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Upamanyu Gets Sea of Milk from Shiv
Upamanyu was a great Rishi and was the son of Vyaaghrapaad and the sister of Vashishth Jee. After he was born, Vashishth Jee took him from Vyaaghrapaad's house to his own Aashram. There he was brought up on Kaamdhenu's milk. After some time when he returned to his home, Vyaaghrapaad Puree, he did not get Kaamdhenu's milk, because his father Vyaaghrapaad did not have Kaamdhenu cow with him. The poor child did not like other cows' milk and so remained hungry. When Vyaaghrapaad could not tolerate his son's hunger any more he went to Shiv Ling carrying the child. The child was still crying. Then Shiv Jee came down and created a whole sea of milk for Upamanyu. Read this story at Guru Namashivaaya under "Story of Upamanyu".

Another Version
There is another version of the above story. This was told by Upamanyu himself to Krishn, in MBH, Anushaasan Parv. He said - "O Maadhav, Listen, I also had a sight of him, listen to it. I invoked him with my great energy, I tell you the whole account. In olden days, in Sat Yug, there was a great Rishi Vyaaghrapaad. He had mastery over Ved and their branches. I was born to him and Dhaumya took birth as my younger brother. Once Dhaumya and myself came to an Aashram of a Rishi where Rishi were milking a cow. I saw that milk and immediately I felt that that milk was like Amrit. I came home and in my childishness, I asked my mother to give me some food prepared with milk. There was no milk in the house so my mother got very sad about this. My mother then took a piece of rice cake and boiled it in water. The water became white and she gave it to me saying that it was milk, drink it. But its taste did not seem to me of milk, so I said - "Maa, This is not milk." She said to me - "O child, We are ascetics, we cannot afford it. We who live in forests and mountains, live on bulbs, fruits and roots. How can we have milk in this wilderness? Sometimes we have to live on water, sometimes on air. By habit we abstain from all kinds of food that normal people eat in villages and towns. We eat only that food which is available in forests. My child, we cannot have any milk here where there is no Surabhi. Living here we pass our time reciting Mantra and practicing penance. Shiv is our highest refuge. By pleasing one can get all the good comforts of the world - good food made of milk, good clothes and other objects of enjoyment. You also devote yourself to him, by his grace you will get everything you wish for."

Hearing this I folded my hands in respect of her, and I said to her - "Maa, Who is this Mahaadev? How can I please him? Where does he live? How can he be seen? How one can get the knowledge about him? If he is pleased with me, will he show himself to me?" My mother said with maternal affection - "Mahaadev is very difficulty to know by people of uncleaned soul, they can retain him in their mind but they cannot see him. Learned people say that he has many forms, he lives in many places, his grace is also shown in many forms, who is there who can understand him? Who can tell that how he sports and how he is pleased? I have heard Muni talking about him, so what I have come to know about him I tell you that when people worship him with compassion, he gives them his Darshan. How do they worship him, I tell you that." Then she told me something about Bhav. I started doing penance for him. Afier a .long penance first he appeared in the form of Indra, then changed himself into Shiv. I prayed him and he being pleased my devotion, he told me to give everything whatever I wanted in my heart. he gave me painless happy long life and a sea of milk. he promised to live always with me.

Upamanyu Witnesses Shiv's Taandav
It is said that Upamanyu also witnessed Shiv's Aanand Taandav (Dance of Bliss) Dance along with his father Vyaaghrapaad, Patanjali, Brahmaa, Vishnu, Indra, Shesh Naag etc.

Upamanyu's Education
There was a Rishi named Dhaumya who had three disciples in his Gurukul - Upamanyu, Aaruni from Paanchaal country, and Ved. Once Guru Jee called Upamanyu and assigned him some cows to take care of. He started taking them to graze in the morning and bring them back in the evening. After a while, Muni asked - "How do you support yourself? You look quite healthy." Upamanyu said politely - "Guru Jee, I live upon the milk of these cows." Guru Jee said - "Son, It is not appropriate to drink milk of these cows without my permission." "Yes Guru Jee." and he went away to tend the cows.

After a while, Guru Jee again called him and when he came back and stood before his Guru Jee, Guru Jee observed that he was still healthy. He again asked him - "Upamanyu, You don't eat anything from alms, nor you go for alms second time, nor you are drinking milk of these cows, still you are healthy. How do you support yourself now?" Upamanyu said - "I sip the froth these calves throw out of their mouth while sucking their mother's teats." Guru Jee said - "These calves must be throwing much froth out of generosity for you. Don't you think that by doing this you should be sharing their full meal? It is unlawful for you to drink the froth like this." And Upamanyu accepting his mistake again went away to tend the cows.

Now he didn't have anything to eat - no alms, no milk, no froth. Once, out of hunger, Upamanyu ate Aak leaves (by eating these leaves one becomes blind) and became blind. As he was walking around, he fell into a pit, thus could not return home that evening. When Guru Jee did not see him in the evening, he got worried about him. He had restrained him from eating everything, so he didn't know how he would be. Thinking thus, he himself went in search of him. He called in the forest - "O Upamanyu, Where are you?" Upamanyu replied - "I am here in this well. I ate Aak leaves, so I became blind and have fallen in this well." Guru Jee said - "Pray Ashwinee Kumaar, they will restore your sight."

