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MADHVACARYA REMEMBERS THE PASTIMES OF THE LORD:
In Madhva Vijay each of the following pastimes is briefly relished in the unique way that the Lord's intimate associate saw them happening, as if by transcendental television. Acarya Madhva saw the very source of his being, the only refuge of the devotee, the Supreme Person, and fulfiller of the desires of the devotee, and the source of all transcendental pastimes in this world. So many non-devotees may have so many ideas as to who is the Lord and how or where He appears, but to know how the Lord really comes, one must take shelter of the authorised persons who have seen things as they are.
If one requires sambandha jnana, the relationships of the Lord and His devotees, one must approach one who knows this as fact. A comparative material example can be used to shed some light. If one wants to understand who is one's father, then one has to approach one's mother, for she can give the necessary details of such a relationship.
So now the Lord shows Madhva the proof of His identity just to make him more attached.
Suta Goswami said to the sages of Naimisaranaya, "Great sages, please understand that the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna are all eternal. They are not ordinary narrations of historical incidences. Such narrations are identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Anyone, therefore, who hears such narrations of the Lord's pastimes becomes immediately freed from the contamination of material existence, and those who are pure devotees enjoy these narrations as nectar entering their ears. ...... Anyone who hears them, as well as anyone who describes them for the hearing of others becomes Krishna conscious. And it is only the Krishna conscious persons who become eligible for going back home, back to Godhead."
To receive the favour of the Lord, one King, who was the would-be Vaivasvata Manu of the name Satyavrata, performed austerities, only drinking water on the bank of the Krtamala River. He would take palm fulls of water in his hands and offer them as tarpana oblations to the river. On one such occasion a small fish came into his palms. The fish verbally appealed to the King for protection, and asked to be kept in a safe place.40 King Satyavrata, not knowing that this little fish was a powerful incarnation of the Lord, gave shelter to him. He kept him in a water jug, but soon the fish was too big, so the King put him in a big well. But then the well was too small. The King then put the fish into a lake, but soon, yes, the lake was too small. Finally the King had the fish taken to the sea. By this time he could appreciate that this wasn't any ordinary fish but the Lord Himself. King Satyavrata then asked the Lord to describe His fish incarnation, what is His name, etc. The Lord then told the King that in one week there would be a flood throughout the universe and that He, as Matsyavatara, would protect the King, the Rsis, all other living entities, herbs and seeds. They were all to enter into a big boat, attach Vasuki, His snake form to His horn, and in that way He would protect them all. The Lord then disappeared.
At the time of the devastating flood, the King saw a huge boat as Lord Matsya had said. Due to this great flood and Lord Brahma's previous experience of these devastations, he was fearful, and out of fear the Vedas, which are coming from the four mouths of the four-headed Prajapati Brahma, literally came out of his mouth and were stolen away by two demons named Madhu and Kaitabha. According to the actual Bhagavata Purana 11.7.11, in a sacrifice performed for the Lord, the purusa of Yajna (Hayagriva) came. He is the Lord of knowledge, and He appeared through the potency of Aniruddha (according to Visvaksena Samhita). He then appeared through Lord Matsya to save the Vedas and kill the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. This is also substantiated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.4.17 where it says that "In His appearance as Hayagriva He killed the demon Madhu and thus brought back the Vedas from the hellish planet of Patalaloka."
In other places in the Shrimad Bhagavatam it is said (SB 8.24.57): "At the end of the last inundation (during the period of Svayambhuva Manu) the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Matsya, killed the demon named Hayagriva and delivered all the Vedic literatures to Lord Brahma when Lord Brahma awakened from sleeping."
In SB 2.7.11 it says: "The Lord appeared as the Hayagriva incarnation in a sacrifice performed by me (Brahma). He is the personified sacrifices, and the hue of His body is golden. He is the personified Vedas as well, and is the Supersoul of all demigods. When He breathed, all the sweet sounds of the Vedic hymns came out of His nostrils."
Again in the Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.9.37, it also states, "My Dear Lord, when You appeared as Hayagriva, with the head of a horse, You killed the two demons as Madhu and Kaitabha, who were full of the modes of passion and ignorance, then You delivered the Vedic knowledge to Lord Brahma. For this reason all the great saints accept Your forms as transcendental, untinged by material qualities."
Narayana Panditacarya goes one step further and describes in Madhva Vijay 8.14 two meanings to the situation, that actually Lord Hayagriva, Who had the face of a horse killed a demon of the same name, who had indeed, along with Madhu and his brother Kaitabha, stolen the Vedas. These are the same demons who, in the beginning of creation, when Lord Brahma took his birth from the lotus flower, (according to Devi Bhagavat Skanda 10, Chapter 1), took their birth from the ear wax of Lord Vishnu (Garbhadaksayi Vishnu). Another version of their birth is found in the Mahabharata Santi Parva, Chapter 348, saying that when the lotus grew from the lotus navel of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma was born from the top of that lotus. In the petals were two drops of water, one which was sweet as honey which the demon Madhu was born from. He was in the mode of ignorance. Another drop, which was hard and with the attributes of the mode of passion, the demon Kaitabha was born.
They were killed by the Lord, and their body fats and blood floated on the top of the water and coagulated into a blob called Medini, according to Devi Bhagavat Purana Skanda one.41 Ohu vahaho (O how wonderous).
Madhva Vijay 8.15 then glorifies the Lord who appears in the sixth Manvantara millenium, Lord Vishnu, the master of the universe appeared in His partial expansion. He was begotten by Vairaja in the womb of his wife, Devasambhuti and his name was Ajita. By churning the ocean of milk, Ajita produced nectar for the demigods. In the form of a tortoise, He moved here and there, carrying on his back the great mountain known as Mandara. Due to the curse of Durvasa Muni to Lord Indra, the three worlds had become poverty stricken, then when the demigods where attacked by the serpent weapons of the demons, many were severely attacked and many lost their lives. All the remaining demigods went to Sumeru Mountain and approached Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma in turn concentrated on the Lord of Svetadvipa and offered prayers to Lord Vishnu, even though he had never seen Him.
Because of the prayers of the demigods headed by Lord Brahma, Lord Ksiradakasayi Vishnu became pleased with the demigods. Due to the blinding effulgence coming from the Lord's transcendental body, none of the demigods could see anything. They were blinded. They could see neither the sky nor themselves, what to speak of the Lord. Lord Brahma, along with Lord Siva, saw the crystal clear beauty of the Personality of Godhead, Whose blackish body resembles a marakata gem, Whose eyes are reddish like the depth of a lotus, Who is dressed with garments that are yellow like molten gold and Whose entire body is attractively decorated. They saw His beautiful, smiling lotus like face, crowned by a helmet bedecked with valuable jewels. The Lord has attractive eyebrows and His cheeks are adorned with earrings. Lord Brahma and Lord Siva saw the belt on the Lord's waist, the bangles on His arms, the necklace on His chest, and the flower garlands. His neck is decorated with the kaustubha gem, and He carries with Him the Goddess of Fortune and His personal weapons, like His disc and club. When Lord Brahma, along with Lord Siva and the other devas thus saw the form of the Lord, they all fell to the ground offering obeisances.
After offering their prayers and respects, Lord Vishnu knew their purpose for coming and spoke thus: "O demigods, fulfilling one's own interests is so important that one may even have to make a truce with one's enemies. For the sake of one's own interest, one has to act according to the logic of the snake and the mouse." The mouse is food for the snake, so the snake thought it a very good opportunity when they were both captured in the same basket to eat the mouse. If the snake ate the mouse he wouldn't get out of the basket, so the snake made a truce - the mouse could chew a hole in the basket so they could both get out. However, the snake's only idea was that when they were both out he would eat the mouse.
Lord Vishnu told the devas, "Throw into the milk ocean all kinds of vegetables, grass, creepers and frogs?[JCD20]. Then, with My help, making Mandara mountain the churning rod and Vasuki the rope for churning, churn the ocean of milk with undiverted attention. Thus the demons will be engaged in labour, but you, the demigods, will gain the result - the nectar produced from the ocean. Be patient and remain free from anger. Whatever the demons ask, agree to their proposal, but if you become angry, all is finished. In the churning a deadly poison will be produced called kalakuta, but do not fear."
The demigods then made a truce with Bali Maharaja and together with the demons, uprooted Mandara mountain and brought it towards the milk ocean. Due to the heavy weight of this huge mountain, many demons and demigods were crushed whilst moving it. Gold is heavier than stone, and as this mountain was made of gold and thus extremely heavy and difficult to move, Lord Vishnu arranged that Garuda go to help. With one hand Lord Vishnu placed the mountain on Garuda's back, who carried it to the milk ocean, but then left upon Lord Vishnu's request so Vasuki, the great snake, could come safely without the fear of being eaten by Garuda, who eats snakes.
They coiled Vasuki around the mountain as a churning rope. The Personality of Godhead, Ajita, took the head end of Vasuki and the demigods followed Him, but the leaders of the demons didn't like to take the tail, seeing it as inauspicious - they wanted the head instead.
Because the mountain had been sunk by the strength of providence, the demigods and demons were disappointed and their faces seemed to shrivel. The Lord then took the transcendental form of a giant tortoise, entered the milk ocean, and lifted Mandara mountain onto His back. This Lord Kurma, the tortoise incarnation, accepted the rolling and turning of the mountain as a means of scratching His back, thus felt a pleasure sensation. The demigods in the mode of goodness, the demons in the mode of passion, and Vasuki the snake in the mode of ignorance, were empowered to keep churning by the Lord. Because of the flames and blazing breath coming from the thousand mouths of Vasuki, the demigods and demons were affected by the smoke. Their lustre was diminished and their garments became blackened by smoke. Then the Lord sent rain and nice breezes to help the demigods. Lord Ajita churned the ocean very hard, and the poison called halahala came out. Lord Vishnu requested Lord Siva to dispose of this dangerous poison, so after informing his wife Bhavani, Lord Siva began to drink the poison. As Lord Siva drank the poison from the ocean by the palms of his hands, his neck turned blue, and this blue line is now accepted as an ornament. Scorpions, cobras, poisonous snakes and spiders, poisonous drugs and all other poisonous animals took the opportunity to drink whatever little drops of poison had fallen from Lord Siva's hands and had scattered on the ground whilst he drank the poison.
Afterward, both the demigods and the demons took courage and resumed their activities of churning. Because of this churning, first a surabhi cow was produced. Great saintly persons accepted this cow to derive ghee (grita) from it's milk and offer this grita in oblations for great sacrifices. Thereafter a horse named Uccaihsrava was generated. This horse was taken by Bali Maharaja. Then appeared Airavata and other elephants that could fly anywhere in any direction, and she elephants to accompany them. The gem known as Kaustubha was also generated. Lord Vishnu took that gem and placed it on His chest. Then a parijata flower and the Apsaras, the most beautiful women in the universe, were generated. Then the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmidevi, appeared. The King of heaven, Indra, brought a suitable sitting place for Laxmidevi. All the rivers of sacred water such as the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Namadi, Sindh, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Krishna, etc. personified themselves, and each of them brought pure water in golden pots for Mother Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune.
The land then took a personified form and collected all the herbs and spices needed for bathing and welcoming a respectful person. The cows delivered five products, namely milk, yogurt, ghee, mutra, and gobara (dung), then spring personified collected everything produced in spring (the months of Caitra (April) and Vaisakha (May). The sages performed the bathing ceremony, the Gandharvas chanted the all-auspicious Vedic mantras, whilst dancers and singers sang authorised Vedic songs for the occasion of her appearance. Clouds personified beat various drums, and blew bugles, flutes and conches. The elephants carrying big jugs of Ganges water bathed the supremely chaste Laxmidevi. The ocean supplied yellow silken cloth for the daughter of Varuna, Laxmidevi, to be bathed in, and all precious gems for her decoration. Varunadeva, the predominating Deity of the sea, presented flower garlands, surrounded by six legged bumble-bees drunken with honey. Visvakarma supplied varieties of decorative ornaments, Sarasvati the goddess of learning supplied a necklace, Lord Brahma supplied a lotus flower and the nagas supplied earrings of jewels. Having been bathed in the abhiseka ceremony, and holding in her hand a garland of lotus flowers surrounded by bumble-bees humming the svaras of the Sama Veda, her large breast were covered with sandalwood pulp and kumkum, and her waist was very thin. As she walked her ankle bells tinkled. She appeared like a creeper???[JCD21] of gold.
The daughter of the ocean, Laxmidevi, was then given the swayamvara ceremony, by which she was given the choice of any of the assembly as her husband. She looked for that person free from anger and lusty desires, Who is all knowing, the supreme controller. This could only be Lord Mukunda (Krishna) and though He didn't need her, being satisfied in Himself, He accepted Laxmidevi and so now she always remains situated at the bosom of the Lord.
The demons were very depressed at her choice. Bewildered and frustrated, they showed their disapproval. Then from the ocean of milk appeared Varuni, the goddess who controls those who like to drink liquor and become intoxicated. With the permission of Krishna, Bali Maharaja took possession of this beautiful young girl. Then from the churning came a beautiful young male, he was strongly built, his arms were long, stout and strong. His neck was marked with three lines like a conchshell, his eyes were reddish and his complexion was blackish. He was very young, and was garlanded with flowers. His whole body was decorated with various auspicious ornaments. He was dressed in yellow silken garments and wore brightly polished earrings made of pearls. The tips of his hair were anointed with brahmi oil, and his chest was very broad. His body had all good features, he was stout and strong like a lion, and he was decorated with bangles. In his lotus hands he carried a kumbha (jug) filled to the top with nectar. This was Dhanvantari, a plenary portion of a plenary portion of Lord Vishnu. He is very conversant with the science of medicine known as the Ayurveda.
At this point in Madhvacarya's recollection of the auspicious events, he remembered that although Dhanvantari is a plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, when the demons saw Him appear with the nectar, they immediately snatched the kumbha from His hands and made off with it, and He couldn't stop them. Seeing this, the demigods became weak and morose, and took shelter of Lord Vishnu, Who is known as Bhakta Vatsala. He has the innermost needs of the devotees closest at hand, and told them not to fear. "By My own energy I shall bewilder the demons and create a quarrel among them over who should first take the nectar so that you, the demigods, can get the nectar first. This the Lord did, and a furious quarrel took place, so much so that the kumbha went from one demon to another and no-one drank, they just quarrelled.
Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, Who can counteract any unfavourable situation, assumed the form of an extremely beautiful woman known as Mohini Murti. Her very sight was pleasing to the mind. Her complexion resembled in colour a newly grown blackish lotus, and every part of Her transcendental body was beautifully situated. Her ears were equally decorated with earrings, her cheeks were very beautiful, Her nose was raised and Her face had a youthful lustre. Her large round breasts made her waist seem very thin. Attracted by the natural aroma of Her face and body, bumble-bees hummed around Her, and thus Her eyes were restless. Her hair, which was extremely beautiful, was garlanded with mallika flowers. Her attractively constructed neck was decorated with a necklace and other ornaments, Her arms likewise decorated with bangles. Her body was covered with a clean sari, and Her breasts seemed like islands in an ocean of beauty. Her legs were decorated with ankle bells. Because of the welcoming movements of Her eyebrows as She smiled with shyness and glanced over the demons, all the demons were saturated with lusty desires, and every one of them desired to possess Her.
Now as the demons were fighting among themselves to possess the nectar, they selected this beautiful woman as a mediator to settle their quarrel. Taking advantage of their weakness in this regard, Mohini, the incarnation of the Lord, got the demons to promise to whatever decision She might give, they would not refuse to accept it. Deluded by Her beauty and seeking Her favours, the demons said they would do whatever She said to do. Therefore, seating the demons and the demigods in two different places facing east, knowing the demons should not get the nectar of immortality, She started to administer the nectar to the demigods after satisfying the demons with sweet words.
The demons knew they were getting cheated, but to this beauty, what could they say? "You mighty demons are all heroes and are so pleased with Me, it is better you wait for the demigods to drink." All the demons excepting one did just that. One by the name of Rahu was so clever he could see what was happening so he changed his dress and disguised himself as a demigod, and sat down in the assembly of demigods between the sun and the moon. The sun and the moon were always alert to Rahu, and immediately revealed him to Mohini, who then, as Hari, took the Sudarshan disc and removed the demons head just as the nectar touched his lips. Thus his body died, but the head became immortal. Since then it still attacks the sun and moon on certain astrologically predicted days and nights of the full and dark moon.
After giving the nectar to the demigods, Lord Vishnu mounted Garuda and returned to His abode. Then the demons declared war on the demigods. Bali Maharaja, who is the grandson of Prahlad Maharaja and the son of Virocana, became the commanding chief of the asuras. Then the demigods prepared themselves. Lord Indra fought against Bali, and other great fighters like Vayu, Agni, and Varuna fought against others on the side of the demons. In the fight the demons were defeated and the demigods were freed from all dangers.
The great sage Narada Muni said, "All of you demigods are protected by the arms of Lord Narayana, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by His grace you have got the nectar. You are glorious in every way. Therefore stop your fighting."
In Madhva Vijay 8.15, Part 2, the way that the Lord removes any fear in the form of Nrsimhadeva for the pure devotees and how the Lord protects His devotees displayed by Lord Varaha next crossed Madhvacarya's mind. "How wonderful it is that when the four Kumaras headed by Sanak Kumar approached the door keepers of Vaikuntha, those powerful door keepers could not recognise these four saintly persons. Further, they didn't even question as to how these small boys were standing at the doors to Vaikuntha."
When the door keepers, Jaya and Vijaya, saw these small boys trying to enter Vaikuntha, the gate keepers, thinking them as ordinary boys, forbade them to enter. Thus checked by the door keepers, Sanandana and the other three Kumaras angrily cursed them. "You two fools, being agitated by the material modes of passion and ignorance, you are actually unfit to live at the shelter of Lord Madhuvisa's lotus feet, which are free from all such modes. It would be better for you to go immediately to the material world and take your birth in a family of most sinful demons, for three births as demons, or take seven births as devotees and then return back here to Vaikuntha."
Not wanting to be away from Vaikuntha for any length of time, Jaya and Vijaya decided to accept three births as demons and quickly return. Jaya and Vijaya entered into the womb of Diti, who, being agitated by sex desire, approached her husband at an inauspicious time (during dusk, as the sun was going down) to have her lusty sexual desires fulfilled. As a result, two demons were placed in her womb, and these demons grew up to be the infamous Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu.
The first child conceived in the womb of Diti lived behind the second child, and at the time of birth, the second child conceived was the first child born. In that way, it is understood that Hiranyaksa was the second child to be conceived and was delivered first, and Hiranyakasipu, having been conceived first, came out from the womb second.
Hiranyaksa angrily used to travel all over the universe, club in hand, looking for a fight, feeling himself superior to everyone in the universe. His temper was difficult to control. Golden anklets about his feet, wearing a garland, and with bodily and mental strength as well as the boon of immortality, all made him extremely proud. Upon seeing Hiranyaksa, all the demigods would vanish just as snakes vanish upon seeing Garuda. After going to the heavenly planets for "his sport", he entered into the ocean and in his anger hit his club against the mighty waves of the ocean, and finally reached Varuna's kingdom, Vibhavari. There he asked Varuna for battle. Varuna subdued Hiranyaksa's anger, glorifying him, saying that he was so powerful that there is no-one in the three worlds powerful enough, other than Lord Vishnu, who can give you satisfaction in battle. Therefore, approach Him. Upon reaching Him you will find yourself minus your pride, lying dead on the battle field, surrounded by dogs. Lord Vishnu will appear in His auspicious form of a boar of the name Varaha, and soon you will be vanquished.
The demon Hiranyaksa was not perturbed in the least, in fact he was very enthused to fight with Lord Varaha, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then he saw the Lord as foretold, bearing the earth upwards, lifting it from a filthy place from whence it had fallen. He was in the form of a transcendental boar with the earth on His tusks, with reddish eyes, and was moving through the waters.
Hiranyaksa addressed Lord Varaha, "O amphibious beast, O best of the demigods, dressed in the form of a boar. Just hear me. This earth is entrusted to us, the residents of the lower planets. You cannot take it. I will fight with You and kill You if You do not put it back." The demon continued to threaten: "When you fall dead, O boar, with Your skull smashed by my mace hurled by my arms, the demigods and sages who offer oblations to You will give up their devotional service knowing me as superior." Although the Lord was pained by these sharp words of Hiranyaksa, the Lord, seeing the earth seated on His tusks, emerged powerfully from the waters and placed the earth safely within sight, floating on the surface of the water.
The Lord then observed the impudent raksasa, who had golden hair on his head and protruding teeth like tusks. Roaring like thunder, he ran at the Lord, yelling abuse. The demigods showered flowers on the Lord, and Lord Brahma looked on. The demon, covered in a wealth of ornaments, bangles and golden armour, chased the Lord from behind whilst hurling abuse, but the Lord tolerated his nonsense.
The Lord then said, "We are creatures of the jungle, (boars) and we are searching after hunting dogs like you. One who is freed from the entanglement of death has no fear from the loose talk in which you are indulging, for you are bound up by the laws of death."
Hissing indignantly, all his senses shaken by wrath, the demon quickly sprang upon the Lord and dealt Him a blow with his powerful mace. The Lord, however, by moving slightly aside, dodged the violent mace blow aimed at His chest by the enemy Hiranyaksa, just as an accomplished yogi eludes death.
