Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Revathi and Balarama - Part 1 of 2

Jarasandha, the King of Magadha, had married his twin daughters - Asti and Prapti, to Kamsa.
Kamsa was a descendant of the King Yadu. Kamsa imprisoned his own father Ugrasena and he usurped the throne and using the powerful army of his father-in-law, Kamsa ruled over all the Yadavas like a tyrant.
Krishna was Kamsa's nephew.
Before Krishna's birth, there was a prophecy that the eighth child of Devaki - Kamsa's sister - would bring about the death of Kamsa.
Enraged on learning about the prophecy, Kamsa jailed Devaki and her husband Vasudeva and Kamsa killed all the children of the couple as soon as they were born.
Balarama and Krishna, who were the seventh and eighth child of the couple were secretly smuggled out of the prison, on birth.
These two children were extraordinarily gifted individuals.
Balarama was phenomenally strong and it was said that he was an incarnation of Aadi Sesha - the thousand headed snake on which Lord Narayana, the Preserver God, rests - and Aadi Sesha is so powerful that he holds up the very earth on his head.
Krishna is said to be the incarnation of Narayana himself. Krishna means black. Krishna was an extraordinarily handsome man and was exceedingly dark in complexion. Hence his name.
Krishna and his brother grew up among the cowherds called as the Gopas.
After growing up Krishna went in search of his natural parents and there he killed Kamsa in Mathura, thereby fulfilling the prophecy about his birth.
After Kamsa's death, the crown reverted back to Kamsa's father - Ugrasena.
After Kamsa, the Yadavas were unwilling to answer to a single monarch and had broken into several factions. The Yadavas were therefore a republic and each Chieftain was allowed to represent his group.
This way the city of Mathura was given to Krishna. Though Krishna ruled only a single city among the whole of the Yadava kingdom he was a very able administrator and a very charismatic personality. He was loved by all the Yadavas and they all respected him.
After Krishna had killed Kamsa, naturally Jarasandha was furious.
Jarasandha collected a huge army and he attacked Mathura, not once, but eighteen times.
Krishna defeated Jarasandha seventeen times and all the times, he spared Jarasandha's life.
In the eighteenth time, Jarasandha joined forces with another king called Kalayavana and they attacked Mathura on two fronts.
Even before this, Krishna had realized that Mathura was no longer a safe place. Using the services of Vishwakarma, the architect of the Devas, Krishna had the the city of Dwaraka built in the land reclaimed from the seas.
During the eighteenth attack, by Jarasandha, Krishna and Balarama had all their people moved to the kingdom of Dwaraka and with a skeletal army, they faced this dual attack.
Using the help of a great king by name Muchukunda, Krishna killed Kalayavana. But then Krishna's problems were only half over with the death of Kalayavana.
They had decimated Kalayavana's army. But still Jarasandha's army were around them. And this time, Jarasandha had mustered a huge army.
Krishna and Balarama, instead of fighting Jarasandha, they ran from the battlefield!
Jarasandha probably did not know the fate of Kalayavana and thought that his plan of attacking Mathura on two fronts was finally succeeding. Gloating with himself, he and his army people gave a chase to the fleeing Yadava brothers. The brothers ran hard and they reached a mountain called Pravarsana.
(In Sanskrit, Pravarsana means the rainy mountains. It is believed that it is always raining at Pravarsana.)
The two brothers looked at the approaching army and started climbing up the mountain.
Jarasandha was gleeful when he saw the two brothers on the mountain.
Realizing that the two brothers were trapped in the mountain, Jarasandha ordered his men to set fire to the mountains on all sides.
Jarasandha and his men watched with a vicious satisfaction as the mountain burned magnificently. They just made sure that no one escaped the mountain. Jarasandha went back to his kingdom, finally satisfied that he had avenged his son-in-law's killer.
