Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gaandhaaree a Powerful Woman

Gaandhaaree was a very powerful woman among all the women of Mahaabhaarat. She was the wife of Dhritraashtra and mother of Duryodhan, Dushaasan etc 100 sons. Bheeshm specifically selected her as the wife of Dhritraashtra. As soon as she heard that her husband Dhritraashtra was blind, she tied a cloth strip on her eyaes for her whole life saying - "Whichever world my husband cannot see, I have no right to see that world."

In fact she was the only powerful woman whom we see as a boon giver and a curse giver, even to Bhagavaan, in the whole epic. There are very few people who can curse Bhagavaan and one of them was Gaandhaaree. (see Curses to Vishnu) She had a great will power too. It was only her will power that she stayed blind by tying a cloth strip on her eyes. No other such example like this is available in our scriptures. Who has good eyes and if she lives like a blind for her whole life just for this reason that her husband cannot see, is an outstanding example of being Pativrataa. Here I would like to cite three examples of her boons and curses.

Boon to Duryodhan
Although her whole life passed in making Kaurav and Paandav even, but when she had lost her 99 sons, and according to Bheem's vow, Bheem kiiled them all, she had no doubt that he would kill Duryodhan also by breaking his thigh according to his vow. She loved Duryodhan very much, and otherwise also wanted to save him. So she calls him and asks him to come to her naked after taking bath in Gangaa River. Duryodhan goes to take bath in Gangaa River and comes back.

While he was coming back, he meets Krishn and Krishn asks him that where was he going to at such odd time? Duryodhan says - "My mother has asked me to come to her naked after taking bath in Gangaa River. So I am going after taking bath in Gangaa River."
Krishn asks - Naked? Why?"
"I don't know. That is what she has said."
"Will you go naked in front of her?"
"Yes, That is what she has said."
"But you are adult, how can you go to her naked?"
"But she said that "I am your mother, what kind of shyness from mother?"
"But now you are adult. It is not proper to go naked to her. At least tie some cloth around your loins, after all she is woman." and Krishn goes away after advising him thus.

Duryodhan understands the logic and when he goes to his mother, he ties a cloth around his loin and when Gaandhaaree asks him - "Have you taken bath in Gangaa River?"
"Yes, Maa."
"Are you standing naked in front of me?"
"Yes Maa."

She says - "Now I will remove this cloth strip from eyes and I will see you for the first time." And she removes the cloth strip from her eyes. A light comes out of her eyes and falls on Duryodhan's body. In a few moments his whole body becomes of iron. When the effect of her eyesight is over and she sees him normally, she finds that he had covered his loin part with a cloth. She breaks into tears and says - "You did not listen to me. Now nobody can save you from Bheem. I have earned this power after doing Tap for so many years. This could make your whole body of iron, and Bheem could not have broken your thigh and kill you. Since you have covered your thighs, now your thighs have remained weak and I am sure that Bheem will kill you by breaking your thigh." the same thing happened. When Bheem and Duyodhan were fighting, Bheem was not able to hurt Duryodhan's body. Later he had to break his thigh

Curse to Krishn
When the whole war was over, Krishn came to her to take leave. Gaandhaaree was very sad. She said to Him - "O Krishn, You could have stopped this war if you wanted, but you did not want it to be stopped. If you had stopped it, my 100 sons would have been alive and I would not be weeping for my children. Since you did this deliberately, I curse you that your own Kul (whole clan) should also die in the same way fighting with each other." Krishn smiled and accepted her curse and went away. Same thing happened as Gaandhaaree cursed Him. His whole clan got killed by fighting among themselves.

Curse to Yudhishthir
The third incident is not of curse by speech as such, but her sight, even from behind the cloth strip was enough to do it. It happened when the war was over, and Paandav met her in the battlefield. Although Gaandhaaree was very composed at the time of meeting them, but still she was very angry from inside. Although her eyes were still covered with cloth, but when Yudhishthir came to see her, she.looked at the nails of his feet and Mahaabhaarat says that because of her anger, his nails became blue.

Thus we find these three incidents of her boons and curses, including Bhagavaan.

Sushma Gupta

Friday, April 19, 2013

Curses to Vishnu

First of it seems absurd that somebody can curse Bhagavaan Vishnu, but it is true and it has happened for a few times. Vishnu has accepted their curses happily. Here are five stories in which people have cursed Him and He had to act accordingly.

Once Naarad did some Tap so Indra got worried. He sent Kaam Dev to disturb his tap, but he could not disturb his Tap. Naarad got proud of his victory over Kaam Dev, so he went to Brahmaa and Shiv to tell this. In spite of Shiv's warning he went to tell this to Vishnu too. Vishnu found a sprout of pride in His Bhakt's heart, so He thought to crush it then and there. For this He created a beautiful city on the way where Naarad was going to. When Naarad saw that city, he entered the city and found that its king was organizing his daughter's Swayamvar. He went there, saw the princess' hand and told the King that she would be married to a great man.

Now Naarad was worried as he himself wanted to marry her. He thought that he needed beauty at such time, and who else was his best friend to give it to him. So he went to Vishnu and told him that he needed the beauty to marry the princess. Vishnu said - "Naarad, i will do the same what is beneficial for you." Naarad Jee came back and sat in the Swayamvar court to marry the Princess. Now Naarad Jee was sure that he must be looking very beautiful and the Princess will surely choose him, but the Princess did not even  look at him. In fact Vishnu had made his face of a monkey's face. So the princess was seeing him as monkey faced. Vishnu was also there, and she put her Jayamaalaa in Vishnu's neck and Vishnu set off to His Lok with her. Now Naarad was very angry. He also followed Vishnu.

