Swayambhuv Manu's second son Priyavrata was a great devotee to God.
He performed a great service to divine sage, Devarshi
Narada and thereby received ultimate knowledge. He had freed
himself completely from the worldly attachment. His father Swayambhuv Manu,
However, thought that Priyavrata had a very good character and that he should be made
Priyavrata found himself in a
great trouble. He was, if fact, a yogi, who
rejoiced in his self-knowledge. He thought, if he
is engaged in royal duties, he will have no time for his devotion. So, he decided not
to accept the responsibility. Since he thought devotion to God to be the most
important duty, he decided to commit the sin of disobeying the father.
Manu's father Lord Brahma,
however, always has the sole object of increasing
the population of the world. When he saw Priyavrata to be indifferent from
carrying out the obligations of domestic life, he
came to impress upon him. With folded hands everybody greeted Lord Brahma.
Lord Brahma then said to PriyavrataListen
son, I am going to tell you something very important. Listen carefully. Even
myself, your father Manu and Devarshi Narada
are leading lives as desired by God. What are the works that we have to do, the
amount of sufferings that we have to undergo, the amount of fear that we have to receive,
all this is determined by God. As an animal tied with a rope moves, likewise we all are
tied by God's desire. Even if someone abandons the domestic life and proceeds for forest,
the knot still remains. Those, who are knowledgeable or who rejoice in their
self-knowledge, what harm can be done to them by the
Grihasthashram, the domestic stage of life?
So O Son! take shelter in the feet
of God, enjoy the stately pleasures given by God and then having been
unaccompanied fix yourself in your self-form.
`As you please' said Priyavrata
and accepted Lord Brahma's order.
Fixing his attention towards the feet
of God and to honour the order of the elders, Priyavrata started ruling the state. In
spite of being among the worldly pleasures and family, he always remained unattached.
There is another story about
Priyavrata according to which he noticed darkness
over half of the earth. So, he resolved that there should be light all over the earth. He
mounted a glittering chariot and drove it after the
Sun in the speed alike. Due to his devotion towards God, he had been so powerful
that he completed seven Parikramas (circumambulations) of the earth. The
wheels of his chariot made out seven tracks that subsequently became seven oceans and
seven islands. Priyavrata gifted the kingly state
of one island each to his seven sons.
When finally he was fed up enjoying
the worldly pleasures of domestic life he thought`Curse on me! I am still
drawn towards worldly pleasures'. He then abandoned his wives and devoting
himself to the thoughts of God proceeded towards the way described by
Devarshi Narada. Slowly having renounced the world he
fixed himself in his self-form.
Incarnation of lord
Lord Rishabhadev became
incarnate through the womb of King Nabhi's wife Merudevi. King Nabhi named him
as Rishabha (the superior).
Once out of jealousy Indra caused
no rain in his state. Prince Rishabha then, through his yogic powers, caused heavy
rain over his portion of land that was called Ajanabha Warsha. The King was
very pleased with his son. His council of ministers and the people of the state
were also very happy with him and loved him. After his coronation the King proceeded
to Badrikashram where while in worship and adoration of Lord Nar-Narayana
he immersed in Lord.
Lord Rishabhadev chose his
state Ajanabha Warsha as the field of his
activities. First of all he went to a
gurukul and had a better education. After giving
proper guru-dakshina (fee) to his teacher,
he entered grihasthashrama (the domestic
stage of life). He married Jayanti, the daughter
of Devraj Indra. He had hundred sons, of whom the eldest Bharata was most
virtuous and a mahayogi (great ascetic). It was
after his name that Ajanabha Warsha was subsequently called Bharata Warsha.
Of the hundred sons of King
Rishabhadev, the eldest one, Bharata
became the King. Rishabhadev was always joyful and delighted. He inparted the knowledge
of domestic life to his people. Through his appropriate conduct he clearly showed
how the enjoyment of pleasures of peace, love, compassion, religion and children
was possible in the grihasthashrama
(domestic stage of life). Rishabhadev's subjects
were obedient to him. All were well to do and it was happiness and delight all around.
He enthroned his eldest son Bharata
to support and maintain the earth while he
himself became unattached to present
an ideal of knowledge, devotion and asceticism before the supreme souls.
He abandoned property and
wealth completely and did not keep anything for himself. He renounced his family life,
even his attire and became Digamber (naked ascetic). He was Rishabhadev who gave
rise to Jain sect. He renounced even
agnihotra (obtain to sacrificial fire). With
disheveled hair he always kept silent. He roamed around here and there as an ascetic
behaving like an inert, blind, deaf, dumb and
insane. When he wandered in villages, forests, mountains and human habitats he was
teased by foolish people who used to hit him by stones and abuses but he endured all this
and led a peaceful life. He, thus, moved about in a state of being a supreme soul.
When he noted obstacles in his meditation and devotion, he adopted
Ajagar Vritti, which meant that he kept sitting wherever he was. Sitting at one place
he would eat if he got something to eat or
would go without it. He defecated
and urinated also at the same place. Sometimes he even rolled over it. His
excrement, however, emitted sweet smell rather than
a foul one and the area around him was always fragrant.
To teach the ascetics about an ideal
life Rishabhadev used to behave strangely. He had achieved various super-natural
powers. He could assume whatever form he wished, could reach any destination within a
second, yet he did not utilise his powers.
He kept on moving about naked like
an insane in the guise of an ascetic. Once suddenly there was a storm that
caused friction among the bamboos of the forest thereby resulting in a fire and he
submitted his body to the flames and thus ended
the life of Rishabhdevji.
Tale of Bharata
Bharata was an illustrious and
brilliant King. After successfully ruling for many years he renounced everything and
proceeded to forest for worship and adoration of
God. Once after having his bath in the river Gandaki, he was muttering prayers on
its bank when a pregnant doe came there to drink water. While she was drinking
water the roar of a lion was heard. The frightened doe leaped with full force to reach the
other side of the river and in the process her
young fawn fell in the water from her womb. The doe fell down on the other side of the
river and died. Bharata saw the fawn floating in the water. He rushed and saved it.
He brought the baby deer to his Ashram
(abode) and nursed it like a mother.
In course of rearing the baby deer in
his abode Bharata developed an attachment towards it. He was always engrossed in
the thought to arrange for its food and to save
it from the wolves. He used to cut grass
and leaves from the forest and fed it most affectionately.
Thus the fawn was the centre of all
his thoughts and time. He thoughtthis fawn has come to me for protection. Now I
am its all in all. I have got to do everything for it. If I reproach it, it would be the
biggest sin. He was so engaged in the upbringing of the baby deer that he had least time
for worship and adoration. He kept on thinking that it was the act of God that the fawn
had come to him. God willed him to serve Him through the fawn. He considered
the upbringing of the baby to be his devotion. He kept it always in his company so
that it may not be devoured by any wolf or lion. When it leapt here and there to eat
grass Bharata used to lift it over his head and roamed about.
Unending was Bharata's
attachment towards the fawn. Even for a while when the fawn was out of his sight, he would
get bewildered and distressed. He would pray to God`Please save him'. He used to become
so distressed as though the dearest friend
of somebody had died or the riches had been destroyed. Sometimes he used to talk
to himself`How foolish I am that I let it
got out. I do not deserve to be excused.' He used to recollecthow playful was it! When
I would try to sit in meditation, it would distract me by scratching with his
tender horns. Sometimes he would talk to the fawnPrince fawn, where are you?
When will you come and please me?
This way his attachment kept on increasing. Whenever he sat for
meditation the fawn used to titillate him with its
paws. When he prepared for sacrificial ladle, it would take away the flowers and
would thereby make all the materials impure. Bharata, however, considered all these
acts to be its innocence and fondled the fawn. He considered the fawn to be his son
and at times felt that the earth was fortunate enough for his son has placed its feet
on it. Wherever the fawn placed its feet, he considered the land to be the place
for sacrificial rites. This way Bharata was
engrossed in his own empire of
imagination and deviated from the path of
Bhakti (devotion) and Yoga (meditation).
