Categories
Children stories Indian Mythology Lord Hanumana

A tale of two brothers – Bhima and Hanumana

 When Bhima was humbled

There is an interesting story from Mahabharata about Bhima and Hanumana. This may sound strange but Bhima and Lord Hanumana can be termed as brothers, as they both are born to Lord Pawan, the god of winds. While Hanumana was a constant companion of Lord Rama in treta yuga, Shri Krishna was in company of Arjuna, Bhima’s brother, in the Mahabharata.

When Arjuna was away

Arjuna, the third pandava, had gone to the Himalayas in quest of great weapons from Indra. In case of a war, he would have to face great warriors like Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Karna  many more. And it was necessary to acquire more skill and power. The other four pandavas and Draupadi found life devoid of joy in his absence. Desiring a change in life, they moved in search of  a more peaceful place.
At last they came to the Narayanasrama forest. They decided to take rest and stay there for some time.

The flower and request to Bhima by Draupadi

One day, the wind placed a flower near Draupadi. The sweet scent of the flower mesmerized Draupadi. Draupadi felt a deep desire to possess that flower known as Saugandhika. She requested Bhima to get her that flower.  Bhima agreed to to satisfy her desire. He set out in the direction from which  the  fragrance came.

Bhima meets the monkey

On way to the flower, Bhima found an old monkey resting on the path. He asked the monkey to give him way as he was obstructing his path. In reply, the monkey politely declines saying that he was old and weak. Bhima got angry and said that he was talking the greatest mace warrior and possesses great power.  The monkey replies that if he has such strength, why don’t he himself make way by moving the monkey.
Bhima and Hanumana

Bhima humbled

Bhima, out of pride and confidence,  Bhima tried  to pull the monkey’s tail aside .But he could  not move it even  a little bit. He put all his might in the endeavor, but to no avail. He was all perspiration. In spite of his best efforts,  he  could not move the tail. As such the question of challenging this monkey for a show of strength did not arise. He felt very humiliated and subdued. He told  the monkey “You are no ordinary monkey. Please tell me who you are. I accept defeat  and bow to you”.

The monkey tells about himself

Now, smilingly, the old monkey tells that he is Hanuman, his brother, who crossed the ocean in search of Sita. He said –I am your brother. Your path  ahead is perilous. It is the path of the gods and is not safe for men. So I came to  caution  you. I knew you have come to collect the  Saugandhika flower. I shall show you the pond, where this  flower grows. You can  collect as many as you want and go back. Bhima was happy. He bowed to Hanumana and requested him  to show his huge form in which he jumped over the sea, one hundred yojanas wide, to land on Lanka.

Lord Hanumana shows his virata form

Hanumana increased his size till he seemed to occupy  the whole landscape, like a hill.  His form was dazzlingly white, so Bhima had to cover his eyes . Resuming his normal form, Hanuman embraced  Bhima and blessed him. He also assured him  “When you roar like a lion on the battle field, my voice shall join yours and strike terror in the hearts of your enemies. I will be there on the flag of the chariot of Arjuna .You will be victorious”. With Hanuman’s embrace, Bhima’s strength also increased. Hanuman wanted to free his brother Bhima from his ego and to give him greater  strength to fight his enemies.
Hanuman shows his true form

 

 

Hanumanchatti
Categories
Children stories Lord Ganesha

Great stories about Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha

He is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, has the blessing that his worship should be performed before all gods. Following are some of the unknown and interesting facts about Lord Ganesha.

Broken tusk and writing of Mahabharata

First story is about the broken tusk of the Lord.

When Sage Vyasa decided to write Mahabharata, he wanted someone to help him with the writing. He approached Lord Ganesha for help. Ganesha accepted the job but put forth a condition that you will have to recite the tale without a pause and without a break. If you stop even once, I will stop writing.

Vyasa accepted this condition from Lord Ganesha. But, he too set a condition that Ganesha should understand every thing before writing. Ganesha agreed. Both sat down to create an epic.Vyas started narrating his epic at a great speed and Ganesha took down the dictation fast and furious. However, soon Ganesha’s pen broke. It could not keep pace with Maharishi’s recital.

Ganesha understood that he had been a little too proud and underestimated the Maharshri’s intellectual powers. Quietly he broke off one of his tusks, dipped it in ink and used it as a pen. As for Vyasa, whenever he would get tired he would compose a particular difficult stanza.

