May 30, 2023
May 30, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 90
Legendary tale of daitya Dambha impresses…he undergoes intense tapasya and delights the lord, gets a son, who later marries Tulsi a woman of wisdom and knowledge…who tells women that they have right to weigh up qualities, nature and conduct, wisdom and aptitude of men. If a woman does it rightly, it is good; otherwise, she proves futile a great creation.
In ancient times, the gods and the daityas did not enjoy very cordial relations. Shankchuda, a great and mighty demon proved troublesome to gods and various divine beings. It was very difficult to contain demon’s incessantly spreading influence and power. Later on, Shiva killed him. It is interesting to go back to past to know the truth. Sage Marichi was son of Brahma, and Kasyapa was son of Marichi. Kasyapa was a great thinker, a man of dharma and the creator of the world, who wielded tremendous powers of tapa. He was revered and worshipped as the great sage. He was a highly learned prajapati and a sagacious man. Therefore, after he examined antecedents, Daksa, the lord of prajapatis offered thirteen daughters in marriage to sage Kasyapa.
He had many children born of holy women (daughters of Prajapati Daksa) and it is quite difficult to make an exhaustive mention of the children. One of the wives of Kasyapa was Danu. She was extremely beautiful and wise, and was a woman of great fortunes. Danu’s presence was auspicious to the great sage. She gave birth to mighty sons and it was difficult to keep count of the brave sons. One son Viprachiti was full of courage and valour. A son Dambha was born in the house of Viprachiti. Dambha, a religious soul and a great devotee of Vishnu exercised incredible control over senses.
Unfortunately, he did not have any son and it caused mental strain. He was disturbed, and for this reason, his worries mounted. To get a son, he went to Sukracharya, the guru of daityas and sought blessings. Wise guru initiated Dumbha into the incantation of sacred Krishna-mantra and told to undergo japa (chanting of Krishna-mantra). He left hermitage, went to Puskara and began the most difficult and unbearable tapa. Before he underwent tapa, he made a sturdy and hard seat, settled down steadily and began tapa and meditation.
He continued tapa for ten thousand years but nothing concrete emerged. However, the great daitya never thought of terminating tapa. As he underwent tapa, a great illuminating energy originated out of forehead, and it spread everywhere and astonished everyone in the universe. Illuminating dazzle was strong and powerful that it soon began to sear gods, monks, sages, holy souls and created beings including Manu. Despite efforts, none could delve deep into the mystery of the incident. Fearing imbalance or anarchy in the three worlds from a mysterious virtuosity, they assembled and held thorough consultations. Thereafter, they went to the land of Supreme Brahma and here, Indra, the lord of gods led and guided, and sought refuge.
They bowed before the great lord, the great benefactor and the source of divine opulence and blessings. Undoubtedly, with the blessings of Brahma they enjoyed life of joy, peace and prosperity in heaven in earlier ages. Now, a terrible scorching heat gave pains and therefore, they thought it wise to seek shelter at the feet of Supreme Brahma. They appeared before Brahma but looked quite distressed and vexed. They praised the lord abundantly and then, related the cause of pain and worries.
In fact, whenever the gods confronted any thorny situation, they always went to Brahma to seek guidance and blessings, the harsh truth gods accepted. Brahma heard patiently and knew the causes of gods’ worries and anxieties. He deliberated for some time on the excruciating concerns of gods, advised heavenly beings to go to Vishnu, and told gods to describe each detail, and they would get relief. After Brahma advised and instructed, all gods went to Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu. They saluted the lord of the three worlds, the guardian of the created beings, the great Paramatma and bowed in humility.
The gods praised the lord generously and said, “O Supreme lord, we do not know anything about the happenings in the world and the cause of scorching and intolerable heat. Intense glow and radiance gives so much agony that lives of created beings and the gods of heavens have turned miserable and doubtful as we are unaware of the cause. Who gives troubles we know nothing O lord. O lord of the vulnerable and suffering, you are the guardian of grief-stricken devotees. O eternal refuge of the devotees, protect. We arrived here to request you to provide shelter.”
Vishnu heard humble pleas of mercy from Brahma, the gods and various celestial beings, who requested for refuge. He looked at the gods with compassion, and smiled.
After a moment, he said affectionately, “O gods and holy souls, you live in peace and do not feel nervous. Do not fear. You are eternal. No anarchy and upheaval will give trouble or anxiety because the time of annihilation is yet to arrive. The electrifying dazzle you see originates out of the forehead of a great and powerful daitya Dambha. He is a devotee engaged in a severe tapa and nurses a desire for a son. I shall bless him with the boon and fulfill his ardent yearning and then, he will live unruffled.”
Vishnu assured Brahma, all gods and sages and so they felt relieved and consoled. They were satisfied and returned to respective abodes filled with a sense of fulfillment, patience and perseverance. Vishnu started a determined journey to Puskara where daitya Dambha was engaged in tapa and meditation. Vishnu arrived at the holy place, assured the demon engaged in japa (incantation of mantra) and invoked demon’s charity and mercy.
He said softly, “Ask for a boon.”
He heard Vishnu, who stood before him. Daitya Dambha was sincerely pleased and fell at the feet of Sri Hari with feelings of ecstasy and divine pleasure.
He began to praise Vishnu with deep emotional outburst. With intensity of feelings and devotion, he said, “O lord of gods, O lotus-eyed lord, I salute you. Please show mercy. O, the god of three worlds, you bless me with a brave son, who should also be a devotee and a man of fortitude, courage and valour. He should conqueror the three worlds and the gods of heavens should not be able to subjugate him.”
Dambha of great devotion and tapa was silent after he revealed the wish without any reluctance. The lord blessed the devotee and asked him to terminate tapa and thereafter, Sri Hari disappeared. The lord of demons Dambha attained perfection in tapa and achieved the most desired objective. Whatever he yearned for impatiently, the great lord granted and so, fulfilled a cherished wish. Therefore, he looked at the direction in which lord Sri Hari flew away in an airborne car, bowed reverently and saluted, and then returned to the capital.
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