Mythological stories are a great way to teach children about the world and all its virtues. Each mythological stories and characters have their own morals which helps shape children’s vision of right and wrong. Lord Vishnu is one of the three main gods in Hinduism.
Vishnu’s role is to protect the Universe. As and when needed, Lord Vishnu has taken different forms(avatars) and came to the world to save and ensure justice. Here are a set of stories about Lord Vishnu for young children.
5 Fascinating Tales of Lord Vishnu for Kids
Story of Vishnu’s Greatest Devotee
Sage Narad spent his entire day singing praises of Lord Vishnu. So he thought that he was the greatest devotee of Vishnu. One day he asked Vishu, “Lord who is your greatest devotee?” Vishnu replied, “Come down to earth with me. I will show you.”
Both of them went down to earth. Vishnu stopped near a field, where a farmer was busy working on his land. Lord Vishnu pointed at him and said, ” He is my greatest devotee.” Now Narad was surprised. He sang praises of Vishnu every day almost every moment and did his Puja. Still, how can a farmer be a bigger devotee?
Vishnu understood the confusion of Narad. He gave a pot filled with oil to the brim to Narad and told him to walk and take the pot to the nearby hill and come back before sunset. Narad set out in his task as ordered. Carefully he placed the pot on his head and started walking away towards the hill. It was almost evening when Narad came back to where he had started from. He placed the pot back in front of Vishnu and said that he took the utmost care not to spill a single drop of oil.
Now Lord Vishnu asked, “How many times you took my name throughout your task?” Narad replied, “Oh Lord, forgive me. I was so busy taking care of the pot of oil, that forgot about you. Did not take your name even once.”
Now Vishnu smiled and said, “This farmer is busy in his field working and earning a living throughout the day. Still, he takes my name in the middle of his work, when he gets a chance. Now you see why he is my greatest devotee.” Narad nodded in agreement.
Lord Vishnu and 1008 Lotus Flowers
There was always continuous fights going on between gods and demons for supremacy. Once, the demons became very powerful with a blessing from Lord Brahma. They started attacking the gods and taking away their palaces. All the gods went to Vishnu requesting help.
However, since the demons were blessed with a boon from Brahma, it became impossible for Vishnu to defeat the demons. Whatever weapon Vishnu used, the demons could easily defeat that. So he started praying for Shiva and doing his Puja.
To complete his Puja, as per the ritual, Vishnu had to offer 1008 Lotus flowers. Vishnu got all the flowers and started offering them to Shiva one by one after chanting the mantra. However, once 1007 flowers were offered, Shiva, in a bid to test Vishnu, hid the last flower.
Not wanting to stop the puja, Vishnu plucked one of his eyes and offered that to Shiva instead of flower. Thus he completed the Puja. Shiva now was very pleased with Vishnu’s devotion. So he came down and blessed Vishnu with a special weapon that would be indestructible. Vishnu took the weapon and defeated the demons.
Satrupa and Manu’s Wish
Brahma created Manu after Vishnu asked him to start life on earth. Satrupa also was created by Brahma so that together Manu and Satrupa can bring life to the earth. Thus Manu and Satrupa gave birth and brought the human race to earth.
The human race flourished on earth. However, gradually came jealousy, ill thoughts and humans started indulging in bloodshed. Manu became very worried. So he and Satrupa started doing penance for God to find a solution and save the human race. To rid the world of all the evils, Brahma created a great flood to destroy the world. Vishnu took the form of Matsya avatar and saved Manu and Satarupa from the flood, so that life on earth can be continued. They survived and the human race flourished once again.
After completing their worldly duties, Manu and Satrupa left their palace and started spending all their life being devoted to God. Their penance and prayers were heard by Vishnu. He asked them for a wish. Both wished to be the parents of Vishnu to feel the love of Vishnu in their hearts forever. Vishnu agreed and told them that they would take birth as Dasarath and Kaushalya in Ayodhya. Vishnu would take birth as Ram, their son.
Curse of Jaya and Vijaya
Jaya and Vijaya were the gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu. Once, Sanath Kumaras, the four sons of Lord Brahma, born from his mind, wanted to meet Lord Vishnu. However, as they went near to the 7th gate, Jaya and Vijaya stopped them. No amount of reasoning could convince Jaya and Vijaya. Also, the Sanath Kumaras were in the form of newborn babies. So, the guards – Jaya and Vijaya, did not take them seriously.
