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Vishnu - The God of Gods
Vishnu is the protector, preserver and patron of this life. Revered by Gods, feared by demons and worshipped by humans, Vishnu resides in the highest paradise-Vaikuntha, rests on the coils of Anant-Sesha, the divine serpent, rides into battle on Garuda, the celestial bird, has Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune as his consort there is tranquility on his countenance, his eyes are lotus-shaped and he is blue as the sky. His four arms represent the four directions on the cosmos that he protects. In four hands he holds a conch, a mace, a chakra and lotus flower respectively. Ridding troubled souls of fear and offering reassurance and love is what Vishnu does to his devotees-Rambhaktas, Krishnabhaktas or Vaishnavas who worship him in various images-as Narayana of Badrinath, Gadadhara of Gaya, Tirupati of Venkatagiri, Jagannath of Puri, Ranganatha of Srirangam or Srinathji of Nathadwara. Each Ekadashi is observed as Vishnu-Pooja day.
Whenever the sacred, moral and ethical norms of Dharma are broken and chaos and evil theaten the universe. Lord Vishnu takes the form of man or beast to fight the forces of disorder and re-establish harmony in the three worlds. While He has taken 24 such incarnations, 10 of them are more popular. Dashavatar Stotram is a musical rendition of the first section of Geet Govindam written by Jaydev, the Rajkavi of king Lakshmanasena who ruled Bengal in the 12th century. Jaydev’s mastery over Sanskrit language who matched by his proficiency in music and dance. He was a mystic and an intense devotee of Lord Krishna. Geet Govindam is a poetical masterpiece which embodies the great wealth of his devotion. It consists of ashtapadees on the theme of the love of Radha and Krishna.
The first section sings of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. All the incarnations have a common purpose-protection of the good, destruction of evil and the establishment of Dharma.
Matsya - Matsya, the fish, was the first avatar of Lord Vishnu. The divine fish, Matsya sprouted a horn and tied Manu’s ship to it using Anant-Sesha, the serpent of time, as the rope. He towed the ship with its precious cargo of plants, birds and beasts of the Pralaya. The final dissolution of the Casmos. Then he plunged into the dark waters to save the Vedas from being absorbed by the Asuras.
Kurma - To obtain Amrit (nectar of immortality), the Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Devils) had to churn the ocean with the help of Mount Mandara. But the ocean could not take the mighty weight of the mountain and soon the mountain sank. Turning into Kurma, a gigantic turtle. Lord lifted the mountain on his back and stood as a support base to the mountain. Thus facilitating the Sagar Manthan (Ocean Churning).
Lord Vishnu also took the form of the enchantress Mohini to make sure that the Devas get the Amrit.
Varaha - When the Asura Hiranyaksha abducted Bhoomidevi (mother earth) and dragged her down into Paatal, the dark realm under the earth and sea. Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar to rescue her. He killed Hiranyaksha and with a triumphant snort lifted Bhoomidevi back to the surface on one tooth.
Narasimha - Hiranyakashyapu, elder brother of Hiranyaksha, swore to avenge his brother’s death. However his son, Prahlad, was Lord Vishnu’s staunch devotee. This enraged Hiranyakashyapu who tied Prahlad to a pillar and challenged him to call his God to come save him. In a fit of anger, he kicked the pillar and from within emerged a half-man and half-lion being - Lord Vishnu in the form of Narsimha. The immaculate man-lion killed Hiranyakashyapu and saved Prahlad. Thus destroying evil once again.
Vamana - King Bali, the King of Asuras, had become the lord of the three worlds. A conceited and arrogant man, he took great pride in his material possessions.
Lord Vishnu approached Bali in the form of a Brahman dwarf Sage Vamana and asked for nothing but three paces of land. Bali laughed at the timid request and granted it. In a flash the midget Brahman grew in size, taking over the Earth in his first step and heaven in his second. As his third pace of land, King Bali offered the Brahman to step foot on his pompous head.
Parashurama - When the Kshatriyas started subverting the law of the land for personal gain and misusing their powers on Earth Lord Vishnu took the form of Parashurama, son of Sage Jamadagni. He annihilated the egotistical King Sahastra Arjuna and his warrior clans.
Maryada Purshottam Ram - Born in Satya (Truth) Yug. Maryada Purshottam Shri Ram personifies the best of human nature. He symbolizes righteousness in thought, speech and action and also the eternal triumph of good over evil.
