Sep 27, 2023
Sep 27, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 96
Andhaka is butt of ridicule and sarcastic observations when close relations ironically speak of his blindness and even hurt when they speak of uncertain perhaps illegitimate birth…a wounded heart decides to undergo intense meditation and finally becomes the lord of daityas and gradually, he turned out a tyrannical ruler and lost love for principles of dharma
Once Andhaka, son of Hirayanaksa was wandering about with brothers and at that time, his brothers light-heartedly spoke of his physical disability, for he was a blind man. Hirayanaksa was a fool, who meditated on Sankara and the lord blessed him with a son who was ugly and blind. “How can you enjoy the pleasure of kingdom? Just, you think over.”
They also spoke about legitimacy and birth. This was painful and so at night, he abandoned royal life and left, went to the forest, and undertook tapasya for thousands of years but nothing happened. At last, with the intensity of tapa, he reduced his body to a mere skeleton and then, decided to immolate ‘himself’. Brahma appeared and asked him to ask for some boon for he was happy with daitya’s devotion.
He asked for something that surprised Brahma. No one could be immortal, so Brahma told, “Agreed. However, you ought to accept something that becomes cause of death. No one is immortal in the world. It did not happen in the past and it would never happen in future. Death is imminent. A wise and saintly man like you should discard thoughts of long life and accept the inevitability of death.”
However, Brahma conferred on him strong and beautiful body and now, he was no more a skeleton when the lord touched him. The mere touch stirred life and energy and he was no more a blind man. He looked strong and handsome and therefore, he entered the city happily. His brothers Prahalada and others noticed the strength and power of Andhaka and without waste of time and words, surrendered the kingdom to him and accepted his sovereignty.
Now, began the great expedition and very soon, powerful Andhaka led a huge army and defeated all gods of heavens, and consequently, the lord of gods Indra accepted his supremacy and thereafter, daitya never looked back and established his dominance. He was lord of many beautiful women, loitered about with the women in magical valleys, forests and mountains or along the banks of rivers, and enjoyed life. Gradually, he increased strength and boundaries of kingdom and enjoyed alliance with men of suspicious integrity. He had become vicious, inhuman and violent in nature and did not pursue laws of dharma.
He subdued all relations and sons with the force of wrong logic and reasons, made them pursue his line of thought, and began to work against the principles of Vedic dharma. He refused to accept the existence of the Vedas, the gods of heavens, brahmins or gurus. Destiny had designed what was to happen in future.
Duryodhana, Vedhasa and Hasti were the three ministers who advised him. One day, they saw a beautiful woman and reported awesome divine beauty of this woman to the lord. They also spoke of a handsome monk with closed eyes in a cave. They did not know that he was Sankara. In front of this monk, another dreadful man had been sitting who looked like a monkey the ministers told again. An old white bull also sat next to the monk and a beautiful woman of virtues appeared to sit there whose radiance dazzled the eyes. She was simply alluring they said.
Love and passions overwhelmed Andhaka and so he asked ministers to go to the monk with a message, for he was enamoured of the beauty and charm of woman (Parvati) and wanted to possess her. Things did not happen as the mighty daitya desired and so he gathered his forces and in no time, a fierce war with Nandi began. For some time, Parvati stayed at Mandranchal and waited for Sankara, who was engaged in austere tapa with a great objective so that he could save the gods from the menace and violent acts of daitya. For that reason, she lived alone and nursed fears and this gave agonies to the goddess.
The mighty daitya under the influence of blessing was distressed as passion and desires for a woman increased while the lord of love continued to upset him. After some time, he again gathered forces and went to the cave where he had fierce war and during this time, the soldiers left food, water and sleep and the fierce war continued for five hundred and five days and in the war, Nandi got injuries and later, fell unconscious. Now, Parvati realised the probable danger and so, she remembered Brahma and Vishnu.
Immediately, all the goddesses of heavens with gods, yakasas, siddhas, generals of the gods’ armies and other warriors fully armoured with divine weapons appeared before goddess Parvati. Again, a violent war began. After some time, Shiva also arrived and now, the intensity of war was unpredictably fierce and violent. Sukracharya knew the medicine of giving life back to the dead, for he had the knowledge of Sanjeevini. He revived the dead daityas and it caused genuine anxieties and worries, and therefore, Shiva acted immediately and devoured him and thus, weakened the forces of daityas.
