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The Essence of Puranas – Kurma Purana -2

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The Essence of Puranas – Kurma Purana








8    Narasimha’s incarnation, Prahlada’s Bhakti and Andhakasura’s remorse securing ‘Ganatwa’

Of the thirteen wives of Kashyapa who were the daughters of Daksha viz. Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ira, Kadru, Muni and Dharmaja, Diti gave birth to Hiranya Kashipu and Hinarnyaksha. Hirnayakashipu became arrogant having secured the boon of invincibility from Brahma and tormented Devas, Maharshis and Brahmanas, even to the extent of declaring himself as mightier than Narayana.  Devas approached Vishnu who had already created from his ‘Amsha’ the ‘Narasimha’ or the Man-Lion Swarupa and despatched him to the Kingdom of Hiranyakashipu. On learning of this, the Daitya commisioned four of his sons viz. Prahlada, Anihlada, Samhlada and Hlada; the sons charged Narasimha with Brahmastra, Vaishnavastra, Kaumaraastra and Agneyastra but Narasimha caught hold of the feet of all the Putras and through them all in different directions. Hiranyakashipu confronted Narasimha Deva and tried to hit him on the chest even as the latter disappeared on Garuda. Hiranyaksha the younger brother of Hiranyakashipu recited the Pashupata Mantra against Narasimha but Mahadeva would not harm Vasudeva. That was the time when Prahlada realised the Supremacy of Narasimha:

Drushtawaa paraahatam twastram Prahlaado bhaagya gouravaat,

Meyney Sarvaatmakam Devam Vaasudevam sanatanam/

Samtyajya sarva shastraani Satyayuktena chetasaa,

Nanaama Shirasaa Devam yoginaam hridayeshyam/  

Stutwaa Naaraayanaih stotraaih Rukyajuh Saaama sambhavaih,

Nivaarya Pitaram Bhraatrun Hirantaaksham tadaa braveet/

Ayam Naaraayanonantah shaswato Bhagavaanajah,

Puraana Purusho Devo Mahayogi Jaganmayah/

Ayam Dhaataa Vidhaataa cha Swayamjjoytirniranjanah,

Pradhaana Purushastwam Mula Prakritiravyayah/

Ishwarah Sarvabhutaanaamanantaryami gunaatigah,

Gacchaadhwamenam sharanam Vishnumavyaktamavyayaa/

Ayam sarvaatmanaa vadhyo Nrisimholpa pararaakramah,

Samaagatosmadbhavanamidaaneem Kaalacheditah/

Vihasya Pitaram Putro Vachah Praaha Mahaamatih,

Maa Nindaswainameeshaanaam Bhutaanaamekamvyayam/

Katham Devo Mahadevah shaswatah Kaalavarjitah,

Kaalena hanyatey Vishnuh Kaalaatma Kaalarupadhruk/

Tatah Suvarna kashipur duratma vidhichoditah,

Nivaaritopi putrena yudodha Harimavyayam/

(As the powerful Narayananstra and Shiva’s Paashupataastra proved to be ineffevtive, Prahlada realised that Narasimha was none else other than Vaasudeva Himself and having visioned him as Ruk-Yajur-Saama Swarupa extolled him withVaishnava Stutis and asked his father, uncle and brothers to stop the battle; he said they should all take shelter from himn and not fight with him as he is Anata, Sanatana, Ajanma, Maha Yogi, Puruna Purusha, Dhata, Vidhata, Swayam jyoti, Niranjana, Purana Purusha, Tatwa, Mula Prakriti, Avyaya, Ishwara, Antaryami and Avyaya Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu shouted that this Narasimh was indeed worth killing as he entered this place as though he was sent by Kaala or Mrityu to my house for being killed. But smilingly, Prahlada tried to convince the Daitya that Vaasudeva was the Singular Entity who himself was Kaala Varjita( deathless) Kaal (Mrityu or death) and Kaalaatma or the Form of Mrityu himself and there was no question of Kaala Deva despatching Narasimha to their Place; but since Hiranyakashipu was fool hardy, the Lion from Narasimha tore the Daitya’s  guts and intestines from his body and cut them into pieces  and sent  him to hell; as this happened, the highly enraged Bhagavan killed the Daitya  Sons, excepting of Prahlada, who was overcome by the presence of Vaasudeva. As Hiranyaksha became the King, his atrocities were intensified against Devas and Sages and finally imprisoned Bhu Devi and dragged her into Rasaatala. Bhagavan assumed the form of Varaha and having killed him and rescued Bhu Devi returned to Vaikuntha. Prahlada anointed his cousin brother Andhaka as the King and rejected the Asura way of life and was fully immersed in Vishnu’s worship. In course of time, Prahlada was by the influence of Maya ignored to perform the Puja of a Brahmana Guest who was annoyed and cursed Prahlada that what all the positive fruits were earned by way of Vishnu Puja by him would be lost; thus Prahlada went back to his erstwhile Asura Gunas and neglected Vishnu puja; in fact he attacked Hari once but got snubbed by him.Having recovered from the ill-effects of the Maya, Prahlada then performed worship with redoubled energy to Vishnu. Meanwhile Andhakasura , an ardent devotee of Mahadeva developed devotion for Parvati.

Once, there was a dreadful and widespread ‘Anavrishti’or famine at Daruvana and there was no production of foodgrains for years together; there were many deaths of human beings as also cattle. Munis and others approached Gautami Rishi who provided excellent food to one and all. Those who were unscrupulous and jealous of the Muni created a ‘Mayavi’ Cow and made the Muni touch the animal which died as he touched it. All the Brahmanas then refused to take the food provided by the Muni in view of the ‘Gohatya’or the killing of the Cow and left away from his Ashram. In course of time, the Rishi came to learn of the mischief of some of the playful Brahmanas and cursed them that they would be abandoned out of the purview of Vedas and would die soon and get their rebirths soon and keep on consuming impure food. The repentant Brahmanas prayed to both Mahadeva and Vishnu; in response, Bhagavan Rudra made new Shastras like Kaapaala, Naakula, Vaama, Bhairava, Purva Paschimaa, Pancha Ratra etc. by reciting which human beings would get rid of their sins and leave the recycle themselves into the vortex of quick births and deaths. Shiva for the sake of the Brahmanas appeared on Earth and commenced ‘Bhiksha Vritthi’ or professional begging by wearing garlands of Kapalaas and smearing ash on the forehead carrying Nandi along as also Kaalabhairava. Vishnu on the other hand assumed the Swarupa of a maid to serve Devi Parvati along with Brahma, Agni, Indra, Yama and so on. Nandi was the gate keeper procecting Maheswari in view of the threat posed by Andhakaasura who was obsessed with the Devi. This was the background when Andhakasura arrived at the Place of Parvati Devi for whom he developed an obsession. As Kalabhairava stopped the Daitya and fought with him, Andhaka multiplied himself into innumerable Forms along with the Strong men of Army like Ghantakarna, Meghanaada, Chandesha, Chandatapana, Vinayaka, Meghavaaha and so on and defeated Nandi and Bhairaweshwara. As Andhaka’s army became more and more violent especially since Andhaka was multiplying manifold, Bhairava and Nandi reached Vaasudeva, and the latter made such an arrangement to exterminate the million Rupas as they emerged and Andhaka ran away from the battle field. Even before Andhaka fled away, some hundred Devis were in position and were singing hymns of victory in praise of Devi Girija and Parama Shiva. The Devis questioned Shiva, Parvati and Vishnu when Shiva explained that he was the Parama Tatwa whom none could visualise possibly; he said:

Aham Naraayano Gauri Jaganmaataa Sanaatani,

Vibhajya Samsthito Devaha Swaatmaanam Bahudheswarah/

Na mey viduh param tatwam Devaadyaa na Maharshayah,

Ekoyam Veda Vishwaatmaa Bhavaani Vishnurevacha/

Aham hi Nishkriyah Shaantah Kevalo Nishparigrahah,

Maameva Keshavam Devamaahur devimathaambikaam/

Esha Dhaataa Vidhaataa cha Kaaranam Kaaryamevacha,

Karthaa Kaarayitaa Vishnurbhuktimukti phalapradah/

Bhoktaa Pumaanaprameyah Samhartaa Kaalarupadhruk,

Srashtaa Paataa Vaasudevo Vishwatmaa Vishwato ­mukhah/

Kuutastho hyaakasharo Vyaapi  Yogi Naarayanah swayam,

Taarakah Purushohyaatmaa Kevalam Paramam padam/

Saishaa Maheshwari Gauri Mama Shakti Niranjanaa,

Shantaa Satyaa Sadaaandaa Param mitih Shrutih/

Asyah Sarvamidam Jaatamatriava layameshyatyi,

Yeshiva Sarva Bhutaama  Gateena muktamaa gatih/

Tayaaham sangato Devyaa Kevalo Nishkalahparah,

Pashyaamyaseshamevedam Yastad Veda sa muchyatey/

Tasmaadanaadimadvaitam Vishnumaatmaana meeshwaram,

Ekameeya vijaaneedhwam tato yasyatha nivrutthim/

Maanyantey Vishnumavyakta ­maatmaanam Shraddayaanvitaah,

Ye bhinnadrushtyapeeshaanaam Pujayanto na mey Priyaah/

Dwishanti ye Jagatsutim Mohitaa Rouravaadishu,

Pachyamaanaa ma muchyatey Kalpakoti shatairapi/

Tasmaadasesha bhutaanaam Rakshako Vishnuravraayah,

Yathaavadih Vijnaaya dheyayah Sarvaapadih Prabhuh/

(I am Ishwara the composite of  Narayana, Sanatana Jaganmataa Guauri and the Self divided into  innumerable Forms; Neither Maharshis nor Devas are aware of Parama Tatwam; even Vishnu or Devi too are quite unaware; I am the Nishkriya  or Action less, Shanta  the Peaceful, Kevala or the Singular and the Nishparigrah or the Nir-Dwandya; I am also known as Keshava, Deva and Devi Ambica. This Vishnu himself is Dhata, Vidhata, Kaarana or the Cause; Kaarya or the Action, Kartha the Doer and Kaarayita or the one prompting Action; He is also Bhukti-Mukti Phala Prada; Bhokta; Aprameya; Samharta; Kaala Swarupa; Srishti-Paalana; Vishwatma, Sarvavyapaka, Vaasudeva, Kutastha, Avinaashi, Vyaapi, Yogi, Narayana, Taraka, Purusha, Atma, Kevala and Moksha. This Maheswari Gauri is Shakti, is Niranjana, Shanta, Veda, Satya, Sadaananda; Sarvot -panna and Laya Kaarana; Adwiteeya, Nishkala, and Sampurna; I visualise the Universe through her and comprhent Maha Tatwa from her; those who guess  Tatwa from her would attain the Essence of Life. Those who imagine that Shiva alone is Paramatma and ignore / dislike Vishnu are not my Bhaktas and similarly those who worship Vishnu and detest Shiva are sure to be banished to Rouraka Narakas. Indeed thus no prayer is complete disregarding Vishnu or Shiva).

