Ancient Lord Vishnu Idol found in Russian Town


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Ancient Vishnu idol found in Russian town

MOSCOW: An ancient Vishnu idol has been found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga region, raising questions about the prevalent view on the origin of ancient Russia.
The idol found in Staraya (old) Maina village dates back to VII-X century AD. Staraya Maina village in Ulyanovsk region was a highly populated city 1700 years ago, much older than Kiev, so far believed to be the mother of all Russian cities.


“We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research,” Reader of Ulyanovsk State University’s archaeology department Dr Alexander Kozhevin told state-run television Vesti .


Dr Kozhevin, who has been conducting excavation in Staraya Maina for last seven years, said that every single square metre of the surroundings of the ancient town situated on the banks of Samara, a tributary of Volga, is studded with antiques.


Prior to unearthing of the Vishnu idol, Dr Kozhevin has already found ancient coins, pendants, rings and fragments of weapons.
He believes that today’s Staraya Maina, a town of eight thousand, was ten times more populated in the ancient times. It is from here that people started moving to the Don and Dneiper rivers around the time ancient Russy built the city of Kiev, now the capital of Ukraine.


An international conference is being organised later this year to study the legacy of the ancient village, which can radically change the history of ancient Russia.



http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2007-01-04/rest-of-world/27876299_1_ancient-coins-ancient-village-ancient-town

Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga Region

The discovery of the idol confirms the location in Russia, identified in the Rig Veda as rus soviath sapthamahanagaratham (the ancient and holy land of the 722 flying vehicles). The ancient connections between the Russians and the Indians has been unequivocally confirmed. In Russian orthodox Christianity, worship is conducted very much like in Vishnu temples. The Russians refer to the feast of Vizhnyir Ekoratsya Vikhunh, directly corresponding with Vaikhunda Ekhadasi.

http://www.globalhinduism.com/2012/12/20/ancient-idol-of-lord-vishnu-found-during-excavation-in-an-old-village-in-russias-volga-region/





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Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam


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BHAJA GOVINDAM! BHAJA GOVINDAM!





Bhaja govindam is one of the minor compositions of the spiritual
giant, Adi Sankaracharya . It is classified as a prakarana grantha, a
primer to the major works . Though sung as a bhajan, it contains the
essence of vedanta and implores the man to think, “Why am I here in
this life ? Why am I amassing wealth, family, but have no peace ? What
is the Truth ? What is the purpose of life ?” The person thus awakened
gets set on a path to the inner road back to the God principle.

The background of Bhaja Govindam is worth examining . During his stay
in Kashi, he noticed a very old man studying the rules of sanskrit by
Panini . Sankara was touched with pity at seeing the plight of the
old man spending his years at a mere intellectual accomplishment while
he would be better off praying and spending time to control his mind.
Sankara understood that the majority of the world was also engaged in
mere intellectual, sense pleasures and not in the divine
contemplation. Seeing this, he burst forth with the verses of Bhaja
Govindam.

In 31 verses, he, like no other, explains our fallacies, our wrong
outlook for life, and dispells our ignorance and delusions. Thus Bhaja
govindam was originally known as moha mudgaara, the remover of
delusions.

Sankara explains, nay chides, us for spending our time in useless
trivia like amassing wealth, lusting after (wo)men and requests us to
discriminate and cultivate the knowledge to learn the difference
between the real and the unreal. To emphasise that, he concludes that
all knowledge other than the Self-Knowledge is useless, Sankara makes
the person realize how foolish he/she is in the conduct and behavior
by these verses, and shows the purpose of our worldly existence, which
is to seek Govinda and attain Him.

Bhaja Govindam is divided into dvaadasha manjarikaa stotram and
chaturdasha manjarika stotram . At the end of composing the first
stanza, it is said that Sankara burst forth with the next 11 stanzas
of bhaja govindam. Thus stanzas 1-12 are called dvaadash manjarika
stotram . Inspired by the extempore recital by Sankara, each of his 14
disciples composed a verse and the 14 verse compendium is called
chaturdasha manjarika stotram . Sankara added the finishing touches by
adding five of his own stanzas at the last bringing the total to 31-
The last two verses in this version is not found in all editions.

