The Story of King Harischandra
The great king of Harischandra of the Purana was the embodiment of generosity. No one ever went away from him empty-handed. The sage Viswamitra, wanting to test the extent of the king’s charity, extracted from him a promise to grant any boon that he might ask. Then the sage asked for the gift of the sea-girt world, of which Harischandra was king. Without the slightest hesitation the king gave away his kingdom. Then Viswamitra demanded the auxiliary fee, which alone makes charity valid and meritorious.
Viswamitra said to the king: “O King, you have given away the entire world, which was your kingdom. It now belongs to me; you cannot claim any place here. But you may live in Varanasi, which belongs to Siva. I shall lead you there with your wife Saibya, and son, Rohitasva. There you can procure the auxiliary fee that you owe me.” The royal family, accompanied by the sage, reached Varanasi and visited the temple of Siva.
The king could not procure the fee and was compelled to sell Saibya, his royal consort, to a Brahmin. With her went Prince Rohitasva. But since even that was not enough to redeem, his pledge to the sage, Harischandra sold himself to an untouchable who kept a cremation ground. He was ordered to supervise the cremations.
One day, while plucking flowers for his Brahmin master, Prince Rohitasva was bitten by a venomous snake and that very night died. The cruel Brahmin would not leave his bed to help the poor mother cremate the body. The night was dark and stormy. Lightning rent the black clouds. Sabiya started for the cremation ground alone, carrying the body of her son in his arms. Smitten with fear and overpowered with grief, the queen filled heaven and earth with her wailing. Arriving at the cremation ground, she did not recognize her husband, who demanded the usual fee for the cremation. Sabiya was penniless and wept bitterly at her unending misfortunes. The impenetrable darkness was illuminated only by the terrible flames of the cremation pyres. Above her the thunder roared, and before her the uncouth guardian of the cremation ground demanded his fee. She who had once been queen of the world sat there with her only child dead and cold on her lap.
When the queen, wailing bitterly, uttered the name of her husband, Harischandra at once recognized his wife and son. Then the two wept for the dead prince. Yet in all these misfortunes the king never once uttered a word of regret for his charity.
Finally, the sage Viswamitra appeared and told them that he had only wanted to put the king’s charitable impulses to the crucial test. Then, through his spiritual power, the sage brought the prince back to life and returned to the king his lost kingdom.
The Short Stories from Bhagwat Mahapurana on Bhakti
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapurana is one of the 18 Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti (devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna. Shrimad Bhagwat Katha nourishes Bhakti, Gyan and Vairagya. Sankadi Munis have informed Narada ji that Shrimad Bhagwat has 18000 verses. It has nine numbers which denotes completeness. Shri Ram was born on Navmi (9th day). Shri Krishna went to Gokul on Navmi (9th).
A few stories on Bhakti are discussed hereunder:
Spiritual Significance: This is an instance of unselfish love or bhakti.
Spiritual Significance: The person becomes intelligent in miseries. Only in case of trouble, we go to the almighty. We remember almighty. Hence, trouble is real wealth. Actually, when we do not remember almighty, that is real misery.
To display his siddhis, Changdev made vehicle of tiger & rein of snake and went to meet Saint Gyaneshwar. When saint Gyaneshwar heard about this, he thought Changdev has false pride of his siddhis. Saint Gyaneshwar decided to teach him a lesson. At that moment, saint Gyaneshwar was sitting in the kitchen. He ordered the stone of kitchen to start moving. When changdev saw this, his pride was destroyed. Changdev felt, he could control only violent animals whereas saint Gyaneshwar can control non-living things. Changdev became disciple of saint Gyaneshwar.
Spiritual Significance: Changdev was hath yogi (dhayan by force). Yog can make one attentive but bhakti makes manas (मन) great. Jealousy destroys both this world and next world.
Path of Bhakti requires surrender of everything to almighty.
Story of Bhagwan Vaman and Bali
Asuras were defeated by Devas. Asuras took shelter of Guru Shukracharya. With the help of Shukracharya, Asuras started gaining strength. The defeated king Bali Asura took much care of sages and gained strength. Shukaracharya suggested him to perform Vishvajeet Yajna. By doing Vishvajeet Yajna, Bali got Sarvajit chariot.
Bali defeated Devas and grabbed the kingdom of heaven. Bali sat on the throne of Indra. Guru Shukracharya thought, in case Bali performs one hundred Ashwamegh Yajna, he would be king of heaven for ever. King Bhrigukatch performed Ashwamegh Yajna for Bali.