Meanwhile Andhaka was unable to resist his obsession withe Devi Parvati and landed on the Mountain and tried to reach Mahadeva and Devi Parvati. Vaasudeva exclaimed to Mahadeva as to why he was going slowly in exterminating Andhaka, while he was capable of exterminating the Universe in entirety and why that in fact he allowed an opportunity to Andhaka earlier to run away from the battle field! Then Mahadeva lifted his Trishula which got attracted to the Daitya and commenced Tandava Nritya or the Typical Form of his dance. Brahma and Devas then realised that Andhaka’s hour of ‘Paapa Vimochana’ arrived; Munis and Siddhaganas recited Vedas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras sang tuneful songs of eulogy of Mahadeva and Apsaraganaas danced with joy in anticipation. The top portion of the Trishula burnt off all the sins of the Daitya as he was freed from the thick blanket of Maya and he secured ‘Mahaa Gyaana’; since he was purified of his evil thoughts and deeds, Andhaka then broke down into spontateous Stuti of Maha Deva:

Namaami Murthnaa Bhagavantamekam Samaahitaa yam Vidureesha Tatwam,

Puraatanam Punyamanantarupam Kaalam Kavim Yogaviyoga-hetum/

Damshtraa karaalam Divi Nrityamaanam HutaashaVaktram Jwalanaarka rupam,

Sahasra paadaakshi Shirobhiyutam Bhavantamekam pranamaami Rudram/

Jayaadi Devaamara pujitaanghryai Vibhaagaheenaamala Tatwarupa

Vayavaadibhedairakhilaatma rupa/

Twaameka -maahuh Purusham Puranamaaditya varnam Tamasah parastaat,

Twam pasyaseedam paripaasya -jastram twamantako Yogi gunaabhijushtah/

Ekontaraatmaa Bahudhaa Nivishto deheshu dehaadih viseshaheenah/

Twamaatma shabdam Paramaatmanatwam Bhavantamaahuh Shivameka keychit/

Twamaksharam Brahma Param Pavitramaanmada rupam Pranavaabhidhaanam,

Twameeshwaro Vedapadeshu Siddhah Swayam Pabhosesha visheshah heennah/

Twamindrarupo Varunaagni rupo Hamsah Praano Mrutyurantosi Yagjnah, 

Prajaapatir Bhagavaaneka Rudro Nilagreevah stuyasey Vedavidbhih/

Narayanastwam Jagataamathaadih Pitaamahastwam Prapitaamahascha,

Vedaanta -guhyopi nishatsu geetah Sadaa Shivastvam Parameshwarosi/

Namah parastaat Tamasah Parasmai Paraatmaney Panchapadaantaraaya,

Tri Shaktiteetaaya Niranjanaaya Sahasra Shaktyaasana samsthi -taaya/

Trimurthayenantapadaatma murtey Jagannivaasaaya Jaganmayaya,

Namo Lalaatorpita lochanaaya Namojanaanaam Hridi Samsthitaaya/

Phaneendra haaraaya Namostutubhyam Muneendra siddhaarchita Paada yugma/

Sahasra dharmaasana Samsthitaaya Namah Paraantaaya Bhavodbha -vaaya/

Sahasrachandraarka Vilochanaaya Namostutey Soma Sumadhyamaaya,

Namostutey Deva Hiranyabaaho,  Namombikaayaah Pataye Mundaaya/

Namotiguhyaaya Guhaantaraaya Vedaanta Vijnaana sunischitaaya,

Trikaala heenaamala dhaamadhaamney Namo Maheshaaya Namah Shivaaya/

Yevam Stuvantam Bhagavaan Shulaagraadavaropya tam,

Tushtah provaacha hastaabhyaam spushtaaya Parameshwarah/

(I greet that Unique Paramatma-the Puraatana, Punyadaayi, Ananta Kaala Swarupa, Kavi and Samyoga-Viyoga Swarupa- whose Maha Tatwa is sought after by Samadhi-sthita Yogis. I salute that fierce-ful, Agni-faced, Surya-like; thousand footed-thousand faced-thousand headed Adviteeya Rudra. I pay my obeisances to you Maha Deva as Devas worship your feet; you are the Indivisible Tatwa Swarupa; Agni-Vaayu- Surya Swarupa; Victory to you Purana Purusha; You are beyond Tamas and Maya and the dazzling light; Palana-Samhara Karta; Yogi Samuha Sevita or the One worshipped by Groups of Yogis; the Antaraatma or the Inner Consciousness that is distinct from the Outer Body Frame; You are the Atma Tatwa and the Paramatma Tatwa. Prabho! You are the Embodiment of Joy, the Hallmark of Purity; Omkara Shabda Vaachya; Devoid of all Padarthaas; and You are Indra, Varuna, Agni, Hamsa, Praana, Mrityu; Anta and Yagjna. Those who are conversant of Vedas address you as Nilakantha, Eka Rudra, Prajapati, and Bhagavat Swarupa. You are the Adi or the Beginning, Narayana, Pitamaha and Prapitamaha. Sada Shiva Parameshwara, you are the Secret Meaning of Vedaanta Shastraas and Upanishads. You are beyond Tamo Guna, Parama Paramatma, Pancha Padaanta Swarupa; the Tri Shakti Swarupa of Braahmi, Vaishnavi and Shaakta; Niranjana and Sahasra Shakti Rupa; Tri Murti Swarupa of Brama, Vishnu and Shiva Rupa; Anata Padaatmaka, Atma Murti, Jagannivaasa and Jaganmaya; You wear your eyes on your forehead and Nagaraja maalaas all over your body, while Munis and Siddhas keep your feet-lotuses in their inner vision. My humble salutations to you who is seated on the ‘Dharmaishwarya’ or the Wealth of Virtue; your eyes are like thousand Suryas and Chandras while your mid-body is Moon-like cool.  You are of Hiranya baahu or of glittering golden hands; Ambikapati Munda. My sincere ‘Namaskaaraas’to you Guhya, Guhyantara, Vedantarupa, devoid of influences caused by the ‘Trikaalaas’ and the Supreme Source of Pure Radiance).Parama Shiva was so pleased with Andhakas passionate Stuti that he conferred ‘Ganatwa’ under Nandi Deva’s leadership).

As Andhka fell on her feet and prayed to her: Namaami Devavallabhamanadi madrijaamimaam, Yatah Pradhaanama Purushou nihanti yaakhilam Jagat/ Vibhati ya Shivaasaney Shivena Saamakavyayaa, Hiranyetirnirmaley Namaami taamimaamajam/ Yadanantaraakhilam Jagajjayanti yaani samkshayam, Namaami yatra taamumaa- masesha bhedavarjitaam/ Na jaayateyn na heeyatey  na vardhatey cha taamumaam, Namaami yaa gunaatigaa Gireesha putrikaamimaam/ Kshamaswa Devi Shailajey krutam mayaa vimohitah, Suraa-surairarchitam Namaami tey padaambujam/ Ithyam Bhagavati Gauri Bhaktinamrena Parvatee, Samstutaa Daityapatinaa putratvey jagruhendhakam/ (My sincere apologies to Shankara Priya Devi Parvati the Prime Prakriti who along with Purusha creates and terminates the Universe in totality. Forgive my shame as I had evil feelings towards you Devi who is the Symbol of Purity and Auspiciousness seated along with Parama Shiva as you too are Ajanma or Birthless and Avyaya or Endless. Kindly absolve my unpardonable sin for ignorance as she creates and destroys and is beyond Trigunas and is worthy of worship by Deva-Danavas alike! Andhakasura’s heartfelt guilt of highest order was pardoned by Devi Parvati and being a fund of mercy forgave him as typical of a Supreme Mother)


9    Vaamana Deva’s incarnation and Bali Chakravarti’s extreme sacrifice

Prahlada’s son King Virochana who overpowered Devas and occupied Trilokas came into contact with Brahma Manasa Putra Sanat Kumara and was greatly impressed with his teachings of ‘Atma Jnaana’ or the Knowledge of the Supreme Soul. He abandoned Kingship and coronated Bali as the Emperor. Bali Chakravartii expanded his Empire further and Devas had futher difficulties as their miseries increased manifold as their hopes of recovering Swarga receded further since Bali Chakravarti’s administration was impeccable as per Scriptures: he was a Brahmana Bhakta, highly enlightened and progressive administrator and none could raise a finger against him or his virtues. But, the fact remained that Devas became nomads and completely lost their glory; the very many yagnas conducted by the Chakravarti under the direction of Daitya-Danava Guru Shukracharya were impeccable but the Yagna Phalas were purely for the advantage of Daityas but were denied to Devas. Deva Maata Aditi was highly disturbed as her own sons were roaming from pillar to post neither without a home nor with a power! The highly disillusioned mother then resorted to exreme Tapasya to Narayana seeking that vaasudeva should take to an Avatara to defeat Daitya-Danavas and restore Devas back to their original position of glory. In response to her Tapasya, Vaasudeva appeared in his full Form with Shankha-Chakra-Gadaa-Sharangas and an ever grateful Aditi prayed to him as follows:

Jayaasesha duhkhoghanaashaika heto Jayaananta mahaatmya yogaabhiyukta,

Jayaanaadi madhaanta vijnaana murtey Jayaasesha kalpaamalaananda rupa/

Namo Vishnavey Kaalarupaaya tubhyam Namo Naarasimhaaya seshaaya tubhyam,

Namah Kaala Rudraaya Samhaara Kartrey Namo Vaasudevaaya tubhyam namastey/

Namo Vishwamaayaa vidhaanaaya tubhyam Namo Yoga gamyaaya Satyaaya tubhyam,

Namo Dharma Vigjnaana nishthaaya tubhyam Namastey Varaahaaya bhuyo Namastey/

Namastey sahasraarka chandraabha murtey Namo Vedavigjnaana Dharmaabhi -gamya,

Namo Devadevadi Devaadideva Prabho Viswayonetha bhuyo Namastey/

Namah Shambhaveuy Satyaishthaaya tubhyam Namo hetavey Vishwarupaaya tubhyam,

Namo yoga peethaantarasthaaya tubhyam Shivaayaika rupaaya bhuyo namastey/

(Victory to you as you are the only destroyer of the root causes of difficulties and setbacks; You are constantly engaged in Yoga; the Vigjnaana Swarupa without a beginning, center and end; Victory to you the Asesha Kalpa without any rest or intermission of activities; the embodiment of spotlessness and bliss; Victory to you Kaala Rupa, Narasimha, Kaala Rudra, Vaasudeva, Mayaavidhaana or the Planner of Illusions; Satya Rupa who is comprehended  by Yoga; Jnaana nishtha; Dharma; Varaha Swarupa; Unique Symbol of Magnificence comparable to thousands of Suryas and Chandras; the unparalleled medium of Dharma and Jnaana as proposed and embedded in Vedas; Devadi Deva, Adi Deva, Satya Nishtha, Vishwa Rupa, Kaarana Rupa, Eka Rupa and Yoga peetha Madhya or as situated in the Center of Yoga; my sincere salutations to You!) In response to Aditi’s commendation as above, Narayana bestowed his boon to soon take the Incarnation as Vamana Murti.

             As this development took place, King Bali noticed fearful premonitions including earth quakes and heavy rains followed by lightnings and thunders, when Bali asked his grand father Prahlada about these untoward signs. Prahlada replied that his apprehension as visioned by him was that Vaasudeva had then entered Devi Aditi’s garbha to destroy the Daitya elements in the Universe as they tormented Devas and dislodged them from their rightful thrones and statuses. King Bali softened his stiff stand against Devas as Prahlada explained at length that Vaasudeva was of tamasika feature as Shankara, of Raajasika nature as Brahma and of Satvika nature as Vishnu and better that King Bali took refuge in Narayana. As time passed, Vishnu arrived in his new incarnation as Vaamana Deva: Chaturbhujam Vishaalaaksham Shrivatsaangitavakshasam, Nilamegha pratikaasham bhraajamaanam Shriyaa -vritam/ (Vishnu with his four hands, broad eyes, Shrivatsa Mani on his chest, with colour like blue clouds and extremely lustrous made his appearance) as Vaamana Avatara in the Brahmana clan. Then Devatas, Siddha ganaas, Sadhyas, Charanaas, besides Indra and Brahma gathered around and performed Jaata Karmas, and subsequently Upanayana followed by Vedaadhyayana under the tutorship of Bharadwaja Maharshi. As King Bali performed a Maha Yagna, Vaamana Deva accompanied Guru Bharadwaja attended the function with Krishna Mriga Charma or deer skin and Yagnopaveeta or the Sacred Thread, Palaasa danda, jataa, bhasma etc.that were typical of a Brahmachaari while reciting Vedaas. The Bhikshu then asked charity of a mere three feet of land and in agreement of the ‘daanaa’, King Bali performed ‘Sankalpa’ or Vedic  Approval and as a formality offered water in the Bhikshu’s hands. Then the measurement of three feet commenced formally; King Bali washed Vishnu’s feet and declared that he was giving away in charity the three feet of land and symbolically left water on land:

Vichakramey Prithivimesha Aitaamataantariksham Divamaadi devah,

Vyapetaraagam Ditigneshwaram tam Prakartukaamah sharanam prapannam/

Aakramya Lokatraya meesha paadah Praajaapadyaad Brahmalokam jagaama,

Praneymuraaditya sahasrakalpam ye tatra Lokey Nivasantin Siddhhaah/

(Vishnu then sought to measure the three feet by occupying the Earth, Antariksha or the  Sky and the Dyuloka; as he occupied the trilokas, the Lord’s feet touched the Prajapati loka and the the Brahma loka where the Siddha ganaas and others had the chance of touching the foot of Vishnu Deva; as the Sacred feet pierced through the Kapaala of Brahmanada, Sacred waters of Ganga  flowed down on to Akaasha.

             Thus:

Gatwaa Mahaantam Prakritim Pradhaanam Brahkaanamekam Purusham Swabeejam/

Atisdhthadeeshasya padam tadavyayam drushtwaa Devaastatrta tatra stutivanti/

Aalokya tam Purusham Vishwakaayam Mahaan Balirbhaktiyogena Vishnum,

Nanaama Naaraayanamekamavyayam swachetasaa yam Pranamanti Devaah/

Twamabrameed Bhagavaanaadikartaa bhutwaa punar Vaamano Vaasudevh/

Mamaiva Daityadhipateyrdhunedam Lokatrayam Bhavataa Bhaavadattam/

             (Vishnu’s feet reached upto Maha-Pradhana-Prakriti-Swabeeja Swarupa-Purusha-Brahma and got settled  there; Devas prayed to that Avyaya at different positions with great devotion and so did the King when Vaamana Deva declared that the Tri Lokas were indeed under his possession).

             As Bali extolled Vaamana Deva, the latter instructed the King to enter Pataala Lokas and enjoy life till the end of the Kalpa and finally enter Vishnu Himself. Janardana then restored Swarga back to Indra and Devas as Siddhas, Devatas, Rishis, Kinnara, Brahma, Indra, Rudra, Adityas and Marudganas prayed to Vishnu out of gratitude


10    Incarnation of Shri Rama, execution of Ravana and Installation of Rameshwara Linga

Devi Aditi and Kashypa Muni gave birth to Aditya and the latter had four wives viz. Sangjna, Raagjni, Prabha and Chaaya Devi; Sangjna’s sons were Manu and Yama and their daughter was Yamuna; Ragjni’s son was Raivata and Chhaya’s sons were Saavarna and Shani and daughters were Tapati and Vishta. Manu’s eldest son was Ikshwaku and in that illustrious lineage was born Harischandra who was famed for his Truthfulness as he sacrificed his Kingdom, wife and son. It was also in that lineage in which Bhagiratha was born, known for his persistence and fortitude and succeeded to bring down Ganges from Heavens to wash off the impact of Kapila Maharshi’s curse to his great-grand fathers. Raghu and Dasaratha too belonged to that Vamsha in which Shri Rama was born as an Incarnation of Vishnu with his brothers named Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Devi Sita was the daughter of King Janaka to whom Maha Deva gifted a Shiva Dhanush and the King announced that whosoever could lift and set the Dhanush would be given Devi Sita in wedding. None of the powerful and valiant Kings or others could even lift the Dhanush, let alone set it. But Shri Rama was not only able to set it but even broke it. King Dasaratha planned to make Rama the Yuva Raja or the heir apparent, but the youngest of the three Queens called Kaikeyi thwarted the plan and instead demanded Rama to be banished to spend fourteen years in Vana Vaasa or Forest Life even as her own son Bharat should be the Yuva Raja. The weak King could neither stop Rama to go to forests nor refuse Kaikeyi’s wish and in this dilemma succumbed to death; Rama accompanied by Devi Sita and brother Lakshmana proceeded to the forests while a faithful Bharata discarded Kingship and only acted as the Administrator on behalf of Shri Rama during his absence. During the VanaVaasa, Rama destroyed several Rakshasaas with the able assistance of Lakshmana, facilitated Maharshis to perform Yagnas and  promoted virtuous deeds by shielding Dharma against Adharma (Virtue versus Vice) and Nyaya against Anyaya (Justice against Injustice). Almost at the end of the stipulated time of Forest Life moving from place to place and protecting Maharshis, Munis and the Virtuous and punishing the Evil, Rama lived in a ‘Parnashala’ or thatched abode in peace when a Rakshasi called Surpanakha spotted Rama and made amorous proposals to him but being of ‘Eka Patni Vrata’ or of a Single wife Practice refused her proposals of marriage; since she made desperate and insistent efforts, he instructed Lakshmana to cut off  her nose as he was against the Dharma of killing a woman. The Raakshasi approached her brother Ravana the most obnoxious and vicious Demon King of Lanka across the high Sea away from the mainland of Bharata Desha. Ravana decided to score against Shri Rama, more so as Sita Devi was beautiful and charming. He despatched another Demon called Maricha to reach Sita-Rama’s Parnashala by assuming the Form of a Golden Deer to tempt Sita while Rama chased the animal and while being killed by him it shouted ‘Rama’ as though Rama was in trouble; Lakshmana left the Parnashala and Ravana in disguise as a Muni requested Sita for alms to cross the Lakshmana Rekha – a Protective and Circular Line laced with Mantras- which was drawn by Lashmana and as soon as she crossed it,  Ravana appeared in his original form with ten heads and twenty hands and kidnapped her and whisked her away to Lanka. On return to the Parna shaala, Rama was distraught and on learning from Jatayu the friend of Dasaratha that Sita was kidnapped by Ravana and took her away to Lanka, befriended Sugreeva and Hanuman, crossed the Sea and killed Ravana and the entire clan of Ravanasura. Apart from Sugreeva and the huge monkey brigade, Hanuman, a matchless Bhakta or devotee of Shri Rama played a momentous role in the Epic of Ramayana: he crossed the High Sea to Lanka; spotted Devi Sita in a Garden of Lanka under imprisonment suffering Ravana’s heavy pressure of marrying her and threats of killing her husband Rama; convinced Sita that he was a genuine messenger of Rama;  assuaged Sita’s misery and boosted her morale by assuring that Rama was arriving; cautioned Ravana with dire consequences since Rama was of Vishnu’s Incarnation and would annihilate him and his entire clan; assisted Rama to construct a Rama Setu or a massive bridge across the Sea; saved Lakshmana’s life on the battle field as he was hit by Indrajit’s arrows by reaching the Himalaya Mountain Range and bringing overnight a  huge Mountain with ‘Sanjeevani’or life saving herb; took a lead role in killing countless Rakshasaas;  carried Rama and Lakshmana on his broad shoulders as their personal chariot; facilitated the destruction of Indrajit, Kumbhakarna and Ravana and finally enabled the coronation of Vibheeshana, the only virtuous brother of Ravanaasura, as the King of Lanka.

