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

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