Monthly Archives: October 2014

When Lord Shiva became a servant (Ugna)

Lord Shiva as a servant of Poet Vidyapati in form of Ugna

Do you know that Lord Shiva once served Poet Vidyapati as a servant. Incredible, but true, Lord Shiva indeed decided to become the servant of a famous poet. Such is the power of Bhakti. Read on for the full story.

Ugna came to Vidyapati to serve

Poet Vidyapati was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva and seeing his bhakti for him, Lord Shiva got impressed with him. And Lord did the unthinkable and decided to come to live with the poet as a servant, with the name Ugna.

Poet was invited for a function

Ugna became a obedient and affectionate servant to the poet within a very short period. One day, the poet received an invitation to participate in a royal function of the king of Mithila. He took his loyal servant Ugna with him and they left for the king’s capital. On the way the poet became very thirsty but it was a huge barren land where he saw no drops of water.

Ugna was identified through the water of The Ganges

The poet became thirsty and asked Ugna to arrange for water. Ugna shown his inability as there was no water to be seen there. But Poet Vidyapati’s condition soon became worse. Lord Shiva in the guise of Ugna went to some place where he was not seen and took some water of the Ganges in a bowl and came back to Vidyapati. Drinking the water, the poet immediately recognised this as the holy water and demanded from Ugna that where did he find this water?

Initially, Ugna was not telling the truth, but on the insistence of Poet Vidyapati, he had to tell that he was none other than Lord Shiva. Knowing this, the poet became very sorry that Lord Shiva was serving him as a servant, but Lord pacified him that this was his wish to live with his bhakta and Vidyapati should not be sorry for the same.

Ugna Mahadev Mandir

Ugna Mahadev Mandir

Lord Shiva extracted a promise from Vidyapati

The poet wanted the lord to remain with him and he requested Lord Shiva to live with himself. Lord Shiva agreed to his request but he put a condition for the same. He asked him not to divulge the truth of Ugna to anyone. If he fails to do so, then Lord will get back to his place. Poet Vidyapati immediately agreed to this.

After this, Ugna remained with poet Vidyapati for several years and helped him to carry out few miracles as well. For example, he once defeated a poet of emperor Allauddin in his own language.

Vidyapati’s wife gets angry on Ugna

As all things does not remain the same, it was time for Ugna’s departure. Poet’s wife got frustrated with him one day and started beating him with a broom. Poet Vidyapati could not tolerate this as he knew the real identity of Ugna. Out of frustration, he asked her to stop and Lord Shiva immediately vanished. Poet realized his mistake, but it was too late.

Ugna leaves Poet Vidyapati

It is said that Poet Vidyapati then searched for Lord Shiva. He wandered through many temples, rivers and jungles in search of Ugna. Finally, Vidyapati found him in Nandanvana. Shiva told him that he would not go back to his house but would help him whenever required. The place where Ugna appeared before the poet as God is known as Ugnaasthan.

Ugna Mahadev Shivling

Ugna Mahadev Shivling

Satyabhama and Narakasura

The festival of Naraka Chaturdashi (before Diwali)

The story of Narakasura

Narakasura, was the son of Bhumi devi. Bhumi devi ensured her son’s long life through a boon from Lord Vishnu.

The Boon from Brahma

He acquired immense power from a blessing given by Lord Brahma after a severe penance. Armed with the boon and with help of another demon named Banasura, Narakasura became very evil. He became mad with power as he ruled the earth. His was targeting Lord Indra’s kingdom, heaven or swarglok to stamp his authority.

Narakasura assaults everyone, Devas and Aditi

Sooner, the mighty Indra could not withstand the assault of Narakasura and had to flee. Narakasura thus became the lord of both the heavens and the earth. Addicted to power, he stole the earrings of Aditi, the heavenly mother goddess and kidnapped 16,000 women.

Naturally, all celestial beings, Aditi and Lord Indra sought help from Lord Vishnu to end the tyrannies of Narakasura. Vishnu wanted to help everyone, but there was a technical problem. The boon to Bhudevi ensured that he would face death only at the hands of his mother Bhumi devi.

Satyabhama and Lord Krishna – incarnations of Bhumi Devi and Lord Vishnu

In the incarnation of Lord Krishna, he had a wife Satyabhama who was an incarnation of Bhumi Devi. So, Lord Krishna asks his wife Satyabhama, the reincarnation of Bhumi devi, to be his charioteer in the battle with Narakasura.

As promised to the Devas and Aditi, Krishna attacked the great fortress of Narakasura, riding his mount Garuda with wife Satyabhama. The battle was furiously fought. Narakasura possessed 11 Akshauhini (a division of the army), that he unleashed on Krishna.

End of Narakasura

In the fight, Lord Krishna fell unconscious after being hit by an arrow of Naraka. Enraged, Satyabhama takes the bow and aims the arrow at Naraka, killing him instantly. Later Lord Krishna reminds her of the boon she had sought as Bhumi devi. The Narakasura vadh by Satyabhama could also be taken to interpret that parents should not hesitate to punish their children when they step in to the wrong path.

