1:40 PM

The Essence of Puranas – Brahmanda Purana -3

Posted by gopalakrishna

The Essence of Puranas – Brahmanda Purana

12    Highlights of Kashyapa Vamsha: display of Virtue and Evil as signified by his Wives

One of the the most illustrious examples of Bhagavan’s Creation was Kashyapa Muni the worthy son of Maharshi Marichi the Brahma Manasa Putra or the brain-born child of Brahma. As Daksha Prajapati and Prasuti gave birth to sixty daughters, ten were married to Dharma viz. Arundhati, Vasu, Lamba, Bhanu,  Marutvati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Sadhya and Vishwa. Sadhya begot Twelve Sadhyas called Jaya Devas who were considered as good as Devas. They were actually reckoned in the context of Yagnas called Darsha, Pournamasa, Brigati, Rathanta, Maah, Vithi, Vivithi, Akuti, Kuti, Vigjnatra and Vigjntata. To Dharma were also born to Vasu the ‘Ashtavasus’ viz. Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Ayu, Anala, Anila, Pratyusha and Prabhasa;  Marutvati gavs birth to Maruts; Muhurta was born to Muhurta; Sankalpa was born to Sankalpa, Vishwey Devaas to Vishwa and so on. Besides Dharma, Daksha Prajapati also married off twenty seven to Chandra, one to Shiva and thirteen to Kashyapa.  

Kashyapa was wedded to the famed mothers of Lokas viz. Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kaashtha, Arishta, Anayuvu, Khasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Taamra, Muni, Krodhavasa, and Kadru. His sons were the Dwadashadityaas viz. Dhata, Aryama, Mitra, Varuna , Amsha, Bhaga, Indra, Vivaswanta, Pusha, Parjanya, Twashta, and Vishnu. From Surabhi, Kashyapa was blessed with Ekadasha Rudraas viz.Angaraka, Sarpa, Niruti, Sadasaspati, Ajaikapaada, Ahirbhudnya, Jwara, Buvana , Ishwara, Mrityu and Kapali. From Surabhi, there were two daughters, viz. Rohini and Gandharvi; Rohini begot four daughters named Surupa, Hamsakali, Bhadra and Kamadu: Kamadu gave birth to Cows, Hamsakali begot Mahishaas; and Gandharvi begot Ashvas or horses; Surabhi also begot a Vrishabha/ Bull which was secured as ‘ Shiva Vahana’.

From Aditi, Kashyapa Muni begot Indra and Devatas. Diti gave birth to Hiranya kashipu  as Kashyapa concluded the ‘Ati Raatra’ of the just finished Ashvamewdha Yagna; the new born was the younger brother of Hiranyaaksha. Their younger sister was Simhika the wife of Viprachit and their son was Rahu. Hiranya Kashipu performed unusual Tapasya for hundred years and secured a significant boon from Brahma that the entire Universe should be subservient to him, that he would be the highest authortity to administer one and all, Deva-Danava-Asuras must be under his control, that all the Beings in the Worlds should eat only after him, that he should not be killed by a wet or dried up weapon neither in day time nor the night. Brahma was taken aback by these demands yet granted the boon. Eversince he secured the boons, the Daitya occupied the body, thought and Soul of everything in the Creation just as Narayana would and controlled all the Lokas; he threw out Indra and Devatas from Swarga, controlled the movements of Planets, Dikpalakas and Daitya-Danavadi Beings alike to this extent that whichever direction would be viewed by him should be prostrated by every one and all including Maharshis and all the Human Beings should consider him as Bhagavan! As the dominance of the evil deeds became climactic, Bhagavan Vishnu assumed a Form of neither a man nor a lion called Narasimha and tore off the body of the Daitya with his sharp nails which were neither wet nor dry, and the time of the killing the Evil was neither day time nor night but the perfect ‘Sandhya’. Hiranyakashipu’s sons were Prahlada, Anuhrada, Samhrada and Hrada. Hiranayaksha was also terminated earlier as he sought to sink Bhumi Devi down to Rasatala by Vishnu assuming the incarnation of Varaha Deva and the progeny of Hiranyaaksha were five mighty sons especially Surasantapana who was invincible against Devas and fought along with Tarakasura who was decimated  by Skanda Deva at a later date. Daitya called Mooka of Hlada’s lineage and son of Sunda was killed in Maha Deva’s fight with Arjuna as the latter assumed the Swarupa of a Hunter of Animals. Sunda’s son as Maricha the son of Taataka who took the form of a Golden Deer to entice Devi Sita and was killed by Shri Rama of the Great Epic of Ramayana. The Grand son of Prahlada viz. Bali who  too became invincible was subdued by Vamana Deva and suppressed into Rasatala as Baleyas.

Marud Ganas: Since there were such continuous deaths of her family lineage, Diti was terribly upset as all the gallant heros of Daityas were destroyed succsessively despite the valiant acts of their intrepidity and resoluteness; she entreated Kashyapa Muni to bestow a boon to her that she must give birth to a son who could kill Indra. Kashyapa Muni too felt that the progeny of Aditi were getting too powerful enjoying Swarga while the progeny of Diti were continuously rotting in the Sub-terrain Lokas despite the fact that they were courageous and highly enterprising. Thus the Muni directed Diti to follow celibacy and fasting with concentrated Tapasya for thousand years and and worship the Supreme whereafter she should observe a ‘Vrata’. Diti sought Shukraachaarya’s direction to observe the Vrata. As Diti conceived eventually, Indra some how got the awareness of what was happening and  approached Diti with feigned feelings of affection to his mother’s own sister and made her agree to supply flowers and other materials for the Vrata and stayed with her day and night to protect her from Evil Spirits. As Diti fell asleep almost unconciously when Sun was at peak on the Sky, Indra then entered her Garbha with his ‘Vajraayudha’, saw the fully grown up boy inside and even as the child cried, Indra cajoled him saying Maaroda maaroda  (don’t cry, don’t cry) and sliced the child into seven parts and further cut the seven parts to total up to forty nine sub-parts; the fully awaken Diti Devi pleaded mercy and cried louldly saying: na hantavyah, na hantavyah! ( not to be killed, not to be killed!). Meanwhile Indra   jumped out and sought her pardon for the imprudence that he committed! The terribly distressed Diti was taken aback and got bewildered for a while and having recovered her senses said that Indra need not be afraid of her anger as she would reconcile to what had happened since after all his action was not unjustified as his position would have been at stake of the child was really born.

Having said that most magnanimously she blessed each part of the killed boy as follows:

Bhavantu mama Putraanaam Sapta Sthaanaani vai Divi,

Vaataskandhaanimaansapta charantu mama Putrakaah/

(May my sons be borne by Vayu into seven eternal places of glory and be blessed as Marut Devas with unprecedented splendour and reputation at seven parts of the Universe!)

Diti declared further:  Let the first sphere be on Earth, the second in Surya Mandala, the third in Chandra Mandala, the fourth on the Sky at the Jyotisha Mandala, the fifth among the Graha Mandala or the Planetary System, the sixth in the  Saptarishi Mandala and the seventh in Dhruva Loka. May my sons move about freely in all the Seven Places with magnificence and pride. Diti further blessed and ordained that the first batch of  Marud Ganaas or the first ‘Vaata Skantha’ or Air Pocket be called ‘Avaha’in the vicinity of Bhumi; the second batch of the Vayu Skandha would be reputed as ‘Prahava’ beyond the clouds upto the Solar Region; the third and fourth batch of Marud Ganaas moving in the Lunar Mandala and underneath the Star Constellations, the Vayu Skandha would be fabled as ‘Samvaha’; the fifth bunch of Marud ganaas reaching upto Planets would be distinguished as ‘Vivahava’; let the sixth in the series climbing upto Saptarshi Mandala be popularised as ‘Anuvaha’ and the final hike nearby Dhruva Mandala be glorigied as ‘Parivaha’. Oh Shakra! Let it be known all over the Universe that the names of my children on the basis of the deeds entrusted to each of the Ganas are: Shukra jyoti, Satya, Satya Jyoti, Chitra Jyoti, Jyotishmaan, Sutava, Chaitya; the second Gana would comprise Rutajit, Satyajit,Sushena,Sevajit, Sutamitra, Amitra, and Suramitra; the names of the third Ganaas would be Dhatu, Dhanada, Ugra, Bhima,Varuna, Abhiyuktaaksha, and Saahvya. The fifth Gana would have the names of Druk, Anadruk,  Sirat, Druma, Vrikshaka, Mita, and Samita.The Shasthagana would have the names of  Iruk, Purusha, Naanaadruk, Samachetana, Sammita, Samavrit and Prati harta. (Incidentally, Brahmanda Purana did not mention the other names). Indra assured that whatever Diti had stated would indeed be firmed up and that all the Forty Marud Ganaas would be share holders of Yagna bhaagas or the Authorised Consumers of the Sacrficial Offerings. They would also be his own brothers and the Co-Devataas!

Danavas: The children of Danu were of unimaginable strength and grit with huge tolerance power for determination. Viprachit was the leader. Their capacity to preform Tapasya was colossal and their record for securing boons was enormous. They were cruel, self-centered, evil-minded, quick to act and mastered the art of deception and trickery. At the same time, they read Scriptures to learn about Maya and were engaged in Agni homas apparently for wrong reasons. Shambara, Dundhubhi, Maya, Indrajit, Taraka, Jambha, Sarabha, Naraka, Pralamba and so on were some of the most revenguful and evil minded Danavas. Another wife of Viprachit viz. Simhika gave birth to Saimhikeyaas who were worse than Danavas and the most cruel and confirmed  killers of Brahmanas and Sages. Rahu was the eldest son of Simhika. The most notorious among them included Vatapi, Kalanabha, Ilvala, Bhouma, Namuchi and so on. It was stated that Parashurama buchered as many as ten thousand Saimhikeya Ganas. The famed King Yayati wedded Sharmishtha who was the daughter of Vrishaparva Danava and Sharmishta gave birth to the glorious King Puru. The Danavas named Poulema and Kaleya subdued Devas but eventually Arjuna of Pandavas killled them. Mayasura and Apsara Rambha gave birth to five sons and a daughter Mandodari the wife of Ravanasura. Several Danavas were by birth the instinct of being the destroyers of Yajnas, Sraddhas, Brahmanas, children and cows.

Gandharvas and Apsaras: Both Gandharvas and Apsaras were the progeny of Sages. Gandharvas were Bhimasena, Ugrasena, Suparna, Varuna, Dhritarastra, Gomanta, Suryavarchasa, Patravanta, Arkaparna, Prayuta, Bhima, Chaitraratha, Vikhyata, Sarvajit, Trayodasha, Shaalishira, Parjanya, Kali and Narada. Their younger sisters were Aruna, Anapaya, Vimanushya, Varambara, Mishrakeshi, Asiparnini, Alumbusha, Maarichi, Shuchila, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, Adrika, Lakshmana, Kshema, Divya, Rambha, Manobhava, Asita, Subahu, Supriya, Subhyuja, Pundarika, Ajagantha, Sudati, and Sutapa.Their brothers also include Haha, Huhu, Subahu and Tumbura. Additionally , there are ‘Bhulokaapraras’ too like Hamsa, Jyotishtama, Aachaara, Daaruna, Varudha, Varenya, Suruchi and Vishyavasu.Other Aprasaras were Menaka, Sahajanya, Parnini, Punjikasthala, Kritasthala, Ghritachi, Vishwachi, Purvachitti and Pramlocha. Urvashi was the daughter of Narayana.

Nagaas: Devi Kadru another wife of Kashyapa Muni was the mother of Serpents, the most well known of them being Sesha, Vaasuki and Takshaka. Other serpents of significance included Akarna, Hastikarna, Pinjara, Aryaka, Iravata, Mahapadma, Kambala, Ashwatara, Elapatra, Shankha, Karkotaka, Dhananjaya, Mahakarna, Maha Nila, Dhitarashtra, Balahaki,  Pushpadamshtra, Sumukha, Durmukha, Sunaamukha, Dadhimukha, Kaliya, Ambarisha, Akrura, Nahusha and so on. They were all capable of flying. Some of these had obnoxious features with long tongues, crooked damshtras, huge noses, elongated mouths, multihooded, blood eyed, twisted, very lengthy, broad faced,  of various colours and body designs, vengeful and highly poisonous.

Rakshasas: Khasa was another wife of Kashyapa and they had two sons, one born at dusk time and another at the dawn time. The elder had four hands and four legs. His entire body was full  of high hair growth and his limbs were disproportionate. His younger was born with three heads, three hands and three legs. Both were ferocious and grotesque with eight teethed damshtras. The younger child shouted out of hunger and said that he desired to eat up his mother. The elder son prevented his mother being eaten her up and Kasyapa Muni scenting the risk appeared at once on the spot. He named them as Rakshasaas’ and blessed them with the boon that their touch of any thing would turn fleshy and full of blood, that in the day time they might be weak and inactive but as the dusk time  they would become gradually mighty and change their bodies to those of  any species at their wish; that they could disappear as they please too; and that their food would mainly comprise the flesh of Devas, Brahmanas, human beings, animals, birds and so on. Thus fortified with the boons, Rakshasas ruled across  the Worlds in the  nights.  

The progeny of Kashyapa thus represented the high-points of Virtue and Evil as though the Worlds were on balance. Kashyapa’s wives truly characterised the facets of  the Positive and Negative Forces as reflected in their offspring and their descendants:

 Aditirdharmashila tu Balasheelaa Ditistathaa,

Tapahsheelaa tu Surabhirmaayaasheela Danustathaa/

Gandha –sheelaa Munischaiva Krodhaadhyayana shaalini/

Geetasheelahyarishtaa tu Krura sheelaa Khashaa smrutaa,

Krodhasheelaa tathaa Kadruh Krodhaacha Shuchi shaalini/

Vaahasheelaa tu Vinataa Taamraa vai ghatashalini,

Iraanagraha sheela tu hyanaayur bhakshaney rataa/

Matrustulyaabhijaatascha Kashyapaatmajaa Prabho!