And Upamanyu prayed them. Ashwinee Kumaar appeared before him and gave him a cake to eat. Upamanyu said - "You have said correctly, but I cannot take this cake without first offering to my Guru." Ashwinee Kumaar said to him - "Once before your Guru invoked us and we gave a cake to him too, but he had eaten it without offering to his Guru. You also do the same what your Guru did." Upamanyu said - "I beg your pardon, but I cannot take this cake without offering to him." Ashwinee Kumaar got very pleased with him and said to him - "We are very pleased with you. Your Guru's teeth are of black iron, but your teeth will be of gold. Your eyes will be all right and you will have good fortune." He got his sight back, came out of the well, and greeted Guru Jee. Guru Jee also blessed him with the knowledge of Ved and all Dharm Shaastra.

Upamanyu and Krishn
Upamanyu is mentioned in Mahaabhaarat two times --
(1) First time he is mentioned in G-0-Prolog/4 (Aadi Parv, Chap 3) in reference of the three disciples of Maharshi Ayod Dhaumya. His childhood event, losing his eyes and getting them back by worshipping Ashwinee Kumaar, with his Guru is mentioned here. When he became blind and fell in a well, he invoked a vision of dazzling beauty with numerous Rig Vaidik echoes (Shlok 62-63) particularly for Ashwinee Kumaar.

(2) Second time he is mentioned in Anushaasan Parv, Chap 14, when Krishn seeks guidance from him concerning the glory of Shiv and learn the cause for this craving [of cow's milk]. His parents were too poor to give him milk, like Ashwatthaamaa's parents who could not give him milk. This craving led him to do Tapasyaa for Shiv's Darshan.

Shiv Created a Sea of Milk for Upamanyu

The story begins in the lush green thick jungle of Thillai Vanam, the place where there is Swaayambhu Ling. Whoever has a Darshan of this Ling, gets everything he desires. (rightful &andmore on the spiritual side). it is only here where Nataraaj arrived and gave two extra-ordinary gifts to the mankind - Music and Dance. Here lived a great sage named Madyanthinar. He was related to sage Vashishth and had a brilliant son, named Madyanthinar Jr. These sages were living in a small town near Chidaambaram and away from Thillai forest.

Senior Madyanthinar taught all four Ved and six Shaastra to his son, but his son wanted something more - the supreme knowledge - the self-realization. So with the permission of his father he went to Thillai forest to worship the Ling, called Tirumalanada. His worship consisted of offering Abhishek of the Ling, flowers and fruits and of course chanting Om Namah: Shivaaya.

Now he had some problem in collecting flowers for the worship. He wanted to offer fresh flowers. Fresh means not even touched by bees. For that he had to collect the flowers before day-break. It was too dark at that time. He was not able to see properly at that time, and secondly he had to climb trees also to pluck them. It seems that those must be the forest flower plantations because one can't expect roses, jasmine etc kind of flowers in the forest. So stricken with grief, he prayed to Shiv. When asked for a boon, Madyantinar asked only Vyaaghra's feet so that he could bring fresh flowers for the worship of his Lord. Shiv obliged and endowed him with limbs of a tiger to climb the trees without slipping and sight to perceive in darkness too.

Its spiritual meaning is very clear. He received the ultimate knowledge - no darkness and his spiritual progress would always be upwards - never falling down - say due to ego or whatever.

The Lord after showering this grace, named him Vyaaghrapaad. The place where he settled afterwards with his family and parents was named Vyaaghra Puree. After some time, when Vyaaghrapaad became 16 years old, his father came to Thillai forest to take him back and more importantly, to put him in a wed-lock. Father was overjoyed to find his son having attained the highest spiritual level, due to the grace of Shiv. He told his son about his wish. Vyaaghrapaad agreed and the bride was none other than sister of sage Vashishth. They got married.

And there is the arrival of Upamanyu - the son born to Vyaaghrapaad and his wife. Thus Vashishth was Maamaa of Upamanyu. After Upamanyu was born, Vashishth requested Vyaaghrapaad to bring his wife (Vashishth's sister) and the new born to his Aashram, to which Vyaaghrapaad agreed. In Vashishth's Aashram, Upamanyu had highly nutritious milk - Kamdhenu's milk. After a few months, Vyaaghrapaad brought back his wife and the child to his own Vyaaghra Puree. But now a practical difficulty came. Upamanyu was used to Kaamdhenu's milk. He could not accept milk of any other cow and thus started suffering from starvation. Vyaaghrapaad was worried and felt helpless. He took the child to the Ling. The child started crying due to hunger - and the Lord came down. Shiv created an entire sea of milk for Upamanyu.

Later on, even Lord Krishna took Shiv Deekshaa' from Upamanyu. [May be the descendant of the original Upamnyu.

It is also mentioned that during the time of that famous dance of Lord Nataraja (Aanand Tandav), Upamnyu was present to witness it, along with his father Vyaaghrapaad, Patanjali, Brahmaa, Vishnu, Indra, Shesh Jee etc.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 05/20/13