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The Essence of Puranas – Vishnu Purana -2

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The Essence of Puranas – Vishnu Purana









8    Brief on Bhugola, Pataala and Narakaas (Ananta Deva Stuti included)


Of Swayambhu Manu’s two sons, viz. Uttanapada and the illustrious Son Dhruva mentioned above; the second son Priyavrata married Kardama Muni’s daughter and begot seven sons and distributed to seven of his sons to Seven Dwipas viz. Jambu Dwipa, Pkalsha Dwipa, Shlaamala Dwipa, Kusha Dwipa, Krouncha Dwipa, Shaka Dwipa and Pushkara Dwipa. While Kshaara Samudra divides Jambu and Plaksha Dwipas,  Shlamala and Kusha Dwipas are stated to be divided by Ikshurasa Samudra; Shlamala and Kusha are surrounded by Madiraa Rasa Samudra; Kusha and Krouncha are divided by Ghrita Samudra; Krouncha and Shaka Dwipas are surrounded by  Ghee Samudra and the divider Samudra of Shaka and Dwipas is of Ksheera. Maharshi Parashara also described the Sapta Pataalaas too viz. Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Gabhastimaan, Mahatala, Sutala and Pataala. Sage Narada commended Patala as far more beautiful and luxurious compared to Swarga!

Ananta Deva Stuti: Maharshi Parashara made a very special reference to Ananta Sesha while describingPataala:

Pataalanamaadhas -chaastey Vishnoryaa taamasi tanuh,

Sheshaakhyaa yadgunaan vaktrum na shaktaa Daitya Danavaah/

Yonantah pathyatey Siddhaairdevo Devarshi pujitah,

Sa sahasra shiraa Vyaktaswastikaamala Bhushanah/

Phanaamani Sahastrena yah sa Vidyo-tayandishah,

Sarvaankaroti nirveeryaan hitaaya Jagatosuraan/

Madaghurnita netrosou yah Sadaivaika kundalah,

Kiritisnigdharobhaati saamagrih sweta ivaachalah/

Nilavaasaa Madiotsiktah Swetahaaropashobhitah,

Saabhra Gangaa pravaahosou  Kailaasaadririvaaparah/

Laangalaasakta hastaagro vibhranmusala–muttamam,

Upaasyatey swayam kaantyaa yo vaarunyaa cha Murtayaa/

Kalpaantey yasya Vaktrobhyo vishaanala shikkhojjwalah,

Sankarshanaatmako Rudro nishkramyaatti jaga-trayam/

Sa vibhracchekhari bhutamasesham kshiti mandalam,

Aastey Pataala mulasthah Seshoshesha Suraarchitah/

Tasya Veeryam prabhaavascha Swarupam Rupamevacha,

Na hi varneeyatum shakyam jnaatum cha Tridashairapi/

Yasyaishaa sakalaa prithvi Phanaamani shikhaarunaa,

Aastey kusuma maaeyva kastdveeryam vadishyati/

Yadaa Vijrumbhyateynanto Mada ghurnita lochanah,

Tadaa chalati Bhureshaa Saabhitoyaa sakaananaa/

Gandharvaa –psarasah Siddhaah Kinnaroraga chaaranaah,

Naantam Gunaanaam gacchanti teynaantoya- mavyayah/

Yasya Naagavadhu hastairlipitam harichandanam,

Muhurhuh Shvaasaanilaa -paastum yaati Dikshuvaasataam/

Yamaaraadhya Puraanaarshir Gargo jyoteeshim tatvatah,

Jnaatavaan sakalam chaiva nimitta pathitam phalam/

Teyneyam Naaga Varenyam shirasaa vidhrutaa Mahee,

Bibharti maalaam lokaanaam Sadevaasura maanusham/

(Bhagavan Vishnu’s Sesha named Vigraha replete with Tamo Guna lies underneath Paataala Loka whom Daityas nor Danavas could ever describe or realise. Siddha ganaas who are always engaged in worship to Devas name Sesha Deva as Anantaa as  he is adorned with Swastika Emblem on his hoods. Sesha Deva is also ornamented with invaluable and ever-sparkling diamonds on his thousand hoods which illuminate very far in the ten directions to the advantage of Lokas and also dissipate the might and strength of Asuraas. Sesha Deva is full of conceitand justified superiority and as such possessive of red and hot eyes dressed in blue clothing and wearing priceless white necklaces; he also has the speed of Ganga-Pravaha / flowakin to the huge Form of Kailasha Mountain! As in the Avatar of Bala Rama the brother of Shri Krishna, Sesha Deva also sports ‘Hala’(plough) and Musala as his armoury being always worshipped by Varuni Devi in his presence.At the termination of Kalapaas, Sesha Deva assumes the Form of Sankarshana Tamasika Rudra and by spreading his thousand hoods and emitting  wide spread poisonous flames all over the Universe tend to annihililate all the Beings! Staying in Patala Loka basically, Ananta Naga holds on the strength of his hoods the total weight ofthe Lokaas and is always worthy of one and all. His Bala-Veerya, Prabhava or Great Signifiance, Swarupa or Tatwa and Akaara or size and dimensions are unknown even to Debvatas. Who could indeed recognise the Bala-Veerya or Mightand Capacity of Sesha Deva excepting visualising the world-wide reach and dimensions of the red complexion emanated by the magnifinence of the ‘Manis’ on his hoods as materialised in the form of flower garlands  spread all over the world! As and when the flip-flops of the countless eye movements of Sesha Deva occur, all the forests, mountains and Seas get into momentum and the whole Earth too gets vigourously activised.Those of Gandharvas, Apsaras, Siddhaas, Kinnaraas, Nagas and Charanaas who were clueless of the endless significance of Sesha Deva called him Ananta or Infinite! As his breathing gets spread to ten directions, the most fragrant and alluring Harichandana that Naga maidens supplied and anointed on his body emanated far and wide. In the past, Maharshi Garg worshipped Ananta Deva and was bestowed the intricate knowledge and insight of Jyotirmandala or Astronomy or the movement of Nava Grahas and Stars as also of the fruits of  Shakuna-Apashakuna /good omens or otherwise. Sesha Naaga also carries  the brunt of Prithvi as also of the Pataalaas!)

Maharshi Parashara then went on describing the Narakaas  under Prithvi and Seas where almost all Beings after death are destined to reach to atone and pay back the Sins committed on the basis of their immediate and earlier births. The main Narakaas include Rourava, Sukara, Rodha, Taala, Vishasana, Mahajjwaala, Taptakumbha, Lavana, Vilohita, Rudhiraambha, Vaitarina, Kurmeesha, Krumibhojana, Asipatravana, Krishna, Laalaa Bhaksha, Daruna, Puyavaha, Paapa, Vahnijjwaala, Adhoshira, Sandamsha, Kaalasutra, Tamasa, Aavichi, Swabhojana, Apratishtha, Aprachi, and many other Mayaa bhayankara Narakas. In fact, there are innumerable other Narakas depending on the type, degree and seriousness of ‘Dushkrtutyas’ perpetrated. For various sins committed, there are some ‘Prayaschittaas’ or atonements, provided there would be a feel of regret and determination not to repeat the same. Among the ‘Paschatpaata prayaschitthaas’ or the regretful atonements, there could be Tapasyatmaka and Karmatmaka (meditational or action oriented deeds like homas, Daanaas,Vratas, Japaas and such other means) but the best one possible is ‘Krishna Smarana’.

Praatarnisha tathaaSandhyaa Madhyaahnaadishu Samsmaran,

Naraayanamavaapnoti Sadhyah Paapa Khayaantarah/

Vishnu samsmaranaateekshma samasta klesha samschayah,

Muktim prayaati Swargaaptistasya vighnornumiyatey/

Vaasudevo manoyasya  Japahomaarchanaadishu,

Tasyantaraayo Maitreya Devendrat –yaadikam phalam/

Kka naakapushtagamanam punaraavritti lakshanam,

Kka japo Vaasudeveti muktibeejamanuttamam/

(As and when persons recite or remember the Sacred name of Narayana either early morning, or evening, night or midday or ar any time, then and there the sins of small or big volumes get instantly thinned down or even cleared. Shriman Narayana smarana would certainly vanish sins and pave way for Swarga laabha or even Moksha Prapti and thus pit against any Vighna rupaas or impediments. Hey Maitreya! (as told by Parashara Maharshi) a person whose mind and deed are fully engaged in Japa-Homa-Archana and constant worship of Vaasudeva should not be merely content with Indraloka but aim at Moksha Prapti devoid of Punarjanma or relief from the cycle of death and re-birth!)



9        ‘Bhurbhuvassuwaadi’ Lokaas, Surya, Sishumara Chakra and Navagrahas

Sage Maitraya requested Maharshi Paraashara to provide a brief account of the Upper Lokaas.

Panchaashatkoti vistaaraa seyamurvi Maha Muney,

Sahaivaanda kataahena Samantaatpara veshthitam/

( Hey Maha Muney! From the half size of the Golden Egg, inclusive of Dwipas, Samudras and Parvataah, the totality of Bhu Mandala is spread an area of five crore yojanaas). Bhuvarloka is as huge as Prithvi and its periphery.From Prithvi the Suryaloka is situated a lakh yojanas away and from Suryaloka the Chandraloka is situated by a further similar distance away while  Nakshatras too are away by another one lakh yojanas. The distance from the Nakshatra Mandali to the Planet of Buddha is two lakh yojanas and by another such two lakhs yojanas each are Shukra, Mangala, Brihaspati, and Shanaischara. From the Planet of Sani /Saturn  to the Saptarshi Mandali the distance of one lakh yojanas and from there an equal distance lies the ‘Naabhi’ / fulcrum of Jyotish Chakra which is Dhruva Mandali; from Surya to Dhruvalokas is Swarloka.Some one croreYojanas above Dhruva loka is Maharloka, where Siddha ganaas like Bhrigu reside till the Kalpaantara. From Maharloka by further two crore yojanas is Janaloka, where Brahma Manasa Putras like Sanaka- Sanandana- Sanatana and Sanat Kumaras reside. Eight crore yojanas away from  Janaloka is Tapoloka where Vairaja naamaka Devaganass reside as they have no thirst at all. From Tapoloka to Satyaloka the distance is twelve crore yojanas where Lord Brahma stays. Thus the Region from Bhumi or Bhuloka to Surya is Bhuvarloka the residence of Siddha Ganas and Muni Ganaas; from Surya to Dhruva is Swarloka; from Dhruva  to Siddha loka is Maharloka, from Maharloka to Janaloka and from Tapoloka and Brahma loka. The Urthwa lokaas thus are the  Bhur- Bhuva, Swar-Mahar-Jana-Tapo-Satyalokas.

Having briefly described Brahmanda which was like the Kapittha /wood apple fruit with seeds inside its inside layers, Maharshi Parashara explained that the Brahmanda is surrounded with ten times of water around, and the water’s surroundings are further encircled with Agni and Vayu; that thick enclosure is further rimmed with Ahamkara and Maha Tatwa further surrounded by Praakrti and indeed such interior features are present in each and every Brahmanda about such Brahmandas’s are many more and several more!!Further,  around such Brahmandas is Vishnu Shakti:

Sa cha Vishnum Prabrahma yata Sarvamidam Jagat,

Jagachha yo yatra chedam Yasmimcha layameshyati/

Tad Brahma Tat Paramdhama Sadasadparam padam,

Yasya Sarvamebhedena yataschaitaccharaacharam/

Sa yeva Mula Prakritirvyakta rupi Jagaccha sah,

Tasminneva layey Sarvam yaanti tatra cha tishthati/

Kartaakriyaanaam sa cha ijyatey kratuh,

Sa yeva tat Karma phalam cha tasya, 

Strugaadi  yatsaadhan madhya sesham Harerna kinchid vyatirikta masti/

(Where as the Universe is created by Parabrahma Vishnu Bhagavan is maitained by him himself, and is absorbed into him again, it is  that Satyaasatya or Real and Unreal Forms thatare generated by Him is the Mula Prakriti. He is the Yagna Karta- the Deed of the Yagna, the final result of Yagna, the facilitator of Yagnas and the Karma phala of Yagna. There is nothing beyond than Him at all.

