Krishna's Prayer by Kunti

tale of GOKARNA AND dHUNDHUKARI

Long time back on the bank of river Tungabhadra there was a beautiful town where lived Atmadev, a brilliant, scholarly and religious brahmin. His wife Dhundhuli, although an expert in household works, was obstinate and quarrelsome. He had enough wealth yet he was unhappy as he was childless. He practiced many rites and ritnals but could not have one. He was utterly distressed. He left home and proceeded towards forest. It was day time. He felt thirsty. He drank water from a pond and sat aside in a sorrowful state, just then an ascetic came and asked for the cause of his distress. Atmadev said—‘O noble soul ! how do I explain the cause of my distress ? Since I have no child even my ancestors receive my offerings of water with sorrow. Even gods and brahmins are not pleased to receive my offerings. When I keep a cow, even she does not breed a calf. I plant tree but it also does not produce fruits and when someone brings fruits to my house, they get rotten soon. I am now fed up with this life of mine and have came here to die since life without an off spring is useless.’ Having said so he started crying bitterly.

The ascetic in the meanwhile could read the fate of the brahmin and said—O brahmin ! you may not have a child in your seven births. You feel that life is complete only with an off spring. It is not true. Life proceeds according to Karma, the deeds. Give up the wordly attachments. Do you not know, earlier king Sagar and Emperor Anga had to face a lot of distress due to their children. You better renounce the world and be happy.

‘From you I had not asked for advice’, said the brahmin. ‘Give me a child if you can, rather than an advice. If you do not grant me a child with the power of your supreme spirit, I would end my life here in front of you. You know ascetism is dry whereas domestic life is charming where one has children and grand children’, he said.

The ascetic could understand that the brahmin would not listen and that he was destined to undergo distress. He gave a fruit to the brahmin and asked him to feed it to his wife. He also asked him to advise his wife to always speak the truth, to observe sanctity, to be compassionate and to have only one meal a day. If she observes it for a year, she would have an excellent child

Having said so the ascetic went his way and Atmadev happily returned home. He gave the fruit to his wife with an advice to eat it and observe the restraints as asked by the ascetic.

Dhudhuli wondered how this idea of having a child came to her husband and she made up her mind not to eat that fruit for if she ate it she would conceive and her belly would swell. When her belly would swell, she would consume less food and would be able to do lesser household chores. She further thought that in case the robbers attacked the village, being a pregnant woman she may not be able to run and what if the embryo turned out to be one like Shukdev, who remained in his mother’s womb for twelve long years ? As the pregnancy is painful, how would she be able to bear the labour pain if the embryo turns upside down ? She also thought that observance of required restraints would make her weak and under such weakness what would she do if her sister-in-law came and took away all her possessions. Besides, she thought, it was very painful to beget a child and to bring it up. The widows and barren women were more happy, she thought and so she made up her mind not to eat the fruit and when asked by her husband she told a lie that she had eaten it.

One day when her sister came to visit her she told her everything and asked her—‘Tell me, what should I do now ?’ Her sister replied—‘you are right. You are quite weak as it is and the pregnant and after delivery I may give you my child. Till then you will have to pose as a pregnant woman. In exchange you will have to pay some money to my husband and in the meanwhile I would make it public that I have had a miscarriage and that I was going to nurse and take care of my pregnant sister. This way without being pregnant you will have a child and I will have some money. Further, I would come and help you in bringing up the child.’

‘But what to do of the fruit ?’—They both thought over and fed it to cow to test whether it had some power in it or not.

In due course Dhundhuli’s sister gave birth to a son and handed him over to Dhundhuli. Atmadev was extremely happy to have a son and to celebrate the event liberally making charity. Dhundhuli said that the milk was not coming to her breasts whereas her sister, who had a miscarriage had milk in her breasts. So it would be better if she called her sister to breast-feed the child. Her husband agreed to the arrangement.

The child was named Dhundhukari. After about two-three months the cow also delivered a beautiful child with golden complexion and human body, having seen whom everybody wondered and said that Atmadev had a great fortune. Even his cow had given him a child

Since the lovely child had ears like cow, he was named as Gokarna. Both the children grew up together. Gokarna was quite religious, learned and wise while Dhundhukari was wicked. He was always enraged, ate meat, fish, never prayed at sunrise, noon or sunset. He was least ashamed of snatching even from a dead body. He was fond of stealing others’ belongings, thrashing others’ children, burning others’ houses, being hostile and oppressive to the weak and the poor. He was very cruel and roamed about like a wretched person in the company of dogs. He even started frequenting prostitutes and wasted all the wealth of his parents and thereafter having thrashed them took all the utensils of the household to sell in the market. Atmadev was extremely grieved to have such an unworthy son. He felt like ending his own life.

Realising the pains of his father Gokarna consoled him and said—Do not feel sorry. Better try to free yourself from the worldly desires. This world is as good as an ocean of distress that has no distinction between father and son. As oil is the cause of lamp’s burning, the world burns in the fire of attachment. The fire would not extinguish so long the oil of attachment is there in our hearts. Happy is the person who is free from worldly desires. So, stop worrying about son and reside in forest. This body is perishable so better devote it to self enquiry.

Atmadev understood what Gokarna has said and asked—What would I do in the forest ? I reclining have fallen in the blind-well of worldly attachments. O noble soul Gokarna ! Please save me.

Gokarna advised Atmadev to get rid of the wrong notion that ‘I am a body’. He also advised him to relieve himself from the attachment towards wife and children; to free himself from the worldly desires since the world was ephemeral; to serve the ascetics while being in their company; to get rid of longings; to serve one and all irrespective of their virtues or vices and to enjoy the essence of devotional narratives always.

Gokarns’s advice stabilised the mind of Atmadev. He was sixty years of age. He abandoned his house and proceeded towards forest to devote himself to the worship of the almighty. He regularly recited the tenth canto of the Bhagavatan, that has a vivid description of the various ‘leelas’ or the acts of Lord Shri Krishna. Reciting the tenth canto he finally attained Lord Krishna.

After Atmadev’s departure for forest Dhundhukari asked his mother where she has kept money or else he would kick her. Dhundhuli was so distressed by the words of her son that she committed suicide by jumping into a well.

Gokarna was mostly in meditation and so

unaffected by either pleasure or distress. He proceeded for pilgrimage. Dhundhukari then brought five prostitutes to his house and indulged in various misdeeds to satisfy their desires. When they asked for apparels and gold ornaments, he had to do many unfair and unethical works to raise the money. The prostitutes thought that since Dhundhukari had collected money through unfair means, he would surely be arrested and punished to death by the king. If the king is going to kill him, why not we do it. So they planned to kill him having taken all his money and one night while he was asleep they tied a noose around his throat and tried to kill him but since he was not dying they stuffed burning coal in his mouth and buried him in a ditch. After killing Dhundhukari the prostitutes went away from his house. Dhundhukari became a disembodied spirit or ghost.

Dhundhukari’s form was more like an air now and all the while he kept running here and there. Charged by hunger and thirst, heat and cold he kept crying—‘O Lord ! where have you dashed me down !’

When Gokarna came to know about the death of his brother, he went to Gaya to perform his funerary rites. He used to perform funerary rites at every place of pilgrimage. In this way wandering about at various places finally he returned to his house. At night while he was resting, the ghost of Dhundhukari saw his brother Gokarna. Dhundhukari’s appearance was quite frightening. He changed his forms from one to another, from peacock to elephant to buffalo to Indra to fire and to a man. Even having seen such frightening scenes Gokarna did not lose patience. He thought that it must be some distressed soul from the world of disembodied spirits. He asked aloud—who are you, a demon, a ghost or an evil spirit ?

The ghost started crying but could not speak as he had no body. Gokarna then took some water in his hand, chanted some Mantras and sprinkled the water at the place of the ghost. The ghost then said—I am brother Dhundhukari. I have done numerous misdeeds. I have thrashed people and caused them distress. Now suffering grief and distress at the hands of women I have become an evil spirit and so only air is my food. It seems the fruit of some goods deeds of mine have now surfaced. So O brother ! relieve me from this world of disembodied spirits of which I am fed up.

Having listened to him Gokarna said—How come you are not emancipated ? I had performed Shraddha, the funerary rites for you. Since you have not been emancipated even after Shraddha and offering of Pind in Gaya, it seems your salvation now is impossible. What do I do ?

The evil spirit then said—Shraddha in Gaya may bring salvation to deliver an ordinary soul, but my sins are so terrible that performance of hundreds of Shraddhas in Gaya may not emancipate me. Now, what could be done is upto you to think over.

Gokarna replied—you may go now and let me think over.

In the morning people from the village, who included the learned and wise people having sacred knowledge of the Vedas came to him. Gokarna told them about the incident of the night and asked how to liberate the suffering soul. They all searched in various religious books and texts but to no avail. Finally, they all thought that only Lord Surya, the Sun may be able to solve the tangle.

Gokarna therefore, with the help of his yogic powers halted Lord Surya and asked him—you are the witness to everything. Kindly tell how the liveration of the evil soul could be possible ?

Lord Surya then spoke aloud—‘The salvation of the evil spirit could be possible by holding a week long yajna of the Bhagavat ?

Everybody then decided that Gokarna should perform this yajna and that he should recite the Bhagavat.

People from far and near, from various villages including physically handicapped and lunatics, assembled to listen to the Bhagavat discourse from Gokarna and to thereby wash their respective sins. Everybody wondered how could there be such a big crowd just to listen to the Bhagavat discourse. According to rule Gokarna placed an idol of a parrot and planted a bamboo in the earth. Dhundhukari was in the form of an evil spirit and could flow like air. He placed himself in the hollow space of the bamboo.

Gokarna consecrated a Vaishnav brahmin as the yajaman or host and started the discourse of the Bhagavat. At the end of the first day a strange thing happened. The first knot of the bamboo cracked with a loud sound audible to all. On the second day the second knot of the bamboo cracked after the discourse and in this way on the seventh day all the seven knots of the bamboo cracked after the Bhagavat discourse. So, in this way when the ghost of Dhundhukari listened to the twelve cantos he attained salvation and became a Parshad, God’s attendant. Dressed in yellow clothes, wearing basil garland and various ornaments, divine was his appearance. He bowed before his brother and said—O Gokarna ! it is by your grace that I have attained salvation. The Bhagavat discourse may even end the ghostly sufferings and one may achieve the abode of Lord Shri Krishna. It can destroy severest of the sins. As Samidha or all the offerings dissolve in the fire similarly the

Bhagavat dissolves all the sins, small or big. Meaningless is the life of the one who having been born in Bharat has not listened to the Bhagavat discourse. The only objective of being born is attainment of salvation and the Bhagavat is its means.

While all this discussion was going on an aerial vehicle from the heaven descended, seated over which were the attendants of God. They welcomed Dhundhukari in that divine vehicle. Gokarna then asked—O devotees of Lord Hari ! not only Dhundhukari but all present here have listened to the same discourse. So all should be equally rewarded. Why then this distinction ? You are taking only Dhundhukari to heaven with you.

The attendants then replied that by listening to the discourse of the Bhagavat, salvation is achieved only by one who is the best deserving and such best deserving person here was only Dhundhukari as he had no desire other than salvation. He listened to the discourse all the seven days with utmost concentration and kept on reflecting on it. Others did listen but did not reflect. It is reflection that solves the queries and consolidates learning. So O Gokarna ! now everybody has been able to know the way the Bhagavat discourse should be listened to. So make them listen this discourse once more. Lord Govind will take you all to the heaven.

In the Shravan month Gokarna held the discourse once again and on its completion Lord himself appeared and embraced Gokarna, who had also became a form of Lord himself. God rewarded others also by inducting them as His attendants. This way by the grace of Gokarna and God’s blessings every one got a place in Vaikunth. If one regularly listens to the Bhagvat, devotion comes spontaneously and worldly miseries do not affect any more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Incarnations of God

In the beginning of creation of the Universe, God desired to create ‘Lokas’, the cosmological regions. First of all, he created Mahat-tava, the greatest element and assumed the title having sixteen Kalas (parts)—five sensory organs, five organs of action, a mind and five Mahabhootas of great elementary substances viz. ether, air, fire, water and earth. This is the predominantly pure Narayana form of the God, that expands all the Lokas. Those high souled, Mahatmas, who are gifted with supernatural vision, may visualise the supreme form or the Virat Roop of the God havings thousands of hands, feet and thighs ; thousands of heads, ears, eyes and noses. This colossal form of God is called Narayana and from which all the incarnations appear. To accomplish special task God Narayana assumed twenty four incarnations.

The first four incarnations of God are Sanak, Sanandan, Sanatan and Sanatkumar. These four kumars are five years of age for ever.

The second incarnation of God was in the form of Varaha or a boar to save the earth.

God’s third incarnation was in the form of Narada, assuming which God gave counsel in the form of Narada Panch Ratra Upadesh to relieve the man from the bonds of Karma.

In the fourth incarnation God took his Birth from the womb of Murti, the wife of Dharma and having assumed the form of Nara-Narayana practised hard mortification.

In his fifth incarnation as Kapil, God gave Sankhya instructions to mother Devahooti.

When Ansuya asked for boon, God in His sixth incarnation as Dattatreya extended His counsel to Alarka and Prahlad etc.

From the womb of Akuti, the wife of Ruchi Prajapati, the seventh incarnation of God was Yagya, who along with yaam and other gods protected Swayambhu Manu from the demons.

