Thursday, 17 November 2016

Avatars of Lord Vishnu - Narasimha Avatar Part 3

Sage Narada remembered the conversation he witnessed between Lord Indra and Lord Vishnu at Vaikuntha. When the heat generated by Hiranyakashipu's penence made Indra's throne shake, Indra ran to Lord Brahma to stop Lord Brahma from giving a boon to Hiranyakashipu.

When Brahma disappeared to talk to Hiranyakashipu, Lord Indra ran to Vaikunta. When he was telling Lord Vishnu about how Brahma rejected his request, Lord Agni came running. He said "Oh! Devendra.. what are you doing? This is not the time to make small talk.. all of us are doomed, Brahma has gone to grant Hiranyakashipu his wish. On the other hand I came to know Hiranyakashipu's wife is carrying his heir.. a son. If this son is born then the asuras will become super powerful and we will be doomed.  The son of Hiranyakashipu will be a great warrior"

Lord Indra became very scared and dropped on his feet. He addressed the devas assembled and said "We have a bigger threat now than Hiranyakashipu, Let us kill the child in the womb of the mother". The devas were stunned on hearing such words coming from Indra's mouth.

Devarishi Brihaspati said "Oh! Lord Indra, have you gone mad. What are you talking? How can you stoop to such a level to safe guard your throne?"
Some of the devas started supporting Devarishi Brihaspati and the others agreed with Lord Indra.

This started a bitter argument between the two groups. Lord Vishnu, got up from his seat and stepped in between the arguing devas. He told Indra "Hey Indra, stop arguing. You have come to me asking for my protection, it is yours. Now go back to Indra Loka and leave the rest to me".

Indra got upset when he heard Lord Vishnu's scolding. He shook his head and started back towards deva loka. He felt dejected that Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu both did not take his side. He felt Lord Vishnu went one step further and sided with Devarshi Brihaspati. He was boiling with anger when he reached Amaravathi. He decided to take the matters in his hands and thought of attacking the asura Loka.

In the mean while, Lord Vishnu called Sage Narada and told him to immediately walk towards Asura Loka and told "Hey Narada, I want you to ensure Kayadu comes to your ashram at her own will". Narada was surprised at the Lord's request. He asked "Bhagawan! what is this strange request?". Lord Vishnu smiled and said "You will see" and disappeared.

Narada remembered this, and smiled to himself. He started back to his ashram with Kayadu in tow.
Once they reached the ashram, Narada told Kayadu "My daughter, you are safe here, you can stay here comfortably till the time you need. "

He handed her over to the wifes of the other rishis in the ashram. Kayadu was very grateful. She started helping the other ladies by doing various chores. In the evening, Sage Narada would talk to her and tell her stories of his travels.


(Picture source: Google)

As the months progressed, and the child in her womb began to grow, she started becoming very tired. Listening to the sermons by Narada used to bring her peace and most of the times she used to slip into sleep.

One day, Sage Narada was talking about his travels and he started telling a story of Lord Vishnu. After some time, he realised that Kayadu had fallen asleep, but he could still hear a sound responding to his stories. He was surprised, and when he closed his eyes to sense if there was anyone nearby, he realised the sound is coming from Kayadu's stomach.

The baby inside was listening to the story of Lord Vishnu. Narada was overjoyed, he now understood why Lord Vishnu wanted him to take Kayadu to his ashram.

With more enthusiasm, Sage Narada started telling more about Lord Vishnu, about the dharma, about the 5 senses, about the world outside our senses, our purpose in life, Moksha to Kayadu, the unborn child in her womb started listening to these stories.

As the days passed Kayadu forgot most of the things that Narada told to her, but the child in her womb remembered each and every word and started building an unbreakable faith in Lord Vishnu.


 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Avatars of Lord Vishnu - Narasimha Avatar Part 2

When Brahma disappeared, Indra became very scared. He started thinking what he should do to stay the king of devaloka. He suddenly realised while Hiranyakashipu is doing penance in the forest, there is no one looking after his kingdom. And the Asuras are not very powerful without their king.

He started thinking "Ah! why didn't I think of this before. The Asuraloka is without any king now. If I attack now, I can easily kill and defeat the asuras. Once I destroy them, even if Hiranyakashipu comes back, he will be powerless against me!"

