Sunday, 30 March 2014

Ugadi & Gudi Padwa

          With the Best wishes for Ugadi and Gudi Padwa festivals.

             Ugadi is the New year festival for Deccan region of India. People from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka celebrate this. More easily the people who follow the south Indian Lunar calendar living between Vindhyas and Kaveri river celebrate. Festival comes on Chaitra Suddhha Paadyami. Speciality of this day is eating of a specific mixture of six tastes, called ugadhi pachhadi in Telugu and Bevu Bella in Kannada.  This symbolize that life is a mixture of different experiences -- 

Sadness(Neem Buds/Flowers),
Anger(Green Chilli/Pepper), 
Disgust( Tamarind Juice) and 
Surprise(Unripened Mango). 

This festival heralds the advent of spring. Mother Nature allows new plants to take birth and makes the earth green. The Nine day long Spring festival of Vasantha Navartri starts on this day and ends on Shri Rama Navami.

Panchanga Shravanam is one another important tradition of this festival. Listening or reading the Panchanga equals a holy dip in river Ganges. It is also believed that Lord Brahma started creation of the Universe on this auspicious day.

Marathi's and Konkani's celebrate the same day as Gudi Padwa. Bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (Zari) tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which sugar crystals, neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers  is tied. A silver or copper pot is placed in the inverted position over it. Altogether is called as Gudhi. It is hoisted outside the house or near a window so that everybody can see it. It is represented as the flag of Indra and this festival is celebrated because of the initiation of creation by Lord Brahma.

Also mythological, Gudhi represents Lord Rama's victory and happiness on returning to ayodhya after slaying Ravana. It is also believed that it gets rids off the evil and invites prosperity with good luck. 

Sindhi's also celebrate the day as Cheti Chand festival. Mostly not on the same day.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sri KalaHasthi--The Vayu Linga of Lord Shiva

            Sri Kalahasthi temple of Lord Shiva belongs to the pre-historic times of Vedic land when the lord Shiva himself came to earth for his devotees. It is one of the temples of Pancha Bhoota, enshrining one of the elemental lingas the vayu( Air) Linga. Only temple for the Lord of Wind in India.  It is located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh very near to tirupathi and on the banks of river Swarnamukhi. SriKalahasthi Temple is named after the three ardent devotees of lord shiva—they were the Spider (Sri), the serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasthi). This is the only temple which is kept opened on Lunar and Solar Eclipses.

            My visit to this piligramage place helped me in exploring more interesting aspects. In simple words, I entered the temple on a wrong day hence there is no crowd. I made my time to spend more on the temple architecture on the three Gopurams. This temple is constructed during pallava period and the hundred pillared manatapa is built by krishna devaraya during 16th century.

                  Inside the temple premises you can listen continuous chanting of OM NAMAH SHIVAYA, which makes us forget of who we are even. It occupies 100% percent of your mind slowly when I slowly moved ahead towards the temple. The front yard have a very big cradle under another gopuram (roof), Beside it you can see puja being performed to the cow—Hindu’s consider Cow as a sacred animal and believe that doing Puja will give wealth, health and prosperity. Moving ahead is the entrance of the ancient temple, the doors are so big and the temple architecture is magnificent. Cameras are not allowed--- I know I shall be missing more memories without my cam.

            On left side of the entrance, rituals are performed for the Rahu Kethu KalaSarpa Dosha Nivaarana – Ofcourse there are three other places for performing the same pooja in the temple. 

           Astrologically, when all the planets are sandwiched between Rahu and Ketu, it is deemed to be Kala Sarpa. If the planets are moving towards Ketu, it is Kala Sarpa yoga and If the planets are moving towards Rahu, it is Kala Sarpa dosha. If the ascendant or Moon is not in the axis and all the planets are in between Rahu and Ketu, it is also Kala Sarpa yoga, even though the planets are moving towards Rahu. Many people performs this Pooja first and then goes for darshan. Pooja is started only after the Rudrabhishekham is started in the temple. It is believed that after performing pooja one will be blessed for children, wealth, property, gain, and prosperity. Those who wish progeny, success in endeavors, worldly enjoyment and the final emancipation shall attain it by performing this Pooja/Rituals.

