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Epic Stories

Krishna and the celestial serpent Kaliya

The Nagas or serpents made offerings to Garuda on appointed days. Kaliya, proud of his own valour, did not make any offering himself and snatched away the offerings made by others. Garuda attacked him and, being overpowered in the fight, Kaliya sought shelter in a deep pool of water in the Yamuna.

Of yore, Garuda had caught a fish in that pool of water and was about to eat it, when Rishi Soubhari asked him not to eat, but Garuda heeded not his words. The wailings of the fish moved the tender heart of the Rishi and for their future good he cursed Garuda with death, if he entered the pool any more.

Kaliya knew about this and he therefore sought protection in that pool of water with his family. The water became deadly poison and even the adjoining air breathed poisonous death.

One day Krishna went with all his companions, other than Rama, to the Yamuna side. The Gopa boys and the cows being very thirsty drank the water of that pool and met with instant death. Krishna cast his amrita pouring looks at them and they got up, being restored to life. They looked at each other, very much surprised.

To purge the river, Krishna got upon a Kadamba tree and jumped into the  pool of water. Kaliya fiercely attacked him and stung him to the quick. The serpent then twined round Krishna. The cows wept, the Gopa boys became senseless. There were evil portents in Vrindavana. Nanda and other Gopas came out in search of Krishna. They saw him in the grasp of the powerful serpent and made loud wailings. A moment after, seeing how they all grieved for him, Krishna eluded the grasp of the serpent and moved dancing round him.

The serpent, somewhat fatigued, also kept moving with its overspread hoods, fixing its looks on Krishna. Krishna then got upon the hoods one thousand in number, one hundred being the chief, and danced on them putting down the hood that tried to raise itself. It was a lovely sight and the Devas sang in joy and rained flowers. The serpent king was overpowered. He vomited blood. His body was broken. In his heart of hearts, he sought the protection of Narayana. The serpent girls also glorified Krishna and prayed for their husband’s life.

Krishna said: “Go hence O serpent, dwell in the sea. Men and cows shall use the water of the river. You left Ramanaka Dvipa for fear of Garuda. But now as your heads bear the marks of my feet, Garuda shall not touch you.” Kaliya left the Yamuna with his wives and the water of that river has been pure ever since.

Krishna and the conch (Panchajanya)

 

Vasudeva called the family priest Garga and performed the Upanayana ceremony (the sacred thread ceremony) of his sons. They then became twice-born. After Upanayana, one has to practise Brahmacharya. They have to reside at the house of their Guru, learn the Vedas from him and practise asceticism at the same time. According to practice, BalaRama and Krishna went to reside at the house of Rishi Sandipani of Avanti of the line of Kasyapa.

The brothers learned the Vedas, the Vedangas and all the branches of learning in sixty four days. Then they requested their Guru to name his Dakshina. Sandipani in consultation with his wife asked for the restoration to life of his son, who had been drowned in the sea at Prabhasa Kshetra.

“All right,” said the brothers. They took their chariot and went to the sea-side. The sea brought presents. But Krishna asked for the restoration of his Guru’s son. The sea replied: “I did not carry him off, but one Asura named Panchajana, who lives in my waters in the form of a conch.”

Krishna entered the waters and killed Panchajana. But he did not find the boy within the Asura’s body. He took the conch and came back. He then went with Balarama to the seat of Yama called Sanyamani and blew the conch. Yama adored the brothers and wanted to know their behests.

Krishna said:  “My Guru’s son has certainly been brought here by his own Karma. But hear my command and bring him to me.”. Yama followed the orders of Bhagavan ( Krishna) and and brought back the Guru’s son. The brothers took him to their father and said: “What more do you ask, O Guru?”

The Guru said: “I have nothing more to ask. Now you may go home.”

