Jun 07, 2023
Jun 07, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 92
Vishnu indulges in fiddly and deceitful act and works against the principles of dharma, dupes Tulsi, incurs displeasure and lives under an irrevocable curse whereas daitya Sankhchuda loves truth and righteousness but injustice to gods proves fatal…the legend continues… sattvic Karmas are a source of peace and prosperity
When a mighty warrior of dharma Sankhchuda became the king of daityas, he expanded his land and kingdom, stretched influence to heavens, and vanquished the gods of heavens. It frightened gods and gave troubles, and they in suffering and distress appeared before the Supreme lord and sought relief. Kingdom on earth was a land of plenty and disease-free, they said and further spoke of immense prosperity and happiness of people of different classes on earth. He adhered to the principles of dharma. Queen Tulsi was a woman of tapa and penance and added glory and grandeur to the status of King Sankhchuda.
Krishna was aware of the death of the daitya and therefore, when the sufferings of the gods became unbearable, he advised them to go to Sankara and seek shelter. Shiva was lord of the devotees and after the pleas of the gods, he asked Sankhchuda through the envoy to restore prestige and kingdom of gods and then, narrated the tales of legendary daityas, who perpetrated atrocities on gods of heavens and so, because of the unholy and unjustified acts, the Supreme lord reduced all wicked forces to ashes. The messenger went to the mighty daitya and told every exploit of the Supreme lord so that daitya stops to terrorise gods in future.
When the war began, it was difficult for the armies of gods to defeat him. Even Shiva found it impossible. After the gods failed in efforts, Vishnu disguised as a brahmin stood before the mighty Sankhchuda in the battlefield and asked warrior’s armour in charity. He put on the armour and appeared before Tulsi in the guise of Sankhchuda as a victor. Tulsi failed to recognise the trick, and he, without compunction of soul violated the sanctity of a woman of tapa and penance.
Now, Shiva released the Divine Trident, it took a few rounds of the sky, and then fell on the great daitya and killed. Gods won the war because Vishnu adopted crafty means and ignored principles of morality and dharma whereas Sankhchuda, a great man of dharma adhered to truth and righteousness but unfortunately, injustice to gods proved his downfall and even Brahma failed to help. Dharma won eventually and the truth stood revealed.
Virtuous and sattvic Karmas bring prosperity and happiness. However, if iniquity overawes virtues, desolation and affliction overwhelm, one must understand the eternal truth. Background reveals interesting facts of Tulsi and the great daitya of truth and dharma.
Supreme lord had blessed Sankhchuda with great boons. He married Tulsi and returned to the capital. All the demons and daityas were very happy on the achievements. All daityas arrived at the ashrama of sage Sukracharya and praised the great wise daitya of knowledge and wisdom. They also paid tributes to the vast learning of guru Sukracharya. Sankhuchuda bowed and saluted the great guru.
After serious consultations, the wise and eminent people took a decision, and made Sankachuda, the king of daityas. When he became the lord of demons, it added glory to all. He took the reins of the kingdom in hand, launched a terrible attack on gods, and began to destroy gods and the land of gods. He snatched the land and lokas of gods and brought everything under his control.
He not only began to govern various heavens of gods but also decided to become Indra and so, adorned the crown of the lord of gods. Thereafter, he readily agreed to accept shares in the sacrificial offerings and oblations of yajnas. Perhaps, he forced it. Absolute sovereignty over gods, asures, demons, raksasas, gandharavas, nagas, kinners, human beings and various created beings of the three worlds was unchallenged. Thus, he was the king of kings and continued to govern the entire universe for many years, and so, enjoyed the blessings and boons of Supreme Brahma.
One finds something imposing and superb about the rule of daitya Sankachuda. Fortunately, during the regime no famines, disastrous diseases, natural calamities or ailments disturbed people and thus, they lived peacefully. The entire kingdom was free from sufferings and anguish and the people were extremely happy and prosperous. Earth gave everything even without tilling. Various therapeutic herbs, medicinal plants and trees offered luxurious fruit and fragrant flowers. The whole earth was full of jewels and precious stones. All varnas pursued religiously the principles of respective dharma. When the mighty demon governed, none in the three worlds suffered.
People lived happily but gods of heavens suffered, for he created terror in the land of gods irrespective of the truth that he was a devotee of Krishna. All the gods thought deep over the situation and finally, after deliberations resolved to approach Brahma, who took them to Vishnu and later, they appeared before Sankara
In Sankachuda’s regime, only gods suffered and cried in miseries and pains. Surprisingly, he was a friend of Sri Krishna, a resident of Goloka and therefore, was devotedly engaged in Krishna’s bhakti. He took birth in the yoni of daitya because of a curse. He was daitya no doubt but mind and intellect were unlike a demon. He as a daitya underwent rigorous tapa and meditation and so, enjoyed the divine blessings of god.
