NARAYANEEYAM --- FOR THE YOUNG


Episode 1 - Introduction
Episode 2 - The Prayer
Episode 3 - The Eight-Fold Path
Episode 4 - The Origin of the Universe (Virata Purusha)
Episode 5 - The Origin of the Universe -- (Srishti)
Episode 6 - The Origin of the Universe -- (Visrishti)
Episode 7 - The First Man and Woman
Episode 8 - The Story of Jaya and Vijaya
Episode 9 - The Great Boar--"Varaha Avatara"
Episode 10 - The Lord Comes as a Philosopher
Episode 11 -
Part One: The Devine twins - "Nara & Narayana"
Part Two: Siva Humbles Daksha("Daksha Yaga")

EPISODE 1

INTRODUCTION

      
Lord Vishnu gave an image of Narayana to Brahma. 
The image was made of a rare material, Patalasila. 
Brahma gave it to a sage named Sutapas. 
Sutapas handed it over to Kasyapa Prajapati. 
Kasyapa gave the same image to Vasudeva, 
the father of Sri Krishna. From his father Vasudeva, 
Sri Krishna got it and it was installed and worshipped at Dwaraka.
Before the conclusion of His incarnation as Krishna,
the Lord told his minister and devotee,
Uddhava that this image would come floating in the sea
that would engulf Dwaraka.
Uddhava was instructed to request Brihaspati,
the Deva-Guru to install the image at a suitable place
so that it would help the spiritual uplift
and salvation to people suffering from the
bad effects of the coming Kaliyuga .
Accordingly, Guru collected this divine image
and along with Vayu, the Wind God went
all around the world to select a suitable spot,
and finally at the direction of Lord Siva,
installed it at a place 25 Km to the northwest
of Trichur in Kerala.
Guru and Vayu installed the image together.
Hence the place came to be known as Guruvayoor.
According to this story told in the  Guruvayupura Mahatmyam ,
this temple of Guruvayoor had thus its origin
at the beginning of Kali Yuga and is about 5,100 years old by now. 

King Janamejaya, the grandson of the Pandavas
was afflicted by leprosy as a result of the curse of the serpents.
It is said that he got his disease cured after
long years of worship of the Lord of Guruvayoor
as advised by Sage Atreya. 

Later a Pandya king built a good temple
for the Lord of Guruvayoor as he escaped
death by a snake's bite as foretold by
astrologers during his pilgrimage to Guruvayoor.
Historically, the temple dates only from the 17th century,
by which time the temple came into great prominence.      

The temple of Guruvayoor came into limelight
mainly due to five great saintly devotees.
Their mystic experiences began to evoke
the faith and devotion of many devotees.
These five great names, who lived in the
16 /17th centuries were Vilwamangalam Swami,
Kurur Amma, Poonthanam Namboodiri,
Manavikrama Raja, and Narayana Bhattathiri.
Of all these, Narayana Bhattatiri,
by his great poetical hymn, the NARAYANEEYAM
and his remarkable recovery from a crippling paralysis
has immortalized the temple of Guruvayoor.   

"Narayaneeyam" is the masterly work of Melpathur Narayana Bhattatiri
- a great devotee-poet who lived in Kerala during the 16th century AD.
It is the condensed form of the famous Bhagavata Purana.
The subject matter of the extensive Bhagavata is epitomized
and recast in Narayaneeyam.
The Bhagavata consisting of 18,000 verses has been
summarized in this work in 1034 verses divided into 100  Dasakas  (cantos).
Both as a poem  (Kavya) and as a devotional hymn,
Narayaneeyam occupies a very high place in Sanskrit literature.
Besides, unlike other hymns, it also exposes great truths of Vedanta.
It is a rare literary masterpiece in Sanskrit using as many as 18 meters
and using poetic devices for creating sound effects through Anuprasa,
Yamaka etc and using effective use of
figures of speech, puns, witticism, etc.
It is also a rare hymn of devotion--probably the longest hymn in Sanskrit. 

The author of this great masterpiece, Narayaneeyam
was Melpathur Narayana Bhattatiri,
a Namboodiri Brahmin of Kerala born 442 years ago in AD 1560
as the second son of Mathrudatta, a great scholar.
He was born in a village near the famous temple of Tirunavaya,
Malappuram District of Kerala.
His father taught him the  Mimamsa  and the various Sastras.
His elder brother Damodara taught him Logic  (Tarka) .
He learnt Vedas from one Madhavacharya.
He married at the age of 18-20,
the niece of Achuta Pisharadi, a celebrated grammarian.
The young Narayana, after marriage led
a profligate life of sensual enjoyments for some time.
One day the great Achyuta Pisharadi scolded him
in the presence of his students for his irreligious life.
It touched his heart very much and as a result,
he then and there accepted Achyuta Pisharadi as his Guru.
He learnt from him Sanskrit Grammar.
This was a turning point in Bhattatiri's life.
His outlook in life changed completely
and he became a serious student
and never cared for his physical comforts.
During this time Achyuta Pisharadi fell a victim
to a severe attack of paralysis and suffered unbearable pain.
Bhattatiri, the devoted disciple could not bear
the suffering of his Guru.
He, therefore, fervently prayed
that the disease may be transferred to him
and his Guru freed of suffering.
Bhattatiri accepted the  "Karmavipaka Dana"
by which the sins of his Guru were transferred to him.
It happened as he wanted
and soon while Pisharadi recovered,
the disease made Bhattatiri a cripple.
A "Bhajanam" in the temple of Guruvayoor
was considered as a sure cure for paralysis
and so Bhattatiri went to Guruvayoor for 100 days of "Bhajanam"
along with his younger brother, Mathrudatta.
Before he went the famous Malayalam writer
Tunchat Ezhuthachan advised him "to start with the fish".
Bhattathiri understood the inner meaning of this advice.
He wrote the famous hymn "Narayaneeyam"
describing the Avatars of Vishnu starting with "fish",
i.e. Matsya Avatar.
During the hundred days of his Bhajanam
at the temple of Guruvayoor he summarized
the entire Bhagavata Purana in 1034 verses
at the rate of one Dasaka (canto)
consisting generally of ten verses everyday.
Each Dasaka ended with
a prayer to the Lord of Guruvayoor to cure him of his illness.
On the hundredth day he had a vision
of the Lord in the form of Venugopala.
The 100th canto composed on that day gives
a graphic description of this form of the Lord
from the head to the foot.
On that day he became completely cured of his disease.

This immortal composition, Narayaneeyam,
is so named for two reasons as mentioned
by the poet himself in the 100th canto.
It is about Lord Narayana and secondly
because it was composed by Narayana Bhattatiri.
These episodes are now being presented again by yet another Narayana!

Bhattatiri completed Narayaneeyam on the 27th of November 1587
at the age of 27.
Thereafter, he lived a hale and healthy life
writing many Sanskrit works on grammar and devotional hymns.
It is believed that he lived till the ripe old age of 106.
Some historians, however,
affirm that he must have lived at least up to the age of 86. 