Krishna becoming the Gopala at Vrindhavava

 

Seeing that calamities befell Brihat Vana (Vraja or Gokul) so often, the elders put their heads together to devise the best course to adopt. Upa Nanda, one of the oldest and wisest of them, said:

“We that wish well for Gokula must hence get away. Evils befall that bode no good for the children. This boy was with difficulty saved from that child-killing Rakshasa woman. It is only by the favor of Vishnu that the cart did not fall on him. When he was taken high up by the whirlwind Asura, and when he fell down on the rock, it was the Deva Kings that saved him. If this boy and others did not perish when they were between the two trees, it was because Vishnu preserved them. Ere this Vraja is visited by fresh calamity, let us go elsewhere with the boys and all attendants.

There is a forest called Vrindavana with fresh verdure for cattle, where Gopas, Gopis and Gos will all enjoy themselves. The hills, grass and creepers are all holy there. This very day let us go to that place. Make ready the carriages. Let the cows precede us, if it pleases you all.”

With one heart, the Gopas agreed.  They prepared their carriages and placed on them the aged, the young, the females and all household articles. They drove the cows in advance. They blew their horns and beat their drums. Accompanied by the priests, the Gopas went on their way. The Gopa girls, seated on chariots sang the deeds of Krishna and Yasoda, and Rohinl attentively listened to them.

At last they entered Vrindavana, which gives pleasure at all times, with the carriages; they made a semi-circular abode for the cattle.

Balarama and Krishna saw Vrindavana, the hill Govardhana and the banks of the Yamuna and then became very much pleased. In time they became keepers of calves (Vatsa). They tended the calves in the company of Gopa boys on pasture lands near at hand. They played with other boys as ordinary children.

 

Krishna killing of baka (the crane) and agha (the serpent)

 

One day the Gopa boys went over to a tank to quench their thirst. They saw a huge monster in the form of a Baka (crane). It rushed forth and swallowed Krishna. Krishna caused a burning in its throat and the Asura threw him out. It made a second attack and Krishna held the two beaks and parted them asunder as if they were blades of grass, And the Asura died.

On the other day Krishna was playing with the boys in the forest. Agha, the youngest born of Putana and Baka, the Asura whom even the Devas, rendered immortal by Amrita, dreaded, burning with a spirit of revenge at the death of his brother and sister, thought of killing Krishna and all his attendants. He stretched himself forth as a huge serpent, spreading over one yojana, the extremities of his open mouth touching the clouds and the earth. The Gopa boys took the Asura to be the goddess of Vrindavana. “Or if it really be a serpent opening its mouth to kill us, it will instantly be killed like the Asura Vaka.” So with their eyes fixed on Krishna they clapped their hands and with a smile entered the mouth of the serpent, even before Krishna had time to warn them. The Asura still waited with its mouth open for Krishna. Krishna thought how he could kill the serpent and at the same time save his companions.

On reflection, he himself entered the mouth of the serpent and stretched himself and his comrades. The Asura lost breath and breathed his last. A shining spirit emerged from the Asura body and entered the body of Krishna. Krishna gave fresh life to his comrades by his Amrita bearing looks.

Krishna killed Agha that very day when Krishna entered his sixth year.

Krishna saving the arjuna trees

 

One day Yasoda was churning curdled milk and singing the deeds of her son. Krishna came up and, desirous of sucking milk, held the churning rod. Yasoda placed him on her lap and gave him milk to suck. But the milk that was boiling on the oven overflowed the pot and she hurriedly left her son. In anger Krishna bit his lips, broke the milk pot with a stone, took the fresh butter to a retired corner and there partook of it. Yasoda came back after a while and found the pot broken. Her son had left the place and she could easily see that it was all his doing.

She found Krishna seated on the husk stand, freely dividing the contents of the hanging pots among the monkeys, and she quietly approached him with a stick. Krishna hurriedly got down and ran away as if in fear. Yasoda ran after him and caught him at last. Finding him fear-stricken, she threw down the stick and tried to fasten him to the husking stand. The rope fell short by the breadth of two fingers (say two inches). She added another rope. The gap remained the same. She added rope after rope, as many as she had of her own and of her neighbors, but could not bridge over the distance. She stood baffled at last, amazed and ashamed. Finding that his mother was perspiring in the effort and that her hair had become disheveled, Krishna allowed himself to be fastened to the stand.

