord Shiva and requested him to kill Tripurasurs. Right then mother Parvati arrived there accompanied by Kartik and Ganesha. She requested Shiva to come along with her into the palace. All the deities followed them and kept on requesting. The deities were angry that Parvati had caused obstacles in the fulfillment of their objective. They could not conceal their anger and expressed it.

One of the ganas of Shiva, whose name was Kumbhodar angrily attacked the deities. All of them got injured and went to lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu advised them to chant the five lettered mantra – OM NAMAH SHIVAY for one crore times. The deities followed the instruction. Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before them. He assured the deities that their wishes would be fulfilled.

1.2.118               Killings of Tripurasurs

When Shiva agreed to kill the demon – brothers Tripurasur the deities became extremely joyous. They gave their respective weapons to Shiva, so that he did not have any difficulty in killing the demons. Vishwakarma gave his beautiful chariot to him.

Lord Shiva proceeded towards the forts of Tripurasur followed by a huge army of the deities. His army entered the forts of his bow but he was not able to release it. He remained in this position for one thousand years but still he was not successful in releasing his arrow.

Lord Shiva then worshipped Ganesha and heard a heavenly voice instructing him to use his weapon – Pashupat. Lord Shiva released it in the direction of the forts of Tripurasur. All the three forts were destroyed by the assault of Pashupat and it created havoc among the demons.

Seeing death and destruction all around them – Tripurasurs prayed to lord Shiva to have mercy on them. Lord Shiva assured them that after their death they would be born as his ganas. At last Tripurasurs were burnt to death. Maya was the only demon who survived. After their death the Tripurasurs were privileged to be reborn as the ganas of Shiva.

1.2.119               The Deities Receive a Boon from Shiva

After the killings of three demons- Tripurasur, lord Shiva’s anger had still not subdivided. The anger was pacified only after the deities and the sages prayed to him. He blessed the deities by saying that he would always be present on their side to protect them.

Maya – Who had survived the Shiva’s attack, arrived there and he too was blessed by lord Shiva. After that Arihan arrived with his followers and worshipped Shiva. Lord Shiva blessed him and his followers. After taking permission from lord Vishnu, Arihan proceeded towards a desert region accompanied by his followers. After receiving the boon the deities too received to their respective abode.

1.2.120               Lord Shiva Spares The Life of Indra

Sutji narrates the following story to the sages-

“Once upon a time, Indra was going towards Kailash mountain to have a ‘darshan’ of lord Shiva. Sage Vrihaspati was accompanying him.

Lord Shiva came to know about his arrival. He wanted to test his devotion towards him. While both Indra and Vrihaspati were still on their way. Lord Shiva met them on their in the guise of a hermit.

Indra did not recognize Shiva, who was sitting on the way disguised as a hermit. Indra inquired as to who he was and where he live. Lord Shiva sat quietly without saying a word. Indra repeatedly asked the same question, but each time Shiva remained quiet. Indra became furious and tried to attack lord Shiva with his Vajra.

Lord Shiva paralyzed the raised hands of Indra by his divine power. Shiva’s eyes had reddened due to anger which made Indra very frightened sage Vrihaspati was able to recognize the real identity of the hermit as to who he was. He made salutations to lord Shiva and requested him to pardon Indra. Lord Shiva became pleased and diverted the power of his radiant eyes to the ocean. This way Indra’s life was spared by Shiva. Lord Shiva then returned to Kailash mountain. Indra and Sage Vrihaspati to Kailash mountain. Indra and sage Vrihaspati too returned to their respective abodes.

1.2.121               Manifestation of Jaladhar

The effulgence, which had been divided by lord Shiva into the Ocean resulted into the manifestation of a small child. This incident happened at the place where river Ganges submerged into the ocean and which is also known as Gangasagar now a days.

The child was crying so ferociously that an environment of fear was created everywhere. The deities and the sages went to lord Brahma to satisfy their curiously. Lord Brahma assured then to find out the reason. He went to the seashore. The sea put the child in his lap and enquired about the name of that child and also about his future.

Meanwhile the child pressed lord Brahma’s neck with such power that tears rolled down from his eyes. For this reason he named the child as Jalandhar. Lord Brahma told the sea that the child will become the mighty ruler of the demons. No deity would be able to kill him except Shiva.

The sea was very pleased by lord Brahma’s predictions. After Lord Brahma returned to his abode, the sea brought that child to his home and brought up that child with great love and care.

When Jalandhar grew up he married Vrinda, who was the daughter of Kalnemi. Later on he became the ruler of the demons.

1.2.122               Battle Between Jalandhar & The Deities

One day Sage Bhrigu came to meet Jalandhar. After receiving him with due respect Jalandhar asked him as to who severed the head of Rahu.

Sage Bhrigu then told him about Hiranyakashipu who was the maternal uncle of Rahu. Sage Bhrigu also told him about Virochana – the son of the extremely charitable king Bali. Then sage Bhrigu narrated the tale connected with the churning of ocean and how ambrosia emerged from the churning of the ocean.

Sage Bhrigu told Jalandhar how Rahu’s head was severed by lord Vishnu, while he was sitting among the deities and at the time when ambrosia was being distributed to all the deities.

Jalandhar became very furious after hearing this story. He summoned one of his messengers whose name was Ghasmar and instructed him to go and ask Indra, as to why had he misappropriated all the wealth of his father (Sea) which emerged during the churning of Sea. He also instructed Ghasmar to warn Indra about the dire consequences unless he takes his (Indra’s) refuge.

But Indra sent back Ghasmar without any specific assurance. This action of Indra made Jalandhar more angry than before. He collected his army and attacked Indra.

A fierce battle was fought between his army and the army of the deities. Many warriors got killed from both the sides. Shukracharya the guru of the deities brought back the dead warriors from the demon side back to life by his mritasanjivani vidya. Similarly Sage Vrihaspati brought back the dead warriors from the deities side back to life with the help of medicinal herbs.

When Shukracharya saw that, sage Vrihaspati too was successfully making the dead deities alive, he instructed Jalandhar to submerge the Drongiri mountain into the sea, so that it becomes impossible for Vrihaspati to get the medicinal herbs by the help of which he made the dead deities alive.

Jalandhar obeyed the command of Shukracharya and by lifting the Drongiri mountain submerged it into the sea. The deities became demoralized and fled from the battle field Jalandhar captured Indrapuri.

1.2.123               Battle Between Lord Vishnu & Jalandhar

The terrified deities took the refuge of lord Vishnu and sought his help. Lord Vishnu gave a patient hearing and agreed to help them, but there was a hitch. His consort goddess Laxmi considered Jalandhar as her brother because both of them originated from the sea. She instructed Lord Vishnu against killing Jalandhar.

Lord Vishnu promised to her that he won’t kill Jalandhar. After giving his word to goddess Laxmi, he went to fight a battle with Jalandhar.

A fierce battle was fought between both of them which remained indecisive till the end. Lord Vishnu became very much impressed by the valiance of Jalandhar and asked him to demand any boon he liked.

Jalandhar requested him to make his dwelling in the Ksheersagar-the abode of Jalandhar, alongwith his sister (Laxmi). Lord Vishnu agreed to fulfill his wish and started living in the Ksheersagar along with his consort Laxmi.

Being undefeated by Lord Vishnu himself, Jalandhar became the ruler of all the three world. All his subjects were satisfied by his just and virtuous rule, except the deities. The deities now eulogized lord Shiva to seek his help in defeating Jalandhar.

1.2.124               Narad’s Stratagem

According to the wish of lord Shiva, Sage Narad came to meet the deities. The deities narrated their woeful tales to him. Feeling pity on their condition, he went accorded a grand reception by Jalandhar which pleased him very much.

Narad praised the splendours and prosperity of Jalandhar but added that it was nothing in comparison to Shiva’s splendours Narad told him that inspite of all his authority and splendours, his prosperity was still incomplete, as he did not have a consort. Jalandhar asked curiously as to where could he find his consort.

According to his strategy, Narada advised Jalandhar to make Parvati as his consort Jalandhar fell into Narad’s trap. He sent ‘Rahu’ to lord Shiva with a proposal to part with Parvati. Rahu went to lord Shiva and demanded Parvati, which made lord Shiva extremely furious. His anger resulted into the manifestation of a ferocious creature, which ran towards ‘Rahu’ to devour him. Rahu had no option but to take the refuge of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva protected the life of ‘Rahu’.

The hungry creature, asked Shiva as to what should he eat to satisfy his hunger. Lord Shiva instructed him to devour his own limbs. The creative followed his instructions and devoured his limbs. Lord Shiva was very pleased by his sense of obedience. He named that creature of his palace. He also blessed him saying that he too would be worshipped along with him (Shiva).

1.2.125               Battle Between Lord Shiva & Jalandhar

Rahu went back to Jalandhar and narrated the whole story to him. Jalandhar then attacked Kailash mountain with his huge army. A fierce battle was fought between the Shiva-ganas and the demons.

When Jalandhar realized that lord Shiva had begun to dominate the battle he created beautiful ‘Apsaras’ and ‘Gandharvas’ by his illusionary powers to divert the attention of lord Shiva and his ganas. He was successful in his attempt. Lord Shiva and his ganas became enchanted by the heavenly beauty of the apsaras. They stopped fighting and started watching their dance and music.

Meanwhile Jalandhar went to Parvati in the guise of lord Shiva but was recognized by her. Being enchanted by the beauty of goddess Parvati, he looked at her with his evil intentions, but was immobilized by her wrath.

Mother Parvati then went to lord Vishnu and narrated the whole story. She wanted to teach Jalandhar a lesson. She requested lord Vishnu to go to Jalandhar’s wife in the guise of Jalandhar and act in the same way. Jalandhar had dared to do.

1.2.126               Vrinda Gets Dishonored

With the help of his divine powers, Lord Vishnu created many inauspicious dreams while Vrinda was asleep. Vrinda became very restless and when the anxieties become unbearable she proceeded towards the forest.

Vrinda saw a hermit in the forest who was preaching his disciples. The hermit was none other than lord Vishnu. She went to that hermit and prayed to save her husband’s life.

Lord Vishnu disappeared from the scene and reappeared – this time in the guise of Jalandhar. But Vrinda was unable to recognize the real identity of her husband. She was very pleased after finding her husband. Both of them stayed in that very forest as husband and wife for a very long time.

One day, came to know about the real identity of the person, who was impersonating as her husband. Realizing that her chastity has been breached, she cursed lord Vishnu by saying that just as he had played a deceitful trick with her in the same way somebody would deceitfully abduct his wife and he too would wander in her search.

After cursing lord Vishnu, Vrinda embraced death by entering into the fire.

1.2.127               Killing of Jalandhar

On the other side, after the departure of Parvati from Kailash Mountain and after the illusionary powers created by Jalandhar had ended all the apsaras and gandharvas vanished. Shiva realized that whatever he was watching, was nothing more than illusion.

Lord Shiva recommenced his battle. The demons-Shumbh and Nishumbh, came forward to fight with him, but ultimately they had to flee from the battlefield. Lord Shiva warned both of them that though they had escaped death at that moment, but they would be killed by Parvati.

Now Jalandhar again arrived to fight with lord Shiva. A fierce battle commenced between them. Finding an opportune time, Shiva severed the head of Jalandhar by his ‘Chakra’ which had been created from his toe. After his death, Jalandhar’s soul united with Shiva.

1.2.128               The Deities Express Gratitude

When the deities came to know about the killing of Jalandhar, they became overjoyed. They came to Lord Shiva and eulogized him. Thy also hailed his great achievement. After expressing their gratitude they returned to their respective abodes.

1.2.129               Manifestation of Amla (Myrobalan), Tulsi (~Basil) and Malti

Lord Vishnu was very much saddened by the death of Vrinda. He took the ashes from the pyre and after applying them on his body started wondering here and there.

The deities became very worried to see the condition of lord Vishnu. They went to lord Shiva and requested him to eliminate the false attachment with which Sri Vishnu was suffering.

Lord Shiva sent the deities to goddess Parvati, saying that she would ceratainly help in this regard.

The deities went to goddess Parvati and prayed to her. She became very pleased and with the assistance of Laxmi and Saraswati, gave some seeds to then. The deities sprayed those seeds on the pyre, on which Vrinda had given up her life. Three holy plants manifested from that pyre-Amla, Tulsi and Malti. Later on Tulsi and Malti attained to the Vishnuloka, by the virtue of their respective penance.

1.2.130               Birth of Shankhachuda

Sutji narrated the tale of the birth of Shankhachuda and how Shiva killed him with his Trishula. He told the sages that Shankhachuda was born to the demon king ‘Dambha’. Shankhachuda was in fact, Sudama, in his previous life. He was born in the family of demons due to the curse of Radha.

1.2.131               Shankhachuda’s Marriage

When Shankhachuda gre up, he went to Pushkar (Ajmer, Rajasthan) and did a tremendous penance to please lord Brahma. Lord Brahma blessed him and said that he would remain invincible. He also instructed Shankhachuda to go to ‘Badrikashram’ where he would find his would be wife Tulsi- the daughter of Dharmadhwaja.

Shankhachuda went to Badrikasharam and married Tulsi as per the instructions of lord Brahma. He then returned back to his capital accompanied by his wife- Tulsi.

1.2.132               Shankhachuda Becomes the Ruler of All Three Worlds

When Shankhachuda reached his capital after marrying Tulsi, he was crowned as the king of the demons by Shukracharya. After his coronation, Shankhachuda attacked Indrapuri supported by his huge army and defeated the deities. In a very short time all the three worlds were under his control.

After being defeated by Shankhachuda, the deities went to lord Brahma and sought his help in eliminating the menance called Shankhachuda. Lord Brahma then took them to lord Vishnu. All of them were taken to lord Shiva by Vishnuji. They expressed their request to liberate them from the troubles created by Shankhachuda.

1.2.133               Shiva Assures the Deities

Lord Shiva assured the deities that he will certainly kill Shankhachuda and hence they should not worry about him. The deities then happily returned to their respective abodes.

1.2.134               Conversation Between Pushpadant & Shankhachuda

Lord Shiva sent his messenger named Pushpadant, to Shankhachuda to ask him to return back the kingdom of the deities to them. Shankhachuda refused to oblige this demand, on the contrary he expressed his willingness and readiness to fight lord Shiva. Pushpadant returned back and narrated the whole story to lord Shiva.

1.2.135               Shiva Proceeds with his Army

Lord Shiva was now fully convinced about the inevitability of the battle. He first sent all his ganas under the leadership of Kartekiye and Ganesha. Later on Bhadrakali proceeded towards the battlefield with a huge army as per the own wish of lord Shiva himself. At last lord Shiva proceeded towards the battlefield accompanied by the deities. All the troops collected at the bank of river Chandrabhaga and rested under the shade of a Banyan tree.

1.2.136               Shankhachuda Proceeds with his Army

Shankhachuda handed over the kingdom to his son and went to his wife to take her permission before going to the battlefield. His wife was reluctant to allow him to go, but he somehow managed to convince her. He then proceeded towards the banks of Chandrabhaga with a huge army.

1.2.137               Battle Between the Deities and the Demons

A fierce battle started between the deities and the demons. Both of them attacked each other with the most destructive weapons. But when the army of Chandrachuda began to dominate the fight, the deities fled away and took the refuge of lord Shiva. They told Shiva of the number of deities who had been killed while fighting.

1.2.138               The Battle Between Shiva’s Family & Shankhachuda

After the defeat of the deities and the ganas Kartikeya and Ganesha went to fight Shankhachuda. A spectacular battle was fought between Shankhachuda and both of them. Later on they were joined by Bhadrakali. Bhadrakali would have devoured Shankhachuda without any problem, but she spared his life because of the boon, given to him by Lord Brahma. Now it was the turn of Lord Shiva to join the battle, but even he could not cause any harm to him because of lord Brahma’s boon.

1.2.139               Strategy Employed to Kill Shankhachuda

While a tremendous battle was being fought between lord Shiva and Shankhachuda. Lord Vishnu appeared and demanded the armour from Shankhachuda, which he had put on, his body in the guise of a brahmin. Shankhachuda gave his armour to him without any kind of suspicion. Lord Vishnu then went to Shankhachuda’s wife in the guise of her husband i.e. Shankhachuda. He destroyed the chastity of Tulsi – Shankhachuda’s wife. Shankhachuda derived his power from the chastity of his wife and it vanished the moment, her chastity was destroyed.

1.2.140               Lord Shiva Kills Shankhachuda

Bhadrakali was creating havoc in the army of Shankhachuda. Shankhachuda became very furious and attacked Shiva. Shiva repulsed his assault and attacked him with his Trishul. Shankhachuda who had became powerless was killed instantaneously. The deities were very pleased at the death of Shankhachuda. After worshipping lord Shiva they went back to their respective abodes.

1.2.141               Tulsi Curses Lord Vishnu

After being instructed by goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu had gone to Tulsi in the guise of her husband- Shankhachuda, so that the breach of Tulsi chastity could help lord Shiva to kill Shankhachuda, who derived his power from Tulsi’s chastity and virtuosity.

Initially Tulsi could not recognize lord Vishnu. She was extremely joyous at his arrival. But very soon she was able to realize the real identity of lord Vishnu, who had disguised himself as her husband.

She became very angry and cursed lord Vishnu to become a stone. She was crying unconsolably. Lord Vishnu contemplated on Shiva as a result of which he appeared. Lord Shiva blessed Tulsi that she would become the beloved of Lord Vishnu.

Due to Tulsi’s curse, Lord Vishnu attained the form of Shaligram which is a stone and because of lord Shiva’s blessings. Tulsi leaves started being offered to the Shaligram, in the process of its worship.

1.2.142               Killing of Hiranyaksha

Hiranyakashipu was filled with grief when he heard the news of his brothers’ death. To avenge Hiranyaksha’s death, he started to torment the deities. Becoming homeless, the deities started wandering here and there. Hiranyakashipu was still unsatisfied. He wanted to acquire more power and authority. He went to the Mandarachal mountain and started doing a tremendous penance to please Lord Brahma.

Lord Brahma appeared before him and asked him demand anything he wished to be fulfilled. Hiranyakashipu said-

“O Lord! Bless me so that I do neither die during the day nor during the night; neither on the earth nor in the sky; neither by the deities nor by the demons; neither by a human being nor by an animal. Bless me O Lord! O that I do not get killed by any type of weapon.”

Lord Brahma blessed Hiranyakshipu and said ‘so be it’. Now, Hiranyakashipu became more ruthless and arrogant. He declared himself the almighty God and ordered his subjects to worship him and his idol. His son-Prahlad was a very great devotee of lord Vishnu. He did not pay heed to his father’s command and continued to worship Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahalada many times, but each time he survived by the blessings of lord Vishnu.

When Hiranyakashipu’s atrocities crosses all its limits, the deities went to lord Vishnu and requested him to kill Hiranyakashipu. Lord Vishnu appeared in his incarnation of Nrisimha (half lion and half man) and killed Hiranyakashipu with his sharp nails, during the dusk. After giving his kingdom to his son – Prahalad Lord Vishnu went back to his abode.

1.2.143               Lord Shiva Teaches The Secrets of Mrita-Sanjivani Vidya to Shukracharya

Shukracharya did a severe penance for five thousand years to please Shiva and acquire the secrets of Mritasanjivani Viddya (bringing back dead person alive) from him.

When Lord Shiva did not appear even after such a tremendous penance, then he indulges himself in severest form of penance, by quitting having food and water. He now started living only on air. This continued for thousands of year.

Lord Shiva became very pleased with his penance. He manifested from the very Shivalinga, Shukracharya had been worshipping till now. He taught the secrets of ‘Mritasanjivani’ viddya to him and told him that by the help of this viddya he would become capable of making alive the dead persons. Lord Shiva also blessed Shukracharya to become a star and attain respectability among all the planets.

After blessing Shukracharya like this, Lord Shiva disappeared into the same Shivalinga from which he had appeared.

1.2.144               Andhak’s Splendors

Once, Andhak brothers jokingly told him that, since his real parents were somebody else (Shiva and Parvati) therefore he was not fit to rule them. Though they had told this in good humour, yet Andhak was very much saddened by their remark. He relinquished his throne and went to a deserted place in the forest and started to do a severe penance. Lord Brahma became very pleased by his penance and appeared before him. He asked him to demand anything he wished to be fulfilled. Andhak said-

“I only long for the love and affection of my brothers. O Lord! Bless me so that nobody should be able to kill one except lord Shiva.”

Lord Brahma blessed him and said- ‘so be it’.

Andhak returned to his kingdom and with the co-operation of his brothers like Prahalad etc he brought even the deities under his control. But drunk with power he became very arrogant and started tormenting all the creatures. He did not show any respect to the Vedas, brahmin and the deities.

1.2.145               Battle Between Lord Shiva and Andhak

Andhak had become so arrogant that once, he even dared to dishonour his own mother-Parvati, who at that time was living at the Mandarachal mountain. Shiva became very furious with him.

Andhak attacked Shiva with his huge army. Lord Shiva sent his numerous ganas to fight him, but all of them were killed by Andhak.

When lord Shiva got the news of the arrival of Andhak with his army, he sent Lord Vishnu and his remaining ganas to fight him. He himself went to perform his austerity named ‘Pashupat’. The deities fought with Andhak for one thousand years. Meanwhile Lord Shiva returned after completing his ‘Pashupat Vrata’ and joined them.

Seeing Lord Shiva in front of him, Andhak became furious and attacked him ferociously. His companion, whose name was ‘Vidhas’, devoured all the deities. The demons who had been killed in the battle, were brought back to life by Shukracharya.

Lord Shiva became very angry and swallowed Shukracharya. He also extracted the deities from the stomach of Vidhas who had been swallowed by him earlier. After that, lord Shiva attacked Andhak with his trident, which injured him. But from each drop of his blood which fell on the ground, manifested thousands of demons who resembled Andhak.

Lord Shiva then instructed goddess ‘Chandika’ to drink the blood, while he killed all the demons. Goddess Chandika followed the instructions of Shiva and drank each drop of blood, which oozed out from the wounds of the demons and did not let single drop of blood to fall on the ground.

After killing all the demons, lord Shiva lifted Andhak with his trident and hanged him between the earth and sky. Andhak remained there for a very long period of time, bearing the heat of the sun and the showers of rain. But he remained alive. Ultimately he had to take the refuge of Lord Shiva, to save his life. Lord Shiva became pleased by his eulogy and made him his ‘Ganadhees’ (leader of all the Ganas).

1.2.146               Reemergence of Shukracharya

When lord Shiva swallowed up Shukracharya, he became very restless and started to find out a way through which he could come out from Shiva’s stomach. But all of his efforts went in vain. Finding no other option, he started to chant the name of lord Shiva. His chantings continued for one hundred years. By the blessings of Shiva, he came out from Shiva’s stomach through the ejaculated semen.

After coming out, Shukraharya eulogized Lord Shiva. Shiva became pleased with him and showered him with affection just like his own son. After being blessed Shukracharya went and rejoined the army of the demons.

1.2.147               Killing of Gajasur

Goddess Durga had killed the demon – Mahishasur, who used to torment the deities. Gajasur was the son of Mahishasur. To avenge his father’s death, Gajasur did a tremendous penance to please lord Brahma.

Lord Brahma appeared before him and asked him to demand any boon. Gajasur said- “O Lord! Even a ‘Jeetendriya’ (one who has full control over his senses) should not be able to kill me,”

Lord Brahma blessed him by saying – ‘So be it’. Gradually, Gajasur atrocities crossed all limits. He became the lord of all the three worlds. He forced even the deities to worship him. He used to torment the brahmins and the other religious people.

One day Gajasur arrived at Kashi and started tormenting the people living over there. The deities came to lord Shiva and requested him to rescue Kashi by killing Gajasur.

Lord Shiva came to Kashi and fought a battle with Gajasur. He killed Gajasur with this trident. At the time of his death, Gajasur eulogized Lord Shiva and requested him to put his (Gajasur’s) skin on his (Shiva’s) body.

Lord Shiva agreed to fulfill his wish. At the spot where, Gajasur was killed a famous Shivalinga by the name of Krittivaseshwar was constructed as per the own wish of lord Shiva.

1.2.148               Killing of Nirhaddaitya

Diti was filled with grief when she came to known about her son’s (Hiranyaksha) death, who was killed by lord Vishnu.

Nirhad daitya, who was the maternal uncle of Prahlad consoled her an promised to avenge the death of Hiranyaksha. He thought to destroy the vedic religion. According to him the deities derived their strength and power from this very vedic religion. He planned to eliminate the priestly class-brahmins, so that the chances of ‘Yagyas’ being performed becomes extinct and the deities were starved to such an extent that they became weak and powerless. Thinking that then it would not be very difficult to kill the ‘weak’ deities.

Nirhaddaitya arrived at Kashi to execute his plan, which during those time was the chief centre of the brahmins. He attained the form of a tiger and stationed himself in a nearby forest. He used to kill any brahmin who used to come over there to collect ‘Kusha’ grass and fuel. With the help of his illusionary powers he used to attain the form of a hermit during the day time and lived among them. But during the night, he used to enter into the houses of the brahmins in the form of a tiger and used to devour them.

On one night of Shivaratri, when a brahmin was busy worshipping Lord Shiva, Niraddaitya who was in the form of a tiger entered the temple. But, since the brahmin was engaged in the worship of Lord Shiva, he could not harm the brahmin. Lord Shiva emerged from the very Shivalinga, which the brahmin was worshipping and punched the demon with his clenched fist, so hard that he died.

1.2.149               Killing of Vidal and Utpal

Long long ago there used to live two demons by the names of Vidul and Utpal. Both of them did a tremendous penance to please lord Brahma. After being blessed by lord Brahma, they became very arrogant and started tormenting the deities and the brahmins.

The deities went to lord Brahma and sought his help. Lord Brahma told them that both the demons would be killed by goddess Parvati very soon. He also instructed the deities to eulogize Shiva and Parvati to seek their blessings. The deities went back and started eulogizing Shiva and Parvati.

One fateful day, Vidal and Utpal arrived at the place where goddess Paarvati was having amusements with her companions. Vidal and Utpal had disguised themselves as the ganas of Shiva.

Lord Shiva recognized the real identity of the demons. He signaled towards Parvati pointing towards the demons. Parvati who was playing with a ball with her companions, understood what lord Shiva meant to say. She hit both of them with the ball, with such force that both the demons died on the spot. The ball then fell down on the ground and transformed into a Shivalinga which became as ‘Kandukeshwar’. The deities became very pleased at the death of Vidal and Utpal.

1.3      Shatrudra Samhita

The sages requested Sutji to describe about the different incarnations of Lord Shiva. Sutji told them that, although Lord Shiva took many incarnations but five of his incarnations were very important- Sadhojat Namadeva, Tatpurush, Aghoresh and Ishan.

This Chapter contains 32 sections.

1.3.1     Sadhojat (1)

Lord Shiva took his first incarnation from the physique incarnation from the physique of Lord Brahma, who was engrossed in his deep state of meditation, during the nineteenth Kalpa named Shweta Lohit. Lord Brahma gave him the name SADHOJAT and eulogized him.

Later on, from the physique of Sadhojat four of his disciple manifested, whose names were Sunand, Nandan, Vishwanandan and Upanandan. All the four disciples were of fair complexion. Lord Shiva blessed Brahma and empowered him to do creation.

1.3.2     Naamdeva (2)

During the twentieth Kalpa named ‘Rakta’ the complexion of lord Brahma turned red, while he was engrossed in his meditative state. From his body manifested an entity who also was of red complexion.

Lord Brahma named him Namadeva considering him to be the incarnation of lord Shiva and eulogized him. Later on four sons were born to Namadeva, whose names were Viraj, Viwah, Vishok and Vishwabhawan. All of them were of red complexion just like their father Namadeva.

Naamdeva Shiva alongwith his virtuous progenies blessed lord Brahma with the power of creation.

1.3.3     Tatpurush (3)

The twenty-first Kalpa on the earth was known as ‘Peetavasa’. It was named so because of the apparel of lord Brahma which were of yellow colours. Lord Brahma’s prayer resulted into the manifestation of a effulgent entity. Considering this entity as Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma started chanting the mantras of Shiva Gayatri. After the chantings of the mantras, numerous entities manifested who had put on apparels of yellow colour on their body. This way the third incarnation of Shiva popularly known as Tatpurush manifested.

1.3.4     Ghoresh (4)

After the Peetavasa Kalp came the Shiva Kalpa. A black complexioned manifested while Lord Brahma was engrossed in his deep meditative state. Lord Brahma considering this entity as Aghor Shiva started eulogizing him. Lord Brahma’s eulogization resulted into the manifestation of four more entities who had the same black complexion as that of ‘Aghor Shiva’. Their names were Krishna, Krishnashikha, Krishnamukha and Krishnakanthdhari. Ghor Shiva along with those four entities blessed lord Brahma with the power of creation.

1.3.5     Ishan (5)

During the Kalpa named Vishwaroop, manifestations of Saraswati and Ishan Shiva took place. Lord Brahma eulogized Ishan Shiva after which four divine entities named Jati, Mundi, Shikhandi and Ardhamundi manifested from Ishan Shiva. All of them blessed lord Brahma with the power of creation.

1.3.6     Eight Idols of Shiva

After describing about the five chief incarnations of lord Shiva, Sutji explained about the eight famous idols of lord Shiva- Sharva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bheema, Pashupati, Ishan and Mahadeva. These eight idols of Shiva symbolizes the eight natural elements which help in the process of creation, nurturement and annihilation. These eight natural elements are Land, water, fire, air, sky, supreme soul (Kshetragya), Sun and the moon. Being established in these eight idols, Shiva controls the whole world.

1.3.7     Shiva as Ardhanarishwar

Once upon a time Lord Brahma, not seeing an expansion in his creation became very worried. A heavenly voice instructed him to commence creation with the help of copulative activities. But since all the incarnation of Shiva had been males till then, therefore lord Brahma was finding it impossible.

Lord Brahma contemplated on the form of Shiva and Shakti. Lord Shiva became very pleased with him and appeared in his form of ‘Ardhanarishwar (half male half female). Left side of his body resembled like a woman while the right side appeared like a man. Lord Brahma worshipped this form of Shiva.

Lord Shiva then separated the feminine part of his body and thus manifested mother Shakti. Lord Brahma worshipped her and requested to bestow such power by which he could create a woman.

Goddess Shakti blessed him by saying – ‘So be it’ and vanished. This way Lord Brahma became capable of commencing copulative creation.

1.3.8     Various Incarnations of Vyasa and Lord Shiva

During the ‘Varah’ Kalpa of the Seventh ‘Manvantar’ lord Vishnu illuminated all the three world by his divine presence. This seventh Manvantara consisted of four yugas which repeated themselves in a cyclic way for twelve times.

The first dwapar of this seventh manvantar saw the manifestation of lord Shiva for the welfare of the brahmins. When Kaliyuga arrived Lord Shiva again manifested himself along with goddess Shakti and was known as Mahamuni Shweta. Lord Brahma had the priviledge of becoming his disciple.

During the second dwapar, sage Vyas existed as Satya, Prajapati and Lord Shiva became famous as ‘Sutar’. Lord Shiva in his incarnation of Sutra had many disciples among whom ‘Dundubhi’ was very famous.

During the third dwapar sage Vyas took his incarnation as Bhargava and lord Shiva became famous as Daman. Lord Shiva in his incarnation as Daman had four disciples among whom Vishoka was very famous. When Kaliyuga arrived after this third dwapar. Lord Shiva along with his Disciples helped Sage Vyas.

During the fourth Dwapar Sage Vyas took his incarnation as Angira and Lord Shiva as ‘Suhotra’. Even in this incarnation Lord Shiva had four disciples among whom Sumukh was very famous. Lord Shiva along with his disciples helped Angira.

During the fifth dwapar sage Vyas took incarnation as Savita and Lord Shiva as ‘Kanka’ who was very famous for his tremendous austerities. Kanka had four disciples among whom Sanak was very famous.

During the sixth dwapar sage Vyas took incarnation as Mrityu and Lord Shiva as ‘Lokakshi’. Lokakshi had four disciples among whom Sudhama was very prominent.

During the seventh dwapar sage Vyas manifested himself as Indra and Lord Shiva as Jaigisatya. Jaigisatya had four disciples among whom Saraswat was very prominent.

During the eighth dwapar sage Vyas took incarnation as Vashishth and Lord Shiva as Dadhivahan. Dadhivahan had four disciples among whom Kapil was very famous.

During the nineth dwapar sage Vyas took incarnation as Saraswat and Lord Shiva as ‘Rishabh’. Lord Shiva in his incarnation as Rishabhdeva had four disciples among whom Parashar was very famous.

1.3.9     Nandikeshwar

While describing about the incarnation of Nandikeshwar Sutji says-

Sage Shilad did a tremendous penance to please lord Shiva with an aspiration to have a son. Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him to demand any boon he wished.

Sage Shilad expressed his desire of having a son who is not born from a physical body and who is proficient in all the sriptural knowledges. Lord Shiva blessed him by saying – ‘So be it’.

Sage Shilad then returned to his hermitage and performed a ‘Yagya’. From the yagya-kunda appeared a child who possessed four arms and three eyes. Sage Shilad was very pleased to see that child. The birth of the child was celebrated with great fanfare. Lord Shiva and Parvati arrived to bless the child.

The child was named Nandi as his birth had given immense joy (anand) to sage Shilad. Later on Nandi lived with his father like any other normal child and was brought up with great love and care. He became proficient in all the scriptures within seven years.

Being inspired by lord Shiva, two brahmins came to sage Shilad and informed him that after one year Nandi would be no more. Sage Shilad became extremely sad.

Seeing his father in his sorrowful mood, Nandi consoled him and later on went to do penance. His tremendous penance pleased Lord Shiva and Parvati and both of them appeared before him. Lord Shiva blessed him and said- “You are just like me, so you will never die”.

Lord Shiva also gave one of his garlands to him. As soon as Nandi wore that garland he imbibed all the qualities of lord Shiva. After that Lord Shiva took out some water from his locks of hair and sprinkled on him, as a result of which five rivers came into existence. These five rivers were later on came to be known as Panchanad. Lord Shiva then made him the leader of all his ganas.

Later on goddess Parvati took Nandi under her guidance and considered him just like her own son. Nandi was married to Suyasha- the daughter of Marut. Ultimately all of them accompanied lord Shiva to his abode.

1.3.10  Bhairav Gets Liberated from his Sin

Bhairav who was created by lord Shiva from his third eye, had severed one of the five heads of Lord Brahma on the instruction of lord Shiva. Now Brahmaji was left with only four heads.

Carrying the skull of Brahma in his hand, Bhairava started wandering in all the three worlds. To atone his sin of severing the head of lord Brahma, he was begging alms.

Bhairav reached Vishnuloka where he was welcomed warm heartedly by lord Vishnu and Laxmi. Goddess Laxmi dropped the learning (Vidya) named Manorath (by which all the wishes could be fulfilled) in the begging bowl (Skull) of Bhariav. Bhairav became extremely happy by this gift. Lord Shiva had created a oegrass named ‘Brahmahatya’ and had instructed Bhairav to reach Kashi, before her. According to lord Shiva this way the sin committed by Bhairav could successfully atoned.

After being blessed by goddess Laxmi, Bhairav took the permission of Lord Vishnu and proceeded towards Kashi. After his departure asked Brahmahatya to stop chasing Bhairav. But she refused saying that she was just following the instruction of Lord Shiva.

When Bhairav reached Kashi, Brahmahatya too came near the outskirts of the city, but could not enter it because of Lord Shiva’s power instead she entered in to the netherworld (Patal loka). As soon as Bhairav had entered Kashi. The begging-bowl (skull) fell on the ground and thus Bhairav got liberated from his sins. Bhairav was extremely relieved. The place where the skull of Brahma had fallen, later on became as Kapal mochan- the most sacred place of pilgrimage.

1.3.11  Shiva Takes an Incarnation as Sharabh

While describing about the incarnation of Sharabh Sutji told sages-

“When Vishnuji took his incarnation of Nrisimha to kill the demon king –Hiranyakashipu, his anger could not be subdued even after the killing of Hiranyakashipu. His anger had frightened all the three worlds. Lord Brahma sent Prahalada to Nrisimha so that his anger gets cool down. Prahalada prayed to Nrisimha. Nrisimha took him in his embrace but still his anger was not subdued.”

“All the deities went to lord Shiva and requested to him to cool down Vishnu’s anger. Lord Shiva then sent Bhairav and Veerbhadra to Nrisimha. When Veerbhadra politely requested Nrisimha to cool down, he (Nrisimha) tried to pounce on him (Veerbhadra). Right then Lord Shiva appeared in his most devastating form. He was looking frightening in his giant form and with thousands of hand. His appearance was resembling a huge cannibal bird. Lord Shiva injured Nrisimha with his giant wings and after carrying Lord Vishnu in his giant wings and after carrying lord Vishnu in his arms he flew in the sky. Lord Vishnu was so frightened that he became unconscious.”

“After regarding his consciousness Lord Nrisimha appeared in his form of Lord Vishnu and eulogized Shiva, which made lord Shiva very pleased. Lord Shiva wore the head of Nrisimha with the garland of skull in his neck. The remaining body was carried by Veerbhadra and abandoned at a mountain.”

1.3.12  Vishwanar Receives a Boon from Shiva

Once upon a time, there used to live a brahmin named Vishwanar who was a great devotee of lord Shiva. Shuchismati was his wife who was a devout wife. Being pleased by her sense of dutifulness, Vishwanar tried to reward his wife.

Shuchismati expressed her desire of having a son just like lord Shiva. Vishwanar went to Kashi to please Lord Shiva by his penance. He worshipped Vishveshwar linga with supreme devotion.

Lord Shiva became very pleased by his devotion and he appeared before Vishwanar from the Shivalinga. When Vishwanar expressed his desire, lord Shiva agreed to take birth as his Son. Vishwanar came back to his house happily.

1.3.13  Shiva’s Incarnation as Grihapati

In due course of time, Shuchismati became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful child. The whole family celebrated the birth of the child. The whole family celebrated the birth of the child. The name giving ceremony of that child was attended by all the deities and sages including lord Shiva and Parvati.

Lord Brahma named the child as Grihapati. When Grihapati attained the age of five, his sacred thread ceremony was performed. Within a year he became proficient in all the Vedas and other sacred texts.

When Grihapati attained the age of nine, Narada came and informed Vishwanar that death of Grihapati was imminent because of the evil effects of the planetary combinations. Vishwanar and Shuchismati were saddened and started crying.

Grihapati then consoled his parents and proceeded towards Kashi to do penance so that the ‘death’ could be conqured.

1.3.14  Grihapati’s Penance

Grihapati commenced his penance at Kashi. The deity Indra arrived there and requested him to demand anything he wished but Grihapati refused. Indra became furious and tried to attack him with his weapon-Vajra. Grihapati was very terrified.

Right then Lord Shiva appeared and Indra had to retreat from the scene. Lord Shiva blessed Grihapati by saying – “What to say about this lightning – Vajra, even Kaalvajra would not be able to kill you.”

Grihapati became very pleased. The Shivalinga which he worshipped, later on became famous as ‘Agnishwar linga. Lord Shiva made Grihapati the lord of all the directions.

1.3.15  Lord Shiva’s Incarnation as Yaksheshwar

During the time when ocean was being churned first of all poison appeared from it. The deities were very terrified to see the tremendous heat it generated. They went to lord Shiva and requested to protect them from the heat of that poison. Lord Shiva drank all the poison but did not let it pass down his throat.

After the poison, Nectar appeared from the ocean, which was drunk by the deities. The demons too wanted to drink the nectar, so a tremendous battle ensued between them and the deities. The deities became victorious in this battle because they had become immortal due to the effect of the Nectar. This victory made the deities very arrogant.

Lord Shiva was very concerned about their arrogant nature. He went to them in the guise of a Yaksha. He asked as to what was it that had made them so arrogant. The deities replied that their arrogance stemmed from victory over the demons. Lord Shiva who was disguised as Yaksha replied- “Your pride is based on false notion, because you did not achieve victory due to somebody’s grace and blessing.”

The deities disagreed with him. Lord Shiva then asked them to cut the grass if they considered themselves so mighty. He then kept a grass leaf in front of them. Each of the deities tried to cut that grass with their respective weapons but remained unsuccessful in their attempts. They were all amazed. Suddenly a heavenly voice was heard which said that the Yaksha was none other than Lord Shiva himself. The deities realized their mistakes. The apologized to lord Shiva. After vanquishing the false pride of the deities lord Shiva disappeared.

1.3.16  Dash Avatar (10 Incarnations of Shiva)

Describing about the ten incarnations and their corresponding power (Shakti), Sutji said-

The first incarnation of lord Shiva was as Mahakal and his Shakti was called Mahakali. Lord Shiva took his second incarnation as Tar and his Shakti was called ‘Tara’. The third incarnation of Lord Shiva was as Bhuvaneshwar and his Shakti was called ‘Bhuvaneshwari’. Lord Shiva took his fourth incarnation as ‘Shodash’ who was also known as ‘Srividdyesh’ and his Shakti was called ‘Shodashi’ or ‘Shri’.

Lord Shiva took his fifth incarnation as Bhairav and his Shakti was called ‘Bhairavi’. The sixth incarnation of Lord Shiva is famous as ‘Chhinamastak’ and his Shakti by the name of ‘Chhinamasta. Lord Shiva took his seventh incarnation as ‘Dhoomvan’ and his Shakti was known as ‘Dhoomvati. The eighth incarnation was as Baglamukh and his Shakti as Baglamukhi.

The nineth incarnation of lord Shiva became famous as Matang and his Shakti as ‘Matangi’. Lord Shiva took his tenth incarnation as ‘Kamal’ and his Shakti as Kamala. If these ten incarnation of Shiva are worshipped along with his ten Mahavidyas then a man attains salvation.

1.3.17  The Origin of Eleven Rudras

Once, the deities went to sage Kashyap after being tormented by the demons. They complained to him about the misdeeds of the demons, who also happened to be their step brothers. Sage Kashyap became extremely furious, when he heard about the misdeeds of his sons – the demons. To protect the deities from his sons, he commenced a penance to please lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva became very pleased by his penance and appeared before him. He asked Kashyap to demand anything he wished. Kashyap then requested Lord Shiva to take birth as his son and destroy the demons. Lord Shiva blessed him and said – ‘So be it’.

Lord Shiva, later on took birth as eleven Rudras from the womb of his wife Surabhi. The name of these eleven rudras were as follows:-

1) Kapali, 2) Pingal, 3) Bheem, 4) Virupaksha, 5) Vilohit, 6) Shastra, 7) Ajapaad, 8) Ahirbudhnya, 9) Shambhu, 10) Chand and 11) Bhav.

These eleven Rudras fought battles with the demons and killed them. The deities were relieved after the death of the demons. They worshipped these eleven rudras to express their gratitude and indebtedness.

1.3.18  Shiva’s Incarnation as Durvasa

Describing about the Lord Shiva’s incarnation as Durvasa, Sutji told the deities:- “once Atri – the manasputra of lord Brahma went to do penance at the bank of the river Nivindhya which flew by the foothills of Trayakshakul mountain as per the instructions of Lord Brahma himself. He commenced doing a tremendous penance. The effects of his penance was such that devastating flames of fire manifested from his head. The fire spread in all the three world in no time. The deities were terrified by the death and destruction caused by the fire in all the three worlds. They went to lord Brahma to seek his help. Lord Brahma took them to lord Vishnu and revealed to him about the destruction caused by the fire. All of them went to lord Shiva and told him everything.

Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva went to Atri and blessed him. Atri recognized them. He eulogized them. Later on Atri’s wife- Anusuya gave birth to three sons, who in fact were the incarnations of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma incarnation as the Moon, Lord Vishnu as Dutt and Shiva took incarnation as Durvasa.

Durvasa had tested the religiousness and virtuosity of numerous people. He had also tested the religiousness of king Ambareesh, who ruled over ‘Saptadweepa’. Once king Ambareesh had observed a fast on ‘Ekadashi’. Next day, when he was about to break his fast sage Durvasa arrived accompanied by his large number of disciples.

Durvasa was very furious with king Ambareesh. He said-

“You had invited me for this particular, but you have also insulted me by breaking the fast by drinking water in my absence.”

Sage Durvasa would have burnt king Ambareesh to ashes by his curse, had not Sudarshan-the weapon of Vishnu came to his rescue. Sudarshan then tried to burn sage Durvasa when suddenly a heavenly voice was heard from the sky which said-

“Durvasa is no one but the incarnation of lord Shiva himself.” Hearing this Sudarshan’s anger was pacified. King Ambareesh then begged his forgiveness from sage Durvasa.

1.3.19  Incarnation of Hanuman

Lord Shiva was so infatuated by the appearance of lord Vishnu in his form of Mohini roopa that his semen was released on the ground. This semen was established by the Saptarishis in the womb of Anjani, with the permission of lord Shiva himself.

In this way was born the mighty Hanuman. Once, during his childhood Hanuman had swallowed the Sun, which he released only after the deities prayed to him. The sun accepted him as his disciple and made him proficient in all the learning’s. He started living with Sugreeva as per the instructions of his teacher – the Sun.

During the time of Sri Ram’s exile, Sugreeva developed friendship with him with the help of Hanuman. Hanuman helped Sri Ram in finding the whereabouts of Sita, who had been abducted by the demon king-Ravana. He took a giant leap and jumped across the ocean. He went to Ashok-Vatika where Ravana had kept Sita. He gave Sri Ram’s ring to her and consoled her by saying that very soon Sri Ram was going to arrive and release her from Ravana’s captivity. He also burnt the whole Lanka by his burning tail and returned to Sri Ram to give him Sita’s news while the battle was fought between Sri Ram and Ravana Laxmana got seriously injured and became unconscious. Hanuman saves his life by bringing the whole of mountain, upon which the herb Sanjivani grew.

Being present at the service of Sri Ram, Hanuman performed his duties marvelously. Worship of Hanuman helps a man to become free from all kinds of problems, diseases and hurdles etc.

1.3.20  Shiva’s Incarnation as Mahesh

Once, Bhairav who was entrusted with the job of a doorkeeper became so infatuated with Parvati’s beauty that he tried to prevent her from going outside.

Parvati became furious and cursed him to be born as a mortal man on the earth. Bhairav became very sad but now the damage had been already done. Bhairav later on appeared in the form of a man named ‘Vetal’.

Vetal prayed to lord Shiva who took his incarnation as Mahesh and goddess Parvati as Girija.

1.3.21  Lord Vishnu Creates Turbulences

After the churning of the ocean had been accomplished, numerous things had emerged out from the ocean. Jewels, Moon, Laxmi, Poison, Uchchaishrava horse, Eravat elephant, Vessel containing Nectar were some of the things which emerged out from the ocean after the churning.

A tremendous battle was fought between the deities and the demons to have control over the vessel containing Nectar. The demons had snatched that vessel from the deities.

By the divine inspiration of lord Shiva, Vishnu appeared in the form of Mohini – the enchanting beauty. He successfully recovered that vessel from the control of the demons.

To distract the attention of the demons from the nectar, lord Vishnu created numerous enchanting beauties. When the demons saw them, they forcibly carried these enchanting beauties to their abode –the Nether world. After that they again returned to take control of the Nectar.

By that time, Vishnu had made the deities drink all the nectar. When the demons came to know about this, they became very furious and attacked the deities. A tremendous battle ensured between both the sides. Ultimately the demons got defeated. To save their lives the demon ran towards their abode. Lord Vishnu chased the demons and entered the Netherland. He killed all the demons.

Lord Vishnu then saw those enchanting beauties who had been abducted by the demons. Ironically, lord Vishnu got infatuated by their beauty- who were his own creation. Lord Vishnu remained there for a long time.

1.3.22  Shiva’s Incarnation as Vrishabh

During his stay in the Netherland, many sons were born to Lord Vishnu, who were very wicked and cruel. These sons of lord Vishnu started tormenting the inhabitants of all the three world.

All the deities and the sages went to lord Shiva to take his help. They requested him to kill the cruel sons of Vishnu and reestablish him (lord Vishnu) in his own abode, which he had abandoned for the Nether world.

Lord Shiva went to the Netherworld in the form of a Ox (Vrishabh). He killed all the sons of lord Vishnu with his sharp horns. Seeing the death of his sons, lord Vishnu came forward to fight him. He attacked lord Shiva with his various weapons, but lord Shiva remained harmless. Ultimately lord Vishnu was able to recognise him. He eulogized lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva then requested him to return back to Vishnuloka, he accepted. Lord Vishnu left his ‘Sudarshan chakra’ in the Netherworld and went to his own abode, where lord Shiva presented him a new Sudarshan chakra.

1.3.23  Killing of Vrittrasur

Once, when the deities were defeated by vrittrasur, they went to lord Brahma after hiding their weapons in the hermitage of sage Dadhichi. They requested lord Brahma to reveal about the means, how vrittrasur could be killed.

Lord Brahma advised the deities to male a weapon named Vajra from the bones of sages Dadhichi, as Dadhichi’s bones were even harder than the Vajra of Indra by the blessings of lord Shiva.

All the deities then went to the hermitage of Dadhichi in the leadership of Vrihaspati. On being enquired about the purpose of their visit, Indra said that he wanted his bones so that a weapon could be made out of it.

Dadhichi Gave up his life by his yogic power. Indra then instructed Kamdhenu to extract the bones from the dead body of Dadhichi. The bones were on given to ‘Twashta’ to construct the weapon-Vajra. Twashta took the weapons to Vishwakarma who at last constructed the Vajra.

Indra killed Vrittrasur with this weapon. When Suvarcha – the wife of Dadhichi came to know about the cunning deeds of the deities, she cursed them to became animals.

1.3.24  Shiva’s Incarnation as Yatinath

There used to live a bheel named Aahuk o the Arbudachal mountain. His wife was Aahuka. Both of them were supreme devotee of lord Shiva.

Once, lord Shiva wanting to test their devotion, appeared before them disguised a hermit. Aahuk honoured his guest and treated him very well. Lord Shiva then requested him to give shelter for the whole night. Aahuk expressed his inability as he had a very small hut, in which only two people could be accommodate at a time.

But his wife intervened and requested Aahuk to sleep outside the hut with his arms, as it would be inappropriate on their part to miss this chance of proving their hospitality.

The hermit, who in reality was lord Shiva slept with Aahuk’s wife inside the hut, while Aahuk himself slept outside the hut. Unfortunately Aahuk was killed by a wild animal while he was asleep.

In the morning when lord Shiva found that Aahuk had died, his heart was filled with grief. But Aahuka consoled him by saying that she was proud of her husband as he had given up his life for a noble cause. Naturally she was very much saddened by her husband’s death so she decided to give up her life by jumping into the burning pyre.

Right then lord Shiva appeared in his real form and blessed her by saying-

“In his next birth your husband would take birth in a royal family. He would become famous as Nala and you would be born as Damayanti to king Bheema of Vidarbha. I would myself appear in the form of a swan and help both of you to unite. After enjoying all the pleasures of this world both of you would attain to may abode.

After saying thus, lord Shiva established himself as immovable Shivalinga, which later on became famous as Achaleshwar linga.

1.3.25  Shiva’s Incarnation as Krshna Darshan

King Nabhag was born in the nineth geneology of Shraddhdeva who himself was a descendant of Ikshavaku. Nabhag was the grandfather of Ambareesh. During his childhood Nabhag left his home for ‘gurukula to get education. In his absence his brothers got the wealth of the kingdom distributed among themselves.

When Nabhag returned home after the completion of his education, he demanded his share of wealth from his brothers. His brothers told him that they had forgotten to fix his share as he was absent at the time when wealth was being distributed. They advised him to go and meet their father.

Nabhag went to his father and made the same request. His father advised him to go to sage Angiras who was trying to accomplish a yagya, but was not being able to accomplish it because of his attachment.

“Go and try to eliminate his attachment by your discourses. This way sage Angiras on being pleased with you would give all the wealth which remains after the completion of the yagya.” Said his father.

Nabhag did the same. He went to the place where sage Angiras was performing his yagya. He preached sage Angiras on the virtues of Religiousness. As a result he became free from all sorts of attachments and the yagya was successfully accomplished.

Sage Angiras was very pleased by Nabhag’s knowledge of religion. He gave all the remaining wealth of the yagya to Nabhag. Just then lord Shiva arrived there in his incarnation of Krishna darshan and tried to prevent sage Angiras from donating the wealth to Nabhag, instead he staked his own claim.

Nabhag told lord Shiva that, since the wealth was given to him by sage Angiras himself, it naturally belonged to him. Lord Shiva then sent Nabhag to his father-Shraddhdev to know about his opinion. Nabhag went to Shraddh deva who revealed to him that the person who was staking his claims on the wealth was none other then lord Shiva. He also told him that whatever remained after the accomplishment of the yagya belongs to lord Shiva only.

Nabhag was now satisfied. He went back to lord Shiva and narrated everything what his father had said. He then eulogized and worshipped lord Shiva. Lord Shiva blessed him which helped Nabhag to attain salvation.

1.3.26  Lord Shiva Appears as a Beggar

There was a king named Satyarath who ruled over Vidarbha. Once he was attacked by a neighbouring king. Satyarath was killed in that battle. His wife somehow managed to save her life by hiding in a forest. The queen was pregnant at that time.

At the shore of a pond she gave birth to a child. She was feeling thirsty, so she went into the pond to quench her thirst. Unfortunately she was killed by a crocodile who used to live in that pond.

The hungry child started crying- A beggar woman arrived there with her one year old child. Though her heart was filled with compassion seeing the hungry child cry but still she was hesitating to take him in her lap.

Right then lord Shiva appeared as a beggar and advised her to bring up the orphan child. The beggar woman asked about the origin of the child. Lord Shiva told her that the father of this child Satyarath in his previous life had left the pradoshavrata incomplete. He had also ordered his men to severe the head of his enemy. After this, he had broken his fast in his impure state, without taking a bath.

As a result, Satyarath met a premature-death in his next life. The mother of this orphan child too committed a sin by deceitfully getting the co-wife of her husband killed. As a result she was devoured by a crocodile in her next life.

Describing about the child lord Shiva said-

“This child was brahmin by birth in his previous life, but still he never engaged himself in any religious or virtuous deeds. So in his next life, though he was born in a royal family, buts still he remained poor. You must take this child under your control and after his sacred-thread ceremony gets accomplished, you must engage him in my (Shiva’s) devotion. If you don’t obey my command then it would not be good for the welfare of your own child.”

After saying like this lord Shiva disappeared. The beggar woman took that child to her house and brought him up with great love and care. When he grew up his sacred-thread ceremony was performed and then he was initiated into the worship of lord Shiva.

By the blessing of lord Shiva, Satyarath’s son formed a pot full of gold while he was taking both in a pond. Now the beggar family became very rich. Once again when he had gone to a forest he met a ‘gandharva’ princess to whom he ultimately got married. This way he became a king. He lived happily with his mother and his brother.

1.3.27  Lord Shiva Appears in the Guise of Indra (Sureshwar)

Upamanyu –the son of sage Vyaghrapaad, was brought up in his maternal uncle’s home since his childhood. One day Upanyu was very hungry. His mother gave him milk to drink which was not enough to satisfy his hunger. He demanded more and started crying. His mother mined some wheat flour in the water and gave him to drink as there was no milk left in the house. Upamanyu finding the taste different told his mother that it was not milk but something else. He again started crying.

His mother told him that if he wanted milk then he should worship lord Shiva as he only was capable of making the milk available. Upamanyu proceeded towards the Himalaya and started doing penance to please lord Shiva- continuously chanting the mantra Om Namah Shivay. His penance generated so much of heat that all the three worlds started burning.

To test his devotion, Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati appeared before him disguised as Indra and Indrani respectively. Both of them told Upamanyu to stop doing penance. They said-

“We Indra and Indrani are extremely pleased by your devotion. Stop worshipping Shiva. We will fulfill all your desires.”

Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati did not stop at this. They even cursed Shiva. Upamanyu became very furious and got up to attack the abuser – Indra.

Shiva and Parvati were satisfied by his total dedication and devotion. They revealed their real identity and blessed him. Shiva promised Upamanyu that he would be present in the vicinity of his hermitage along with Parvati forever.

Upamanyu returned back to his home and narrated the whole story to his mother who was very pleased. Lord Shiva got the name ‘Sureshwar’ because he appeared in the guise of Indra.

1.3.28  Sage Vyasa Advises the Pandavas to Worship Shiva

After loosing their whole kingdom to Duryodhan in the gamble, Pandavas went to the dwait forest accompanied by Draupadi. They started living in a place which was donated by Velotra Sun.

Duryodhan instigated sage Durvasa to torment the Pandavas. Sage Durvasa went to the place where Pandavas were staying, accompanied by thousands of his disciples. He demanded food from the Pandavas. How could have the Pandavas satiated from the hunger of thousands of people. Lord Krishna came to their rescue and saved them from being disagraced. As a result Durvasa and his disciples went back satisfied.

Lord Krishna advised the Pandavas to worship lord Shiva, but they neglected that advice. As a result their sufferings increased in magnitude. One day sage Vyas arrived there. The Pandavas gave a rousing reception. Considering Arjuna to be the most capable among the Pandavas, Vyas taught him the method of doing ‘Parthiva’ worship. Later on Arjuna went to the Indrakeel mountain to please Indra by his penance. Sage Vyas preached Yudhisthir to remain firm on his virtuously and religiousness.

1.3.29  Indra Appears before Arjun

Arjuna’s penance generated so much of heat that all the living creature of the three worlds were unable to bear its scorching heat. All the living creatures of the three worlds went to Indra to seek his help.

Indra went to Arjuna in the guise of a celibate and asked about the purpose for which he was doing penance. Arjuna told him that he wanted to defeat the Kauravas. Indra then told Arjuna that it was not in his capacity to help him achieve victory over the Kauravas, because of Aswatthama who was a partial incarnation of lord Shiva.

Indra advised Arjuna to please lord Shiva by his penance so that his wishes could be fulfilled. Indra then entrusted some of his men, the job of Arjuna’s security and went back to his abode. Arjuna commenced his penance to please lord Shiva.

1.3.30  Lord Shiva Appears in the Guise of Kirat

Arjuna did a tremendous penance by standing only on one leg and concentrating his gaze upon the blazing sun,. The deities became very impressed by Arjuna’s penance. They went to lord Shiva and requested him to bless Arjuna. Lord Shiva accepted their request.

Duryodhan had sent a demon named Mooka to kill Arjuna. Mooka had disguised himself as a boar. Arjuna was engrossed in his meditation, when suddenly his concentration got disturbed by a loud noise. He opened his eyes and saw Mooka being chased by a band of Kirats. In fact it was none other than Shiva who had appeared in the guise of Kirat.

Both Arjuna and Lord Shiva struck the boar with their respective arrows at the same time. As a result the boar was killed.

1.3.31  Kirat Blesses Arjun

Lord Shiva sent his ganas to bring back the arrow. Similarly Arjuna too went near the dead boar to bring his arrow. Arjuna found his arrow lying on the ground. He picked it up in his hand. Right then the ganas arrived there and asked Arjuna to return that arrow as it belonged to their master (Shiva). But Arjuna refused to part with his arrow. Instead he asked the ganas, to convey his challenge to their master to have a dual with him.

The ganas went back to lord Shiva and narrated the whole story to him. Lord Shiva accepted Arjuna’s challenge and went to fight him. His ganas accompanied him. Arjuna defeated all the ganas of Shiva. In the end Lord Shiva came forward to have a dual fight with him. Shiva was very much impressed by his valour. He revealed his real identity. Arjuna was very ashamed that he fought with Shiva. Lord Shiva consoled him and gave his weapon Pashupat to Arjuna.

1.3.32  The Twelve Jyotirlingas

Describing about the twelve Jyotirlingas, Sutji told the sages:- “There are twelve Jyotirlingas which are as Follows : 1) Somnath in Saurashtra, 2) Mallikarjuna in SriShail, 3) Mahakal in Ujjain, 4) Amareshwar in Omkar, 5) Kedar in the Himalaya, 6) Bheemashankar at the bank of Bheema river. 7) Vishwanath in Varanasi. 8) Trayambakeshwar ar the bank of Gautami river, 9) Baidyanath at Chitabhumi, 10) Nagesh which is situated between Darukvan dwarika and Bhet dwarika 11) Rameshwar at Betubandh and 12) Dhushmesh in Shivalaya.

These above mentioned twelve Jyotirlingas are considered to the very sacred. A devotee who pays a visit to any of these places and worship, gets all of his wished fulfilled.

Out of these twelve Jyotirlingas, Somnath Jyotirlinga is belived to destroy the sorrows of Moon. A devotee who worships this Jyotirlinga gets cured from incurable diseases like leprosy etc. enjoys all kinds of worldly pleasures and attains salvation.

Similarly having a darshan of Mallikarjuna helps a devotee to fulfill all of his desires.

Having a darshan of Mahakaal at Ujjain helps a devotee to fulfill all kinds of desire and achieve salvation.

Similarly if a devotee merely touches the idol of Omkar linga then he achieves the desired fruits.

Kedarlinga is situated in the Himalayas and is considered to be very sacred.

Lord Shiva took his sixth incarnation as Bheema Shankar to kill the demon Bheema. This incarnation of Shiva tool place at a place called Kamarupa in Assam.

The seventh incarnation of lord Shiva was as Vishwanath at Kashi. This Jyotirlinga is considered to be very sacred and fulfiller of all the desires of a man.

Lord Shiva took his eighth incarnation at the bank of river Gautami at the request of sage Gautam. This Jyotirlinga too is considered to be very sacred and a fulfiller of all the desires of a man.

The ninth incarnation of Shiva was as Baidyanath at Deoghar in Bihar. This Jyotirlinga was established by the demon King Ravana. A devotee who worships this Jyotirlinga gets all of his wishes fulfilled. Because of this, it ia also known as Kamanalinga. Devotees carry the holy water of the Ganges from Sultanganj and both the idol of Baidyanath in the months of Shravan and Bhadrapaksha according to the Hindu calendar.

Lord Shiva took his tenth incarnation to kill the demon Daruk who used to live in Daruk forest. A devotee who worships Nagesh, never faces any calamity. The eleventh incarnation of lord Shiva was as Rameshwar linga, this linga was established by Sri Ram while the construction of a bridge over the sea was going on. Having a darshan of this Jyotirlinga bestowes both worldly pleasures and salvation.

Lord Shiva took his twelfth incarnation as Dhumeshwar after being pleased by Dhushma – the wife of Sumedha. Having a darshan of this Jyotirlinga helps a devotee to fulfill all of his desires.

All the above mentioned twelve Jyotirlingas are very sacred and give total accomplishment to the devotees.

1.4      Koti Rudra Samhita

This Chapter contains 28 sections.

1.4.1     The Greatness of Upalingas

After describing about the twelve Jyotirlinga, Sutji mentioned about the various Upalingas originating from them. The Upalinga named Someshwar is situated at a place where the earth meets the ocean. This Upalinga is also known as ‘Antakesh’.

The Upalinga originating from Mallikarjuna is famous by the name of ‘Rudreshwar’. Similarly the Upalinga originating from Mahakal Jyotirlinga is known as ‘Dughdhesh’.

The Upalinga manifesting from Omkar jyotirlinga is famous as ‘Kardameshwar’. The Upalinga manifesting from Kedareshwar jyotirlinga is known as Bhuteshwar and is situated at the bank of Yamuna River.

The Upalinga manifesting from Bheema Shankar Jyotirlinga is famously known as ‘Bheemeshwar’. The Upalingas manifesting from Nageshwar, Rameshwar and Dhushmeshwar Jyotirlingas are known as Bhuteshwar, Gupteshwar and Vyagreshwar respectively.

All these upalingas are considered to be very sacred. A devotee who has darshan of these Upalingas gets liberated from all of his sins.

Apart from these twelve Jyotirlingas and upalingas, there are numerous other lingas, which have great religious importance. They are Kritikavaseshwar, Tilmandeshwar, Bhuteshwar, Batukeshwar, Pureshwar, Siddhanateshwar, Shringeshwar, Gopeshwar, Rangeshwar, Rameshwar, Atrishwar, Mahabal linga Kameshwar, Ganeshwar, Shukreshwar, Chandrashekhar, Rishishwar Laliteshwar, Pashupatishwar, (Pashupatinath), Kumtinath and Andhakeshwar etc.

1.4.2     Atri and Anusuya do Penance

Sage Atri and his wife Anusuya were doing penance in the forest called Kamad, situated near the Chitrakut mountain. Once it did not rain for many days. As a result people living in that area faced a severe drought.

Anusuya requested her husband to help out the people from their hardships. Sage Atri sat down to meditate. One by one, his disciples deserted him. Only Anusuya remained with him. She spent her days worshipping the Parthiva lingas and circumambulating sage Atri who was engrossed in his meditation. She had vowed not to have a single morsel of food till it rained.

All the deities became very pleased with their penance. They arrived at the place where both of them were doing penance and after giving blessings went back to their respective abodes.

Lord Shiva and river Ganges stayed there. It did not rain for fifty four years. Both sage Atri and Anusuya continued with their respective penance.

1.4.3     The Greatness of Atri

While doing penance, sage Atri felt thirsty. He requested Anusuya to fetch some water. Anusuya went with a Kamandal, in search of water but did not find it anywhere.

Ganga appeared before her and said- “I am very pleased with you. You can demand anything from me you like.”

Anusuya demanded only a Kamandal full of water for her husband. Ganga instructed her to dig up a pit and when it was done she entered into that pit. Anusuya filled her Kamandal with the water from that pit and went back to her thirsty husband.

After quenching his thirst, Atri enquired form Anusuya as to where did she find water. Anusuya narrated the whole story. Both of them then went back to the place where Anusuya had met Ganga. Both of them requested Ganga to stay at that very place. Ganga agreed to remain there on the condition that Anusuya donates all the virtues attained by her husband by worshipping Lord Shiva for one year.

Anusuya donated all the virtues, without any hesitation. Lord Shiva became very much pleased by their charitable tendencies. He appeared before them. After eulogizing, Atri requested lord Shiva to remain in his hermitage accompanied by Parvati. Lord Shiva agreed to do so. Ganga also stayed with them. Later on Atri performed a grand Yagya after the completion of which it rained heavily. Thus Atri ended the phase of drought by his tremendous penance.

River Mandakani flows from that same ‘Pit’ which Anusuya had dugged up. The Shivalinga, which was worshipped by Anusuya during that time later on, came to be known as Atrishwar Linga.

1.4.4     The Brahmin Woman Attains to Heaven

Once upon a time, there lived a brahmin at a place called ‘Karni’ situated at the bank of river ‘Reva’. When the brahmin became old, he went to Kashi after leaving behind his wife to live with his sons. After sometime the brahmin died.

When the brahmins sons came to know about his death, they went to Kashi and performed his last rites. After some days the brahmins woman died too. The Brahmin’s son – Suvas again went to Kashi carrying the ashes of their dead mother as per her own wish.