Bharata, who had
considered his own sons to be obstacle in the way
of the ultimate goal and had renounced them was now so attached to the fawn that
even at the time of death his thoughts were centred around him and so in
his reincarnation he received the body of a deer but for the ascetic fervour of his
previous birth the memory of his earlier births persisted. He understood it well that it
was his deviation from devotion and attachment towards the deer that he had got the
body of a deer.
He, therefore, decided to keep
away from worldly attachments. He left his mother doe and came back to the
same Pulah ashram (abode) where he had practised penance in earlier birth and it
was here that he waited for the remaining days of his life to complete. When the end
came he kept half of his body immersed in the river Gandaki, kept on chanting the
name of God and left his body.
In his next life Bharata was born as
a son to a brahmin from Angiras Gotra
(family lineage). Father named him as Bharata. Since he had the memory of his
earlier births, he was not inclined to worldly attachment and kept aloof from his
parents and his own brothers. He was different
from other children. All the while he remembered God and the others considered him to be
a fool, a deaf and dumb. His father, however, had a great affection for his `foolish'
son. He tried to teach him everything but he was not ready to learn at all. The father
thought about teaching him the Gayatri
Mantra (a sacred verse) at least but Bharata could
not properly pronounce `Om' even. The father miserably failed and died when the time
of his death came. Bharata's mother handed over her children to their step-mother
and committed Sati (burnt herself on the
funeral pyre of her husband). Bharata then became care free and
lived like an insane. In fact, he had kept hidden his brilliance. People thought him to be
a fool. They got all sorts of works done by him in exchange of some plain and simple
food yet he remained care-free.
People addressed him as mad, stupid and deaf, but he never felt insulted. He had a healthy
well built body and he remained lying like a bull. People insulted him for his dirty attire
and janeu (sacred thread) but he did not mind.
Thus Bharata was leading his
life. People called him jada (inert) Bharata.
Once a leader of a gang of robbers was worshipping goddess Kali with a desire
to have a son. He resolved to offer human sacrifice to the goddess. They had held
a man for the purpose, who somehow fled away. They were now in search of
another person when they came across stout Bharata. They caught hold and took him for the sacrifice. According to rituals they
bathed, dressed, fed him and tied him with a rope. Bharata did not object. Having done all
this the robbers started dancing on the beats of drums. When they raised the sword to
offer sacrifice, his radiance as though set the
idol of goddess on fire. The goddess appeared and beheaded all the robbers with the
same sword and played with their sculls like a ball. Bharata was free to return home.
Once King Rahugan of Sindhu
Souveer state was going to the abode of sage Kapil in a palanquin. On his way on the bank
of Icchumati river one of the palanquin
carriers became unwell. They were in search for someone to replace him, when they
met healthy and stout Bharata. They entrusted him the work of carrying the
palanquin. Bharata had no objection for any work
but he had never carried a palanquin earlier and so he was unable to match the steps of
other palanquin carriers. Besides, there was another problem. Bharata was very
attentive while on move to avoid crushing any
insect under his feet. So, he jumped whenever he saw an insect, thereby disturbing the
balance of palanquin. Naturally, it caused inconvenience to the king.
The king said to the palanquin
carrierscarry the palanquin properly. Why are
you carrying it like this?
The three palanquin carriers
repliedyour majesty! We are carrying it
properly. It is this new carrier who is not doing so.
The King thought that the fault of
one destroyed the good work of others so it was
necessary to rectify the fault. King
Rahugan then addressed Bharata in most bitter and sarcastic words`O great soul! You
must have got tired as you are singularly carrying the load of palanquin from such a
long distance, besides you are physically frail
and old. It so happens in old age.
Bharata was, in fact, healthy and
young and beside him three more carriers were carrying the palanquin. The king had
said so just to insult him. Bharata, however, remained cool. He had no vanity that
the body was his or that he was the body. He kept on moving as he did without
any change. When the palanquin wavered again the king got enraged and saidAre you
dead or what? You are not listening to my orders. Now you would know what
punishment awaits you for disobeying the King.
The King's anger had least effect
on Bharata, who smiled and repliedO King! your ill words make no difference to
me. If there is load, someone is needed to carry it. Road has importance only when
someone moves on it. Stout or frail, old or young
are the adjectives for the body, not for the soul.
So, these are not for me. Meanwhile,
you said something about my death. I know it well that in this world the birth of
everything has death attached to it. I keep on
being care-free, you cannot alter this state.
Calling me an insane if you try to punish me, it would be a futile attempt like grinding
again the milled flour.
Having heard such knowledgeable
words from Bharata King Rahugan got down from the palanquin, prostrated on his feet
and begged forgivenessO revered brahmin! you have kept yourself hidden. I hope,
you are not the superior Awadhoot (an
ascetic) Lord Dattatreya. I am not afraid of
anyone in this world. I only fear that I should
not insult any brahmin. Kindly forgive me for my ill words. I am going to see the
great sage Kapil. I hope he has not come in your form to test me.
After begging forgiveness from
Bharata, King Rahugan placed his various queries before him. Bharata replied along with
his spiritual instructions.
Thereafter, Bharata thus told his tale
to King RahuganIn my earlier birth I was King Bharata. Having enjoyed all
the worldly and next worldly pleasures I engaged myself in meditation of God.
Even after that during last days of my life I got attached to a fawn and as a result I had
a reincarnation as a deer but due to my devotion to God memory of my earlier
life persisted. Now, having renounced the body of the deer I am born as a
Jad (inert) Bharata. Memory of my earlier births
still persist and so in this birth I do not keep attachment with anyone. It was a
faulty attachment that I squandered a birth. Now, I am leading my life this way and
people consider me inert, fool and insane. What I mean to say is that in the company of
great men we should awaken asceticism in our lives. By speaking and listening about
the Leelas (acts) of God, constant memory
of God persists with the help of which we may easily cross the worldly jungle.
Tale of Ajamil
In Kanyakubj town
lived a brahmin named Ajamil. He had deserted his wife and had spoilt his whole life in
his infatuation for a prostitute. To please her he could commit the gravest of the sins
without caring a bit. He caused various pains to various people to please her and thus
lived for eighty eight years. He had ten sons from that prostitute and named the youngest
of them as Narayana.
Ajamil loved his son Narayana a lot
and all the while he was engrossed in his thoughtshow nice talks my
Narayana; how nice does he play... In this way he
spent most of his time in feeding, bathing,
dressing and taking his child for play etc. and
was least aware that the death was knocking at his door. When the time of his death
finally came, he was still thinking about his son.
At the time of death Ajamil saw
three fearsome messengers of Yama (Lord of Death), who had twisted mouths, long
body hair and noose in hands. The messengers of Yama tied his subtle body with a rope
and readied themselves to separate it from the gross body. Right at that moment out of
utter perplexity he called out his son whom he loved the most. O Narayana! O
The sooner he uttered
from his mouth, the Parshads (attendants) of
the supreme God arrived and noticed that the messengers of Yama were pulling the
subtle body of Ajamil to separate it from the
gross one. They prevented Yama's messengers from doing so.
Yama's messengers askedWho are
you all? Why are you obstructing our work? Don't you know that we are the
messengers of Dharmaraj (Yama)? Where from have you come?
The Parshads of Supreme Lord
Vishnu said to the messengers of YamaIf you
are following the dictates of Dharmaraj, tell us
what is Dharma (the righteousness).
Please also tell how and who is punished? Whoever has committed sins deserves to be
punished or is there any such person who does not have to undergo punishment
despite committing sins? Is there any such rule? Why are you taking Ajamil with you?
The messengers of Yama said that
Ajamil had no sense of ego. He was kind to all, did not speak unnecessarily and ignored
the faults of others. One, who possesses these qualities is considered to be a good person.
How such a good person got
engaged in wrong deeds? The messengers of Yama said that one day, according the orders
of his fathers Ajamil went to forest to collect flowers, leaves and
Kusha (sacred grass). While returning, he saw a prostitute on
way and got involved with her. He even deserted his wife and to please the prostitute
started doing meanest of the works. Now, we have come here to take him to
Yamaraj (Lord of Death), who will send him to the hell
for atonement of his sins.
