71) CREATION

  In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe. There was only darkness and the divine essence (brahman). It is impossible to describe the brahman, it has no traits that can be described. When the time came for creation to start, the brahman removed the darkness and divided itself…

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66) ARRIVAL OF LORD VAMANA AT KURUKSHETRA

Pulastya says- “After satisfying Bharadwaj’s curiosity about his different abodes, Lord Vamana left for Kurukshetra where Bali was busy performing his Yagya. As soon as Lord Vamana reached Kurukshetra, the whole earth started shaking violently and high tides rose in the ocean. Being frightened of Lord Vishnu, Agni did not…

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70) MEDIEVAL TEMPLES OF GADAG

Gadag, a prosperous town of importance in Dharwad district of Karnataka, was known in the ancient days by various names, as Kratuka, Kratupura, Kardugu, Galadugu and Gadagu. It was also known as ‘Maha Agrahara’. One of the inscriptions found in the region mentions that Gadag was a part of Belavola, a…

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68) KING PRITHU AND THE SURYA DYNASTY

 Bhisma enquired Sage Pulastya about the mighty King Prithu upon whom the earth was named as Prithvi. Sage Pulastya replied—Anga-Prajapati was the descendant of Swayambhuva Manu and Sunitha was his wife. In course of time, Sunitha gave birth to a son, who was named Vena. After growing up, Vena turned…

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1) SRISHTI-KHAND – PADMA PURANA

Having revealed the contents of all the Puranas to his son Ugrashrava, Sage Lomaharshan instructed him to go to ‘Naimisharanya’ and spread it among the sages doing penance over there. There is an interesting tale how this sacrosanct forest of Naimish derived its name — Once, the sages sought Lord…

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2) THE BEGINNING OF CREATION -PADMA PURANA

The Sages requested Suta to narrate about the incident when sage Pulastya had met Bhishma. Suta replied— Bhishma was doing penance at a place called Gangadwar. Being pleased by his austere penance, Lord Brahma instructed Pulastya to go to Gangadwar and bless Bhishma. After reaching there, Pulastya told Bhishma that…

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4) THE FOUR PROMINENT CASTES

On being asked by Bhishma about the origin of the four prominent castes, Sage Pulastya said— Lord Brahma created the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas from his mouth and chest respectively. Similarly,   Vaishyas   and   Shudras   manifested   from   Lord   Brahma’s   thigh   and   feet respectively.Lord Brahma had created his ‘manasputras’ with the objective…

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5) THE MANIFESTATION OF GODDESS LAKSHMI

Bhisma expressed his desire to know about the manifestation of goddess Lakshmi. Pulastya replied– Once, after being defeated by the demons, the deities went to Lord Vishnu and sought his help. Lord Vishnu instructed them to collect all the medicinal herbs, and put them in the Ksheersagar, so that after…

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6) SATI GIVES UP HER LIFE

On being enquired by Bhisma about the reason why Sati gave up her life, Sage Pulastya narrated the following tale — Once, Daksha Prajapati had organised a grand yagya in which he had invited everybody except Lord Shiva. This Yagya was presided over by four prominent sages—Vashishtha, Angika, Brihaspati and…

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7) THE ORIGIN OF DEITIES, DEMONS and SERPENTS

 Bhisma requested Sage Pulastya to explain how different entities like the deities, demons and serpents came into being. Pulastya replied—Having failed in his repeated attempts of increasing population by the means of ‘sankalpa’ Daksha Prajapati was left with no option but to take the help of copulative creation. He begot…

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8) THE ORIGIN OF MARUDGANAS

Bhisma requested Sage Pulastya to describe how all the Marudganas came into existence. Pulastya replied— All the sons and grandsons of Diti had perished in the battle fought between the deities and demons. Diti—the mother of daityas (demons) wanted to take revenge, so she started doing a penance at the…

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9) KING PRITHU AND THE SURYA DYNASTY

Bhisma enquired Sage Pulastya about the mighty King Prithu upon whom the earth was named as Prithvi. Sage Pulastya replied—Anga-Prajapati was the descendant of Swayambhuva Manu and Sunitha was his wife. In course of time, Sunitha gave birth to a son, who was named Vena. After growing up, Vena turned…

