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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 4

Namaste! Today, it is all about the truthful Harishchandra. Have you heard about him? So, let’s go!

Satyavrata

Kuvalashva’s descendant was Satyavrata. He was a righteous and kind king and took good care of his people. As he grew old, he passed on his throne to his son, Harishchandra. As Satyavrata lived a righteous life, he deserved ascension to heaven, but he wished to do so in his mortal body. He requested his Guru, Vashishta, to perform the rites, but he declined, saying that ascending to heaven in one’s mortal body is impossible. Satyavrata approached Vashishta’s son, Shakti, to help him. Shakti refused as he didn’t want to go against his father’s wishes. Satyavrata attempted to lure Shakti with wealth and fame, but the act angered Shakti. He cursed Satyavrata to turn into Trishanku, with horrible form and illnesses.

Upon his wanderings, Trishanku met the king turned ascetic, Kaushika. He narrated his story to Kaushika and asked for his help. Kaushika agreed and started the rituals for Trishanku’s departure. Soon, Trishanku started his ascension to heaven. Once he reached heaven, the Devas kicked him out, as no one in their mortal body can reach heaven. Kaushika was angry and stopped Trishanku’s descent from heaven halfway and constructed another heaven around him. The Devas requested Kaushika to stop this as it will be disastrous if Trishanku overtakes Indra. Kaushika agreed and said that the new heaven shall be called Trishanku’s heaven and the king shall reside in the heaven from now on. To ensure that Trishaku does not supersede Indra, Kaushika suspended him upside down in his heaven.

Thus concludes the story of Trishanku, who is suspended in his heaven.

Harishchandra

Harishchandra was an honest, noble, and just king. Once, he was on a hunting expedition. He heard the cries of a woman asking for help. He rushed in the direction of the sound and found Sage Kaushika meditating there. The sound was produced by Lord Ganesha, to test the strength of Sage Kaushika’s penance. Seeing Harishchandra there, Ganesha entered his body and abused Sage Kaushika. Sage Kaushika was very angry. He lost all the power gained from the penance. Harishchandra regained his senses and apologized to the Sage, and promised to fulfill every desire of his. Sage Kaushika said, ‘Give me all that you have, your Kingdom, your wealth, and your subjects.’ Harishchandra gave him everything, but Sage Kaushika demanded more. He promised to give him more money after a month. Harishchandra, his wife Taramati, and his son Rohitashva left the palace and started living a simple life. Harishchandra’s subjects followed him too, but Sage Kaushika intervened and forbade them from following him. He beat the Queen with a stick to make them leave sooner. Seeing this, the five guardian deities questioned the Sage. Kaushika got enraged and cursed them to be born on earth as humans. 

A month passed after Harishchandra and his family left their kingdom. They arrived in the holy city of Kashi and saw Sage Kaushika present there. The Sage demanded his donation, but Harishchandra said that there was still some time left. 

Seeing Harishchandra’s condition, his wife, Taramati, requested him to sell her as a slave to get the money. Harishchandra refused, but Taramati pointed out that there was no other way, and he agreed. He sold her to a Brahmin as a slave, but Harishchandra’s son, Rohitashva, refused to leave his mother. Rohitashva was also sold to the Brahmin, Harishchandra took the money and gave it to Kaushika, but the money was not enough for him. Harishchandra sold himself to a Chandala (a person who works in a cremation ground) and paid the Sage. He started working in the cremation ground from then.

One day, when Rohitashva was plucking flowers for the Brahmin, a snake bit him, and he died. The devastated Taramati took her son’s body to the cremation ground to get it cremated. She met Harishchandra there, he was devastated to see his only son dead. He asked for some money to cremate his son’s body as it was customary to do so. Taramati didn’t have any money, so she tore half of her sari and gave it to Harishchandra as payment. Harishchandra and Taramati decided to give up their lives on their son’s cremation pyre.

