Eligibility to achieve Salvation-Examples of Kaushiki and Anasuya as ‘Pativratas’

Son Sumati explained to his father about the causation of the State of Bliss viz. Yoga which conquers ‘Bhautika Padaardhaas’ (physical material) /worldly shackles) so that there would be no involvement of the cycle of births and deaths. In this context, he cited the example of Dattatreya Deva. There was a Brahmana named Kaushika who was a leper by virtue of his fate but he had Kaushiki as the ‘Pativrata’ devoted to her husband. She would perform all physical services to the husband of cleaning, washing and all other ablutions to this extent of removing body rejects and the blood oozing from his wounds. The disabled husband was short tempered and nagging but she considered him as her Deva and worshipped him, fulfilling each and every desire of his. Once the husband longed to be in company of a lady whom he had seen in the morning. The wife searched for her all over with a view to beg her to be with him despite his contageous disease; she would try to locate her somehow, offer her lot of money and also try to convince her in the name of mercy! The wife carried the husband on her shoulders at the night time but unfortunately due to darkness, she tripped on the road side and his legs hit a Sage Mandya in deep meditation. The angry Sage gave a curse that whosoever disturbed his meditation would die before the Sun rise by the next morning. Having heard the curse of the Sage, the ‘Pativrata’ made the return ‘Pratigya’ (challenging vow) that Sun would not appear on the Sky and the night would never be terminated. All the Devas were frightened at the Challenge of the Pativrata and wondered what would happen to the entire Universe in the absence of Swadhyaaya, Vashatkaara, Swadha and Swaahaa viz. Sun God, as a result of this unfortunate development! In the absence of days and nights, there would not be months and Seasons, no ‘Ayanaas’ (Uttarayana and Dakshinaayana), no count of Years, and no concept of ‘Kaala Gyana’ or of Time. If there were no Sun Rise, there would not be ‘Snaanaas’ nor daily Rituals, no Yagnas, no offerings to Devas through Agni (Fire), no crops to generate food due to drought and thus Universal Balance would be shaken up. Devas prayed to Brahma who advised them to approach the ‘Maha Pativrata’. Devi Anasuya, the wife of Sage Atri and daughter of Kardama Muni. Anasuya advised Kaushiki about the enormous loss to the World as a result of her Pratigna. Women have the unique task of performing service to husbands while men have other duties like Rituals and that she was proud of Kaushiki as a Pativrata. Even Gods descended to request her and that itself was a proof of her achievement. But the most essential task at that hour would be to facilitate Sun to rise and hence should withdraw her Pratigya. Finally Anasuya declared:
Yatha Bhatru Samamna anyamaham pashyami Devatam,
thena satyaena viproyam punarjeevatvanamah.
(If I had never known any Deity as important as my husband, then the Brahmana Kaushik would be reborn afresh devoid of any disease!).

Thanks to Anasuya’s intervention, the crisis was averted and the Devas blessed her that Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara would be born with Rajasika Guna as Soma (Moon), Vishnu as Dattatreya with Satvika Guna and Siva as Durvasa with Tamasika Guna.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org 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 raovdn@yahoo.co.in