The attendants of God, the Supreme being, then saidYou all have, in
fact, ruined the dharma. Your decision to
take Ajamil to hell is wrong. O messengers of
Yamaraj! Ajamil has not only atoned the sins that he had committed in this birth
but those of his previous births also. He had uttered the auspicious name of
Supreme God `Narayana'. Matters little if he has
done so in a helpless state. All his sins got
erased, the very moment he uttered the name of `Narayana'. God embraces the one,
who pronounces His name and then cleans all his sins Himself.
So O messengers of Yama! at the
time of death since he had uttered the name of God, all his sins have been washed away
and as such please do not take him along with you. As fuel gets burnt with the contact
of fire knowingly or unknowingly, similarly if some one invokes the name of God,
even if unknowingly, all his sins are destroyed. Even if somebody, who has scant respect
for God, utters the name of God, his sins would be destroyed.
Having heard this from the
Parshads (attendants) of God, the
Yamadoots (messengers of Yama) took out the
noose from the subtle body of Ajamil.
When they came back to Lord
Dharmaraj, they explained the details of the incident to him. Thus Ajamil escaped
the noose of death. His mind and heart became pure and sacred and devotion towards
God got awakened in his inner faculties. He was now repentant`Alas! I have committed
so many misdeeds in my life. In my involvement with a prostitute I have
fathered so many children and have spoilt my qualities. Curse on me! I am a sinner,
but feeling differently with the sight that I have seen just now. I wonder whether it was
a dream or an experience while I was awake. Where have those people disappeared,
who were pulling me having tied the noose! They were taking me to the hell but
four accomplished persons got me released. Although I have committed so many sins
but definitely I might have done some good
Karma (deed) that I could have the sight
of God's attendants. The very recollection of theirs is filling me with joy.
Ajamil thoughtI was so deceitful
and a sinner yet I uttered the sacred name of God that destroyed all my vices and
contented me. Now I will keep clear of evil deeds
and will sing and praise God.
Ajamil renounced his family and
went away to Haridwar, where he practised yoga to keep a control on himself. Then he
had the darshan (sight) of those four
Parshads of God, whom he had seen earlier.
Having their darshan Ajamil gave up his body
on the banks of the Ganges. He became a
Parshad himself and proceeded to
Vaikuntha (heavenly abode of Lord Vishnu) riding
over an aerial vehicle.
Daksha's curse to
Daksha produced ten thousand
sons from his wife Aksini and their name was Haryashwa. Daksha ordered them to
produce children but asked them to perform ascetic fervour before that for which they went
to Narayana-Sarovar, a place of pilgrimage. Great seers, sages and noble souled
persons lived there. The sooner Haryashwas took their bath in the
Narayana Sarovar (lake) their hearts and souls got completely
pure and sacred. Their father had ordered them to produce children but their hearts were
not ready to get entangled in worldly affairs. Devarshi Narada reached there that
Devarshi Narada told
themO Haryashwas! you all are the sons of
Daksha Prajapati but you are fools. Your hearts and
souls have become so pure and pious
that you have developed inclination towards God, the supreme being, yet you wish to
get married and produce children?
Narada then gave them certain
riddles and they got engaged in solving those.
They all were devotees to God and intelligent enough. They thought that though
their father had ordered to get engaged in
Karma (the action) but it would be better for
them if they remained detached from the
Karma. So, they unanimously decided not to
produce children and proceeded on the path of
Daksha Prajapati was waiting for
his sons to return when he came to know that Narada had made them all ascetics.
He became very angry. Lord Brahma came to comfort him.
Daksha again produced a thousand
sons and named them as Shabalashwas. They also went to the
Narayana-Sarovar and when they took their baths even their hearts
got completely pure and pious. Narada again
reached there and saidO
Shabalashwas! listen to me. Your elder brothers had
done great work and you all should also follow them.
They all agreed and set out
being unattached to the worldly affairs. This enraged Daksha and he abused Narada
like anything and saidyou are wicked, lier
and deceitful. You provoke innocent children to become ascetic and force them to go
about begging. This way you have done a great harm to me.
Daksha further said to
NaradaO sinner! you have spoilt them all. You
have no compassion in your heart. Having thus spoilt the children you call yourself to
be the Parshad (aide) of God! You are shameless and you have disgraced God.
I know God's Parshads (aides) are kind and loving to all. Your love, however, is a
great destroyer. You are enemy to those, who have done no harm to you. I hereby curse
you. From now on you will never be able to stay at one place. You will ruin the place where
you stay. So keep on wandering about,
you will never find a definite place to stay.
When Daksha cursed,
Narada, the supreme saint only said`Thank
you'. Although he had the power to counter curse Daksha but he did not. This is
the distinguishing feature of the ascetics.
Prajapati Daksha then went to
Lord Brahma and explained to him the total incident as to how Devarshi Narada used
his influence to turn all his sons into ascetics. He then asked Lord Brahma what should
he do? Lord Brahma then advised him to produce daughters.
Daksha then produced many
daughters and this whole world is their children only.
Ale of Vritrasur
Once having gained the kingdom
of heaven Indra became very conceited. One day while he was sitting on the throne
with his wife Shachi and while the music and dance of the
Gandharwas (heavenly minstrels) and the
Apsaras (dancing girls of heaven) was in progress, Acharya Brihaspati, the spiritual preceptor of gods, arrived in
the court. Indra neither greeted him nor stood up from his seat out of conceit.
Brihaspati retreated quietly and
went away to his house. A little while after his departure, Indra realised, ``I have
committed a grave sin by insulting my spiritual preceptor. I now need to prostrate resting
my head on his feet and beg forgiveness.''
However, when he reached
Brihaspati's house, he had disappeared by the power
of his Yoga (super natural power). Indra made
various attempts but to no avail. He was
at a loss to comprehend what to do and what not. He was in a state of mental
decline. Meanwhile, when the Daityas (demons)
learnt that having been displeased with Indra, Brihaspati had gone somewhere,
they launched an attack on the heaven. Being utmost perturbed Indra went to Lord Brahma.
Having heard about the incident
Lord Brahma advised Indra to go to Vishwaroop, the son of Twashta, to please him with
his services and to make him his spiritual preceptor. Lord Brahma also told that
the maternal uncle of Vishwaroop was a demon but they should not mind it for
Vishwaroop was an ascetic brahmin and he would
According to Lord Brahma's advice
the gods went to Vishwaroop and addressed him most affectionatelyO Son! we have
come to you as a guest. You may consider us alike your father and serve us like a son.
Presently, we have been defeated by the enemy. Relieve us from this suffering.
Vishwaroop repliedO Gods!
even being alike my father, when you are requesting me, it is my duty to carry
out your orders. I will help you with all my might.
Vishwaroop was definite of his
words. He became the family priest of gods and secured Indra by
Vaishnavi Vidya (Narayan's armour) with the influence of which
Indra could defeat the army of the Asuras (demons).
Vishwaroop's father Twashta
belonged to the lineage of gods while his mother belonged to that of the demons. He
recited mantras (sacred verses) aloud while
making offerings to the gods during yajnas (sacrificial act), but at the same time he
used to make offerings, though quietly, to the demons due to their relations with
One day having seen it, Indra
became furious and beheaded all the three heads of Vishwaroop. Thus he committed a sin
of brahma-hatya (killing of a brahmin). Indra
conceded the sin and went on pilgrimage
for one year.
Having heard about the assasination
of his son Vishwaroop, his father Twashta became very angry and performed a
havan (sacrificial ladle) with a vow to kill Indra. After the completion of havan a
ferocious demon appeared from its fire. When he shouted and danced with his
sparkling trident, the earth trembled. His mouth
was more like a mountain-cave. Having seen such a blood-thirsty demon people
ran halter-skelter. Since this demon surrounded whole of the world he was named
The Devatas (gods) now got
highly perturbed. They prayed to Lord Narayana, having heard which Lord appeared.
All bowed before Him in salutation. Being pleased, Lord assured them that
Vritrasur will not be able to kill them.