O Lord of Guruvayoor! You are an ocean of kindness!
Let those who read these episodes
at this web site with devotion be freed
from all diseases, mental and physical!
Let them have longevity, health,
and everlasting happiness --"Ayurarogyasoukhyam"!

END OF EPISODE 1

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EPISODE 2

The Prayer

(In this summary of the first three dasakas,
the paralytic patient, Narayana Bhattatiri,
the author of "NARAYANEEYAM" is conversing
with the Lord of Guruvayoor at the famous Guruvayoor temple.)
  
"Sandrananda" you are, O Lord of Guruvayoor,
You are nothing short of concentrated bliss,
the very awareness, the Infinite consciousness, the Brahman Supreme, the ultimate goal of all human life,
beyond time and space, the Infinite, eternally free
and the one without a parallel!

While you are thus the formless and the absolute,
You are also simultaneously personal.
This Divine person is identified with Mahavishnu,
who has incarnated with all His powers and attributes as
Krishna in His Poornavatara - complete incarnation.

And this Krishna is explicitly manifest
in your image at Guruvayoor.
Is it not a rare blessing for mankind
that the very Impersonal Brahman,
difficult to be conceived and comprehended
even by sages has assumed this form
and is ever present and ever shining to give
spiritual solace to the devotees tormented
by the sufferings of the changing world. 

O Lord, how to describe your glory and majesty!
While you fulfil all the desires of
those who seek you like the divine Kalpa tree,
You are quite different in that you give yourself
to those who identify with you. 
O Lord, how blessed are we to have the easy availability
Of this rarest of human blessings!

Unfortunately, very few among men
understand the very presence of
this rarest of blessings at Guruvayoor.
Prompted by worldly desires,
they overlook your divine presence right
in their midst, so easily available and accessible.
But we are not like them.
We shall serve you, O Lord of Guruvayoor,
the very soul of all beings,
so that all our sufferings,
physical and spiritual are resolved.
Therefore, I meditate on your beautiful form.

Kindly excuse me, O Lord, due to my Ignorance earlier,
I had a wrong feeling that you created human beings
only for making them suffer.
Now I realize that had we not been born,
how could we experience the thrill of your form and your glory?  

You possess all the six qualities (Bhaga)
that constitute a Bhagawan,
the Lord --- qualities like omnipotence,
prowess, fame, beauty and auspiciousness, omniscience,
and non-attachment. Hence, you are indeed a "Bhagawan"!

O Lord, let me have a closer view of
your beautiful form -- from your head to your lotus feet.
I see your shining crown, the forehead adorned with a tilaka,
eyes brimming with mercy, face lit up by a benevolent smile,
the beautiful nose, ears, the neck with the Kausthubha jewel
and your chest shining with Srivasta and garlands.
I also see your bracelets, finger rings
- your four arms holding the Gada, conch,
the chakra and the lotus flower.
Your Pitatamber (yellow silk garment)
is fastened to a golden chain at your waist.
Your feet resembling lotus flowers
remove the sufferings of your devotees.
You are more charming than the most charming.
You are an embodiment of beauty and sweetness.
Even Goddess Lakshmi does not like to be
away from you and always stays with you and your devotees. 

O Lord, this form of thine captivates everyone
by its sheer beauty and sweetness
and thrills everyone with ecstasy of joy.
No wonder, this "Path of Bhakthi"
has been considered superior to
the other two paths of "Karma" and "Jnana"
as it caters to the nature of a great majority of men effortlessly. 

O Lord of Guruvayoor, Due to my intense physical sufferings,
I do not even feel inclined to serve you
as my mind is pulled away by the intensity of physical pain. 
Kindly remove my afflictions so that
my feet may be able to walk up to your temple,
my hands may be able to worship you, 
my eyes may be able to have vision of you,
my nose may be able to smell the fragrance
of the Tulasi leaves offered at your feet 
and my ears may hear your glories sung, 
Many of your devotees like Narada freely move about.
Many who are not even your devotees
are seen leading a happy life.
But I, your devotee am undergoing various sufferings.
It is not a great thing for you to eradicate my ailments.
O Lord, may my devotion to you become perfect!
That alone can remove all my sufferings. 

Therefore, O Lord of Guruvayoor,
I am not going to leave you.
Until I get your grace,
I shall serve you, worship you,
sing before you, serve
and seek your grace to the best of my ability.
Kindly eradicate my disease
and enable me to be the best of your devotees.   

(End of Episode 2)             

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EPISODE 3

THE EIGHT- FOLD PATH

(As per the "ASHTANGA YOGA", the purpose of life is to worship the Lord through the eight-fold steps leading to spiritual realization. The eight limbs are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. The author of "Narayaneeyam", Bhattatiri, implores upon the Lord of Guruvayoor to bless him with normal health necessary to undergo this eight-fold path. The author is talking to the Lord in this episode.) O Lord, give me that much of health which will enable me to perform Thy worship. Soon I will observe the disciplines of self -control (Yama) and also follow a code of conduct (Niyama) like taking baths at the proper hour etc. Thereafter I will sit in an appropriate posture (Asana) like Padmasana or Sukhasana etc. I will then control and regulate breathing (Pranayama) and steadily withdraw the sense organs from sense objects (Pratyahara). Afterwards, I will try hard to fix my mind (Dharana) on the lotus feet of the hazily perceived form of the Lord. When I will succeed in this effort, I can go in for meditation (Dhyana) on your beautiful form. This will ultimately lead me to the experience of the Bliss of Brahmic Realization (Samadhi). No doubt, it is not an easy task. Whenever my mind slips down from that experience I will start to re-fix my mind all over again. O Lord, Bless me to move about like Narada and Sukadeva who are always established in Thee and are ever liberated. At the final stage of Samadhi, a liberated devotee has two options. If he has no trace of any desire whatsoever, he merges instantly with You, the Supreme, on leaving the body ("Sadya mukthi"). Otherwise, he passes through various planes of experience in higher worlds and finally merges with the Supreme in due course ("Kramamukthi"). O Lord of the Universe, this is the Path of Light called "Uttarayana". Passing through this path, the Yogi is not born again into this world. O Lord of Guruvayoor! You are that Pure Energy Supreme! I am singing your divine glory with a fervent heart. Kindly protect me! {End of Dasaka4} (END OF EPISODE 3)
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EPISODE 4

THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE --

(The Concept of the "VIRATA PURUSHA")