(Devi Aditi  is a natural epitome of Virtue; Diti is a sign of Might and Valour; Surabhi is a Tapaswini and the mother of cows and buffalos; Danu is a Mayavati and the mother of Daanavas; Muni is a Gandha Shila; Krodha is Adhyana Sheela; Arishta is a Geeta sheela or has an aptitude for music; Khasa is a symbol of cruelty and wickedness; Kadru is the representation of anger and revenge; Krodha is a natural icon of Purity; Vinata is prone to Vahanas and thus the mother of the illustrious Garuda Deva the Vehicle of Vishnu Bhagavan and Aruna Deva the Charioteer of Surya Deva; Tamra Devi is a byword of Evil and immorality and the mother of Raakshasas; Ira is the emblem of kindness and morality; and Anayu stands for pleasure and enjoyment. These are the natural characteristics of the wives of Kashyapa Muni as truly reflected in their offspring too.)

 Indeed, Kashyapa Vamsha stood for Dharma, Kshama, Buddhi, Satpravartana and Competence on one side and Adharma, Jealousy, Ignorance, Misbehavior, Viciousness, Cruelty, and utter depravity on the other! It produced Devas, Danavas, Rakshsaas, Yakshas, Piscachaas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Sarpas, Pashu-Mriga-Pakshi-Vriksa-Lataas. Indeed all these features are amply manifested among Manavas and are deeply immersed in the whirlpool of Samsara- at times displaying virtue and at other times demonstrating viciousness as they are always targetted with the grand mix of the Satvika-Raajasica and Tamasika Gunas; they are ostensibly motivated by the Chaturvidha Purusharthaas of Dharma-Artha-Kaama-Moksha!

13    Outlines of Skanda’s birth, Pitru Vamsha and Shraddhas (‘Nakshatra Shraddha Phala’ included)

Of the ‘Sapta Pitruganas’, four have a Form and three are Formless. The ‘Amurtamaan’ (Formless) Pitras reside on a Mountain called ‘Santaanaka’named after the Term of Progeny. They  were the sons of Prajapati Viraja who were great practitionres of Yog and enhance the magnificance of Soma Deva. Their mind-born daughter was Devi Mena who was the wife of Himavan and her son was called Mainaaka. The son of that Mountain Mainaaka was Krouncha. Mena had three daughters viz. Aparna, Ekaparna and Ekapaatala. Both Ekaparna and Ekapatala took to ‘Saynaasa’ and Aparna practised Tapasya. Mena the mother Aparna asked the latter not to engage herself in Tapasya and said: U –A or  ‘Child-Do not’ and thus was reputed in the Tri Lokas as UMA! All the daughters were remarkable Yoginis but Uma was outstanding. She became the wife of Parama Shiva but for long they were issueless.The Asura named Taraka secured a boon from Lord Brahma that none excepting the son of Shiva could destroy him; the clever Asura was aware of the past tense well since Mahadeva would never marry again as his earlier wife Sati Devi opted for Self-immolation at the notorious Daksha Prajapati’s yagna since she as the daughter of Daksha felt slighted that she was uninvited to the function due to his animosity against her husband Mahadeva. To stage-manage  to provoke Mahadeva with a  longing for Uma who was serving him with the supply of flowers etc.at that time for his puja, Indra commissioned Manmadha and his wife Rati Devi to shoot Shiva with passionate flowers by his flowery arrows; but the plan was foiled and Maha Deva opened his third eye and Manmatha was burnt to ashes. But to the disappoin- ment of Tarakasura Shiva and Uma got wedded in due course and Indra was anxious that a son should be born quickly to the couple. Indra asked Agnideva to take the shape of a sparrow to witness the bed chamber details of Shiva and Parvati as to  whether and why not soon enough that Shiva and Uma were not seeking marital union. As Agni’s entry as a sparrow into the bedroom just at the time of Shiva-Parvati physical union, Shiva by a suspicion and haste just at that time of the union spilt his virility on the floor. Devi Parvati was dreadfully furious and cursed Agni for his terrible indiscretion and forced to consume and carry Shiva’s virility. For years together Agni carried the Garbha but could not tolerate the heaviness and approached Devi Ganga who accepted Shiva’s virility. But Ganga too could not bear the severe flames any further and relieved herself when a child with unprecedeted spledour was materialised on her river-banks. As soon as the child was born, celestial drums were sounded, Siddha Chaaranas rained fragrant flowers, Gandharvas sang and Apsaras danced with joy; Daitya-Danava-Rakshasas were burnt off in thousands by the sheer radiance of the boy; Krittika Devis were anxious in competion to feed the child with their milk and Indra having realised their disquiet materialised Six Faces to allow all the six Krittikas to feed the child simultaneously gaining thus the epithets of Shanmukha and Kartikeya. Even as child was born, his full range of armoury and weaponry including the most potent ‘Shakti Shula’ were in position. Bhagavan Vishnu despatched toys viz. a peacock and a cock to play by his Garuda; Vayudeva  despatched a ‘Kukkuta Dhwaja’  or a Rooster Flag; Devi Saraswati gifted a Veena- a plucked musical instrument; Swayambhu Brahma gifted a goat; Shambhu presented a sheep’; and Indra appointed Skanda as the Deva Senapati or the Commader in Chief of Devas. As soon as the announcement was made by Indra, Pramathana Ganas, Deva Ganaas, Vinayaka ganaas, Matrika ganas and Bhutaganaas surrounded Skanda.

Skanda Deva then shifted over to Soma Pada, where the sons of Maharshi Marichi resided; Pitaras like Barhishaadas were Soma Padas. The Manasika Kanya or the mind born daughter of Barhishaadas was Acchoda in the form of a ‘Sarovara’ but she did not recognise her Pitaras and instead selected one Sage called ‘Amavasu’as her father. Amasasu was actaully a Nabhaschara or Sky-wanderer who fell in passion and slept with an Apsara named Adrika. Since she adopted Amavasu as the father,  Acchoda started to slide down to Earth and as she was crying away, the real Pitras recognised her and told her that keeping in view the mistake of selecting a person as a father who indulged in sin, she had to suffer but after her death she would get a rebirth as the daughter of a King and in a further birth she would become called Mastyagandhi and would beget an illustrious Maharshi called Veda Vyasa; in fact, Satyavati or Matsyagandhi was born to the then Apsara Adrika and Amavasu! Then Satyavati  in her subsequent birth would rejoin Pitruloka as the Manasika Putri of Pitras as Peevari. She would be blessed with five great sons called Krishna, Goura, Prabhu, Shambhu and Bhurishrava , besides a daughter.

Another  branch of Pitaras originated from Agni Deva and Swadha Devi. The Agni Sutas who had ‘Yogotpatti’ as their Manasika Kanya. She was married off by Santkumara as the better half to Daitya Guru Shukracharaya; she became well known as Eka Shringa and enhanced the prestige of Bhriga Vamsha. Then there were Sadhyaganas the progeny of Angirasa Maharshi. They were the Pitaras called ‘Upahutaas’ and they were worshipped by Kshatriyas and their Manasika Kanya was Yashoda. The Vaishya ganaas worship Ajyapa Pitras originated from Maharshi Pulaha; Viraja was their Manasika Putri who was the wife of Nahusha and the mother of Yayati. Sukaala Pitaras originated from Vasishtha Vamsha whom Shudras worship. Those Pitaras who were in the Maanasika Lokas in Swarga and their Manasika Kanya was Narmada, the wife of King Purukutsa and the mother of ‘Trasaddasya’.

Thus each Varna or Caste would be required to perform Shraddhaas to the concerned Pitru Devas. Those who perfom Apyaayana Kriyas would be pleasing Soma, Agni and Vaivaswata (Yama); as indeed most certainly the Pitraas.The Shraddha Kartas  are bestowed with  thousands of blessings by Pitras like Yoga Shakti, Ishwarya, Arogya, Rajya Phala, Satsaantana and Sarvakarya Samruddhi!

 Shraaddhaas:  A Shraadda Karta should recite the  following Mantra thrice at the beginning and end of the Shraddha:

Daivatebhyah Pitrubhyascha Maha yogibhyashra eva cha, Namah Swadhaayai Swaahaayai Nityameva bhavatyatya,Adyevasaaney Shraadhaasya Tiraavrittham Japetsadaa/  

On reciting this Mantra Pitaras are duly invoked and Evil Forces are blown off. If the appointed Brahmanas of the Shraddha Karma are prevailed on to recite this Mantra, Pitraas of three generations are certainly redeemed and the Karta would gain Veerya, Shourya, Artha, Satwa, Aashis, Ayu, and Buddhi.

The next Mantra viz. Saptarshicha is highly propitious:

Amurteenaam Samurteenaam Pitrunaam Deepta Tejasaam,

Namasyaami sadaa teshaam dhyaaninaam yoga chakshushaam/

Indraadeenaam cha netaaro Dashamaarichayostathaa,

Saptaarsheenaam Pitrunaam cha taannamasyaami kaamadaan/

Manvaadinaam cha netaarah Suryachandramasostathaa,

Taannamaskruya Sarvaanvai Pitru –mastu vidhishyapi/

Nakshatraanaam Grahaanaamcha Vayavyaagneyoscha Pitrunatha/

Daavyaa prithivyoscha sadaa namasyaami kritaanjalih/

Devasshinaam cha netaarah Sarva loka namaskritaah,

Traataarah Sarva bhutaanaam Namasyaami Pitaamahan/

Prajaapater-gavaam Vahneyh Somaayacha Yamaaya cha,

Yogeshwreybhyascha sadaa namasyaami kritaanjalih/

Pitruganebhyah Saptabhyo Namo lokeshu satasu,

Swayambhuvey Namaschaiva Brahmaney Yogachakshushey/

Etaduktam cha Saptaarchir Brahmarshigana sevitam,

Pavitram Paramamhyetatcchreemadroga vinaashanam,

Etena vidhinaayuktastreenvaraan labhatey narah/

(Saptaarshi Mantra: My salutations to those Pitru Devas who are possessive of Form or Formless but are replete with radiance, Dhyaana and Yoga; my obeisances to Pitru Devas who are Manvaadi Nayakaas or Surya Chandraadi Nayakaas; I fold my hands to Pitru Devas who are of Nakshatras, Grahas, Vayu-Agni-Varuna-Prithvi-Akaakaashas; Pitru Devas are Devarshis and are worshipped by one and all! They are the Samraksha Kartas of Sarvabhutaas; May I reverentially greet Pajapatis, Dhenu Maatas, Agni, Soma, Yama, Yogeshwaras and Pitamahaas; May I prostrate before the Pitruganaas in the Sapta Lokas and that  the Omniscient Swayambhu who view the Pitruganaas! This is known as the Saptarchisha Mantra which is Sacred, Supreme, highly propitious, prosperous and bestower of excellent well-being). In other words, this Mantra assures Finest Food, Long Life and best                               progeny!

The significant inputs of Shraddas include the leaf-made vessels made of Sacred Trees like Palaasha, Plaksha, Nyagrodha, Kashmira and Madhuka in which to offer Pitru Yagna Phala; flower garlands; Gandha; Dhupa; Madhu (honey); ghee in the Agnishtomas; Deepa;  Japa-homa- Phala mula Namaskaaraas; Vastra-Ratna-Go-Vastu- Dhana Danas; darbhas and tilas; and Bhaksya-Bhojya-Choshya-Lehya-Bhojanas. The climax however would be the Pinda Pradaana with tilas and ghee while invoking three generations of Pitrus by Apasavya Yagnopaveeta, sprinkling of holy water called Pitru Tirtha, by seating in the posture of bent knees; by pouring water drops keeping right palm under the left palm and by reciting the Mantras viz. Namovah Pitarah Soshaaya and Namovaha Pitatah Sounyuh and lift up the first in Apasavya position and after prokshana position it back and follow the same procedure for the second and third pindaas to represent Pitamaha and Prapitaamah. Then would follow Nava Kshouma Sutra Samarpana. The Karta would be seated Dakshinmamukha for peforming formal puja to the pindas laced on the darbha(Kusha gras). Later on the Bhoktaas should face North. The Shraadha Mantra states:

Nihanmi Sarvam yadamedhyavadbhavet taascha sarvey  Suradaanavaamaya, Rakshaamsi Yakshaah sapiscacha sanghaa hataa mayaa yaatu-dhaanaascha sarvey/

(Let the impurity be destroyed; Asuras and Danavas be destroyed and so let  Rakshasaas-Yakshas-Piscacha Sanghas and Dhatus be destroyed) When this Mantra is recited the Evil Spirits should run away and not even look back!

Further, Karta should perform Homas for Karma Siddhi by using Dakshinaagni while other wise Loukika -agni could be utilised. As ‘samidhas’or material offered are placed in the Homa Kunda, three types of Mantras are  to be recited:

Agnaye swakavyavaahanaaya Swadhaa Angirasey namah-Somaaya vai Pitrumatey Swadhaa Angirasey Namah-Yamaaya Vaivaswataye Swadhaa nama iti dhruvam/

While performing the homaas or offerings to Agni, these be performed to Agni to Southern side, to Soma to Northern side and to Yama in between. It is essential that the various homas are performed with liberal helpings of ghee, and samidhas so that Agni is flamed up brightly with the least possible ‘Dhuma’or smoke. It is well known that in Pitru Karyas including Tarpanas, the word ‘Swadha’ must be used while in Deva Karyas only the Swaha Mantras are required to be utilised. Tarpanas to Pitaras are an integral part of the Shraddha Karma. As regards Pinda Visarjana, the Karta might offer the first Pinda to Agni to gain happiness; the middle Pinda might be offered to Agni to secure good progeny and the last Pinda be given away to a cow; those desirous of fame and name might offer the Pindas to a running water body and to obtain longevity might offer to crows; in all these cases, the Pinda Visarjana would have the desired effect if suitable Mantras are recited for obtaining the above benefits.