            We followed a line to reach the Lingakara, Lord Shiva. There is a Sun God statue just beside the door and it’s amazing, hope most of you miss it in a hurry to see the main deity. Finally, I stepped inside and it was an amazing feeling to see the Lingakaara Shiva. I’m sure I could not explain the immense feeling of watching the main Linga. It was there where lord appeared for the devotees. The Shivalinga inside the sanctum is white and is considered Swayambhu, or self-manifested. It has a plinth and is seen in the shape of the trunk of an elephant with tusks on either side or like that of the spider at the bottom. When seen from the top, the Shiva Linga looks like that of a snake with five hoods. The lamp inside the inner sanctum continuously sparkles, even without the air movement inside. The main Sivalinga of Sri Kalahasti Temple is not touched by human hands, even by the priests. A mixture of water, milk, camphor, and Panchamrita is used for Abhishekam.

            The serpentines made of copper and silver (Rahu and Kethu) which are from the pooja of Rahu Kethu Kala Sarpa Dosha Nivaarana are dropped in the main Hundi here. 

               Moving ahead is the temple of Gnanaprasunambika ( goddess Parvathi) consort of Lord Shiva. The statue of Goddess Gnana Prasunambika Devi- the flower of divine knowledge, assumes great importance here, as this is considered one the 108 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Shakti. It is said that the skull fell here at Srikalahasti Temple. According to the legends, the Goddess is a representation of Santana Lakshmi.

            On the right you can see the Bhaktha Kanappa point where the devotee’s will have the Gopuram view.


            Sri Kalahasthi is named after the three devotees who sacrificed themselves-- the Spider (Sri), the serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasthi). Story is Hasthi used to clean the shiva Linga everyday with water and prays lord with Bilva leaves. Kala unknowingly cleans the linga by removing the leaves and places its precious gems to pray the lord. 

        This raises a dispute between them on one day when they came to know who is removing their offerings. Snake enters the trunk of elephant to punish it. Elephant runs amok and hits the head and trunk against the Linga and dies. Snake also dies due to the hit. There was one more devotee Sri- Spider which weaves the web around the deity to protect from rain, sun, dust etc.,  One day lord decides to test the spider for its promotion and hence raises fire on web. Spider doesn’t wish to leave the web and Linga with fear to death and dies protecting the Linga. Lord appears and grants Moksha for all the three.

Bhakta Kanappa

            Bhaktha Kanappa was a hunter who was called Tinnappa before he became a saint, and he lived in the forest hunting animals. One day he goes for a hunt on the favourite day(shivaratri) of lord shiva. He finds nothing to eat and getting exhausted he reaches the downhill where he finds the Shiva Linga. He remains without food on entire day and makes a vow that he will share his food with him when he finds food to eat. He understands the power of lord and starts praying him. As vowed he places the flesh and cleans the Linga with water filling in his mouth. Lord gets delighted of his sincere prayers. 

                 One day to test his devotee lord drops blood from one of his eye, thinappa thinking someone has harmed his lord without any hesitation removes his eye and places as a substitue to lords eye. Immediately oozing of blood from that eye stops and it starts from the other eye, Thinappa feels sad for his lord and starts to think how he can place his second eye when he becomes blind. So he with his foot, marks the place of lord’s eye and replaces his eye. At that time the Lord, pleased with the strength of his devotion, gave him Darsan and restored his eyesight and also gave him the name "Kannappa," that is, one who gave his eyes to the Lord. Pleased with his devotion the Lord also ordained that be should be near the Lingam permanently.

*****~~~~~~~~~~OM NAMAH SHIVAYA~~~~~~~~~~~~*****

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lord Brahma and his Beautiful Creation of Universe

 Lord Brahma is the creator of Life in Universe. He is the first member of trinity that includes Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. His divine consort is Saraswathi, the goddess of learning and knowledge. He is also known as Vaagish ( Lord of speech and sound). He is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces and four arms. Each head recites one of the four Vedas (Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva ). He carries a rosary with the upper right hand, a book with the upper left hand, Kamandal (water pot) with the lower left hand, bestows grace with lower right hand.

A book in the back hand (symbolizing the intellect) illustrates that right knowledge is important for any kind of creative work. A water pot (kamandalu) in the front left hand symbolizes the cosmic energy by which Brahma brings the universe into existence. The hand symbolizing ego (the front right hand) is shown in the pose of bestowing grace. This conveys the idea that the Lord bestows grace and protects all sincere devotees. 

            The white beard denotes wisdom and the long beard conveys the idea that creation is an eternal process. The crown on the head of the Lord implies that the Lord has supreme power and authority over the process of creation. 

