Seven unknown facts about Lakshman

Lakshman

Lakshman is an important character of epic Ramayana. He is inseparable from Lord Rama, who is brother to him and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His character is famous due to him being the brother of  Lord Rama, but there are some facts which make him an important mythological character. Read on some interesting yet unknown stories about him.

Perhaps the most notable fact is that he could only have killed Ravan’s son Indrajit. Killing him required some stringent conditions to be fulfilled, which was not available in  Lord Rama or Hanumana. So, despite all the warriors in his army, Lord Rama could not have won this battle.

Lakshman killed Ravana’s son indrajit

After the battle, Sage Agastya came to Ayodhya. There was lot of discussion about the battlefield, about killing of powerful demons like Ravan, Kumbhkaran, Meghnad, Atikaya.  Sage Agastya said killing Meghnad was the toughest. People were anxious to know why killing of Meghnad was such a big deal.

Sage said, Meghnad was not a ordinary demon, he was conqueror of Indralok. He also possessed the three ultimate weapon of Trimurty, Brahmastra, Narayanastra and Pashupatastra.

Lakshman killing Indrajit
Lakshman killing Indrajit

He could only be killed by someone who has not eaten, slept or seen face of a woman for 14 years. Peoples were surprised that how Lakshman could fulfill these conditions.

Lakshman explained that, he didn’t sleep for 14 years to guard Ram and Sita at night.  Before going to exile his mother told him to guard Ram and Sita while they sleep.  He is also known as Gudakesh.

He didn’t  eat for 14 years because Ram gave him food but never asked him to eat it. Lakshman in his loyalty believed that he was born to serve Lord Rama and so he never did anything without being told.

He had never seen face of any lady during exile, though he was staying with Ram and Sita but he never saw Sita’s face, he always gazed at her feet. Thus, he was not able to recognize any of Sita’s jewelry except her anklet.

Lakshman is also known as “Gudakesh” because he did not sleep for 14 years

When Ram was exiled for 14 years, Sita and Lakshman accompanied him to the forest. To ensure the safety of his elder brother Rama and sister in law Sita, Lakshman decided to stay awake for 14 years. He approached Nidra Devi, Goddess of Sleep. He requested her not to give him sleep for 14 years so that he can be awake and guard Ram and Sita. Nidra Devi was impressed with his dedication and granted him the boom but only on condition that someone had to bear his sleep. His wife, Urmila agreed to take his sleep for entire 14 years.  This is the reason why Lakshman is also known as Gudakesh. This was a very strong condition which made him capable of killing Meghnad. Meghnad had a boon that he can only be killed by a Gudakesh, a person who has defeated sleep.

Gudakesh Lakshman
Gudakesh Lakshman

Lakshman is incarnation of Sheshnag

Lord Vishnu and Sheshnaag
Lord Vishnu and Sheshnaag

Shesh naga is king of all nagas. He holds all the planets of the  universe on its hood. Sheshnag and Lord Vishnu are inseparable.Lord Vishnu is often depicted as resting on sheshnag, Shesh shaiya. When Lord Vishnu descended on earth as Rama, Sheshang accompanied him as Lakshman and later when Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, Sheshnag accompanied him as Balram.  

Ram’s promise became the reason for his death.

When Rama realised that he had fulfilled his duties on earth, it was time for him to return to vaikuntha. But this could not be possible because of Hanuman as he would not allow Yama, the God of Death to meet Ram. So, he distracted Hanuman by engaging him to fetch his ring which he threw in Patal.

Rama invited Yama, but Yama put a condition that their conversation should be confidential and anyone who entered the room should be punished by a death sentence. So, Rama entrusted Lakshman to guard the room so that no one could enter.

Meanwhile sage Durvasa came and expressed his desire to meet Rama. At first, Lakshman refused politely but sage insisted and threatened to curse Ayodhya. To save Ayodhya,  Lakshman decided to intercept the meeting.

Rama and Sage Durvasa
Rama and Sage Durvasa

After the incident in order to fulfill Ram’s promise,he went to the bank of river Saryu and gave his life.

Lakshman’s death was necessary before Rama’s death as he was incarnation of Sheshnag so he had to return before Vishnu could return to Vaikuntha.

He was later reborn as Balram in next birth.

Lakshman was incarnation of sheshnag. Sheshnaag is considered as servant and manifestation of Vishnu.  He sings the glory of Lord Vishnu from all his mouths. He is inseparable from Vishnu, so when Vishnu descended on earth as Rama, Sheshnaag incarnated as Lakshman and when Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, Sheshnaag accompanied him as his elder brother Balram.  

Krishna and Balrama
Krishna and Balrama

He never saw face of any lady for 14 years

During exile Laksham stayed with his brother Ram and Sister in law Sita, but he never looked at her face. He only gazed at her feet. When Sugriva showed them the jewelry thrown by Sita when Ravan was carrying her to Lanka, Lakshman could only identify Sita’s anklet. He said he had seen them while laying his head on her feet in worship. He was not able to recognize any other jewellery as he has never presumed to look closely at them.