Nakshatra Shraddha Phala: Deva Guru Brihaspati detailed the results of performing Shraddhaas as per Nakshatras on specified days instead of the basis of Tithis; Yama Deva stated that such Nakshatra Shraddhaas are classified as Shashabindu Shraddaas; the fruits of performing them on the basis of Agni Homas are as follows: Those who perform these in Krittika Nakshatra are assured of Swarga if the Karta does the Shraddha with full faith and sincerity. Rohini Nakshatra Shraaddha would bestow ideal son. Mrigasirsha Shraddha Karta would enhance his physical radiance and intellectual faculties as this Nakshatra is Sowmya- featured. Shraddha in Ardra Nakshatra might lead the Karta to perform cruel deeds! Punarvasu Shraddha helps partnership in Vyavasaaya or activities connected to agriculture as also also attainment of an excellent son. Pushyami Sharaddha too would result in Putra Prapti. Alsesha Shradda too would yield Veera Putra Prapti. Magha Nakshatra blesses Sarva Varna Shreshtthata or dominance of all Varnas. Purvaphalguni Shraaddha results in Material Prosperity. Natural nobility and Character would be the Phalaas of Shraddhas in Uttara Phalguni. Hasta Nakshatra Shraddha secures Sabha Pramukhyata or Dominance in the Public. Chitra yields progeny with social smartness and achievements. Swati assures business succsess. Securing excellent progeny in Vishakha.Anuradha gives fame and authority. Jyeshta Nakshatra Shraddhas bestows High Positions in Public Life. Mula Nakshatra Shraddha relieves of physical ailments. Purvashadha Shraddha leads to high popularity and Uttaraashaadha Shraaddha liberates the Karta from distress and troubles. Shravana Shraddha bestows Parama Gati  and that of Dhanishtha results in Vedaadhyana and excellent physical well being. Bhadrapada Shraddha provides the fruit of charity of thousand cows. Revati Shradda offers considerable fortune by gaining gold and silver. Ashwini provides Ashwa Prapti and Bharani Shraddha leads to the company and nearness of Uttama Sadhus. Thus Yama Dharma assured Shraddha Phalas on the basis of Nakshatras as above.

( More details are provided on Shraddhas vide the Chapters on ‘Shraaddha Kalpa Varnana’ in the Essence of Brahma Purana as also on ‘Shraadda Prakarana’ in the Essence of Kurma Purana as compiled by the same Author in the Series of the  Essence of Puranas)

14    PARASHURAMA CHARITRA - Parashu Rama Tapasya

The illustrious Incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu as Bhargava Rama was the son of Jamadagni                                           Muni and the grandson of the famed Bhrigu Maharshi and Devi Khyati. As instructed by his                    father and grandfather, Bhargava Rama performed stringent Tapasya in an Ashram in a deep                           jungle and visiting Maharshis like Bhrigu, Atri, Kratu, Jaabali, Mrikunda were  impressed with                  the high concentration of Bhargava Rama who was seeking to target Shiva in his penance. In                   course of time, Maha Deva was pleased with Bhargava Rama’s devotion and appeared in                    disguise as a hunter who presented a repulsive person with dark complexion and red eyes with                         bow and arrows and crude sword and knives of varied sizes and sharpness. He introduced                            himself as Tosha Pravarsha the Master of The Forest and that no knew person should step in                       the Forest, much less raise a Hermitage. Even Indra would not be able to reside in this forest                      without my permission, he said. The hunter then asked Rama as to was he and for what purpose                            that he was staying  in the Forest for such a long time.The former replied that he was                              performing Tapasya to Maha Deva Shambhu and that he would like please that Sarveshwara,                                  Sarva Sharanya, Abhaya prada, Trinetra, Sarvajna, Tripuraantaka and Shankara. The Hunter                                    heckled at Parashu Rama and said that he was wasting his time. In the course of conversation,                       Parashu Rama realised that the Hunter was not an ordinary human being; he knew a lot of                       Shiva as the so called hunter mumbled that Shiva did Brahmahatya and that he snipped                                   Brahma’s fifth head. The Hunter further told Parashu Rama that after all he was trying to                                  absolve himself of the sin of his mother’s killing! ( Once Jamadagni left for Tapsaya and his                                     wife Renuka Devi went to a river to fetch water and witnessed Prince of Mrittikavati                                 Chitraratha was enjoying swims in the river with his women and momentarily Renuka felt                            envious of the women; Jamadagni noticed that his wife committed a sin and on returning back                                   to his Ashram he asked his sons to kill her for the sin; none of his elder sons were  prepared                       but Prarashshu Rama sliced her neck and killed her at once; apparently, Jamadagni was able to                       revive Devi Renuka by his Mantra Shakti!). Bhargava Rama then realised that  the hunter must                             be a Siddha! The Hunter further heckled Rama that his Tapasya was futile as  he left his old                      father and killed his mother! Bhargava Rama then asked the hunter to identify himself: Was he                      Indra or Agni or Surya or Chandra or Vayu or Yama! You have come here to test my sincerity                               of Tapasya. Mahatma! Do reveal your self, thus prostrated Bhargava Rama and as soon as he                                 stood up, Maha Deva revealed himself  and a confused Rama in an ecstatic trance praised him                           as follows:                                                                                                                                            

Namastey Nilakanthaaya Nilalohita murtaye,

Namastey Bhuta nathaya  Bhuta vaasaaya tey namah/

Vkyataavyakta Swarupaaya Maha Devaaya  Meedhushey,

Shivaaya Bahurupaaya Trinetraaya Namo nanah/

Sharanam Bhava Sharva twadbhaktasya Jagatpatey,

Bhuyonanyaashrayaanaam tu twameva hi paraayanam/

Yanmaya-aprakrutam Deva duruktam vaapi Shankara,

Ajaanataa twaam Bhagavanmama tatkhshantumarhasi/

Ananyavedya Swarupasya Sadbhaavamiha kaha pumaan,

Twaamrutey tawa Sarvesha Samyak Shakreti Veditum/

Tasmaatwam Sarvabhavena praseeda mama Shankara,

Naanyaasti  mey gatistubhyam Namo bhuyo namo namah/

( Nilakantha, Nilalohita, Bhutanaadha, Bhuta                            vaasa! You are Perceivable yet impossible to Perceive, Maha Deva, Shiva, Bahurupa, Trinetra,                                          Sharva! Indeed I am your faithful devotee and you are my final refuge; I might have talked                                lightly about you thinking that you were a normal hunter! Do pardon my ignorance and                           indiscretion; who else is capable of recognising your own magnanimity excepting yourself!                                      I have no recourse else than surrendering myself to you totally!) Shiva replied to  Rama:                         ‘My Child! I am pleased with your Tapasya. I really wish I could bestow every Shakti to you                          although You  deserve it. Yet, you are still not yet ripe enough to  withstand the Rudra                          Shakti and the ralated ‘Astraas’; hence you have to perform further Tapasya, resort to Sarva                         Tirtha Darshanaas and approach me when you consider fit. Subsequently, Bhargava Rama was                          engaged in Tirtha Darshanaas, fastings, Tapas, Homas, Japas, Snaanaas and other sacred deeds                            and moved about a lot in Bhumandala. Later, as per the instructions of Maha Deva returned to                   his Ashram and settled for his Shiva Puja. Meantime, there was a terrible battle between Devas                 and Asuras and the latter approached Maha Deva for help. Shankara then asked Mahodara to                           reach Parashurama to bring from his Ashram in Himalayas and the latter was instruced by                              Shiva to destroy the Asuras. Bhargava was bestowed with a variety of powerful Astra-                        Shastras and devastated Asuras in large contingents even while the remnants ran away to                                 Rasatala. The victorious Bhargava returned to his Ashram and installed an Idol of the ‘Kiraata’                          who confronted him in the Forest and worhipped him with flowers, Chandana, Dhupa, Dipa                            and Naivedyas. As Shankara made an appearance along with Marudganas and Devas, Rama                               fell on his feet and extolled him as follows:  

Namastey Deva Devesha Namastey Parameshwara,   Namastey Jagatonaatha Namastey Tripurantaka/Namastey Sakalaadhyaksha Namastey Bhakta Vatsala, Namastey Sarva Bhutesha                              Namastey Vrishabhadhwaja/ Namstey Sakalaadhisha Namastey Karunaakara, Namastey                   Sakavaabvaasa Namastey Nilalohita/ Namah Sarva devaa ri gana naashaaya Shuliney,                          Kapaaliney Namastubhyam Sarvalokaikapaaliney/ Smashanavisiney nityam Namah Kailasa                      vaashiney, Namostu Paashiney tubhyam Kaala kutavishaashaney/ Vibhavemara vandyaaya                      Prabhavey tey Swayambhuvey, Namokhilajagatkarma saakshibhutaataaya Shambhavey/ Namastripathagaaphena bhaasigaadrendumouliney, Maha bhogindra haaraaya Shivaaya Paramatmaneyt/ Bhasmasancchaanna deheaaya namorkaaginindu  chakshushey, Kapardiney namastubhyamandhakaasura mardiney/ Tripura dhwamsiney Daksha Yagna vidhwamsiney                     namah, Girijaakuchakaashmeeraviranjita mahorasey/ Maha Devaaya mahatey Namastey Krittivaasasey,Yogidhyeya swarupaaya Shivaayaachintya tejasey/   Swabhakta hridayaambhoja                 karnikaa madhyavartiney, Sakalaagama siddhanta saararupaaya tey namah/ Namo nikhila                  yogendra bodhaanaayaamritaatmaney, Shankaraakhila vyapta mahimney Paramatmaney/                    Namah Shartvaaya Shaantaaya Brahmaney Vishwa rupiney, Adi       madhyaata heenaaya Nityaayaavyakta murtayey/ Vyaktaavyakta swarupaaya sthula sukshmaa-  tmaney namah, Namo          Vedaanta Vedyaaya Vishwa Vigjnaana rupiney/ Namahsuraasura shreni mouli pushpaarchita             anghnaye, Shri Kanthaaya Jagaddhaatrey Loka Kartrye namo namah/ Rajogunaataney tubhyam                Vishwa srishti vidhaayiney, Huranyagarbha rupaaya Haraaya Jagadaadiye/ Namo Vishwaatmaney Lokasthitivyaapaara kaariney, Satwa vijnaana rupaaya Paraaya Pratyagaatmaney/ Tamoguna Vikaaraatya Jagatsamhaara kaariney, Kalpaantey Rudrarupaaya Paraapaa videy namah/               Avikaaraaya Nityaaya namah Sadasadaatmaney, Tawa yattatrajaananti Yoginopi Sadaamalaah/ Twaamavigjnaaa durjeyam Samyad Brahmaadayopi hi, Samsaranti Bhavey nyunam na tatkarmaatmikaaschiram/ Yaavannapaiti charanou tavaa- jnaana vighaatinah, Taavadbhhramati Samsaarey Panditochetanopivaa/ Sa yeva Dakshah sa krutisa Munih sa cha Painditaha, Bhavatascharanaambhojey yena Buddhih sthirikrita/ Su     Sukshmatvena Gahanah Sadbhaavastetrayimayah, Vidushaamapi mudhena sa mayaa Jnaaya-tey kattham/ Ashabdagocha                ratwena Mahimnastwa saampratam, Stotumupyanalamsamyaktwaa- maham jadadhiryatah/ Tasmaanagnaanato vaapi mayaa Bhakyaiva Samstutah, Preetascha  Bhava Devecha naunutwam Bhaktavatsalah/

(Devadeva! Jagannaadha, Tripuraantaka,Sakala adhyaksha, Bhaktavatsala, Sarva Bhutesha, Vrishabhadhwaja, Sakalaadhisha, Kanukaakara, Skaklaavaasa, Sakala Devaarigana Naashaka,                       Shuli, Kapaali, Sarva Lokaika paala, Nitya  SmashnaVaashi, Kailasavaasi, Pashayukta, Kalakuta-                vishaara, Sarva Vibhu, Amarvandya, Swayambhu, Shaktivaan, Sagatkarma Sakshi, Shambhu, Chandramouli, Sarpakantha haara, Shiva, Paramatma, Vibhuti sanchhanna deha, Suryachandr                   aagninetra, Kapardi, Andhakaasura  mardana, Tripura dhwamsi, Daksha Yagna Vinaashaka,                    Yogijana Dhyeya, Achintya Rupa, Bhakta hridayaambhoja karna madhya varti, Sakalaagama                 Siddhaanta Saara Rupa, Sakala Yogendra  Prabhu, Shankara, Sakala Vyaapta Maha mahimna,           Paramatma, Sharva, Shaanta,   Jagadbrahma, Vishwarupa, Adimadhya rahita, Nitya, Avyakta, Vyaktaavyakta Swarupa, Sthula Sukshmaatma, Vedanta Vedya, Samasta Vishwa Vigjnaana                   Swarupa, Suraasurasangha Shreshtha puja paada, Shrikantha, Srishti karta, Lokakarta, Rajo                     gunaatma, Hiranyagarbha, Paratpara, Pratyagatma, Tamoguna Vikaara, Jagatsamhaara, Kalpanta               Rudra Rupa, Parapara-Vida, Avikara, Nitya, Sadas adaatma, Buddhi Prabodha, and Buddhin-                        driya Vikara! My  salutations to you as  you are manifested in various Forms as Vasu-Rudra-                   Marud-Aditya- Saadhaya and  Ashwini Kumaaras! You are Avikara, Aja, Nitya, Sukshma Rupa!              You are not controllable and unimaginable even by Brahma! Those who continue in ignorance           about you and your three major features of Srishti-Sthiti-Samhara are  engaged in the cycle of                             births and deaths; as even great Scholars are unaware about you, what could I realise about                                     you! Indeed your magnificence is far beyond description and voice; thus I am unable to                   commend you as my Stuti properly yat I know that you are affectionate to your Bhaktas!)