Do you know how the world came into being?
What was there before creation took place?
Before you know this, you should have a concept of TIME,
as it is computed in our Puranas.
360 human years constitute one year for the Gods
(Divine year or "Divya Varsha").
12,000 such divine years form a "Chatur Yuga"or "Maha Yuga"  
A "Chatur Yuga" or "Mahayuga"
consists of four Yugas (ages) put together. 
The four yugas are:
Krita Yuga--4800 divine years,
Treta Yuga--3600 divine years,
Dwapara Yuga--2400 divine years and
Kali Yuga--1200 divine years.
Total       = 12,000 divine years with 43,20,000 human years.  
71 such Maha Yugas/Chatur Yugas make a "MANVANTARA".
During each Manvantara, a Manu appears
and prescribes the ethical and social regulations
to be followed during that Manvantara. 
14 such Manvantaras are clubbed together to form a "KALPA"
We are today living in the seventh Manvantara,
known as "Vaivaswata Manvantara".
The 14 Manvantaras that go into the making
of a Kalpa constitute just one day for Brahma. 
Brahma is our mythological God of creation. 
At the end of his day, Brahma goes to sleep during his night.
His night extends for the same period as his day,
i.e. the same time for a Kalpa.
During this night, there is no 'creation' activity
and it is called a "Naimittika Pralaya"
or a Partial Dissolution before 
Brahma gets up again for his next day or Kalpa. 
360 such days or Kalpas of Brahma make one year for him.
In this manner a Brahma lives for his 100 years.   
These 100 years are further divided into
two "Parardhas" each of 50 years. 
We are today living in the second Parardha ("Dwideeye Parardhey")
of the present Brahma. 
The life span of a Brahma thus works out to
31104,000,00,00,000 or 311040 billion human years. 
At the close of his life span, there is the Great dissolution
known as Prakrita Pralaya.
This lasts for the entire life span of a Brahma. 
At the end of this Prakrita Pralaya, a new Brahma comes forth. 
Then, a new cycle of creation starts.
The time required for a cycle of "Srishti"
(Creation) and Pralaya (dissolution)
comprising four Parardhas
is the time taken by Lord Maha Vishnu's
one wink of His eyes.

During the Prakrita Pralaya, this universe
made up of the gross and the subtle did not exist.
The creative power 'Maya' was lying latent in the
Supreme Consciousness - i.e. Lord Vishnu. 
The effects of the three qualities of
'Sathwa', 'Rajas' and 'Tamas' were neutralised
by keeping them in equilibrium.
The Lord alone was there as the supreme bliss and consciousness.   
The very concept of "Time",the sum-total of "Karmas"
and the three 'Gunas', all the 'Jivas'
and the whole Universe were absorbed in the Pure-Bliss-Consciousness. 
At the end of the Prakrita Pralaya consisting
of hundred divine years of Brahma, 
Lord Vishnu, the Consciosness wakes up.
By His mere "glance" ("Eekshana"),
'Maya' (the magic power of delusion) came out from the 
Lord ready for the 'Srishti' (Creation) of the three worlds.
Along with Maya also issued forth the concept of Time.
So also did spring up the earlier Vasanas
of the past Jivas lying dormant so far in the Lord.
This disturbed the equilibrium that existed so along
between the three gunas: Sathwa, Rajas and Tamas.
Being activated by that Supreme Consciosness,
and being roused by Time etc.the principle of Intelligence
was projected by Maya.
This came to be known as "MAHAT".
Although a product of "Prakriti" with its constituent qualities
of Sathwa, Rajas and Tamas,
the 'mahat' was predominantly Sathwa
in nature with no separate individuality or status of its own.
A bit more of "TAMAS" was then added to "Mahat"
and it now came to be known as "AHAMKARA" (Egoity),
rooted in separateness, difference and plurality. 

This Ahamkara was again mixed with Sathwa, Rajas and Tamas
in various proportions, permutations and combinations.
From this came  "VAIKARIKA" (Sathwa predominant),
"TAIJASA" (Rajas predominant) and "TAMASA" (Tamas predominant).
From Vaikarika (Sathwic) were created the Gods
who preside over the organs of sense and action and the mind.
They are the presiding deities of the organs of
hearing, touch, vision, taste, smell, speech,
the hands, the feet, excretion, reproduction,
the mind, the intellect, the "I" - sense and the Chitta.
The presiding deities were Dik, Vayu, Surya, Varuna,
Aswini Devas, Agni, Indra, Upendra,
Mitra, Prajapati, the moon, Brahma, Sri Rudra and Kshetrajna.
The Satwic aspect of Ahamkara
created also the ANTHAKKARANA CHITTA,
the inner equipments (the mind stuff).
From the Rajasic aspect of Ahamkara,
the ten sense organs were created.
From the Tamasic Ahamkara, sound was born.
From sound came space and the element of touch and then came
air, fire, taste, water, smell amd earth.
These elements by themselves could not create anything.
The Supreme Consciousness, the Lord (energy) entered them
and activated them and thus created the "Golden Egg" ("BRAHMANDA").
This Brahmanda remained latent for a thousand years.
And then came the 14 worlds as "VIRAT",
with thousands of hands, thousands of feet, thousands of heads etc.
The author of Narayaneeyam, Sri Narayana Bhattatiri concludes
this 5th Dasaka with the prayer,
"O Lord of Guruvayoor,
Thou who did make these 14 worlds (VIRAT)!
Kindly protect me from all my ailments! 
{End of Dasaka 5}

(END OF EPISODE 4)

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EPISODE 5

THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE -- (SRISHTI)

(The One Manifests as the Many)
The "Brahmanda", the nucleus of the Universe evolved itself.
The Lord thus became the Virat --
the Universe of fourteen worlds.
The 14 worlds consisted of the following seven
higher spheres and seven nether regions. 
Higher worlds

Bhuh
Bhuvah
Suvah
Mahah
Jana
Tapah
Satyam

Nether worlds 
Atala
Vitala
Sutala
Rasatala
Talatala
Mahatala
Patala

The lower surface of the feet of the Lord is said to be Patala.
The upper surface of the feet became Rasatala.
The two ankles of the Lord became Mahatala.
The shanks became Talatala.
The knees became Sutala.
The Lord's thighs became Vitala and Atala.
The earth came from the Lord's hip.
His navel became the sky.
His chest became Swarga, the Suvar loka.
The Lord's neck became Mahar loka
and the face became Jana loka.
The forehead became Tapaloka.
Satyaloka is the head of the Lord. 

The Lord's body is conceived as made up of
all other things in the Universe also.
The Vedas came from the "BRAHMARANDHRA" (crown of the head).
Clouds came from his hair.
The eyebrows are the abode of Brahma.
The eyelashes are the night and day.
The eyes became the Sun,
and His glances became the creation of the whole Universe.
The ears became the "directions" (Quarters).
The nostril became the Aswini Devas.
The lower and upper lips became 'greed' and 'modesty'.
The teeth are the stars. The molars are Yama.
His smile became 'Maya',
the breath became the wind, tongue became water,
the speech birds, the tunes the siddhas,
the mouth fire, hands became Gods and the chest became Dharmadeva.
The lord's back became adharma, his mind became
the Moon and the abdomen became ocean. 

The animals came from His waist.
The nails of his feet became elephants, camels, horses etc.
His movement became Time.
The four castes based on division of labour came
from his face, hands, thighs, and feet.
The wheel of Samsar came from his activity.
The asuras came from His prowess.
His bones became mountains.
Rivers came from his blood vessels.
The Lord's hair became the trees. 

