LINGA PURAN PART IV

DHRUVA -- THE SUPREME DEVOTEE

The Sages asked Sutji as to how Dhruva became successful in attaining immortality and supreme status among all the stars.

Sutji narrated the following tale---

There lived a king named Uttanpad, who had two queens--Suniti and Suruchi. The eldest queen Suniti had a son named Dhruva. One day while Dhruva was sitting in his father's lap, Suruchi--his step mother, contemptuously pulled him from Uttanpad's lap and made her own son sit in his place. Dhruva went to Suniti and complained about his steps mother's behaviour.

Suniti advised Dhruva that he should seek for the supreme status, which is permanent. Following his mother's advice, Dhruva went to the forest in search of that supreme status. In the forest, he met Sage Vishwamitra who advised him to seek the blessings of Lord Keshav by chanting the sacred mantra 'Om Namo Vasudevay'.

Dhruva did an austere penance for thousands of year. At last, lord Vishnu became pleased and appeared before him mounted on Garuda. Lord Vishnu touched Dhruva's face with his conch as a result of which he attained Self knowledge. Lord Vishnu blessed Dhruva by saying ---

I give you the supreme place, which even the deities and the sages long for.

This way, Dhruva attained a supreme status among all the stars with the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

THE ORIGIN OF DEITIES

On being enquired by the sages about the origin of deities, demons and other celestial entities, Sutji said-- Daksha being desirous of enhancing the population, created ten-thousand sons merely by his wish and instructed them to contribute in the propagation of population. His objective remained unfulfilled as Narad was successful in preaching them towards the path of devotion. As a result all of them went to do meditation after renouncing the world.

Seeing his efforts go in vain, Daksha created ten thousand more sons who were convinced by Narad to the path of renunciation once again.Daksha then begot sixty daughters from his wife named Vairini. When these girls grew up, Daksha married to different sages--ten of them were married to Dharma, thirteen to Kashyap, twenty-seven to Soma, four to Arishtanemi, two to Bhrigu's son, two to Krishashwa and the remaining two were married to Angira.

The named of Dharma's wives were Marutivati, Vasu, Aryama, Lamba, Bhanu, Arundhati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Sadhya and Vishwabhamini.Vishwabhamini was the mother of Vishvedeva, while Sadhya gave birth to Sadhva. Similarly, Marutvati, Bhanu, Muhurta, Lamba and Sankalpa gave birth to Varutwan, Bhanav, Mahurtik Ghosh and Sankalp respectively. Vasu became the mother of eight Vasus.

Among the twenty seven wives of Kashyap the names of some prominent ones were--Aditi, Diti, Arishta, Surasa, Muni, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodha, Vasha, Ila, Kadru, Twishad, Anga etc.Kashyap had two sons from Diti, Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Danu gave birth to one hundred sons among whom Viprachit was very prominent. Tamra gave birth to six daughters---Shuki, Sweni, Sugreevi, Gridhika, Bhasi and Shuni.

Kashyap did an austere penance and was blessed with two sons--Vatsar & Asit, Vatsar had two sons--Naibudh and Raimbh. Asit married Ekparna and had one son from her--Brahmanishth.Vashishth was married to Arundhati and had one hundred sons from her among whom Shakti was the eldest. Shakti was married to Adrishyanti and Parashar was his son. Dwaipayan was the son of Parashar and Shukra was Dwaipayan's son.

SAGE PARASHAR

The Sages asked Sutji how Shakti had been devoured by a demon named Rudhir.

Sutiji replied--- Once, Sage Vashishth was presiding over a grand Yagya being organized by a king named Kalmashpad. Vashishth had a rivalry with Vishwamitra. On seeing Vashishth busy in that Yagya, Vishwamitra instigated Rudhir-- a demon, to kill his sons. Rudhir followed the instructions and devoured Vashishth's sons including Shakti.

When Vashishth learnt about his sons death his heart was filled with grief. He desired to give up his life but was prevented from doing so by his daughter-in-law. She informed him about her pregnancy and said-- Very soon you will see your grandson. So, quit the idea of giving up your life.Vashishth, though still mournful of his son's death, postponed the idea of giving up his life for the time being. One day while he was engrossed in the thoughts of his departed son, he was amazed to listen the recital of a vedic hymn. He looked all around but found nobody. Suddenly he heard a heavenly voice that revealed by his grandson who was still inside the womb of his mother. In course of time, Arundhati gave birth to a son who was named Parashar. One day young Parashar curiously enquired from his mother as to why she did not put on ornaments like other women of her age do. Arundhati kept quite but when Parashar kept on insisting she revealed to him that it was not proper for a mournful women to adorn herself. She also told him how his father--Shakti had been killed by Rudhir, the demon.

