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MADHU-KAITABH
 
Before the creation of the universe, water pervaded all space.
 
In that water, Lord Vishnu rested in Yog-Nidra (Cosmic Slumber) and at that time, from His navel, appeared Lord Brahma, seated on a lotus. At the same time, from the wax in Lord Vishnu’s ear were formed two demons, Madhu and Kaitabh.
 
They were supposed to be the companions for Brahma, but being demons they indulged in naughty acts, and disturbed Lord Vishnu’s cosmic slumber. The Lord then ordered them to limit their fun and frolic in the depths of the ocean so that He wouldn’t be disturbed. Though the demons went away, they pledged vengeance on Lord Vishnu.
 
They propitiated Mahamaya and appeased her into giving them a boon of choice of their own death. Then, they started scaring Brahma. Seeing this, Lord Vishnu decided to kill the two demons but they were protected by Mahamaya’s boon. He then, summoned Yogmaya, who used her powers of illusion and cast spells on the two demons, and made them grant a boon to Lord Vishnu!
 
Lord Vishnu asked for the boon of being able to kill them, and the demons had to grant Him the boon, but they put a condition that He did so where there be no earth or water, air or ether, mind or intelligence and not even false ego. Taking this opportunity, Lord Vishnu squashed the two demons on His thigh, which is neither of earth, water, air, ether, fire, mind, intelligence or false ego, since Lord Vishnu’s is a transcendental body.
 
 
MAHABHARAT
 
The Mahabharat is the great religious, philosophical and mythological epic of India, and is a keystone text of Hinduism.
 
It is the second largest literary text in the world, after the Tibetan tale of Gesar, and is hailed not only as a great epic, but one of the greatest literary accomplishments of humanity. The great epic describes the story of the various kings of the Lunar dynasty, and their rivalries which led to the most fierce battle on Earth, the Mahabharat war.
 
All the kings of the world, assembled to take part in this mighty battle, some on the sides of the Pandavs, others on the side of the Kauravs. But, in the end, it was the Pandavs, guided by Lord Shri Krishna, who emerged victorious. The entire text was composed by the sage Vedvyas, and written by the hands of Lord Ganesh.
 
The Bhagvad-Gita is also a part of the text, and records the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjun. Mahabharat also gives an account of numerous historical events that occurred during that period, and through references to astronomical positions, scientists have calculated the date to be somewhere around 3000-4000 CE!
 
 
MAHAJAN
 
They represent the highest authorities in the spiritual field.
 
They are the ‘Fathers of religion’, all great devotees, numbering twelve. They are:
 
Bali, Bhishma, Lord Brahma, Janak, Kapil, Kumar, Maharaj, Manu, Narad muni, Prahlad, Lord Shiv, Sukhdev Gosvami, and Yamraj.
 
 
MAHAKAAL
 
Literally, ‘Great Time’. One of the destructive aspects of Lord Shiv in Vedic Hinduism, time, being seen as the destroyer of all things.
 
He is one of the eight terrible deities of the Buddhist pantheon with ornaments of snakes, canine teeth, protruding belly and is dressed with tiger skin. He is dark blue in color. He carries a Trishul and a Kapal in his two hands. He may have one face with two, four, or six arms or eight faces with sixteen arms. As he is the defender of law, he is given a very good position.
 
 
MAHAMANTRA
 
The chant of redemption. The remedy to liberate man in this age of Kaliyug, from the deluding power of matter, and to awaken his soul to God and the ecstasy of spiritual life.
 
The Mantra was popularized by the most recent incarnation of the Lord, Lord Chaitanya, and is as follows:
 
‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Raam, Hare Raam, Raam Raam Hare Hare’.
 
 
MAHAVIDYAS
 
The Hindu pantheon is rich in images of the divine feminine deities representing a wide range of symbolic, social, and meditative meanings.
 
They seem to function as ‘awakeners’ or symbols which help to project one’s consciousness beyond the socially acceptable or predictable. They are:
 
  1). Bagla,
  2). Bhairavi,
  3). Bhuvaneshwari,
  4). Chhinnamastika,
  5). Dhumavati,
  6). Kamala,
  7). Kali,
  8). Matangi,
  9). Sundari, and
10). Tara.
 
The Mahavidyas, represent a highly unusual group of Tantrik goddesses, who are strongly associated with sexuality and violence. They form a circle associated with Tantrik practice. There are several accounts of how this dynamic circle was formed.
 
In one version, Lord Shiv grew restless and decided, that he was tired of living with Kali. He gets up and begins to wander off. However, in no matter what direction he goes, Kali appears as one of the Mahavidyas. First she herself is constellated, then Tara, Tripura-sundari, and Buvaneshwari, then Chinnamasta, Tripura-bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and finally Kamala.
 
Each of the Devi’s manifested forms make Lord Shiv aware of the eternal nature of their mutual love and most significantly, established for always, the superiority of a goddess over her male counterpart, in the cannons of Indian thought. Not that Shiv in any way felt belittled by this awareness, he was only spiritually awakened.
 
Befittingly thus, they are referred to as the Great Goddess’s of Wisdom, known in Sanskrit as the Mahavidyas (Maha- great; vidya- knowledge). Moreover, related Tantric texts often mention the importance of revering women. The Kaulavali Tantra says that all women should be looked upon as manifestations of Mahadevi (the Great Goddess).
 
