Legend of Symantaka Mani & Ganesh Chaturthi Connection

Muni Narada on his rounds around the Universe arrived in Dwaraka to meet Bhagwan Krishna and sang His Glory. It was Ganesha Chaturthi and Narada tells Krishna about significance of the day and why no one should see the moon on that day.

Narada visits Krishna
Pic Source: http://bhagavatham.blogspot.com/2012/12/65-bhagavatha-narada-visits-krishna.html

Curse of the Moon & Mithya Dosha

It was late night and Ganesha was returning to Kailasa after a sumptuous feast hosted by Kubera, the God of Riches and considered the richest among all Gods.

Kubera – God of Wealth
Pic Source and for more details : https://www.templepurohit.com/hindu-gods-and-deities/lord-kubera-hindu-gods-and-deities/

Ganesha had eaten a lot of his favourite sweet, the Modakas and was returning on his Vahana (mount), Mooshika (Mouse). It was a Pournami (Full moon night) and the moon shone in the night in his resplendest best – in spotless white. Ganesha and his mouse were trudging along and suddenly a snake appeared in their path. Since mouse is considered prey of snakes, it was frightened and rushed aside for safety. Ganesha falls down on to the Ground and his stomach broke open, and all the modakas he had eaten rolled out. Ganesha stuffed all the Modakas back, picked the snakes and tied it around the stomach to pack it in. Embarrassingly He looked for his vahana, mouse and saw Moon laughing at His predicament. The moon, having witnessed the entire episode could not control his laughter which made Ganesha seethe in anger. He broke one of His tusks and flung it at the moon creating a crater on it and curses that he would never be a complete sphere any more and keeps getting disfigured. Thus we find the moon has a crater which we can see even from the Earth and it waxes and wanes every fortnight. He also curses that anyone who sees the Moon will attract Mithya Dosha (defamation by false accusations) Moon becomes repentant and pleads with Ganesh to redeem him from the curse. Ganesha says, the curse once delivered cannot be retrieved but reduce the effects. He then says no one should see the moon on on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Bhagwan Krishna, the dutiful King that He was, immediately makes a proclamation to this effect and lets all His subjects know the ill-effects of seeing the moon. Narada Muni then leaves the place and goes back to Vaikunta. Unfortunately for Krishna, while milking Gomata, He sees reflection of the moon in the Milk bowl. No one is spared of the curse and has to undergo the consequences, even if it were Bhagwan Krishna.

The Legend of Symantaka ManiMarriage of Krishna & Satyabhama

Prasenjit, nobleman of of Yadava Kula (same as Bhagwan Krishna) and Satrajit were brothers. Prasenjit also was uncle of Satyabhama, wife of Bhagwan Krishna. Satrajit was a devotee of Surya (Sun God). Pleased with his unwavering Devotion, Surya gifted Satrajit a ruby jewel called Syamantak Mani. It belonged originally to Surya, who wore it around his neck. It was said that whichever land possessed this jewel would never encounter any calamities such as droughts, floods, earthquakes or famines, and would always be full of prosperity and plenitude. Wherever the jewel remained, it would produce for the keeper eight bhāras (an ancient measure of weight and translating about ~77 kgs) of gold daily. It was also the source of the brilliant appearance of Surya.

Satrajit was walking along the sea shore, praying ardently, when Surya appeared before him. Seeing Him fiery form, Satrajit asked him to appear in a less blinding form, so that he could see him clearly. Surya took Syamantaka mani off his neck, and Satrajit saw him an ordinary looking dwarf form of Surya When Surya offered him a boon, and he asked for the jewel which Surya promptly gifts him as a boon.

Surya gifting Syamantaka Mani to Satrajit
Pic Source: https://www.sunosunati.com/story/syamantak-mani-ki-katha

Satrajit threaded Syamanta Mani and wearing it around his neck returned to Dvaraka. He was dazzling in such splendour that subjects there mistook him for Surya. Krishna requested him to present the jewel to Ugrasena, the supreme leader of the Yadavas and rightfully and more entitled as a King, but Satrajit refuses to do so and presents it to Prasenjit instead.

Once, Prasenjit went to the jungle for hunting wearing the jewel and a lion killed Prasenjit and took away the jewel. This lion in turn was confronted by Jambavan (Devotee of Shri Rama and King of bears). Jambavan finally wins the fight with the lion and takes away the Syamantaka Mani.