Bhaja Govindam has been set to musical tones and sung as prayer songs
by children . It is divided into dvaadashapajnjarikaa and
charpatapajnjarikaa for this purpose. The former is a set of verses
(verses 1-12a)
while the rest of the verses form charpatapajnjarikaa.

Anyone who listens to the music of Bhaja Govindam is attracted to it .
However, the significance of the text goes much deeper and contains a
well defined philosophy of attaining salvation . Sankara’s words seem
to be quite piercing and seem to lack the softness and tenderness
often found in his other texts, thus addressing directly. The reason
is that this was an extempore recital to an old man. His words can be
compared to a knife of a doctor. The doctor’s knife cruely removes the
tumor with much pain, but removing the tumor ultimately restores good
health in the patient. So is Sankara’s words, which pierce and point
out our ignorance. It is a knife into the heart of worldiness, and by
removing this tumor of ignorance, we can attain everlasting bliss with
the grace of Govinda.

May the Achaarayaa guide us from ignorance to truth. OM Tat Sat.



(BHAJA GOVINDAM)



Verse 1:
भजगोविन्दं भजगोविन्दं
गोविन्दं भजमूढमते .
संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले
नहि नहि रक्षति डुकृञ्करणे .. १..

BHAJA GOVINDAM, BHAJA GOVINDAM
GOVINDAM BHAJA MUDHAMATE
SAMPRAAPTE SANNIHITE KALE
NA HI NA HI RAKSHATI DUKRINKARANE

Seek Govinda! Seek Govinda! Seek Govinda! Oh ignoramus, at the time of
death the rules of grammer, which you are trying to cram and master,
will not be able to rescue you at all.

(Grammer rules mean all secular knowledge and earthly acquistitions.
Mudhamati means a materialist, wholely worldly-minded, who does not
believe in God or the spiritual entity that is in man)

Verse 2:

मूढ जहीहि धनागमतृष्णां
कुरु सद्बुद्धिं मनसि वितृष्णाम् .
यल्लभसे निजकर्मोपात्तं
वित्तं तेन विनोदय चित्तम् .. २..

MOODHA JAHEEHI DHANAAGAMATRISHNAAM
KURU SADBUDHIM MANASI VITRISHNAAM
YALLABHASE NIJAKARMOPAATHAM
VITHAM TENA VINODAYA CHITHAM

(refrain from Verse 1 to be sung after every verse…BHAJA GOVINDAM,
BHAJA GOVINDAM……….)

Oh, Fool! give up your insatiable desire for earthly possessions; be
sensible and develop serenity and contentment. Be satisfied and happy
with whatever you may earn by the sweat of your brow and whatever has
destiny marked for your lot.

Verse 3:

नारीस्तनभर नाभीदेशं
दृष्ट्वा मागामोहावेशम् .
एतन्मांसावसादि विकारं
मनसि विचिन्तय वारं वारम् .. ३..

NAAREE STHANABHARA NABHEEDESAM
DHRISHTWA MAA GAA MOHAVESAM
YETAN MAAMSAVASAADI VIKAARAM
MANASI VICHINTHAYA VAARAM VAARAM

Enticed by the physical glamour of a woman, do not lose your senses;
the body is nothing but a conglomeration of flesh, do not forget this
any time.

Verse 4:

नलिनीदलगत जलमतितरलं
तद्वज्जीवितमतिशयचपलम् .
विद्धि व्याध्यभिमानग्रस्तं
लोकं शोकहतं च समस्तम् .. ४..