In his eighth incarnation as Rishabhadeo from the womb of Merudevi, the wife of King Naabhi, God explained to the Paramhamsas the ideal way.

On the prayers of the seers, God appeared from the body of Ven as Prithu, the ninth incarnation and availed all the material from the earth.

In His tenth incarnation as Matsya or the fish God saved Manu and all the seeds from drowing in the water of the earth.

At the time of Samudra-Manthan (churning of the sea) by the gods and demons, in His

eleventh incarnation as Kachhap (tortoise), God was the one to bear the Mandarachal mountain on His back.

Also as Dhanvantari, He appeared with Amrit-Kalash (a jar of nectar) at the time of churning of the sea.

The thirteenth incarnation was in the form of Mohini (most charming woman), who casted a spell of Her charm over the demons to cause the gods to drink the nectar.

Killed Hiranyakashyapu in His fourteenth incarnation as Narasingha.

Asked for land measuring just three steps from King Bali in His fifteenth incarnation as Vaman or a dwarf and having gifted him the royal seat of Sutal state became his gate-keeper.

Annihilated from this earth the terrorizing and tyrant Kshatriyas for twenty one times in His sixteenth incarnation as Parashurama.

As the son of the great seer Parashar appeared from the womb of Satyavati as Vyasa in His seventeenth incarnation and organised the Vedas.

Killed Ravana besides various heroic acts in His eighteenth incarnation as King Rama.

In nineteenth and twentieth incarnation as Balarama and Krishna killed various wickeds to relieve the earth.

The twenty first incarnation would be that of Buddha during the Kaliyug (kali-age) to delude the demons, who are hostile to gods.

The twenty second incarnation would be Kalki in the form of son of Vishnuyasha at the end of Kaliyug.

Some scholars count the Hansa and Hayagreeva also as incarnation of God and believe in twenty four incarnations.

The devotees to God believe that all these were the partial incarnations for a small period of time to accomplish certain special job. For example the Varaha (boar) incarnation was to recover the earth from water, Narasingha incarnation was to kill Hiranyakashyapu. Krishna, however, is God in Himself, who incarnates in all the ages. One, who listens to the tales of the incarnations attentively is relieved of all the miseries.

 

Tale of devarshi narada

Naradaji tells the tale of his former birth to Brahmarshi (the great seer) Vyasa—‘‘Before being born as Narada, I was the son of a Dasi. Once few holymen came for Chãturmãs. Along with mother, I also got engaged in their service. I was obedient, not naughty. Going by my nature, the holymen and sages were very kind to me. With their permission I ate their left over food and served them. By doing so my mind became virtuous. When they worshipped, I liked it. When they sang the songs of Lord Krishna, I listened to it most attentively and in doing so, I developed a great devotion towards God. My service was washing away my sins. While departing, the holymen told me about the great influence of Lord Shri Krishna and thereby showed me the way to attain the ultimate.’’

Naradaji said—‘‘While departing, the holymen gave me the following Mantra—

 

 

It means, while meditating upon Lord Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarshna or Balaram, we bow to them.

‘‘When I so worshipped’’, said Naradaji, ‘‘God was extremely pleased and granted me the gift of knowledge, prosperity and supreme devotion.’’

When Naradaji told Vyasji about the occurences of his former birth, Vyasaji asked— ‘‘Naradaji, you received the supreme knowledge when you were of five years of age only. What did you do when the sages left ? Till death how did you spend your time, how did you relinquish your body ? How come you did not have a loss of memory?’’

Naradaji replied, ‘‘The holymen had all gone. I was the only son of my illiterate mother who only knew how to worry and nothing else. Even I was getting more and more attached towards her. One day she came out to milk the cow. It was dark. On her way she stepped on a snake and suffered snake bite. It was stimulus of time, not her fault. I thought, may be this was God’s desire.’’

Naradaji added further—‘‘Then I started moving about independently. Once I was passing through a dense forest. I as afraid, tired, hungry and thirsty as well. I saw a river, in which I had a bath and quenched my thirst. I was no more tired and exhausted. I sat under a Pipal tree and started meditation as directed by the sages.

While meditating I was overwhelmed and thrilled of devotion. Tears rolled down the eyes. I was too engrossed to realise that I was meditating. I was immersed in bliss when suddenly the image of God disappeared. Having been restless I could not continue with my meditation—where has God disappeared ? Once again I tried to concentrate and meditate, even then I could not obtain a sight of God. At such a juncture I heard a heavenly voice that said, you may not see me in this birth. Those who have not completely purified their inner faculty, it is impossible for such unworthy ascetics to see me.’’

‘‘The heavenly voice further said—O child ! I provided you my darshan (sight) for a while to arouse in you a longing for Me. Due to your service to the ascetics and sages your mind is now stable. When you leave this body you will become my Parshad (councillor). Then you will have continued devotion towards me. Even after leaving the body you will still have the memory of my darshan (sight).’’

Naradaji said—‘‘Having said so, God kept quiet. I bowed before Him. Thereafter leaving everything I started doing Samkirtana and singing His glory with unrestrained joy. My heart was full of ecstacy. Now there was no point in being confined to a place.’’

The heart and mind of Naradaji being full of divinity, had become pure. One day he left that body and acquired that of the Parshad. Naradaji further says—‘‘Once, at the time of Maha-Pralaya (annihilation of the universe) when Lord Brahma dissolved the universe, I sank into him through his nose. Then came the second Kalpa when I was born as spiritual son (Manas Putra) of Lord Brahma. At that time He gifted me with a Vina (lute), that is fitted with a swar (note) of Parmatma (the supreme spirit). I keep moving with it remembering the name of the almightly. When I sing in praise of His Leela (acts), He appears even without having been called. Although He had said that I may not have an audience with Him in this birth, yet when all through my life I kept on remembering His name, I was gifted with this life. Now, as soon as I remember, he appears in my heart. Those who are impatient and crave for worldly desires, it is only the devotion and contemplation of the name of the God, that can bring peace to their lives. I have told you my story as also the means of contentment. Now, you may remember God and describe His leelas. Having told thus to Vyasji, Naaradaji with his vina (lute) proceeded to spread the message of peace in the world.’’

 

 Tale of parikshit and the pandavas

The war of Mahabharata was over. Bhim’s mace had broken the thigh of Duryodhana. Ashwatthama did something very wrong to please him. He beheaded all the five sons of Draupadi while they were sleeping. It was such a wicked act that could not please even Duryodhana. Even he had to say—‘‘You have not done good by killing the sleeping Pandava sons.’’ Draupadi was extremely distressed. Tears were flowing incessantly through her eyes. Arjuna vowed—‘‘I will wipe your tears only when I behead Ashwatthama and place his severed head on your feet. Only thereafter we will perform the last rites.’’

He held his bow ‘Gandeev’ in his hands, made Lord Krishna his charioteer and set out to kill Ashwatthama. Having seen Arjuna coming, Ashwatthama ran out of fear. When his horses got tired, he charged Brahmastra on Arjuna. All the four directions glowed by its irradiation.

Arjuna said—‘‘What is this great irradiation for, I am unable to comprehend.’’ Lord Krishna replied—‘‘Oh Arjuna ! This is caused by the

Brahmastra charged on you by Ashwatthama. You may calm it down by Brahmastra only.’’

Arjuna then rinsed the mouth and fitted the Brahmastras to his bow having remembered God. Both the Brahmastras clashed with each other in the sky and gave rise to an uproar as if the catastrophe was going to destroy the world. Having tied rope around his neck, Arjuna pulled Ashwatthama. Lord Krishna said—‘‘Arjuna ! do not leave this wretched brahmin, kill him. He has killed sleeping innocent children. He is a tyrant. Kill him. You had vowed before Draupadi. Kill him. He has caused distress to even his master Duryodhana, do not leave him.’’

Lord was, in fact, testing his devotee in this way. Despite Lord’s instigation Arjuna could not resolve to kill his guru’s son, although he was the murderer of his sons. He tied him by rope and handed its end to Draupadi. Ashwatthama’s face at that time was remorseful. Seeing the teacher’s son in such a remorseful state, Draupadi asked Arjuna—‘‘Please leave him. For us he is venerable. Don’t you remember, it was his father Dronacharya who imparted all the learnings to you. Son is the reflection of father. He is as revered to us as his father Dronacharya. Do not insult him any more. Dronacharyaji has already lost his life in this war. His wife Kripi is highly aggrieved. I am aware of the anguish of the mother who loses her son. I do not wish to see the preceptor’s wife in such a distress. Please let him go.’’

Everybody praised Draupadi for what she had said. All the Pandavas thought it right except Bhim who disagreed and said—‘‘All these are useless talks. He who has murdered sleeping children deserves to be killed.

There were two sets of opinion, and Lord Krishna was smiling. Every body asked for his opinion—‘‘Please tell us, what should be done.’’

Lord Krishna said—‘‘Both the opinions are right. A brahmin should not be killed even if he has fallen from the path of virtue, this is what I have said in the Sastras, but Bhim is also right. So better do both–kill him and do not kill him. Having said so, he created confusion in the mind of Arjuna, but ultimately he could understand what Lord Krishna meant. There was a unique gem in the head of Ashwatthama that caused in him an extraordinary radiation. Arjuna cut his hair and took out the gem. Thus even without bodily killing him, he was killed. Then the Pandavas has their bath along with Draupadi and performed the last rites.

Lord Krishna and all others remembered the qualities and paid their homages to them. Dhritarashtra and Gandhari also expressed their condolences. Lord Krishna consoled them all and said—‘‘No body can avoid death.’’

Yudhishthira became the king thereafter.

eafter. Lord Krishna asked him to perform three sacrificial acts or the Yajnas. By those yajnas the glory of Yudhishthira spread in all the four directions. Then Lord Krishna said—‘‘Now that my work is done, please permit me to go.’’ Right at that moment, Uttara came running towards him and said—‘‘O Lord ! you know everything, and only you can save me. The Brahmastra of Ashwatthama is fast approaching me to destroy my foetus. Please save me as only you are capable of it. The flaming arrows are approaching to burn me down.

Omniscient and kind to devotees Lord Krishna has known that Ashwatthama had used Brahmastra to destroy the family line of the Pandavas. The Pandavas could also locate five burning arrows approaching towards them. Lord Krishna saved the foetus of Uttara by Suddarshan-Chakra. The Brahmastra lost its power. Thus having saved the Pandavas from the Brahmastra, when Lord Krishna was about to leave, mother Kunti came to him with reverence and devotion. She said—O Krishna ! we faced so many adversities, yet you remained with us, so I beg of you still more distress and sufferings, for you keep company in difficult times.

Hearing this from Kunti Lord Krishna smiled and when he was about to mount the chariot, Yudhishthira earnestly requested him—‘‘Please do not go. We have still not overcome the grief caused by the deaths of so many of our near and dear ones.’’ To honour his request Lord Krishna came back to Hastinapur.

Yudhishthira started scolding himself—‘‘How imprudent I had been that I caused death for others. There may not be a person as sinful as myself. I may not avoid being cast into hell for thousands and millions of times for the sin that I have committed. I am aware that for the killings in war one does not have to be cast in hell, yet I am suffering from immense grief. I am unable to comprehend how to atone the crime that I have committed.’’

Lord Krishna and Vedavyasa did their best to impress upon Yudhishthira, yet he could not be relieved of his grief. Then Lord Krishna took him to the place where Bhishma Pitamaha was lying on sharashayya i.e. bed of arrows. Various other sages also came there. The noble souled Bhishma greeted them all respectfully and worshipped Lord Krishna both inwardly and outwardly. Then he addressed the Pandavas with eyes full of tears—‘‘What do I say about the injustice that you all had to bear. You were always on the side of Dharma i.e. virtue, yet you had to undergo so much of sufferings and pains. I believe this is the leela or play of Lord Krishna, otherwise how can there be a distress where there is King Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma ; where there are Bhim and Arjuna ; where there is a woman like Draupadi and a friend like Lord

Krishna himself !

Bhishma Pitamaha said to Yudhishthira—‘‘Consider all the happenings as God’s will and protect your subjects. O Arjuna ! never consider Lord Krishna, whom you made your charioteer, an ordinary being. He is God incarnate performing His leelas having been born in Yaduvansha. He is omniscient and shows parental kindliness to devotees and that is why he is here to grant me an audience before I die. I pray to him to kindly grant me a sight of his Chaturbhuj form at the time of my death.’’

Thereafter Pitamaha answered in detail the various querries of King Yudhishthira about the duties in various stages of life, duties of a king, duties of a woman, duties for charity and to attain emancipation. In doing so when the time of Uttarayana came, he said—this is the period that is extremely dear to even the Yogis. Now I should leave my body. My Lord is in front of me in His Chaturbhuja from with His fluttering Pitambar. I wish to concentrate all my attention to His feet.

Thus he took off his mind, voice and organs from all the worldly things and fixed it on God, which ended all his sufferings. He was overwhelmed and prayed God. Having dissolved his mind, voice and attitude of sight in God, the noble soul Bhishma kept quiet. Everybody could unterstand that he has immersed in the ultimate being. All observed silence. The Gods showered flowers from the sky. King Yudhishthira performed the funeral rites. Having returned to Hastinapur he consoled Dhritarashtra and ruled with his directive.

