When Lord Vishnu borrowed from Lord Kubera

Marriage of Padmavati and Lord

The interesting story of how and why Lord Vishnu has to borrow

 Yes, this is true, not only he had to borrow, but he is still in debt. In Indian mythology, there is an interesting story of Lord Vishnu borrowing from Lord Kubera.

Sage Bhrigu getting angry

It happened that Sage Bhrigu was once entrusted with the task of selecting the most deserving god from the trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh for a particular offering. Bhrigu visited Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva and did not find them suitable. When he visited Lord Vishnu, he found that Lord was resting with his consort Laxmi. Seeing this, Sage Bhrigu got enraged and hit Lord Vishnu on his chest with his foot.

Sage Bhrigu angry with Lord Vishnu
Sage Bhrigu angry with Lord Vishnu

 

Laxmi leaves Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu immediately understood his mistake and he apologized sage. Sage realized that Lord Vishnu is the most deserving deity out of all these. But Goddess Laxmi got angry with this behaviour as Lord Vishnu’s chest was her abode. She left Lord Vishnu and went to earth. Lord Vishnu searched for her but could not find.

He is reborn on earth

Then Lord Vishnu took birth by the name of Srinivasa as the son of Vakula Devi. Vakula Devi was an incarnation of Mata Yashoda. She was Lord Krishna’s foster-mother and was unhappy in that life for not seeing his marriage. She received a boon from Krishna, and was reborn as Vakula Devi. Laxmi also took birth in the form of Padmavati.

 Goddess Laxmi also reborn on earth

Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and once she met Saint Narada. He told that she was destined to be the spouse of Lord Vishnu himself. In due course, Lord Srinivasa on a hunting trip was chasing a wild elephant in the forest.

 

The marriage is fixed

The elephant led him into a garden where Princess Padmavati and her maids were present .The sight of the elephant frightened them and their Princess. When Lord Srinivasa appeared in front of the Elephant, it immediately turned round, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa noticed princess Padmavati and enquired about her from her maids. He soon developed a desire to marry Padmavati and told this to Vakula Devi, along with his identity of Lord Vishnu.

 Soon, Vakula Devi approaches the father of Padmavati with the proposal to marry her son, Lord Srinivasa. Her father, a king himself agreed and his advisor Bhrihaspati wrote the invitation for the wedding between the two avatars.

 Lord Vishnu borrows from Kubera

Lord Srinivasa called for a conference of the Gods to win their consent for His marriage with Princess Padmavati. He obtained a heavy loan from Lord Kubera, god of wealth in Hindu Mythology towards expenses for the wedding as well as provide proof of his wealth. He agreed to Kubera that his loan will be repaid by the end of Kaliyuga with interest. So, when a devotee presents and offering at Balaji temple, he tries to help Lord in his quest of repayment of the loan and he is never sent back empty handed. Sage Bhrigu was also pardoned by Devi Laxmi.

 

Marriage of Padmavati and Lord
Marriage of Padmavati and Lord

Lord Venkatesh

Soon Mahalaxmi descended from heaven and when she discovered that Lord has remarried, she was horrified. On seeing her, Lord becomes a stone. Later on, this stone was recovered and the site became the temple of Lord Venkatesheara. This site is associated with Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu, and there is a varaha shrine, which holds great importance in Tirupati.

The intent behind this whole story is that Lord Vishnu wanted Tirumala hills as his abode in Kaliyuga and to help the humankind. He is adorned with Mahalaxmi and Padmavati.

Why Lord Vishnu is also known as Murari

Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu – The Murari

Lord Vishnu is also known as Murari. There is an interesting story behind this because as usual, he came to the rescue of Devtas when they were deeply troubled by someone. Lets read this article to find out why he is called Murari.

Sage Kashyap had an ambitious son

Many years ago, sage Kashyap had a son named Mura. He discovered that demon generally tended to be beaten by Gods. He therefore decided to perform difficult tapasya so that he might become strong. For several years he prayed to Lord Brahma. Finally, Brahma was pleased with his tapasya and granted him a boon. Mura wished that a person in battlefield should immediately die if he touches him with his hand irrespective of him being immortal.

Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu

He observed penance for a boon

With this amazing boon Mura became invincible. Once Mura attacked heaven and challenged Indra. Indra has no desire to fight with a person who has amazing powers. But Mura told him to fight or run away from heaven. Indra accordingly left the heaven.

