Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trishanku's Journey to Heaven

"Shatanand, the royal priest of Mithila continued, "At that time there was a king in Ikshwaku descendant whose name was Trishanku. He was willing to go to heaven along with his body, hence he requested Vasishtha to perform a "Yajna" to fulfill his desire. Vasishtha said that he did not have that much ability to sand a man to heaven with his body. Trishanku then went to the sons of Vasishtha who were observing atrocious penance in South province and put his request to them. The sons of Vasishtha said to him that you are a stupid. You are willing to do us the task which is impossible for our father. It appears that you have come here to insult our father. In reply of their words Trishanku abused them. Angry sons of Vasishtha cursed Trishanku to be a "Chandal" (a low quality person having no any dignity and hated by others).

"Due to the curse the handsome body of Trishanku became black. His head's hair became small and harsh. There came a garland of bones in his neck and iron ornaments in his hands and legs. All his ministers and knights went away leaving him alone. Trishanku did not abandon his desire to go the heaven with his body. He went to Vishwamitra and praised him much and requested him to fulfill his desire. Vishwamitra assured him that, as he is his retainer, he will definitely fulfill his desire. Vishwamitra called his sons, who were performing penance in South province with their wives, and instructed them to make preparations for sacrifice. He then Ordered his disciples to invite all the Rishi and Munis of South province including the sons of Vasishtha to participate in the sacrifice.

"The disciples told Vishwamitra that all the Rishi and Munis accepted the invitation but the sons of Vasishtha rejected saying that we can not participate in a sacrifice which is performed by a "Kshatriya" (instead of a Brahman) for a "Chandal". Vishwamitra treated it as his unreasonable insult and cursed all the sons of Vasishtha to become "Chandals", go to the hell, remain bounded with "Kalpash", become ugly and get meat of dogs only to eat for next seven hundred years. Then he got busy for sacrifice."

Satanand continued, "Hey Ram! All the Rishis and Munis participated inViswamitra's veneration due to fear of his curse as they had already seen the result of sons of Vasishtha. At the end of the immolation Viswamitra invoked each god but no god accepted his offerings. Then fierce Viswamitra forced Trishanku to to to heaven with his body applying his strength of penance and Trishanku went to heaven. Seeing Trishanku in heaven, Indra darted him to the Earth saying that he has been cursed by his Guru and, therefore, can not stay in heaven. Trishanku began to fall to the Earth with his body up side down. He prayed Vishwamitra to save him. Considering his prayer, Vishwamitra, with the help of the power of his penance, formed another heaven at the location of Trishanku. Then he thought to create a new Indra. All the fearing gods including Indra began to apologizing saying that that they returned Trishanku as he was cursed by his Guru and could not live in heaven.

"Vishwamitra said to Indra that, as he has promised Trishanku to send him to the heaven, the heaven created by him will remain forever and Trishanku will be king there. Satisfied with the words of Vishwamitra, Indra and gods went to there places."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Former Charector of Rishi Vishwamitra (2)

"On getting permission from Vashishtha, Kamdhenu produced a huge army of mighty mighty warriors, who began to kill the enemies just like chopping of carrots and radishes. On destruction of Vishwamitra's army, his irritated one hundred sons pounced at Vasishtha to kill him. Rishi Vasishtha calcined all the sons of Vishwamitra ecxept one.

"Seeing his army and sons dead, Viswamitra felt very sorrow. He handed-over his kingdom to his remaining son and went to caves in Himalayas for penance. Lord Shiva delighted with the harsh austerity of Visha mitra and provided him divine powers and entire archery as boon.

"After receiving the knowledge of the entire archery, Viswamitra went to the Ashram of Vasishtha with revengeful attitude. challenging Vasishtha, he shooted "Agniban" (fire arrow, tornedo). The whole Ashram began to burn. The resident of Ashram scared and began to run away. Vasishtha also got ready with bow and said that I accept your challenge, you are free to do what can you do. I will beat your pride today and tell you that strength of Brahman is superior than the strength of Kshatriya.

