Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and Vibhishana, the three, when they were young men, they went off to do tapasya. And Brahma came and said, “I’m satisfied with your tapasya, what do you want?” And Ravana said, “I want power, I want to be the king of the earth.” And Brahma said, “Tatastu. I give you the boon.”
And Kumbhakarna had planned that he would want to have dominion over heaven. And he wanted Indra’s asan. Indra knew Kumbhakarna’s intention and he said to Saraswati, “Saraswati, you have to help us, please make him make a mistake.”
And Brahma said, “Kumbhakarna, what do you want?” And instead of saying I want Indra’s asan, he said, “I want Nidra’s asan.” And Brahma said, “Evamastu. You go to sleep, I give you the asan, you get the posture of sleep.”
And Vibhishana said, “Brahma, I want pure devotion to God’s feet.” And Brahma said, “Tatastu. One day Ram will come and he will give you the blessing of his perception, he will give you Darshan. And now discrimination, Vibhishana, is on his way to get the Darshan that he was promised by Brahma, it was the fruit of his tapasya. All his life he was living in the kingdom of the ego like a tongue between the teeth. And now he’s been kicked out of the kingdom of the ego and he’s going to see Ram.”
Sagara was a great king of Ayodhya, and he was performing the Ashwamedha Yagya in order to become the emperor of the total known world. And while he was performing this Yagya, Indra came and stole the horse. And he stole the horse, and he ran from the scene with the horse and he fled to the ashram of Kapil Muni.
Kapil Muni was meditating. Indra tied the horse to the gate of the ashram and left. Sagara’s sixty thousand sons ran in pursuit of the horse. They came to Kapil Muni’s ashram and they said, “Hey Muni, wake up from your meditation, why did you steal our father’s horse?” Kapil Muni woke up from his meditation and said, “What horse? I don’t know what you’re talking about?”
And the kids said, “Hey, what do you mean, now not only are you a thief, but you are a liar too. Here’s the horse tied right to the gate of your ashram.” Kapil Muni got mad, he said, “I am neither a thief, nor a liar, and you guys come in here disturbing the peace of my ashram, you go away from here before I curse you.”
The boys said, “Hey, now not only are you a liar and a thief but now you are a belligerent old man, and you are not worthy of being called the Rishi.” And they said, “You are deserving of punishment, we are going to throw stones at you.” They threw a stone at him and they hit him in the head.
And Kapil Muni took some Ganga water in his hand and he said, “I pronounce the curse on you”.
And he turned the sixty thousand sons of Sagara to ashes.
Sagara was beset with anxiety and despair. He went and he fell at the feet of Kapil Muni and he prayed for his sons to be brought back to life. And Kapil Muni said, “Look, those kids deserved what they got, they were belligerent, they called me names, they accused me of stealing and lying and being a belligerent old man. And when any member of your family brings Ganga to the earth, she will wash those ashes to the ocean and your sons will be returned to you.”
So Sagara began to pray to Ganga, and he wasn’t successful in making Ganga come to the earth. So he went and became the Ocean.
Then came a whole lineage of kings that were born in the lineage of the descendants of Sagara. And they all tried, and they were unsuccessful until Bhagirath came and did a tremendous tapasya. And he decided, I’m not going to call Ganga to come, Ganga lives in the kamandalu of Brahma, I’m going to call Brahma.
So then he prayed to Brahma. And Brahma said, “Yes, I can certainly make Ganga come to the earth, but she will come with such force that she will wash away the earth. You have to call Shiva and ask him to accept Ganga on his head to break the force of her fall to earth so that she doesn’t wash away the earth and then she’ll trickle down the locks of Shiva’s hair. And she’ll become a river, and that river will wash the ashes into the Ocean.”
Bhagirath prayed to Shiva, and Shiva gave him the boon. And Ganga came to the earth like water from the kamundalu of Brahma washing the feet of Vishnu. Falling on to the hair of Shiva and coming down and washing the earth, purifying all of the sins of humanity.
So Sagar was the Ocean and he was a predecessor in the lineage of Ram.
