Essence Of
Vamana Purana


14    Andhakaasura’s obsession and Prahladaa’s Dharma bodha

On reaching Pataala [ ref. previous chapter on Andhakasura’s passion for Gauri and her retalliation] Andhakasura was unable to control her infatuation for Gauri Devi but his Advisor Prahlada told him that Gauri was as good as his mother and should never ever entertain sinful ideas or hopes of a mother-figure; in fact, Hiranayaksha the father of Andhaka did most austere Tapasya to Maha Deva desirous of a son and Maha Deva while about to give the boon, Devi Parvati closed Shiva’s trinetras for fun and hence was born Andhakasura. Shankara also gave a qualified boon to Hiranyaksha that when Andhaka would become a King, the latter would get infatuated with Gauri as also harass Brahmanas and other Virtuous and that he himself would destroy the Asura. Prahlada while cautioning Andhaka also asserted not to misjudge the magnificence of Parama Shiva who was an invincible Supreme and yet extremely merciful. He also asserted: Parastree Kaamavaan Mudhah Saraashtro naashamaapavaan/ ( Even otherwise, one would be a stupid King desirous of another person’s wife).

In this context Prahlada narrated an incident regarding Danava Guru Shukracharya’s daughter Aaraja and King Danda who came to Shukracharya’s Ashram in a forest and as the Acharya was away wanted to talk his daughter and got attracted at once and proposed to her. She was surprised and prevented him to overact and said that her father could in no time destroy him from his passionate onslaught despite the intervention of the Ashrama Vasis and also the King’s own aids! Aaraja pleaded to the King to please await the arrival of her father as she was not independent by herself to yield to him or not. The King in turn cited an example of Vishwakarma’s daughter Chitrangada who when bathing in Nimisharanya fell for a King Suratha who was passing by and asserted that since she was grown enough did not have to wait for her father a Sage to their Ashram as in similar circumstances and despite the King’s reprimand surrendered to him.As the incident was conveyed, Araja told King Dandaka: ‘ You fool Danda! You also should narrate the further story about Chirangada that on return Vishwakarma punished Chitranga with a curse that the act of immorality was not to be construed as a wedding and hence that she would not get any happiness from the so called wedding as she would secure the further company her husband nor would beget a child from the wedding! King Dandaka hecklingly told the further part of the Story to Aaraja that Chitrangada having recieved the curse of her father and abandoned her, leapt into the River Sarasvati. Having known her antecedents, Sarasvati diverted her coures and got her live body merged with River Gomati and the latter pushed Chitranga near the banks of a forest infested with cruel animals. A Guhyaka / Yaksha named Anjana flying on the Sky saw the woman in a helpless stage, approached her, woke her up and heard her entire bakground of Chitranga and suggested that she should pray to Shri Kantha Muni who would soon be bathing in the River Kalindi and the Yaksha left Chitranga there. On narrating her sad story which ended with her father Vishwakarma’s cruel curse, the Muni cursed Vishwakarma to become a monkey as Chitranga since his daughter cursed and disabled to her to either enjoy her husband’s company nor beget a child as her support. Then Shri Kantha Muni asked Chitranga to visit Sapta Godavari and be engaged in the worship of Hatakeshwara and after some time she woud meet Devavati the daughter of Daitya Kandaramaliand a Yakshini named Nandayanti. While continuing her worship to Shri Kantha, a Rishi wrote on a stone near the Temple: ‘ Is there a Devata or Asura or Yaksha or Manava or Rakshasa who could possibly help this hapless Chitranga?’ Meanwhile, Vishwakarma who was turned into a monkey came down from Meru to Bhumi near Shalukini River in thick forests and remained there for a very long number of years. The monkey caught hold of the hands of Devavati and the Daitya Kandara got very angry and with his sword in hand and ran after the monkey; the latter took away Devavati to Himalayas and from there both reached the banks of Yamuna, prayed to Shrikantha Mahadeva and having deposited Devavati in an Ashram nearby and as Kandara Daitya was noticed on the banks of Yamuna drowned in the River Vishwakarma in the Rupa of monkey. The Daitya thought the the monkey and Devavati might have got drowned in the River and as having the entire happening left back to Patala. The monkey Swarupa Viswakarma then swam the River and reached another bank of the River and felt like entered into a forest full of fruits. There the monkey saw a Kanya called Nandayanti the daughter of one Yaksha called Anjana and mistook her as Devavati and tried to chase her but in the chase she leapt into a River Hiranyavati; the Yaksha too thought that Nandayanti and the monkey got drowned in that River and disheartened left back to Yakshaloka. But Nandayanti swam and reached Koshaladesha and sat under a Vata Vriksha or Banyan Tree; there came a voice to say there was a boy was tied on top of the Banyan Tree and as she looked up and found a boy tied up; she asked the boy as to who did the nasty deed, the boy replied that a monkey did it, that he was the son of Maha Tapasvi Rithudhwaja, that his name was Jaabali, that his father predicted his future to spend his Balyadasha for thouand years, ten thousand years as Kumara, and so on and as such he was now he was tied up by a monkey which was too predicted by his father! As his father informed Jaabali when he was of five years, he left his house for an outing and a monkey took him away and tied him to the tree top. Jaabaala requested Nandayanti to inform about him to his father Rithudwaja to rescue him; Nandayanti reached the Temple of Shri Kantha and to her pleasant surprise found Devavati and they embraced erach other and as Ritudwaja came out of the Temple Nandayanti conveyed the details of Jaabaali and the Muni who with the help of King got Jaabali released. In an encounter with the monkey, Vishwakarma narrated as to how he became a monkey and Ritudwaja predicted that when an Apsara Ghritachi and the Vishvakarma would beget a child. In course of time Ghritachi having known the background of the monkey engaged themselves in mutual relationship and gave birth to a chiild when the Shaap of Viswakarma got terminated! Then Nandayanti and Devavati were restored back to their respective positions. At the end Shukracharya returned to his Ashram after achiving Sanjeevini Vidya and gave a Shaap to King Danda for harassing and making advances to Araja the daughter of Shukracharya.