Lord Narayana saidO
Indra! Maharshi Dadhichi is a great saint. If you ask, he may give you even his body.
You may ask Vishwakarma to make a superior
weapon, the Vajra from his bones.
Being well equipped by the Narayana Kawach (armour) you will be able to kill
Vritrasur and after his death you may regain your strength and property. All would be well
for you and be sure none can harm those, who come to Me for protection.
All the gods then went to Dadhichi
and begged for his body. Maharshi Dadhichi then with his yogic powers dissolved
himself in the supreme being and renounced his body. He was now free of all bonds
since he was now attached to God and he did not at all feel that he had left the body.
Out of Dadhichi's bones
Vishwakarma made a Vajra with the help of which
Indra attacked on Vritrasur accompanied by all the gods along with their respective weapons.
A fierce war between the gods and the demons followed.
Despite being a demon Vritrasur was
a great devotee of God. He fought heroically and while fighting he prayed to
GodO God! give me as many lives as you wish
but I ask only one thing from you,
kindly ensure that I always remain a slave of your slaves. Do favour me so that I may keep
on serving those in every life of mine who are dependent on you with entire devotion.
I should always sing in your praise, should keep in mind your qualities and my
body should also be in your service always.
Instead of getting victory over
Indra, Vritrasur considered it better to die in
the battlefield and get the abode of God. Finally he was killed by the
Having heard the tale of
King Parikshita asked`O Lord! how is it possible that a sinner and a causer of
distress to others be at the same time a devotee
to God'. Sage Shukdeo repliedIn this respect I am telling you what I have known
from my preceptors. During ancient time King Chitraketu ruled Shoorsen state. He
had everything but in spite of many wives he was devoid of any child, which made
him a sorrowful person. Once sage Angira came to him.
King Chitraketu told him about his distressO worshipful Lord! since I
have no child, my ancestors will remain deprived of the offering of
Pinda (oblation to ancestors). So, kindly do something so
that I may have a child.
Sage Angira then performed a
proper yajna (sacrificial act) and gave
khir (rice boiled in milk) to the elder queen
Kritadyuti as Prasad (propitiatory offering) and
saidO King! now you will have a son, who may be the cause of your joy and sorrow.
Sage Angira went away and in
due course of time queen Kritadyuti gave birth to a son. The occasion was largely
celebrated in the state. The child began to grow
up slowly. The king now spent most of his time with Kritadyuti which made other
queens jealous and they poisoned the child.
Queen Kritadyuti thought that the
child was in sleep and so she remained busy in her work. After sometime she asked
her maid to bring the child since it was time to feed him milk. When the maid went to
the child she found him dead. Crying
and wailing she fell down on earth.
Queen Kritadyuti hurried and
fainted having seen her son dead. Other maids and queens of the palace also reached there
and out of sympathy or for show started wailing. When the King came to know of the
incident even he rushed to the spot. The King and queen both wailed and saidO
Lord Brahma! you are the creator. Why are you behaving to the contrary? Instead of the
old you are taking away the lives of children.
While crying both of them
addressed their dead sonSon! where have you
gone having left us? See, how distressed are we without you. Come back. I am ready to
feed you my milk. Why aren't you coming? Open your eyes and see how distressed
by grief is your father. Has Yamraj really
taken you to the place from where none returns?
Seeing their King and queen crying
even their subject burst into tears. Having seen such a sight Devarshi Narada and
Sage Angira reached there to console King
Chitraketu. They told himO King!
whom are your crying for? Just think over who is he? He was not yours before the
birth and he is not yours after death also. It is strange that you consider him to be yours.
The consoling words of the sages
had a soothing effect on Chitraketu. He wiped his face and saidO venerable souls! I
am a person ignorant and ensnared by delusion. Please lead me to the proper path.
Sage Angira saidO King! you
were crying to have a son. I wished to lend you my advice but you were not in a
position to listen and understand. Then I had
gifted you a son through yajna. It's me Angira
and with me is Devarshi Narada. We have thought over that you are a great
devotee to God and that you should not feel distressed. So, we have come here to
impress upon you. You have realized, how
distressed are those who have son, wife, wealth, affluence, state, army etc.
Just to erase Chitraketu's
attachment towards his son Devarshi Narada called the
soul of dead prince and saidO soul!
see how distressed are you parents and relatives in your absence. Here lies your body.
You may enter it and enjoy the state that your father would gift you, and please every one.
The soul repliedO Devarshi
Narada! you are telling me that they are my
parents, but to which of my births? I have had numerous births. Sometimes I was
an animal, sometimes a bird, sometimes a brahmin, sometimes a heavenly
minstrel. According to my deeds I had various
births and in every births I had different
parents. A creature has relation with a body for a short period of time and for that short
period he has attachment with his body and with it he forms relations of affection
with relatives. In fact, a creature does not have any one as his own or a stranger.
Having said so, the soul went away
and with it the distress of King Chitraketu. Having given spiritual instructions
to Chitraketu, Devarshi Narada departed for
Brahmalok (heaven of Lord Brahma) along
with sage Angira. Chitraketu observed
a seven days' rite taking only water which made his mind all the more sacred and
pious and he reached Lord Shesha.
He sang the glory of Lord
Being pleased with him Lord Shesha saidWhatever Devarshi Narada and sage
Angira have told you about me and they caused you to see me, has made you a `siddha' (accomplished).
Chitraketu was now free to roam
about through aerial path. Once while roaming about he saw Lord Shiva sitting
with goddess Parvati in his lap. The sight prompted Chitraketu to commentLook
at this venerable guru (teacher), who enlightens the world, is sitting with
his consort in his lap in the presence of all the seers, sages and full assembly. Even
an uncivilized person would not do so. He would rather sit like this in a lonely place.
Hearing the comments of
Chitraketu, Lord Shiva only smiled and did not say anything. Seeing Lord Shiva keeping quiet
all the seers and sages also kept quiet
but this enraged goddess Parvati. She could not digest the insult of Lord Shiva by
Chitraketu. Addressing Chitraketu she saidO son!
I curse you. Since you have insulted a great person and have thereby committed
the biggest sin, may you have a rebirth as an
King Chitraketu most respectfully
got down from the Viman (aerial vehicle)
and bowed down with a pleasing face and saidO mother Parvati! with due respect
and folded hands I accept your curse. I beg excuse for my wrong words that have
Having said so Chitraketu went
away riding his viman.
It was this Chitraketu who had
appeared from the sacrificial fire of the
yajna by Twashta in the form of Vritrasur.
However, the enlightenment and devotion towards
God persisted in his heart. His devotion persisted even while he was fighting with
Tale of Prahlad
When in His Varah (boar)
incarnation Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyaksha, his
elder brother Hiranyakashyapu was so enraged that he felt like destroying the whole
world and killing Lord Vishnu since He had killed his brother. He asked all the
daityas (demons) to go the earth, where
religious rites are observed and to kill all the
devotees. It is due to the religious acts performed
by the devotees that the religiousity increases and due to the increase in
religiousity increases the strength of Lord Vishnu.
Executing the orders of
Hiranyakashyapu, the demons
started destroying the observance of religious
rites and troubling the people. They plundered villages and burnt the
houses. Hiranyakashyapu thought of becoming immortal for which he went to mount
Mandrachal for penance. His penance
was so powerful that his body emitted fire and the earth staggered. Lord Brahma
appeared before him and asked him to ask for a boon.
Lord Brahma! grant me the boon that my death may not be caused by any creature of
your creation i.e. human, animal, god, demon, reptile etc.; that I should neither die
inside nor outside, neither on earth nor in sky, neither by any armament nor by
any weapon; that no body would be able to face me in war.
Having granted the boon Lord
Brahma went back to his abode. With the boon tyranny of Hiranyakashyapu
Hiranyakashyapu had four sons,
of whom youngest was Prahlad. He was a great devotee of God since childhood and had
all the qualities one could think of.
Since childhood Prahlad was so engrossed in the thoughts of God that
unlike other children he had least inclination
towards play. At times he laughed and
at times he cried, sang, played and offered food to God.