Lakshman at the feet of Sita and Rama
Lakshman at the feet of Sita and Rama

He was the one to leave Sita near sage Valmiki’s ashram

When Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya after exile, they were crowned as king and queen. After sometime, Ram was disturbed by the gossip questioning about the purity and loyalty of Sita. Sita’s presence was bringing much doubt into the kingdom and and into his heart so, he decided to exile her for second time.

Ram asked Lakshman to leave Sita deep into the forest. After hearing Rama’s decision Lakshman was heartbroken but he did what he was requested to do.He was distraughted on leaving her near sage Valmiki ashram. She took refuge in the ashram and later delivered twins Luv and Kusha.

Lakshman has plan to raise arm on Dasharath, Bharat and Parshuram

Though Dashrath was his father, he was enraged at him. He believed that Dashrath was acting unjustly to his son for a woman.

During exile Bharata came to meet Rama to persuade him to come home. Lakshman thought he came to kill him so was about to raise arm against him.

During Sita’s swayamvara when Ram broke the great bow of Shiva, Sage parshuram was enraged and threatened to kill Rama. So, Lakshman almost fought.

In all the situations Lakshman was about to raise arms and fight for Ram but Ram himself made him calm down and think rationally.

 

The story of Ashwaththama

Ashwaththama, a great warrior

Ashwaththama is widely known for a misdeed done by him in the Mahabharta, but few of us know that he was a great warrior. He was the son of the guru of Pandavas, and Drona admired his son greatly.

Drona and Ashwaththama
Drona and Ashwaththama

He fought in the epic battle of Mahabharata as the commander of the forces from the camp of Kauravas (the antagonists) against the Pandavas (the protagonists), as did his father, Dronacharya.

As Karna was born with Kavach and Kundal,  Ashwaththama also had a jewel (mani) embedded in his forehead which saved him from demons, Gods, snakes and from worldly botheration of hunger and thirst.

His hate with Pandavas

He developed great hatred towards Pandavas as they resorted to unjust means to neutralise Drona from the battlefield. After Duryodhana was defeated by Bhima, he became quite convinced to kill Pandavas by any means. With the help of Kripacharya, they attacked the Pandava’s camp in night and beheaded them. Later, it was discovered that Draupadi’s five sons, or upapandavas were killed.

Parikshit and Lord Krishna episode

He did not stop here. He did the most heinous thing. He tried to kill the unborn son of Abhimanyu’s in his mother’s womb. Drona loved Ashwaththama greatly, but he had the wisdom not to teach the Brahmastra in totality. So, Ashwaththama knew how to invoke that, but he did not know how to retract this deadly weapon.

 

So, when he invoked this on Abhimanyu’s son, and Shri Krishna had to intervene to save the future king of Hastinapur, known as Parikshit.

Shri Krishna saving Parikshit
Shri Krishna saving Parikshit

After this, Shri Krishna took out the jewel from Ashwaththama’s head and cursed him to be alive. It is believed that he is still alive and suffering from ailments.

Thus a misdeed wiped all of his virtue. So much of qualities but so little achieved.

Seven unknown facts about Vindhyachal temple

Vindhyachal Temple

Vindhyachal Parvat

The temple is located 8 km away from mirzapur on the bank of river Ganga. Since the temple is located on the Vindhya mountain range hence it is called Vindhyachal and the deity residing here is known as Vindhyavasini devi. . There are many more interesting and important facts about Vindhyachal of which we are not aware. Here I am sharing few facts which you will definitely enjoy.

Vindhyachal Temple
Vindhyachal Temple

Vindhyachal as a Shaktipeeth

 

Vindhyachal is considered as most special and holiest shaktipeeths, as it’s a combination of all the three superpower Goddess Durga, Goddess Kali and Goddess Saraswati. Goddess Durga resides in Vindhyavasini temple. Goddess Kali resides in Kali khoh temple. It is believed that Goddess Durga incarnated as Kali for killing demon Rakta Bija. Goddess saraswati resides in Ashtabhuja temple. Pilgrims visit these three temples to complete there trikon parikrama.

Birth of Lord Krishna

This place has significance with krishna’s birth. When Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev at the same time devi Mahamaya was born to Nanda and Yashoda. She was taken to Kansa’s prison to fool Kansa. When Kansa tried to kill her she escaped from his hand and decided to reside here.

Legend of Devi Sati

Another legend refers that after the death of Sati, Lord Shiva carrying her body was wondering all across the world. Lord Vishnu then sliced her body with his sudarshan chakra. It is believed that toe of Sati fell here thus it is a shakti peeth.

Shiva and Sati
Shiva and Sati

Sudarshan Chakra

Another Vindhyachal legend is also so special because this is the place where Lord Vishnu received Sudarshan chakra from Lord Shiva.

 

Mahishasur

Another legend says that Goddess Durga created the hillock upon which the temple stands  after killing the demon Mahishasur.

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva

It is also believed that this is the place where Goddess Parvati meditated to Lord Shiva. Thus it is one of the most important place where devotee visit during Navratri to seek devi’s blessings.

