Hinduism

Shiva Purana: Rudra Samhita: War - 12

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 97

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In the dynasty of sage Kasyapa, a few powerful daityas namely Hirayanakasipu and Hirayanaksa take birth among others. Later, Vana mighty daitya in the dynasty is a devotee of Shiva, and Shiva is so delighted that he stays in the palace of Vana…even then gods of heavens suffer but it is difficult for Shiva to restrain Vana

Vana belonged to the dynasty of sage Kasyapa. Kasyapa’s saintly wife Diti gave birth to mighty daityasHirayanakasipu and Hirayanaksa and later, Prahalada took birth in the palace of Hirayanakasipu. Vana was a wise and brave aurus son of Bali (son of Virochana, a son of Prahalada). Vana was a devotee of Shiva and enjoyed his blessings and so, none not even Vishnu or other gods could defeat or kill him without the consent of Shiva and that too, if Shiva was convinced of the sins and crimes of Vana.

No doubt, he was devotee of Shiva but gods, who believed in principles of Dharma, never lived in peace. Vana did not want to finish gods but wanted to make them his subjects. Shiva was delighted with the devotion of Vana and so he blessed him, and to please the devotee, he stayed in the palace of Vana but still gods continued to suffer. He was under the influence of delusory powers of Shiva.

Once, Usha daughter of Vana saw Anirudha from the family of Krishna, in her dream. She was disturbed and her friend Chitralekha helped her indentifying the mystery man of dreams. Vana was angry and immediately imprisoned Anirudha and therefore, a war became inevitable. Krishna invaded the kingdom of Vana but was unable to kill and after lot of pleas, Shiva agreed and asked Vana to see reasons. Vana withdrew, released Anirudha and married off Usha to him and thus, Krishna thought better not to hurt Shiva’s devotee.

He left for Dwarka with the newly married couple. The lord is the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. Trinity is one. Oneness, if understood elevates a living being and he moves to life of divinity. Lord stays untainted notwithstanding the presence of various virtues – sattva, rajas and tamas, and even then, Shiva lights up gunas with the power of gunas, Vana realises as intensity of devotion to Shiva illuminates ‘the inner self’.

Sincerity to duty, loyalty to a cause, determined concentration on the objective and selfless efforts to attain an objective prove valuable to men of willpower. It is bhakti and devotion. If one prays and worships devotedly, one reaches destination.

In ancient times, the lord of prajapatis Daksa married off thirteen daughters to sage Kasyapa. All the thirteen consorts of sage were saintly, faithful and devoted women. Gracious demeanor of Kasyapa’s wives captivated everyone. Diti was the eldest among the wives of the sage. She was mother of daityas. Gods and human beings took birth from the wombs of other wives of the sage. All were saintly men of insight and repute, and each symbolised wisdom, nobility and virtues of unfathomable depths. Out of the womb of Diti, Hirayanakasipu and Hirayanakasa were born, who were learned and mighty but were egoists and arrogant. They terrified the three worlds, and gods found it difficult to conquer the mighty daityas. It was a great family of brave and wise people.

In the lineage of daityas, in years to come, Virochana took birth in the palace of Prahalada, a devotee of Vishnu. He was a great man of charity. When Indra as a brahmin asked for the head, the saintly man of charity even gave head to Indra. He had a son Bali, who was equally a bighearted son and believed in acts of generosity and altruistic character. Virochana devotedly pursued teachings of Prahalada and was an ardent bhakta of Shiva. Bali had an aurus (legally born child) son Vana. Vana was also a great devotee of Shiva. He was steadfast in wisdom with the strength of attributes of philanthropy and therefore, cultured and humanitarian psyche brought immense eminence to the great man.

Vana, the king of daityas, in due course of time, launched a fierce campaign, took possession of the guardians of the three worlds, and forced all to accept sovereignty. Thereafter, he established Shonitpura as the capital and began to govern. With the blessing and grace of Shiva, the devotees of Shiva like kinkers became attendants of Vana. In the vast regime, gods did not lead a happy life and suffered. Dharma was the cardinal principle of gods and therefore, they never got peace in the kingdom of Vana, who always wanted to subdue gods though he did not wish to eliminate.

In years to come, delighted at the intense devotion, Shiva becomes a guardian of Vana but very soon, he annoys Shiva when he expresses his desire to put to use his one thousand arms, for he did not find an equal to fight…a ridiculous wish.