Suddenly, Lord Vishnu himself appeared before them with all the other gods. The Chandala, who was Yama, the God of Death, revived Rohitashva. Vishnu explained that this was all a test to demonstrate their virtues and righteousness. Indra offered Harishchandra and his wife a position in Swarga, but Harishchandra wanted all of his subjects to go with him as they would suffer without him. Indra explained that it was not possible because it is decided whether someone goes to heaven or hell based on their deeds. Harishchandra decided to donate all his virtues to his subjects so that they could enter heaven. Seeing his love for his subjects, they were all granted a place in heaven. Meanwhile, in Ayodhya, Sage Kaushika brought new people to Ayodhya and made Rohitashva King.

That’s it for today! Stay tuned for the next parts!

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Dashavatar

Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Narasimha Avatar Part 1

Namaste folks! Today, it’s all about the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu, Lord Narasimha! Let’s go!

Hearing the news of Hiranyaksha’s death, his brother, Hiranyakashipu, was seething with anger. He wanted to punish Vishnu severely. He left his kingdom and went to perform penance to please Lord Brahma.

Meanwhile, the Devas took the opportunity to attack Hiranyakashipu’s kingdom. They killed all the Asuras and advanced towards the palace. Indra went into the palace and strode to Hiranyakashyap’s pregnant wife, Kayadhu’s chambers. He raised his weapon to kill the heir of Hiranyakashyap. Sage Narada, the messenger of the Devas, intervened and reminded Indra of righteousness. Narada took Kayadhu to his hermitage and took care of her there.

Sage Narada recited the Vedas and other texts to Kayadhu, the unborn child in Kayadhu’s womb absorbed all this knowledge. Sage Narada was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, so he often sang the praises of Lord Vishnu. The child in Kayadhu’s womb absorbed this too.

Meanwhile, Hiranyakashyap did penance for months, without consuming anything, even water! Seeing this, Lord Brahma got pleased and appeared before Hiranyakashyap.

‘Hiranyakashyap, ask me for anything, and I will give it to you.’

Hiranyakashyap bowed to Lord Brahma and said, ‘I want immortality!’

Brahma was shocked, ‘Immortality can’t be given to anyone. ask me for anything except that, child.’ 

Hiranyakashyap decided to trick Brahma and asked, ‘O Lord Brahma! I should not meet death by the entities created by you. Grant me that I will not die within a residence, or outside, in the daytime, or at night. I should die neither on the ground nor the sky. Grant me that I will be immune to all weapons.’

Brahma nodded and said, ‘So be it.’

Hiranyakashyap returned to his kingdom and found out that it had been conquered by the Devas. He used his boon from Lord Brahma and took back his kingdom. He attacked Swarga and gained lordship over the three worlds. He wreaked havoc over the three worlds, killing innocents and destroying holy rites.

What will the Devas do? Who will save the three worlds now? Stay tuned for the next part to find out.

Till next time! Namaste!

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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 3

Hi guys! Today, we are going to read about the descendants of Kakutstha. So, let’s go!

Prithu

Kakutstha’s son, Anena, had a son named Prithu. When Prithu was the King of Kosala, there was famine everywhere. He found out that the earth goddess had hidden food, medicine, etc., in her abdomen. He asked her to release them for the welfare of humanity, but she refused and ran away in the form of a cow. 

Prithu was angry on learning this and was determined to free the world from this famine. He chased her, asking her to stop, but in vain. Prithu got on his chariot and raised his bow to free the earth from the famine by killing the cow. The earth goddess, in the form of the cow, asked for forgiveness from Prithu. She said that killing her would mean the end of his subjects too. Prithu lowered his weapon and promised to protect her.

Prithu milked the cow and received the food, medicine, etc. By granting the earth goddess protection, Prithu became her father, so the earth came to be known as Prithvi, the daughter of Prithu. King Prithu was the first Chakravartin (universal ruler).

Kuvalashva

Prithu’s great-great-great-grandson (whew!) was Brihadashva. Brihadashva had lived a full life and decided to retire to the forest. He crowned his son, Kuvalashva, as the King of Kosala and left for the forest. The wise Sage, Utanka, stopped Brihadashva from leaving, saying that a gigantic rakshasa named Dhundhu was performing awful austerities for destroying the world. Utanka asked Brihadashva to kill Dhundhu and offered to give him divine powers gained from Lord Vishnu. 

