Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When Satyabhaamaa Donated Krishn

It is a story of a wife when she donated her husband to a Rishi, because that Rishi assured her that when she would donate her husband to him, he would love her solely. We are not talking here about any ordinary woman and man, we are talking here about Krishn and His dear wife Satyabhaamaa.

Krishn had 16,008 wives. Among them His eight wives were His Chief wives or Pata-raanee. Their names were Rukminee, Jaambvatee, Satyabhaamaa, Kaalindee, Mitravrindaa, Bhadraa, Lakshmanaa, and Naagnjitee. Satyabhaamaa was known for her strong will and for Tantra. At the same time she was always jealous of Rukminee also. She thought that Krishn loved Rukminee the most and she wanted His love solely for herself. There are a couple of stories about her jealousy towards Rukminee, here is presented one - when Satyabhaamaa sold Krishn to Naarad Jee.

Satyabhaamaa was very proud of Krishn's love for herself and her love towards Krishn. Naarad Jee knew this and one day he thought to teach a lesson to her.  Once Naarad Jee came to Dwaarakaa and visited Krishn and His wives. During His visit, he told Satyabhaamaa that Krishn's love towards her was not so real, rather it was Rukminee who was the real controller of His heart. Satyabhaamaa could not bear this truth so she challenged Naarad to prove it. Naarad Jee was looking for this opportunity.

Naarad Jee tricked her with his words, that she should keep a vow and after the completion of that vow, she should give away Krishn to Naarad in donation. She may reclaim Him from Naarad by giving him as much wealth as His weight (this is called Tulaa Bhaar). Naarad Jee lured her that if she will take up this vow, give away her husband in donation to him and then taking Him back giving Tulaa Bhaar, Krishn's love will increase towards her hundredfold. He hinted her this also that her real wealth may not be sufficient to take Him back from Naarad. Satyabhaamaa accepted the challenge that she could raise so much wealth that it would be much more than His actual weight. At this point Naarad Jee warned her that if Satybhaamaa could not provide so much wealth, Krishn would be his slave and he would do with Him whatever he pleased.

So Satyabhaamaa observed the vow, and gave Krishn away to Naarad, although Krishn's other wives pleaded her not to do so, but she didn't listen to anybody. Krishn also had always been mischievous, so He did not say a word about all this, He just kept quiet and smiling. Now it was Satyabhaamaa's turn to take Him back from Naarad. Satybhaamaa immediately got all the wealth she had collected to weigh Krishn. A scale was set up. On one side sat Krishn and on the other side Satyabhaamaa started to put her collected wealth. She put all the wealth on that pane, but the scale did not shake even a bit. Satyabhaamaa started perspiring. On the other side Naarad started teasing her and threatening her to auction Krishn.

Satyabhaamaa desperately begged Krishn's other wives also to put their wealth on the scale. They did help her but still no use. Krishn was silently seeing all this and was sprinkling salt on Satyabhaamaa's open wounds of her ego. When nothing was coming out and Satyabhaamaa was about to cry, then Naarad got pity on Satyabhaamaa and suggested her to call Rukminee that she might be of some help. Satyabhaamaa was not ready to go to Rukminee, but at this time there was no alternative. If Krishn was not taken back from Naarad, what she would answer to Rukminee, at the same time she did not want to lose Krishn too. So she swallowed her pride, and went to Rukminee and told her the whole story. Rukminee smiled and promised to help her in spite of her pride.

Rukminee came there, prayed Her husband, took out a leaf of Tulasee from her clothes and put it on the side of wealth. Lo and behold, suddenly the scale from wealth side became so heavy that even after removing all the wealth it touched the ground with just the weight of Tulasee leaf. Thus Rukminee got Krishn back just giving out only a Tulassee leaf. Satybhaamaa took a great sigh of relief and thanked Rukminee very much.

Such is Bhagavaan Krishn who can even be weighed by a Tulasee leaf. Offer Him a Tulasee leaf only and please Him.

Sushma Gupta

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kaam Mohit Rishi and Devtaa

In my last Blog I mentioned that there were many great Rishi who had a desire to have family and sometimes they did "what not" to marry and have children. In Hindu religious literature Kaam (carnal desire) tops every other desire which can affect not even very great Muni and Yogee but also Devtaa. In the beginning there are some examples of Devtaa and later are the examples of Rishi....