The lotus symbolizes the Supreme Reality, the essence of all things and beings in the universe. Brahma sitting or standing on a lotus indicates that He represents the creative power of the Supreme Reality. The color white symbolizes purity. Thus Brahma wearing clothes that are off-white, represents the dual nature of creation, that is purity and impurity, happiness and unhappiness, vice and virtue, knowledge and ignorance, and so on. 

In Hindu mythology, a swan is said to possess a unique discriminating faculty, which enables it to distinguish pure milk from a mixture of milk and water. The swan is therefore used to symbolize the power of discrimination. Brahma uses the swan as a vehicle. As creation is the work of the mind and the intellect, Lord Brahma symbolizes the Universal Mind.

Birth of Brahma:-

According to Shri MadhBhagawatam, Lord Brahma is born from the Navel of Shri Maha Vishnu. Therefore Lord Vishnu is the father as well as mother of ALL creation beginning first and foremost with Brahma.

Just born Brahma doesn’t know the purpose of his being. He tries to look all around him simultaneously and he sprouted 5 heads to enable him to spot even a hint of an activity in any direction yet could not see anything except darkness all around him. To clear his confusion lord Vishnu made himself visible to Brahma and explains him the reason for his birth.

Each Universe has the personal form of lord Vishnu and Brahma as well.

Creation of Universe:

 Creation starts stage wise like this:

  • Shri Maha Vishnu wishes to arise  disturbance in equilibrium of the 3 qualities of Satva, Rajas and Tamas which result in formation of “Mahat-Tattva” from which “Buddhi”/ Intelligence  along with “Aham”/ego manifests.
  • Pancha- MahaBhoot : Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Sky the basic five elements rise from the Mind.
  • The five senses – Vision, Hearing ,Touch, Smell and taste are raised.

All the three creations does not belong to Brahma and they come into being naturally and hence it is known as Prakriti.

  •  Brahma first creates the Immovable objects such as Planets, Land, Mountains.
  • Secondly he creates 6 different types of vegetation, 12 different types of birds and 28 different animals.

  • Demigods and other advanced specified of life are created.
  • 4 sons of Brahma as the first Incarnations of Lord Vishnu were created from his mind- Elaborated in below section Sons of Brahma. However they decide to be spiritual and vow to celibacy. Lord Brahma gets angry of their decision and on his top voice…in anger..

  • A child emerges from Brahma’s forehead who is Rudra. However he also chooses the path of Tapas. On request of Brahma he creates 10 more beings with the same appearance as him. So there are total 11 Rudras, among them one is Lord Shiva.

  • When the Manas putras of Brahma given below prefer to follow footsteps of kumaras, Brahma again filled up with negative energy from which Asuras or Rakshas took birth.
  • Focusing on the positive energy, Devas are created.
  •  Next creation was Manes or pitras. For them one day and night equals our fortnight.
  • He now Manifests Goddesses Saraswati and gayatri, Prasuti; the 4 vedas; other elements such as Emotions, Music and Rishi Kardama.

  • Prasuti becomes the consort of the eldest Manas putra Daksh and hence he is the second prajapati after Brahma.
  •  From his body emerges the first man, Swayambhu Manu who resembles just like him. Along with Manu, emerged the female Shatrupa on Earth who are the actual Hindu Adam and Eve, has populated the globe.
  • He then creates other species with magical powers Yakshas, Gandharvas,Sarpas and Apsaras etc.,

Marriage of Brahma:-

          As per MATSY PURAN, There was a time when GOD BRAHMA was only alone when the cosmos did not exist. He felt and long for company. Accordingly he decided to split himself in to two parts, creating a feminine counterpart. As mythology mentioned her in the name of SANDHYA, BRAHMI or SARASWATI who emerged from BRAHMA'S mouth.

           Brahma was attracted and fell in love with her. His longing for her increased and he started looking at her constantly. To avoid his gaze, SARASWATI started moving from one side to another even flied on top but Brahma started looking towards her with out turning his head but creating heads all around, total of FIVE HEADS. Brahma finally requested her to help him to create the Universe.

 Saraswati as his wife helped Brahma to execute his plan accordingly and created the demigod Manu, who ultimately created the world.

