PENTATHLON EPISODE 4
This is the fourth among the series of quizzes we have planned as part of the celebration of 5 years of the Quizzards_2k4 yahoo group.This is a quiz based on Hindu Mythology
This edition had 10 people attempting the quiz.
1. Only one of the five Pandavas had the courage to suggest to Yudishtra that Lord Krishna should be the first person to be honored before the Rajasuya Yagna could be performed. Who?
2. King Indradyumna was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. When he retired from Royal duties, he became a sanyasi and renounced everything including the sense of speech. In silence, he meditated on the Lord. His intense concentration made him miss out on honouring Sage Agastya who stood before him as he meditated. As usual, anger blinds all other senses; Agastya lost control and cursed the King-turned-ascetic. "blinded by ignorance and haughtiness, the king
has ignored me completely. May you be turned into ____". The curse was eventually lifted when the King in his new "avataar" became an even greater devotee of Lord Vishnu. This story of the new avataar and how he was liberated is forever etched in all our bed time tales.
Ans.Gajendra, the elephant devotee of Lord Vishnu
3. Who first identified Vamana as an avatar of Lord Vishnu?
Ans.Sukracharya, the chief priest of the asuras
4. It is said that Hiranyakashipu had irritated Lord Narasimha so much that his anger never subsided. Who eventually calmed him down?
Ans.Prahlada pacified the Lord with prayers. A simple "Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya" did the trick!
5. This one is for the Month of Marghazhi, the greatest month in the Tamil calendar! What are the days of the marghazhi month named after?
Ans.The 30 days of the month of Marghazhi are named after the 30 verses of Andaal's tirupaavai.
6. As we all know, when Dhanvantari came out of the Milky Ocean with the amrit (nectar), the Devas and Asuras fought for who would drink the amrit first. Lord Vishnu-Maya came as Mohini and settled the dispute. While the Asuras were totally head over heels on her beauty and charm, Mohini was busy distributing all the amrit to the devas. One asura by name Svarabhanu managed to see through Mohini's game. How do we best know this asura?
Ans.The asura assumed the form of a deva to counter-fool Mohini and succeeded in drinking the amrit. Mohini tried severing his neck with the Holy Discus but the head and body became immortal as Rahu and Ketu.
7. One more on the samudra manthan. When the Asuras finally realised they had been tricked and all the amrit had been drank, they were furious. Mohini simply smiled and handed over the empty vessels to the asuras and vanished. What did the asuras do with the vessels and how do we know the burying of the hatchet, perhaps?
Ans.The vessels were buried in 4 places - Nasik, Ujjain, Prayag and Haridwar. These are the venues where the Kumbha mela festivities are held
8. X boasted that he was the greatest of all time (the then Mohd Ali, I guess) and challenged everybody that he could lift a mountain with his bare hands (Later, Krishna parodied this by lifting a mountain with His little finger!!). Unfortunately for X, the mountain was Kailash, and the Gods as usual panicked. It is said that when the mountain got a new high, Shiva had to step in with his toe, literally. His pressure made the mountain very heavy and X dropped it on
his own fingers. X shrieked, screamed and roared in pain. Even with the pain, X composed the Shiva tandava Stotra impromptu. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva showed his glory self to X and gave him the title Y, by which we know him best. Name X and Y.
Ans.X is Dasamukha (ten headed) and Y is Ravana
9. X goes down in the mythological tales as the world's first ever enclopedia as he had immense knowledge of history, geography and the sciences. X was originally a ghandarva who got into wrong terms with Indra. Indra was overcome with both anger and jealousy (over the Ghandarva's handsome looks) and cursed him. Anger management was at its worst and when Indra struck X with his thunderbolt. The result was that X became as massive as a mountain, sans head or neck, had a mouth with big teeth in his belly. He wanted to be killed at the hands of Lord Rama to get moksha and he got his wish. But before he died, he passed on all the immense knowledge he possessed to Rama. The KT was very useful for Rama for all the events that followed after - meeting Sabari, Sugriva, Vaali, Hanuman etc.
10. It is said that this person was not so holy when he began his life. Sage Narada appeared before him and asked him to change his ways. He went to his parents and wife and asked if they would share his sins. They refused it, and his eyes opened to reality. He immediately renounced everything and took up severe penance. Years later, Narada came the same way and saw a huge anthill piled up. Narada realised that the person was inside the anthill and softly
called out his name. Only a two-syllable mantra was heard. Narada released him from the anthill and gave him a new name meaning "one who came out of an anthill". Who is the famous mythological character in person?
Ans.Ratnakara the hunter who became Valmiki, author of Ramayana.