Devas started trembling and came to Guru Brehaspati. Guru Brehaspati advised them that in case Bali insults Brahmin from Brigu generation, he would be destroyed.
Aditi, the mother of Devas was much disturbed. On enquiry, she told everything to Kashyap rishi. Kashyap rishi advised her to do fast of Payovrat which comes in Phalgun month. She did Payovrat. In the dream, she saw four armed Narayana. Narayana told her during the dream, in case she meditates him as four armed, he would take birth as son. Both husband and wife meditated on Narayana intensely. On twelfth day of Shukla paksh in month of Bhadrapad, Vaman incarnation of Narayana appeared in afternoon. This period was seventh Manvantara and Shraddhadeva who is the son of Vivasvan, was the Manu.
(As per Hindu scriptures, each Manvantara is created and ruled by a specific Manu, who in turn is created by Brahma. Manu creates the world and its entire species during that period of time. Each Manvantara lasts during the lifetime of a Manu. Fourteen Manus and their respective Manvantaras constitute one Kalpa or a ‘Day of Brahma. Thereafter, at the end of each Kalpa, there is a period of dissolution called as Pralaya having equivalent perid as that of Kalpa.)
At the time of birth, Vaman first appeared in four armed form of Narayana to exhibit it to Kashyap and Aditi. Later, he took the form Vaman. Vaman ji appeared at the age of seven years directly. Hence, it was decided to perform Yajnopavita ceremony. After Yajnopavita samskar, the boy gets right to education of Vedas. After the ceremony of Yajnopavita, Vaman was given one asana (sitting mat), one kamandal (gourd), string of beads, begging bowl and loincloth. Guru Brahespati gave sermons to Vaman.
Vaman ji went to Parvati mata for begging. Parvati mata gave him alms which he offered to Guru ji. Guru ji told him that alms are very less and asked him to go to Bali raja who would be performing Ashvamegh Yajna on the bank of Narmada river. Vaman ji reached in Yajna pavilion. Vaman ji was having divine shine on his face. A group of rishis was present in the pavilion. They wondered to see the divine shine on the face of Vaman ji, whether he is son of sun. Prime priest, Shukaracharya welcomed Vaman ji. All Brahmins welcomed him. Raja Bali thought that he had served so many Brahmins but never seen such a Brahmin. He brought Vaman ji in the palace and made him to sit on throne. Then Bali asked the queen to arrange materials for worship.
The name of Bali’s wife was Vidhyavali and his daughter’s name was Ratanmala. Ratanmala was much impressed with the beauty of Vaman ji. She thought that mother of Vaman must be very lucky. She developed fondness and desire to feed him her breast milk. But later, after seeing his courage, she desired to kill him. In future life, she was Putna who tried to feed milk for killing Shri Krishna.
Vidhyavali was pouring water on the feet of Vaman ji and Bali raja was cleaning them. Bali raja said that he is fortunate to clean the feet and by doing this he has been purified. Bali further said that his ancestors have also got salvation today. Bali saluted Vaman ji repeatedly and said to him that his parents would be fortunate. Bali said, he desired to offer all his belongings and proceed to forest for Bhajans of almighty.
Vaman ji thought that he has in fact come to take everything from him. Vaman ji started praising his ancestors. Vaman ji said, his grandfather, Prahlad was a great bhakta and nobody was or would be like him. His bhakti was so intense that almighty came out of the pillar. Vaman ji further said, his father, King Virochan was very generous. When Indra came in the form of a Brahmin to king Virochan and told him that his age is expiring & after his death, his wife would be widowed. Indra begged for duration of life which was granted by his father. Vaman ji told Bali that his great grandfather was also very brave.
Bali wondered, Vaman ji appears of the age of 7 – 8 years but talking about his ancestors. He asked, whether he has seen them. Vaman ji asked how he can see them. Vaman ji told, he has learned the stories from his elders. Vaman ji praised Bali also and said, he is also very powerful, strong and generous like his ancestors. On hearing the praise of his ancestors and him, Bali asked Vaman ji to demand anything. Vaman ji said to him that he is not greedy and require only three steps of land. Bali asked Vaman ji to take much more. He could take three villages. Everybody knows about his generosity. After taking alms from him, if one takes alms from other, it would be his insult. It would be embarrassing for him to offer three steps of land. Vaman ji said to Raja that he is right in saying this. It was not surprising. But one should think before asking. Greed increases greed and contentment increases contentment. Vaman ji said, he did not require more. Vaman ji continued to say, he thought to have three steps of land to do Sandhya and by donating this, he would also get virtues.
