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SHRI KRISHNA

Making a revelation to Vyasa that the Almighty God manifests himself whenever the civilization is endangered by the dominance of sinners, Lord Brahma said-- ' n !wa"ar y#ga, Lord Vishn# incarnated as $ri %rishna to "rotect !harma from being s#b&#gated by 'Adharma', which had become all "ervasive at that time' (e was born to Vas#dev and !evaki' Both his "arents had been ke"t #nder ca"tivity by %ansa, who was aware of the "ro"hesy that he wo#ld be killed by !evaki's eighth son' n d#e co#rse of time !evaki gave birth to seven sons all of whom were mercilessly killed by %ansa one by one' n order to "rotect the life of $ri %rishna- the eighth child born to !evaki, Vas#dev e)changed him with the baby girl born to *ashoda and +and' Vas#dev had no "roblem in moving o#t of the "rison as %rishna by his divine "ower ind#ced all the g#ards to slee"' $ri %rishna, being an incarnation of Lord Vishn# "erformed great feats right from his childhood' ,nce, %ansa sent an ogress named -#tna, who tried to kill $ri %rishna by breastfeeding him' B#t, %rishna s#cked her breasts with s#ch ferocity that -#tna met an instant death' n d#e co#rse of time $ri %rishna killed many more ferocio#s demons like $hakatas#r, %aliya +ag, !hen#kas#r and mesmerized the residents of Gok#l by his divine bravery' (e also "erformed many other divine feats like lifting Govardhan mo#ntain and "erforming .asLila with the Go"is' $eeing all his "lans of killing $ri %rishna go in vain, %ansa sent him a message challenging for a d#el- fo#ght with his co#rt-wrestlers named 'M#shtik' and '/han#r'' $ri %rishna killed both the dreaded demons witho#t m#ch diffic#lty' 0ltimately, $ri %rishna climbed #" the throne sitting on which .avan had been watching the wrestling bo#t and "#lled him down by his hair' (e then "#nched %ansa on his chest so hard that he died an instantaneo#s death' (aving accom"lished his most im"ortant mission of killing the demon king-%ansa and liberating the earth from his tyranny, $ri %rishna went on to com"lete his ed#cation #nder the t#telage of $age $andi"ani' !#ring ancient times it was c#stomary for a disci"le to offer !akshina to his teacher, as a mark of res"ect after his ed#cation was com"lete' $ri %rishna following this tradition gave an inval#able !akshina to his G#r# by bringing all his dead sons alive to earth from '*amloka'' $ri %rishna was s#bse1#ently crowned as the king of Math#ra b#t on acco#nt of the relentless attack by 2arasandha he had to abandon his dear city and shift his base to !warka' (e had eight 1#eens among whom .#kmini and $atyabhama were "rominent' Later on he resc#ed si)teen tho#sand and one h#ndred women from the ca"tivity of +arakas#r and married all of them' 3rom .#kmini he had a son named -rady#mna, who killed $hambaras#r' Anir#ddha was -rady#mna's son and he married 0sha- da#ghter of Banas#r' Banas#r was a great devotee of Lord $hiva and was blessed with one tho#sand hands' Lord $hiva came to his resc#e at the time when he was battling against the might of $ri %rishna' A fierce battle was fo#ght between both the deities, which remained inconcl#sive even after a long time' Lord $hiva then re1#ested $ri %rishna to s"are Banas#r's life to which he agreed albeit "artially' $ri %rishna severed all the hands of Banas#r barring two' 3inally, after accom"lishing his mission of liberating the earth from the darkness of sin $ri %rishna left for heavenly abode'

