In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Daksha-Prajapati’s story wherein we saw how he was dejected after losing his second set of sons, the “Shabalaaswaras” to Sage Naarada’s “advice”! Eventually after cursing Sage Naarada, Daksha-Prajapati is again blessed with sixty daughters, whom he gave in marriage to Chandra Bhagawan, Kashyapa-Prajapati, etc. We’ve witnessed yesterday as to which daughters were married to whom. Subsequently, the daughters give birth to a majority of the Devas (Celestial Beings), sorrows, clouds, etc. Thus, the creation of the world was continuing this way. At the offset, we had also witnessed that Chandra Bhagawan had interest only towards one of his twenty-seven wives, Rohini Devi and this angered Daksha-Prajapati yet again! Hence, he curses Chandra Bhagawan that he would be affected by something called “Kshaya-Roga”. This is the reason why we have a “no-moon day” (Amaavasya) and a “full-moon day” (Pournami). With all of these, the world continued to grow into a mammoth size and this keeps continuing on and on.
Moving on thus, we get on with the next story. Now we’re going to witness a slightly different context here, wherein Indra (Leader of the Devas) is going to destroy a “Raakshasa” (Demon) by name Vriddhraasura. Now who is this Vriddhraasura? There’s an interesting story behind it. I shall now explain it in a bit more detail here. The Devas had a teacher by name Bruhaspati. It was this Bruhaspati who taught all the necessary lessons to all the 33 Devas. One fine day, for some reason, Indra insulted their teacher Bruhaspati. Feeling humiliated thus, Bruhaspati decided that he is not going to live amidst the Devas any more and eventually moved out! One amongst these Devas was someone called “Dvashta”. This “Dvashta” had a son by name “Vishwa-Vasu”. As the Devas were lacking a quality teacher amidst them, ever since Bruhaspati’s departure, Bhagawan Bramha advised them to have this “Vishwa-Vasu” as their “Interim teacher”. This “Vishwa-Vasu” was an eminent scholar and hence, Bhagawan Brahma gave this advice.
As days progressed thus, the threat from the “Raakshasas” were becoming more and more imminent for Indra and his Deva group. Hence, Indra goes to “Vishwa-Vasu” and asks him thus, “Oh Guru! Since we’re under severe threat from the Raakshasas and it is only increasing day by day, we want some protection to safeguard ourselves! Eventually I did some research and found that you have a very important defense element called “Narayana-Kavacha”. I also found out that this is perhaps the only thing that can keep the Raakshasas at bay. Hence, please, can you teach this “Narayana-Kavasa” to all of us immediately?”
As Indra asks thus, we need to understand here that the “Narayana-Kavasa” which he is asking, is an extremely powerful form of a “Mantra”. There is no problem in teaching this Mantra to Indra and the Devas, but the only problem that would arise from this is that, the person who is teaching this Mantra would immediately lose his life! However, Vishwa-Vasu was not really worried about what is going to happen to him after he teaches this Mantra. Since his student has asked him for something, it is his bound duty to teach it, without asking any selfish questions. Hence, Vishwa-Vasu was a great teacher by heart, and even though his life would be at risk, he still teaches this “Narayana Kavacha” to Indra and Co.
“Harir vidatyaan mama sarva rakshaan vyasthaangripadmaha patakendra prushte!
Dharaachi dharmaanika deshuchaapa paashaan dadhaano ashta gunottha baahu!!”
This is an extremely important portion of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana – This “Narayana Kavacha” should be remembered by each and every one of us and we can even chant it whenever we are going through any sort of problem. It is widely explained by Sage Sukhaachaarya himself here that if we chant this “Narayana Kavacha”, all our problems would be destroyed by Bhagawan immediately! Starting from the above sloka, the “Narayana Kavacha” explains the various divine forms, incarnations, etc. of Bhagawan Vishnu and readers can go through these slokas on their own and can even byheart them for continuous recital as well. We shall also have a detailed discussion on this as we move forward.
With this, I’ve given a brief introduction to the “Narayana Kavacha” and how was it originated. So for today, let us understand and appreciate the significance of the “Narayana Kavacha”. A detailed explanation of the same awaits us in the next episode! Stay tuned! 😊