1) LOMAHARSHANA AND THE OTHER SAGES

King Adhisima Krishna (alternatively, Asima Krishna) ruled the earth well. During his reign, several sages organized a yajna (sacrifice) on the banks of the sacred river Drishadvati. The river flowed through the region that was known as Kurukshetra. The sacrifice went on for a very long time and the sage…

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2) CREATION

In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe. The brahman (the divine essence) alone was everywhere. The brahman had neither colour nor scent, it could not be felt or touched. It had no origin, no beginning or no end. The brahman was constant and it was the origin of…

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3) VARAHA KALPA

At the end of the last kalpa, there was a destruction and the universe was flooded with water. Vishnu slept on the water as long as Brahma‘s night lasted. Since nara means water and anyana means resting-place. Vishnu is accordingly known as Narayana. When Brahma‘s day dawned, he wished to…

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4) YUGAS

There  are  roughly  seventy-one  mahayugas  in  a  manvantara.  A  mahayuga  lasts  for  twelve thousand years of the gods and consists of four different eras or yugas – satya yuga or krita yuga, treta yuga, dvapara yuga, and kali yuga. Satya yuga lasts for four thousand years of the gods treta…

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5) CREATION CONTINUED

From his mental powers Brahma created ten sons. Their names were Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angira, Marichi, Daksha, Atri, Vashishtha and Rudra. The first nine became sages and were known as the original brahmanas. To ensure that creation progressed. Brahma divided his own body into two halves. The male half…

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6) YOGA

Shiva taught the world the technique of yoga. Yoga literally means union and is a form of meditation that teaches about the union between the individual human soul (atman) and the divine soul (paramatman). It is this knowledge that is strived for by those who meditate. And one who does…

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7) DREAMS AND OMENS

Dreams and omens help people to predict the future. A person who cannot see the Pole Star (Dhruva) or the Milky Way (Chhayapatha) will die within the space of a year. If the sun seems to be faded to you, you will not live for more than eleven months. A…

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8) KALPAS

There was a sage named Savarni. He told the wind-gold Vayu, ―We know that the present kalpa is called varaha kalpa. But how long is a kalpa? And what are the various other kalpas? Please tell us the answers to these questions.‖ Vayu said the following. There are 4,320,000,000 years…

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9) BRAHMA, VISHNU AND SHIVA

At the end of the last kalpa, there was a minor destruction and the world was flooded with water. Vishnu alone slept on this water, balanced on the hood of the great snake, Ananta. While Vishnu was thus sleeping, a lotus sprouted from his navel. It was a huge lotus…

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10) MADHU AND KAITABHA

After Shiva had left, two brothers named Mahdu and Kaitabha appeared. They were demons. One of the demons wished to eat honey (madhu) as soon as he was born and thus came to be known as Madhu. The other demon looked like an insect (kita) and thus came to be…

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11) RUDRA

 You will remember that Shiva had granted Brahma the boon that he would be born as Brahma‘s son.  To  ensure  that  this  indeed  happened  Brahma  began  to  perform  very difficult  tapasya (meditation). But despite all this meditation, nothing happened. This failure greatly angered Brahma and he started to cry. As…

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12) DAKSHA

Daksha‘s daughter, Sati, was married to Shiva. Daksha was thus Shiva‘s father-in-law. But, as a son-in-law. Shiva never showed Daksha adequate respect. Or so Daksha felt. For instance, Shiva never bowed down before Daksha. On one occasion, Daksha invited all his daughters to his house. The only one whom he…

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14) ASTRONOMY

 The earth is made up of five elements (bhuta). These are earth, wind sky, water and energy. There are seven regions in the underworld (patala). These are known as atala, sutala, vitala, gabhastala, mahatala, shritala and patala. The ground in atala is dark in colour; in sutala it is pale;…

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13) GEORGRAPHY

Svayambhuva Manu had two sons named Priyavrata and Uttanapda. Priyavarata had a hundred sons. Ten of these were named Agnidhra, Vapushmana, Medha, Medhatithi, Vibhu, Jyotishmana, Dyutimana, Havya, Savana and Sarva. When Priyavrata decided to retire to the forest, he divided up his kingdom amongst seven of his sons. Since Priyavrata…

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15) SHIVA’S BLUE THROAT

Many years ago, in satya yuga, the sage Vashishtha met Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Having worshipped Kartikeya, the sage said, ―Please  tell me how Shiva‘s throat came to be blue.‖ ―I do know the answer and I will satisfy your curiosity,‖ replied Kartikeya. ―I was once on…

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16) VEDAVYASA

 The sages requested Lomaharshana, ―Please tell us how the sacred Vedas came to be divided.‖ Lomaharshana recounted the following story. When dvapara yuga arrived, Brahma noticed that people were becoming evil and were no longer paying sufficient attention to the Vedas. They were gradually deviating from the righteous path. Brahama…

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17) MANVANTARAS

Lomaharshana next told the sages about the various manvantara (eras). Each of Brahma‘s days is referred to as a kalpa (cycle) and that there are fourteen manvantaras in each kalp. Each manvantara is ruled over by a Manu and lasts for a duration of 30,67,20,000 years. The gods, the seven…

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18) VENA AND PRITHU

 The sixth Manu was Chakshusha. One of Chakshusha‘s descendants was the great king Pirthu, the son of Vena. Chakshusha had a son named Uru and Uru had a son named Anga. Agna maried Sunitha, and they had a son named Vena. Vena was evil and when he became the king,…

