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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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।
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।
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 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.
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 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.
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.