             In the midst of Setu, Rama and Sita decided to install a Shiva Linga, not only to celebrate the victory of Virtue against Evil, but also to atone the killing of Ravana a Brahmana though a Demon. Hanuman was comissioned to fetch a genuine Shiva Linga from Varanasi Kshetra but as he could not reach the appointed spot at the auspicious ‘Muhurta’, Devi Sita prepared a Linga with Seashore sand and the Sand Linga so installed had thus come to stay till date-apart from the Shiva Linga brought by Hanuman though belatedly. Maha Deva appeared in his full Form along  with Devi Parvati before Rama and Sita in the presence of the ‘Rama Sena’, blessed them and assured them all as follows:

Yat tavyaa sthapitam Lingam drakshyanteeha Dwijaatayah,

Mahaapaataka samyuktaaseshaam Paapam vinashyatu/

Anyaani chaiva Paapaani snaatasyatra Mahaadadhou,

Darshanaadeva Lingasya naasham yaanti na samshayaha/

Yaavat sthaasyanti girayo yaavadeshaa cha Medini,

Yaavat Setuscha taavaccha sthaasyaamyatra tirohitah/

Snaanam daanam japah shraaddham bhavishyatya-kshayam krutam,

Smarana Deva Lingasya dinapaapam pranashyati/

(‘Darshana’ or viewing of this Rameshwara Linga that was installed formally by Brahmanas on behalf of Shri Rama an Devi Sita should surely have their great sins destroyed. Taking bath in the Sea and worshipping the Linga would uproot the remaining blemishes and imperfections of a devotee. Maha Deva assured that as long as Mountains were existent and P rithvi was present, Setu would be in position and would be Maha Deva in the Rameshwara Linga. Whatever holy deeds like Snaana-Daana-Japa-Shraddhaas are performed at the Place would have multiplying and lasting effects. Even the ‘Smarana’ or the very thought of Rameshwara Linga from a distance would abolish the sins of the day!) After the Linga Pratishtha thus, Shri Rama administered Bharata Desha with Ayodhya as his capital for centuries and his Administration was acclaimed as ‘Rama Rajya’when his Subjects were happy, contented and without ‘Tapatrayaas’or the three kinds of Adhi Bhoutika like physical problems, Adhytaatmika or internal / psychological difficulties and Adhi Daivika or God-made complications like famines, earthquakes or  f loods. During his Sovereignty, Shri Rama’s governance excelled in Brahmana Puja, Ashwamedha Yagna and ‘Dharma Paalana’


11    King Jayadhwaja’s Vishnu Bhakti and Sapta Rishi’s assertion of ‘Nishkama Bhakti’ to Vishnu

In the context of  Chandra Vamsha the glorious personalities were Chandra and Tara (the wife of Deva Guru Brihaspati)- Budha and Ila the daughter of Vaivaswata Manu- Pururava and Apsara Urvashi- Nahusha who performed hundred Yajnas and became a temporary Indra and Pitara Kanya Viraja- Yayati and Devayani the daughter of Shukracharya the Raakshasa Guru as also Sharmishtha the daughter of Raakshasa Vrishaparva- Yadu and Turvasu from Devayani and Puru from Sharmishta-Yadu’s son Kroshta, Sahasrajit etc- Sahasrajit’s grandson Haihaya whose son was Kartaveeryaarjuna who was killed by Parashurama; it was in this famed lineage of Sahasrabahu (Kartaveeryarjuna) was born Jayadhwaja, who was an unparalleled Vishnu Bhakta. He was of firm conviction that Dharma was the noblest feature, all the Kings on Earth were of the ‘Amsha’ of Vishnu and that Vishnu was the ablest Administrator:

Rajyam Paalayataavashyam Bhagavan Purushottamah,

Pujaneeyo yato Vishnuh Paalako Jagatoharih/

Saatviki Raajasichaiva Taamasicha Swayambhuvah,

Tristrastu Murtayah Proktaah Srishtisthityanta hetavah/

Satwaatmaa Bhagavaan Vishnuh Samstaapayati Sarvadaa,

Srujed Brahmaa Rajo Murtih Samharet Taamaso Harah/

Tasmaan Mahipateenaam tu Raajyam Paalayataamayam,

Aaraadhyo Bhagavan Vishnuh Keshavah Keshimardanah/

(Those who are Kings and Administrators ought to worship Vishnu, since Vishnu is the most competent as he as a Swayambhu possessed all the Three Gunas of Satvika-Raajasika-Taamasika nature and displays the three features of Srishti-Paalana-Samhaara and that is precisely why a King should worship Vishnu). But other brothers of Jayadhwaja viz. Shura, Shurasena, Ghrishna, and Krishna expressed their views too; they stated that Rudra was the Unique one to bestow Mukti as he was the Samhara Kaaraka responsible for the End. He assumes Tamoguna at the end of Kalpaas and as the Vidyaa /Jnaana Swarupa and Shakti Swarupa, Rudra alone would be worthy of worship, since Creation and Preservation were merely passing phases merely:

Ayam hi Bhagavan  Rudrah Sarvam Jagadidam Shivah,

Tamogunam samaashritya Kalpaantey Samharet Prabhuh/

Yaa saa ghorataraa Murtisya Tejomayi Paraa,

Samhareyd Vidyayaa Sarvam Samsaaram Shulabhrit tathaa/

King Jayadhwaja replied:

Tatwena munchatey Jantuh Satvaatmaa hagavan Harih/

(It is only through Satva Guna alone, Maanavas attain Mukti and Bhagavan Vishnu is the Embodiment of Satwa Guna.) The brothers argued:

Tamuchur  Bhraaaro Rudrah sevitah Saatvikairjanaih, Mochayet Satwa samyuktah Pujesham tato Haram/

( All the Satvika guna sampannas or those who always possess Satwika Guna do worship Rudra Deva and as an analogy one must worship Maha Deva.) The further argument from Jayadhwaja was that Swadharma or the Duty of  a Varnaashrama-in this case of Kings-was of utmost applicability to attain Mukti. The counter argument of the brothers was that their father Kartaveeryarjuna who followed Swadharma wordshipped Rudra. As the arguments were endless and fruitless, all the brothers came to the conclusion that they should all visit Sapta Rishis to explain as to who should worship –Shiva or Vishnu-being a King! Vasishtha and other Saparishis unanimously stated as  follows:

Ya yasyabhimataa Pumsaha saa hi tasyaiva Devataa!

( Who so ever of Devataas is acceptable by a person is the Devata worthy of worship!) Having established this as the broad Principle, the Sapta Rishis provided the following exceptions and their counsel:

Kintu kaarya viseshena Pujitaashcheshtadaa Nrinaam,

Viseshaat Sarvadaa naayam niyamo hyanyathaa Nripaah/

Nripaanaam Daivatam Vishnustathaiva cha Purandarah,

Vipraanaamagniraadityo Brahmaachaiva Pinaakadhryuk/

Devaanaam Daivatam Vishnurdaanavaanaam Trishulabhrit,

Gandharvaanaam tathaa Somo Yakshaanaamapi kathyatey/

Vidyaadharaanaam Vagdevi Sandhyaanaam Bhagavan Ravih,

Rakshasaam  Shankaro Rudrah Kinnaraanaam cha Parvati/

Rishinaam Daivatam Brahma Mahadevascha Shulabhrit,

Manunaamsyaadumaa Devi tathaa Vishnuh sa Bhaskarah/

Grihastaanaamcha Sarvey Syurbrahmaa vai Brahmachaarinam,

Vaikhaanasaanaamarkah syad Yatinaam cha Maheswarah/

Bhutaanaam Bhagavaan Rudraha Kushmaandaanmaam Vinaayakah,

Sarvbeshaam Bhagavaan Brahmaa Deva Devah Prajaapatih/

Ityevam Bhagavan Brahmaa swayam  Devebhyabhaashata,

Tasmaajjayadwajo nunam Vishnavaaraadhyamarhati/

(Depending on the belief that human beings repose in specific Deva-Devaas and the resultant fruits that they achieve, worship is performed by them as per their wishes and the fulfillment and that might not be a general practice. But in general, Kings worship Vishnu or Indra; Brahmanas worship Agni Deva, Surya, Brahma and Shiva; Devas worship Vishnu while Danavas perform puja to Shiva; Gandharvas and Yakshaas pray to Soma Deva; Human Beings tend to worship Uma Devi, Vishnu and Surya; Grihastas or Family men and women pray to all the Devatas while Brahmacharis worship Brahma; Vaikhaanasaas pray to Surya and Sanyasis tend to deem Maheswara as their destiny; Bhutas pray to Rudra; Ganesha is worshipped by Kushmandaas but Brahma is prayed by one and all. Sapta Rishis quoted Brahma however that Kings would better worship Vishnu.)      