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19) THE PRACHETAS

Prithu had a son named Antardhana and Antardhana‘s son was Havirdhana. Havirdhana‘s son was Prachivarhi. Prachinavarhi married Savarna, the daughter of the ocean. Prachinavarhi and Savarna had ten sons known as the Prachetas. The Prachetas were interested in meditating. They performed tapasya for thousands of years under the oceans. They…

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20) DAKSHA’S DESCENDANTS

Daksha‘s descendants have already been mentioned in the section on creation. The Vayu Purana now gives an account which is, in certain respects, contradictory to the earlier account. Daksha married Asikli, the daughter of Virana, Daksha and Asikli had a thousand sons named the Haryashva. But the sage Narada persuaded…

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21) DITI’S CHILDREN

Diti‘s  sons  were  known  as  the  daityas  (demons).  Diti  originally  had  two  sons  named Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyakashipu was the elder. Kashyapa once organized an ashvamedha yajna (horse sacrifice). All the gods and the sages came to attend this sacrifice. A golden throne had been prepared for the chief priest….

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22) KASHYAPA’S OTHER CHILDREN

What of Kashyapa‘s wife Danu? Her sons came to be known as the danavas (demons). Muni gave birth to the gandharvas (singers of heaven) and apsaras (dancers of heaven). Vinata had two sons named Aruna and Garuda. Their sisters were the mothers of all the birds. Kadru gave birth to…

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23) THE ANCESTORS

―Who are the ancestors?‖ asked the sages. Lomaharshana recounted the following story. When Brahma first started to created, the gods were born. These gods not only did not worship Brahma, they started to create themselves. Brahma therefore cursed them that they would become ignorant. The gods did not relish this…

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24) THE SOLAR LINE

The sun-god Surya was born as the son of Kashyapa and Aditi. Surya was born as an egg (anda). For days on end, nothing happened to the egg and the shell did not crack. Vishvakarma was the architect of the gods. When Vishvakarma found that nothing was happening to the…

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25) DHUNDHU

In the solar line there was a king named Vrihadashva. He had twenty-one thousand sons. The eldest son was known as Kuvalashva. When Vrihadashva aged, he decided to retire to the forest with his wife. As for the kingdom, he resolved that he would hand it over to Kuvalashva. But…

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26) TRISHANKU

Further down the line, there was a king named Trayaruna. His son was Satyavrata. Satyavrata was exceedingly strong. But such was his desire for riches, that he committed many sins. His father Trayaruna therefore decided to banish him. Trayaruna‘s chief priest was Vashishtha and the sage also supported the king‘s…

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27) SAGARA

From Trishanku was descended a king named Vahu. Vahu was so addicted to material pursuits that he paid no attention to ruling his kingdom properly. Vahu‘s enemies seized the opportunity to defeat him and deprive him of his kingdom . Vahu and his wife fled to the forest. Chief among…

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28) THE LUNAR LINE

Chandra or Soma was th son of the sage Atri. Atri was a very powerful sage. He was always busy meditating. For three thousand years he performed tapasya, with his arms raised up into the air. He stood there, immobile like a tree-trunk. As a result of this wonderful tapasya,…

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29) PURURAVA AND URVASHI

Pururava was a good king who performed many yajnas. He ruled the earth well. Urvashi was a beautiful apsara. Pururava met Urvashi and fell in love with her. ―Please marry me,‖ he requested. ―I will,‖ replied Urvashi, ―But there is a condition. I love these two sheep and they will…

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30) YAYATI

 In the lunar line, there was a king named Nahusha. He had six sons and the youngest was named Yayati.  After Nahusha,  Yayati  became king.  Yayati  had  two  wives.  Shukracharya  was  the preceptor of the gods and Yayati married Devayani, Shukracharya‘s daughter. The king of the danavas was Vrishaparva and…

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31) KARTAVIRYA ARJUNA

There used to be a king named Kritavirya and Kritavirya‘s son was known as Kartavirya Arjuna. Arjuna performed tapasya for thousands and thousands of years. Through this meditation, he pleased the sage Dattatreya and obtained four wonderful boons from the sage. The first boon gave Arjuna a thousand arms. The…

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32) THE GODS AND THE DEMONS

The gods and the demons did not like each other and fought several wars with each other. There were twelve such terrible wars. On one particular occasion, the demons were defeated by the gods. Extremely disheartened, they went to visit their preceptor, Shukracharya. (son of sage Bhrigu.) The demons told…

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33) VISHNU’S INCARNATIONS

Because of Bhrigu‘s curse, Vishnu had to be born several times on earth. These are known as avataras (incarnations). The Vayu Purana now catalogues Vishnu‘s ten incarnations. These are as follows. (1) Matsya or fish. (2) Narasimha or half-man and half-lion (3) Vamana or dwarf. (4) Dattatreya, the sage. (5)…

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VISHNU’S INCARNATIONS

Because of Bhrigu‘s curse, Vishnu had to be born several times on earth. These are known as avataras (incarnations). The Vayu Purana now catalogues Vishnu‘s ten incarnations. These are as follows. (1) Matsya or fish. (2) Narasimha or half-man and half-lion (3) Vamana or dwarf. (4) Dattatreya, the sage. (5)…

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