There was a king named Satyarath who ruled over Vidarbha. Once he was attacked by a neighbouring king. Satyarath was killed in that battle. His wife somehow managed to save her life by hiding in a forest. The queen was pregnant at that time.
At the shore of a pond she gave birth to a child. She was feeling thirsty, so she went into the pond to quench her thirst. Unfortunately she was killed by a crocodile who used to live in that pond.
The hungry child started crying. A beggar woman arrived there with her one year old child. Though her heart was filled with compassion seeing the hungry child cry but still she was hesitating to take him in her lap.
Right then lord Shiva appeared as a beggar and advised her to bring up the orphan child. The beggar woman asked about the origin of the child. Lord Shiva told her that the father of this child Satyarath in his previous life had left the pradoshavrata incomplete. He had also ordered his men to severe the head of his enemy. After this, he had broken his fast in his impure state, without taking a bath.
As a result, Satyarath met a premature-death in his next life. The mother of this orphan child too committed a sin by deceitfully getting the co-wife of her husband killed. As a result she was devoured by a crocodile in her next life.
Describing about the child lord Shiva said-
“This child was brahmin by birth in his previous life, but still he never engaged himself in any religious or virtuous deeds. So in his next life, though he was born in a royal family, still he remained poor. You must take this child under your control and after his sacred-thread ceremony gets accomplished, you must engage him in my (Shiva’s) devotion. If you don’t obey my command then it would not be good for the welfare of your own child.”
After saying like this lord Shiva disappeared. The beggar woman took that child to her house and brought him up with great love and care. When he grew up his sacred-thread ceremony was performed and then he was initiated into the worship of lord Shiva.
By the blessing of lord Shiva, Satyarath’s son formed a pot full of gold while he was taking both in a pond. Now the beggar family became very rich. Once again when he had gone to a forest he met a ‘gandharva’ princess to whom he ultimately got married. This way he became a king. He lived happily with his mother and his brother.
LORD SHIVA APPEARS IN THE GUISE OF INDRA (SURESHWAR)
Upamanyu, the son of sage Vyaghrapad, was brought up in his maternal uncle’s home since his childhood. One day Upanyu was very hungry. His mother gave him milk to drink which was not enough to satisfy his hunger. He demanded more and started crying. His mother mined some wheat flour in the water and gave him to drink as there was no milk left in the house. Upamanyu finding the taste different told his mother that it was not milk but something else. He again started crying.
His mother told him that if he wanted milk then he should worship lord Shiva as he only was capable of making the milk available. Upamanyu proceeded towards the Himalaya and started doing penance to please lord Shiva- continuously chanting the mantra Om Namah Shivay. His penance generated so much of heat that all the three worlds started burning.
To test his devotion, Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati appeared before him disguised as Indra and
Indrani respectively. Both of them told Upamanyu to stop doing penance. They said-
“We Indra and Indrani are extremely pleased by your devotion. Stop worshipping Shiva. We will fulfill all your desires.”
Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati did not stop at this. They even cursed Shiva. Upamanyu became very furious and got up to attack the abuser Indra.
Shiva and Parvati were satisfied by his total dedication and devotion. They revealed their real identity and blessed him. Shiva promised Upamanyu that he would be present in the vicinity of his hermitage along with Parvati forever.
Upamanyu returned back to his home and narrated the whole story to his mother who was very pleased. Lord Shiva got the name ‘Sureshwar’ because he appeared in the guise of Indra.