It is striking how female imagery is central to the conception of the Mahavidyas. Iconographically, they are individually shown dominating male deities. Kali and Tara are shown astride Lord Shiv, while others like Shodashi sit on the body of Shiv which in turn rests upon a couch whose legs are four male deities! Even Lakshmi, who is widely known as Vishnu’s loyal wife is shown alone as Kamala.
 
Also, the severed heads that decorate the goddess’s bodies are male, as are the corpses that lie beneath them. The worship of these goddesses suggests that the devotee experiences a refreshing and liberating spirituality in all that is forbidden by established social orders. The central aim here according to Tantric belief, is to stretch one’s consciousness beyond the conventional, to break away from approved social norms, roles, and expectations.
 
 
MAHAVIR
 
He was the actual and historical founder of Jainism, who was born c. 599 BC near Patna in what is now Bihar state.
 
His father was a ruling Kshatriya, chief of the Nata clan. Mahavir was an elder contemporary of Siddharth Gautam (the Buddha) and is referred to in Buddhist writings as Nataputra (Son of the Nata). When he was about 28 years of age he took up the life of an ascetic.
 
After years of hardship and meditation he attained enlightenment; thereafter he preached Jainism for about 30 years and died at Pava (also in Bihar) in 527 BC. Pava has been, since then, one of the chief places of Jain pilgrimage and Diwali, the Hindu New Year festival, the day of great pilgrimage.
 
 
MAHAT TATTVA
 
It represents the original material nature in its complete form. Material nature, which is a servant of Durga, is composed of twenty-four elements like - the Mind, Intelligence and False Ego, the Three modes of nature, the five elements and the Ten Senses.
 
 
MAHISHASUR
 
A fierce buffalo-demon (mahish-buffalo), who had vanquished the devas and conquered the three worlds.
 
Mahishasur/Mahishasura had obtained a boon from Lord Brahma that he would not be killed by the hands of any male. He then started persecuting the denizens of three worlds. To get rid of this demon, the gods created from the amalgamation of their energies the divine goddess Durga. So the demon was finally killed by the hands of the goddess and she made famous as Mahishasur-mardini Durga.
 
Once, Narad asked sage Pulastya as to how Goddess Durga kill Mahishasur. Sage Pulastya replied- "After the killing of Chikshur, Mahishasur sent Namar to fight Goddess Durga. Namar proceeded towards the Vindhya Mountain accompanied by a huge battalion and after reaching there, he shot a volley of arrows towards it. As a result, the whole mountain was covered by innumerable arrows.
 
This defiant act of Namar made Goddess Durga extremely furious. She attacked her enemies menacingly. She killed some of the demons by her sword, some with her mace and many more were killed by her arrows. Even her mount- Simha killed many demons. The demons were completely surprised by the ferociousness of the attack and fled from the battlefield.
 
Seeing his whole army fleeing from the battlefield, Namar came forward, mounted on an elephant to fight Goddess Durga. He unleashed his devastating weapon- Shakti towards her. At the same time, he also attacked her mount Simha (lion) by releasing many arrows towards it. But Goddess Durga destroyed all the weapons.
 
In the meantime, the elephant held the Simha with its trunk but the Goddess's mount somehow released itself from the trap and attacked Namar. Namar fell from the elephant and died. After Namar's death, Chikshur came to fight the Goddess but both his hands and legs were severed by her. Ultimately, Goddess Durga severed his head as a result of which, Chikshur died. The news of Chikshur's death spread like a wildfire.
 
Many more valiant commanders of Mahishasura's army came forward to fight her but all of them were vanquished. At last, Mahishasura came forward to fight Goddess Durga in the guise of a buffalo. Goddess Durga started playing her damru (small drum) and Veena, which resulted into the emergence of numerous ghosts.
 
He attacked the ghosts with his horns, four legs and by violently lashing his tail. He then attacked Durga's mount Simha and his violent movements shook even the earth and the mountain. Goddess Durga grabbed his neck with the help of a noose. The next moment, Mahishasur transformed his appearance into an elephant. Goddess Durga then severed his trunk. But he again changed his guise into a buffalo. 
 
Durga attacked him by unleashing various weapons but the demon escaped unhurt. Goddess Durga suddenly jumped down from her mount Simha and climbed upon Mahishasur, who was in the guise of a buffalo. Mahishasur started jumping violently. Goddess Durga pressed his back with such force that he suffocated.
 
She then severed his head. Suddenly, Mahishasur appeared in human form with a sword. Goddess Durga kicked him on his chest and again severed his head. The news of his death created havoc in his army and the demons fled from the battlefield and hid themselves in Patal lok. The deities became pleased at Mahishasur's death and eulogised Goddess Durga. She became pleased and after assuring the deities of taking re-incarnation for their welfare, disappeared from the scene.
 
 
MAHISHI
 
Mahishi was the wife of the demon Mahishasur.
 
When goddess Durga killed Mahishasur, she decided to take revenge. She prayed for many years trying to obtain a boon from Lord Brahma. The Lord finally appeared in front of her and asked her for a wish. The ogress asked that she may not be killed by either of Lords Vishnu or Shiv, and neither by the hands of Durga.
 
As he had promised to grant her wish, Brahma had to give her the boon. Following this, the Rakshasi became very powerful and started persecuting the demigods. The Devas fled to the mercy of the Holy Trinity, and begged them to help. Lord Vishnu and Shiv decided on a plan. Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini, gave birth to a baby boy who had the combined powers of the two Lords (Hari-Har).
 