NALINEEDALAGATHA JALAMATITHARALAM
TADWAJJEEVITAMATHISHAYA CHAPALAM
VIDDHI VYADHYABHIMAANAGRASTAM
LOKAM SHOKAHATAM CHA SAMASTHAM

The water droplet on the lotus leaf is tremulous and unsteady. So too
is life which is as uncertain. Know the body to be in the claws of
disease, which may swallow it at any moment. Life is ultimately
nothing but worry, misery and grief.


Verse 5:

यावद्वित्तोपार्जन सक्तः
स्तावन्निज परिवारो रक्तः .
पश्चाज्जीवति जर्जर देहे
वार्तां कोऽपि न पृच्छति गेहे .. ५..

YAAVADVITTOPAARJANA SAKTHAH
TAAVANNIJAPARIVAARO RAKTHAH
PASCHAAJJEEVATI JARJARADEHE
VAARTHAM KOPI NA PRICHCHATHI GEHE

As long as you are fit to make an earning, so long will your kith and
kin be solicitous about you, but no sooner your limbs become infirm
and your earnings cease, none will care for you, not even your own
home-folk.

Verse 6:

यावत्पवनो निवसति देहे
तावत्पृच्छति कुशलं गेहे .
गतवति वायौ देहापाये
भार्या बिभ्यति तस्मिन्काये .. ६..

YAAVATPAVANO NIVASATI DEHE
TAAVATPRICHCHATI KUSHALAM GEHE
GATAVATI VAAYO DEHAAPAAYE
BHAARYA BIBHYATI TASMINKAAYE

As long as there is life in your body, your people may have concern
for you, but once the life-breath ebbs out of your body, even your own
wife will run away from you.

Verse 7:

बालस्तावत्क्रीडासक्तः
तरुणस्तावत्तरुणीसक्तः .
वृद्धस्तावच्चिन्तासक्तः
परे ब्रह्मणि कोऽपि न सक्तः .. ७..

BAALASTAAVAT KREEDAA SAKTHAH
THARUNASTAAVAT THARUNEESAKTHAH
VRIDDHASTAAVAT CHINTHAASAKTHAH
PARASE BRAHMANI KOPI NA SAKTHA

Childhood skips off on sport and play. Youth flies off in pursuits of
love-making. As one grows older he is drowned in worry about the
security and future of his wife and children. One’s whole life gets
spent in some kind of worry or other. And at no stage does man find
time to lift his thoughts to God.

Verse 8:

काते कान्ता कस्ते पुत्रः
संसारोऽयमतीव विचित्रः .
कस्य त्वं कः कुत आयातः
तत्त्वं चिन्तय तदिह भ्रातः .. ८..

KAA TE KAANTAA KASTE PUTHRAH
SAMSAROYAMATEEVA VICHITRAH
KASYA TWAM KAH KUTHA AAYAATAH
TATWAM CHINTHAYA TADIHA BHARATAH

Who indeed is your beloved and who indeed is your son? Strange indeed
are these family bonds; who belongs to you and to whom you belong?
Whence did you come, Oh brother! Reflect on the truth of it all.





Verse 9:

सत्सङ्गत्वे निस्स्ङ्गत्वं
निस्सङ्गत्वे निर्मोहत्वम् .
निर्मोहत्वे निश्चलतत्त्वं
निश्चलतत्त्वे जीवन्मुक्तिः .. ९..

SATSANGATWE NISSANGATWAM
NISSANGATWE NIRMOHATWAM
NIRMOHATWE NISCHALATATWAM
NISCHALATATWE JEEVANMUKTHIH

The company of the good weans one away from false attachments; when
attachment is lost, delusion ends; when delusion ends, the mind
becomes unwavering and steady. An unwavering and steady mind is
merited for Jeevan Mukti (liberation even in this life).

Verse 10:

वयसिगते कः कामविकारः
शुष्के नीरे कः कासारः .
क्षीणेवित्ते कः परिवारः
ज्ञाते तत्त्वे कः संसारः .. १०..