Parashar consoled Arundhati by saying that he would avenge his father's lord Shiva. He then made an earthen Shivalinga and started worshipping it by chanting the scared mantras of Shiva-Sukta and trayambak Sukta. Lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and blessed him with a divine vision which enabled him to see his dead father. Parashar then commenced a yagya with the purpose of annihilating the demons. All the demons started being tormented by the extreme heat generated by that oblation. Vashishth prevented by that oblation. Vashishth prevented Parashar from contiuing with that Yagya as many innocent demons had suffered. Parashar stopped performing the rituals at his father's request.

Sage Pulastya had also been invited in that yagya. He was very pleased by his devotion toward his father and blessed him with the knowledge of all the scriptures. In course of time, Parashar became famous for his treatise--Vishnu Puran.

THE LINEAGE OF AADITYA

On being enquired by the Sages about the respective lineage of Aaditya (Sun) and Soma (moon) Sutji replied---

Sage Kashyap had a son--Aaditya, from Aditi. Aadity had four wives--Sangya, Rajyi, Prabha and Chhaya. Sangya gave birth to Manu whereas Ragyi was the mother of Yama, Yamuna and Raivat. Prabha gave birth to Prabhat while chhaya was the mother of three children--Savarni, Shani, Tapti and Vrishti.

Chhaya was extremely affectionate towards her step son-- Yama. One day Yama kicked her in anger as a result of which his leg became inflicted with incurable disease. He became cured of his disease only after doing penance for thousands of years at as place called Gokarna.

Manu had nine sons--- Ikshavaku, Nabhag, Dhrishnu, Sharyati, Narishyant, Naabhaag, Arisht, Karush and Prishaghna. He also had three daughters--Ila, Jyeshtha and Varishtha who coincidentally attained male physique later on in their life.Ila became famous as Sudyumna and had three sons-- Utkal, Gopa and Vinitashva. Harishwa was the descendant of Ikshavaku and had a son named Vasumana. Tridhanva was Vasumana's son. He had attained the designation of 'Ganapatya' by virtue of accomplishing one thousand Ashwamedha Yaga. Tridhanva had a son named Trayyarun and the name of his son was Satyavrata. The same Satyavrata became famous as Trishanku, who was the only person to attain to heaven with his mortal body.

The most truthful king Harish Chandra was the son if Trishanku. Harish chandra had a son named Rohit. Sagar belonged to the lineage of Harish chandra. He had two wives-- Prabha had given birth to sixty thousand sons but Bhanumati had only one son named Asamanjas.Anshuman was the son on Asamanjas. Anshuman's son was Dilip. Sage Bhagirath was the son of Dilip.

Some prominent personality who belonged to the lineage of Ikshavaku were Shrut, Naabhaag, Ambarish, Dirghabahu, Dilip (Dirghabahu's son), Raghu, Aja, Dasharath, Ram, Laxman, Bharat, Shatrughna, Lav and Kush. The famous king Pururava also cause from the same lineage. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. His son was Nahush. Nahush had six sons among whom Yayati was the eldest. Yayati had two wives--- Devayani and Sharmishtha. Yayati ruled over the whole earth. He had conquered the whole earth with the help of divine weapons and chariot which he had received from his father in law--Shukracharya (Devayani's father).

Yayati had two sons from Devayani-- Yadu and Turvasu. He also had three sons from his second wife--Sharmishtha whose names were Drushya, Anu and Puru.Yayati appointed his youngest son Puru as his successor because of his total devotion towards his parent. Yadu was made the ruler of Southern province.

YADU DYNASTY

Yadu had five sons among whom Sahastrajeet was the eldest. Shatarjay was the oson of Sahastrajeet and himself had three sons--Haihya, Haya and Venu. Dharma was Haihya's son. Dharmanetra was the son of Dharma and himself had two sons--Kirti and Sanjay.Sanjay's son was Mahishman and Bhadrashrenya was Mahishman's son. Durdam was the son of Bhadrashrenya and Durdam's son was Dhanak.

Dhanak had four sons among whom the youngest --Kartaveerya Arjuna was very mighty. He was killed by Parashuran. Kartaveerya Arjuna had many sons among whom Shoor, Shoorsen, Dhrishta, Krishna and Jayadhuraja were prominent. Jayadhwaja had a very mighty son named Talajangha. Talajangha too had many mighty and brave sons like Veetihotra, Vrisha eetc. Vrisha had a son-- Madhu. Madhu's son was Vrishni.

Some other prominent kings of Yadu dynasty were--Praghrajit, Jyamagh, Shrut, Vidarbh, Subhag, Vayu, Kratha, Kaushik, Romapad, Vabhru, Sughriti, Kunta, Ranadhrista, Bheemarath, Navarath, Dhridharath, Karambha, Devaratha, Devakshatrak and Madhu.The famous Kaurava dynasty came from the lineage of Madhu.