The Lord now found it the right time to exhibit His anger potency. Controlled and furious He ran at the demon who bit his lip in rage. The demon brandished about his mace, but the Lord smashed him on the brow, and half protected Himself. Each pounded the other and blocked the other's blows in attack after attack of crashing of mighty clubs. Both had injuries on their body, and each grew more ferocious by the smell of the blood of the other.
Lord Brahma then appeared on the scene and asked Lord Varaha, the incarnation of the boar, to listen to what he had to say. "This Hiranyaksa has been a source of fear and pain for all gentle souls, always searching to meet a competent combatant. There is no need to play anymore, my Lord. Please finish him if You want to. The time of the auspicious mahurta of abhijitt (midday) is now here and at it's last few moments, so please finish him and declare a victory for the devas, oh best of the devas."
Lord Varaha, Who had sprung from the nostril of Lord Brahma, then sprang with dynamic force and aimed His club at the chin of Hiranyaksa, but Hiranyaksa knocked the club out of the Lord's hand. Enough playing around - Lord Varaha invoked His Sudarsana disc. Hiranyaksa, madder than ever upon seeing this wonderful sight, leapt into the air with club in hand, screaming and hissing, "You are slain. You are slain." The Lord then kicked the insignificant demon's club from his hand. The demon picked it back up and hurled it at the Lord, Who caught it and smilingly gave it back. Hiranyaksa was reluctant to take it, and instead took a trident and threw it at the Lord, but the Lord's Sudarsana disc cut it to pieces before it reached it's target. Now Hiranyaksa pounded on the Lord's chest with his fist, roaring and hissing. The Lord smiled. The demon employed various illusions, tricks and feats of magic against Him. Stones, rocks and dust were hurled at the Lord, strong winds and darkness. The sky rained pus, hair, blood, stool, urine and bones. Naked demonesses with tridents, their scraggy hair hanging loose, ruffians, yaksas and raksasas appeared and shouted abuse.
The Lord had played enough. He now discharged His sudarsana disc and dispelled all illusions. At that moment a shudder ran through the body of Diti, the mother of Hiranyaksa, and blood flowered from her breasts.
Hiranyaksa's final attempt was to try to crush the Lord in his arms, but after trying to embrace the Lord, he found the Lord standing outside of his embrace. Lord Varaha struck the demon below the ear and Hiranyaksa's body began to reel. His eyeballs bulged, his arms and legs broke, and his hair scattered everywhere. He fell down dead still biting his lip and the demigods showered praises and flowers on the infallible Lord.
All but one rejoiced - Hiranyaksa's elder brother Hiranyakasipu. He vowed to avenge his brother's death and so he began to agitate all the demons and raksasas, and disturb the ritualistic ceremonies of the peaceful sages and other inhabitants of the earth. For want of sacrifice, the demigods began wandering unseen on earth.
After the funeral rites of Hiranyaksa, Hiranyakasipu started to glorify his dead brother, saying how glorious he was to die in battle against the enemy. Filled with hate and biting his lips, Hiranyakasipu gazed at the sky with eyes that blazed in anger, making the whole sky smoky. Thus he began to speak.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead has given up His natural tendency of equality towards us demons and the demigods. Although He is the Supreme Person, now, influenced by Maya, He has assumed the form of a boar to please His devotees the demigods just as a restless child leans towards someone. I shall therefore sever His head from His trunk by my trident, and with the profuse blood from His body, I shall please my brother Hiranyaksa, who was so fond of sucking blood. When the root of a tree is cut down and falls, it's branches and twigs also dry up. Similarly, when I have killed this diplomatic Vishnu, the demigods, for whom Lord Vishnu is the life and soul, will lose the source of their life and wither away."
Thus the demons, being fond of disastrous activities, took Hiranyakasipu's instructions on their heads with great respect and offered obeisances. According to his directions, they engaged in envious activities directed against all living entities - setting fire to cities, villages, pasturing grounds, cowpens, gardens, fields and forests. They burned the hermitages of the rsis and sages, important mines that produced valuable metals, the residential quarters of agriculturalists, villages of cow protectors and cow herdsmen. They also burned government buildings and capitals. Some took to breaking bridges and city gopuras (walls and gates). Some cut down important trees like mango, coconut, bael fruit, berry trees, jackfruits, chickoo and papaya, and left the fruits to rot, despite sastric injunctions. Some even went to the residences of the innocent peoples and with fire brands set fire to their houses.
Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal, not to be killed by anyone and thus be the absolute ruler of the universe. He decided to undergo austerities for 120,000 years and attract the attention of Lord Brahma. Standing on tip-toes, fire blazing from the top of his head, he thus disturbed all the birds, beasts and animals in the universe. The higher planets of the demigods became too hot to live on, so they all left those planets and went to see Lord Brahma.
Upon hearing the nature of Hiranyakasipu's severe austerities, how, after standing for so long on tip-toes with his arms raised, ants had eaten half of his body. He lived within the marrow of his bones. At first he couldn't be seen for he was covered by an ant hill, bamboo and grass, but when Lord Brahma sprinkled water from his kumandalu pot on the head of the demon, Hiranyakasipu then bowed down before Lord Brahma and offered prayers. Lord Brahma then agreed to give him benedictions. Hiranyakasipu asked that he not be killed by any living entity, and not to be killed in any place, covered or uncovered, not to die in the day or the night, not to be killed by any weapon, nor on land, nor in the air, and not to be killed by any human being, animal, demigod or any other entity, either living or non-living. Then he asked that he may have supremacy over the entire universe, and please give him the eight-fold mystic yoga perfections.
Lord Brahma granted these boons, but the demon Hiranyakasipu only increased his envy for Lord Vishnu. Puffed up with false pride at the thought of becoming master of all places including the residence of Indra whom he had kicked out, Hiranyakasipu, enjoying materialistic life to the full, became mad. All the demigods including Lord Brahma and Lord Siva came under his control - all except the best of the devas, Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu told all the demigods that they should not fear for He would appear in a suitable form to deal with the king of the demons, Hiranyakasipu (one who is too much attached to gold, and soft beds).
Hiranyakasipu had four sons. Of them the best was Prahlada, for he was, by instinct, a pure Vaishnava devotee of the Lord. When Hiranyakasipu's wife of the name Kayadhu was pregnant with Prahlada, she stayed at Hiranyakasipu's palace whilst he had gone to Mandaracala to perform austerities. During this time the demigods attacked the palace looting Hiranyakasipu's treasury. The demigods arrested Kayadhu, thinking that the child within her womb would be another great demon. On their way to the heavenly planets, they met Narada Muni, who stopped them from taking her away. He instead took her to his asrama until Hiranyakasipu's return. Kayadhu prayed for the protection of the child in her womb, but Narada Muni reassured her that this was no ordinary child, and then gave her spiritual knowledge. Inside the womb the small baby Prahlad listened intently to the words of Narada Muni.
This spiritual subject matter cannot be obstructed by any material bodily condition. Sabda brahma goes directly to the soul. Narada mentions that the spirit soul is always different from the body, that there is no change in spiritual form for the living entity. To really appreciate this knowledge one has to be above the bodily conception. In this way the great Narada Muni instructed Prahlad within the womb.
From the very beginning of his childhood Prahlad Maharaja was uninterested in childish playthings. Indeed, he gave them up altogether and remained silent and dull, being fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. He was always thinking of Vasudeva Krishna. Sometimes in his separation he would cry out "Krishna Krishna" and sometimes he would spontaneously chant and dance in ecstacy, being fully absorbed in thoughts of the Lord.
Hiranyakasipu's spiritual master, Sukracarya, had two sons named Sanda and Amarka to whom Prahlad was entrusted for education. Though Prahlad's teachers tried to educate Prahlad in politics, economics, logic, etc, Prahlad wasn't interested. He remained devoted to Lord Krishna.
Once Hiranyakasipu seated his son on his lap and enquired from him what he had learned from his teachers. Prahlad replied: "A man engrossed in the material consciousness of duality, thinking 'this is mine and that belongs to my enemy' should give up his householder life and go to the forest to worship the Supreme Lord."
When Hiranyakasipu heard this coming from the mouth of his own son, his first thought was who could have polluted this small boy? Maybe a friend at school? He arranged that his teachers Sanda and Amarka take care of him and "Get rid of nonsense talk."
When these teachers asked Prahlad where he was getting all this, and why he was going against their teachings, Prahlad replied: "The mentality of ownership is false and everything one can conceive of is but the property of the Lord. So because of this I am trying to become His devotee and so should you." This his teachers could not tolerate any more. They chastised Prahlad and threatened him with many torturous conditions. They tried everything to brainwash him, but then resorted to taking Prahlad to his father.
Hiranyakasipu affectionately took his son on his lap again, and asked him what was the best thing he had learned from his teachers. Prahlad replied that the nine-fold process of devotional life to Lord Vishnu is the best, starting with sravanam, kirtanam, visnu smaranam, etc.
Hiranyakasipu, in a fit of rage, incessantly angry, chastised the teachers, though the fearful teachers tried to explain that Prahlad was a natural devotee. He had of his own accord been preaching to the other children in the class, and that they, as teachers, were innocent.
Prahlad then explained that the duty of everyone who has taken this most fortunate human form of life, should utilize it properly by engaging mind, body and soul in the service of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under the guidance of a pure devotee who himself has taken full shelter of the Lord.
Enraged at this answer, Hiranyakasipu then threw Prahalad from his lap. "Since Prahlad has become so treacherous that he has become a devotee of Vishnu, Who, in the form of a boar, has killed his uncle Hiranyaksa." Hiranyakasipu told his servants to kill the boy. "Although this boy is only five years old, he has given up his affectionate relationship with his father and mother. Therefore he is certainly untrustworthy."
The assistants of the king of the demons struck Prahlad with sharp weapons, clubs and tridents on the tender part of his body. All the demons had fearful faces, sharp teeth and reddish coppery beard and hair, and they appeared extremely threatening. Shouting "Chop him! Pierce him!" they struck Prahlad again and again whilst Prahlad sat there, absorbed in remembering the Supreme Lord. Despite all their harrassment it had no effect.
Seeing that this attempt was futile, Hiranyakasipu started to devise more heinious ways to kill Prahlad. Hiranyakasipu could not kill his son by throwing him beneath the feet of big elephants, throwing him among huge, fearful snakes, employing destructive spells, hurling him from the top of a hill, conjuring up illusory tricks, administering massive doses of poison, starving him, exposing him to severe cold, winds, fire and water, or throwing heavy stones to crush him. When Hiranyakasipu finally found that he could not in any way harm Prahlad, who was completely sinless, he was perplexed about what to do next. He became somewhat fearful of Prahlad, seeing that he could not be killed by any means. Although at the mere sight of the movement of his eyebrows the entire universe trembled, Prahlad was not in the least perturbed.
The sons of Sukracarya tried to pacify Hiranyakasipu, saying that Prahlad was just a small boy and cannot be the cause of anxiety, and that his good or bad qualities have no value. Hiranyakasipu allowed Prahlad to go back to school. Sanda and Amarka then systematically and unceasingly taught Prahlad Maharaja, who was always very submissive and humble, about mundane religion, economic development and sense gratification, but whenever the teachers left to attend to their household affairs, Prahlad preached to his childhood friends, the sons of demons, about the glories of devotional service. Eagerly all the boys gave up their play and listened to Prahlad talk on the goal of life. The angry teachers would come into the Gurukula school sometimes to find the boys all up and dancing and chanting the holy names of the Lord, Hare Krishna, and so reported their dismay to Hiranyakasipu.
Sanda and Amarka described Prahlada's preaching in great detail to Hiranyakasipu, who immediately decided to kill his son. He hissed and yelled at his peaceful son, "O most impudent, most unintelligent disrupter of the family, O lowest of mankind, you have violated my power to rule you and therefore you are an obstinate fool. Today I shall send you to the palce of Yamaraja, the king od death. My son Prahlad, you rascal, you know that when I am angry all the planets of the three worlds tremble, along with their chief rulers. By whose power has a rascal like you become so impudent that you appear fearless and overstep my power to rule you?"
Prahlad Maharaja answered, "My dear king, the source of my strength by which you are asking is also to source of yours. Indeed the original source of all kinds of strength is one. He is not only your strength or mine, but the only strength for everyone. Without Him no one can get any strength, whether moving or nonmoving, superior or inferior. Everyone, including Lord Brahma, is controlled by the strength of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"My dear father, please give up your demoniac mentality. Do not discriminate in your heart between enemies and friends; make you mind equipoised toward everyone. Except for the uncontrolled and misguided mind, there is no enemy within this world. When one sees everyone on the platform of equality, one then comes to the position of worshipping the Lord perfectly. Fools think 'I have conquered all enemies in all the ten directions,' but if a person is victorious over the six senses including the mind, and is equipoised towards all living beings, for him there are no enemies. Enemies are merely imagined by one in ignorance."
Hiranyakasipu angrily replied, "You rascal, you are trying to minimize my value, as if you were better than me at controlling the senses. This is over-intelligent. I can therefore understand that you desire to die at my hands, for this is the kind of nonsensical talk indulged in by those about to die. Prahlad, you have always described a supreme being other than me, Who is above everything, Who is the controller of everyone, and Who is all pervading. But where is He? If He is everywhere, then why is He not present before me in this pillar?"
At that point Hiranyakasipu leapt from his throne and smashed his fist against the pillar. Then from within the pillar came a fearful sound which appeared to crack the covering of the universe.
By the desire of the Lord's pure devotee Prahalad, the Supreme Personality of Godhead then appeared in a form never before seen. He was neither man nor lion. The form of the Lord was extremely angry with burning eyes like molted gold. His face was surrounded by a beard of flames which was his mane. His razor sharp tongue moved like a duelling sword, His wedge-like ears were erect and motionless, and His nostrils and gaping mouth appeared like caves of a mountain. His jaws were parted fearfully pentive, His body touched the sky, His neck was short and thick, His chest broad, His waist thin and the hairs on His transcendental body as white as the rays of the moon. His unlimited arms spread in all directions, resembling flanks of soldiers. With His nails and teeth like thunderbolts, and His natural weapons like the conch, sudarsana disc, club, lotus and many more, He tore to pieces the hordes of demons and rascals - the atheistic friends of Hiranyakasipu.
Hiranyakasipu tried to attack this mighty form of the Lord with the idea of killing Him, in the same way as a small insect falls forcefully into the fire and is vanquished.
Lord Nrsimhadeva caught the angry demon just as Garuda catches a snake, but for a bit of sport again allowed the demon to go free for a few minutes to increase the Lord's pleasure. The giant incarnation of the Lord chased the demon in this way throughout the three worlds, laughing, catching him and releasing him much to the dismay of the demigods who looked on, as they wanted to Lord to kill him.
Then, when the Lord had had enough playing, he took Hiranyakasipu upon His lap, who was very fearful at being contained by the Lord. Nrsimhadeva then, with the demon supported on His thighs, in the doorway of the assembly hall, at dusk, tore the demon to pieces with the powerful nails of His hands and adorned Himself with the demon's intestines.
Lord Nrsimhadeva's mouth and mane were sprinkled with drops of blood, His three fierce eyes were impossible to even look at. Licking the edge of His mouth with His tongue, the Lord, decorated with a garland of intestines, tore out the heart of the demon, threw the corpse to one side, and turned on the hundred of thousands of soldiers of Hiranyakasipu, who in minutes were just so much blood, flesh and bones spread on the ground.
The pressure of the Lord's feet caused hills and mountains to form under the intolerable force of His body. The demigods, being fearful of this ferocious form of the Lord, could not approach Him, not even Laxmidevi. Only Prahlad could pacify the Lord with his prayers of devotion and surrender.
When Lord Nrsimhadeva saw the small boy Prahlad Maharaja prostrated at the soles of His lotus feet, he became most ecstatic in affection towards His devotee. Raising Prahlad up, the Lord placed His lotus hand upon the boy's head. Because His hand is always ready to create fearlessness in all of His devotees, by the Lord's touch Prahlad became free from all material contamination and desires as if thoroughly cleansed.
With faltering voice, Prahlad, the transcendentally situated devotee, prayed to the Lord, begging for the Lord's mercy at every step. In this way, in pure love, Prahlad pacified the Lord. He prayed not for material benefits, but for the benefit of humanity at large. Prahlad only wanted to remain the servant of the servant of the Lord.
His hairs now standing erect in ecstacy, Madhvacarya absorbed himself in the pastime of the Lord with the elephant Gajendra.
In the midst of the ocean of milk, there is a very high and beautiful mountain that has an altitude of ten thousand yojanas (eighty thousand miles). This mountain is known as Trikuta. In the valley of Trikuta there is a nice garden nemed Rtumat, which was constructed by Varuna, and in that area there is a very nice lake.
Once the chief of the elephants, Gajendra, along with many female elephants, went to enjoy bathing in the lake. Surrounded by the herd's other elephants, including females, and followed by many young ones, Gajapati, the leader of the elephants, made Trikuta mountain tremble all around because of the weight of his body. He was perspiring and liquor dripped from his mouth. Because of this liquor, his vision was overwhelmed by intoxication. He was being served by bumble-bees who drank honey, and from a distance he could smell the pollen of lotus flowers, which was carried from the lake by the breeze. Thus surrounded by his associates, who were afflicted by thirst, soon he arrived at the bank of the lake. The king of the elephants entered the lake, bathed thoroughly, and was relived of his fatigue. Then with the aid of his trunk, he drank the cool clean nectarean water, which was mixed with the pollen of lotus flowers and water lilies, until he was fully satisfied. In this enjoying spirit Gajendra took water in his trunk and sprayed it over all the other elephants.
A strong and powerful crocodile, being angry at the distrubance to the lake, suddenly attacked the leg of Gajapati. His wives, seeing him in this grave condition, felt very sorry and began to cry. Gajendra fought for one thousand years with the crocodile, each pulling the other in and out of the water, the elephant at home on the land and the crocodile at home in the water. They fought and fought. Over this long time, Gajendra's strength diminished greatly, and the crocodile, being an animal of the water, became more and more powerful. Seeing his predicament, Gajendra realized he could not save himself, and he was afraid of being killed. He could see that the other elephants, although friends and relatives, could not save him, what to speak of his wives. In despiration, he sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Gajendra fixed his mind on the Lord and began to pray to the Lord, remembering prayers he had previously learned when he was the human king, Indradyumna.
As Indradyumna, he was the king of the Pandya42 country. Following Vedic principles, this king retired from householder life and constructed a small cottage in the Malayacala hills, where he always worshipped the Lord. However, one day Agastya Muni and many disciples came to his asrama. Because the king was absorbed in meditation on the Lord he couldn't receive Agastya Rsi properly, and so Agastya became angry and cursed Indradyumna to become a dull elephant.
"I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Vasudeva Who is all pervading, to the Lord's fierce form as Lord Nrsimhadeva, to the Lord's form as an animal (Varahadeva), to Lord Buddha, and to all the other incarnations. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, Who has no material qualitities, but Who accepts the three qualities of goodness, passion and ignorance within this material world. I also offer my respectful obeisances unto the impersonal Brahman effulgence emanating from the personal form of the Lord. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Who are the Supersoul, the superintendent of everything, and the witness of all that occurs. You are the owner of the material body, therefore You are the supreme complete. My Lord, You are the observer of all the objectives of the senses. Without Your mercy there is no possibility of solving the problems of doubts. The material world is just like a shadow resembling You. Indeed, one accepts this material world as real because it gives a glimpse of Your existence. My Lord, You are the cause of all causes, but You Yourself have no cause. Therefore You are the wonderful cause of everything. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Who are the shelter of the Vedic knowledge contained in the sastras like the Pancaratras and Vedanta-Sutra, which are Your representations, and Who are the source of the parampara system. Because it is You alone Who can give liberation, You are the only shelter for all transcendentalists. My Lord, as the fire in arani wood is covered, You and Your unlimited knowledge are covered by the material modes of nature. Your mind, however, is not attentive to the activities of the modes of nature. Those who are advanced in spiritual knowledge are not subject to the regulative principles directed in the Vedic literatures. Because such advanced souls are transcendental, You, however, personally appear in their pure minds. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. Since an animal such as I has surrendered unto you, Who are supremely liberated, certainly You will release me from this dangerous position. Indeed, being extremely merciful, You incessantly try to deliver me. By Your partial feature as Paramatma You are situated in the hearts of all embodied beings. You are celebrated as direct transcendental knowledge, and You are unlimited.