"Indignant Viswamitra shooted one after on the "Agneyastra", "Varunastra", "Rudrastra", "Aindrastra" and "Pashuptastra" (types of weapons) which were destroyed by Rishi Vasishthat in betweentheir way. As a result Viswamitra became more angry and used all type of weapons like "Manav", "Mohan", "Gandharv", "Joombhan", "Daran", "Vajra", "Brahmapash", "Kalpash", "Varunpash", "Pinak", "Dand", "Paishach", "Kraunch", "Dharmachakra", "Vishnuchakra", "Vayavya", "Manthan", "Kankal", "Moosal", "Vidyadhar", "Kalastra" etc. Vasishtha destructed all the weapons used by Vishwamitra and got prepared to use "Brahamastra" (great weapon of Lord Brahma). "Devas" (gods), "Yakshas" (demi-gods), "Kinnaras" etc. were afraid and requested Vasishtha not to use "Brahmastra". But wrathful Vasishtha applied the "Brahamastra". Due to the luminosity and deafening thunder of "Brahmastra", the whole world began suffering from the terrible pain. All the Rishis and Munis prayed to Vasishtha that you have defeated Vishwamitra. Now kindly calm the flames created by "Brahmastra". Considering their requested Vasishtha took back the "Brahmastra" and calmed it with "Mantras" (holy verses).

"Defeated and eclipsed Vishwamitra sat down down on the ground and thought that undoubtedly strength of Brahman is best. Now I will get designation of Brahman by performing penance.

"Then Vishwamitra went toward south direction with his wife and there he performed mortal penance. Pleased with his austerity, Lord Brahma alloted him the designation of "Rajarshi" (Rishi of kings). Even getting this designation, he was sad as he could not get the designation of "Brahmarshi" (Rishi of Brahman). He thought that my penance is still incomplete, I must perform atrocious penance once again."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Former Charector of Rishi Vishwamitra (1)

Shatanand, the royal priest of Mithilapuri, was particularly impressed by Ram. He said to Ram, "Hey Ram! It is your great luck that you have got Rishi Vishwamitra as your Guru (teacher). Rishi Viswamitra is a great person. In fact Vishwamitra is very stunning and glorious. Before accepting Rishi religion he was a big and powerful king. Kush was the son of Prajapati, Kushnabh was the sone of Kush and Gadhi was the son of Kushnabh. All of them were pious, warriors and powerful. Viswamitra is the son of Gadhi.

"One day king Viswamitra went to the Ashram of Rishi Vasishtha with his army. At that time Vasishtha was performing sacrifice. He was rapt in devotion to God. After providing proper respect to Vasishtha, Vishwamitra sat there. After completion of the sacrifice, Vasishtha appropriately venerated Viswamitra and requested to accept his hospitality. Thinking that there will much inconvenience to Rishi Vasishtha in entertaining him because he was having his army, Viswamitra asked to go with modesty. But considering repeated request of Vasishtha, Vishwamitra accepted his hospitality for a few days.

"Vasishtha invoked the cow Kamdhenu and requested her to arrange for six types of dishes and all kinds of easements to facilitate the joy for Vishwamitra and his army. Accepting his request the cow Kamdhenu made all the arrangements. Vishwamitra and his army satisfied very much with the hospitality of Rishi Vasishtha.

"Impressed with the miracle of the cow Kamdhenu and with the idea to get the same, Viswamitra said to Vasistha that the cow like Kamdhenu should be the property of the king instead of the person residing in forest. So, you please give it to me. I will give you hundreds of gold currencies in return. Vasishtha replied to him that this cow is my life and at any costI can not give her to anybody.

"Hearing the words of Vasishtha, king Vishwamitra ordered his army to forcely capture the cow and his soldiers began to drive the cow by beating her. Streamed Kamdhenu rescued herself from the bond of the soldiers, came to Vasishtha and began to wail. Rishi Vasishtha said that O Kamdhenu! This king has huge forces, so I can not achieve victory. Even I can not curse him as he is my guest. I am feeling myself in compulsion. Listening these words Kamdhenu said that Hey Bramharshi (great Brahman Rishi)! Strength of Kshatriya can never be more powerful than the strength of Brahmin. Just permit me, I will destroy this king with his huge army in a moment. As there was no any other measure, Vasishtha allowed Kamdhenu to do so.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Story of Ahalya

Next morning Ram and Lakshman along with Rishi Viswamitra went to see the forests, park, etc. of Mithilapuri. In a park, they saw a desolate place. Ram said, "Sir! This place looks like an Ashram but there do not appear any Rishi or Muni (sage). What is the reason behind it?"