Ganesha would spend few seconds trying to figure out the lines and Maharishi would get a break. Ganesha and Vyasa spend 3 years writing the epic. Although several stanzas of Mahabharata are said to be lost, even today the epic stands 100,000 stanzas long.

Vyasa and Ganesha writing Mahabharata

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Wedding party

Swarg Lok, was buzzing with excitement. Lord Vishnu was sending out invitation for his wedding to goddess Lakshmi. The wedding was to take place at Kundanpur, Lakshmi’s home town.

The Gods were busy taking out there finest jewels for the wedding. They planned to impress Lakshmi and her town people with a grand marriage procession. Guests started assembling at Vishnu’s house. Suddenly,the gods saw Ganesha entering Vishnu’s house. They were very upset to see him.

They did not want Ganesha to come along with with them to Kundanpur. They said he eat too much and look weird. Not only does he have an elephant head, he is very fat too. and his feet look like jugs and tummy sticks out a mile.we are all such handsome fellows, we would feel embarrassed walking along with such strange looking person. They informed Vishnu about their decision, Vishnu didn’t want to leave Ganesha behind, but under pressure from gods, he had to accede.

They asked Vishnu to tell Ganesha to stay back to look after swarglok.Vishnu did as he was told. Ganesha felt bad about missing out on the wedding,he accepted the task. Narad,a real mischief-maker told every thing to Ganesha, and gave him a brilliant plan how to get back at other gods.

Narad said Ganesha, the mouse you ride is the chief of the mice, ask him to take army of mice and dig under the road the marriage procession plans to take. The hollowed out road will not be able to bear the weight of chariots,elephants, carriages and horses in the procession.As soon as any one steps on it,the road will get crumble and all will get stuck.

Ganesha was delighted with the plan. He sent his mouse scurrying to the task. Things just happened as Narad had planned. As soon as Vishnu’s chariot rolled on to the hollowed-out section, the road crumbled. The horses tumbled down and the chariot wheel sank deep into the earth. The entire parade came to halt.

The gods were unable to pull out the wheels. a farmer who saw gods struggling offered to help. Although gods didn’t believe the farmer could do much , yet they decided to give him a chance. Shouting Jai Ganesha in one jerk the wheel came up. One god asked him why he shouted Jai Ganesha before pulling out the carriage. The farmer replied that Ganesha is remover of all obstacles. He is the God of beginning. So, he always pray to him before starting any work. Gods were very ashamed The farmer simple words reminded that looks do not matter.It’s person’s greatness and goodness that really counts. They went back to Ganesha, apologise and begged him to join the procession.

Punishment to Moon

Ganesha, the pot bellied elephant god, loved food and could spend entire day, eating. Once on a moonlit night after stuffing himself with his favourite sweet, ladoo, he went for a ride on his vahana, a tiny rat. The rat could not bear his weight and tripped. Ganesha fell on the ground with a thud. The moon laughed,seeing this funny sight. Seeing the moon mocking him, Ganesha got angry. He cursed the moon saying that any man who looked at the moon on Ganesha Chaturthi, would be wrongly blamed.

Moon and Ganesha Chaturthi festival

The moon, realized its mistake, and  begged Ganesha to remove his curse. But Ganesha was adamant, finally after a long time, Ganesha gave in and reduced the punishment. He could not take back his curse, but said that falsely accused person would have to look at the Moon on the second day of the fortnight to win back his good name.

 The elephant god

One day, Goddess Parvati wanted to take bath, but there was no one to guard her. So she created a young boy with the sandal wood paste. She named the little boy Ganesha. Parvati asked him not to allow anyone to enter while she bathed. Soon Lord Shiva returned and was surprised to see Ganesha. Ganesha refused to allow Lord Shiva to enter the house.

Lord Shiva was furious and sent his bull, Nandi, to fight the little boy but Ganesha defeated Nandi. After a fierce fight between Lord Shiva and Gaesha,  Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head. When Parvati came out and saw her son dead, she was furious. Shiva tried to console her but she couldn’t stop crying.

She ordered Shiva to bring him back to life. Shiva asked Nandi to bring the head of the first creature he found. Nandi returned with the head of an elephant. Lord Shiva placed the elephant head on the Ganesha’s body and bring him back to life. Shiva gave him the title of Ganpati, and all other God’s declared him the God of beginnings. All would have to pray him before starting anything new.