He immediately gathered his army of devas around and attacked the kingdom of asuras. The asuras without their great king were no match for the devas. The asuras were defeated an Lord Indra and his army drove them away from their kingdom.

Lord Indra marched into the city and beaming with pride walked into the palace in search of Hiranyakashipu's family. In the royal palace he found Kayadu, the wife of Hiranyakashipu. Indra becomes very happy and thinks "I will make her my prisoner. If Hiranyakasipu comes back, I will be able to use her as a hostage". Indra started dragging Kayadu away from the palace and towards Amaravti, the palace of lord Indra.

Kayadu started crying loudly and repeatedly requested Indra to release her. Indra forcibly pushed her into his chariot and started driving towards Amaravathi.

Suddenly he heard a voice yelling "Oh! Indra.. god of the devas.. what are you doing! STOP dragging the woman".

Indra stopped the chariot and turnred to see who was calling him. He was surprised to see an angry Narada walking to him. Indra bowed to Narada and asked "Sir, what happened? Why are you so angry? This is Kayadu, wife of Hiranyakashipu. I attacked the asuras and have defeated them. She is my prisoner now. I am taking her to Amaravathi. I will use her as hostage in case Hiranyakashipu comes back and attacks us the devas."

Sage Narada turned further red with anger. He screamed at Indra "Oh! Devendra, have you lost your mind? you have won the battle, do you think stealing another man's wife and hurting her makes you a veerpurush? Did she raise any weapon against you, did she attack your people? Look at her, she is an innocent. Hurting her and taking her forcibly is a great sin"

Indra said "But she is my enemy's wife. I will take her as a war hostage. Please move Sage Narada, I am going home with my prisoner"

Sage Narada said "What is wrong with you. I will not tolerate this injustice. If required I will fight with you to save Kayadu. Leave her with me and go to Amaravathi and celebrate your victory". Indra in the end relented and left Kayadu in the middle of the ruins of the capital city and went to Amaravathi.

Sage Narada rushed to Kayadu's side and lifted from the ground. He said "Are you alright my daughter? Here come along, sit ounder this tree and take some rest. Indra has gone and you are safe now here with me"

Kayadu closed her eyes till she stopped trembling, she fell on Sage Narada's feet and said "Thank you maha muni, you saved my life. I do not know what I would have done if Indra had managed to take me to Amaravati. I am Hiranyakashipu's wife and this Indra attacked us when my husband is away from the kingdom.. Thank you for saving me from the savage. You not only saved my life, saved the life of my unborn child too". She started crying out loud and fell on Narada's feet.

Narada lifted Kayadu and said "Oh! my daughter, you need to control yourself, such grief and anger is not good for the health of your unborn child. You do not fret, you can come with me and stay with me in my ashram till your husband returns. You will be safe in my ashram".

Kayadu lifted her head and thought to herself.. "Oh! what do I do now. My asuras have fled the kingdom and my kingdom is in ruins. There is no one who can help us now.. If I stay here, Indra might come back and kill me.". She drew a shuddering breath and told Narada "O mahamuni.. please take me to your ashram, I will come with you"

Narada lifted his head towards vaikunta and smiled and thought "O Lord Vishnu, I cannot wait to see what your plan is!!" and said to Kayadu " Come my daughter let us go". So it began!

Friday, 25 March 2016

Avatars of Lord Vishnu - Narasimha Avatar Part 1

After Varaha avatara.. here is the story of how Lord Vishnu came as Narasimha to kill the other brother Vijaya who was born as HiranyaKashipu.

Jaya and Vijaya were born as sons of Sage Kashyapa and his wife Diti. After Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Vishnu in his Varaha avatara, Hiranyakashipu become the king  of asuras. He was burning with the desire to defeat the Devas and in turn kill Lord Vishnu. He realised every time he attacks the Devas, they are saved by Lord Vishnu, so needed a boon to increase his power and defeat the Devas.

He left his pregnant wife in the care of his ministers and left to the jungle to perform penance and worship Lord Brahma. He thought " I will worship Lord Brahma and ask for a boon which will make me immortal and give me supreme powers to defeat and Kill Lord Vishnu".

