Monthly Archives: December 2015

Karna’s past life and reason for his hardship

Why Karna suffered

Followers of Indian mythology always wonder why Karna had to suffer so much in life despite being a good human being. As we know, every incident in Indian mythology has some reason behind it, this time also, we have a riveting story of Karna sufferings.

The boon of Dambodhav

Much much before Mahabharata there lived a asura named,a Dambhodbhav. He wanted to be powerful so he prayed to Sun God. Pleased with his devotion God appeared before him and granted him a boon. Dambhodbhav asked God to make him immortal. Surya said it was impossible to make him immortal. Then he asked for thousand kavach (armour). It was not only this  Dambhodbhav also asked that these armour could be broken by someone who perform penance for thousand years. And also, whoever break the armour should die immediately.

Karna the son of Surya

Karna the son of Surya

Surya granted him the boon despite knowing that he is not going to use his powers for good.

He becomes reckless

Immediately after getting the boon, Dambhodbhav started wrecking havoc on people. people were scared of him and started calling him Sahasrakavacha (one who has thousand armour).

Lord Vishnu agrees to kill Dambodhav

Meanwhile, King Daksha (father of Sati) got one of his daughter Murti married to Dharma, son of Brahma. Murti knew about Dambhodbhav and wanted to put an end to to his menace. So she prayed to Lord Vishnu for help.Vishnu pleased with her devotion appeared before her and agreed to kill Sahasrakavacha.

Avatar of Nara and Narayana

Murti gave birth to twins and named them Narayana and Nara. Twin brother were noble, brave and great warrior. They decided to kill Sahasrakavacha. First Nara went for the fight and Narayana went for penance  After thousand years, Nara broke his first armour, but lost his life. On other hand Narayana also completed his penance and obtained Mrityunjaya Mantra (it was mantra to bring back dead to life) and he brought his brother back to life.

Nara and Narayana

Nara and Narayana

The fight begins

At this moment Sahasrakavacha realised that Narayana and Nara are two persons with one  soul. Thus the penance done by one brother gives the other one more power. After thousand years, Nara retired to forest to perform penance while Narayana started the fight.

The fight went on like this. One brother performed penance for a thousand years while the other one fought with Sahasrakavacha. The minute his armour broke, the person fighting with him fell dead and was brought back to life by the other.

Dambodbhava takes shelter

when Sahasrakavacha lost his 999 armour to twins. He gave up and ran away. He decided to take refuge with Surya.

Narayana and Nara both went to Surya and asked for Sahasrakavacha. Surya said that Dambhodbhav and is his great devotee and has worshipped him with great devotion and he came to him help so he has to help him.

Nara on hearing this got angry and cursed Surya that he will be born as human and suffer for this. Surya bowed his head, he knew that he should not shelter a demon but he was willing to pay the price for his devotee.

Dambodhava reborn as Karna

This incident occurred at the end of Treta yuga. In next yuga (Dwapara yuga), Surya and Dambhodbhav and both were born as Karna. Karna was born with his kavach or armour, the one left with Sahasrakavacha.

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

 

End of Karna by Shri Krishna and Arjuna

To fulfill the promise to kill Sahasrakavacha, Narayana and Nara were reborn as Krishna and Arjun.  As Arjun would have died if Karna had the kavach so, Indra went to him in disguise and got the kavach much before the Mahabharata war begin.
As Karna was a demon in his previous life so he had a very difficult life to pay for all the sins he committed in his previous life. But Karna also had Surya within him so he was a hero as well. He was the most powerful, bravest and tragic warrior in Mahabharata.

Karna killed by Arjuna with weapon anjalika

Karna killed by Arjuna with weapon anjalika

21 known and unknown facts about Christmas and Christmas tree

Known and Unknown facts about Christmas and Christmas tree

Christmas is the grandest festival and it is celebrated across the world on 25th December. Second day is called Boxing day, which falls on 26th December. Christmas tree is an integral part of Christmas celebrations. All over the world, people decorate this tree with lights, coloured balls, etc. Gifts are also kept below the tree. There are several legends as how the tradition of decorating Christmas tree started.  We are presenting the popular legends and myths related to Christmas and Christmas tree. The most popular being the legend related Christmas tree is related to Martin Luther King.

1. Martin Luther King and Christmas tree

One day, Martin Luther,  while walking in the woods one Christmas was awed by the beauty of moonlight and stars glistening upon the fir trees. He found that words could not recreate the scene. To communicate the wonder of it to his family, he cut down a small fir tree, brought it home, and decorated it with candles. This is the most popular legend of the Christmas Tree, and if it occurred, it happened in the 1500’s.Though many attempts have been made to substantiate it, no real proof exists.

christmas tree

christmas tree

2. When world war was stopped for celebrating Christmas

Stopping the World War I for a day: Five months into the first World War, troops along the Western front took a Christmas Eve break from fighting to sing carols to one another across the battlefield. The following morning, German soldiers emerged from the trenches and began to approach Allied troops while calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Luckily, it wasn’t a trick; dozens of British fighters came out to greet them and shake hands, some even exchanging cigarettes as gifts. Later dubbed the Christmas Truce of 1914, it was one of the last examples of wartime chivalry.

