Monday, 27 November 2017

Tenali Raman & the Godess Kali.

Today Iam going to tell you a story about the clever Tenali Raman.

Do you know who is Tenali Raman? I 'll tell you....

There was a little boy called Raman. He lived with his parents in the town Tenali.

When Raman was a young lad, a saint visited his town.  Everyone seeked his blessings.And so did Raman.The saint then told him,'
" Rama. I  can teach you a mantra. If you recite it 1008 times in the Kali, temple, Goddess Kali will appear before you and fulfill your wishes.But you should recite it with full devotion."

You all know that Kali is a Goddess who destroys all evils.) 

Raman went to the MahaKali temple. He sat there with closed eyes and recited the mantra with great devotion . 
Suddenly there was a voice calling "Rama ,Rama " .

When Raman opened his eyes, he saw the Goddess Kali with all her 1000 heads. As soon as she saw the Goddess, he immediately started laughing.He could not control his laughter.

Goddess Kali asked, " Rama ! Why are you laughing? what is so funny?"

Immediately Raman said," Oh! God ! I was just thinking what will happen if you catch a cold. I imagined you sneezing with all thousand noses. That made me laugh."

kids that should be really funny. isn't it?

On hearing this Goddess Kali too enjoyed the joke. She said,
"Rama I like your innocence."  and continued,"Rama....Look at my hands. I have got two bowls . one with sweet milk and the other with curd. The milk bowl represents "Knowledge" and the curd bowl represents "wealth".( wealth means money)

You can take any one of these and drink. If you drink the milk you will be blessed with lot of  knowledge. if you take the curd bowl you will have lots of money. But you can take anly one of think and choose .Saying this Kali looked at Raman.

Raman started to think.

Raman thought for a while and said," Goddess Kali ! can I taste both before choosing?'

 Godess agreed and gave both the bowls to Raman . Even before Kali realised what Raman was doing, he drank both milk and curd from both the bowls.

Kali a little annoyed asked," What did I tell you and what you did?"

Raman replied, " Kali Ma ! Iam sorry. But what is the use of knowledge without wealth. and wealth is of no use without knowledge.That is why I drank both." and prostrated before  the Goddess.

Goddess kali liked his cleverness and blessed him. From then on his fame and fortune spread every where. 

He became famous  and came to be called as Tenali raman.

On learning about his cleverness, King Krishnadevarayar, made him his advisor &court jester.(jester meaning one who cracks clever jokes.)  he became famous and was then called as Tenali Raman.

There are so many incidents whch shows his cleverness. I shall tell you coming weeks....

Now kids, you tell  " what will you drink if Goddess Kali comes before you and offer you milk and curd?"

Would you like to listen to the story.....?
Here it is in my own voice.....


Saturday, 2 September 2017


courtesy- wikkimedia commons
We all know that man is mortal. But, there are also people, who are immortal. They are called as chiranjeevi in Hinduism. As an example, Lord Hanuman can be mentioned here. He is supposed to be alive even today, though we cannot spot Him.

When I think on this line Rishi Markandeyar, comes to my mind. He is the one who conquered death. 
Sounds interesting ...right?
Let me narrate his story here.

  A Rishi by name Mrikandu was living with his wife Marudavati . Both of them were ardent devotees of Siva.They were happy on singing hymns on Lord Siva and on spreading the glory of Siva. But they  also had something to regret. Their concern was that they were not belssed with children. Time and again they were praying Lord Siva to bless them with children. But in vain.

So they decided to do penance , to draw Lord Siva's attention and blessings. And of course they succeeded in it. Pleased with their penance and devotion Lord Siva gave darshan to the couple. On having darshan, they first bowed to him and praised him.
Lord Siva now asked," Mrikandu and Marudavati ! Iam pleased with your penance. What do you want?  Why is  this penance for?"

Mrikandu then answered," Oh! God!We have been praying for  a child . Please grant our wish and bless us with your grace."

Lord Siva seemed to be thinking for a while. Then asked the couple," What type of a child do you want? wise or foolish ?"

The couple looked at each other with confusion.
" Why is Lord Siva asking this? Will anyone pray for a foolish child? " With this thought in mind Mrikandu gathered courage and asked the God," God! We don't understand the question."