(1) Brihaspati and Utathya
Maharshi Angiraa had three sons - Brihaspati, Utathya and Samvart. Dev Guru Brihaspati had two wives - Shubh and Taaraa. Utathya's wife's name was Mamataa. Once Brihaspati took Utathya's wife Mamataa. Mamataa was pregnant with Utathya's son at that time. As Brihaspati wanted to enter her, the child in the womb spoke - "Do not try to put another child here, there is no place for two." But Brihaspati did not listen to him and put his own child in Mamataa's womb. At this Utathya's child kicked him out and thus Brihaspati's son was born. Since Brihaspati's son was born by being kicked out, Brihaspati said - "Let him be cherished as Bharadwaaj." and cursed Utathya's son - "You be born in perpetual darkness." So Utathya's son was born blind and was thus named Deerghtamaa (Deergh means long, and Tamaa means darkness)

(2) Chandramaa and Brihaspati
This is the most known story of Devtaa's love story.  Dev Guru Brihaspati had three wives - Shubh, Taaraa and Mamataa. Once Chandramaa saw Taaraa and got attracted towards her. He abducted her. Brihaspati asked him to return his wife several times but he did not listen to him. Then Brahmaa Jee had to intervene and ask Chandramaa to return Taaraa to her husband Brihaspati. But at that time she was pregnant with Chandramaa's child. When the time came Taaraa gave birth to a shiny boy. Seeing the shiny child both Chandramaa and Brihaspati  claimed him as their own child. Brahmaa Jee asked Taaraa - "Whose child it is?" But Taaraa kept quiet. Then Brahmaa Jee took her in private and asked her whose child it was. She replied that it was Chandramaa's. Brahmaa Jee named him Budh as he was very intelligent and gave it to Chandramaa.

(3) Chandramaa's Son Abhimanyu
In Mahaabhaarat, Abhimanyu was Chandramaa's son. When Chandramaa's was asked to send his son to Prithvi to aid Krishn Avataar, first he plainly refused that he would not send his son to suffer there. Later when he was forced to do so, he sent him on the condition that his son would not stsy there for long. As he would complete his 16 years, he would come back to hi. Beside he would be such a warrior that he should be remembered till the Mahaabhaarat war will be remembered.

(4) Soorya's Son Karn and Indra's Son Arjun
Everybody knows about Karn and Arjun. How both Soorya Dev and Indra Dev were after one another to save their own son, that they did not hesitate even to kill each others son for that matter.

(5) Indra and Ahalyaa
This story is also very famous, as how Indra got attracted to Ahalyaa and got cursed. When Brahmaa Jee created Ahalyaa taking the parts of all beautiful things of the world, he himself got attracted to her and as she went around the Dev Sabhaa, to see her he created his four faces. Indra also got attracted to her but waited to whom Brahmaa will give her. Brahmaa Jee could not think of any so he gave her to Gautam Rishi because he had won his all Indriyaan. Ahalyaa started serving Muni and later Brahmaa Jee gave her to him permanently and married her to him.

But Indra did not forget her. He was still after her. Once he planned to deceive Gautam Rishi, he asked Moon to help him. The Moon agreed. He took the form of a cock and crowed before time. Gautam Rishi thought that it was morning so he went to Gangaa River to do his daily chores. After the Muni left, Indra came assuming the form of Gautam Rishi and enjoyed with Ahalyaa. Although Ahalyaa got surprised to see her husband back so early with complied with her husband's request. When Indra was going out, Muni had come back. She got frightened to see him and asked for his forgiveness as she was not aware of Indra's deceit. But Muni cursed bothe of them - Ahalyaa to be a stone, and Indra to have 1,000 vagina marks on his body. Ahalyaa was freed from the curse by Raam's touch and Indra pleased Shiv who changed those marks in eyes. From that day he came to be known as Sahstraaksh (with 1,000 eyes).