When Bharat went to Chitrakut he said, “Ram, I want you to take the Kingdom, I’ll stay in the forest.” And Ram said, “No, that wasn’t father’s order. Father ordered me to the forest and you should be the king.” So Bharat said, “I can’t accept the Kingdom.” Then Ram said, “Ok, I accept that you will not be king, I will take the Kingdom. But so that we don’t make our father’s word false, you administer the kingdom in my place for the next fourteen years.”
And Bharat said to him, “Ram, if I ask something from you would you give them to me.” And Ram said, “Yes, you ask anything from me.” And Bharat said, “Give me the sandals from your feet.” And Ram said, “What will you do with my sandals?” And Bharat said, “I’m going to put your sandals on the throne, and I will worship them every day and I will administer the Kingdom as your servant.”
And Ram gave his sandals, and Bharat put the sandals on top of his head, to carry Ram’s sandals. And every year Ramlal Sadhus, every follower of Ram today still wears the tilak of two vertical marks which are Ram’s sandals, and one red mark in the center which is Sita in the middle. Sita and Ram are on the forehead of every devotee of Ram.
So those sandals of the lotus feet Bharat has enshrined in his mind, “Oh at last today I’m going to see those feet with my own eyes.”
One time Indra’s son Jayant assumed the form of a crow. And he was playing with Ram and Sita, and then he pecked Sita’s foot. And Ram got mad, and he put a mantra on his arrow, and he sent the arrow in the direction of Jayant.
Jayant took off like a bird and rose into the sky. And wherever he went the arrow followed him. And the arrow chased Jayant all the way around the earth and no one could give him refuge, no one could help him, no one could save him in anyway. And so Jayant came back to Ram and bowed down to him and said, “Please, I’ve done wrong, please excuse me, please forgive me.”
So, Ram being the compassionate one said, “I’m going to make your eye squinty, (that’s why crows have squinty eyes), and then I’m going to forgive you.”
So that was his punishment.
Narada Muni went to meditate in a special grove which Shiva had blessed. And Shiva said, “This Tapovan, is this forest for tapasya, I am giving a special blessing, no one will be able to disturb a meditating Muni who sits in this Tapovan. Well, Narada sat in the Tapovan unknowingly and started to meditate. Indra became concerned, “Why is Narada meditating so strongly? I’m sending Agni, Varuna and Vayu down to disturb him.”
Agni, Vayu and Varuna went down and Varuna made it rain, and Narada didn’t respond. Vayu made the wind blow, and Narada did not respond. Agni lit the place on fire, Narada sat still in perfect stillness in meditation. All three of them went back to heaven and they said, “Indra, we can’t disturb his meditation, he’s meditating so strongly we don’t know how to stop him from meditating.”
Then Indra called Kamadeva, the God of Love, and said, “Kamadeva, you go down and break his meditation. Take Rathi, take the Apsaras with you, the celestial nymphs, the dancing girls, do whatever you have to do, make him stop meditating.”
Kamadeva went down and tried everything within his power. And he had all his girls, they were dancing and they were making spring sprung and the bees were buzzing and the birds were humming, and it was the atmosphere of Love and Narada didn’t stir one bit. Kamadeva admitted defeat. The God of Love went back to Indra and said, “I can’t break his meditation.”
At that, Narada woke up and said, “I have defeated all the Gods, I have even defeated the God of Love, I am beyond lust.” And he was so happy, and he went to Shiva in Kailash and Shiva said, “Narada, your shining radiantly why are you so happy today?” And Narada said, “Shiva, I defeated Kamadeva, he couldn’t break my meditation, I have conquered the God of Love.”
And Shiva said, “Narada, that’s very interesting, but if you have an experience like that don’t ever tell Vishnu.” Narada said, “Why wouldn’t I want to tell Vishnu, I mean I’m always saying Narayana, Narayana, he’ll be so happy to hear the news.” And Shiva said, “Well, you do as you like, but I suggest don’t tell Vishnu.”
And Narada took his leave from Shiva and he went right to Vaikuntha and he said, “Vishnu, I’ve just come from the greatest meditation.” And Vishnu smiled and said, “Really, you look radiant like you’ve achieved a tremendous victory. What kind of meditation did you have?” And Narada said, “I defeated the God of Love. I am free from Love, I am free from lust and desire.” And Vishnu said, “Oh, that’s fine, that’s very nice, wonderful, I applaud your attainment.”