Surya Deva: Surya Deva’s chariot occupies an area of   nine thousand yojanas and twice is the area of its ‘Ishaa Danda’ or the area between  the ‘Juuva’ or Yugaartha and the ‘Ratha’. The chariot is drawn by Seven Chhandas or  Horses viz. Gayatri, Brihati, Ushnik, Jagati, Trishthup, Anushthup and Pankti. Actually, Suryodaya and Suryastaya are mere concepts since he is constant and stable; counting from the East of Manasottrara Mountain, the Kaala- Chakramoves on Eastward to Indra, Southward toYamaloka, west weard to Varuna loka and northward to Chandraloka and the Head quarters of Indra, Yama, Varuna and Chandrarespectively are Vasvoukasaara, Samyamani, Sukhaa and Vibhavari. In otherwords, along with Jyotish Chakra, Bhagavan Bhanu is seen rushing Southward. By mid day, he is fully visible at Indraloka followed by the other lokas prescribedviz. Yama-Varuna and Chandra and by the next morning again repeats its course.

Udayaastamaney chaiva Sarvakaalam tu Sammukhey,

Vidishaasu twashyshasu tathaa Brahman dishaasucha/

Yairyatra drushyatey Bhaaswaansa teshaamudayah smrutah,

Tirobhavam chayatraiti tatraivaastamanam Raveyh/

(Sunrise and Sunset thus occur at the same position, since persons at the various Dishas-Vidishaas or Directions-Sub Directions witness  the constant Surya Deva as they move and vision morning- mid day-evening-night and again morning and so on in the reverse movement!). Hence Sun Rise and Sunset are regulated to East and West; actually the manner in which Sun shines in the East, he also shines in the reverse; he is stated to stay put at Brahma Sabha and in the process of revolution of Kala Chakra, Dishas and Vidishas get lit or get dark and the lighten portion of the Universe become the day and the darkened areas get the night positions.

Kulaala chakra paryanto bhramannesha Divaakarah,

Karostahastathaa raatrim vimunmodineem Dwija/

(Hey Dwija! Just as a potter rotates a wheel, Sun and Earth witness parts of day and nights). From the time of  Chakra’s start of the revolution from the lowest point of the wheel towards the North is called Uttarayana and Surya is stated  to be visible in Makara Raashi, followed by Kumbha Raashi and further on to Meena Raashi. As the three Raashis are over, the duration of day and night become equivalent or in other words, Sun passes through Bhu-Madhya Rekha. Thereafter, the duration of day time starts increasing and that of nights dwindling. Subsequently, Mesha, Vrisha and Mithuna Raashis pass over; at the end of Mithuna Raashi as Karka Raashi is entered into then Surya’s direction changes from North to the Southern Direction and that phase is called Dakshinaayana. Just as a person tends to speed up descent from the top to the bottom, the speed of Kala Chakra gets picked up by the velocity of Vayu /wind and thus  the duration of time quickens; during Dakshinaayana, the day time is stated to take thirteen and half revolutions of Nakshtras around Surya which is normally performed within twelve Muhurtas(thirty muhurthas make a day-night); but during  the night time, the speed slows down and takes eighteen Muhurthas. During Uttarayana, Surya’s speed quickens in the nights and slows down during the days and vice versa. Another conclusion is that during the Sandhya timings viz. Vyushti / Prabhat of day -breaks and Usha or night falls, the Vyashti time is of Brahma Swarupa Omkara and Gayatri and who ever worships Gayatri at that time with ‘jala’would destroy the Rakshasaas; if they further recite the Mantra viz. Suryo Jyotih as the first Aahuti of Agnihotra they would be awakening and enlightening Surya Deva; thereafter:

OmkaaroBhagavanvishnustridhaamaa vachasaam patih,

Tadyucchaaranatastey tu  yaanti Raakshasaah/

Vaishavomshah Parah Suryo yontarjyotirasaplavam,

Abhidhaayaka Omkaarastasya tatprerakah parah/

Tena SampreritamJyotiromkaaranaatha deeptimat, 

Dahatya sesha Rakshaamsi Mandehaa-khyaanyadhaani vai/

Tasmaannollinghanam Kaaryam Sandhyopaasana karmanah,

Sa hanti Suryam Sandhyaayaa nopaastim kurtutey tu yah/

( The mere recitation of Omkaara Vishwam-Tejo Prajna Rupam-Tridhama Yuktam-Vishnum-Vedaadhipatim would destroy Raakshasaas. The Inner Radiance of Nirvikara Vishnu is Surya: Omkara is his Vaachaka and is the instant prompter of terminating Rakshasaas. Prompted by the Omkara, that Jyoti called Vishnu gets into full action in blistering Mandeha-called Rakshasas; that is the reason why the Sandhyopaasana Karma should never ever be neglected!)

Sishumara Chakra / Jyotisha Chakra : On the Sky, one could find a dolphin like formation of a Starry Design at the tail of which is Dhruva, who rotates on its own axis and also induces the rotation around Chandra, Surya, other Planets as also Nakshatras as well; in fact, all the Planets and Stars get hooked to Dhruva by the force of Vayu.Sishumara is the hinge of Sarveshwara Narayana tied on to Dhruva and further clutched to Surya.Sishumara is coiled with its head down, Ashvini Kumars at its feet,; Varuna and Aryama are at thighs,Mitra at the anus; Agni, Mahendra, Kashyapa and Dhruva at its tail; on the top of the tail is Prajapati,  Sapta Rishis at the hip position; body skin pores with Nakshatras; Upper chin as Agasti, lower chin as Yama; Mars as its mouth; genitals Saturn, Guru as neck back;  Surya as chest; Moon as mind; Venus as navel;  heart as Narayana Himself; life air as Mercury and so on. Rahu and Ketu the Sub-Heavenn Planets are  right under Surya Deva.

Surya attracts water from various sources for eight months in a year and facilitates rains for four months a year and rains enable crops of  food and fodder for all the Beings. Surya also enables the upkeep of Chandra and the latter in turn produces ‘Abhra’by interacting with Vayu further creating Dhooma (Steam) produced by Agni and Sky leading to Meghas or clouds. As per the Time schedule prescribed by Vidhata, ‘Abhra Jala’ as preserved in the clouds is released pure water with the help of Vayu onto Bhumi. Surya Deva attracts water from four main sources viz. Rivers, Samudra, various water-bodies fron Bhumi, and Pranis. The Akasha Ganga attracted by Surya Deva  would straight away release the water by way of rains from clouds without the process of transformation to ‘Abhras’ afore-mentioned. Needless to say that the water by way of rains as per the above process, is like Amrit or the Principal and Unparalelled source of Life for the production of food grains, Aoushadhis, Yagnas, and worships besides and countless varius deeds. Thus,

Aharabhutah Savitru Dhruvo Muni varotthama!

Dhruvasya Shishimaarosow sopi Narayanatmakah/

( The main Adhara of Surya is Dhruva and Dhruva is dependent on Narayana and Narayana is settled in Sishumaara!)

Maharshi Parashara then described that in each month, the occupants seated on the Chariot of Surya keep on changing; in each of the ‘Maasaa’ the representatives of one of the Dwadasha Adityas, and of different Rishis, Gandharvas, Apsaraas, Yakshaas, Sarpas, and Rakshasas are seated by turns.  For instance in Chaitra Maasa, the combination is Ghaata named Aditya,Pulasya Rishi, Tumbura Gandharva, Krutasthala Apsara, Rathabhruta Yaksha, Vaasuki Sarpaand Heti Rakshasa. In Vaishakha Maasa the combination of the representatives are Aryama-Pulaha- Narada Gandharva- Radhouja Yaksha, Punjikasthata Apsara- Kacchaveera Sarpa and Praheti Rakshasa; in Jyeshtha Maasa the combinations are Mithraaditya, Atri Rishi, Takshaka Sarpa, Menakaapsara, Haha Gandharva, Rathaswana Yaksha and Pourusheya Rakshasa; in Ashadha Maasa, the occupants are Varunaaditya, Vasishtha Rishi, Naga Sarpa, Sahajanya Apsara, Huhu Gandharva,Ratha Rakshasa, and Ratha Chitra Yaksha; In Shravana Maasa, the occupants are Indraaditya, Vishvavasu Gandharva, Sneta Yakhsa, Ialaputra Sarpa, Angira Rishi, Pramlocha Apsara, Sarpi naamaka Rakshasa; in Bhadrapada, Vivisdwaan Adithya, Ugrasena Gandharva, Bhrigu Rishi, Aapurana Yaksha, Anumlocha Aprasa, Shankhapaala Sarpa and Vyaghra naaamaka Rakshasa;, in Ashvin Maasa,te chariot occupants are Pushaaditya, Vasuruchi Gandharva, Vaata Rakshasa, Gautama Rishi, Dhanjaya Sarpa, Syshena Gangharva andGhritaachi Apsara;in Kartikia Maasa, the Aditya, Gandharva, Rishi, Yaksha, Sarpa,  Apsaraand Rakshasaas respectively are Parjanya, Vishvavasu, Bharadwaja, Senajit, Iravata, Vishvachi, and Aapa. During Margasirsha, the occupants are Adhikari Asditya, Kashyapa Rishi, Taarkshya Yaksha,, Maha Padma Sarpa, Urvashi Apsara, Chitrasena Gandharva and Vidyut Raakshasa.In Pousha Maasa, the chariot is occupied by  Kratu Rishi,  Bhaga Aditya, Uurnayu Gandharva, Sphurja Rakshasa, Karkotaka Sarpa, Arishtanemi Yaksha and Purvachit named Apsara. The occupants of Sun Chariot during Magha Masa are Twashtaaditya, Jamadagni Rishi, Kambala Sarpa, Apsara Tilotthama, Brahmopeta Rakshasa, Rutijit Yaksha, and Gandarva called Drhitaraashtra.Finally in Phalguna Maasa, the occupants  of Surya Rathab are Aditya named Vishnu, Ashwatara Sarpa,Apsara Rambha, Gandharva named Surya Varcha, Satyajit Yaksha, Rishi Vishwamitra and Rakshasa named Yajnopeta.This is how the occupants  include Rishis performing Surya Stotras, Gandharvas facing Surya to sing Yashogaanas, Apsaras dance away to their glory, Rakshasa follow the chariot, Sarpas adorn the Ratha, Yakshas are at the beck and call of Surya and Nityasevaka Balakhilyas surround Surya for odd jobs. The Rishi Stutis are in the form of Veda Trayi Vishnu Rupa. This Veda Trayi is Vishnu’s ‘Anga’ or Physique and Aditya is in Vishnu Shakti; in fact Aditya is in Tri Murtis; at the time of Sarga, this Shakti is Brahma mayi in the mornings, Vishnu mayi during the day time’s preservation and growth and Rudramayi in the evenings and hence the predominance of the respective Vedas of Ruk-Yajur-Saama!