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10) BASHKALI–THE DEMON KING

Bhisma requested Sage Pulastya to reveal Why Lord Vishnu had to take incarnation as Vamana. Sage Pulastya replied— Once, during Satya Yuga, the demons had defeated the deities and driven them out from their abode–heaven. The mighty demon, Bashkali was their leader. He had become immortal an account of a…

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11) SRI RAMA KILLS SHAMBUK

After killing the demons king Ravana, Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya. Many sages had arrived there to bless him on the occasion of his crowning ceremony. Sage Vashishtha was one of them.As Sri Rama was conversing with the sages a brahmin arrived there with the corpse of his son and…

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12) MANIFESTATION OF GANESH AND KARTIKEYA

Once, before taking her bath, goddess Parvati anointed unguent on her body and while removing it created a human form from the accumulated dross. The head of this human form resembled an elephant. Parvati then playfully immersed the human-form into river Ganga. But, to her sheer amazement the human form…

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13) AN IDEAL BRAHMIN AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GAYATRI MANTRA

Describing about the qualities of an ideal brahmin, Sage Pulastya said— Once, Narada had asked Lord Brahma as to who was worthy of receiving Vishnu’s blessings. Lord Brahma had told Narada that Lord Vishnu showered his blessings on those who engaged themselves in the service of brahmins. A brahmin should…

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14) BRAHMIN’S LIVELIHOOD

Describing how a brahmin should earn his livelihood, Lord Brahma said to Narada–Alms, which a brahmin gets without making any demand for it, is called Vritta. ‘Unchhavritti’ is even better than Vritti and it means collecting foodgrain which are scattered in places like fields, granary, market-place etc. A brahmin should…

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15) NAROTTAM—THE BRAHMIN

Describing about the importance of five virtuous deeds, Pulastya said to Bhisma—“The five supreme virtuous deeds are–obedience to parents, faithfulness towards husband, equanimity, not having enmity towards friends and devotion towards Lord Vishnu. By pleasing his father, one pleases all the deities. Mother is superior even to all the places…

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16) THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RUDRAKSHA, AMLA AND TULSI

 Once, while describing about the importance of Rudraksha to the sages, Vyasa said— One who wears a Rudraksha rosary is supreme among all human beings. The mere sight of such a holy man absolves people of their sin. A Rudraksha bead bears features of a Linga and yoni on its…

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17) THE IMPORTANCE OF SURYA’S WORSHIP

Once, while describing about the importance of Surya’s worship to Vaishampayan, Sage Vyasa narrated the following tale — There lived a king named Bhadreshwar. He ruled over Madhyadesh. Once his left hand was infected with leprosy. Bhadreshwar, fearing the prospect of dreadful leprosy spreading to his whole body, decided to…

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18) BHUMI KHAND – DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIN AND VIRTUE

 Once, Yayati requested Matali to describe the various sinful and virtuous deeds, which a man normally commits in his life. Matali  replied—‘One  who  criticizes  the  vedas  and  follows  the  religion  of  other’s  after abandoning his own or torments virtuous people is a grave sinner. Similarly, not respecting one’s parents,  not…

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19) KING YAYATI PROPAGATES VAISHNAVA–DHARMA

King Yayati was the son of Nahush and a descendant of Soma–dynasty. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and had contributed a lot in the propagation of Vaishnava–dharma. Yayati had sent many emissaries in all directions to propagate Vaishnava–dharma. During Yayati’s reign his subject were prosperous and were…

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20) YAYATI MARRIES ASHRUBINDUMATI

Once, king Yayati went into a forest for hunting. He saw a stag, which had four horns and chased it. The deer led him deep into the forest and then disappeared. Yayati was tired and thirsty. He saw a lake and decided to quench his thirst. First of all he…

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21) BHUMI KHAND – KUNJAL–THE ENLIGHTENED PARROT

Once,  while  describing  about  the  importance  of  a  teacher,  Lord  Vishnu  had  narrated  the following tale to king Vena— Sage Chyavan came from the lineage of Bhargav. Once, he arrived at Omkareshwar with the objective of acquiring knowledge. Since he was tired, he decided to take rest under the shade…