VAYASI GATE KAH KAMAVIKARAH
SHUSHKE NEERE, KAH KAASAARAH
KSHEENE VITHE KAH PARIVARO
GYNATE TATWE KAH SAMASARAH

When youth is gone, where is lust and its play? Where is the lake when
its waters have dried up? Where are the kinsfolk when riches are gone
? When Truth is realised, where is the snare of Samsara?

Verse 11:

मा कुरु धन जन यौवन गर्वं
हरति निमेषात्कालः सर्वम् .
मायामयमिदमखिलं हित्वा
ब्रह्मपदं त्वं प्रविश विदित्वा .. ११..

MAA KURU DHANAJANAYOUVANAGARVAM
HARATI NIMESHAATKAALAH SARWAM
MAAYAAMAYAMIDAMAKHILAM HITHWA
BRAHMAPADAM TWAM PRAVISHA VIDITWA

The pleasures and riches of worldly life are deceptive appearances.
Understanding that they are all but a passing-show, be detached and
dispassionate, cultivate renunciation and seek Brahman.

Verse 12:

दिनयामिन्यौ सायं प्रातः
शिशिरवसन्तौ पुनरायातः .
कालः क्रीडति गच्छत्यायुः
तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशावायुः .. १२..

DINAYAAMINYOU SAAYAM PRAATAH
SHISHIRAVASANTOW PUNARAAYAATAH
KAALAH KREEDATI GACHCHATYAAYUH
TADAPI NA MUNCHATHYAASAAVAAYUH

Day and night, dawn and dusk, winter and spring, all these are
flitting across the stage of the world. While time thus is frolicking
and befooling us, our life span is also running out; yet we do not,
even a little, give up the clinging to our desires, nor do we let the
desires loosen their grip on us.

द्वादशमञ्जरिकाभिरशेषः
कथितो वैयाकरणस्यैषः .
उपदेशो भूद्विद्यानिपुणैः
श्रीमच्छन्करभगवच्छरणैः .. १२अ ..

Verse 13:

काते कान्ता धन गतचिन्ता
वातुल किं तव नास्ति नियन्ता .
त्रिजगति सज्जनसं गतिरैका
भवति भवार्णवतरणे नौका .. १३..

KAA TE KAANTAA DHANAGATACHINTAA
VAATULA KIM TAVA NAASTI NIYANTAA
TRIJAGATI SAJJANASANGATIREKAA
BHAVATI BHAVAARNAVATARANE NOUKAA

Crazy man ! Why do you worry so much about your wife and property? Why
don’t you seek out the Truth? Know that in these three worlds it is
only the association with the good and holy that can help you in
crossing safely the ocean of life.

Verse 14:

जटिलो मुण्डी लुञ्छितकेशः
काषायाम्बरबहुकृतवेषः .
पश्यन्नपि चन पश्यति मूढः
उदरनिमित्तं बहुकृतवेषः .. १४..

JATILO MUNDI LUNCHITAKESHAH
KAASHAAYAAMBARA BAHUKRITAVESHAH
PASYANNAPI CHA NA PASYATI MOODHO
HIUDARANIMITAM BAHUKRITAVESHAH

The ascetic with matted locks, the man with the shaven head or one
with hair pulled out, or the man parading in the ochre robes — they
all have eyes but yet do not see. All these are but deceptions for
cheating the world, for filling their bellies. (Renunciation does not
lie in external appearance, but in inward thought, attitude and
feeling).

Verse 15:

अङ्गं गलितं पलितं मुण्डं
दशनविहीनं जतं तुण्डम् .
वृद्धो याति गृहीत्वा दण्डं
तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशापिण्डम् .. १५..

ANGAM GALITAM PALITAM MUNDAM
DASANAVIHEENAM JAATAM TUNDAM
VRIDHDHO YAATI GRIHEETWA DANDAM
TADAPI NA MUNCHATYAASHAAPINDAM

The body has become decrepit, the hair on the head has turned
completely gray; the mouth has become totally toothless; the back is
bent down and the old man cannot take even a step witout the aid of
his stick; yet he does not loosen even a bit, his hold on the bundle
of desires.