"My Lord, those who are completely freed from material contamination always meditate upon You within the cores of their hearts. You are extremely difficult to attain for those like me who are too attached to mental concoction, home, relatives, friends, money, servants and assistants. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, uncontaminated by the modes of nature. You are the reservoir of all enlightenment and the Supreme Controller. After worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, those who are interested in the four principles of religion (occupational duty, economic development, sense gratification and liberation) obtain from Him what they desire. What then is to be said of other benedictions? Indeed, sometimes the Lord gives a spiritual body to such ambitious worshippers. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is unlimitedly merciful, bestow upon me the benediction of liberation from this present danger and from the materialistic way of life. Unalloyed devotees, who have no desire other than to serve the Lord, worship Him in full surrender and always hear and chant about His activities. Thus they always merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. Such devotees never ask the Lord for any benedictions. I, however, am in danger. Thus I pray to that same Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is eternally existing, Who is invincible, Who is the Lord of all great personalities such as Brahma, and Who is available only by transcendental bhakti-yoga. Being extremely subtle, He is beyond the reach of the senses and transcendental to all external realization. He is unlimited, He is the original cause, and He is completely full in everything. The Supreme Personality of Godhead creates His minor parts and parcels, the jiva tattva, beginning with Lord Brahma, the demigods and the expansions of Vedic knowledge (Sama, Rg, Yajur and Atharva) and including all other living entities, moving and nonmoving, with their different names and characteristics. As the sparks of a fire or the shining rays of the sun emanate from their source and merge into it again and again, the mind, the intelligence, the senses, the gross and subtle material bodies, and the continuous transformations of the different modes of nature all emanate from the Lord and again merge into Him. He is neither demigod not demon, neither human nor bird or beast. He is not woman, man or neuter, nor is He an animal. He is not a material quality, a fruitive activity, a manifestation or nonmanifestation. He is the last word in the discrimination of "not this - not this", and He is unlimited. All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead!
"I do not wish to live anymore after I am released from the attack of the crocodile. What is the use of an elephant's body covered externally and internally by ignorance? I simply desire eternal liberation from the covering of ignorance. That covering is not destroyed by the influence of time. Now, fully desiring release from material life, I offer my respectful obeisances unto that Supreme Person Who is the creator of the universe and Who is nonetheless transcendental to this cosmic manifestation. He is the Supreme Knower of everything in the world, the Supersoul of the universe. He is the unborn, supremely situated Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him, the master of all mystic yoga, Who is seen in the core of the heart by perfect mystics when they are completely purified and freed from the reactions of fruitive activity by practicing bhakti yoga. My Lord, You are the controller of formidable strength in three kinds of energy. You appear as the reservoir of all sense pleasure and the protector of the surrendered souls. You possess unlimited energy, but You are unapproachable by those who are unable to control their senses. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by Whose illusory energy the jiva, who is part and parcel of God, forgets his real identiy because of the bodily concept of life. I take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Whose glories are difficult to understand."
Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.3.12-30
After understanding the awkward condition of Gajendra, who had offered his prayers, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, Who lives everywhere, appeared with the demigods who were offering prayers to Him. Caarrying His disc and other weapons, He appeared there on the back of His carrier Garuda, with great speed, according to His desire. Thus He appeared before Gajendra.
Gajendra had been forcefully captured by the crocodile in the water, and was feeling acute pain, but when he saw that Narayana, wielding His disc, was coming in the sky on the back of Garuda, he immediately took a lotus flower in his trunk, and with great difficulty due to his painful condition, uttered the following words. "O my Lord Narayana, master of the universe, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You."
Seeing Gajendra in such an aggrieved position, the unborn Lord Hari immediately got down from the back of Garuda. He then pulled both Gajendra and the crocodile out of the water. Then in the presence of all the demigods who were looking on, the Lord severed the crocodile's mouth from it's body with His disc.
Previously the crocodile was a Gandharva King by the name of Huhu who was enjoying in the water of a lake with some Gandharva women. Whilst enjoying in this way he went under the water and pulled the leg of Devala Rsi who was taking his bath in the lake. Devala Rsi became very angry and cursed the Gandharva king to become a crocodile. By the mercy of the Lord, the Gandharva could again go back to his previous status as a Gandharva, being freed by the Lord from his body as a crocodile. However Gajendra, by the mercy of the Lord, obtained the same bodily features as the Lord dressed in yellow silken dhoti, with four arms.
It is said, to those who rise from their beds at the end of night and offer these prayers offered by Gajendra, that person obtains an eternal residence in the spiritual world at the end of their present body. Such is the mercy of the Lord.
In this way, Madhvacarya intensely absorbed himself through his attachment and pure devotion to the Lord and His eternal pastimes. The fullness of these pastimes flashed through his mind whilst absorbed in samadhi before his Lord.
"Oh how wonderful it is that this same Lord Narayana then appeared as a dwarf brahmin."
By the austerity of Aditi as she followed the payo-vrata ceremony, and by the austerities of Kasyapa Muni, Lord Narayana agreed to become their son. On the auspicious sravana dvadasi when the abhijit star had arisen in the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada (Aug-Sep), Lord Vamanadeva appeared from the womb of Aditi completely equiped with conchshell, disc, club and lotus. His bodily hue was blackish and He was dressed in yellow garments.
Seeing that the Lord had appeared in a purely transcendental body made of sac-cid-ananda, both His parents were astonished. The Lord had thus, like an actor, assumed the form of Vamana, a dwarf brahmana, and a brahmacari. As soon as He appeared, His jata-karma (birth ceremony) was performed followed by nama karana (name giving), niskramanam (first visit outside the maternal house), pausti karma yajna (for continuing health of the boy), and anna prasna (first grains ceremony). Kasyapa Prajapati also performed putra murdhabhighranam (blessing the boy by smelling his head), cuda karan (headshaving), and karna beda (ear boring) in due course. At the time of Lord Vamanadeva's sacred thread ceremony (upanayanya), He was honoured by the sun god, by Brhaspati, and by Bhumi, the goddess presiding over the earth.
At that sacred thread ceremony, the sun god personally uttered the gayatri mantram, Brihaspati offered the sacred thread, Kasyapa Muni gave the Lord His mekhala (kusa grass belt), Bhumi gave Him a deerskin, and the demigod of the moon, Candra, who is the king of the forest, gave him His danda (the rod of a brahmacari). His mother, Aditi, gave Him His kaupin underwear, and the Deity who presides over the heavenly planets gave His chatra (umbrella). Lord Brahma gave an inexhaustable kamandalu (water pot) to the inexhaustable Lord. Saraswati gave Him a string of Rudraksa beads. The king of the Yaksas, Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods, gave a pot for begging alms, and Mother Bhagavati, the chaste wife of Lord Siva, gave his first alms. Thus properly welcoming the Lord into this world, all these ceremonies, gifts, etc, were all done together on the auspicious day of His appearance.
Hearing that the emperor of the world, Bali Maharaja, was performing asvamedha sacrifices with all the brahmanas of the Bhrgu dynasty, this dwarf brahmin went to see him to bestow His mercy upon him. Bali Maharaja was jubilent to see Lord Vamanadeva and offered him a seat with great satisfaction. He then proceeded to wash the Lord's lotus feet.
The water of the sacred Ganges is sanctified because it emanates from the toe of Lord Vishnu. Bali Maharaja washed the Lord's lotus feet and that water became Ganges water. Following in the footsteps of Ganga Dhar (Lord Siva), Bali Maharaja held that water upon his head.
"O son of a brahmana, Lord Vamanadeva, today the fire of sacrifice is ablaze in accordance to the Vedic injunctions, and I have been freed from all the sinful reactions of my life by the water that has washed your lotus feet. O my Lord, by the touch of Your small lotus feet, the entire surface of the world has been sanctified. It appears You have come here to ask something of me. Therefore whatever You want You may take from me, whatever you desire."
When Bali Maharaja, thinking Vamanadeva to be the son of a brahmana, told Him to ask for anything he liked, Lord Vamanadeva praised Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa for their heroic activities, and in that way he praised the family of Bali Maharaja, who was the grandson of Prahlad Maharaja. The Lord then proceeded to beg three steps of land from Bali Maharaja. Bali Maharaja offered Lord Vamanadeva one of the islands surrounding this earth floating in the ocean of space. Lord Vamanadeva, playing the part of an ordinary brahmin said, "If I were not satified with three paces of land, then surely I would not be satisfied by even possessing one of the seven islands, consisting of nine varsas. Even if I possessed one island I would hope to get more. A brahmin is satisfied with whatever providence brings and in this way his spiritual power increases. But the potency of a dissatified brahmin decreases just as a fire decreases after being sprinkled with water. So therefore, O king, I ask only three steps of land, for by such charity I shall be pleased."
Bali Maharaja agreed to this as being insignificant and easy to fulfil, but then the priest of the materially minded persons, Sukracarya, objected. He called Bali Maharaja to one side and told him, "This is Lord Hari - Vishnu. You have offered in charity three steps of land, but He will take everything. You should withdraw your promise. He has appeared to fulfil the interests of the demigods. I do not think your promise is good, as it will bring great harm to the demons."
Sukracarya was very learned, but was more interested in receiving his own remuneration from his disciple Bali than surrender to the Lord. Unfortunately this is the nature of smarta - hereditory priests - interested only in personal gain.
Sukracarya continued, "Vamanadeva will first occupy the three worlds with one step, then he will take His second step and occupy everything in outer space, and then He will expand His universal body to occupy everything. Where will you offer him the third step? You will be unable to fulfil your promise and because of this you will become an eternal resident of hell."
Bali Maharaja still maintained his principles as a householder and after making his promise he did not go back on his word. Bali Maharaja thought that even if this brahmacari is Lord Vishnu Himself, if the Lord accepts his charity and again arrested him, still he would not be inimical to Vamanadeva. Bali Maharja said, "I do not fear hell, poverty, an ocean of distress, or to fall down from my postion of even death itself as much as I fear cheating or manipulating the brahmanas. Therefore, if Vamanadeva, the wonderful dwarf brahmana, is not satified by whatever charity I have given, why not try to please Him with whatever riches one may have. After all, I have to lose all this at the time of death anyway, and if this brahmana, Vamanadeva, is Vishnu, then I am so fortunate to come directly in contact with Him. He is the source of all the holy places. Under these circumstances, I must give this little brahmacari whatever charity he wants from me.43
Bali Maharaj first washed the feet of Lord Vamamdeva and having drank some of that water, he held it upon his head, thus taking away the chance of dying untimely, for that water delivers the entire universe. Then he gave charity to Lord Vamanadeva.
Lord Vamanadeva began to increase in size, until everything in the universe was within His body, including the earth, the planetary systems, the sky, the directions, the various holes in the universe, the seas, the oceans, birds, beasts, human beings, the demigods, and the great saintly persons.
"Bali Maharaja, along with all the priests, acaryas, and members of the assembly, observed the Supreme Personality of Godhead's universal body, which was full of six opulences. That body contained everything within the universe, including all the gross material elements, the senses, the sense objects, the mind, intelligence, and false ego, the various kinds of living entities, and the actions and reactions of the three modes of material nature.
"Thereafter, Bali Maharaja who was occupying the seat of King Indra, could see the lower planetary systems, such as Rasatala, on the soles of the feet of the Lord's universal form. He saw on the Lords feet the surface of the globe, on the surface of His calves all the mountains, on His knees the various birds, and on His thighs the varieties of air.
"Bali Maharaja saw beneath the garments of the Lord Who acts wonderfully, the evening twilight. In the Lord's private parts he saw the prajapatis, and in the round portion of the waist he saw himself with his confidential associates. In the Lord's navel he saw the sky, on the Lord's waist he saw the seven oceans, and on the Lord's bosom he saw all the clusters of stars.
"My dear King, on the heart of Lord Murari, he saw religion; on the chest, both pleasing words and truthfulness; in the mind, the moon; on the bosom, the goddess of fortune, with a lotus flower in her hand; on the neck, all the Vedas and all sound vibrations; on the arms, all the demigods, headed by King Indra; in both ears, all the directions; on the head, the upper planetary systems; on the hair, the clouds; in the nostrils, the wind; on the eyes, the sun; and in the mouth, fire. From His words came all the Vedic mantras, on His tongue was the demigod of water, Varunadeva. On His eyebrows were the regulative principles, and on His eyelids were day and night. (When His eyes were open it was daytime, and when they were closed it was night.) On His forehead was anger, and on His lips was greed. O King, in His touch were lusty desires, in His semen were all the waters, on His back was irreligion, and in His wonderful activities or steps was the fire of sacrifice. On His shadow was death, in His smile was the illusory energy, and on the hairs of His body were all the drugs and herbs. In His veins were all the rivers, on His nails were all the stones, in His intelligence were Lord Brahma, the demigods and the great saintly persons, and throughout His entire body and senses were all living entities, moving and stationary. Bali Maharja thus saw everything in the gigantic body of the Lord.
"O King, when all the demons, the followers of Maharaja Bali, saw the universal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who held everything within His body, when they saw in the Lord's hand the disc, known as the Sudarsana cakra, which generates intolerable heat, and when they heard the tumultuous sound of His bow, all of these caused lamentations within their hearts.
"The Lord's conchshell, named Pancajanyam which made sounds like that of a cloud; the very forceful club named Kaumodaki; the sword named Vidyadhara, with a shield decorated with hundreds of moonlike spots; and also Aksayasayaka, the best of quivers - all of these appeared together to offer prayers to the Lord.
"These associates, headed by Sunanda and other chief associates and accompanied by all the predominating deities of the various planets, offered prayers to the Lord, Who wore a brilliant helmet, bracelets, and glittering earrings that resembled fish. On the Lord's bosom were the lock of hair called Shrivatsa and the transcendental jewel named Kaustubha. He wore a yellow garments, covered by a belt, and He was decorated by a flower garland, surrounded by bees. Manifesting Himself in this way, O King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose activities are wonderful, covered the entire surface of the earth with one footstep, the sky with His body, and all directions with His arms.
"As the Lord took His second step, He covered the heavenly planets, and not even a spot remained for the third step, for the Lord's foot extended higher and higher, beyond Mahaloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and even Satyaloka."
(Taken from Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.20.22-34)
Lord Vamanadev'a lotus feet reached even the topmost planet of Lord Brahma, which Vamamdeva easily diminished the beauty of by just the effulgence from His toenails. Lord Vamamdeva's lotus feet pierced the outer coverings of the universe and the sacreed Ganges began to flor. Lord Brahma also washed the Lord's feet at Brahmaloka with Ganges water from His Kamandalu, surely this is the same Lord Narayana who lays on the Causal ocean, and Who is appearing as the Ganges Himself. This same Ganges purifies all the three worlds.
Lord Brahma and all the pedominating deities of various planetary systems began to worship Lordf Vamanadeva. As the Lord returned to the form of a small brahmin boy, they worshipped Him with sixteen varities of puja articles, all kinds of foodstuffs, prayers, and jubilent shouts of "jaya jaya".
When Bali Maharaja's soldiers, seeing the Lord take everything, they became nvious and tried to attack the Lord, but they were stopped by the Lord's associates. Bali Maharaja, seeing his own soldiers being killed, remembered the curse of Sukracarya and told his soldiers not to fight.
Bali Maharja was then arrested by Lord Vishnu having lost everything. The Lord then spoke, "Bali Maharaja, as far as the sun and moon shine and clouds rain all that land is yours. But with my first step I have occupied Bhurloka which is all this, and with My body I have occupied the entire sky and all directions. And in your presence with My second step I have occupied the upper planetary systems. Now, where shall I place My third step? Because you have been unable to give charity according to your promise, the injunction is that you have to go down to live in the hellish planets. So now inaccordance with the curse of your guru Sukracarya, go there and live, but because you are being sent there by Me, you will live like the king of heaven there."
Bali Maharaja specifically remembered Prahlad Maharaja in his tolerant mood of devotional service. In This way he decided to surrender his very life by offering his head in charity for the third step of Lord Vamanadeva to be placed. By Bali Maharaja's intense meditation on his grandfather Prahlad Maharajam Prahlad appeared there before him. When Prahlad saw Lord Vamamdeva he paid obeisances with his head and begged for the Lord's mercy to be shown to his grandson Bali. Bali Maharaja's wife Vindhyvali and Lord Brahma also approached the Lord in this way.
"By offering even a litte water, newly grown grass, or flowering tulasi buds at Your lotus feet, those who maintain no mental duplicity can achieve the most exhalted postion within the spiritual world. So this Bali Mahraja completely, without duplicity, has now offered everything in the three word to You. Please fo not arrest him and punish him. He does not deserve it."
The Lord then spoke saying, "Due to false pride of having material opulence, one become mad and has no respect for anyone and even defies My authority. To such a person I show them my special mercy and thake away everything they have. In the cycle of birth and death they come by good fortune to this human form of life, which is rarely obtained.
"Although being born in an aristocratic family or opulent vaisya family, it can be an impediment to devotional life, due to false prestige and pride. These opulences never disturb My pure devotee. Bali Maharaja is My pure devotee, and although now bereft of all riches, defeated and arrested by the ropes of Varuna, deserted by friends and relatives, chastised by his materialistic guru - still he is fixed in his words to Me. Thus he will always be famous and will live on a special planet created by My order, made by Visvakarma. This planet is Sutala, and it is always free fram fatigue, mental and bodily miseries, dizziness, defeat and other disturbances. Now you may go there and live peacefully , protected by My Sudarsana disc. "
In Madhvacarya's deep meditation, he then dwelt driefly on the pastimes of Lord Parasurama. Being of the Parasuramaksetra, the Lord's pastimes in this form were well known to Madhva.
Madhva Vijaya 8.18 glorifies the warrior incarnation of Lord Naraya as being the foremost personality, Who, as an empowered sakyavesa avatara, made His appearance in the family of Bhrgu, and so is known as Bhrgupati. Duraing this time the ksatriya (warrior - administrator, kingly) class of men had become devious in their ruling. They had become proud because of the influence of the mdoes of passion and ignorance. Not listening to the good advice of the peaceful brahmins, they became vicious, rampaging the earth that they were meant to protect. One in particular, of the name Kartaviryarjuna, the King of the Haiahaya people, had recied a boon from Lord Dattatreya, the plenary expansion of Lord Vishnu. This boon consisted of having one thousand arms on his body. He also was undefeatable by his enemies and received unobstructed sensory power, beauty, influence, strength, fame, and all mystic powers, such as becoming lighter than the lightest, heavier than the heaviest, creating and destroying planets at will, becoming bigger than the biggest and smaller than the smallest, and being able to collect anything from anywhere just by desiring it, etc. Due to his pride of having received all these opulences he became unimaginably proud, and rode all over the earth in his golden chariot menacing the innocent peoples.
Not being satisfied with this reign of terror, the puffed-up rascal and his men headed for Indra's abode. He rampaged through the heavenly gardens where Indra was sitting, resting with his wife. Indra though to himself, that this had gone too far. So combined, all the saitnly brahmanas, rsis and sages, along with the denizens of the heavenly planets, approached Lord Vishnu for help. At this time, Lord Vishnu revealed His plan of appearing as a celebrated incarnation in the form of a brahmin, but with extraordinary powers to rectify this henious situation.
Remembering the unusual circumstances that King Gadhi, the father of Visvamitra (Brahmarsi) gave before he would allow Rcika to marry his daughter Satyavati, King Gadhi told the brahmana Rcika, "My dear sir, because I belong to the dynasty of Kusa, and because we are aritocratic ksatriyas, you have to give some dowry for my daughter. Therefore, bring at least one thousand horses, each as brilliant as moonshine and each having one black ear; left or right, it doesn't matter."
By this demand of King Gadhi, Rcika could understand that the King considered him unworthy and was making things difficult for him to achieve. Therefore Rcika went and appealed to the demigod Varuna (the father of Laxmi devi) and brough from him one thousand pure white horses, with one black ear as King Gadhi had demanded. After delivering these fine horses, the sage was presented with the beautiful Satyavati. After a short time Satyavati began to desire a son. At the same time, Satyavati's mother also desired a son. Each of them requested the learned brahmin Rcika to prepare some caru (sweet rice) as an offering for the sacrifical fire. Preparing the offering for his wife with the brahmana mantram, and the caru for his mother-in-law with the ksatriya mantram, he then went to take his bath before giving it to them.
Thinking that because the husband will naturall have more affection for his own wife rather than for the mother-in-law, the mother-in-law snuck unside and took the caru intended for Satyavati, thinking it to be the caru intended for her. Consequently Satyavati partook of the caru meant for the ksatriya's wife. On Rcika's return, he could immediately understand what had happened, and approached his wife Satyavati. Rcika said to her, "You have done a great wrong. Your son will be a fierce ksatriya, able to punish everyone, and your brother will be a learned scholar, wise in the spiritual science."
Satyavati begged that her son not be a fierce ksatriya from the great muni who was her husband. Rcika relented and said, "Then your grandson will be of that ksatriya spirit." In due course Jamadagni was born of Satyavati, who, after giving up her body, later took on the form of the sacred rive Kausiki to purify the entire world, and her son Jamadagni married Renuka, the daughter of Renu. Of this marriage, many sons were born, headed by Vasuman the elderst, and the youngest of them was named Rama, later to be Parasurama.
Though the youngest of five sons, he was extremely powerful. Even in their childhood wrestling and play his physical strength and stamina and heroic feats would leave all of his play mates teary-eyed and wondering, sometimes painfully, at young Rama. In weaponry he was expert and powerful, and as he grew into a galiant youth, his determination, chivalry and courage knew no bounds. One day, this youth of ksatriya mood, approached his father Jamadagi to as permission that he may go to Gandgamadana Mountain to perform austerities to achieve the favour of Lord Siva. Jamadagni, though he didn't want to loose his son, gave his blessings.
The youthful Rama then went and appeased Lord Siva, who gave Rama a bow and a parasu (battle axe). Then he gave his blessings on how to use them. Thus blessed by his warrior guru, he returned to his father's asrama. From that day on he was known as Parasurama.