Once, the great daitya Vana wanted to please Shiva and therefore, he clapped noisily and ragingly as he had thousands of arms and wished to make Shiva happy. He also danced and excitedly applauded the virtues of lord. It was a boisterous expression of devotion. Shiva, who always loved devotees, was very happy and therefore, he looked with a generous and merciful glance at the king. He wanted to bless the great disciple with a boon. Vana, the mighty daitya was the wisest and one of the greatest devotees of Shiva.

He saluted the lord and said, “O lord, you become a guardian, and then, stay with me in the palace with sons and ganas and thus, exhibit love and affection you hold for me.”

Thus, the son of Bali, Vana became a victim of maya (delusory powers of lord Shiva). He asked for the boon from Shiva, who was usually a very difficult god on whom one could meditate. The great benefactor and lavisher of benedictions Shiva began living with the great asura Vana at his palace with sons and ganas. For some time, it was a very happy living. As time rolled on, pride and self-esteem filled the mighty daitya and he turned difficult. He performed the great tanadava (dance) and pleased the lord immensely.

When the great asura Vana was sure that Shiva was happy, he folded hands in reverence and stood before Shiva and said, “O lord of gods Mahadeva, you are the lord of gods. You stand at the top. I became strong because you blessed. Now, kindly listen to what I say.”

He stopped for a while and then resumed, “You blessed me with one thousand arms but the arms are burdensome. I find no warrior equal in the three worlds except you. Therefore, O lord, what should I do with the arms if I fight no war? I felt an irritating itch in the strong and solid arms and so to get rid of the irksome irritation, I crushed to powder various towns and mountains on the way, met and confronted great warriors and reduced everyone to dust. However, the mighty and powerful people ran away out of fear. I wanted to fight a great war but no one was prepared to give a fight. I realised futility of the strong arms. I gained victory over Yama, Gopala, Kubera, Nishriti and Indra and made everyone a karadas (subject).”

He continued, “O Maheshwara, please bless and give me an opportunity and rewarding time for fierce war where I fight. I want thousand arms to clash. Either the arms may fall on the ground when the enemy strikes or arms must sever arms of enemies. Please do a little favour. I wish to put arms to action. If I utilise these arms effectively, I would feel happy. It is the agony, the itch, the pain and the challenge I confront but am helpless and it is also an intense desire. Kindly fulfill this wish, O lord.”

Rudra was not happy when he heard Vana. He understood ego and pride of the great asura, who appeared to dictate terms oblivious of the magnitude of a stupid longing. He had already given much trouble to gods and so it angered the lord. He split into apparently wonderful laughter.

He said, “O man of pride and nerve, you are egotistic among daityas. Be ashamed of this conduct. You are son of Bali. It is inappropriate to talk. Now, pride you nurse needs a crush. You will soon get an opportunity to fight against a warrior, who will be equal to me in strength and courage. It will be a dreadful and fearsome war. In the fierce war, various astra-sastras of the enemy would pierce your mountain-like arms and thereafter, you would fall on the ground as if you were jalauni (timber wood).”

He said in strong words and appeared unforgiving, “O evil mind, you will face destruction very soon and symbols of glories like flags and armour will be ruined. The flag with the symbol of peacock will wrap up. When it happens, you can imagine that a great war waits for you. At that time, you collect army with determination to fight a deadly and lethal war, and therefore, without a thought, go ahead. Now, you go back to the palace. O unwise demon, you will witness many formidable portents and cataclysms.”

The great lord hinted at anarchic situation in the kingdom with an oblique hint of death and devastation.

Vana confronted difficult times as foretold. He bowed and saluted the great lord and returned to the palace. Later on, as destiny willed, the flag of prestige of Vana broke into many fragments and collapsed. Vana observed signs of a forthcoming war and therefore, was very happy and thus, eager to go to war. He thought over the great warrior, who would face him. He thought of the country from where he would come. He weighed the strength of weaponry of an unidentified potential enemy he would confront in future, who would cut asunder one thousand arms. At the same time, he resolved he would also cut into little pieces the body of the enemy with the strikes of sharp weapons. At that time, with the inspiration of Shiva, the great Kaal (the lord of death) arrived. He did not know that it was delusory potency of the great lord.

To be Continued

 

01-Jul-2023

More by :  P C K Prem

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