Sage Bhrigu curses Maha Vishnu

There were on-going battles between Devas and Demons, but the most potent war fought was that of Bali with Devas in which Danavas had an upper hand .But Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of Vamana and tricked Bali by asking for just three feet of land and occupied the entire Universe and suppressed Bali’s head to the Sub-terranian world as the third foot! Similarly Prahlada’s father Hiranyakasipu was killed taking the form of half-lion and half – man to escape the effect of Brahma’s boon. Thus each time Danavas got boons from Brahma, Lord Vishnu tried to search for the escape clauses of the boons secured after rigorous Tapasya and appeared as the saviour of Devas always. Thus brooding, Sukra Acharya, the son of Sage Bhrigu and Urjasvati, consoled Danavas and assured that some other strategy would have to be followed to achieve victory over Devas. Thus Danava Guru asked for patience and restraint and meanwhile practised a life of austerity and abstinence till he found a solution to the problem from Tapasya. The Acharya then meditated Lord Siva for several years together and finally pleased him for a boon. He explained that the various Tapasyas performed by Danava Kings in the past to Brahma and the boons obtained from him proved futile since they had only temporary impact and each time Lord Vishnu was discovering loopholes in the boons received. That was the reason why Lord Siva was approached for a solution as a boon, the kind of which should not have been granted to his opponent Brihaspati, the Deva Guru. Lord Siva in turn gave a very arduous method to follow namely to perform penance for thousand years lying upside down inhaling smoke from burnt husk. Meanwhile Deva Guru disguised himself as Sukracharya and gradually misguided Danavas and taught them a licentious and wicked life quite contrary to what Sukracharya advised before his departure for Tapasya.The Danavas were provoked by the Fake Danava Guru went on war against Devas who killed several Demons as the latter were disunited, indisciplined and weak. Sukracharya’s mother, Kavya, found that Devas were drawing too near to Danavas and protected them by putting Devas to deep sleep by requesting the Goddess of ‘Nidra’ (Slumber). Indra escaped the sleep as Lord Vishnu absorbed him into His body; He also used the Sudarsana Chakra (Wheel) and cut off Kavya’s head even ignoring that she was a woman that too the wife of Sage Bhrigu. The Sage was furious on learning that Vishnu’s Chakra cut Kavya’s head and gave him a curse that Vishnu would be born again and again as a human being since He never cared for the killing of a woman and hence be punished by learning the misery of staying imprisoned for nine months each time before the births. Also by his mystic powers, the Sage revived his wife to come alive! Indra was afraid that Bhrigu cursed Narayana and soon original Visvamitra would also return after securing the much desired Mantra from Lord Siva. So Indra made a plan and asked his daughter Jayanti to disguise herself as a maid and reach Visvamitra’s hermitage and please his mother Kavya to start with and please the Sage in his duties subsequently which she did exceedingly well. Meanwhile Visvamitra secured a great boon from Lord Siva that he would be invincible to any force in the Universe. Lord Siva blessed the Sage with the Mantra. Also he was pleased with the sevices of Jayanti and desired to give boons to her. She revealed her identity as Indra’s daughter and requested the Sage to marry her. Visvamitra agreed that she could be with him for ten years, that he would not attend to any outside task during the period and that she would not be visible to others. Indra’s plan thus succeeded well. The fake Sukracharya (Brihaspati) too had a successful time. But after ten year’s time Visvamitra left Jayanti and returned to Asuras and sought to expose the fake Sukracharya, but the fake Sage advised that he was real Sukracharya and the one who arrived just then was really fake! The real Sukacharya was not able to convince the foolish Danavas and having cursed them for not recognising him left in anger. Having fulfilled his mission, the fake Sukracharya or Brihaspati returned to Indra Loka. Danavas felt cheated and desired to convey their sincere apologies and thus approached Sukracharya with King Prahlada in the lead. The Sage was furious as he felt insulted, while actually he took the trouble of severe Tapasya only for the welfare of the entire Danava community whereas they let him down badly by believing in Brihaspati in disguise. King Prahlada pleaded with the Sage very earnestly and all the Danavas prostrated before the Guru to excuse them for their lack of gratitude and commonsense. Sukracharya understood from his intuition that the regrets expressed by Prahlada and Danavas were genuine. He then narrated that Lord Brahma assured him of the King of Danava’s coming to power soon and for the time being Danavas would have to lie low and await excellent times till Prahlada’s grandson would be born as Bali and reign the Three Worlds. What the Danava Guru told Prahlada was so encouraging that he did not wait for more time and attacked the Devas; Devas lost the war.

Indra was surprised at the defeat of Devas. He prayed to Devi Bhagavati at the instance of Deva Guru, Brihaspati. He extolled the unparalleled Glory of Devi as per ‘Shakti Darsana’ and described Her as the ‘Tatvas’ rooted to the material manifestation of Pancha Bhootas or Five Elements; the Tatvas include Maha Bindu, Nada Sakti and Misrama Bindu. She dwelt in five sheaths (Kosas) viz. Annamaya, Prana Maya Kosa, Manonmaya, Vignana Maya and Ananda Maya. She was the Vedas, Sastras, Upanishads, Mantras, Tantras and multi-routed final destination and so on. Devi Bhagavati was pleased and made Her extraordinary appearance in full form, packed with armoury and ornaments. Out of sheer panic, Danavas led by King Prahlada fled away to Patala forthwith. Thus ended the unwarranted war declared by Danavas against Devatas who had other important duties to perform; thus the Devi’s appearance was a warning to both Devas and Danavas that they should not waste mutual energies in frequent bickerings. Thus there was a Truce ending the War.

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