ते अपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम
– Bhagavad Gita (Chp 9, 23)
Vishnu says:“O Priya Naarada! You go and do paaraayana of Shankara Shatanaamams. Then You will get Shaanti. Shiva is whom I respect the most. Even by mistake dont forget this. One who doesnt have Shiva-anugraham cannot be My Bhakta. Believe this … Then My maaya wont affect you.”
One day, when Lakshmi and Vishnu were together in vihaaram, Lakshmi sees Ucchaishravam, her brother, the horse of Revanta who is the son of Surya. Engrossed in seeing her brother, she does not reply to the repeated calls of Vishnu. Seeing her attraction, Vishnu gives her shaapam to go to Bhulokam in the form of a horse and come back to Vaikuntam only after getting a son equal to Himself! She comes to Bhuloka to experience the shaapam and realizing that none other than her brother, Shiva can help her calm Vishnu, she immediately does a tapas for Him and Shiva appears to save her soodari. Lakshmi says “You and Vishnu are both same, the Paramaatma. Please help me!”. Shiva says “Soodari! How do you know that we both are same? All learned people know that. Who told you?”. Lakshmi says, “Once Mahavishnu Himself told me this. Seeing Him in deep Daiva-dhyaanam, I asked Him “During Samudramanthanam, I thought you were the greatest of all and hence chose you. Devaadideva! Who is better than you that you are in dhyaanam of Him?”. Mahavishnu replied “I am doing Shankara-dhyaanam. He is Eshwara. He is the same as Me. All learned people know that. If someone is my devotee but still hates Shiva, he will fall into naraka”. Saying this, She asks Shiva to pursuade Vishnu to bless Her with a child. Shiva sends Chitrarupa as a duta to convince Vishnu. Vishnu immediately accepts and comes to Bhuloka and blesses Lakshmi with Ekaveera, who is equal to Vishnu Himself.
Lord Shiva and Vishnu are part of the holy trinity of Hinduism and two of the most important Gods, worshiped by millions of Hindu devotees worldwide. We have all heard about the great glories of these two Gods and are quite aware of the power of their blessings.
But Hindu mythology has a mention of a combined avatar of Vishnu and Shiva, known as Harihara. Hari is the name of Vishnu and Hara is that of Shiva, and Harihara is the ultimate manifestation of them both. On that note let us have a look at some interesting facts about Lord Harihara –
Amazing Facts About Lord Harihara –
1. Harihara is a combined manifestation of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu who is worshipped by both the Vaishnavite and Shaivite sects of Hinduism.
2. This special deity, also known as Shankaranarayana, signifies the oneness and universal unity of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, as manifestations of Brahman or the supreme soul.
3. According to Hindu mythology Lord Shiva is considered to be the heart of Lord Vishnu. Likewise Lord Vishnu is also considered to be the heart of Lord Shiva.
4. This combined manifestation of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu is said to have given birth to Lord Ayappa or Hariharaputra.
5. Ayappan was born to end the boon of Mahishi, the demon sister of Mahisasur. Mahishi had a boon that only the son of Lord Shiva and Vishnu could kill her. Ayappan was Shiva and Vishnu’s offspring who ended Mahishi’s life.
6. Killing Mahashi was necessary as she was terrorizing the earth and killing innocents by the power of her boons. Something needed to be done and it was almost unthinkable that Vishnu and Shiva could have a son.
7. So Vishnu took the form of Mohini and united with Hara or Shiva in order for Ayappan to be born. Harihara is a greatly respected deity and is considered to be the ultimate form of God by many devotees.