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Posts Tagged ‘Krishna’

When talks for peace failed during the Kurukshetra war, Krishna returned to Virat nagar. On the way, his charioteer said “Krishna, you have unnerved the Kauravas. Also, by staying in Vidura’s house, you have made him happy. Krishna said “There is another reason behind my stay at Vidura’s house. Time will tell.”
Days passed and there was discussion about war strategy in the Kaurava camp. Duryodhana refused to have Vidhura lead the army. Vidhura was angered by this and said “Duryodhana, you have belittled me. I will not take part in the war. ” So saying he broke his bow and arrow and left the camp in a huff.
After Vidura left, Bheeshma said in a worried tone “Duryodhana, you fell for Krishna’s clever tactic.”
“What do you mean by that?” asked Duryodhana.
“If you had known of Vidhura’s past you would not have insulted him,” said Bheeshma.
So saying Bheeshma narrated the story of Vidhura.
Once upon a time there lived a sage by name Mandavya. He was once punished for something he never did. He prayed to God asking what was it that he did to deserve such a punishment. Hearing his plea the God of Dharma appeared in front of him and said that he had killed a small insect in his previous birth and that was the reason behind his present predicament.
Sage Mandavya was livid. “For a mistake committed during one’s childhood unknowingly this is too harsh a punishment. Is this your sense of justice?, ” he asked. So saying he cursed the Lord of Dharma to be born as Vidura and son of the holy Sage Vyasa.
Bheeshma continued, “So Duryodhana you have insulted Vidhura, who is Dharma himself. This is what Krishna was expecting too.”
“How does Krishna figure in this?” asked Duryodhana.
“Why did you refuse to let Vidura lead the army? asked Bheeshma.
“How can I? Vidhura hosted Krishna in his house. He would have shared our secrets with him,” said Duryodhana.
“Krishna knew your suspicious nature. That is why he stayed in Vidhura’s house, so that in your suspicion you would not let him lead the army,” said Bheeshma. Thus in suspicion you let go of Vidhura whose strength would have supported you in the war.

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In a village called Gugur, earlier known as Nallagurur, there is a lovely temple for Shiva, who is known by the name Ambaravaneswarar. Situated amidst lush green fields, the deity in this temple is so known because in early days this place was surrounded by mango trees. ‘Aambaram’ meaning Mango tree in Tamil. The tree inside the temple is also a mango tree. (sthala vruksham)
According to legend the Pandavas are said to have visited this place during their exile. One day when the Pandavas were residing in Gugur, Draupadi is said to have asked Bheema to pluck a mango from a tree. Surprisingly there was only one mango in the tree and Bheema shook the tree with all his might. But the mango didn’t fall down. Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva arrived and they too couldn’t help. Lastly, Yudhishtra arrived and all the brothers together succeeded in making the mango fall to the ground. They went and gave the mango to Draupadi.
When she was about to eat the fruit, a wandering hermit and said “What have you done Draupadi? This mango tree bears one fruit once in 12 years and that too will fall only when asked by the great hermit Durvasa. It does not look good in your hands. Just put it back on the tree.”
The Pandavas were aghast at their action. “We should have realized that it was something special when it didn’t fall when Bheema shook the tree,” they thought.
“Durvasa is a very angry man. We should put the mango back on the tree, before he arrives,” said Yudhistra.
“But who will help us in this?” wondered the others aloud.
Yudhistra stood under the tree and thought of Krishna. He arrived immediately and asked them what the problem was. When they recounted what had happened, Krishna said, “So you want the mango to go up the tree?.
“Yes,” they chorused.
“All of you must say one truth from your lives, the fruit will then rise from the ground and reach its place on the tree.”
Soon each one of the Pandavas and Draupadi told a truth.
Yudhishtra said “If Duryodhana and his brothers live with good thoughts all of us will flourish and live well.
Bheema said ” I will kill Duryodhana and all the kings who are his allies. I will kill Shakuni and then kill Dushasana, whose blood I will drink. I will make Draupadi tie her hair after this.
The mango began going up the tree as each one of the Pandavas told their truths.
They were all thankful to Krishna for helping them at this moment and were glad that they escaped the curse of Durvasa.

Gugur is situated by the Kumbakonam- Nannilam Highway. The temple is 5 km east of Nachiyar Kovil which is 10 kms from Kumbakonam.

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While Lord Krishna has killed several asuras during his incarnations in the different yugas, Shankasura was one, he could not vanquish for a long time. Shankasura lived in an island close to Dwaraka and was troubling the people of Avni and killing them mercilessly. 

Krishna prayed to Shakti, his family deity and implored her to give him the strength to vanquish Shankasura. Pleased with his devotion, Shakti appeared before him and said “when you arrive in the sea shore with your army o fmen, I will appear there in the form of a cuckoo bird. You and your men will be able to walk across the sea to the island of Shankasura and vanquish him.”