(6) Maharshi Paraashar
Muni Paraashar got attracted to Satyavatee, the daughter of Daashraaj, while crossing Yamunaa River in her boat. As result he produced a son from her named Krishn Dwaipaayan who was popularly known as Ved Vyaas. He was on an island. Pleased with her he bestowed her a boon of sweet fragrance also which came out of her body and used to spread miles together around her. Before meeting Sage Paraashar she used to smell like a fish. After that he went away.

(7) Maharshi Saubhari
Maharshi Saubhari was great Rishi. Although he did not get attracted seeing any woman, but he was attracted seeing the enjoyment of a male fish with his female fish and his children in the water where he was taking his bath. This attraction led to a desire in his heart to marry and have children; so he went to Raajaa Maandhaataa to ask for his any one daughter to marry him. Raajaa Maandhaataa had 50 daughters, but he could not marry anyone to him, because he was old, nor he could refuse him because of the fear of his curse, so he said to him - "I regard my daughters very much, so I respect their selection too. If anyone would agree to marry you I don't have any objection." Saubhari Rishi then asked him to send him in his inner apartments. He reluctantly sent him inside. When Saubhari Rishi went inside, he changed himself into an attractive youth. Seeing that youth, King's all daughters wanted to marry him.

In a little while he got the news from his servants that his all 50 daughters wanted to marry him. He got very surprised to hear this, but what he could do, so he married all of them to him. He lived with them in most luxurious ways. Later, when he had got hundreds of children and grandchildren he got Vairaagya and he went to forest, though his all wives also went with him.

(8) Maharshi Richeek
Another name comes is of Maharshi Richeek, father of Maharshi Jamadagni and the grandfather of Parashuraam, who got attracted to Satyavatee, Raajaa Gaadhi's daughter and Vishwaamitra's sister. Raajaa Gaadhi did not want to marry his daughter to Richeek Muni so he told him a condition that if the Muni wanted to marry his daughter, he had to bring 1,000 horses with one of their ears black and another one white. Richeek Rishi understood, so he went to Varun Dev and brought such horses and married Satyavatee.

(9) Maharshi Vishwaamitra
Everybody knows Maharshi Vishwaamitra that how he was lured by Menakaa Apsaraa to spend some time with her. When he was doing Tapasyaa to get the status of Brahmarshi, Indra sent Menakaa to disturb his Tap. She managed to stay with him for 10 years and produced a daughter from him named Shakuntalaa who was brought up by Kanva Rishi and he later married her to King Dushyant.

(10) Rishi Vibhaandak
Another name is of Rishi Vibhaandak, whose son was Rishi Rishyashring. Once he was engaged in Tapasyaa. One day as he was washing his face in waters that he saw Urvashee Apsaraa and his semen fell into the water. A she-deer who was drinking water from the river, drank it with water and gave birth to Rishi Rishyashring. In fact she was the daughter of a Devtaa and was cursed to be born as a she-deer on Prithvi. On asking when she would be freed from the curse, Brahmaa Jee said - "You will be free from this curse when you will give birth to a child of a Rishi." Rishi Vibhaandak was so fond of his son Rishyashring that he did not allow him to mix with the world for long time. Later King Rompaad got him somehow in his kingdom to have rains and then married his daughter Shaantaa to him. Later he got four sons - Raam, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn, for King Dasharath.

(11) Maharshi Ved Vyaas
We don't hear anything about the marriage of Ved Vyaas, still he had four well-known sons - Dhritraashtra and Paandu from Vichitraveerya's widows, Vidur from their maid, and Shuk Dev Jee. Although he produced the first three sons for somebody else, still he used to take care of them time to time.  Shuk Dev was his own son. According to Bhaagvat Puraan, when Shuk Dev Jee set off to go to forest, Vyaas Jee ran after him calling him - "Shuk Dev, My Son, Where are you going?" This is son's love (or should it be called Moh?)

These are some stories of Devtaa and Rishi who either wanted to marry to fulfill their desire or to have children and loved them dearly.

Sushma Gupta

No Need of Sons

A couple of days ago I wrote an article in favor of having a son by citing some references from our scriptures. Today I am going to write some other references, again citing from our scriptures, which show that having children is not necessary. In fact they are the hindrance in attaining Moksh, as they attract us towards the world. Although there are only very few people of such caliber, because most people born in this world desire family and children, even great Rishi are not spared from this feeling, but still there are some. Next time I will write about those great Rishi who desired for family and children.