The reincarnation of Lord Vishnu in the personality of Shri Ram had the supreme purpose of destroying the evil personified by Ravan, the Rakshasa king of the island of Lanka.
Balram - Conceived in Devaki and delivered by Rohini, Balram was the elder brother of Lord Krishna. This light-skinned incarnation of Vishnu, bearer of the pestle and the plough, was a friend of the farmers. He taught them, the art of tilling soil, dehusking grain and building canals. Along with Lord Krishna, he vanquished Kamsa and his brother Sumana.
Buddha - When the age of Kali set in, Lord Vishnu took the form of Prince Siddhartha, the son of a Shakya king in Kapilavastu. On seeing the miseries of mankind, he renounced his wife and child, his wealth and his crown. Through deep meditation under a Bodhi tree in Bodh-Gaya, Bihar, Prince Siddhartha attained self-realization. And so he became Buddha. The Enlightened One. He spread the message of Ahimsa (non-violence) and that one should detach oneself from all worldly materials and relations.
Kalki - Lord Vishnu’s first avatar, Matsya, was to save humanity from the Pralaya, the last avatar too will be to deliver humanity from the Pralaya which will come at the end of the Kaliyug.
Lord Vishnu will appear amongst mortals as Kalki, riding a celestial horse, carrying a meteoric sword wiping out all corrupt evil people and reinforcing moral sense and ethical values in mankind till there is infinite peace and security.
O God, in the form of a Fish! In the flood of dissolution you have held up the revealed knowledge of the Vedas, like a boat, without effort. Hail! Hari, God of the world, Victory to Thee!
O God, in the form of the Dwarf!! By planting your feet you have cheated Bali, the mighty, Ganga, the river which sanctifies the world has come out of Your toe-nails. Hail! Hari, God of the would, Victory to Thee!
O God in the body of Sri Rama! You have made a beautiful offering of the ten heads of the demon Ravana in battle to the guardians of the cardinal directions. Hail! Hari, God of the world. Victory to Thee!
Vahasi vapushi vishade vasanam jaladabham
Jaya jagadish hare.
O God, in the form of Balarama, the bearer of the plough! You wear on your immaculate body a garment the color of the cloud, blue like the Yamuna, darkened by the fear of being dragged by your plough. Hail! Hari God of the world, Victory Thee!
O God, in the body of Buddha, the enlightened! Out of compassion of your heart you have condemned the ritualistic portion of the Vedas ordaining the killing of animals. Hail! Hari, God of the world, Victory to Thee!
Mlechcha-nivaha-nidhane kalayasi karavalam
Dhumaketumiva kimapi karalam
Keshava dhrita kalkisharira
Jaya jagadish hare.
O God, in the form Kalki! For the destruction of the wicked, you carry a meteor-like sward in your hand, trailing a train of disaster to them. Hail! Hari, God of the world. Victory to Thee!
O God, who took ten forms! Please listen to this song of Jayadeva. It bestows goodness, and joy; it is the essence of life. Hail! Hari, God of the world, Victory to Thee!
The Purushsuktam as seen in the Vedas is one of the five Suktams of Shri Vaishnav Sampradaya. The Purush refers to the Param Purush, Purushottam, and Narayan in Lord Vishnu’s cosmic form-Viratrupa. He is the embodiment of the cosmic sacrifice - Yagna-purush. In the yagna, Vishnu or his various aspects were the worshipper, the worshipped, the sacrificial altar, post and knife, the fire, the offering and the reward. The message is that the Purush will consume himself in the fire of creation to create all the worlds.
|Aarti - Om Jai Jagdish Hare||6|
|Dashavatar is a musical rendition of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu written by Jaydev, the Rajkavi of Bengal in the 12th century.|
|Signature prayer for Art & Artistes: Pandit Jasraj|
Music by: Sh. Ratan Mohan Sharma
Arrangement: Sh. Kedar Pandit
Lead Vocals: Sh. Ratan Mohan Sharma / Km. Shweta Pandit
Commentary written by: Smt. Madhura Pt. Jasraj
Commentary voice: Sh. Harish Bhimani
Dashavatar chants: Durga Jasraj
Purushsuktam chants: Omkar Vedic Sadhana Centre
Recorded at: FM Studio, Pune
Recorded by: Praveen Joshi
Recorded & mied at: Insync Studios, Jahu, Mumbai
Recorded by: Chinmaye Harshe
Researched, conceived & created for Times Music by: Art and Artistes