Vishnu Avatars

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VISHNU AVATARSMatsya (Sanskrit: ) (Fish in Sanskrit) was the first Avatar of Vishnu in Hindu mythology. Once while lord Brahma was sleeping and the Vedas were not under protection, the demon Hayagriva stole them. According to the Matsya Purana, the king of pre-ancient Dravida and a devotee of Vishnu, Satyavrata who later was known as Manu was washing his hands in a river when a little fish swam into his hands and pleaded with him to save its life. He put it in a jar, which it soon outgrew. He then moved it to a tank, a river and then finally the ocean but to no avail. The fish then revealed himself to be Vishnu and told him that a deluge would occur within seven days that would destroy all life. Therefore, Satyavrata was instructed to take "all medicinal herbs, all the varieties of seeds, and accompanied by the seven saints[1] along with the serpent Vasuki and other animals. Then to restore the Vedas Matsya dived into the ocean to kill Hayagriva and a battle ensued between Vishnu as Matsya and the demon Hayagriva in which Hayagriva was defeated and the Vedas were restored. The deluge occurred and the lord reappeared as promised and advised Satyavrata to board the boat and fasten the serpent Vasuki to his horn as a rope to the boat. Matsya is generally represented as a four-armed figure with the upper torso of a man and the lower of a fish.

KURMAIn Hinduism, Kurma (Sanskrit: ) was the second avatar of Vishnu. Like the Matsya Avatara also belongs to the Satya yuga.

Contents[hide]

1 Samudra manthan (The Churning of the ocean) o 1.1 Temples 2 Notes 3 External links

[edit] Samudra manthan (The Churning of the ocean)

The bas-relief from Angkor Wat, Cambodia, shows Samudra manthan-Vishnu in the centre, his turtle avatar Kurma below, asuras and devas to left and right.

Kurma Avatar of Vishnu, below Mount Mandara, with Vasuki wrapped around it, during Samudra manthan, the churning of the ocean of milk. ca 1870. The Devas lost their strength and powers due to a curse by the sage Durvasa because Indra, the king of the Devas, had insulted the sages gift (a garland) by giving it to his elephant which trampled upon it. Thus, after losing their immortality and kingdom, they approached Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu suggested that they needed to drink the nectar of immortality to regain their lost glory. However, they needed to strive hard to acquire the nectar since it was hidden in the ocean of milk. After declaring a truce with their foes (Asuras), Indra and his Devas together with the Asuras, use the serpent Vasuki as a churning rope and the mount Mandara as the churning staff. When they began churning, the mount began sinking into the ocean. Taking the form of a turtle (Kurma), Vishnu bears the entire weight of the mountain and the churning continues and various objects are thrown out including the deadly poison Halahala, whose fumes threaten to destroy the Devas and the Asuras. Lord Shiva then comes to

their rescue and gathers the entire poison in his palm and drinks it. His consort, Parvathi, clasps his throat and the poison remains there. Hence he became known as Neelakanta (literally: the blue-throated one).[1] Fourteen precious things come out of the ocean, culminating with Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods, appearing with the nectar of immortality. The Asuras immediately rush and grab the nectar while quarreling among themselves.[2] Vishnu again comes to the rescue in the form of a beautiful damsel, Mohini and tricks the Asuras and retrieves the potion which is distributed to the Devas. Though the Asuras realize Vishnus tricks, it is too late, as the Devas regain their renowned prowess and defeat them.

VARAHAVaraha (Sanskrit: ) is the third Avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. He appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth (Prithvi) and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Vishnu married Prithvi (Bhudevi) in this avatar. Varaha is depicted in art as either purely animal or as being anthropomorphic, having a boar's head on a man's body. In the latter form he has four arms, two of which hold the wheel and conch-shell while the other two hold a mace, sword or lotus or make a gesture (or "mudra") of blessing. The Earth is held between the boar's tusks. The avatar symbolizes the resurrection of the Earth from a pralaya (deluge) and the establishment of a new kalpa (cosmic cycle). The Varaha Purana is a Purana in which the form of narration is a recitation by Varaha.

VAMANAVamana (Devanagari: , IAST: Vmana) is a personality described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatara of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as Upendra.

Contents[hide]

1 Origin 2 Symbolism o 2.1 In Sikhism 3 In the Ramayana 4 Temples 5 See also 6 Footnotes 7 External links

[edit] OriginVamana was born to Aditi and Kashyapa.[1] He is the twelfth of the Adityas. Vamana is known to be the younger brother of Indra. The legend of Bhagavata has it that the Vamana avatar was taken by Vishnu to restore Indra's authority over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the demon king Bali in Dravida. Vamana is a disguise of a short Brahman, carrying a wooden umbrella requested three steps of land for him to live in. Given a promise of three steps of Land by King Mahabali against the warning given by his Guru Sukracharya, Vamana, The Supreme God grows so huge that he could cover from heaven to earth, earth to lower worlds in two simple steps. King Mahabali unable to fulfil the promise of three paces of Land to the Supreme God, offers his head for the third step. Thus Vamana places his place on King Mahabali's head and gives him immortality for his benevolence.

[edit] Symbolism

Vamana avatar with King Mahabali Vamana taught King Mahabali that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that wealth should never be taken for granted since it can so easily be taken away. Vamana then took on the form of Mahavishnu. He was pleased by King Mahabali's determination and ability to keep his promise in the face of his spiritual master's curse and the prospect of losing all his wealth. Vishnu named the King Mahabali since he was a Mahatma (great soul). He allowed Mahabali to return to the spiritual sky to associate with Prahalada (the demoniac Hiranyakashipu's pious son, also a descendant of the demon race) and other divine beings. Mahavishnu also declared that Mahabali would be able to rule the universe in the following yuga (age). Mahabali was the grandson of Prahlada being the son of Prahlada's son Virochana who was killed in a battle with the Devas. Mahabali is supposed to return every year to the land of his people, to ensure that they are prosperous.

[edit] In SikhismVamana is discussed in the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred text of Sikhism.[2] satjugi tai maNiO ChaliO bali bAvan bhAiO In Satyayuga, you sported as the dwarf incarnation, and fooled Bali. On page 1330 of the Guru Granth Sahib, Vamana is mentioned as the "enticer" of Baliraja.[3]

[edit] In the Ramayana

According to the Adhatya Ramayana It is also said that Vamanadeva is the guard of the gate of Bali Maharaja's planet Sutala[4][5] and will remain so forever.[6] Tulsidas' Ramayana too declares that Vamana became the "dwarpal" (gate-defender) of Bali.[7] It is said that Mahabali attained Moksha by atmanidedinam.[8] Krishna in the Sri Rpa Gosvms Bhakti-rasmrta-sindhuh[9] says that Mahabali came to Him or attained Him. Some traditions also hold that Vamana was an avatar of Ganesha.

KRISHNAKrishna ( in Devanagari, ka in IAST, pronounced [kr] in classical Sanskrit) is a deity worshipped across many traditions in Hinduism in a variety of perspectives. While many Vaishnava groups recognize Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu, other traditions within Krishnaism consider him to be svayam bhagavan, or the Supreme Being. Krishna is often depicted as an infant, as a young boy playing a flute as in the Bhagavata Purana,[1] or as a youthful prince giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita.[2] The stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions.[3] They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being.[4] The principal scriptures discussing Krishna's story are the Mahbhrata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana. The various traditions dedicated to different manifestations of Krishna, such as Vasudeva, Bala Krishna and Gopala, existed as early as 4th century BC. The Krishna-bhakti movement spread to southern India by the 9th century AD, while in northern India Krishnaism schools were well established by 11th century AD. From the 10th century AD, with the growing bhakti movement, Krishna became a favorite subject in performing arts and regional traditions of devotion developed for forms of Krishna such as Jagannatha in Orissa, Vithoba in Maharashtra and Shrinathji in Rajasthan.

Contents[hide]

1 Etymology and names 2 Iconography 3 Literary sources 4 Life o 4.1 Birth o 4.2 Childhood and youth o 4.3 The prince o 4.4 Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita

o 4.5 Later life 5 Worship o 5.1 Vaishnavism o 5.2 Early traditions o 5.3 Bhakti tradition o 5.4 Spread of the Krishna-bhakti movement o 5.5 In the West 6 In the performing arts 7 In other religions o 7.1 Jainism o 7.2 Buddhism o 7.3 Bah' Faith o 7.4 Ahmadiyya Islam o 7.5 Other 8 See also 9 Footnotes 10 References

11 External links

[edit] Etymology and names

Krishna as Jaganatha in a typical Oriya style, shown at the far right, with sister Subhadra in the center and brother Balarama on the left. Main article: List of titles and names of Krishna The Sanskrit word ka means "black", "dark" or "dark-blue"[5] and is used as a name to describe someone with dark skin. Krishna is often depicted in murtis (images) as black, and is generally shown in paintings with a blue skin. Some Hindu traditions often ascribe varying interpretations and powers to the names. Mahabharata's Udyoga-parva (Mbh 5.71.4) divides ka into elements k and a, k (a verbal root meaning "to plough, drag") being taken as expressing bh "being; earth" and a being taken as expressing nirvti "bliss". In the Brahmasambandha mantra of the Vallabha sampradaya, the syllables of the name Krishna are assigned the power to destroy sin relating to material, self and divine causes.[6] Mahabharata verse

5.71.4 is also quoted in Chaitanya Charitamrita and Prabhupada in his commentary, translates the bh as "attractive existence", thus Krishna is also interpreted as meaning "all-attractive one".[7][8] This quality of Krishna is stated in the atmarama verse of Bhagavatam 1.7.10.[9] The name Krishna is also the 57th name in the Vishnu Sahasranama and means the Existence of Bliss, according to Adi Sankara's interpretation.[10] Krishna is also known by various other names, epithets and titles, which reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common names are Govinda, "finder of cows", or Gopala, "protector of cows", which refer to Krishna's childhood in Vraja.[11][12] Some of the distinct names may be regionally important; for instance, Jagannatha (literally "Lord of the Universe"), a popular deity of Puri in eastern India.[13]

[edit] Iconography

Krishna with Gopis, painting from Smithsonian Institution Krishna is easily recognized by his representations. Though his skin colour may be depicted as black or dark in some representations, particularly in murtis, in other images such as modern pictorial representations, Krishna is usually shown with blue skin. He is often shown wearing a yellow silk dhoti and peacock feather crown. Common depictions show him as a little boy, or as a young man in a characteristic relaxed pose, playing the flute.[14][15] In this form, he usually stands with one leg bent in front of the other and raises a flute to his lips, accompanied by cows, emphasising his position as the divine herdsman, Govinda, or with the gopis (milkmaids). The scene on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, notably where he addresses Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, is another common subject for representation. In these depictions, he is shown as a man, often shown with typical god-like characteristics of Hindu religious art, such as multiple arms or heads, denoting power, and with attributes of Vishnu, such as the chakra or in his two-armed form as a charioteer.A 800 B.C. cave paintings in Mirzapur,U.P., North India, which show raiding horse-charioteers ,one of whom is about to hurl such a wheel could potentially be identified as Krishna. [16].

Representations in temples often show Krishna as a man standing in an upright, formal pose. He may be alone, or with associated figures:[17] his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra, or his main queens Rukmini and Satyabhama. Often, Krishna is pictured with his gopi-consort Radha. Manipuri Vaishnavas do not worship Krishna alone, but as Radha Krishna,[18] a combined image of Krishna and Radha. This is also a characteristic of the schools Rudra[19] and Nimbarka sampradaya,[20] as well as that of Swaminarayan faith. The traditions celebrate Radha Ramana murti, who is viewed by Gaudiyas as a form of Radha Krishna.[21] Krishna is also depicted and worshipped as a small child (bla ka, the child Krishna), crawling on his hands and knees or dancing, often with butter in his hand.[22][23] Regional variations in the iconography of Krishna are seen in his different forms, such as Jaganatha of Orissa, Vithoba of Maharashtra[24] and Shrinathji in Rajasthan.

[edit] Literary sourcesSee also: Krishna in the Mahbhrata

Yashoda bathing the child Krishna. (Western Indian illustrated Bhagavata Purana Manuscript) The earliest text to explicitly provide detailed descriptions of Krishna as a personality is the epic Mahbhrata which depicts Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu.[25] Krishna is central to many of the main stories of the epic. The eighteen chapters of the sixth book (Bhishma Parva) of the epic that constitute the Bhagavad Gita contain the advice of Krishna to the warrior-hero Arjuna, on the battlefield. Krishna is already an adult in the epic, although there are allusions to his earlier exploits. The Harivamsa, a later appendix to this epic, contains the earliest detailed version of Krishna's childhood and youth. Around 150 BC, Patanjali in his Mahabhashya quotes a verse: "May the might of Krishna accompanied by Samkarshana increase!" Other verses are mentioned. One verse speaks of "Janardana with himself as fourth" (Krishna with three companions, the three possibly being Samkarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha). Another verse mentions musical instruments being played at meetings in the temples of Rama (Balarama) and Kesava (Krishna). Patanjali also describes dramatic and mimetic performances (KrishnaKamsopacharam) representing the killing of Kamsa by Vasudeva.[26] In the 1st century BC, there seems to be evidence for a worship of five Vrishni heroes (Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Samba) for an inscription has been

found at Mora near Mathura, which apparently mentions a son of the great satrap Rajuvula, probably the satrap Sodasa, and an image of Vrishni, "probably Vasudeva, and of the "Five Warriors".[27] Brahmi inscription on the Mora stone slab, now in the Mathura Museum.[28][29]. Many Puranas tells Krishna's life-story or some highlights from it. Two Puranas, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana, that contain the most elaborate telling of Krishnas story and teachings are the most theologically venerated by the Gaudiya Vaishnava schools.[30] Roughly one quarter of the Bhagavata Purana is spent extolling his life and philosophy. Yska's Nirukta, an etymological dictionary around the 5th century BC, contains a reference to the Shyamantaka jewel in the possession of Akrura, a motif from well known Puranic story about Krishna.[31] Shatapatha Brahmana and Aitareya-Aranyaka, associate Krishna with his Vrishni origins.[32] In early texts, such as Rig Veda, there are no references to Krishna, however some, like Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar attempted to show that "the very same Krishna" made an appearance, e.g. as the drapsa ... krishna "black drop" of RV 8.96.13.[31][33] Some authors have also likened prehistoric depictions of deities to Krishna. Thus, a steatite tablet excavated by Mackay in Mohenjo-daro 1927-31 depicts two persons holding a tree and tree god is extending his hands towards them, compared to the episode of Yamalarjunalila by the excavator.[34][35]

[edit] LifeThis summary is based on details from the Mahbhrata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana. The scenes from the narrative are set in north India, mostly in the present states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Delhi and Gujarat.

[edit] Birth

Krishna is carried by his father Vasudeva across river Yamuna to Vrindavana, mid 18th century painting.

Traditional belief based on scriptural details and astrological calculations gives the date of Krishna's birth, known as Janmashtami,[36] as either 18 or 21 July 3228 BCE.[37][38][39] Krishna belonged to the royal family of Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva. Mathura was the capital of the Yadavas, to which Krishna's parents Vasudeva and Devaki belonged. The king Kamsa, Devaki's brother,[40] had ascended the throne by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki's eighth son, he had locked the couple into a prison cell. After Kamsa killed the first six children, and Devaki's apparent miscarriage of the seventh, being transferred to Rohini as Balarama, Krishna took birth. Since Vasudeva believed Krishna's life was in danger, Krishna was secretly taken out of the prison cell to be raised by his foster parents, Yasoda [41] and Nanda in Gokula. Two of his other siblings also survived, Balarama (Devaki's seventh child, transferred to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva's first wife) and Subhadra (daughter of Vasudeva and Rohini, born much later than Balarama and Krishna).[42] According to Bhagavata Purana it is believed that Krishna was born without a sexual union, by "mental transmission" from the mind of Vasudeva into the womb of Devaki. Hindus believe that in that time, this type of union was possible for achieved beings.[36][43][44]

[edit] Childhood and youth

Krishna holding Govardhan hill Nanda was the head of a community of cow-herders, and he settled in Vrindavana. The stories of Krishna's childhood and youth tell how he became a cow herder,[45] his mischievous pranks as Makhan Chor (butter thief), his foiling of attempts to take his life,

and his role as a protector of the people of Vrindavana. Krishna is said to have killed the demons like Putana, sent by Kamsa for Krishna's life. He tamed the serpent Kliy, who previously poisoned the waters of Yamuna river, thus leading to the death of the cowherds. In Hindu art, Krishna is often depicted dancing on the multi-hooded Kliy. Krishna is believed to have lifted the Govardhana hill and taught Indra, the king of the devas and rain, a lesson to protect native people of Vrindavana from persecution by Indra and prevent the devastation of the pasture land of Govardhan. Indra had too much pride and was angry when Krishna advised the people of Vrindavana to take care of their animals and their environment that provide them with all their necessities, instead of Indra.[46][47] In the view of some, the spiritual movement started by Krishna had something in it which went against the orthodox forms of worship of the Vedic gods such as Indra.[48]

The stories of his play with the gopis (milkmaids) of Vrindavana became known as the Rasa lila and were romanticised in the poetry of Jayadeva, author of the Gita Govinda. These became important as part of the development of the Krishna bhakti traditions worshiping Radha Krishna.[49]

[edit] The princeOn his return to Mathura as a young man, Krishna overthrew and killed his uncle, Kamsa, after avoiding several assassination attempts from Kamsa's followers. He reinstated Kamsa's father, Ugrasena, as the king of the Yadavas and became a leading prince at the court.[50] During this period, he became a friend of Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom, who were his cousins. Later, he took his Yadava subjects to the city of Dwaraka (in modern Gujarat) and established his own kingdom there.[51] Krishna married Rukmini, the princess of Vidarbha, by abducting her from her wedding on her request. According to Bhagavata Purana, Krishna married with 16,108 wives,[52][53] of which eight were chief - collectively called the Ashta Bharya including Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravrinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra and Lakshana.[54][55] Krishna subsequently married 16,100 maidens who were being held in captivity by demon Narakasura, to save their honour. Krishna killed the demon and released them all. According to strict social custom of the time all of the captive women were degraded, and would be unable to marry, as they had been under the control of Narakasura, however Krishna married them to reinstate their status in the society.This wedding with 16100 abandoned daughters was more of a mass women rehabilitation.[56] In Vaishnava traditions, Krishna's wives are believed to be forms of the goddess Lakshmiconsort of Vishnu, or special souls who attained this qualification after many lifetimes of austerity, while his queen Satyabhama, is an expansion of Radha.[57]

[edit] Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad GitaMain articles: Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita

Once battle seemed inevitable, Krishna offered both sides the opportunity to choose between having either his army or simply himself alone, but on the condition that he personally would not raise any weapon. Arjuna, on behalf of the Pandavas, chose to have Krishna on their side, and Duryodhana, chief of the Kauravas, chose Krishna's army. At the time of the great battle, Krishna acted as Arjuna's charioteer, since it was a position that did not require the wielding of weapons.

Krishna displays his Vishvarupa (Universal Form) to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Upon arriving at the battlefield, and seeing that the enemies are his family, his grandfather, his cousins and loved ones, Arjuna becomes doubtful about fighting. Krishna then advises him about the battle, with the conversation soon extending into a discourse which was later compiled as the Bhagavad Gita.[58]

[edit] Later lifeAt a festival, a fight broke out between the Yadavas who exterminated each other. His elder brother Balarama then gave up his body using Yoga. Krishna retired into the forest and sat under a tree in meditation. While Vyasa's Mahbhrata says that Krishna ascended to heaven, Sarala's Mahabhrata narrates the story that a hunter mistook his partly visible left foot for a deer and shot an arrow wounding him mortally.[59][60][61] According to Puranic sources,[62] Krishna's disappearance marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga, which is dated to February 17/18, 3102 BCE.[63] Vaishnava teachers such as Ramanujacharya and Gaudiya Vaishnavas held the view that the body of Krishna is completely spiritual and never decays as this appears to be the perspective of the Bhagavata Purana. Krishna never appears to grow old or age at all in the historical depictions of the Puranas despite passing of several decades, but there are grounds for a debate whether this indicates that he has no material body, since battles and other descriptions of the Mahabhrata epic show clear indications that he seems to be subject to the limitations of nature.[64] While battles apparently seem to indicate limitations, Mahabharatha also shows in many places where Krishna is not subject to any limitations as through episodes Duryodhana trying to arrest Krishna where His body burst into fire showing all creation within Him.[65] Krishna is also explicitly told to be without deterioration elsewhere.[66]

[edit] Worship[edit] VaishnavismMain articles: Vaishnavism and Krishnaism The worship of Krishna is part of Vaishnavism, which regards Vishnu as the Supreme God and venerates his associated avatars, their consorts, and related saints and teachers. Krishna is especially looked upon as a full manifestation of Vishnu, and as one with Vishnu himself.[67] However the exact relationship between Krishna and Vishnu is complex and diverse,[68] where Krishna is sometimes considered an independent deity, supreme in his own right.[69] Out of many deities Krishna is particularly important, and traditions of Vaishnava lines are generally centered either on Vishnu or on Krishna, as supreme. The term Krishnaism has been used to describe the sects of Krishna, reserving term "Vaishnavism" for sects focusing on Vishnu in which Krishna is an avatar, rather than a transcended being.[70] All Vaishnava traditions recognise Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu; others identify Krishna with Vishnu; while traditions, such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[71][72] Vallabha Sampradaya and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, regard Krishna as the svayam bhagavan, original form of God, or the Lord himself.[73][74][75][76][77] Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan Sampraday also worshipped Krishna as God himself. "Greater Krishnaism" corresponds to the second and dominant phase of Vaishnavism, revolving around the cults of the Vasudeva, Krishna, and Gopala of late Vedic period.[78] Today the faith has a significant following outside of India as well.[79]

[edit] Early traditions

An image of Bala Krishna displayed during Janmashtami celebrations at a Swaminarayan Temple in London The deity Krishna-Vasudeva (ka vsudeva "Krishna, the son of Vasudeva") is historically one of the earliest forms of worship in Krishnaism and Vaishnavism.[31][80] It is believed to be a significant tradition of the early history of the worship of Krishna in antiquity.[81][82] This tradition is considered as earliest to other traditions that led to amalgamation at a later stage of the historical development. Other traditions are

Bhagavatism and the cult of Gopala, that along with the cult of Bala Krishna form the basis of current tradition of monotheistic religion of Krishna.[83][84] Some early scholars would equate it with Bhagavatism,[81] and the founder of this religious tradition is believed to be Krishna, who is the son of Vasudeva, thus his name is Vsudeva, he is belonged to be historically part of the Satvata tribe, and according to them his followers called themselves Bhagavatas and this religion had formed by the 2nd century BC (the time of Patanjali), or as early as the 4th century BC according to evidence in Megasthenes and in the Arthasastra of Kautilya, when Vsudeva was worshiped as supreme deity in a strongly monotheistic format, where the supreme being was perfect, eternal and full of grace.[81] In many sources outside of the cult, devotee or bhakta is defined as Vsudevaka.[85] The Harivamsa describes intricate relationships between Krishna Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha that would later form a Vaishnava concept of primary quadrupled expansion, or avatara.[86]

[edit] Bhakti traditionMain article: Bhakti yoga Bhakti, meaning devotion, is not confined to any one deity. However Krishna is an important and popular focus of the devotional and ecstatic aspects of Hindu religion, particularly among the Vaishnava sects.[71][87] Devotees of Krishna subscribe to the concept of lila, meaning 'divine play', as the central principle of the Universe. The lilas of Krishna, with their expressions of personal love that transcend the boundaries of formal reverence, serve as a counterpoint to the actions of another avatar of Vishnu: Rama, "He of the straight and narrow path of maryada, or rules and regulations."[72] The bhakti movements devoted to Krishna became prominent in southern India in the 7th to 9th centuries AD. The earliest works included those of the Alvar saints of the Tamil country.[88] A major collection of their works is the Divya Prabandham. The Alvar Andal's popular collection of songs Tiruppavai, in which she conceives of herself as a gopi, is the most famous of the oldest works in this genre.[89][90] [91] Kulasekaraazhvaar's Mukundamala was another notable work of this early stage.

[edit] Spread of the Krishna-bhakti movementThe movement spread rapidly from northern India into the south, with the Sanskrit poem Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (12th century AD) becoming a landmark of devotional, Krishna-based literature. It elaborated a part of the Krishna legendhis love for one particular gopi, called Radha, a minor character in Bhagavata Purana but a major one in other texts like Brahma Vaivarta Purana. By the influence of Gita Govinda, Radha became inseparable from devotion to Krishna.[4]

Gita Govinda by Jayadeva. While the learned sections of the society well versed in Sanskrit could enjoy works like Gita Govinda or Bilvamangala's Krishna-Karnamritam, the masses sang the songs of the devotee-poets, who composed in the regional languages of India. These songs expressing intense personal devotion were written by devotees from all walks of life. The songs of Meera and Surdas became epitomes of Krishna-devotion in north India. These devotee-poets, like the Alvars before them, were aligned to specific theological schools only loosely, if at all. But by the 11th century AD, Vaishnava Bhakti schools with elaborate theological frameworks around the worship of Krishna were established in north India. Nimbarka (11th century AD), Vallabhacharya (15th century AD) and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (16th century AD) were the founders of the most influential schools. These schools, namely Nimbarka Sampradaya, Vallabha Sampradaya and Gaudiya Vaishnavism respectively, see Krishna as the supreme god, rather than an avatar, as generally seen. In the Deccan, particularly in Maharashtra, saint poets of the Varkari sect such as Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Janabai, Eknath and Tukaram promoted the worship of Vithoba, [24] a local form of Krishna, from the beginning of the 13th century until the late 18th century.[4] In southern India, Purandara Dasa and Kanakadasa of Karnataka composed songs devoted to the Krishna image of Udupi. Rupa Goswami of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, has compiled a comprehensive summary of bhakti named Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu.[87]

[edit] In the West

Krishna (left) with the flute with gopi-consort Radha, Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford, England Since 1966, the Krishna-bhakti movement has also spread outside India. This is largely due to the Hare Krishna movement, the largest part of which is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).[92] "Krishnology" is a term coined to highlight parallels between Krishnaism in Vaishnava theology and Christological dogma in Christianity.

[edit] In the performing artsWhile discussing the origin of Indian theatre, Horwitz talks about the mention of the Krishna story in Patanjali's Mahabhashya (c. 150 BC), where the episodes of slaying of Kamsa (Kamsa Vadha) and "Binding of the heaven storming titan" (Bali Bandha) are described.[93] Bhasa's Balacharitam and Dutavakyam (c. 400 BC) are the only Sanskrit plays centered on Krishna written by a major classical dramatist. The former dwells only on his childhood exploits and the latter is a one-act play based on a single episode from the Mahbhrata when Krishna tries to make peace between the warring cousins.[94] From the 10th century AD, with the growing bhakti movement, Krishna became a favourite subject of the arts. The songs of the Gita Govinda became popular across India, and had many imitations. The songs composed by the Bhakti poets added to the repository of both folk and classical singing.

A Kathakali performer as Krishna. The classical Indian dances, especially Odissi and Manipuri, draw heavily on the story. The 'Rasa lila' dances performed in Vrindavan shares elements with Kathak, and the Krisnattam, with some cycles, such as Krishnattam, traditionally restricted to the Guruvayur temple, the precursor of Kathakali.[95] The Sattriya dance, founded by the Assamese Vaishnava saint Sankardeva, extols the virtues of Krishna. Medieval Maharashtra gave birth to a form of storytelling known as the Hari-Katha, that told Vaishnava tales and teachings through music, dance, and narrative sequences, and the story of Krishna one of them. This tradition spread to Tamil Nadu and other southern states, and is now popular in many places throughout India. Narayana Tirtha's (17th century AD) Krishna-Lila-Tarangini provided material for the musical plays of the Bhagavata-Mela by telling the tale of Krishna from birth until his marriage to Rukmini. Tyagaraja (18th century AD) wrote a similar piece about Krishna called Nauka-Charitam. The narratives of Krishna from the Puranas are performed in Yakshagana, a performance style native to Karnataka's coastal districts. Many movies in all Indian languages have been made based on these stories. These are of varying quality and usually add various songs, melodrama, and special effects.

[edit] In other religions[edit] JainismThe most exalted figures in Jainism are the twenty-four Tirthankaras. Krishna, when he was incorporated into the Jain list of heroic figures presented a problem with his activities which are not pacifist or non-violent. The concept of Baladeva, Vasudeva and PratiVasudeva was used to solve it. The Jain list of sixty-three Shalakapurshas or notable figures includes amongst others, the twenty-four Tirthankaras and nine sets of this triad. One of these triads is Krishna as the Vasudeva, Balarama as the Baladeva and Jarasandha as the Prati-Vasudeva. He was a cousin of the twenty-second Tirthankara, Neminatha.

The stories of these triads can be found in the Harivamsha of Jinasena (not be confused with its namesake, the addendum to Mahbhrata) and the Trishashti-shalakapurushacharita of Hemachandra.[96] In each age of the Jain cyclic time is born a Vasudeva with an elder brother termed the Baladeva. The villain is the Prati-vasudeva. Baladeva is the upholder of the Jain principle of non-violence. However, Vasudeva has to forsake this principle to kill the PratiVasudeva and save the world. The Vasudeva then descends to hell as a punishment for this violent act. Having undergone the punishment he is then reborn as a Tirthankara.[97][98]

[edit] Buddhism

Depiction of Krishna playing flute in the temple constructed in AD 752 on the order of Emperor Shomu; Todai-ji Temple, Great Buddha Hall in Nara, Japan The story of Krishna occurs in the Jataka tales in Buddhism,[99] in the Ghatapandita Jataka as a prince and legendary conqueror and king of India.[100] In the Buddhist version, Krishna is called Vasudeva, Kanha and Keshava, and Balarama is his younger brother, Baladeva. These details resemble that of the story given in the Bhagavata Purana. Vasudeva, along with his nine other brothers (each son a powerful wrestler) and one elder sister (Anjana) capture all of Jambudvipa (many consider this to be India) after beheading their evil uncle, King Kamsa, and later all other kings of Jambudvipa with his Sudarshana Chakra. Much of the story involving the defeat of Kamsa follows the story given in the Bhagavata Purana.[101] As depicted in the Mahbhrata, all of the sons are eventually killed due to a curse of sage Kanhadipayana (Veda Vyasa, also known as Krishna Dwaipayana). Krishna himself is eventually speared by a hunter in the foot by mistake, leaving the sole survivor of their family being their sister, Anjanadevi of whom no further mention is made.[102]

Since Jataka tales are given from the perspective of Buddha's previous lives (as well as the previous lives of many of Buddha's followers), Krishna appears as one of the lives of Sariputra, one of Buddha's foremost disciples and the "Dhammasenapati" or "Chief General of the Dharma" and is usually shown being Buddha's "right hand man" in Buddhist art and iconography.[103] The Bodhisattva, is born in this tale as one of his youngest brothers named Ghatapandita, and saves Krishna from the grief of losing his son.[100] The 'divine boy' Krishna as an embodiment of wisdom and endearing prankster is forming a part of worshipable pantheon in Japanese Buddhism.[104]

[edit] Bah' FaithBah's believe that Krishna was a "Manifestation of God," or one in a line of prophets who have revealed the Word of God progressively for a gradually maturing humanity. In this way, Krishna shares an exalted station with Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus Christ, the Bb, and the founder of the Bah' Faith, Bah'u'llh.[105]

[edit] Ahmadiyya IslamMembers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believe Krishna to be a great prophet of God as described by their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Ghulam Ahmad also claimed to be the likeness of Krishna as a latter day reviver of religion and morality whose mission was to reconcile man with God.[106] Ahmadis maintain that the term Avatar is synonymous with the term 'prophet' of the middle eastern religious tradition as God's intervention with man; as God appoints a man as his vicegerent upon earth. In Lecture Sialkot, Ghulam Ahmed wrote:Let it be clear that Raja Krishna, according to what has been revealed to me, was such a truly great man that it is hard to find his like among the Rishis and Avatars of the Hindus. He was an Avatari.e., Prophetof his time upon whom the Holy Spirit would descend from God. He was from God, victorious and prosperous. He cleansed the land of the Aryas from sin and was in fact the Prophet of his age whose teaching was later corrupted in numerous ways. He was full of love for God, a friend of virtue and an enemy of evil.[106]

[edit] OtherKrishna worship or reverence has been adopted by several new religious movements since the 19th century, and he is sometimes a member of an eclectic pantheon in occult texts, along with Greek, Buddhist, Biblical and even historical figures.[107] For instance, douard Schur, an influential figure in perennial philosophy and occult movements, considered Krishna a Great Initiate; while Theosophists regard Krishna as an incarnation of Maitreya (one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom), the most important spiritual teacher for humanity after Buddha.[108][109] Krishna was canonized by Aleister Crowley and is recognized as a saint in the Gnostic Mass of Ordo Templi Orientis.[110][111] Reviewers linked the imagery of the blue-skinned Na'vi in James Cameron's Avatar film to Krishna as one of possible conceptual prototypes for the film's Hindu theme.[

KALKIIn Hinduism, Kalki (Devanagari: ; also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatara (great incarnation) of Vishnu who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction known as Kali Yuga. The name Kalki is often a metaphor for eternity or time. The origins of the name probably lie in the Sanskrit word "kalka" which refers to mud, dirt, filth, or foulness and hence denotes the "destroyer of foulness," "destroyer of confusion," "destroyer of darkness," or "annihilator of ignorance."[1] Other similar and divergent interpretations based on varying etymological derivations from Sanskrit - including one simply meaning "White Horse" - have been made.[2] In the Buddhist Kalachakra tradition, some 25 rulers of the legendary Shambhala Kingdom have the title of Kalki, Kulika or Kalki-king.[3]

Contents[hide]

1 Maha Avatara 2 The prophecy and its origins 3 Kalki and Shambala 4 The marriage of Kalki 5 Modern interpretations of the Kalki prophecy 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

[edit] Maha AvataraHindu traditions permit numerous interpretations of what avatars are and to what purpose they act. Avatara means "descent" and indicates a descent of the divine awareness into manifestations of the mundane form. The Garuda Purana lists ten avatars, with Kalki being the tenth. The Bhagavata Purana initially lists twenty-two avatars, but mentions an additional three for a total of twenty-five avatars. He is presented as the twenty-second avatar in this list.

Kalki as Vajimukha, horse-faced Popular images depict him riding a white horse with wings known as Devadatta (Godgiven.) In these images, Kalki is brandishing a sword in his right hand and is intent on eradicating the corrupt destitution and debauchery of Kali Yuga. Others represent him as an amalgam of a horse's head and a man's body.

[edit] The prophecy and its originsOne of the earliest mentions of Kalki is in the Vishnu Purana, which is dated generally to be after the Gupta Empire around the 7th century A.D.[4] In the Hindu Trimurti, Vishnu is the preserver and sustainer of life, balancing the processes of creation and destruction. Kalki is also mentioned in another of the 18 major Puranas, the Agni Purana. Agni is the god of fire in the Hindu pantheon, and symbolically represents the spiritual fire of life and the processes of transformation. It is one of the earliest works declaring Gautama Buddha to have been a manifestation of Vishnu, and seems to draw upon the Vishnu Purana in its mention of Kalki. A later work, the Kalki Purana, a minor Purana, is an extensive exposition of expectations and predictions of when, where, and why it is said he will come, and what he is expected to do. It has a militant perspective, and celebrates the defeat of traditions that are deemed heretical for not adhering closely enough to the

traditions of the Vedas, such as Buddhism and Jainism[citation needed]. A few other minor Purana also mention him. The Agni Purana explains that when the non-Aryans who pose as kings begin devouring men who appear righteous and feed on human beings, Kalki, as the son of Vishnuyasha, and Yajnavalkya as His priest and teacher, will destroy these non-Aryans with His weapons. He will establish moral law in the form of the fourfold varnas, or the suitable organization of society in four classes. After that people will return to the path of righteousness. (16.7-9) The Agni Purana also relates that Hari, after giving up the form of Kalki, will go to heaven. Then the Krita or Satya Yuga will return as before. (16.10) The Vishnu Purana also explains that, "When the practices taught in the Vedas and institutes of law have nearly ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of His own spiritual nature, and who is the beginning and end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyasha, an eminent brahmana of Shambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties. By His irresistible might he will destroy all the mlecchas and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will reestablish righteousness upon earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as clear as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who will follow the laws of the Krita age or Satya Yuga, the age of purity. As it is said, 'When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return.'" (Book Four, Chapter 24) The Padma Purana relates that Lord Kalki will end the age of Kali and will kill all the wicked mlecchas and, thus, destroy the bad condition of the world. He will gather all of the distinguished brahmanas and will propound the highest truth. He will know all the ways of life that have perished and will remove the prolonged hunger of the genuine brahmanas and the pious. He will be the only ruler of the world that cannot be controlled, and will be the banner of victory and adorable to the world. (6.71.279-282) The Bhagavata Purana states, "At the end of Kali Yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen of the three higher castes, and when the power of government is transferred to the hands of ministers elected from the lowborn shudra class or those less than them, and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser. (2.7.38) It further describes Lord Kalki's activities as follows: "Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift white horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings." (12.2.19-20) The Kalki Purana combines all of the elements from the puranas above. He is one who has power to change the course of time stream in the favour of the good.He will be one to

whom the power to change the destiny of the world will be given.It states the evil family of the demon Kali will spring from the back of Brahma. They will descend to earth and cause mankind to turn towards depravity. When man stops offering yagna to the gods, Vishnu himself will descend to earth to rid the world of evil. He will be reborn as Kalki to noted Brahmin family in the city of Shambhala. As a young man, He will be mentored in the arts of war by Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu.[5] He will then set out across the world battling evil kings and false prophets. He finally defeats Kali and brings about the Satya yuga. Having completed His mission, He will assume his four-armed form and return to heaven as Vishnu. Followers of Tibetan Buddhism have preserved the Kalachakra Tantra in which "Kalkin" is a title of 25 rulers of the mystical realm of Shambhala. The aims and actions of some of these are prophesied in portions of the work.

[edit] Kalki and ShambalaThe Kalachakra tantra was first taught by the Buddha to King Suchandra, the first dharmaraja of Shambhala.[6] "Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brahmana of Shambhala village, the great souls Vishnuyasha and Sumati." (SrimadBhagavatam Bhag.12.2.18)[7] Literal translation: Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana 12:2:18 Shambhu (Shiv Shambhu Bhola)[6][7] + or (of) + Grama (Community/Village) + Mukhyasya (Principally) + Brahmanasya (of the Brahmins) + Maha Atman (Great Souls) Shiva Durga[8] worshipping community principally of great souls Brahmins. Bhavan (At the home of) + Vishnu + Yas (Worthy) + Kalk ( Mud or Sediment) + i (to arise from, come from) + Prdr (Arise/Born) Bhavishyati (In the future) In the future at the home of Vishnu worthy, one from the mud/sediment will arise/be born. This points to a name equivalent to mud or sediment born.[9]

- - (1:2:15 Kalki Purna) - - dvA (two) + dashya (tens/10's) meaning 20 - - Shukla (bright) + (pakshaya) parts (the first part of the moon cycle) + madhva is Hindu month of Chaitra (First day of Chaitra is when Lord Brahma created the universe) March/April + masi (month

of) + madhavam it is a point of reference to the birthday of Lord Krishna celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami which is observed on the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhaadra (parts of August and september). Alternatively - dvA (two) + dashya (tens/10's) meaning 12 - - Shukla (bright) + (pakshaya) parts (the first part of the moon cycle) + madhva is hindu month of Chaitra[10] (First day of Chaitra is when Lord Brahma created the universe, Hindu new year starts) March/April + masi (month of) + Lord Krishna (as Kalki) arrived. - jatam (born - brought into existence) + dadastu (then) + putram (a son) + pitarau (parents [were]) + hrshta (thrilling with rapture, rejoiced, pleased, glad, merry) + manasau (mental feeling). Twenty, first fortnights of the moon cycles from the birthday of Krishna (Krishna Janmashtami - Bhaadra/August) then in the month of Chaitra (March/April) the father was mentally overwhelmed by the son being born. This points to the sun sign of Aries. or 12th of the first part of the moon cycle in the month of Chaitra (March/April, Hindu new year) Lord Krishna (as Kalki) arrived then the father was mentally overwhelmed by the son being born This also points to the sun sign of Aries. In Chaitra month, the fifteen days in Shukla paksha (first fortnight / first half of the month) are dedicated to fifteen gods or deities. Each day of Chaitra month is dedicated to each God. People worship a God on each day, the 12th day (Chaitra Dwadashi) is dedicated to Lord Sri Maha Vishnu.

[edit] The marriage of KalkiKalki Purna: - 1:3:9 - - - 1:3:10 - 2:1:39 - (=) -- - 2:1:40 - ----- 2:1:41

The beloved of Kalki is named Padma who lives at dweep (island) Sinhale[11] ( shiha (Lion) + (of))= "the island of the lion"(1:3:9). The spotless/clean land of the lion one which is surrouned by a excellent/supreme ocean at the other side of this ocean. (Line 1 2:1:40). Abundance of different kinds of chariot of the gods (Air-Crafts) brilliant wealth and prosperity.(Line 2 2:1:40).

[edit] Modern interpretations of the Kalki prophecy

Stone plaque of Kalki from the 18th century. Many modern writers have attempted to link figures in comparatively recent history to Kalki. Given the traditional account of the Kali Yuga lasting 432,000 years [12] and having started in 3102 BCE [13], which makes these claims problematic. Some scholars such as Sri Yukteswar Giri and David Frawley have claimed that there are intermediate cycles within the 432,000 year cycle.[14][15]

Shree Veera Brahmendra Maha Swami, writing about 1,000 years ago in "Divya Maha Kala Jnana" (literally: "Divine Knowledge of the Time") claims that Kalki would arrive when the Moon, Sun, Venus and Jupiter have entered the same sign; such occurrences are not rare and the next is expected in the year 2012 or afterwards.[16] Pandit Ved Prakash Upadhyay has argued in his book Kalki Autar aur Muhammad Sahib that Muhammad completed all the prophecies of the Kalki avatar.[17] The book Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures claims Muhammad to be Kalki based on research from all Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads.[18] Ismaili Khojas, a Shia Muslim group from Gujarat and Sindh and followers of Aga khan, believe in the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. According to their tradition Imam Ali, the son-in-law of prophet Muhamad was Kalki.[1][2] Members of the Bah' Faith have interpreted the prophecies of Kalki's arrival as being references to the arrival of Bah'u'llh,[19][20] which has played a major role in the growth of the Bah' Faith in India.[21] Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believe their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the Kalki Avatar.[22] In his book The Aquarian Message Samael Aun Weor claims to be the Kalki Avatar.[23] In their books The Avatar of What Is by Carolyn Lee PhD and Holy Madness by Georg Feuerstein, they identify claims that Adi Da was the Kalki Avatar.[24]

In 16th century Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh wrote that Kalki is the Vivek Budhi(Intelligent and Spiritual mind) i.e. Gurmat. When the Sins(Manmatt/Manmukhs) emerge only Gurmat acts as Kalki and vanish all Manmatt of world. Gobind Singh where narrated whole Kalki Avtar of Hindu belief in Chobis Avtar, there he ended with this belief that Kalki is none other than Gurmat. Page 1468/Last Line

BUDDHA

Buddha giving the Sermon in the Deer Park, depicted at Wat Chedi Liem. The Buddha in Hinduism is sometimes viewed as an Avatar of Vishnu. In the Puranic text Bhagavata Purana, he is the twenty-fourth of twenty-five avatars, prefiguring a forthcoming final incarnation.[1] Similarly, a number of Hindu traditions portray Buddha as the most recent (ninth) of ten principal avatars, known as the Davatra (Ten Incarnations of God). The Buddhist Dasharatha Jataka (Jataka Atthakatha 461) represents Rama as a previous incarnation of the Buddha as a Bodhisattva and supreme Dharma King of great wisdom. Buddha's teachings deny the authority of the Vedas and consequently Buddhism is generally viewed as a nstika school (heterodox, literally "It is not so"[2]) from the perspective of orthodox Hinduism.

Contents[hide]

1 Views of the Buddha in Hinduism o 1.1 Hindu reactions to the Buddha o 1.2 In Hindu scriptures 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

[edit] Views of the Buddha in HinduismDue to the diversity of traditions within Hinduism there is no specific viewpoint or consensus on the Buddha's exact position in reference to the Vedic tradition: In the Dasavatara stotra section of his Gita Govinda, the influential Vaishnava poet Jayadeva Goswami (13th C AD) includes the Buddha amongst the ten principal avatars of Vishnu and writes a prayer regarding him as follows:O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories to You! O Buddha of compassionate heart, you decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice.[3]

This viewpoint of the Buddha as an avatar who primarily promoted non-violence (ahimsa) remains a popular belief amongst a number of modern Vaishnava organisations, including ISKCON.[4] Other prominent modern proponents of Hinduism, such as Radhakrishnan and Vivekananda, consider the Buddha as a teacher of the same universal truth that underlies all religions of the world:Vivekananda:- May he who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura Mazda of Zoroastrians, the Buddha of Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heavens of Christians, give strength to you to carry out your noble ideas![5] Radhakrishnan: If a Hindu chants the Vedas on the banks of the Ganges, ... if the Japanese worship the image of Buddha, if the European is convinced of Christ's mediatorship, if the Arab reads the Koran in the mosque ... It is their deepest apprehension of God and God's fullest revelation to them.[6]

Steven Collins sees such Hindu claims regarding Buddhism as part of an effort - itself a reaction to Christian proselytizing efforts in India - to show that "all religions are one", and that Hinduism is uniquely valuable because it alone recognizes this fact.[7] Within Hinduism, avatars such as Rama or Krishna are popularly worshipped as the Supreme God, but it is much less common to find Buddha the avatar being worshipped by Hindus in the same way.

[edit] Hindu reactions to the Buddha

Hinduism regards Buddha (bottom centre with multiple arms) as one of the 10 avatars of Vishnu Main article: Buddhism and Hinduism A number of revolutionary figures in modern Hinduism, including Gandhi have been inspired by the life and teachings of the Buddha and many of his attempted reforms.[8] Buddhism finds favor in contemporary Hindutva movement, with Lama Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama being honored at Hindu events, like the Vishva Hindu Parishad's second World Hindu Conference in Allahabad in 1979.[9] Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar denied that Buddha was incarnation of Vishnu. While taking Buddhism & giving Buddhism to Lakhs of people in 1956 at Nagpur & Chandrapur in Maharashtra (India) he gave 22 vows to the neo-Buddhists. 2nd vow is " I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna who are believed to be incarnation of God nor shall I worship them." And 4th vow is " I do not believe in the incarnation of God." Now Buddhists, Atheists and many other people don't believe that Buddha was incarnation of Vishnu.[10]

[edit] In Hindu scripturesThe Buddha is described in important Hindu scriptures, including almost all the Puranas. However, not all of them refer to the same person: some of them refer to other persons, and some occurrences of "buddha" simply mean "a person possessing buddhi". Most of them, however, refer to the founder of Buddhism.[11] They portray him with two roles: preaching false views in order to delude demons or others, and criticizing animal sacrifice as prescribed in the Vedas.[12] A partial list of Puranas mentioning the Buddha is as follows:

Harivamsha (1.41) Vishnu Purana (3.18) Bhagavata Purana (1.3.24, 2.7.37, 11.4.23) [13] Garuda Purana (1.1, 2.30.37, 3.15.26)[14] Agni Purana (16) Narada Purana (2.72) Linga Purana (2.71) Padma Purana (3.252) etc. (Dhere Ramchandra Chintaman) [15]

In the Puranic texts, he is mentioned as one of the ten Avataras of Vishnu, usually as the ninth one. Another important scriptures that mentions him as an Avatar is Rishi Parashara's Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (2:1-5/7). He is often described as a yogi or yogcrya, and as a sannysi. His father is usually called uddhodhana, which is consistent with the Buddhist tradition, while in a few places the Buddha's father is named Ajana or Jina. He is described as beautiful (devasundara-rpa), of white or pale-red complexion, and wearing brown-red or red robes.[16] Only a few statements mention the worship of Buddha, e.g. the Varahapurana says states that one desirous of beauty should worship him.[17] In some of the Puranas, he is described as having taken birth to "mislead the demons":mohanrtha dnavn blarp pathi-sthita putra ta kalpaym sa mha-buddhir jina svayam tata samohaym sa jindyn asurakn bhagavn vgbhir ugrbhir ahis-vcibhir hari attributed to Brahmanda Purana, quoted in Bhgavatattparya by Madhva, 1.3.28

Translation: To delude the demons, he [Lord Buddha] stood on the path in the form of a child. The foolish Jina (a demon), imagined him to be his son. Thus the lord Sri Hari [as avatara-buddha] expertly deluded Jina and other demons by his strong words of nonviolence. In the Bhagavata Purana Buddha is said to have taken birth to restore the devas to power:tata kalau sampravtte sammohya sura-dvim buddho nmnjana-suta kkaeu bhaviyati srimad-bhagavatam 1.3.24

Translation: Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, for the purpose of confusing the enemies of the devas, [he] will become the son of Anjana, Buddha by name, in the Kkaas.[13]

In many Puranas, the Buddha is described as an incarnation of Vishnu who incarnated in order to delude either demons or mankind away from the Vedic dharma. The Bhavishya Purana contains the following:At this time, reminded of the Kali Age, the god Vishnu became born as Gautama, the Shakyamuni, and taught the Buddhist dharma for ten years. Then Shuddodana ruled for twenty years, and Shakyasimha for twenty. At the first stage of the Kali Age, the path of the Vedas was destroyed and all men became Buddhists. Those who sought refuge with Vishnu were deluded.[18]

According to Wendy Doniger, the Buddha avatar, which occurs in different versions in various Puranas, may represent an attempt by orthodox Brahminism to slander the Buddhists by identifying them with the demons.[19] Helmuth von Glasenapp attributed these developments to a Hindu desire to absorb Buddhism in a peaceful manner, both to win Buddhists to Vaishnavism and also to account for the fact that such a significant heresy could exist in India.[20] The times ascribed to one "Buddha" figure are contradictory and some put him in approximately 500 CE, with a lifetime of 64 years, describe him as having killed some persons, as following the Vedic religion, and having a father named Jina, which suggest that this particular figure might be a different person from Siddhrta Gautama.

PARASHURAMAParashurama (Sanskrit: , Paraurma) (also known as Parasurama, Bhgupati, Bhargava, Bhargava Rma, Jamadagnya (Sanskrit: ) as Jamadagni's son), a Brahmin, the sixth avatar of Vishnu, belongs to the Treta yuga, and is the son of Jamadagni and Renuka. Parashu means axe, hence his name literally means Rama-withthe-axe. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Shiva, from whom he learned the methods of warfare and other skills. He fought the advancing ocean back thus saving the lands of Konkan and Malabar. The coastal area of Kerala state along with the Konkan region, i.e., coastal Maharashtra and Karnataka, is also sometimes called Parashurama Kshetra (Parashurama's country). Parashurama is said to be a "warrior Brahman", the first warrior saint. His mother is descended from the Kshatriya Suryavansha clan that ruled Ayodhya and Lord Rama also belonged to.

Contents[hide]

1 History o 1.1 Haihaya-Kshatriya Background o 1.2 Extermination of the Haihaya-kshatriya caste o 1.3 Legends

1.4 Evidence in the Mahabharata of conflict spanning generations 1.5 Shiva's Bow 1.6 The Mahabharata 1.7 Later life 2 The Sixth Avatara o 2.1 Jain Version 3 Kalki Purana 4 Temples 5 Parashurama Kshetras o 5.1 Further Kshetra Legend o 5.2 Reclamation of Konkan coast (coastal Maharashtra, Karnataka) & Kerala 6 See also 7 Referenceso o o o

8 External links

[edit] History[edit] Haihaya-Kshatriya BackgroundParashurama belonged to Srivatsasa Gotra. It appears that the Haihayas may have been enemies and at war with several groups, including other Kshatriyas themselves. For example the Haihayas sacked Kashi during the reigns of King Haryaswa and King Sudeva (whom they killed), King Divodas and his son Pratarddana (who finally expelled them outside of the Vatsa Kingdom). All these kings were born in the Solar Dynasty and the Haihayas were a Lunar Dynasty. The hostile Haihaya King Arjuna Kartavirya also defeated the Nga Kshatiryas led by Karkotaka Naga and made Mahishmati (present day Maheshwar) the capital of his own kingdom. According to numerous Puranas, the military corporations of the Shakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas and Paradas, known as five hordes (pnca-ganah), had militarily supported the Haihaya and Talajunga Kshatriyas in depriving Ikshvaku King Bahu (the 7th king in descent from Harishchandra) of his Ayodhya kingdom. A generation later, Bahu's son, Sagara recaptured Ayodhya after totally destroying the Haihaya and Talajangha Kshatriyas in the battle. King Sagara had punished these foreign hordes by ordering their 'heads shaved' (a common practice used to humiliate and shame the enemy in the ancient and modern world) and turning them into degraded Kshatriyas.[1]

[edit] Extermination of the Haihaya-kshatriya caste

Parashurama is said to have cut off 1,000 of King Kartavirya Arjuna's arms The enmity between the Haihaya and the Bhargavas is mentioned in the Mahabharata Hindu text numerous times. In the Bhagavata Purana SB 9.8.5-6, the Haihaya are mentioned as "the uncivilized".[2] Once, when Parashurama returned home, he found his mother crying hysterically. When asked why she was crying, she said his father had been killed mercilessly by Kartavirya Arjuna. She beat her chest 21 times in sorrow and anguish at her husband's death. In a rage, Parashurama vowed to exterminate the world's Haihaya-Kshatriyas 21 times. He killed the entire clan of Kartavirya Arjuna (or Sahasrarjuna), thus conquering the entire earth. He then conducted the Ashvamedha sacrifice, done only by sovereign kings, and gave the entire land he owned to the head-priest who performed at the yagya, viz. Kashyapa. Parashurama then became responsible for killing the world's corrupted Haihaya kings and warriors who came to attack him in revenge for the killing of Kartavirya Arjuna, to prevent a Brahmin from being emperor and threatening their position. The Ashvamedha demanded that the kings either submit to Parashurama's imperial position or thwart the sacrifice by defeating him in battle. They did neither and were killed. Parashurama exterminated the world's Haihaya-Kshatriyas 21 times, thus fulfilling his vow.

[edit] LegendsIt is said that when Parashuram saved and reclaimed some coastal parts of Kerala from the retreat of the sea, that was the beginning of the Kollam Era (AD 825) (possibly named after the city Kollam) for the Malayalam Calendar.[3] According to one legend, Parashurama also went to visit Shiva once but the way was blocked by Ganesha. Parashurama threw the axe at him and Ganesha, knowing it had been given to him by Shiva, allowed it to cut off one of his tusks. The goddess Parvati (wife of Shiva) on finding her son's tusk being cut by Parashurama fills with rage and declares that if Parashurama's thirst for Kshatriya's blood is still not over, she will put a stop on this and will teach him a final lesson. She will severe both of his arms and will kill him. The Goddess Parvati, then takes a form of Shakti (Goddess Durga) becomes the

ultimate source of Power and no other divine power can resist or match to her Supreme power. Luckily, Shiva arrived at the scene and pacified Parvati after a lot of convincing to not to harm Parashurama as he is also like her son in a way and she should forgive him as a Mother on her childs mistake. Parashurama also asks for her forgiveness. Parvati finally forgives Parashurama at the request of Ganesha. Parashurama then gifts his divine axe weapon to Ganesha and blesses him. There is another interesting legend with regards to Parashurama's retreat of the seas. It is said that he fired an arrow from his mythical bow that landed in Goa, at a place called Benaulim creating what is known locally as "Salkache Tollem", literally meaning "lotus Lake". There is an interesting side to Parashurama's conquest of Kshatriyas. After one of his conquests, he returns to Aihole (Badami Taluka, Bagalkot district in Karnataka) which, some say was where he lived. The river Malaprabha does a near 180 degree turn there. While Parashurama washed his blood soaked axe upriver, beyond the bend, there were village belles washing clothes downriver. The axe was so bloody that it turned the entire river red. This, the women washing clothes saw and exclaimed "Ai hole!" (oh, what a river!). The name stuck and the village is now known as Aihole. There is another legend that Nairs (Nagas)of Kerala removed their sacred thread and hid in the forests to avoid Parasuramas revenge against Kshatriyas. Parashurama donated the land to Nambuthiri Brahmins and Nambuthiris denied the Nairs Kshatriya status (though they did Kshatriya duties and almost all the royal houses in Kerala come from them.

[edit] Evidence in the Mahabharata of conflict spanning generationsReflections of Aurva, the Great-Grandfather of Parashurama (Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 182) While lying unborn, I heard the doleful cries of my mother and other women of the Bhrigu race who were then being exterminated by the Kshatriyas. When those Kshatriyas began to exterminate the Bhrigus together with unborn children of their race, it was then that wrath filled my soul. My mother and the other women of our race, each in an advanced state of pregnancy, and my father, while terribly alarmed, found not in all the worlds a single protector. Then when the Bhrigu women found not a single protector, my mother held me in one of her thighs. (Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 153) The mighty Kshatriya Talajangala was destroyed by a single Brahmana. viz., Aurva. (Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 2) In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas, Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. (Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 64) The son of Jamadagni (Parasurama), after twenty-one times making the earth bereft of Kshatriyas wended to that best of mountains Mahendra and there began his ascetic penances. Mahendra Mountains are in central India, the northern end of the Eastern Ghats of India, situated in the western part of Orissa.

(Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 104) In olden days, Rama, the son of Jamadagni, in anger at the death of his father, slew with his battle axe the king of the Haihayas. Haiheya was a central Indian kingdom in Madhya Pradesh of India, on the banks of Narmada River. Its capital was Mahishmati, the modern day town named Maheswar. (Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 85) One proceeds to Surparaka, where Jamadagnis son (Parasurama) had formerly dwelt. Surparaka also is in central India with the modern name Sopara. (Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 115) Akritavrana (a disciple of Parashurama) said, With pleasure shall I recite that excellent history, of the godlike deeds of Rama, the son of Jamadagni, who traced his origin to Bhrigus race. I shall also relate the achievements of the great ruler of the Haihaya tribe. That king, Arjuna by name, the mighty lord of the Haihaya tribe was killed by Rama. By the favour of Dattatreya he had a celestial car made of gold. (Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 117) Rama, the leader, thrice smote down all the Kashatriya followers of Kartaviryas sons. And seven times did that powerful lord exterminate the military tribes of the earth. The above shown extracts from Mahabharata shows the conflict between the Bhargavas and the Kshatriyas spanning at least for four generations.

[edit] Shiva's Bow

Parashurama(left) with Rama In the Ramayana, Parashurama came to the betrothal ceremony of the seventh Avatara, Rama, to the princess Sita. As a test of worthiness the suitors were required to lift and string the bow of Shiva, given to the King Janaka by Parashurama. Rama successfully strung the bow, but in the process it broke in two, producing a tremendous noise that reached the ears of Parashurama. In one such version, played in ramlilas across India, Parashurama arrived after hearing the sound of the bow of Shiva breaking. The Kshatriyas were advised by Brahmarishi Vasistha not to confront the sage, but Sita approached the sage. He blessed her, saying "Dheergha Sumangali bhavah", literally meaning "you will have your husband alive for your lifetime, you wont see his death". So when he turned to confront Rama, the destroyer of Shiva's bow, he could not pick up his axe to do so as he pacifies by the brilliance of rama (vishnuavatara). This was also because, as he blessed Sita with good luck, he could not cause any harm to her husband which was a part of his own (Shri

Vishnu). After recognising Rama for what he truly was, namely, the avatar of Vishnu as his bow went flying in the hands of Lord Rama.

[edit] The MahabharataWhen Amba came to Parashurama for help because Bhishma refused to marry her, he decided to slay Bhishma and fought with him for twenty three days. It was a long and fierce combat between the two greatest men-at-arms of the age. Bhishma had knowledge of one divine and the most deadly weapon namely "Pashwapastra". Parashurama had no knowledge of this weapon. When Bhishma was about to use it against Parashurama, all Gods rushed to Bhishma and requested him not to use this weapon against Parshurama as it will humiliate Parshurama. Bhishma refrained it from using it. Parashurama's father, Jamadagni and grandfather, Richika, then appeared before Parashurama ordering, O son, never again engage in battle with Bhishma or any other kshatriya. Heroism and courage in battle are the qualities of a warrior, and study of the Vedas and the practice of austerities are the wealth of the brahmanas. Previously you took up weapons to protect the brahmanas, but this is not the case now. Let this battle with Bhishma be your last. The sages once again spoke to Rama, O son of the Bhrigu race, it is not possible to defeat Bhishma, nor is it possible for Bhishma to defeat you. In the end Pitris (a class of demigods) appeared on the scene and obstructed the chariot of Rama. They forbade him to fight any longer. In the end, all Gods and Parshuram himself showered praise on Bhishma and acknowledged that Bhishma is truly invincible. Parshurama then told Amba: "I have done all that I could and I have failed. Throw yourself on the mercy of Bhishma. That is the only course left to you." Parashurama was giving away his earning and wealth of a lifetime to brahmanas, Drona approached him. Unfortunately by the time Drona arrived, Parashurama had given away all his belongings to other brahmanas. Taking pity upon the plight of Drona, Parashurama said you can choose any of my weapons, which one would you like to have? The clever Drona said I will like to have your weapons with their mantars as and when I need them. Parashurama said so be it. In other words Drona decided to impart his knowledge of combat which made him supreme in the science of arms. In the Mahabharata, Parashurama was the instructor of the warrior Karna, born to a Kshatriya mother but raised as the son of a charioteer, or lower class of Kshatriyas. Karna came to Parashurama after being rejected from the school of Drona, who taught the five Pandava and one hundred Kaurava princes. Parashurama agreed to teach Karna, who said was a brahmin[citation needed], and gave him the knowledge of the extremely powerful Brahmastra weapon. But an incident would render the Brahmastra almost useless to Karna. One day, Parashurama was sleeping with his head resting on Karna's thigh, when a scorpion crawled up and bit Karna's thigh, boring into it. In spite of the bleeding and the pain, he neither flinched or uttered a cry so that his teacher could continue his rest. However, the blood trickled down, reaching Parashurama and awakening him. Convinced that only a Kshatriya could have borne such pain in silence and that Karna had therefore

lied in order to receive instruction, he cursed Karna that his knowledge of the Brahmastra would fail him when he needed it most. Later, during the Kurukshetra war, Karna had a dream at night when he thought of his guru and asked him to take back the curse he had warranted years back. Parashurama explained that he knew that the day would come; he knew that Karna was a Kshatriya[citation needed], but deemed him to be a worthy student and instructed him nevertheless. However, the outcome of the war would have left the world in ruins if Duryodhana were to rule, as opposed to Yudhishthira. For that reason, Parashurama requested that Karna accept the curse and fall at the hands of Arjuna, inadvertently saving the world.[citation needed] Parashurama was the guru of Bhishma (Devavrata), Dronacharya and Karna.

[edit] Later lifeIn the later life of Parashurama, he gave up violence, became an ascetic and practiced penances, mainly on the Mahendra Mountains. The territories he received from the Kshatriyas he slew, were distributed among a clan of Brahmins called the Brahmrishi Brahmins. They ruled these lands for many centuries. The kingdoms like Dravida, Karnata and Konkana were among them. Parashurama also retrieved from the sea a virgin-land which was a stretch of coastal-area to the west of Western Ghats of India, giving rise to the myth of Parashurama, saving a part of the land of Kerala from the sea. This happened in Surparaka Kingdom (Coastal Area of Southern Gujarat), from where the myth spread to Kerala, by migration. This land also was given to Brahmin rulers.

[edit] The Sixth AvataraThe purpose of the sixth incarnation of Vishnu is considered by religious scholars to be to relieve the Earth's burden by exterminating the sinful, destructive and irreligious monarchs that pillaged its resources, and neglected their duties as kings. Parashurama is of a martial Shraman ascetic. However, unlike all other avatars, Parashurama still lives on earth, even today[citation needed]. Secondly, he is an Avesha Avatara, a secondary type of Avatara. In such an Avatara, Vishnu does not directly descend as do Rama or Krishna but instead enters the soul of a man with His form. Accordingly, unlike Rama and Krishna, Parashurama is not worshipped. But in South India, at the holy place Pajaka, there exists one major temple commemorating Parashurama. Parshurama, the creator of the Konkan coast, is also worshipped in a temple at Lote Parshurama , chiplun in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district.The people of the Konkan call their land 'Parshurama Bhoomi' or the land of Parashurama in accordance with the legend that the sage reclaimed the land from the sea. There are several Parashurama temples throughout the western coast of India as well as North India, but especially more in the costal areas from Bharuch(ancient name of Bharuch is Bhrugu Kutchchh) in the west Indian state of Gujarat right up to Kerala, the

southern tip of India. One can see a Parashurama Temple with a Agni Mandir in Shivpuri - Akkalkot, Khopoli in Maharashtra and Fort Songadh in Gujarat. A temple of Parashurama is also situated at Akhnoor, 18 km away from Jammu city, J&K. Every year, in the month of May, an enormous fete in the form of a parade, referred as Parshuram Jayanti, with hundreds of tableaux, thronged through the main city of Jammu. Local community leaders and followers arrange for the celebrations and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

[edit] Jain VersionAccording to Jain version of Parashurama, he was killed by Chakravati Subhoum.[4]. Subhoum was the son of Sahasrarjun and 8th Chakravarti (Emperor)of the total 12 Chakravartis. The Jain version is available in Trishasti Shalaka Purush, the famous Jain book on 63 great people of ancient times.

[edit] Kalki PuranaThe Kalki Purana states Parashurama will be the martial guru of Sri Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is he who instructs Kalki to perform a long penance to Shiva to receive celestial weaponry.

[edit] TemplesIn the Kanyakumari Temple in Kanyakumari town, Parashurama installed the Idol made of blue stone. Parashurama installed the idol of Dharma Sastha (Ayyappa) on the peak on the Sabarimala Hill in the forest.[5] Parashurama trained Ayyappa[6] just as he had trained Karna in the Mahabharata and is believed will train the future Kalki. He created a temple of worship right after he resurfaced Kerala from the sea. He placed statues of various deities in 108 different places and introduced martial arts ("Kalari Payattu") to protect the temple from the evils.[7] Also, while the other pilgrimages created by Parashurama are devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Subramanya and Lord Ganesha, Kollur is the only one devoted to goddess Parvati.[8] There are "Seven Mukti Stalas" of Karnataka, which were created by Parashurama and some of the above such as Kollur belong to them. There is temple dedicated to Lord Parashurama in Khatti, near Phagwara in Punjab, India.