Bali was elated and thought his land would be used for Sandhya by the holy Brahmin. He thought the Brahmin is very renunciant. Bali agreed to resolve and donate three steps of land. But Guru Shukracharya understood that the Brahmin is not an ordinary Brahmin. He told Bali not to be so prompt. Shukracharya told Bali, Narayana himself has come in the form of Vaman to accomplish the task of Devas. He would measure the entire kingdom in two steps. There would be no land left for third step. Hence, he would have to go into Patala. Think before taking the resolve. Vaman would grab entire thing. Bali asked Shukracharya, what he should do. Shukracharya said, donate but measure the land with his own feet. In case, one resolved for donation and not donate, he would go to hell. Donate only twenty percent. Bali said, he has resolved and in case of denial, he would be punished for untruthfulness. Shukracharya told him that in case of trouble, untruthfulness is forgiven. He should deny his resolve.
Bali said that he is Vaishnav. Earlier, he was thinking one Brahmin has come for alms but now he has understood that Narayana himself has come then he would prefer to donate entire thing. He would not break his resolve. His main deity is Vishnu Bhagwan. He would donate entire belongings in the feet of Vishnu ji. The world would praise him. Shukracharya told Bali, for third step, there would not be any land left and third feet would be kept on his head. This would send him in hell. Bali said, he is not afraid of hell. After committing sins, it is bad to go to hell but by offering everything to the almighty, going to hell would be good. Bali further said, he has born in the family of Prahlad. He is vaishnav. After donating to almighty, he would become god and god would have to stay with him in hell.
Bali said Shukracharya that during the puja, he always made him to resolve and donate all actions to Narayana. Here, Narayana himself has come, how he can deny. He requested Shukracharya to make him to resolve for the donation. Shukracharya denied making him resolve. Vaman ji said to Bali, in case of his family priest denied making him resolve, he could do so. Bali raja agreed for this. Vaman ji started to make Bali resolve. Shukracharya could not bear this and entered in subtle form in the groove of water vessel to interrupt flow of water. Vaman ji understood the manipulation of Shukracharya. He pricked a straw into the groove of water vessel which split one eye of Shukracharya. Shukracharya preferred to move from there.
Vaman ji measured entire land in one step. In second step, he measured Brahmaloka. There was no place for third step. Asura got angry and shouted for fight but Bali asked them to keep calm. Vaman ji asked Bali to keep his resolve. Vidhyavali said to Vaman ji that her husband wanted him to donate out of pride. Nobody can donate anything to Narayana as entire things belong to him. Then he told her husband, Bali, this body is made of earth and ask Narayana to keep his feet on his head. Bali then asked Vaman ji to keep his third step on his head. He begged pardon and said, he is offering whatever actually belongs to him. His minute pride eliminated.
By the time, Prahalad ji came there. He said to Narayana that he has taken Indra post from his grandson and left him without wealth. Narayana said, he withdraws wealth as a mercy on him. Wealth brings pride. When Bali became pride less, almighty said to him that he has donated everything and hence he has become his debtor. Indra has been given the kingdom of heaven and he has been given kingdom of Patala. Further, he would be watchman in his kingdom on the doors. Bali said, kingdom of Patala is better than kingdom of Indra.
Vaman ji became watchman in Patala. Once, Ravana came to fight with Bali. Vaman ji said, he would have to fight with him as he is servant to Bali. They fought. Vaman ji pushed Ravana with his foot to the bank of the ocean.