This is the VIRAT form of the Lord
and this form is meditated upon at the end of
all Vedic Karmas and also at the time of death.
" O Lord of Guruvayoor", concludes the poet
at the end of the 6th Dasaka,
"You are the In-dweller of that Virat form.
Have mercy on me and eradicate my ailments!"

{End of Dasaka 6}

END OF EPISODE -5 

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EPISODE 6

THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE--"VISRISHTI"

(Secondary Creation)

Let us start with a brief recapitulation of
what we discussed about " SRISHTI" or "Primary Creation"
before we move on to the "Secondary Creation" or "VSRISHTI".

Before Creation started, there was
Mahapralaya or the Great Deluge.
During this period, there was no Universe,
either gross or subtle.
The creative power of Maya was dormant.
Hence the three qualities of Nature
i.e. Satwa, Rajas and Tamas were in equipoise.
No one particular Guna was dominating.
This does not mean that these qualities were destroyed.
They had become dormant or latent in that Supreme Consciousness
which alone existed.
It is just like what happens to us when we go to sleep.
All our qualities, good or bad,
all our thoughts and desires, all feelings-all
are merged deep within us when we are in deep sleep.
In the same way, the three Gunas had gone
into the state of latency in that Supreme Brahman, the Lord.
Then there was no concept of Time or Space
or the effects of the previous Karmas;
all had become latent in the Lord's cosmic power.
At the end of the Pralaya lasting for 100 years of Brahma,
there was a will for Creation.
This is symbolically represented as the Lord's
"look within" (Eekshana).
Maya, the cosmic delusive power wielded by Lord
to facilitate creation activity,
then stirred itself into activity.
The concept of Time and the impressions
of the previous Karmas lying latent all along also came out.
It is similar to what we experience when
we get up from sound sleep.
We want to know the time;
our innate thoughts arise one by one as
we get up before fresh thoughts start creation work anew.
Similarly Maya, duly activated by the Lord
at the dawn of Creation, projected "Intelligence" (MAHAT).
"Energy ", by itself is not "matter".
It is only a 'Witness'.
But when it identifies itself with
any particular equipment of lifeless 'matter'.
It forgets its real nature and identifies
itself with the limitations of the 'matter' it pervades.
It then becomes a miserable 'Jivatma'.
The "Intelligence" or Mahat is a product of "Matter"
or Prakriti with the three qualities
of Satwa, Rajas and Tamas.
But at this stage, the Mahat
was predominantly Satwic by nature.
Even though it became aware of a general sense of "I"ness,
it did not have a sense of plurality
i.e. separateness from each other.
As such, from Mahat, was created "Ahamkara"(Egoity)
with a predominance of the quality of Tamas.
With the birth of Ahamkara, a sense of individuality,
separateness and relationship came out. 

It became easier now for Srishti, creation.
The Ahamkar or Egoity again mixed
with more of the requisite quantity of
Satwa to form Vaikarika.
This created the deities presiding over
the five organs of "knowledge" viz,
Dik (hearing), Vayu (touch), Aaditya (sight),
Varuna (taste) and Aswini Devas (smell).
The five organs of "action" also
came out from this Vaikarika.
They are Agni (vocal organ), Indra (hands),
'Upendra' (feet), Mitra (anus) and Prajapati (generative organ).
The presiding deities of the Mind (moon), intellect (Brahma),
ego / Ahamkara (Rudra) and Chitta, the mind stuff (Kshetrajna),
the in-dwelling spirit).
The category of 'Vaikarika' which is the product of
the Satwa aspect of Ahamkara also produced
the internal organs (Anthakkarana).
They are Mind (manas), Intellect (Budhi), Ego sense (Ahamkara)
and the mind stuff (Chitta).   

We have seen that the 'Mahat', when it
mixed with 'Tamas', became 'Ahamkara'.
This again mixed with 'Satwa' to produce 'vaikarika',
which in turn created the subtle deities and internal organs.
This 'Ahamkara' with a helping of 'Rajas'
came to be known as 'Taijasa'. This 'Taijasa',
in turn, produced the five organs of action,
viz, speech, hands, feet, excretory organs and the generative organs.
It also produced the five organs of knowledge (Jnanendriyas),
viz. Ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose.
Ahamkara then mixed with more of Tamas.
This mixture came to be known as 'Tamasa Ahamkara'.
This created the subtle elements and
the gross elements one after the other.
Let us see the order in which they came out.
First came sound (sabda) which was subtle.
It developed into the grosser element of sky (Akash).
From the gross sky came the subtle element 'touch' (Sparsa)
which grossified itself into 'Vayu' (air).
The vayu later led to further grossification
by evolving into 'Form' (Rupa).
Later, a combination of one with the other
thus evolved in the creation of
'Fire' (Tejas), 'Taste' (Rasa), 'Water' (Jala),'Smell' (Gandha)
and finally the element of 'Earth' (Prithivi).
Each of the five elements had their own
specific quality as well as the qualities of its predecessors.
Thus 'space' had sound alone; Air had both touch and sound;
Fire had form, touch and sound;
Water had taste, form, touch and sound.
Earth had smell, taste, and form, touch and sound.
In this manner, the subtlest of all
evolved itself into the grossest of all.

Thus the elements, the sense organs,
and their presiding deities had come into existence.
They were simply "matter", having no life of their own.
The Lord (Energy) vitalized them and activated them,
thereby forming the "Hiranya Garbha" (literally the Golden Egg).
The Hiranya Garbha was the seed form of the world to be.
When this cosmic egg was hatched for a thousand years,
the Lord appeared from the egg in the cosmic form,
Virat Purusha comprising the 14 worlds with countless hands,
legs and heads. This cosmic form of the Lord became
the seven lower worlds, the earth
and the six higher worlds of experience.
How each part of the Virat came to be identified
with the various worlds and what came out
His waist, nails, face, bones, blood vessels, hair etc,
have been detailed in Episode 5. 

So far we have been discussing about "Srishti"
or Primary creation which occurs at the end of a Maha Pralaya.
Now Brahma (the Creator) comes out
and takes over the "SECONDARY CREATION" which is called "VISRISHTI".
This Visrishti takes place at the beginning
of every day of Brahma i.e.
after every Naimittika Pralaya that makes His night.
Who is this Brahma? And how does He come into existence
on the very first day of His existence?           

Brahma, the Creator is the soul
of all living beings in all the worlds.
He is known as Hiranya Garbha, the Golden Egg.
When the Universe was ready to come out of this shell
form ready for "Srishti", the Lord also manifested
as Brahma in Satya Loka along with the 14 worlds in His Virat.
This Brahma who was predominantly Rajasic in nature
was impelled to create.
But he lacked the technical know-how necessary for creation.
The Lord then prompted Brahma to do "TAPAS" (penance).
Brahma did penance for thousand divine years
with utmost concentration.
At the end of His Penance,
the Lord gave him the vision of "VAIKUNTA", the abode of the Lord. 

