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For an ambitious King, his army is the reflection of his aspirations; greater the army, better the chances for his conquests and when in n...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Legend of Vishwamitra : 'Kaam' and 'Krodh'

Vishwamitra was thoroughly absorbed in the divine atmosphere of Pushkar, he continued his penance living only on fruits and tubers. His efforts continued and another thousand years passed.
Brahmm Dev appeared and entitled him as 'Rishi', certainly Vishwamitra felt dejected. He was clueless  as whether his efforts were not enough to qualify him towards the position of 'Brammrishi'. Yet, he continued his ascesis as he was poised for it.

But, his determination was giving a hard time to a divine persona.
One day a beautiful apsara or nymph named Menka arrived there, she found herself near a beautiful lake and hence started preparing for the bath. Vishwamitra observed her contour, the ascetic helplessly felt spellbound by her charm. Magnetized with her exquisiteness, he approached her welcoming and requested her to grace him with her companionship.

Menka delightfully accepted his proposal; after all it was the sole-purpose of her presence there. For the next ten years, the sage was drowned in Menka so deep that he forgot his objective, a big stoppage over his ascesis. He realized lately and was left embarrassed. He rightly interpreted, it was Indra’s work; he said nothing and peacefully let Menka go, they had the connection after all.

Now he knew where he had not arrived yet. He tried to bring the pieces together; only a jitendriya can be a Brahmmrishi, was his conclusion. I must enlighten you that a jitendriya is one person who has won all over his senses; as these senses control being's mind and body. A being is deviated towards various desires and cravings, those being:  काम(lust), क्रोध(anger), लोभ(temptation), मोह(fascination), राग(infatuation), द्वेष(malice) and ईर्ष्या(jealousy). One can only master these vaasnaas or desires through mastering his senses only and the one who succeeds will always be composed though whatever the situation may be. The reason why being a jitendriya is important as only then a being could be able to judge the situations unbiased.
The moment he saw a beautiful nymph, he failed to control his cravings that were suppressed from long and hence, fell in the trap. He decided that he has to win over his lust and therefore he left for the Himalayas and penance like never before for another thousand years. The devas were concerned, they requested Brahmm dev to bless him with 'Maharishi'.

Brahmm dev went to Vishwamitra, ‘Maharishi, you are welcome; I am very pleased with your ascesis and give you supremacy among the great sages.’

‘Hey Brahmm Dev! If you are pleased with me, then kindly grace me with the position of Brahmrishi, only then I will take myself as jitendriya, the one who has overcome his all senses.’

‘O best of the sages, you haven’t won your senses yet, strive for it and that might be your destiny one day.’ Brahmm dev smiled.
Vishwamitra was now determined for more so he raised both of his arms and started ascesis living only on air.

In summers he lived on panchagni, in the rains he stayed under open-sky and in winters also he stayed in his position for another thousand years. Indra got worried for whatever was happening so he asked another apsara Rambha to break Vishwamitra’s ascesis as Menka did with his beauty and voluptuous body. As directed, Rambha went there and started singing like a songbird. Indra knew it would be hard to crack Vishwamitra this time, therefore, he created a set-up in accordance to that. Disturbed, Vishwamitra opened his eyes, he looked all over; suddenly the rough site of the Himalayas felt pleasant with the greenery around, the wind had a musky breeze flowing, various fragrant flowers were showering from the sky and a stunning beauty singing with her melodious voice. He recognized Indra’s move, though lust couldn't move him, yet, he was irate; he cursed Rambha and turned her into a stone while Indra ran away watching this.

But this all saddened Vishwamitra as he lost all his ascetic powers and his every single effort for Brahmmanatva went in vain. Brahmm Dev's word were echoing in his ears, in spite of decoding the secret he failed to control his anger. The actualization had eventuated, he knew how to proceed ahead.

Before I sign off, one thing; obviously everyone would be loathing Indra as he again and again created hurdles in Vishwamitra's penance. I would like to play as the devil's advocate, why, let's meet in the next post.

"A jitendriya or stoic remains composed and converts his weakness and threats into his strength and opportunities

' सियाराम'

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Legend of Vishwamitra : Trishanku

Defeated and humiliated twice, Vishwamitra had now realized the force of brahmmanatv and a 'Brahmmrishi'; whole world capitulates in his feet including the devas, such is his efficacy.
An accomplished king, a connoisseur in war science, yet he failed against 'Brahmmrishi' Vashishth. He knew what he wanted and only Brahmm Dev would grant that.
Vishwamitra started penancing  rigorously, after thousand years Brahmm Dev revealed himself and honored him with 'Rajrishi', the one who had won over the world of kingly-sages. Brahmm Dev vanished but Vishwamitra was disappointed, he expected more,  'Brahmmrishi' was the term his heart expected. This was just the beginning, Vishwamitra determined himself for a rigorous journey.

