At the beginning of universe, there was ocean all around. Vishnu lay on Sheshnag in deep slumber under the influence of Yog Nidra. While Vishnu slept a lotus stalk grew out of his navel. At the upper end of the stalk was a lotus flower. Brahma was born in the lotus flower and was in deep meditation at the time of his birth. At the same time when Brahma was in deep meditation in the lotus flower reciting the Vedas, ear wax flowed out of both ears of Vishnu and two Asuras known as Madhu and Kaitabh were born out of the ear wax.
There names are Madhu and Kaitabh. Both performed great penance for thousands of years. The Goddess was pleased with their devotion, appeared before them and granted them the boon that death would come to them only when they desired it. By the knowledge of their immense strength, both the asuras became arrogant. They attacked Brahma and stole away from him the four Vedas. Brahma though furious, was helpless in the before the Asuras. Hence he rushed in great consternation to Vishnu to seek his protection.
Vishnu, however, was in deep sleep under the influence of yog nidra and did not wake up inspite of the best efforts of Brahma. When Brahma realised that he could not wake up Vishnu in the normal course as he was sleeping under the influence of Yog Nidra. He then beseeched and praised ‘Yoga Nidra to help him awaken Vishnu. . The fervent prayers of Brahma pleased Yog Nidra. She took pity on Brahma’s plight and left Vishnu’s body. When yog nidra left lord Vishnu’s body, he woke up. Brahma told him about the malicious intent of Madhu and Kaitabh and requested him to destroy them. Thus Lord Vishnu engaged in a fierce and long battle with the two Asuras at the end of which he killed them.Both asuras have expressed the desire that they wanted to die at a place where nobody died before. Vishnu promptly killed them by mashing them on his thighs.
In the episode of Madhu and Kaitabh, Goddess Durga has been portrayed as the ‘Yoga Nidra’ whose powerful influence renders even Lord Vishnu helpless.
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.
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
Dashavatar is ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In Indian mythology, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiv) are symbols of creator, saviour and destroyer. Whenever there is a decline of religion and a rise of irreligion, Vishnu incarnates himself to protect the good, to destroy the wicked, and to re-establish religious principles. The famous ten incarnations of Vishnu are collectively called Dashavatar. The first four appeared in Satya Yuga. The next three appeared in Treta yuga, eighth incarnation in Dwapara yuga and ninth appeared in Kalyuga. The tenth incarnation is predicted to appear at the end of Kalyuga.
Ten avatars of Vishnu are :
1. Matsya – The fish
2. Kurma – The Tortoise
3. Varaha – The Boar
4. Narasimha – Half lion and half man
5. Vamana – The dwarf
6. Parashurama – The warrior
7. Sri Rama – The king
8. Sri Krishna – The cowherd
9. Buddha – The Teacher
10. Kalki – The Slayer
1. Matsya avatar The fish incarnation is the first incarnation of Vishnu. One day Brahma was sleeping, Hayagriva stole the holy vedas from under Brahma’s head. He then ran and hide in the depth of ocean. Brahma had to read the holy books to create universe. Since he was unable to do so he approached Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu took the form of a fish and dived into the ocean to get back the vedas. After a fierce battle with the demon Vishnu was successful in bringing back vedas.
2. Kurma avatar Once during samudra manthan or great churning of sea by the Gods and the demons. This churning was to bring out the ‘amrita’ from the depth of ocean to help regain power and immortality. The huge mountain Mandara was used as a pole for churning of water, but as churning continued mountain began to descend into the sea. Then Vishnu incarnated himself into a huge tortoise and placed the mountain on his back then churning began and this time it continued smoothly.
3. Varaha avatar There was a demon named Hiranyaksha He was granted a boon by Brahma that no God or demon or man or beast would ever kill him. One day he snatched the earth and took it with him under the ocean. All Gods rushed to Vishnu for help. Vishnu remembered that Brahma has forgotten to grant Hiranyaksha immortality against varaha – the two tusked wild boar. Vishnu changed himself into a varaha and dived into ocean, after a fierce battle he killed Hiranyaksha ans brought back earth from the depth of ocean.
