Karna, the great warrior was supreme human being, yet people wonder why he did not get his due. Following story will help in understanding this.
Death of Karna
As Arjuna was in possession of Gandiva, Karna was also in possession of an equally strong bow called Vijaya. It was said that the person having this weapon could not be defeated in battle field. Then how did Karna die?
Parshurama blessed Karna with the Vijaya along with other celestial weapons. Karna used the Vijaya bow only once in his life, on the 17th day Kurukshetra war, when he was fighting against Arjuna (who was using the Gandiva).
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Karna was also known by the name Vijaydhari meaning ‘wielder of the Vijaya bow‘.
Knowing Karna’s might, Krishna on the 17th day warned Arjuna, called Karna that he can even defeat him if Arjuna did not fight with full vigour.
With this bow Karna macthed Arjuna on the 17th day of the Kurukshetra war. Karna cut the strings of Arjuna bow many times but Arjuna could not do any harm to Karna. Realizing that Karna with the Vijaya bow is superior to Arjuna, Lord Krishna advised him to kill unarmed Karna against the rules of engagement of the war, who had relinquished his bow and was busy trying to lift his sunken chariot wheel.
Arjuna killing Karna
The story of Vijaya bow
Vijaya or Vijaya Dhanush was said to give sure victory to the possessor. Parshuram gave Vijaya to his student Karna, who was a great archer, making him virtually invincible. Lord Krishna advised Arjuna to kill Karna knowing that Karna was impossible to defeat with this weapon in his possession.
Karna – the Vijayadhari
The bow Vijaya was specially made by Vishwakarma for Lord Shiva to destroy the city of Tripura built by sons of Tarakasura. Lord Shiva destroyed Tripura by firing Pashupatastra from Vijaya.
Later, Lord Siva gave this bow for safekeeping to Lord Indra, who frequently wielded the bow in his fights with the Asuras. The Asuras feared the bow due to its destructive abilities.
Lord Shiva instructed Indra to give the bow to Parshuram for the task of killing all the kshatriyas in the world. With this bow, Parshuram killed all kshatriyas in the world 21 times.
From Parshuram, it came to Karna.
More stories on Karna:
There is an interesting story of how Gandiva was acquired by Arjuna. Arjuna helped Lord Agni to cure the indigestion caused by a yagna conducted by King Swetaki.
Lord Agni asked Varuna, who was in possession of Gandiva in exchange of annihilation of Khandava forest. He also gave Lord Krishna the mace Kaumodaki and the discus named Chakrayudha. Varuna also offered Arjuna the bow Gandiva, two inexhaustible quivers, a chariot made by Viswakarma that had Hanuman in its banner, and white steeds that were born in the region of Gandharvas. It was the same chariot in which Soma (Chandra) had earlier vanquished the Danavas.
Ballaleshwar Temple is located in village of Pali, in Raigarh district of Maharashtra. This is the only temple of Lord Ganesha which is famous by the name of his devotee. This temple is one among the eight temples of Lord Ganesha. This temple is to be visited after Siddhivinayak Temple by the devotees who are doing Ashtavinayak yatra.
The original temple was made of wood, which was later renovated in 1760. It is built in shape of Shree and is made by mixing lead with cement during construction.
The idol of Ganesha in this temple is in sitting position with its trunk turned left. Idol has diamond in eyes and naval. Statues of Goddess Riddhi and Siddhi is on either side of Ganesha waving chamras (hand fan). The statue of Ganesha is east facing and i placed such that during sunrise and sunset sun rays falls directly on the statue.
The temple has two sanctum one outer and inner. Outer sanctum has a statue of rat holding modak and facing Ganesha. Main hall has 8 pillars resembling cypress tree.
It’s a devotional story of a small boy Ballala.
Ballala was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha. He spent most of his time worshipping and influencing other friends to do so. Parents of other children were not very happy with this they though Ballala was misleading their children so they asked Ballala’s to restrain him.