On request of his sister Subhadra Lord Shri Krishna stayed in Hastinapur for sometime and then begged leave from Yudhishthira to proceed to Dwarika. He met and greeted all. All had tears in their eyes that they wiped out lest it would be a bad omen at the time of journey.

Drums were beaten at the time of departure of Lord Krishna. Women showered flowers from the balconys.

Emperor Yudhishthira took over the administration and looked after his subjects with a sense of ascetisun.

When the influence of Brahmastra was about to burn the child in the womb of Uttara, she saw a thumb sized glowing personality wearing pitambara protecting it with his four long arms. One arm was moving the gada or the mace around the womb and Ashwatthama’s Brahmastra was unable to touch it. The foetus also thought, who is this person saving me ? Even after birth since he was searching around for the person who had saved him in the womb, he was named ‘Parikshit’.

 

departure of dhritarashtra and gandhari for forest on advice of vidura

Vidura was the Prime Minister of Dhritarashtra. He was a great saint also. He always gave good advice to Dhritarashtra, but he never cared to act accordingly. He left Hastinapur and set out for pilgrimage. Meanwhile the war of Mahabharata took place. The Pandavas won and Yudhishthira became the king. After this, when Vidura returned to Hastinapur, king Yudhishthira and his family was very pleased.

Vidura started living happily in Hastinapur. The Pandavas respected him like god. He was incarnation of Dharmaraj. Sometime a seer had cursed Yamaraj as a result of which he had to have a rebirth as a Shudra for a hundred years and so Yamaraj took a rebirth as a Shudra in the form of Vidura. Vidura was pleased to see the Pandavas happy.

He went to Dhritarashtra and said—O great king ! Having lost your consciousness you are

sitting here while the death is about to come. It is enough. You should take off your attention from the world. God is approaching towards us in the form of Kaal, the clouds of death are hovering on us.

Vidura said to Dhritarashtra—‘‘It is the influence of Kaal that separates a person from his near and dear ones within a second. Your father, brother, sons and dear ones, whom you had considered as your own, are all dead. Our own body is being a victim of old age.’’

On numerous earlier occasions Vidura had extended his wise counsel to Dhritarashtra but he was unable to comprehend the noble words. So this time in harsh reproaching words, Vidura said—‘‘When will you be able to understand that every living being has a dominant desire to be alive? Bhim is tossing before you the morsels of bread as are tossed before a pet dog. Despite feeding on such morsels you still desire to live more !’’

To open Dhritarashtra’s eyes Vidura further added—‘‘You tried to burn them, poisoned them, insulted Draupadi in a crowded congregation, snatched their land, inflicted various sufferings on them and now you are surviving on their morsels ! Is there any dignity in such a life ? You still wish to live ? It is the height of foolishness. You will never have a peace of mind. Your body has bacome old, leave it. It will leave you, even if you do not. With this body none can go to God. So, better move out.’’

Uptil now everybody had advised Dhritarashtra to keep a control over Duryodhana, but he paid no heed to it. However, this time the harsh words of Vidura aroused an ascetic sense in him. He set cutting off the out family attachment. Vidura assisted him and Gandhari followed. They set out for the Himalaya.

Dhritarashtra along with wife Gandhari and Vidura went to a place called Saptasrota where he regularly performed religious rites like Agnihotra etc. He relinquished his desires and longings and controled his pranas. He lived just on water of the Ganges. One day, the leaf-hut wherein he lived caught fire, he did not know and got burned in it. Having seen him in fire Gandhari also entered the hut and ended herself. Vidura was highly surprised and sorry and he set out for pilgrimage.

shringi’s curse to king parikshit

Parikshit was highly endowed with virtues. After the great departure, the Mahaprayan of the Pandavas he started ruling the earth with advice from his ministers and Brahmins. One day King Parikshit set out to hunt. While chasing the deer he came to a seer absorbed in meditation. He asked for some food and drink but the seer was too absorbed in meditation to answer. The king became angry. He felt that the seer was knowingly insulting him. In a fit of rage the king lifted a dead snake lying nearby with the tip of his arrow and placed it around the neck of the seer.

Shringi, the brilliant and energetic son of the seer Shamik, was playing nearby with other ascetic children. When he came to know of such an improper conduct with his father, he was extremely angry. He was so enraged that he said—‘‘These Kings are, in fact, the dogs at the doors of Brahmins. I curse this wicked king.’’ Having taken the water of river Kaushiki in his palm he cursed the king—May the Takshak snake bite on the seventh day from today the king, who has dared to offend my father.

Having cursed the king, the seer’s son Shringi was highly upset. Seeing the dead snake around his father’s neck he started crying. His father, having been distracted from meditation asked him why he was crying. He explained everything to his father and also about the curse. The seer Shamik felt very sad and said—‘‘Oh ! you have done something very wrong. You don’t understand ! King is another form of God Himself. If for some reason he has committed a wrong, why be agitated ? If a king is not worthy enough it gives rise to a state of anarchy which increases the number of evil doers and virtues disappear. King Parikshit is a very religious person. It is because of him that we are in peace. You should not have disrespect for him. He had come hungry and thirsty to this hermitage, you have not done right in cursing him.’’

He then prayed to god with a sense of sorrow—‘‘O Lord ! This silly son of mine has committed a sin against the guiltless king. Please forgive him.’’

The King Parikshit came back to his capital but he was quite repentant over his misdeed. He thought—‘‘I am most mean person, who has committed a grave sin and I should atone for it. Let somebody curse and cause sufferings to me, then only I would be liberated of my sin.’’ When he came to know about the curse by Shringi, he felt happy since it aroused ascetism in him. He handed over his empire to his son Janmejay and

sat by the side of river Ganges with a Vrata (vow) not to eat or drink anything till death. Renouncing all the worldly attachments he engrossed his attention towards the feet of God.

Having come to know of Parikshit’s resolve, many seers and sages came to the shore of the Ganges. King Parikshit welcomed them all with reverence and said—‘‘I am a sinner, yet you all are so kind to me to have come here. Now that you all are here, I am least afraid of Takshak or anybody else. Plesae bless me with Bhagwat-Katha (discourse about God). Please bless me to remain devoted towards God in whichever form I am born, according to my deeds, after death. O revered Brahmins, I salute you all.’’

Having said so, he sat by the side of river Ganges. Everybody praised him and said—‘‘O Rajarshi (royal seer) ! You come of the family of the Pandavas, who were companions of Lord Shri Krishna, you have renounced such an empire to which everybody bowed. Excellent is your abdication. We will be here with our religious discourses till you dissolve in the Supreme Being after death. Thus all the sages blessed King Parikshit, who had two queries—

1. What should be the deeds of a person throughout life ?

2. When the time of death approaches, what should one do ?

The seers were about to answer the query when Shukdev Maharaj, the son of Vyasa dropped in. He was looking extremely pleasant in his ascetic attire. He was sixteen years old. Everybody was happy to see the glow of his face and his well built body. Having recognised, everybody welcomed him and put forward the same questions—‘‘O Shukacharya Maharaj ! You are the preceptor of the yogis, please tell us what should a person do throughout his life and at the time of death ? What should one listen to, whom should one worship and meditate upon, and what should one renounce ?’’

On being asked thus by the king, Shukdevji told the Bhagvat-Katha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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tale of varaha incarnation

When Lord Brahma created Manu and Shatarupa, they both asked him with folded hands—O Lord ! You are the creator of all and we are your children. Please order us. What should we do to serve you. Please tell us the job that would please you and would add to our glory and would ensure beatitude for us.

After listening to Manu, Lord Brahma replied—‘‘Having honestly said ‘please order us’, you have honoured me. This is the duty of a son. Never ever have any ill-will for any one. Along with your wife give birth to children, virtuous like you and protect the earth religiously. Do this work like worship to God and to please Him. Success of life is in it.’’

Manu replied—‘‘O Lord ! We will certainly obey you, but right now there is no place for us and our off spring. At this catastrophic period the earth is immersed under water. Please retrieve the earth so that we may expand our generations.’’

Lord Brahma thought over how to retrieve the earth from water. Since he could comprehend that it was a job that he may not be able to do, he came to the omnipotent Lord Vishnu, prayed to Him and said—‘‘O Lord ! I am born of your resolve. Please help me accomplish this job.’’

While Lord Brahma was meditating upon Lord Vishnu thinking about the ways and means to retrieve the earth from water, a thumb sized boar came out of his nose. In no time the boar assumed a colossal size. Having seen the colossal image of that Varaha or the boar, all could immediately comprehend that it could be none else than the Lord Vishnu himself.

Lord Varaha then thundered in divine voice. Having heard His divine voice all the ascetics living in various ‘Lokas’ eulogized Him. Lord Varaha then leapt into the water. It seemed as though the ocean was torn open and Lord Varaha sank into it. He held the earth over His tusk to retrieve it from under water. At such a time the demon named Hiranyaksha attacked Him with his mace. A tterrible duel with him followed. Having killed Hiranyaksha, Lord Varaha came to the surface with earth and established it.

Lord Brahma, Marichi and other sages paid their respectful salutations to Lord Varaha and sang His praises.

Having installed the earth Lord Varaha disappeared. 

 

tale of Hiranyaksha

Diti was the daughter of Daksha. Her husband was sage Kashyap. One day Kashyap was perforning a havan (sacrifice) in the evening when Diti had a surge of sexual desire. She immediately requested sage Kashyap and said—‘‘O my dear husband ! I am having a pressing sexual desire at this moment and it has crushed me like the elephant tramples the plantain forest. I beg of you a son. I envy my other sisters, since I have no son as yet. Please fulfil my desire.’’

Kashyap replied to her, ‘‘It is the duty of the husband to fulfil the desires of his wife and I will also definitely fulfil you desire but try to understand that this is not the proper time for it. Let the period of this evening pass and then I would be ready to fulfil your desire. At this time of the evening, Lord Shiva riding over his bull moves about in accompainment of his fellows. It is not according to the injunctions of Sastras to make love at such a time. It may cause various harms.

Diti, however, could not restrain herself. She was so sexually charged that she pulled the garments of her husband. Sage Kashyap felt concerned, ‘‘Why is Diti sexually so charged ? Not know what is God’s desire ?’’ Finding no way out, he made love to his wife and after having evening bath sat in meditation again.

After the surge cooled down, Diti was remorseful of her deed and she said to her husband—‘‘Despite your advice, I paid no heed to it. Now I am extremely worried lest something harmful takes place. I would pray to Lord Shiva to kindly save me from this harm.’’

Having seen Diti perturbed, sage Kashyap said—‘‘Sexual desires had disturbed your mind and you forced me to do something improper. You made a second mistake in paying no heed to my advice and your third mistake is that you have insulted the principles of the Sastras and God. So you will give birth to two terrible demons who would bother and torture all, kill the innocents, oppress the ascetics and persecute the women. Lord Himself will have to incarnate to kill them.’’

When Diti heard it, she told that there was one good thing that the God Himself would incarnate to kill her son. It was better to be killed by God rather than being cursed by the brahmins.

Sage Kashyap replied to Diti, ‘‘You have dome something wrong but it is good that you are remorseful and that your have respect for me, for Lord Vishnu and for Lord Shiva and so the son of one of your two sons would be a great

devotee to God. That grandson of yours would definitely have a darshan (sight) of God and he would bring good to whole of the demon-family.

When Diti learnt that her sons would cause pain to gods and holy people, she confined her sons in her womb and did not let them out. The period of her pregnancy kept on increasing and with it increased its energy and glow to such an extent that the divine glow paled before it and it covered the light of even the Sun.

The gods went to Lord Brahma and prayed—‘‘O Lord ! you know everything. Due to this glow spreading over the earth, we are losing our strength. What should we do ? Please save us.’’

When Lord Brahma heard the gods, he told them the story of Sanat Kumars’ visit to heaven. He said—Once, all the four Sanat Kumars visited heaven to have darshan of God. All the four kumars are free from the influence of time. They are always nude and their age never exceeds five years. All these four ascetic kumars, having crossed six gates were about to enter the seventh when door keepers Jay and Vijay halted them, since they were entering without permission.

The kumars asked them, ‘‘Are you aware of your deed ? You have got this position of privilage as you had once been devotee to God. In this paradise, what is the fear that you are talking like this ? One who nurses such feelings of fear is a hypocrite and sinner, not a devotee. This whole universe is situated within the Lord and so there cannot be any distinction here. It is your discrimination that creates fear. Where from did you have this duality ? It seems you are deceitful. One who is deceitful, suspects others. Despite earning the post of Parshad (attendants) of Lord you are so low witted. So, for your betterment we think of some appropriate punishment for you. Due to the fault of your discriminating intellegence you will have to leave this paradise and undergo such sinful reincarnations where the mind is the habitat of three enemies viz. lust, anger and greed.

When the Sant Kumars cursed Jay and Vijay to undergo rebirths, they fell flat on their feet and urged them in most dejected voice, ‘‘O revered ascetics ! you have appropriately punished us according to our offence but we beseech you to kindly accede to this prayer that in whichever form we are born, we should always remain devoted to God.’’ Thus, despite accepting punishment they earned boon through their repentance.

When Lord Vishnu heard the wrangling, He came out along with Lakshmi. The ascetic Sanat Kumars respectfully bowed and eulogized before them. They said—‘‘O Lord ! although we are self restrained yet we desired to have a direct ‘darshan’ (sight) of yours. So tempting are your appearance, virtues and legends that we have left

everything to have a sight of yours. If we have improperly cursed your ‘Parshads’, please do punish us. According to our deeds you may send us to hell or in any reincarnation but please grant us this boon that we always have unstinted devotion in you, that our voice is always associated with you and that our ears are always filled with your narratives.’’