(1) Sanakaadi Muni
Sanakaaadi Muni are four and they are Brahmaa Jee's first sons. He produced them to extend his creation. When Brahmaa Jee commanded them to produce children, they refused to obey him saying that "since we are born from Tap, we will not produce any children. We are going to do Tap." and they went to do Tap.

Thus they are not married, they don't have any child, not even a daughter, they have got the boon to be always young and look like a 5-year child. We have not heard about their death or anything else bad etc also about them.

(2) Kratu, Pulah and Naarad Jee
When Sanakaadi Muni did not listen to Brahmaa Jee and did not produce any children, he got a bit angry and then he produced 10 sons - Angiraa, Atri, Bhrigu, Daksh, Kashyap, Kratu, Pulah, Pulastya, Vashishth, and Naarad. Everybody knows that among these 10 sons of Brahmaa Jee, Naarad Jee is alone and does have any family. Kratu and Pulah also do not have a family.

So what has happened to them if they did not have any son? We do not hear anything bad about them.

(3) Daksh's 1,500 Sons
This story comes in Vishnu Puraan in which Naarad Jee stopped Daksh's 500 sons, named Haryaashwa Gan, to produce children and sent them to do Tapasyaa. When they did not return, and Daksh came to know that Naarad Jee had misguided them, he got very angry, and produced 1,000 more sons, Shabalaashwa Gan, and asked them to produce children. They followed the same path as of their elder brothers and went there only where their brothers went, but Naarad Jee again sent them to do Tapasyaa and they also did not return.

So what happened to them if they did not have any son? We do not hear anything bad about them. And Naarad Jee cannot misguide so many people.

(4) Dattaatreya
This story comes in Bhaagvat Puraan. Dattaatreya Jee is the incarnation of Vishnu, born to Rishi Atri and his wife Anasooyaa. He is said to be the joint incarnation of Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv too, that is why he is depicted by three faces and carrying all the things of the three Devtaa in his hands. Once he met a king named Yadu and he preached him. His preaching show that if you enter into Grihasth Aashram (marrying and having children etc) you are bound yourself to this world. And as all know that our life's objective is to break all bindings of the world, not to bind ourselves with this world.

Raajaa Yadu asked him - "Brahman, You don't do any Karm, then where did you get this wisdom. It is seen that man searches Dharm, Arth, Kaam etc with the desire of age, fame, beauty, wealth etc, but I see that you can do Karm, you are learned, your fate and beauty are also admirable, still you are living like an unconscious, insane or Pishaach. Most people in this world are affected with Kaam and greed, but you are free from all of them. You are living in yourself with great pleasure. How could you do that?"

Dattaatreya Jee then told him the stories of his 24 Guru as what did he learn from whom. Then he told him what did he learn from his own body. He said - "To please this body, whatever body he takes, this Jeev is always busy in desiring many things, does Karm for that and collects wealth with great difficulty to fulfill them. The same body is destroyed after its time is completed. As many co-wives pull their one husband towards them, in the same way, its many Indriyaan also pull the single Jeev towards them - tongue towards tasty food, ears towards sweet music, nose towards sweet smell etc. Although Bhagavaan has created many Yoni (species), but he did not get satisfied with them, then he created Manushya Yoni (human being).

This body had Buddhi (wisdom, and logic) which could see Brahm. He got very happy to create this Yoni. So even though this body is destructible but still one can attain Paramaarth and Moksh through this body. Therefore an intelligent person should attain the Moksh before this body is destructed. Moksh is the main objective of this body, because pleasures can be achieved in many other Yoni (species), but Moksh can be attained only in this Yoni. Therefore one should not waste this valuable Yoni in enjoying pleasures. Thinking thus I took Vairaagya. Neither I love anything, nor I am proud of anything."

What happened to Dattaatreya? Nothing.

(5) Durvaasaa Muni
Durvaasaa Muni is the brother of Dattaatreya Jee. He is the incarnation of Shiv. We don't hear about his marriage anywhere. This shows that he is also not bound to the world.

(6) Bheeshm
Everybody knows Bheeshm Pitaamaha. He did not marry, did not have any progeny, he got Moksh and he never came back on Earth. What else do we want - we want the same thing that we should not be reborn?