Narada went off, and he was so full of happiness and joy and self-conceit that it was his power that allowed him to sit there and meditate without any disturbance. And it wasn’t because Shiva had blessed that grove, it was because of Narada’s attainment. And as Narada was traveling, he looked out and he saw this beautiful young princess dancing near the garden. And he looked down and he said, “Wow, there’s a beautiful young princess, I’m going to go see who she is.”
So he went down to the garden and he saw that it was the daughter of the King Shilanidhi. And he went in to see the king and the king said, “Oh, Narada Muni has come, please, my daughter is just about to choose her husband, please look at her palm and tell us what kind of husband she should choose. What will be her fate?”
He called the daughter, he said, “Please, sit here next to Narada Muni.” And Narad Muni looked at the palm of this princess and her name was Vishwamohini. And he took the hand of Vishwamohini and he looked in that palm and he saw that whoever marries this lady is going to be the king of the three worlds, he’s going to live as the Gods live. And suddenly Narada thought, “Well, I should marry this girl”. And he said, “Well, everything looks wonderful in her hand and she’s going to find the most beautiful, the most handsome prince, and they’re going to marry and be very happy.”
And Narada went straight to Vaikuntha and he said, “Vishnu, you got to do something for me, I have a favor for you, I want you to turn me into the most handsome prince and deck me out with many ornaments, and gold, and finery and silks and satins and make me as beautiful and as desirable as possible.” And Vishnu said, “Narada, why, I thought you had just conquered the God of Love.” And Narada said, “Oh, yes, I did conquer the God of Love but now I’m thinking that I should marry this princess.” And this is going to be her swayamvar, she is going to choose her husband, I want to have the most distinctive appearance.”
And Vishnu promised, “I’m going to give you the most distinctive appearance.” And he dressed him in the finest, and gave him a golden crown. And gave him all these ornaments, and made jewels and necklaces and garlands and he made him the most beautiful looking prince with the face of a monkey.
Narada went to the assembly of all the kings and princes and he walked in knowing that he was the most beautiful of all the princes, “Gee, the princess will certainly choose him”. And the princess took the garland of victory and she walked around the assembly of princes, and she looked at the face of everyone assembled there and passed by many people, and she came to Narada Muni and she started to laugh! There was this beautiful monkey dressed like a prince coming to win her hand, and she walked right past him and then she came to the last of the Kings assembled and she gave the garland to Vishnu.
Narada said, “Wait! You made a mistake, I’m the most beautiful man here, I’m the most handsome prince and I am deserving of this garland.” And everyone started to laugh. And Jaya and Vijaya (two servants of Vishnu that we met in the last scripture) came to Narada and they said, “Why are you so possessed with yourself, you are so filled with self-conceit, you don’t know what you look like? Come and look in this looking glass, and see what kind of distinctive appearance you have.”
And Narada went and looked in the looking glass and he saw he had the face of a monkey. And he got mad, he took some Ganga Jal in his hand and he said, “Vishnu, I asked you to make me beautiful so that I could get the heart of my beloved and win my beloved, and instead you turned me into a monkey. And now I’ve lost my beloved, I curse you Vishnu! You will lose your beloved, and endure the pains of separation from her. And in order to get her back you’re going to make friends with monkeys, and monkeys are going to be your helpers, and your saviors, and your devotees. And you think that it’s funny that I look like a monkey and I lost my beloved, here, is my curse!”
And Vishnu smiled when he received the curse. And said, “I accept your curse Narad, and I will incarnate as a human being and my Goddess Lakshmi will be my wife, and I will endure seperation from her. But all of this is to fulfill the curses against Jaya and Vijaya, who became in the first incarnation Madhu and Kaitabha. In their second incarnation they became Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyapu. That was the story of Prahalad that we told the other night, which was the story of holding. And then in their third incarnation they became Kumbhakarna and Ravana). And now I have to go down and save the earth from the atrocities of Ravana, so I accept your curse.”
Actually, Indrajit was the name of Meghanada. And Indrajit, who defeated Indra, actually he went up into heaven and he defeated all the guards. He captured Indra and was carrying Indra back to Lanka. And Brahma came and said, “Stop! Hey, pride, you can’t take Indra as a prisoner to Lanka, who’s going to rule the heavens? The whole creation is going to be in disorder. Release the prisoner.”