Indra came to know Hiranyakashipu's wife Kayadu is carrying a child, he felt this would be right time to attack the kingdom of Asuras and take Kayadu as hostage.

Indra led his army of devas to the kingdom of Asuras and attacked them.  After a fierce battle, the kingless Asuras fled the Kingdom. Indra marched into the palace of Kayadu and started dragging her away to his kingdom Amaravthi.

Kayadu prayed Lord Indra for mercy and begged him release her taking pity on her condition. Indra was relentless. Just then, Sage Narada appeared before Indra and asked him "Hey Indra, what is this? who is this poor lady and why are you dragging her away?".

Indra said "Oh! Muni, I have just now defeated the asuras, I am taking their Queen as my prisoner. I will use her as a hostage in case Hiranyakashipu attack us later.. I will use her to distract him and will kill Hiranyakashipu"

Narada got super angry when he heard this.. He shouted at Indra "Hey Indra, What is wrong with you? You are the king of devas, How can you stoop to this level and hurt an innocent woman? She has not fought you, she has not lifted any weapons against you. So why are you behaving like a Asura yourself? Just to win a battle.. how can you use another man's wife? She is pure and innocent, taking her hostage would be a great sin against mankind....Leave her be and go back to your kingdom and enjoy your victory"

Indra looked angrily at the sage and threw Kayadu out of the chariot and took his men and went back to devaloka.

Narada ran to the weeping Kayadu and asked "Daughter, are you all right?" and lifted her from the ground.

Kayadu fell on Narada's feet and said "Oh great sage, I am wife of Hiranyakashipu. Thank you sir for saving my life and my child's life. Thank you for saving me from Indra, If he had managed to kidnap me, I would have killed him and killed myself. I cannot think of betraying my husband.. Please help me, if you leave me here Indra will come back again and try to kidnap me, I do not have the strength to fight him now."

Sage Narada said "Calm down child, it is ok now, you are carring a child, getting angry at this time is not good for you and for your child. Come with me to my ashram, you can rest there without any fear till your husband comes back for you.

Narada smiled, he realised now why Lord Vishnu had asked him to intervene and stop Indra from taking Kayadu to Devaloka. He thought "Oh! antaryami.. your game plan is masterful"

He started travelling to his Ashram, on the way to pass time he started singing the stories of Lord Vishnu. After they reached the ashram, Kayadu quickly got adjusted to the life of the ashram as she started feeling she is safe there. Every evening Narada used to tell stories of Lord Vishnu, the child in her womb used to love these stories and developed an unbreaking attachment to Lord Vishnu,

On the other had, there was Hiranyakashipu who was performing a very difficult penance in the Jungle, he had stopped eating and drinking and was standing on one foot and was praying lord Brahma, when Brahma did not appear infront of him, he stopped inhaling Air and continued his penance. The heat generated from this started reaching to deva loka, the people on the earth could not bear the heat and started crying for mercy.

Indra sent his beautiful Apsaras - Ramba, Urvashi and Menaka to break the Asura's penance. But alas it was of no use. He sent Vayu, who blew everything around Hiranyakashipu with huge gusts of Air and created wind which blew away the trees around the place where Hiranyakashipu was chanting to Lord Brahma. Then Indra sent Varuna, the rain god to break the penence. Varuna created heavy downpour of rain, which created floods and washed away everything around the Asura. Even this did not break the meditation. Hiranyakashipu was so deep in his meditation that creepers had grown around him.

The devas could not bear the heat caused by the chantings of Hiranyakashipu, they ran to Brahma and asked him to help them. Brahma said "Oh Devas, I cannot help you, I am bound by Hiranyakashipu's devotion, I have to go to him now". Saying this Brahma vanished from Brahma loka.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Avataras of Lord Vishnu – Varaha Part 2

Jaya and Vijaya were aghast, Jaya said “Oh! Lord.. we are not worried about being born as humans but but…” they wailed. “How can we stay away from you?  Without seeing you everyday..” chocked Jaya.