On his way, Suvad became a guest of another brahmin. Suvad witnessed an amazing even in the night, in which he saw his host trying to milk the cow. At first he allowed the calf to drink the cow’s milk for sometime. His host then moved away the calf from the cow. The calf was still hungry and was not willing to move away from the cow. The brahmins trashed the calf very badly. This made the cow very sad and vowed to teach that wicked brahmin a lesson.

The calf tried his best to convince his mother against doing this as her action might make her commit the gravest of sins – the brahmahatya. But the cow was not worried, as she knew the method of nullifying that sin.

Suvad was surprised that the cow knew the method of nullifying the sin of brahmahatya. Next morning, the brahmin entrusted the job of milking the cow, the brahmins’ son gave a severe trashing to the calf who was unwilling to move away from his mother.

The angry cow lifted the Brahmin’s son with her horns and dashed him against the ground. The Brahmin’s son died on the spot. When the brahmin returned to his home he became very furious on seeing his son dead. He drove both the cow and the calf out of his house, after beating them very badly.

The colour of the cow had turned blue due to the trashing she got from her brahmin. The cow went to the temple of Nandikeshwar, situated at the bank of river Narmada. To neutralize the sin of Brahmahatya she took dip in the water of river Narmada for three times. As a result she regained her original colour.

Suvad had followed the cow all along the way. He was amazed to see the cow regaining her original colour. He proceeded on his further journey towards Kashi. He met a beautiful lady on the way who enquired as to where was he going. Suvad told her that he was going to immense the ashes of her mother in the holy water of the river Ganges.

The lady advised him to immerse the ashes in the water of Narmada itself, as the holy Ganga herself comes to meet Narmada on the seventh day of Vaishakh every year.

“Today is the same auspicious day when the holy Ganga will be coming to meet Narmada.” Said the beautiful woman. She also told him that immersing the ashes in the waters of Narmada would help his mother to attain to the divine abode.

This beautiful lady was none other than Ganga herself. After advising Suvad she disappeared. Suvad followed the instruction of that beautiful lady. He immersed the ashes in the waters of Narmada. He saw his mother attaining a divine body. His mother blessed Suvad and then attained to the abode of Lord Shiva.

1.4.5     Mahabal Shiva Linga

Describing about Mahabal Shiva Linga, Sutji said to the sages- “Mahabal Shivalinga is situated at Gokarna area. A devotee who has a darshan of Mahabal Shivalinga on the eighth or fourteenth day of ‘Ardranakshatra falling on Monday, becomes free from all of his sins and attains to the Shivaloka.”

Having a darshan of this Shivalinga on any other day too helps a man to attain to the abode of Almighty. All the deities, ancestors, holy rivers like Ganga and the Nagas stand guard on all the four entrances of Mahabal temple”

“Even the most degraded sinner attains salvation if he worships Mahabal Shivalinga on the fourteenth day of Magha (dark lunar phase). On this day people come from all over India to see the grand festival.”

1.4.6     The Reason Behind Phallic Worship

The sages curiously asked Sutji about the purpose with which Parvati had decided to appear in the form of a Vagina. Sutji narrated the following tale:

“Long long ago, some sages used to do penance in a Shiva temple situated near Daruk forest. One day they went to collect woods needed for the Yagya. Lord Shiva wanted to test their devotion, so he arrived before the sages’ wives in naked position holding his own phallus in his hand. The wives of the sages became frightened by Shiva’s appearance.

“When the sages returned after collecting woods, they became very furious to see a naked person luring their wives. They asked Shiva to reveal his identity. When Shiva did not give any reply, they cursed him to become a phallus.”

“The Phallus fell down from the hand of Lord Shiva and generated so much of heat that all the three worlds started to burn. The sages became very nervous and went to seek the help of lord Brahma. Lord Brahma revealed to then that the person who they cursed was none other than Lord Shiva himself. He also instructed them to please goddess Parvati, as she only could have them from Shiva’s wrath by appearing in the form of Vagina and holding the Phallus.”

“The sages followed the instruction of Lord Brahma. Goddess Parvati appeared in the form of Vagina and held Shiva’s phallus in herself. The sages then worshipped the Shivalinga. This jyotirlinga became famous by the name of Haatkeshwar.”

1.4.7     The Origin of Batuknath

Long long ago there lived a brahmin by the name of Dadhichi. His wife to a low caste, though his son – Sudarshan was very learned. The name of his wife was Tukula. She had her husband under total control and influence.

Sudarshan had four sons. One day Dadhichi planned to go out due to some work. He entrusted the job of Shiva’s worship to Sudarshan. Sudarshan worshipped the idol of Shiva daily without any fail.

On the Shivaratri day, Sudarshan too had observed a fast like rest of his family members. He worshipped Shiva’s idol in the morning as usual and then went to his home. During the night time, he had a sexual relationship with his wife. After that, he sat down to worship without purifying himself. Lord Shiva became very furious by his action. He immobilized him by his curse.

Dadhichi was very sad to see the condition of his son. He commenced a tremendous penance to please goddess Parvati. After being pleased by his penance, Parvati requested Lord Shiva to liberate Sudarshan from his curse.

Lord Shiva became pleased and blessed Sudarshan by saying that he would become famous as Batuknath and also that the worship of Batuknath would amount to the worship of lord Shiva.

1.4.8     The Origin of Somnath

The moon had twenty seven wives, one of whom was Rohini. The moon loved Rohini very much, which made the rest of his wives very jealous and angry. They went to their father – Daksha and complained about Moon’s behaviour.

Daksha went to Moon and advised him to give proper attention to all of his wives. But it did not have any effect on him and he continued giving special treatment to Rohini.

When Daksha came to know about this, he became very curious. He cursed Moon to become weak and devoid of radiance. The moon then sent the deities to lord Brahma to seek his help. At first, lord Brahma became very angry with Moon, but later on he cooled down and told the deities, that Moon can get liberated from the curse, if he chants ‘Mahamrityunjaya mantra’ by going to Prabhus area.

Moon went to Prabhas area and chanted Mahamrityunjaya mantra for ten crore time after sitting in one posture. Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him to demand anything he wished.

Moon requested lord Shiva to liberate him from the curse given by Daksha. Lord Shiva told moon that the words of Daksha can never became untrue. However he blessed moon by saying that he would wane during the dark lunar phase due to the curse, but wax during the dark lunar phase due to his (Shiva’s) blessings. Lord Shiva also provided moon that he would be present along with Parvati near him (moon).

Thus Lord Shiva established himself as Somanath. The deities constructed a ‘Kunda’ named Chandrakunda. It is believed that the Moon because liberated from the curse by taking a bath in this Punda.

1.4.9     The Origin of Mallikarjuna

Once, under the influence of Sage Narad, Kartikeya had gone to the Kraunch Mountain to do penance. Shiva and Parvati could not bear the pain of his separation for long. Both of them went to the Kraunch mountain to see him.

When Kartikeya saw them coming he moved to some other place. When lord Shiva saw this he established himself in the form of Jyotirlinga, which later on became famous as Mallikarjuna jyotirlinga.

1.4.10  The Origin of Mahakaleshwar

There used to live a brahmin at Avantikapuri. He was a great devotee of lord Shiva and used to worship dialy.

This brahmin had four sons whose names were Devapriya, Medhapriya, Sukrit and Dharmabahu. By the blessings of lord Shiva the brahmin enjoyed a very happy and contented life. After his death, the brahmin’s son continued the tradition of Shiva’s worship.

There was a mountain named Ratanak on which a demon named Dushan used to live. Being intoxicated by the boons received from Lord Brahma, he used to torment all the people. He had all the surrounding area under his control except the house in which the brahmin family lived.

Dushan ordered his fellow demons to bring the brahmin after capturing them. All the demons went to Avantikapuri and created havoc. They went to the brahmins and told them about Dushan’s order. The brahmins were busy doing worship at that time so they did not give ear to their words. The brahmins continued with their worship. The demon became very angry and tried to attack them.

Suddenly the earth cracked with a tremendous sound and lord Shiva manifested from within the cracks. He killed all the demons. He then went to the Ratnamala mountain and killed Dushan. He again returned to the brahmins and expressed his desire of fulfilling their wishes. The brahmins expressed their desire of getting liberated from the bondage’s of this world. They also requested him to remain at that place. Lord Shiva accepted their request and established himself in the form of Mahakal.

1.4.11  The Origin of Omkareshwar

Once, Narad had gone to meet Vindhya mountain. Vindhya was very arrogant in his behaviour. Narad told him that Sumeru mountain was even greater than him and so his false pride had no basis.

Vindhya became very dejected and disheartened. He went to Amgreshwar and started worshipping Shiva after making a Parthiv linga. Lord Shiva became very pleased by his penance. He appeared before Vindhya and blessed him. After sometime the sages too arrived there and worshipped Shiva. They requested lord Shiva to remain at that place forever. Lord Shiva established himself as Paremeshwar Linga. One Shivalinga already existed at Amareshwar, which became famous as Omkareshwar.

1.4.12  The Origin of Kedareshwar

Two incarnations of Lord Vishnu by the names of Nara and Vishnu did penance at Badrikasharam. Both of them used to worship the idol of Shiva daily. Lord Shiva used to arrive in his subtle form and accept their offerings without being noticed by them.

One day Lord Shiva appeared before them. Nara and Narayana eulogized him and requested to remain at that place forever. Lord Shiva accepted their request and established himself as ‘Kedareshwar jyotirlinga’.

1.4.13  The Origin of Bheema Shankar

Bheema – the demon, was the son of Kumbhakarna and Karkati. After Kumbhakarna was killed by Sri Ram. Karkati and Bheema went to live at Sahya mountain.

When Bheema grew up he asked Karkati about his father. Karkati told him that his father had been killed by Ram. Bheema swore to avenge his father’s death. He did a tremendous penance to please lord Brahma. Brahma appeared before him and blessed him with insurmountable power and strength.

Bheema then drove out the deities from heaven. He went to Kamarupa and defeated the king. He captured the king and put him in prison. The helpless king used to pass his time by chanting the mantra- Om Namah Shivay. His wife worshipped the Parthiva linga of Shiva for the release of the king.

All the deities went at the bank of river Mahakeshi and worshipped the Parthiva linga of lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before them and assured them that the end of Bheema was near.

Lord Shiva went to the king who had been held captive by Bheema. His ganas too accompanied him. All of them waited for the opportune time to kill Bheema.

Meanwhile somebody informed Bheema that the king was doing worship of Shiva in the prison, with the objective of getting Bheema killed.

Bheema arrived at the spot in the prison where the king was worshipping the Parthiva linga of Lord Shiva. He made fun of Shiva and struck the Shiva linga with his sword.

Right then, Lord Shiva appeared. A tremendous battle was fought between both of them. The battle continued for a long period. Sage Narad requested lord Shiva to kill Bheema as soon as it was possible.

Lord Shiva produced fire by his loud roar. In a very short time the fire spread in the whole forest. All the demons including Bheema were burnt to death. The deities and the sages arrived there. They requested Lord Shiva to remain there. Lord Shiva accepted their request and established himself in the form of Bheema Shankar Jyotirlinga.

1.4.14  The Origin of Vishveshwar

With the desire of giving liberation to the living creatures of this world, lord Shiva had kept some portion of land on his Trishul after separating it from the rest of Brahma’s creation. The name of this sacred place is Manikarnika. The Shiva linga by the name of Avinukta was established by lord Shiva himself/ Later on this sacred place was brought down from the Trishul and established on the land of Shiva. This sacred place of pilgrimage later on became famous as Kashi and the Shivalinga as Avimukta Visheshwar.

1.4.15  The Origin of Trayambakeshwar

During the ancient time there lived a famous sage named Gautami. The name of his wife was Ahilya. Once it did not rain for one hundred years as the result of which the whole area was affected by drought.

Sage Gautami did a tremendous penance to please Varun appeared before Gautam, he was requested to cause rain. But Varun expressed his inability in causing rain. He told Gautam to please lord Shiva so that his wish could be fulfilled. Later on Varun instructed Gautam to dig a up a pit, which he (Varun) filled with water. Varun blessed Gautam by saying that this pond would never dry up. The sages who had abandoned that place returned there. Everybody became happy and satisfied.

One day, sage Gautam instructed his disciples to fetch some water from that pond. When the disciples reached there, they found the wives of numerous sages present at the bank of the pond. The sages’ wives did not allow them to take water and instead they rebuked them. The disciples returned back to the hermitage and narrated the whole story to sage Gautam.

Ahilya pacified the angry disciples and went to the pond to fetch water. From that day onwards this became very daily routine. One day Ahilya met the wives of the sages. They tried to prevent her from fetching water. Not only that they went back to his respective hermitages and filled the ears of their husbands. All the sages became very angry.

The sages worshipped lord Ganesha to please him. When Ganesha appeared, they requested him to drive Gautam out from that place. At first Ganesha was reluctant to accept their demand but when they kept a persisting he agreed at last.

Ganesha entered the field of Gautam in which barley was being cultivated. Ganesha had disguised himself as a cow. He started grazing the barley crops.

When Gautam saw the cow grazing crops, he tried to drive her out from the field by hitting a grass on her back. The artificial cow died instantly. Gautam was very sorry for his act. Meanwhile all the sages from the surrounding area arrived there. They forced Gautam to abandon that place at once.

Gautam left that place and made his hermitage at a little distance from there. One day he came to the sages and asked them as to how could he atone for his sins. The sages told him that his sins could be atoned only when he circumambulates the whole earth thrice, all the while saying, ‘I have killed a cow’. They also told him that after that he would have to perform austerities for one month.

If this is not possible then you will have to help Ganga manifest herself and take bath in her water. Otherwise you will have to worship three crores Parthiva lingas. Only then, you can get liberated from the sin of killing a cow,” said the sages.

Gautam made the Parthiva lingas and started worshipping them. Lord Shiva became very pleased by his devotion and appeared before him. Sage Gautam requested lord Shiva to liberate him from the sins of killing a cow. He also requested lord Shiva to manifest the stream of river Ganga that place.

Lord Shiva tried his best to make him understand that he was innocent and the real culprits that he was innocent and the real culprits were those wicked sages. But, Gautam was unconvinced. At last lord Shiva instructed Ganga to appear in the form of a woman. Gautam eulogized Ganga. By the blessings of lord Shiva Gautam was liberated from his sins of killing a cow. After that Ganga expressed her desire to go back but lord Shiva asked her to remain on the earth till the twenty-eighth nanvantar. Ganga accepted to do that, on the condition that Lord Shiva along with Parvati too would remain present on the earth. Lord Shiva established himself as Trayambakeshwar Jyotirlinga and Ganga became famous as Gautami Ganga.

1.4.16  The Origin of Baidyanath

The demon king- Ravana did a tremendous penance to please lord Shiva and to get a boon from him. Even after his severe penance when lord Shiva did still not appear, he started offering his heads one by one to lord Shiva. This way he already severed his nine heads and offered them to Shiva. When he was about to severe his last remaining head, just the lord Shiva appeared before him. He blessed Ravana with unparalleled power and strength. Lord Shiva also made him a ten headed demon once again.

But Ravana was not satisfied. He requested lord Shiva to come along with him to Lanka. Lord Shiva gave Ravana s Shivalinga and warned him against keeping it on the earth, as then no power on the earth could lift that Shivalinga from there.

Ravana proceeded with the Shivalinga. On the way he felt the urge of urinate. Ravana gave that Shivalinga to a cowherd boy and went to urinate. The cowherd boy held the Shivalinga for sometime. He felt that the Shivalinga was becoming heavier and heavier. He could not bear the weight of the Shivalinga for too long. He kept it on the ground. When Ravana returned he became very sad after seeing the Shivalinga on the ground. He knew that, now it was impossible to lift it from that place. Ravana established the Shivalinga there, which became famous as ‘Baidyanath jyotirlinga’.

1.4.17  The Origin of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga

During ancient times, there lived a demon named Daruk. The name of his wife was Daruka. They used to torment the people living in that area. The residents of that area went to sage ‘Aursh’ and narrated about their miseries and requested him to end this menace.

‘Aursh’ assured them that very soon their hardships would come to an end. He then went to do his penance. The deities appeared before him after being pleased by his tremendous penance. Sage ‘Aursh’ requested the deities to kill the demons.

The deities went to fight with the demons. The demons got scarred and started thinking about the means by which their lives could be saved. Daruka the wife of Daruk had received a boon from goddess Parvati due to which she had gained unparalleled power. She carried the whole forest and placed it in the middle of the sea. This way the demons again lived without being perturbed by the threat of the deities’ attack.

One day the demons saw many boats sailing in the sea, on which were many people on board. The demons made all the people captive. There was a man named Supriya who was great devotee of Lord Shiva. He used to worship lord Shiva daily, even though he saw held under captivity. Rest of the people too got influenced by his devotion and everybody started worshipping lord Shiva.This way, six months had passed.

One day a demon saw Supriya worshipping the idol of lord Shiva. He went to Daruk and informed him. Daruk became extremely furious. He asked Supriya as to whom was he worshipping. Supriya still engrossed in his worship did not give any reply. This made Daruk even more angry. He tried to kill Supriya. Lord Shiva appeared and killed all the demons.

Daruka’s heart became full of grief at the news of her husband’s death. She went to Parvati and told her how lord Shiva had killed Daruka. Parvati met lord Shiva and both of them decided to protect there respective devotees by establishing themselves at that place. Thus, Nageshwar jyotirlinga came into existence.

1.4.18  Establishment of Rameshwar

After Hanuman brought the new that Sita had been held captive by Ravana at Lanka, Sri Ram proceeded towards Lanka with a huge army. After receiving the seashore he faced the problems of crossing over the sea.

Sri Ram made a Parthiva linga of Shiva and worshipped it. Lord Shiva became very please with him and appeared. He blessed Sri Ram to be victorious. Sri Ram on the other hand, requested him to establish himself in that Parthiva linga, to which lord Shiva agreed. This way ‘Rameshwar jyotirlinga’ came into existence.

1.4.19  The Origin of Dhushmesh Jyotirlinga

There used to live a brahmin by the name of Sudharma, who belonged to the lineage of sage Bhardwaj. He was a great devotee of lord Shiva. Sudeha was his wife. Sudharma had no son.

Sudeha desires for a son. She expressed her desire to Sudharma but he did not listen to her pleas. One day Sudeha had gone for an outing accompanied by her companions. Incidentally a quarrel ensured among them and her companions made fun of her issue less status. Sudeha became very sad. After returning to her hermitage, she narrated the whole incident to Sudharma.

Sudharma meditated on the form of Shiva and threw two flowers, towards his wife. He thought that if Sudeha picks up the flower, which he had thrown with his right hand, then certainly a son would be born. But if she picks up the another flower then there is no chance of her giving birth to a son. Unfortunately Sudeha picked up the flower which Sudharma had thrown with his left hand.

Sudharma told his wife that she was never going to become a mother. He advised her to dedicate her life in the devotion of lord Shiva. When Sudeha learnt that there was no chance of her becoming a mother, she insisted her husband to marry for a second time, so that he could become a father. But Sudharma refused to marry for the second.

Sudeha brought her younger sister-Dhushma to the hermitage and married her with reluctant Sudharma. Dhushma proved to be a very faithful wife. She engaged herself in the service of Sudharma and Sudeha. She also used to worship the Parthiva-linga of Shiva daily.

After her worship she used to immerse the Parthiva lingas in a pond. This way, when she had accomplished the worship of one lakh Parthiva lingas, lord Shiva blessed her with a son. Sudharma was extremely pleased but Sudeha became jealous of her own sister.

When the child grew up, he was married to a beautiful brahmin girl. Dhushma instructed the bride to take a special care of Sudeha. So the bride engaged herself in the service of everybody. She took special care of looking into the needs of Sudeha. But still, Sudeha’s jealousy did not diminish.

One day engripped by excessive jealousy and anger, she killed Dhushma’s son while he was asleep. She cut his body into many pieces and threw those pieces into the same pond, in which Dhushma used to immerse the Parthiva lingas.

When the daughter in law noticed a piece of flesh on the bed she started crying. She went to Dhushma and narrated the whole story. Hearing the news of her son’s killing, Dhushma too started crying Sudeha also wept artificially.

Sudharma arrived there. Though he himself was very sad yet he instructed Dhushma to do the daily worship of Parthiva linga as usual. Dhushma obeyed the command of her husband, She worshipped the Parthiva lingas and went to the pond of immense.

By the blessings of lord Shiva, her son was standing at the bank of the pond alive. He came towards his mother and said-

“Mother! I have become alive even after my death.”

Dhushma was still engrossed in her thoughts of lord Shiva, so she could not listen to her son. Lord Shiva appeared and blessed Dhushma. He also expressed his desire to punish her wicked sister – Sudeha for her evil deed, but Dhushma requested him to forgive her. She also requested lord Shiva to stay there forever. Lord Shiva accepted her demand and established himself in the form of Dhushmeshwar Jyotirlinga. Sudharma and Sudeha arrived at that place and worshipped Shiva. At last everybody returned home happily.

1.4.20  Lord Vishnu Receives Sudarshan Chakra

The deities went to lord Vishnu, after being tormented by the demons. They requested him to annihilate the demons. After assuring them, Lord Vishnu went to Kailash mountain to do his penance. But even his tremendous penance was not enough to please Lord Shiva.

Lord Vishnu then worshipped lord Shiva by chanting the mantras of Shiva Sahastranamavali. He also offered one thousand lotus flowers to lord Shiva in course of his worship.

One day Shiva wanted to test the devotion of lord Vishnu. He stole one lotus flower from among the one thousand flowers. When lord Vishnu began his worship he found that there was one flower less. To make up for this deficiency, he offered his one eye to lord Shiva – his eye which has been compared with a lotus flower.

Lord Shiva was very mush impressed by his exceptional devotion. He appeared before Vishnu and asked him to demand any boon he wished. Lord Vishnu demanded a divine weapon to annihilate the demons. Lord Shiva gave him a sparkling Sudharshan Chakra. On the request of Lord Vishnu he established himself in the form of Harishwar Shivalinga. At last lord Vishnu killed the demon with his Sudarshan Chakra.

1.4.21  Shiva Sahastranaam

Sutji told the sages that lord Vishnu had worshipped lord Shiva with the help of his one thousand names. Some of the chief names of Shiva are Shiva, Har, Mrid, Rudra, Pushkar, Pushpalochan, Arthigamya, Sadachar, Sharv, Shambhu, Maheshwar, etc.

1.4.22  The Greatness of Sahastranaam

A devotee who chants these one thousand names of lord Shiva attains all the accomplishments. Chanting it during distress helps a man to become free from all kings of misfortune. Lord Vishnu could kill the demons only because of the power he derived from the chanting of Sahastranaam.

1.4.23  The Devotees of Shiva

Describing about the numerous devotees of Shiva who were famous for their devotion towards lord Shiva, Sutji named a few of them like Durvasa, Vishwamitra, Dadhichi, Gautam, Kanad, Bhargav, Vrihaspati, Vaishampayam, Parashar, Vyas, Upamanyu, Yagyavalkya, Jaimini and Garg etc.

He also narrated a tale connected with King Sudyumna. Once Sudyumna had gone into that forest which was gifted to Parvati by lord Shiva, with the warning that any man who dares to enter it would become a woman.

As soon as Sudyumna entered that forest he got transformed into a woman. He became very sad. He worshipped lord Shiva to regain his masculinity. Lord Shiva pleased by his devotion, he blessed him to be as a man for one month and again as a woman for the same period of time alternately.

1.4.24  Austerities & Fastings Connected with Shiva’s Worship

Once Parvati asked lord Shiva as to which were the austerities when on being performed by a devotee, helps him to attain both worldly accomplishments as well as liberation.

Lord Shiva told her about ten austerities connected with his worship and their methods. He said-

“On the eighty day of every month a devotee should worship me by observing a fast for the whole day and breaking it in the night. But on Kalashtami a devotee must observe the fast for the whole day and night. He must not have food on that day. On the eleventh day of the dark-lunar month, a devotee must worship me and observe fast during the day. He should break the fast in the night. But on the eleventh day of the bright lunar month, a devotee should observe a fast for the whole period of day and night. On the thirteenth day of dark-lunar month a devotee must observe fast for the whole period of day and night, whereas on the thirteenth day of a bright lunar phase he should observe a fast during the day and break it in the night. A fast observed on Monday should be broken only in the night.”

1.4.25  Mahashivaratri

Lord Shiva continued with his statements-

“Among all the austerities and fastings Mahashivaratri holds a supreme place. It falls on the fourteenth day of the dark lunar month of Phalgun. On this day the devotee should take a vow to observe a fast after awakening in the morning and finishing his daily choirs. He must observe a fast for the whole day and night. In the night he should worship me either in the temple or in his own home according to his convenience. He should worship me with the help of sixteen modes of worship (Shodasopachar). He should either chant the mantras of Laghurudra or perform ‘abhishek’ during the course of worship. While doing worship he should eulogize me and perform ‘artis’ in my praise. He can perform ‘abhishek’ with either of the followings – Milk, water, sacred water of belonging to a place of pilgrimage, sprinkling water with Kusha, Sugarcane juice, Honey and Ghee etc. The devotee should engage himself in my devotion for the whole day. In the end he should feed the brahmins and make donation to them. A fast observed in this way gives infinite virtues to the devotee.”

1.4.26  Accomplishment of Shivratri (Uddyapan)

After observing fasts for fourteen consecutive years on each of the Shivaratri days, a devotee should perform ‘Uddyapan’ (religious rites performed on the accomplishment of an observance).

On the day preceding the Uddyapan ceremony, a devotee must have food for one time. The next day a devotee should perform Uddyapan after making a religious vow and according to the appropriate methods. A devotee who performs Uddyapan in the above mentioned way attains to the Shivaloka.

1.4.27  The Greatness of Shivaratri

There used to live a poor bheel named Gurudruha. He was very poor. One day finding no food available in his house, he went to the forest to hunt an animal. Unfortunately he did not find any animal which he could hunt.

Being hungry, he sat down on the bank of a pond and pondered as to what would happen to his family members who were hungry too. He thought that if he waited there, then he might get a chance to kill a thirsty animal, which arrives there to drink water.

Gurudruha climbed up a bael tree and waited for his prey. A Shivalinga was established just under that tree and co incidentally it was a Shivaratri day. When the first three hours of the night had passed, he saw a female deer arriving with her young ones. He got ready with his bow and arrow and aimed his arrow towards the female deer. By coincidence some leaves from that bael tree fell on the Shivalinga along with some drops of water from the vessel in which he was carrying water. Gurudruha had accomplished the worship of Shiva during the first ‘Prahar’ of the night unawaringly.

After hearing the noise made by falling drops of water, the female deer looked up. She saw Gurudruha sitting with his bow and arrows. She asked him about his desire. Gurudruha told her that he wanted to kill her, so that he could feed his family members.

The female deer requested him to allow her to go so that she could leave her young ones in the safe custody of her husband. She promised to come back. At first Gurudruha was reluctant but when the female deer started giving illustrations from the scriptures, he allowed her to go.

Mean while the sister of female deer arrived there with her young ones. When Gurudruha sow her, he got ready to kill her. Suddenly his movements on the tree, made some leaves of bael and few drops of water to fall on the Shivalings. It was the second Prahara of the night and Gurudruha had again performed the worshiped of Shiva unawaringly.

When the female deer (Second) heard the noise made by falling drop of water She looked up towards Gurudruha. She asked him about his desire. When Gurudruha told about his desire, she requested him to allow her to go so that she could hand over her young ones in the safe custody of her husband. Initially, Gurudruha was reluctant to allow her to go, but when she promised to return back, he allowed her to go.

Gurudruha sat on the branches of the bael tree waiting for his prey. The second prahar of the night was coming to an end and the third prahar about to begin.

The deer arrived there searching his wife and children. Gurudruha again made himself ready to kill that dear. Again some leaves and few drops of water fell on the Shivalinga. The worship of Shiva during the third Prahara had been accomplished by Gurudruha, though unawaringly. On hearing the noise made by the falling drops of water, the dear looked up and asked Gurudruha about his desire. Gurudruha told him about his desire.

The deer requested Gurudruha to allow him to meet his wife and children for once. The deer promised to return back. After becoming satisfied by his intentions, Gurudruha allowed him to go to meet his family.

Gurudruha sat on the bael tree waiting for the deers anxiously. The third prahar of the night was approaching its end and the fourth prahar was about to begin.

Suddenly Gurudruha saw all the three deer’s coming towards the pond. He became extremely pleased at the prospect of getting flesh of three animals. He got read with his bow and arrows. His movements on the bael tree again made some leaves and few drops of water to fall on the Shivaling. Gurudruha had successfully accomplished the worship of Shiva even during the fourth Prahar. Not only this he had also remained awake for the whole night of Shivaratri.

The fast observed by Gurudruha on Shivaratri along with the worship of Shiva though unawaringly had made him on enlightened person. The thought of killing the deers remained no longer in his heart. He thanked all the deers for their help in his attainment of enlightenment.

Lord Shiva became extremely pleased and appeared before him. He blessed Gurudruha that in his next birth he would get an opportunity to serve Sri Ram and would become famous as Nishad. Lord Shiva also told Gurudruha that by the blessings of Sri Ram he would attain salvation by the blessings of Sri Ram he would attain salvation.

Sutji while describing about the virtues of observing fast on Shivaratri told the sages that if a fast observed unwaringly on Shivaratri gives such virtues then what could be said about a fast which is observed deliberately. According to Sutji such a fast would bestow both worldly pleasures and salvation.

1.4.28  Different Stages of Liberation

Regarding the different stages of liberation, Sutji told the sages that there were five stages of liberation capable of freeing a man from the sorrows of this world. 1) Sarupya (Similitude with the Almighty), 2) Salokya, 3) Sannidhya (living in the proximity of the almighty), 4) Sayujya (getting united with the almight), 5) Kalvalya (Devotion towards God)

Only lord Shiva is capable of bestowing liberation. One can attain dharm (virtuosity), Artha (Wealth) and Kaam (desires and wishes) by the worship of other deities, but lord Shiva bestowes all the four of them.

Lord Brahma is believed to be the master of the three elementary qualities i.e. Sat, Raja and Tama. Shiva is beyond these qualities and even the nature itself. He is formless. Lord Shiva is a mystery which remains unsolved even though many sages and even lord Brahma have tried to solve this mystery called Shiva.

The fifth stage of liberation is called Kaivalya which is attained by having complete devotion towards lord Shiva. In the present era of Kali, where the attainment of self knowledge is very difficult, devotion is relatively an easier path.

Even devotion has been categorised into two types: a) Sagun (With form) b) Nirguna (Formless)

If man worships lord Shiva with total devotion he attains self knowledge. Each and every objects of this world is nothing but the manifestation of Shiva’s power. The creation achieves expansion only when he desires. Shiva is omniscient but himself invisible. Just as the fire, which already exists in the wood but is visible only after it is rubbed, similarly only the ‘Gyanis’ can experience lord Shiva even though he is omnipresent. Just as there is no difference between cause and effect, but is appears so due to our ignorance, similarly an ignorant man can never experience the omnipresent Shiva by his sense organs. The living things possess ego but lord Shiva is egoless. A man can successfully subjugates his ego by becoming knowledgeable and attains liberation after uniting with lord Shiva.

This knowledge was received by lord Vishnu from Shiva. Lord Vishnu later on revealed it to lord Brahma and Brahma in turn revealed it to his manasputra – Sanak, etc; The manasputra revealed this knowledge to Narad and Narad revealed it to Vyas.

1.5      Uma Samhita

This Chapter contains 20 sections.

1.5.1     Conversation Between Krshna & Upamanyu

Once, Lord Krishna went to Kailash mountain to do penance with the desire of having a son. He found Maharishi Upamanyu engrossed in his meditation. He told Upamanyu about his desire and requested him to describe about the greatness of lord Shiva.

Upamanu described about his own experience when he had divine glimpses of lord Shiva who was meditating

“Once I saw Shiva who was surrounded by all the deities. Lord Shiva was engrossed in his deep meditation. Shiva had in his possession all the divine weapons like – Trident, Axe, Noose, Sudarshan etc. Lord Vishnu and Brahmaji were also present there. I eulogized lord Shiva who became pleased with me. Lord Shiva wanted to bless me with a boon. I requested lord Shiva to bless me with three things- 1) I should always remain his devotee b) to be able to know about the past, present and future events, c) My family should never feel the scarcity of rice and milk.”

“Lord Shiva not only blessed me with all these three things, but also to be able to see the Vaivasvat kalpa.”

After completing his story, sage Upamanyu told Krishna he must worship lord Shiva if he was desirous of a son, because Lord Shiva can be pleased quite easily.

1.5.2     Sri Krshna Does Penance

Sri Krishna then proceeded to do his penance after getting initiated by Upamanyu with the mantra – Om Namah Shivay. He did a tremendous penance for fifteen months by standing on his toe. In the sixteenth month lord Shiva and Parvati appeared before him after being pleased by his penance. Lord Shiva expressed his desire to bless Krishna. Krishna demanded eight boon. 1) May his intelligence always remain inclined towards religiousness. 2) May he attain immortal fame, 3) May he has his abode in Shiva’s proximity, 4) May his faith and devotion in Shiva be unswerving, 5) May he have ten valiant sons, 6) May he be victorious against his enemies, 7) May all his enemies be destroyed and 8) May be dear to all the yogis. After receiving eight boons from Lord Shiva, Krishna demanded one boon from goddess Parvati May he always be in the service of his parents and the brahmins. Sri Krishna then went back to Upamanyu and narrated the whole story. At last he returned to Dwarka.

1.5.3     Classification of Grave Sins

Describing about the sins, Sutji told the sages that altogether there were twelve types of sins committed by a man by his actions, thought speech. Out of them having a desire for another person’s wife, being desirous of another’s wealth, having evil designs against other people and drifting towards sinful path are considered to be sins committed by one’s thoughts.

The following sins are supposed to be committed by speech – Conversating with a woman who is having periods, telling lies, Unpleasing talks and back biting.

The following sins are committed by one’s actions eating things, which are not worth eating’s, indulging in violence and uncivilized activities and taking other’s wealth by improper means.

Even among all these sins some are considered to be graver, like criticizing teacher, hermit and parents etc, stealing the property of temple or a brahmin. A person commits Mahapap (grave sin) if he indulges in any of the following: not having devotion towards one’s preceptor abandoning one’s preceptor, sleeping on the preceptor’s bed, drinking intoxicating drinks, having illicit relationship with one’s teacher’s wife, taking back the wealth which has already been donated, earning wealth by employing improper means.

A man who commits the following sins are considered to be the grave sinners – burning a cowshed, a forest or a city, not marrying a girl with a suitable man, having illicit relationship with daughter in law, and sister in law.

1.5.4     The Description of Hell

Each living being has to taste the fruits of his ‘Karmas’, when his soul reaches the abode of Yama after his death. The soul of a virtuous man enters the hell from the Northern side, where as that of sinful man enters from the southern side.

Yamanagri – The abode of Yama is situated at a distance of eighty six thousand yojans (One Yojans – Eight miles) from the surface of the earth.

The virtuous soul reaches there without any problem because of his virtuous deeds. On the contrary, the soul of a sinner reaches Yamanagri tasting the fruits of his sins all along the way. Moreover, when the soul of a sinner reaches Yamanagri, it gets punished by the ‘Yamadutas’. The lord of death then gives the final judgement on the basis of each individual’s sins.

From the hell the virtuous soul leaves for the heaven. There are many categories of hells all filled up with filth.

1.5.5     Charity and its Importance

Sutji while warning the sages told-

“People who engages themselves in virtuous deeds through out their lives and who have been kind of others, cross the terrifying path of the hell quite easily. A person, who donates shoes or wooden sandals to brahmins, reaches the hell riding on the horse.

Similarly, a person who donates an umbrella to brahmins reaches the hell under the shade of an umbrella. Making donations of bed or chairs to brahmins, help a man to reach the hell after taking adequate rest on the way. Making donations of Gold or silver to brahmin helps a man to attain to heaven.”

A man who donated food grains enjoys all the pleasures of life, because food grains sustain life. Even, making donation of water is considered to be of supreme value because life can not exist without it. A man, who digs up wells and ponds for the benefit of people, acquires great virtues. Planting trees, especially which gives fruits or flowers are considered to give immeasurable virtues.

Making donations of cow, land, knowledge and such objects that can be weighed are considered.

Making donations of Gold, Sesame, elephant, girl, maid, servant, house, chariot, diamond, cow whose colour is pure white and food grains are considered to be Mahadan (great donation).

The donations should be made only to worthy brahmins.

1.5.6     The Description of the Netherworld (Patal Loka)

The earth is balanced on the hood of Sheshnag. Lord Vishnu is the nurturer of this world. There are seven more worlds beneath the earth, which are Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasatala, Tala, Talatala and Patal. Each of these worlds is ten thousand yojans in length and twenty thousand yojans deep. All these worlds are full of invaluable and priceless diamonds. The residents of each of these worlds enjoy all the luxuries and pleasures of life. The demons and the Nagas reside in these worlds.

1.5.7     Liberation From Hell

Even farther than these seven worlds is situated the hell, Where the soul of the sinner goes to after the death. Some of the main names of hell are – Raurav, Shukar, Rodh, Taal, Vivasan and Mahajwala etc. The soul of a sinner goes to each of these hells according to the magnitude of his sins. A man should worship lord Shiva and sing hymns in his praise to get liberated from his sins.

1.5.8     The Description of Seven Islands

The whole earth is divided into seven islands or dweepas. The name of these islands is Jambu, Plaksha, Shalmali, Kraunch, Shaaka and Pushkar. All these islands are surrounded by such oceans on all sides. The content of each of these oceans is salt. Sugarcane juice, ghee, milk, curds and honey respectively.

Jambudweepa is also known as India. It stretches from south of Himalaya to the north of ocean. The total area is about nine thousand yojans. It is further subdivided into nine land segments, seven mountains, and seven sacred rivers near the seven places of pilgrimage and many other rivers.

Similarly the ‘Plaksha’ island is surrounded by ocean of salt on all sides and spread up in the area of one thousand yojans.

The area of Shalmali island is twice as that of Plaksha island. It is surrounded by the ocean of honey.

The are of Kusha island is twice as that of Shalmali island and is surrounded by the ocean of ghee. Similarly the Krauncha is surrounded by the ocean of curd and its area is thrice as that of Kusha island.

The area of Shaka island is twice as that of Kraucha island and is surrounded by the ocean of milk.

The ocean of sweet water surrounds the Pushkar island. Its total length is five thousand yojans and five lakh yojans respectively. The mountain Manas is situated in this island. The residents of these islands never attain old age. Lord Brahma resides in Mahaveet section of this island. The people living in this island get food without making any effort.

1.5.9     The Description of Planets

As far as the light of Sun and Moon reaches the earth, it is called ‘Bhoo loka’. Surya loka is situated one lakh yojan above the Bhooloka. The Chandra loka is situated one lakh yojan above Surya loka. All the constellations as well as the planets are spread in the area of the ten thousand yojans above the Moon. Mercury is situated above the moon Venus above the Mercury and Mars is situated above the Venus. Jupiter is situated above Mars and Saturn above Jupiter.

The Saptarshi mandals are situated at a distance of one lakh yojan above Saturn. The ‘Dhruva’ is situated at a distance of one lakh yojan above the Saptarshi Mandals. All the planets are situated between the earth and Dhruva star in the form of three lokas – Bhooloka, Bhuvar loka and Swarga loka (heaven).

Mahar looka is situated even beyond the Dhruvaloka. This is the world where the manasputras (Sanak sanandan etc) of lord Brahma reside.

Jana loka is situated above Mahaloka where as the Tapaloka is situated at a distance of twenty six lakh yojans above Mahaloka. Satyaloka is situated six times the distance between Mahaloka and Tapaloka. Satyaloka is also known as Brahmaloka. Beyond Brahmaloka is situated the Vaikuntha loka. Similarly the world of Kartikeya Kumar loka is situated beyond Vaikunth loka. After Kumar loka comes the Uma loka and then comes the Shiva loka, which is the farthest loka. Goloka is situated near Shivaloka where lord Krishna lives with the cow names Sushila, with the permission of lord Shiva.

1.5.10  Categories of Austerity (Tapa)

Truth or Satya is the best among all the types of austerity. A truthful man is the supreme devotee and a great accomplisher. Austerity helps a man to attain all the worldly pleasures of life and ultimately salvation. Austerities have been classified into three types on the basis of three basic qualities or gunas i.e. Satvik tapa, Rajassi tapa and Tamassi tapa.

Austerities observed by the deities’ hermits and celibates come under the category of Satvik Tapa.

Austerities maintained by the ‘daityax’ and man come under the category of Rajasi-Tapa.

Austerities maintained by the demons and those people who indulge in evil and cruel deeds come under the category of Tamasi Tapa.

1.5.11  The Origin of Body

The food intaken by a man gets transformed into ‘semen’ in the body. The semen is transformed to the woman’s womb during the time of intercourse where it gets mixed with the blood. It then develops into an egg. Gradually all the organs start to manifest themselves. The body then attains the vital force and ultimately comes out from the mother’s womb after suffering great pains. But after taking birth he forgets all about those pains. He then lives his life by reaping the fruits of his past Karmas.

1.5.12  Purification of the Body

Before taking birth, the body lives a very filthy environment in mother’s womb. It becomes so dirty that even Panchagavya can not make it pure. Remembrance of Shiva is the only means to make it pure.

1.5.13  Control over Death (Ichchha Mrityu)

Sutji told the sages that a person who wants to control death should first be seated on a pure seat. He should then perform Pranayama by holding his breath. While doing this exercise care should be taken that lamp is not burning.

Both the ears should be shut by the index fingers for the period of one hour. After doing this he would be able to hear the sounds emerging from within. He should try to concentrate his mind on that sound. If this exercise is practiced daily for two hours, then he will have full control over his death.

This particular exercise helps a man to attain great accomplishments, self-knowledge and salvation.

1.5.14  The Descent of Ganga

Once, emperor Sagar performed an Ashwamedha Yagya. Indra abducted the horse used in this Yagya and kept it in the hermitage of Sage Kapil. All the sixty thousand sons of Sagar went to search the horse and found it in Kapil’s hermitage.

Hearing the commotion and noise, sage Kapil who was engrossed in his meditation opened his eyes and came out to see what was happening. He was very angry. He looked angrily towards the sons of Sagar. All of them were burnt to death except four.

In due course of time, Sage Bhagirath became successful in bringing river Ganga to earth with the blessings of lord Shiva. Bhagirath was the descendants of Sagar. Bhagirath made all of his ancestors alive who had met an untimely death by sprinkling the water of Ganga on their bones. River Ganga is also known as Bhagirathi because of Bhagirath.

1.5.15  The Austerities of Ved Vyasa

Narrating about the life of Sage Ved Vyas, Sutji said to the sages-

“Once while sage Parashar was on his pilgrimage, he arrived at the bank of Yamuna. Satyavati, who emitted the smell of fish, helped him cross the river. Sage Parashar was very pleased with her. He transformed the bad smell emitting from her body into fragrance. He also told her that she would be fortunate to give birth to a son as mighty as lord Vishnu.

In due course of time Satyavati gave birth to a child. The child was given the name Krishnadwaipayan by Satyavati’s father. Soon after his birth the child told his mother that he was going to do penance and he would come back to see her the moment she desired.

The child did tremendous penance and became famous as Ved Vyas. With this deep knowledge and insight he categorized the different sections of Veda. After the accomplishment of his penance. Ved Vyas went on a pilgrimage. He came to Kashi with a desire to write the Puranas. To get the blessings of Lord Shiva he worshipped the Madhyeshwar linga. Lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and blessed him. Ved Vyas created numerous puranas like – Brahma Purana, Padma-Purana, Vishnu Purana, Shiva Purana, Bhagawat Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Narad Purana, Markandeya Puran, Agni Puran, Brahma Vaivarta Puran, Linga Puran, Varah Puran, Kurma Puran, Matsya Puran, Garuda Puran, Vaman Puran, Skanda Puran and Brahmanda Puran.

1.5.16  Incarnation of Mahakali

Once upon a time king Surath after loosing his kingdom to his enemy fled to the forest. After wandering for some time he reached the hermitage of sage Medha. He started living there, as he had no place to go. The dejected king used to pass his time wondering about his future.

One day, Surath met a man named Samadhi, who was driven out from his house by his own sons. His sons had captured all the wealth. Both of them went to sage Medha and narrated about their woeful tales. Sage Medha advised both of them to contemplate on the form of Mahamaya Bhagawati Surath and Samadhi were curious to know about Bhagawati Sage Medha said-

“The demons, Madhu and Kailash were produced from the filth which came out from the ears of lord Vishnu, while he was resting on the back of Sheshnag during the time of total annihilation.”

“On seeing lord Brahma sitting on the lotus flower, which emerged from the navel of lord Vishnu, both the demons tried to kill him. Lord Brahma eulogized yoga nidra. So that lord Vishnu could be awakened from the sleep. Goddess Bhagawati became pleased and told Brahma that in a short while from now she would be manifesting herself to kill the demons.”

“Bhagawati manifested herself in the form of Kali from the mouth and eyes of lord Vishnu. Meanwhile lord Vishnu awakened from his sleep. He fought with the demons for one thousand years but could not defeat them. At last the demons told lord Vishnu that they wanted to bless him with a boon. Lord Vishnu demanded their death. Seeing water on all sides the demons told him that he could kill them where no water was found. Lord Vishnu then severed their heads after laying them on his thighs.”

1.5.17  Incarnation of Mahalaxmi

Mahishasur – the son of Rambhasur had captured the heaven after defeating the deities. The sorrowful deities came to seek the help of lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu became extremely furious after hearing about the misdeeds of Mahishasur. Radiant lights appeared from the bodies of Vishnu, Shiva and other deities and collectively manifested into a single form of Mahalaxmi. All the deities presented their respective weapons to her.

Mahalaxmi went to fight Mahishasur, who fought valiantly by changing his appearance, but ultimately got killed by her. The deities became very pleased by the death of Mahishasur. They eulogized and worshipped her.

1.5.18  Incarnation of Mahasarasvati

After being tormented by the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha, the deities went to goddess Parvati and requested her to protect them. Kaushiki manifested from the body of goddess Parvati. Goddess Kaushiki assured the deities and disappeared.

By coincidence the attendants of the demons – Shumbha and Nishumbha, happened to see Kaushiki and became enchanted by her divine beauty. They went to Shumbha and Nishumbha and praised about her beauty.

Both the demons sent a messenger to Summon her. Kaushiki asked the messenger to convey the message to the demons that only such a person can become her lord, who defeats her in a battle. The messenger returned and gave the message to Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Both the demons were enraged. They sent a huge army to bring Kaushiki forcible, under the commandership of Dhumralochan. When Dhumralochan reached there, he told her about his master’s command. Kaushiki gave the some reply that only such a person can become her master, who defeats her in a battle. Dhumralochan then tried to abduct her forcibly. Kaushiki gave a loud roar in her anger as a result of which Dhumralochan was burnt to death. The whole army was annihilated by her vehicle-lion.

When Shumbha and Nishumbha learnt about the death of Dhumralochan and the destruction of his army, they sent many mighty demons like Chanda, Munda, Raktabeeja etc to fight her. But each of them got killed by goddess Kaushiki.

Ultimately Shumbha and Nishumba themselves came forward to fight. Both of them attacked Kaushiki with volley of arrows. Kaushiki destroyed their whole army. The whole battle field became flooded with blood. After that Kaushiki killed Nishumbha with special types of arrows, which did not allow single drop of blood to fall on the ground.

Angered by his brother’s death, Shumbha attacked Kaushiks with his Various weapons, but she neutralized all of them. At last, she killed Shumbha with her trident.

1.5.19  Uma Warns the Deities

Once, after having defeated the demons the deities had become very arrogant and proud. They started indulging in self praise. Suddenly they were started by the emergence of radiant light before them. All the deities became scarred and went to Indra. Indra sent Vayu to test the power of that radiant light. As soon as Vayu reached there, he found that he had become powerless. One by one all the deities came but returned after being defeated. At last Indra himself went there.

As soon as Indra reached there, he found that he had become bereft of all his powers.

Suddenly goddess Uma manifested herself and warned Indra against becoming arrogant. Indra realized his mistake.

1.5.20  The Incarnation of Shakambari

The most valiant demon Durgam had acquired all the four Vedas from lord Brahma after pleasing him. Lord Brahma had also given a boon of invincibility to him.

Durgam became very arrogant and started tormenting the whole world. As the consequence it did not rain for one hundred years and the whole world was hit by drought.

The deities went to goddess Maheshwari (Parvati) and narrated about their woeful tales. Goddess Maheshwari was so moved by their plights that tears rolled down from her eyes for nine continuous days and nights. The tear tool the form of a river as the result of which the phase of drought came to an end.

The deities then requested her to recover the Vedas, which were in possession of Durgam. They then went back to their abode. When Durgam saw that people were living happily, he attacked with a large army. At that very moment goddess manifested herself and fought a tremendous battle with Durgam. From her body manifested the ten Mahavidyas and many other goddesses. At last goddess Maheshwari killed Durgam with her trident and recovered the Vedas from his possession. She then handed over the Vedas to the deities. Maheshwari is also known as Shakambhari as she had created river by her tears and saved the lives of People.

1) I should always remain his devotee b) to be able to know about the past, present and future events, c) My family should never feel the scarcity of rice and milk.”

“Lord Shiva not only blessed me with all these three things, but also to be able to see the Vaivasvat kalpa.”

After completing his story, sage Upamanyu told Krishna he must worship lord Shiva if he was desirous of a son, because Lord Shiva can be pleased quite easily.

1.6      Kailash Samhita

This Chapter contains 6 sections.

1.6.1     Classifications of Yoga

Describing about the various types of Yoga, Sutji told the sages that there were three types of Yoga – Gyan Yoga, Kriya Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. “Each of them is capable of giving salvation to a man. When the mind or intellect unites with the soul it is called Gyan Yoga. When the soul gets attached with external objects, it is called Kriya yoga. The unification of one’s whole being with goddess Bhagawati is called Bhakti Yoga. All these three yogas combinedly are capable of giving salvation to a man. A man becomes a devotee by his actions or Karmas. Devotion or Bhakti helps a man to attain Gyan or knowledge. Gyan or Knowledge gives salvation. Yoga is the path through which a man can attain liberation whereas Kriya-yoga is the chief means to attain it.

1.6.2     Conduct of a Sanyasi

A Sanyasi should wake up early in the morning. After getting up he should remember his preceptor or Guru and then he should pray to express his gratitude towards his Guru.

After that he should practice Pranayama and try to concentrate his mind on the six chakras present in his bodies.

After the completion of Pranayama and concentration on the six chakras he should finish his daily routines. After applying ‘ashes’ on his body he should chant the sacred mantras and perform ‘tarpana’. Subsequently he should perform Aachaman and then practice Pranayama for three times. After that he should remember the sages or rishis. While going to do worship, he should maintain silence all along the way. He should do worship only after washing his feet and performing Aachaman.

1.6.3     Methods of Shiva Worship

A Sanyasi should paste the ground with cow dung and construct a quadrangular ‘Mandap’. He should then keep a broad leaf of Palm tree at its centre. He should then fence the area with coloured threads from all the four directions. After that he should draw a eight petalled flower in the centre of the Mandap, upon which he should draw a Shiva Yantra. At last he can commence his worship of the Sun god.

1.6.4     The Greatness of Pranay Mantra

Sage Vamadev was a great devotee of lord Shiva from his birth. He never used to remain at a place for long. One day he had gone to a mountain peak named Kumar, which was situated towards the south of Sumeru Mountain. He met Kartikeya who revealed to him that Pranam Mantra directly signifies the almighty God. Kartikeya also told him that with the help of that mantra a person can attain lord Shiva – who liberates from all the bondage of life.

Though, Vamadeva himself knew about the power of Pranav mantra yet he requested Kartikeya to shed some more light on it. Kartikeya told him that any one could have the proximity of lord Shiva, by the help of the means prescribed in the Shrutis and the Samritis.

Regarding the methods of Shiva’s worship, Kartikeya told Vamadeva that though Sadashiva was one, yet he was known by various names like Maheshwar, Rudra, Brahma and Vishnu. Mahesh was created from the thousandth part of Sadashiva. The goddess of all illusions – Bhagawati dwells in the left side of Sadashiva, therefore he is the lord of all the actions of the universe. Sadashiva plays his desire acts by indulging in creation, nurturement and annihilation of this world.

1.6.5     Initiation of a Sanyasi

Vamadeva requested Kartikeya to enlighten his mind with that knowledge, without which a Sanyasi can never attain liberation.

Kartikeya then told him about the methods how a Sanyasi should get initiation from his guru. A disciple should worship his guru in any of the following months – Shravan, Ashwin, Kartik, Agahan and Magh. He should then establish a Kalash and worship it. He should again worship his guru considering him as the form of Shiva.

The guru should then initiate him with the Shiva mantra. After getting the Mantra, the disciple should chant it considering himself as Shiva-Shivoaham. After this the disciple should get his head tonsured. The barber who is supposed to shave off the hairs should be given pure clothes to wear. The barber should also wash his hands with mud and water. The instruments and apparatus, which he is supposed to use, should be made pure by the ‘Astra’ mantras.

First of all the front portion of the head should be shaved off after that the back portion of the head should be shaved off. The disciple should then get his beards and moustache shaved off. After this the disciple should massage his body with mud and take bath by taking twelve dips in a pond. After taking his bath he should worship his Guru and meditate on lord Shiva.

1.6.6     Last Rites of an Ascetic (Sanyasi)

Kartikey told Sage Vamadev that an ascetic does not die but takes a Samadhi, therefore instead of being cremated he is buried. Therefore an ascetic must practice the art of Samadhi to perfection. If he has not yet perfected the art of Samadhi, then he should keep on practicing yoga till he attains mastery over the art of Samadhi. He should try to concentrate his mind on the Omkar mantra, which is eternal. If his body has become weak and feeble and incapable of doing physical exercises like Pranayama then he should indulge himself in Shiva remembrance. This way an ascetic can attain to heaven. After his death the rest of the ascetics should perform the rituals at his place of death for ten days.

An alter should be constructed on the eleventh day. Five quadrangular mandals should be made facing towards the northern direction. In each of these mandas, deities like Deveshwari, Atiwahak etc. should be established first and then worshipped. The worship should be done as per the instruction of Guru by offering ‘Prasada’. This Prasada should be, given to a virgin girl or cow, later on. The articles used in the process of worship should be immersed in the river or pond. In this way, the Parvan shraddh ceremony of the deceased ascetic is accomplished. It is worth nothing that ‘Ekodishta’ Shraddh is not performed after an ascetic death.

After the completion of ‘Parvan Shraddh’ the ascetic should perform the Ekadashah Shraddh as per the instructions of their Guru. On the twelfth day, the ascetics should invite the brahmins, after getting up in the morning and taking their bath. These brahmins should be feeded.

The ascetics should then take a vow to worship their Guru by holding a ‘Kusha’ grass in their hands. After that, they should wash the lotus feets of their Guru and worship him. Even the worship of Guru’s teacher should be done.

After the worship is over, the Guru should get up by saying ‘Shubhamastu’- benediction to all. He should then sprinkle the purified rice by chanting mantras. At last donations should be made to the invited brahmins.

1.7      Vayviya Samhita

This Chapter contains xx sections.

1.7.1     The Origin of Vidya (Knowledge)

There are fourteen types of learning or Vidyas – four Vedas, Six Vedangs, Meemansa, Nyay, Puranas and other religious scriptures. These fourteen learning along with Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharvaveda and Arthashastra becomes eighteen. All these eighteen learning’s originate from lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva created lord Brahma to felicitate the process of creation and bestowed him with all these eighteen learning’s. He also empowered lord Vishnu to protect the creation.

The four Vedas emerged from the mouth of Lord Brahma, on the basis of which were created the numerous scriptures like Vedangs etc. Since these Vedas were difficult to understand, therefore lord Vishnu took incarnation of Vyas and created the Puranas, so that they could be understood easily. The Puranas contain four lakh shlokas and they help us to understand the essence of the Vedas.

1.7.2     The Tale of Naimisharanya

Once, lord Brahma released his Manomaya chakra and instructed the sages to follow it. He also told them that the place at which the Manomaya chakra broke down would be very auspicious for doing penance.

The sages followed the Manomaya chakra, which after travelling for a long time fell down on a large segment of land and its circumference (Nemi) broke down as predicted by lord Brahma. This segment of land became famous as Naimisharanya.

The sages decided to perform a Yagya at that sacred place. This way the very place, sitting where lord Brahma did creations. All the sages commenced their Yagya, which continued for ten thousand years. On the completion of Yagya, the deity arrived there and blessed them as per the instruction of lord Brahma.

1.7.3     Time – The Radiance of Shiva

Describing about the time (Kala), Vayudeva told the sages that ‘Kala’ or time is the radiance of lord Shiva. Kala or time is also known as ‘Kalatma’. The time flows smoothly without being disturbed.

Time is under the control of lord Shiva. Since the time contains the element of Shiva (Shivattatva), hence its momentum can not be checked by any other power, except that of Shiva. One, who understands the meaning of Kala, has a darshan of lord Shiva.

1.7.4     Time – Calculation

The smallest unit for measuring the time is called ‘Nimesh’. The time taken to drop one’s eyelid is called one Nimesh. A kala consists of fifteen Nimeshas and thirty Kalas make a ‘Muhurta’.

A day and a night consist of thirty ‘Muhurtas’. A month consists of thirty days, divided into two fortnights. One fortnight is known as ‘Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase) and the other is known as Shukla Paksha (bright lunar phase).

In Pitarloka the day consists of one fortnight and night of the same number of days. Shukla Paksha is the day of the Pitraloka and Krishna Paksha the night.

One ‘Ayana’ consists of Six months. A year consists of two ‘Ayanas’. One year of the earth is equivalent to a day and a night of the deities. The six months when Sun is in the southern hemisphere of the earth, is actually the time when the deities experience night. On the contrary, the six months when sun is in the northern hemisphere, is the day time of the deities. One year of the deities is equivalent to three hundred and sixty years of this world.

The yugas are counted on the basis of the years of the deities. According to the scholars there are four yugas – Satyayuga, Tretayuga, Dwapar yuga and Kaliyuga.

A satyayuga is equivalent to four thousand years of the deities.

A Treta yuga is equivalent to three thousand years of the deities.

Similarly a dwapar yuga is equivalent to two thousand years of the deities and a Kaliyuga to that of one Thousand years of the deities.

This way all the four yugas collectively are equivalent to twelve thousand years of the deities.

A Kalpa consists of one thousand Chaturyugas. A Manvantar consists of seventy one Chaturyugas.

One Kalpa is inhibited by fourteen Manus one after another in succession.

A Brahma’s day is equivalent to one divine Kalpa. A Brahma’s year is equivalent to one thousand Kalpas. A Brahma’s yuga consists of eight thousand such years.

A Brahma’s ‘ Savan’ consists of his one thousand yugas. Brahma’s life span is complete after three thousand such Sawanas. Five lakh and forty thousand numbers of Indras succeed one after another during the whole life span of Brahma.

A Vishnu day is equivalent to the whole life span of Brahma. The whole life span of Vishnu is equivalent to a day of ‘Rudra’. The whole life span of Rudra is equivalent to a day of lord Shiva. In the whole life of lord Shiva five lakh and four thousand numbers of Rudras come and go.

A Shiva’s day commences with the creation and before the end of the night the whole creation gets annihilated. Sadashiva is eternal.

1.7.5     Meditation

Describing about Meditation Vayudeva told the sages that to concentrate one’s restless mind during meditative state, a man needs some kind of form (Swarupa) or appearance. Idol worship is very helpful in this regard. If an idol of the deity is worshipped with full devotion, then a time comes when a man can have its sight even in an empty space. Idol worship also helps a devotee to reach towards the almighty God, who is formless. It is easy for a devotee who believes in ‘Sakar’ (with form) to change over to the Nirakar (formless) worship of God. But it is very difficult for a devotee who believes in the formless almighty to switch over to Sakar mode of worship. The knowledge of Shiva’s essence is a must attain salvation in both the modes of devotion.

1.7.6     Rituals Connected with Shiva’s Worship

One being asked by the sages about the rituals which gives salvation, Vayudeva told them that by having devotion towards lord Shiva, a man can achieve all the pleasures of the world and even attain salvation. Vayudeva also told them about Pashupat Vrata and the benefits derived from it.

The whole Pashupat Vrata is divided into five parts – Kriya, Taipei, Tapa, Dhyana and Gyan. The Shaiva-dharma is the supreme religion and the rituals pertaining to it are based on the Shruits and the Smritis. Pashupat Vrata has been mentioned in the Vedas as the bestower of Supreme knowledge. It also contains all the eight organs of yoga, which were created by lord Shiva himself. Lord Shiva is easily pleased if worship is done by this method. The devotee attains supreme knowledge and becomes liberated from all the bondage’s of this world.

1.7.7     Pashupat Vrata and its Rituals

Pashupat Vrata has been mentioned even in the Atharvasheersha Upanishad. It begins on the full moon day, in the month of Chaitra. It can be performed anywhere – a Shiva temple, any sacred place of pilgrimage, forest or garden.

A devotee should get up early in the morning, on the thirteenth day of bright lunar phase (two days preceding the full moon day) and after finishing his daily duties he should make salutations to his Guru. With the permission of his guru, the devotee should then put on while coloured clothes and a sacred thread of the same colour. He should also wear a white garland around his neck and apply sandal wood paste on his body.

He should then sit on the seat made of Kusha grass and take a vow by holding a Kusha grass in his hand. After this he should do Havana by offerings articles into the sacred fire. He should observe a fast for the whole day and break it only in the night by having ‘Prasada’.

This ritual should be repeated on the following day but the fast should not be broken in the night. On the final day, that is full moon day he should repeat all the rituals and after putting off the fire of the Havana Kunda, he should smear his body with the ashes. He should then take his bath and put on dear’s skin or bark of the tree. He should also hold a stick and put on a waist band (Mekhala).

After that he should again rinse (Achaman) his mouth and smear ashes on his body. He should perform the exercise of Ashtanga yoga. Three times in a day as per the instructions of his guru. This way a man is freed from the beastly qualities present in him.

Pashupat Vrata can be performed by a devotee as long as he is alive or he can continue it for twelve years of three years or one year or six months or one month, or twelve days or three days or even one day.

On the completion of Pashupat Vrata, a devotee should establish a Shiva idol and worship it with all the sixteen modes of worship (Shodasopachar). At last he should perform Awaran Pujan and then worship his guru. Through out the period of fast, a devotee should have fruits only and he should sleep on the bare land. Pashupat Vrata done in such a way helps a devotee to attain to the abode of lord Shiva.

1.7.8     Introduction of the Universe

Vayudeva told the sages who had assembled at Naimisharanya that goddess Gauri was the manifestation of Shiva’s power and Shankar the omnipotent almighty. Both Shiva and goddess Shiva contain fathomless splendours of which only a fraction is visible in this world.

This world is under the control of Shiva and goddess Shiva. Both of them are inseparable. Just as the light of the sun can not exist without the Sun in the same way goddess Shiva can not exist without lord Shiva. Just as a lifeless body is of no use similarly the world can not exist without goddess Shakti.

This illusionary world is tied up with the delusionary ropes of Shiva and Shakti. The whole creation is the appearance of Almighty Shiva. The ignorant sages describe it in different ways according to their own perceptions. But, the fact is that Shiva is one and this world is the creation of his illusions. A man can attain liberation from this illusionary world only when he has the blessings of Shiva.

Lord Shiva is beyond the reach of lust, attachment and pleasures. His existence is separate from the nature, delusion, intelligence and ego. He is free from all the bondage’s.

1.7.9     Duties of a Brahmin

An ideal brahmin is supposed to perform the following duties:-

a) Trikal Sandhya (worshipping thrice a day)

b) Havan (offerings made to the sacred fire)

c) Worship of Shivalinga

d) Making donations

A brahmin should also have the following qualities:-

a) To see god in each soul

b) Compassion

c) Virtuous conducts

d) Satisfaction

e) Belief in God

f) Non violence

g) Devotion

h) Regular study of the Vedas

i) Practicing Yoga

j) Preaching the teachings of Vedas

k) Giving lectures on the religious scriptures.

l) Being a celibate

m) Penance

n) Having a Shikha and a scared thread etc.

A brahmin should never have food during the night and should contently chant the ‘Om Namah Shivay’ mantra. Lord Shiva is not pleased that much by rituals as by faith and devotion. A man who worships lord Shiva while maintaining the rules of ‘Varnashram Dharma’, has the blessings of lord Shiva and all of his desires are fulfilled.

1.7.10  Chanting of Mantras

After getting initiated with the Shiva mantra, a devotee should chant it for once crore times or fifty lakh times, or twenty lakh times or ten lakh times, while worshipping Shiva. ‘Havana’ should be performed for tenth part of the total chanting. ‘Tarpan’ should be performed for tenth part of the number of Havana. Similarly ‘Marjan’ should be performed for the tenth part of the numbers of Tarpan. The numbers of Brahmins selected for feeding should be equivalent to the tenth part of the numbers of Marjan.

At last the disciple should give donations to the brahmins and engage himself in the welfare of society as per the instructions of his Guru.

1.7.11  Establishing Deities in the form of Alphabets within the Body

(MATRIKA NYAS)

Asceticism (Nyas) are of three types – Sthiti (posture) Utpatti (origin) and Laya (fusion).

Establishing and chanting the cryptic mantras (alphabets) from the thumb to the little finger is called ‘Sthiti nyas’.

Establishing and then chanting the cryptic mantras from the right thumb to the left thumb is called “Utpatti nyas’.

Establishing and then chanting the cryptic mantras from the left thumb to the right thumb is called ‘Laya Nyas’.

‘Sthiti’ nyas should be practiced by the householders ‘Utpatti nyas’ should be practiced by the celibates ‘Laya nyas’ should be practiced by those people who have relinquished the world (Vanprasth).

A widow should practice Sthiti Nyas. An unmarried girl should practice Utapatti Nyas.

These modes of Nyas should be practiced only after being taught by the Guru.

1.7.12  Mental Worship of Shiva

While doing a mental worship of Shiva, a devotee should worship lord Ganesha by following the ‘Nyas’ mode of worship. After that he should worship various deities related with lord Shiva like Nandi etc. Then he should bring the form of lord Shiva into his imagination and worship him mentally by making mental offerings.

The devotee should then perform Havana in the navel of lord Shiva by offering ghee. The worship should be accomplished by meditating on the form of Shiva.

1.7.13  Method of Doing Mental Worship

The devotee should take his seat only after purifying it. He should take a vow after completing all the necessary rituals like ‘Achaman’. Pranayam, tying a knot in his Shikha etc.

