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The Essence of Puranas – Matsya Purana -3

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The Essence of Puranas – Matsya Purana












21 The Incarnation of Vamana Deva and Bali Daanava’s humiliation

(Prayers to Bhagavan Vishnu by Aditi and Brahma included)


Aditi Devi, the hallowed mother of Devas felt agitated when Indra and all oher Devas were defeated in a series of fierce battles and had to leave Swarga as refugees in the Celestial Regions incognito. The highly disillusioned mother prayed to Bhagavan Vishnu to reinstate them to their respective posts without any battle. Her prayer was as follows:
Namah sarvaarti naashaaya namah Pushkara maliney,
Namah Paramakalyanaadi -vedhasey/
Namah pankaja netraaya namah pankajannaabhaye,
Shriyah kaantaaya daantaaya Paramaarthaanaaya Chakriney/
Namah Pankaja sambhuti sambhaavaatma-yonavey,
Namah shankhaa sahi hastaaya Namah Kanakaretasey/
Tathaatma jnaanayogi chintyaamaatma yoginey,
Nirgunaayaaviseshaaya Haraey Brahmarupiney/
Jagatpratishthitam yatra Jagataam yo na drushyatey,
Namah sthulaati sukshmaaya Tasmai Devvaya shaaranginey/
Yam na pashyanti pashyanto jagadyakhilam naraah,
Apashyadabhirjagatraya sa Devo hrudi samsthitah/
Yasminneva vinashyet yasyaitadakhilam jagat,
Tasmai Samasta jagadaadhaaraaya namo namah/
Aaadyah Prajaapati patiryah Prabhuunaam Patih parah,
Patih Suraanaam yatasmai namah Krishnaaya Vedhasey/
Yah pravurtthou nivrutthou cha ijjatey karmabhih swakaih,
Swaraapavarga phaladou Namastasmai Gadaabhrutey/
Yacchinthyamano masah sadyah paapam vyapohati,
Namastasmai Vishuddhaaya Paraaya Hari vedhasey/
Yam buddhvaa sarva bhutaani Deva deveshamavyayam,
Na punarjanma maraney Praaptunanti Namaami tam/
Yo yagney Yagna paramaireejyatey Yagna sagjnitah,
Tam Yagna purusham Vishnum namaami Prabhureeshwaram/
(My salutations to Kamala Mulaa- dhaari Bhagavan! You are the demolisher of all sins and the Prime bestower of propitious -ness; you are the Lotus Eyed, the Lotus navelled, Lakshmipati, Chakradhaari, the Epitome of capability and of Supreme Profile! My obeisnances to you; You are the Creator of the Creators and the Self-Generator; the bearer of Shankha and Khadga and of Golden Sperm; You are the target of Soul-searchers and Yogis; the Featureless, Endless, All- pervading but invisible; the most magnified yet the most miniscule; the absorber of the entire Universe in his heart and vice versa; You are the fulcrum of the ‘Jagat’; the Decider of the ‘Karma Phala’ (Fate) of every Being in existence; Gadaadhari! Adikarta! Each of one’s thoughts about You Sri Hari, snips off sins and difficulties at once; those who could break the vicious circle of births and deaths deserve my sincere falicitations; and those who perform Yagnas, the deeds in the name of Yagnas as also worship that Maha Yagna Purusha Vishnu deserve my admirations too). Aditi continued her prayer further:
Geeyatey Sarva Vedeshu Vedavidbhirvidaam Patih,
Yastasmai Veda Vedyaaya Vishnavey Jishnavey namah/
Yato Vishwam Samutpannam yasmimscha layameshyati,
Vishwaagama pratishthaaya Namastasmai Mahatmaney/
Brahmaadistamba paryantam ena Vishwamidam tatam,
Mayaajaalam samurttatrum tamupendram Namaamyaham/
Yastu toyawasa rupastho Vibhartrakhila meeshwarah,
Vishwam Viswapatim Vishnum tam Namaami Prajaapatim/
Yamaaraadhya Vishudhena manasaa karmanaagiraa,
Taranyaty avidyaamahilaam tamupendram namaamyaham/
Vishaadathosha roshaa -dwaiyourajastram Sukhadhukha jaih,
Nrutyatyakhila bhutasthastamupendram namaamyaham/
Murtam taosuramayam tadhaat vinihantiyah,
Raatrijam Suryaswarupeeva tamupendram namaamyaham/
Kapilaadi swarupastho yaschagnaana mayam tamah,
hanti Jnaana pradaanena tamupendram namaamyaham/
Yasyaakshini Chandra Suryou Sarva loka shubhaashubham/
Pashyatah karma satatamupendram tam namaamyaham/
Yasmin Sarweswarey Sarvam Satyameytanmayoditam,
Naanrutam tamajam Vishnum namaami Prabhavaapyayam/
Yaccha tatsatyamuktam mey bhuyaamschaato Janaardanah,
Satyena tena sakalaah puryantaam mey manorathaah/

(I salute the victorious Vishnu who is chanted by Vidwans by the Four Vedas and is sought to be approached through that medium; I pay my reverences to Bhagavan Vishnu who is the Creator of the Universe which is finally absorbed into Him and who safeguards the regulations of Vedas; my respects to that Supreme Architect who encompasses ‘Srishti’ from Brahma downwards to a piece of grass to lift me from the deep morass of ‘Mayajaal’or the heavy pulls of illusion; I hail that Vishveshwara who is set in the form of water protects and preserves the entire Creation; I greet that Upendra whom those illustrious persons worship through their hearts, adulations and deeds far beyond the reaches of Avidya / Ignorance and seek salvation; I pray to Vishnu who makes all the ‘Charachara Praanis’(moving or immobile Beings) hop, jump and dance with various emotions of laughing, crying, anger, passion and pity; my prostrations to that unique Super Power who like Surya Deva devastates pitch darkness typified with Asuras and Evil Spirits with glorious and ever-resplendent radiance; my entreaties to Narayana who assumes the sacred form of Maharshis like Kapila to demolish ‘Ajnana’/ ignorance and usher in ‘Vijnana’ /knowledge) to enlighten humanity about the do’s and don’t of life; and my veneration to the Omni-scient who like Surya and Chandra as his eyes notice each and every thought, feeling, act and deed of all the Beings. Viswesvara! the illustrations that I have presented to you are pure and simple facts and not figs of my imagination. Bhagavan! Kindly fufil my request of reinstating my children to their original positions.)
Pleased by the supplication that Devi Aditi made, Bhagavan Narayana gave his vision and said that soon he would be born to Kashyapa Muni and her and subdue the enemies to facilitate the restoration to Devas. In course of time as Aditi conceived King Bali experienced peculiarities of Nature as earth was trembling, mountains were quivering and Oceans were disturbed and ascending high. King Bali approached his grand father Prahlada and told that the premonitions were not favourable to Daityas. The great Prahlada performed concentrated meditation to Vishnu-of whom the former was a bench-mark Bhakta of Narayana who destroyed his demon father Hiranyakashipu-and realised that Bhagavan was to take birth to Kashyap and Aditi soon.

Prahlada told King Bali:

Vatsa! Jnaatam mayaa sarvam yadartham Bhavataamiyam,
Tejaso haanirutpannaa tacchun twamaseshatah/
Devadevo Jagadyoniryonir jagadaadi –krit,
Anaadiraadirviswasya Varenya Varado Harih/
Paraavaraanaam Paramam Parah Paravataamapi,
Pramaanamcha Pramaanaanaam Saptaloka Guroguruh/
Prabhuh Prabhunaam Paramah Paraanaamanaadi madhyo Bhagavaanantah/ Tralokyamamshena Sanaathamesha kartrum Mahaatmaaditijovateernah/
Na yasya Rudro na cha Padmayoni –nindro na Suryendu Marichi mukhyaah/
Jaananti Daityadhipa yatswarupam, sa Vaasudevah kalayaaviteernah/

( Now I guess the reason as to why all the Rakshasas are getting un-nerved: Vaasudeva who is the Devadi Deva, the Creator of the Universe, the ‘Ajanma’ or the Unborn, the Originator, the Timeless, the Highest and the Supreme, the Best of the Best, the Guru of Gurus, the King of Kings; without a beginning, middle and the end; and the mightiest of the mightest, is the about to incarnate as the son of Aditi. It is from the ‘Amsa’ of Vishnu whose worth could never be guessed by Rudra, Brahma, Indra, Surya or Chandra that Vaasudeva would be born very soon). King Bali replied :
Oh, Grand father! Who is this Vaasudeva that the entire Universe has to be afraid of! We have thousands of Rakshasas who are the mightiest of the mightest like Viprachitti, Shivi, Shankha, Ayah Shankha, Aya Shiraa, Aswa shira, Bhangakaari, Maha Hanu, Prataapa, Praghasa, Shumbha, and Kukura-each one of them being able to lift and throw Bhudevi into Patala! Enraged by these comments, Prahlada said that the comparisons made by the King between the Rakshasas that he mentioned and Bhagavan Vishnu were so invidious and unbecoming of a King that too born out of a Parama Bhakta like Prahlada; he said that such comments arose out of arrogance and sheer ignorance.

Thus he cursed Bali as follows:

Yathaa mey shiraschhedadidam Gurutaram vacha,
Twayottama achytamaakshepi Raajyabhrashstathaa pata/
Yathaacha Krishnaanna param paritraanam bhavaarnavey,
Tathaachirena pashyeyam bhavantam raajyavichyutam/

(The way that such harsh language was used in offending Bhagavan as to have my head cut off should be the same as the King Bali’s pitiless exit from the latter’s Kingship! Also, the manner in which Bhagavan would provide refuge and protection to a Bhakta would be the same as the King would be disgraced and defamed!). On receiving the ‘Shaap’, King Bali was taken aback at the extreme view taken by Prahlada and cursed him forthwith. Bali apologised and so did Prahlada; the latter said:

Vatsa! Kopena Moho mey janitasten tey maya,
Shaapo dattho vivekascha mohonaapahyato mama/
yadi mohena mey Jnaanam naakshiptam smaanmahaasura,
Twaktham sarvagam jaanan Harim kinchiccha paam -yaham/

(Vatsa! My anger was as a result of excessive attachment which resulted in the curse; since attachment knocks down ‘Viveka’ or capacity for thinking!) So saying, the curse would have to become a reality; yet since the King’s heart was basically pure, Prahlada said that the curse would get mollified on its own and by the grace of Vishnu.

