Monday, 4 July 2011

Nara meets Hara

Regain­ing con­scious­ness, the frail Arjuna drew clay around him and cre­ated a linga of the three eyed lord and started focus­ing his ener­gies on pleas­ing him. Even as he offered the Linga flow­ers, he found them adorn­ing the crown of the Kirata. Exalted, the son of Pandu flung him­self on the Lord’s feet. Pleased, the Lord with a deep voice addresses Arjuna:
“I am pleased with you O phal­guna. Your act has no par­al­lel; there is no ksha­triya who is your equal in courage and patience. You equal me in tejas and prowess; you were a rishi in your pre­vi­ous birth O phal­guna;  i give you the abil­ity to see me in my true form. You will able to van­quish all your foes, and i will give you my own weapon to wield”

Arjuna saw Mahadeva in his true form — bedecked with orna­ments, blaz­ing in splen­dor, wield­ing the Shula, and accom­pa­nied by Uma.
Head bowed, Arjuna prayed to parameshwara
कपर्दिन्  सर्वभूतेश भग नेत्रनिपातन
kapar­din sarv­ab­hūteśa bhaga netra­nipā­tana (1)
O Kapar­dina, Lord of all the senses (also Gods), the remover of Bhaga’s eyes..

O blue throated one, O thou of mat­ted locks, I know you as the Cause of all causes. O thou of three eyes, O lord of all! You are the refuge of all the gods! This uni­verse has sprung from you You can­not be van­quished by the three worlds of the celes­tials, the Asuras, and men. You are Siva in the form of Vishnu, and Vishnu in the form of Siva. You destroyed the  sac­ri­fice of Dak­sha. O Hari, O Rudra, I bow to thee. O three eyed one,  O Sarva, Asuthoshi, Bearer of the tri­dent, O wielder of the Pinaka, O Surya, O Aus­pi­cious one , O Cre­ator of all, I bow to you. O lord of all cre­ated things, I wor­ship you to obtain your grace. You are the lord of the Ganas, the source of uni­ver­sal bless­ing, the cause of the causes of the uni­verse. You are the Purusha, the high­est, the sub­tlest, O Hara! O illus­tri­ous Sankara, please par­don my fault. It was even to obtain a vision of you  that I came to this great mountain. Let not my rash­ness be regarded as a fault-I engaged in this com­bat out of igno­rance. O Lord for­give my faults.

Pleased, the God with the bull in his flag, clasped Arjuna’s hand and con­soled him — You are for­given Arjuna; and embrac­ing him said:

नरस् तवं पूर्वदेहे वै नारायण सहायवान्
बदर्यां तप्तवान उग्रं तपॊ वर्षायुतान बहून्
naras tvaṃ pūr­vadehe vai nārāyaṇa sahāyavān
badaryāṃ tap­tavān ugraṃ tapo varṣāyutān bahūn (2)

You were Nara in a pre­vi­ous form and the friend of Naaraayana

In Badri, the two of you did severe aus­ter­i­ties for many eons
p(3) (f1)In might you are equal to Vishnu the purusha. The Gan­diva , snatched by me through an illu­sion is yours again; these two quiv­ers will become inexhaustible;

your body will be free of pain and dis­ease. Ask me O unpar­al­leled one, any boon that you desire.
Arjuna — “O supreme one with the bull in his flag, I desire desire the divya astras includ­ing the fierce pashu­pata (f2), and the weapon of rudra called Brah­masira that is capa­ble of great deeds; …” and he prayed for vic­tory in his con­flict with Bhishma and Drona.

The Lord of lords, gives Arjuna the capa­ble (see f2), knowl­edge of that weapon that nei­ther Indra nor Yama nor Varuna nor Vayu knew to wield, use, hurl and with­draw; a weapon if not hurled with ade­quate cause can destroy the uni­verse; a weapon that has no equal and one that can be hurled by the eye, the mind or the bow. From that moment, Arjuna beheld the fierce weapon wait on him as it did on Sankara.

Bless­ing him, and giv­ing him back the Gan­diva, Trayam­baka directs Arjuna to go to heaven (f3) and departs with Uma at his side. Arjuna con­tin­ues to stare amazed at his splen­dor with hands folded.

Nara and Narayana are con­sid­ered to be the embod­i­ment of the primeval spirit (Nara — Man); i believe a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the insep­a­ra­bil­ity of man and God. Many of Vyaasa’s sec­tions in the var­i­ous puraana’s begin with an invo­ca­tion to nara — narayana (naaraayana namaskrutyam naran­chaiva narot­ta­mam). Leg­end has it that the insep­a­ra­ble forces per­form penance for the ben­e­fit of human­ity from time immemo­r­ial at Badrikaashram­mam. In the Badri tem­ple, Nara and Narayana are depicted in the sanc­tum sanc­to­rum, to the far right side of the stone image of Badri-Vishala (or Badri-Narayana). Also, the two peaks that tower over Badri­natha are Nara and Narayana. Krishna says to Arjuna again in the vanaparva,“O invin­ci­ble one, you are Nara and I am Hari Narayana, and we, the sages Nara-Narayana, have come to this world at proper time..”
f2 — It is believed that to demon­strate the great­ness of nara-narayana, Shiva had hurled the pashu­pata at them and the weapon returned with­out even a hair on the rishis unsinged. Inter­est­ingly Arjuna the incar­na­tion of nara asks for the same weapon
f3 — Arjuna goes to Indra loka and among other things learns dance and is cursed by Urvashi

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