Naturally, Krishna and Balarama escaped the fire. (Some Puranas mention that the two brothers jumped from the mountain for a distance of about 11 Yojanas to escape the fire. Incidentally, 1 Yojana is about 14.63 kilometers.)
It is believed that Krishna and Balarama framed their own deaths because they wanted to start afresh in the city of Dwaraka
Dwaraka was an extremely safe city as it was built on land reclaimed from the sea and it was surrounded by the seas on all sides. Jarasandha could not attack them there.
And the reason, Krishna did not kill Jarasandha was that it was important for Jarasandha to live at that time. Though Krishna ruled his own place, he was more of a kingmaker. He was a close friend and confidante of the Pandavas – the heroes of the Mahabharatha. Krishna realized that if the Pandavas had to be powerful, they had to kill Jarasandha and annex the powerful kingdom of Magadha – and that single move could establish the supremacy of the Pandavas in the entire country.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Little Krishna - Part 11

Devaki lost six of her sons to Kamsa.
Kamsa became so cruel that he just did not care about anything anymore. He already had the protection of his father-in-law - Jarasandha's army. He also genuinely believed that if he killed the children of Devaki, he could conquer his own fate.
That was when news reached him that Devaki was carrying the seventh child.
Kamsa was ready to kill this child too when he had some strange news – Devaki aborted the seventh child.
Unknown to Kamsa, Rohini - another wife of Vasudeva was carrying a child. Rohini was living with Nanda, Vasudeva's brother in the village of Gokul, presumably to escape persecution from Kamsa. 
(It was said that this abortion was primarily done to confuse Kamsa. 
When Devaki aborted the seventh child, it would be unclear whether the next child to be born would be considered as the seventh or the eighth child.
More importantly, this is the first time that Goddess Yoga Maya is introduced in the Bhagawat Purana.
Yoga Maya is the source of all the powers of Lord Vishnu. She is supposed to be Vishnu's power.
It is believed that the seventh child of Devaki had not been aborted. Instead Yoga Maya transferred the child from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini.
This child of Rohini was Balarama – Krishna's elder brother.
Some Puranas consider Balarama as an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Some other Puranas consider Balarama as the incarnation of Sesha – the thousand headed snake on whom Lord Vishnu rests.)
When news came to Kamsa that Devaki was carrying the next child, he did something unforgivable. This time he imprisoned both Devaki and Vasudeva.
Somehow Kamsa was sure that this was the child – the one who would be his end. The reason Kamsa was so sure that this child was meant to his death was that Devaki had almost started glowing. (The Bhagawat Purana gives a brilliant description of how Devaki looked at this time.)
Kamsa never knew it, but this was the time Nanda, Vasudeva's brother also had some good news. His wife Yashoda was carrying a child.
There is a rather interesting description in the Bhagawat Purana at this time.
It states that Kamsa was very worried as he saw Devaki. Kamsa was so anxious that he actually wanted to kill Devaki. But he stopped himself saying that Devaki was his sister and that if he killed Devaki now, it could lead to disrepute for him.
(The Purana already mention that Kamsa ruled like a tyrant and that people were afraid of him. It is curious as to why Kamsa would be so worried about his reputation at this time.)
So in a prison, with strict guards standing vigil outside, with glorious flooding rain lashing through Mathura, Devaki gave birth to her eighth son – a beautiful dark complexioned baby – the baby was said to be so dark that he seemed to give out an almost bluish tint.
(It was supposed to be an extraordinarily auspicious time for birth. And it was not just the eighth child of Devaki which was born at this time. Yogamaya was born as Yashoda's daughter at the same time. Not many know it, but Arjuna the third Pandava, another hero of Mahabharatha was also born on the same time as the eighth child of Devaki.)
(There is another very interesting anecdote about this event. 
Devaki and Vasudeva were great sages during their previous births. They prayed to Lord Vishnu with great devotion.
When Lord Vishnu appeared before them, both wanted a son equivalent to Lord Vishnu himself.
