Monthly Archives: November 2011

Rudraksh – A gem from Indian mythology

In Indian mythology, Rudraksh has its own space. It is believed that the Rudraksh stone has got beneficial powers and those who keep these stones, enjoy various benefits. It is supposed to take away our sufferings and bring wisdom and health.

Rudraksha Image

Rudraksha image

There is an interesting legend associated with Rudraksh. We will tell you the origin & history of Rudraksha. Literally, Rudraksh means tears of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva meditated for several years for the wellbeing of all creatures. But, when he opened his eyes to see around, he saw people suffering. Lord Shiva could not see the sufferings and miseries of people and started shedding hot drops of tears. These tears fell upon the earth and became the trees of Rudraksha.
Another ancient story explains the origin of Rudraksha that Lord Shiva was upset and depressed following death of “Gauri”, his wife. He started crying and roaming here and there in search of Gauri. And while searching he was crying and his tears were falling on the earth. These tears were converted in Rudraksha.

Another story is around three demons Tripurasuras who had innumerable powers. They lived in three Purams and the Purams were protected by a boon from Lord Ganesh and nobody can harm them, unless they come into a single axis. That moment comes only once in every thousand years. All gods prayed to Lord Shiva to kill those Demons. He performed Tapasya (penance) with half-closed eyes. (Ardha Nimeelita neetra). He opened his eyes, concentrated on the axis and burnt Tripurams. Due to the stress caused by Tapasya, tears came out his eyes while opening them. They turned into Rudrakshas.

The story of Gunanidhi

In the country of Kosala there was once a noble brahmin named Girinatha who was rich, erudite and well-versed in the Vedas. Considering his greatness people called him Girinathadiksita. Gunanidhi was his son. When Gunanidhi grew up he started his education under Sudhisna. Sudhisna had a wife named Muktavali. After some time Gunanidhi started having clandestine relations with Muktavali. Gunanidhi gave poison to his guru and killed him. His parents came to know of this and they came and reprimanded him. Evilnatured Gunamdhi thought that the presence of his parents would be an annoyance to him in future.
So Gunanidhi and Muktavali planned together to kill his parents and one day they poisoned them.After some time Gunanidhi and his wife
lost all they had and gradually gunanidhi turned himself into a thief and drunkard. Nobody in the village liked the couple and all the villagers combined together and sent the couple away from the place.
Gunanidhi and Muktavali went to the forests and there they started a life of looting the travellers. After some years of a sinful life Gunanidhi one day died lying beneath a Rudraksa tree. Servants of both Yama and Siva came to claim the soul of Gunanidhi. The servants of Yama said that the right place of Gunanidhi the sinner, was in hell but the servants of Siva said that even if he was a great sinner his place was in heaven because he died
lying beneath a Rudraksa tree. In the end the Sivadutas won and took Gunanidhi to heaven.

The story of an ass

There was once in Kikata a merchant who had an ass to carry his merchandise. Once the merchant was returning home from Bhadracala with his ass loaded with bundles of costly Rudraksas. The old ass fell down dead on the way, the weight of the Rudraksa bundles having been too much for it, and immediately it assumed the form of Siva and went to Kailasa. Even if a man does not know what he is carrying, if he carries sacred things he will certainly attain salvation, like the ass that attained salvation in this case.
For scientifically inclined souls, the botanical name of the Rudrakhsha tree is Elaeocarpus Granitrus.

Mahabharata story- A brief online introduction

An introduction to Mahabharata

The Mahabharat or Mahabharata, is one of the two greatest epics available for Hindus, the other being the Ramayan. Mahabharat includes the stories from Dwapar yuga. This epic contains the facts from fascinating battle between Pandavas and Kauravas. It is said that a sage called Ved Vyasa narrated this epic to the Lord Ganesha. Ganesha, in turn,  penned it. It is believed that it has existed well over two thousand years for now.

Ved Vyasa and Ganesha – writing Mahabharat

Bhagvad Gita

The famous Bhagavad-Gita, which is widely read in the western world is part of Mahabharat.  This comes from Chapters XXV through XLII of Bhishma Parva (the sixth volume). This is a short diversion prior to the great battle.

Srimad Bhagwatam

Vyasa also wrote the Srimad Bhagavatam, which contains much of the life of Krishna. The Hare Krishna’s are a good source for a copy of this work.  The other great Indian epic is the Ramayana. The Ramayana was compiled by Valmiki at an earlier date than the Mahabharata.

Shri Krishna - gods of mythology, mahabharat story

The Mahabharata in its longest version consists of over 100000 shloka or over 200000 individual verse lines (each shloka is a couplet ) , long prose passages, or about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharat is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana. W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahabharata to world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, and the Qur’an. [Excerpt taken from Wiki]
The central character of thus epic is Shri Krishna. Others being  with Pandavas and Kauravas. The famous battle of Mahabharat took place in Kurukshetra, which lasted for eighteen days.

Vyasa and Ganesha writing Mahabharata

Vyasa and Ganesha writing Mahabharata

In brief, it tells the story of the birth of 5 Pandava brothers – Yudhishthira, Arjuna (the main characters of the Bhagavad Gita), Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva.  Krishna also plays an important part.  During a game of dice, Yudhishthira loses his kingdom. The 5 Pandavas are exiled for 12 years, and they must return in the 13th year. They need to remain undiscovered in society or face a further 12 years exile.  They complete the sentence, and ask Duryodhana for half their kingdom back.   He refuses.  The battle of Mahabharat follows,  and the story concludes with the lineage of the descendants of Arjuna.  Lineage, wisdom and moral counselling is imparted throughout the story.  Historians are agreed that a battle took place, but the date is not agreed – it may have been around 800 – 1100 BC. It may be much older, say 3000 BC.
Historical importance of the Mahabharata is not the sole reason to read the Mahabharata.  The Mahabharata is a powerful and amazing narrative which inspires awe and wonder and the same time teaches a few things.  Many a times, the reader is just spell struck by the complexity it brings but yet this is so interesting. It presents sweeping visions of the cosmos and humanity and intriguing glimpses of divinity in an ancient narrative that is accessible, interesting, and compelling for anyone.

This narrative details about Indian Mythology gods and more fittingly, Krishna. Krishna made sure that Pandavas come out as the winners from the battle of Mahabharata.

Mahabharata - set of 3 books by Anant Pai


Who is controlling the traffic?

Funny picture.


Funny picture