Mythological Stories

Discussion in 'Queries on Religion & Spirituality' started by anurar20, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear friends,

    Can we share Mythological stories we have come accross, heard from grannys, etc.,

    This is will be helpful to teach our children and to know our religion.
     
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  2. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Vishwamitra and Kamadhenu in Vasishtas Ashram

    Brahmarishi Vishwamitra is one of the most respected and revered Rishis in ancient. He is also renowned as the author of the most of the `Mandala` in the Rigveda, including Gayatri Mantra. The Puranas mention only twenty-four Rishis had completely understood the meaning of Gayatri Mantra and thus exerted the whole power of the Gayatri Mantra. Sage Vishwamitra was the first among those rishis and sage Yajnavalkya was the last.

    Vishwamitra was the king in his early life and was known as Kaushika, the descendent of kusha dynasty. One of the four sons of Kusha was Kushanubha, who performed the sacrifice called `Puthrakameshti` and had a son named Gadhi. Kaushika or Vishwamitra was the son of King Gadhi.


    Kaushika enthroned his father's kingdom after his father Gadhi. He was an expert ruler. Kaushik was very popular among his subjects. Once he had a tour in his kingdom, listening to the complaints of his subjects and advising them the probable remedies.


    Once, Vishwamitra and his soldiers took shelter in the Ashram of Rishi Vasishta. Vasishta took well care of his large army and fed them well. Vishwamitra was surprised how it was possible for a sage to take care and made all arrangements to feed such a large army. Vishwamitra wanted to know the mystery from Vasishta. Va****a replied that he had a divine calf Nandini, gifted by Indra. Nandini was the daughter of Indra's cow Kamdhenu. She provided Vasishta with all that he needed.


    Vishwamitra or Kaushika was overwhelmed to know the truth. He decided to possess that cow as he thought that a humble sage like Vasishta did not need it much. Vishwamitra expressed his desire to sage Vasishta. Vasishta refused the proposal in a polite but steadfast manner. The king was extremely angry. He insulted Brahmarishi Vasishta with coarse words. Vishwamitra ordered his army to seize the cow and drive it to his kingdom. Vasishta to encounter them created an army of fierce warrior with his yogic power. They fought the army of Vishwamitra and defeated them. Kaushika was imprisoned in the war and presented before Vasishta but the Brahmarishi forgave him and released him with words of advice.


    This incident made a deep impression on King Kaushika. He realized that power gained by penances is much greater than the physical power of a king. He resolved to be a greater Rishi than Sage Vasishta and renounced his kingdom. Kaushika then took the name Vishwamitra.


    He did severe penance, tapasya and meditation and obtained great yogic powers. Indra, the head of the celestials, got frightened, thinking that Viswamitra might attempt to occupy his throne by his powers, sent a beautiful celestial nymph named Apsara Menaka to lure him and break his meditation. Viswamitra fell victim to passion and a female child named Shakuntala was born to them. This Shakuntala had a son named Bharata, who later became the emperor and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">India</st1:place></st1:country-region> was named after him "Bharat". Viswamitra soon realized that lust had consumed all his yogic powers. He renounced Menaka and the child and once more started deep meditation.


    Viswamitra attained now higher spiritual powers. Indira once again sent another celestial nymph named Rambha , who tried to entice Viswamitra. Vishwamitra's meditation was broken. Being aware of his past mistake, he became very angry on Rambha, and he uttered a curse, which turned her into a rock. But alas, Viswamitra consumed all his yogic powers in a moment of anger. First lust and now anger made him loose all his yogic powers.

    Indefatigable, he went higher in <st1:place w:st="on">Himalayas</st1:place> and started doing severe tapasya (penance). He ceased to eat and drink and reduced even breathing to a bare minimum. Indra took Kaushika's test and came in the guise of a poor Brahamin who came and beg for food, as Kaushika was ready to break his fast after many years by eating some rice. Kaushika readily gave his food to the beggar and resumed his meditation. Finally Kaushika was able to master his passions and became the Brahmarishi without being provoked by any of Indra's testing and seductive hindrances.


    At the climax, Kaushika completed his multi-thousand years journey by attainment of great Yogic power. This time Lord Brahma, the head of Devas named Kaushika a Brahmarishi and also named him Vishwamitra, meaning "friend of all". Vasishta embraced Vishwamitra and their enmity was instantly ended.
     
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  3. ssm014

    ssm014 Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Dear...!! I have been looking for this thread and was thinking of starting it...Its a great initative..

    Other than reading these artciles here, I would also request other ILites to share these stories with others ie both children as well as adults as many grownups are also unaware of our heritage

    Thanks once again for this.. I will start posting some stories soon..God bless you,
     
  4. ssm014

    ssm014 Platinum IL'ite

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    Ok this am copy pasting from an old forward:

    -------
    Ganges is considered to be most pious of all rives in India and there are many lore related to it.