Ganesha and Lord Shiva

Mooshak

Long long ago, there lived a terribly wicked asura, Gajamukh. He wanted to become richest and strongest king ever. He was already king of asura but  wanted to become king of peoples and God’s world too. He decided to impress Lord Shiva and ask ed God to grant him with magical powers. He left his palace, started living in jungle and worshipping Shiva.

Without eating or drinking, and standing on just one foot, he prayed to Shiva every day. Several years passed and finally Lord Shiva was impressed and granted him all the magical powers he wanted. The most special of these was that no weapon could harm him. Gajamukh then started misusing his powers first, he  conquered the world and then he started attacking Gods.

Only Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Ganesha  remained unconquered by him. Gajamukh ordered everyone to worship him and only him. Then Lord Shiva, asked his son Ganesha to punish him. A terrible fight between Ganesha and Gajamukh started. Swords, spear, arrors all bounced off the asura because of the boon he was granted.

Finally Ganesha, broke his tusk an threw it on Gajamukh wounding him badly. Still Gajamukh was not ready to give up. He turned himself into a mouse and rushed at Ganesha. Ganesha jumped and sat down on his back. Crushed under Ganesha’s weight, Gajamukh had to accept his defeat. Ganesha decided to punish him by keeping him as a mouse and keeping him as a vehicle. Gajamukh was also happy with  the arrangement and became Ganesha’s friend now.

Mooshaka-and-Ganesha

A fistful of rice

There was a little village, named Ganeshpur. People of Ganeshpur loved Lord Ganesha.Peoples were busy in a big Ganpati festival. Villagers were busy in cleaning and decorating the village and women were busy in cooking sweets. Meanwhile a little boy entered the village with little rice in one hand and and a spoonful of rice on other hand His clothes were torn and face was dirty.

He walked through the village shouting ‘Here I come with a spoonful of milk and  a fistful of rice. cook me kheer and Ganesha will give you prize. But the people were too busy to pay him any attention. Then the boy reached the hut of a poor,old women. she lived alone,  and was sick but still decided to help the little boy. She said I can make kheer but I have nothing to cook. The little boy said don’t worry amma borrow a big pot from your neighbour.

The old lady thought the little boy was being silly but did what he wanted.She put the fistful of rice and a spoonful of milk into the pot, added some sugar and put it on fire. The little boy said amma, the kheer  will take some time to cook. I will go and have a bath. when I will come back we can eat together. The boy ran away and the old women fell asleep.

Suddenly she woke up by delicious smell. She got up and look inside. she was shocked to see that the pot was brimming over with creamy white kheer. This site made her mouth water and irresistible to wait for the little boy. Finally, she decided to eat, first she too a little bit and  offered to  Ganesha and then took large portion for herself. In one gulp she finished, then she took another then another yet the pot remained full. when the little boy came, he asked for the kheer.

Quietly the old women put the bowl in front of him. The boy asked and where is your bowl amma. Red faced, the old women confessed, that  I ate without waiting for you.  The little boy said, don’t worry amma I have eaten the kheer too. But when you have just came. The boy said, don’t you remember amma before eating you have offered some to Ganesha. Well I am the same Ganesha said the boy changing into true form.

The old women fell crying at Ganesha feet. Ganesha picked her and said you are very kind to me now make a wish. The old women was very intelligent. She asked Ganesha to give me health,give me wealth, surrounded me with lots of daughters and sons. Let me live long enough to see my great great grand sons.  Ganesha granted her the wish. The old women was very happy and she thanked Ganesha for making her wish come true.

Mr and Mrs frog

Mr and Mrs. frog lived in the well behind the king’s palace. What a perfect life they led! they spend the whole day lolling around the sun. If they felt hot, they would pop into the pool for a quick swim. And if in case they felt bored, they would simply nip into the palace and watch the people there.

They thought men’s are very very funny creatures because they were tall and walk on two legs, have clear skin and are always in hurry and scurry. They both hop back to the well and examine there brilliant green skin full of warts and feel happier then ever and feel how lucky they are to be born as frog.

But there was one problem in frog’s life. It was Ganesha. Mrs frog was great follower of Ganesha, She chant Ganesha’s name throughout the day to thank him for giving them such a nice life. Mr frog was terribly jealous of this. He hate to hear his wife taking name of Ganesha and would quarrel with her. He said I am your husband and I will give you all happiness in this world so, you should stop taking Ganesha’s name instead you should take my name.