X. THE TALE OF MAHABHARATA


Giving the reasons that lead to the great battle of Mahabharata, Lord Brahma told sage Vyasa that $ri %rishna had "lanned this great battle and e)ec#ted it to "erfection to relieve the earth from the b#rden of tyrants' 4hile giving the names of lineal ascendants of %a#ravas and -andavas, he said--' 5Lord Brahma6 manifested from the lot#s which itself had its origin in the navel of Vishn#' Atri manifested from me while /handra from Atri' B#ddh was born to /handra while he himself was the father of -#r#rava' Ay# was -#r#rava's son while he himself was the son of *ayati' 7he names of few famo#s descendants of *ayati were Bharata, %#r# and $hantan#' $hantan# had two wives- Ganga and $atyavati' 7he former was the mother of Bhishma, the indomitable warrior, who had vowed to remain a bachelor thro#gho#t his life' 7he latter i'e' $atyavati gave birth to two sons- /hitrangad and Vichitraveerya' A Gandharva killed /hitrangad while Vichitraveerya died iss#e-less des"ite having two wives- Ambika and Ambalika 5both da#ghters of the king of %ashi6' n order to e)"and their clan both Ambika and Ambalika begot one son each from sage Vyasa' Ambika gave birth to !hritrashtra while Ambalika to -and#' 7he same Vyasa also had a son from a maid servant who became famo#s as Vid#r and who was famo#s for his statesmanshi" and tactf#lness' !hritrashtra married Gandhari and begot one h#ndred sons from her among whom !#ryodhan was most notorio#s' 7hese one h#ndred sons of !hritrashtra became famo#s as %a#ravas' -and# had two wives %#nti and Madri from whom he begot five sons-*#dhisthira, Bhima, Ar&#n, +ak#l and $ahdev, who all grew #" to be very "owerf#l and mighty' All five of them became famo#s as -andavas' -and#, their father had died while they were still yo#ng and Madri, #nable to bear the sorrow had given #" her life by &#m"ing into the b#rning "yre of her dead h#sband' $o, the -andavas were bro#ght #" #nder the g#ardianshi" of %#nti' %a#ravas and -andavas were bitter rivals right from their childhood' !#ryodhan never missed a chance to torment the -andavas- his co#sins' Both %a#ravas and -andavas were bro#ght #" #nder the t#telage of %ri"acharya and !ronacharya, both "rominent scholars of their times' ,nce, !#ryodhan tried to kill Bhima by "oisoning him b#t fort#nately Bhima not only came o#t #nscathed b#t also with renewed strength and vigo#r' !#ryodhan tried his l#ck for the second time to eliminate his enemies by setting ablaze the ho#se of wa) in which -andavas were living b#t once again they came o#t #nharmed' -andavas then went to '8kchakra +agar' and took ref#ge in the ho#se of a Brahmin family' A demon named 'Baka' #sed to torment the "eo"le of 8kchakra +agar' Bhima killed that demon and the "eo"le were relieved at the news of their tormentor's death' 7hereafter -andavas went to attend the $wayamvar ceremony of !ra#"adi' Ar&#n won !ra#"adi as his wife by "iercing the eye of the fish hanged above his head by looking at its image in the water-"ot ke"t below' At the insistence of !ronacharya and Bhishma, *#dhisthira rel#ctantly agreed to share half of his %ingdom with the -andavas' 7h#s -andavas started living at ndra"rashth, the ca"ital of their newly ac1#ired %ingdom'