Brihadashva refused and told the Sage that his son, Kuvalashva, will go instead of him. Brihadashva’s one hundred other sons were sent first, but Dhundhu killed all of them. Enraged, Kuvalashva attacked Dhundhu, fending off his demonic powers. Infused with Lord Vishnu’s powers given to him by Sage Utanka, he slew the rakshasa. Sage Utanka granted him the name, Dhundhumara – slayer of Dhundhu.

Till next time! Stay tuned for the next parts!

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Dashavatar

Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Varaha Avatar

Hi guys! Today, I’m going to tell you about Lord Varaha.

Once, there were two Daityas (an Asura clan) named Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyap. They were the sons of Sage Kashyap and Diti, but they did not possess the good qualities of their father. They wreaked havoc on the three worlds, blinded by their power.

You might be wondering who Sage Kashyap is. Let’s go on a little side-story. Lord Brahma, the creator, created the Universe, but no one lived in it! So, he had nine mind-born sons, one of them was Sage Marichi. Sage Marichi had a son, Sage Kashyap. Sage Kashyap was married to 13 of Daksha’s daughters. Daksha was another mind-born son of Lord Brahma. I don’t want to bore you with the names of the 13 wives of Sage Kashyap. Sage Kashyap and his 13 wives populated the earth with all kinds of creatures. Three of Sage Kashyap’s wives were Aditi, Diti, and Danu. Aditi was the mother of the Devas, Diti was the mother of Daityas, and Danu was the mother of Danavas. Daityas and Danavas together are called Asuras.

One day, Hiranyaksha kidnapped Bhudevi (the earth) and hid her in the depths of the ocean. The Devas were worried, so they prayed to Lord Brahma for help. Lord Brahma appeared and said, ‘I am helpless in this situation we should pray to Lord Vishnu for help. Only he can rescue Lady Bhudevi from this wicked Asura.’ So, the Devas and Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu. A tiny boar emerged from Brahma’s nostrils, growing in size rapidly. It was Lord Vishnu in his boar Avatar, Varaha!

Lord Varaha

Vasati dasana shikhare Dharana tava lagna

Sasini kalaika kaleva nimagna

Keshava dhriita Sukara rupa

Jaya Jagadisha Hare!

The earth once submerged at the bottom of the ocean, sits fixed on your tusk like a spot on the moon. O Keshava, in the form of a boar, Hail Hari! Lord of the Universe!

The boar, Lord Varaha, plunged into the ocean. Lord Varaha found Hiranyaksha hiding in a deep place in the ocean. He killed Hiranyaksha and rescued Lady Bhudevi. He carried Lady Bhudevi on his snout and rose to the surface. The Devas celebrated Lord Varaha and showered flowers on him.

You might be wondering ‘How can someone hide the earth in the ocean? The ocean is on the earth!’ There are three theories to explain this.
1: Hiranyaksha hid the earth in the Garbhodaka ocean, an extraterrestrial ocean.
2: Bhudevi was a person who was hidden inside the earth’s ocean.
3: The earth was fully flooded by Hiranyaksha.
Which one of these theories do you agree with? Do you have any theories? Let us know by commenting! Till next time!

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Characters

Rishis

Rishis are enlightened beings who composed the Vedas. They possess immense powers and can bestow boons or give curses.

Saptrishi

The Saptrishi are seven sages who are changed every Manvantara.

  • Kashyapa is the father of the Adityas, Daityas and Danavas. His wives are the daughters of Daksha like, Aditi. Diti, Danu and Vinata among others. He is the son of Marichi.
  • Atri has composed many hymns on Lord Agni. His consort is Anasuya, his children are Durvasa and Dattareya.
  • Vashishta was the Rajguru of King Dasharatha’s court. His consort is Arundhati, his son is Sakti Maharishi (the father of Sage Parashara)
  • Vishvamitra was the King of Kanyakubja. He performed penance and became a Rajrishi. His children are, Sushruta (father of plastic surgery) and Shakuntala.
  • Gautama has composed many hymns in the Rig Veda. His consort is Ahalya, their son is Shatananda.
  • Jamadagni is the father of the 7th Avatar of Lord Vishnu, Parshurama. He is a Descendant of Sage Bhrigu.
  • Bharadvaja is the son of Brishaspati, the god of Jupiter. His children are, Dronacharya (the teacher of the Kauravas and Pandavas) and Ilavida (the mother of Kubera)
Manasputras

