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(The Philosophical Part)
EARLIER CHAPTERS SUMMARISED
Dnyaneshwar Maharaj praises his Guru Nivruttinath and says, “By your grace you have given Me the ability to compose in verse this commentary on Bhagavadgita which is supreme among all branches of spiritual knowledge and in which all Shastras are harmoniously included. By your grace I have completed the commentary on the first part of Bhagvadgita. The first Chapter describes the despondency felt by Arjuna because of the thought of the annihilation of his friends and relatives due to the war. In the second chapter Karmayoga, the yoga of action is explained and at the same time the difference between it and Jnyanayoga, the yoga of knowledge of the Sankhyas is also shown. In the third chapter Karmayoga is recommended while in the fourth the explanation of the same in combination with knowledge is given. In the fifth chapter, the principle of Yoga is extolled while in the sixth the same principle is explained further describing the method of practice starting from the initial posture to the state of union with the Brahman. Similarly, what yoga state is and the fate yogis who have deviated from the path reach are also explained. In the seven chapter are described the four types of devotees who worship God by destroying the effect of Maya. Then in the eighth chapter, seven questions (about Brahman, Karma and Adhyatma, Adhibhuta, Adhidaivat and Adhiyajna) are answered and until the end of the chapter the topic of the state of the mind at the time of death is discussed. Whatever philosophy is stated in the fathomless realm of the Vedas is contained in the hundred thousand shlokas of Mahabharata and whatever is contained in the Mahabharata may be found in the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna which is the Gita and the substance of its seven hundred shlokas is concentrated in the ninth chapter alone. (10:19-31). The greatness of the ninth chapter cannot be stated in words. Oh Guru, I could present it is because of your powers alone. (10: 35). (See Note 1 at the end of the chapter). I have thus explained the first nine chapters of Bhagavadgita to the best of my ability. Now listen to the second part. (10:40).
ARJUNA IS NOW FIT TO KNOW TRUTH
Shri Krishna said, "Arjuna, your mind is now fit to listen to the complete explanation about knowledge of the Self. What I told you so far was to test how attentive you were and you were quite attentive. It is like testing a vessel for leakage by pouring a little water into it first. (10:49-51). Arjuna, I am not doing this as a favour to you but because of my own self-interest. (10:57). Arjuna, I really like you, therefore however much I chat with you, I do not feel satisfied. I am telling you the same thing again and again. Listen to my profound secret which is actually the Universe come to embrace you through words. You have still not understood the truth about Me. What you are seeing as myself is really the Universe." (10:60-63).
I AM DIFFICULT TO KNOW
Vedas became silent while trying to describe Me. Just as the foetus in the womb cannot see its mother's youth, no god can know Me. The knowledge of the great Rishis cannot recognise Me because the questions who I am, how big I am, where and to whom I was born are the ones which have taken aeons to decide on the answer. Since I am the root of gods, great Rishis and other creatures, they find it difficult to know Me. (10:64-68).