Meanwhile, Devi Aditi gave birth to Bhagavan Vishnu as Vamana Deva and Devas became ecstatic and Rakshasas felt extremely disturbed. There was excitement alround as the inhabitants of Prithvi, Akash and Swarga celebrated the day as that of Liberation. Brahma performed the ‘Jatakarma’and other ‘Samskaras’ in the presence of Maharshis, Dikpalakas, Devas and Indra. There was an extollment by Brahma which was joined by Indra and Devas as a mark of Victory:

Jayaadhyesha Jayaajeya Jaya Sarvatmakatmaka,
Jaya Janma jaraapetha Jayaanantha Jayaachuta,
Jayaajita Jayaameya Jayaavyaktta sthitey Jaya,
Paramaarthaartha Sarvagna Gnaanagneyaat munihstutah/
Jayaasesha Jagatsaakshinya Jagatkarta Jagad Guro,
Jagatosyanantakrud Deva sthithi paalayantu jaya/
Jaya sesha Jagaasesha Jayaakhila hridisthita,
Jayadaadi madhyaanta Jaya Sarvajgna nithey Jaya/

(Victory to you, Parameshwara, Ajeya, Sarvatma Swarupa; You are free from birth, old age and destruction; You are Ajita/ undefeated, Avyakta / unrevealed, Ameya / immesurable; You are Sarvajna / All-Knowing, disclosable by Knowledge and Yoga, and singularly utilitarian for common welfare; You are Jagat Saakshi / Universal Evidence, Jagat Karta / Creator of the Universe, and Jagat Guru / the Universal Preceptor; You are responsible for Sthiti (Existence), Palan (Preservation) and Samhar ( Termination); You are the Sesha Rupa (The Remainder Form), the Asesha Rupa (The distinctive Form) and Existent among the Beings all over; and You are ‘Jagadaaditya Madhyaanta’ / The Beginning, the Middle and the End).

Mumkshubhiranirdeshya Swayamdhrishta Jayeswara,
Yoginaam Murti phalada Damaadiguna bhushana/
Jayaati sukshma durjeya Jaya sthula jaganmaya,
Jaya Sthullati sukshma twam Jayaateendriya sendriya/
Jayaswamayaayogastha sesha bhoga –shayaakshara,
Jayaika damshtraapraantaagra samuddhita Vasundhar/
Nrikesmarin jayaaraati vakshahsthala vidaarana,
Saampratam jaya Vishwaatman Jaya Vamana Keshav,
Nijamaayaapatacchaanna Jagan murtey Janaarana,
Jayaachintya Jayaaneka Swarupaikavidha Prabho/
Vardhaswa Vardhataasesha Vikaara Prakrutey Harey,
Twayyeshaa Jagataameesho samstithaa Dharma paddatih/
Na twamaaham na cheshaano nendraadyaastridashaa Harey,
Na jnaatumeeshaa munayah Sanakaadyaa na Yoginah/
Twanmaayaapata samveeto Jagannyatra Jagatpatey,
Kastwaam vetsyati sarveshatwat –prasaadam vinaa narah/
Twameraadhito yena prasaada sumukha prabho/
Sa yeva kevalo Deva vetti twaam netarey janaah/
Nandeeswareswareshaana Prabho vardhaswa Vaamana,
Prabhavaasya Vishwasya Vishwaatman Pruthu lochana/

( Victory to you Jayeswara! You bestow Mukti to Yogis who seek the ‘Agnaat’/ The Unknown, Swayam dhrushta/ Self realised, and the Possessor of endurance / fortitude and such other quailties; You are the Sukshma / the Minutest, Sthula / the most huge, the All- Pervading, and the Supreme Controller of Indriayas; You are the Adi Varaha, who stays in the thick veil of Maya / illusion and sleeps in Yoga Nidra on the soft hoods of Sesha Naga; You are Nrisimha who ripped off the broad chest of Hiranyakashipu; You are now in the Sacred Incarnation; You are the ‘Achintya’ / the Inconceivable and of Unique as also of myriad Rupas / Forms; You have all the ‘Vikaras’/ Characteristics and at the same time devoid of any Vikara! You possess the ‘Buddhi’ and Shakti to enforce ‘Dharma Maryada; neither me-Brahma-, nor Shankara, nor Indra and Devas, the Sanakaadi Maharshis nor Maha Yogis possess the comprehension and capability to guess your reality; the Universe is shrouded by the covering of Maya and who else could realise who you are! Is there a way of finding out except ‘Araadhana’ that one could achieve you! Maha Vamana! Give us strengh of Mind to dedicate us to the betterment of the Universe). To Vamana Deva, Brahma gifted ‘Krishna Mriga Charma’/ The Skin of a black deer; Brihaspati gave an ‘Yagnopaveet’ / the Holy Thread; Marichi Maharshi provided a ‘Palasha Danda’; Vasishtha Muni gave a ‘Kamandalu’ with everful the Ganga water; Angira donated a ‘Kushaasana’and Vedas; Pulaha Maharshi an ‘Aksha Sutra’; and Pulastya offered two white robes. Then Vamana Deva prodeeded to the Place where King Bali was performing a Sacred Yagna along with Jata, Danda, Chatra / umbrella, and Kamandalu, accompanied the personified Vedas, Shastras and Sankhya Yoga. At the ‘Yagna Shaalaa’, King Bali welcomed Vamana Deva and said:

Dhanyoham krutapunyascha yanmey Yagnapatih Swayam,
Yagnamabhyaagato Brahmanmattah konyodhikah pumaan/

(I am extremely excited that honoured that Bhagavan ‘Yagna Pati’ Himself has arrived ; could there be any better miracle which could happen than this!). Then King asked Shukraachaarya for an advice and the reply was that as per Vedas, Devaganas were authorised ‘Yagna bhoktas’ but the King ordered against that pratice and made Senior Daityas and Danavas eligible instead. Hence, the Guru advised the King not to promise any thing to be donated to Vamana. But Bali argued with the Daitya Guru that if Vishnu himself asked for any thing, then he would be prepared to give away, especially because that in his Kingdom there was no poverty, ill-health or any discontentment and all his citizens were extremely happy, prosperous and joyous. The King thus disregarded Shukra’s advice and told Vamana Deva:

Suvararathna sanghaatam Gajaashwamamitam tathaa,
Striyo Vastraanyalankaaraamsthathaa graamaamscha pushkalaan/
Sarvaswam sakalaamurveem bhavatovaa yadeepsitam,
Taddamaami vrunushwa twam yanaarthi Vamanah priyah/

(Vamana Deva! You may ask me for any thing; would you wish for Jewellery, gold, several elephants or horses, women, clothes, villages, my entire land and riches!). Vaman Murti replied in a soft and sweet voice:

Mamaagnisharanaarthaaya dehi Rajan Padatrayam,
Suvanagraama ratnaani tadarthibhyah pradaanam maargataam bhavaan/

(Raja! To set and keep Agni, I request you to donate three feet of land to enable to set up mainain Agni; you may donate gold, villages, ratnas and money may be given to beggars!) He said that three steps of land would be quite insufficient for the purpose; I am giving away one lakh feet. Vamana said politely that the King might as well give away one lakh feet to any body else but he was happy with the three feet only. As desired, Bali did the ‘Samkalpa’/ proposal for thee feet only. Even as the water of the Samkalpa was poured, Vamana Deva’s appearance grew up as follows:

Chandra Suryamchanayaney dhourmurthaa charanow kshitih,
Paadaangulya pishaachaastu hastaangulyascha Guhyakaah/
Vishvey Devaascha jaanusthaa janghey saadhyaah Surotthamaah,
Yakshaa nakheshu sambhutaa rekhaascha apsarastathaa/
Drushtow Rukshaanyasheshini keshaah Suryaamshavah Prabho,
Taarakaa romakupaani romaani cha Maharshayah/
Baahavo viditastashya Dishaa Shrotrey Mahaatmanah/
Ashvanow Shravaney tasya naasaa vaayur –mahaatmanah,
Prasaadaschandramaa Devo mano Dharmah samaashritah,
Satyam tasyaabhavad Vaani jihvaaDevi Saraswatee/
Greevaaditirdeva maataa Vidyaastha –dwalayastathaa,
Swargadwaar bhun maitram twastaa Pushaa cha vai bhruvow/
Mukham Vaishwaanaraschaascha Vrushanow tu Prajaapatih,
Hridayam cha Param Brahma Pumstwam vai Kashyapo Munih/
Pushthesya Vasavo Devaa Marutah Sarva sandhishu,
Sarva suktaani dashanaa jyoteemshi Vimalaprabhaah/
Vakshasthaley Mahaadevo Dhairya chaasya Mahaarnavaah,
Udarey chaascha Gandharvaah Sambhutaascha Maha Balaah/
Lahsmirmedhaa Dhrutih Kaantih sarva Vidyaascha vai katih,
Sarva Jyoteemshi jaaneehi tasya tatparam mahah/
Tasya Devaadhi Devasya Tejah prodbhutamuttamam,
Ratnow kukshee cha Vedaascha Udaram cha Mahaamakhaah/
Ishtayah Pashu bandhha –scha Dwijaanaam cheshtitaanicha,
Tasya Deva mayam rupam drushtaa Vishnormahaa balaah/

(Chandra and Surya are Bhagavaan’s eyes; Sky his head; Prithvi his feet; Pishaachaganas his foot fingers; Skanda his hand fingers; Vishwadeva his knees; Sahyaganas thighs; Yakshas his nails; hand lines Apsaras; Nakshatras the illumination of his eyes; Suryakiranas / rays his hair; Stars his hair-roots; Maharshiganas his romaavali; ‘Dishaa konaas’/ Angularities of Directions his shoulders; Ears his Directions; Ashvini Kumars his Ear roots; Vayu his nose; His Prasannata or Coolness is Chandra Deva; his mind is Dharma /Virtue; his voice is Devi Vaani and tongue is Sarasvati; Aditi his neck; eyebrows are Twashta and Pusha his eyebrows; Vidyas are Valaya/ bracelet; Swarga dwaar Maitri / friendship; his face is Vaishwaanara; Andakosha Prajapati; hridaya/ heart is Parabrahma; Kashyapa Muni is Pumstva; his back constitutes Vasuganas; Saandhi -bhaaga the Marudganas; Suktas / Pravachanas his teeth and pure radiance Jyotirganas; His Vakshasthala is Mahadeva; Dharma is Maha sagara; Stomach full of Gandharvas; his Kati pradesha / lower back are the Deities viz. Lakshmi, Medha, Dhruti, Kaanti and various Vidyas; all Jyotis are his illuminations; Vedas and Ratnaas in his Kukshi / belly; in his stomach are Maha Yagnas, Balidaanaas, and the noble deeds of Brahmanas. Such was the Form of Vamana Deva which was visioned by Maha Bali Asura!) Vamana Deva expanded his stature to occupy the whole Universe, then measured Bhu Devi as the first step, ‘Antariksha’ as also the Lokas above as the second step and the third foot was reckoned as the underground lokas of Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasatala, Talaatala, Mahatala and Paataala and donated these to reign as their King. Vamana Deva bestowed the ‘Varas’ to Bali to enjoy Kingship for the on-going Vaiwasvanta Manvantara in the ‘Adholokas’and blessed him to become Indra on the arrival of the next Manvantara of Savavarni; meanwhile not only he should create problems to Indra but also control any evil forces to raise their heads as also perform ‘Vishnu Aradhana’ till then; at the same time, never antagonise Devas and Brahmanas, Vamana Deva warned King Bali.


