Saturday, May 14, 2016

How Adishesha Became Patanjali

Vishnu observed Shiva's cosmic dance Vishnu harmonized with the dance until he vibrated. The vibrations pounded heavily until Adisesha was straining from the weight of his beloved God. When the dance ceased, the weight immediately lifted.

Adisesha asked Vishnu "Why did you became unbearably heavy?" Vishnu replied that he enjoyed Shiva's dance so much he harmonized with Shiva's energy, which was great because Shiva is the god of yoga and lord of the dance.

In the forest called Daruvanna live a community of Rishis or Seers in a hermitage. Through the performance of rituals they had achieved great knowledge and power, but they had not realized the importance of Divine Grace. Shiva requested Vishnu to accompany him to enlighten the Rishis, by showing them human power and knowledge were helpless without Divine Grace. To accomplish this purpose the two deities applied their power of Maya or Illusion.Shiva entered the hermitage of the Rishis as Bhikshatana or Mendicant.

With dazzling beauty, wearing only a mendicant’s sandals or padukai, the wives and daughters of the Rishis fell madly in love with him, forgetting everything else, and completely loosing themselves.

Vishnu transformed himself into a beautiful woman called Mohini, and an alluring dancer. As soon as the Rishis saw Mohini dance before them, they too lost all sense and rationality and with desire burning in their hearts they followed Mohini around like madmen.

When some of the Rishis realized what was happening they became enraged and started a great magical fire sacrifice against Shiva-Bhikshatana. First they called from the fire tiger, but when it attacked Lord Shiva he laughed, and killed the ferocious animal with his hands, tearing off its skin and wearing it for a loincloth. Next the Rishis send poisonous snakes, which he draped around his arms and neck, as jewelry. Then Shiva prepared to perform his Cosmic Dance. His two other arms appeared and his third eye shone in his forehead. The Rishis called a fierce dwarf from their magical fire, but Shiva’s dancing foot simply took him for a pedestal and danced. Finally the Rishis send the fire itself to destroy the Cosmic Dancer, but he just took it on to his left hand. And from the mantras that the Rishis used against him he made his anklets. Then the Lord danced his Tandava or Cosmic Dance. 

Its full power made the Rishis fall to the ground. It made Vishnu shake, and even Parvati, the goddess consort of Shiva, who joined them to witness her husbands dance, was overcome with fear. But the Lord danced smiling, showing his raised foot. The Rishis understood the Lord’s Divine Grace, and attained realization. They started to dance themselves and all of creation danced with them. 

Adisesha was intrigued & asked Vishnu if he could be taught this dance. Vishnu predicted one day Shiva would bless him with understanding and Adisesha would incarnate as a human being to shower humanity with blessings and wisdom.

On earth people began to pray to Vishnu to restore good vibes, so Vishnu told Adisesha to reincarnate as a human and bring people the knowledge of yoga which would end their suffering. Patanjali fell from the heavens (Pata = to fall, Anjali = mudra of devotion, namaste hands). 

Adishesha (the thousand headed serpent upon whom Vishnu remains in yoga nidra)  keen on seeing the supreme Thandava (dance) of Siva expressed his desire to Siva who then adviced adishesha to go down to the earth and to a place known as vyagrapuram (the place where the above mentioned vyagrapadar lived) where He (siva) would be dancing His thandava sometime soon. Adishesha then went to the earth and was born as Patanjali. He then approached vyagrapadar and told him his desire to see the thandava of Siva. In due course, the supreme being Siva appeared there and bestowed His grace on the two and performed His Thandava. This story leads on to more and is also connected to the sthala purana of the chidambaram temple (where the thillai kali resides)


Untold stories