    Origin of River Ganges

    The river Ganga is said to have originated when Bhrama - (one of the supreme forms of divinity) washed the feet of Vishnu in his incarnation as Vamana.

    It was sage Bhagirata through his penance that brought the river down to the earth to purify the ashes of his ancestors who had been cursed by Kapila Muni. Legend has it that the earth was unable to bear the force of the celestial river, and that the Gods requested Shiva to bear the river on his matted locks and bring down it's energy.

    Ganga is thus often regarded as one of Shiva's consort as he is often depicted with the Ganga on his matted hair.

    Another legend of River Ganges

    Another legend has it that the Ganga interrupted the penances of a sage by name Jahnu - on the Himalayas who drank the entire river in his anger - and finally permitted her to come out through his ear. The Ganga therefore is also known as Jahnavi....

    There is a parallel legend which states that Sage Bhageeratha had to perform penance almost 5 times to get Ganga down. First time it was to obtain boons from the Devas, the second time to redeeem his kith from the curse he prayed to Lord Shiva, third time to request lord shiva to bear the weight of Ganga, fourth time to request Lord Shiva to let Ganga and finally to the sage to release Ganga which is why she is called jahnavi
     
  5. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    tHANK YOU VERY MUCH SSM014............

     
  6. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Satyabhama's Tulabharam

    The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:placeType w:st="on">palace</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName w:st="on">Dwaraka</st1:placeName> ever twinkled with the presence of <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>’s many wives. Rukmini, Sathyabama, Jambhavathi and all the others went about their usual chores serving <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> and all the others of the extended Yadava clan. With the blessings of the goddess of wealth, the treasuries of Dwaraka always overflowed with jewels and precious stones. Sathyabama was the beautiful daughter of Satrajith, the owner of the sacred Syamantaka jewel. She was haughty and proud of her royal lineage and good looks. She prided herself on her pure love for <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> and yet she was jealous of Rukmini, the goddess of wealth incarnate. Rukmini on the other hand, being the first queen of Dwaraka was a very humble lady and a pious wife. She let nothing come in the way of her devotion to <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> and served him with whole hearted love and devotion.

    One day, the divine sage Narada, the creator of mischief, came to Dwaraka to offer his salutations to Sri Krishna. In the courtyard he met Satyabhama, beautifying herself with some flowers on her tresses. He walked up to her and with a voice of absolute innocence asked her, “Rani Satyabhama, dont doubt my intentions, but is it my old age or is it really true that <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> loves Rukmini more than you?” Sathyabhama was thoroughly shaken and stood still, gaping at Narada.”You are far more beautiful and charming than her. You are the younger queen. Dont you think you deserve more attention?”, prodded Narada again. Pulling herself together, Satyabhama looked inquisitively at Narada, “Tell me divine sage, what should I do to gain his undivided attention? You are my only hope now”, she pleaded to him.

    Rishi Narada arrived in Dwarka and in the course of conversation hinted to Satyabhama that the love that Krishna exhibits towards her is not all that real and in fact it is Rukmini (the first wife of <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>) who has real control over his heart. Unable to bear this, Satyabhama challenged Narada to prove it. Narada, with his way with words, tricked her into accepting a Vrata (ritual) where she has to give Krishna away in charity to Narada and reclaim him by giving the weight of <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> in wealth. Narada lured her into accepting this vrata by telling her that <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>’s love to her will increase many folds if she succeeds in performing this Tulabharam. He also instigated her ego by hinting that her wealth may not be sufficient to equal the weight of <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>. With Satyabhama's ego duly raised, she told Narada that she can mobilize so much wealth that it is a child’s play for her to outweigh <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>. Narada warned her that if she is not able to do this, <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> will become his slave to be done with as he pleases.

    The scene was soon set for the vrata. Satyabhama gave <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> away in charity (dana) in spite of the other wives’ pleadings. <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>, always the mischievous cowherd, meekly submitted to this drama. After donating <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> to Narada, Satyabhama arranged for a big scale to be put up and sends with all assurance for her huge treasure of gold and jewellery. All that she has is soon put on the scale, but it didn’t budge. Narada started taunting her and threatening her that if she can’t put enough gold or diamonds, he will be forced to auction <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> as a slave to someone else.

    Satyabhama, in frantic panic, swallowed her pride and begged all the other wives to give their jewels. They agreed out of love for <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> but alas, it is of no use.
    <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> remained a mute witness to all this drama and rubbed salt into the open wounds of Satyabhama’s ego that he has now to become a slave to some cowherd and will have to suffer the separation from his dear wife. Narada suggested to Satyabhama that Rukmini may be able to get her out of the predicament. She finally swallowed her pride and appealed to the devoted first wife of <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>. Rukmini came and with a prayer to her husband put a single leaf of the sacred Tulasi on the scale (<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">tula</st1:place></st1:City>). Lo and behold, the scales became all at once so heavy that even after removing all the jewels, the scales were weighed down on the side of the Tulasi leaf.