Sushma Gupta

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bali and Karn

I have read many stories in Puraan, Raamaayan and Mahaabhaarat, but I have never been so much fascinated and impressed by any other story as  by the stories of Daitya Raaj Bali and Karn. Whenever their names come I feel so sorry for them. Why? That they were so great personalities that even Bhagavaan had to beg from them for His welfare. I retell those stories, of Raajaa Bali and Karn, here, because I love them to listen to them, to read them and to retell them. Both were the greatest donors of the whole world. I have read their story hundreds of times, still each time I read these stories my hair rise on my body and I feel something in my heart for these people. Read their story here.

Daitya Raaj Bali
Daitya Raaj Bali was very powerful and he had taken over Swarg and Devtaa were wandering around. Devtaa's mother Aditi was very sorry for her children, so she asked Kashyap Jee to give her such a son who could regain her sons' kingdom. Kashyap Jee advised her to please Vishnu, so she did and Vishnu promised her that He would incarnate in her house and regain Devtaa's kingdom.

Since Bali had seen Swarg Lok, he liked it so much that he wanted to live there forever. Daitya Guru Shukra told him that he could not live there like that. To live there permanently he had to 100 Ashwamedh Yagya. Bali had completed 99 Ashwamedh Yagya and he was going to complete now the 100th Ashwamedh Yagya. After this he could live there forever. He was very happy.

This was the time when Hari could stop him being the master of Swarg Lok. So He incarnated in Kashyap Jee's house as a Vaaman Avataar. He got dressed as a handsome Braahman boy and went to Bali's door and asked for alms. Seeing Him all got enchanted with his  beauty. nobody had ever seen such an attractive Braahman boy. Bali's guards informed Bali about a Braahman boy asking for alms. Now in Ashwamedh Yagya no one should go empty handed, and Bali's Yagya was just at the end, so he did not want to spoil his Yagya too, so he immediately called the boy and asked him what did he want. He himself could not move his eyes from his look.

The boy said - "I want only three strides land." Bali laughed and said - "Are you sure what you are asking? Do you know who I am? I am the Daitya King Bali. I can give you so much wealth that even you 10 generations will need anything to ask for. And you are asking me only three strides land? You are insulting me. Ask something which after giving you I feel proud that I gave something to somebody." The boy said - "What I will do of all those things. I am a Brahmchaaree, I will never have any progeny, I just want some land so that I can do my Poojaa and Yagya etc." Bali pursued Him a lot for asking something more, but the boy did not move a bit, so Bali got ready to read the Sankalp to give him three strides land.

His wife gave him water, but the then Guru Shukra knew that he was not an ordinary Braahman, but was Vishnu Himself, so he stopped Bali to take the Sankalp and told him the secret, but once Bali had decided, he had decided, he was not ready to go back from his words. He said - "Hey Guru, If he is an ordinary Braahman, I have no problem in giving Him three strides land;  but if he is Vishnu, It is my good luck that Vishnu who gives to everybody in the world is asking alms from me. It is my good luck that I am giving to Him who give to everybody in the world. So read the Sankalp."

When Bali did not listen to him, to save his Yajamaan, Shukra sat in the spout of the pot of water to stop the flow of water. When he sat there, the water flow stopped, the boy said - "It seems something is stopping the water." and He inserted a Kush (a sacred grass) straw in the spout. This straw pierced the left eye of Shukra and made him one-eyed, and it caused Shukra to cry with pain and move from there. The water started flowing freely and Bali completed his Sankalp.

As soon the Sankalp was completed, the boy expanded His body so much that His head touched the sky and His body covered the sky. Seeing His this form Bali folded His hands and greeted Him in reverence. He measured the Swarg Lok in one stride, in second stride he measured the Earth, and when he did not find any place to keep His third foot, he asked Bali - Where sould I put my third foot?" Bali said politely - "You have created the world, you gave me the world, you have taken this world from me, it is all yours. Remains only my body, you may put your third foot on my body." and saying this he laid down face down. Bhagavaan got very pleased with Bali's words, so He gave him the kingdom of Sutal Lok and appointed him the Indra of the next Manvantar.

