Mohini Avtar

Once upon a time, a demon called Bhasmasura, pleased Lord Shiva by performing severe penances on the snow capped Himalayas. Lord Shiva appeared before him and said, “I am pleased. Ask for a boon and I shall give.”

Bhasmasura said, “Lord, give me such power that who so ever I touch may turn into ashes. Then I shall be the greatest man on earth.” Shiva was committed to granting the boon, so He could not go back on His word. He said, “So be it.”

Soon, Bhasmasura started chasing Shiva. He said, “Let me first test my powers on your head, so that I know that you have not cheated me, Oh Shiva!”

Lord Shiva ran and Bhasmasura chased him. Lord Vishnu watched the drama and thought, “Lord Shiva can not go back on his word. Neither is Bhasmasura going to give up. Something has to be done.”

So, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a beautiful girl Mohini. She stopped Bhasmasura saying, “Rest a while, you must be tired.” The demon was bowled over by her beauty. He forgot about Lord Shiva and fell in love with her. He said, “Fair lady, marry me and I shall make you happy”. Mohini said, “You demons are known for having many wives. First you shall have to promise me that you shall love me and me alone. You shall not marry any other woman.” “Sure,” replied Bhasmasura.

“Put your hand on your head and swear by your love for me, only then I shall believe you.”

Bhasmasura eagerly, put his hand on his own head, and .….. was reduced to ashes. Mohini (Lord Vishnu) smiled and called out to Lord Shiva to stop running.

Greed is something that never gets you anywhere, except to your downfall. Be happy with what you have. Do not crave for what is not yours. Work to achieve success, but do not be greedy.