When Prasenjit did not return from the jungle his brother Satrajit was worried and there was a grapevine among people that Shri Krishna was eyeing the Symantaka Mani and accused Krishna of killing Prasenjit for stealing the jewel. To prove his innocence, Shri Krishna went to the jungle. Krishna traces the trail and finds Prasenjit’s body with tell tale signs of being killed by Lion and then follows the trail of Lion and finds another spot where Lion lies dead. He further follows the trail and comes at the door of Jambavan’s cave. He peeps into find children of Jambavan playing with the Symantaka Mani. Jambvan confronts Krishna and both fight for 28 days after which Jambvan was defeated. He then realised that Krishna was his Ishta Bhagwan Shri Rama’s form and penitently gives Krishna the jewel and also his daughter Jambavati in marriage.

Jambavan returning the Syamantaka Mani and Offering Satyabhama as Krishna’s wife
Picture Source: http://sarayutoayodhya.blogspot.com/2014/03/syamantaka-mani.html

Krishna returns to Dwaraka and hands the jewel over to Satrajit, who also regrets making false accusation. He offers Krishna the Symantaka Mani and also his daughter Satyabhama in marriage. Krishna accepted Satyabhama as His wife but did not accept the jewel. Krishna washed the stain off His reputation.

Symantaka Mani (Believed to be Kohinoor now – first looted by Allaudin Khilji & then stolen by British)

This story goes on to prove that irrespective of who you are, you have to bear consequences of actions that you perform. Even if you are Shri Krishna who was falsely accused of Murder and theft.

Sighting of Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi – Remedy

If you accidentally (or deliberately) see the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi, chant the following mantra

Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah।
Sukumaraka Marodistava Hyesha Syamantakah॥

Then read/listen to the Symantaka Mani Story (as elucidated above) and worship Shri Ganesha sincerely. He will bless you and ensure that you do not become of victim of Mithya Dosha

Note: The Story is compiled from various sources (both online and offline). All credits to original authors for the content and also for the pictures used in this article.

One of the critical source was this Kannada song – a legendary song sung by Shri PB Srinivas and a a must play in Karnataka and Kannadiga homes and Pandals on Ganesh Chaturthi. Listening to this song is a remedy from Mithya Dosha due to sighting of moon on Ganesh Chaturthi

Jai Ganesha

All about 14 – Ananta Chaturdashi Vrata

Ananthanatha Devesha Anantha Phaladayaka; 
Ananthamurthy Vishwathman Ananthaya Namo Namah

Padmanabha Swamy Temple - Karkala

Padmanabha Swamy Temple – Karkala

Anantha Chaturdashi is observed on the 14th day of the Waxing Phase of moon (Shukla Paksha), in the month of Bhadrapada of the Chandramana Calendar (Lunar Calendar) in honor of Lord Vishnu in the lying posture (Ananta Shayana) on the bed formed by Anantashesha (Adishesha – the serpent with 1000 hoods). The Vrata performed on this day is thus called Ananta Padmanabha Vrata.

“Ananta” : indicates that which is endless. Shesha means that which remains after everything ends. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (10:29) “anantahcha asmi naaaaaam” (Among Nagas I am the Ananta). Ananta’s 1000 heads symbolizes Jnana (Knowledge) and heightened state of Awareness. Lord Vishnu reclining on the bed formed by coiling of Ananta, indicates Ananta as a Perfect Yogic posture, uniting opposing forces of Stira (Rigidity) and Sukha (Comfort) Ref: Patanjali Yoga sutra : “Stiram Sukham Asanam“.

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Beautiful Full Moon Lit Bangalore Skies – Ananta Chatrudashi Moon

Background : When Yudhistra asks of  Lord Krishna for solutions for easing of their suffering and regaining their kingdom and wealth, Lord Krishna advises performing Anantha Padmanabha Vrata every year for 14 years on the 14th Day of Bhadrapada Month, as prescribed in the Bhavishyottara Purana. At the end of 14 years and the vrata has to be concluded with Udyapane.

Seven number of Darbha (Kusa) Grass is tied together to represent 7 hoods of Anantha.  Lord Vishnu is worshipped with 14 types of pushpam (flowers), 14 types of patram (leaves), 14 types of Phalam (fruits). 28 numbers of Atirasa/Kajjaya forms the Naivedyam (Sweet made of Jaggery and Wheat/Rice Flour) of which 14 is given away as daana (charity to Brahmin).

Another important requirement of Naivedya (and all Prasada) is that it has to be soft (maybe it is practice limited to some) – there are no hard sweets or eatables prepared on this day.

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14 types of Flowers, 14 types of Leaves and 14 types of Fruits

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Lord Anantha Padmanabha – decked in all Splendor

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The Puja Set-up

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Archana to the Murthi

Anantha Gantu (Knot)
Anantha Gantu (Knot) The Rangoli in front of the Peetha

Another important aspect of this vrata is the Dora Granthi darane (also called Ananta Daara). Puja is performed with Turmeric, Kumkum, Akshate and other rituals to this sacred thread made of 14 strands with 14 knots which is then tied on the right hand  which acts as a Raksha to the wearer and this is worn until replaced the next year. (In some families unmarried children wear the earlier year’s daara worn by the parents which is replaced by new ones). Generally it is worn on the right wrists by both men and the women (our practice). But there is a practice of women wearing it on their left wrists while the men wear it on the right wrist.