The poet now gives the readers a glimpse of
that abode of the Lord, Vaikunta and its denizens.
Vaikunta is beyond the 14 worlds and is beyond the spell of Maya.
It experiences only Supreme Bliss, a state of concentrated,
pure and transcendental consciousness.
It is the place where the great devotees of the Lord
who attain "Saaroopya" reside.
The citizens of Vaikunta have all the form of the Lord,
with four hands and the bluish colour of the Lord.
This abode of Vaikunta is not at all affected by sin.
Brahma, who had this vision of Vaikunta,
saw the form of Goddess Lakshmi serving the Lord.
Brahma had also a vision of the Lord,
the very source of creation,
seated on a throne of diamonds and shining
like the brilliance of a thousand Suns.
The Lord was adorned with "Srivastha" and "Kausthubha".
The Lord that Brahma saw had four arms shining
with a conch, a mace, a discus and a lotus flower.
Brahma was overwhelmed with this marvelous vision.
He prayed to the Lord to grant him
both duality and non-duality existing in harmony.
Brahma wanted to know the dual aspect of the Lord
without which creation of separate beings was not possible.
At the same time, he wanted to know the Non-dual aspect
also of the Lord without which one is bound by
the dualistic actions.
Brahma prostrated at the feet of the Lord.
The Lord granted him the knowledge about creation
as well as the blessing of not becoming bound
by his action of such creation.
Remaining in the heart of Brahma,
the Lord also directed him in his work of Creation. 

"O Lord of Guruvayoor", concludes the author of "Narayaneeyam",
at the end of the 7th dasaka, "be pleased to quicken my recovery". 

End of dasaka 7
(END OF EPISODE 6)
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EPISODE 7

THE FIRST MAN AND WOMAN

At the close of a Brahma Pralaya (total dissolution)
and the beginning of the new cycle of Creation
that is now prevailing, a new Brahma came into being.
He began his work of "Creation" in consonance
with what had prevailed in the previous Kalpa.
This Brahma had already spent several days
and nights of his life, each day and night
consisting of a thousand "CHATUR YUGAS".
During his night when Brahma sleeps,
he along with all his 'creations'
becomes latent in Narayana, the Supreme Lord.
This night of Brahma is called "NAIMITTIKA PRALAYA" i.e.,
dissolution caused by Brahma's sleep.
At the dawn of every day of his,
Brahma commences his work just as
we mortals begin our work at dawn. 

The Brahma ruling over the present cycle
having spent his fifty years has just entered
the first day of his 51st year
("Dwiteeye Parardhey, prathame varshe,
prathame ayane, prathamarithau, prathame mase,
prathame pakshe, ahani, dwiteeye yame,
thrithiye muhoorthe---Saptame Vaivaswata
manvantare Ashtavimsati tame Kaliyuge---").
The exact time in the 'clock' (if any)
of Brahma at this moment is 11-28-8/9.5AM
on the first day of his 51st year.
One second in the life of Brahma is
equal to one lakh human years. 

At the end of his day, when Brahma desires to sleep,
He gets merged with the Supreme Narayana
along with His whole Creation.
When we mortals have deep sleep,
all our existing thoughts and ideas are
not lost but are merged in our own little Self.
They come up again one after
another when we wake up.
Similarly when Brahma sleeps,
all that He had created merge into the Supreme Self.
The Supreme Self is "SAT" (Existence),
"CHIT" (Awareness /Knowledge) and "ANANDA" (Bliss).
HE is symbolically represented
in His Yogic slumber ("YOGA NIDRA")
on the serpent bed of Aadisesha.
All the Jivas merge in the Lord at the time of sleep,
even as all our thoughts, anxieties and worries
merge in the Bliss that is 'myself' when we sleep.
At the end of the Pralaya the power of "Time"
awakens the Lord as it awakens us from our sleep.
Waking up from His sleep, the Lord casts
His 'glance within', or in simple language "wills "
to start 'creation' all over again.
Then there comes out of the Lord's navel
a lotus bud of great brilliance.
This lotus bud contains the seed of all previous entities.

This lotus bud that came out from the navel
of the Lord dispelled all darkness around.
On that Lotus bud, Lord Brahma appeared with the Vedas.
And His day started. 

(NOTE:  In each Mahakalpa, Brahma is born
from a particular limb of the Lord. 
The "Mahabharata" states that Brahma was
born on the first Mahakalpa from the mind of the Supreme. 
In the second Mahakalpa, he was born from the eye,
in the third from the words, in the fourth from the ear,
in the fifth from the nose, in the sixth
from the scrotum and in the present seventh from the navel.)

The present lotus-born Brahma could not at first
discover the source of that lotus.
Being eager to know its origin, he turned his face
on all directions and thereby got
four faces with eight eyes.
He could not yet find out his origin.
Thereafter, he began to ask himself,
"Who am I? From where did I come from?"
This self-enquiry led him on to
a search at the physical level,
in the first instance.
We all know that Self-realization
cannot be successful at the gross-level.
And that was the mistaken notion that first
drove Brahma to explore his own origin down
the lotus stem from which his lotus seat came forth.
Realizing his ignorance, Brahma now started to
meditate on the Lord with one-pointed intellect.
After absorption in the Lord for
a hundred divine years, Brahma had the vision of
the Lord reclining on Aadisesha. 

The form of the Lord seen by Brahma
was a wonderful one never seen before.
The Lord was shining with a crown,
bracelets, necklaces and other ornaments shining with gems.
The Lord was wearing the yellow silk (Pitambara)
and shining like a blue lily flower and
wearing the Kausthubha jewel.
"By my good fortune," said Brahma,
"I have been blessed with this divine vision of You.
Pray, O Lord, make my intellect sufficiently sharp
so that I will be capable of creating the worlds".
The Supreme Lord blessed Brahma and advised him to
do tapas, penance to intensify his devotion to the Lord.
Accordingly, Brahma did intense "TAPAS" for a hundred years.
Having gained more spiritual and mental power,
Brahma was strengthened by lord Vishnu and
he now drank up the wind and the water that shook
the very lotus flower, which was his abode.
Then he created the three worlds from that lotus and
started creating various kinds of beings.
These three worlds, BHUH, BHUVAH and SUVAH
comprised all the 14 worlds.

Brahma then created vegetation, birds,
animals, men, Gods, etc. in order to
provide bodies for all the Jivas who take
birth according to their past Karmas.
He then created the five-fold effects of ignorance i.e.
"false apprehension", Egoism, attachment, anger and fear.
Later he repented for creating these qualities and
contemplated upon the Lord for purification.
Then he created four sages,
SANAKA, SANATANA, SANANDANA and SANATKUMARA
from his mind. Brahma wanted them to continue 'Creation'.
But these sages were solely devoted to
the worship of the Supreme Lord.
Lord Brahma got angry and
from between the eyebrows, RUDRA came.
There were eleven aspects of Rudra and
they got eleven names and eleven wives.
Thereafter Rudra was advised to 'create' beings.
Rudra's creations were frightful and
he was asked to stop creation and concentrate on
penance for the welfare of the world.
Thereafter, from the body of Brahma,
were born Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Kratu,
Pulaha, Pulasthya, Bhrigu, Vasishta,
Daksha and Sri Narada.
Brahma then created Dharmadeva, Kardama, Saraswathi and others.
He also brought out the Vedas and the Puranas and
taught them to his sons. 