After doing the ‘Deepa Pujan’ he should worship various deities like Sun god, Moon god, Varun, Ganesha and Kartikeya etc. He should then worship both Shiva and Shakti by employing all the sixteen modes of worship (Shodasopachar). The devotee should perform ‘arti’ in the end.

In the specialized form of Shiva’s worship ‘Awaran Pujan’ of Shiva is done along with the normal pujan. Awaran Pujan means worship of all the articles connected with lord Shiva like his trident his drum etc. In this specialized worship the Shiva’s idol should be bathed first of all. Then the idol should be clothed. A sacred thread should be offered to the Shiva’s idol along with the other offerings like ’tilak’, Akshat etc. After this the ‘awaran pujan of Shiva should be done along with the worship of Shiva’s family.

If the devotee feels that something was lacking in the worship, he should atone for that mistake by chanting the Panchakshar mantra Om Namah Shivay.

1.7.14  Method of Performing Havan

While performing a Shiva Yagya a devotee should make offerings to the ‘havanakunda’ made of iron or mud. Fire should be ignited in the havankunda following the methods as prescribed in the scriptures. He can then commence the actual worship.

The devotee should make of offerings of ghee with Sruva (a wooden spoon) and other articles with his hands. The offerings should be first made in the names of lord Brahma (Prajapati) then to the nine planets and other deities. After that offerings should be made in the name of the chief deity.

The devotee should then make nine offerings to each of the deities like Agni, Vayu and Surya etc. At last he should perform the arti and atone for those mistakes, which he might have committed during the whole process of worship. He should also give donations to the brahmins and feed them.

1.7.15  Auspicious Days for Performing Shiva Worship

The eighth day and the fourteenth day of both the fortnights of each Hindu month are considered to be the most auspicious for the worship of lord Shiva.

Similarly the solstice day (Sankranti), when the sun is positioned north of equator and eclipse day are considered to be very auspicious. On these days a special worship of lord Shiva should be done by bathing the Shiva idol with Panchagavya and having it is prasadam. It frees a man from the gravest of sins. Similarly the day of ‘Pushya’ Nakshatra falling in the month of ‘Pausha’ is considered as very auspicious and performing arti of Shiva on this day gives immense virtues.

Making donations of Ghee and blankets on ‘Magha Nakshatra’ falling in the month of Magh gives immense virtues.

The following days are considered to be the most auspicious for the worship of lord Shiva.

- Uttara Falguni Nakshatra on the same day as Purnima, in the month of Falgun.

- Chitra Nakshatra falling on the same day as Purnima in the month of Chaitra.

- Vishakha Nakshatra falling on the same day as Purnima, in the month of Vaishakh.

- Moola Nakshatra falling in the month of Jyeshtha.

- Uttarashadha Nakshatra falling in the month of ‘Ashadha’.

- Shravana Nakshatra falling in the month of Shravana.

- Uttara bhadra Nakshatra falling in the month of ‘Bhadra’.

-Purnima in the month of Ashwin.

- Kartika Nakshatra falling on the same day as Purnima in the month of Kartik.

- Ardra Nakshatra falling in the month of Margasheersha

1.7.16  Desirable Rituals (Kamya Karma)

Rituals can be categorized in to two types-

1) Rituals performed with the objective of fulfilling worldly desires.

2) Rituals pertaining to Ultra mundan desires.

In general, rituals can be classified into five categories – rituals, penance, chanting of mantras, meditation, and all the four collectively.

For performance of rituals a man needs power and strength and one can not achieve power unless and until Shiva wishes it. It is only with the blessings of Shiva that a man can attain both worldly pleasures as well as liberation.

These rituals (Kamya Karma) are performed by making a mandal facing towards east and doing ‘awaran pujan’ as well as worship of lord Shiva. Worship of lord Shiva done in this way fulfills all the desires of a man.

1.7.17  Rituals Pertaining to Shiva Worship (Shaiva Kamya Karma)

The methods for the worship of five ‘awarans’ of Shiva have been mentioned in Shivamahastotra. Each of the ‘awarans’ have separate presiding deities, the worship of which should be done according to the methods as described in the Shivapuran or as per the instruction of Guru.

1.7.18  Installation of Shiva Linga

According to the scriptures, a Shiva linga should be made in an auspicious moment. The land, where the Shivalinga is supposed to be installed should be purified by performing ‘Bhoomi-Pujan’.

After bhoomi-Pujan, worshipping lord Ganesha should be done. After that, the Shiva linga should be purified by washing it with panchgavya and after worshipping it, it should be immersed in the water.

The Shivalinga should be then taken out from the water and after worshipping it, it should be laid down on the bed meant for him. It should be then installed at the desired place and should be consecrated by chanting the mantras. All the rituals should be performed as per the instructions of Guru.

1.7.19  Classification of Yoga

Yoga means such actions, which after pacifying all the human tendencies helps a man to unite with Shiva. Following are the five divisions of yoga-

1) Mantra Yoga,

2) Sparsh Yoga (union of touch),

3) Bhava Yoga (union by devotion),

4) Abhava yoga (Union without being emotionally attached),

5) Mahayoga (The great union).

Mantra yoga helps a man to understand the meaning of mantras and uniting with Shiva by the concentration of mind.

When Mantra yoga is perfected by the practice of Pranayama it is called ‘Sparshyoga’.

Bhavayoga means meditating and chanting without uttering a word.

Abhava yoga means such a union when the devotee contemplates on the final annihilation, without being emotionally attached with the world.

A man whose mind is preoccupied with the thoughts of Shiva is supposed to have attained the state of Mahayoga. A yogi can unite with Shiva after purifying his body with the help of Pranayama etc.

1.7.20  Hurdle in the Path of Yoga

There are possibilities of numerous hurdles being faced by a man who practices yoga like laziness, disease, carelessness, lack of concentration, confusion and sorrow etc. While practicing yoga, one must try to keep himself free from such demerits. After becoming liberated from these flaws a man can easily attain six types of accomplishment – talent (Pratibha), super power of hearing (Shravan), excellent conversational power and power of speech (Vrata), Divine sight (Darshan), Divine power of taste (Aswad), Divine power of touch (Vedana).

The capability of seeing things situated at distant places is called ‘Pratibha’.

The ability to listen without making any effort is called ‘Shravan’.

The ability to decipher the meaning of animal’s language is called ‘Vrata’.

Being able to see divine things without making any effort is called ‘Darshan’.

The power, which enables a man to know about the taste of a thing without actually tasting it, is called ‘Aswad’.

‘Vedana’ means the knowledge of all types of touch.

1.7.21  Shiva Yoga

A devotee can attain all types of accomplishment merely by having devotion towards lord Shiva and by meditating on him. In the beginning, a yogi should try to meditate on the form of Shiva (Saguna), but later on the switch over to Shiva’s formless (nirguna) quality. Meditating on nirguna form of Shiva is not easy. It can be mastered only by constant and steady practice, When mastered it bestows all kinds of accomplishment. Meditation combined with Pranayama gives four types of accomplishments peace (Shanti), tranquility (Prashanti), luster (Dipti) and boon (Prasad). A devotee can have a darshan of lord Shiva if he does meditation with non attachment.

1.7.22  SanatKumar Receive Shiva-Gyan from Nandi

The sages thanked Vayudeva for giving the knowledge of Gyan-Yoga. The next day, they took bath in river Saraswati and performed their worship and rituals. After that they proceeded towards Kashi.

At Kashi after taking their bath in river Ganga they had a darshan of lord Vishwanath. They saw very radiant effulgence appearing in the sky, in which they saw thousand sages who had accomplished Pashupat Vrata getting merged. The radiant effulgence vanished in no time.

The sages were very curious to know about that radiant effulgence, so they went to lord Brahma and asked him about it. Lord Brahma told them that the radiant effulgence had actually instructed them to accomplish Pashupat Vrata and attain Salvation. Lord Brahma then instructed them to go to the Sumeru mountain where Nandi was supposed to come and teach the methods of doing Pashupat Vrata to Sanat Kumar.

Once Sanat Kumar became very arrogant of his asceticism. One day lord Shiva arrived at his place but Sanat Kumar did not get up to greet him. At this Nandi became furious and cursed him to become a camel. Sanat Kumar got transformed into a camel.

Lord Brahma worshipped Shiva to liberate his son – Sanat Kumar from the curse. Lord Shiva became pleased and blessed Sanat Kumar, as the result of which he regained his human body.

After regaining his human body Sanat Kumar commenced a tremendous penance. Lord Shiva instructed Nandi to go to Sumeru mountain and preach Sanat Kumar.

The sages reached Sumeru mountain as per the instruction of lord Brahma. They saw many sages meditating at the bank of a pond. They also saw Sanat Kumar engrossed in his meditation at a little distance from the other meditating sages.

The sages went near Sanat Kumar and told him about their penances done for ten thousand years. They also revealed to him about the purpose of their arrival. Right then, Nandi arrived there, accompanied by his ganas Sanat Kumar and all the sages welcomed him.

Sanat Kumar introduced all the sages to Nandi and told him about their tremendous penance done for ten thousand years. Nandi became very pleased and blessed them. He then preached Sanat Kumar and all the sages on the Shiva-tattva.

Sanat Kumar passed on that knowledge to Sage Vyas, who again passed it on to Sutji. Sutji then revealed this knowledge to those sages who had assembled at Prayag.

After receiving that knowledge from Sutji all the sages went to Prayaga teertha and took their bath. As they saw the signs of approaching Kaliyuga, they went to Kashi and performed the Pashupat Vrata. All of them attained liberation with the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

Listening to Shivapuran for one time liberates a man from all of his sins. Listening to it for two times helps him to develop devotion in lord Shiva. Listening to Shivapuran for three times, helps a man to attain to the abode of Shiva.

Copyrights@ Frank Fernandes

Skanda Purana

Largest of all the Puranas. Contains eighty eight thousand and one hundred Shlokas (stanzas). Has seven parts- Maheshwar, Vaishnava, Brahma, Kashi, Avanti, Nagar and Prabhasa. Purana got its name from Skand (Kartikeya) the son of Lord Shiva. Birth of Skand; its reason and effects constitute the main theme. Kartikeya was the commander of the gods’ army and had killed the demon Tarkasura.

 

This Purana contains 7 chapters.

1.1      Maheshwar Khand

This Chapter contains 20 sections.

1.1.1     Daksha’s Animosity towards Lord Shiva

Skanda Puran begins with the eulogy of Lord Shiva–

YASYAGYA JAGAT SRISHTA VIRANCHIH PALKO HARIH;
SANHARTA KAALRUDRAKHYO NAMASTASMAI PINAKINE.

(Meaning)— Salutations to Lord Shankar who has entrusted the job of creation to Lord Brahma–Who has instructed Lord Vishnu to nurture the world and who himself acts as the supreme annihilator.During ancient times, once, Sage Shaunak had performed a grand ‘yagya’ at his hermitage in Naimisharanya forest. Many sages had thronged Naimisharanya to attend it. One of them was Sage Lomesh.After the yagya was over, all the assembled Sages requested Sage Lomesh to narrate the divine tales of Lord Shiva.

Sage Lomesh said–Daksha-Prajapati had got his daughter, Sati married to Lord Shiva. Once, he had performed a grand yagya in which he had invited everybody except his own son-in-law.When Sati learnt about the yagya, she sought Lord Shiva’s permission to attend that yagya. Lord Shiva tried to convince her that it was not proper to attend a ceremony in which one had not been invited. But Sati did not pay any heed and was bent upon attending that yagya. Ultimately, Lord Shiva had no option but to give his conscent. But he did not forget to send his ‘Rudraganas’ with her for her protection.

1.1.2     Sati jumps into the Sacrificial Fire

When Sati reached her father’s place, she saw a grand yagya being performed. A large number of people had been invited–the deities, the sages and the hermits.

 

Sati became sad because Daksha had invited everybody except her husband. She knew quite well that it was a deliberate decision on part of her father, not to invite Lord Shiva. But, she got infuriated when she found that Daksha had not even kept Shiva’s share in the yagya while the ‘shares’ of other deities had been kept.

 

When Daksha saw Sati, he was enraged—How dare you come here? Your husband is an embodiment of inauspiciousness. He is the Lord of the spirits, ghosts and all types of mean powers. This was the reason why I did not invite him.’

 

The insult heaped on her husband in front of everybody devastated Sati. She felt so humiliated that she decided to give up her life. Before any one could understand, she jumped into the sacrificial fire and was charred to death. All the deities present there were stunned by this sudden development. All the ‘Rudraganas’ mourned Sati’s death with deep sorrow.Meanwhile, Lord Shiva got the sad news from Narad. He got mad with anger and uprooted some hair from his scalp. He then dashed the hair against a mountain. There was a thundering sound and Veerbhadra manifested within a split second. Lord Shiva ordered him to punish Daksha for his evil deed, which caused the death of Sati.Veerbhadra proceeded with a huge army of spirits, ghosts and marudganas to punish Daksha. When he reached the oblation site, Daksha and all the other deities became scarred. But, Sage Bhrigu came at the deities’ rescue and told them not to worry. He then chanted few mantras, which helped the deities to win the first round of the battle.

 

The defeat of his army enraged Veerbhadra to such an extent that he created havoc in the ranks of deities’ army. He showered volleys of arrow on them, which forced the deities to make a hasty retreat from there. Veerbhadra dashed Sage Bhrigu against the ground and uprooted his beard. He then severed the head of Daksha and threw it in flames of sacrificial fire.Lord Brahma took the refuge of Lord Shiva and requested him to stop Veerbhadra from causing further death and destruction. Lord Shiva told Brahma–‘Nobody else but Daksha himself was responsible for his death.But, Lord Brahma requested Lord Shiva to make Daksha alive once again. Lord Shiva then went to Daksha’s place and fixed a goat’s head on the trunk of Daksha’s body. This way Daksha became alive once again albeit with a goats body. He was very ashamed of his behaviour and requested Lord Shiva to forgive him. Lord Shiva blessed him and said–

 

“Salvation can not be attained merely by performing the rituals. If you are desirous of salvation then engage yourself in virtuous deeds with.”

1.1.3     Virtues of Worshipping Lord Shiva

Sage Lomesh told the assembled sages— One who brooms the courtyard of Shiva temple attains to Shiva loka. Those who make offerings of incense to lord Shiva not only liberate himself from the bondage of this world but also both his ‘Kulas’. One who gets constructed a Shiva temple or renovates it, attains incomparable virtue. One who chants the holy mantra ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAY’ daily and begins his day by visiting Shiva temple in the morning becomes absolved of all his sins.

1.1.4     Churning of the Ocean

Sage Lomesh narrated the tale, which described how Indra lost heaven after he showed disrespect to Vrihaspati–

 

Once, Indra was enjoying the songs sung by Gandharvas when sage Vashishth arrived. But, Indra was so engrossed in music, that he forgot to welcome his distinguished guest. Sage Vashishth was enraged by his behaviour and went away fuming with anger.When the demon King Bali–the lord of Patalloka, learnt about this incident he attacked Indraloka with a large army. A fierce battle took place in which all the deities were defeated. Bali and his army brought all the wealth to Patalloka. But the demons were not destined to be the owner of this plundered wealth for too long as the whole wealth got submerged into the ocean. Bali was surprised and asked Shukracharya about the reason. Sage Shukracharya revealed to Bali that he could not enjoy the splendours of deities’ wealth because he had not performed 100 Ashwamedha yagyas.

 

The deities, after being defeated went to seek Lord Vishnu’s help. Lord Brahma was also present with them. After giving a deep thought to the whole issue, Lord Vishnu advised them to patch up with the demons so that all the wealth could be retrieved from the ocean bed.The deities went to Patal-loka and convinced the demons to participate in the churning of the ocean. When the process of churning of the ocean began, Mandarachal mountain was used as a churner and the serpent -Vasuki as the rope.Both the parties immersed the Mandarachal mountain into the ocean but it sank down, as there was no base upon which it could be placed. So, Lord Vishnu took the form of a tortoise and held the mountain on his back.

 

Churning of the ocean resulted into the emergence of many things like Chandrama, Surabhi (cow), Kalpa tree, Kaustubh, Uchchaihshrava (Horse), Eravat (elephant), goddess Laxmi, poison, ambrosia, intoxication etc.When poison emerged from the sea bed, neither the deities nor the demons made any claim for it. The poison was so venomous that the whole world started getting inflamed by it. Lord Shiva then drank the Halahal poison and thus the world was saved.Lord Vishnu accepted goddess Laxmi as his consort.

1.1.5     The Emergence of Ambrosia

When Dhanvantri appeared with a pot of ambrosia in his hands, a demon named Vrishparva snatched it from him. All the demons then fled to Patal loka with the pot of ambrosia.Lord Vishnu disguised himself as an enchanting beauty and went to Patalloka. There, he found all the demons quarrelling among themselves. Each of them wanted to have his own share of ambrosia.The demons were stunned by Mohini’s beauty the moment they saw Lord Vishnu in the form of a beautiful lady. Mohini took control of the ambrosia pot and summoned the deities to Patal loka.

 

All the deities and demons were made to sit in separate rows. Mohini then started distributing ambrosia to the deities. A demon named Rahu, who had disguised himself as a deity was also sitting among the deities. Hardly had Rahu gulped down some ambrosia then Mohini severed his head on the information given by chandrama (Moon).The severed head of Rahu tried to take revenge by swallowing chandrama, who took the refuge of Lord Shiva. Shiva kept chandrama within the lock of his hair. Meanwhile, Rahu too came chasing chandrama and Lord Shiva wore his head as a garland in his neck.

1.1.6     Lord Brahma’s Boon to Tarakasur

After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva became aloof and engaged himself in an austere penance. His lack of interest in performing his duties resulted into the predominance of sin in the world.A demon named Tarakasur had received a boon of invincibility from lord Brahma. Only a child and nobody else could kill him. Tarakasur, being drunk with power started to torment the deities.

 

All the deities eulogized Lord Brahma and they heard a heavenly voice saying—

 

‘Nobody can kill Tarakasur except Shiva’s son. So you must put all your efforts to help Shiva get married.’

 

The deities were aware that after the death of Sati, Shiva had lost all interest in life and was living like a recluse. Nevertheless, they wanted to give a try. So they went to Himalaya, who had no progeny at that time and requested him to beget a girl. Himalaya agreed, as he was aware of the misdeeds of Tarakasur.In course of time, Himalaya’s wife, Mena gave birth to a girl child who was in fact the reincarnation of Sati. The girl child was named Girija.Girija was brought up with great love and care. When she attained the age of eight, Himalaya once took her to the cave where Lord Shiva was doing penance. Initially, Shiva was little hesitant to meet Himalaya because Girija was accompanying her father and he had vowed never to put his glance on any woman after the death of Sati. But, Later on he relented and allowed both of them to meet him whenever they liked. Now, Girija made it her habit to visit Lord Shiva regularly. She used to look after all the needs of Shiva while he was engrossed in his penance.

 

Even after the passage of a long time the deities’ wishes did not look like getting fulfilled, as Shiva remained as nonchalant as ever. So, the deities requested Kamadeva’s help in sowing the seeds of love and passion in Shiva’s heart.Kamadeva went to the place where Lord Shiva was doing his penance. He tried to sow seeds of compassion in Shiva’s heart only to receive his wrath. Lord Shiva was infuriated by the efforts of Kamadeva. He opened his third eye as the result of which Kamadeva was charred to death.Rati started wailing inconsolably at the death of her husband but Girija assured her that she would try to bring Kamadeva back to life.Girija commenced her penance to please Lord Shiva. There was a great turmoil in the world on account of her penance. Lord Vishnu led the deities to Shiva and requested him to marry Girija so that the world could be protected from the torments of Tarakasur. Finally, Shiva gave his conscent and went to the place where Girija was doing penance.

1.1.7     Shiva tests Parvati’s Devotion

After reaching there, Lord Shiva found Parvati engrossed in her penance. Parvati was surrounded by her few trusted companions.Lord Shiva decided to test Parvati’s devotion towards him. So he disguised himself as a hermit and asked her companions about the reason why Parvati was doing such a severe Penance. Jaya, one of Parvati’s companions informed him that her friend was doing penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Jaya also informed Lord Shiva that her friend Girija was the daughter of Himalaya.

 

Lord Shiva, who was in the guise of a hermit said—‘Why is this tender girl so eager to marry Shiva who is an embodiment of inauspiciousness–who carries a skull in his hand and who lives in a crematorium. How can your friend think of marrying one who has been expelled by Daksha from the yagya ceremony? Does your friend know that Shiva wears a snake around his neck and is surrounded by numerous spirits and ghosts?’

 

Parvati, who had been listening to all those nonsensical utterances, told Jaya—‘This fellow seems to abhor Shiva. We should not talk to this evil person. Tell him to leave at once.’Lord Shiva was extremely pleased by Parvati’s unwavering devotion towards him. He appeared in his original form and said–‘You can ask for anything you wish.’

 

But Parvati replied— ‘O Supreme Lord! I am the same Sati for the sake of whom you had destroyed Daksha’s yagya. Don’t you recognize me? There is a great purpose behind my reincarnation. A son born to us would kill Tarakasur. So go to my father and request for my hand in marriage.’But Lord Shiva refused to make a request to Himalaya considering it as an undignified act. He then returned to the place where he had been meditating.After a while, Himalaya and Mena arrived there and asked Parvati how her penance had been progressing. Parvati narrated the whole incident how Lord Shiva had finally given his conscent to marry her.Himalaya and Mena were extremely pleased by this good news.

1.1.8     The Arrival of the Sapta-Rishis

Later on Lord Shiva sent the Saptarishis with the proposal of marriage to Himalaya. Himalaya received his distinguished guests with respect and enquired about the purpose of their visit. The Saptarishis replied–‘We have come to request you to give your daughter’s hand in marriage to Shiva.’After consulting his wife, Mena and other mountains, Himalaya agreed to accept Shiva as his son-in-law. The Saptarishis then returned and conveyed the good news to Shiva.The preparation for marriage ceremony started being made. Finally the marriage procession proceeded towards the bride’s home. The marriage procession consisted of all the deities, apsaras, gandharvas even spirits and ghosts.

 

Sage Garg Supervised the rituals of marriage ceremony. Vishwakarma constructed the canopy, where marriage ceremony was supposed to take place.After the marriage was over, Himalaya performed the ritual of Kanyadan and this way Shiva returned with his consort.

1.1.9     Birth of Kartikeya

Lord Shiva and Parvati lived happily at Gandhamadan Mountain enjoying every bit of their conjugal life. Once it so happened that a small quantity of Shiva’s sperm fell on the ground while he was enjoying intimate moments with Parvati. As a result, tremendous amount of heat was generated and the whole world started burning.Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu instructed Agni to employ some means so that the destruction caused by Shiva’s over flowing sperms could come to an end.Agni went to Gandhamadan mountain in the guise of a hermit. He requested Parvati by saying—‘O Mother! Please give me something as alms. I have nothing but my hands as a begging bowl’

 

Parvati kept Shiva’s sperms on his palm, which was eaten up by Agni. Parvati was enraged to see this and cursed Agni–“You have shown disrespect to me. From today onwards you would become omnivorous. The sperms which you have devoured would cause unbearable inflammation in your body.”

 

As the result of Parvati’s curse, Agni really started experiencing unbearable inflammation in his body. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal the means by which his pain would come to an end. Lord Shiva instructed Agni to implant those sperms in any woman’s womb to get rid of the unbearable inflammation.Thus, Agni, who was suffering from extreme heat that generated in his body, sat at a lonely place waiting eagerly for a woman to arrive there.He did not have to wait for too long, as six Kritikas, shivering with cold arrived there to warm themselves. The sperms of Shiva entered into their bodies through the pores. These six Kritikas became pregnant.

 

When their respective husbands learnt about their pregnancy they cursed them. As a result they got transformed into ‘Nakshatras’ and established themselves in the sky. But, they aborted their respective foetus at Himalaya mountain before getting transformed into six constellations. The holy Ganges carried that foetus to a secluded place, which was covered with dense bushes of reeds.In course of time, Lord Kartikeya manifested from those reed bushes. He had six heads. The deities were delighted at the birth of Kartikeya. Lord Shiva along with Parvati went to the place where Kartikeya had incarnated. Parvati took young Kartikeya in her embrace.

1.1.10  Kartikeya Kills Tarakasur

Lord Shiva assured the deities, who were also present there that Tarakasur’s days were numbered. The deities’s army then proceeded towards the battlefield.On their way, the deities heard a heavenly voice–‘You can defeat the demons only if you fight under the leadership of Kartikeya.’

 

Now all the deities requested Kartikeya to become their leader. Menawhile, Devasena–the daughter of Mrityu arrived there and requested Kartikeya to become her husband. Kartikeya accepted Devasena as his wife. This is the reason why he is also known as Deva senapati.Karitkeya was leading the deities’ army, mounted on an elephant. The army had all the deities in its rank- Indra, Varun, Vayu, Kuber, Dharma Raj, etc.Both the rival armies met at an island situated between Ganga and Yamuna. Tarakasur had come with a large army, which boasted of many brave and mighty warriors.

 

The battle commenced and the first phase was dominated by the demons. The deities could not stand up to the might of demons. Even Indra was severely wounded when Tarakasur attacked him with his deadly weapon- ‘Shakti’. On seeing the level of destruction caused in the deities’ army, King Muchkunda, who was on the side of the deities’ attacked Tarakasur. In the ensuing battle Muchkunda got injured and fell down on the ground. He got up furiously and tried to kill Tarakasur with his Brahmashtra. Sage Narad told him that Brahmashtra would be of no use as Tarakasur had been blessed with invincibility against mortals. Narad said–‘Only Kartikeya is capable of killing Tarakasur. So, you all need to have patience till Kartikeya accomplishes his mission.’

 

Meanwhile Veerabhadra was fighting a dual bought against Tarakasur. He had already caused indescribable losses to the demons. While the fight was going on, Tarakasur realized that it was not easy to defeat him. So, he decided to use his illusionary powers, which helped him in acquiring ten thousand hands. The deities ran away from the battle field, when they saw ferocious Tarakasur approaching them.Lord Vishnu instructed Kartikeya to kill Tarakasur before it was too late. Kartikeya chased Tarakasur with his deadly weapon- Shakti in his hand. A fierce fight took place between both of them. Kartikeya attacked Tarakasur with his Shakti. Tarakasur retaliated by hitting him with his own Shakti. The assault was so severe that Karikeya lost his consciousness for few moments.

 

When Kartikeya regained his consciousness, he got up quickly to fight against Tarakasur. Once again a fierce battle commenced. Kartikeya remembered his parents in reverence and released his Shakti in the direction of Tarakasur.Tarakasur died instantly. The deities were delighted at the death of their tormentor.

1.1.11  Virtues of Observing a Fast on Shiva-Ratri

Sage Lomesh eulogizes the virtues of Shivaratri in the following words–‘The fourteenth day of the dark half of a month is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and is famously known as ‘Shivaratri’. It destroys all the sins committed by a man.Sage Lomesh then narrated a tale, which emphasized the greatness of Shivaratri–

 

Once upon a time a brahmin widow developed an illicit relationship with a ‘Chandal’ (a low caste man). Later on she gave birth to a son who was named Dussah. Her son had all the bad qualities one can think of– a gambler, a drunker, a thief, a murderer, etc.

 

One day, Dussah went to a Shiva temple with the intention of committing robbery. It was the festive night of Shivaratri and people had thronged the temple in a large number. So, he did not get an opportunity to steal temple property. He remained awakened for the whole night waiting for an opportune moment but his wishes remained unfulfilled. He spent his time listening to the divine tales of Lord Shiva that was being narrated by the temple priest. Though he was a sinner yet he took his next birth in a royal family on account of his two virtuous deeds–he had remained awakened for the whole night of Shivaratri and he had listened to the tales of Shiva. In his next birth, he was born to a king named Chitrangad and he himself was named Vichitraveerya.Vichitraveerya was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He ultimately united with lord Shiva and manifested as Veerabhadra at the time when Lord Shiva had shaken his head violently after hearing the sad news of Sati’s demise.There are numerous instances of people attaining salvation by observing a fast on Shivaratri. The names of some great devotees to do so are King Bharat, Mandhata, Dhundhumar, Harishchandra etc.

1.1.12  Kartikeya’s Sorrow

While the deities hailed the glory of Kartikeya for having killed Tarakasur, Kartikeya himself was saddened by his act. He told the deities–‘I regret for having killed Tarakasur because he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Is there any way to atone for my sin?’

 

Lord Vishnu consoled him—‘Killing a wicked person, who nourishes himself on the blood of innocent people, is not a sinful deed. But, still, if you feel guilty then there is no better way to atone for your sin than worshipping Lord Shiva. Install Shivalingas and worship them with deep devotion.’Kartikeya instructed Vishnukarma to make three divine Shivalingas. Later on Kartikeya installed these Shivalingas at three different places and worshipped them with appropriate rituals. In course of time these three holy places came to be known as Pratigyeshwar, Kapaleshwar and Kumareshwar. Kartikeya, while worshipping at Kapaleshwar sprinkled holy water on the Shivalinga and prayed so that Tarakasur’s soul rested in peace. He also offered sesame seeds to lord Kapaleshwar and prayed –

 

‘May my offerings made in the form of sesame seeds reach Tarak–the descendant of Sage Kashyap.’

 

This way, Kartikeya was absolved of his sins.

1.1.13  Killing of Pralamb

A demon named Pralamb had escaped unharmed in the battle fought between the deities and demons. As the deities were busy installing Shivalingas at different places, Pralamb started to torment their families in their absence. The deities got this information from Kumud who appeared at the time when the deities were digging up a reservoir near ‘Siddheshwar’ temple.All the deities requested Kartikeya to do something. Kartikeya released his fiery weapon, Shakti in the direction of Pralamb. Shakti pierced the heart of earth and went right up to Patal loka where Pralamb lived with the surviving demons. All the demons were killed within few moments.

 

A long tunnel had been created as the impact of Shakti’s penetration of the earth. This tunnel was later on filled up with the water of Patal Ganga and became famous as ‘Siddha-koopa.’

1.1.14  Kaalbhiti’s Austere Penance

There is an amazing tale related with the birth of Kaalbhiti. During ancient times there lived a sonless brahmin named Manti in Kashi. He did an austere penance to get a son. At last, lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared. Lord Shiva said–‘You will be blessed with an enlightened son who would liberate your whole clan.’

 

In course of time Manti’s wife became pregnant but amazingly did not deliver a baby even after a long time. Four years passed like this but Manti’s wife did not deliver the child. Manti was perplexed by this unusual event so he asked the baby, who was still in his mother’s womb as to why he was hesitant to come out.The child replied that he feared ‘Kaal’ and this was the reason why he was not taking birth. The child said–‘If you can assure me of protection from ‘Kaal’ then I shall certainly take birth.’ How could have Manti given such an assurance. So he took refuge in Lord Shiva.Lord Shiva ordered four of his ganas to go and convince the baby. The names of these five ganas were Dharma, Gyan, Vairagya Aishwarya and Adharma. They assured the baby by saying–‘Get rid of your fear. We assure you that each four of us (Dharma, Gyan, Vairagya and Aishwarya) will never abandon you.”

 

The fifth gana named Adharma on the contrary promised not to caste his evil Shadow on the baby. These assurances were enough for the baby to come out from the womb. But, even after taking birth the child was trembling and wailing in fear.The ganas said–Manti! Your child is still fearful of the Kaal. He is trembling and crying inspite of the best of our efforts to drive away is fears. So he will become famous as Kaalbhiti (one who is fearful of Kaal).

 

Kaalbhiti grew up to be a virtuous person. He used to engage himself in various kinds of austerities. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.One day, as Kaalbhiti was meditating under a ‘bael’ tree (wood apple), he went into his trance. The joy experienced during trance period was something, which he had never experienced before. He decided to regularly meditate under that tree. He did penance for one hundred years standing on his toe.Lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared in the guise of a human being. Lord Shiva said–‘O Great soul Please discontinue with your penance. I have brought some water for you! Please quench your thirst!’

 

But Kaalbhiti refused to take water from an unknown person. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal his identity. Kaalbhiti also inquired Lord Shiva about his religion and conduct. Lord Shiva told him that he was beyond any religion or conduct.When Kaalbhiti refused to have water, Lord Shiva dug up a large pit and emptied the pot into it. After that he disappeared.Kaalbheeti stood fixed at that place, being stunned by the disappearance of Lord Shiva. Suddenly, an effulgent Shivalinga appeared under that bael (wood apple) tree. Kaalbheeti worshipped that shiva-linga which was radiating light in all directions.Now, lord Shiva appeared and blessed Kaalbheeti to become free from the fear of Kaal(Death). From that day onwards the Shivalinga situated there became famous as Mahakaal. Before disappearing once again, Lord Shiva instructed Kaalbheeti to preach Sage Karandham who was expected to visit him shortly. Kaalbheeti himself became renowned as Mahakaal because he had been successful in conquering death.

1.1.15  Karandham’s Queries

As predicted by Lord Shiva, king Karandham arrived at the place where Mahakaal (Kaalbheeti) was staying. First of all he worshipped Lord Mahakaal and subsequently went to meet sage Mahakaal (previously Kaalbheeti).King Karandham had numerous doubts regarding the rituals of Shraddh so he asked Mahakaal–‘How does the rituals related to ‘tarpan’ satisfy the dead ancestors?’

Mahakaal replied–The souls of dead ancestors are capable of accepting whatever is offered to them. Time and distance does not matter to them. They accept only the essence of whatever is offered to them and not the gross materials as such.Karandham posed his second query–‘I think a soul, after it has abandoned the mortal body is bound by its own karma. Then, how, can the dead ancestors be expected of giving us blessings and changing our fortunes.’

Mahakaal replied—Not all Pitras (dead ancestors) are bound by their karma. Pitras belonging to different classes like deities, ‘asuras’ and ‘yaksha’ are unembodied and formless (amurta). Similarly, the dead ancestors of all the four castes are called ‘murta Pitras’ (with form). These seven types of Pitras are considered to be eternal and powerful. They also transcend the law of Karma. A total number of 31 ganas are subordinate to them. The rituals of Shraddh are performed for the pacification of these seven eternal Pitras. These seven Pitras are the ones who shower blessings on the performers of Shraddh rituals.’Karandham’s next question was–‘Some people are of the view that one can attain salvation only by taking refuge in Lord Vishnu. While some think that only Lord Brahma is capable of giving salvation. There are many people who consider Lord Shiva as the supreme liberator. What do you have to say on this?’

Mahakaal replied–‘God is one. The three deities you have named even they eulogize each other. It is nothing but foolishness to grade them as superior, average or inferior. The thing, which matters most in the path of salvation, is individual’s unflinching faith and devotion. Any deity in whom he has total devotion is capable of giving salvation.Karandham then requested Mahakaal to describe the appropriate rituals related with the worship of Lord Shiva.

Mahakaal replied—A devotee who puts on ‘tripund’ mark on his forehead, chest and both the shoulders while worshipping Lord Shiva is blessed to see the divine appearance of Lord Shiva. He should enter the temple premise with a pure heart. After entering the temple he should purify the Shiva linga by removing all the unnecessary articles which may be lying there. He should then fill up four ‘Garuas’ (drinking pot with a curved spout) with water. Articles like milk, curd clarified butter, honey and Sugarcane juice are kept to the left side of Shiva linga.The devotee should then come out of the temple and worship the ‘dwarpalas’. After that, deities like Kuldevta, Nandi, Mahakaal Dhata and Vidhata are worshipped.

Once again he should enter the temple and sit in front of the Shivalinga and meditate on Lord Shiva. While performing ‘ardhya’ he should make offerings of articles like water, akshat, Kusha grass, sandalwood, flowers, mustard seeds, milk, curd and honey.Having offered ardhya, a devotee should perform the ritual of ablution with water, milk, curd, honey, clarified butter, and sugarcane juice in the given order.

While performing this ritual the devotee should also offer dhupa (incense) and chant

‘OM HOOM VISHVAMURTAYE NAMAH’.

Some other deities whom a devotee must worship along with the worship of Lord Shiva are Ishan, Tatpurush, Sadryojat etc. A devotee must also not forget to worship Shiva’s trident. While doing this he should chant

TRISHUL DHANUH KHADGA KAPAL KUTHAREBHYO NAMAH.

A devotee should conclude his worship by begging for Lord Shiva’s forgiveness for any mistake that he might have committed while performing the rituals.

1.1.16  Arunachal Shiva Linga

Once, Sutji had gone to Naimisharanya. All the sages residing there asked him about the manifestation of Arunachal Shivalinga.Sutji recounted a tale when Sage Sanak had posed the same query to Lord Brahma — ‘Lord Brahma had told Sanak-Son, once Lord Vishnu and I witnessed an effulgent Pillar. It had manifested from nowhere and was limitless in size. It’s radiance put the whole world ablaze. Both of us worshipped that marvelous pillar by chanting vedic mantras.’Actually, that effulgent pillar was a Shivalinga. Lord Shiva manifested from it after being pleased by our devotion. We requested him to minimize his size and establish himself in the form of Arunachal Shivalinga.’

 

‘Lord Shiva agreed to minimize his size as well as his effulgence by establishing himself in the form of ‘Arunachaleshwar’.The holy place of Arunachaleshwar remains untouched while the whole world gets submerged in water at the time of deluge.

1.1.17  Lord Shiva – The Sovereign Creator

The sages then asked Sutji how Lord Shiva had created the universe.

 

Sutji replied—Lord Shiva commenced creation by his own will. Vishnu manifested from the left side of his body while Brahma from the right side. He then attributed the qualities of ‘Rajas’ and ‘Satva’ to Brahma and Vishnu respectively. From then onwards Lord Brahma took the responsibility of further creation and Lord Vishnu became the preserver of the world.Later on Lord Brahma created his ten Manasputra (Marichi etc,) by his will and Daksha Prajapati from his right thumb. He also created the brahmins from his mouth, Kshatriyas from both his arms, Vaishyas from both his thighs and Shudras from both his feet respectively.Both, the deities and demons came from the lineage of Sage Kashyap, who himself was Marichi’s son. Not only that Kashyap also fathered different species like Marut, Nag, Yaksha, Gandharva and apsaras.

 

Similarly, Lord Brahma had also created Manu who is believed to be the person from whom human race originated. All the sages as well as the Kshatriyas are the descendants of Sage Atri. Yakshas originated from Pulastya whereas Rakshashas were the descendants of Pulah. Agni as well as Sages like Chyavan was the descendant of Bhrigu. Many famous sages came from the lineage of Vasishth. These are the names of few prominent sages, whose descendants have populated the earth.Thus, Lord Shiva is the Sovereign creator because he created Brahma–the creator.

1.1.18  Execution of Shumbh, Nishumbh and Mahishasur

The demons named Shumbh and Nishumbh had received boons from Brahma according to which no deity, demon or Man could kill him. Shumbh and Nishumbh became excessively arrogant and started tormenting the deities. All the deities including Lord Vishnu went to Lord Shiva and requested for his help. Lord Shiva assured them that both the demons would be killed at the opportune time. The deities were satisfied and returned back to their respective abodes.Parvati was of dark complexion. She thought that Shiva would be more affectionate towards her if she somehow discarded her dark skin. She eventually discarded her dark skin at a place and it instantly got transformed into ‘Kali Kaushiki’. She then did an austere penance at Vindhyachal mountain. At that time, Shumbh and Nishumbh lived there. When both the demons saw goddess Kali Kaushiki her divine beauty infatuated them. But Goddess Kali Kaushiki ultimately killed both of them.

 

Having accomplished her mission, Kali Kaushiki did a tremendous penance at ‘Gauri-peak’ and regained her fair complexion. In course of time she became the mother of Ganesh and Kartikeya. Once, goddess Parvati went to Arunachal mountain where Sage Gautam was doing penance. She was so enchanted by the scenery over there that she decided to do penance. She instructed goddess Durga to stand guard till she accomplished her penance. She also ordered the two goddesses Subhaga and Dhundhukumari to keep a watch in all directions.

 

Mahishasur–the demon sent a female messenger to convince Parvati into marrying him. The female messenger disguised herself as a female hermit and tried to impress all the three goddess who were keeping surveillance by praising the glory of Mahishasur–

 

‘O beautiful ladies! Why is your mistress living in such a secluded place? She is worthy of living in a royal palace. There is nobody among the deities who is fit enough to marry her. But, Mahishasur–the lord of all the three worlds is certainly fit to become her husband.’But all the three goddesses drove the female messenger away. Ultimately, Mahishasur came accompanied by a large army to forcibly abduct goddess Parvati. The commotion caused by the demons disturbed Parvati’s meditation. She instructed Durga to kill all the demons.Goddess Durga transformed her appearance. Now she looked ferocious in her new appearance. She was well equipped with all sort of lethal weapons and was mounted on a lion. She thundered loudly and challenged Mahishasur. Countless ‘yoginis’ manifested from her body. These yoginis attacked Mahishasur’s army and killed many demons. The whole battlefield was splashed with blood.

 

Goddess Chamunda (Durga) severed the heads of ‘Chand’ and ‘Mund’ with her chakra. Mahishasur was enraged and he attacked goddess Durga. Some other demons like Prachanda, Chamar, Mahamauli, Mahahanu, Ugravaktra, Vikataksha and Dahan also came forward to help him but each one of them was killed by goddess Durga.Now, Mahishasur’s anger crossed all limits and he menacingly ran towards goddess Durga. A severe battle was fought between both of them. When Mahishasur realized that the goddess was dominating the battle, he started changing his guises frequently. He tried to dodge goddess Durga by transforming his appearance into that of a boar. But, goddess Durga kept on chasing him. Then, Mahishasur became a lion. This way he kept on changing his appearances frequently to avoid getting killed by goddess Durga. Once he transformed himself into a buffalo but goddess Durga attacked him.

 

This way, Mahishasur was forced to change his appearance frequently on account of relentless attack by goddess Durga. Ultimately Durga killed him. Goddess Durga picked up his severed head and danced in joy. The deities were relieved at the death of Mahishasur.

1.1.19  Parvati Receives Arunchaleshwar’s Grace

Goddess Durga then went to the place where goddess Parvati was still doing penance. She held Mahishasur’s head in one hand and a sword in the other.Goddess Parvati said—‘O Vindhyavasini! You have accomplished an impossible act. If it were not for you I would not have been able to accomplish my own penance. Now, you should get rid of this skull and create a holy spring bathing in which would destroy your sin acquired by killing Mahishasur.’

 

Goddess Durga hit ferociously at a huge rock breaking it into pieces. A large pit was created which was soon filled up with underground water. She then took her bath in it by chanting NAMAH SHONADRINATHAY.

 

In the meantime, an amazing incident took place. While goddess Durga was taking her bath with Mahishasur’s skull in her hand, a Shivalinga, which was struck in Mahishasur’s throat fell down. This Shivalinga later on became famous as ‘Papanashan Shivalinga’. She then released the skull and came out from the pond.Arunachaleshwar (Lord Shiva) became pleased by Parvati’s devotion and appeared before her. Lord Arunachaleshwar then made Parvati to sit by his left side. The next moment Parvati’s identity mingled with that of Lord Arunachaleshwar. The place where this incident took place, there is situated a grand temple of goddess Apitastani and Lord Arunachaleshwar.

1.2      Vaishnav Khand

This Chapter contains 2 sections each with 14 and 12 sub-sections respectively.   In order to simplify the presentation of information here, the 2 sections will be combined into one with all 26 sub-sections listed as sections.

1.2.1     Lord Varah satisfies Prithvi’s Curiosity

Sutji then narrated the tale of Lord Varah to the sages, which he had heard from Sage Vyas—

 

Once, while Narad was wandering about, he reached Meru mountain where he saw the abode of Lord Brahma. He also saw a giant sized entity, just next to Brahma’s abode. The person possessed four arms and his face resembled a boar. The person held a conch and a chakra in his two hands–The remaining two hands were in the postures of giving blessings. Narad was very surprised to see that divine person being surrounded by Sages like Vashishth, Atri, Markandeya and Bhrigu. After paying his eulogy to him, he stood in a corner.In the meantime, Prithvi (earth) arrived there with her two companions–Ila and Pingla. She was curious to know about the identities of various mountains, which Lord Varah had established on her.Lord Varah told Prithvi about the prominent mountains—Mountains like Sumeru, Himavan, Mandarachal, Vindhyachal, Pariyatrak, Mahendra, Malay, Sinhachal and Gandhamadan are situated to the north of Himalaya.

 

 

The mountain ranges situated to the south of Himalaya are Arunachal, Hasti, Gridhachal and Ghatikachal. Sages believe that in Satyayuga Lord Vishnu had his abode at Anjan Mountain, while in tretayuga, dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga he has his abode at Narayangiri, Sinhachal and Shrivenketachal respectively.Lord Varah and Prithvi flew away towards Venkatachalgiri mounted on Garuda.

1.2.2     Lord Varah Mantra

On their way, Prithvi requested Lord Varah to reveal the sacred mantra, chanting of which makes him pleased.

 

Lord Varah said–‘The secret mantra that pleases me to no limits is —OM NAHAM SHRIVARAHAY DHARANYU UDDHARNAY SWAHA. This mantra is capable of liberating a man and also brings all sort of worldly accomplishments to him.In the first Krita yuga, a Manu named Dharma had realized me by continuously chanting this mantra. Even Indra regained the control of heaven by chanting it. Anant–the lord of all serpents, chanted Varaha mantra and as a result became capable of holding the earth on it’s hood.’

1.2.3     Manifestation of Padmavati

Lord Varah then narrated the tale of Padmavati’s manifestation to Prithvi. He also revealed to her that Padmavati was the reincarnation of Vedavati and had manifested so that she could become his (Vishnu) consort.Lord Varah said—Once upon a time there lived an emperor named Akash. One day he ordered his men to get the land situated at the bank of Arani ploughed so that a grand yagya could be organized there.As the land was being cultivated, the plough suddenly struck against something. People ploughing the field dug up that place and were surprised to find an infant girl, crying loudly.The news of girls’ manifestation spread like a wild fire. The emperor became extremely happy since he had no progeny. He brought up that child as his own daughter. This way the baby girl was brought up like a princess. She was named Padmavati. Padmavati proved very lucky for the emperor, as the emperor, who was still sonless till then was blessed with a son. This male child was named Vasudan.

 

One day, Narad visited the palace and met both the children. He was impressed by Vasudan’s intelligence but Padmavati appeared to be shy and absorbed in her own thoughts. Narad lovingly called her and instructed her to spread her left palm. Narad was amazed to find signs, which predicted Padmavati’s marriage to Lord Vishnu. Everybody living in the palace became happy after getting this news. Narad then went away.

1.2.4     Padmavati becomes Lord Hari’s Consort

Continuing with the tale, Lord Varah said– One day, while Padmavati and her companions were playing in the garden, they saw an equestrian approaching them. He held a bow and arrows in both his hands.The stranger asked all the girls whether they had seen a wolf. Apparently the stranger was on his hunting spree. Padmavati angrily reminded the stranger that hunting was strictly prohibited in that area and hence he should go back home.The stranger was stunned by Padmavati’s beauty and said–‘I am Ananta from Venketachal mountain. People also call me Veerpati. Can I have this beautiful lady as my wife.’

 

Padmavati’s companions angrily rebuffed Anant who then galloped back on his horse. These unfortunate girls were unable to recognize Lord Vishnu who had come disguised as Anant.After reaching his palace, Anant found it very difficult to concentrate on his work. His mind was occupied by the thoughts of Padmavati. One day, while he was sitting in a thoughtful mood, Vakulmalika (a maid servant) arrived there and requested him to come down for lunch. But, Sri Hari (Anant) was lost in the thoughts of Padmavati. On being asked by Vakulmalika, Sri Hari narrated the following tale to her —

 

In treta yuga, when I had incarnated as Ram, Ravan had deceit- fully abducted my consort–Sita. But fortunately she was not Sita but Agni’s consort Swaha. Before this incident could occur,Agni had already taken Sita to Patalloka and kept his own wife ‘Swaha’ in her place. Indra’s act had special purpose behind it–to avenge Swaha’s death,who was Vedavati in her previous birth and who had committed suicide after being touched by the same demon.Actually, Agni’s consort ‘Swaha’ was ‘Vedavati’ in her previous birth. So, in reality Ravan had abducted Vedavati instead of Sita. Later on, I thanked Agni and promised him that I would make Vedavati my consort in Kaliyuga. The same vedavati has taken birth as Padmavati. You must go and convince Padmavati to become my consort.Vakulmalika went to Narayanpur and informed the king about Sri Hari’s desire. Emperor Akash was extremely delighted at the prospect of having Sri Hari as his son-in-law. An auspicious day was chosen for the marriage and thus, Lord Sri Hari got Padmavati as his consort.

1.2.5     King Parikshit

Once, Sutji narrated the tale of king Pareekshit to all the assembled sages—

 

Pareekshit ruled over Hastinapur. One day he went into a forest on a hunting spree. He saw a deer and managed to injure it with his arrow. But the injured deer disappeared from his sight. Pareekshit chased the injured deer in the direction it had disappeared.He reached a place where sage Shamik was engrossed in his meditation. Pareekshit enquired sage Shamik if he had seen that injured deer. Bur sage Shamik being in deep meditation did not respond to Pareekshit query. This made Pareekshit extremely angry and he wrapped a dead snake around Shamik’s neck as a punishment for not having answered his question. But, it made no difference to Sage Shamik and he continued with his meditation. Pareekshit went back fuming in anger.

 

Shringi was the son of Sage Shamik. When he saw a dead snake coiling around his father’s neck, he cursed–‘Whoever has tried to insult my father will not live to see the seventh day because a takshak nag would bite him to death.’

 

When sage Shamik learnt about his son’s curse, he reproached his son and sent a disciple named ‘Daurmukh’ to inform Pareekshit so that he (Pareekshit) could take some preventive measures. Daurmukh went and narrated the whole incident to king Pareekshit.Pareekshit became very scarred and he started living on a canopy that had been constructed in the middle of river Ganges on his instructions. Now he felt secured and safe.Meanwhile a poor brahmin named Kashyap came to know about the curse that poor Pareekshit had received. He knew how to cure a person bitten by snake. So he thought that it was an excellent opportunity for him to receive monetary awards from the king. So, he proceeded towards the place where Pareekshit was staying.

 

On his way, Kashyap met a brahmin who in reality was takshak in disguise. Takshak was on his way to kill Pareekshit. He asked Kashyap about the reason he was going to meet Pareekshit. Kashyap revealed to Takshak that he could neutralize the influence of poison in any person bitten by a snake. Takshak wanted to examine the authenticity of Kashyap’s statement, so he inserted his poisonous fangs into the trunk of a huge tree. A man was sitting on the branches of that tree. The tree as well as the man was charred to death within no time.

 

Kashyap, really brought the tree and that man back to life. Takshak was stunned by this unbelievable act. He asked Kashyap how much he expected as reward from the king. Kashyap revealed the amount, which he expected from Pareekshit in lieu of giving him a fresh lease of life. Takshak gave lot of wealth to him as a bribe and Kashyap went back home satisfied.Takshak then summoned all his companions and instructed them to go to the place where Pareekshit lived, disguising themselves as hermits. All the serpents went to meet Pareekshit impersonating as hermits and offered fruits to him. According to his plan,Takshak had hidden himself within a plum fruit. He bit Pareekshit as soon as he got a chance. Pareekshit died instantly.Janmejaya was crowned as the next king. Meanwhile, people started criticizing the treacherous conduct of Kashyap, which had resulted in the death of king Pareekshit. He decided to make a pilgrimage to Venketachaleshwar so that he became liberated from his sin.

1.2.6     Krshna Teertha

Sutji narrated a tale to all the assembled sages–During ancient times, a brahmin named Ramkrishna did an austere penance at Venketachal mountain. He remained immobile during the entire course of his penance resulting into the development of mole hills all over his body.Indra was scarred by Ramkrishna’s penance and caused a heavy downpour for a week. All the mole hills were washed away from Ramkrishna’s body.Lord Srinivas became pleased and appeared before him. He blessed Ramkrishna by saying–‘This holy place, where you have performed a great penance will be named after you as Krishna teerth. Anybody who makes a pilgrimage to this place will be liberated from all the sins.’

 

Eulogizing Lord Venketashwar, Sutji says—

 

‘A man, who has the good fortune of seeing the divine appearance of Lord Srinivas even for a moment, attains salvation.

1.2.7     Some Other Places of Pilgrimage on Venketachal Mountain

All the sages then requested Sutji to tell about some other places of pilgrimage situated on Venketachal mountain.

 

Sutji replied—There are about one hundred and eight holy places situated on Venketachal mountain. Among all these holy places, six are considered to be capable of bestowing salvation—Swami pushkarini, Akash ganga, Papvinashan, Panduteerth, Kumar dharika teerth and Tumbu teerth.

1.2.8     Anjana’s Penance at Akash-Ganga Teertha

Describing how Vayudeva had once assured Anjana that he would take birth as her son, Sutji told the sages—Anjana, being issue less even after a long married life, decided to do penance in order to beget a son. Sage Matang advised her to go to Akashganga teerth where her wishes would get fulfilled. Sage Matang also described the geographical location– ‘At a distance of ten yojans towards south is situated Dhanachal mountain, which is believed to be the abode of Lord Nrisimha. Brahma teerth lies in its vicinity. At a distance of ten yojans south of Brahma teerth, flows river ‘Suvarnamukhari’. Venkentachal mountain is situated to the north of this river and the holiest place called Swamipushkarni is situated among its numerous peaks. You should visit that place and take a holy dip in its water. After that you should seek the blessings of Lord Varahaswami and Lord Venketeshwar. You should then go towards north of Swami teerth and you would reach Akashganga.’

 

Acting as per Matang’s instructions, Anjana went to Akashganga teerth and did her penance. Finally Lord Vayudeva appeared before her and promised to incarnate as Hanuman.

1.2.9     Lord Vishnu Advises Lord Brahma to go to Purushottam Kshetra

The Sages asked—‘O revered sage! We would like to know more about Purushottam Kshetra, where there is a majestic wooden idol of Lord Vishnu.’

 

Sage Jaimini replied–The sacrosanct place of Purushottam Kshetra is graced by the presence of Lord Jagannath. During ancient times, Lord Varah had rescued Prithvi from the clutches of Hiranyaksha–the mighty demon who had abducted her to Rasatala. After Prithvi had been established in its original position, Lord Brahma commenced his creations. Lord Brahma wondered about the means by which human beings could get liberated from three major types of sorrow—Adhyatmic (spiritual), Adhidaivik (deities wrath), Adhibhantik (related with this world). He sought the help of Lord Vishnu who eulogized the greatness of Purushottam Kshetra and advised him to go there. Lord Vishnu said– ‘Purushottam Kshetra is situated at the sea-shore, to the south of river Mahanadi. This sacroscant place of mine does not get affected by deluge. I dwell at this holiest place as ‘Lord Purushottam’. There is a holy pond called Rohin in the vicinity. Anybody who takes a holy dip in that pond gets absolved of all his sins. O Brahma! You must pay a visit to Purushottam kshetra where spending a day bestows virtues greater than all the austerities combined together.’

This way,Lord Brahma went to Purushottam kshetra as per the instructions of Lord Vishnu.

1.2.10  Markandeya Eulogizes Vishnu

Lord Brahma soon after reaching Purushottam kshetra sat down and started meditating. He was so engrossed in his meditation that he remained in that state for a very long time. This resulted into total chaos as Yamaraj found that his power of causing death had no effect on people living in Purushottam kshetra. Worried as he was, Yamaraj rushed towards Neelachal mountain and sought Lord Vishnu’s intervention in the matter.

 

Lord Vishnu smiled and signaled goddess Laxmi to say something. Goddess Laxmi said–‘O Suryanandan! Anybody residing at this holy place is freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death after becoming absolved of all his sins. This is the reason why you are experiencing this unusual problem. The whole world except this holy place will come into your jurisdiction.’

 

Yamaraj was amazed by this revelation so he asked Laxmi–‘I would like to know why such a privilege is being given to this place?’

 

Laxmi replied–‘O Ravinandan! At the time of deluge when the whole world was submerged in the water sage Markandeya was struggling to find a secure place for his survival. Although he was blessed with an unusually long life of seven kalpas but still he needed a place to live in. He started swimming and finally managed to reach Purushottam kshetra, which had remained unscathed by the turbulence of the deluge. There he saw a divine tree called ‘Akshay Vat’. Markandeya continued to swim along the coast wondering how that place had managed to remain unaffected by deluge when the whole world had been submerged. Suddenly he heard a voice, which appeared to be coming from the direction of the Akshay Vat–‘O Markandeya! Don’t worry! Take my refuge and you shall be protected.’

 

Markandeya was very surprised and looked all around. He kept on swimming and saw Lord Vishnu, who was engrossed in his yoga nidra in ksheer sagar. I (Laxmi) was also present there. Markandeya eulogized Vishnu in the following way–‘Salutations to the supreme lord- the source of all creations! O Jagannath! Protect me from getting drowned.’

 

Lord Vishnu opened his eyes and found Markandeya gasping for breath. On realizing the gravity of the situation he said–‘Raise your head and look at the top of this Kalpa Vat. You would find an infant sleeping on a leaf of the Kalpa Vat. The infant is none other than Kaal himself. You should enter inside his (Kaal’s) body through his opened mouth and live peacefully as there is no other place for you to live in.’

 

Markandeya entered into Kaal’s body as per the instructions given by Lord Vishnu and was amazed by the expanse of his belly, which appeared like a bottomless pit. He also saw all the fourteen Bhuvans existing within Kaal’s belly including all the creatures-deities, sages, siddhas, gandharvas, etc. Markandeya wandered all over the place and after getting tired came out through Kaal’s opened mouth. He found Lord Vishnu was still present there accompanied by his consort-Laxmi. Markandeya made salutations to both of them and narrated his experiences he had inside Kaal’s belly.Lord Vishnu blessed him and made a revelation–‘ The place you had visited few moments ago is beyond the limits of creation or deluge. The name of this holiest place is Purushottam kshetra and it is my permanent abode for I do not leave it even for a moment.’Markandeya was very impressed and requested Lord Vishnu to allow him to live there. Lord Vishnu replied–‘ O Brahmarishi! I shall remain at Purushottam-kshetra till the end of this kalpa. I shall also create a sacrosanct place, which would enable you to become immortal.’

 

Sage Markandeya then dug up a reservoir with the help of Vishnu’s chakra. He did an austere penance to please lord Maheshwar as the result of which he was indeed blessed with immortality. In course of time, this reservoir became famous as ‘Markandeya kund’.

1.2.11  Holy Places in the vicinity of Purushottam-Kshetra

Dwelling in length upon the majesty of Purushottam kshetra, goddess Laxmi said–Purushottam kshetra resembles a conch in shape and is graced by the presence of lord Shiva. Towards its north is situated a temple of lord Neelkanth. A famous shiva linga named Kapal mochan is also situated in the vicinity. One who makes a pilgrimage to Kapalmochan becomes liberated from gravest of sins. A temple of goddess Vimla devi is also situated nearby.

 

Purushottam kshetra is considered to be supreme among all the places of pilgrimage and for this very reason it is aptly named ‘Teerth Raj’. A divine pond called Rohin kund is also situated nearby. Anybody who takes a holy dip there is freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death. It is believed that the increased level of water at the time of deluge ultimately recedes and disappears into this pond.

 

Goddess Laxmi said–‘ O Dhanraj! This holy place is beyond your jurisdiction because people living there never experience death. It is well protected by eight goddesses from all the eight directions. The names of these eight goddesses are Mangla, Lamba, Kaalratri, Marichika, Vimla, Sarvamangla, Ardhashini and Chandrupa. How can lord Rudra be absent when Rudrani has manifested herself in eight forms, so, he has manifested himself in eight different forms as well- Kapalmochan, Kshetrapal, Yameshwar, Markandeyeshwar, Ishan, Bilveshwar, Neelkanth, and Vateshwar.While describing the majesty of Purushottam kshetra, goddess Laxmi revealed to lord Brahma–‘ In the coming satya yuga there would be a king named Indradyumna and would be famous for his unflinching devotion in lord Vishnu. Being pleased by the king’s devotion, lord Vishnu would ultimately manifest himself from a wooden structure to bless him. Vishwakarma would then carve out four idols (Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra) from the wooden block all of which would be installed by none other than you (Brahma).’

 

Once, while sage Jaimini was describing the greatness of Purushottam kshetra to the assembled sages, all of them curiously asked him–

 

‘ Where is Purushottam kshetra situated ?

Jaimini replied –‘ Utkal is situated at the eastern coast of Bharatvarsha. At the time of deluge, when everything gets submerged in water Utkal remains unaffected and it is the very place from where the knowledge of the Vedas spread in all directions. The residents of Utkal are not only learned but also very prosperous. There is not a single person in this land who is not a devotee of lord Vishnu. All the people belonging to the four prominent castes (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) diligently follow their respective dharma. This holy place never experiences natural calamities of any kind.’

 

Sage Jaimini then went on to narrate the tale of king Indradyumna to all the assembled sages –

 

‘In satya yuga there lived a noble and virtuous king named Indradyumna, who ruled over the province of Malva. He was a great devotee of lord Vishnu. One day, while worshipping in a temple, he asked the priest-I have a wish, which still remains unfulfilled. I have a deep desire of seeing lord Jagannath with my mortal eyes. Is there any means with the help of which I can get my wish fulfilled?

 

The royal priest had no answer to the king’s query so he kept quiet.Suddenly, he saw a group of pilgrims coming towards the temple. He thought that perhaps one of them might be having an answer to the king’s query. When the pilgrims arrived at the temple, the royal priest posed the same question to them. One of the pilgrims answered–‘ There is a place called Odhra, where is situated a grand temple of lord Jagannath. This sacrosanct place is also famously known as Purushottam kshetra and is situated at the foothills of the Neelachal mountain. There is a holy pond called Rohin situated nearby. At the eastern bank of this pond is situated a majestic temple of lord Vasudev. The idol of lord Vasudev is made of ‘Indraneel’ diamond. To the west of this temple lies ‘Shabardeep’ hermitage, from where starts a path leading to Jagannath temple.’

 

Having said this, the pilgrim disappeared from everybody’s sight. Not only Indradyumna but all the pilgrims were equally amazed by his sudden disappearance. Indradyumna was convinced that lord Jagannath had himself come there in the guise of a pilgrim. Now, his desire of visiting Purushottam kshetra became even more intense. Indradyumna instructed his priest to find out the exact location of Purushottam kshetra by sending somebody over there. Later on, the priest went home and sought the help of Vidyapati-his younger brother in this regard. Vidyapati readily agreed to help his brother and one fine day he proceeded on his journey with a select group of his trusted friends.

 

After a long and arduous journey all of them reached ‘Ekamravan’ forest, situated at the foothills of Neelachal mountain. The thought of being so near their destination made everybody extremely excited. But, despite their best of efforts they could not find Shabardeep ashram. Being tired, all of them decided to take rest for a while and then recommence their efforts to find out the location of Shabardeep hermitage. Finding a huge tree, all of them took rest under the shade of that tree. Suddenly, they heard a heavenly voice, which appeared to be coming from the western direction. They followed the voice and reached Shabardeep ashram in a short time. There they saw a large gathering of devotees. One of the devotees, whose name was Vishvavasu, curiously asked Vidyapati–‘It is not easy to reach this place. From where are you coming and where do you intend to go? You must be tired–wait, till I return with some refreshment for all of you.’

 

Vidyapati was not in a mood to waste his time, as he was aware that Indradyumna was eagerly waiting for him to return. He told Vishvavasu– I have a difficult mission to accomplish so, I am not in a position to waste my time. I am the younger brother of the royal priest of king Indradyumna. The king has vowed not to have a single morsel of food till he makes a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. He has sent me with a specific purpose of finding the exact location of Purushottam kshetra and the easiest route leading to it. So, help me reach the temple of lord Jagannath as soon as possible.’

1.2.12  Vidyapati Eulogizes Lord NeelMadhava

Vishvavasu told Vidyapati–‘ I have heard this prophesy of Indradyumna’s possible arrival at Purushottam kshetra in the near future. Not only that, I have also heard that Indradyumna would become so impressed with Purushottam kshetra that he would settle down there for good after renouncing everything.’

 

Vishvavasu then requested Vidyapati to follow him and started negotiating the steep heights of Neelachal mountain. Vidyapati followed him through the curvy and arduous paths of the mountain. Having walked for sometime, Vishvavasu pointed towards a pond and said–This pond is famously known as Rohin kund. The kalpa vat that you see towards the east of this pond is considered to be so sacrosanct that a sinner becomes liberated of all his sins once he comes under its shade. Lord Jagannath’s temple is situated between Rohin kund and the kalpa vat. Go ahead and have a darshan of lord Jagannath for whom you have undertaken such an arduous travel.

 

Vidyapati’s joys knew no bounds as he had been waiting for this moment for a long time. First he purified himself by taking a holy dip in Rohin kund and then went inside the temple to worship lord Jagannath. He worshipped lord Jagannath by chanting the sacred pranav mantra.After the worship was over, Vishvavasu requested Vidyapatito visit his place which was nearby. Vidyapati agreed and accompanied Vishvavasu to his place. Vidyapati was given a royal treat by his host, which made him wonder as to how could Vishvavasu arrange all the luxurious things at such a remote place. He could not control himself and asked Vishvavasu– Even a king would have found it difficult to treat his guest as lavishly like you! I am amazed how you could make arrangements for all these things at a remote and secluded place like this! How do you manage this?

 

Vishvavasu replied– It is not as difficult as you believe. Since Purushottam kshetra is a sacrosanct place and it is frequently visited by the deities who make divine offerings to lord Jagannath. I collect the residuals of whatever is offered to Jagannath from the temple and bring it home. So, I really don’t have to make any special efforts to accumulate divine food stuffs. On account of eating these divine food stuffs, not only we have been blessed by eternal youth but also we are never troubled by old age.Vidyapati was very impressed and requested Vishvavasu to become his friend. He also reminded Vishvavasu that he wanted to return as soon as possible so that the king could go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. But, Vishvavasu made a shocking disclosure to Vidyapati and said– King Indradyumna will never be able to have a divine glimpse of lord Jagannath as the lord is soon going to disappear. But, don’t disclose this fact to the king otherwise he would get disheartened and abandon his plan of making a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. Finally, when the king in his utter frustration would try to end his life after not being able to have a divine glimpse of Neelmadhav, the most gracious lord will appear in his dream and instruct him to get constructed four wooden idols of Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra.

 

Having accomplished his mission, Vidyapati proceeded on his return journey and once again he visited Purushottam kshetra, which fell on the way. He picked up a garland, which had been offered to Neelmadhav by some deity.Finally, when he reached Malwa he found king Indradyumna eagerly waiting for him. After presenting the garland to the king, he narrated his experiences he had at Purushottam kshetra–‘ O king! Lord Jagannath’s idol is made of Neelmani diamond and is very ancient. Even the deities have deep regards and undiluted reverence for lord Jagannath and are frequent visitors to Purushottam Kshetra. The garland, which I have given you, was in fact had been offered to Lord Jagannath by the deities- these flowers do not wither and have fragrance lasting for eternity. Purushottam kshetra remains untouched by old age, sorrow or disease and gives salvation to anybody, who goes on a pilgrimage over there.’