One day a maid came to draw water from the well . The frogs got drawn along with the water. Maid didn’t noticed them and set the pot on fire. to warm the water.  Poor frogs tried to jump out but the pot was so deep that they couldn’t. Mr frog croaked , ‘Dear wife , why don’t you pray to your lord Ganesha ? He might help us. Mrs frog said ,dear husband , you have often told me that a good wife only chants her husbands name. Mr frog croaked you misunderstood me no one becomes a bad wife by chanting Ganesha’s name.  But husband chant irritates you.

Wife, hot water irritates me more. So, please pray to God to rescue us. Mrs frog took a promise that he would never stop her from taking his name. Mrs frog pleaded for mercy within minutes the  pot overturned and fell from fire. All water spelled out and both frog hopped back to well. Now they both sit in the sun singing Ganesha’s praises.

Categories
Children stories Indian Mythology Lord Ganesha Narada

Clever Ganesha and Narada’s mango – Indian mythology

Ganesha, Kartikeya and Narada

Once, Narada took a mango to Lord Shiva and Parvati where the two sons of Lord were also present. He presented the mango to Parvati  and said that this mango is special and requested her  to accept the mango. Parvati intended to distribute the fruit between her two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya equally, but sage Narada intervened and said that this fruit cannot be cut into two and can be consumed by a single person only.

Narada suggested to have a competition between the two brothers, and the winner of the contest will be awarded the mango. Kartikeya enquired about the competition and after much thought, Narada suggested – ‘Whoever goes around the world three times first will win the mango’. Both brothers agreed to the condition put forth by Narada.

Mango by Sage Narada

 

Hearing this, Kartikeya got on to the peacock and went to go around the world. Ganesha did not have a peacock or anything else he could ride so he thought for a while. He then went around Shiva and Parvathi three times and went to claim his prize saying. ‘ My Parents are the world for me. I have won the competition.

The competition between two brothers – Kartikeya and Ganesha

Ganesha further said that Lord Shiva and Parvati are the first couple and whole universe is created with them. When he circled them three times, it was equivalent to circling the world three times. Thus he claimed his prize and started to eat the mango. When Kartikeya came back duly circling the earth three times, he found clever Ganesha eating the mango.

When he learnt that his elder brother had got the fruit by his fast thinking instead of running around, he accepted his defeat. On the other hand, Ganesha had won the contest by virtue of using his superior intellect and Kartikeya had to accept defeat in his favour.

Categories
Children stories Lord Ganesha Lord Shiva

Interesting story of birth of Lord Ganesha and duel with Shiva

Birth of Lord Ganesha

The birth of Lord Ganesha birth can be regarded as interesting as any story could be. Ganesha was born unknown to Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati needed someone to guard the chambers while she was taking bath. It happened in the past that Shiva devotee allowed him access when she did not want this to happen. So, She made a figure with turmeric paste and put life into it. Then she asked the boy, Ganesha not to allow anyone to enter the house. Ganesha followed his mother’s orders to the word and did not allow Shiva any access to the house.

Birth of Lord Ganesha depicted in Madhubani paintain

Note: Madhubani painting is popular folk art form.

Shiva got angry and asked his followers to attack the boy. But they were conquered. Shiva got surprised. Realizing that this was no ordinary boy, Shiva decided to fight himself, and in his divine fury cut Ganesha’s head, killing him quickly. When Parvati came to know of this, she was so angry that she decided to destroy the whole universe. But Lord Brahma pleaded that she reconsider her intent. She said she would if two conditions were met: One, that Ganesha be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshipped before all the other gods.

Brahma also suggested that he replace Ganesha’s head with the first living being that came his way with its head facing north. Shiva then sent his followers to bring the head of a creature they happened to find sleeping with its head facing north. They found a dying elephant which slept in this manner, and after its death took its head. Shiva attached the elephant’s head to Ganesha’s body and brought him back to life. Ganesha is worshipped by everyone before beginning any puja.

There are other stories which not as popular as the above:

Lord Ganesha and Shani

Another less popular story of lord Ganesha’s birth as written in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana. Eager to have a son, Parvati decided that she would keep a year-long fast to appease lord Vishnu. At the end of her fast lord Vishnu was duly appeased and gave her the boon of a son. In some stories, the son is a reincarnation of lord Krishna, another prominent Hindu deity.

On the joyous occasion of the birth of their son, whom they named Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati invited all the gods to their abode in Mount Kailash to look upon the baby. While all the gods bestowed the young lord Ganesha with gifts, there was one god who refused to look at the child.