Thankful with the Devi’s boon, Krishna went with the Yadava army to the sea shore where Shakti arrived in the form of a cuckoo bird and watched. Krishna went across to the island and emerged victorious. When he returned to the sea shore, he decided to build a temple for Shakti. Looking around, he spotted a small hill where he built a temple. He consecrated an idol of Shakti and named her “Harsiddhi mata”  meaning “one who grants everyone’s wishes”.

In later days it is said that the King of Ujjain, Vikrama was passing this shrine one day. He prayed to the goddess that she should reside in Ujjain and be his guiding force. Shakti granted him a boon saying that she would come to Ujjain in the evenings and so the king built a temple for her.

One evening when Shakti was leaving to go to Ujjain, the roof of the temple shattered when her feet touched upon it. She continued to reside in the temple without the roof during the day. 

In the town of Harshadpur there lived a devotee by name Jagadu shah. Once when his ships sank during a storm, he fell at the feet of the Goddess and asked her to help him. One day the goddess told Jagadu shah in his dream that he should bring her idol down from the roofless temple and build a temple for her at the foothills the existing temple. Not only that, she wanted him to sacrifice 70 cows when he consecrated the temple.

Jagadu Shah did the bidding of the Goddess. But he could not sacrifice the 70 cows. He could only sacrifice 66 cows and went looking about for four more cows. When he couldnt find the cows, he sacriced, his wife, son and daughter-in-law and killed himself. Pleased with his devotion, the Goddess appeared before him and granted a boon that he would have a shrine next to her in her temple.

Even today, devotees visiting the temple pray at the altar of Jagadu Shah. There is a swing in the temple in Harshadpur, which sways in the morning, heralding the return of the Goddess from Ujjain.

Harshadpur is 45kms from Porbandar and 60 kms from Dwaraka in Gujarat.

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Once Yudhishtra the eldest brother of the Pandavas had organised a Rajasuya yagna in their capital city of Indraprastha. After the rituals were over Yudhishtra called Krishna to partake the offerings made for the yagna. He told Krishna “As per Bhishma’s advice I wish to give you these offerings as a mark of respect.”

Shishupala, the king of Chedi was witnessing this and seethed with anger. He got up from his seat and voice his displeasure at Krishna, a mere cowherd being honored first. He went on calling Krishna names and engaged in a verbal duel. At one point, Krishna lost his cool and killed Shishupala with his chakra.

Now, there is an interesting background behind the gory death of Shishupala. This was related to Udhava a friend of Krishna and his charioteer when asked about the end of Shishupala who was also Krishna’s cousin.

Shishupala was born with three eyes and four arms. When he was born a heavenly voice proclaimed that his extra eye and arms will leave him when someone seats him on their lap and that person would also be responsible for Shishupala’s end.

Once when Krishna visited his aunt Satyavathi, Shishupala was an infant. Satyavathi told Krishna that Shishupala was handsome just like Krishna. Krishna took the baby from the cradle and sat down with the baby on his lap. At that moment the extra eye and arms left the body of Shishupala. Krishna was surprised. Sathyavathi told him about the heavenly voice which had said that Shishupala would die one day in the hands of the person who held him in his lap. She made Krishna promise that he would pardon Shishupala hundred times before he kills him and Krishna agrees. She also told him that after her son dies he should go to heaven.

Krishna told Udhava that he had been provoked a hundred times by Shishupala after which he had to be killed.

There is another story to Shishupala’s end. Once there were two brothers Jaya and Vijaya. They were the guards to the heavenly gate. Due to a curse they were born on earth as the enemies of Vishnu. According to the Puranas were born in the Dwapara yuga as Thanthavakra and Shishupala and both were killed by Krishna.

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It is well known that Lord Krishna herded his cows on the banks of Yamuna in the days of yore. Once when he was with his friends in the meadows herding cows, Krishna felt thirsty. He went to the river for a drink of water and his friends followed him.

Brahma the Creator, was watching this and wanted to play a prank on Krishna. With his powers he took away all the cows to a place called Therazhundur. He later came back to the banks of the Yamuna and sat with a forlorn face.

After drinking water Krishna and his friends returned to see their cows missing. Krishna’s friends were alarmed and began looking for the missing cows. Meanwhile, Krishna in his mind’s eye found out what had happened to the missing cows and magically made them appear. His friends were happy. Brahma seeing the new set of cows understood that Krishna had found out about his prank and immediately went and told Krishna about what he had done and where the cows were. He also requested Krishna to remain in Therazhundur and bless the people there.

Krishna agreed and arrived in Therazhundur and is known by the name Aamaruviappan here. “Aa” meaning cow, “Maruvi” meaning embracing. Since Krishna is believed to have embraced all the missing cows in this place he began known by this name according to legend.

Once  in this kingdom ruled the king Uparishravasu. He was very arrogant. He had received a boon that wherever he goes, his shadow will fall upon people and they will die. He also had the powers to fly when sitting on his chariot.