Kansa and Goddess Durga
Kansa and Goddess Durga

Naming of Vindhyavasini Devi

Vindhyavasini Devi is popularly known as Kajala Devi. It is believed that Goddess Kali is adorned in the form of Vindhyavasini devi. Months of Chaitra, Ashwin, and jyestha are considered as special time for darshan of maa. In Jyestha, a kajala competition a folk genera are held here.

 

Killing of Shakatasur by Lord Krishna

After the birth of Lord Krishna, Kansa arranged for numerous attempts on his life, but every time, the Lord killed the person who was appointed for his killing. Following is an incident involving the demon Shakatasur.

KILLING OF SHAKATASUR

Festival in Gokul

When Lord Krishna was twenty-seven days old, a festival was organised in Gokul. Mata Yashoda bathed the Lord and the worshippers recited hymns. Yashoda observed that baby was feeling sleepy, so putting him in a cradle, she left him under a cart. The cart was loaded with pitchers of milk, curd and butter. After sometime, lord Krishna awoke and began to cry with hunger, but Yashoda could not hear his cries.

Shakatasur on a chariot

Meanwhile, Shakatasur rode the cart and wanted to kill Lord by crushing him under the cart. But before he could act, the Lord touched the cart with his feet and cart turned over and all the utensils kept on it came crashing down. The demon,who wanted to kill Lord,  was himself crushed to death under the cart.

Shakatasur Nirvana
Shakatasur Nirvana

Other boys, who were playing nearby, informed the Gopis 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 holy water. A feast of Brahmins followed then.

Liberation of Shakatasura

This is how, Shakatasur was killed by Lord Krishna.In previous life, he was a son of Hiranyaksa named Utkaca. He went to the hermitage of Lomasa Muni and broke some trees there and was cursed to become bodiless. (He had a huge body). He then fell at the Muni’s feet and begged for mercy. The Muni told him that in the next manvantara he would be touched by the foot of the Lord and would be liberated.

Pootana salvation by Lord Krishna

SALVATION OF POOTANA

Shortly after the birth of Lord Krishna, Kansa started to think of ways to kill the child. After his discussion with evil ministers,, he sent a cruel ogress Pootana to kill all the newly born babies in his kingdom. In the guise of a pretty woman, she entered Gokul.

Pootana finds Lord Krishna

She searched for new-born babies and entered Nand’s home eventually. Baby Lord Krishna was sleeping in the cradle. He was aware of her arrival; but posed as if he were fast asleep. He was only six days old then.

Pootana’s breasts were filled with poison. Such as someone lifts a sleeping snake mistaking it for a rope. Similarly she lifted the baby who proved her death. Pootana took Lord Krishna to a secluded place and began to breastfeed him.

Lord Shiva was also there

Lord prayed to Lord Shiva who came to stay in His throat and drank all the poison from the milk. Thereafter the Lord began to suck her life. She could not withstand the pain began to cry loudly and writhe nervously.

Krishna killing Pootana
Krishna killing Pootana

End of Pootana

As her death approached, she regained her real, ogress appearance. All the men and women were frightened when they saw the huge, formidable body of ogress. But when they saw Krishna playing nearby, their fear gone and with joy they lifted the baby and soothed him.

Meanwhile, Nand and his fellow Gopas too arrived from Mathura. Pootana’s body testified the truth of Vasudev’s words. Gopas cut her body into many pieces and burnt them outside Gokul. When her body was burning, a sweet smell of Agar (a kind of scented wood used in incense making) spread all around. Because Lord himself had fed on her milk, So all her sins were destroyed.

Thus, we see that even the sins of a ogress were destroyed merely by feeding the lord. In a way, she got the distinction of becoming Lord’s mother.

Rakshabandhan – Krishna and Draupadi story

Draupadi tying rakhi to Lord Krishna

Rakshabandhan or Rakhi, is a popular festival in India which is celebrated on the day of Shravan Poornima. This day, sister tie sacred threads on the wrists of their brothers wishing good health and long life to them. Following are few stories which signifies the power of the holy thread or Rakhi.

Rakhi – Krishna and Draupadi

Draupadi and Lord Krishna shared a strong bondage and though they were not real brother and sister, but their love was never lesser than that. One of the popular stories in our mythology is that of Lord Krishna and Draupadi, the wife Pandavas.

Following incident is mentioned in the Mahabharata.

According to one version on a Sankranti day, Krishna to cut his little finger while handling sugarcane. Sathyabama, his queen immediately sent her help to get a bandage cloth while his other consort, Rukmini rushed to bring some cloth herself.

Draupadi who was nearby, tore off a part of her sari and bandaged his finger. In return for this deed, Krishna promised to protect her in time of distress.

Draupadi tying rakhi to Lord Krishna
Draupadi tying rakhi to Lord Krishna

Another story

There is an another narrative related to this incident which says that while killing Shisupala, Krishna, held the lightning fast Sudarshana on his finger and sent it the king’s way. Within a second, Shishupala was beheaded.

Lord Krishna’s finger started bleeding and Draupadi, an ardent devotee of the Lord and the Pandavas’ wife, rushed to bandage the bleeding finger of her beloved Lord. She tore a small piece from her sari and tied it to the Lord’s hand.