It was too much for Brahma to attend to
all the minor details of 'Creation'.
That would leave him with no time for planning.
As he was not able to continue further 'creation',
he meditated upon the lord. Wisdom dawned on
him and he symbolically divided his body into
two halves i.e. the "MALE" concept and the "FEMALE" concept.
From the Male concept emerged
the first man in the world,
SWAYAMBHUVA MANU and from the female concept sprung
the first woman in the world, SATARUPA.
They were the first man and woman
who multiplied the species of man to
its present level of population explosion. 

" O Lord of Guruvayoor," concludes
the author of "Narayaneeyam" at the
end of the 10th Dasaka,
"May Thou, who made this stupendous
"Srishti" and "Visrishti" possible!
Kindly remove my ailments."       

End of Dasakas 8, 9 and 10.

(END OF EPISODE--7)
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EPISODE 8

THE STORY OF JAYA AND VIJAYA


With the creation of the first man and the first woman,
Swayambhuva Manu and Sataroopa, creation of human and
other species picked up slowly.
In the meantime, a strange incident occurred.
We have already seen that Brahma had earlier created four sages
--Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara
who were predominantly 'Satwic' by nature and
as such could not involve themselves in 'creation activity'
as desired by the Creator.
They were solely devoted to the worship of the Supreme Lord.
One day these four divine sages went to the sphere of Vaikunta,
the abode of Lord Vishnu, in order to pay respects to the Lord. 

Have you ever visited Vaikunta?
If not, let us get some details from "Narayaneeyam".
We had already a glimpse of it earlier when Brahma had
a vision of Vaikunta. (Please view episode-6).
Vaikunta is unmatched in its beauty and splendour.
It has seven enclosures or gates and a beautiful garden
full of Kalpa trees, known as "NAISREYAM".
It has numerous lakes and glittering mansions decked
with pearls and gems.
The mansions reverberate with devotional songs and
stories of the Lord sung by the devotees residing there. 

Enjoying the unparalleled beauty of the Lord's abode,
the four sages crossed the six gates and were
about to enter the seventh one within
which the Lord resides.
At that time, the two door- keepers of that gate,
JAYA and VIJAYA by name, stopped them.
The four sages were prevented from entering that
last gate to Vaikunta. This infuriated the sages,
even though they were predominantly Satwic by nature.
There is no explanation as to how such a thing could
happen and that too at the very gates of Vaikunta
except that everything takes place as desired by the Lord.
For people with all their limitations, there can be no
other explanations to certain strange happenings.
The sages who were thus intercepted by Jaya and Vijaya
cursed the door- keepers to become Asuras (demons).
Their conduct was unbecoming of the denizens of Vaikunta,
which is the abode of pure Satwa alone. 

At this development, the Lord of Vaikunta himself
came to the gate, accompanied by Goddess Lakshmi
seated on His Garuda bird.
The sages were delighted to have a vision of
this most attractive form.
The Lord appears in the same form conceived by His devotees.
Jaya and Vijaya, cursed by the sages, fell at their feet.
They also fell at the feet of the Lord with a prayer
that even in their Asura births, they should not forget
the name of the Lord, which alone is the real means
to be at Vaikunta. The Lord blessed the Door keepers
with extreme kindness:
"You both will remember Me even as you turn Aasuric,"
said the lord, " but not as a devotee normally does,
but as an enemy in hatred. Your demoniac existence
on the earth will be for a short time
limited to three births only.
Thereafter you both will come back to Vaikunta
duly purified by your death at my hands."
In this way, Jaya and Vijaya took three births as Asuras, viz.,
(1) Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu,
(2) Ravana and Kumbhakarna and (3) Sisupala and Dandavaktra.  

As one thinks so he becomes. If one identifies with
the thought of the Lord, even as an enemy,
that itself purifies and takes him to the Lord.
The Bhagawan states, "Lust, anger, fear, affection,
friendship, sense of one-ness, whichever sentiment
man entertains towards Hari,
he will attain to him through that. " (Bhagavata--- 10-29-15).
A mind concentrated on the Lord in whatever manner
overcomes the evil tendencies in them.
"Thus the Gopikas attained Him with love,
Kamsa through fear, Sisupala through enmity,
the Pandavas through friendly affection,
and sages through Bhakti."
The worm imprisoned in a cavity and guarded by
the beetle lives in constant dread of it,
and by such identification through fear,
gets the form of the beetle.
Even so, by constantly thinking of Krishna as
their dreaded enemy, they (the enemies of Krishna)
became washed of all their sins and attained to Him".
(Bhagawata ----7.1.23-28)   

Jaya and Vijaya were first born as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu
as the sons of Kasyapa and Diti.
But why were they born to them?
What sin did they commit to become parents
to these dreaded demons? Without any cause there can be no effect.
One day at sunset, Sage Kasyapa was busy with
his evening prayers. Do you know that during the
"SANDHYA" time (i.e. the twilight time at dawn and dusk
immediately before the sunrise and after the sunset
when darkness sets in), one should always engage oneself
with prayers and never spend the time in eating,
sleeping or mating. At that time Diti approached Kasyapa
with passion and lust. Kasyapa advised her
to do the Sandhya prayers. But Diti could not be controlled.
Kasyapa was forced to oblige his wife helplessly.
He, however, cursed Diti to reap the fruits of her own obstinacy.
And the curse was that she would become the mother of
two ferocious Asuras. No wonder, Diti was now destined to
be the mother of Jaya and Vijaya cursed to be born as
two Asuras---Hiranyaksha and his brother Hiranyakasipu!  

(END OF EPISODE 8)
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EPISODE 9

THE GREAT BOAR--"VARAAHA AVATARA"

Two asuras were born to Kasyapa and Diti
- - Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu.
Of these two, we are starting with the story of HIRANYAKSHA.
From his birth he was thirsting for battle.
Not finding anyone equal to him in strength,
he hit upon a plan to attract the attention of the Lord,
the sworn enemy of the Asuras.
He removed the earth from its orbit and submerged it
deep in the cosmic waters in a well guarded hide out.
The earth is mythologically represented as Mother Earth
- - Bhhomi Devi, who is married to Lord Narayana.
The Asura then roamed about menacingly across the waters
wielding his mace. He heard from God Varuna,
the God of Waters, that Vishnu was the only match for him.
Bhoomi Devi being the dear wife of the Lord,
the Asura expected that a fight with the Lord was imminent.  