GIVE UP PLEASURES AND EGO TO KNOW ME
Though I am difficult to realise, he who gives up the worldly life with ease turning his back to the sense organs, and even though he were to lead a worldly life goes beyond the realm of the five elements by giving up the ego and the I-am-the-body attitude and by remaining steady in this condition of mind, sees my beginningless form in the light of Self-realisation and understands that I am the original power behind the universe is, among all men, a part of Me. (10:72-76). Even though he may appear outwardly to be an ordinary person, he is not affected by gross things and his sins get automatically nullified. He who knows Me becomes freed of all desires. (10:79-80)
If you are thinking about how to realise Me then listen first to what my nature is and what my different aspects are. My these aspects occur in different beings according to their nature and are spread throughout the universe. (10:81-82)
MY NATURE AND ASPECTS
Among these aspects, intellect is the first, then come the infinite knowledge, freedom from delusion, tolerance, forgiveness and truthfulness. Then come both self-control and victory over the senses as also happiness and sorrow in the world and birth-death. Fear and fearlessness, non-violence and even-mindedness, contentment and austerity are also my aspects. Charity, success and fame which are seen everywhere are generated in the creatures from Me. Just as there are different creatures, there are also different aspects. But out of these, some aspects are able to realise Me and some are not. Knowing Me or otherwise depends upon one's destiny hence different creatures acquire different aspects. Thus this earth is completely entwined in my aspects. (10:83-90)
Now listen to the eleven more aspects which are the guardians of this universe and who influence the behaviour of all people. These consist of the seven great rishis Kashyap etc. with excellent qualities and most knowledgeable among all great rishis, and the four main Manus like Swayambhuva, from among the fourteen Manus. (see Note 2 at the end of chapter. Also under Ch 8). These eleven aspects were born out of my mind for creation of the universe. Prior to this when the three worlds were not yet created the five elements were quiet and idle. The eleven aspects after they came into being, created the three worlds, and appointed eight chiefs. Thus these eleven are like kings and all the people are their subjects. But keep in mind that all the expanse of this universe has sprung from Me. (10:91-97)
DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE CREATOR
In the beginning I was alone. Then mind was created from Me. From that mind the seven rishis and the four Manus were born. They created the eight Prajapatis (governors) who in turn created various types of creatures who have generated all the living population in the universe. Thus I have created all this expanse, but only those who have faith about the creation will understand it. (10:101-103)
*I am in everything Therefore Arjuna, these aspects are my divine manifestations with which this universe is filled. Therefore from Brahmadeo down to an ant there is nothing in this universe which is not occupied by Me. One who understands this wakes up to the realisation and he is free from the thoughts of differences like big and small, good and bad. He who experiences through yoga that I, my divine manifestations and creatures showing these manifestations are all same, becomes without doubt one with Me. I surrender myself to the devotee who worships Me with the feeling of oneness with Me. Thus the Yoga of devotion with the realisation of oneness about which I told you before goes on uninterrupted. As I have explained in the sixth chapter, it is beneficial even if a seeker dies while leading his life with such devotion. Now I shall tell you the nature of the devotion with oneness with Me. (10:104-111)
Arjuna, just as waves are generated in water, remain in water and are dissipated also in water so is the creation and sustenance of this universe done by Me. Just as the waves cannot occur without water there is nothing in this universe without Me. Those Self-realised persons who, knowing my all pervading nature are devoted to Me with true love, and remaining aware of the fact that place, time and the present are not different from Me, live happily in these three worlds while keeping their minds occupied with Me, considering every creature they meet to be the God. Such persons are the followers of the real Bhakti (devotion) path. (10:112-118).
DEDICATED LOVE IS THE ONLY PATH TO KNOW ME
When people, whose minds are unified with Me and feel satiated by it, who are free from life-death cycles by virtue of their Self-realisation and who dance in the bliss of non-duality under its increasing spell meet each other, they mutually exchange only the bliss of Self-realisation. Their state is like two lakes whose waters mix after flooding. With the rising emotions of their devotion, they forget themselves and having been fully satisfied by gaining Me they loudly sing my praise and even utter the secret mantras told by their Guru. Finally having been overcome by the joy they get by the loud singings, they forget the consciousness of the body and suddenly become quiet and dissolve themselves in that forgetfulness. Due to this excessive emotion of love for Me they are not aware of whether it is day or night. (10:119-129)
Thus those persons who have gained for themselves the pure and complete bliss of my form have already taken possession of the choicest part of the gift that I would have liked to give them. Heaven and liberation are only by-lanes as compared with the royal path they have taken to reach Me. The love and devotion they have for Me is the gift I wish to give them but it must be said that they have already obtained it. Only thing that now remains to be done is to see that this love grows and does not decrease later. (10:130-133)
I AM THE SERVANT OF MY DEVOTEES
It is my desire and duty to see that the spiritual efforts by means of which my devotees will attain Me is encouraged and supported. Because the devotees are attracted towards Me I also feel love for them due to their dedicated devotion. There is a dearth of such loving devotees in my house. For the superficially devoted persons I have created the two paths of heaven and liberation and have put myself bodily along with my consort Laxmi in their hands, but it is only for the loving devotees that I have reserved the bliss of the Self which is beyond the consciousness of the body. (See Note 1 at the end of the chapter). Such is the closeness I have with them but these things are not to be openly expressed. (10:135-140)
Because such philosophers sheltered themselves throughout their life under my Divine Self and did not keep faith in anything other than Me, I am their vanguard holding the torch, destroying the darkness of ignorance and creating the permanent illumination of knowledge. (10:141-143)
ARJUNA WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS
Arjuna then asked, "Oh Master, I am now fully satiated. You have removed the dirt of the material world from my mind. I have realised the real meaning of life and now am free from the fire of birth and death. I feel there is a fulfilment in my life now. (10:144-146).