Ar&#na married $#bhadra, his second wife and the sister of $ri %rishna' (e "leased Agni !ev by his a#stere "enance and received divine wea"ons like- a divine chariot, Gandiv 5bow6, im"erishable arrows and an im"enetrable shield' After being armed with these divine wea"ons he s#ccessf#lly defeated many "owerf#l monarchies and gave the whole ac1#ired wealth to *#dhisthira, his elder brother' !hrithrashtra invited *#dhisthira for a game of '!y#ta' 5gamble6 b#t !#ryodhan defeated him by em"loying #nfair and deceitf#l tactics with the active connivance of $hak#ni- his c#nning maternal #ncle' *#dhisthira lost everything in the gamble- his whole wealth, his kingdom and even !ra#"adi' -andavas had to go into e)ile for twelve years with an additional year of 'Agyatwas' 5they were not s#""osed to be recognized d#ring this "eriod6 as "er the terms and conditions laid down for the game' After com"leting their total "eriod of e)ile, -andavas reached Virat +agar to s"end their year of 'Agyatwas', which "osed more dangers and challenges beca#se if they were recognized d#ring this "eriod it wo#ld have meant another twelve years of e)ile for them' (aving s#ccessf#lly com"leted their "eriod of e)ile, -andavas demanded back their %ingdom b#t !#ryodhan was not even willing to "art away with five villages' 7h#s -andavas were left with no o"tion b#t to fight for their legitimate rights' Both the rival armies boasted of mighty and brave warriors on their sides' !#ryodhan a""ointed Bhishma as the chief commander of his army whereas $hikhandi was leading -andava's army' 7he first ten days of the battle saw a fierce fight between both the rival armies d#ring which "eriod many warriors from each side achieved martyrdom' 3inally, while Bhishma lay down in&#red, his whole body "ierced with Ar&#na's arrows, b#t still alive beca#se he had received a boon of ' ccha Mrity#' 5death by his choice6 "rominent warriors from both sides stood aro#nd him' t was only after the $#n came north of e1#ino) 50ttarayan6, the a#s"icio#s time Bhishma had chosen to leave his mortal body that he died after "reaching the -andavas on wide range of s#b&ects' After Bhishma's death !ronacharya led the %a#rava's army' 7his was the most cr#cial "hase of the battle' !ronacharya had become so demoralized after his son's death, that he had &#st no motivation left in him to fight the battle' 3inding an o""ort#ne moment, !hrishtady#mna severed his head and %a#ravas th#s lost their most able and e)"erienced commander' !#ryodhan a""ointed %arna as the ne)t commander of %a#rava's army' 7he most decisive "hase of the battle began and after a fierce battle of two days Ar&#na managed to kill his brave rival' $#bse1#ently, *#dhisthira killed $halya' After loosing all his mighty warriors, !#ryodhana, in a fit of rage challenged Bhima for a d#el of mace' Bhima killed him after a fierce fight' 7he revengef#l Ashwatthama, son of !ronacharya, attacked the -andava's cam" at night, m#ch against the norms of battle and killed all the five sons of !ra#"adi and tho#sand of other -andava soldiers' Ar&#na avenged the death of his sons by defeating Ashwatthama and e)tracting the diamond set in his forehead'

After the battle ended, *#dhisthira "erformed the rit#als of $hraddh in the name of all the dead warriors and ascended the throne' (e r#led in a &#st manner &#st according to the instr#ctions given by Bhishma' After $ri %rishna left this mortal world, *#dhisthira a""ointed -arikshit as his s#ccessor and left for (imalaya accom"anied by his brothers as well as !ra#"adi'

XI. THE ETERNAL TRUTH


Lord Brahma, while shedding light on vario#s as"ects of religion told sage Vyasa that a man sho#ld look at his sorrows 5shoka6 with a sense of aloofness and detachment, considering it as a "assing "hase' (e also revealed to Vyasa that the 'fire of sorrow' cons#med everything that came into its fold and nothing remained #nto#ched by it' A sorrowf#l man becomes bereft of all his "ossessions-knowledge, religion, "hysical strength, "atience, ha""iness and all s#ch 1#alities' Lord Brahma also told him that virt#o#s deeds never went witho#t being rewarded, as all good things en&oyed by a man in his life are nothing b#t the res#lt of his virt#o#s "ast '%armas'' ,n the contrary sinf#l deeds committed by a man makes his "resent as well as his f#t#re births miserable' 3#rther, glorifying the virt#es of some other good deeds, Lord Brahma said-' -rotecting the life of a "erson, whose life is endangered and who has so#ght one's ref#ge is the greatest virt#e and no other deed can be com"ared with it' ,ne who sheds his life to "rotect his religion attains to heaven' A contented man en&oys even his adversities and remains #n"ert#rbed by them' A man sho#ld never miss a chance to get benefited by the com"any of enlightened so#ls beca#se it gives him an o""ort#nity to #nderstand religion in a better way' !onating food begets incom"arable virt#es and no other virt#o#s deed stands anywhere near it'' Lord Brahma concl#ded by describing $anatan !harma in a n#tshell and said-' Anybody observing the following a#sterities sho#ld be considered an ardent follower of '$anatan !harma'- tr#th, "enance, self-control, "#rity, forgiveness, com"assion, knowledge and donation'