Navagraha Varnana:Having explained about Surya Deva, Maharshi Parashara continued the description of Navagrahas further about Chandra with  a Tricycle-Ratha in white colour whose left and southside have ten horses tied to it. With Dhruva as the focal point, the Chandra Ratha moves on along Naga veethi and illuminates Ashwini and other Stars. As in the case of Surya, the horses that were also born along with Chandra from Samudra,keep drawing the chariot till the Kalpaanta and Chandra always nourishes from the rays of Surya; just as Devaganaas draw the soothing rays of Chandra, Surya’s rays supply the radiation of the water bases converted as the coolness to Chanda each day from the Shukla Pratipadika Tithis onward culminating on Purnima day; thus Devas enjoy the ‘Amirita mayi’ bhojan in an ascending manner from Patipada to Purnima and the number of such Devas is a staggering thirty three thousand thirtythree hundred and thirty three! From Purnima onward Chandra enters Suyamandala and the coolness gradually reduces and the illumination of Sun rays wanes too day by day till Amavasya; It is generally considered that plucking leaves, flowers and roots or uprooting trees on Amavasya day is as serious as Brahma hatya! 

Chinnanti veerudho yastu Veerusamstasye Nishaakaro,

Patram Vaa Paatayatyek Brahmahatyaam sa vindati/)

Again, in Sukla Paksha when Chandra is on ascent from Pratipadi till Purnima, Devas are happy and contented as also human beings but in Krishna Paksha, Pitruganaas are active and satisfied! Chandra’s son Buddha rides overa Ratha made of Vayu and Agnimaya Dravyaand eight Vayu like horses of Pishanga Varna carry it. Shukra Deva, the Daitya-Daanava Guru, rides over horse made of Varutha or Metal made, Anukarsha or of bottom-spaced,  Upasanga or with the carriage of Shastras and Pataka or of Flag, as born of Prithvi. Mangala Deva has a golden Ratha created by Agni, akin to Padma Raaga Mani, and of Red coloured eight horses.Brihaspati rides in a golden Ratha too drawn by  Panduranga colour which is used up to the end of Rainy Season. Shani Maharaja  rides over a Chariot materialised from the Akasa or Sky drawn by multi-coloured horses and moves on very slowly.Rahu Deva rides over eight horses of black colour which keep on moving once they are commanded so ; at the time of Purnima, Rahu would overshoot Surya and almost reach Chandra and at the time of Amavasya, he would cross Chandra and reach Surya. In a similar manner, Ketu’s chariot also of eight horses of ash-like dhumravarna as also red colour like lac would fly with the speed of Vayu.

In the final analysis, Maharshi Parashara concluded that the entirety of Taraaganaas, Tribhuvanaas, Vana-Parvataas, Dishaas, Rivers, Samudras, are all a manifestation of  Vishnu only! Bhagavan Vishnu is of Jnaana Swarupa and is Sarvamaya and not a hidden matter! There in fact is nothing beyond Vijnaana which is defined as follows:

Vijnaana mekam  nija karma bheda vibhinna chitthaairbahudhaabhyupetam, JnaanamVishuddham Vimalam vishokamasesha lobhaadi nirasta sangam,                                                  Ekam Sadaikam Paramah Pareshah sa Vaasudevo na yatonyadasti/

(There is no material that is superior to Vignaana; dependingon one’s deeds, this Vignaana takes varied forms and that vignaana is pure, spotless, sorrowless,  and deviod of feelings like greed and meanness; it is that charecteristic of Truthfulness  par excellence which is Parameshwara Vaasudeva


10  Veda Vriksha, Veda Vyasaas, Veda Vibhajana, Vedangaas and Puranas

Maharshi Parashara presented an analysis of Vedas to Maitreya Maha Muni as to how various Veda Vyasaas of different Yugas attempted divisions of Vedas. He compared Vedas as a Maha Vriksha comprising Veda Shaakhaas (Branches) in thousands and it would be impossible to declare classifications as they vary by Yugas, Times and Situations. Even in Dwapara Yuga there were variations as noticed in different Manvantaras. But one fact appeared to be clear that Bhagavan Vishnu created Veda Vyasaas of his own ‘Amsha’or Alternatives who kept in viewthe contexts and exigencies of Loka Kalyana made the best possible variations from the Single Veda now in Four ‘Shakhaas’. In the evolution of the twenty eight Dwapara Yugas, as many Vyasaas emerged from the positions of Brahma, Prajapati, Shukracharya, Brihaspati, Surya, Mrityu,  Indra, Vasishtha, Sarasvata, Tridhama, Trishikha, Bharadwaja, Antariksha, Varni, Traiyaruna, Dhananjaya, Kratigjna, Jaya, Bharadwaja, Gautama, Haryatma, Vaajashravaa Muni, Somavamsha’s Trina Bindu, Riksha, /  Valmiki, Shakti, Jatukarna and the latest Krishna Dwaipayana (the son of Maharshi Parashara). The Maharshi stated that after his son Krishna Dwaipayana, the next Vyasa woud be Ashwatthaama. Having prefaced thus about the Evolution of Veda Vyasaas, Parasara Maharshi defined and conceptualised the ‘Avinaashi Ekaakshara Mantra’ OMas Brahma. This Pranava Brahma represents Bhuloka-Bhuvarloka-Swarloka; that Pranava Brahma also represents Ruk-Yajur- Saama and Atharvana Shakhas of the Paramaika Veda Vriksha.

Rig Veda Shakha: As prompted by Lord Brahma, Mahatma Krishna Dwaipaayana Vyasa took the assistance of four of his disciples to fully assimilate the Totality of the Single Veda and entrusted the task  to Maha Munis viz. Paila in regard to Rig Veda, Vaishampayana to Yajur Veda, Jaimini to Saama Veda and Sumantu to Atharva Veda; besides Vyasa entrusted the task of Itihasas and Puranas to Maha Muni Lomaharshana. In the days of yore, there was only Yajur Veda and that was divided as four Vedas on the basis of ‘Yagna-anushthana Vyavasta’ or the Procedures of Performing Yagnas and the Chyatur hotra Vidhi was as follows:  Yajur Veda Vidhi by Adhvaryu, Ruk Veda Vidhi by Hota, Sama Veda Vidhi by Udgata and Atharva Veda Karma by Brahma. Subsequently, Vyasa did the editing of Ruk and Yajur Vedas and part-scripting of Sama Veda; through Atharva Veda,Vyasa then established the Raja Karma and Brahmatwa. Thus Vyasa had done the distribution of the Chatur Vedas in the form of Four Veda Vrikshas from the Maha Veda Vriksha. As regards the Rig Veda Vriksha, Maharshi Paila divided this Veda into two Shaakhaas and made his Sishyas Indraprimiti and Bashkala responsible to read them. Bashkala made further division into four Upa Shakhaas which in turn were subdivided among four further Sishyas viz. Bodhya, Agni maadhak, Yajnyavalkyaand Parashara (ie the present Purana Karta of Vishnu Purana). Further on, Indraprimiti taught his son Manduka Muni.  In this Parampara( link) of Sishya- Prasishyaas, Shakalya Veda Mitra scripted Samhitaas or Annotations and sub divided the same among five further sub-branches and  taught these to Mudgala, Gomukha, Vaatsya and Shaaliya. Yet another of his upils  called Shakapurna prepared three Veda Samhitas and a fourth Grandha on ‘Nirukta’. And thus the Sishyas carried on the Samhitas further.

Yajur Veda Shakha: Maharshi Vaishampayana who was entrusted Yajur Veda by Veda Vyasa converted the Shakha into a Tree which got twenty seven Shakhas. One of the most intelligent Sishyas  of the Maharshi was called Yagnavalkya. Once the Guru could not to reach a Meet of all the co-Students at an appointed time and date failing which the punishment was to be  Brahma hatya pataka; the Guru and requested his Sishyas to perform a Vrata as an atonement. But the egoistic Yagnavalkya boasted that he alone was enough to perform the Vrata and the enraged Vaishampayana cursed Yagnavalkyaand asked him to vomit whatever was learnt by him since he talked as thoughhe was Supreme and others were useless !Yagnavalkya apologised no doubt but Guru did not relent; although the former said that he himself could do the Vrata out of veneration and devotion to his Guru but did not out of arrogance nor out of spite for his co-students! Any way, Yagnavalkya pulled out Yajurveda in the form of a blood-stained Murti and left the Guru. The Sishyas consumed the remains of what Yagnavalkya vomitted by assuming the forms of ‘Tithiris’ or partridges and hence that part of Veda is called Titthiriya! Yagnavalkya then extolled Surya Deva stating: Namassavitrey dwaaraaya Mukteyramita tejasey, Rugyajussaama bhutaaya Trayee dhaamney cha tey Namah/---and as the latter appeared before the Muni in the form of an ‘Ashvya’ horse and bestowed to him the Yajur Veda in  Vajapa / form thus called Vajapa Yajur Veda, which even Vaishampayana was not conversant with!

(Yaagnyavalkyastadaa praaha pranipatya Divaakaram,

Yajumshi taani mey dehi yaani santi na mey Gurou!)

The Vaaja Shrutis that Kanva and other Maharshis realised were of as many as fifteen Shaakhaas which indeed were of Yagna-valkya’s own ‘Pravritti’ or distinction.

Saama Veda Shaakha: Jaimini’s son Sumantu and his son Sukarma dealt with one each of the branches of Sama Veda. Then Sukarma made  thousand sub branches of Sama Veda and taught some to KausalyaHiranya Nabha and the rest to another Sishya named Paushpanji. Hiranyanabha had five hundred Sishyas and they learnt Udeechya Saamaga. Hiranya naabha also propagated Praachya Saamaga. Paushpanji had four main Sishyas viz. Lokaakshi,Naudhami, Kakshivaan and Laangali and these and their next generations popularised their own Samhitas. Hiranyanabha’s yet another disciple Maha Muni Kriti and his pupils taught twenty four Samhitaas further.

Adharva Veda Shaakha: Sumantu Muni taught Atharva Veda to his pupil Kabandha and the latter taught one branch of Atharva Veda to each to Deva darsha and Patthya. Deva Darsha’s sishyas were Megha, Brahmabali, Shoaulkaayani and Pippala. Pathya’s students were Jaabaali, Kumudaadi and Shounaka and they were responsible to segregate Samhitaas. Shounaka sub-divided his Samhitas to Vibhru and Saindhava. The latter’s sishya Munjikesha further distributed his Samhitaas into five Kalpaas named Nakshatra Kalpa, Veda Kalpa, Samhitaa Kalpa, Angirasa Kalpa and Shanti Kalpa; it is stated that the ‘Ruchaas’or Hymns of these Kalpaas are among the popular Vikalpas.

Puranas:  Purana Visharada Veda Vyasa made a format of various Purana Samhitas viz. Akhayana, Upaakhyaana, Gaathaa, and Kalpa Shuddhi. Lomaharshana  Suta was the most acclaimed Sishya whom Vyasa made him study in depth. Suta’s pupils were Sumati, Agnivarcha, Mitraayu, Shaamsapaayana, Akrutavarna, and Saavarni; Lomaharshana construted his works on their Samhitas. Parashara Maharshi stated that the Vishnu Purana Samhitaas were scripted on these bases. Among the Eighteen Puranas the foremost was stated to be Brahma Purana, followed by Paadmya, Vaishnava, Shaiva, Bhagavata, Naaradeeya, Markandeya, Agneya, Bhavishyata, Brahma Vaivarta, Lainga, Vaaraaha, Skanda, Vaamana, Kourma, Maatsya, Gaaruda, and Brahmanda Purana. Munis scripted several Upa-Puranaas  too. Among all these, descriptions were invariably made about Srishti, Pralaya, Devataadi Vamshaas, Manvantaraas, Raja Vamsha Charitraas and so on. Sarga, Prati Sarga, Vamsha, and Manvantaraadi varnanaas are invariably covered in the Works of Vaishnava Orientation.