Verse 16:

अग्रे वह्निः पृष्ठेभानुः
रात्रौ चुबुकसमर्पितजानुः .
करतलभिक्षस्तरुतलवासः
तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशापाशः .. १६..

AGRE VAHNIH PRISHTE BHAANUH
RAATHROW CHUBUKASAMARPITAJAANUH
KARATALABHIKASHAS TARUTALAVAASAH
TADAPI NA MUNCHATYAASHAAPAASAH

Homeless he is; his back is bent down with age. His body has lost its
heat and he has to warm himself before a fire or in the sun. Tree is
his only shelter; he lives by begging and by the crumbs thrown into
his palms by others; in the night he sleeps by holding his chin on his
knee (because the back is bent and he cannot stretch himself and lie
down). Yet, he does not let and allow the grip of desires on him
loosen even a bit.

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Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Lord Vishnu is said to have manifested himself in various incarnations, called Avatars, for the destruction of evil or restoration of faith and justice in the world. These incarnations are said to have been in the human form, in the animal form and even in the combined human-animal form.  It is believed that out of the ten incarnations (called Dashavatar) that are popularly believed in, nine have already been manifested while the tenth is yet to appear. This list is included in the Garuda Purana (1.86.10-11) and denotes those avatars most prominent in terms of their influence on human society.
The majority of avatars in this list of ten are categorised as ‘lila-avatars’. The first four are said to have appeared in the Satya Yuga (the first of the four Yugas or ages in the time cycle described within Hinduism). The next three avatars appeared in the Treta Yuga, the eighth incarnation in the Dwapara Yuga and the ninth in the Kali Yuga. The tenth is predicted to appear at the end of the Kali Yuga in some 427,000 years time. Also according to the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, the Kali-yuga will end with the apparition of Kalki-avatara, who will defeat the wicked, liberate the virtuous, and initiate a new Satya Yuga.At that time, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear on the earth. Acting with the power of pure spiritual goodness, He will rescue eternal religion. Lord Viṣṇu — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master of all moving and nonmoving living beings, and the Supreme Soul of all — takes birth to protect the principles of religion and to relieve His saintly devotees from the reactions of material work. (Bhagavata Purana)

Matsya Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of Fish Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
In the first incarnation the Lord rescued the Vedas during the apocalypse, saving the most sacred and ancient scriptures from the demon Sankhasura, who had stolen the same. The demon had the shape of a conch and was hiding in the bottom of the deep ocean. The Lord vanquished the demon and taking the form of a giant Fish, he negotiated the turbulent apocalyptic deluge or pralaya with utmost ease. Assuming the character of a boat, the Lord in his Fish form saved the Vedas for his devotees.

Kurma Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of Turtle

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netIn his second incarnation the Lord assumed the form of a giant tortoise. During the process of the new creation, His vast back was the base on which stood the Mandara Mountain. The latter was used as the staff for churning the milk ocean with the divine serpent Vasuki being pulled by the gods and the demons on two sides. This yielded the nectar, the Kamadhenu or the wish-fulfilling sacred cow, the Parijata flower and the Airabata elephant among others. The process of churning left on the vast back of the Lord large calluses in the shape of a wheel. The wheel mark also indirectly alludes to the celestial wheel, which is a mark of Vishnu-Krishna and the Sudarsana Chakra, their ayudha or weapon.