Krishna was touched by this selfless token of affection and pledged to rush to Draupadi’s protection whenever needed. Draupadi used to tie a rakhi to the Lord’s hand every year and Krishna always showered His protection on her.

The word he is said to have uttered is ‘Akshyam’ which was a boon meaning ‘unending’.

And that was how Draupadi’s sari became endless and saved her embarrassment on the day of Cheerharan in Dhritarashtra’s court.

related stories

Shri Krishna did not save Draupadi from cheer haran

Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five

21 facts of Lord Krishna

Birth of Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna

The story of birth of Lord Krishna

 

We know that Kamsa has imprisoned his sister and brother in law because of the Akshwani that eighth son of Devaki will kill him. He has killed seven of her sons and was waiting for the birth of eighth child. The day came was Amavasya of hindi month Bhadrapada. Following are the details of birth of Lord Krishna and events following him.

Auspicious hour

When the auspicious hour came, The star Rohini was shining. It was Vijaya Muhurta. All elements were extremely pleasant at the birth of Lord Krishna. Winds were blowing. The stars were shining with lustre. The lakes were filled with lotuses. Lord Krishna incarnated at midnight on this earth. The gods played divine music. The Kinnaras and Gandharvas sang. Siddhas and Charanas praised. The Vidyadharas (various grades of celestial beings) danced along with Apsaras, sages and Devas. There was a rain of flowers from the heavens in joy.

The Incarnation

Lord Vishnu incarnated with lotus eyes, with four hands, armed with conch, disc, mace and lotus, with the diamond Kausthuba, with the mark Srivatsa adorning the chest, wearing silk Pitambara, with ear ornaments made of diamonds, with the crown made of several emeralds, with bracelets in the lower and upper arms and valuable waist-string. Vasudeva saw this marvel of a divine child.

Krishna’s birth in prison

Vasudeva praises Lord Krishna

Vasudeva praised Him, “Thou art known to me already as the Supreme Being. Thou art an embodiment of knowledge and bliss. Thou art seated in the hearts of all beings. Thou art the witness of the minds of all. Thou art beyond Maya and Avidya.” Devaki beheld marks of Vishnu on her son and praised Him, “Thou art beginning less, Omnipresent, self-luminous, attributeless, changeless and action less. Thou art the source and place of dissolution for everything. Kindly do not show me this form with four hands. Let me see you as an ordinary child. Withdraw this divine transcendental form. We are afraid of Kamsa.”

Birth of Shri Krishna

Lord Krishna suggested to take him to Gokula

The Lord said, “Let both of you often meditate with love on Me as a son and as the Supreme being as you will obtain eternal bliss and immortality.” The Lord assumed the form of a handsome baby through the power of his own Maya.  The Lord said, “If you are afraid of Kamsa, then take me to Gokula and bring my Maya that is born there of Yasoda immediately.” Vasudeva took the baby and came out. The sentries became stupefied under the influence of Lord’s Maya and the people were all asleep. The doors which were locked, opened of their own accord. There was gentle rain. Adisesha spread forth his hoods like an umbrella to ward off rain. The deep Yamuna which was in floods with strong currents, made way for Vasudeva.

Vasudeva comes back with the female child

Vasudeva placed the child near the bed of Yasoda and took the female baby from there, he returned back to his prison-house and placed this Maya child near Devaki and put on his fetters as before on his legs.

Kamsa comes to kill the child

The sentries ran and told Kamsa of the birth of the child for Devaki. Kamsa soon got up from his bed, repaired to the place where Devaki was confined, and entered the room in which she was lying. The helpless Devaki told Kamsa, “O Kamsa! This child is your niece. It is not proper for you to kill a female child.” Kamsa threatened his sister and seized the child by her hands and dashed it on a stone.

The child warns Kamsa

The child slipped from his hands and rose high up into the sky. It was seen as the sister of Vishnu with eight hands. She was wearing the divine garland and robes and ornaments and adorned with the bow, trident, knife, conch, disc and mace. She was praised by the Siddhas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras. She said, “O fool! What benefit are you going to derive by killing me? He who is going to take your life is born elsewhere. He is your old enemy. Do not hurt in vain these helpless persons , Devaki, Vasudeva and other children.

http://ritsin.com/shri-krishna-story-in-pictures-janmashtami-festival.html/

 

Mahakal Shringar – 10 May 2017

JAI MAHAKAL

Mahakal Shringar 10 May
Mahakal Shringar 10 May

Lord Mahakal’s temple is situated in Ujjain.

As per the Shiva Purana, Once, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu once had an argument over who was better.Lord Shiva pierced the three worlds as an endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga and asked them to find out the source of it.

Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma decide to travel along the pillar downwards and upwards respectively, to find the end of the light. Both of gods did not find the start or end of the pillar. Brahma lied that he had found the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat.

Then Lord Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity. The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyotirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.