Vidyas: Maharshi Parashara enumerated fourteen Vidyas viz. Shat Vedangas, Four Vedas, Meemaamsa, Nyaya, Puraana and Dharma Shastra.In addition four more main Vidyas were to be included viz. Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandhrva, and Artha Shastra. Among Rishis, there are three major categories viz. Brahmarshis, Devarshis and Rajarshis



11  Yama Gita- A Perfect Endorsement of Vishnu Bhakti

Muni Maitreya asked Maharshi Parashara whether there could be any escape route by which a human being could possibly avoid facing Yama Dharma Raja after the termination of one’s life! Maharshi replied that Nakula of Pandava Brothers of Maha Bharata fame also enquired of a similar question from Bhishma the Grand Father of Pandava-Kaurava brothers. Bhishma’s reply was in the form of an illustration about a Brahmana in Kaling Desha who met Bhishma once. The Brahmana cited the example of a Jatismara Muni who retained the knowledge of his previous birth. The Brahmana was convinced that the Jatismara Muni was genuine as he asked the Muni of searching questions and received correct answers. The Brahmana then quoted the Jatismara Muni about an incident when one Yama duta as taking away a just dead soul, Yama Raja secretly conveyed to his Yama Duta that if there were a Vishnu Bhakta he should not be taken into Yamaloka and that was the instruction received from his Authorities! Yama was reported to have stated that Brahma appointed him (Yama)as the authority to decide on the Paap-Punya account  of all  kinds of Beings except the devotees of Bhagavan  Janardana. Yama was reported to have told the Yamaduta as follows:

Ahamamara varaarchinena Dhaatraa Yama iti Lokahitaahitey niyuktah,

Hariguruvashagosmi na swatantrah, prabhavati samyamena mamaapi Vishnuh/

( I was appointed by Vidhata as Yama to assess the accounts of Paapa-Punyas of various Beings, but am in the over-all control of Bhagavan Vishnu and certainly not independent to take actions on my own.) The Yamaduta argued with Yama as to why he should be reponsible for Vishnu! Yama Raja then replied:

Na chalati nija varna dharmato yah samamatiraatma suhrud vipaksha pakshey,

na harati na cha hanti kinchiducchhaih sitamanasam tamavehi Vishnu bhaktam/

Kalikalushamalena yasya naatmaa vimala matermalinikrutastamenam,

Manasi kruta Janaardanam Manushyam satatamavehi Harerateeva bhaktam/

Kanakamapi rahasyavekshya buddhyaa trunamiva yassamavaiti vai paraswam,

Bhavati cha Bhagatanyananya chetaah Purushavaram tamavehi Vishnu bhaktam/

Sphatika giri shilaamalah kka Vishnurmanasi Nrunaam kka cha matsaraadi doshah,

Na hi tuhini mayukha rashmi punjey bhavati Hutaashana deeptijah prataapah/

Vimalamatira matsarah prashaantashashuchi charitokhila satvamitra bhutah,

Priyahita vachanostamaanamaayo vasati sadaa hridi tasya Vaasudevah/

Vasati hridi sanaatanecha tasmin bhavati pumanjagatesya sowmya rupah,

Kshitirasamati ramyamaatmanonantah kathayati chaaruta yaiva shaalapotah/

Yamaniyamavidhuta kalmashaanaamanudina machyutasatthamaana maanasaanaam,

Apagatamadamaana matsaraanaamtwajabhatadooratarena Maanavaanaam/

Hridiyadi Bhagavaananaadiraastey Harirasi shankha gadaadharovyayaatmaa,

Tadaghamagha Vidhaata katru bhinnamBhavatikathamsatichaandhakaaramarkai/

Haratiparadhanam-nihanijantun-vadati-tathaanruta nishthuraani yascha,

Ashubha janita durmadasya pumsah kalushamateyrmudasya tasya naasthanantah/

Na sahati paraspadam vinindaam kalushamatih kurutey sataama saadhuh/

Na yajati na dadaati yascha santam Manasi na tasya Janaardanoghamasya/

Parama suhrudi baandhaveykalatrey sutatanayaa Pitru Maatru bhrutyavargye,

Shathamatirupayaati yortha trishnaam-tamamaghachestamavehinaasya-Bhaktam/

Ashubhamatirasat-pravrutti saktta satatamanaarya kusheela sangamattah,

Anudina kruta paapabandha yuktah Purusha-pashoorna hi Vaasudeva bhaktah/

Sakalamidamaham cha Vaasudevah ParamaPumaanparameswarassa Ekaha,

Iti Matirachalaa bhavanyanantey hridaya gatey  vraja  taanvihaaya duraarat/

Kamalanayana VaasudevaVishno dharani dharaatyuchyuta shankha chakrapaaney,

Bhava sharanamitiryanti ye vai, twaja bhata dooratarena taanapaapaan/

Vasanti Manasi yasya sovyayaatmaa Purusha Varasya na tasasya drishtipaatey,

Tava Gati Ratha vaa Maamaasti chakra pratihata Veerya Balasya sonyalokyah/

( That person who does not leave his Varna Dharma, who treats one’s own friend or foe on the same footing, who would  never steal  money or other’s possessions, who would never harm nor hurt others, does not harbour extra favour or hatred on any person and retains equanimity in respect of one and all is defined as Vishnu-Bhakta. A person who keeps his conscience clear and is not ruffled by Kali-kalmasha or tainted thinking but keeps Janardana in his heart always steadily is called a Vishnu-Bhatka. After all where is a crystal-clear mind and where is a prejudiced mind full of likings and dislikes! Could the coolness of Chandra and the unbearable heat generated by Fire are ever comparable! It is in that person who has a clean conscience,  devoid of jealousy and wrath, always peaceful, pure hearted, friendly and considerate to one and all, helpful with  spontaneity, straight forward without being hurtful of others and being compassionate that Vaasudeva likes to reside always.It is in that person’s heart that an objective feeling predominates just as a well structured and attractive Shaala Vriksha minimises its own beauty and impressiveness but sincerely appreciates the features and presentability of other trees around.

Yama Doota! Please keep off from that person who practises Yama and Niyama or Physical Control and Regulation seeking to minimise, if not uproot,the sins already committed ;  do  keep aloof from whom who is not affected by superior feelings, social consciousness, and  pride and prejudices. If a person who has always embedded the Grand Form of Vishnu with four hands, Gada-Sharanga-Chakra and Shankhu in his heart and soul should in fact be run away from. Could one ever think of a situation when Surya Bhagavan is existent in his glory and darkness could ever prevail! But never ever spare those Beings who steal, hurt others, converse ill of others, and practise evil deeds, cannot tolerate improvement of others, are critial of fellow beings, offend the virtuous, the poor, and helpless; insult Sadhus, women, children and the ‘Anga Viheena’and mentally unsound. Also never ever spare the sinners who seldom perform charity to the needy. Run after those Durbuddhis who have no consideration to friends, relatives, women and children, servants, and even parents and family members out of concern for monetary consideration, social status, false dignity and selfishness! Those human beings who are seemingly righteous and upright but basically immoral and dishonest are worse than openly cruel and declared offendersand they are cunning and schemy and such pretentious fakes are more dangerous than straight criminals and Yamadutaas ought to be able to identify them with insight and discretion! Also there are ‘ Nara rupa Pashus’ or Humans with animal instincts and they too should be segregated by Yamadutaas. At the same time, those who realise that the whole world is a reflection of Vaasudeva himself and worship Him with one’s own inner consiousness must be kept far away from the Yamadutas as they are recognised by the shields of Vishnu Bhakti and such devotees hail Paramatma by their salutations saying:“Hey Kamala Nayana! Vaasudeva! Vishno! Dharanidhara! Achuta! Shankha Chakra paaney! Do save us!’’Remember such sacred persons are distinct and distinguished and indiscretions on  the part of Yamadutaas oy Yamadharma Raja would not be condoned easily as such Bhaktaas must be very carefully directed to Vaikuntha!)

Such was the explanation given by the Jaatasmira Kalinga Brahmana about his own experience of Dharma Raja conversing with Yama Dutaas and Bhishma quoted the Brahmana’s serious and secret talk to Nakula of Pandavas; Maharshi Parashara thus replied to Muni Maitreya and assured that a genuine Vishnu Bhakta need not be unnecessarily rattled as to how he would avoid Naraka Darshana! Kinkaraah paasha dandaascha na Yamo cha Yaatanaah, Samarthaastasya yasaatamaa Keshavaalambanassadaa! (A devotee of Vishnu whose heart is saturated by Bhagavat Paaraayana would indeed be free from the fears of Yama, Yamadutaas, Yama paasha, Yama danda or Yama yatana!)


12  Chaturvarna - Chaturaashrama Dharmaas

As Sage Maitreya desired to perform Bhagavan Vishnu’s worship in general,Maharshi Parashara confirmed that the best and easiest way do so would be to follow the Chaturvarna –Chaturaashraya Dharmas so thoughtfully designed by the Ancestral Maharshis forMaanavas all over the Bharata Varsha. As a Preamble to such worship, the Maharshi quoted Bhrigu vamshi Mahatma Auorvi to King Sagara who laid stress on fundamental principles like refrain from Para Ninda or blaming others and loose conversation against others; desire for ParaStree, Para Dhan, Para Hani, Para Himsa and so on. Then as per the categorisation of the Four Varnas viz. Brahmana- Kshtriya-Vaishya-Shudras, each human being should follow certain established principles;Brahmanas should perform Daana, Yajana to Devaas through Yagnas, Nitya Snaana-Tarpanas and Agnyadhaan and such other deeds,as also facilitate others to execute Yagnaas, teach Vedas and other Scriptures, refrain from harming others, earn livelihood as per Nyaya; maintain good relations with every one; treat a stone and other’s money as the same; and so on. Kshatriyasshould perform daanaas, Yagnaas, Adhyayana, Shastra Dharana, PrithvinRaksha, Prithvi Paalana, Dushta-Sikshana and Sishta Rakshana, practice of  magnanimity and Dharma.Vaishyas are required to execute Pashu Palana or looking after cattle, trading and commerce and Krishi or farming. The deeds of Adhyanaya or reading of Scriptures, Yagna, Daana, ‘Nitya Naimishthika Karma -anushthana’or Regular Daily Deva Karyaas / deeds are also to be practised by Vaishyas. The duties of others includeNamrata and Swami Seva or service to other classes, Mantraheena Yajna, Asteya / non- stealing, gratitude, Satsanga or keeping good company, and Brahmana –Raksha; they should also receive money from other classes in lieu of services to them and worship to Devas. In addition, each and every human being should observe kindness-patience-truthfulness, cleanliness, good conversational style, friendliness, friend ship with one and all, performing good deeds without expectations, non-greediness, and of adjustment and non-complaining narure.Brahmanas can perform the duties of Kshatriyasand Vaishyas; Kshatriyas could perform the duties of Vaishyas but not in the reverse manner.

Referring to Ashrama Dharmaas, Mahatma Ourva emphasised that after ‘Upanayana’ or Eligibility to Gayatri Mantra, boys need to adhere to Brahmacharya or Celibacy in Gurukula performing Guru Seva, Vedaadhyana, Sandhyavandana to Surya / Gayatri and Agni-Upasana, Guru Saha Pravartana, Guru Susrusha and at the end offering Guru Dakshina and Guru Ghriha Nishkramana. On entering Grihastaashram  after wedding, Dravyoparjana or earning money according to one’s capacity and needs migh be taken up, besides Pitrugana Pindadaanaas,  Athithi (Guests) Sevas, Yagnaadi Deva Karyas, Anna Danasas, Atithi Sevas (Service to Guests), Swaadhyaaya / reciting Vedas, Putrotpatti (creation of sons),Vrata Dharana /performance of Vratas, Tirtha Yatras / visits to holy places, and so on.Grihasthas should refrain from ill-treating or talking harsh to elders, guests and well-read Brahmanas; avoid conversing with ego or bravado:

Yastu samyakkarottvevam Grihastah paramam vidham,

Sarvabandha vinirmukto lokaanaaprotyanuttamaan/

(As Grihataas perform their own duties properly, they would be eligible for achieving higher lokaas!). Thus having carried on their Grihasta duties and become grand fathers and grand mothers, persons should not hesitate to assume Vanaprastha Ashramand gradually de-link themselves with active life, eat frugally, avoid being attached to children and grand children, sleep on ground, be more and more detached, perform Deva Pujana, Agni Homa, Atithi Satkara, and Tapasya or more and more of devotionto Paramatma. The fourth Sanyasa Ashrama or Sat-Nyasa or active alignment of the Eternal Truth and the Self is called Bhikshu Ashrama in which onerelieves of oneself of Dharma-Artha-Kama principles and target on Moksha Sadhana only: he or she has to develop a mentality of fearlessness and readiness to face the inevitable end of life with a high realisation of the world being ‘Midhya’ or Falsity and the Final Goal is merger with the Supreme.