Shukracharya was the preceptor of
the daityas (demons) and had two sons viz. Shanda and Amarka. It was
their responsibility to impart the education of demon-ethics to Prahlad.
One day taking his son in arms
Hiranya-kashyapu asked him most affectionately`Son, which of the lessons that your
teacher teaches you, you like the most?'
Prahlad repliedFather, what I
consider the best is to avoid worldly affairs,
renounce the household and to proceed to the
forests to seek refuge in God.
Such words from his son enraged
Hiranyakashyapu. He sent for his
teachers and asked why such wrong things were taught to the children? At this
Prahlad said`I have not learnt this from the teachers. Those, who themselves
are unaware to live life properly, how such ignorant people would teach others?'
Both the teachers were extremely frightened. Hiranyakashyapu punished
them in various ways. Once again they resumed teaching him and when they thought
that Prahlad had gained all the knowledge, they bathed him, he was given new clothes
to wear and then taken to his father. Prahlad placed his head over the feet of his
father to pay his respect.
Hiranyakashyapu embraced and
blessed his son and then askedSon, last time
you had made some mistake. I hope, this time your teachers have taught you properly.
Do tell me some good thing that you have learnt.
Prahlad replied`Father, I think,
the best thing for man is devotion to God. There are nine forms of devotion. We may
adopt all or one of those. The nine forms of devotion are as followslistening to
the leelas (acts) of Lord Vishnu, singing
in praise of His nature and qualities, meditating upon Him, serving and worshipping his
feet, praying a sense of service and friendliness to Him and self dedication.'
When Hiranyakashyapu heard Prahlad say so, in anger he dashed him down
on earth and ordered the daityas (demons)
to take him away and kill him as he was his enemy in the form of his son. To
execute the orders of Hiranyakahsyapu the demons tried to kill Prahlad by spears and
tridents but he remained unaffected. They threw
him from the mountain, burnt him in fire but could not harm him. Prahlad remained quiet.
Hiranyakashyapu said, `You fool!
all the three worlds tremble in fright of my anger. I am so angry with you, still you
are unmoved and talking of some God other than me? Where is the God?
Prahlad replied that God was
present everywhere. At this Hiranyakashyapu said that if God was everywhere. He must be
in the pillar also. He further told Prahlad that he was going to behead him and see
for himself how the omnipresent God saved him.
Having said so he jumped with force
and instead of hitting Prahlad, Hiranyakashyapu's blow landed on the pillar. There was such
a catastrophic sound as if the world
was going to end. Lord Nrisimha appeared from the pillar. The form of Lord Nrisimha
was very unusual. Neither He was fully human nor lion. Hiranyakashyapu wondered
who that strange creature was?
Lord Nrisimha stood before him in
His fearsome form. He had wide eyes. His monstrous body was touching the sky.
He had big hair, fearsome beard and frowning eyebrows. He had large nails on His
hands. Having seen Him all the daityas
(demons) ran away out of fright. Hiranyakashyapu, however, charged over Him with his
mace. How could he harm Lord Nrisimha, who played duel with him for sometime. At
times Hiranyakashyapu felt that he was going to win and he fought with renewed
It was evening after a while when
Lord Nrisimha took him to the door-frame, lifted him over His thighs and tore his body
with His nails. Nobody could dare to go before Him. Having killed
He sat on his high throne.
When the gods saw that Hiranyakashyapu had been killed, they
all showered flower-petals on Lord and sang his glory but they could not pacify His
anger and so, they sent Goddess Lakshmi to pacify Him. Having seen the fearsome form
of Lord Nrisimha, even she got perplexed. Finally, Lord Brahma said to Prahlad,
``Look son, Lord Nrisimha has assumed such a fearsome form out of anger on your
father. So, you should go and pacify Him.''
With Lord Brahma's blessings
Prahlad went near Lord Nrisimha, prostrated before Him to pay his respect. When Lord
Nrisimha found Prahlad before Him, He was so overwhelmed with emotion due to the
divine touch that tears rolled out of his eyes. He assumed the feet of Lord in his heart
with great devotion.
When Lord Nrisimha asked Prahlad
to ask for any boon, Prahlad felt sorry as he thought that demanding something was
the biggest obstacle in the way of devotion. One, who demanded or asked for anything,
lost his splendour. So, with a smile
he said`O Lord! I had the feeling that I
had no desire left as such but since you are asking me to fulfil my desire, it means
that I must be having some hidden desire. So, Lord, kindly grant me a boon to drive
away that desire of mine from me.
O Lord,I request you to grant me
a special boon. My father condemned you by saying murderer of his brother and
hated very much. As a devotee of your's he also hatred me. He became spritual as soon
as you saw him, though as a son I seek forgiveness on his behalf and also
request you to turn him as a pious soul.
God Nrisimha told Prahlad
affectionately Son 21 generation of a family
become pious, where devotee like you born. Your father become pure soul as soon as I
touched him, though you have to do his last rite according to your family's tradition. This
is the duty of a Son. Now, perform your duties as a king as worship towards me. After
giving blessings to Prahlad God went to Heaven.
In Ksheersagar, the ocean of milk,
there was a stunning mountain named Trikoot over which lived an elephant
Gajendra, who was the leader of elephants. Whenever
he roamed about in his delight, rest of the animals were alarmed and scared of him.
Once in summer heat he felt very
thirsty. He went to a large lake to quench his
thirst where he sucked water through his trunk and drank it. After drinking water he bathed
in the lake and since he was in a playfull mood he sprinkled water over the faces of
While Gajendra was fully engrossed
in his delight and fun a strong crocodile in the lake came and caught hold of his leg in
its jaw. Gajendra tried his best to get his
leg released. His mates also tried to help him out by pulling his leg while his
children were pulling his tail. Everybody was trying
but the crocodile was not loosening its
grip and was least affected as while in water a crocodile is extremely strong.
Unable to release himself from
the crocodile Gajendra thought that while elephants like him failed, how could
his mates help? Finally, he thought of seeking refuge in God, the almighty, who is the
one and only shelter for the whole world. Whosoever seeks refuge in God
for protection, he saves him by all means. Having thought so he started eulogizing
God through hymns, that he had learnt in his previous birth.
Lord Shri Hari appeared there right
at that moment. Having heard the eulogy of
Gajendra Lord Shri Hari came riding over
Garuda. When Gajendra saw Lord Shri
Hari with His Chakra, the discus, riding
Garuda he picked up a lovely lotus from the
lake by his trunk and offered it to Lord with respectful salutation.
Lord jumped from Garuda
and mercifully brought out both Gajendra
and the crocodile. In presence of all the Gods
Shri Hari split open the mouth of
the crocodile by His Chakra (discus) and released
Gajendra. As Lord granted salvation to both the elephant and
the crocodile, all the gods showered flowers on them.
This crocodile was earlier a
gandharva (heavenly minstrel) named Hu-Hu,
who reincarnated as a crocodile due to a curse by sage Deval and with the divine touch
he earned salvation. He saluted Lord Shri Hari placing his head over His feet and
eulogized Him. The crocodile circumambulated Lord, saluted Him and left for his heavenly
abode before everybody.
Meanwhile, Gajendra also
attained salvation with the divine touch of Lord
and get a form like that of Lord Himself. In his previous birth he was a king
named Indradyumn, who had renaunced his throne and started ascetic practices at mount Malay.
It was by chance that Agastya
Muni (saint) passed through the mount and
found the King practicing ascetic fervour like ascetics abandoning his duty of protection
of subjects. The saint cursed the King
for acting arbitrarily. He said since the King was intellectually dull like elephant may
he reincarnate as an elephant. Saint
Agastya departed having cursed the King Indradyumn, who thought it to be his
fate and felt content. Subsequently he reincarnated as an elephant and it was
the influence of his Lord-worship that despite being an elephant he remembered God.
Lord Shri Hari not only granted salvation to him but accepted him as one of His
Parshads (attendant). Taking Parshad
Gajendra with Him Lord proceeded to His abode
Whatsoever recites the eulogy
that Gajendra had recited surely attains God
at the time of death. God descends in his life. Lord Himself had said so to
Gajendra in front of everybody.