शिव पुराण की ‘कोटि-रुद्र संहिता’ के सोलहवें अध्याय में तृतीय ज्योतिर्लिंग भगवान महाकाल के संबंध में सूतजी द्वारा जिस कथा को वर्णित किया गया है, उसके अनुसार अवंती नगरी में एक वेद कर्मरत ब्राह्मण रहा करते थे। वे अपने घर में अग्नि की स्थापना कर प्रतिदिन अग्निहोत्र करते थे और वैदिक कर्मों के अनुष्ठान में लगे रहते थे। भगवान शंकर के परम भक्त वह ब्राह्मण प्रतिदिन पार्थिव लिंग का निर्माण कर शास्त्र विधि से उसकी पूजा करते थे। हमेशा उत्तम ज्ञान को प्राप्त करने में तत्पर उस ब्राह्मण देवता का नाम ‘वेदप्रिय’ था। वेदप्रिय स्वयं ही शिव जी के अनन्य भक्त थे, जिसके संस्कार के फलस्वरूप उनके शिव पूजा-परायण ही चार पुत्र हुए। वे तेजस्वी तथा माता-पिता के सद्गुणों के अनुरूप थे। उन चारों पुत्रों के नाम ‘देवप्रिय’, ‘प्रियमेधा’, ‘संस्कृत’ और ‘सुवृत’ थे।

उन दिनों रत्नमाल पर्वत पर ‘दूषण’ नाम वाले धर्म विरोधी एक असुर ने वेद, धर्म तथा धर्मात्माओं पर आक्रमण कर दिया। उस असुर को ब्रह्मा से अजेयता का वर मिला था। सबको सताने के बाद अन्त में उस असुर ने भारी सेना लेकर अवन्ति (उज्जैन) के उन पवित्र और कर्मनिष्ठ ब्राह्मणों पर भी चढ़ाई कर दी। उस असुर की आज्ञा से चार भयानक दैत्य चारों दिशाओं में प्रलयकाल की आग के समान प्रकट हो गये। उनके भयंकर उपद्रव से भी शिव जी पर विश्वास करने वाले वे ब्राह्मणबन्धु भयभीत नहीं हुए। अवन्ति नगर के निवासी सभी ब्राह्मण जब उस संकट में घबराने लगे, तब उन चारों शिवभक्त भाइयों ने उन्हें आश्वासन देते हुए कहा- ‘आप लोग भक्तों के हितकारी भगवान शिव पर भरोसा रखें।’ उसके बाद वे चारों ब्राह्मण-बन्धु शिव जी का पूजन कर उनके ही ध्यान में तल्लीन हो गये।

Jai Mahakal

सेना सहित दूषण ध्यान मग्न उन ब्राह्मणों के पास पहुँच गया। उन ब्राह्मणों को देखते ही ललकारते हुए बोल उठा कि इन्हें बाँधकर मार डालो। वेदप्रिय के उन ब्राह्मण पुत्रों ने उस दैत्य के द्वारा कही गई बातों पर कान नहीं दिया और भगवान शिव के ध्यान में मग्न रहे। जब उस दुष्ट दैत्य ने यह समझ लिया कि हमारे डाँट-डपट से कुछ भी परिणाम निकलने वाला नहीं है, तब उसने ब्राह्मणों को मार डालने का निश्चय किया।

उसने ज्योंही उन शिव भक्तों के प्राण लेने हेतु शस्त्र उठाया, त्योंही उनके द्वारा पूजित उस पार्थिव लिंग की जगह गम्भीर आवाल के साथ एक गडढा प्रकट हो गया और तत्काल उस गड्ढे से विकट और भयंकर रूपधारी भगवान शिव प्रकट हो गये। दुष्टों का विनाश करने वाले तथा सज्जन पुरुषों के कल्याणकर्त्ता वे भगवान शिव ही महाकाल के रूप में इस पृथ्वी पर विख्यात हुए। उन्होंने दैत्यों से कहा- ‘अरे दुष्टों! तुझ जैसे हत्यारों के लिए ही मैं ‘महाकाल’ प्रकट हुआ हूँ।

इस प्रकार धमकाते हुए महाकाल भगवान शिव ने अपने हुँकार मात्र से ही उन दैत्यों को भस्म कर डाला। दूषण की कुछ सेना को भी उन्होंने मार गिराया और कुछ स्वयं ही भाग खड़ी हुई। इस प्रकार परमात्मा शिव ने दूषण नामक दैत्य का वध कर दिया। जिस प्रकार सूर्य के निकलते ही अन्धकार छँट जाता है, उसी प्रकार भगवान आशुतोष शिव को देखते ही सभी दैत्य सैनिक पलायन कर गये। देवताओं ने प्रसन्नतापूर्वक अपनी दन्दुभियाँ बजायीं और आकाश से फूलों की वर्षा की। उन शिवभक्त ब्राह्मणों पर अति प्रसन्न भगवान शंकर ने उन्हें आश्वस्त करते हुए कहा कि ‘मै महाकाल महेश्वर तुम लोगों पर प्रसन्न हूँ, तुम लोग वर मांगो।’

