Tag Archives: varanasi

SHORT STORY: THE STORY BEHIND ‘GOVERDHAN PUJA’

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Lord God Krishna lifting the Govardhan Parwat

    Goverdhan was a docile but a mighty mountain that co-existed in harmony with his father, Dronachala, centuries ago. One day, the great sage, Pulastya, happened to pass by the mountain. And, he took such an instant liking to Govardhan that he desired to carry him off to Banaras, so that he could perform his meditation peacefully, in the secluded caves of Govardhan.

    Respecting the sage, Govardhan agreed to go, but on one condition. That wherever and whenever, Pulastya, would keep him down, after lifting him up, he would not move from that spot. The sage readily agreed to this. He lifted Goverdhan, and began to fly towards Banaras. But, as they flew over Vrindavan, Goverdhan felt, an intense attraction to settle down there. So, with his mystic power, he caused an irresistible urge in Pulastya, to attend to nature’s call. Sage Pulastya, forgetting, the one and only one condition, was compelled to place Govardhan down, in Vrindavan.

    After relieving himself, when, Pulastya tried to lift Goverdhan to continue his onward journey to Banaras, but the mountain didn’t budge an inch. Pulastya, tried with all his might but Goverdhan stayed put. This enraged the sage. He cursed Goverdhan, to shrink in size and eventually become a small hillock. Govardhan, accepted the curse with a woeful heart, taking it, as the unshakeable will of the Almighty.

    But as fate would have it. Much later in Treta Yuga, God Hanuman, lifted ‘Govardhan Parbat’ for bringing it to Dhanushkodi, as part of the magnificent bridge that was being constructed for Lord God Rama to cross over the present day Palk-Strait (India to Sri Lanka). But, suddenly a mysterious voice resounded (Akashwani) in the sky, announcing, that the bridge was already completed. Disappointed, God Hanuman, returned to the spot from where he had lifted Govardhan and placed him back in that same very spot, in Vraja-bhoomi, where the mountain stood earlier.

    Goverdhan, felt sad because he missed a golden opportunity to serve the divine mission of lord God Rama. Yet, he waited patiently for many years hoping against hope, to be of some service to Lord God Krishna in Dvapara yuga.

    When Krishna grew up, into a young boy, his heart was irresistibly attracted to this magic hill, Goverdhan, whose slopes were full of lush pasture grounds, for crows to graze, and also served as a playground for Krishna and the cowherd boys, and girls to revel in various sport and relax and refresh themselves in the crystal clear waters of Govardhan’s lake, and secluded caves.

    Krishna wanted to teach Indra a lesson, since he had become too proud, because of the traditional ‘yajna’ that the Vraja-wasis were offering to him. So, he convinced Nanda baba, to discontinue the ‘Indra-yajna,’ and instead, have a glorious festival, to honour Govardhan. Deeply mortified, the enraged king of heaven decided to drown the inhabitants of Vraja with unseasonal devastating rains, stormy winds and hailstorm for seven long days.

    Krishna, however, thwarted Indra’s ruthless plan by effortlessly holding Govardhan on his little finger, like a gigantic umbrella, for the protection of the terrified residents of Vraja Bhoomi.

    In stark contrast to Indra’s arrogance and reckless conduct, Govardhan’s gentle and submissive nature attracted the favour of Krishna who elevated the mountain to the status of a sacred deity.

    Govardhan Parvat, adds special charm and enchantment to the holy land of Vraja-bhoomi and whom millions of devotees circumambulate throughout the year, even till date.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020,

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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U.P. THE LAND OF SUPERNORMAL ROLE MODELS

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    In the complex understructure of India, UP sits like her invisible heart and spiritual voice. One can also address her as a headstrong folklore and tradition champion. Indeed the most populated state that celebrates its lineage in its diversity. It has an irrefutable matrix of society that hails, from two major communities, the Hindus and the Muslims—both passionate lovers of their native.

    Even though, the expanse of Hinduism resonates much beyond India and goes right up to the global frontiers. UP has always been its formidable pillar in the ever lengthening axis. Rather, it has been the primordial hub of religiosity since time immemorial. If we deconstruct her, she expands to a vast region much before it was converted into administrative hedges like states and districts. Which, Gods loved and nature adored. So, one can say she has been the showcase, the playground and even the reliable archives of Hinduism since grand old times.

    She doesn’t require administrate boundaries to conjoin. As, she, connects, consolidates and even identifies herself in many other ways. To begin with she is the mix of Pancha Bhoota—where the elements of Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air) and Akash (ether or the sky) combine for her cosmic creation.