Maha Deva was indeed gratified with this kind of touching prayers and bestowed to him all                 kinds of Astra-Shastra Vidyas, their usages and withdrawing capacities; a outstanding horse; a                   distinctive  chariot, a peerless bow and bunch of arrows, a distinctive Kavacha or body shield,                        Beeja Mantras whose recitation could either annihilate the worlds or shower blessings to his                                                          followers and in short provided unique Siddhis to Bhargava Rama equipping him with                    invincible powers enabling him to punish the Evil wherever it existed and at the same time  to                           protect the virtuous and the noble

15    PARASHURAMA CHARITRA - King Kaartaveeryarjuna and his invincibility

The most valiant and invincible King of the times Kaartaviryarjuna of Haihava Vamsha was contemporary to Bhargava Rama halted at the Ashsram of Jamadagna once along with his huge army which was tired and famished on an afternoon when Sun was hot and severe; the army did not have the strength to move forward and decided to rest. The King knew that the Ashram would not have the resource to feed the contingent but the Muni did provide excellent food to them. The King wondered as to how the Muni was able to do so and discovered that the Celestial Cow Kama - dhenu was in the Ashram and fulfilled all the requirements of the inmates of the Ashram. The King desired to take away the Kamadhenu to his kingdom but Jamadagni declined politely initially and refused flatly later. The King returned to his Kingdom but sent his Minister to manage to bring the Celestial Cow, if necessary by force. Finally force was used and both the Muni and the Kamadhenu resisted till the last but were tortured; Jamadagni Maharshi was almost killed and Kamadhenu flew to Heaven! The soldiers returned only with the calf which was a wasted exercise since without the mother the calf was no avail anyway. On return to the Ashram, Devi Renuka found her husband lying dead in a pool of blood and fainted and after recovering from the shock with some passage of time, she cried incessantly enquiring about Bhargava Rama. Rama returned from the forest to fetch wood and flowers for homa and puja and was non- plussed about what all had happened. He witnessed his mother beating her chest again and again numbering twenty one times and took a vow that not only King Kartaveeryarjuna would be butchered but would also attack Kshatriyas as a race would be slaughtered twenty one times and wipe out traces of them all; for quite some time now Kshatriyas were harassing Brahmanas and Sages on many counts, mostly out of fear that Brahmanas were gaining upper hand due to their knowledge and out of fear of an inferiority complex. Renuka decided to jump into fire along with her dead husband in the execution of the old practice of ‘Sati Sahagamana’ but a Celestial Voice stopped her attempt as Jamadagni’s life would by revived once again. Bhrigu Maharshi came to learn of his son’s death and on seeing his body stated that if he the Maharshi spent all his life as per Vedas and performed all virtuous deeds including Yagnas and Tapas, then Jamadagni his son should rise up from his death bed and sprinkled sacred weater on the dying body and up came Jamadagni fully resuscitated due to the glory of Bhrigu. But Bhrigu after full recovery came to realise Bhargava Rama’s vow to kill Kartaveeryarjuna and felt sad, not only because that revenge was never the principle of a Brahmana but killing a King by one of his own Subjects would tantamount to ‘Rajavadha’which was as atrocious as killing one’s own father! Moreso King Kartaveeryarjuna was not only an illustrious King of extraordinary prowess but also an outstanding devotee of Bhagavan Dattaratreya. This created a predicament to Bhargava Rama as there was a vow to kill the King and the Kshatriya Vamsha in twenty one attacks and on the other hand there was the considered advice tantamounting to an instruction of his father not to do so. Jamadagni then advised to pray to Brahma Deva and act according to his considered advice. Brahma too was not acceptable to either of the vows taken by Bhargav and affirmed that it would not be in order that if simply one King perpetrated a sin, there would be little justification to eradicate the entire Kshatriya Vamsha in twenty one battles! Yet, he blessed Rama to recite a Krishna Kavacha tittled ‘Trailokya Vijaya’ and visit Shiva Loka to seek his blessings in the matter. As Bhargava Rama with great difficulty managed an audience with Shiva, the latter too felt that it was not an easy task to terminate King Kartaviryarjuna who by his mere frown a great warrior like was disarmed and had to flee! However, the ever merciful Mahadeva suggested that he like Skanda Kumara should practise not only the Trailokya Vijaya Mantra but several other powerful Mantras like Nagasatra, Paashupata, Brahmastra, Narayanastra, Agney astra, Varanyastra, Gandharvatra, Garudastra, Jrumbhanaastra and many other Astraas; Rama then bowed with the greatest possible happiness and fulfillment to Shiva, Devi Parvati, Ganesha , Skanda and Nandi Deva and returned to his father Jamadagni, fully overjoyed.!

16    PARASHURAMA CHARITRA -Trailokya Vijaya Mantra Kavacha

Vasishtha Maharshi quoted the highly Sacred Trailokya Vijaya Maha Mantra Kavacha :                              Shrunu  Vatsa Pravakshyami Kavacham paramaadbhutam, Mantram cha Shiddhidam Shasvat-                      saadhakaanaam Sukhaavaham/ Gopijanapadasyaatey Vallabhaaya samucchyaret, Swaaha-                       amtoyam Mahaa Mantro Dashaaaam Bhukti Muktidah/ Sadaashivastwasya Rishih Pankti                         Chhandah Udaahyutam, Devataa Krishna UditoViniyogokhilaaptaye/Trailokavijayashayaatha Kavachasya Prajapatih, Rishiscchandascha Jagati Devo Raajeshwarah Swayam/ Trailokya                   Vijaya Praaptou viniyogah Prakeertitah Pranavo mey shirah paatu Shri Krishnaaya namah                       sadaa/ Paayaat kapaalam Krishnaaya Swaahayeti satatam mama, Krishneti paatu netrey mey Krishnaswaaheti taarakaam/ Haraye naama ityesha bhrulataam paatumey sadaa, Om Govinda-                  aya Swaaheti naasikaampaatu santatam/ Gopaalaaya namo gandam Paatutey satatam Manuh,                     Kleem Krishnaaya Namah karnou paatu Kalpatarurmama/ Om Krishnaaya namah paatu nityam meydharayugmakam, Om Gopishaaya swaaheti dantapankti mamaavatu/ Shri Krishneti radacchi-                dram paatumey Tryaksharomanuh, Shri Krishnaaya Swaaheti jihvakaam paatu mey sadaa/ Rameshwaraya swaheti taalukam paatumey sadaa, Raadhikeshaaya swaaheti kantham mey paatu Sarvadaa/ Namo Gopiganeshaaya greevaam paatu sarvadaa, Om Gopeshaaya swaaheti skandhou        paathu sadaa mama/ Namah Kishoraveyshaaya Swaahaa pushtam mamaavatu, Udaram paatumey  nityam Mukundaaya namo manuh/ Hreem Shreem Kleem Krishnaaya swaaha  karou paatu sadaa                mama, Om Vishnavey namah swaaha baahuyugmam mamaavatu/ Om Hreem Bhaghavatey swaah              Nakha panktim mamaavatu, Namo Naaraayaneti nana randhram mamaavatu/ Om Hreem Shreem Padmanaabhaaya naabhim paatu sadaa mama,Om Sarveshaaya swaaheti keshaanmama                      sadaavatu/ Namah Krishnaaya swaaheti Brahma randhram sadaavatu, Om Maadhavaaya                           swaaheti bhaalam mey sadaavatu/ Om Hreem Shreem Rasikeshaaya   katim mama sadaavatu,                   Namo Gopijaneshaaya uru paatu sadaa mama/ Om namo Daitya naashaaya swaahetyavatu                        jaanuni, Yashodaanandanaayeti namonto janghakey vatu/ Raasaarambha priyaayeti swaahaanto                 hreem mama vatu, Vrindaa priyaaya swaaheti sakalaangaani mevatu/ Paripurna manaah                       Krishnah Praachyaam maam sarvadaavatu, Swayam Golokanaathom mamaagneyaam dishi                       rakshatu/ Purna Brahmaswarupaascha Dakshiney maam sadaavatu, Nairruyutyaam paatu maam Krishnah Paschimey maampaatu Harih/ Govindah paatu Vaayavyaamittarey Rashikeshwarah, Ishaanyaam mey sadaa paatu Brindaavani vihaara krut/ Vrindaa praaneshwarah shaswat               paatumurdhwa deshatah, Sadaiva maamaghah paatu Balidhwamsi Mahaabalah/ Jaley sthaley chaantarikshey Nrisimhaah paatu maam sadaa, Swapney Jaagaraney chaiva paatumaam                     Maadhavah swayam/ Sarvaantaraatmaa nirliptah paatu maam Sarvato Vibhuh, Iti tey kathitam                    Bhupa Sarvaaghougha vinaashanam/ Trailokya Vijayam naama Kavacham Parameshituh, Mayaa shrutam Shiva mukhaat pravaktyam na kashyachit/ Gurumabhyarchya vidhivaktavacham dhaara-                yetktu yah, Kanthevaa Dakshinaey baaho sopi Vishnurnasamshayah/ Sa saadhakovasadyatra                       tatra vaaniramey sthitey, yadisyaat siddha kavacho Jeevanmukto na samshayah/

( My Child!                 This Sacred Mantra Kavacha is indeed unique and its impact is everlasting; the Ten worded                  Mantra viz. Gopijana Valaabhaaya Swaaha is the bestower of Bhakti and Mukti. The Rishi of                this Mantra is Parama Shiva himself; its chhanda or prosody is ‘Pankti’; its Devata is Krishna; its Viniyoga or applicability is Universal; the Trailokya Vijaya Mantra Kavacha’s Rishi is Prajapati; Chhandas is Jagati;  the letters are twelve; the Devata is Rajeswara : this is the Introductory                    ‘Nyaasa’. Now the text of the Mantra is as follows: Om Krishnaaya namah: may Shiva protect me; Krishnaaya swaaha Mama Taarakaam Harye namah; Hey Krishna paatumey Netrey Krishnaaya                   swaahaa/ Mama taarakam paatu; Haraye namah Bhrulaatam paatu; Govindaya swaha Mama                   Naasikaam satatam paatu; Gopaalaaya namah mama gandam (Chin) paatu; Kleem Krishnaaya                      namah mama karney Kalpataruh paatu; Om Krishnaaya namah Adhara yugmam paatu (Lips);                    Om Gopeeshaaya! Do protect my teeth; Krishnaaya swaahaa-Jihvam (tongue) paatu; Radhi-       kesshaaya! Do safeguard my throat ;  Gopi ganeshaaya save my neck; Kishora Veshaaya, guard                     my shoulders; Mukunda watch my back; Hreem, Shreem, Kleem Krishnaaya safeguard my                          Udara (belly); and Vishnavey namah please my hands! Bhagavatey! Save my nail-lines; Namo      Narayana, do  protect my nail-holes; Padmanabha please secure my naabhi (navel); Sarvesa, my                hairs and  Krishna help my ‘Brahmarandhra’ to be safe; Madhava do take care of my forehead;                Rasika! Save  my kati (waist); Gopijanesha, protect my thighs; Daityanaasha my knees! Yashoda                Nanda, my jangha (calf)! Rasaarambha my Avatu (sense of shame); Vrinda! My Sakalaangaas!            The Kavacha then requests Krishna to protect my Praachya or East; Golokanaatha my Agneya                    ( South East); Brahma Swarupa the Dakshina (South), Krishna my Nairutyaam (South West);                        Hari! My Paschima ( West); Govinda! My Vayavya (North West); Rasikeshwara! My Uttara                     (North); Brindavana Vihara! Do protect my Urthwa Deshas; Bali Dhwamsi! Safeguard my from                        Adholokaas (Nether Lokas); Nrisimha save me from Jala, Sthala and Antariksha; and Madhava!       Kindly save me while I am in Jaagriti (awake) or in Swapna (dreams). Vasishta Muni assured                     that sincere recitation of the Kavacha would definitely bestow Puja Phala, Yagna Phala, Daana                    Phala, Bhu Pradakshina Phala, Sarva Tirtha Phala, Karya Sadhana Phala, Vijaya Phala, Siddhatva                 and  Amaratwa! 