22    Varahaavatara uplifts Prithvi from Rasaatala

As Prithvi was gradually getting pulled down under into Rasatala and like a weak cow unble to resist the force of the drag into the slush, Bhagavan Vishnu decided to haul up the massive attempt being made by the Daitya Hiranyaaksha. The helpless Prithvi appealed to Narayana who took up the ferocious Form of Varaha Deva to boost it and save her. She cited the example of reinstating Indra and Devas back to Swarga by incarnating Bhagavan as Vamana Deva. As the ‘Dhaata’/ the Creator, ‘Vidhata’ the Preserver and the ‘Samharta’/ the Destroyer, his unique powers were displayed everywhere as Manus, Prajapatis, Yama Deva, Agni, Pavana Deva, Megha /Clouds, Varna Dharma, Ashrama Dharma, Samudras, Mountains, Trees, Rivers, Dharma, Kama,Yagna and related activities, Vidya, Human and other Beings, Shri / Opulence, Kirti / Fame, Dhairya /Courage, Kshama / tolerance, Puranas, Vedas, Vedangas, yoga, Sankhya, Janma/Birth, Marana /Death, Bhuta /the Past, Bhavishyat / the Future etc. .

Bhu Devi commended Paramatma further saying:

Bhaasi Vaasi Pratipaasi twam paasi vichestasy,
Kruddhyamasi Ksaantimaayeesi twamdeepayaasi varshasi/
Twam haasyaasi na niryaasi nirvaapayaasi Jaagrasi,
Nih seshayaasi Bhutaani KaaloBhutwaa Yugakshaye/

(Paramatma! You shine, you flow, you heat up, you save, and you act decisively; also you get angry, you cool down, you display radiance and heat, you pour rains; You laugh, you stay still, you hit and kill, you wake up and at Pralaya times you destroy and terminate).Interestingly, Bhagavan re-creates the Universe again out of the ‘sehsha’ or the remainder and hence is called the Sesha. Even as Brahma, Indra, Varuna and all other Devatas are subject to an end, Vishnu is permanent and thus known as Achuta; since others Deities are of the ‘haran’ type or the ephemeral unlike Narayana, the latter is called Hari; since Brahma and other Devas could not perceive his ‘Anta’ or the End, Bhagavan is known as Ananta; even for thousansds of crores of ‘Kalpas’ Vishnu remains without ‘ksharata’ or damage, he is Akshara; as he is capable of ‘Vishtambhana’ or obstruction to the ‘Charaachara Jagat’/ mobile or immobile worlds, Bhagavan is titled Vishnu; as Rishis defined water as ‘Naara’ and as Bhagavan resides in it, Vishnu who rests on water is Narayana; as Prithvi which is characterised as a ‘Gov’ / Cow gets submerged in water at the end of each and every Yuga, Bhagavan Narayana is Govinda; in the context of Tatwa Gyana, ‘Indriyas’ or Human Limbs are excitable with emotions or ‘harshikas’ and thus Govinda is called Hrishikesha; at the Pralaya, all the Beings from Brahma downward take refuge in Vishnu and also get absorbed into him, Narayana is designated as Vaasudeva; in each and every Kalpaanta / Yugaanta, Total Existence is subjected to ‘Akarshana’ or gets magnetised to Vishnu and hence he is known as Samkarshana; since Bhagavan separates distinct sectors of Devas, Rakshasas and Asuras, he is known as Samkarshana; as ‘Dharma Viseshajna’, he is Praduymna; and as no Praani / Being could resist him, he is called Aniruddha. I am your refugee, Bhagavan!
As Prithvi was desperate, Bhagavan replied that since she rendered the Madhaviya Stotra with extraordinary devotion, she would never be let down and be afraid of any untoward happening. He then assumed the form of a ‘Varaha’:
Shata yojana vistirnarmucchritam dwigunam tatah,
Naala jeemuta samkaasham meghastanitanihswanam/
Girisamhananam Bhimam sweta teekshanaagra damshtrinam,
Vidyudagni prateekaashaama adityasama tejasam,
Peenavrittatayataskandham drupta shaardulagaaminam/
Peenonnata kateedeshey Vrushalakshana pujitam,
Rupasaasthaaya vipulam Vaaraahamajitho harih/
(The Varaha was invincible to any Being in ‘Srishti’; its body was spread over hundred yojanas across and was double its height; was like a huge mountain; ferocious and white, its top part with most powerful horns; unvisionable and radiant like lightning and fire; illuminated like Surya Deva; had magnificently broad shoulders, royal gait, etc. with the features of a massive sized bull.)
Pruthvyuddharanaiva pravivsha Rasatalam,
Vedapaado yupadamshtrah kratudanti schutibhushanah/
Aajyanaasah struva tundaha Samaghoshaswano Mahaan,
Satya dharma mayah Shrimaan karmavikrama satkrutah/
Praayaschhita nakho ghorah Pashujaanurmukhaakritih ,
Udgeetha homalingostha beejoushadhi mahaakalpah/
Vayavyaaraatmaa yagnaastha vikrutih Somashonitah,
Vedaskandho havirgandho havyakavya vibhagavaan/
Pragavamsha kayo dhrutimaan naanaa deekshaaabhiranvitah,
Dakshinaahrudayo yogi Mahaasatramayo Mahaan/
Upakarmoshtha ruchakah Pravargyavatartha bhushanah/
Naanaachhando gatipatho gruhyopanishadaasanah,
Chhaayaapatnee sahaayo vai mandishringa ivocchhitah/
Rasaatalatalo magnaam Rasaatala talam gataam,
Prabhurloka hitaayaarya damshogrenojjwahara taam/
Tatah Swasthaanamaaneeya Varaahah Pritheedharah,
Mumocha purvam manasaa dhaaritaam cha Vasumdharaam/
Tato Jagaama nirvaanam modini tasya Devaaya sambhavey/
( Vishnu as Varaha thus entered ‘Rasatala’; its four feet were like four Vedas; its teeeth like Yagnas, its face was like the Yagna Kunda; its tongue was Yagna; Brahma was like Varaha ‘mastaka’/ head; Agni was like his tongue; Kusha grass was like his body hairs; day and night were like his eyes; the Six Vedangas were like the ear-ornaments; Ghrutahuti or the oblations of ghee in a homa was his gulp; Sama Veda was like his raised sound of groan; Prayaschitta like his his fierce nails; his ‘rupa’was like Yagna; Vayu like his Antaratma; his blood was like Somarasa; Vedas were like his shoulders; Dakshina was his heart; Upakarma was like the region between his lips; Veda-gamana Marga and Upanidhads were like seat; and Chaaya was like his wife. Such Varaha Murti dived into the depths of Rasatala and with the sheer push of his tusks lifted Bhudevi in one huge lift-up, deposited her on the tusks and in one giant leap emerged to keep her in her original position.Thus the unique ‘Achintya’ relieved the helplessness of Prithvi Devi forever.)