महाकालेश्वर की वाणी सुनकर भक्ति भाव से पूर्ण उन ब्राह्मणों ने हाथ जोड़कर विनम्रतापूर्वक कहा- ‘दुष्टों को दण्ड देने वाले महाकाल! शम्भो! आप हम सबको इस संसार-सागर से मुक्त कर दें। हे भगवान शिव! आप आम जनता के कल्याण तथा उनकी रक्षा करने के लिए यहीं हमेशा के लिए विराजिए। प्रभो! आप अपने दर्शनार्थी मनुष्यों का सदा उद्धार करते रहें।’

भगवान शंकर ने उन ब्राह्माणों को सद्गति प्रदान की और अपने भक्तों की सुरक्षा के लिए उस गड्ढे में स्थित हो गये। उस गड्ढे के चारों ओर की लगभग तीन-तीन किलोमीटर भूमि लिंग रूपी भगवान शिव की स्थली बन गई। ऐसे भगवान शिव इस पृथ्वी पर महाकालेश्वर के नाम से प्रसिद्ध हुए।

Jai Mahakal

Story of Lord Hanumana, Lord Shani and Meghnaad

This is an interesting story involving Lord Hanumana, Lord Shani, Meghnaad and Ravana. This story explains why Lord Shani likes devotees of Lord Hanumana.

Birth of Meghnaad

When the birth of Meghnaad was approaching, Ravana instructed all the Navagrahas to stay in the 11th house of Meghnaad’s horoscope. By doing this, he wanted to ensure that Meghnaad becomes invincible.  All planets stayed in the 11th house of Meghnaad’s horoscope as per Ravana’s instructions. But Lord Shanidev refused to comply with Ravana’s orders even though the Asura king was immensely powerful. So he stretched his leg a little bit from Ravana’s clutches towards his 12th House. Ravana’s knew that this will cause Meghnaad’s death, so he imprisoned him in a dark tiny cell so that nobody could see Shani’s face again.

Ravana imprisons Shanidev

Ravana got angry with this and he imprisoned Lord Shani. Ravana worried about the malefic gaze of Shani and the effect it could have on his son’s life. So he imprisoned him. But Shanidev cursed Ravana and said that Lanka would burn violently in the Treta Yuga. He also stated that Ravana’s greed and malice would be the end of him.

Lord Hanumana comes to Lanka

When Lord Hanumana came in search of Devi Sita, he happened to burn Lanka as per the curse of Lord. When he was returning, he saw him in prison. Lord Hanumana freed him. Grateful, he says to Lord Hanumana – I cannot trouble you. Since you have saved me from Raavan’s prison I would like to give you a boon.

Lord Hanumana and Lord Shani
Lord Hanumana and Lord Shani

Lord Shani gives a boon to Lord Hanumana

For the boon, Hanumana asked him not to trouble or cast evil eye on his devotees. Lord Shani promised not to trouble or cause hardships to Hanuman devotees. When he was freed, he asked Hanuman – “Could you give me some oil to relieve my this wretched pain?” Then Hanuman gave him some mustard oil to Lord, after the massage of that oil on his body, his pain was relieved immediately. Since then it has been customary to offer some mustard oil in the name of Lord. It is symbolic to sooth his pain. He feels satisfied and this makes him benevolent towards the devotee of Ram. That is why who worship Hanuman on Saturday are not affected by Shani’s Dosh.

Who was the wisest Pandava?

Sahdev killing Shakuni in Mahabharata

Very little attention is paid to Sahadev when it comes to Mahabharata and Pandavas, but as per some ancient texts, he was the wisest of all Pandavas and knew about the future, even death of his own son, but such were the circumstances that he had to kept mum. Some parts of this story does not agree with overall Mahabharata which we know, such as at the time of Pandu’s death, Lord Krishna was a mere infant, but still this narration makes an interesting story.

Early life of Pandavas

When Pandavas were little kids, their father Pandu and their mothers, Madri and Kunti lived in exile in a forest. Pandu brought his sons up in a secluded austere atmosphere, with only sages and ascetics for company, and every day Pandu would teach his sons on how to be men of honour.

Pandu tells little Sahdeva to eat his father’s brain

One day when Pandu sat Sahadev on his knee, he told Sahdev: “When I die, you must consume my brain. Only then will you be able to know all about this world.” Sahadev looked at his father with big eyes and agreed he would consume his Pandu’s brain.When Pandu died, Madri accepted death so that she could accompany her husband to the next realm. As Pandu lay on his pyre, the Pandava brothers stood with Kunti and watched.

Sahadev follows his father’s orders

The fire was slowly burning the corpse and Pandu’s head burst from the heat, Sahadev saw his father’s brain.Sahadev knew that he had to eat the brain. Without a word Sahadev ran up to the flames and reached in, plucking out the matter. When other Pandavas shouted, Sahadev took off into the forest.

Lord Krishna senses a disaster

Lord Krishna was away in Mathura but he knew what was happening. He also knew that if Sahadev managed to do what he wanted, it would be a disaster. He took the form of an old sage, manifested himself near where Pandu’s body burned and chased after Sahadev.

