Tuesday, 10 December 2013

River Yamuna

Among the seven sacred rivers of India River Yamuna has a greater significance in the Indian Mythology as it lies as the witness of our Lord Shri Krishna.River Yamuna is the largest tributary river of Ganges in Northern India. It originates from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height of 6,387 metres on the south western slopes of Banderpooch peaks in the uppermost region of the Lower Himalayas in Uttarkhand. It travels a length of 1,376km coursing through H.P., Delhi, Haryana and the U.P. Its origin is at Yamunotri glacier in Uttarkashi District in the Uttarakhand State, at a height of nearly 6300 metres. Cities like Delhi, Mathura and Agra lie on its course. It joins Ganga at the Triveni Sangam, Allahabad.. Yami is another name of Yamuna, she is the sister of Yama, the god of death and daughter of Lord Surya. Both of them are twins. Yamuna is alternatively referred to as Amsumati in the Rigveda. Amsumati also means “sunlight”. 

A dip in Yamuna is supposed to eradicate any fears of death. And some people regard Yamuna as even more sacred than Ganges as the feet of baby Krishna were washed in it as he was being carried by Vasudeva across the river from the Mathura side to the Gokul side.

 When Vasudeva, carrying Krishna in a basket, reaches the river Yamuna, on the extremely turbulent, rainy night of Krishna's birth, Yamuna is said to have parted to make way for Vasudeva. Besides,the river was witness to Krishna's games and amorous pranks with gopis, and the growing Lord liberally indulged in swimming in it. The twins Yama and Yami (Yamuna) are regarded in the Vedas as the first man and woman (mortals) on earth. Yami’s vahan is a tortoise.

                                              Goddess Yamuna on Tortoise

Some say the source of the river is the Saptarishi Kund, a glacial lake, where a sacred shrine of Yamunotri or Yamnotri is constructed. There is also a temple dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, which remains closed from November to May. At Hanumanchatti, the Hanuman Ganga converges with Yamuna River. According to a legend, this remote hilly spot was the home of an ancient sage, the Asit Muni.

Yamuna River is famous today in many different ways: on its bank stands the Taj Mahal, the timeless embodiment of love and beauty, created by Emperor Shah Jahan of Mughal Dynasty. In the 17th century, grief-stricken by the untimely death of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the emperor built the monument in white marble, working over twenty years for its completion. Shah Jahan is believed to have spent his old age as a prisoner of his son, Emperor Aurangazeb, gazing at the reflection of the monument in the Yamuna. Shah Jahan died in 1666 in his jail on the opposite side of the river from his beloved Taj Mahal.

The story of Yamuna goes back at least 1.2 million years — to Dwapara Era, when a boy named Krishna grew up on the banks of this river, in the town of Brindavan. In mythology, Yamuna is celebrated as Kalindi, or the black river. Yamuna is the sister of Yama — the God of Death.

During Dwaparayuga  in this river a serpent named Kaaliya lives and poisons its water; the people living on Kalindi’s banks are devastated because they can’t use the water. They are too frightened by the serpent’s presence in river. Children can’t play on the river shore for fear of inhaling the air poisoned by Kaaliya’s breath. No one dares go near it. Birds flying in the sky above fall dead. Animals that drink the water downstream die instantly. In the forest nearby, trees wither away.

             One day Lord Krishna looks up from his play with friends, and sees the black serpent — its many hoods raised menacingly. Krishna’s smile disappears.Soon afterward he hears cries from women and men. Some children are killed by the venomous snake.
Lord Krsishna moves ahead to save his people and kaliya circles him with coils.Having severely depleted Kaliya's strength with His restless circling, Krishna pushed down kaliya's shoulders and mounted his broad, serpentine heads. Thus, Krishna, the original master of all fine art, began to dance, His lotus feet deeply reddened by the touch of the numerous jewels upon the serpents heads. At that time the ruby-red jewels from the snake's foreheads fell into the Yamuna's bluish waters producing a beautiful violet effect.

Seeing the Lord dancing, His servants in the heavenly planets, the Gandarvas, siddhas, sages, Caranas and wives of the demigods immediately arrived there. With great pleasure they began accompanying the Lord's dancing by playing drums such as mrdangas, panavas and anakas. They also made offerings of songs, flowers and prayers. Kaliya had one hundred and one prominent heads and when one of them would not bow down, Krishna would smash that stubborn head by striking it with His feet.

Krishna 's wonderful, powerful dancing trampled and broke all of Kaliya's 1000 heads The serpent, profusely vomiting blood from his mouths, finally recognised Sri Krishna to be the eternal Personality of Godhead, the Supreme master of all moving and non-moving beings, thus within his mind, Kaliya took shelter of the Lord and accepts its defeat. All the wives of the mighty serpentine prays Lord Krishna for excusing him.

           Lord Krishna orders him to leave Yamuna and live in sea, when the serpentine tells him about the threat with Garuda. Pleased god assured the serpentine that his vahan Garuda will never touch him as the serpentine's head has the foot marks of the god.


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