Varaha Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of Boar 
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

During the apocalyptic deluge mother earth sank to the bottom of the ocean. The Lord emerged as tiny boar from the nasal cavity of Brahma and soon grew in size to huge proportions. He rushed into the raging sea to rescue Mother Earth. As he emerged out of the sea, carrying Mother Earth at the tip of his great tusk, he was challenged by the demon Hiranakshya. The Lord vanquished the demon and killed him. In the Puri temple, the Varaha Avatara is one of the Parswa Devatas, the other two being Trivikrama or Vamana and Narasimha. Mother Goddess Earth is conceived as a spouse of Lord Vishnu-Jagannatha. She is called Bhudevi, and a small metal image of the Goddess is placed on the Ratna Simhasana in Srimandira along with the principal Deities. The exquisitely beautiful visual imagery presented by Jayadeva brings out the tender love of the divine couple.

Narsimha Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of Half – Man and Half – Lion 

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netAs the fourth Avatara, the Lord vanquished Hiranyakashipu, the brother of the demon Hiranakshya, who fought with him in his Boar incarnation. Hiranyakashipu, the demon king was totally opposed to Hari but his young son Prahlada, was devoted to the Lord and constantly chanted Hari Nama. The demon king was furious that his son was devoted to his enemy and forbade him from doing so. His father in many ways tortured the child devotee without any success in changing his loyalty to Hari. The demon king, who had himself done great penance had been granted a boon that he could not be killed by man or animal, in day or night and neither inside the house nor outside it. He therefore considered himself invincible. Prahlada saw God everywhere and his father challenged him by asking if he saw him in the pillar of the palace. On Prahlada’s reply that indeed the Lord was present there, in a fit of rage, he kicked the pillar and the Lord taking the form of a Man-Lion, emerged from the pillar. It was the twilight hour, neither day nor night and the Lord carrying the demon in one sweeping movement reached the threshold of the palace. With one foot outside and one inside the house he gored the heart of the demon with his sharp nails and killed him at once. Prahlada and Dhruva, another child devotee, are considered as being the greatest of bhaktas.

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netNarasimha is identified with Vishnu and as a cult Deity, predates Jagannatha. The making of the images of Srimandira was done after initially worshipping Narasimha and a temple dedicated to him exists close to the Gundicha temple to the east of the sacred Indradyumna tank at Srikshetra, Puri. This is known as the Yagna Narasimha temple. Within the Srimandira, a temple of Narasimha to the south of the Audience Hall of the main temple stands even today, and this is older than the main temple. This temple has numerous stone inscriptions inscribed over centuries. Some scholars believe that this was perhaps the original temple and site where Nilamadhava, the precursor of Lord Jagannatha, was worshipped.

Vamana Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of a Dwarf

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netBali, a progeny of Prahlada, was a demon king who had terrorized the gods. He was well known for his charity and never refused anything asked for as a gift. The Lord took the body of a dwarf and approached Bali as a Brahmin seeking alms. When the demon king took a vow that he will not disappoint the holy Brahmin and give him whatever he asked for, the Lord asked for land equal to his three footsteps. With his first step he covered heaven and with his next he covered the whole earth. The king had no more land to offer and proffered his own head for the Lord to cover his third footstep. The Lord placed his foot on the head of Bali and pressed him to the nether world and thus rid the world of the oppression of the demon king. At the same time the Lord emancipated Bali.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.netThere are two variations of this theme depicted in sacred art — one showing the Lord as a dwarf Brahmin with an umbrella and a kamandalu, a water pot with a spout, and another showing the Lord in his normal shape but with one of his legs raised to cover the skies. Sculptures of the latter, known as Trivikrama, are ubiquitous in Orissan temples and one is worshipped as one of the three principal parswa devatas in the Srimandira.

