Category Archives: Bhagavad Geeta

Arjuna’s penance for Pashupatastra

After the game of dice, the Pandavas were sent in exile for twelve years to the forest and one year in incognito. Lord Krishna suggested that while they were spending their time in the forest, the Pandavas should prepare for the great war which may arise between them and the Kauravas in future by acquiring supreme powers for themselves, by performing penance. The Lord advised Nakula and Sahadeva to invoke Ashwini kumaras (the celestial doctors) and acquire unique healing methods and techniques. Bhima was to meet Lord Hanuman and learn the art of concentration and fighting. Yudhisthira and Draupadi were to serve the sages in the forest and get their divine blessings. And finally, the Lord asked Arjuna to go to Indrakeeladri hill (near Vijayawada) and meditate on Lord Shiva to acquire the most powerful weapon Pashupatastra.

Following the advice of Lord Krishna, Arjuna took leave of his brothers to perform intense penance to acquire the powerful Pashupatastra from Lord Shiva himself. Arjuna spent days immersed in penance on Lord Shiva. As his penance became more intense, Lord Shiva decided to test Arjuna before giving him the weapon. When Parvathi and Shiva Ganas came to know about this, they also decided to go in disguise and watch the test of Arjuna. Lord Shiva and Parvathi disguised themselves as hunters, and came to where Arjuna was doing tapas, along with the Siva Ganas who came there as the hunter’s tribesmen.

Meanwhile, a rakshasa by name Muka came in the form of a wild boar to attack Arjuna. Hearing the noise made by the wild boar, Arjuna’s penance got disturbed and he immediately shot an arrow at the boar killing it. At the same time, Shiva who was there in the guise of a hunter, also shot an arrow at the boar. Both Lord Shiva and Arjuna came running and saw the boar lying dead with two arrows piercing through its body. There now arose an argument between the hunter and Arjuna as to who had actually shot the arrow first and killed the boar. The argument finally ended up in battle between the two of them. In the great battle between them, Arjuna exhausted all his arrows and his quiver became empty. The hunter had easily defeated Arjuna. Arjuna then picked up a sword to fight, but the hunter sliced the sword into two. Finally they both started wrestling, and the hunter overpowered Arjuna. He lifted Arjuna again and again and threw him down.

Realizing that he was losing, Arjuna decided to pray to Lord Shiva for strength. He called for a break in fight, quickly made a small Shiva linga out of mud, and invoked the Lord in it by offering flowers. To his astonishment, Arjuna saw the flowers offered by him to the Shiva linga at the hunter’s feet. Arjuna now realized that the hunter who had overpowered him so easily was none other than Lord Shiva Himself. Arjuna fell at the Lord’s feet and begged for forgiveness for engaging in a battle with Him. Lord Shiva and Parvathi gave darshan to Arjuna in their true form and blessed him with the divine weapon “Pashupatastra”. The denizens of the heavens, Lord Indra, Varuna, Yama, Kubera and others also blessed Arjuna by giving him their divine weapons.

Lord Shiva showered his grace and blessings upon Arjuna and gave him the title: “Vijaya” – meaning invincible or the ever-victorious. In Srimad Bhagavat Purana, in the dialogue between Sri Krishna and His devotee Uddhava (Uddhava Geeta) the Lord declares, “among those who are experts in archery, I am Arjuna himself!”

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

Sri Krishna Tulabhara!

Krishna Tulabhara

Rukmini and Satyabhama were the prime consorts of Sri Krishna. Rukmini was very devoted, dedicated and humble. Satyabhama on the other hand was very proud of her beauty, wealth and royal lineage. Yet she was unhappy because she thought Krishna was not giving her enough attention. She wanted Him all for herself and was jealous of Rukmini whom she thought was her arch rival.

Sage Narada happened to visit Dwaraka once and she complained to him about Krishna and sought his help to get Krishna’s undivided attention all to herself. Narada devised a plan to teach her a lesson. He told her to give away Krishna as “dana” (gift) to a brahmana. Then Krishna completely becomes his property. Afterwards she can pay a fat price and purchase Krishna back. Then He becomes exclusively her property and she can dictate terms to Him. Satyabhama readily and happily agreed to this. Narada warned her to check whether she had sufficient “wealth” to get Krishna back. Otherwise the Lord would become the brahmana’s property! She very confidently told Narada not to worry about the wealth part.

Satyabhama convinced Krishna and gave away Krishna as a “gift” to Narada – the best among the brahmanas. What a rare and unique fortune it was for the Sage to receive the Lord Himself as “dana!” Narada’s eyes were brimming with tears of devotion!!

Huge weighing scales were brought and assembled in the royal assembly. On one pan, Sri Krishna sat down. On the other pan Satyabhama piled all her wealth – gold, precious stones, jewellery etc., including the rare and precious Syamantaka jewel. The pan did not tilt even a bit. She looked at Narada questioningly. He then asked her as to what made her think she can weigh the Lord of all the worlds with her gold and jewellery. Her ego was totally crushed. She now realised her mistake and asked the Lord Himself what to do. He told her to approach Rukmini and ask for her help.

Satyabhama approached Rukmini and told her the entire story. Can the Lord who has all the fourteen worlds within Him ever be weighed by  wealth? Rukmini who was at that time praying to Mother Tulasi plucked a small leaf and came to the assembly hall with Satyabhama. With all devotion she invoked Lord Krishna in her heart, went around Him in pradakshina and placed the tiny little tulasi leaf on the empty pan. Lo! The scales tilted!  Satyabhama now understood the essence of true Bhakti. Only and only devotion can “move” Him. She humbly prostrated to both Lord Krishna and Rukmini and prayed for that unconditional and whole-hearted devotion that alone can bring about total fulfillment to the devotee.

Bhagavad Geeta – Essence in two words…

The Bhagavad Geeta expounded by Lord Krishna Himself is a beautiful treatise of the Upanishads. To explain what the Bhagavad Geeta tells us concisely:

The 1st word of the Bhagavad Geeta (1st Chapter, 1st Sloka) is : “Dharma” .

The last word in the Geeta (18th Chapter, last sloka, last word) : “Mama” — which means mine.

Between these 2 words we have the entire 700 verses of the Bhagavad Geeta — the Art of Man Making. Joining these two words we have : MAMA DHARMA. ( My Dharma). Dharma in its broadest perspective means: Law of Being — cultivating the immortal moral and ethical values in ourselves, and performing our duties and responsibilities, in all places, at all times and under all conditions, appropriate to the stage and station of life we are in, which includes not only our well-being, but also the welfare of the society we are living in. Hence the entire Geeta is essentially talking to each one of us about our personal “Dharma“. 


Bhagavad Geeta – Chapter 12 (Learn Chanting) :

Bhagavad Geeta – Chapter 15 (Learn Chanting) :