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BIRTH OF KARTIKEYA Lord Shiva and Parvati lived happily at Gandhamadan Mountain enjoying every bit of their conjugal

life. Once it so happened that a small quantity of Shiva's sperm fell on the ground while he was enjoying intimate moments with Parvati. As a result, tremendous amount of heat was generated and the whole world started burning.Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu instructed Agni to employ some means so that the destruction caused by Shiva's over flowing sperms could come to an end.Agni went to Gandhamadan mountain in the guise of a hermit. He requested Parvati by saying---'O Mother! Please give me something as alms. I have nothing but my hands as a begging bowl' Parvati kept Shiva's sperms on his palm, which was eaten up by Agni. Parvati was enraged to see this and cursed Agni--"You have shown disrespect to me. From today onwards you would become omnivorous. The sperms which you have devoured would cause unbearable inflammation in your body." As the result of Parvati's curse, Agni really started experiencing unbearable inflammation in his body. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal the means by which his pain would come to an end. Lord Shiva instructed Agni to implant those sperms in any woman's womb to get rid of the unbearable inflammation.Thus, Agni, who was suffering from extreme heat that generated in his body, sat at a lonely place waiting eagerly for a woman to arrive there.He did not have to wait for too long, as six Kritikas, shivering with cold arrived there to warm themselves. The sperms of Shiva entered into their bodies through the pores. These six Kritikas became pregnant. When their respective husbands learnt about their pregnancy they cursed them. As a result they got transformed into 'Nakshatras' and established themselves in the sky. But, they aborted their respective foetus at Himalaya mountain before getting transformed into six constellations. The holy Ganges carried that foetus to a secluded place, which was covered with dense bushes of reeds.In course of time, Lord Kartikeya manifested from those reed bushes. He had six heads. The deities were delighted at the birth of Kartikeya. Lord Shiva along with Parvati went to the place where Kartikeya had incarnated. Parvati took young Kartikeya in her embrace. Garuda purana Once, sage Vyas went to Brahmaloka to get his doubts cleared on certain spiritual matters from Lord Brahma. While dwelling on a wide range of religious topics such as importance of austerities and various incarnations Lord Vishnu took to protect righteousness, Lord Brahma narrated a tale of a Brahmin woman who possessed divine powers on account of her chastity. Lord Brahma said' During ancient times there lived a Brahmin named Kaushik in Pratishthanpur Nagar. He was inflicted with leprosy but still his wife was very chaste and faithful towards him. His wife used to be on her toes attending to all his demands and looking after all his requirements. But still, he used to scold and abuse his wife at the first given opportunity without any rhyme or reason. However, his wife did not mind his behaviour understanding quite well the frustrations of a man suffering from dreaded disease like Leprosy.' One day, something happened which made Kaushik extremely angry and in a fit of rage he