1.2.13  Indrayumna Leaves for Purushottam-Kshetra

Indradyumna had been waiting for this moment for a long time- the moment when he would get a chance to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. Revealing his great plan to Vidyapati, he said–‘ Now, the time has finally come for me to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. I also intend to develop that holy place as a prominent place of pilgrimage. I would shift my subject to that holy place and perform one hundred Ashwamedha yagyas once I reach there. I also intend to devote rest of my life in the worship of Lord Jagannath.’

 

While the conversation was going on, the ever wandering sage-Narad, arrived there and informed Indradyumna how pleased were the deities after learning of his holy intention of developing Purushottam kshetra into a major place of pilgrimage. Narad also dwelt on length on the virtues of Jagannath’s worship. Indradyumna, thinking that Narad might prove to be of great help during the course of pilgrimage because of his vast travelling experience, requested him to accompany him to Purushottam kshetra. Narad readily agreed to accompany the king and said–‘ O king! I shall reveal to you the importance of all the holy places that we come across in the course of our pilgrimage.’

 

Finally, king Indradyumna left for Purushottam kshetra followed by a large procession, that consisted of his subject, all the ministers and army officers. The entourage touched the bank of river Mahanadi by evening. Deciding to take rest and spend the night there, king Indradyumna first took his bath and then worshipped Lord Jagannath. After the king had taken his bath, all the rest of the people also took their bath and then everybody sat down to have their dinner. After the meal was over, while Indradyumna was busy discussing with his ministers on the future course of action, somebody came with the news that the king of Utkal had arrived. Indradyumna ordered the messenger to bring the esteemed guest with all the honour and respect. The king of Utkal arrived and broke a disturbing news– ‘ Indradyumna, I am afraid your intention of having a divine glimpse of Lord Jagannath is not going to fructify as lord Neelmadhav has presently concealed himself beneath a huge heap of sand caused by a ferocious sandstorm. The fallout of this inauspicious incident has been extremely adverse on my kingdom– as my people are experiencing acute famine.

 

Indradyumna was shocked, especially the thought of not getting a chance to have a divine glimpse of lord Neelmadhav made him dejected- he saw all his efforts going in vain. But, Narad consoled him by saying –‘ Don’t worry! Lord Neelmadhav is extremely merciful and he will certainly give you an opportunity to have his divine glimpse.’

1.2.14  Indrayumna Reaches Ekamrachhetra

Continuing with the tale of Indradyumna, sage Jaimini told all the sages–‘ Next morning, Indradyumna and his entourage crossed Mahanadi on boats and reached Ekamrachhetra where they worshipped lord Purushottam. After that they worshipped on their onwards journey and reached Kotishwar Mahalaya where they worshipped lord Tribhuneshwar with appropriate rituals. Lord Tribhuneshwar appeared after becoming pleased and blessed Indradyumna that his wish of seeing lord Jagannath was soon going to be fulfilled. Lord Tribhuneshwar then instructed Narad–‘ O great soul! After reaching Purushottam kshetra, help Indradyumna perform one hundred yagyas as per the instructions given by lord Brahma. I along with goddess Durga, dwell at the entrance of conch shaped Purushottam kshetra. Although, presently lord Jagannath has concealed himself beneath a heap of sand yet very soon he is going to manifest himself. Indradyumna should get constructed a magnificent temple of lord Jagannath at the same place, where once existed his idol and presently which is hidden beneath the heap of sand. Later on, Vishwakarma would then carve out four idols from a single piece of wood, which would subsequently be installed by Lord Brahma himself. Finally, Indradyumna’s wish of seeing lord Jagannath would get fulfilled.

 

Narad assured lord Tribhuneshwar that all his instructions would be followed in letter and spirit. The procession then left for the place indicated by Lord Tribhuneshwar.

1.2.15  Indrayumna Eulogizes Lord NeelMadhava

After reaching the temple of Neelkanth-Mahadev, all of them worshipped Mahadev and Durga. They then visited the temple of lord Nrisimha, situated under a sandalwood tree at the foothills of Neelachal mountain.King Indradyumna was anxiously waiting for the moment he would have a divine glimpse of lord Jagannath. He requested Narad to take him to the place where Jagannath had hidden himself beneath the heap of sand. Narad took him near a Banyan tree and said–‘ Look at this huge Banyan tree that is two yojans in height and whose trunk is spread in the area of one yojan. To the north of this Banyan tree and to the north of Nrisimha temple lies the place where lord Neelmadhav used to have his dwelling sometime ago but who has presently concealed himself. Now, the time is not very far when you would see lord Jagannath with your mortal eyes.’

 

Indradyumna bowed in reverence to the place where lord Jagannath was supposed to re-manifest himself in the near future. He eulogized the lord as if he were already present there and this was true as Jagannath’s idol was indeed present there albeit hidden beneath heaps of sand. He prayed–‘ O lord! You are the one in whom every living creature ultimately takes refuge. My only wish is to be able to see your idol, which is presently hidden beneath heaps of sand.’Hardly had Indradyumna finished his prayer when he heard a heavenly voice–‘O king! Do not worry! The day is not far when you would see me with your mortal eyes. You just need to follow Narad’s instructions and your wish will be fulfilled.

1.2.16  Narad Installs the Idol of NriSimha

Narad told Indradyumna–‘ Now, we should install an idol of lord Nrisimha near Neelkanth’s temple for this is the very place where you will be performing one thousand Ashwamedh Yagyas in the days to come. So, your first priority should be to get constructed a magnificent temple of lord Nrisimha. I plan to stay here for five more days as Vishwakarma will be needing my help in carving out the idol of lord Nrisihma.’

 

Leaving Narad alone near the Neelkanth temple, Indradyumna went near the sandalwood tree, which was at a little distance from the temple, and was surprised to find Sughat- Vishwakarma’s son waiting for him. He requested Sughat to construct a grand temple with its main entrance facing west. Sughat constructed the temple within four days. On the fifth day, Narad arrived there with an idol of lord Nrisimha, which had been carved out by Vishwakarma. An auspicious day was chosen for installing the idol. After the idol had been installed, every body including king Indradyumna, Narad as well as the people accompanying the procession worshipped Lord Narsimha.

1.2.17  Indrayumna Performs Ashvamedhya Yagyas

Sages, who had been listening to the tale narrated by Jaimini with rapt attention till then asked–‘ What did Indradyumna next do after the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed?’

 

Sage Jaimini replied–‘ After the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed, Indradyumna began making preparations for Ashwamedha yagya. He sent invitations to all the deities, learned brahmins and sages. When everybody arrived, he made a special request to Indra to remain present at the oblation site till the completion of one thousand Ashwamedha yagyas.Indra assured Indradyumna of his full cooperation and advised him to go ahead with his plan of accomplishing one thousand Ashwamedha yagyas. Finally, Indradyumna performed the first yagya under the supervision of learned priests. This way, he was able to successfully accomplish nine hundred and ninety nine yagyas without any problem. Finally, when the last Ashwamedha yagya was being performed, Indradyumna had a divine glimpse of Lord Vishnu while he was engrossed in his meditation. Indradyumna narrated his experience to Narad to which he got a reply that it was a good omen, which proved that the king was going to see Lord Jagannath with his mortal eyes.

1.2.18  Jaganath Idol is Carved Out

After the rituals of final yagya ended, Narad advised Indradyumna to perform the rituals of ‘Purnahuti’ to mark the end of Yagya ceremony. Narad then went on to say–‘ A tree is considered to be the partial incarnation (Ansha avatar) of Lord Vishnu for each of his hair that falls on the earth gets transformed into a tree.’ Narad, then pointing towards a tree told Indradyumna– ‘ The almighty Lord has manifested himself in the form of this tree. Now, you should make preparations to get this tree installed on the great altar inside the temple.’

 

The tree to which Narad had pointed was unique in the sense that it had only four branches on it. Indradyumna, following the instructions ordered his men to uproot the said tree and then install it on the ‘Mahavedi’ inside the temple. But, at the same time he was wondering as to who would carve out the four idols of Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra. Suddenly, a heavenly voice was heard–‘ Lord Vishnu would manifest himself on the sacred altar on his own. An old carpenter, who is standing among you, should be sent inside the temple premise. The main door of the temple should then be shut and nobody should try to enter the temple till the idols are ready. One more thing to be kept in mind is that all of you should keep on beating drums so that nobody hears the sound emanating from the carving of the idols. Anybody, who hears this sound, is doomed to become deaf. Similarly, anybody who tries to see the act of idols being made shall loose his power of sight.’

 

Indradyumna made elaborate arrangements as per the instructions given by the heavenly voice. The old carpenter was sent inside and the main door of the temple shut. On the fifteenth day, Lord Jagannath manifested himself along with Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra. Once again heavenly voice was heard which said–‘ O king! Get all the four idols coloured on the basis of the complexion of the respective deities. The colour of Jagannath’s idol should be dark blue similar to that of dark clouds. Similarly, the idol of Balbhadra should be coloured in white just like his fair complexion. The colour of goddess Subhadra’s idol should be reddish just like the rising Sun. Sudarshan chakra should be painted deep red. Either the descendants of Vishvavasu or your royal priest are entitled to participate in the consecration ceremony of the idols in future events.’

 

Indradyumna, once again following the instructions, got the idols coloured in the way specified by the heavenly voice. After that, all the four idols were adorned with beautiful apparels and ornaments. Now, they really looked divine in their new looks. Looking at the divine idols of Jagannath, Indradyumna went into trance. Seeing his condition, Narad advised not to waste time and seek any boon from lord Jagannath because the sole purpose for which Jagannath had manifested himself was to bless him and to fulfill his wish. Indradyumna immediately realized what Narad meant to say. He eulogized lord Jagannath in the following way–‘ O Jagannath! Help me out from the sorrows of this world. I don’t aspire for anything else.’

 

Subsequently, Narad and the whole entourage, which had come along with king Indradyumna worshipped lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra. Lord Jagannath was worshipped amidst the chanting of dwadashakshar mantra while Jagannath was worshipped with Purush sukta. Similarly, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra were worshipped amidst the chanting of Devisutra and vedic verses respectively. Finally, donations were made to the brahmins and everybody was sent off with respect.

1.2.19  Consecration of the Idols

King Indradyumna was anxious to get performed the rituals of consecration as soon as possible, so he asked Narad–‘ I am not aware of the proper rituals that are employed in the consecration of an idol. I need your help in this regard.’Narad then made a list of articles required for the consecration of idols and instructed Indradyumna to make arrangements for all those items. He also instructed the king to get constructed a grand palace for Lord Brahma, who was supposed to arrive shortly to perform the consecration ceremony. Narad said–‘ Get constructed three chariots for all the three deities. The chariot meant for lord Jagannath should have a mast on its top with the figure of Garuda on it. Similarly, Balbhadra’s chariot should have a mast with a plough drawn on it whereas Subhadra’s chariot should have a mast with a beautiful lotus drawn on it. The number of horses pulling the chariots of Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra should be Sixteen, fourteen and twelve respectively.’

 

It did not take much time to construct the three chariots as per the instructions given by Narad. Very soon lord Brahma arrived there, accompanied by all the deities, to perform the consecration of the four idols. On seeing Lord Brahma, Indradyumna’s joys knew no bounds and he paid his obeisance to the creator. Lord Brahma said–‘ See how fortunate you are. All the deities and sages have come here to help you in your cause.’

 

Lord Brahma then performed the rituals of consecration on the auspicious day of ashtami of the bright half of the hindu month Vaishakh. The day was Thursday and the Nakshatra was Pushya.

1.2.20  Rath Yatra

Dwelling on length about the auspicious days on which Rath Yatra should be taken out, sage Jaimini told the assembled sages–‘ The combination of ‘Teej’ falling in the month of Vaishakh (bright half) and Rohini nakshatra, is considered to be extremely auspicious. A king should get constructed three chariots on the above mentioned day. The entire path along which the chariots as well as the procession is supposed to pass should be decorated with beautiful flowers and banners. On the second day of the bright half of the hindu month-Ashadh, all the three deities are worshipped and subsequently installed on their respective chariots, which are then pulled by the devotees. The procession then passes through the major routes of the city so that people can pay their obeisance. After reaching Gundicha Nagar, the procession should stay there for seven days on the bank of Bindu teerth. On the eighth day, all the chariots should begin their return journey. This famous Rath yatra lasts for nine days.

1.2.21  Some Prominent Places of Pilgrimage

Once, sage Shaunak asked Sutji about the means, which enabled human beings to attain salvation in Kaliyuga.

Sutji recounted a tale — Once, Kartikeya had posed the same question to kartikeya. Emphasizing on the importance of pilgrimages, Lord Shiva had told him that in kaliyuga anybody could attain salvation by going on pilgrimage to holy places. Giving names of some prominent holy places and rivers, Lord Shiva had told Kartikeya that some of them were capable of fulfilling any wish of a man, while some gave salvation. The names of some prominent rivers Lord Shiva had given were Ganga, Godavari, Narmada, Tapti, Yamuna, Kshipra, Gautami, Kaushiki, Kaveri, Tamraparni, Chandrabhaga, Sindhu, Gandaki, Sarswati, etc. According to Shiva all these rivers were not only capable of fulfilling any wish of a man but also giving salvation. Naming some prominent holy places, Lord Shiva had told Kartikeya that Ayodhya, Dwarka, Kashi, Mathura, Avanti, Kurukshetra, Ramteerth, Kanchi, Purushottam kshetra, Pushkar kshetra, Varah kshetra and Badrikashram were capable of liberating a man from the sorrows of this world.’

 

Lord Shiva had told Kartikeya– ‘Anybody who goes on a pilgrimage to Ayodhya becomes absolved of all his sins. Lord Hari dwells at Dwarka and does not abandon it even for a moment. A devotee, who takes a holy dip in river Gomti and then pays obeisance to lord Krishna, attains salvation even if he is ignorant. In the same manner, one who takes a bath in the holy Panchganga at Varanasi, becomes free from the cycles of birth and death. Anybody, who goes on a pilgrimage to Kashi and pays obeisance to lord Vishwanath, is freed from all the bondage of this world. Great importance has been attached to the performance of ‘tarpan’ at Vishramteerth and anybody who performs the rituals of tarpan with sesame seeds and water, his ancestors are freed from the tortures of the hell. Taking a holy dip in Kotiteerth at Avantipuri, in the hindu month of Vaishakh and worshipping lord Mahakaleshwar too absolves a man of all his sins. Donating gold either at Kurukshetra or Ramteerth, on a solar eclipse day, helps a man in attaining salvation. Going on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra and worshipping lord Jagannath after taking a holy dip in Markandeya sarovar, bestows incomparable virtues. Badrinath, the dwelling place of lord Vishnu, is considered to be the supreme place of pilgrimage and even its remembrance is capable of giving salvation. Virtues attained by the performance of various deeds (tapa, yoga, samadhi), appear to be insignificant as compared to virtues attained by going on a pilgrimage to Badrikashram.

1.2.22  The Majesty of Badri-Kshetra

Kartikeya asked lord Shiva–‘ How did this sacrosanct place originate? Who is the presiding deity of this place?’

Lord Shiva replied–‘ Badrikashram is an eternal city and lord Narayan is its presiding deity. A mere sight of Badrikashram is enough to free a man from all the bondage of life. There are numerous other holy places situated in the vicinity, Kedarnath being one of them.’

 

To emphasize the significance of Badrikashram, lord Shiva narrated the following tale to Kartikeya–‘ In Satyayuga, lord Vishnu existed in his physical form at Badrikashram for the benediction of human beings. But, in Tretayuga, only sages had the privilege of perceiving him with the help of yoga. At the advent of Dwapar things changed drastically and lord Vishnu just disappeared from Badrikashram. Deities became worried and asked lord Brahma about the reason that made lord Vishnu disappear. Even lord Brahma had no answer to this question. Thinking that lord Vishnu must have gone to Ksheer sagar-his eternal abode, all the deities led by Brahma went there. They eulogized Vishnu, who emerged from the Ksheer sagar. But, none of the deities except lord Brahma could see him. Lord Vishnu told Brahma that the main reason why he disappeared from Badrikashram was the flawed intelligence and arrogance of the deities. Brahma informed the deities whatever Vishnu had told him. All the deities were ashamed of themselves and returned to heaven with long faces. Feeling pity on the deities, I (Shiva) disguised myself as a sanyasi and carried lord Vishnu’s idol from Naradteerth to Badrikashram and installed it over there to uplift the sagging morale of the deities. This is how lord Vishnu once again graced Badrikashram with his presence. Even a grain of ‘prasad’ had at Badrikashram is enough to liberate a man from all his sins.

1.2.23  The Importance of Hindu Month, Kartik

Once, on being asked by some sages about the significance of the hindu month- Kartik, Sutji narrated the following tale– ‘Once, Narad had asked lord Brahma the same question. At that time Lord Brahma had revealed to Narad that ‘Kartik’ was supreme among all the months just as lord Vishnu is supreme among all the deities and Badrikashram is the crown of all the places of pilgrimage. According to Brahma all these three would have greater significance in Kaliyuga as compared to any other yuga. Kartik is very dear to Lord Vishnu and any virtuous deed done during this month never goes without being rewarded. One important characteristic of this month is that all the deities live in the proximity of human beings for the entire period of the month and accept everything that is offered to them. Penance done in this month or donations made during this month is believed to give Imperishable virtues. There is a special significance of donating food grains during this month. Similarly, worshipping Shaligram during this month also has great significance. Observing austerities during this month or worshipping lord Vishnu with appropriate rituals liberates one’s ancestors from the tortures of the hell. Worshipping lord Vishnu with petals of Lotus helps him to become absolved of all the sins committed in his previous many births. Worshipping lord Vishnu with tulsi leaves helps one in getting cured of incurable diseases.

1.2.24  The Importance of Holy Dips in Margashirsh

Continuing with the description of the significance of various months, Sutji said– ‘Once, while lord Vishnu was engrossed in his ‘yoganidra’ at Shwetdweepa, lord Brahma arrived there and requested him to describe the importance of Margashirsh. Lord Vishnu had told him that a devotee aspiring for unification with him, must observes austerities during this month. Describing the proper method of observing austerities lord Vishnu had said that one should get up early in the morning and after performing the ritualistic ‘achaman’, he should remember me by chanting my one thousand names. Next, he should take his bath according to the rituals mentioned in the scriptures, as follows– He should remove some soil from near the roots of tulsi plant and pluck few tulsi leaves. Holding both the things in his hand, he should chant either Gayatri mantra or the mantra, ‘om namo narayanay’, so that they become sanctified. While taking his bath, it is a must to eulogize Ganga in the following way- ‘ O Ganga! Though have manifested from Vishnu’s feet and hence called Vaishnavi. Myself being a devotee of lord Vishnu, you should protect me from all the possible sins I am likely to commit in my whole life.’ A devotee should say this prayer for seven times and take the same number of holy dips in the river. He should then put on tidy clothes and perform ‘tarpan’ in the names of all the deities sages as well as ancestors.

1.2.25  The Significance of Charity made in Vaishakh

Continuing with his tales, Sutji said–‘ Once, king Ambarish asked Narad about the reason why lord Vishnu had special liking for the hindu month-Vaishakh. Narad’s answer was that Vaishakh had been given special privilege by lord Brahma himself and is believed to fulfill all the wishes of a man. No other month is as dear to Lord Vishnu as Vaishakh. The sin raises its ugly head only till a devotee has bathed before sunrise in the month of Vaishakh but once he has taken his bath all his sins just disappears. This is also the period when all the deities are believed to dwell in all the rivers, ponds, lakes, apart from the holy rivers. Great significance has been attached to doing charitable deeds in this month, especially providing water to thirsty. Similarly, donating certain articles like umbrella, fans, shoes, all have their own importance. One who gets constructed an inn for the comfort of the travelers and provides water to them attains imperishable virtues. No charitable deed can ever match the virtue of donating food grains and one who accomplishes this great act can be aptly called a ‘Pita’ (Father).

1.2.26  Ayodhyapuri

Once, on being asked by sage Bhardwaj and few others about the grandeur of Ayodhya, Sutji replied–‘ Ayodhya, a sacrosanct city is based on the bank of river Saryu. It is the very city where the famous king Ikshavaku ruled once upon a time. The term Ayodhya means unconquerable and consists of three root letters: a- symbolizing Brahma, y-symbolizing Vishnu and dh-symbolizing Rudra. It is a place where lord Vishnu has his abode for eternity and does not leave it even for a moment. According to the scriptures Ayodhya is based on Sudarshan chakra. It is well expanded in the radius of one yojan. Its eastern boundary stretches up to one yojan from a place called ‘Sahastradhan’. Similarly, the western front stretches up to one yojan from a place called ‘Sama’, the southern up to one yojan from the bank of Saryu and its northern boundary up to one yojan starting from the bank of river Tamsa. In ancient times, a brahmin named Vishnu Sharma had performed an austere penance at Ayodhya. Lord Vishnu had appeared after becoming pleased by him and had created a holy place by digging up the earth with his Sudarshan chakra. Anybody, who takes a holy dip in Chakrateerth becomes absolved of all his sins.

1.3      Brahm Kand

This Chapter contains 8 sections.

1.3.1     Rameshwar Kshetra

Once, Shaunak and few other sages asked Sutji as to how could a man become free from the bondage of the world. They also inquired whether there was an existence of any such holy place capable of liberating a man from heinous of sin.

 

Sutji replied–‘ Ramteerth is supreme among all the places of pilgrimage. A mere sight of this holy place is enough to free a man from the bondage of this mortal world. Going on a pilgrimage to Rameshwar gives virtues similar to what is attained by performing all the yagyas. One, who takes a holy dip at Setu Rameshwar, attains to Vishnuloka. Merely by sleeping at the sea shore of Rameshwar a man gets absolved of heinous of sins like brahmhatya, etc. A man is blessed if his remains are consigned to the holy waters at Rameshwar after his death. Scriptures say that five types of sins are as grave as the sin of brahmahatya–

 

One, who criticizes sages

A selfish person who cooks food only for himself,

One who destroys well laid path making it difficult for people to tread upon,

One who accepts food from a ‘chandal’ and

One who sells food grains to a chandal. But, all these just disappears once the sinner reaches Rameshwar.

1.3.2     Setu Bandh

All the sages were curious to know about the holy places in the vicinity of Rameshwar. Sutji replied–Sri Ram replied went into exile accompanied by Sita, his consort and his younger brother, Laxman. Ravan, the demon king who ruled over Lanka deceitfully abducted Sita. Subsequently, Sri Ram befriended Sugreev and killed Bali, who harboured enemity against him. Sugreev sent monkeys in all directions to find out where Sita had been kept by Ravan. Later on Sri Ram reached Mahendra Parvat accompanied by Laxman, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Jambavan, Nal and may more brave warriors. They stayed for a brief period at Chakrateerth, where Vibhishan came to see Sri Ram. Eventually Vibhishan was nominated the king of all the demons by Sri Ram to the great displeasure of his brother Ravan.

 

Sri Ram and his army faced an uphill task of reaching Lanka for they had to cross the ocean, which lay as a great barrier between them and their destination. Samudra (ocean) revealed to Sri Ram that Nala had divine powers and whatever he would throw in the Ocean would not sink down but keep on floating. Nala tried to check the authenticity of Samudra’s statement by throwing a huge rock into the ocean, as he himself was not aware of his powers. To the sheer amazement of everybody present there the rock started floating on the surface of the ocean instead of sinking down. All the rest of the monkeys tried to emulate Nala’s feat by throwing huge rocks into the ocean and to their own surprise found that the rocks did not sink. This was how a bridge was built and across the ocean which made it possible for Sri Ram and his army to cross the ocean. Then length of Setu Rameshwar Bandh is hundred yojan and it is ten yojan broad. There are many holy places situated on the bridge prominent among which are Chakra-teerth, Paap-vinashan teerth, Sita -sarovar, Mangal- teerth, Amrit-watika, Brahma-kund, Hanumat- kund, Agastya-teerth, Ram-teerth, Laxman-teerth, Jaya-teerth, Laxmi-teerth, Agni-teerth, Shiv-teerth, Shankh-teerth, Yamuna-teerth, Ganga-teerth, Koti-teerth, Manas-teerth and Dhanushkoti teerth.

1.3.3     Rameshwar Linga

Describing how Sri Ram had installed Rameshwar linga, Sutji said–‘ After killing Ravan, Sri Ram enthroned Vibhishan as the king of Lanka. While returning to Ayodhya he made a brief stop at Gandhamadan mountain. Since the thought of having killed a brahmin (Ravan) kept on tormenting him, he decided to atone for his sins. So, he installed the idol of Rameshwar linga at Rameshwar setu. Rameshwar linga is so sacrosanct that all the holy places, sages and ancestors are believed to exist within the temple premise of Maheshwar linga. Being installed by Sri Ram himself, this particular linga has special significance attached to it. One who goes on a pilgrimage to this holy place is certain to attain salvation even if he were a ‘Mlechha’ (born in a low caste).

1.3.4     DharmaRanya Kshetra

Once, sage Vyas went to meet Yudhisthira, who requested him to describe the significance of Dharmaranya kshetra.

 

Sage Vyas replied– ‘ O king! Once, Dharmaraj-Yudhisthira did an austere penance to please lord Shiva. As usual, Indra became scarred because he thought that Dharmaraj was doing penance with the intention of acquiring Indraloka. He and other deities went to seek the help of lord Brahma, who did not have any clue. So, all of them went to Kailash mountain to seek Lord Shiva’s help. Since Shiva was aware of Dharma’s motive, he explained to the deities that there was nothing to worry about. But, Indra was not satisfied and the thought of loosing his kingdom continued to torment him.

 

Indra then instructed a beautiful Apsara named Vardhini to go to the place where Dharma was doing penance and disturb him by corrupting his thoughts. Vardhini went to the place where Dharma was engrossed in his penance and was successful in disturbing him. When Dharma opened his eyes he found a beautiful Apsara in front of him. Vardhini asked Dharma–‘ O Lord! What is the objective with which you are doing such an austere penance? Being an embodiment of virtuosity yourself, you prevail in the whole world. So, in a sense you already the lord of the world – what else do you need?’

 

Dharma told Vardhini that he was doing penance with the objective of having a divine glimpse of lord Shiva. Vardhini informed him that Indra was scarred of losing his kingdom and hence had sent her to disturb his penance. Dharma was pleased by her truthfulness and wanted to reward her for that. Vardhini expressed her desire of having her abode in Indraloka for eternity and also of having a place of pilgrimage named on her. Dharma blessed her after which she returned to Indraloka.

 

Dharma once again engrossed himself in penance. Ultimately, Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before him. ‘ Ask for any boon and it shall be bestowed to you’, said Lord Shiva. Dharmaraj replied -‘ O lord! I want this place to be named after me. I also request you to grace this place by your presence.’ Lord Shiva blessed him and fulfilled both his wishes. This was how Dharmakshetra got its name. Subsequently, lord Shiva appeared in the form of Dharmeshwar linga in accordance with the second wish of Dharmaraj. After his penance was over, Dharma also had created a holy reservoir over there which is believed to absolve a man of all his sins.

1.3.5     Loss of Moral Values in Kaliyuga

On being asked by Yudhisthira about the life-style of people in Kaliyuga, sage Vyas replied– ‘There will be a widespread prevalence of sinful deeds and lack of moral values in Kaliyuga. People would become untruthful and would become critical of revered sages. Moral values would decline to such an extent their minds would be preoccupied by nothing else but the thought of sex. In Kaliyuga women will feel most insecure and even her near and dear ones would become untrustworthy – men belonging to their own gotras would try to exploit her. Brahmins would be criticized because of their inappropriate conduct- They would become arrogant, would start trading their knowledge and would not follow the teachings of the Vedas.

 

Similarly, Kshatriyas would become cowards and a mere reference of battle would be enough to scare them. Majority of people would indulge in immoral deeds like gambling and consume variety of intoxication. They would always look out for an opportunity to grab other’s wealth by deceitful means. Married women would not fulfill their obligation towards their husbands. Cows would give lesser milk and trees would bear fewer fruits. Young girls would become pregnant at the raw age of eleven years. Brahmins, by their conduct would undermine the importance of holy places and would indulge in excessive eating and drinking. In Kaliyuga, people would not give any importance to caste system. Kings would loose their kingdoms and Mlechhas would become the rulers. Treachery, enemity and disrespect towards elders would become the norms of the day.

1.3.6     The Significance of ChaturMasya Vrata

Once, on being asked by Narad about the importance of Chaturmasya, lord Brahma said–‘ Chaturmasya is the period of four months during which lord Vishnu is believed to take rest in ksheer-sagar. So quite naturally, all the oceans, rivers and ponds are believed to attain divinity due to the presence of Lord Vishnu in ksheer-sagar during this period. This is the reason why great importance has been attached to taking holy bath during this period. A devotee, who observes austerities related with Lord Vishnu during these four months, becomes absolved of all his sins. All the deities are believed to dwell within Lord Vishnu during this period. Going on pilgrimage to holy places and taking holy dips in rivers bestow indescribable virtues.

 

A devotee must not forget to perform the rituals of ‘Tarpan’ after taking his daily bath. He should also observe abstinence and avoid indulging in sensual pleasures during this period of four months. There is special significance of making donations during this period, especially donating food-grains.

1.3.7     Importance of Abstinence during Chaturmas

Continuing with the importance of austerities observed during Chaturmas, Lord Brahma said–‘ Human-beings are bundle of desires and long for worldly things. So, there is a great importance of abstinence and forsaking things, which one is very fond of. One who relinquishes his most favourite thing during this period gets the same thing in abundance in the next world. A householder, who renounces his family life for the sake of his devotion during this period, becomes free from the tortures of recurring births and deaths. Similarly, relinquishing the use of chilly in one’s food during this period helps him to acquire great fortune. Renouncing silk cloths during this period gives imperishable joy. One should avoid wearing black cloths during this period. Combing and shaving are prohibited during this period.

 

A devotee should worship Lord Vishnu on the auspicious day of Kark sankranti. Normally black plums are offered to Lord Vishnu while worshipping. Celibacy is believed to be the best austerity and anybody who observes it during the period of chaturmas, never experiences sorrow in his life.

1.3.8     Rituals Pertaining to Shodash Upachar

Once, on being asked by Narad about the proper methods of performing Shodash upachar rituals, lord Brahma said –‘In normal circumstances, when lord Vishnu is worshipped by employing the rituals of Shodashopachar it is considered as ‘Tapa’. But, when the same rituals of shodashopachar are employed to worship lord Vishnu during chaturmas, it is considered as ‘Mahatapa’. In the same manner, all the austerities that are observed during Chaturmas attain greater importance.

 

Lord Brahma then went on to elucidate the proper method of performing the rituals of ‘Shodashopachar’–‘ “A particular ‘mahasukta’ of Yajurveda consisting of sixteen ‘ richas are chanted while worshipping Lord Vishnu. Similarly richas like ‘sahastra-sheersha purushah’ and fifteen others are considered to be most appropriate for the worship of almighty Vishnu. First of all, a devotee should perform the ritual of ‘nyas’ by mentally associating all the sixteen richas with different organs of the body as per the instructions given in the smritis. The same rituals of ‘nyas’ are then performed on the idol of lord Vishnu or Shaligram. After that an invocation is made to Lord Vishnu by chanting the first richa of Purush sukta–‘Sahashtra sheersha Purushah’ with a slight modification i.e. by adding ‘om’ in the beginning of the mantra. Similarly, Lord Vishnu and other ‘Parshads’ should be installed at the place of worship by chanting the second richa- ‘Purush evedam’. With the chanting of third richa, Lord Vishnu’s lotus feet are washed after which ‘ardhya’ is offered with the holy water collected from all the seven seas and other holy rivers. Subsequently, the ritual of ‘achaman’ is performed amidst the chanting of fifth richa. The ritual of ablution is then performed in which the idol of Lord Vishnu is bathed amidst the chanting of the sixth richa. The idol is adorned with beautiful apparels amidst the chanting of seventh richa.

 

Similarly, a sacred thread is offered to Lord Vishnu amidst the chanting of eighth richa while sandalwood paste is smeared on the idol amidst the chanting of ninth richa. Subsequently, amidst the chanting of tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteen richas, flowers, incense, lighted lamp and naivedya are offered to the deity respectively. Naivedya should consist of cereals. While performing ‘aarti’ the fourteenth richa should be chanted. A devotee should then circumambulate around the idol amidst the chanting of fifteenth richa. Imagining himself as an inseparable part of lord Vishnu, he should meditate amidst the chanting of the sixteenth richa.”

1.4      Kashi Khand

This Chapter contains 5 sections.

1.4.1     Vidhyachal Obstructs the Path of Surya

Once, sage Vyas narrated the following tale to all the assembled sages– ‘ Once, while wandering about, sage Narad arrived at Vindhyachal mountain. He was received with great honour and respect by Vindhyachal mountain. But, when the time arrived for Narad to take his leave, he took a deep sigh, which made Vindhyachal extremely perplexed and he asked Narad if anything was wrong. Narad replied–‘ Your rival-Meru mountain is superior to you in every respect and this is the fact I am lamenting about. My deep sigh is just the indication of my worried state of mind.’

 

Vindhyachal mountain was filled with inferiority complex and started waiting for an opportunity when he could prove his superiority to Meru mountain. He thought–‘ Perhaps Narad was right for even Lord Surya has great respect for Meru’s might and this is the reason why he circumambulates my adversary. If I am able to beat Meru in height then may be Lord Surya would start circumambulating me and this way I shall prove my superiority to Meru.’

 

Now, Vindhyachal started increasing his height and in a short time its peaks became invisible. The fallout of this amazing incident proved to be quite catastrophic for the world because even Lord Surya was left stranded at a particular point in the horizon. As a result, one part of the earth became too hot for any life to exist. Similarly, the other half of the earth became unbearably cold. The time became still and everything went haywire in the world.

 

All the deities became extremely worried and went to Lord Brahma to seek his help. Lord Brahma advised them to go to Kashi and seek help from sage Agastya. Deities were pleased at their good fortune of getting a chance to visit Kashi. Deities, after reaching Kashi paid a visit to ‘Manikarnika teerth’ and took their bath. Subsequently, they went to Vishwanath temple and worshipped Lord Vishwanath. At last, they reached the hermitage of Agastya where he was busy worshipping a self made Shivalinga. The entire hermitage was crowded with young pupils of Agastya. After the pleasantries having been exchanged, sage Agastaya asked the deities about the purpose of their visit.

1.4.2     Agastya orders the Vindhya Mountains to diminish their size

When Agastya learnt of the problem created by Vindhyachal, he agreed to help the deities despite fully aware of the fact that once he left Kashi it would not be possible for him to see his dearest Kashi once again at least in his present birth. Before leaving for Vindhyachal, he sought permission from Lord Bhairav. He then reached the place where Vindhyachal had obstructed the path of Surya. Lopamudra, his wife accompanied him.

 

When Vindhyachal found Agastya starring angrily at him he became scarred and immediately minimized his size. Sage Agastya was pleased that his objective had been achieved without making any effort but he knew quite well that once he left the place Vindhyachal would regain his mammoth size. So he decided to do something so that Vindhyachal could not obstruct the path of Surya. He worked out a plan according to which he instructed Vindhyachal to wait for him until he returned after accomplishing his pilgrimage. Vindhyachal agreed assuming that Agastya would return in a short time.

 

Vindhyachal thanked his good fortune of escaping Agastya’s wrath, which could otherwise have threatened his very existence. Sage Agastya then went away never to return and Vindhyachal kept on waiting for his arrival. This way, the path being cleared, Surya was once again able to move freely on its orbit without any problem and as a result normalcy returned to the world.

 

On the other hand, Agastya who was not at all happy leaving his dearest Kashi was desperate to get there back as soon as possible. But, he knew that his wish was going to remain unfulfilled. While wandering about, he reached Kolapur where he worshipped goddess Mahalaxmi. When goddess Mahalaxmi appeared, he asked her whether he would ever be able to reach Kashi in his present life. Goddess Mahalaxmi replied–‘ Your wishes will be fulfilled in the coming nineteenth dwapar, when you would incarnate as Vyas and would contribute a great deal in the propagation of the Vedas and Puranas. There is a sacrosanct place of Kartikeya not very far from here. Go there and pay your obeisance to Lord Kartikeya and he would unravel the mysterious aspects of Kashi to you.’

 

Sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra then went to the mountain called Sri Shail, where Kartikeya lived at that time.

1.4.3     Kashi – The Sacrosanct Place of Pilgrimage

After travelling for sometime, both of them arrived near Sri Shail mountain. Pointing his finger towards the mountain, Agastya told his wife–‘One, who has a good fortune of seeing the peaks of this mountain, never takes a second birth.’

 

Lopamudra replied in amazement–‘ If the sight of this mountain was capable of giving salvation then why do you long for Kashi?’

Sage Agastya then went on to clarify that there were many other holy places capable of giving salvation. Prayag is one such place. It is capable of bestowing all the four ‘Purusharth’ to man-Dharma, Arth, Kaam and Moksha. Apart from Prayag, there are many more holy places like Naimisharanya, Kurukshetra, Gangadwar, Avanti, Ayodhya, Mathura, Dwarka, Badrikashram, Purushottam kshetra which are capable of giving salvation to a man. But none of these places can match Kashi because Kashi is incomparable.

1.4.4     Lord Kartikeya Describes the Majesty of Kashi

Sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra circumambulated Sri Shail Mountain and climbed up Lohit mountain where they found Lord Kartikeya. Both of them eulogized kartikeya by singing vedic hymns in his praise. Lord kartikeya was extremely pleased by their devotion and said- O revered sage! You can understand Kashi’s importance by the fact that, though I am capable of reaching any place according to my wish but still, here I am doing this austere penance for the attainment of Kashi. I must confess that I have not been successful in my efforts till date. If any body thinks that he can attain to kashi just by performing austerities than he is totally wrong. Kashi can never be attained to until and unless one has the blessing of Lord mahadeva. And one who is fortunate enough to have reached Kashi must under no circumstances leave it till he is alive. O Agastya! You are blessed because you had the good fortune of residing at Kashi. Please allow me to touch your body, which has acquired holiness due to its proximity to Kashi.’ Having said this, Kartikeya touched different parts of agastya’s body as if he were touching the sacred soil of Kashi.

1.4.5     The Origin of Kashi

Sage Agastya asked Lord Kartikeya how the sacrosanct place, Kashi came into being. He also asked how Kashi became famous as a place capable of giving salvation to a man.

 

Lord Kartikeya revealed to Agastya that once Parvati had asked Lord Shiva the same question. Lord Shiva had told her–‘ At the time of deluge when every thing had submerged in the ocean and darkness prevailed everywhere, only BRAHM-the embodiment of truth existed at that time and nothing else. BRAHM, the absolute truth is indescribable and inexpressible. No name can be attributed to HIM. HE is the absolute truth, the ultimate knowledge, the infinite, the omnipresent and the eternal bliss. Though basically formless HE attained a form on account of HIS own wish. That form is none other than me. Later on I created Prakriti from my body. All three of us (Shiva, Parvati and Kashi) manifested simultaneously by the grace of ‘Aadi purush’ (The Almighty God).’

 

Continuing with the tale of Kashi’s greatness, Kartikeya told Agastya-‘ There is no holy place as dear to Lord Shiva as Kashi, which is not abandoned by him as well as his consort-Parvati even at the time of deluge. Lord Shiva named this holy place- Ananda van, because it gave immense joy to him. Subsequently, Lord Shiva and goddess Jagdamba put a glance on the left portion of their respective bodies as the result of which a divine entity manifested himself who was none other than Lord Vishnu and who was named Purushottam by Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva after blessing Purushottam went away. Later on, Lord Vishnu created a divine reservoir with his sudarshan chakra and filled it up with his sweat. He then engaged himself in an austere penance. Lord Shiva once again appeared along with Parvati and blessed Vishnu by saying-‘ This holy place will become famously known as Manikarnika because this is the very place where I had once lost my diamond ear-ring.’

 

Lord Vishnu made a request to Shiva –‘ May this place fulfill the wishes of those who seek salvation. Since it is blessed with your eternal presence hence its another name would be Kashi.’

 

Lord Shiva assured Vishnu by saying- ‘ This sacrosanct place is very dear to me and no event takes place here against my wish. Even if a person living here happens to be a sinner he has nothing to fear because I protect him. One who lives far from Kashi but remembers it with reverence becomes absolved of all his sins.’

 

There is a magnificent Shiva-linga at Kashi famously known as Kashi Vishwanath. Here is situated one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Just as the Sun is visible in the whole world despite its presence at a particular point in the horizon, in the same manner Kashi has its influence throughout the length and breadth of the world.

 

1.5      Avanti Kshetra Khand

This Chapter contains 9 sections.

1.5.1     Sanat Kumar Glorifies Mahakaal Teertha

Once, goddess Parvati requested Shiva to describe the significance of Mahakaal teerth. Lord Shiva replied-” Once, Sanatkumar- one of the manasputras of Lord Brahma had gone to his father’s abode, situated at a place near Meru mountain. Sage Vyas arrived there and asked him the same question. Sanatkumar had revealed to him that all kinds of sins loosed their evil influence at Mahakaal teerth. He had also told him that it was called ‘Peetha’ because Matrikas had their abode over there. Anybody, who is fortunate of leaving his mortal body at this holy-place, is freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death. This place is very dear to Lord Shiva and is also called by various other names like Ekamrak-van, Mahakaal-van and Vimukti-kshetra.

1.5.2     Kapal Mochan

Once, lord Shiva arrived at Mahakal forest with a skull in his hand. All the trees and vegetation were delighted to find him in their midst. They requested lord Shiva to remain their forever. Lord Shiva told them that it was not possible for him to stay there forever but on being requested once again agreed to stay there for at least a year. After one year, when the time for departure came he released the skull from his hand as a memorial.

 

When lord Brahma came to know of this incident, he instructed all the deities to reach Mahakal forest without wasting any time so that a grand yagya could be performed at the place where Shiva had left the skull. All the deities went to the said place and worshipped Lord Shiva by employing the rituals of Pashupat vrata, which Lord Brahma had taught them. Lord Shiva became pleased by their devotion and said–‘ Perhaps you all are not aware that there was a specific objective behind my act of releasing the skull from my hand. This act of mine was done to protect your lives but it seems you are unaware of its significance. In a way, all of you have already received my blessings in advance for your deep devotion. What else do you wish for ?’

 

Deities were amazed by Shiva’s statements and were wondering what Shiva was trying to convey. So, they requested Shiva to unravel the mystery so that they could understand what he meant to say. Lord Shiva told them-‘ The followers of Maya were planning to kill you while you were busy doing penance but no one of you was aware of their evil motive. I came to know about this in my deep state of meditation and dropped the skull from my hand. As soon as the skull touched the ground a thunderous sound was made as the result of which all the demons were killed instantaneously.’

 

All the deities thanked Lord Shiva for protecting their lives. In course of time this particular place became famous as Kapal mochan temple and is presently situated in Ujjain.

1.5.3     Various Names of Ujjainipuri

Once, sage Vyas requested Sanatkumar to reveal why Ujjainipuri was known by various names like Kanakshringa, Kushasthali Avanti and Padmavati.

 

Sanatkumar replied-‘ Once, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva arrived at Ujjainipuri in search of Lord Vishnu, who had disappeared from his abode. To their pleasant surprise they found Lord Vishnu staying there. Both of them requested Vishnu to allow them to stay at Ujjainipuri and said-‘ O Lord! When did you create such a magnificent place with golden mountain peaks? Allow us to live in this beautiful city for we can not live in your separation.’

 

Lord Vishnu requested Brahma to make his abode in the northern part of the city while Shiva was told to make southern part as his abode. Lord Vishnu then told them-‘ Since you have referred to this place as a city of golden mountain peaks therefore from now onwards it would become famous as ‘Kanchan Shringa’ (golden peaks)’.

 

Sanat kumar then went on to explain why Ujjainipuri was also called Kusha sthali-‘ Having created the world, Lord Brahma requested Lord Vishnu to nurture it. Lord Vishnu agreed on the condition that Lord Brahma provided him a pious place on the earth from where he could perform his duty. Brahma then picked up a handful of kusha grass and threw down on the earth. This way Lord Vishnu performed his duty as the nurturer of the world sitting on the seat of Kusha grass. This is the reason why this place came to be known as Kusha sthali.’

 

Sanat kumar then described how Ujjainipuri also came to be known as Avanti puri-‘ Once, after being defeated by the demons, deities fled to Meru mountain. Later on they went to Lord Brahma and sought his help. Lord Brahma took all the deities to Lord Vishnu. Hardly had they reached the abode of Vishnu and offered their obeisance, then they heard a heavenly voice- ‘There is a sacrosanct place called Kushasthali in the forest of Mahakal van. This holy place is graced by the presence of Lord Mahadeva. Go there and engage yourself in austerities and you will certainly become the master of the heaven once again.’

 

Subsequently, all the deities went to a place called Paishachmochan situated in Kushasthali and engaged themselves in various austerities. As prophesized by Vishnu, the deities indeed defeated the demons and became the ruler of heaven. The term ‘Avan’ means ‘the protector’ and since it had protected the deities hence it became famous as Avanti.

 

Sanat kumar also described how Kushasthali also came to be known as Ujjaini-‘ Once, a demon named Tripur did an austere penance to please Lord Brahma. When Brahma appeared he expressed his wish of becoming immortal. Lord Brahma fulfilled his wish as the result of which Tripur became arrogant and started tormenting the deities. The deities sought the help of Lord Shiva, who assured them that he would kill the demon. Subsequently, Lord Shiva did kill Tripur with his most lethal weapon ‘pashupat ashtra’ after a fierce battle. The place where this incident took place became famous as Ujjaini because of the fierce battle fought between Shiva and Tripur.

 

Continuing with the tale which described the reason why Ujjainipuri also came to be known as Padmavati, Sanatkumar told Vyas-‘ During the time of ocean churning ambrosia had also emerged from the ocean bed along with many other valuable things. The demons wanted to drink ambrosia so that they could become immortal but the deities were against this idea. Very soon, the arguments turned into a major dispute and both the sides started quarrelling. Narad requested Lord Vishnu to do something in this regard. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a beautiful lady and was successful in infatuating the demons. Finally, he started giving ambrosia to the deities who after drinking it became immortal. A demon named Rahu was sitting in the rows of the deities after changing his guise. Lord Vishnu was unable to recognize Rahu and gave some ambrosia to him mistaking him to be a deity. But, hardly had Rahu gulped down Ambrosia and before it could reach down his throat, Vishnu severed his head. Rahu’s head became immortal as the result of ambrosia’s influence. This incident had taken place at Mahakal forest. Later on all the deities distributed the whole wealth, which had emerged from the ocean among themselves. This is the reason why Ujjainipuri came to be known as Padmavati because Padma is another name of Goddess Laxmi.

1.5.4     The Grandeur of Avantipuri

Sanatkumar says-‘ Once, Parvati requested Lord Shiva to explain why Avantipuri was considered so holy by the devotees. Lord Shiva told her that it was so because there were numerous holy places situated over there. Lord Shiva had told her-‘ There are four holy rivers flowing through the different regions of Avantipuri- Kshipra, Divya-nav, Neelganga and Gandhavati. There are temples belonging to eighty four shiva lingas, eight Bhairavas, eleven Rudras, Twelve Aadityas, six Ganeshas and twenty four goddesses. Not only this there are also temples of Lord Vishnu and Brahma. Avantipuri is spread in the radius of one yojan. There are temples belonging to ten different incarnations of Lord Vishnu- Vasudev, Anant, Balaram, Janardan, Narayan, Hrishikesh, Varah, Dharnidhar, Vaman and Lord Vishnu himself taking rest on Sheshnag. Apart from these there are many other holy places situated at Avantipuri, which enhances its sanctity and holiness.

1.5.5     The Descent of Narmada

Explaining the reason why Narmada had to descend down to earth, Sutji narrated a tale to the assembled sages-‘ Once, sage markandeya was taking rest at the bank of river Narmada where Yudhisthira accompanied by Draupadi arrived there. Yudhishthira curiously asked Markandeya about the reason he had chosen the bank of Narmada as his resting place when there were so many other holy places of greater significance. Sage Markandeya recounted a tale, which said how some sages had requested king Pururva to bring down river Narmada to the earth so that the whole world becomes liberated from its sins. Describing the holiness of Narmada, sages had told Pururava- ‘ The holy Narmada is capable of liberating the whole world from its sin. So, you should find means so that Narmada descends down to earth.’ Later on, Pururva did an austere penance to please Shiva. When Lord Shiva appeared before him, Pururva expressed his wish. Shiva instructed Narmada to descend down to earth but she told him that she needed a base for that to happen. Lord Shiva then instructed Paryank- the son of Vindhyachal mountain to hold Narmada while she descended down to earth. Prayank agreed to do that and this was how Narmada came down on earth. Initially, the whole world was flooded with the waters of Narmada but at the request of the deities she minimized her size. Narmada blessed Pururva and instructed him to perform the rituals of tarpan in the name of his ancestors so that they became liberated from their sins. Pururva complied and thus by performing tarpan liberated all his ancestors.’

 

Having finished his tale, Markandeya told Yudhishthira that one who takes a holy dip in Narmada attains virtues similar to that of performing Ashwamedh yagya.

1.5.6     Narmada Marries Purukutsu

Markandeya says-‘ O Yudhishthir! King Purutkutsu was Samudra in his previous birth and had been cursed by Brahma. The descent of Narmada on earth made the deities extremely delighted and they requested Narmada to give them the privilege of experiencing her divine touch. But, Narmada refused to give them that privilege on the pretext that she was still unmarried and it would not be proper for her to do so. All the deities then requested her to become the consort of Purukutsu to which she agreed. This way, Narmada married Purutkusu. After getting married, Purutkutsu requested her to liberate his ancestors so that they could attain to heaven. Narmada readily obliged and this way Purutkutsu contributed in his ancestors’ departure to heaven.

1.5.7     Manu Receives a Boon from Narmada

Markandeya says-‘ Manu ruled over Ayodhya during Swayambhuva manvantar. One day, while he was going to sleep, he heard a peculiar sound, as if numerous small bells were ringing. He was perplexed and could not ascertain the cause of that sound so he asked sage Vashishth about this. Sage Vashishth made a revelation by which Manu was startled. Sage Vashishth told him- There is a holy place called Tripuri situated at the bank of river Narmada. The sound that you heard last night emanated from the small bells attached to number of aircraft kept on the roofs of the residences of such people who are virtuous. O king! Only Narmada is capable of giving salvation to lowly of sinners.’

 

Manu was highly impressed and decided to go to Tripuri along with his whole clan. All of them took holy dips in the Narmada and became liberated from all their sins. Manu performed a grand yagya at the bank of Narmada to which all the sages and hermits were invited. Narmada became pleased by his devotion and expressed her willingness to fulfill any wish that Manu desired.

Manu requested her help in bringing down Ganga and other holy rivers to earth. Narmada blessed him and said- In the first half of tretayuga, one of your descendants named Bhagirath would accomplish this great feat of bringing down holy Ganga to earth. In the second half of the same era other holy rivers like Kalindi, Saraswati, Sarayu, and Mahabhaga would also manifest themselves.

1.5.8     Jamadagni receives Kaamdhenu

Markandeya told Yudhishthir-‘ Sage Jamdagni was a great devotee of Shiva and he lived in Narmadapur. He spent his day chanting mantras in the praise of Lord Shiva. Once, he performed an austere penance, which lasted for a month. Ultimately, Shiva manifested himself from the Siddheshwar Linga and appeared before him. Lord Shiva asked Jamdagni to ask for any thing he wished for. Jamdagni expressed his desire to have Kaamdhenu so that he could perform his rituals and other religious obligations without any problem. Lord Shiva blessed Jamdagni and disappeared. The next moment, Jamdagni found Kaamdhenu standing in front of his hermitage.

 

Now, Jamdagni got everything that he wished for. This way, he was a happy and contented life until one fateful day when he was killed by a greedy king named Kartaveerya, who subsequently took Kaamdhenu along with him. While the greedy king was still on his way, Kaamdhenu cursed him that very soon not only he but the whole caste of Kshatriya would be liquidated by Parshuram- Jamdagni’s son, as punishment for having committed such a ghastly sin of killing an innocent sage. After cursing Kartaveerya, Kaamdhenu went to her original abode-the heaven. Later on, when Parshuram learnt of his father’s slaying, he liquidated Kartaveerya and the whole caste of Kshatriya as had been prophesized by Kaamdhenu.

1.5.9     Description of Hell

Yudhishthira requested Markandeya to describe what a sinner had to go through in Yamaloka and also that what kind of a person should be considered as the most ghastly sinner.

 

Markandeya replied- ‘ Donating food to needy people is an extremely virtuous deed and there is no virtuous deed greater than this. A person who donates cereals can be aptly called ‘Annadata’- one who provides food. One who has never donated cereals in his lifetime is definite to go to hell and has to tread an arduous path leading to it that is ridden with prickly thorns, pointed nails and other sharp objects. The entire path leading to hell is extremely dark and covered with large pits. The path is also covered with unbearably hot sand spilled all over the place. The sinner is forcibly taken by the Yamdoots despite their reluctance. The sinners repent for the sins they have committed but it is of no use to them, as they will have to reap the fruits of their evil deeds. They have to undergo all sorts of painful experience- they are forced to pass through fire and pits full of filth.

 

Those sinners who have atoned for their sins are not treated so harshly by the Yamdoots. After they appear before Yamraj, Chitragupta reminds them of all the sins they had committed. Thereafter, Yamraj orders his attendants to purify the sinners by putting them into the ocean of the Hell. There are Twenty-eight types of hells- Atighora, Raudra, Ghortama, Dukhjanani, Ghorrupa, Tarantara, Bhayanaka, Kaalratri, Ghatotkata, Chanda, Mahachanda, Chndakolahala, Prachanda, Varagnika, Jaghanya, Avaraloma, Bhishni, Nayika, Karala, Vikarala, Vajravinshti, Asta, Panchkona, Sudirgha, Parivartula, Saptabhauma, Ashtabhauma and Deerghamaya. Each of the latter hell is more horrific than the former.Sinners have to undergo unbearable pain and sufferings in the hell. They are tied up by very hot iron chains and hanged down from trees. Yamdoots attach hot and heavy iron balls to their feet and thrash them with hot iron rods. They are then put into wells of filth. The tongue of a liar is rooted out with brute force and a person, who shows disrespect to his elders and teachers, his mouth is filled with hot sands and boiling oil. Similarly immoral women, who do not fulfill their obligation towards their husbands, are thrown into a horrific hell named Lohakumbh. O Yudhishthir! A man’s life is too short and uncertain. One is not sure when his final call would come. So, one should try to lead a virtuous life to the best of his ability.’

1.6      Nagar Khand

This Chapter contains 2 sections.

1.6.1     Trishanku cursed by Vashishth’s Sons

Sutji once narrated the following tale to the assembled sages- In ancient times there lived a mighty king named Trishanku. He belonged to Suryavanshi dynasty. One day, he asked sage Vashishth whether there was any such Yagya by performing which, he would be entitled to go to heaven with his physical form. Sage Vashishth laughed at his naive query and told him that there was no such Yagya by performing which a man could go to the heaven with his mortal body. But, Trishanku was not satisfied by Vashishth’s answer and so he went to ask the same question to Vashishth’s sons who were one hundred in number. But even they corroborated their father’s statement. Trishanku got infuriated and threatened them that he would appoint somebody else as his royal priest to get the same yagya performed as they all lacked the required knowledge and competence. Vashishth’s sons also got angry and cursed him to become a ‘chandal’ (a low caste person). The next moment Trishanku indeed became a ‘chandal’ and was so much ashamed of himself that he decided to go to the forest after relinquishing his throne. He called his son -Harishchandra and narrated the whole tale of his misery. Before going to the forest he appointed Harishchandra as his successor.

 

One day, while wandering in the forest, Trishanku met sage Vishwamitra and narrated his miserable tale to him. Since Vishwamitra was a competitor of Vashishth, he took it as a golden opportunity to prove his superiority to his adversary. So, he assured Trishanku that he had the requisite power to send anybody to heaven and said- ‘ I shall help you perform a grand yagya, which would allow you to attain to the heaven with your mortal body. But before that you will have to go on a pilgrimage so that you become pure once again.’ Both Vishwamitra and Trishanku set out on a pilgrimage and reached ‘Arbudachal’ where they met sage Markandeya. After the pleasantries were over, Markandeya asked Vishwamitra about Trishanku, who was standing quietly. Vishwamitra revealed everything to Markandeya and said – I had taken a vow not to take rest until Trishanku got absolved of the evil influence of the curse given by Vashishth’s sons’. I have not achieved success in my objective till date, so I have decided to renounce the world.

 

Seeing Vishwamitra in such desperation, Markandeya consoled him and instructed him to go to Haatkeshwar where taking a holy dip in Patal Ganga would purify Trishanku and solve all his problems.Both Vishwamitra and Trishanku reached ‘Haatkeshwar’ and bathed in the holy Patal Ganga. To his pleasant surprise, Trishanku found that he had indeed become purified and all the lowly qualities had vanished within no time. Vishwamitra was delighted as the first condition for Trishanku’s departure to Heaven had been met. He decided to go to Brahma loka to request Lord Brahma to be present at the Yagya which was to be performed for the success of Trishanku’s departure to heaven. But before leaving, he instructed Trishanku to make all the necessary preparations before his return.

 

After reaching Brahma loka, Vishwamitra narrated the whole story to Lord Brahma and requested him to grace the Yagya by his presence. Lord Brahma told him that it was just impossible for any mortal to attain to heaven in his physical form but he added that if Trishanku performed the rituals diligently then he would certainly attain to heaven after his death. Vishwamitra did not like Brahma’s words and challenged him that no power on earth could stop him from sending Trishanku to Heaven.

1.6.2     Vishwamitra Commences New Creation

Vishwamitra then instructed Trishanku to make preparation for the Yagya. After everything was ready, Vishwamitra initiated Trishanku into the rituals of Yagya. Trishanku made offerings in the sacrificial fire at the instruction of Vishwamitra. The deities readily accepted all the offerings that were made to them. This way, the yagya continued for twelve long years but still there was no sign of Vishwamitra’s desire of sending Trishanku to heaven getting fulfilled. Trishanku became dejected and told him about his decision to renounce everything and spend rest of his life doing penance as chances of attaining to heaven appeared impossible. He was also sure that Vashishth’s sons would make fun of him if he went back to his kingdom without achieving his objective. But, Vishwamitra consoled him and said–‘ No power on earth can stop you from going to heaven with your physical form. You just need to have some patience and your desire will be certainly fulfilled.’

 

Vishwamitra decided to please Lord Shiva as he was convinced that Shiva was the only deity who could help him achieve his goal. He eulogized Shiva by singing hymns of praise in his name. At last, Shiva appeared before him and expressed his desire of fulfilling any wish of Vishwamitra. Vishwamitra requested Shiva to bestow on him the power of creation just like Brahma had. Lord Shiva blessed him and disappeared.Now, Vishwamitra was eager to test his powers so he began creating different things. He created Sun, Moon, Stars, oceans, Rivers, so on and so forth. In a short time the whole world was filled by his creations resulting into chaos all over. As the result of his creations, every natural thing became double in number- one that had already been created by Brahma and the second created by Vishwamitra. Now there existed two suns, two moons, so on and so forth. Vishwamitra’s amazing deeds had catastrophic fallout on the natural course of events.

 

Deities were scarred and rushed to seek the help of lord Brahma. They told Brahma that if Vishwamitra was not stopped the whole world was doomed to destruction. Lord Brahma appeared before Vishwamitra and ordered to stop doing creations. Vishwamitra told him that he was ready to do that if Brahma helped Trishanku attain to heaven with his mortal body. Seeing no other option, Brahma accepted Vishwamitra’s condition. This way, Vishwamitra was able to send Trishanku physically to heaven with the help of Lord Brahma.

1.7      Prabhas Khand

This Chapter contains 11 sections.

1.7.1     Description of Puranas and Up-puranas

Once, while describing the origin of puranas, Sutji told the sages who had assembled at Naimisharanya-‘ Lord Shiva had first revealed the contents of Skanda puran to Parvati at Kailash Mountain. Lord Brahma and few other deities were also present there at the time when Shiva was narrating the tale. Subsequently, Parvati narrated this tale to Skanda, Skanda to Nandi and Nandi to sages like Sanak, etc. and finally Sanak narrated it to Vyas. Now I am going to tell you the same tale which Vyas had narrated to me.’

 

Sutji began by saying-‘ During ancient times, Lord Brahma once did a very austere penance resulting into the manifestation of all the four Vedas. Later on, all the eighteen Puranas too appeared from his mouth. These eighteen Puranas were- Brahma Puran, Vishnu Puran, Shiva Puran, Bhagawat Puran, Bhavishya Puran, Narad Puran, Markandeya Puran, Agni Puran, Brahma vaivarta Puran, Linga Puran, Padma Puran, Varah Puran, Skanda Puran, Vaman Puran, Kurma Puran, Matsya Puran, Garuda Puran and Vayu Puran.Apart from these eighteen main Puranas, there are also similar number of secondary Puranas known as Up- Puranas. These Up- Puranas are – Sanat kumar, Narsimha, Skand, Shiva Dharma, Durvasa, Narad, Kapil, Manu, Ushana, Brahmand, Varun, Kalika, Maheshwar, Saamb, Saura, Parashar, Maarich and Bhargava.’

 

Sutji then went on to describe the other features of each Purana-‘ Brahma Puran contains ten thousand shlokas in it whereas Padma Puran contains fifty-five thousand shlokas. Similarly, there are twenty-three thousand shlokas in Vishnu Puran. Vayu Puran contains the tales related with Lord Shiva and it contains twenty-four thousand shlokas in it. Similarly the remaining Puranas like Bhagawat, Narad, Markandeya, Agni, Bhavishya, Brhmavaivarta, Linga, Varah, Skanda, Vaman, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda and Brahmanda Puran contain 18,000, 25,000, 9,000, 16,000, 14,500, 18,000, 11,000, 24,000, 81,100, 10,000, 17,000, 14,000, 18,000 and 12,200 shlokas respectively.’

 

Sutji told the sages that all the Up- Puranas owe their origin to the main Puranas which are eighteen in number. He also revealed to them that they could be categorized into three main types- Satvik, Rajas and Tamas. Satvik Puranas contain the tales of Lord Vishnu while Rajas Puranas contain the tales of Brahma and Tamas Purans contain the tales of Agni and Rudra. One of the chief characteristics of Puranas is that each of them is divided into five sections- ‘Sarg’ (Description of how creation began), ‘Pratisarga’, ‘Vansh’ (Description of prominent dynasties), ‘Manvantar’ and ‘Vanshanucharit’ (Tales related with the descendants of the famous sages).

1.7.2     Prabhas Teertha

On being asked by the sages about the prominent places of pilgrimage, Sutji named many holy places but according to him Prabhas Teerth was the crown of all the places of pilgrimage and was incomparable. Recounting a tale when Parvati had once asked Lord Shiva the same question, Sutji said-‘ At that time Shiva had told Parvati that Prabhas Kshetra was supreme among all the holy places and capable of liberating a man from all his sins. He had also told her that due to prevalence of sins in Kaliyuga people would not attain virtues despite going on pilgrimages. Shiva had also told her that this was the reason why he had created numerous holy places and kept them secret so the holiness of these places remained intact. I have manifested myself in the form of a divine Shiva linga at Prabhas kshetra. The whole universe has originated from it and merges into it ultimately at the time of deluge. The Shiva linga is called Somanath and very few people are aware of it’s existence. This Shivalinga continue to exist since it’s manifestation in a particular kalpa named Bhairav long ago. Unfortunately, people of kaliyaga under the influence of all pervading ignorance would fail to recognize the importance of holy places. Such people would try to demean the value of holy places and make fun of those people who go on pilgrimages. Being blinded by their superficial intelligence they would try to find faults with rituals and religion. Such would be the condition of the mortals in kaliyuga that they would criticize everything that is religious and spiritual in nature. How can one expect from these unfortunate people of kaliyuga to understand the significance of Prabhas kshetra and which is revered even by me ?’

 

Parvati, who had been listening to the tale with rapt attention, became even more curious to know about Prabhas kshetra. So she requested Lord Shiva to shed more light on the other important aspects of this sacrosanct place. Lord Shiva, continuing with his description of Prabhas kshetra, said- ‘ This sacrosanct place has temples of three deities on it’s three sides. To its east is situated a grand temple of Surya Narayan while there is a magnificent temple of Madhav to it’s west. In the same way there is a beautiful temple of goddess Bhavani to the north of Prabhas kshetra and towards it’s south lies the ocean. This holy place is spread in the area of five yojans and is divided in three major areas- Maheshwar, Vaishnav and Brahma. There are about one crore temples related with different deities in Vaishnav and Brahma kshetras while Maheshwar kshetra contains one and half crore temples. As the name implies, each area has been named after one God forming the Trinity. Anybody who has the good fortune of living in the central part of Prabhas kshetra becomes absolved of all his sins even if he has committed most abhorrent sins. The significance of this holy place can be understood by the fact that a man born there does not take a second birth and attains salvation. One whom scholars of the Vedas call ‘Kaalagni Rudra’ is famously known as Bhairav in Prabhas kshetra.

1.7.3     Somnath Linga

Emphasizing on the significance of Someshwar linga and its deep association with the Vedas, Lord Shiva told Parvati-‘ The divine Someshwar linga exists since time immemorial and will remain for eternity. This revelation descended on me while I was engrossed in a deep state of meditation. Someshwar Linga has deep association with the Vedas and it enhances their sanctity by establishing itself in each of them at different periods of time during the day. During morning time Someshwar linga establishes itself in the Rigveda, during noon in the Yajurveda, during afternoon in the Sama veda and during evening time it establishes itself in Atharva veda.

1.7.4     Different Names of Somnath

Parvati curiously asked Lord Shiva about the reason why Somnath was known by so many different names. Lord Shiva said- ‘ Since the time this divine linga first manifested itself very few blessed souls had the knowledge of it’s existence. Brahma has a life span of one kalpa at the end of which even he ceases to exist giving way to his successor- a new Brahma. In the same manner this divine Linga acquires a new name at the end of each kalpa. The present kalpa is seventh in order as six kalpas have already passed. The name of the present Brahma is Shatanand and this divine Linga is presently famous by the name of Somnath. Similarly it was famous as Mrityunjay during the time of Brahma named Virinchi. During second kalpa this Linga was famous as Kalagnirudra and the name of Brahma was Padmabhu. The third kalpa had Swayambhu as Brahma and the Linga was famous as Amritesh. The name of the fourth Brahma was Parmeshthi in fourth kalpa and the linga was famous as Annamay. In the same way the names of the fifth and sixth Brahma were Surajyeshtha and Hemagarbha respectively and the names of the Linga during their periods were Kritiwas and Bhairav Nath respectively.’