             As this kind of discussions were going on, a frightening and cruel Danava named Videha entered the Kingdom of the Five Sons of Kartaveeryaarjuna and created havoc by killing men and women mercilessly. His roars and rumbles produced panic al over and the Five Sons attacked the Demon with all their capacity: Shura released Roudrastra, Surasena with Vaarunastra, Krishna used Prajaapatastra, Ghrishna with Vayavyastra while Jayadhwaja simulteneously released Kaubera-Aindra-Agneyaastra. But the Danava destroyed all the Astras with his Shula. Finally, King Jayadhwaja made a desperate effort to pray to Vishnu:

Vishnum Grasishnum Lokaadimaprameyamanaamayam,

Traataaram Purusham Purvam Shri Patim Peetavaasasam/

(Jayadhwaja’s prayer was to Vishnu, Grasishnu or the Supreme Hold, Aprameya (Indestructible), Anamaya (devoid of sorrows), Purva Purusha (The Ageless Being), Shri Pati or the husband of Lakshmi etc). Instantly, Bhagavan Vishnu released Sudarshana Chakra known for its speed and positive action and the mountain-like head of the Asura Videha fell on the ground dead and there was abundant relief to the King brothers and their Subjects in the Kingdom. Jayadhwaja was complimented by his brothers for his timely and sincere prayers to Vishnu who saved the Kingdom from destruction; the bothers then approached Maharshi Vishwamitra to teach them the Puja Vidhana of Vishnu and the latter having taught the Procedure stated:

Yatah Pravruttur bhutaanaam yasmin Sarvamidam Jagat,

Sa Vishnuh Sarva Bhutaatma tamaashritya vimuchyatey/

Swavarnaashraya dharmenam Pujyeyam Purushottamah,

Akaamahata bhavena samaaraadhyo na chaanyataa/

(Since Vishnu is the Soul of all the Beings in the World and as they are governed by him and his kindness, every Being must worship him as required by their Ashrama Dharmaas but not with any ulterior motive). As the Sage clarified that worship to Vishnu was not to seek motives but as an obligation required by Varaashrama Dharma. Jayadhwaja and the brothers all reached home and performed ‘nishkaama’puja to Vishnu and Prameshwara alike and subsequently executed a thanks-giving Yagna under the auspices of Vasishtha and Rudrabhaktas besides Maharshis Gautama, Atri and Agastya for Loka Kalyaana or Universal Peace and auspiciousness


12     ‘ Krishnaavatara’, Krishna’s worship to Shiva, Vishnu-Shiva identity and Shiva Linga Mahima


(Krishna’s warning not to belittle Shiva and Vyasa Stuti of Shiva included)  

Maharshi Bhrigu gave a ‘Shaap’(Curse) to Madhava Vishnu to take to human birth as Vaasudeva the son of Vasudeva and Devaki by birth at Mathura  in imprisonment by King Kamsa and as Krishna the son of Nanda and Yashoda by upbringing; Vishnu was inattentive when the Rishi called on the latter and hence the curse. The embriyo of the seventh son of  Devaki’s garbha was transferred to that of Rohini’s garbha by Vishnu Maya and it was believed that Balarama or Sankarshana was the son of Rohini; simultaneously it was believed that the seventh garbha of Devaki was a miscarriage. The eighth son of Vasudeva and Devaki, being Vishnu himself, was transferred by his father across the River Yamuna in rain from Mathura to Gokula into the unconscious bed of Yashoda who deliverd a female child viz. Kaushiki Devi; Vasudeva exchanged Vaasudeva to Yashoda and brought Maya to Devaki. As King Kamsa tried to lift the previous children of Devaki-Vasudeva and banged the heads of the babies against the prison walls, he desired to repeat the acts, but Kaushiki Maya flew away to skies and warned Kamsa that Vishnu or his Avatara Krishna was already born safe elsewhere and it was not far that the cruel Kamsa would soon meet his fate in death. Krishna displayed several Leelas or Miracle Acts along with Bala Rama, including the killings of Putana, Shakatasura, Dhenukaasura and other Demons; relieving the curses of Gandharva boys turned into huge trees as Yashoda tied to a huge stone in between them; providing vision of the entire Universe to Yashoda on the excuse of opening his mouth for eating sand and taking her into trance; subduing the poisonous Kaliya Snake in Kalindi lake; lifting Govardhana Mountain to provide shelter to the Gopa Prajas or the Inhabitants of the Area against cyclone and taught a lesson to Indra who demanded worship from the villagers; teasing Gopika maids by smearing butter and curds on their cheeks; enchanting Gopikas with his heavenly music of flute into bliss to the extent of engaging them into ‘Raas Leelaas’or group dances; killing Kamsa, Sishupala and several vicious and cruel Kings for establishing peace and social security; transferring the inhabitants of Mathura overnight to Dwaraka Nagari for safety and enjoyment and finally playing an outstanding role as the key figure in the Maha Bharata Battle in uprooting evil forces and protecting the Virtuous climaxing with the projection of his Vishva Swarupa and Gitaa Pravachana with the unique message viz.

Yadaa yadaahi dharmasya glaanir bhavati Bharata,

Adhyuddhaanam Adharmasya Sambhavaami Yugey Yugey/

Krishna’s worship to Maha Deva : Shri Krishna had Eight Principal Wives viz. Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajiti, Mitravinda, Lakshmana, Kalindi and Maadri, but accepted sixteen thousand maidens released from the prisons of Narakaasura whom he decimated. Rukmini had eight sons viz. Charudeshna, Suchaaru, Chaaruvesha, Yashodhara, Chaarushrava, Charuyasha, Pradyumna and Shankha. Similarly other wives had several sons. But Devi Jambavati longed to get an  exemplary Son like Indra and on realising this wish decided to perform Parama Tapasya to Parama Shiva and left for the Ashram of Maharshi Upamanyu on the banks of Ganges. The Maharshi wondered that Shri Krishna himself was an Avatara of Vishnu and as to why did Krishna seek to have a darshan of Mahadeva! Krishna expressed his determination to vision Shiva and Devi Parvati in person and the Maharshi explained the  regulations involved in Shiva Tapasya like bhasma dharana, shaven head, Valka dharana or wearing stiff clothes, high concentration and Rudra Japa. The Maharshi cited examples of Vasishta, Krishna Dwipaayana Vyasa, Maha Yogi Yagjnyvalka and Bhrigu who succeeded in securing the Darshana of Shiva-Parvati after performing ‘Nidaana Rupa Tapasya’ or Paraakashtha / Sarvottama Yoga. Following the rules very strictly, Krishna followed  the ‘Upadesha’ or the teachings and instructions of Upamanyu such as Paashupata Yoga, Paashupata Vrata and Paashupata Jnaana and incessantly recited Rudra Mantras with strict adherence of the formal and required form of  worship  to Mahadeva. After considerable effort, Shri Krishna visioned Maha Deva and Devi Parvati on the Sky as follows:

Kireetinam gadinam chitramaalam Pinaakinam Shulinam Devadevam,

Shaardula charmaambara samvrutaangam Devyaa Mahaadevamasou dadarsha/

Paraswadhaasakta karam Trinetram Nrisimha charmaavrita sarva gaatram,

Samudgirantam Pranavam brihantam Sahasra Surya pratimam dadarsha/

Prabhum Puraanam Purusham Purastaat Sanaatanam Yoginameeshitaaram,

Anorineeyamsamananta Shaktim Praaneswaram Shambhumasou dadarsha/

Na yasya Devaa na Pitaamahopi nendro na chaagnir -varuno na Mrityuh,

Prabhaavamadyaapi Vadanti Rudram Tamaadi Devam Puruto dadarsha/

Tadaanvapashyad Girishasya Vaame Swaatmaanmavyakta manantarupam,

Stuvantameesham Bahubhirvachobhihi Shankhaasichakraarpita hastamaadyam/

Kritaanjalim Dakshinatah Suresham Hamsaadhirudham Purusham dadarsha,

Stuvantameeshasya Param Prabhaavam Pitaamaham Lokagurum Divistham/

Ganeswaraanarka sahasra kalpaan Nandeeswaraadeenamita Prabhaavaan,

Triloka bhartruh Puratonwapashtat Kumaaramagni pratimam sashaakham/

Marichamatrim Pulaham Pulastham Prachertasam Dakshamathaapi Kanvam,

Paraasharam tatparato Vasishtham Swayambhuvah chaapi Manum dadarsha/

(Shri Krishna visioned Parama Shiva wearing Mukuta/ Headgear,Gadaa / mace, Trishula, Pinaaka Dhanush / Pinaaka bow and Chitra-Vichitra/ multi-coloured garlands; he was attired with Simha Charma or Lion Skin; reciting Pranava; likened to thousands of Suryaas; and Trilochana or of Three Eyes. Krishna also viewed before him that Purana Purusha, Sanaatana, Yogeswara, the Tiniest like atom, with Endless Shakti /Energy, viz. Shambhu. Krishna visioned that Parama Shiva  who could not be comprehened by Devataas, Pitamaha Brahma, Indra, Agni, Varuna and Yama till date. Krishna saw Maha Deva along with Vishnu along with Shankha-Asi or Sword and Chakra on his left side in position even as the latter was known as Atma Swarupa-Avyakta- Ananta and Adi Deva and the latter was engaged in continuous commendation of Maha Deva! To Shankara’s eastern side was seated Brahma glorifying Parama Shiva, while facing  the latter were Ganeshwara, Nandeswara and Kartikeya. Behind Shiva were the famed ones like Marichi, Atri, Pulaha, Pulastya, Pracheta, Daksha, Kanva, Parashara, Vasishtha and Swayambhu Manu). Thus Krishna had a full ‘darshan’of Shiva accompanied by Parvati, Shri Krishna applauded him as follows:

Namostu tey Shashwata Sarvayoney Brahmaadhipam,

Twaamrushayo vadanti,

Tapascha Satwam cha Rajastamascha Twaameva Sarvam pravadanti Santah/

Twam Brahmaa Hariratha Vishwayoniragnih Samhartaa Dinakara mamdalaadhivaasah,

Praanastwam Hutavaha Vaasavaadi bhedastwaamekam sharanamupaimi Devameesham/

 Saamkhyaastwaam Vigunamathaahureka rupam Yogastwaam satatamupaasatey hrudistham,

Vedaastwaamabhidadhateeh Rudramagnim twaamekam sharanamu-  paimi Devameesham/

Twatpaadey kusumamathaapi patramekam Dattvaasou bhavati Vimukta Vishwa bandhah,

Sarvaagham pranudati Siddhayogijushtam Smrutwaa tey padayugalam bhavatprasaadaat/

(My salutations to You Shaaswata! Sarva Mula Kaarana or the Root Cause of the Totality; Rishis affirm that you are the Master of Brahma; they assert that you are the Spring of the Three Gunas of Satwa-Rajasa-Tamasas; indeed you are the one residing in all the Lokas of Brahma, Vishnu, Vishwayoni, Agni, Samharta and also in Surya Mandala; You are the varied Forms of Praana, Hutavaha or Agni, Indra and all other Devaas; I have arrived into the shelter of Maha Deva; Saankhya Shastra Vedis extol you as the Singular and Gunaateeta  Entity beyond Gunas and Maha Yogis are in constant search for you and perform ‘Upasana’; Vedas  commend you as Rudra and Agni. Mahadeva! I seek indulgence and support! Human Beings place a flower or even a Bilwa Patra on your feet and you oblige them to get rid of the Shackles of Samsara! When Siddhaas and Yogis think of your sanctified feet sincerely, you are merciful to smash the burden of their sins!)