They were so enthusiastic about it, that they asked the same boon three times. Lord Vishnu is said to have granted their boon.
And because of this, Lord Vishnu was born three times as the son of the couple.
During the Satya Yuga (the first yuga), there lived a King called Sutapas and this wife Prushni who were the incarnation of Vasudeva and Devaki. Lord Vishnu was born as Prushnigarbhan (meaning one who is in the womb of Prushni).
During the Treta Yuga (the second yuga), Vasudeva and Devaki incarnated as Sage Kashyap and Aditi. Lord Vishnu was born as Aditi's son – Upendra.
In this avatar, Lord Vishnu was a dwarf so he is called as "Vamana". (Literally translated Vamana means dwarf.)
The Vamana Avatar is an extraordinarily interesting incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
During this time, Bali the asura ruled the world. He was a brilliant ruler – just and kind.
But he was an asura.
Naturally, Indra and the other Devas could not tolerate it. They prayed to Lord Vishnu to get rid of Bali.
Lord Vishnu is said to have heard their prayers and Lord Vishnu incarnated as Vamana, the dwarf.
Vamana then went to Bali who was giving away alms.
Vamana asked for three feet of land to be measured by his own foot.
Unthinkingly, Bali promised to give Vamana what he had asked for.
That was when Vamana grew to a huge size (This is called as Trivikrama Avatar of Lord Vishnu)
Vamana grew so large that he covered the entire earth in one step, the skies in the other.
Vamana then asked Bali for his third step and that was when Bali offered his own head as the third step.
Vamana supposedly pushed Bali to the netherworld with the third step.
But Lord Vishnu was so pleased with Bali that he promised the asura that he was going to be the next "Indra" during one of the coming eras.
And keeping his promise to Vasudeva and Devaki, Lord Vishnu was born for the third time as Devaki's eighth son.)

Little Krishna - Part 10

Kamsa was genuinely shocked as he saw Vasudeva come to his palace with a new born baby in his hands.
Kamsa had known. He had always known that Vasudeva would keep his word, no matter what. But actually watching Vasudeva bringing the new born infant shocked Kamsa so badly that he grew numb.
"This is Devaki's first born son, Kamsa." Vasudeva said in a dull and listless tone as he looked at the baby in his hands. And as Vasudeva said it he was trying to forget the screaming and waling of Devaki back at his home. But then Vasudeva knew that this was the only way.
Kamsa looked at the new born baby and then at Vasudeva and at that minute a powerful feeling shot through him. A powerful compassion. Something that he had not felt much. Something which reminded him of his own childhood with his sister – a time where he had really loved her.
"It is prophecised that the eighth child of Devaki will kill me, Vasudeva." Kamsa looked at the new born infant. "This child has done me no wrong. Please take it back."
Vasudeva heard the words but it did not make sense to him. Not in the least.
For one forbidden second he looked at the baby and wondered whether he had even heard right.
"Wha...." Vasudeva asked as he choked and words completely failed him.
"You have proved that you are a man of your word." Kamsa said quietly. "And the prophecy says that it is only the eighth child of Devaki which will kill me. I have no desire to kill the other children of Devaki. Take back your son."
Vasudeva did not know what to believe. He was afraid. He was genuinely afraid of what he was hearing.
But then the fact remained that Kamsa did not seem interested in his son. For one second Vasudeva felt immensely happy as he realized that Devaki's first child was going to live.
Vasudeva took the son back to his home.
(It can be presumed that everyone had known by now that Kamsa had taken over Mathura by overthrowing Ugrasena. It is also possible that no one was strong enough to face Kamsa and so everyone just decided to accept Kamsa as the new ruler of Mathura.
The Bhagawatam does mention that Kamsa ruled like a tyrant.)
Kamsa had a surprise visitor that night.