The Yaksha King Kuvera had two sons — Nalakuvara and Manigriva. They became maddened with power and intoxicated with drink. Narada passed by them while they were playing with Gandharva girls stark naked in a river bath and they heeded him not. Narada thought how best he could reclaim them. “Poverty is the only remedy for those that lose their heads in wealth. These sons of the Lokapala Kuvera are deep in ignorance, insolence and intoxication. Let them become trees. But they shall not lose memory by my favor. After one hundred Deva years, the touch of Sri Krishna shall save them.”  These sons of Kuvera in consequence became a pair of Arjuna trees in Vrindavana.

While Krishna was fastened to the husking stand, the pair of Arjuna trees drew his attention. He was bent on making good the words of Narada. So he approached the trees, drawing the husking stand behind him by force and, placing himself between them, uprooted the trees. They fell down with a crash and lo! two fiery spirits came out, illumining space by the splendour of their bodies. They prayed to Krishna and then rose upwards.

The Gopa women had been engaged all this time in their household duties and the crash attracted the attention of all the Gopas and Gopis. The boys told what they had seen. But some were loath to believe that all this could be done by the boy Krishna.

Krishna, his flute (vamsika) and the Gopikas

Krishna roamed in the fresh forest with the cattle and his companions. He played upon the flute and the Gopis forgot themselves in hearing his music. They saw before their mind’s eye the dancing Krishna filling the holes of the flute with nectar flowing from his lips, the peacock feather on his head, Karnikara flower on his ears, his cloth yellow like gold and the Vaijayanti garland round his neck.

Some exclaimed: — “What better could the eyes feed upon than the lovely faces of Balarama  and Krishna, with the flutes touching their lips and their smiling glances.”

Some said: — “How beautiful they look with garlands of mango twigs, peacock feather and blue lotus. In the assembly of Gopas, they look like heroes on the theatrical stage.”

Others said: — “What did that bamboo piece of a flute do that it should drink so hard the nectar flowing from Krishna’s lips, the special possession of the Gopis, that nothing should remain but the taste thereof. The water that nourished it is thrilling with joy and the plant of which it is a shoot is shedding joysome tears.”

Some said: — “Look how lovely does Vrindavana look from the touch of Sri Krishna’s lotus feet! Look there, the peacock madly dances to the tune of the flute and other animals stand dumb on the summit of the hills and witness the scene. There is no spot on the earth like Vrindavana.”

Others said: — “How blessed are these female deer that In the company of their husbands hear the music of the flute and make an offering of their loving looks!”

Other Gopis said: — “So tempting is this form of Krishna and so alluring is the music of his flute that even Deva girls become lost to themselves. Look, how the cows drink that music with ears erect. And even the calves stand with their mothers’ milk in their mouths, eagerly listening to that sound. Those birds are no worse than Rishis, for they sit high on trees whence they can have a full view of Krishna and with eyes closed they silently hear the sweet music of the flute. Even the rivers show the love transformation of their hearts by their whirls and they stop their course to embrace the feet of Krishna with their raised billows serving as hands and offering lotus flowers at those feet. The clouds give shadow and they shed dewy flowers on Krishna. Most fortunate is Govardhana, for Krishna drives cattle on its sides and it makes its offerings of edibles and drink.”

Pranks of little Krishna

 

With growing childhood, Krishna became very naughty. Once the Gopa women made the following complaints.  Krishna would untie their calves before the milking time. He would steal their milk and curds and divide the remnants, after eating, among the monkeys. If they did not eat, he would break the pot. If he did not get the things he wanted, he would curse the inmates and other boys. If the pots were out of reach, he would raise himself on seats or husking stools and bear those hanging pots away to get at their contents. He would illumine the dark room by the glitter of his own body and that of his jewels, to serve his purpose. He would talk insolently, and spoil the ground.

The Gopa women exclaimed: “But now how innocent he looks before you.” Krishna betrayed fear in his eyes.  Yasoda would not beat him. So he only smiled.

One day Rama and other boys complained to Yasoda that Krishna had eaten earth. The mother remonstrated. “They have lied” exclaimed Krishna “Or if they have spoken the truth, then examine my mouth.” “Open it,” said Yasoda.