Lord Vishnu smiled at Jaya and Vijaya, he was touched by their devotion. He said “Oh Jaya and Vijaya, I a touched by your devotion, I might not be able to remove the curse but I can give you an option.. you can take seven births on earth as my devotees and then come back to me or you can take 3 births as my enemies…”

Jaya and Vijaya’s heart sank when Lord Vishnu said seven births, but when Lord Vishnu said 3 births, they looked up with hope in their eyes.. Jaya asked “Oh! Lord.. enemies.. what do you mean by your enemies!!! How can we be your enemies and not like you! What sort of option is this!!”

Lord Vishnu smiled and said “yes as my enemies who will meet their demise at my hands.. and then after the three births you will rejoin me here at Vaikunta… tell me what option do you choose”
Jaya and Vijaya immediately fell on the Lord’s feet and said “Oh! Great one.. we will be born three times, we cannot think of being separated from you for 7 births.”

Lord Vishnu smiled and said “So be it.. you will be born as my enemies on earth and all three times I will incarnate and kill you. Do not worry, as my enemies you will think more about me than what you are thinking now!! Now go your destiny awaits!”

After this, Jaya and Vijaya were born on earth as two terrifying Rakshasas who were avid haters of Lord Vishnu – Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha

When they were born on earth, the earth trembled with fear. True to their nature, the Rakshas terrified the humans, spoiled the homas and havanas being performed by the Sages and sin increased on earth.

The sin on earth increased soo much that bhoodevi – mother earth trembled and ran to Lord Vishnu for protection. The two brothers grew into young men, Hiranyaksha was a great devotee of Lord Brahma, and like all Rakshasas hated Lord Vishnu. He performed great penance to Lord Brahma and was granted a boon. According to the boon, no God, human, Daitya or Asura would be able to kill him. Drunk on the power of the boon, he started attacking Rishis and torturing humans and terrifying the devas. His power grew day by day. Mother earth trembled when he walked and the sky split open when he shouted.

He invaded deva loka and challenged Indra to come out and fight him. The devas knew about his boon and ran from deva loka to the earth and hid in the caves and forests. Hiranyaksha realized that the power the devas get is due to the offerings done by humans and sages during homas and havanas.

He decided that if he has to defeat the devas and rule the heaven he has to make them weaker. He took mother earth and hid her in patal loka.

The remaining devas ran to Lord Brahma, “Oh Brahma help us.. this is not right.. we are not able to find bhoodevi, we do not know what has happenend to Indra and the others. Help us!!”. Brahma realized that this is the work of Hiranyaksha. He told the devas “Oh devas, this is the work of Hiranyaksha.. he has become very strong due to my boon.. I cannot help you.. we need to Lord Vishnu to save us from this mess”. He started praying to Lord Vishnu.

While he was praying, a tiny boar fell from left nostril. The devas jumped back in surprise, the boar grew in size till it became the size of a mountain. It turned towards the devas and said “Do not worry, I am here and will rescue mother earth and put her back”. The devas and Brahma realized it is Lord Vishnu himself in front of them.

The Boar jumped from Brahma loka to Patal Loka. He saw Mother earth. In the mean time, Hiranyaksha saw Lord Varuna and challenged him to a fight. Varuna realsied in his current form he would not be able to defeat the Rakshasha. He said “Oh mighty ASura, see how old I hae become.. I am not a worthy opponent to one who is as strong as you.. you should fight Lord Vishnu..”. Hearing the name of Lord Vishnu, Hiranyaksha wanted to fight him..

He saw Narada muni and asked him the whereabouts of Lord Vishnu.. Narada smiled and said “Oh! King of Rakshashas.. don’t you know.. Vishnu has gone to Patala Loka to rescue Bhoodevi”. Hiranyaksha let out a roar the ran to confront Lord Vishnu.

Meanwhile Lord Vishnu, as Varaha lifted Mother Earth in its tusk and started raising up to put the earth back on its axis. Hiranyaksha rushed at the Boar roaring in anger. He said “You imposter, I conquered the earth, how can you steal her from me. Come and fight me for her”. The Boar ignored him and continued to raise faster, the earth seeing Hiranyaksha started trembling, Lord Vishnu put the earth back on her axis.