 

Lord Shiva also revealed to Parvati that the next kalpa- eighth in order would have Chaturmukh as Brahma and the divine Linga would be known as Pran Nath.Goddess Parvati then asked Shiva about the exact location of the Linga in Prabhas Kshetra. Lord Shiva told her that the sacrosanct place of Prabhas Kshetra was situated between the plains of two rivers Vajrini and Nyankumati. He also told her that the eternal Linga was not very far from the sea coast. Dwelling at length about the good fortunes of those living in Prabhas kshetra, Lord Shiva told her-‘ Anybody who does not abandon this holy place despite his hardships and troubles is certain to attain to my abode. One who has the good fortune of dying at Prabhas kshetra attains salvation. There will be prevalence of sins in Kaliyuga. As a result of this people would experience all sorts of hurdles and problems in their lives. To minimize their sorrows and to lessen their miseries, I have personally instructed Ganesh not to abandon this place even for a moment. Of all the Lingas present on the earth, Somnath is specially dear to me.’

1.7.5     Siddheshwar Linga and Siddha Linga

Describing the reason why this sacrosanct place was named Prabhas, Lord Shiva told Parvati- ‘ I dwell in the entire area stretching between the ocean in the south and river Kaureshwari. Being situated at the western coast, this entire area is radiated by Surya’s light for a relatively longer period of time and hence it has been named ‘Prabhas’ meaning luster. This is the reason why there is situated a grand temple of Lord Surya in Prabhas Kshetra. Not far from this Surya temple is situated a magnificent temple of Lord Siddheshwar, which was famously known as Jaigishavyeshwar in ancient times.’

 

Lord Shiva then went on to describe why Siddheshwar was called Jaigishavyeshwar during ancient times-‘ There lived a sage named Jaigishavya in previous kalpa. He used to daily worship a Shiva linga named Mahoday, which had manifested on its own. Keeping in view Shiva’s fondness for ashes, he used to smear it on his body hoping to please his deity. Not only this he even slept on ashes. He thus led an extremely austere life. At last he was able to please Lord Mahoday by his devotion. When Lord Mahoday appeared before him and expressed his willingness to fulfill anything he wished but Jaigishavya wanted nothing but total devotion in his deity (Mahoday). Lord Mahoday blessed him with immortality and said-‘ There would be nobody as powerful as you. Your feats achieved in spiritual things will be unmatched and you would become famous as ‘Yogacharya’ or teacher of Yoga. One who regularly worships this particular Linga which you have been worshipping with such deep devotion till now is certain to get absolved of all his sins.’ Having blessed Yaigishavya thus, Lord Mahoday disappeared from his sight. After this incident, Mahoday linga also came to be known as Yaigishavyeshwar. In course of time, when the Kaliyuga of that Kalpa arrived, some sages named ‘Balkhilyas’ had gone to the same place and worshipped Lord Mahoday. Similarly, many more sages went there and attained ‘siddhi’ or accomplishment. This is how this Linga came to be known as ‘Siddheshwar’ (the lord of all accomplishments). There are many holy places in the vicinity like Siddha linga, which was installed by lord Surya. Anybody who worships this linga on the auspicious day of trayodashi of the bright half of the hindu month Chaitra attains virtues similar to the accomplishment of ‘Pundareek Yagya’.

1.7.6     Chandra Deva Eulogizes Shiva

Parvati asked Lord Shiva about the reason Chandra deva had to install a Shiva linga at Prabhas Kshetra. Lord Shiva replied that Daksha had got married twenty seven of his daughters to Chandra Deva. Chandra Deva was very attached to Rohini, who was one of them and neglected others. When Daksha came to know about this he cursed Chandra Deva as the result of which he lost his luster and started waning day by day. The worried Chandra Deva did an austere penance for thousand of years to please Lord Shiva. At last Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before him. Subsequently, Chandra Deva got a divine Shiva linga installed by Brahma and worshipped it for thousand of years. Lord Shiva appeared once again and expressed his willingness to fulfill any wish Chandra Deva expressed. Chandra Deva requested Lord Shiva to dwell in the very Shiva Linga he had been worshipping till then. Lord Shiva revealed to him that there was no question of dwelling in the Shiva Linga as he had never abandoned it in the first place. Chandra Deva had regained his luster on account of his arduous penance. Lord Shiva blessed him and said- ‘ Since you have regained your luster (Prabha) by dint of your austere penance, this holy place will become famous as ‘Prabhas Kshetra’. This Linga would be named upon you and become famous as Somnath Linga.’

 

Having blessed Chandra Deva thus, Lord Shiva disappeared. Later on Chandra Deva instructed Vishwakarma to build a magnificent temple at the sight. He also built a city nearby so that all the priests who were supposed to supervise the rituals of worship could live there.

1.7.7     The Significance of Getting One’s Head Tonsured

Dwelling on length about the significance of getting one’s head tonsured at holy places, Lord Shiva told Parvati-‘ A man should get his head tonsured whenever he gets an opportunity to visit a holy place because hair are believed to contain all the sins he has committed. There is a holy place called Padma teerth, not far from Somnath temple. A devotee should first get his hair removed at Somnath teerth and then immerse them at Padma teerth. This way he becomes absolved of all his sins. Women should have a symbolical cut of their hair. It is necessary to perform the rituals of tarpan in the names of ancestors after the head tonsuring ceremony. According to the scriptures, an ocean is considered holy and nobody should its holy water in an impure state. While bathing a devotee should chant the following mantra-

 

‘Om namo Vishnu guptaaya Vishnu rupaaya namah;

Saannidhye bhava devesh saagare lavanaambhasi.’

 

There are about five crore Shivalingas submerged in the ocean near Somnath. There are also other holy places situated nearby like Agnikunda, Padma sarovar etc.

1.7.8     The Emergence of Sarasvati in Prabhas Kshetra

On being asked by Parvati about the emergence of river Saraswati at Prabhas Kshetra, Lord Shiva narrated the following tale to her-‘ The holy Sarswati flowing in Prabhas kshetra constitutes of five different streams- Harini, Vajrini, Nyanku, Kapila and Saraswati. Lord Vishnu once instructed Saraswati to carry ‘Badwanal’ (Submarine fire) and dump it in the ocean near Prabhas kshetra. After taking permission from Lord Brahma, her father Saraswati flew towards her destination. Ganga became sad at her departure so she asked her as to how could she have a glimpse of her now that she was going to such a distant place. Saraswati consoled Ganga by saying that she would be able to see her whenever she looked eastwards. The swift currents of Saraswati penetrated the earth and reached Patal Loka carrying Badwanal along with her.She continued to move beneath the ground towards her destination. As she reached Prabhas Kashetra, four learned sages, who were well versed in Vedas arrived there and invoked Saraswati to give them the privilege of separate bath by dividing herself in four different streams.

 

The names of these sages were Hiranya, Vajra, Nyanku and Kapil. While Saraswati was about to comply with their request, suddenly Samudra arrived there and he too expressed the same wish. Thus Saraswati divided herself into five different streams- Harini, Vajrini, Nyanku, Kapila and Saraswati. Eventually, when Saraswati reached near the ocean, Badwanal whom she was carrying was surprised to see the high tides rising in the ocean. He thought that the Samudra was frightened of his fury so he asked Saraswati- Why is the ocean scarred of me? Saraswati inflated his ego by saying that who would not be scarred of him. Badwanal was pleased and wanted to grant her a boon. Saraswati remembered Lord Vishnu, who instantly gave his divine appearance in her heart. She narrated the whole story and sought his advise. Lord Vishnu advised her to ask Badwanal to make his appearance small like the eye of a needle. Saraswati, following the advise of Lord Vishnu asked Badwanal to become small like a needle and keep sucking the ocean. Subsequently, Saraswati summoned Samudra and told him to accept Badwanal to which he agreed. This way Samudra devoured Badwanal, who continues to suck the water of the ocean even today as per the instructions given by Saraswati. It is believed that tides are nothing but the manifestation of Badwanal’s exhalations. This was how Saraswati emerged in Prabhas kshetra.

1.7.9     Prabhas – The Abode of Trinity Goddesses

Lord Shiva revealed to goddesses Parvati that Prabhas kshetra boasted of possessing many more Shiva lingas apart from the famous Somnath Shiva linga. He also gave names of some of the prominent Shiva lingas situated over there and said- ‘ To the North-East of Somnath temple is situated a grand temple of lord Sarveshvar Deva, who is also famously known as Siddheshwar. The reason behind this is that Shiva linga over there had been installed by the ‘siddhas’ (accomplished ones) in ancient times. People who are desirous of acquiring siddhis throng this holy place and engage themselves in austere penance. To the east of Siddheshwar temple is situated one more temple called Kapileshwar. It has been named after sage Kapil, who had installed the Shiva linga over there. A Shiva linga named Gandharveshwar is also situated nearby. This particular Shiva linga had been installed by a gandharva named Dhanvahan. To the east of Gandharveshwar temple is situated Vimaleshwar temple. It is believed that anybody suffering from tuberculosis gets cured after he worships in that temple. Dhandeshwar linga was installed by Kuber, who was bestowed with the lordship of wealth on account of his austere penance.’

 

Lord Shiva told Parvati that there were also temples of three goddesses in Prabhas Kshetra apart from Shiva temples. These three goddesses were Mangla, Vishalakshi and Chatwar representing the three types of power-will power, power of action and power of knowledge. Lord Shiva said-‘ The pilgrimage to Prabhas kshetra is believed to be incomplete until and unless these three goddesses have been worshipped. Goddess Mangla represents the power of lord Brahma (Brahma shakti) while goddess Vishalakshi that of lord Vishnu. Goddess Chatwar represents my power. Goddess Mangla holds the privilege of getting worshipped first. During ancient times Chandrama did an austere penance for thousand of years and all the deities including Lord Brahma had gone there to witness his amazing feat. At that time goddess Mangla had blessed them and this was how she got her name.’

 

Lord Shiva then went on to describe how goddess Vishalakshi got her name-‘ A fierce battle had taken place between the deities and demons during Chakshus manvantar. Lord Vishnu fought along with the deities and helped them in defeating the demons. Demons fled towards the south but were chased by the deities. Realizing that it was not easy to annihilate the demons, Lord Vishnu remembered goddess Mahamaya and sought her help. Mahamaya appeared instantly and looked at Lord Vishnu with her large eyes. This is how she got her name. In the present kalpa she is also known as Lalitoma. To the south of Vishalakshi temple is situated the temple of goddess Chatwarpriya. Goddess Chatwarpriya is the saviour of people living in that area. Anybody who worships her on the auspicious day of Mahanavami with appropriate rituals is blessed.

1.7.10  Dvarka Mahatmya – Sages Queries to Prahlad

Once, few sages asked Sutji about the means by which Lord Vishnu could be realized in kaliyuga- the era dominated by sin and decaying moral values.

 

Sutji started by describing how Lord Vishnu on seeing the prevalence of sin in Dwapar yuga had to take incarnation as Krishna to liberate the world from the sinners. He also described in detail all the incidents culminating into the killings of many cruel demons -Kaaliya serpent, Chanur, Shishupaal and ogress like Putna. He gave in depth description of the events leading to the war of Mahabharat and how the infighting among the mighty Yadavas led to their destruction. He told them how a fowler mistook Krishna’s feet to be a deer and killed him.

 

Sutji also told the assembled sages how the magnificent city of Dwarka had been submerged in the ocean ultimately. He revealed to them that the passing away of Krishna marked the advent of Kaliyuga and the situation became even worse. On finding how difficult it was to realize lord Vishnu in the Kaliyuga- the era dominated by sin, some prominent sages decided to seek Lord Brahma’s help in this regard. After reaching Brahma loka, they eulogized Brahma and received his blessings. Lord Brahma told them to go to Patal loka and meet Prahlad, the supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu who according to Lord Brahma was in a better position to help them.

 

All the sages went to Patal loka as per the instructions given by Lord Brahma. There they not only found Prahlad but also the most charitable king-Bali. After the pleasantries were exchanged, they came to the real issue and said-‘ We are very much distressed by the prevailing situation where it appears that the evil forces have overshadowed the virtuous ones. The ways shown by the Vedas are no longer in practice and the Brahmins are being tormented by the Shudras, who have become the rulers. We have come with a request and a desire to know whether there was any possibility of realizing Lord Vishnu in this dark era of ‘Kali’. If yes then where can we find Lord Vishnu?’

1.7.11  The Sanctity of Dvarkapuri

Prahlad, being an ardent devotee of Vishnu himself, understood quite well, the desperation with which a devotee seeks his Lord. So he told them-‘ By the grace of Almighty Vishnu, I am revealing to you the name of that sacred place which has remained a secret till now. Kushasthal Puri is a divine city situated on the western coast. Nearby is the place where river Gomti meets the ocean and at this convergent point is situated the sacrosanct city called Dwarawati Puri, where you can find Lord Vishnu in all his glory of sixteen kalas. Blessed be the Dwarka Puri, which The almighty Vishnu has chosen as his abode and where he dwells in his glorious Chaturbhuj form. This is the very place, which even liberates the most fallen sinner from all his sins. There is a famous temple of Lord Trivikram at the bank of river Gomti and not far from this temple is a divine pond. Anybody desirous of salvation must bathe in this pond for the fulfillment of his wish. It is believed that before leaving for heaven, Lord Krishna had transferred all his divine powers into the Trivikram idol. So, there is no place as holy as Dwarka and if you are desirous of having a divine glimpse of Lord Krishna then you must visit Dwarka.’

 

All the sages thanked Prahlad for sharing his secrets with them because nobody else except Prahlad was aware of the fact that Lord Vishnu had given Dwarka the privilege of being his abode. These revelations made them more curious about Dwarka, so they requested Prahlad to disclose how the holy Gomti descended down to Dwarka.

 

Prahlad began by describing the virtues of going on a pilgrimage to Dwarka-‘ The mere resolution of going on a pilgrimage to Dwarka is enough to liberate one’s ancestors from the tortures of the hells. Each step that a devotee takes towards Dwarka gives virtues similar to what is attained by performing Ashwamedh Yagya. One who encourages others to go on a pilgrimage to Dwarka certainly goes to Vishnu Dhaam.’

 

Prahlad then switched over to the second part of the sages’ question and said-‘ There is an interesting tale describing how sage Vashishth had brought down Gomti from the heaven to earth. At the time of deluge when the whole world had submerged in water, a lotus flower manifested from Lord Vishnu’s navel on which was seated Brahma. Lord Vishnu instructed him to perform his duty as a creator to which Brahma agreed. First of all Brahma created his ten manasputras (Sanak, Sanandan,etc.) and sought their help in increasing the population of the world by becoming householders. But, all of them were extremely virtuous and did not show any inclination towards getting married. Ultimately all of them went to the western coast and engaged themselves in austere penance. Their penance continued for a number of years after which ‘Sudarshan chakra’ appeared before them. As all of them looked up in bewilderment, they heard a heavenly voice -‘ O sons of Brahma! Very soon the almighty Vishnu is going to manifest himself. The ‘Chakra’ you are seeing is his. You all must perform the rituals of ‘ardhya’ in the name of Lord Vishnu to show your reverence towards him.’ All the Manasputras eulogized Sudarshan-Chakra with deep devotion. All of them wished that there were a holy river, with whose water they could perform the rituals of ardhya. But to their utter dismay there was no such holy river nearby. They then remembered Lord Brahma, who immediately understood what they desired. Lord Brahma instructed Ganga by saying-‘ Ganga! Go to the earth, where you would be known as Gomti. Sage Vashishth will lead you to your destination. Just follow him like a daughter follows her father.’

 

Finally, when sage Vashishth followed by Gomti reached their destination, all the Manasputras were delighted. They eulogized Ganga and expressed their gratitude to Vashishth for bringing Ganga on earth. All of them thanked Vashishth by saying-‘ Since you have brought Gomti on earth, you would be considered as her father.’ They offered ‘ardhya’ to Gomti and subsequently eulogized Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu appeared after being pleased and blessed them-‘ Your unflinching devotion in me has pleased me no bound. Since you did this penance with the objective of Moksha (salvation), this place would become famous as Moksha Dayak (giver of salvation). This sacrosanct place would also be called Chakra teerth because of Sudarshan chakra, who informed you all of my manifestation at Dwarka Puri. I assure you that I won’t abandon this sacrosanct place even for a moment.’

 

This way, all the Manasputras were finally successful in their objective of offering ardhya to Lord Vishnu with the holy water of Gomti. At last, Gomti having fulfilled her mission for which she had descended down to Earth merged with the ocean. Lord Vishnu disappeared from there and Manasputras continued to live there.

Vishnu Purana

This Purana has 6 Chapters (6 Parts) as follows:

Part 1: Describes the creation of the universe, birth of the gods and the demons, Pralaya, churning of the sea, tales of the devotee Dhruva; killing of Hiranyakashipu etc.

Part 2: Contains the description of Priyavrata’s sons and Bharat dynasty. It also has a geographical description of Jambu dweep, Bharat varsh, Shatdweep, Patal (the hades), the sun and the planets, chariot of the sun, origin of the Ganges etc.

Part 3: Contains a detailed description of Manavantaras, Kalpa, Veda Vyasa, religion and the caste system etc. It also has a description of the origin of Buddhism.

Part 4: Origin of Brahmanand Daksha etc. Birth of Pururava, marriage of Balarama with Revati. Birth of Ikshavaku. Kukutstha dynasty. Tale of Yuvanashva and Saubhari. Sarpvinasha mantra. A Narayana dynasty, Birth of Sagar. Ashwamedha by Sagar. Descendence of the Ganges through the penance of Bhagirath. Birth of Lord Rama. Yagya of Vishwamitra, birth of Sita, tales of Chandra dynasty. Abduction of Tara, Origin of Agnitrayo, birth of Dhanvantri and his clan. Wars with the demons, clan of Nahush, tale of Yayati, Yadu dynasty. Birth of Kartveerya Arjun.

Tales of Krishna’s birth, marriage of Krishna with Jambvanti and Satyabhama. Salvation of Shishupaal. Over population of Yaduvanshis. Birth of Karna and his find him by Adhirath. Janamejaya dynasty and origin of Bharat. Clans of Jahnu and Pandu. Clan of Parikshit and royal dynasties of the future. Future generation of Ikshvaku dynasty. Future generation of Brihad dynasty. Future generations of Pradyot dynasty. Kingdom of Nand. Advent of Kali Yuga and description of royal dynasties of Kali Yuga.

Part 5: Marriage of Vasudev and Devaki. Incarnation of Lord Vishnu to kill Kansa. Arrival of Yagmaya in Yashoda womb and of the Lord in Devaki’s womb. Birth of Lord Krishna, carrying of Krishna to Gokul, Dialogue of Mahamaya with Kansa, acquiring of defensive stance by Kansa. Releasing of Vasudeva and Devaki. Killing of Putana. Killing of Shakat. Naming of Krishna and Balarama. Humiliation of Kaliya. Killing of Dhenukasura, killing of Pralamb, description of festival devoted to Indra, worshipping of Govardhana, arrival of Indra, killing of Arishtakasura. Arrival of Narad in Kansa’s court. Killing of Keshi, Arrival of Akrur in Vrindavana. Arrival of Lord Krishna in Mathura. Lord Krishna’s mercy on Kubja. Arrival of Lord Krishna in amphi-theatre and killing of Kansa.

Coronation of Ugrasena, bringing of Sudharma in Mathura, defeat of Jarasandha, birth of Kalayavan, killing of Kalayavan. Vrindavan tour by Balarama, getting of Varuni by Balarama. Abduction of Rukmani, abduction of Pradyumna, getting of Pradyumna by Mayavati, killing of Shambar by Pradyumna, killing of Rukmi by Balarama, getting of sixteen thousand queens by Lord Krishna. Abduction of Parijat. Fight with Indra. Begging for pardon by Indra. Migration to Dwarka, bow battle. Telling of dream by Usha, abduction of Aniruddha, fight with Lord Shiva, amputation of Bana by Lord Krishna, killing of Kashiraj Paundraka. Putting of Varanasi on flames. Abduction of Lakshmana. Presentation of Samb before the sages as an expecting mother. Origin of pestle. Destruction of Yadu vansha. Ascendence of Lord Krishna to heaven, beginning of Kali Yuga, preaching of Arjun by Vyasa. Coronation of Parikshit.

Part 6: Description of religion in Kali Yuga. Description of the importance of Kali Yuga, Shudra and women folk by Vyasa. Description of Kalpa. Description of a day of Brahma. Position of Brahma in Pralaya. Natural disasters. Different kinds of sorrows. Torturing in hell. Awakening of Brahma, Preaching of Yoga. Tale of Keshidhwaja. Killing of the religion and the cow. Holding of counsel by Khandikya. Self knoweldge. Ridicules of body-spiritualism. Querries of Yoga. Brahmagyana (Vedas). Concepts of tangible-intangible appearances of God. Salvation of Khandikya and Keshidhwaja. Excellence of Vishnu Purana. Virtues of Lord Vishnu’s names. Results of hearing Lord’s name.

1.1      Chapter 1 (Part 1)

This chapter contains 16 sections.


NAARAAYANAM NAMASKRUTAM NARAM CHAIV NAROTTAMAM |
DEVEEM SARASWATEEM VYAASAM TATO JAYMUDEERYET ||

1.1.1     Introduction and Origin of the Universe from Basic Elements

Sage Parashar, the exponent of Vishnu Puraan had narrated this grand treatise to Maitreya. Sage Suta inherited it from Maitreya. The text presented here is a narration by Suta.

Suta says- One day, Maitreya greeted sage Parashar and said- “Gurudev, you have studied all the scriptures. I wish to hear the tale of universe’s origin from you. How will be the ages that are about to come? What is the reason for this whole creation? Who created it? Where did it exist? Whom did it mingle with? And with whom it will annihilate eventually? Apart from these, I also wish to hear about the expansion of fathomless sky, origin of ocean and mountains, origin of earth, expansion of the Sun, division of time in four ages, Pralay, religion, sages, kings, creation of Vedas by Vedavyasa, origin of four classes in our society and system of four Ashrams in one’s life.”

Parashar says: “Maitreya, you have reminded me today of the description once made by my grandfather Vashishta. When I learnt that the monster, which was created by Vishwamitra, had devoured my father, I grew quite angry and started a Yagya to destroy all the monsters. The Yagya destroyed such a large number of monsters that the whole race began to face the fear of extinction. My grandfather consoled me that too much anger was not good and that all the monsters could not be blamed for my father’s death. According to my grandfather my father was sure to face such a fate ultimately. Only the fools get angry. A human being bears the fruit of his deeds himself. O son! Anger destroys all the virtues of penance. Hence, ascetics always shun anger. Hence, stop this Yagya for forgiving has always been the virtue of ascetics.”

Thus, convinced by my grandfather, I stopped the Yagya. At the same time, Brahma’s son, Pulastya, arrived there and said- “Despite your anger, you forgave the monsters when convinced by your grandfather Vashishta. You will learn all the scriptures and give commentaries on Puraans. You will also learn the real appearance of the gods”. Vashishta also endorsed these words of Pulastya.

“O Maitreya! Now I narrate to you, the whole contents of Puraan. This whole universe has originated from Lord Vishnu. It is existing within Him and will annihilate in Him eventually.”

Parashar says: “The trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh is also known as the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. All of them salve the devotees. All of them have equal importance. Still, preserver who fosters and protects all the living beings is far more significant. I salute to Him and narrate the tale that was once narrated by Brahma to all the Dakshas. Dakshas had narrated this tale to the King Purukutsa at the bank of the river Narmada. In turn, Purukutsa narrated this tale to Saraswat who narrated it to me.”

“O Brahmin! Lord is eternal and endless. Hence, origin of universe, its existence and annihilation are also unending processes. During the period of Pralay, the nature exists in a state of equilibrium. It is during this period that Purush (masculine forces of creation) separates from Prakriti (feminine forces of creation) and Kaalroop of Vishnu (eternal, unending form of the Lord) is manifested. Lord Vishnu is beyond all the bonding of life like birth, growth, intelligence, senses, decay and death. Purush is the first appearance of Lord Vishnu. Prakriti is the manifestation of His action while Kaalroop is His supreme appearance.”

During the Pralay, there was neither day nor night, neither earth nor sky and neither darkness nor light. At the subsidence of Pralay, with His desire, the Lord entered the Purush who is beyond all bonding. His entry stimulated the process of creation. First of all, a single great element originated encompassing all the other lesser elements. From this great element originated three egos- Sattvic, Rajas and Taamas. Taamas created sky with sound as the main virtue. The sky then created the sense of touch. Touch produced air. Hence, touch is the main feature of air; no one can see air but only have an experience of it through touch. Air created Roop, which gave birth to fire with Roop as its main virtue. Fire gave birth to taste. Taste produced water with taste as its main property. From water originated scent, which produced earth with scent as the main feature. These senses have no special expression.

The ego Rajas produced ten sense organs whereas the ruling deities of these organs were produced by Sattvic ego. Thus, the ten deities who rule ten sense organs and the eleventh entity mind are Sattvic in nature. Skin, eyes, ears, nose and tongue- these five organs aid the mind in its function. O Maitreya! Anus, sex organs, hands, legs and speech organs are the five organs that help in action. Works like excretion, reproduction, movement and speech are carried out with the help of these five organs. All the five elements like sky, air, fire, water and earth are full of emotions. Hence, they are also known to have a special significance.

All these elements have different and distinct powers. Without their combination, creation of the universe was impossible. In the beginning, all these elements were present in the great ball or egg, which came into existence because of the inspiration of the Lord. As this ball increased in size, it formed the base as Prakriti in which, Lord Vishnu Himself entered as Hiranyagarbh.

When the universe comes into existence, Lord Vishnu fosters it till the end of Kalpa. At the end of Kalpa, Lord Vishnu Himself devours the entire physical elements in Rudra appearance. During that time, He inundates the entire universe and Himself sleeps on Shesha in Ksheersagar. When he awakes once again, He begins the process of creation in the appearance of Brahma.

1.1.2     Birth of Brahma and Salvation of Earth by Varaha

At the end of the previous Kalpa, when Brahma awakened from his long slumber, he saw all the worlds devoid of everything. With a desire to salve the earth from the depth of unfathomable inundation, He took the appearance of Varaha. Entering the water, He reached Paataaloka. Seeing Him, the earth prayed Him with respect. Hearing her prayers, the Lord roared with frightening sound. Then, He supported the earth on His great incisors and came out from the abysmal depth. When He was rising, His breath produced big sprays of water, which drenched sinless sages while the force of His breath frightened common creatures. When the Lord emerged from the water, all the sages prayed Him with reverence and respect.

Very soon, the Lord installed the earth at a position far above the unending stretches of water. Then, Lord carved out the topographical features on earth and divided it into many divisions and created all the four worlds. Then Lord Vishnu in the guise of Brahma carried out the process of creation.

As soon as Brahma thought of creation, Tamoguni (full of darkness) creatures were the first to appear. Absence of knowledge and presence of evils like attachment, anger etc. were the main virtues of these creatures. These creatures include lower organisms, trees, shrubs, creepers, plants and grasses. These together constitute the primitive world. Their creation was followed by the appearance of animals and birds, which are devoid of wisdom and are full of ego. They are also unaware of the nature of another organism of their status.

Still unsatisfied with His creation, Lord created the next world, which has a somewhat elevated position. The living beings that were produced in this world had internal and external knowledge, power of reflection and loved physical comforts. Though this creation pleased the Lord, He was still unsatisfied. So He created the next world, which was situated at a somewhat lower position. This new world had excess of all the three virtues. Human beings populate this world and because of excess of vices, they are full of sorrow but at the same time, highly active, have internal and external knowledge and are able to attain their goals.

The first few creations had resulted from the thoughts of the Lord. For the creation of the gods, the demons, Pitraganas, human beings and water, the Lord decided to use His body. Thus, the demons were the first to emerge from His thighs. The Lord then shed His dark body, which formed the night. Then from His mouth, the Lord produced the gods who had Sattvic virtues. The Lord then shed His Sattvic body as well from which the day came into being. It is also the reason why the gods acquire more strength in day and the demons are stronger during nights. Then the Lord acquired yet another body and behaved like Pitraganas to produce Pitraganas before shedding that body too, which gave rise to the dusk- the twilight between the day and the night. Thereafter, the Lord acquired a new body with Rajas virtue from which the human beings were produced. When the Lord shed that Rajas body it formed dawn- the twilight between the night and the day. It also explains why the human beings are stronger at dawn and Pitraganas at dusk.

Then the Lord assumed yet another body with Rajas virtues and produced desire from it. The desire gave birth to lust. Staying in the darkness then, the Lord created the world, which is full of desire and lust. In that world, many ugly looking human beings, who had long beard and moustache appeared and ran towards Him. Among those who said, ‘Protect him’ came to be known as Raakshas (demons) and those who said, ‘We will eat him’ came to be known as Yakshas. Then the angry Lord produced aggressive carnivores. Thereafter, the singing Lord produced Gandharvas. Thus, by turns, the Lord produced birds, sheep, goat, cow, horse, elephant, donkey, deer, camel, pony from His age, chest, mouth, belly and feet respectively. From the innumerable body hair of the Lord, fruits, flowers and herbs were produced. From His east-facing head, Lord produced Gayatri mantra, Rigveda, and Yagyas. From His south-facing head, He produced Yajurveda. From west-facing head, He produced Samaveda and from His north-facing head, He produced Atharvaveda.

1.1.3     Divisions of Earth and Origin of Cereals

With the desire of creating the world, Brahma produced different kinds of human beings from his different organs. Thus, from his mouth, Brahmins appeared. Kshatriyas appeared from his chest, Vaishyas from his thighs and from his feet, Shudras appeared. Thus, physical body is the greatest means for human beings in order to achieve his goals. With time, the human beings lost their divine virtues and perfections. Jealousy, sorrow, decay and infighting began to rise among the people. In order to earn their livelihood and run their life peacefully, the human beings developed agriculture and other handicrafts.

“O sage! Paddy, barley, wheat, lesser cereals, sesame, millet, rice, peas, pulses, beans, rye, gram and hemp are common agricultural produce that have edible as well as medicinal values in the villages. These and other produce are also used as oblations in the Yagyas because all of them have produced as a result of Yagyas. Performing Yagyas daily is the most virtuous exercise that every human being should undertake. This destroys the sins committed by common people.”

1.1.4     Birth of Prajapatis and their Progeny

At one point, the process of creation got saturated and no increase took place in the number of living beings. Then, with a desire of continuing the creation, Lord created nine sages from His thought. Then he produced nine daughters and handed them over as the wives to those nine sages.

When initially produced sons of Brahma took to asceticism, He got very much infuriated. His anger was enough to burn all the three worlds. From this anger, Rudra originated who was shining like the Sun. Rudra had appeared in half-masculine and half-feminine form. Immediately after His appearance, Rudra separated His body into eleven male parts and eleven female parts.

Then Swayambhu Manu appeared from the body of Brahma. He agreed to follow Brahma’s dictate of continuing creation. He got a woman Shatrupa who had also appeared along with him. Together they begot two sons, Priyavrata and Utaanpaad and two daughters, Prasooti and Aakooti. These two daughters were married to Daksha and Prajapati respectively.

Prajapati and Aakooti gave birth to twins, Yagya and Dakshina. Yagya and Dakshina got married and produced twelve sons who later on came to be known as Yaam, the gods.

Daksha and Prasooti produced twenty-four daughters, thirteen of which were married to Dharma. The remaining eleven daughters were married to Bhrigu, Shiva, Marichi, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Atri, Vashishta, Agni and Pitars.

From his thirteen wives, Dharma produced Kama, Darpa, Niyam, Santosh, Lobha, Shrut, Dand, Naya, Vinay, Bodh, Vyavasaay, Kshema, Sukh and Yash. Kama got married to Rati and produced Harsh. Darpa married Hinsa and produced a son Anrit and a daughter Nikriti. Anrit and Nikriti got married and produced Bhaya and Narak and their wives Maya and Vedana. Maya produced Mrityu, the destroyer of all the creatures in the world. Vedana produced a son, Dukh. Mrityu produced Vyadhi, Jara, Shok, Trishna and Krodh. These are all the fierce appearances of Lord Vishnu and cause Pralay.

The omnipresent eternal God creates this world in the form of Manus, protects it and ultimately destroys it. There are four kinds of Pralay- Naimittik, Prakritik, Aatyantik and Nitya. Among them, Naimittik is Brahma Pralay during which God takes a nap. During Prakritik Pralay, the universe annihilates in nature. Annihilation of Yogi in the Supreme Being is Aatyantik Pralay and a decay of physical elements that continues day and night is Nitya Pralay.

1.1.5     Creation of Rudra and Omnipresence of Laxmi

In the beginning of Kalpa when Brahma was thinking about a son, who would be like him in virtues, a boy with reddish-blue body appeared in his lap. Brahma addressed the boy with names like Rudra, Bhava, Shiv, Ibhaan, Pashupati, Bheema, Ugra and Mahadev. Brahma also fixed Surya, water, earth, air, fire, sky, Dikshit (graduate scholar) Brahmin and the Moon His abode. Since then, all these things idolise Shiv. These eleven idols of Shiv have wives like Suvarchala, Usha, Vikeshi, Apara, Shiva, Swaha, Disha and Rohini. Shanaishchar, Shukra, Lohitaang, Manojav, Skand, Sarg, Santaan and Buddh are the sons of these idols respectively. Rudra Himself got Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati as His wife. Sati had committed self-immolation because of the disrespect that her father had shown for her husband. In her next birth, she had appeared as Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya and Maina. Parvati too got married to Shiv. Khyaati got married to Bhrigu and gave birth to two sons Dhata and Vidhaata and a daughter Lakshmi. Lakshmi then married Lord Vishnu.

Maitreya says – “O sage! It is heard that Lakshmi was produced from Ksheersagar during the churning of the sea but you say that Lakshmi was the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati. How is it possible?”

Parashar says- “O great Brahmin! Lakshmi who never separates from the Lord is Herself eternal like Him. But still, as you have expressed your doubt, I will narrate you the real story.”

The famous short-tempered sage Durvaasa is a partial incarnation of Shankar. One day, he was wandering on the earth when all of a sudden, he happened to see an extremely divine beauty. She was wearing a garland of beautiful flowers. The sage requested the beauty to give him that garland. She presented the garland respectfully to the sage. The sage adorned the garland on his head and began to wander again. Right at that moment, he saw Indra riding on Airaavat and going somewhere in the procession of the gods. Instinctively, sage Durvaasa put that garland around the neck of Indra but Indra removed it and put it on Airaavat’s head. Airaavat pulled the garland with his trunk and smashed it on the ground. This whole sequence of events infuriated Durvaasa who cursed Indra. “O Indra! You are so inebriated with your luxuries that you dared to insult my humble gift. Hence, all your splendour shall be destroyed. You will lose all your wealth.”

Indra at once descended from the elephant and began to request sage Durvaasa. Durvaasa said- “Indra! Forgiveness has no place in my personality. So, all your repenting is meaningless.” Saying this, sage Durvaasa departed from the scene and Indra to left for Amravati.

Very soon, the curse began to show its influence. With the loss of Indra’s luxuries, all the verdancy on the earth too began to wane. Hermits too began to give up Yagyas. All the human beings began to be guided by greed and gave up pious virtues. And at a place where pious virtues have no room, Lakshmi too doesn’t stay there.

She made her abode in the abysmal depth of the sea. Very soon, the demons launched an attack on the gods and drove them out of heaven. Indra along with other gods approached Brahma and told him the whole thing. Brahma suggested them to take refuge at Lord Vishnu. He assured them also that Lord Vishnu would definitely protect them. Brahma even accompanied the gods to Lord Vishnu. There, they together prayed Lord Vishnu and intimated Him about their ordeal.

Pleased by their prayers, Lord Vishnu appeared before them and said- “I will definitely help you regain your splendour. Presently, do what I say. You reconcile with the demons and convince them to carry out the churning of the sea. Then bring all kinds of herbs and put them in the sea. With the help of the demons and using Mandaraachal as churner and Vaasuki, the Naag as the rope to carry out the churning of the sea. Thus, you will recover ambrosia drinking which, all of you will become immortal and regain your strength.”

Following the advice of Lord Vishnu, the gods reconciled with the demons and convinced them to carry out the churning of the sea. They together procured all kinds of herbs and put them in the sea. Then they began the churning using Mandaraachal Mountain. As soon as the churning began, Mandaraachal began to sink. Lord Vishnu took incarnation of Kachchhap (the great tortoise) and bore the weight of the mighty mountain on His back. During the churning, Kamadhenu, the wishful cow was the first to emerge. It was presented to the sages as an aid for their Yagyas. It was followed by the damsel, Vaaruni, Kalpavriksha (the wishful tree) after which, beautiful elves appeared. The Moon followed the elves and was taken up by Shiva on His forehead. During the churning, huge quantity of poison had also emerged. It was drunk by Lord Shiva and some parts of it were taken up by the serpents. In the end, Dhanvantari himself emerged from the sea carrying the urn of ambrosia.

It was during the churning itself that Lakshmi appeared once again from the sea holding lotuses in her hands. All the sages prayed her. Then taking bath with divine water, goddess Lakshmi took her seat in the heart of Lord Vishnu.

When the demons saw that Lakshmi had chosen Lord Vishnu’s heart as her abode, they got perplexed. They at once snatched the urn from Dhanvantari and ran away. Then a row broke out among them over the drinking of ambrosia. Each of the demons wanted to drink ambrosia in maximum quantity. Meanwhile, Lord Vishnu also arrived there in the guise of an extremely pretty woman Mohini and took possession of the urn. Mohini had pleased the demons with her sweet smile while distributing ambrosia among the gods.

Thus, the gods came to drink ambrosia. When at last, the demons realised that they had been cheated they immediately attacked the gods. But since the gods had regained their strength, they soon defeated the demons without much ado. Afterwards, the gods prayed Lord Vishnu and returned to heaven to rule it. The world also regained its verdancy. After regaining his splendour, comforts and luxuries of the heaven, Indra prayed goddess Lakshmi with devotion and respect.

Pleased by the prayers of Indra, Lakshmi asked him to seek a boon. Indra said- “O goddess! If you are pleased with me, kindly bless me with a boon that first you will never desert this world and also that you will never desert those who worship you with this prayer.” Lakshmi granted these boons.

Thus, Lakshmi had appeared as the daughter of Bhrigu and his wife Khyaati. Then second time, she emerged from beneath the sea during its churning. Thus, whenever Lord Vishnu takes an incarnation, Lakshmi accompanies Him. When God appears in divine form, she too takes a divine appearance. When God appears in human form, Lakshmi appears in human form also.

1.1.6     Dhruv’s Migration to the Forest

Swayambhu Manu had two sons- Priyavrata and Utaanpaad. Utaanpaad had two wives- Suruchi and Suniti. Suruchi had a son- Uttam while Suniti had also a son- Dhruv. King Utaanpaad loved Suruchi more than he loved Suniti.

One day the king was sitting on the throne. Prince Uttam was playing in his lap. Meanwhile Dhruv also arrived there and insisted to play in the lap of his father. At his insistence, queen Suruchi ridiculed that as he was not born to her he had no right to the king’s love, … “so your insistence is useless. Though you are also a son of this king but this throne belongs to my son. Don’t you know that you have been born to Suniti.”

Getting angry over his stepmother’s ridicules, Dhruv went to his mother. Suniti consoled her son and enquired about the reason for his anger. Dhruv narrated the whole thing to his mother. Suniti too got perplexed and said: “O son! Suniti speaks the truth but you don’t worry for no one can do away the virtues of your deeds that you performed in your previous birth. Hence you should not feel sorry over such petty things. If you feel really sorry by the words of your stepmother why don’t you try to gather virtues? Why don’t you try to be a gentle and altruistic person?”

Thus consoled by mother Dhruv said- “Mother! Since now onwards, I will do every such thing so that I may attain the most respected position in the world. I am no longer desirous of getting a position granted by others. I will achieve the same position as my father has.” Saying this Dhruv left the palace and the town and reached a dense forest.

Seven Munishwars (mendicants) were already present in the forest. Dhruv greeted them all and said very politely- “O great sages! I am the prince Dhruv. King Utaanpaad is my father and his younger queen Suniti is my mother. I have arrived here out of desperation.” The sages said- “O prince! You are just a small boy. You have no reason to be worried because your father is still alive and neither you have any disease. What then caused you such a severe desperation?”

Dhruv narrated the whole events and also that how his stepmother Suruchi ridiculed about his inferior position in the palace. The sages said- “O prince! Kindly tell us whatever you have decided to do to change your destiny and also tell us if we can help you in any way.”

Dhruv said-“O sages! I neither long for wealth or for the kingdom. I simply long to enjoy such a position that nobody have ever enjoyed earlier. Kindly help me and guide me what I should do to attain such a position.”

Marichi said-“O prince! Nobody can attain such an unparalleled position without the worship of Govind (an epithet of Lord Vishnu), so you also worship that eternal Supreme Being.” Atri said- “He who is far above the tangible can only satisfy Him and bring you that supreme position.”

Angira said-“Go and worship Govind who holds the entire universe within Him.”

Pulastya said-“Even the wretched people attain the rare salvation worshipping Hari.”

Pulaha said-“Go and worship that Vishnu worshipping whom even Indra attained the position of the gods’ king.”

Kratu said- “Go and worship Janardana who is supreme, who is deity of the Yagyas and Yagya Himself.”

Vashishta said-“O son! You will attain whatever you wish by worshipping Lord Vishnu.”

Dhruv said – “O sages! At my prayers all of you told me about whom I should worship. Now kindly tell me what should I do to please the Lord.”

The sages said- “It is imperative for a person, who wishes to worship Lord Vishnu that first of all, he should expel all other menial thoughts from his mind and replace them with the contemplation Lord alone. O prince! Thus concentrate on that omnipotent eternal Lord with the mantra - ‘OM NAMO BHAGWATE VAASUDEVAAY’ . Your grandfather Swayambhu Manu had himself recited this mantra during the previous age and had received the perfection of his desire from the Lord. So you too go and recite the same mantra in order to please Lord Vishnu.”

1.1.7     Dhruv Pleases God with his Penance

The prince Dhruv greeted the sages and continued on his journey. At last, he reached a beautiful forest Madhuvan on the bank of the river Yamuna. It was the same forest, which was later occupied by a demon Madhu. Shatrughana, the youngest brother of Lord Rama had killed the demon Lavan, the son of Madhu in the same forest and founded the township of Mathura. In the same forest, prince Dhruv decided to carry out his penance. As per the dictate of the sages, he began to recite the mantra continuously.

Very soon, the earth began to move because of Dhruv’s severe penance. Even the seat of Indra could not remain stable. A stampede resulted among the gods. The gods then hatched a conspiracy to disturb the penance.

According to the plan an illusionary image of Suniti, Dhruv’s mother appeared before him and pleaded – “O son! Please stop this severe penance that is bound to decay your body. I got you after great desires and worship. It is not proper for you to take your stepmother’s words so seriously and desert your real mother. You are my only support. You are only four or five years old. Presently you should pay more attention to your plays and studies. Why are you observing such a severe penance then? O son! If you don’t give up your penance right now I will give my life.” But Dhruv was so much sunk in the contemplation of Lord Vishnu that he did not hear the wailing of his mother.”

His mother then said- “Run, O son! Run away to save your life. Look! Formidable demons are approaching. They are carrying lethal weapons.” Suddenly that illusionary image blew out intense fire from her mouth. That fire took appearance of many dreadful monsters, who were shouting loudly like ‘kill him’, ‘eat him’. Those monsters bore the heads of lion, camel, crocodile etc. and appeared extremely formidable. The monsters were roaring loudly.

But Dhruv’s mind was deeply in contemplation. He neither saw the monsters or heard the noises made by them. Thus, seeing their all attempts failed. The gods decided to take refuge at Lord Vishnu. There they said- “O Lord! We have come to you perplexed by the severe penance of Dhruv the son of Utaanpaad. His penance is increasing like a waxing Moon. We are not sure if he desires for the position of Indra, Surya, Kuber, Varun or any other deity. But kindly remove our fears.”

Assuring the gods, the Lord said- “That boy has no desire for attaining the position of any deity. But I will definitely grant him whatever he desires. But all of you need not worry.” The gods greeted the Lord and returned.

Ultimately pleased by the severe penance of Dhruv, Lord Vishnu appeared before him in his formal four-armed form and said- “Dhruv! May it all be well for you. I am very much pleased with you.” Hearing these words Dhruv opened his eyes and to his amazement found Lord Vishnu standing before him. For a moment he did not believe his eyes. Standing before him was the same Lord Vishnu whom he used to see in contemplation. For a moment, Dhruv forgot how to pray God. He then took refuge of God and said- “O Lord! If you are pleased with me, kindly bless me with power to pray you. My mind is exhilarated with devotion for you. It wishes to pray you.” Hearing these words the Lord touched Dhruv with His conch and as soon as it happened, an unbinding stream of devotional prayer sprang from Dhruv’s mouth.

At the completion of the prayer Lord Vishnu said- “O son! Your penance succeeds with my sight but my presenting a sight should also not go waste. So seek a boon of your desire.” Dhruv said- “O Lord! Nothing is hidden from your divine sight. I started this severe penance out of desperation caused by the harsh words of my stepmother. She had ridiculed my insistence of playing in my father’s lap saying that as I was not born to her, I had no right to the king’s love. Hence, O Lord! I wish to attain such a position that could be the base of the entire universe.”

Lord said- “O son! You were born in a Brahmin family in your previous birth. Then you had pleased me by your abidance to the religion. You were also a friend of a prince and wished to enjoy the same royal luxuries that your friend was enjoying. You had in fact wished to be a prince. Hence O son! You are born as a prince in this birth. It is rare to get a place in the lineage of Swayambhu Manu. But this honour has no value for a devotee like you. O son! I will definitely accord you the position that is excellent among all the three worlds. In future you will be the base of all the planets and all the constellations. I grant you a fixed position that is far above the Sun, the Moon, the planets, constellations, Saptarishis and all the gods who fly about in divine aircraft. Besides it, you will stay there for a complete Kalpa whereas even the gods do not stay in their position more than a single Manvantara. Your mother Suniti too will come to stay with you as a bright star for the same period of time. There she will stay on an aircraft. People will see you with faith for you will show them the right direction.”

Thus receiving a boon from Lord Vishnu, Dhruv occupied a fixed position in the northern sky. Even the sage like Shukracharya praises Dhruv that how fortunate he is…. that even Saptarishis go around him? That pivotal position of Dhruv would continue even in the ages to come.

1.1.8     Tale of King Ven and Prithu

Parashar says- ” With the help of Dhruv, his wife gave birth to two sons- Sishti and Bhavya. Sishti had five sons- Ripu, Ripunjay, Vipra, Vikal and Vrikteja. Ripu had a brilliant son Chaakshush. Chaakshush had a son Manu. Manu had sons- Puru, Kuru, Shatadyumna, Tapasvi, Satyavaan, Suchi, Agnishtome, Atiraatra, Sudyumna and Abhimanyu. Kuru had sons- Anga, Suman, Khyaati, Kratu, Angira and Shivi. Anga had a son named Ven. The sages had churned the right hand of Ven to produce a son named Vainya. He later on became renowned as Prithu. He had even milked the earth for the benefit of his subjects.”

Maitreya says- “Why did the sages churn Ven’s hand? What was their purpose of getting Prithu?”

Parashar says- “Mrityu had his first child as a daughter named Sunitha who was married to Anga. Sunitha had given birth to Ven. Ven had all the faults of his maternal grandfather Mrityu and hence was devil-like in nature.” At the time of his coronation, Ven had declared- “I am the God and the Yagyapurush. Hence, in future, no one shall perform Yagyas and donate Dakshina.” The sages praised him and said- “O king! We speak about the benefit of you and your subjects. Through grand Yagyas, we shall worship omnipotent Lord Hari. Thus pleased, he will grant all your desires. O king! In the kingdom of which kings, Lord Hari is worshipped as the presiding deity of Yagyas, He fulfils all their desires.”

Ven said- “Who is greater than me and even venerable, whom you regard as the presiding deity of the Yagyas? All the deities like Brahma; Vishnu, Mahesh, Indra, Vayu etc. are present in the body of the king. Hence, the king has all the virtues of these deities. Therefore, do what I say. Such as a woman’s duty is to serve her husband, similarly it is your duty of all of you to obey my dictate.”

The sages tried to convince Ven repeatedly but in vain. At last, when he did not agree to their proposal, the sages killed him. Immediately after killing the king, the sages saw the clouds of dust rising all around. It was revealed to them upon enquiry that the subjects of a king-less kingdom have resorted to plundering and looting each other and it was because of that stampede that clouds of dust were rising.

The sages then churned the thighs of issue-less king and produced an ugly black man. He was feeling excited and asked the sages what he should do? The sages asked him to Nishid (sit down); hence he came to be known as Nishaad. His progeny came to be known as Nishaadgana. Appearance of Nishaad did away with all the sins of Ven. The sages then churned Ven’s right hand and produced prowessive Prithu whose body was radiating like fire. As soon as he appeared, bow and arrow and shield of Lord Shiva descended from heaven and all the subjects felt extreme joy. With the birth of such a pious son, Ven attained a position in the heaven.

For the coronation of Prithu, Brahma himself had appeared there with the water from all the rivers and oceans, all kinds of gems and along with all the deities. Presence of chakra in right hand of Prithu pleased Brahma. This chakra of Lord Vishnu is present in the hands of extremely dominating kings. Such a king remains unaffected even by the gods.

Thus occupying the royal throne, King Prithu was a boon for his subjects. He was so religious that the seas and mountains paved way for him. His flag always remained fresh and new. Even there was no need to sow the seeds; the earth herself provided all the cereals. Cows gave milk spontaneously and every leaf of all the trees in the kingdom was full of honey.

Immediately after his appearance, King Prithu organised a grand Yagya. At the time of Somabhishek (bathing with grape-wine) during the Yagya, a man and a woman appeared from the earth. The sages advised them to pray King Prithu. With folded hands they asked that the king had arrived moments before them. His reputation had not spread far and wide. Why should then they pray such a king? The sage said that they should pray the king for the great achievements he would attain in future. King Prithu thought that it was because of merits that a man becomes praiseworthy. ‘Hence I will do exactly the same things that this couple would recite during the prayers’ thought the king. Thus during the later course, king Prithu planted those virtues firmly in his conscience and ruled the earth. During his rule, he performed many great Yagyas.

During the anarchy of his father’s regime, all the vegetation had been destroyed from all over the earth. There was nothing for the subjects to satisfy their hunger with. So, they approached him and said- “O great king! Due to the anarchy of your father’s regime, the earth had annihilated all the cereals within her. Your subjects have no choice but to starve. Kindly protect us from this condition.”

Pitiable condition of the subjects infuriated king Prithu. Taking the divine weapons of Lord Shiva, he ran after the earth. In guise of the cow, the earth ran in all the three worlds but wherever she went she found Prithu still chasing her. Thus shivering with fear, she ultimately appeared before him and said- “O king! Don’t you see the sin in killing a helpless woman.” Prithu said- “If killing a wretched person benefits scores of other people, there is no sin doing so.” The earth said- “You want to kill me in the interest of your subjects but think what will be the base of the subject then?” Prithu said- “You need not worry about that. I will myself support my subjects.” These words frightened the earth. She greeted the king and said- “O king! All the tasks started with a distinct purpose reach their completion successfully, so I am telling you a way out of the present condition. Do then, as you desire. I can give out all the herbs and cereals that I have annihilated in the form of milk. So, for the benefit of the subjects, kindly produce such a calf for which I can give milk spontaneously with motherly feelings. You then provide me with a plain surface everywhere so that I can produce milk that is the seed of all the cereals and herbs.”

King Prithu then uprooted many great mountains with his bow and arrow and stowed them at a single place. Before that there was no distinct demarcation of village, towns, cities etc. because of the plain surface of the earth and there was no distinct sequence of cereals, cows, agriculture and trade. All this systems started from the time of Prithu. Since then people began to populate those parts of the earth that were plain.

For the benefit of his subjects, King Pritu himself milked all the cereals from earth making Swayambhu Manu a calf. It is the cereals that still sustain the entire population of the world. Since then King Prithu came to be known as the father of earth because he had spared her life.

1.1.9     Birth of Prachin Barhi Worship of God by Prachetas

King Prithu had two sons- Antardhaan and Vaadi who were very religious minded themselves. Antardhaan’s wife Shikhandi gave birth to Ivirdhaan. Prachin Barhi was the son of Ivirdhaan and his wife, Ghishna. Shukra, Gaya, Krishna, Vrij and Ajin were their other sons. Prachin Barhi was a great fosterer of his subjects. Through continuous oblations, he increased his subjects to great limits.

King Prachin Barhi married again with Savarna; the daughter of Samudra and they together produced ten sons. All of them were known as Prachetas who were expert in the art of archery. All of them observed serious penance under the sea for 10,000 years.

Maitreya says- O great sage! Kindly narrate to us the reason for which Prachetas observed severe penance under the sea.

Parashar says- Once by the inspiration of Brahma, King Prachin Barhi asked his sons Prachetas to continue the progeny in an honoured way. Prachetas agreed to obey the dictate of their father but they asked- O father! Kindly narrate to us, what should we do to enable ourselves so that we could carry out the process of reproduction.

King Prachin Barhi said that worship of Lord Vishnu was the only thing that enabled a person to achieve his desired objectives. He dictated his sons to worship Lord Vishnu. It was by the dictate of the father that all the ten Prachetas observed severe penance for ten thousand years under the sea.

At the end of their penance, Shri Hari appeared before them radiating with blue light like a freshly bloomed blue lotus. Accepting the greetings of the Prachetas, Lord Vishnu asked them to seek a boon. Prachetas then told the dictate of their father. Lord granted their boon. Thereafter all the Prachetas re-emerged from the waters.

1.1.10  Marriage of Prachetas and Birth of Prajapatis

Parashar says- During the time when Prachetas were engaged in penance, the earth was unprotected. Hence, huge trees came to cover her everywhere on land. Their foliage was so dense they that cut off entire sky and the sun could not reach the surface of the earth. After their emergence from the sea, Prachetas got very angry when they saw the trees. In anger, they let out formidable flames mixed with ghastly winds and uprooted all the trees before reducing them to ashes. A massive destruction of the trees followed. Seeing that Soma, the king of the trees approached Prachetas and requested- ‘O kings! Kindly relinquish your anger and listen to what I say.’

I will mediate a pact between the trees and you. The trees have produced an extremely pretty girl named Marisha. Her creation has been meant only for the continuation of your progeny. She will produce Daksha Prajapati who will be as radiant as the fire and cause much increase in your progeny further.

In the ancient times, a great savant of Vedas, sage Kandu was observing penance at the bank of river Gomti. Frightened by his penance Indra sent an elf Prabhalocha to create a disturbance. That elf successfully created a disturbance in the penance of Kandu who then began to live with her in a cave. Kandu passed one hundred years enjoying sensual pleasures with the elf. One day, the elf expressed her desire to leave for her heavenly abode. This came as a shock for the sage Kandu. He requested her to stay for some more time with him. The elf agreed to his request and stayed with him for another hundred years. Then once again she expressed her desire to leave for her heavenly abode. Once again, blinded by lust, the sage requested her to stay for some more time. Once again the elf stayed for another hundred years with Kandu.

Thus, every time, when the elf got ready to leave, sage stopped her. The elf knew about the agony of separation that a person experiences who is blinded by lust. She also feared the curse that such a person might pour down out of agony. Thus she herself did not desert the sage and their love kept on increasing like a new moon. One day, towards the evening, the sage hurriedly left his hut. Amazingly Prabhalocha enquired about the reasons why he was going out in such a hurry. The sage replied that as it was dusk, he should offer his evening prayers. The sage’s reply amazed the elf further. Laughingly, she said- “O knower of religion, your day has ended after hundreds of years! Who will not be surprised to learn that your day ends after hundreds of years.”

The sage said- “You had arrived at the river bank right in the morning today. You passed the whole day with me and now its evening. Why do you laugh at me then? Prabhalocha said- “O Brahmin! Hundreds of years have passed since I had arrived at your hut.” Perplexed sage asked her- “Tell me exactly how much time has passed in our present communion? Prabhalocha told the sage that they had together passed nine hundred and seven years six months and three days. Hearing this, the sage began to curse himself that he was so sunk in the carnal pleasure with the elf that he even forgot the time. He also began to fret that his whole penance had been brought to nought. Thus cursing himself, the sage also scolded the elf and asked her to leave his hut at once.

“The elf was shivering in fear while her whole body was drenched in sweat. When she left the hermitage, she wiped her sweat with the leaves of the trees. While having carnal pleasure with the sage, Prabhalocha had conceived. Her foetus also oozed out in the form of sweat and was collected on the leaves. The wind brought the different parts of the foetus together while I nourished it with my rays. Thus the foetus grew safely and ultimately took birth as a girl child, Marisha. The trees will present you that same girl as your wife”, said Soma.

On the other hand after his penance was disturbed sage Kandu migrated to Purushottam region (modern Jagannath-Puri) and began his penance afresh to please Lord Vishnu.

Tale of Marisha’s previous birth

Marisha, daughter of sage Kandu and Prabhalocha was a queen in her previous birth. She had lost her husband without having any child. She had then pleased Lord Vishnu with her devotion. The Lord had then asked her to seek a boon. She said- “O Lord! Having been widowed at a young age, I feel that my life has gone futile. I am very unfortunate. Hence O Lord! May I have by your grace, a virtuous husband like you and sons like Prajapati in my next birth. May I take birth not from the body of my mother.

Lord Vishnu said- “All your wishes shall come true in your next birth. You will have ten prowessive and popular husbands. With their help, you will give birth to Prajapati whose progeny will populate all the three worlds. You will take birth not from your mother’s body still you will be unmatched in beauty.”

Thus, coerced by Soma, Prachetas dropped their angry stance and accepted Marisha as their wife. From the parts of Prachetas, Marisha gave birth to Daksha Prajapati who had emerged from Brahma earlier. Following the dictate of Brahma, Daksha Prajapati produced different kinds of living beings as his children. First of all, he created womenfolk from his mind. He got ten of those women married to Dharma. Thirteen women were married to Kashyap while twenty-seven were married to Chandrama. All the gods, demons, Nagas, cows, birds, Gandharvas, Apsaras, giants etc. are the progeny of those fifty women.

Maitreya says- “O great sage! I want to hear the tale of origin of the gods, the demons and all other creatures in detail.”

Parashar says- “Daksha created the sages, Gandharvas, demons, and serpents from his mind first. But none of those creatures could continue the progeny. So, with an intention of producing his progeny through carnal union, Daksha married Asikni, the daughter of another Prajapati. Daksha and Asikni together produced five thousand sons. All of those sons were eager to continue the process of reproduction when Devarshi Narad approached them and said- “O children! It appears from your action that all of you are eager to begin the process of reproduction right now. But before you do anything, kindly listen to what I say. All of you are so ignorant that you do not know anything about the earth. How then will you carry out the reproduction? Look! You can move anywhere in the universe, so why don’t you go and see the end of the earth?” Thus motivated by Narad, all the five thousand sons of Daksha dived into the sea and never returned thereafter like a river annihilates in the ocean.

Daksha then married Vairuni and produced one thousand sons. They also intended to carry out reproduction but were misguided by Narad. They too followed the footsteps of their elder brothers. Learning about the fate of his sons, Daksha cursed Narad. Then Daksha and Vairuni gave birth to sixty daughters. Ten of them were married to Dharma, thirteen to Kashyap, twenty-seven to Soma, four to Arishtnemi and two to Angira and Krishasva each. Arundhati, Vasu, Yaami, Lambaa, Bhaanu, Marutvati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Saadhya and Vishwa were the wives of Dharma. Vishwa gave birth to Vishwadeva, Saadhya to Saadhyagana; Marutvaan was the son of Marutvati. Vasu gave birth to eight Vasus. Lambaa gave birth to Ghosha, Yaami to Naagveethi whereas Arundhati gave birth to all other creatures that dwell on earth. Sankalpa produced Sankalp that is omnipresent resolution.

Names of the eight Vasus were Aap, Dhruv, Soma, Dharma, Anil, Anal, Pratyush and Prabhas. Vaitand, Shram, Shant and Dhvani were the sons of Aap. All annihilating Kaal was the son of Dhruv. Varcha was the son of Soma. Dravin, Huta, Ityavar, Shishir, Pran and Varun were the sons of Dharma. Manojav and Avigyaatgati were the sons of Anil. Sharastamb, Shaakh, Vishaakh and Naigmeya were the sons of Anal. Pratyush had a son Deval. Vatstree the sister of Brihaspati was the wife of Prabhas. They had Vishwakarma as their son. Vishwakarma himself had four sons- Ajaikpad, Ahirbudhanya, Twashta, and Rudra. The great penancer Vishwaroop was the son of Twasta.

O great sage! Har, Bahuroop, Treyambak, Aparajit, Vrishakapi, Shambhu, Kapardi, Raivat, Mrigvyadh, Sharpa and Kapaali are the eleven Rudras. Sage Kashyap had thirteen wives- Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Khasaa, Surabhi, Vinata, Taamra, Krodhavasha, Ira, Kadru and Muni. Now listen to the description of their progenies.

During the previous Manavantar, there were twelve gods named Tushit. At the end of the Manavantar, they met together and said- “O brothers! Let us now enter the womb of Aditi and take birth as the gods again in Vaivasvat Manavantar.” Thus, Vishnu, Indra, Aryama, Dhataa, Twashta, Pushaa, Vivasvaan, Savita, Maitra, Varun, Anshu and Bhaga, these twelve sons of Aditi came to be known as Aditya.

The twenty-seven wives of Soma gave birth to many talented sons. Wives of Arishtnemi gave birth to sixteen sons. Thus in all thirty-three gods including eight Vasus, eleven Rudra, twelve Aditya, Prajapati and Vashatkar have been described in the Vedas. All of them are capable of taking birth at will. Just as the Sun rises and sets, similarly these gods also appear in different Yugas.

From the part of Kashyap, Diti gave birth to two invincible sons, Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaaksh and a daughter Sinhika who was married to Viprachiti. Hiranyakashipu had four sons- Anuhlad, Aahlad, Sahlad and Prahlad.

1.1.11  Tale of Prahlad and Narasimha Incarnation

Parashar says- By the boon of Brahma, Hiranyakashipu had acquired tremendous power and came to control all the three worlds. He had driven the gods out of heaven and used to receive the oblations offered to Surya, Vayu, Agni, Varun, Chandrama, Kuber, Yamaraaj etc. Because of his fear, all those gods roamed on earth.

All the creatures began to worship Hiranyakashipu. Beautiful and amorous elves danced in his palace while Gandharvas accompanied them on instruments. Prahlad was the youngest son of Hiranyakashipu. Like other children, he too was sent to Gurukula to be educated. One day, his teachers took Prahlad to Hiranyakashipu who was engaged in drinking of wine at that moment. Lovingly he took his son into his lap and asked- “O son, tell me, what you have learnt so far in the auspices of your teachers?”

Prahlad said- “O father! I salute to that Shri Hari who has no beginning, no end and no mid-part, who doesn’t take birth and who is free from growth and decay.” Hearing this, Hiranyakashipu looked at the teachers with bloodshot eyes and shouted at them- “O wretched Brahmins! In sheer violation of my orders, you have taught my son to praise my enemy.” The teachers tried to express their apology saying that what Prahlad was saying was not taught by them. Hiranyakashipu asked then Prahlad who had taught him like that. Prahlad said- “O father! Lord Vishnu who resides in the heart of us all is the supreme creature. Who can teach anybody anything apart from Him?” Hiranyakashipu said- “O fool! Who is that Vishnu about whom you are describing before me, the Lord of entire world?” Prahlad replied- “Lord Vishnu is he who is contemplated about by the Yogis. He is the originator of the entire universe. His virtues cannot be described in words. That Parmeshwar is Vishnu.”

Hiranyakashipu said- “Fool! Who can be Parmeshwar other than me? Do you want to die that you are babbling like that?” Prahlad said- “O father! Your anger is baseless. Lord Vishnu is the creator of all of us including you and me. He controls our breaths.”

Infuriated Hiranyakashipu then ordered the teachers to take Prahlad away at once and wash his brain thoroughly. The teachers took Prahlad with them to their Gurukula. Prahlad began to concentrate in his studies. After many months, Hiranyakashipu once again called Prahlad to his palace and asked about his learning. Once again, Prahlad began to praise Lord Vishnu. This time, Hiranyakashipu ordered his assassination. He began to see his son as a threat to his throne. By the orders of Hiranyakashipu, many formidable demons attacked Prahlad with their weapons but Prahlad stood unfazed. He said- “O fools! Lord Vishnu is present in you, in me and even in your weapons. May your weapons have no effect on me.” Indeed, the weapons of the demons could not even touch Prahlad. Hiranyakashipu said- “I can still pardon your life provided that you stop praising my opponent.” Prahlad said- “O father! I fear nothing. By the God’s grace, I am free from the fear of birth and death.” Hiranyakashipu then got Prahlad thrown amidst venomous snakes. But, biting by the snakes had no effect on Prahlad because his mind was contemplating in Lord Vishnu.

Hiranyakashipu then got Prahlad trampled by big bull elephants. But even elephants could not harm Prahlad. Instead their tusks were broken as soon as they touched Prahlad. Even then Prahlad tried to pacify his father that it was Lord’s strength that protected him every time. Prahlad’s teachers who were the sons of Shukracharya then assured Hiranyakashipu that Prahlad was having a fickle mind because of his tender age. They also assured the demon king of transforming Prahlad and took him to their hermitage once again.

Prahlad’s Preaching

But in the hermitage, Prahlad assembled other demon children and said- ” Friends, listen to my preaching carefully and don’t take it for granted because I have no personal interest in it. Every living being takes birth and suffers a lot while passing his life through childhood, youth and old age. The end result of life is nothing but death. It is one’s Karma that accompany him birth after birth. But in every birth, this soul mistakes hunger, thirst, cold or hot for the pleasures. More of the luxuries one collects, more the sorrow increases. Attachment and passion are the greatest cause of sorrow. Even after passing a life that is full of sorrow, one suffers the agony of death and rebirth again. This whole cycle continues again and again. Lord Vishnu is the ultimate refuge for the soul, which feels drowned in the ocean of sorrow.”

Don’t be confused with my young age. I am a boy like you. But the soul that stays within me is eternal. The soul has no distinct stages in life. But a human being is inflicted with lot of misconceptions. In the childhood, he prefers to play than contemplating on God. In the youth, lust and carnal pleasures attract the mind. Still a human being doesn’t get serious about his benefit. He keeps on postponing his spiritual matters for his old age. But in old age, a human being has no option but to see his trembling fingers and repent about his past. Thus a human being spoils his whole life. A wise person hence must ignore the different stages of his body’s stay on earth and make efforts for his benefit right in his childhood.