4. Narasimha avatar In satya yuga there was a wicked king named Hiranyakashyap. He prayed to Lord Brahma for immortality. He requested that neither at day nor at night could any God, demon man or beast could ever kill him. He also prayed that no instrument or weapon could ever destroy him. Impressed by his devotion Brahma granted him the boon. Hiranyakshyap then banned worship of God. But his son Prahlad was a devotee of Vishnu. This enraged Hiranyakashyapand he decided to kill Prahlad. After many unsuccessful attempts one evening he ordered his men to tie Prahlad to a pillar and behead him. However Vishnu took the form of Narasimha a creature that was half lion and half human, he came out of the pillar. He comes upon Hiranyakashyap at twilight (neither day nor night), on the threshold of courtyard (neither indoor nor outdoor), he put the demon on his thioghs (neither earth nor space) using his sharp nails (neither weapon nor instrument) he tore Hiranyakashyap’s chest apart and killed him.
5. Vamana avatar In Treta yuga Vishnu incarnated into a dwarf or vamana. Bali, grandson of Prahlad was a famous demon. By leading a austere life he had acquired the powers to rule the earth. Indra and other God got feared that someday Bali would conquer everything and defeat them so they asked Vishnu for help. Vishnu decided to be born in a household of a poor Brahmin one day he went to Bali and asked for alms. Seeing this young boy, Bali agreed to give anything the dwarf asked for. Vamana asked for entire land that would come under 3 steps. Bali agreed. The dwarf then grew in size and covered earth and heaven in two steps. Then he asked Bali where can he put his third steps. Bali reallised vamana was Vishnu incarnation and his pride was broken he offered his head for third step. Vishnu then blessed him and send him to neither world.
6. Parashuram Parashuram was the sixth incarnation of Vishnu had a violent temper. He was a master archer and desciple of Shiva. Vishnu appeared as parashuram in Tetrayuga to destroy warrior caste. When the king of the earth became despotic and started to harm people and saint in the forest. Vishnu incarnated as Parashuram and destroyed all the kings who were harassing people. Jamdagni a brahmin sage was Parashuram’s father, he had a divine cow kamadhenu. There was a king name Kartavirya arjuna (sahasrarjuna) has thousand arms. Once he and his army visited Jamdagni and demanded the magical cow kamdhenu but JAmadangi refused because he needed cow for his religious ceremonies, king forcible took the cow and devastated ashram. Angered at this Parashuram killed entire army and king after cutting his each hand. As a revenge king’s son killed Jamadagniin Parashuram’s absence. Furious at his father’s murder Parashuram killed all sons of Sahasrajuna. His thirst for revenge unquenched and he went on killing every adult kshatriya on earth not once but 21 times and filling 5 pond with blood. Ultimately his grandfther appeared and stopped him.
7. Rama Rama who was prince and king of Ayodhya was 7th incarnation of Vishnu that appeared in Tetra yuga. Lord Rama defeated and killed the king of srilanka, Ravana for capturing and imprisoning his wife Sita in Ashok garden in Srilanka.
8. Krishna In 8th incarnation Vishnu appeared in Dwapara yuga as Krishna. He is one of the most common worshipped deity in Hindu faith. Krishna killed Kansa and played a huge role in the battle of kurukshetra. He helped pandavas to defeat kauravas. Krishna is a significant character in mahabharat. He delivered Bhagwat Gita on battlefield to Arjun. Krishna is known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life.
9. Buddha Vishnu in his 9th incarnation appeared as mahavir buddha in Kalyuga to teach the lesson of following a middle path in life. Buddha means the ‘enlightened one’. he thought that all sorrow comes from attachment and desire so its better to curb all attachment in order to be happy.
Here are 108 names of Goddess durga with its meaning
Deity Durga is the supreme force who came to fight Mahisasura. Mahisasura had conquered the devas and even Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva could not defeat him. Unable to tolerate his tyranny the gods plead with Vishnu to annihilate the demon. The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara (Shiva) come together to create a powerful female form with ten arms – Goddess Durga or ‘Mahamaya’. Then they armed the devi with individual blessings and weapons. Thus armed with powers of gods, the devi has defeated Mahisasura. Hindu’s celebrate this festival as Navratri which culminates on Vijaydashmi.