    If we translate this into ground realities we find. Starting from the texture of the soil, to the pitch of the lingo it is one. It has no less than Gods and super humans, as its role models. To say, some of its role models are even better known than the land they belong to won’t be a misnomer. And they all performed their incredible leelas in this very soil. We will come to that a little later.

    UP has that enduring fix of festivals, along with bucolic handholding and even similarity in cereal crops to live and breathe in congruence. There is no life without water they say and water forms the lifeline of any society. To that effect there are vaguely a series of some six or seven imposing rivers, leaving aside many small ones that almost run parallel but certainly from the western side of the state to the eastern corner. And finally,   they all merge as tributaries with Ma Ganga. The main stem of Ganga, begins with the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in the town of Devprayag in Uttara Khand. As per mythology she was brought to earth by king Bhagiratha, where, eventually she grew up to the status of Ma Janani in the vast expanse of the state. She is indeed the queen mother of all the water bodies as she carries along with her almost all the rivers. Therefore, for certain she can be called the icon of motherhood the provider—an unbeatable role model again. So blessed is the state that there is hardly a district or a town that is not within the easy catch of a river. Where, inhabitants even identify themselves with the rivers, such as ‘Sarjupari’—person living across river Sarju. There are many annual melas that connect the rural fraternity and its vendors across the sub-regions like Ballia and Nauchandi, to name a few.

    Hinduism has four ashrams when it comes to completing a lifetime—Brahamcharya, (Balkal … Birth to student like), Grihasta (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation). The holy land of UP connects you to some quintessential examples of how some incarnations or avatars of Maha Vishnu have spent their time in these defined ashrams. Hinduism doesn’t come through, without UP. And all lessons of life are available here.

    It teaches us, nothing is easy and everything needs to be fought for, whether you’re an incarnation of God or just a human form. Even, when, Lord Krishna was the 8th incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Mathura was under turmoil at least the night little Krishna was born in Dwaparyuga (the 3rd Yuga). He demonstrated the victory of good over evil when he killed his maternal uncle Kans. And by lifting the Goverdhan Parvat he proclaimed nothing is impossible if you are hell bent upon doing it. On bhakti (devotion) no one can beat Radha as a role model and it all happened in the Braj Bhoomi that is now divided into many districts. But Krishna leela has no boundaries.

    In the same land Bhagwan Sri Ram was born in Ayodhya as the 7th incarnation of Maha Vishnu in Treta Yuga (2nd yuga). Although, he was born before Krishna I’m describing him after Krishna because he had a steady childhood, whereas, Krishna had a fighting one. But Sri Ram exemplified himself as Maryada Purshottam—the quintessential example of respecting contemporary times and fairness accentuating into super goodness. He had many mid life crises which he fought through valiantly all by himself and his devoted team. Prime was 14 years of Banvas (exile into forest) and the abduction of his wife by Ravana. Where, on the one hand he did show grief but on the other hand as a true karmyogi he found his bearings and organized himself to fight the great battle of Lanka to get his wife back. But while doing so he ensured he didn’t overstep the laid down tenets of science and its concomitants, even, when, he was an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Today, Sri Ram is a household name and a role model that is not confined to any district or a religion and where his queen Sita is an epitome of devotion. His entire leela happened along the plains of river Saryu and the famous kingdom of Ayodhya where he ruled. Important to say—role models can be followed by any person from any religion or sect.

    Further, the great war of Mahabharat too, had its roots in Hastinapur near Meerut, again in UP. A well known mythological story of intensely disagreeing, blood thirsty royal cousins, that eventually escalated into a holy war. It is said, what is not seen and read in Mahabharat doesn’t exist in the world. It has again given many role models to the world while it was fought in Dwaparyug. It had many stalwarts. Some important names that one can immediately reflect upon are Krishna, Yudhistir, Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Kunti, Karan, Yudhistir, Bhimsen, Arjun, Nakul, Sahdev, Draupadi, Veer Abhimanyu to name a few.

    Krishna derives his umbilical and founding legacy from Braj Bhoomi. From where he goes on to recite those ultimate verses of Gita, that is destined to happen, only once-in-a-planet-time, to a tranced Arjun, challenging him to pick up arms and fight for righteousness. The heft of Krishna thus becomes so very onerous for any one human form to carry as a role model. Resultantly, he spends his life in the little fragments of his teachings to promote his cause.

    Post the battles of Lanka and Mahabharat you had those iconic—blazing writers and poets like Valmiki, Tulsidas and Ved Vyas capturing the vivid description of the proceedings that led to the deadly wars. Together with awesome description of the scenes of war that remain unparalleled even today.

