Saturday, March 28, 2009
லலிதையின் சரிதை 3
In the distant past, Sati Devi, a daughter of Daksha was married to Shiva. However gradually, Daksha developed hatred towards Shiva. Due to this ill will, Daksha intended to perform a Yaga (fire sacrifice) without making any offering to Shiva. He didn’t invite even his daughter Sati Devi to the Yaga.
She came to know of the forth-coming great Yaga to be done by her father. She didn’t know other details. However, overjoyed by the news of the ritual her father was going to perform, he went to the Yaga, in spite of Shiva’s disapproval of her visit.
Sati Deha Tyaga (Self-immolation of Sati)
Ignoring the natural affection to his daughter, Daksha insulted her and repeatedly abused Shiva. Unable to bear the insult to Shiva, Sati Devi burnt her body in the fire created by her power of yoga. Knowing about this calamity, Shiva became furious. Creating the terrific Veerabhadra out of the locks of hair of His head, Shiva sent him to attack Daksha. Veerabhadra destroyed the hall of Yaga, swallowed even the Chakra (the circular weapon of Vishnu) and beheaded Daksha. The wives of Daksha prayed to Veerabhadra who was pacified and revived Daksha back to life by joining
the head of a goat to the trunk. Daksha repented and prayed to Shiva for pardon. Sati Devi was born as the daughter of Himavanta (Himalaya Mountain) and Menaka, as the couple did penance for 150 million years with the intention to beget her as their child.
The newborn was named Parvati (daughter of Parvata-mountain) and
brought Her up with love and affection.
One day, the sage Narada visited Himavanta and said, “You are very fortunate. The Divine Mother is born as your daughter; Shiva is doing penance in your mountain range in his “Sthanu Ashrama” (abode of stones). After the departure of Sati Devi, He has become an ascetic. It will benefit you considerably if you send your daughter to serve Him”.
Himavanta’s joy knew no bounds on hearing Narada’s words. He went to the abode of Shiva along with his daughter. After taking Nandi’s (the Ox which is the vehicle of Shiva) permission, he approached Shiva, worshipped Him and prayed to Him to allow Parvati to serve him. Shiva said, “OK. She may do so”. Then onwards, Parvati used to render services to Shiva for hours together. However, Shiva used to be in a state of ecstasy of yoga continuously.
Kama Dahana (Burning of Cupid)
This being so, a demon by name Taraka invaded and occupied the Heaven along with his army and started to hurt and pester the celestials. All of them approached Brahma for relief, who said, “The son born to Shiva and Parvati only can kill the demon. Hence you make such efforts that the marriage will be performed”. Indra, the Lord of the celestials called for Manmatha (Cupid-the god of love). He praised Cupid and asked him to see that Shiva’s ascetic attitude was lessened and that He would start to love Parvati. Manmatha was exuberated by praises and agreed to do as directed.
Ratidevi, the spouse of Manmatha came to know of this new assignment and tried her best to dissuade cupid from embarking on the hazardous venture. In spite of it, Cupid proceeded to Shiva’s abode “Sthanu Ashrama”.
There he suddenly created the alluring atmosphere of the spring season. The
Pramathaganas (the armies of Shiva) were very much disturbed in their minds with the erotic feelings. Observing this, Nandi (Ox-the vehicle of Shiva) disciplined them. In the meantime, Cupid entered the abode of Shiva stealthily and saw Shiva seated in the state of ecstasy of meditation. The very sight of Shiva in the posture suddenly unnerved Cupid. At the same moment, Parvati came there. Looking at Her, Cupid recovered his courage.
While Parvati was getting up after bending low to prostrate to Shiva, Her upper garment slipped a bit. Exactly at that moment, Manmatha aimed an arrow (of lust) on Shiva, whose mind was affected a bit. Observing this, Parvati feet a gush of joy inwardly.
However Shiva analysed His feeling immediately and looked around to know why it happened so. Shiva saw Cupid hiding behind the bushes. At once, Shiva’s third eye (in between the eyebrows) opened and the fire rushing therefrom reduced Cupid to ashes. Parvati closed her eyes out of fear. By the time She opened Her eyes in a moment, Shiva disappeared with all His attendants. Himavanta came there, consoled Her and took Her home. Ratidevi wept bitterly due to the death of her husband Manmatha. Vasanta, the god of spring approached Ratidevi, consoled her and reminded her of the curse of Brahma to Manmatha.
Curse of Brahma to Manmatha:
Once upon a time, there were two demons by name Sunda and Upasunda,
who were brothers. They did penance meditating on Brahma and obtained a strange boon that their death could not be caused by anyone else except by themselves only. They were very much fond of one another. Hence they expected that no mutual harm would be possible.