I know it might be hard to digest; a thousand year austerity. But that's the way it is, as far as I have understood; the lifestyle we adhere, the conduct, the environment around, these all factors combine and make it possible. A significant factor contributing to it is YOG(yes, not yoga) re-energizing and purifying the body and soul. And so, Vishwamitra continued his penance.

Between all this was happening; destiny played one more card, an incident that enhanced Vishwamitra's efficacy universally.
There was a noble suryavanshee king Trishanku who aspired for heavens, but with his physical form. He decided to consult sage Vashishtha, the wise sage softly rejected his plea.
Disappointed, the king then went to the sage’s sons who like their father denied his wish.
The denials raised his desperation, he tried to greed them by offering treasure. Such a conduct enraged the sons of Vashishth as the king's conduct was amoral. They cursed him to become a chandaal, profane. The impact of the curse was so powerful that Trishanku’s personality faded instantly and his face became dull, he had black torn clothes over his body, he became scared.
Restless and outcast; he thought to approach someone who is more or equally influential like Vashishth. Vishwamitra’s enmity to Vashishth was now known to the world and so he went to the former’s refuge.

Vishwamitra felt bad for him, he promised Trishanku to grant his wish. He thus arranged few sages and asked them to perform a yagya in order to fulfill Trishanku's wish.
As the rituals started, Trishanku’s body started elevating towards heavens. Looking at such unethical act infuriated Indra, he had to stop it right now otherwise a wrong message would had been sent to the world and so he instantly reversed Trishanku’s body and he started falling back to Earth.

Falling down, Trishanku shouted for help; Vishwamitra haulted his body in the middle of the sky, he was now hung upside down. Looking at the pity condition of Trishanku and his failing efforts, Vishwamitra decided to create a whole new set of constellation which had a new set of sapt-rishis. He angrily announced to create a new swarglok which will have a new Indra, or may be without any Indra, but it would be there for sure.

Indra went to Vishwamitra and explained him that sending Trishanku to Indralok along with his body is against the ethics and the policies laid by the almighty and so was creating a new constellation.

Vishwamitra realized his mistake, he then calmed Indra and insisted him to let his efforts not go in vain as he had promised Trishanku for that.
Indra said, ‘whatever you have created will be there in existence and Trishanku will be lying there bowing down in respectable position similar to devas.
As the legend goes on; Trishanku is still placed in the artificial Indralok, alone. The boon that became a curse, in a way.

Trishanku's story has a lot to teach, even in today's life. No doubt he was a noble king, who lived up to his every responsibility of a king, but, that didn't gave him a right to aspire for an impractical wish, even if he was a suryavanshee. In spite of his status, he was delivered to justice. Now that was something so right about those times.
Today, when I look around, I see Trishankus everywhere. Politicians, bureaucrats, corporates, babas of different sects; a slight power in their hand and they are ready to manipulate the system, the society in their accordance. They don't even shy away in compromising the ethics, the foundation; undaunted about the consequences keeping the system in their pockets.
The only difference; Trishanku, the king was brought to justice and today the culprits have all cards in their kitty viz. politricks, communal, human-rights and so on.
Still people say we have progressed a lot, but on stake of what? You reason, that's all.

Coming back to Vishwamitra, after the Trishanku episode, he went to Pushkar and continued with his ascesis. We will continue the legend to the next post.

"Aspirations; be careful with those, if noble they will emancipate you, if corrupt you will be condemned."


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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Legend of Vishwamitra : Kaamdhenu

In my last blog, I promised to elaborate the legend of Vishwamitra soon and so here we are today. The Baal Kaand of Ramayan is loaded with his anecdotes and after knowing them we will know as why and how he qualified to mentor Shri Ram.
In this post and the forthcoming posts we will learn about his legend covering his transformation from a Kshatriya King to a Brahmmrishi.

He was born to King Gaadhi, a legendary king of Kannauj.
After succeeding his father, Vishwamitra attained kingship and ruled his kingdom gloriously. His eminence was widespread around the world and his peers bowed against his suppressive warfare strategics and amazing accomplishments in archery. As a king, there was nothing that was out of his reach, he had achieved everything that a king aspires.

Now the amazing starts:

Once the great king along with his gargantuan army was wandering towards his kingdoms falling under his sovereignty. There, he came across to sage Vashishth’s hermitage. Though he was a king and there was nothing in the hermitage compared to his kingly pleasure, yet, he was spellbound looking at the hermitage that was blessed with nature's beauty. There were all kinds of trees and flowers as well as animals at one place in parity.
Sage Vashishth welcomed the great king whole heartedly. Pleased with his conduct, the sage expressed his wish to host the king along with his family and army. With the king's agreement, the sage summoned Kaamdhenu, the miraculous cow and directed her to create various delicacies desired by the king and his people.
Kaamdhenu was a divine celestial cow. She was blessed with powers to grant any wish that one desires. She was vested with powers to create anything that existed in the universe.