Having heard the eulogy of the Sanat Kumars, Lord Vishnu addressed them—‘‘O saints ! despite being my ‘Parshad’ Jay and Vijay have offended you. You all are my devotees. One who disrespects my devotees deserves to be punished. So you have justly punished them. I consider the offence of my attendants against you as that of my own and beg of you for your favour. The one who offends the ascetics and seers must be punished. Now, please do such a favour that having suffered their punishment they may return to my heavenly abode—the Vaikuntha Dham. The curse that you have extended to them was due to my own inspiration. Now, they would reincarnate as ‘daityas’ (demons) and then would return to me at the earliest.’’

Lord Brahma further said that the seers circumambulated and bowed before Lord Vishnu and returned happily. Lord Vishnu then said to Jay and Vijay—‘‘Go now, do not fear. It is for your welfare. I do not wish to erase the curse that you have got. In your demon-reincarnation you would have a sense of enmity towards me. Due to rage you would have intense concentration towards me, that would relieve you of this sin and thus having been purified, you will return to me.’’

Brahmaji explained to the gods that having ordered Jay and Vijay to undergo demon reincarnation Lord Vishnu returned to His abode and Jay-Vijay lost their brilliance. When they fell from Vaikuntha (heaven) a tumult followed. Lord Vishnu’s attendants entered the womb of Diti and it is for this reason that the brilliance of you all has paled before theirs. Lord would Himself bring about our well-being.

Having known about the brilliance of the pregnancy of Diti from Lord Brahma, the gods were all relieved and proceeded to their respective places. Out of fear Diti did not let those twins come out and held them in her womb for a hundred years. When they were born, it was a turmoil all over the world, that perturbed everybody. It seemed to everybody as though the end of the world was nearing.

At such a juncture Diti gave birth to two children, who assumed mountainous body as soon as they were born. Seeing their well built body seer Kashyap named them as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyapu. The one who came first in Diti’s womb was Hiranyakashyapu and the one who was born first was named Hiranyaksha.

Hiranyakashyapu pleased Lord Brahma through his hard penance and roamed about having been free from the fright of death. Hiranyaksha was very dear to his brother. Since he was very strong he always wanted to have fight with some one. Having gone to heaven he challenged gods. Hearing his challenge all the gods went into hiding and none came in front of him. He them jumped into the water of the sea and kept on playing with water for many divine years. He even challenged god Varuna, who most intellengently said—‘‘earlier I was quite fond of fights but now I am tired of it and do not like it any more. However, if you are so desirous of exhibiting your strength, you may go to Lord Himself, who is engaged in retrieving the earth from under the water. Only He may be able to satisfy you. As soon as you reach him, your haughtiness would be smashed.

Hiranyaksha came to know from Narada that the Earth was in the lowest of the seven hells i.e. Rasatala. Crazy of his strength, Hiranyaksha reached the Rasatal where he found Lord Varaha coming with Earth over his tusk. He laughed and said—‘‘O beast ! how come you are in the ocean and where are you taking this Earth with you ?’’ Hiranyaksha rebuked and abused in various ways.

Lord Varaha did not respond. The demon then charged his mace on Him yet God ignored and came over the surface with the Earth and securely installed the Earth over water, and then truned towards Hiranyaksha.

Having completed His job Lord Varaha smilingly teased and thus challenged Hiranyaksha—‘‘When death approaches to the heroic people like you, they tend to forget their limits and start misbehaving just like you. Now, I am standing before you. Come, fight with me, kill me and salvage your near and dear ones.’’

Hiranyaksha became furious having heard the words of Lord and got engaged in fight with Him. Both charged their maces over each other. Both were masters in duel. Hiranyaksha used his strength, magical powers and deceit and initiated rains of excrement and urine etc. However, Lord used his circular weapon, the Sudarshan-Chakra to finish the magical and illusory powers of Hiranyaksha. When arms, weapons and illusion lost its effect, the demon became furious and held Lord Varaha tightly to crush Him to death. Lord slapped over his ear and he fell flat motionless. After a while he was dead.

 

tale of lord kapil

When Lord Brahma ordered Prajapati Kardam to produce children, he practised penance near the bank of river Saraswati for ten thousand years. God was very pleased with the penance of Kardam and appeared before him.

Even Kardam was extremely happy with such a sweet smile and the delightful image of God. He prayed before Him with folded hands. Having heard Kardam’s prayer, God said to him—‘‘O dear Kardam ! You have pleased me with your adoration. I have already made arrangements for the cause for which you have practised this penance. Those who worship me, I make sure that their worship does not go in vain. Manu and his wife Shatarupa have a daughter, who is young, beautiful, virtuous and marriageable. You accept her. You will have nine daughters from her, whom you may offer to various Prajapatis and in the end through the womb of your wife I would incarnate myself and I will impart Sankhya knowledge to my mother Devhuti.’’

Having explained thus God disappeared. Kardam remained at the place of his penance. At

the appropriate time, in a very beautiful chariot Manu appeared accompanied by his wife Shatarupa and daughter Devhuti.

Sage Kardam welcomed Manu in his hut. When Manu took his seat, Kardam in his sweet and pleasing voice said—‘‘You are another form of Lord Vishnu, the protector of this world. You always roam about to protect the holy men and to annihilate the evil. Kindly tell me the purpose of your arrival. I will abide by your order.’’

Most courteously replied Manu—‘‘O noble soul ! you have earned so much of knowledge through study and yoga that you are as good as the form of the Supreme Being. O great seer ! this is my daughter and Uttanpada’s sister Devhuti, who is good and virtuous in every respect. Having heard about you from Narad ji, she has chosen you as her bridegroom and I wish to offer her to you with utmost reverence. I have heard that you are willing to marry. Please do accept her.’’

Kardam said—‘‘Your royal highness ! I consider myself to be lucky enough as I may have Devhuti as my wife. I would certainly accept her, but with one condition that I would live with her and carry out the obligations of a domestic life until we have a child. After that I would renounce the world and devote my time in meditation upon God.’’

King Manu and queen Shatarupa then married their daughter with Kardam and returned to their capital. After the departure of her parents Devhuti engaged herself in the service of her husband. Thus, a long period of time passed. Due to hard labour Devhuti had become very weak. One day, being extremely moved by her devotion, Kardam said to her, ‘‘You have given me enough of respect and so you too deserve the same. I am quite satisfied with your loving care. All the living beings love their bodies, but being engaged in my service you never cared for your beautiful body. You never cared for your sufferings and desires. So you will of course receive your share in the Siddhis (powers) that I have gained through penance.’’

Having heard the loving words from her husband, Devhuti replied, ‘‘O my dear husband ! you are capable enough to provide all the enjoyments and pleasures of life, however, the fulfilment of the life of a woman devoted to her husband lies in conceiving a child through her husband.’’

Kardam was highly pleased to hear his wife. Through his yogic powers he created a charming aerial vehicle. Having seen the beautiful aerial vehicle, Devhuti casted a glance towards her own body that had become weak and ugly due to hard penance and service. She thought, ‘‘How would I recreate with my husband with such a

body ?’’ Kardam understood her feelings and asked her to have a dip in the Bindu Sarovar (pond). As she has a dip in the pond, she got back her former beauty besides several male and female attendants who adorned her with beautiful attires and jewellery.

Debhuti and Kardam embarked on the aerial vehicle and wandered around the world. Devlok, Indralok, Gandharvalok etc. Several ages passed in this joy ride and then they desired to have off spring. Devhuti gave birth to nine daughters.

After producing children, as per his earlier pledge, sage Kardam was ready to renounce the world when Devhuti in her sweet voice addressed him—‘‘O Lord ! Now that you has bestowed me with these daughters, kindly also grant suitable husbands for them as I may not be able to arrange it all by myself. You are so devoted to God that you would always remain so and would never miss it but despite being a woman I am entangled in worldly affairs and could not benefit even having you as husband, which I regret and repent. Please relieve me also from the shackles of life and death.’’

When sage Kardam heard such ascetic words from his wife, he could immediately recollect about the boon granted by Lord Vishnu.

While ordering him for expansion of his subjects Lord Vishnu has also said that He would incarnate Himself through him.

He said—‘‘Do not worry. Since your life had been with ascetic fervour, Lord Vishnu Himself would arrive in your womb. So build sufficient strength in yourself so that you may be able to bear the brilliance of Lord.

As advised by her husband Devhuti started the worship. Through Kardam Lord Vishnu entered her womb and with the entry of Lord auspicious signs became all the more evident. Lord Brahma accompanied with other gods came to congratulate Maharshi Kardam and Devhuti and said—‘‘Dear children ! you have always honoured others, obeying my orders you have expanded your family. Your nine daughters would further expand your family. Marry them to various Prajapatis (Kings). Besides expanding generation it would also expand your glory. Now, Lord Narayan would incarnate as your son. He would expand Sankhya Sastra to unshackle the bonds of ignorance of the people. He would be known as Kapil. Having Him as your son would add to your glory in this world.’’

After departure of Lord Brahma, Maharshi Kardam married his daughters—Kala, Ansuya, Shraddha, Havirbhu, Gati, Kriya, Khyati, Arundhati and Shanti with sages Marichi, Atri, Angira, Pulatsya, Pulah, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vashistha and Atharva respectively. All these sages departed for their respective abodes along with their wives.

Then Maharshi Kardam had the darshan (sight) of Lord Kapil who has appeared as his son and said—‘‘O Lord ! after ages of devotion, ascetic fervour and yoga one may have your darshan. I have not done any such thing, yet you have appeared through me in the form of my son. It is only due to your kindness and favour. All my wishes are now fulfilled and I have become free of all debts also. Now, please permit me to renounce the world and to spend the rest of my life roaming about in your adoration.’’

Having received Lord Kapil’s command, sage Kardam left his household and wandered over the earth without a sense of attachment. Having been free of arrogance, attachment, joy and sorrow, ill will and aversion, he had the darshan (sight) of the Supreme Being everywhere. He became calm like an ocean without waves. With his overpowering devotion to God, he achieved the supreme state. After some time on being asked by Devhuti Lord Kapil imparted her the spiritual instructions about Sankhya Sastra and then asked her permission—‘‘Mother ! you may now carry on with your adoration and allow Me to leave.’’

After the departure of Lord Kapil Devhuti started meditating through practice of yoga as advised by Lord. She practised meditation upon Lord in the way she was advised and in doing so she was so engrossed that she completely forgot her ownself. Her body irradiated. Thus in a short period of time she acquired Lord and that sacred place became famous as Siddhapad.

Having obtained permission from mother, the great yogi Lord Kapil proceeded towards the North-East direction, where Ganga dissolves into the sea. The sea worshipped Him and provided Him space in its own area, that is called Gangasagar.

 

 seer atri’s penance

Seer Atri undertook an unyielding penance keeping mind and life under full control. In his heart he prayed that he was under the protection of the Lord of the whole universe, and that He should grant him a son like Himself.

Having been pleased with his penance the trinity appeared before him and granted him their darshan (sight). Seer Atri bowed before them respectfully and urged—‘‘I had thought of the Supreme Lord with a desire to be blessed with an off spring. How come all three of you are so kind to be here ? Who among you is the one whom I had called ?

The trinity smiled and said—‘‘O Seer ! the form of the supreme being that you had thought over is none else than three of us. We three represent the three qualities of the supreme Lord viz. Sattava-Rajas-Tamas (Purity, Passion and Darkness). Our parts would incarnage in the form of your son and would expand your family as well as your glory.’’ Thus as the sons of seer Atri and his wife Anusuya incarnated Moon, Lord Dattatreya and seer Durvasha from the parts of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva respectively.

 tale of sati

Once Daksha Prajapati arranged for a very big Yagya, the sacrificial act. All the gods came to attend it. Daksha entered while all were sitting. Having seen him enter all the courtiers got up except Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Since Lord Brahma was his father, he did not mind but Lord Shiva was his son-in-law, yet he did not get up to respectfully greet him, this very thought made him furious.

Charged with utmost annoyance and displeasure Daksha addressed to all present—‘‘Listen to me O seers and gods ! I am talking of proper conduct and courtesy. All of you stood up to pay of respect to me but this shameless, conceited Mahadev did not even care to verbally greet me. Such conduct of his has tarnished the image of all. For him common courtesy seem to be non-existent. I wonder how on Lord Brahma’s words I married my daughter with him. It was as good as forcively teaching the Veda to a Shudra. He has broken all the barriers of dignity and decorum and has done away with virtuous demeanour. All the time he is unclean and impure, lives in the abode of ghosts and evil spirits. Laughs at times and at times cries. Smears his body with ashes of pyre, wears garland of heads and bones. His name is Shiva but, in fact, he is Ashiva i.e. inauspicious. I do not know why I married my daughter with such an inauspicious person.’’

Thus Daksha Prajapati developed an acute sense of hatred for Lord Shiva and used such words of outrage aganist him. Lord Shiva, however, kept quiet and did not utter a word in reaction. This further infuriated Daksha and having taken some water in his hand, he was ready to curse Lord Shiva. Gods present there tried to impress upon him but he paid no heed to it and thus cursed Lord Shiva—‘‘This Mahadeva is wretched and so shall not have any share in the Yagya along with other gods like Indra and Vishnu etc.’’