    While there are different versions in different texts as to why the weighing was arranged, the story of the Tulsi leaf placed by Rukmini being worth more in weight than that of Satyabhama's wealth is a common ending. This story is often repeated to enunciate the significance of Tulsi and how a humble offering to God is greater than any material wealth.
     
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  7. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Story of Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati

    Venkateshwara is another form of Lord Vishnu who is the most popular deity. He is also known as Venkatachalapathi or Venkataramana or Tirumal devar or Varadaraja or Srinivasa or Balaji or Bithala. He has a dark complexion and four hands. In his two upper hands he holds a discus (a symbol of power) and a conchs hell (a symbol of existence). With his lower hands extended downward he asks devotees to have faith and surrender to him for protection. The supreme <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">temple</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName w:st="on">Venkateswara</st1:placeName></st1:place> is at Tirupati and every one wants to visit this temple at least once in life.

    The temple town of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tirupati</st1:place></st1:City> is situated at the foot of Tirumala hills in the Chandragiri Taluka of the Chittor district in Andhra Pradesh. The sacred spot on the hill about 2,800 feet above sea level is known as Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara. The hill forms part of the <st1:place w:st="on">Eastern Ghats</st1:place> and is also known as Venkatachala and Seshachala. It is said that the Eastern Ghats on this side along with their curves, heights and falls resemble the serpent Adisesha and that the seven hills of Tirupati are its seven heads and Ahobalam where Lord Narasimha murthy is worshipped, representing the centre of Adisesha, and Srisailam representing the tail end of Adisesha. That is why Tirumala is called Seshachala. According to the legends, this has been a sacred place in all the four yugas, and was known as Vrishabhachala in the Krithayuga, Anjanachala in the Tretayuga, Seshachala in the Dwaparayuga and Venkatachala in the present Kaliyuga.


    In this temple, unlike other Vishnu temples, we find no minor shrines or idols of Vaishnava saints. Apart from the Lord Venkateswara temple, the other important places at Tirumala and Swami pushkarini, Papavinasam and Akasaganga waterfalls, Varahaswamy temple, and Shila Toranam a very ancient rock formation supposed to be over 10,000 years old.


    Once some rishis headed by Kasyapa began to perform a sacrifice on the banks of the <st1:place w:st="on">Ganges</st1:place>. Sage Narada visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who would be pleased by it. Not being able to answer the question, the rishis approached Sage Bhrigu. To reach a solution after a direct ascertainment of reality, Sage Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma. At Satyaloka, he found Lord Brahma, reciting the four Vedas in praise of Lord Narayana, with each of his four heads, and attended upon by Saraswati. Lord Brahma did not take notice of Bhrigu offering obeisance. Concluding that Lord Brahma was unfit for worship, Bhrigu left Satyaloka for Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. At Kailasa, Bhrigu found Lord Siva spending his time pleasantly with Parvati and not noticing his presence. Parvati drew the attention of Siva to the presence of the sage. Lord Siva was furious at Bhrigu's intrusion and tried to destroy him. The sage cursed Lord Siva and left for Vaikuntam.

    At Vaikuntam, Lord Vishnu was reposing on Adisesha with Sri Mahalakshmi in service at His feet. Finding that Lord Vishnu also did not notice him, the sage was infuriated and kicked the Lord on His chest, the place where Mahalakshmi resides. At once, Lord Vishnu hastened to apologise to the angry sage and pressed his feet to allay the pain caused to Bhrigu's leg. In doing so the Lord removed the eye in the foot of the sage, stripping of his special powers. Thereupon, the sage concluded that Lord Vishnu was the most supreme of the trimurthis and told the rishis the same.


    Sri Mahalakshmi was angered by the action of her Lord in apologising to Bhrigu who committed an offence. Out of anger and anguish she left Vaikuntha and resided in Karavirapur now known as <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kolhapur</st1:place></st1:City>. After the departure of Mahalakshmi, a forlorn Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntam and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata Hill, meditating for the return of Lakshmi, without food or sleep. This was the place where Lord took the form of Varaha to rescue Mother Earth form the deep ocean.


    Pity on Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwara decided to assume the forms of a cow and its calf to serve Him. Surya, the Sun God informed Mahalakshmi of this and requested her to assume the form of a cowherdess and sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country. The king of the Chola country bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed the Lord. Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola Queen chastised the cowherd severely. To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cowherd followed the cow, hid himself behind a bush and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. Incensed over the conduct of the cow, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. However, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When the cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock.