17    PARASHURAMA CHARITRA -The Unique and Popular Shri Krishnaamrita Ashtottara Stotra

Endowed with the Maha Trailokya Vijaya Mantra Kavacha, Bhargava Rama moved on to                      Pushkara Tirtha and coninued his Tapasya and Worship as a preparatory effort to destroy the                King Kartaveeryarjuna. As he took bath in Pushkara and was returning to his Ashram through a                 Forest, he overheard the conversation of a deer couple saying that they would not have any fear                 of an attack of a tiger or lion as they were fotunate to have the Ashram of  Bhargava Rama in               their vicinity; the he-deer told about the uniqueness of Rama who had taken a vow to kill the King Kartaveeryarjuna as he killed his father Jamadagni who refused to gift Kamadhenu and also took      another vow that he would attack Kshatriya Kings twenty four times and eradicate the Kshatriya                  Vamsha; as advised, Rama made severe Tapasya and secured all possible Astra-Shastras as also                      the Trailokya Vijaya Kavacha as a preparation for the great battle with the King who after all was           not an ordinary warrior but had unique boons of invincibility by Bhagavan Dattatreya whose                    staunch support that King was fortified with! The he-deer then continued to say that Bhragava            would do well to visit Agastya Muni’s Ashram and secure Krishnaamrita Stotra too and that                Strotra would reinforce his blessings from Maha Deva earlier; after that, no force on Earth and                            the other Elements could ever subdue the Bhargava Rama, let alone Kartaviryarjuna! All this               convesation of the deer-couple was heard by Rama and straight proceded to the Ashrama of                  Agastya Maha Muni and narrated what all was heard in the forest. The Muni explained that in                            the past birth a Brahmana Kumara called Suri was the youngest son of Veda Vidwan  Shiva-                             Dutta who  trained all the sons in Vedas; once all the brothers went to a forest to collect                    flowers and fruits and suddenly they heard the frantic sounds of a deer attached by a tiger and                           killed the deer; Suri felt so intensely moved and he too died soon enough by the shock; the deer                      killed by the tiger became the present she-deer and Suri was reborn as the he-deer. Having                       heard the incident of the deer and their conversation, Agastya Muni taught the ‘Krishna                          Ashtottara Naamavali’ to Bhargava Rama as Maha Sesha taught it to Bhu Devi: He stated that                        this Ashtottara was a highly Sacred Mantra which could bestow ‘Animaadi Ashta Siddhis’ as it                   was very potent. Samasta Japa Yagjnaanaam Phaladam Paapanaashanam, Shrunu Devi                Pravakshyaami Naamaaashtottaram Shatam/ Sahasrannaamnaam Punyaanaam Triraavrityaa                  tu yatphalam, Ekaavrityaa tu Krishnasya naamaikam tatprayacchati/ Tasmaatpunyataram                 chaitat-stotram Paatakanaashanam, Naamnaamastottara shatasyaahmeva Rishih Priye/                   Chhandonushtthubdevataa tu Yogah Krishnariyaavahah, Shri Krishnah Kamalaanaatho                         Vaasudevah Sanatana/ Vasudevaatmajah Punyo Leelaa Maanusha Vigrahah, Sri Vatsa                       Koustubha dharo Yashodaa Vatsalo Harih/ Chaturbhujaachakraasi gadaa shankhaayudhaa-             yudhah, Devakinandanah Shreesho Nandagopa priyaatmajah/ Yamunaa Vega Samhaari                     Balabharda Priyaanujah, Putanaa jeevita harah Shakataasura bhanjanah/ Nandavraja                                   janaanandi Sacchidaananda Vigrahah, Navaneeta viluptango Navaneetanatonaghah/                     Navaneeta lavaa haari Muchukunda prasaada krut, Shodasha Streesaharshestribhangi                Madhuraakrutih/ Shukavaagamrutaabdheendurgovindo Govidaam patih, Vatsapaalana                           samchaari Dhenukaasura mardanah/ Truneekruta trunaavarto Yamalaarjuna bhanjanah,                         Uttaalaa taala bhettaa cha tamaala shyaamalaakritih/ Gopagepeeshwaro Yogi Surya Koti                   Samaprabhah, Ilaapatih Paranjyotiryaadavendro Yadudwahah/ Vanamaali Peetavaasaah Paarijaataapahaarakah, Govardhanaachalodhartaa Gopaalah Sarva paalakah/ Ajo                   Niranjanah Kaamajanakah Kanjalochakah, Madhuhaa Mathuraanaatho Dwaarakanaatha                              ko Bali/ Vrindaavanaanta sanchaari Tulasidaama bhushanah, Shyamantaka maney hartaa Naranaaraayanaatmakah/ Kubjaakrishtaambara dharo Mayee Parama Puurushah, Mushti                        kaasura Chaanura malla yuddha vishaaradah/ Samsaara Vairi Kamsaarirmuraarirnaraka-                           ntakah, Anaadi Brahmachari cha Krishnaavyasana Karshakah/ Shishupaala shiracchettaa Duryodhanakulanta krit, Viduraakruura varado Vishwa rupa pradarshakah/ Satyavaaksatya                    Sankalpah Satyabhaamaarato Jayee, Subhadraa purvajo Vishnurbheeshma mukti pradaa-                                yakah/ Jagadguru Jagannatho Venu Vaadya Vishaaradah, Vrishabhaasura Vidhvamsee                          Bakaarir Baana baahu krit/ Yudhishtara pratishthaataa Barhibarhaavatamsakah, Partha            saaratiravyakto geetaamrita mahodadhih/ Kaaliyaphanimaanikya ranjita shri padaambjah,                 Daamodaro Yagnabhoktaa Daanavendravinaashanah/ Naraayanah param Brahma panna-       gaavashana vaahananah/ Jalakreedaa samaasakta Gopivastraapahaarakah/ Punya Shlokas-                   Teertha paado Vedavedyo Dayaanidhih, Sarva tirthaatmakah Sarvagraharupi Paraatparah/                      

Ityevam Krishna Devasya naamnaamashtottaram shatam, Krishnena Krishna Bhaktena                         Shrutwaa Geetaamrutam Puraa/ Stotram Krishna priyakaram krutam tasmaanmayaa                           Shrutam, Krishnapremaamrutam naama paramaananda daayakam/ Atyutbhava duhkaghnam Paramaayushya varthanam, Daanam Vratam Tapasteertham yatkrutam twiha janmani/                         Pathataam Shrunavataam chaiva kotikotigunam bhavet, Putrapradamaputraanaamagatinaam  Gatipradam/ Dhanavaaham daridraanaam Jayecchunaam Jayaavaham, Shishunaam                       Gokulaanaam cha pushtidam Punyavarthanam/ Baalaroganahaadeenam shamanam Shanti                    Kaarakam, Antey Krishna smaranadam Bhavataapatrayaahakam/Asiddha saadhakam                            Bhadrey Japaadikaramaatmanaam Krishnaaya Yadavendraaya Jnaana samudraaya yoginey/                Naathaaya Rukminishaaya Namo Vedaanta Vediney,Imam Mantram Mahadevi Japanneva                  Divaashinam/ Sarvagrahaanugrahbhaaksarvapriyatamo bhavet, Putra poutrehi parivritah                    Sarva Siddhi samruddhimaan/  (`This highly popular ‘Krishnaashtottara’ is extremely popular,         auspicious, Provider of Siddhis, Destroyer of severe sins, Giver of the fruits of several Tirtha              Yatras, Granter of Japa Yagna Phalaas; Even if one Pavitra naama of  Govinda would suffice to                  secure Punya and ifthe Ashtottara is read out or heard  for three weeks then the dividends are                  enormous indeed! Bhu  Devi! Sesha was the Rishi of this Ashtottara; the Chhandas or the                          Prosody was known as Anushttup andYoga was titled as Krishna and  the Ashtottara is as                            follows: Shri Krishna, Kamala natha, Vaasudeva, Sanatana, Vesudevaatmaja, Punya Swarupa,                   Leela Manusha Vigraha or the Embodiment of Illusions; the wearer of Sri Vatsa Kaustubha                       Mani; the beloved of mother Yashoda; Hari or he whose mere utterance of this name smashes                  all kinds of sins; he who was adored with Shankha-Chakra-Gada-Kripana weapons; the son of                   Devaki; Nandagopa’s beloved son; he who controlled the swift currents of the waters of River                 Yamuna; the cherished brother of Balabhadra; the killer of Rakshasi Putana; the destoyer of the                   Shakatasura; the darling of the Nanda-Vraja Villagers; Sacchidananda or the Ever Happy Being;                     He whose body parts were smeared with butter; He who enjoys dance to secure butter; Anagha                 or the Sinless; He as a child playfully steals butter for fun; the Lord who granted Mukti to Rishi                   Muchukunda; He who was the Unique husband of sixteen thousand women; the embodiment of     sweetness; he who was created by the sacred words of Suka Muni; Govinda! Govidaampati or                the Head of all matters related to Cows; He was in the habit of nurturing cows and calves;                       the slayer of Dhenukasura; the slaughterer of Trinaavartaasura in grass bits and pieces;                       Vanamali; Peetavaasa or dressed in yellow attire; the securer of the Parijata flower  from                             Swarga; the lifter of Govardhana Mountain as if it were a toy!; Gopala; Sarvapaala; Aja or                            who was never born; Nirtanjanma; Kamajanaka or the father of Manmatha; Kanjalochana;                                    the Lotus-Eyed; Madhuha or the Killer of Demon Mathura; Dwarakanatha; Balavaan;                              Brindaavana Sanchari; he sports Tulasi Garlands; he who took away the glittering and                                       Gold-yielding Shyamantaka Jewel; the Form of Nara and Narayana; he who was attracted                                  by the dress of  Kubja and straightened her up; Maya Swabhava; expert in killing Mushtika                           asura and  the wrestler Chanura; Samsara Vairi or the Antagonist of Samsara; Kamsaari;                             Muraari Narakantaka; Sanatana Brahmachari; the Reliever of Droupadi’s predicaments; the                          smasher of Sishupala’s haughty head; the eradicator of Duryodha’s Vamsha; the bestower                         of boons to the virtuous  Vidura and Akrura; the manifestor of Vishwa Rupa or the Mammoth                     Form of Universe; The Embodiment of Truth and Truthful Thoughts; the favourite of Devi                 Satyabhama; Jayee or of the characreristic of Victory; the elder brother of Subhadra; Vishnu!                    The imparter of Mukti to Bheeshma; Jagadguru; Jagannaatha; Expert in Venu Vadya; the                              killer of Vrishabhaasura; the Enemy of Bakaasura whom Bhima killed; slicer of Banasura’s                           hands; the Appointer of Yudhishtara as the King; Barhi barhaavatamsa or he who adorned                        Peacock feathers on his headgear; Parthasarathi or the Charioteer of Arjuna; Avyaka or the                      Undiscernible; the Ocean of Gitaamrita; He who displayed his soft feet with the illumination                             of  the diamonds on the hoods of Kaliya Serpent!; Damodara or he who tied up his tummy                                 and waist with a silken thread; who revelled in swimming and water sports; the Stealer of                                the dresses of Gopikas as they were swimming; Punya Shloka or praised by the Virtuous;                   Tirtha Paada or where His Feet touch would be Holy Places; Veda Vedya or who is                            comprehended  only by Vedas; Dayanidhi the Icon of Mercy; Sarva Tirthaatmika or His                             Soul represented all the Hallowed Places of Pilgrimage; Paratpara or the Supreme Most! )                           The above Ashtottara of Bhavan Krishna was scripted by Veda Vyasa which Agastya Muni                           said that was instructed to Bhargava Rama. This potent Ashtottara was documented  after                            hearing the ‘Geetaasaara’ or the Essence of Gita. Those who read or hear the Ashtottara would                       overcome all kinds of tribulations and miseries; enhances Arogya (Health), Aishwarya                            (Opulence), Jaya (Victory), Graha Shanti, Good  Progeny, reputation and bestows the fruits                             of  Dana, Vrata, Tapa, and Tirtha Yatras manifold.  Agastya Muni further assured that reciting                            the Stanza viz. Krishnaaya Yadavendraaya naana mudraaya Yoginey, Naathaaya Rukmini                           -shaaya Namo Vedanta vediney/ would yield endless benefits!

As soon as the Krishnaamrita Stotra concluded, several Rishis in the Ashram of Agastya                           confirmed that they were in the habit of reciting the Stotra daily and they experienced                                   visible transformation in their own lives. They prostrated before the Form of Ananta Deva                      who basically outlined the Stotra and inspired Veda Vyasa to follow the thoughts. Strangely                      enough the Deer Couple which also heard the ‘Krishnaamrita’ nearby and alighted a Vimana                       from Vaikuntha even while al those present in the Ashram of Agastya and the  visibly moved                        Rishis had a ready proof for themselves. Bhargava went into Yoga Samadhi for long time and                    Krishna himself appeared before him and assured that owing to the earlier Trailokya Vijaya                     Mantra and the instant Krishaamrita, Rama was fully fortified to face the arrogant King and                         destroy him, besides extinguish the entire Kshatriya Vamsha as it came to represent vice,                             conceit and devastation of Virtue and Justice. Krishna reminded Bhragava of Vishnu’s own                      ‘Amsha’and that his mission was to re-establish Dharma and Nyaaya!  He further directed                              that after eradicating Kshatriyas, Bhargava should await Raghu Rama’s arrival till Treta Yuga                              in Tapasya so that the latter would take over the deeds of ‘Dharma Samsthaapana’ later on.