That is how Bhagavaan regained Swarg Lok from Bali and gave it to Devtaa. Such was the character of Raajaa Bali.

Karn was the son of Kuntee and was born in her maidenhood because of her folly. Rishi Durvaasaa gave her a Mantra which could invoke any Devataa and she could fulfill her desire from him. She was young and to test the mantra, she invoked Soorya Dev. When Soorya Dev came, she could not express any wish as she did not have any; but Soorya Dev could not go without giving the fruit of Durvaasaa's Mantra, so he gave her a son clad in an armor and with a pair of protective earrings. Kuntee did not know what to do of that child so she flowed him in Gangaa River keeping him in a box. Luckily a Soot charioteer Adhirath found the box, took out the child and brought him up as his own son as he did not have a child. Thus a Kshatriya prince came to be known as Soot's son throughout his life and he had to suffer for his whole life because of this title only.

He could not get education because of this title and had to lie to get good education, but in the last could not hide his characteristics and was recognized as a Kshatriya and got cursed by his Guru Parashuraam Jee - the best Guru of the world. He was killed because of this curse.

Because of this he could not sit with Paandav. Since Duryodhan was jealous of Paandav, he found this a good opportunity to make him join by giving him the kingship of Ang Desh. And since then Karn got indebted to Duryodhan. He could never lift his head from that debt.

Since he was living with evil people many of his actions were also evil. He could not think in any other direction. He always opposed Paandav, but luckily he was never a part of Shakuni's, Duryodhan's chief adviser, evil plans, He was a true Kshatriya, and remained Kshatriya till the end.

Another pitiable thing that he was not allowed to fight in the war till Bheeshm was the Commander-in-Chief of Kaurav army.

The most pitiful event of his life is that since he was invincible, and Arjun was also invincible and only one invincible has to be in the war field, Indra (Arjun's father) had to cheat on him with such a mean action that he came to him in disguise and asked him his armor and earrings which were a part of his body and were his life, in donation - it was the "asking his life" to save his own son. Indra knew that Karn used to give alms after worshiping Soorya Dev, so he chose the same time to ask for them as he could not say no to give them to him, and he really did not do that, even after being warned by his father Soorya Dev. This alms made him vulnerable to death. Even Indra admired him for this alms and granted him a boon for this. He gave him his Power to be used only once, but that power also he used for his friend Duryodhan - on Ghatotkach.

Karn's Two Very Rare Stories
There are Karn's two very rare stories which I present here in his praise --

Karn Gives Alms to Krishn-1
After Arjun had wounded Karn, in the evening, Arjun was praising himself and denouncing Karn. Krishn could not tolerate this, so He said to Arjun - "This is all right that you have killed Karn, but he was a brave and mighty warrior and a great donor." Arjun could not tolerate his enemy's praise so he contradicted Krishn- "How do you say this?" Krishn said - "I can give you proof." Arjun asked "How?" Krishn said - "Come with me." So both went to the battle field where Karn was still counting his moments to die.

Krishn assumed the form a Braahman and asked Arjun to stay behind and watch Him closely secretly. Krishn went to Karn asked him to give Him something. Karn said helplessly - "O Braahman Devtaa, You are coming now when I am about to die, I have lost everything, even my body is leaving me. What can I give you? I am so sorry." Krishn said - "Karn, You are a great donor, you can never be empty-handed, you still have something to give me." Karn got surprised to hear this, he asked - "What do I have which I can give to you now at this time?" Krishn said - "You have a gold tooth, give it to me, I can manage with it." Karn said - "Thanks for reminding me, it just got off my mind. I give it to you just now, but get me that stone to break it, I cannot move." Krishn said - "I cannot commit this sin, if you want to give it to me, you pick that stone yourself and give it to me, otherwise I go."

Karn could not return the Braahman empty handed, so he crawled very slowly towards the stone, picked the stone, broke his tooth and said to Krishn giving that to Him - "Take this, O Braahman, Today I have returned your debt also. I think now I am free from all debts, I can die now peacefully." Krishn said - "This tooth is smeared with blood, I cannot take such donation." Karn said - "Hey Braahman Devtaa, Where can I get water to wash this tooth now? You take it and wash it yourself at your convenience." But Krishn refused to take it as such, He said - "I don't accept such dirty things. I am a Braahman, if you really want to give give something, give me the clean thing."

