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Posts Tagged ‘Hindu story’

Tulasi (The Holy Plant) Katha

Posted by kathavarta on July 21, 2008

Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) is possibly the holiest plant for the Hindus. There is a story in Devi Bhagavatam about her.

Long long ago Lord Vishnu had three wives viz., Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganga. One day Ganga looked at Lord Vishnu with lot of passion when the other two were present. A big quarrel erupted between them. When Saraswati attacked Ganga, Lakshmi tried to separate them. Saraswati got infuriated and cursed Lakshmi that she should be born as a plant in earth. Ganga cursed Saraswati, that she should become a river and Saraswati in turn cursed Ganga that she should become an ever flowing river. Lakshmi, who was loved a lot by Lord Vishnu, told her, “Please do not worry. You would be first born as a daughter of a very pious soul called Dharma Dwaja and later marry an Asura called Shankha Chooda, who would be one of my incarnations. Later you would come and join me in Vaikuntha after becoming the holy plant Tulasi.”

There was a great king called Rudra Savarni, in his clan was born a great king called Vrusha Dwaja. Vrusha Dwaja was a very great devotee of Lord Shiva. Because of this he banned worship of all other Gods except Lord Shiva in his kingdom. Due to non worship of Goddess Lakshmi during the Kanya (October-November) month, there was a great famine in his country. Apart from that Lord Surya, who was also not worshipped, cursed the king that he would become a wretch. This infuriated Lord Shiva. He sent his Trident against Lord Surya. Lord Surya, afraid of Shiva’s trident ran to his father Kashyapa Prajapati for help. Since he was not in a position to help, both of them approached Lord Brahma. He also expressed his helplessness to protect Lord Surya and all of them together went to meet Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva also came there. Then Lord Vishnu pointed out that since the time of Deva’s was very much different, thousands of years have passed in the earth and Vrusha Dwaja was no more. He requested Lord Shiva to take back his trident. Then Lord Vishnu told them that in the clan of Vrusha Dwaja, two kings viz., Dharma Dwaja and, Kusa Dwaja were remaining and both of them were doing extreme penance to Goddess Lakshmi so that she would bless their kingdom. Goddess Lakshmi appeared before them and blessed them saying that she would be born as daughter to them and with this their country would become fertile and rich.

Kusa dwaja married a lady called Malavati and a daughter Vedavati was born to them. When Vedavati was doing Tapas (penance), Ravana tried to rape her. She cursed Ravana that if he touches any lady without their consent his head will beak in to thousand pieces. She then jumped in to the sacrificial fire and died. Ravana took the ashes of the fire, put them in a box and threw it in the sea. This box was swept ashore in the kingdom of Mithila and was found by Janak. Vedavati was inside the box in the form of a girl child. She was called Sita, who later became the wife of Lord Rama.

Dharma dwaja married a lady called Madhavi and Goddess Lakshmi was born to them as a girl child. Since she was an incomparable beauty, they called her Tula Si (Incomparable one). Tulasi grew up in to lady as soon as she was born and left her kingdom and started doing Tapas in Badrinath with a wish to marry Lord Vishnu. She did Tapas in the middle of fire all round her in summer and under water in winter. She did Tapas for twenty four thousand years eating only fruits. Another thirty six thousand years eating only leaves, another forty four thousand years eating only air and the last ten thousand years without eating anything. Lord Brahma, appeared before her and asked her what she wanted. She told him that she wanted to become the wife of Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma told her, “Hey Tulasi, Lord Sudhama who was a part of Lord Krishna is now born as an Asura called Shankha Chooda. He is a part incarnation of Lord Vishnu. You would first become his wife. Later you would become the wife of Lord Narayana. While going back, a part of you would remain in this world as a holy plant called Tulasi. Any worship which does not include worship with the leaves of Tulasi, would be incomplete and would not be accepted by Gods.”

Shanka Chooda at that time had pleased Lord Brahma by his Tapas and was given a Vishnu kavacha (armour) and a boon that unless the armour is removed from his body and till his wife looses her virtue (Pativrutya), no body can kill him. Shankha Chooda requested Tulasi to marry him and both were married. They lead an extremely happy life. This time Shankha Chooda started giving trouble to the Devas. Devas accompanied by Lord Shiva approached Lord Vishnu for a solution. Lord Vishnu gave his spear to Lord Shiva so that he can break the Vishnu Kavacha, which Shankha Chooda was wearing, when Lord Shiva and Shankha Chooda were engaged in a fierce battle and Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Shankha Chooda and went to Shankha Chooda’s palace. When they entered the bed room Tulasi started suspecting Lord Vishnu. Then Lord Vishnu took his real form and told her, “Lakshmi, you have been doing great penance to marry me. By Now Shankha Chooda would have been killed by Lord Shiva and it is time for you to leave this body and come as Lakshmi to Vaikuntha and be with me. Your body which you leave here will become a great river called Gandaki and your hair would transform itself in to a holy plant Tulasi. This plant would become the holiest among plants.”

Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi returned to Vaikuntha.

Retold By P. R. Ramachander, in http://www.celextel.org

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Ambaji (Durga) Arati

Posted by kathavarta on July 20, 2008

Jai Ambe Gauri maiya, jaa Shyama Gauri
Nishdin tumko dhyavat, Hari Brahma Shivji,
Jai Ambe….

Mang sindur birajat, tiko mrigmad ko,
ujjvalse dou naina, chandravadan niko,
Jai Ambe….

Kanak saman kalevar, raktambar raje,
Raktapushp galmala, kanthhar saje,
Jai Ambe….

Kehari vahan rajat, khadg khappar dhari
sur nar munijan sevat, tinke dukhahari,
Jai Ambe….

Kanan kundal shobhit, nasagre moti
Kotik chandra divakar, samrajat jyoti,
Jai Ambe….

Shumbh- nishumbh vidare, MahishaSur ghatia
Dhumra-vilochan naina, nishdin madmati
Jai Ambe….

Chand-mund sanghare, shunit beej hare
Madhu Kaitabh dau mare, sur bhayheen kare
Jai Ambe….

Brahmani, Rudrani tum Kamala Rani,
Agam-nigam bakhani. turn Shiv patrani,
Jai Ambe….

Chaunsath yogini gavat, nritya karat Bhairon,
Bajat tab mridanga, aur bajat damru,
Jai Ambe….

Tum ho jag ki mata, tum hi ho bharta,
Bhaktan ki dukh harta, sukh sampati karta,
Jai Ambe….

Bhuja char ati shobhit, var mudra dhari,
Manvanchhit phal pavat, sevat nar nari,
Jai Ambe….

Kanchan thal virajat, agaru kapur bati
Malketu men rajat, kotiratan jyoti,
Jai Ambe….

Shri ambe ji ki aarti, jo koi nit gave,
kahat Shivananda swami, sukh sampati paave
Jai Ambe….

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Vandana (Karpoor) Arati

Posted by kathavarta on July 20, 2008

Karpoor goram Karunaa wataaram, Sansaar saaram Bhujagendr haaram
Sadaa vasantam Hradayaaravinde, Bhavam bhavaanee Sahitam namaami

Naaraayano tvam nikhileshwaro tvam,
Maata-Pitaa Guru Aatma tvamevam

Brahmaa tvam Vishnushch rudrastvamevam;
Siddhaashramo tvam Gurutvam Pranamyam

GururBrahmaa Gururvishnuh Gururdevo Maheshwarah
GuruH Saakshaat Parabrahm tasmei shree Guruve namah

Note: This Arati mostly sung after the main Arati of the deity.

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The Brahmin and the Crab

Posted by kathavarta on July 17, 2008

Brahmadatta was a Brahmin boy living in a city with his old mother. One day, when he was planning to travel to another village, his mother told him not to travel alone but take someone with him. The boy said that the way to the village was safe and that he was leaving on an urgent business. He asked her not to be afraid.

Knowing that he was determined to go, the mother went to the well in the backyard and took out a crab and asked his son to keep the crab with him during his travel. The boy then put the crab in a camphor box and put that box in a vessel and set out on his journey. That being summer, the day was very hot and the Brahmin halted and took rest under a big tree.

From the hollow of the tree, a snake emerged and, attracted by the fragrance of camphor, swallowed the box containing the crab. The crab came out of the box and sliced the head of the snake and killed him. The Brahmin boy woke and found the dead snake and the camphor box. When he saw the crab coming out of the box alive, he at once realized what had happened.

He then remembered the words of his mother and thought he did well by heeding her advice that saved him from death.

Those who feed on the rich, do not help them in distress. When their wealth is in tact, everyone hovers around the rich.
(This Panchatantra story is from Imprudence)
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The Bird with Two Heads

Posted by kathavarta on July 17, 2008

A great bird named Bharunda lived on the banks of a lake. He had two heads but a single body. One day, as the bird was wandering on the bank of the lake, he found a fruit, which was as delicious as ambrosia. One of his heads mumbled, “Oh what a fruit. I am sure the heavens have sent it for me. I am so lucky.”

Hearing this, the second head said, “O brother, let me also taste the fruit you are praising so much.”

The first head laughed and said, “Both of us have the same stomach. It makes no difference whether I eat it or you eat it. I shall give it to our beloved. She will be very happy.” Bharunda thus gave the fruit to his wife. The second head was disappointed at this action of the first head.

One day, the second head found a poisonous fruit and told the first head, “You treacherous fellow. For what you have done to me, I will eat this poisonous fruit and avenge your insult.”