18    PARASHURAMA CHARITRA -The battle of Bhargava Rama and Kaartaveeryarjuna

On reaching Mahishmati pura the Capital of Kartaveeryarjuna, Parashu Rama sent Maharshi                        Atreya to the King recalling the latter’s atrocities in bringing chaos in the peaceful Ashram,                    shamelessly demanding Kamadhenu,  forcibly trying to  seize it and the worst of all killing the       Maharshi. The overconfident  King replied that he was the Star of HaihayaVamsha, that his                     thousand hands were endowed with such enormous might that none could dare to look straight                   in his eyes and that he had the blessings of Dattatreya and so on. He sent away the emissary to                     Rama to come prepared for the battle. He jumped into action at once, grouped his enormous                       army with gusto and led it against Parashu Rama, imagining that the Muni Kumara with little                    backing except his revenge to be pitted against the sea-like and fully trained army with courage, commitment and collossal Mantra Siddhi. There were twelve Akshouhinis of warriors trying to                  face a single Bhragava Rama! Even while the King and the army were advancing, there were               unwelcome omens like the scenes of some with mutilated body parts, some with dishevelled                     hair hysterically crying loud, some carrying baskets full of bones with oozing blood, some with                    loud and continuous sneezes, some carrying bags full oil and salt and also the continuous wails                         of  dogs and jackals but the mighty and haughty King ignored them. As soon as the first                                     contingent of army arrived with racing chariots, horses, elephants and experts in archery under                  the command of Matsya Raja, the first offensive came from the latter in the form of ‘Parvata                             astra’and Bhargava used Vayavyaastra and the former bounced back killing thousands of the                          Raja’s own men in a death trap. By resorting to the offensive, Bharga invoked Narayanaastra                             as the first contingment of the army with elephants, horses and chariots was wiped out while                               the Matsya Raja was singled out with four arrows to systematilcally destroy the Dhwaja (Flag),                          the Charioteer, the horses and  the Matsya King who was  hurt in the stomach and got killed by                       omitting blood. King Kartaveeryaarjuna then called upon Brihadbala, Somdutta, Vidarbha                            Raja, Mithilesweara, Nishadaaati, Magada Chief and others; as they all called up the same                     destinations of death. Then the tactics of war were changed and instead of the various Allies                               of  Kartaveeryarjuna one by one, the Allied Kings surrounded Bharagava some from the rear, some                    sideways and some others in the front! It was a combined / group attack; the enraged Rama like                   ‘Pralayakalaagni’ slaughtered the Kings and their supporters in ‘Dasa Dishas’ and fought with                            them all for three days and nights with his axe and slaughtered the stronghold of the Kings that                         appeared invincible for a while  but they caved in finally. King Suchandra who was an                           outstanding expert in ‘Mayavi Yuddha’ and an exceptional practitioner of Mantraas entered the                       battle . Bhargava released ‘Narayanaastra’ and to his great astonishment and disbelief the Astra                        proved ineffective. Rama  threw up Shiva Shula and that had adorned Suchandra as flower                   garland. Then Rama invoked Bhadra Kali as he knew that She was the most reputed devotee  of                    King Chandra and as she appeared with Trinetras and Trishula: He said: Namostutey Shankara vallabhaayai Jagatsavitryai Samangalaakrutaayai Naanaa Vibhushanaabhiribhaarigayai Prapannarakshavihitodyamaayai, Daksha prasutai Himavadbhavaayai Maheshaardhaanga samaasthitaayai/--(Shankara Patni!, my salutations to you; you are the Creator of Samsara; You                             have the reputation of  saving those in difficultees; You are the daughter of Daksha, the                           Arthaangi of Maheswara as also the daughter of Himavanta!). As Bhadra Kali was commended,                     she gave her appearance and asked Bhargava to despatch Suchandra to her as she was her                         ditinguished devotee ; she suggested that Bhargava should use Agneyaashtra to send him to her                      and that he (Suchitra) would become her servant. Then Bhargava Rama did ‘Praanayama’ and                   taking the name of Bhadra Kali, shot his arrow with Agneyastra and Suchandra reached                          Kailasha.Then came Pushkaraaksha who was by no means an insignificant warrior; even as he                     entered he attacked Rama by raining arrows all around and an angry Rama transmitted  Vaaruna-                  Astra but it was sharply retaliated by Vayavyastra. Rama directed Brahmastra but that too was               surprisingly  retaliated too. A furious Rama took up his axe and ran up to Pushkaraasha who                saved himself by sending ‘Panchavishikaastra’ a Five pronged fiery arrow with venomous and                   hissing cobras and these arrows hit Bhargava on his head, shoulders, and tuft; for a second Rama                     was taken aback  and following his reflexes flew literally upto the opponent and axed his head                     even as all the Devas watching the battle proceedings bit by bit clapped from the skies at the                    unbelievable and spontaneous alacrity displayed by Rama.                                                                                  

Finally, Kartaveeryarjuna himself arrived by his four hunded feet long golden and bejewelled chariot drawn by hundred chosen horses, with surprisingly huge stock of arms and armaments; he has thousand hands of unique Shakti . It was stated that when Ravana desired to display his prowess to Kartaveeryarjuna, the latter was busy taking morning baths in many Tirthas and dragged Ravana by clutching his ten heads with one of his thousand  hands till the Pradakshinas of Tirtha Yatras were over in Sapta Samudras! The chariot accommodated  his hundred- strong warrior sons too, each one of them being a warrior in his own right. The classic battle of the heroes was like that of the clash of two Planets! Both were unique in their own right; both were gifted with unparalleled expertise in Astra-Shastra Vidyas and both were blessed by incarnations of the same Bhagavan; one by Dattatreya and another by Maha Deva and Krishna!  As soon as Kaartaveerya commenced the fight releasing Brahmastra, Rama had no choice of releasing another Brahmastra too. Keeping in view the universal havoc that created by the Brahmastras, Bhargava Rama-the Incarnation of Vishnu himself- was aware of the impact and absorbed it by his eyes thus secretly exercising his latent capabilty even as pretending himself as a mere human being! Indeed his main objective was Loka Kalyana! Having eased the Universe of the  devastation thus averted, Bhargava picked up two arrows and directed them at both the ears of Kartaveerya whose face got defaced due to the loss of both the ears!

The King immediately remembered Bhagavan Dattaatreya who in the past, on such extreme situations, appeared before him at once and provided a shield with the help of which he was defying even Loka Paalakas! But now, there was no trace of Bhagavan Dattatreya as the reason was clear: he was no longer a specimen of Virtue and devotion and he ceased to uphold Justice when he became arrogant, selfish, avaricious and cruel to the extent of stealing the Celsetial Cow and killing Maharshi Jamadagni without scruples! On the other hand Bhargava Rama had shone by comparison; having taken the vow to avenge his father’s death and mother’s untold grief, he equipped himself with Tapasya, Japa-Homa-Tirtha Yatras as directed by Maha Deva and Krishna Paramatma, both being the same as well as himself since he assumed a Human Form! As there was no response from Datta Deva, Kartaveerya was thus left to his own fate but since his arrogance was still on display, he put up the show and never gave up. He continued releasing Astraas; he released Agneyastra which was sudued by Rama’s Varunastra; he released Gandharvastra which was controlled by Rama’s Vayavyastra; the King released Nagastra and Garudastra resisted it. Finally, Kartaveerya threw the ‘’Shula’that Datta Deva gifted to him for an acute emergency and Bhargava Rama became a victim of it and  fell down  unconscious; as Devas and other Celestial Beings who were closely witnessing the proceedings of this historic battle of Dharma versus Adharma got panicky and Shankara himself administerd ‘Sanjivini’ to Bhargava Rama.

The latter purified himself with Sacred water and recited Krishna Kavacha and released Pashupata while Dutta Bhakta released Sudarshana. As an ample proof  of Dharma Vs Adharma Sudarshana got absorbed in Pashupaastra and the greatest hero turned a despicable villian finally got burnt as ash, once again vindicating Truth and Justice in the Srishti of that Omni Potent and All- Pervading Supreme!

19    PARASHURAMA CHARITRA -Encounter of Bhargava and Ganesha, Face-Off by Parvati and Shiva-Krishna’s identity

After exterminating Kartaveerya, Parashu Rama continued the killings of his hundred sons besides quite a few of the Kings who came to assist Kartaveerya; some five of the late King’s sons ran for their lives. There after a highly elated Bhargava reached Narmada to take bath and proceeded to Kailass where Maha Deva and Devi Parvati stayed for thanks giving. He saw Nandeswara, Maha Kaala, Raktahsha, Virupaksha, Bhairava, Baana, Ruru, Veerabhadra, Chanda, Bhrigi, Ekaadasha Rudras, Vidyadharas, Bhuta-Preta-Piscachas, Yaksha, Brahma Raakshasa, Kimpurushas and Kartikeya on the left entrance and Ganesha on the right. Ganesha asked Rama to wait as Shiva and Parvati were alone and that he wanted to find their convenience to enter. Rama was restless and felt uncomfortable to have been stopped by a Boy like Ganesha. There was an argument and Parashu Rama raised his axe which Ganesha disliked and lifted up Bhargava with his trunk and swirled him around when Rama saw Bhur- Bhuvar-Swar-Tapo-Urthwa-Mahar- Jana- Satya-Vaikuntha- Golokas and from there dropped Rama into Sapta Pataalaas and back to Kailasa again. This happened before all who assembled there and a highly fuming Bhargava shot his Parashu which partially broke Ganesha’s tusk. As nearly half of his tusk fell down, Earth was shaken with spills of blood, Sapta Samudras witnessed reverberating sounds of upheaval, Earth got quaked and there was univeral commotion. Devi Parvati who heard the uproar and insinuated Maha Deva that he treated Bhragava like his son  and Bhargava gave a gift to Ganesha with  a broken trunk!  Shiva understood the taunt in the words of Parvati and her face off in the context and heartily remembered Krishna. As Krishna and Radha made their appearance, the entire family of Shiva, Parvati, Genesha and Skanda greeted them; Bhargava too having greeted the former fell on the feet of Devi Parvati sheepishly and she did not respond. Shri Krishna sought to pacify saying: ‘Bhavabhayahaarini! Bhargava Rama fell on your feet seeking your pardon for his indiscretion and rashness. He stated:

Shrunu Devi Mahaabhaago Vedoktam Vachanam mama,

Yac chhutvaa harshitaan nunam havishyasi na samshayah,

Vinaayakasto tanayo Mahatmaa Mahataam Mahaan/

Yah Kaamah Krodha Udvego Bhayam naavishatey kadaa,

Veda Smriti Puraneshu Samhitaasu cha Bhamini/

Naamaanyasyopadishthaani Supunyaani Mahatmabhih,

Yaani taani pravakshyaami nikhilaaghaharaanicha/

Pramathaanaam Ganaayecha naanaa rupaa mahabalaah,

Teshaameeshastwayam Yashmaatganeshastena keerttah/

Bhutaani cha Bhavishyaani Vartamaanaani yaanicha,

Brahmaandaanyaakhilaan- yeva Yasmimllambodarah sa tu/

Yah sthiro devayogena cchinnam samyojitah punah,

Gajasya shirasaa Devi tena porokto Gajaananah/

Chaturthihmuditaschandro darbhinaa shapta Aturah,

Anena vidhruto bhaaley Bhaalachandrasthatah smrutah/

Shaptah puraa Shaptabhistu Munibhih Samkshayah gatah,

Jaatavedaa deeptobhudynaasou Shurpa -karnakah/

Puraa Devaasurey yuddhey Pujito Divipadganaih, 

Vighnam nivaarayaamaasa Vighnanaashath smrutah/

Adyaayam Devi Raamena kuthaarena nipaatyacha,

Dashanam Daivato Bhadreyhyekadantah krutomunaa/

Bhavishyatyatha paryaaye Braahmano Haravallabhey

Vakreebhavishyattundatwaadvakra tundah smruto Budhaaih/

Evam tavaasya putrasya santi naamaani Parvati,

Smaranaatpaapa haarini Trikaalaanu- gataanyapi/

( Devi! Bhavabhaya haarini! Do condone Bhrargava who fell on your feet for his momentary fault. Indeed Ganesha your son is one who conquered Kaama (Desire) -Krodha (Anger)- Udvega (Neurosis) and Bhaya (Fear) and his names are highlighted in Vedas and Puranas as they were sin-destroyers; he is Pramatha Gana Natha, Ganesha, Lambodara as he keeps the past-present- future happenings of the Brahmanda in his Udara or belly; he is Gajaavana since due to destiny his head was replaced by that of an Elephant; in the past the Chaturashi Chandra was cursed by Ganesha and Krishna got affected by the blame and thus Vinayaka  secured the encomium of Bala Chandra; therefore Chandra’s radiance was subject to growth and decadence. Similarly Sapta Rishis cursed Agni but Vinayaka re- kindled Agni again and thus got the name of  Jaataveda . Ganesha got the name of Shurpa Karna as his flappy ears could winnow the grains from dirt and pebbles signifying the capacity to sift truth and falsehood. Vinayaka secured the name of Vighna Naayaka as he destroyed obstacles and difficuties at the time of Devaasura battles. Thus for each name of Ganesha there was an occurrence or backround  and from now on he would be called  ‘Vakratunda’ or Crooked Trunk in future. Devi! Let me bestow to Ganesha the boons that in course of time, human beings should worship Ganesha first before Jataka and other Samskaaraas or Birth and Name Giving Ceremonies, Yatras, launch of Commercial Activities, or Vratas or before any Puja performance). Devi Radha further stated:

Prakritih Purushaschobhavanyonyaashraya vigrahow,

Dwidhaa bhinnow prakaashetey Prapanchesmin yathaa tathaa/

Twam Chaahamaavayordevi bhedo naivaasti kaschana,

Vishnstwamahamevaasmi Shivo dwiguna- taam gatah/

Shivasya Hridaye Vishnurbhavatyaa rupamaasthitah,

Mama Rupam Samaasthaaya Vishnoscha hridaye Shivah/

Isha Ramo Maha Bhaage Vaishnavah Shaivataam gatah,

Ganeshoyam Shivah Saakshaat Vaishnavastam Samaasthitah/

Eaitayoraavayoh prabhavoschaapibhedo na drushyatey,

Evamuktwaa saa Radhaa krodey krutwaa  Gajaananam/

(Prakriti and Purusha are never disconnected and are mutually dependent. It might look that we are two distinct Entities but You and I are the same and we have no difference at all. The concept that I am Vishnu andYou are Shiva is indeed absurd and both the Forms are just the same. Ganesha is the Vaishnava Entity called Shiva and Bhargava Rama is the Shaiva Entity named Vishnu. So saying Radha placed Ganesha on her lap and affectionately touched his chins and as soon as that the cuts on his cheeks dried up and Devi Parvati too lifted Bhargava and caressed his tresses. Rama Ganeshas were together again and Krishna kept Skanda on his lap and there was thus a happy union of Shiva and Krishna!