This was the god Shani, son of the god Surya. The gaze of Shani is said to cast a bad omen on which it is directed. So Shani had a very good reason to not look at Ganesha. But Parvati insisted that Shani must look at the face of his ‘nephew’. Very reluctantly, Shani finally agreed and cast a quick look towards the young lord Ganesha. Almost immediately the child’s head fell off, in some stories it turns to ashes.

Parvati was devastated and it was lord Vishnu who came to her rescue. In one quick movement, he had mounted his vahana and had gone to fetch a replacement head. Returning with the head of a young elephant he had found of the banks of a river, lord Vishnu placed the head on the lifeless torso of the boy. The boy was brought back to life to the joy and utmost relief of both Shiva and Parvati. And so the naughty, fun loving god Ganesha was born.

Sage Kashyap’s curse

Yet another story mentions a completely different reason for the birth and subsequent replacement of Lord Ganesha’s head with that of a young elephant. But in this case the story starts a little differently. Aditya was one of the sons of the great sage Kashyapa, one of the seven great Rishi or sages. According to the story, Shiva, in a mistake, slew Aditya by cutting off his head. Kashyapa cursed the great lord Shiva that the same fate would befall the first born son of Shiva and when that happened, the child’s head would be replaced by the head of Indra’s elephant. And so, Ganesha, the elephant headed god was born.

In another twist to the same tale, when Shiva cut off the head of Aditya, He replaced it with Indra’s elephant’s head and brought him back to life. Kashyapa was very incensed by Shiva’s act and he put a curse on Shiva. According to the curse, the first born child of lord Shiva would be born with an elephant head. In the case of this particular story, Ganesha was already born with an elephant head unlike other stories where he acquires his elephant head later.

Categories
Children stories Indian Mythology

Pictures of Shri Krishna exploits

Shri Krishna and his exploits

His teacher – Sandipani. Sage Sandipani taught Balrama and Shri Krishna.

Shri Krishna and Balrama took education under sage Sandipani. There is famous story how he paid his gurudakshina to his teacher.

Sage Sandipani – teacher of Krishna and Balrama

Kansa tried hard to kill the Bal Krihsna and employed various demons. First was Pootna, who visited Nand gram and on pretence of feeding him, tried to poison. The kid took the life out of her.

 Pootna (putna) was appointed by Kansa to kill Krishna

Kansa appointed Putna to kill Shri Krishna

But she was killed by kid Krishna.

Putna killed by Shri Krishna

God Indra got angry and directed rains to flood the village. He held the mountain as an umbrella on on finger and saved his village, gokul. From his childhood only, he defeated and killed many demons. Suktasoor, Trinawurut are few of them.

in his childhood, he ate mud. After scolded by his mother, he showed three worlds in his mouth. Yashoda understood and said to herself “I am a great fool in looking upon the lord of the three worlds as my son.”

he liberated Jumlajoorun from a curse from Narada, who were born as trees in gokul. These were two sons of Kuber, who were playing in water, did not pay attention to Narada.

Krishna helping villagers by holding govardhan parvat(mountain)

Govardhan Parvat

He killed Aghasura, Dhenukasura who have terrorised the gokul dham.

Krishna taming Kaliya

Killing of Kaliya Nag

There is an interesting story of why Kaliya nag was residing in Yamuna (Gokul).

Shri Krishna and Balrama killing Channura and Mushtika.

Killing of Chhannura and Mushtika

 Krishna killing Keshi

Kesi vadh

he also killed Vatasur and Vyomasur.

Killing of Bakasura

Kansa wanted to kill Krishna. One day, he called the demon Bakasura and asked him to go and kill the infant Krishna. Bakasura, decided to take the form of a huge bird to frighten young Krishna.

One day Krishna was playing with his friends in the forests of Gokul, when he saw a giant bird swooping down on them. Krishna at once understood that a demon sent by Kansa to kill him.

As the giant bird came closer,  Krishna caught its beak and quickly got inside it. Inside the beak, Krishna wriggled around so much that Bakasura’s beak was broken. Exhausted, Bakasura died after some time and fell to the ground.

 

 Krishna killing Kansa

As per Shrimad Bhagavata Purana, Shri Krishna was 12 when he was finally being recalled to Mathura, by his Maamaa Kansa – so that he could get killed. While Keshav ended up killing Kansa as prophesized, we know that he also liberated Vasudeva and Devaki from prison upon killing his Maternal Uncle Kansa.