Churning of the
Once having awakened all their
powers, the demons or the Asuras attacked
the heaven and conquered the kingdom of the gods or the
Suras. Indra, Varun and other gods went to Lord Brahma and told
him about their objection. Lord Brahma himself observed the inertness of the gods while
the demons were flourishing.
Lord Brahma then went to the adobe
of Lord Ajit at Vaikuntha (heaven) along
with the gods. When they all reached there, they could see nothing. Lord Brahma then
sang the glory of God with full concentration of mind. God, the supreme, appeared
before them with such a radiance as if thousands of Suns had arisen. Their eyes got
closed and they could not see anything. Only Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva could see God.
God addressed to themO Gods!
what I am going to say, listen attentively. Lord
Kaal (time) is favouring the Asuras (demons) at present. Therefore, it would
be better for you to have a treaty with them. If you are to accomplish something big,
you may have a reconciliation even with your enemy. God further saidwithout
wasting any more time you should try to bring out the nectar. So, first of all drop all sorts
of grass, straws, creepers and herbs in the
Ksheer-Sagar (ocean of milk) and then with the churning stick of Mandrachal
(mountain) and using Vasuki as a churning cord,
churn the ocean with my help. There is no more time for laziness. Concede all the
demands of the Asuras (demons). Through peace
you may achieve everything but not through anger. First of all
Kaal-Koot, a deadly poison will emerge from the ocean. Do
not get afraid and nurse no greed for anything and if the desire is not fulfilled one
should not at all be angry.
The Devas (gods) and the
Asuras (demons) then entered into a
friendly alliance and started preparing for the churning of the ocean. Using their
total strength they uprooted Mandrachal and tried to carry it towards the ocean but it was
too heavy to carry. They dashed it down. Many gods and demons got crushed under
it. Having seen it, God riding on Garuda appeared and most casually
lifted Mandrachal on Garuda and then placed it at appropriate place.
The Devas told
Vasuki, the snake,
that even he would have his share in the nectar, that would emerge from the churning of
the ocean and so Vasuki agreed to be the cord for churning. Winding it around
Mandrachal everybody got ready to churn the ocean. God then said that he would hold the
head of snake Vasuki. Along with Him all the gods stood on the side of Vasuki's head.
This enraged the Asuras, who said that they were
not at all inferior to the gods; that they
had also studied the texts of the Vedas and had accomplished various valiant deeds;
and that they had the right to be on the head-side and that they would not be on the
At this God said``There is no
point in quarrelling. We may go to the tail-side'' and smilingly he left the mouth of
Vasuki and held his tail instead along with other gods. Both the sides then got engaged
in churning. During the course of churning mount Mandrachal began to sink in spite
of everybody's holding it. This made everybody pensive. God then assumed the shape of
a giant turtle and lifted Mandrachal on His back. While Mandrachal was spinning
on His back, He felt as though someone was scratching His back.
On the strength of God the churning
of the ocean went on due to which the eyes and breath of Vasuki emitted poisonous
flame and the Asuras (demons)
started burning in it. The churning created a lot
of commotion and disturbance in the ocean. The fishes, crocodiles, snakes, turtles
etc. started hurrying helter-skelter in utter confusion. Right at that time first of
all emerged the most powerful poison named
Kaal-Koot. Having been frightened everybody flocked around Lord Shiva
and started singing his glory`O Lord! you
are the God of all gods. You are the soul of all and you do good to all. We have come
to you for protection. Please relieve us.'
Hearing all this Lord Shiva
became compassionate towards them and told his beloved SatiLook! the people are
in distress due to this Kaal-Koot poison and
I must relieve them. The life of those who have strength and power is meaningful
only when they protect the wretched and the distressed.
Shiva and so she nodded in agreement.
Lord Shiva then accepted the poison, drank and preserved it in throat. While Lord Shiva
was drinking the poison few of its drops dropped and were consumed by snakes,
scorpions, other poisonous creatures and herbs.
When Lord Shiva finished drinking
the poison, the gods and the demons became very happy and started the churning of
the ocean with new vigour and energy. Then appeared a cow,
Kamdhenu from the ocean. Kamdhenu was the source of milk,
clarified butter and other materials of
Agnihotra (sacrificial fire). The ritualistic
sages engaged in sacrificial rites accepted it.
After Kamdhenu emerged a horse named Uchchaishravah,
who was white like Moon. Bali took it.
Airaavat, the elephant. It was very beautiful and had
four tusks. Indra kept it with him. After it emerged Padmarag-precious jewel named
Kaustubh, which Lord Ajit wore
Himself. Subsequently, appeared
Kalpa-Vriksha, the tree that gives whatever one desires.
This tree added to the glamour of Swarga,
the heaven. After this appeared Apsaras,
the dancing girls, who were very beautiful and who were to please the gods.
After all these appeared
goddess Lakshami. She was so beautiful that the gods, demons and humans, all desired
her to marry them. Goddess Lakshmi on the other hand with lotus-garland in hands
was thinking about whom she should marry. She wanted such a husband who was free of
any fault. Finally, she opted for Lord Vishnu, who had all the desired qualities.
Lord Vishnu also provided her place over his chest.
Then in the form of
Varuni (wine) appeared a very beautiful girl, who
was taken by Asuras. Subsequently appeared Dhanvantari having a
Kalash (jar) of nectar
in his hands. The demons snatched away
the jar and the gods could do nothing about it.
Lord Vishnu then consoled the gods
and through his Maya (magical power) sowed the seeds of discord among the
demons. They started quarrelling among themselves. Everybody wanted to drink the nectar
first. In the meantime Lord Vishnu assumed the form of
Mohini (the most charming woman). Everybody was infatuated by her
charms and tried to attract her attention towards them in various ways. They said``Who
are you? Where you come from? How beautiful are you! Whose daughter
are you? Why don't you distribute this nectar among us? We are
whatever you say.''
Lord in His Mohini form said``You
all are the descendants of great sage Kashyap while I am only a promiscuous woman.
Why would you accept my decisions? It is said that such woman should not be relied upon''.
The demons or the daityas
replied``No, no, we have full faith in you.
Whatever you say, we will agree''.
Mohini then seated the
Devatas (gods) and the Daityas (demons) in two
different rows and started to distribute the nectar
from the gods' side. From time to time she kept on casting her sight on the
Daityas with a smile and distributed all the nectar
among the gods only. Rahu having guessed it had sat in between the Sun and the Moon so
that even he may get a share in the nectar. The sooner he drank the nectar he was
beheaded by God, the supreme. The nectar had not reached the torso, so it fell down while
the head could remain alive as a planet or heavenly body and that is why it
eclipses the Sun and the Moon from time to time.
When all the gods received the
nectar, God, the supreme abandoned the Mohini form and came back to His original form.
The Devatas (gods) and the
Daityas (demons) had done the same deed, at
the same time and for the same reason but got different results. The gods had
easily received the nectar since they had sought refuge in the feet of Lord, the supreme
while being indifferent to Lord the Daityas
were deprived of the desired result despite their tail.
Ale of lord Ãman
King Bali was the son of Virochan
and grandson of Prahlad. Since they served the brahmins from the lineage of
the brahmins were so pleased with them that to have a right over
Swarga (paradise) they got performed a very
big Yajna (sacrificial rite). From the sacrificial pit of the
Yajna emerged a chariot alongwith beautiful horses,
bows, never empty quivers etc. Thus all the preparations were accomplished. Ready
for war, King Bali embarked on that chariot and set out for Amaravati, the capital of
Indra. Bali besieged it from all sides and blew
the conch shell with a great force. Having heard the sound of the conch shell the gods
were alarmed. They all went to their mentor Brihaspati and saidO worshipful
Lord! this time Bali has made a great preparation for war and it seems, we may not be
able to confront him. Know not how his strength
got so increased. Please tell, where from
he got so much of strength?