What I have told you is unchangeable fact. Start reciting Lord Vishnu’s name for my pleasure atleast. His remembrance is enough to destroy all the sins. May your mind always contemplate on Him day and night. Thus all your miseries shall come to an end.

1.1.12  Attempts to Kill Prahlad

When the demons saw that their all efforts failed to faze Prahlad and that he was preaching the demon children they informed Hiranyakashipu about all these happenings. Hiranyakashipu at once called his cook and ordered him to poison Prahlad through food. But the poisonous food also could not hurt Prahlad. In fact, its poison was rendered ineffective by the recitation of Lord’s name. This frightened the cook. He informed Hiranyakashipu about that miraculous event.

Hiranyakashipu then ordered the priests who were Prahlad’s teachers to invoke the ogress Kritya in order to kill Prahlad. The teachers tried to convince Prahlad before invoking Kritya”O prince, you are the son of great Hiranyakashipu and have taken birth in Brahma’s lineage. What have you to do with matters like God and all that? The whole world is dependent on your father. You should also take refuge of your father and stop praising his opponent. Father is revered and even greater than the teachers.”

Prahlad said-“O fortunate ones! I know the prowess of my father. I also do not doubt regarding my father’s reverence and greatness. I will not commit any crime against him but kindly listen to me what I mean by the endless God.”

“O teachers! There are four attainable goals in one’s life. You ask me what have I to do with He, who helps all the human beings to attain these four goals- Dharma, Arth, Kama and Moksha. You are my teachers. You are free to say anything to me. But within me stays He who is the creator of all, who is the preserver of all and who is the destroyer of all of us. Kindly forgive me if I have committed any thing wrong in your honour.”

The teachers said-“O foolish boy, we saved you from imminent death thinking that you are our disciple and that you will not balderdash in future. But still you speak nonsense. Listen, if you don’t drop your stubbornness we’ll have to invoke Kritya the ogress in order to get you slain.”

Unfazed Prahlad said that life and death were immaterial for the soul that protects or destroys itself through auspicious and inauspicious deeds. Hence one should always strive to behave in an auspicious way. But Prahlad’s words further enraged his teachers. They invoked the ogress Kritya to get Prahlad slain. Kritya hit Prahlad’s chest hard with her trident. But as soon as the trident touched his chest it broke into pieces without harming Prahlad.

Seeing her attempt failed, Kritya killed the teachers and disappeared. His teachers’ death caused immense pain for Prahlad. Mourning for their death, he prayed Lord Vishnu to resurrect them. Hearing his prayers, Lord Vishnu once again granted life to his teachers. The teachers got up as if from a deep slumber. They realised their mistake and blessed Prahlad and resolved never to have hostility against him. Then they went to the palace and informed Hiranyakashipu about all the happenings.

1.1.13  Description of Lord’s Virtues by Prahlad and Protection of Prahlad by Sudarshan Chakra

Hearing the news of Kritya’s failure to kill Prahlad, killing of teachers and their subsequent revival as effected by Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu called his son and asked if all those miracles were natural or he knew some magical tricks. Prahlad said- “O father, neither I know any magic nor is the miracle a part of my nature. All these are ordinary things for he who has eternal God in his heart. No one can harm those who never wish ill for the others. All the living beings are equal for Him. In every creature, I see the same Lord Vishnu who is present within me; hence I never try to harm him or her. I cannot even think of harming anybody. It is this feeling that protects me from every physical, mental or divinely discomfort.”

But these words failed to please Hiranyakashipu. He ordered his men to throw Prahlad from a very high fort. Even this attempt, however failed to cause any harm to Prahlad for the mother earth took him in her lap tenderly in the midway. Suspecting some illusionary powers helping Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu ordered Shambarasur to kill him using his illusionary powers. Shambarasur created many illusions to kill Prahlad. But right then Lord Vishnu sent His Sudarshan Chakra to counter those demonic illusions and protect Prahlad. Sudarshan Chakra destroyed all the demonic illusions one by one. Then Hiranyakashipu ordered Vayu to dry up Prahlad to death. When Vayu entered Prahlad’s body and began to dry him up, the Lord came to stay in his heart where God absorbed all the drying effects of the air thus rendering it weak.

After all those attempts failed, Prahlad returned to his teachers’ hermitage and resumed his education once again. The teachers trained him all the relevant subjects. Then they once again took Prahlad to his father and told him that now his education was over. Hiranyakashipu asked- “O son! How should one behave with the others? Tell me what have learned so far. I am eager to know your opinions.”

Prahlad said-“O father, indeed my teachers have taught me in different subjects. I have too learned them with heart. They taught me that diplomatic policies should be applied in order to train friendship. But excuse me father, I see no friend or no enemy, so in my opinion these policies are totally irrelevant. Tell me O father what is the use of means when there is nobody to be trained. Lord Vishnu is present everywhere. In you, in me and in all other creatures. Hence instead of using in sinisterly actions, one should use his wits for good and benefit of all.”

“O fortunate one, everybody longs for the throne and a big kingdom. But only those attain these things who really deserve and have them in their destiny. Even the most inert and imprudent people who are weak and know nothing about the policies get these things because of destiny. Hence all those who wish for splendour must strive to accumulate pious actions. Those who long for salvation must strive to acquire impartial view for all. Such actions please God and when He is pleased all the miseries are attenuated.”

Hearing these words, Hiranyakashipu kicked Prahlad hard and ordered his demons to tie him in Naagpaash and throw into the sea. The demons obeyed their master and threw Prahlad into the sea after tying him in Naagpaash. With Prahlad’s motion great disturbances occurred in the sea, seeing that Hiranyakashipu ordered the demons to cover the sea with huge mountains so that Prahlad could not get a passage to escape. When the demons uprooted huge mountains and put them into the sea, Prahlad began to pray God with concentrated mind.

1.1.14  Appearance of the Lord

As soon as Prahlad began to pray the Lord, his Naagpaash broke and the mountains that the demons had thrown into the sea also lightened up causing great relief for Prahlad. Lord Vishnu appeared before him and said- “O Prahlad! I am pleased with your devotion. You may seek any boon of your wish.” Prahlad said- “May I always have an unconditional devotion for you. May your remembrance never be away from my heart.”

God said – ” Your devotion for me shall always remain the same. Now, seek anything you wish.” Prahlad said- “O Lord! My father has always cultivated hostility for you because of my devotion. May my father be free from the sin of his action.” Lord said- “O Prahlad! All your wishes shall come true but still seek any boon of your choice.”

Prahlad said- “O Lord! I don’t want anything other than devotion for you.” Lord said -” O Prahlad! You have nothing in your mind but devotion for me, so with my grace, you will attain supreme abode.”

Saying this, the Lord disappeared. In later course, ultimately Hiranyakashipu decided to kill Prahlad himself. He tied Prahlad to a pillar and shouting abusively for God, he hit the pillar. As soon as he hit the pillar, it broke and Lord appeared from it in Narsimha incarnation. His appearance was extremely formidable with half human and half lion form. Dragging Hiranyakashipu to the threshold, He killed him with his powerful talons. After the killing of his father, Prahlad took over the throne and ruled his subjects religiously.

1.1.15  Lineage of Kashyap’s Other Wives and Origin of Marudgana

After the death of Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad continued his lineage. Prahlad had a son, Virochan. Virochan in his turn had Bali as his son. The prowessive Bali was sent to the nether world by Vaaman incarnation of Lord. Bali had one hundred sons among whom Baanasur was the eldest.

Kashyap’s second wife Danu had sons like Dwimurdha, Shambar, Ayomuk, Shankushira, Kapil, Shankar, Ekchakra, Mahabaahu, Taarak, Mahabal, Swarbhanu, Vrishparva, Pulom and Viprachiti. Swarbhanu had a daughter- Prabha whereas Sarmishtha, Updan, and Haishira were the daughters of Vrishparva. Vaishwanar had two daughters- Puloma and Kaalka who were married to Kashyap. From the part of Kashyap, they gave birth to sixty thousand giants known as Paulom and Kaalkeya.

Kashyap’s another wife, Taamra gave birth to six daughters- Shuki, Shyeni, Bhaasi, Sugreevi, Suchi and Griddhrika. Shuki gave birth to the birds like parrots, owls and crows. Shyeni gave birth to sleep while Bhaasi produced light. Griddhrika gave birth to vultures whereas Suchi produced aquatic birds. Sugreevi gave birth to equine animals like horse, camels and asses.

Vinata, one of the wives of Kashyap gave birth to Garud and Arun. Garud became the vehicle of Lord Vishnu while Arun became the charioteer of the Sun. Surasa gave birth to millions of the snakes. Kadru also had great snakes like Shesha, Vaasuki, Takshak, Shankhshwet, Mahapadm, Kambal, Ashwatar, Ilaputra, Naag, Karkotak, Dhananjay etc. as her sons. Krodhavasha gave birth to anger and devils. Surabhi gave birth to cows and buffaloes. Ira gave birth to the trees, creepers, and scores of grasses. Khaasa gave birth to Yaksha and monsters. Muni produced elves whereas Arishta gave birth to Gandharvas.

After the annihilation of her sons, Diti once again pleased Kashyap and sought a son who could destroy even Indra. Kashyap granted her boon but stipulated that she would have such a son only when she observes complete sanctity during one hundred years of gestation period. Diti agreed to abide by the stipulation. Then they copulated as a result of which Diti conceived.

When Indra came to know that Diti had conceived a son who would be able to destroy even him he arrived at Kashyap’s hermitage and began to serve Diti with full devotion. He had in fact arrived there to see if by chance Diti ever violated the stipulation for then he would easily destroy the unborn child without incurring any sin. Sometime before the completion of gestation period, one day, Diti did violate the stipulation. She forgot to wash her feet after attending nature’s call and retired on the bed. Indra was waiting for the moment. He at once entered Diti’s womb carrying his mace in hand. There he broke the foetus into seven pieces but still the foetus survived and began to cry loudly. Indra then broke each of those seven pieces into seven pieces more and consoled them not to cry. Those forty-nine pieces of Diti’s foetus later on came to be known as Marudgana the assistants of Indra.

1.1.16  The Description of Universal Order

When the great sages crowned Prithu as the king of the entire earth, Brahma had also divided the kingdoms. Thus, Brahma appointed Chandrama as the ruler of all the Nakshatras, planets, Brahmins, vegetation, Yagya, penance etc. He also appointed Kuber as the ruler of the kings, Varun as the ruler of the water bodies, Vishnu as the ruler of Adityas and Agni as the ruler of Vasus. Similarly, Daksha was appointed as the ruler of all the Prajapatis, Indra as the ruler of Marudgana and Prahlad was appointed as the ruler of the demons. Dharmaraaj Yama became the ruler of Pitragana and Airavat became the ruler of all the elephants. Garud came to rule the birds. Indra was appointed as king of the gods, Uchchaisharva as the king of the horses, Vrishabh as the king of the cows. Lion became the king of the beasts, Sheshnaag of the snakes, Himalaya became the king of all the landmasses, Kapil became the king of the sages and tiger became the king of those animals that have nails and long teeth.

Thereafter, Brahma appointed Dikpals (guardians of the directions) on all corners of the earth. These Dikpals still guard the earth, which has seven continents and scores of big and small cities.

All the gods, demons, human beings, animals, birds, reptiles, in fact every living being have originated from the parts of omnipotent Lord Vishnu. Hence nobody but Lord Vishnu has the capacity to foster all the living beings on earth. That eternal God creates the world fosters it and ultimately destroys it. Thus, the Lord has four parts in the form of this entire creation. One of His parts remains unmanifested as Brahma. Second part appears like Prajapatis. Time is His third part whereas all the living beings constitute His fourth part.

Since the beginning, during the existence and till the ultimate annihilation of the universe, the process of creation continued through Brahma, Prajapatis and all other living beings. In the beginning, Brahma creates the primitive living beings. Then the process of creation is taken over by Prajapatis. When their progenies populate the world, the process of creation continues spontaneously. Without Kaal, no one including Brahma, Prajapatis and all the living beings can carry out the process of creation. Shri Hari is in the base of every new creation that takes place through a pre-existing creation. The supreme abode of Lord Vishnu remains intangible.

Shri Hari bears the intangible, pure and all pervasive spirit of the universe as Kaustubh Mani. He bears the intelligence as his mace. He bears the two kinds of ego in his conch and Shaarang bow. Third kind of ego is present as the wheel in His hand. Vayjayanti garland that adorns His neck represents five senses and five physical elements. He bears the sense and motor organs as the arrows and the sword that He holds is knowledge. Thus, everything is dependent on Shri Hari. He is Himself intangible but for the benefit of human being, he bears all these things as ornaments. Even the counting of time is present in Him.

God is present in all the seven worlds. He is the base of all the knowledge, our ancestor and the ancestors of our ancestors. He is present in the gods, human beings, animals, all the Vedas, Ayurveda, Puraan and other religious scriptures. All the visible and invisible things in the world have Lord Vishnu in them. Nothing is different from Him. Such a feeling in the mind keeps all the miseries and physical ailments away.

1.2      Chapter 2 (Part 2)

This chapter contains 15 sections.

1.2.1     Description of Priyavrat’s Lineage

Maitreya says- “O sage! Now I wish to hear the description of the lineage of Priyavrata who was the son of Swayambhu Manu.”

 

Parashar says- Priyavrata was married to the daughter of sage Kardam. They had two daughters and ten sons. Three of his sons- Medha, Agnibaahu and Putra knew everything about their previous births. Hence, they did not take any interest in royal luxuries. The remaining seven sons received the domain of seven parts of the earth from their father Priyavrata who then had taken to penance at a greatly sacred place named Shaalgraam.

 

Among the eight Vasus, one was Hima. Merudevi was his wife. They had a son Rishabh. Rishabh had one hundred sons among which Bharat was the eldest. When he grew old, Rishabh transferred the onus of his kingdom on his eldest son Bharat and himself took to penance in the forest. Since then, this landmass that stretches from the snowy peaks of Himalayas to the splashing Indian Ocean is known as Bharatvarsha. Bharat had a religious minded son Sumati.

 

Indradyumna was the son of Sumati. Indradyumna’s son was Parmeshthi. After him, the lineage of Priyavrata continued as follows- Pratihaar- Pratiharta- Bhava- Udgeeth- Prastav- Prithu- Naka- Gaya- Nar- Virat- Mahavirya- Dheemaan- Mahaant- Manasyu- Twasta- Viraj- Raj- Shatajit. Shatajit had one hundred sons whose descendants populated the earth. They divided Bharatvarsha into nine parts.

1.2.2     Geographical Description

The earth has seven great islands- Jambu, Plaksha, Shaalmali, Kusha, Kronch, Shaakh and Pushkar. These are surrounded by oceans having saline water, sugarcane juice, wine, ghee, curd, milk and sweet water respectively. Jambudweep is situated at the centre. Situated at the centre of Jambudweep is golden Sumeru Mountain (Himalayas), which is eighty-four thousand Yojans high. Towards the south of Sumeru are Himavaan, Hemkut and Nishad Mountains. Towards its north are Neel and Shringi Mountains. All these mountains are two thousand Yojans high with similar expansion.

 

Towards the south of Sumeru Mountain, Bharatvarsha is the first landmass followed by Kimpurushvarsha and Harivarsha. In the north of Sumeru Mountain, Ramyak is the first landmass followed by Hiranyamay and Uttarkuruvarsha. All these landmasses have expansion of nine thousand Yojans. At the centre of these landmasses is Ilaavritvarsha that bears Sumeru Mountain. On the four sides of Sumeru Mountain are four smaller mountains that seem to support the massive Sumeru. Among these four mountains, Mandrachal Mountain is in the east and in the south is Gandhmaadan. Vipul is in the west and Supaarsh is in the north. All these four mountains are ten thousand Yojans high and have lofty trees of Cadamba, Jambu, Pipal and Banyan. Because of abundance of Jambu trees, this island came to be known as Jambudweep. It bears big fruits, which scatter all around upon falling on the earth. Their juice gives rise to the river Jambu. It is said that its water is capable of keeping demerits like sweat, foul smell, old age and loss of senses away from the drinker. When the juice of this fruit dries, it leaves the soil golden in colour.

 

Towards the east of Sumeru Mountain is Bhadrashvavarsha and towards the west is Ketumaalvarsha. Midway between the two is Ilaavritvarsha. On the eastern side of Meru Mountain is the forest of Chaitrarath. In the south is Gandhmaadan and in the west is Vaibhraaj and towards the north is the forest named Nandan. Mount Sumeru also holds four holy lakes named Arunodaya, Mahabhadra, Asitoda and Maanas.

 

Shitambh, Kumund, Kukri, Maalyavaan, Vaikank are some of the peaks situated towards the eastern side of Sumeru. Towards the southern side are the peaks of Trikut, Shishir, Patang, Ruchak and Nishaad. In the west are situated peaks of Shikhivaasa, Vaidurya, Kapil, Gandhmaadan and Jaarudhi and in the north are situated the peaks of Shankhkoot, Rishabh, Hans, Naag and Kaalanj.

 

Above the mount Meru is situated Brahmapuri of Brahma which has an expansion of 14,000 Yojans. The Ganges that rises from the feet of Lord Vishnu circles the lunar sphere before falling in Brahmapuri. Thence it divides into four rivers- Sita, Chakshu, Alaknanda and Bhadra that flow into four directions.

 

The landmasses of Bharat, Ketumaal, Bhadraashva and Kuru appear like lotus leaf in shape. Among all the peaks that surround Mount Meru are present beautiful caves. There also exist beautiful towns and gardens. In these towns are situated beautiful temples of Lakshmi, Vishnu, Agni and Surya. Ravines of these mountains are populated by Gandharvas, Rakshasa, Yaksha and Daanavas. Besides them, scores of religious people also live there.

 

Lord Vishnu stays as Hayagreev (human figure with horse head) form in Bhadrashvavarsha. In Ketumaalvarsha, He is in boar form and in Bharatvarsha; He stays in turtle form. In Kuruvarsha, Lord Vishnu stays as fish. Thus Lord Vishnu is present everywhere. People of these eight landmasses are free from all kinds of sorrow, pain, emotions, hunger etc. and lead a healthy and rich life that extends up to ten or twelve thousand years. All these landmasses have seven indigenous mountains each from which hundreds of rivers rise.

1.2.3     Division of Bharat and Other Landmasses

The landmass that is present between Himalayas and the ocean is known as Bharat. It has an expansion of 9,000 Yojans. It is populated by the descendants of Bharat. It has seven native mountains- Mahendra, Malay, Sahaya, Shuktimaan, Riksha, Vindhya and Paariyaatra.

 

Bharatvarsha has nine divisions named Indradweep, Kaseru, Taamraparn, Gamastimaan, Naagdweep, Soumya, Gandharva, Vaarun and Yahadweep which is surrounded by the sea and has an expansion of 1000 Yojans. In the eastern part of Bharat, live Kiraat whereas in the western part live Yavans. In the mid part of Bharat, live population of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras who pass their lives engage in works ascribed to their respective class.

 

Rivers in India- From the Himalayas rise Shatudri (Sutlej) and Chandrabhaaga rivers. From Paariyaatra Mountain rise Veda and Smriti rivers. Narmada and Surasa rivers rise from Vindyachal. Taapi, Payoshani and Nirvindhya rivers rise from Riksha Mountain. Godavari, Bheemrati and Krishnaveli rivers rise from Sahaya Mountains. Kritmaala and Tamraparni rivers rise from Malayaachal. Trisaama and Aryakulyaa rivers rise from Mahendragiri. Rishikulya and Kumaari rivers rise from Shuktimaan Mountain. All these rivers have scores of other branches and tributaries.

 

Four Yugas namely Satayug, Tretayug, Dwaparyug and Kaliyug descend on Bharatvarsha. In Bharatvarsha, sages observe penance to attain better life in another world, people organise Yagyas and offer donations to the Brahmins respectfully. In Jambudweep, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in Yagyas. Bharatvarsha is the land par excellence in Jambudweep for it is a land of action. Soul passes through millions of births, only then it finds a chance to take birth in Bharatvarsha when its pious deeds accumulate to a certain extent. Even the gods envy those people who take birth in Bharatvarsha. People in Bharatvarsha act without a desire to get fruits from their action. They dedicate their whole action to Lord Vishnu and ultimately mingle with Him.

1.2.4     Description of Other Dvipas

Plakshdweep- Plakshdweep has an expansion of 2,00,000 Yojans. Its ruler Meghatithi had seven sons- Shaanthaya, Shishir, Sukhodaya, Anand, Shiva, Kshemak and Dhruv. Those seven princes later on came to rule Plakshdweep. Hence, Plakshdweep had seven divisions named after these seven princes. Seven mountains mark the boundaries of Plakshdweep. These are Gomed, Chandra, Naarad, Dundubhi, Sobhak, Sumana and Vaibhraaj. People of Plakshdweep live long and pleasant life. Seven rivers namely Anutapta, Shikhi, Vipaasha, Tridiva, Aklamaa, Amrita and Sukrita flow in Plakshdweep. In all the islands from Plakshdweep to Shaakhdweep, only Tretayug stays. Plaksh tree (Paakad) abound in Plakshdweep. Lord Vishnu is worshipped there as Soma.

 

Shaalmaldweep- Vayushmaan was the ruler of Shaalmaldweep. He too had seven sons- Shwet, Harit, Jibhoot, Rohit, Vaidyut, Maanas and Suprabh. Hence Shaalmaldweep was also divided into seven divisions named after these princes. A sea of sugarcane juice surrounds this island. Shaalmaldweep has seven mountains which are the source of all the gemstones. Seven rivers flow in Shaalmaldweep. These rivers contain innumerable kinds of medicinal herbs. Lord Vishnu is worshipped there in Vayu form. Because of the abundance of Semul (silk cotton) trees, this island came to be known as Shaalmaldweep. A sea of wine surrounds this island.

 

Kushdweep- The ruler of Kushdweep, Jyotishmaan had seven sons. Their names were Venumaan, Vairath, Lamban, Ghriti, Prabhakar and Kapil. The divisions of this island were named after them. This island too has seven mountains and seven rivers.

 

Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Janardan form. Because of abundance of Kusha grass, this island is known as Kushdweep. A sea of ghee surrounds this island.

 

Kraunchdweep- The ruler of Kraunchdweep, Dyutimaan had seven sons named Kushal, Mandak, Ushna, Peevar, Andhkaarak, Muni and Dudhumbi. Hence the seven divisions of this island were named after these princes. This island too has seven mountains and seven main rivers with hundreds of small rivers and tributaries. Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Rudra form through Yagyas. A sea of whey surrounds this island.

 

Shaakhdweep- The ruler of Shaakhdweep Bhavya, also had seven sons named Jalad, Kumar, Sukumar, Marichak, Kutumod, Maudaaki and Mahadrum. Hence the seven divisions of this island were named after these princes; this island too has seven mountains and seven holy rivers. Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Surya form. Because of an abundance of Shaakh trees, this island got its name. A sea of milk surrounds this island.

 

Pushkardweep- This is the largest among all the seven islands. Its ruler Savan had two sons- Mahavir and Dhaataki. Hence, this island has two divisions- Mahavirkhand and Dhaatakikhand. A huge mountain named Maansotra is situated at the centre of this great island. Brahma stays on a huge Banyan tree in this island. A sea of sweet water surrounds this island.

1.2.5     Description of the Nether Worlds

Earth’s total height is 70,000 Yojans. In her depth, are situated seven nether worlds with a depth of 10,000 Yojans each respectively. Names of these seven nether worlds are Atal, Vital, Nital, Gamastimaan, Mahaatal, Sutal and Paatal. These nether worlds have beautiful palaces, and have lands which are white, black, red and yellow in colour with gravel, rocky and golden soil. Scores of races including Daanav, Daitya, Yaksha and Naagas live there.

 

Once upon a time, Naarad visited these nether worlds. When he returned to heaven, he told the people there that the nether world was more beautiful than heaven. He told them that ornaments of the Naagas contained precious gemstones and the womenfolk of Daitya and Daanavas were an attraction even for the gods. The sun was illuminating in the nether worlds but not scorching. Similarly, the Moon only shone there but did not cause bitter cold.

 

Beneath the nether worlds is situated an idolised form of Lord Vishnu. It is known as Shesh. Even the demons and giants cannot describe His virtues. He has thousands of hoods each carrying a bright gemstone that illuminates the azimuths. In His presence, the demons lose their strength. His eyes are red and He wears an earring, crown, garland and blue length of cloth. Bearing the flow of Ganges, He stays like the Kailash Mountain. At the end of the Kalp, poison emanates from His thousands of hoods and destroys all the three worlds taking the form of Rudra named Sankarshan. Nobody can find the ends of His virtues; hence He is known as Anant.

1.2.6     Description of Hells

Beneath the earth and water are situated the hells into which, the sinners are thrown. Raurav, Sukar, Rodha, Taal, Vishsan, Mahajwaal, Taptakumbh, Lavan, Vilohit, Rudhirambh, Vaitarni, Krimish, Krimibhojan, Asipatravan, Krishna, Lalabhaksha, Daarun, Puyuvah, Paap, Vahnijwaal, Adhahshira, Sandansh, Kaalsutra, Tamas, Aavichi, Swabhojan, Apratishthit and Aprachi are the main hells. These are all under the domain of Yamaraaj.

 

Those who give false witness are thrown into Raurav hell. Those who kill unborn babies and cows or destroy the villages fall into Rodha hell. Those who drink wine, kill Brahmin or steal gold fall into Sukar hell. Those who kill Kshatriya or Vaishya fall into Taal hell. Those who copulate with teacher’s wife or their own sister fall in Taptakumbh hell. Those who sell women and horses fall in Taptloha hell. Those who copulate with their daughter or daughter-in-law fall into Mahajwaal hell. Those who criticise the teachers and the Vedas or sell Vedas fall into Lavan hell. Those who violate social norms fall in Vilohit hell and those who envy the gods, the Brahmins and their parents fall in Krimibhaksha hell.

 

Those who dine first even before the parents, the gods and the guests fall into Lalabhaksha hell. Those who manufacture arrows fall in Vedhak hell. Those who manufacture swords fall in Vishsan hell. Backbiters, killers of friends and sellers of wine fall in Rudhiraandh hell. Destroyers of Yagya and villages fall in Vaitarni hell.

 

Thus, the sinners have to suffer scores of tortures in these and many other hells. These sinners after passing their lives in the hell take birth as worms, aquatic animals and birds, terrestrial animals, human beings, religious people etc. Only those sinners who do not expiate for their sins fall into the hell. Our sages have made provisions of expiation for those sinners who feel guilty in their conscience after committing their sins. Remembrance of Lord’s name is in itself the greatest expiation. Remembrance of Lord’s name anytime in life destroys all the previous sins instantaneously. Hence recitation of Vasudeva’s name is sure way of attaining salvation. Thus those who recite and remember Lord Vishnu’s name never fall in any hell because their sins have been destroyed. Anything where one feels pleasant is heaven and opposite of it is hell.

1.2.7     Description of Celestial Worlds

Maitreya says- “O Brahmin! Kindly narrate now about the celestial worlds and the position of stars and planets there.”

Parashar says- At a height of 1,00,000 Yojans above the earth is the sphere of the Sun. 1,00,000 Yojans above it is the sphere of the Moon and 1,00,000 Yojans above it is the sphere of the stars.

At a height of 2,00,000 Yojans above, the sphere of stars is Buddh (Mercury) and 2,00,000 Yojans above it is Shukra (Venus). Above Venus are Mangal (Mars), Brihaspati (Jupiter), and Shani (Saturn) at respective heights of 2,00,000 Yojans each. 1,00,000 Yojans above the Saturn is Saptarishi and 1,00,000 Yojans above it is the sphere of Dhruv. It appears as the centre of a bright ring.

One crore Yojans above Dhruv is Maharloka where sages like Bhrigu etc. live. Two crore Yojans above Maharloka is Janaloka where Brahma’s sons Sanakaadi Kumars live. At a height of 8,00,00,000 Yojans above Janaloka is Tapaloka live deities named Vairaaj who are never consigned to flames. Twelve crore Yojans above Tapaloka is Satyaloka which is also known as Brahmaloka. Only immortal beings live there.

1.2.8     Order of the Sun, the Stars and other Constellations

The Sun travels speedily across the sky like an arrow. He determines the night and the day. With the rising and setting of the Sun, one can have knowledge of the directions. Sun lights up all the places in the entire world except Brahmaloka. Sun’s rays that reach Brahmaloka return back rendered ineffective by the radiance of Brahma. Since Mount Sumeru is situated at the north of all the islands and Varsh, hence towards the northern side of it, one part of land experiences the day while another part experiences the night all the time. The radiant Sun setting merges with fire. Hence, fire also has the power of illuminating and warming its environment.

 

At the beginning of Uttaraayan (northward motion of the Sun), the Sun enters the zodiac of Capricorn. Travelling through Aquarius and Pisces, it reaches the equator which is at the centre of the earth. Thereafter the nights begin to decrease in comparison of the days. Then travelling through Aries, Taurus and Gemini, the Sun enters Cancer to begin its southward journey.

 

The period of time between the day and night is dusk twilight. At that time, formidable demons try to swallow the Sun. Thus they have fierce battle with the Sun. The recitation of hymns by learned Brahmins during dusk twilight helps the Sun regain his lost radiance. With his brilliance then the demons are destroyed. Thus the Sun is a perfect form of Lord Vishnu. It shines with its inner radiance. Omkar is a symbolisation of the Sun. It is also mandatory for the Brahmins to perform evening worship. Those who do not worship in the evening hurt the Sun.

 

Towards the north of Saptarishi constellation, where polestar is situated, there is an abode of Lord Vishnu. Only those sages can reach there who are free from faults and whose sins and pious deeds have been attenuated. Supremely brilliant Dhruv stays in the abode of Vishnu. Every other thing is dependent upon Dhruv. All the Nakshatras also depend on Dhruv. On Nakshatras depend the clouds and on the clouds depends the rain and on the rains depend the nourishment of entire world. Thus, all the other things come to depend upon Dhruv.

 

The sacred Ganges which is the destroyer of every sin also rises from the abode of Lord Vishnu. Dhruv bears the Ganges on his head. Flowing through the sphere of the Moon, the Ganges falls on Mount Meru and flows in every direction to sanctify the entire world. Bathing in the water of the Ganges destroys all the sins. Offering of oblations in the waters of Ganges satiates dead ancestors for one hundred years.

 

Starry, chameleon-like appearance of Lord Vishnu can be seen in the night sky. A polestar is present in its tail. All the other stars, the Sun, the Moon and other planets are present on different parts of this chameleon and go round the polestar. Uttanpaad’s son Dhruv had pleased this chameleon-like appearance of Lord Vishnu with his penance and sought a fixed position in His tail. Even the Sun is dependent on Dhruv.

 

The Sun keeps on evaporating the water for eight months in a year. This evaporated water then rains for four months and nourishes the soil and produces different kinds of cereals for the nourishment of the entire world. The water that is evaporated by the Sun also nourishes the Moon. But the Moon itself does not consume that water. Instead it gives that water to the clouds. During winter season, this water released by the Moon falls on earth as snow and dew.

 

The Sun draws water from Akashganga (the Milky Way) also and causes it to rain on earth at once. That water is so sacred that mere touch of it destroys all the sins. The rains that fall during Nakshatras like Kritika; Rohini, Addra etc. come from the water of Akashganga.

1.2.9     Twelve Names of the Sun

In the month of Chaitra, the Sun rides his chariot as Dhaata. During that period, elf Kratusthala, sage Pulastya, Naag Vaasuki, Yaksha Rathmirith, demon Heti and the Gandharva Tumbaru are also present on the chariot as his assistants.

In the month of Vaishaakh, the Sun rides his chariot as Aryamaa with sage Pulah, Yaksha Rathauja, elf Punjasthala, demon Praheti, snake Kachchhveer and Gandharva Naarad as his assistants.

In the month of Jyeshtha, the Sun is known as Mitra with sage Atri, snake Takshak, demon Paurusheya, elf Menaka, Gandharva Haha and Yaksha Rathswan as his assistants.

In the month of Ashaad, the Sun rides his chariot as Varun with sage Vashishta, snake Naag, elf Sahajanya, Gandharva Huhu, demon Ratha and Yaksha Rathachitra as his assistants.

In the month of Shraavan, the Sun is known as Indra with Gandharva Vishwabasu, Yaksha Strot, snake Elaputra, sage Angira, elf Prabhalocha and the demon Sarpi as his assistants.

In the month of Bhaadrapad, the Sun is known as Vivasvaan. With Gandharva Ugrasena, sage Bhrigu, Yaksha, Aapuran, elf Anubhlocha, snake Shankhpaal and the demon Vyaghra as his assistants.

In the month of Ashwin, the Sun is known as Pusha with Gandharva Vasuruchi, demon Vaat, sage Gautam, snake Dhananjay, Yaksha Sushen and the elf Ghritaachi as his assistants. In the month of Kartik, the Sun is known as Parjanya and is assisted by the Gandharva Vishwabasu, sage Bharadwaj, snake Airavat, elf Vishwashree, Yaksha Senjit and the demon Aap.

In the month of Maargsheersh, the Sun is known as Ansh and is assisted by sage Kashyap, Yaksha Tarkshya, snake Mahapadma, elf Urvashi, Gandharva Chitrasen and the demon Vidyut. In the month of Paush, the Sun is known as Bhaga and is assisted by sage Kratu, Gandharva Urnaayu, demon Sfurja, snake Karkotak, Yaksha Arishtnemi and elf Purvachitti. In the month of Maagh, the Sun is known as Twasta with sage Jamadagni, snake Cambal, elf Tilottama, demon Brahmopet, Yaksha Ritaajit and Gandharva Dhritarashtra.

In the month of Phagun, the Sun is known as Vishnu and is assisted by snake Ashwatar, elf Rambha, Gandharva Suryavacha, Yaksha Shatajit, sage Vishwamitra and the demon Yagyopet. Thus having some parts of Lord Vishnu’s radiance, these seven ganas stay in the sphere of the Sun for one month alternatively. They are also the cause of seasons like summer, winter and rain.

1.2.10  Description of Surya Shakti and Vaishnava Shakti

Maitreya says- “Lord, if only the seven Ganas are entrusted with the job of causing cold and summer, drought and rain, what is the purpose then of the Sun’s existence? “

 

Parashar says- It is true that Surya is one of the seven Ganas. Yet being the chief among them, it has special significance. Omnipotent para-power of Lord Vishnu is nothing but the three Vedas. These together stay within the Sun and provide it with energy necessary to sustain the world. Their presence within the Sun remains constant irrespective of the Sun’s changing names every month. In the morning, Rigveda prays the Sun with its Shrutis. In the noontime, Yajurveda prays the Sun whereas in the evening, Shrutis of Samaveda pray the Sun. Thus, Lord Vishnu always energises the Sun.

 

Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are also present in trinity form. Their trinity too represents the three Vedas. At the beginning of creation, Brahma was in the form of Rigveda. During the sustenance of the universe, Lord Vishnu stays in Yajurveda form whereas at the end of the creation when Pralay occurs, Rudra takes Samaveda form. Hence the recitation of Samaveda is considered inauspicious. Energies of the trinity stays within the Sun in synergetic form. Hence the Sun glows brilliantly and destroys the darkness.

 

Lord Vishnu, who represents energy of this trinity, never rises nor sets. His Vaishnavi Shakti never parts with the Sun’s chariot and stays there irrespective of the changing names of the Sun with months. Thus, the Sun, which causes the formation of day and night always satiates Pitragana, Devgana and human beings. One of the Sun’s rays named Sushumna nourishes the Moon during its brighter phase. Then during the darker phase, the gods drink the phases of the Moon, which are in fact, ambrosia accumulated during the brighter phase. When two days are left for the completion of darker phase, Pitragana drink the remaining two phases of the Moon. Thus, the Sun satiates the gods and the deceased ancestors.

 

The water that the Sun draws from earth is returned to the earth in the form of rains. This rainfall produces cereals, which nourish the entire population on earth.

1.2.11  Description of the Nine Planets

The Moon rides a chariot with three wheels. This chariot is hauled by ten horses. During its entire journey, the Moon passes through all the twenty-seven Nakshatras. These horses haul the Moon’s chariot for a complete Kalpa. With his rays, the Sun nourishes the Moon, which loses its strength because of drinking of its ambrosia by the gods.

 

When the gods brought even the last drop of nectar from the Moon, it enters the Sun’s sphere. That day is known as Amavasya (moonless night). That day, the Moon first enters the water then the foliage of the trees, creepers etc. and ultimately enters the Sun’s sphere. That is why, anybody who cuts trees or even plucks a leaf commits crime equal to killing of Brahmin. On the day of Amavasya, Pitragana drink the nectar from the Moon and feel sated. Thus, Moon sates the gods during the brighter phase and the Pitragana during darker phase. The Moon also showers its nectar on the trees, creepers and other vegetation. It also causes exhilaration for the human beings, animals, birds and creatures like insects etc.

 

Buddha (Mercury) is the son of the Moon. His chariot is made of fire and air and is hauled by eight horses of deep yellow colour. The chariot of Shukra (Venus) is also very splendid and is adorned by beautiful flags. Mangal (Mars) rides a golden chariot, which is born from the fire. His chariot is hauled by eight red horses. Brihaspati rides a golden chariot hauled by eight yellow horses. Shani (Saturn) is famous for slow motion. He rides a chariot which was born from the sky. The colour of his chariot’s horses is also very peculiar. Rahu’s chariot is brown in colour and is hauled by eight black horses. Ketu’s chariot is also drawn by eight horses, which are red in colour.

 

Chariots of all the nine planets are tied to Dhruv. Thus, all of them traverse the same path again and again year after year. Sighting of Shishumaar chakra (constellation path) in the night destroys all the sins that a human being commits during the daytime.

 

Water is a tangible form of Lord Vishnu. Even the earth was born out of water. Stars, all the three worlds, forests, vegetation, mountains, directions, rivers, sea and entire nature is the form of Lord Vishnu. This vivid nature thus shows omnipresence character of Lord Vishnu.

1.2.12  Life Sketch of Bharat

Maitreya says- “Lord! Now I wish to hear various tales from the life of King Bharat. He was born in a pious land and always contemplated on God. Even then why he failed to attain salvation? What did he do in his next birth as a Brahmin?”

 

Parashar says- King Bharat always contemplated on God. He stayed at Shaalgraam for a long time. There he used to recite the names of God and collect various materials for His worship. Other than that, he did not do anything. One day while he was taking bath in the river, a doe arrived at the opposite bank. She was in the final stage of pregnancy. While she was drinking water, a lion roared somewhere in the forest behind her. That roar frightened the doe so much that she jumped across the river to save her life. Exertion of jumping resulted in premature littering of her fawn, which fell in the river. On the other hand, the doe also could not bear the pain and died.

 

King Bharat rescued the just born fawn and brought it to his hermitage. Since then he began to foster the fawn with love and care. With time, Bharat’s attachment grew for the fawn and whenever it went out of sight, he would feel perplexed. Soon King Bharat deserted everything for the love of the fawn. He even left his routine worship and meditation for it would be hard to concentrate whenever the fawn was near and at times when the fawn was out of sight, it worried Bharat and hence he could not concentrate.

 

But the fawn could not give up its natural instincts. When it grew up, one day, it happened to sight a herd of deer and mingled with it to find a mate of its own choice and since that day, it never returned to the hermitage. Separation from the deer proved fatal for the King Bharat. While dying his mind was fully concentrating on the thoughts of the deer which he had fostered with love and care. Because of it, Bharat took his next birth as a deer. But still he remembered his past life. So he deserted his herd and found a place in Shaalgraam where he passed his time eating dry grass and foliage.

 

In his next birth, Bharat was born in a cultured Brahmin family. In this birth also, he remembered his past lives. Since birth, Bharat knew all the rituals and scriptures and saw his soul in a transcendental way. Hence, even after his thread ceremony, he did not take up his education. Even the teachers failed to incite his interest in education. Bharat roamed here and there, clad in rags and was hence insulted by fellow Brahmins and village folk.

 

Thus Bharat remained indifferent to the others’ treatment and sustained himself on whatever little he got to eat. After the demise of his father, his brothers made him work hard in the fields but gave little to eat. Because of his inertness, he was known as Jadabharat.

 

One night, when Jadabharat was guarding his fields, the king’s commander-in-chief, Vrishatraaj caught him and took him away. The king wanted to sacrifice him before goddess Mahakali. But seeing the supreme Yogi being brought as a votive animal, goddess Mahakali expressed her wrath by decapitating the king and drank his blood.

 

In another incident later on, the king of Sauveer was travelling in a palanquin to visit sage Kapil for religious preaching. Incidentally, one man fell short to carry his palanquin, so the other carriers saw and caught Jadabharat to forcibly engage him in the work of carrying the palanquin. While walking, Jadabharat was taking care not to put his feet on any creature. So he was moving very slowly whereas other carriers were walking briskly. As a result of it, the palanquin was moving jerkily causing irritation to the king. The king enquired the carriers about the reasons of that jerky motion. The carriers informed him that it was because of the new recruit who is moving very slowly. The king shouted at Jadabharat- “You appear to be quite burly. Don’t you have enough strength? Does a little work tire you?” Jadabharat said- “O king! Neither I am burly nor carrying your palanquin. I am neither tired nor there is any need for me to labour.” The king said- “Apparently you are burly and my palanquin is also resting on your shoulder. Carrying a load always tires anybody. How are you different then from the others?”

 

Jadabharat said- “O king! First of all, tell me, what do you see directly? Your saying that I am carrying your palanquin is also meaningless. Now listen to what I say. Both my feet are resting on the earth. On the feet are thighs, and on the thighs is belly, on the belly are chest, shoulders and arms. Your palanquin is resting on the shoulders. What load am I carrying then? You are in the palanquin and I am on the earth are meaningless words. All the creatures, you and me are all carried by the five basic elements. Even our virtues are controlled by our action. Only action is born out of ignorance. The soul is pure, non-degradable, calm, intangible and beyond all nature. This same soul pervades all the creatures. It neither grows nor decays. Why did you say then that I am burly? If this palanquin that is resting on my shoulders-chest-belly-thighs and feet, could be a burden for me, it could also be a burden for you. Like this, all the living beings are carrying not only this palanquin but all the mountains, trees, houses and even the earth.”

 

Saying this, Jadabharat became silent, still carrying the palanquin. The king at once got down from the palanquin and fell at Jadabharat’s feet and said- “O Brahmin! Leave this palanquin and tell me why have you taken this guise. Who are you? What is the reason of your coming here? I am eager to know about you.”

 

Jadabharat said- “I cannot tell what I am and for the reason why I came here, I can say only that coming and going are all done so that one can experience their result. The soul takes an incarnation only to experience the joy and sorrow as per its deeds. Why are you then enquiring specifically about the reason for my coming here?”

 

The king said- “The soul transmigrates from one body to another only because of its action. I want to hear from you preaching regarding ‘who am I cannot be told’. O Brahmin! The soul that is eternal and experiences the results of its action is I. This mark of ego is not a cause of demerit in the soul.”

 

Jadabharat said- “You are right that words do not cause any demerit in the soul. But the ego expressed in the form of words is the reason for demerit in soul. When the same and single soul stays in everybody, possessive words are then meaningless. You are the king. This is the palanquin. They are the carriers and those are the subjects. O king! None of these words has any meaning. This palanquin is made of the wood received from some tree. So tell me what it should be called as- a palanquin or wood. Nobody says that the king is sitting on a tree. It is because of specific construction that a heap of wood has assumed the shape of a palanquin. For the purpose of action, the same soul is identified physically as a man, a woman, a cow, a goat, a horse, an elephant, a bird or a tree. But in fact, the soul is none of them.

 

Things like wealth, king, kingdom, king’s army and all other things that you possess are not fact. They are imaginations. For the subjects, you are king. For the son, you are father. For the wife, you are husband, and the father of her children. O king! Tell me, what should I address you as? Are you different from any of these nouns? Hence, always be careful while considering who am I? O king! The soul is so arranged in different roles that it is very difficult to tell specifically its real identity.”

1.2.13  Jadabharat Preaches the King

The king said-“O Brahmin. I was going to see sage Kapil and have the preaching regarding excellent human virtues. But now, hearing your words, I feel that I need not go any further. You are an ocean of knowledge. Kindly preach me about human virtues.”

 

Jadabharat said- “O king! For those who worship the Lord with a desire to receive wealth and kingdom, these things are a supreme goal. For those who want to attain heaven, action in the form of forming Yagya is the goal. But the supreme virtue is to act in a selfless way without having a desire for results. A Yogi must contemplate on that transcendental soul because it is the only means to merge with that supreme soul.”

 

If the wealth is the goal while it is spent in religious activities. If the son is the goal, the father too might have been a goal for someone. Thus, there is no supreme goal because everything exists for a time then ceases to exist. Hence the assumption of any physical thing as a supreme goal is meaningless. And consideration of soul separate from supreme soul is also futile.

 

The soul is one, all pervasive, impartial, pure, intangible and transcendental. It is free from the cycles of birth and death. It can neither be created nor be destroyed. It is supremely omniscient. Its manifestation in different life forms is temporary and identification of soul with living beings is baseless. Soul which is present in scores of living beings is basically single and same. Once one comes to know this, he doesn’t remain in darkness. Veil of ignorance then parts with him.

1.2.14  Tale of Ribhu and Nidaagh

Hearing Jadabharat’s words, the king fell in deep thoughts. Jadabharat then narrated the tale of Ribhu and Nidaagh. Once upon a time, in the beautiful town of Veernagar at the bank of the river Devika, there lived Nidaagh, the son of Pulastya. He was a disciple of Ribhu, the son of Brahma. Once, after a gap of one thousand years, Ribhu decided to see his disciple Nidaagh. So he arrived at Veernagar. Nidaagh welcomed and treated him warmly. In the night after dinner, they both sat together and Nidaagh asked him if he relished the food.

Ribhu said- “O Brahmin! Only those who feel hungry are sated. I have never experienced hunger or thirst. How then can I tell you about my satisfaction? Hunger and thirst are the virtues of the physical body. Health and satisfaction are the states of mind. O Brahmin! Ask this question only to those who have these virtues, not me. Even the qualities of food like deliciousness and insipidness are meaningless because a delicious edible item loses its taste after sometime and causes irritation instead of satisfaction. Hence you should strive to develop a sense of impartiality towards delicious and insipid food items. Also sense of impartiality is essential to attain salvation.”

1.2.15  Ribhu Preaches Nidaagh

One thousand years after this incident, Ribhu once again decided to see his disciple Nidaagh. So he once again arrived in Veernagar. At that time, king of that town was leading a procession of his army. So there was a great crowd on the main road of the town. Nidaagh was carrying some worship materials from the forest but seeing a huge crowd on the road, he stood aside waiting for its dispersion. Meanwhile, Ribhu also arrived there. Seeing Nidaagh standing alone away from the crowd, Ribhu approached him and asked why he was standing there. Nidaagh said- “O Brahmin! Today, the king of our town had taken out a procession. So I am standing here waiting for the dispersion of crowd so that I can reach home and offer my worship.”

 

Ribhu asked- ” It appears from your words that you know everything about your town. Kindly tell me who is the king and who are the subjects?” Nidaagh said- “The one who is riding an elephant is the king and those who are following him on the ground are his subjects.”

 

Ribhu said- “O Nidaagh! You have shown me the king and the elephant together but did not show their distinguishing symptoms separately. Who is the king among them and who is the elephant?” Nidaagh said- “The one who is above is the king and the one who is beneath is the elephant.” Ribhu said- “Kindly elaborate what is above and what is beneath?” As soon as Ribhu finished his words, Nidaagh climbed on his shoulders and said- “Look, like the king, I am above you and like the elephant, you are beneath me.” Ribhu said- “If you are like the king and I am like the elephant, kindly explain to me, who are you and who am I?”

 

Nidaagh at once climbed down and fell at Ribhu’s feet and said- “Certainly, you are the great sage Ribhu.” Ribhu said- “Yes, I am Ribhu and I have come to preach you out of affection.” Thereafter Ribhu preached Nidaagh on the universality of soul and development of impartial view and left. By his preaching, Nidaagh’s ignorance dispersed and he began to see all the creatures equal to impartially.

 

O king! Like the Brahmin who attains salvation because of impartial view, you also develop an impartial view regarding soul. Then you will not see anyone separate from you. Everything in this world is a manifestation of soul.

 

Parashar says- “Thus preached by Jadabharat, the king of Sauveer left his partial attitude. Jadabharat too received salvation when he realised the true knowledge.”

1.3      Chapter 3 (Part 3)

This chapter contains 17 sections.

1.3.1     Description of Manvataras

Maitreya says- “O Gurudev! Now I wish to hear the description of all the Manvantaras and the Manus who ruled those Manvantaras.”

 

Parashar says- “First Manu was self-begotten. After him five more Manus occurred namely Swarochish, Uttam, Taamas, Raivat and Chaakshush. All these Manus had occurred during the previous ages. The present Manu, Vaivasvat is the son of the Sun and this Manvantara is seventh.”

 

In the Swarochish Manvantara, Paaraavat and Tushitgana were the gods. Vipaschit was Indra. Urjja, Stambh, Praan, Vaat, Vrishabh, Nitya and Parivaan were the Saptarishis. Chaitra and Kimpurush etc. were the sons of Manu.

 

Uttam was the Manu in Uttam Manvantara. Sushaanti was Indra with Sudhaam, Satya, Japa, Pratardan and Vashvarti were his Ganas. Seven sons of Vashishta were Saptarishis.

 

In Taamas Manvantara, there were four categories of the gods namely Supaar, Hari, Satya and Sudhi. Each of them had twenty-seven gods each. King Shibi was Indra during that Manvantara. Jyotirdhama, Prithu, Kaatya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanak and Peevar were Saptarishis.

 

During Raivat Manvantara, Vibhu was Indra. There were four categories of the gods namely Amitabh, Bhootrath, Vaikunth and Sumedha with fourteen gods each. Hiranyaroma, Vedshri, Urdhvabaahu, Vedbaahu, Sudama, Parjanya and Mahamuni were the Saptarishis. Four Manus Swarochish, Uttam, Taamas and Raivat are said to be the direct descendant of King Priyavrat.

 

During Chaakshush Manvantara, Indra’s name was Manojav. Aapya, Prasoot, Bhavya, Prithuk and Lekh were the categories of gods each with eight deities. Sumedha, Viraja, Havishmaan, Uttam, Madhu, Atinaama and Sahishnu were the Saptarishis.

 

During the present Manvantara, the Sun’s brilliant son Shraaddhdev is Manu. Aditya, Vasu and Rudra are the categories of the gods. Indra’s name is Purandar. Vashishta, Kashyap, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautam, Vishwamitra and Bharadwaj are the Saptarishis. Present Manu has nine sons Ikshvaaku, Nrig, Drisht, Sharayaati, Narishyant, Naabhaag, Arisht, Karush and Prishadhra.

1.3.2     Birth of Savarni Manu and Description of the Next Manvataras

Maitreya says- “O sage, now kindly narrate about the Manvantaras that are to come in future.”

 

Parashar says- Vishwakarma’s daughter Sangya was the wife of Surya. They had three children, Manu, Yama and Yamani. Sangya once felt unable to bear the radiance of Surya. So, appointing Chhaya (her shadow) in the service of Surya, she herself migrated to the forest and began to observe a penance. Surya mistook Chhaya for Sangya and copulated with her. This resulted in the birth of three children- one more Manu, Shani and Tapati.

 

One day, getting angry for some unknown reason, Chhaya who was in the guise of Sangya cursed Yama. Only then Surya and Yama came to know about her real identity. Through meditation, Surya saw that the real Sangya was observing penance as a mare in the forest. Surya also arrived in the forest and mated with Sangya in horse form. Their mating resulted in the birth of two Ashwini kumars, Retahstrav and Revant. Thereafter, Surya brought Sangya to his abode where Vishwakarma dulled his radiance. Chhaya’s son, Manu was a sibling of Manu; hence he came to be known as Saavarni.

 

During the next Manvantara, Saavarni will rule as Manu. Sutap, Amitabh and Mukhya will be the categories of gods each with twenty deities. Ditimaan, Gaalav, Rama, Krip, Ashwatthama, Rishishring and my son, Vedavyasa will be among the Saptarishis. By the grace of Lord Vishnu, Virochan’s son Bali will occupy the throne of Indra.

 

Daksha Saavarni will be the ninth Manu. During that Manvantara, Paar, Maarichgarv and Sudharma will be the three categories of the gods with twelve deities each. Adbhut will be Indra. Savan, Dyutimaan, Bhavya, Vasu, Meghatithi, Jyotishmaan and Sata will be among the Saptarishis.

 

Brahma Saavarni will be the tenth Manu. During that Manvantara, Sudhaama and Vishuddh will be the two categories of gods with hundred deities each. Shanti will be Indra. Havishmaan, Sukrit, Satya, Tapomurti, Naabhaag, Apratimauja and Satyaketu will be among the Saptarishis.

 

Dharmasaavarni will be the eleventh Manu. Vihangam, Kaamgam and Nirvaangati will be the categories of gods each with thirty deities. Indra’s name will be Vish. Nihsvar, Agniteja, Vayushmaan, Ghrini, Aaruni, Havishmaan and Anagh will be among the Saptarishis.

 

Rudraputra Saavarni will be the twelfth Manu. Ritudhaama will be Indra and Harit, Rohit, Sumna, Sukarma and Suraag will be the five categories of the gods each with ten deities. Tapasvi, Sutapa, Tapomurti, Taporati, Tapoghriti, Tapodyuti and Tapodhan will be among the Saptarishis.

 

Ruchi will be the thirteenth Manu. Sutrama, Sukarma and Sudharma will be the categories of the gods each with thirty-three deities. Devaspati will be Indra. Nirmoha, Tatvagarshi, Nishprakam, Nirutsuk, Ghritimaan, Avyay and Sutapa will be among the Saptarishis.

 

Bhaum will be the fourteenth Manu. Suchi will be Indra. Chaakshush, Pavitra, Kanishth, Bhraajik and Vaachaavriddh will be the five categories of the gods. Agnibaahu, Suchi, Shukra, Maagadh, Agnidhra, Yukt and Jit will be among the Saptarishis.

 

With the passing of these fourteen Manvantaras, a Kalpa that comprises of one thousand Yugas will come to an end. In Satayug, Lord Vishnu preaches about the metaphysical knowledge in Kapil’s incarnation. In Tretayug, He destroys the evil doers and protects the world. In Dwaparyug, He divides the Vedas into four divisions. At the end of Kaliyug, Lord takes Kali incarnation and inspires corrupt people to religious path. Thus, Lord Vishnu maintains order in all the four Yugas and causes the creation, sustenance and ultimately destruction of the universe.

1.3.3     Description of Veda Vyasa and the Significance of BrahmaGyana

Maitreya says- “O Lord! How did God divide Vedas in the form of Vedavyasa during different Yugas?”

 

Parashar says- During each Dwaparyug, in every Kalpa, Lord Vishnu takes incarnation as Vedavyasa and effects the division of Vedas for the benefit of human beings.

 

During every Dwaparyug of the present Vaivasvat Manvantara, different Vyasas have divided the Vedas twenty-eight times. During the first Dwapar, Brahma himself had divided the Vedas. During the second Dwapar, Prajapati was Vedavyasa. During the third Dwapar, Shukracharya was Vedavyasa. During fourth Dwapar, Brihaspati acted as Vedavyasa.

 

Description of other sages who acted as Vedavyasa during the subsequent Dwapars is as follows- Surya- fifth Vedavyasa; Mrityu- sixth Vedavyasa, Indra- seventh Vedavyasa, Vashishta- eighth Vedavyasa, Saraswat- ninth Vedavyasa, Tridhama- tenth Vedavyasa, Trishikh- eleventh Vedavyasa, Bharadwaj- twelfth Vedavyasa, Antariksh- thirteenth Vedavyasa, Varani- fourteenth Vedavyasa. Names of next fourteen Vedavyasas are as follows- Trayyarun, Dhananjay, Krutunjay, Jay, Bharadwaj, Gautam, Haryatma, Vaajshrava, Trinbindhu, Riksh (Valmiki), Shakti, Parashar, Jaatukarn and Krishnadwaipayan. After Krishnadwaipayan, Drona’s son, Ashwatthama will be the next Vedavyasa.

1.3.4     Expansion of the Branches of the Rg Veda

At the beginning of creation, Rigveda contained all the four Vedas with hundred thousand mantras. That Rigveda helped a lot in the propagation of ten kinds of Yagyas. Then during the twenty-eighth Dwapar, my son, Krishnadwaipayan effected the division of Rigveda in four Vedas. At the same time, he also trained four of his distinguished disciples in the study of Vedas. Each one of them was interested with the study of one particular Veda for infinite period of time. Accordingly, sage Pail mastered in Rigveda, Vaishampayan in Yajurveda, Jaimini in Samaveda and Sumantu in Atharvaveda. With the four Vedas, practice of Chaturhotra also came into being. Chaturhotra is now the main guiding feature of all kinds of Yagyas. Vyasa also established the Karmas of Adhvarayu by Yajurveda, of Hota by Rigveda, of Udgaata by Samaveda and of Brahma by Atharvaveda.

 

Sage Pail divided Rigveda into two divisions and taught them to two of his disciples- Indrapramiti and Vaashkal. In his term, Vaashkal divided his branch into four sub-branches and taught them to his disciples. Indrapramiti taught his branch of Rigveda to his talented son, sage Maandukeya. Thus branches and sub-branches of Rigveda grew substantially. In this tradition, Shaakalyavedamitra learnt a Samhita and divided it into five sub-branches. One of his disciples named Shaakpurn created three Samhitas whereas his another disciple created Nirukta Grantha. Vaashkal created three Samhitas and taught them to Kaalaayani, Gaargya and Tathaaja.

1.3.5     Description of the Branches of the Yajur Veda

A disciple of Vedavyasa named Vaishampayan created twenty-seven branches of Yajurveda and taught them to his disciples. He had a disciple Yagyavalkya who was the son of Brahmarat. At that time, all the sages together constituted a rule that whoever did not join their group within seven days on Mahameru would be held as a sinner equal to killing a Brahmin. Only Vaishampayan had violated that ruling. The curse of the sages did come true when Vaishampayan killed his sleeping nephew accidentally. Then he asked his disciples to do away with his sin.

 

Yagyavalkya said- “Lord! All these Brahmins are extremely dull. I will alone do away with your sin.” These boastful words infuriated Vaishampayan. He said- “You are insulting these Brahmins so at once, regurgitate whatever I have taught you.” Yagyavalkya said- “Lord! I uttered these words out of devotion for you. Still you wish me to regurgitate what you have taught me. Here it is! Saying this, Yagyavalkya vomited out all the Shrutis of Yajurveda. Other disciples of Vaishampayan pecked them in the form of partridges. Since then, they came to be known as Taitriya Brahmins. Holding his breath, Yagyavalkya then started the worship of the Sun with a desire to regain Yajurveda.

 

Pleased by his prayers, Surya appeared before him in horse form and asked him to seek a boon. Yagyavalkya requested Surya to preach him those Shrutis of Yajurveda, which were not known even to his teacher, Vaishampayan. Surya preached him those Shrutis of Yajurveda, which were known as Aayaatyaam. The Brahmins who read these Shrutis came to be known as Vaaji. Nowadays, there are fifteen sub-branches of these Vaaji Shrutis, which were initially expounded by sage Yagyavalkya.

1.3.6     The Branches of the Sama Veda and the 18 Puranas

Sage Jaimini, a disciple of Vedavyasa, effected branches of Samaveda. Sage Jaimini had a son, Sumantu. Sumantu in turn had a son, Sukarma. Both of them studied a branch of Samaveda each. Sukarma divided his branch of Samaveda into sub-branches and taught them to his two disciples- Kaushalya Hiranyanaabh and Paushpinji. Hiranyanaabh had five hundred disciples. Upon receiving the knowledge of Samaveda branch from Hiranyanaabh, these disciples came to be known as Prachya Saamaag. Disciples of Paushpinji also effected divisions in Samaveda that they received from their teacher. One more disciple of Hiranyanaabh named Kriti taught twenty-four Samhitas of Samaveda to his disciples.

 

Sage Sumant taught Atharvaveda to his disciple Kabandh. Kabandh divided it into two parts and taught them to Devdarsh and Pathya respectively. A disciple of Pathya named Shaunak divided his Samhita into two parts and gave one of them to his disciple Vabhru and another to Saindhav. Saindhav’s disciple Munjikesh divided his Samhita into three parts. Presently, five Samhitas of Atharvaveda namely Nakshatrakalpa, Vedakalpa, Samhitakalpa, Aangiraskalpa and Shantikalpa are considered authentic.

 

Still unsatisfied by his achievement, sage Vedavyasa created Puraan Samhita and taught them to his famous disciple Romaharshan Suta. The Samhita that was created by Romaharshan was the base of three Samhitas- Akritvrana, Saavarni and Shaanspaayan created by Kashyapgotriya Brahmins. Vishnu Puraan is in a way a summation of these four Samhitas. There are in all eighteen Puraans. In chronological order, these are as follows- Brahma Puraan, Padma Puraan, Vaishnav Puraan, Shaiv Puraan, Bhaagwat Puraan. Naarad Puraan, Markandeya Puraan, Agneya Puraan, Bhavishya Puraan, Brahmavaivart Puraan, Linga Puraan, Varaha Puraan, Skand Puraan, Vaaman Puraan, Kaurma Puraan, Matsya Puraan, Garud Puraan and Brahmaand Puraan.

1.3.7     Yama Gita

Maitreya says- “Lord! At the end of a life span, all the people come to be controlled by Yamaraaj. When they are bound to undergo scores of suffering in different kinds of hells. Kindly narrate about such action by which a human being gets free from the noose of Yamaraaj.”

 

Parashar says- Youngest among the Pandavas, Nakul had once put the same question before Pitamaha Bheeshma. I am narrating what once Bheeshma had narrated to Nakul. Before sending Yamaraaj advises his agents to stay away from the devotee of Lord Krishna.

 

Yamaraaj is lord of all the human beings except Vaishnavas. Only Lord Vishnu is able to control Yamaraaj. About the devotee of Lord Vishnu, Yamaraaj says – He who does not deviate from his duties even in severest of crisis, who does not steal the wealth of others and kill animals is undoubtedly a devotee of Lord Vishnu. He who bears Lord Vishnu in his heart is a devotee of Lord Vishnu. He who is free from all kinds of ego and illusions and always wishes well for the others with pure and peaceful heart is a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Thus those who always contemplate on Lord Vishnu don’t even fear death. Yama, Yamadoot, Yamapaash, Yamagana and even tortures of Yama are unable to hurt them.

1.3.8     Duties of Four Classes of Society

Maitreya says – “Lord! How should one worship Lord Vishnu? Kindly describe it to me.

 

Parashar says- King Sagar had asked the same thing from sage Aurv. I am narrating what sage Aurv had preached him.

 

Only those who fulfil their responsibilities and discharge their duties as per their class can worship Lord Vishnu. Those who shun activities like criticising others, backbiting, womanising, stealing others’ wealth and violence; those who do not torture others and are always ready to serve the gods, Brahmins and teachers are able to please Lord Vishnu. Similarly, one should be always conscious regarding his duties as per his class.

 

Accordingly, a Brahmin should carry out Yagyas, study scriptures and should not ever try to hurt anybody. A Kshatriya must organise Yagyas and study scriptures. He should also make donations to Brahmins and take weapons in order to protect the earth. A Vaishya must earn his livelihood through cattle rearing, commerce and agriculture. Besides he should also organise Yagyas make donations and study scriptures. A Shudra is expected to earn his livelihood through handicrafts. Saluting learned people is equal to organising Yagya for a Shudra. A Shudra may also make donations and oblations to appease his dead ancestors.

 

In the time of emergency, a Brahmin may shift to the occupations meant for Kshatriya and Vaishya. A Kshatriya may take the occupation of a Vaishya during emergency but none of them should ever take to the occupation of Shudra.

1.3.9     Description of Different Ashrams

Since birth till death, human life passes through different stages. For the purpose of simplicity in following these stages, our sages have made provisions for four stages or Ashrams in life namely Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanprastha and Sanyaas.

 

Upanayana Sanskara (thread ceremony) marks the beginning of education for the children born in Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya classes. For this purpose, a disciple must stay in his teacher’s hermitage and observe celibacy strictly. There, he must serve his teacher and worship Surya and Agni. The disciple is expected never to disobey his teacher. Activities should be according to the teacher’s guidelines. He should also make arrangements for the daily worship of his teacher in the way of collecting different materials like Havan saamagri, water, Kusha, flowers etc.

 

After the completion of education and paying all the dues, the disciple is ready to start second stage of his life that is Grihasthashram. For this he should first find a suitable girl from his class and make merry. During this stage, he should earn his livelihood by occupations ascribed for his class. He should please the gods by Yagyas, his ancestors by oblations, Prajapatis by producing children, spectres by offering sacrifices of cereals and society by love. Even the ascetic and celibates depend on married people for their daily bread. Hence married life or Grihasthashram is stated to be excellent among all the Ashrams.

 

A Grihastha must welcome and warmly treat the guests who arrive unexpectedly. Such a household from where a guest returns desperately never succeeds in religious matters. All the worship and Yagyas offered in such a household go futile. Hence it is not proper for the householder to show ego and abuse a guest otherwise he will have to expiate for it later.

 

A person must always be on alert to recognise the time when it is apt to take Vanprastha. When the children grow and begin to hold the responsibility of the household, one enters the third stage i.e. Vanprasthashram. So, leaving his wife in the shelter of his children or taking her with him, one should migrate to the forest and live a simple life sustaining on whatever little is available from the nature. This stage must be passed observing severe penance and restraining one’s senses.

 

Sanyaasashram is the fourth stage of life. One should give up all activities related to Dharma, Artha and Kama in this stage. He should keep an impartial view for all and cultivate a feeling of love for all the creatures. He should not hurt anybody by his words, actions or even thoughts. He should not stay in a village or town for more than five days. He should sustain his life on alms.

1.3.10  Customs and Consecrations

At the time of childbirth, it is the father’s responsibility to carry out certain customs and consecrations for the child. First of all, Jatakarma Sanskara is carried out by which the newly born baby is included in the family. During this custom, a Brahmin couple is fed. It is also necessary for the couple that they should sit facing east while feeding. Thereafter, the parents should offer oblations to appease the gods and dead ancestors. Lumps made of barley flour, curd and berries should be offered as oblations. Similar consecrations are carried out at the time of children’s marriage.