Killing of Kansa

Categories
Children stories The Ramayana

Bal Kand story in pictures

In Indian mythology, there are two major epics. The Ramayana, and the Mahabharat. In Treta yuga, the story of Rama and his wife Sita, is the main story around which the Ramayana is written. This epic was written by Sage Valmiki, who himself was a robber, but later mended his ways to become a sage.

Bal Kand

Dashrath organizes Putra Kameshti Yagya

King Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya organised yagna with a desire for son. Agni, the god of fire presented him with a bowl of kheer(sweet rice). Upon comsumption of kheer, Dashratha would beget sons.

The Kheer or payasam, thus obtained, was distributed among Dashrath’s three wives, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. Soon enough, these queens have been blessed with sons, Rama, Bharat, Laxman and Shatrughan.

Princes Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat and Shatrughana as newborn.

Learning at Sage Vasistha’s ashram

Sage Vasistha was the teacher of four brothers. He taught them all the skills required by them as the princes.

Education of princes by sage Vasistha in the Ramayana

Helping Sage Vishwamitra

Rama and Laksham helped sage Vishwamitra. Rakshasas were creating problems for him. Sages were unable to perform yagna. Sage asked Dashrath to give Rama and Lakshman to help him. Dashrath was initially worried. Persuaded by Vasistha, he agreed. This helped the princes as Vishwamitra trained them in warfare. Both brothers killed Taraka and Subahu among other demons.

Swayamvar of Sita and liberation of Ahalya

Vishwamitra received invitation from King Janak for Sita’s swayamvar. He asked  Rama and Lakshman to accompany him.

Along the way, they came to a place where Ahilya was present in a form of stone. Rama liberated her on advise of sage. She was serving a curse of sage Gautam, who was her husband.

Sita Swayamvar

At Mithila, the challenge of Sita swayamvar was to tie the string of Shiva’s bow. Many warriors including Ravana has failed in even moving the bow. However, Rama could easily lift the bow. While trying to string the bow, it broken into two pieces. Sita got Rama as her husband.

Rama breaking Pinaka bow in Sita Swayamvar

However, this brought Lord Parshurama to the ceremony. There was the classic confrontation between two avatars of Vishnu. Rama succeeded in pacifying Parshurama.

Wedding of Rama and Sita

Finally, the wedding of Rama and Sita took place. All four brother were married. Lakshman was married with Urmila, Janak’s second daughter and Bharat and Shatrughna with Mandavi and Shrutikirti, the daughters of Janak’s younger brother Kushadhwaj.

Categories
Children stories Informative Interesting news

Wedding of frogs

Wedding of frogs

Sounds strange, but this is true. Frogs are married in some part of india, according to a mythological ritual. There is a purpose behind this. In extreme summer, when there is no sign of rain, a yagna is performed to please Lord Indra. In Hindu Mythology, Indra is the person responsible for rains.

This yagya is nothing, but wedding of frogs are per the hindu rituals. Vermilion is applied on the forehead of female frog to mark her as the life partner of the male frog. This is an age-old tradition that if frogs are wedded, then Indra Dev will be pleased and monsoon will come. People attend the wedding in large numbers.

Wedding of frogs – for rain

This wedding is performed with artifical frogs as well as with real frogs. The rationale behind this tradition is that during rainy season, frogs came out and croak to please Lord Indra. The wedding is performed for the same reason and this is thought that frogs will be pleased and welcome rain gods.

Read this article for a frog wedding in Varanasi.

This is not limited to India. The same ritual, wedding of frogs has also taken place in Bangladesh. The objective is the same, to bring rain on earth.The “bride” and “groom” came from two neighbouring villages 110 kilometres (68 miles) north of the capital Dhaka, according to the Bengali paper Jugantor. Villagers organised the wedding ceremony because the region was suffering a water shortage as it waited for monsoon rains to arrive, according to school teacher Noor Mohammad Kalon, who was a guest on behalf of the “groom.” More than 250 men, women and children came to the wedding. We all danced and sang,” the teacher, 42, told AFP by telephone, adding that the guests were served a traditional wedding feast of rice, lentils, fish, beef and sweets.
“The bride and groom were in special wedding dress. We blessed them in the ceremony and released them in a nearby pond afterwards.

Read the full bangladesh wedding story of frogs.

The most recent wedding of frogs has taken place inTakhatpur, India.  This is also celebrated in remote part of Assam.