THE SUPREME YOGA


,nce, $age $ha#nak asked $#t&i abo#t the reasons behind man's sorrow' $#t&i told him that man's ego and his attachments to this mortal world were the two most im"ortant ca#ses for his sorrow and #ntil he gets rid of them he will contin#e to s#ffer' $#t&i said-' 7he 'tree of ignorance' s"ro#ts from the seed of 'egotism' and it receives its n#trition from sens#al "leas#res' ,nly those who "ossess the 'a)e of knowledge' are s#ccessf#l in felling this 'tree of ignorance' and e)"erience the ecstasy of !ivine bliss' ,nce a man has e)"erienced this divine bliss he not only becomes free from all kinds of sorrow b#t is also freed from the cycles of birth, death and rebirth' 7his divine link which a man establishes with the Almighty is called 'Mahayoga' 5the s#"reme *oga6' B#t, those #nfort#nate "eo"le who have not e)"erienced this divine bliss contin#e to get tra""ed by the worldly ill#sions leading to their co#ntless births and deaths''

$#t&i then went on to describe the means by which a man can have a "#re heart and said-' A#sterities like meditation, worshi", fasts, oblations, charity, etc', certainly hel"s a man in getting rid of all kinds of im"#rities''

DEVOTION-THE PATH LEADING TO ALMIGHTY


Glorifying devotion as the sim"lest means to reach God, $#t&i told $ha#nak that there was nothing else that "leased God more than the #nflinching devotion of his devotee in him' $#t&i said-- 'A devotee who chants the holy name of God ac1#ires im"erishable virt#es and attains salvation even if he were a lowly sinner' ,ne who has s#rrendered himself to the will of God is absolved of all his sins' 8ven '*amara&'- 7he lord of death has strictly instr#cted his escorts to s"are those who are devotees of Lord Vishn#' Lord Vishn# himself has declared that anybody having total devotion in him sho#ld be considered as the most virt#o#s so#l even if he had committed the most heino#s of sins'' 3#rther hailing the glory of chanting Lord Vishn#'s name $#t&i said-' 7he mere chanting of Lord Vishn#'s name in '%ali y#ga' brings the same virt#e what the combined virt#es of meditating on him d#ring '$atya y#ga', chanting his sacred mantras d#ring '7reta y#ga' and worshi""ing him d#ring '!wa"ar y#ga' bro#ght' A devotee who has nothing b#t the sacred name of Lord Vishn# on his li"s is certain to attain to Vishn#loka after becoming free from the bondage of this world' /hanting the divine name of Vishn# even in dreams is believed to absolve a man of all his sins then what to say abo#t "eo"le who conscio#sly chant his holy name while they are awake'' 7h#s $#t&i told $age $ha#nak that anybody co#ld attain salvation by sim"ly having total devotion in Lord Vishn# as it was the most sim"lest "ath leading to the Almighty' XII. THE DIVINE STROTRAS

NRISINHA STOTRA
7elling abo#t the origin of this stotra, $#t&i said--'Lord $hiva had created this stotra "raising the glory of Lord +risinha and invoking him to "rotect the world from the wrath of Matrikas' 7he stotra goes as follows -+amastest# 2agannath +arsinha Va"#rdhar9 !aiteshwar 8ndra $anharinakha Bh#kti Vira&it' +akh Mandal $ambhinna (em"ingal Vigrah9 +amost# -admanabhay $hobahanay 2agadg#ro' %al" Antambho !anighosh $#ryakoti $am"rabha9