Devguru (the preceptor of
gods) Brihaspati explained``Indra! the
brahmin descendants of Bhrigu have made him so strong and powerful that at this time
none except the supreme Lord can face him. It would, therefore, be just for you all to
hide somewhere and save yourselves. You should wait for the time when the cycle of
his fortune changes.
The gods accepted the advice of
Devguru and abandoned Swarga (the paradise). Bali acquired the kingdom
of heaven without any war. The brahmin descendants of Bhrigu then made Bali
to perform a hundred Ashwamedha (vedic horse-sacrifice)
yajna (rites). With the influence of these
yajnas the name and fame of Bali spread in all the directions.
When the gods ran away into hiding
and the demons captured the heaven, god-mother Aditi felt highly distressed. Her
husband seer Kashyap had gone to practise penance. On his return he said``You always remain
jolly but right now you look very
pensive. What's the matter? Is everything going
well with your children?
Aditi repliedMy Lord! Please
think about me. The enemies have snatched away the property as well as the adobe from
my sons. Kindly do something so that they may regain whatever they have lost.
Seer Kashyap then said to Aditi``There is only one way for you to
come out of this crisis, you should engage
yourself in adoration and worship of Lord Vasudeva. He also advised her to observe
Punsavan Vrata, a religious rite and explained her
the method to observe this fast.
As advised by seer Kashyap Aditi
most carefully observed this fast for twelve days and having been pleased by her fast
Lord Vasudeva appeared before her with His Conch-Shell, Discus, Mace and Lotus.
Aditi was overwhelmed. She bowed before Lord and sang His glory with folded hands.
Lord said to Aditi``Aditi! I
know what you desire. The enemies have snatched the property of your sons and have driven
them out of heaven. You desire the
victory of your sons and you also wish to worship God along with them, but O lady! I
believe those demons may not be defeated right at this time as God and the brahmins
are favourable to them. The war at this time may not bring about any happiness, yet I
am pleased by the observance of your fast. So, I will have to do something for you to
make sure that your fast does not go in vain. By becoming your son, I will protect
your children.'' Having said so Lord Vasudeva disappeared.
In due course of time Lord
Vasudeva appeared before Aditi in His four-armed form. His form was extremely
graceful. Divine musical instruments started
playing. When Aditi saw the supreme Lord appear through her womb, she was
extremely pleased. Although the supreme Lord had appeared with His ornaments and
weapons but in no time He assumed the form of a
Vaman Brahmachari (dwarf religious student).
When the supreme Lord assumed the
form of Vaman, the seers and sages
were extremely pleased. Keeping sage Kashyap in the fore front they got all the
birth ceremonial rituals performed. Everybody was so pleased having seen his such a
cute and small form.
Lord, the supreme then went to
King Bali, who was performing yajna, the sacrificial act. The radiance of Lord
Vaman made everybody feel as if Sun was present before their eyes. Matching with the
small form of Lord Vaman, all his body-organs were small and beautiful. King Bali
was highly pleased. He offered best seat to Lord Vaman.
Bali washed the feet of Lord
Vaman, worshipped Him and applied His foot-nectar over his forehead. Bali saidO
young brahmin! I am highly pleased with your arrival and I bow in salutation before
you. Please order, how I may serve you. O Lord! it seems, you want something. Whatever
you require, do ask from me. Cows, gold, fully decorated chariots, sacred food
grains, eatable materials, marriageable brahmin girl,
thriving villages, horses, elephants, I
may give everything.
Having been pleased with the
sweet words of Bali, Lord Vaman saidO King! your words are as per your family
tradition. Naturally, it will add to your glory, and
why not, since you have accepted Shukracharya, son of Bhrigu as your preceptor who is
the foremost sage. You have always followed the orders of your grandfather
No miser or heartless person has ever born in your family. In your family none has
ever born to go back from his words having made a commitment for charity. One, who
goes back from his words at the time of charity, loses all his brilliance. However, no
such person has ever born in your family. Prahlad has been in your family
tradition. Hiranyaksha also belonged to your
family-lineage. Hiranyakashyapu was born in your family, from whom even God, the
supreme gets afraid. O King Bali, you are blessed. Your father Virochan was also a
very generous person and I am sure, you are going to behave likewise.
Lord Vaman further saidO
Demon-King! you are capable of giving everything but I ask for land measuring only three
of my steps. I know, you are the master of the world and quite liberal too but I do not
want anything more than this. A learned person should accept charity only as much as
he needs, which saves him from the sin of accumulation.
Astonished King Bali
saidYoung brahmin! you talk like older people
but your intelligence is like children. What have you asked from me? I could have given
you a whole island and you have asked for meagre three steps of land. I only wish
that one who comes to me for charity should be given sufficient enough so that he may
not need to beg from anybody else. So, for your livelihood ask from me as much land as
Lord Vaman repliedO King! you
say that I should ask for sufficient enough so that I may not need to beg anymore but
the one, who is not satisfied with three steps of land will not be satisfied with a whole island
either because then he would desire to
have all the seven islands. One, who is satisfied with whatever is provided by his fate,
can remain happy in this world. O King! although you are capable of giving
me everything, yet I need only three steps of land because one should accumulate
as much wealth as need be.
Having heard Lord
Bali laughed aloud and saidAlright, as you wish.
The King ordered for some water
to make sankalpa (commitment). Right at that time his
guru (teacher) Shukracharya saidO son of Virochan! you do not know
what you are giving and to whom. He is none other than Lord Vishnu Himself, who
has incarnated as the son of Kashyap and Aditi. By making a sankalpa to provide charity
to Him, you are doing wrong and it might cause a great loss to the
Daityas (the demons). It is not proper. This dwarf is a
mayawi, a deciever. He will take everything from
you and will give it to the Devatas (the
gods), thereby making you a pauper. He will make
his body so big that it would spread
over the total sky. In two steps of his he would enclose all your three
lokas (worlds) and when you would be unable to provide
him place to keep his third step, you would have to go to hell. Giving away charity is
good but while doing so, you should save something for yourself. It is better you refuse.
The demon-king replied in a
peaceful toneO my revered teacher! I am the grandson of Prahlad. How can I commit
to give something and then go back from my words? It is the biggest sin to
decieve brahmins. What is the use of accumulation of wealth if it could not satisfy
The King further saidYou say that
he is none other than Lord Vishnu. If Lord Vishnu Himself comes to me as a
beggar what else can be better than this? Further, if he is someone else in the disguise of
a brahmin, I will still not turn him away.
King Bali's words enraged
Shukracharya and by God's inspiration he cursed
O fool! you consider yourself to be
very learned and are trying to teach me. You are insulting my words and feeling proud in
it. You have disobeyed me. So, prosperity will abandon your life.
King Bali then worshipped Lord
Vaman according to rule. He also made a sankalpa to give away three steps of land to
Lord Vaman taking water in his hand. After Bali had made the commitment, the small
body of Lord Vaman started becoming huge. He enlarged His body to such an extent that
in first step he could measure all the land of Bali. In second step he measured
Swargalok, the heaven and there was no space
left where the third step could be placed. At such a time Lord Brahma washed the feet of
the supreme God through his divine Kamandal (water-pot). The same water appeared on
the Earth in the form of river Ganges.
Meanwhile, all the
Daityas (the demons) discussed among themselves that Vaman
had come to beg three steps of land and snatched away everything from our King in the
process. He is mayawi
Vishnu. Since our King will not do anything, it is our duty to launch an attack.
As soon as the Daityas
(demons) prepared for attack, all the
Parshads (attendants) of Lord Vishnu suppressed
them in no time. When the Parshads started killing the
Daityas Bali saidListen, when time was favourable to us, the God
had made us very strong. Since the God and time is with them now, be quiet and wait
for favourable time to come.
After listening to Bali all the
Daityas went away to Rasãtal, lowest of the
seven hells. Then Garuda, who was aware of Lord Vishnu's desire tied Bali with the noose
of Varuna. The sight made everybody sigh in grief that despite giving away his
everything a generous person like Bali is being tied.