Manasputras are mind-born sons of Lord Bramha

  • Angiras is the co-author of the Atharva Veda. His consort is Surupa, his son is Brihaspati.
  • Atri has composed many hymns on Lord Agni. His consort is Anasuya, his children are Durvasa and Dattareya.
  • Pulastya is the father of Rakshasas. His consort is Manini, his children are Vishrava (father of Ravana and Kubera) and Agastya.
  • Marichi is the father of Kashyap. His consort is Kala.
  • Pulaha is the father of Kardama, his wife is Kshama.
  • Kratu is the father of the Valakhilyas (60,000 thumb-sized Sages). His consort is Santhathi.
  • Bhrigu is the well-known author of the Bhrigu Samhita. His consort is Khyati, and his children are, Bhargavi (a form of Lakshmi) and Shukracharya.
  • Vashishta was the Rajguru of King Dasharatha’s court. His consort is Arundhati, his son is Sakti Maharishi (the father of Sage Parashara)
  • Daksha is one of the Prajapatis. His consort is Prasuti. His children are the wives of renowned Sages like. His daughter Sati was the wife of Lord Shiva.
  • Narada is the messenger of the Devas. He is a Devarishi.
  • Chitragupta is the god assigned with the task of keeping track of all the good and bad deeds of all the humans. His consorts are Nandini and Shobhavati.
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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 2

Hi people! Today, we are going to get to the nail-biting parts of Suryavansh so, buckle up!


Vikukshi

King Ikshvaku had 100 sons. Vikukshi was the eldest. Once, Vikukshi was sent to fetch some meat for a sacrifice Ikshvaku was performing. Vikukshi finished hunting and was returning to Ayodhya when he was overcome by hunger. He ate some of the meat destined for the sacrifice. The teacher of the Ikshvaku dynasty, Sage Vashishta, advised Ikshvaku to banish Vikukshi from the Kingdom as what he did was a sacrilege. Ikshvaku respected his teacher, Sage Vashishta, so he banished Vikukshi from his Kingdom. 

I know you are wondering who Sage Vashishta is. He is a mind-born son of Lord Brahma. He undertook the responsibility of training and advising the descendants of Ikshvaku.

After the passing of Ikshvaku, Vikukshi returned to Ayodhya and ruled there. Vikukshi had a valiant son named Kakutstha.

Kakutstha

When Vikukshi’s son, Kakutstha, was ruling Kosala, a war broke out between the Devas and Asuras. The Devas could not defeat the Asuras, so under the advice of Lord Vishnu, they went to King Kakutstha for help. Kakutstha agreed to help, but on one condition, Indra, the King of the Devas, should become his vehicle. Indra had no other way, so he took the form of a bull and became Kakutstha’s mount. King Kakutstha bravely fought against the Asuras and emerged victoriously. 

King Kakutstha had a son named Anena and he had a son named Prithu. We will see about him and his descendants in the next parts! Stay tuned!

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Characters

Devas

There are thousands of Devas (Gods), some of them are.

Tridev:

The three Gods responsible for the Creation, Protection and Destruction in the Universe.

  • Brahma the god of creation. His Vāhanā is a Swan, He carries a Kamandal, the four Vedās, a Japamālā (a string of prayer beads) and a lotus. He resides in Brahmalok with his consorts, Gāyatri, Sāvitri and Saraswati.
  • Vishnu the god of protection. His Vāhanā is Garuda, the eagle, his weapons are, the Sudarshan Chakra (discus), the Panchajanya conch, Kaumodakī Mace, Sharanga bow and Nandaka sword. He resides in Vaikunth with his consorts, Bhūmi and Lakshmi.
  • Shiva the god of destruction. His Vāhanā is Nandi, the bull, he carries a Trishul (trident). He resides in Mt. Kailāsh with his consort, Pārvati. They had two sons, Ganeshā and Kartikēya
Âdityas:

The sons of Aditi and Rishi Kashyap.