And pride said, “What will you give me if I give you the prisoner? What will you give in exchange for the freedom of Indra?” And Brahma said, “I’m going to give you the title Indrajit. You are the one who defeated Indra. Everyone will know that you are famous in the three worlds as the one who defeated Indra.”
So Indrajit said, “Well that’s not enough, I want something more.” And Brahma said, “Ok. I’m going to allow you to do a special yagya for the Goddess Chamunda. And if you complete this yagya successfully, you will get a chariot. And this chariot will make you invincible, it will move at the speed of thought, and take you anywhere you want it to go. And it’s completely armed with all the latest weapons, everything in fashion today. And you will be able to be undefeatable as long as you’re on this chariot.”
And pride said, “That’s a good boon. I’ll take it. So I’m releasing Indra, but now I’m known as, ‘Who defeated Indra’.”
There was once a sadhak, a tapasyak, a tantrik sadhak. He was doing this tremendous Smashan Shav Kriya, where you sit in the cremation grounds upon a corpse and do recitation of the mantras of the Kali in the midnight. And he had to procure so many articles for his worship. And with great pain he collected all the articles and he sat upon the corpse and he enkindled the Divine Fire. And he began to make japa of the mantras and suddenly a tiger came out of the woods and ate him.
Now he had one assistant who was an illiterate, devoted man but he was so devoted he helped this sadhu get all these materials together and after the demise of his Guru he said, “Well, my goodness all the materials are here, let me sit on the corpse one time and see what happens.”
He sat down upon the corpse and said, “Om Hrim Shrim Krim Parameswari Kalike Svaha.” And Kali immediately came and gave him darshan and said, “I bless you with the highest attainment.” And he said, “Mother, my Guru went through such pains to collect all the articles, and he knew everything that he was doing. And he did it with so much skill and precision, and finesse. And he was eaten by a lion! And I didn’t know anything, I just helped him put things in place and try to organize as best as I could. Why is it that I got darshan and he got death?”
And Kali said, “In your last life you were a great devotee, and in this life you get the fruition of your devotion, of your dharma. You get the highest realization. Your Guru still had ego, and so therefore he has to come back and work harder again.”
So, if you spend all your time collecting a black deer skin, or a tiger skin, that’s no guarantee of attainment. All the attainments are provided to one who sits upon a blanket or white wool.
Let me tell you a story, if you don’t mind. Lomash Muni was a great devotee of Shiva. And he had one disciple who was so disrespectful, never did any work, always was laying around. The Guru would say, “Disciple, please, don’t act like that.” And the disciple said, “Eh! Who cares for you Guru?”
And Lomash Muni said again and again and again, “Disciple, please understand that the best way for you to progress in life is through devotion to the Guru. And do what you say, and say what you’re going to do. And be efficient, and move ahead with pure love and pure devotion. This will bring you the highest attainment.”
And the disciple didn’t listen. No matter how many times the Guru said, “Disciple, please!” The disciple didn’t respond. And one day the disciple got very, very insulting to the Guru, even told lies to the Guru. And the Guru said, “Disciple, please, don’t behave like that. Tell the truth. I’m your Guru, I only want for you the best that I can possibly offer.”
And the disciple didn’t respond, and Shiva got mad. And Shiva came there, and He took some water and said, “I curse you worthless disciple, you will take a thousand births in the lowest forms possible. You who disrespect your Guru, you who don’t tell truth to your Guru, you who don’t act in truth as a member of the ashram family. I curse you!”
And Lomash Muni said, “Shiva, I know my disciple is unworthy, and I know my disciple has committed error, but that’s my disciple. Now I’m going to sing a hymn to you.” And he sang the great hymn from the Ramayana. Namah Misha Ishan a Shani Nerbana”. And Shiva said, “I’m very, very pleased with you Lomash Muni, I’m going to give you a boon. What boon do you choose?”
And Lomash Muni said, “Please, forgive my disciple.” And Shiva said, “Well, I already gave him the curse, but because of your devotion I’m going to give him a blessing along with the curse. With every birth that he takes, that worthlessness, I pardon. In the lowest forms, whatever birth he takes, or she takes, he will always remember the name of Ram.”