He invades Yama’s empire

Mura invaded Yama’s city. Yama knew that the demon was invincible and he had no desire to be killed. He therefore climbed on to his buffalo and fled to Vishnu.Vishnu told Yama to send Mura to him.  Yama told Mura that vishnu is waiting for him on the shores of ocean known as Kshiroda. Mura went there.

Lord Vishnu advises Yama to send the demon to him

Vishnu asked what do you want Mura. He replied I wish to have fight with you. Vishnu replied if you want to fight with me why is your heart trembling so much. I can’t fight with a person whose heart trembles so much. Are you frightened ?

The demon is tricked by Lord Vishnu

Mura placed his hand on his chest to check if Vishnu’s word were indeed true. And thanks to Brahma’s boon, he fell down and died immediately. Vishnu chopped up the dead body with his chakra.

Vishnu and Mura
Vishnu and Mura

The word Ari means enemy and because Vishnu was Mura enemy , he was also known as MURARI.

Ambarish and Durvasa – when the hunter became hunted

Sudarshan Chakra chasing Durvasa

Lord Durvasa is known for his curses. But there were times, when he was helpless before the power of a humble of follower of Lord Vishnu. One such instance was of Ambarisha. The full story goes as:

Ambarisha was a king and he was deeply into following Lord Vishnu. He and his queen used to observe various fasts over the year. On second day of Ekadashi, Ambarish had to end his fast. On that very day, Sage Durvasa paid a visit to Ambarisha.

That day was Ekadashi. Ambarish was very excited and felt privileged to service Durvasa and he invited him for the lunch. Sage Durvasa, along with his hundred disciples set off to wash themselves.

They took a long time to return and meanwhile the auspicious time of ending the fast was about to be breached. So, though he did not want to, but forced by his priests, Ambarish had to end his fast with a leaf of tulsi in absence of Sage Durvasa.

This opened a whole can of worms. This was discovered by Sage Durvasa and his disciples. Durvasa, who was the second name of anger, said to Ambarish that he will have to suffer for his misdeed and he directed a demoness to kill Ambarish.

Ambarish resigned to his fate with folded hands. But nothing happens to a person, who is helped by the Lord himself. Lord Vishnu sends his sudarshan chakra to safeguard Ambarish.

Durvasa curse to Ambarish
Durvasa curse to Ambarish

Soon, Sudarshan chakra burns the demoness. Now it was turn of Sage Durvasa as the chakra started to move towards Durvasa while spinning furiously. Durvasa realized that something unexpected was happening and his life was in peril. The hunter has become the hunted.

He ran for his dear life, but Sudarshan chakra was equal to the task. Durvasa approached Lord Shiva for a reprieve, but it was beyond his powers to stop the Sudarshan chakra. Durvasa kept running for a year and reached Lord Vishnu. He requested Lord Vishnu to stop the chakra. God replied that Sudarshan chakra returns after doing the assigned job. Durvasa started weeping.

Sudarshan Chakra chasing Durvasa
Sudarshan Chakra chasing Durvasa

Lord Vishnu said that he can be saved only if he is forgiven by Ambarish. Sage Durvasa immediately went to him fell to his feet asking for forgiveness. Here Ambarish was waiting for him without taking food for a year.

He said, ”King of Sages, your falling at my feet is not right.” Durvasa replied, ”Ambarish, you are a true devotee of the Lord. I have insulted you. Please forgive me. Save me from the Sudarshan Chakra.” King Ambarish prayed to the Sudarshan Chakra and said, ”If the love and respect I have for Durvasa at this moment are the same as they were when he first came to my palace, then, Oh Sudarshan Chakra! Please return to the Lord.

After this, Sudarshan chakra returned to Vishnu and Durvasa’s life was saved.

 

The legend of Narada muni or Sage Narada

Narada Muni

Narada muni is the person who is almost available everywhere in mythological texts. Who is he exactly and what is his role? He is the son of Lord Brahma and great devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Narada - The omnipresent sage
Narada – The omnipresent sage

Sage Narada had blessings that he could show up anywhere, anytime and anyplace. He used these blessings and appeared in all yugas (satya, treta and dwapara) from time to time to spread the good word and help the needy. He traversed distant worlds (or planets) but never went anywhere without a purpose. He used to make his purposeful entry by chanting the name of the lord Vishnu (Narayana) and playing a veena (a musical instrument).

It is said that he could not keep any secrets and thus fuelled a lot of controversies as he would reveal secrets a bad time or spreading gossip. Therefore he was often mistaken as a quarrel-monger and a talebearer. His deeds often brought a trouble and friction among gods, demons and men.

Narada had knowledge of all vedas and puranas and he strived for welfare of human being.