Lord Siva  cleared his doubt. He asked," Would you like to have a wise son, who will live only for sixteen years  or a foolish son who can live for hundred years?"

Without hesitation, Mrikandu answered," We would like to have a wise child ."

Lord Siva granted their wish. Though the Rishi couple had asked for the wise son, they were sad, that their son's life would be only limited.

Very soon they were blessed with a son. They named him Markandeyan. He grew up as an intelligent son. He mastered the Vedas and sacred scriptures with great devotion.He helped his father in performing puja to Lord Siva.  In accordance with the family cult , he too, turned to be an ardent devotee of Lord Siva.

As an intelligent boy , he was able to sense the anxiety and sadness that ran through his parent's mind. But he was not able to find out what troubled his parents.

As he was approaching his completion of  sixteen years, he could see anxiety written large, on his parents faces. He asked his parents," Father and mother! I can understand that you are experiencing sorrow. Can I know the reason for it.As a son it is my duty to make you happy."

Now, Mrikandu told the whole story surrounding his birth and said," How can we part with you? But it is destiny that your life will end soon." Saying this, both of them cried a lot.

Though he was intelligent, Markandeyan was taken back. But he gathered himself and said," Father and Mother! Do not cry. Lord Siva will never leave us in trouble. He will surely bless me with a long life."
Saying this, he tried to console his parents.

On the destined day, Markandeyan went to the seashore and built a Sivalinga with the sand and started his bhajans and meditation.. Soon he lost himself into deep trance.

Lord Yama, God of Death,  as usual sent his messengers to collect the soul of Markandeyan. Messengers came to take Markandeyan's soul. His meditational powers did not allow them to come near him. They went back to Lord Yama and told about their inability . Surprised Yama  , dedided to go by himself. So, he gallopped in his vehicle, the buffalo and reached the seashore where Markandeyan was meditating.

Markandeyan's meditational powers did not allow even Yama , God of death to collect the soul. But he has to complete the job. So with the  noose of the long rope ( Pasa kayiru)  he tried to catch the soul of Markandeya.

When Markandeyan realised Lord Yama's intentions, he quickly embraced the Sivalinga. The noose which was thrown to the neck of Markandeya , fell around the Sivalinga too. Now both Markandeyan along with Lord Siva were inside the noose.

Lord Siva, came out from the Linga furiously. He threw his spear towards Yama. Yama realising his misdeed, begged forgiveness. He also expressed his helplessness . But Lord Siva refused to hear anything. Lord Yama, with great fear mumbled," Markandeyan's earthly life has come to an end . This is the God's boon . I was just doing my duty."

Now Siva thundered," This boy Markandeyan shall remain, as sixteen years old, eternally. And you cannot take his soul." Saying so, Lord Siva killed  Yama .This is called as Kalasamharam. The God is also called as Kalasamharamurthy.(meaning one who killed Kala/Yama, the death God.) On seeing this the Gods and demigods prayed and reminded Lord Siva , the indispensability of God of Death. Siva then gave  back life to Yama. But only, on the condition that Markandeyan will have eternal life.

Lord Siva , saved Markandeyan and bestowed on him" ever sixteen years " blessing.

A temple now stands there in Thiukkadaiyur, where Markandeyar was blessed with eternity. The presiding God is Amirthakadeshwarar and His Consort is the Goddess Abirami. 
(This temple is also the place where Abhirami Pattar was blessed by the Goddess.)

Sashtiapthapurthy( 60th birthday), Bheemarathasanthi( 70th birthday) and Sadabhishekam( 80th birthday) for couples  are performed in this temple. It is believed that Lord Siva blesses the couple with long life.

Markandeyan , being an ardent devotee went on to become a great sage. He is a Chiranjeevi. , though not visible to us. His presence was felt even in  the Mahabaratha age.The conversation between him and Jamini Rishi in Mahabaratha came to be known as Markandeya Purana.

With full devotion and confidence in the Supreme power , Markandeyar conquered death. Thus there are many lessons to be learnt from this great Maharishi,  Markandeyar.

courtesy--wikkimedia commons

Many of you would like to visit the temple where Kalasamhara murthy is enshrined. Don't forget, to see the noose impression on the Lingam.
          Om Namasivaya !!