"It is you who are the ultimate Brahman and the place where the universe ultimately rests. You are holiest of the holies and the deity whom Brahmadeo, Vishnu and Shiva worship. You are the twenty-fifth principle, the birthless One beyond the bounds of Maya. You are the one who controls the strings of the past, the present and the future; you are the master of the Soul and the universe. (10:149-152). Rishis also have described you thus, (10:153-155) but because my mind was clouded by the sensual pleasures I could not understand it and the sweet nature of spirituality was tasting bitter instead. (10:158-159). But now having heard it from you, the mind has cleared and I am beginning to understand what the Rishis have said. I have now realised that one who has not heard your advice and tries to understand you on the strength of his intellect will be disappointed. (10:163, 175).
Oh master, please show me those of your Divine manifestations (modes or aspects) which are apparent throughout the universe by their power. Please show me the principal Divine manifestations by which you pervade throughout the universe. (10:184-186). I am puzzled about how to know you and how to meditate on you. You have just now briefly described your aspects. Now elaborate on them and explain to me those by which I shall be able to easily meditate on you." (10:187-189).
INNUMERABLE DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS
As if he does not remember that he is the creator of Brahmadeo, (10:206), Shri Krishna said, "Arjuna, listen. The Divine manifestations about which you asked are innumerable. And though they are My manifestations I am myself not able to understand them. Even otherwise I myself am not able to understand My nature and My magnitude. Therefore listen to those manifestations which are well-known. (10:208-211). When you understand these you will understand the minor manifestations also and actually the whole world. (10:212-213).
"Arjuna, I exist in every living being as the Soul. I am present in their inner self and in the outer shell or body. I am their beginning, their existence and their end. (10:215-216). Now I shall tell you about My principal manifestations as promised. (10:220).
DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS ENUMERATED
"Arjuna, I am Vishnu among the twelve Adityas and the Sun among all the shining bodies. (See Note 3 at the end of chapter about various entities and personalities mentioned here). Among the forty-nine Maruts I am Marichi and among the stars I am the Moon. I am the Samaveda among the Vedas and Indra among the gods. Among the organs I am the eleventh i.e. the mind and the natural consciousness in the creatures is also Me. I am Shankar (Shiva) among all the eleven Rudras. Among the Yakshas and demi-gods I am Kuber, the guardian of wealth and friend of Shankar. I am Agni among the eight Vasus and Meru, the tallest among all the mountains. Among all the priests I am Brihaspati the priestly support of gods and source of knowledge. Among the generals I am the most intelligent Skanda, son of Shankar. Among the lakes I am the ocean with immense storage of water and among the great Rishis I am Bhrigu. Among all the syllables I am the AUM the abode of eternal Truth. I am the Japayajna, (i.e. yajna of silent repetition of mantras) which is the best among all the yajnas. Namajapa with syllables AUM etc. leads to liberation from all the Karmas and its performance does not need external rituals like taking bath etc. Both proper and improper deeds get sanctified by it. According to Vedas it is the path which leads to the realisation of the Brahman. Among all the stationary mountains I am the Himalaya. (10:221-234)
Among all the trees my principal manifestation is the Ashwattha (Peepul or Ficus Religiosa) tree. Among the Divine Rishis I am Narada and Chitraratha among the Gandharvas. I am Kapilacharya among the great Siddhas and Ucchaisrava among the horses. I am Airavat (Divine elephant) among the elephants and Amrit (immortalising nectar) among the objects obtained when the ocean was churned. Among men I am the king whom all people obey and serve. (10:235-239).