Yasyaseshavibhaaga- heenamamalam hridyantaraavasthitam

Tatwam Jyotiranantamekamachalam Satyam Param Sarvagam,

Sthaanam praahuranaadi madhyanidhanam yasmaadidam jaayatey

Nityam twaahu –mupaimi Satyavibhavam Vishweswaram tam Shivam/

Om Namo Nilakanthaaya Trinetraaya cha ramhasey,

Maha Devaaya tey nityameeshaanaaya Namo namah/

Namah Pinaakiney tubhyam namo Mundaaya Dandiney,

Namastey Vajrahastaaya Digvastraaya Kapardiney/

Namo Bhairava naadaay Kaalarupaaya damshtriney,

Naaga Yagnopaveetaaya Namastey Vahniretasey/

Namostutey Gireeshaaya Swaahaakaaraaya tey namah,

Namo Muktaattahaasaaya Bheemaaya cha namo namah/

Namastey Kaamanaashaaya namah Kaalapramaathiney,

Namo Bhairava Veshaayaa Haraaya cha Nishanginey/

Namostutey Traimbakaaya Namastey Kritthivaasasey,

Namombikaadhi pataye Pashunaam Pataye namah/

( I seek shelter unto the truthfully glorified Vishweshwara Shiva, whom Tatwajnas worship as he is Indivisible, Transparent, Existent in one’s interiors of heart, Luminous, Infinite, Unique, Stable, Truthful, All-Pervasive displayer of Beginning-Central-Terminating points of Life. My sincere salutations to you Pranava Swarupa, Nilakantha, Trilochana, Shakti Rupa, Maha Deva, Ishaana, Pinaaka dhanush dhaari, Munda-Danda Dhaarana, Vajra hasta dhaarana, Digvastra, Kapardini or Jataadhaari with Matted Locks; Bhairava naada, Kaala Swarupa; Naagayajnopaveeta dhari (He who wears Serpents as the Holy Thread); Agni samaana veerya nidhana (He whose semen is like Fire); Gireesha; Swaahaakaara or of the Swarupa of Offerings to Agni in Homas; Mukta -atthahaasa or  He whose maddening voice reverberates; Bheema rupa; Kaamanaasha or the Destroyer of Lust; Kaala Pramathiney or He is capable  of churning Mrityu Devata; Bhairava Vesha; Hara;  Nishanginey or he who carries sword and bow- arrows; Triabikaaya or Three-Eyed; Kruttivaasa or Wearer of Elephant Skin; Ambikaadhipataye or the husband of Devi Ambika; Pashupati or the Supreme Chief of Beings).

Namastey Vyomarupaaya Vyomaadhipataye namah,

Nara naari shareeraaya Saankhya Yoga Pravartivey/

Namo Deva Naathaaya Devaanugatalinginey,

Kumaara guravey tubhyam Devadevaaya tey namah/

Namo Yagnaadhipataye Namastey Brahmachaariney,

Mrigavyaadhaaya mahetey Brahmaadhipataye namah/

Namo Hamsaaya Vishwaaya Mohanaaya namo namah,

Yoginey Yoga gamyaaya Yogamayaaya tey namah/

Namastey Praana Paalaaya Ghantaanaada priyaaya cha,

Kapaaliney namastubhyam jyotishaam pataye namah/

Namo namo namastubhyam bhuya eva namo namah,

Mahyam sarvaatmanaa Kaamaan prayachha Parameshwara/

(Namastey Akaasharupa! Akaashaadhipati! Artha Naareeshwara, Practitioner of Saankhya Yoga, Devanaatha, Shiva Linga that is worshipped by Devas always; the Guru of Kumara Skanda; Devadeva! My greetings to you Yagnaadhipati! Brahmachariney; Maha Mriga Vyaadha or hunter; Mahatey; Brahmaadhipataye; Hamsa Swarupa; Vishwa Mohana! You are the Yogi; Yoga gamya; Yoga Maya; Praana Paalaka; Ghanta naada priya or He who likes the sound of bells; Kapaalini; Jyotisha or Nakshatra Pati; Sarva Kaama Pradaata, Parameshwara; my repeated salutations to you again and again!)

Shri Krishna eulogised Parameswara and fell on the feet of Shiva-Parvatis. As a gladdened Parvati was enjoying Krishna’s visit, Parama Shiva embraced Krishna and said: Krishna! You are indeed the bestower of wishes to one and all yourself! Krishna smiled and said that they knew indeed whatever he approached them for; but the boon that he sought was to bless him to secure a son as renowned as Maha Deva himself! As both Shiva and Parvati granted the wish, Shri Krishna visitited Kailasha for enjoyment and rerturned to Dwaraka. On his rerturn, Maharshi Markandeya arrived at Dwaraka and together they did the ‘Pratishtha’(installation) of a Shiva Linga and formal worship of the Shiva Linga. Consequent to Shiva Darshana, Krishna was blessed with the birth of Saambu from Devi Jambavati.

Krishna-Shiva’s Identity: Maharshi Markandeya wondered as to why Krishna who himself was worship-worthy and granted boons to his devotees, Krishna replied smilingly:

Bhavataa kathitam sarvam tathyameva na samshayaha,

Tathaapi Devameeshaanaam Pujayaami Sanaatanam/

Na mey vipraasti kartavyam naanavaaptam kathanchana,

Pujayaami tathaapeesham jaanannetat Param Shivam/

Na vai pashyanti tam Devam Maayayaa mohitaa janaah,

Tatoham swaatmano mulam jaapayanj pujayaami tam/

Na cha Lingaarchanaat Punyam Lokesmin bheetinaashanam,

Tathaa Linge hitaaaishaam lokaanaam Pujayecchivam/

Yoham tallingamityaahur Vedavaada vido janaah,

Tatohamaatma meeshaanam Puja- yaamyaatmanaiva tu/

Tasyaiva Paramaa Murtistanmayoham na samshayah,

Naavayorvidyatey bhedo Vedeyshvevam vinischayah/

Yesha Devo Mahaadevah sadaa samsaara bheerubhih,

Dhyeyaha Pujascha Vandyascha Jneyo Lingey Maheshwarah/

(Markandeya! Whatever you said is in order and the Truth is that I am worship-worthy by others; but still I worship Ishaana; there is nothing that I cannot achieve a thing, nor is unavailable to me; yet I am aware that I perform Puja to Parama Shiva. Those who are unable to overcome Maya or Illusion could never achieve Shiva Darshana; but I  do realise that my foundation is Shiva and hence I always worship Him. There is no better Punya Phala nor fearlessness than what the Sacred Task of Lingaarchana would confer and for accomplishing propitiousness human beings must resort to Shiva Puja, Shri Krishna affirms. Those who realise and experience Vedic Siddhaantaas (Principles) do  recognise that Shiva Linga is my own Swarupa and that is precisely why I perform my own  worship of the Atma Swarupa of Ishana, says Krishna. He further confirms: I am Shankara’s Parama Murti and I am Shankara myself without doubt. Vedas have emphasised that there is no differernce whatsoever and Krishna and Shiva are just the same. This is the reason why that one should instal Shiva Linga all over!)

Shiva Linga Mahatmya: Maharshi Markandeya heard the account of Shri Krishna as above signify-ing the Identity of Krishna / Vishnu and of Shiva and sought to comprehend the significance of the Shiva-Linga. Then Shri Krishna explained that at the time of Pralaya or Total Devastation, the Universe was totally submerged in ‘Ekarnava’or a single sheet of Samudra Jala / Ocean Water and he as Narayana was lying floated in the midst of the Water with Shankha-Chakra-Gada and other Armaments along with thousands of heads, eyes, feet and hands. Meanwhile, he saw a Chaturmukha (Four-Headed) Brahma reciting the Chatur Vedas of Rig-Yajur-Saama-Atharva who shone like thousand Suns with Golden Colour and approached Vishnu stating that he was the Swayambhu or Self- Generated Brahma the Creator and questioned Vishnu as to who was he! Vishnu replied that he was Supreme Creator-Preserver-Destroyer of the Universe each time there was a Pralaya repeated. As there was some seemingly overlap of functions, Brahma argued and sought to establish his seniority over Vishnu. A huge, lustrous and fiery Linga emerged on its own while mutual arguments were on and the Linga seemed to have neither an end nor beginning. They consented that Brahma should travel up the Linga to ascertain its height and Vishnu should seek the bottom but finally meet at the same place after finding the height and depth. For thousands of years passed by but they could not succeed in the task and having returned to the same place prayed to the Linga Swarupa as follows:

Anaadi malasamsaara roga vaidyaaya Shambhavey,

Namah Shivaayha Shaantaaya Brahmaney Linga Muturtaye/

Pralayaarnava Samsthaaya Pralayodbhuti hetavey,

Namah Shivaaya Shaantaaya Brahmaney Linga Murthaye/

Jwaalaamaalaavritaangaaya Jwalanastambha rupiney,

Namah Shivaaya Shaattaaya Brahmanmey Linga Murtaye/

Aadi madhyaanta heenaaya Swabhaavaamala deeptaye,

Nama Shivaaya Shaantaaya Brahmaney Linga Murtaye/

Mahaadevaaya Mahatey Jyotishenanta tejasey,

Namah Shivaaya Shaantaaya Brahmaney Linga Murtaye/

Nirvikaaraaya Satyaaya Nityaayhaamala tejasey,

Namah Shivaaya Shaantaaya Brahmaney Linga Murtaye/

Vedaanta saara rupaaya Kaalarupaaya Dheematey,

Namah Shivaaya Shaantaaya Brahmaney Linga Murtaye/

(You are indeed free from various vikaaras or imbalances and stressful conditions, we salute you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Parabrahma! You are the cause of Pralaya and the totality of water that submerged the Universe; we salute to you Shambu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Para Brahma! You are of the Physique engulfed with huge garlands of flames as an Unknown Entity in the form of a Pillar; we salute you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Para Brahma! You are featureless, radiant and transparent without beginning-centre-end; we salute you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Para Brahma! You are Maha Deva, Mahaan, Jyoti Swarupa and Ananta Tejaswi; we salute to you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Para Brahma! You are the Pradhana Purusha, Eshwara, Vyoma / Sky  Swarupa, Vedha / Brahma; we salute you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Para Brahma! You are Nirvikaara, Satya, Nitya, Vimala Tejo Rupa; we salute you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Parabrahma! You are the Vedanta Saara or the Essence of Vedanta, Kaala Rupa and Dheeman; we salute you Shambhu, Shiva, Shanta and Linga Murti Para Brahma!) As Vishnu and Brahma extolled the Parabrahma as above, Maha Yogi Parameshwara appeared before them with thousand crores of Faces and with unparalleled illumination and heat likened to crores of Suryaas; he has thousands of hands, feet, Trinetras signifying Surya-Chandra-Agni, carrying Pinaka Dhanush and Trishula; wearing Charmaabara and Sarpa Yagnopaveeta; his voice was like thunderous clouds and addressed Vishnu and Brahma as follows:

Yuvaam prasutau gaatrebhyo mama Purvam Sanaatanou,

Ayam meyDakshiney Paarshvey Brahmaa Loka Pitaamahah,

Vaama Parshvey cha mey Vishnuh Paalako Hridaye Harah/

(Maha Deva stated that in the Past, Brahma was born from my right side and Vishnu emerged from the left and Hara was situated in my heart). Maha Deva further stated:

Pralahyasthitisargaanaam Kartaa twam Dharanipatey,

Vatsa Vatsa Harey Vishvam Paalayaitaccharaacharam/

Tridhaa Bhinnousmyaham Vishno Brahmavishnu Haraakhyayaa,

Sarga rakshaa Laya gunairnirgunopi Niranjanah/

(Dharanipati Vatsa Hari! You will be in over-all charge of Srishti-aalana-Pralaya and specifilally for Vishwa Paalana. I shall be the Nirguna Niranjana and at the same time would be divided into Three Rupas as Brahma-Vishnu-Hara). This was how Shri Krishna gave the Origin of Shiva Linga which came to be worshipped all over. Having stated the above, Shri Krishna cautioned all the Narayana Bhaktaas saying:

Paraat parataram yaanti Naraayana paraayanaah,

Na tey tatra gamishyanti ye dwishanti Maheswaram/

Dhyaanam homam Tapastaptam Jnaanam  Yajnaadiko vidhih,

Teshaam Vinasyanti Kshipram ye nindanti Pinaakinam/

Yo maam samaashrayetrityamekaantam bhava- maashritah,

Vinindya Devameeshaanam sa yaanti narakaayutam/

Tasmaat saa Parihartavyaa nindaa Pashupatou Dwijaah,

Karmanaa Manasaa Vaachaa tadbhakteyshwapi yatnatah/

( Surely Narayana bhaktaas should be able to attain excellent Places of Mukti, but who ever think of Maheshwara with dislike would never ever reach any where! Those who keep hatred against and find fault with Shiva would be instantly be negated of their endeavours for Vishnu and their dhyaana, homa, Tapas and Yagnaadi Karyaas would be wasted in futility. What is worse, those who possess negative feelings for Mahadeva should be punished for thousand years of Naraka experiences. My warning to you Dwijaas therefore, Pashupati bhakti must always be retained by way of Karmanaa-Manasaa-Vaachaa means or by way of deeds-thoughts and speech in favour of Maha Deva!)

Veda Vyasa Stuti to Maha Deva: While describing the rampant evils during Kali Yuga when human beings underwent multiple changes in terms of Varna Sankarana, dwindling standards of Dharma and predominance of Vices, Veda Vyasa advised Arjuna to spread the message of resorting to the singular and sincere Shiva Puja to fulfill their desires and destroy their innumerable sins in their lives:

Evam Vidho Kali Yugey doshaanaamekashodhanam,

Mahadeva Namaskaaro Dhyaanam Daanamiti Shrutih/

Tasmaadaneeshwaraananyaan tyaktwaa Devam Maheswaram,

Samaashrayed Virupaaksham yadeecchet Paramam Padam/

Naarchayanteeha ye Rudram Shivam Tridashaavanditam,

Teshaam daanam Tapo Yajno Vridhaa Jeevitameyvacha/

(To demolish the blemishes and turpitudes of Kali Yuga, human beings have a singular solution to salute, meditate and perform worship and charities in the name of Maha Deva as affirmed in Vedas; hence, those determined to attain ‘Parama Pada’ would worship Maha Deva only and maximise the effect of the virtuous deeds like Daana-Tapa-and Yajnas). In this context, Veda Vyasa Maharshi recited the following Commendation to Parama Shiva:

Namo Rudraaya Mahatey Deva Devaaya Shuliney,

Traimbikaaya Trinetraaya Yoginaam Guravey Namah/

Namostu Vaamadevaaya Mahaadevaaya Vedhasey,

Shambhavey Sthaanavey nityam Shivaaya Parameshthiney,

Namah Somaaya Rudraaya Mahaagraasaaya Hetavey/

Prapadeyham Virupaaksham Sharanyam Brahmachaarinam,

Mahaa Devam Mahaayogameeshaanam chaambikaa –patim/

Yoginaam Yogadaataaram Yogamaayaa samaavritam,

Yoginaam Gurumaachaaryam Yogigamyam Pinaakinam/

Samsaara taaranam Rudram Brahmaanam Brahmanodhipam,

Shaaswatam Sarvagam Shaantam Brahmanyam Braahmanapriyam/

Kapardinam Kaala Murti- mamrutim Parameshwaram,

Eha Murtim Mahaa Murtim Vedavedyam Divaspatim/

Neela kantham Vishwamurtim Vyaapinam Vishwaretasam,

Kaalaagnim Kaala dahanam Kaamadam Kaama naashanam/

Namsye Gireesham Devam Chandraavayava bhushanamn,

Vilohitam Lelmaanama –adityam Paramshthinam,

Ugram Pashupatam Bheemam Bhaskaram Tamasah param/                        

( My ‘namaskaraas’ to Trishuladhaari Rudra! You are Traimbaka, Trilochana, and Yoga Guru; You are Mahadeva, Vedhaa, Vaama Deva, Shambhu, Sthaanu, Parameshti and Shiva! My salutations to you Soma, Rudra, Mahagraasa or he who absorbed the whole ‘Prapancha’ into himself at the time of Pralaya and Kaarana Rupa or the Form of the Root Cause. I seek shelter from Virupaaksha worthy of refuge; Bramachari; Maha Yoga Swarupa, Ishaana and Ambikaapati. I seek asylum from Yoga Pradaana or the Maha Yogi who provides Yoga, the Yoga Guru, Yoga Gamya or the Destination to Yogis; I seek sanctuary from Samsaara Taarana or the Breaker of Worldly Shackles; You are Rudra, Brahma, Brahmaadhipati, Shaswata, Sarva Vyapi, Shanta, Brahmana Rakshaka, Brahmana Priya,  Jataadhaari, Kala Murti, Amurti or Formless; Eka Murti, Maha Murti, Veda Vedya, Dyuloka Swami, Nila Kantha, Vishwa Murti, Sarva Vyaapi, Vishwa reta or the one whose virility created the Universe;  Kaalaagni Rupa, Kaala dahana or who put Kaala to flames; Kaama Prada, Kaama Naashaka, Chandra bhushana, Raktavarna, Graasa, Aditya, Ugra, Pashupati, Bheema, Bhaskara, Paresha  and Parameshti!).