At that time, the province of Kerala was ruled by a pious king Rajshekhar. He was without an issue, and constantly indulged in penances to appease Lord Shiv to grant him a worthy son. Lord Shiv thus gave the divine child to his devotee. The child Manikanthan grew up to be a skilled fighter and in his twelfth year, rid the world of the existence of the demon queen and her mighty army. He is known now as Lord Ayappan and has a temple dedicated to him in Kerala.
 
 
MAINA
 
One of the daughters of Svadha and Pitrigan, and the wife of Himvan.
 
She gave birth to Parvati who was a re-incarnation of Sati, and married Lord Shiv. Maina had two other sisters Dhanya and Kalawati. Once all the three of them went to Shwet-dweep to have a darshan of lord Vishnu.
 
Right then, sages like Sanak, Sanadan etc arrived there. Everybody present there stood up in reverence, but Maina, Dhanya and Kalawati could not identify who they were because of their childlike looks and hence they remained sitting. Not only that, they did not even make any salutations to them. The sages became angry and cursed them to be born as humans in their next birth. Maina, Dhanya and Kalawati became very afraid and requested to be pardoned.
 
Sages Sanak feeling pity on them told that Maina would become the wife of Himalaya, in her next birth and give birth to Parvati, Similarly Dhanya would be married to king Janak and Sita would be born to them, and Kalawati would be married to Vrishbahan and Radha would be born to them. Sage Sanak also told them, that in this way all three of them would attain to the heaven. Maina later gave birth to a hundred sons, of whom Mainak was the most powerful, and a daughter Parvati.
 
 
MAITREYA
 
In Hinduism, he is one of the learned sages. He was the the student of sage Parasher.
 
For Buddhists, he is the Buddha, who is to come in the future. Since he has not yet become a Buddha, he is represented in the costume of a young Indian prince. Maitreya is believed to be a Bodhisattva, one who refuses entry into Nirvana, a transcendental state free from suffering, out of a compassionate desire to help others.
 
At present, he is believed to reside in Tushita Heaven, where he awaits his rebirth. Although various calculations exist, this rebirth is expected to occur in 30,000 years. After his rebirth, by some accounts, Maitreya will lead all beings still trapped in the cycle of rebirths to nirvana.
 
His cult first appeared in India around the 3rd century then spread throughout China, Korea, and Japan. The traditions surrounding Maitreya describe him taking on a variety of forms, such as a student, a companion of Buddha, or a kind tutor. In China, he is revered as a folk deity, with a third eye in his back. In Korea, he is established as a god of fertility who also answers the prayers of children.
 
 
MAIY
 
Maiy is the architect of the Asurs, just as Vishwakarma is the architect of the demigods.
 
He is mentioned in many places as having constructed cities of great beauty and splendor. The masterpiece he made for the demons was the city of Tripura (Tri-city), which was later shattered by one arrow of Lord Shiv. He was once saved from being burnt, in the forest of Khandavprasth, by Arjun and Krishna. In gratitude, he built the city of Indraprasth, the capital of the Pandavs, to rival Amravati, the city of Indra. Namuchi was his notorious brother.
 
 
MAKARDHWAJ
 
The son of Lord Hanuman!
 
According to the legend, when Hanuman reached the underworld kingdom of Ahiravan, the son of Ravan, he was stopped at the gates by a handsome vanar who called himself Makardhwaj. He told Hanuman that he was the guardian of the kingdom, and the son of mighty Hanuman! Hanuman was flabbergasted!
 
He was a celibate for life how could he have a son! The boy told him that when Hanuman was bathing in the ocean after burning Lanka, some drops of his sweat were swallowed by a sorceres called Supanmath who was in the guise of a crocodile. She gave birth to a baby who was an amphibian ape. This was Makardhwaj, and after Hanuman killed the evil Ahiravan he made his son the king of the netherworlds.
 
 
MANAS-PUTRAS
 
They are the ten sons of Lord Brahma, who were born from his wish for creation.
 
They are ten in number viz.:
Angir (born from the Mouth),
Atri (from Eyes),
Atharva or Kratu (Hands),
Bhrigu (Touch),
Daksh or Prachetas (Thumb),
Pulah (Navel),
Pulatsya (Ears),
Narad (Spiritual Thoughts),
Marichi (Mind), and
Vasishth (Life-air or Breath).
 
Some of them were married to the daughters of Daksh, while others to those of Swayambhu Manu. They were the ones who spread the lineage of Lord Brahma in the world.
 
 
MANDAL
 
The Mandal or the hexagram, also known as the ‘Star of David’ in the West, is much older than Judaism, and is an archetypal symbol for the sacred union of opposite energies.
 
Formed by the intertwining of the ‘fire’ and ‘water’ triangles (the male ‘blade’ and the female ‘chalice’) this symbol represents the masculine and feminine principles in perfect union, the so called sacred marriage or Hieros Gamos of the ancient world. In India the symbol represents the Cosmic Dance of Shiva and Shakti.
 
The Star symbol has been found on temples in India from centuries ago. In addition to the balance between man and woman, the Star symbolizes the Nar-Narayan, or perfect meditative balancing state achieved between Man and God, and if maintained, results in Moksha or Nirvana, i.e., release from the bounds of the earthly world and its material trappings.
 
 
MANDAR-PARVAT
 
One of the tallest mountains in the heavens, which was used by the demigods for the churning of the ocean.
 