Kumara told Vyasa of the immense power of Andhaka, who was as strong, courageous and wise as Shiva, the destroyer of Tripura. The gods had blessed him several times and so it was difficult to know the depth of his power. He was also a mayabi, who could exercise delusory powers. To secure victory over Shiva, he invoked delusory powers and when, Shiva injured him seriously with the divine trident blood drops of Andhaka falling on the ground, surprisingly created many more Andhakas equally strong, intrepid and daring, who filled the battlefield and the uncanny scenario scared soldiers of gods.
Now, Shiva was angry and so, he with the power of yoga, changed into an invincible woman, who looked disfigured, furious, enraged, dreadful and appeared as if a skeleton. She had come out of the ear of Sambhu. She appeared in the battlefield and began to drink the blood of daityas and thus, production of daityas stopped. Only Andhaka was alive whose blood appeared to dry out slowly. At that time, he began to meditate on Sankara and kept dharma of ksatriyas in mind. It was difficult to stay alive but the incessant chanting of name of Shiva, silent prayers and worship in heart, delighted the great lord (a symbol of love and compassion, who always protected devotees in hour of crisis), who appeared happily before him and blessed.
It was moment of glory. Shiva conferred on the mighty daitya Andhaka the status of Chief of Ganas. The gods of heavens and celestial souls celebrated the victory, and along with Brahma, Vishnu and lords of gods praised the great lord and later, returned to their respective abodes whereas Shiva came back to the great cave situated in the mountain.
Sukracharya, during the furious war had created impediments in early victory, so Shiva devoured him, and therefore, he was unable to give life back to the dead soldiers of daitya with the power of Sanjeevini. Vyasa also asked sage Kumara about the facts when Shiva granted the position of chief of Ganas to Andhaka. During the war, Kumara told that daityas’ were awe-inspiring and dreadful but ganas of Shiva proved overwhelming and so Andhaka went to guru Sukracharya. Guru of daityas appeared in the battlefield and thought of Sankara and thereafter, used knowledge of Sanjeevini and granted life to the dead soldiers of daityas. Now, gods suffered losses and it was a difficult situation.
Gods appeared before Shiva and narrated the entire tale of miseries and destruction of gods’ army. To save gods, Shiva devoured Sukracharya. Daityas were in weak position now, and therefore, Andhaka tried to inspire and infuse strength and thus, war gained intensity. When Sukracharya heard terrible noise and roars, sounds of clash of weapons and war cries of warriors and soldiers in the stomach of Shiva, he was upset and disturbed, for he was unable to help daityas and so frantically ran about to find a path so that he could come out of stomach.
What he saw in the abdomen amazed him. He found the subterranean worlds, all the seven worlds – lokas, Brahma, Narayana, Indra, Adityas and the celestial women and surprisingly, he also witnessed the on-going fierce war between gods and daityas. Therefore, he continued to roam about in the belly for one hundred years. He remembered a mantra and chanted it several times for a long time and as a result, he came out of the stomach through the path of lingam. He saluted Shiva and Gauri and they not only blessed but also accepted him as a son. Shiva saw, smiled and called him son Sukra. Sukra was happy and eulogised the lord profusely through hymns and songs and afterward, attained glory and brilliance equal to Sankara. After three thousand years, he appeared on earth and at that time, he noticed extremely patient devotee Andhaka, who was meditating on Shiva.
Shiva was delighted at Andhaka’s devotion, fortitude, courage, discipline, restraint on senses and therefore, the lord blessed him and so, he was free from flaws and imperfections that constitute mindset of daityas. He became a firm devotee of Shiva, who later, blessed him with the status of lord of Ganas. He also told him about the austere tapa and penance of Sukracharya, whom lord blessed. The lingam he situated became famous as Sukresha. In future, human beings would worship and pray before the holy lingam and the lord would bless people with immense inner energy and the energy they treasure in the shape of semen would never go waste but it would strengthen manhood, and such devotees would have authority over various wings of knowledge and wisdom. After securing blessing, Sukracharya went to his abode. After narrating the sequence of events, the holy sage was silent. Shiva forgives even sinners if they correct vicious ways and meditate on him. Blessings of lord grant salvation and take such a wicked man and sinner to the land of gods.
More by : P C K Prem