  • Indra is the King of all Devās and the god of Rain and Thunder. His Vāhanā (mount) is Airāvat, the Five-headed Elephant. His consort is Shachi Devi, the goddess of Beauty and Rage, he resides Devlok. They had one son Jayant, and two daughters Jayanti and Devasenā. He carries a very powerful thunderbolt called Vajrā, which is capable of causing serious damage.
  • Varun is the god of water. He carries a Noose and his Vāhanā is a crocodile. His consort is Varuni, he resides in Jalloka.
  • Surya is the god of sun and light. His Vāhanā is a Chariot pulled by seven Horses, driven by Arunā. His consorts are Sandhya and Chhāyā. He had three sons, Yam and the Ashvins and two daughters, Yami and Yamunā from Sandhya. He also had a son, Shani and two daughters, Bhadra and Tapati from Chhāyā.
  • Chandra is the god of moon and night. He carries a rope and his Vāhanā is a Chariot pulled by an antelope. His consorts are the 23 daughters of Daksha, including Rohini.
  • Kāmdev is the god of love. He carries a sugarcane bow and a floral arrow. His Vāhanā is a parrot and his consort is Rati, the goddess of pleasure.
  • Agni is the god of fire. He carries a Staff and his Vāhanā is a ram. His consort is Svāha.
  • Mitra is the god of Friendship. He carries a sword and rides a horse.
Navagraha:

The nine celestial bodies

  • Surya is the god of sun and light. His parents are Kashyap and Aditi. His Vāhanā is a Chariot pulled by seven Horses, driven by Arunā. His consorts are Sandhya and Chhāyā. He had three sons, Yam and the Ashvins and two daughters, Yami and Yamunā from Sandhya. He also had a son, Shani and two daughters, Bhadra and Tapati from Chhāyā.
  • Chandra is the god of moon and night. He carries a rope and his Vāhanā is a Chariot pulled by an antelope. His consorts are the 23 daughters of Daksha, including Rohini, who gave birth to Budhā.
  • Mangal is the god of Mars. His parents are Vishnu and Bhūmi (earth). He carries a Trishūl (trident) and his Vāhanā is a Ram. His consort is Mangalā.
  • Budha is the god of Mercury. His parents are Chandra and Rohini and his Vāhanā is a Yāli lion. His consort is Ila and they have a son called Pururavas.
  • Brihaspati is the god of Jupiter and teacher of gods. His Vāhanā is an elephant and his consort is Tāra.
  • Shukra is the god of Venus and the teacher of the Daityas (Asuras). His consort is Jayanti (Indra and Shachi’s daughter) and they have a daughter called Devayāni.
  • Shani is the god of Saturn and Karma (deeds). His parents are Surya and Chhaya, His Vāhanā is a crow.
  • Rahu is the god of Neptune and the Lunar ascending node.
  • Ketu is the god of Uranus and the Lunar descending node.
Panchbhoot:

The five elemental Gods

  • Agni is the god of fire. He carries a Staff and his Vāhanā is a ram. His consort is Svāha.
  • Varun is the god of water. He carries a Noose and his Vāhanā is a crocodile. His consort is Varuni, he resides in Jalloka.
  • Vāyu is the god of wind. He carries a goad. His parents are Kashyap and Aditi. His Vāhanā is a gazelle and His consort is Bhārati. His sons are, Hanumān and Bhīma (spiritual sons).
  • Dhyaus is the god of sky and Heaven. His Vāhanā is a Cow, his consort is Yogasiddha, who gave birth to Vishwakarma.
  • Bhūmi is the Goddess of the earth. She rides a cow and is the Consort of Lord Vishnu. She is the mother of Narakāsura.
Other:
  • Ganeshā is the God of auspicious beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles. His Vāhanā is Mooshika, the rat, he carries a Parashu (axe), Ankusa (elephant goad) and a Pāsa (noose). His parents are Shiva and Pārvati. He has a younger brother called Kārtikēya.
  • Hanumān is the god of Bhakti (devotion). His parents are Anjanā and Kēsari. He is a Brahmachāri (celibate).
  • Kartikēya is the god of War and the Commander of the Devas. His Vāhanā is a Peacock. His consorts are, Valli and Devasēna, daughter of Indra. He carries the Vēl (spear-like weapon). His parents are Shiva and Pārvati.
  • Dhanvantari is the god of doctors and Âyurveda. His Vāhanā is a lotus. He carries a Shankha (conch) and a Chakra (sharp disc).
  • Kuber is the God of Wealth. His parents are Vishravā and Ilavida. He carries a Gadā (Club). His Vāhanā is a Wild Boar and his consort is Bhadra, the Goddess of Hunting. They had two sons Nalakuvara and Manibhadra.
  • Yam is the God of Death and Dharma. His parents are Surya and Sandhya. He carries a Mace and his Vāhanā is a Buffalo. His Consort is Dhumorna.
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Dashavatar

Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Mohini Avatar

Hello guys! Today, I’m going to continue the last week’s story. If you haven’t read that post, click here. This time, we’ll see what Lord Vishnu’s next avatar, Lady Mohini does. So, let’s go!

Many herbs were mixed in the churning, where Lord Kurma held Mt. Mandara while the Devas and Asuras churned the ocean using King Vasuki as the rope. The Devas and Asuras pulled and pushed the rope to and fro for a long time. The scene was a sight to behold!

Many precious gems and rare beings emerged from the churning.

They were,

  • Lakshmi – The Goddess of wealth and prosperity; consort of Lord Vishnu, came back to Vishnu during the churning from the churned ocean. I will tell you about this story soon.
  • Apsaras – Divine dancers of Indra’s court, described as extremely beautiful women. Some of them are Menaka, Rambha, Urvashi, etc.
  • Varuni – Consort of Varuna (the God of Water)
  • Kamadhenu – The wish-granting cow, given to the Sages.
  • Ucchaishravas – The divine seven-headed horse, given to the Asuras
  • Kaustubha – The most valuable gem, given to Lord Vishnu.
  • Parijata – The divine flowering tree whose flowers never wilt. Taken by Indra and planted in his abode.
  • Halahal – The most deadly poison in the world.

WAIT, POISON? Someone do something! Lord Shiva is here! Lord Shiva swallowed the poison to save the Devas and Asuras. But won’t he die? No, he won’t die because he is a God. Look who is pressing on his neck to stop the poison from going further, Parvati!

But what both the Devas and Asuras wanted; the Amrita, wasn’t here yet. After a long time, the physician of the Devas, Dhanvantari, emerged from the churned water. He had a golden pot, studded with precious gems, it contained… The Amrita! Seeing the Amrita, the minds of the Asuras got filled with greed. They snatched the Amrita from Dhanvantari and ran from the scene. 

A mesmerizing woman appeared in front of them and looked at them with enchanting eyes. Her face shone like the moon, and with lotus-like hands and feet. This was Lord Vishnu’s third avatar, Lady Mohini! The Asuras were enchanted by her beauty and let her take the pot of Amrita. 

Lady Mohini

The Devas and Asuras sat in two lines, waiting for Mohini to give them the Amrita. Mohini served the Amrita generously to the Devas and none to the Asuras. An Asura called Svarbhanu saw this and disguised himself as a Deva and sat between Surya and Chandra, the Sun and Moon Gods respectively. Mohini served Svarbhanu the Amrita and he drank it. Surya and Chandra noticed that that was Svarbhanu, an Asura who was sitting between them and told Mohini. Mohini got angry and raised her hand. The Sudharshana Chakra, the discus weapon of Lord Vishnu, appeared in her hand. She sliced his neck, but he didn’t die as he drank the Amrita. The head of Svarbhanu was called Rahu and the body was called Ketu. They became associated with ascending and descending lunar nodes respectively.

The Asuras got angry and waged a war against the Devas. Both sides fought valiantly and the Devas won.

Surprise! Dhanvantari is an Avatar of Lord Vishnu too! How? Vishnu has 10 main Avatars, you already know who they are. But do you know that he took an additional 14 minor Avatars totaling the list to 24?

Ok, I’m here to answer all your questions, ask away!

‘How can the Devas and Mohini be unjust to the Asuras? They also churned the ocean, they should have gotten the Amrita too.’