It was Narada, the wondering sage and the "Manasputra" of Brahma. ("Manas" means mind and "putra" means son. Sage Narada was supposedly born from the mind thoughts of Brahma. Narada is a frequent character who appears in most of the epics and the Puranas. He is a messenger of the Trinity – Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Sage Narada is known for his mischievous ways. It is always said that he creates problems and the end of the problems always comes out right. Another characteristic of this sage is that he always chants the name of "Narayana" which is why it is believed that Lord Narayana comes to his aid.)
Kamsa was surprised to see the sage and as a mark of respect to the sage, he ordered a grand feast. Kamsa took good care of the sage, which pleased Narada.
"You have taken good care of me, Kamsa," Narada told the beaming Kamsa. "And for this, I shall tell you a story."
Kamsa frowned but said nothing.
"Long back there lived an asura called Kalanemi." Narada started.
Probably, there was something about the name. The minute Kamsa heard it, something in his heart stirred – he felt something powerful which nearly blew him away.
"Kalanemi?" Kamsa asked as the name felt natural in his lips.
"Yes." Narada nodded slowly. "Kalanemi was the son of Hiranyaksha, the asura."
"Hiranyaksha?" Kamsa asked sharply. "The asura who was killed by the boar."
Narada smiled mirthlessly nodding his head. "Yes. Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyaksha during the Varaha or the Boar Avatar."
Kamsa frowned as Narada continued, "Kalanemi was also killed by Lord Vishnu."
Kamsa was jarred slightly as he heard the news. He looked at Narada with slight anger. "Why are you telling me all this?" He demanded in a harsh tone.
"Isn't it obvious, Kamsa?" Narada asked in the same quiet tone. "You were Kalanemi in your previous life time."
It suddenly felt like cold water was poured on him.
Kamsa was panting as he was struggling to control himself.
"Why...?" Kamsa could not complete as Narada continued. "You should also know that Lord Vishnu is going to incarnate again in the Dwapara Yuga. And it is to help him that other Devas are incarnating among the Yadavas."
"Among the Yadavas?" Kamsa asked as he just could not control his anger.
Narada looked at Kamsa with stern eyes. "Probably, they are already born."
That was it.
Narada just said the words and after that he said nothing more.
But then the damage had already been done.
Kamsa realized that all of the Yadavas were his enemy. Somehow he believed that they were all going to try and kill him.
Kamsa decided that he was going to destroy the Yadavas – every single one of them.
That was the day that Devaki's miseries started.
Because immediately, Kamsa went to Vasudeva's home and killed Devaki's first son.
(The Puranas state that Narada acted the way he did for two reasons – one to fulfil the curse of the Sada Garbhas who were born as the sons of Devaki and second to fulfil the curse of Diti. Because Devaki was an incarnation of Aditi, the mother of the Devas.
It was after Narada's visit that Kamsa became a full fledged villain. Because after this, he just started massacring his own people, nearly destroying all the Yadavas.)

Little Krishna - Part 9

Jarasandha eyed Kamsa, the ferocious Yadava who was practicing along with the other Yadavas. Jarasandha was the king of Magadha and Magadha was an extremely powerful kingdom in the entire country.
Jarasandha was always on the lookout for new talents so that he could safeguard his already powerful kingdom and that was when he saw Kamsa. Jarasandha had no doubt about Kamsa's fighting ability. There had been a time when Jarasandha had tried invading Mathura. At that time, Kamsa alone was single handedly responsible for routing Jarasandha's army.
It was at that minute that Jarasandha decided that Kamsa was special and that he had to keep an eye out on the man.
Jarasandha saw Chanur, a trusted advisor of Kamsa talking with him and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Banasura was a powerful asura with a thousand arms. He was so strong and fierce that even the Devas themselves feared him. As if that was not enough, Banasura was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.
It is said that Banasura was such a powerful devotee that Lord Shiva himself had promised to be Banasura's protector.
This Banasura was the very one who eyed the powerful Kamsa in the kingdom of Mathura.