There were Shiv's two Gan also who wee seeing all this, they ran away from there laughing - "Naarad Jee, Look at your face in the mirror." Naarad Jee saw his face in water and found it of a monkey's face. He went to Vishnu straight and found Him with Ramaa and the Princess. He started abusing Him - "You have made a mockery of my face. Nobody is above you to say anything to you, that is why you have behaved with me like this, but now I will see you. I curse you that you incarnate on Prithvi, wander around in suffering of the separation of your wife as I am suffering, and you will get the help only from those whose face you have given to me (monkeys)." Vishnu accepted his curse, but in the meantime Naarad saw that there was neither Ramaa nor the Princess. Vishnu was standing alone. He immediately understood that this was Maayaa of Vishnu. He fell on His feet and asked for His forgiveness.

That is why Vishnu was incarnated as Raam, suffered in the separation of Seetaa, and got help only from monkeys.

This story comes in Bhavishya Puraan, 4/21. Krishn tells this story to Yudhishthir - "Bhrigu Jee had a wife named Divyaa (we have never heard that he had a wife of this name). She was very Pativrataa woman. Once Asur got very afraid of Vishnu, so they came running to Vishnu for refuge, so Bhrigu Rishi gave them refuge and he himself went to Himaalaya to take Sanjeevanee Vidyaa. In the meantime Vishnu came there and He killed all Daitya in a few moments. Seeing this Divyaa got very angry and was about to curse Vishnu, that He cut Divyaa's neck with His Chakra. At the same time Bhrigu also came back. Seeing all Daitya and his wife dead, he filled with rage and cursed Him - "You incarnate on Prithvi 10 times." After telling this story, Krishn said - "That is why to keep Muni's words I keep coming on Prithvi."

When the Mahaabhaarat war had ended, Krishn went to Gaandhaaree to console her on the death of her 100 sons. She said - "O Krishn, You could have stopped this war, if you wanted to, but you let it happen. You have killed my 100 sons. If you had stopped this war, I would have not been weeping for my sons. I curse you that your whole family should also be destroyed like this fighting among themselves." The same thing happened. Krishn's whole family was killed fighting among themselves.

Uttank was the disciple of Ved (the disciple of Rishi Dhaumya). He was about to curse Krishn, but Krishn stopped him doing so, so that his Tap is not wasted. When Mahaabhaarat war was over, and Krishn was going back to Dwaarakaa, He met Uttank on His way. Uttank asked Him about the welfare of kaurav and Paandav - "Have you made Kaurav and Paandav even?" Krishn explained - "I tried my best but I could not help. I could not stop them from fighting each other and in that fight all Kaurav were killed and Paandav won." Hearing this Uttank got very angry, he said - "Even though you were able to stop the war, you did not stop it, you let it happen and killed them all, that is why I curse you..." Krishn interrupted him - "First you listen to me then decide what you want to do, because I do not want your Tap should be wasted by this curse."

Thus Krishn stopped him cursing Him, otherwise he would have cursed Bhagavaan. As Vaishampaayan Jee was telling this story to Janamejaya, Janamejaya asked him - "What great Karm or Tap he did so that he could curse even Bhagavaan?" Then Vaishampaayan Jee told him the story of his Karm. Read this story here.

Tulasee was the wife of Shankhchood Daitya. Shankhchood had the boon from Brahmaa Jee that he would not be killed by anybody else than Shiv and gave an armor of his wife's Paativrat also to him , that till she will be faithful to him, he would not be killed. Thus Shiv also could not kill him just like that, so he took the help of Vishnu who broke Tulasee's Paativrat. Vishu went to Tulasee in disguise of Shankhchood and had her. When Tulasee came to know, she filled in rage cursed Vishnu to be a black stone (as His heart was black and of stone too). Vishnu immedeiately turned into a black stone (Shaalgraam).

Then Vishnu said to her - I accept your curse because it was justified, but since my Darshan does not go waste, I grant you a boon that you will be born as a plant, Tulasee, and I will not accept anything without you. Beside you will be turned into a river too and i will always live in your heart." That is why Vishnu's Naivedya is not complete without Tulasee leaves and Shaalgraam live in Gandakee River. After this only Shiv could kill Shankhchood.

Sushma Gupta

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When Vishnu Was Tested

Last time I wrote a blog on how Vishnu was cursed by people, this blog is about how Vishnu was tested. Tested for what? To decide that who was the greatest Devtaa. This story comes in the end of Padm Puraan.

Once Rishi gathered and started arguing that who was the greatest Devtaa among all Devtaa. Certainly there were three Devtaa who were the greatest among all Devtaa, but among these three Devtaa, who was the greatest? When quite some time passed arguing on this and no conclusion could be drawn, Rishi assigned this work to Maharshi Bhrigu. They asked him to find out as who was the greatest Devtaa among them. Bhrigu Jee set on his journey.

 First Bhrigu Jee came to Kailaash Parvat where  Shiv Jee lived. There he saw Nandee standing holding a trident in his hand. He said to him - I am Bhrigu, I have come here to have a Darshan of Mahaadev. So inform him that I have come here." Nandee said in harsh voice - "You cannot see him now. he is with Devee at this hour. If you want to live, then go back." Bhrigu saod - "This Rudra does not know this Braahman under the influence of Tamo Gun therefore whatever food, flower will be offered to him will not be worth eating." And thus cursing him he came from there.