Having extolled Maha Deva thus, Veda Vyasa taught the formal Shiva worship to Arjuna of Pandavaas. Arjuna practised the worship with great sincerity and became invincible in the context of the Great Battle of Maha Bharatha. As he continued his devotion thus, Maha Deva put Arjuna to test by assuming the Swarupa of a hunter of a Boar; when the arrows of Arjuna and Maha Deva in disguise hit the boar simultaneously, Arjuna entered into an argument with the Hunter in disuguise followed by real fight with Maheswara and after testing Arjuna’s capability revealed himself and  blessed Arjuna with Pashupataastra  Vidya. As he was fortified himself with Paasupada Vidya, Arjuna fought with great confidence and became a renowned hero of Maha Bharata Battle, with the unique support of Shri Krishna and the blessings of Maha Deva



13    Varanasi Mahatmya: Krittivaasa, Kapardesha, Omkaaresha, Madhyesha & Vishweshwara

Suta Maha Muni quoted Veda Vyasa’s reported conversation between Devi Parvati and Maheswara about the significance of Varanasi or Avimukta Kshetra, where Maha Deva was stated to have assumed Kaala Swarupa and intiated Samsara Samhara or the Universal Destruction at the time of Maha Pralaya. Parama Shiva affirmed that this was his most beloved Kshetra and the devotees worshipping there with Ganga Snaana, Daana, Japa, Yajna, Tapas, Karma, Dhyana, Adhyayana of   Scriptures and Jnaanaarjana or Earning of Jnaana would have multiplier effects; those who enter the Kshetra would have their thousands of past and current sins destroyed while by chance they die at the Place-be they Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, others, women, Mlecchaas, or any other species like animals, repliles, birds and even Krimi/ Keetaas- would instantly assume Shiva Swarupas and attain Kailasa:

Naavimukey Mritaha kaschinnarakam kilimbishi,

Ishwaraanugraheetahi Sarvey yaanti Paramam Gatim/

Moksham sudurlabham matvaa Samsaaram chaati bheeshanam,

Ashmanaa charanou hatwaa Vaaranaasyaam vasennarah/

(Those extreme and confirmed sinners who die at Varanasi would certainly not visit Narakaas and by the grace of Ishwara would secure ‘Parama Gati’. That should be the reason that human beings might even break their feet with stones but still prefer reside at Varanasi). Those who suffer hurdles and difficulties but still prefer to stay at Varanasi  would indeed never regret as they were sure of permanent bliss instead of shirking passing troubles. Indeed there are countless Sacred Tirthaas in Bharata Desha such as Prayaga, Naimishaaranya, Shrishaila, Kedara, Bhadrakarna, Gaya, Pushkara, Kurukshetra, Rudrakoti, Narmada, Amraatakeshwara, Shaaligraama, Kubjaagra, Prabhasa, Vijayeshaana, Gokarna and Bhadrakarna and so on and their Mahima too  was of consequence, but those bhaktas who attain the Punya by dying at Varanasi were stated to be of unparalleled impact. Bathing in Ganga which was called ‘Tripatha Gaamini’ or the Holy River that travelled in Triloklas of Swarga-Bhumi-Pataalaas has unique signficance as it washes of the blemishes of thousands of births.The presence of Ganga, the superiority of Maha Deva’s residence there and the combined effect of Shraaddha, Daana, Tapa, Japa and Vrata woud indeed make the stay of Bhaktas the most important event ever and also the easiest in terms of effort.This Kshetra is called Avimukta as it should be never left away nor deserted; it provides Brahma Gyaan and those who die there are provided the ‘Upadesha’ or Instruction of Tataka Brahma by Maha Deva Himself!

Yat tat parataram Tatwamaviktamiti shrutam,

Ekena Janmanaa Devi! Vaaranaasyaam tadaapnuyaat/

(That Paraatara Tatwa as instructed to the persons on death bed is called ‘Avimukta’and that Upadesha might indeed be possible in a single life itself!)

Varanasi Kshetra is basically in between the two Rivers called ‘Varuna’ and ‘Asi’. The Kshetra is famed for Five Sacred Lingas viz. Krittivaaseshwara, Madhyameshwara, Vishweshwara, Omkaareshwara and Kapardeshwara.Veda Vyaasa showed the Five Lingas to his disciples and explained to them of their significance:

Krittivaasa Linga was signified as a Daitya who assumed the Form of an Elephant used to kill Brahmana devotees in meditation of Shiva and the latter killed the elephant and sported the wearing of the elephant skin and hence the name of Krittivaaseshwara. The Mahtmya of Kapardeeshwara Linga or Shiva of Matted Locks was explained by Vyaasa to his students: Once a Tiger chased a deer-kid and killed it in the presence of Kapardeshwara Linga and most surprisingly the killed deer-kid was received by a Shiva-like Purusha and Gandharvas sang melodies and rained flowers on it!

Vyasa said that those who performed Kapardeswara Lingaarchana after taking bath in a Pishacha Sarovara would be blessed by Maha Deva at once and narrated the legend of a Learned and Virtuous Brahmana named Shankhukarna who was always engaged in Shiva Linga Puja with high earnestness. One day, he saw a Piscacha swooning with hunger and thirst approached him crying as it was unable to withstand its pitiable condition. Shankhukarna asked the Piscacha about his background and the latter revealed that he too was a Brahmana but he never performed any worship nor Atithi (Guest) Puja and not even a small good turn excepting looking after himself and his family. Only once he came across a Shiva Linga, touched it and greeted it with sincerity and almost at the same time died suddenly; the ‘Yama dutaas’arrived but converted him as a Piscacha and eversince then was wandering with extreme hunger and  thirst! Shankhukarna heard the story and appreciated that atleast once the Piscacha before his death visioned touched and greeted a Shiva Linga as he died and became a Piscacha! That occurrence was significant enough and asked to take bath in a Pond near the Kapardeshwara Linga; as the Pischa took bath as advised by sincerely praying to Mahadeva and instantly the Piscacha fell and a Celestial Form emerged and flew up in a ‘Vimana’as Gandharvas and Apsaras welcomed him into it! Shankukarna witnessed the happening about the Piscacha and could not resist the recitation of a long Prayer to Kapardi which began and ended as follows:

Kapardinam twaam Paratah Parastaad Goptaaramekam Purusham Puraanam,

Vrajaami Yogeshwara meeshitaaramaadityamagnim Kapilaadhirudham/

Vrajaami nityam  sharanam Guhesham Sthaanum prapadye Girisham Puraarim,

Shivam Prapadye Haramindumoulim Pinaakinam twaam sharanam vrajaami/

(I seek ‘sharanam’or sanctuaryto you Paratara, Paraatpara, Adwiteeya, Sarva Rakshaka, Purana Purusha, Yogeshwara,  Niyamaka, Aditya,­ Agni Swarupa, Vrishabha Vaahana!- I crave for the protection of Shaanu Swarupa, Guhesha or Buddhi Incarnate, Gireesha, Chandramouli Hara, Shiva, Pinaakidhara!). As Shankukarna’s Stuti  ended, he fell down unconscious and Kapardi Swami appeared before him  and absorbed in his fold!

Omkareshwara Linga Mahima was explained by Veda Vyasa to his sishyas that even by pronouncing its name, massive sins get crunched. Maha Vidwaans who comprehended the purport of Jnaana realised that Pashupati was an embodiment of ‘Panchaartha’viz. Ateeta Shanti or Supreme Bliss, Shanti or Harmony and Amity, High degree of Vidya or Knowledge, Pratishtha or Utmost Reputation and Nivruitti or Detachment or Path of Liberation; all these Five Essentials were derivated from Omkara Swarupa as the composite Form of the Panchayatana Rupa of Maha Deva; a devotee who had the comprehension of the Omkara Swarupa at the Time of his / her termination would enter into that Territory of Effulgence and through it would get absorbed into Parameshwara. That indeed was the most powerful worship possible to Omkareshwara, stated Veda Vyasa. Devarshis, Brahmarshis and Maha Siddhaas do realise the scope, depth and intensity of worshipping Omkareshwara as a part of ‘Nyasa’or Unification of the Self and the Supreme!

Veda Vyasa and his pupils visited  Madhyameshwara Linga on the banks of River Mandakini an extension of Ganga and some of the very keen devotees of Madhyamesha enquired about Veda Vyaasa and the latter’s followers introduced their Guru as Krishna Dwaipaayana Vyaasa of the ‘Amsha’of Narayana himself and the regular devotees of the Linga extended their courtesies to Vyasa. It was learnt that in the past Shri Krishna performed Paashupata Vrata to this very Linga and stayed there for a year  by shaving his head, applying ash and wearing Rudraksha Malaas and finally had Shambhu’s darshan and secured boons. Even one time worship to Madhyeshwara in one’s lifetime after taking bath in Mandakini, daana, tapas, shraaddha and Pindadaana to Pitras would annul life time sins of even Brahmahatya nature, said Vyasa. He affirmed that Mandakini snaana and worship to Madhyameshwara would yield ten times bigger fruits than that of Kurukshetra at the time of Solar Eclipse.

While referring to Varanashi Kshetra Mahima, Veda Vyasa enlightened his followers about several Punya Tirthas attached to the banks of Ganga such as Vishwarupa Tirtha, Taala Tirtha, Akaasha Tirtha, Gauri Tirtha, Prajapatya Tirtha, Swarga Dwaara, Jambukeshwara, Jnaana Tirtha, Yama Titha, Agni Tirtha and so on and finally reached Brahma Tirtha. It is believed that once Brahma brought a Linga and went to have his bath and meanwhile Vishnu installed it and told Brahma that he had greater faith in Rudra Deva than Brahma but however the Linga would be known to have been installed at Brahma Tirtha. Having further visited quite a few other Tirthas, Vyasa finally had his bath along with his sishyas and performed Vishweshwara Linga Puja; he settled down at Varanasi for some time and asked his sishyas to settle down at their will. Mahatma Vyasa then stayed there by performing Rudraabhishekaas thrice a day while taking food from his ‘bhiksha’ or charity. One day, he could not secure the bhiksha and a furious Vyasa threatened that he would curse to the inhabitants of Varanasi to create ‘Vighnas’or obstacles and Devi Parvati appeared and requested Vyasa not to curse but take food from herself instead. Having given the bhiksha, Devi asked Vyasa not to stay in Varanasi further since he was short tempered; Vyasa apologised and requested her to let him visit the Place only on Chaturthis and Ashtamis and Devi agreed accordingly.

Suta Maha Muni gave Phala Shruti of about the Mahatmya of Varanasi as follows:  as follows:

Yah pathedavimuktasya Mahatmyam Shrunuyaadapi,

Shravayeda vaa Dwijaan Shaantaan sopi yaati paraam gatim/

Shraaddevaa Dauvikey Kaarye Raatraavahani vaa Dwijaah,

Nadeenaam chaiva Teereshu Devataanataneshu cha/

Snaatwaa Samaahita manaa damhamaatsraya varjitah,

Japedisham Namaskrutya sa yaati Paramaam Gatim/


(Whoever would read, hear or narrate about the Avimuta or Vaaranasi Kshetra would definitely secure Maha Punya; if a person took bath and engaged in performing ‘shraaddhaas’, Deva Karyaas, either in the day or night, on the banks of Ganga or in Mandirs, freed from ‘dambha’or self-pride or Matsara or narrow-mindedness, and meditate Maha Deva, would indeed secure ‘Parama Gati’).








Om Tat Sat

(Continued)



(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)

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