Thus citing the example of King Danda and Chitrangada, Prahlada continued his advice to Andhaka thus: Yo Dharmasheelo jitamaana rosho Vidyaavineeto na paropataapi, Swadaaratushtah Paradaara varjitaa na tasya lokey bhayamaasti kinchit/ (A person who possesses Dharma Nishtha or Self discipline, Self respect, peaceful demeanor devoid of Anger, modesty arising from good eduction, causing no concern or hindrances to fellow beings, and most essentially contented with one’s own legal spouse always has fear in life). Prahlada further continued: Yo Dharma heenam Kalahapriyah Sadaa Paropataapee Shriti Shastra varjitah, Paropadaareypsuravarna samyogi Sukham na vinteta paratra cheha/ ( A person who is without Virtue and is always involved in quarrels, provider of torment to others, unused to Veda Shastra Adhayana, avaricious of other’s money and woman and regular breaker of Varaashrama Regulations would never be happy either in this or other births).

Prahlada gave the great examples of Surya for his eternal observance of Dharma, Vasishtha left his anger for good, Agastya was contented with his wife and none else, and he (Prahlada) himself never deviated from Dharma and Nyaaya, where as King Vena followed Adhrma and Anyaaya while Namuchi was jealousy of others and Nahusha was desirous of Indra’s wife when original Indra absconded due to fear of the blemish of Brahma Hatya. This was the caution that one must always observe since Dharma would always vindicate itself and Adharma would result in doom. Twaajyam Dhamaannityam Nityam Paradaaropasevanam, Nayanti Paradaaraa hi Narakaaneka vimshitam, Sarveshjaamapi Varnaanaameva vimshitam, Sarveshaamapi Varnaanaamesha Dharmo Dhruvontaka/ Paraartha paradeaareshu yadaa vaamcchaam Karishyati, Sa yaati Narakam Ghoram Rouravam Bahulaah Samaah/ (Those who observe Dharma Nishtha ought to refrain from Para Stree Vyamoha atvany cost, lest they pave way for the frightful Rourava Naraka!).

The arrogant reply to Prahlada from Andhakaasura was that he could not care less for Dharma and ordered Shambaraasura to go to Mandara Mountain and question Shiva as to how he wasc staying in a cave of the Mountain without his permission as after all, Andhaka was the Supreme Lord of Trilokas! If he (Shiva) requested him then he would get the permission only if his wife should gift to Andhaka! Both Maha Deva and Devi Parvati sent calm but curt replies to Andhaka that the latter should fight with them to deserve Parvati to be gifted to the stupid Daitya! Incensed by the replies, Andhaka called Daitya Duryodhana to lead an offensive along with a strong force comprising several Akshouhinis of Sena along with Mahaabala Rakshasaas including Jambha, Krujambha, Hunda, Tuhunda, Shambara, Bali, Baana, Kaartaswara, Hasti, Suryashatru, Mahodara, Shibi, Shaalva, Vrishaparva, Virochana, Kalanemi, Hayagriva, Samhlaad, Kalanaashana, Sharabha, Shalabha, Viprachitti, Paaka, Vipaaka, and Kaala.