 

On the tenth day after the birth, the naming ceremony is carried out. Different castes and religion have different traditions regarding naming the newly born child. It is commonly seen that most of the children are named after the deities and gods. Still one should see that the name should not be meaningless, abusive or inauspicious. Practice of selecting exceptionally long and difficult to pronounce names should also be avoided.

 

The second stage in a child’s life is when he or she begins education. In ancient times, thread ceremony used to be carried out and the children were sent to their teacher’s hermitage for education. In modern age, thread ceremony is followed more or less in similar way as it used to be in the past. But children are not sent to Gurukul for education any more.

 

After completing education, a person should get married and run his own life. In the past, there had been elaborate rituals for the selection of suitable bride. Elders of the house used to select a proper match for the boy. Their choice in most cases depended on many attributes and bodily features of the girl. But in modern age, with increased interaction among the people, it is not possible to follow each and every custom related to selection of bride. Still one should take care not to marry in his mother’s lineage for up to fifth generation and in his father’s lineage up to seventh generation.

1.3.11  Description of Righteousness

A married man knows the importance of following a righteous discourse. Married life is like a penance in which a couple gives birth and raises next generation. A married man is expected to get up early in the morning and contemplate on religious things. It helps him to follow righteous discourse. He is expected to attend nature’s call in natural environment away from his house. Soil is considered the best means to wash hands. It should be followed by cleansing of the body. He should then offer oblations wearing fresh clothes to sages, deities and his dead ancestors. Offering oblations to the Sun, worship of tutelary god and other deities follows then.

 

If the household is having some cattle, the head of the family should himself milk them and then wait for the guest. If and when a guest arrives, the head of the family must offer him a seat respectfully and treat him well with delicious food and pleasant talk. In Indian tradition, a guest is regarded equal to a deity. He should take food only after feeding the guest. Evening time has also elaborate rituals for a married man. First of all, after finishing daily chores, a married man must worship with peaceful mind. It is also good for his health to take food early in the evening and retire to a wooden bedstead. Night time is considered suitable period for enjoying carnal pleasure. Here too, a married man should enjoy intimacy with his wife only.

1.3.12  Sanctification after Birth and Death

Life on earth is like an infinite ocean in which birth appears like a bubble and death marks the bursting of that bubble after which it exists no more. Atmosphere of a household is said to be defiled when a birth or death occurs in it. There are different sanctifying customs to be carried out on both these occasions. After the birth of a son, the father should offer oblations to please the gods and his ancestors after taking a bath.

 

When a death occurs in a household, close relatives should take bath and carry the cadaver adorned with flowers and garlands outside the village or well-demarcated cremation ground for cremation. As per the religious tradition of the deceased, the body should either be consigned to the flames or buried. Then the relatives should again take bath in the pond or river facing south and offer watery oblations to the dead person. Since that day, Pindadaan (offering sweet balls made of barley flour, sesame seeds, jaggery and honey) should be done for ten days. On the fourth day of the cremation, ashes should be collected for immersion in holy places of pilgrimage.

 

The person who had carried out the cremation must abstain from intimacy for thirteen days. Outsiders are also barred from eating cereals from such a household where a death has occurred. For the different classes of Hindu society, this sanctifying period varies. For Brahmins, it is ten days, for Kshatriyas, it is twelve days, for Vaishyas, it is fifteen days and for Shudras, this period has been fixed for one month. On the same day in every subsequent month, oblations should be offered to the dead for one year.

1.3.13  Days for Monthly Oblations

A Shraadh carried out with devotion pleases the entire world including human beings, Brahma, Indra, Rudra, Ashwini Kumars, Surya, Agni, Vasugana, Marudgana, Vishwadeva, Pitragana, birds, animals, reptiles, sages and of course the dead ancestors. Moonless and eighth day in the darker phase of every lunar month are considered the best days for offering oblations to the dead ancestors.

 

Apart from these two, third day in the brighter phase of Vaishaakh, ninth day in brighter phase of Kartik, thirteenth day in the darker phase of Bhaadrapad and Amavasya of Maagh are also considered excellent. During lunar and solar eclipses also, oblations should be made with water and sesame seeds. If Shatabhisha Nakshatra occurs on Amavasya of Maagh, it is considered an excellent conjugation for offering oblations to dead ancestors. Bathing in rivers like Ganga, Sutlej, Yamuna, Vipaasha, Saraswati, Gomti, Godavari etc. while making oblations is also said to be extremely benefiting. It is not necessary also to show great pomp and show while making oblations. If one doesn’t have enough money to offer oblations properly, he may simply pray the Sun saying that ‘he is not fortunate enough to have wealth’. Thus, his ancestors would be pleased by his devotion alone.

1.3.14  Method for Oblations

While making oblations to the dead ancestors, one should feed his near and dear ones as well as learned Brahmins who respect their parents. Intimacy with women is barred for those who have taken food in an oblation. Any guest who happens to arrive unexpectedly and uninvited should be treated well. Before feeding, plain cereals should be offered thrice to the fire reciting following hymns.

AGNAYE KAVYA VAAHAANAYE SWAHAA |
SOMAAY PITRAMATE SWAHAA |
VAIVASVATAAY SWAAHA ||

Remaining cereals then should be served with the food to the Brahmins and some parts should also be cast on earth and water should be offered on them.

After the feast, the Brahmins should be seen off with respect. The host should then take food along with his family. Anger over enthusiasm and walking on the street is forbidden for the host during oblation period.

1.3.15  Do’s and Don’t during Oblation

Oblation with flesh of fish, rabbit, mongoose, hog, deer, ram and cereals cause extreme satisfaction for the ancestors. But in modern Kaliyug, all types of flesh are forbidden in oblation rituals. Only cereals, milk, honey, etc. are allowed. Offering of oblation in Gaya (a place of pilgrimage in Bihar) is said to salve all the ancestors. Barley, wheat, rice, sesame seeds, peas, and mustard are the common cereals and grains used in oblations.

 

Offering of oblation is a sacred affair. During the procedure, care should be taken that an eunuch, Chandaal, sinner, imposter, patient, cock, dog, a naked person, monkey, pigs, a woman in menses, and anybody in whose house a death or birth has occurred don’t see the performer otherwise neither the deities nor the ancestors would accept the oblations. Water used in oblation should also be free from odour and foam. Milk of camel, sheep, doe and buffalo should not be used in oblations. Before beginning the ritual, drive out the evil spirits from the selected piece of land. It should be cut off from outside influences through enclosures.

1.3.16  The Battle of Gods and Demons

Rig, Sama and Yajurveda are like the clothes of Hindu society. Those who give them up are in fact naked. This statement is endorsed by the following tale.

 

Once upon a time, a battle occurred between the demons and the gods. It lasted for one hundred years at the end of which period, the demons defeated the gods. The humiliated gods reached Ksheersagar and prayed Lord Vishnu. Pleased by their prayers, Lord Vishnu appeared before the gods. All the gods greeted Him and said- “O Lord! In sheer violation of Brahma’s dictate, formidable demons have kidnapped even our due shares offered in the oblations. Protect us from the onslaught of the demons. We cannot fill them because they abide by their religion. Kindly show us a way to kill the demons.”

 

Hearing the pleas of the gods, Lord Vishnu produced Mayamoha from His body and giving them to the gods, said- “Mayamoha will cause illusion in the minds of the demons. The illusion will influence the demons to violate the path shown by the Vedas. You can kill them after that”. Saying this, the Lord disappeared. The gods took Mayamoha and reached the abode of the demons.

1.3.17  Dialogue of Mayamoha with Demons

Mayamoha was produced in a naked form. It reached the bank of Narmada and saw the demons observing penance there. The naked Mayamoha then approached them and said in a sweet voice- ” O demons! What is the purpose of your penance?” The demons said- “We are observing penance to achieve the metaphysical world.” Mayamoha said- “If you long for salvation, do as I suggest. Follow the religion which is like an open gate to salvation.” With such sweet talk, Mayamoha began to illumine the demons’ mind. Mayamoha confused them further saying- “O demons, if you long for salvation or a place in the heaven, give up sacrificing animals and attain enlightenment. It is wrong notion to say that violence is the religious path. Offering of oblations in fire is also childish. Even an animal which eats green grass is better than Indra who is obliged to eat wood despite attaining that position after hundreds of great Yagyas. If an animal which is sacrificed in Yagya attains heaven, performer of Yagya would have killed his own father.”

 

Thus with these witty talks, Mayamoha deviated the demons from the righteous path because of which they lost interest in Vedas. Once it was achieved, the gods attacked the demons with full preparations. Ultimately, many demons were killed whereas those who remained came to be known as naked because they no longer followed the teachings of Vedas. Thus, anybody who does not practice the teachings of Vedas in his life is known as naked. Those who do not take to Vanprastha or Sanyaas after the completion of Grihasthashram are naked.

 

Tale of Shatadhanu- In the ancient times there was a king named Shatadhanu. His queen Shaivya was a righteous and religious woman. The king and the queen had worshipped Lord Vishnu observing severe penance. On the full moon day in the month of Kartik when the king and queen came out of the Ganges after taking bath, they happened to sight an imposter Brahmin who was coming from the opposite direction. The Brahmin was a friend of the king’s teacher. So, the king treated the Brahmin with respect. But his chaste wife did not show any respect for the imposter and kept silent all through the talk. She then had a sight of the Sun to expiate for the meeting with an imposter. On their return to the palace the king and the queen worshipped Lord Vishnu with proper rituals.

 

In due course, the king died. The queen also committed Sati. Since the king had committed the sin of talking to an imposter during his penance the king had committed the sin of talking to an imposter during his penance, he took birth in a dog form whereas queen Shaivya took birth as the daughter of a Kashi king. She was extremely beautiful and knew everything about her previous birth. When her father decided to marry her off, she requestfully refused for she knew that her previous birth husband was roaming the streets and lanes of Vidisha in a dog form.

 

The princess of Kashi then reached Vidisha and found out that dog was in fact King Shatadhanu. She fed the dog with delicious food eating which the dog began to wag its tail and show humility before the princess. The princess saluted the dog and narrated the whole thing to it that it was because of his sin of talking to an imposter during penance that he had to take birth as a dog.

 

Thus, reminded by the princess, the dog contemplated for long on the events of his previous birth. He grew so sad that he gave up the dog form on the outskirts of the town. In his next birth however he was born as a jackal. Again the princess came to know that the jackal was King Shatadhanu and asked him whether he continued to talk to the imposter after their conversation in the previous birth? Only then, King Shatadhanu came to realise his mistake. He then observed fast till death. But in his next birth, he was born as a wolf. Again the princess reminded him of his previous birth. The king’s became a vulture in his next birth. After that, he took birth in crow form and then as a peacock. During that time, King Janak was organising an Ashwamedha Yagya. In the Yagya, the peacock was also given a ceremonial bath by the princess. During the bath, the princess reminded the peacock (King Shatadhanu) of his previous birth, the peacock too died and took next birth as the son of King Janak.

 

It was only after the birth of King Janak’s son that the princess told her father to organise a Swayamvara for her. In the Swayamvara, the prince also arrived. The princess accepted him respectfully as her husband.

1.4      Chapter 4 (Part 4)

This chapter contains 12 sections.

1.4.1     Description of Vaivasvat Manu’s Lineage

Lineage of Vaivasvat Manu finds its origin at Brahma. Brahma was the first to appear from Lord Vishnu who is the primitive cause for the whole creation. From the right hand thumb of Brahma, Daksha Prajapati appeared. Daksha produced Aditi and Aditi produced Vivasvaan. Manu was the son of Vivasvaan. Ikshvaaku, Nrig, Grishth, Sharayaati, Narishyant, Pranshu, Naabhaag, Dishta, Karup and Prishadhra are the ten sons of Manu.

 

With a desire for a son Manu organised a Yagya to please the deities Mitra and Varun. But during the Yagya because of a wrong resolution of oblator, a daughter named Ila was born to them. But by the grace of Mitra-Varun, she got masculine appearance and a name Sudyumna. In later course by the wrath of Lord Shiva, Sudyumna was converted into a woman. In woman form when Sudyumna was roaming near the hermitage of Buddha, the son of Chandrama, her beauty infatuated Buddha. As a result of their union, a son Pururava was born. Even after the birth of Pururava, Sudyumna could not give up his temptation to be a man again. Hence, learned sages organised a Yagya for Sudyumna and got him converted into a man again. In masculine form, Sudyumna produced three sons- Utkal, Gaya and Vinat. Manu had presented a town named Prathishtha to Sudyumna, which he later on presented to Pururava.

 

Pururava’s progenies spread in all directions and acquired Kshatriya caste. Manu’s son, Prishadhra became a Shudra because of killing a cow of his teacher. Manu’s another son, Karush produced an exceptionally strong Kshatriya named Kaarush. Lineage of Dishta grew as follows- Naabhaag- Balbandhan- Kirtimaan- Vatsapreeti-Praanshu- Prajapati- Khanitra- Chaakshush- Vimbha- Vivimbhak- Khaninetra- Ativibhuti- Karandham- Avikshit- Marut.

 

Marut had a son, Narishyant. Lineage of Narishyant grew as follows- Dama- Rajvardhan- Suvriddhi- Keval- Sughritti- Nara- Chandra- Keval- Bandhumaan- Veghvaan- Buddha- Trinvindu. Trinvindu had a daughter Ilavila and a son Vishal. Vishal in later course founded Vishaala.

 

Lineage of Vishal grew as follows- Hemchandra- Chandra- Dhumraksh- Srinjay- Sahadev- Krishasva- Somadutta- Janmejaya- Sumati.

 

Manu’ son Sharayaati had a daughter Sukanya who was married to sage Chyavan in peculiar circumstances. Aanart was the son of Sharayaati. Aanart had a son Raivat who founded his capital at Kushasthali and ruled his kingdom on earth. Raivat had one hundred sons, the eldest among whom was Kakudmi. He had a daughter Revati. Raivat took Revati with him and approached Brahma who asked about a suitable match for her. At that time, Gandharvas were singing near Brahma. Raivat listened to their songs intently and forgot about the passage of time. Many ages passed like that but Raivat felt as if only an hour had passed. When the Gandharvas stopped singing, Raivat once again asked Brahma about a suitable match for Revati. Brahma asked Raivat about his own choices first. Raivat counted the names of many deserving princes and kings all of whom belonged to earth.

 

Brahma said smiling- “No one even in the progeny of these people is alive on earth because here listening to the Gandharvas songs you have passed four ages. Presently even the age of eighteenth Manu is about to end on earth and Kaliyug is about to start.” These words frightened Raivat who greeted Brahma and asked- “O Lord! Now tell me whom should I marry Revati to?” Brahma said- “That unborn all pervasive Parmeshwar Lord Vishnu had taken an incarnation on earth. O king! Your capital at Kushasthali which was equal to Indra’s abode Amravati is now Dwarkapuri. In that Dwarkapuri, stays Baldev who is a part of Lord Vishnu. Marry this daughter to him because she is a jewel among the women folk and Baldev is praised all over the world by all. Hence only he deserves to be your son-in-law.”

 

Hearing the verdict of Brahma, Prajapati Raivat descended on the earth and saw that an amazing transformation had taken place in the appearance of people who were now smaller in stature, ugly, dull and devoid of strength. Even his capital Kushasthali had acquired a new appearance and was now known as Dwarkapuri. Raivat found out Baldev and married his granddaughter Revati to him. But Revati appeared quite large and taller in stature than Baldev because of age difference. Baldev pressed her slightly with anterior part of his plough and she assumed a stature equal to normal women. After marrying Revati to Baldev, Raivat migrated to the Himalayas to observe penance.

1.4.2     Description of Ikshvaku’s Lineage

Ikshvaaku was born from the nostril of Manu as a result of sudden sneezing. Ikshvaaku had hundred sons among whom Vikukshi, Nimi and Danda were prominent. Once Ikshvaaku organised a Shraadh. For the purpose of feeding Brahmins, he ordered his son Vikukshi to bring fresh meat of wild animals. Taking his bow and arrows, Vikukshi set out for the forest and hunted many deer and rabbits. Towards noon, he felt tired and hungry and hence ate one rabbit from the stock. Then he reached the capital and handed over the remaining flesh to his father.

 

But the sage Vashishta who was conducting the Shraadh revealed the truth to Manu. Thus Vikukshi got the name of Shashaad and was expelled by his father. Shashaad in later course had a son, Puranjay.

 

In the past a fierce battle had taken place between the demons and the gods. The demons defeated the gods who approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu said-“I am aware of your desire. I will appear in he body of Shashaad’s son Puranjay to kill the demons. But it is your responsibility to convince him for the battle.”

 

The gods approached Puranjay and requested-“O great among the Kshatriyas! Kindly help us to defeat our enemies.” Puranjay said-“Shatkratu is Indra. If I fight the battle riding his shoulder, I will be able to kill the demons.”

 

The gods accepted his condition. Indra took the guise of the bull riding which Puranjay killed the demons because Lord Vishnu had partially arrived in his body. Since then Puranjay got the name Kakutsth. He had a son Aneyna. Lineage of Aneyna grew as follows- Aneyna- Prithu- Vishtrabhva- Chaandrayuvnashva- Shaavasta. Shaavasta founded the town of Shaavasti (modern Shraavasti). Lineage of Shaavasta continued as follows- Shaavasta- Vrihadashva- Kuvalayaashva- Dridaashva- Tandraashva- Kapilaashva.

 

For a long time, Yuvanashva did not have a child. So, he organised a Putreshti Yagya in the auspices of learned sages. The Yagya lasted for a whole day. At mid-night when the Yagya ended, sages fell asleep because of tiredness keeping the urn of Yagya water near the altar. The water had been empowered with sacred mantras. Meanwhile the thirsty king came there and drank that water from the urn. When the sages awakened, they enquired about the water in the urn. Yuvanashva told them that he had himself drunk it. The sages told that as the water had been empowered with sacred mantras and was meant for the queen in order to make her conceive. Hence the king instead of the queen will conceive now. As a result Yuvanashva conceived and in due course gave birth to a child from his right armpit. But the child’s birth did not kill the king. The baby was Mandhaata. In due course Mandhaata ruled the entire earth, which was divided into seven islands.

 

Mandhaata married Bindumati, the daughter of Shatabindu. They had three sons- Purukutsa, Ambareesh, and Muchukunda. They also had fifty daughters. When all the daughters grew young a sage Saubhari arrived in the palace and requested Mandhaata to marry one of his daughters to him. The sage appeared old and frail. So, Mandhaata hesitated and tried to send him off making many excuses. The sage assured him about his physical abilities. But still the king felt hesitant and said-“O sage, it is our tradition that we marry our daughter only to he whom our daughter chooses as her husband. Your request is beyond our desires.”

 

Hearing Mandhaata’s word sage considered for a moment and said-“All right O king! Kindly instruct the eunuch who guards the quarters of your daughters to escort me there.” Fearing a curse from the sage, Mandhaata instructed the eunuchs to escort him into the quarters of his daughters. While entering the quarters, the sage assumed the appearance of an extremely handsome Gandharva. So, when he arrived there, a row started among the girls as to who would choose him as her husband first. Each one of them claimed that she had first chosen him. Thus all the daughters of Mandhaata chose sage Saubhari as their husband.

 

When the eunuchs informed the king about this development, he fell in deep thoughts how it could happen. But still he was bound by his promise so he had no choice but to marry all his daughters to sage Saubhari. Marrying all the fifty girls, sage Saubhari brought them to his hermitage. Calling Vishwakarma, he instructed him to build separate castles for each of his wives. In no time, Vishwakarma erected fifty beautiful palaces in a row. Each one of them had ample spacious and airy rooms, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Since then, all the girls occupied those palaces and began to live there. Every kind of luxury and food was available to them.

 

One day, drawn by the love for his daughters, King Mandhaata decided to visit Saubhari’s Ashram. But in place of Ashram, he found a row of beautiful palaces. There, he met his daughters and enquired about their well being. The daughters informed him that they were happy to live with the sage and that their husband was capable enough to provide them with all the luxuries. But still they remembered their native place. Each of the girl also expressed one grief that her husband enjoyed intimacy with her at all times and did not share time with her other sisters. These words of the girls surprised the king. Ultimately he met Saubhari and worshipping him he said-“O lord! It is the result of your severe penance that you are able to keep all the fifty girls happy.” Staying there for a few days, the king returned.

 

In due course, the daughters of Mandhaata gave birth to one hundred and fifty sons. Those sons grew up and produced their progeny. At that time sage Saubhari thought- ‘I have seen the birth of my sons. Now they have their own sons. If I stay there, I will long to see my great-grandchildren. Desires do not end till death. Acquiring a human body is in itself a great sorrow. I have received enough in life, enjoyed intimacy with fifty princesses. If I keep more desires, I will receive nothing but sorrow. Hence I should take to the penance of Lord Vishnu.’

 

Thinking that way, sage Saubhari migrated to the forest along with his fifty wives. There they conducted Yagyas and passed their time worshipping Lord Vishnu.

1.4.3     Progeny of Mandhatr, Ascend of Trishanku to Heaven and Birth of Sagar

Once upon a time Gandharvas of collective name Mauneya defeated the Nagas and snatched all their wealth and powers. The Nagas prayed Lord Vishnu to rescue them. Lord Vishnu told them that he would appear in Mandhaata’s son Purukutsa and kill the Gandharvas. Afterwards Narmada brought Purukutsa to Rasaatal where Lord Vishnu appeared in his body. Thus having the strength of Lord Vishnu, Purukutsa defeated and killed the Gandharvas. Pleased by the action of Narmada, the Nagas blessed her with a boon that whoever remembered her would have no fear of snake venom and Purukutsa that he would have an immortal son.

 

Purukutsa and Narmada had a son Trasadasyu. Lineage of Trasadasyu continued as follows- Trasadasyu- Anaranya- Vrihadashva- Haryashva- Hasta- Sumana- Tridhanva- Trayaruni and Satyavrat. Satyavrat became famous as Trishanku in later course. By the curse of a sage, Trishanku had become a Chandaal. Once a drought occurred for twelve long years. During that drought, to get rid from this condition of Chandaal and feed sage Vishwamitra, Trishanku used to tie a whole skinned deer to a Banyan tree on the bank of the river Ganges. Pleased by his selfless service, sage Vishwamitra sent Trishanku to the heaven with his ephemeral body.

 

Lineage of Trishanku grew as follows- Trishanku- Harishchandra- Rohitashva- Harit- Chanchu- Vijay and Vasudev. Vijay had a son Ruruk. Ruruk’s son was Vrik who had a son Baahu. Baahu had two queens. After a long time of their marriage, Baahu’s queen consort conceived a son. But the circumstances took a strange turn. Baahu’s enemies together attacked his kingdom and defeated him. The defeated king migrated to the forest along with his queens and began to live at the hermitage of sage Aurv. Very soon, King Baahu died of old age. His queen consort also wanted to commit Sati but sage Aurv prevented her from doing so. After sometime getting envious of her fortune, the other queen deceitfully fed her with poison. But the poison could not harm the foetus, which stayed unborn for a period of seven years because of poison’s effect.

 

Staying at the hermitage of sage Aurv, the queen consort gave birth to a son. Since the child was born with the effect of the poison, Sage Aurv named him as Sagar. Sagar began to grow in he hermitage in natural surrounding. One day he asked his mother about his father. The queen narrated the whole incident to him. Sagar then and there took an oath to exterminate the Kshatriyas who had been the cause of his father’s death. Acting as per his oath, Sagar destroyed Haihaya Kshatriyas whereas Shak Kshatriyas got their heads shaven out of fear. Since those Kshatriyas had given up their religion, hence Brahmins boycotted them. As a result they became Malechchha. Thereafter King Sagar returned to his capital and ruled the earth.

1.4.4     Description of Suryavansh

King Sagar had two queens, Sumati, the daughter of Kashyap and Keshini, the daughter of Vidarbha’s king. Keshini had a son Asmanjas whereas Sumati had sixty thousand sons. Anshuman was the son of Asmanjas. Asmanjas was very whimsical since his childhood. Even in his youth, he did not change his behaviour. Hence King Sagar had abandoned Asmanjas. But the things did not improve for Sagar because even his sixty thousand sons followed the footsteps of Asmanjas.

 

The gods one-day approached sage Kapil who was a partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Greeting him, they said- “If the sixty thousand sons of Sagar continued on their whimsical way, the earth would not remain suitable for living.” Sage Kapil assured the gods that the sixty thousand sons of Sagar would meet their fate very soon. By the instigation of sage Kapil, King Sagar organised an Ashwamedha Yagya.

 

The sixty thousand princes also followed the horse guarding it. But somehow Indra managed to kidnap the horse and tethered it at the hermitage of sage Kapil. The sixty thousand princes searched for the horse and following the footprints, they also reached the hermitage. There they found the horse and also a sage in deep meditation. Thinking that the sage might have been responsible for abduction of the horse they began to abuse him. As soon as sage Kapil disturbed by the abuses opened his eyes, a flame appeared and incinerated all the sixty thousand princes. When King Sagar came to know about this incident, he sent Anshuman to bring back that horse. Anshuman also reached the hermitage and greeted sage Kapil with respect. Pleased by his politeness, sage Kapil blessed Anshuman and instructed him to take the horse away with him. He also asked him to seek a boon. As the boon, Anshuman only sought the salvation for his sixty thousand dead uncles. Sage Kapil assured Anshuman that his ancestors would certainly attain to the heaven but only after a long wait and that his grandson Bhagirath would bring the Ganges onto the earth and that the Ganges’ waters would wash the ashes of his ancestors to the ocean and cause their salvation.

 

Thus blessed by the sae Kapil, Anshuman returned to the capital with the horse in order to help his grand father finish the Yagya. Anshuman had a son Dileep. Dileep’s son was Bhagirath who observed severe penance and pleased Ganga to descend on the earth. Since the Ganges had descended on earth because of Bhagirath’s penance, she also got a name Bhagirathi.

 

The lineage of Bhagirath grew as follows- Bhagirath- Suhotra- Shruti- Naabhaag- Ambareesh- Sindhudweep- Ayutayu- Rituparn- Sarvakaam- Sudas and Saudas.

 

One day, King Saudas went hunting in the forests. There he spotted a pair of the tigers. They were actually a tiger and a tigress in mating. Saudas killed one of them by his arrow, while the other turned into a demon and threatening of an avenge disappeared from the scene.

 

In due course, King Saudas organised a Yagya in the auspices of sage Vashishta. Towards the end of Yagya, sage Vashishta went away to take bath. Meanwhile the same demon arrived there in the guise of Vashishta and expressed his desire to eat non-vegetarian food. Then the demon arrived before the king in the guise of the cook. The king ordered him to cook meat for the sage. The cook cooked human flesh and served it before the sage. Sage Vashishta knew that the food contained human flesh. He cursed the king in anger to be a demon. Within three days, King Saudas became a demon and began to roam in the forests. Since then he ate the humans only.

 

One day, Saudas in demon form saw Muni who was in the process of mating his wife. The demon caught and ate the Muni neglecting all the cries and wailing of his wife. The Brahmani angrily cursed the demon that as her husband had been killed while he was about to sate his carnal lust similarly he would also die right in the same process.

 

King Saudas remained in the demon’s form for twelve more years. After that he recovered from the curse and began to rule like a pious king. One day, King Saudas saw the queen in an amorous condition and an impulse of carnal pleasure ran within his body. He made advances to satisfy his lust but the queen who knew everything about the curse stopped him reminding him of the curse. Since then the king stuck to celibacy. Since the king had no son, he allowed his queen Madayanti to conceive a child with the help of sage Vashishta. The queen did conceive but the foetus remained unborn for seven years at length. At last the irritated queen hit her foetus with a stone. This resulted in the birth of child at once. The child was named Ashmak. The lineage of Ashmak grew as follows: Ashmak- Moolak- Dasharath- Ilivil- Vishvasah and Khatwang. Khatwang had killed many formidable demons fighting by the side of the gods. Pleased by his gallantry, the gods wanted to grant him a boon. Khatwang wanted to know how long would live more. The gods told him that he would live for one Muhurta more. Hearing this, Khatwang came back on earth and prayed Lord Vishnu to take him in His refuge. At last he did annihilated with Lord Vishnu.

 

Lineage of Khatwang grew as follows-Khatwang- Deerghbahu- Raghu- Aja and Dasharath. King Dasharath had three queens who gave birth to four sons-Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat and Shatrughana.

 

Rama was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His life too had lot of ups and downs. After being trained in archery, He and Lakshmana spent most of their boyhood time in the hermitage of sage Vishwamitra guarding his Yagyas from the demons. After that when Vishwamitra was taking them to Mithila Lord Rama salved Ahilya who had been converted into a stone by the curse of her husband sage Gautam. In Mithila, Lord Rama broke the bow of Lord Shiva and won Sita as His wife. When they returned to Ayodhya, King Dasharath decided to crown Rama as the new king. But misguided by Manthara, queen Kaikeyee stubbornly sought that her son Bharat should be crowned as the new king whereas Rama should be sent on an exile for fourteen years. Bounded by his promises that he had made to Kaikeyee earlier, King Dasharath had no choice but to accept her demands.

 

Thus to keep His father’s words, Lord Rama accepted the exile. Sita and Lakshmana also followed His steps. In the forests, the demon king Ravan deceitfully abducted Sita. It was followed by meeting of Rama with Hanumana and Sugreev, killing of Baali- Sugreev’s brother, finding of Sita by Hanumana in Lanka, bridging of the sea that separated Lanka, fierce battle with the demons and ultimately killing of Ravan by Lord Rama. After the completion of exile period Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya and ruled there for twelve years.

 

Lord Rama had two sons- Lava and Kusha. Lineage of Kusha grew as follows- Kusha- Atithi- Nishadh- Anal- Nabh- Pundareek- Kshemdhanwa- Devaneek- Ahinaka- Ruru- Pariyatrak- Deval- Vanchal- Ulka- Vajranabha- Shankhan- Yushhitashva- Vishvasaha- Hiranyanaam- Pushya- Dhruvsandhi- Sudarshan- Agnivarn- Shighrag- Maru- Prasushrut- Susandhi- Amarsh- Sahaswan and Vishvabhav. Vishvabhav had a son Brihdal who was killed by Abhimanyu in the battle of Mahabharat.

1.4.5     Tale of Nimi and Description of his Lineage

Ikshvaku’s son Nimi once decided to organise a Yagya that was to last for one thousand years. He also wanted the sage Vashishta to guide the Yagya. But Indra had already booked Vashishta for a period of five hundred years. So sage Vashishta expressed his inability to conduct any other Yagya till the completion of that period and requested the king to wait till he was free from Indra’s obligations. Nimi kept quite at that time. Taking his silence as an approval, the sage began the Yagya for Indra. But the king meanwhile started Yagya in the auspices of other sages like Gautam etc.

 

At the completion of Yagya for Indra, sage Vashishta hurried back to the earth to conduct Yagya for King Nimi. But here he found that a Yagya was already in progression. This infuriated the sage to the extent that he poured down curse on Nimi, who was sleeping at that time, to lose his body at once. When the king learned about the curse and that he was cursed in sleep, he cursed the sage in retaliation to lose his body at once before giving up his own body. By the curse of Nimi, Vashishta’s body was destroyed but he himself entered the semen of Mitravarun. Thereafter, one day Mitravarun happened to sea the elf Urvashi. Her amorous beauty caused the ejaculation of his semen spontaneously. With ejaculated semen, sage Vashishta also came out and acquired a new body.

 

On the other hand, at end of Yagya when the gods appeared to accept their due share from the offerings, the sages prayed them to grant Nimi some boon. Nimi however sought nothing in boon but expressed his desire to stay in eyes of the people forever. The gods granted that desire. Before that nobody had ever blinked his eyes. Blinking of eyes came into practice because Nimi stays there. In order to save the kingdom from anarchy, the sages churned the dead body of Nimi with a stick of Bombax tree and produced a son. That son came to known as Janak. Since he was born from the dead body of his father, the boy also came to be known as Vaideha. Lineage of Janak continued as follows: Janak- Udavasu- Nandivardhan- Suketu- Devrat- Brihadukth- Mahaveerya- Sudhriti- Dhrishtketu- Haryashva- Manu- Prateet- Kritrath- Devbheed- Vibudh- Mahadhriti- Kritraj- Maharoma- Suvarnaroma- Hrasyaroma and Seerdhvaj. With a desire of a son, Seerdhvaj was once ploughing the earth when he stumbled upon a pitcher. In the pitcher, he found a beautiful baby whom he named as Sita.

1.4.6     Description of Somavansh and the Tale of Pururava

The creator of the world, Brahma had a son named Atri. Chandrama was the son of Atri. Once Chandrama organised a Rajsuya Yagya and received great powers. Afterwards blinded by his powers, Chandrama kidnapped Tara, the wife of Brihaspati. Even his grandfather Brahma tried to dissuade him from committing such a grave crime but Chandrama was not to listen to anybody. Because his hostility with Brihaspati, the teacher of the demons Shukra was also assisting Chandrama. At that moment of need, only Rudra came forward to help Brihaspati. A fierce battle followed between Chandrama and Rudra. The gods were helping Brihaspati while because of Shukra, the demons fought from the side of Chandrama. Soon the battle assumed the proportion of a war that perplexed the entire world. At last, Lord Vishnu mediated to end the battle and helped Brihaspati to get his wife back. By that time Tara had conceived a child. Seeing her condition Brihaspati instigated Tara to abort the baby. Tara aborted the baby amidst some shrubs but it did not die. Instead, his brilliance dulled even the radiance of the gods.

 

The baby was so beautiful that both Brihaspati and Chandrama were eager to accept him. To settle the matter, Brahma asked Tara about the paternity of the child. Feeling shy, Tara revealed that Chandrama was the father of the child. Then Brahma himself adopted the child and named him as Buddha.

 

When he grew young, Buddha produced Pururava from Illa. Pururava was very magnanimous and handsome. Once an elf Urvashi happened to see him and at once fell in love. She then approached Pururava. Her beauty enchanted Pururava also. He requested the elf to stay with him. But Urvashi stipulated that she might stay with him if he agreed to follow her two conditions that he would never drive the two sheep, which were like her children away from her bed and that he would never undress before her in visible light. Pururava accepted both the conditions.

 

Since then Pururava began to live with Urvashi. Together they enjoyed their physical intimacy for sixty thousand years. Their love grew so much that even Urvashi forgot those heavenly comforts that she used to enjoy once. But because of her absence, even the heaven appeared more dreaded than hell.

 

At last, one Vishvavasu who knew about the conditions stole one sheep from their bedroom and flew away. Hearing the cries of the sheep, Urvashi got up in anxiety and shouted who was stealing her son. But Pururava pretended as if asleep for the fear of being seen naked. As the fuss grew further, he could no more contain himself and ran after the thief. Right at that moment, the Gandharvas produced intense lightning illuminating the whole scene. As a result, Urvashi saw Pururava in a naked state and at once left his palace to her heavenly abode for now both of her conditions had been violated. Pururava could not tolerate the separation of Urvashi. He began to roam here and there in that bare condition like a mad. Thus roaming he reached at Kamal Sarovar in Kurukshetra where he saw Urvashi with four other elves. Seeing Urvashi Pururava began to behave madly. It was impossible for him to control his sensual desires even in the presence of other elves. But Urvashi stopped him saying that she was expecting an issue and after a year, she will give birth to his child. She also promised at that time she will stay with him for a night.

 

After a year King Pururava once again reached that place where Urvashi handed over his son Aayu. As per her promise she also stayed with Pururava for a night and consequently in later course gave birth to five more sons. Urvashi informed Pururava that because of their love Gandharvas wished to bless him with a boon. Pururava sought a life-long union with Urvashi. Gandharvas presented him with an altar and instructed to conduct regular Yagyas properly. Then all of his desires would come true, the Gandharvas assured Pururava. But King Pururava left that altar in the forest and returned to his capital. At mid-night, he awakened suddenly as if from a trance and hurried to the forest to recover his altar. But the altar was no more there; it had transformed into a peepal tree. Pururava got that tree felled and brought it to his capital where the carpenters made Arani (a wooden implement used in ancient India to produce fire) from its wood. Since then Pururava conducted regular Yagyas with the help of that Arani and attained to the Gandharvaloka where he was never separated from Urvashi again.

1.4.7     Birth of Jamadagni and Vishwamitra

Pururava had six sons- Aayu, Amavasu, Vishwavasu, Shrutaayu, Shataayu and Ayutayu. Amavasu had a son Bheema and Bheema in turn had a son Kanchan. Jahnu was the son of Kanchan’s son, Suhotra. At the time of Ganga’s descend on earth, when Jahnu saw his hermitage inundated, he drank all her water. He released the Ganges only when the Devrishis prayed him. Since then Ganges also came to be known as Jahnavi, the daughter of Jahnu.

 

Lineage of Jahnu grew as follows- Jahnu- Sumant- Ajak- Balaakashva and Kusha. Kusha had four sons- Kushaamb, Kushnaam- Adhurtraja and Vasu. Kushaamb observed severe penance with a desire to have a son like Indra. Pleased by his penance, Indra himself took birth as his son. He came to be known as Kaushik. Kaushik had a daughter named Satyavati who got married to Richeek. Sage Richeek prepared kheer in two parts- one for his wife Satyavati and another for Satyavati’s mother. Instructing Satyavati, he went to the forest.

 

When Satyavati and her mother were about to eat the kheer, her mother exchanged her part of kheer with that of her daughter saying that her son had to foster the world while the son of the sage had nothing to do with wealth and all that. Satyavati agreed to that and ate that part of kheer, which was reserved for her mother whereas her mother ate Satyavati’s part. When Richeek returned from the forest, he noticed formidable changes in the body of his wife. He understood that she had eaten her mother’s part of the kheer. Angrily the sage predicted that she would have a son who would be Kshatriya-like in virtues whereas her mother would have Brahmin-like son. Satyavati begged pardon and requested the sage to change his prediction saying that the crime was committed by mistake and that she would be happy to have a Kshatriya-like grandson but not a son. At her request the sage changed his prediction.

 

As per the prediction, Satyavati gave birth to Jamadagni whereas her mother gave birth to Vishwamitra. After giving birth to Jamadagni turned into a river named Kaushiki.

 

In later course, as a partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parashuram took birth as the son of sage Jamadagni.

1.4.8     Description of Kashyavansh

Pururava’s son Aayu had been married to Rahu’s daughter. They had five sons- Nahush, Kshatravriddh, Rambh, Vraji and Aneyna. Suhotra was the son of Kshatravriddh. He had three sons- Kaashya, Kaash and Gritsamad. Shaunak was the son of Gritsamad whereas Kaasheya was the son of Kaashya. Lineage of Kaasheya grew as- Kaasheya- Raashtra- Dirdhakapa and Dhanvantari. Dhanvantari’s body was free from all the physical faults like ageing and diseases.

 

Dhanvantari’s lineage grew as- Dhanvantari- Ketumaan- Bheemrath- Dibodas and Pratardan. Pratardan was also known as Shatrujit because of his conquering his enemies. Since he had acquired a horse named Kulavay hence he also came to be known as Kulvayaashva. Pratardan had a son named Alarka who enjoyed his rule on earth for sixty-six thousand years.

 

Lineage of Alarka continued as follows- Sannati- Sunith- Suketu- Dharmaketu- Satyaketu- Vibhu- Suvibhu- Sukumar- Dhristhaketu- Vitihotra- Bhaarga and Bhaargbhumi. It was progeny of Bhaargbhumi who gave rise to four classes of people.

1.4.9     Description of King Raji and his Sons

King Raji had five hundred prowessive sons. Once at the beginning of battle between the demons and the gods, they appeared before Brahma and enquired as to which part would win. Brahma said that only that part would win which would be aided by King Raji. First the demons approached Raji and requested him to fight from their side. King Raji stipulated that he would fight only when the demons agreed to appoint him as their Indra. The demons told him that Prahlad was their Indra and returned. Then the gods also approached King Raji and requested him to take their side. Raji put the same condition before them also to which the gods agreed.

 

In a fierce battle and aided by King Raji, the gods defeated the demons. After their victory, Indra bowed before King Raji and expressed his desire to present him with the kingdom of heaven. Thus King Raji became Indra. After the demise of Raji, Narad instigated his sons to acquire the rule of heaven. All the five hundred sons of Raji approached Indra and requested him to give them the rule of heaven but Indra refused plainly. At that Raji’s sons dethroned Indra forcibly and themselves became Indra. After much time had passed, Indra approached Brihaspati and prayed him to help him regain the rule of heaven. Brihaspati assured him that he would soon establish him at the throne.

 

Afterwards Brihaspati created illusions in the minds of Raji’s sons. He also conducted many Yagyas to increase the radiance of Indra. Guided by the illusions, Raji’s sons began to behave in anti-religious ways. Then Indra easily killed them all and regained his designation.

1.4.10  Tale of Yayati

Nahush had six sons- Yati, Yayati, Sanyati, Aayati, Viyati and Kriti. Yayati had two wives, Devyani, the daughter of Shukracharya and Sharmishtha, the daughter of Vrishparva. Devyani gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu whereas Sharmishtha gave birth to Druhayu, Anu and Puru. Because of a curse of Shukracharya old age had descended on Yayati prematurely.

 

Yayati then requested his eldest son Yadu to exchange his youth with his old age but Yadu refused. Then Yayati requested each of his sons one by one but all of them refused plainly for the fear of getting old prematurely.

 

At last Yayati’s youngest son Puru gladly accepted his request and gave him his youth. Regaining the youth, Yayati once again indulged in carnal pleasures with both his queens. But everyday his desire for pleasures increased like a fire flared up by ghee. After one thousand years Yayati realised his mistake and decided to expiate for his sin. Thus, Yayati returned Puru his youth and acquired his old age once again. Then crowning Puru as the king, he took an exile to the forest.

1.4.11  Description of Yaduvansh and the Tale of SahastrArjuna

Yayati’s eldest son Yadu had four sons- Sahastrajit, Kroshtu, Nala and Nahush. Sahastrajit had a son Shatajit who had three sons Haihaya, Hehaya and Venuhaya. Lineage of Haihaya grew as- Dharma- Dharmanetra- Kunti- Sahajit- Mahishmaan- Bhadrashrenya- Durdabh and Dhanak. Dhanak had four sons- Kritveerya, Kritaagni, Kritdharma and Kritauja.

 

Kritveerya had a prowessive son Arjun. Arjun had worshipped Dattatreya and by his blessings acquired one thousand arms. Since then he came to be known as Sahastrarjun. Dattatreya had blessed him with many other boons like rule of entire earth, fostering of his subjects in religious ways and killing by some human being famous in all the three worlds. At that time, there was no other king equal to Sahastrarjun in virtues. He ruled the entire earth for eighty-five thousand years.

 

Once Sahastrarjun was enjoying his past time on the waters of Narmada when he happened to have an encounter with Ravan, the king of Lanka. Sahastrarjun captured Ravan easily and imprisoned him at an isolated place in his kingdom. With time ego of Sahastrarjun had crossed all limits. He began to terrorise the sages and other religious people. When his atrocities increased beyond tolerance level, Lord Vishnu took a partial incarnation as Parashuram, the son of sage Jamadagni and Renuka. As per the prediction of sage Richeek, Parashuram grew with Kshatriya – like virtues. He had in fact taken incarnation to relieve the earth from the atrocities of egoist kings. Parashuram had received arms training from none other than Lord Shiva. He was very obedient to his father and had beheaded his own mother by the Parashu (axe) that he had received from Lord Shiva at the dictate of his father. In due course Parashuram not only got Ravan released from captivity but also killed Sahastrarjun.

 

Sahastrarjun had one hundred sons among whom Shur, Shursena, Vrishasena, Madhu and Jayadhwaj were prominent. Jayadhwaj had a son Taaljunga. Taaljunga had one hundred sons among whom Vitihotra and Bharat were prominent. Bharat again had one hundred sons whereas Madhu also had hundred sons among whom Vrishni was prominent. After the name of their forefather Yadu, this clan came to be known as Yaduvansha.

1.4.12  Description of Kroshtuvansh

Lineage of Kroshtu grew as follows- Kroshtu- Dhwajnivan- Swati- Rushanku- Chitrarath- Rashibindu. Rashibindu had one lakh queens and ten lakh sons among whom Prithusharva, Prithukarma, Prithukirti, Prithuyasha, Prithujay and Prithushan were prominent. In their lineage later on occurred a king named Jyamadh. He was so dedicated to his wife Shaivya that despite being childless, he did not dare to marry other women because of her fear.

 

Once, Jyamadh took part in a fierce battle in which he defeated all his enemies. While he was about to return, he heard pitiable cries of a woman. He saw a beautiful young lady who was crying for her protection. Jyamadh was so infatuated by her beauty that he took her to his kingdom. When they reached at the gate of the palace, the king saw that the queen Shaivya was waiting for him along with a big crowd. When Shaivya saw a beautiful young lady sitting beside the king on the chariot, she began to shout at him. The horrified king tried to explain that the young lady was his daughter-in-law. The queen shouted even louder that when they did not have a son, whence the daughter-in-law came. But the king explained that he had selected a wife for her would-be son.

 

As the effect of their conversation queen Shaivya soon conceived and gave birth to a son inspite of her advancing age. They named the son as Vidarbh. In due course of time, Vidarbh got married to that lady whom his father had brought home earlier. They had three sons- Krath, Kaushik and Romapad. Romapad had received preaching from Narad.

 

Lineage of Krath grew as follows- Krath- Kunti- Ghrishti- Nighriti- Dashaard- Vyoma- Jimoot- Vikriti- Bheemrath- Navrath- Dasharath- Shakuni- Karambhi- Devraat- Devakshatra- Madhu- Kumarvansh- Anu- Kurumitra- Anshu- Satvak. Satvak was the forefather of a clan that was named after him.

1.5      Chapter 5 (Part 5)

This chapter contains 6 sections.

1.5.1     Puruvansh

The lineage of Puru grew as Puru- Janmejaya- Prachinvaan- Praveer- Manasyu- Abhayad- Sudayu- Bahugat- Sanyati- Ahamyaati- Raudraashva. Raudraashva had ten sons among whom Riteshu was the most prominent. Riteshu had three sons among whom Apratirath was most prominent. Lineage of Apratirath is as follows- Apratirath- Aileen- Dushyant and Bharat. King Dushyant had fallen in love with Shakuntala, the daughter of sage Vishwamitra and elf Menaka.

 

They got married secretly in the forest and after a few days, King Dushyant returned to his kingdom promising Shakuntala that he would call her as soon as he reached his palace. He had given Shakuntala his ring as a memento. But while Shakuntala was crossing the river on her way to the palace, the ring slipped from her finger and was swallowed by a fish. In the absence of the ring, King Dushyant refused to identify Shakuntala. So, she returned to the hermitage of sage Vishwamitra and gave birth to a child who later on became famous as Bharat.

 

Bharat had been very prowessive since his childhood. His first meeting with King Dushyant was also very dramatical. It is said that once King Dushyant was hunting in the forest and he saw a boy who was counting the teeth of a lion. Impressed by the bravery of the boy, the king enquired about his parentage and reached the hermitage where sage Vishwamitra narrated him the whole story. Meanwhile a fisherman had also recovered the ring from the fish and handed it to the king who had thus recalled the whole story. In the hermitage, King Dushyant came to see Shakuntala and he candidly accepted her and his son Bharat.

 

Bharat had three queens and nine children. Since none of the children resembled him in features, he expressed his doubts about their paternity. Fearing the wrath of Bharat, his queens killed all the children. Then with a desire to have a son, Bharat organised a Marutsoma Yagya. As a result he got Bharadwaj as his son. Bharadwaj’s second name was Vitath. His lineage grew as follows- Vitath- Manyu.

 

Manyu had many sons like Brihatkshatra, Mahaveer, Nara, Garg etc. Their lineage grew as follows Nara- Sanskriti- Gurupreeti and Rantidev. Garg had a son Shini who became famous as Gaargya and Shainya also. Mahaveer lineage is as follows- Durukshay- Trayyaruni- Pushkarinya and Kapi. In the lineage of Brihatkshatra occurred a king Hasti who founded the city of Hastinapur. Hasti had three sons- Ajmirh- Dwijmirh and Purumirh. Among the sons of Ajmirh were included Panchals and a daughter Ahilya. Ahilya was married to sage Gautam. They had a son Shatanand. Satyaghriti was the son of Shatanand. Once Satyaghriti happened to sight the extremely amorous and beautiful elf Urvashi. Her mere sight was enough to cause the ejaculation of his semen, which fell on a reed and divided into two parts. From these two parts were born a boy Krip and a girl Kripi. King Shantanu discovered Krip and Kripi in the forest and brought them to his palace. In later course, Kripi was married to Dronacharya, the teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas. Ashwatthama was the son of Dronacharya. One of the king named Kuru in the lineage of Ajmirh established the sacred region of Kurukshetra.

1.5.2     Description of Kuruvansh

In the lineage of Kuru, there occurred a King Prateep. He had three sons- Devapi, Shantanu and Vaahlik. Devapi had taken an abode in the forest in his childhood. Hence Shantanu came to become a king after their father Prateep.

 

Once in the kingdom of King Shantanu, there was no rainfall for twelve years at length. Perplexed by the continuous drought-like situation, Shantanu consulted learned Brahmins. Brahmins informed him that he had no genuine right on the kingdom, which in fact belonged to his brother Devapi. They also told him that as long as Devapi was not fallen from his supreme position, the drought would continue. Alternatively, handing over the kingdom to Devapi might also result in the end of the drought.

 

Then Shantanu’s minister Ashmasari appointed certain Brahmins who always spoke in anti-Vedas ways. Their continuous preaching disinclined Devapi’s mind from Vedas. On the other hand one day, King Shantanu proceeded towards the forest along with Brahmins and his courtiers to hand over the kingdom to Devapi. There the Brahmins tried to convince Devapi to accept the onus of the kingdom. They were sighting anecdotes from the Vedas to corroborate their argument. But Devapi criticised Vedas and spoke in anti-religious ways. At that Brahmins instructed the king to return to the kingdom, as there was no use to convince Devapi. They also assured Shantanu that since Devapi had been disinclined from Vedas, he had lost his right to the kingdom and the famine would also come to an end.

 

Shantanu’s younger brother Vaahlik had a son Somadutta. Bhuri, Bhurishrava and Shalya were the sons of Somadutta. In later course Shantanu got married to Ganga and had a son Bheeshma. From his second wife Satyavati, Shantanu had two sons- Chitrangad and Vichitraveerya. Chitrangad was killed by a Gandharva whereas younger Vichitraveerya was married to the princesses of Kashi, Ambika and Ambalika. He was so busy in carnal pleasures with his two wives that soon he contracted tuberculosis and died because of it. Despite their indulgence in carnal pleasures, Ambika and Ambalika could not bear a child from Vichitraveerya. Hence in order to continue their lineage, Satyavati inspired Ambika and Ambalika to appear naked before Vedavyasa and beget a child. Since Ambika closed her eyes while she appeared naked before Vedavyasa, she begot a blind son, Dhritarashtra. Similarly, Ambalika grew pale when she appeared naked before Vedavyasa. Hence she begot a son Pandu who was congenitally afflicted with jaundice. Not satisfied by the outcome, Satyavati once again persuaded Ambika and Ambalika to appear naked before Vedavyasa. But the queens sent a maidservant Vinita before Vedavyasa. Vinita appeared naked before Vedavyasa without any fear or shyness. Hence she begot an extremely wise son Vidur.

 

In later course Dhritarashtra got married to Gandhaari, the princess of Kandahar whereas Pandu received two wives Kunti, the daughter of Shoorsen and Madri, the princess of Madra. Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons and a daughter Dushala. Duryodhan was the eldest among the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. Pandu on the other hand had five sons among whom Yudhishthir was the eldest.

 

All the five sons of Pandu were born with the help of five gods- Dharma, Vaayu, Indra and Ashwini kumars because Pandu was carrying a curse that he would die if he ever tried to copulate. Pandu’s five sons- Yudhishthir, Bheema, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev came to be known as Pandavas. Five Pandavas were married to Draupadi, the daughter of Panchal King Drupad. From Draupadi each of the Pandavas had a son. Their names were Prativindya from Yudhishthir, Shrutsen from Bheema, Shrutkirti from Arjun, Shrutaneek from Nakul and Shrutkarma from Sahadev. Besides them Yudhishthir had a son Devak from Yaudheyi. From Hidimba, Bheema had a son Ghatotkachch and from Kashi a son Sarvak. From Vijaya, Sahadev had a son Suhotra whereas from Renumati, Nakul had a son Nirmitra. Arjun was the most prowessive among the Pandavas. Apart from Draupadi he had three more wives- Ulupi who belonged to the Nagas, Chitrangada, the princess of Manipur and Subhadra, the sister of Lord Krishna. From these three wives Arjun had three sons-Iravaan from Ulupi, Vabhruvaahan from Chitrangada and Abhimanyu from Subhadra. In the battle of Mahabharat all these sons of the Pandavas fought valiantly and sacrificed their lives. It was Abhimanyu’s son Parikshit who continued the lineage of Pandavas and ruled the earth till right now.

1.5.3     Incarnation of Lord Krshna

Vasudev, the son of Shoorsen was married to Devaki, the daughter of Devak. On that occasion of their marriage, Devaki’s cousin Kansa was driving their chariot. At that time, a celestial voice declared that the eighth son of Devaki would kill Kansa. Kansa in the excitement was ready to kill Devaki ten and there but Vasudev convinced him saying that he would himself hand over all his children to him. Thus assured by Vasudev, Kansa dropped the idea of killing Devaki.

 

When the marriage of Vasudev and Devaki was taking place, Prithvi approached Brahma in the guise of a cow. She complained to Brahma that population of mean-minded people was increasing and that she was not more able to bear the burden of their anti-religious deeds. Prithvi said- “O Lord! The same demon Kaalnemi whom Lord Vishnu had killed in his previous birth has taken incarnation of Kansa, the son of Ugrasena. Many other fearsome demons Arishth, Dhenuk, Keshi, Pralamb, Sunda, Banasura and many more have taken over the rule and tormenting the religious people in many ways. They keep million strong forces. I am unable to bear their burden. So kindly do something to get me rid of this burden.”

 

Hearing the words of Prithvi, Brahma said to the gods- “Prithvi speaks the truth. Indeed she is carrying too much burden. Let us all go to the shore of Ksheersagar and pray Lord Vishnu and intimate Him about all this matter.” Then accompanied by the gods, Brahma arrived at the coast of Ksheersagar and prayed Lord Vishnu. Pleased by their prayer, Lord Vishnu appeared before them in His universal form and said- “Brahmaji! Believe my words and be assured that whatever you and these gods desire shall realise.” Thus assured by the Lord all the gods and Brahma prayed once again. Pleased by their prayer, Lord Vishnu plucked a black and a white hair from his head and said-“Both these hair of mine shall take incarnation on earth and remove the miseries that the people face there. All of you take partial incarnation on earth to attenuate the strength of the demons. This black hair of mine shall take birth as the eighth son of Devaki and kill Kansa who is an re-incarnation of Kaalnemi.”

 

While this conversation was on, Devarshi Narad appeared before Kansa and informed him that Lord Vishnu would take birth as the eighth son of Devaki. Hearing the words of Narad, Kansa angrily put Vasudev and Devaki behind the bars. There in his abode, Lord Vishnu instructed Mahamaaya (personified illusion) to implant the six foetuses who were in Pataal in the womb of Devaki, one by one. He knew that all of them would be killed by Kansa. Then he instructing Mahamaaya to implant his part Shesha who would appear as the seventh issue of Devaki, in the womb of Rohini, the second wife of Vasudev so that he could appear as her son instead of Devaki’s. Lord instructed Mahamaaya to appear in the womb of Yashoda in Gokul while He Himself would appear as the eighth issue of Devaki. He also told Mahamaaya that He would take birth on the eighth day of the darker phase in the month of Bhaadrapad while she would take birth on the ninth day and that immediately after His birth, Vasudev would himself carry Him to Gokul and leaving me beside Yashoda, he would carry her back to Mathura.

1.5.4     Appearance of Lord in Devaki’s Womb

As per the dictate of Lord Vishnu, Yogamaaya implanted six foetuses in the womb of Devaki. All the six children were killed by Kansa immediately after their birth. Yogamaaya transplanted the seventh issue of Devaki into the womb of Rohini who was residing at that time in Gokul. Then Lord Himself appeared as the eighth issue of Devaki. Since the time of His arrival, radiance of Devaki increased manifold. At the same time, Yogamaaya also appeared as an issue of Yashoda in Gokul. Seeing the arrival of Lord Himself as the eighth issue of Devaki, the gods prayed Him with devotion.

 

Then on the eighth day in the darker phase of Bhaadrapad, Lord took birth. At the time of His birth, the wind suspended its motion. The reverse attained extremely purified state whereas dense clouds gathered in the sky and caused drizzling. Seeing the child born with auspicious Swastik mark on his chest, Vasudev recognised Him and prayed Him. At the same time, he and Devaki also feared that Kansa would kill their eighth son also. So, they prayed the Lord to hide His divine appearance. Lord assured them that their ordeals would end soon.

 

Then Vasudev put the child in a winnower and started his journey on foot to Gokul carrying the winnower on his head. Because of the influence of Yogamaaya, all the guards fell asleep while the gates of the prison opened automatically. It was raining heavily at that time. So when Vasudev reached in the open, Sheshnag spread its hood over him to shade the Lord from rain. In Gokul, Nand’s wife Yashoda too gave birth to a girl child but because of Yogamaaya’s influence she did not know anything about the birth. Vasudev arrived there and putting Lord beside the sleeping Yashoda, he took her baby and returned to his prison in Mathura.

 

As soon as the baby reached in the prison, she began to cry loudly. Her cries awakened the guards who ran to inform Kansa about the child’s birth. Kansa at once arrived there and snatching the baby from Devaki’s lap, he dashed her on the wall. But before he could throw the baby, she slipped from his grip and taking eight armed Jagdamba’s appearance, established in the air. Laughing loudly then, mother Jagdamba said- “O Kansa! You cannot kill me. Your killer has taken birth. Lord Hari had been your death in your previous births. In this birth also He will kill you. So from now on, make efforts for your benefit only. Saying this Jagdamba vanished. Worried by the words of Yogamaaya, Kansa called a meeting of his prominent demons and said -“These evil gods have hatched a conspiracy to kill me. But being a brave man, I do not take these gods into account. You have yourself witnessed how Indra fled before the shower of my arrows. You would also remember how the clouds rained heavily in my kingdom when Indra had forbidden them from raining on a kingdom and I had pierced them with my arrows.

 

All the things on earth except my father-in-law Jarasandh bow before me in fear. I don’t care for the gods. Even their efforts to kill me make me laugh. But still I must not take the word of Jagdamba lightly that my killer had taken birth. We should therefore kill all the children who have taken birth within the past few days.” Instructing the demons Kansa approached Vasudev and Devaki in the prison and released them apologising his cruel action in the way of killing their innocent children.

1.5.5     Killing of Putana and Salvation of other Demons

When Vasudev was released from the prison, Nand visited Mathura on some official trip. He also came to see Vasudev. Vasudev greeted him for the birth of a son and instructed him to return to Gokul as soon as possible. He also requested Nand to look after the son of Rohini as his own son. After meeting Vasudev when Nand was returning, many kinds of thoughts were disturbing him. In the Gokul while Nand was away, an ogress Putana had stolen the little Krishna in the night and was breast-feeding him with her poisoned milk. But little Krishna sucked even her life through her breast. Making a loud noise and assuming a huge body, Putana fell on earth and died. Only then the village folk came to know about the incident. They also saw little Krishna sitting in the lap of Putana.

 

The frightened Yashoda swept little Krishna with the tail of a cow to do away with all the bad omens. The other cowherds also prayed Lord Vishnu to protect the child from all calamities.

 

KILLING OF SHAKA

 

When Lord Krishna was twenty-seven days old, a festival was organised in Gokul. Mata Yashoda bathed the baby while the Brahmins recited hymns. Yashoda saw that baby was feeling sleepy, so putting him in a cradle, she left it under a cart. The cart was loaded with pitchers of milk, curd and butter. After sometime, lord Krishna awoke and began to cry for a feed. But amidst festivities, Yashoda could not hear his cries.

 

Meanwhile a demon Shakatasur rode the cart wishing to press the cart and thereby kill the Lord. But before he could act, the Lord touched the cart with His feet and lo and behold! The cart turned over and all the utensils kept on it came crashing down. Even the demon was crushed to death under the cart. Other boys, who were playing nearby, informed the Gopis (ladiesfolk) that the little Kanhaiya had turned over the loaded cart, but they did not believe the kids. Yashoda ran in horror and lifted the baby in her lap. The Brahmins recited pacifying hymns then. Thereafter the baby was bathed again with sanctified water. A feast of Brahmins followed then. Ultimately they were seen off with many gifts.

 

SALVATION OF TRINAVART

 

Once Mata Yashoda was playing with the baby lord in her home. All of a sudden she felt as if the baby was getting disproportionately heavy. Soon, she felt herself unable to bear the child anymore. So she left the child on the ground and began to pray Purushottam Lord Rama. Soon afterwards she forgot about the event, but all was not over yet. Trinavart, a demon minister of Kansa, had arrived in Gokul as a fierce cyclone. He covered entire Gokul with dust and blinded the people temporarily. For a moment people could not see anything and during that moment Trinavart blew the baby in air with him. When the dust settled, Yashoda did not find the baby Krishna where she had left him. She felt extremely sorry and fell on ground in depression. Other womenfolk also gathered round her. They too began to cry not seeing baby Krishna there.

 

In the form of cyclone, the demon Trinavart had blown baby Krishna with him; but he too could not bear his heavy burden. So he began to lose his velocity. Lord Krishna caught him by neck. The demon died in a few moments and his dead body fell in Vraj. And Yashoda got a new lease of life when she saw baby Krishna safe and sound. Nand and other Gopas too were overjoyed.

 

NAMING OF LORD KRISHNA

 

Once, the supreme ascetic Gargacharya arrived in Gokul. He was the ancestral teacher of Yaduvanshis. Nand joyfully welcomed and treated the hermit. Then he requested him to carry out the ritual of naming and suggest suitable named for both of his sons. Acharya Garg said, “O Nand, everyone knows that I am the ancestral teacher of the Yadavas. If I carry out the naming ritual for these boys, people will understand that they are Devaki’s sons.” So Nand requested Gargacharya to name his sons secretly. Gargacharya accepted his request and carried out the naming rituals secretly in Nand’s cattle shed.

 

Garg said: “This son of Rohini will cause by his virtue, great pleasures for his near and dear ones. So his second name will be Rama. And because of excessive strength, people will call him as Bala also. Since he will unite the people also, so one of his names would be Sankarshan.”

 

Thereafter, Garg said pointing to Yashodanandan. He has taken incarnation in every age. In the past ages, he had taken white, red and yellow complexions respectively. This time he has taken dark complexion, so he will be known as Krishna. Once he has been the son of Vasudev, so people will call him as Vasudev also. He will cause salvation of all of you, and great joy for the fellow Gopas and cows. With his help, you will overcome even the severe crises. O Nand, This boy will be equal to Narayana in virtues, wealth, beauty, fame and influence. Foster this child with care and earnestness.” Thus naming the boys as per their virtues, Garg returned to his hermitage.

 

CHILDHOOD OF LORD KRISHNA

 

The time passed in Gokul as usual. Balrama and Krishna too grew normally. Soon they began to walk on knees and palms. With their childish plays they both amused men and women folk of Gokul. Everyone took special care of them and looked after them to save them from any possible danger. Ladiesfolk were especially careful about them.

 

Soon afterwards, both the kids began to walk trottingly. Now their movement no longer confined within the boundary of their home. Because of his special virtues, Krishna began to lead other kids of his age group whereas his elder brother Balaram was somewhat serious in nature. Krishna specially enjoyed teasing the girls and milkmaids of Gokul. Often he would eat stealing their milk, curd and butter. At other times, He did not hesitate even to break their pitchers. In such situations the ladiesfolk used to gather in Nand’s home to complain against Krishna. And every time Yashoda promised them to punish Krishna. But every time, when she proceeded to punish him, she forgot everything before his sweet, innocent smile.

 

One day, Balaram complained against Krishna, “Ma, the little Kanhaiya has eaten mud. Worried about Krishna’s health, Yashoda scolded at him: “Tell me, O mischievous Krishna, why did you eat mud”. At that moment, little Krishna’s eyes were moving with fear. He made an excuse: “No Ma, I have not eaten any mud. They are telling you a lie. If you don’t believe, me see yourself.” Saying this, Krishna opened his little mouth. Yashoda peeped into his mouth and what she saw there amazed her. She could not believe it. The entire universe was visible in his little mouth. Yashoda saw strange places, entire Vraj and even herself in the little mouth of Krishna. She felt dizzy. With his illusionary powers, Lord wiped out the memory of this incidence from the mind of Yashoda, and she again immersed in love with her child.

 

UKHAL BANDHAN AND SALVATION OF YAMALARJUN

 

Once, wishing to feed Krishna with butter, Yashoda began to churn milk in the morning. Very soon, Krishna too awakened and not finding the mother on her bed, He set out to search her. Soon He found her in the courtyard where she was churning the milk. He began to insist for breast feeding at once. So Yashoda stopped churning and began to breast feed Krishna. Affection played on her face. Suddenly the milk kept on the fire pot began to boil. Yashoda left Krishna in order to attend the boiling milk. But the unstiated Krishna filled with anger and broke the pitcher of curd. Then he went inside and began to eat butter, when Yashoda came back; she understood the matter and began to search him with a stick in her hand. After eating butter himself, Krishna was now feeding the monkeys with it. Seeing the mother come in hot pursuit, Krishna jumped over the mortar and ran away. Yashoda chased him, but soon felt tired because of her bulky body.

 

Thereafter, Yashoda proceeded to tie Krishna as a punishment. She got a rope and tried to tie Krishna. But the rope fell short by two fingers. She joined many ropes together but the result was same. Every time the ropes fell short by two fingers. Soon, Yashoda was bathing in sweat. When Krishna saw his mother in depression, he himself tied in the ropes. Tethering little Krishna to a heavy mortar, Yashoda engaged in usual household tasks. Tethered to the mortar, Krishna glanced at the two Arjun trees, which were standing on the gate like two sentries. He resolved to salve them.

 

Maitreya asked Parashar about the trees. Parashar said: “The lord of wealth Kuber had two sons Nalkubar and Manigreev. One day they were enjoying the sweet company of pretty women on the bank of Mandakini River. Just by coincidence, Devarshi Narad arrived there. Out of Shyness, the women folk at once covered themselves, but both the sons of Kuber stood boldly without feeling any shame. Indignant Narad cursed them to become trees and stay in that form for one hundred years. Narad showed kindness as well that despite being in tree forms, they would have the memory of God alive and would be salved by Lord Shri Krishna. Thus, to keep the words of his supreme devotee Narad, Lord dragged the mortar to the two Arjun trees. He walked in such a way that the mortar got stuck between the trees. Krishna then pulled the mortar and in no time the trees were uprooted. Two divine men appeared from the uprooted trees and bowed at the feet of Krishna and prayed him with pure hearts. Then they departed to their heavenly abode.