23    Kurmaavatara, ‘Amrita Mathan’, Kaalakuta and Devi Mohini

As Danava Guru Shukracharya secured Sanjeevani Vidya from Maha Deva after thousands of years of penance and meditation to enable Danavas and Daityas the restore their lives, especially after their killings in battles with Devas, there were series of victories of Danavas and all the like minded evil forces, while Injustice and Vice prevailed in suppression of Virtue, Justice and Peace. In response to a delegation of Devas led by Indra and Deva Guru, Brahma appealed against passion for battles and enemities. He also called King Bali the Head of Daityas and Danavas and to refrain from frequent quarrels with Devas and suggested a Master Plan for the mutual benefit of Devas, Gandharvas and like minded allies on the one hand and Daityas, Danavas, Rakshaas, Nagas and Yakshas on the other. The Plan proposed by Brahma was follows: Both Daityas and Devas should jointly organise the Project of ‘Kshira Sagara Mathana’; approach Vishnu under the leadership of King Bali to revive the Form of ‘Kurma’ (Tortoise) present in Palala loka; request Mandarachala or the Mountain of Mandara to be the churning rod; pray to ‘Sehsha Nag’or the Giant Serpent who bears the weight of the entire Universe to be the long and strong rope to be used for the churning. As planned the joint delegation prayed to Bhagavan Kurma liyng in Patala loka first and the latter agreed readily saying:
Thrailokya dhaarineynaapi na glanir-mama jaayatey,
Kimu Mandarakaat Kshudraat gutikaa samnibhaadiha/
(I have no problem in holding the Mandhara Mountain for this noble cause as this so like a pebble for me!) Later on when the delegation approached Sesha Nag, he replied:
Brahmanda veshtinaanaapi Brhahmaanda mathanenavaa,
Na mey glanirbhaved dehey kimu Mandara vartaney!
(If I could bear the brunt of the Universe what is the problem in holding it while churning and rotating it!).At that time, Kurma Deva was right underneath the Mountain, but neither Daityas nor Devas could rotate the mountain much less churn it. The delegation reached Vaikuntha and prayed to Vishnu under the Leadership of Bali, when Vishnu was in Yoga Nidra lying on Sesha Nag on Ksheera Samudra, as follows:
Namo loka trayadhaksha tejasaa jita bhaskara,
Namo Vishno Namo Jishno Namastey Kaitabhardana/
Namah sargakriyaakartrey Jagatpaalayatey Namah,
Rudrarupaaya Sharvaaya Namah Samharakaariney/
Namah Shulaayudhadhrushya Namo Daanava-ghaatiney,
Namah Trayaakranta Trailokyaayaabhavaaya cha/
Namah Prachanda Daitreyndrakulakaala mahaanala,
Namo naabhihrudodbhuta padmagarbha Mahabala/
Padmabhuta Mahabhuta karthrey hatrey Jagatpriya,
Janitaa Sarvalokesha kriyaa kaarana kaariney/
Amaraari vinaashaaya Mahaasamara shaaliney,
Lakshmi mukhaabja madhupa namah keerti nivaasiney/
Asmaakamamaratwaaya ghritayaam ghriyataa -mayam,
Mandarah Sarvashailaanaamayutaatayaayuta vistrutah/
Anantabala baahu bhyamavasht abhaika paaninaa,
Madhyataamamrtutam Deva Swadhaa Swaadhaartha kaaminam/
(Bhagavan Vishnu, Jishnu, Trilokaadhyaksha! our sincere greetings to you; You are the famed demolisher of Kaitabha; The Creator, the Presever and also the Destroyer of the whole world with Trishula in your hands; You expanded and occupied in merely three steps of yours all the Three Lokas; You are like the Agni who put the total ‘Vamsha’ or the race of the frightful of Daitya Clan into flames and ash; You materialised Brahma from the lotus of your navel; You are the Jagatkarta, Harta and Priya; the Karya, Karana and Karta or the Deed, the Doing and the Doer; Our endeavours are due to create ‘Amrit’ for ‘Amaratwa’ or everlasting life; kindly enable with your mighty arms the ‘Manthana’ or churning of the Madarachala in the Ksheera Sagara! ) As Bhagavan agreed to do so and initiated the circling of Sesha Nag around the Mountain, the Daityas and Danavas out of bravado held the head of Sesha Nag’s thousand mouths that emitted poisonous flames and many of them perished even before the process of churning; Devas on the other hand held the tail and manouvered it. As both the churning got momentum, both the Parties were extremely tried and Indra materialised cool showers to reduce the tiresomeness. Lord Brahma alerted and encouraged with cheerings and heartening remarks periodcally to both the face-drawers and tail-enders of the Sesha Nag. As the churning of the ten thousand yojana wide Mountain continued, from its top fell down several groups of elephants, eight-footed Sharabha animals, wild lions, tigers , boars and bears, crores of fearful poisonous reptiles, besides heavy and tall trees, branches, fruits, leaves, medicinal herbs and plants into the Ocean. The resultant pulp of the ‘Manthan’ of the materials dropped from the Mountain produced ‘Varuni’ and its envigorating smell pleased Devas and Danavas and became refreshed and mightier; the speed of churning pepped up and Bhagavan Vishnu held the sides of the Mountain by his shoulders-grip and the radiance of the jewels on the thousand hoods was reflected on the blue dazzle of Vishnu’s shoulders and hands looking like a ‘Brahma danda’ even as thousands of roars and lightnings emerged from the defeaning sounds of clouds above and sky-rise sea tides below. From the tail side of the Sesha Nag, Indra, Aditya, Rudragana, Vasugana, and other Devas were getting more and more active while the Rakshasa ganas including the powerful Viprachit, Namuchi, Vritra, Shambar, Dwimurtha, Vajradamshtra and Rahu, all headed by King Bali were displaying their respective energies with arrogance and self-pride. In the process countless animals, fishes, reptiles and othe varieties of Seas and the under-Sea Beings were destroyed in millions.Unfortunately however there was no indication of the much awaited ‘Amrit’ and all the Parties concerned were fully exhausted and disappointed. They all in one voice of unanimity prayed to Bhagavan Vishnu once again and the Lord assured them:
Balam dadaami sarveshaam karmaitad ye samaasthitaah,
Kshubhyataam kramashah Sarvair Mandarah parivartataam/
(To all the persons involved in this Manthana Venture, I am according ‘Shakti’herewith and all concerned should perform their maximum from now on). As the action had improved mani-fold now, there was Purna Chandra, who emerged with the illumination of hundred Suryas yet with extraordinary coolness that would readily bring about breezy freshness to the whole world. Then Devi Lakshmi was materialised with considerable grace and gorgeousness who desired to opt for Bhagavan Vishnu; she was followed by Sura Devi and Ucchaishwa and these were granted by Asuras to Indra as they were rather keen only for Amrita. Then followed the emergence of Koustubh Mani and that was gifted away to Vishnu to adorn the ornament on his broad chest. Further on, there was a Parijata Vriksha, which had bunches of flowers whose intoxicating fragrance filled up all over the gardens of Swarga. Eventually, there occurred dense and blue smoke which appeared all over the Ocean and reached the sky as well, when all the participants of the Churning were unable to increasingly bear it and had to temporarily call off the action as there were poisonous flames and fumes surrounding them, choking them all and killing several of them. Meanwhile, a highly frightful figure making terrible noises descended from the pitch dark clouds; as Daityas and Devas were frrightened to the core and Bhagavan Vishnu interrogated that horrendous figure as to who that it was! The reply came to Vishnu that it was KAALAKUTA VISHA and that could devour the whole Universe instantly, that it emerged pursuant to the huge scale churning of Ksheera Samudra and that all the participants should at once take the refuge of Maha Deva. The panicky Deva-Danavas as well as Brahma and Vishnu made a bee-line to a Golden Cave on the top of Mandara Mountain which too was a Principal participant of the Manthana Drama. At the Entry Gate of ‘Shiva Nivasa’, Ganeswara took Maha Deva’s permission to let the agitated Devotees in as they all in a chorus commended Shiva (Shiva Stuti) as follows:
Namastubhyum Virupaksha Namestey Divyachakshusey/
Namah Pinaaka hastaaya Vajrahastaaya dhanviney/
Namah trishula hastaaya Dandahastaaya Dhurjatey,
Namastrailokya naathaaya Bhutagraama shareeriney/
Namah Suraari hantrey cha Somaagnya kaaryagnya chakshushey,
Brahmaney chaiva Rudraaya Namastey Vishnu –rupeney/
Brahmaney Vedarupaaya Namastey Deva rupiney,
Saamkhya yogaaya Bhutaanaam Namastey Shaambhavaaya tey/
Manmathaayaanga vinaashaaya Namah Kaalakshayankara,
Ramhasey Deva Devaaya Namastey Vasuretasey/
Eka Viryaya Sarvaaya Namah Pinga kapardiney,
Uma bhartrey Namastubhyam Yagna Tripura ghaatiney/
Shuddha bodha prabuddhaaya Muktakaivalya rupiney,
Lokatraya vidhhatrecha Varunendraagni rupiney/
Rugyasussama rupaaya Purushaayeswaraaya cha,
Agraaya chaiva chograaya Vipraay Shurti chakshusey/
Rajasey chaiva Satvaaya Tamasey Timiraamaney,
Anintya nityabhaavaaya namo nityacharaatmaney/
Vyaktaaya chai vyaktaaya Vyaktaavyaktaanaya vai namah,
Bhaktaanaamaarti naashaaya Priyanaraayanaayacha/
Umaapriyaaya Sharvaaya Nandivaktraaschitaaya cha,
Rutu manvata kalpaaya Paksha maasa dinaatmaney/
Nanaarupaaya Mundaaya Varuutha Pruthu dandiney,
Namah Kapaalahastaaya Digvaasaaya Shikhandiney/
Dhaniney rathiney chaiva yatayey Brahmachaariney,
Ityevamaadi charitaih stutantu tubhyam namo namah/
(Virupaaksha! Divya netradhaariney! Our obeisances to you; you carry Pinaka, Vajra and Dhanush; our reverences to you! Jataadhaari! you hold Trishula and Danda in your hands, our sincere respects to you; You are the Trilokanatha and the Swarupa of all ‘Pranis’ / Beings; our greetings to you the annihilator of ‘Deva Shatrus’; the Possessor of ‘Chandraagni Surya Rupas’ as also of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra Rupas’; You are the Swarupas of Brahma, Veda an Rudra Rupas; You are also the Sankhya Swarupa and the unique provider of Propitiousness to all the Beings; You are the destroyer of Kamadeva’s physique of love and the terrminator of Kaala Deva; You are the Vegashali, Devadhi Deva and Vasureta; Sarva Shreshtha, Vira, Sarva Swarupa and wearer of the yellow coloured ‘Jataas’/ twisted hair; Umanatha, Tripura Vinaashaa! The Epitome of Pure Form of ‘Jnaana’/ knowledge; Triloka Vidhata; The Swarupa of Varuna, Indra, Agni; the Rupa of Ruk, Yajur and Sama; Purushottama, Parameswara, Sarva Sreshtha, Bhayankara, Brahmana Swarupa; the Possessor of Satwa, Rajasa and Tamasa Gunas; Andhakaara Rupa, Achintya, Nitya, Nityacharaatma; Perceivable and Unperceivable; the demolisher of the difficulties of Devotees; the Great Friend of Narayana, the beloved of Devi Uma; The Great Terminator; The shine of Nandeswara’s countenance; the Unique Measures of Time like Manvantaras, Kalpas, Ritus, Months, Fortnights, Weeks and Days; the Activiser of Myriad Rupas / Forms; of the Shaven Head; Digambara/ Sanyasi/ Brahmachaari, Maha Shankara! Our prostrations to you; Maha Deva! You are the only Supreme Energy which could gulp the ‘Kalakuta Visha’; if uncontrolled; it could devour the Universe as a whole!). As the Deva-Daanava’s joint delegation prostrated before Bhagavan-which incidentally was a historical event of unique significance, Shankara agreed: Bhakshayishyaamyaham ghoram kalakutam Maha visham, Tathaanyadapi yatkruthyam kruchhasaadhyam Surasuraah, Tacchaapi saadhayishyaami tishthadhwam vigatajjwaraah/ (Deva Suraagana! I am no doubt consuming this terrible poison anyway; if you entrust me any other worse and more difficult deeds to be performed, they too would be executed; never worry!) By so saying, Bhagavan took the ‘Halaahala Visha’into his left hand and consumed and retained it in his throat as Devas headed by Brahma as also Asuras led by King Bali hailed Parameshwara exclaimed: Shobhatey Deva Kathastey gaatrey kundaniprabho, Bhrungaamaalaanibham Kanthepyathraivaastu visham tawa/ (Devadeva! As your Physique is white, slender and fragrant like a jasmine flower while the blue tinge of your throat has a remarkably distinct-look with the spot on your throat; please do retain it as it is!) All the concerned parties involved in the ‘Operation Amrit’ returned back to their respective positions once again anxiously awaiting the materialisation of Amrit.
In the final exercise of Churning the ‘Ksheera Sagara’, Bhagavan Dhanvantari, the Deity of ‘Ayurveda’ surfaced along with the most awaited Pot of Amrit; then followed the Large and Attractive Eyed Devi Madira the symbol of Intoxication; Kamadhenu the celestial cow which fulfilled the desires of any Living Being got materialised later on; the Celestial Elephant Iravata which Indra Deva claimed; Surya Deva accepted Dhanvatari as also the Ucchaishvraya horse that came up even earlier; Varuna Deva claimed the Celestial Chhatra (umbrella) and as Indra desired the Kundala Dwaya or the magnifecent Ear-Rings. At this juncture, Dhanvantari declared AMRITA and then commenced an all-out scuffle between Devas and Daityas making claims and counter claims. The fight assumed larger proportions as Bhagavan Vishnu materialised Mohini Devi and the demons became victims of Maya -Illusion-as they were completely enchanted by her and allowed her to distribute the Elixir. In this confusion, Mohini let Devas seize the Eternal Pot and they drank it off one by one; one Asura viz. Rahu however managed to consume the drops of Amrit upto his throat and as Surya and Chandra shouted against Rahu, Vishnu in a swift action cut off the Demon’s throat by his Sudarshana Chakra, but the damage was already done and Rahu became immortal, all though all the rest of Asuras were denied of the Divine Drink. This followed fierce battles between Devas and Danavas and there was extensive massacre and blood-bath when innumerable Danavas and Daityas suffered losses and Devas became victorious under the stewardship of Bhagavan Vishnu. The left-over Danava-Daitya Stalwarts disappeared into the Oceans to retire into Patala Loka. There after, Mandarachala was restored to its original position; so did Sesha Nag and Sudarshana Chakra too. The havoc created in the Oceans too limped back to normalcy. The Dikpalakas, Devas, Gandharvas and all the Celestial Beings got reinstated and were extremely delighted and overjoyed.
Tatomrutam sunihitameva chakrirey, Suraah Paraam tudamabhigamya pushklalaam/ Dadduscha tam nidhimamrutasya rakshitam, Kiritiney Balibhirathaamaraih saha/
(Thereafter, the Devaganas were gladdened to safeguard and hand over the ‘Amrita Nidhi’ /The Remaining Deposit of the Elixir to the custody of Bhagavan Vishnu himself.)