Shivaya Vishnu Rupaaya Shiva Rupaaya Vishnavey, Shivasya Hridayagum Vishnuh Vishnorhridayagum Shivah/

Nandideva organised Rudra Sena and Vishnu Sena since the fool Andhaka never realised the identity of Shiva and Vishnu and even the Trilokaas were in utter ignorance that both the Swarupas were just one and the same! In this connection Rudra Deva clarified once for all: Bhavadbhirbhakti Samyukttair Harobhaavena pujitah, Ahamkaara vimudhayaischa nindadhir Vaishnavam padam/ Tenaajnaanena bhavatonaandruthyaanu virodhitaah, Yohamsa Bhagvan Vishurvishnuryah sohamavyayah/ Naavanorvai visheshostu ekaa Mutrirdwhidhaa sthitaa, Tadamorbhirnavyaaghair bhakti bhaava yutairganaaih/ Yathaaham vai parijnaato na bhavaddhistataa dhruvam, yenaahi nindito nityam bhavardhirmudha buddhibhih/ Tena Jnaanamhi vai nashtam Nataswaalingitaa maya, Yityeva muktey vachano ganaah prochyar- Maheswaram/ Katham bhavvan yathaikyena samshitosti Janardanah, Bhavaan Nirmalah Shuddhah Shaantah Shuklo Niranjanah/ (You are all obsessed with my devotion to me and tend to blame Vishnupada in that extreme dedication to me; in this blind faith of denounciation of Vishnu you did not please me but on the contrary I was highly upset! Whatever is there in me is what Vishnu possesses and what ever Vishnu has in me too is replete in me too and there is no basic difference in both of us excepting that one imagines we possess two Forms. Those devotees of mine who are confident of what I possess, do not really realise me fully. As the Ganaas were reprimanded by Shiva as above, they wondered as to how Janardana and Mahadeva could be identical! After all, Shiva is Nirmala / Clean, Shuddha /Pure, Shukla / White and Nirdosha/ Blemishless.) Parama Shiva replied smilingly that whoever indulged even in indirect references against Vishnu would surely go to Narakas. The Shiva Ganas then requested Mahadeva to display his real Swarupa. Tato Eka Mukham Bhuyo dadrushuh Shankaram Ganaah, Roudraischa Vaishnavaischaiva vrutam chihnaih Sahasrashah/ Ardhaina Vaishnava Purandraina Haravigrahah, Khagadhwajam Vrishaarudham Khagaarudham Vrishadhwajam/ Yathaa Yathaa Trinayano rupam dhatrey gunaagranih, Tathaa tathaa twajaayanta Mahaa Paashupata Ganaah/ Tatobhavacchaika rupee Shankaro bahurupavaan, Dwirupaschaa bhavad yogi Ekarupopya rupavaan, Kshanaacchaitah kshanaad raktah peeto neelah khanaadapi/ Mishrako Varna heenascha Mahaapaashupatastathaa, Kshanaad bhavati Rudraindrah Kshanaadcchambhuh Prabhakarah/ Khanaartharcchankaro Vishnuh Kshanaarccharvah Pitaamahah, Tadast -adbhutamayam drushtwaa Shaivaadayo ganaah/ Yadaabhinnamanyanta Deva devam Sadaa Shivam/ Tadaa Nirdhuta paapaastey Samayaajanta Paarshadaah, Teyshvevam Dhuta paapeshu Abhinneshu Harishwarah/ (The Ganaas then visioned a Single Faced Vishnu-cum- Shiva Swarupa with thousand ‘chinhaas’ or symbols indicating same Swarupas, of which half was Rudra and another half Vishnu; one half was Vrishabhadhwaja Garudhaarudha and another half was Garudhadhwaja Vrishaarudha. Just as one visualised, so did that person visioned the Rupa of Bhagavan. The same Shankara assumed various forms each time changing his colours of white, red, yellow, blue, mixed or colourless; some times as Rudra, of Indra, Surya, Vishnu, or Brahma. As this most surprising and swift changes happened, the Ganas were then convinced that Paramatma was indeed one and only one!)

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