Realizing that Kamsa's brute potential would be wasted here, Banasura called the Yadava for private talks.
"You are extraordinarily powerful, Prince Kamsa." Banasura told Kamsa immediately as soon as Kamsa came to meet him.
Kamsa said nothing as he was studying the powerful thousand armed asura before him as Banasura continued, "You are not meant to be a mere prince. I can seen greatness in you. You are destined to be a king. The king of all the Yadavas everywhere, not just at Mathura." Banasura said in a quiet voice.
It was at that minute that Chanur came and wanted to talk with Kamsa.
Looking at Chanur and then at Banasura, Kamsa ordered Chanur to spill the news there.
"King Jarasandha of the Magadha kingdom wishes to form alliance with you, my Lord." Chanur told Kamsa with glowing eyes.
Kamsa was speechless. He really was.
Magadha was a powerful kingdom and it was a certainty that any person associated with that kingdom would have untold power.
"King Jarasandha has two daughters – Asti and Prapti. They are both willing to marry you, my Lord." Chanur finished with a quiet smile.
Kamsa was reeling under the news. He just could not believe that he would receive back to back news of this sort. An asura wanted Kamsa to take over Mathura and at the same time a powerful king wanted to offer his daughters in marriage to him....
The words of both the people worked its magic in Kamsa's heart. It was that minute that Kamsa knew that he was going to become the king of all the Yadavas. No matter what.
(Banasura has a very long timeline. He was the son of Bali, the asura. So it meant that he was alive from the times of Bali to Kamsa and even after that, which was not surprising. What makes his character so interesting is his boon from Lord Shiva. Because of the boon from Lord Shiva, Banasura caused a war between Krishna and Shiva! Krishna attacked Banasura's kingdom to save his grandson Annirudha. Shiva being on the side of Banasura fought off Krishna's attack.)
It is believed that Jarasandha brought over a part of his powerful army to Mathura as escorts to the Princesses Asti and Prapti, who were to get married to Kamsa.
Kamsa wasted absolutely no time as he used the cover of the army and imprisoned his father. (It was believed that this was done within the palace and even the public were not aware of this takeover.)
Using the army, Kamsa crowned himself as the king of Mathura and started annexing kingdoms.
It is said that with Jarasandha's army, Kamsa had become so powerful that Kamsa was even able to defeat the Devas in battle.

Little Krishna - Part 8

The marriage of Devaki and Vasudeva was conducted with great pomp and show by King Ugrasena. The Yadavas all over the kingdom rejoiced because it was a gloriously beautiful marriage. The fact that Devaki and Vasudeva also loved each other also added to the joy of the Yadavas. Ugrasena gave a lot of gifts and riches to his beloved daughter as she was going to go to her husband's home.
But despite that, probably, the most beautiful sight in the entire marriage was after the ceremonies.
As Devaki and Vasudeva were about to step outside the marriage hall, they saw the strong Kamsa sit on the charioteer's seat in a beautiful chariot looking at the couple with a loving smile. 
"I will drop you at your home." Kamsa told Devaki with a beautiful smile.
And so the journey started.
Kamsa was happily willing to drop Devaki at Vasudeva's place, when something happened which changed everything.
That event changed the very map of the kingdom of Mathura.
As Kamsa was driving through the streets of Mathura, a strange voice filled the heavens.
Even the common man walking on the road stopped as they stared at the skies.
Kamsa brought his horses to a sudden stand still.
"FOOL!" The voice in the skies shouted sounding almost gleeful. "What are you so happy about? Why are you so happy about the marriage of this man to this woman? You should be sorry for it."
Devaki and Vasudeva looked worriedly at each other as they stared at the skies.
But the voice was not yet done giving its message.
"The eighth child of Devaki is going to bring your death, Kamsa!"
There was a shocked silence. A sudden shocked silence.
Kamsa had been astonished when he had heard the voice from the heavens. But he honestly did not know what was going to happen.