    And going forward when it comes to Vanaprastha and Sanyas we have Varanasi to teach us how to approach retirement and death as a role model. People come to Varanasi to see live Hinduism and even to die. The pyre is ever lit in Manikarnika Ghat and they say if a person is cremated there he or she goes to heaven directly.

    It is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi. It is revered in Hindu mythology that when Mata Sati, Lord Shiva’s wife sacrificed her life and set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati, her father and one of the sons of Lord Brahma tried to humiliate her husband Shiva in the Yagya. Lord Shiva took her burning body to Himalaya. On seeing the unending sorrow of Lord Shiva, Vishnu sent his divine Sudershan Chakra to cut the body into 51 parts which fell on earth. Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Sati’s body had fallen. At Manikarnika ghat Mata Sati’s ornament had fallen. The lesson therefore is loaded with the despicable arrogance of king Daksh and the pristine relationship of Sati and Shiva—that can’t be emulated as a role model.

    In the treasured mythological scriptures such as Purans and Upanishads, battles between the Devatas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) have often been described in great detail and on many occasions. Asuras, have always troubled Devatas for some reason or the other. In fact, they were mostly stronger than the Devatas in strength, and therefore Devatas were always scared of them. Even Devraj Indra who was extremely powerful and laced with a lot of divine offence could not harm them in any manner.  Many such wars were even fought, in an around, the present day UP.   Samudra Mathan (Churning of ocean) resulting into Kumbh, has also seen the bitter war between the Devatas and the Asuras for Amrit (Divine Nectar). Where, Lord Vishnu had to intervene. Because, had Asuras drank Amrit they would have become immortal, and that would have meant destruction of the goodness in the world.

    There are innumerable stories and one can go on and on. But the moot point is, whether, the present day generation of the state is living up to the values created by these role models.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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                                                      https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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SHORT STORY: RELATIONSHIP OF TRUTH AND REALITY

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reality truth

    The spiritual Indian city of Kashi is located on the holy banks of river Ganges where an able ruler once ruled. His court was blessed by many renowned scholars who used to have big discussions and debates on ‘truth.’ And in the court, it was inscribed in golden letters, ‘In pursuit of truth.’

    One morning a Yogi came to the court and suggested to the ruler, to change the inscription in gold to, ‘In pursuit of reality’ instead of ‘in pursuit of truth.’ And upon hearing this all the scholars in the court of the ruler were rather startled.

    To convince the ruler he said, ‘Truth is not like reality. Truth is what we believe in, but reality is the state of things as they actually exist.’ And to prove his point he called for some barrels and got it filled with oil, and on a moonlit night he got the barrels placed in an open field where the reflection of moon was very clearly visible in each barrel of oil.

    And then the Yogi said, ‘dear friends when you see the reflection of the moon in these barrels you feel there are so many moons, but when you look up to the sky you come to know of the reality, that there is only one moon.

    In the same manner if we want we can get so many things made out of wood, but we are well abreast of the fact that all these are made of wood and the wood is the same. In the same manner when you’ll empty the barrels you’ll come to know the moons have vanished but the real moon atop remains.

    So also, when the furniture breaks into pieces various furniture items will lose their identity but the identity of wood remains. In the same manner truth might be linked to the environment and times but reality is quite different from all this.

    And that is why our efforts and inscription should be in accordance to the directive, ‘In search of reality.’ And every scholar in the court agreed with the logic of the Yogi and the inscription accordingly was changed to, ‘In search of reality.’

    After sometime another Yogi came and said, ‘Dear friends there may be a difference between truth and reality but truth has its own importance as we see so many moons in barrels filled with oil so we cannot condone the truth, even when we know that the moon is one. In the same manner we cannot overlook the reality and status of various things with various names. In reality you all are either male or female, but you cannot overlook the fact that you have a name too. The ultimate and complete face of truth is the reality and reality is witnessed in various forms of individual truths.

    And that is why my suggestion is to change the inscription to, ‘in pursuit of truth and reality’ to which every scholar gave his approval. But the change of inscription did not last for long as after a while another Yogi came who wanted to change the inscription again. He said, ‘truth cannot become truth unless it is linked to reality.’ He further said, ‘In all the barrels of oil  the reflection  of moon is linked to one such reality that the moon exists, and had the moon not existed its reflection too would not have been there. In the same manner the wooden furniture is linked to its basic raw material—wood. And. you will have to agree that truth in any form is always connected to the reality and you also can reach the substance if you change the inscription to ‘the relation of truth with reality.’

    All scholars had felt the power of real truth in what the yogi had said and therefore the inscription was further changed as per him. But while doing so the ruler felt there is a very thin line between reality and truth, where in life a reality cannot be denied and truth cannot be created without reality. 

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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                                                   https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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