 
MANDODARI
 
The head-wife of Ravan, the demon-king of Lanka. She was a chaste and spiritual woman, and often tried to stop Ravan from his atrocities but to no avail.

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MANGAL
 
Mangal/Mangala, or Angarak is the Lord of the planet Mars, and by Indian astrological reckoning is a ‘Nice Guy’ unlike his western counterpart.
 
He rules the day of Tuesday (Mangalvar) and is associated with all things mangal or auspicious. His very birth derives from one of the most thrilling events in Hindu mythology.
 
When Lord Shiv first danced his cosmic dance, the Tandav, he worked up a fine sweat. The drops of this sweat fell on the Bhumi Devi and so, through divine means, was Angarak/Bhumi Kumar/Bhauma born. The baby was of a reddish complexion and had four arms.
 
When the child grew up, he went to Kashi and did a tremendous penance to please Lord Shiv who became pleased with him and blessed him by granting him the Lordship of the 'Mangal-lok'. One of the Navagraha kritis- Angarakam ashrayamyaham describes his attributes: his red robes, spear, trident, beautiful neck and hands, his mount, the Ram (Capricorn).
 
In Hindu astrology he is entreated to bestow wealth, land, kind and helpful brothers and a happy marriage. He is the Lord of the constellations of Aries and Scorpio.
 
 
MANSA
 
Mansa is the goddess of snakes and fertility. She is incorporated into the Hindu pantheon as the daughter of Lord Shiv.
 
Mansa is said to posess a short temper and free-spirit. Indeed it took all the patience and perseverence of her father Lord Shiv to turn her onto the right track. There is a temple dedicated to her on top of a hill in Haridwar quite close to the main bathing Ghats and is very famous with devotees coming to the city.
 
 
MANU
 
In Hindu mythology, Manu was the founder of the human race.
 
Actually, Manu is a title like Indra and can refer to many people. Thus, there are fourteen Manus in the present day of Brahma, and each of them rules for 71 Mahayugas approximately.
 
The first  of this Kalpa was Swayambhu Manu, and his counterpart was Shatrupa (Hindu Adam and Eve), while the Manu of the present Manvantar is Vaivasvat Manu, son of Surya, the sun-god.
 
He is also called Satyavrat, and he was the one, who was saved by the Matsya incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the twilight of last Manvantar. He is the Indian counterpart of the Biblical Noah, and he was responsible for saving the flora and fauna for this eon.
 
The story goes like this:
 
At the end of the previous Manvantar, Vivasvat Manu, also known as Satyavrat, was worshipping at his hermitage when he was visited by Lord Vishnu in the form of a fish. The fish asked him to give it shelter in his holy vessel and Manu obliged the creature. But, during the night, the fish grew too large for the Kamandal, and continued to do so over the next day.
 
Satyavrat took the fish from one pond to another and finally to the ocean, but soon it grew as large as the ocean itself! It was then, that the significance of what had happened struck him, and realizing that it was none other that the Supreme Lord Himself in front of him, he immediately prostrated himself in salutation. The Lord, pleased with his humility, told him that he was to be the Manu for the next Manvantar.
 
The responsibility of saving all species of life for their continuation in the next eon also lay with him. The Lord told him that exactly seven days after that day, Pralaya or the Great Deluge will come and everything will be swallowed by the mighty ocean waves. Satyavrat was to construct a huge ship and taking with him the Saptarishis and one pair of each species of living beings, wait at the same spot for the Lord to come there.
 
The king thanked Lord Vishnu for the great honor bestowed upon him. He began to make preparation to survive the great flood. The appointed day came, and clouds completely filled the sky. The rain began. It was so ferocious, that you could not see more than a few feet ahead. Lightning and thunder were the only things that broke the monotony of the sound of falling water. But the King, along with the chosen people, animals and plants was safe aboard the ship.
 
He had to steer the ship, in the storm, but he did not know where he was to go. Waves as large as mountains were buffeting the ship. As promised, at the predicted time, Lord appeared in His Matsya form and now he had a horn on His head. With this horn, the boat was tied by means of Nag-raj Vasuki, and thus, those who were virtuous devotees of the Lord, were saved from getting drowned in oblivion.
 
He guided the ship for seven days and seven nights. At last the rain stopped, the water took some more time to subside, and the land peeped out from under its watery prison. As promised, Manu and his followers had been saved, and began the task of procreation, to fill the new world. He was the first ruler of mankind in this new world.
 
Bhagvatam gives the names of all the Manus for this Manvantar, the past, present and also the future ones! In each Manvantar, Lord Vishnu incarnates to maintain the prevalence of good over evil. The fourteen Manus are:
 
  1). Svayambhuva,
  2). Svarocish,
  3). Uttam,
  4). Tamas,
  5). Raivat,
  6). Chaksush,
  7). Vaivasvat,
  8). Savarni,
  9). Daksh-Savarni,
10). Brahma-Savarni ,
11). Dharm-Savarni,
12). Rudra-Savarni,
13). Dev-Savarni  and
14). Indra-Savarni 
 
Each of them rules over a specific time period called the Manvantar.
 
 
MANVANTAR
 
Each Kalpa is reigned over by a succession of 14 Manus, and the reign of each Manu is called a Manvantar.
 