Also among my principal manifestations are Vajra among all the weapons, Kamdhenu the wishing cow among the cows and Madan the god of love among the creative entities. Among the snakes I am the King Vasuki and among the cobras I am the Cobra Ananta. Among all the aquatic creatures I am Varuna the master of the Westerly direction. Among all the Manes I am Aryama. Yama is my principal manifestation among the controllers who takes note of all the good and bad deeds of creatures, examines their conscience and gives reward or retribution according to their karma. (10:240-246).
Among the demons, Prahlad is my principal manifestation and it is because of this that he was not affected by their qualities. I am the lion among predators and forest animals. Garuda is my principal manifestation among birds and therefore he is able to carry Me on his back. Among the speedy entities which can go at one stretch round the seven seas on the vast expanse of this earth in less than a Ghatika (24 minutes), I am the wind. I am Shri Rama among all the weapon wielders because it was he who succeeded by means of his bow alone in saving Dharma which had come in great danger from Ravana during the Tretayuga. He saved the honour of the gods and revived the Dharma and became the sun of the Solar dynasty. Among the aquatic animals having tails I am the crocodile. River Ganges is my principal manifestation among the rivers. But Arjuna, if I start enumerating every manifestation even hundreds of births will not be sufficient to cover even half of them. If one has to know all of them that one must first realise Me. (10:247-260).
Therefore understand once for all that I am everything. (10:263) And if one knows my all-pervasiveness then what is the point in knowing my different manifestations? But you are not capable of knowing my all-pervasiveness therefore let Me stop this discussion. (10:264-265). However, since you have asked about my manifestations let Me tell you that Knowledge of the Self is my principal manifestation among all branches of knowledge. Among debates I am the debate which does not end but creates more and more interest among listeners and sweetness in the speech of the speakers. Among the alphabets I am the first letter "A" and among the compound words I am the Dwandwa mode of compounding (double syllables). I am the destroyer who swallows everything from an ant to Brahmadeo the god of creation, the earth along with all the mountains, the ocean which floods the entire universe during the deluge and which accommodates the entire space. I am also He who creates the universe again. It is I who creates all creatures, sustain them and finally destroy them therefore I am also the Death. (10:266-274).
Among the manifestations expressed by feminine gender there are seven main ones. I am the fame which never fades, and I am the fortune which is accompanied by generosity. And I am the speech which uses discrimination and is supported by justice. I am the memory which comes as soon as one sees a thing. I am also the intellect which is beneficial to one's well-being. Courage and forgiveness are also my principal manifestations. Thus these seven powers expressed as feminine gender are Me only. (10:275-279).
I am Brihatsam within the Samaveda and Gayatri metre among all the metres. I am the Margashirsha (in December) among the twelve months and Vasant (Spring) among the six seasons. (10:280- 283).
I am the Gambling among all the games of cheating therefore nobody can help a person who is looted even in public by gambling. (10:284).
I am the brightness of all the shining objects and success among all desires. Among all professions I am that which brings out justice. I am the goodness among all the good people and I am Shri Krishna among all the Yadavas whose life history and actions you have seen for yourself. Even though you eloped with my sister Subhadra, I did not feel inimical towards you because you and Me are one. I am Vyasa among all the sages and Ushanacharya among poets. (10:285-295).
Among all administrators, I am the sceptre which administers control over everybody from an ant to Brahmadeo. I am the moral science among all the sciences. I am the Silence among all the secrets because even Brahmadeo cannot do anything to a person who observes silence. I am the knowledge which occurs in the learned. But how long one should go on like this? There is no limit to my manifestations. (10:296-299). Therefore I shall tell you the secret once for all. (10:304).