Viswamitra told, "At a time this place was Ashram of Mahatma (great person) Gautam. He used to live and observe "Tapasya" (mortification) here with his wife Ahalaya. One day when Rishi Gautam had gone out, Indra impersonated himself as Gautam and courted with Ahalya here in absence of Rishi Gautam. Ahalaya recognized Indra and thought that I am so beautiful that Indra, king of gods, is asking for my courtship. She accepted his address granted her approval. Rishi Gautam came back while Indra was leaving his Ashram and saw impersonated Indra. He understood all the matter and cursed Indra. He then cursed his wife saying that as you are abondened, you will lye here in ashes with pain and having only air as food for thousands of years. You will get redemption and your original body only when Ram will enter this forest. After cursing her Gautam left the Ashram and went to Himalayas to obsrve penance. So Ram! Now you go inside the ashram and provide Ahalya his original body."

As instructed by Vishwamitra both the brothers entered the ashram. Abiding Ahalya was invisible there but the whole atmosphere was brightening with her glory. As soon as Ram entered there and Ahalya saw him, she got back her beautiful body again. Ram and Lakshman respected her with devotion by touching her feet. After accepting her hospitality, all of them came back to the place of stay in Mithilapuri.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Arrival at Janakpur

Next day morning Rishi Viswamitra along with his congregation started their journey for Mithilahapuri. They reached to Vishala Nagri where the stunning temples and huge buildings were making the city charming. Big shops and people having valuable ornaments were revealing the city's prosperity. Wide and clean streets were determining that the internal housekeeping, service system and management tof the city were highly commendable.

Crossing Visahla Nagri the community of Rishi Viswamitra reached to Janakpur. In Janakpur a "Yajnashala" (sacrifice cell) was built in the outer area of the city where Brahmins from various provinces were reciting the "Mantras" (verses) of the Vedas melodiously. Seeing the pretty exciting sacrifice cell, Ram said, "Hey Gurudeva! The grandeur of "Yajnashala" and pleasing obsession of the Brahmins and scholars are making me blithe heart. Kindly arrange for our stay near the "Yajnashala" so that the sound of obsession of the Vedas keep our mind and heart sacred."

On getting information about arrival of Rishi Viswamitr his disciple community and the other rishis, King Janak along with the "Rajpurohit" (royal priest) Shatanand came to sacrifice cell for their reception. After respecting them appropriately and worshiping Vishwamitra properly King Janak said, "Hey Maharshi! By coming here, you have made the lives of all of us successful. Mithila has become a holy city by getting dust of your steps." Then looking at Ram and Lakshman he said, "Munivar! Who are these two incomparably handsome boys with you who are looking like cubs of lion? Seeing their heroic figures, it appears that they belongs to some royal family. Due to their presence, my sacrifice cell has become as bright as east direction at the time of sunrise. Kindly let us know who are they? Where from have they come? What is their father's name and to which descendant do they belong?"

In reply of his questions, Rishi Viswamitra said, "Hey King! Actually both of these children are the princes. They are son of King Dasharath of Ayodhya, the descendant of "Surya" (Sun). Their names are Ramchandra and Lakshman. Both of them are very powerful and heroic. In the terrible war they have destroyed Subahu, Tadka etc. Ram has thrown Marich, the demon with great strength, into hundred "yojan" away sea with his single arrow. I brought them from Ayodhya for safeguard of my sacrifice. I have provided them education related to various arms and weapons. With their efforts, my sacrifice concluded smoothly and successfully. They have amused the entire Rishi Ashram with their good behavior, respectfulness and cordiality. I've brought the here to show you great "Dhanushyajna" (bow sacrifice). "

Listening this episode, King Janak felt very happy and made proper arrangement for their stay.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Story of Ganga's Birth (2)

"When Sagar did not get any notice about his sons for many days, he ordered his stunning grandson Anshuaman to search his sons as well as the horse. Strenuous Anshuaman equipped himself with weapons walked toward inferno through the path made by his uncles. Respecting the Rishis who met in the way and asking about his uncles he reached to the place where the ashes of the burnt body of his uncles were lying. The horse was also there. Seeing the bodies of his uncles, he felt very sad. He searched for pond to perform "tarpan" (a ritual) but he did not get success. Then he saw there Garuda, maternal uncle. After giving him proper regards, he asked him about some lake. Garuda told him how his uncles misconducted and abused Kapil Muni and Kapil Muni devoured them all.

Then Garuda said to Anshuman that as all of his uncles were devoured by a divine man having supernatural power, mundane water can not be used for their "Tarpan", only the water of Ganga, the eldest daughter of the Himalayas, is required for it. Now you go back with the horse so that you can complete your grandfather's sacrifice. As directed by Garuda, Anshuman went back to his ग्रंद्फठेर in Ayodhya and told him all the story. King Sagar completed the sacrifice sad-heatedly. To absolve his sons, Sagar wanted to bring Ganga on Earth but he could not get any idea to make it possible.

Viswamitra continued, "After the death of king Sgar Amshuaman began to rule the state. His son Dilip was very aristocratic. When Dilip got adult, Anshuman handed over his state to him and went to Himalayas for penance to please Ganga but he could not get success and ultimately died. After ruling the state for a long time, Dilip also handed over the charge of state to his son Bhagirath, went to bring Ganga to the Earth by performing penance. He too could not get proper results. King Bhagirath did not get any child and finally he handed over his charge to his experienced knights went to a pilgrimage named Gokarna where he observed harsh austerity. Pleased with his unprecedented austerity, Lord Brahma asked to demand boon. Bhagirath asked him for bringing Ganga to the Earth. He also asked him for a child who will continue the descendant of Ikshwaku.

"Brahma said that your desire for child will fulfill shortly but there is a difficulty in bringing Ganga to the Earth. Nobody else except Lord has ability to manage the velocity of Ganga when she will fall from heaven to the Earth. So first of all make the Lord Shiva happy and ask him to be kind to you. After saying this, Lord Brahma went to his "loka" (place).

"Bhagirath observed atrocious penance again and as a result Lord Shiva was pleased. He became ready to manage the velocity of Ganga. Ganga had to leave the "Surlok" (place of gods) and fall to the Earth. At that time, she did not want to go anywhere from "Surlok", so she fell with a blusterous velocity considering to flow the Lord Shiva up to "Patal Lok" (inferno). Lord Shiva was already aware of her arrogance, so he entangled the currents of Ganga in his tresses. Even after all efforts, Ganga could not go out from his tresses.

"To release Ganga from tresses of Lord Shiva, Bhagirath agains observed austerity. Pleased with the penance, Lord Shankar released Ganga in Bindusar, a place located in the Himalayan mountain. Ganges divided into seven sections of currents. Three sections viz. Ahladini, Pawani and Nalini of Ganga streams were flown to the east. Antother three streams, Suchakshu, Sita and Sindhu (Indus) were flown to the west and the seventh stream followed Bhagirathi.

"Bhagirath was going going on and Ganga was following him. Here and there Devas (gods), Yakshas (demi-gods), Kinnars, Rishis, Munis etc. were gathering for reception of Ganga. People touching the water of Ganga were freed from worldly sins. Gnaga reached to the place where Rishi Jahnu was performing Yajna (sacrifice). The whold Yajnashala (place of performing sacrifice) flowed in the current of Ganga. As a result Rishi Jahnu felt angree and drunk all the water of Ganga. It was very strange for all the Rishis-Munis. They started praying Rishi Jahnu to release Ganga.

"Pleased with their praise, Rishi Jahnu allowed Ganga to come out through the way of his ear and accepted her as his daughter. Since then Ganga is called with the name Jahnavi. Then Ganga, behind Bhagirath, flowed up to the sea and from there she went to "Rasatal" (inferno) to absolve the sons of Sagarf. Touched with Ganga, all the sons of Sagar became sinless. From that day Ganga did have three names viz. Tripathga, Jahnavi and Bhagirathi.

"Hey Ramchandra! When Ganga reached to the Ashram of Kapil Muni, Lord Brahma blessed Bhagirath saying that due to the glory of your virtues the person, who will dring the water of Ganga or take bath in it, will be free from all type of sorrow and get heaven."

After the end of the tale, all of them went to relax.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Story of Ganga's Birth (1)

Rishi Viswamitra began to recite the legend, "There were two most beautyfull daughters, blessed with all virtues, of the Himalayas, the king of mountains. Mena, the daughter of Sumeru mountain, was their mother. Ganga and Uma were the name of elder and younger daughters respectively. Ganga was very impressive and having extraordinary qualities of the divine. She could not accept any bond and used to follow the arbitrarily routes. Impressed with her extraordinary talents the gods took her, with the permission of Himalayas, for welfare of the world. Uma, the second daughter of king of mountains, performed great rigor and got Lord Shiva as her husband."

Listening the words of Viswamitra Ram said, "Sir! When gods took Ganga to "Surloka" (place of gods - heavens), how she incarnated on the Earth and why she is called "Tripathga"?" The Rishi Viswamitr told, "Though Lord Shiva married with Uma but he did not get any child up to next hundred years. Once there came an idea for generation of a child to Lord Shiva. When gods including Lord Brahma knew about his idea, they started to consider that who will be able to refrain the glory of the Son of Shiva? They presented their doubt to Lord Shiva. As instructed by him Agni (the fire god) took this burden and Kartikey, having glory like fire, was born. As the gods conspired, Uma cursed them that they will not be able to become a father in the future. In the meantime, Uma met with Ganga in the heavens. Ganga told Uma that since a long time I have been wandering in the heavens and now it my desire to come to my motherland on the Earth. Uma assured Ganga that she will try to make some arrangement for it."

"Vats Ram! There was a king named Sagar in your own Ayodhyapuri. He did not have any son. Keshini, daughter of the king of Vidarbha state, was his "Patrani" (head queen). Keshini was beautiful, virtuous and straightaway. Sumati, daughter of king Arishtanemi, was second wife of king Sagar. Having a desire for getting son, king Sagar went to a place named Bhriguprasravan in Himalayas with his queens and started there penance. Pleased with his penance Rishi Bhrigu blessed him that he will get a lot of sons. One queen will have only son who will grow his descendants and the other queen will have sixty thousand sons. Both the queens should decide with mutual consultation that who wants one son and who wants sixty thousand sons. Keshini opted for one son who will grow their descendants and Sumati, sister of Garuda, decided to have sixty thousand strong sons.

"In appropriate time, a son named Asamanj was born from the womb of Keshini. A gourd came out from the womb of queen Sumati breaking which sixty thousand small sons came out. They were kept in oil pitchers for nourishment. Cycle elapsed and all the sons became young. Asmanj, the eldest son of Sagar, was very immorel and he enjoys throwing the children of the city into Sarjoo river. It made Sagar sad and he exiled Asmanj from state. There was a son of Asmanj whose name was Anshuman. Amshuaman was extremely moralist and powerful. One day there came an idea to king Sagar to perform "Ashwamegh Yajna" (a sacrifice). Very soon he acted on his idea."

Ram said to Rishi Viswamitra, "Gurudeva! I am keenly interested in listening the story of my ancestor Sagar's veneration. So, please complete the whole episode." Rishi Viswamitra continued, "King Sagar built a huge "Yajna Mandap" (place to perform sacrifice) on a green land situated in between the Himalayas and Vindhyachal. Then a "Shyamkarn" horse was left followed by mighty Anshuman and his army for safeguard. Feared from the future success of the sacrifice, Indra, king of gods, converted himself in form of demon and stolen the horse. On getting information about theft of horse, Sagar instructed his sixty thousand sons to get back the horse by arresting or killing the stealer. They searched the horse all over the world but could not get it back. Doubting that someone would hide the horse in any basement, all the sixty thousand sons of Sagar began to dig the Earth. Due digging of the Earth, innumerable creatures residing inside the Earth were killed. Digging continuously, they reached "Patalloka" (inferno). The gods complained about this heinous act to Lord Brahma. Brahma said that the princes were doing so as they had become blind in anger. Rishi Kapil will surely do something in the matter as he is responsible for safeguard of the Earth.

"Even after digging the entire earth, the horse could not be searched. They informed about this to their father Sagar. Indignant Sagar ordered to search the horse in inferno. In inferno they reached to the ashram of Kapil. They saw that Kapil was sitting with closed eyes and the horse was tied near him. They concluded that Kapil Muni is the stealer of the horse and, therefore, they abused and rushed to beat him. The "Samadhi" (trance) of Kapil dissolved due to this. Angry Kapil calcined all of them."