But what did she find within that mouth? The Seven Dvipas, the planets, the stars, the three Gunas and all their transformations, even Vrindavana and herself.  She lost in trans thinking “Is this dream or delusion or is this all the power of my own son? If Thou art then the Unknowable, my salutations to Thee. I take the shelter of Him, by whose Maya I seem to be Yasoda, this Nanda my husband, this boy my son, the Gos (cows) Gopas and Gopis to be mine.”  She had the true knowledge, but it was soon eclipsed by the Maya of Vishnu and Yasoda again knew Krishna to be her own son.

 

The birth of Krishna

 

Six sons of Devaki were killed, one by one, by Kansa. The seventh, the abode of Vishnu, whom they call Ananta, appeared in the womb of Devaki, causing both joy and grief to his parents.

Vishnu, summoned Yoga Maya and commanded her as follows. “Rohini, wife of Vasudeva, dwells in Gokula the kingdom of Nanda. The child in the womb of Devaki is my Sesha.  Draw it out and place it in the womb of Rohini.”

By inducing the sleep of  Yoga Maya, she removed the child from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini. People thought Devaki had miscarried.

Then Bhagavan, entered the Manas of Vasudeva in part. Devaki bore in her Manas this part of Achyuta. Her lustre being confined to the prison-room could not please others. Kansa saw an unusual glow round his sister such as he had never witnessed before. He exclaimed “Surely Hari is born in this womb, He who is to take away my life. Am I then to kill my sister? But the killing of a pregnant female, my own sister, will ruin my fame, my wealth and my life. What shall I do this day?”

Kansa by his own persuasion restrained himself from doing any violent act and he waited with feelings of bitterness for the time when Hari was to be born. But whether sitting or lying down, eating or walking, he thought of Vishnu and saw Him everywhere in the Universe.

In time, when all nature looked still and there was joy in heaven and earth, Sri Krishna was born under the influence of the Rohini constellation. It was all dark at dead of night. He had four hands bearing Sankha, Chakra, Gada, and Padma. The mark of Srivatsa the Kaustubha gem, the yellow cloth, the crown on the head glittering with stones, the brilliant ear-rings all marked Him out as the Purusha, and Vasudeva and Devaki adored Him as such. Devaki asked him to withdraw his lordly form with four hands. Then He assumed the form of an ordinary child.

Directed by Him, Vasudeva took Him to Vraja, the Kingdom of Nanda. The fetters loosened. The gate opened wide. The gate keepers fell into deep sleep. Though there was a heavy downpour of rain, the serpent Sesha gave shelter under his thousand hoods. The river Yamuna, deep in flood, fretting and foaming under the storm, made way for Vasudeva. The Gopas were all fast asleep in Vraja. Vasudeva placed his own son by the side of Yasoda and took her new born daughter away and placed her near Devaki. He then put on his fetters and remained confined as before. Yasoda knew that she had a child, but the labour pains and sleep made her quite forget the sex of the child.

The gates closed again, the gate-keepers woke up and, on hearing a child’s voice, they forthwith informed their King. Kansa had been anxiously waiting for the birth of this child. So he lost no time in getting up and appearing before Devaki. He snatched away the child from her. Devaki remonstrated with her brother praying for the life of her daughter. Kansa did not heed  her words. He raised the child aloft and cast it down to strike it against a stone. The child slipped away from his

hands, and rose high up. This younger born of Vishnu appeared with eight hands, bearing eight weapons, — Dhanus (bow) Sula (spear) Isha (arrow), Charma (hide protector), Asi (sword), Sankha (conch), Chakra (Disc), and Gada (club). She had divine garlands and garments and was adorned with ornaments. Siddhas, Charanas, Gandharvas, Apsarasas, Kinnaras and Nagas worshiped her with profuse offerings.

She thundered forth, “What if I am killed. He who shall make an end of you, is born somewhere else. Do not kill other children in vain.”

Kansa was wonder-struck. He removed the fetters of Vasudeva and Devaki and begged their pardon, saying, “Like a Rakshasa, I have killed your sons. I do not know what fate awaits me after death.”