Satyabhama and Narakasura

Satyabhama and Narakasura

Relevance of Naraka Chaturdashi

The message of Naraka Chaturdashi festival is that the good of the society should always prevail over one’s own personal bonds. It is interesting to note that Bhumi devi, mother of the slain demon Naraka, declared that his death should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate and rejoice. It is said Lord Krishna had an oil bath to rid himself off the blood spattered on his body when Naraka was killed.

Before dying, the Asura requested a boon that his death anniversary should be celebrated by all people on earth. This day is celebrated as ‘Naraka Chaturdashi’ – the first day of Diwali.

More stories about Lord Krishna

Lord Vishnu

Why Lord Vishnu is also known as Murari

Lord Vishnu – The Murari

Lord Vishnu is also known as Murari. There is an interesting story behind this because as usual, he came to the rescue of Devtas when they were deeply troubled by someone. Lets read this article to find out why he is called Murari.

Sage Kashyap had an ambitious son

Many years ago, sage Kashyap had a son named Mura. He discovered that demon generally tended to be beaten by Gods. He therefore decided to perform difficult tapasya so that he might become strong. For several years he prayed to Lord Brahma. Finally, Brahma was pleased with his tapasya and granted him a boon. Mura wished that a person in battlefield should immediately die if he touches him with his hand irrespective of him being immortal.

Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu

He observed penance for a boon

With this amazing boon Mura became invincible. Once Mura attacked heaven and challenged Indra. Indra has no desire to fight with a person who has amazing powers. But Mura told him to fight or run away from heaven. Indra accordingly left the heaven.

He invades Yama’s empire

Mura invaded Yama’s city. Yama knew that the demon was invincible and he had no desire to be killed. He therefore climbed on to his buffalo and fled to Vishnu.Vishnu told Yama to send Mura to him.  Yama told Mura that vishnu is waiting for him on the shores of ocean known as Kshiroda. Mura went there.

Lord Vishnu advises Yama to send the demon to him

Vishnu asked what do you want Mura. He replied I wish to have fight with you. Vishnu replied if you want to fight with me why is your heart trembling so much. I can’t fight with a person whose heart trembles so much. Are you frightened ?

The demon is tricked by Lord Vishnu

Mura placed his hand on his chest to check if Vishnu’s word were indeed true. And thanks to Brahma’s boon, he fell down and died immediately. Vishnu chopped up the dead body with his chakra.

Vishnu and Mura

Vishnu and Mura

The word Ari means enemy and because Vishnu was Mura enemy , he was also known as MURARI.

Maa Siddhidatri

Maa Siddhidatri is worshipped on Navratri’s ninth day

Maa Siddhidatri

Maa Siddhidatri is the ninth manifestation of Durga and is worshipped on the ninth day of Ashwin’s month Shuklapaksha.She is represented with four arms sitting on lotus flower. Her arms hold Gada (bludgeon), Chakra, Shankh (scallop shell) and lotus flower. Her appearance glows in red saree. Her vehicle is Lion.

The story of  Maa Siddhidatri

When the Universal mother was gripped with the idea of projecting creation, She, first of all, created Lord Shiva who prayed to Her to endow him with perfections.  For this purpose, the universal mother (Durga) produced Goddess Siddhidatri from Her own person.  As the behest of the universal mother, Goddess Siddhidatri bestowed eighteen kinds of rare perfections and powers and potentialities (Siddhis) on Lord Shiva.  By virtue of these siddhis, Lord Shiva happened to develop a divine splendor.

Maa Siddhidatri

Maa Siddhidatri

Lord Shiva’s becoming Ardhanarishwar

Having acquired the siddhis from Goddess Siddhidatri, Lord Shiva created Lord Vishnu who in turn created Lord Brahma who was entrusted with the task of the Creation whereas Lord Vishnu got the task of Protection and Lord Shiva that of Destruction.

Ardhnarishwar

Ardhnarishwar

Lord Brahma felt a great difficulty in his task of the Creation in the absence of man and woman.  Thereupon he remembered Mother Siddhidatri.  When she appeared before him, Lord Brahma said to her, “Oh Great Mother!  I cannot carry on with the task of the Creation in the absence of man and woman.  You kindly solve this problem of mine through your supernatural attainments (siddhis).”

Having heard Lord Brahma, Mother Siddidaatri converted half the person of Lord Shiva into a woman.  Thus Lord Shiva became half-male and half-female.  Thus, the problem of Lord Brahma was resolved and the task of the Creation went on smoothly. Lord Shiva obtained all Siddhis by blessings of Siddhidatri. This culminated in him becoming ‘Ardha Narishwar’. Worshipping Maa Siddhidatri solely with prescribed customs and rituals certainly endows all Siddhis and blessings to devotees.

