Story of Vrikasura
Shakuni’s son Vrikasura pleased Lord Shiva by his penance. Lord Shiva appeared and told him to ask a boon. Vrikasura said “On whosever’s head, I place my hand, he should instantly blast into pieces.” Lord Shiva granting him the boon said “So be it.” The evil demon in order to capture Paravati devi ran to place his hand on lord Shiva. The innocent Lord ran to save his life. Finally he reached Vaikuntha. Lord Vishnu immediately disguised as a Brahmachari and said to the demon-“Oh greatest amongst Asuras, why are you running like this?” On hearing the melodious voice, Vrikasura stopped. He told the Brahmachari about his boon. The Brahmachari laughed- “Oh! How can an intelligent person like you believe the words of Shiva, who resides in crematorium and keeps ghosts as his associates? See whether his boon works by placing your hand on your head.” The asura listened to the Brahmin and blasted hither and thither. Lord Vishnu thus saved Lord Shiva from the calamity.
Story of Bhrigu rishi
2) Once the Munis debated as to who is superior amongst the trinity. Sage Bhrigu was assigned the task of testing them. He went to Brahma lok to meet his father Brahma. However he did not bow before him. Lord Brahma grew angry but didn’t speak out. Bhrigu understood his father’s mental state and quietly left the place. When Bhrigu rishi reached Kailash, Lord Shiva jovially welcomed him. Since Lord Shiva appeared from the eyes of Brahma, he is Bhrigu’s brother in relation. Maharishi Bhrigu disgustedly said—“Stay away! Don’t touch me! I can’t touch someone who wears a garland of heads and resides in the crematorium.” Lord Shiva felt so insulted that he picked up his trident to kill Bhrigu. Paravatiji intervened and calmed him down. Finally Bhrigu rishi reached Vaikuntha. Lord Vishnu was sleeping peacefully on the milky ocean. On entering, Bhrigu striked hard on Shri Hari’s chest with the force of his foot. Vishnu Bhagavan immediately arose and massaging his feet said- “Maharishi, My chest is extremely tough and your feet are soft and delicate. You might have injured your feet. I am sanctified by the touch of your feet. Your footprints shall forever remain on my chest.” The mark set by Bhrigu’s foot still remains on Bhagavan’s chest known as Bhrigulata. Bhrigu returned and shared his experience in the committee of Munis. The rishis concluded- “The one who is free of ego, anger, who is all forgiving and caring in nature, he is the greatest of all.”
3) It is Vishnu alone who incarnates time and again to lighten the burden of the Earth. He protects the terror-stricken devas and loves his devotees. Countless stories show his affection for his devotees and the killing of demons. Bhagavan Vishnu has 8 forms. His names are- 1) Ugra (उग्र) 2) Mahavishnu (महाविष्णु) 3) Jvalanta (ज्वलन्त) 4) Sampratapan (सम्प्रतापन) 5) Narasimha (नृसिंह) 6) Bheeshana (भीषण) 7) Bheema (भीम) 8) Mrityunjaya (मृत्युञ्जय)
Narayana has a 4-handed, 8-handed and 2-handed form. Mahalakshmi and Saraswati are the consorts of the 4-handed Narayana. Sri Devi and Bhu Devi are consorts of the 8-handed (Some places even 4-handed) Narayana while the wives of the two-handed Narayana are Ganga and Vrinda devi (Tulsi).
Who is Lord Brahma?
Till now, we have covered the 5-worshippable forms of Bhagavan. It is the One Bhagavan who assumes the three forms of 1) Brahma 2) Vishnu and 3) Rudra for creation, maintenance and dissolution. Lord Shiva and Vishnu have been described earlier. Brahma- He is the creator. He has 4 heads. Initially he had 5 heads but one head was chopped off by Lord Shiva. His lives in Brahmaloka. The final goal of worship is Liberation. Only Lord Shiva and Vishnu can grant liberation. Hence, the hankerers of Moksha (4th Purushartha) don’t worship Brahma. The Asuras often worship the creator, Brahma. Demons like Hiranyakashipu and Ravana have worshipped Brahma and attained their desired boons. Countless Asuras have worshipped Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma is the first contact person to resolve issues of the Devas. Children often call their universal father in times of distress. The sorrow-stricken Earth reaches out to Lord Brahma for respite. Lord Brahma is the problem solver. He decides which god to approach, Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. What location, Ksheer Sagar or Kailasha. He guides the afflicted souls to a resolved end.
Lok pal means the master of a planet. There are 5 Loka Palas- 1) Indra 2) Varuna 3) Kubera 4) Yama 5) Aryama
1) Indra- He is the lord of Swarga (Heaven) and the king of the devas. He is the controller of the rains. The mighty king who successfully completes a 100 Ashwamedha yajnas qualifies as Indra in his upcoming birth. Which is why Indra is known as Shatakratu or Shakra. Vajra is his favorite weapon. The Airavata elephant is his chief vehicle.
2) Varuna- He is the Lord of the water element also known as Pracheta. His abode is called Varuna Loka which is a subtle abode situated in the womb of the ocean. The noose is his principal weapon. Crocodile is his vehicle.
3) Kubera- He is the treasurer. Wherever you find wealth, know that Kubera is the master. His town is called Alkapuri. He is the Lord of the Yakshas.
Once when he eyed Paravati Devi, he lost the eyesight of one eye while the other eye turned pale. Hence is known as Ekaksha Pingali. He has a hunch on his body. The Mace is Kubera’s chief weapon. He is called Naravahan which means he sits on a palanquin.
4) Yama- He is the son of Surya and the lord of Yamaloka (Scorching hells). He has two forms- Dharmaraja and Yamaraja. While dying, the soul gets a vison of Yamaraja. Yamaraja decides the outcome of one’s deed, and sends the soul to various Lokas to reap the fruits of his actions. He meets righteous men in the sober Dharmaraja form while sinful men in his scary Yamaraja form. He is an exalted devotee and an unsurpassed teacher of spiritual science. Yamaraja is dark in complexion. His foremost weapon is the Kaladanda. He sits on a buffalo.
There are 4 main Lokas as discussed above. Aryama god’s description is not commonly found.
5) Aryama- The fifth Loka is Pitra Loka. Aryama is the administrator of the Pitra loka. He distributes the food derived from Shradhas (Last rites) and awards the rightful share to the ancestors.
Chitragupta- The description of this handy helper of Yamaraja is worth a mention. He is the mind-born son of Brahma. He was naturally born holding a pen and ink bottle. Brahma appointed him to serve Yamaraj. His job is to keep a record of man’s actions and present the facts before Yamaraj during judgements. The Yamadutas (associates of Yama) reside with Yama. The Devas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and Apsaras reside in Swarga Loka (Heaven). The Yakshas are the servants of Kubera. Special asuras are the servants of Varuna. There are no servants in Pitraloka.