Next he went to Brahmaa Jee. Brahmaa Jee was sitting in his court. He was enjoying Apsaraa's dances with his courtiers. He did not pay any attention to him. Bhrigu Jee said -  "You have ignored me under the Rajo Gun therefore nobody in the whole world will worship you." Thus cursing him Bhrigu Jee came from there

Next he came to Vishnu - on the shore of Ksheer Saagar. The Mahaatmaa people living there welcomed him and he went tot Vishnu's inner apartments without hesitation. There he saw Lakshmee-Pati sleeping  on His Shesh serpent bed and Lakshmee Jee was massaging His feet. Seeing Him like this Muni got very angry  and hit Him on His chest with his left foot. Bhagavaan immediately got up and said - "I am blessed today." and started massaging his feet. He then said - "Today I am blessed that you foot touched my body. It will always make me holy."

Then Bhagavaan worshiped Bhrigu Jee, Bhrigu Jee also greeted Him with his folded hands and said - "Oh, How lovely form is yours? You are the sea of qualities. Only you are the faithful to Braahman and you are the Purushottam. Only you are the worthy of worship.that is why every Braahman should worship you and take Prasaad from the Naivedya offered to you. I hit my foot on your chest only to test your qualities and conduct. Please pardon me for that. He greeted His feet and came back.

He told  Rishi Muni that Shiv was influenced by Tamo Gun, Brahmaa Jee was influenced by Rajo Gun, it was only Naaraayan who is the Devtaa for all Braahman, therefore you should worship Vishnu. Only by remembering Vishnu, you will get free from sins. You should worship Him with 8-letter Mantra and one should always do Jaap, Havan, Daan for Him."

Sushma Gupta

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Who was Kans

Who was Kans? Most people know him as the son of Raajaa Ugrasen of Bhoj Vansh, the King of Mathuraa, but in reality he was not his son. How did it happen; and whose son he was; it is a long story.

When Ugrasen was ruling from Mathuraa region, another king named Satyaketu was ruling from Vidarbh Desh. he had a beautiful daughter named Padmaavatee. Satyaketu married Padmaavatee to Ugrasen and Ugrasen soon drowned in her love. He did not take even food without her. After a while Satyaketu remembered his daughter and wanted to see her, so he sent a message of his desire to Ugrasen. Although Ugrasen did not want to send Padmaavatee at all but he had to send her seeing the love of a father. So Padmaavatee came to her father's house and became the daughter of her father again like before.

Padmaavatee in Her Father's House
She started living in her father's house like before. She used to play with her friends and wander in gardens around. One day Padmaa went to a mountain with her friends for fun. There was a beautiful forest in the foothills of that mountain, and in that forest was a pond also named Sarvatobhadra. Padmaa got very happy to see it. She entered the pond and started playing in its waters.

At the same time a Daitya servant of Kuber Gobhil was going somewhere through sky way. He saw Padmaavatee playing in the pond. He was very powerful, so he knew that she was the daughter of the King Satyaketu, and the wife of the King Ugrasen; but at the same time she was a Pativrataa woman too. It was very difficult to have her. But he found a way.

Padmaavatee and Gobhil Daitya
He assumed the form the King Ugrasen and started singing sitting under a tree. Padmavatee got curious to know who was singing the song, so she came out of the water and proceeded towards the tree under which Gobhil was singing. he looked like Ugrasen. She got surprised and thought, "how and when my husband had come here leaving his kingdom? Even he did not inform me?" Seeing her Gobhil spoke - "Come Dear, I cannot live without you, come here."

Padmaavatee felt very embarrassed but since he was her husband, she could not say anything and went near him. He took her by hand and took her in a nearby lonely place. As he made love with her, she doubted him that he was Ugrasen, because Ugrasen had a certain mark on his body which she did not see. She put on her clothes and asked him angrily - "You are not Ugrasen, tell me clearly, who are you? Your form is like a Daanav. You are cruel." and she started weeping.

As she got ready to curse him, that Gobhil said - "O Pativrataa Woman, All Raakshas run away from Pativrataa women, Vishnu and Braahman's curse. First you tell me my fault, then only you may curse me." Padmaavatee said - "I am a Pativrataa woman and you destroyed my Dharm, that is why i want to curse you." Gobhil said - "Just listen to me, I tell you your Dharm, I know Ved and Shaastra. Whoever woman serves her husband by her mind, speech and action, only she is Pativrataa woman. No Pativrataa woman leaves her husband alone even if he is sick or sinner. I can't see you Pativrataa by action (Karm). If you are wandering here in this forest like this, you are not a Pativrataa woman. You are 400 Kos away from your husband, where is your Paativrat Dharm? Don't you feel shame? Show me your Tej, show me your power."

Padmaavatee said to him - "My father has called me with love, what is sin in it? I have not come here abandoning my husband." Gobhil said - "When you came to your father's house, you felt free from your Paativrat feeling, that is why you could not recognize me. Continuous thinking about husband is Gyaan and since you lost your Gyaan, you could not recognize me."

Padmaavatee sat on the ground with heavy heart and felt very sad. Gobhil further spoke - "You will have a son who will trouble the three Lok." and went away. Padmaavatee broke into tears. Hearing her crying her fiends came there and asked her what had happened and where the King had gone. Padmaavatee told them everything. Her friends told everything to her father. Satyaketu got very sad hearing this. He immediately sent her back to Mathuraa. Ugrasen got very happy to see Padmaavatee. He repetitively said to her - "I cannot live without you, where did you go? You are very dear to me."

Kans is Born
The child grew gradually inside Padmaavatee. She bore him for 10 long years, and then only Kans was born. She did not breastfed him. She employed a Raakshasee, Pootanaa, to feed him, and that is why she was his nurse and Kans regarded her as his mother. Mahaabhaarat says that he was the incarnation of Kaalnemi Daitya. This is the story of Kans' birth.