Parshurama Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of a Brahmin

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netIn his incarnation as Parasurama, the sage and priest, the Lord relieved the agony of the earth suffering from the excesses of the Kshatriyas, a warrior class. Parasurama means Rama with the Parasu or battle-axe. He was the son of sage Jamdagni, a descendant of Bhrigu, and was a great scholar and master of all the Vedas. His wife was Renuka, who bore him five sons, including Parasurama. Once her mind had been disturbed and excited by the sight of a pair of Gandharvas engaged in love play. As her thoughts were polluted, she lost her natural lustre. Jamadagni, on noticing this became wild and in a fit of anger ordered his sons to cut off her head. The first four sons refused to carry out this horrible command of their father but Parasurama promptly severed her head with one stroke of his battleaxe without the slightest hesitation. Jamadagni, pleased with his loyalty and obedience offered him a boon and Parasurama asked for the life of his mother to be restored and the sage granted this immediately.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.netOnce the king Kartavirya, visiting the hermitage of Jamadagni, took away Kamadhenu, the sacred cow, which could fulfill any wish. On learning this, Parasurama fought with the king and killed him. The sons of the king took revenge by killing Jamadagni when Parasurama was absent from the ashram. Confronted with this catastrophe, Parasurama took a vow that he would destroy the Kshatriya race twenty-one times from the earth. Eventually he fulfilled his vow. The sage, although a Brahmin, is considered as one of the greatest warriors of all times in the legendary accounts. Interestingly a few temples dedicated to Parasurama can be found in Kerala where he is worshipped as a cult Deity by some.

Rama Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of the King

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netRama is the hero of the famous epic Ramayana. He was the prince of Ayodhya, the eldest son of King Dasaratha and queen Kaushalya. His stepmother, Kaikeyi, wanted her son Bharata to become the king and Rama to remain in exile in the forests for fourteen years. She asked for this boon from Dasaratha in fulfillment of a promise he had made to her. Lord Rama left Ayodhya along with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshman to keep the words of his father. Ravana, the demon king of Lanka sent Maricha, who appeared in the forest as a golden stag and Sita asked Rama to get her this strangely beautiful animal. Rama reluctantly left her in the care of Lakshman and chased the golden stag. Later the demon through his tricks pretended as if Rama was crying for help and Sita forced Lakshman to leave her to help his elder brother. Taking advantage of this situation, the demon appeared in the guise of a mendicant seeking alms and cajoled Sita to step out of the protective circle drawn to shield her. He then carried her away in his flying chariot to Lanka. Lord Rama came to know of this from Jatayu, an aged eagle who had fought with Ravana in the skies but was fatally wounded by him. Rama befriended the monkey prince Sugriva and after killing his brother Bali, took help of his monkey followers to build a stone bridge across the seas. Eventually Ravana, the ten-headed demon, was vanquished and Sita rescued.

Krishna Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of a Cowherd’s Boy
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Krishna appeared in the Dwapara Yuga along with his brother Balarama. According to the Bhagavata Purana Balarama is said to have appeared in the Dwapara Yuga (along with Krishna) as an incarnation of Ananta Shesha. He is also counted as an avatar of Vishnu by the majority of Vaishnava movements and is included as the ninth Dasavatara in some versions of the list which contain no reference to Buddha. Because of his great Godly power, Lord Krishna is another of the most commonly worshipped deities in the Hindu faith. He is considered to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He played a huge role in the Battle of Kurukshetra and helped the Pandavas defeat the Kauravas. He is also a significant character in the epic of Mahabharata. Shree Krishna delivered Bhagwad Gita on battlefield of the Battle of Kurukshetra to Arjun. He, like Lord Rama, is also known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life. The Lord is usually depicted as playing the flute (murali), indicating spread of the melody of love to people.Buddha Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the Form of Buddha
Fun & Info @ Keralites.netBuddha is accepted as an incarnation of Krishna-Jagannatha. Adi Shankaracharya, who visited Puri in the early ninth century, restored the pride of traditional Hinduism and effectively eclipsed the influence of the Buddhists. Perhaps he was also responsible for the eventual assimilation of the Buddhist faith in the Hindu belief and acceptance of the Buddha as a god in the Hindu pantheon. This is clear from the depiction of Buddha as the ninth avatara in the sequence of avataras in the walls of the Deul in Srimandira and in other Orissan temples and other sculptural depictions of the ten incarnations.

