Morvinandan Barbareek is worshipped as Khatushyamji - Almost all of us know about the history of Mahabharat and the cause of the war. The Pandavas and the Kauravas were always in conflict from the time of their childhood.
Duryodhan, the eldest among the Kaurava brothers was always used to walk on the path of sin and untruth, while Dharmaraj Yudhishthir the eldest brother among the Pandavas never leaves the path of righteousness and truth.
Duryodhan always use some trick to cheat Pandavas. Because of his cheats the Pandavas were compelled to stay in the lakshagraha. Because of the blessings of the Lord, all the five Pandavas and their mother Kunti came out safely from the lakshagraha.
They got to know that Duryodhan was their main enemy, then they did not return back to Hastinapur. They went to forest and started living in it. During that period, when the four brothers and the mother were sleeping in the dense forest, Bhim was guarding them alertly.
In the same forest, a demon named Hidimb also lived along with his sister Hidimba. Hidimb got the smell of the human beings from a distance in the forest. He informed about this to Hidimba. He said today is very happy day, he got the smell of humans in the forest.
He ordered Hidimba to go and hunt the humans and bring the killed humans there, then both of them will eat the human flesh peacefully. As soon as Hidimba reached there and saw Bhim, she falls in love with him. After this she had only one wish, to marry Bhim.
She thought, “Why should not I accept this tiger in human form as my husband. There could be better blessing for me than this”. Seeing that Hidimba got late, Hidimb himself reached there. Firstly, he rebuked his siter for seeing Bhim, she forgot her devil nature and developed a soft feeling for Bhim.
This made Hidimb very angry and told her sister that he would kill all the Pandavas and teach her a good lesson. But Bhim said that, “This woman came to my refugee and I won’t even allow you to harm her.” This thing made Hidimb angrier and they both began to fight. A fierce battle took place between Bhim and Hidimb. They used trees and big rocks as their weapons.
The Pandavas were watching them fighting and they believed that Bhim would defeat the demon. After Bhim had defeated and killed the demon Hidimb. Hidimba went to Kunti with her head bowed and hands folded, then she said humbly, “Oh Mother, I have accepted your son Bhim as my husband in the heart of my hearts. You are a woman and you know my feelings. Have pity on me and permit me to marry your son.”
Yudhishthir and mother Kunti persuade her that they were passing through bad times and were travelling from forest to forest. On this they asked her, “What happiness would you get by marrying Bhim?”
But Hidimba was not convinced and she continued to make humble request. This melted Kunti’s heart. Bhim and Hidimba got married and the Pandavas and Kunti left Bhim there with Hidimba on the condition that either on the completion of on year or when Hidimba would bear a son, then Bhim would leave her and come back to them.
Time passed quickly and Hidimba gave birth to a child. The baby did not have any hair on his head at the time of his birth, so he was named Ghatotkachch. Because he was the son of the demoness, he looked quite tall at the time of his birth.
Hidimba then again went to Pandava brothers and she and Ghatotkachch took the blessings from mother Kunti and all the brothers and went back in the forest. The boy gave a promise that whenever the Pandavas would require his help, he would definitely come to them.
After some time, the Pandava brothers were called by Bhishma Pitamah and Vidur back to Hastinapur and were handed over the kingdom of Khandavprastha. Khandavprastha, a lonely and rocky place and the challenge for the Pandavas was to convert it to a beautiful place. Ghatotkachch realised his duty as a son and reached to his father. They changed it into a very beautiful place and now it is renamed as “Indraprastha”.
Ghatotkachch was blessed by all the Pandava brothers. Dharmaraj Yudhishthir said, “Oh Vasudev, Oh Madhava, Oh Krishna, Bhim’s son has already grown up that he must get married now.” Then with a smile, Shree Krishna said, “Yes, oh king of righteous, the time for the marriage of Ghatotkachch has indeed come.”
After saying this, he turned to Ghatotkachch and said, “Son, there was a powerful demon named Mur in Pragjyotishour. He has a daughter named Kamkantakata (Morwi). She was very wise. She subjects everyone with some questions, who comes to her with a marriage proposal.
You go there with the blessings of all of your elders and God, you will answer all her questions but do not perform the rituals of wedding there, come here along with her here. Ghatotkachch reached there and answered all her questions wisely.
After this, he reached Indraprastha with Kamkantakata. Both of them get married there in the presence of Shree Krishna. After taking the blessings from the elders, Ghatotkachch headed towards east. After the passage of time, when all the planets were so powerful, Kamkantakata gave birth to an illustrious, kind hearted, strong, religious and wise son named Barbareek
A big reason was behind this name. The child had hairs like a lion at the time of his birth.
And as the lion is very ferocious and violent, he was named as ‘Barbareek’. A doubt arose in Ghatotkachch’s mind that what his son would become, a demon or a human. But he was fortunate enough to have the proximity of Lord Krishna. He took Barbareek to Dwarka and placed him at the feet of Lord Krishna.
