Maha Maya enables Vishnu to kill the Demon Brothers Madhu and Kaitabha

In the Manvantara of Saavarni would be the Sapta Rishis viz. Ram, Vyas, Gaalava, Deeptimaan, Kripa, Rishyashringa, and Droni.  Sutapa, Amitabh, and Mukhya would be the three Devaganas and each of these there would be twenty Ganas, of whom Tapastapah, Shakra, Dyuti, Jyoti, Prabhakar, Prabhas, Dayita, Dharma, Teja, Rashmi and Vakrut would be included. Dama, Danta, Ritha, Soma and Vintha would be included in the third Devaganas. Saarvani’s progeny include Viraja, Ariveera, Nirmoha, Satyavaak, Kuruti, and Vishnu and would all be Kings in the Manvantara.

During the second Manu’s regime of Swarochisha, there was a King named Suratha, who was an extremely virtuous person looking after his Subjects with affection and attachment, but his vicious Ministers usurped the Kingdom and Suratha took refuge in the hermitage of Megha Muni. The King felt extremely distressed that the Kingship which was with his many generations was lost due to the injustice and treachery of the persons around, despite the fact that he was ruling with considerable merit and charity. Meanwhile, a prosperous Vysya (business person), named Samadhi, who was also disowned by his vicious wife and children and drove him away from his palatial building, came to the King and the Hermit Megha. Samadhi said that despite their cruel treatment, he still had great affection for his wife, children and relatives and that he did not at all have any aversion for them. The King asked as to how Samadhi bore no ill will to his close persons, inspite of their insensitive feelings for him. The Muni replied that just as a bird which might be hungry would still prefer to feed the baby birds, human beings never bother for their selfish considerations but are infatuated with their children, although the children might not always have reciprocal feelings. It is in the same way that Maha Maya tends to obscure human feelings and insensitize any illwill towards their own children for their wrong doings affecting the parents.

Tanmaatra vismayah Kaayom Yoganidra Jagatpathey,
Maha Maya Harischaisha tatha sammohyatey Jagat/
Jnaaninaamapi chetaamsi Devi Bhagavati hi saa,
Baladaa krishya mohaaya Maha Maya prayacchati/
Tayaa visrujyatey Viswam Jagadethacharaacharam,
saa vidya Paramaa Muktiheturbhuta Sanaatani/
samsaarabandhu hethuscha saiva Sarveswarewari/

(It is not surprising to say: Maha Maya is the Nidraswarup (Sleepy Illusion) of Jagatpati Hari who spreads over the net of ignorance all over the Universe. It is that Bhagavati Maha Maya who pulls down intelligent human beings forcefully into ignorance; is that Devi who creates the totality of the Universe, turns benvolent to humanity and bestows Salvation; is that highest ‘Hetuswarup Sanatani Brahmagyana Swapura Vidya’ or the Everlasting Reason of Reasons-the Embodiment of Brahma Gyan Vidya; She is the Eswari of Eshwaris who is the cause and effect of Birth and Death and the final Provider of ‘Mukti’. The King Surata asked Muni Megha as to who was that All-Pervading Maha Maya, and how did it come into being? The Muni replied that it was highly incorrect to say that Maha Maya came into being at a time since it was Everlasting; however one could surmise the Great Illusion was recognised at the end of a ‘Kalpa’ as the whole Universe got submerged into fathomless waters at the time of Grand Annihilation and Bhagavan Vishnu was resting in ‘Yoganidra’ or the Yogic Sleep.It was at that very time, there were two ‘Asuras’, named Madhu and Kaitabha,  who were materialised from the ear-rejects of Vishnu; they chased Brahma who prayed to Nidra Bhagavati (Goddess Of Slumber) so that Vishnu could be woken up.He said: Devi!

Twam Swaha Twam Swadha Twamhi Vashatkaarah Swaraatmika,
Sudha twamakshare nithye Tridhaamaatratmika -asthitha/
Ardhamaatraa sthita nithya Yaanucchhaarya viseshatahah,
Twameva Sandhya Saavitri twam Devi Janani Para/

(You are the ‘Swaha’ Mantra of the ‘Havis’ or oblations to Agni meant for Devatas; the Swadha Swarup of the ‘Shraddha’ to Pitras; You are the ‘Vashatkar’ Mantra Swarup of ‘Havis’ meant for Indra; You are the Sudha Swarup of the Three ‘Matras’ (Letters) of Deergha, Hraswa and Pluth Rupas; You are the famous Gayatri Swarup; and You are the Sublime Mother of the Universe). Brahma continued the Prayer to say: Devi! You are the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of ‘Srishti’ (Creation); You are the Maha Vidya (The Highest Form of Learning), Maha Medha (Highest Brain Power), Maha Maya, Maha Smriti (Highest Consciousness), Maha Moha (The Highest Obsession); You are the Trigunatmika Prakriti of Satva, Rajas and Tamo Gunas; You are the ‘Kalaratri Bhayankara Yama Swarup’; You are the ‘Lakshmi beeja’, Ishwari, Lazza (Embodiment of Modesty), Buddhi, Divya Gyan, Pushti, Thsti, Shanthi, and Kshanti Swarup, Khadgini, Shulini, Gadini, Chakrini, Shankhini, Dhanushdharini, Sowmya, Soumyatara, Apeksha Sundari; How could one be able to commend You!! Devi, You are most humbly requested to spread Your ‘Mayajaal’ or the Wide Net of Illusion over the two Demon Brothers of Madhu and Kaitabha, wake up Maha Vishnu from the Yoga Nidra and facilitate Him to destroy the demon brothers who tended to grow in form and might minute by minute! Bhagavan Vishnu woke up and fought with the Demon Warriors for five thousand years relentlessly, but there was no sign of surrender of the Asuras as they were apparently fighting by their turns whereas Vishnu was battling single handed. Maha Maya advised Vishnu to seek a boon from the brothers as they were indeed invincible, but out of bravado, they asked a boon from them instead. Cashing immediately on the offer made by the Demon Brothers, Vishnu asked them to die in their hands; the Brothers agreed to die in His hands on the condition where there was no trace of water in that Vast Universe which was full of Water. Lord Vishnu expanded his thighs far and wide, thus materialising a dry area of his massive thighs and killed the Evil Brothers who threatened Lord Brahma!


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Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at