Kalki Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of Horse
 Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
The Kalki Avatar is the only avatar of Vishnu that is set in the future. It is believed that at the end of the present age (Kali Yug), there will be a deluge when Kalki – the tenth and the last avatar of Vishnu, will ride forth on a horse to redeem humankind and re-establish righteousness. Riding on the back of a white horse, with a drawn sword, he will destroy the enemies of Dharma and re-establish it in all its glory. The name Kalki is often a metaphor
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net



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Story of Thulasi and Saligram


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I am retelling a story of Lord Vishnu and Tulsi that I read up recently, Please forgive me if there are any errors in the story:
 
Once upon a time Lord Indra began to fear that he was losing the respect among the people as they seemed to worship only the Trimurthy’s. He knew that he couldn’t replace the Gods of Creation and Sustenance (Brahma and Vishnu) but thought people wouldn’t worship Lord Shiva as after all he was only a God of Destruction. So with the intention of waging a war with him, he went to Kailasham. Lord Shiva having foreseen this, assumed the form of the gana, prevented him from entering and challenged him. As they fought, Lord Shiva’s anger kept growing and he very soon overpowered Indra. Indra then prostrated before him and Lord Shiva forgave him but he deposited the left over anger into the ocean. That anger took the form of a baby by name ‘Jalandhara’. He grew up very powerful desiring to be an Asura. When he reached the marriageable age, he approached a powerful Asura named ‘Kalanemi’ who was Ravana’s uncle and sought the hand of his extremely beautiful and intelligent daughter Vrinda who was one of the foremost devotees of Lord Vishnu. After the marriage Jalandhara became extremely powerful due to Vrinda’s yogic powers and prayers to Lord Vishnu. Observing this Shukracharya, the Guru of Asuras made him the King of Asuras. Jalandhara had now conquered all of the earth and was preparing to conquer Indra’s Heaven. Now Indra and other gods approached Lord Shiva for a solution who agreed to talk to Jalandhara. But talks for peace by Lord Shiva failed as Jalandhara insulted him on how he called himself an ascetic and still had a wife Devi Parvathi. Jalandhara proved too powerful even for Lord Shiva during the battle and he trapped all the gods using illusionary power. Jalandhar took the form of Lord Shiva himself and approached Parvarthy with a sinister mind. But Devi with her powers could see through his design and immediately picked her sword to attack him. Jalandhara now feeling a little weak from battle with Lord Shiva and aware of Parvathi’s supreme battle powers, vanished. Lord Vishnu found Parvathi extremely furious and upon knowing the reason, explained to her that since Jalandhara was the husband of his great devotee Vrinda, he was bound to be very powerful due to her prayers. Seeing Parvathy’s anguish, Lord Vishnu with a heavy heart agreed to intervene. He took the form of Jalandhara, went to Vrinda who was deep in prayer to Lord Vishnu for her husband’s safety and called out to her. For a moment Vrinda stopped praying and looked towards “her husband”. At that precise moment Lord Shiva killed Jalandhara as Vrinda had stopped praying for him. Vrinda got to know through her powers that something was wrong and Lord Vishnu took his original form to explain her why he had to do that. But Vrinda was heartbroken and cursed Lord Vishnu that since he stood like a stone while his devotee suffered, he would turn black and reside in a stone and will also be separated from his wife. Lord Vishnu gracefully accepted the curse and sat next to his dead devotee Vrinda feeling very upset. 
 
Lord Shiva came to Lord Vishnu and consoled him not to be grieve as his devotee would be re-born as the Tulsi plant(Vrinda) and would always be part of every ones prayers to Lord Vishnu.  As part of the curse, Lord Vishnu’s spirit entered the Saligram (black stone) found in the river Gomti (Nepal). Also as part of Vrinda’s curse, he got separated from his wife( Seetha Devi) in his next Avatar as Lord Rama as she was abducted by Ravana.
 


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