He then turned back to confront Hiranyaksha. At this Brahma whispered in Lord Vishnu’s ears.. “oh! Vishnu, it is just one hour to sunset, Hiranyaksha is very well versed in the art of black magic, you need to finish him before the sun sets.”. Hearing this the Boar attacked Hiranyaksha and after a fierce battle Lord Vishnu in his Varaha Avatar killed Hiranyaksha

 

Avataras of Lord Vishnu – Varaha Part 1

We have completed the stories of Matysa and Kurma Avataras of Lord Vishnu, now we come to Varaha avatara. This is the third avatara of Lord Vishnu. In order to tell you about the Varaha avatar I need to take you back to the beginning and start with the story of Jaya and Vijaya.

Do you know who are Jaya and Vijaya? No.. ok let me tell you.. They are the door keepers of Vaikunta, the home of Lord Vishnu. Vaikunta has 7 doors and the door keepers stand at the outer most door guarding it. They loved Lord Vishnu and felt honoured that they have this great job of guarding the Lord’s house. The job of screening the visitors who came to see Lord Vishnu fell on the door keeper’s and they took their job very seriously. Looking at the number of visitors coming to see the Lord, Jaya one day told Vijaya “O, Jaya.. this is not fair.. look at the number of people still waiting to see the Lord! Lord Vishnu has not had a single minute to rest today” and they used to feel bad as this used to happen every day.

One morning, Lord Vishnu was resting with goddess Lakshmi, Jaya and Vijaya saw 4 children (muni Kumaras) come towards Vaikunta. Jaya told Vijaya, “O Vijaya, look here come 4 children, our Lord is resting inside, what work could these children have with our Lord! “. Vijaya said “Children… yes they are 4 children, this is a very rare sight at Vaikunta… I have no idea what these children might want with our Lord.. as our beloved lord is resting we should not allow these children inside and wake up the lord. Let us send the children away and ask them to come some other time to visit the Lord”.

The Children approached the door and the youngest one said “Oh! Guards, we are here to see Lord Viishnu, please open the doors and let us go inside”.

Vijaya looked at the kids and said, “Go away!! Lord Vishnu is resting. He has had a very busy day yesterday. He needs his rest, his time is very precious, he cannot be bothered by children.. go and play somewhere else”

The eldest of the muni kumara’s spluttered in anger “CHILDREN!!! Whom are you calling children.. don’t you know who we are!!”

Jaya and Vijaya thought that these might be devas or rishis in disguise, trying to play a prank on them.. Jaya addressed the muni Kumaras and said “Please do not be angry.. we meant no disrespect, Lord is resting and as his dwarapalakas we cannot allow you inside.. please go and come back some other time”.

The muni kumaras became very angry when they heard this, the eldest child looked at the guards venomously and said “Oh! Jaya and Vijaya, you have become arrogant because you are guarding the sacred place, the house of Lord Vishnu. Do you atleast know who we are? I am Sanaka, these are Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara..”

Jaya suddenly reaslised that he is looking at the four Kumaras. The sons of Lord Brahma.. He got very scared and kneeled before the 4 Muni Kumaras and said “O kumaras, please forgive our ignorance, We apologise for our behavior. Please forgive us, we were unable to recognize you.. and committed this grave sin of stopping you from entering into Vaikunta..”

However the four Kumaras were not appeased,and said “My brother was correct, you closed the door of Vaikunta and prevented the Lord’s devotes from meeting him. When the Lord is always available to us, who are you to stop us from seeing him..You were insolent and so proud!! You need to be taught a lesson for your rudeness…”

Jaya and Vijaya looked terrified and fell on the feet of the Kumaras and begged for mercy. The Kumaras cursed Jaya and Vijaya saying “You will not be gods anymore, so you will not be able to stay here and guard the gates of Vaikunta, you will be born as human mortals for eternity”

Meanwhile Vishnu heard the raised voices coming from the gates and walked out to see what is happening, he saw the 4 Kumaras, the sons of Lord Brahma and also saw Jaya and Vijaya begging for mercy. He came to the gates just in time to hear the curse.