Once, the arrogant Kartaviryarjuna was sporting in the waters of the saced Narmada River with many beautiful women. He was garlanded with the victory garland due to his defeating all the kings in all the kingdoms of the earth. Whilst playing in the river with these beautiful women, Kartaviryarjuna, for fun, blocked the river and made the waters flow backwards.
Nearby on the bank of the Narmada was camped the ten-headed demon Ravana, just outside the town of Mahismati. Deu to the blackage and backward flow of the river, Ravana's camp was inundated with water. Ravana, at the time, was on his own dig vijay campaign, trying to show his superiority to all that be. finding that it was none other than his enemy Kartaviryarjuna who had caused this, Ravana attacked him, hurling insults in the presence of the beautiful women, and thus offending him greatly. In Kartaviryarjuna's rage, he easily captured Ravana and imprisoned him inside the city of Mahismati Pura, and just to add further insult to him, Kartaviryarjuna released him almost out of neglect as if he didn't matter.
Kartaviryarjuna once was wandering without a real purpose in the forest, from time to time hunting or relaxing, when he approached the hermitage of the sage Jamadagni. Upon reaching that place, Jamadagni and his wife received him and his army nicely, and supplied all necessities for their needs, for Jamadagni had in his possession the wishfulfilling Kamadhenu cow.
Kartaviryarjuna wore a jewel in the shape of a Kamadhenu cow which gave him all opulence, and so he was not impressed by the reception given by the sage. Instead he wanted to, and indeed did, take the Kamadhenu cow of Jamadagni. Out of his arrogance and false pride he also insulted Parasurama in his absence, boasting himself to be more powerful than Parasurama.
On Parasurama's return to his father's asrama, he heard of what Kartaviryarjuna had done. Now, being more angry than a snake that has been trampled upon, Parasurama took off after Kartaviryarjuna just as a lion chases an elephant. As Kartaviryarjuna entered his capital Mahismatipura, Parasurama, the best of the Bhrgu dynasty, closed in on his prey, holding his battle axe, shield, bow and arrosw, his body covered with a black deerskin, and matted locks of hair on his head. When Kartaviryarjuna saw Parasurama, he feared for his life and sent seventeen aksauhini to attack him. (One aksauhini equals 21,870 chariots and elephants, 109350 infantry soldiers, and 65,610 horses.) They were all equipped with clubs, swords, arrows, rstis, sataghnis, saktis, and many similar weapons to fight against Parasurama, but Parasurama killed all of them alone, and unaided. As he tore through their ranks like the wind, moving at the speed of the mind, he left trails of dismembered corpses muddying the ground in their own blood.
Seeing his army devastated, mad with rage, Kartaviryarjuna rushed to the battle field. with his one thousand arms he similtaneously fired thousands of arrows at Parasurama, but the mighty Parasurama released for his one bow enough arrows faster than inaginable and countered all the arrows of Kartaviryarjuna, not only countering the arrows, but cutting all one thousand of his bows to pieces. Kartaviryarjuna then started throwing uprooted trees and boulders at Parasurama with the idea of killing him. Parasurama then used his axe with great force to cut off Kartaviryarjuna's arms and finally his head.
When Kartaviryarjuna's ten thousand sons saw the remains of their father's dismembered body lying in the pool of his own blood, the fled in fear. Kartavirayarjuna was actaully cursed to be put into this situation by the sage Apava who was in his ofrest cave meditating, performing penances and austerities, when Agnideva, the fire god, appraoched Kartaviryarjuna and asked for food. Food for Agni meant wood, and so Kartaviryarjuna told Agni to take as much forest as he needed in this direction... Agni then devoured cast areas of forests and mountains throughout the entire territory, consuming every twig in his path, including the place where Apava Muni had his hermitage in the forest. Apava, knowing that Kartaviryarjuna was behind this, cursed him to be killed by the powerful incan\rnation of Lord Vishnu of the name Parasurama.
After killing Kartavitya, Parasurama picked up the Kamadhenu cow and brought it back with it's calf to the asrama of Jamadagni. When Parasurama told his father of what had happened, the soft hearted brahmin said to his son, Parasurama, that actually he had committed a sin in killing a king who is supposed to be the embodiment of all the demigods. "It is because of Lord Brahma's being the supreme spiritual master, full in brahminical qualities like forgiveness, tolerance, etc, that he attained his post of loka-guru. The duty of brahmins is to culture the quality of forgiveness."
Jamadagni suggested to his son to attone by visiting all the holy places and taking shelter of saintly persons who reside there. Thus he would be released from the sinful reaction. (Jamadagni did not see his son as the powerful incarnation of the Lord.) And so, for one year Parasurama visited all the holy places, and then returned to his father's asrama.
Once, when Jamadagni's wife renuka went to the bank of the Ganges to collect water, she saw the king of the Gandharvas decorated with a garland of lotuses and sporting in the waters of the Ganges with celestial Apsara women. Though she had gone there to bring water for the Ganges to be used in her husband's daily fire sacrifice, upon seeing this handsome Gandharva, Citraratha, sporting with these beautiful damsels, her mind became overwhelmed with lusty desires. Fearing her husband's wrath, being late for the yajna, she returned to his asrama and palced the water ot before him. Immediately upon her arrival, without even discussion, Jamadagni knew her mind, and ordered his sons to kill this sinful women. Her sons refused to do so, until Jamadagni told Parasurama, "Kill this sinful woman!" Parasurama picked up his axe and killed her without a second thought. "Now kill your brothers who disobeyed my order!" Parasurama did it immediately. Jamadagni then said to Parasurama, "You have pleased me greatly. If there is anything you may desire, now ask that of me."
"Let my mother and brothers live again, but not remember being killed by me. This is all I ask." Everything returned to normal, as if they had just awoke from sleep.
Parasurama and his brothers then went out into the forest. At this time the revengeful sons of the wicked Kartaviryarjuna attacked the asrama of Jamadagni, taking the opportunity of the absence of Parasurama and his brothers. The wicked vengeful sons of Kartaviryarjuna saw Jamadagni sitting in meditation next to the sacrifical fire, purifying his consciousness by dhyana (meditation) before starting his oblations. Taking this opportunity, they slayed him there on the spot. Renuka begged for the life of her husband, but these low class ksatriyas who were devoid of Ksatriya principles, cut off Jamadagni's head and took it away. Renuka called for her young son Rama, and within a short time he appeared there. On his arrival Parasurama, eyes red like the fire of devastation, took up his battle axe and vowed to kill every ksatriya starting with the sinful sons of Kartaviryarjuna.
In the midst of the city of Mahismati, he started his rampage by making a mountain of heads, severed from their sinful bodies. For all to see, Parasurama created a river of blood of those sinful ksatriyas who had no respect for brahminical culture. Then, touring the planet looking for ksatriyas, he made no distinction between pious or sinful - "Are you a ksatriya?" - "Yes!" - Chop. In this way he went on until he had finally removed the burden of the earth. Parasurama had made twenty one tours of the earth, thus killing twenty one generations of ksatriyas. With the blood he filled five lakes known as Samanta-Pancaka at Kuruksetra. Parasurama;s pleas was that ksatriyas had killed his father, but the face was that the ksatriyas were not protecting any of the innocent citizens. Their position was inauspicious as they had become polluted by power and had rejected their actual dharma. Kshatri means one who frees one from harm, but the skatriyas had actually become a race of ksatriyabruva (wicked rulers).
All the forefathers, including Rcika, now appeared before Parasurama and told him that enough killing had been done, and that now the burden of the earth had been lifted, they were appeased. As atonement Parasurama joined his dead father's head and body together and placed the whole body on kusa grass and performed a sacrifice to please the Supersoul of all beings, Lord Shri Krishna. At the time of the yajna, Lord Parasurama, as daksina to the brahmanas, gave the eastern direction to the hotri (he who offers oblations into the fire) and the southern direction to the Brahma or chief priest. The western direction he gave to the adhvaryu - the runner, or the one who set up the yajna. To the udgatri, the chanter of the beautiful samaveda, he gave the northern direction, and the four corners he gave to other assisting priests. He also gave the middle to Kasyapa, and the tract of land known as Aryavarta from the Himalayas to the Vindhya Hills to the upadeasta desica - umpire priest. Parasurama also gave all the lands conquered by him to Kasyapa, as the chief priest.
Kasyapa now requested Parasurma to reside in his lands, to go south and reside in that land next to the western ghats. After this Parasurama took his avabhrtha (ritualistic bath at the end of the yajna) standing in the River Sarasvati.
By this great sacrifice Jamadagni was brought back to life and obtained to the Saptarsi Mandala, which orbits the pole star, Dhruva Loka. This constellation can be seen every night in the north where the seven sages reside (Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja).
This area of Karnataka - Kerala - the western ghats, is as dear to madhvacarya as it is to Lord Parasurama. Madhvacarya made his appearance in the Parasurama Ksetra at Pajaksetra, nearby Udupi.
Madhvacarya, who is the expansion of Lord Vayu and who previously appeared as Hanuman, then absorbed himself in the essence of the wonderful pastimes of Lord Rama, the son of King Dasaratha descended from Raghu in the Surya (Sun) dynasty.
When the Lord descended in this way from the postion of Narayana, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, the quadruple Purushas descended together along with Laxmi. Vasudeva became Lord Ramacandra, Sankarsana became Laxman, Pradyumna became Bharata, Aniruddha became Satrughna, and Laxmi devi became Shrimati Sita devi.That same Lord Narayana thus appeared with His associates, Laxman being Sesa, Bharata His sudarsana cakra, Satrughna His sankha conchscell, and Laxmi the beautiful lotus flower.
Madhvacarya looked with great affection towards Shrila Vyasadeva and lovingly remembered how previously Vyasa had taken His pastimes to be with and tell the pastimes of the best of kings, Lord Rama. Vyasa, the literary incanraion of the Lord, then Himself appeared as Valmiki.
Previously Valmiki, having the name Ratnakara, was living in the forest, and to amintain his fmaily he would kill and rob passers through the forest. Some days he would come back with not very much, to which his demanding wife would reply to his entrance, "Is that all you've brought?" "Be patient dear, tomorrow a group of rich merchants will pass through the forest and I will relieve them of their wealth, " he would dutifully reply.
One day seven great sages [assed through the forest. Ratnakara stopped them with his usual demands for their wealth or their lives. The sages replied that they were actually in the renounced order, and did not possess any wealth. They then asked the robber why he robbed as a profession. Ratnakara replied that he had to maintain his family, and robbery was his only means of livelihood. The sages asked him if his family, who live on the fruits of his sinful activities, would partake of the results of his sins also, and told him to go and ask them and then come back with their answer.
Ratnakra seemed to think they would be with him completely, however when the robber asked his wife and son if they would also share in the resultant reactons to his sins as well as the fruits, they both replied, No! You are the sinner. Why should we share your sins?"
Devastated at the replies from his so-called loved ones, in tears he returned to the sages. Throwing himself at their feet he begged for their mercy and forgiveness. The sages told Ratnakara to chant the holy name of Rama, but Ratnakra stated that he had always preferred to chant Mara, or death. Anyway, those Saptarishis, who are full of compassion told him to just sit there and recite Mara continuously. As he chanted maramaramaramara continuously like that, the holy name of ramaramarama gradually became manifest. Sitting and chanting in this way in deep absorbtion on the holy name of the Lord, he sat for months and years, until finally his body became covered over by a valmiki (ant hill).
One day, many years later, the seven great sages returned and called to the now reformed robber. Bursting from the ant hill, the pleased sages gave him the new name Valmiki. By the costant and intense devotion of Valmiki Muni, best among the Rsis, he had meditated on the holy name of Lord Rama, even at first unknowingly, but the potency of the holy name acts whether chanted knowingly, unknowingly, or even in a mocking way.
Valmiki, now surcharged with spiritual potency, became respected everywhere by saintly devotees of the Lord. At this time, Narada Muni came to see Valmiki. Valmiki, accepting Narada as his eternal spiritual master, enquired from him as to who among men is the most perfect. Narada Muni said that King Rama, the King of Ayodhya, is the most perfect person, for He is the Personality of Godhead Narayana Himself. Then Narada Muni narrated the full story of the ramayana - the wonderful life story of Lord rama, after which he took his leave.
Valmiki thought of nothing else, for he was always abosrbed in thoughts of Rama. Once Valmiki, with some of his sisyas (students) headed for the Tamasa River for bathing, as Valmiki deshribed the glories of the Lord's creation - the river, the forest, the animals and birds who have taken shelter of the forest, h saw two kraunch birds in a tree, in courtship. Then in a second, a hunter pierced the male bird with an arrow and the bird fell to the ground, dead. The female bird, in despair, wailed in grieving tones for her mate.
Valmiki said, even to his own surprise, to the hunter in perfect rhyme,
ma nisada pratistham tvam agamah sasvatissamah
yat krauncamithunad ekam avadhih kamamohitam
"O hunter! May you ne'er be blest,
nor reach the realm of timeless rest,
for thou hast rent this kraunch-pari,
while they were joined in love most rare."
Valmiki Ramayana 1.2.14
As soon as he said these very peotic words, which were born out of grief (shoka), he had realized that a new format of stanze had come about. Later as Valmiki wrote down the Ramayana, the Sankshrit shoka becam shloka, the poetry of his writing.
Lord Brahma personally came and instructed Valmiki Muni, who had heard perfectly from Narada Muni the story of Rama, to write down the epic Ramayana. Empowered by guru, he propounded these following pastimes.
Acarya Madhva, in brief, relished the intensity of the life of Lord Rama, son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, and his queen Kausalya.
Dasaratha had two other wives of the names Queen Sumitra and Queen Kaikeyi. Laxman and satrughna were born to Sumitra and Bharata was born to Kaikeyi.
This incident is no ordinary thing not only from the view point of these wonderful pastimes of Lord Rama,but from the view of Acarya Madhwa,this incident propounded the living truth of Madhwa's philosophy.
When Rama was sixteen years of age the sage Visvamitra came to Ayodhya and requested Dasaratha to allow Prince Rama to go to the forest with him. Visvamitra told Dasaratha that raksasas, man eating demons, were constantly disturbing the sacrifical fires of the brahmins in the forest. Visvamitra Muni insisted that Rama, though you, was the only one who could perform the task, and so Rama, accompanied by Laxman, his devoted brother, went with Visvamitra to the forest.
To show to their devotees that they were independant and superior to even hordes of raksasas and raksasis who had received temporary material boons from various demigods,who in themselves were dependant on the Supreme Lord who now appeared before them in the form of a mortal king.
Practically as soon as they entered the forest, Tataka, the raksasi attacked the party.
tam apatantim vegena vikrantam asanimiva
sarebirasi vivyadha sa papata mamara ca
"She (Tataka) ran at Rama in a flash like lightning. But rama sent an arrow into her breast and she fell down dead on the ground."
Valmiki Ramayana 1.25.14
Visvamitra then taught Lord Rama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, how to master the art of weaponry, using mantra astra weapons of all magical types. Visvamitra, being a great brahmin, knew all the Vedas, including the Dhanur Veda, governing warfare and weaponry.
After desposing of the demons that were causing a disturbance to the sages' sacrifices, Shri Rama, his brother Laxman, and Visvamitra then headed north to the beautiful town of Mithila which was ruled by King Janaka, hearing that there was to be the svayamvara of Janakaraja's impeccable and chaste daughter, the Princess Sita.44
atha me krsatah ksetram langalad utthita mama
ksetram sodhayata labdha namna siteti visruta
"(King Janaka recalled), "And as I was tilling the fround, a girl-child came out from under the plow. I gathered her up as I cleared that field, and I have named her 'Sita" after that furrow."
Valmiki Ramayana 1.65.14
King Janaka put a challenge out to the many suitors to come and win the lovely Sita's devi's hand as their wife. Janakaraja had stated, "Come to Mithila in the kingdom of Videha, come and string the great bow of Lord Siva and win the hand of my daughterr. Any Prince who can do this surely will be qualified." Princes and Kings from all over came, even Ravana, the king of the demons, but none could even lift the bow individually or collectively, what to speak of stringing the famed Haradhanu of Lord Siva. That is, none except the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the crest jewle of the Surya Vamsa dynasty, "Raghu Pati" Rama. Without even the slightest effort, Lord Rama, with one hand, raised that mighty bow that was sheeled into the assembly by five hundred men carriers. Not only did Rama raise the bow, he strung it and then as he flexed the bow string, he broke that bow. Who can imagine the potency of Lord Rama? Upon winning the hand of Sita devi, everyone in the assembly was extremely pleased. Mother Sita then garlanded her Lord and that day their wedding was performed by expert brahmins.
Lord Rama and Mother Sita returned to Ayodhya where they lived for many years happily. Everyone loved the divine couple and because of their presence, Ayodhya prospered. In due course, Rama's aged father Dasaratha, announded his desire to retire and give up the throne, and that his eldest son, rama, was to become heir apparent ot the throne. All kinds of lavish arrangements were made and the whole of Ayodhya was decorated like a beautiful bride awaiting her husband.
But fate knew of another plan - the envious hunchback maidservant Manthara, who served Queen Kaikeyi the mother of Bharata, verbally tried to poison Kaikeyi's mind. She suggested to Kaikeyi that actually her son, Bharata, should be King and not Rama. If Rama became King, surely Kaikeyi would be banished or treated like a second class person, and made to serve them hand and foot. Keikeyi could not believe such things, but with the constant bagging of the wicked Manthara, she became infected and weakened, just as sense gratification ruins a brahmin's austerity even though taken in small doses. Becoming covered over by the nagging Manthara, Kaikeyi belived what she said was true, and Manthara manipulated the weakened Kaikeyi into her plot. Manthara said to Kaikeyi,
"Do you remember the time when Dasaratha was once wounded in battle and you alone saved him from death at the hands of his enemy? For your devotion to him and your valour, he gave you two boons. However you chose not to request those boons until you wanted them Kaikeyi, Now request those boons - ask that Bharata be made King and that Rama be sent ot the forest in exile for fourteen years. Do this Kaikeyi and you will be happy."
Kaikeyi sent a messenger to King Dasaratha and he came to her rooms. She then made her demands. Dasaratha, obliged to fulfill her boons, consented to her wish. Poor Dasaratha then collapsed, almost dead. "O Rama, what have I done?" He remembered the curse of an old couple in the forest when he inadvertantly killed their son. Mistaking the gurgling sound of the boy filling his water pot for an elephant drinking at the river, he pierced and killed him. The old blind couple (his parents) cursed Dasaratha that he would also loose his son when he wanted him most.
"O, the reactions of past deeds eventually catch everyone, for every action has it's concominant reaction."
Dasaratha sent for Rama, and on his arrival he heard the words that his father had promised to Kaikeyi - the instructions of going to the forest. Lord Rama, to keep his father's promise intact, prepared himself to go the forest for fourteen years. On hearing this, Sita and Laxman convinced Rama to allow them to go as well, and they all donned tree bark clothing, giving up costly silks and jewels, and took to having matted hair.
The citizens of Ayodhya were up in arms, begging Rama, Laxman and Sita to stay. Upon hearing their plea denied, they said then they would also accompany Rama to the firest. Rama however would not let the citizens accompany him into the forest, though the whole city was ready to go. They accompanied the trio to the edge of the forest, but at their night resting place on the far edge of the kingdom, Rama Sita and Laxman slipped away unnoticed. Heading south they crossed the Rivers Tamasa, Vedasruti and Gomati, before finally reaching the Ganges. There Rama, Sita and Laxman met the chief of the hunter tribe by the name Guha, who supplied them with a boat to cross the Ganges. At this time they bade farewell to the chariot driver Sumantra and to Ayodhya.
In Ayodhya, King Dasaratha, out of intense separation, gave up his very life in constant remembrance of Rama. When Bharata arrived back in Ayodhya after spending some time at his maternal parents' house, he found out what his mother had been a party to. With all of his army he took off to the forest to try to request Rama, Sita and Laxman to return.
Seeing the forest animals disturbed and a great movement of dust heading their way, Rama could understand that Bharata and his army had come from Ayodhya. Enquiring as to the welfare of his dear father, Bharata made the sad report that their father had passed from this world and had gone to the spiritual world. Bharata stated that he didn't want to be king, and that Rama should come back and take the throne. When Rama declined, Bharata, in great humility, put on tree bark clothing, rubbed the sap of bhurja (a kind a birch tree) into his own hair, and begging at Rama's lotus feet, asked Rama for his karam chappels (wooded peg shoes). Rama stepped out of his peg shoes and Bharata placed them on his own head. "Rama, if you will not come back, then I will rule on your behalf, placing your worshipful shoes on the throne, I Prince Bharata, will report to your tadiya (worshipful paraphernalia) daily, the activities of Ayodhya until your return." Bharata then returned to Ayodhya and for fourteen years ruled Ayodhya in that way.
Meanwhile, rama, Sita and Laxman pushed on further south, and met the sage Atri and his good wife Anasurya (the parents of Durvasa Muni). Staying with them for one night, Rama and Sita rejoined Laxman to head further south and into the Dandaka forest.
Rama protected Sita from the onslaught of the raksasa Viradha, who was really a demigod cursed to roam in the forest, and who would be freed by the touch of Rama. The freed Viradha told rama, Sita and Laxman to go further into the forest. Doing so, they arrived at the asrama of the sages headed by Sutiksna, who welcomed the party very pleasingly. Rama, Sita and Laxman stayed for some years at the sage's asrama as their protectors. During Rama's stay, these ascetics knew the peach and tranquility they constantly sought, living lives of recluse in the forest with their Lord.