On the other hand, the gods and sages suffered and enjoyed no comforts whatsoever. Each day, sufferings increased and the great demon did not relent. Gods held protracted consultations and went to Supreme Brahma. Brahma understood the purpose, listened to the grievances of gods, and thereafter, took gods to Vaikuntha and appeared before Vishnu. They saluted and sought refuge from the terror demon Sankhchuda had brought to gods and their property.
Vishnu asked, “O Supreme Brahma and gods of heavens, the land of Vaikuntha is difficult to attain even for the men of yoga. Why did you come? What troubles you? Please narrate.”
Brahma related every act of daitya Sankhchuda.
Sri Hari said calmly, “I know everything about Sankhchuda. In earlier life, he was a great devotee and gopa of brilliance. I recount an ancient incident relating to Sankhchuda. Do not harbour doubts. You already know many events and happenings but I shall relate to you the entire background. In Goloka (Gokula), Sri Krishna lived who was born in my image. His consort was famous Radha. She was a superb image of nature. She loitered about in the beautiful region where many gopas and gopis-cowherds lived in the company of Radha and enjoyed a divine friendship. Gopas and gopis were engaged in devotion and bhakti and continued to concentrate on Radhakrishna. Gopa, a devotee of Sri Krishna and chief counselor, under the spell of delusory powers of lord Shiva, was cursed and later on, took birth in the yoni of demon’s consort.”
Vishnu said again, “Sri Krishna knows and understands the day and time of death that will come to the lord when lord Shiva strikes the incarnation with the divine trident. Therefore, the demon will leave the yoni and later on, he will take birth as one of the counselors of Krishna. O lord of gods, you should not fear. Let us go to Sankara and seek shelter at lord’s feet.” The gods of heavens had no option and therefore, to get rid of the menace of Daitya was the first priority.
Brahma and gods understood the gravity of situation that had social and political implications and so decided to go to Shiva and seek refuge.
They left for the abode of Shiva on advice and therefore, continued to remember Shiva during the long journey. Afterward, they reached one of the most wonderful courts of Shiva. Gods saluted Shiva and narrated the tale of sufferings and terror Sankhchuda often perpetrated and so wanted relief and therefore, requested Vishnu to rescue gods and noble souls from the wickedness of mighty daitya. Shiva heard, smiled and said, “Hey Brahma, you forget fears Sankhchuda creates. It would bless you and I speak only of wellbeing. I know about the demon.
In previous birth, he was a cowherd Sudama and a devotee of Sri Krishna. He is the same gopa now born in the yoni of a demon and now, you call him Sankhchuda. He is a man of supreme dharma but he is also an enemy of gods of heavens. He gives troubles and sufferings to gods because he believes in the supreme power but unfortunately, an evil intellect directs and governs the demon. Now, you listen to what I say. You go to Rudra if you want gods to live happily and comfortable.”
He said again, “Please go to Kailasa that is born of this body. It is born in my image. I go to Kailasa because the dedication and devotion of bhaktas very much charms and bewitches.”
All the gods, as advised, appeared before Rudra, the great lord Maheshwara and said, “O lord Maheshwara, you are an image of mercy. You grant deliverance to the vulnerable from sufferings and pains. O lord, the king of demons Sankhchuda is unkind and callous, ruthless and unsympathetic and therefore, we request you to kill the demon and free lord Indra and gods of heavens from incessant trouble, fears and threats. Please give back lost glory and fame to lord Indra. We want mukti (liberation) from miseries. Kindly liberate all the gods from a calamitous situation.”
Sankara heard patiently and said, “O lord Brahma and gods of heavens, please go back to respective heavens. I shall definitely look into the cause of suffering and therefore, at an appropriate time, I shall destroy demon Sankhchuda.”
Brahma, gods and sages and the created beings felt very happy and thereafter, went back after praising and paying tributes to the Supreme Lord. When Vishnu left for Vaikuntha and Brahma left for Satyaloka (the land of truth), lord Rudra deliberated on the serious existential situation the great daitya had created.
He was death to the evil-minded and wicked, the devotees of the lord thought and believed. They considered him a force and driving energy for the noble and virtuous souls like the sages and monks. The lord thought over and for the benefit, happiness and pleasure of the gods of heavens decided to put an end to the ruthless regime of the king of demons. He knew about the boons Supreme Brahma had conferred on the mighty demon and therefore, wanted to give sufficient time to the daitya to mend evil ways, stop giving any more troubles to gods and restore original status to the divine beings, various virtuous souls and devotees.
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More by : P C K Prem