made an impossible demand thinking that his wife would never comply by it giving him an opportunity to curse her to the satisfaction of his heart. Shouting angrily at his wife, Kaushik said- Age has started showing effect on you. You don't look beautiful as before. You have also started neglecting me. Take me to a beautiful prostitute so that I can satisfy my sexual urge. Kaushik's wife was deeply hurt by his rude and unfair remarks but she remained cool and calm. Being a chaste and faithful wife she had no option but to obey her husband's command. So, she left for a prostitute's house carrying Kaushik on her shoulders. The prostitute's house was far and it became dark while they were still on the way. Because of darkness, Kaushik's wife could not see sage Mandavya, who in spite of his innocence was given a severe punishment by the king- he had been made to sit on a pointed cone which after having penetrated through his body had pierced even his skull. But, being a great sage, Mandavya was engrossed in his meditation even in such a painful physical condition. Unfortunately, Kaushik's feet, which were hanging down the shoulders of his wife, touched Mandavya's body. Mandavya's meditation was disturbed and he came out from his meditative level. As a result he became conscious of his unbearable physical pain and cursed that whoever had disturbed his meditation would not live to see the next day.' Kaushik died the next day but his wife, who had full confidence in her power of chastity, knew that her husband would be alive once again. She cursed angrily - ' Mandavya has a misconception about his power. He thinks that only he can control the natural phenomena but perhaps he does not know what feats a chaste woman is capable of performing. Its my command to the Sun not to rise from tomorrow onwards.' And indeed, the Sun stopped rising from the next morning leading to catastrophic fallout. Everything went haywire in the world, which made the deities extremely worried. They came to me (Lord Brahma) with a request to reveal why Sun had stopped rising. I told them that it was all due to the curse of a chaste woman and then I narrated the whole story. I revealed to them that nobody except Sati Anusuya was capable of bringing back order in the world. I advised them to seek the help of Sati Anusuya who was famous for her exceptional chastity. So, all the deities went to Sati Anusuya and requested her to make the Sun rise so that everything became orderly in the world once again. Sati Anusuya agreed to lend her help in bringing back normalcy in the world. She, by the virtue of her chastity not only made the Sun rise daily but also made dead Kaushik alive once again. Such is the power commanded by a woman practicing the austerity of chastity. There are numerous examples of such women famous for their chastity and Sita was one of them. Markandeya puran DRAUPADI'S FIVE HUSBANDS The birds say- 'Frightened by the severe penance of Trishira, Indra killed him to protect his authority and power. But the sin of killing a Brahmin took away Indra's radiance. Trishira was the son of Twashta. Twashta became furious at his son's death. He plucked one strand of hair from his hair-lock and offered it in the sacrificial fire. This resulted into the creation

of a formidable and strong demon named Vritrasur. This demon was created with the objective of killing Indra. Learning about the birth of Vritrasur, Indra sent Saptarishis as emissaries to work out a pact with the demon. The Saptarishis effected a friendship between Indra and Vritrasur. But Indra had other ideas. He took Vritrasur by surprise and killed him. This deceitful action of Indra further enraged the clans of the demons. Soon the atrocities of the demons increased to unbearable limits. Even Prithvi felt unable to bear the burden of their atrocities. She approached the deities and requested them to get her rid of the burden. Thus, to relieve Prithvi of her burden, the deities began to take incarnation on earth. Dharma and Vayu implanted Indra's radiance in the womb of Kunti. This resulted in the birth of Yudhishthir and Bheema. Then Indra himself produced Arjuna from Kunti. Nakul and Sahadev were born because of Indra's radiance implanted by Ashwini kumars in the womb of Madri. Thus all the five Pandavas originated from the same source even though they appeared as distinct entities, whereas Draupadi was none other than Shuchi, the wife of Indra, produced from the altar in Drupad's palace. In human incarnation, Draupadi got five Pandavas as her husband.

Varaha Purana
TRISHAKTI Describing the reason behind the manifestation of 'TriShakti' (Three goddesses manifesting from the bodies of Brahma Vishnu and Shiva), Lord Varah told Prithvi--- There lived a mighty demon named 'Andhak' who used to torment the deities. After being driven out of the heaven all the deities sought lord Brahma's help. Lord Brahma took them to Lord Shiva and requested him to find some solution to the miseries of the deities. Lord Brahma then meditated on the form of Vishnu who appeared instantly. The powers emanating from the eyes of all the three deities got combined and resulted into the manifestation of goddess Parmeshwari.On the request of the deities,goddess Parmeshwari created three more goddesses from her body-Brahmi,Vishnupriya and Rudrani.Goddess Brahmi was of fair complexion while Vishnupriya's complexion was wheatish.Goddess Rudrani appeared extremely ferocious in her dark complexion. Lord Brahma advised goddess Brahmi to do penance at Shwetgiri mountain.Similarly,Vishnupriya went to Mandarachal mountain to do her penance while Lord Shiva advised goddess Rudrani to go to Nilgiri mountain. While Vishnupriya was doing her penance at Mandarachal mountain, crores of goddesses manifested from her body prominent among whom were Vidyutprabha,Chandrakanti,Suryakanti,Gambhira,Vijaya,Jaya, Jayanti,Aparajita,etc.All these goddesses acted as the escorts of goddess Vishnupriya who is also called Vaishnavi. One day,sage Narad visited goddess Vaishnavi and was dumbstruck by her divine beauty.He had never seen such a beautiful woman in his life.On his return journey,Narad met Mahishasur-the mighty demon,who had been blessed by Brahma.Mahishasur had conquered all the three worlds.Narad praised the glory of Mahishasur but went on to add that his majesty was incomplete untill he married Vaishnavi. Narad said-"I have never seen such a beautiful woman in my life. She is worshipped by all the sages,gandharvas,deities as well as other celestial beings.Although,you are worthy of