Rama then moved further south with Sita and Laxman to the asrama of Agastya Muni. The stern and bold Muni bestowed all kinds of mystical weapons upon Rama, and told him of Pancavati just sixteen miles from there. Pancavati is beautiful and abundant wiht all kinds of natural opulences, such as fruit bearing trees and bushes, root crops, fresh water, and deer.
Rama, Sita and Laxman went to that beautiful place, Pancavati, and stayed there happily for quite some time. Many seasons came and went and they all enjoyed their new forest home. from time to time Rama and Sita would explore the forest, enjoying the wonders that nature manifests. All the animals, birds, trees and creepers of the forest were pleased to be there with the Lord and His divine consort, Mother Sita, served and watched over by theprotective Laxman.
Then, one daym the sister of the King of the demons came by Pancavati, the ugly, hunch backed demoness, Surpanakha. She saw rama and immediately wanted him for herself. Surpanakha, (which means one whose nails resemble a winnowing backet or sieve) lusty and overcome with passion, with copper coloured hair, large belly, deformed eyes and harsh croaking voice, said to Rama, "Wearing matted locks and dressed in the barg of an ascetic, wielding a bow and arrows, and accompanied with your wife, how have you come to this region frequented by agres? What is the object of your visit? Please tell me why."
Rama told Surpanakha the whole story so far. Surpanakha then glorified her own lineage - her father Visrava, her demoniac brothers Ravana, Kumbakarna, Khara and Dusana, and Vibhisana who was not really an ogre at all, being of a pious nature. Then Surpanakha glorified herself saying how she surpassed all of them. "O Rama, ever since I set eyes on you I wanted you for my husband. I am richly endowed with power, therefore be my husbnad. Forget this Sita. What can you accomplish with her? She is ugly and deformed too, she is not worthy of you."
Rama, laughung replied, "I am already married and for you to be a co-wife would be most painful. But here is my younger brother Laxman, glorious and brave, strong, handsome and unmarried. Accept him as your husband charming lady."
Surpanakha spoke to Laxman, "Come with me. I shall be your wife. Possessed as I am with nice complexion, let us wander through the Dandaka forest together and enjoy bodily delights."
Laxman replied, "I am just a servant of Rama. How could you want to become a maidservant. You should insist that Rama accept you as his wife."
"Yes" said Surpanakha. "Why Rama do you cling to this hideous human lady, deformed with a sunken belly. I will devour her today then you will marry me, Rama."
As the demoness ran at Sita to devour her, Laxman drew his sword and cut off Surpanakha's nose and ears. Yelling and cursing, the demoness covered in her own blood, ran into the forest screaming.See how the faithful Laxman was always ready to serve the divine couple in a selfless manner.
Surpanakha returned to her brothers Khara and Dusana, who then, with their entire armies attacked Rama. Killing all of their fourteen thousand raksasas with the mystical weapons given by Agastya, Rama emerged victorious. Hearing of this, Ravana planned to go to Pancavati. With red eyes full of lust and anger, the demon Ravana took advice from the demon Akampana and desired revenge for his sister and brothers.
When Ravan approached Pancavati to distract Lord Rama from the asrama, he sent Marica the magician, the son of Tataka, disguised in the form of a golden deer with silver spots. Sita, wanting that deer, asked Rama to get it for her. Laxman feared a trick, for it was too attractive a deer to be real. Rama went to the forest and with an arrow, shot the deer as Lord Siva killed Daksa.[JCD22] The fake deer let out cries of Laxman, come help me!" before it died, revealing it's true form as Marica.
Laxman was reluctant to leave Sita alone for fear of Raksasa tricks. Sita, however, forced Laxman to go to rama even though Rama had told Laxman not to leave her. Sita suggested to Laxman that the real reason he didn't want to go to see if Rama was alright was that really all these years Laxman had been waiting for the opportune moment to himself take Sita. Laxman was bitterly hurt by this. Sita called him an ignoble and merciless enemy of his righteous brother. Bereft of her Rama, Sita was ready to throw herself into the Godavari River or even hang herself. Somehow or other casting off her bodily circumstances or even drinking strong poison or enter into fire. Never would she consider another partner other than Rama.
Aranya Kanda, Canto 45.35-37, Valmiki Ramayana
Laxman, unable to bear Sita's torment any longer, conceded to go and look for rama.
Soon after Laxman's leaving the asrama, the demon Ravana, the younger half brother of the yaksa treasurer, Kuvera, came by as per plan dressed as a mendicant. He was dressed in saffron robes, wearing sikha and carrying an umbrella on his right shoulder. In his left hand he was carrying a sannyasi danda and a kamandalu fashioned from a coconut shell for carrying water. At the sight of the ten headed Ravan dressed as a wandering mendicant trying to trick Sita, even the sacred Godavari River which has a swift current, slowed and in places ran backwards out of fear. Ravana chanting Vedic mantra to make Sita think he was saintly, then approached her with lust in his heart.
"O lady, you possess a beautiful counternance. Decorated in gold and silver and dressed in yellow silk, your eyes, hands and feet are like lotuses. Are you Hri (the goddess residing over modesty), Shri (the goddess of elegance) or Kirti (the goddess of fame). Are you Laxmi (the goddess of fortune), Bhuti (the goddess of mystic powers) or Rati (the goddess of bodily love, the consort of Kamadeva-Cupid). Your smooth white teeth like jasmine buds, and your large clear eyes tinged at the endges with red and large dark pupils. Your broad and fleshy hips............ etc etc." the lusty rascal continued.
Aranya Khanda Valmiki Ramanayana Canto 45.15-28
Sita received her guest well and offered him some nice foodstuffs. Over the meal Ravana enquired all about her. He then asked Sita to become his principle queen. Ravana glorified himself as the king of the demons. Sita rebuked the approaches of ravana and tried to get away, but ravana captured her. Returning to his normal form with ten heads, he summoned his chariot drawn by donkeys. Sita still verbally challenged him as she was carried away. Saying, "It may be possible to survive after the abduction of Sacchi the consort of Indra, but to try to do this to the consort of Rama, you will never find peace."
"Just as a tiger seizes unprotected sheep when the shepherd is absent, Ravana kidnapped Sitadevi the daughter of the King of Videha. Then Lord ramacandra wandered in the forest with his brother Laxman as if they were very muc distressed due to separation from rama's wife. Thus he showed by his personal example the condition of a person attached to women." (SB 9.10.11) This was his pastime.
When Ravana kidnapped Sitasdevi he was obstructed by Jatayu the eagle friend of King Dasaratha, but the powerful Ravana cut off the valiant Jatayu's wings and claws in a fight that knocked Ravana from his flying chariot and left him bleeding from the attack of Jatayu.
When Rama came by that area later, he almost mistook the dying Jatayu for a demon. rama could see that a fight had taken place and then Jatayu revealed who he was, what had happened, and who had take mother Sita. Lord Rama then performed the funeral rite (antyesthi) for Jatayu.
As Ravan flew through the sky with mother Sita, she saw five monkey chiefs, and threw a small bundle of jewels in their direction, hoping that they may get word to Rama of what was happening to her. As they passed by the Pampa lake region, Ravana, delighted with himself, carried in his arms his own death personified, Sita. Finally they reached his island kingdom of Tripura (Lanka) and placed SItadevi in his own rooms and again approached her to become his queen. The pure hearted Sita refused again, and was then escorted to the Asoka garden by ugly and demonioac ogresses on the order of Ravana.
In the meantime, while Rama and Laxman looked in the forest for Sita, Rama killed the demon Kabandha, who, after revealing his true identity and how he was cursed to raom the forest, told Rama and Laxman to make friends with Sugreeva. Reaching the area of the vana (forest) where the Vanaras (a race of forest dwelling monkeys) live, he made friends with Sugreeva and other chiefs, and then killed Vali the brother and enemy of Sugreeva, the monkey king.
Lord Rama, with the aid of the monkeys, planned how to recover Sita from the king of the demons. Staying the four months of the rainy season at Hampi on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, the rainy seasons called caturmasya came and went. Aftyer the autumnal month of Kartiki, which is the fourth month of the rainy season, water cascades in the rivers and the hills are lush and green. This is the time for the Vanaras to go further south and turn upside down every place until they find where Ravana has hidden Sita.
The intoxicated Sugreeva needed to be reminded of his promise. Hanuman urged Surgeeva to collect his army to search out Rama's Sita. Laxman prepared to kill Sugreeva for breaking his promise, but was pacified by Rama. He then cast his angry eyes upon Prince Angada, who dragged out the intoxicated Sugreeva by his feet. He had been sleeping with Ruma (the aunt of Angada) and Angada's mother, Tara. Hanuman told Sugreeva to pacify Laxman and start the search for Sita.
When Sugriva commanded the vanaras to go in different directions to look for Sita,they each disclosed their capacities to jump across the sea,thus proving that all living entities are not one and the same for even the monkey soldiers had their limitations.( Tamekam matram param samartaha ),but Hanuman who has the biggest jumping power proved his supremecy over the others and flew through the air towards Lanka. Hanuman was the last to arrive back and amazingly, with good news. He had met Sitadevi, and she was safe and well, yet in deep separation from Rama.Upon hearing this Rama wanted to confere all kinds of boons upon the galiant Hanuman,but Hanuman only asked,"Let me be blessed that at every moment of my life it be filled with devotion for You without terms or conditions, this is my desire and let that only increase."This was the pure devotion of Hanuman.
The fact that Lord Rama controlled the masses of vanaras,who normally were figity and easily distracted proves not only that He is the well wisher of all living entities,but also the natural dependancy of all living entities on the Lord.Lord Rama prepared the Vanara armies and went to the farthest tip of land in the southern direction. Fasting for three days at that place, Dhanuskoti, Rama awaited Samudra, the ocean personified, to come before him. When Samudra did not come, the Lord exhibited his pastime of anger, and simply glancing ocer the ocean all the living entities within the ocean were struck with fear. Then Samudra, in a fearful state, approached Lord Rama candra. Worshipping him with sweet words and paraphernalia, Samudra said to rama that he and his Vanara army may cross to the abode of that demoniac person who is a source of distrubance and cause of crying for the three worlds, Ravana, by name and nature. sanudra continued by urging Rama to go now and kill the demons and reclaim his beloved wife.
everyone helped to construct a floating bridge across the ocean, which was made of the peaks of moutains and huge stone carried by the monkeys. Actually even the lesser physically endowed animals, and even insects, helped like the spider. All came to render service to Rama. At one stage Hanuman ridiculed the spider for him rolling small stones to help construct the bridge, but Rama rebuked this saying that his devotional service was just as valuable as that of the monkeys and bears who carried mountain peaks and logs.
After Vibhisana, Ravana's pious brother, tried to convince Ravana to give up Sita, and admit he had made a mistake, thus stopping the aforecoming destruction of Lanka and the dynasty of the demons. Ravana, full of materialistic false pride and arrogance, stubbornly maintained that he was right becoming angry at the good advice given by Vibhisana. Vibhisana flew through the sky across the ocean and joined Rama.
With the inside help given by Vibhisana, Rama, Laxman and the Vanara army headed by Sugreeva, NMila and Hanuman, entered Ravana's kingdom which had previously been devastated by fires set by Hanuman, the son of Vayu and a great battle ensued.
When RAva saw the disturbance created by the monkey soldiers, he called for Nikumba, Kumbha, Dhumraksa, Durmukha, Surantaka, Narantaka and other raksasas, and also his son, ZIndrajit. He then called for Prahasta, Atikaya, Vikampana and finally the gian Kumbhakarna, but one by one they were all vanquished by the army led by Rama and Laxman. Even thought the raksasas were materially very powerful, because their leader had done the worst thing of taking Mother Sita, they were all doomed.
Finally Ravana tried to attack Rama mounted on his aircraft, which was decorated with flowers. He rushed at Rama, but with his arrows Rama took off the deomn's ten heads one by one, but another head would simultaneously grow back. Rama smashed Ravana for seven days continuously. It seemed that the raksasa could not be killed, but then Vibhisana reminded Rama of where to get Ravana. Loading his bow with an especially powerful arrow given by Agastya Muni, Rama pierced deep into the raksasa king's heart like a thunderbolt. Ravana' vomitting blood from his ten mouths, fell from his airplane.
Madodari, the chase and faithful wife of Ravana, rushed to his side and collapsed at the sight of his dead body. Vibhisana looked on sorrowfully at the devastated Mandodari, but what could now be said. Vibhisana tried his utmost to warn Ravana and all of his dead accomplices, but they would not listen. Determined to fulfil his lusty materialistic desires for sense gratification and try to enjoy the property of the Lord, Ravana brought this catasrophy upon himself.
Vibhisana then approached and took shelter of Rama, who gave his approval to perform the funeral rites for the whole of the raksasa clan. Afterwards Vibhisana released Sitadevi and reunited her with Rama.
Sita was thing, aggrieved out of separation from her Lord, and Rama, seeing her in that condition, was compassionate though still a little distant due to her being away from home for some time in another man's house. Sita swore in a quavering voince that her purity of body and her chastity of heart were never touched by any of the raksasas. Distressed at Rama's doubt, Sita opted to enter into fire to prove her point.45
Agnideva personally carried out Sita unscathed from the fire and she resumed her place with Rama. As the real Sitadevi reappeared from the blazing fire dressed in fine yellow solken sari, Rama greeted her saying that he never for one moment doubted her purity or chastity, but that this whole ordeal was arranged to remove the doubts of the general populous.
Shrimati Sita devi is definitely the most chaste uttama patni (first class chaste wife), for she only had thoughts for rama - no other person entered her thoughts for even a second. In the four types of chaste women, the adama (fourth class), even though she has desires to associate with other men, has no opportunity. Obviously this is not Mother Sita, for the demon Ravana gave her every opportunity, but she had no interest in anyone other than Rama.
It is not either, as in the case of nikrist or the third class chaste women, who, out of fear of her husband, remains faithful to him. Rama is the most kind and compassionate husband who saw to Sita's every need. She didn't live in perpetual fear. In the nikrsit stage, social etiquette and prestige may also play an important restrictive role. But this is not Sita devi's situation for who other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Raghupati Rama, could offer an alternative, higher in value, to her, and in the forest where was the question of prestige?
In the second class Madhyama, the woman or wife sees every man other than her husband as either father, brother or son, and so who is that person to whom the chaste Madhyama will go to - no-one. Still even this is not Mother Sita, for no other consideration was there. She has no other desire or thought. Her humility supreme, alone in the forest full of danger, and on the isalnd of Lanka surrounded by raksasis, but she is so chaste that not for a second did she become separated from rama. her love was instead transferred in the mood of separation, intense and pure, and oinly for Rama.
Giving the kingdom of Lanka over to Vibhisana, Lord rama placed Mother Sita upon his flower decorated airplane puspaka, and accompanied by his intimate followers, Rama, his brother Laxman, Hanuman and Sugreeva returned to Ayodhya.
Upon his return, Lord Ramacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, heard that his brother Bharata, in his absence, was eating only barley cooked in the urine of a cow, living dressed in tree bark, sporting matted hair of an ascetic, and lying on a mattress of kusa grass.
"When Bharata understood that Lord Ramacandra was returning to the capital, Ayodhya, he immediately took upon his own head Lord Ramacandra's wooden shoes and came out from his camp at Nadigrama. Bharata was accompanied by ministers, priests and other respectable citizens, by professional musicians vibrating pleasing musical sounds, and by learned brahmanas loudly chanting Vedic hymns. Following in the procession were chariots drawn by beautiful horses with harnesses of golden rope. These chariots were decorated by flags with golden embroidery and by other flags of various sizes and patterns. There were soldiers bedecked with golden armour, servants bearing betel nnut, and many well-known and beautiful prostitutes. Many servants followed on foot, bearing umbrellas, whisks, different grades of precious jewels, and other paraphernalia befitting a royal reception. Accompanied in this way, Bharata, his heart softened in ecstacy and his eyes full of tears, approached Lord Ramacandra and fell at his lotus feet with great ecstatic love.
"After offering the wooden shoes before Lord Rama, Bharata stood with folded hands, his eyes full of tears, and Rama bathed Bharata with his own tears while embracing him with both arms for a long time. Accompanied by Mother Sita and Laxman, Rama then offered his respectful obeisances unto the learned brahmanas and the elderly persons in the family, and all the citizens of Ayodhya offered their respectful obeisances unto the Lord."
"The citzens of Ayodhya, upon seeing their king return after a long absence, offered him flower garlands, waved their upper cloths, and danced in great jubilation.
"Bharata carried Lord Rama's wooden shoes, Sugreeva and Vibhisana carried a whisk and an excellent peacock fan, Hanuman carried a white umbrella, Satrughna carried a bow and two quivers, and Sitadevi carried a water pot filled with water from all the holy places. Angada carried a sword, and Jambavan, king of the Rksas carried a golden shield." (SB 9.10.35-44)
Vasistha Muni, the purohit (priest) of the family, had Lord Rama clean shaven ready for the coronation installation. With the assistance of the elders of the family, the abhiskea, bathing ceremony, was performed with water from the four seas just as it was performed for King Indra. Clean shaven and dressed in fresh cloth and decorated with ornaments and garlands, being blessed by the full surrender and loving submission of Bharata, Lord Rama accepted the throne of state.
During the time when Rama ruled the kingdom there were no shortages of anything. Everyone was free of all bodily and mental suffering, old age, disease, fear, in fact, all inauspicious things had gone. No woman became a widowm lifespans stretched to one thousand years, families had many sons, rains fell in just the right amounts, just when they were needed, and neither a wild beast nor foreign enemy threatened the peace of the kingdom.Everyone in the kingdom lived very happily according to the tenants of sastra, thus absorbed in every aspect of the personification of the Lord,His name,fame,attributes,kingdom,law(sastra),and pastimes,though they lived on earth ,they lived in Vaikuntha.
Lord Rama took a vow of ekapatni - only to accept one wife, and thus even though as a ksatriya king he had no other connection with any other woman. By the character of Mother Sita, her submissiveness, shyness, chastity and faithfulness to Rama, She was always free from demands and materialistic desires for accululating mundane possessions like ordinary women due to her understanding attitude to her husband. Her loving service mood attracted the mind of the Lord, Sitadevi being the ideal wife.
Lord Rama and his younger brothers performed various Vedic sacrifices by which He worshipped Himself, and at the end of the jayna he gave land to the hota, adhvaryu, udgata and brahma priests. repsectively He gave them the eastern, wester, northern and southern directions according to their Veda, and the balance He gave to the acarya. Lord Rama's faith in the brahmins and affection for his servants was observed by all the brahmins who offfered their prayers to the Lord, and returned whatever they had taken from Him. They regarded the enlightenment given to them by the Lord within the core of their hearts as a sufficient constribution. Lord Rama then dressed himself like an ordinary person and began wandering within Ayodhya to understand what impression the citizens had of Him. By chance one night Rama heard a man tlking to his wife who had gone to another man's house. In the course of rebuking his wife, the man spoke detrimentally about the character of Sita devi, saying that he (the husband) is not like Rama who allows his wife to come back after staying at another's house. Rama immediately returned home, and fearing such rumours, he externally decided to give up the company of Sita devi. He sent her away to the asrama of Valmiki Muni. Sita, who was pregnant at the time, later gave birth to twin sons named Lava and Kusa.
Rama continued to perform many sacrifices during his ruling Ayodhya. At one such sacrifice, some fifteen years later, two boys came into the arena of the sacrifice while Rama was sitting on his asana. Valmiki had taught the boys the whole poem of the Ramayana and had put the story to a very beautiful and melodious tune. Valmiki, accompanying the two boys, asked Rama's permission so the boys could recite his poem. Rama gave permission, and the boys commenced in perfect unison.
Ramacandra Bhagavan was deeply stirred by the depth of the knowledge of him and his pastime. Night after night the recital continued until it came to Sita's ebandonment to Valmiki's asrama. Rama was then convinced they were his very own sons born to Mother Sita. He sent word to Valmiki that he should come with Sita and couch for her purity and faithfulness. If Sita was willing to come before the assembly and give proof of her innocence, she could resume her rightful place at her Lord's side.
Everyone agreed and the next day Sitadevi came. Everyone was touched at the sight of her, her head and eyes downcast, tears running down her bautiful face, her long hair chastely adorning her back.
iyam dasarathe sita suvrata dharmacarini
apapa te oparityakta mamasramasamipatah
lakopavadabhitasya tava rama mahavarata
pratyayam dasyate sita tamanujnatumarhasi
(Valmiki Ramayana Uttara Khanda 7.87.14-15)
Valmiki respectfully approached Rama saying, "O son of Dasaratha, here is your wife Sita. She has been staying in my asrama since you abandoned her, performing austerities. She is completely without blame and is pure and innocent. Due to your position as King you played the part that you feared public opinion may be detrimental for you, and so you have also performed severe austerities. However it is now proper that your impeccible wife be allowed to prove her own innocence."