Sushma Gupta

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Raam and Animals

Raam, in His life, has met several animals - birds and animals, along with people. His behavior was different with all the animals according to their behavior. To one He taught lesson, to another He paid His respects like an elder, to another He killed and gave him His own Lok, and yet to another He comforted.

His first encounter was with a bird, crow. This crow was not an ordinary crow, he was the son of Indra - Jayant. Once when Raam was in exile, He made some flower ornaments and made them Seetaa wear them. Jayant was seeing all this. He got attracted to Seetaa Jee and he hit his beak on Seetaa's foot. This resulted in bleeding from Her foot. Raam was taking rest keeping His head in Seetaa's lap. He noticed that Seetaa;s foot was bleeding. He looked around and saw a crow perched nearby. He immediately knew that it was that crow's work. He picked up a straw, read a Mantra and released it towards the crow.

Seeing the straw arrow coming towards himself the crow got frightened and flew away. Now he was flying and the straw was following him. He went to several places including his father's Lok, but nobody could help him. Then he met Naarad Jee on the way. Naarad Jee suggested him to go back to Raam only and ask His forgiveness. He said - "Who is the enemy of Raam, nobody could give shelter him." The crow, at last, went to Raam and asked for His forgiveness. Raam forgave him, but as a punishment he pierced his one eye. Since then all crows can see with only one eye.

His second encounter was also with a bird - Jataayu. He met him when he was dying after fighting with Raavan on the account of Seetaa's abduction. After telling Raam about the whereaboluts of Seetaa, Jataayu died. Raam performed his last rites with His own hands with Vaidik method. He even wept for him.

His third encounter was with an animal, deer. This deer was also not any ordinary deer. He was Maareech Raakshas in the form of the deer. He came to attract Seetaa on the order of Raavan so that Raam could follow him and when Lakshman is also gone from the Aashram, he could abduct Seetaa from there. So Maareech went there assuming the form of a golden deer. Seetaa got attracted to him and asked Raam to bring him for Her. As expected Raam followed him. After a while Raam shot an arrow at him. The deer left his body of the deer, assumed his real form and shouted "Haa Raam, Haa Seetaa" in Raam's voice and died. Raam gave him His own Lok. Seetaa got scared hearing Raam's cry and sent Lakshman to help Raam. When Lakshman had left the Aashram, according to his plan Raavan abducted Seetaa from the Aashram.

His fourth encounter was with a little animal - squirrel. It was when Raam was making the bridge over the sea to cross it to go to Lankaa to invade Raavan to recover Seetaa. When all Vaanar were busy in building the bridge, a squirrel was watching all this. She thought if she would help those Vaanar, the bridge would be ready soon. So she went to the sea, drenched herself in the water, came on the shore, rolled in the sand and left that sand on the stones in the sea water. She did this a few times, then she got tired. She came to Raam and got cuddled in His lap. Raam caressed her with affection and her all tiredness was gone. As Raam caressed her, His three fingers left their mark on her body, thus three lines appeared on her body. That is why, in India, most squirrels are found with three lines on their back and are thus called Raam's Squirrel (Raam Jee Kee Gilaharee).

Sushma Gupta

Krishn's Brothers

Divine Voice Declares Kans' Death
Krishn was the 8th child of His parents - Vasudev and Devakee. Devakee was a very dear cousin sister of Kans, the son of Raajaa Ugrasen and Vasudev was his very dear friend, so he thought to strengthen this relation by marrying Devakee to Vasudev. He loved Devakee so much so that when Devakee was going from his palace to Vasudev's house, he himself drove her wedding chariot to her in-law's palace. As he was going, an Aakaashvaanee (Divine voice) said - "O Kans, you are taking which Devakee with so much love to her in-law's house, the same Devakee's 8th child will kill you."

All heard this Divine voice. Kans got stunned hearing this. He just stopped the chariot then and there, took out his sword and got ready to kill his dear sister. Devakee requested him in several ways not to kill her, but he did not listen to her. Then Vasudev Jee tried to console Kans but he was not listening to him too. Vasudev  then cleverly told him that he should not kill his dear sister, because (1) first of all, she was his younger sister, (2) secondly, she was his very dear sister, (3) thirdly, she was a woman and it does not suit a Kshatriya to kill a woman, (4) fourthly, she was just married, it was not good to kill a newly married girl, and (5) fifthly, who is not yet born why he should be scared of him from now?."

Still Kans was not ready to spare Devakee's life. Then Vasudev played his last trick with a heavy heart - "Let her live. As soon as we will have a child, we will hand it over to you. Do whatever you like with him or her, but for now you please spare her life and let us go." At this Kans spared Devakee's life and imprisoned both Vasudev and Devakee.

Children of Vasudev and Devakee
Vasudev and Devakee had 6 sons in the prison and with a very heart they gave all their sons to Kans and Kans killed them mercilessly by hitting them on the walls of the prison. As the 8th number of the child was coming nearer, Kans was getting impatient and he had increased security at prison. Devakee got pregnant 7th time, but Bhagvaan pulled her 7th fetus from her womb and kept it in Rohinee's, Vasudev's senior wife, womb. This child was the incarnation of Shesh Naag - Balaraam Jee. When Bhagvaan had pulled the fetus, everybody including Devakee got surprised that where the baby was gone. Kans also got confused but could not do anything.

Now after some time Devakee got pregnant 8th time and Bhagavaan Himself appeared in the prison. He instructed Vasudev to take Him to his friend Nand Raaya in Gokul and bring his newborn daughter to Mathuraa and give her to Kans. Vasudev Jee did the same. Kans killed that girl also by hitting her on a stone, but she did not die, rather she flew in the sky saying - "O Kans, Your killer has already been born. Nothing will happen by killing me." Hearing this Kans tried his best to kill Krishn but could not kill Him. Later Kans himself invited Krishn to Mahuraa and there He killed Kans.