So once after Krishna arrived in Therazhundur, he was outside with his cows. At that moment King Uparishravasu’s chariot passed by and his shadow fell on the cows. All the cows fell dead. Krishna found out the reason behind the deaths of the cows and wanted to teach the king a  lesson. He followed the chariot and at one point pressed the shadow of the chariot’s wheel with his right foot . The chariot fell down to the earth and along with it the king.

The king not knowing the reason behind his fall, saw Krishna, who was dressed like a cowherd. Krishna told the king that there was only one way to get rid of his sin of killing the cows. The King reluctantly agreed to do Krishna’s bidding for fear of his sins. Krishna smiled and said that he wanted thousand pots of butter after which the king will be free of his sins.

The king was delighted at being let off lightly. He sent his minions everywhere to collect thousand pots of butter. His minions too did his bidding and all the pots were collected. Alas! when the king counted the pots there was butter only in nine hundred and ninety nine pots. One pot was empty and the king tried to fill it up to no avail. So the king decided to cheat. He hid the empty pot in the midst of all the pots filled with butter. Then he called Krishna telling him that he had thousand pots of butter ready.

Krishna looked at all the pots and in a jiffy they were all empty. He then told the king, “where is the butter, they are all empty pots.” The king realized his folly and fell at Krishna’s feet asking for forgiveness and that he should remain in his kingdom. Krishna agreed and it is also said that the king built a temple for Aamaruviappan.

Therazhundur is 12 kms west of Mayiladuthurai and 26 kms east of Kumbakonam. Therazhundur has another significance. It was the place where Kambar was born. (Kambar wrote the Kamba Ramayana)

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Once there was a king by name Satrajit. He was a devotee of the Sun God Surya. Pleased with his devotion, Surya presented him with the priceless Shyamantaka gem. This gem rewarded the king each day with a gold coin at noon.

Krishna heard that the Shyamantaka gem was now with the king Satrajit and felt that it should not be in the possession of the king. So he sent an emissary to get the gem from Satrajit. But King Satrajit refused to part with the gem. Meanwhile the brother-in-law of Satrajit, wore the gem on his neck and went hunting. A lion killed him and took the gem. A bear who arrived there, killed the lion and took the gem and safeguarded it in its cave.

Having lost the gem, king Satrajit blamed lord Krishna for having stolen the gem. To prove that he hadn’t coveted the gem, Krishna went to the forest. On the other hand, Vasudev, Krishna’s father was worried that Krishna was not to be seen anywhere and was ranting away. Sage Narada hearing this, told Vasudev that it was a season to propitiate Goddess Shakti and if he celebrated Navaratri for nine days, he would get whatever he had prayed for. Vasudev immediately made preparations to propitiate the Goddess for nine days with nine different offerings for all the nine days.

Krishna after entering the forest, followed the footprints of the lion and reached the bear’s cave. He noticed that the gem was in the cave. The bear came out of the cave and fought with Krishna. Now, the bear was none other than the legendary Jambavan of Ramayana fame. Suddenly, it struck the bear that Krishna was none other than Rama in his present avatar. He stopped fighting and gave his daughter Jambavati in marriage to him. He also returned the shyamantaka gem.

Satrajit heard about this and came to Krishna and asked for forgiveness and gave his daughter Satyabhama in marriage to Krishna and gave the gem as dowry.

This was the eighth day of Navaratri and as Vasudev finished his puja, at the same time Krishna landed there with his wives in tow.

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Karna’s generosity

On the 17th day of the Kurukshetra war the great warrior Karna was wounded. The Pandavas were happy and celebrated their victory. But Krishna seemed sad and forlorn and sat alone under a tree.

“why are you sitting alone Krishna,” asked Arjuna.

“The world has lot a great soul, Arjuna,” replied Krishna.

“Krishna, don’t think so highly of Karna,” said Arjuna.

“I have to prove the good nature of Karna to you,” said Krishna.

Disguising themselves as Brahmans, Krishna and Arjuna arrived in the battlefield and met the wounded Karna.

Krishna asked Karna if he would help his poor family. Karna said “If you go to my house, my wife will provide you all the help you want.”

The Brahman said “I asked for your help and you are making me run around here and there.”

Immediately, Karna removed his golden tooth and offered it to Krishna.

Krishna said “It is soaked with your saliva, I cannot touch it.”

After a minute of thinking, Karna took an arrow from his quiver and sent it to the heavens and the rains began. He washed his tooth in the rain water and offered it to Krishna again.

Krishna took his full form at this and Karna was overjoyed. “You have won Karna,” said Krishna and granted him a boon.

“Seeing you in person is a boon in itself, Krishna, what more can I ask,” said Karna.

Arjuna was overwhelmed at the piety of generosity of Karna. Krishna blessed Karna and both of them left.

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