Vishnu destroys Madhu Kaitabha brothers

When Maha Vishnu was in Yoga Nidra in a comfortable posture of lying on the bed of Ananta Naga, two Demon brothers named Madhu and Kaitabha were born from the wax of Maha Vishnu’s ears. Their birth was a mystery and unknown as felt by the brothers themselves whose physical forms grew fast and strong day by day, even as they were playing in the ocean surroundings, killing various kinds of aquatic species for food or play. Coming of age in course of time, the Demon brothers with huge bodies and proportionate common sense too, realised that there must have been a Massive Force which alone could have given birth to them. From the air, they heard a sound ‘Vagbija’ the Seed Mantra (Seed ‘Bija’ and ‘Vak’ the Speech of Goddess Sarasvati). To start with fun, but later on with maturity, they kept on practising the sound for years together, little realising the impact of the Mantra’s repetition. In fact, they became so obsessed with the Mantra that they neither had food nor sleep, but with full concentration and utmost sincerity. ‘The Parasakti’s Voice emerged from the Skies that the Danava brothers would be invincible in the entire Universe provided they were united and fight two-some. Blessed by Maha Devi, the two brothers became swollen with pride and eventually attacked Lord Brahma Himself. On realising that they were unconquerable, Brahma who was seated on the lotus- head sprouting from Maha Vishnu’s navel, tried the age-old four means. He tried to use ‘Sama (Counselling) ‘Dana’(Gifting or bribing), ‘Bheda’(put one against another) and finally ‘Danda’(Punish), but neither of these media appeared feasible; he ran away to Vaikuntha for protection but Maha Vishnu was in Yoga Nidra. Brahma had thus prayed to Yoga Nidra Devi to prompt Maha Vishnu to wake up. It was actually Maha Maya’s discretion which mattered as Vishnu Himself could not regain consciouness on His own. The concentrate of ‘Tamo Guna’- Maha Maya – was earnestly prayed to by Brahma, as this was a prestige issue for him and the entire domain of Gods! Maha Maya left Vishnu free and He was fully woken up to face the challenge of the hour, viz. to either manipulate or massacre the brothers, Madhu and Kaitabha. Lord Vishnu invited the brothers to fight with Himself. The fight continued for five thousand years but without a tangible result. As the Demons were clashing one after another and Lord Vishnu was in duel singly, the latter asked the brothers to give a break as it was against Justice that they took alternate positions while He was alone. During the break, Vishnu prayed to Maha Sakti and complained that the fight was unfair and that they were also given by Her the boon of voluntary death or ‘Svacchanda Maranam’. Maha Sakti realised the lacuna in the duel and advised Vishnu to give boons to the brothers so that a way out would automatically open up. Meanwhile, Maha Sakti agreed to be present at the fight in physical form and disturb the concentration of the Demon brothers by casting Her fake amorous looks. This encouraged Vishnu to convey the Demons that their duel with Him was of great quality and thus He was ready to give boons to them. They got into the trap as they boasted that they were prepared to give boons to Him instead of the other way around. Vishnu grabbed the opportunity and said that He be given the boon of their death by killing each other! The brothers gave an excuse that the boon could be given only provided there was no water or wetness in the Ocean. Vishnu expanded his thighs manifold so that there could be adequate space for the killings.The Demons expanded their bodies too and thus the thighs of Vishnu and the body sizes of the brothers kept on increasing horizontally and vertically proportionately. Finally, the illusion created by Vishnu proved stronger and the brothers had to yield to their own killings. Thus Maha Sakti who assumed human physique and paved the way to the killings of the Danava brothers without breaking the Rules of ‘Dharma Yuddha’, partly by trickery and partly by Maya or Illusion.

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