The second head said, “You fool, if you eat that, both of us will die because we have the same body.”

Ignoring his warning, the second head ate the poisonous fruit and both of them died.

Those who are not united will perish.
(This Panchatantra story is from Imprudence)
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The King and the Monkey

Posted by kathavarta on July 17, 2008

Once upon a time there was a king named Chandra ruling a small state. His children were fond of playing with monkeys. So the king ordered a number of monkeys to be brought to the palace and asked his servants to feed them well and look after their needs. The leader of the monkeys was an old scholar well versed in statecraft, specially the works of Shukracharya, Brihaspati and Chanakya. The old monkey trained the younger ones also in statecraft.

The king had a stable of goats that his young sons used to ride. One of the goats was fond of food and would daily sneak into the kitchen at any time of the day and make a clean sweep of whatever was available in the kitchen. If the cook chanced to see him stealing food, he would throw at it whatever was handy, a stick or a brass pot.

The monkey leader saw this drama between the cook and the wily goat and thought: “I am sure this tussle between the cook and the goat will lead to the ruin of my tribe. This goat has become a slave to food. The cook will throw at it whatever is nearby. It may be a stick or if it is not readily available he may use an ember from the hearth to throw at the goat. This will set ablaze the goat’s fur-covered body making him run into the stable that would soon catch fire and burn the horses. The great veterinarian Salihotra has said the fat of monkeys is the best medicine for burns. That will be the end of monkeys.”

The monkey leader then summoned all the younger ones and told them that the feud between the cook and the goat would certainly do harm to them. In their own interest they should leave the palace as early as possible. He quoted the scholars saying:

“He who wants to live in peace
Must leave a house of daily strife.
Conflict breaks up kingdoms
Like bad words separate friends”

The younger ones, however, refused to listen to the advice of the old monkey. They told the leader, “Sir, you have become old and senile. We are not going to leave this palace where we have the best food available. What do we get there to eat in the jungles? We cannot eat the indifferent food in the forest.”

Extremely unhappy at their response, the old monkey said, “You have no idea of the price you will pay for the comforts of the palace. They won’t last long. I cannot see the end of our tribe. I am leaving. He who spares himself the spectacle of a friend in distress, of his house occupied by an enemy or of the division of his country, is the happiest.”

The old monkey left all of them with a heavy heart.

Some days later, the wily goat entered the royal kitchen and the cook, failing to see anything handy to punish it, took out a burning piece of wood from the hearth and hurled it at the goat. His fur afire, he ran in panic into the stable where his burning body set ablaze the hay stacked there. Several horses perished in the fire. The king consulted expert veterinarians who advised him to use monkey fat as unguent for horses suffering from burns.

The king ordered all monkeys to be killed and their fat used to heal the burns of the horses. The old monkey was distressed by the death of her progeny and began planning as to how he could take revenge on the king for killing all monkeys. Wandering restlessly in the forest, the old monkey saw a lake full of lotuses. On deeper inspection of the lake, the senior monkey found footprints of animals and human beings entering the lake but not footprints leaving the lake.

The monkey at once realised that there must be some wicked crocodile in the lake and that it was better to drink water with the tube of a lotus. As he began drinking water, a monster emerged from the lake wearing a pearl necklace. The monster addressed the monkey and said, “You seem to be an intelligent chap. You drank water without entering the lake. I am impressed by the presence of your mind. Ask anything you want.”

The monkey asked, “Sir, how many lives can you take in one go?”

The monster said, “I can swallow tens, hundreds and thousands at one time. All this I can do only when they enter the lake. Outside the water, even a jackal can challenge me.”

The monkey said, “I have to settle scores with a king. If you can lend me the pearl necklace on your body, I will somehow persuade the king and all his men to enter the lake for hidden wealth. Then you can kill all of them.”

Trusting the monkey, the monster gave him the pearl necklace. The monkey reached the kingdom of Chandra. People saw the dazzling necklace and asked him how he got it. The monkey told them about the lake. When the word reached the king, he sent for the monkey and asked him how he got the necklace.

On the monkey telling him everything about the lake, the king, led by the monkey, and accompanied by his family, ministers and followers, reached the lake. The monkey told the king that it was better that all his men entered the lake at the same time at dawn. But the monkey told the king, “My lord, you will not go with them. I will take you separately to a spot where you can get a large store of pearl necklaces.”

According to the plan, all the king’s men entered the lake at the same time and were killed by the monster. When nobody came out of the water for a long time, the king became suspicious and asked the monkey about the delay in his men coming out of the lake. The monkey immediately sprang to the top of a tree and told the king:

“O king, the monster inside the lake has killed all your people. You have killed my people. This is my reply to that treachery.”

He who is overwhelmed by greed and doesn’t weigh its consequences, will become a victim of deceit.
(This Panchatantra story is from Imprudence)
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