becoming her husband yet the fact is that you can not have her as your wife untill you have conquered the deities and the gandharvas." After sowing a seed of lust in Mahishasur's mind,Narad went away. Mahishasur vowed to marry Vaishnavi at any cost. Lord Varah continued with the tale and said-"After Narad went away,Mahishasur summoned his ministers-Praghas,Vighas,Shanku- karna,Vibhavasu,Vidyunmali,Sumali,Parjanya and Krura.When all the ministers arrived,he requested them to find out means so that he could marry Vaishnavi. Praghas-one of the ministers, was very intelligent.He warned Mahishasur against going ahead with his evil designs and said- 'This illegal abduction could become the cause for your destruction.'Vighas corroborated the statements of Praghas. Finally,everyone agreed that it would be better if Vaishnavi was persuaded to accept Mahishasur as her husband instead of forcefully abducting her. "So all of them,finally came upon two conclusions-first was to send a messenger to persuade Vaishnavi into marrying Mahishasur and the second was to defeat the deities in a battle.A demon named Vidutprabha was sent to meet goddess Vaishnavi. Mahishasur then launched a fierce attack on the deities and defeated them.The deities were forced to flee the battle-field and seek refuge in brahma loka." "Meanwhile,Vidutprabha had already reached Mandarachal mountain. Without showing any rspect to goddess Vaishnavi,he tried to impress her by narrating the amazing tale of Mahishasur's birth- 'During ancient times,there lived a sage named Suparshva.Once,he was doing penance and an ogress named Mahishmati alongwith her companions, arrived at his hermitage.Mahishmati was very much impressed by the grandeur of his hermitage and decided to occupy it.She changed her appearance and became a buffalo.She then started tormenting Suparshva,who was initially terrified but finally came to know about her real identity.Suparshva cursed her-'You deserve to remain as a buffalo for the rest of your life.' "Now,Mahishmati became extremely terrified and begged for being pardoned.Finally,Suparshva took pity on her and said-'You will get liberated from my curse only after you give birth to a calf.' Thus,Mahishmati started wandering all over the places in the form of a buffalo.Once,while wandering, she reached the bank of river Narmada,where sage Sindhudweep was doing his penance. A significant incident had taken place just few minutes before her arrival-Sage Sindhudweep,being unable to control himself,had ejaculated sperms after infatuated by a beautiful ogress taking bath in river Narmada,which was flowing nearby.The sperms fell on a rock and was eventually washed off by the swift currents of Narmada." "As Mahishmati was thirsty,she drank water from river Narmada. While quenching her thirst,she also consumed the sperms as the result of which she became pregnant.In course of time,she gave birth to Mahishasur,who grew up to be a mighty demon king.The same Mahishasur wants to marry you." After finishing his story, Vidutprabha waited for Vaishnavi's response.