Jaya and Vijaya were dumbstruck at the turn of events.. silent tears streaked down their faces. When they saw Lord Vishnu at the gates, they ran to him and fell on his feet and cried “O Lord Vishnu.. save us…”. They were so terrified they could speak. Lord Vishnu raised them and said “Jaya, Vijaya.. get up. I know what has happened. There is no need to explain anything. I saw what happened here”

He then turned towards the Kumaras and smiled at them and said “O Kumaras, sons of Lord Brahma, please come in”. The Kumaras bowed to Lord Vishnu and said “O Lord, we wanted to visit you and your gaterkeepers were rude enough to prevent us.. your devotees from visiting you!”

Lord Vishnu looked at the Kumaras and then at his gatekeepers and said “Oh Kumaras, please forgive Jaya and Vijaya, they thought I was tired and wanted me to rest.”. But the Kumaras, were not in forgiving mood, they told Vishnu “Oh Lord, we were insulted.. Jaya and Vijaya need to be thought a lesson for being insolent, so the curse stands” saying this they walked away from Vaikunta.

(image courtesy: The Indian Mythology)
 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Avataras of Lord Vishnu - Kurma Part 4

After Lord Vishnu married Goddess Lakshmi, the asuras and devas continued to churn the ocean. This continued for many days, the ocean threw up many precious stones and rare jewels but there was no sign of Amrutha. The Devas were getting tired by this time and went to Indra to complain about this and said "Oh! Indra we cannot do this anymore, we are tired, we do not have any strength left in us". Indra remembered the words of Lord Vishnu and encouraged the devas to try once more.

When the asuras were about to give up out came Dhanvantri, who became the physician of devas with the pot of Amritha. The asuras left the head of vasuki and ran to Dhanvantri. The gave a roar and grabbed the port from him. The devas were tired, Indra struggled up to Bali and said "Oh King, this is not fair, we both worked hard for Amritha. We should get out share". Bali pushed Indra aside and Indra fell down. He laughed at Indra and said "Are you mad? you are our arch enemy why would we share out Amritha with you?" HE called to his supporters and asked them to sit down so that he can distribute the Amritha.

Indra was feeling very weak, he cried "Oh! Vishnu, Please help. If Asuras have the Amritha then all of us will be killed. you are our saviour.. please come and protect us"

Suddenly there was pin drop silence, Indra opened his eyes and looked up. He saw a beautiful women standing before him. He had seen beautiful women before, but this lady was unbelievable. He could not take his eyes off her. The lady gave Indra a smile and started walking towards the asuras. The asuras saw her and were captivated by her beauty. Bali approached her with Amritha in his hand and asked her "Oh my beautiful lady, who are you?". She turned towards Bali and smiled. The smile stopped Bali in his tracks, the smile made him forget everything. The lady opened her mouth and said in a melodious voice - "I am Mohini". She smiled again and asked Bali "who are you?". Bali got this urge to show off infront of her, so he said "Oh Mohini, I am the might Bali, king of asuras. we have just defeated the devas and have got our hands on the precious Amritha." saying this he waved the pot of amritha at her. He said "do you want to join us?"

Mohini laughed melodiously and said "Oh! no O king, I do not need it, let me help you in distributing it to your people". Bali handed over the pot of Amritha to her without a word. Mohini looked at the devas and said, "Oh who are these people?". Bali looked a the devas with contempt and told Mohini "Do not worry about them my beautiful, they are not worth your notice" and went on to narrate what devas were doing here.

Mohini shook her head and said "Oh king, this is not right. If you are in this together atleast let them sit with you while I distribute this". Bali did not like what he was hearing but one look at Mohini's face made him think again. He looked at the asuras, they were staring at Mohini without blinking their eyes. So he told "If that is what you want my beautiful ,then it is what we will do". Mohini told the asuras to sit in one line and made the devas sit in front of them. She started serving the devas amritha first smiling sweetly at the asuras. Her smile was so mesmerising that the asuras did not realise that she was not serving Amritha to them.

But 2 asuras - Rahu and Ketu realised something fishy was going on. they saw Mohini serving Amritha only to the devas and not serving any to asuras, they ran quickly over to the devas line and sat next to surya and chandra. Mohini did not realise they were asuras and served them Amritha.  Surya and Chandra saw this and shouted "Stop! they are not devas". Rahu and ketu had already drank the Amritha, Mohini lifted her hand and there was Sudharshana chakra. She threw it at Rahu and Ketu preventing them from swallowing the nectar. Devas gulped down the Amritha when they saw it was Lord Vishnu who once again saved them in the form of Mohini.