As the task of thanks-giving to Maha Deva and Shri Krishna were accomplished splendidly, Parashu Rama returned home and narrated the entire story of his Tapasya and attaining the Bhakti of Maha Deva, his Tirtha Yatras and accomplishing the Maha Krishnaamrita Stotra, battle with Kaartaveerya and his killing, his encounter with Ganesha, Devi Parvati’s subdued anger as Ganesha’s trunk was hurt by his ‘Kuthaara’ and Radha-Krishna Darshana. Jamadagni Muni stated that the vicissitudes experienced by Rama must have been due to the sin of killing Kshatriyas and that Bhargava should atone it through Tapasya again for twelve years. But unfortunately, history repeated again and the five sons of Kartaveerya attacked Jamadagni once again and having killed him took away his head as a souvenir! Bhargava Rama’s elder brothers performed ‘Uttara Kriyas’ (obsequies) to the deceased father.On his return from his twelve-year long penance for atonement as instructed by his father, Bhargava Rama faced a similar situation! This time his reaction was that of  a filial duty rather than revenge and launched twenty one systematic attacks of Kartaveerya’s sons and indeed of as many as twelve thousand Kshatria Kings and their  male progeny searched from the nooks and corners of Earth and wiped out the traces of that Vamsha. Then he and his brothers got dug up Pancha Sarovaras at Kurukshetra and filled them up with the blood oozing heads and mutilated bodies of the Kshatriya Vamsha and performed Pitru Tarpanas and Shraddhas as per Shastras and pleased the Pitras with Snaana-Daana-Mantra-Bhojana- Dakshinas to seek lasting redemption to Pitras to attain  higher lokas. The famed Syaantaka Tirtha at Kurukshetra continued to be the Sacred Place for Pitru Karyas. Bhargava further proceeded to Gaya Kshetra  to continue the Pitru Karyas at the illustrious Chandra Paada where again the Pitru Devatas receive and bless the ‘Karthas’ of their offerings till date at the above Tirthas irrespective of any caste or creed. Pinda Pradanas and Tarpanas performed at these Sacred     Tirthas with faith and devotion are stated to bestow the best of one’s on going life and in the unending series of lives ahead

20    LALITHOPAAKHYAANA-Why Maha Purusha could not overcome Paraa Shakti (Prakriti) ?

Chaturbhujey Chandrakalaavatamsey Kuchonnatey Kumkuma raaga shoney,                     Pundrekshu Paashaankusha Pushpabaana hastey Namastey Jagadeka Maatah/

(Devi Lalithaamba! Jagadaika Maata!You are four armed, high-chested, ornamented with red coloured sugar-cane, ‘Paasha’, Ankusha and flowery-arrows, my sincere salutations to you!)

Agastya Maharshi had been on a Tirtha Yatra in Bharata and reached Kanchi Nagara and worshipped Devi Kamakshi and felt concerned about the low standards of morality among  human beings. As he was immersed in the worship, Vishnu appeared in the form of Hayagriva with Shankha- Chakra-Japa maala and a Sacred Book. When the Maharshi expressed his concern as above, Hayagriva said that Shiva too raised the same doubt as the Maharshi did and his reply was that he of Vishnu Amsha was indeed the Pradhana Purusha responsible for Srishti-Sthiti- Samhara far beyond the Tri-Gunas of Satwa-Raajasa-Taamasa nature; but there was another Paraa Shakti who was at play in moulding the psyche or consciousness of every being either in the frame work of Virtue or Vice and those who could worship that Paraa Shakti would decide the fate of the worshipper. Asked about the characteristics of that Para Shakti, Hayagriva explained: Maha Devi had no beginning nor end and all possible Swarupas were her own. But one could only realise her by Dhyana or meditation since her Swarupa was Dhyana itself. Brahma was the foremost to have realised through Dhyana; She was called Prakriti. She was visualised at the time of Samudra Mathana or Churning of the Ocean of Milk by Devas and Daityas as Devi Mohini. Again she appeared in the Form of Parvati whom Mahadeva wedded and gave birth to ‘Saasta’or Skanda. Agastya Muni wondered as to why the Sarvajna Mahadeva who brought Manmatha into a heap of ash was enamoured of Parvati! Indeed why Maha Prurusha was unable to overcome Prakriti!

21    LALITHOPAAKHYAANA-Indra’s dethronment, Lakshmi’s exit from Swarga, Prayaschityas and Atonement

Hayagriva narrated that Maha Deva decided to teach a lesson to the arrogant Indra and briefed Durvasa Muni to follow a plan  as provided by him; accordingly Durvasa intercepted a Vidyadhari who after long Tapasya secured a flower garland from Paraambika and demanded that garland for himself. Then he gifted the garland to Indra rather casually and Indra placed it on the head of Iravata elephant which trampled the garland. The furious Duravasa cursed Indra to get unseated from Swarga and Lakshmi Devi left from there to Vishnu’s Vakshasthala (Chest).

 Indra had to leave his Chair and enquired Deva Guru Brihaspati as to what was the Prayaschitta or atonement of sins; Killings, Stealing, Violence, Intoxication and Unauthorised Sex were the prominent sins. The Zone-range of killing was defined: Human beings, four legged animals, Egg-born beings, water-born beings; Tiryak-beings (moving breadth-wise) and bone-less beings ; if the intensity of atonement is of ten thousand units as in the case of human beings, it should be thousand-hundred-ten-five-three or one in the subsequent categories afore-mentioned. In regard to the  killings of  human beings of different Varnas of Brahmana-Kshatriya-Vaishya-and others ,  the top category of ‘Himsa’or Violence  is the killing of Father, Mother, Guru, Husband / wife, progeny etc. In the case of the rarest of rare offences like the killings of Brahmanas, Gurus and Parents, and those who take refuge, there would not be Prayaschittaas possible. But in other cases, there might be atonements of extreme intensity but Jeeva Himsa ‘per se’ was considered as the worst crime attracting maximum atonement. Referring to Stealing, the would not be any Prayaschittas possible in regard to the belongings of  Brahma Jnanis, Daridras, Bahu Putra Samsaris and of those who totally depend and believe in; there might however be possibilities of Prayaschitta to other sins subject however to the range and intensity of the offences. In the cases of ‘Asteya’or stealing, where ever one’s own inner conscience would prick, the atonement might be Tirtha Snaana, Niraahara except one meal of of Kanda Mulas a day and  Ambika Shiva worship besides daily recitation of Shata Rudram for one thousand and eight times. As regards, ‘Madya Sevana’or consuming intoxicants, the lesser degree intoxicants made of sugar cane, Tada Phala or Palm fruits or Madhuka flower or jaggery might be least sinful; harder drinks are  totally avoidable and sinful;  a Brahmana who drinks intoxicants would have to atone by performing ‘Kruccha Chandraaya Vrata’, reciting ten thousand Gayatri Mantra, Jataveda Mantra, and Ambikaa Hridaya Mantra to get purified. Those Brahmanas who practise the worship of Bhairava, Bhadra Kali and such Uccha Saktis might have to consume intoxicants but their range would be restricted as mentioned above. In any case, they should not consume without worship and other wise they are destined to Rourava Naraka. But drinking either other intoxicants or those which would  be of exceptions as mentioned above especilally be better damned either by jumping into fire or jump from mountains and there would not be any possible atonements. The next and the worst sin relates to ‘Para Sree Sangama’; there is no prayaschitta in the case of mother, sister, aunt, niece and ‘Guru Bharya’. As regards Deva Dasi, Brahma Dasi, Swatantra and Low-Class women, unions are certain to experience in Narakas depending on considerations of mutual consent or persuasion of force were all classified in great detail along with the resultant retributions either in one’s own on-going life and as carry forward to next births or in Narakas.

Deva Guru also suggested to Indra that besides observing the specified Prayasticchhas there could be relief obtained from reciting various Mantra Rajaas that might blunt the sharpness of sins concerned. To start with the sinner who realise the indiscretions or even wanton sins should at the foremost feel wholly responsible for the shortcomings. A Brahmana who confesses and regrets his misdoings should get into the frame of atonement, perform hundred paranayaamaas, and keep reciting Idam Vishnurvichakramey; Traimbakam Yajaa mahey, Paavamaanika Mantra; Anna Sukta; Om Bhrugurvai vaarini and Brahmarpana Mantra and observe fasting overnight and treat Brahmanas to Bhojana, recite again  Idam Vishnur vichakramey and Traimabakam Yajamahey and Pancha Dashaakshari before taking food. In fact, if  anybody observes the above routine, there would never be any scope for doing wrongs, but overcome the Pancha Paapaas which might not affect even marginally the eqaunimity of life in Peace and  provide shield against distress, desire and disease.           

Indra having heard about the generic narration of sins and atonements desired to know from Deva Guru about the instant happening of Indra being unseated from Swarga and Lakshmi disappearing from Swarga! Brihaspati reminded Indra that Kashyapa Muni gave a curse to Indra that soon enough the latter would lose Swarga and Devi Lakshmi since Indra killed Vishwarupa the former Purohita of Amaravati as he suspected that he was protecting the cause of Danavas; Vishwarupa an ardent devotee of Narayana was the grand son of Kashyapa Muni and Diti.

Ksheera Samudra Mathana and Mohini Avatara:  Even while Brihaspati was explaining this to Indra, a huge number of Rakshasas attacked Swarga, harassed Devatas and  occupied Swarga. Devas and Indra approached Brahma and the latter reached Kshira Samudra to call on Narayana. Vishnu advised that Devatas  should prevail upon  Asuras and together churn Ksheera Samudra with Mountain Mandhara as the churning stick, Vasuki as the rope to churn and he by assuming the Incarnation of Kurma would balance the Mountain to enable the churning so that Amrita would be produced; Vishnu further planned that he would ensure that Amrita the life lasting drink so produced would be distributed to Devatas and not the Asuras. The Grand Plan worked as several Asuras perished out of their ego to opt for the serpent’s mouth that emitted  poisonous flames. In the process of churning emerged Surabhi-Kamadhenu- the Sacred Cow, Varuni Devi carrying Sura the intoxicating drink, Parijata Tree which spread fragrance far and with its flowers and Apsara Ganas all rejected by Asuras as they should Amrita and nothing else! The churning continued and  Chandra Deva was materialised whom Maha Deva accepted; Kaustubha Ratna was accepted by Vishnu; a huge mass of poisonous creepers were given away to Naaga Devatas; Aoushadhis the herbal medicines were materialised and Maha Bhairava opted for it. Then emerged Dhavantari in his Kamandalu or the Sacred Vessel the much-awaited Amrita but for a while there was a veil of Maya around the vessel as it looked too innocuous.

Devi Lakshmi appeared and Muni Ganas and Devas hailed her praising her:

Lakshmim Ksheera Samudra Raja Tanayaam Shri Ranga Dhaameshwareem,

Daasibhuta samasta Deva vanitaam Lokaika deepaankuraam/

Shriman manda kataaksha labdhavibhava Brahmendru Gangaadharaam,

Twaam Trailokya kutumbeneem Sarasijaam Vandey Mukunda Priyaam!

They also recited Shri Suktam by saying:

Hiranyavarnaam Harineem Suvarna Rajatasrajaam Chandraam Hiranyayeem Lakshmeem jatavedomamaahava, Taam avaha Jaatavedo Lakshmeemanapagaamineem, Yasyaam Hiranyam vindeyamgaamashwam Purushaanaham/ etc.

The highly excited Gandharvas jumped into symphonic singing and Apsaras danced with  ecstacy; Ganga and other Sacred Rivers fetched cool and fragrant waters while ‘Ashta Diggajas’ or the Celestial Elephants got her bathed. Vishwakarma gifted invaluable Dresses and Ornaments and Maha Lakshmi reached her rightful Place of Vishnu’s heart!

 With the excitement of Shri Lakshmi’s arrival, there was a temporary diversion but  soon enough both Devas and Asuras suddenly realised that Dhanvantari’s Golden Kamandalu was replete with Amrita! Then suddenly flared up a scramble of swiftly changing hands and a pandemonium was created; a reverberating female voice halted the mayhem and there was an extraordinarily graceful embodiment of Beauty named Mohini Devi who said: ‘Gentlemen! What for is this fight! I am a neutral person and I shall to justice to all; hand over the Golden Vessel to me and I will surely distribute Amrtita in an orderly manner’; by so saying she made formations of Devas and Asuras and served Amrita to Devas first; being under a heavy cloud of Maya, the Asuras continued to await their turn. Rahu however sat in the queue of Devas and as soon as Surya and Chandra recognised him the latter objected even while Rahu consumed drops of Amrita already; Devi Mohini lifted her serving spoon and sliced Rahu’s body into two and his head flew up to the skies discarding  the body trunk behind. As the service of Amrita was over, Mohini Devi disappeared and the spell of Maya was lifted. An uproar broke out and Devaasura battle began but since Devas had already consumed Amrita their prowess was multiplied while the Asuras lost their shine and had to retire to Paataala Lokas.

Sage Narada visited Kailasa and conveyed the happenings at Samudra Mathana and the revelation of Devi Mohini as the arbiter to distribute Amrita to Shiva and Parvati; he also narrated as to how Vishnu Maya was at full display and but for the incident of Rahu, Asuras became powerless and fled back to Pataalas. Both Parvati  and Shiva were amused and visited Vishnu and Devi Lakshmi and requested  Vishnu to display the Unparalleled Beauty of Mohini. As Vishnu assumed that Form of Mohini, Shiva was unable to resist and chased her even while Devi Uma was protesting; he finally embraced her and the outcome was the birth of Maha Sasta who had the capability of destroying crores of Daityas.

Origin of Bhandaasura: Brahma Deva made an appeal to Bhagavan Vishnu and Lakshmi to  make a significant creation of a Jaganmohana Swarupa who could initiate a highly propitious beginning of a Memorable Chapter in the History of the Universe. Vishnu looked sideways amorously at Devi Lakshmi and there got materialised Manmatha with arrows of flowers and a sugar cane bow! Brahma blessed Manmatha  to become the Embodiment of Love! Just then Tarakasura was making havoc in the Worlds and Devas knew that only a Son of Shiva and Parvati could exterminate him. They made an appeal to Manmatha to somehow create Shiva’s desire for Parvati as she was already in the task of assisting him by supplying flowers, fruits and such other Puja material  in his worship. Manmatha agreed and released a flower-arrow or two on Shiva. Maha Deva opened his eyes and looked at Devi  Parvti affectionately but quickly recovered from that momentary feeling and wondered how he being a firm controller of senses was disturbed in mind; he discovered that Manmatha was responsible for this sensation in hiding. A furious Maha Deva opened his Third Eye and Manmatha was turned into a heap of ash.

