Here is a collection of stories that I have heard / read while growing up and / or googled now to tell my daughter :)

Hope you / your children enjoy it as much as we did.

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)