Kaamdhenu fulfilled every individual’s wish, starting from the king to the queens as well as the ministers and the soldiers. They all were deeply contented with never ending range of delicacies. 
Vishwamitra was amazed with the wondrous cow, such a gem deserved to be in his palace. He requested Vashishth for the cow and in return offered lots of  cows and treasure.
Kaamdhenu was just not a cow but the basis of Vashisht's hermitage, his ascesis. He humbly denied the king's plea. The king was not habitual of listening to a no, after being denied again and again he took hold of the cow and started dragging her.
The sage asked Kaamdhenu to generate an enormous army that included warriors of different breeds viz.; yavans, shaks, kambojs and others. Yes you heard it right, no you read it right, we will know about them later.
Kamdhenu screamed aloud and created such army that gave a tough fight to Vishwamitra. The king, with his sons excelled over the army, then Vashishth decided to intervene. The moment Vishwamitra's sons attacked, they were all burned to death with fire that was invoked by a furious roar by Vashishth.
Humiliated and defeated, Vishwamitra decided to avenge his defeat and his sons' death. He crowned his last son and left for penancing. Soon Bhagwan Shiv appeared in front of him and blessed him with thorough knowledge of archery as requested by the king. 
Vishwamitra again went to Vashisht's hermitage and vehemently attacked whosoever came in his way. Vashishth soon came to know about the torment, he challenged Vishwamitra and defeated him with his 'brahmmdand' or baton single handed. All the divyastras of Vishwamitrs went in vain and he was again left embarrassed.

Kshatriya-dharm is worthless, I lost everything against the sage with his single brahmdand, I shall now perform ascecis to attain brahmmanatv.’

That moment, a new Vishwamitra was born.
We will continue his legend in the next blog and witness his journey farther.

"No matter how powerful you are, if dharm is not on your side, you will lose"


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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Yakshini and the Curse

In Ramayan, Vishwamitra is accredited for cultivating the finest warrior skills in Shri Ram, during their journey from Ayodhya to his hermitage, he bestowed divine weapons and occult arts to him. There were many reasons behind choosing Vishwamitra:
  • Before attaining the position of Brahmmrishi, he was an emperor and a proficient warrior himself.
  • He was a connoisseur in archery.
  • Along with being the inventor of Gayatri-Mantra, he knew about many mantra-vidyas that were going to help Shri Ram in his future endeavors.
We will soon learn about those arts and about Vishwamitra as well.The reason I briefed the above as that had what proceeded towards our today's subject. Today I will tell you about Tadka
On their way to hermitage, they stopped at a deserted place, Shri Ram inquired as why the place looked haunted. The sage informed him about the menace of Tadka, a rakshasi. She was a dreadful giant with an appaling appearance, after all that is how rakshasas usually looked or rather described in the serials isn't it. Whatever, the haunted place that Shri Ram inquired wasn't like this forever, there were two accomplished kingdoms: Malad and Karush once. They were created by Indra’s filth and hunger after killing demon Vrattasur, so Indra blessed these two kingdoms to be wealthy and prosperous. 
Therefore, with Vishwamitra's command Shri Ram clenched his left fist on the grip of the middle part of the bow and with his right arm he stretched the bowstring till his ear and made a booming sound. The thunder quavered all the directions; those were filled with the sound of it. Even Tadka was stupefied with the thunderous sound. She saw him standing firm, enraged, she attacked him and a great duel triggered. Soon Shri Ram eliminated the rakshasi and the redeemed the place of her terror. The redeemer of the world had initiated the war against adharm.

Before coming to any conclusion, let's know more about Tadka;
She was born to a yaksha, Suketu, that means initially she wasn't a rakshas. With the blessings of Brahmm Dev she possessed strength equaling to a thousand elephants. Suketu married her to Sund, a daitya. They had a son who was later known as Mareech. Yes, the same Mareech who was transported to south by Shri Ram
Mareech's conduct were off to dharm and he used to torment the sages and other beings. Sage Agastya cursed him and he turned into a rakshas, when Sund heard about it he tried to avenge his son and hence was eliminated by the sage. Mareech knew about her mother's strength, he informed her about the unfortunate(according to him), enraged, she decided to take revenge and attacked Agastya in attempt to devour him.
But Agastya was a profound sage, he foiled her assault and cursed her to become a rakshasi like her son, 'the conduct of both you and your son's had been towards unrighteousness like the evil rakshasas, so be it. You both shall live such life. Your appearance will be frightful and if you both won't learn the lesson even after this, your end will soon catch up to you.'

This was the story of an attractive yakshini who was transformed into a dreadful creature.

We learn a few things today:

  • Unlike the general conception; the rakshas, daitya and daanavs were pretty normal in appearance.
  • The karma and conduct of a being delivers him/her to their fate, no matter to what species they belong.
  • The horrible appearances, giant sizes of the demons was due to the curse' effect not by birth. 
"our conduct determines our fate, not our birth"

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