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.

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.