Deeds of Narada

Valmiki and Narada

Narada was behind the writing of the Ramayana by sage Valmiki. Apparently he told Valmiki about Lord Rama. Valmiki was looking for a person who was perfect. After Narada told him about Rama, Valmiki saw a hunter killing krounch birds. He wanted to curse the hunter, but a shloka came out of his mouth which became the first lines of the Ramayana.

Parahlada

Prahlada was taught by Narada when he was in his mother, Kudayu’s womb. Thus, he was a devotee of Lord Vishnu even before he was born. Later, Lord Vishnu took Narsingh avatar to kill prahalada’s father, Hiranyakashyap.

Monkeyfaced Sage

Once, Narada became proud and started boasting that he had conquered Kama. Lord Vishnu taught him a lesson. The whole story is available here.

Proud Narada
Proud Narada

Lord Vishnu’s challenge

Narada boasted that he was the most dedicated follower of lord. Vishnu asked him to carry a pot on his head and ensure that not a single drop is wasted. He obediently carried out the task. After this, Lord Vishnu asked what he was thinking when carrying the pot? He replied – of course, I was thinking that pot should be carried carefully. Lord Vishnu smiled and said, then how can you claim that you are the best devotee when you were not thinking about me? Narada learnt his lesson.

Narada and Lord Vishnu's challenge
Narada and Lord Vishnu’s challenge

Inspiration to Dhruva

Dhruva, son of king Uttanpada, was determined to carve out his own place after he was scolded by his stepmother, Suruchi. His mother, Sunita consoled him and asked him not to get distraught, but Dhruva was determined. Sage Narada was pleased with Dhruva and he given him a mantra “Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevay” to chant. Lord Vishnu, happy with Dhruva, awarded him a special place.

Dhruva, Narada and Lord Vishnu
Dhruva, Narada and Lord Vishnu

 

 

The festival of Mahashivaratri

Lord Shiiva and Devi Parvati

Mahashivaratri festival

Lord Shiva, the god of destruction from the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh is worshipped on this festival. This day falls in the month of falgun, fourteenth day of krishna paksha, as per the hindi calendar.

Lord Shiiva and Devi Parvati
Lord Shiiva and Devi Parvati

How puja is performed?

On this day,devotees visit the Shiva temples in their area. They bath in the morning and bring holy water such as gangajaal to bath the Shivalinga. Womens observe this festival for well being of their husband and children. Leaves of bel, Dhatura, Milk are deemed to be favourites of Lord Shiva and devotees bring them to offer to him. Unmarried girls pray and keep fast on this day for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband. The temples are reverberated with words “Har Har Mahadev”. Devotees then take rounds of Shiva linga and then offer gangajal or milk. There  is also the custom of staying awake all night on Shivaratri while chanting the name of Lord Shiva which relates to Neelkanth.

Worship of Lord Shiva
Worship of Lord Shiva

 Legends of Mahashivaratri

A number of legends are associated with this festival. The most important is the legend of Neelkanth on consumption of poison.

Neelkanth – churning of ocean

During the churning of ocean, a pot of poison (halahal) came out of the ocean. This had the potential to destruct the whole universe. Lord Vishnu advised gods to request Lord Shiva to consume the poison.
To save the mankind, Lord Shiva drank the poison after requested by gods. Goddess Parvati pressed her neck to prevent the poison reaching to stomach. Thus, the poison remained in the neck and his neck became blue. Thus the name Neelkanth. In an effort to keep Lord Shiva awake at the night,gods danced and played music. As the day broke out, Lord Shiva, pleased with their devotion blessed them all. Mahashivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.

Neelkanth mahadev
Neelkanth mahadev

According to another legend, Mahashivaratri  is the celebraton of wedding of Lord Shiva with Parvati.

Fair and melas

A number of melas are organized and celebrated in the indian subcontinent. In Nepal, Pashupati Nath temple celebrates Lord Shiva’s birthday with grandeur. At midnight, all the four doors of the main temple of pashupatinath are opened for whole night. Rudra mantra is enchanted  and offerings are given to Lord Shiva. Nepal Army pay homage to Lord pashupatinath by volleys of gun fires at Tundikhel parade ground in Kathmandu.

In Mandi (‘Varanasi of the Hills‘), Himachal pradesh, the Shivaratri fair is celebrated for seven days. About 200 deities are assembled in this holy town. This festival has gained the importance of international festival.

Mandi during Shivaratri fair
Mandi during Shivaratri fair

Pachmarhi hosts Shivaratri mela every year. The religious festival celebrates the wedding of Lord Shiva with Parvati. This is done at Mahadev Temple, nearby Pachmarhi.