Sons of Brahma:-

Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanatkumara are the first mind-born creations and sons of Lord Brahma. Brahma, who had        received knowledge of Puranas from Narayana, imbibed this to his 4 kumaras who taught Narada and from there transmitted to Krishna Dwaipayana, who scripted them into 18 puranas. The 4 mind born son’s of Brahma undertook lifelong vows of celibacy(Brahmacharya) against the wishes of her father. They are said to wander throughout the materialistic and spiritualistic universe without any desire but with purpose to teach.

As all the sons are born from his mind, they are called Manas Putras. Manusmrti and Bhagavat purana enumerate them as:

1.      Marichi
2.      Atri
3.      Angirasa
4.      Pulaha
5.      Pulasthya
6.      Krathu
7.      Vashista
8.      Prachethasa
9.      Bhrigu
10.  Narada
11.   The only daughter Shatrupa-One who can take hundred forms.

Incarnations of Brahma:-

Dasam Granth of Sikhs written by Guru Govind singh mentioned the below avtaras as Incarnations of Brahma:
1.      Valmiki
2.      Kashyap
3.      Sukra
4.      Baches
5.      Vyas
6.      Khat Rishi
7.      Kalidas.


Lord Brahma doesn’t have much temples to say about the reasons are called in different myths as below:

Brahma lied to Lord Shiva

Once it was decided that Brahma would go up (towards the sky) and try to find the head of this pillar of Light (Shiva) and Vishnu would go down (under the earth) to find the foot of Shiva. Brahma then assumed the form of a swan and began his journey into the sky. Vishnu on the other hand, assumed the form of Varaha (wild boar) and bored through the earth to descend into the very depths of the world. The two of them went thus on their quest for thousands of years and even still could find no end to the pillar of light (as light has no limit). After proceeding in their quest for so long, the two of them got tired.

Vishnu decided to end his search (becoming humbled) and proceed back to the earth. At the same time, Brahma saw a Ketaki (fragrant screw pine – Pandanus Sativa, kewra in hindi and thazhampu in tamil) flower slowly wafting downwards from the sky. He stopped the flower on its way down and asked it where it was coming from. On being questioned by the creator, the flower replied that it had been placed at the top of the pillar of fire as an offering by a devotee and had fallen from there. Unable to find the head of the pillar, Brahma decided to end his search and instead use the ketaki flower as evidence of him having reached the head.

Both Brahma and Vishnu came back to the earth in the end and when asked, Vishnu replied truthfully that he had been unable to find the feet of the fiery pillar even after a very long search going to the very ends of the universe. Brahma on the other hand (to prove his superiority over Vishnu) lied by saying that he had in fact reached the head of the pillar of fire and that he had brought the ketaki flower from the top as proof of having reached there. This false claim angered Shiva and he revealed his true form and then cursed Brahma that he would have no temple dedicated to his worship as he was undeserving (as a result of his falsity) and he also cursed the ketaki flower that henceforth she shall not be used in the worship of Shiva (as she had given false testimony when questioned).

Curse of Lord shiva towards Shatarupa Episode:

When Brahma was creating the universe, He made a female deity known as Shatarupa (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahma became immediately infatuated with Her. Shatarupa moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahmā. But wherever She went, Brahma developed a head. Thus, Brahma developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others. In order to control Brahma, Shiva cut off one of the heads. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupa was Brahmā's daughter, having been created by Him. Therefore, Shiva determined, it was wrong for Brahmā to become obsessed with Her. He directed that there be no proper worship on earth for the "unholy" Brahmā.

Curse of Sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu

According to another legend, Brahma is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. Once a great fire-sacrifice (yajna) was being organised on Earth with Bhrigu being the high priest. It was decided that the greatest among all Gods would be made the presiding deity. Bhrigu then set off to find the greatest among the Trimurti. When he went to Brahma, he was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahma that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.

On Karthik poornima, the full moon night of the Hindu Lunar Month of karthik a religious festival is held in Lord Brahma’s Honour. The largest and most famous shrine is Cambodia’s Angkor wat, It’s a 7 feet four faces deity at bangalore Few more  temples exist for Brahma in the vedic land, among them the famous are :

1.      Pushkar in Rajasthan

The Brahma temple is an important pilgrim center for the Hindus. It is nestled in the Pushkar valley, which lies beyond Nagaparvat and the Anasagar Lake. This place, full of natural beauty, holds a special place in the hearts of Indian for it is believed that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses, performed a Yagya here. Legends also has it that the ancient lake Sarovar had appeared miraculously, when a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma and dropped into this valley. Brahma Temple The most famous temple in Pushkar, this is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma (the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology) in the entire country. You can identify it by its red spire and by the image of a hans (the goose considered sacred to Lord Brahma). This temple built with marble is decorated with silver coins and there is a silver turtle on the floor of the temple.

