Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

Diti revengeful of Indra and Pumsavana Sacrifice

Having given the background of Chitraketu and Vritrasura, Maha Muni Suka told King Parikshith that Diti, the mother figure of Daityas continued to harbour a strong feeling of revenge against Indra who killed  many of her progeny. In this context, Suka Muni recalled about the descendants of her sister Aditi and herself.Among the twelve sons of Aditi, Prasni ( Savita’s husband) who was the fifth son gave birth to Savitri, Vyahriti, and Trayi and nine sons, Agnihotra, Pasu, Soma, Chaturmasya and five MahaYagnas.

The sixth son, Bhaga married to Siddhi gave birth to Mahima, Vibhu, Prabhu and daughter Asi.The seventh son, had four wives Kuhu, Sinivali, Raka and Anumati and they begot four sons, Sayam, Darsa, Pratah and Purnamasa. The eighth son, Vidhata married to Kriya gave birth to five Fire Gods, namely, Purusyas. The ninth son Varuna married to Karsini; Varuna gave birth to Valmiki from an anthill and Bhrigu was born to Karshini from Brahma. Agastya and Vasishtha were the common sons of Varuna and Aditi’s tenth son Mitra. Indra was the eleventh son of Aditi, who was married to Paulomi. The last son was a dwarf Urukrama whose wife was Kirti . Sage Kasyapa and Kirthi begot the Great Dwarf Vamana, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Diti and Kasyapa gave birth to Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksha. Kayadhu (descendent of Dhanu) and Hiranyakasipu gave birth to Samhlada, Anuhlada, Hlada and Prahlada. The sister of the four brothers was Simhika, the mother of Rahu among the Nine Grahas (Planets) who had disguised and taken nectar from Mohini (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation). Hlada and Dhamani gave birth to Vatapi and Ilvala; the latter tried a trick on Sage Agastya and cooked a ram ( actually Vatapi) and planned to tear open Agastya’s stomach after eating the ram; the Sage knew the trick and immediately ate the ‘ram,’and said ‘Jeernam Jeernam Vataipi Jeernam’ ie. may Vatapi be disgeted comfortably. Thus digesting Vatapi, the ram,and  the Sage oversmarted  Ilvala. Prahlada was responsible for the killing of Hiranyakasupu by Lord Narasimha. Prahlada and Virochana gave birth to  Bali, who was also punished by Vamana, the incarnation of Vishnu. Diti felt that Indra was responsible for several killings of her progeny including Hirayaksha and Hiranuyakasipu and thus her anger for Indra became intense. She thus requested her husband Kasyapa to bless her with a son who could kill Indra. Sage Kasyapa felt extremely sad that his wife was following a wicked route to bear her a son to kill Indra. He somehow desired that such an eventuality should never arise and planned  to atleast prolong time for a year and asked Diti to follow very strict regime of personal sacrifice named ‘ Pumsavana’. During the year, Diti should not think ill of others, nor speak lies, nor hurt any body, nor eat flesh or fish, nor wear robes unwashed by herself, but worship Brahmanas, cows, and women with husbands and sons alive, in short follow a life of a hermit.Any discrepancy or deviation from the prescribed do’s and don’ts would not only kill Indra but would become a friend and associate. The nephew Indra knew the intention of Diti , but pretended to help her in the Daily Worships by fetching flowers and fruits to Diti and such other services. At the time of Diti’s delivery after a year, Indra who had yoga sidhis, like ‘anima’ and ‘laghima’ entered Diti’s womb and with the help of his ‘Vjara’( the Thunderbolt) cut the embryo into seven pieces and cut each piece to another seven pieces. Each of the fortynine pieces thus born became as many ‘Maruts’ who became demigods and thus Diti was purified of her envy and animosity of Lord Indra. Punsavana  had thus become an important ‘Vrata’( a sacred ritualistic practice of worship) by chaste women for one year with the help and active association of their husbands. During the bright half of month of ‘Kartika’ (falling during November-December), there should be an intense worship by both the  husband and wife. On the last day of Moon-rise ( Purnamasi or Pournami), the climactic worship (pujas) should take place with friends and relatives participating in the event, under the guidance of Brahmanas, performing twelve oblations to Fire God with ‘Ghee’ in a ritualistic manner by chanting the Mantra: ‘Om Bhagavatey Mahapurushaya Maha Vibhutaya Swaha’. During the entire preceding year too, the couple could -or atleast either of them- observe the prescribed daily worships to Goddess Lakshmi and God Narayana., by chanting the Mantra. Sincere worship on these lines ought to bless the couple and their family good health, prosperity, name alround and happiness.The Vrath can be done my unmarried women to secure good husbands; those who have no husbands/ sons could perform for spiritual solace.

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