Then Barbareek fold his hand and bowed his head in front of Krishna and after touching Shree Krishna’s he said. “Oh, my lord! How can a creature in this world be blessed? Some says religion brings blessings, some advocated philanthropy, some prefer meditation, some favour riches, some like pleasure and enjoyment, but many argue that only salvation brings blessings.
Oh Lord out of all these options, please direct me along one path, grant me one option, which may prove to be auspicious for my dynasty and for all others. Please preach to me and advise me about that.”
Krishna get very happy after knowing his inner determination, faith and feelings. Therefore, he said with a sweet smile in his face, “Oh son! All the four castes in the society have their pre-destined path of blessings according to their position in society.
You are a Kshatriya, you should use your strength, you should use your might which you can get by seeking the blessings of Sureshwari Bhawani Bhagwati. So, you should first worship the goddess.
Then again Barbareek asked Lord Krishna that to which place he should go to meditate for the goddess. At this question, Shri Krishna told Barbareek to go at the meeting place of the oceans which is known as Mahisagar Tat or ‘Durgas’ brought by Narad.
After getting the command from Shri Krishna, Barbreek proceeded. After reaching at the meeting place of the oceans, he gained his perception and started to meditate. The goddess gets so pleased by seeing his (Barbareek’s) intense determination and meditation and granted him a boon that could not be accessed by anyone else in all the three worlds.
The goddess said, “Son, we grant you unparallel strength. Nobody will be able to defeat you in this world. But you stay here for a few more years because a Brahmin named Vijay come here and you will receive even more blessings as a result of his company.”
Following the goddess’s command, Barbareek stayed there for few more years. Then, the Brahmin named Vijay came there from Magadha and start worshiping seven Shivlings, he became immersed in the meditation of the same goddess. One day while the Brahmin was sleeping, the goddess came in his dream and blessed him. She also asked him to meditate before the Siddha Mother to practise all his skills and learnings. She told him that “My devotee Barbareek would help him”.
After this the Brahmin, Vijay said to Barbareek, “Oh brother! Please take care that my meditation that it doesn’t get disturbed till I practise all my skills”
So, for his protection, Barbareek killed a demon named Replindu and Dhruva named demoness, etc. who were obstructing Brahmin’s meditation. He also killed a Palsi named demon who had been troubling Nagas from the Patal lok. On these brave killings of these demons, the king of Nagas, Vasuki came there and told him to ask for a boon. On this Barbareek asked that the Brahmin Vijay’s meditation may be completed uninterrupted.
During that time many Nag maidens were eager to marry Barbareek by seeing his looks and bravery but Barbareek told all of them that he had taken the vow of bachelorhood. All those Nag maidens were so pleased with his behaviour that they gave him a boon of being victorious.
After the Brahmin’s meditation, Goddess granted Vijay the boon of wealth and fortune and also gave Barbareek three infallible arrows and blessing him, said that by using these arrows he could always be victorious in the three worlds.
These arrows are the same three arrows which we worship as Lord Shyam’s weapons. These arrows are kept in Shree Shyam’s temple and are worshipped with great devoutness.
After a long time of his leaving of that area, the Pandava brothers also came the Sindh pilgrimage after losing everything in gambling. All the brothers worshipped the goddess and then sat a little away to take some rest. Then Bhim stood up and without washing his feet and hands, he entered the sacred pond and began gargling his mouth. On this, Barbareek became very angry.
He went to Bhim and asked what kind of pilgrim he was. He angrily said, “You know that the water of this pond is used for the worship of the goddess and you have entered the pond without even washing your hands and feet and you also rinsing and gargling your mouth.”
And on all this, Bhim also became very angry and they both started fighting. Bhim was very powerful and he was so proud of his strength but after applying all his power and strength he was unable to defeat Barbareek. He became sad and depressed. At the same time Lord Shiva along with all the goddess appeared.
Lord Shiva told Bhim that not to feel depressed as Barbareek was from his own family. “His name is Barbareek and he is the son of your son Ghatotkachch.”
Listening this, Barbareek became very unhappy on what he had done. He was very sad on fighting with his grandfather. And because of this sadness he went ahead to end his life. On this the goddess, who had given Barbareek the might that this not the time for him to end his life.
When everyone advised Barbareek to calm down, he calms down and reunited with his family. After the passage of one year of his hidden identity, the Pandavas began to demand for their kingdom. But they were not given their kingdom by Duryodhan and he also refused to give them five villages. Due to this reason the most violent war of the history, Mahabharat was decided on. It was the battle between truth and falsehood.
Barbareek also finished his meditation at the meeting place of the oceans and returned to his mother Morwi, and touched her feet. As soon as Barbareek got the news of Mahabharat, he also wished to see the battle and told his mother about his desire.