Durga —The Inaccessible
Devi— The Diety
Tribhuvaneshwari —Goddess of The Three Worlds
Yashodagarba —Sambhoota Emerging From Yashoda’s Womb
Narayanavarapriya —Fond of Narayana’s Boons
Nandagopakulajata —Daughter Of The Nandagopa Race
Kulavardhini —Developer Of The Race
Kamsavidravanakari— Threatened Kamsa
Asurakshayamkari— Reducer Of The Number Of Demons
Shilathata Vinikshibda —At Birth,Slammed By Kamsa
Akashagamini —Flew In The Sky
Vasudevabhagini —Sister Of Vasudeva
Divamalya Vibhooshita— Adorned With Beautiful Garlands
Divyambaradhara —Beautifully Robed
Khadgaketaka Dharini —Holder Of Sword And Shield
Papadharini —Bearer Of Others’ Sins
Varada— Granter Of Boons
Krishna —Sister Of Krishna
Kumari —Young Girl
Brahmacharini— Seeker Of Brahman
Balarkasadrushakara— Like The Rising Sun
Purnachandra Nibhanana— Beautiful Like The Full Moon
Peenashroni Payodhara —-Large Bosomed
Mayoora Pichhavalaya—- Wearer Of Peacock-Feathered Bangles
Keyurangadadharini —-Bejewelled With Armlets And Bracelets
Krishnachhavisama—- Like Krishna’s Radiance
Sankarshanasamanana —-Equal To Sankarshana
Indradhwaja Samabahudharini —-With Shoulders Like Indra’s Flag
Kanttadhara—- Holder of Shiva’s Neck
Pashadharini —-Holder Of Rope
Dhanurdharini—- Holder Of Bow
Mahachakradharini —-Holder Of Chakra
Vividayudhadhara —-Bearer Of Various Weapons
Kundalapurnakarna Vibhooshita—- Wearer Of Earrings Covering The Ears
Chandravispardimukha —-Beautiful Like The Moon
Mukutavirajita —-Shining With Crown Adorned
Shikhipichhadwaja Virajita —-Having Peacock-Feathered Flag
Kaumaravratadhara—- Observer Of Fasts Like Young Girls Do
Tridivabhavayirtri —-Goddess Of The Three Worlds
Tridashapujita —-The Goddess Of The Celestials
Trailokyarakshini—- Protector Of The Three Worlds
Mahishasuranashini—- Destroyer Of Mahisha
Surashreshtta —-Supreme Among The Celestials
Shiva —-Shiva’s Half
Sangramajayaprada—- Granter Of Victory In The War
Vindhyavasini`—- Resident Of The Vindhyas
Kali —-Goddess Of Death
Mahakali —-Wife Of Mahakala
Seedupriya —-Fond Of Drinks
Mamsapriya—- Fond Of Flesh
Pashupriya —-Fond Of All Beings
Bhootanushruta —-Well-Wisher Of Bhootaganas
Kamacharini —-Acting On One’s Own Accord
Papaharini —-Destroyer Of Sins
Hri—- Holy Chant Of Hymns
Santati —-Granter Of Issues
Jyotsana —-Radiant Like Flames
Khama —-Embodiment Of Forgiveness
Bandhananashini—- Detacher Of Attachments
Mohanashini —-Destroyer Of Desires
Putrapamrityunashini —-Sustainer Of Son’s Untimely Death
Dhanakshayanashini —-Controller Of Wealth Decrease
Vyadhinashini —-Vanquisher Of Ailments
Mruthyunashini —-Destroyer Of Death
Bhayanashini —-Remover Of Fear
Padmapatrakshi—- Eyes Like The Lotus Leaf
Durga —-Remover Of Distress
Sharanya —-Granter Of Refuge
Bhaktavatsala—- Lover Of Devotees
Saukhyada —-Bestower Of Well-Being
Arogyada —-Granter Of Good Health
Rajyada—- Bestower Of Kingdom
Ayurda —-Granter Of Longevity
Vapurda —-Granter Of Beautiful Appearance
Sutada —-Granter Of Issues
Pravasarakshika —-Protector Of Travellers
Nagararakshika —-Protector Of Land
Sangramarakshika —-Protector Of Wars
Shatrusankata Rakshika —-Protector From Distress Caused By Foes
Ataviduhkhandhara Rakshika—- Protector From Ignorance And Distress
Sagaragirirakshika —-Protector Of Seas And Hills
Sarvakaryasiddhi Pradayika —-Granter Of Success In All Attempts