RECOGNISE AVATAR IN A LEADER
I am the seed which causes the propagation of life therefore one should never qualify anything as big or small and should not differentiate between high and low and realise that all the beings are my forms. (10:304-305). Arjuna, I shall tell you a broad characteristic by which you will recognise my manifestation. In whichever creature you see wealth and kindness occurring together, know that that is my manifestation. (10:306-307).
He who is obeyed by all should not be considered as lonely or poor. Actually the splendour of the universe are within him. The signs by which one can recognise such a person is that the whole world bows to him and obeys him. Persons with these signs are my Avatars, and to say that a particular Avatar is better than the other is committing a sin because I am all the universe. (10:308-312).
KNOWING MANIFESTATIONS NOT ENOUGH
Therefore Arjuna, how are you going to measure the extent of my limitless form by considering my manifestations one by one? Enough of such efforts towards realising Me. Just a fraction of Me has amply covered the entire universe therefore abandon the idea of duality and be devoted to Me with an attitude of equality. (10:316-317).
UNIVERSE AS SHRI KRISHNA’S FORM
To this Arjuna replied, “The feeling of duality between you and me has gone after You told this secret of yours. (10:319) You are the supreme Brahman which has come within our reach by our good fortune.” (10:322) Shri Krishna then commended Arjuna for thoroughly understanding his different manifestations. Arjuna humbly said that Shri Krishna was a bettr judge of that and that and as far as he was concerned he considered the entire universe to be Shri Krishna’s form. (10:326-327)
NOTE 1 regarding ninth chapter (10:19-31) and (10:135-140).
Devotion to one's Guru is foremost among Nath Sect. Thus saint dnyneshwar ascribes all credit for his work to the grace of his Guru. Different commentators have stressed on different philosophies stated in the Gita. It is clear that Dnyaneshwar Maharaj has preferred to stress on the Path of Devotion which is the subject matter of the ninth chapter. This is also clear from the paragraph ref. (10:135-140). Second point is that Dnyaneshwar Maharaj himself divides the Gita into two parts: first part comprising of the first nine chapters and the second part comprising of the rest.
2 regarding Seven Rishis (10:91-97)
The seven great rishis referred here are: Kashyap, Atri, Bharadwaj, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamdagni and Vashistha. However, Puranas mention the following seven rishis (Saptarshi) as sons of Brahmadeo: Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulahak, Kratu, and Vasishta. Kashyap was the son of Marichi. Vashistha is actually a name of a family lineage who were hereditary royal priests of the Ikshwaku dynasty (solar) kings. It was he sixth Vashishtha who was the priest to the king Dasharatha, father of Shri Rama (considered as the seventh avatar of Vishnu). Suta when he expanded the Mahabharata epic in about 450 BC as also later Purana authors have not bothered to distinguish among the various generations of the Vashishtas thus creating a lot of misinterpretations of events and consequent confusion. Vishwamitra lived in the Vedic times. He is the author of the famous Gayatri Mantra and was a contemporary of the first Vashishtha with whom he had a feud. There was another Vishwamitra, three generations later, contemporary of Devaraja Vasishtha, the third of the line. He was born Vishvaratha, son of the king Gadhi of Kanyakubja. Born a Kshatriya, he wanted to become a Brahmin sage and did long Tapas to achieve his objective. This Vishwamitra's sister was married to rishi Jamadagni the father of Parashuram (considered as the sixth avatar of Vishnu). It has been established by Yardi (See Prologue) through a statistical analysis of the metres used in Ramayana Shlokas that the original Ramayana by Valmiki does not contain the story of Shri Rama being taken to forest by Vishwamita nor his meeting Parshurama. Both are latter additions of imaginary events made to the Valmiki Ramayana by Suta made several centuries later in 450 BC. Gautama was senior to Jamadagni by one generation. Atri lived during the time of Shri Rama who had met him in his AshraIma in Chitrakut while in forest. At the time of the meting both Atri and his wife Anasuya were quite old.