Thus each Kalpa is divided into 14 Manvantaras and a single manvantara is approximately 71 Maha Yugas. Each Manvantar has a different set of gods to rule over it, for example, the post of Indra passes in each Manvantar to the most deserving of the Devas. Alongwith him, his chief attendants, the saptarishis etc. also change posts.
 
The Fourteen Manvantars are named after their respective Manus. These fourteen Manvantars had continued in past, are continuing in the present and they would continue in the future also. Period of a Manvantar is slightly more then seventy one Chaturyugas (all the four Yugas passing seventy-one times.
 
Brahma’s night is Mahapralaya (the great deluge). When that night is over, Brahma again begins the work of new creation exactly as per the previous Kalpa. The details of these Manvantars are being given here:
 
(1). Swayambhu Manvantar - Swayambhu Manu, the first man in this new Kalpa of Lord Brahma, had appeared on his own alongwith his consort Shatrupa, that is why he was called Swayambhu.
It was in this Kalpa that the planet Earth plunged down into the primeval ocean and Lord Vishnu took birth in the form of a boar or Varah to bring it back to the surface.
 
(2). Swarochish Manvantar - Swarochi Manu was the son of Agni. He had sons named Dyumana, Sushen and Rochisman. During that Manvantar, Indra’s post was occuppied by Rochan.
Scholars of Vedas like Urjja, Stambh, Pran, Vat, Vrishabh, Nitya and Parivan were the Saptarishis (seven great sages). Lord had taken incarnation as Vibhu, the son of a sage Vedshir and his wife Tushita. Paravat and Tushitgan were the other gods.
 
(3). Uttam Manvantar - Third Manu Uttam was the son of the king Priyvrat. He had sons named Pawan, Sanjay, Yagyhotra, etc. In that Manvantar, seven sons of the sage Vasishth were Saptarishis (the seven great sages).
Indra’s name was Satyajit. Satya, Vedshrut and Bhadra were the main Ganas (courtiers) of the God. God had appeared in the incarnation of Satyasen, the son of Dharma and Sunrita. He was accompanied by Devganas named Satyvrata. Lord had destroyed during that period the evil Yakshas, demon and poltergeists.
 
(4). Tamas Manvantar - Tamas, the fourth Manu was the real brother of Uttam, the third Manu. He had ten sons. Trishikh was Indra then, with Satyak, Hari, Veer etc. as his main courtiers.
Sages like Jyotirdham Prithu, Katya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanak and Peevar were the Saptarishis. During that Manvantar Lord had saved Gajendra from the jaws of the crocodile. There were four categories of the gods namely Supar, Hari, Satya and Sudhi, each of them having twenty-seven gods each.
 
(5). Raiwat Manvantar - Raiwat was the fifth Manu. He was also the real brother of Tamas, the third Manu. Vibhu was the name of Indra. Sages like Hiranyaroma, Vedsri, Urdhvabahu, Vedbahu, Sudama, Parjanya and Mahamuni were the Saptarishis.
God had appeared in the incarnation of Vaikunth the son of the sage Shubh and his wife Vikuntha. At the request of Goddess Laxmi, Lord created the 108 Vaikunth planets. There were four categories of the gods namely Amitabh, Bhootrath, Vaikunth and Sumedha with fourteen gods each.
 
(6). Chakshush Manvantar - Chakshush was the sixth Manu. He had sons named Puru, Purush, Sadyumn etc. Mantradruma was Indra then, with Apya etc. as main courtiers. Sages like Sumedha, Viraja, Havishman, Uttam, Madhu, Atinama and Sahishnu were the Saptarishis.
During that Manvantar, Lord had appeared in partial incarnation as Ajit, the son of Vanraj and his wife Sambhunti. It was he, who supported Mandrachal on his back in his Kachchhap form. Apya, Prasoot, Bhavya, Prithuk and Lekh were the categories of gods each with eight deities.
 
(7). Vaivasvat Manvantar - In the present era, the seventh Manu, Shardhdev or Vaivasvat is the son of Surya who is also called Vivasvan. He has ten sons- Ikshvaku, Nabhag, Drisht, Sharyati, Narishyanta, Nabhag, Disht, Karush, Prishadhra and Vasumana.
Purandar is the name of Indra. He has Aditya, Vasu, Rudra, Vishvadev, Marudgana, Ashwini Kumar and Rishi as his main courtiers. Kashyapa, Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautam, Yamdagni and Bhardwaj are the Saptarishis. During this Manvantar, God has arrived in Vaman incarnation as the son of Kashyap and his wife Aditi.
 
(8). Savarni Manvantar - Savarni, the son to be born of Surya and Chhaya would be the eighth Manu. The king Surath, who had occurred in Swarochish Manvantar, had worshiped Goddess Bhagwati intensely, and thus received a boon of having an unbroken empire on earth. In later course he will be the son of Surya and become the eighth Manu also. He would have sons like Nirmak, Virajask etc.
Vairochan Bali, the pious demon would be Indra because of the boon given to him by Lord Vishnu in His Vaman incarnation. Amritprabha etc. will be his main courtiers. Galav, Diptiman, Parashuram, Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, Rishyshring and Vyas- these great sages would be the Saptarishis.
God would take incarnation as Sarvbhaum, the sons of Devguhya and his wife Saraswati, and snatch the kingdom of Swarga from Purandar and give it to the king Bali. Sutap, Amitabh and Mukhya will be the categories of gods each with twenty deities.
 
