Monday, 4 July 2011

The Origin of Deities, Demons and Serpents

Bheeshma requested Sage Pulastya to explain how different entities like the deities, demons and serpents came
into being.

Pulastya replied – Having failed in his repeated attempts of increasing population by the means of 'sankalpa'
Vishva Dharma ki Jay! (Victory to Universal Dharma!)

Daksha Prajapati was left with no option but to take the help of copulative creation. He begot sixty daughters from
his wife named Virini. In course of time ten of them were married to Dharma whose names were – Arundhati, Vasu, Jami, Lamba, Bhanu, Marutvati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Saadhya and Vishwa. Vishwa gave birth to Vishwadeva, while Saadhyaa was the mother of Saddhya. Marutvati gave birth to Marutvan. Vasu had eight sons who became famous as the Vasus – yourself (Bheeshma) , Dhruv, Soma, Dhar, Anil, Anal, Pratyush and Prabhas. Bhanu had a son by the same name i. e. Bhanu. Mahurta begot deities, who were the lords of auspicious moments. Lamba gave birth to Ghosh while Jami had a daughter named Nagvithi. Arundhati became the mother of all the creatures of this world. As far as the offspring of eight Vasus are concerned, 'you' (Bheeshma) have four sons – Shant, Vaitand, Samb and Munibabhru. Dhruv had a son named Kaal. While Soma was the father of Varcha. Dhar had two sons – Dravin and Havyavaah. Anil had three sons – Pran, Raman and Shishir. Anal also had three sons – Shakh, Upshakh and Naigameya. Pratyush had a son named Deval, who later on became a famous sage. Prabhas was the father of Prajapati Vishwakarma – the architect of the deities.
The names of the eleven Rudras are – Ajaikpad, Ahirbudhnya, Virupaksh, Raivat, Har, Bahuroop, Trayambak,
Savitra, Jayant, Pinaki and Aparajit. All of them are said to be the lords of the Ganas and have all together 84
crore progenies known as the Rudraganas.

Sage Kashyap had thirteen wives – Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Sursa, Surabhi, Vinta, Tamra, Krodhvasha, Ira,Kadru, Khasa and Muni. Kashyap had two sons from Diti – Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyakashipu had four sons – Prahlad, Anuhlad, Sanhlad and Hlad. Prahlad also had four sons – One of them was Virochan. Virochan was the father of Bali. Vanasur, who had one thousand arms, was the eldest son of Bali. Hiranyaksha had four sons, who themselves had 27 crore sons and grandsons in all. Kashyap had begotten one hundred sons from Danu, among whom Viprachitti was the most powerful. Viprachitti had fourteen sons from Sinhika – Sainhikeya (Rahu) , Kansa, Shankh, Nala, Vatapi, Ilwal, Namuchi, Khasrima, Anjan, Narak, Kaalnaabh, Parmanu, Kalpavirya and Dhanuvanshavivardhan.

Kashyap also had six daughters from Tamra – Shuki, Shyeni, Bhasi, Gridhi, Sugridhi and Shuchi. All six of them gave birth to various species of birds. Shuki was the mother of Parrots and Owls. Shyeni gave birth to hawks while Bhasi was the mother of ospreys (a large fish eating birds.) Gridhi gave birth to Vultures and Sugridhi was the mother of pigeons. Shuchi was the mother of cranes, Swans and other similar aquatic birds. Vinita was the mother of Garuda and Arun – Supreme among birds. Arun was the father of Sampati and Jatayu. Sursa was the mother of the serpents and had given birth to one thousand snakes. Similarly, Kadru gave birth to one thousand cobras. Surabhi, one of the thirteen wives of Kashyap had given birth to cows, buffaloes as well as beautiful women. Muni was the mother of the celestial damsels – apsaras. Arishta gave birth to Kinnars and Gandharvas. Ira was the mother of various vegetation like grass, trees, creepers and bushes.

Khasa gave birth to crore of Rakshashas (monsters) and Yakshas. Kashyap had also begotten forty – nine Marudganas from Diti.

2.1.7 The Origin of Marudganas

Bheeshma requested Sage Pulastya to describe how all the Marudganas came into existence.

Pulastya replied – All the sons and grandsons of Diti had perished in the battle fought between the deities and demons. Diti – the mother of daityas (demons) wanted to take revenge, so she started doing a penance at the bank of river Saraswati, which lasted for 100 years. Being pleased by her austere penance Sage Kashyap arrived and expressed his desire to bless her with a boon. Diti wanted a mighty son who could kill Indra. Sage Kashyap then implanted his sperms in Diti's womb and instructed her to remain there (where she had been doing penance) for 100 years. He also instructed her on various do's and don'ts which a pregnant woman is expected to observe. Diti agreed to follow his instructions. Mean while, Indra got wind of her pregnancy and became scared. He wanted to destroy the foetus at any cost, so he arrived at the place where Diti was staying. He had disguised himself to avoid being recognized by Diti. He engaged himself in her servitude, waiting for an opportune moment to destroy the foetus.

