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  • Maha Shiva RatriFebruary 24th, 2017
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    • Navaratri & Navadurga
      What is Navratri ? " Navratri " or "Navaratri " literally means "nine nights." Navratri is celebrated twice a year, once at the beginning of the New Samvatsar (Hindu New year) in Summers and again at the onset of winter. Navratri or Navratra are therefore known as Chaitra Navratra and Shaardeya Navratra on the basis of their occ […]
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      The Mahabharatha, is the greatest, longest and one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. With more than 74,000 verses, plus long prose passages, or some 1.8 million words in total, it is one of the longest epic poems in the world. This wonderful Grantha (Sacred book) was composed by Bhagvan Sri Veda Vyasa (Krishna Dv […]
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    • Ramayan
      Om Namaha ShivayaEka Sloki RamayanAadau Rama thapo vananu gamanam, Hathwa mrugam kanchanam,Vaidehi haranam, jatayu maranam, Sugreeva sambhashanam,Bali nigrahanam, samudhra tharanam, Lanka pureem dahanam,Paschad Ravana Kumbha karna madanam, Ethat ithi Ramayanam Author -Shri C.RajaGopalachariRamayanaTo the north of the Ganga was the great kingdom Kosala, made […]
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    • Ramayan Series Page 7
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Episode 61:Ravan sends his men to Kumbhakaran's palace to wake him up from his deep sleep. They take mountains of food for him and try to awaken him with their shouts, drums and trumpets. At last, Kumbhakaran gets up and has his meal. He is told about the war and the humiliation Ravan is suffering. Ravan goes t […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"VED STUTIUttarkaand – Doha 13 CHHANDJai sagun nirgun roop roop anoop bhoop siromaney | Daskandharaadi prachand nisichar prabal khal bhuj bala haney || Avataar nar sansaar bhaar bibhanji daarun dukh dahey | Jai pranatpaal dayaal prabhu sanjukt sakti namaamahey || Tav bisham maayaa bas suraasur naag nar aga jaga harey […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Ramayan Episode 51:Ravan discusses the matter with his courtiers and sends Sukh to seduce Sugriv from his loyalty to Shri Ram. Sukh meets Sugriv and says: "You are a king and Ravan is another. Earn his friendship instead of risking your life for helping a disinherited prince." Sugriv sends him back, saying […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Ramayan Episode 41:Lakshman enters Kishikindha in a fury. Angad goes and informs Hanuman who requests Tara to go and allay Lakshman's wrath. Tara is able to take away the edge of Lakshman's anger and Hanuman tells Lakshman that Sugriv has already issued orders for mobilising the warriors. Sugriv apologizes […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Ramayan Episode 31: Ravan decides to kidnap Sita Mareech reluctantly becomes golden deer Shri Ram, at Sitas behest, goes after the deer 31.131.231.331.4Episode 32: Mareech mimics Shri Rams voice & calls Lakshman Sita compels Lakshman to go Ravan kidnaps Sita .Shri Ram & Lakshman are upset32.132.232.332.4Epis […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Valmiki advises her to give up attachment which binds mortals to Earth. King Janak visits Ayodhya.02-11King Janak's conversation with Shri Ram. He shows Ram the letter Sita left him and tells Ram that he is proud to have a daughter like Sita.02-12Janak asks Ram to visit Mithila because Devi Sunayana is unwell.G […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Aartii ki Hanumana lalaa kiiAartii ki Hanumana lalaa kii, dushta-dalana Ragunatha kalaa kee.Jaakay bala se giriwara kaapay, roga dosha jaakay nikata na jhaakee.Anjani putra mahaa bala daayee, santana kay prabhu sadaa sahaayee.Dai biiraa Ragunaatha pataayee, Lankaa jaari siiya sudhi laaye.Lanka sau kota samudra sii k […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"A PRAYER TO HANUMANJI IN EIGHT VERSESBaala samai ravi bhaksha liyo, Taba teenahu loka bhayo andhiyaaroTaahi so traasa bhayo jaga-ko, Yaha sankata kaahu so jaata na taaroDewan-aani kari binatee, Taba chaari diyo ravi kashta niwaaroKo nahi jaanata hai jaga may, kapi sankat mochan naam tihaaroBaali ki traasa kapeesa ba […]
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    • Rishi Prasad "Guru Nishtha" Guru Bhakt Sandeepak ki Katha
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" ऋषि प्रसाद अध्यात्मिक मासिक पत्रिका संत श्री आसरामजी आश्रमभगवान शिवजी ने पार्वती से कहा हैःआकल्पजन्मकोटीनां यज्ञव्रततपः क्रियाः।ताः सर्वाः सफला देवि गुरुसंतोषमात्रतः।।'हे देवी ! कल्पपर्यन्त के, करोड़ों जन्मों के यज्ञ, व्रत, तप और शास्त्रोक्त क्रियाएँ – ये सब गुरुदेव के संतोषमात्र से सफल हो जाते हैं।'शिष्य […]
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    • Manas Guru Vandana
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"MANAS GURU VANDANABaalkaand – Doha 1 CHOPAIBandau guru pad paduma paraaga | Suruchi subas saras anuraaga ||Amiya murimaya churan charu | Saman sakal bhav ruj parivaru ||Sukruti sambhu tan bimal bibhuti | Manjul mangal mod prasuti ||Jana mana manju mukur mal harni | Kiye tilak gun gan bas karni ||Shri guru pad nakh m […]
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    • Shiva Taandav Stotra
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"II RAM IISHIV TAANDAV STOTRAJatata veegalajjal pravaahpaavit sthaleyGaleva lambya lambitaam bhujang tung maalikaam |Damag damag damag damanninaad vahum vavrymChakaar chand taandavam tanotu nah shivam shivam || 1 ||Jataa kataah sambhram bhramanni limpa nirjhariVilole veechi vallari viraaj maan murdhani |Dhagad dhagad […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"NIRVAAN ASHTAKAMMano buddhya hankaar chittaani naahamNa cha shrotra jihvey na cha ghraan netrey |Na cha vyom bhoomir na tejo na vaayuChidaanand roopah shivoham shivoham || 1 ||Na cha praan sangyo na vai panch vaayurNa vaa sapta dhaatur na vaa panch koshah |Na vaak paani paadau na chopasth paayuChidaanand roopah shiv […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" II RAM II Shree Ganeshaaya NamahSHIV MAHIMNAH STOTRAMPushpadanta Uvaacha Mahimnah paaram te paramvidusho yadyasadrishiStutirbrahmaadeenaamapi tadavasannaastvayi girah|Athaavaachyah sarvah svamatiparinaamaavadhi grinanMamaapyesha stotre har nirapavaadah parikarah || 1 ||Ateetah panthaanam tav cha mahimaa vaangmanasa […]
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    • Ramayan Series Page 3
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"RamayanEpisode 21: In Nanihal, Bharath's premonition saddens him Bharath & Shatrughan return to Ayodhya On hearing about their fathers death, they are deeply shocked Bharath develops deep hatred towards his mother Kaikayee and disowns her21.121.221.321.4Episode 22: Bharath performs King Dasharath's las […]
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    • Pancha Mukha Anjaneya Kavacham
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" [Armour of Hanuman with Five Faces]Translated by P. R. Ramachander Sri Hanuman Ji assumed this form to kill Mahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war. Mahiravana had taken Lord Rama and Lakshmana captive, and the only way to kill him was to extinguish f […]
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    • The Legend of Prince Ram
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" Jai Siya Ram JaiSiyaRam
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    • Ramayan Series Page 2
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    • Bharata the Spiritual Guru of the World
      Bharat the Spiritual Guru of the World In this context The following verse (shloka) from the Mahabharat (18.5.46) is important. अष्टादश पुराणानि धर्मशास्त्राणि सर्वशः । वेदाः साङ्गास्तथैकत्र भारतं चैकतः स्थितम् ॥ Meaning : The eighteen Purans, all the scriptures (Smrutis) and the Vedas are on one side and Bharat (ancient India) on the other. (So great is the […]
    • Suprabhatham
      "kausalya supraja rama!purva sandhya pravartate, uthishta! narasardula! kartavyam daivam ahnikam "Sri Rama! Kausalya's endearing son! Wake up, dear! You have to do your day-to-day duties do wake up please. Continue reading →
    • Shri Hari Stotram
      The one who reads with peace, This octet on Hari, Which is the destroyer of sorrow, Would definitely reach the world of Vishnu, Which is always without sorrow, And he would never undergo sorrow ever. Continue reading →
    • All About HINDUISM
      O Thou Invisible One! O Adorable One! O Supreme! Thou permeatest and penetratest this vast universe from the unlimited space down to the tiny blade of grass at my feet. Thou art the basis for all these names and forms. Thou art the apple of my eye, the Prema of my heart, the very Life of my life, the very Soul of my soul, the Illuminator of my intellect and […]
    • The Supreme Sadhana
      Everything is verily a manifestation of God; where then do differences, delusion,misfortune and misery exist? They exist in the „seeing‟ without right knowledge. For as you see,so is the world. Continue reading →
    • Shri Krishna Janma ashtami
      श्रीकृष्ण जन्माष्टमी आपका आत्मिक सुख जगाने का, आध्यात्मिक बल जगाने का पर्व है। जीव को श्रीकृष्ण-तत्त्व में सराबोर करने का त्यौहार है। तुम्हारा सुषुप्त प्रेम जगाने की दिव्य रात्रि है। श्रीकृष्ण का जीवन सर्वांगसंपूर्ण जीवन है। उनकी हर लीला कुछ नयी प्रेरणा देने वाली है। उनकी जीवन-लीलाओं का वास्तविक रहस्य तो श्रीकृष्ण तत्त्व का आत्मरूप से अनुभव किये हुए महापुरूष […]
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      INTRODUCTION Of Indian Jyothish or Hindu Jyothish or Vedic Jyothish. Vedas are the oldest, the most authentic and the most sacred scriptures to understand the mysteries of nature Vedas are oldest books in the library of the world.' The date when did the Sourya Mandal came into existence is written in " BramandPuraan ". Continue reading → […]
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    • Rudraksha : The Divine Gem
      The terms Rudraksha literally means the "Eyes" of Shiva and is so named in His benevolence. Shiva Purana describe Rudraksha's origin as Lord Shiva's tears. He had been meditating for many years for the welfare of all creatures. On opening the eyes, hot drops of tears rolled down and the mother earth gave birth to Rudraksha trees. Continue […]
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      Navagraha Stotra Mala For Daily Recital for the blessing of all Nine Grahas Continue reading →
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    This Blog is an Humble attempt to spread the Divine Message of Pujjya BapuJi & Dedicated at the Lotus feets SHRI CHARANKAMAL Of PARAM PUJYA GURUJI SANT SHRI ASARAM JI BAPU VishwaGuru Of the Age.

    The essence of Bharata lies in Her culture of Self-realization. ParamAtman is not seen as something apart, but as our very essence, the one True Self that resides in the heart of us all. Raising ourselves from ordinary individuals to the heights of Supreme Consciousness is only possible with the guidance of one who is already in that transcendent state. Such a one is called a Satguru, a True Yogi, as in one who has gained mastery over the mind, one who is beyond the mind.

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The Legend of King Vikramaditya

The King of Kings Chakravarthy Maharaja Vikramaditya was one of the most powerful and strongest ruler of Ancient India about 2066 yrs ago from now. Chandragupta Vikramaditya was the king of Kalianga kingdom ruled by Gupta Dynasty which had its capital at Ujjaini on the banks of Shipra river.

King Vikramaditya was very famous for his bravery courage & noble nature.People loved him because he always rendered Justice.

Vikramaditya’s Intelligence in giving right justice to everyone led him to be invited to heaven by Lord Indra the God of rain &thunder and King of all Devas, to render right Justice for a dispute among the celestials.

Even the Gods became friends of King Vikramaditya.
One day Indra, the King of the Gods, sent for Vikramaditya. Inheaven, there was a dance competition between Apsaras Urvasi and Rambha. They were two of the best dancers of heaven. Indra said: “Vikra -maditya, you will be the judge of which of the two is the better dancer.”
Vikramaditya gave Urvasi and Rambha each a bunch of flowers to hold while dancing.
He told them: “You must keep them erect while dancing.” Vikramaditya had put a scorpion in each of the bunches. Has a scorpion ever stung you? It can be very painful.
When the ladies danced, the scorpions would sting them. Wouldn’t they?
The scorpion stung Rambha viciously. She threw away the bunch, and stopped dancing.
But Urvasi danced so well that she lulled the scorpion into deep sleep in the bouquet. It did not sting her.
Vikramaditya said: “Well done, Urvasi! You are without question the better dancer.”

Lord Indra was so much impressed by the justice given King Vikramaditya that he gifted a Golden Throne with 32 talking statues whose names are

1 Ratnamanjiri,2 Chitralekha,3 Chandrakala,4 Kamkandala,5 Leelavati,6 Ravibhama,7 Kaumudhe,8 Pushpavati,9 Madhumalthi,10 Prabhavati, 11 Trilochana,12 Padmavati,13 Keertimati,14 Sunayana,15 Sundervati,16 Satyavati, 17 Vidhyati,18 Taravati,19 Rooprekha, 20 Gyaanvati, 21 Chandrajyothi,22 Anurodhvati,23 Dhramvati, 24 Karunavati,25 Trinetri,26 Mrignayani,27 Malayavati,28 Vaidehi, 29 Manvati, 30 Jayalaxmi,31 Kousalya, 32 Rani Rupavati.

All the 32 statues were actually cursed Apsras who are cursed to become statues and can only get relived from the curse by serving A Great Chakrawarthy King Like Viramaditya.

.The Majestic beauty of the golden throne was uncompareable in three worlds. Each section of the throne was decorated with Different colours of Gems Pearls & Diamonds whose value and price can’t be imagine.

The legendary King Vikramaditya is a popular figure in both Sanskrit and regional languages in India. His name is associated with many events or monuments whose historical details are unknown, though a whole cycles of tales have grown around him. The two most famous ones in Sanskrit are Vetala Panchvimshati or Baital Pachisi (“The 25 (tales) of the Vampire”) and Simhasana-Dwatrimshika (“The 32 (tales) of the throne”, also known as Sinhasan Batteesee). These two are found in varying versions in Sanskrit and also in the regional languages.
The tales of the vampire (Vetala) tell twenty-five stories in which the king tries to capture and hold on to a vampire that tells a puzzling tale and ends it with a question for the king. In fact, earlier the king was approached by a Sadhu to bring the vampire to him but without uttering a word, otherwise the vampire would fly back to its place. The king can be quiet only if he does not know the answer, else his head would burst open. Unfortunately, the king discovers that he knows the answer to every question; therefore the cycle of catching the vampire and letting it escape continues for twenty-four times till the last question puzzles Vikramaditya. A version of these tales can be found embedded in the Katha-Saritsagara.
The tales of the throne are linked to the throne of Vikramaditya that is lost and recovered by king Bhoja, , after many centuries. The latter king is himself famous and this set of tales are about his attempts to sit on the throne. This throne is adorned by 32 female statues who, being able to speak, challenge him to ascend the throne only if he is as magnanimous as Vikramaditya is depicted in the tale she is about to narrate. This leads to 32 attempts (and 32 tales) of Vikramaditya and in each case Bhoja acknowledges his inferiority. Finally, the statues let him ascend the throne when they are pleased with his humility.

NAVARATNA

The famous personalities of the golden period like Great Dhanwanthari, Kshapanaka, Amarasimha, Shankhu, Khatakarpara, Kalidasa, Bhatti , Vararuchi, and Varahamihira were a part of Vikramaditya’s court in Ujjain. The king had these court men “nava-ratna” (literally, Nine Gems)each exclusive personality & the best in their respective fields Dhanwantri was the famous Ayurvedic Acharaya ,Kalidas in Poetry, Vararuchi in Vedic scriptures, Varahamira in Astronomy.Bhatt in Politics and diplomacy etc

Vikram samvat calender is followed after the Great king Vikramaditya.

Vikram Betaal stories are world famous from time immemorial and impart a meaningful lesson to one and all. These stories are an integral part of rich Indian culture and were originally written in Sanskrit. These are based on the emperor of Ujjain, King Vikramaditya (Vikram) and Betaal, a vampire spirit who inhabits and animates on dead bodies. The king promises a monk to bring Betaal and tries all ways to capture the vampire spirit. Each time the king tries to capture the Betaal, it narrates a beautiful story that gradually over a period of time is composed to a series of fairy tales.
The introduction shows the setting for the stories, and conclusion shows what happened after King Vikram fulfilled his promise to the monk.
Enjoy the stories:

The Legend of King Vikramaditya

The sage Bhavabhuti- says-after making his initiatory and propitiatory conge to Ganesha, Lord of Incepts, informs the reader that this book is a string of fine pearls to be hung round the neck of human intelligence; a fragrant flower to be borne on the turband of mental wisdom; a jewel of pure gold, which becomes the brow of all supreme minds; and a handful of powdered rubies, whose tonic effects will appear palpably upon the mental digestion of every patient. Finally, that by aid of the lessons inculcated in the following pages, man will pass happily through this world into the state of absorption, where fables will be no longer required.
He then teaches us how Vikramaditya the Brave became King of Ujjayani.
Centuries ago, the renowned city of Ujjayani witnessed the birth of a prince to whom was given the gigantic name Vikramaditya. 
The old King calling his two grandsons Bhartari-hari and Vikramaditya, gave them good counsel respecting their future learning. They were told to master everything, a certain way not to succeed in anything. They were diligently to learn grammar, the Scriptures, and all the religious sciences. They were to become familiar with military tactics, international law, and music, the riding of horses and elephants–especially the latter–the driving of chariots, and the use of the broadsword, the bow, and the mogdars & mastered all kinds of Martial Arts. They were ordered to be skilful in all kinds of games, in leaping and running, in besieging forts, in forming and breaking bodies of troops; they were to endeavour to excel in every princely quality, to be cunning in ascertaining the power of an enemy, how to make war, to perform journeys, to sit in the presence of the nobles, to separate the different sides of a question, to form alliances, to distinguish between the innocent and the guilty, to assign proper punishments to the wicked, to exercise authority with perfect justice, and to be liberal. The boys were then sent to Guru Ashrams and were placed under the care of excellent teachers & scholers, where they became truly famous. Whilst under pupilage, the eldest was allowed all the power necessary to obtain a knowledge of royal affairs, and he was not invested with the regal office till in these preparatory steps he had given full satisfaction to his subjects, who expressed high approval of his conduct.
The two brothers often conversed on the duties of kings, when the great Vikramaditya gave the great Bhartari-hari the following valuable advice:
“As Indra, during the four rainy months, fills the earth with water, so a king should replenish his treasury with money. As Surya the sun, in warming the earth eight months, does not scorch it, so a king, in drawing revenues from his people, ought not to oppress them. As Vayu, the wind, surrounds and fills everything, so the king by his officers and spies should become acquainted with the affairs and circumstances of his whole people. As Yama judges men without partiality or prejudice, and punishes the guilty, so should a king chastise, without favour, all offenders. As Varuna, the regent of water, binds with his pasha or divine noose his enemies, so let a king bind every malefactor safely in prison. As Chandra, the moon, by his cheering light gives pleasure to all, thus should a king, by gifts and generosity, make his people happy. And as Prithwi, the earth, sustains all alike, so should a king feel an equal affection and forbearance towards every one.”

After being throned as a king, Bhartrihari was lost in worldy pleasures & became so physically attached to one of his two wives that he spent most of the time with her. Vikramaditya tried to make him realize his foolishness, but all in vain. On the contrary on the command ofthat Queen, Bhartrihari, threw Vikramaditya out of the city.
In the city of Ujjayani, within sight of the palace, dwelt a Brahman and his wife, who, being old and poor, and having nothing else to do, had applied themselves to the practice of austere devotion. They fasted and refrained from drink, they stood on their heads and held their arms for weeks in the air; they prayed till their knees were like pads; they disciplined themselves with scourges of wire; and they walked about unclad in the cold season, and in summer they sat within a circle of flaming wood, till they became the envy and admiration of all the plebeian gods that inhabit the lower heavens. In fine, as a reward for their exceeding piety, the venerable pair received at the hands of a celestial messenger an apple of the tree Kalpavriksha–a fruit which has the virtue of conferring eternal life upon him that tastes it.
Scarcely had the god disappeared, when the Brahman, opening his toothless mouth, prepared to eat the fruit of immortality. Then his wife addressed him in these words, shedding copious tears the while:
“To die, O man, is a passing pain; to be poor is an interminable anguish. Surely our present lot is the penalty of some great crime committed by us in a past state of being. Callest thou this state life? Better we die at once, and so escape the woes of the world!”
Hearing these words, the Brahman sat undecided, with open jaws and eyes fixed upon the apple.After which the Brahman threw away the apple,hat the priest was about to toss in his rage the heavenly fruit into the fire, reproaching the gods as if by sending it they had done him an injury. Then the wife snatched it out of his hand, and telling him it was too precious to be wasted.It would be a good decision if we gave this fruit to the palace & get some wealth in return.Then the Brahman went forth, and standing in the presence of the Raja, told him all things touching the fruit, concluding with “O, mighty prince! vouchsafe to accept this tribute, and bestow wealth upon me. I shall be happy in your living long!”
Bhartari Raja led the supplicant into an inner strongroom, where stood heaps of the finest gold-dust, and bade him carry away all that he could; this the priest did, not forgetting to fill even his eloquent and toothless mouth with the precious metal.

So does the story goes that Bhartrihari got such a fruit from a Brahmin that would increase his life span. The king did not eat the fruit himself but gave it to his favourite Queen , because he was madly obsessed with her.
The Queen took the fruit and pretended that she was very happy and said that she would eat the fruit after having a bath. The king agreed to this and happily returned. The Queen was inlovewith other, a horse keeper. She gave the fruit to him. The horse keeper was inlove with aprostitute. He presented this fruit in turn to her. Theprostitute was a pious women and she decided that she would gift the king with this fruit. Thinking this she proceeded towards the king’s palace.
King Bhartrihari was busy along with his councilors in the court. The prostitute came and gifted the fruit to the king and told him about the greatness of the fruit.
Seeing the same fruit in the prostitute’s hand the king was confused. He immediately, took it and ate it. Realizing the insincerity of the Queen, Bhartrihari felt very sad and gradualy helost faithin all the one’s he loved

But his other Queen Pingala was very pious ,good natured ,very religious & a Pativrata (husband devoted) woman.

Bhartri hari wanted to test her love towards him so he arranged a drama before her.
In the early morning the King reached Queens Pingala’s Palace and said he is going to forest for hunting and will return before noon, as usual the Queen woshipped her husband and prayed before the Goddess for her husbands safety.

Bhartri hari went forest for hunting but he didnot returned even after the sunset , here Queen Pingala was worrying about her husband safety without drinking a drop of water.

The night too passed but Bhartrihari didn’t returned next morning. The King’s body Guard returned the palace without the King.Seeing this the Queen felt suspicous of some terrible news.

With heavy heart Queen Pingala asked the soldiers of the king about welfare of her husband King Bhartri hari, they replied with their faces down that the King was chasing a ferocious Man Eater lion and got lost inthe Jungle ,they searched him every where only to found Kings clothes , saying this they showed her the Queen,the Kings clothes.

As soon as the poor Queen Pingala saw the blood stained clothes of her husband Bhatrihari,she fainted and died at the the moment.

Bhartrihari who was standing behind was terribly shocked and cried in vain.

This event had such an impact on Bhartrihari that he became detached to this world and starting abhorring material life. He renounced the palace and all the physical pleasures of the king & a normal person and went to the forest.
Then Bhartrihari became a discple of Maha Yogi Shri Gorakhnathji .

Thus the Throne of Ujjain remained empty .To protect the country from invaders Vikramaditya returned to his kingdom and became the King of Ujjaini.

Vikramaditya was a very brave prince. He was also learned in all the Sastras. He was a master of all the arts. When he became king, he made his brother Bhatti his minister.Bhatti was a very learned and wise man. Under their rule, the people were prosperous and happy.

Being a Yogi, Vikram meditated deeply upon what is said of Yogic Tantra and spiritual thoughts:–“A king is fire and air; he is both sun and moon; he is the god of criminal justice; he is the genius of wealth; he is the regent of water; he is the lord of the firmament; he is a powerful divinity who appears in human shape.” He reflected with some satisfaction that the scriptures had made him absolute, had left the lives and properties of all his subjects to his arbitrary will, had pronounced him to be an incarnate deity, and had threatened to punish with death even ideas derogatory to his honour.
He punctually observed all the ordinances laid down by the author of the Niti & Dharma
His night and day were divided into sixteen pahars or portions, each one hour and a half, and they were disposed of as follows:

Before dawn Vikram was awakened by a servant appointed to this special duty

As soon as he had risen several Brahmans rehearsed the praises of the gods.Presently he bathed in waters from Sacred Rivers King Vikramaditya performed Trikal Sandhya

At first sandhya King vikramaditya was consumed in dhyan yoga followed by
worship of his guardian deity Maa Bhadra Kali, again heard hymns& did vedic yagya.After performing his Yogic rituals only he drank a little water.
Then he saw alms distributed to the poor & needy. He ended this watch by auditing his accounts.
Next entering his court, he placed himself amidst the assembly. He was always armed mainly with his legendary sword.
He was surrounded by so many spies and so artful, that of a thousand, no two ever told the same tale.
At the Throne, on his right sat his relations, the Brahmans vedic Scholers. The others were on the left, and close to him stood the ministers and those whom he delighted to consult. A far in front gathered the bards chanting the praises of the gods and of the king; also the charioteers, elephanteers, horsemen, and soldiers of valour. Amongst the learned men in those assemblies there were ever some who were well instructed in all the scriptures, and others who had studied in one particular school of philosophy, and were acquainted only with the works on divine wisdom, or with those on justice, civil and criminal, on the arts, mineralogy or the practice of physic; also persons cunning in all kinds of customs; riding-masters, dancing- masters, teachers of good behaviour, examiners, tasters, mimics, mountebanks, and others, who all attended the court and awaited the king’s commands. He here pronounced judgment in suits of appeal.
Before the second sandhya, or noon, about the beginning of the third watch, he recited the names of the gods, bathed in river and broke his fast in his Private Puja place; then rising from food, he was amused by singers and classical dancers.

The labours of the day now became lighter. After eating he retired, repeating the name of his guardian deity, visited the temples, saluted the gods conversed with the priests, and proceeded to receive and to distribute presents. Fifthly, he discussed political questions with his ministers and councils.

Vikram allowed himself to follow his own inclinations, to regulate his family, and to transact business of a private and personal nature.

After gaining strength by rest, he proceeded to review his troops, examining the men, saluting the officers, and holding military councils. At sunset he bathed a third time and performed the five sacraments of listening to a prelection of the Veda; making oblations to the manes; sacrificing to Fire in honour of the deities; giving rice to dumb creatures; and receiving guests with due ceremonies. He spent the evening amidst a select company of wise, learned, and pious men, conversing on different subjects.

The night was distributed with equal care. During the first portion Vikram received the reports which his spies and envoys, dressed in every disguise, brought to him about his enemies.
This important duty finished he supped, and at the end of the third watch he retired to sleep, which was not allowed to last beyond three hours. In the sixth watch he arose and purified himself. The seventh was devoted to holding private consultations with his ministers, and to furnishing the officers of government with requisite instructions. The eighth or last watch was spent with the Purohita or priest, and with Brahmans, hailing the dawn with its appropriate rites; he then bathed, made the customary offerings, and prayed in some unfrequented place near pure water.
And throughout these occupations he bore in mind the duty of kings,
Thus Maharaja Vikramaditya was ruling his kingdom according to Sanatan Dharma.

One day a sage came to the court of Vikram and gifted him a fruit. The king handed it over to his treasurer.This became a daily habit.The King could not understand as to why the sage prsented a fruit to him every day. But still , he did not find out the reason for this .However, one morning,Vikram noticed a monkey siting on the palace wall and gave the fruit to it.The monkey had started eating the fruit when suddenly a dazzling gem fell out it.The King was very surprised .He immediately ordered his treasurer to get him all the fruits kept in the storage.
The fruits had gone riped but when the King had them crushed, each one yielded a precious gem.Thr generous King donated all these gems to the poor and waited for the sage’s visit to the court.

The next day ,the sage visited the court of Vikram with yet another fruit.Vikram welcomed the sage and asked him “Your Holiness! Can you please tell me why you have been giving me such precious gifts? Without good reason, I cannot accept any gifts from you”.

The Sage replied, “i need the help of a braveman for a spiritual goal.Will you help me ?”.Vikram readily agreed to this .So the sage said,”o King! please come to the burial ground on the next moonless night.It is at a distance of twenty miles from here.I will wait for you under a banyan tree”. Vikram agreed to carry out these instructions.

On the said night,Vikram covered his head and body with a black cloth and unnoticed, reached the spot in the forest.The sage was waiting for him and told him,”King Vikram! To the south of this forest is an Cremation ground , there stoods an old Tamarind tree on which hangs a corpse upside down.Please bring it to me,”The King immediately followed the sage’s orders and stared the adventurous journey to the cremation ground in the dense dark forest .

The darkness of the night was frightful, the gloom deepened till it was hardly possible to walk. The clouds opened their fountains, raining so that you would say they could never rain again. Lightning blazed forth with more than the light of day, and the roar of the thunder caused the earth to shake. The wolf were haulling their lungs out Baleful gleams tipped the black cones of the trees and fitfully scampered like fireflies over the waste.Ghost and restless spirits were romaing like snow balls and threw themselves upon the ground in their path and obstructed them in a thousand different ways. Huge snakes, whose mouths distilled blood and black venom, kept clinging around their legs in the roughest part of the road, till they were persuaded to loose their hold either by the sword or by reciting a spell. In fact, there were so many horrors and such a tumult and noise that even a brave man would have faltered, yet the king kept on his way.finally reached the Tamarind Tree.

On findings a corpse there, King Vikram cut it loose.As soon as the corpse fell to the it laughed loudly wit a cackling sound. The King realised that it was a Vampire spirit in the dead body.
But the courageous King carried the body over his shoulders and started towards the sthe place said by the sage.
Ashort distance ater, the vampire left Vikram’s shoulderrs and escaped to its origina; spot on the Tamirand tree.The King climbed up thr tree .brought down the Vampire and placing it on his shoulders stared walking again. “Who are you?” he asked the Vampire.”Iam Betal “replied the Vampire and in turn asked Vikram.”Why and where are yoou taking me away?”.

“A sage has requested me to bring you to him”replied Vikram.

Betal did not have any objection to soing with Vkram but he laid down a condition.”We have to cover a long distance and to relive the tedious walk.,I will tell you a story.But you should not utter even one word till we reach the destination.Iwill fly back to the tamirand tree and hang by it.Do you agree to this ?” asked Betal. Vikram agreed to this and silently listened to Betal’s story.

Madhumalathi

Once a Brahmin called Keshav lived in a town on the banks of Yamuna river.He was a scholar.He had an extremly beautiful daughter.Her name was Madhumalithi.
When Madumalthi attained the age of marrage, Keshav wanted an ideal husband for his daughter.So he started searching for a handsome , intelligent and well-mannerd boy beffitting his daughter’s immense beauty.
A few weeks later ,three boys hailing from aplace called Kanya kubj visites the Brahmin;s house.All of them were handsome and intelligent. Moreover they were friends,Each one of them had seen the girl at a fair and were enchanted with her beauty. And each one of these boys felt that they would sive up their lives for the sake of Madhumalathi. They approched Keshav, the father and requested for the hand of Madhumalathi in marriage.Keshav was in dilemma. Neither he nor his wife could decide upon any of these three young men. They therefore left this decision to rheir daughter.

On an auspicious day, Keshav invited the three suitors to his house to his house so that husband .But since all the three youngmen equall y good-looking and intelligent, the girl also found it difficult to decide whom to wed.
When Madhumalthi was sitting in her room thinking about her decision, a snake suddenly entered the room and bit her.Unfortunately, she died.Her youmg suitors were xtermely grived.

These three youngmen had loved Madhumalathi very deeply and so, they decided to spend their lives in her memory.

Fter Madhumalthi’s cremation was over, one of the youngmen coollected her ashes, immeresed them in the river Ganges and started living close by.
The second one built a hut at the place where the cremation took place, and spread the ashes ,and lied there.

The third one roamed from one holy place to another, all the time remembering Madhumalthi’s beauty and grace.During such travel, he happened to stay overnight with a Tantrik. The Tantrik’s wife eas very short tempered.That night, while she was serving food to the guest, her baby started crying.In a fit of rage she threw the baby intothe fire.The babys body turned into ashes.
Disguested with what he saw , the youngman did not want to stay in the house even a moment longer. But the Tantrik, the father of the child pacified his guest and taking a pinch of mud, uttered aprayer and sprinkled it on the ashes.His son come alive.The Tantrik left the Tantrik prayer book on the table and aske his wife to feed the guest and went to sleep.

The young man who was watching thhis with astonishment wanted to bring back Madhumalathi to life.So when the Tantrik and his family were asleep, he stole the Magical spell Book and hurried back to his beloved resting place.
By that time the young man who had been living on the banks of Ganga river, also returned to the spot.Three youngmen thus met eachother and were very happy at the thought of seeing Madhumalathi alive again.
The youngman who had the Magical spell bookin his possesssion, recieted the Magical prayer.The young man who had been living been living on the banks of the Ganga sprinkled some Holy water Of the Ganga on the ashes.which was securely stored by the third young man who was living in burial ground.
The Magic worked and Madhumalathi stood up from the ashes, more beautiful than ever.

The three suitors were very thrilled.But then, they started fighting with each other,claiming her as his own.One suitor claimed ,”ichanted the magical spell, hat’s why she got back her life”.Another one said”i sprinkled the holy water on her and gave her a new life,she belongs to me”.The third one declared “after all ,I preserved her ashes all these years, otherwise how could she be made alive? Madhumalthi woul become my wife”

Betal ended his story here and asked Vikram “O! Meritorious King you have heared the story.Now tell me how you would resolve this problem.Who is the right suitor for the girl ? If you know the answer and still do not reply to me your head will burst into pieces”

Vikram very calmly answered, “ The Young man who gave her life by reciting the Magical Prayer will like a father to her. And yje suitor who immeresed her ashes in the river behaved like ason towards a mother.That’s a very sacred relationship. The youngman who led the life an ascetic, renouncing everything and sleeping on the bed of ashes is the right suitor for her”

“ You are absoluetly correct” praise Betal.” But you have broken the rule not to utter a word, Iam going back”. Saying this the Vampire Betal sprang out of Vikram’s grasp and returned to the tamirand tree.

As soon as King Vikram spoke, the vampire slipped off his shoulder and hung on the tree.
 


Choosing A Commander

King Vikram made his way to the gnarled tree from which the corpse was hanging. Unmindful of the pitch darkness in the cemetery and the howling of jackals, he brought the corpse down once again. Slinging it astride his shoulder, he had just begun his return journey when Vetal said, O King! I fail to understand why you embarked on such a dangerous mission in the dead of night. Perhaps you are following the advice of some wise and learned person your minister, maybe. But sometimes, even the advice of such a person can prove misleading. Let me tell you the story of a king who took a wrong decision, based on the advice of his trusted minister.
The tale that the Vetal narrated went as follows:
Mahipal, the king of Virpur, was an able ruler. He consulted his minister, Dharmasila, in all administrative matters. Following the sudden death of his army commander, the king left the job of choosing the right candidate to Dharmasila.

After testing the generals in service, Dharmasila concluded that none of them were suitable for the post. Following his advice, the king issued a proclamation inviting all aspirants to participate in a contest to be held in the capital. Numerous candidates turned up at the venue on the appointed day. They were put through a series of competitions that tested their skills at archery, fencing, wrestling, and athletics. At the end of the contest, Dharmasila chose two candidates – Sushil and Roopsen.
Calling both of them, he announced, Both of you have proved your mettle as fine warriors. But the commanders post is a highly responsible one, requiring not just valour and physical prowess but also intelligence of a high order. I will now test your mental ability. I shall pose three questions to you in front of the king and the court. The person whose answers are found to be most suitable will be chosen for the post of commander, said Dharmasila.

The next day, the two aspirants presented themselves in the court at the appointed hour. The contest began. Standing up, Dharmasila said, The first question is suppose you were walking along the main highway in the city and you come across two young men fighting on the road. What would you do in such a situation? Roopsen said, Sir, it is an offence to fight on the highway. So, I would arrest the two and put them in jail. After that, I would ask them why they were fighting, and bring the matter to the king so that he can judge the dispute.

Next, Sushil said, ïIf the two men were fighting on the highway, there must surely be some good reason! I would first investigate and learn that reason. Then I would find out who is at fault, and settle the dispute.
Whispers of appreciation rose from the audience at this response. Dharmasila nodded and went on, The second question. You come to know that a group of rebels are stirring up a popular revolt by instigating the masses against the king. What would be your next step?
Using my spies, I would get details about the rebels moves. I would find out how strong they are, what kind of arms they possess, and who their leader is. I would also learn whether they enjoy the support of the common people and whether any neighbouring king is helping them. Then I would bring out the army in full force to crush them. No one can revolt against my king and get away with it! declared Roopsen passionately.

But Sushils answer was different. If so many people commit an act of treason, it is surely an indication of some lapse in the administration. I would talk to the rebels and find out the reason for their revolt. If they have a genuine grievance, I would present the matter to the king for redress and set them free. If, on the other hand, their only motive was ambition, I would punish them without hesitation.
The minister nodded in approval and said, And now for my third question. You are out on a hunt with the king, when he is attacked by a lion all of a sudden. What would you do?

I would remove the king from the spot and confront the lion alone. I would even give my life to save the king, if necessary! answered Roopsen unhesitatingly.
What about you? asked Dharmasila, turning to Sushil f I were with the king, there is no question of such a situation ever arising, for, I am always watchful! declared Sushil confidently. Again, his reply was greeted with loud applause.

For a moment, the minister was lost in thought. Then, he turned to the two youths and said, Gentlemen, I had thought of asking you three questions. But now, I have decided to ask one more. Imagine that three countries border our kingdom. One of them is rich in gold and gems; the second is equipped with an excellent armoury; and the third has a very well-stocked granary. If you had to go to war with all the three, which would you attack first?
The commanders job is to obey the kingïs order. It is for the king and the minister to decide who should be attacked first. I shall launch the war campaign as per the kingïs order, said Roopsen.
Sushil said calmly,The primary duty of the commander is to strengthen the army. Good weapons are essential for a powerful army, as they boost the soldiersï morale and enable them to win in battle. So, I would launch the campaign with an attack on the second kingdom, so that we can gain possession of its weapons.
His answer left the entire assembly gasping in admiration. There was no doubt among the courtiers that Sushil would be the one to be chosen for the commanders post. But much to the surprise of the assembly, Dharmasila announced that Roopsen had been selected as the new commander. The king agreed with his decision.
Concluding the stor,  the Vetal demanded, O king, after Sushil and Roopsen had proved equally well-matched in all the martial arts, Dharmasila announced that a decision would be taken, based on their intelligence. The entire assembly, including the minister himself, was impressed by Sushilïs astuteness. Still, the minister chose the less intelligent Roopsen for the post and whats more, the king too agreed with his decision! Isnt this a grave error of judgment on their part? If you know the answer to my question, speak out . otherwise, your head shall shatter into smithereens!
King Vikram replied, . Sushil was obviously more intelligent. But a commanders job is to motivate his soldiers and carry out the kings orders. Taking policy decisions is the king’s prerogative. Even the minister only gives advice; it is for the king to accept or reject it. A commander who takes decisions on his own is a major threat for the king and the kingdom. A man skilled in warfare, possessing ordinary intelligence and loyal to the king, is definitely a better choice for commander than a highly intelligent but self-willed man. By nominating Roopsen to the post, Dharmasila proved himself to be a far-sighted, shrewd minister.
On hearing this, the Vetal nodded in approval, before going off into peals of thunderous laughter. The next moment, he moved off the kings shoulder with a jerk and flew back to the tree.


Intelligence In A Pot

It was a dark and moonless night. Only occasional flashes of lightning lit up the somber scene and caused an eerie dance of shadows in the cremation ground. But King Vikram was undaunted. He went up the old banyan tree to bring the corpse down. The Vetal that possessed the corpse said, “I do not know why you are so very persistent. You can achieve much more by using this time in a constructive way. Let me tell you the story of King Parakrama. That will give you some relief”.
The Vetal then narrated the story:
“Virpur was a small kingdom. It was ruled by King Virasen. The king, though young, was extremely clever and intelligent. He never took any hasty decisions. He would always consult his council of ministers and discuss the problems facing the kingdom. As a result, peace and tranquility prevailed throughout Virpur.
Virpur was surrounded on three sides by a bigger kingdom, Surpur. It was ruled by a king called Parakrama. He had long desired to annex Virpur to his kingdom. He could not do anything as long as Virasen’s father was alive. He was very powerful and everyone feared him. Now that he was no more, and Virasen who had succeeded him was quite young, Parakrama revived his designs to annex Virpur. He called a meeting of all his ministers and told them about his plans to invade Virpur. The chief minister had some reservations.
He said, “Your majesty, what you say is right. But we must collect all the details about our enemy before we go for an attack. Let’s ascertain the young king’s mettle before we invade Virpur”. King Parakrama felt that it was a wise suggestion and set about to draft a letter to Virasen. The king and the ministers thought they would know all about Virasen’s courage and intelligence from his reply to their letter.
Parakrama’s messenger gave the letter to King Virasen. The letter was read out in the court. It said: ‘King Virasen, your late father kept his kingdom in good shape with the help of his wisdom. I, King Parakrama of Surpur, wish to test your eligibility to don the mantle of your father. Send me a quantity of that which I value the most — intelligence! If you are unable to meet my request in three months, you must get ready to pay for the consequences of your failure!’

The young king was astonished at the strange request. The ministers realised that there must be some sinister motive behind it. Madiyugi, one of the senior ministers, stood up and said, “Your majesty, give me three months time and I’ll solve the riddle of this letter”.
Virasen accepted the proposal and wrote back to Parakrama that his request would be met within three months. By the end of the third month, Madiyugi came to the court, bringing along a huge sack. He then told King Virasen, “The intelligence that King Parakrama wanted is in this sack. Let’s send it to him right away”. Everyone wondered what was in the sack, but no one dared to ask. Even King Virasen was silent. The sack was immediately sent off to King Parakrama.
The sack was opened in the full assembly of King Parakrama’s court. To everyone’s astonishment, it contained a small-mouthed earthen pot. Inside the pot was a bigwatermelon which hugged the sides of the pot tightly.
The tendril of the melon sprouted through the narrow mouth of the pot.
The earthen pot was intact and there were no cracks anywhere. Along with it was a letter addressed to King Parakrama. It read: “As requested by you, I’m sending intelligence inside a pot. Please take it out without breaking the pot”.
The king pondered for some time and then said, “It seems Virasen is not as naive as we had thought. We must be careful in dealing with him

He then wrote back to King Virasen, “Thank you for the thoughtful gift. I shall always treasure your friendship more than anything else”. King Virasen was delighted to receive such a friendly note from a formidable neighbour.
The Vetal completed the story and said, “Don’t you think King Parakrama was frivolous in sending a letter demanding intelligence and then backing out after seeing a mere earthen pot? If he had no idea of attacking Virpur, he need not have sent a letter like that in the first place. If you know the answer and yet prefer to keep mum, your head will be blown  to pieces!”
King Vikram answered immediately. “King Parakrama was a clever man. He understood the message sent by King Virasen. Madiyugi had planted a watermelon inside the pot and allowed it to grow inside. After a few days time, the watermelon had grown big enough to fill the pot. King Parakrama understood that King Virasen also had very intelligent people around him. That’s why he decided to abandon the line of confrontation and stretch out a hand of friendship”.

As soon as King Vikram answered, the Vetal slipped down from the king’s shoulder and glided back to his home on the tree along with the corpse. The king drew his sword and went after the Vetal once again


The King And The Bandit

Dark was the night and fearsome the atmosphere. Lashing gusts of wind were accompanied by intermittent showers. Flashes of lightning revealed weird faces. Eerie laughter got mixed up with the moaning of jackals.

But King Vikram did not swerve. He climbed the ancient tree again and brought the corpse down. However, as soon as he began walking through the desolate cremation ground, the vampire that possessed the corpse said, “O King! I don’t know whether it is in the service of some good people or for the sake of some unworthy fellows that you’re taking such pains. We know of kings who have patronized even bad characters. Let me give you the example of King Chandrasen. Listen to his story. That might bring you some relief.”

The vampire went on: King Chandrasen ruled over a kingdom which was famous for its trade and commerce. In the capital lived a number of prosperous merchants. They kept the king pleased by taking gifts to him every now and then.

Days passed smoothly until a bandit began proving a menace to the trading community. He burgled the houses of merchants one after another quite systematically. On their complaint, the king appointed special officers to track down the bandit. But all they could report to the king was that the bandit was distributing his loot among the poor of the land regularly. However, what was strange was that even those who benefited by the bandit’s benevolence did not know who he was!

The reason for the king’s failure to capture the bandit was simple. The officers were under the impression that the bandit who plundered the rich must be leading a luxurious life. They also surmised that he must be having a number of followers. They looked for such a person.
But the facts were different. The bandit, whose name was Gangaram , was a poor man and he wished to remain poor. He gave away everything to the needy. Secondly, he had no accomplice, he worked alone. There was no second man to know what he did
One day, the merchants went to the king in a delegation and proposed that a reward be announced for catching the bandit. “Let it be a handsome reward, say, a lakh of rupees, so that his own accomplices might feel tempted to betray him or the common people might be attracted to risk their lives to capture him,” they said.

“I can give that much money,” said a merchant.

“Well, any of us can give that!” said some others.

The king accepted the suggestion and an announcement was duly made.

Gangaram was one day coming out of a forest when he saw a young man lying wounded just outside the forest. He nursed the traveller who appeared to have been mauled by a leopard. He took him home and made him take rest.

The traveller, Prakash, soon became a friend of Gangaram. He soon observed that Gangaram was going out regularly at night. He expressed his curiosity to his kind host.

It was surprising that Gangaram trusted Prakash entirely. He confessed to his being the bandit, after Prakash had promised that he would keep his knowledge a secret.

Prakash was now in a dilemma. No doubt, he felt grateful towards Gangaram. Had it not been for Gangaram, he might have passed away on the roadside. At the same time, the promise of one lakh rupees as reward was too big a temptation to be resisted.
At last the temptation gained the upper hand.

After Gangaram went out one night, Prakash hurried to the palace and sought an urgent audience with the king. He promised to lure Gangaram right to the gates of the palace the next afternoon.

He was soon back at Gangaram’s hut. In the morning, he proposed that both of them visit the town. Gangaram agreed.

They reached the town by noon. They relaxed in a park and shared their lunch. A dog, obviously hungry, loitered around them looking wistfully at their food. Prakash was about to throw a stone at it. But Gangaram stopped him and gave it a piece of bread.

Thereafter, Prakash led Gangaram towards the palace. The dog followed them. On the balcony stood the king himself. Near the gate were some guards. Prakash expected them to pounce upon Gangaram. But minutes passed. Gangaram coolly began moving away. Prakash shouted, “Your majesty, this is the bandit! Why don’t you capture him?”
Gangaram realised his guest’s treachery. His hand went to pull out his sword. But Prakash was quicker. He pulled out a dagger and threw it at Gangaram. Gangaram might have been hit, but the dog which had been fed by him jumped up and the dagger hit the dog instead, and was killed.

By then Gangaram had his sword ready. He drove his sword deep into Prakash, shouting, “You nasty fellow! This dog gave its life for me because I gave it a piece of bread. But I had saved your life and this is what you nourished in your mind.”

Prakash fell dead. Instantly the king gave the signal for his guards to capture Gangaram.
The king spent a long time with Gangaram in his chamber. He then called all the leading merchants. Presenting Gangaram to them, he said, “This gentleman was working as my representative. So far as the bandit’s menace is concerned, we both have succeeded in putting an end to it. Each one of you was ready to give a lakh of rupees. Now I want you to give a lakh each to this representative of mine.”

The vampire paused and then demanded, “O King, what is the significance of the king not punishing the bandit and instead introducing him as his representative? Why didn’t he disclose to the merchants Gangaram’s identity as the bandit? Why did he ask the merchants to pay him a lakh of rupees each? How is it that the king did not order his guards to capture Gangaram as soon as he appeared in front of the palace? Answer my questions, O King, if you can. If you keep silent though you may know the answers, your head would roll off your shoulders!”

Answered King Vikram forthwith: “The king already knew that Gangaram was no ordinary bandit, for, he was distributing his loot among the poor. In course of his private discussions with him, he must have felt convinced that by taking care of the poor, Gangaram was doing what the king himself ought to have done
That is why he described Gangaram as his representative. He did not disclose Gangaram’s identity as a bandit because that was not Gangaram was not a real bandit. Gangaram was a friend of the poor. Secondly, the king must have decided to use Gangaram’s services as his minister. It would be awkward to present him first as a bandit and then to appoint him a minister.

“He wanted the merchants to pay a lakh of rupees each because they were willing to spend that much if someone had put an end to the menace. Secondly, he wanted Gangaram to use the money for the needy.

“The king did not order his guards to pounce on Gangaram because he wanted to make sure what the relation between he and Prakash was. Gangaram, of course, could not have escaped. The guards had already surrounded him. The delay also served a purpose. The treacherous Prakash got his due!”

No sooner had King Vikram finished replying than the vampire, along with corpse, gave him the slip. The king drew his sword and went after it.


All Because Of A Painting!

King Vikram, undeterred as ever, went right back to the ancient tree, brought down the corpse and slung it over his shoulder. As he started moving towards the cremation ground, the Vetala spoke up once again. “O King, I feel sorry for you. I’m one of your well-wishers, but you don’t seem to understand that. Why do you haunt me like this? It’s not safe for you to be roaming in a cremation ground like this at night. Any ghoul or wild animal may harm you. Listen to me. Don’t be adamant, return to your capital. Your travails remind me of Prabodh, who was caught in a similar dilemma as yours. An action that does not harm others and is done to take care of oneself is not selfishness. Prabodh faced many problems in life because he did not understand this. Listen to his story”. And the Vetala narrated that story:

Prabodh lived in the kingdom of Vaishalini . He was a marvellous artist and painted beautiful pictures. But, for some reason, his paintings did not get the recognition they deserved. He earned barely enough to feed his family. Prabodh felt very bad because for many days his wife and children did not have sufficient food to eat. At the same time, he could not change his vocation. After a lot of thinking, he got an idea. “Let me create a fabulous painting and take it to the crown prince”, he decided.
So he painted the picture of a beautiful damsel; it was his best work ever. He took it to the capital city of Vaishalini . There he tried to meet the prince, in vain. He was frustrated and felt that he was being chased by bad luck. That night Prabodh stayed in a lodge. When the other inmates saw his painting, they complimented him heartily. But Prabodh was unhappy that he could not meet the prince. Late that night, a young and handsome traveller walked into the lodge. He heard the other guests talk about the painting and was eager to see it. Prabodh was very happy to show it to him.

The young man was charmed by the portrait of the woman. He gazed at it, fascinated, for some time. He also learnt from Prabodh that he had wished to meet the prince and had failed to get an audience.

“You’re very talented. Come with me and I’ll take you to the prince”, the young man told Prabodh. The artist, with a lot of hope, accepted the invitation and happily accomp

When they reached the palace, the young man asked Prabodh to wait for sometime and went inside. Soon he returned, as a prince. It took some time for Prabodh to realise that the young man who had brought him to the palace was indeed the prince himself. He saluted him and said, “Forgive me, my lord! I didn’t recognise you!” Prince Abhishikt laughed. “I often roam about in disguise to find out how things are going around in my kingdom. So you cannot be blamed for not recognising me! Now, as for the painting, I’ve fallen in love with the woman you have drawn. If you can tell me more about her and her whereabouts, I shall reward you with ten thousand gold coins”.

“My lord, I just drew her from my imagination. There’s no such woman, actually”, exclaimed Prabodh. But Abhishikt did not accept it. “Prabodh, I can look at a painting and say whether it is drawn from imagination or based on something real. I shall keep whatever information you give me about the woman, confidential. Come on, tell me”, he insisted. Prabodh was in a dilemma and tried hard to convince the prince. “My lord, I speak the truth. It is just my imagination’. Abhishikt now lost his temper. He called some soldiers and ordered, ?Take this fool to the top of the mountain, behead him and throw the body into the valley”.

The soldiers took the artist to the summit of the mountain. Poor Prabodh was all along lamenting over his ill-luck. “My talent has let me down. I can’t escape this injunction. What will happen to my poor wife and children” The soldiers had hardly raised the sword to chop off his head when suddenly there appeared a strange woman before them. She stopped them with a horrified gesture and asked: “What are you doing? And why are you doing this?”

“We’re only obeying the prince’s orders”, answered the soldiers.
Prabodh looked up at the woman. And he froze with surprise. “This is all because of you”, he blurted out, almost inadvertently. The woman was stunned. “My name is Manimekhala and I am visible to men only if I wish. This is the first time you’re seeing me and yet you say that I’m the cause of all your misery” Prabodh explained all that had happened. Manimekhala’s surprise knew no bounds. “Amazing!” she exclaimed. “But how could you paint an exact image of me”

“when you see the portrait I have drawn, you’ll realise that I’m speaking the truth’, insisted Prabodh.
“I’ll reward you handsomely if the woman in your portrait really looks like me’, said Manimekhala.
As Prabodh and Manimekhala started for the palace, the soldiers tried to stop them. “We’ve orders to chop off his head!’
“Fools!” Manimekhala lashed out with contempt. ‘Are you trying to stop me’ You don’t know who I am. I curse you – become stones!’ And the poor soldiers turned into stones.

Manimekhala and Prabodh became invisible in a minute and were inside the palace in no time. Prince Abhishikt was surprised at Prabodh?s sudden appearance in the palace. ?How did you escape?? he asked sharply. Just then Manimekhala made herself visible to the prince, who stood happy and surprised. ?Oh! So this is the lady in your painting? If only you had brought her to me much earlier, you wouldn’t have suffered such miseries”.

Manimekhala interrupted. “Prince, may I see the painting”
Abhishikt sent for the painting. Manimekhala was stunned to see the mirror image of herself in the painting.
“O Prince”, she cried, ‘but this is the work of Prabodh’s imagination. I’m a gandharva ( demigod) woman and I swear he has never seen me before”.

“I don’t care whether you’re a gandharva or human. I’m thrilled to have seen you. Will you marry me” asked Abhishikt.
“I’m sorry, I cannot marry you, O Prince”, said Manimekhala. “But I shall keep my promise to Prabodh. I shall grant whatever he wishes for!’
Abhishikt immediately turned to Prabodh. “Ask her to marry me! And I promise to make you a vassal and give you a kingdom”.
Manimekhala was quick to assure Prabodh, too. “If you want me to marry the prince, I shall certainly do so. Don’t hesitate to tell me what you want?.
Prabodh folded his hands humbly. “O beautiful gandharva, I request you to give back those poor soldiers their human form?.

“So be it”, Manimekhala smiled and vanished.
Prabodh turned to Abhishikt with folded hands. “My lord, give me whatever punishment you wish to. I shall accept it without protest”.

But Abhishikt embraced the artist. “You’re a great artist, Prabodh, and a unique person”, he said. Loading him with gifts, Abhishikt sent him home.
The Vetala stopped the narration and asked the King: “Poverty made Prabodh face many problems in life. It was his good luck that Manimekhala rescued him from the throes of death. And yet when she granted him a boon, he did not ask anything for himself. He only prayed for the life of the soldiers. Wasn’t he a fool” And look at Abhishikt! He knew that Manimekhala would grant Prabodh whatever he wanted. And yet when Prabodh did not ask the gandharva woman to be the prince’s wife, instead of punishing him, he praised his talents and sent him home with gifts. Abhishikt seems to have been a fickle-minded fellow, don’t you think so? If you know the answers to these questions and yet choose to remain quiet, your head will break into a thousand little pieces!?

King Vikram answered: “Abhishikt tempted Prabodh with the offer of a kingdom. But Prabodh did not take the bait. Instead, he pleaded for the life of the soldiers. He clearly wanted to earn his livelihood only with the help of his art. That is why he did not ask the gandharva for wealth or prosperity. Don’t call him a fool. He was a sincere artist. As for Abhishikt, he learnt from Prabodh that Manimekhala had turned his soldiers to stones for no fault of theirs. After all they had only been obeying the orders of their prince! He realised that gandharvas and human beings had different perspectives and sense of values. That?s why he gave up all thoughts of marrying her and did not get angry with Prabodh for not asking her to marry him?.

King Vikramaditya had once again broken his silence, and the Vetala with an eerie-pitched laughter slipped down from his shoulder and glided back to the ancient tree.

Sinners In Heaven

King Vikram, determined to carry the corpse (Vetala) with him, climbed the tree and brought the corpse down again. As he started walking through the cremation ground, swept by the storm and frequented by terrible looking ghosts, Vetala said, “O King, you are probably taking these troubles in the hope of going to heaven. Remember, people who don’t deserve to go there, also find their place there sometimes. Let me tell you a story.”

Tej Singh, a brave young boy, was a disciple of a guru in he had a great yearning for learning and often roamed in the nearby forest, observing and learning new things. He wasn’t afraid of the wild animals as he knew how to protect himself.

One day, Tej met a boy called Aghor in the forest. They soon became good friends. Tej soon found out that his friend was a bandit chief’s son. The bandits not only looted passersby but also raided the nearby villages. They distributed the booty among their people.
Tej didn’t approve of his friend’s way of life. He talked to his friend and advised him to lead his elders to a civilized way of life. Aghor grew pensive. He showed him their deity and let out other secrets about their way of life. Though they looted passersby, they shared the wealth equally. He said, “I don’t know what to do. I am accustomed to the jungle life just like you are to village life. I don’t know which one is better.”
When Tej finished his studies, the two parted ways.

After several years, Tej was employed as an officer in the court of the king of Meanwhile Aghor lost his father and was now the leader of the bandits. He proved a far greater menace than his father. Everyday, reports of travellers being looted in the forest reached the king. It was difficult to capture the gang as the forest was wide and the bandits knew the forest better. When the menace of Aghor and his gang became grave, the king made a declaration. He announced that he would marry off the princess to the man who would put an end to Aghor’s menace. Since the king had no son, this meant that the man would succeed him to the throne.
Tej felt bad every time he heard of Aghor’s atrocities. He felt partly responsible for the situation. He often thought, “Only, if I had pressed my friend strongly, perhaps he would have come out of the forest and led a normal life.”

Tej Singh knew all the secrets of the gang. He dillydallied about using the secrets against Aghor. After weighing the issue for a while, he decided on saving his people from the bandits.

He entered the forest with a small group of trusted soldiers and hid in a ditch. It was the night before the annual ceremony of the bandits. When the bandits were engrossed in the ceremony, his soldiers attacked and captured them.
Tej Singh was married to the princess and became king soon. Aghor spent the rest of his life in prison and died a prisoner. A year later Tej Singh, who had ruled gloriously, died too. When Tej Singh’s soul reached heaven, it was welcomed by Aghor’s soul. Both became friends again.

Vetala ended the story and asked, “O King! Aghor was a bandit and a sinner. Tej Singh betrayed his friend and was a sinner too. Was it not strange that two sinners should find place in heaven? They had failed to continue as friends in the world, how could they become friends again in heaven? If you know the right answers and yet keep mum, your head will shatter into pieces!”

King Vikram answered, “Tej and Aghor belonged to two different cultures. Aghor followed his father’s footsteps without realising he was doing anything wrong. He was neither greedy nor cruel. What he received, he spent on his people. There is no proof of him hating his childhood friend who captured him. Tej followed a different code of conduct. As a royal officer, it was his duty to protect the subjects against the menace. He did not go to capture Aghor for the sake of marrying the princess or for becoming king. It was his sense of duty which prompted him to arrest his friend. Both were good souls. Hence they went to heaven. In heaven there is no question of difference in social status. So they became friends again!”

As soon as the king replied, Vetala gave him the slip and returned to the tree.


Friend Or Foe

The dark and scary night with fierce winds and heavy showers would have discouraged many from venturing out. But not King Vikram. He set forth on his given task in the rain. Lightning and the howls of jackals did not scare him. He climbed the ancient tree again and brought the corpse down. Throwing the corpse over his shoulders, he began to cross the cremation ground. Suddenly, the vetal that possessed the corpse said: “O king, I know you are doing this to help one of your well-wishers. But remember that the well-wisher might one day accuse you of cheating him.  Listen to the story of two friends.”

Basudev and Padmanabh grew up in the same village and were very good friends. Both got married and had sons. Padmanabh’s wife died all on a sudden and there was no one to look after the infant boy.  Within a short time, Padmanabh also fell seriously ill. Before dying, Padmanabh told Basudev: “Please take care of my son, Ravi after my death”. “Don’t you worry my friend. I promise to look after Ravi like my own son”, said Basudev.
Padmanabh died. Basudev, true to his word, brought up Ravi like his own son, Shekhar. He treated both boys in the same manner. In fact, Ravi felt that he was Basudev’s son. After the two boys completed their studies in the local school, Basudev sent them to the town for further studies. Since Shekhar was older than Ravi by a year, Basudev sent their monthly allowance to Shekhar. Unfortunately Shekhar fell into bad company and took to gambling and drinking. Ravi tried to warn and advise him but in vain. Ravi thought of telling Basudev about the change in Shekhar’s attitude and lifestyle, but on second thoughts he did not. After all, Basudev had been a good father to him and he did not want to sadden him. Shekhar had all the money and gave him his share every month, so he did not want to make him angry.
Ravi and Shekhar came home for a holiday. Shekhar gave Basudev the impression that he was doing well in his studies and all was well.  However Ravi kept quiet.

The day the two boys were to return to the town, a wad of notes went missing from Basudev’s box. Everyone thought that one of the two boys must have taken the money. They were questioned. Instantly, Shekhar pointed his finger at Ravi: “Ravi, you could have borrowed money from me instead of stealing my father’s money! This is too bad!”
Ravi was too shocked to protest immediately. He knew that Shekhar had stolen the money and he was about to protest and accuse him.  However he saw Basudev standing nearby, overhearing their conversation.
Basudev looked at Ravi with disappointment. “I’m sorry for you, Ravi. Keep the money since you need it. But I’ve lost all faith in you!” he exclaimed.
The two youths went back to town. Shekhar resumed his evil habits. One night, he had a quarrel with a gambler in the latter’s den. There was a duel and a strong blow from Shekhar killed the gambler. Shekhar was arrested. Basudev was informed of the incident and he came rushing to the town. He came to know that Shekhar had gone astray. In the court, Ravi declared that Shekhar was with him at the time of the gambler’s death. But the judge did not accept the alibi. There was overwhelming proof of Shekhar killing the gambler. The judge convicted Shekhar to a long term in prison.
People who knew that Ravi had tried his best to save Shekhar were all praise for him.  SoRavi expected that Basudev, too, would be pleased with him. But, to his surprise, Basudev looked very upset. “Don’t show your face to me. You have become a foe to a friend. You cheated me and your friend; you’re an enemy to society!  And your crime is unpardonable!” Saying this, Basudev returned to his village leaving behind both the young men to their fates.
The Vetala concluded the narration and challenged King Vikram: “Is it not surprising that Basudev should be furious with Ravi? Wasn’t Ravi a gentle youth who, even though he suffered at the hands of Shekar, put up with him so patiently? Didn’t he try to save Shekhar from punishment? How can Basudev’s strange accusation be justified? Answer me, O King, if you can. If, however, you keep quiet, despite knowing the answer, your head will roll down your shoulders”. King Vikram answered immediately. “Basudev’s wrath was entirely justified. Every word he said was applicable to Ravi. Had Ravi been a true well-wisher of Shekhar, he would have brought his waywardness to Basudev’s knowledge. He ought to have done so, as he himself had failed to mend Shekhar’s ways. He kept quiet because the purse strings were in Shekhar’s hands. By allowing his friend to go astray, he proved himself, a foe. He was sure that it was Ravi who had stolen Basudev’s money. His silence was a sign of cowardice. It was in a sense, treachery, too, for he betrayed the faith that Basudev had in him. His false statement before the judge showed that he did not hesitate to mislead the course of justice. Law and justice are some of the pillars on which society rests. By uttering a lie in the court, which is perjury and punishable too he proved himself an enemy to society”. No sooner had the king given his answer than the vampire, along with the corpse, gave him the slip! King Vikram drew his sword and went after the vampire.


New Tales Of King Vikram And The Vetala

It was a dark, moonless night. Occasional flashes of lightning lit up the sombre scene, causing an eerie dance of jerky and frightening shadows in the cremation ground. The spine-chilling howl of a jackal or the blood-curdling laughter of some unseen evil spirit cut into the silence that hung, shroud-like, over the area. Altogether, it was a scene that would strike terror into the bravest heart, nothing could daunt the intrepid King Vikram. Once again, he made his way to the ancient gnarled tree from which the corpse hung. Bones crunched under his feet and a screeching ghost rose from the dust in shuddering frenzy as he marched ahead.
Oblivious to all this, he reached the tree and brought down the corpse. Slinging it astride his shoulder, he had just begun his return journey when the vampire that possessed the corpse said, “O King! I do not know what inspires you to come to this graveyard at dead of night, braving all the danger and discomfort of such a venture! I have seen many idealistic youths who claimed willingness to lay down their very lives for the sake of their noble cause. But at the first sign of danger, they forgot all their ideals and turned into cowards! Let me tell you the story of one such youth, Giridhar.”
The vampire then narrated the following story:

The valley of Bhargavgiri

The valley of Bhargavgiri was inhabited by a group of tribals. Their chief, Kondadev, had a son named Giridhar who was a very self-respecting person. This was not to say that he was proud or haughty; in no way did he misuse his position as the chief’s son, nor did he ever display any sign of arrogance. On the contrary, he was helpful and friendly to all. His greatest desire was for the eventually relented.
Long ago, the valley had been a virtual treasure trove of medicinal herbs of all kinds, and rare species of flora and fauna. When the news of this natural bounty reached the ears of the King of Kanchanpur, greed inspired him to send his soldiers to the valley. They persecuted the tribals and took away by force the honey, herbs and animal products they had collected. Deprived of their means of livelihood, the innocent tribals were in despair.

As usual, the annual festival of Bhargavi took place that year with great fanfare. The army commander of Kanchanpur and his soldiers were among the worshippers. In the course of the festival, the tribal priest was possessed by the spirit of the goddess and he went into a trance. Jumping and leaping in a frenzy, he shouted, “If you desire the welfare of your people, do as I say! On every full-moon day, you must first make me an offering of three pots of honey, 31 deer horns and three basketfull of herbs, and then hand them over as your tribute to the soldiers of Kanchanpur. This practice should continue until the King of Kanchanpur, of his own accord, frees you from vassalage. Otherwise it will end in your ruin!”
The tribal chieftain bowed to the dictates of the goddess. From then on, Bhargavgiri was recognised as Kanchanpur’s vassal. The soldiers of Kanchanpur stopped persecuting the tribals, but continued to take away all the forest produce month after month. The practice continued, and it was in this manner that the tribals had reached their present impoverished condition.
Giridhar was enraged by the story. He addressed his fellow tribals: “Why should we surrender the honey and other things, collected by us with much difficulty, to others? This forest is our home and as such, whatever grows here is our property. We should resist this injustice. If we stand united, no one can take away our rights!”
Kondadev was upset to hear his son inciting the tribals against Kanchanpur. He warned him, “Remember, my son, we are no match for the king’s huge army!” After thinking the matter over, Giridhar told his father, “Didn’t the goddess say that the tribute-paying can stop when the king himself sets us free? I shall go to Kanchanpur, meet the king and tell him of the difficulties we’re facing.” His father advised him to present his case humbly and courteously, so that the king would be moved to relent. Giridhar agreed. Accompanied by two friends, he set out for the capital of Kanchanpur.

On reaching his destination, he met King Kanakasena, enlightened him about the plight of the tribals, and requested him to free the valley from bondage. The king heard him out, and finally declared “Bhargavgiri is our vassal, and is bound to obey us. If you don’t wish to pay the tribute due to us, you may leave the valley and go to live elsewhere!”Forgive me, Your Majesty,” said Giridhar politely, “but that’s impossible. The valley of Bhargavgiri is our mother, and we cannot even contemplate leaving her!” He bowed and left the court.
A week later, as the king was holding court, a tribal youth entered, bowed to him, and handed him a letter. It was from Giridhar, and read as follows:
“O’ King! My forefathers were scared by an oracle’s threat and agreed to pay tribute to you. For three generations now, we have continued the practice, undergoing much hardship in the process. We slave and slog, while you enjoy the fruits of our labour. This cannot go on any longer. I came in person to meet you and tell you of our problems, but you turned a deaf ear to my pleas. Now there is no other go but to tell you that we wish to break free of your tyranny. My men are ready to fight to the death, but I am not in favour of unnecessary bloodshed. So, I suggest an alternative. As the representative of the tribals, I am ready to fight a duel with any of your warriors. If I win, you must declare Bhargavgiri valley independent; if I lose, my people shall go away, leaving the valley to you. If you are ready to meet my challenge, kindly let me know where and when you intend to have the duel.”
Boiling with anger, the king snapped at the messenger, “Very well! On the evening of the next full-moon day, the duel shall be held in the palace grounds. Tell Giridhar to be ready!”

Arrangements were made for a duel as per the king’s order. Giridhar arrived at the venue, accompanied by two friends. Something totally unexpected happened. The king’s guards surrounded Giridhar, took him prisoner, and bound his hand and foot before dragging him to the king. In a tone brimming with sarcasm, the king declared: “Giridhar, your bravery is commendable indeed! But by defying me, you have put your life in danger. You have incited the peace-loving tribals and filled their innocent minds with fiery ideas of independence and pride. Your crime is nothing short of treason. You deserve to be punished with death. But like you, I wish to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Now that the tribals are bent on getting their freedom, it will not be easy to rule over them. So I shall set them free on one condition.”
“What is it?” asked Giridhar. “If you desire freedom for your homeland, you should agree to give up your freedom. You shall remain in this palace for the rest of your life, as a slave of Kanchanpur!”
Giridhar was startled. A moment later, he bowed and said, “So be it. I willingly accept your condition!”
Having concluded the story, the vampire asked, “O King! How could Giridhar, a proud, freedom-loving youth, so tamely agree to become a slave? Was it not his cowardice that made him abandon his ideals when confronted with adverse conditions? Answer me, or your head shall shatter into a thousand fragments!”
King Vikram replied, “Giridhar never abandoned his ideals or changed his stand. He had all along desired freedom for his tribe. In the end, he succeeded in winning it – albeit at great personal cost. He sacrificed his own freedom for that of his tribe. Sacrificing one’s personal honour for that of his family, his family’s honour for that of his village, his village’s honour for that of his kingdom all these are examples of truly noble deeds. Giridhar was one who made such a noble sacrifice. In no way did he prove himself a coward. On the contrary, he deserves praise for his courage and selflessness!”
As soon as the King finished speaking, the vampire, along with the corpse, moved off his shoulder with a jerk and flew back to the tree. With a little sigh, King Vikram squared his shoulders and retraced his steps towards the tree.

Worship Of God

King Vikram went after the Vetal with determination and brought down the hanging corpse once again. The Vetal addressed the king saying, “O king, what do you expect to get from all this labour? Things are not always as you expect them to be. Sometimes you might work at something with great patience and persistence only to find that you have been barking up the wrong tree. Listen to this story and be warned about doing anything with such single-minded purpose.”
The Vetal began his narration. Once, the king of Chakrapuri, Chandrasena, fell very ill. All the royal doctors were called but he remained bedridden. One night, as the king slept, he had a dream. The divine being appeared before him and said, “A king is responsible for the ills affecting his country. All is not well in your kingdom. Everyone has become very selfish, and there is a lot of harassment of ordinary people in the name of caste, creed, and religion. That is why you’ve fallen so.”

Chandrasena promised the divine being that he would look into the affairs of the kingdom with care as soon he felt better. The divine being told him that just three leaves of theholy tulsi (basil) would cure him, but the leaves had to be handed to him by a holy man who had worshipped God for ten years continuously without even a moment’s break. On the orders of the king, the ministers set out to find such a holy man the very next day.
In a temple in Sitapur, a man named Ramachari had been worshipping God for twelve years continuously. He had vowed to leave the temple only after receiving proof that he had become a pure being. Chandrasena’s ministers sent messengers to bring Ramachari as he seemed to fit the requirements set by the divine being. However, Ramachari refused and said that he was bound by his vow. The only way out was to bring the king to the temple.
King Chandrasena set off in a palanquin accompanied by a big retinue. As the procession reached the borders of Sitapur, a strong gale began to blow. They halted under a tree. At that point, a yogi came that way, went to the king and asked him where he was going. The king told him the reason behind his journey and the yogi confidently replied that the king would be cured if he ate three tulsi leaves given by him. The king hesitantly enquired if the yogi had spent ten years in worship of God.

The Prince And The Gandharvas

The cremation ground presented an eerie spectacle on that dark night. The pitch darkness was relieved only by occasional flashes of lightning that lit up the sombre scene. Occasionally, a jackal’s spine-chilling howl or the blood-curdling laughter of some invisible evil spirit cut into the silence that hung like a shroud over the area. But nothing could daunt King Vikram. Once again, he made his way to the gnarled tree from which the corpse (Vetal) was hanging.

Oblivious to everything but the mission at hand, he brought the hanging corpse down by cutting the rope with his sword. Slinging it astride his shoulder, he had just begun his return journey when the Vetal said, “O King! This is a very difficult task that you are performing. Perhaps you have taken it on yourself as a favour for someone else. But I hope that when the person offers to reciprocate by doing something that will benefit you, you won’t rashly decline the offer in a fit of emotion, as Prince Vasant of Kirtipur did. Listen to his story.”

“Shaktiteja, the king of Gandharvaloka (the domain of the gandharvas , or demi-gods), had a beautiful daughter named Swarnamanjari. However,Chitravarnika – another nymph was considered to be the most beautifulin Gandharvaloka. This caused Swarnamanjari much heartburn. She becamebitterly jealous of Chitravarnika, and was forever looking for anopportunity to hurt her in some way.
Swarnamanjari’s opportunity came when her father took her on a visitto earth. She was so taken in by earth’s beauty that she lost no timein boasting to all her friends about the marvelous sights she had seenwhen she went back home. It was not long before her stories of theearth reached Chitravarnika’s ears. The vivid description caught herfancy, and filled her with a longing to visit this new place and seeits wonders with her own eyes. She told her friends that she had madeup her mind to leave for earth soon.

When King Shaktiteja heard the news from his daughter, he summonedChitravarnika to his court and curtly announced, “Chitra, no denizen ofGandharvaloka may descend to earth without my permission. If you stillinsist on going, you shall lose all your celestial powers. However, ifyou are able to worship at a sacred pilgrim spot within fifteen days ofreaching earth, you will regain your powers. Only then can you returnto Gandharvaloka.”

he king’s warning did not daunt Chitravarnika; if anything, it onlystrengthened her determination to make the journey. Floating throughair, she made her descent to earth. She landed beside a beautiful brookin the midst of a forest. The crystal clear water of the brook enticedher to take a dip. She stepped into the water and had a refreshingbath. As she emerged from the brook and tried to soar into the air, sherealised that she had lost her power to fly.

The gandharva king’s words had come true. Just then, a youngman came riding a horse. On seeing Chitravarnika, he reined his horseand asked, “Young lady, may I know who you are and what you’re doing atthis lonely spot? You don’t look like an ordinary woman, but like somecelestial nymph.” With a sigh, Chitravarnika answered, “You’re right,I’m a gandharvamaiden. But I have lost my celestial powers,only because I committed the crime of visiting your land!” Seeingsympathy in the young man’s eyes, she then told him the whole story.
The young man introduced himself. “I am Vasant, the crown-prince ofKirtipur. With a week left for my coronation, I’m currently out on atour of my kingdom to get to know it better. I shall take yousightseeing and show you the most beautiful places on earth. In return,I’d like you to take me to Gandharvaloka. I wish to study theadministrative policies there, so that I can implement them in my ownkingdom when I become the ruler.”

“Your aim is a lofty and commendable one indeed,” praisedChitravarnika. “But O prince, I myself have lost the power to fly backto Gandharvaloka. Unless I worship at the holiest pilgrim spot on earthwithin fifteen days, I cannot get my power back. So how can I take youthere – much as I would love to?”

Vasant assured her that he would help her. “The holiest destination that I can think of isMount Kailas , abode of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati ,” he said, “I can take you there.”

On hearing this, Chitravarnika’s eyes lit up with hope and sheasked, “But would we be able to make it there in just fifteen days?””Why not? It can be done if we leave right away,” he repliedconfidently.

Concluding the story, the Vetal said, “O king, Prince Vasant took the trouble to escort Chitravarnika all the way to Kailas , as a result of which she was able to regain the powers she had lost. In return, he requested a chance to visit Gandharvaloka, not for his personal enjoyment, but for the noble cause of studying the methods of administration used there, with the intention of implementing them in his own kingdom. Then why did he change his mind and turn down Chitravarnika’s offer of taking him there? Wasn’t it the height of foolishness to turn down this golden opportunity? Was it out of fear of the gandharva king’s wrath? Or was it an impulsive decision spurred by hurt pride and anger? If you know the answer, speak out – otherwise, your head shall shatter into pieces!”

Calmly and unhesitatingly, King Vikram answered: “The reason Prince Vasant wished to study the administration of Gundharvaloka was because he had considered it an exemplary domain, inhabited by ideal beings. But the gandharva king Shaktiteja’s unjust and unreasonable behaviour, goaded by his daughter’s jealousy, which Vasant subsequently witnessed made him understand the gandharva s were far from ideal. They too had the same weaknesses as human beings – perhaps to a worse degree! So, there was nothing to be learnt from their methods of administration. This, coupled with the thought that Chitravarnika would have to suffer her king’s punishment for taking him to Gandharvaloka, made him drop the idea of visiting that land. There is nothing foolish about his decision.”

On hearing this, the Vetal nodded in approval and moved off the king’s shoulder with a jerk and flew back to the tree. King Vikram gave a little sigh as he gazed upon the scene. Then, he squared his shoulders, drew his sword and retraced his steps towards the ancient tree

Malathi?s Choice

Once again, King Vikram began walking towards the cremation ground with the corpse that was possessed by the Vetal. He had hardly taken a few steps when the Vetal said, “O king, it is now midnight and this place is dark and frightening. Your life could be in great danger. Are you trying to solve a difficult problem or escape from an embarrassing situation that you are willing to undertake such a hard and impossible task? The choices you make in life will seal your fate. Let me tell you the story of Malathi who threw away the good fortune that came her way in a most casual manner.”
In the jungles of Vindhyachal, a woodcutter lived in a hut with his daughter Malathi. The motherless girl was beautiful and her anxious father wished to find a suitable husband for her. One day, the woodcutter heard that his sister, who lived in a nearby village, was ill. He set off early the next day to visit her. Malathi finished her chores and was singing to herself in solitude when she heard a voice that said, “Even the nightingale has been silenced by your lovely song!”

Malathi was startled as a young man stepped forward and said, “My name is Madhu Kumar. I am a lover of music and I was enchanted by your sweet voice.” Before Malathi could react, there was a sudden cloudburst and it began to pour. Malathi asked the young man to step into the house. Just as the two of them began talking again, somebody called out from outside and requested shelter from the rain. Malathi opened the door to find a handsome young man on the verandah. She welcomed him inside too.
The young man introduced himself as Sundardas. He was taken in by Malathi’s beauty. Within a moment, yet another man came into the room, apologising for barging in. Named Ravishankar, he was a businessman who had also been caught in the rain.
The three men left one after the other once the rain let up. Madhu Kumar was the first to leave. He confessed to Malathi that her sweet voice had enchanted him and that he had fallen in love with her. He said that he would place the proposal before her father through his brother.
Similarly, Sundardas praised Malathi’s beauty and told her that they would make a perfect match. He informed her that his parents would approach her father the next day to propose marriage between the two of them.

Ravishankar found Malathi’s dwelling place to be attractive, a haven away from the strain of his business. He told Malathi that he would ask his mother to call on her father the next day with a marriage proposal.
When Malathi’s father returned, she enquired after her aunt’s health. To her dismay, her father told her that her aunt was nearing her end. Her only desire now was to see her son Ramapati married to Malathi. However, Ramapati had insisted that he would agree only if Malathi gave her consent.
Malathi smiled and recounted the day’s happenings to her father. He was overjoyed and he advised her to pick one of the three rich men and lead a comfortable life. To his surprise, Malathi unhesitatingly said that she would marry only Ramapati!”
The Vetal stopped his narration and said: “O king, it is clear that Malathi made a foolish decision. Her three suitors were rich and accomplished young men. She should have chosen one of them as her husband. Instead, she chose Ramapati — an illiterate farmer, as her groom. Malathi treated her marraige so casually and made up her mind without giving a thought to the consequences. Why did she act in such a way? If you know the answer and yet keep quiet, your head will explode into thousand pieces.”

King Vikram said: “Decision-making depends on the personality and emotional attitudes of the person facing the problem. Each of Malathi’s suitors, with the exception of Ramapati, took it for granted that she would only be too happy to marry him. Ramapati was the only one who asked for her opinion. Those who did not feel it necessary to ask for her opinion before marriage were unlikely to change their attitude later. So your statement that Malathi made a foolish decision and ruined her future is not valid,” concluded King Vikram.
The next moment, he shook his head wryly as the Vetal shrieked with laughter and flew off to the ancient tree with the corpse.


The Forgotten Quest

It was a dark and stormy night. Flashes of lightning lit up the evil faces of shrieking ghoulsand laughing vampires . Sheets of rain poured down. King Vikram strode fearlessly up to the ancient tree. He pulled the corpse down, put it on his shoulders and started for the cremation ground. The Vetal then said, “You come to this ghastly cremation ground alone every time. Your action makes me wonder what exactly you seek. In my view, what you are doing is very foolish. There are times when a learned person does not know what to do. Listen to the story of Shashanka and you’ll understand”.
“Shashanka was the son of the royal priest of the kingdom of Karnasuvarna . He and Prince Swarnakirti, the heir to the throne, were friends from childhood. King Makaranda decided that his son must go to the University of Takshashila for mastering the martial arts. While Swarnakirti made his way to Takshashila, Shashanka who had decided to become an ascetic, entered the forests to meditate. As the years went by, his spiritual strength grew by leaps and bounds, but he remained humble. However, Shashanka was not aware that his progress was being watched by the gandharvas who were starting to feel insecure and uncomfortable.
After a long and involved discussion, the gandharvas decided to play a simple trick on Shashanka. To put the plan into action, Guna, one of the gandharvas , assumed the form of asoothsayer and went to meet King Makaranda at Karnasuvarna. “Your son has the potential to become the greatest king on earth. You can help clear his way by performing a great animal sacrifice”, he said.
When the king expressed an interest, he continued, “On an auspicious day, you must sacrifice one of every species of animal and bird to be found in your kingdom. And the sacrifice must be done by someone who has conquered hunger and thirst, and has been subsisting only on tulsi -water for more than a year”.
Following the soothsayer’s advice, King Makaranda ordered one animal of every kind to be caught for the sacrifice. A team of ministers was sent to the forest to find a suitable ascetic. When the ministers discovered Shashanka, they requested him to perform the sacrifice. However, Shashanka refused since he believed killing animals, even for sacrifice, was wrong. When the news reached the king, he offered his kingdom and his daughter’s hand in marriage to the ascetic to win him over.

The king secretly planned to go back on his word once the sacrifice had been performed. When Shashanka looked at the blushing princess Bhargavi, he was enticed by her beauty. He renounced his spiritual quest and agreed to perform the sacrifice. The sacrificial pit was ready. Thousands of animals were lined up for the sacrifice. Shashanka stood at the mouth of the pit, sword in hand. As Shashanka raised the sword, an elephant, which was first in line, instinctively raised his trunk and trumpeted in terror. It was a death call; all the animals cried out in unison. The ascetic was overcome. He dropped the sword and turned away, his shoulders sagging. Unable to perform the sacrifice, he apologized to the king and walked away to atone for his sins”.

The Vetal finished his narration and posed his riddle to King Vikram: “O King, Shashanka had been enchanted by the beautiful princess and had agreed to conduct the animal sacrifice, even though it was against his principles to kill animals. And yet when it was time for the sacrifice, he suddenly changed his mind and bowed out of the scene. Did he suddenly lose his guts at the sight of so many animals waiting for the sacrifice? Or did he suspect that the king might cheat him of the princess and the kingdom? If you know the answer and still choose to remain silent, your head will split into a million pieces!”
King Vikram answered immediately, “Neither of your conclusions are true! You mentioned that on seeing the princess, Shashanka went into a trance. But when he was ready, sword in hand, and waiting for the sacrificial rites to commence, the death cry of the elephant and the panic of the other animals jerked him out of the trance. He realised the enormity of the sin that he was about to commit – all for the sake of a kingdom and a wife! That was why he begged the king’s pardon and went away — to atone for his evil desires”.
As soon as King Vikram answered the Vetal’s question, the corpse slipped away from his shoulders and glided back to the tree.


The Unexpected Choice

King Vikram was on his mission again ? the mission to get the corpse (Vetal) for the sage seeking occult powers. The cremation ground was dark and eerie, the moon hid behind the clouds. It rained intermittently. The only source of light was the occasional flashes of lightning. To add to the dread was the howls of jackals, and the laughter of evil spirits. This would scare the bravest of warriors but not the valiant King Vikram.

Undaunted, he made his way to the ancient tree from which the corpse was hanging. Unmindful of his surroundings, he brought the hanging corpse down by cutting the rope with his sword. Slinging it over his shoulder, he began his journey when the Vetal that possessed the corpse said, ?O king, from your perseveration in this difficult and dangerous task, it is evident that you are a dedicated king whose greatest concern is the welfare of his subjects. But sometimes even sincere kings throw their principles to the winds when a question of their greatness over that of their citizens arises. Let me tell you the story of one such king.?

There once lived a king in Vajrapur who had a son called Vir. He was interested in administration right from childhood. He trained in martial arts and picked various nuances of administration from his father. Wise and able, the king often consulted him on administrative issues. Soon the king retired leaving the kingdom in his able son?s hands.

Under King Vir?s leadership and competent administration, the kingdom flourished and the people were a happy lot. Soon there was pressure on him to get married. Contrary to the usual practice of choosing a bride from a royal family, he decided to marry a commoner. He was looking for a wife who was well educated and intelligent, who could help him with the administration and empathise with his subjects. He decided to hold a series of tests, open to all young, unmarried women of his kingdom. Women of the royal family were debarred from participation. He announced he would marry the winner.

The announcement received an enthusiastic response. Women from all walks of life were tested for resourcefulness, problem-solving abilities, and memory skills. After a series of tests, the competition was between two young women ? Devayani and Shivani

The final decision was the king’s. He called the two women and said, “I understand that you both are very intelligent and capable young women. This is my last task to you. Capture the warrior who has tamed seven horses and bring him to me. Whoever succeeds in this task will be my queen.” They both thought for a moment. Almost simultaneously, their eyes went to some bowls kept on the table. Each took a bowl and went away. Moments later, they returned and placed their bowls now filled with water, on the table before the king. As the king looked into the two bowls one after the other, he saw the morning sun’s reflection in the water. With both the women having solved the riddle, the king was in a quandary. Thinking for a while, he said, “Tell me about your families.”

Shivani answered without any hesitation. She said she was a daughter of a farmer fromRampur village. Diwani grew defensive, she said,” What does it matter who my parents are, or where I come from? If you want to assess my calibre, you must do so by conducting another test  not by going into my family background.” The king looked suspiciously at her and said, “Now aren’t you being secretive. Is there something to hide?”

“Yes, I am not a commoner, but a princess, heir to the throne of Kosala. I love you and wish to marry you. On learning that you intended to marry a commoner and that you were conducting a contest to choose your wife, I posed as one and tried my luck. Was it such a crime?” The king was dumbfounded. He asked, “In spite of knowing that this contest was for the commoners of my kingdom, was it right for you to participate in it under a false identity?”
“I wanted to marry you and I have proved myself worthy of it, by passing your tests. So, is it proper on your part to reject me, only because I’m a princess? You have insulted me. You shall pay for this someday!” So saying, Princess Devayani stormed out of the king’s chamber.

King Vir stared at her in confusion. The other contestant Shivani withdrew quietly, and returned to her village. Vir had never met Princess Devayani before, but he had heard a lot about her. She was the only child of Amarendra, the King of Kosala and was pampered by her doting father. However, she was very intelligent and capable. She ruled the kingdom, as he whiled away his time playing chess.

On reaching home, Devayani poured out her heart to her father. King Amarendra was saddened by his dejected daughter. He could easily subjugate Vir’s kingdom. But that wouldn’t please his grieving daughter.

So he thought of writing to King Vir. He said in his message: “Greetings to King Vir. My daughter flouted the rules of your competition, I apologise on her behalf. Her love for you got the better of her. As a father, I request you to marry her. If you do, the kingdom of Kosala will be yours. I know you are a righteous and intelligent king, I can be sure that the welfare of my kingdom as well as my daughter is in safe hands” Vir was lost in thought for some time and then he sent a reply accepting the proposal. Soon, Vir and Devayani were married. Vir became the ruler of both kingdoms.

Concluding the story, Vetal said,”O king, Vir pretended to be a man of great integrity, but had no compunctions about casting his principles aside when an attractive offer came up. He had announced that he would marry only a commoner. So, wasn’t it wrong on his part to reject the commoner Shivani and marry Devayani who had flouted the rules of the contest? Was it his desire to annex Kosala that prompted him to take this decision, or was it motivated by a fear of reprisal from Kosala’s powerful army? If you know the answer to my question, speak out – otherwise, your head shall shatter into smithereens.”
Without hesitation, King Vikram replied, “It was neither fear nor greed that motivated Vir to act the way he did. He was a king who was fully conscious of his responsibility towards his subjects, and who worked day and night to improve their lot. Selfish considerations had no place in his mind. He was aware of how the people of Kosala were suffering under the reign of an irresponsible king and an efficient, but moody princess.”

“If he became their king, he could do a lot of good for them. Although he was not in love with Devayani he realised that since she loved him, he could certainly count on her help if he married her. Thus, it was a well-thought of decision guided entirely by selfless motives.”

On hearing this, the vampire nodded in approval, before going off into of thunderous laughter. The next moment he, along with the corpse, moved off the king’s shoulder with a jerk and flew back to the ancient tree. King Vikram sighed and retraced his steps towards


The Astrologer’s Destiny

It was a dark, moonless night. Occasional flashes of lightning lit up the somber scene, causing an eerie dance of jerky and frightening shadows in the cremation ground. Occasionally, the spine-chilling howl of a jackal or the blood-curdling laughter of some unseen evil spirit cut into the silence that hung, shroud-like, over the area. Altogether, it was a scene that would strike terror into the bravest heart. But nothing could daunt the intrepid King Vikram. Once again, he made his way to the ancient gnarled tree from which the corpse hung. Bones crunched under his feet and a screeching ghost rose from the dust in shuddering frenzy as he marched ahead.
Oblivious to all this, he reached the tree and brought down the corpse. Slinging it astride his shoulder, he had just begun his return journey when the vampire that possessed the corpse said, “O King! No doubt you’re a very courageous and determined man to be out here on this midnight errand. But sometimes, determined and learned men like yourself have been known to abandon their learning and go to desperate limits in pursuit of their goal. Let me tell you the story of a famous astrologer who had to seek the advice of an ignorant youth when it came to taking a personal decision.”
The story narrated by the vampire was as follows – Shantaram of Sitapur village had a handsome, robust, and good-natured son named Bhaskar. Dinakar, a peasant from the same village, was attracted by the youth’s good qualities and desired to give his daughter in marriage to him.
However, when he approached him with a marriage proposal, Bhaskar demurred, saying, “Sir, I am to Matangpur. When their search for a house yielded no results, Bhaskar met a rich man and asked, “Would you please let us stay in your house? I’m looking for a job, and shall pay you the rent with arrears as soon as I get one!”
The rich man looked Bhaskar up and down, and finally replied, “My house is a big one, and can easily accommodate you. But before that, I’ll put you to a test. Four men ” Ram, Som, Naresh and Kiran” have taken loans from me, but evade all my efforts to realise the loans, on some pretext or the other. Today I want to recover the dues from at least one of them. You must tell me which of them I should meet to get my money.”

Bhaskar was flabbergasted. How could he answer such a question, about four men whom he had not even met? But he had to say something, and so at length he blurted out, “Go and meet Naresh, he will repay your loan in full.”
The man followed his advice. To his surprise, the hitherto evasive Naresh welcomed him warmly and handed over the full amount, exactly as predicted by Bhaskar!
This incident proved a turning point in Bhaskar’s life. Not only did he get the accommodation promised to him, he was also hailed as an astrologer with uncanny powers of foresight!
From then on, people began flocking to Bhaskar, requesting him to use his astrological skills to solve their problems. He listened attentively, drew out all the facts by asking questions, and then suggested solutions after giving considerable thought to the issue. As a result, his words generally came true. By and by his fame spread, until he was making a comfortable living in Matangpur by his fortune-telling.
One day, his wife Sandhya suggested, “You’re a really good astrologer. Why don’t we leave this place and settle in the capital? There you’ll be able to come up by the patronage of the king and the nobility, and we’ll soon become rich.”
Bhaskar laughed and said, “I don’t know astrology; nor do I believe in it. My words are coming true because luck is on my side. Yes, we can move to the capital and do some business there. It will prosper as long as my lucky streak continues.” But Sandhya persisted. “You don’t know your own strength. Pandit Sridhar had recognised you as a gifted astrologer. You mustn’t give up astrology without consulting him.”
As they were talking, who should come in but Pandit Sridhar himself! They received him courteously. The elderly astrologer complimented Bhaskar, saying, “Son, you’re truly a gifted astrologer. Your skill goes beyond mere science.”
“Sir, your visit comes at a juncture when I myself was thinking of coming to meet you,” said Bhaskar. “May I know what brings you here?”
Sridhar replied, ‘I’ve come to consult you in your professional capacity. Lakshman, a farmer of Sitapur, has five acres of farmland, which he wants to dispose of in order to go and live with his son, who has recently secured a job at the king’s court. The land is worth 500 gold coins at the most. But he wants me to purchase it for a thousand gold coins.”
“But why is he making such an unreasonable demand?” asked Bhaskar.
“That’s a long story,” replied the Pandit.

“Some time ago, Lakshman came to me in great distress. His crops had failed; he was heavily in debt; his son was jobless. To console him, I made my calculations and told him that things would soon change for him. He would get a bumper harvest and thus be able to repay his debts; his son would get a good job with the king; he would unearth a hidden treasure on his land. And the tide did turn for Lakshman. Except for the one about the treasure, all my predictions came true. Now he argues that I will be compensated for the price by the treasure, which will surely be worth much more. But as matters stand, the plot is not worth a thousand gold coins. I don’t know what to do. That’s why I’ve come to seek your advice on the matter.”
“But how can I help you?” asked Bhaskar in surprise.
“If you confirm my prediction about there being a hidden treasure in the land, I shall buy it,” asserted Sridhar.
“Sir! When I was wandering about, jobless, it was you who guided me to take up astrology for my vocation. How can I know something which you don’t?”
“Son, your words will come true! I may be learned, but you have luck on your side. I believe in you. Tell me whatever comes to your mind!”
Unable to refuse this request, Bhaskar finally advised Sridhar to go ahead with the purchase. Sridhar thanked him and returned to Sitapur.

Sandhya, who had been closely following the whole conversation, now told Bhaskar, “You better give up astrology. Let’s go to the capital and start a business.”
Bhaskar laughingly asked his wife, “So, you’ve finally lost your blind faith in my astrology?”
“Not at all,” said Sandhya. “What I have in mind is this ” through the business, we can quickly make enough money to buy the plot from Pandit Sridhar. We can dig out the hidden treasure, which then becomes rightfully ours!”
Bhaskar and Sandhya shifted to the capital, where they started a business. It prospered, and very soon they had earned no less than 10,000 gold coins.
Taking this money, they went to Sitapur. Bhaskar’s father, Shantaram, happily welcomed the couple and said, “You’ve come at a good time. Today Pandit Sridhar, the astrologer, is throwing a grand feast for the whole village.
You see, he recently unearthed a rich treasure on his land! It seems he knew of the existence of the treasure beforehand, by applying his astrological skills. Isn’t it a real windfall ” finding a treasure of 50,000 gold coins on a plot of land purchased for a mere thousand gold coins?”
Bhaskar was dumbstruck by this piece of news. He was in a dilemma as he should whether to resume his business or to return to practising astrology.
Concluding the story at this point, the vampire demanded, “O King! Sridhar was undoubtedly a learned astrologer; why then did he consult Bhaskar about buying the land? Did he lack confidence in his own knowledge? As for Bhaskar, he had no knowledge of astrology whatsoever. Then how did his predictions come true? Answer my questions, or else your head will shatter to a thousand pieces!”
The king replied, “A wise man is always alert and observant. Even a great physician, when he himself or one in his family falls ill, calls in another physician instead of giving the treatment himself. Similarly, there is nothing wrong in a learned astrologer consulting another astrologer before deciding on a serious personal issue. That is just what Sridhar did. As for Bhaskar, he was no astrologer, but his words came true because luck was always with him. Sridhar took his advice because he believed in his luck.”
No sooner had the king finished speaking than the vampire, along with the corpse, moved off his shoulder with a jerk and flew back to the tree. With a little sigh, King Vikram squared his shoulders and retraced his steps towards the tree, his dogged determination evident in his steady gait.


The Minister?s Ego

King Vikram was on his mission again — the mission to get the corpse (Vetal) for the sage seeking occult powers. He headed for the cremation ground. It was a dark, eerie night. To add to the spookiness, were the moans of jackals, the cackling of spirits and the howling wind. The bravest of warriors would have made their way home but the intrepid King Vikram kept at his task.
He made his way to the ancient tree where the Vetal hung from a branch and brought the Vetal down. Slinging him on his shoulder, he made his journey towards the sage. As he walked, the Vetal spoke, “O king, you are stubborn and fail to see reason. But don’t you worry; I am just as adamant as you. As I told you there are wild and dangerous animals in here and your life could be under threat. Why do you want to risk your life? You have failed so many times but you don’t seem to give up. I admire your patience. However, it’s good to be patient and brave; you must also be wise and practical. Let me tell you the story of a great and brave minister Vajradev, you will probably see reason then.”
Long ago, Magadha was ruled by a great administrator called King Mahipal. Sharp and vigilant, he kept a check on his enemies. He had the help of a shrewd general and a very wise minister. Unfortunately, the general died. Unexpected as his death was, the king was in a lurch. He called on his trusted minister, Vajradev and they decided to call a meeting of all the ministers.

At the meeting, the ministers brought to the king’s notice, the other news from the kingdom. A scoundrel called Bhairav was cheating the citizens of Magadha. Tired of his misdeeds, the people had threatened to kill him and banished him to the forest.

The other news was that kingdom was rife with stories of a rakshasa (demon) belonging to the treta yuga (The yuga in which Vishnu was born as Rama.) having taken shelter in the jungles of Magadha. There were all sorts of stories floating around, of Rama having punished him and then having blessed him. The villagers who believed these stories went to visit the rakshasa but none came back.

The king was intrigued and upset by this story. He told his ministers: “I would like to know what actually is happening in that jungle. I announce that whoever finds out the truth in this matter will be the next general of Magadha’s army. By this, we can solve our problem and find an able commander for our army.” The ministers agreed.

The truth about the treta yuga rakshasa was a clever tale spread by Bhairav himself.  While on his way to the forest, Bhairav heard a faint voice asking for water. On looking, he found arakshasa, weak with hunger and thirst, pinned under a rock. He took pity, set him free and gave him some water. The rakshasa thanked him and said that he could ask him for whatever he wished for and if it was in his powers he would surely give it to him. Now the greedy Bhairav looked at the old rakshasa who was quite lame and asked him for money. “But there is no money in the jungle. Nobody comes here,” said the rakshasa.

Bhairav thought for a while and came up with a wicked plan. “Look I will bring the people, you can eat them but you have to give me their jewels. Now, how does that sound?” Therakshasa laughed and said, “Delicious, I love it”. And the story spread, people flocked to the forest, only to be killed and looted.

Now would the king’s announcement throttle Bhairav and the rakshasa’s plans?

Prithvi, a childhood friend of the crown prince,  heard of the king’s announcement and decided to try his luck. He went into the forest to find out what exactly was happening. As he wandered about, he saw the place where the rakshasa lived but he did not confront him immediately. He decided to wait and watch. After a while, he saw Bhairav walking towards the rakshasa with a big bag. The rakshasa dug out the jewels and money he had collected and gave them to Bhairav. Prithvi now followed Bhairav, caught hold of him, and took him straight to the king. Bhairav’s wicked plan was now out in the open.
King Mahipal was pleased with Prithvi. He has not just managed to discover the truth but also sort out the problem without using any violence or force. He praised Prithvi and imprisoned Bhairav.

Vajradev, the king’s wise and knowledgeable minister decided to go in search of therakshasa. He searched the forest and was surprised at how frail the rakshasa was. Therakshasa who was making a meal of human flesh, fell prey to Vajradev’s sword. With therakshasa’s head as a trophy, he proceeded towards the kingdom.
The next day, as King Mahipal was making arrangements to announce the appointment of Prithvi as the new general, Vajradev came in carrying the head of the rakshasa. Holding up the head he said, “Your majesty, I’ve brought the head of the wicked rakshasa who was preying on our people and killing them in the jungle.” His supporters cheered him.
King Mahipal was not as impressed. He said, “Vajradev, someone had already solved the problem before you. You have cut off the head of a rakshasa who by himself could not have harmed anybody. Prithvi has caught the brain behind the mischief. And he did it without any violence. I think, by capturing Bhairav and putting him in jail we had solved the problem.”

The king’s words enraged Vajradev’s followers. They protested loudly but Vajradev   went away quietly. He was hurt and wanted to prove that he was the king’s confidant. He thought: ‘Prithvi is the crown prince’s friend so the king wants to make him the general. I must make sure that he changes his mind and makes me the general’.

The next day as instructed by Vajradev, his followers kidnapped a few prominent citizens ofMagadha and sent word to the king that unless Vajradev was made the general all those who had been kidnapped would be killed. King Mahipal’s spies worked overtime to find out everything about Vajradev and his gang. It was clear that Vajradev’s treason was the result of his ego. He was trying to sow deeds of discontent and anarchy in the kingdom.

The king, after a long and serious meeting with his ministers, announced that Vajradev would be appointed the general instead of Prithvi. The announcement pleased Vajradev’s followers. They went to congratulate Vajradev but all they found was a note which said: “Friends, I am not worthy of the post of general. I am punishing myself for my misdeeds and for having spread discontent among the loyal citizens of Magadha. I’m leaving this country.”
The Vetal stopped his narration and said, “O king, Mahipal should have punished Vajradev severely because he had committed a treacherous act by conspiring against the king’s orders and spreading rebellion. Instead, he announced that he would make him general. Doesn’t this present the king as a coward?  And Vajradev, instead of rejoicing in his victory and gladly accepting the post, chose to run away from the country. Doesn’t that seem an act of a foolish and unintelligent man? After all he would have become the general. If you know the correct answers and yet refuse to speak, your head will explode into small pieces.”

Vikram said: “The announcement of Vajradev’s appointment does not show King Mahipal’s cowardice or weakness but only his political acumen. If he had impulsively sent the army in to capture and destroy Vajradev and his followers, those kidnapped also might have been killed. On the other hand, when Vajradev and his followers, came to the palace, it would have been possible to isolate and arrest them. With this action the king avoided a lot of bloodshed.

“Vajradev was without doubt a brave and noble person. When his followers agitated against the king’s decision, he went away quietly. He was misled by his ego and lost his judgement in the desire to become a general. As soon as he heard the king’s announcement, he came to his senses and realised that he had committed a serious crime against the king and the country. He knew that Mahipal was a wise and just king. He also knew he would be caught if he entered the palace. Therefore, he wisely left the country thereby punishing himself for his wicked deeds.

King Vikram had broken his silence. The Vetal once again took off along with the corpse and disappeared. The king drew his sword and went after the Vetal.


Solution From A Casket

The night sky was overcast with clouds. An eerie silence prevailed. Once in a while the silence was broken either by the howl of jackals or by thunderclaps. In the intermittent lightning, sometimes horrible faces were revealed. They seemed amazed at the king’s valour. However, they did not come too close to him. But King Vikram advanced towards the lone banyan tree in the cremation ground with determined steps. He climbed it and brought the corpse down.

As soon as he began walking with the corpse on his shoulder, the vampire that possessed the corpse said, “I wonder if you have undertaken this queer job at the request of some hermit. Hermits are quite whimsical, you know. Take the case of the hermit Somadev. His behaviour towards two kings was rather strange. Let me tell you the story. That might bring you some relief.”

The vampire went on: Somadev, a great hermit, lived in a forest that spread along the borders of two kingdoms. Dhanadutta and Dhiradutta were the kings of the two neighbouring lands. Although the two kings competed with each other on many things, their reverence for Somadev was equal. Whenever they faced any problem, they met the hermit, who never failed to give them the right solution.
Generally, the kings met the hermit individually. There was never an occasion for both the kings to go to him together. The hermit had equal affection for both. In fact, it was because of the hermit that the two kings were on friendly terms.

One day, the two kings met in the forest while hunting. Leaving their entourage behind, both went to meet the hermit to pay him their obeisance. The hermit was pleased to see them.  He said, “It is very good that you came. I am about to go into a trance, and for five long years I shall remain in that state. You will not have the benefit of my advice. However, here are two small caskets. Each of you can take one home. If you face a crisis which proves too strong for you, then open the casket. The solution will come out of it. But make sure that before opening the casket you have tried all other means of solving the crisis. If you misuse the casket, I will take it back from you when I come out of my trance.”

The kings received the caskets with gratitude and returned to their palaces. Soon a severe drought befell both the kingdoms. Crops failed. The people grew panicky.

King Dhanadutta opened the casket given to him. A million gold coins spilled out of it. The king spent the wealth in buying foodstuff from distant lands for his subjects. Thus the drought, which could have resulted in a devastating famine, did not cause much hardship to his people.
But Dhiradutta, instead of opening the casket, mobilised all his resources, dug wells and canals, and encouraged the people to grow new crops. He did not allow a morsel of food to go out of his kingdom. The people had to experience hardship, but the crisis passed when the next monsoon came, and all were happy.

Dhanadutta now desired to launch new projects in his land so that his people would grow more prosperous than Dhiradutta’s subjects. He wished to know how to proceed in the matter, and so he opened his casket again. This time there was a line of writing inside the casket. It read: “Wait and see.”

Next day, a stranger met Dhanadutta and said, “I have invented a device by which I can tell if there are precious minerals in your kingdom hidden under the earth. I can help you locate them on one condition: I shall own half of whatever is discovered.” Dhanadutta found in it an easy way to prosperity. He utilised the services of the stranger and found large deposits of minerals.
A few days later, the stranger met Dhiradutta and put forth the same proposal. But Dhiradutta was not willing to accept his condition.
Five years passed. The hermit woke up from his trance and paid a visit to the two kingdoms. He saw the subjects of Dhanadutta prosperous and happy. But Dhiradutta’s subjects, though not unhappy, were working hard for their prosperity.

The hermit asked both the kings to meet him with the caskets. He let them tell what they had done with the caskets. Dhiradutta said he had not used the casket at all. Dhanadutta narrated how he had used it twice and stated, “The result is obvious. My subjects are happy”. But to Dhanadutta’s surprise, the hermit asked him to return the casket while he allowed Dhiradutta to keep his.

The vampire paused and demanded King Vikram, “Tell me, O King, why did the hermit take back the casket from one who had made proper use of it? If you know the answer and choose to keep mum, your head will roll off your shoulder”.

King Vikram replied: “Dhanadutta did not make proper use of the casket. He made no other effort to get over the crisis before opening the casket. He provided food for his subjects, but that he did at the cost of their own zeal to try solving the problem. Thereby he made them lazy. Without any thought he allowed the stranger to own half of the minerals of his land. Thereby he deprived the future generations of the land’s wealth. Dhiradutta, on the other hand, was confident that the casket will go to his rescue if his own efforts failed. He made best use of the casket by not using it! That is to say, the confidence he got from the mere possession of the casket was his strength. He did not sell away any part of his land’s minerals for immediate benefit. Hence, he deserved to keep the casket.”

No sooner had King Vikram finished his reply than the vampire, along with the corpse, gave him the slip.


The Seeker Of Praise

King Vikram was not afraid. The pitch darkness, the howls of the jackals, and the leering faces of the ghouls would have scared away many a brave warrior, but not him. Once again, he made his way to the gnarled tree from which Vetal was hanging and brought him down with a stroke of his sword. Slinging him astride his shoulder, he had just begun his return journey when Vetal said, ?O king, people sometimes perform dangerous feats for the sake of acquiring some miraculous powers. But later, they simply throw away those very powers! I hope this does not happen in your case. Let me tell you the story of Vitanga of Veerpuri.?
The tale that Vetal narrated went as follows:

Hordes of demons had descended on the kingdom of Vilopadesa and were wreaking havoc, devouring dozens of subjects each day. The king had no idea how he could put an end to the demons? menace. One day, a sage named Nityananda happened to visit his court and the king told him about the problem at hand. The sage pulled out amagic mirror which he had obtained by yogic powers. One could use it to summon anyone from any of the three worlds at will. Through the mirror, the sage contacted Mahabala, the king of the demons, and informed him of the problems his subjects were causing in Vilopadesa.

But Mahabala humbly answered that since human flesh was the natural food for his subjects, there was little he could do to alter the situation. After a moment?s thought, the sage declared, ?In that case, issue a decree that from now on, the demons may kill and eat only sinners. They must leave righteous people alone. If any demon violates this rule, he will be struck down with a terrible stomach ache which can be cured only if a herbal medicine is poured into the demon?s mouth by a courageous human being.?
Mahabala agreed to the sage?s condition. After this, the number of people being killed by the demons came down drastically. The news of the deal spread all over the kingdom. When the people realised that the demons would spare the righteous, they abandoned their sinful ways and became exemplary citizens.
Veerpuri was a village in Vilopadesa. Vitanga was the only son of the rich landlord of Veerpuri. Parental pampering had turned him into a vain, selfish lad. His grandfather, who realised that the young boy was becoming spoilt arranged to send him to Pandit Shardaprasad, the most eminent scholar of Veerpuri, for training.

Vitanga turned out to be an exceptionally bright student. Within a year, he outdid all the other students. Vitanga expected his fellow students to flatter him and when they did not, he would pick  fights with them. His fellow-pupils complained to the guru about his high-handed behaviour. Pandit Shardaprasad tried to advise his pupil, but made no attempt to change his ways.
A few years went by. One day, the guru asked his pupils to go to the neighbouring forest to collect some herbs. All the boys, except Vitanga, set out on the mission. A ferocious demon entered the forest. He had eaten a good man a few days ago and was suffering from chronic stomach ache. He was on the lookout for a man fearless enough to pour the medicine into his mouth so that he could be cured.
With this intention, he approached the group of students and requested them to help him. But so terrifying was the demon?s appearance that the pupils fainted when they caught sight of him! When they did not return, Pandit Shardaprasad sent Vitanga into the forest to investigate. Vitanga found the demon sitting morosely beside the unconscious students. On seeing him, the demon asked for his help. Vitanga stuck a deal with the demon that if he poured the medicine into the demon?s mouth, the demon should divulge the Stuteendra   mantra which would make everybody around him sing his praises.
The demon agreed and was cured when Vitanga poured the medicine down his throat. Delighted, he thanked Vitanga and taught him the mantra saying, ?All you have to do is to recite it every morning. Everyone you meet that day will praise you, irrespective of whether you do good or bad. You?ll soon earn a name for yourself.? He then went away

The demon was true to his words. Vitanga?s guru and his friends just couldn?t stop praising him. When he went back home after completing his education, he continued to recite theStuteendra mantra and soon became the undisputed leader of the village. Even when he did something wrong, no one questioned him. Under his influence, the village elders also took to vices and started failing in their duties. The misrule in Veerpuri did not escape the king?s eyes. He made enquiries and found out that the cause was Vitanga. Once again, he sought the advice of sage Nityananda.

The sage pondered deeply and finally said, ?Announce that I?m going to meet Mahabala and ask him to send his demons to devour all wrong-doers.? ?But, O sage,? protested the king, ?the problem lies not with others, but with Vitanga! It is he who sins and incites others to sin! What can be done with him?? ?Don?t worry! Issue an edict praising Vitanga and get it carved on stone . Along with that, make a proclamation about the fate that awaits sinners and wrongdoers. That will solve your problem,? said the sage confidently.
The king followed the advice. Within a year, a perceptible change came over Vitanga. He stopped using the Stuteendra mantra and took to honest work for a living. Along with him, the entire population of Veerpuri, too, underwent a change of heart and became law-abiding and the king heaved a sigh of relief.?
Concluding the story at this point, Vetal demanded, ?O King! What caused the miraculous transformation in Vitanga the praise-seeker? Was it a fear of death, or something else? If you know the answer to my question, speak out ? otherwise, your head shall shatter into smithereens!?
Calmly, King Vikram replied, ?It?s true that the fear of death is the greatest of all man?s fears. But for some people, the desire for praise is an even greater motivator than the fear of death. Vitanga was one such person. To save himself, he gave up criminal activities (because the demons were authorised to eat sinners). But if he gave up using theStuteendra mantra, it was because he derived greater pleasure from the edict the king put up on stone for posterity, than from the artificial praise he obtained by using the mantra. Thus, it is clear that there was no change in his basic nature.?

On hearing this, the Vetal laughed thunderously. The next moment he moved off the king?s shoulder with a jerk and flew back to the tree. King Vikram gave a little sigh as he gazed upon the scene. Then, he squared his shoulders and retraced his steps towards the ancient tree.

Viswasen’s Ambitions

King Vikram relentlessly followed the Vetala back to the ancient tree. He brought the corpse down from the tree and slung it over his shoulder. As he weaved his way through gliding ghouls, grinning skulls and screeching bats, the Vetala in the corpse spoke up:
“Why do you covet danger, even after I’ve pointed out to you how foolish and risky your effort is? Don’t you know that there are harmful wild animals, ghosts and vampires lurking around? No Kshatriya should endanger himself so foolishly. When I see you toiling hard to catch me, I’m convinced that you are driven by some ulterior motive. Listen to this story of King Viswasen. Just when his dreams were about to be fulfilled, he changed his mind and ruined himself. I’m afraid you too might make a similar critical mistake at a crucial moment in your life”. So saying, the Vetala narrated the story:
King Viswasen of Mithila loved hunting. Nothing could make him miss his hunting expeditions, not even a crisis in his kingdom.
Once he led his troops for hunting as usual. For two days, he and his men enjoyed the chase. On the third day, as he decided to return to his kingdom, he heard two of his men talking about a hermitage in the forest. Viswasen wished to meet the sage who lived there. He told his soldiers: “You may all return to the camp and wait for me there. I shall seek the blessings of the sage and join you before sunset”.

The king walked into the dense forest. The kingdom was reeling under a famine: the monsoon had failed for the second successive year. As he strode along, his mind was preoccupied with the crisis that loomed large over his kingdom, a baby monkey just ahead caught his attention. It fell off a tree in front of him and started wailing in pain. The king hurried forward to lift him, but even before he reached the animal, a female monkey, obviously the mother, jumped down from a nearby tree, picked up the baby and swung off in a hurry.
As she brushed past the king, the mother monkey viciously scratched his arms. This disturbed the king’s mind considerably. Was the mother monkey angry with him?
He soon reached the hermitage and was warmly welcomed by the sage. “You’ve been hunting, and that is something you love very much! And yet you don’t look happy. Why is it so?” asked the sage.

Viswasen sighed and narrated the incident of the monkey. “I was only trying to help the little monkey, and all the mother does in return is to scratch me! Is there no good left in the world?” he wondered. “Don’t we even have the authority to help defenceless animals? If this goes on, one would hesitate to the help a fellow creature!”
The sage laughed. “O king, I think you’re not one of those who think deeply on any issue. For, look at the irony of what you say now. You love hunting and have killed many animals without a thought of what would happen to their innocent orphaned babies. And now you feel pity for the baby monkey you came across. It is indeed surprising! Just look at the condition of your kingdom. The rain god seems to have abandoned us and a famine seems imminent. Have you thought of a solution to this problem?”
The king replied, “O holy one, this situation is not really unusual. The rains fail once in a few years and we face this crisis of famine and drought. My ancestors have gone through this crisis. And I am facing it now”.
“Then what can be done about it?” asked the sage.
“O holy one, there is a solution. And that is, to raise a powerful army, and invade and take over the neighbouring states that are prosperous. The wealth and the granary of these kingdoms can be put to good use for the sake of our own people”.

“Oh, so you wish to garner wealth and power and become great! But there’s another easy way to do it! If you go just four kos from here to the north, you will find some mountains of silver. Take as much silver as you want! It’s all yours”.
Viswasen thanked the holy man and walked in the direction the sage had showed. Soon he saw the silver mountains gleaming in the sun. “O god, what a lot of silver! I shall need hundreds of vehicles to take all this silver home!” he shouted in joy.
As he looked around in wonder, he noticed a hermitage close by. A hermit was standing by, feeding two lovely fawns with tender leaves. At some distance stood a male and a female deer, obviously the parents of the fawns, watching the scene. Viswasen was moved. ‘How beautiful these creatures are! And I’ve been cruelly killing them all along! What a sinner I am!’ he thought regretfully.
He hesitated to move forward and introduce himself. Perhaps his presence might frighten the innocent animals. But the hermit looked up and beckoned him.
“Please join us, O king. How come you’re here in this forest all alone?”

Viswasen paid his obeisance to the hermit and explained all about the silver mountains. He frankly disclosed that he wanted to take back silver to help him buy food for his starving people. The hermit listened to all that he had to say and then commented: “You seem to be satisfied with these silver mountains. But if you go four kos to the north, you’ll come across gold mountains”.
Viswasen was thrilled to hear this. He hurriedly bade goodbye to the hermit and made for the mountains of gold. When he came across the golden peaks glinting in the sun, he was jubilant. “All that gold belongs to me!” he shouted hysterically. “I am the wealthiest king on earth”.
Just then a yogi, who had been bathing in a pond nearby, came into sight. He heard the king’s triumphant shout. “O king!” he addressed him. “If these mountains of gold excite you so much, what will you do when you see the diamond mines that lie just four kos to the north from here?”

Diamond mines? The astounded king thanked the yogi profusely and followed his directions. Just as the yogi had said, he came upon the diamond mines. The diamonds were lying scattered on the ground, sparkling and winking in the sunlight. There were also several cobras which stood guard over the diamonds, with their hoods spread.
Viswasen went mad with excitement. He raved in trembling tones, “My soldiers can kill these snakes. I shall bring camels and elephants, load these diamonds on them and take them home. This wealth will bring prosperity to my kingdom. We shall buy food and all material comforts from all our prosperous neighbours. Why, I can raise a great army and make these neighbours my vassals. I shall become the emperor of the world, the most powerful man on the earth. I shall then be the happiest man in the universe”.
Just then he heard a loud booming voice: “O king, there are many men in this world who are wealthier, luckier and greater than you are! And I am one of them!”
A strange luminous figure suddenly appeared before King Viswasen. He stood rooted to the spot, as if hypnotised.

Then the saintly figure that glowed so strangely, continued: “So your dreams are coming true, O king? You wished to be wealthy, powerful, great! You wished to be a great conquering emperor, the dread of neighbouring kingdoms. The gold, silver and diamonds that you have just found will bring all that you have desired and more. But have you ever thought of the consequences of your foolish actions? How many innocent people will be sacrificed at the altar of your avarice? How much wealth and property will be destroyed!”
Viswasen replied boldly, “O great soul! I’m sure you know that the dharma of a kshatriya, and that too a king, binds him to war and battles. Every king is expected to invade territories and take over other states in the interests of his people”.
The strange man laughed and said: “If every king, in the name of kshatriya dharma, kept invading other territories, can you imagine the misery, tensions and insecurity that the common people would go through? Don’t think you can justify your actions in the name of kshatriya dharma. I’ll grant you one boon – either you can become a great emperor by virtue of your power and strength, or you will, in your lifetime, achieve greatness as a king who paid attention to the welfare of his people. But mind you, you cannot have both!” And the strange figure disappeared.
Viswasen immediately retraced his steps and returned to where his soldiers awaited him. He addressed them: “My men! Henceforth leave your arms safe at home. From now on, your duty will be to tour every nook and corner of our country, and then come back and tell me the conditions that prevail. Right now let’s return to the palace”.

After narrating the story, the Vetala spoke to King Vikram: “Viswasen had always wanted to be wealthy and powerful. His desires looked likely to be fulfilled. He found an immense treasure that would have filled his coffers and brought him name, fame and power. Besides, the strange figure had promised to grant him the boon of becoming a great powerful emperor or of becoming a noble king who cared for the welfare of his masses. Why didn’t he opt for the boon that would have made him a great emperor? If you know the answer and yet choose to remain silent, your head will split into a thousand pieces!”
King Vikram answered immediately: “A man who is ambitious to gain wealth and power need not necessarily be cruel and insensitive to the sufferings of others. Viswasen was moved to pity by the plight of the baby monkey and to remorse when he saw the young fawns being fed by the hermit. Besides, he had just been advised by the strange figure about the evil consequences of conquests and battles. And that is why he decided to take up the cause of his people rather than aspire to be a great conqueror”.

No sooner had King Vikram broken his silence when the Vetala once again gave him the slip and flew back to the ancient tree. Vikram drew his sword and went after the Vetala.

Innocents Get Punished
After King Vikram answered the question posed by Vetala, the vampire, Vetala slipped off his shoulder and hung on the tree. King Vikram returned again to the tree, climbed it and brought the corpse down. He continued his journey to the mendicant, when the vampire in the corpse spoke again. “O King, I do not know what you have done to deserve such trouble. But there are lots of people suffering for no fault of theirs. Let me tell you a story of two boys which might bring you some relief.”
Yajnasom was a Brahmin and had two sons, Harrisom and Devasom. The boys were brought up with great care and comfort. Unfortunately they lost their parents as teenagers and there was nobody to look after them. Soon, the boys left for their maternal grandfather’s house which was far. On their way, they were hungry and begged from travellers. They slept under trees and after suffering for many days, they reached their grandfather’s house to find he was no more.

Thankfully, their maternal uncle took charge of the boys. He was kind and took good care of them. He even sent them to a school. But the uncle was going through a rough patch and had no choice but to withdraw his nephews from the school. He asked them to look after his cows and goats.  He said, “All you have to do is  lead them to the fields and keep an eye on them while they graze and bring them back in the evening. What do you say?”
Harrisom and Devasom agreed to it happily. They went out into the fields in the morning with the herd of cattle and returned in the evening. But misfortune followed them.

There was a forest adjoining the fields. One day, a tiger swooped down on a cow and dragged it away. Another day some bandits led away another cow. Uncle was worried. He thought his cattle was not in worthy hands!
A few days later, while leading the goats back home, they found uncle’s favourite goat missing. They were scared of facing their uncle. As soon as the animals reached home, they went back into the forest, looking for the goat.
After wandering in the forest for a long time, they found the goat lying dead near a bush. Exhausted and worried, they decided against going back home again. They knew that their uncle would be angry and thought of going some place far away.

Harrisom was hungry and so was Devasom. They decided to roast the goat. While they were still at it, uncle came looking for them. Seeing them make a meal of his favourite pet, he fumed. He said, “How could you do this to my favourite goat? You ungrateful, greedy creatures! Have you no shame? I curse you turn into ghouls!”
The boys started running but the Brahmin’s curse turned them into ghouls. The two youngghouls roamed the wide forest. One day they stepped into a yogi’s hermitage. What luck, they were cursed again and this time they turned into goblins!
As goblins, they went to gobble up a mendicant’s food. Ill luck followed them there too; they were cursed to be chandals. A chandal was an outcaste, shunned by the society. Although the boys got back their human shape, they stayed in the forest.
One day, bandits captured them and handed them to their leader. When the leader heard their story, he smiled, and said, “Boys, you are welcome to join us. Eat to your heart’s content and take rest for a few days. You will be given the required training thereafter.”
The boys agreed and stayed on. The vampire ended the story and asked the king, “Tell me, O King, the boys had not done any wrong. Why did they suffer so much? While the society was cruel to them, how is it that the bandits were kind to them? If you know the answers and stay mum, your head will shatter into pieces!”
King Vikram answered, “Society is governed by certain general rules. People who live in the society have to guard their interests. They are disturbed when their interests are not met. The boys were harassed not because of their misdeeds, but because of circumstances. Though the uncle loved the boys, he cursed them in a fit of passion. The yogi’s and the mendicant’s curses were not really curses, but boons. To turn goblins from ghouls and then chandals from goblins were both turns towards the better.
So far as the sympathy of the bandits is concerned, we must remember that they were not bound by the laws of the society. Why should they then hesitate to accept two outcastes into their fold?”
On hearing these words, the corpse gave him a slip. The next moment it was found hanging from the branch of the lone tree in a corner of the ground.

The Strange Silence
t was a terrible night. The rain came down in torrents and thunder rumbled threateningly. The frequent flashes of lightning revealed the ugly vistas of grinning ghouls. King Vikram tripped over the gnarled, knotty roots of the ancient tree as he reached for the corpse that dangled from its branches. He put the corpse on his shoulder and started walking back. He had a rendezvous to keep with the strange mendicant.
“What makes you so determined to carry me away from here?” asked the Vetal who possessed the corpse. But King Vikram kept silent. “Your silence is enigmatic, rather like King Sushanta’s!” commented the Vetal. “Have you heard of him? Let me regale you with his story to make your journey easier!” And he narrated this story:
King Sushanta of Pushpanagar was wise and noble. He gave alms to holy men and gifts to deserving artists and poets. He made sure that his subjects were happy and that his kingdom was prosperous. If he had a fault, it was anger. He would fly into a rage if something did not happen as he wanted it to. Once when the royal cooks messed up a special dish that the king had ordered for some very special guests, they not only lost their jobs but were also sent out of the kingdom immediately.
If an officer was found to be guilty of some lapse in duty, he was punished immediately. He would lose his job and life. The king’s reputation of being an angry man made sure that the people lived in uneasy calm.

One day a holy man appeared in his court, and said that he wanted the king’s permission to hold discourses at the temples in the kingdom.
“Who are you, O noble one? Where are you from?” asked the king courteously.
“I’m Pranananda. I’ve just come here from the Himalayas where I was meditating for the last decade”, replied the saintly man. “Meditation brought me peace of mind. But my guru said the purpose of my life should be not only to seek salvation for myself, but to show the path to other less fortunate men and women. That is why I am here!”
King Sushanta was impressed. “Swamiji! We shall be grateful if you’ll settle down here and guide me and my subjects”, he said.
The saint laughed. “O King, I’ve decided not to settle down in any place. But your affection and kindness ties me to your kingdom. I shall stay here for some days and try to make myself useful to your people”.

The king ordered a cottage to be built for the swamiji in the royal park. He called the park keeper, Sumangala, and asked him to look after the swamiji’s comforts.
Soon Sumangala and the swamiji became great friends. Sumangala lived with his wife and two sons in a cottage in the park. Every morning, after prayers, Pranananda would spend a couple of hours with the king. Sushanta listened earnestly to swamiji’s discourses and tried to act according to his wise advice. Swamiji would then go around, addressing people gathered at the temples.
At night, he would have dinner at Sumangala’s house. The swamiji would tell wonderful stories to his two sons way into the night.
One day, when the king and the swamiji were at the park, Sumangala was trimming a bush nearby. He noticed that some bees were bothering the swamiji. He rushed to him, waving his hands to keep the bees away.
But the king did not like the way Sumangala had interrupted the conversation. “How dare you jump between us like that?” he shouted. “Who asked you to interfere? Had the bees got intolerable, wouldn’t I have helped swamiji? Get out of my sight! I don’t want to see you here again!” he shouted.
Sumangala was stunned. But swamiji went to his rescue. “Don’t shout at him, my son”, he urged the king. “After all, his intention was good. It is easy to get angry. But decisions taken in a moment of anger will prove to be wrong. When you are angry, the best course is to be silent till you feel that you are once again your old reasonable self. If in a fit of anger you send away Sumangala, you might not easily find another capable and honest man to replace him”.
King Sushanta accepted his advice and pardoned Sumangala. Pranananda’s words of wisdom had a tremendous impact on the king. A few months later, however, the swamiji became very restless.
One day, he told the king: “My goal in life is to help as many people as I can, and not just the citizens of your kingdom. I would like to travel to other lands and guide other people”.
But the king would not hear of his going away. Then swamiji relented and said he would return to Pushpanagar every third month and spend a month with the king. King Sushanta had to accept this.

The king ordered a cottage to be built for the swamiji in the royal park. He called the park keeper, Sumangala, and asked him to look after the swamiji’s comforts.
Soon Sumangala and the swamiji became great friends. Sumangala lived with his wife and two sons in a cottage in the park. Every morning, after prayers, Pranananda would spend a couple of hours with the king. Sushanta listened earnestly to swamiji’s discourses and tried to act according to his wise advice. Swamiji would then go around, addressing people gathered at the temples.
At night, he would have dinner at Sumangala’s house. The swamiji would tell wonderful stories to his two sons way into the night.

One day, when the king and the swamiji were at the park, Sumangala was trimming a bush nearby. He noticed that some bees were bothering the swamiji. He rushed to him, waving his hands to keep the bees away.
But the king did not like the way Sumangala had interrupted the conversation. “How dare you jump between us like that?” he shouted. “Who asked you to interfere? Had the bees got intolerable, wouldn’t I have helped swamiji? Get out of my sight! I don’t want to see you here again!” he shouted.
Sumangala was stunned. But swamiji went to his rescue. “Don’t shout at him, my son”, he urged the king. “After all, his intention was good. It is easy to get angry. But decisions taken in a moment of anger will prove to be wrong. When you are angry, the best course is to be silent till you feel that you are once again your old reasonable self. If in a fit of anger you send away Sumangala, you might not easily find another capable and honest man to replace him”.
King Sushanta accepted his advice and pardoned Sumangala. Pranananda’s words of wisdom had a tremendous impact on the king. A few months later, however, the swamiji became very restless.
One day, he told the king: “My goal in life is to help as many people as I can, and not just the citizens of your kingdom. I would like to travel to other lands and guide other people”.
But the king would not hear of his going away. Then swamiji relented and said he would return to Pushpanagar every third month and spend a month with the king. King Sushanta had to accept this.

Three months passed. One evening Pranananda came back to Pushpanagar and went to his cottage. Sumangala did not notice his arrival. It was now dark and swamiji was thirsty. He went to the pond in the park to fill his jug with water.
As he dipped his jug into the pond to fill it, it made a loud gurgling sound.
Sumangala, whose cottage was nearby, heard the noise. He thought some animals had entered the garden and were at the pond. He rushed out and threw his spear in the direction of the pond.

Alas! The spear pierced swamiji and he cried aloud. Sumangala recognised his voice and ran out in horror. He found swamiji gasping for breath. He fell at his feet and begged his pardon. The swamiji said, “Remove the spear from my back so that I can die in peace”. Sobbing, Sumangala did as he was told and gently laid him on the ground.
“Forgive me”, he sobbed. “I did not mean to do it”.
Swamiji smiled: “I know it. I forgive you”. And he breathed his last.
Suddenly, Sumangala was struck with fear. ‘What would happen to me and my family if the king were to hear of this?’ he wondered. He rushed to his cottage, told the whole story to his wife, and along with their two young children, they disappeared into the night.
The next day the guards discovered the swamiji’s body in the park. They searched for Sumangala but could not find him anywhere. They concluded that he must have killed the swamiji for some reason. They took the news to the king.
King Sushanta was furious. He ordered a manhunt, but Sumangala could not be traced.
Meanwhile Sumangala had taken up a job in a neighbouring kingdom. But he was not happy. He wanted to return to Pushpanagar. When one year had passed, he ventured into Pushpanagar and met an old friend, a courtier in the palace. He requested him to find out if the king had forgiven him for the swamji’s death.
The courtier found an opportunity to broach the subject with the king. The royal gardener was asking the king for some implements. The courtier intervened: “Sumangala was a wonderful gardener! He did not spend so much on implements”.
But the king did not say a word. The courtier told Sumangala to stay away. Six months later, at Sumangala’s request, the courtier took up his cause. This time, too, the king remained silent.
Another six months passed. Sumangala was now quite desperate. This time he risked his life and went to Pushpanagar with his family. Instead of going to his friend, he presented himself at the court and fell at the feet of the king. He narrated the whole story of the swamiji’s untimely death.
“I know it all, Sumangala. I know you could not have done it intentionally. Come back and join my service once again!” said the king.
Here Vetal stopped his narration and turned to the king. “O king, when Sumangala’s friend sang the park-keeper’s praises in the court for the first two times, the king would not react at all. But when Sumangala himself went and fell at the king’s feet two years after the accidental death of swamiji, the king took him back. Doesn’t this show the king to be inconsistent in his behaviour?
Do you think that only when he saw Sumangala he realised that he couldn’t have killed the swamiji deliberately? If you know the answers to these questions, but choose to remain silent, your head will split into a thousand pieces!”
King Vikram replied promptly: “No, King Sushanta was not inconsistent in his behaviour. And he must have realized long back that the swamiji’s death was an accident, for, didn’t you say that he was a wise ruler? Surely he knew his park-keeper well! If he had ordered a manhunt for Sumangala, it was because he was blinded by anger at the thought of the untimely and violent death of swamiji, whom he revered very much. We know that anger was the king’s greatest weakness. Swamiji had once advised him not to do anything when he was angry, but to wait till he was his old reasonable self. The king was still angry at the park-keeper when the courtier pleaded on his behalf. But he remembered his mentor’s words and remained silent, perhaps because he was afraid that he might, in a fit of rage, harm Sumangala if he were to present himself before him. Two years after the incident, the wound had healed. When Sumangala made his desperate appearance in the court, the king reacted in a reasonable way. The king was only following the wise words of his mentor when he held his tongue and let time heal his anger before he felt able to talk rationally to Sumangala”.
No sooner had King Vikram answered than the Vetal once again gave him the slip and glided back to the ancient tree. And King Vikram drew his sword and followed the Vetal.


A Pandit Corrects Himself

King Vikramaditya went to the ancient tree where the Vetal was hanging with the corpse, once again. He brought down the corpse, flung it over his shoulder, and set off toward the cremation ground.

Then the Vetal, who possessed the corpse, spoke to him. “O king”, he said, “you are very persistent and patient. What makes you go on and on? Be careful about being determined about your goals. If something happens to change your attitude and your principles, you will then feel that all this hard work has gone waste. To illustrate my point, I’ll now tell you a story.” And the Vetal began a new story.

The village of Uttarakhand was blessed by Nature with fertile fields which yielded bountiful harvests. Shrubbery, fruit trees and flowers abounded in all directions. But such beauty did not touch Pandit Jagannath’s heart that day. The words he had overheard at the marketplace made him too angry to appreciate nature. Two farmers, who had known that he was standing behind them, were talking about his sermons.
“I never understand what Jagannath says”, said the first one. “It’s all in too lyrical a language! But Sridhar, his son, is so much better”.
“Yes, how different the son is from his father!” agreed the second farmer. “He takes great care to explain the nuances of fine poetry. His poetry is simple and understandable to the common villager”.

The pandit was unhappy at this verdict given by his own villagers. Dejected, he walked back home. His son, Sridhar was talking to a group of farmers, who were listening to him in rapt attention.

Jagannath felt irritated. “This will not do, Sridhar”, said Jagannath in a firm voice. The young man did not pause in his recital. Only his audience seemed distracted. The farmers listening to him were now uneasy. They glanced at Jagannath unsurely.
“I asked you a question. Are you so busy to answer your father?” said the pandit in a loud voice.

The farmers quietly stood up and left the verandah. The young man looked at their departure with sadness.

“Father, you may be a great poet, but you certainly are not a great man”, said Sridhar calmly.

The older man flushed in anger. “Show me some respect, young man!” he thundered.

“Father, I have immense respect for you. But I am distressed to see you show contempt for these poor labourers”, said Sridhar. “They toil all day and come to me in the evening, to feed their minds and hearts with spiritual ideas. Yet, you don’t feel any compassion for them!”

“Why should I?” countered Jagannath. “I fail to understand the direction of your intellectual activity. To recite verse and poetry to unread and uncultured people as you do is to insult the Goddess Saraswati herself. It would be best for you to switch audience, as you will not progress and advance, otherwise”.

“What is progress?” asked Sridhar heatedly. “Your wisdom and verses are fodder for only the rich and the learned. Is that called progress? What about the uneducated, the ignorant, the innocent? Isn’t it our duty to spread true knowledge among people, without prejudice, without partiality?”

Jagannath was too incensed to argue further. He left the place in a rage and started walking, feeling too restless and unhappy. Eventually, his legs led him to the neighbouring village, Krishnapuri. Narayan Bhatt, a dear friend of his, lived there. “When the family lets you down, only friends can offer solace. Let me talk about my problems with Narayan”, thought Jagannath and set out for his friend’s house.

When he reached his friend’s house, the pandit saw a pretty young woman teaching rhymes to children. Her smiling face and patient voice impressed him and he stopped. She looked at him and exclaimed: “Uncle Jagannath! You are visiting us after a long time. Please come in”, she said and went inside the house.

“Oh, is this Sharada, Narayan’s daughter? She has grown so tall!” thought Jagannath. “What a pleasant young woman!”

Indeed, Sharada was a sweet woman, who took great pleasure in welcoming guests. Narayan was happy to see his longtime friend and they immediately started talking about their lives. Jagannath revealed his unhappiness to his friend.

I “I have raised him and educated him, but he takes pleasure in talking back”, he fretted. “Is it wrong to say that one must associate with learned people only? What good is it to spend time with good-for-nothing illiterates?”

“Arre, he’s a smart boy! I’m sure he will be alright”, said Narayan. “He must be quite a handsome young man now. Perhaps it is time to find a bride for Sridhar. If you get him married soon, he will be less inclined to spend time with peasants”.

While they were talking, Sharada prepared sweetmeats for them. “Just one minute, Uncle, I will get fresh milk for you”, she said and went to the backyard.
Soon, a very melodious voice was heard. It was Sharada, reciting a sloka from Krishnatharangini . Mesmerized by her voice, Jagannath went to the backyard. Sharada was singing a sloka in her melodious voice and Rattan, her manservant, was milking the cow though completely engrossed in Sharada’s song. At the end of the sloka, Sharada began to explain its meaning to Rattan.

“Rattan”, she said, “One day, Krishna ‘s mother Yashoda was milking cows in Gokul. Krishna came from behind her, hugged her arms and said, “Mother, when you will give me milk?’

Yashoda was surprised because it was not yet evening. She said, “Not now, Kanhaiya (Lord Krishna), you must drink milk only after it becomes dark”.
“What is darkness?” asked baby Krishna .

Yashoda answered, “We will be unable to see anything when it becomes dark.”

“Rattan, do you know what this little Krishna did? He closed his eyes with both hands and said, “It is now dark. I can see nothing. Won’t you give me milk now?” He asked this in such a sweet voice that Yashoda was so enthused that she immediately gave him a big glass of milk”. Sharada thus discoursed on Krishna Lila.

Jagannath was spellbound, not only by the tale, but by the expression on Rattan’s face. The cowherd looked at Sharada as if she herself were Yashoda. His face was tranquil and his eyes were peaceful, as if he had just had a deep spiritual and fulfilling experience.

Pandit Jagannath went back to the hall and faced his friend. “Narayan, Sridhar does need a good wife to aid him in his life. Would you be willing to offer your daughter to be his wife?” he asked.

Narayan was too surprised to react. “I did not expect this!” he cried. “It would be a great honour for our family to unite with yours. Sharada will be your daughter-in-law, Jagannath!” The two friends embraced and Jagannath left.

The next day, both Sridhar and the villagers were much surprised to see Jagannath reciting slokas to farmers and explaining the meaning to them in simple words. From then on, Jagannath spent all his free time describing the greatness of God to simple folks.

The Vetal concluded his story and addressed King Vikram. “Jagannath maintained that poets should recite their poetry only to educated and cultured listeners. The father and son had many arguments over this issue. The pandit had tried to change his son’s attitude in every way that he could, even using threats. Then, why did he suddenly change his views on hearing Sharada’s words? Was he jealous of his son’s popularity? Explain to me the reason for the Pandit’s change. If you refuse to speak, your head will explode into tiny pieces!”

So King Vikramaditya had to once again answer the Vetal. He said: ” Jagannath did not like to associate with illiterate or uneducated people because he was prejudiced against them. However, when he saw the effect of Sharada’s song and her explanation on Rattan, he realised the error of his ways for the first time. He understood that anyone who wants to can appreciate and enjoy poetry. By turning away from ordinary folks, he had actually done them and poetry, an injustice. That is why he changed his attitude and principles”.

As soon as Vikram spoke, the Vetal zoomed off to the tree with the corpse once more. And the king drew his sword and went after the Vetal.

The Heir

The night was dark and gloomy. The blinding lightning revealed ghoulish faces. But King Vikram would not be distracted. He went straight to the tree, brought the corpse down, slung it across his shoulder and began walking back.
The Vetal that possessed the corpse said. “I admire your valour. Don’t you ever tire? I am afraid too much wealth has made you insane. Let me narrate the story of Virender of Virpur to establish my point. Listen carefully, it may give you some relief.”
“Virender was a rich and prosperous merchant in Virpur. He was also a kind-hearted man and helped all those in need. However, he had no children. He was on the lookout for someone with immense faith in God who would be his heir”.
“One day, when Virender was on his way to the temple, he saw a young beggar boy who looked bright and cheerful. Virender was impressed by him, and gave him a few coins. The next day he saw the same boy at the temple again. But this time he did not see him begging ; instead he was stringing garlands of flowers and selling them”. When he saw Virender, he folded his hands respectfully and said, “Sir, usually I get alms enough to fetch me food. But yesterday, you were generous. I used the money for buying flowers. Some day, I hope to repay the money you gave me!”
Virender was very happy to hear this. Next day, at the temple, Virender saw a young handsome lad meditating. Over the week, he noticed that the young lad came to the temple daily and sat in meditation for hours together. One day, his curiosity got the better of him. He went up to the boy and asked him, “What is your name? What do you do?”
The boy replied that he was an orphan named Satya. He claimed that he was an ardent devotee and that he even forgot about his physical needs when he was in deep prayer! Virender was highly impressed by Satya’s reply.

He rushed home and told his wife that he had found the right person to be made heir. However, they decided to wait for a few more days and observe him before disclosing their desire.
Virender’s men noticed that Satya wept frequently though Virender tried his best to keep the boy happy. When questioned, Satya replied, “The time has come for me to tell you the truth. I used to be a thief. One day, I entered your house and happened to hear you tell your wife about the kind of boy you were looking for adoption. When I heard that, I thought this was a great opportunity. I sneaked out without stealing anything. Next day, knowing well that you will not fail to notice me, I went to the temple and pretended to meditate just to attract your attention. But as days went by, I truly became a devotee of God. I weep whenever I think of my past deeds and hypocrisy!”
Virender stood amazed. Satya prepared to leave, but to his astonishment, Virender stopped him and said, “There’s no need for you to leave the place. You’re my heir.” He then took Satya home.
The Vetala paused and challenged King Vikram.
“Don’t you think Virender was insane? Why else would he make a thief his heir, when he had better candidates before him: his relative, the boy whose education he had funded, and the beggar boy whom he had helped to set up a business? If you know the answer and still keep quiet, your head will blow up into a thousand pieces.”
King Vikram replied without any hesitation. “Virender was not foolish. He had immense faith in God. He was convinced that Satya had become a true devotee. Meditation had changed Satya’s character, although he had started doing it without any intention of changing himself. He had shown himself to be responsible and conscientious. These qualities would ensure that he would put Virender’s wealth to good use. Virender had helped his nephew with money. He knew that the boy was brilliant and could survive without his money. And he felt that the beggar boy was also smart and would grow well because he had enterprise. So he was quite right in choosing Satya as his heir.”
No sooner had King Vikram finished his reply than the Vetal, along with the corpse, gave him the slip and went back to the tree.

The Hermits Riddles

It was a dark night and the spirits laughed wildly. Bones and skulls strewn around made walking through the cremation ground difficult. But King Vikramaditya had to keep his promise to the mendicant and so he went back to the ancient tree. He climbed the tree, slung the corpse over his shoulder, and walked across the desolate cremation ground when once again the Vetal spoke:
O King! Why do you continue in this fruitless exercise? Has someone asked you to perform this terrible task? Maybe you are doing this for some strange recluse or hermit who speaks in riddles. It is very difficult to make out what these hermits have in their minds when they quiz us. Let me tell you a story and maybe youll learn something from it. And so the Vetal started on another story:
Vajrapur was ruled by a king called Martand Dev who was a wise and good ruler. He needed a knowledgeable adviser to aid him in his administrative tasks. He felt that Ratnakar, an intelligent and smart nobleman of his court would be the best person for the post. When he told his queen about his choice, she disagreed with him. �My uncle Vishwas is clever and as accomplished as Ratnakar. Moreover, he is older and more experienced; hence I feel hell make a very good adviser. Why don you give him the post? she requested.
I am sure he is as knowledgeable as you say, but I think we should test them both before we take a final decision, the king replied.
The chance to test the potential advisers arose soon. A rich merchant with a very lovely daughter came to the king with his problem. The daughter apparently had three suitors, young men who were eligible in every way. The merchant could not make up his mind as to who was most suitable for his daughter. So he sent the three men to a wise hermit who lived in the hills and in whom he had tremendous faith. The holy man looked at the three men quietly for a while. Then, without a word, he handed over a shell full of earth to one of them, another shell full of water to the second young man and yet another shell full of grains to the third one.
The merchant was clueless. What does the hermit mean by this? Looked like only a smarter brain could crack the riddle! So he took the three young men to the king’s court with the hope of understanding the meaning of the hermit’s action. The king asked the three young men what they thought of the holy man’s action. “Your majesty”, said the first suitor, “I was given a shell full of earth. Without earth, neither water nor grain is of any use. So, I think the hermit has indicated that I’m the most suitable man for the merchant’s daughter”. The second one said, “Well, I feel that earth and grain are of no use without water. All life depends on water. So I think that by giving me the most precious thing, the sage has chosen me”. The third one had a totally different perspective. He said, “Water and earth are only conditions for the grains to grow. What’s important is the crop and everything works towards producing that. I was given the grains and so I think the sage’s choice is obvious”.
Now the king himself was in a quandary. He found all the three suitors’ replies credible. Then he had an idea: this would be the right opportunity to test the wisdom and resourcefulness of the two potential advisers. Fortunately, both Ratnakar and Vishwas were present in the court at that time.
The king turned to Vishwas. “What’s your opinion?”
“Well, I think water is the most important and significant of the three. It makes both earth and grains purposeful. Without water neither of them is of any use”, said Viswas.
“What do you think?” the king asked Ratnakar next.
“Your majesty, I must look at the things more closely before I give my opinion”, said Ratnakar. He then tasted the water, smelt the earth and ran his fingers through the grains. Then he said: “Your majesty, the hermit’s choice is the suitor who was given the earth”.
Which of the two was right? The king was in a fix. Therefore the king summoned the hermit to the court, the next day. He smiled serenely and said: “True gems are rare. O King! You have one in your court. Recognise it, for the good of the people of your kingdom!” King Martand Dev grasped the indication at once. He smiled back and decided on who would be his adviser.

The Vetal stopped his narration and asked King Vikramaditya. “O King! The hermit seems to have spoken in riddles. Can you tell me whom the king chose as his adviser and why? If you know the answer and still refuse to answer me, your head will explode into smithereens. Therefore, O King, think carefully and give me your answer”.
King Vikramaditya spoke right away. He said: “King Martand Dev was a wise man. The convincing answers of all the three young men to the riddle, left him confused. But being resourceful, he invited the two potential advisers to solve it. Again, when he could not decide which of them was right, he sent for the hermit. He was confident that the hermit, who had chosen the right suitor for the merchant’s daughter, would also choose the right man to be his adviser. The hermit, true to his nature, spoke in riddles again. But this time the king caught the hint in a trice. When the hermit spoke of true gems, he was actually referring to Ratnakar. ‘Ratnakar’, means ‘a good gem’, so there was the answer! King Martand appointed Ratnakar as his adviser. Everyone present in the court had seen the young men and looked at the three shells they carried. But none of them examined the contents carefully except Ratnakar. Superficially, the three things, earth, water and grain, are of equal importance, like the three equally good suitors. But when he examined each element carefully, he found that there was something wrong with the water and the grain. The water was perhaps saline or contaminated, while the grain had some chaff. On the other hand, the earth was clean and smelled sweet. Using that as substantiation, Ratnakar made his remarks confidently. And he was rightly made the king’s adviser”.
Finding King Vikram absolutely right as usual, the Vetal, without another word, flew away with the corpse to the ancient tree. King Vikram drew his sword and went after the Vetal.

A Sensible Move

Another new riddle was posed by the Vetal the following night. King Vikramaditya climbed the tree, placed the corpse on his shoulder and made his way through the edge of the forest to the desolate cremation ground. As he walked, the Vetal possessing the corpse spoke: “O King, children born in royal households are taught the arts and sciences that require a lot of courage and perseverance. Consequently, they become hard working and determined. They are as persistent as you are and work with one-pointedness towards their goal. But there are exceptions because some people lose heart at the last moment and give up before they reach their goal. Listen to what happened a long time ago to Shruthavarma, who was then the crown prince of the Uddhanda kingdom. Let me tell you his story”. The Vetal began its narration.

Marunthavarma, the King of Pravala, had a daughter who had beauty and brains. She was named Kaumudi because she was born on a full moon night. The king was very fond of his daughter and also proud of her. He knew that he would have to be very careful when he chose a groom for her because the boy would have to be a proper match for his brilliant daughter and also capable of ruling a kingdom. In fact, he had in mind his own nephew Shruthavarma.
Shruthavarma and Kaumudi were the Rajaguru Mukundacharya’s students. Manimanth, the minister’s son, also studied with them. Kaumudi, like the boys, got trained in archery, fencing and othermartial arts. The three of them thus spent a lot of their childhood together. Manimanth and Kaumudi enjoyed debating with each other. In fact, Mukundacharya was very impressed with some of their arguments and their ideas. Shruthavarma, too, joined them sometimes, but he was not as bright as they were.

King Marunthavarma observed the growing friendship between the two young men and his daughter with some misgiving. He suspected that Kaumudi had a soft corner for Manimanth. He feared that if this was not checked, he would face many problems. Would Manimanth be worthy enough to succeed him in Pravala? He wanted to know what was in his daughter’s mind before he took any decision. So he got a close friend of hers called Malathi to talk to Kaumudi. Kaumudi disclosed that she was not interested in marrying Shruthavarma and considered him only as a dear cousin. She was in love with Manimanth. She felt he alone could make her happy in every way. She also did not wish to leave Pravala and live in another country. If she married Manimanth, they could rule Pravala together.

Marunthavarma was not the only one who had sensed the growing love between Manimanth and Kaumudi. Shruthavarma also realised which way the wind was blowing. From their childhood, he had assumed that Kaumudi would one day be his wife. Now he felt betrayed and upset. He thought about the way matters had developed and then discussed them with his uncle, King Marunthavarma.

The king wondered how he could solve the problem. He advised his nephew to speak to Manimanth frankly. He said: “Tell Manimanth that you suspect that he is in love with Kaumudi. Tell him you love her more than anyone and, therefore, the only way out of this problem is to fight it out like honourable men. Whoever wins can claim Kaumudi’s hand. Then use all your strength and power to defeat Manimanth. If you have any problem, I’ll think of a way to ensure that you win?
.
Shruthavarma thought over his uncle’s suggestion and said: “The truth is that Manimanth and I are equal in strength and skill, but his self-confidence is such that it seems to give him greater stamina and power. Let’s do one thing. In the Aravalli ranges nearby, there is a martial arts school run by the great guru Krishnachandra. Let me go and study under him for a while and improve my skills. After that, we’ll do as you say?. Marunthavarma agreed and Shruthavarma went to guru Krishnachandra to learn whatever he could.

He worked with great determination and concentration for six months. After the course was over, when it was time for Shruthavarma to leave, the guru said: “You told me that the King of Pravala is your uncle. Do you know his minister’s son Manimanth” Shruthavarma was surprised to hear Manimanth’s name being mentioned. “Yes, I do know him very well. But why do you ask” he said curiously. “Well”, said the guru, “I often roam about in disguise to know what is happening in the countryside. One day, I happened to attend the Spring Festival held at Pravala. There I saw an exhibition of strength by Manimanth. I haven’t seen a brighter man or a better fighter than he. Not many have that kind of ability. When you see him, please tell him that he has an invitation to come here anytime?. Shruthavarma was silenced for a while by these words. Then he said: “I had also taken part in the competition that day”. The guru was surprised. “Really” Were you there” he asked, and then smiled.

The next day Shruthavarma went back to his uncle at Pravala and said: “My confidence and skills have certainly improved a lot in these last six months, but I feel it would not be fair to go against Kaumudi’s wishes. So it might be better if you permitted her to marry Manimanth?.
The Vetala stopped the story there and addressed King Vikramaditya. “O King, Shruthavarma spent six hard months improving his skill. Then why did he lose heart at the last minute and give up his goal” Wasn’t he foolish to give up when he had almost reached his goal” If you know the answers to my questions and still do not want to speak, be warned, your head will break into a thousand pieces!?

Vikramaditya spoke at once. “Shruthavarma respected guru Krishnachandra and his judgement greatly. When the guru praised Manimanth, Shruthavarma realised exactly how much stronger and more adept Manimanth was than him. When he revealed the fact that he too had taken part in the same event, the guru did not say anything. So, he understood that he was not even a patch on Manimanth. Being a realist, he knew he could never win against Manimanth and so decided not to make an attempt even. Certainly, Sruthavarman made a wise move. He proved himself to be a man of judgement who could accept face the truth gracefully”. As soon as the king spoke, the Vetal vanished to its favourite haunt on the same ancient tree.

The Magic Necklace

The dark night and cracks of thunder, preceded by flashes of lightning, revealed weird faces and created a frightening atmosphere. The jackals howled and peals of evil laughter could be heard. King Vikram was however undeterred. He climbed the ancient tree again, brought down the corpse and threw it across his shoulders. He began crossing the deserted cremation ground when the vampire that possessed the corpse spoke up: “O King, are you doing this to master some supernatural power? It is very risky to possess supernatural power. Bhimsingh was a person who had this kind of power. Do you think it did him any good? Listen to his story. This may enlighten you and bring you some relief from this dreary task”.

The vampire went on: “Bhimsingh was a farmer who worked hard on his farm. One day, while levelling the ground, his shovel clanged against something hard in the soil. And he dug out a jar! He opened it and was surprised to find in it a gold necklace and a palm leaf with something inscribed on it. He took both home, and deciphered the inscription on the palm leaf after a struggle. The inscription narrated the strange story of a man who lived more than a century before. This man had received a magic necklace from a mendicant. Whenever he wore the necklace, he was able to know the secret thoughts of anyone he met. He misused this power to blackmail many wealthy persons and the king’s officers, who nursed sinful or criminal desires. He became very rich through the bribes he received from them in order to remain silent. One day, when he wore the necklace, he found that his wife did not love him anymore and was in love with someone else. He went mad with fury and killed his wife. After a while, he was overcome with remorse. So he buried the necklace along with his account of the consequences of using the necklace. Then he left for the forest to live the life of a hermit.

The discovery of the necklace and the manuscript amazed Bhimsingh. However, curiosity got the better of him and he put the necklace on, and strolled through the village. He owed money to a certain Lombu Singh, a relative of the landlord. As soon as he saw Lombu, he realised that the fellow was plotting to kill the landlord. Lombu had employed two ruffians to attack the landlord during his daily evening stroll around his grove.

“But isn’t our landlord a noble soul?” Bhimsingh muttered. Astonished, Lombu looked at Bhimsingh with suspicion. Bhimsingh was now sure of the magic powers of the necklace, but he did not reveal anything. He proceeded to the grove where the ruffians were hiding and he himself hid behind some bushes. On seeing the landlord, the ruffians who had been waiting for him, got up and raised their sticks.

Instantly Bhimsingh jumped forward and brought down an iron rod on the ruffians. They fell down and groaned. Bhimsingh called out to the villagers and many came running. The ruffians confessed about their plan implicating Lombu Singh, who then had to flee from the village. Feeling grateful, the landlord gave Bhimsingh a big reward. The landlord praised Bhimsingh constantly.

In course of time, the people realized that Bhimsingh had the power to read the minds of other people. But nobody knew how Bhimsingh had acquired such powers. One day Bhimsingh came to know that his neighbour’s daughter Ratna loved him. He proposed to Ratna and got married to her with her father’s blessings. .

Once while talking to a group of well-dressed travellers, Bhimsingh became aware that they were imposters, who had come to loot the treasury. He sent word to the king, and the king’s soldiers rushed to capture the gang of bandits. In the same way, Bhimsingh helped to capture many bad elements and foiled many sinister plots. He grew famous for his amazing deductive powers. Gradually it became known that there was a threat to his life. Many criminals were waiting for a chance to kill him. But Bhimsingh had an advantage over his adversaries because he could know their plans in advance.

“Can you tell me what I am thinking about right now?” asked the king.
“Your Majesty, you are thinking that it won’t be possible for me to spell out your thought”, replied Bhimsingh. The king complimented him and appointed him as a courtier. Bhimsingh became richer and more famous. He ran a parallel centre of power since all the court officials paid him to find out what the king thought about them! One evening, the king sent for him and asked him confidentially: “Do you know why I called you?” “Yes, Your Majesty, you wish to know the mind of the queen!” “Excellent. Now, go and meet the queen under the pretext of delivering this message to her and read her mind”, said the king, handing him a letter. Bhimsingh took the letter to the queen. It contained information that a celebrated musician was expected to entertain them in the evening. Looking at the queen, Bhimsingh realised that she did not have any love or respect for the king. Her thoughts were about several persons to whom she felt attracted.

However Bhimsingh on his return to the king, said: “Your Majesty, the queen loves you very much”. The king was so happy that he gifted him the most precious jewel he was wearing then. At home, Bhimsingh behaved strangely; he hurled the magic necklace into the fire. Instead of melting, it just evaporated. Later that night, Bhimsingh and his wife left the kingdom for a far away town.

The vampire paused and turned to King Vikramaditya: “Tell me, O King, why did Bhimsingh destroy the magic necklace? Wasn’t the necklace helping him as well as others? Why did he leave the kingdom? Answer me, O King, if you can. If you keep mum though you may know the answer, your head would roll off your neck. Beware!”

The king answered forthwith: “Bhimsingh was a man with essentially good beliefs and values. He made proper use of the powers the necklace gave him as long as he could. But a stage came when he knew it was not possible for him to use the power and remain good at the same time forever. Though one may have special powers, one must be mentally strong, too. Both the qualities may not be found together in any person. Bhimsingh lacked the will to tell the king the truth as he knew it; at the same time he felt wretched for having told a lie to the king. He, therefore, decided to give up his power and position. He had to leave the kingdom, because the king and the others would continue to expect his service and they would only get annoyed if he did not oblige them. Besides, in the absence of the necklace, he knew that he could not survive in that land”. No sooner had the king concluded his answer than the vampire, along with the corpse, gave him the slip. Vikramaditya drew his sword and went after the vampire.

The Damsel And The Sea

Long ago, a great king Vikramaditya ruled a prosperous kingdom from his capital Ujjain. He had immense love for learning and adventure.
King Vikram rewarded the virtuous, punished the evil-doers and encouraged scholars, poets, musicians and artists. Many people came to meet him and they brought him gifts of jewels, gold or other precious things. Among such visitors was a mendicant who on every visit presented the king with a fruit. The king handed over the fruit to the royal storekeeper.
One morning, the mendicant gave him his usual gift and the king accepted the fruit and went out playing with it. While playing with it, the fruit fell down. Instantly a monkey swooped down upon it and tried to crack it with his teeth. The fruit popped open and out came a ruby. The king was surprised. He picked up the ruby and sent for an expert to examine it. After examination, the ruby was rated as the finest ruby ever seen. The king asked the storekeeper to get all the fruits presented by the mendicant. He found a ruby in each one of those fruits and was amazed.
When the mendicant came the next day, the king asked him, “Why have you been so kind to me?”
“O king, I wish a favour from you.  But I can only tell you about it in private,” replied the mendicant.
The king led him to the private audience chamber. The mendicant then said, “I know how brave you are. Hence I wish you do something for me that requires courage. But, for that, you must meet me under a banyan tree in the middle off the cremation ground beyond the city, at night, on the 14th day of the dark half of the month.”

Vikram hesitated for a while. But the spirit of adventure got the better of him. He decided to meet the mendicant at the appointed hour. It was a dark night. A terrible gale was blowing. When Vikram reached the cremation ground, he heard the howling of foxes and jackals. Ghouls and ghosts stared at him and danced. Vikram reached the banyan tree and met the mendicant.

”Yes, what work do you want me to do?” asked the king. “At the northern-most corner of this ground there is a very old tree. There is a corpse hanging from one of its branches. I am seeking certain occult powers which I will gain only if a king brings me this particular corpse and if practise certain rites sitting on it. Can you fetch the corpse for me?” asked the mendicant.

Getting a corpse that hung on a distant tree on that stormy night was not an easy task. But King Vikram managed to reach the old tree. Raising a burning torch he found the hanging corpse. He climbed the tree and by a stroke of his sword cut the rope with which the corpse was tied to the branch. The corpse fell on the ground, but gave out an eerie cry.

Vikram, unaware that the corpse was possessed by a spirit, thought it was alive. He came down and lifted the sprawling body. The corpse began to laugh. Surprised, the king asked, “Why do you laugh?”

When the king opened his mouth the corpse slipped away and hung on the tree again. This happened over six times and then he realised that his talking was the reason for the corpse to slip away.

This time, Vikram put the corpse on his shoulder and began walking quietly. He took a few steps when the corpse, which was a vampire, said, “O King, tiresome is the way. Let me tell you a tale to keep you amused.” He began the tale.

Long ago Yasaketu ruled the kingdom of Anga. He led a lavish life and left the affairs of the state to his minister. Luckily, his minister was an extremely honest man and governed the kingdom well. But the other officers were jealous of him and spread rumours that he was a corrupt.

The disheartened minister asked his wife for advice. “Leave the country for a few months. Either the officers will realise your value or the king will come back to his senses. Whatever happens will be good for you,” she said.
The minister was convinced. He went to the king and said, “O King, I am going on a pilgrimage. Please do not neglect to discharge your duty during my absence.” “There is no use going on a pilgrimage,” shouted the king. The minister replied, “I must go when I have the strength to travel. I can’t go when I am old.” The King didn’t say anything and plunged back into merrymaking. The minister started travelling. He reached a harbour where he met an old merchant friend. The merchant was about to travel to an island and was happy to accommodate the minister. They reached the island. After the merchant finished his business they began their journey back home.
It was a moonlit night. The merchant and the minister were strolling on the ship’s deck when the water whirled before them and a bejewelled tree rose from the waves. They saw a beautiful damsel sitting on the tree and playing a veena.

”Beautiful!” exclaimed the minister. “No doubt but nothing unusual. We have seen this several times,” commented the minister. The tree and the damsel disappeared in a moment but the minister gazed in the direction for a long time.

King Yasaketu was worried about the minister’s absence. When he was informed by the spies that the minister was approaching the capital, he welcomed him and asked, “Tell me, where did you go and what all did you see?”

The minister narrated his experience including the damsel he had seen. The king was thrilled to hear of the strange sight and exclaimed, “My dear minister, take charge of the kingdom, I am off in search of the lady.”

They were not able to dissuade the king. He hired a ship and began his search. After a couple of days, on a moonlit night, he saw the strange sight that the minister had described. He looked on, spell-bound, at the damsel who emerged from the sea. As soon as she disappeared, he shouted, “Take me with you!”

The king plunged into the sea where he found a magnificent palace. He entered it and saw the damsel resting on an ivory cot. The doe-eyed damsel asked, “Who are you? What brings you here?”
“I am Yasaketu, the king of Anga. I have risked my life and come here to meet you,” answered Yasaketu. He asked, “But will you please tell me who you are?”

”I am Mrigankavati, a nymph. My father left me here. Once in a while I can rise above the water seated on a magical tree,” answered the nymph.
They enjoyed each other’s company. As days passed, the king requested the nymph to marry him. The nymph agreed but on a condition that every month on four different days she would go away from the house and shouldn’t be questioned about it. The king agreed and they got married.
They lived happily for a year. One day, while the nymph was on her mysterious mission, the nymph said, “Be cheerful, I will be back soon. Remember not to jump into the well in the corner of the house. If you do, you will find yourself in your kingdom!”
When the nymph left, the king followed her. On her way, a demon appeared before her and swallowed her. The king killed the demon and the happy nymph emerged from the demon’s corpse.
“Is this a dream?” asked the baffled king.  “No, it isn’t. Let me tell you a story. I used to attend to my father faithfully.  But on four auspicious days of the month I went to worship goddess Durga and neglected my father. My father was displeased and cursed me, as a result of which a demon swallowed me on those four days. He would vomit me at the end of the day. My father assured me that if the demon was killed, I would be free from the curse. You just did that. I am free now, a full-fledged nymph with supernatural powers. But the sad fact is that a man and a nymph cannot live as husband and wife. I must go back to my father and you must return to your kingdom.”

The king was disheartened when he heard the words of the nymph. He requested the nymph to stay with him for another week and she agreed. At the end of the week, the king stood near the well to jump into it. The nymph sobbed inconsolably.  Suddenly, the king held her hand and jumped into the well. They both landed in Yasaketu’s palace. Once on earth, the nymph became a human being.

The news of the king’s arrival spread and people flocked to the palace to meet him. The minister too arrived. As soon as he saw the damsel, he collapsed and died.
The vampire finished the story and asked King Vikram, “Tell me, O King, why do you think the minister died? Was it because he was going to lose authority now that the king was back?  Or was it because he had a secret desire to marry the nymph and was disappointed to see that the king had married her? If you know the right answer and yet choose to keep quiet, your head will be shattered to pieces!”

Answered King Vikram, “None of these was the cause of the minister’s death. As it is, the king neglected his duty and the poor minister had to bear the burden of administration and also the rumours spread about him.  With a beautiful queen, the minister knew the king would never find time for the kingdom. The minister’s agony will never come to an end. It was this thought that killed him.”

As soon as King Vikram spoke, the vampire slipped off his shoulder and hung on the tree.

mainly from http://www.chandamama.com

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Chota Bheem: Original TV Animated Series

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POGO’S Chhota Bheem shines as the king of Indian Television

Chhota Bheem, POGO’s littlest hero packed a huge punch during the world premiere of the “Chhota Bheem Aur Krishna” movie with an ace rating of 1.6 TVR. Aired on the occasion of Krishna Janamashtami, the unparalleled performance made POGO, Indian kids’ favourite channel,

Chhota Bheem (Mighty Little Bheem): A 2D animation series that has been developed keeping in mind the keen sentiments and expectations of a predominantly Indian audience. Chhota Bheem – The adventures of Bheem and his gang of friends – is set in the mythical land of Dholakpur, a kingdom in ancient India.

Green Gold have earlier delivered big hits such as Vikram Betaal and the four part Krishna series.

Bheem, the chief protagonist of the series, is a nine-year-old boy brave, strong, intelligent and, kind. Bheem’s character (and name) and mannerisms and other noticeable idiosyncrasies, while drawing heavily from that of the legendary character Bheema – one of the heroes of the ancient Indian epic, The Mahabharatha – however, maintain their own distinctive style and child-like naiveté.

Kalia Pahelwan, Bheem’s hopeless rival – a jealous eleven-year-old bully. Ever envious of Bheem’s popularity, Kaalia, along with his sidekicks, Dholu and Bholu, is always involved in weaving plots that are designed to embarrass and defeat Bheem; but all his arduous efforts always come a cropper.

The stories mostly revolve around Bheem and his friends and, their rivalry with Kaalia and his friends. In moments of rare bonding however, Kaalia and Bheem dispense with their rivalry for the cause of the greater welfare of their countrymen.

The adventures of Bheem and his gang of friends – is set in the mythical land of Dholakpur, a kingdom in ancient India.

Welcome to Dholkpur the home town of Bheem & friends

Bheem:

Bheem is an adventurous Brave and fun loving ,Generous nine year old boy, who is gifted with extraodinary strength.This power is a boon for Dholkpur, Bheem’s village which his constanlty beset by all kinds of perils..This little kid has a BIG heart and he always uses his strength to help those who are wronged or needy

Bheems loves food and hasa special weakness for ladoos .He become stronger than his usual self when he eats his favorites ladoos .Even though only a little kid Bheem is stronger & brave than anyone and isalwaysthere to help the poor and needy

Raju:

Raju is a cute and courageous four year old littel boy who totally hero worships Bheem and considers him as his ideal hero .He follows Bheem every where.Raju’s size beties his courage, which he gets from his father a soldier in kings ArmyRaju dreams of becoming a commander of the king’s Army someday.

When his rivals ; the bumling Dholu and Bholu pick on him, Raju cannot hold his groundAnd tats not all _ his loyalty to bheem makes him take on big burly Kalia phalvan.

Raju loves war games especially one where Bheem is the “Raja” and he is the” Senapati”Raju is extremly brave and tough for his age ( like Arjuna of Mahabharata).

Chutki:

Chutki is a sevenn year old girl, who Is simple Grace ful Genrous and intelligent.She is Bheem’s closet

friend and she matches Bheems Power with her intellect.This make her Bheem’s ever present assistant on their fabulous adventures

Chutki is no odinary girl for while she is responsible about her household chores and gentle towards alll creatures of the forest.

She has very soft corner for Bheem and tgerefore is always luring him to her with delicacies.She even help him steal ladoos from her mother sweet shop.Since they always terrorize her ,Chutki’s gigantic tyranical mother Tuntun cannot stand Bheem and Jaggu because these twoalways steal laddos from her sweet shop.

Tun tun the mother of chutki is the sweet shop owner .

Evrybody love this little girl for her generous ,sweet and happpy nature.

Jaggu:

Jaggu is Bheem’s pet monkey and friend.Jaggus speciality is that he isa talking monkey and he is a great help to Bheem whenever they are in the Jungle .He is a;ways suppoting Bheem in his all adventures and deeds .Jaggu is clever and tricky little monkey who has a good sense of humour. He has his own ways for solving problems. Jaggu and Bheem have fun together whether it exploring forest or helping people with their chores.All the children adores Jaggu because he always entertain and make them laugh.

Kalia:

Kalia phalwan is a ten year old boy.He is blkyand strong.he is jealous of Bheem popularity and strength and always tries to make bheem look bad and to land him in trouble. He picks on children weaker and younger then him to prove he is stong.thay why all chilren fear Kalia Phalwan.

But Kalia has a other side too he forgets his rivalary with Bheem when any calamity or diaster strucks on Dholkpur and Kalia is always ready to helpBheem and his friends to get rid of it.

Indu:

Princess Indumati or indu as her friend fondly call her is the daugter of the king and the princess of Dholkpur.Shhe isa kind hearted seven year old girl who adores Bheem _ who on numerou occasions, had rescued her from danger.Chutki and Indu are rivals who compete for Bheems affection and attention- but their rivalary the few rare times founds an outlet.is restricted strictly to war of words.

Dholu & Bholu:

Dholu and Bholu are cowardly followers of Kalia phalwan.They are identical twins brothers who dress alike.They are slightly arrogant because of the effect of kalia on themthey pick on yong children like raju butfear bheem very much.even thoughthey are lazy and like to avoid chores,Kalia orders them to do his share of work too.Dholu and Bholu are extemly dumb and keep getting in to awfully silly situations.

Synopsis (Episodes 1 to 26)

Chhota Bheem: Where is Bheem?

Who’s that stealing laddoos from Chutki’s mother’s shop? Chutki thinks it’s her friend Bheem but she can’t seem to find him anywhere! She goes all around Dholakpur, taking the help of her friend Raju and also Kalia Pahelwan.But no one seems to have seen Bheem anywhere. So where is Bheem?

Chhota Bheem: Babban Sher

A man eating lion, Babban Sher is creating havoc and spreading terror in Dholakpur. The villagers don’t know what to do as no one seems to be able to stop him! Raju, on being provoked by Dholu and Bholu, ventures alone into the jungle to capture the lion. But when he comes face to face with the lion, he realizes that he can’t capture him alone!

Chhota Bheem:: Sankhi Shikari

Sankhi Shikari, the wicked hunter comes to Dholakpur. On his first day itself he gets lucky when he manages to trap an unsuspecting deer. But being a greedy hunter, he next sets a trap to catch an elephant!Bheem with his gang of friends – Chutki, Raju and Jaggu come to know about this and set out to teach the hunter a lesson he will never forget!

Chhota Bheem:: Jadugar Raju

Jadugar Khambata enthralls Dholakpur with his magical tricks. Once he finishes, he accidently forgets his magic wand and it falls in the hands of Raju. Raju immediately picks it up and starts some magical tricks of his own! Things are going fine with Jadugar Raju until one spell backfires.Raju doesn’t know to undo his spell and the only person who can help him is the magician! But does the magician come back in time to help Raju?

Chhota Bheem::Raging Bull

Kalia’s bull is a menace to the crops of Dholakpur. The villagers have tried their best to stop the bull from harming the crops but to no avail.Now it is upto Bheem to tame the angry bull. Bheem hatches a plan with Chutki, Raju and Jaggu to teach Kalia and his bull a lesson!

Chhota Bheem:: Boat Race

Bheem’s Team (Bheem, Chutki, Jaggu, & Raju) and Kalia’s Team (Kalia, Dholu & Bholu) challenge each other for a boat race. They decide to make the race interesting, and hence decide that each team would also have to build their own boat. Only Bheem & Kalia would have to row the boat to an island nearby, climb the coconut tree and drink a coconut. The person who accomplishes this first wins!But the race gets a little complicated when they realize that they are not the only people on the island!

Chhota Bheem:: The Flying Horse

One early morning the jungles of Dholakpur have an unusual visitor – a flying horse! This unique flying horse falls in the hands of Kalia who starts a circus with the poor horse. Bheem and his friends cannot bear to see the horse being tortured.A fist fight between Bheem and Kalia has to decide the fate of the horse. If Bheem wins, the horse is set free, if he loses the horse is Kalia’s captive.Who do you think wins?

Chhota Bheem:: Chutki’s wish

Chutki saves a little helpless butterfly and sets it free, but is surprised when the butterfly tells her that it has magical properties and will grant her one wish.Bheem, Jaggu, Raju and the others try to get the butterfly to grant their wish instead, but the butterfly insists that only Chutki will get her wish.Meanwhile, Kalia and his gang hear this and capture the butterfly to try and get a wish for themselves. Can Chutki save the little creature again?

Chhota Bheem:: Operation Desert Storm

The king’s victorious army marches into the gates of the city to a warm welcome from the people of Dholakpur. But Raju’s father is missing. Raju finds out that his father went missing in the desert!Realising that Raju is feeling very sad, Bheem, Chutki, Jaggu, Kalia, Dholu and Bholu decide to help Raju go look for his father in the desert.

Chota bheem & the Flying Carpet

Once when Kalia & dholu bholu were wandering in the forest dholu bholu finds a secret passage to a cave .There they see large box cantaining an old carpet with secret coded document.Dholu bholu were not able to read what is written in that document, they took the carpet and the document with them and flee away from that creepy place.It was only when intelligent Kalia decoded the secret message, they came to know that the old carpet which they were assuming to be an odinary one is a Magic Carpet.

Chhota Bheem:: Pirates of the sea

The king and his daughter Indu are returning from a trip to the neighbouring kingdom, but get attacked by pirates who take over the ship! They capture Indu and demand that the king pays a ransom of 1000 gold coins to get her back. The king sails back and asks for Bheem’s help to get back Indu.Bheem promises to save the princess and sets out to teach the nasty pirates a lesson

Chhota Bheem:: Laddoo chor kalia

Bheem once again steals laddoos from Chutki’s mother’s shop and gets away with it. Tun Tun realizes that she needs to stop Bheem and asks Kalia, Dholu and Bholu to guard the shop and keep Bheem away.Bheem tries to get past the guards but fails and finally doesn’t get any laddoos for 2 whole days. Realising that he needs to get rid of Kalia and his friends, Bheem, Chutki, Raju and Jaggu hatch a plan to steal the laddoos!

Chhota Bheem:: Sea Princess

A poor little mermaid who happens to be the Sea Princess, is once washed ashore by a deadly storm. Kalia along with his side kicks, Dholu and a Bholu, immediately plots to make money by exhibiting her . The brave and kind boy Bheem rescues the poor little mermaid and helps her get back home.

Chhota Bheem:: The Wood Cutter

Much harried by the incessant nocturnal plundering of their crops – by all kinds of wild marauding, rampaging animals – the farmers of Dholakpur, beseech everyone to save their livelihoods from being destroyed. Kaalia, enlists the help of Dholu and Bholu to save the crops but meets with little success. Bheem and his team, while investigating the forestland, are appalled to find the vivid and needless destruction perpetrated by the irresponsible axe of some demented woodcutter. The Woodcutter sets down a challenge that he will forever give up woodcutting – but only if Bheem fights and defeats him first. A fight ensues in which Bheem prevails over the woodcutter. All the people of Dholakpur, then carry out together a massive afforestation program. After some time the wild animals return no more.

Chhota Bheem:: Treassure Hunt

, and

One day playing in the forest Bheem and his gang founds and help an old man who is severely beaten by Kalia,Dholu Bholu.They learn from him the secret of a missing treasurre hidden some where in the forest of the Blue Mountains “Neela Pahaad”

set to find it.

Evil Ministrations

The tranquillity of the kingdom of Dholakpur, is tested again when the King gets coincidentally involved in a series of suspicious mishap. But then, he miraculously survives. Bheem and Kalia, after taking the King`s permission, set out to investigate the mishaps and for a change, reach a similar conclusion. The Army General is arrested as all clues point towards him. But the mystery is much more deep than it seems.

Chhota Bheem:: Hercules

The king of Dholakpur is challenged by a Greek warrior – Hercules. Either the king has his men defeat Hercules or Hercules takes over the king’s throne! The Greek warrior is all set to win by hook or crook, but before that he has to deal with one final person – the mighty little Bheem!

Chhota Bheem:: Crocodile Crazzy

Dholakpur is in the grip of terror unleashed by a bloodthirsty crocodile of prodigious strength and intelligence . However, the bravest of the brave among the king’s soldiers, despite their best efforts, miserably fail against the crocodile. Kaalia and his party too, try their hand at capturing/killing the crocodile, but hopelessly fail. Finally Bheem hatches a scheme that forces the crocodile to get out of water and then, manages to inflict capture.

Chhota Bheem: Circus in Dholakpur

Maddened no end by the dwindling number of spectators, Baalu, the notorious owner and also the strongman of the celebrated circus decides that it is time to take in more animals into his menagerie. He kidnaps Jaggu the talking monkey of Dholakpur with the help of evil Kalia. Bheem and his team defeat the notorious Ballu and rescue their friend Jaggu.

Chhota Bheem:: Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Mama

Upon regular defeat and humiliation by Bheem, Kalia calls upon his uncle from the city to defeat Bheem. But Bheem is just too clever for anyone. Watch Bheem as he displays his witty acts and defeats Kalia and his so called clever uncle.

Chhota Bheem:: The Curse of Bhrambhatt

One day an Old woman comes to the king and begs hoim to rescue her only grandchild who supposedely has been the last seen entering the mine. The king sends an army that falls prey to the mine. The king sends an army that falls prey to Bramhbhatt’ curse. Boastfull Kalia too woith his minions Dholu and Bholu meet the same fate as that of the army. Only Bheem manages to stay above the greed cast by the gold. He defeats the demon and breaks the spell and returns home with the rescued prisoners.

Chhota Bheem:: Einstein

On applying the wrong formula to his time machine, Einstein , a scientist of the future, accidentally lands in the village of Dholakpur. The kindhearted Chutki takes pity on the scientist and gives him some food to eat. When she meets Bheem and the rest of her friends, she learns that Kalia has buils a huge mansion overnight. the scientist is convinced that somehow Kaalia has found the time machine and is clandestinely using it. The scientist guesses that Kaalia is manipulating the time and asks Bheem to get hold of the clock first. Finally, Bheem gets hold of the clock and then manages to defeat Kaalia.The children give the clock to the scientist who turns it back to its previous time and enters his own age.

Chhota Bheem:: Daku Mangal Singh

Daku Mangal Singh the notorious dacoit of Dholakpur creates havoc in the village. He has a reward of 100 gold coins on his head. Meanwhile the King Raja Indra Varma II promised to give away 100 gold coins to the one who would get the medicinal plant “Sangeevani Booti” to save the life of his beloved daughter Princess Indumati. Bheem sets off with his gang in search of the medicinal plant and also on his way also fights the dacoit and defeats him.

Chhota Bheem:: Magic Broom

In a fierce battle, the thaumaturgy of the good witch prevails and using her superior powers she vanquishes the bad witch. The bad witch crashes to the ground and forgoes her most prized possession – the broom she was riding upon which, hurtles down to fall near an ecstatic Kaalia’s feet. Now the unquestioned master of the pliant broom, Kaalia, annoys and terrorizes the people of Dholakpur – especially Bheem and his team. On finding the broom back the bad witch casts a spell upon Kalia and transforms him to a rat. With the help of the Goodwitch, Bheem and his team reach the bad witch’s realm and by a combination of stealth and bravery manage to free Kaalia and in the process also vanquish the bad witch and annul all her powers of sorcery.

Chhota Bheem:: Thief of Dholakpur

Dholakpur is suddemly faced by a series of thefts. The king promises a reward of 100 gold coins to the one who catches the thief. Now it is unto Bheem and his gang to catch this theif and save his village from continuous thefts. It is the notorious dacoit Daku Mangal Singh again on the prowl. And this he has kidnapped the beautiful Princess of Dholakpur, Princess Indumati. Now it is up to Bheem to rescue the princess from the clutches of Daku Mangal Singh.

The Tribe!

Angry at the King of Dholakpur for stopping the flow of water into the jungle, a group of tribals near Dholakpur take innocent Raju captive, when he wanders too far into the Jungle in pursuit of his kite.

Bheem ventures alone into the Jungle to rescue Raju, where he also ends up saving the tribal kings daughter from a terrible accident…

COWBOY BHEEM!

Description:

When a plea for help reaches Dholakpur through Ollie, a giant bird, it is now up to Bheem and Jaggu to fly over the oceans to the small town of Slow Creek. On his arrival, Bheem get’s appointed as the Sherriff by the Mayor. Bheem’s only duty now is to protect the village from the notorious bandit Grubber.

But how will he fare againts the dangerous dacoits who have troubled Slow Creek for a long time now? Things get tense when Bheem refuses to use guns to fight. What will happen in the final showdown?

Chhota Bheem – VOL 6

Description:

A ferocious tiger who is actually a man who is cursed, enters Dholakpur and starts creating havoc there. Watch Bheem fight the tiger bravely and save Dholakpur. Also watch Bheem teach the “talking Tree” a lesson by flashing his true image in front of everyone. Don’t miss the fun!

Chota bheem & the Giant

Chota bheem & the Evil hypnotist

Chota bheem & samurai


One fine day, two foreigners come to visit Dholakpur. The king treats them as his guests, but he is in for a surprise when they threaten him to either pay 100,000 gold bars or risk war. Samurai Sam has to be defeated to win the kingdom back.

Chota bheem & the rocky Rihno

Chota Bhim & Dholakpur Athletics Championship

Dholakpur kingdom is all set for the event of the years -The dholakpur athletics. Participants arrive from various countries. All the participants in the bid to win the race forget the greatest virtue of kindness, except Bheem, who not only wins the race and also helps his fellow participants. Rean On!

Chota bheem & the invisible man


Jholu, an ill educated assistant of Dholakpur, becomes the innocent victim of a chemical concoction – the result of which turns him invisible. Hearing his plight, group of thieves, decide to take advantage, and device on a simple strategy. They kidnap him and very soon in Dholakpur, a score of robberies start happening. Each one of which, is blamed on the hapless Jholu! Now it is up to Bheem and his team to unravel the plot and bring Jholu back to his former state.

Chota bheem & the Lost Alien

An Alien Space ship loses control over Earths Gravity and un expectedly lands in the out skirts of Dholkpur. After trying his best to restart his Ship Zark the little alien from Zarhan Planet now lost in Dholkpur wanders in village for help.

The villagers on seeing the strange creature conclude him to be Ghost and complains to the King .The King then summons Bheem and his friends who reveal that the ghost is actually a harmless alittle poor lost alien child and Chhot Bheem helps Zark to return home safely..

Happy Reading

Chota bheem and dragon

Chhota Bheem & The Sword Of the King

Chhota Bheem Shivani Ka Dhabha

On reciveing a letter from his sister Shivani, who runs a dhaba (a small restaurant) in phelwanpur, Chhot Bheem rushes to meet her. Once there he finds Shivani is in need of help to release her father from the prison and also save her dhabha from the local goons Dabbu phelwan who is leader of Ruffians the main cause of all troubles warns Shivani to close the dhabha which was the only way of her family lively hood.

Chhot Bheem fights and defeats Dabbu phelwan and his whole gang of local goons and ruffians.

Along with his friends Chutki ,Raju ,Jaggu, Chhota bheem opens a circus carnival for collecting money to save Shivanis father from prison

Happy Reading


Diwali Celebration

The race to the mountain!!

The Pricess BirthDay

Lord Ganesha & Chhota Bheem



The Search for Giraffe

T20 Cricket

Choco World

Trouble in the Jungle

The Dangerous Game

U.S.O at Dholakpur

The U.S.O or the Unidentified Swimming Object was the root cause for the disappearance of ships entering Dholakpur. The King entrusts Chhota Bheem to get bottom of the mystery, and save his trading vessels carrying gold and other valuable shipment.
Chhota Bheem and the Mummy Of Egyptian Pharoh

An american archeologist discovers a very ancient Mummy of the Pharouh Snekhufu. To show the world his greatest dicovery he carries the Mummy of the dead Pharouh along with him on the ship.The Ship which unexpecteldy came across a terrible storm and has to anchor itself at Dholkpur Port.

What follows next is an immediate attack of strange & huge wild animals which brings chaos and panic to whole Dholkpur Kingdom.

Chhot bheem saves his friends and the people of Dholkpur from the Strange beings and finds the solution for all these problems.

Happy Reading

Chhota Bheem and Krishna

Description:

About five hundred years ago, the five kingdoms around Dholakpur joined together to end Kirmada’s rule. Now a mysterious force has brought him back from the dead. With a goblin army at his back, he soon puts the kingdoms around Dholakpur under his power. He attacks Dholakpur with his goblin army. The Dholakpur Army led by Bheem fight bravely but they are no match to the never ending army of the magically powerful Goblins. Soon, Kirmada captures Dholakpur’s King. The war is over. Dholakpur is captured. All except Bheem have escaped his Iron grip. Kirmada realizing the threat from Bheem asks his men to capture him and his friends but they manage to escape narrowly.

Now it is up to Bheem to save the five Kingdoms. But how does he kill a man who is already dead? And how can he control a powerful beast that an army of goblins protect. Don’t miss Bheem beat Kirmada and save the kingdom of Dholakpur once again!!

Chota bheem and the talking parrot


Daku Natwar, disguised as Babu, an expert fortune teller visits Dholakpur along with his talking parrot, ‘Paro’ who starts predicting the future of everyone in Dholakpur. Babu predicts that the neighbouring kingdom of Bhotakpur is going to attack Dholakpur and advices the King to attack Bhotakpur first. Before visiting Dholakpur, Babu has adviced Bhotakpur’s king to attack Dholakpur.

Chota Bheem Aur Krishna: Pataliputra City Of Death


The dilapidated city of pataliputra wears a haunted look with withering trees & cattle, crumbling buildings, vultures looming in the sky & the painted faces of the few surviving inhabitants. Krishna arrivaes in dholakpur, unannounced and goes strainght to meet Bheem. Krishna asks for his help. Bheem & team readily agree and the next morning they all the set off towards Pataliputra. Kalia, Dholu & Bholu also sneak in with them.

Once they reach Pataliputra, They find everything strange . The people are scared and refuse to talk. In the night , they discover that the men actually turn into dead people. The team is thoroughly scared & confused. On persistence, they ger to know the story about the king and soothsayer from the people of the village. They also get to meet the royal siblings who are unfriendly & rude to them.

The soothsayer is the one who controls the royal siblings and the entire city of Pataliputra. Lord Krishna & Bheem Propose to meet him, but are turned down. They later lern that there is a ritual to be performed on the full moon night to save Pataliputra from the curse? Who is the soothsayer? How does Bheem help lord Krishna? Will the people of Pataliputra see the smile of a beautiful day again ? Watch to find out!
The movie shows Bheem and Sri Krishna fighting the deadly demon called Kirmada. In the first Chota Bheem Chhota Bheem Aur Krishna Kirmada was killed but he was only partially killed, so again he comes back and does many very bad things. Bheem and Krishna fight him and finally they kill him again.

In this movie, Bheem and Krishna enter Pataliputra, the City of Death, from which no one can return.
The movie was released during Janamastmi and was a very big hit. It was considered to be a great success as it became number one on Indian television screens. Greengold Animation and the broadcasters Cartoon Network and Pogo TV also became household names as a result of the movie’s great visibility.
The movie was written by Raj Viswanadha and directed by Rajiv Chilaka. It was made and released by Greengold Animation of Hyderabad, India.

The special effects in this movie is very great and liked by all the kids and children and also grown-up persons. According to interviews in reports a lot of money (about 9.2 crores Rupees, equivalent to about US$2 million) was spent on special effects, making this movie one of the most expensive movies.
The movie was written by Nidhi Anand, direct by Rajiv Chilaka, and produced by P. Ramesh.

Catch all Episodes

Chhota Bheem Video clips in Hindi & English

Clip1

Chhota Bheem & The Tree People

Hindi

English

Clip2

Chhota Bheem & the Himalayan Yeti

Hindi

English

Clip3

Chhota Bheem & Friends Village Game

Hindi

English

Clip4

Chhota Bheem & Birth Day of Princess Indumati

Hindi

English

Clip5

Chhota Bheem & Escaped Prisoners

Hindi

English

Chhota Bheem & friends

Games

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS or GO TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES

http://www.chhotabheem.com
& http://www.Pogo.tv

Green Gold Studios has developed three online games based on the Chhota Bheem TV series for the Chhota Bheem website. The games have been developed in Animation house by Nagaraju and Vinayak.R.Nair. Other Pogo Chhota Bheem Games by Animation Professionals.

The games are based on either the episodes of Chhota Bheem or the basic likes of Bheem like his love for Ladoos and his being very good at fighting Goons and Aliens The gist of the stories has been incorporated into the games as much as possible, making it interesting for children to play online. The group targeted was children from 6 to 11 Speaking to GamingXpress Rajiv Chilaka, CEO, GreenGold shared, “Basically Flash was used to develop these games as easy web deployment was our goal. We went through creating the key elements for the game such as backgrounds, character animations, props etc. All of this was then collated by the coder who brought life into the game using these elements. Coding was one of the new areas that we have ventured into and is still in infancy as compared to our other teams such as animation, layout, etc. But we are taking it one step at a time.”GreenGold noticed that a lot of internet users had been searching for Chhota Bheem Games, and came up with the idea of creating such games to increase traffic to chhotabheem.com. Once the games were launched online, the number of hits has been going up every day. The site is presently ranked around 7500 in India, which is very good considering it was ranked around 20,000 in India before the launch of these online games

POGO Games Now On Your Mobile Phone!

It’s simple and easy – just SMS the code to the given number and your chosen game, wallpaper or animation will be delivered straight to your mobile phone!

Chhota Bheem Boat Race Game is available on Mobile through SMS :CB To: 55454

Click the Blue Links under each photo & enjoy the Adventures ChotaBheem & friends.
Matki Phod

Savior of Dholkpur

Bull Racing 1



Click here|
Chhota Bheem & Friends Boat Race


Bull Racing 2

Ladoo Catching

Laddoo Mania

Cow Boy Bheem

Ladoo Catching 2

Combat Bheem

Treasure Hunt

New Game Jungle Ambush *Happy Holi*


Memory Power




Twenty Twenty

Soccer Bouncer

Camp

Camp


Stop the Boundary


The Challenge


Tennis cricket


Score The Target


Book The Game

The Invisible Wicket Keeper

Dholkpur Q

The Story of Ganga : The River Goddess


Goddess Ganga

The Story of Ganga

The importance, which the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ has in the field of spirituality, the same prominence, and importance has been given to the holy river Ganges in the field of religion and religious activities. No other river has been as much mentioned in the `Purana’ as the holy Ganges. According to the Puranas the Ganges is the holiest of all the shrines on this earth. Not only the man, but even the most mean creatures like insects etc get liberated and achieve salvation.

The holy sight of Ganges gives knowledge,Splendours,name,fame etc. The gravest of sins like Brahmhatya and Gauhatya (killing of a cow) gets absolved by the mere touch of Ganga holy water. Lord Vishnu himself has described the importance of river Ganges in the following way, he says to Garuda.

DARSHANATSPARSHANATPANATTATHA GANGETI
KEERTANAT PUNATYAPUNYANPURUSHANA SHATASHOTHA SAHASRASHAH

(Thousands of man sin gets destroyed by the holy sight of the Ganges, and he becomes pure, by the touch of Ganges water, by having it, or by just pronouncing ‘Ganga-Ganga’. For this reason Ganges is also calledSANSARTARINI (Saviour of this world).

ORIGIN OF GANGA

There are many of stories regarding the origin of Ganges the most famous among the sacred texts is from Ramayana Bal Kand BramhaRishi Vishwamitra narrates the story of Bhagirath & the descent of Ganga to Prince Shri Rama.

Bhagwati GANGA, like PARVATI ,SARASWATI and LAXMI is one of the seven SHAKTIS of supreme Goddess MAHAMAYA ADISHAKTI.

There are three main forms of River Goddess Ganga.

The First one the Spiritual form born from the Charanmrita of lord Vamana fifth Avatar of Bhagvan Vishnu.

The legend of Bhagavata has it that the Vamana avatar was taken by Vishnu to restore authority of devas over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the King Bali. Vamana in the disguise of a short Brahmin, carrying a wooden umbrella requested three steps of land for him to live in. Given a promise of three steps of Land by King Mahabali against the warning given by his master Sukracharya, Vamana, The Supreme God grows so huge that he could cover from heaven to earth, earth to lower worlds in two simple steps.When The Holy feets of Lord vamana reached Brahmaa Loka.,Brahmaa Worshipped the holy feets and Goddess Ganga appeared from the charanamrita of lord Vamana.

King Mahabali unable to fulfil the promise of three paces of Land to the Supreme God, offers his head for the third step. Thus Vamana places his third step on King Mahabali’s head and gives him immortality for his benevolenceVamana taught King Mahabali that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that wealth should never be taken for granted since it can so easily be taken away. Vamana then took on the form of Mahavishnu. He was pleased by King Mahabali’s determination and ability to keep his promise in the face of his spiritual master’s curse and the prospect of losing all his wealth. Vishnu named the King Mahabali since he was a Mahatma (great soul)
Mahavishnu also declared that Mahabali would be able to rule the universe in the following yuga (age).

The Second Divine form of Ganga was born as the daughter of ‘Himalaya’ The King of mountains and ‘Maina’ and sister of Goddess Parvati according to the Valmiki Ramayana. . The deities invited Ganga to heaven.

From that time onwards, ‘Ganga’ started living inside the ‘Karmandala’ (a spout shoped vessel). According to Kritivas Ramayana the deities had taken ‘Ganga’ to Lord Shiva to get her married with him..


The Third Earthly form of Ganga as the Sacred River.


The Story of Ganga the river that flows from Heaven to Earth

During the Devaasur sangram (the battle between the gods and devils) the devas defeated the asurs and the remaining asurs fled the battle field and hide themselves in deep oceans.

The asuras continued this dirty tactics every time ,they attack and hide,fed up with this the Devas went to Lord Vishnu , Bhagvan Vishnu advised Devas to ask the help of Maharishi Agastya.
Agastya is one of the greatest of the Seven Sages or Saptarshis.
Devas soon went to the Mahrishi & asked his blessings and requested to drink the ocean for the well being of goodness on earth & heaven .


The Maharishi Agastya accepted the request & drank the entire ocean as the devas desired.
Now the devas regained heir confidence and started the war again, the Devas fought very bravely & finally attacked the hideouts of the evil asuras and finished them.
As soon as the war was over the Devas thought the pupose for which the qcen is beig dried is finished so all the Devas requested Agastya to fill the ocean as before. then the Maharishi smiled & said that it is not possible as he had digested all the ocean he dranked so only . The Devas asked the Maharishi .oh God Agastya we all devas are thankfull to you but is there any way to save the earth from be scorched by the heat of Sun God .
Then Maharishi Agastya said only Ganga can make the oceans filled again.

But the task of bringing Ganga to earth was the most difficult one.And it was not possible to Devas also.This impossible task was made possible by a earthly man Rajarishi Bhagirath.

The Story of Bhagirath & the Descent of Ganga on Earth

According to sacred texts The King Sagar the descendent of Sun God (Suryavanshi) performed a ‘Ashvamedh Yagya’ in which a horse was set free.This horse was followed by his sixty thousand sons.

Indra, with the motive of destroying the effects of that ‘Yagya’ stole that horse and tethered it outside the hermitage of sage Kapila.


King Sagar sent his sons all around the world to search the ashwa of the yagya They searched every place on earth but were not able to find the Yagya horse any where on earth.
Then all the princes digged the earth to make way to the nether world.This caused terrible earthquakes causing heavy destructions on the surface of the earth.

After searching the nether world too they could not find the yagya horse
Accidently the found an opening to a world which led to a beautiful forest. This beautiful and darkgreen forest was the mediating place of a Great sage Kapila.

The sixty thousand sons of Sagar came searching for the horse to the hermitage of Sage Kapila. They started to insult the sage suspecting him as the theif of the yangya horse .They continued to create nuisance in the meditation of the sage .The enraged sage Kapila cursed them and burnt all the 60000 princes to ashes with the Yogic fire of his eyes in a moment .

Anshuman grandson of King Sagar came searching for his sixty thousand of his relatives, to Kapila’s hermitage.There the prince saw the yagya horse and a mountain of ash.
Prince Anshuman at first bowed to the sage and asked about his relatives. The Sage kapila told him the whole incident that took placed there.

When he came to know about the whole story the prince broke down with grief at the mountain of ashes of his relatives.
Prince Anshuman asked for forgivness for the sin his ancesters had commited by misbehaving a Great Yogi Kapila.The Prince falled on the feets of Kapila to relive the 60000 prince from the terrible curse of the great Sage & he requested Bhagvan Kapila to tell about the means by which his relatives could attain salvation. Kapila said that the 60000 souls would attain salvation, only if the water of Ganga in Brahmaa loka were sprinkled on them.

Following the instructions of Kapila,
Anshuman started doing penance on the Himalaya. But he was not successful in his attempt to bring Ganga to earth. His son Dilip too tried, but in vain,followed by the genaration of austerites.

atlast But Dilip’s son, Bhagirath was determined to get this task done. He started meditating intensly for several years

Bhagiratha, continued his efforts to bring the Ganga to the earth from the heavens to purify the ashes of his ancestors and bring them back to life.


After many many years of Tapasya ( Penace),Bhagirata’s prayers were rewarded by Gods which his genarations has tried their best.
Bhagiratha, the son of Dileep was successful in getting a boon from Lord Brahma, and finally Ganga got pleased and as a result of which ‘Ganga’ descended down to earth. The force of the current was so great that there was a fear of her entering the nether world, unless she was stopped on the earth the Ganges rushed to the earth; however, the might of the river was too much for the earth to withstand. Fearing a catastrophe, Bhagirata prayed to Shiva, Bhagiratha pleased Lord Shiva and requested him to hold her in his Jata (hairs). Lord Shiva accepted it and did the same as requested.

Lord Shiva who held out his matted hair to catch the river as she descended,
The Goddess little proud about her powers smiled at the God of all Yogis” shiva” .She thought who is able to withstand her terrible force
she descended towards earth with great force only to fall in the matted hair locks Jattas of Bhagvan Shiva and thus softened her journey to the earth.Ganga tried to unlock her from the jatta but was not succesfull .Goddess ganga tried a full year get free but failed then only Goddess ganga was able to realize & understand the Greatness of Lord Shiva and asked for forgiveness .Lord Shiva get pleased and blessed Goddess Ganga.

The Ganga thus became an attribute of Shiva. .

This manifestation of Shiva is known as Gangaadhara
as Lord Shiva Saved the earth from flooding, by receiveing Ganga on his matted locks.
King Bhagirath then worshipped Lord Shiva and Shiva blessed him and released Ganga from his locks in seven streams. The seven streams of Ganga are Bhagirathi, Janhvi, Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda which merge into Ganga at Devprayag. The rock on which King Bhagirath is believed to have meditated, is called Bhagirath Shila and is located near the temple of Ganga.

Lord Gangadhara released Ganga on the earth, as a result of which Ganga was subdivided into seven streams
1) Dwadini, 2) Pavani and 3) Nalini flew towards the east 4) Vakshu, 5) Sita, 6) Sindhu flew towards the west and the seventh stream followed the route, as instructed by Bhagiratha, and hence was called 7)
JANHVI – Another name of the Ganga is Janhvi.
Ganga followed Bhagiratha who was on his chariot. Because of her tremendous speed, all the villages, Forests, etc in the way were either getting submerged or drowned.


Sage Jahnu who was doing a yagya in his hermitage got angry when his hermitage was submerged in the Ganga. He drank whole of the Ganga by his yogic power. At this the deities, and the men became restless and they requested Jahnu to release Ganga. ‘Jahnu’ released Ganga from his thigh by cutting it and for this reason Ganga is also called ‘Jahnavi’ or ‘Jahnusta’.

Bhagirathi Ganga quenched the thirst of the earth by filling all the oceans which were dried up by the Maharishi Agastyaas .

Bhagirathi Ganga fullfilled the wish of the Rajarishi and blessed his ancestors. The water of Ganga touched the ashes of Sagar sons who rose to the their eternal rest in heaven. Ultimately all the sixty thousand sons of Sagar were liberated by the sprinkle of the water of the Ganga.
Ganga Giving Moksha To The Souls

The story of Bhishma: Son of Ganga  {Third form of Ganga the river}

THE STORY from the Mahabharata: The beginning…
Once Chakravarthy of Hastinapur King Santanu { a Rudragan born from the Jattas of Lord Shiva(Shantayate tanu one who gives coolness and youth to the body ,God of youth) cursed by Brahmaa to become an earthly man}went to the ganges for performing his Sandhya upasana upon opening his eyes after offering an evening prayer to the sacred river Ganga (the Ganges), found himself to be helplessly blurting forth these words: “You must marry me whoever you may be”, his senses were captured by the enchanted beauty of a female form that stood before him.
“O king”, she replied: “I shall but become your consort on certain conditions, to which you must agree first.” “Pray, what those may be, the fairest one?” asked the king. This is what he heard: “No one, including yourself, should ever ask who I am, whence I come, or whatever I do, good or bad, nor must you ever be wroth with me on any account whatsoever. If you act otherwise, I shall go back to my abode. Do you agree?” The king vowed his assent, and she became his wife.
Her modesty and grace and the steady love that she bore him were captivating, and they lived a life of perfect happiness oblivious of the passage of time. Seven children were born to them, and as soon as a new-born arrived, she would take the infant to the Ganges and cast it away into the river. Santanu, filled with horror and anguish at such fiendish deed, suffered it all in silence, mindful of the promise he had made. Thus, she killed seven children. When the same fate was to be met to the eighth born, Santanu could not bear it any longer, and cried: “Stop, stop, how can you as mother, be bent on murdering your own innocent babies?”
“O great king,” she replied, “you have forgotten your promise, for your heart is set on your child, and you do not need me any more, so I must now beg your leave.
Ganga told the king: all our seven sons are alive in the heavens and liberated from the curse but listen to my story before you judge me. I, who am constrained to play this hateful role by the curse of sage Vasishtha, am the goddess Ganga, adored of the gods and revered by men. Vasishtha cursed the eight Vasus to be born into the world of mortals, and moved by their supplications said that I was to be their mother. I bore them to you, so do not be aggrieved at their loss, for they went to the abode of their mother, and the service you have rendered to the Vasus will regain you higher regions”. With these words she disappeared with the baby who was to later become famous as Bhishma, the grandsire of the Kaurava dynasty that fought the unforgettable battle of the Mahabharata.
Ashta Vasus are the eight demigods – deities of material elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Sky, Sun, Stars, Moon) who, while taking a tour in the woods with their wives, came upon the hermitage of rishi Vasishtha, and one of the ladies saw the beautiful and wonder cow, Nandini, at the hermitage, and started making entreaties of her husband to fetch the cow. The husband was reluctant at first, saying, “what need have we, the devas (demigods), for the milk of cows? We are immortals already; it is for earthly beings to drink its milk to become immortal (in Bharatha , everything about cows is considered sacred). She lied saying that she had a pet baby dear from on earth whom she wanted to become immortal and that is why she needed to have the cow. Finally, all the eight were persuaded into committing theft very while the rishi was away.
Upon returning to find Nandini missing, the sage, through his yogic powers of meditation came to learn as to whose handiwork this was, and laid a curse upon the Vasus to take birth as mortals. At this, the Vasus prostrated themselves before the rishi for forgiveness. Vasishtha said: “The curse must take its course. My words cannot prove ineffective, but I will soften the curse to the extent that Prabhasa (meaning light, that is, the Sun), the one who seized the cow, will have to spend an entire lifetime on earth, glorious as it will be, while others, as his accomplice, will live only a few hours before they come back”.
We must understand the allegorical significance here: Such was the fate of Bhishma, just as the Sun burns all its life of four billion years, in utter agony, giving all, desiring nothing – the immortalised teaching in karma yoga, ie, work in selflessness without any expectation of reward — to bring the light of life to the earth. Working thus, liberation is attained. This is the message as propounded in the Bhagavad Gita. Incidentally, the eighteen chapters of the Gita are just a part of the Mahabharata.
Afterwards, Vasishtha set his mind again on his austerities, the effect, of which had been somewhat impaired by his anger. Sages who perform austerities acquire the power to curse, but every exercise of his power reduces their store of merit.

The Vasus then approached the goddess Ganga and beseeched her to descend to the earth and become their mother for their sake, marrying a worthy man born from the Jattas (hair locks ) of Lord Shiva. Throw us into the water as soon as we are born and liberate us from the curse, and the goddess granted their prayer.
This is the cause of the liberation of seven babies who were freed from the curse but eighth one is the most unfortunate has this son must face many misfortunes all his life.

After the disappearance of his queen with their eighth child, King Santanu gave up all sensual pleasures and ruled the kingdom in a spirit of asceticism. One day as the winds blew hard and the waters of the Ganges rose in great waves, Santanu, walking along its banks saw a small boy with the charms and form of Devendra (the king of gods), amusing himself by building a dam across the flooding Ganges with his arrows. He watched stupefied as each arrow cast, turned into a thousand others creating a barrier in the mighty river. The scene of fury and jollity appeared to his eyes to be that of an indulgent mother playing with her child.
Indeed it was so, because as the king stood transfixed with amazement at the sight, the goddess Ganga revealed herself and presented the child as Santanu’s own, saying: “O king, here is our eighth child , known by the name of Devavrata. He has mastered the art of arms, and is unparalleled on earth equalling sage Parasurama’s skills, adept also, as he is, with the knowledge of the Vedas and the Vedanta, tutored by Vasishtha, and in arts and sciences, no less than Sukra himself. Take back your dear child, the finest archer and master statecraft, for he will bring immortal fame to his father’s name, and will be a great boon to posterity”. With these words, she entrusted the child to his father, blessed the boy, before disappearing into the river.

The Sacred River Holy Mother Ganga

Kalidasa Krutha Gangashtakam
(The octet on Ganga written by Kalidasa)

Namosthesthu Gange thwadangaprasangad,
Bhujangasthuranga kuranga plavanga,
Anangari ranga sasanga shivango,
Bhujangadhipangi kruthango bhavanthi. 1

Salutations to that Ganga,
Whose simple touch makes,
Snakes, horses, deer and monkeys,
Even if they are in a huge herd,
Take the form of Shiva in the Shiva’s heaven,
And that of Vishnu, in his heaven.

Namo jahnu kanye na manye thwadhanyer,
Nissargendhu chinnadhibhir loka barthu
Athoham, nathoham sada gowra thoye,
Vasishtadhibirgheeyamanabhidaye. 2

Salutations to the daughter of Jahnu.
As I am not able to make out any differences,
Between you and Lord Shiva who is the lord of the world,
Oh goddess, with perennially clear water,
I salute you again you, who is having the holy name,
Praised by sages like Vasishta.

Thwaddhama jjanal sajjano durjano va,
Vimanai samana samanair himane,
Samaayathi thasmin purarathi loke,
Pura dhwara samruddha dig pala loke. 3

Whether one is a good man or bad man,
If he takes a dip in you,
Then he will be equally honoured,
Well treated in the plane,
And reach the heaven of Shiva,
Where even Indra and the eight,
Lords of directions are unable to enter.

Swaravasa dhamboli dhambhobhi rambha,
Pareerambha sambhavana dheera chetha,
Samakamkshathe thwathade vrukshavadi,
Kuteere vasannethu mayor dhinani. 4

The Indra though he very much enjoys,
The embrace of Rambha and is proud,
Of his life in heaven and possession of Vajrayudha,
Very much likes to live in a hut in shade of the tee,
Which grows on your shores. Oh Ganga.

Trilokasya barthu jata juta bandath,
Swaseemantha bhage manakh praskalantha,
Bhavanya rusha prouda sapathnya bhavath,
Karena hatha sthwatharanga jayanthi. 5

Let there be victory to your tides,
Which were created by the beating
Of the other wife Parvathi,
On your dripping water through the parting of hair,
From the matted hair of the lord of the universe.

Jalon majjadha iravathod dhamakumbha,
Sphurath praskalath Sandra sindhoora rage,
Kwachith padmini renu banga prasange,
Mana khelatham jahnu kanya tharange. 6

Let my mind play with the tides of Ganga,
Which is reddish due to the flow of saffron,
From the head of Iravatha which had dipped in your water,
And which is mixed with the pollen of lotus flowers.

Bhavatheera vaneera vathodha dhooli,
Lava sparsathath kshna ksheena papa,
Janoyam jagath pavane thwath prasadath,
Pade pouru huthepi datheva helam. 7

Hey goddess who is the most holiest,
I who got rid of all my sins,
Because of the contact some of your drops,
Which traveled through the air,
Dashing against the boats traveling on you,
Despise even the post of Indra,
Due to your blessing.

Trisandhya namath khela koteera nana,
Vidhan eka rathnamsu bimbha prabhabhi,
Sphurath pada pete,hate naashtamoorther,
JJata juda vase, Natha sma padam they. 8

Hey goddess, who has the feet with the shine,
Due to the light reflected from the several gems,
Of several crowns worn by devas,
Who salute you again and again,
Hey Goddess who lives on the,
Matted hair of Lord Shiva compulsorily,
I salute both your feet.

Idham ya padeth asthakam jahnu puthrya,
Sthrikalam krutham kalidasena ramyam,
Samayasyatheendraadhi birgheeyamanam,
Padam kaisavam saisavam no labeth sa. 9

He who reads this pretty octet,
Composed by Poet Kalidasa,
During dawn, noon and dusk,
Would reach the abode Vaikunta,
Which is being praised by devendra.
He will not have any childhood afterwards.

Om hreem Gangayee Namaha

GEOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION

The Ganges ( Hindi: गंगा ), as in most Indian languages) is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent, flowing east through the Gangetic Plain of northern India
River Ganges is the longest river in India, The origin of river Ganges lies at the height of 13800 feet in the mountain ranges of Himalayas, in Tehri Garhwal, near Gangotri.
The cave from which river Ganges, originates is called ‘Gomukha’ ,known as Bhagirathi’. It is known as Bhagirathi in this region. River Ganges gets water from the melting snow of Nanda devi, Gurla, Mandhata, Dhaulagiri,, Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest. Many small and big rivers merge with the Ganges in the Himalayan region.
The 2,510 km (1,560 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state of India, and drains into the Sunderbans delta in the Bay of Bengal. It has long been considered a holy river by Hindus and worshiped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important historically: many former provincial or imperial capitals .
The Ganges, above all is the river of India, which has held India’s heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. The story of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is the story of India’s civilization and culture, of the rise and fall of empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man…

From, the point of her origin up to ‘Badrinath’ in the eastern region, the Ganges is known as ‘Vishnu Ganga’. In the western region it is the ‘Dhaula Ganga’ of the ‘DronaGiri’.Dhaula Ganga merge with Vishnu Ganga near ‘Joshi Math’ and this combined stream is known as ‘Alaknanda’.

After Rudraprayag’ river Ganges enters ‘Rishikesh’ and after that she turns toward ‘Haridwar’ which is situated in south-West direction from Rishikesh..At Prayaagraj river ‘Yamuna’ merge with river Ganges. In the ancient times there was also another river named ‘Sarswati’ which merged at Prayaagraj but it has now become extinct to open eyes but it has an invisible presence.
. This union of three rivers at Prayaagraj is also known as ‘Triveni’.

After Prayag the Ganges reaches ‘Varanasi’. Later on this river ‘Gomati’ merge with the Ganges. After that the Ganges enters the state of Bihar. Near Patliputra river ‘Gandak’ coming from Nepal also merge into the Ganges. Ultimately merges into the gangasagar.
The Ganges travels a distance of 1557 miles beginning from the point of origin till she ultimately merge into the ocean.

Religious significance

The Ganges is mentioned in the Rig-Veda, the earliest of the Hindu scriptures. It appears in the Nadistuti sukta (Rig Veda 10.75), which lists the rivers from east to west. In RV 6.45.31, the word Ganga is also mentioned

Hindus also believe life is incomplete without taking a bath in Ganges at least once in their lives. Many Hindu families keep a vial of water from the Ganges in their house. This is done because it is prestigious to have water of the Holy Ganga in the house, and also so that if someone is dying, that person will be able to drink its water. Many Hindus believe that the water from the Ganga can cleanse a person’s soul of all past sins, and that it can also cure the ill. The ancient scriptures[citation needed] mention that the water of Ganges carries the blessings of Lord Vishnu’s feet; hence Mother Ganges is also known as Vishnupadi, which means “Emanating from the Lotus feet of Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu.”
Some of the most important Hindu festivals and religious congregation (worship) happen here. Congregations are celebrated on the banks of the river Ganges, such as the Kumbh Mela every twelve years

To this date the water of holy Ganga is believed to have Amrit (nectar) in it. It has been studied by Scientists that the water collected from Ganga at its origin is in a pure state and even after being kept for several years, does not get contaminated.. These medicinal properties of Ganga-Jal are attributed to the medicinal secretions of herbs and mineral content which get mixed with the water Magic Of Ganga. The orginal Amrita Exlir on Earth.
GANGA enriches the spiritual lives of millions of Indians for whom the river is Holy because river GANGA personifies Goddess GANGA who descends to earth to cleanse the sins of the mankind.

Jai Ganga Mata

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Spiritual Hindu

Addresses at the Parliament of Religions – 3
Paper on Hinduism
Swami Vivekananda’s first ever series of public lectures were the ones he delivered at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. All of these lectures, except the paper on Hinduism (this month’s reading), were extempore. As we read his words, we can feel their awesome power even today. Swamiji’s paper on Hinduism was read on September 19, 1893. It is published in the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 1: 6-20.
Introduction
Three religions now stand in the world which have come down to us from time prehistoric–Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. They have all received tremendous shocks and all of them prove by their survival their internal strength. But while Judaism failed to absorb Christianity and was driven out of its place of birth by its all-conquering daughter, and a handful of Parsees is all that remains to tell the tale of their grand religion, sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of the Vedas to its very foundations, but like the waters of the seashore in a tremendous earthquake it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing flood, a thousand times more vigorous, and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed, and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith.
From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists, and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu’s religion. Where then, the question arises, where is the common center to which all these widely diverging radii converge? Where is the common basis upon which all these seemingly hopeless contradictions rest? And this is the question I shall attempt to answer.
[The subsequent part of the paper takes up aspects of what Swamiji calls “the common basis” of Hinduism and describes them briefly. The topics covered include: the Vedas, creation, the true “Self”, karma and reincarnation, image worship, the cause of bondage, the way to freedom, the unity of all existence, the harmony of religions, and the ideal of a universal religion.–ed.]
The Vedas
The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. It may sound ludicrous to this audience, how a book can be without beginning or end. But by the Vedas no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times. Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery, and would exist if all humanity forgot it, so is it with the laws that govern the spiritual world. The moral, ethical, and spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the Father of all spirits, were there before their discovery, and would remain even if we forgot them.

The Hindu Concept of “Creation”
The discoverers of these laws are called Rishis, and we honor them as perfected beings. I am glad to tell this audience that some of the very greatest of them were women. Here it may be said that these laws as laws may be without end, but they must have had a beginning. The Vedas teach us that creation is without beginning or end. Science is said to have proved that the sum total of cosmic energy is always the same. Then, if there was a time when nothing existed, where was all this manifested energy? Some say it was in a potential form in God. In that case God is sometimes potential and sometimes kinetic, which would make Him mutable. Everything mutable is a compound, and everything compound must undergo that change which is called destruction. So God would die, which is absurd. Therefore there never was a time when there was no creation.
If I may be allowed to use a simile, creation and creator are two lines, without beginning and without end, running parallel to each other. God is the ever active providence, by whose power systems after systems are being evolved out of chaos, made to run for a time and again destroyed. This is what the Brahmin boy repeats every day: “The sun and the moon, the Lord created like the suns and moons of previous cycles.” (1)And this agrees with modern science.
Atman, or the True “Self”
Here I stand and if I shut my eyes, and try to conceive my existence, “I”, “I”, “I”, what is the idea before me? The idea of a body. Am I, then, nothing but a combination of material substances? The Vedas declare, “No”. I am a spirit living in a body. I am not the body. The body will die, but I shall not die. Here am I in this body; it will fall, but I shall go on living. I had also a past. The soul was not created, for creation means a combination, which means a certain future dissolution. If then the soul was created, it must die.
Karma and Reincarnation
Some are born happy, enjoy perfect health, with beautiful body, mental vigor and all wants supplied. Others are born miserable, some are without hands or feet, others again are idiots and only drag on a wretched existence. If they are all created, why does a just and merciful God create one happy and another unhappy, why is He so partial? Nor would it mend matters in the least to hold that those who are miserable in this life will be happy in a future one. Why should a person be miserable even here in the reign of a just and merciful God?
In the second place, the idea of a creator God does not explain the anomaly, but simply expresses the cruel fiat of an all-powerful being. There must have been causes, then, before our birth, to make us miserable or happy and those were our past actions.
Are not all the tendencies of the mind and the body accounted for by inherited aptitude? Here are two parallel lines of existence–one of the mind [“subtle” matter], the other of [gross] matter. If [gross] matter and its transformations answer for all that we have, there is no necessity for supposing the existence of a [mind and a] soul. But it cannot be proved that thought has evolved out of matter, and if a philosophical monism is inevitable, spiritual monism is certainly logical and no less desirable than a materialistic monism; but neither of these is necessary here.
We cannot deny that bodies acquire certain tendencies from heredity, but those tendencies only mean the physical configuration through which a peculiar mind alone can act in a peculiar way. There are other tendencies peculiar to a mind caused by the person’s past actions. And a soul with a certain mental tendency would by the laws of affinity take birth in a body which is the fittest instrument for the display of that tendency. This is in accord with science, for science wants to explain everything by habit, and habit is got through repetitions. So repetitions are necessary to explain the natural habits of a new-born soul. And since they were not obtained in this present life, they must have come down from past lives.
There is another suggestion. Taking all these for granted, how is it that I do not remember anything of my past life? This can be easily explained. I am now speaking English. It is not my mother tongue, in fact no words of my mother tongue are now present in my consciousness; but let me try to bring them up, and they rush in. That shows that consciousness is only the surface of the mental ocean, and within its depths are stored up all our experiences. Try and struggle, they would come up and you would be conscious even of your past life.
This is direct and demonstrative evidence. Verification is the perfect proof of a theory, and here is the challenge thrown to the world by the Rishis. We have discovered the secret by which the very depths of the ocean of memory can be stirred up–try it and you would get a complete reminiscence of your past life.
Ignorance, the Prime Cause of Bondage
So then the Hindus believe that every person is a spirit. The sword cannot pierce the spirit, the fire cannot burn it, the water cannot melt it, and the air cannot dry it. [Gita 2.23](2) The Hindus believe that every soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere, but whose center is located in the body, and that death means the change of this center from body to body. Nor is the soul bound by the conditions of matter. In its very essence it is free, unbounded, holy, pure, and perfect. But somehow or other it finds itself tied down to matter, and thinks of itself as matter.
Why should the free, perfect, and pure being be thus under the thralldom of matter, is the next question. How can the perfect soul be deluded into the belief that it is imperfect? We have been told that the Hindus shirk the question and say that no such question can be there. Some thinkers want to answer it by positing one or more quasi-perfect beings, and use big scientific names to fill up the gap. But naming is not explaining. The question remains the same. How can the perfect become the quasi-perfect; how can the pure, the absolute, change even a microscopic particle of its nature? But the Hindus are sincere. They do not want to take shelter under sophistry. They are brave enough to face the question in a manly fashion; and their answer is: “I do not know. I do not know how the perfect being, the soul, came to think of itself as imperfect, as joined to and conditioned by matter.” But the fact is a fact for all that. It is a fact in everybody’s consciousness that one thinks of oneself as the body. The Hindus do not attempt to explain why one thinks one is the body. The answer that it is the will of God is no explanation. This is nothing more than what the Hindus say, “I do not know.”(3)
Well, then, the human soul is eternal and immortal, perfect and infinite, and death means only a change of center from one body to another. The present is determined by our past actions, and the future by the present. The soul will [apparently] go on evolving up or reverting back from birth to birth and death to death.
But here is another question: Is a human being a tiny boat in a tempest, raised one moment on the foamy crest of a billow and dashed down into a yawning chasm the next, rolling to and fro at the mercy of good and bad actions–a powerless, helpless wreck in an ever-raging, ever-rushing, uncompromising current of cause and effect; a little moth placed under the wheel of causation which rolls on crushing everything in its way and waits not for the widow’s tears or the orphan’s cry? The heart sinks at the idea, yet this is the law of Nature.
The Way to Freedom
Is there no hope? Is there no escape?–was the cry that went up from the bottom of the heart of despair. It reached the throne of mercy, and words of hope and consolation came down and inspired a Vedic sage, and he stood up before the world and in trumpet voice proclaimed the glad tidings: “Hear, ye children of immortal bliss!–even ye that reside in higher spheres![Svetasvatara Upanishad, 2.5] (4) I have found the Ancient One who is beyond all darkness, all delusion: knowing Him alone you shall be saved from death over again.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad, 3.8](5)
“Children of immortal bliss” –what a sweet, what a hopeful name! Allow me to call you, brethren, by that sweet name–heirs of immortal bliss–yea, the Hindus refuse to call you sinners. Ye are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. Ye divinities on earth–sinners! It is a sin to call anyone so; it is a standing libel on human nature. Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.
Thus it is that the Vedas proclaim not a dreadful combination of unforgiving laws, not an endless prison of cause and effect, but that at the head of all these laws, in and through every particle of matter and force, stands One “by whose command the wind blows, the fire burns, the clouds rain, and death stalks upon the earth.” [Taittiriya Upanishad, 8.1](6)
And what is His nature? He is everywhere, the pure and formless One, the Almighty and the All-merciful. “Thou art our father, Thou art our mother, Thou art our beloved friend, Thou art the source of all strength; give us strength. Thou art He that beareth the burdens of the universe; help me bear the little burden of this life.” Thus sang the Rishis of the Vedas. And how to worship Him? Through love. “He is to be worshipped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and the next life.”
This is the doctrine of love declared in the Vedas. Let us see how it is fully developed and taught by Krishna, whom the Hindus believe to have been God incarnate on earth. He taught that we ought to live in this world like a lotus leaf, which grows in water but is never moistened by water [Cp. Gita 5.10]; so we ought to live in the world–our heart to God and our hands to work. It is good to love God for hope of reward in this or the next world, but it is better to love God for love’s sake, and the prayer goes: “Lord, I do not want wealth, nor children, nor learning. If it be Thy will, I shall go from birth to birth, but grant me this, that I may love Thee without the hope of reward–love unselfishly for love’s sake.”
One of the disciples of Krishna, the then Emperor of India, was driven from his kingdom by his enemies and had to take shelter with his queen in a forest in the Himalayas, and there one day the queen asked him how it was that he, the most virtuous of men, should suffer so much misery. Yudhishthira answered, “Behold, my queen, the Himalayas, how grand and beautiful they are; I love them. They do not give me anything, but my nature is to love the grand, the beautiful, therefore I love them. Similarly, I love the Lord. He is the source of all beauty, of all sublimity. He is the only object to be loved; my nature is to love Him, and therefore I love. I do not pray for anything; I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me wherever He likes. I must love Him for love’s sake. I cannot trade in love.”
The Vedas teach that the soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter; perfection will be reached when this bond will burst, and the word they use for it is therefore, mukti–freedom, freedom from the bonds of imperfection, freedom from death and misery. And this bondage can only fall off through the mercy of God, and this mercy comes on the pure. So purity is the condition of His mercy.
How does that mercy act? God reveals Himself to the pure heart. The pure and the stainless see God, yea, even in this life; then and then only all the crookedness of the heart is made straight. Then all doubt ceases. [Cp. Mundaka Upanishad, 2.2.8](7) We are no more the freaks of a terrible law of causation. This is the very center, the very vital conception of Hinduism. The Hindus do not want to live upon words and theories. If there are existences beyond the ordinary sensuous existence, they want to come face to face with them. If there is a soul which is not matter, if there is an all-merciful universal Soul, the Hindus will go to Him direct. They must see Him and that alone can destroy all doubts. So the best proof a Hindu sage gives about the soul, about God, is: “I have seen the soul; I have seen God.” And that is the only condition of perfection. The Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine or dogma, but in realizing–not in believing, but in being and becoming.
Thus the whole object of the Hindu system is by constant struggle to become perfect, to become divine, to reach God and see God. This reaching God, seeing God, becoming perfect even as the Father in Heaven is perfect, constitutes the religion of the Hindus. And what becomes of those who attain perfection? They live a life of bliss infinite. They enjoy infinite and perfect bliss, having obtained the only thing in which we ought to have pleasure, namely God, and enjoy the bliss with God.
Nonduality, or the Unity of All Existence
So far all the Hindus are agreed. This is the common religion of all the sects of India; but, then, perfection is absolute, and the absolute cannot be two or three. It cannot have any qualities. It cannot be an individual. And so when a soul becomes perfect and absolute, it must become one with Brahman, and it would only realize the Lord as the perfection, the reality, of its own nature and existence, the existence absolute, knowledge absolute, and bliss absolute. We have often and often read this called the losing of individuality and becoming a stock or a stone.
“He jests at scars that never felt a wound.”
I tell you it is nothing of the kind. If it is happiness to enjoy the consciousness of this small body, it must be greater happiness to enjoy the consciousness of two bodies, the measure of happiness increasing with the consciousness of an increasing number of bodies, the aim, the ultimate of happiness being reached when it would become a universal consciousness.
Therefore, to gain this infinite universal individuality, this miserable little prison-individuality must go. Then alone can death cease when I am one with life, then alone can misery cease when I am one with happiness itself, then alone can all errors cease when I am one with knowledge itself; and this is the necessary scientific conclusion. Science has proved to me that physical individuality is a delusion, that really my body is one little continuously changing body in an unbroken ocean of matter; and Advaita, or nonduality, is the necessary conclusion with my other counterpart, soul.
Science is nothing but the finding of unity. As soon as science will reach perfect unity, it will stop from further progress because it will have reached the goal. Thus Chemistry will not progress farther when it will discover one element out of which all others can be made. Physics will stop when it will be able to fulfill its services in discovering one energy of which all the others are but manifestations. The science of religion became perfect when it discovered the Being who is the one life in a universe of death, the one who is the constant basis of an ever-changing world, the one who is the only Soul of which all souls are but delusive manifestations. Thus is it, through multiplicity and duality that the ultimate unity is reached. Religion can go no farther. This is the goal of all science.
All science is bound to come to this conclusion in the long run. Manifestation, and not creation, is the word of science today, and the Hindus are only glad that what they have been cherishing in their bosom for ages is going to be taught in more forcible language, and with further light from the latest conclusions of science.

Image Worship
Descend we now from the aspirations of philosophy to the religion of the ignorant. At the very outset, I may tell you that there is no polytheism in India. In every temple, if one stands by and listens, one will find the worshippers applying all the attributes of God, including omnipresence, to the images. It is not polytheism, nor would the name henotheism explain the situation. “The rose called by any other name would smell as sweet.” Names are not explanations.
I remember, as a boy, hearing a Christian missionary preach to a crowd in India. Among other sweet things he was telling them was that if he gave a blow to their idol with his stick, what could it do? One of his hearers sharply answered, “If I abuse your God, what can He do?” “You will be punished,” said the preacher, “when you die.” “So my idol will punish you when you die,” retorted the Hindu.
The tree is known by its fruits. When I have seen amongst them that are called idolaters, people the like of whom in morality and spirituality and love I have never seen anywhere, I stop and ask myself, “Can sin beget holiness?”
Superstition is our great enemy but bigotry is worse. Why does a Christian go to church? Why is the cross holy? Why is the face turned toward the sky in prayer? Why are there so many images in the Catholic Church? Why are there so many images in the minds of Protestants when they pray? My brethren, we can no more think about anything without a mental image than we can live without breathing. By the law of association, the material image calls up the mental idea and vice versa. This is why the Hindus use an external symbol when they worship. They will tell you that it helps to keep their minds fixed on the Being to whom they pray. They know as well as you do that the image is not God, is not omnipresent. After all, how much does omnipresence mean to almost the whole world? It stands merely as a word, a symbol. Has God superficial area? If not, when we repeat that word “omnipresent”, we think of the extended sky or of space, that is all.
As we find that somehow or other, by the laws of our mental constitution, we have to associate our ideas of infinity with the image of the blue sky, or of the sea, so we naturally connect our idea of holiness with the image of a church, a mosque, or a cross. The Hindus have associated the idea of holiness, purity, truth, omnipresence, and such other ideas with different images and forms. But with this difference that while some people devote their whole lives to their idol of a church and never rise higher, because with them religion means an intellectual assent to certain doctrines and doing good to their fellows, the whole religion of the Hindus is centered in realization. We are to become divine by realizing the divine. Idols or temples or churches or books are only the supports, the helps, of our spiritual childhood: but on and on we must progress.
We must not stop anywhere. “External worship, material worship,” say the scriptures, “is the lowest stage; struggling to rise high, mental prayer is the next stage, but the highest stage is when the Lord has been realized.” [Cp. Mahanirvana Tantra,14.122](8) Mark, the same earnest people who are kneeling before the idol tell you, “Him the sun cannot express, nor the moon, nor the stars, the lightning cannot express Him, nor what we speak of as fire; through Him they shine.” (Mundaka Upanishad,2.2.10)(9) But they do not abuse anyone’s idol or call its worship sin. They recognize in it a necessary stage of life. “The child is father of the man.” Would it be right for an old man to say that childhood is a sin or youth a sin?
If we can realize our divine nature with the help of an image, would it be right to call that a sin? Nor even when we have passed that stage, should we call it an error. To the Hindus, human beings are not traveling from error to truth, but from truth to truth, from lower to higher truth. To the Hindus all the religions, from the lowest fetishism to the highest absolutism, mean so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realize the Infinite, each determined by the conditions of its birth and association, and each of these marks a stage of progress; and every soul is a young eagle soaring higher and higher, gathering more and more strength, till it reaches the Glorious Sun.
Unity in variety is the plan of nature, and the Hindus have recognized it. Every other religion lays down certain fixed dogmas and tries to force society to adopt them. It places before society only one coat that must fit Jack and John and Henry, all alike. If it does not fit John or Henry, he must go without a coat to cover his body. The Hindus have discovered that the absolute can only be realized, or thought of, or stated, through the relative, and the images, crosses, and crescents are simply so many symbols–so many pegs to hang the spiritual ideas on. It is not that this help is necessary for everyone, but those that do not need it have no right to say that it is wrong. Nor is it compulsory in Hinduism.
One thing I must tell you. Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible. It is not the mother of harlots. On the other hand, it is the attempt of undeveloped minds to grasp high spiritual truths. The Hindus have their faults, they sometimes have their exceptions; but mark this, they are always for punishing their own bodies, and never for cutting the throats of their neighbors. If the Hindu fanatics burn themselves on the pyre, they never light the fire of Inquisition. And even this cannot be laid at the door of their religion any more than the burning of witches can be laid at the door of Christianity.
Harmony of Religions
To the Hindus, then, the whole world of religions is only a traveling, a coming up, of different men and women, through various conditions and circumstances, to the same goal. Every religion is only evolving a God out of the material person, and the same God is the inspirer of all of them. Why, then, are there so many contradictions? They are only apparent, say the Hindus. The contradictions come from the same truth adapting itself to the varying circumstances of different natures.
It is the same light coming through glasses of different colors. And these little variations are necessary for purposes of adaptation. But in the heart of everything the same truth reigns. The Lord has declared to the Hindus in His incarnation as Krishna, “I am in every religion as the thread through a string of pearls. Wherever thou seest extraordinary holiness and extraordinary power raising and purifying humanity, know thou that I am there.” [Cp. Gita 7.7, 10.41](10) And what has been the result? I challenge the world to find, throughout the whole system of Sanskrit philosophy, any such expression as that the Hindus alone will be saved and not others. Says Vyasa, “We find perfect men even beyond the pale of our caste and creed.”
One thing more. How, then, can the Hindus, whose whole fabric of thought centers in God, believe in Buddhism which is agnostic, or in Jainism which is atheistic? The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of a human being. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also.
The Ideal of a Universal Religion
This, then, is a short sketch of the religious ideas of the Hindus. The Hindus may have failed to carry out all their plans, but if there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time; which will be infinite like the God it will preach, and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna and of Christ, on saints and sinners alike; which will not be Brahminic or Buddhistic, Christian or Islamic, but the sum total of all these, and still have infinite space for development; which in its catholicity will embrace in its infinite arms, and find a place for, every human being, from the lowest groveling savage not far removed from the brute, to the highest beings towering by the virtues of their heads and hearts almost above humanity, making society stand in awe of them and doubt their human nature. It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity, which will recognize divinity in every man and woman, and whose whole scope, whose whole force, will be created in aiding humanity to realize its own true, divine nature.
Offer such a religion and all the nations will follow you. Ashoka’s council was a council of the Buddhist faith. Akbar’s, though more to the purpose, was only a parlor meeting. It was reserved for America to proclaim to all quarters of the globe that the Lord is in every religion.
May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians, give strength to you to carry out your noble idea! The star arose in the East; it traveled steadily towards the West, sometimes dimmed and sometimes effulgent, till it made a circuit of the world; and now it is again rising on the very horizon of the East, the borders of the Sanpo, a thousandfold more effulgent than it ever was before.
Hail, Columbia, motherland of liberty! It has been given to thee, who never dipped her hand in her neighbor’s blood, who never found out that the shortest way of becoming rich was by robbing one’s neighbors, it has been given to thee to march at the vanguard of civilization with the flag of harmony.
Our Real Nature
This lecture on Jnana Yoga was delivered by Swami Vivekananda in London on June 21, 1896, and is reproduced here from his Complete Works, 2: 70-87.
The Search for Reality and Happiness
Great is the tenacity with which people cling to the senses. Yet, however substantial they may think the external world in which they live and move, there comes a time in the lives of individuals and of races when, involuntarily, they ask, “Is this real?” To those who never find a moment to question the credentials of their senses, whose every moment is occupied with some sort of sense-enjoyment–even to them death comes, and they also are compelled to ask, “Is this real?” Religion begins with this question and ends with its answer. Even in the remote past, where recorded history cannot help us, in the mysterious light of mythology, back in the dim twilight of civilization, we find the same question was asked, “What becomes of this? What is real?”
One of the most poetical of the Upanishads, the Katha Upanishad, begins with the inquiry: “When someone dies, there is a dispute. One party declares that the person has gone for ever, the other insists that he or she is still living. Which is true?” Various answers have been given. The whole sphere of metaphysics, philosophy, and religion is really filled with various answers to this question. At the same time, attempts have been made to suppress it, to put a stop to the unrest of mind that asks, “What is beyond? What is real?” But so long as death remains, all these attempts at suppression will always prove to be unsuccessful. We may talk about seeing nothing beyond and keeping all our hopes and aspirations confined to the present moment, and struggle hard not to think of anything beyond the world of senses; and, perhaps, everything outside helps to keep us limited within its narrow bounds. The whole world may combine to prevent us from broadening out beyond the present. Yet, so long as there is death, the question must come again and again, “Is death the end of all these things to which we are clinging, as if they were the most real of all realities, the most substantial of all substances?” The world vanishes in a moment and is gone. Standing on the brink of a precipice beyond which is the infinite yawning chasm, every mind, however hardened, is bound to recoil and ask, “Is this real?” The hopes of a lifetime, built up little by little with all the energies of a great mind, vanish in a second. Are they real? This question must be answered. Time never lessens its power; on the other hand, it adds strength to it.
Then there is the desire to be happy. We run after everything to make ourselves happy; we pursue our mad career in the external world of senses. If you ask the young man with whom life is successful, he will declare that it is real; and he really thinks so. Perhaps, when the same man grows old and finds fortune ever eluding him, he will then declare that it is fate. He finds at last that his desires cannot be fulfilled. Wherever he goes, there is an adamantine wall beyond which he cannot pass. Every sense-activity results in a reaction. Everything is evanescent. Enjoyment, misery, luxury, wealth, power, and poverty, even life itself, are all evanescent.
Two Options: (1) Nihilism or (2) Seeking the Real
Two positions are possible. One is to believe with the nihilists that all is nothing, that we know nothing, that we can never know anything either about the future, the past, or even the present. For we must remember that one who denies the past and the future and wants to stick to the present is simply mad. One may as well deny the father and mother and assert the child. It would be equally logical. To deny the past and future, the present must inevitably be denied also. This is one position, that of the nihilists. I have never seen a person who could really become a nihilist for one minute. It is very easy to talk.
Then there is the other position–to seek for an explanation, to seek for the real, to discover in the midst of this eternally changing and evanescent world whatever is real. In this body, which is an aggregate of molecules of matter, is there anything real? This has been the search throughout the history of the human mind. In the very oldest times, we often find glimpses of light coming into the minds of people. We find men and women, even then, going a step beyond this body, finding something which is not this external body, although very much like it, much more complete, much more perfect, and which remains even when this body is dissolved. We read in the hymns of the Rig-Veda, addressed to the God of Fire who is burning a dead body, “Carry him, O Fire, in your arms gently, give him a perfect body, a bright body, carry him where the fathers live, where there is no more sorrow, where there is no more death.”
The Concept of “The Fall”
The same idea you will find present in every religion. And we get another idea with it. It is a significant fact that all religions, without one exception, hold that we humans are a degeneration of what we once were, whether they clothe this in mythological words, or in the clear language of philosophy, or in the beautiful expressions of poetry. This is the one fact that comes out of every scripture and of every mythology that we as we are now are a degeneration of what we were. This is the kernel of truth within the story of Adam’s fall in the Jewish scripture. This is again and again repeated in the scriptures of the Hindus; the dream of a period which they call the Age of Truth (satya-yuga), when no one died unless they wished to die, when they could keep their bodies as long as they liked, and their minds were pure and strong. There was no evil and no misery; and the present age is a corruption of that state of perfection.
Side by side with this, we find the story of the deluge everywhere. That story itself is a proof that this present age is held to be a corruption of a former age by every religion. It went on becoming more and more corrupt until the deluge swept away a large portion of humanity, and again the ascending series began. It is going up slowly again to reach once more the early state of purity. You are all aware of the story of the deluge in the Old Testament. The same story was current among the ancient Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Hindus. Manu, a great ancient sage, was praying on the bank of the Ganga, when a little minnow came to him for protection, and he put it into a pot of water he had before him. “What do you want?” asked Manu. The little minnow declared he was pursued by a bigger fish and wanted protection. Manu carried the little fish to his home, and in the morning he had become as big as the pot and said, “I cannot live in this pot any longer.” Manu put him in a tank, and the next day he was as big as the tank and declared he could not live there any more. So Manu had to take him to a river, and in the morning the fish filled the river. Then Manu put him in the ocean, and he declared, “Manu, I am the Creator of the universe. I have taken this form to come and warn you that I will deluge the world. You build an ark and in it put a pair of every kind of animal, and let your family enter the ark, and there will project out of the water my horn. Fasten the ark to it; and when the deluge subsides, come out and people the earth.” So the world was deluged, and Manu saved his own family and two of every kind of animal and seeds of every plant. When the deluge subsided, he came and peopled the world; and we are called “man”, because we are the progeny of Manu.

Scientific Superstition vs. Religious Superstition
Now, human language is the attempt to express the truth that is within. I am fully persuaded that a baby whose language consists of unintelligible sounds is attempting to express the highest philosophy, it is just that the baby has neither the organs to express it nor the means. The difference between the language of the highest philosophers and the utterances of babies is one of degree and not of kind. What you call the most correct, systematic, mathematical language of the present time, and the hazy, mystical, mythological languages of the ancients, differ only in degree. All of them have a grand idea behind, which is, as it were, struggling to express itself; and often behind these ancient mythologies are nuggets of truth; and often, I am sorry to say, behind the fine, polished phrases of the moderns is arrant trash. So, we need not throw a thing overboard because it is clothed in mythology, because it does not fit in with the notions of Mr. So-and-so and Mrs. So-and-so of modern times. If people should laugh at religion because most religions declare that we must believe in mythologies taught by such and such a prophet, they ought to laugh more at these moderns. In modern times, if people quote a Moses or a Buddha or a Christ, they are laughed at; but let them give the name of a Huxley, a Tyndall, or a Darwin, and it is swallowed without salt. “Huxley has said it,” and that is enough for many. We are free from superstitions indeed! That was a religious superstition, and this is a scientific superstition; only, in and through that superstition came life-giving ideas of spirituality; in and through this modern superstition come lust and greed. That superstition was worship of God, and this superstition is worship of filthy lucre, of fame and power. That is the difference.
The Theory of Cycles
To return to mythology. Behind all these stories we find one idea standing supreme–that we are a degeneration of what we were. Coming to the present times, modern research seems to repudiate this position absolutely. Evolutionists seem to contradict entirely this assertion. According to them, we humans have evolved from the mollusc; and, therefore, what mythology states cannot be true. There is in India, however, a mythology that is able to reconcile both these positions. The Indian mythology has a theory of cycles, which states that all progression is in the form of waves. Every wave is attended by a fall, and that by a rise the next moment, followed by a fall in the next, and again another rise. The motion is in cycles. Certainly it is true, even on the grounds of modern research, that human beings cannot be simply an evolution. Every evolution presupposes an involution. The modern scientist will tell you that you can only get as much amount of energy out of a machine as you have previously put into it. Something cannot be produced out of nothing. If we are an evolution of the mollusc, then the perfect amongst us–the Buddha, the Christ–was involved in the mollusc. If it is not so, whence come these gigantic personalities? Something cannot come out of nothing. Thus we are in the position of reconciling the scriptures with modern light. The energy that manifests itself slowly through various stages until it becomes the perfect person, cannot come out of nothing. It existed somewhere; and if the mollusc or the protoplasm is the first point to which you can trace it, that protoplasm, somehow or other, must have contained the energy.
Force and Matter
There is a great discussion going on as to whether the aggregate of materials we call the body is the cause of manifestation of the force we call the soul, thought, etc., or whether it is the thought that manifests this body. The religions of the world of course hold that the force called thought manifests the body, and not the reverse. There are schools of modern thought which hold that what we call thought is simply the outcome of the adjustment of the parts of the machine which we call body. Taking the second position that the soul or the mass of thought, or however you may call it, is the outcome of this machine, the outcome of the chemical and physical combinations of matter making up the body and brain, leaves the question unanswered.
What makes the body? What force combines the molecules into the body form? What force takes up material from the mass of matter around and forms my body one way, another body another way, and so on? What makes these infinite distinctions? To say that the force called soul is the outcome of the combinations of the molecules of the body is putting the cart before the horse. How did the combinations come; where was the force to make them? If you say that some other force was the cause of these combinations, and soul was the outcome of that matter, and that soul–which combined a certain mass of matter–was itself the result of the combinations, it is no answer. That theory ought to be taken which explains most of the facts, if not all, and that without contradicting other existing theories. It is more logical to say that the force that takes up the matter and forms the body is the same that manifests through that body. To say, therefore, that the thought forces manifested by the body are the outcome of the arrangement of molecules and have no independent existence has no meaning; neither can force evolve out of matter. Rather it is impossible to demonstrate that what we call matter does not exist at all. It is only a certain state of force. Solidity, hardness, or any other state of matter can be proved to be the result of motion. Increase of vortex motion imparted to fluids gives them the force of solids. A mass of air in vortex motion, as in a tornado, becomes solid-like and by its impact breaks or cuts through solids. A thread of a spider’s web, if it could be moved at almost infinite velocity, would be as strong as an iron chain and would cut through an oak tree. Looking at it in this way, it would be easier to prove that what we call matter does not exist. But the other way cannot be proved.
What is the force that manifests itself through the body? It is obvious to all of us, whatever that force be, that it is taking particles up, as it were, and manipulating forms out of them–the human body. None else comes here to manipulate bodies for you and me. I never saw anybody eat food for me. I have to assimilate it, manufacture blood and bones and everything out of that food. What is this mysterious force? Ideas about the future and about the past seem to be terrifying to many. To many they seem to be mere speculation.
Our Real Nature
The Atman and Its Nature
We will take the present theme. What is this force which is now working through us? We know how in old times, in all the ancient scriptures, this power, this manifestation of power, was thought to be a bright substance having the form of this body, and which remained even after this body fell. Later on, however, we find a higher idea coming–that this bright body did not represent the force. Whatsoever has form must be the result of combinations of particles and requires something else behind it to move it. If this body requires something that is not the body to manipulate it, the bright body, by the same necessity, will also require something other than itself to manipulate it. So, that something was called the soul, the Atman in Sanskrit. It was the Atman that through the bright body, as it were, worked on the gross body outside. The bright body is considered as the receptacle of the mind, and the Atman is beyond that. The Atman is not the mind; it works the mind, and through the mind the body. You have an Atman, I have another, each one of us has a separate Atman and a separate fine body, and through that we work on the gross external body.
Questions were then asked about this Atman, about its nature. What is this Atman, which is neither the body nor the mind? Great discussions followed. Speculations were made, various shades of philosophic inquiry came into existence; and I shall try to place before you some of the conclusions that have been reached about this Atman.
The different philosophies seem to agree that this Atman, whatever it be, has neither form nor shape, and that which has neither form nor shape must be omnipresent. Time begins with mind, space also is in the mind. Causation cannot stand without time. Without the idea of succession there cannot be any idea of causation. Time, space and causation, therefore, are in the mind, and as this Atman is beyond the mind and formless, it must be beyond time, beyond space, and beyond causation. Now, if it is beyond time, space, and causation, it must be infinite. Then comes the highest speculation in our philosophy. The infinite cannot be two. If the Atman be infinite, there can be only one Atman, and all ideas of various souls–you having one soul, and I having another and so forth–are not real.
The Real Person, therefore, is one and infinite, the omnipresent Spirit. And the “apparent person” is only a limitation of that Real Person. In that sense the mythologies are true that the apparent person, however great he or she may be, is only a dim reflection of the Real Person who is beyond. The Real Person, the Atman–being beyond cause and effect, and not bound by time and space–must therefore be free. The Real Person was never bound, and could not be bound. The apparent person, the reflection, is limited by time, space, and causation, and is therefore bound. Or in the language of some of our philosophers, the person appears to be bound, but really is not. This is the reality within, this omnipresence, this spiritual nature, this infinity.
Every Atman is infinite, therefore there is no question of birth and death. Some children were being examined. The teacher put them rather hard questions, and among them was this one: “Why does not the earth fall?” He wanted to evoke answers about gravitation. Most of the children could not answer at all; a few answered that it was gravitation or something. One bright little girl answered it by putting another question: “Where should it fall?” The question is nonsense. Where should the earth fall? There is no falling or rising for the earth. In infinite space there is no up or down; that is only in the relative. Where is the going or coming for the infinite? Whence should it come and whither should it go?
Thus, when people cease to think of the past or future, when they give up the idea of body–because the body comes and goes and is limited–then they have risen to a higher ideal. The body is not the Real Person, neither is the mind, for the mind waxes and wanes. It is only the Atman beyond, which can live for ever. The body and mind are continually changing, and are in fact only names of series of changeful phenomena, like rivers whose waters are in a constant state of flux, yet presenting the appearance of unbroken streams. Every particle in this body is continually changing; no one has the same body for many minutes together, and yet we think of it as the same body. So with the mind: one moment it is happy, another moment unhappy; one moment strong, another weak; an ever-changing whirlpool. The mind cannot be the Atman, which is infinite. Change can only be in the limited. To say that the infinite changes in any way is absurd; it cannot be. You and I, as limited bodies, can move; every particle in this universe is in a constant state of flux, but taking the universe as a unit, as one whole, it cannot move, it cannot change. Motion is always a relative thing. I move in relation to something else. Any particle in this universe can change in relation to any other particle; but take the whole universe as one, and in relation to what can it move? There is nothing besides it. So this infinite unit is unchangeable, immovable, absolute, and this is the Real Person. Our reality, therefore, consists in the universal and not in the limited. These are old delusions, however comfortable they are, to think that we are little limited beings, constantly changing. People are frightened when they are told that they are the Universal Being, everywhere present. Through everything you work, through every foot you move, through every lip you talk, through every heart you feel.
Individuality
People are frightened when they are told this. They will again and again ask you if they are not going to keep their individuality. What is “individuality”? I should like to see it. A baby boy has no moustache; when he grows to be a man, perhaps he has a moustache and beard. His individuality would be lost if it were in the body. If I lose one eye, or if I lose one of my hands, my individuality would be lost if it were in the body. A drunkard should not give up drinking because he would lose his individuality. A thief should not be a good man because he would thereby lose his individuality. No one ought to change their habits for fear of this. The truth is that there is no individuality except in the Infinite. That is the only condition that does not change. Everything else is in a constant state of flux. Neither can individuality be in memory. Suppose, on account of a blow on the head I forget all about my past; then, I have lost all individuality; I am gone. I do not remember two or three years of my childhood, and if memory and existence are one, then whatever I forget is gone. That part of my life which I do not remember, I did not live. That is a very narrow idea of individuality.

We are not individuals yet. We are struggling towards individuality, and that is the Infinite, that is our real nature. Only the person whose life is in the whole universe really “lives.” The more we concentrate our lives on limited things, the faster we go towards death. Those moments alone we live when our lives are in the universe, in others; and living this little life is death, simply death, and that is why the fear of death comes. The fear of death can only be conquered when we realize that so long as there is one life in this universe, we are living. When I can say, “I am in everything, in everybody, I am in all lives, I am the universe,” then alone comes the state of fearlessness. To talk of immortality in constantly changing things is absurd. Says an old Sanskrit philosopher: It is only the Spirit that is the individual, because it is infinite. Infinity cannot be divided; infinity cannot be broken into pieces. It is the same one, undivided unit for ever, and this is the real individual, the Real Person. The apparent person is merely a struggle to express, or to manifest, this individuality that is beyond; and evolution is not in the Spirit. These changes that are going on–the wicked becoming good, the animal becoming human, take them in whatever way you like–are not in the Atman. They are the evolution of nature and manifestation of Atman.
Suppose there is a screen hiding you from me, in which there is a small hole through which I can see some of the faces before me, just a few faces. Now suppose the hole begins to grow larger and larger, and as it does so, more and more of the scene before me reveals itself and when at last the whole screen has disappeared, I stand face to face with you all. You did not change at all in this case; it was the hole that was evolving, and you were gradually manifesting yourselves. So it is with the Atman. No perfection is going to be attained. You are already free and perfect.
What are these ideas of religion and God and searching for the hereafter? Why do we look for a God? Why do we, in every nation, in every state of society, want a perfect ideal somewhere, either in human beings, or in God, or elsewhere? Because that idea is within us. It was our own heart beating and we did not know; we were mistaking it for something external. It is the God within our own self that is propelling us to seek for Him and to realize Him. After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last we come back, completing the circle from where we started, to our own soul and find that He for whom we have been seeking all over the world, for whom we have been weeping and praying in churches and temples, on whom we were looking as the mystery of all mysteries shrouded in the clouds, is nearest of the near, is our own Self, the reality of our life, body and mind. That is our own nature. Assert it, manifest it. Not to become pure, we are pure already. We are not to become perfect, we are that already. Nature is like the screen which is hiding the reality beyond. Every good thought that we think or act upon is simply tearing the veil, as it were; and the purity, the Infinity, the God behind, manifests Itself more and more.
The “Why” of Ethics
This is the whole history of human evolution. Finer and finer becomes the veil, more and more of the light behind shines forth, for it is its nature to shine. It cannot be known; in vain we try to know it. Were it knowable, it would not be what it is, for it is the eternal subject. Knowledge is a limitation, knowledge is objectifying. He is the eternal subject of everything, the eternal witness in this universe, your own Self. Knowledge is, as it were, a lower step, a degeneration. We are that eternal subject already; how can we know it? It is the real nature of every one of us, and we are struggling to express it in various ways; otherwise, why are there so many ethical codes? Where is the explanation of all ethics? One idea stands out as the centre of all ethical systems, expressed in various forms, namely, doing good to others. Our guiding motive should be charity towards fellow human beings, charity towards all animals. But these are all various expressions of that eternal truth that, “I am the universe; this universe is one.” Or else, where is the reason? Why should I do good to my fellow beings? Why should I do good to others? What compels me? It is sympathy, the feeling of sameness everywhere. The hardest hearts feel sympathy for beings sometimes. Even those who gets frightened if they are told that this assumed individuality is really a delusion, that it is ignoble to try to cling to this apparent individuality, that very people will tell you that extreme self-abnegation is the center of all morality.
And what is perfect self-abnegation? It means the abnegation of this apparent self, the abnegation of all selfishness. This idea of “me and mine”–Ahamkâra and Mamatâ–is the result of past superstition, and the more this present self passes away, the more the real self, or the Atman, becomes manifest. This is true self-abnegation, the center, the basis, the gist of all moral teaching; and whether we know it or not, the whole world is slowly going towards it, practicing it more or less. Only, the vast majority of people are doing it unconsciously. Let them do it consciously. Let them make the sacrifice, knowing that this “me and mine” is not the real Atman but only a limitation. But one glimpse of that infinite reality which is behind–but one spark of that infinite fire that is the All–represents our present reality; the Infinite is our true nature.
The Utility of the Knowledge of Our Real Nature
What is the utility, the effect, the result, of this knowledge? In these days, we have to measure everything by utility–by how many pounds, shillings, and pence it represents. What right has a person to ask that truth should be judged by the standard of utility or money? Suppose there is no utility, will it be less true? Utility is not the test of truth. Nevertheless, there is the highest utility in this. Happiness, we see, is what everyone is seeking for, but the majority seek it in things which are evanescent and not real. No happiness was ever found in the senses. There never was a person who found happiness in the senses or in the enjoyment of the senses. Happiness is only found in the Atman. Therefore the highest utility for us all is to find this happiness in the Atman.
The next point is that ignorance is the great mother of all misery, and the fundamental ignorance is to think that the Infinite weeps and cries, that He is finite. This is the basis of all ignorance that we, the immortal, the ever pure, the perfect Atman, think that we are little minds, that we are little bodies; it is the mother of all selfishness. As soon as I think that I am a little body, I want to preserve it, to protect it, to keep it nice, at the expense of other bodies; then you and I become separate. As soon as this idea of separation comes, it opens the door to all mischief and leads to all misery. This is the utility that if a very small fractional part of human beings living today can put aside the idea of selfishness, narrowness, and littleness, this earth will become a paradise tomorrow; but it will never be with just machines and improvements of material knowledge. These only increase misery, as oil poured on fire increase the flame all the more. Without the knowledge of the Atman, all material knowledge is only adding fuel to fire, only giving into the hands of selfish man one more instrument to take what belongs to others, to live upon the life of others, instead of giving up his life for them.
Is This Knowledge Practical?
Is it practical?–is another question. Can it be practiced in modern society? Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die. Societies should be molded upon truth, and truth has not to adjust itself to society. If such a noble truth as unselfishness cannot be practiced in society, it is better for us to give up society and go into the forest. That is the daring person.
There are two sorts of courage. One is the courage of facing the cannon. And the other is the courage of spiritual conviction. An Emperor who invaded India was told by his teacher to go and see some of the sages there. After a long search for one, he found a very old man sitting on a block of stone. The Emperor talked with him a little and became very impressed by his wisdom. He asked the sage to go to his country with him. “No,” said the sage, “I am quite satisfied with my forest here.” Said the Emperor, “I will give you money, position, wealth. I am the Emperor of the world.” “No,” replied the man. “I don’t care for those things.” The Emperor replied, “If you do not go, I will kill you.” The man smiled serenely and said, “That is the most foolish thing you have ever said, Emperor. You cannot kill me. Me the sun cannot dry, fire cannot burn, sword cannot kill, for I am the birthless, the deathless, the ever-living omnipotent, omnipresent Spirit.” This is spiritual boldness, while the other is the courage of a lion or a tiger. In the Mutiny of 1857 there was a Swami, a very great soul, whom a Muslim mutineer stabbed severely. The Hindu mutineers caught and brought the man to the Swami, offering to kill him. But the Swami looked up calmly and said, “My brother, thou art He, thou art He!” and expired. This is another instance.
What good is it to talk of the strength of your muscles, of the superiority of your Western institutions, if you cannot make Truth square with your society, if you cannot build up a society into which the highest Truth will fit? What is the good of this boastful talk about your grandeur and greatness, if you stand up and say, “This courage is not practical.” Is nothing practical but pounds, shillings, and pence? If so, why boast of your society? That society is the greatest, where the highest truths become practical. That is my opinion; and if society is not fit for the highest truths, make it so; and the sooner, the better. Stand up, men and women, in this spirit, dare to believe in the Truth, dare to practice the Truth! The world requires a few hundred bold men and women. Practice that boldness which dares know the Truth, which dares show the Truth in life, which does not quake before death, nay, welcomes death, helps us know that every one of us is the Atman, that nothing in this universe can kill us. Then we will be free. Then we will know our real self, the Atman. “This Atman is first to be heard, then thought about and then meditated upon.”
Work and Thought
There is a great tendency in modern times to talk too much of work and decry thought. Doing is very good, but that comes from thinking. Little manifestations of energy through the muscles are called work. But where there is no thought, there will be no work. Fill the brain, therefore, with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work. Talk not about impurity, but say that we are pure. We have hypnotized ourselves into this thought that we are little, that we are born, and that we are going to die, and into a constant state of fear.
There is a story about a lioness who was big with young, going about in search of prey; and seeing a flock of sheep, she jumped upon them. She died in the effort; and a little baby lion was born, motherless. It was taken care of by the sheep and the sheep brought it up, and it grew up with them, ate grass, and bleated like the sheep. And although in time it became a big, full-grown lion, it thought it was a sheep. One day another lion came in search of prey and was astonished to find that in the midst of this flock of sheep was a lion, fleeing like the sheep at the approach of danger. He tried to get near the sheep-lion, to tell it that it was not a sheep but a lion; but the poor animal fled at his approach. However, he watched his opportunity and one day found the sheep-lion sleeping. He approached it and said, “You are a lion.” “I am a sheep,” cried the other lion and could not believe the contrary but bleated. The lion dragged him towards a lake and said, “Look here, here is my reflection and yours.” Then came the comparison. It looked at the lion and then at its own reflection, and in a moment came the idea that it was a lion. The lion roared, the bleating was gone.
You are lions! You are souls, pure, infinite, and perfect. The might of the universe is within you. “Why weepest thou, my friend? There is neither birth nor death for thee. Why weepest thou? There is no disease nor misery for thee, but thou art like the infinite sky; clouds of various colours come over it, play for a moment, then vanish. But the sky is ever the same eternal blue.”
That Which Is “Inside” We See “Outside”
Why do we see wickedness? There was a stump of a tree, and in the dark, a thief came that way and said, “That is a policeman.” A young man waiting for his beloved saw it and thought that it was his sweetheart. A child who had been told ghost stories took it for a ghost and began to shriek. But all the time it was the stump of a tree. We see the world as we are. Suppose there is a baby in a room with a bag of gold on the table and a thief comes and steals the gold. Would the baby know it was stolen? That which we have inside, we see outside. The baby has no thief inside and sees no thief outside. So with all knowledge. Do not talk of the wickedness of the world and all its sins. Weep that you are bound to see wickedness yet. Weep that you are bound to see sin everywhere, and if you want to help the world, do not condemn it. Do not weaken it more. For what is sin and what is misery, and what are all these, but the results of weakness? The world is made weaker and weaker every day by such teachings.
Men and women are taught from childhood that they are weak and sinners. Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality, even those who are the weakest in manifestation. Let positive, strong, helpful thought enter into their brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralyzing ones. Say to your own minds, “I am the Atman. I am the Infinite.” Let it ring day and night in your minds like a song, and at the point of death declare, “I am the Atman.” That is the Truth; the infinite strength of the world is yours. Drive out the superstition that has covered your minds. Let us be brave. Know the truth and practice the truth. The goal may be distant, but awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached.

The Necessity of Religion
Swami Vivekananda gave this brilliant lecture in England on June 7, 1896. It was transcribed by J. J. Goodwin and subsequently included in the book Jnana Yoga and also in the Complete Works (2: 57-69). Swamiji discusses here some of the most vital issues connected with religion: the beginning of religion, the role of religious study, and the connection between ethics and “renunciation.”
Religion: The Most Potent Force
Of all the forces that have worked and are still working to mould the destinies of the human race, none certainly is more potent than that, the manifestation of which we call religion. All social organizations have as a background, somewhere, the workings of that peculiar force, and the greatest cohesive impulse ever brought into play amongst human units has been derived from this power. It is obvious to all of us that in very many cases the bonds of religion have proved stronger than the bonds of race or of climate or even of descent. It is a well-known fact that persons worshipping the same God, believing in the same religion, have stood by each other with much greater strength and constancy than people of merely the same descent or even brothers.
Beginning of Religion: Two Theories
Ancestor Worship
Nature Worship

1  Ancestor Worship
Various attempts have been made to trace the beginnings of religion. In all the ancient religions which have come down to us at the present day, we find one claim made–that they are all supernatural, that their genesis is not, as it were, in the human brain, but that they have originated somewhere outside of it.
Two theories have gained some acceptance amongst modern scholars. One is the spirit theory of religion, the other the evolution of the idea of the Infinite. One party maintains that ancestor worship is the beginning of religious ideas; the other, that religion originates in the personification of the power of nature. We want to keep up the memory of our dead relatives and think that they are living even when the body is dissolved, and we want to place food for them and, in a certain sense, to worship them. Out of that came the growth we call religion.
Studying the ancient religions of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, and many other races in America and elsewhere, we find very clear traces of this ancestor worship being the beginning of religion. With the ancient Egyptians, the first idea of the soul was that of a double. Every human body contained in it another being very similar to it; and when a person died, this double went out of the body and yet lived on. But the life of the double lasted only so long as the dead body remained intact, and that is why we find among the Egyptians so much solicitude to keep the body uninjured. And that is why they built those huge pyramids in which they preserved the bodies. For, if any portion of the external body was hurt, the double would be correspondingly injured. This is clearly ancestor worship. With the ancient Babylonians we find the same idea of the double, but with a variation. The double lost all sense of love; it frightened the living to give it food and drink, and to help it in various ways. It even lost all affection for its own children and its own wife. Among the ancient Hindus also, we find traces of this ancestor worship. Among the Chinese, the basis of their religion may also be said to be ancestor worship, and it still permeates the length and breadth of that vast country. In fact, the only religion that can really be said to flourish in China is that of ancestor worship. Thus it seems, on the one hand, a very good position is made out for those who hold the theory of ancestor worship as the beginning of religion.
2.  Nature Worship
On the other hand, there are scholars who from the ancient Aryan literature show that religion originated in nature worship. Although in India we find proofs of ancestor worship everywhere, yet in the oldest records there is no trace of it whatsoever. In the Rig-Veda Samhita, the most ancient record of the Aryan race, we do not find any trace of it. Modern scholars think, it is the worship of nature that they find there. The human mind seems to struggle to get a peep behind the scenes. The dawn, the evening, the hurricane, the stupendous and gigantic forces of nature, its beauties, these have exercised the human mind, and it aspires to go beyond, to understand something about them. In the struggle they endow these phenomena with personal attributes, giving them souls and bodies, sometimes beautiful, sometimes transcendent. Every attempt ends by these phenomena becoming abstractions whether personalized or not. So also it is found with the ancient Greeks; their whole mythology is simply this abstracted nature worship. So also with the ancient Germans, the Scandinavians, and all the other Aryan races. Thus, on this side, too, a very strong case has been made out, that religion has its origin in the personification of the forces of nature.
Their Reconciliation: The Struggle to Transcend the Limitations of the Senses
These two views, though they seem to be contradictory, can be reconciled on a third basis which, to my mind, is the real germ of religion, and that I propose to call the struggle to transcend the limitations of the senses. Either, people go to seek for the spirits of their ancestors, the spirits of the dead, that is, they want to get a glimpse of what there is after the body is dissolved, or, they desire to understand the power working behind the stupendous phenomena of nature. Whichever of these is the case, one thing is certain, that they try to transcend the limitations of the senses. They cannot remain satisfied with their senses; they want to go beyond them.
The explanation need not be mysterious. To me it seems very natural that the glimpse of religion should come through dreams. The first idea of immortality we may well get through dreams. Isn’t that a most wonderful state? And we know that children and untutored minds find very little difference between dreaming and their waking state. What can be more natural than that they find, as natural logic, that even during the sleep state, when the body is apparently dead, the mind goes on with all its intricate workings? What wonder that they will at once come to the conclusion that when this body is dissolved forever, the same working will go on? This, to my mind, would be a more natural explanation of the supernatural, and through this dream idea the human mind rises to higher and higher conceptions. Of course, in time, the vast majority of mankind found out that these dreams are not verified by their waking states, and that during the dream state it is not that we have a fresh existence, but simply that we recapitulate the experiences of the waking state.

The Discovery of States Higher Than Waking or Dreaming
But by this time the search had begun and the search was inward. Human beings continued inquiring more deeply into the different stages of the mind and discovered higher states than either the waking or the dreaming. This state of things we find in all the organized religions of the world, called either ecstasy or inspiration. In all organized religions, their founders, prophets, and messengers are declared to have gone into states of mind that were neither waking nor sleeping, in which they came face to face with a new series of facts relating to what is called the spiritual kingdom. They realized things there much more intensely than we realize facts around us in our waking state. Take, for instance, the religions of the Brahmins. The Vedas are said to be written by Rishis. These Rishis were sages who realized certain facts. The exact definition of the Sanskrit word Rishi is a Seer of Mantras–of the thoughts conveyed in the Vedic hymns. These Rishis declared that they had realized–sensed, if that word can be used with regard to the supersensuous–certain facts, and these facts they proceeded to put on record. We find the same truth declared amongst both the Jews and the Christians.
Some exceptions may be taken in the case of the Buddhists as represented by the Southern sect. It may be asked–if the Buddhists do not believe in any God or soul, how can their religion be derived from the supersensuous state of existence? The answer to this is that even the Buddhists find an eternal moral law, and that moral law was not reasoned out in our sense of the word. But Buddha found it, discovered it, in a supersensuous state. Those of you who have studied the life of Buddha, even as briefly given in that beautiful poem The Light of Asia, may remember that Buddha is represented as sitting under the Bo-tree until he reached that supersensuous state of mind. All his teachings came through this, and not through intellectual cogitations.
Thus, a tremendous statement is made by all religions; that the human mind, at certain moments, transcends not only the limitations of the senses but also the power of reasoning. It then comes face to face with facts that it could never have sensed, could never have reasoned out. These facts are the basis of all the religions of the world. Of course, we have the right to challenge these facts, to put them to the test of reason. Nevertheless, all the existing religions of the world claim for the human mind this peculiar power of transcending the limits of the senses and the limits of reason; and this power they put forward as a statement of fact.

Renunciation and Its Relation to Ethics

Apart from the consideration of the question how far these facts claimed by religions are true, we find one characteristic common to them all. They are all abstractions as contrasted with the concrete discoveries of physics, for instance; and in all the highly organized religions they take the purest form of Unit Abstraction, either in the form of an Abstracted Presence, as an Omnipresent Being, as an Abstract Personality called God, as a Moral Law, or in the form of an Abstract Essence underlying every existence.
In modern times, too, the attempts made to preach religions without appealing to the supersensuous state of mind have had to take up the old abstractions of the Ancients and give different names to them as “Moral Law,” the “Ideal Unity,” and so forth, thus showing that these abstractions are not in the senses. None of us have yet seen an “Ideal Human Being,” and yet we are told to believe in it. None of us have yet seen an ideally perfect person, and yet without that ideal we cannot progress. Thus, this one fact stands out from all these different religions, that there is an Ideal Unit Abstraction, which is put before us, either in the form of a Person or an Impersonal Being, or a Law, or a Presence, or an Essence. We are always struggling to raise ourselves up to that ideal.
Every human being, whosoever and wheresoever he or she may be, has an ideal of infinite power. Every human being has an ideal of infinite pleasure. Most of the works that we find around us, the activities displayed everywhere, are due to the struggle for this infinite power or this infinite pleasure. But a few quickly discover that although they are struggling for infinite power, it is not through the senses that it can be reached. They find out very soon that that infinite pleasure is not to be got through the senses. In other words, the senses are too limited and the body is too limited to express the Infinite. To manifest the Infinite through the finite is impossible, and sooner or later we learn to give up the attempt to express the Infinite through the finite. This giving up, this renunciation of the attempt, is the background of ethics. Renunciation is the very basis upon which ethics stands. There never was an ethical code preached which had not renunciation for its basis.
Ethics always says, Not I, but thou. Its motto is, Not self, but non-self. The vain ideas of individualism, to which people cling when they are trying to find that Infinite Power or that Infinite Pleasure through the senses, have to be given up–say the laws of ethics. You have to put yourself last, and others before you. The senses say, “Myself first.” Ethics says, “I must hold myself last.” Thus, all codes of ethics are based upon this renunciation; destruction, not construction, of the individual on the material plane. The Infinite will never find expression upon the material plane, nor is it possible or thinkable.
So we have to give up the plane of matter and rise to other spheres to seek a deeper expression of the Infinite. In this way the various ethical laws are being molded, but all have that one central idea, eternal self-abnegation. Perfect self-annihilation is the ideal of ethics. People are startled if they are asked not to think of their individualities. They seem so very much afraid of losing what they call their individuality. At the same time, the same people would declare the highest ideals of ethics to be right, never for a moment thinking that the scope, the goal, the idea of all ethics is the destruction, and not the building up, of the individual.

The Necessity of Spiritual Religion

Utilitarian standards cannot explain the ethical relations of people. For, in the first place, we cannot derive any ethical laws from considerations of utility. Without the supernatural sanction as it is called–or the perception of the superconscious as I prefer to term it–there can be no ethics. Without the struggle towards the Infinite there can be no ideal. Any system that wants to bind people down to the limits of their own societies is not able to find an explanation for the ethical laws of humanity. The Utilitarian wants us to give up the struggle after the Infinite, the reaching out for the Supersensuous, as impracticable and absurd, and in the same breath asks us to take up ethics and do good to society. Why should we do good? Doing good is a secondary consideration. We must have an idea. Ethics itself is not the end, but the means to the end. If the end is not there, why should we be ethical? Why should I do good to others and not injure them? If happiness is the goal, why should I not make myself happy and others unhappy? What prevents me?
In the second place, the basis of utility is too narrow. All the current social forms and methods are derived from society as it exists, but what right has the Utilitarian to assume that society is eternal? Society did not exist ages ago, possibly will not exist ages hence. Most probably it is one of the passing stages through which we are going towards a higher evolution, and any law that is derived from society alone cannot be eternal, cannot cover the whole ground of the human nature. At best, therefore, Utilitarian theories can only work under present social conditions. Beyond that they have no value. But a morality, an ethical code, derived from religion and spirituality, has the whole of infinite human being for its scope. It takes up the individual, but its relations are to the Infinite, and it takes up society also–because society is nothing but numbers of these individuals grouped together; and as it applies to the individual and his or her eternal relations, it must necessarily apply to the whole of society, in whatever condition it may be at any given time. Thus we see that there is always the necessity of spiritual religion for human beings. We cannot always think of matter, however pleasurable it may be.
It has been said that too much attention to things spiritual disturbs our practical relations in this world. As far back as in the days of the Chinese sage Confucius, it was said, “Let us take care of this world: and then, when we have finished with this world, we will take care of other world.” It is very well that we should take care of this world. But if too much attention to the spiritual may affect a little our practical relations, too much attention to the so-called practical hurts us here and hereafter. It makes us materialistic. For we are not to regard nature as our goal but something higher.

Spirituality–The Real Strength Behind Every Race
A man or a woman is a human being so long as he or she is struggling to rise above nature, and this nature is both internal and external. It comprises not only the laws that govern the particles of matter outside us and in our bodies, but also the more subtle nature within, which is in fact the motive power governing the external. It is good and very grand to conquer external nature but grander still to conquer our internal nature. It is grand and good to know the laws that govern the stars and planets; it is infinitely grander and better to know the laws that govern the passions, the feelings, the will, of humanity. This conquering of the inner person, understanding the secrets of the subtle workings that are within the human mind, and knowing its wonderful secrets, belong entirely to religion.
Human nature the ordinary human nature, I mean wants to see big material facts. The ordinary person cannot understand anything that is subtle. Well has it been said that the masses admire the lion that kills a thousand lambs, never for a moment thinking that it is death to the lambs, although a momentary triumph for the lion; because they find pleasure only in manifestations of physical strength. Thus it is with the ordinary run of people. They understand and find pleasure in everything that is external. But in every society there is a section whose pleasures are not in the senses but beyond, and who now and then catch glimpses of something higher than matter and struggle to reach it. And if we read the history of nations between the lines, we shall always find that the rise of a nation comes with an increase in the number of such people; and the fall begins when this pursuit after the Infinite, however vain Utilitarians may call it, has ceased. That is to say, the mainspring of the strength of every race lies in its spirituality, and the death of that race begins the day that spirituality wanes and materialism gains ground.
Religious Study, the Healthiest Exercise for the Human Mind
Thus, apart from the solid facts and truths that we may learn from religion, apart from the comforts that we may gain from it, religion as a science, as a study, is the greatest and healthiest exercise that the human mind can have. This pursuit of the Infinite, this struggle to grasp the Infinite, this effort to get beyond the limitations of the senses out of matter, as it were– and to evolve the spiritual person –this striving day and night to make the Infinite one with our being–this struggle itself is the grandest and most glorious that we can make.
Some persons find the greatest pleasure in eating. We have no right to say that they should not. Others find the greatest pleasure in possessing certain things. We have no right to say that they should not. But they also have no right to say no to the person who finds the highest pleasure in spiritual thought. The lower the organization, the greater is the pleasure in the senses. Very few people can eat a meal with the same gusto as a dog or a wolf. But all the pleasures of the dog or the wolf have gone, as it were into the senses. The lower types of humanity in all nations find pleasure in the senses, while the cultured and the educated find it in thought, in philosophy, in arts and sciences. Spirituality is a still higher plane. The subject being infinite, that plane is the highest, and the pleasure there is the highest for those who can appreciate it. So even on the utilitarian ground that we are to seek for pleasure, we should cultivate religious thought, for it is the highest pleasure that exists. Thus religion, as a study, seems to me to be absolutely necessary.
We can see it in its effects. It is the greatest motive power that moves the human mind. No other ideal can put into us the same mass of energy as the spiritual. So far as human history goes, it is obvious to all of us that this has been the case and that its powers are not dead. I do not deny that people can be very good and moral on simply utilitarian grounds. There have been many great men and women in this world perfectly sound, moral and good, simply on utilitarian grounds. But the world-movers, those who bring, as it were, a mass of magnetism into the world, whose spirit works in hundreds and in thousands, whose life ignites others with a spiritual fire–such persons we always find have that spiritual background. Their motive power came from religion. Religion is the greatest motive power for realizing that infinite energy which is the birthright and nature of every one of us. In building up character, in making for everything that is good and great, in bringing peace to others and peace to one’s own self, religion is the highest motive power and, therefore, ought to be studied from that standpoint.
Religious Ideas Must Become Universal
Religion must be studied on a broader basis than formerly. All narrow, limited, fighting ideas of religion have to go. All sect ideas and tribal or national ideas of religion must be given up. That each tribe or nation should have its own particular God and think that every other is wrong is a superstition that should belong to the past. All such ideas must be abandoned.
As the human mind broadens, its spiritual steps broaden too. The time has already come when we cannot record a thought without its reaching to all corners of the earth; by merely physical means, we have come into touch with the whole world; so the future religions of the world have to become as universal, as wide.
The religious ideals of the future must embrace all that exists in the world and is good and great, and at the same time have infinite scope for future development. All that was good in the past must be preserved and the doors must be kept open for future additions to the already existing store. Religions must also be inclusive and not look down with contempt upon one another, because their particular ideals of God are different. In my life I have seen a great many spiritual men and women, a great many sensible persons, who did not believe in God at all, that is to say, not in our sense of the word. Perhaps they understood God better than we can ever do. The Personal idea of God or the Impersonal, the Infinite, Moral Law, or the Ideal Person these all have to come under the definition of religion. And when religions have become thus broadened, their power for good will have increased a hundredfold. Religions, having tremendous power in them, have often done more injury to the world than good, simply on account of their narrowness and limitations.
Even at the present time we find many sects and societies, with almost the same ideas, fighting each other, because one does not want to set forth those ideas in precisely the same way as another. Therefore, religions will have to broaden. Religious ideas will have to become universal, vast, and infinite; and then alone we shall have the fullest play of religion, for the power of religion has only just begun to manifest in the world.
It is sometimes said that religions are dying out, that spiritual ideas are dying out of the world. To me it seems that they have just begun to grow. The power of religion, broadened and purified, is going to penetrate every part of human life. So long as religion was in the hands of a chosen few or of a body of priests, it was in temples, churches, books, dogmas, ceremonials, forms, and rituals. But when we come to the real, spiritual, universal concept, then and then alone religion will become real and living. It will come into our very nature, live in our every movement, penetrate every pore of our society, and be infinitely more a power for good than it has ever been before.
What is needed is a fellow feeling between the different types of religion, seeing that they all stand or fall together, a fellow feeling which springs from mutual esteem and mutual respect, and not the condescending, patronizing, niggardly expression of goodwill, unfortunately in vogue at the present time with many. And above all, this is needed between types of religious expression coming from the study of mental phenomena unfortunately, even now laying exclusive claim to the name of religion and those expressions of religion whose heads, as it were, are penetrating more into the secrets of heaven though their feet are clinging to the earth, I mean, the so-called materialistic sciences.
To bring about this harmony, both will have to make concessions, sometimes very large, nay more, sometimes painful, but each will find itself the better for the sacrifice and more advanced in truth. And in the end, the knowledge which is confined within the domain of time and space will meet and become one with that which is beyond them both, where the mind and senses cannot reach–the Absolute, the Infinite, the One without a second.


Spritual Hindu

The Legend Of Lord Ayyappa

The Legend of lord Ayyappa
Bhagvan Shri Ayyappa Manikanta Swamy(Dharma Shastha) is a deity of Sanatana Hindu Dharma.The incarnation of the dharma shastha born out of the union between two main deites Bhagvan shiva & Devi Mohini (an incarnation of vishnu as a beautiful women ).

The Famous Devotional SongHarivarasanam Mp3 from the Classic Swamy Ayyappan

Sabrimala Official Website:-www.sabarimala.kerala.gov.in

The Sacred Shrine of Bhagvan Dharma Shastha (Lord Ayyappa) is on Sabrimala mountain at the banks of holy river Pampa in between the valley of dense green forest.

The pilgrimage to the sacred shrine of Sabarimala
In the olden times Sabarimala was located in the very deep forests .The Dark green Forest was filled with ferocious wild animals like tigers ,area was inaccesable with adventures& riskfull routes ,therefore only a few prayful courageous devotees managed the difficult pilgrimage.

About Ancient Sabarimala
Sabarimala temple is one of the oldest existing temples in India. Historians and Archaeologists have studied deeply about the temple, its construction pattern the interpretation of the legends associated with Sabarimala etc… and suggested that the temple is at least 4000-4250 years old. But according to popular beliefthe temple is 4800-5000 years old

Ancient Sabrimala

Ancient Rare photo of Sabrimala taken by Utrradam thirunal Marthand varma in 1942 when he came to sabrimala with his brother King Chitra Thirunal Balarama varma Maharaja.

The most famous Ayyappa shrine in India is the one at sabrimala with over 50 million devotees visiting it every year, making it the second largest pilgrimage in the world.
Sabarimala is located in southern part of Thekkedi Tiger Project Sanctuary, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala State in India, It is surrounded by 18 mountains at 914 mts above sea level in Sahayadri Mountain Range.


Sabarimala Google earth Images





Pilgrimage season begins from the mid of November and extends up to the end of January
Rules & Regulations: An Ayyappa pilgrim is called Ayyappa Swamy. One has to stick to a disciplined, austere life of abstinence for 41 days to proceed to the temple. Should be strictly vegetarian. Wear a type of black cloth and a rudraksha maala or any Japa maala. No hair cut. Go barefoot. . Girls/women only of age below 10 & Above50 years are allowed temple darshan.
A pilgrim carries an irumudikkettu, a cloth bag divided into two by a knot at the middle, that helps to balance the weight of pooja items he carries, among which coconut filled with pure ghee used in Abhisheka of lord Ayyapas idol is very important. They have to trek long distances in the hills.At the temple there are 18 vertical steps one has to climb for darshan of the idol. They are called Pathinettam Padi (Eighteen Step).

Loka Veeram Mahapoojyam

Ayyappa Namaskara Sloka
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa! Loka Veeram Mahapoojyam is the Namaskara Sloka (Stotra) of Lord Swamy Ayyappa or Sree Dharmasastha of Sabarimala Swamy Temple.

from http://www.hindudevotionalblog.com

Loka Veeram Mahapoojyam Lyrics – Swamy Ayyappan Namaskara Slokam

Loka Veeram Maha Poojyam,
Sarvarakshakaram Vibhum !
Parvathi Hridayanandam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 1 !!

Viprapoojyam Viswavandyam,
Vishnu Shambho Priyam Sutham !
Kshipraprasaada Niratam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 2 !!

Mattha Maatanga Gamanam,
Kaarunyaamrita Pooritam !
Sarva Vighnaharam Devam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 3 !!

Asmatkuleswaram Devam,
Asmat Shatru Vinaashanam !
Asmadista Pradaataram,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 4 !!

Pandyesha Vamsa Tilakam,
Keraley Keli Vigraham !
Aarta Thraana Param Devam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 5 !!

Pancha Ratnaakya Methadyo
Nityam Shudha Patennaraha !
Tasya Prasanno Bhagawaan
Saastha Vasathi Maanase !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 6 !!

Sabarigiri Nivaasam Shaantha Hrid Padma Hamsam !
Sashi Ruchi Mrithuhaasam Shyamalam Bhodha Bhaasam !!
Kalitha Ripu Niraasam Kaantha Mrithunga Naasam !!
Nathinuthi Paradaasam Naumi Pinjaava Thamsam !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 7 !!

Sabarigiri Nishaantham Shange Kundenthu Dhantham !
Shamadhana Hridi Bhaantham Shatru Paalee Krithaantham !!
Sarasija Ripukaantham Saanu Kampeksha Naantham
Kritha Nutha Vipadantham Keerthaye Hum Nithaantham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 8 !!

Sabarigiri Kalaapam Shaastra Vadhwaantha Deepam
Shamitha Sujanathaapam Shanthiheer Nir Dhuraapam !
Kara Dhrutha Sumachaapam Kaarano Paatha Rupam !
Kacha Kalitha Kalaapam Kaamaye Pushkalabham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 9 !!

Sabarigiriniketham Shankaropendrapotham
Shakalitha Dhithijaatham Shatruji Moothapaatham !
Padanatha Puruhutham Paalitha Shesha Bhootham
Bhavajala Nidhi Bhotham Bhavaye Nitye Bhootham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 10 !!

Sabari Vihrithi Lokham Shyamalo Ddhaara Chelam
Shathamakha Ripukaalam Sarva Vaikunta Balam !
Nathajana Surajaalam Naaki Lokaanukoolam
Navamayamani Maalam Naumi Nisshesha Moolam !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 11 !!

Sabarigirikuteeram Shatru Samghaatha Ghoram
Shatagiri Shathadhaaram Shashpi Theyndraari Shooram !!
Harigirisha Kumaarem Haari Keyura Haaram
Navajaladha Shareeram Naumi Vishwaika Veeram !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 12 !!

Sarasija Dalanethram Saara Saaraathi Vakthram
Sajala Jaladha Ghaathram Saandhra Kaarunya Paathram !
Sahathanaya Kalanthram Saambha Govinda Puthram
Sakala Vibhudha Mithram Sannamam Pavithram !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 13 !!

Shridhaa Nanda Chinthamani Shreenivasam
Sada Sacchidaananda Purna Prakasham !
Udhaaram Sadhaaram Suraadhaara meesham
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 14 !!

Vibhum Veda Vedaantha Vedhyam Varishtam
Vibhoothi Pradam Vishrutham Brahma Nishtam
Vibhaaswath Prabhaava Prabhum Pushka Leshtam
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 15 !!

Parithraana Dhaksham Parabrahma Soothram
Sfuraschaaru Gaathram Bhava Dhwaantha Mithram!
Param Prema Paathram Pavithram Vichithram
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 16 !!

Paresham Prabhum Purna Kaarunya Rupam
Girishaadi Peeto Jwala Chcharu Deepam !
Sureshaadi Samsevitham Suprathaapam
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 17 !!

Gurum Purna Lavanya Paadadi Kesham
Gareeyam Mahatkoti Surya Prakasham !
Karaambhoru Hanya Sthavethram Suresham
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 18 !!

Haree Shaana Samyuktha Shakthyey Ka Veeram
Kiraathaava Thaaram Kripaa Paanga Pooram !
Kireetaavath Sojjwalath Pinjcha Bhaaram
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham!!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 19 !!

Mahaayoga Peeto Jwalantham Mahaantham
Mahaavaakya Saaro Padesham Sushaantham!
Maharshi Praharsha Pradam Jnaana Kaantham
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 20 !!

The Temple Sabrimala
The main temple where the (holy sanctrum) Shri Kovil is situated at a place called Ponnammbalamade on the sabrimala hill.This place is surrounded by18 mountains. Here the Bhagan Shri Dharma Shastha Ayyapa is worshipped as an Yogi in meditation for the wisdom of every being in the whole universe showering eternal bliss of the ParamAtman to all.


This Ancient place is of great importance in the sacred Ramayana where Bhagvan Shri Rama and Lakshmana met the holy women sabri & the famous Rishya mukha parvat is also situated on the banks of pampa where the vanara king sugreeva take refugee from his evil twin brother bali as bali was cursed by Sage Matanga if he dared to step on this mountain he would die on the spot.Feared of the curse bali never went near that mountain.
All 18 Mountains have individual names & importance
One of the 18 the mountain is named matanga mala where the Great Sage Mahrishi Matanga Muni guru of holy women shri sabri devi did tapasya for ages
The natural beauty of the pampa is also sunged by Bhagvan shri Rama as Pampa Sar in Valmik ramayana (Kishkindha Kand 4-1-1 to 4-1-125).

On this hill sabrimala there is a sacred spot called Sabripeedham where the hut of the the tribal devotee of Bhagvan shri Ram,a tapsvini (Holy women) Sabri’s was located .There she waited the arrival of bhagvan Shri Rama all her life with great patience ,atlast the Lord Sri rama came to her small hut & gave Sabri Darshana of his Supreme Paramatman Pleased by her unmatchable Devotion ,Bhagvan Sri Rama blessed her the with ultimate boon NavadhaBhakti(nine forms of Bhakti) .

The Temples of Bhagvan shir Ganapati & Bhagvan Shri Anjanaya Hanuman swamy are located down side of the hill on the banks of the holy river pampa were the devotees take holy bath before and after the darshan of the beloved lord Shri Ayyappa and get freed from their sins with a holy dip in the dark Green cool refreshing waters of holy River mother Pampa.


The majestic gold-covered flag staff towers over the sanctum sanctorum or ‘srikoil’. The ‘srikoil’ has a copper plated roof with four golden finials or ‘thazhikakkudam’ shining at the top. Standing on the 18th step, one is in front of the ‘srikoil’ and straight ahead the idol of Lord Ayappa in all His glory.
With the relentless chanting of “Swamiye Saranam Ayappa” (“Lord Ayappa Our Refuge”), pilgrims reach the holy forest abode of Lord Ayappa atop Mount Sabari. One beholds the resplendent ‘Patinettempadi’, 18 golden steps that lead pilgrims to the sanctum sanctorum of Dharma Shasta. All the steps are 5 to 6 feet long and 8 inches wide. The number 18 has great prominence – first five steps signify the five ‘indriyas’ or senses – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin; the next eight steps symbolizes eight ragas; the next three represents three ‘gunas’ – ‘satwa’, ‘rajas’, ‘thamas’ and the last two steps denote ‘vidya’ (knowledge) and ‘avidya’ (ignorance). By scaling all the 18 steps, one takes the path of self-realization.

The beautiful idol of Lord Ayappa is made of Panchaloha (a five metal alloy) and is about one and a half feet high. Lord Ayappa sits in a meditative pose, with a band around the folded legs and right hand in ‘chinmudra’ with the forefinger touching the thumb indicating “Thou art that”. Lord Ayyappa grants refuge to His devotees and protects them from all evils.

The Story of Lord Ayyappa



Sri Ayyappa philosophy and worship are profoundly spiritual, universal and timeless.

Shastha Gayatri Mantra mp3@ omshivam.wordpress.com

Bhootha Naathaya Vidmahe
Bhavaputhraaya Dheemahi
Thanno Saastha Prachodayaath.

The Bhoothanaathopaakhyaanam is the main Purana containing the legend of Sri Dharma Shastha .

Leela a cursed Rishi women

Leela and her husband Rishi Dattatreya were both children of learned Brahmins. They were very devout(having deep religious feelings) and in deep love for each other. After several years of married life, the Sage Dattatreya felt that it was time for them to renounce the world and turn entirely to spiritual ways. Leela did not agree to the proposal. She won’t let him do so too. The dispute led to a hot arguement. Finally the Sage cursed her to become a she buffalo with devilish disposal.
She who was born to a demoniac called mahishi Asura with the head of a she-buffalo and human body
Leela was reborn as Mahishi, the sister of Mahishasura. Both the sister and brother underwent severe penance and obtained boons from Brahma the Creator.

Mahishasuran, Son of Ramban, undertook a severe penance (Dhavam). Lord Brahma tried to distract his concentration, but having failed in his attempts, he appeared before the Asura and blessed him with a boon. Mahishasuran asked Lord Brahma to give him a boon by which no man in the earth would be able to kill him, and Lord Brahma conferred the boon on him.

Mahishasuran, armed with his boon, began to commit atrocities and murders on the earth and terrorised people. Fearing his wrath, people ran away to far away places.


The Devas seeing the atrocities committed by Mahishasuran came to the conclusion that only a divine power could kill him and approached  Chandikadevi (Mahishasuramardhini) pleading to put an end to Mahishasura who was misusing the boon given by Lord Brahma. Chandikadevi set out on her mission and killed Mahishasura in a duel, on earth.
Mahishi. daughter of Karamba, brother of Ramban undertook a severe penance in order to take revenge on the Devas, who were responsible for the death of her brother. Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any boon except that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma to bless her with a boon by which nobody, except the son created out of the union of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started harassing the Devas.Since this was an impossible prospect Mahishi deemed herself to be indestructile and became very proud, agressive and arrogant.
She unleashed terror in all three worlds.

The killing of Mahishasura by Durgadevi fanned the flames of arrogance. Mahishi became unstoppable. The gods under the leadership of Indra left Amarapuri not able to stop her. The rude and crude subjects of Mahishi devastated heaven.

.Mahishi, daughter of Karambaasura undertook a severe penance in order to take revenge on the Devas, who were really responsible for the death of the Asuraas.

Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any boon except that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma to bless her with a boon by which nobody , except the son created out of the union of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started harassing the Devas. This boon made her very more evil and egoistic that she oppressed the three worlds and placed herself on the throne of Indra, the king of the Devas, the celestials.

On the earth all sacred rituals came to a grinding halt, as Mahishi would not allow any such thing. Learning and prayer became unheard of. The weight of crimes became unbearable for Mother Earth. She appealed pitiously to the Lords for redumption. They consoled her and promised proper action. Though confident in the Lords’ abilities all wondered how a son will be born to two males. What they did not understand was that “Adwaitha Brahma” was beyond such sectarial considerations.

The Devas and the Rishis prayed to Lord Vishnu to give them relief from her oppression and Lord Vishnu assured them protection.

Because of a curse of the sage Durvasa, the Devas were also in another great trouble then having lost their everlasting youthfulness. However, the Devas could somehow manage to get temporary co-operation of the demoniac Asuras, their eternal enemies and they together churned the Ocean of Milk from which emerged the Amrita, the potion that would bring them back eternal youth. However, the Asuras forcibly took away the Amrita. Lord Vishu, thereupon assumed the form of an enchantress called Mohini. The Asuras fell an easy victim to her charms and Mohini deceptively took away the Amrita and handed it over to the Devas.

Lord Shiva granted a boon to an Asura: He was given the powers to reduce to ashes anyone he touched. The Asura turns against Shiva. Shiva went to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu assumes the form of a beautiful woman, Mohini. The Asura was hynoticed by her beauty. As a precondition to marriage, Mohini wants him to dance with her for once. He forgets everything and dances like her, placing his hand on his own head. The Asura is turned in to ash.
There upon Lord Siva wanted to see that most beautiful form of Mohini and seeing the most enchanting form fell in love with her form.Lord Shiva himself fascinated by Devi Mohini and weds her .A son, Dharma Shastha was born to them. Lord Ayyappa born out of the union between two main deites of Bhagvan shiva & Devi Mohini (an incarnation of vishnu in women form ) called by the name Harihara Sudan. Thus the impossible condition for the destruction of the demoniac Mahishi – the she buffalo – was materialized. (The story thus engagingly highlights the oneness of the spiritual aspects of Siva and Vishnu and the vibrant Power of that Unity conceived by Dharma Sastha.) .


However, according to the above-mentioned Purana the Devas placed this child born to Lord Siva and Devi Mohini on the banks of Pampa while the Mahishi was doing intense penance again to get more powers.

King Rajashekara (a King of Pandaya Dynasty one of the Ancient Kerala Dynasties) of Pandalam was very courageous and nobel in his deeds. People were living happily and prosperously during his regime. However, the king was very unhappy that he had no children and his subjects were also worried that he had no heir to inherit his kingdom. As per the wish of the queen, both of them prayed Lord Shiva for blessing them with a child.


On one auspicious day the King went for hunting in the forest adjoining the banks of River Pampa, along with his men. He started hunting courageously in the dense forest which was a sanctuary for many fercious wild animals. After that hunting was over, King Rajashekara advised his men to take rest and sat there entertaining himself with the sight of the natural greenish beauty and the waterfalls, of the forest.
At that time, he heard a sound of baby from somewhere in the forest. Surprised, he went around and reached the banks of River Pampa .
There he saw a very beautiful and divine baby child with signs of a Great Kshatriya
Chakravarthy (King of Kings)and a golden chain with a bell Mani(a beautiful &precious stone ) was around his neck and (i.e. Lord Ayyappa) kicking his legs placed on the soft banks of Pamba river.

A black Cobra was sitting as guard near the Baby’s head. As soon as the king embraced the Little baby in his hands the giant serpent disappeared .The king was in a dilemma whether to take the child to the Palace or leave it there itself While the King was engrossed in his thoughts, a Great Yogi Sanyasi appeared before him and told the King that he need not be afraid of the child and take him to the Palace and that the child belonged to Kshatriya capable of mitigating all sufferings.

The yogi further stated that since the Child had a mani a beautiful small bell ornament with a preciou stone ) around his neck, his name be called “MANIKANDAN” and when the child completed twelve years, the King would know his divine history. After uttering these words, the yogi Sanyasi disappeared.

The King of Pandalam was very joyous, he took the child to his Palace and briefed the Queen about the incident. The King and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiva, for a child, were very happy that they had been blessed with a child. The people also felt happy that a heir to inherit the Kingdom after the King, has been found
However, the minster of the Kingdom who was thinking that he would be the next crown after Rajashekara was worried.

Then the child was named Manikandan, Prince manikandan began to grow in the Palace, everything began to prosper in kingdom. He was taught all martial arts and sastras and the Guru was surprised at his brilliance and agility and the extraordinary talents. The Guru came to the conclusion that he was not an ordinary child, but a divine power. After completing his education under the Guru, Manikandan approached the Guru to offer his Guru Dakshina.

When Manikandan went to his Guru for his blessings, the Guru told him that he already knew that he was a divine power and he was blessed for having been given an opportunity to have Manikandan as a student. The Guru further told Manikandan that he had one request to make and that was that his only son who was dumb should be given speech. Manikandan called the Guru’s son and put his hands on his head and immediately Guru’s son had his speech. Manikandan requested the Guru not to reveal this to anyone and went to the Palace.

In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the child was named RajaRajan. King Rajashekara, impressed with the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating him as his eldest son. He ordered the minister to make arrangements for the same. The minster hated this and started devising plans to prevent Manikandan from being crowned to the throne and to annihilate him. He tried various methods including poisoning of food, but failed in all these. However, Manikandan’s body bore an injury due to these and ordinary physicians could not cure it. Lastly, Lord Shiva disguising himself as a physician, treated Manikandan’s injury and cured him.
Prince Manikandan grew as an extremely brilliant boy. People began to admire him as the re-incarnation of Lord Dharma Sastha. Before his twelfth year, Ayyappa could master all Shastras and Vedas as well as the art of warfare.(All Eighteen levels of Kalaripayet) .

{Kalaripayet or Kshatriya Vidya in sanskrit}The most Ancient & Highest level of martial art ,also called The martial Art of Gods.This Knowledge was first taught to the Warrior Sage Parushurama by Lord Shiva.
Parshurama taught this to his twenty one selected shishyas
These 21 warrior Sages were the first Masters of this Kalaripayet
The High levels of this Kshatriya Vidya is still unknown & only basic knowledge is known to man

The Kingdom of Pandalam was then under threat from some oppressive chieftains. Ayyappa went around the country to eliminate all the enemeis and beside this he started teaching the importance of Sanatana Dharma to his peoples & taught them the real aim & meaning of dharma is to attain Self realization & doing nishkaam karma for the wisdom of all mankind. . Irrespective of caste, creed or religion, a large group of people followed him to assist him in maintaining law and order. Among his chieftains were Vavar and Valiya Kadutha and Kochu Kadutha, who were from the tribal Warriors. Eventually the oppressive chieftains were vanquished
When Pandalam and neighbouring areas became calm and peaceful a and free from the terrorists,King Rajashekara wanted to make Ayyappa his successor to the kingdom of Pandalam. But Ayyappa himself had no such desire.
Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the wicked minster approached the Queen and told her that she had her own son, it was not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further told the Queen since Arthasastra itself has justified any misdeed if it was done to extract a good thing, he would suggest that the Queen should pretend as if suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress’ milk should be brought to cure the Queen and since Manikandan would only go to the forest to bring the milk, he would be in danger from the wild animals and even if Manikandan returned without bringing the tigress’ milk, the King’s love for him would not be as before. The Queen, became a prey to the minsters plot and agreed to do what he told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.

The Queen, as told by the minster, cried out loudly that she was suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and the King, believing this, called the minster to bring in the best physicians to treat her. The Physician, brought by the minster examined the Queen and told the King that the Queen had been suffering from a dangerous disease and it could be cured only by applying Tigress’ milk .The King sent several of his men to the forest for bringing this milk. The King understood that it was an impossible task and wanted his dear Queen to be cured at any cost and offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the Milk.
When the King was thinking about this, Manikandan asked him to let him go to the forest promising to bring the milk. However, the King told him that he was awaiting to be crowned to the throne that he was also not of age and hence refused to let him go. Manikandan told the King, in spite of his refusal, he had to go lest he would be cursed for not curing the Queen. Since the King persisted in his refusal Manikandan wanted the King to promise to do something he wanted. The King gave the promise and asked him what he wanted and immediately Manikandan asked the King to permit to go to the Forest. The King felt disappointed that he had been tricked and with no other alternative permitted Manikandan to go to the forest.


King Rajasekara made arrangements to send a group of his loyal men along with Manikandan, which however was refused by Manikandan on the ground that the tigress might run away seeing the crowd of soldiers. King Rajashekara sent along with Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts with three-eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas, sent by Lord Shiva, accompanied Manikandan to Forest. However, on his way Manikandan, came to know the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka, he went there and fought a battle with Mahishi. During the conflict, Manikandan threw Mahishi down to earth from devaloka and she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan clashed with her at Azhutha river again.

Eventually, Dharma Sastha killed Mahishi and threw away the dead body at Azhutha, on the eastern side of the river Azhutha, which is a branch of the river Pampa .

When Dharma Sastha killed Mahishi her purified soul transformed in to a divine beautiful girl. After appearing from the body of demon Mahishi, she thanked dharma sastha for reliveing her soul from the curse & asked the boon to be lifelong devotee of lord Ayyppa., she made a request to Lord Ayyappa to marry her. But Ayyappa said that he was a Brahmachari and so he could not marry her. But she continued to plead to marry her and then Lord Ayyappa said that He will accept her when the day comes when no first time visitors comes to his shrine.The lord ayypan blessed her to be a goddess named Maligapuratha amma and be worshipped by all devoties of lord Ayappa.
The thankful and overjoyed Devas and Rishis prayed to Him and worshipped Him by installing an Sankalpik (Divyamuriti)a divine idol of Dharma Sastha at Ponnambalamedu. They showered the idol with flowers and worshipped it by performing Pooja with camphor flame. Eventually, sage Parashurama installed the idol of Dharma Sastha at the same sacred spot.

After blesssing divine girl Manikandan went to the forest for the tigress milk, when Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him that though he had done good for the Devas, still there was one main task and that was to give comfort to the King Rajasekara who was very concerned about him.

Lord Shiva further told him that he could go to the Palace with Lord Devendran in the form of a tiger. With Manikandan on the tiger, all female devas in the disguise of a tigress and male Devas, as tigers started their journey to the Palace.


When Manikandan, with the tigers, approached the Palace, the people who ridiculed him when the started his journey to forest whether he wanted a toy tigresses, really got panicky seeing the violent bunch of animals and started running helter skelter.
Just then, the same yogi Sanyasi who appeared before King Rajasekara when he picked up Manikandan at the forest as a baby, appeared again at the palace and told King Rajashekara the real identity of Manikandan. Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise and silence. He saw Manikandan riding a tiger and people running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended from the Tiger and told him that since the tigresses were there, he could get the Queen cured with their milk. King Rajashekara, fell at his feet and asked to forgive him for whatever happened without his knowledge, and asked him to send back the tigers as the Queens ailment had been cured the moment Manikandan went to the forest.
King Rajashekara told Manikandan that the minster was responsible for all these things and hence he should be punished. However, Manikandan told the king that he need not punish the minster and all had happened only through the will of God, and he told further that time had come for him to go to Devaloka since the task for
which he took avatar himself on the Earth is completed and the king and the queen asked for forgiveness .

Then Manikantan gave a Darshan a spiritual vision to the king.,seeing the lord ‘s Dharma Shastha in Purna Roopa the king get filled with emotions of happiness, grief, fear, wonder and devotion and self-surrender, the king stood praying for the mercy and blessings of Manikantan. He repented he could not fully visualize the truth of the divine powers of the Lord and repeatedly requested Him to forgive him for behaving as if He were his son only. The Lord lovingly embraced the King who prayed to bless him by freeing from ego and the worldly life of birth and rebirth and grant moksha(salvation). He told the King that he was destined to return.lord ayyappa blessed the king &queen &asked the King what boon he wanted from him and he was ready to give it as he was much pleased by his devotion. Immediately, King Rajashekara requested the lord that they wanted to raise a temple in his memory and suggest a suitable place for the temple.

Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at a place called Sabari, where in Sri Rama’s era a Sanyasini called Sabari observed Dhavam. Lord Ayyappa told the King to renovate the temple of Lord Dharma Sastha at Sabarimala, which was in a very dilapidated condition. The king agreed and made arrangements for the renovation of the temple. When the royal entourage, which included the armed forces carrying all the necessary materials for construction and stocks of food reached the place which is today known as Saramkuthi, near Sabarimala temple , Ayyappa requested the king and his soldiers to leave all the weaponry beneath a big banyan tree there, as carrying of weapons to a temple premises was a sacrilege. Accordingly, the sword, spears, clubs etc. were left at the foot of the banyan tree and the entourage proceeded to the temple. This was on the sacred ‘Makara Sankranti’ day. Suddenly a big storm arose accompanied by heavy rains and fog. Visibility deteriorated and the people could not even see each other. When the storm and rain subsided and the fog gave way, Ayyappa was seen merging into the idol of Lord Dharma Sastha in the holy Sanctum . King Rajasekhara was heart broken seeing this and implored Ayyappa, “I have made all arrangements for your coronation and what shall I do with all the ornaments which were made for your coronation ceremony? As an answer the king heard a voice from the direction of the idol : “I am entering eternal meditation and Cosmic Consciousness for the welfare of the universe. However, every year at the time of Makara Sankranti, I will wake up from my meditation and open my eyes to see and bless this world. At that time you may adorn my idol with all the ornaments that you have made for my coronation ceremony. All who worship me are blessed as they will come closer to my Universal Consciousness.” With these words, Lord Ayyappa closed his eyes and entered into meditation once again. .

As per Saint Agasthya’s advise, King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building the Sabarimala Shrine. Bhagwan Manikandan, had made it clear that he would grace only those devotees who offer Dharshan after performing Vritha for fortyone days keeping themselves isolated from family desires and tastes and leading a life like Brahmacharya, thinking of good things always, and that while coming for his darshan, they shall carry the holy irumudi on their heads, as the Bhagwan did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress milk, and bathed in River Pampa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen stairs.

As graced by the Bhagwan ayyappa King Rajashekara completed building of the temple with eighteen steps to reach it. When the King was thinking how to put Dharmasastha’s figure in the temple for darshan to devotees, he recalled the words of the Bhagwan, the River Pampa was a holy river as River Ganga, Sabarimala was a holy place as Kasi. Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman to Sabarimala who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makarasankranthi, the day on which the Makara Jothi appears.
To abide by the divine commandment, `Thiruvaabharanam’ ( a set of holy ornaments) is brought to Sabarimala every year on the Makara Sankranti day which falls around January 14th each year. The idol of white horse which was deared to lord manikantan is placed on the top of golden dwaja stamba & the sacred Sword used by bhagvan hmself is also worshipped by devotees with great respect .
Ayyappan is also known as “Kaliyugavaradhan”, since He wil bless us to attain Moksha in this difficult age of KALIYUGA

The shrine of Lord Ganapati:
To the south-west of the main temple is the shrine of Lord Ganapati, known as Kannimula Ganapati. The special offering to this deity is Ganapati homam.
Homakund: There used to be a large homakund (Sacred Fire) in front of the shrine, which burned constantly, fed by the coconut shells thrown by the devotees, after offering the ghee. As the coconut shells gets consumed by the fire, the sins of the devotees are believed to be cleansed. Due to the growing crowds in the temple, the homakund has now been shifted to a location below the temple.

Bhasma Kulam: About a 100 metres away is the shrine of Malikappurathamma. route to the shrine is the temple pond, Bhasma Kulam, in which hundreds of devotees take a holy bath in memory of the tapaswini Sabari who entered a fire to end her mortal life. It is after her that the peak is named Sabarimala.On account of the number of people who bathe in the pond, the water is frequently drained out and refilled with fresh water.
Malikappurathamma:
Situated on a small hillock, the Malikappurathamma temple houses the shrines of the Devi and Kaduthaswamy. Devotees also worship a trident and lamp here, and offer coconuts. The coconuts are not broken, however, but are just rolled on the ground .
To the left of this temple are the shrines of the snake god and goddess, Nagaraja and Nagayakshi. Here, tribals beat on drums, play stringed instruments and sing sarppa pattu to protect devotees and their progeny from the harmful effects of snakebites.
,Malikapuram Temples at Sabarimala is dedicated to Malikapurathamma. The small temple is located on the right side of the main temple at Sabarimala. There is an interesting story of Ayyappa and Malikapurathamma. The popular belief is that Malikapurathamma is the beautiful woman that emerged from the body of Demon Mahishi after the demon was annihilated by Lord Ayyappa. The first time visitors, to the Ayyappa temple pierce sharakol, or arrow, at Sharamkutti on the way to the Sabarimala Temple. Every year Malikapurathamma is taken from MalikapuramTempleto Sharamkutti in a procession to know whether any Kanni Ayyappas have arrived. She returns back sadly after seeing thousands of Sharakols at Sharamkutti and the godesse still waits for the day lord ayypa would fullfill her request. The most important puja and offering performed at the Malikapuram Temple is Bhagavati Seva. Pattudayada (silk cloth dark blue in color as the dark blue color was dear to Bhagvan shri Dharma shastha because dark blue symbolizes deep meditation or dhyaan samadhi), Pottu (Bindi), Chandu, Kanmashi (Kajal), and Vala (bangles) are the other main offerings. A unique ritual performed by Ayyappa devotees at Malikapuram Temple is the rolling of coconuts.
The other shrines near Malikapuram Temple are that of Nagaraja, Navagrahas and Kochu Kadathu Swami. Mani Mandapam the place where Lord Ayyappa meditated before merging with main Murti in the Sabarimala Temple is also located here.
Kadutha and Vavar Swamy are also located in close proximity of the main temple.Shrines of Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy: At the foot of the Patinettampadi are the two shrines of Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy, who stand like dwarapalakas or guardians of the holy steps, to ensure that they are not polluted by thos
e who tread on them without fulfilling the rigid austerities required of them. They are also believed to protect the devotees from the evil spirits of the forests.
According to legend, Kadutha was a great warrior who helped the Pandalam king defeat the armies of Udayanan and other enemies. When the king came to Sabarimalai to reconstruct the temple, Kadutha came with him to protect him. Ultimately, he became so attached to Ayyappa that he decided to spend the rest of his days with his Lord.
Also near the Patinettampadi is the shrine of the Muslim Vavurswami. While there are several accounts of identity of Vavur, it is generally believed that he was a warrior who was defeated and subdued by Ayyappa, and later became a one of the shishyas or disicple. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa himself instructed the Pandalam king to build a mosque for Vavur at Erumeli and a shrine at Sabarimalai.
These are the other three temples which a pilgrim must visit during his pilgrimage.

Every year millions of devotees throng to Sabarimala irrespective of caste or creed and adorn themselves with beedjapamalas and irumudis, chants slogans on Lord Ayyappa, bathe in holy river Pampa, climb up the eighteen steps and get the grace of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha.

“Makara Jyothi” OR Spiritual Divine light

For those who dont know….This divine phenomenon of a light appearing happens every year on a Sanatan hindu festival called “Makara Sankranthi”.
On the day of Makar-sankranti, the chariot of the Sun-god enters the Makar-rashi (one of the zodiacs). The process of entering a new sign of zodiac occurs every month, but since the Sun enters the makar-rashi in this month, thus a distinguishing meritorious period is generated & during this span, the sattvaguna (quality of goodness) is specially enhanced.

As per vedic Astrology the transition of sun from dhanu rashi to makara rashi is called makar sankranti .This day is auspicious to all santana dharma hindus, the starting of uttarayana is considered as the day of yogis ,this is the sameday when great yogi Bhishma of Mahabharata attained salvation through yogic samadhi.
Lord Manikantan incarnated on the earth on Makara Sankranti day or Makaravillaku & went to Yoga Samadhi on this Auspicious & sacred Makra Sankranti.
Thus this day is very important in the life of Lord Ayappa devotee & for all Hindus of Sanatan Dharma.
Every 14 th approx January on Makara Sankranti at the sacred Sabrimala the whole universe and the mother nature herself comes to witness this spiritual wonder.
The Spiritual divine light appears three times for a few seconds and goes away. Legend has it that Lord “Ayyappa” himself appears in this form every year as promised to his devotees

There are several explanations regarding the 18sacred steps before the lord ayypas idol but in all of them most emphasis is on the number 18 The18 sacred steps are considered as the 18 Yoga Margas described in the “The Shrimad Bhagvad Gita” & 18th one the moksha Sanyasa yoga would take the true devotee to Self Realisation .

TATVAM ASI.

Thiruvabharanam procession

Thiruvabharanam is the sacred ornaments of Ayyappan, the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple. The ornaments are made of gold. It is believed that these ornaments are made at the orders of the Pandalam King, who adopted Ayyappan as his child.

Thiruvabharanam is kept in the Srampickal Palace of Pandalam, which is close to the Valiyakoikkal Temple, inside the Pandalam Palace premises. A few days before the festive season starts, a procession carrying the holy caskets containing the sacred ornaments proceeds towards Sabarimala around January 12 every year.[1] At around 1 o’ clock in the afternoon of the day the sacred procession starts, an Eagel, popularly known as Sree Krishna Parunthu, is sighted circling above the temple and seen accompanied with the procession. Devotees believe that this is Vishnu upon Garuda accompanying the Thiruvabharanam from Pandalam to Sabarimala where again the kite is found hovering above the temple.
The royal representative of the King of Pandalam accompanies the procession in a palanquin. On the Makaravilakku day, Ayyappan’s idol in Sabarima is adorned with these sacred ornaments. After the festive season, the return procession of the Thiruvabharanam starts from Sabarimala and reaches back Pandalam.
The Thiruvabharanam procession follows the traditional routes through forests, hills, and rivers. A team of representatives (not belonging to the Royal Family) takes the holy caskets on their heads. The procession is accompanied by hundreds of devotees and armed policemen. The procession is warmly welcomed by different associations and temples on the way to Sabarimala and back.
The Sacred Thirvabharnan

Thiruvanbharanam procession carries three cases or caskets. They are the main Thriuvabharanam box, the Velli Petti and the Kodi Petti. These contain the following:

Box 1

Thirumugham
Prabha Mandalam
Valia Churika
Cheria Churika
Aana (Elephant) – 2 (miniature replica)
Kaduva – 1 (miniature replica)
Velli Kettia Valampiri Sankh – 1 (Conch shell with q right hand spiral – Silver covered)
Lakshmi Roopam
Poothattam (A ceremonial plate for carrying flowers)
Navarathna Mothiram (Navarathnam ring)
Sarapoli Mala – Traditional temple necklace
Velakku Mala – Traditional temple necklace
Mani Mal – Traditional temple necklace
Erukkum Poomala – Traditional temple necklace
Kanchambaram

Box 2

Thaila Kudam for Kalasam
Required Pooja utensils

Box 3

Kodi Petti
Netti Pattom for the elephant
Chattah Idunna Jeevatha
Flags of Talapara and Udampara
Mezhuvatta Kuda

Hari Harathmaja Ashtakam

Hari Harathmaja Ashtakam or Harivarasanam ,the divine song(also known as Hariharasuthāshtakam) is a devotional song composed in the astakam metre, recited at sabrimalaat main door of the holy sancturam sreekovil, before closing the temple door every night. The song was written by Kambamgudi Kulathur Iyer and Swami Vimochanananda sang it for the first time at Sabarimala.Though there have been many versions of this song sung by many renowned vocalists. The Sabrimala plays the rendition by Padmashri Dr Kj Yesudas every evening after the final pooja. Harivarasanam is written in highly Sanskritised Malayalam.
In the olden times Sabarimala was located in the deep jungle area with adventures& riskfull routes ,therefore only a few prayful courageous devotees managed the difficult pilgrimage. The temple opened during the Sabarimala season (November to January) but otherwise was only open on the first day of every malayalam monthVr gopala menon, from alapuzha used to accompanyThirumeni Eashwaran Namboothiri, the Melshanthi (head priest), to Sannidhanam every time, and would stay there by himself even when the temple was closed, remaining undisturbed by the wild animals. Later, when Devaswom Board was formed, it is believed that he was asked to move out. He eventually died at a tea estate at Vandiperiyar.
Gopala Menon used to recite “Harivarasanam” with all devotion during his time at Sannidhanam, and when Thirumeni Eashwaran Namboothiri heard about the passing away of the Revered Menon, he was deeply saddened. At the end of the day’s rituals, the Namboothiri was about to close the doors of the Sannidhanam when he remembered the dedication and sacrifice of the Revered Gopala Menon and he then began to recite “Harivarasanam”‘ he feeled a divine presence as lord ayyappa was was making him sang the ashtakam, starting a nostalgic tradition that remains unbroken to this day.
Today, as the final verses are being sung, all the assistant Santhis (priests) leave the Sreekovil one by one. As the song ends, only the Melsanthi is inside. He extinguishes the lamps one at a time and closes the doors for the night.Itis belived that this ashtakam is loved by Lord Ayyppa so all devotees recite this devotinal song with pure& full heart.

Harivarasanam Viswamohanam
Haridadhiswaram Aaradhyapadhukam
Arivimardhanam Nithyanarthanam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

Repository of Hari’s boons,
Enchanter of universe,
Essence of Hari’s grace,
He whose holy feet is worshipped,
He who kills enemies of good thought,
He who daily dances the cosmic dance,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Saranakirtanam Bakhtamanasam
Bharanalolupam Narthanalasam
Arunabhasuram Bhoothanayakam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who likes song of refuge,
He who is in the mind of devotees,
He who is the great ruler,
He who loves to dance,
He who shines like the rising sun,
He who is king of all beings,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Pranayasathyakam Praananayakam
Pranathakalpakam Suprabhanjitham
Pranavamanidram Keerthanapriyam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He whose soul is truth,
He who is the darling of all souls,
He who created universe,
He who shines with a glittering Halo,
He who is the temple of “OM”,
He who loves songs,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Thuragavahanam Sundarananam
Varagadhayudham Vedavavarnitham
Gurukrupakaram Keerthanapriyam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who rides a horse,
He who has a pretty face,
He who has the blessed mace as weapon,
He who bestows grace like a teacher,
He who loves songs,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Tribuvanarchitam Devathathmakam
Trinayanam Prabhum Divyadeshikam
Tridashapoojitham Chinthithapradam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who is worshiped by the three worlds,
He who is the soul of all gods,
He who is the lord of Shiva,
He who is worshipped by devas,
He who is who is worshipped three times a day,
He whose thought is fulfilling,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Bhavabhayapaham Bhavukavaham
Bhuvanamohanam Bhoothibhooshanam
Dhavalavahanam Divyavaranam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who destroys fear,
He who brings prosperity,
He who is enchanter of universe,
He who wears holy ash as ornament,
He who rides a white elephant,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Kalamrudusmitham Sundarananam
Kalabhakomalam Gathramohanam
Kalabhakesari Vajivahanam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who blesses with enchanting smile,
He who has is very pretty,
He who is adorned by sandal paste,
He who has a pretty mien,
He who is a like a lion to the elephants,
He who rides on a tiger,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.
Hari Harathmaja Ashtakam

Srithajanapriyam Chinthithapradam
Sruthivibhushanam Sadhujeevanam
Sruthimanoharam Geethalalasam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who is dear to his devotees,
He who fulfills wishes,
He who is praised by Vedas,
He who blesses life of ascetics,
He who is the essence of Vedas,
He who enjoys divine music,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

By Shri Kambangudi Kulathu Iyer
Translated by Shri P.R.Ramachander

Sabarimala Temple





Thanga Anki
Thousands of devotees today thronged the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa here to offer prayers to the deity here on the occasion of “Mandala Puja.”

Prior to the pooja, the Ayyappa idol was adorned with the ’thanka anki’ (golden attire).

The temple will be closed after ‘Athazapuja’, marking the culmination of the 41-day ‘mandalam vrithom’ (penance). It will reopen on for the Makaravilaku festival on January .

a procession with the “thanka anki’ is taken to sanidhanam (central shrine that seats the deity) from Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula, from where it started

The Anki was presented to the Sabrimala Ayyappa temple by late Chithira Tirunal Balarama Varma of the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family.

Thanga Anki procession carrying the ornaments worn by Lord Ayyappa in a specially-decorated vehicle being taken to the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala.

Makara Nakshatra


The Makara Nakshatra is totally different from Makra Jyothi, some people get confused with Makra nakshatra & Makara Jyothi .Makra nakshatra is a celestial star (Nakshatra Devanagari: नक्षत्र,Sanskrit: nakshatra, ‘star’, fromnaksha, ‘approach’, and tra, ‘guard’) or lunar mansion is one of the 27 divisions of the sky, identified by the prominent stars in them, used in Jyotish
This is Uttram Nakshatra in Malayalam or Uttra Phalguni Nakshatra in Sanskrit.
The Birth Star of Lord Ayyappa.The main puja the Prathishta Karma of the idol of Lord Ayyappa is done in the presence of this star in the sky.This beautiful Makra nakshatra or Star can be seen in sky right after the sunsets at the horizon.

But Makara Jyothi is a True Spiritual Miracle it happens only on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, marking the end of the three-month Sabarimala pilgrim season. & the Spirtual Divine Light appears on the horizon of the hill shrine for three times and vanishes away.At that special moment whole area the Sabari hills and the foothills at river Pampa get reverberated with religious chants.

For many years scientists & atheist organistions tried their best to crack this mystery but all of them failed & ran away. Nonone on this earth was or is or will be able to to break the faith of a Ayyappa devotee.
The number of Ayyappa devotees & followers is still increasing at every moment…

Details of Vrutham

The austerities (Vrutham) starts on the first day of the Malayalam month Vrichikam ( November 14/15/16 ) for those devotees who intend to worship Lord Ayyappa on Mandala Pooja Day( around 25th December ) or Makara Sankranti day (around Jan 14th). “Makara Sankranti” day is the most auspicious day at Sabarimala and ” Mandala Pooja day ” is considered as second most auspicious day. Nowdays the temple is open to devotees on 1st day of each Malayalam month and other kerala festival days such as “Vishu”, “Thiru Onam”, etc. However 41 days minimum vrutham is necessary before the day of Pilgrimage to Sabarimala as per the conditions of the pilgrimage.

The vrutham starts from the day of wearing of “Thulasi Mala” (garland) or “Rudraksha Mala” with the locket of Lord Ayyappa. The mala is to be accepted from a temple Priest or Guru Swami (The devotee who has visited the Sabarimala Temple several times and who can guide the other devotees in all matters relating to Sabarimala pilgrimage) after the mala is duly sanctified in a temple/ or pooja room. .After wearing the “Mala” the devotee is called as “Ayyappan” or “Swami”( in the name of Lord Ayyappa) till the completion of his pilgrimage and removal of Mala thereafter. The eligible female( aged between 1 and 9 and above 50 years) devotees are called as “Malikapuram”( The Shakti of Lord Ayyappa).

Waterfalls in the forest

During the period of Vrutham utmost care should be taken by each devotee to keep their mind and body clean,pure and balanced. The devotee is expected to live like “sadhu” and his action,word,thought should not under any circumstances hurt the feelings of the others. The devotee should avoid all worldly pleasure Only Vegetarian food should be taken for pure mind & pure body. They are also not expected to cut hair and nails a shave. Black / dark blue dhoti and shirt is the proper dress for the vrutham. Wearing Chappal, Shoes are not allowed as per traditional rule of the Vrutham. Absolute Bramacharya during the period is essential without which no devotee should go to Sabarimala Temple. The devotee is expected to pray in the morning and evening after taking bath. Before each meal devotee should pray and take the meal as “Prasadam” of Lord Ayyappa.

Without proper Vrutham Pilgrimage to Sabarimala is not at all advisable. The mental satisfaction of the pilgrimage can be attained only through the proper Vrutham.May the Lord Ayyappa help everybody to follow the rule of traditional Vrutham for theattainment of salvation of the soul.

Pooja Details
Neyyiabhishekam

This ritual of bathing the Ayyappa idol in ghee is considered an important offering to the deity. It is symbolic of the pilgrim’s self-realisation. The pilgrimage itself is a symbolic journey of the individual soul merging with the supreme reality.In fact, the filling up of an empty coconut with ghee is the most important ritual before the beginning of the Sabarimala pilgrimage. Even before filling one’s irumudi kettu, the pilgrim fills up the neythenga or a coconut filled with ghee, with sarana mantram on his lips.

Before filling ghee into the coconut, the devotee drains out water in the coconut symbolising the draining out of his worldly aspirations. He then fills up empty coconut with ghee, the ghee representing the soul and coconut the body.

This coconut is broken only at the hill shrine and the ghee is taken for abhishekom. When the pilgrim stands before the idol and Neyyabhishekom is performed, the merging of jivatma with the paramatma takes place.The broken pieces of coconut are thrown into the sacred fire(Homa Kund) kept alive throughtout the season on the temple premises. The burning symbolises, devouring of all impurities of one’s heart in the fire of knowledge developed through devotion to Ayyappa.
One important fact that authorities quite often fail to inform the devotees about this offering is that the neyyabhishekom is performed only till the ucha puja (special puja at noon). Abhishekoms are also perfomed with milk, tender coconut water, water, honey, vibhoothi (sacred ash), sandal paste, flower, etc.

PUSHPABHISHEKOM
The pushpabhishekom is performed only after deeparadana. Flowers are brought by the devotees. At times, pilgrims from Tamil Nadu bring along truckloads of flowers of various hues.

OFFERINGS TO KOCHU KADUTHA, VAVAR AND OTHER GODS
Ganjai, (a rare variety of plantain used only for rituals), malaru (broiled paddy) and jagri are offered to Kochu Kadutha Swamy, believed to one of the trusted lieutenants of Lord Ayyappa during his war against dacoit king Udayan.

Pepper, incense sticks and rose water are offered to Vavru Swamy, the Muslim confidante of the Lord.The Paanans (members of the caste by the same name who sing in temples to please snake gods) are made to sing before the Nagaraja and Nagayakshi idols to ward off evil spirits.

OFFERINGS AT MALIKAPURAM
Sachets of turmeric powder, normally carried along with other puja materials,are emptied around the temple of Malikappuram, adjacent to the hill shrine. Other than this saffron, silk and betel leaves are also offered to the goddess.Another unique offering is the nalikeram uruttu. The devotee can purchase a coconut from the temple counter and he rolls it around the temple and later breaks it in front of the shrine.

VEDIVAZHIPADU
Devotees burst Kathina (crude cracker made by packing gun powder in a very thick iron tube) in front of the Pathiettampady. This offering is made to please all gods. It is also believed that the explosion will scare away all evil spirits haunting one’s family.

UDAYASTHAMANA PUJA
Other pujas offered to the lord are udayasthamana puja and a day’s puja. The puja is now performed only during the first week of Malayalam months other than the mandala and Makara vilakku seasons as it affects the routine at the hillshrine during the annual congregation.

PADIPUJA
This is an elaborate puja made at the pathinettampadi, the 18 steps leading to the hill shrine. Though this puja was performed throughout the season, of late it is offered only when the temple opens during the first week of Malayalam months in view of the heavy crowd during mandalam and Mahara vilaku seasons.


IMPORTANT PUJAS DURING MANDALAM & MAHARA VILAKU SEASONS
The three main pujas during the mandalam season are the usha puja, ucha puja and athazha puja performed at morning, noon and night, respectively.The usha puja is performed at 7.30 am. However, there is stipulated timing for other pujas as it will depend on the crowd and number of neyyabhishekoms.While the usha puja and athazha puja are perfromed by the chief priest, the ucha puja is performed by the tantri. Another feature of the ucha puja is the offering made on 25 kalasams (metallic pots).At the morning puja, ushapayasam is the nivedyam (offering to the Lord). vellanivedyam and aravana (special payasam made during the mandala and makara vilakku seasons) are offered at noon and vellanivedyam and appam are offered for athazha puja.

Sabarimala Temple – Opening and Closing Dates
for this Year click link:- www.saranamayyappa.org

SHRINE OPENINGS ( 2009- 2010)

List Of Daily Rituals & Timings At Sabarimala
Ritual : Timimg
Opening of sanctum sanctorum : 4.00 a.m.
Nirmalya darshanam : 4.05 a.m.
Ganapati homam : 4.15 a.m.
Neyyabhishekom : 4.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m
Usha pooja : 7.30 a.m.
Ucha pooja : 1.00 p.m.
Closing of sanctum sanctorum : 1.30 p.m.
Opening of sanctum sanctorum : 4.00 p.m.
Deeparadhana : 6.30 p.m.
Pushpabhishekam : 7.00 p.m.
Athazha pooja : 10.30 p.m.
Harivarasanam : 10.50 p.m.
Closing of sanctum sanctorum : 11.00 p.m.
Opening and closing of Sabarimala Sree Dharmasastha Temple for the year 2009 – 2010 – 2011
Month Pooja Opening Date Closing Date
December 2009 Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam 15-11-2009 26-12-2009
Mandala Pooja 26-12-2009
January 2010 Makara Vilakku Mahotsvam 30-12-2009 20-01-2010
Makara Vilakku 14-01-2010
February Monthly Pooja (Kumbham) 12-02-2010 17-02-2010
March Monthly Pooja (Meenam) 14-03-2010 29-03-2010
Utsavam Kodiyettam 20-03-2010
Utsavam Aarattu –
Painkuni Uthram 29-03-2010
April Vishu Mahotsavam 10-04-2010 18-04-2010
Vishu Darsanam 14-04-2010
May Monthly Pooja (Edavam) 14-05-2010 9-05-2010
Prathistha Dinam 23-05-2010 24-05-2010
June Monthly Pooja (Midhunam) 14-06-2010 19-06-2010
July Monthly Pooja (Karkitakam) 16-07-2010 21-07-2010
August Monthly Pooja (Chingam)
Thiruvonam 23 16-08-2010 25-08-2010
September Monthly Pooja (Kanni) 16-09-2010 21-09-2010
October Monthly Pooja (Thulam) 17-10-2010 22-10-2010
November Sree Chithira Thirunal
Aatta Vishesham 04-11-2010 05-11-2010
Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam 16-11-2010 27-12-2010
December Mandala Pooja 27-12-2010
Makara Vilakku Mahotsavam 30-12-2010 20-01-2011
January 2011 Makara Vilakku 14-01-2011
Events : 2009-10
S No
Events
1
Prior to the Utsavam, Shudhi Kriyas consisting of Prasada Shudhi, Vaastu Bali, Vaastu Punyaham, Mulayidil will be performed.
2
Bimba Shudhi Kriyas consisting of Chathu Shudhi, Dhara, Panchakam, Panchagavyam and 25 Kalasam will be performed.
3
Kodiyettam (Temple Flag Hoisting) will be conducted during Makara Rasi. On Kodiyettam day, no Neyyabhishekham will be performed from 0700 hrs. It will re-commence after Kodiyettam.
4
Sribhutha Bali will be performed.
5
Utsava Bali will be performed. The Lord will be taken to special mandapam for the Utsava Bali. The ceremonies will commence at about 1300 hrs and will be over by about 1600 hrs. Utsava Bali darshan will be from 1400 hrs. On these days.
6
Palli Vetta will be undertaken.
7
Villkku Ezhunallipu
8
Arattu to Pampa.
9
As the Siveli Vigraham will be away at Pampa on the Aarattu day from morning till evening, temple darshan will not be possible till the Vigraham returns to the temple after the Aarattu.
Swamy Saranan Ayyappa
Routes to Sabarimla

The Holy Pampa River
The holy Pampa or Pamba plays an important roll in the Sabarimala pilgrimage. After passing around 102 steps the pilgrims can reach at the Pampa Maha Ganapathi Temple. Breaking coconuts is the main ritual here. Neelimala, Appachimedu, Sabareepeedam, Saramkuthi are the other divine places en route. At Pampa three hospitals are operational during the festival period apart from an information center.

Historic temples route to Sabarimala:


NILACKAL MAHADEVA TEMPLE: This is an important Temple en route to Sabarimala in between Plappally and Pampa. This is an intermediate halting area (with parking facilities).
ERUMELI SASTHA TEMPLE: Erumeli Sastha Temple, an important meeting place in the pilgrimage of Sabarimala, is very famous. There is also a Muslim Temple near to the Sastha Temple. Ayyappans go to Sabarimala after worshipping at these two temples, a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. The pilgrims go to Sabarimala after ‘Pettathullal’ at Erumeli. Pilgrimage to Sabarimala without Pettathullal and worship at the above mentioned temples is incomplete. Erumeli Temple is about 38 km south of Kottayam. The nearest Railway station is Kottayam.
PANDALAM VALIYAKOYICKAL TEMPLE: The procession of Lord Ayyappa begins from Sree Dharmaa Sastha of Pandalam Valiyakoyickal Temple during the Makaravilakku Festival. The nearest rail station is Chengannoor (12 km).
KULATHUPUZHA SASTHA TEMPLE: The Sastha Temple at Kulathupuzha is very ancient. The idol at Kulathupuzha is called ‘Manikantan’. It is believed that the Temple was constructed by the king of Pandalam. But the idol was discovered by a Brahmin from Kottarakkara years later who started the pooja there. The King of Kottarakkara heard about this, and constructed the present temple. Feeding to the fishes in the nearby river is an important ritual here.
CHANKOIL SASTHA TEMPLE: Achankoil Sastha (Arachan) temple is a sacred place where pilgrims from Keralaand nearby states pour in throughout the year. The nearest railway station is Shenkottah.
ARYANKAVU SASTHA TEMPLE: The legend behind the Ayyappa of Aryankavu is similar to that of Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha. The only difference between the two are that Sastha was brough up by the Pandi Raja of Madura and not the Raja of Pandalam. There is a beautiful water fall known as ‘Palaruvi’ in the dense forest area about two km away from the temple premises. The temple is about 86 km away from Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkottah road.
How to reach there
The normal itinerary of a Sabarimala pilgrim is to reach Erumely before proceeding to Pamba through the Mannarakulanji-Chalakkayam Road and trekking the forest road to reach the shrine.
FROM PATHANTHITTA: Mannarakulanji-Vadasserikkara-Perunadu-Plappally-Nilakkal-Chalakkayam-Pamba (Distance: 69 km)
FROM THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There are two routes:
1. Ayoor-Punalur-Pthanmathitta-Pamba (Distance: 184 km)
b. 2. Kottarakkara-Adoor-Pathanmthitta (Distance: 179 km)
FROM CHENGUNOOR: There are two routes to reach Pamaba from Chengunoor, the nearest railway station to Sabarimala:
1.Chengunoor-Aranmula-thekkemala-Pathanamthitta-Pamba (Distance: 93 km)
2.Chengunoor-Aranmula-Ranni Blockupadi-Vadasserikkara-Pamba (Distance: 88km)
FROM KOTTAYAM: There are several routes to Pamba from Kottayam, one of the main transit points in the pilgrimage. The important five routes are the following:
1. Kottayam-Changanassery-Thiruvalla-Kozhenchery-Ranny Blockupadi-Vadasserikkara-Pamba (Distance: 119 km)
2. Kottayam-Kodungoor-Chamampathal-Manimala-PLachery-Chethonkara-Athikkayam-Perunadu-Pamba (Distance: 105 km)
3. Kottayam-Kangazha-Pathanadu-Manimala-PLachery-Chethonkara-Athikkayam-Perunadu-Pamba (Distance: 104 km)
4. Kottayam-Karukachal-Manimala-Mukkada-Edamon-Athikkayam-Perunadu-Pamba (Distance: 100 km)
5. Kottayam-Ponkunnam-Erumely-Mukkuttuthara-Pambavalley-PLappally-Pamba (Distance: 90 km) This is one of the easiest routes to reach Pamba.
By RAIL: The pilgrims can reach Kottayam & Chengannur by Railway (Broadgauage) and Punalur (Metre Gauge) and from there by bus to Pampa.
By AIR: The pilgrims can reach Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi & Nedumpassery by Air and from there by bus to Pamba.

Sree Ayyappa Devotional song Lyrics by ShriTKR Bhadran


Ore Oru Lakshyam Sabarimamala Ore Oru Moham Divya Darsanam
Ore Oru Margam Pathinettam Padi Ore Oru Manthram Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Orumayotukooti Ozhuki Vannitunnu
Charana Pankajangal Paniyuvan Varunnu
Oruvapussu njnagalkkoru vachassu njangalkkorumanassu njalkkorutharam vicharam
Akhilarum Varummu Nin Saranam Thedi Hariharathmaja Nee Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Ore Oru Lakshyam Sabarimamala Ore Oru Moham Divya Darsanam
Ore Oru Margam Pathinettam Padi Ore Oru Manthram Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Vanathalam Virakkum Valiya Sabdadhara
Surapatham Nadumgum Saranasabdadhara
Atavikal kadannoo malakalum Kadannoo
Paramapavanam Poonkavanam kadannoo
Varikayayi Njangal Arikilayi Njangal
Hariharathmaja Nee Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Ore Oru Lakshyam Sabarimamala Ore Oru Moham Divya Darsanam
Ore Oru Margam Pathinettam Padi Ore Oru Manthram Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

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