In Vaikuntha, Lakshmi ji was worried about the whereabouts of Narayana. One day, Narada ji visited Vaikuntha. Lakshmi ji asked the whereabouts of her husband. Narada ji informed her that Narayana is watchman in the Patala, the kingdom of Bali. Lakshmi ji in form of Brahmin’s wife went to Patala and said to Bali that she is his sister as per dharma. She did not have brother. Bali became happy. He saluted her. He always missed that he did not have sister. On the full moon in Shravana month, Lakshmi ji tied Rakhi to Bali. Bali said to Lakshmi ji that he should offer something in return. Lakshmi ji felt hesitant. Bali told, she should ask which is not available in her house. Lakshmi ji asked for watchman. Bali enquired whether he is her relative. Lakshmi ji said, he is her everything. Lakshmi ji alongwith Narayana went to Vaikuntha on full moon of Shravana month.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
Prahlad ji said to the almighty that he knew the world is a well with full of sorrow and darkness. The persons desirous of pleasures are entangled in this. Despite knowing all this, manas (मन) does not enjoy charming plays of the almighty. Manas is in misrable condition. It is polluted by sinful desires and anxious for sexual desires. Manas is plunged into pleasure-pain, fear, wealth, wife, children etc. It is difficult to control. Due to several desires, manas is in misery. Five sense organs (touch pleasure, tasty food, listening beautiful voice, mind blowing smell and beauties) and five organs of action trouble every moment. Enjoyment does not satisfy but increase desires further. Enjoyment decays the organs. Bhakti nourishes the organs and strengthens. Despite knowing very well, manas attaches in the worldly pleasures. Prahlad ji prayed Shri Narsingh Swamy that bestow him strength to control the manas and protect him.
Shri Narsingh Swamy ji advised Prahlad that the polluted manas would not improve without japa. Since his manas is pure, he could had his vision. The world is made beautiful with full of so many substances, so that the human beings enjoy these. But if the persons enjoy these substances without any restrictions and with undue attachments, they plunge into misery.
Shri Narsingh Swamy ji informed by taking two nectars (name japa and discourses of almighty), manas is not attracted towards desires and sense organs do not trouble. But discourses are never complete without kirtan.
Six means are being prescribed to attain undistracted bhakti.
Shri Narsingh Swamy asked Prahlad to take a boon. Prahlad told him that he is bhakta and not a businessman. Shri Narsingh Swamy insisted to give a boon to Prahlad. Prahlad then requested for a boon that no thought should arise in his manas to enjoy sensual pleasure. Further, be kind enough so that his father did not distress. Shri Narsingh Swamy informed that salvation of his father was not possible. But, Prahlad due to your good deeds, he would get salvation. Son like him, provide salvation to twenty one generations (seven generations of mother side, seven of father side and seven of father-in-law side). Then Shri Narsingh Bhagwan disappeared.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
The Story of prahlad and Hiranyakashipu
There was a king named as Hiranayashipu having his capital at present day Multan in Punjab. Hiranyashipu were two brothers. His brother, Hiranyaksha was killed in Varaha Avatar of Vishnu Bhagwan. On hearing the death of his brother, Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu decided to fight with Vishnu ji. His mother Diti satisfied him by telling a number of stories. He thought that he would first obtain a boon to be immortal and then fight. When he was leaving home, his wife Kayadhu asked, when he would return. He told her that time is not yet decided as he would do tapasya (penance) for ten thousand years to obtain many perfections.
He went to Mandranchal Mountain. When devas heard about his tapasya, they went to Guru Brahaspati and requested to produce hindrance in his tapasya. Guru Brahaspati took the form of a parrot and started chanting Narayana on the same tree where Hiranyakshipu was doing tapasya. As Hiranyakashipu had started mantra japa, parrot also started Narayana japa. When Hiranyakshipu saw this, he thought that he is doing japa for killing Vishnu ji and the parrot is doing japa of Narayana only. From where this parrot has come, he is not leaving. It appears, today is not auspicious day for japa and hence he left for house.
Kayadhu was surprised to see him back. She was keen know the reason. Since Hiranyakshipu was an angry person, she did not ask him directly. She made good food to feed him so that she could know the reason. She started praising his husband to know the details of the incident happened in the forest. She said, he is very intelligent, ascetic and winner as Indra, Chandra etc. devas as afraid of him. Nobody is as braver than him. She is so fortunate to have him as husband. Hiranyakshipu was very happy to hear his praise and said about the incident. Kayadhu was happy to hear the name of Narayana from her husband. She again asked her husband, what the parrot was repeating. Hiranyashipu said, Narayana, Narayana. Kayadhu expressed surprise, how the parrot can speak. Hiranyashipu said in affirmation, he spoke Narayana, Narayana. Like this, Kayadhu made her husband to speak 108 times Narayana. When parents were repeating Narayana, Prahlad was established in fetus. Hence, Prahlad, the great bhakta of Vishnu ji was born to them. Later, Hiranyashipu left for tapasya in forest. He was doing tapas for thirty six thousand years. He even was doing it without food and water.