SRI KRISHNA

Aahuka came from the lineage of Yadu. He had two sons-- Devak andUgrasen. The eldest son, Devak had eleven children--four sons and seven daughters. The names of his sons were-- Devavaan, Upadeva, Sudeva and Devarakshit. All his seven daughters, which also included Devaki were married to Vasudeva. Aahuk's youngest son, Ugrasen had nice sons among Kansa was the eldest.

Vasudeva had a son named Balaram from Rohini. Devaki, one of his wives gave birth of lord Sri Krishna. Vasudeva had exchanged Sri Krishna with the daughter of Yashoda as Sri Krishna's life was under threat from Kansa. When Kansa tried to kill her, She slipped away from her hand and ascended towards the sky. She then thundered. ''There is no use killing me. The person who is supposed to kill you has already taken birth'. Her prophesy came to be truth and Kansa was ultimately killed by Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna had 16108 Queens among whom Rukmini was dearest. He did an austere penance to please Lord Shiva as the result of which He was blessed with many sons like Charudeshna, Sucharu, Pradyumna etc. He also had a son named Saamb from Jaambawati. Lord Krishna left for heavenly abode after enjoying a long life of 120 years. He had destroyed His whole clan before leaving His mortal body. A hunter named Jara who mistook him to be a deer killed him. Due to the curse of Ashtavakra, Sri Krishna's wives had been abducted by the dacoits.

LORD BRAHMA BLESSES THE DEMONS

The Sages asked Sutji as to how did Maya--The demon acquire three well fortified forts from Lord Brahma and how was lord Shiva finally successful in destroying them.

Sutji replied-- After Tarakasur's death his three sons, Vidyunmali, Kamlaksha and Tarakaksha did tremendous penance to please Lord Brahma. When Lord Brahma appeared. They expressed their desire of attaining immortality. Lord Brahma refused to oblige them. The demons after consulting each other demanded three invincible forts from him and said 'Only such a person should be able to kill us, who is capable of destroying all the three forts with a single shot of an arrow.'

Lord Brahma blessed them and disappeared. Maya, then did an austere penance and with the help of divine powers attained from it, constructed three forts at three different places. The fort made of gold was situated in the heaven, while the silver-fort was situated in the space. The third fort, which was made of iron, was situated on the earth. The gold-fort was given to Tarakaksha, the silver-fort to Kamalaksha and the iron-fort was given to Vidyunmali. After acquiring these invincible forts all the demons had become extremely arrogant. They started tormenting the deities.

The deities went to Lord Vishnu and requested help. Lord Vishnu created thousands of spirits (Bhootganas) and instructed them to destroy those three forts. But, the Bhootganas were unsuccessful in their attempt and were charred to death. Lamenting their death the deities went to Lord Vishnu and sought help once again. Lord Vishnu was aware that the demons derived their power from Lord Shiva. So, He decided to deviate them from the path of Shiva's devotion. He then created an illusionary entity. The illusionary entity went to the place where demons lived and was successful in influencing them by his illusionary tactics.

All the demons became so impressed by him that they stopped worshipping Lord Shiva and became His disciples. This resulted into a total degradation of moral values among the demons. Finding the time opportune, Lord Vishnu eulogized Shiva who appeared and agreed to destroy those three forts.Vishwakarma made a divine chariot for Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma became the charioteer. Mounted on that chariot, Lord Shiva proceeded towards the demon. All the deities followed him.

Lord Brahma said---'Right now it is Pushya yoga and it is very auspicious for launching and it is very auspicious for launching an attack on the demon's forts.'Lord Shiva then released his arrow, which after destroying all the three forts returned to his quiver. The deities became pleased and eulogized lord Shiva.

APPOINTMENT OF ANDHAK AS THE LORD OF GANAS

On being asked by the Sages how Andhak--the demon was appointed as the lord of Ganas by Lord Shiva, Sutji narrated the following tale to them.--The mighty demon, Andhak was Hiranyaksh's son. By the virtue of his austere penance he had received a boon of immortality from Lord Brahma. In course of time he conquered all the three worlds. He started tormenting the deities and as a result of which they had to take refuge in the causes of Mandarachal mountain.

The deities went to Lord Shiva and narrated their woeful tale to him. They also requested him to kill Andhak so that they could live in peace.Lord Shiva went to the place where Andhak lived accompanied by all the deities. When Andhak saw them coming, he attacked menacingly with his various weapons. The deities became scared and started running helter-skelter. Lord Shiva then killed Andhak with his trident. He then lifted the corpse with the help of his trident and kept in that position for a very long period.