The supreme God, however, did not
sit quiet as He was to bring to the fore the qualities of Bali before everyone. He
chided Bali and saidYou had agreed to give
me three steps of land but I have measured everything in two steps. Now, If you do not
provide me a place where I may place
my third step, you will have to go to the hell. You were talking big that you could
give me everything and why had I demanded only three steps of land. What happened
to those big talks? You were very proud of your riches. You said that you would
give me but you did not. Now, for this falsehood you would be cast into hell for few years.
God tied down the demon King Bali
and tested his patience through scolding. But he remained unmoved, and saidO Lord
the supreme! I am neither telling a lie nor am decieving you. Please place your third
step on my head. O Lord! I am afraid of none in this world. I would not fear if I am
tied down or if I have to go to hell or if I am punished. I am afraid only of my
disrepute. Lord! you are the teacher of teachers. If
you punish or trouble someone, you do so for one's betterment. Likewise, you have
taught us, the Asuras (demons) a good lesson.
When we are blind in pride of our riches, strength and family lineage you punish
us appropriately by snatching away everything.
By snatching away everything from me
you have initiated the process to call me to yourself. We, the
Asuras earn various siddhis (supernatural powers) and pursue
enmity with you, still you provide us what is due to your devotees. This is your
greatness. Right now you have tied me with the
noose of Varuna and have passed various comments. I am not at all dejected as I am aware
you are doing all this for my betterment.
Prahlad, the supreme
devotee of Lord reached there and after
respectfully saluting to Lord he saidO Lord! It
was you, who gave everything to Bali and now you are taking it back. One, who gives
away has the right to take back. You have done right by taking
awayriches and wealth from my grandson because its attachment
makes one forget oneself.
Lord then said to BaliWish you
well. Go to Sutal Lok (one of the seven subterraneon region) where even the gods
of heaven crave to go. Now, you will be invincible.
My Chakra (the discus) will cut to pieces the one, who disobeys you. I will
protect you in every possible way. I will
be at your gate. You will find me always by your side. My influence will destroy
your demonish character. You will become Indra in your next birth.
Having heard God's words tears
came to Bali's eyes. His voice choked. With folded hands and being overwhelmed
with emotion he saidO Lord! I did not completely bow before you in
salutation, had only tried a bit, yet you have so
kindly rewarded me, the way you reward your devotees, who seek your protection.
The sooner he said so, he was free
from Varuna Pash, the noose of Varuna and proceeded for
In this way having taken the
kingdom from Bali Lord the Supreme gifted it to Indra and fulfilled the desire of
and Himself became Upendra.
Tale of Maharshi
Once while roaming about in the
jungle along with his daughter Sukanya, King Sharyati came to the adobe of
Sage Chyavan. The sage was practising penance. His whole body was covered with the
soil accumulated by the termites. There were only two holes through which his eyes
were shining bright. Sukanya mistook those to be fireflies and out of mischief poured
thorns in it. The eyes got injured and blood
Suddenly every body felt a bit
restless. The king realized that something wrong
had happened. When he enquired, Sukanya hesitantly told everything. The king
then pleaded to the sage and begged forgiveness. He handed over the hands of Sukanya to
the sage for his service.
Sukanya engaged herself in the
service of her husband with full devotion. The
sage was highly pleased with her. Even he wished to please her but due to old age he
had become very weak and looked ugly. Once Ashwini Kumars visited his adobe.
They bathed him in a pool from where appeared three handsome and identical men.
Sukanya could not identify her husband and so she prayed to Ashwini Kumars. Having
been pleased with her, Ashwini Kumars told her, who among those three men was
her husband. Sukanya now had an energetic and brilliant husband and they lived happily
for a long long time.
Tale of Ambarish
King Ambarish was a great devotee
of God. His sight was always fixed on the idol of God, legs were engaged in
visiting various places of God on foot and his
mind always reflected upon God. His wife was also religious like him. They both
personally sweeped the temple and served the God. Having been pleased by their devotion,
God entrusted their security to His discus, the
King Ambarish used to observe fast
on Ekadashi (eleventh day of lunar
fortnight) and as a rule the fast could be
completed on the Dwadashi (twelfth day of
lunar fortnight) only after eating something. This was called
Paran of the fast, or rather accomplishment. Once while he was
doing it, arrived sage Durvasa. The King respectfully bowed before him and requested
im to have food. Sage Durvasa accepted
his offer and went to the river-shore to have bath before food. After bath he got
so engrossed in trans that he was unaware of the time consumed.
Dwadashi was now nearing its
end. According to the brahmins if Paran (accomplishment) of the fast is not done,
it involves sin, but how can one eat himself without feeding the guest? After a
long thought Ambarish completed his fast by drinking only water.
Sage Durvasa, in the meantime,
arrived there and having seen King Ambarish drinking water became furious. He tore
one of his matted hair through which appeared a terrible demoness _ Kritya, who
ran towards the King to kill him. King Ambarish remained quiet but the Sudarshan
Chakra burnt the demoness and then rushed towards Sage Durvasa, who ran for safety to
Lord Brahma. When Lord Brahma could not save him, he went for protection to Lord
Shiva, who impressed upon him to seek protection
from Lord Narayana, whom the
Sudarshan Chakra belonged.
Durvasa then went to Lord
Narayana and pleaded to Him falling on His feetO Lord! I have offended your devotee,
but now I seek your protection. Please save me.
Lord Narayana repliedSage
Durvasa! I am always under the control of my
simple and ingenuous devotees. You better go to King Ambarish and beg his
forgiveness, only then you will be relieved.
Finally, Sage Durvasa came back
to King Ambarish and held his feet. Ambarish felt highly embarassed. He sang praises
for Sudarshan Chakra and the discus calmed down. The Sage Durvasa then praised
King Ambarish and blessed him.
By the grace of Shri Radha Raman, the
2nd volume of "Samadhan-The Solutions" is
being published. My efforts and my mission
received your support and the benign guidance of my
peers and preachers.
It's a marathon task to cull and clip stories
from a great text like the Shrimad Bhagwat. Every
word of every shloka is a totality in itself. No wonder
the power of the Bhagwat is proclaimed in the
assertion that a home bereft of the Bhagwat or the
Bhagwat's shlokas is a foresaken house.
The Bhagwat is a rare encyclopedia
that embodies all knowledge along with solutions
for all problems and traditions in the form of fables
and parables. "Samadhan" teaches us to worship
that supreme God who assumes the form of Narayana, Krishna, Rama, Durga,
Shiv and so on. The ultimate form is the one and
only paramatma. All forms sum up in vishnave parvishnave.
There have been all kinds of ideologies
about this intense spiritual emotion. Usually half
truths about scriptures prevail and derail. Some
people make subversive attempts to distort the Bhagwat
& other scriptures to win a short cut to cult
careerism. They wish to enjoy a better clientele.
In fact the Bhagwat points out that in the
Kaliyuga this is precisely what is going to happen;
namely those who know less will patronise those
who know lesser and create their own sects. There will be many self acclaimed gods though whenever
a God was born he never made such claims.
Presently all sorts of views about devotion
are prevalent. Some claim they follow the Krishna
cult and they do not believe in Rama or Shiva. This
is ridiculous. When even an ordinary mortal has
two or three names, how can you frown upon
multiple names of God. Religion simply says that the
form of your faith is super and all other forms
support that super form. Or it is like this : a king has
many ministers and they look after their
portfolios. Similarly our chosen God is the Power Superior
of the Universe and his cabinet colleagues are supervising their respective departments. Now
if you like you can take your appeal either to the power superior or to his cabinet. Your devotion
will not suffer because your appeal to the cabinet
certifies its universality, unity, unanimity and dedication.
Dedication gets distorted only when we do
not have full faith on our God and try to desert him
on instigation of those self-styled saints or
sadhus who pass off as miraclemen. We get vocal
about our petty problems and encourage such
elements. By following the Bhagwat regularly, We can
escape these flaws. We must reject practices of
instant charisma and hype.
Taking all this into consideration, I have
prepared these volumes in Hindi and English(1st part
Hindi-English combine and 2nd part Hindi-English separately). On purpose, I have given them the
look of a handbook to save on your time and tune.