Om Namo Bhagawate Bhajan
I bow down to The God who incarnates in every age, to the God who is omnipresent in all. I bow down to the one who is auspicious, who is all powerful and benign Shiva and to the one who resides in the heart of all the beings.
Om Namo Bhagawate – Explanation
Om Namo Bhagawate – Video
Om Namo Bhagawate Bhajan – Activity
Activity : Roleplay.
Guru can narrate the stories of Markandeya, Prahalada, Dhruva. Ask the children to do roleplay. Children can write the dialogues on their own. They have to decide the characters, props, sets, etc.
STORY OF DHRUVA
King Uttanapada was the first son of Manu. He had two wives Suneeti (of good morals) and Suruchi (graceful) . Suneeti had a son named Dhruva and Suruchi’s son was Uttama.
One day Uttama was playing on his father’s lap. Dhruva also expressed his wish to do likewise. But Suruchi who was jealous and proud taunted Dhruva saying,”You may be the king’s eldest son. But to be in his favour and play on his lap you must do penance ,obtain boon and be born as my son”. Sadly with eyes filled with tears Dhruva looked at his father. King Uttanapada who favoured Suruchi kept quiet,lest he displease her.
Dhruva, although only five years old was very sensitive by nature. He ran to his mother. The noble mother consoled him with soft loving words and then said to him, “Do not grieve, my son. God is just and every one must price for his karmas good or bad. Instead of feeling angry you have to pity her. But she told you one truth that through penance and the grace of Narayana, everything is possible”. Dhruva wanted to know who this Narayana was and where he could find Him.
Suneeti told him “It is the Lord who removes the miseries and fulfils the desires of those who renounce all and take refuge in Him. But He is not easily attainable. After years of strict austerity and penance, yogis have realised Him through intense devotion, as seated deep within their own hearts”.
Dhruva did not waste time. He went to the forest, longingly crying for the vision of the Lord. Narada hearing these cries met the child and wanted to test his sincerity. He said to Dhruva, “My son, you are too young to start your search for God, who is not attainable easily. Go back home, lead a worthy life and then in your old age, when your duties are over you can meditate upon the lord”. Dhruva replied reverentially with folded hands, “I have made up my mind and I want to realize God. Please show me the path”.
Narada pleased at the child’s determination, initiated him with the Dvadashakshara Mantra- OM NAMO BHAGAVATHE VASUDEVAYA- He asked him to meditate on it constantly , keeping his mind free from all other thoughts so that God could be seen in meditation. On the sacred banks of the Yamuna at Madhuvanam, Dhruva started intense tapas. He undertoojk terrible fasts and went into long spells of Samadhi. His tapas was so intense that after six months the Lord was thirsty for seeing His devotee.
The Lord mounted on His Garuda and alighted in front of Dhruva. The presence of the Lord Dazed little Dhruva. He was speechless but prostrated full length before Lord. The Lord smiling touched Dhruva’s cheek with his counch. Dhruva’s heart was filled with joy and he prayed to the Lord that he may always revel in His presence and ever be engaged in contemplating on the Lord’s Lotus feet.
Lord Narayana granted this boon and told Dhruva – ‘Go back to your parents, rule the kingdom till your allotted time upon the earth is over. Then you shall ascend the celestial sphere where you shall have a permanent place and shall be called Dhruva Nakshtra in later years, men will draw their guidance from you’.
Dhruva obeyed the Lord. He ruled his kingdom wisely after he succeeded his father. Towards the end, he retired to Badrikashram in the Himalayas as to regain his Divine experience of his childhood. He passed his days in deep meditation and when the time approached for him to give up his mortal body, he saw a brilliant vision- a shining chariot with Vishnu’s two companions, the Dwarapalakas. They took Dhruva to Vishnuloka to become the Pole star or Dhruva Nakshatra. This became the guiding Star for all.
Story of Markandeya :
Long ago, there lived a sage or rishi called Mrukhandu. He lived with his wife Mayavathi in a hut in a dense forest. He was happy in his own way; but he had no children. He prayed and worshipped Lord Shiva but in vain. Then he left his house and went into the mountains to do tapas or penance. For some years he did penance. Lord Shiva was very pleased by his Sadhana and appeared before him. The Lord asked him what he wished for. Mrukhandu bowed before his God and said that he was quite happy with his life but he wanted a child to make his life complete. Lord Shiva smiled and said, ‘Would you like a son who would dull and live for hundred years? ‘ The Rishi replied ‘Oh Lord, give me a son who will be good and kind although he may have a short life.’ Lord Shiva blessed Mrukhandu and disappeared.
After sometime, a son was born to the couple. He was named Markandeya. Markandeya turned out to be a wonderful child. He loved his friends, his parents and the Lord dearly. When he was about sixteen years of age, he discovered that his mother was weeping always. The son asked for the reason for her grief. She replied she was grieving because of the short span of life of sixteen years that was granted to him by Lord Shiva.
