Category Archives: spiritual stories

Lord Rama fights Ravana and rescues Sita : Part 5

hanuman burns lanka

(Continued from Part 4)
In the previous article, we discussed how Rama and His army reached Lanka where a fierce fight ensued between Rakshasas and the monkeys. Both sides suffered heavy losses in the battle. One by one the Rakshasa generals were slain in battle. The atmosphere in the demon camp turned gloomy when Kumbhakarna and Indrajit were also killed. Unable to control his rage, Ravana decided to take the reins into his hand. Encouraged by his ministers, Ravana now wanted to confront Rama, his arch-enemy.

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Lord Rama – The war of Lanka : Part 4

Lod rama war

(Continued from Part 3)
In the previous article, we depicted how Lord Rama allied with Sugriva, after killing his brother Vali. Sugriva, then keeping his vow, ordered the monkeys to search for Sita. Finally, Hanuman leaped over the southern oceans to reach the city of Lanka, the capital of the Rakshasas. Hanuman finally discovered Sita being held captive in the palace garden. Hanuman conveyed to Sita how Rama had been thinking of her and was searching for her all over the world. Sita expressed her grief and how she was being tormented by Ravana, and his associates. Ravana who wanted to have Sita as his queen had given her up to one year to change her mind and accept union with him. Once the year had passed, Sita would be killed and served as meat to Ravana, if she did not comply. Hanuman comforted Sita, assuring her that Rama would soon come to rescue. Before leaving Lanka, Hanuman killed hordes of Rakshasas including Aksa, one of Ravana’s sons. Setting fire to the city of Lanka with his flaming tail, Hanuman leaped once again to return to Rama.

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Lord Rama – The search for Sita : Part 3

hanuman rama

(Continued from Part 2)
In the previous article, we recounted how Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana spent their time in the forest. We described how the demon Surpanakha endeavored to seduce Rama and was punished in the process. We have depicted the terrible war between Rama and the brothers of Surpanakha, Khara, and Dushana. They had attacked Rama with their formidable army of fourteen thousand Rakshasas. We have also described how a lusty Ravana kidnapped Sita and carried her to Lanka.

A mortally wounded Jatayu described to Rama how Ravana, the king of demons, abducted Sita and flew towards the South. Jatayu cried that he attempted his best but being old, he was defeated by Ravana. As Jatayu passed away, Rama and Lakshmana performed his last rites. As the two brothers continued searching for Sita, they encountered a Rakshasa named Kabandha, whose strength lay in his arms. After a brief fight, Rama cut off the arms of the Rakshasa. Kabandha then revealed that he was previously a Gandharva and had been cursed into Rakshasa life as he had made fun of sage Ashtavakra, whose body was bent in eight places. Now that Rama and Lakshmana were killing Kabandha, he would be able to return to his Gandharva life. Regaining his Gandharva form, Kabandha proposed that Rama and Lakshmana form a pact and ally with Sugriva, a leader of the monkeys. Vali, his elder brother, had exiled Sugriva. If Rama helped Sugriva regain his kingdom, he would become obliged to assist Rama in finding Sita. Kabandha also informed Rama that Sugriva could be found near the site of sage Matanga’s hermitage on Lake Pampa.

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Lord Rama – Life in the forest & Sita Haran Pastimes : Part 2

rama lakshmana sita forest

(Continued from Part1)
In the previous article, we have explained the divine identity and lineage of Lord Rama. We have talked about how He toured with sage Visvamitra to vanquish the Rakshasas and how He broke the celestial bow in Mithila to win Sita’s hand in marriage. We have narrated how Manthara poisoned Kaikeyi’s heart and how Kaikeyi halted the coronation of Lord Rama. We have described how Lord Rama was subsequently exiled to the forest, following the wishes of queen Kaikeyi, and how this plunged King Dasaratha, the royalty, and the entire city of Ayodhya into despair.

The citizens of Ayodhya followed Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita into the forest and would not desert them. ‘Without Rama, what is the use of our house, children or wealth?’, they thought. Feeling compassionate, Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita drove away in the middle of the night while these ordinary citizens lay asleep. In this way, Rama prevented them from any further agony. 

Finally, Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita reached Ushinara province, a territory that was ruled by Guha, Rama’s friend. Guha met with Rama at the shore of the Ganges. Though Guha had brought several gifts, Rama rejected them as He had taken a vow of leading an ascetic life. Guha and Lakshmana stayed awake guarding Rama and Sita as they slept on a bed of leaves. It was time to quit the chariots and go walking barefoot. Crossing over the river, the next morning, Rama bade goodbye to Guha and Sumantara, before entering the dense forests.

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Lord Rama – Early Pastimes, Marriage & betrayal : Part 1

sita haran in ramayan rama chaitanya mahaprabhu

On the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra in Treta Yuga, Lord Ramachandra appeared in Ayodhya, a city in northern India. This day has since been celebrated by the entire world as Ram Navami. The ninth canto of Bhagavata Purana states that Lord Ramachandra was born in the dynasty of Maharaja Khatvanga. The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu and his son was Raghu. Aja was the son of Raghu and the son of Aja was Dasaratha. Lord Ramachandra was the son of Dasaratha and mother Kaushalya. King Dasarath had three wives – Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. Ramachandra was none other than Vishnu, the Supreme Lord and He had descended into this world along with His full quadruple expansion – as Lord Rama, and brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. Bharata was the son of Kaikeyi while Lakshmana and Shatrughna were the sons of Sumitra.

