In the previous episode, we had witnessed Aditi, mother of the Devas undertaking the strict “Payo-Vrata”. Her sole pointed agenda is to somehow obtain a son who can single-handedly take on Mahabali and the Raakshasas, defeat them and reinstate all the wealth and kingdoms to Indra and the Devas. This “Payo-Vrata” is being undertaken by Aditi on the instructions of her husband Kartama-Prajapati. Accordingly, Aditi is following all the strict austerities as given in the long list. The “Payo-Vrata” continues for the next twelve days without a break. She installs a “Vigraha” of Bhagawan Vishnu and continues with the strict spiritual practices.
As Aditi completes the twelve-day marathon with full dedication and sincerity, there is going to be a miracle happening in the month of “Aavani” (Normally the month of Mid-August to Mid-September in today’s English calendar).
“Aachaarya gnyaana sampannam vasthraabharana dhenubhihi!
Vittham virinchathuh karmaveeryaha chathurbhujaha shanka gadhaabhya chakraha!!
Vischanga maasaaya lalithaayatekshanaha!
Srivatsa vakshaaha valayaangatholasath kreeta kaanchi guna noopuraadhibhihi!!”
Here, Sage Shukaahcaarya beautifully describes the birth of Bhaagwan Vishnu in this world, yet again. He first describes the auspicious time at which Bhagawan takes birth. He takes birth during the “Bhaadrapada” month, on the day when the “Sravana” star falls, which is also the “Dvaadasi” (12’th day of the month), and during the “Abhijin Muhurtha” of the day. This “Abhijin Muhurta” is also referred to as “Vijaya”, which means that if a baby is born during this “Muhurta”, he / she would rule the whole world! This is a very rare occasion and it is during this occasion does Bhagawan Vishnu take birth as “Bhagawan Vaamana”. This is a very important incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu and it is part of the main ten incarnations that all of us talk about. This child was named “Vaamana” and was a very short, little boy. Upon seeing this short and stout little boy, people were amazed with His beautiful and handsome appearance!
As the child grew up, he never became tall for his age at any point in time. He remained short all through his life till then. Upon seeing his short appearance, many didn’t understand why is there no growth phenomenon taking place for this boy, as for other young boys of his age. In fact, we should understand here that this is the same Vaamana” who is going to grow into a mammoth size within few years from now! As Bhagawan Vaamana grows in size in front of King Mahabali, He is going to be called as “Bhagawan Trivikrama”, as He is going to measure all the three worlds (Lokhas) together with his one foot! We’re going to witness this beautiful story in some time. But for now, Bhagawan Vaamana is a short and a stout young Brahmin boy.
As Bhagawan Vaamana attains the age of seven, his parents wanted to perform the all-important “Upanayana” function. This is a very important function that is performed even today amongst the Brahmin community all over India, wherein the boy wears the “Sacred Thread” (Poonool or Saarani) for the first time. This is usually an elaborate two-day function and all our family members, friends, relatives, etc. are invited. In similar lines, Aditi and Kartama-Prajapati wanted to perform the “Upanayana” function for their little child Vaamana. This was a grand and an auspicious function, wherein Bhagawan Soorya (Sun God) Himself came down to initiate this child into the all-important “Gaayathri Mantra”. It is to be understood and reminded to all our readers that this important “Gayathri Mantra” is performed towards Bhagwaan Soorya only. If this same Bhagawan Soorya himself comes down and initiates Vaamana into chanting the “Gayathri Mantra”, we can imagine how significant and grand this function would have been! Sage Kashyapa gifts Vaamana with the auspicious “Mekala”. Bhagawan Brihaspati initiates little Vaamana into the “Brahma-Suthra”. Goddess Bhoomadevi appears in person and gifts Vaamana with the little umbrella that He possess all the time with him. Bhagawan Bramha too appears in person and gifts Vaamana with two “Kamandalas” (Ear rings). Thus, the “Upanayana” function was celebrated in an extremely auspicious and a grand manner. Of course, I’ve just explained this in a little brief, but Sage Sukhaachaarya has extensively spoken about through a sizeable number of slokas.
Finishing the “Upanayana” thus, Vaamana now becomes a “Brahmachaari”, which means that He has to earn His living only by obtaining food from others (Obtaining “Bhiksha”). He shouldn’t cook or prepare any food for himself. This is an extremely important rule that a Brahmachaari should follow, until he becomes a “Grihsasta” (Family man). Thus, little Vaamana starts going around everywhere with a small vessel, requesting people to offer him with “Bhiksha”. It is at this time, Bhagawan Shiva and Mother Paarvati Devi come in person and offer Vaamana the first “Bhiksha”! How fortunate is this little child to get “Bhiksha” directly from these two people? With this, little Vaamana is officially initiated into the “Brahmacharya” and thus he starts learning all the Vedas, Upanishads, etc.
As little Vaamana is growing up, He remembers that there is a single-pointed agenda to His divine birth – To somehow outsmart King Mahabali and reinstate all the three “Lokhas” to Indra and the Devas. It is to be remembered that Aditi had performed the “Payo-Vrata” only for this cause. Now how is this little Vaamana going to execute this purpose? Let us wait till the interesting next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 😊