[edit] Parashurama KshetrasEight kshetras are popularly known as Parashurama kshetras and a.k.a. 'Parashurama Srishti'.

"Seven Mukti Sthalas" 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Chiplun Udupi Subramanya Kollur Shankaranarayana Koteshwara Kumbasi (Annegudde) Gokarna

[edit] Further Kshetra LegendThere is a legend that in one of the kshetras a King called Ramabhoja worshipped Lord Parashurama[9] He was the ruler of the lands between Gokarna and Kanyakumari and was proclaimed king of the entire Parashurama Kshetra.[10] Once he decided to perform the aswamedha yajna and plowed the land but mistakenly killed a serpent. However, the serpent was a demon. To repent this sin, King Rambhoja was directed by Lord Parashurama to build a big silver pedestal with the image of a serpent at each of its four corners and to worship Him who would be seated in spirit on the pedestal and also to distribute gold equal to his own weight (Tulabhara) to deserving persons. Rambhoja did likewise and performed the ashwamedha yajna successfully. At its conclusion, Lord Parashurama appeared and declared that he was pleased with the Yajna and that henceforth the sacrificial land 'Roopya Peetha' (silver pedestal) would become a famous centre of pilgrimage. This land is also known as 'Thoulava' land and because Rambhoja performed 'Tulabhara'. This is, in brief, the legend of the land.

[edit] Reclamation of Konkan coast (coastal Maharashtra, Karnataka) & Kerala

Lord Parashurama with Saraswat brahmin settlers commanding Lord Varuna to make the seas recede to make the Konkan and Kerala.

There is also the Panhala Fort founded by Raja Bhoja in the late 12th century[11] which Chhatrapati Shivaji had used and is said to be the only fort in which he stayed for 500 days! This fort is said to have a connection with Parashurama. Konkan is the karmabhumi of Parashurama (the land founded by him)[citation needed], but very few people know about his janmabhumi (birthplace). there is one view that his birthplace was Mahoor gadh, which is at the border of Marathwada and Vidharbha in Maharastra. At Mahoor on the left hand side of main Renuka Mata temple there is a temple which is believed to be Parashurama's birthplace. However, there is also one belief that the birthplace of Lord Parashurama is Janapao or Jaana pau in present day Madhya Pradesh, a central Indian State.[12] Parashurama had spent most of his childhood time in and around the Mandagni Parvath near Vajreshwari in Maharashtra. You can see a Bala Parashurama temple believed to be built by Bhima on the edge of the Mandagni Parvath.There is also a temple for Renuka devi and Sage Jamadagni.This makes us to believe that the birth place of Lord Parashurama could be around this place.

RAMARama (IAST: rma, Devangar: ; Burmese: ; Khmer: ; Lao: ; Malay: Megat Seri Rama; Tagalog: Rajah Bantugan; Thai: ) or Ramachandra , [1] is the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism,[2] and a legendary king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian mythology. Rama is one of the many popular figures and deities in Hinduism, specifically Vaishnavism and Vaishnava religious scriptures in South and Southeast Asia.[3] Most of the details of Rama's life come from the Ramayana, one of the two great epics of India.[4] Born as the eldest son of Kausalya and Dasharatha, king of Ayodhya, Rama is referred to within Hinduism as Maryada Purushottama,[5] literally the Perfect Man or Lord of SelfControl or Lord of Virtue. Rama is the husband of Sita, whom Hindus consider to be an avatar of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.[5][6] Rama's life and journey is one of perfect adherence to dharma despite harsh tests of life and time. He is pictured as the ideal man and the perfect human. For the sake of his father's honour, Rama abandons his claim to Kosala's throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest.[7] His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, being unable to live without Rama, decide to join him, and all three spend the fourteen years in exile together. This leads to the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, the Rakshasa (Asura) monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search that tests his personal strength and virtue, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana's armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned king in Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) and eventually becomes emperor,[7] after which he reigns for eleven thousand years an era of perfect happiness, peace, prosperity and justice known as Rama Rajya.

Rama's courage in searching for Sita and fighting a terrible war to rescue his wife and their honour is complemented by Sita's absolute devotion to her husband's love, and perfect chastity despite being Ravana's captive. Rama's younger brothers, namely Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Bharata strongly complement his piety, virtue and strength, [7] and they are believed by many to belong to the Maryada Purushottama and the Seventh Avatara, mainly embodied by Rama. Rama's piety and virtue attract powerful and devoted allies such as Hanuman and the Vanaras of Kishkindha, with whose help he rescues Sita.[7] The legend of Rama is deeply influential and popular in the societies of the Indian subcontinent and across South East Asia. Rama is revered for his unending compassion,[8] courage and devotion to religious values and duty.

Contents[hide]

1 Etymology 2 Literary sources 3 Avatara 4 Prince of Ayodhya 5 Initiation of the Avatara 6 Dharma of exile 7 Rama and Sita o 7.1 Agni pariksha o 7.2 Sita's banishment o 7.3 Children 8 Maryada Purushottama 9 Companions o 9.1 Bharata and Lakshmana o 9.2 Jatayu, Hanuman and Vibheeshana 10 Rama in war o 10.1 Sagara o 10.2 Facing Ravana 11 Rama Rajya 12 International Influence o 12.1 Festivals 13 Notes 14 See also 15 References 16 External links

[edit] EtymologyPart of a series on

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10.3.3cd Agni, far-spreading with conspicuous lustre, hath compassed Night [Rama] with whitely shining garments. As a personal name it appears in RV 10.93.14: 10.93.14ab This to Duhsima Prthavana have I sung, to Vena, Rama, to the nobles [Asuras], and the King. The feminine form of the adjective, rm is an epitheton of the night (Ratri), as is k, the feminine of ka, viz. "the dark one; the black one". Two Ramas are mentioned in the Vedas, with the patronymics Mrgaveya and Aupatasvini; another Rama with the patronymic Jmadagnya is the supposed author of a Rigvedic hymn. According to Monier-Williams, three Ramas were celebrated in post-Vedic times, 1. Rma-chandra ("Rama-moon"), son of Dasaratha, believed to have descended from Raghu. (The Rama of this article).

2. Parashu-rma ("Rama of the Battle-axe"), the Sixth Avatara of Vishnu, sometimes also referred to as Jmadagnya, or as Bhrgava Rma (descended from Bhrigu), a "Chiranjeevi" or Immortal. 3. Bala-rma ("the strong Rama"), also called Halyudha (Wielder of the Plough as Weapon), the older brother and close companion of Krishna, the Eighth Avatara of Vishnu. In the Vishnu sahasranama, Rama is the 394th name of Vishnu. In the interpretation of Adi Sankara's commentary, translated by Swami Tapasyananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, Rama has two meanings: the supreme Brahman who is the eternally blissful spiritual Self in whom yogis delight, or the One (i.e., Vishnu) who out of His own will assumed the enchanting form of Rama, the son of Dasaratha.

[edit] Literary sourcesThe primary source of the life and journey of Rama is the epic Ramayana as composed by the Rishi Valmiki. The Vishnu Purana also recounts Rama as Vishnu's seventh avatara, and in the Bhagavata Purana, ninth skandha, adhyayas 10 & 11, the story of the Ramayana is again recounted in brief up to an including the slaying of Ravana and Prince Rama's return to Ayodhya. Additionally, the tales of Rama are reverently spoken of in the epic Mahabharata. The epic had many versions across India's regions. However, other scriptures in Sanskrit reflect the life of Ramayana. The followers of Sri Madhvacharya believe that an older version of the Ramayana, the mula-Ramayana, previously existed but is no longer extant. They consider it to be more authoritative than the version by Valmiki. Another important shortened version of the epic in Sanskrit is the Aadhyaatma Ramayana. The seventh century CE Sanskrit "Bhatti's Poem" Bhaikvya of Bhai who lived in Gujarat, is a retelling of the epic that simultaneously illustrates the grammatical examples for Pini's Adhyy as well as the major figures of speech and the Prakrit language.[9] Versions of the Ramayana exist in most major Indian languages; examples that elaborate on the life, deeds and divine philosophies of Rama include the epic poem Kambaramayanam by the 12th century poet Kamban in Tamil, and Ramacharitamanasa, a Hindi version of the Ramayana by the 16th century Saint Tulsidas. Contemporary versions of the Ramayana include Sri Ramayana Darshanam by Kuvempu in Kannada and Ramayana Kalpavrikshamu by Viswanatha Satyanarayana in Telugu, both of which have been awarded the Jnanpith Award. The epic has transformed across the diverse regions of India, which boast their own unique languages and cultural traditions.[10] The essential tale of Rama has also spread across South East Asia, and evolved into unique renditions of the epic incorporating local history, folktales, religious values as well as unique features from the languages and literary discourse. The Kakawin Ramayana of Java, Indonesia, the Ramakavaca of Bali, Hikayat Seri Rama of Malaysia, Maradia Lawana of the Philippines, Ramakien of Thailand (which calls him Phra Ram) are great works with many unique characteristics and differences in accounts and portrayals of the legend of Rama. The legends of Rama are witnessed in elaborate

illustration at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in Bangkok. The national epic of Myanmar, Yama Zatdaw is essentially the Burmese Ramayana, where Rama is named Yama. In the Reamker of Cambodia, Rama is known as Preah Ream. In the Pra Lak Pra Lam of Laos, Buddha is regarded as an incarnation of Rama.