All posts in Stories of Vishnu in Mahabharata

Story – When Shiva granted a boon that Parashara’s son (Vyasa ) would be a Brahmarshi equal to Vashistha

In his previous life, Vyasa was the Sage Apantaratamas, who was born when Lord Vishnu uttered the syllable “Bhu”. He was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Since birth, he already possessed the knowledge of the Vedas, the Dharmashastras and the Upanishads. At Vishnu’s behest, he was reborn as Vyasa. Sage Parashara was the father of Vyasa and the grandson of Sage Vashistha. Prior to Vyasa’s birth, Parashara had performed a severe penance to Lord Shiva. Shiva granted a boon that Parashara’s son would be a Brahmarshi equal to Vashistha and would be famous for his knowledge. Parashara begot Vyasa on Satyavati. She conceived and immediately gave birth to Vyasa. Vyasa turned into an adult and left, promising his mother that he would come to her when needed. Vyasa acquired his knowledge from the four Kumaras, Narada and Lord Brahma himself.

Story – This is why Rishi Vyasa is called Krishna and Dwaipayan

Vyasa appears for the first time as the compiler of, and an important character in, the Mahabharata. It is said that he was the expansion of the god Vishnu who came in Dwaparayuga to make all the Vedic knowledge available in written form which was available in spoken form at that time. He was the son of Satyavati, daughter of the fisherman Dusharaj, and the wandering sage Parashara. Vyasa was dark-complexioned and hence may be called by the name Krishna, and also the name Dwaipayana, meaning ‘island-born’.

Story when because of Brahma’s curse, a Yaksha takes birth as Barbarika and gets kills first

Once Lord Brahma and several other Devas came to Vaikuntha and complained to Lord Vishnu that the Adharma on Earth was increasing; it was not possible for them to bear the tortures causes by the wicked people. Hence they came to seek the help of Lord Vishnu to check them. Lord Vishnu told the Devas that he will soon be incarnated on Earth as a human being and destroy all the evil forces. Then, a Yaksha told the Devas that he alone is enough to kill all evil elements on the Earth, and it was not necessary for Lord Vishnu to descend to Earth. This hurt Lord Brahma very much. Lord Brahma cursed this Yaksha that whenever the time comes to eliminate all the evil forces on Earth, then Lord Vishnu will first kill him. Later, the Yaksha takes birth as Barbarika and Lord Krishna seeks his head in charity as a result of this curse.

Story of Kakudmi finding suitable match for his daughter Revati and 27 Chatur-Yugas

Revati was the only daughter of King Kakudmi, a powerful monarch who ruled Kusasthali, a prosperous and advanced kingdom under the sea, and who also controlled large tracts of land, including Anarta kingdom. Feeling that no human could prove to be good enough to marry his lovely and talented daughter, Kakudmi took Revati with him to Brahmaloka (abode of Brahma) to ask the God’s advice about finding a suitable husband for Revati. When they arrived, Brahma was listening to a musical performance by the Gandharvas, so they waited patiently until the performance was finished. Then, Kakudmi bowed humbly, made his request and presented his shortlist of candidates. Brahma laughed loudly and explained that time runs differently on different planes of existence and that during the short time they had waited in Brahmaloka to see him, 27 chatur-yugas had passed on Earth and all the candidates had died long ago. Brahma added that Kakudmi was now alone as his friends, ministers, servants, wives, kinsmen, armies and treasures had now vanished from Earth and he should soon bestow his daughter to a husband as Kali yuga was near. King Kakudmi was overcome with astonishment and alarm at this news. However, Brahma comforted him and added that god Vishnu, the Preserver, was currently on Earth in the forms of Krishna and Balarama and he recommended Balarama as a worthy husband for Revati. Kakudmi and Revati then returned to earth, which they regarded as having left only just a short while ago. They were shocked by the changes that had taken place. Not only had the landscape and environment changed, but over the intervening 27 chatur-yugas, in the cycles of human spiritual and cultural evolution, mankind was at a lower level of development than in their own time. The Bhagavata Purana describes that they found the race of men had become “dwindled in stature, reduced in vigour, and enfeebled in intellect.”

Story when Duryodhana and Karna aim to become Emperor of the world and does Digvijaya Yatra & Vaishnava yagna

Karna took up the task of establishing Duryodhana as the Emperor of the world. Karna embarks upon a worldwide military campaign, otherwise called Digvijaya Yatra. Bringing tribute and allegiance from all the world’s kings, Karna helped Duryodhana to perform the Vaishnava yagna to please Vishnu and crown Duryodhana as “Emperor of the World”, as Yudhishthira did with the Rajasuya Yagna. No person in the entire universe, except Lord Vishnu, had performed this Vaishnava sacrifice. Duryodhana thus became the most powerful and the wealthiest man in the world. With the help of Karna, Duryodhana even made plans and preparations to conquer Indra, the lord of the heavens and the father of Arjuna in order to become the sovereign ruler of both heaven and earth.

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