On the arrival of a human being, Muni Ourva described to King Sagara about the ‘Shodasa Samskara’ or the Sixteen Reforms of every person irrespective of the Fout Varnas.As a son is born, the primary deed is Jaata Karma besides Abhyudaya Shraaddha or for the Progress of the Child. On the tenth day of the birth of the child, the next Samskara is Naama karana. The name given to a child should have the following traits:

Naardhiheenam na chaashastam Naapashabdayutam tathaa,

Naamangalyam Jugupsyam vaa naama kuryaatsamaaksharam/

Naati hraswam naati deergham naati gurvaksharaanvitam,

Sukhocchraayah tu tannaamakuryaadtravanaaksharam/

Tatonantarasamskaara sumsruto Guruveshmani,

Yathotya vidhi-  maashrityakuryaadwidhyaaparigraham/

( While giving a name to a new born, care must be taken to choose a name which should not be meaningless, unclear, bad-worded,unfavourable, inauspicious and blameworthy; it should not be too long and too short, and the name must be equally worded, and should not be  difficulct to  pronounce; it should sound easy and comfortable to call or write and preferrably end up with a shortened name). The next Samskara would be ‘Upanayana’ enabling Vidyadhyayana  and Gurukula Vaasa; after the Gurukula Vaasa, the native should be such as to be physically and mentally fit for Wedding and Samsara.There are eight kinds of marriage viz. Braahma, Daivika, Aarsha, Praajaapatya, Aasura, Gandharva, and Raakshasa, and Paishachika. Sadachara lakshanas of a Grihasti were defined by Mahatma Ourva as gaining both Iha Loka and Paraloka. A Buddhiman needs to wake up at Brahma Muhurta, think up about Dharma-Artha-Kama-Moksha, perform the morning ablutions including Snaana, Sandhya Vandana /Gayatri –Japa, Devaa-Rishigana -Pitrugana Tarpana, Ishta Devata Puja with Pushpa-Dhupa-Naivedya, followed by Agnihotra Homa to Brahma, Prajapati, Guhya, Kaashyapa, and Anumati and so on; the remainder havya to Prithvi and Megha; Balipradana to Dikpalakas at East, South, West and North viz. to Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Chandrama; as also  to Dhanvantari in Purvottara or North-East, to Vayudeva in Vayavya Kona, and so on. Further on, Anna Bali be offered to Devatas, Manushya,Pashu-Pakshi-Siddha-Sarpa- Yaksha-Daitya-Preta-Piscacha-Keeta-Patangas etc. Then Sage Ourva narrated the Bhojana Vidhana of Grihastis  in great detail.

Annam balaaya mey Bhumerapaagnyanilayasyacha,

Bhavetsetatparinatam Mamaastatvayahatam sukham/

Praanaapaana samaanaamudaanyanayostathaa,

Annam Pushtikaram chaastu mamaapyavyahatam sukham/

(May this Annam or or meals taken in by me strengthen the internally-situated  Tatvas of Pancha bhutas of Earth-Water-Fire-Air and Sky in me and bestow me happiness and contentment; may this Anna satisfy my Pancha-Pranas  or Five-Kinds of Prana-Apana- Samaana-Udaana-Vyaanas and make me healthy, strong and fit.)

Vishnurattaa tathaivaannam parinaamaascha vai tathaa,

Satyena tenamad- bhuktam jeeryatvamannamidam tathaa/

(It is Vishnu who consumes the bhojan, it is the bhojan or the one consumed is Vishnu and Vishnu again who is satisfied with the bhojan!) After spending the time after the bhojan, the Satpurusha spends time with ‘pathana’, ‘shravana’ and ‘vishranti’ till the Sayamkaala Sandhya Vandana, Puja, Atithi Seva, Swadhyayana and so on. Mahatma Ourya prescribed a number of do’s and dont’s concerning food regulations, marital relations, significant days of festivals, ‘parva dinaas’ like Chaturdhasi, Ashtami, Amavasya, Purnima, and Surya Samkranti  and so on. The Mahatma stated further:Those who perform Deva-Rishi pujas regularly, Pitru Pindodakaas unfailingly and ‘Atithi Satkaaras’ always should achieve Punyalokas.

Hitam mitam priyam kaaley vashytmaa yobhibhaashatey,

Sa yaanti lokaanaahlaada hetu bhutaan nrupaakshayaan/

(A person who could control his physical senses and converse or behave as per circumstances as a wise, less-talkative  and endearing one is a source of joy; a Buddhimaan or Intellectual one, Lajjavaan or a Modest one, Kshamaasheela or who could be forgiving, a Vinaya Vidwaan or  well-read should indeed deserve Urthva Lokas or higher worlds.)


13  Shraadha Prashamsa, Vivarana and Vidhi

Among the occasions when Abhyudaya Shradhhas are performed are when a person’s daughter or son is married, Griha praveshas or House-Warmings, child’s name-giving, chuda  karma samskaras, seemantotsavaas and so on.

Shraddha karma is something which pleases Brahma, Indra, Ashwini Kumaras, Surya, Agni, Vasuganas, Marudganas, Vishva Devas, Pitruganas, Rishiganas and Bhutaganas and so on. Nitya Shraadhaas are performed every month on Krishna Paksha Amavasya, Hemanta and Sishira Ritu’s four months on Suklasshtamis specifically. Kaamya Shaaddhas are performed on the days when Uttarayana and Dakshinayana commence, on Vishuva Samkrantis, Surya-Chandra Grahanas, when Surya enters a specified Raashi, or Nakshatra or Graha which is not favourable to a person, or when a person sees a bad dream or when new food crop arrives at home.Those who perform Shraaddha to Pitruganaas on Amavasya and Anuradha or Vishakha or Swati Nakshatra conjunction, the latter would be satisfied for eight long years; similarly when Shraadhaas are executed on Amavasya and Pushya-Ardra-or Punarvasu, Pitru   happy and contented for twelve years; Shraaddhas on Amavasya in coincidence with Dhanishtha, Purvabhadra and Sathabhisha are considered as extremely joyous for Pitras; Shraaddhaas on Vaishakha Maasa Shukla Triteeya, Kartika Shukla Navami, Bhadrapada Krishna Trayodasi and Magha Amavasya are expected to be outstanding for Pitras as such Shraadhhas have the value of Yugaadi deeds and are stated to be the Providers Ananta Punya. Pitruganas keep wondering and constantly pondering :

Api dhanyaha kuley jaataadasmaakam matimaannarah,

Akurvannvittha shaathyan yah Pindaanno nirvapishyati/

(How I wish that in my vamsha, there could be one person even who might perform ‘Pinda daana’without stinging for money)! Could there be one person even who might worship Brahmanaaas and give away charity of Ratnas, vastras, vehicles, and bhogaa vastus and have them contented! At least give them good bhojan and make them satisfied! If even that was not possible, let a member of the family who might give daana of raw dhanya or uncooked grains along with some dakshina or monetary tip! Even it that were not possible, let a good brahmana be venerated with a vandana or greeting along with a fistful of Tilas with water. In the absence of that much of facility, then a vamsheeya might just confess:

Na mesti vittam na dhanam cha naanyachhadropayogyam  swapitrunnatosmi,

Trupyantu Bhaktyaa Pitaro  mayaitou krutow bhujou vataurmani maarutasya/

(I have neither money nor any suitable object with which to provide the least possible veneration to my Pitrudevaas,  excepting a sincere and humble salutation with my raised shoulders towards the sky!)

Shraaddha Vidhi: Care be taken in selecting Shrotriya Brahmanas as Ritviks  or facing   in the Shraadha Karmas of Vaishva Deva type.Depending on one’s ability, Brahmanas be appointed in odd  or numbers like one or three and so on as representatives of Pitru Devatas and in even numbers to represent Deva Paksha Brahmanas; Deva Paksha Brahmanas be seated  as ‘Purvaabhi -mukhas’ or South faced and Pitru-Matru Paksha Brahmanas are to be seated ‘Utaaraabhi -mukha’ or North faced . Both Pitru-Matru Paksha Brahmanas and Deva Paksha Brahmanas might be seated face to face on Kusha grass with Arghya daana, Avahana or Invocation followed by dhupa-deepa-gandha-maalaa-nivedana by way of kusha-graas while Pitru Paakshika Brahmanas are to be worshipped  with yagnopaveeta worn as apasavya or ‘Praacheenaaveeti’, while all the Devakaryas be performed as ‘Sayva’ or normal. After securing the clearance of Brahmanas, the Kusha grass is divided into two halves, and validate one half by Apasavya of Yajnopaveeta offer to Pitru Devas along with ‘tilodakaas’-all the deeds bing done in appropriate Mantras; then the Pitru Devas  as represented by the designated Brahmanas are provided food. There after having  the clearance of the Brahmanas, small quantities of ‘Cooked Anna’ is offered into Agni thrice with ghee but vegetables or salt; the first ‘Ahuti’ is offered with the Mantra: Agnaye havyavaahanaaya swaahaa; the second Ahuti is performed by the Mantra: Somaaya  Pitrumatey swaahaa; the third offering is given by the Mantra: Vaivasataaya swaha/ Then the remainder Anna is served to the Brahmanas as they are requested to peacefully agree to take food while the ‘Rakshoghna’ Mantra is recited and tila seeds are sprinkled on the Shraddha Bhumi thinking of Pitru / Maatru Rupa; the Mantra is recited as follows:

Pita Pitaamahaaschaiva tathaiva Prapitaa -mahah,

Mama truptim prayaantvadya Vipra deheshu samsthitaah/

Pita Pitaamaschaiva tathaiva Prapitaamahah,

Mama truptim prayaantvadya homaapyaayita murthayah/

Pitaa Pitaamahaaschaiva tathaiva Prapitaamahah,

Ttruptyam Prayaantu Pindena maya datthena Bhutaley/

Pitaa Pitaamahaaschiva tathaiva Praputaamahah,

Truptyam prayaantu mey bhaktya mamaittasmudaahyutam/

Mataamahastruptimupaitu tasyahoktaatathaa pitaa tasya pitaa tatonyaha,

Vishwecha Devaah paramaam prayaantu, Truptim pranasyantu cha yaatu dhaanaah/

Yagneshwaro havyasamastakavya bhoktaavyayaatmaa harireeswarotra,

Tasminnidhaanaadapayaantu sadyo rakshaamsya seshaanya suraascha sarvey/   

(May my father, grand father and great grand father enter the bodies of these brahmanas and be satisfied  with my offerings; may they be satisfied with my  homas; may they be satisfied by the Pindaas placed on the Bhumi; may my three paternal generations be satisfied with my sincere and devoted givings which indeed are insignificant; may also my maternal grand father, his father and the latter’s father as also the Vishwadevaganas be contented and destroy the Rakshasa ganaas; may Yagneswara Bhagavan Hari be present here and thus all the evil forces of Rakshasaas and Asuras disappear at once. After this deed, the performer of Shraddha should sprinkle food grain morsels on the Prithvi and after ‘Achamana’ or sipping a little water, sprinkle water on the morsels. Then after securing the clearance of Brahmanas, perform pinda-daana of the food-globes and Tila with water; the remnant morsels of food be sprinkled around the three Pinda-globes and one by one place towards South on the Kushaa grass bed representing the Pitru Pinda, Pitamaha Pinda and Prapitaaha Pinda in a row and after smearing with the ‘Anna sesha’, the Pindas must be taken up on hand and placed back and together worshipped  with gandha, pushpa, dhupa and naivedya and after giving achamana to the  Brahmanas, give away Pinda Daana reciting Susvadhaa and after giving dakshina, seek the blessings of the Pitruganas and providing ‘tathaastu’(So be it!). This would be followed by ‘Paada Shoucha’ or cleaning of feet, ‘Preeti vachana’or sweet conversation and saying good bye to the Brahmanas with respect till they leave; thereafter, the bhojan be performed by other Brahmanas, relatives and family members.