24     The Basics of ‘Vaastu Shastra’-Origin, Construction methodology & Vaastu Yagna

When Bhagavan Shankara was demolishing Andhakaasura, there was a drop of sweat that fell on the ground and an awesome and nasty Being who kept on drinking the blood of the slain Asura; since that ‘Praani’was not satisfied with its hunger, it started to eat up whatever came handy. As the Praani requested Shankara, the latter gave a boon of being able to consume any where in the Trilokas; in Swarga, the Praani was called ‘Deva Vaastu’. As the Praani came down to Earth, Brahma gave the dispensation that whenever there was a talk of Vaastu or the Rules and deeds of Construction, there would be ‘Bali’or Naivedya / offering of food at the end of ‘Vaishwanara’Bali or oblations to Agni. Also separate ‘Vaastu Shanti’/appeasement deed to the Deity of Vaastu would fetch food to him, as and when construction activities are commenced all over the Universe. That was also the Origin of ‘Vaastu Yagna’.
Eighteen Rishis gave the Rules and Regulations of Vaastu Shastra to the posterity and these Rishis were: Bhrigu, Arti, Vasishtha, Vishwakarma, Maya, Nagnajit, Bhagavan Shankara, Indra, Kumara, Nandeswara, Shounaka, Garga, Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Shukra and Brihaspati. As regards, the knowledge of Griha Nirmaana, the results of initiating construction activity in various MONTHS are as follows: in Chaitra Month ‘Vyadhi’or diseases are caused; in Vaisakha the Constructors gain cows and Ratnas; in Jeyshtha Month, death is indicated in the family; in Ashadha month construction helps gain of servants, Ratnas and ‘Pashus’ or domestic animals; in Shraavana Month there would be gain of servants; dangers and risks in Bhadrapada Month; construction in Aswin Month might lead to risk to wife; in Kartik Month there would be gain of Dhana- Dhanya or Money and Crops; in Margasirsha month there would be surplus of Bhojyas or Food Items; commencement of construction in the month of Pausha might lead to thefts and loss of materials; Construction in Magha Month there would be benefits but some fear or possibility of Fire and finally, activities of construction during Phalguna Month should yield gold, progeny and prosperity.
Initiating the Construction of Grihas / houses is considered the best in respect of the following NAKSHATRAS OR STARS: Ashvini, Rohini, Mula, the three Uttaraas, Mrigashira, Swati, Hasta, and Anuradha. As regards the DAYS, all the days of a week are good, except Sundays and Tuesdays. In regard to YOGAS, construction should not start on the following yogas viz. Vyaaghat, Shula, Vyatipaat, Atiganda, Vishkambha, Ganda, Parigha and Vajra. Following MUHURTAS are stated to be ideal for contstruction viz. Sweta, Maitra, Maahendra, Gaandhawa, Abhijit, Rouhini, Vairaja, and Savitri. To decide on the SHUBHA LAGNA, the activity of construction should be commenced when the Chandra bala as also Suryabala would be equally positve. The most important activities apart, ‘Stambharohana’or the hoisting of the Pillar should be taken up first; similarly the procedures should be the same as in respect of the costruction of Praasaads, wells and such mini water bodies. SOIL TEST would be the foremost activity before the actual construction is taken up. Sweta (White), Lal (Red), Peeta (yellowish) and kaala (black) may be the ideal soils for the Four ‘Varnas’of Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra respectively. Taste-wise, the soil may be sweetish for Brahmanas, sour for Kshatriyas, ‘tiktha’ or bitter for Vaishyas and ‘Kasaili’/ Kashaya / Pungent for Shudras. As a part of the soil quality test, saplings are to be planted and the best soil quality would yield the growth over three nights; medium growth over five nights and minimal growth over a week. The best soil obviously would give out the quickest yield. By way of a diagram, the area meant for construction is drawn as a big square which is divided into nine squares while each square is further sub-divided into nine smaller squares, thus making a total of eighty one squares.Of these, thirty two Devatas are worshipped in as many sub-squares and thirteen Devatas from outside those sub squares, thus accounting for forty five squares. The names and the positioning of the respective Deities are: Shikhi, Parjanya, Jayant, Indra, Surya, Satya, Brusha, Antakisha, Vayu, Pusha, Vitatha, Brihatsakshatha, Yama, Gandharva, Bhring raaja, Mriga, Pitrugana, Daivarika,Sugreeva, Pushpadanta, Jalaadhusha, Asura, Sesha, Paapa, Roga, Ahi, Mukhya, Bhallata, Soma, Sarpa, Aditi and Diti; these thirty two Deities are Baahya Devatas. These Deities are to be worshipped in the four Dik-konas like Ishaana. Now, outside the Vaastu Chakra the following four Deities are to be worshipped viz. Aapa, Savitra, Jaya, and Rudra. In the middle nine squares, on the four sides of Brahma, eight Sadyha Devatas are to be positioned and these are Aryama, Savita, Viviswaan, Vibhudha -adhipa, Mitra, Raajayakshma, Prithvidhara, and Apavatsa. Apa, Apavatsa, Parjanya, Agni and Diti-these are of five Devataa varga to be worshipped in Agneya-kona. Further, twenty Devataas are positioned in two rows: Aryama, Viwaswaan, Mitra and Pritvidhara-these four are stationed on three sides of Brahma in three, three positions each. This is the Procedure of worship to all the relevant Deities.
The methodology of construction varies from one building to another such as Chatuhshaala, Trishaala; Dwishala etc.The Chatuh shaala is open from all four sides with gates /doors on all the sides, known as Sarvatomukha and is normally ideal for a Palace or a Temple. A building which has no door to the west is called Nandyavarta; without a door on the Southern side is called Vardhamaana; without a door on the Eastern side is called Swastika; and without an opening on the Northern side is Ruchaka. A King’s Palace is ideally measured the hundred and eight hand-lengths, while that of a Prince has sixty six measures; a General’s abode with sixty four measures; forty eight measures to forty eight measures; and thirty two for an ordinary citizen. As regards the ‘Stambhas’ (Pillar) in an ordinary house, its circumference is multiplied by nine times and the result must be the depth of the pillar underground; a four angled pillar is called ‘Ruchak’; eight angled pillar is ‘Vajra’; sixteen angled pillar is ‘Dwi Vajra’, thirty two angled pillar is ‘Praleenak’ and a pillar whose mid-region is round is called ‘Vritra’. All the residential homes should be entered from the right side ‘Pravesha Dwar’. Entry from the eastern side where Indra and Jayanta exist is the best; in the southern side ‘dwara’, it is said that Yamya and Vitatha are supposed to be ruling and is good too; on the western dwara, Varuna and Pushpadanta are prominent; Uttara dwar is governed by Bhallat and Sowmya and is quite propitious. But one should be careful of ‘vedhas’or forced entries: for instance, such vedhas through side-lanes might result in ‘Kulakshaya’ or damage to the Vamsha; forced entry through trees might end up in mutual hatred of family members; vedha through mud would bring in sorrows; vedha through water ways would result in problems; vedha through pillars might end up through difficulties arising due to women. Entering from one house to another could end up in grief to the master of the house. A house which opens on its own might result in madness of a family member. Similarly, a house which gets closed on its own could end up in ‘Kula naasha’/ distress to the Kula. Entry through a very high door could lead to ‘Raja bhaya’ or difficulties on account of Authorities. If the door is too low, there could by ‘Chora bhaya’ or fear of thefts. A door just above another door could attract Yamaraja darshan. If a house with a main door of disproportionate size is built in the middle of a big road is made, the master of the house would not live for long. If the main door is smaller than the other doors of a house, that house might not have contentment and would be a constant abode of recurring predicaments. The rear portion of the house must be kept duly adorned with trees, foliage, pots and decoratives. The east of the house there should be ‘Vata’ vriksha; in the Southern side Udumbara tree and the western side Pippala Tree and Pluksha tree on the northern side. Nearby the house, trees with thorns and Ksheera Vrikshas or milk-yielding trees are not good. It would be propitious to grow trees like Pumnaga, Ashoka, Shami, Tilaka, Champa, Dadimi, Peepali, Draksha, Arjuna, Jambeera, Puga, Panasa, Ketaki, Malati, Kamala Chameli, Mallika, Coconut, Kela, Kadali and Patala as these Trees are signs of Lakshmi / prosperity. Houses are better not built in the extreme vicinity of temples, Dhurtas or mischievous elements, General Adinistration, Four-Lane Centers, since there might be causes for irritation, fear and problems. Leaving ample space before, rear and sides of the building is a must. It would be advisable to have the southern part of the house elevated and such an abode is called a ‘Sampurna’ or complete from the Vaastu point of view and would thus bestow the best of advantages. To lay the ‘Adhara Shila’ (Foundation Stone) of a building, the Priest should determine the ‘Muhurat’, decorate the Stone with white cloth, lay ‘Nava Ratnas’and Gold along with Nava Dhanyas or nine varieties of appropriate seeds and with the help of masons fix up the stone, and perform ‘puja’to Ganapati, Vaastu Deva, Ishta Devata or the Family Deity with formal ‘Mantrocchaarana’,also perform ‘Havan’/ homa to Agni Deva with milk, ghee and honey: The relevant Havan Mantra is:
Vaastoshpatey Pratijaanee –hyasmaantswaavesho anameevo bhavaa nah,
yat tvemahey prati tanno jupuswa sham no bhava dwipatdey sham chatushpadey/
VAASTU YAGNA comprises: Sutrapath, Stambhaaropana or hoisting of the main Pillar, Dwara vamshocchraya, Griha Pravesha and Vaastu Shanti. Sutrapath takes place in the Ishana Disha and Stambhaaropana in Agneya kona. Vaastu Deva’s ‘Pada Chinhas’ or foot prints should be set up and the ‘Karta’should do ‘pradakshinas’(circumambulation) around the foot-prints. It is stated that water with the powder of Munga, Ratna and Suvarna should be sprinkled while designing the ‘Pada-Chihnaas’. Incidentally, the signs of Vaastu should never be ash, lit up firesticks, nails, skins, horns, bones, and skull as some ill-informed persons tend to do so and such material would lead to distress, danger and difficulties. It is advisable that masons and other workers are present at the time of Griha Pravesh.
Ishaaney Devataagaaram tathaa Shaanti gruham bhavet,
Mahaanasam thathaagneye tatpaarswam chottarey jalam,
Gruhasyopakaram sarvam Nairutye Sthaapaded Buddhah/
Bandhasthaanam bahih kuryaat snaana mandapameyvacha,
Dhana Dhaanyam cha Vaayavye karmashaalaam tato bahih,
Evam Vaastu viseshah syaad Ghruha bhatruh shubaavaham/
(To the Ishaana side of any house, the Devataagruha and Shantigriha must be set up; its kitchen must be in the Agneya kona; to the northern side the ‘Jala sthaan’ (Water reservoir); all the house materials be kept in the Nairuti kona; the place for keeping domestic animals like cows and buffalos as well as bathing rooms are better constructed outside the house; the storage place for Dhana-dhanya should be kept in the Vayavya kona; the ‘Karya shala’or the Offices should be organised outside the residential place. This pattern of living would certainly assure excellent propitiousness and happiness to the entire family. At the ‘Griha Pravesh’ function (House Warming Time) approaches, Peace and Prosperity is ushered in as stated:
Krutwaagrato Dwijavaraanatha Purnakumbham
Dhadyakshataamala pushpa phalopa shobham/
Datwaa hiranyavasanaani tadaa Dwijebhyo,
Maangalya Shaanti nilayaya gruham vishekthu/
Gruhoktahoma vidhaanaa Bali karma kuryat,
Praasaada Vaastu shamaney cha vidharya uktah,
Santarpayed vijavaraanatha bhakshya bhojjyeh,
Shuklaambarah Swabhavanam pravishet sa dhupam/
(As the house is fully ready, the Head of the family should initiate the action of conducting ‘Mangala Shanti’ with a group of Brahmanas ahead along with a ‘Kalasha’/Vessel, full of Sweet Water, Curd, Akshatas, tender mango leaves, flowers, fruits and coconuts as also scented sandal water, agarbattis/ incense sticks and oil-wick lamps nicely lit and decorated, as Brahmanas recite Veda hymns and musical instruments are played, while entering the house at the appointed ‘Muhurta’. There after Griha praasaadas/ doors and other household items are purified for Vaastu Shaanti and Homa and Balidaana are performed. Brahmanas are treated with Bhojan and gifts of gold, vastras and dakshinas, where after relatives and friends are treated too with bhojan and gifts.)