Sita stood in silence, her eyes fixed on the ground without blinking. With folded hands she said, "If Rama has always been foremost in my heart, then may Mother Earth (Bhumi) herself deliver me. If I have been only true to him, wholly, mind, body and soul, then may Mother Earth deliver me. If I have loved none but him, then let Mother Earth deliver me."
As she spoke, the earth rumbled, shook and cracked open where Sita stood. Bhumi devi then appeared, seated on a throne of incredible natural earthly opulence, surrounded by nagas (snakes), and she invited Sita to take her seat along side her.
Sita, entrusting her children to Vamliki, ascended the throne supported by nagas adorned with fiery eyes and jewels on their heads. There, seated besides her mother, Bhumi and Sita disappeared from sight. The earth closed up leaving not even so much as a furrow on the surface as thought nothing had happened.
Madhvacarya's Mahabharata Tatparaynirnaya 9.40 he says,
pravisya bhumau sa devi loke drstyanusaratah
reme ramenavi yukta bhaskarena prabha yatha
"That beautiful Sita devi seemingly entered into the earth though actually she always remains with Lord Rama, just as the sun's rays are always with the sun."
Rama, true to his vow of ekapatni, never accepted another woman other than Sita. Next to him on his asana he kept a golden deity of Sitadevi for some time, performing sacrificies for thirteen thousand years.
At the end of this period, Agastya Muni and many demigods and sages approached the Lord and reminded him that his pastimes on earth had now been fulfilled and he should now return to Vaikuntha. Lord Rama performed acaman, sipping water and reciting mantras, once, twice, thrice, then he resumed his form of Vishnu, for it is from that seat of Vishnu that his pastimes became manifest.
"Lord Ramacandra returned to his abode, to which bhakti yogis are promoted. This is the place to which all the inhabitants of Ayodhya went after they served the Lord in his manifest pastimes by offering him obesances, touching his lotus feet, fully observing him as a fatherlike king, sitting or lying down with him like equals, or even just accompanying him."
As Lord Rama thus appeared the Vedas personified appeared as the Ramayana.
Veda vedye pare pumsi tate Dasarta Atmaje
Vedaha prachetasat asit sakshat Ramayanat manaha.
Shripad Madhvacarya, being in the mixed rasa or mellows of devotional service, then meditated on his worshipful Lords, Krishna and Balarama.
As Hanuman, the avatar of Mukhyaprana, perfectly performed devotional service in the dasya rasa or devotional service in servitude and in the incarnation as Bhima, his mood was that of fraternal love. This group is usually divided into four. (1) well wishers, (2) friends, (3) confidential friends, (4) intimate friends, and the group is called vayasyas (friends).46
Mostly the rasa or mood of Madhvacarya follows the dasya rasa. The devotees of the Lord in servitude are divided into four classes: (1) appointed servants - (This is how the third incanration of Vayu came to take up these wonderful pastimes.) Others such as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, who aare appointed to control over the material modes of passion and ignorance. (2) Devotees in servitude who are protected by the Lord. (3) Devotees who are always associates. (4) Devotees who are simply following in the footsteps of the Lord. To more of lesser degrees all these four apply to Madhva but adhikrta devata - appointed servants specifically covers the pastimes of our hero.
In these moods of servitude and friendship Madhvacarya stood before his friend and Lord and remembered the unlimited pastimes of Lord Shri Krishna. When He, the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, appeared in Shri Vrndavan Dhama in His original form and expansion, Shri Shri Krishna and Balarama, the divine cowherd boys, Mukhyaprana was preparing to make his second incarnation into the Yadu dynasty as Bhima.
Once Bhumidevi (the goddess of the earth) assumed the form of a cow and took shelter of Lord Brahma. She humbly begged for relief, the whole earth is in a mixed up condition. Everyone is distressed due to the presence of so many demoniac kings. Hearing the distressful condition,Lord Brahma, Mother Bhumi and many other demigods, approached Lord Vishnu on His island Swetadvipa. Standing on the shore of the milk ocean they told their woeful tale. Lord Vishnu instructed those devas there to go and take their births on earth in the Yadu dynasty. He said at that time I will come in My original two-armed form along with My transcendental brother and sister and will be knows as Krishna, Balarama and Yogamaya. In these forms We will kill the demons, protect the deovtees, and have unlimited pastimes for the pleasure of the devotees.
In the Yadu dynasty at that time was the king named Surasenta who had a son named Vasudeva. Another Yadu king by the name Ugrasena had a beautiful daughter called Devaki. After some time Vasudeva and Devaki were mattied. Devaki had an evil brother by the name Kamsa, and that Kamsa, afterthe wedding, drove Vasudeva's and Devaki's wedding chariot to their home. However, in mid journey, suddenly from the sky came a profectic voice saying, "Kamsa you are a fool. The eighth son of your sister Devaki, whose cariot you now drive, will kill you." Without a second thought Kamsa grabbed Devaki by the harti and raised his sword to kill her. Vasudeva promising that he personally would present any children they may have, first to Kansa, andso there is no need to worry for now, as we don't have any children, and when we do we will give them to you. So don't kill your sister Devaki on her wedding day.
Kamsa imprisoned his father, sister and brother-in-law to be sure of Vasudeva's promise being kept. The transcendental devotee Narada Muni then appeared before Kamsa at the arrival of the first child and told Kamsa that now Krishna's friends, the demigods, are lying in wait, taking births in the families of Nanda Maharaja, his wives, and the cowherd men of Vraja. In this was Narada excalated the advent of Krishna. As each child was born, the was presented to Kamsa who, with rage, smashed them one by one to the ground and killed them.
Kamsa then made himself King. Soon came the time of Devaki's seventh baby. This child was non other than Lord Balrama, but as the child was born, Yogamaya took the child and placed him safely with Rohini in the house of Nanda and Yasodamayi, and news spread that Devaki has miscarried.
When news reached Kamsa's ears that Devaki was pregnant for the eighth time, Kamsa changed extraordinarily. He became completely paranoid for the child that would kill him was now in the womb. In an adverse way Kamsa performed devotinal service, always being absorbed in thoughts of Krishna. When he slept he dreamt of Krishna, whilst eating, working, walking, talking, sitting, he couldn't spend a moment without thoughts of Krishna, but those thoughts were not at all favourable. Kamsa feared for his life, knowing his arch enemy was there, the child that would kill him.
Narada Muni reassured Devaki that Kamsa would not kill this child, and that Krishna is coming just to kill the demons so that the devotees may live in the world peacefully.
All kinds of auspicious omens were sseen all around prior to Krsn's appearance, and in the heavens the all-auspicious nakshatra of Rohini welcomed the Lord to begin His pastimes. Rivers ran clear and full with pure water, lakes were full with full blown pink, blue and white lotuses, all the birds and animals of the forests were singing in great delight., and the soft breezes carried the fragrances of aromatic flowers in all directions. Gandharvas and Kinnaras began to sing, and the Siddhas and Caranas offered prayers in beautiful unison. The Apsaras began their heavenly dances and the great sages, Rsis and all the demigods showered flowers from the skies.
Them just after midnight as the constellation (nakshatra) Rohini moved into position a great storm came. The four-armed form of Lord Vishnu then appeared before the beautiful Devaki. Devaki, who for some time was covered by Krishna' internal potecy, thought that this was like a normal birth, and thought that only due to the trauma of the birth she didn't remember the actual birth. But the Lord appeared fully adorned with jewels and looking very beautiful. Vasudeva saw his son first with four arms carrying conch, club, disc and lotus, surrounded by a glistening effulgence within the prison cell, with the Shrivatsa mark of LAxmi devi on His chest and Kaustubha mani around His neck, and dressed in yellow silken cloth.
Krishna then told Vasudeva to take Him out of the prison and go to Gokul and exchange Krishna with the girl child just born to Mother Yasoda. Turning Himself into what seemed to be an ordinary baby, Vasudeva carried his newborn son out of the prison. The prison gaurds were unusually all sleeping and all the doors miraculously opened to allow baby Krishna, carried by Vasudeva, to go out.
The night was dark as it was the eighth day of the fortnight of the waning moon (Krishna paksa) and the sky was full of rain clouds. Thunder and rain of monsoon time made the Yamuna River fill it's banks with turbulent water and the wind whipped up the waves. Thus due to the rainy season the Yamuna was impossible to cross. But now effulgent baby Krishna suddenly manifested his divine umbressla, Ananta Sesa, whcih, with His many snak like hoods, gave shelter to Krishna and His devotee Vasudeva. As they approached the Yamuna River again, suddenly miracles started to ahppen, and despite the rough and deep waters, Vasudeva, carrying baby Krishna, walked across the Yamuna and over to the house of Nanda Maharaja. Picking up her girl child, he again crossed the Yamuna and back to the prison.
In the morning the guards told Kamsa about the sounds of a baby crying in the prison, and Kamsa came down to investigate. Devaki begged Kamsa not to kill her child, as it was a girl and the prediction was that her eighth son would kill him. The cruel demon Kamsa was just about the dash the child to the ground when the baby flew up into the air and manifested herself as Durga. In her eight arms she carried all kinds of weapons - a bow, spear, sword, club, shield, arrows, conch and disc. Dressed in fine ornaments and exquisite garments and surrounded by devas, Durga addressed Kamsa, "So you think you can kill me. You cannot. The child who will kill you however has already been born before me somewhere else. Now don't be cruel to your sister, Devaki." and disappeared. Kamsa was now petirified, and begged Vasudeva and Devaki for forgiveness for killing their six children, but by the next day his normal demoniac nature was back. Kamsa then ordered his men to kill every child born in the last ten days.
In the meantime in Nanda Mahraja's house, the Nandutsava (birthday ceremony) of Lord Krishna was performed. Nanda Maharja and the local cowherds people, the elderly gopis, and the young gopis, all assembled there along with pure hearted brahmins including Gargamuni. After the abhiseka bathing ceremony of baby Krishna, and after all the well wishers had came and presented so many nice present for Krishna, Gargamuni cast an astrological chart to see the nature of the child. Gargamuni was astounded. This is no ordinary child. This is the Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu. But in their parental love, Nanda and Yasoda overloked this face and gave abundances of well decorated cows, grains and golden ornaaments to all who came to invoke their blessing upon the child.
Afterwards there was a sumptuous feast, for any samskara is not complete without daksina given to the vaishnava brahmins, and distribution of prasadam. The Nanda and Yasodamayi performed nyasa, touching Krishna's transcendental body and praying to the Supreme Personailty of Godhead to protect each of His limbs and thus protect completely "their child."
At this time Lord Balarama was also growing up in the hosue of Nanda Mahraja but as the son of Mother Rohini. Nanda Maharaja then asked Garga muni to perform a secret nama karana (name giving ceremony.) Garga muni told that Rohini's son, who has a whitish complexion will be called Rama because he is so pleasing, and he will be called Balarama because of his strength. The other boy who is actuall the son of Devaki, will be known as Syama for His blackish complexion and Krishna for His all attractiveness, and by some he will be known as Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva. This child will grow in power, beauty and opulence, being the Personality of Godhead.
Kamsa sent all kinds of demons in many varieties of disguises to try to kill Krishna, one in particular was the evil witch Putana. She would take babies and smearing her motherly nipples with poison, would push tem into her victims's mouth and kill them. Assuming a very beautiful form, Putana appraoched the house of Nanda Maharja. Seeing baby Krishna, she placed Him upon her lap and pushed her poisoned nipple into Krishna's mouth. Krishna accepted this motherly service that she rendered, but as well as sucking the witches breast milk, Krishna sucked out her very life air. As Putana screaming gave up her life, she returned to her ugly and huge form , but Krishna just played of her dead body. Because of her contact with Krishna , when all the inhabitants of Vraja burned up her body, there was a very pleasant smell.
Krishna and Balarama used to crawl and play with the cows, holding onto their tails until eventuall the cows would run off with the boys holding the cow's tails. In this way they would enjoy a ride as they ran off through the dow dung. This usded to asmuse everyone watching the transendental brothers playing just like cheeky, funny boys.
Kamsa would periodically send his friends who were all demons to try and cause harm to baby Krishna and Balarama. But Krishna, the Supreme Personaily of Godhead, even though appearing as a small baby, finished the demons easily.
Once a whirl wind demon Trnavarta came and tried to take Krishna away by force, but little Krishna suddenly became heavier and heavier until Trnavarta felt Krishna to be like a mountain. Krishna grabbed the demob by the neck and choked him, and Trnavarta's eyes popped out of their sockets as he screamed in agony with his last breath.
When Krishna and Balarama had started walking around, they would go to the houses of the gopis wvery morning before the cows had been milked and would release ll the calves. Each calf would immediately run to their respective mother and drink all the milk. When the gopis would come to milk the cows there was no milk, and so they would go to complain to Mother Yasoda. On other occasions Krishna and Balaram and some of their cowherd friends would go to the cool store room where the gopis would have their yogurt hanging ready to prepare into butter. Krishna and Balarama would take that yogurt and butter and sit and eat it directly from the pots. Other times they would feed their remnants to the monkeys and then break the pots. when the gopis would catch them, They would just smile charmingly. These boys are transcendentally cheeky.
Another time some of Krishna's freinds headed by Balarama told Mother Yasoda that Krishna had eaten earth. Krishna complained that they were just trying to get him into trouble, but Mother Yasoda insisted on looking in Krishna's mouth. Opening his lotus mouth, Mother Yasoda saw the entire universe, planets, mountains, oceans, everything and even herself sitting with Krishna on her lap looking into his mouth. Stunned, by her parental love, she gave Krishna a big hug and a kiss.
Once the two sons of the demigod Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, were enjoying in Lord Siva's garden next to the Mandakini River, otherwise known as the Ganges. They were naked and intoxicated and playing like elephants they splashed and frolicked in the waters accompanied by naked women. Suddenly the great staunch devotee Narada Muni came by. The intoxicated sons of Kuvera didn't even bother to try to cover themselves, or pay any respect to Narada. To teach them a lesson Narada cursed them to stand naked as trees in the garden of Nanda Mahraja for 36,000 years until Krishna would free them.
It so happened that one day when Mother Yasoda was making butter in the kitchen, baby Krishna being hungry, climbed upon her lap to drink her breast milk. remembering she had left the milk on the stove which by now was ready to boi, over, Mother Yasoda put Krishna down and ran off to the kitchen.
Krishna, who hadn't finished drinking, was so angry. He broke a pot of butter and started to eat the contents. When Mother Yasoda returned to find the broken pot, she took a stick and went to find her rascal son Krishna. 47 When she finally caught Krishna, she tried to bind him with rope, but every tope she tried to bind him with was two inches too short. Even all joined together it was two inches too short. Krishna, withholding His mercy, not allowing himself to be bound, was one inch and the other inch was the love and endeavour of His devotee - mother Yasoda. Finally when Mother Yasoda was at her wits end, in despiration she prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, then that same Supreme Personin the form of her child bestowed His mercy upon Mother Yasoda and allowed Himself to be bound by her ropes of love.
When Mother Yasoda left that place leaving Krishna tied to the grinding mortar, Krsn, to fulfill the curse of Narada, dragged the mortar into the garden and between the twin Arjuna trees. As Krishna crawled between the two trees the mortar became stuck. Krishna pulled harder and the trees came smashing down to the ground. As the trees broke, the two devas came out. Yes, it was the now repentent sons of Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigrive, and they offered prayers to Krishna.
Sometimes at the houe of Nanda Maharaja different sales people would come by selling their wares. On one such occasion a fruit selling lady cam by with a big basket of fruits. When Krishna saw her and the fruits, He took a ahndful of rice and approached the lady to purchase fruits. The fruit lady was so taken abck by this beautifully decorated and charming boy that she gave him his required fruits. As she piled Krishna up with fruits, and watched the little boy waddle away dropping an occasional fruit here and there, she laughed. Looking back to her basket, se saw that the remaining fruits that she had had turned into priceless jewels. Krishna had rewarded the fruit lady for her unmotivated, unexpectant service to Him.
On another day Krishna and Balarama were playing on the banks of the Yamuna when Mother Rohini (Balarama's mother) called them for their lunch. Nanda Maharaja was waiting to take, and wouldn't start without the whole family there. Mother Yasoda stayed , and Rohini went back to the house. Mother Yasoda scolded the and told them to get home immediately. Yasoda Mayi finally got the boys home. They were oth covered in dust and dirt, so she gave them both a good bath., redressed them nicely with ornaments and jewels. Then the brahmins came to receive charity for the occasion of Janmasthami (Krishna's birthday. As is Vedic culture, one should give in charity on one's birthday and not expect returns.
Sometimes Krishna and Balarama and their friends would play near Govardhana Hill. They would go there on carts with all the residents of Vrndavan in a very festive mood, blowing conches and horns. Krishna and Balrama themselves would take care of small calves, and with their friends and calves they would all play in the fields. Sometimes they played on their flutes and other times they played ball with bitter tasting amalaki fruits, or covered themselves with the calves blankets and pretended to be bulls. Whilst they were playing like this, one day a demon by the name of Vatsasura came and turned himself into a calf and mingled with the other calves, waiting to attack Krishna and Balarama, but the divine brothers had their own plan. Instead they sneaked up on Vatsasura and Krishna caught the calf-demon by it's back legs and threw him hish into a tree, and the demon fell down dead.
When once Krishna and Balarama and their friends were at the Yamuna River with the calves, they saw what looked like a huge ducvk. Yes, this was another demon sent by the evil Kamsa to kill Krishna. The demon attacked and even swallowed Krishna. Krishna became so hot like the sun in the throat of the demon that the demon released Him. Krishna then grabbed the demon's beak and as one would split a piece of grass, Krishna tore the demon Bakasura's beaks wide open and killed him.
One day the younger brother of Putana witch and the duck demon Baka came by with a plan to eat Krishna, Balarama and their friends. Assuming the form of a gigantic snake, he opened his mouth like a huge cave. At first the boys thought it was a statue, but they could see it moving and smell the fishy smell of it's liver on the demon's breath. This demon's name was Aghasura. Suddenly all the cowherd boys began to climb up over his big lips past his teeth and into the cave-like mouth to explore the inside. Krishna and Balaram also climbed in much to the dismay of the demigods who had gathered there to see the boys play. Then Krishna began to grow bigger and bigger until finally he choked the demon to death. After the death of Aghasura the boys used to play on the gigantic body without fear, knowing that Krishna had killed him.
One time Krishna and Balsarama and their friends, being desirious of enjoying the suculent fruits of the Talavana Forest, amde plans to go there. However, some of the boys tried to warn Krishna and Balarama that there was a herd of donkey demons who stayed in that forest headed by Dhenukasura, and so it is not safe to go there. Krishna and Balrama who had dealt with so many demons, were not perturbed. The fruits in Talavana Forest were all ripe and juicy but were all high up in the trees. When Dhenukasura and his ass-like friends came, Krishna and Balarama caught hold of the demons and began throwing them up into the trees, thus killing the demons, and knocking down all the nice fruits.
In the summertime the boys and the cows would go down to the Yamuna River and take a break from the heat of the day. But for some time now another demon of the name Kaliya had taken his residence just down stream from the area known as Raman Reti or shimmering sands. He was a big black snake with many many heads and hoods. Due to his presence, the waters of the Yamuna in that area had become dirty, black and poisonous. On these hot days the cow herd boys normally would go to the Yamuna and drink also, but upon drinking this time, they became sick and then died. Only Krishna could bring them back to life by His glance. Krishna didn't like his friends to be caused suffering in this way, so He climbed up a big Kadamba tree and in a fighting mood, umped into the murky waters. After attracting the Kaliya serpent, Krishna sported with Him for some time. Finally Krishna made his transcendental body bigger and bigger, until finally He took hold of the demon's hoods and began to dance, pushing down with Supreme pleasure. Kaliya began to vomit all kinds of bad things and even his own blood. As Krishna danced, he kicked the demon with His lotus feet. Kaliy was now almost dead because of associating unfavourably with Krishna, the Nagapatnis (Wives of Kaliya) appealed for the life of their husband. Krishna then sent the demon away from that place in the Yamuna to where he now resides, in the south Pacific Ocean near Fiji. Krishna said that Garuda will not bother you if you go there immediately.
The daily pastimes of Krishna and Blarama are too numerous to even comprhend, what to speak of tell. Even Sesa Naga (Ananta Deva), Who has unlimited heads, possessing ears and mouths, is still in a transcendentally frustrated condition, for even though with His unlimited eyes and mouths he is neither capable of hearing nor reciting the oh too numerous, wonderful pastimes of the Lord.
Krishna and Balarama and the cowherd boys love to wrestle together. Sometimes they would pick sides, and on some days some of the boys were on Krishna's side and on some days they were on Balarama's side. One day while they played like this, the demon Prahlamasura joined in. He took the disguise of a cowherd boy. Krishna, the knower of all activities and the performers thereof in the past, present and future, knew this cowherd boy was a demon in disguise. On this particular day Balarama's team were the winners and so Krishna's team had to carry them on their shoulders. As they walked in this way through the forest, Pralambasura who was carrying Lord Balarama, carried Balarama far away. Suddenly the ferocious demon assumed his normal horrific size and shape. Lord Balrama, who is known for his superhuman strength, with a couple of good punches from his fists which are soft like lotuses and powerful like thunder bolts, killed the demon, blood pouring from Pralamba's mouth.