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Namahatta – Marketplace of the Holy name

namahatta holy name hare krishna

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura provides a thorough description of ‘Namahatta’ in his newsletter ‘Godruma Kalpatavi’ (the desire-tree groves of Godruma). ‘Godruma’ is the second island of Nabadwip dham representing Kirtana (chanting). Composed about 120 years ago, this newsletter talks of a transcendental market of holy names (Nama-Hatta) wherein the holy names of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, are systematically sold to customers who are willing to accept such a spiritual product. Based upon the currency of one’s faith and devotion for the Supreme Lord, anyone, regardless of one’s caste, creed, background, education, nobility, religion, etc is qualified to purchase the holy name from Namahatta. This article outlines the commodities, modes of Payment, and the roles and responsibilities of various devotees in charge of Namahatta, as described by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in his Godruma Kalpatavi.

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Jagannath Puri temple history (Part 3) – Appearance of Lord Jagannath, Baladeva & Subhadra

jagannath puri

In the previous article, we explained how Lord Neela Madhava disappeared from the general view being totally covered under the sand. We also came to understand how King Indradyumna was pacified learning that the Supreme Lord Vishnu would soon manifest Himself in the form of Daru-Brahma. Request you to browse through the earlier article for a detailed description of these mysterious events surrounding Jagannath Puri dham. This article is a humble attempt to present the subsequent developments.

#1 Narada Muni instructed King Indradyumna to install the deity of Lord Narasimha deva that was uncovered from under the Aguru tree. King Indradyumna did likewise. Sughata, the son of Viswakarma (the celestial architect ), created a beautiful temple within four days. Lord Narasimha deva was installed in that temple as per the directions of Narada. Deities of Bhu-devi and Lakshmidevi were also installed along with Narasimha deva.

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Jagannath Puri temple history (Part 2) – Neela Madhava disappears

jagannath

In the previous article, we described how in Satya Yuga, King Indradyumna, ruler of Malav, was apprised of the glories of Purusottama Kshetra (Jagannath Puri) by an exalted saint who had previously visited the holy dham on pilgrimage. King Indradyumna had then sent Vidyapati, brother of the royal priest, in search of Sri Neela Madhava. After traveling for days, Vidyapati arrived at the Nilgiri hills where he met with an exalted Vaishnava named Biswabasu. Biswabasu showed him around the place and with his help, Vidyapati finally attained the darsana of Lord Neela Madhava. Request you to browse through the earlier article for a detailed description of these mysterious events. This article is a humble attempt to present the subsequent developments.

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Jagannath Puri temple history (Part 1) – King Indradyumna searches for Neela Madhava

jagannath puri temple history

#1 In Satya Yuga, there was a King named Indradyumna who ruled over a Kingdom identified as Malav. He was of exemplary character and a great devotee of Vishnu, the Supreme Lord. He belonged to the same lineage as Lord Brahma and was his twenty-fifth descendant.

#2 King Indradyumna once asked his royal priest if there was any holy place in this world where he could behold the Supreme Lord with his own eyes. 

#3 The temple priest then summoned numerous people who had undertaken extensive pilgrimages to holy places. He placed before them the same question that the king had asked him the other day. One of the pilgrims exclaimed that he indeed knew of a place where one could behold the Supreme Lord. 

#4 Alluding to the present Indian state of Orissa, the pilgrim described that towards the south of this state, on the shores of the ocean, existed Sri Purusottama kshetra (the land of Purusottama – the Supreme Lord). Within Purusottama Kshetra lies a mountain named ‘Nilgiri’ and it is encircled with dense forests on all sides. On the top of this mountain, exists a giant banyan tree that is sometimes also referred to as ‘Kalpa-vata’. To the west of this place, is a beautiful lake called ‘Rohini-Kunda’ whose blessed waters grant liberation to whoever touches it. To the east of the Nilgiri mountains, Lord Vasudeva is worshiped in His enchanting deity form (Neela Madhava) that is embellished with blue gems. The blue Deity is exceedingly effulgent and beautiful. Anyone who bathes at Rohini Kunda and then beholds this beautiful deity achieves freedom from this material world. Towards the west of this deity lies an ashram called ‘Sabara Deepak’.

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Chand Kazi chastised – Mass Harinama Sankirtana protest led by Lord Chaitanya

srivasa angan chand kazi

About 500 years ago, the state of Bengal was ruled by Nawab Hussain Shah. Nawab Hussain Shah was the incarnation of King Jarasandha, who had conspired and fought numerous wars against Krishna in Dwapara Yuga. That same Krishna had now incarnated as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa. Chand Kazi was the magistrate unto whom the administration of Navadvipa was entrusted at that time  (Kazi translates to a magistrate in English). Chand Kazi was the incarnation of King Kamsa (Krishna’s maternal uncle). The residence of Chand Kazi was situated not very far from Srivasa Angan. Chand Kazi also happened to be the spiritual counselor of Nawab Hussain Shah.

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