Who Were Those 6 Brothers of Krishn?
This story comes in Bhaagvat Puraan, 10/u22, that who were these 6 brothers who were killed by Kans like this?

After killing Kans, freeing His parents Vasudev and Devakee and grandfather Ugrasen from the prison, Vasudev sent Krishn and Balaraam to Saandeepan Muni to get educated. There they finished their education and paid their Guru Dakshinaa by bringing back their only dead son back to life. When Devakee heard this she recollected her 6 sons whom she handed over to her brother Kans just after their birth and Kans killed them immediately mercilessly. She did not see even their faces properly. So one day she requested Krishn that she wanted to see her those 6 sons. Krishn explained her - "Mother, No one is of nobody in this world. Whatever has happened, has happened, forget it." But Devakee's desire to see them was so intense that she could not understand anything. She just insisted to see her sons once.

Krishn and Balaraam Bring Their Brothers Back
So Krishn and Balaraaam went to Sutal Lok with the help of Yog Maayaa. You might be remembering that Vaaman Bhagavaan had sent Raajaa Bali to Sutal Lok when Bali could not provide the 3rd foot space to Vaaman Bhagvaan. So he was living there when Krishn and Balaraam reached there. Raajaa Bali welcomed them. Krishn said to him - "In Swaayambhoo Manvantar (the 1st Manvantar, the present Manvantar is the 7th one) Prajaapati's wife Oornaa gave birth to 6 sons who were Devtaa. Once they laughed at Brahmaa Jee when Brahmaa Jee got ready to have physical relationship with his daughter Saraswatee. At that time Brahmaa Jee cursed them to be born as Hiranyakashyap's sons and to be killed by their father, so they were born to the grandson of Hiranyakashyap, Kaalnemi. Then Yog Maayaa kept them in Devakee's womb. They were killed by Kans, who was the incarnation of Kaalnemi, immediately according to Brahmaa's curse. Now mother Devakee wants to see them and they are with you. We want to take them with us and after that they will be free from the curse and will go to their Lok. Their names are Smar, Udgeet, Parishwang, Patang, Kshudramrit, and Ghrini. They will get good Gati by my grace."

So the King Bali handed over those children to Krishn and they all came back to Devakee with them. She got very happy to see them. She kissed them, hugged them breastfed them. As soon as they drank Devakee's milk, they recognized everybody, so they greeted all of them and then they went to their Lok. Devakee was very surprised to see all this that her dead sons came there and went away so soon. She kept quiet considering it Krishn's Leelaa. This blog site gives their names like this - Keertimaan, Bhadrasen, Rijju, Samarth, Sameeshaa, and Aheeshwar.

Sushma Gupta

Two Uncommon Yagya

Many types of Yagya are described in our scriptures, some are very famous and common, such as Ashwamedh Yagya, Agnishtom, Vaajpeya etc etc while some are not so common and famous. (see many types of Yagya here) But there are two Yagya which are completely different from these common and famous Yagya. Why are they different? Because the material of their Aahuti (offering) is not normal. These two abnormal and uncommon Yagya were performed by Maharshi Paraashar and King Janamejaya. Maharshi Paraashar performed the Raakshas Yagya in which he offered the Aahuti of Raakshas and the King Janamejaya performed the Sarp (snake) Yagya in which he offered the Aahuti of Sarp.

Paraashar's Raakshas Yagya
Paraashar was the grandson of Maharshi Vashishth Jee. Vashishth had a son named Shakti who was killed by a Raakshas employed by Vishwaamitra. When Shakti was killed, Paraashar was not yet born. Vashishth brought his daughter-in-law to his Aashram and Paraashar was born there, so he took Vashishth Jee as his father. At one time, in front of his mother, he called Vashishth Jee "father", then his mother told him that he was  not his father, but was his grandfather. And when he heard the account of his father's death, he decided to perform Raakshas Yagya.

He did it and Raakshas started falling down in that Yagya fire. Most Raakshas were burnt this way. Then Pulastya Rishi came and told him that his father died of his own destiny, ao why was he killing innocent Raakshas? Then only he stopped his Raakshas Yagya.

Janamejaya's Sarp Yagya
This Yagya was also very uncommon in itself. There were two people looking at the burning and reviving of the banyan tree  from behind a tree. (read the account of death of Pareekshit here) They went to Janamejaya, son of Pareekshit, and told the whole incident to him as how Takshak did not allow that Braahman, who wanted to save him, to come to Pareekshit . Hearing this Janamejaya filled with rage and decided to burn Takshak in Yagya fire. He organized a Sarp Yagya and the Sarp started falling in the Yagya fire.

Seeing this Takshak got frightened and he went to Indra for shelter. Indra gave him shelter. He clung with a leg of his throne. When some time passed and Takshak was not seen anywhere, he asked "Where is Takshak?" Then he came to know that he was clinging to Indra's throne. So he invoked Indra to fall in the Yagya fire. Now with Indra's throne Takshak also started falling. Seeing this Takshak left the leg of Indra's throne, but still he kept falling down. At the same time Aasteek, who was born for this purpose only, came there and stopped this Yagya and saved Takshak.

Thus these are two very uncommon Yagya described in our scriptures. Janamejaya's Sarp Yagya is given in very detail in Aadi Parv of Mahaabhaarat, but Paraashar's Yagya is not found in detail.

Sushma Gupta

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bribery in MBH

Bribery is not a new phenomenon today. It was present in the Mahaabhaarat times also. This story of bribery comes in Mahaabhaarat.