25    Dharma Raja impressed with Savitri’s conviction and reverses Satyavan’s death


In the days of yore, there was a King named Ashwapati of Shaakala Vamsa in Madra Desha (the present Sialkot Territory) who did not secure a son. Being highly devoted to Devi Savitri (Gayatri), he intensified his worship to her and performed a daily ‘havan’/ oblation to Agni with white ‘Tilas’ (Sesame seeds) in the presence of thousand Brahmanas for ten months and finally Devi Savitri appeared to Ashwapati on a Chaturthi day and granted an illustrious daughter to him and queen Malati; the baby was named as Savitri since she was born by the grace of Devi Savitri. The daughter grew into a charming and highly virtuous girl; a chance visit of Brahmarshi Narada to the King and the daughter indicated that her husband would die on a specified day after her wedding. They both indeed were terribly worried about Narada’s prophesy but she was married in due course to the son of King Jhumnatsen called Satyavan who was a charismatic prince. But unfortunately the King lost his kingdom as also the eye sight of his and of the wife. Savitri emboldened herself and faced the situation with confidence and performed unreserved and steadfast service to the parents-in-law. At the sametime, she served her husband so much that Narada’s prophesy was always ringing in her ears constantly and never allowed the husband even for a while. She also worshipped her Guru and followed each and every advice of his as a word of law. Thus she was worshipping her husband, her parents-in-law and her Guru as much as never in history had performed in the past. As the specific Chaturthi that Narada warned about her husband’s death within a year, she took permission of her blind parents-in-law and her Guru and entered a jungle along with Satyavan and decided to keep her husband the happiest man and spent every moment with him by showing and sharing with him the most memorable beauties of Nature, the waterfalls, the cool waters, the fragrant and colourful flowers and so on. She described that coulpes of hares, crows, lions, monkeys, and deers were all in a state of maddening infatuation and such wonderful experiences tended to extend lives forever! Meanwhile, Satyavan felt like cutting wood from some dry trees but Savitri cautioned that he should not be away from her. In great fun, he said that he would never ever dare to be away from her. Suddenly, Satyavan felt excruciating pain in his head and fell flat. Even while realising as to what was happening, she sensed that some thumb-long figures tied to Satyavan’s soul and were ready to draw it towards the Southern direction and visioned that Yama Dharma Raja himself was present there. She screamed with astonishment and closely following Yamaraja sobbed away and said: Sacred Scriptures assured that sincere devotion to mother provided this loka, devotion to father would secure Swarga and devotion to Guru would fetch Brahma loka but of what avail was her sincerity if Scriptures made false promises? Dharma Raja replied: Do not interfere with my duty; indeed the Scriptures were right, the dead soul was a virtuous person and that she too was a real Pativrata, but there was a fixed procedure of terminating a human being as per one’s life span which was pre-determined and judgment was given as per norms. Savitri counter argued that for a woman, husband was a Deity and the provider of safety; a father, brother or a son were no doubt the safeguarders but the husband was above all and if he were to be forcibly taken away then she had no other alternative but to immolate her life. Dharma Raja was indeed taken back ar her firmness and smilingly said that such an incidence as this was rare and that he would be pleased to bestow any boon excepting her husband’s life. As Savitri took up the opportunity, she requested him to restore the eyesight as also the Kingdom to her in-laws and Dharma Raja readily granted these boons and asked her to go back so that he could perform his duty. He also asked her not to follow further and tire out herself without any aim or useful purpose. Devi Savitri replied that she would never feel tired following great celebrities of the stature of Dharma Raja, even if they were annoyed because only such emblems of Dharma could sift persons of genuineness or other-wise; it was stated in the Scriptures that one should never be afraid of even Agni, poison, and snakes compared to evil persons where as ‘Satpurushas’had an inner conscience and even if they were apparently rude and hurtingly outspoken, their basic quality would be outstanding and subject to change of stance since such ‘Mahatmas’ test the authenticity of other persons being faced. Even normal and impartial Kings and Administrators would tend to examine the realities of those who make requests and a Deity par excellence like Dharma Raja would like to the make sure whether her supplications were pure and straight from the heart or not. That was the reason why Savitri felt untired of following Dharma Raja! Apparrently, Dharma Raja was pleased with the logic of Savitri and replied that without insisting on the life of Satyavaan, she might ask for another boon. She grabbed the opportunity and requested that her parents were not blessed with a son; despite performing countless Sacred deeds and their daily homas in favour of Gayatri / Savitri they succeded on giving birth to a daughter but not a ‘Vamsoddhaaraka’. Dharma Raja conceded the second boon too and firmly admonished Savitri to pester further but should return home at once to organise the obsequies of her departed husband. Having secured the second boon from Dharmaraja, Savitri still followed the former and stated that any human being would like to fulfil three essential steps of Dharma, Artha and Kama as the corner-stones of an ideal life. She affirmed:

Dharmaarjanam tathaa kaaryam purushena vijaanataa,
Tallaabham Sarva laabhebhyo yadaa Daiva viseshatey/
Dharmaschaartha scha kaamascha trivargo janmanah phalam,
Dharma heenasya kaamaarthey vandhyaa sutasamou Prabho/
Dharmadarthastathaa kaamo Dharmaallokadwayam tathaa,
Dharma ekonuyaatyenam yatra kwachanagaaminam/
Shareerena samam naasham sarvamanya -ddhi gacchati,
Ekohi jaayatey jantureka eva vipadyatey/

(Deva! Any Enlightened person seeks to earn Dharma since that secures the best of gains; the objective of life is to fulfil the means of Dharma viz. Artha and Kaama; conversely, wealth and fulfilment of desires alone without Dharma would be wasting one’s life. Dharma would certainly fulfil the means to achieve it and could at the same time lead to Salvation too. In the final analysis, a dying person leaves every thing behind except Dharma and a person born does not bring any possessions nor takes anything at death). Dharma Raja was pleased with what Savitri said and asked her a third boon to that outstanding Pativrata who had been fighting for her husband’s life. In turn, Savitri asked the boon:

Varayaami twayaa dattam putraanaam shatamourasam,
Anapatyasya lokeshu gatih kila na vidyatey/

(Deva! I request you to give me the boon of securing hundred sons of my own, since without obtaining sons,
there would be no ‘Sadgati’to her and husband as parents).