3 on various entities : (10:235-239), (10:247-260), (10:280-
These entities are various deities etc. from Vedas and Puranas.
Adityas, Maruts, Rudras and Vasus: These are groups of Vedic deities. Adityas are the 12 sons of Aditi born from Rishi Kashyap who were probably deified later as aspects of the Sun representing the 12 months. Vishnu, Vivaswat and Indra are better known among them. Maruts were first considered as messengers of death, but later when Yama was designated the god of death they were considered as belonging to Indra’s retinue related to storms and lightning. Marichi was their chief. (This Marichi is different from the one among Saptarshis.) Vasus are a group of eight Vedic deities. Agni is their chief. Rudras are a group of eleven deities with Shiva as their chief.
Airavat, Amrit, Kamadhenu, Ucchaisrava. The Puranic legend is as follows: Bali, the king of the Asuras defeated the Devas and occupied the Deva kingdom in heaven. Devas were advised to obtain the Amrit (Nectar which makes the drinker immortal) from Kshirasagar, the Ocean of milk. The idea was that once Devas consumed Amrit the Asuras would not be able to kill them and they could the defeat the Asuras and regain their kingdom. Devas, by subtle diplomacy, induced the Asuras to jointly churn the ocean to take out invaluable articles out of it including Amrit. The Asuras agreed on the condition that they will get the items. To churn this huge ocean they used mount Mandar as the churner to be rotated by means of the snake Vasuki as the rope. Lord Vishnu became a tortoise to support the mountain to prevent it from sinking. When churning started a terrible poison first came out which, on prayers from both Devas and Asuras, was swallowed by Lord Shiva whose throat turned blue as a consequence. A total of fourteen articles came out which included Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth (who chose Lord Vishnu as her husband), Ucchaisrava the divine horse, Airavat the divine elephant, Kamdhenu the wish-cow, Kalpataru the wish-tree, wine etc. most of which were appropriated by the powerful Asuras. Finally two handsome persons, the Ashwinikumars came out with a vessel of Amrit. When Amrit was brought out the Asuras ran away with it but Lord Vishnu, taking the form of a beautiful woman enticed them and tricked them in such a way that only Devas received the Amrit and became immortal. Devas then defeated the Asuras and drove them to the nether plane. The Ashwinikumars became the physicians of the Devas.
Ananta. was the king of the Nagas (cobras).
Ashwattha (Peepul or Ficus Religiosa) tree is one of the most venerated and worshipped trees.
Bhrigu is one of the most famous ancient rishis. Members of Bhrigu clan were also great warriors.
Brihaspati is the priest of the Devas and is supposed to be a person of knowledge.
Garuda is the divine eagle and the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
Indra:Indra is the king of Devas and was the most prominent god in the Vedic period. He was a great general of the Aryan tribes who came to India and later deified as king of gods. Later, after Aryans moved into an agricultural era he lost his importance as a worshipped deity.
Varuna: Varuna was a greatgod for the asura aryans who settled in Persia and who were always at war with the Deva Aryans whose descendents settled in India. Varuna was worshipped by Deva Aryans also but after Indra defeated the Asuras by treacherously breaking the peace treaty with their king Vritra, Deva Aryans and their Indian descendents shifted their allegiance to Indra. Varuna was then given a secondary place among the Vedic pantheon. It is said that even the first Vashishta (see Nnote 2 above) used to worship varuna but shifted his allegience to Indra. By about the second century BC Varuna was relegated to a secondary importance and made Chief of water bodies and aquatic creatures and also the chief of the Westerly direction.
Kapil was a great thinker who lived about three centuries before Rishi Atri. He is said to have propounded the Sankhya philosophy. At the time of Sauti (450 BC) he must have been considered as an accomplished yogi (Siddha) who had achieved occult powers (Siddhis). He is often considered as an avatar of Vishnu.