Then Karn looked here and there and found a stream flowing nearby. With great difficulty he went near the stream, washed his tooth and gave it to Braahman Devtaa. Krishn took it. Karn asked Krishn's forgiveness several times that he could not serve him well. At this Krishn blessed Karn showed him His Chaturbhuj Roop and then Karn died. Krishn came back to Arjun. Arjun agreed what Krishn said to him. Such was Karn.

Another Version
There is another version also of this story. While Karn was on the verge of dying, Indra and Soorya had a dispute regarding Karn's generosity and to settle the same they came to him disguised as beggars. Karn responded to the beggars by saying that he had nothing left to give, to which the beggars replied that he still had some gold in his tooth which would be valuable to them. On realizing that fact, Karn took a stone and broke the tooth with the gold and gave it to the beggars, epitomizing the "way of life" he led.

Karn Gives Alms to Krishn-2
This story is from Villiputturaar Mahaabhaaratham. When Arjun wanted to kill Karn, his arrows could not kill Karn because Dharm Devtaa was encircling him. Seeing this Krishn assumed the form of a Poor Braahman and went to Karn as a beggar to ask for alms from him. At that time Karn told Him that he was sorry that he had nothing to offer at the war field to that Braahman. Then, Krishn asked Karn to give his all Punya Phal that he had so far gained by his alms (Daan). Karn gives away all the gains, Punya, Punya Phal and virtues he had earned so far, immediately, without any hesitation whatsoever, and also the Punya and Punya Phal which he was going to earn by this alms to Krishn. Then only Arjun could kill him.

He never got his proper regard his whole life. He lived all alone and died all alone. In the whole Mahaabhaarat, everybody was busy in some or the work and plan, but he never had his own life, own plan, and own actions - his everything was for his friend Duryodhan.

He was not less than Bheeshm or Arjun in any way  ---

Similarities Between Karn and Arjun
--Both had divine birth.
--Both had divine Astra
--Both were master archers.
--Both were very brave and called as Atirathee
--Both competed for Draupadee's hand
--Both had to fight with their own brother
--Their decisions, and the consequences of these decisions to themselves and to their families, are used to emphasize the importance of doing one's duty, as explained in the Bhagvad Geetaa.

Karn had the five perfect qualities of a husband for Draupadee, but being with Duryodhan and Soot Putra nullified them to be her husband and allowed Arjun to take her instead.

Similarities Between Karn and Bheeshm
--Both had divine birth
--Both had divine Astra
--Both were left by their mothers, Karn at just his birth and Bheeshm after 16 years
--Both were the disciples of Parashuraam
--Both were very brave and called as Atirathee

Sushma Gupta

Why Do We Need a Son

Importance of Sons
It is indeed ironical that in Hindu religion sons are given special importance in a family. Every parents is after a son. Many people keep fast, go to special temples, do special Poojaa, Archanaa and Yagya to get him. While many people kill their daughters in womb, in their infancy or in childhood when they know that it is a daughter not a son. Many times these girls commit suicide when they are grown up and find their parents worried about them. I do not know the real and justified reason for this, but here I present a few stories or incidents from our scriptures in favor of having a son. I am never in favor of killing any child, whether a girl or a boy, in womb or in the world. I myself was astonished to read these stories I cite them here, that is it indeed true? But they are there. Later I intend to write something against this as my doubts or questions.

(1) Story of Jaratkaaru
The first story of  "must have a son" is from Mahaabhaarat, Aadi Parv, ch 13-16 of a Rishi named Jaratkaaru. He was a great ascetic and his son stopped the King Janamejaya's Sarp Yagya (snake sacrifice). He was a great Brahmchaaree. He ate sparingly and was a great ascetic. He was one of the Yaayaavar. Once he went to see the world for pilgrimage. He lived on air and renounced the sleep.