The divine sight of Lord Shiva had liberated Andhak from all his sins.Finding himself in a helpless position, Andhak eulogized Shiva and begged for forgiveness. At last, Lord Shiva became pleased and brought Andhak down after lowering his trident. He gave him the designation of a Ganapati and made him the lord of his ganas.

THE LIBERATION OF EARTH

The Sages were curious to know how Lord Vishnu in his incarnation of Varah (Boar), had liberated the earth from the captivity of Hiranyaksha. They also wanted to know why Lord Shiva adorned himself with the horn of that boar.

Sutji narrated the following tale--- Hiranyaksha--Andhak's father was a tyrant. After Vanquishing the deities, he had taken the earth to 'Rasatala'. The deities sought the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu then took the incarnation of Varaha (boar) and killed Hiranyaksha with his sharp horns. He then brought the earth from Rasatala and kept it in its original position.

The deities eulogized both Lord Vishnu and mother earth. Lord Shiva adorned and himself with the ornament carved out from the horn of that boar. This is the reason why he is also called 'Danshtri' (wild boar).

KILLING OF JALANDHAR

The Sages requested Sutji to reveal how Lord Shiva had killed the notorious demon-- Jalandhar. Sutji narrated the following tale---

There was a demon named Jalandhar. He had manifested from the ocean. He had acquired divine power by the virtue of his austere penance.Jalandhar had defeated the deities and conquered the heaven. He even defeated Lord Vishnu and boasted---'I have conquered everybody. Now! Only Shiva is lift to be conquered.'

Jalandhar went to fight a battle with Lord Shiva accompanied by a huge army. Lord Shiva was aware of the boon, which Lord Brahma had given to Andhak and which had made him invincible. Jalandhar derived his power from his wife- Vrinda who was an extremely chaste woman.As per the plans of the deities, Lord Vishnu disguised as Jalandhar and went to breach the modesty of Vrinda. Vrinda could not recognize Lord Vishnu and mistook him to be her husband--Jalandhar. Ultimately, Lord Vishnu was successful in his motives.

Meanwhile, the battle had commenced between Jalandhar and Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva destroyed the whole army of Jalandhar by the sight of his third eye. Jalandhar became furious and tried to kill Lord Shiva with the Sudarshan Chakra, which he had snatched from Vishnu. Butas soon as he lifted the Sudarshan chakra, his body got cut into two parts. The death of Jalandhar brought immense joy to the deities.

THE ORIGIN OF LORD GANESH

Once, the deities requested Lord Shiva to device some means so that they no longer had to live under the threat of the demons.The most merciful Lord Pinaki Shiva then took the incarnation of Ganeshwar. He had a human body but his heard resembled like an elephant. He held a trident in his hand. All the deities eulogized Lord Ganesh--the Lord of wisdom and the remover of all obstacles. Lord Ganesh is the first deity to be worshipped in any ritual as he is believed to remove all the obstacles. A devotee of Lord Ganesh is free from the fear of failures and achieves success in any endeavour he undertakes.

SHIV TANDAV

The deities were curious to know the story behind 'Tandav'- the famous dance of Lord Shiva. So, they asked Sutji how it started and what made Shiva to perform Tandav.

Sutji replied--- There lived a demon named Daruk. He had acquired divine powers by the virtue of his austere penance. He started tormenting te deities, sages and all the virtuous people.All the deities went to Lord Shiva and requested him to give protection from the tyrany of Daruk. Lord Shiva then requested Parvati to help the deities. One part of Parvati's consciousness entered into the body of Lord Shiva. But, the deities were not aware of this happening. Goddess Parvati then attained her physical form with the help of poison stored in the throat of Lord Shiva. The effet of poison had made her complexion dark. Lord Shiva then brought her out from within his body through his third eye.

The deities became frightened after seeing her terrific appearance. She was none other than Goddess Kali. Goddess Kali then killed Daruk with the permission of Parvati.But, even after the death of Daruk, her anger did not subside and the whole world was ablaze due to her anger. Lord Shiva then incarnated as a small child and started crying as if he was hungry. Goddess Kali could not decipher the illusions of Shiva and thought that the child was crying because of hunger. She started feeding the child her breast-milk. In the process of sucking milk, Shiva also sucked out her anger.

The extreme anger of Kali had resulted into the manifestation of eight divine entities who became famous as 'Kshetrapaal. After her anger had subsided Goddess Kali became unconscious. Lord Shiva then performed his famous dance--Tandav for the first time to bring Kali back to consciousness. He was accompanied by all the Ghosts and spirits in his terrific dance. When Kali regained her consciousness she found Shiva dancing. She too started dancing and this is the reason why she is also called Yogini.