 

Wedding of Shiva and Parvati
Wedding of Shiva and Parvati

In 2013 – This festival will be celebrated on 10th March.

 

The story and boon of Tripurasura

Shiva destroying Tripurasura

Tripurasura – The three sons of Tarakasura

Tripurasura were three sons of  Tarakasura. There names were Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha and Viryavana. Tarakasura was killed by Devtas and he instructed his family to ensure that his death was avenged.

The boon of Lord Brahma

With the advise of Shuracharya, the three sons started doing severe penance. Eventually, Lord Brahma got pleased of there penance and asked for a boon. Expectantly, they asked for immortality. Lord Brahma replied that this is against the rules of the nature. So ask me something else. They said – “Grant us the following: Let three forts be made. The first will be of gold, the second of silver and the third of iron. We will live in these forts for a thousand years. These forts built in different worlds shall align once in every 1000 years. This combined fort will be called Tripura. And if anyone can then destroy Tripura with only a single arrow that shall be the death destined for us”.

Tripurasura
Tripurasura

Three forts of Gold, Silver and Iron

Brahma granted this boon to them. There was a demon named Maya who was very entrusted to build the three forts. The golden fort was built in heaven, the silver one in the sky and the iron one on earth. Tarakaksha got the golden fort, Viryavana the silver and Vidyunmali the iron fort. All forts were as large as a city and had many palaces and vimanas (space vehicles) inside. The demons started living in the three forts and began to flourish.  They were following the things written in scriptures. As usual, Devas did not like this. They went to Lord Shiva for help but returned empty handed as demons were doing nothing wrong. God then reached out to Lord Vishnu.

Lord Vishnu and Arihant

Lord Vishnu knew that the Tripurasuras could not be killed till they remain Virtuous and religious.  He then created an entity from his body who had no hairs on his head. He had worn dirty clothes and a bag was hanging down his shoulder. He also had a broom in his head. The entity asked lord Vishnu about the purpose of his existence and his name. Lord Vishnu told him that his name was Arihan. He also instructed him to create a scripture which stresses upon the importance of action (Karmavad) and which is different from the rituals explained in the Vedas. Lord Vishnu specifically instructed him to keep the language of that scripture as simple and degenerated as possible. Lord Vishnu then preached Arihan on the science of illusion which stressed that the heaven or the hell does not exist anywhere else, but on this earth itself.

Sage Narada accepts new religion

Lord Vishnu instructed Arihan to get Tripurasuras initiated into with this philosophy so that the demon-brothers become irreligious. Vishnu ordered Arihan to make his residence in a desert with his disciples. The being did as he had been asked to. He and four of his disciples went to a forest that was near Tripura and began to preach. They were trained by Vishnu himself.  Therefore, their teachings were convincing and they had many converts. Even the sage Narada got confused and was converted. In fact, it was Narada who carried news of this wonderful new religion to king Vidyunmati. King, he said, there is a wonderful new teacher with a wonderful new religion. I have never heard before. I have got converted.

Narada and Lord Vishnu
Narada and Lord Vishnu

Since the great sage Narada had been converted. Vidyunmati also accepted the new religiqon, and in due course, so did Tarakaksha and Viryavana. The demons gave up revering the Vedas, they stopped worshipping Shiva’s linga.

Lord Shiva and killing of Tripurasura

Now the time was ripe of killing of Tripurasura, since they have now deviated from the good path. Once again, devas requested Mahadev to kill these demons. Lord Shiva acceded to this request. Lord Shiva called Vishvakarma and asked him to make a suitable chariot, bow and arrow. The chariot was made entirely out of gold. Brahma himself became the charioteer and the chariot was speedly driven towards Tripura. The gods accompanied Shiva with diverse weapons.

  1. Prithvi(Earth) was the chariot
  2. Sun and Moon was the wheels
  3. Bramha was the charioteer
  4. Meru was the bow and
  5. Vishnu was the arrow.
Shiva destroying Tripurasura
Shiva destroying Tripurasura

By then a thousand years had passed so that the three forts had become a single Tripura. Shiva installed a divine weapon known as pashupatastra (the arrow of pashupati- another name given to Lord Shiva ) into his arrow and shot it at Tripura. The arrow burnt up Tripura into ashes in a split second. So, all gods of the trinity were involved with Tripurasura. Lord Brahma gave a boon, Lord Vishnu thought of a way to neutralize them and finally, Lord Shiva destroyed them.