Kansa then called the Daityas together. These sworn enemies of the Devas heard their master .  Kansa directed the Kamarupa (forms at will) bearing Asuras to oppress all good people and they readily took to their work.

 

 

The creation of universe and the world

In the beginning, there was water everywhere. In the water there emerged a golden egg. Brahma was born inside this egg. He created himself and is called Svayambhu,( born by himself ). For one whole year, Brahma lived inside the egg. He then split the egg into two and created heaven and the earth from the two parts of the egg. Skies, directions, time, language and senses were created in both heaven and earth.

From the powers of his mind, Brahma gave birth to seven great sages. Their names were Marichi, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vashishtha. Brahma also created the god Rudra and the sage Sanatkumara.

Birth of Manu
After that , Brahma gave birth to a man and a woman from his own body. The man was named Manu and the woman was named Shatarupa. Humans (manavas) are descended from Manu.

Manu and Shatarupa had three sons named Vira, Priyavrata and Uttanapada.

Uttanapada’s son was the great Dhruva. Dhruva performed very difficult meditation (tapasya) for three thousand divine years. Brahma was so pleased at this that he granted Dhruva an eternal place in the sky, near the constellation that is known as saptarshi or the seven sages. This is the constellation Ursa Majoris and Dhruva is the pole Star.

Birth of Daksha
In Dhruva’s line there was a king named Prachinavarhi. Prachinavarhi had ten sons, known as the Prachetas who were supposed to rule over it, but they were not interested. They went off to perform tapasya under the ocean for ten thousand years. As Prachetas were not available, the earth had no ruler and began to suffer. People started to die and thick forests sprouted everywhere. So thick were the forests that even the winds could not blow.

When the Prachetas came to know about this they created wind (vayu) and fire (agni) from their mouths. The wind dried up the trees and the fire burnt them. Very soon, there were very few trees left on earth.

Everyone was alarmed at the effects of the Prachetas anger. The moon-god Chandra came to the Prachetas with a beautiful woman named Marisha and asked Prachetas, to control their anger. Chandra said that her son will rule over the world so that they can concentrate on their tapasya.

The Prachetas agreed to this proposal and Daksha was born to Prachetas. Daksha ruled over the world.

Sons of Daksha

Daksha’s wife was named Asikli and she gave birth to five thousand sons. They were known as the Haryashvas. The Haryashvas were destined to rule over the world. But the sage Narada went to the Haryashvas and said, “How can you rule over the world if you don’t even know what the world looks like? Are you familiar with its geography and its limits?”

The Haryashvas went off to explore the world and never returned.

Daksha and Asikli then had another thousand sons who were named the Shavalashvas. Narada told them what he had told the Haryashvas and the Shavalashvas also went off to explore the world and never returned.

Daksha and Asikli were distressed that their children should disappear in this manner. Daksha blamed Narada for the instigation and proposed to kill him. But Brahma intervened and persuaded Daksha to control his anger. This Daksha agreed to do, provided that Brahma marry one of his daughters Priya and Narada to be born as Priya’s son. These conditions were accepted.

Daughters of Daksha

Daksha and Asikli had sixty daughters. Ten of these daughters were married to the god Dharma and thirteen to the sage Kashyapa. Twenty-seven daughters were married to Chandra. The remaining daughters were married to the sages Arishtanemi, Vahuputra, Angirasa and Krishashva.

Married to Dharma
The ten daughters who were married to the god Dharma were named Arundhati, Vasu, Yami, Lamba, Bhanu, Marutvati, Sankalpa, Muhurta. Sadhya and Vishva.

Arundhati’s children were the objects of the world (vishaya).

Vasu’s children were the eight gods known as the Vasus. Their names were Apa, Dhruva, Soma, Dhara, Salila, Anala, Pratyusha and Prabhasa.

Anala’s son was Kumara. Because Kumara was brought up by goddesses known as the Krittikas, he came to be called Kartikeya.

Prabhasa’s son was Vishvakarma. Vishvakarma was skilled in architecture and the making of jewelry. He became the architect of the gods.

Sadhya’s children were the gods known as Sadhyadevas

Vishva’s children were the gods known as Vishvadervas.