Puja of Maa Siddhidatri

On the ninth day of Navratri, Kanya Poojan is also performed with grand touch. Little girls are offered homage and feed with blessed meals. Yagya, Maha Pooja and other grand celebrations are also performed to delight Navdurga on this day. Each day of Navratri has a significant importance, but ninth day is the most prominent, as this is the final and concluding day of Durga Puj

On the final day of Navratri pooja, worshippers and devotees of Durga wonderfully pay homage to Goddess Siddhidatri. This Goddess is revered to offer all types of Siddhi (perfection) to her devotees and thus glorified with name ‘Siddhidatri’. . Worshipping goddess Siddhidatri on the ninth and final day of Navratri bestows all Siddhis to worshippers and successfully completes their Navratri Pooja.

Maa Mahagauri

Maa Mahagauri is worshipped on Navratri’s eighth day

Maa Mahagauri

She is worshipped on the eighth day of Navaratri. According to Hindu mythology, Devi Maha Gauri is extremely fair white in colour and very beautiful. Maha means great, extreme and Gauri means white colour, hence she is named Maha Gauri. She always wears white clothes and rides a white bull (Vrishabha). Because of that she is also known as Vrisharudha. Goddess Mahagauri is depicted with four hands. She carries Trishul in one right hand and keeps the second right hand in Abhaya Mudra. She adorns Damaru in the one left hand and keeps the second left hand in Varada Mudra.

Legend

According to a story, once Goddes Parvati performed intense sacrament and penance in the forest of Himalayas to get Lord Shiva as her husband. During this period her body got covered with soil and she turned black in colour, developed a black complexion.  It is said that due to her long austerities in the deep forests of the Himalayas, she developed a dark complexion. Then She was cleaned by Lord Shiva cleaned her with the holy water of the Ganges. Her body regained its beauty and she came to be known as Maha Gauri, which mean extremely white. Her skin started shining like white pearl and Lord Shiv named her Maha Gauri. Mata Maha Gauri is the consort of Mahadev (Lord Shiva). Her beauty glows like sparkling White Pearl and her grace is infinite. She is filled with kindness and morality.

 

Maa Mahagauri

Maa Mahagauri

Maa Mahagauri’s power

Her power is unfailing and instantly fruitful. As a result of her worship, all sins of past, present and future get washed away and devotees get purified in all aspects of life. Maha Gauri is intelligent, peaceful and calm. She wears white clothes, has four arms, and rides on a bull. Her right hand is in the pose of allaying fear and her right lower hand holds a trident. The left upper hand holds a ‘damaru’ (a small rattle drum) and the lower one is in the pose of granting boons to her devotees.

Maa Kalratri

Maa Kalratri is worshipped on Navratri’s seventh day

Maa Kalratri

The seventh manifestation of Mother Durga, worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri, is Goddess Kalratri.
Devi Kalratri is the seventh aspect of Durga and Worshiped among Navdurga. She is believed to be the most violent Devi among Navdurga. She has dark krishna (black) complexion and her appearance is extremely fearful. Her large red eyes, open red tongue, and sobre on hand violently demolish devils and monsters. She is also glorified with name ‘Kali Maa’. Devi Kalratri has three round eyes, and scattered long black hair. She wears a bead that gleams like fire of electric power.

Appearance of Maa Kalratri

However, appearance of Maa Kalratri is so dreadful, but her grace is generous toward devotees. Worshipping Maa Kalratri on the seventh day gives abundant fruitful result. With her grace, devotees get power, position and eminent status on earth. She protects her devotees against evil influence of demons and wrong people. Worshiping her devotees get complete protection and long life.

Maa Kalratri

Maa Kalratri

Legend of Kalratri

Once there was a demon by the name of Raktabeeja. He performed great penance for Lord Brahma and got a boon. The boon is that, whenever a drop of his blood falls on the ground 100 Rakthabeeja should emerge. By having this boon he wanted to become immortal and he used to hurt himself so 100 more Rakthabeeja would emerge whenever needed.

Kalratri had a fierece fight with Rakthabeeja and finally killed him by draining all the blood in his body. Kalratri did not let a single drop of blood to fall on the ground and killed him.

How Maa Kalratri is worshipped

During Navratri, Saptami Poojan of Devi Kalratri is considered as Maha Pooja or great worship of Goddess Durga. Delighting this deity, devotees certainly get enormous happiness, power and comforts in life. Maa Kalratri is Worshiped to destroy agony of awry influence from life of mankind. On the seventh day of Navratri Pooja, Saptami fast is observed to please this deity. Tantra-mantra practices are also performed and accomplished under blessings of this Goddess. Seventh day of Navratri pooja is envisaged as one of the great days in Durga Pooja. Worship Maa Kalaratri on the seventh day of Navratri Pooja and obtain her enormous grace.

Jai Maa Kalratri!