Vishnu purana
Usha and Vanasura Krishna had more than one lakh and eighty thousand sons. But the best of them was Pradyumna and Pradyumnas son was Aniruddha. Valis son was Vanasura and Vanasuras daughter was Usha. Usha once met Parvati and

Shiva. She asked Parvati who her husband would be. Parvati replied that in the month of Vaishakha a person would appear in Ushas dreams. And this person would be her husband. Ling Purana

The Linga The sages said, "We know that a linga is Shivas image. But why is Shiva worshipped in the form of a linga?" Lomaharshana recounted the following story. Many years ago, at the end of a destruction, there was water everywhere in the universe and the universe was shrouded in darkness. Vishnu slept on the water in his form of Narayana. Brahma discovered Vishnu sleeping thus and woke him up. Failing to recognize Vishnu, he asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here?" Vishnu woke up and noticed Brahma standing there. He smiled and said, "How are you, Brahma? Is everything well with my son? "How dare you call me your son? demanded Brahma. "I am Brahma, the lord of everything. I am the creator of the universe. How dare anyone call me his son?" "You seem to have forgotten everything," said Vishnu. "I am Vishnu and you were born from me. That is the reason why I addressed you as my son." Brahma did not accept this and started to fight with Vishnu. While the two were thus grappling, a shining linga suddenly appeared. It was almost as if the linga had emerged to settle Brahma and Vishnus dispute. The linga rose way up into the sky and it seemed to have no beginning or end. "What on earth is this pillar of fire doing here?" Vishnu asked Brahma. "Let us investigate it. Why dont you go up and see where it ends? As for me, I shall proceed downwards. Let us meet after a while and compare notes." Brahma agreed to do this. He adopted the form of a swan and flew up. Vishnu adopted the form of a boar and went down. No matter how further down Vishnu went, he could find no end to the linga. Nor could Brahma discover its upper extremity. They returned and were amazed to find that neither had been able to find the end of the linga. They realized that they must be in the presence of a power that was greater than their own. They therefore began to pray to the linga and the sound of the mantra (incantation) om echoed all around the linga. Shiva appeared from within the linga in the form of a sage named Vedanama. He told them that it was the linga which was the origin of the universe. It was from the linga that the primordial egg (anda), the origin of the universe, had been created. Shiva also taught Brahma and Vishnu the sacred gayatri mantra. He told Brahma and Vishnu, "We are all three part of the same supreme brahman. Brahma is the creator, Vishnu

is the preserver and I am the destroyer. Dont fight amongst yourselves." Ever since that day, Shiva has been worshipped in the form of a linga.. Subsequently, when Brahma began his task of creation, he was not happy with the beings he initially created. From this sorrow were born the eleven rudras, manifestations of Shiva. They cried as soon as they were born. Since the word ruda means to cry, they acquired the name of rudras. It was thus that Shiva was born as Brahmas son. (This seemingly contradicts the earlier account of the Linga Purana that Shiva had created the eleven rudras himself. The story of the rudras being born from Brahmas sorrow is given in many Puranas in much greater detail. The Vishnu Purana and the Padma Purana are examples.) The Linga Purana next describes the rituals that have to be followed in worshipping Shivas linga.

Padam Purana
THE ORIGIN OF MARUDGANAS Bheeshma requested Sage Pulastya to describe how all the Marudganas came into existence. Pulastya replied--- All the sons and grandsons of Diti had perished in the battle fought between the deities and demons. Diti---the mother of daityas (demons) wanted to take revenge, so she started doing a penance at the bank of river Saraswati, which lasted for 100 years.Being pleased by her austere penance Sage Kashyap arrived and expressed his desire to bless her with a boon. Diti wanted a mighty son who could kill Indra. Sage Kashyap then implanted his sperms in Diti's womb and instructed her to remain there (where she had been doing penance) for 100 years. He also instructed her on various do's and don'ts which a pregnant woman is expected to observe. Diti agreed to follow his instructions.Mean while, Indra got wind of her pregnancy and became scared. He wanted to destroy the foetus at any cost, so he arrived at the place where Diti was staying. He had disguised himself to avoid being recognized by Diti. He engaged himself in her servitude, waiting for an opportune moment to destroy the foetus.