Lord Shiva kept quiet and unmoved but his wahan (vehicle) Nandishwar became very angry and cursed the brahmins of Daksha as they had said that Lord Shiva and his fellows were ghosts, evil spirits and Shudras and that unlike brahmins they has no virtuous quality.

Nandishwar said—‘‘Daksha, who is discriminatory and filled with ill will against Lord Shiva be deprived of philosophical knowledge and these brahmins of Daksha will study and carry out religious rites and ascetic practices for livelihood. They would wander

over the earth being slaves of their sensory organs.’’

How could the brahmins keep quiet after such a horrible curse from Nandishwar. On behalf of the brahmins, charged with anger Bhrigu cursed the Shiva devotees and said that they would live at impure places like cremation grounds in accompaniment of Lord Shiva and would follow the path of dissmilation.

In this way the Shaivs cursed the brahmins and the brahmins cursed the Shaivs. This reciprocal anger and curse was not to the liking of Lord Shva. He thought that Nandi was after all Nandi but Bhrigu was a seer and that he should not have behaved in that manner. However, having thought it to be the Lord’s will he returned with his fellow ganas to mount Kailash. In this way the Yajna, that was to continue for a thousand years ended abruptly and all returned to their respective places.

Lord Shiva did not discuss the incident with his wife. No opposition from Lord Shiva added to the arrogance of Daksha. Meanwhile, Lord Brahma appointed him as the President of all the Prajapatis. Daksha was not satisfied by insulting Lord Shiva once. To further insult and disrespect him, he started another Yajna named ‘Brihaspatisava’. The main object behind all this was to insult Lord Shiva.

All the Devarshis and Maharshis, the great seers and sages, started arriving to participate in the Yagya. All the gods and goddesses passed over Mount Kailash in their respective aerial vehicles. All were engrossed in discussion about the sacrificial act of Daksha. Sati heard their talks. Having seen well attired goddesses proceeding towards the venue of her father’s Yajna, Sati also wished to go there. She said to Lord Shiva—‘‘O Lord ! your father-in-law is going to hold a very big Yajna, to participate in which all the gods and goddesses are going. If you so wish, we may also go there. All my sisters along with their husbands will also be there and it would be very nice meeting them besides having a darshan (sight) of father and mother, who would gift attires and ornaments to all. I wish you to come along and receive all the materials.’’

Sati eulogised Lord Shiva and further added—‘‘O Lord ! you are the source of this world possessing the three gunas (qualities). Despite being in this world you are beyond it. So, for you, the yajna may not be all that important but I am a woman. I am extremely anxious to visit my native land. O Neelkantha ! So many women are going, although they have no relation with Daksha. The sky is full of them and looks so beautiful. Lord ! you may appreciate the restlessness of a daughter to visit her father’s place on such a festive occasion. One should

visit the husband, preceptor and parents even without invitation. Although my father has not invited you, still we should go. Lord ! you are most kind-hearted and I am your wife. You should fulfil my desire. So kindly pay attention to my prayer.

While listening to Sati’s words Lord Shiva recollected the ill and harsh behaviour of Daksha, despite which he smiled and said—‘‘You have rightly said that one should visit one’s near and dear one even without being invited but one should never visit a person who is hostile and spiteful to one. Although we have no ill feelings, but he has. So why should we make him annoyed by our presence. Despite being relatives, they do not respect us and so we should not go there.

‘‘O dear ! you are the youngest and most dear daughter of Daksha, but you are my wife, so you will not receive any respect there.’’

Lord Shiva explained why he did not bow to Daksha. He said, ‘‘Those who are proud of their body keep busy in external show offs like standing and bowing etc., but those who are knowledgeable of the real nature of things, bow to Lord who lives in the heart of all. Pure inner soul itself is Lord Vasudev, whom I pay my regards and before whom I bow. Those who bow before Lord Vasudev, they nurse no ill will for anybody, not even against those who are hostile to them.’’

Shivaji further said, ‘‘I was not at fault in the yajna of the Prapajati, yet he disrespected and scolded me. He may be your father but he pursues enmity with me and so I do not wish to go there. You should abundan the very idea of meeting him or his followers. It will not be good for you if you pay no heed to my words and choose to go there, because if a celebrity is insulted by his relative, it becomes a cause for his immediate death.’’

Having said so Lord Shiva kept quiet. He thought that destruction was inevitable whether he allows or prevents Sati from going. So having thought it to be the Lord’s wish, he kept quiet. Sati was, thereby, in a great dilemma. She was aware of the truth in her husband’s words on one hand while on the other she was drawn by the attraction of her parents and relatives. This attraction pulled her out, but the tear of anger of Lord Shiva brought her in this dillema caused her to be overpowered with anger and her body shuddered. She casted such a sight over her husband as if she would reduce him to ashes. Finally, she was determined to go and proceeded on foot. When Maninan and Madh, the followers of Lord Shiva saw her departing alone, they accompanied her, took Nandi also with them. Thus Sati reached her parental home riding on Nandi, where for fear of Daksha nobody welcomed her. Only sisters and mother greeted

her with affection. Sati found brahmins chanting verses from Vedas and offering sacrifices to the sacrificial pit, the yajna-kunda.

When Sati paid a glance towards the hall of sacrifice, the yajnashala, she saw that neither there was any seat for Lord Shiva like other main deities, nor there was any share aportioned for him. Having seen such an insult all around, she was so charged with anger that she felt like reducing all the three Lokas into ashes. She addressed her father in most bitter tone and said, ‘‘Who else in this world is as great as Lord Shiva ? He is calm, does good to every one without any ill will, yet you are finding faults with him and being hostile ! The good people overlook the vices of other and discuss only their qualities whereas the scoundrels search demerits among even good people.’’

She further added, ‘‘You have reproached my husband and Lord of all—Lord Neelkantha —so I do not wish to keep this body of mine that you have made, as whenever my husband would address me as daughter of Daksha, I would be reminded that this body of mine is the creation of Daksha, who had insulted my husband.’’

Sati thus decided to reliquish her body and through yoga ignited fire and burnt herself. With the death of Sati there was tumultous uproar all around. The news spread immediately everywhere. Everybody blamed Daksha, whose offence has forced Sati to end her life. The followers of Lord Shiva got so angry that they indulged in bloodshed at the yajna site. Under such a juncture Bhrigu, the priest of Daksha resolved to annihilate the followers of Lord Shiva, who were ruining the yajna, and offered oblation through chanting of Mantras, as a result of which appeared thousands of gods named Ribhu from the sacrificial pit, the yajna-kunda. They attacked the Ganas (attendants) of Lord Shiva and drove them out.

While all this was happening at the yajna site sage Narad went to Lord Shiva and told everything which infuriated him. He pulled a mass of his braided hair and knocked it over earth. Immediately a tall, well built, three eyed and thousands of armed person Veerbhadra with terrible mass of twisted hair appeared with trident and various other weapons. With folded hands he asked Lord Shiva—‘‘What is the order for me, O Lord !’’

Lord Shiva replied, ‘‘O Rudra ! You are a part of me. Lead my attendants and destroy the yajna of Daksha.’’

As ordered by Lord Shiva, Veerbhadra followed by the attendants of Lord Shiva rushed towards the yajna site of Daksha. The commotion stirred up the dust that led all the Brahmins, gods and Daksha to wild guesses about the source of dust.

Meanwhile all the attendants of Lord Shiva led by Veerbhadra reached there and surrounded the yajna site. They knocked sage Bhrigu down on earth and plucked out, his beard, dashed the teeth of god Pusha i.e. the god of ancestors. God Bhag, who had provoked Daksha to reproach Lord Shiva was also not spared and was blinded. They beheaded Daksha. There was a huge uproar in the yajna site. Veerbhadra burnt the head of Daksha in the fire-pit of the yajna. After all these destructive acts, Veerbhadra and rest of the attendants of Lord Shiva came back to him.

All the gods and the Brahmins, who were victims at the hands of Lord Shiva’s attendants came to Lord Brahma. Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were already aware that such a disaster was going to happen and that is why they had not gone to the yajna.

Lord Brahma said, ‘‘You all did something very wrong by not providing the sacrificial share for Lord Shiva. Daksha had already insulted him by his harsh words and now due to him Shiva and Sati are separated. Even then Lord Shiva is Ashutosh i.e. the one who is most easily pleased. If you prostrate and beg to be forgiven, he might forgive you. You all are unaware of his greatness and power. He is, in fact, the supporter of all.’’

Having said so Lord Brahma accompanied with all the gods reached Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva where he was sitting completely in peace with least of anger. His body was still. Besides seers like Sanat Kumars and many other accomplished yogis, Kuber, Lord of Alkapuri was also present there and they were having a Satsang (religious discourse). Lord Shiva was replying to querries of Narad. With folded hands everybody respectfully greeted Lord Shiva. In honour of Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva got up and bowed before him.

Lord Brahma eulogized Shiva and said—‘‘O Lord ! you had every right to have your share in the yajna and knowing it fully well the performers of yajna denied your share and so the yajna was destroyed. Kindly forgive Daksha for his offence and please be kind to revive the yajna. O Lord ! please give a new life to Daksha. Kindly do such a gracious act that the gods who have suffered mutilation of body, come back to their normal shapes; Bhag devata receives his eyes and Pusha devata his teeth back and Bhrigu’s moustache and beard is restored. We all have made such an arrangement that this yajna will be complete only when your share is apportioned.’’

Lord Shiva was pleased to hear the prayer of Lord Brahma and said—‘‘O Lord Brahma ! I do not keep in mind the offences of foolish people like Daksha. I have only punished him for his arrogance.’’

Lord Shiva then graciously explained the fresh arrangement for everybody. He said that

the head of the sacrificial goat be conjoined with the body of Daksha, that the Bhag devata would see through the eyes of his friend Surya (sun), that Pusha devta will be able to have foodgrains of the yanja through yajaman (the one who pays for the performance of sacrifice, that the mutilated bodies of the gods would return to their former shape, and that the goat’s moustache and beard be fixed on sage Bhrigu’s face.

Having heard Lord Shiva say so, everybody was pleased and they all requested him to participate in the yajna.

As soon as the goat’s head was joined to the body of Daksha, he got up. With the sight of Lord Shiva his heart became pure and sacred. Tears rolled down his eyes when he saw the burnt remains of the body of his daughter Sati. Controlling his emotions he eulogized Lord Shiva.

After his prayer he remembered Lord Vishnu and offered oblation of Khir (rice boiled in milk with sugar) in the fire-pit. Lord Vishnu riding on Garuda arrived. Daksha then started the yajna afresh.

Having been pleased by the yajna Lord Vishnu said—‘‘O Daksha ! We, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva are basically one. We create the world, protect it and finally destroy. One, who does not distinguish among us achieves the ultimate peace.

Daksha then worshipped rest of the gods and offered the residual substance as Lord Shiva’s share after worshipping him according to rule. Thus the yajna of Daksha was completed. All the gods blessed Dkasha and returned to their respective obodes.

Sati was again born as Parvati from the womb of Himalaya’s wife Maina and once again married Lord Shiva.

    tale of dhruva

The great King Manu and queen Shatarupa had two sons—Priyavrata and Uttanpada. Uttanpada had two wives—Suniti and Suruchi. The king loved only Suruchi and not Suniti. The son of Suruchi was Uttam and the son of Suniti was Dhruva. Once king Uttanpada was sitting with Uttam in his lap when Dhruva also arrived and desired to sit in his father’s lap. The king however, for fear of Suruchi expressed no affection, which he should have, towards Dhruva.

Dhruva was looking towards his father with a longing sight when Suruchi came there and addressed Dhruva in a most bitter tone—‘‘Dhruva, you may be the son of your father but you are not entitled to sit in his lap since you are not born from my womb. If you wish to sit in the lap of your father you will have to take birth from my womb. So for this practice penance and pray to God to put you in my womb.’’

Dhruva was very greived to hear such words. In great anguish he heaved a long sigh. His father neither consoled him nor prevented Suruchi from speaking like that. Crying Dhruva went to his mother and told everything. Even Suniti felt

sad and she said—‘‘Son, your step mother has scolded you and has used harsh language, yet you should not have ill-will for her. In fact, you should never do or think bad for any one because the one who causes pain or distress to others, definitely suffers in his own life. She has very rightly said that God may give you everything. So you better worship God.’’ These words of mother Suniti were the guiding words for child Dhruva. His anger had subsided and he was ready for adoration of God and set out with determination to attain the Supreme Being. When Devarshi Narada heard this news, he met him on way, placed his blessing hand over his head and praised his determination. He appreciated that the Kshatriya child could not bear insult and has set out to achieve his object.

Narada told Dhruva—‘‘Son ! You are still a child and this age of yours is to be playful rather than thinking about honour and dishonour. Do not make yourself so unhappy. O Dhruva ! it is extremely difficult to please God. There are ascetics who despite several reincarnations are unable to find God. You are only a child. So do not be obstinate, go back to your home. We should endeavour for any work keeping in view our own capacity. It is better to be satisfied in whatever one receives as per the ordainment of rule or law.’’