3. The story of Santa Claus

St. Nicholas, the real person on whom Santa Claus is based, lived in the 4th century AD in the province of Lycia on the southwest coast of Asia Minor. Cartoonist Thomas Nast is credited with creating the current image of Santa Claus based on his illustrations that began appearing in Harpers Weekly in 1863. Father Christmas is based on St. Nicholas, a 4th century Turkish monk who gave gifts to the poor. In the mid 19th century, a magazine published pictures of him wearing a red and white robe, and with a white beard.

santa claus st nicholas christmas

santa claus st nicholas christmas

4-6. Fir tree and birth of Jesus and other facts

At the moment of the birth of Christ, one myth says that every tree bore perfect fruit to bear tribute and honor to the Lord except the lowly fir tree. This tree was ashamed of his stature until the Lord approached him and caused him to sparkle with light. The word Christmas is derived from the Old English phrase Cristes maesse (Christ’s mass). The tradition of substituting X-mas for Christmas has its origins in the early Christian church. The first letter of Jesus Christ’s name is X in the Greek language.

7. The story of St. Boniface

Another story says that St. Boniface of Crediton (a village in Devon, UK) left England and travelled to Germany to preach to the pagan German tribes and convert them to Christianity. He is said to have come across a group of pagans about to sacrifice a young boy while worshipping an oak tree. In anger, and to stop the sacrifice, St. Boniface is said to have cut down the oak tree and, to his amazement, a young fir tree sprang up from the roots of the oak tree. St. Boniface took this as a sign of the Christian faith and his followers decorated the tree with candles so that St. Boniface could preach to the pagans at night.

8-9. Christmas tree and Germany

In Germany, the first Christmas Trees were decorated with edible things, such as gingerbread and gold covered apples. Then glass makers made special small ornaments similar to some of the decorations used today. In 1605, an unknown German wrote: “At Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlours of Strasbourg and hang thereon roses cut out of many-coloured paper, apples, wafers, gold foil, sweets, etc.” The first printed reference to a Christmas tree was in 1531, which is also found  in Germany.

10. Birth of Jesus Christ

1. Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific date for Jesus’ birth. In fact, most historians believe he was probably born in the spring, hence the Bible’s description of shepherds herding animals. But in the 4th century (336 AD),  it is said the Catholic Church (Pope Julius I) chose December  25 to coincide with the Roman and pagan celebrations of Saturnalia, an ancient winter festival that involved decorating evergreens and gift giving. when the Catholic Church decided to recognize Jesus’ birth as an official holiday, Pope Julius I chose December 25 for the Feast of the Nativity. This date coincides with the pagan festival known as Saturnalia.

11. Russia and Ukraine do not celebrate Christmas on 25th December

In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on 7th January and not on 25th January, because they follow the old Julian calendar. How orthodox!

12-13. Traditions of Czechs and ritual of Venezuela

In a, ladies throw their shoes to find out whether they would be married next year or not. In Venezuela, the roads are closed, and people use roller skates to attend the mass.

14-15. Electric lighting and Artificial Christmas trees

Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890. Artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany during the 19th century and later became popular in the United States. These “trees” were made using goose feathers that were dyed green and attached to wire branches. The wire branches were then wrapped around a central dowel rod that acted as the trunk.

16-18. Christmas tree in white house and America

7. In 1856 Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House. 9. In USA, 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms, while only 2% are cut from the wild. To ensure enough trees for harvest, growers plant one to three seedlings for every tree harvested. In 2012, 46 million Christmas tree seedlings were planted by U.S. growers. 10. According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

19-21. England , Christmas pudding and gift from Norway

Christmas puddings originated in old England, when hunters carried the filling mixture on long journeys. In the 1700s, the rich cake was only eaten on special occasions. Over time it became a Christmas food.

The first Christmas card was printed in London in 1843, although medieval wood prints with seasonal themes were produced in the Middle Ages. Nearly 2 billion cards are sent in the UK each year.

Norway has given Britain the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square every year since 1947 as a gift for the help received from Britain during World War 2. The tree can be 20 metres tall.

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Grishneshwar or Grushneshwar Jyotirlinga is considered as the last among the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The Grishneshwar Temple is also known by several other names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara and Grishneswara.

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

The temple is located at a village called Verul, which is at a distance of 11kms from Daulatabad (Devagiri) AND 30 Kms from Aurangabad. this lies near to Ajanta and ellora caves.

Temple

Bhonsale ( The Patel or chief of Verul ) was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, Once he found a treasure hidden in the snake pit. He spent the money to renovate the temple and built a lake in Shikharshinganapur. Later on , Goutamibal (Bayajabai) and Ahilyadevi Holkar renovated the Grishneshwar temple.

This 240ft.x185ft. tall temple is built of red rocks in a pre-historic architectural style. The temple has five tier shikara Beautiul statues of Gods and Goddess are carved in red stones. Halfway up the temple Dashaavtars are also carved. These sculpted walls are beautiful to look at. The  town hall is built on 24 beautifully carved pillars. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwar in the courthall. The Garbhagriha measures 17ft.x17ft.  Lingamurti faces eastward.

Grishneshwar Temple

Grishneshwar Temple

legends behind the Grishneshwar temple

Once Parvati was mixing vermilion and saffron with water to apply on the in her hair (a symbol of a married woman). She kept them in her left palm and mixed the water of Shivalay in it. With the right thumb she started mixing them both. A miracle happened, Shiv appeared in form of light on her palm. The light turned into lingam which she named Grishneshwar as it was formed with the friction (grishna) between her finger and palm.

Another legend from Shivpuran

In the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple had no child this frustrated Sudeha. She prayed and tried all remedies but all in vain. Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the nearby lake. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister. Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma’s son and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas

In the morning, even after hearing everything she was absorbbed in worshipping Lord Shiva. She did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall protect him and started reciting Shiva-Shiva. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Lord Shiva appeared before her and said he is pleased with her devotion. Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeha. Pleased with her generosity, Lord Shiva asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirlinga and may you be known by my name. On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirlinga and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.