This way, ninety – nine years had passed and only three days were remaining after which Diti was expected to give birth to a son. As the inevitable day approached nearer, Indra started becoming restless. One day, Diti was very tired and fell down asleep. Her hair was untied and her head had stooped down while she was sleeping, just opposite to the instructions Kashyap had given to her. Finding the moment opportune, Indra entered into Diti's womb and cut the foetus into seven pieces with his Vajra. The seven fragments of foetus instantaneously got transformed into seven infants and started wailing. Indra became furious and once again he attacked them with his vajra and severed them into seven pieces each. But to Indra's sheer amazement, there were 49 infants, all wailing loudly. He tried to stop them from crying by shouting 'Marud' (don't cry) , but to no avail.

Vishva Dharma ki Jay! (Victory to Universal Dharma!)

Indra realized that the infants had attained immortality on account of the 'Pournamasi Vrata', which Diti had devoutly observed during the course of her penance. Indra named the infants as Marudganas and blessed them. He then begged for Diti's forgiveness and took her along with the Marudganas to heaven. The Marudganas, despite being born in the clans of demons, never associated with them and hence were revered even by the deities.

Bheeshma expressed his curiosity to know about the detailed description of all the fourteen manvantars. Pulastya said – The first manvantar was called Swayambhuva, named after Swayambhuva – Manu. Yamya was the prominent deity of this manvantar. Marichi and other six prominent sages were the Saptarishis of this manvantar. Swayambhuva – Manu had ten sons – Aaghnigha, Agnibahu, Vibhu, Savan, Jyotishman, Dyutiman, Havya, Medha, Medhatithi and Vasu.

The second manvantar was named after Swarochish – Manu. Swarochish – Manu had four sons – Nabh, Nabhasya, Prasriti and Bhavan. Tushit was the prominent deity of this second manvantar. Dattatreya, Atri, Chyavan, Stanba, Pran, Kashyap and Vrihaspati were the saptarishis of this manvantar.

The third manvantar was called Autam and derived its name from Autami Manu, who had ten sons – Isha, Urj, Tanuj, Shuchi, Shukra, Madhu, Madhav, Nabhasya, Nabh and Saha, Bhanusangyak was the prominent deity of this manvantar. Sage Urj and other six sages were the saptarishis then.

The fourth manvantar was called Taamas – named after Taamas – manu, who also had ten sons like his predecessor. The names of his sons were – Akalmash, Tapodhanva, Tapomool, Tapodhan, Taporashi, Tapasya, Sutapasya, Parantap, Tapobhagi and Tapoyogi. Kavi, Prithu, Agni, Akapi, Kapi, Janya and Dhama were the Saptarishis of this manvantar, while Saadhyagana was the prominent deity.

The fifth manvantar was called Raivat – named after Raivat Manu, who had ten sons as well – Varun, Tatvadarshi, chitiman, Havyap, Kavi, Mukt, Nirutsuk, Satva, Vimoh and Prakashak, Bhutrajaa and Prakriti were the two prominent deities of this manvantar and the names of the saptarishis were – Devabahu, Subahu, Parjanya, Somap, Muni, Hiranyaroma and Saptashva.

Next arrived the sixth manvantar – Chakshush. This Manvantar derived its name from Chakshush – Manu, who
had ten sons and among whom Ruru was the most prominent one. Lekh, Ribhu, Prithagbhoot, Varimool and
Divau were the prominent deities of this manvantar. The names of Saptarishis were – Bhrigu, Sudhama, Viraj,
Vishnu, Narad, Vivaswan and Abhimani.
The present manvantar, which is the seventh in order, is called Vaivaswat. The Saptarishis of this manvantar are – Atri, Vashishth, Kashyap, Gautam – yogi, Bhardwaj, Vishwamitra and Jamdagni.

The eighth manvantar will be called Savarnya and will be named after Savarni Manu, Savarni Manu will have ten sons – Dhriti, Variyan, Yavasu, Suvarna, Dhrishti, Charishnu, Aadya, Sumati, Vasu and Shukra. The Saptarishis of this manvantar will be – Ashwatthama, Rishyashringa, Kaushikya, Galav, Shatanand, Kaashyap and Parashuram.

The nineth manvantar will be named after Ruchi – Manu and will be called Rauchya manvantar. Ruchi – manu will have a son named Rauchya.

The tenth manvantar will be called Bhautya and will derive its name from Bhautya Manu – Son of Bhuti. The eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth manvantars will be named after Merusavarni, Ribhu, Veetdhama and Vishkvasen Manus respectively.

All these fourteen Manus successively rule this world for the total period of 1000 Chaturyugas. At the end of Kalpa each of them unite with Lord Brahma.

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