(9). Ninth Manvantar - Varun’s son Dakshasavarni would be the ninth Manu. He would have sons like Bhutaketu, Diptketu, Dyutiman etc. God would take birth as Rishabh, the son of sage Ayushman and his wife Ambudhara.
Adbhut would be Indra and he would have Para, Marichigarbh etc. as his main courtiers. Savan, Dyutiman, Bhavya, Vasu, Meghatithi, Jyotishman and Sata will be among the Saptarishis. During that Manvantara, Par, Marichgarv and Sudharma will be the three categories of the gods with twelve deities each.
 
(10). The Tenth Manvantar - Upshloka’s son Brahma Savarni would be the tenth Manu. He would be very pious in nature and have sons like Bhurishen etc. Havishman, Sukrit, Satya, Tapomurti, Nabhag, Apratimauja and Satyaketu will be among the Saptarishis.
Shambhu would be Indra, with Suvasana, Viruddh etc. as his main courtiers. God would appear in the incarnation of Vishwasen as the son of Vishwasrij and his wife Vishuchi. He would be a friend of Indra. Sudhama and Vishuddh will be the two categories of gods with hundred deities each.
 
(11). Eleventh Manvantar - The self-restraining Dharmasavarni would be the eleventh Manu. He would have ten sons. Vaidhrit would be Indra with Vihangam, Kamagam, etc. as main courtiers.
Vedic sag


MARISA
 
The daughter of sage Kandu and the nymph Pramlocha, she was brought up by the divinities of forests and trees.
 
Tale of Marisha's previous birth:
 
Marisha, daughter of sage Kandu and Prabhalocha was a queen in her previous birth. She had lost her husband without having any child. She had then pleased Lord Vishnu with her devotion. The Lord had then asked her to seek a boon.
 
She said- "O Lord! Having been widowed at a young age, I feel that my life has gone futile. I am very unfortunate. Hence O Lord! May I have by your grace, a virtuous husband like you and sons like Prajapati in my next birth. May I take birth not from the body of my mother.
 
Lord Vishnu said- "All your wishes shall come true in your next birth. You will have ten prowessive and popular husbands. With their help, you will give birth to Prajapati whose progeny will populate all the three worlds. You will take birth not from your mother's body still you will be unmatched in beauty."
 
 
MARKANDEY
 
Markandey/Markandeya was a devotee of Lord Shiv and was so successful in his penances, that the Lord stopped even Yamraj to take his soul away!
 
Once there was a Brahmin couple who were issuless for a very long time. They practiced severe penances directed towards Lord Shiv. At last the Lord appeared and offered them two choices, a son who would be wealthy, powerful and long lived, but of ill character, or a son who would be virtuous, but who will die when he turns 16.
 
The Brahmin asked for a son who would be virtuous. The Lord granted the boon and disappeared. In due course of time, a male child was born to this couple. They named him Markandey. The boy demonstrated an awesome mastery of difficult philosophical constructs at a very early age. Years flew by and the day on which he would turn 16 approached.
 
At last, the Brahmin decided to tell his son about the boon of Lord Shiv and his preordained death. He advised him to spend the reminder of his time in worshipping the Lord. Accordingly, Markandey commenced a puja (prayers) to Lord Shiv in front of a Shiv-Ling (a representation of Shiv). The Lord of Death, Yamraj arrived on the spot the moment the boy turned sixteen. Due to his constant devotion, Markandey was able to spot the Lord of Death immediately. He embraced the Shiv-Ling and continued his puja.
 
Now Yam was in a quandry. He typically takes a soul to the abode of death by lassoing it with his Pash (noose). But there was no way now to cast the noose around Markandey without including the Shiv-Ling. However, his duty was clear, the time appointed for Markandey’s death had arrived and so he lassoed both the boy and the Lingam in one go.
 
He tried to drag both of them away, but was not able to budge the Shiv-Ling. Lo and behold! Lord Shiv appeared in person and stopped the fool hardy attempt of Yam. Yam remonstrated that he was only doing his duty, on hearing which, Lord took up the fierce form of Yamantak (the killer of Yam), and chastised him. He then granted the boon of eternal youth to the boy, who would always be just as he was on his sixteenth birthday.
 
Another story is assosciated with the name of Markandeya whe he had become a very learned Brahmin. He happened to be deep in meditation once when the time of Pralay came on the world. The entire creation was shrouded in darkness and nothing could be seen. There was neither sun nor moon. Lightning and thunder crushed mountains and trees, and there were showers of meteors. The entire earth burnt with fire and the flames of the fire reached down to the underworld.
 
But due to the boon of Shiv, nothing could destroy Markandeya. He saw that only a banyan tree was left miraculously standing and he took its shelter. Clouds gathered in the sky. They were thick and dark clouds and they spread all over the earth. It started to rain and it poured and poured. Water was everywhere and the earth was flooded. It rained continuously for twelve years.
 
Suddenly he saw the banyan tree floating on the water. A golden bed was spread on one of the leaves of the tree and on the bed there slept a small boy! Markandeya was exceedingly surprised to see the small boy floating in the middle of this deluge. He was so confused by his illusions that he did not realise that this boy was none other than Lord Vishnu. Before he could react, he entered the boy’s body through the mouth.
 
Inside his stomach Markandeya discovered all the worlds, the seven regions and the seven oceans. The mountains and the kingdoms were all there. So were all living beings. Markandeya did not know what to make of all this. He started to pray to Lord Vishnu. No sooner than he had started, he came out of the boy’s mouth. Vishnu now appeared before him and blessed him. The sage then spent a thousand years with the Lord.
 