We have seen that Brahma, the Creator delegated the work of
'creation' to the first man and woman,
Swayambhuva Manu and Sataroopa.
While busy with creation, Manu suddenly noticed that
the earth had quite unexpectedly disappeared from sight.
He approached Brahma at Satyaloka along
with some sages like Marichi.
"Earth is submerged in the waters," he prayed,
" where shall I keep my creations now?"
Lord Brahma felt helpless and meditated upon
the feet of Lord Vishnu.
At that time, a strange thing happened.
From the nostrils of Brahma,
Lord Vishnu came out as a small boar, "VARAAHA",
as small as the size of a thumb.
The Boar began to increase itself in size,
first as big as an elephant and
later into the size of a mountain.
He roared again and again.
Brahma could not believe his eyes.
At this incarnation (avataar) of Lord Vishnu as VARAAHA (boar),
sages of Janaloka, Tapaloka and Satyaloka began
to sing the glories of the Lord.
The Varaaha then plunged into the waters with
a terrific speed and a great splash.
The Boar located the Earth and lifted her up on its tusks. 

Sage Narada then approached the Asura,
Hiranyaksha who was at that time wandering about
in the waters in search of Vishnu.
The waters of ocean hardly reached his knees.
So you can imagine the huge size of the Asura.
Narada was a great diplomat.
He flattered the Asura and vehemently criticized
the Lord to achieve his end.
"Alas!" Narada said, "How is it that
the deceitful Vishnu is allowed to whisk away
your 'earth', O mighty one?"
The Asura roared with rage, "Ha, Ha, Ha!
Where is this Vishnu? Where is he?"
As guided by Narada, the demon approached Varaaha
rising from the waters lifting the earth.
As he saw the huge animal form of Vishnu,
the Asura could not control his laughter.
He abused the Lord, "O, this is only a wild animal."

In the meantime, Mother Earth resting on
the tusks of Varaaha was trembling in fear due to
the confrontation by the demon.
The Lord then placed the earth gently on the waters
and got ready for a fight.
To start with, there was a fight with mace ("Gada")
between Vishnu and Hiranyaksha.
Brahma cautioned the Lord that the demon had
to be killed before nightfall.
The Lord's mace was initially knocked down.
There upon, He took up the "SUDARSANA CHAKRA",
specially meant for destroying demons.
Hiranyaksha then took a trident,
which was broken to pieces with the discus (Chakra).
The demon then hit the Lord with his fists.
He also resorted to various magical feats of warfare.
While the Asura was madly attacking the Lord
with heavy punches with his fist,
the Lord in the form of Varaaha gave a fatal blow
with the toe of His leg at
the base of the ear of the demon.
The monstrous demon, Hiranyaksha fell to the ground,
with blood gushing out of his mouth.
The Sages began to sing various hymns
in praise of the Lord in the special "Avatar" of "Varaaha Murthy".
The form of Varaaha symbolically represented
the very embodiment of a "HOLY YAGNA."
The Sages could see through, that each and every part
of the body of the Great Boar, "VARAAHA",
compared magnificently well with
some ingredient or other, some utensil
or priest or thing required for a holy, sacrificial "YAGNA". 

"O Lord of Guruvayoor," concludes
the author of "NARAYANEEYAM"
at the end of Dasaka 13, 
"Delighted with the hymns of the Sages,
Thou retired into your abode of VAIKUNTA
revelling in Thy Bliss.
May Thou be pleased to eradicate my ailments!" 

End of Dasaka 13. 
END OF EPISODE -9
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EPISODE 10

THE LORD COMES AS A PHILOSOPHER---

(Kapila and his teachings)
After the Lord's re-instatement of the Earth
in its orbit during His Varaaha incarnation,
the off-spring of Brahma, Swayambhuva Manu
ruled over the people successfully during
the entire period of his "Manvantara"(71 mahayugas).
This was possible to him only because of his
incessant devotion to the Lord and continuous effort
to remember the Lord by recounting His glories.    

During this period, Prajapati Kardama who
was born from Brahma's own shadow,
worshipped Lord Narayana for ten thousand years.
He was eager to take up the work of 'creation' of
the species, as instructed by Lord Brahma.
Lord Narayana appeared before Kardama in the
form contemplated upon by him,
seated on the divine Garuda.
The Lord blessed him to marry
DEVAHUTI, daughter of Manu.
He also blessed him to beget nine daughters.
The Lord Himself would thereafter,
be born to him as a son as the tenth child
under the name of KAPILA.
Thereafter, the Lord promised "Moksha" to Kardama.       

Being prompted by the Lord and advised by Narada,
Swayambhuva Manu came to Kardama and got his daughter,
Devahuti married to him. With the 'Yogic' power
obtained by his devotion to the Lord, Kardama revelled
with his love-lorn Devahuti in an aerial chariot (Vimana),
assuming nine divine forms.
Thereafter he got nine daughters and was awaiting
the arrival of the Lord in the form of Kapila.
Instructed by her husband, Devahuti engaged herself
in devout worship of Narayana.
In due course, the Lord Himself was born
as Kapila to teach mankind the means
for attainment of salvation. 

Kardama then left for the forest for
doing penance as a means for his salvation.
Kapila then became a great philosopher
and taught the essence of his teachings
to his own mother, Devahuti.  

The essence of Kapila's philosophy as
given out to his mother forms the subject matter
of the entire Dasaka-15. The salient features
of his philosophy, as detailed in
Narayaneeyam are set out below. 
  1. Mind becomes the cause of bondage when it is attached to sense objects. When it is detached from them, it becomes the cause for liberation. The practice of intense devotion to God reduces and prevents attachment to sense objects. One should achieve devotion through "SAT-SANG", i.e. the company of the 'great' and the 'holy'.
  2. The teachings of Kapila gave stress to Jnana Yoga too. One should be able to see the difference between what is "PRAKRITI" (Matter) and what is "PURUSHA" (Energy). Kapila lists 24 items as mere 'matter', with which we, in our ignorance, generally identify ourselves. These 24 items of 'matter' are the "primordial nature", Mahatatwa, Ahamkara, the five faculties, the five elements, the mind and inner equipment and the ten sense organs. These items of Prakriti plus the Purusha (Energy) together form the 25 categories of life forms. A 'Seeker' who sees the different respective roles in the true sense, goes beyond all delusions.
  3. The Purusha (Spirit, the Self or the energy) does not lose its identity because of its association with Prakriti (Matter, Non-Self). Through Devotion and reflection on the Lord, one gets rid of the hold of delusion.
  4. Through the "EIGHT-FOLD PATH" of ASHTANGA YOGA, like Yama, Niyama, Aasana, Pranayama etc., one should practise meditation on the beautiful form of the Lord.
  5. "PARABHAKTHI" is far better and easier than Jnana yoga and Ashtanga yoga. It constitutes long practices of devotional disciplines like hearing and singing the glories of the Lord and His "LEELA". Such devotion to the Lord can overcome the miseries of this ever-changing world, and finally give liberation from all bondage.
  6. Unfortunately, men waste their precious life in acquisition of wealth and lustful passions. Devoid of devotion to the Lord, their worldly attachments lead them on to hell.
  7. To be born again and again and to be crushed and oppressed by trials and tribulations, the Jiva, the individual ego retains the memory of the past when in the womb. But soon, the memory is erased out by the massive sense attractions during infancy, childhood and youth.
  8. There are two paths open for a house-holder:
    1. The Path of Southern Solstice or "Dakshinayana" through which one goes out of the body (to enjoy or suffer in other subtle worlds of experience) only to return back to the earth again and again to earn more merits and de-merits as the case may be.
    2. The Path of the Northern Solstice or "Uttarayana" in which one performs actions, surrendering everything unto the Lord and without attachment to the fruits of their actions. This path leads to liberation from the circle of birth and death.
After assimilating the teachings of Kapila, his mother, Devahuti attained "MOKSHA" through the path of devotion to the Lord. Kapila had by then left with other Yogis to the North Eastern region near the Sagar Islands. It is believed that he still lives there for the good of the people. "In short", says the author of "NARAYANEEYAM" at the end of the 15th Dasaka, "What is the need for much talk? O Lord of Guruvayoor, Thou hast given a firm declaration that devotion to Thee is the sure means of 'liberation'. Therefore, bless me, O Lord, with devotion." End of Dasaka 15 END OF EPISODE 10
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EPISODE 11