There are other temples also at below locations, each have its own significance.

2.      Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu
3.      Chaturmuka temple in Andhra Pradesh
4.      KhedBrahma in Gujarat.
5.      Uttamar kovil in srirangam, TamilNadu.

Gudi Padwa is celebrated as the day Brahma created this Universe and the Satyayug begun, it marks the commencement of new year.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Lord Vishnu and His Incarnations with Darwin Evolution theory

Lord Vishnu and his Incarnations :-

Science really exist at the time of our ancestors itself. But I believe that the way of teaching is different from now. It was well explained in a story than on paper, relating to human science and psychology. We never forget what we learn from parents in childhood and we never forget a beautiful story as well. The same way beautiful stories were added to our belief and science is integrated to it by our ancestors. So that they can be remembered for ever. In that case Charles Darwin had re-concluded the evolution stages after many eras on our existing science. Lets see how beautifully science is integrated in our mythology.

Lord Vishnu is the one among the Thrimurthi’s and is the supreme god of Vaishnavism. Lord Vishnu is the creator and destroyer of all existences. He is the one who supports, preserves, sustains and governs the universe. Lord Vishnu is described as having four arms holding lotus flower in lower left hand, Kaumodaki gada in lower right hand, Panchajanya Sankha in the upper left hand and Sudarshana chakra in upper right hand. On the ocean of milk, Lord reclines and rests on Ananta Shesha( king of serpent deities, commonly shown with thousand heads).Goddess Lakshmi is his wife.

Most of the time, good and evil forces are evenly matched in the world. But at times, the balance is destroyed and evil demons get the upper hand. Often in response to a request by the other gods, Vishnu then incarnates in a human form to set the balance right again. Lord Vishnu has 10 Incarnations and though there are 24 Avatar’s as per Shrimad Bhagavatam , only ten are worshipped directly. Among these Avatar’s 9 occurred and one will be taking place in future as Lord Kalki.

Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu are:

·      Matsya: The Incarnation of Lord as large fish to kill Damanaka for saving Vedas and also Manu from a great flood that submerges the entire earth.

·      Kurma: In this Incarnation Lord helps Devas and Asuras to churn the ocean for nectar of Immortality.

·      Varaha: Lord Takes the form of Boar to save earth and kill Hiranyaksha.

·      Narasimha: Lord rescues his devotee Prahalad and defeats the Asura King Hiranyakashapa in the form of half lion and half human.

·      Vamana: Lord as a dwarf grows into a giant to save the world from Asura King Bali.

·      Parashurama: "Rama of the battle axe", a sage who appeared in the Treta Yuga. He killed Kartavirya’s army and clan and then killed all the ksatriyas 21 times.

·      Shri Rama: The prince and king of Ayodhya who killed Demon King Raavan.

·         Shri Krishna: the eighth avatar of Vishnu. Together with his brother Balaram an avatar of Serpentine his dearest servant.

·         Budha: The ninth avatar of Vishnu. Prince of wisdom from Kapilavastu.

·       Kalki: the tenth Avatar of Vishnu and said to be the harbinger of the end Kali Yuga.

Other Incarnations:

Adi Purush Avatar ( Incarnation of Pre-eminent man): Lord Vishnu took his first incarnation as the pre-eminent man, with a desire to commence creation. This first incarnation of Lord Vishnu was full of all the sixteen Kalas (Supernatural powers).
Lord Brahma manifested from the navel of Lord Vishnu in his (Lord Vishnu) state of Yoganidra (deep meditation). The creation as well as the expansion of the creation commenced from the organs of Lord Brahma. The first incarnation of Lord Vishnu is all-powerful, which can be seen only by the yogins and sages who have attained divine knowledge. This incarnation is also the indestructible seed from which all the other incarnations manifest themselves. During the time of final annihilation of the world, every creation merges into him.

The Eternal Youths: Sanatkumar was the 'Manasputra' (born by a wish) of Lord Brahma. Throughout his life, he maintained celibacy; and engaged himself in the performance of tremendous penance. He was the one from whom the Brahmins got the inspiration regarding the values and importance of penance and Celibacy

Narada Avatar: Lord Vishnu took his fourth incarnation as Narada. Narada by becoming a 'Devarishi' among all the sages, achieved liberation from all of his Karma's (action). Narada was the one who gave discourses to the Vaishnavas (followers of Lord Vishnu) on 'Pancharatra Tantra'.

Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narada, showed that, the devotion is the best mean of getting liberated from all the bondages of 'Karma's'. He also said that a devotee of Lord Vishnu is the supreme among the devotees in the same way as Devarishi Narada among the Sages.

Nara-Narayana Avatar: Lord Vishnu took his fifth incarnation as sage Nara-Narayan by taking a birth from the womb of a woman named 'Kala'. He performed a tremendous penance by going to Badri and Kedar. He showed the importance Penance (Labour), and also that nothing can be achieved in this world without it.

Kapila Avatar: Lord Vishnu's Sixth incarnation was as sage Kapila. The objective of this incarnation was to compile all the divine knowledge that had been destroyed. He was the profounder of Sankhya Shastra (rationalism) which helped the Brahmins, who had forgotten their duties to rectify their mistakes. He also gave discourse to his own mother.

Dattatraya Avatar: Lord Vishnu's Seventh incarnation was as Dattatraya. He was born to Ansuya and his father was Sage Atri. He was the one who had given Spiritual Knowledge to King Alarka and Prahlada. He had twenty four teachers. He believed that in the world, a man can learn from each and every thing, so he accepted twenty-four objects like water, bird, air, an unmarried girl, and even a prostitute etc.

Yagya Avatar: Lord Vishnu in his eighth incarnation as Yagya was born to Prajapati and Akuti. He had rescued a 'Devagana' (celestial and supernatural being) named Yama and also the Manvantar named as 'Swayambhuva'. The main thrust of his teaching was based on the values of helpfulness and protecting each other during the time of crisis.

Rishab Avatar: Lord Vishnu in his ninth incarnation as  Rishabh Dev was born to king Nabhi and Marudevi. His mother Marudevi was the daughter of Indra. He attained that state of Paramhansa (an ascetic of highest order who has controlled his anger) which is an uphill task. He was given the title of 'Jin' which means a ' a knower'. His followers are known as Jains.

Prithu Avatar: Lord Vishnu in his tenth incarnation as 'Prithu' came into existence after the body of King 'Vena'. Lord Vishnu took this incarnation as per the wishes of the sages. The earth had concealed all the vegetation's within her and as a result the whole land had become barren. To protect the humanity, Lord Vishnu took incarnation as Prithu by milking the cow (earth). This is considered that as a very supreme incarnation, because the earth has remained full of vegetation's after that.

Dhanvantari Avatar: Lord Vishnu took his thirteenth incarnation as Dhanvantari. He manifested from the ocean holding a vessel filled with ambrosia. He was the profounder of medicinal science.

Mohini Avatar:  Lord Vishnu in his fourteenth incarnation as a most enchanting woman enchanted the demons by his beautiful appearance of a woman, and took away the pot filled up with ambrosia from them and gave it to the deities. The deities were thus protected from the demons.

In Another story Lord Vishnu in the Mohini Avatar gives birth to Lord Ayyappa swamy. For the complete story follow the link:

Hayagreeva Avatar: Once Lord Brahma becoming tired of his creative activities, wanted to rest. The night of the Brahma was approaching. Because of his tiredness Lord Brahma yawned. All the four Vedas came out from his opened mouth. A demon who used to live near him in disguise, abducted the Vedas. Lord Vishnu took his sixteenth incarnation as Hayagreeva to protect the Vedas. In this incarnation his face resembled that of a horse and the rest of his body resembled that of Sri Narayan with all of his four hands. He killed the demon and protected the Vedas.

Vyas Avatar: Lord Vishnu took his nineteenth incarnation as Sage Vyasa by taking birth from the womb of 'Satyavati'. His father was sage Parashar. He made the division of Veda, and made extension of its branches. He also wrote eighteen Mahapuranas and the Mahabharata.

Balaram Avatar:
Balrama is considered to be the twenty-first incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In this incarnation he killed Pralambasura the demon and he killed many more demons.

Birth of Lord Vishnu

             The Vedas say, Vishnu wasn’t born, from Vishnu, Brahma is born and in Maha Upanisad it is said that Lord Shiva was born from the forehead of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Vedas say that is the Supreme Lord, the Creator of Brahma and Shiva, who is to be worshiped.