Kuber and Chitraratha: Puranas mention demigods like Gandharvas, Kinnaras (both demigods of music), Vidyadhars and Yakshas (guardians) etc. Kuber is the king of the Yakshas and keeper of the wealth of gods. Kuber was the son of Rishi Vishrava and the elder brother of Ravana the villain of Ramayana. Brahmadeo had awarded the kingdom of Lanka to Kuber. Ravana wrested it from him and became the king. Chitraratha is the king of the Gandharvas. Though Puranas portray these people as demigods they are probably different clans of the Deva Aryans who settled in the Himalaya regions.
Margashirsha the ninth lunar month now falls in December. Apparently in Krishna’s times the year started with Margashirsha instead of in Chaitra. (See note at the end of chapter 8 )
Meru is a fictitious mountain around which sun is supposed to revolve daily according to the ancient concept of geography. Some historians consider that Meru refers to the North Pole and is the memory of the days when the Aryans lived in the arctic region.
Narada, See the notes at the end of Chapter 9.
Prahlada See the notes at the end of Chapter 9.
Rama is considered as the seventh avatar of Vishnu. He killed the Daitya king Ravana who was oppressing the earth. He lived about two centuries before Mahabharata war.
Samaveda: There are four Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Though scholars consider Rigveda to be the oldest, Samavedis consider Samaveda to be the first Veda from which verses have been borrowed by Rigveda.
Siddhas are accomplished yogis who have attained siddhis or occult powers.
Skanda and Madan Skanda is the son of Shiva and Parvati. A demon by name Tarakasura became very powerful due to a boon from Brahmadeo and began oppressing people. It was predicted that only the son of Lord Shiva would be able to kill him. But Lord Shiva was engrossed in meditation and was observing celibacy while his wife Parvati, daughter of Parvat and Mena was pining for him. Gods decided on a stratagem by which Parvati was to pray before Lord Shiva and as soon as he opened his eyes and looked at her, Madan the god of love (Cupid of the Greek mythology) was to shoot his love arrow at him. All went as planned but when he realised what had happened Shiva opened his third eye in anger and burnt Madan to ashes. However, Parvati did get a son from Lord Shiva who was named Skanda. The boy was taken care of when he as an infant by Krittikas (which is the name of the six star group Pliedes) and was therefore also called Kartikeya. He is depicted as having six heads and rides a peacock. Skanda killed Tarakasura and liberated people from his oppression.
Subhadra was Krishna’s sister. Arjuna and she fell in love. While Shri Krishna was in favour of the marriage, their elder brother Balarama was against it. Shri Krishna arranged that she should elope with Arjuna and later brought about their reconciliation with Balarama.
Vajra is the principal weapon of Indra and known for its hardness among all the weapons,
Vasant is the spring season out of the six seasons in which the lunar year is divided. Other five are Grishma, Varsha (rainy), Sharad, Hemant and Shishir (cold).
Vasuki was the king of snakes.
Vyasa Son of the great Rishi Paraashara and grandson of Rishi Vashshtha of Ramayana. He is known for collecting and editing all the Vedas hence he is sometimes called Vedavyas. He is also ascribed the authorship of all Puranas, Shastras and History including Jaya, the precursor to the great epic Mahabharata.
Yama is the god of death and deliverer of justice to the souls of the dead according to their Karmas.
Ushanacharya Better known as Shukracharya he was the son of Rishi Bhrigu born of Puloma. His other name was Kavya (meaning poetry) but Rishi Valmiki who lived much later is credited to be the first poet. Valmiki’s period is early 12th century BC while Shukracharya’s period is much earlier. He was the Chief priest and Guru of the Asuras and is said to know Sanjivani Vidya, the art of reviving the dead. Thus he was a great asset to the Asuras until they received the Amrit. His daughter Devayani, married to Yayati, was the mother of Yadu, the founder of the Yadava clan into which Shri Krishna was born.
ORIGINALLY UPLOADED FEBRUARY 2000 - REVISED AUGUST 2004/NOVEMBER 2009
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