 Ganesha materialised a Purusha from that heap. Ganesha was delighted at his Creation and embraced the Purusha. He advised him to worship Maha Deva and he could grant Siddhis to him; Ganesha gave the instruction of ‘Shata Rudreeya’ and recited him hundred times and sought Shiva’s boons; the boon was that half of his enemy’s Shakti should be halved while he faced them and that the Astra-Shastras of the enemy should become futile; the boon further assured that he should enjoy his privileges for sixty thousand years! As Brahma learnt of the purport of the boon he stated out of desperation : Bhand! Bhand! and eversince he came to becalled as Bhandasura. Bhanda became a terror to the Universe and Asura Guru Shukra gradually honed his battle skills. He called up Mayasura and made him construct another Amaravati and declared himself as Indra. He acquired a Kireeta which was gifted to Hiranyakashipu by Brahma. Shukra gave him an Umbrella given to him by Brahma and he was never bothered him by disease or fatigue. Thus Bhanda became an Apara Indra with all the fanfare of Indraloka. Bhanda had eight warrior sons  and four daughters. Eventually, Indra and Devatas became subservient to Bhanda. Being a staunch devotee of Maha Deva, his progeny too adopted the father’s qualities; his sons were Indra Shatru, Amitraghna, Vidyunmaali, Vibhishana, Ugrakarma, Ugradhanvu,  Vijaya and Shritiparaga. There were regular Yagna Karyas and the Havya bhoktas were Bhanda and his followers! Vedaadhyayana was common in the houses of common Asuras of Bhandasura’s households.

Bhanda’s grandeur was ever growing for sixty thousand years but gradually, the spendour slackened and his virtuosity too commenced to wane. That was the time that Vishnu was waiting for as Indra was almost on a breaking point; a Loka Mohini Maya was created with the mission of enticing Bhandasura and also despatched a few Apsaras led by Vishvachi to attract Bhanda’s key persons in the Court and the Sacred deeds like Yagnas were affected; Vedas were forgottten and Shiva’s worship took a backseat.Guru Shukracharya’s cautions were ignored and thrown to winds. Sage Narada then took up the mission of reviving the self-confidence of Devas who were dormant in their spirits and  self-assurance so far; he prompted Devas to virtually wake up and worship Parashakti. Infused by Narada’s sermons, Devas were activated and got refreshed with enthusiasm and reinforcement of devotion to Devi Parvati.While Bhanda’s advisers, army and Praja were gradually sinking in moral turpitude,  Devas came to enjoy confidence and morale boost-up. Guru Shukracharya warned Bhanda and his men that Vishnu did lasting and irrevocable  damage by spreading Maya and inciting them into fast slippages of their erstwhile demeanor of excellence. On realising their mistakes, Bhanda made last-dig amends by reviving Shiva Puja, Homas and Vedadhyanas, but alas his efforts lost the punch and determination

22    LALITHOPAAKHYAANA-Lalitodbhavana , Stuti by Devas and Wedding with Shiva

Devas were engaged in collective and continuous efforts of Yagnas and homas. On one glorious day, Indra and Devas witnessed a huge illumination from the ‘Mahaagni Kunda’ within a circular shaped radiance a profile of a Devi fully ornamened and bright silk dressed with four hands with a Paasha, Ankusha, a Sugarcane bow and five arrows with a smile beaming on her face appeared. Devas were in bliss to witness that Supreme Vision and commended her as follows:

 Jaya Devi Jaganmaatarjaya Devi Paraatparey,

Jaya Kalyaana nilaye Jaya Kaamakalaatmikey/

Jayakaari cha Vaamaakshi Sundari,

Jayaakhila Suraa- raadhey Jaya Kaameshi maanadey/

Jaya Brahmamaye Devi Brahmaatmaka rasaatmikey,

Jaya Naaraayana parey Nanditaaseshavishtapey/

Jaya Shrikanthadayitey Jaja Shri Lalitambikey,

Jaya Shri Vijayey Devi Vijayashri samrudbhidey/

Jaatasya Jaatamaanasya Ishtaapurtsya hetavey,

Namastasai Trijagataam Paalayitrai Poaratparey/

Kalaamuhurta kaashtha -aharmaasaastu sharadaatmaney,

Namah Sahasra seershaayaai Sahasra mukha lochaney/

Namah Sahasrastaabja paada pankaja shobhitey,

Anoranutarey Devi Mahatopi Maheeyasi/

Paraatparatarey Maatastejustejiyasaamapi,

Atalam tu bhavedpaadou vitalam   jaanuni tava/

Rasaatalam Katideshah Kukshistey Dharanih bhavet,

Hridayam tu Bhuvar lokah swastey Mukhamudahyutam/

Dryshachandraarkadahanaa Dishastey Baahavombikey,

Marusta Tavocchwaasaa Vaachastey Shhrutayokhilaah/

Kreedaatey Lokarachanaa Sakhaa tey chinmayah Shivah,

Aahaarastey Sadaanando Vastey hridaye sataam/

Drushyaadrushya  Swarupaani Bhuvanaanitey,

Shiroruhaa ghanaasteytu Taarakaah Kusumaanitey/

Dharmaadyaa Baahavastey syuradharmaadyayudaanitey,

Yamaascha Niyamaaschiva Karapaada ruhaastathaa/

Stanou Swaahaaswadhaakarou Lokojjevana kaarakou,

Praanaayaamastu teynaasaa rasanaa tey Saraswati/

Pratyaahaarastwadindraani dhaanam tey dheestu Sattamaa,

Manastey dhaaranaashaktirhridayam tey samaadhikah/

Maheemruhaasteymgaruhaah prbhatamvasanam tawa,

Bhutam Bhavyam Bhavishyascha nityam cha tava vigraha/

Yagna Rupaa Jagaddatri Vishwa rupaacha Paavani,

Aadou ya tu Dayaabhuta Sasarja Nihkhilaah Prajaa/

Hridayasdthaapi Lokaanaamadrushya Mohaanaatmikaa/

Naama rupavibhaanga cha yaa karoti swaleelayaa,

Taanyaadhishthaaya tishthanti teshweasaktaartha kaamadaa, 

Namastasyai Mahaa Devyai Sarvashatyai Namo namah/

Yadaajnayaa Pravartantey Vahni Suryendumaarutaah,

Prithivyaadini Bhutaani Tasyai Devyai namonamah/

Yaa sasarjaadidhaataaram Sargaadaavaadibhuridam,

Dadhaara Swayamevaikaa tasyai Devyai Namo namah/

Yathaa ghrutaatu dharini yayaakaasha mameyaya,

yasyaamudeti Savitaa tasyai Devayai namo namah/

Yatrodeti Jagarkrustram yatra tishthati nirbharam,

Yatrantameti kaaletu Tasyai Devyai namonamah/ 

Namonamastey Rajasye Bhavaayai namonamah Satvika samsthitaayai,

Namo namastey tamasey Haraayai namo namo Nirguanatah Shivaayai/

Namo namastey Jagadeka maatrey namo namastey Jagadeka pitrey

namonamastekhila Rupatantrey namonamastykhila yantra rupey/

Namo namo Loka Guru pradhaaney Namo Namasteykhila Vaak vibhutyai,

Namostu Lakshmyai Jagadeka tushtayai Namomamah Shaabhavi  Sarva Shaktyai/

Anadimadhyanta Paancha bhouktikam hyavaangmanogamya matarkavaibhavam,

Arupamadwandwamadrushta gocharam Prabhaavamagryam kathamamba varnaye/

Praseeda Vishveshwari Visdhwa vanditey Praseeda Vidyeshwari Vedarupini,

Praseeda Mayaamayi Mantra vigrahey Praseeda Sarveshwari Sarva rupini/

Iti stutwaa Mahaadeveem Devaah Sarvey Savasavaah,

Bhuyo bhuyo Namaskrutya sharanam Jagmuranjasaa/

(Victory to you Jaganmata Devi! May you be magnificent as you are the best of the Highest and the Paraapara! Victory to you as you are the Embodiment of Auspiciousness and Propitiousness. Victory to you Kamakala -atmika, Vaamaakshi, Kamaakshi, Sundari! You are worshipped by  all the Devas! Kameswari! Manada! Brahma mayi, Narayana paraa, Moksha Nilaya, Haryaasakta,Samastha Bhuvanaananda kara! Visha Kantha Shiva Priya! Shri Lata, Dhana Shobha Lata, Ambika, Shri Vijaya, Samruddhi prada, Victory to you! Indeed you are the cause of those already born or about to be born; you are the cause of Yagnas, and the virtuous deeds being performed like digging water ways and so on. Victory to you, Triloka Palaka, Ananta mukha netra, Savibhaga Kaala Swarupi! The Kaala Pramaana or Time Units of Kashtha- Kala- Kshana-Muhurta- Dina-Maasa-Rithu-Vatsaras are your creation; Our salutaions to You Devi! You are the Anata  Hastaabja and Ananta Paadaabja! You are the Infinitesimal compared to an atom as also the largest of the Largest! Sarva Vyapi Devi! Atala are your feet, Vitala are your knees, Rasatala is your waist, Bhumi is your Kukshi (Belly), Bhuvarloka is your heart, Swarloka is your face, your looks are Trilochanas of Agni-Surya-Chandras; the Directions are your hands; your breathing is Vayu; your voice is all the Vedas;  your play is Creation of Lokas; your companion is Maha deva; your food is happiness; your place of residence is the heart of the Virtuous Beings; Lokaas are the Seen and Unseen Forms of yourself; your hairs are the clouds; Stars are the flowers decorating your hairs; Dharmas are your hands; Adharmas are your weapons; ‘Yama Niyamaas’ representing Indrya-Nigraha or Physical Control and Upavaasa Vrataas are your nails; Swaha and Swadha are your  child-feeding breasts; Pranayama is your nose; Saraswati is your tongue; actions and reactions are your limbs; Dhyaana is your intellect; Dharana is your mind; Samadhi Sthiti or the Climax of Yoga is your heart; trees and creepers are your body hairs; Prabhata or Early Morning is  your vastra; Bhuta-Vartamaana-Bhavishyaas are your varied Forms!

Devi! You are Yagna Swarupa, Vishva Swarupa, Paavani, Ever Merciful Creator of the ‘Charaachara Jagat’; Being present in every body’s hearts you spread Maya all around; prviding nomenclatures of various  materials, you bestow Artha-Kaamaas or Prosperity and Fulfillment; Maha Devi! Our sincere salutations to you! It is with your consent that Pancha Bhutas or Five Elements of Earth-Water-Air-Fire and Sky are regulated; You materialised Adi Deva and take up the tasks of Srishthi-Sthiti-Laya under your instructions;  Dharani or Earth which was facilitated by you to bear the burden of of all the Beings; it is you who helped the Sky to hold Surya and other planets! Devi! At the time of Srishti you assume Rajo Swarupa, during the preservation Timer of the Samsara you display Satwa Guna and at the time of Laya you exhibit Taama Guna; You are indeed the father and mother of Samsara; You are Tantra Swarupa; Yantra Swarupini; the Epitome of  Aaishwarya, Ananda and Shakti; Adi-Madhya-Anta Rahita; You are Vishveswari, Vidyeshwari, Mantreshwari, Sarveshwari; be kind to us  and do provide us your shelter!  Jagajjanani!) Lalita Devi was pleased with the Stotra by Indra and Devas and she asked them to seek boons and the desperate Devas described their plight for the last sixty thousand years when Bhandasura dominated the World Scene and threw them out of  the erstwhile Swarga even as the Asura created a Swarga of his own. They supplicated that it was high time that Devas were restored to their lost positions by terminating the Bhanda Rajya for ever. Lalita Devi assured that the days of the Asura were over as he had by now come to Adharma and Anyaaya from his earlier years of Virtue and Shiva Puja. She also assured that who so ever would read or hear the Lalitha Stotra would be fearless and disease less; they would overcome difficulties and dissolve ignorance and be happy with prosperity, fame and good progeny.  

As Lalita Devi gave her appearance, Brahma arrived along with Maharshis and so did Vishnu by his Garuda Vahana. Shiva also arrived by his Vrisha Vahana. Narada and Devarshis, Gandharvas, Apsaraas too reached there and Vishwakarma was asked to build a suitable Nagari to accommodate several visiting dignitaries including the Mantraadhi Devata Devi Durga, Vidyadhi Devata Shyama and Ambika. Sapta Matru Devatas viz. Braahmi, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Vaaraahi, Indraani, and Chamunda came as also Ashta Siddhi Devatas viz. Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Praapti, Praakaamya, Ishitwa and  Vasitwa. Crores of Yoginis made a bee-line too. Bhairavas, Kshetra palakas, Maha Saasta, Ganeswara, Skanda, Veerabhadra were there to readily serve Devi. Brahma then proposed to Hari that this was the opportune time to perform the Sacred Wedding of Devi Lalita and Maha Deva. With mutual consent, the wedding was celebrated under the auspices of Vishnu the brother of Lalita Devi. The latter gifted to her an arrow of never fading fragrant flowers; Varuna Deva gave a Naaga Paasha, Vishwakarma gave an ‘Ankusha’; Agni gave a ‘Kireeta’; Chandra Suryas gave her sparkling ear-studs; Ratnaakara Samudra gifted a variety of Ornaments; Devendra gave an ‘Akshya Madhu Patra’ or a Vessel containing eversasting ‘Madhu’; Kubera rewarded a Priceless Chintamani necklace; Ganga and Yamunas gave Vinjaamaras or hand fans; Indra and Devatas, Dikpalakas, Marud Ganas, Sadhyas, Gandharvas, Pramathaganas were delighted to hand over therir respective weapons to Lalitha Devi. Then Maheswara and Maheswaris were given a ‘Vedokta Mantraabhisheka’. As both of them were seated on a Golden Throne, Brahma named Lalita Devi as Kameshwari or Kamakshi. As the whole Universe  was thus replete with joy, excitement and anticipation the Bhandasura would soon be eliminated, Sage Narada prostrated and made a formal request to launch the Vijaya Sena Yatra or the Victory March to kill Bhandasura.

Om Tat Sat


(My humble salutations to  the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to  Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji  for the collection)


Post a Comment