Dhruva replied to Devarshi Narada‘‘—My Lord ! whatever you have said is perfect. It is true that mind is very unsteady and that it is very difficult to devote it in adoration, but what can I do ? I am a Kshatriya child and so I am stubborn. I would do whatever I have decided. I am so hurt by the harsh words of my step-mother that these words of counsel do not stand. So please be kind and tell me the place where even my grandfather (King Manu) and great grandfather (Lord Brahma) could not reach.

Narada was extremely pleased to note the unyielding determination of Dhruva and said, ‘‘Your mother Suniti has very rightly said that the devotion towards Lord Vasudeva is the righteous way for welfare of the man. So from here you go to Madhuvan on the bank of Yamuna, which is the abode of God. Everyday after having your bath and finishing your daily obligation sit in meditation. Concentrate your mind and organs through pranayam (breathing exercise) and meditate on the Sagun form of God. The face of God is ever pleasing. He is always ready to grant desired boon to His devotee. His nose, eye brows and cheeks are all very beautiful. Thus you should meditate on each and every part of God’s body and the ornaments on it. Then you should have the feeling that God is smiling having seen me. Continuous meditation on the auspicious image of God make one’s 

mind completely immersed in Him and is not drawn towards worldly affairs.’’

Besides the process of meditation Devarshi Narada tells Dhruva that ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ is the sacred Mantra and repeatation of this Mantra for seven days and nights would cause the darshan (sight) of all the Siddhas (the accomplished).

Having said so Devarshi Narada set out from there and went to King Uttanpada. After the welcome ritual he asked him—‘‘O King ! your face looks dejected. You seem to be distressed. What has happened ?’’

The king replied, ‘‘My Lord ! I am so enslaved of my wife that I have no more affection left in my heart. I allowed my five year old child to go away from home. He was such a nice child, who had only desired my lap, but my wife refused for that and I kept quiet. I am now worried for him. I hope, he has not fallen prey to a wild beast.’’

Narada said—‘‘Do not feel sorry O King ! Your child has sought shelter under God Himself, who will protect him. After accomplishing the work he has set out for, he would soon return to you. He would cause enhancement to your glory.’’

Dhruva went to Madhuvan as directed by Narada. Having bathed in the Yamuna, he went on fast and began his worship. In the first month he practiced penance eating fruits once in three nights. Then in the second month he ate only dry grass and leaves once in six days and continued with his penance. In the third month living only over water once in nine days, he kept his worship. In the fourth month he won over his breathing and breathed once in twelve days. In the fifth month of his penance he had a complete control over his breathing and continued with his meditation standing only on one foot. Having seen such an arduous penance of Dhruva creatures of world shivered. The earth got twisted under the pressure of his toe.

Lord Himself arrived at Madhuban riding Garuda to provide darshan (sight) to His devotee. Dhruva opened his eyes and found Lord before him. Dhruva paid his obeisance to Lord by prostration of the body in greeting. God took him in His lap and fondled him. Dhruva wished to eulogize God but he did not know how to do it. God touched His conch-shell to the cheeks of Dhruva by which he earned divine voice and he started eulogizing God. His eulogy pleased God, who said—‘‘O child Dhruva ! I am aware of your definite resolve. I would grant you such an immortal position that has yet not been acquired by any one. All the planets, stars and heavenly bodies would encircle around you. I grant you Dhruvalok (celestial abode) around which even the Saptarshis (seven stars) would revolve

mind completely immersed in Him and is not drawn towards worldly affairs.’’

Besides the process of meditation Devarshi Narada tells Dhruva that ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ is the sacred Mantra and repeatation of this Mantra for seven days and nights would cause the darshan (sight) of all the Siddhas (the accomplished).

Having said so Devarshi Narada set out from there and went to King Uttanpada. After the welcome ritual he asked him—‘‘O King ! your face looks dejected. You seem to be distressed. What has happened ?’’

The king replied, ‘‘My Lord ! I am so enslaved of my wife that I have no more affection left in my heart. I allowed my five year old child to go away from home. He was such a nice child, who had only desired my lap, but my wife refused for that and I kept quiet. I am now worried for him. I hope, he has not fallen prey to a wild beast.’’

Narada said—‘‘Do not feel sorry O King ! Your child has sought shelter under God Himself, who will protect him. After accomplishing the work he has set out for, he would soon return to you. He would cause enhancement to your glory.’’

Dhruva went to Madhuvan as directed by Narada. Having bathed in the Yamuna, he went on fast and began his worship. In the first month he practiced penance eating fruits once in three nights. Then in the second month he ate only dry grass and leaves once in six days and continued with his penance. In the third month living only over water once in nine days, he kept his worship. In the fourth month he won over his breathing and breathed once in twelve days. In the fifth month of his penance he had a complete control over his breathing and continued with his meditation standing only on one foot. Having seen such an arduous penance of Dhruva creatures of world shivered. The earth got twisted under the pressure of his toe.

Lord Himself arrived at Madhuban riding Garuda to provide darshan (sight) to His devotee. Dhruva opened his eyes and found Lord before him. Dhruva paid his obeisance to Lord by prostration of the body in greeting. God took him in His lap and fondled him. Dhruva wished to eulogize God but he did not know how to do it. God touched His conch-shell to the cheeks of Dhruva by which he earned divine voice and he started eulogizing God. His eulogy pleased God, who said—‘‘O child Dhruva ! I am aware of your definite resolve. I would grant you such an immortal position that has yet not been acquired by any one. All the planets, stars and heavenly bodies would encircle around you. I grant you Dhruvalok (celestial abode) around which even the Saptarshis (seven stars) would revolve

Anger is an obstacle to welfare. Everybody is afraid of an angry person. An angry person has no friends, nor can he succeed in this world. Even his own people disregard him. Besides being distressed himself an angry person makes others also distressed. So, O Dhruva ! pacify your anger. Everybody is fedup of the angry persons. Those who wish well for themselves should never be possessed by anger. You have killed all these yakshas considering them to be the murderers of your brother, and have thereby committed a grave sin. Better you beg forgiveness from their king Kubera, please him by your reverential words otherwise your family may be destroyed.’’

Dhruva accepted the advice of his grandfather and bowed before him in salutation. Having accepted Dhruva’s greetings he departed for his abode.

When King Kubera came to knew that acting on the advice of his grandfather Manu, Dhruva has pacified himself, he came to him. Dhruva greeted him with folded hands.

Kubera said, ‘‘O King ! On the advice of your grandfather you have renounced your anger. One, who has renounced anger, is venerable since it is very difficult to do so. O Dhruva ! do not think that you have killed the yakshas. In fact, neither the yakshas have killed your brother nor you have killed the yakshas. It is God who causes death or life. So you surrender your mind to God. I am pleased with you and wish to grant you a boon. Ask whatwver you desire without any hesitation.’’ This time, Dhruva asked for the boon that his heart may be always filled with the memory of Lord.

Dhruva ruled for thirty six thousand years with virtuous demeanour and during this period he enjoyed divine majesty and organised various yajnas (the sacrificial rites). Thereafter he entrusted the throne to his son Utkal and renouncing all his wealth and family reached Badrikashram where through his penance he immersed himself in God. A divine aerial vehicle descended from the sky having Sunand and Nand as two of its attendants. They told him that the vehicle was sent for him by God. While he was going to sit in it, the god for death arrived treading on whose head he entered the Viman (aerial vehicle). While he was on way he remembered his mother. The attendants said, ‘‘Look, O great King ! your mother is going ahead of you in another Viman. One, who has given birth to a son like you cannot be an ordinary woman.’’

Dhruva was very pleased to hear it. All the gods welcomed him showering flowers over him. Thus Dhruva reached aboveall the eternal abode of God.

 

 

tale of prithu

King Anga, belonged to the fifth generation of Dhruva. Whenever king Anga offered sacrifice or oblation in the yajna (sacrificial rite), the offerings were not accepted by the gods. This caused him a great distress. His priests and brahmins reflected over it and said, ‘‘You have not committed any sin in the present birth but due to the sins of your previous birth, you did not have a son and so long you do not have a son you will not entitled to the fruits of your further deeds. To have a son, the king then arranged a yajna (the sacrificial rite). From the sacrificial pit, the yajna-kunda, then appeared a divine sacrificial person, the yajna-purush along with a dish of khir (rice boiled in milk with sugar), feeding which to his wife Sunitha the king got a son who was named Ven.

Ven, however, was so cruel and merciless that everybody was distressed of him. Even king Anga was highly displeased. When he pondered over, it came to his mind that it was better to have an unworthy son for then only one may be detached from the worldly desires. Having a worthy son on the contrary draws one closer to

the household whereas an unworthy son makes the household a hell and one feels it right to renounce it. This thought provoked the king Anga to silently proceed to forest. In the morning everbody searched him everywhere seriously but could not find him. All returned disappointed to the city and informed the seers and sages that they searched the king everywhere but could not find him.

The seers, sages and the elders deliberated among themselves that the throne should not be left unoccupied. What to do then ? Ven, the son of king Anga was so wicked and cruel that the ministers were not reluctant but the elders made him the king. Having ascended the throne, king Ven became all the more frenzied and insulted everyone. He even proclaimed that nobody should indulge in any worship, sacrificial act, charity or any religious rite and that everybody should consider him to be God and worship him. The seers and sages thought that they had made him the king for fear of anarchy while the king himself was causing distress to all. It was the duty of the king to protect his subjects from thieves and brigands but under the misrule of king Ven the subjects were reduced to a log that was being burnt from both ends, the king on one end and the thieves and brigands on the other.

The subjects politely tried to convince king Ven to renounce his evil deeds and to provide protection and welfare to his subjects. King Ven, however, became all the more angry and said, ‘‘You all are great fools. You should understand that the king is incarnation of God. Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Indra etc. all the gods live in his limbs. So leaving such a god like me, which god you propose to worship ? You behave in the manner of a woman who lives with her lover and considers herself worried for her husband and observes religious rites for his welfare.’’

Having been so insulted by king Ven the seers and sages got so angry with him that they decided to curse him. King Ven died of their threatening shout. After the king’s death it was anarchy all around. Sunitha, the mother of king Ven was the daughter of Mrityu, the death. She did not allow the last rites of his son and preserved his body with Mantra and Tantra.

Meanwhile, the seers and sages thought that the state had become so powerless that the thieves and brigands were creating a lot of troubles and something was needed to be done. They also thought that the lineage of king Anga shuld not be destroyed as it had devotees like Manu and Dhruva as its ancestors. They thought that they would churn the body of Ven and would thereby create his son.

When the seers churned the thigh of Ven, a coal-black complexioned dwarf like man came out of it whose face was like that of a crow with

small hands and feet, bit jaw and snubbed nose. With the birth of such a person the terrible sin of Ven found its vent.

When the seers and sages churned the arms of Ven a man-woman’s pair appeared from it. The seers thought it to be a part of Lakshmi-Narayana. They named the male as Prithu and the female as Archi. They felt that the duo had incarnated for the protection of the world. And thus there was delight all around.

Thus the coronation of king Prithu took place. Everybody presented him with various gifts. People wanted to eulogize him but king Prithu prevented them and said, ‘‘The earth has yet not seen any quality of mine. I am yet to do anything as such. So, what you wish to eulogize me for ? If at all you so wish, please eulogize God. One, who eulogizes man instead of God, insults the God as also ridicules the man.

The brahmins formally crowned him. At that time there was no production of food grains. It was famine all around and the lamenting hungry subjects gathered near their king Prithu.

Having seen the plight of his subjects, Prithu was deeply moved. He became very angry with the earth. First, he scolded the earth and then drawing his bow and arrow ran after it to kill. Having assumed the form of a cow the earth started running but the king followed it.

The frightened earth finally came to king Prithu seeking his protection and said, ‘‘O great King ! you are the protector of all the creatures, please protect me also. I consider you as my Lord and salute you. If you kill me, to whom should I go for protection ? Having incarnated as Varaha (boar) you had recovered me from Rasatal, the lowest of the seven hells, and what an irony that today being possessed of anger you wish to punish me. I bow before you in salutation, please save me.’’

She went on to add—‘‘O King ! the seers and sages have shown various ways like cultivation, yajna etc. for welfare of mankind. Man can use them to have desired result. The ignorant people who do not use it are not rewarded. When I observed that the food grains that I produceed was consumed by the wickeds people and that the kings had stopped maintaining me, I concealed it in myself. You may recover that following the ways already shown by the learned spiritual guides. Bring the suitable calf, milkman and milk pail, I would be pleased to give milk. Please also arrange to level me up so that the dampness may prevail even after rainy season. This would cause well being for you.’’

Thereafter, there is the detailed description in the Bhagvat, how and which creatures obtained their desired materials from the Earth. This made king Prithu extremely pleased. He loved the Earth as his daughter and considered her to

be one. King Prithu then levelled up the earth with the tip of bow and built the place of residence for his subjects. He built separate settlements, villages, cities and cantonments and properly made separate arrangements of various sections of the people for better administration of the society.

The great king Prithu did many righteous deeds. He decided to have a hundred Ashwamedha Yajnas and by God’s grace those yajnas were being successful which was not to the liking of Devraj Indra. While king Prithu was carrying out hundredth yajna, Indra took away his horse, out of jealousy. On many occasions he stole the horse under various disguises. Everytime the horse was recovered, it was stolen again and thus there were intermittent obstcales.

Finally Lord Brahma appeared before king Prithu and said, ‘‘O great king ! You already deserve salvation and so there is no need for a hundred yajnas at all. The acts of hypocrisy out of jealousy by Indra are spreading irreligiousity, please stop it instead of insisting for the yajna.’’