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22) BHUMI KHAND – KUNJAL PREACHES VIJJWAL

Describing  the  virtue  of  benevolence  to  Vijjwal.  Kunjal–the  learned  parrot  narrated  the following tale — Once, there lived a king named Subahu who ruled over chola desha. A learned brahmin named Jaimini used to counsel him on religious and spiritual matters. One day, while Jaimini was giving a discourse on…

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23) BHUMI KHAND – KUNJAL NARRATES ABOUT HIS PREVIOUS BIRTH

Sage Chyavan, who had been listening to the narration of Kunjal, was amazed by his profound knowledge. He asked Kunjal—O great soul! Who are you? From where did you acquire such divine knowledge.’ Kunjal, who remembered everything about his previous birth said– In my previous birth, I was the youngest…

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24) SWARGA KHANDA – SOME PROMINENT HOLY PLACES OF BHARATAVARSHA

Once, sages requested Suta to describe about the most prominent places of pilgrimage situated in Bharatavarsha. Suta commenced his narration by describing the origin of creation and then switched over to the geographical characteristics of Bharatavarsha. Suta said—‘There are seven prominent mountain ranges in Bharatavarsha–Mahendra, Malay, Sahya, Shaktiman, Rikshavan, Vindhya…

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25) SWARGA KHANDA – JAMBUMARG, RIVER NARMADA AMARKANTAK

Continuing with his narration, Sage Vashishtha said— A man desirous of going on a pilgrimage should first of all visit Jambumarg, because it is revered even by the deities and the sages. By visiting this holy place a man acquires virtue equivalent to the accomplishment of an Ashwamedha Yagya and…

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26) SWARGA KHANDA – ‘DHARMA TIRTH’ AND YAMUNA-SNAN

Sage Narada continued with the description of various holy places and said— “A pilgrim must visit  Dharma  Tirth,  which  is  named  after  the  lord  of  death–Dharma.  Once  upon  a  time Dharmaraj had performed an austere penance at that place this is the reason why it became famous as Dharma Tirth….

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27) SWARGA KHANDA – KASHIPURI, KAPARDISHWAR AND GAYA

On being asked by Yudhisthira about the grandeur of holy places like Kashipuri, Kapardishwar and Gaya. Narada said — Just as Lord Mahadeva is supreme among all the deities, in the same manner Kashipuri holds a significant status among all the places of pilgrimage. Hence an individual should make it…

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30) PATAL KHAND – RAVANA– THE MIGHTY DEMON

People of Ayodhya lived peacefully during Sri Rama’s reign until one fateful day when they were struck by a bad news–Sri Rama had abandoned Sita after a Washerman leveled an unfair charge against her character. Such was the greatness of Sri Rama that opinion of each and every individual was…

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31) AGASTYA ADVISES SRI RAMA TO PERFORM ASHWAMEDHA YAGYA

Sri Rama requested sage Agastya to tell about the means by which he could become liberated from the sins of killing brahmins. Sage Agastya advised him to perform Ashwamedha Yagya. He also described the rituals of performing Ashwamedha Yagya— “Get a horse of white colour and after worshipping it on…

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32) THE HORSE IS LET LOOSE

As per the advice of Sage Vashishtha, Sri Rama instructed his soldiers to bring a white-horse. A white parasol was fixed on its back and the horse was decorated with colourful clothes. The horse was then let loose and the faithful soldiers of Sri Rama followed it wherever the horse…

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33) LAV FASTENS THE HORSE

Some of the kings tried to stop the horse, but were defeated by Shatrughan. This way the horse continued to move ahead without any problem till it reached the bank of river Ganga. It was early morning and Lav after noticing the presence of horse become curious. He went near…

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34) LAV VANQUISHES THE WHOLE ARMY

Shatrughan became extremely furious after seeing the condition of his injured soldiers. He instructed Kalnemi to teach Lav a lesson. Kalnemi confronted Lav with a huge army and a ferocious battle took place. Lav managed to kill Kalnemi, which created havoc in the rival’s army. The surviving soldiers tried to…

