Tag Archives: Mohini

Bhasmasura and Mohini

Lord Vishnu’s eleventh avatar

 Lord Vishnu’s eleventh avatar

The dashavatara’s for Lord Vishnu are widely written and discussed, but there is one more aspect of Lord Vishnu, which has helped the gods. Perhaps, this is the reason, this aspect is not treated as an incarnation, because the dashavatars have helped human beings and this particular aspect has helped gods (or Devtaas).

You must be wondering what is being talked about. Time to do away with suspense. The name is Mohini. Yes, Indeed, the female form which Lord Vishnu have resorted a few times to save gods.

Churning of Ocean / Samudra Manthan

The first incident is during the churning of ocean. Many a things have been received from the ocean as a result of churning. Finally, Dhanvantari appeared with a pot of amrit, the heavenly nectar of immortality. This caused a great fight between Devas and Asuras.   To protect the nectar from Asuras, the divine Garuda took the pot, and flew away from the battle-scene.

While Garuda was in his flight over planet Earth, it is believed that four drops of nectar fell at four places – Prayag (Allahabad),Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. This legend is the basis for the belief that these places acquired a certain mystical power and spirituality. A Kumbh Mela is celebrated at the four places every twelve years for this reason. People believe that after bathing there during the Kumbh mela, one can get the primeval heaven and moksha(sanskrit:mokṣha).

churning of ocean - Mohini

churning of ocean – Mohini

Lord Vishnu appeared as a beautiful woman mohini and enchanted the asuras. She got hold of the nectar and started to distribute to Devas while keeping the asuras emchanted. This was noticed by Rahu and he also got hold of the nectar. This was duly notified to Lord Vishnu by Sun and Moon, and Lord ensured that Rahu’s head was cut by his discus. Read the full story of Rahu and Ketu here.

Bhasmasura, Lord Shiva and Mohini

Bhasmasura was an asura, who was driven by ambition to be the most powerful Asura ever. He saw the other Asuras and decided that he would perform severe penance to win the favour of Lord Shiva and become powerful.
So Bhasmasura prayed for a long time. Shiva became pleased and asked him to ask for a boon. Bhasmasur asked for immortality, but Shiva said that he did not have the power to grant him immortality. He then asked – [quote]My Lord if I touch anybody’s head, they should be reduced to ashes[/quote]
Lord Shiva granted this wish and realized the mistake immediately, when Bhasmasura wanted to test the powers on lord itself. This resulted in Lord Shiva fleeing from the spot while Bhasmasura on his heels.
Bhasmasura and Mohini

Bhasmasura and Mohini

Eventually, Mohini came to rescue. She appeared as a beautiful woman and the demon could not take his eyes off her. Mohini invited him for a dance competition and surely enough, she put a hand on her head as a dance move. Bhasmasura follows, and turned to ashes immediately.

Other legends

Mohini is also known to have helped in killing of Virochana.  The wise asura king Virochana is rewarded a magical crown by the sun-god Surya. The crown shields him against all harm. Mohini enchants Virochana and steals his crown. The demon, thus unprotected, is killed by Vishnu.

Another legend about the demon Araka associates Mohini with Krishna rather than the god himself. The demon Araka had become virtually invincible because of extreme chastity. Krishna takes the form of the beautiful Mohini and marries him. After three days of marriage, Araka’s bonds of chastity are broken, and Krishna kills him in battle.

in Thai version of the Ramayana, the demon Nontok is charmed and killed by Mohini. Nontok misuses a divine weapon given to him by Shiva. Mohini mesmerized Nontok and then attacks him. In his dying moments, the demon Nontok accused Vishnu of foul play saying that Vishnu first seduced him and then attacked him. Vishnu decrees that in his next birth, Nontok will be born as the ten-armed demon Ravana and Vishnu will be a mortal man called Rama. He will then fight him and defeat him.

The legend and significance of Rahu and Ketu

The legend and significance of Rahu and Ketu

According to legend, during the Samudra manthan, Dhanvantari came out with a pot of Amrit and immediately there was a mad scramble for it among the Devatas and Asuras. Seeing this, Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini (a beautiful dancer) and offered her services in distributing the amrit equally to both the Asuras and Devatas.

She made both of them sit in two different rows but she gave the Amrit to the Devatas only. Towards the end, one of the Asuras saw through her trick. He went and sat among the Devatas and drank the Amrit. The moment Chandra (Moon) and Surya (Sun), who were sitting besides him, saw that he was a Asura, they informed Mohini. Lord Vishnu came in his real form and let out the Sudarshan Chakra (wheel) at the Asura. The Asura’s neck was separated from the body, but he did not die as he had drunk the Amrit. His head was called ‘Rahu’ and his torso ‘Ketu’. According to legend, Rahu and Ketu swallowed the moon and sun to have their revenge, causing an eclipse.