Brahma ji was happy with the tapasya of Hiranyashipu. Hiranyashipu was covered by mud from all side. Brahma ji sprinkled water and asked his wish. He said Brahma ji that he should be given a boon of becoming immortal. Brahma ji said everybody has to die and asked him for another boon. Hiranyashipu said, he wanted only one boon. Hence, give me a boon that I should die neither in day nor night, by non-living nor living, by instrument nor missile weapon. Brahma ji gave the boon. Now with the boon, Hiranyashipu became very powerful. Devas prayed almighty. Almighty assured the incarnation and killing him as and when the Hiranyashipu showed enmity and intended to kill his son.
Son of Hiranyashipu was born and grew in passage of time. He was named as Prahlad as he gave happiness and delight to everybody. Shand and Amark were two sons of Daityo’s Guru Shukracharya. Hiranyashipu called them to teach Political science to his son Prahlad at the age of five. Shand & Amark taught Prahlad political science but Prahlad was inclined towards Bhakti since he was as fetus. They brought him in royal assembly in expectation of reward. Hiranayashipu asked Prahlad, what he had been taught. Prahlad said, father, he understood with his experience that living being has been born several times in form of man, woman, animal, bird etc. Thousands of years have passed for being separated from almighty and immersed in sensual pleasures, still this living being is unsatisfied. Contentment is derived not by enjoying but by renunciation. This world is full of sorrows. Everybody is distressed. When sins and good deeds are equal, one takes birth as human being. He has to endure sins and enjoy good deeds. This world is transforming every moment. Father, I am born several times. He further added, he could say with experience that this world does not have anything except selfishness and falseness. World is full of falseness and dishonesty. Hiranayashipu got infuriated hearing the statements of Prahlad. He asked Shadamark, what kind of teaching, they have done. Shandamark told that they never taught all this. Hiranyashipu said to Prahlad that devas are afraid of him. He cautioned him. Shandamark asked Prahlad, when they have not taught such lessons and why he is speaking like this before his father. Prahlad told them that Guru ji, person neither tread towards almighty by saying of anybody nor worship almighty. Without Satsang and grace of saints, nobody can be bhakta. However, by grace of almighty also, devotion comes.
After a few days, Hiranayashipu again enquired Prahlad about progress of his education. Prahlad said, father, there are nine kinds of bhakti of Vishnu ji viz. shravana, kirtan, remembering names of Vishnu ji, service of feet, worshipping, salutation, service, fellowship and offering of self. This is navdha bhakti. By Navdha bhakti, almighty pleases and by his pleasure life become successful. Hearing all this from his son, Hiranayashipu got angry and threw Prahlad from his lap. He ordered his subordinates to kill him as he praises his enemy. The subordinates tried to kill Prahlad. They started beating him. Prahlad was fearless.
Hiranayashipu tried several techniques to kill Prahlad but he did not die. Hiranayashipu thought that Prahlad would be magician. He had ordered to imprison Prahlad in a dark room and stopped giving him food, so he would die in absence of food and water. Prahlad thought that this would be good for doing bhajan peacefully. Darkness did not afraid Prahlad. He started Shri Krishna bhajan and gradually he lost his body perception. Vishnu ji enquired Lakshmi ji whether anybody is hungry in the world. Lakshmi ji informed that his bhakta Prahlad is hungry in captivity. Vishnu ji advised to send prasada for him. Hiranayashipu’s attendants were surprised to see food with Prahlad as they were constantly watchful. They told the incident to Hiranayashipu. Hiranayashipu personally came to see it. He asked Prahlad who had given him the food. Prahlad told him that he had given the prasada who nourished him during pregnancy.