Well, that disciple immediately took birth as a crow. And that crow lived off cadavers that he found in the forest. And he had a miserable existence, he use to eat the dead flesh of animals that died in the forest. And he would spend all his time flying from place to place thinking what a miserable life I’m leading. “While I was a disciple to such a great Guru, I was disrespectful and now I have this to look forward to for one thousand births!”
And as he was thinking thus, he flew over Ayodhya. And he looked down and he saw Ram. And he said, “That’s the avatar Vishnu, that’s the Incarnation of the Supreme Divinity.” And he flew down and started to watch the entire history of Ram. And he memorized the Ramayana.
So that when Garud had a doubt, “Hey, How could Ram really be Vishnu’s avatar?” Garud went to Narad Muni and said, “Hey, Solve my question. He was a man wandering on the earth crying out for his lost wife. How could that be the Supreme Lord Incarnate? How could he be an avatar?”
Narad said, “I can’t answer that question, you go to Shiva.” Garud went to Shiva and said, “Shiva, I have a doubt. He who was supposed to be the Lord of the Universe, the Supreme Consciousness made manifest, was bound by snakes and tied up and had to call me to save him? How could he be the Supreme Lord, if he needed me to help him out? I’m just a lowly being on this earth.”
And Shiva said, “I can’t help you. You better go see Kaka Bhushundi.” “Kaka Bhushundi?” “Yes, he’s a crow. And he lives on the bank of Manasarovar, the great river at the bottom of Kailash.” Garud went to see Kaka Bhushundi. And the King of the eagles bowed down to the lowest form of birds. And said, “You’re my Guru, please teach me, how is it that Vishnu could come in the form of Ram?” And Kaka Bhushundi recited the entire Ramayana, and removed all ofGarud’s doubts.
And so that’s how we got the preservation of the Ramayana. We owe that old crow a great debt of gratitude.
Parvati took birth in Himalaya’s home, and She grew up to be a beautiful young lady, and all She could think about was Shiva. And She started performing tapasya, and meditation on Shiva, and in every way She tried to propitiate Shiva so that He would take her as His bride.
Well, Shiva didn’t want a bride at that time. He was practicing meditation very, very sincerely. And Sati would go everyday and drop flowers at his feet, and annoint him with sandalpaste. And she would worship him and adore him with the most respect that she possibly could.
And the Gods said, “He’s not even opening His eyes. He’s not even aware that She’s coming to see him. We have to find a way to awaken anurag, the spirit of love and attachment in Shiva so that He’ll want to marry Parvati.”
And they called Love. They said, “Love, Kama Deva, you go right behind Parvati. When She goes to Shiva to drop the flowers on Shiva’s feet, you shoot Shiva with your flower tipped arrow. Awaken Him to the delight of love, and make Him fall in love with Parvati so that we can have our son of Shiva to defeat the Illuminator of Duality.”
Kama Deva said, “Gods, this is an extremely dangerous task, I’m very much afraid to incur the wrath of Shiva.” And all the Gods said, “Kama Deva, only you have the capacity to awaken the feelings of love within beings, and we are so oppressed by this asura who has conquered the earth and made us all burdened with the burdens of terrorism! His oppression is unfathomable, so you go and do this as a seva for the Gods. Take your wife Rati, the spring, create the conducive environment and shoot your arrow at Shiva.”
In obedience to the Gods, Kama Deva followed Parvati to where Shiva was sitting in meditation. And when Parvati dropped the flowers on Shiva’s feet, and bowed down in worship and adoration, Kama Deva drew the bow (his flower tipped arrow inserted in the bow) and he let that arrow fly — whoosh– and the arrow struck Shiva.
And Shiva was adorned with flowers, and the spring sprung and the environment was totally conducive to love. And Shiva opened His eyes and saw Kama Deva, the God of Love, and He looked around and said, “You dare to disrupt the meditation of a yogi.” And from his third eye came a blaze of fire and immediately burned Kama Deva, the God of Love, to ashes.
And the Gods said, “Oh, we are doomed, now He’ll never fall in love, there’s no more love.”