Pareekshit was the descendant of Paandav - son of Abhimanyu. Once he went to forest for hunting. There he got separated from his retinue and felt thirsty. He came to a sage's Aashram. There a sage was sitting in meditation. The King was so much thirsty that he could not make out that the sage was in meditation. He asked him some water to drink. Being in meditation the sage could not know that somebody was in his Aashram, so he kept quiet. The King thought that the sage was insulting him. He got angry and in anger he picked a dead snake lying nearby from his bow's corner and put it in the sage's neck and came back. This sage was Shameek Rishi. Now Shameek Rishhi's son Shringee Rishi was also very powerful. he was playing outside. One of his friends told him that the king has put a dead snake around your father's neck. Hearing this Shringee got very angry. He immediately cursed the King - "You will die of Takshak Naag bite on the 7th day from today."

Story of the Bribe by Takshak
Although there are two versions of this story further than this - one is from Bhaagvat Puraan and another from Mahaabhaarat, but here we will take the MBH version. When Pareekshit heard this he built a safe building and started living in that building so that Takshak cannot enter that building. A Braahman named Kashyap also heard this that Takshak was going to bite Pareekshit. He was a very good Vaidya and he knew the antidote of Takshak's bite, so with the desire of getting good money from the King he set off to save the King from Takshak's bite. On the other side on the 7th day Takshak also set off to bite Pareekshit.

Takshak also heard this that the Kashyap Braahman was going to save Pareekshit, so he assumed the form of a Braahman and met Kashyap on the way. Takshak asked Kashyap - "Where are you going in so much hurry?" Kashyap said - "Today Takshak is going to bite the King Pareekshit and I am going to cure him from his bite." Takshak said - "I am that Takshak who is going to bite him - that Lord of Earth." Kashyap said - "But I am sure that I will be able to save him from your bite."

Hearing this Takshak got a little worried but he said - "If you are so sure that you could cure the King of my bite, then revive this tree first which I am going to bite now. See the power of my poison. I am going to burn this banyan tree within moments, you show me the power of your Mantra by reviving it." Kashyap said - "You bite it and I am sure I will revive it."

Takshak bit the tree and the banyan tree burned to ashes within moments. Takshak said - "Now it is your turn." Kashyap took the ashes in his hand and said to Takshak - "O King of snakes, Now you see my power." He read a Mantra and the tree started to come to life soon. Within moments there was a sprout, then two leaves, then stem, and then branches etc and within minutes it stood up as a grown up tree. Seeing this Takshak got stunned and he doubted on his poison. He was not ready for this, so he said to Kashyap - "It is not good for you to destroy my poison like this. I will give you much more money than whatever you are expecting from the King. You have revived this tree but you will not be able to revive the King who has been cursed by a Braahman." Kashyap said - "Then you give me that wealth, and I will go back." Kashyap sat in Yog position and came to know that the King's time had really come, so he took the money from Takshak and went back to home. And Takshak went on his way to Pareekshit's palace.

Thus by bribing Kashyap Braahman Takshak killed Pareekshit, so bribery is not a new phenomenon, it has been continuing for a long time.

Sushma Gupta

Raajarshi Janak

Janak is not a name. All the kings of Mithilaa were called Janak. But this Raajarshi Janak about whom I wish to write was the father of Seetaa and was known as a Raajarshi Janak. Raajarshi means the king who has the qualities of a Rishi even being a king. So this Janak had the qualities of a Rishi that is why he was famous as a Raajarshi. He was called Videh also. Videh means without body. Why was he called Videh? Because body is the main cause of feelings and emotions, feeling and experiencing pains and pleasures; and since he did not feel pains and pleasures, he was known as without body. He did not feel all these things, that is why he was called Videh. Here I would like to cite three examples of his Gyaan and being Videh.

Janak and Seetaa
Being a Raajarshi he was like a Sthit-pragya (a Geetaa's term). He lived in the world, still he was not involved in the world. He had no Moh (attachment) with anybody or anything. When Seetaa went to forest with Raam, he had no complaint or anger against Kaikeyee. he was very much satisfied. His satisfaction can be seen when he goes to see Bharat and then goes to forest, he meets Raam and Seetaa and instead of being sad or angry or complaining he says to Seetaa - "Daughter, I am very proud of you. You have brought honor to both the families." And for even Raam, when Bharat requests him to request Raam to come back to Ayodhyaa, he was sure that He would not come back to Ayodhyaa disobeying His father's orders. Even when Raam exiled Seetaa after coming back from Lankaa, then also Janak did not show any complaint or anger towards Raam.

Thus we don't see any kind of support or sympathy towards Seetaa when she went to forest as most parents show for their daughters in their adverse times, nor any kind of anger, or complaint towards Kaikeyee or Dasharath or Raam as why did they do it with his daughter. This is the examples of Gyaan and of being Videh.

Janak Jee Became Guru of Shuk Dev Jee
Janak Jee was so much Gyaanee that even Ved Vyaas Jee chose him for imparting Moksh Dharm Gyaan to his son Shuk Dev Jee. When Shuk Dev Jee requested his father to impart Moksh Dharm Gyaan to him, he always said - "It is only Janak who is capable of give you Moksh Dharm Gyaan." Shuk Dev Jee thought - "He is a king, a worldly man, what does he know about Moksh Dharm. How can he impart me Moksh Dharm?" so he did not go to him. But whenever he talked about this with his father Ved Vyaas Jee, he always told him the same thing. So one day he had to go there to know Moksh Dharm.

This story is also very interesting. When Shuk Dev Jee reached the palace of Janak, nobody came to welcome him. Even the guards asked them to wait at the gate until Janak was ready to meet him. He had to wait there for three days. On the fourth day he was called in and was attended in a royal way. The King kept him for 8 days in the most luxurious way, but Shuk Dev Jee was unaffected by those luxuries.