 
MARTAND
 
Martand is one of the Adityas, or sons of Aditi.
 
His name literally means ‘Dead-egg’ and according to Rig-Ved [10.72], he is the eigth son of Aditi, who she cast away, but later brought back to life. When Aditi was pregnant, she engaged herself in religious activities so that she could become the mother of a virtuous child. Seeing his pregnant wife observing fasts, Kashyap became very angry.
 
He said, “It is not proper for a pregnant woman to observe fasts as it may prove to be harmful to the foetus. Why are you trying to destroy it?” Aditi replied, “I am not trying to destroy my foetus. After taking birth, our child will destroy our enemies.” In her anger, Aditi decided to release her foetus just as Kashyap started chanting the mantras of Rigved.
 
In a very short time, her child came out from that foetus. A heavenly voice was heard which said- ‘O sage! Since you have called this foetus, Maarit (dead), therefore your son would be famously known as Martand.’ After the birth of Martand, the morale of the deities was boosted up. Indra challenged the demons.
 
A tremendous battle ensued between both the sides. Martand glanced towards the demons as a result of which they were charred to death. The deities were pleased and eulogised Martand. At last, the deities regained their territories they had lost to the demons. In the Vedic myths, Martand is also recorded as rebelling against his own mother and ‘Yoking seven Bright Mares’ to his side as political alliances. In later texts, Martand is exclusively identified with Surya. [Maha: 1.75].


MARUTI
 
Another name for the wind god, Vayu.
 
 
MARUTS
 
The Maruts were minor storm deities who are the sons of Rudra and Diti.
 
The Maruts are the sons of Diti, one of the wives of Kashyap rishi and the co-wife of Aditi, the mother of the Devas. Their mother had sought a boon that the son to be born to her should be the slayer of Indra. The sage granted her wish, but with the proviso that she had to observe a rigid vow for the period of her pregnancy.
 
When Aditi, the mother of Indra came to know of this, she sent her son, to kill the embryo at a suitable opportunity. When Diti went to sleep without washing her feet (thereby breaking her vow of purity), Indra entered her womb and sliced her embryo into seven pieces, and then into forty-nine pieces. As they started crying, he said, “Ma Ruda.” (Don’t cry.)
 
These forty-nine children, thus born, were the Maruts. They are the drivers of clouds, bringers of winds, fellers of trees, and the crushers of mountains. The hymns to the Maruts, often depict with vigorous imagery the phenomena of thunder and lightning, and the mighty onset of the wind. The brilliance of the Maruts is constantly referred to: they are golden, ruddy, shine like fires, and are self-luminous.
 
They are very often associated with lightning: all the five compounds of Vidyút (lightening) in the R.V. are almost exclusively descriptive of them. Their lances represent lightning, as their epithet Rsti-vidyut (lightning-speared) shows. They also have golden axes and are sometimes armed with bows and arrows.
 
They wear garlands, golden mantles, golden ornaments, and golden helmets. Armlets and anklets are peculiar to them. The cars on which they ride gleam with lightning, and are drawn by steeds (generally feminine) that are ruddy or tawny, spotted, swift as thought. They are great and mighty; young and unaging; dustless, fierce, terrible like lions, but also playful like children or calves.
 
The noise made by them, and often mentioned, is thunder and the roaring of the winds. They cause the mountains to quake and the two worlds to tremble; they rend trees, and, like wild elephants, devour the forests. One of their main activities is to shed rain: they cover the eye of the sun with rain; they create darkness with the cloud when they shed rain; and they cause the heavenly pail and the streams of the mountains to pour.
 
The waters they shed are often clearly connected with the thunder storm. Their rain is often figuratively called milk, ghee, or honey. They avert heat, but also dispel darkness, produce light, and prepare a path for the sun. They are several times called singers: they are the singers of heaven they sing a song; for Indra when he slew the dragon, they sang a song and praised him.
 
Though primarily representing the sound of the winds, their song is also conceived as a hymn of praise. Thus they come to be compared with priests, and are addressed as priests when in the company of Indra. When not associated with Indra, the Maruts occasionally exhibit the maleficent traits of their father Rudra.
 
Hence they are implored to ward off the lightning from their worshippers and not to let their ill-will reach them, and are besought to avert their arrow and the stone which they hurl, their lightning, and their cow- and man-slaying bolt. But like their father Rudra, they are also supplicated to bring healing remedies. These remedies appear to be the waters, for the Maruts bestow medicine by raining.
 
 
MATALI
 
Matali is the charioteer of Indra, often employed by Indra as a messenger on his behalf.
 
 
MATRISVAN
 
According to the Rig-Ved, Matrisvan is the name of the man who first brought Agni, the fire to man kind (the equivalent of the Greek Prometheus), as a gift of the gods.


MATSYA
 
The Fish incarnation, who appeared after the period of Chaksush Manu when there was a partial inundation or Pralay. He protected Satyavrat (Vaivasvat Manu), Saptrishis, and one species each of all the life-forms on the planet for continuation into the next eon.
 
 
MAYA
 
Literally, means ‘that which is not’.
 
It is the deluding quality of material energy. Because of it, the individual soul thinks itself to be the supreme enjoyer and indulges in the pursuit of pleasure, getting more and more entangled in the cycle of birth and death.
 