Married to Chandra
The twenty-seven daughters of Daksha who were married to Soma are known as the nakshatras (stars).

Married to Kashyapa
Kashyapa married thirteen of Daksha’s daughters. Their names were Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Khasa, Surabhi, Vinata. Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ila, Kadru and Muni.

Aditi’s sons were the twelve gods known as the adityas. Their names were Vishnu, Shakra. Aryama, Dhata, Vidhata, Tvashta, Pusha, Vivasvana, Savita, MitraVaruna, Amsha and Bhaga.

Diti’s sons were the demons (daityas). They were named Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, and amongst their descendants were several other powerful daityas liked Bali and Banasura.

Diti’s daughter named Simhika who was married to a danava (demon) named Viprachitti. Their offspring’s were terrible demons like Vatapi, Namuchi, Ilvala, Maricha and the nivatakavachas.

Danu had hundred sons known as danavas. The danavas were thus cousins to the daityas and also to the adityas. In the danava line were born demons like the poulamas and kalakeyas.

Arishta’s sons were the singers of heaven (gandharvas) .
Surasa gave birth to the snakes (sarpa).
Khasa’s children were the yakshasand became the companions of the god of wealth (Kubera) and the rakshasas (demons).
Surabhi’s descendants were cows and buffaloes.
Vinata had two sons named Aruna and Garuda. Garuda became the king of the birds.

Tamra has six daughters. From these daughters were born owls, eagles, vultures, crows, water-fowl, horses, camels and donkeys.

Krodhavasha had fourteen thousand children known as nagas (snakes).
Ila gave birth to trees, creepers, shrubs and bushes.
Kadru’s sons were also known as nagas or snakes. Among the more important of Kadru’s sons were Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka and Nahusha.

Muni gave birth to the dancers of heaven (apsaras).

The universe and the world is created.

The fear of Kansa

 

Sura Sena was the chief of the Yadus and ruled over the town of Mathura. It is a sacred town. Once upon a time, at Mathura. Vasudeva drove in his chariot with his newly married wife Devaki. Kansa, the son of Ugrasena, held the reins of the horses himself, so eager was he to please his sister Devaki.

On the way, an incorporeal voice, addressing Kansa, said: “The eighth child of her whom you are now driving shall be your slayer.”

The cruel Kansa instantly took sword in hand and caught Devaki by her hair.

Vasudeva pacified him with by saying  ” Why should you kill a female, your own sister, at marriage. Death is certain, this day or a hundred years hence. your younger sister, is motionless with fear.  you have no fear from her. Surely I would make over to you her sons, from whom you have fear.”

Kansa desisted from his cruel act and Vasudeva went home with his bride, pleased for the time being.

In time Devaki brought forth eight sons and one daughter.

The truthful Vasudeva presented his first son Kirtimat to Kansa. The king admired the firmness of his brother-in-law and smilingly said:

“Take back this child. I have no fear from him. From your eighth born my death is ordained.” “So let it be” exclaimed Vasudeva, and he took back his son. But he had very little faith in the words of Kansa.

Kansa learned from Narada that Nanda, Vasudeva and others of their dan, their wives and even the clansmen of Kansa, his friends and relatives, were partial incarnations of the Devas. He further learned from the Rishi that preparations were being made for the lolling of the Daityas, whose power menaced the Earth.

When the Rishi left Kansa, he took all the members of the Yadu clan for Devas and every child of Devaki for Vishnu that was to kill him. He now confined Vasudeva and Devaki in his own house and put them in fetters. He put to death every son that was born to them. He knew himself to be Kalanemi who had been, in another birth, killed by Vishnu. He fell out with the Yadus, deposed his own father Ugra Sena and became himself the King.

With the alliance of the Magadhas (ancient Bihar) and other Asuras, Kansa tormented the Yadus. They fled away to other the kingdoms. Some only remained behind and they followed the behests of Kansa.

 

 

The killing of puthana

Nanda performed the birth ceremony of his son with great pomp. His gifts knew no bounds. Vishnu was worshipped and there was plenty in Vraja. The time came for payment of the year’s dues to Kansa. So Nanda left Gokula  in charge of the Gopas and himself went with the dues to Mathura. Vasudeva learned of Nanda’s arrival and went to meet him. Nanda stood up to receive him and embraced him heartily.