Next day Janak Jee came in the court. While Janak Jee was talking to him, one of his attendants informed him that his cantonement area was on fire. Hearing this Janak Jee sat without any reaction, he just said - "It is the will of God." Shuk Dev Jee thought that he was not worthy to be a king. After a while another attendant came and informed him that the city was on fire. This time also Janak Jee said - "It is the will of God." After a while another attendant came and informed him that even the palace was on fire. The courtyard of the palace was on fire."

Now Shuk Dev Jee could not resist himself, he immediately jumped up to save his clothes and the metal cup. Janak Jee had guessed his thoughts, he said to him - "Now tell me who is renunciate? Me or you? Then only Shuk Dev Jee felt that he himself was more attached to the world than Raajaa Janak. And then Janak Jee imparted him the Moksh Dharm Gyaan.

Although Raajaa Janak was a father, a brother, a king, but he was not attached with any of his these roles that is why he was called Raajarshi. Read about Janak in detail here.

Janak Jee and Ashtaavakra Jee
Once Raajaa Janak made an announcement that he wanted to meet any saint, Rishi or a learned man who can teach him the knowledge of Aatmaa (soul) within a few moments. This condition was so difficult that nobody could dare to to come to him. At the same time Ashtaavakra Jee came to Janak Puree roaming around. Ashtaavakra Jee was the son of Uddaalak Muni's daughter. There he came to know about Janak's announcement, so he came to the King and asked him what did he want to know. Janak Jee repeated his problem. Ashtaavakra Jee said - "I can do it, but not here. Let us go outside the city in a lonely , and you will go alone with me." So Raaja  Janak and Ashtaavakra Jee came out of the city.

There Ashtaavakra Jee said to the king - "But first I will take my Guru Dakshinaa."
Janak Jee asked - "What do you want in Guru Dakshinaa?"
Ashtaavakra Jee said - "I want your mind, give me your mind."
Janak Jee said - "I give you my mind, it was mine till now, it is yours from now."

Ashtaavakra asked Janak Jee to sit at one place and give his mind to him. Janak Jee sat on the ground and he closed his eyes. Ashtaavakra Jee sat at a little distance from Janak Jee. He also closed his eyes. When Janak Jee did not come back fro some time his bodyguard got restless. They came to the forest, found the King  but could not wake up him. they brought the queeen buty she also could not wake up the King. In the meantime they saw Ashtaavakra sitting, so they came to him and asked him what had happened to the King. They brought him to the King. As he came there, Janak Jee opened his eyes and called - "Swaamee."
"See your people are standing here and you have not spoken to them." Janak Jee said - "I have got the Aatm Gyaan."

Sushma Gupta 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Brothers Fights

Fight normally breaks among two different people or friends etc, normally not among brothers; but brothers also fight among each other. Today my blog is on some brothers who fought among themselves.

(1) Devtaa and Asur
Brahmaa's son was Mareechi and Mareechi had a son named Kashyap. Kashyap Jee was married to 13 daughters of Daksh Prajaapati. Among those 13 wives his three wives gave birth to Devtaa, Daitya and Daanav. Aditi gave birth to Devtaa, Diti gave birth to Daitya and Danu gave birth to Daanav. Daitya and Daanav were of similar nature, while Devtaa were of just opposite nature of Daitya and Daanav. Both, Devtaa and Daitya and Daanav used to fight often and since Daitya and Daanav were more powerful than Devtaa. They often defeated Devtaa. Then they had to go to Vishnu or Shiv and then they had to rescue them. It happened several times. Saagar Manthan and Vaaman Avataar events are the results of such battles.

(2) Sund and Upasund
This is a very interesting story. There was a Daitya named Nikumbh in the family of Hiranyakashyap. Nikumbh had two sons - Sund and Upasund. They loved each other so much so they shared each other's things, sorrows, happiness, everything, with each other. Once they did Tapasyaa and obtained the boon from Brahmaa Jee of many weapons, and powers. They wanted the boon of immortality also but Brahmaa Jee said - "This is not possible, you may ask some condition of your death which is like being immortal." They thought since they loved each other very much nobody would kill each other, this will delay their death, so they asked him - "We should not fear from any created thing in the world except each other." Brahmaa Jee said - "So be it." and disappeared.

Now they started troubling people in all the three Lok. Braahman went to Brahmaa Jee and asked to end their atrocities. Now how to create a fight between them? Brahmaa Jee thought for a while, then called Vishwakarmaa and asked him to create the most beautiful woman in the world. He created a very beautiful woman named Tilottamaa. Brahmaa Jee asked her to go to Sund and Upasund to tempt them so that they start fighting with each other as soon as they saw her. She did so. Both, as they saw her, got attracted to her and wanted to marry her. "I will marry her", "I will marry her." and saying this both started fighting with each other. After a while they both killed each other, and thus their atrocities came to an end.

(3) Baali and Sugreev
Their story comes in Raam Charit Maanas and Vaalmeeki Raamaayan. They both were real brothers. Baali was the elder brother  and was the king of Kishkindhaa Nagaree and Sugreev was the younger brother, so he was like Minister to his elder brother. Baali was Indra's son. Indra gave him a garland which if worn at the time of fighting, nobody could defeat him. Besides he had a boon from Brahmaa Jee that whenever he would fight with anybody, he would take away half of the strength of his opponent, and thus the opponent could never defeat Baali.