Vishwa devassapitaarastathaa Mataa- Mahaa Nripa,

Kulam chaapyaayatey Pumsaam Sarvam shaaddham prakurvataam/

Somaadhaarah Pitrugano Yogaadhaaraascha Chandramaah,

Shaaddhey Yoginiyogastu Tasmaadbhulaala shayastey/

Sahasrasyaapi Vipraanaam yogichepturatah sthitah,

Sarvaanbhoktrustaarayati Yajamaanam tathaa Nrupa/

(Hey Raja! Those who perform Shraadhhaas sincerely have the Vishwadeva ganaas, Pitruganaas, Mataamaha and the entire Kulaa vaasis satisfied;  Chandra is the hold of Pitruganaas; Yoga is the Adhaara of  Chandra and that is why yogijanaas are appointed in Shraaddhas; giving away bhojan to thousand Brahmanas is as good as one Shraadha Bhojana which would fetch far reaching beneficient impact!)


14    Raja Vamsha Vivarana-Description of Surya and Chandra Dynasities

After describing the Ashrama and Varna Dharmas as well as Nitya-Naimittika Karma  Vivarana, Parashara Maharshi explained the accounts of the lineage of Kings and recalled that Bhagavan Vishnu, the Original Ruk-Yajur-Saama Veda Swarupa created Brahmanda –maya Hiranyagarbha Brahma who  materialised  from his right thumb Daksha Prajapati, who in turn created Aditi and Aditi created Vivaswan and the latter generated Manu. Manu created Ikshvaku, Nriga, Dhrushtha, Sharyati, Narishyanta, Praamshu, Naabhaga, Dishta, Karusha and Prushaghna.Also, Manu decided to perform Yagna and appointed  two Devatas named Mitravarunas  but due to wrong Sankalpa a woman called Ila was materialised and Budha the son of Chandra married her and they begot a son called Pururava. The sons of Pururava got spread out far and became Kshatriyas. Prushaghna killed his Guru’s cow and as a result of this was born in a lower vamsha. Naabhaga’s progeny became Vaishyas. Manu’s son Sharyati had a daughter named Sukanya and her husband Chyavana Rishi and the latter obtained youth by Ashvini Kumars in exchange of Amrita from Swarga loka by severe Tapasya to Indra. Sharyati’s son was named Aanarta whose son was Raivata and the latter had a son named Raivata Kakudbhi.                                                                                                                    Revati and Balarama: Raivata had a daughter named Revati and along with her visited Brahma to bless a suitable bridegroom, but Brahma was engaged in listening Gandharava gaana by the Gandharvas named Haahaa and Huhuu and by the time the singing was over and Brahma’s attention was drawn by Raivata Kakudbhi, four Yugas were over and Brahma blessed  Revati to marry Balarama in the next Dwapara Yuga who was the would-be brother of Shi Krishna!Thus the age difference of Balarama and Revati was of four yugas plus! As Brahma blessed the father and daughter, they headed for Prithvi and found human beings as very short, ugly, far less bright, unenergetic and unintelligent. As they reached their own Kingdom Kushasthali, they found themselves as strangers and Devi Revati assumed a shorter stature and Raivata offered her in wedding to Balarama.

                                                          Ikshwaaku: The progeny of Naabhaga included : Ikshwaku who was born of Manu’s sneeeze;Vikukshi who fetched deer meat for a Srhaaddha to be executed by his father Ikshvaku eaten by a rabbit (Shashak) and hence Sage Vasistha who was to perform the Shraaddha called Vikukshi as Shashak ; Puranjaya the son of Shashak who defeated Danavas since Devas  worshipped Vishnu and Vishnu entered Puranjaya’s body while Indra    asked Puranjaya to assume the form of a bull so that he could hold the ‘kakud’ or hump on the back of the bull and destroyed Danavas thus Puranjaya securing the epithet of ‘Kakutstha’; Kuvalashwa who was a great Vishnu Bhakta who attained the epithet of ‘Dundhumara’as he killed Dundhu Daitya with the help of his twenty one thousand sons who dried up the Sea in which was hiding the Daitya by their ‘nishvaasa’ or exhaling and thus exposed and destroyed the Daitya; Yavanaashwa who performed ‘Putrakameshti’ yagna but during the course of the yagna the King drank up at a midnight out of extreme thirst the‘Mantrajala’ or the water meant the Queen to conceive a child and in course of time the King delivered a child from the right side of his abdomen which was cut open and the child thus born was named Mandhata who was given by milk by Indra’s middle finger;  Mandhata eventually became the Chakravarti or the Emperor of Sapta Dwipas who was noted as:

Yaavatsurya udetyastam yaavascha pratitishthati,

sarvam tadyouvanaashwasya Mandhaatuh kshetramuchyatey/

(From where Sun rises in the morning and again where Sun sets in the evening is the Empire of Mandhata, the son of Yuvanaashwa!); Puruktsa, Ambarisha, and Muchukunda were the sons of Mandhata besides fifty daughters.                                                                               

Maharshi Soubhari: It was at that time of Mandhaata, there was a Maharshi called Soubhari  who stayed under water for twelve years performing Tapasya and was impressed by a Matsya King and his large family; the Maharshi approached  Mandhata and asked for one of his daughters to let him marry him; Mandhata was depressed at the idea of marrying off any one of the daughters to an old and ugly Maharshi but he was afraid of the Maharshi’s curse and said that in his family there was a custom of ‘Swayamvara’ or the bride’s choice of a husband; the Maharshi entered the ‘Antahpura’ or the Interior Chambers of Mandhata’s daughters  as an extremely handsome and strong youth and all the Kanyas were excited to marry the Maharshi; after some time, Mandhata visited the Maharshi to enquire about the state of their happiness and in one voice they confirmed that they were all extremely happy with the Maharshi! Meanwhile, the Maharshi who was completely immersed in  the ‘samsara’ or endless family life and attachments and regretted that his Tapasya under water went as a huge waste as he got irretrievably ensnared in samsara, due to the attractive company of Matsya King whose example had fully spoilt his life of Tapasyayogi! He realised though late in his life and ruminated:

Nissangataa Muktipadam yateenaam sangaadasheshaah prabhavanti doshaah/

Arudha Yogo vinipaantyatedha-ssangena  kimutaalpa buddhih!

(Indeed the lack of company would ensure Mukti to Yogis since it was the company that spoils endeavours of attaining Mukti; the wrong and misleading  folly would demolish and debase the sincere efforts of even Yogis and indeed ordinary human beings are not to be mentioned anyway!) By so realising his foolishness of entrering Samsara, the Maharshi regretted and took to Vaanaprasthaa Ashrama and sought to make amends of his further part of life!                                                                                    

Purukutsa and Narmada: Mandhata’s son Purukutsa married Devi Narmada and the latter was the sister of Nagaas of Rasatala. Nagaas were afraid of Gandharvas as some six crore Gandharvas resided in Rasatala tormenting Nagaas by hunting their ‘Ratnas’(jewels) from their hoods. The Nagaas prayed to Bhagavan Vishnu and the latter assured that the son of Mandhata viz. Purukutsa would destroy all the Gandharvas at the instance of Narmada Devi. As professed, Purukutsa eradicated Gandharvas and the Nagaas gave a boon to Narmada that whosoever bathed in the River or even recited the following would be safe from ‘sarpa-visha’ or the poison of serpents; the relevant Shloka or stanza to be recited states:

Narmadaayai Namah Pratarnarmadaayai Namo nisha,

Namostu Narmadey tubhyam traahi maam Visha Sarpatah/

(Devi Narmada! My salutations to you in the day or night, do safeguard me from the fear of Serpents and their poisonous bites!) This recitation while entering dark places and eating food would safeguard from any kind of poisons as such is the power of the boon bestowed by Serpents to human beings, thanks to Purukutsa and Narmada!                            Satyavrata alias Trishanku: In the lineage of Purukutsa was the famed Satyavrata called subsequently as Trishanku who became a Chandala since he was banished by his father King Traiyaaruni for the offence of kidnapping a commoner bride from her Vivaha-Vedika or wedding place as prompted by the Royal Priest Vasishtha and Satyavrata adopted the ways of Chandala; as Vishwamitra went away on a long Tapasya and as there was a long drawn ‘Anavrishti’, Satyavrata provided food to the Sage’s family for the entire period of twelve long years (although by cow meat of the stolen cows of Vasishtha, who came to know of the theft as also of feeding the cow meat to a co-Sage’s family) ; Vasishtha thus cursed Satyavrata on three counts or Trishanka viz.  adopting the ways of a chandala, thieving Vasishta’s cows  and feeding cow’s meat to Vishwamitra’s family during the famine period without their knowledge. Yet, Vishwamitra on return from his Tapasya was extremely pleased to have supported his family by Satyavrata now converted as a full fledged Chandala in his form and habit; the Sage not only changed Satyavrata to his original profile but also fulfilled the latter’s wish to reach Swarga in his mortal form; as the Devatas did not allow Trishanku to enter Swarga, Vishwamitra created a Trishanku Swarga just below the original Swarga and created a duplicate as wondereful as the original Swarga! Indeed, Vishwamitra had to utilise considerable portion of his Taposhakti to please Satyavrata alias Trishanku! Harischandra: The illustrious son of Trishanku was King Harischandra who stood for Satya or Truth, despite the unending harassment and distress caused to him and his family by the Sage Vishwamitra; the Sage got the King into the vicious circle of indebtedness to perform a Yagna and ‘dakshinaas’or fees, made the King a pauper to such an extent of selling his wife and son Rohitasya as also selling himself as a bonded labour in a ‘Smashaana’or a burial place; as a climax the dead body of Rohitasya was brought to the burial ground and his wife  had to forfeit half of her saree to pay for the fees of the son’s burial! All along Vishwamitra asked Harischandra to tell a small lie that he did not to owe any money to the Sage but Harischandra who was indeed a Symbol of Truthfulness never ever falter from Thuth but was prepared for extreme hardships! At the end, Truth conquered and Harischandra and his wife earned Salvation and the dead  Rohitasya was revived and became the King; Harischandra was being tested by Vishwamitra and Lord Yama who indeed was the Keeper of the Burial  Place!                                                                                                                                          Sagara and Bhagiratha:Harischandra’s son Rohitasya and his further generation included Ruru-Vruka and Baahu; the last King Baahu was weak and incompetent and was defeated by neighbouring Kings and the powerful King Haihaya occupied the throne; Baahu and his wife Yadavi left for forest life. Baahu died even as Yadavi was carrying a child and prepared for ‘Sahagaman’or suicide by jumping into the pyre / fire of the husband’s dead body; but Yadavi was already poisoned by Baahu’s second wife. Ourva Muni of Bhrugu Vamsha prevented the Sahagamana and rescued her into his ‘Ashram’. It was in the Ashram that Yadavi gave birth to Sagara or Sa + Gara.The latter was brought up by the Muni, taught him Vedas and Shastras, trained him in military skills and blessed him with ‘Agneyastra’ (The Mantrik arrow of Fire). The accomplished Sagara defeated Haihayas, as also other opponent enemies like Shakaas, Yavanaas, Kambojaas, Paaradas and Pahlava ganas; not only he regained his throne but annexed the Kingdoms of the enemies as well.He performed Ashvamedha Yagna to celebrate his victories and deputed his sons who were sixty thousand strong along with the horse ( Maharshi Ourva offered two options to the two wives of Sagara viz. Keshini and Mahati , one with a fruit with sixty thousand seeds and another with just one seed- one full of warriors and another as a Ruler; the one who accepted the big number was given a pot full of embriyos and the other had normal delivery). On way the sacrificial horse was lost; Sagara’s sons dug up the sea suspecting that the animal was hidden under the Sea and thus the epithet of Samudra as ‘Sagara’.The sons discovered Maharshi Kapila and as the sons harassed the Maharshi, they were all burnt off as ashes instantly excepting four.The elder son Amshuman gave birth to Dilip and the latter was blessed with Bhagiratha who made an all-out effort to bring Ganga River from Swarga to Bharat and the place where the ashes were lying so that the souls of his fore-fathers were redeemed; in this exercise Bhagirath went through such insurmountable obstacles at each step of his Tapasya to gain the confidence of Ganesha, Vishnu, Shiva and Devi Ganga herself! Since Bhagirath was wholly instrumental in this most distinguishing deed, Ganga Devi was also known as Bhagirathi.