Rahu, Ketu, Shani and Hanuman

Hanuman chasing Rahu

During his childhood, Hanuman saw Rahu the dragon making his way to devour the sun and thus cause an eclipse. Thinking him to be a worm, the restless Hanuman dashed towards Rahu and attempted to catch Rahu. Rahu sought shelter in the refuge of Indra, the lord of the skies. Indra picked up his deadly thunderbolt, mounted his white elephant named Airavata and made off in search of Hanuman. As he wanted to restrain his seeming impudence. The clouds rumbled and lightning thundered across the vast skies in an expression of Indra’s wrath. But neither this scary scenario, nor the mightily armed Indra on his high mount, was sufficient enough to induce even a trace of fear in the heart of Hanuman. On the contrary, the spectacle only served to fuel his excitement and mistaking Airavata for a toy, he made a grab for the pachyderm, seized its trunk and leapt on its back. Taken aback by the child’s spirited and playful defiance, Indra stuck at Hanuman with his thunderbolt, and the wound thus inflicted hurtled him speedily down to the earth. His father Vayu immediately sprung to his rescue and caught him in mid air. This incident led Vayu to withdraw air from whole world. Later he was pacified and Hanuman was blessed by a number of gods, including Brahma. Brahma also given him the famous boon of evading even the Brahmastra.

Another legend involving Rahu and Hanuman

On another occasion, during the Ramayana war, Ravana imprisoned the Navagrahas. Hanuman arrived and released them. They were grateful to Hanuman, saying “people devoted to you are blessed by us too.” All the grahas thanked Hanuman individually for releasing them. Thus, it is believed that Rahu’s negative influence will be subdued when one worships Lord Hanuman.

Interesting ritual associated with worship of Rahu

At Vinayaga temple, the idol of Rahu in Rahu-sthalam is given milk abhishekam everyday. When milk falls over the body of Rahu, it turns blue and becomes white once it leaves the body. it is believed that doing  Milk abhishekam(especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam (period of 1and 1/2 hours occurring every day), the malefic effects of Rahu like marriage obstacles, lack of progeny, troubled marital life, Kalasarpa Dhosham, Kalasthra Dhosha, Sarpa Dhosha are all neutralized

 

The complete story of Kurma avatar – Vishnu dashavatara

Kurma Avatar – second Vishnu dashavatara

The second avatar of Dashavatara is Kurma avatar. Kurma means tortoise. Vishnu took the form of turtle to help devas and asuras ( gods and demons). They were churning ocean to receive the gifts from the ocean. Lord VIshnu helped the devas in two counts. First, he acted as base to support the Mount Mandar, which was used as an axis for churning of ocean. Second, as Mohini to take hold of nectar (or amrit). Due to this gods got an upper hand in “Dev Asur sangharsh”.

Kurma avatar belongs to the Satya Yuga and in this avatara Mahavishnu incarnated as a giant turtle to save the earth from destruction. Kurma Avatar of dashavatar is explained mainly in the Bhagavad Purana, Agni Purana and Ramayana. Kurma Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, is said to have been directly stated by Lord Vishnu to the sage Narada, and it contains the details about the Kurma avatar.
Kurma avatar - Dashavatar

Kurma avatar – Dashavatar

Durvasa curse to Indra

Devas grew weaker due to a curse from Durvasa. The demons or asuras, a group of malicious deities in the Hindu mythology, tried to overcome them. A war followed, which continued for long. Despite fighting bravely, devas could not win over the asuras. They asked Lord Vishnu for help.

Advice of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu asked the devas to use Mount Mandara as a churning stick. But, they could not pull up the mountain. On advice of Lord Vishnu, the gods and asuras made a deal to churn the ocean jointly. They pulled the Mount Mandara and used it as a churning stick. Serpent Vasuki was used as a rope. it was pulled first one way and then the other. During churning, Mandara began to sink into the mud at the bottom of the milk ocean. Vishnu took the form of Kurma (second dashavatara), and held the mountain on his broad back.
Vishnu as Mohini

Vishnu as Mohini

As a result of the churning, amrita was obtained which asuras took control of it. Here Vishnu, took the form of a beautiful lady, Mohini. He managed to take the nectar bowl with him and gave it to devas. Thus devas eventually got powerful. Thus, Vishnu helped them once again and took the form of one of the dashavatara.