Vasudeva said: “You have paid your yearly dues and have also met me. Now do not remain here any longer. For evils befall Gokula”. Nanda left Mathura for Gokula for he thought Vasudeva would not tell a lie.

By Kansa’s orders, the fierce Putana went about killing children in towns, villages and pasture lands, for verily she was a killer of children. That wanderer of the skies entered Gokula at will, assuming the form of a woman most beautiful to look at. So no one stopped her passage. She moved freely here and there and at last entered the house of Nanda. She looked like a kind mother and Yasoda and Rohini were so much struck by her fine exterior that they did not stop her access to Krishna. Putana placed the child on her lap and gave him milk from her breast full of deadly poison.

The divine child knew who Putana was and what she was about. He held fast her breast with both hands and in anger drank in the very life juice of the Asura woman. She screamed forth “Let go”, “Let go”, “No more”. Her eyes expanded. She cast up and down her hands and feet again and again in profuse  perspiration. Her groans made heaven and earth tremble and space itself resounded on all sides. At last she fell dead like a great mountain, crushing down trees within an ambit of twelve miles. Fearlessly the boy played on her body.

The Gopa ladies hurried to the place with Rohini and Yasoda. They bathed the boy in cows’ urine and dust from cow’s feet. They pronounced the twelve names of Vishnu (Kesava and others) over twelve parts of his body. Then after touching water, they duly uttered the root mantras over their own body and that of the child. Lastly they invoked Vishnu by different names to protect the child from danger of all sorts.

Yasoda then placed the child on her lap and gave him milk.

By this time Nanda had returned to Vrindabana. He saw the huge body of the Asura woman and realised the force of Vasudeva’s warning.  The people of Vraja cut the body into parts and burnt them with fuel. The smoke was sweet-scented, as the touch of Krishna’s body purifies even the enemy.

 

The naming ceremony of Krishna and Balaram

 

Garga, the family priest of the Yadus, came to Vraja at the request of Vasudeva. Nanda duly received him and said: – “You are versed in the Vedas and you are the author of an astrological treatise. Please perform the Naming ceremony of the two boys.” Garga replied: “I am known as the priest of the Yadus and, if I officiate at the ceremony, Kansa might suspect your son to be the eighth son of Devaki.”

Nanda promised strict privacy, and the Rishi performed the ceremony. Addressing Nanda, he then said: –

“This son of Rohini shall be called Rama or the charming one, as he shall charm his friends by his virtues. He shall be called Bala, from possessing excessive strength. From his bringing together the Yadus, he shall be called Sankarshana.”

“This other boy, taking body, yuga after yuga, had three colors, White (Sukla), Red (Rakta) and Yellow, (Pita). Now he has got the black color (Krishna). In the past, he was born as the son of Vasudeva. So those that know call him Srimat Vasudeva. He has many names and many forms, according to his deeds and attributes. Neither I nor other people know them all. He shall give you the greatest blessings and protect you against all dangers. In days of yore, good people conquered the ill-doers by his help. Those that are attached to him are not conquered by enemies, even as followers of Vishnu are not conquered by the Asuras. Therefore this son of Nanda is equal to Narayana by his virtues, powers and fame.”

The story of Kubera becoming god of wealth

Vishrava had two wives. Kubera was born to the first wife. The second wife ( demon women) gave birth to Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana. Kubera was the eldest son of the sage Vishrava and used to rule Lanka. He maintained very good relations with his cousins. However Ravana’s mother did not like her sons being so brotherly with Kubera.

She called her sons and said, “What are you up to? Consider Kubera’s pomp and glory. Have you got anything like that to show for yourselves? Do something to improve your own statures. You are demons and Kubera is god. “.

Thus instructed by their mother, Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana went off to the forest to perform meditation. They pleased Brahma with their prayers and obtained boons to win over the kingdom of Lanka and become very strong.