The lineage of Bhagirath included Shruta, Naabhaga, Ambarisha, Sindhudwipa and Soudasa or Mitrasaha; the last mentioned King went on hunting in a forest once and killed a tiger which actually turned to be a Raakshasa who cursed the King that he would avenge his death one day. After a few years, Soudasa performed one yagna and at the end of the deed, Vasishtha Muni went out and the Raakshasa appeared as Vasishtha and instructed the King to cook ‘Naramaamsa’ or human meat as Naivedya or offering to the Yagna; the King got human meat cooked and meanwhile the real Vasishtha returned and on realising the naivedya was to be of human meat, cursed the King to become a Raakshasa! On realising the truth however in his Divya Drushti’ (Celestial Vision), Vasishtha reduced the time-span of the curse to twelve years only. But the Queen requested the Muni that for no fault of his, the King was being punished. The kind Vasishtha no doubt sprinkled the ‘shaapa-jala’ or the cursing water on his own feet instead of throwing it up on  the sky apparently to reduce the severity of the curse. Meanwhile, the King became a Raakshasa and while wandering freely sought to kill a Brahmana while he was in bed with his wife; the Brahmana’s wife entreated the Raakshasa and reminded him that he was the King Mitrasaha of the famed Ikshvaaku Vamsha; but still the Raaksasa ate the Brahmana and the Brahmani cursed the Raakshasa that after the latter would regain his original King’s form, he would die if he tried to sleep with his queen Madayanti. After the period of curse was over, the King was reminded of the ‘Shaap’ of Brahmani and abstained from meeting his wife.Since there was no heir to the throne, Vasishtha provided the ‘garbhadaan’as an exigency approved by ‘Smritis’ but since there was no birth for seven years, the Garbha was operated by a few women and the son who was born as Ashmaka or Mulaka was also called ‘Naari Kavacha’.   It was in this Vamsha was born Khatvanga, who helped Devas in their battle with Asuras and at the end of the battle, Devaas asked Khatvanga to ask for a boon and the King asked the Devas to convey about his life span; when he came to know of his life was only a Muhurat away, the King prayed to Bhagavan Vishnu thus: ‘ If only I had not considered Brahmanas as far more important than my  own self and of my family; if only I had ever infringed my Kshatriya Dharma to the full letter and spirit; if only my total attention was not paid to the entirety of Devas, human beings, Pashu-Pakshi-Vrikshas  and if only I had ever faltered in the pursuit of Bhagavan Achyuta and the path of seeking him and nothing else, then may I get absorbed into him!’In this context, Saptarshis affirmed: ‘There never was a King like Khatvanga on Earth, who did not miss to avail even a Muhurtha-long time of his last part of life and by using his mental agility prayed to Bhagavan and achieved glimpses of his vision of the Supreme!’                                                                                After Khatvanga, the lineage of Kings included Deerghabaahu, Raghu, Aja, Dasharatha and Shri Rama Chandra the Epic Hero who firmly stood tall in reference to the immortal Ramayana, his valiant son Kusha and so on. Such was the most glorious chapter of Surya Vamsha and Ikshwaku Vamsha which dominated the Global Scene in the History of Mankind through the two significant Satya and Treta Yugas! Besides Shri Rama, there were the memorable Amshas of Bhagavan Vishnu in the forms of Lakshmana, Bharata, and  Shatrughna. During his teen-hood itself, Rama provided security to the Yagna of Sage Vishwamitra, killed Raakshasi Tataki, swept away by his high-speed arrow another Raakshasa Maricha beyond the Seas and terminated yet another Raakshasa named Subahu; he liberated Devi Ahalya from the state of a Stone and declared her as sinless; destroyed Maha Deva’s Dhanush or the Big Bow; wedded Devi Sita; smashed the ego of Parashu Rama; followed the instruction of his father and took to forest life along with  Devi Sita and brother Lakshmana; during the Vana Vaasa, Rama killed Viradha, Khara, Dushana, Kabandha Raakshasaas; ended Vali; made friends with Sugriva and Hanuman; built a bridge across the Ocean to save Sita and destroy Daityas headed by Ravana-Kumbhakarna-Indrajit and so on; declared Sita as pure by making her enter into Agni; and on re-entering Ayodhya assumed the status of the Soverign to rule as the unquestioned Monarch for eleven thousand years. During his time, Bharat fought three crore Gandharvas and suppressed them; Shatrughna killed the Madhuputra the Demon Lavana and established the City of Mathura and thus administered the most ideal Rama Rajya in human history!


15.         Chandra Deva and Chandra Vamsha


Maharshi Parashara initiated the description of the origin of Chandra and his Vamsha. Lord Brahma conceived Maharshi Atri who performed Tapasya for thousand Divya (Divya) years and pushed up his virility upward in his physique during that period; that magnificent deposit got materialised in the form of drops from his eyes and spread out the outstanding illumination all over the Ten Directions. Realising this unprecedented development, Brahma Deva enabled it to take the Swarupa of Chandra Deva who was provided a chariot to travel across the entire Universe. Chandra was seated in the chariot and made twenty one full circles from Prithvi to the Great Samudra. In the process, the unique radiance when it touched Bhumi created ‘Anna’ (Food grains) and variations like seeds, ‘Aoushadhis’ (herbal medicines), water and Brahmanas whom he made the Chief. He also organised a mammoth Rajasuya Yagna, which was attended by the ‘Who’s Who’ of the Universe, besides lakhs of Brahmanas to whom ‘dakshinas’- Cash money and gifts were given in abundance; nine illustrious Women of universal repute arrived to serve to Chandra viz. Sini, Kuhu, Dyuti, Pushti, Prabha, Vasu, Kirti, Dhruti and Lakshmi. At the end of the Yagna, when Chandra was given ‘Avabhruta Snaan’ (Sacred bathing at the time of the Principal Sacrifice), he was worshipped by all the Devas and Rishis and he displayed extraordinary humility and honesty. But in course of time, he changed his attitude due to conceit, might and prosperity and committed the greatest sin of enticing his Guru’s wife Devi Tara and both of them lived together, despite Brihaspati’s warnings. Devas and Maharshis tried their best to prevent such an ugly siutation. Brahma himself chided his nasty and highly immoral activities and intervened but already Tara got pregnant; when confronted by Brahma, Tara confirmed that the child to be born was of Chandra’s only. Brihaspati insisted that Tara’s derlivery must not be in his residence and when born, Chandra named the child as Budha whom Brahma appointed as a ful-fledged Graha (Planet) as he was a highly accomplished Vidwan of Vedas and Shastras completely devoid of Chandra’s arrogance and selfishness; Budha’s placement on the Sky was right opposite that of Chandra and understandably  so!

Budha’s son was Pururava who was a highly virtuous King and Apsara Urvashi enticed him and gave birth to Ayu, Amaavasu and six other sons. In the lineage of Amaavasu was born Jahnu who performed Sarpa Yagna; Devi Ganga approached Jahnu with a proposal to wed him and flooded the Yagna Shaala but Jahnu desired to marry Kaveri the daughter of Yavanaashva. Since Ganga insisted to marry Jahnu, he got tired of her and drank her up; the Maharshis present begged of Jahnu who agreed to revive her as his daughter and that was why the River was known as Jahnavi. Pururava’s another son was Ayu and Ayu’s eldest son was the famed Nahusha, who performed ninty nine Aswamedha Yagnas and nearly got the eligibility to Indratva. In fact, Brahma appointed Nahusha as proxy Indra, since Indra killed Vritrasura a Brahmana with the help of the backbone of Maharshi Dadhichi converted as Vajraadutha and disappeared as a fugitive in a lotus stem in Manasarovara. Nahusha gradually became arrogant and egoistic and asked Sachi Devi to serve him as his keep. Sachi Devi wanted to escape Nahusha and on his insistence asked Nahusha to come to her house by his own carrier as Iravata used to go to her by Indra and thus Nahusha also should come to her by his own distinct Carrier. Nahusha pushed aside a Palki of Maharshis and commanded Agastya Muni to lift the Palki quickly; Nahusha said ‘Sarpa Sarpa’, meaning thereby ‘Quick Quick’.  Agastya Muni felt that not only Nahusha blatantly took away his Palki and even had the audacity to say Sarpa Sarpa to the Muni to reach Sachi Devi’s home. Agastya Muni purposively misunderstood Nahusha’s ‘Sarpa Sarpa’ and converted Nahusha as an Ajagara (python) and dropped and cursed the arrogant Nahusha from Indraloka to the thick forests in Bhuloka. On praying the Muni, Nahusha got a reprieve in the next Yuga when Yudhister would provide relief to the Ajagara’. When in Dwapara Yuga Pandavas were suffering ‘Aranyavasa’ following Yudhishter’s losing fake chess game and one day in the Forest life Draupadi longed for a Saugandhika flower in a pond and asked Bhima to fetch to her; it was at that time the Ajagara coiled Bhima’s body and when Draupadi ran for Bhima’s rescue, Yudhistara gave correct replies to the difficult questions asked by the Ajagara, then Nahusha got Shapa Vimochana (Relief from Agastya’s curse). As Nahusha got his python’s form, Agastya helped Sachi Devi to search for Indra who hid himself in a lotus stem in Manasa Sarovara and brought Indra back to Swarga and sought Brahma’s exoneration of committing Brahmahatya dosha, on the ground that though by birth Vritrasura was a Brahmana, he was an unpardonable demon responsible to commit countless killings of of innocent persons.



Nahusha and his wife Viraja gave birth to Yayati among four other brothers. Yayati became the famed Emperor who defeated all the Kings in the World. Shukracharya the Danava Guru gave his daughter Devayani to Yayati who also married Sharmishtha the daughter of Vrishaparva, a Rakshasa. Devayani gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu, while Sharmishtha had Druhya, Anu and Puru. Indra was pleased to have gifted a divine chariot with such powerful horses that Yayati was able to cover the whole world within six days and nights. Having conquered the Earth, he divided the Seven Dwipas into five divisions and distributed among his sons. As he got a boon that he could regain his youth if any of his sons would agree to exchange their youth against his olde age, he was tempted to get back his youth again, since he was getting old already. He approached his edest son Yadu who declined the offer and so did all other sons except Puru who readily agreed. Yayati cursed Yadu and the others and accepted Puru’s offer which enabled him to travel around and unravel the earthly pleasures for long. But finally he returned from his travels having found out that the ephemeral joys were endless like the Agni in a homakunda assuming larger proportions as per the ghee served into it, no human being could ever be satisfied with food, gold, ornaments and women and the more that a human being got lured into the whirlpool of life the worse that he would be dragged into it.