Thereafter they created havoc by their terrific acts in the three worlds. All the
celestials prayed to Brahma who thought of a strategy to destroy the demons. He accumulated the essence of beauty of all the fine things in the world and created a woman of exquisite beauty. As she was created with a gingelly aspect of beauty in everything, she was called Tilottama (Tila-gingelly; Uttama-Best) Her beauty enchanted even the celestials. Brahma checked up keenly whether her beauty was superb in all aspects. Manmatha, who happened to be there at that time,
wanted to play a practical joke. Hence he aimed an arrow (of lust) at Brahma. Due to this, Brahma forgetting that she was His daughter chased her lustily. As a last resort, Tilottama started running taking the form of a deer. Brahma also followed her in the form of a deer. The celestials were highly agitated by this untoward event. Observing this impending danger, Shiva manifested as a hunter and holding a bow and arrows came near Brahma who was in the form of a deer.
Looking at the fierce form of Shiva, Brahma came to senses. He prostrated to His feet and prayed for pardon. By then, the celestials and Tilottama arrived there. Everyone was pacified. After taking Shiva’s permission, the celestials sent Tilottama to meet Sunda and Upasunda looking at Tilottama going about in a garden, both Sunda and Upasunda competed to enjoy with her and at last the demons killed and another.
Tilottama returned to Brahma, who felt happy and sent her to the Heaven with a permanent status as one of the Apsaras(celestial dancers).
After the entire affair was over, Brahma recollected what all had happened and sent for Manmatha and said “You fellow! Blinded by the power bestowed to you, how dare you aim your arrows (of lust) at one and all, disregarding their age? Do you intend to destroy the code of righteousness? I am saved of grievous sin due to the timely arrival and protection of Shiva. Hence, one day you will be burnt to ashes by the fire of Shiva’s third eye. Beware!”
Hearing the curse, Rati and Manmatha were frightened and prayed to Brahma for relief of the curse. Brahma regained His composure and said, “The Divine Mother will manifest as Lalitadevi. She will marry Shiva. After the marriage, She will revive Manmatha to life” After narrating the story, Vasanta (the god of spring season) consoled Ratidevi, saying, “Sister-in-law! It is a must for everyone, however great he is, to undergo the suffering of a curse. However as predicted by Brahma, my brother Manmatha will be revived to life soon. Until then, be bold and continue to pray to Lalitadevi. Ratidevi left the place and followed the advice.
Birth of Bhandasura
At this point of time, Chitrakarma, the commander of one of the Rudra Ganas (Gana = troupe) one day started toying with the ash of the burnt Manmatha and prepared a doll out of it. He took this doll to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva’s intentions are indeed unfathomable. As soon as the doll neared
Lord Shiva, it sprang to life and the boy thus born prostrated before Lord Shiva andChitrakarma. Chitrakarma was overwhelmed with joy. He gave the boy the Upadesha of Shata-Rudreeya Mantra and asked him to undertake penance. When the penance reached the stage of fruition, Lord Shiva appeared before him. He asked Lord Shiva to grant him a special boon “anyone who fights against me should immediately lose half of his strength and that strength should be added to my strength. None of the weapons of my opponents should be able to bind me” was his request. Immediately Lord Shiva granted the boon and added, “I am also bestowing on you the boon of ruling the kingdom for sixty thousand years”. After giving these boons, Lord Shiva disappeared. He became surprised and a bit apprehensive by the words of Lord Shiva. But soon he forgot it.
Lord Brahma, who was witnessing all this, grew frustrated and swore “Bhand” “Bhand” (meaning shame, shame). From then on, he got the name “Bhanda”. Because of his qualities he became an Asura (demon) and entered the domain of Asuras. This is how he got the name ‘Bhandasura’.
In the mean time, from the remnants of the ash of Manmatha were born two
demons – Vishukra and Vishanga. These two became the main brothers of
Bhandasura. In addition, thousands of Rakshasas (demons) were born out of the ash of Manmatha. All of them became followers of Bhandasura. They formed a strong army of 300 Akshouhinis (one Akshouhini consists of 21870 elephants, 65610 horses and 109350 soldiers).
Having come to know about the birth of thousands of Rakshasas, Shukracharya (the guru of Rakshasas) came there and assumed the role of the Guru for all those Rakshasas and initiated them to undertake regular Anushthanas (daily rituals). He also summoned Maya, the architect-builder of demons and asked him to create a new city in the province of Mahendra Mountains. He named the city as ‘Shoonyaka Pattana’ Shukracharya asked all the demons to move to the new city. He crowned Bhandasura as the king of the newly formed kingdom and made Vishukra and Vishanga the Yuvarajas (princes) of that kingdom. Bhandasura had four wives. 1. Sammohini, 2. Kumudini, 3. Chitrangi 4.Sundari…
Under the guidance of Shukracharya, activities like fire sacrifices, Vedic
education and penance went on uninterruptedly in every house.
(to be continued)