om namah shivaya  

The flames emitted by the two weapons of Brahma and Visnu burned the three worlds. On seeing the imminent untimely dissolution, the bodiless form of Siva assumed the terrific form of a huge column of fire in their midst. The two weapons of fiery flame potential enough to destroy the entire world fell into the huge column of fire that manifested itself there instantaneously. Seeing the auspicious wonderful phenomenon assuaging the weapons, they asked each other about that wonderful form, thinking about the column of fire that had risen up. It was beyond the range of senses and wanted to find its top and bottom. Jointly deciding like this, the two heroes proud of their prowess immediately set about assiduously in their quest. Vishnu said that nothing would turn up, if they were together and assumed the form of a Boar and went in search of the root. Brahma in the form of a swan went up in search of the top. Piercing through the netherworlds and going very far below, Visnu could not see the root of the fiery column. Visnu, in the form of a Boar returned to the former battleground. Brahma on the other hand, saw a bunch of Ketaki flower of mysterious nature falling from above.

On seeing the mysterious fight between Brahma and Visnu, Lord Siva laughed. When his head shook, the Ketaki flower dropped down. Although it had been in its downward course for many years, neither its fragrance nor its luster had been diminished even a bit. The flower had been intended to bless them. Brahma told the lord of flowers that he had come to seek the top of the column in the form of swan. On this the flower replied that it was falling from the middle of the primordial column that was inscrutable and did not know how the top of the column could be seen.

Brahma told the flower to do as he desired and requested him to tell Visnu that Brahma saw the top of the column and that he was a witness to it. Saying this, he bowed to the Ketaki flower again and again since according to him even falsehood was recommended at the time of danger.

Returning to the original place, where Visnu was utterly exhausted, Brahma danced with joy. Visnu told him the truth that he could not see the bottom. On the other hand Brahma told Visnu that he saw the top of the column and the Ketaki flower witnessed the same. The Ketaka flower repeated the falsehood endorsing the words of Brahma in his presence.

Hari, taking it to be true, made obeisance to Brahma. Brahma was worshipped with all the sixteen means of service and homage.

The Lord Siva taking up a visible form in order to chastise Brahma, who practiced trickery, came out of the column of fire. On seeing the lord, Visnu stood up with his hands shaking with fear, caught hold of the lords feet. He told lord that it was out of ignorance and delusion about Lord, whose body is without a beginning or an end that we indulged in the quest prompted by our own desire. He requested Lord to forgive them for their fault and accepted that it was another form of his divine sport.

Lord told Visnu that he was pleased with him, because he strictly adhered to truth inspite of his desire to be a lord. Hence in general public, Visnus footing will be equal to Lords and would be honoured too. He blessed Visnu saying that there would be separate temples, installations of idols, festivals and worships for him.

Thus, formerly, the lord was delighted by the truthfulness of Hari and offered him a footing equal to his own even as the assembly of the Devas was witnessing the same.

Mahadeva then created a wonderful person, Bhairava, from the middle of his brows to quell the pride of Brahma. Bhairava had knelled before the lord in the battlefield and asked lord to give him directives. Lord then introduced Bhairava to Brahma saying that Brahma was the first deity of the universe and told him to worship him with his quick-moving sword. With one of his hands, he caught hold of the tuft of Brahmas fifth head that was guilty of haughtily uttering a falsehood, and with the hands he furiously shook his sword in order to cut it off.

Brahma trembled like a plantain tree in a whirlwind, with his ornaments scattered here and there, his cloth ruffled and loosened, the garland displaced, the upper cloth hanging loose and the glossy tuft disheveled, and fell at the feel of Bhairava. Meanwhile the sympathetic Acyuta, the Visnu, desirous of saving Brahma, shed tears over the lotus-like feet of lord Siva and said with palms joined in reverence just like a child lisping words of entreaty to its father. Acyuta told lord that it was He who gave Brahma five heads as a special symbol and requested lord to forgive his first guilt and favour him. The lord thus requested by Acyuta relented and in the presence of all Devas asked Bhairava to desist from punishing Brahma. On this lord told Brahma that in order to extort honour from the people, he assumed the role of the lord in a roguish manner. Hence Brahma would not be honoured and would neither have his own temples or festival.

Brahma then requested lord to please him and considered sparing his head itself a great blessing and a boon. Isvara, the Siva, then granted him a boon, which was very difficult to get.


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