Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Ajamukhi included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Ajamukhī



Descended from Viṣṇu thus: Brahmā-Marīci-Kaśyapa-Ajāmukhī.


Long ago in the battle between Devas and Asuras one of the routed Asuras had fled to Pātāla (Hell). Surasā was his daughter. Brahmā’s grandson, Kaśyapa married Surasā. She gave birth to six children—Śūrapadmā, Siṃhikā, Siṃhavaktra, Tārakāsura, Ajāmukhī, and Gomukha. The Asura woman Ajāmukhī is one of them.

Chief events.

(1) Marriage with Durvāsas. Once Śūrapadmā called his two brothers, Siṃhavaktra and Tārakāsura and ordered them to set up two cities, one to the north and the other to the south, of Mahāmeru. In obedience to his elder brother, Tārakāsura started with one half of the army and set up a city to the south of Mahāmeru. That city was named Māyāpura. Siṃhavaktra lived in the city on the northern side of Mahāmeru. Their sister Ajāmukhī went about enticing men to satisfy her lustful passion. Once, in the course of her wanderings, she met Durvāsas in the Himālayan valley. They fell in love and even married. The two Asuras, Ilvala and Vātāpi were born from their union. They insisted on sharing their father’s achievements between them. Durvāsas cursed them that they would die at the hands of Agastya. (Skanda Purāṇa, Asura Kāṇḍa).

The cutting off of Ajāmukhī’s hands.

While wandering with her lustful passion, Ajāmukhī once went to the Śiva temple at Kāśi. There she happened to meet Indra’s wife, Śacīdevī. In order to give her to her brother, Śūrapadmā, Ajāmukhī caught hold of Śacīdevī. Śacīdevī screamed aloud. Suddenly Śiva appeared there with His sword. Even then Ajāmukhī refused to release Śacīdevī. Śiva rescued Indrāṇī (Śacīdevī) by cutting off Ajāmukhī’s hands. Hearing this, Śūrapadmā sent his army and imprisoned the Devas. The imprisoend Brahmā at the instance of Śūrapadmā, restored Ajamukhī’s hands. Śūrapadmā’s son, Bhānugopa fought against the remaining Devas and defeated them. (Skanda Purāṇa, Asura Kāṇḍa).

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