 

 

MIGRATION TO VRINDAVANA

 

The uprooted Arjun trees fell with thundering sound. All the people shivered with fear and felt as if lightning had struck somewhere. All the elders including Nand met together and discussed the matter. Unanimously they concluded that, of late disturbance had increased in Gokul and the circumstances were no longer conducive to raise the kids like Balaram and Krishna there. So they unanimously decided to leave Gokul and migrate to a verdant place named Vrindavana. In their opinion, Vrindavana had ample vegetation and fertility to support them and their cattle.

 

Thus, on an auspicious day, the entire population of Gokul set out for Vrindavana. They packed their households on bullock carts and drove their cattle in herds and started in convoy. In Vrindavana they built their houses and started their life once again.

 

Parashar says: “The verdant environment of Vrindavana, Govardhan mountain and crystal clear waters and sandy banks of Yamuna river together filled the hearts of Balaram and Krishna with joy. Along with the fellow cowherds, they began diverse kinds of plays there.

 

SALVATION OF VATSASUR

 

One day, Balaram and Krishna were grazing their cattle on the bank of Yamuna River. A demon, meanwhile, took the guise of a calf and mixed with the herd. Obviously, he had malicious intentions. Lord Krishna had already seen the demon taking calf’s guise and mixing up with the herd. He signalled Balaram and they together reached near the calf. The calf appeared particularly healthy, so Krishna and Balaram mockingly saw it with admiring eyes. Suddenly they held the calf with its hind legs and tail twirling it in air they threw it in the sky. When the demon died, they threw him on a Kath (wood-apple) tree.

 

SALVATION OF BAKASUR

 

One day, all the cowherds took their cattle to a large pond to let them drink water. There they say a huge creature sitting like a hillock on the bank. They were frightened by its appearance. The creature was in fact a demon named Bakasur who had arrived there in the guise of a storke. He was himself very strong and had a long pointed bill. As soon as the cowherds drew near him, The storke hastily picked up Krishna and swallowed him. Other cowherds including Balaram were stupefied. They could not believe their eyes. But inside the beak, Lord Krishna made him extremely hot and caused severe burning in demon’s throat. So the demon could not swallow Krishna and regurgitated him, and began to hit him with his strong beak. But Lord held his beak with both his hands and tore the demon’s mouth apart. And as son as the demon died, a ripple of joy surged among the cowherds.

 

SALVATION OF AGHASUR

 

One day, Krishna planned a picnic near Nandanvan. So rising early in the morning, He awakened his fellow cowherds sounding a horn. Together, all the cowherds, and their cattle went to the forest. There, on the bank of Yamuna River they began to play joyfully. Nandanvan was in fact an abode of the demon Aghasur. Kansa had sent him there. Seeing the boys playing, he felt extremely jealous. Knowing that Krishna had killed his brother Bakasur and sister Pootana, it seemed an ideal moment for the demon to avenge the death of his siblings. Thinking thus, the demon took guise of python and lay in the way and opening his mouth like an opening of a cave. The cowherds too fell in his trap. Thus driven by curiosity, all the cowherds entered the demon mouth one by one. When Lord Krishna saw that his friends had entered demon’s mouth. He too entered it to protect them.

 

Aghasur wanted to masticate the cowherds including lord Krishna; but the lord increased his body and choked demon throat. Now the breath of demon stopped. His eyes rolled over and at last his life left his body through Brahmrandhra (cosmic pore). With his ambrosial eye, Lord resurrected these dead fellows and their cattle and together they came out of the demon’s mouth. As soon as the demon died, a divine flame emerged from the python’s mouth. It waited there sometime for God. And when lord Krishna came out, the flame mingled with him.

 

ATTACHMENT OF BRAHMA, STEALING OF CATTLE AND COWHERDS

 

Parashar says: The cowherds told the tale of Aghasur’s salvation to their parents only after a year of the incidence. During that period of one year, Lord Krishna multiplied himself and took the guise of his fellow cowherd and their stock of cattle to remove the illusion of Brahma, who was the cause of the following incidence.

 

After Aghasur’s life mingled with God, Lord Krishna came with His fellow cowherd on the bank of Yamuna. They left their cattle to graze freely and they sat together to take their lunch. All of the cowherds tasted one-another’s food, as they wanted to feed Krishna with the tasty food. Meanwhile surprised by Aghasur’s salvation, Brahma too had arrived there and saw Krishna eating food defiled by the cowherds. With that sight, Brahma grew suspicious if Krishna was indeed an incarnation of lord. Thus driven by the illusion and to test the authenticity of lord’s incarnation, Brahma kidnapped all the cattle first and when Krishna went out to search the cattle Brahma kidnapped and concealed the cowherds also. Soon lord Krishna understood the craftiness of Brahma, so he multiplied himself into his fellow cowherds and cattle. Replicas resembled truly to the cowherds in appearance, complexion, nature, activities, voice, sticks and even in costumes. The replicas remain in existence for complete one year.

 

Back there, when Brahma returned after hiding the cowherds and the cattle, he was stunned to see the cowherds and cattle as usual. Brahma was feeling dizzy when lord bestowed his grace on him. Brahma saw Narayana in every dust particle. Brahma therefore bowed his head at the feet of lord and said: “O lord, I submit before you. You can be won only with devotion and not by ego. No one can know your omnipresent appearance. Thus praying and worshipping lord Narayana, Brahma returned to his abode. The cowherds remained separated from God for one year. But they felt as if only half a second had passed because of the illusionary influence of God. That is why they related the incidence of Aghasur’s killing to their parents only after a year it took place.

 

SALVATION OF DHENUKASUR

 

When Krishna and Balaram entered sixth year of their ages, they got the permission to take the cattle out for grazing. Along with their fellow cowherds the two brothers too began to take their cattle to Vrindavana. Thus they sanctified the earth of Vrindavana with their pious feet. Seeing the beauty of Vrindavana, with beautiful, colourful flowers and sweet fruits, Lord Krishna felt overjoyed. He then used to graze his cattle at the foothills of Govardhan and on the banks of Yamuna River. Playing flute was his favourite pass time. One day Krishna’s beloved friend Sudama said: “Kanhaiya, there is a beautiful forest name Talvana. It has uncountable numbers of trees laden with ripe fruits. But a formidable demon Dhenukasur guards that forest. He is very strong. So no one goes there; even animals and birds shun that place. But we are tempted to eat those sweet delicious fruits. If you and Daau (Balaram) wish, we may go there and eat those delicious fruits.”

 

Thus hearing this, Krishna and Balaram guided all of them to Talvana. There they shook the trees and in no time a heap of ripe, delicious fruits gathered under the trees. All the cowherds began to eat fruits. While eating, they were also making lot of noises. Disturbed by the sound of fruits falling and noise of the cowherds, the demon Dhenukasur arrived there as a donkey. He was braying loudly and tried to hit Balaram, but Balrama caught him by his hind legs and threw him in the air. The demon died in an instance. Since that day, everyone visited Talvana fearlessly and the cattle grazed there freely.

 

GRACE ON KALIY THE NAGA

 

One day, Bala-Krishna arrived on the banks of Yamuna with their friends. Balaram was not with them that day. The water of the river Yamuna was intoxicated by the poison of Kaliy- the Naga. It was exceptionally hot that day and all the cowherds and cattle were very thirsty. So without giving any thought, they all drank the water from Yamuna and died. But Lord Krishna resurrected them by his ambrosial sight.

 

Then Lord Krishna decided to purify the waters of Yamuna. Thus tying a cloth round his waist, Krishna climbed a Cadamba tree and jumped into the river. In the water the lord started playing and splashing water. Soon the waves began to rise high. When Kaliy- the Naga heard the noise. He got extremely angry and appeared before Krishna.

 

He saw a beautiful, tender, dark complexioned boy playing joyfully in the waters. He stung him and tied him in his spirals. Tied in the spirals of Kaliy, lord became absolutely motionless. Seeing Krishna in death like situation, all the cowherds and even the cows felt very sorry. Just then lord freed himself from the hold of Kaliy. Then a game of hide and seek began between them. Lord dodged the Naga for a long time. Thereafter he rode on Kaliy’s hood and began to dance there.

 

The followers of God, like Gandharvas etc. began to play Mridang, Dhol etc. to give him a company. Tired from the blows of lord’s feet, Kaliy soon began to vomit blood. Naga’s wives began to pray God, “O lord, your incarnation is to punish the evil ones for their sins. You have shown your grace on us also. We are fortunate to have a sight and touch of your feet. Pity O lord. This Naga can no longer bear your momentum. He will die. We are all your slaves. Kaliy is our lord. Kindly forgive him.” With kindness, lord released Kaliy, who prayed thus: O lord in your creation we snakes represent Tamoguna (dark virtues). We are confused by your illusions.” Lord dictated Kaliy to migrate with his family to Ramanakdweep. Since then water of Yamuna became pure for humans and animals.

 

DRINKING OF DAVANAL (FOREST FIRE)

 

After defeating Kaliy, Lord Krishna and all other people of Vraj felt extremely tired. They were very hungry and thirsty also. So they did not go back to Vrindavana, but stayed on the bank of Yamuna in the night. Because of intense heat of summer, surrounding forests had been shrivelled. At midnight those shrivelled forests caught fire and the sleeping people were engulfed by it. They awakened startled and took shelter at Krishna. Seeing their horrified appearance, Lord Krishna drank the infernal forest fire and thus saved the lives of innocent people who had rested their lives at him with faith.

 

SALVATION OF PRALAMBASUR

 

One day, Balaram and Krishna were playfully grazing their cattle along with other cowherds in the forests. When a demon Pralamb arrived there with an intention of kidnapping Krishna and Balaram. The demon had come in the guise of a cowherd, but the God easily recognised him. They accepted his proposal of friendship, but were thinking about the way for his salvation. God thereafter summoned all his friends and said: “Pals, today we shall divide ourselves in to two teams and play joyfully. Thus the teams were divided and each team chose Krishna and Balaram as its captain respectively. It was stipulated that the members of defeated team would carry the members of winner team on their back up to the place pointed by them. Thus the game began and soon both the teams reached a secluded place.

 

At one time, the team headed by Balaram won. So the members of Krishna’s team were to carry them on their back. Demon Pralambasur offered Balaram a ride on his back. Balaram agreed to ride on the demon’s back; but as soon as he rode on the demon’s back, the demon galloped. But he could not go far for not being able to bear Balaram’s weight. Them the demon regained his huge formidable size and tried to escape by flying. First Balaram felt terrorised but soon he realised his real powers and hit on the demon’s head with a powerful fist. The blow shattered demon’s head and he fell on earth dead like a huge mountain.

 

Parashar says: “Most of the time of Lord Krishna’s boyhood passed in Vrindavana. There He grazed cattle and played flute. His flute had a divine, enchanting sound. The Gopis used to gather around Him drawn by the enchanting tunes.”

 

They also heard the enchanting Venugeet that fills one hearts with the memory of Bhagwat. One of the girls said to her friend: “O dear friend, having the privilege of seeing Lords beauty and receiving His kindness is the real salvation. Another girl said: “O friend, what penance this flute had observed that it has got a closer contact with lips of Nandnandan (an epithet for Krishna). Even the siblings of this flute, trees and other vegetation’s are pleased with its fortune and are hence showering their leaves and flowers on him.” One more said: “O friend, look, even Bhagwati Lakshmi has left her luxurious abode in Vaikunth and arrived in Vrindavana to have a look of lord Devakinandan.” A Gopi expressed her jealousy: “Even this doe is better than us, O friends, look how engrossed is she looking at God that her eyes are not blinking.”

 

Hearing the sweet enchanting tunes of flute even the heavenly elves gather in the sky over Vrindavana. They also see the beauty of lord Krishna and showered the flowers of their braids on him. Even the cows forgot grazing when then heard the enchanting music of flute. The calves too forgot drinking milk and began to look at lord Krishna with joy. This is the real devotion for lord Krishna. You have to forget yourself in order to find him. Condition of girls of Vrindavana was exactly the same. After having the sight of lord Krishna they remembered nothing; not even the way back to home. They stood in the forests in a trance, completely tired, unaware of their self.

 

A girl said pointing to the fauna: “Look O friends, look at these birds. Do you know that these birds were the saints and sages in their previous births. In this birth also they are sitting in a state of trance. Look they have forgotten their knowledge hearing the sweet enchanting music of the flute. And look at Yamuna. She is also unable to contain her exhilaration. She is eagerly splashing her waves to wash Lord’s feet. Yet another girl said: “Look friends the clouds cannot see their lord scorching in the sun. So they have covered the sun and shaded Lord Krishna. Now they are drizzling as if showering petals.” A girl said: “Friends, look, these Bheelanis are better than us. They have such a strong urge of Krishna’s sight that when Govind returns home, they smear their body with dusts of his feet. Blessed is this mountain which has dedicated its entire self in the feet of Brajnandan and feels overjoyed. It is his supreme devotee. Kanhaiya has infused even non-living things with life by his sweet tunes of flute.

 

STEALING OF CLOTHES

 

The unmarried girls of Vrindavana felt as if their lives were dedicated to Lord Krishna. Each of them wished heartily to have lord Krishna as her husband. So in order to get their desire fulfilled, all of the spinster girls of Vraj began to take bath in Yamuna early in morning of Hemant season and worshipped goddess Katyayani. When MadanMohan learned that the unmarried girls wished to marry him. He went to see them at dawn. The girls were bathing naked in the river; their clothes were kept on the bank. Lord Krishna stealthy took those clothes and climbed on a Cadamba tree. Lord had not stolen their clothes with malicious intentions. He had stolen them to remove their flaws and make them realise their real appearance that they were not mere girls, but pure souls. Without realisation of the real self, one can not experience the God.

 

The girls were, in fact, the hymns of Vedas, Sadhana, Siddhis, Sages and Brahmvidyas (Vedas) themselves that took the guise of girls to enjoy the vicinity of God. God removed their clothes that symbolised lust. Because of the lords grace they all were able to enjoy God’s company.

 

Parashar says: “O Maitreya, Thus Lord Krishna removed the shyness of the girls of Vraj through His sweet talks. He derided at them, made them dance like puppets and even stole their clothes when they were bathing naked, but they did not deter his actions. Instead they felt overjoyed by the close presence of their beloved Kanha.”

 

LIFTING OF GOVARDHAN

 

Parashar says: One day, Balaram and Krishna saw that many delicious kind of sweetmeats were being cooked at home. With curiosity and politeness, they asked Nand and other elders: “Father, which festival are you preparing for? Which god will be worshipped? What purpose will such worship serve? Nand Baba explained: “Sons Devraj Indra is the god of clouds. It is because of Indra’s grace that we get rain. So these materials are being prepared to worship Indra.

 

Krishna said: Father every creature in the world enjoys comforts or suffers as per his fate. None of the gods can change the results. Action is primary in the world. One gets the results as per his actions. Even Indra is God as a result of his action. Anyone, who performs one hundred Ashvamegh Yagyas, becomes Indra. But even after performing crores of Ashvamegh Yagyas one can not stay in Vraj. It is the duty of Indra to cause rain. So it will rain even if you don’t worship Indra. But to feed the poors and satisfy them with clothes and other gifts is real worship. By their blessing, we shall be happier. I desire that with all these materials we should worship Giriraj Govardhan and distribute the Prasad among the poors. With which their souls will be sated and will have the grace of God.

 

Thus Lord Krishna told his father that all the people should worship unitedly and unitedly they should receive Prasad. If you are ready to do as per my desire, its all right, otherwise I will not worship your haughty god, nor receive his Prasad.

 

WORSHIP OF GOVARDHAN AND INDIGNATION OF INDRA

 

Thus convinced by Kanhaiya’s wise reasoning, all the Gopas agreed to him. Nand Baba said, “O Krishna, we are making all these preparation for you only and we will do as you say. We will worship Govardhan. For us Govardhan is also like a god. It gives us grass, water, and fuel etc., which are necessary for our lives. Thus with lord’s consent, they dropped their plan to worship Indra and resolved to worship Govardhan faithfully.

 

On the Purnima (full moon) day in the month of Kartik (November) all the Gopas (people of Vraj region) gathered near mount Govardhan. During the night all of them circumambulated the mountain. Lord invoked the Ganges by his wish and bathed Govardhan with her water. Then they put vermilion on it, offered basil-leaves, flowers etc and worshipped it. Brahmins recited hymns in its praise. To make the people believe in their rituals, Lord Krishna himself appeared on the mountain in huge form and exclaimed: “I am Giriraj (the king of the mountain) and began to eat the offerings. But as a child, He was still among the villagers who faithfully bowed before the mountain. Among them, the child Krishna said: “look, what a surprise Giriraj has appeared himself and bestowed his grace on us. He has accepted our worship.” There after all the Gopas distributed Prasad among themselves and felt supremely satisfied.

 

When Indra learned that the Gopas had stopped worshipping him, he grew outrageous. In anger, he ordered the clouds to rain torrentially over Vraj and cause heavy flood in Vraj region. In no time dense clouds gathered over Vraj. Soon there was lightning, thunder, darkness and storm all around. Then it began to rain torrentially. All the people took refuge at Lord Krishna and prayed him to save them from the anger of Indra. Lord Krishna said: “Those who regard me as their, are mine and I am theirs, So there is no need to worry for you.”

 

Saying this, Lord lifted Giriraj on his little finger and called all the people of Vraj along with their cattle under the lee of Govardhan. Then he ordered his wheel Sudarshan to absorb the water of the clouds so that not even a single drop could fall on earth. Thus for seven days continuously Lord balanced Govardhan on the little finger. Thus Lord Krishna also came to be known as Giridhari. People who had gathered around him, just kept on seeing Lords moon-like face and hence did not feel thirsty or hungry. In fact the comforts those people got during those seven days are beyond verbal description. Lord held Govardhan on one hand, and conch in the other, while with the remaining two hands He began to play this flute. Hearing the tunes of his flute, all the people of Vraj began to dance with joy. After the rains stopped, all of them returned to their homes.

 

CEREMONIAL BATH OF SHRI KRISHNA

 

When Indra learned about the happenings in Vraj, he soon realised his mistake. Indra himself reached Vraj and begged lord for His pardon. Then he gave lord a ceremonial bath with the milk of Surabhi. For protecting the cows, the Lord also got one more name “Govind”.

 

RASS LEELA

 

Parashar related to Maitreya the tale of Kamadev’s humiliation. The purpose of describing this tale is just that common people should reflect on the selfless love of Gopis for Lord Krishna and experience the love of God for them as well.

 

After conquering Brahma and other gods, ego of Kamadev had surged to great heights. He, therefore, requested God to quench his thirst for war. God invited Kamadev to visit Vrindavana on the night of Sharad Purnima (Full moon night) in the season that precedes winter, and told him that on that divine night He would enjoy the company of crores of Gopis. “If I have slightest passion for any of them, you will win, otherwise you will lose.”

 

That night Lord Krishna added more divinity, more brilliance to it with a resolution of Raas with the help of Yogmaya (personified illusion). It was a perfect night for the purpose – flowers bloomed in Vrindavana, full moon shone, and gentle, cool breeze blew from the banks of river Yamuna. Amidst this stimulating ambience Lord Krishna began to play an enchanting tune on his flute. The tune attracted Gopis, their passion surged to its zenith and under the influence of love for lord Krishna and as if in trance, all of them ran to meet their beloved Kanhaiya leaving all their fear, bondage, patience and shyness behind. Some of them were intercepted by their husbands and dragged back to home. But only their physical bodies stayed put, their souls reached Vrindavana.

 

In Vrindavana on the bank of Yamuna, Gopis saw Vrindavana Vihari (epithet for Krishna) near their familiar Cadamba tree. Yogmaya adorned all the Gopis from tip to toe. In fact those Gopis were not ordinary women.

 

Maitreya asks: “Gopis had not regarded Krishna as ParaBrahma. What was the basis for their passion then?”

 

Parashar says: When a wretched person like Shishupal, who always abused lord Krishna could find supreme position, there should be no doubt for Gopis who had such a profound passion for Lord.” So Gopis arrived and gathered around Lord Krishna.

 

To test their devotion and to enhance the honour of Kamadev, Krishna said to them: “O Gopis, the pure ones, it is not fit for you to stay here at this hour of night. Go and serve your husbands. Your duties must be first to your husband’s children and cows. They will be waiting for you eagerly. Go and console them. You can gain me by hearing, reciting, seeing etc. You need not sit here. Go to your homes.”

 

Gopis, however said: “Govind, we have come to you leaving all the mundane lusts behind. Now going back is like ruining our lives. It is the greatest misfortune if someone returns to mundane affairs even after being at your feet.” These words that reflected divine feelings of Gopis pleased Lord. He began to enjoy their company. But a feeling of ego began to creep in the minds of Gopis because of lord’s closeness. They began to assume themselves as highly fortunate. To remove their ego, Lord disappeared right among them.

 

PITIABLE CONDITION OF GOPIS IN GOD’S ABSENCE

 

After the disappearance of God, Gopis were perplexed. Their hearts burned with desire. They had dedicated their entire selves in the feet of Lord. They were entirely merged in the love of Krishna. Thus driven by passion, Gopis began to search Lord Krishna. They asked trees, creepers and vegetation for the whereabouts of their beloved. They then spotted His footprints at one place. Footprints of Radha were also there. ‘Indeed He would have carried her, that great fortunate one, on His shoulders.’ They thought. Lord had indeed, after disappearing from amidst Gopis, taken Radha to an isolated place. She had then began to think herself superior to other Gopis. So at one place, she said: “O Lord, I can’t walk now. My tender feet are tired. Kindly carry me on your shoulders to wherever you wish.” At her request, Lord Krishna agreed to carry her on his shoulder. But as soon as she proceeded to ride, Lord disappeared from there also. Now, Radha began to cry and wail and fainted. At the same time, other Gopis also reached there and found Radha lying unconscious on the ground. All of them including Radha then returned to the bank of Yamuna and began to wait for Krishna’s appearance.

 

RE-APPEARANCE OF LORD AMONG GOPIS

 

When the beloved Gopis burst into tears, Krishna’s patience gave away. His heart melted at their condition and He appeared amidst them. A sweet smile played on his beautiful face. He wore a garland of fresh Vaijayanti flowers and yellow clothes. His beauty could have moved even Kamadev. Seeing their beloved Kanha once again amidst them, Gopis got a new lease of life. All of them began to embrace Lord and thus quench the fire of separation that was burning their bodies.

 

Thereafter, along with the beauties of Vraj, Lord came to the bank of Yamuna. Gopis put their queries before him for solution. Lord said: “O beloved Gopis, I do not reciprocate to the desire of my beloved ones for physical love. Because of it their conscience remains always engrossed in me. Hence, I take to hiding even after meeting so that you could feel complete imbibement in me.

 

MAHARAAS

 

From the words of the Lord, Gopis forgot the pains of separation. From the closeness of their beloved, their lives were successful now. With those Gopis, Lord Krishna started Maharaas on the pious banks of river Yamuna. All the gods gathered in sky to witness that divine festival. Gopis were even more fortunate than Lakshmi. But even amidst crores of Gopis, who were eager to devote their everything to Him, Lord completely refrained from desires, feelings and even actions. Thus Lord defeated even Kamadev and removed his ego.

 

SALVATION OF SUDARSHAN AND SHANKHCUR

 

Parashar says: Once on the occasion of Shivaratri, Nand Baba and all other Gopas drove their carts with families and reached Ambikavana on a pilgrimage tour. There they took bath in the river Saraswati and with devotion worshiped lord Shiva and Parvati. They also observed day long fast and decided to pass their night on the bank of Saraswati. But a huge python inhabited that place. During the night the python emerged and caught hold of Nand’s leg. Nandbaba cried loudly. All the Gopas gathered around him. He cried again: “Kanhaiya, This snake is all set to strangulate me. Save me.”

 

Lord touched the python with his feet and instantaneously the python vanished. In its place appeared a divine-looking human being. He said: “O Lord, I was a Vidyadhar named Sudarshan. I was so much obsessed with my beauty, youth, luxury and comforts that I used to insult others. One day I had derided at the ugly appearance of the sage Angira. So indignantly he cursed me to become a python. But, pleased by my realisation of mistake, he had told that when God himself would touch me, I would regain my original appearance.” Thereafter, Sudarshan went round the God, worshiped Him and with his permission, departed to his abode.

 

On another occasion, Lord arrived in Vrindavana during Vasant Ritu (spring Season). There He took part in Vasantik Raas (Raas of spring season) with the Gopis. During Raas itself, a demon Shankhchur tried to escape away kidnapping some of the Gopis. A stampede resulted among Gopis. Hearing their noise, Lord ran after the demon, carrying a huge Sal (Shorea) tree in his hands. In no time He overtook the demon and killed him by just one blow. He picked up the gem from demon’s head and handed it to Balaram.

 

SALVATION OF ARISHTASUR

 

Once, Kansa sent a demon Arishtasur to Vrindavana. The demon arrived there in a bull’s guise. That huge bull came to Vrindavana and began to terrorise the people with his loud sound. Seeing the bull, Balaram said to Krishna: “Kanhaiya, I have never seen such a huge bull before.” All the people began to cry for help. Lord consoled them and challenged the bull demon: “O fool, why are you terrorising these cows and cowherds? I am going to shatter your ego.” The challenge from God pinched the demon. Tapping his hooves angrily, the demon attacked God. He wished to gore Him, but God held his horns and pushed him back. Then kicking the demon God killed him in no time.

 

KANSA SENDS AKRUR

 

After the killing of Arishtasur, Devarshi Narad visited Kansa and asked: “O Kansa, the girl who had slipped form your hand was in fact the daughter of Yashoda. Krishna and Balaram, who are staying in Vrindavana, are infact the sons of Devaki and Rohini respectively. Because of your fear, Vasudev has kept them under the supervision of his friend Nand. Those two boys have killed the demons sent by you.” Hearing these words, Kansa shook with anger and put Vasudev and Devaki in prison again. Thereafter he called his minister Akrur and asked him to set out at once for Gokul. He said to Akrur: “Akrurji, you are an old friend and well-wisher of mine, Go to Gokul and bring the sons of Vasudev, who are staying at Nand’s home. Invite them to visit Mathura, to witness the festivities of Dhanush-Yagya.” Akrur understood Kansa’s intentions, but feared that if he refused, that demon would kill him. So he decided to visit Gokul, and also have the opportunity of seeing God. He was feeling overwhelmed by the mere thought of it. Next day, he set out on a grand chariot to meet his supreme Lord in Gokul.

 

Meditating in the feet of Lord, Akrur was heading towards Vrindavana. He was feeling himself as the most fortunate one for he was sure to have a sight of Lord. Thus obsessed with many kinds of devotional feelings, Akrur alighted from the chariot at the border of Vrindavana and started walking. He found it unjust to ride a chariot on the land of Vrindavana where lord Krishna treaded. By the time, he reached Vrindavana, Lord Krishna and Balaram had returned home after grazing their cattle. Seeing them, Akrur fell at their feet. Both the brothers raised Akrur and addressed him as “Chacha” (uncle), and escorted him into the house.

 

Akrur was given a warm welcome and treatment there. After the dinner, they assembled in Nand’s drawing room. Nand inquired about the reason of his sudden arrival. Akrur said: “Kansa is organising a wrestling competition in Mathura. He has invited all the big and small kings to the competitions. He has invited you with Krishna and Balaram as well. Beautiful Mathura is worth seeing. Gullible Nand felt pleased by Akrur’s talking and said: “King Kansa has shown a great honour to me. He has sent invitation only to other kings, but has sent his minister to call me and a golden chariot for my kids.” So it was announced in Gokul that all the people would go to Mathura the next day and witness the festivities there.

 

DEPARTURE OF KRISHNA-BALARAM FOR MATHURA

 

When the Gopis heard about Krishna leaving Gokul to visit Mathura, they began to wail and cry. They were getting so much restless by the news that, they felt, their lives would end before the sunrise. They started imprecating fate that it had no kindness. First it provided them with a closer contact with their beloved Kanha, now it was causing a long separation from him. Some of Gopis even begged for death, they felt it better than living without Kanha. All the Gopis kept on crying and wailing nightlong. Mother Yashoda awoke early in the morning next day. She churned out butter and adding Mishri (sugar candies), she took it to Krishna to feed him. But there she found that both Krishna and Balaram were getting ready to set out for Mathura. They held mother’s feet and said: “Pardon us, O mother, we are going to Mathura.” These words disturbed Yashoda. She ran and fell at Akrur’s feet and said: “I am your slave.

 

O Akrur, please do not take my beloved sons to Mathura. They are inseparable from my heart. Why Kansa has summoned them to Mathura?

 

O Akrur, go and tell him to take everything from us, but spare our sons. We are also ready to live in jail, but can’t lose our beloved sons.” Akrur consoled Yashoda. “Bhabhi (sister-in-law), don’t worry. These two brothers are going to Mathura to witness the festivities there and will return soon to comfort your heart.” Yashoda said: “Akrurji, Mathura is a town of gold and both of my sons are too young yet to be needed there for any reason.”

 

Touching the feet of Nand and Yashoda, both the brothers said: “Father, mother, we will definitely return. Presently we wish to see the grandeur of Mathura.” Meanwhile all the Gopis and Gopas had gathered there. Crying and wailing, the Gopis said: “You are very Cruel, O Akrur, who named you as Akrur. You have come here to lacerate our hearts.” Second Gopi said: “No friend, it is not a fault of Akrur. Our complaints are with Shyamsundar. We left everything, our husbands, children, our homes and dedicated our entire selves in your service. And now you are deserting us so ruthlessly. We have no support for our life except you, O Madhusadan.” Saying this, all the Gopis burst into tears again.

 

All the Gopas, including Shridama surrounded the chariot and said: “O Krishna we had not even dreamt that you would desert us so ruthlessly. O Kanhaiya we have seen with our eyes that even Indra, Varun, Sanakadi and Brahma bow before you. But we have never regarded you as God. We regarded you as our friend. Are you angry with us? O my childhood friend Kanhaiya, we request you, we will never abuse you in future. If you were intending to go, why did you, then save us from the infernal forest fire. Why did you save from the deluging rains? We cannot live without you. Tell us O benevolent friend, When will you return.”

 

Lord Krishna consoled them all and took many of them with Him. The chariot began to move. As long as the flag of the chariot remained visible, people kept on crying and wailing. Even the eyes of Akrur filled with tears. Lord asked him: “Kaka, why are you weeping?” Akrur replied: “O Lord, Kansa is the great sinner. I feel he will try to torment you by all means. So, my heart says, that I should take you back to Vrindavana, because if Kansa did any harm to you, their spirits will curse me for ever.”

 

AKRUR HAS A SIGHT OF LORD IN FOUR-ARMED FORM

 

Hearing Akrur’s words, Lord understood that when he had arrived in Vraj, he was afflicted with a feeling of majesty. But now, it has been replaced by affection now. He therefore decided to remove his dilemma. Thus, Lord said to him: “Kaka, Mathura is still some distance away. So you take a bath in Yamuna. We brothers are waiting for you in the chariot.”

 

As soon as Akrur took a dip in Yamuna, Lord showed him a sight of His abode Vaikunth and his Narayana’s appearance in which, he was holding conch, wheel, mace and lotus in each of his four hands and was lying on the bed of Sheshnaga. With folded hands, Akrur prayed to lord: “O lord, you are the reason for the existence of Brahma and the Universe. O Lord, I pray at your feet again and again. Now I recognise you. You are the one who took the incarnations of Matsya, Kachchap, Varah, Narsinh, Vamana, Rama etc. Thus after bath and worship, Akrur returned to the chariot. Lord Krishna understood that now a devotional feeling had arisen in the mind of Akrur for Narayana. Lord asked: “Your condition seems miserable. Did you see anything extra-ordinary under water?” Akrur said: “O Lord, now bestow your grace on me. Kindly come to my home and accept my hospitality.”

 

ARRIVAL IN MATHURA

 

After the departure of Akrur, Nandbaba too set out for Mathura along with the Gopas. On the way itself, they caught up with Krishna and Balaram. All of them then reached Mathura together. There they stayed in a garden. After sometime, with Nand’s permission, both the brothers set out to see the city of Mathura. Mathura was indeed a beautiful town. All the residents of Mathura thronged on roads, roofs and attices to have a sight of Krishna and Balaram.

 

GRACE ON KUBJA

 

On the way, they met a pretty but hunched woman. She introduced herself as Kubja, the maid of Kansa. Her duty was to smear the members of the royal family with sandalwood paste. God asked her if she would smear him with sandal paste. Kubja said: “O Manmohan, I see no one more fitting than you for the sandal paste.” Thus she smeared Lord’s forehead with saffron. On Dau’s forehead she smeared musk containing sandal paste, other Gopas smeared all the remaining sandal paste on their heads. Lord then, put His feet on Kubja’s and holding her chin gave her head a slight jerk. And in no time, Kubja’s hunch was gone and she turned into a pretty woman. She begged lord for His love. The Lord promised her a meeting in future, and proceeded ahead.

 

BREAKING OF THE BOW

 

After salving Kubja, Lord Krishna and other Gopas moved ahead. At a place they saw a huge bow kept on a high stage. Many strong men were guarding it. Lord entered the canopy and easily lifted the bow and broke it into pieces. There was a big applause from all around. Dau said: “Krishna, now the crowd will increase here, so let us escape in time. Thus, both the brothers and their friends beat a retreat to their camp. There they rested for night. There in Mathura, breaking of the bow had frightened Kansa. He could not sleep during the night. Even in his dreams, he saw nothing, but Krishna everywhere around him.

 

KILLING OF ELEPHANT

 

Early in the morning, Kansa summoned his minister and ordered him to make Kuvalayapeed, the elephant to stand in the centre of the main gate. He thought that the elephant would kill both the boys if they dared to enter the fort through main gate. Back there in the garden, Krishna and Balarama set out in wrestlers guise for the fort. At the gate, seein an elephant blocking the passage, they asked mahout loudly: “O Mahout, why have you made the elephant stand in the centre of the gate. Move it either ahead or back.” But instead of moving the elephant out of the passage, the mahout steered it right on them. But before elephant could attack them, Balarama caught its trunk, while Krishna caught its tail. Both the brothers then dragged the elephant out of the gate and lofted it in the air. The elephant fell on the ground with a loud thud and died on the spot.

 

SALVATION OF WRESTLERS

 

Kansa felt very nervous by the news of elephant’s killing. Before he could take stock of the situation, Lord Krishna and Balaram arrived in the amphi- theatre. The spectators present in the amphitheatre saw Lord as per their feelings. The menfolk saw Lord as a Jewel among the men. Womenfolk saw him as an incarnation of Kamadev. Cowherds saw their natural friend in Lord, while to Kansa He appeared as his death. But to his mother and father, Devaki and Vasudev and to Nand, Krishna and Balarama appeared as small kids. Sages and ascetics saw nothing but metaphysical coming in boys’ guise. Learned ones sighted His cosmic form while to Yadavas He appeared as their tutelary God.

 

As soon as the Lord and Balaram arrived in the ring, the wrestlers, who were already present there, stood up like springs. A wrestler Chanur dragged Krishna and one named Mushtik dragged Balarama into the ring. They said to them: “Both of you and we are the subjects of the great king Kansa. It is our duty to please our king with our art and skill. More over we will receive many rewards also.”

 

Krishna said: “O wrestlers, you please fight among yourselves. We are boys yet, so we shall witness your fight from a distance.” Chanur said: “No you are neither boy nor teenagers. You are stronger than the strongest. You have just killed an elephant which was stronger than thousand elephants.” Thus, both the brothers were compelled to wrestle with the royal wrestlers. Balaram beat Mushtik on the ground so hard that he died at once on the spot. Krishna similarly killed second wrestler Chanur. All the remaining wrestlers met similar fate one by one. The massive crowd present there applauded them joyfully.

 

SALVATION OF KANSA

 

Seeing the shameful defeat of his wrestlers, Kansa infuriated with anger and proclaimed: “Tie all the opponents; tie Ugrasen, Devaki, Vasudev and Nand in ropes and bring them before me.” Lord Krishna could not tolerate this and in a single jump, He reached on the stage where Kansa was present. Lord Krishna caught him by hair and said: “O Kansa, once you have caught a helpless woman by hair, I have avenged that insult. Now you will receive the fruits for your atrocities.” Saying this, Lord began to twirl Kansa catching him by hair, and threw him down from the stage. Then Lord jumped once again and landed on the chest of Kansa. Kansa died instantaneously. Thus, Kansa who was an incarnation of the demon Kaalnemi received salvation. Lord Krishna then, released his parents from the prison and crowned his maternal grand father Ugrasen as the king of Mathura.

 

YAGYOPAVIT OF KRISHNA-BALARAMA

 

After the successful completion of all the royal ceremonies, the consecration of Krishna and Balaram was carried out. Thereafter, they came to stay at the hermitage of sage Sandipani for formal education. Extraordinarily brilliant Krishna successfully learned all the knowledge in short period of time. Then, as Gurudakshina (paying respect to the teacher) Krishna brought back his dead sons from the abode of Yamaraaj. Taking convocation bath, thereafter, Lord Krishna returned to Mathura. There, though living among royal luxuries and grandeur Lord Krishna remained indifferent. Memory of his sentimental, beloved devotees friend and other people of Vraj kept on pricking him.

 

SENDING UDDHAV AS MESSANGER

 

Savant Uddhav, the son of Yadava’s minister Brihaspati was an intimate friend of Lord Krishna. Only he had the permission to enter Lord’s sanctum. Seeing his friend Krishna in remorse, Uddhav asked: “Mathuranath, you seem to be upset. What is troubling you?” Lord Krishna replied: “Uddhav, I feel perplexed. I remember my days in Vrindavana. Please go to Vrindavana and get the news regarding Gopis there. Also give them my message.” Thus Lord Krishna donned Uddhav in his attire and sent him to Vraj in his chariot.

 

There he stayed at Nand’s home. At night, Uddhav enquired about Nand and Yashoda’s well being and about Vraj in general. That whole might passed in chatting.

 

BHRAMAR GEET

 

Next day, when the Gopis got the news of Uddhav’s arrival, they thronged in and around Nand’s residence. They recognised the chariot parked in front of the gate. It was the same chariot on which Krishna and Balaram had departed for Mathura. First they thought that their beloved Krishna had returned.

 

But someone informed that it was Uddhav, Krishna’s Savant friend, who had come to preach them about metaphysical knowledge. Soon afterwards, Uddhav came out and spoke out loud: “O Gopis, listen to the preaching of Uddhav.” But instead of listening to him, Gopis covered their ears. Feeling insulted, Uddhav expressed his dissatisfaction over their behaviour. Gopis said to him: “O gentleman, firstly we are not familiar with you, secondly we have no capacity to hear your preaching. Yes if you wish to give us a message of our most beloved; thousand of ears are eager to hear that.” Uddhav then introduced himself as the intimate friend of Lord Krishna.

 

Knowing his identity Gopis welcome and treated Uddhav warmly. Uddhav then began to say again: “O Gopis, the person, whom you are declaring as your beloved friend, in fact recognises no mother, no father and no other relation. He has no form, no colour and no body. He is above all, non-existing all pervasive and the giver of joy. He is never separate from his devotee and beloved ones. All of you, too, feel the presence of that Supreme Being and be happy forever.” Gopis said: “Uddhav, as long as Ghanashyam stayed with us, we saw endless virtues in him. But only within six months of his stay in Mathura, you wiped out all of his virtues and turned him virtueless.

 

Tell us with which mouth did he eat butter, with which hand did he break our pitchers, with which feet did he pasture cows in the forests and with which feet did he dance on the hood of Kaliy. Was he another Krishna?”

 

Harsh reaction of the Gopis startled Uddhav. He began to think where he had been caught. His knowledge of Vedanta was proving ineffective on the Gopis who were sunk in so much love. On the other hand, Gopis too were feeling embarrassed for treating the guest bitterly. But they were also not prepared to listen to such preaching that condemned love. Moreover, they had let out their long accumulating feeling.

 

Meanwhile a bumblebee perched at Radha’s feet mistaking them for lotus. Pointing to it, all the Gopis said: “Beware O bumblebee, beware if you dare to touch the feet of our Radha. It appears that you are a disciple of Krishna. There is now no secret regarding the virtues and actions of your friend. But it is good that he and you tied in friendship. You are black and your friend has a black heart. Virtues of both of you are same.

 

First He imbibed us in His love; then left us ruthlessly forever. He is not sorry for us. But why does Lakshmi serve in those feet? She must be careful, lest she should be deceived like us. O bumblebee you also appear to be a polymath who has come here to preach us. But you won’t get an audience in Braj. You should better go to Mathura.

 

There is one Kubja go and relate your tale to her. You will receive ample donations from her. What will you get from the Gopis here? They have already lost their mental balance, because of separation from the beloved Krishna. If you have come to ask, why we loved Krishna. O bumblebee, we have no knowledge. But we know that our love for Krishna was not a mistake. Even the goddess Lakshmi does not leave His feet for a moment. Why should we leave his feet then? But O bumblebee, have you really come to convince us. When He could not come out of shame, He sent you to console us – the deaf and dumb Gopis, But be careful if you put your head at the feet of Radha.

 

Get away, we have already seen enough of flattery and flirtation of your friend. Deserting our affection for ephemeral things, we loved that eternal one. But He too abandoned us. Can you guess about our condition? Tell us, O Uddhav, shall we ever get the sight of Shri Krishna again?

 

Hearing the tragic tale of the Gopis, Uddhav too felt very sorry for them. He felt as if Mathuranath, lord Krishna was indeed neglecting those Gopis. Uddhav stayed in Vrindavana for six months. There he saw every place, every spot where lord Krishna had played once. When he was returning to Mathura, mother Yashoda presented him with butter, Radha gave him the flute. Thus immersed in the love and overwhelmed by its feelings, Uddhav reached Mathura. He said to Krishna: “Lord, the real appearance of love, that I saw in Vrindavana is the only truth.” Shri Krishna said: “Uddhav, You are weeping. Just look at me.” Uddhav looked at him with wide, opened eyes. In every single hair of Lord, there existed Gopis. Uddhav was indeed a Savant. But Lord had sent him to Braj only to be taught a lesson of love.

 

After the death of Kansa his widowed queens Asti and Prapti returned to their father Jarasandh’s home and informed him that Krishna and Balaram had killed their husband Kansa. Infuriated by the news, Jarasandh at once launched a massive attack on Mathura. The people of Mathura were frightened by the strength of Jarasandh’s army. Lord Krishna too fell in deep thought. Just then, divine weapons and chariots appeared from the heaven. Both the brothers took the weapons and boarded their chariots. Then they fought a fierce battle and slayed all the army of Jarasandh.

 

Balaram furiously caught Jarasandh and was about to kill him. But Lord Krishna stopped him. They then released Jarasandh and let him go unhurt. Jarasandh felt ashamed that Krishna released him because of his helpless condition.

 

Parashar says: Despite his shameful defeat, Jarasandh attacked Mathura seventeen times with huge armies. But every time, the Lord defeated him and released him in kindness. And every time Jarasandh felt more humiliated.”

 

At last, instead of attacking Mathura himself, Jarasandh sent Kalyavan to defeat Shri Krishna. Kalyavan launched an attack on Mathura with one crore strong Malechchh army. This time Lord Krishna decided to vacate Mathura instead of countering the attack. He got Dwarkapuri constructed by Vishwakarma and settled all the people of Mathura there. Then, unarmed, Lord Krishna walked past Kalyavan. Pointed by Narad, Kalyavan at once recognised Krishna and gave Him a chase. He also challenged Him, but the Lord did not listen to his challenges and kept moving with face turned away. Kalyavan chased Him for long, but could not catch up.

 

Ultimately the Lord entered a cave. Kalyavan too followed Him into the cave. In the cave the Lord saw that someone was sleeping there. So He covered the man with his yellow length of cloth and himself hid inside the cave. Kalyavan too arrived there and saw the sleeping man. He mistook him for God and said: “Krishna, you might have thought that braves do not attack on sleeping people. So I will first wake you up and then kill you.” Saying thus Kalyavan kicked the sleeping man hard. However, as soon as the man awakened and glanced at Kalyavan, Kalyavan got incinerated at once.

 

TALE OF MUCHKUND

 

Maitreya asked: “Gurudev, who was that sleeping man?”

 

Parashar says: “O king, that sleeping man was Muchkund, the son of the king Mandhaata. The gods had sought his assistance in their war against the demon during the Satayug. With Muchkund’s help, the gods had defeated the demons and thus pleased had asked him to seek a boon. Muchkund then had sought a boon of seeing God in tangible form. The gods had assured him that he would have a sight of God in Dwapar Yuga. Since Dwapar Yuga was still far away, so Muchkund had asked: “What should I do till then?” The gods asked him to sleep somewhere and blessed him with a boon that whoever waked him up would be incinerated at once, by his glance. Thus, in order to get Kalyavan incinerated and show Muchkund with his Divine form, Lord had gone to that spot where Muchkund was sleeping.

 

Muchkund got the sight of God in Chaturbhuj form; and sought a boon of continuous devotion for three births. Thus, Lord defeated Malechchh army and captured all their wealth. He also defeated Jarasandh and caused great joy for the people of Dwarka.

 

MARRIAGE OF BALARAMA

 

The king of Anart, Raivat got his daughter Revati married to Balaram with the blessing of Brahma.

 

MESSAGE OF RUKMANI FOR LORD

 

Parashar says: “Bheeshmak was the king of Vidarbh. He had five sons and a daughter Rukmani. Rukmi, the eldest son of Bheeshmak, had fixed his sister’s engagement with Shishupal, the prince of Chaidi. Narad did not like this development. He went to Kundanpur, the capital of Vidarbh and said in the court of Bheeshmak: O King, I am coming from Dwarka.” Bheeshmak said! “O great Sage, I have never heard about any city named Dwarka”. Thus, in the court of Bheeshmak, Narad narrated about the life of Lord Krishna and the grandeur of Dwarka. Bheeshmak heard the tale with full attention. His daughter Rukmani too enjoyed the tale.

 

But Rukmi had a strong opposition against lord Krishna. Ignoring the wish of his father, he was not ready to get his sister married to Lord Krishna. On the appointed day, Shishupal appeared there, in a procession, to get married with Rukmani.

 

But Rukmani was determined to marry Lord Krishna. She sent a love letter to Krishna through a loyal Brahmin and declared a fast unto death. Lord Krishna read her letter, which said: “O Trilokinath, since the moment, these ears have heard about your virtues, actions, character and plays, my soul experiences divine peace. O Achyut, my mind is dedicated in your feet. O great among the men, this Rukmani has dedicated herself in your feet. Now it is up to you to see that no jackal could take away the lion’s share.” The Brahmin, the carrier of the letter, returned to Kundanpur with an assurance from the Lord. Lord too called the charioteer and set out at once for Kundanpur. There in Kundanpur, Rukmani after getting the assurance from the Brahmin was thus waiting for Lord’s arrival.

 

Preparations for Rukmani’s marriage with Shishupal were on with full swing in Kundanpur. All the houses, streets and lanes were cleaned and sprinkled with scented water. All the men and women folk donned new clothes and ornaments. King Bheeshmak worshipped his ancestors and gods and welcomed the Brahmins liberally. Extremely beautiful princess Rukmani was given ceremonial bath and donned with auspicious clothes and bracelets.

 

The king of Chedi, Damaghosh got the auspicious rites for the marriage of his son Shishupal, performed by Brahmins. All the Baratis (people in marriage procession) were given grand reception. Many great kings like Shalv, Jarasandh, Dantvaktra, Vidurath and Paundrak were present in the marriage procession. They had come with their armies with an intention of fighting Krishna and Balaram. After Krishna’s departure, Balaram too set out for Kundanpur with chaturangini (with four wings) army, for he had known about their opponents’ preparedness.

 

Rukmani was eagerly awaiting Lord’s arrival. She had received the news that Dwarakanath (Krishna) had resolved to take her away. She was feeling overwhelmed in her heart.

 

Seeing Lord Krishna arrived intently in the marriage ceremonies of his daughter, king Bheeshmak welcomed him. Seeing him, even the common people of Vidarbh prayed “May our princess Rukmani get Shri Krishna as her husband. At the same time, Rukmani emerged from her palace to go to the temple of Ambikadevi, soldiers were guarding her. In the temple, Rukmani prayed peacefully: “O Mother Ambika I greet you and Ganapati, who is sitting in your lap. I seek your blessing that may my wish be fulfilled and may I receive Shri Krishna as my husband.”

 

On her way back, Rukmani was walking very slowly for she was awaiting Lord’s arrival, which was due in any moment. Just then, Lord Krishna appeared before her. Before she could ride her chariot Lord lifted her from amidst the crowd. And in the presence of hundreds of kings, Krishna and Balaram eloped away with Rukmani.

 

DEFEAT OF RUKMI AND SHISHUPAL

 

Hearing the news that Krishna has eloped with Rukmani, Rukmi and all other kings present there boiled with anger. Accompanied by their huge armies, they decided to give them a chase. Thus chased my them, Yadnvanishis stopped and encountered the kings boldly. With a true ambition to win, brave Yadav soldiers defeated the enemies. All the kings like Jarasandh fled for their lives. Rukmi had resolved that without getting Rukmani released from Krishna’s captivity, he would not show his face in Kundanpur. He chased Lord Krishna for long. But Dwarakanath defeated him and got his head shaved.

 

MARRIAGE OF RUKMANI AND KRISHNA

 

Thus defeating all the kings, Lord Krishna brought Rukmani to Dwarka. There they got married formally. All the people of Dwarka celebrated festivities for many days. People presented them with lot of precious gifts. All the people were in great joy to see Lakshmi as Rukmani with her husband Lord Krishna.

 

BIRTH OF PRADYUMN, KILLING OF SHABARASUR

 

Kamadev was a part of lord himself. After getting incinerated by Rudra, Kamadev took refuge in the supreme lord to get an incarnation once more. Thus, Kamadev was born as Rukmani’s first son Pradyumn. But just after his birth, Pradyumn was kidnapped by a demon Shambarasur. The demon dropped the baby into the sea, where a huge fish swallowed him in whole. Coincidentally the fish was caught by the fishers and presented to the kitchen of Shambarasur. When the cooks cut the fish open, an extremely beautiful baby emerged. Mayawati, the governess of the kitchen, felt overjoyed to see the baby. She began to rear the baby with love and affection.

 

Once Narad arrived in the kitchen and said: “Mayawati, do you know who is in your lap? ” “No, O Devarshi, I found him from the belly of a fish,” said Mayawati. Devarshi Narad said: “He is your husband Kamadev and you are his wife Rati. In this birth, he has appeared as Pradyumn the son of Krishna. Hearing this, Mayawati saluted Narad with respect. Since then she regarded Pradyumn as her husband and served him accordingly. When Pradyumn matured. Mayawati reminded him about his real appearance. Pradyumn, thereafter, killed Shambarasur and got married with Mayawati. Then the couple arrived in Dwarka.

 

TALE OF SYAMANTAK THE GEM

 

A person named Satrajit was a great devotee of Lord Suryanarayana. Pleased by his devotion, Suryadev presented him a gem called Syamantak. The gem had radiance equal to the Sun. Bearing that gem, Satrajit arrived in Lord’s court. By the radiance of his gem, all the people and the courtiers mistook him for Suryadev and stood in his regard. But the Lord recognised him and asked his courtiers to be calm. Then to Satrajit, Lord Said: “Satrajit, your gem is really very beautiful. Nana (maternal grandfather) Ugrasen is the king of this region. If you present this gem to him, it will be very good. But Satrajit refused to present that gem.

 

One day, later on, Satrajit’s brother Prasenjit went hunting, wearing the gem in his neck. In the forest a lion killed him and snatched the gem. The lion was in turn killed by the ursine king Jambvant. Jambvant took the gem to his cave and gave it to his children to play with. When Prasenjit did not return from hunting, Satrajit felt sorry and accused Krishna that He had killed his brother for the gem.

 

When lord Krishna heard that he was being blamed for the mishap, He himself went to the forests. There he found the dead body of Prasenjit, but there was no sign of gem around the cadaver. He found only footprints of a lion leaving from there. Following the footprints, He discovered the dead lion and the footprints of a great bear. Following the footprints, He reached in the cave where Jambvant’s daughter Jambvati was playing with the gem.

 

As soon as lord Krishna proceeded to take the gem, Jambvant arrived. A fierce duel resulted between them. They continued to fight for twenty-six days without truce. On the twenty-seventh day Jambvant requested Lord! “Please wait O Lord.” Lord said: “Do you want to take rest?” “No”, said Jambvant, “I have recognised you. You are none other than Lord Narayana Himself. Nobody else has the power to defeat me.” Lord appeared before Jambvant as Shri Rama. Jambvant prayed and worshipped Him. He was feeling guilty that he dared to fight Lord. Lord said that He had arrived there for the gem only. Jambvant gave him the gem and also his daughter Jambvati. Lord returned the gem to Satrajit and married Jambvati formally.

 

MARRIAGE OF SATYABHAMA AND KRISHNA

 

Lord summoned Satrajit to His court and in the presence of the king Ugrasen, related the sequence of incidents that took place in the jungle. Satrajit felt ashamed. With a feeling of repentance he took the gem. He was getting afraid also that he made enemity with lord Krishna without reason. Hence to expiate his crime, Satrajit thought of presenting the gem Syamantak and his daughter Satyabhama to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna accepted Satyabhama as his wife but returned the gem to Satrajit saying: “It is a gift of lord Suryadev. Keep it with you. You are required to deposit the gold that you get from it, in the royal treasure.”

 

THEFT OF SYAMANTAK

 

Akrur and Kritvarma were not pleased with the marriage of Satyabhama. So they got Satrajit killed by Shatadhanva. Shatadhanva killed Satrajit in his sleep and absconded with the gem. Lord Krishna was then away in Hastinapur. Satyabhama too reached there and informed Krishna about her father’s assassination. With Balaram, Lord Krishna chased Shatadhanva. But even after killing him, they could not trace the gem. Shatadhanva had given the gem to Akrur to keep till his return. But after the death of Shatadhanva, frightened Akrur came to stay in Kashi. From the effect of the gem Akrur performed many grand Yagyas there. Lord summoned Akrur from Kashi. After welcoming and treating him in the court, Lord asked him about the gem. Akrur showed the gem in the court. But Lord returned the gem to Akrur.

 

MARRIAGE OF LORD KRISHNA WITH KALINDI

 

Once Lord Krishna visited Indraprasth to see Pandavas. There riding a chariot with Arjuna, He came to the forests. On the bank of river Yamuna a pretty woman was observing penance. By the instinct of God, Arjun drew near her and asked for her identity. She said: “I am Kalindi, the daughter of Suryadev. I am penancing here in order to get married with Lord Krishna.” Lord got Kalindi boarded on the chariot and got married to her formally.

 

LORD’S MARRIAGE WITH MITRVINDA

 

Mitrvinda was the sister of Vind Anuvind the king of Ujjain. She had a desire to get Lord as her husband. But her brother, Vind Anuvind was a follower of Duryodhan. So he stopped his sister Mitrvinda from getting married to Krishna. But Krishna eloped with Mitrvinda from the court and got married to her formally later on.

 

LORD’S MARRIAGE WITH SATYA

 

Satya was the daughter of Nagnjit, the king of Kaushal. She was extremely beautiful lady. The king had resolved that he would marry his daughter only to him who would defeat his seven most formidable oxen. Many princes has tried their luck since then but failed. When Lord Krishna heard about that, He reached Kaushal with his army. The king of Kaushal welcomed and treated him well, and told him about his resolution. Lord then took seven guises and in no time defeated his seven formidable oxen. Gladly the king married his daughter Satya to Lord Krishna.

 

LORD’S MARRIAGE WITH BHADRA

 

Parashar says: “Parikshit, Lord’s aunt (father’s sister) Shrutkirti was married in the kingdom of Kaikauja. Bhadra was the daughter of Shrutkirti. Bhadra’s brothers like Santardan etc. themselves had got their sister married to Lord Krishna.

 

LORD’S MARRIAGE WITH LAKSHMANA

 

Lakshmana was the daughter of the king of Madra. She was very beautiful and meritorious. Lord abducted her all alone from the Swayamvara organised for her marriage. Later, Lord married to her formally. SALVATION OF BHAUMASUR

 

Pragjyotishpur was the capital of the demon Bhaumasur. He was very strong and powerful. He had snatched the canopy of Varun, earrings of Aditi the mother of the gods, and Maniparvat of the gods on Meru. Apart from these, he had also captured sixteen thousand and one hundred princesses as well.

 

Devraj Indra himself visited Dwarka and Prayed Lord to get them rid of Bhaumasur’s atrocities. With the dear wife Satyabhama and riding his vehicle Garud. Lord Krishna arrived in the capital of Bhaumasur. But to enter Pragjyotishpur was an impossible task. But with the blows of his mace and arrows, Lord easily broke the hills, destroyed strategic positions and cut the snares with sword. By his wheel he destroyed the walls of fire, water and air. With the loud sound of conch, Lord rendered the machines, installed there, useless.

 

Ultimately, God destroyed the rampart of the citadel. Disturbed by the noise, the five-headed demon Mur ran with a trident to kill God. But with a single shot of his arrow, Lord broke his trident and cut his head with his wheel. Soldiers and commanders of Bhaumasur were also killed. Bhaumasur then came himself to fight. He had donned a shinning crown and was wearing big earrings. With his wheel, Lord cut the demon’s head. As soon as He beheaded the demon, the gods showered flowers on the Lord and worshipped Him. Even the mother earth came and put a garland of five colours around lord’s neck. She also presented to him the earrings of Aditi, canopy of Varun, and a great gem. At the request of earth, Lord assured Bhaumasur’s son Bhagdatt freedom from his fears.

 

LORD’S MARRIAGE WITH CAPTIVE PRINCESSES

 

After slaying Bhaumasur, Lord entered his palace. There He released the sixteen thousand one hundred captive princesses. The princesses were very much impressed by the Lord. They had all accepted in their mind, Lord Krishna as their husband. Lord too bowed before their love and accepted them as his wives and arranged to send them to Dwarka.

 

PRADYUMN’S MARRIAGE WITH RUKMVATI

 

Rukmvati was the daughter of Rukmi, the brother of Rukmani. When a Swayamvara was organised for her, she saw Pradyumn. She was so impressed by him that she chose him as her husband. But it was not acceptable to other princes. They tried to stop their marriage. But defeating them all, Pradyumn abducted Rukmvati and married her formally. Then to please his sister Rukmani, Rukmi got his granddaughter Rochana married to Rukmani’s grandsons Anirudh.

 

MARRIAGE OF USHA-ANIRUDH

 

The son of the demon king Bali, Baanasur was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Baanasur ruled over the kingdom Shonitpur. By the grace of Lord Shiva, he had received thousand arms. Even all the gods including Indra used to serve him. Thus blinded by his physical strength, Baanasur sought a boon from Lord to meet a match for his strength. Lord Shiva said: “O fool, your thirst for war shall be quenched when your flag is broken.”

 

Baanasur had a daughter named Usha. Once she had a dream in which Anirudh was making love with her. She was very much perplexed by the dream. After a few days with the help of her friend Chitralekha, Anirudh sneaked into her palace. He stayed there and enjoyed the company of Usha for long. But Anirudh’s clandestine stay could not remain hidden from the eyes of Banasura. So he put Anirudh in prison. There in Dwarka, everyone was worried by Anirudh’s long absence.

 

It was Narad, who ultimately revealed the fact that Anirudh was in the prison of Baanasur. Hearing the news, Lord Krishna launched an attack on Baanasur. His armies surrounded Shonitpur. During Ghurabandi the flag of Baanasur’s palace fell. Lord Shankar arrived to assist Baanasur. Lord Krishna cut all the arms of Baanasur. At the request of Shiva, he left only four of his arms intact. Baanasur bowed his head before Lord Krishna and brought Anirudh and Usha respectfully before Him. With them Lord Krishna returned to Dwarka where formal marriage of Usha and Anirudh took place.

 

TALE OF THE KING NRIG

 

Once, Lord Krishna’s sons visited the forests. There they saw a huge Chameleon fallen in a large, deep well. They tried to pull it out but in vain. The princes, therefore, returned to the palace and related this strange episode to Lord Krishna. Lord too came to the well and with His left hand, easily pulled the Chameleon out.

 

As soon as the chameleon came out, it turned into a divine god and began to worship God. He said: “O Lord, I am Nrig. The king Ikshvaaku was my father. In my life, I had donated uncountable numbers of cows to the Brahmins. But once a cow, donated by me, returned to my cowshed. By mistake I made a resolution to donate it to another Brahmin. My action led to a dispute between the two Brahmins, and my wisdom failed to settle their dispute. Both the Brahmins went away unsatisfied, but I met this fate after death. Since then, I had been in this well in the form of a chameleon. Now, by the graceful touch of your hands, O Lord, I have received salvation.” King Nrig then went around the Lord and returned to his heavenly abode.”

 

SALVATION OF PAUNDRAK

 

Once Balaram and Krishna had gone to Braj to see Nandbaba there. Meanwhile the king Paundrak of Karush sent an envoy to lord Krishna with a message that said: ‘I am Lord Vasudev.’ Pandrak’s envoy arrived in the court and read out the message: “To bestow my grace on the people, I have taken an incarnation. You have falsely named yourself as Vasudev and bore my insignia. Take my refuge or face the battle.”

 

Hearing the message of Paundrak, Ugrasen and other courtiers began to laugh. Lord asked the envoy to inform Paundrak that He would launch His wheel on him and his army.

 

Receiving the message Paundrak launched an attack on Dwarka with two Akshauhini armies. The king of Kashi was a friend of Paundrak. He too came to his assistance with three Akshauhini armies. Paundrak had disguised as Vasudev and was bearing artificial conch, wheel, mace and lotus and. He had also adorned Swastika, Kaustubh etc. All the people began to laugh at Paundrak’s clown like attire.

 

In no time, the Lord stripped him of all his adornments. His wheel cut his head. Then with an arrow the Lord cut the head of the king of Kashi. His head fell in front of his palace’s gate. Sudakshin, the son of the Kashi king, organised a grand Yagya to avenge his father’s killing. An ogress, Kritya emerged from the Yagya and began to burn Dwarka. All the people prayed Krishna to protect them. Lord assured them to be fearless and ordered His wheel Sudarshan to kill Kritya. Sudarshan extinguished the fire, killed Kritya and destroyed Kashi. Then it returned to the Lord’s finger.

 

SALVATION OF DWIVID

 

There was once a monkey named Dwivid. He was the friend of Bhaumasur. When Dwivid heard about Bhaumasur’s killing by Shri Krishna, he began to cause large-scale destruction in the kingdom. His disruptive activities in the country began to terrorise the subjects of Lord Krishna. Once hearing sweet music, the monkey was drawn towards the Raivtak Mountain. There he saw Balaram amidst beautiful young women. The monkey began to behave indecently. Angered by his indecency, Balaram hit him with his pestle, named Sunand, and killed the monkey.

 

MARRIAGE OF SAMB

 

Samb was the son of lord Krishna and born to Jambvati. He had Kidnapped Lakshmana, the daughter of Duryodhan from her Swayamvara. Infuriated Kauravas chased them and, with difficulty, they caught Samb and tied him. When the Yaduvanshis got the news, they began preparations to launch an attack on Kauravas. Balaram pacified them and reached Hastinapur alone. There he received a warm welcome from the Kauravas. Balaram said to them: “It is an order of the king Ugrasen that you should see Samb off with his newly wedded wife.” Hearing Balaram’s words Kauravas got angry and began to deride Yaduvanshis. Infuriated by Kauravas derision, Balaram trained his pestle and plough. He intended to turn over the town of Hastinapur into the river Yamuna. When the city began to shake, Kauravas felt perplexed and begged Balaram for his pardon. Balaram assured them to be fearless and returned to Dwarka with Samb and his newly wedded wife Lakshmana.

 

THE KINGS IN CAPTIVITY SEEK LORD’S HELP

 

Once Lord Krishna was holding His court when an emissary arrived in the court. The kings who were held captive forcibly by Jarasandh had sent him. The emissary related the miseries of those kings to Lord Krishna. Through the emissary, the kings had requested: “O Lord of the world, Kindly get us free from our miseries. We are in your refuge. We desire your sight. Kindly bestow us with your grace.” Lord Krishna sent the emissary off with assurance of timely action. Meanwhile, Devarshi Narad arrived in the court and informed the Lord of Yudhisthir’s intention to organise a grand Rajsuy Yagya and his cordial invitation for the Lord to attend the ceremony. Lord asked his friend Uddhav for an advice as to where He ought to go first – to Indraprasth in Rajsuy Yagya or to liberate the king from the captivity of Jarasandh. Uddhav advised Lord to go to Indraprasth first. There He would be able to serve both the purposes.

 

LORD’S DEPARTURE FOR INDRAPRASTHA

 

Uddhav’s advice was in the interest of all. Everyone supported it. Taking permission from His priest and teachers, Lord set out on a chariot with the whole family to reach Indraprasth. In Indraprasth, Pandavas accorded the Lord with warm-hearted felicitations. By the dictate of Lord, Mayasur built a divine looking court for Yudhishthir. The courtroom was a marvellous piece of architecture. The shinning, smooth, floor of it appeared like water, while water bodies presented a look like marble floors.

 

KILLING OF JARASANDH

 

During Yudhisthir’s Rajsuy Yagya, all the Pandavas set out in all the directions to conquer the kings and expand the boundaries of their kingdom. Warriors like Bheema, Arjun defeated great kings all around and extended the boundaries of Yudhisthir’s empire. But to defeat Jarasandh, – Bheema, Arjuna and Lord Krishna went in the guise Brahmins. They reached Jarasandh capital Girivraj and prayed him for donations. Jarasandh promised to give them the things of their desires. Lord Krishna then introduced them and begged Jarasandh for a duel with any of them. Jarasandh accepted to fight a duel with Bheema. He gave Bheema a mace and both of them came out to the outskirts of the town, where they began their duel. Both of them were equally strong and equally brave and well pitted.

 

Twenty-seven days passed, but their duel remained inconclusive. On the twenty-eighth day, during the fight, Lord signalled Bheema a way to kill Jarasandh. He took a small twig in his hands and tore it apart into two. Bheema understood the signal and beating Jarasandh on ground, he tore him apart in two pieces and threw them in opposite directions. Thus came the end of evil Jarasandh. Lord Krishna and Arjuna heartily greeted Bheema for his success. They then enthroned Jarasandh’s son Sahadev and also got the captive kings released.

 

SALVATION OF SHISHUPAL

 

King Yudhishthir had invited great Vedic Brahmins and Acharayas on the occasion. Persons from Kauravas side like Drona, Bheeshma, Kripacharya, Dhritarashtra, Vidur and Duryodhan etc. were too invited to witness the celebrations. Even Brah