PART ONE: THE DIVINE TWINS- "NARA & NARAYANA"

We have seen earlier one of the daughters of Swayambhuva Manu.
She was Devahuti, mother of Kapila.
Yet another daughter of Swayambhuva Manu was PRASUTI.
She was married to the son of Brahma-DAKSHA PRAJAPATI.
Daksha and Prasuti had 16 daughters.
Out of these 16, thirteen were married to DHARMA DEVA.
One was married to PITRUS; one to AGNI
and another named SATI was married to SIVA. 

Out of the thirteen married to Dharmadeva,
one was MURTHY by name.
She gave birth to the divine twins - - NARA and NARAYANA.
These twin brothers were the forms of
the Lord and they were always together.  

We have heard about Karna in the Mahabharata epic.
It is believed that in his previous birth,
Karna was an Asura named SAHASRA KAVACHA.
He was so named because he was born protected
by a thousand coats of armour (Kavacha).
The specialty of these 'Kavachas' was that
no one could break them without performing
a thousand years of penance and at the same time
fighting with him simultaneously for the same thousand years.
This explains the secret of the birth of the twin brothers,
who were for all purposes considered as 'one',
even though possessing two bodies.
Nara and Narayana, in turn, did "Tapas" (penance)
as well as the fighting for thousand years
and finally killed the Asura, Sahasra Kavacha. 

After the killing of the Asura, Nara and Narayana
went to Badarika Ashrama where they settled down
for teaching and practicing the path to "MOKSHA".
They wanted to set a model before the world
to prove that practicing what one preached
was more important than mere preaching. 

An interesting incident took place while Nara and Narayana
practiced a very severe life of self-control
in furtherance to their spiritual pursuits.
It is quite natural that the more one tries to control oneself,
the more severely he is subjected
to severe tests by forces unknown.
Indra, the king of Gods, became envious of the pre-eminance
of Nara and Narayana. He wanted to see their spiritual downfall.
He commissioned the God of Love,
KAMADEVA with his retinue of celestial beauties
to tempt the 'Twins' and cause their fall.
All the efforts of the commission to tease
and tempt them were in vain.
They could not tempt Nara and Narayana even slightly.
On the other hand, they were really frightened
by the strength of their will.
The Lord then created a projection of his mind
in which the invaders had a vision of
Nara and Narayana attended by a number of maids.
The beauty of the maids in attendance enchanted
even Kama Deva and his bevy of celestial damsels.
The tempters who came to overpower were
themselves got tempted and enchanted by the beauty
of those who served the Lord.
The Lord thereafter presented them a gift to Indra,
"URVASI", whose beauty put to shame the beauty
of all the celestial damsels.
Indra was thus humiliated forever by the Divine Twins. 
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PART TWO: SIVA HUMBLES DAKSHA ("DAKSHA YAGA")

Sati was one of the sixteen daughters of Daksha and Prasuti. She married Siva, the sworn enemy of Daksha. Daksha was blind with haughtiness and arrogance. In one of his "YAAGAS", Daksha was given a standing ovation by Sages and Gods alike. Only two persons did not stand up from their seats nor did they applaud like the rest of the audience. They were Brahma and Siva. Daksha noticed it and he excused Brahma, as he was his father. But he could not tolerate his son-in-law, Siva, who was never in his good books at any time. Daksha was infuriated by this 'insult' and punished him then and there. He decreed that henceforth, no one would ever give to Siva any share in any sacrificial oblations. He deliberately performed another big YAGA shortly just to prove the veracity of his decree. In this new Yaga, he invited everyone except his daughter, Sati and her husband Siva. Sati wanted to attend the Yaga performed by her father. Siva warned her not to go uninvited. But she persisted in going saying that no invitation was required to visit her father. At last, Siva permitted her to go alone duly escorted by Nandi and others. When Sati arrived at her father's place, Daksha humiliated her. Siva was scorned in the open assembly. No woman could tolerate such a denouncement of her husband. She felt miserable in not listening to the words of her husband before she started. Sati burned herself in the fire created by her Yogic power. Hearing the news regarding Sati, Lord Siva became very angry. With a loft of his hair, he created a terrible spirit, VEERABHADRA to avenge her death. The ferocious Veerabhadra disrupted the entire Yaga of Daksha. The head of Daksha was cut off and offered into the sacrificial fire. Later, Siva listened to the requests of Gods and allowed the YAGA to continue by transplanting the head of a goat on the severed body of Daksha. Daksha thus attained peace and tranquility by getting rid of his vices like anger, haughtiness and arrogance.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS DASAKA:

Spirituality and material progress should go hand in hand and they are complimentary to each other. A thousand years of fighting also required a thousand years of penance by Nara and Narayana. The story of Nara and Narayana wants to warn a spiritual seeker that he should not be content with mere 'Bookish' learning of theoretical "Knowledge". He should strive to practice what he learns or 'preaches'. Otherwise, the seeking is not complete. It is not that easy to practice spiritual life and one has to face many trials of self -control. One has to be steadfast and not yield to temptations that may trick the seeker into a pitfall. The story of Daksha brings out another pitfall of a seeker. He should never be proud of his own achievements. Glory and recognition tend to blind even spiritual stalwarts. The very feeling ---- "I am the humblest of the humble," smacks of haughtiness and arrogance.

THE EPILOGUE

" O Lord of Guruvayoor," concludes the author of "NARAYANEEYAM" at the end of the 16th Dasaka, "By Thy grace Daksha was able to complete the sacrifice and attain peace. May Thou be gracious to protect me!" END OF DASAKA 16 END OF EPISODE 11
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