Once, Prahlad was immersed in bhajan of almighty. His friends also absorbed in the bhajan and started dancing. At that moment, Shandamark came there. They rebuked them and asked to stop bhajan. But nobody listened them. Shandamark held the hands of Prahlad. As soon as they held the hands of Prahlad, they also started dancing. Hiranayashipu sent one attendant to examine the education being given by Shandamark. No sooner the attendant came to see it; he tried to stop Shandamark by holding their hands. But as soon as he touched the hands of Shandamark, he had also started dancing. He forgot purpose his coming there. Then Hiranayashipu sent another attendant. But whosoever came there, they involved in dancing and kirtan of Bhagwan Vishnu. Hiranayashipu was puzzled and came himself. He was very much angered and said to Prahlad that he was still doing Bhajan of Vishnu ji. He further said, nobody is god except him. The king caught hold Prahlad and thrown on the ground. Hiranayashipu was not affected by touching the hands of Prahlad as he was highly tamsic. Prahlad saluted his father. Hiranayashipu asked him where his protector, Vishnu is. Prahlad told him that Vishnu ji is everywhere. Prahlad told him that he claimed himself winner of world but winner is one who wins over his manas (मन) and Kama, Krodha etc. Hiranayashipu shouted at Prahlad on his giving sermons to him and asked where his protector is. Prahlad again told him that he is everywhere. Then Hiranayashipu said, whether Vishnu is in this pillar also. Prahlad told, yes, Vishnu ji is in this pillar also. Hiranayashipu told, and then he would break the pillar and kill him. As soon as the king came running with the sward and attacked on the pillar. Immediately, Shri Narsingh Swamy appeared from the pillar and caught Hiranayashipu take him in his lap. Shri Narsingh Swamy told him that it is neither day nor night, he is neither on earth nor in sky, he would killed neither by arms nor missiles and neither inside house nor outside. Shri Narsingh Swamy killed Hiranayashipu by his nails at groundsel.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran
The Story of Dhruv
A King named as Uttanapada had two wives named Suniti and Suruchi and two children. The King Uttanapada loved Suruchi. Once, the king was sitting on the throne and Uttam, the son of Suruchi was playing in his lap. When Dhruv, the son of Suniti saw this, he asked the king to take him in his lap. Suruchi saw this; she came there and asked the king not to take Dhruv in his lap. The king thought, if he takes Dhruv, Suruchi would get angry. The king was like a slave to the queen. The king ignored Dhruv. Dhruv insisted to sit in the lap of his father. Suruchi said to Dhruv, you are not worthy to sit in the king’s lap. You are son of disliked queen, Suniti. If you are desirous of sitting in the lap of the king, you should have born to me. There is no one to remove your sorrow other than Lord Narayana. You go to forest and do penance so that you take birth from my womb. Worship him, who gives complete cosmic and supernatural pleasures.
Dhruva, a five-year-old boy, was very angry at the behavior of his step mother. He went weeping to his mother Suniti. She asked him that what happened. Dhruv thought, if he explained her entire episode, it would be sin of blaming parents. At that moment, one female slave came there and told entire episode. Hearing the episode, Suniti thought that she had done nothing wrong with Suruchi. But if she said Dhruv anything wrong against Suruchi, it would develop wrong impression on her son. She told him that his step mother has given good guidance. If you want something, it is better to ask from almighty. Suniti said, I have given you to Narayana. Then Dhruv left for forest. Before leaving for forest, he went to meet Suruchi to take her blessings. She melted momentarily, but due to her ill temperament, she said, it is all right. If he goes to forest, my blessings are with him.
Shukdev ji, says, five years old child left for forest after taking blessings. Dhruv was scared of the violent animals. He was thinking, violent animals may devour him. Next moment, he thought that he is not alone. Narayana is with him. On his way, many sages met him. He took blessings from them.
On the way, he met Devarishi Narada ji. Dhruv saluted him and took his blessings. Narada ji was happy with the politeness of Dhruv. Narada ji took him in his lap and stroked his hand on the head of Dhruv. Dhruv felt, his mother is blessing him. Narada ji later enquired from Dhruv about his destination. Dhruv told Narad ji that he is going to forest for vision of Narayana. Narada ji decided to test him. Narada ji said him that he is little child. This age is for playing and not for japa. You should enjoy your life and in old age go to forest for japa. But Dhruv kumar did not agree and asked him for guidance. Seeing his determination, Narada ji asked him to go to “Madhuvan” situated on bank of Yamuna River. He further, explained the method of proving him by giving him initiation of 'Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya' mantra. Narad ji blessed him that he would have vision of Narayana in six months.
Thereafter, Narada ji, came to King Uttanapada. King Uttanapada was regretful after Dhruva had left. Narada ji said to the king that he should not worry about the child. Narada ji told Uttanapada that for six months penance, he should survive over milk only.