With the help of the boons given by Brahma, the demons attacked Kubera and defeated him. They drove Kubera out of Lanka. Kubera possessed a beautiful Vimana named pushpaka. This was also taken by Ravana. Moreover Ravana announced to kill every one whoever gave a refuge to Kubera . No one dared give refuge to Kubera.

Kubera sought the advice of his grandfather Pulastya. Pulastya told him to go to the banks of the Ganga river and pray to lord Shiva there. Shiva appeared before Kubera and blessed him with the boon that Kubera would become the god of all wealth.

Moral:Mother can either plant the seeds of love or hatred in the hearts of her kids.

Who are all the Hindu gods and from where they come

 

There are multiple things to know. Just list of names don’t help understand the concept of god in Hinduism.

Just do some research on polytheism and monotheism… it is a much debated topic among the best of the brains of philosophers around the world on which( poly or mono)  Hinduism follows. Which is good and which is better are beyond our discussion in this article.

According to you what is god? Does he/she has a job description, roles and responsibility, any powers and any special hierarchy of relationships to perform his responsibilities? Who decides these and why? How about god/s in other religion/s?  — think about these when you want to say who is god.

Coming to how Hindu gods came into picture. Hindus believe in the concept of multiple gods. The details of how these gods have come into picture can be found in the reference describing the creation of universe  according to ancient Hindu scriptures written a few 1000 years BC.

This was the time when Hindus gained in-depth understanding of the universe/ astronomy and planetary movements. As per the astronomy of Hindus, the calculations for sunrise/sunset/eclipses etc… are calculated to the precision of one hundredth of a second. These techniques and calculations are still available to experts in India.  Imagine how the rest of the world was living in forests as tribes during that time.

Coming to why so many gods.  Hindus believe in a concept called ‘ Sankalpam’ – in English it means -Intention. Anyone who wants to do anything on this earth need to first think of doing it at least once.  So thought is the initiation (first step) for action. Without action, there is no result of it. If you want to achieve something, you have to do something towards achieving that. And if want to do something, you need to think of it before doing it.  Now… how far you will achieve it depends how much you do and that depends how determined you think about it and how confident you are to pursue the activities.

[gn_pullquote align=”left”]Hindus believe in a concept called ‘ Sankalpam’ – in English Language it can be translated as -Intention.[/gn_pullquote]

If you have strong determined intentions… you will take more actions and achieve more while pursuing.

If you have week wishes… you may not pursue it and may not make any progress at all.

The question is – are only intentions and determination sufficient for achieving success?

According to Hinduism, you need more than intention. You need confidence, support, character and values, you need to build confidence and take action every time you face a difficulty in your pursuit of achievement.  And all these you need to do/ gain on your own without depending on any other person.

Hinduism gives many simple techniques to help you like archana, abhishekam, puja, yagna, homa, pilgrimages and visiting holy places  etc…

 One of the outcomes of these techniques is the concept of multiple gods dedicated for different achievements over  variety of difficulties.  Read the story of lord Ganesh why Hindus first pray to lord Ganesh before starting any activity.

[gn_column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]For Hindus, lord Ganesh is not just one idol or image or just name… it is a concept Hindus carry in their hearts and souls that when faced with a challenge, don’t focus on what you don’t have or what you lack but focus on what you can do to reach the goal. [/gn_column]

[gn_column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Read about lord Hanuman. How he identified his own strength to fly to Lanka and how he behaved in the court of the enemy( Ravana). How he was treated there and how he responded.  [/gn_column]

 

All these describe a character and way of thinking required at a time when you need to be in front of your enemy and there is only cold war.  Learn how Hanuman implemented various techniques to understand the strengths of his enemy kingdom before the war to inform to his King( lord Rama) . Learn how he was tortured in foreign land and in spite of these, how he came out with the required information for starting the war.

There are many people who confuse which god to choose from out of so many options.  The problem is they do not understand their own responsibility to solve the challenge at hand, they want help from outside in the form of God doing miracles. Instead, Hinduism says take inspiration from the God who faced similar challenges and achieved success. For this you need to know the stories of many different gods and these stories need to be learnt from the divine scriptures and epics of Hinduism in the right perspective.