Once the devas drank Amritha, they could feel the energy and vigour returning. Amritha overcame the effects of Sage Dhurvasa's curse. They realised they are immortal. Bali realised he was bewitched by Mohini, pounced on the devas. The devas filled with vigour trounced the asuras and chased them away.

As Rahu and Ketu had taken Amritha, their heads became immortal. It is believed, that Rahu and Ketu attack the Sun and Moon as they told Mohini that they were asuras, this causes the solar and lunar eclipses


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Avataras of Lord Vishnu - Kurma - Part 3

Now we have the Mount Mandara on Vishnu's back with Vasuki coiled around him, the devas with the tail and asuras with head started churning the ocean.  Do you remember in the last part we saw the asuras pushing the devas to the tail of vasuki and they holding the head. When they started pulling on Vasuki he started spitting out smoke.

The smoke was soo powerful that it started burning the asuras holding the head very badly. Indra suddenly realised the warning of Vishnu. Bali saw this and realised Indra had tricked them. But he could not do anything as they had decided to hold the head of vasuki while churning the ocean.

They continued churning for hours together. Halahal - the ultimate poison was the first thing that came out of the ocean. It spread on top of mount mandara like a mushroom head. It started growing the if the cloud of poisin was not stopped it threatened to finish off the whole world. Indra fell on his feet and prayed Lord Shiva "Oh Lord Shiva, help us, please save us from this destruction". The Asuras and devas had stopped churning the ocean and were coughing and crying due to the sting of the posion.

Shiva heard the prayers and immediately came to their rescue. He saw the building cloud of halahal and realised he had to act quickly before it destroyed the universe. He sucked the halahal into his palm and swallowed it in one gulp even when he realised that the poison could kill him. Parvati who was standing next to Shiva, screamed Nooooo, she quickly held Shiva's throat with her Palm. Jaganmate Parvathi stopped the poison at Shivas throat. The Poison was soo powerful that it turned Shiva's throat Blue. Since that day Shiva is called Neelakantha.

The devas and asuras thanked Lord Shiva and Parvathi. Then they continued to churn the ocean. The ocean started throwing up things from its centre. These were distributed among devas, asuras and Lord Vishnu.

First came Chandra, the moon. As Lord Shiva had saved the devas and asuras by drinking Halahal, the asuras and devas gifted it to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva wore Chandra as his hair Ornament.
Parijata - This is a celestial tree which gives never fading blooms with divine scent. Indra took this to devaloka.
Apsaras beautiful nymphs - Rambe, urvashi, Menaka emerged from the ocean and they choose the devas as their consorts
Varuni or Sura - the goddess of wine was taken by Asuras.
Airavata and all the elephants was taken by Devas
Uchhaishravas, the divine 7-headed horse – given to the demons.
Kamadhenu the divine cow which would grant all you ask was taken by Vishnu, and given to sages so ghee from her milk could be used in sacrifices.
Kaustubha, the most valuable jewel in the world, worn by lord Vishnu.
Sharanga, A powerful bow – symbolic of the demon’s belligerence.

Then Came Goddess Lakshmi. She was so beautiful that the asuras and devas stopped churning and sat staring at her. In order to gain her attention they produced a chair, a few devas got fans and started plying them. The asuras got fruits and drinks for her. The apsaras danced for her. In those days a swyamwara was held for any woman who anted to marry. A garland was handed to the lady and she could choose her husband.

A beautiful garland was handed to Goddess Lakshmi. All the devas and asuras stood in front of her and prayed that he would be the lucky person who would marry her. The goddess searched each face and moved on, finally her eyes settled on Lord Vishnu. She walks up to him and puts the garland around his neck. She is the goddess of wealth and he the god of preservation. The devas sensed that goddess Lakshmi was the incarnation of Jaganmathe and she became the wife of Lord Vishnu's wife - his centre of power and strength.

Like this Lord Vishnu and Godddess Lakshmi were married in the middle of Samudra Manthana.