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AbhayaVaradhan' by Usha Mukund

Dhruva was the son of king

Uttanpad. Whilst the king loved Suruchi& her son (Uttam), he ignored Suniti& her son (Dhruva). Once when Uttam was sitting in his father’s lap, Dhruva too tried to sit beside him. At this Suruchi shouted “You cannot sit here, if you want to sit in king’s lap you have to prove your worthiness & undergo serious penance

Dhruv could not bear the insult & he resolved to go to forest & please Lord Vishnu by praying to Him. On the way  he met Naradji who tried to stop him but got pleased with Dhruva’s dedication & showed him the place & the method to practice penance. When Dhruv reached Madhuvan, he stood on one leg & started praying to God & had only one Goal- to please & meet God. After praying for more than 5 months, Lord Vishnu appeared before Dhruv & told “ I am pleased with your devotion, my child. Tell me, what do you wish?”

O God, I wish your blessings & love from my parents,” Dhruv replied. All your wishes shall be fulfilled my child.” Saying this He vanished.LaterDhruv returned to the kingdom & was welcomed by the King & Queen Suruchi .He became the king & served people with love & dedication.

Dhruv is remembered by all for his strong determination. God graced him with an eternal status in the heavens. Even today we know him as Dhruv star!

 

The story of Ajamila

There was a Brahmin youth by name Ajamila who was truthful, righteous & sincere. One day when he went to forest, on his way back he gave way to worldly pleasure when he saw a young woman. Forgetting his family he started leading an illegal life with the lady. Slowly Ajamila gave up his worship & lost all his values.

Through his second wife he had 10 kids, he named his youngest son Narayana. When Ajamila fell sick & was almost on his death bed, he suddenly saw two fierce looking messengers of Lord Yama, fully prepared to cut & drag his soul from the world.

Out of fear he started calling his favorite son “ Narayana! Narayana!”Two shinning attendants of Vishnu appeared & questioned of what they were planning to do with Ajamila

They told they have come to take Ajamila’s life & punish him for his deeds. Attendants of Vishnu told they cannot take his life for the last moment Ajamila has uttered the name of Narayana with devotion. The one who loves God  & completely surrenders himself unto him, is released, no matter how heavy the burden of sin is. Such is the power of Lord Narayana’s name. After this argument messenger sent by Yama went away &Ajamila spent rest of his life worshipping the divine Lord.

 

PRAHLAD

Prahlad was the son of the Asura king Hiranyakashipu.  When Hiranyakashipu came to know that Prahlad is devotee of Lord Vishnu, he felt that someone deliberately trying to brainwash his son, undermining his future dreams. To find this out, Hiranyakashipu sent Prahlad to his teacher.

The teacher lovingly asked Prahlad, "Who has taught you about Vishnu?" Prahlad calmly replied, "Vishnu himself." The teacher was furious. He called for his cane and beat Prahlad mercilessly. Prahlad stayed quiet and completed his education. After Prahlad returned & Hiranyakashipu realized that his devotion towards Lord Vishnu has not changed, he raged in anger and ordered his subordinates to kill Prahlad. They tried different means but Prahlad stayed in deep meditation of Vishnu and nothing hurt him.

Impatient Hiranyakashipu could not bear any longer. He pulled out his sword and challenged Prahlad, "I will see how Vishnu can protect you." Hiranyakashipu pointed towards the pillar outside the hall and shouted, "Is He present in this pillar?""Yes father" was the calm reply from little Prahlad. Hiranyakashipu outrageously ran towards the pillar shouting, "I will first kick the pillar to prove that you are wrong and then I will kill you."

When Hiranyakashipu kicked the pillar with great force, to his utter surprise, he saw the pillar burst open and Lord Vishnu emerged as Nara-simha.There Hiranyakashipu was killed by the fourth incarnation of Vishnu, Nara-simha.

GAJENDRA MOKSHAM

There was once an elephant named Gajendra who lived in a garden called Rtumat. On a hot day, he proceeded with his herd to a lake to cool off in its fresh waters. Suddenly a crocodile living in the lake attacked Gajendra and caught him by the leg. Gajendra tried for a long time to escape from the crocodile's clutches.He trumpeted in pain and helplessness until he was hoarse. As the struggle was seemingly endless and when he had spent his last drop of energy, Gajendra called to the god Vishnu to save him, holding a lotus up in the air as an offering.

Hearing his devotee's call and prayer, Vishnu rushed to the scene. As Gajendra sighted the god coming, he lifted a lotus with his trunk. Seeing this, Vishnu was pleased and with his Sudharshana Chakra, he decapitated the crocodile. Strange as it may seem, the crocodile then adopted the form of a gandharva. His name was Huhu. He had been cursed by a sage that he would become a crocodile. And the sage had told him that he would be freed from the curse by Lord Vishnu. Gajendra prostrated himself before the god. Vishnu informed Gajendra that he, in one of his previous births, had been the celebrated King Indradyumna, a devotee of Vishnu, but due to his disrespect to the great Sage Agastya, he had been cursed to be reborn as an elephant. Indradyumna too was freed from his curse and became Vishnu’s companion. 

 

AMBARISH

According to the BhagavataPurana, he was a great devotee of Vishnu and adhered firmly to the truth. He performed a yaga with such great devotional fervor that Lord Narayana was pleased to bless him with Sudarshana Chakra and which manifested as a wheel of prosperity, peace and security to his kingdom. Once, Ambarisha performed the DvadashiVrata, which required that the king must start a fast on Ekadashi and break it at the start of Dvadasi and feed all the people. As the moment of breaking the fast was drawing near, the mighty sage Durvasa arrived and was received with all honors by Ambarisha. Durvasa agreed to the king's request to be his honored guest, and asked the king to wait until he finished his bath in the river and returned. As the auspicious moment approached when the king had to break his fast to fulfil the vow of the vrata, Durvasa did not turn up. On the advice of the sageVasishta, the king broke his fast by taking a Tulasi leaf with water, and waited for the arrival of sage Durvasa to offer him food.

Durvasa, who was well known for his short temper, felt that Ambarisha had violated the respect due to a guest by breaking his fast before the guest had taken his meal, and in his rage created a demon to kill Ambarisha, out of a strand of his hair. Lord Narayana’s Sudarshana intervened, destroyed the demon and started chasing Durvasa himself. Durvasa went to Brahma and Shiva for protection. Both pleaded their inability to save him. He went to Lord Narayana himself, who said that he could do nothing as he was bound by the blemish less devotion of Ambarisha and suggested to the sage to seek the pardon of the king. Durvasa went to Ambarisha, who prayed to Lord Vishnu to recall the Sudarsana and save Durvasa.

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