King Prithu accepted the advice and renounced the idea of carrying out a hundred yajnas and allowed the brahmins to leave having offered them religious gifts.

Lord Vishnu appeared at the sanctuary of king Prithu accompanied by Devraj Indra and said—‘‘O great king ! It is true that Indra created various obstacles in your yajna, but at the same time your last yajna that was to finish off Indra was also not right. In yajna offerings are made even for Indra, who becomes the yajna-purush at that point of time and the yajna-purush means the Supreme Being i.e. Lrod Vishnu. In other words you propose to please the yajna-purush by your yajna and wish to finish him as well. So remove this incoherence first. Despite the evil deeds of Indra, forgive him and be pleased because useless is the yajna if it does not please the mind. You run the administration religiously, devote yourself to God, meditate and live life free of worldly desires.’’

With the advice of Lord Vishnu king Prithu had no more ill will towards Indra. He forgave Indra and embraced him. Lord Narayana was standing with His hands on the shoulder of Garuda. King Prithu eulogised Him and Lord said, ‘‘you may ask for whatever you wish.’’

King Prithu replied—‘‘My Lord ! you may grant boon even to Lord Brahma, but how can this devotee of yours ask for worldly pleasures ? Please grant me ten thousand ears so that I may keep listening about you and your deeds.’’

Having been pleased Lord said—‘‘O great King ! You will always have your mind devoted towards me and you will most easily cross over the ocean of my Maya. Keep following my orders. I always ensure welfare for those who

obey my orders.’’ Thus having granted boon Lord disappeared and king Prithu returned to his capital city. In his court appeared Sanak etc. —four young seers who are ever five years old and time leaves no impact on them. King Prithu welcomed them, washed their feet and sprinkled the water on himself and all around and then said with humility—‘‘It is so kind of you to have come here. We are all honoured by your presence but I am unable to comprehend as to what should I ask from you. I cannot ask about your welfare as you are constantly attached to the Supreme Being. So, O great souls ! please give such advice that may bring welfare to all.

The Kumars were highly pleased by the words of king Prithu and said—‘‘Your Majesty ! It is good of you to have asked it. You are aware of everything, yet you have asked it for the benefit of others present. Your query denotes that you keep the benefit of your subjects in your mind.’’

The Kumars then explained various means to achieve the Supreme Being that were needed to be practised regularly.

King Prithu was extremely pleased having heard the preachings of the Kumars. He saluted them and said—‘‘God was so kind to me that you came here. In fact, it is the God Himself who arrives in one’s life in the form of sages and seers. What have I to give you in exchange of your nectar like preachings ? Having said so, king Prithu worshipped the Kumars, who praised king Prithu and returned to their abode in Brahmalok.

Following their advice king Prithu managed the administration of his kingdom and surrendered to God all the fruits of his deeds. He was never drawn to worldly desires despite being a king of so vast an empire. He managed the state affairs so well that his subjects were happy and contented and everybody sang his glory. He ruled the earth for thirty six thousand years. He had five sons. When he realised that he has accomplished all his work, he handed over everything to his sons and prepared for his eternal journey.

He left his kingdom to settle in jungle to lead an ascetic life with his wife. He was aware that people would cry and ask him not to leave but he adopted Vanaprastha to lead an ascetic life which purified his mind and soul. Having achieved such a state of mind he engaged himself in the worship of God.

When Prithu finally relinquished his body, his wife Archi arranged a funeral pyre, placed the body of her husband over it and having bathed, entered the burning pyre along with her husbands mortal remains. All the gods and goddesses showered floral petals on her and said that the Sati was going along with her husband to the Loka, far above the heaven.

tale of Prachetas

There was King Prachinbarhi in the family succession of King Prithu. He was highly religious and performed so many yajnas (the sacrificial rites) that the whole earth was almost covered by the kusha, the sacred grass used in yajna ceremonies. He married Shatadruti, the beautiful daughter of the sea and thus had ten sons, who all looked alike and were all named as Pracheta.

King Prachinbarhi asked his sons to practice ascetic fervour and to produce children while leading a noble life.

Prachetas decided to enter the sea for practice of ascetic fervour as the sea was their maternal grandfather. All the ten Prachetas were proceeding towards sea in the west when they saw a big fine lake with bloomed lotuses. A sweet musical melody was also audible. Lord Shiva accompanied by his followers appeared from that lake to the astonishment of Prachetas, who all saluted him.

Lord Shiva (Rudra) told them—I know that you all are sons of Prachinbarhi and that you are going to practice penance. I have provided you

my darshan (sight) so that you may succeed in your resolve.

He raised such a beautiful point that needs to be understood especially by the so called devotees of Lord Shiva and Vishnu, who fight with each other. Lord Shiva said, ‘‘the one who is egoless and devoting himself to Lord Vasudava (Vishnu) seeks refuge in Him, is most dear to me.’’ He further said, ‘‘It is not at all difficult to attain me but the attainment of Lord Vishnu is extremely difficult. It is possible only when I favour. You all are devotee to God and so you are dear to me. I shall tell you a stotra that you all should chant with pure heart and soul and devotion. It would please Lord and your ambition would fulfilled.’’

Lord Rudra thereafter explained a stotra of thirty three shlokas that is most famous and powerful. Lord Rudra told Prachetas that the stotra was named ‘Yogadesh’ and that he had heard it from Lord Brahma, who had recited it before he created the world. The stotra was capable of providing the power for expansion of the world without getting entangled in it.

Lord Rudra advised to recite this stotra to keep oneself secured from this world. It would concentrate the mind and bring welfare. Lord Rudra said that ultimate state of life is to achieve God and nothing else. He asked the princes to listen to the stotras attentively. Chant the same and to make life full of ascetic fervour through which one may achieve the best in this world. ‘‘One who gets up early in the morning, takes bath and then listens or makes others listen to the stotras with full concentration, is relieved of the worldly bonds for ever,’’ said Lord Rudra. Having so advised Prachetas and accepting their adoration Lord Shiva disappeared. The princes thereafter practiced penance for a thousand years in water.

Being under water and through their chant of Rudrageet, Prachetas pleased Lord Shri Hari and practised penance for ten thousand years, after which Lord appeared before them in a most beautiful form and addressed them—‘‘O princes ! you have most religiously practised penance. I wish you all well. I am highly pleased to witness your mutual love for each other. You may ask for whatever boon you wish.’’

Without waiting for them to ask for a boon Lord Shri Hari granted them a boon on His own that whosoever remembered Prachetas in the evening will have identical love for his siblings. Lord Shri Hari added that He would grant better understanding and desired boon to one who would eulogize him by Rudrageet in the morning and evening.

Lord Shri Hari told Prachetas—‘‘you have practised penance following the order of your father so you will acquire fame worldover. You will have a most handsome son who would not

my darshan (sight) so that you may succeed in your resolve.

He raised such a beautiful point that needs to be understood especially by the so called devotees of Lord Shiva and Vishnu, who fight with each other. Lord Shiva said, ‘‘the one who is egoless and devoting himself to Lord Vasudava (Vishnu) seeks refuge in Him, is most dear to me.’’ He further said, ‘‘It is not at all difficult to attain me but the attainment of Lord Vishnu is extremely difficult. It is possible only when I favour. You all are devotee to God and so you are dear to me. I shall tell you a stotra that you all should chant with pure heart and soul and devotion. It would please Lord and your ambition would fulfilled.’’

Lord Rudra thereafter explained a stotra of thirty three shlokas that is most famous and powerful. Lord Rudra told Prachetas that the stotra was named ‘Yogadesh’ and that he had heard it from Lord Brahma, who had recited it before he created the world. The stotra was capable of providing the power for expansion of the world without getting entangled in it.

Lord Rudra advised to recite this stotra to keep oneself secured from this world. It would concentrate the mind and bring welfare. Lord Rudra said that ultimate state of life is to achieve God and nothing else. He asked the princes to listen to the stotras attentively. Chant the same and to make life full of ascetic fervour through which one may achieve the best in this world. ‘‘One who gets up early in the morning, takes bath and then listens or makes others listen to the stotras with full concentration, is relieved of the worldly bonds for ever,’’ said Lord Rudra. Having so advised Prachetas and accepting their adoration Lord Shiva disappeared. The princes thereafter practiced penance for a thousand years in water.

Being under water and through their chant of Rudrageet, Prachetas pleased Lord Shri Hari and practised penance for ten thousand years, after which Lord appeared before them in a most beautiful form and addressed them—‘‘O princes ! you have most religiously practised penance. I wish you all well. I am highly pleased to witness your mutual love for each other. You may ask for whatever boon you wish.’’

Without waiting for them to ask for a boon Lord Shri Hari granted them a boon on His own that whosoever remembered Prachetas in the evening will have identical love for his siblings. Lord Shri Hari added that He would grant better understanding and desired boon to one who would eulogize him by Rudrageet in the morning and evening.

Lord Shri Hari told Prachetas—‘‘you have practised penance following the order of your father so you will acquire fame worldover. You will have a most handsome son who would not

be less in quality than Lord Brahma and would have expansion of his off springs all over the world.’’ He further added, ‘‘Devraj Indra had sent on Apsara named Pramlocha to interfere in the penance of seer Kandu. Through the seer she had a daughter named Marisha. Leaving her daughter on earth the Apsara proceeded for her heavenly abode. The poor little child cried for her mother when Moon showered nectar in her mouth and the trees brought her up. You may all unitedly marry her and she will have equal love for you all. You will enjoy life for a million years and would finally abide in me.’’

Having found Lord Shri Hari in front of them and having heard His auspicious voice, Prachetas eulogized Him with folded hands. They said, ‘‘O Lord ! Now that we have got you, what else do we need ? However, we ask for one thing. We are ready to have as many births as required but please kindly ensure that we have the company of holy and ascetic people during the period of transition and that we should always have devotion towards you.’’ Prachetas went on to add, ‘‘O Lord ! we have served the seers, sages and the elders. We have pleased the brahmins and venerables and through our long penance and chants we have attained you. We ask for this boon from you that you should award your grace to all those who act like us.’’ ‘‘So be it’’ said Lord Shri Hari and disappeared.

All the Prachetas then came out of the sea. Having come out of the sea Prachetas found towering trees over the earth as if they were trying to touch the sky. This infuriated them. They thought that the trees were audacious enough to cover the whole earth. In utmost fury they created fire and violent breeze that started burning the trees. Lord Brahma in the meanwhile arrived to impress upon all the Prachetas that if we are unable to give life to some one, we have no right to take somebody’s life. He advised Prachetas not to harm the trees and to rather marry their daughter Marisha.

Prachetas married Marisha as advised by Lord Brahma. Through Prachetas Marisha gave birth to a son who was named Daksha and Lord Brahma appointed him as Prajapati (king) to expand the world. This was the same Daksha, whose daughter Sati was married to Lord Shiva.

tale of Puranjan

King Prachinbarhi was usually engaged performing various yajans and religious rites. One day Devarshi Narad came to him. He told him that the sphere of Karma (action) was the sphere of ignorance and that while living in the sphere of ignorance one may never achieve bliss.

The king replied—O Lord ! I know nothing than Karma. Kindly tell me about that pure knowledge through which I may relieve myself of the tangle of the karma. Those who consider their family, children and wealth to be everything, they keep wandering about the worldly jungle. I am also wandering likewise.

Narada said—Your Majesty ! You have most brutally sacrificed numerous animals over the altar of your sacrificial rites. Now see, those animals are hovering around and awaiting you. They remember it well that you had subjected them to sufferings and so they are thinking to thrash you with iron rods and torture you on your arrival. So, be prepared for all this.

Having heard so from Narada the king got perturbed. Narada then further added—I am

telling you the tale of Puranjan. Listen to it attentively. There was a king named Puranjan. He had a friend named Avigyat. Nobody ever knew what he used to do and how he used to come and go. Puranjan once thought that he would tour throughout the earth and search a proper place where he could live well. he wandered a lot but could not choose a place as he wished to have various worldly pleasures. He wished to have all the pleasures at one place but something was unavailable 

at one place while something else was unavailable at the other. This made him very sad. While wandering about he reached Bharat Khand situated in the South of Himalayas, where he saw a beautiful city with nine gates having nice enclosed areas, gardens and lattice windows. The city was well decorated with gold and silver. All the conceivable pleasures and enjoyments were available there. He was very pleased having seen all this and felt that the place suited him.

Suddenly a beautiful woman came accompanied by ten guards, each having his hundred wives with him. They had a chief with them accompanied by a five-hooded huge snake for their security. The woman had also arrived in the garden in search of a capable man.

The woman has a beautiful nose, nice teeth, very good cheeks and very beautiful face. She was young having a little dark complexion. She had nice earrings and quite shapely waist. She was wearing a yellow sari. She had a golden belt around her waist and hollow anklet with tinkling tiny bells and was walking gracefully. When Puranjan saw her majestic movements and eyes, he as so charmed by her grace that he asked—‘‘Who are you O Lotus eyed lady ! Whose daughter are you, why are you roaming about in this jungle near the city and how are you related to this city ? Who is this eleventh person besides these ten warriors ? Who are these female friends of your ? Who is this snake that is moving with you ? If you are human please marry me like Lakshmi had married Lord Vishnu and ornate this city. I am a nice, valiant and heroic person. I am infatuated by your charm. I only wish you to please marry me.’’

