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Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Narasimha Avatar Part 2

Namaste! Today, I come with the second part of Narasimha Avatar! If you haven’t yet, read the last part here. Without ado, let’s go!

When Hiranyakashyap returned, Kayadhu and Prahlada, their son, returned to him. Hiranyakashyap didn’t like Prahlada worshipping Vishnu, his sworn enemy, the killer of his brother. He tried to kill Prahlada many times but to no avail. He pushed him into the water tied to a heavy stone, but surprisingly, he floated back to the shore, chanting Lord Vishnu’s name. Hiranyakashyap’s men pushed him off a cliff, he fell, chanting ‘Om Namo Narayanaya.’ Prahlada landed safely on the ground.

Hiranyakashyap was furious, he summoned his sister, Holika to kill him. She had a magical cloth that remained unscathed in the fire. She wrapped the cloth around her, entering a pyre with Prahlada on her lap. Prahlada continued chanting the name of Lord Vishnu. Instead of Prahlada, Holika was burnt to ashes. This was the power of Prahlada’s faith, the name of Lord Vishnu.

Hiranyakashyap ordered Prahlada to worship him, he shook his head and said. ‘Father, you are a mortal. Lord Vishnu is everywhere, in you, in me, in this pillar here.’ Hiranyakashyap scoffed. ‘In this pillar? Let’s see if that coward Vishnu appears out of this and rescues you.’ He swung his mace at the pillar, smashing it to pieces. A man-lion appeared from the pillar, his nails ready to kill Hiranyakashyap. This was Lord Vishnu’s Narasimha Avatar!

Lord Narasimha

Tava kara Kamala vare Nakham adbhuta sringam

Dalita Hiranyakasipu tanu bhringam

Keshava dhrita Narahari rupa

Jaya Jagadisha hare

The sharp nails on your hands became wonderful claws that tore up the body of Hiranya Kasipu. O Keshava, of body Man-Lion, Hail Hari! Lord of the Universe!

Lord Narasimha carried Hiranyakashyap to the threshold of the palace, neither inside nor outside. It was twilight, neither day nor night. Narasimha placed him on his lap, neither ground nor the sky. Narasimha wasn’t Brahma’s creation. He tore his chest open with his nails, it wasn’t a weapon. Lord Narasimha killed the evil Hiranyakashyap, freeing the three worlds of his sins. He acted according to Lord Brahma’s boon, saving Prahlada from his father.

This is all for today! See you next time!

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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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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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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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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…

Click here for the next part

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Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Matsya Avatar

Hi guys! As promised, here is the first post of the Vishnu’s Dashavatar series, Matsya Avatar! Do you know what the word ‘Matsya’ means? Believe it or not, it means ‘fish’! Why did Lord Vishnu take his first Avatar as a fish? Read on, and you will find out.

The seventh Manu, Vaivasvata, was doing his morning prayers at the banks of the Krithamala river.

Wait. ‘Who is a Manu?’ you ask? Manu is the first man in a Manvantara (eon, which lasts 306,720,000 years!), who is the progenitor of humanity. For every Manvantara, there is a different Manu. The current Manu is Vaivasvata. Did you notice something else? The English word ‘Man’ seems to be a derivation of Manu. So let’s get back to the story.

While praying at the banks of the Krithamala river, Manu dipped his cupped hands in the water. When he took it out, he saw a small fish that came with the water into his hands. He was about to release the fish, when the fish said, “Oh, King Manu, Please don’t put me back, the bigger fish shall eat me! Oh, King, protect me!”. The King put the fish in his water jug and returned to his palace.

The next day, he went to check on the fish. He saw that the tiny fish had grown in size so much that it fully occupied the jug. He ordered his attendants to transfer it to a container, but the next day a shocking sight awaited him. The fish had grown as big as the container and was struggling to breathe.

He transferred it to a pond, and then a lake, but the fish grew so much that none of them could accommodate it. He finally moved it to the ocean, but to his astonishment, the fish kept on growing and growing!

Manu was worried now he prayed to Lord Vishnu for help. Suddenly, the fish turned into Lord Vishnu and said, “Dear Manu, I did this to test your affection towards animals. The great floods are near, so I am appointing you to preserve the wildlife and knowledge of the world. Build a strong ship and get the best seeds of flora and a male and female of each fauna. And also request the Saptarishis (Seven Sages) to assemble in the ship.”

Lord Matsya

Pralayapayodhi Jale dhritvan asi Vedam

Vihita vahitra charitram akhedam

Keshava dhrita mina sharira

Jaya Jagadisha Hare!

      In the waters of the great deluge, to preserve the knowledge of the Vedas,
                             
      you held them like a vessel undeflected from its course
                               
      O Keshava in the form of a fish, Hail Vishnu, the Lord of the Universe!

Soon, the great floods arrived, and Manu had done as Lord Vishnu had instructed. Manu prayed to Lord Vishnu as the ship sailed through turbulent waters. The fish, Lord Matsya, arrived for the help of Manu. This time, Matsya had grown a horn on his head and brought the King of snakes Vasuki with him. Matsya instructed Manu to tie one end of Vasuki to his horn and the other end to the bow of the ship.

Lord Matsya guided the ship through the waves to the Himalayan region. After a long time, the floodwaters receded, and Manu reestablished the vegetation and the animals of the world, this time far better.

Click here for the next part

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Vishnu’s Dashavatar: Introduction

Lord Matsya
Lord Kurma
Lady Mohini
Lord Varaha
Lord Narasimha

Hi guys! New day, new series, Vishnu’s Dashavatar. If you guys haven’t heard of Vishnu, he is the preserver of the Universe. He is part of the Tridev: Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves and Shiva destroys, the cycle goes on and on. He has lotus-like hands and feet, skin as bluish-black as the night sky. He is with four arms, carrying a Conch, a sharp disc called the Sudarshan Chakra, a hand carrying a lotus and a hand open, blessing the whole Universe. He is the one with a face shining like the Moon on a cloudless night. He resides on the Ocean of Milk in Vaikuntha with his consort Lakshmi. His Vahana (mount) is Garuda the King of Birds (if you’re a gamer, you might have heard of Garuda, he’s quite famous). He is also shown as resting on the thousand-headed snake, Adishesha.

Vishnu takes an Avatar (not the film or the TV series! It is a Sanskrit word meaning incarnation) whenever evil rises too much to control it. He takes 10 avatars in a Chaturyuga (eon), hence the name ‘Dashavatar’ Dash meaning ten and Avatar meaning incarnation. The Dashavatars are, Matsya, Kurma, Mohini, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashuram, Ram, Krishna, and Kalki.

“Whenever evil flourishes in the world, I take human form to destroy the evil people. This happens in every Yuga.”

— Lord Krishna

Click here for the next part

Lord Vamana
Lord Parashuram
Lord Ram
Lord Krishna
Lord Kalki