On this his mother Morwi told him, “If you wish to see the battle, then go. But you are so courageous and brave that if you feel the urge to participate in the battle, what will you do?”
The Barbareek replied, “Oh Mother, I will first watch the battle and then afterwards, I will join that side which is losing.” Then after taking his mother’s blessing and permission, the mighty and powerful, brave, friend of losers, Barbareek rode a blue horse with the speed of wind and proceeded towards Kurukshetra, the battlefield of Mahabharata.
At the battlefield, Lord Krishna saw through his divine foresight that a brave man on a blue horse coming towards the Kurukshetra with the speed of wind.
In his mind, Shri Krishna thought, “Let me examine this brave man.” Lord Krishna disguise himself as a Brahmin and sat under a Peepal tree, which was a little distance away from the battlefield. On reaching there Barbareek saw the Brahmin under the Peepal tree and he gets down from the horse, he bowed respectfully in front of the Brahmin and stopped there
Krishna, who is disguising as a Brahmin asked Barbareek that who he was and where he was heading? Barbareek replied, “Oh Brahmin! My name is Barbareek and I am going towards the battlefield of Mahabharat.” On this Krishna said, “Brave man, you are heading towards a battlefield with only three arrows with you.”
Barbareek replied, “Oh Brahmin! only one of these arrows is enough to destroy the entire armies taking part in this war in one second and after completing its task, it will return back to my quiver. If I use all the three of them, then there will be havoc in the three worlds. Everything will be destroyed.”
Brahmin said, “Oh brave man, why are you so arrogant about your bravery and your arrows?” Barbareek answered, “Oh Brahmin! This is not arrogance, this is the strength of my meditation, my worship. This is why I am proud of them.”
Then the Brahmin said, “If you are so proud of bravery, then tie all the leaves of the peepal tree under which I am sitting, with one arrow. To fulfil the wish of the Brahmin, Barbareek agreed. He takes out one arrow from his quiver and concentrate on his meditation, he releases the arrow.
Then, the arrow tied all the leaves of the peepal tree together, but one leaf was under Lord Krishna’s feet. After tying all the other leaves, the arrow started to revolve around the Brahmin’s foot.
On this Brahmin asked, “Hey brave man, why is this arrow revolving around my foot.” Barbareek answered him that there must be a leaf under his foot and to tie that leaf, this arrow was revolving around your foot.
Then Brahmin said, “If there is a leaf present under my foot, why is the arrow not tying it?” Barbareek replied that the arrow was fired to tie all the leaves not his foot. Listening this, the Brahmin removed his foot and the arrow tied that leaf too and after completely the task, it returned to Barbareek’s quiver.
Shree Krishna said, “There is no doubt that you are courageous and very brave. But tell me that which side you will fight for in the battle.” Barbareek replied, “Oh Brahmin, actually I have come to see the battle. But whichever side loses, I will fight for that side.”
Krishna knew that the party which will be losing is Kauravas and if this brave man went to their side then the scene of the whole battlefield would change. And if this happened, then the religion and the righteousness would be destroyed and unrighteousness would attain victory.
Then the Brahmin said, “You must be very courageous and brave, but being brave a Kshatriya must also have to be a philanthropist as well.” Listening this, Barbareek said, “Today anything you want from me. If it is in my control, I will definitely fulfil your wish.”
The Lord Krishna said, “First, gave me a promise and then I will ask for a boon.” Barbareek gave the Brahmin his words and told him to ask whatever he wants. Then Shree Krishna said, “Oh brave man! Give me your head in charity.”
Listening this Barbareek became astonished and exclaimed. He said, “Oh Brahmin! I have given you my words and so I will surely give you my head. But first you tell me who you and why do you want my head? Please disclose me your identity.”
At this, Lord Krishna showed him (Barbareek) his actual form and said, “Look Barbareek, before the battle for worshipping the battlefield, it is essential to sacrifice a full, brave courageous Kshatriya’s head. It must be bravest on this earth and no one is braver than you in this world. That’s why I had asked you for your head in charity.”
Barbareek replied. “Hey Lord! I have been your follower since my childhood. It is my good fortune that you have asked for my head. But Lord! I too have a wish. I want to see the battle till its end. If you fulfil my wish, then my life will be successful and will have a new meaning to it.”
Then Lord Krishna said, “Oh brave Barbareek! Your wish will surely be fulfilled.” At that moment, the Pandava brothers arrived there and asked Shree Krishna, “Oh Lord! Why have you asked for the head of this innocent brave man?”
Then a lot of goddess appeared like Chandika, Siddha Ambika, Praneshwary, Yogeshwari, Suwarna, Tripura, Charchacheeka, Bhutambika, Trikola, Harisiddha, Kodhmatru, etc. and said, “Oh brave Pandavas! Hear from us the reason for taking the sacrifice of Barbareek’s head.