When he thus described the beauty of the lady, she felt a bit embarrased but subsequently she smiled and accepted the proposal. Thereafter she told about herself—‘‘O honoured self ! since you are asking, let me say that I know nothing about my parents, lineage etc. I even do not know my name and the place I belong to. I simply know that right at this moment I am standing near the city. I do not know who has built this city. I only know that I have come here to live. These are all my friends with me. When all of us as well as the city goes to sleep, this five hooded snake keeps awake and protects. O

Lord ! I accept you and you may live with me in this city. My servants would make available to you all types of pleasure. You may live with me in this city, that has nine gates, for a hundred years. How can I not accept an honourable person like you ?’’ Thus Puranjan and Puranjani supported each other and lived in the city for a hundred years.

Puranjan and Puranjani, both were leading luxurious life. Puranjan had become the King of the city. In summer he enjoyed with woman in lakes. Out of the nine gates of the city seven gates were up and two down the city. Five gates were on the eastern side while one each on the northern and southern side and two on the west. Puranjan used to roam about the world through these gates and returned after having enjoyments.

The two eastern gates named Khadyota and Avirmukhi were side by side. Through these gates Puranjan used to visit a country named Vibhrajit in the company of his friend Dyuman. There were two other gates also side by side named Nalini and Naalini through which he used to visit a country named Sourabh along with his friend Awadhoot. There was a fifth gate Mukhya on the east through which he used to visit countries named Bahoodan and Aapan accompanied by his friends Rasagya and Vipan respectively. The gate on the south was named Pitrihu. He used to visit south Paanchal with Shrutadhar through it. Gate on the north was named Devahu through which Puranjan visited North Paanchal with Shrutadhar. He used to visit Gramak country with Durmad through the Aasuri gate on the west and to Vaishas city with Lubdhak through the gate Niriti. There were two blind citizens in the city named Nirwak and Peshaskrit. Although they were blind but Puranjan visited different places with their help for worldly pleasures and enjoyment.

Thus, having visited all these places Puranjan used to return to the inner enclosure of his household with his friend Vishuchin where he experienced the pleasure and attachment to his wife, son etc. So, despite being engaged in various works since he was too lustful and possessed by passion, he was mad after his wife. He followed all her acts. He drank alcohol when she did. Sat with her when she ate food. Smiled when she smiled and cried when she cried. He spoke when she spoke, moved when she moved. When she held something, he held it too. Danced when she danced and sat when she sat. Like a monkey he danced at her bidding and thus the life of Puranjan and Puranjani was progressing.

Naradaji narrated that once Puranjan took a good bow and a quiver and with his army chief went to a forest named Panchaprastha. His chariot was such that it could move in five different movements. It had a seat, two yokes,

five armours and seven shields, besides a bridle, five ropes.

Although Puranjan was highly dedicated to his wife but he was so charged by the passion of hunting that he set out having left her at home. Demonish instinct so overpowered him that he lost the sense of compassion and kindness towards other creatures and started killing innocent animals. Here Naradaji tells something very important. He says that Grihasthashram, the second stage or domestic stage of life is there to control the demonish instinct of man.

Puranjan killed rabbit, boar, antelope, porcupine and many other animals. He then got tired, hungry and thirsty and so he came back to his palace. He had his bath, food and drink and relaxed. Then his wife came to his mind. Charged by sexual passion he searched for his wife but could not find her. He asked the maids who replied—‘‘Your Majesty ! we do not know what has happened to your wife. She is lying on the earth, without attire and bed. She seems to be very distressed.’’

Puranjan became restless having seen his wife rolling about on earth. First he touched her feet and then most lovingly lifted her in his lap and said—If some servant has committed a mistake and the master did not scold him, most unfortunate is the servant. It means that you are my mistress and I serve you. I committed a great mistake in not taking you along with me for hunting and instead of scolding me you are lying like this. It is so unfortunate of me. So please scold me, punish and thrash me.

Thus Puranjan tried to please her in many ways.

Life of Puranjan was thus going on. At times he wandered outside while at times he enjoyed the pleasures and miseries of life with his wife and children. This is true with most of us.

Puranjan’s persuation finally pleased her and she got up to properly dress up and get ready. Puranjan used to think that his wife was under his control although it was other way round. He always slept on the arms of his beloved wife and never cared either about his own welfare or about the Supreme Being.

From Puranjani he had eleven hundred sons and one hundred daughters. Mot part of his life was spent in bringing them up. He performed various yajnas to fulfil his various desires about his children. While doing all this he became old, a state that is unwelcome to anyone.

There was a Gandharva King named Chandaveg. He had with him three hundred sixty very powerful gandharvas and about the same number of gandharvis. From various gates of the city they used to enter and plunder various materials of luxurious life. Puranjan and his companions were gradually being weak and

infirm. He was highly perturbed yet he did not keep himself aloof of worldly pleasures as he was unaware that these pleasures lead one to destruction.

Narada says—Your Majesty ! Kaal had a daughter, who was in search of a husband for herself but none was ready to marry her. People called her Durbhaga, the unfortunate. One day she met me and wanted to have me as her husband. I refused and she cursed me that I may never stay at a place for long.

The girl then went to Bhay, the King of Yawans and proposed thus to him—‘‘O superior among the yawans, I love you and wish to marry you. Please accept me.’’

Bhay replied—You cannot be my wife. However, through my yoga-vision I have already traced a suitable husband for you. You better marry him. If you ask any one to accept you, nobody would be ready for that. Without being manifested you will have to use force and I would provide you the strength required for it. Now, you become my sister. My brother Prajwar would accompany you. Go to Mrityulok (the earth) and experience sexual gratification by force with whomsoever you wish. With my army I would be there with you being imperceptible.

Thus accompanied by Bhay, Prajwar and their army the Kaalkanya (the daughter of Kaal) started wandering on the earth. She besieged the city of Puranjan that was being defended by the old snake. The Kaalkayna made her first strike over the subjects of the city. She started having enjoyment and pleasure with the subjects which made them infirm.

The army of Bhay also entered the city through its nime gates and started plundering it. Even King Puranjan was afflicted with various sufferings. Everybody reproached him. Puranjan was in extreme distress. Kaalkanya took Puranjan in her arms and raped him. Puranjan lost his prudence and physical strength. Even his wife, children, etc. started insulting him. In course of time Paanchal-Desh got destroyed. Puranjan, however, was strongly attached and kept on thinking about his wife and children.

Finally a day came when Puranjan had to abandon the city and move out. Kaalkanya had completely crushed him. Prajwar set the city on fire. Puranjan could do nothing. The old snake was highly distressed having seen the city burning. The Yawans had attacked his residence also and he had to move out.

Puranjan thought in distress that it was his attachment towards his near and dear ones that made him so unhappy. He did so much for them but has none for company. Now, when he would die, who would look after them ? What would happen to them ?

Narada said that it was not appropriate for

the King Puranjan to regret but he had lost his senses and was in deep distress for his wife and sons while they insulted him.

The Yawan king named Bhay tied him with a rope and pulled him. The snake also abandoned the city and went away with the Yawans. Everything was destroyed. Even in such a state Puranjan never thought about his old friend Avigyat.

In the city of the Yawans Puranjan came across those animals whom he had slaughtered. Now, those animals took their revenge which caused him suffering. Since he had attachment towards his wife till last moment, in his next birth he was born as a daughter in the household of Vidarbharaj. The father made an announcement that he would marry his daughter to most herioc person only. King Malaydhwaj of Pandya defeated everybody and married the daughter of Vidarbharaj. They had a daughter and seven sons who became the kings of Dravid-Desh. In their family succession there were many mighty kings. Malaydhwaj’s daughter was married to seer Agastya. One of seer Agastya’s sons was Dridhachyut whose son was Idhmvah.

Malaydhwaj distributed his kingdom among his sons and proceeded to mount Malay to worship Lord Krishna. Vidarbha’s daughter along with her husband had abandon all the worldly pleasures and was serving her husband with love and devotion. The King Malaydhwaj had in the meantime purified his body, mind and soul through penance. He got so devoted to God that one day while in meditation he relinquished his body. He was motionless in a sitting posture and so Vaidarbhi could not make out that he was no more. After many days when she touched his body, it was cold. She started crying and thought of burning herself in the pyre along with the dead body of her husband, but in the meantime there arrived a most knowledgeable brahmin, who addressed the distressed lady with his sweet voice—‘‘Who are you O lady ? Whose wife are you ? Whom are you mourning for ? Who is this sleeping person ? Do you not know me ? I am your old friend with whom you used to wander about. You may not remember me but let me tell you I am your friend Avigyat. In your last birth you were Puranjan and were searching for a place for enjoyment of worldly pleasures. When you got the place you left me and went away. In fact we are the swans having habitat in the Mansarovar. You forgot all this and could not be convinced despite my advice. You got engaged in five gardens, nine gates, one gate keeper, three enclosures, five markets and the city built with five substances and all this owned by a woman.

‘‘So, O friend ! five gardens represent five sensory organs. Nine gates are the nine holes of nine organs. Three enclosures are strength, water

and grain. Five markets are five organs of action, Land etc. Five elements are five substances while intelligence is the lady of the house. So, under the influence of this lady you forgot yourself and as a result this plight of yours.’’

Avigyat further says–‘‘O friend ! neither you nor I do various works. Various contacts have hundred wives each. The five hooded snake is five vital breath–Pran, Apan, Vyan, Saman and Udan. These are the five that properly run the body. Try to remember Puranjani had said about it that when she slept, it kept awake to protect her. When we go to sleep, the Prans keep working to maintain the body. Our mind is the strong leader of ten friends and is called eleventh organ. It is very powerful. Panchaldesh means empire of five subjects having a city. This city of nine gates is the human body in which the soul enters.

While describing the nine gates it was said that five were in the west, two in the norh and south and two downwards. Through these gates Puranjan used to wander about with one friend. Narada explains the meaning that the nine gates are—two eye balls, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, genital organ and anus. Through these organs one enjoys the worldly pleasures. Five frontal gates in the east are—two eyes, two nostrils and a mouth. Right ear is the southern gate and left ear is northern gate. Western gates are downward—anus and genital.

Going to Vibhrajitdesh with friend Dyuman through Khadyota and Avirmukhi gates means to derive pleasure in the sphere of colour and beauty through eyes, while going to Saurabhdesh with Awadhoot through Nalini and Naalini gate means deriving pleasure in the sphere of smell and fragrance through nose.

Mouth has two functions—to speak and to taste. So there were two friends—Vipan and Rasagya. Their wandering in the sphere of Apan and Bahudan through the main gate means enjoyment through speech and toungue.

The western gate named Asuri is genital and to roam about through it in the Gramakdesh means enjoyment of sexual pleasure.

Niriti gate is anus. Payu organ of anus is named Ludbhak and its place is Vaishas or Narak. It has two blind friends—the hands and the feet with whom one derives various pleasures at various places. Through all these one derives various pleasures while awake and while in sleep, but for how long ? Finally, returning to the inner quarter of the household means returning to one’s soul where mind is the friend Vishuchin. When the soul is introvert, it experiences pleasures and miseries. Pruanjani is the intellect that gives rise to various vices and keeps the soul engaged.

There is mention of a chariot in the tale of Puranjan, on which he goes for hunting. This body is the chariot. Five sensory organs are its

five horses. The body has two wheels—auspicious deeds and evil deeds. Five Pranas are the five bridles of the horses.

Puranjan goes for hunting spree and kills animals. It is sports for Puranjan while those innocent creatures lose their lives. Similarly while enjoying worldly pleasures we commit various excesses.

Thereafter the story mentions the attack by Gandharvaraj Chandaveg on the city. Chandaveg denotes an era. Year after year pass. Time dominates our body and weakens it while we remain unaware and think ourselves to be young. The 360 Gandharvas and 360 Gandharvis, the companions of Chandaveg are in fact days and nights of an year. They surrounded the city, plundered and went away, which means that by every passing day and night our life becomes weaker and weaker.

There is also mention of Jara, the daughter of Kaal, whom none was ready to marry. Jara means old age which is not welcomed by any one, yet it arrives by force. The Yavan King Bhay adopted her as his sister and provided her with his soldiers. These soldiers are none other than various physical and mental diseases. During the old age one is afflicted by physical and mental diseases. Along with it was Prajwar, the body temparature that deludes a person.

We may take the spending of hundred years in the said city in two ways. First, we may presume the age of the person to be one hundred years and second, to have a cent per cent co-ordination with the body.

Old age, physical and mental illness although spoils the body yet the attachment of man towards worldly matters does not decrease.

Thus explaining the tale of Puranjan, Naradaji says that despite bearing various sufferings the soul keeps itself confined to the body for hundreds of years and according to one’s deeds becomes a man in some reincarnation and woman in other.

So O King Prachinbarhi ! do not try to expand the worldly and Vedic deeds (the yajnas etc.). In the name of yajnas you have sacrificed numerous animals and have thereby become arrogant. You have neither realised the mystery of Karma (the deed) nor of worship or adoration. The real Karma is that which pleases the God and the real learning is that which applies mind to God.

Thus Devarshi Narada explained to King Prachinbarhi about the living soul and the Supreme Being.

The king then handed over the kingdom to his sons and left for Kapil Muni’s sanctuary to practise penance, where through his meditation he got united with the almighty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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