           Narayanah paro devas, Tasmaj jatas caturmukhah
           Tasmad rudro ‘bhavad devah, Sa ca sarva-jnatam gath

“Narayan/Visnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and from him Brahma was born, from whom Shiva was born” .

Lord never left his devotees in difficulties, few known examples apart from Incarnations are:

Gajendra Moksha:

         Once upon a time there lived an elephant in deep forest Rtumata which was created by varuna. This forest was situated in the mountains of Trikuta in ancient India.  It is a devotee of Lord Vishnu. It fells thirsty on a day and goes in search of water. When Gajendra gets into the water, and it becomes a potential cause of his death. 

Gajendra and his herd of elephants have a good time enjoying the cool water when the crocodile suddenly attacks Gajendra and caughts him by leg. The struggle between elephant and crocodile lasts for several thousands of years. Gajendra tried for a long time to escape from the crocodile's clutches. All his family, relatives and friends gathered around to help him, but in vain. The crocodile wouldn't simply let go. When they realised that ‘death’ has come close to Gajendra, they left him alone. He trumpeted in pain and helplessness until he was hoarse. As the struggle was seemingly endless and when the last drop of energy was also sapped, Gajendra called to god Vishnu to save him with Gajendra sthuthi, holding a lotus up in the air as an offering.

Hearing to the devotees call, Lord Vishnu rushes to the scene leaving everything behind. On seeing the lord, that mighty elephant lifts the lotus with its trunk. Lord becomes angry and cuts the head of the crocodile with his sudarshana chakra. Lord explains that Gajendra is king Indradyumna, a vishnu devotee who gets cursed from sage agastya in its previous birth and the crocodile is Gandharva king HuHu who got cursed by sage Devala for pulling his leg while praying Lord Surya. Both of them gets MOKSHA from the lord.

Evolution theory in Dashavatar:

In the evolution chronology, life evolved in the waters and thus the first form of life is an aquatic animal i.e. the fish which is Matsya Avatar. Lord Vishnu took the form of a huge fish in his first Incarnation.

 This was followed by the form which could survive both in land and water, which is depicted through a turtle (kurma), which can survive both in land and water. In the Kurma incarnation Lord Vishnu takes the form of a great tortoise to support churning of the primordial ocean with the mountain, to beget the elixir of immortality. Evolution from Pisces to Amphibians is also what Darwin had proposed. Around the time amphibians evolved, tectonic movements and upheavals of great landmasses were recorded. The churning of the ocean can be seen to symbolise this movement giving rise to new landmasses. At the end of this massive upheaval of earth, mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Andes, and the Alps were supposed to have come into existence. These mountains later made way for dense forests and rivers which became the source of survival of fast evolving species on earth.

Please note that Darwin’s theory had many intermediate stages of evolution, which is not found in the dashavatar. Instead of the stages of reptiles and birds from amphibians, the dashavatar straightaway evolves to the mammals from the stage of the amphibians giving us the nest avatar of Varaha, the wild boar. In the Varaha avatar Lord Vishnu is seen fighting and eliminating the demon in the oceans, to rescue the abducted land maiden (Bhu-devi) for the benefit of people.

Many scholars have found strange coincidence with the scientific finding that more than about 70 million years ago, the Indian land mass had torn itself from the Antarctic and moved north to join the Eurasian land mass, thus lifting up the Himalayan fold mountains. The tropical forests of the western Himalayan ranges, fed by the great river systems of Indus and Ganges later facilitated the evolution of pre-human species. They further surmise that the conquest of the demon by a wild boar could symbolically signify the end of dominance of giant reptiles (dinosaurs?) and the emergence of mammals as the leaders of life forms.

Once the mammal had evolved, the next stage of evolution was a form of human beings who resembled animals both in looks and in behaviour. This takes us the next avatar of Narasimha, where Lord Vishnu is described as a form of half lion and half man.

From this stage was evolved a slightly smarter and intelligent species of mammals, i.e. the monkey clan who were short but intelligent. This brings us to the next avatar, of the Vamana avatar (the dwarf man).

The first five avatars are the symbols of Darwin’s biological evolution theory. The sequence may well represent the forms of fishes, amphibians (reptiles), mammals, advanced primates (hominids) and finally the thinking man respectively. If we look deep and go through the stories in details, they all give hints of the physical evolution of man. However, the next five avatars show the cultural evolution of man.

Incarnations of Lord Vishnu will be published in my next articles