Dhruv started Dhyana (meditation) in forest. Initially, he took fruits etc.; from third month, he took only leaves; from fourth month, he fasted on water; from fifth month, he depended on air and from sixth month, he decided continuance japa without moving from his seat. Impressed by the tapasya (Penance) of Dhruv, Narayana appeared. But Dhruv did not open his eyes. Then Narayana made to do away his glorious form in Dhruv’s manas. Dhruv opened the eyes out of affliction. He saw, four armed form of Narayana. Almighty said to Dhruv that he is happy with his bhakti and he could ask a boon. Dhruv ji said that what he should ask. Whatever, you love most, give me that. Narayana said that he should rule for a few years in your kingdom and later he would take him in his abode. Dhruv conveyed his doubt that in previous life, he had deviated to see king and queen and was to born again. Now, if he became king, he might be attached to queens and turn careless. Hence, he did not want to become king. Almighty said him that he should not worry. This would not happen.
On return, Uttanapada welcomed Dhruv with full grandeur. He thought that Dhruv had vision of Narayana at the age of five and despite passing half of the life he is still charmed of his wife. Suruchi repented for her misdeeds. Dhruv was made king and married to Bhrami.
Once there was a fierce war between Dhruv and Yaksha. That time Manu Maharaj came there and explained him that vaishnav (who worship Vishnu ji) should not do enmity. Hearing this, Dhruv stopped fight and came on bank of Ganges River. He started japa. But sound of flowing of Ganges River disturbed his japa. He said to Ganges that her sound of flowing disturbed his japa. Ganges said that if he did japa in peace, she would be silent. Ganges River turned silent. In Rishikesh near Dhruv ashram, Ganges River is silent.
Once, almighty’s attendants came to take him. But Dhruv was not interested to leave bank of Ganges River where he was enjoying satsang, Bhajan, Dhyana etc. But he took last bath in Ganges and saluted her with heavy heart. Ganges River appeared before Dhruv and told him that this is her gross form but she resides in subtle form in Vaikunth. Then Dhruv left for Vaikunth.
Reference: Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
Story of Dattatreya and Yaduraja
Yaduraja said to Dattatreya ji, “He is not strong enough like him; people are burning in greed & sexual desire; but he is not impacted by all these”.
Dattatreya said: “Rajan! I have understood that there is no pleasure in worldly things; hence, I have detached myself from these things and stabilized the sight on the witness (Jivatma) which gives bliss; permanent pleasure or bliss is inside & not in sensual pleasures; whatever Prarbdh (actions already commenced) gives, I accept it happily”.
Dattatreya ji explained that he had twenty four spiritual teachers as under:
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
Story of Ambreesh
King Ambreesh was great bhakta and son of Nabhag. He worshipped shri Krishna at Kankroli. Raja Amreesh was fully devoted to Shri Krishna in servile way. His manas (मन) was in feet of almighty, speech in eulogizing attributes of almighty, ears in listening stories of almighty, eyes in seeing the idols of almighty, hands in service of almighty and feet in pilgrimage.
Ambreesh was charavarti king but he was serving himself to the almighty. King Ambreesh was doing Ekadishi (eleventh day) as per prescribed norms. Raja Ambreesh was near completion of Ekadishi fast. At that time, Durvasa rishi came. Raja welcomed him and asked to take prasada. Durvasa rishi said; let him complete the Sandhya puja. Raja was to take prasada before commencement of thirteenth day. But Durvasa rishi was merged in the Sandhya puja so intensely that he could not perceive time period.
Raja Ambreesh was worried. He could not take food before serving it to Brahmins who are invited for the purpose. Dwadishi (twelfth day) was about finish. Brahmins permitted the king to take Prasada.
Durvasa rishi came and said to King Ambreesh that he has done no good by taking food before offering him. Raja Ambreesh said, he has taken only refreshment. But Durvasa rishi was furious. He took out a hair filled with magic powers and advised it to kill Raja Ambreesh. The king pleaded Narayana. Narayana killed the hair with Sudarshan Chakra. Sudarshan Chakra also followed Durvasa rishi to kill him. Durvasa rishi ran for life in various lokas (worlds). At the end, he came to Vaikuntha and prayed to Narayana for protection. Narayana told the rishi that he is dependent on Raja Ambreesh who is his great bhakta. Now, Sudarshan Chakra is under the control of Raja Ambreesh.
Narayana said to Durvasa rishi that he is tapasvi and has immense powers but he has misused these. What was the fault of Raja Ambreesh; who took only refreshment to protect fast? Still he was angry with him. He should go to Raja Ambreesh and beg pardon from him. Only when Bhakta Ambreesh pardons him, then only Sudarshan Chakra would stop.