Once Maya Daanav's son Maayaavee challenged Baali for a fight. Maayaavee took him to a cave. Sugreev followed them. Baali asked Sugreev to wait outside the gate of the cave for 2 weeks, and if he did not come back, he should regard him as dead. There they fought for quite some time. Sugreev waited there for 1 month. Then a blood stream flowed from the gate of the cave. Sugreev thought that Maayaavee had killed Baali so he came back.

Since there was nobody to take care of the kingdom, the ministers appointed Sugreev the king of Kishkindhaa in Baali's absence. Later Baali came after killing Maayaavee and got very angry to see Sugreev as the king of Kishkindhaa. He sent him out of his kingdom and Sugreev went away with four ministers. He started living on Rishyamook mountain with his ministers. There he met Raam and Lakshman, Raam promised him to get his kingdom back and kill Baali. He sent Sugreev to fight with his brother, and assured him that He would kill Baali. So Sugreev went to fight with Baali and Raam killed Baali from behind a tree,

(4) Kaurav and Paandav
This is the most famous fight among brothers after Devtaa and Asur fights. Kaurav were the sons of Dhritraashtra and Paandav were the sons of Paandu. Paandu's children were born when he was in the forest. In the meantime Shakuni (Kaurav's Maamaa) and Dhritraashtra instigated Duryodhan and Dushaasan that the kingdom was theirs, not of Paandav. But unfortunately Paandu died in the forest, and his wife Kuntee and  5 son, all came to Hastinaapur. When people told them that Paandav were also the heirs of the kingdom, Duryodhan did not like the idea. Shakuni suggested Duryodhan many plans to kill Paandav to remove them from the scene, but he could not succeed. At last they fought among themselves and many people were killed. Dhritraashtra's whole family got killed. This war was called Mahaabhaarat War or Kuru Kshetra War.

So there has been a few fights among brothers in the ancient history of India.

Sushma Gupta

Monday, April 1, 2013


Although astrology is not my subject, but when I came across this story, I could not resist myself to share it with you. This story about how the planets got their houses.

In Astrology there are 12 houses or 12 Raashi (Signs) and there are 7 visible planets - the other two planets - Raahu and Ketu (Dragon's Head and Dragon's Tail) are not the actual planets but they are just the points, so they are the Chhaayaa Graha (shadow planets), so they are not counted as proper planets.

All the 7 planets have their houses. How to distribute 12 Houses among 7 planets? It is an interesting story. Sun is the King of the planetary kingdom and Moon is his consort. So both took one house each for themselves, distributed half and half and thus ruled 5 Houses each. The Sun rules over the first 6 Signs including his own - Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn; while Moon rules over the other 6 Signs including her own - Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces and Aquarius - counting being done anti-clockwise. Thus the Sun and the Moon are living in their respective palaces (Houses) - Leo and Cancer respectively and are ruling their respective dominions of 5 Houses each. This royal couple was noted for their generosity, so when other planets heard that this couple had some houses vacant, they thought of a House for themselves also.

(1) Mercury - The first planet to think in this direction was Mercury who is the closest to the Sun. he went to the Sun and asked for a House. The Sun immediately gave him a House next to his own - Virgo (Kanyaa). But he was not satisfied with one House, so he went to the Moon also and asked for one House without telling her that he had already occupied one House. The Moon also gave him one House adjacent to her own House Cancer - Gemini (Mithun). That is how Mercury got two Houses, one near Sun's House Leo and another Moon's House Cancer - Virgo and Gemini - the first one was negative and the second one was positive.

(2) Venus - Now this news reached Venus. He also thought to have a House from the Sun, so he went to the Sun asked for a House. The Sun still had several houses, so he gave him a House next to Mercury's House (Virgo), that is Libra (Tulaa); but Venus was also not satisfied with one House, so he went to the Moon also and asked her a House without telling her that he had already owned a House from Sun. Moon also had several houses, so she also gave him one House next to Mercury's House (Gemini) - the Taurus (Vrishabh).

(3) Mars - Now the news reached Mars, so he also went to Sun and asked for a house. Sun gave him a house to live next to Venus (Libra) - that is the Scorpio (Vrishchik). Seeing the other planets having two houses each, he went to Moon also and asked her for a house. Moon did not know that Mars had already got the house from Sun, so she gave him a House, next to Venus' House (Tauraus), Aries (Mesh).

(4) Jupiter - Now was the turn of Jupiter. He also went to the Sun and asked him for a House. The Sun still had a couple of houses so he gave him one house, adjacent to Mars' House (Scorpio), that is Sagittarius (Dhanu). Jupiter was also not satisfied with one house so he went to Moon also and without telling her that he had already got one House from Sun, asked one House from her. Moon still have a couple of houses, so she gave one House to Jupiter, adjacent to Mars' House Aries (Aries), that is Pisces (Meen).

(5) Saturn - Saturn got his news in the last, so he ran to Sun. He was also lucky to secure two houses from the Sun and the Moon respectively. The Sun gave him the adjacent House of Jupiter (Sagittarius), that is Capricorn (Makar) and the Moon also gave him the adjacent House of  Jupiter (Pisces), that is Aquarius (Kumbh).

Now Raahu and Ketu were demons, so they got the news in the last. They also went to the Sun and the Moon, but since they did not have any House left now, they could not give them any house to live. At this Raahu and Ketu got very angry with them. Since then they are after the royal couple and whenever they get chance (Amaavasyaa - New Moon) and Poornimaa (Full Moon) they swallow them respectively - Raahu swallows Sun on Amaavasyaa and Ketu swallows Moon on Poornimaa.

All house belonging to Sun are negative Houses, and all the Houses belonging to the Moon are positive Houses. When a planet is in Sun's House, its negative aspect is more prominent, and when he is in Moon's House his positive aspect is more prominent.

Is it  not interesting to know this?

Sushma Gupta