But when he heard what was being said, the cold fear of death played in his heart - the fear that he could not control.
He turned to look at his sister who was whimpering in fear before him.
That was the minute that Kamsa's fear turned into rage. Uncontrolled rage. This woman whom he had till now cherished was going to be the cause of his death.
"I am going to kill you!" Kamsa screamed. 
Kamsa pulled out his sword and caught Devaki by her hair and was about to kill her when Kamsa felt himself being pushed back.
"Kamsa, stop it!" Vasudeva shouted coming before his wife, looking angrily at the falling Kamsa.
Kamsa was panting angrily as Vasudeva tried to get him to look at him. "She is your own sister, Kamsa. And today is the day she is getting married – one of the happiest days in her life. And you want to kill her today?"
"If I don't kill her, she is going to be the cause of my death." Kamsa spat angrily, as he tried to push past Vasudeva.
"Everyone who is born has to die." Vasudeva said in a placatory tone. "Even if Devaki's child is going to be the cause of your death, it will just put an end your material world. Your soul is still alive. Why...?"
Vasudeva never completed his sentence as Kamsa angrily pushed Vasudeva aside as he saw Devaki stand before him. 
"She is going to bring me death and you want me to accept it?" Kamsa shouted angrily as he pulled his sword up.
Vasudeva changed tracks pretty fast. He knew that Kamsa had crossed that line where reason had ceased to exist.
"You do not have to kill Devaki. I have a better idea." Vasudeva said struggling with himself.
Kamsa whipped his head angrily as for a minute he looked at Vasudeva contemptuously.
"Do not kill Devaki, please." Vasudeva said taking a deep breath, trying to control himself. "It has been prophecised that the eighth child of Devaki would kill you. Why should you kill Devaki for that?
"What else can I do?" Kamsa sneered angrily.
"I will offer you all the children of Devaki as soon as they are born."
There was another shocked silence. A second later, an involuntary scream was torn from Devaki's mouth. She looked at Vasudeva completely horrified, unable to believe what she was hearing.
Kamsa looked at Vasudeva and suddenly that mindless anger was gone. And it was replaced with something even more ugly.
"You will give me all of your children?" Kamsa asked Vasudeva with a catty smile.
Vasudeva absolutely refused to look anywhere at the horrified Devaki and he slowly nodded his head. "Yes I will."
"You are an honourable man, Vasudeva." Kamsa said pulling his sword back in his sheath. "I believe you. And keep good your promises." Kamsa spared another pathetic look at Devaki and then turned to Vasudeva. 
"If you do not keep your promise, you know exactly what I am going to do."

Little Krishna - Part 7

It was believed that during the Dwapara Yuga, the Yadavas were made up of two groups – the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
The Yadavas was supposedly a republic and not a monarchy as it was in the other parts of the country. 
In this republic the area of Mathura and thereabouts was ruled by the Andhakas. The ruler of the Andhakas was Ugrasena.
The Vrishnis were ruled by Surasena. Surasena's son was Vasudeva.
Ugrasena and Surasena were generally considered as the chieftains or the kings by their respective tribes.
Thus Vasudeva was one of the main noblemen of the Yadavas.
One day, he approached his friend Sini for some help. 
Sini of the Yadavas was the best friend of Vasudeva and frowned wondering what the nobleman wanted.
"Princess Devaki, the daughter of King Ugrasena is having her swayamvara." Vasudeva said quietly. [Swayamvara is where a princess chooses her own husband.]
Sini understood immediately. 
Sini realized that Devaki and Vasudeva loved each other and that he had to kidnap the princess during the wedding.
Sini happily agreed to this and successfully kidnapped the princess and brought her to Vasudeva.
Even the marriage of Devaki and Vasudeva was performed with great pomp and show.
At that time, no one paid attention to Kamsa, the son of King Ugrasena and Padmavathi. But at that time, no one had any reason to.
