Thursday, 7 July 2011
Lord Shiva's reincarnation as Ram
There is this one story behind Rama’s birth, amongst others. Once, Lord Shiva (Shankar) was resting in his abode on Mount Kailash. Two watchmen (dwarpals), by the names of Jay and Vijay were in attendance at the entrance of the Lord’s abode. Two Rishis who were passing through the mountain came there to pay their obeisance to Lord Shiva. They thought it would be impolite to pass by the Lord’s home and not pay their obeisance to him. As was the custom then, Mahatmas (Rishis, saints) were free to come and go where they liked. Nobody stopped them. But Jay and Vijay did. As the two saints tried to enter the door, the dwarpals stopped them. The saints got angry: “How dare you? We are Mahatmas. We have come to pay our respects to the Lord Shiva and he can never refuse to meet us.”
The dwarpals bowed to them, but were adamant: “Bhagwan is in rest. We cannot allow you to go in. We humbly request you to wait and when the Lord is awake, we will take you in. Meanwhile we are at your service.”
The saints got angry, lost their temper and cursed: “You have insulted Mahatmas. May you both become rakshashas (devils) this instant.” and the next instant the dwarpals turned into devils. The dwarpals told the saints that they were just doing their duty and to have mercy on them. But the Rishis said that done was done. Words and arrows cannot be recalled. Hearing the ruckus, Lord Shiva came out of the abode and wanted to know what the commotion was about.
After hearing both sides the Lord said: “The dwarpals were only doing what they were told to do. But I agree that they should not have stopped you. They should learn to differentiate between an ordinary man and the Rishis and Mahatmas. However, you too should have used some constraint. But now we cannot undo your curse, it will go against Prakriti (nature). I request you to have mercy on them and do something about it.”
The Rishis recognized the threat behind Shivji’s request and said: “They will have to take at least three births as Rakshashas and in all these three births they will have to fight you (Shiva), and you will have to kill them. After that they will be free and turn into humans.” Thus, in their first birth Jai-Vijay became devils Hiranakshya and Hiranyakashyapu. To kill them the Lord took two forms, one Varah and another Narsinh. The same Jai-Vijay, were Ravana and Kumbhkarna in Tretayug and Lord Shiva took the form of Ram. Last, they were Dantvakra and Shishupal in Dwaparyug and the Lord came to the earth as Krishna to kill them and free them of the curse.