Category Archives: Shiva

Sri Vidya Upasaka: Dikshitar

Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775 – 1835) was one of the greatest Musician-Saints and is one among the Carnatic Music Trinity, the other two being Saint Thyagaraja and Shyama Sastri.

Dikshitar’s father was Ramaswami Dikshitar who was a Sanskrit scholar and an accomplished musician living in Tiruvarur in Tamilnadu. When Dikshitar turned twenty five, the great Chidambaranatha Yogi of Varanasi visited their house and requested Ramaswami to send Dikshitar with him for further education. His father agreed and Dikshitar went to Varanasi. He was initiated into “Sri Vidya Upasana”, and his Guru told him to constantly worship Sri Annapurneswari, the Bestower of material needs (Bhukti) as well as liberation (Mukti). He mastered the scriptures, the science of mantras, astrology, music, and was an expert in playing the veena. He came under the influence of Hindustani classical music and Western band music.

After a few years, the teacher told him that it was time for him to go back home because he had learnt all that had to be learnt. The young disciple asked the teacher what was the proof that he had learnt everything. The teacher asked him to go to Mother Ganges and take a dip. If his learning was complete, She would reward him. He went to the Ganges, took a dip and invoked Her. Mother Ganges was there in front of him with a beautiful veena in Her hand. She handed it over to him. It had “RAMA” inscribed on it and was different from the normal veenas. The tail end of the veena which is called ‘yaalimukha’ is turned upwards. In normal veenas it is turned downwards. This veena that Dikshitar used is even now preserved in their ancestral home.

With the blessings of his teacher and with this unique veena gifted to him by the Mother of Knowledge, Dikshitar travelled back. He arrived at Tiruttani, one of the famous six abodes of Kartikeya in Tamilnadu. Dikshitar was sitting and meditating on the Lord on the steps of the temple, when Lord Kartikeya came in the disguise of an elderly man, asked him to open his mouth and put sugar candy into his mouth and disappeared. At that very moment, he composed a beautiful kriti on Kartikeya with the mudra (signature) GURU-GUHA. Kartikeya also known as GUHA had come to him as his GURU.

He has composed songs on almost all deities, all pilgrimage centres and brought into the kritis the uniqueness and speciality of them all. Along with Sangeeta sastra, he incorporated the “mantra sastra” into his songs and therefore to render them with correct pronunciation and bhava, with a little understanding of its meaning will bring all prosperity to the singer as well as the listener – singing of his keerthans is equivalent to chanting the mantras.

Instances of Dikshitar bringing relief and solace to individuals as well as to the community through his keerthans are many. With a Kriti in raga Amruthavarshini, he brought the rains down on the parched land of Ettayyapuram (Tamil Nadu). He also brought health back to his disciple Tambiyappan by warding off the evil effects (graha dosha) of Jupiter, by composing a kriti on that planet. 

On the eve of Deepavali in 1835, after he had finished Devi Puja, he had a vision of Sri Annapurneswari and sang “Ehi Annapurne” – his last kriti. He remembered what his Guru had told him and knew it was time for him to leave his body. He asked his disciples who had gathered there to sing his composition “Meenakshi me mudam dehi” (Meenakshi bestow upon me Your grace) in the Raga Gamakakriya. When they sang the lines: “meena lochani pasha mochani” (O! Fish-eyed One, who cuts asunder the knots of bondage), he asked them to repeat these phrases once more. As they were repeating them, Dikshitar uttered “Shive pahi, Shive pahi, Shive pahi” and left his physical body to merge eternally with the Mother of the Universe whom he invoked and worshipped all his life. 
His compositions called “Kamalamba Nava-avarana” Krithis which are full of mystic significance are rendered even today with great religious fervour during the Navaratri festival.

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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]

I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.

The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava-1-stories-for-children/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Shiva and Parvati listen to Bhagavatam!

Poonthanam

Poonthaanam (1547-1640) was a great devotee of Sri Guruvayoorappan (Lord Krishna). His devotion filled works in Sanskrit and Malayalam are very well known. People loved him for his beautiful Bhagavatam discourses. Once he happened to visit the Kottiyoor Shiva temple which is kept open only for a few days in a year. Rest of the time the temple is closed. On reaching the temple, Poonthaanam bathed in the holy waters there and worshipped the Lord. He decided to stay there for a few days.

Every day he recited Bhagavatam in front of the deity and the devotees who gathered there to listen to his devotional discourses. He was rendering the 10th Canto of Bhagavatam which recounts the glorious leelas of Lord Krishna. He came to the 60th chapter wherein there is a beautiful conversation between Lord Krishna and Rukmini:

“Krishna playfully and teasingly asks Rukmini why she wanted to marry Him, a simple rustic who grew up looking after cows and was no match for her when compared to the other suitors. She definitely had better choices like King Sisupala, Salva, Jarasandha, etc. Hearing these harsh words, Rukmini gets totally upset and faints. The Lord then consoles her saying He knows her devotion to Him but only wanted to test her. This is the gist of the chapter.”

After finishing the recitation, Poonthaanam placed a bookmark at the end of the chapter, so that next day he can start with the next chapter. Next day, to his utter surprise, he found the bookmark at the beginning of the same 60th chapter. Nevertheless, Poonthaanam read the same chapter for the second time and again kept the bookmark at the end of the chapter. But again the following day also, the bookmark was back at the beginning of the 60th chapter. This kept repeating for the rest of the days. He did not know what was happening. It was the last day to close the temple for the year. Poonthaanam finished the discourse again on the 60th chapter and was returning from the temple when he realized that he had left the Bhagavatam book in the temple. He hurried back; crossed the river and reached the entrance to the temple, which was closed. He was all alone.

Wonder of wonders! He heard someone reciting the same 60th chapter from inside the temple. He could not enter the temple since it was closed. He then looked through the keyhole and saw Lord Shiva Himself sitting inside the temple and reading from Poonthaanam’s Bhagavatam book! Mother Parvati and Shiva’s attendants were sitting and keenly listening to it with their eyes filled with tears of devotion. Poonthaanam was wonderstruck! He stood there and heard the recitation. After concluding the chapter, Lord Shiva asked Parvati Devi how His narration was. Parvati smiled and replied that His narration was good, but it was not as good as Poonthaanam’s! Nothing to compare his rendering.

Lord Shiva acknowledged and endorsed her saying that it was very true, and further added that He also reveled in Poonthaanam’s rendering of the Bhagavatham. He told Parvati that He also liked to hear the Bhagavatam from Poonthaanam, and especially this ‘Krishna and Rukmini’ episode. That was the reason why He placed the bookmark again and again at the beginning of the same topic every day! Hearing this, Poonthaanam, who was standing outside was totally overwhelmed and in an ecstatic mood of sheer bliss uttered the divine name of Krishna loudly. When he looked back again, Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati had disappeared.

Poonthaanam left the temple feeling extremely blessed and fortunate to have had the darshan of Lord Shiva and Parvati, and also that the Lord had listened daily to his rendering of the Bhagavatham.

Krishna! Krishna! Mukunda! Janaardana! Krishna! Govinda! Naarayana! Hare!
Achyuthaananda! Govinda! Maadhava! Sachidaananda! Naarayana! Hare!
                       [From Jnanappana by Poonthaanam  Nambudiri]

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I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.

The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/…/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava…/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact.. For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Lord Shiva meets Balagopala!

Lord Sankara wished to personally go down to Vrindavan and have darshan of Yashoda’s darling Balagopala and and to witness His wonderful lila. He took the form of a sadhu and went to Nanda’s house seeking alms.  Yashoda brought food for him, but the Lord said that he wanted to have darshan of Krishna. Yashoda looked at him and said that she cannot allow him inside because her darling little Krishna would get frightened seeing a person with unfamiliar attire and body all smeared with ash. He pleaded and pleaded, but she told him to go away. Lord Shiva feeling very disappointed went to the banks of the Yamuna; sat there and intensely invoked Krishna. His ardent longing reached Krishna! There in Nanda’s house Krishna started crying. Yashoda tried consoling him, but in vain, the crying became more and more intense and all efforts to make him stop crying failed. Suddenly she realised that she had displeased a sadhu and may be this was the effect of it. She sent her people to search for, and if found, bring the sadhu to her house. They found the sadhu and brought him back. Yashoda welcomed him and the moment he entered the house, Krishna stopped crying. Overwhelmed with joy and happiness on seeing the indescribable beauty and charm of Balagopal, Lord Shiva took the sweetly smiling baby Krishna in his arms. The touch of the tiny feet of the Lord with golden anklets sent Lord Shiva into blissful ecstasy! Yashoda was so pleased that she requested the sadhu to stay there permanently since it made her darling child so happy. Lord Shiva agreed on two conditions — everyday Krishna’s charanaamrit and the food offered to Balagopala will be given to him. She promised. To commemorate this incident, later on, an altar for Shiva called “Nandeshwar Mahadev” was installed by the descendants of Lord Krishna. Even to this day, the charanaamrit and naivedyam offered to Krishna and Balaram at their temple in Vrindavan is in turn brought and offered to Nandeshwar Mahadev!! The Nandeshwar Mahadev temple in Vrindavan stands as a sentinel guarding Nandagopa’s house. [PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children] I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″. The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc.. Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links.. Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/…/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava…/ Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/ Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..) For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com