Durvasa rishi went to Raja Ambreesh and begged pardon. Raja Ambreesh requested Sudarshan Chakra to stop for the sake of his good deeds. Sudarshan Chakra calmed down and went back. Raja Ambreesh served food to Durvasa rishi and begged his pardon.
Shri Shrimad Bhagwat Rehsaya by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
Story of Pundalik & Vitthal at Pandharpur
Pundalik was highly devoted to his parents. He was always busy to serve his parents. He believed that his parents were everything for him. Pundalik’s parents were suffering from Leprosy. They had irritating behavior. Although Pundalik served them diligently, yet they insulted him. Still he continued to serve politely.
Happy with his excessive and non-stop service to the parents, almighty appeared to give him darshan (divine vision). When almighty came at his door-steps, Pundalik was busy in serving his parents. Almighty called Pundalik. Pundalik replied almighty that presently, he is busy in serving his parents and wait for some time. After completion of service of parents, he would come to meet him.
He was very poor person and had only small room which could not accommodate anybody else. Almighty kept waiting at door steps. Pundalik said to almighty that he has met due to serving parents and he would have to serve them first. He gave almighty a brick and asked him to take rest on it.
When almighty was tired of standing, then he kept his one hand on his belly. Today also almighty idol in Pandharpur is in the same mode. After completion of the service of parents, Pundalik met almighty. Almighty personally visited still Pundalik did not leave his service in between.
Source:- Skand Purana.
The Story of Sati Anusuya
Anusuya was one of nine girls of Devahuti and wife of Atri Muni. She had unbroken loyalty to her husband. Her intensity of sattva was so great that due to it, devas going through the skyway felt her majesty. For this reason they also called her 'Sati Anusuya'. Lakshmi ji, Sati ji and Saraswati ji were very proud of their ancestors. God inspired Narada ji to destroy the pride of the three goddesses.
Devrishi Narada ji reached Kailash. Shankar ji was in Samadhi. Parvati ji was worshipping. She offered Narada ji prasada. Narada ji told that laddus are very tasty. He further told that but laddus offered by Anasuya were tastier. Parvati ji asked who she is. Narada ji told that she is loyal to her husband but Anusuya is more loyal to her husband. She got jealous. When Shankar ji came out of his Samadhi, Parvati ji asked him to breach the loyalty of Anusuya.
On other side, Narada ji reached vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu ji. Lakshmi ji asked him about his happiness. Narada Ji said, this time he walked to Chitrakoot. There he reached the ashram of Maharishi Atri. Because of that he is happy. He further said, earlier there was glory of Vaikuntha, but nowadays it is Anusuya’s ashram. Lakshmi ji asked about Anusuya. Narada ji said, she is great virtuous and loyal wife. Lakshmi ji also asked Vishnu ji to breach the loyalty of Anusuya. Likewise, Savitri ji also requested Brahma ji.
Shankar ji, Vishnu ji and Brahma ji, in disguised forms reached Chitrakoot and went to Anusuya’s ashram. They begged her. When Sati Anusuya gave alms, they refused to take. They said- Devi only If you do our hospitality without clothes, we will take alms on you. ‘Hearing this, Sati Anusuya fell into contemplation. She thought, if she gives alms without clothes, then her loyalty for husband will be damaged and if she did not give alms to atidhi (guests), it would be big sin. She thought, almighty say, offer me without desires or longings. She said, if I am true to my husband and I had never thought of any man-man in a sexual manner, then all three of you become six-months-old children.
Sati Anusuya breastfed them and put to play in the cradle. In this way, Tridev became a prisoner of love for Mata Anusuya.
Here, when the three ladies saw that their husbands had not come, they were worried. Incidentally, they met Narada ji. The three goddesses asked them for the location of their husbands. Narada ji said that those people are playing as children in the ashram. Finally, all the three went to Chitrakoot to find their husbands. The three godesses asked Anusuya to enter the ashram. By the time, Atri rishi arrived there. Atri rishi asked who are these children and ladies. Sati Anusuya told him that these three children are mine and the ladies are their wives. Then, Atri rishi said to Aunusuya that do not mention this. These are tridev and the rishi sprinkled water on them. The children took the original forms. Tridev told them that they were happy to play as children in their courtyard. As tridev were pleased, they gave a boon to sati Anusuya and with their radiance, Dattatreya ji appeared.
Source: Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran