Friday, 27 December 2013

Do you know the river Ganges?

Who will not know the sacred river Ganges , otherwise called as Ganga. But do you know about ,how she descended to earth and why did she flow on earth.?

The answer lies  in our Hindu mythology.

Let us  see what it is........

There was once a king called Sagara. He  had  many  sons .
King Sagara performed the'  Ashwamedha yaga '. In those  days the kings used to  perform this yagna to prove their supremacy.They will let loose a horse.The kings of all the countries where the horse wandered were asked to submit themselves. If they did not allow the horse to wander, in their territory  then they have to face war with the yagna performing king.

King Sagara performed this yagna . His horse did not return. So his sons went in search of the horse. They found it being tied in sage Kapila's hermit. Seeing this , the princes became angry and insulted the sage ,disturbing his penance.At this the sage got angry .With his yogic  powers , he burnt  the princes to ashes.

King Sagara's last remaining son , Anshuman learnt the fate of his brothers and pleaded sage Kapila , for liberation of his brothers' souls .

For this , sage Kapila replied," The souls can be liberated  , only if these ashes are washed by the holy river Ganges. She is in the kamandal of Lord Brahma."

' When will she flow down to earth?' asked Anshuman.

" You have to do penance , to please Lord Brahma. Then he will fulfil your wish " answered the sage.   Anshuman  was not able to fulfil this penance . Not only Anshuman , but for many  generations,  this penance was not fulfilled and the souls were not liberated.

In this lineage came Bageerathan . When he became king , he also wished to  wash the sins of  his forefathers and liberate  their souls.

He started to do the penance  towards Lord Brahma. His  perseverance was such that he lived only on air  and he even  forewent his sleep . His focus was to relieve his forefathers souls. His penance continued for many, many  years.

Lord Brahma pleased with Bageerathan , readily agreed to release river Ganga but   said  that the force with which Ganga flows down will destroy the whole earth. To  save earth from destruction , Lord Brahma asked Bageerathan to seek the help of Lord Shiva .

To overcome this challenge, again Bageerathan started penance  towards Lord Shiva. Again many ,many  years passed in penance. Lord Shiva was happy with Bageerathan's perseverance. He agreed to control Ganga by spreading his matted hair . He  let her down to earth , only after controlling her  force.

Finally Ganga started to flow to earth and she followed Bageerathan. On the way  Ganga gushed, through the hermit of sage Janu,  drowning his hermit. Janu got angry and swallowed the river.

Again Bageerathan  had to face the challenge of releasing Ganga.. He, without any reservation , pleaded  sage Janu  to release Ganga. He  explained the reason for bringing Ganga down. After that, sage Janu released Ganga.

Now, Ganga continued  following  Bageerathan .She  reached sage Kapila's hermit and washed the sins of his forefathers .All  their souls reached heaven.

Bageerathan's  efforts brought fruit. At last he was satisfied .
His success goes on to prove that " there are no gains without pains."

Any ordeal, which is performed with great difficulty and full of devotion, is  called as ' Bageeratha Prayathana '.

King Bageerathan is known for his perseverance .But for his  tireless effort , we would not have got river ganges flowing  into our country making India  fertile.
Even now it is said,  all our sins will be washed away, when we bathe in this holy river.And so do many.....

images courtesy----google.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Can you see the eye ball?

The Kaurava princes and the Pandava princes were all students of Dronacharya.

Arjuna ,one of the pandava princes excelled others, in  archery skills.

This was not liked byAswathama, Duryodhana, and his brothers. One day they started commenting openly, that their Guru had a partisan attitude and he teaches more skills to Arjuna and  that is why Arjuna  had mastered archery.

At this  Dronacharya  was not happy . He wanted to prove that he is impartial.

So he called upon his students ," Dear students, I have arranged a competition in archery for all of you. You can exhibit your skills tomorrow and win the competition."

The students ,kaurava  princes and tha pandava princes prepared themselves for the next day's competition.

Next day all of them assembled in front of their Guru ,Dronacharya.

Dronacharya took them to  a tree, where he had kept a toy bird, amidst thick leaves.

He called upon Duryodhana and showed him the bird and said," Duryodhana, look at this bird's eyes. You have to hit the bird's eyes. Now take your bow and arrow and aim at the bird . "Immediately, Duriyodhana  went on his one knee and looked at the tree .

" Now tell me Duryodhana , What all do you see? "Acharya  asked.

" I see the branches, leaves, the bird, and of course it's eye ." Duryodhana replied.

" Now hit at it? " Acharya ordered.

Duroydhana let his arrow. But it went straight into the branches and fell on the ground bringing down some leaves.

So did the other kaurava princes, and all of them saw everything along with the bird ,when they were aiming.
Aswathama , son of Acharya, also was no different from the others. In fact he saw so many other things, which were not visible to other student's eyes.He saw along with the branches,  leaves , flowers and also  bees ,buzzing around the flowers.

His arrow also did not hit the target.

Now came  Arjuna's turn.

He came to the front , paid his mamaskarams to his teacher, and went on his one knee with his bow and arrow.

Now Acharya asked him," what do you see?"

Prompt came the reply."I see the bird's eyes."

Acharya asked ," Don,t you see the branches?"

Arjuna replied,"No".

Again Acharya asked," Do you see the leaves? ".

"No" replied Arjuna.

" Do you see the flowers?" Acharya asked.

" No " replied again Arjuna.

This time Acharya asked ," Do you see the bird, Arjuna?"

For this also Arjuna's reply was a big " No ".

" What then  is visible to your eyes?" Came Acharya's  query.

" I can see the eye ball Acharya  " replied Arjuna politely.

" Now hit the target Arjuna" Acharya ordered.

Straight went Arjuna's arrow, and hit the eye ball of the bird and brought it down.

Acharya Drona was very happy with Arjuna's act and looked at him with pride.

This made the other students understand that Arjuna's focus alone  makes him  to master archery .

What do we learn from the story?
Children should always try to focus on their  work just like Arjuna. This will definitely help them  to reach their  goal. 

image courtesy--google.