Rati, Kama Deva’s wife, the spring, she started to cry, “My husband, you’ve made me a widow, Shiva. We came here to do the work of the Gods and now I’ve become a widow. What a horrible thing for my life, to lose my husband in our prime. We were just awakening the spirit of love in all of creation so that creation can procreate. And now you’ve done this terrible thing.”
Shiva said, “Why did he shoot an arrow at me?”
“Because we want you to marry Parvati.”
“Well why didn’t you just tell me that? If I marry Her to save creation that’s totally different than marrying Her from love and attachment. If creation needs my son in order to destroy the asuras, gladly I will marry. But if you want me to marry from attachment, and only from emotion, that marriage won’t be successful. Give me the object of my sankalpa and gladly I will marry.”
Well, everyone was ashamed.
And Rati said, “But my husband is no more, Shiva, please give me my husband back.” And Shiva said, “Spring, Rati, because of your devotion I’m giving you a boon, your husband will be eternal, and he will be unmanifest, he will be Ananga. Everyone will fall to the power of love, and everyone will rise to the power of love, but they won’t ever be able to see him. Everyone will be affected by love, he will be the strongest of the Gods, he can subdue anyone, but he remains Ananga (without a body, can’t see him).”
Well Rati was very pleased that she got her husband back, but she said, “Shiva, that’s not quite enough, I’d like to see my husband again.”
And there are two versions of the story here. One version says that Shiva gave her the boon that He would come back as Pradyumna, and that she would marry him again in the Dwapara Yuga, he would be the son of Krishna. And another version of the story says he would come back as Abhimanyu, and she will come back as Uttara, and again she will marry the son of Arjun.
There are two versions of the story, but Love became Ananga. And now were going to worship the Anga, the body of the Goddess, which we happen to be wearing.
Do you remember when Bali was doing the Yagya by which he would defeat the Devas eternally? He was the king of the asuras, and he wanted to perform the Yagya by which the asuras would occupy heaven for all eternity, and the Gods would have no place to live. And the God’s were thrown out of heaven and they came to the earth and they propitiated Vishnu, “Vishnu, please you’ve got to help us. You’ve got to find a way to stop Bali’s Yagya.”
And Vishnu said, “Ok.” And He became a little dwarf. And the dwarf was dressed as a brahmin. He walked right up to the Yagyasala where Bali was making the last of the Yagyas by which he would become the king of heaven for all eternity. He said, “Biksham Dehi” (A brahmin has come to your door, give me some alms). And the king sent his minister and said, “Give that brahmin whatever he wants.” Brahmin said, “No, I will only accept it from the hand of the king.”
King got up from his seat at the dais where they were making Yagya. And Bali said, “What a beautiful brahmin boy you are, you’re so small and cute, I’ll give you anything you want. What do you want?” And Vaman, the little dwarf, he said, “I’m a brahmin by nature, all I want to do is meditate. I don’t want jewels and I don’t want gold, and I don’t want anything, I just want to meditate. And I want a place to meditate where nobody has the authority to disturb me, I have complete authority. I want three steps of land.”
And Bali the king said, “I am the king of the earth. I am soon to be the king of earth and heaven! I mean ask for something substantial, don’t insult me! I will give you villages for your support, and I will give you communities that you can call your own. I will give you a treasury filled with riches.”
And Vaman said, “King, I’m a brahmin, I just want to meditate. I don’t want to be a politician, I don’t want to be an administrator, I don’t want to be a tax collector, all I want to do is sit and meditate. You keep your treasury, you keep your villages, you keep your cities, all I want is three steps of land.”
The King said, “Well, I already said you could have anything you want, and if this is what you want. Please ask for something that when you receive it, you won’t have to come back to me again. I know I’m going to give you three steps of land and your going to come back to me at the next Yagya and say, â€œit’s not enough’, ask for something substantial!”
The Brahmin said, “No, no, no king, I don’t want anything more than three steps of land.” The king said, “Ok. I grant you the three steps of land.” The Vamana avatar said, “Please take the sankalpa.” The king took the sankalpa and said, “I promise to give you three steps of land.”