    The cow returned, bellowing in fright and with blood stains all over her body, to the Chola King. To find out the cause of the cow's terror, the King followed her to the scene of the incident. The King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. While he stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the King saying that he would become an Asura because of the fault of his servant. The King pleaded innocence, and the Lord blessed him by saying that he will be reborn as Akasa Raja and that the curse would end when the Lord will be adorned with a crown presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Padmavati. With these words Lord turned into stone form.


    Thereafter, Lord Vishnu in the name of Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha Kshetra, and requested Sri Varahaswami to grant Him a site for His stay. His request being readily granted, Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to His shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and darshan of Sri Varahaswami, and that puja and naivedyam should be offered to Sri Varaha swami first. Vishnu built a hermitage and lived there, attended to by Vakuladevi who looked after him like a mother.
     
  8. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Padmavathi's origin :

    In olden times, Lakshmi, in the form of Vedavati, was staying in an ashram in the forests. At that time, Ravana, the lord of Lanka tried to tempt her. In anger, Vedavati cursed him saying that she would bring about his death. To show how true her words were, Vedavati walked into the fire, but Agni, the Fire God rescued her. He took Vedavati to his house and entrusted her to his wife's care. When Ravana was about to carry away Sita from Panchavati, in the absence of Rama and Lakshmana, Agni appeared and offered Vedavati to Ravana as the real Sita who was kept with him by Rama to evade Ravana. Ravana was tricked into thinking that Vedavati was the real Sita.

    Ravana took Vedavati to Lanka thinking she was the real Sita, while Agni took Sita to his house and asked his wife Swahadevi to look after her. After the destruction of Ravana, Vedavati entered the fire when rejected by Rama. Then, Agni, offered the real Sita to Rama. Rama then questioned her as to who the other lady by her side was, Sita informed Rama that the lady was Vedavati who endured Ravana's torture for ten months in Lanka for her sake. Sita requested Rama to accept Vedavati also as his spouse. But Rama declined her request saying that he believed in having only one wife during his life time. However, He promised to wed her in her next birth as Padmavati, born as the daughter of Akasa Raja, when Rama himself would take the form of Srinivasa.
     
  9. anurar20

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    Yashoda Reborn as Vakuladevi

    Yashoda brought up Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki, in his early years. However, Yashoda was not blessed to witness the marriage of Sri Krishna with Rukmini and she felt very sad. Sri Krishna promised to fulfil her desire in her next birth as Vakuladevi in his next incarnation as Srinivasa. In Yashodas next birth as Vakuladevi, she was serving Lord Varahaswami when He sent her to serve Srinivasa.
     
  10. anurar20

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    Thirukalyanam of Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavathi

    Sometime later, a King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race was ruling over Thondamandalam. Akasa Raja had no heirs, and therefore, he wanted to perform a sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields when his plough turned up a lotus in the ground. On examining the lotus, the King found a female child in it. The king was happy to find a child even before he performed a sacrifice and carried it to his place and gave it to his Queen to tend it. At that time he heard an aerial voice which said "O King, tend it as your child and fortune will befall you". As she was found in a lotus, the king named her Padmavati. Princess Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and was attended by a host of maids.

    One day, Lord Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. In the elephant's pursuit, the Lord was led into a garden, where Princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers. The sight of the elephant frightened the Princess and her maids. But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa, who was following on horse back, and saw the frightened maidens. However, He was repulsed with stones thrown at Him by the maids. He returned to the hills in haste, leaving His horse behind. Vakuladevi found him lying on his bed, not interested in anything. The Lord informed her that unless he married Princess Padmavati. The Lord then narrated the story of her (Padmavati’s) previous birth and his promise to wed her. After listening to Srinivasa's story of how he had promised to marry Vedavati in her next birth as Padmavati, Vakuladevi realised that Srinivasa would not be happy unless he married Padmavati. She offered to go to Akasa Raja and his Queen and arrange for the marriage. On the way she met the maid-servants of Padmavati returning from a <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Siva</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Temple</st1:placeType></st1:place>. She learnt from them that Padmavati was also pining for Srinivasa. Vakuladevi went along with the maid servants to the Queen.


    Meanwhile, Akasa Raja and his queen Dharanidevi were anxious about the health of their daughter, Padmavathi. They learnt about Padmavathi's love for Srinivasa of Venkata Hill. Akasa Raja consulted Brihaspati about the marriage and was informed that the marriage was in the best interest of both the parties. Kubera lent money to Lord Srinivasa to meet the expenses of the marriage. Lord Srinivasa, along with his consorts and Lord Brahma and Lord Siva started the journey to the residence of Akasa Raja with his vehicle Garuda. At the palace entrance, Lord Srinivasa was received by Akasa Raja with full honours and taken in procession on a mounted elephant to the palace for the marriage. In the presence of all the Devas, Lord Srinivasa wed Princess Padmavati, thus blessing Akasa Raja.
     

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