(There are four anecdotes connected with this incident.
One, is that Vasudeva also married the other daughters of Ugrasena. It remains unknown as to why Ugrasena conducted a swayamvara, if Devaki wanted to marry Vasudeva in the first place. And there is absolutely no doubt that Vasudeva loved Devaki a lot. Vasudeva had done a lot in his life to save Devaki's life.
One of the other wives of Vasudeva is Rohini. She is Devaki's co-wife and is very important in Krishna's story.
The second anecdote is about Sini. Sini fought off the king Somadatta during the kidnap of Princess Devaki.
This battle between Sini and Somadatta caused an almost generational feud between Sini and Somadatta which ended only in the Kurukshetra war where a descendant of Sini – Satyaki killed Somadatta.
The third anecdote is that Vasudeva was the brother Nanda. According to the book "Harivamsa", Nanda was the head of the Gopa tribe which was another powerful group among the Yadavas.
The fourth anecdote is that of Kamsa.
The Puranas mention Kamsa as the son of Ugrasena and Queen Padmavathi. But there have also been some off shoots regarding this story. Padmavathi is the daughter of King Satyaketu of Vidharbha. It is said that after her marriage, she had once gone to her father's home and there she was seen by a gandharva (Gandharvas are celestial singers and dancers in the Court of Indra) named Dramila or Godila.
Godila lusted after Padmavathi.
And so Godila took the appearance of Ugrasena and approached Padmavathi. Padmavathi presumed Godila to be her husband.
Their mating is said to have resulted in the birth of Kamsa.
Despite his parentage, it can be presumed that until Devaki's marriage, Kamsa loved his sister as any brother would and that Kamsa bore her no ill feelings towards her.)

Little Krishna - Part 6

In the Satya Yuga, Diti and Sage Kashyap had two powerful sons - Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu.
Unfortunately, both the brothers were very ambitious and very blood thirsty.
First, Hiranyaksha performed severe penance towards the Gods and became extraordinarily powerful. After getting these powers, Hiranyaksha then took over the Skies and had the Devas thrown out of there. Hiranyaksha ruled like a dictator and he killed anyone who stood up against his rule.
Therefore to protect earth and the other realms from Hiranyaksha, Lord Vishnu incarnated as a Varaha (Varaha in Sanskrit means a "Boar") and killed Hiranyaksha.
The world was free from the tyranny of Hiranyaksha. The Devas came back to the Skies and the people everywhere rejoiced. All except for one man - Hiranyakasipu.
Once Hiranyakasipu learnt about how Lord Vishnu had killed his brother, Hiranyakasipu was filled with blind hatred. Hiranyakasipu promised himself that he would complete his brother's undone work and this time do it more ruthlessly and swiftly.
Hiranyakasipu set about performing penance towards Lord Brahma for several years and after that HIranyakasipu obtained an impossible boon from Lord Brahma. The boon that Hiranyakasipu obtained made him near impossible to kill. Because Hiranyakasipu prayed that he could not be killed by any creature created by Brahma and that he should not be within or outside any residence while he was killed or during daytime or night or in the ground or the sky. [Lord Vishnu incarnated as "Narasimha" - which means "Half Man - Half Lion" and also fulfilled the other conditions to kill Hiranyakasipu.]
Before Lord Vishnu incarnated as the Narasimha, however, Hiranyakasipu followed his brother's footsteps and ruled like a tyrant. People everywhere were scared of Hiranyakasipu as he took over the throne of Indra, and killed people mercilessly. In fact it went so bad that Hiranyakasipu even killed people who worshiped any of the Gods.
It was during this time that there was another asura in the court of Hiranyakasipu called Kalanemi. Kalanemi had six sons - Hamsa, Suvikrama, Kratha, Damana, Ripumardhana and Krodhahantha who were collectively called as the Sada Garbhas.