And then the little dwarf started to grow. And He grew and grew, and his body went through the clouds until his foot covered the entire earth. And he said, “Oh King, my first step, the whole earth is mine.”
Then he raised his foot, and he raised his foot through the clouds, and through the atmosphere, and up through heaven and past Indraloka and he raised his foot until it came to Brahmaloka. And Brahma was sitting in Brahmaloka, and He said, “Oh my God, it’s Vishnu’s foot!” And He took the water from his water pot; Ganga was in the water pot. He said, “The Supreme Divinity has come to my home, I have to offer water for washing his feet.
And He poured the water over Vishnu’s foot, and Ganga started to fall off of Vishnu’s foot. And She raced through the heavens and She raced through the atmosphere, and the seven Rishis and all the stars were running out of the way, getting out of the way because Ganga was coming down with a real force of the river.
And they said, “Only Shiva would have the capacity to stop the fall of Ganga, otherwise she will wash everything away.” So Shiva came, and He took Ganga on his head. And Ganga landed on his head and trickled down his locks and into the Himalayas, and She came down to earth. And that’s how Ganga descended to earth, from the water pot that Brahma was holding in the Brahmaloka. So on one hand He’s got the water pot with Ganga, and the other hand, He’s got the Sruva offering ghee to the sacred fire.
I want to tell you about the third step. Vishnu said to the king, “Hey Bali, with my first step the earth belongs to me, and with my second step all the heavens belong to me, what’s left? Where should I put my third step?” And the king bowed down and said, “Right here Lord, please put your step on my head, let my head belong to you as well.”
And so, Vishnu gave him the boon. And Bali’s head became Vishnu’s property as well.
When Sati Devi left her body, Shiva became an ascetic. He just spent all His time in meditation. And at that time a great asura named Tarakasura, the illuminator of duality, did tremendous austerities and Brahma came to him and said, “What do you want?” He said, “I want to be immortal.”
Brahma said, “That’s impossible, no one is immortal, whatever comes in to manifestation must go out of manifestation, Srishti Sthiti Laya, there is a cyclical transformation of energy. Nothing is permanent, choose another boon.”
So Tarakasura, this illuminator of duality, he said, “If my death has to occur, I want to be slain only by the son of Shiva.” Brahma said, “Why would you want a boon like that?” And Tarakasura said, “Well Shiva doesn’t have a wife, and he spends all his time in meditation, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to have an opportunity to get a wife. And if he doesn’t have a wife, what question is there of his having a son, so therefore I will become immortal.”
And Brahma said, “Tatastu, I give you the boon, immediately, without hesitation.â€�
And Tarakasura became the ruler of the three worlds, he conquered the entire earth, made everyone on the earth a servant of the illuminator of duality. He marched up to heaven, and he threw all the Gods out of heaven. And the Gods were extremely depressed, “We lost our divinity and now we have to wander around the earth like human beings, yeck, that’s awful.”
So then the Gods devised a plan, we’ve got to find a way to make Sati Devi come back in to her body. And they all went to the Himalayas, actually they really went to the Devi Mandir. They went to the Devi Mandir and they began to chant, and they began to practice meditation, and perform austerities, and they enkindled the Divine Fire, and they started a Yagya. And they all sat around the Yagya Fire and they chanted the mantras and made offerings.
And finally the Divine Mother was pleased. And she said, “What do you want?” And the Gods said, we all said, “Hey Mom, Shiva is sitting there like there is no tomorrow, all He does is meditate. He has no responsibility whatsoever. And He will not get motivated until you come back into your body. So weâ€™re going to request you, please Maa, manifest in a form and marry Shiva. And give us the son that’s going to lead the armies of the Devas to victory. Only the son of Shiva can conquer Tarakasura.”
Maa said, “Tatastu, I give you the boon. And I will come into a body in the home of Himalaya, because Himalaya has been worshipping me with one pointed attention, in fact He doesn’t move. There is no one as steady and as solid as the Himalayas. He just sits there making japa, yuga after yuga after yuga. I’m going to become Shailaputri, the daughter of the mountain, the Goddess of inspiration. And I will perform tapasya, and if Shiva will have me, I’ll marry Shiva.”
And the Gods were filled with extreme joy. And then they waited for the birth of Parvati, the daughter of the Parvat.