This angered the Sanath Kumaras, who cursed Jaya and Vijaya to be born as human beings and suffer endless cycles of life, death, rebirth. News of this reached Vishnu. He came down to save his loyal guards. He intervened so that Jaya and Vijaya do not have to stay away from Vishnu for long.
Thus they were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyakashipu, the father of Prahlad, was killed by Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu. While Hiranyaksha was killed by the Varaha avatar of Vishnu.
Still, their curse was not completed, and they could not go to heaven. Next, Jaya and Vijaya took birth as Ravan and Kumbhakarn. This time Vishnu took birth as Ram avatar and killed both of them. Jaya and Vijaya attained Moksha this time and went back to their abode in heaven.
How Lord Vishnu Married Goddess Lakshmi
Devatas(gods) and Asuras(demons) were doing Samudra Manthan to extract the Amrit(nectar of immortality). Along with Amrit, thirteen other jewels came out from the seabed.
One of them was Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. After seeing Lakshmi, both devatas and asuras wanted Lakshmi to join their camp. Seeing both the parties fight over her, Lakshmi requested Vishnu to help solve the problem. However, Vishnu did not want to interfere since it was happening as per Brahma’s command. And Brahma alone could help.
Now Lakshmi went to Brahma for help. Brahma appealed to both devatas and asuras and told them that a woman always has a right to refusal. And same courtesy needs to be extended to Lakshmi. To sort the matter, Brahma introduced the concept of Swayamvar, where a woman can choose the partner she wants.
Brahma announced the date of Swayamvar and invited everyone. All the devatas and asuras came. Vishnu also came after some time. The moment Lakshmi saw Vishnu, she proceeded to garland him. Thus Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her life partner.
What are the 10 Avatars of Vishnu?
Rishis or Sages have selected ten Avatars of Vishnu as a representative of rest. These ten incarnations are known as “Dashavatar” in Sanskrit. The Dhashavatara list of Vishnu is introduced in Garuda Purana from 1st millennium BCE.
1. Matsya (Fish) Avatar
2. Kurma (Turtle) Avatar
3. Varaha (Boar) Avatar
4. Narasimha (half Lion half Man) Avatar
5. Vamana (Pygmy / Dwarf / Short man) Avatar
6. Parashurama (Fierce man / Hunter) Avatar
7. Rama (Ideal man / Fighter) Avatar
8. Krishna (Cowherd Prince) Avatar
9. Buddha (Intellectual and scientific man) Avatar
10. Kalki (Future avatar – predicted to appear) Avatar
What are the 24 Avatars of Vishnu
Lord Vishnu has reincarnated 23 times. Every time, he has taken a different form as per the need of time. It is also predicted that Vishnu will appear one last time at the end of Kaliyuga, making the number 24. Here are the 24 avatars of Lord Vishnu.
1. Adi Purush
2. Four Kumars
4. Nara Narayana
14. Matsya Avatar
15. Kurma Avatar
16. Varaha Avatar
What are the weapons of Lord Vishnu
The four weapons which Lord Vishnu holds in his hands are – Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma.
The Conch signifies knowledge and dispels darkness of ignorance.
Chakra is the most Powerful weapon Vishnu holds. It symbolizes mind.
The Padma or Lotus in Lord Vishnu’s hand is a symbol of creation.
The Gada or Mace– which represents knowledge – is held in the lower left hand, which denotes “individual existence”. The Vishnu Purana calls the Gada the power of knowledge.
How Lord Vishnu got his vehicle Garuda
Garuda is one of the most devoted followers of Lord Vishnu. The story goes like this – when Garuda was born, he was very hungry. He asked his father for food. His father asked him to go and eat some cattle from outside. But being a child, Garuda did not know the difference between human and cattle. So he started eating the villagers. The villagers prayed to Vishnu, who came to save them.
When Vishnu saw Garuda, he asked him why he is eating the villagers. Garuda responded that he is hungry. So Vishnu sat Garuda on his hand and offered him to feed on part of his flesh from hand. Garuda did that and immediately his hunger was satisfied. Garuda now noticed that Vishnu did not have any wound on his hand and realized that the Lord himself has come to satisfy his hunger. He prayed to Lord Vishnu and requested to be with him forever. From that day, Garuda became the vehicle of Vishnu.
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