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PADMA PURANA

Padma

Agastya Muni dries up the Ocean and enables to destroy the demon Kalakeya

In the vicinity of Pushkar Tirtha were ‘Ashramas’ of illustrious Mararshis like Agastya. A highly vily and valiant Danava named Kalakeya was in battle with Devas for many years and he kept another mighty Danava called Vritrasura as a  shield in between him and Devas. With folded hands, Devas approached Brahma to get rid of Vritrasura as well as Kalakeya. Brahma suggested that Vritrasura was invincible due to unprecedented boons given by Parameswara and the only way out was to approach Sage Dadheechi and beg him for his back-bone which could materialize a mighty ‘Vajrayudha’ which alone could destroy Vritrasura.

Devas prayed to Sage Dadheechi and keeping in view the holy task of killing Vritrasura, the Sage agreed to sacrifice his backbone and hence his life.
Devas approached Vishvakarma to create Vajrayudha. A fierce battle between Vritrasura backed by Kalakeya on the one hand and Indra armed with Vajrayudha as well as the full force of Devas followed. Vritrasura made such frightening screams that went shivers to Earth, the ‘Dishas’ (Directions), the Antariksha (Sky) and the Planets. Indra utilised the newly made Vajrayudha and felled down the huge body of Vritrasura to the ground. The demoralised ‘Asuras’ ran helter-skelter with a phenomenon called Vristrasura and finally took shelter in the deep Ocean. Kalakeya too hid in the Ocean and over a period of time, reformulated the Danavas who resorted to nightwarfare and nocturnal killings of lakhs of human beings in sleep and once again threatened the balance of power between the Davanvas and Devas. Indra and Devas approached Lord Vishnu and implored him to save them, the humanity as also the four kinds of ‘Srishti’viz. ‘Andajas’ or those born of Eggs, ‘Svedajas’ or those born of body sweat, ‘Jarayuja’ or those born of womb, and ‘Udbhuja’ or born of germination. Lord Vishnu told the Devas that the most dangerous Asura Kalakeyi along with his huge numbers of Danavas who concealed themselves in the deep waters of the Ocean were gradually killing all kinds of species mentioned above in the nights and the only way of exposing the Danavas in very large numbers would be to completely dry up the Oceans by taking out the water; Vishnu further declared that the only Sage who was powerful enough to dry up the Oceans was Mahatma Agastya, the son of Mitravaruna. Devas then approached Agastya Muni and prayed to him that in the past too, the Muni was kind enough to have averted crises for saving the very existence of the Universe in highly critical situations like when Nahusha occupied the chair of Indra on highly temporary basis and created embarrassment and havoc in the worlds and punished him subsequently; and when Vindhyachala grew up in height compared with Meru Mountain obstructing the passage of Surya and subdued Vindhya by asking him to bend in reverence and not allowing to stand up till date. Devas made to instant request to Agastya Muni to drink up the water of the Ocean exposing Kalakeya and followers so that they were trapped and destroyed at once by Devas. The dried up Ocean was refilled by another despatch of Ganga by a repeat performance by Bhagiratha. 

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