Yama Raja then granted this boon also and Savitri commended Dharma as follows:

Dharmaadharma vidhaanajna Sarva Dharma Pravartaka,
Twameva Jagato naathaha Prajaa samyamaney Yamah/
Karmanaaman -rupena Yasmaad Yamayasey Prajaah,
Tasmaad vai proachyasey Deva Yama ityeva naamatah/
Dharmaneymaah Prajaah Sarvaa yasmaad ranjayasey Prabho,
Tasmaat tey Dharma raageti naama Sadbhirirnigadyatey/
Sukrutam dushkrutam chobhey Purodhaaya yadaa janaah/
Tatsavakaasham mrutaa yaanti tasmaat twam Mrutyu ruchyatey/

(Dharamaadharma Vidhaataa! You are the highest Administrator of Dharma; since you are the Chief Regulator of Dharma, you are called Yama. As you ensure that human beings do not indulge in Adharma and make them follow the Path of Truth, you are known as Dharma Raja. Since when human beings die, you confront them with a full account of their good and bad deeds, and hence you are knwn as Mrityu. As the dead persons are approached by you with the details of each action of theirs by each Kshana/ second, and measure of Kaala or Time, you are called as Kaala. Since you are the designated Authority to terminate the life of each and every ‘charaachara’ or mobile and immobile being, you are titled Antak. As you are the eldest son of Surya Deva who has the name of Viwasvaan, you carry the name of Vaiwasvata. As and when the life of any being is over, you catch him suddenly and that is why you have another name viz. Sara praanahara. Devesha! Thanks to you the Ruk-Yajur- Sama Vedas continue to popularise the Principles of Virtue and Justice eternally; you are the upkeeper of nobility and discipline the world over and I have come to the shield of safety from you; kindly give back my husband at once as my in-laws too are frantic now for his life. As Savitri concluded her desperate prayers, Dharma Raja asserted that he was giving away Satyavan’s life back, that he would secure her hundred sons who would all become famous Kings, that her parents too would be blessed with hundred sons of virtue and that her brother would be popular as Malava, the King of Malva.

Thus concludes the Sacred Legend of Maha Saadhvi Savitri:

Tasmaad Saadhwyaha Striyah Pujyaah Satatam,
Taasaamtu vakyam bhavateeha midhya na jaatu lokeshu charachareshu/
Tasmaat sadaa taah pari pujaneeyaah, Kaamaan Samagraanabhi kaamayaanaih/

(Hence women of High Virtue ought to be worshipped since the Three Lokas are preserved due to their grace. The voices of Pativratas should never be ignored as they are worthy of veneration and fulfill their desires).



26    ‘Gotra Pravara Nirnaya’ (Determination of Gothras /Vamshas and ancestry)


Matsya Bhagavan enlightened Vaivaswata Manu about the origin of Maharshis who got materialised from Agni pursuant to Brahma Deva’s blessings. While Bhrigu Maharshi emerged from the radiance of Agni, Maharshi Angira came out of ‘Angaaraas’ or ‘Agni’s flame bursts; Atri appeared from Agni ‘Sikhas’or ends of flames; Marichi came out of the rays of Agni; Pulastya surfaced from ‘Agni Keshas’ or hairs; Pulaha Maharshi floated from the long reaches of Agni; and Vasishtha was created from the glow. Maharshi Bhrigu married the daughter of Puloma Rishi and from the union was born twelve celestial sons likened to Devas viz. Bhuvana, Bhouvana, Sujanya, Sujana, Kratu, Vasu, Murdha, Tyajya, Vasuda, Prabhava, Avyaya and Daksha. Thus Bhrigu was known as Deva Bhrigu. Also the couple of Bhrigu and Paulomi gave birth to innumerable Brahmanas, the most illustrious ones being Chyavan and Aapuvaan, the latter’s son and grand son being Ourva and Jamadagni respectively.
Thus came into being the Bhargava Gotra and their ‘Pravartakas’ viz. Bhrigu, Chyavana, Anupavan, Ourva, Jamadagni, Vatsya, Dandi, Nadayan, Vaiyagana, Veetuhavya, Paila, Shaunaka, Shounakaayana, Jeevanti, Aayeda, Kaarshani, Vaiheenari, Virupaksha, Rouhityaayani, Vaishwaanari, Neela, Lubdha, Saavarnika, Vishnu, Poura, Baalaaki, Ailika, Anantabhahina, Mriga, Margeya, Manda, Maandya, Maanduka, Phenapa, Stanati, Sthala pinda, Shikhaavarna, Sharkaraakshi, Jaaladhi, Soudhika, Kshubhya, Kutsa, Galava, Mandukaayana,Gargyayana, Vaishampayana, Koutsa, Koutili, Vaageeyani, Anumati, Ashtishena, Rupi, Veetihavya, Revasa, etc. Normally, among these Rishis, five Pravaras are mentioned viz. Bhrigu, Chyavana, Aapnuvaan, Ourva and Jamadagni. Also, inter-marriages are not allowed among these descendants of Rishis mentioned above, especially among the first three above plus Arshishena and Rupi; Bhrigu, Veetihavya, Revasa, and Vaivasa; and likewise Bhrigu, and four generations ending the last four fathers mentioned as above.
Coming to Angirasa Gotra, Surupa the daughter of Marichi Maharshi was wedded to Angira and they had ten sons viz. Atma, Ayu, Damana, Daksha, Sada, Praana, Havishmaan, Gavishtha, Ritu and Satya. Foremost Gotra / Pravartakas of this lineage are: Angira, Brihaspati, Bharadwaja, Goutama/ Moudgulya and Samvarta/Shaishira. Other Gotra Preavarakas are Utatha, Thouleya, Abhijit, Sardhanemi, Salougaakshi, Ksheera, Koushtiki, Rahukarni, Soupuri, Kairaati, Samalomaki, Poushaajiti, Bhargavat, Chairidava, Kaarotaka, Sajeevi, Upabindu, Suraishina, Vaahinipati, Vaishaali, Kroshta, Aarunaayani, Soma, Atraayani, Kaaseru, Koushalya, Parthiva, Rouhinyaayani, Revaagni, Mulapa, Pandu, Kshayaa, Vishwakara, Ari and Paarikaaraari. Angira, Suvachotathya and Urija Rishis lineage cannot resort to inter-Gothra marriages. Also, Angira, Brihaspati, Bharadwaja, Garga and Saitya cannot enter into alliances or their descendants. Further, the Rishis viz. Kapitar, Swastitar, Daakshi, Shakti, Patanjali, Bhuyasi, Jalasandhi, Vindu, Maadi, Kusidaki, Urvi, Rajakeshi,Voushandi, Shamsapi, Shaali, Kalashikantha, Kaaririya, Kaathya, Sowbuddhi, Dhaanyayani, Ladwi and Devamani are stated to have three Pravaras of Angira, Damavaayha and Urukshaya and hence cannot be inter-married. Samkruti, Trimaashthi, Manu, Sambadhi, Nachaketi, Thala, Daksha, Narayani, Lokshi, Gargya, Hari, Galava and Aneha have same Pravara of Angira, Samkuti, and Gauraviti and inter marriages are not permitted. Katyayana, Haritaka, Koutsa, Pinga, Handidasa, Vaatsyayani, Maadri, Mouli, Kuberani, Bheemavega and Shashwadarbhi have common Pravara of Angira, Brihadashwa and Jeevanaashwa and here again mutual weddings are not allowed. Likewise, those Rishis who have common Pravaras like Angira, Bruhadukhta and Vamadeva; Angira, Sadasyu, and Purukutsa; Angira, Virupa and Vrushaparva/ Rathitara, Angira, Matsyadagdha and Mridula; Angira, Taandi and Moudgulya; Angira, Ajameedha and Katya; Angira, Tithiri, and Gargya/Kapibhu are all disallowed for mutual weddings.
Maharshi Atri had two major Gotra Kartas viz. Kardamaayan and Shaarana shaakhiya and the lineage of Rishis were Udvaalika, Shounakarniratha, Shoukratava, Gouragriva, Gourajina, Chatraayana, Arthapanya, Vaamarathya, Gopana, Aastika, Bindu, Karnajihva, Harapreeti, Laidraani, Shaakalaayani, Tailapa, Savaileya, Atri, Gonipati, Jalada, Bhagapaada, Sowpushpi and Chhandogeya. Their Pravara is Shyavaashwa, Atri and Archanaamsha; mutual weddings among these Gotras are forbidden. Daakshi, Bali, Parnavi, Urnunaabhi, Shilaardani, Beejavaapi, Shirisha, Mounjakesha, Gavishthara, and Bhalandana have the common Pravara viz. Atri, Gavishthara and Purvatithi. Atri’s daughter Atreyi gave birth to Kaleya, Vaaleya, Vaamarathya, Dhaatreya and Maitreya and the Pravara Rishis are Atri, Vaamarathya and Poutri and their inter-marriages are dis-allowed too.
In the same Vamsha of Atri, there was another ‘Shaakhaa’ (branch) of Soma in whose Vamsha was born Sage Vishwamitra; the latter obtained Brahmanatwa by the might of his Tapasya. In the lineage of Vishwamitra, the followings were born, viz. Vaishwamitra
(Madhucchanda), Devarat, Vaikruti, Galava, Vatanda, Shalanka, Abhaya, Ayataayan, Shyaamaayan, Yajnyavalaka, Jaabaala, Saindavaayana, Vaabhravya, Kareesha, Samsrutya, Ulupa, Auopahaava, Payoda, Janapaadapa, Kharabaacha, Halamaya, Saadhita, and Vaastukoushika. The Pravara of these Rishis is Vishwamitra, Devavrata and Uddaala. In respect of other Rishis, the Pravaras are as follows: Devashrava, Devarata and Vishvamitra; Vishwamitra, Dhananjaya and Madhucchandasa; Viswamitra, Madhucchandasa and Aghamarshana; Vishwamitra, Aramarathya and Vajjuli; Viswamitra, Lohita, Ashtaka / Purana; Runavaan, Gatina and Vishwamitra; Khilikhili, Vidya and Vishwamitra: in respect of all the above inter-marriages are prohibited.
The Gotra Pravara Rishis of the Vamsa of Kashyapa are as follows: Asraayani, Meshakiritakaayana, Udagraja, Maathara, Bhoja, Vinayalakshana, Shaalaahaleya, Kourishta, Kanyaka, Asuraayana, Mrigaya, Shetana, Bhotapaayana, Devayana, Gomayaana, Adhascchaya, Abhaya, Katyaayana, Shaakraayana, Barhiyoga, Gadaayana, Bhavanandi, Mahaachakri, Dakshayana, Bodhayana, Kaartikya, Hastidana, Vatsyaayana, Pracheya, Jnaana sanjneya, Aagna, Praasevya, Vaivashyapa, Udddalaayan, Maaricha, Vaikarneya, Kaashyapeya, Matangi Bhrigu etc. The Pravara of these Rishis is: Vatsara, Kashyapa and Nidhuvi / Vasishtha; in these cases too, mutual weddings are forbidden. In respect of other Rishis viz. Samyati, Nabha, Pippalya, Jalandhara, Bhujaatapura, Purya, Kardama, Gardhabhimukha, Kulaha, Vrishakanda, Mrigaketu, Shandilya, Devajaati and Pappalaadi, the common Pravara is Asita, Devala and Kashyapa.
As regards Maharshi Vasistha, the lineage included Vyaghrapada, Aoupagava, Vaiklava, Shraaddhalayana, Kapishthala, Aoupaloma, Alabdha, Shatha, Katha, Goupaayana, Bodhapa, Daakavya, Vaahaka, Balishya, Lobhayana, Aapasthuna, Swastikara, Shaandili, Sumana, Upavriddhi, Brahmabala, and Yagnyavalkya; all these Rishis have the Pravara of Vasishtha and are not permitted inter-marriages. Another set of Rishis including Sailalaya, Mahakarna, Koukhya, Krodhina, Kapinjala, Baalakhilya, Koulayana, Suraayana, Kaanva, Upalapa, Lambaayana, Kaalashikha, Aoupamanyu, Saankhaayana, Udgaah, etc have a common Prahara viz. Bhageevasu, Vasishtha and Indrapramadi. Yet another set of Rishis like Aoupasthala, Bala, Haala, Hala, Madhyandina, Pippalaadi, Saibalka, Kundina etc.have the Pravara in favour of Vasishtha, Vitraavaruna and Indrapramadi.Hereagain, restrictions of inter-gotra marriages apply. The background of Maharshi Parashara is indeed interesting [See the earlier Chapter of this Purana on Pages 20-21 regarding Vasishtha and Agastya as the sons of Mitravaruna and Urvashi; Vasistha married Arundhati later and their son was Parashara].
King Nimi decided to perform one Yagna and asked Vasishtha to facilitate its performance. But Vasishtha had just concluded another Yagna and requested the King to postpone it by a few weeks but Nimi insisted to perform the Yagna soon; he said that in the matters of ‘Para loka Karyas’, one could not afford to delay, since life was uncertain and ‘Kaal’/ death might strike any body at any time; the King said :