 

Categories
Children stories Dashavatar

Dashavatar pictures – Indian mythology (1)

Pictures of Lord Vishnu in various avatars (Dashavatar)

Lord Vishnu

 

Matasya avatar of Lord Vishnu\

Matasya avatar

Vishnu took the form of a big fish. There is a story about this in Hindu scriptures. The Asuras or the demons snatched the Vedas, the holy books of the Hindus, and went deep inside the sea. At this point, Vishnu changed his form. He became a matsya, that is, a fish. He entered the sea and brought back the Vedas. There is another story of recreation of human kind after the pralaya, where the sage Manu put all the vedas and other important things in a boat and Vishnu took that to safety.

Read the whole story of Matasya Avatar here.

Kurma avatar – Lord Vishnu

Here Vishnu took the form of a Turtle (kurma) and then goes the story of the samudra manthan or the churning of the ocean. He provided the base which helped in churning of the ocean. There is another story that when Demons got hold of Amrit, Vishnu helped the gods again in form of Mohini. One Demon had drank some Amrit, Whom Vishnu has cut into two. Thus Rahu and Ketu have been born.

Read the complete story of Kurma avatar.

Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu takes the form of a Boar(varaha). Here the Lord kills the demon Hiranyaksha and saves earth.

Read the full story of Varaha Avatar.

Narsingh avatar of Lord Vishnu

Here the lord takes the form of half man and half beast. He assumes the form of lion headed man and proves how the little boy Prahlad was a true devotee.

Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu

Here the lord incarnates himself as a dwarf priest to restore Indra’s authority over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the demon king Bali and liberates the Asura king Bali.
The detailed story of all avatars can be found here.
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Categories
Children stories Indian Mythology Mahabharat The Ramayana

Interesting birth stories from Indian mythology

Birth of Rama, Pandavas, Jarasandh and others

Indian or hindu mythology talk about interesting stories of  births as well. We find instances where great characters came to earth in different way. One common way is that eating dessert or fruit results in birth of a child.
We find this once in the period of The Ramayana and once in the period of Mahabharata.

Birth of Rama (An incarnation of Vishnu Dashavatar)

Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya, has three queens but he was deprived of children. He resorted to penance and after a dedicated worship and havana, messenger of Brahma offered him divine dessert, which was supposed to give sons to Dasharatha. He distributed the dessert to his queens and they soon became pregnant and later became the proud mothers of Ram, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan. This is how, one of the dashavatars of Vishnu, Rama was born.

Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god

 

Birth of Jarasandh

Jarasandha was the king of Magadha.  Jarasandh’s father has done severe penance to get a son.  His father got a Magical mango from a sage. It was told that the his queen will get pregnant upon eating the fruit. He distributed the fruit in two halves and gave each half to his two wives. Both delivered a half of a baby , born dead.The king ordered the two halves to be thrown. A demon called Jara was wandering nearby and she noticed the pieces and joined them into one. The baby came alive. It was named as Jarasandh in the honour of the rakshasi. The boy became a very strong man. He defeated and captured 86 kings and kept them prisoner, intending to execute all of them in a sacrifice, once the number reached hundred. This will make him invincible and the ruler of world. For the success of Rajasooya yagya, Krishna, Arjuna and Bheema, went to him disguised as Brahmins and asked him to choose one of them to fight him. He rejected Shri Krishna saying that he was of inferior birth. He also denied Arjuna for a fight because he thought he was a child. He chose Bheema as he appeared suitable for a fight. The fight lasted a long time, thirteen days. Finally, acting upon Krishna’s advise, Bheema tore Jarasandha into two pieces, and tossed the pieces (cut lengthwise) facing opposite directions. This is how Jarasandha was killed in the same way he was born. Thus, as a result of killing of ruler of Magadh, Jarasandh, the path of
Rajsooya yagya was cleared. Yudhishthira later completed the Rajsooya yagya. This story is from the times of Mahabharata.

 

Birth of Drona

Drona was born in a vessel. Sage Bhardwaj produced reproductive fluid after seeing an apsara Ghritachi. He preserved this is a vessel (droon). Drona was thus developed from this fluid. Drona would later boast that he had sprung from Bharadwaja without ever having been in a womb. Even Drona’s wife, Kripi, was gestated outside a womb. Kripi and her brother Kripacharya were the children of the great archer, Shardwan. Indra felt threatened by him and sent an apsara to lose his control over his brahmacharya, thus saving his throne. This story is again from the times of Mahabharata.