Thora Granthi (Men) - Anantha Dhara
Dora Granthi (for Men) – Anantha Daara

Thora Granthi (for Women) - Anantha Daara
Dora Granthi (for Women) – Anantha Daara

The puja culminates by recital of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama Stotram, Purusha Sooktam, Sri Vishnu Sooktam & Mahamangalarati.

Here is me enjoying the prasada with my children 🙂 after the puja.

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The Prasada

Perdoor Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple - Udupi
Perdoor Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple – Udupi

Shaantaakaaram Bhujaga-Shayanam Padmanaabham Suresham
Vishvaadhaaram Gagana-Sadrisham Meghavarnam Shubha-angam
Lakshmi-Kaantam Kamala-Nayanam Yogibhir-dhyana-gamyam
Vande Vishnum Bhava-Bhaya-Haram Sarva-Lokaika-Natham

May Lord Vishnu Bestow Happiness to all!

All the pictures above clicked after puja performed by Sindhu -ji’s family. She is an ardent follower and Faculty of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of The Art of Living. Admirable fact is that this joint family despite leading a life in a city like Bangalore celebrate all festivals in a traditional manner.

Futile Outside-Cleansing Inside

There was this boy who thought he was being pestered by his father when he was asked to chant Bhagavad Gita everyday.

He demanded of his father “What is the point when I don’t understand a word of Samskruth it is in written in”

“Just do as I say, Son” replies the father. “you don’t lose anything anyway by chanting it”

A reluctant but choiceless son begins his Chanting practice everyday. A couple of weeks passes by. Apart from the fluency in chanting, he still doesn’t see any benefits or point in continuing this meaningless exercise.

He decides to rebel and goes back to his father, “It simply is torturous going through the motion with no benefits. Pardon me, with due respects to you, I don’t intend to continue this henceforth”

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Father smiles and asks the boy, “See that basket (Tokri) there. Now use it and get water from river and fill this tank ?

Son see the futility of using this leaky basket but agrees nevertheless, anything to escape chanting Bhagavad Gita by rote. He picks it and goes to the river and fills water and walks towards the tank but water is drained out by the time he reaches there. He decides to do this a bit faster

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No matter how fast he was, he was disappointed that he could not add more than a few drops into the tank, let alone fill it.

With a sense of resignation he goes back to his father and says, “I failed to achieve much but what was the point? When you well knew I could not fill the tank with a leaky basket)

Father smiles and replies, “Son, you really think that yours was a wasted effort? No! Look at the basket now. Your effort cleaned it as is now it is as good as new. Bhagavad Gita chanting seemingly appears pointless to you, but effects would be similar – It cleanses you!”

Basket-01

During my National High School days, Bhagavad Gita Chanting was an essential part of our compulsory morning School Prayers (Starting with Namaste sate te jagat kaaranaaya… which in itself is an amazing sloka to begin the school day with).

National_High_School

Though not so enthusiastic at that time, “Compulsory for Attendance marking”  left us with no choice but to be a part of it. Led by either Sri KT Sundara Sampath Kumarachar (KTS) and Sri Alasinga Bhattachar (SAB), two of my Samskrutha teachers who lead the chanting session, I vividly remember once Sri KTS saying, “Lord Sri Krishna intended and offered different levels of knowledge/instructions starting with basic level meant for every seeker and then building on it to take a more serious and observant seeker to Elevated levels” It did not make any sense to me at all. It was more of those naughty, not-so-complimentary nick names for those abbreviations KTS & SAB that was more interesting 😉

I also recall when SAB elucidated what KTS said on another day. Bhagavad Gita has a level for everyone like that milk fed to calf first. After milking the cow it is collected in cans which is more elevated (and deeper). Then it has cream and when churned further it gives out Butter and on slow heating gives out Ghee. Each level of more clarified, deeper and purer essence.

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It is Bhagavad Gita discourse time these days from His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in The Art of Living Ashram. If you ever been here one of these days you would agree that, in HIS inimitable simple style,  He is elevating us to the next level of understanding Bhagavad Gita. Somethings that a few intellectuals with limited knowledge (even with the so called Science which itself has been proved and disproved again and again) would never understand. You want to see how beautiful the world is, with the guidance of  a Master, look through my eyes you will know the truth.

||Jai Gurudev and Jai Sri Krishna||

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