By Kamlesh Tripathi
‘Mother I too need to drink milk as my cousin, and it should be as sweet as his milk.’ Requested Upmanyu as he returned home from his cousin’s place and sat on his mother’s lap. For just a little while ago he had seen his cousin relishing a big glass of milk while he got only a gulp to taste.
‘Son we are poor, we don’t even have grains at home to feed ourselves, where will we get milk from.’ Explained, her mother, but Upmanyu her adamant son in the peak of childhood, was in no mood to relent.
To satiate her son, she grinded some grains lying at home and after mixing it with water, she gave it to her son as milk.
‘No mother this is not pure milk. For pure milk is sweet.’ Upmanyu stopped drinking the moment he tasted and started crying. His mother uttered in some desperation.
‘Son, in this world you have everything from stones to diamonds; but everyone gets what he gets, only as per his own fate and destiny. We are the unlucky ones and so even pure milk is difficult for us to get. Lord Shiva is very resourceful, and if Bholenath is happy he won’t hesitate in gifting you even the Kshirsagar (ocean of milk) but only after you are blessed by him, will your desires get fulfilled. And you can only win him over by tapasya.’ Upmanyu’s mother gave him a tip.
‘Mother! Then I will do intense tapasya, and with that I will make my presence felt as it’ll even shake the throne of Lord of all Gods—Shiva, and as a blessing he will surely present me with Kshirsagar.’ And with that Upamnyu not even for a moment could not stay at home and left for the mountains.
Soon Upmanyu got into deep and prolonged tapasya in the Himalayas. And to please Mahadev he even stopped consuming water and food. The entire world got a sense of well being from his tapasya. Lord Vishnu along with other devatas visited Lord Shiva in Mandarachal and said, ‘relieving child Upmanyu from his harsh tapasya and reassuring the world about kindness can only be done by you.’
‘This harsh tapasya is not meant for you, kid!’ said Indra, while getting of his elephant ‘Airawat’ and introducing himself.
‘You have purified the ashram by your arrival!’ Upmanyu welcomed Lord Indra and requested him for his guidance in finding Lord of Gods—Shiva.
‘It is extremely difficult to find Shiva. I rule all the three lokas; so why don’t you come under my blessings, as I will let you experience and enjoy everything that the world has.’ Indra tested Upmanyu.
‘Indra! You just can’t be critical of Lord Shiva. And it appears you are some rogue disguised as Indra. And you have come to hurdle my tapasya. You are a Lord Shiva baiter, I guess; I will therefore kill you as you have criticised my most respected.’ Upmanyu ran to kill him, but suddenly stopped.
‘With the power of your tapobal you have obtained my blessings, I’m happy vatsya!’ said Shiva in Indra’s disguise while blessing him. Upmanyu recognised Shiva and lay prostrate in front of him, regretting his aggression.
‘I was testing you.’ And by blessing his bhakt Upmanyu with Kshirsagar he fulfilled his wishes. And after that he placed Upmanyu in the lap of Goddess Parvati and said ‘Parvati is your mother and I’m your father.’
Lord of Gods Shiva then blessed Upmanyu with treasures of riches and the divine knowledge. Upmanyu was overwhelmed at that and he started singing their praise, is when Lord Shiva along with Parvati vanished from there.