Drona and Dhrishtdyumna – Mahabharat

 

Birth of Kauravas

Few people know that Kauravas birth was unnatural as well. Gandhari longed for hundred sons, and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. She was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a
hundred and one pieces, and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl, Dushala.

Gandhari and Kauravas – birth – Mahabharat – Indian Mythology

 

Birth of Karna and Pandavas

Kunti was the mother of first three pandavas. When she was young, the sage Durvasa told her a mantra with which Kunti could summon any deva and have a child by him. When Kunti asked why he gave her this mantra, he told her that it would be useful to her later in life. Kunti, out of curiosity tried the mantra before her marriage and became the mother of  Karna. She had to let her son go and he was brought up by Adhirath.

Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away

Later, after marriage, she bore three more sons and shared the mantra with Madri, who became the mother of Nakula and Sahdev.

Pandavas and Draupadi

Categories
Children stories Temple

Akshardham temple- A fabulous creation

Akshardham Mandir


Swaminarayan Temple Akshardham, is the world’s biggest and the most beautiful creation I have ever seen. This is situated in Delhi, India. A fabulous temple which is built with a combination of marble stone, sand stone and wood. This temple is spread over ground covering 86,342 square feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high.

Akshardham Temple (Mandir)

 

The Akshrdham temple is built to ancient standard without using any steel and as such is designed to last 1000 years. The intricate nature of carving both inside and outside is stunning. This building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami maharaj, the spiritual head of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.

Wall design – external

The ornate external wall. In the last 800 years this is the only and largest, intricately carved wall (mandovar) in India with dimensions of 611ft x 31ft. It comprises 200 sculptured stone figures of India’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine incarnations.
This temple consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities.
The Gajendra Pith is a unique, captivating feature of Swaminarayan Akshardham mandir. It pays tribute to elephants, symbolizing the entire animal kingdom. Sculptured according to the ancient shilpa shastras of India it is ornately carved in pinkstone, stretching for 1,070 ft and featuring stories and legends of elephants with nature, man and God. Every panel reflects the messages of social harmony, peace and spiritual faith. The Gajendra Pith, weighing 3,000 tons, has 148 full-sized elephants, 42 birds and animals, 125 human sculptures and decorative stone back drops of trees, creepers and royal palaces.

 

This is the circumambulatory path (parikrama), in the temple is made of red stone from Rajasthan, consisting of 1,152 pillars, 145 windows and 154 samvaran shikhars; amounting to a total of 53,956 stones. It surrounds Akshardham like a beautiful decorative garland. Every window and gallery in the lower parikrama provides different views and insights to Akshardham mandir. You can hear the soothing sound of water issuing from the 108 Gaumukhs. The soft chanting of the holy names of God permeates the parikrama, giving an experience of peace and divinity. The two-tiered parikrama is the first of its kind in India which is present at Akshardham.

There are 108 gaumukh at Akshardham from which you can hear soothing sound of water while moving in circumambulatory path(parikrama).
This is view of garden. This is a special lotus of auspicious sentiments. , every petal inspires with messages from internationally renowned personages about faith in God and faith in man. Lush lawns, gardens and exquisite bronze statues of India’s child gems, valorous warriors, national figures and great women personalities inspire visitors with values and national pride.
This is Yagnapurush Kund which is a fascinating combination of a Vedic yagna kund and a musical fountain. It is the world’s largest yagna kund measuring 300′ X 300′ with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines. In its center lies an 8-petaled lotus shaped yagna kund designed according to the Jayaakhya Samhita of the Panchratra scripture. Its perfect geometric forms testify to ancient India’s advanced knowledge in mathematics and geometry which is follwed at Akshardham.
At night the center comes to life with a colorful musical water fountain that echoes the Vedic sentiments of India.
In the inner sanctum lies the 11 feet high beautiful and divine murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the murtis of Guru Parampara, namely, Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj; where every sincere prayer is answered. One can also have the darshan of the deities of Sanatan Dharma: Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Lakshmi-Narayan, Shri Shiv-Parvati, avatars and twenty-four Chaturvyuh or Keshav murtis of God.
The magnificent beauty of temple at night. This temple building covers 32 acres area, 11,000 people worked on its construction and it was completed in just 5 years. It receives 100,000 visitors a week and 850 volunteers work their daily. The Akshardham temple is surely a gem of its times.