On hearing this Markandeya left his home to pray to Lord Shiva. He sat in deep prayer clinging to the Shivalinga. As he approached the end of his life, Lord Yama the Lord of Death, sent his attendants to take Markandeya away. They tried their best to remove him but did not succeed. Yama himself came, but he was unable to bind the little devotee for he was clinging tight to the Shivalinga. If the loop was to be put, Yama Raja had to put it around the Shivalinga also. Nothing could detach the devotee from the Linga. Lord Shiva now appeared and pleased with Markandeya’s intense unwavering devotion, granted him the Chiranjivi blessing of immortality. Markandeya became MRUTHYHUNJAYA. He won over death by his deep devotion and good living and became immortal.
Story of Prahalada
Hiranyakashipu was the king of the Daityas. The Daityas, though born of the same parentage as the Devas or Gods, were always, at war with the latter. The Daityas had no part in the oblations and offerings of mankind, or in the government of the world and its guidance. But sometimes they waxed strong and drove all the Devas from the heaven, and seized the throne of the Gods and ruled for a time. Then the Devas prayed to Vishnu, the Omnipresent Lord of the universe, and He helped them out of their difficulty. The Daityas were driven out, and once more the Gods reigned. Hiranyakashipu, king of the Daityas, in his turn, succeeded in conquering his cousins, the Devas, and seated himself on the throne of the heavens and ruled the three worlds — the middle world, inhabited by men and animals; the heavens, inhabited by Gods and Godlike beings; and the nether world, inhabited by the Daityas. Now, Hiranyakashipu declared himself to be the God of the whole universe and proclaimed that there was no other God but himself, and strictly enjoined that the Omnipotent Vishnu should have no worship offered to Him anywhere; and that all the worship should henceforth be given to himself only.
Hiranyakashipu had a son called Prahlâda. Now, it so happened, that this Prahlada from his infancy was devoted to God. He showed indications of this as a child; and the king of the Daityas, fearing that the evil he wanted to drive away from the world would crop up in his own family, made over his son to two teachers called Shanda and Amarka, who were very stern disciplinarians, with strict injunctions that Prahlada was never to hear even the name of Vishnu mentioned. The teachers took the prince to their home, and there he was put to study with the other children of his age. But the little Prahlada, instead of learning from his books, devoted all the time in teaching the other boys how to worship Vishnu. When the teachers found it out, they were frightened, for the fear of the mighty king Hiranyakashipu was upon them, and they tried their best to dissuade the child from such teachings. But Prahlada could no more stop his teaching and worshipping Vishnu than he could stop breathing. To clear themselves, the teachers told the terrible fact to the king, that his son was not only worshipping Vishnu himself, but also spoiling all the other children by teaching them to worship Vishnu.
The monarch became very much enraged when he heard this and called the boy to his presence. He tried by gentle persuasions to dissuade Prahlada from the worship of Vishnu and taught him that he, the king, was the only God to worship. But it was to no purpose. The child declared, again and again, that the Omnipresent Vishnu, Lord of the universe, was the only Being to be worshipped — for even he, the king, held his throne only so long as it pleased Vishnu. The rage of the king knew no bounds, and he ordered the boy to be immediately killed. So the Daityas struck him with pointed weapons; but Prahlad’s mind was so intent upon Vishnu that he felt no pain from them.
When his father, the king, saw that it was so, he became frightened but, roused to the worst passions of a Daitya, contrived various diabolical means to kill the boy. He ordered him to be trampled under foot by an elephant. The enraged elephant could not crush the body any more than he could have crushed a block of iron. So this measure also was to no purpose. Then the king ordered the boy to be thrown over a precipice, and this order too was duly carried out; but, as Vishnu resided in the heart of Prahlada, he came down upon the earth as gently as a flower drops upon the grass. Poison, fire, starvation, throwing into a well, enchantments, and other measures were then tried on the child one after another, but to no purpose. Nothing could hurt him in whose heart dwelt Vishnu.
At last, the king ordered the boy to be tied with mighty serpents called up from the nether worlds, and then cast to the bottom of the ocean, where huge mountains were to be piled high upon him, so that in course of time, if not immediately, he might die; and he ordered him to be left in this plight. Even though treated in this manner, the boy continued to pray to his beloved Vishnu: “Salutation to Thee, Lord of the universe. Thou beautiful Vishnu!” Thus thinking and meditating on Vishnu, he began to feel that Vishnu was near him, nay, that He was in his own soul, until he began to feel that he was Vishnu, and that he was everything and everywhere.
