Matsya Avatara


8    Deva Guru’s son Katch became Danava Guru’s disciple to learn ‘Sanjivini Vidya’
In the context of the ever increasing hostilities of Devas and Danavas culminating the massacre of innumerable Danavas, the Danava Guru Shukracharya performed a thousand year long severe Tapasya to Maha Deva and obtained an unprecedented boon of ‘Mrita Sanjeevani Vidya’ by the power of which, Shukracharya was able to revive the lives of all Danavas dead in the battles or otherwise. Lord Indra and Deva Guru asked the latter’s elder son Katch to approach Shukracharya and some how manage to learn the Sanjivini Vidya which Devas did not possess. Deva Guru Brihaspati also briefed his son Katch that Shukracharya had a daughter Devayani and a handsome young man that Katch was might not be difficult to make friends with her who was a pretty, virtuous and poised girl. It was very interesting that Deva Guru sent his son to seek tutorship from Danava Guru and to make friends with the latter’s daughter Devayani, all for the sake of the security of Devas and to learn the extraordinary Mrita Sanjivini!

Katch approached Sukracharya and introduced himself as follows: Risherangirasam Poutram Putram Sakshaat Brihaspateyh, Naamnaa Kacheti vikhyatam Sishyam gruhnaatu maam Bhavaan/ Brahmacharyam charishyaami twayyaham Paramam Guro, Anumanyaswa maam Brahman Sahasraparivartsaraan/ (Bhagavan! I am the grandson of Angira Rishi and actually the son of Brihaspati and my name is Katch. I seek you to accept me as your disciple and as my Guru. I wish to be near you for thousand years and practise Brahmacharya; kindly accept me!) Shukracharya agreed to take in Katch as his student and the latter assumed the vow to be a celibate on his own. Under the tutelage of Shukracharya, Katch spent some five hundred years and Devayani’s friendship with Katch became more and more intense by the day. Meanwhile Danavas came to realise the antecedents of Katch as he was the son of Deva Guru and owing to the animosity of Brihaspati killed the boy. Devayani who was fond of Katch so much that she approached her father to use the Mrita Sanjivini to revive the life of Katch. Sukracharya brought the disciple back to life. But, as the news spread among Danavas that Deva Guru’s son became the disciple of Danava Guru, several Danavas made many efforts to kill the boy and each time the latter was coming back to life thanks to the Sanjivini Vidya known to Shukracharya. Thus Danavas made a plan to kill him, burn his body into ashes and managed to administer the ashes in the wine that was offered to the Guru on the sly! Devayani became restive and stopped eating food in the absence of her dear friend Katch. Shukracharya heard the desparate shouts of Katch from his own stomach and learnt as to how the Danavas tricked their own Guru; the latter had only two options of saving the boy viz. either he had to tear off the stomach of Shukracharya or let the boy get digested for ever. Devayani suggested that her father should teach the Mrita Sanjivini Mantra to Katch in the stomach of her father and after his rescue by tearing his father’s stomach should revive Shukracharya by the Mantra that Katoch would have taught! The Plan worked and as Danava Guru fell dead and Katoch came out and said: Nidhim Nidhinaam varadam varaanam, ye naadriyantey Guru marchaneeyam, Praaleyadriprojjvaladbhaala samstham paapaamllokaamstatey vrajantya pratishthaah/ (If those who are the Nidhis or mines of Nidhis, who could bestow boons to boon-givers, who possess thick white hair like Himalayas on their heads and are highly worshippable are not heeded, then such persons are certainly destined to reach sinful Naraka lokas). So saying, Katch memorised the Mrita Sanjivini Mantra and revived to life his own Guru. Shukracharya repented that due to extraordinary circumstances, Danavas tricked their own Guru (himself) due to which reason the wine administered to him by the crafty Danavas landed in such ugly situations. Hence Danava Guru warned the entire Brahminhood not to become targets of intoxicants and be vigilant not to become victims of this material. Eyo Brahmanodya Prabhruteeh kaschimohaat suraam paasyati Mandabuddhih, Apeta dharmaa Brahmaahaa chaiva syadasmmullokey garhitah syatparey cha/ Maya chemaam Vipradharmottha seemaam maryaadaa vai sthaapitaam sarvalokey, Santo Vipraah Shrushruvaamso Guruunaam Devaa Daaityaaschopashrunvantu sarveh/ (If from now onward, any stupid Brahmana consumes wine by mistake or otherwise shall be expelled from Dharma, considered as having perpetrated the sin of Brahma hatya and be liable to defame in this world and the next loka. ‘Brahmana Dharma’ as enunciated in ‘ Dharma Shastras’ specified limitations that should not be transgressed and those established Principles ought to be observed all over the world. Let all the Sadhus, Brahmanas, Gurus and their disciples, Devatas, and entire humanity beware that this lesson be heard and observed strictly.)
As per the time limit of thousand years, Katch remained with Sukracharya and after receiving his affirmation left to his father’s abode in Swarga. While leaving Danava Guru’s place, Devayani tried her best to dissuade Katch not to leave her, expressed her deep sentiments of love for him and begged him to wed her. Katch explained that since she was the daughter of his Guru, it would be most improper by the Principles of Dharma. There were many arguments by both of them; she affirmed that she pressurised her father to save him each time the Danavas killed him only due to her great desire to wed her, but he stood by the Principle that Guru Patni or Guru Putri were the same and to marry a Guru’s wife or daughter was against the Principle of Dharma. Finally, she was exasperated and cursed that the Sanjivini Vidya that was learnt from his Guru would not be effective whenever he recited by himself. Katch said that even if the Vidya was ineffective in his personal use, it would be useful to those who would learn from him after all! He gave a reverse curse to her that she would never be able to marry a Brahmana in her life time! On return to Swarga, his father, Indra and all the Devatas were immensely delighted at the great accompishment of Guru Putra Katch. Devayani married to King Puru subsequently. Meanwhile, Danava Guru Sukracharya called Danavas and admonished them for their senselessness as they tried to kill Katch several times, but each time he had to be revived and finally created such an absurd situation when his own life was in peril and had to be saved by giving away the Great Vidya so easily to Katch!

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