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35) LAV BECOMES UNCONSCIOUS

When Shatrughan learnt about Hanuman’s fate he was infuriated and went to fight Lav. But when he saw a tender looking child in front of him he was surprised. Shatrughan asked — ‘O brave child! Who are you! Who is your father?’ But Lav was not interested in his irrelevant…

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36) THE ARMY RETURNS TO AYODHYA

Shatrughan  decided to  return  to  Ayodhya.  He  instructed Sumati  to make all  the necessary arrangements for the safe return of the caravan, which comprised not only of Sri Rama’s army but also of all the defeated kings and their vanquished armies. When Sri Rama came to know about their arrival,…

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37) SRI RAMA SENDS LAKSHMAN TO BRING SITA

Sage Valmiki was present in Ayodhya to attend the Ashwamedha Yagya. Sri Rama asked him about the identity of the two children–Lav and Kush. Valmiki said — Sita was pregnant at the time you had abandoned her. I gave her refuge in my hermitage where she gave birth to twins–…

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38) SITA RETURNS TO AYODHYA

Sri Rama eulogised all the revered sages who had arrived to attend the Ashwamedha Yagya. The holy water of Saryu was brought and sprinkled in the yagya kund where Ashwamedha Yagya was being performed, amidst the chanting of vedic mantras. Hardly had Sri Rama touched the horse with his hands…

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39) UTTAR – KHAND BADRIKASHRAMA

Once, on being asked by the sages about the greatness of Badrikasharama, Suta narrated the same tale, which Lord Shiva had once told sage Narada — Lord Mahadeva had told Narada that altogether there were one lakh and twenty-five thousand mountains   and   Badrikashrama   was   supreme   among   them.   Lord   Mahadeva   said—…

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40) THE DESCENT OF RIVER GANGA

Describing about the reason why river Ganga was brought down on the earth, Lord Mahadeva told Narada— King Bhagirath was the architect of Ganga’s arrival on the earth. He wanted to liberate his dead ancestorss from the curse of Sage Kapila. King Sagar came from the lineage of the famous…

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41) DASHARATH PACIFIES SHANI

Sage Narada curiously asked Lord Mahadeva as to what made Shani such a volatile planet.Lord Mahadeva replied— Shani is extremely violent by nature and everybody is scarred of this planet. Once, the royal astrologer of Dasharath was petrified at the prospect of Shani entering the constellation of Rohini and warned…

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42) QUALITIES OF A VAISHNAV

Giving a detailed description of the qualities of a Vaishnava, Lord Shiva told Narada — A person who has total devotion in Lord Vishnu is called a Vaishnava. He is truthful, kind and forgiving by nature. He engages himself in austere penance and refrains from any kind of violence. He…

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43) INDRAPRASTHA

The sages enquired from Suta about the holiest city situated on the banks of river Yamuna. Suta narrated the tale which Sage Saubhari had once told Yudhisthira—Once, Narada and Parvat were travelling through an aerial route, while they were flying over Khandav forest, they were lured by the beautiful sight…

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44) VAIKUNTH–THE ABODE OF LORD VISHNU

Describing about the grandeur of Vaikunth, Lord Shiva told Parvati–A person who has total devotion in Vishnu attains to Vaikunth after his death. Vaikuntha is the abode of Vishnu and constitutes of numerous Janapadas. The magnificence of Vaikunth is beyond description and it houses  many grand  palaces  fully decorated with …

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45) THE INCARNATIONS OF MATSYA AND KURMA

Once, goddess Parvati expressed her desire to know about all the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lord Mahadeva replied– Lord Brahma had created numerous Prajapatis like Bhrigu, Marichi, Atri, Daksha, Kardam, Pulastya, Pulaha, Angira and Kratu. Marichi was the father of Kashyapa. Sage Kashyapa had four wives–Aditi, Diti, Kadru and Vinta.Aditi…

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46) NRISIMHA–INCARNATION

Continuing with the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Lord Mahadeva told Parvati — Sage Kashyapa had two mighty sons from Diti–Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha had once carried the earth to Rasatala. The deities requested Lord Vishnu to rescue the earth. Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of a boar and killed…

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