He becomes trikalgyani

But Sahdev had already taken a bite of his father’s brain. And with that bite he became enlightened about all that had happened in the history of the world. With a second bite, he knew about all that was happening in the world. And with a another bite, he became enlightened about what is going to happen in future. Sahadev became ‘trikal gyani’ – a person who knows Past, Present and Future – and even though he was only a little boy he realised that the old sage who was chasing him wasn’t really an old sage but the Supreme Lord Krishna himself.

Lord Krishna advises him to keep quiet

Sahadev stopped. Krishna caught up with him, realising it was too late. Sahadev knew everything. “You must never reveal what you know,”  Lord Krishna asked Sahadev.He asked. “What if someone asks me? I can’t lie.”“If someone inquires, then you may tell the truth. But never tell them extra. And never tell anyone that you know so much.”

Sahadev’s masterstroke

Sahadev agreed and asked something in return. He said –  “Alright. But you have to agree to my request too.” “What request is that?” “That you will always protect Pandavas. And if any one of us dies then you must accept death too.” Krishna narrowed his eyes. The boy was a hard bargainer. “Agreed.”

The know all Sahadev

So all of his life, Sahadev knew everything. He knew of the fire plot of Varnavat even as Duryodhan was planning, he knew about the political aspirations of Duryodhan and the Kauravas,  He knew about the loaded dice in the gambling match, he knew what would happen to Draupadi in that gambling hall, he about death of everyone in the war. He knew that Ashwathama would kill the Pandava children including his own.

He knew all these terrible things but he could never tell anyone. Not even his brothers,not even his wife Draupadi, who knew everyone’s secrets. Not anyone but Krishna.

Shri Krishna and Pandavas
Shri Krishna and Pandavas

For this reason he was quietest of all brothers, keeping to himself and allowing others to speak. Imagine the strength that must have taken. To know what disasters will happen but not speak of them anyway. This is why He was called the most patient man in the world, that he had the power to cope and be in self control.

At the same time, because he’d made Krishna agree to his request he knew that no harm would ever come to the Pandavas themselves. Krishna was bound to protect them all or face death himself.

This was the masterstroke from Sahadev to protect himself and his brothers.

Jalandhara and Vrinda

The story of Jalandhara and Vrinda is another captivating story from the treasure trove of Indian mythology. Vrinda’s purity was the reason that was driving her husband, Jalandhara’s invincibility. Lord Vishnu had to resort to some trickery in order to defeat Jalandhara. In the process, he was cursed by Vrinda.

This story also describes why Sita had to be separated from Rama, because of curse of Vrinda and why Vrinda is treated with respect in Indian mythology.

Lord Shiva gets angry with Indra

Once Indra along with sage Brihaspati went to mount Kailash to meet Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva learned about their arrival and decided to test the firmness of their faith. He disguised as an old bearded ascetic with matted hair and radiant face.

He was standing at the gate of Kailash. When Indra came near him he asked about Lord Shiva. But, the old ascetic didn’t say anything and pretended to be lost in meditation. This gesture of old ascetic enraged Indra and he hit the ascetic with his Vajra (thunderbolt).

Lord Shiva

Ascetic who was actually Lord Shiva himself neutralised Indra’s weapon. Indra’s audacity made Shiva angry. In anger he opened his third eye and fierce fire shot from it, he was about to kill Indra. Brihaspati recognised Shiva and begged him to forgive Indra. Shiva accepted his request, but the fire could not be controlled. So Shiva threw the fire in the ksheersagar where it emerged in form of radiant and powerful boy.

Birth of Jalandhara

The newborn boy began to wail loudly at the shore of the ocean causing distress to all.  Lord Brahma came to pacify the boy. He saw the boy and took him into his lap. The little boy tugged so hard at Brahma’s beard that water came out of his eyes. So Brahma gave him name Jalandhara (he who carries water). Brahma also predict that he will be emperor of demons and shall be invincible to all except Lord Shiva and after death he will return to Shiva’s third eye. Brahma advised ocean to take care of the child.

Jalandhara marriage to Vrinda

Jalandhara grew into a handsome man and was very powerful. His guru Shukracharya made him king of demons. He was married to demon Kalanemi’s beautiful daughter Vrinda.

Jalandhara and Shukracharya plan their ascendancy over Devas

Once Shukracharya narrated him the story of how Vishnu, by his cunningness had duped the demons of their legitimate right over the gem that were churned out of the ocean. On hearing this Jalandhara send a messenger to God Indra threatening him to either return the gem or face war.  Indra refused to do so. A fierce battle took place between demons and Gods. Many warriors on both side were killed, though demons were revived to life by Shukracharya who knew the Sanjivini Vidya. On other hand sage Brihaspati revived gods by medicinal herb from ‘Dronagiri mountain’. Shukracharya also advised him to submerge Dronagiri mountain so that Brihaspati can not use its herb to revive Gods.

Lord Vishnu could not defeat Jalandhara

Jalandhara did the same as a result divine force started losing. The defeated God decided to seek help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was ready to help God but when his consort Lakshmi heard about this she requested Vishnu not to kill him as she considers him his brother as both of them were born from the ocean. There was a fierce battle between Lord Vishnu and Jalandhara which was indecisive till the end. Vishnu was impressed with Jalandhara and told him his relation with Lakshmi and also granted him a boon. Jalandhara asked Vishnu to make Ksheersagar his home. Lord Vishnu agreed to this and started living there with his consort Lakshmi. Devas without help of Vishnu were easily defeated by Jalandhara and he became emperor of all the three world. Devas were very unhappy with their defeat, they decided to take help of sage Narada.