While Kalanemi supported Hiranyakasipu's conquests, the Sada Garbhas opposed Hiranyakasipu. In fact, the Sada Garbhas were extremely devoted to Lord Vishnu.
Ignoring Hiranyakasipu's teachings of disregarding the Gods, the Sada-Garbhas prayed to Lord Brahma.
They performed severe penances and austerities and finally pleased Lord Brahma appeared before them.
When Lord Brahma appeared, he was so pleased with the Sada Garbhas that he was pleased to grant them any boon of their choice, "I know of your pious nature and I am very pleased with all of you. Please ask me any boon," The Creator God told the Sada Garbhas.
The Sada Garbhas made Brahma even more glad by the boon that they asked him. "Please grant us a boon that we would not be hurt by any humans, animals or divine or the Demi-Gods! And if you are very pleased with us, grant us the boon that even the great sages would not be able to hurt us with their curses!"
Lord Brahma was completely pleased with the pious Sada-Garbhas and happily granted the boon to the six of them.
However the Sada-Garbhas were in a world of trouble.
When Hiranyakasipu heard of the boon that the Sada Garbhas had from Lord Brahma he was very angry with them, "You approached Lord Brahma?" Hiranyakasipu fumed angrily at the six Sada Garbhas, "And you wanted protection!" Hiranyakasipu said in a disgusted voice.
"I am the only God you should worship. Not Brahma or Vishnu!" Hiranyakasipu thundered and angrily cursed all of them, "You think Brahma's boon will protect you!' He sneered. "I curse you that all of you will be killed by your own father!"

Little Krishna - Part 5

"I shall not return the Kamadhenu to you," Sage Kashyap told a flabbergasted Lord Varuna.
"But...But..." The Lord of the Oceans - Varuna, was completely flummoxed. Not only was Varuna not expecting such an outright rejection, Varuna just did not know what to do.
The problem was that Sage Kashyap was to perform a particularly difficult yagna (fire sacrifice) a few months back.
And as was custom, the sage had needed a cow for performing the yagna.
Without any warning of any sort, Sage Kashyap had taken away Kamadhenu - Varuna's cow from Varuna's home.
And when Varuna had asked for the cow back, the sage blatantly refused to hand over the animal.
"It is mine, henceforth," the sage told Varuna. "And I have no intention of handing over Kamadhenu to you."
At first Varuna wanted to use brute force and take back his Kamadhenu. But Varuna stopped himself.
Despite the fact that Sage Kashyap had stolen Kamadhenu, the sage was powerful and had immense powers of penance. Varuna knew that if he used force, it was very probable that the sage could use his powers and curse Varuna. And Varuna did not want that.
So Varuna did the next best thing.
Varuna complained to Lord Brahma, about Sage Kashyap's actions.
Lord Brahma was shocked as Varuna continued, "The calves of Kamadhenu, my lord," Varuna said in a pleading voice. "The calves keep whimpering for their mother." Varuna took a deep breath looking unhappy. "Please, Lord Brahma do something."
Lord Brahma was terribly angry as he summoned Sage Kashyap to come before him.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Lord Brahma shouted at Sage Kashyap as soon as Sage Kashyap appeared before him.
Sage Kashyap saw Varuna and Lord Brahma and suddenly paled.
"My Lord," Sage Kashyap said bowing before the Creator God. "I need Kamadhenu for my yagna! Without the cow, it is impossible to complete the yagna!"
"FOOLISH MAN!" Lord Brahma thundered angrily as Sage Kashyap looked shocked unable to talk any further.
"You do not deserve the place of respect that people give you here!" Brahma said angrily. "Go to earth and tend to the cows there. That would be a fit job for you. That is the only thing which will teach you what a wrong thing you have done right now!" Brahma said angrily.
Sage Kashyap's eyes widened as he shook his head trying to stop his father.
"Go now!" was all Lord Brahma said as he refused to listen to anything that Sage Kashyap had to say.