Najaatu kaamah kaamaanaamupa bhogena shaamyati,

Havishaa krishna vatmatmeva bhuya yaivaabhi vadbhutey/

Thus he realised that there could   never be a better satisfaction than that of a spiritual life. By so confessing, he returned his youth to Puru and left for Vanaprastha / forest life in seek of Paramatma.



In the lineage of Yadu, there was on offshoot branch of Haihaya Vamsa into which the illustrious Kartaveeryarjuna who too became a powerful Chakravarti having secured thousand mighty hands from Indra Deva. He proved to be an ideal ruler providing shield and contentment to his citizens that was rare in human history. His valour was such that in an encounter with Ravanasura the Epic Villian of Ramayana, he imprisoned the Asura and Maharshi Pulastya had to request him to be released! But in course of time, Kartaveerya became too vainglorious and killed Jamadagni Maharshi since he did not give away his kamadhenu. Meanwhile, Agni Deva approached Kartaveerya to let him satisfy his thirst and gift a huge forest so that he could consume it; unfortunately for Agni and Kartaveerya the Ashram of Vasistha Maharshi was burnt off too and the Maharshi gave a curse to Kartaveerya that soon enough there would be an incarnation of Vishnu as Parashurama who would not only kill  Kartaveerya but also exterminate the contempory Kshatriya Kings who had become so haughty and cruel towards Rishis, Brahmanas and the Subjects in general. Indeed the Curse of Vasishtha became a reality and Parashurama had uprooted the Kshatriya Kings in as many as twenty seven battles!

King Yadu’s son was Kroshti and the latter’s son was Shashabindu who was the famed foremost Chakravarti of Fourteen Maha Ratnas viz.

Chakram Ratho Manih khadgascharma Rarnam cha Panchamam,

Keturnidhischa Saptaiva Praanaheenaani chakshutey/

Bharyaa Purohitaschaiva Senaani Rathakruccha yah,

Pathyaswa kalaabhischeti Praaninah keertitaah/

Chaturdesheti Ratnaani sarveshaam Chakra -vartinaam/

( A Chakravarti is defined as one who possesses Chakra-Ratha-Mani- Charma (Shield)-Dhwaja -Nithi or Treasure, besides Stree-Purohitha-Senapati-Rathi or Charioteer-Padaati or Foot Soldiers-Ashwaarohi and Gajaarohi). Shashabindu had a lakh of wives and ten lakh sons!

 It was in this lineage was born Satrajit who was an unparalelled worshipper of Surya Bhagavan and after considerable devotion of the Sun God, Satrajit was gifted ‘Syamantakamani’ by Surya Deva; the Dwarakavasis felt that Surya was descending in Dwaraka and such was the effulgence of the Syamantakamani as Satrajit returned to Dwaraka. The Shyamantaka yielded eight ‘bhaaraas’ ( ten kg.) of gold a day. Its magnificence was such that in the entire Region in which it was situated, there was no fear of Roga-Anavrishti-Sarpa-Agni- Chora-Durbhiksha! Satyajit was overwhelmed and desired to share the joy with Krishna whom he visited at His abode. Jokingly, Krishna asked Satrajit to spare the jewel for some time and the same was promptly declined.

Satrajit’s brother, Prasena, wore the rare jewel and visited hunting to a forest. A lion killed him and ‘ Jambavanta’ the illustrious Bear of Ramayana killed the lion in turn and took it to his cave to let his baby play with it. As Prasena did not return from the forest for a few days, Satrajit asked Krishna whether he knew any thing about Prasena as he did not return back.There were stray doubts expressed in the neighbourhood about Krishna’s credibility in the context. Krishna desired to vindicate His position and proceeded to the forest visited by Prasena and found his dead body and also that of a lion. He traced the foot steps of an animal to a cave and heard a lullaby saying:

 Simha prasenamavadhit –simho Jambavataa hatah,

Sukumaaraka Maa rodeesteva hyosha Syamantakah/

(A lion had killed Prasena and jambavaan killed the lion, Sukumara! this Syamantaka Mani is yours only!) As Krishna found a baby playing with the jewel, he entered the cave.A huge bear entered and a fierce battle ensued for twenty one days. As Krishna defeated the Bear, he felt that an ordinary human being could not be defeated  against him and said: Bhagavan! You are invincible by Devatas, Asuras, Gandharvas, Yakshas and Rakshasaas and what are ordinary animals like us; indeed you are of the Amsha of Shri Rama who was the incarnation of Vishnu!Thus eventually Jambavan recognised Krishna and made intensive prayers with humility and devotion he returned to Krishna the precious jewel as also offered his beautiful daughter Jambavati in wedding. On return from the forest, Krishna returned the jewel to Satrajit, who felt humiliated by suspecting Krishna and as an atonement returned the Jewel and requested Him to accept Satyabhama too as His spouse. But, three suitors of Satyabhama, viz. Akrura, Kritavarma and Shatadhanvi who were for long desirous of wedding her were highly disappointed as Satrajit gave hopes; they conspired to kill Satrajit and also secure the Shamantakamani. Shatadhanvi killed Satrajit and stole the Mani. That was the time when Krishna was away when Duryodhana and the other Kauravas were hatching to kill Pandavas by burning them in a lac house and made plans to save them. Satyabhama at once left for Varanavata to convey the news of Satrajit’s murder; Krishna assured his newly married spouse that for sure he would avenge Satrajit’s death. Krishna took Balarama into confidence and along with the brother, Krishna chased Shatadhanvi. The latter approached Kritavarma and Akrura but both of them refused to help him for fear of Krishna and Balarama. Shatadhanvi then requested Akrura to at least hide the Syamantaka Mani and the latter agreed on the condition that Akrura should never  claim the jewel back; having given away the Mani to Akrura,  Shatadhanvi ran away and Krishna and Balarama chased despite Balarama’s warning that Statadhanvi might not have stolen the Mani, after all! Krishna then stopped the chariot for a while and having asked Balarama to wait, ran by foot through lanes and byelanes and finally cought hold of Shatadhanvi and killed him. But the body search of Shatadhanvi could not reveal the Mani. On return to Balarama, Krishna told that he killed Shatadhanvi unnecessarily. Balarama became furious at Krishna for suspecting Sthatadhanvi and in anger left Krishna and instead of going to Dwaraka left for Videha nagara of Janaka and stayed there; during his stay there Balarama taught Duryodhana the ‘Gada-Yuddha’ or the Battle of Mace and relented to return to Mathura after three years.  Meanwhile, Krishna was on the pursuit of Shyamanta Jewel: Krishna, Balaram and Ugrasena the Yadava elders consulted each other and wondered why the problems of diseases, serpents, and rainlessness were happening in the absence of the Syamantaka mani in Dwaraka, while where-ever Akrura’s father the Bhoja King named Swyapalka was there, the Place was diseaseless, full of timely rains and of good crops! Yadava chiefs therefore invited Akrura and as soon as he arrived, there were rains, good crops and happiness. This gave the suspicion that Akrura was hiding the Mani and Krishna and other Yadavas confronted Akrura and the latter finally blurted out that the Mani was in his personal possession and Shatadhanva gave it to him before his death and who ever could claim it might as well take it! Yadava Chiefs argued that the jewel was basically the property of Satyabhama, but she said that she was the wife of Krishna but Krishna said that he was the husband of sixteen thousand and eight wives after all and thus finally it was decided that the Syamantaka Mani might be awarded to Akrura; Shri Krishna was thus rid of the suspicion of stealing the Mani finally! Maharshi Parashara stated:

Ityetat Bhagavato midhyaabhishasti lakshanam yah smarati  na tasya kadaachidalam paapi midhyaabhishastirbhavati avyaakhilendriyraschaakhila paapamoksha mavaapnoti/

(The unwanted suspicion which Krishna suffered  led to a black mark on his character  or even smaller or bigger such blames would never ever happen to any person reading about the above incident! Such persons would also be freed from charges and got rid of sins!)

In the illustrious Kuru Vamsha, King Pradip  had three sons viz. Devapi, Shantanu and Baahmika and since Devapi went away to forests, Shantanu became the King who was acclaimed as the one who when an old person touched would became youthful; he was thus called Shantanu who bestowed Shanti Laabha or the Gain of Peace !

Yam yam karaabhyaam sprushyati jeernam youvanametishaha,

Shantim chaapnoti yenagruyaam karmanaa tena Shaantanuhu/

King Shantanu bemame a key figure in the long ancestry of Kuru Vamsha and bore the brunt of the dynasty. Even as he took over the Kingship, there was severe famine for several years but as the Brahmanas first asked Shantanu to step down and offered the Kingship to his elder brother as per Scriptures and as he refused then only the Kingship was re-conferred on him.

King Shantanu and Devi Ganga gave birth to Deva vrata, popularly called Bhishma Pitamaha. He was so named since took a unique vow of celibacy and against the institution of marriage to facilitate the wedding of his father’s deep desire to wed Satyavati alias ‘Matsyagandhi’ renamed by Maharshi Parashara as ‘Yojanagandhi’; there the Maharshi took fancy for her while crossing a River as she-a fisherwoman- yielded to the Maharshi’s request and he granted the boons to her that her body smell of fish would change to that of a Yojana-wide fragrance, that her virginity would be intact and that she would be the Queen a famous King. As a result of this happening, a Vishnu Swarupa was born to Satyavati and Parashara as the most reputed Maharshi Veda Vyasa  who had the singular distinction of scripting Ashtaadasha Maha Puranas, countless other Scriptures and of course the Immotal Epic, Maha Bharata. It was against this background that Shantanu fell for Satyavati who insisted that in the event of her wedding to the King Shantanu, neither his elderson Devavrata nor his progeny should claim rights of Kingship to the throne of Kaurava dynasty and thus the fierce vow taken by Satyavrata which got him the renown of Bhishma. Subsequently, Shantanu’s son was named Vichitraveerya died an untimely death and as there was a threat of non- incumbency to the dynasty throne, Bhishma was invited to copulate his cousin’s wives as per the exceptionally approved Niyoga Practice in vogue then; as a result, Vichitraveerya’s widows Ambika and Ambalika begot Dhritarashtra (born blind as Ambika closed her eyes in the union out of fright of Veda Vyas) and Pandu (since Ambalika got pale out of horror at the sight of the Maharshi); both the women planned to depute their maid and normal and virtuous Vidura was born to her in the third attempt). Dhritarashtra married Gandhari and gave birth to hundred sons headed by Duryodhana and Pandu’s wife Kunti gave birth to Yudhishtara from the Amsha of Yama Dharma, Bhima from the Amsha of Vasudeva and Arjun from the Amsha of Indra while Kunti bore a child even before her marriage by the Amsha of Surya Deva but out of fear left the child in a floating basket in a water flow which was found by a childless woman called Radha and brought him up thus known as Radheya or Karna since he was born with Karna-kundalas or ear-rings. As the Kauravas and Pandavas grew up with mutual ill feelings, fanned by Dhritarashtra on one side and Shri Krishna siding the virtuous Pandavas on the other, an inevitable Maha Bharata Battle climaxed and ended with bloodbath of Good and Evil forces with Krishna Bhagavan assumed a historic role, exemplifying his assurance of:

Paritraanaaya Saadhunam  Vinaashaaya cha dushkrutaam,

Dharma Samsthaapanaarthaaya Sambhavaami Yugey Yugey!

 







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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