Aayushyey kramani ksheeney Prasahya haratey janam,
Praanavaayoschalatwam cha twayaa vidita meyva cha/

(Execution of good deeds ought to be hurried up since the span of life would not wait but ticks away, as you are aware of the unpredictability of time). The King further told Vasishtha that in case he might not be able to do the Yagna immediately, he might as well approach another fit person to take up. Vasistha was infuriated and cursed King Nimi to become a ‘Videha’ (body-less) at once; the King too lost his temper and cursed Vasistha to become a Videha. King Nimi as well as Vasishtha approached Lord Brahma as both the parties were justified in their own views but lacked restraint and objective thinking. Brahma solved the problem of the King’s ‘videha’ stature by bestowing the power of sight as soon as he would open up his eyes and thus enabled him to successfully perform his Yagna. As regards Vasishtha, Brahma arranged that he would become the son of Mitra-Varuna as Vasishtha once again with the capacity to be a Jaatismara or memory of previous birth ; Surya and Varuna Deva who went in for Tapasya to Badarikaashram and the got infatatuated by a passing Apsara Urvashi and as their semen spilt out on their respective deer-skin seats, Urvashi out of fright of curses by Mitra and Varuna deposited the semen in a ‘Kalasha’/ Kumbha(Pot) full of water and out of the combined deposits of Mitra and Varuna emerged Agastya and Vasishtha reborn. This Vasishtha (MitraVaruna) married Brahmarshi Narada’s sister Arundhati and their son called Shakti; the latter’s son was Maharshi Parashara and the Maharshi’s son born of Matsya Gandhi of Maha Bharata fame was of Bhagavan Vishnu’s ‘Amsha’( feature/ aspect) famed as Dwaipayana / Veda Vyasa! Now on to the Parashara Vamsha details: Kandashaya, Vaahanapa, Jaihyapa, Bhaumatapana and Gopaali are Fair-complexioned; Prapohaya, Vaahmaya, Khyateya, Kautujaati, and Haryashvi are Blue; Krishnaayan, Kapimukha, Kaakeyastha, Japati and Pushkar are black; Shravishthaayan, Baaleya, Swaatashta Upaya and Ishikahasta are white; Vatika, Baadari, Stambha, Krodhanayan and Kshaimi are Shyama Parasharas.TheirvPravara is Parashara, Shakti and Vasishtha.
The illustrious Agasthya, --who dried up the Ocean to kill Danavas, who got Vindhya bent down till date enabling Surya Deva to follow his course of movement around the Universe, and over-smarted Demon Vaataapi by digesting him for ever--had an equally famed progeny including Karambha, Kousalya, Shakat, Sumedha, Mayobhuva, Gandharakayana, Poulastya, Poulaha and Kratuvamshotpanna. Their Pravara was Agastya, Mahendra and Mayobhava.As Maharshi Kratu was childless, he adopted Agastya’s son Idhmavaaha, since when Kratu and Agasthya Vamshas got unified. Also, Pulaha Maharshi was unhappy with his sons and adopted Agastya’s another son Drudhaasya and grandson Pulastya’s progeny too got identified with Agastya’s Vamsha.
Mahatma Dharma’s Vamsha included Eight Vasus viz.Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Aapa, Anila, Pratyusha and Prabhasa. The Astavasu’s sons were Dravina, Kaala, Varcha, Shrimaan, Anala, Devala and Viswakarma respectively.Dharma’s vamsha also included Twelve Sadhyaganas (Man, Manu, Pran, Narosha, Noch, Viryavan, Chittaharya, Ayana, Hamsa, Narayana, Vibhu and Prabhu) and Ten Viswadevas ( Kratu, Daksha, Vasu, Satya, Kaalakama, Muni, Kuraja, Manuja, Beeja and Rochaman). The Twelve Adityas including Bhanava, the Marudganas the sons of Devi Marudvati, Nashatras, Grahas, besides ‘Sankalpa’ and ‘Muhurta’-the sons of their mothers by the same name were all a part of the Dharma Vamsha! In the Pravara Kirtana, the Dharma Vamsha was thus highlighted prominently, especially since it included some of the most popular celebrities of the whole Universe.


27     ‘Matsya Purana Phalashruti’


Etat pavitra maayushyametat kirti vivarthanam,
Etat pavitram kalyanam Maha paapa haram Shubham/
Asmaat Puraanaat sukritam naraanaam,
Tirthaavali namamavaga –ahanaanaam/
Samastadharmaacharanod bhavaanaam,
Sadaivalaabhascha mahaa phalaanam/
Etat Puraanam Paramam Sarva dohaavidhaatakam,
Matsya rupena harinaa katitham Manavernavey/
(This Matsya Purana is sacred, life-extending, status-providing, sanctifying, propitious and sin-demolishing. It yields the fruits of ‘Punya’, the benefit of many ‘Tirtha Snaanaas’ and of virtuous life. This exalted Purana is a purifier of all blemishes. It is likened to Narayana at Pralaya and Manu who assisted the Matsya Deva. Asmaat Puranaadapi paadamekam pathet tu yah sopi vimukta paapah/ (Whoever reads even half of a Shloka would be rid of all sins and imperfections). If one reads or hears through this confidential and ‘Punyaprada’ Purana fully, the person concerned would be blessed by Maha Deva with the boon of performing Ashwamedha Yagna as also the ‘Avabhruta Snaana’.
Shivam Vishnum Samarbhyarcha Brahmaanam Sadivaakaram,
Shlokam Shlokaardha paadam vaa Shraddhayaa yah shrunotivaa,
Shraavayed vaapi Dharmagnasthala phalam shurunt Dwijaah/
Braahmano labhatey vidyaam Kshatriyo labhatey maheem,
Vaishyo dhanamavaapnoti sukham Shudtastu vindita/
Ayushmaan Putravaamschaiva Lakshmivaan papavarjitah,
Shrutwaa Puraanamakhilam Shatrubhis –cha paraajitah/
(When a person reads or listens one-or half a stanza of the Purana sincerely after worshipping Shiva or Vishnu, Brahma or Surya, he or she would secure vidya to a Brahmana, Kingship to a Kshatriya, opulence to a Vaishya and pleasures to a Shudra. If the Purana is read or heard fully would be ‘Paapa rahit’, ‘Putravaan’ and ‘Lakshmivaan’ whom no evil/enemy could over-power!). Whoever disturbs, or leaves halfway, eats ‘tambul’, sits on a higher seat than that of a ‘Purana Vakta’, sits without greeting the Vakta, sleeps during the proceedings or is inebriated would be punished with loss of wealth, loss of wife/ progeny; and rebirth as a dog, as a crow, as a tree, an Ajagar snake, respectively. Interruption without justification or passing careless and casual remarks or criticism of the ‘Vakta’ would surely open up gates of hell. But sincerity, devotion and faith would assure ‘Iha sukham’ and ‘Para Moksham’! Shradhha Bhakti Samaayukta Naanya karyeshu laalasaah, Vaagyataah Shuchayovyagraah shrotaarah Punyabhaaginah/ (Those who possess dedication and commitment devoid of mean attractions pay peaceful attention to this Sacred Purana observing silence are the active partners of propitiousness and recipients of fruits of fulfillment).




 






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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