One day he happened to see some people hanging upside down in a large hole. He asked them - "Who are you hanging down thus and your rope is eaten by a rat continuously?" They said - "We are Rishi of rigid vows. We have no child that is why we are sinking inside the Earth. We had a son named Jaratkaaru who has also become a Yogee. He does not think about his children. That is why with the fear of the end of our race, we are hanging here. Who are you who is asking our welfare like a friend?" Jaratkaaru said - "I am Jaratkaaru and you are my ancestors. Tell me how can I serve you?" They said - "Try for a son so that our family line can extend. This will be good for both of us. Penance does not acquire so much merit as becoming a father."

Jaratkaaru said - "I will not marry for myself, nor I will earn money for myself, but I will do all this for your sake only. If I will get a girl of my name and whose friends will give her to me as a gift in charity, then I will marry to such a girl. But then who will give his daughter to a poor man like me? That is why I will accept any girl given me in alms. As promised I will do the same and I will raise a child for your sake. So I will take the wife to attain the end, and I will raise a child from her so that you may attain to eternal regions."

That is what he did. Vaasuki Naag's sister's name was Jaratkaaru, so he married her on the condition that after confirming that she was pregnant he would go away. Since Vaasuki Naag needed a son from his sister to stop the Sarp Yagya to save his race, he agreed on the condition. When Jaratkaaru had confirmed that his wife was pregnant he left her. She had a son named Aasteek, and Aasteek became the means to stop the Sarp Yagya. Thus this son served two purposes - to stop the Naag race to annihilate and to extend his own family line.

(2) Story of Paandu
The second story is also from Mahaabhaarat, Aadi Parv, ch 120. When King Paandu was entertaining himself in the forest, he bagged a curse of Kindam Rishi that whenever he would be with his wife he would die. Now he could not have any child

Once on a New Moon day some ascetics were standing to go to Brahmaa's place. Seeing them Paandu asked them - "Where are you going?" The sages said - "There is a great gathering today at Brahmaa Jee's place, so we are going to see him today." Paandu also rose up with the desire to go to Heaven and when he came to that point with his two wives to follow those sages, those sages said to him - "When we are going Northward, we have seen some place which are inaccessible to ordinary mortals, even to Devtaa, Gandharv and Apsaraa. Even the winged creatures cannot cross that. The rain falls there so heavily that it cannot be utilized for habitation. The only thing that can go there is air, Siddh and great Rishi. How will these princesses go there? Unaccustomed to pain will not they fall from pain? Therefore do not come with us."

Paandu said - "I have heard that there is no place in the Heaven for a man who is childless. I am very sad because I have not been able to pay my debt to my ancestors. Men are born on this Prithvi with four debts - to ancestors (Pitri Rin), to Devtaa (Dev Rin), to Rishi (Rishi Rin) and to other men. They must be discharged. Learned people say that all the Rin must be paid before leaving this world, because who has not paid these Rin cannot go to any blissful region. The ancestors are satisfied only by producing children; Devtaa by Yagya; Rishi by study, meditation and asceticism; and other men by leading an inoffensive life. I have just gratified Rishi, Devtaa and other men; but I still have to pay my debt to my ancestors....."

(3) Story of Rishi Mandpaal
This story appears in Mahaabhaarat, Aadi Parv, ch 231. Once there was a Rishi named Mandpaal. He was a great observer of Brahmcharya, rigid vows and Tap. When the time came he left for the regions of Pitri. But after reaching there he failed to obtain the fruits of his acts. He went to the King of the Dead and asked the reason of this - "Why these regions are unattainable to me when I have done so much Tap for them? Have I not done that Tap which should have given me these regions? I will do whatever I need to do to attain these regions." The celestials answered - "Listen, O Braahman, to those acts because of which men are born as debtors. It is for religious rites, studies according to the ordinance and progeny, that men are born debtors. These debts are discharged by doing sacrifices, asceticism and offspring. You are an ascetic, you have performed sacrifices, but you don't have any offspring. These regions are shut for you for the want for offspring. Have children an you will enjoy many Lok of happiness. Ved say that who rescues one from Hell is called Put." Hearing those celestials Mandpaal got a large number of children in a shortest period of time.

Thus all these three people, one king and two Rishi, had to have sons to obtain blessed regions after their death. There are many other examples of kings in our scriptures who did lots of Tapasyaa to get their progeny; and not even kings, even the great Rishi wanted the progeny. In our next writing we will see if we don't have a son, then what will happen?

Sushma Gupta