One day Ballala was performing a special puja and invited all his friends. The puja went on for several days and devoted children refused to go to home before completion of puja. This annoyed the parents they complained to ballala’s father about this.
Furious father, Kalyan seth went to the place were puja was being performed. He threw the Ganesha idol in forest and beat Ballala severely. Though Balallam was tired and injured but still continued chanting the name of Ganesha. Pleased with the devotion of the little boy Ganesha appeared before .Little boy Ballalla requested him to take abode at his village.
Ganesha said that he will also be known by his name, hence he is known as Ballaleshwar.
The stone statue which Ballalla’s father threw on ground is known as Dhundi Vinayak.
Today also this Swayambhu Murti is worshipped before Ballaleshwar.
- Mahaganpati – Lord Ganesha – Ashtavinayak temple
- Vighneshwar Temple – Ashtavinayak – Lord Ganesha
- Girijatmaj temple – Lord Ganesha Ashtavinayak
- Chintamani – Ashtavinayak – Lord Ganesha
- Varada Vinayak – Ashtavinayak temple of Lord Ganesha
- Ballaleshwar Temple – Abode of Lord Ganesha
- Siddhivinayak – Lord Ganesha Temple
Many of us do not know that Lord Krishna brought back the six sons of Devki (seventh and eighth being Balrama and himself) for a brief reunion. Names of these six sons are Smara, Udgitha, Parishvanga, Patanga, Kshudrabhrit and Ghrini.
These six sons were earlier grand sons of Hiranyakashyap and they were living under a curse.
Read other facts about Lord Krishna here:
Pongal is celebrated for four days
The Bhogi festival, celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, the god of rain, is the first day of Pongal. Lord Indra is responsible for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land. Also referred to as Bhogi Mantalu, on this day, it has been a tradition to clean the household. Useless items are disposed of by way of creating a bonfire into which they are thrown. This implies getting rid of all the negative elements that create negative energy and making room for positive energy in the house.
Thai Pongal is the second day of the festival, being the most important one. In addition to rice, jaggery and milk, the ingredients of Pongal dish include cardamom, raisins, Green gram (split), and cashew nuts. Cooking is done in sunlight, usually in a porch or courtyard, as the dish is dedicated to the Sun god, Surya. Pongal is cooked during the auspicious time in a decorated pot, preferably earthen pot with turmeric plants tied around it. In some places, pongal is cooked in the open part of the house under sunlight, usually in a porch or courtyard, as the dish is dedicated to the Sun god, Surya. In some places in the villages, mass cooking is done at the appointed time with devotion in the open near the temple by the women.
The cooked pongal is offered first to the Sun and other deities, then only family members an d others partake of it along with side dishes.
Urvashi and Pururva lived sixty thousand years together. Before coming with him, she put forth three conditions, violating which she would leave him. These three conditions were:
1. Two sheep would always remain close to her bed. If by any chance , the sheep is not there, she would return to heaven.
2. She would never see the king naked.
3. She would be served ghee as her food.
Gandharvas planned to have her go back to heaven. The whole story is here:
Believe it or not, there is a very scientific reason behind flying kites on the eve of ‘Sankranti’. In the olden times, the event of flying the kite was done in the early hours and it was believed that the exposure had health benefits. The sun’s rays was believed to help fight infections and skin diseases and keep us healthy through.
The name Makar Sankranti: There is a reason behind why this festival is called by this name. ‘Makara’ means Capricorn which is a zodiac sign and ‘Sankranti’ means sun’s movement from one sign to another. So if we club it together, it means sun’s movement towards Capricorn.
One festival, different names:As mentioned above, Makar Sankranti is observed across India with varied names like in Tamil Nadu it is called Pongal, West Bengal ‘Poush Sankrati’, Assam ‘Bhogali Bihu’, Gujrat calls in’Uttarayan’, Parts of Haryana and Himachal call it by’Maghi’. But at the end the meaning remains the same, a festival which largely celebrates the crop harvest of the season.
More interesting facts (Surya and Shani, Bhagirath) on this festival can be found here: