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.
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.
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, witness of the minds of all and 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. She pleads to see him 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 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.
Parashar Lake is a lake which gives the feeling of tranquility. This lake is available in Mandi and it is said to be a place of meditation for Sage Parashar. Incidentally Sage Parashar was the person who made Satyavati to emanate a fragrance from her body thus transforming her from Matsyagandha to Satyavati.
Story behind Parashar Lake
It is said that Pandavas were returning from after Mahabharata war with Deity Kamrunag (known as Kamru Valley) to find best place for their teacher, Dev Kamrunag and Deity. He loved the beauty and isolation of this place so much that he decided to stay here for the rest of his life.
On his request, Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers formed the lake by pushing his elbow and forearm on the peak of the mountain. Locals believe that the lake is in the shape of Bheem’s elbow. Hence the region came to be known as Kamru Valley. And the lake is also known as Kamrunag Lake.
Nobody knows the depth of Parashar Lake. Locals say that once they have seen big trees drowning in water due to a storm and that too without leaving a trace on the outer surface.
The unique thing about this lake is that there is a patch of grass which moves from one end to the other end.in the summers it is one end and in winters it touches the other end.
The pujari or the priest of the temple is not a brahmin but a Rajput.
Mythology says that this lake was formed by Pandavas when they were on their way. Many a time in storms an almost 30-meter-tall cedar tree would fall into the lake to disappear.
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।
Jwalamukhi is a famous Shakti Peeth temple in Himachal Pradesh. Devi’s tongue fell here and the idols are Devi as Ambika (Mother) and Shiva as Unmatta (Furious). This is located near Kangra is Himachal Pradesh. From Jalandhar to Jalamukhi by local transport like tanga.
The Temple of Jwalamukhi is an astounding sacred power point – an adventure unto itself. Within Jwalamukhi an archaic sanctuary to the tongue of Kali, the source of the flame of transformation. The sanctuary contains a shallow pool of water. Floating above the water are perpetual, natural-gas-fueled blue flames.
A Foreign Visitor, Mark Roberts comments on Jwalamukhi as under: To be honest, on that first reading of the flames of transformation, my first reaction was, “somebody has been reading H. Ryder Haggard’s SHE one too many times!!”.
However, further research has proven Jwalamukhi to be quite real. It is 34 km. south of Kangra, in Himachal Pradesh ~ bounded by Tibet and the Himalayas to the North East ~ and Jammu & Kashmir to the North West, and the Punjab to the west. It seems probable that Jwalamukhi provided H. Ryder Haggard with the inspiration to write of SHE and her flames of transformation (he worked in India as well as Africa for a number of years).