Oct 04, 2023
Oct 04, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 28
Celestial sage Narada asks about manas daughter Sandhya and her marriage to Vasistha as Arundhati, Sandhya knows love and passions obstruct growth of man and later, she goes to mountain Chandrabhaga for intense tapa and penance where sage Vasistha educates her about the procedure.
Sage Narada listened to Brahma, felt extremely happy, remembered lord Shiva, and said cheerfully, “O Supreme lord, you spoke eloquently and charmingly of the tale of pleasurable exploits of Shiva. Now, I learnt that after he married Rati, Kamadeva went to the abode and thereafter, all manas putras (mental sons) proceeded to respective places. Daksa, the great prajapati also left for his holy abode. Now, I wish to know about Sandhya, a manas daughter, O lord. Where did she go… the source of birth of pitres (manes)? What she did? Whom did she marry? I want to know about the purusa she accepted. I want to know about the life and character of Sandhya.” Many questions cropped up and wanted reasonable answers.
Supreme Brahma did not wish to offend son Narada, a celestial sage. In fact, he was happy at son’s anxiety and therefore, satisfied his curiosity, who while he knew everything still wanted to hear everything from Brahma.
Brahma said, “O monk, women, who listen to the sacred tale of Sandhya turn into holy women. It is a purifying tale that sanctifies and ennobles all women. Sandhya was a manas daughter (a daughter born of mind). Afterward, she was engaged in a severe tapa and after ages took birth in the house of sage Medhathithi, and became famous as Arundhiti. Her tapa was of great importance. She was a great devotee and therefore, after learning about the depth of Arundhiti’s tapa, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara asked her to choose one of the greatest sages of tapa and penance, sage Vasistha as husband. Thus, after marrying the great sage, she was known as the holiest wife and so, everyone worshipped Arundhiti.”
Sage Narada was inquisitive and keen to know more. He wanted to know about the tapa of Sandhya, birth as Arundhiti and subsequent marriage to sage Vasistha.
Brahma told that sacred thoughts of significance and objective in respect of life filled Sandhya. She decided to do something more purposeful and as she knew about the most sacred path as enshrined in the holy Vedas, she, therefore, adopted Vedic path, sacrificed life and offered ‘the self’ to fire. She wanted that feelings of love and passion should not overcome men born on earth. She nursed virtuous thoughts in mind, wanted to undergo austere tapa and thus, set an example of dharmic life (a life of dharma-truth and uprightness). Usually, passions invade a man during youth and so she determined to define the limits of love and passion during the age, and thereafter, thought to sacrifice life.
Sandhya resolved to stipulate new boundaries of tapa and life of dharma. She went to the most sacred mountain Chandrabhaga and was engaged in deep deliberation. It is a mountain from where river Chandrabhaga originates. At that time, Brahma told son Vasistha, the most learned sage, a wise man of the Vedas and the knower of everything, who exercised full control over ‘the Inner self’, about the location of Sandhya, who had been undergoing austere tapa. As saintly Sandhya was not aware of a proper procedure to undergo tapasya, he requested Vasistha to educate.
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