Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Brahmadatta 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 Brahmadatta

A king who ruled over the country of Kāśi. One night he saw two swans flying in the air. They were of golden colour. There were a number of swans around them. They seemed like two lightnings in the midst of white clouds. Brahmadatta wished to see them again. His desire increased to such an extent that he had desire for nothing else. He consulted his ministers and made a lake. Every creature which seemed beautiful to him was brought to that place.

Hearing this those two swans also came there. By and by he tamed them and asked them how they got the golden colour. The swans said thus: "Oh King! you might have heard of the famous mountain Mandara, which is the field of games of the Devas (gods). At the time of the churning of the milk sea when this mountain was used as churn-drill, Amṛtaṃ (celestial nectar of immortality) touched this mountain. So the flowers, fruits and roots in the vicinity of this mountain got the power of removing death, wrinkles etc. Candracūḍa also will come to this mountain occasionally to play on the top of it and so it became more glorious than the mount Kailāsa. One day while Mahādeva was playing in those gardens he had to leave on an urgent matter concerning Gods. So he left Pārvatī there and went away. Devī began to walk about in those gardens with pangs of separation. Spring season came. The Gaṇas (servants of Śiva) and the maids of Pārvatī attended on her. One day Maṇipuṣpeśvara, a Gaṇa, hankered after Candralekhā, daughter of Jayā. She had been engaged in fanning Pārvatī. Both were young and their figures suited each other. Candralekhā reciprocated his love. Understanding this Piṅgeśvara and Guheśvara, two gaṇas looked at each other and smiled. Seeing this Devī looked round with anger to see what caused them to smile. They squinted their eyes and showed Manipuṣpe vara and Candralekhā to Devī. Because of separation she had been much worried, weary and sad. So all these affairs made her angry. She said: "It is good that you behave like this when I am in this plight ! The two are making love. Seeing that, you are laughing. May these two dotards be born on the earth and become husband and wife there. Let you two who laughed before me without humility also be born on the earth, first as poor Brāhmaṇas, and then as Brahmarakṣas (demon friends), outcasts, robbers, dogs with tails cut off and finally as various kind of birds." Thus she cursed the four of gaṇas. Then a gaṇa named Dhūrjaṭa said to Pārvatī: "Devī, this is unfortunate. They have not commited any severe crime." Devī got angry at him and cursed him too: "May you also be born on the earth as a human being." After this Jaya the loved maid of Pārvatī requested her for absolution from curse, for all. The Devī said that all of them would get absolution at the place of penance of Brahmā and other gods and would return here. Of these, Candralekhā and her husband and Dhūrjaṭa would be happy on the earth. The two others would lead a miserable life on the earth." (Kathāsaritsāgara, Padmāvatīlaṃbaka, Taraṅga 1).

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