As soon as he realised this, all the snake bonds snapped asunder; the mountains were pulverised, the ocean upheaved, and he was gently lifted up above the waves, and safely carried to the shore. As Prahlada stood there, he forgot that he was a Daitya and had a mortal body: he felt he was the universe and all the powers of the universe emanated from him; there was nothing in nature that could injure him; he himself was the ruler of nature. Time passed thus, in one unbroken ecstasy of bliss, until gradually Prahlada began to remember that he had a body and that he was Prahlada. As soon as he became once more conscious of the body, he saw that God was within and without; and everything appeared to him as Vishnu.
When the king Hiranyakashipu found to his horror that all mortal means of getting rid of the boy who was perfectly devoted to his enemy, the God Vishnu, were powerless, he was at a loss to know what to do. The king had the boy again brought before him, and tried to persuade him once more to listen to his advice, through gentle means. But Prahlada made the same reply. Thinking, however, that these childish whims of the boy would be rectified with age and further training, he put him again under the charge of the teachers, Shanda and Amarka, asking them to teach him the duties of the king. But those teachings did not appeal to Prahlada, and he spent his time in instructing his schoolmates in the path of devotion to the Lord Vishnu.
When his father came to hear about it, he again became furious with rage, and calling the boy to him, threatened to kill him, and abused Vishnu in the worst language. But Prahlada still insisted that Vishnu was the Lord of the universe, the Beginningless, the Endless, the Omnipotent and the Omnipresent, and as such, he alone was to be worshipped. The king roared with anger and said: “Thou evil one, if thy Vishnu is God omnipresent, why doth he not reside in that pillar yonder?” Prahlada humbly submitted that He did do so. “If so,” cried the king, “let him defend thee; I will kill thee with this sword.” Thus saying the king rushed at him with sword in hand, and dealt a terrible blow at the pillar. Instantly thundering voice was heard, and lo and behold, there issued forth from the pillar Vishnu in His awful Nrisimha form — half-lion, half-man! Panic-stricken, the Daityas ran away in all directions; but Hiranyakashipu fought with him long and desperately, till he was finally overpowered and killed.
Then the Gods descended from heaven and offered hymns to Vishnu, and Prahlada also fell at His feet and broke forth into exquisite hymns of praise and devotion. And he heard the Voice of God saying, “Ask, Prahlada ask for anything thou desires; thou art My favourite child; therefore ask for anything thou mayest wish.” And Prahlada choked with feelings replied, “Lord, I have seen Thee. What else can I want? Do thou not tempt me with earthly or heavenly boons.” Again the Voice said: “Yet ask something, my son.” And then Prahlada replied, “That intense love, O Lord, which the ignorant bear to worldly things, may I have the same love for Thee; may I have the same intensity of love for Thee, but only for love’s sake!”
Then the Lord said, “Prahlada, though My intense devotees never desire for anything, here or hereafter, yet by My command, do thou enjoy the blessings of this world to the end of the present cycle, and perform works of religious merit, with thy heart fixed on Me. And thus in time, after the dissolution of thy body, thou shalt attain Me.” Thus blessing Prahlada, the Lord Vishnu disappeared. Then the Gods headed by Brahma installed Prahlada on the throne of the Daityas and returned to their respective spheres.
Om Namo Bhagawate – Further Reading
Power of thought, word and deed; Dhruva story – Sathya Sai Speaks
The character of Dhruva in Maha Bhagavata is familiar to all of you. He is a five year old boy who does not have any worldly knowledge. By his mere strong faith instilled by his mother and strengthened by the Divine sage Narada he went to the forest and did serious penance for seeing God.
We have to have faith in elders’ words. Dhruva’s faith in the divine sage Narada has resulted in his having the vision of God. But he is a child. When Lord Vishnu appeared before him and asked what does he want, he said ”Oh Lord! You could know where I am and you came to this thick forest. Do you not know what I want?”
God is not unwise. He is the wisest of the wise. God said ‘I know where you are and what your wish is. But I have a definite method. The proper study of mankind is man. Thought, word and action should be in conformity. Only then I can fulfill your desire.’
You at your home said that you would pray and ask God to bless you so that you can sit in your father’s lap. Accordingly, you did penance. But you are not asking for what you thought first. I need to put you through the test to confirm what you are aspiring for.
Dhruva said “Oh Lord! My original wish is like asking for a valueless glass piece. But the vision of yours is like a diamond. How fortunate I am to get a diamond while searching for a glass piece! So I do not want a glass piece”. God said “In your thought, word and deed, two are on the same line but you’re asking (word) is different. OK two in majority are same. So I give you the boon to go and rule the kingdom”.
For everything God sees the unity in thought word and deed. Otherwise He does not like it. See! Even after doing such a rigorous penance and getting the vision of Lord Vishnu Dhruva could not obtain liberation. This is because of his word being different than thought and action. So, speech is to be used very carefully.