Krishna, the transcendental cupid, always attracts the gopis and teases them, in fact, he gets them in such a state that they can never forget him for even a second. Their surrender to Krishna is completely selfless as one can see by the incident of when Krishna said He had a headache. He approached the brahmanas and asked for the dust from their feet, for Krishna told them by taking their foot dust his headache would be cured. The brahmins flatly refused, saying that they would go to hell never to return for such an offence of allowing their foot dust to be placed upon Krishna's head. However when the gopis headed by Shrimati Radharani were asked for their foot dust without a second thought they gave, for they didn't care even if they went to hell eternally, as long as Krishna was happy.
The brahmanas over attachment to rules and regulation in this incident proved their reservation to be a limitation in actual service to the Lord. This is in the same way that other brahmanas who were worshipping the Kord within the sacrifical fire could not see the Lord directly before them asking for alms. But when Krishna and His cowherd friends approached the wives of the brahmanas, who were pure devotees they gave so much foodstuffs for the boys.
Too much attachment to rules and regulations becomes an obstacle to approaching Lord krishna, and neglectfulness to follow guidelines for acknowledging who is the personality of Godhead and what He looks like are also a problem. One cannot whimsically speculate what Krishna wants or how to please Him. Appearing as a small boy with his brother, cowherd friends and girl friends, the gopis, many persons did not recognise Krishna for who he is due to one reason or another. Those pure vaishnavas who know what he and his friends look like, how to recognise them are constantly engaged in hearing, chanting, remembering Him, offering prayers, etc, and serving him with their every action.
As we can see by Madhvacarya's life he is one of those pure unalloyed devotees of the Lord, for if he were not the, the incarnations and wonderful pastimes of Lord Krishna would not be manifestng themselves before his eyes. Nor would he be there before Shrila Vyasadeva in the presence of Nara-Narayana Rsis.
If one shows that Krishna can put his faith in a person, knowing that that person will not exploit the situation for mundane sensual pleasures, either mental, bodily, or extended through family or national, humanitarian, etc, the Lord will give that pure devotee the three worlds for he will only use it for the Lord's pleasure.
Nanda Maharaja and the cowherds men were preparing to worship Indra the demigod in charge of distribution of rainfall. Being of the mercantile community for the growth of their crops, and grass for their cows, rain is very important. Krishna, however, was not impressed by the worship sepparately of demigods. He told Nanda Maharaja to instead worship the local brahmanas and Govardhana Hill and forget worshipping Indra. Agreeing to this, the cowherdmen arranged for all kinds of fabulous foodstuffs to be cooked and offered to Govardhana Hill. There were many nice vegetable preparations, juicy, fried and dry cooked with spices, all kinds of rice, dahls, pakora, puris, chappatis and other breads. There was sujika halavah, sweetballs, sandesh, barfi, sweets in syrups like gulab jamens, rasagulla, laddhu, all kinds of nice preparations from scriptual recipes and local traditions.
The brahmins chanted the glories of the Lord through choice hymns from the scriptures. The cows were nicely decorated with embroidered blankets, painted hoofs and horns, gold, silver, brass and copper ornaments adorned their bodies, and they were fed with unlimited juicy green grasses and other favourites of theirs.
Daksina was given to the brahmanas comprising of gold coins, grains, cows and cloth, and every man, woman, child and animal was fed with nice prasadam. The gopis were all dressed nicely and decorated with nice ornaments, their long hair nicely plaited and bound at the end with flowers, so they looked very chaste and pure, sitting upon bullock carts chanting the glories of Lord Shri Krishna.
During all this Lord Krishna, who was about seven years old, suddenly turned himself into a gigantic form of Govardhana Hill and He firmly stated that he is non-different from that Govardhana Hill. The Lord in His transcendental form, began to eat all of the foodstuffs offered at that pplace. Who can understand the wonderful pastimes and forms of the unlimited omnipotent Lord, Who has assumed the form of a small boy, though. He is the origin of everything that be.
When Lord Indra found out what had happened, in foolish anger he ordered his samcartaka clouds to rain over Vrndavan and flood everything and in this way punish the residents of Vrndavan for not supplying the regular yearly offering. Krishna out of compassion for his dear devotees, lifted the whole Govardhana Hill, which is very high and many miles around, just as though this huge hill was a mere frogs' umbrella (toadstool). Krishna held Govardhana Hill for seven days on the little (pinky) finger of his left hand.
Indra could now understand that he had gotten carried away by the mod3s of passion and ignorance, and so he came before Krishna to beg forgiveness. After this King Indra, the demigods, and the surabhi cows worshipped Krishna, bathing him with Ganges (Yamuna) water and fresh milk from the wish fulfilling surabhi cows. Now Krishna is remembered as Girigovardhana, and is worshipped in the form of Govardhana Hill.
Once, midway through the period of dusk, Krishna was about to engage in a rasa dance with the cowherd girls when suddenly the Aristasura demon (bull demon) madly entered the village of Gokula, terrifying everyone. His roar was so frightening and tumultuous that pregnant mothers, cows and humans had miscarriages immediately. Krishna verbally chastized this bull demon, which made him more angry. Krishna stated that He was here just to punish wicked rascals like Aristasura. He provoked the demon into a charge, pointing the sharp tips of his horns straight ahead and gearing with anger from his bloodshot eyes, Aristasura tried topierce Krishna. Krishna however grabbed the demon by the horns and threw him back eighteen paces. Enraged, the bull charged again, breathing heard and sweating. He was determined to finish the eternal Lord. As Aristasura attacked Krishna grabbed the demon by the horns and smashed Arista to the ground with His foot. The He thrashed him as a washerman thrashes the dirt out of a wet cloth. Finally Krishna broke off the demon's horns and pulverized Aristasura with them. Vomiting blood and passing stool and urine, kicking his legs in agony and rolling his eyes, Aristasura painfully gave up his life. Meanwhile the demigods showered flowers upon Lord Krishna.
After Krishna killed Aristasura, Narada Muni went to speak to Kamsa, Krishna's evil demon uncle. Narada told Kamsa the real course of events, how Krishna is really the son of Devaki, and that Yasoda Mayi really had a girl and was swapped over by Vasudeva. Also that Balarama is the son of Rohini, and that out of fear of Kamsa's vengence Vasudeva entrusting the transcendental boys to Nanda Maharaja. Thus accelerating the coming pastimes of the Lord. Narada Muni emphasised that these are the same boys who have killed all the demons that you Kamsa have sent.
Kamsa then sent the Kesi demon to try to kill both Krishna and Balarama. Arranging with the innocent devotee Akrura, Krishna sent Akrura to Vrndavan to fetch Krishna and Balaram to Mathura. Kamsa's plan was simply to arrange for his asuric friends to try to kill Krishna and Balaram, and then to rule the world. When the Kesi demon arrived in the form of a gigantic horse, his loud neighing terrified all the inhabitants of Vrandavana, who all took shelter of Krishna. The bold Kesi demon came and approached Krishna and tried to attack with his front legs, but in a fatal swoop, Krishna grabbed the demon's legs and whirled the demon around and around several times, and threw the horse demon three hundred metres or so. The demons lay half unconscious for some time, the Krishna, noticing the demon regaining consciousness, jumped on him, and thrust his left arm into the demons' mouth. The demon tried to bit it, but Krishna simply expanded it more and more, finally choking Kesi into an agonizing death. Krishna then calmly removed His arm from the dead demon's mouth.
Soon after this Narada Muni, the sage among the demigods, came and offered respects to Krishna, glorifying the Lord's future pastimes.
One day not long after, while Krishna and Balarama were tending the cows, a game of hide and seek came about in which all the boys were so absorbed. Some were playing sheep, some shepherds, and some as thieves who steal sheep. A demon called Vyomasura assumed the form of a boy and taking advantage of the game, stole away five of Krishna's friends. The demon then secured them in a mountain cave and blocked the entrance with a big rock. Lord Krishna saw what Vyomasura was doing, and just as a lion grabs a wolf, Krishna forcefully grabbed the demon as he tried to steal away more boys. The Vyomasura demon then changed into his normal terrifying ugly form, as big as a mountain. Krishna, being the strength of the strong, withdrew the strength of the demon as he held Vyomasura in a death grip. He then smashed him to the ground and strangeled the foolish servant of Kamsa.
Krishna and Balarama then nicely recieved their uncle Akrura, and prepared to go to Mathura to take up the 'invitation' of Kamsa. ALl the young gopis were extremely upset to hear that their life and soul, Shri Shri Krishna and Balara, were going to leave Vrndavan. The gopis condemned Lord Brahma for making eyes that blinked for during that blinking action the were without Krishna for a second. But now Akrura, which literally means 'not cruel' was the cause of Krishna and Balarama going away, and repeatedly they said Akrura was not worthy of such a name, As the gopis wept pitifully, Krishna assured them that He would be back soon. With their minds fixed in thought of Krishna and Balarama, the gopis stood and watched as the chariot given by Kamsa, the flag on top and the dust of the chariot's wheels on the road disappeared out of sight. Then in despondency they wandered back to their individual homes.
Krishna, Balarama and Akrura reached Mathura late in the afternoon. After Krishna and Balarama met with Nanda Maharaja. Akrura went home with Krishna's blessings. He then informed Kamsa of Krishna and Balarama's arrival in Mathura. The boys, wanting to see the oppulent city of Mathura, then entered further into the city on the King's road. Festoons, full water pots, banana trees, gems of all sizes decorated the city. Grains were scattered here and there, flower garlands were hanging here and there, all kinds of natural oppulences auspiciously adorned the city. As the boys and their friends entered the city many women climed to the roof tops to see Krishna and Balarama. The ladies were is such haste to see their Lordships that forgetting themselves, some of them put their clothes and ornaments on backwards, others forgot one of their earrings or ankle bells, while others applied make up to one eye forgetting the other one. Abandoning family gatherings, their meals and those breast feeding mothers even abandoned their suckling babes to see Krishna.
The Lord, smiling, walked like a bold bill elephant, dressed nicely. He was a festival for the eyes of the ladies of Mathura, who had gathered there with melting hearts to see Him. The women rained flowers upon the boys who, without a doubt, are the Supreme Lords of the three worlds.
Seeing a washerman approaching who had been dyeing clothes, Krishna asked the washerman to give some of these nice clothes in charity by which Krishna would bless the washermon with His mercy. But this washerman was the arrogant servant of King Kamsa, and was carrying the King's cloth. The washerman foolishly started to insult Krishna and Balarama, suggesting that they were being impudent for asking for the King's cloth. Krishna, with the greatest of ease, lopped off the sinful rascal washerman's head with the touch of his finger. Seeing this, the washerman's associates dropped their bundles and ran for their lives. Krishna and Balarama then dressed themselves nicely in the oppulent clothes and then distributed the rest to all their friends, the cowherd from Vrindavan. Those that they had no need for, they simply left scattered on the ground.
As Krishna and Balarama and thier friends walked the streets, various person brought many auspicious items for their Lordships, such as garlands, perfumes, pan, etc, and thus received Krishna's benedictions.
Krishna enquired from the local people as to the whereabouts of the sacrificial arena where the bow sacrifice would take place. When Krishna walked into the arena and saw the most oppulent bow given to Kamsa by Lord Siva, even though it was huge and guarded by a large company of men, Krishna pushed His way forward and effortlessly picked it up, strung it, and broke it in a fraction of a second. Kamsa was struck with terror and instructed his men to grab Krishna and Balarama and kill them. Krishna and Balarama picked up the two halves of the mighty bow and started killing hundreds of the soldiers who tried to attack them. As the sun began to set on that day, Krishna and Balarama returned to the cowherd's wagons on the edge of town.
Kamsa couldn't sleep that night as all kinds of inauspicious omen were seen by him. Kamsa was terrified by the prospect of his own death which he knew was imminent.
The next day was the day of the wrestling match. Worshipping the arenta and giving special seats to himself and other provincial rulers, Kamsa took his seat though his weakened heart trembled. Then the lavishly dressed and extremely proud wrestlers entered the arena to the sound of loud horns and drums, announcing their presence. The King's powerful wrestlers Canura, Mustika, Kuta, Sala and Tosala sat down on the wrestling amts. Kamsa called forward the leaders of the comminuty of Vraja (Vrindavan) to present their offerings before him now. Kamsa then spoke with Nanda Maharaja and pointed out how Kamsa had arranged this whole wrestling match because he had heard that the boys of Nanda Maharaja were supposed to be powerful. But where are they now? Out of disrespect for Kamsa, Krishna and Balarama had decided to neglect Kamsa'a arrangements and go and do something else, elsewhere.
The next morning Krishna killed the elephant demon Kuvalayapida. That elephant, on the orders of the mo\ahoot (keeper), grabbed Krishna in his trunk, but Krishna then disappeared from the demoniac elephant's sight and stood behind the animal's back legs. The elephant again tried to capture Krishna in playful torment, but Krishna escaped. Then Krishna seized the elephant, ripped out one of his tusks, and began to beat both the keepers and the elephant until they were dead. Then, sprinkled with the blood of the elephant and holding one tusk in His hand, Krishna appeared decorated in this unqiue way at the wrestling arena.
In different relationships, the different persons assembled there saw Krishna in different ways. The wrestlers in fury saw Krishna as a lightning bolt. The men of Mathura saw Krishna in wonder as the best of all males, the women folk saw Krishna as Cupid personified, and the cowherd men as their funny friend and relative. The Kings assembled there saw Krishna as the chivalrous chasitiser, and His parents as their merciful child. Kamsa, the king of the Bhoja dynasty, saw Krishna as death personified. The unintelligent there saw in ghastliness, the Lord of His universal form, and the yogis, out of peaceful neutrality saw the Lord as the absolute truth. The Vrsnis, in love and devotion, saw Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their supreme worshipful deity.
Out of envy and fury Canura challenged Krishna to a wrestling match, not being able to bear the praises of the public upon the two transcendental brothers. Canura revealed his envy for Krishna and Balarama when the boys said that they are just yopung boys and should play with boys of their own age. Many of the public also felt like this, that it was an uneven match, but Canura revealed his hate for Krishna, saying, "You aren't really a child or even a young man and neither is Balarama, the strongest of the strong. After all, playfully You have killed so many of our men, including the elephant who had the strength of a thousand elephants. Therefore I, Canura, will fight with you and Balaram with Mustika.
Krishna fought with Canura, seizing each other's hands, locking legs, Canura struggled for victory. Fist against fist, knee to knee, the g\fight went on, running, dragging in circles, shoving, throwing this way and that, until finally Krishna had played enough. He then grabbed Canura's arms and whirled the demon around several times before smashing him to the ground dead. Mustika found himself in a similar situation. After bring stuck repeatedly by the supreme powerful palm of Lord Balarama, Mustika vomited blood, and fell down dead. The remaining wrestlers fled for their lives.
To congratulate the victorious Krishna and Balarama, all their friends came and joined them. Everyone was chanting and dancing, and their ankle bells made a wonderful musical accompanyment. Everyone excpet Kamsa rejoiced at the killing of the wrestlers. Kamsa told his remaining men to "Drive the two wicked sons of Vasudeva out of Mathura, confiscate the cowherd's property and arrest Nanda Maharaja. Kill Vasudeva and his father and thier followers, our enemies." Hearing this monsense, Krishna pproached Kamsa as dath personified. Kamsa took up a shield and sword but was disarmed by Krishna, Who was unarmed, in seconds. Then, as Garuda might capture an insignificant snake, Krishna grabbed Kamsa by the hair, knocked off his crown, and dragged him by the hair into the arena. Straddling Kamsa's chest as one straddles a horse, Krishna then repeatedly pounded Kamsa again and again until Kamsa finally gave up his miserable life.
Seeing Kams'a death, Kamsa's eight younger brothers then attacked Krishna, but Balarama killed them one after another with Kuvaliyapida's broken elephant tusk. Kettle drums resounded and the devas rained flower petals upon the Lord.
Then Vasudeva arranged for his boys to be given their sacred threads in the Upanayana ceremony which was conducted by the saintly brahmana Gargamuni. Soon after this Krishna and Balarama went to Avantipur to the place of their spiritual master, Sandipanai Mani.
Krishna and Balarama themselves are the origins of all branches of knowledge, yet they concealed their perfect knowledge by performing their wonderful pastimes with thier human-like forms and activities. They resided with Sandipani Muni, their spiritual master, in the Guru-Kula, and under the care of their guru, Krishna and Balarama studied just like ordinary boys the Vedas and Upanisahads. In fact, sixty four arts in as many days all were perfected and understood by the boys, and after this they gave guru daksin to Sandipani Muni.
Traditionally when one's education is complete, one gives charity in the form of daksina, renumeration for all that was taught. Sandipani Muni's son had died earlier, so Sandipani Muni asked as his daksina that his son be returned to him. Bringing him from the place of Yamaraja, the guru's son was returned by Krishna, fulfilling the guru daksina as requested. Thus receiving the permission of Sandipani Muni, the 'boys' Krishna and Balarama, graduated and returned to mathura.
Around this time and after the disappearance of Maharja Pandu, Dhrtarastra assumed the royal throne. Krishna and Balarama sent messages to Dhrtarastra asking him to remain fair to the sons of Pandu or face hell as the consequences.
Shortly after this Krishna and Balarama went to see Jarasandha and they defeated the demoniac brother-in-law of Kamsa seventeen times. After all, it was not that Krishna and Balarama had done any wrong to this demon, but Jarasandha had attacked Mathura repeatedly with the intent of killing every last man there. One night Lord Shri Krishna suddenly removed, unnoticed, all the citizens of Mathura in their sleep. When they awoke in the morning they were surprised to find that they were sitting with their wsives and families in golden palaces in the city of Dwaraka. Krishna then returned to mathura to find the city under seige by another demon. Krishna killed the army and made off back to Dwaraka with all of the booty the army had collected in the form of gold and jewels. Then Jarasandha arrived. Krishna and Balarama left the booty and acting as if afraid, ran to the big Pravarsana mountain and climbed to the top. Jarasandha, thninking they had hidden in a cave, set fire to the whole mountain, but with ease Krishna and Balarama jumped ninety miles from the top of the mountain to the ground unharmed. Then they returned to Dwaraka, and Jarasandha though he had burned the boys to death. So thinking, he happily returned to his kingdom.
Dwaraka, before the advent of Krishna and Balarama, was known as Kusasthali, and was ruled over by one great king of the name Revata. Maharaja Revata had one hundred sons and a beautiful daughter named Revati. When this beautiful girl came of age, Revata, being anxious to find a good busband for her, appraoched Lord Brahma for advice, along with Revati. Lord Brahma told revata that there was only one person befitting his daughter and that was the son of Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead, Lord Balarama. The king, on the good advice of Lord Brahma, returned to Dwaraka and married his daughter to balarama. Also at this time Krishna married Mahraja Bhismaka's daughter Rukmini. Maharaj Bhismaka had five sons and one daughter of loverly counternance. One of these sons felt envy towards Krishna. This was Rukmi. He was opposed to the marriage of Rukmini and Krishna as he prefered her to marry the envious Sisupala.
Rukmini devi also wanted to marry Krishna. Sometimes she would send letters to Krishna saying how he and only He (Krishna) was the one for her. Rukmini planned how she would get her Lord, and in her letters she told Krishna how and when to kidnap her, as was the tradition in many a royal wedding.
All of those kings who envied Krishna were to be there for the wedding of Sisupala and Rukmini, as arranged by Rukmi. Sisupala, Dantavakra, Jarasandha, Salva and others were all present. Much politics were going on. Sisupala wanted Rukmini and so had brought his friends to guarantee getting his bride. Lord Balarama, hearing of this, had his whole army move into position at Kundinapur.
The night before the wedding, Rukmini felt auspicious twitching in her left side, giving her solace not to be in anxiety. The next day, as she approached the Durga temple surrounded by guards and her suitors, Rukmini paid respects to Durga devi, turned, and there she noticed Krishna. Krishna then took her away from that place as alion takes his rightful share from a bank of jackals. All the low class kings had no chance of coming within so much of a hope of stopping Krishna. Thus physically and morally defeated, they all condemned themselves. Rukmi alone attacked Krishna, but was defeated. Instead of killing Rukmi, Krishna cut off half of Rukmi's moustache and a bit here and there from his hair. He looked a sight. This was worse than death. Lord Balarama then allowed Rukmi to be set free. Krishna and Rukmini returned to his capital of Dwaraka, and married with great pomp. everyone is Dwaraka was very happy to see Krishna with his new Queen, Rukmini.
Once there was a king of the name Satrajit, who had received the Syamantakas gem from the sun god. He used to wear that gem in a locket around his neck. By the worship of that gem daily, the Syamantaka gem produced one hundred and seventy pounds of gold every day. being so oppulent with gold, and engulfed with the shining effulgence from the gem, the local inhabitants of Dwaraka mistook Satrajit for the sun god himself.
On one occasion Krishna requested Satrajit to give the gem to King Ugrasena, but Satrajit refused, obsessed with greed. Not long after, Prasena, Satrajit's brother, went out hunting on horse back wearing the hewel around his neck. Unfortunately for him he was killed by a lion who took the effulgent jewel up inot a mountain cave where Jambavan, the devotee of Lord Rama, was living with his family. Jambavan killed the lion and gave the precious gem to his son to play with.