Once upon a time, all the Gods prayed to Lord Vishnu that, Oh Lord! The unrighteousness on earth has increased very much. Please decrease this burden from the earth. Then Lord Vishnu assured everyone and promised them that he would take an incarnation and remove the burden from the earth.
Then a Yaksha named Suryavarcha, who was present there, proclaimed that he alone could take an incarnation and he would remove earth’s burden. As he said that, Lord Brahma became very angry and he cursed Suryavarcha saying that when the time comes for him to remove the burden of the world, he would die by the hands of Shree Krishna.
Then the Suryavarcha asked Shree Vishnu, then Lord Vishnu replied that whenever the burden of sin and unrighteousness will descend on the earth, Lord Krishna will free you from your curse and with his blessing, you will become famous.”
He was the same brave men whose head was taken by Lord Krishna as a sacrifice and behind all this also lies the good for righteousness. Then after, Shri Krishna with the goddesses places the head of Barbareek on the top of the hill so that he could watch the war till its end.
Then the goddesses disappeared after blessing the head of Barbareek and the Pandavas. Then the biggest, most violent battle of Mahabharat begins. During the battle, lakhs of soldiers got martyrdom from both the sides. And after 18 days of intense battle, the question of victory and defeat was decided. Because of Lord Krishna’s policy, the Pandavas stood victorious.
After achieving the victory, all the Pandavas began to show conceit and all of them started to describe their own individual bravery in glorious way. Each of the Pandavas thought themselves to be the righteous recipient of the victory.
Seeing this, Shri Krishna said, “Hey courageous Pandavas! Don’t be so proud of yourselves. The right decision regarding the real cause of victory can only be taken by the brave Barbareek’s head. You all were engaged in the battle but that brave man’s head had seen all that happened on the battlefield from beginning till the end from the top of the hill with full attention. Come with me and ask the brave Barbareek’s head.”
All the Pandava went along with Shri Krishna to the top of the hill where Barbareek’s head was placed. After reaching there, all the Pandavas began to ask Barbareek’s head that they were each responsible for the victorious and were all so happy that they couldn’t contain their happiness within themselves.
On this, Barbareek’s head replied with a smile, “Oh brave Pandavas! You have achieved the victory in this war only because of Lord Krishna. The actual winner of this war is only Shree Krishna. You only stood victorious in this battle of Mahabharat because of his policies and wisdom.
Barbareek’s head continued, “Oh courageous Pandavas, I could see only the Sudarshan Chakra revolving everywhere which was cutting the Kaurava army to pieces and Draupadi assuming as the fearful form of Mahakali Durga, was drinking the blood to fall on the earth.” After saying this, the head of the Barbareek became silent and flowers were showered from the heaven on it.
Listening all this, the Pandava brothers became ashamed and began to beg for forgiveness. Shree Krishna said happily, “Barbareek, I am very pleased with your great sacrifice and I grant you the boon that you will be worshipped in the Kaliyug.
Devotees will be blessed just by remembering you and by worshipping you with a true heart and piety, all the jobs of the devotee will be completed.
The great, generous, courageous, philanthropist Barbareek’s head was buried later in the land of Khatu and because of the boon Shree Krishna the time of the appearance for the head has come. A shepherd of Khatu used to graze his cows outside Khatu.
One of the cows always stop at a place while returning to the village and milk used to start flowing from her teats into the earth. The owner of the cow was very worried and unhappy that his cow was not giving any milk daily.
He rebuked the shepherd and questioned him whether he milked the cow very evening so that his cows were not giving any milk to him. Even after the shepherd denied, the owner of the cow did not trust him and he followed the cow did not trust him and he followed the cow whole the day to know the truth and he saw that at a definite distance from the village, milk starts to flow from the teats of the cow and went into the earth.
Watching this, the owner exclaimed and began wondering who was drinking the milk in such fashion. He was very eager to get more information about it. He started getting the field dug up.
When the digging was done, a sound was heard beneath the earth. After listening the sound, he gave orders to the digging operation to proceed slowly. After some time, the head of brave Barbareek was found. The owner of the cow, who found the head gave it away to Brahmin and the Brahmin worshipped the head for many days in his house only.
The name town where the Brahmin used to worship the head was Khatu Khatank. In the dream of the king of that place, Shyamji’s head came and told him, “Oh King! You built a temple here and taking the head from the Brahmin, place it in the temple. You will also get a share in the fame for this.”
Then a grand temple was built in that city and the head of Shyamji was installed in the temple at an auspicious time according to the rituals on the 11th of the brighter half of the Kartik month.
Even in the present time, Shyamji riding on a blue horse come to fulfil the prayers of those devotees of him who worship him with faith, deep devoutness and true heart. Shri Shyamji of Khatu was called by different names by his devotees.
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