Lord Vishnu and Ksheersagar

Meeting of Sage Narada and Jalandhara

Narada went to meet Jalandhara, he was welcomed by him. Narada said that he was coming from Lord Shiva realm and when he saw his kingdom, you have everything that Lord Shiva has except that he has a beautiful consort Parvati who is matchless. If you get hold of that gem, you can make your realm perfect.

Lord Shiva and Parvati gets enraged at Jalandhara

Quickly Jalandhara send his messenger Rahu to Lord Shiva with a proposal to hand over Parvati to him.  Lord Shiva was very angry to learn about this outraged demand.Soon a fierce battle took place between them. Upon seeing Shiva and his avatars dominating the battlefield, he created an illusion of beautiful apsaras dancing and singing. This distracted Lord Shiva and his army. Meanwhile he disguised as Lord Shiva and went to Parvati in order to trick her. Parvati on recognizing his deception was so enraged that she took form of Kali and attacked the demon, but he escaped.

Jalandhara got his powers from his wife Vrinda

Then she went to Lord Vishnu and request him for help. Lord Vishnu said that his wife Vrinda is very pious and the demon was deriving all powers because of his wife Vrinda’s unswerving wifely devotion. In order to defeat him they have to outrage her chastity.

Lord Vishnu tricked Vrinda and was cursed

Vishnu then created an illusion that Jalandhara was killed by Shiva and brought back to life by him. Vrinda then embraces Jalandhara who was actually Lord Vishnu in disguise. Vrinda realised that it was Vishnu in disguise so she cursed im that his wife will also be abducted by someone (which came true in treta yuga when Ravana abducted Sita Ram’s wife who was incarnation of Vishnu) and immolated herself. In the meantime, Jalandhara was killed by Lord Shiva with his trident. After which his soul merged with Lord Shiva and soul of Vrinda merged with Parvati.

Vishnu and Vrinda

 

Why Draupadi had five husbands?

Draupadi cheerharan

Devi Draupadi is an important character in Indian mythology and there are stories related to her which are talked about most. One aspect of her personality which is controversial as well, is her having five husbands.

But as everything in life happens for a reason, this is no exception as well. We will look at some of the reasons on why she had five husbands.

Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat
Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat

Story from Vayu purana and Sage Narada

As per Narada and Vayu Puranas, Draupadi was composite Avatar of Goddesses Shyamala (wife of Dharma), Bharati (Wife of Vayu), Sachi (wife of Indra), Usha (wife of Ashwinis) and hence married their earthly counterparts in the form of the five Pandavas.

Due to an incident happened, Lord Brahma cursed these goddesses to human birth. Devi Parvati thought of the solution wherein they will be born as one woman, Draupadi and hence share the earthly body for a smaller period of time. Draupadi’s resistance against injustice reflects Parvati or her Shakti, Kali inhabiting Draupadi’s mortal flesh at times. At other times, Draupadi was docile and even waited to be rescued (as in case of Jayadratha and Jatasura) showing the qualities of other goddesses like Sachi and Usha. Other times, she showed astuteness in hiding their true identity and asking Vayu putra Bhima to kill the evil Keechaka like Goddess Bharati would.

An avatar of Goddess Shree

Draupadi was also avatar of Goddess Shree or Wealth who was joint wife to five Indras, the five Pandavas. She was to be born several times for imprisoning the Indras.  First time was as Vedavati who cursed Ravana (who is another goddess Avatar Swaha, wife to Agni).

She incarnated as  Maya-(shadow of Sita) especially to take revenge from Ravana while Agni hid the real Sita.  Third one was partial,  as Damyanti (whose husband Nala was equivalent to Dharma, Vayu, Indra just like the Pandavas) and her daughter Nalayani. She married Sage Mudgala. The fifth avatar was Draupadi herself. So we find in Draupadi, a composite avatar of Kali, Parvati, Sachi, Shyamala, Usha, Bharati, Shree, Swaha, the eight goddesses.

Boon from previous birth

When Kunti asked her sons to share draupadi as their wives, Lord Krishna took Draupadi aside and explained to her.  “This awkward situation you find yourself in is of your own making. In your previous birth you had pleased Lord Shiva with your prayers. He granted a boon to you. You said that you wanted a husband and to ensure that your request was heard, you repeated it five times in all. Shiva then said that in your next life you would have five husbands.”

Some sources have a slightly different narration. Draupadi made her request only once but she added a long list of qualities that she wanted in her husband. Shiva said that it would be impossible to find one man with all these qualities. Hence she would have five husbands in her next life. All of them together would posses the qualities she had enumerated.

There is an interesting story which says that Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five.

Lord Krishna then added,” You will spend one year with each husband. Others will be forbidden to enter the chamber in which you and the husband-of-the-year are staying. If one does so, even accidentally, he would be exiled for one year.”