Maya does not mean that the world is an illusion, as is often wrongly stated. The illusion merely lies in our point of view, if we think that the shapes and structures, things and events, around us are realities of nature, instead of realizing that they are concepts of our measuring and categorizing minds.
 
 
MENAKA
 
The most famous Nymph or Apsara in the court of Indra, the king of the Demigods.
 
The Apsaras were sent by Indra to disturb the penances of sages whom he thought were vying to obtain his throne. Manaka was also sent to disrupt the penance of Vishwamitra who was so much smitten by her beauty that he married her and even sired a baby with her who was later called Shakuntala.
 
 
MERU
 
In Hindu mythology, Meru is the central, transcendental mountain, on which Lord Brahma resides. It corresponds to the Greek Mount Olympus, the abode of their gods.
 
The Hindus and Buddhist alike regard Mount Meru, located in the Himalayas, as the location of Shambhal, a mystical forbidden city. It is the center of the cosmos, having its roots in hell and its summit in heaven. The mountain peak houses a magnificent central palace radiating a powerful, diamond like light, which is the home of Lord Brahma, the first of the Hindu gods.
 
Legends tell of its slopes being studded with glittering gemstones and thick with trees heavy with delicious fruit. She is circled by seven rings of golden mountains, each separated from the other by one of seven circular oceans. This entire superstructure rises from an outer ocean, and is flanked by four main continents, each with two subcontinents.
 
The southern continent, Jambudvip, corresponds to the Indian peninsula and Meru is said to be situated in the center of the central continent called Ilavrat-Varsh. It is guarded by serpents, who watch the entrance to the realm of Secret Knowledge. Occult teachings place it in the very center of the North Pole, pointing it out as the site of the first continent on our earth, after the solidification of the globe.
 
In the ancient astronomical text called the Surya-Siddhant, Meru is described as passing through the middle of the earth-globe, and protruding on either side. That other side, the Southwestern American Hopi Indians believe, is their sacred Black Mesa. Holistically, it is taken as the center of the spiritual as well as the material world. It is thus the center of our universe, and spiritually, the highest material abode that one possibly can attain in contemplation and transcendence.
 
The Egyptians, Akkadians and Indians also believe that Meru has its opposite. The Artic Meru, known as Sumeru, is the dwelling place of the gods and the Antartic Meru, known as Kumeru is the dwelling place of demons. Further descriptions have been given about the locale and surroundings of this mountain.
 
Just above the Ilavrat, are the dwelling places of Lokpals like Indra. Lord Brahma’s assembly is situated at the center. Beneath the Ilavrat are situated the four mountains- Mandar, Gandhmadan, Vipul and Suparshva. These four mountains are situated in each of the four directions. The Great Mountain Nishadh is situated towards the west of Meru, while the Great Mountain Pariyatra is situated just behind it.
 
Towards the south of Meru are situated the great mountains, Kailash and Himavaan. The mountains Shringvaan and Jaarudhi are situated towards the north of Meru Mountain, and the river Jambu flows all around the mountain in a circular path. To the South lies Bharatvarsh, which is surrounded by oceans on its three sides. People living towards the East of Bharatvarsh are known as Kiraats while people living towards the West are called Yavans.
 
North of the Himalayas is a version of Shambhal, called Uttarakuru or northern Kuru. It is described as the blissful land of the sages towards which Arjun, the warrior prince of the Bhagavad-Gita, travelled in search of enlightenment. Magic fruit trees yielded the nectar of immortality. It is one of four regions surrounding Mount Meru and is the homeland of the Siddhas, enlightened yogis famed for their miraculous powers.
 
The Japanese also have a Shambhal/Meru, which they have named ‘Island of the Congealed Drop’. It is situated ‘on the top of the globe’ but at the same time ‘at the center of the earth’. Its first roof-pillar was Earth’s axis, and over it was the pivot of the vault of heaven. The Chinese actually describe their idea of Meru as the Center of the Earth, directly under the Shang-te’s heavenly palace. They also call it, ‘The Palace of the Center’. The Egyptians also located their Ta Neter, or Land of the Gods, in the North.
 
 
MITRA
 
Mitra is the deity of Friendship and Committment.
 
The Vedic Mitra appears in Persian form as Mithra and then later develops into the Roman Mithras. In the Rig Veda, he is mostly addressed in the dual Mitra-Varun, and sometimes as part of the dual Mitra-Indra.
 
His association with Varun is so tight, that there is only one hymn [R.V.3.59] where he is addressed separately. He is the protector of oaths and friendship. In the Brahmanas, Mitra is associated with day and Varun is connected with night.
 
 
MUKTI
 
Liberation or redemption. With this usually is indicated that one escapes the strict laws of material nature (birth, disease, old age and death), and goes back to God.
 
Vimukti is the special liberation of devotees on the spiritual platform of love and affection with the Lord. Further also it means to destroy the ego with the purpose of becoming one with the Absolute. The ultimate liberation of the human being means that it restores its eternal bond eternal, personal bond with God.
 
According to Lord Kapil [S.B.: 3.29:13], there are five types of Mukti.
 
They are:
 
1). Salokya – having the divine vision of God always infront of you,
2). Samipya – being a close personal assosciate of the Lord,
3). Sarshti – having the same opulences as God,
4). Sarupya – having the same bodily features as God, and lastly,
5). Sayujya or Ekatva – merging with the body of the Lord.
 

Mythology continued..