When Satrajit's brother didn't come back from the hunt, Satrajit presumed that Krishna had killed him for the jewel. Krishna heard this rumour that was going around and decided to clear it up. going with some of the citizens of Dwaraka, they went in search of Prasena in the forest. After a short time they found his half eaten body and his dead horse lying nearby. It was obvious he was killed by a lion. Next they found the body of the lion killed by Jambavan. Krishna decided to go inot the cave while all the others waited outside. He very soon saw the Syamantaka jewel in the hands of Jambavan's son, but when He tried to take the jewel, the child's nurse gave out a scream that brought Jambavan running. Jambavan and Krishna fought for twenty eight days continuously until Jambavan , knowing that no ordinary man could fight with him like that, realized that this must be the same Lord Rama who is his worshipful Lord.
With intense devotion Jambavan gave Lord Krishna not only the Syamantaka jewel but also his beautiful unmarried daughter Jambavati. Along with his new bride, Krishna reutrned to Dwaraka. Rumours had gone around due to the townsfolk leaving that cave entrance after twelve days, and returning to Dwaraka despondent, they were thinking Krishna too had been killed. But now, Krishna entered the city of Dwaraka with Jambavati and the Symantaka jewel. Calling for Satrajit, Krishna told the whole story and gave the jewel to him, who accept it back with great shame.
Later Satrajit on reflection, came back to Krishna and not only presented the Syamantaka jewel, but also his daughter Satyabhama, who was endowed with all wonderfully divine qualities.
Around this time also, in Hastinpura, the Kauravas were harrassing the Pandavas and tried to burn them all to death in the house of lac.
Meanwhile, back in Dwaraka, Satyabhama's father, Satrajit, was killed and she felt her very life taken. Putting her departed father's body in a vat of oil, Satyabhama went to Hatinapur to meet with her husband, Krishna, Who had just gone there to be with the Pandavas. Krishna then returned to Dwaraka and killed the killer of his father-in-law (Satadhanva) and take back the syamantaka jewel. When the greedy rascal Satadhanva's horse collapsed, terrified by the speed at which Krishna and Balarama approached him, Krishna took off Satadhanva's head with His sudarshana disc.
Although technically Satyabhama's son to be was the heir to the jewel, Lord Krishna gave it to Akrura, who was performing religious sacrifices with the jewel. Krishna then went to stay for some time with the Pandavas, during which time he married five more princesses who were Kalindi, the daughter of the sun-god who lived in the Yamuna River, the king of Avanti's sister Mitravinda, and from the kingdom of Ayodhya from King Nagnajit, Krishna accepted his extraordinarily beautiful daughter Satya (Nagnajiti). Subsequently Krishna married Bhadra, kidnapping her from her own swayamvara veremony, and also the royal daughter of the King of Madra known as Laksmana, again it was from her syawamvara just as Garuda once stole the nectar of the demigods.
Bhumi, the goddess of the earth, had a son of the name Narak. He was born from the contact of Hiranyaksa the demon killed by Lord Varaha, and Bhumidevi had to bear this son. After Narakasura stole Lord Varaha's umbrella, Mother Aditi's earrings, and the playground of the demigods called Mani-Parvata, Lord Indra went to Dwaraka and described the demon's activities to Lord Krishna. Together with His queen, Satyabhama, Krishna mounted Garuda His carrier and went to Narakasura's captial, Pragjyotisa. At that place Lord Shri Krishna killed the Mura demon and Mura's seven sons. Then the demon Narakasura challenged Krishna and threw his lance at Him. The sakti weapon (lance) of Naraksura proved totally ineffective on Krishna, who destroyed it and then went on to kill all of Narakasura's armies, finally killing Narakasura with that best of weapons, the Astraya sakiti, Sudarsana disc weapon.
Then mother Earth, Bhimi devi, returned all the items that her son Narakasura had stolen. Bhumi also presented Narakasura's son to the Lord, and the Lord pacified him for he was so frightened.
On entering the demon's palace Krishna found in the maiden's quarters 16,100 princesses which were the unmarried daughters of the demigods, kings and demons. As soon as they saw Lord Krishna they all without hesitation accepted the Lord as their husband. Narakasura had imprisoned them in his palace after kidnapping them. Krishna had all the princesses dressed nicely and sent on palanquins to Dwaraka along with all kinds of wealth.
Krishna and Satyabhama then went to Indra's palace and returned Aditi's earrings, and Indra and his wife worshipped nicely Krishna and Satyabhama. On Satyabhama's request Krishna uprooted the beautifully fragrant Parijata tree and brought it to Dwaraka after a bit of a tussle with Indra and the devas. Once planted in the grounds of Queen Satyabhama's palace, intoxicated bumble bees followed the fragrance of the Parijata from the heavenly planets, hungry and greedy for the taste of Parijata's sweet fragrance and sap.
Now in Dwaraka, the Lord lived happily with all of his 16,100 wives in as many palaces, simultaneously at once, and yet receiving service from them all individually in each of the 16,100 palaces, where he manifested Himself in full to each wife. After some time, each of Krishna's wives had ten sons who in turn had many sons, so including Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajit, Kalindi, Laxmana, Mitravinda and Bhadra, who are Krishna's principle queens in Dwaraka, He had a total of 16,108 queens with as many palaces.
Around this time Lord Balarama took permission to go back to Vraja (Vrindavana). Remembering the deep friendship he once enjoyed with the cowherd folk of Vrindavan, Lord Balarama went alone to Vraja. In Vrindavan the gopis quizzed Balarama to see if Krishna still remembered them. Lord Balarama stayed for two months in Vrindavan during which he enjoyed his own pastimes with his own gopis on the banks of the Yamuna known as Shri rama Ghatta. Intoxicated with joy, Balarama wore beautiful flower garlands and a single earring. Beads of perspiration decorated his pure white smiling face, which was gentle like snow flakes. Wanting to play in the waters of the Yamuna River, He summoned Yamuna near, but she disregarded His command, thinking He was drunk from drinking honey. So angered, Lord Balarama began to drag the river to him with the tip of His plow. Threatening to split the river into one hundred rivulets and in that way bring her close, Lord Balarama chastised Yamuna for not coming when He had told her to. trembling in fear, the river goddness aproached Lord Balarama. With her hair forward in a seductive way, covering her breasts, she tried to pacify the Lord, though her thoughts were conjugally based (Gopal Campu).
After releasing Yamuna Mayi from His plow, Lord Balrama slong with His gopis entered the Yamuna River to play in those waters. Coming out, the goddess Kani (Laxmidevi) presented Him with blue garments, ornaments and a brilliant necklace.
Narakasura, the demon that Krishna killed, had a friend who was an ape, Dvadida. After Krishna killed Narakasura, Dvivida, seeking vengence, caused all kinds of disturbances, flooding the coastal lands by splashing water with his mighty arms. He would also tear down trees in the asramas of the sages who lived in seclusion, and would even pass stool and urine on the sacrificial fires and arena. This devious rascal would even kidnap innocent ment and women and imprison them in mountain caves, and he would try to pollute the chaste and modest women of respectable families with his own materialistic ways. 48
One day this Dvivida came to Vrajabhumi where he found Lord Balarama dancing in the forest with his gopis. Balarama was rather intoxicated from drinking varuni liquor and enjoying the gopis' company. At that time Dvivida came into the clearing and in an uncooth way, displayed his anus to the gopis right in front of the Lord. Then, as if that wasn;t bad enought, began to make all kinds of crude gestures, and moved his eyebrows this way and that. Then he passed stool and urine in front of everyone. Dvivida's outrageous behaviour angered Lord Balarama, and to get rid of the ape he threw a stone at him. To add further insult, the demoniac ape started to tug at the clothes of the gopis. This was too much for Lord Balarama. Taking his plough and club in hand, he neared Dvivida, who in turn took up a tree. When Balarama smashed the tree to tiny pieces, Dvivida picked up another. Balarama repeated the action. Dvivida picked up another and another, until the forest was bare. Balarama smashed them all to splinters. Dvivida then foolishly tried his luck with rocks, but Balarama turned them to powder. In desperation Dvivida charged Balrama and pounded on Balarama's chest with his fists. Lord Balarama had decided the playing had come to an end. Infuriated, Lord Balrama put down his plough and club and apporached the ape and smashed his collar bone and neck instanly with one swipe. Vomitting blood, Dvivida fell down dead.
Lord Balrama then returned to Dwaraka as the demigods and sages showered flowers, and glorified him with prayers and abeisances.
Then came the great Mahabharata war. Krishna helped Arjuna and spoke the Gita-Upanisad for the benefit of all humanity. Madhva states that in Krishna's pastimes, Vayu incarnates as Bhima, Sugriva as Karna, and Vali as Arjuna.
Lord Balarama, to avoid conflict, went on a pilgrimage to all the holy places and returned after the war was over. During this time Madhva remembered his own pastimes with the Lord as this expansion of Lord Vayu, Mukhyaprana, played out his part of Bhima in the Lord's association.
By the grace of Lord Shri Krishna, the Kauravas were completely destroyed and Arjuna and his brothers were victorious.
Madhva, of course, relished the meeting of Bhima and Hanuman, where Bhimasena tried to lift the outstretched tail of Hanuman that was blocking the path. Simultaneously they are one and yet different expansions of Vayu deva, Mukhyaprana.
Shri Krishna and Balarama's transcendental lila was about the wind up. After one hundred and twenty five years, the eternal youths had decided to return with all their paraphernalia to their eternal abode. Greatly fearing separation from the Lord, Uddhava, Krishna's dear devotee, was distraught for he could not give up the Lord's company. finally, feeling great pain and offering obeisances again and again, and placing the Lord's slippers on his head, Uddhava departed for Badrikasrama. On route to that place he heard of the Lord going to Prabhasaksetra. Uddhava then returned to the Dwaraka in the spiritual sky via Badrikasrama.
Lord Krishna took note of many bad omens that announced that soon the Kali Yuga would appear. There was a halo around the sun, and on earth there were small earthquakes. In outer space there was an unnatural redness on the horizon. All this announced like flags of death in Dwaraka, the end of the Dwapara Yuga. Krishna advised the Yadavas to abandon Dwaraka and go to Prabhasaksetra on the bank of the Saraswati. At the place the heroes of the Yadu dynasty, covered by the Lord's internal potecy, became intoxicated from their extragant drinking and began to feel arrogant. when they were thus bewildered by the Lord's personal potency, Krishna Maya, a terrible quarrel arose among them. Infuriated, they seized their bows and arrows, swords, lances, clubs and spears, and attacked one another on the shore of the ocean. Riding on elephants and chariots, with thier battle flags flying, some rode on donkets, camels, bulls, buffaloes, mules and even human beings, the extremely enraged warriors came together and violently attacked on another with arrows, just as elephants in the forest attack one another with their tusks.
Thus bewildered, sons fought with fathers, brothers with brothers, nephews with paternal and maternal uncles, grandsons with grandfather. Friends fought with friends and other well-wishers fought with well wishers. In this way, the intimate friends and relatives killed one another. when all their bows were broken and thier arrows, lances and missiles spent, they fought with stalks of cane with their bare heands. These atalks in their powerful fists were like iron rods. With these weapons the warriors attacked each other again and again, and when Lord Krishna tried to stop them they attacked Him also. Mistaking Lord Balarama for an enemym they attacked Him also.
Now the Supreme Lords were angry, and taking up cane stalks, they began to kill everyone with these mighty cane clubs. when every last member of the Yadu dynasty were killed, Krsn thought to Himself that now the burden of the earth had been removed. 560 million warriors died in this fratricidal battle of the Yadu dynasty.
Lord Balrama then sat down on the shore of the ocean and fixed Himself in mediation upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Merging Himself within Himself, He gave up this world in a rather unique way. Lord Balarama manifested a pure white snake from His own mouth, climbed upon it's back, and rode off back to His eternal abode.
Lord Krishna, the son of Devaki, having watched the disappearance pastime of Lord balarama, seated Himself under a nearby pippala tree. Just then a hunter named Jara approached that place. Mistaking the Lord's lotus foot for the soft pinkness of a deer's face and thinking he had found his prey, Jara touched the foot with his arrow thinking he had pierced it.49 Thinking in this way, Jara begged forgiveness saying, "I am the most sinful person. I have committed this act out of ignorance. O purest Lord, please forgive this sinner!" Krsn then explained that everything was actually going according to His plan and that the hunter Jara was only playing his part. "Now hunter, go to the spiritual world upon this airplane and reside there with Me." Circumambulating the Lord three times and offering obeisances, bowing before the Lord the hunter ascended onto the airplane. Then while Daruka (Krishna's chariot driver) was looking for his Lord, he suddenly found an unusually strong aroma of tulasi. Following that aroma he found Krishna resting at the foot of a banyan tree. Right before Daruka's tearful eyes, and as Daruka was still speaking to the Lord, Krishna's chariot suddenly rose in the sky along with it's horses and flag marked with Garuda. All the weapons of the Lord, personified, rose up and followed the chariot. Krishna then spoke to the astonished Daruka, and instructed him to go to Dwaraka and tell all His family how all their family members had destroyed one another. Tell them of the disappearance of My Sankarsana (Balarama) and of My present condiiton. Both you and your relatives should not stay in Dwaraka any longer. Myself (Krishna), having abandoned that please, it will soon become unmanifest by becoming inundated by the great ocean. Go and seek Arjuna's shelter and protection at Indraprastha.
Then after circumambulating Krishna and taking Krishna's lotus feet on his head, Daruka returned with the Lord's message to Dwaraka. Upon hearing from Daruka the news that Krishna had wound up His pastimes and had returned to His abode, Vasudeva and all of Krishna's family and associates remaining in Dwaraka became disturbed by lamentation and left Dwaraka in search of the Lord. Though Devaki, Rohini and many others actually remained in Dwaraka as they do today, invisible to material eyes, their partial expansions went to Prabhasaksetra to see their dead relatives . They then entered into fire.
tatah katipayair masair
yayuh prabhasam samhrsta
"A few months passed, and then, bewildered by Krishnamaya, all the descendents of Vrsni Bhoja, Andhaka who were incarnations of various demigods went to Prabhasa, while those who were eternal devotees of the Lord did not leave but remained in Dwaraka."
Even though the Pandavas were also demigods, they, as eternal asssociates of the Lord, also went to Dwaraka. The niskarma or devotees without any material desires are always the Lord's intimate associates whereas the sakarma bhaktas, though still bahktas, have the tendency to try to fulfill their own desires. Thus it was the sakarma devas who went to the Prabhasksetra and not the unalloyed devotees. Madhva confirms this in his Sutra Bhasya 3.3.27, that they Lord is best served by those who are "released souls'. Released from what? The desires of the material world. Therefore he is talking about the nitya suris who are cent percent only dedicated to fulfilling the desires of the Lord.
Arjuna kept a cool head by remembering the many instructions Krishna had personally given to him. Arjuna deposited Rukmini devi's own personal deities of Krishna and Balarama as small boys in the Rukmini Vana of Dwaraka, and then carried out the antyesthi, funeral rites and offerings of pinda for all his dead relatives. Then the ocean engulfed and swallowed up Dwaraka Puri, all except for the Lord's own residence.
Though Dwaraka had been created by the empowered devotee of the Lord, Visvakarma, the architect of the demigods, and even parts of Dwaraka were brought direct from the heavenly planets like the Sudharma assembly hall, that Dwaraka Puri had now become unmanifest, though eternally there for those who are not covered by Krishna's deluding potency, maya.
remembering these pastimes of the Supreme Lord brings about devotional service and the same destination of being able to return to the Lord's abode to eternally reside with Him.
So looking at the one complete Lord, we can see the unlimited incarnations that He has. Therefore obviously this section has only really been a brief look into some of the incarnations. There are many, many others, such as Hari, Hamsa, Prsnigarbha, Vibhu, Satyasena, Vaikuntha, Sarvabhauma, Visvaksena, Dharmasetu, Sudhama, Yogesvara, Brhadbhani, Buddha, etc. Dattatreya, Rsabhadeva appeared in days of yore.
Madhvacarya states that Lord Narayana also appeared in the form known as Mahidasacarya. He took His birth from His father who was a brahmin and Itaradevi who was not of the same caste. However due to her purity and deep devotion to Lord Vishnu, she gave birth to Mahidasa. Mahidasa is attributed with compiling the Aitareya Upanisad which belongs to the Rg Veda, comprising of Chapters four, five and six of the second section of Aitareya Aranyaka of Rg Veda.
Mahidasa was an incredibly enlightened personage. Madhva quotes the Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.3.8 as saying that he is referred to in the verse which reads are follows:
trtiyam rsi-sargam vai
devarsitvam upetya sah
tantram satvatam acasta
naiskarmyam karmanam yatah
"In the millenium of the Rsis the Personality of Godhead accepted the third empowered incarnation in the form of Mahidasa (Devarsi) who is known to be a great sage among the demigods. He collected expositions of the Vedas which deal with Satvata Pancaratra and which deal with devotional service free from fruitive action."
The Lord's incarnation as Mahadasa is also mentioned in Garuda Purana 3.5.10. There his mother is called by the name of Yamini devi; still he is accredited with preaching the philosophy of Pancaratra in this Purana.
According to Chandogya Upanisad in text 3.16.7-8 verily it was this that Mahidasa Aitareya, who knew he was not of this bodily realm, when he used to say "Why do you afflict me with sickness - I who am not going to dfie with this?" He lived for one hundred and sixteen years, for according to his history, he followed the soma yajna mentioned in the scriptures, which bestows life in vigour for one hundred and sixteen years, which is considered a full lifes span. When one restrains himself from hunger and thirst, and abstains from sensual pleasures, these constitute the initiatory rites of the soma yajna.
In the future, at the conjunction of the end of the Kali yuga and the beginning of the Satya Yuga, there will appear the incarnation of Lord Kalki as foretold in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. His father's name will be Vishnu Yasa, a learned brahmana, and he will appear in the village of Sambhala. It is stated that Lord Kalki will appear on the sixth day in the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada (Sept) of that year, and he will slaughter the demoniac peoples who are all over the earth. After ridding the earth of unwanted population the remaining few devotees will accompany the Lord to welcome the Satya Yuga.
So the innumerable incarnations of the Lord are manifested all over the universes constantly, without cessation. Just as we see the sun here, now it is noon, and in another place it is the morning sandhya (conjunction at dawn) and in another place it is the evening sandhya, it is not that noon no longer exists but ut has finished in that place and has gone on to another, and another. In the same way, the eternal pastimes of the Lord are eternally existing, going from one universe to another.
Madhva Vijay 8.42 says that this great Purnaprajna, who is meditating intensely on the name, form and pastimes of the Lord, then prostrated himself again before the most worshipable Lord Narayana, Who was standing directly before him. Madhvacarya, who was honoured with affection by Lord Narayana and Shrila Vyasadeva, saw all these pastimes as if by spiritual television. Absorbing this transcendental association, as Vyasa honoured Lord Narayana, so Madhva honoured Vyasa, and took his seat at their lotus feet. Now feeling himself insignificant, Shrila Madhvacarya waited with baited breath for an instruction from his guru and Lord Narayana. In a mood of complete surrender, untinged by any material thing, Madhva waited in ecstacy.
Shrila Vyasadeva then leaned down and embraced Madhva, then picked him up clean off the broung by his embrace, even though Madhvacarya was a giant of a man himself. At this time Madhvacarya's hair stood on end in ecstacy, and his eyes relished and treasured every second of the embrace which sent his mind into again remembrance of the Lord.
All the renounced saints and sages who resided in Shrila Vyasadeva;s asrama, treated Madhva with such kindness and hospitality that he found himself completely at home. Vyasa then gave him personal instructions on how to present the Brahmasutras (Vedanta Sutra and Shrimad Bhagavatam), what subjects to cover, and where to visit and where to preach.
Madhvacarya, the avatar of Vayu, being especially picked for this service by the Lord himself and being empowered by Him to be successful, was then initiated by the instructions of Vyasa.
Shrila Vyasadeva is the original compiler of the Vedas, and co-ordinatoror of all the branches of Smrti (Puranas, Mahabharata, etc) and first established Brahmasutra-Vedanta Sutra, but since that time his meanings had become distorted by the Mayavadis.
Even though Madhva would have been at home to stay at Byasadeva's asrama indefinitely, Vyasa now told him to go and preach what is the true conclusion as told by his guru Veda-Vyasa.
"O respectable Lords! May there by one favour I ask you to bestow upon me. Please allow me to constantly bathe in the nectar of the form of both of You. This is my only wish other than this my dear Lords. I cannot obtain real happiness in this world."
Taking akshata and arghyas upon his head and taking permission to leave, Madhva, enthused and pregnant with purpose, started his descent from this transcendental realm. Lord Narayana, Who spoke little during this visit then gave His instructions as Madhva departed.
"There are many persons who are fit for receiving this knowledge of Me. They have many good qualities, such as devotion and knowledge of Me. Preach to them, there are also innocent persons, whoare good by nature but have become covered due to lack of good association. Preach to them and cleanse them of their coverings by means of the words coming from your pure mouth. Like gems that are covered by the dust of material conditioning, your words will be like pure water, washing off layers of coverings. Of course you will make many persons feel sorrow by your dynamic preaching, just as the owl feels great sorrow ar the arrival of the brightness of the sun. Those devotees of Mine who are waiting for the sun to shine, whill emerge and become your followers."
Madhvacarya kept these words close to his heart.