As I mentioned, the Devas were fairly good beings and the Asuras were mostly bad beings. If the Asuras became Immortal, then the whole Universe shall be filled with crime and evil. So the Devas and Mohini were acting for the greater good by killing the Asuras and being ‘unjust’ with them.

If you have any questions please feel free to drop a comment below, I will surely try to answer them 😊

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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 1

Hi guys! I’m here with another new series! As you might have figured, this is about the Suryavansh. What is Suryavansh? Suryavansh consists of two words, Surya and Vansh. Surya refers to the sun god, and Vansh means lineage. So, Suryavansh means the lineage of the sun god. Suryavansh is known for its righteous kings who sacrifice many things for the good of the world. Lord Rama, the eighth Avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born in this lineage. This series will cover the stories of the kings who descended from Lord Surya, the sun.

A lotus stem emerged from Lord Vishnu’s navel from that, a lotus bloomed. In that lotus was Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma had a mind-born son named Marichi. Marichi begot a son named Kashyap. Kashyap and his wife Aditi gave birth to Lord Vivasvan, also called Surya. Vivasvan had a child called Manu. Because he was the son of Vivasvan, he was called Vaivasvata.

Yes, this is the same Manu that appeared in the Matsya Avatar story!

Vaivasvata Manu had ten children, the eldest of them was Ikshvaku. Ikshvaku was the first King of the kingdom of Kosala. He ruled from his capital, Ayodhya. Because Manu was the son of Surya, his lineage is called Suryavansh.

Things get interesting from now! Stay tuned for the next parts!

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Dashavatar

Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Kurma Avatar

Hi people! Today, it’s all about Vishnu’s second Avatar, Kurma. You might know that the meaning of ‘Kurma’ is Tortoise. What did the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu do? Read on, read on.

Lord Kurma

Kshitir iha vipulatare tishthati tavav prishthe

Dharani dharana kina Chakra garishthe

Keshava dhrita Kurma sharira

Jaya Jagadisha Hare!

On the wide expanse of your back as a pivot for churning,
             
rests the mountain, creating round marks

O Keshava in the form of Tortoise, Hail Vishnu, the Lord of the Universe!

Once, the Sage Durvasa visited Indra, the leader of the Devas (Gods). He gifted him a garland, but Indra gave it to his elephant, Airavata. Airavata was irritated because of the flower’s fragrance and trampled it. Sage Durvasa got enraged by this act and cursed Indra, “Indra! The Devas’ powers shall decrease, and your position shall fall like this garland.”

Indra begged for Durvasa’s forgiveness, Durvasa calmed down and instructed Indra to go to Lord Vishnu for a solution. Indra hurried to Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Vishnu. He said, “Oh Lord Vishnu, please give me a solution to this problem.”. Vishnu replied, “Indra, the Amrit (elixir of immortality) is the only way out of this problem. Churn the Ocean of Milk with Mt. Mandara as the churning rod and King Vasuki as the churning rope. You and the other Devas can’t churn the Ocean of Milk by yourselves, make a truce with the Asuras (less good people) and entrust their help.”

I know what you’re thinking, why is King Vasuki always a rope? 😂 Even I can’t answer that. Who are the Devas and Asuras? The Devas are fairly good beings, closer to the term Gods. Asuras are mostly evil beings, widely called demons. Believe it or not, they are cousins!

Indra did as instructed and made a peace treaty with the Asuras and entrusted their help in churning the Ocean of Milk. After some days, the time had come for the churning of the Ocean. All the Devas and Asuras had reached the shores of the Ocean of Milk. They had to lift Mt. Mandara and place it on the ocean, but the mountain was too heavy for the Devas and Asuras to lift. Lord Vishnu came to their rescue! He came flying on his mount, Garuda, the eagle. Garuda lifted the mountain and placed it on the ocean. The Devas and Asuras used King Vasuki as the churning rope and started churning the ocean.

Where is Kurma in this story! I’m getting bored!
He will come, read on.

There was another problem, the mountain was sinking into the ocean! How would the Devas and Asuras churn the ocean now? Lord Vishnu came to their rescue again! He took Avatar as Kurma and held the mountain up. The Devas and Asuras continued churning the ocean.

To be continued…

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