Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Dakshina 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 Dakṣiṇā

A daughter, born to Prajāpati Ruci, by his wife Ākūti. The first Manu was Svāyambhuva, the son of Brahmā. He accepted Śatarūpā, his sister who became sinless by penance, as his wife. Śatarūpā gave birth to two sons Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, and two daughters, Prasūti and Ākūti. Of these two daughters, Prasūtī was given to Prajāpati Dakṣa and Ākūti to Prajāpati Ruci. Ākūti gave birth to twins, a son named Yajña and a daughter named Dakṣiṇā. To Yajña twelve sons were born by Dakṣiṇā. They were a class of devas (gods) called the Yāmas in the regime of Manu Svāyambhuva (Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Aṃśa 1, Chapter 7). Now Dakṣiṇā is worshipped as a goddess. The same Dakṣiṇā was reborn in the Goloka under the name Suśīlā. At that time she was a cowherd woman and friend of Rādhā. She liked to talk with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. One day Rādhā saw her sitting in the lap of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, engaged in sexual sports, in a secluded place. When Suśīlā saw that Rādhā had found them out, she became dumbfounded with shame, and sat with bowed head. Śrī Kṛṣṇa slowly placed Suśīlā devi down and instantly vanished. The angry Rādhā cursed Suśīlā to become ashes if ever she entered the Goloka again. Then Rādhā ran about everywhere in search of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but he could not be found.

Immediately after the curse, Suśīlā got down from the Goloka and began to worship Mahālakṣmī with devotion and meditation and very severe fast and vow. After a long time Mahālakṣmī appeared to her and blessed her, and Suśīlā became absorbed in Mahālakṣmī. Since the absorption of Suśīlā devī, who was the rebirth of Dakṣiṇādevī, in Mahālakṣmī, the sacrifice of the devas (gods) became fruitless. They were much grieved. They all went to Brahmā to find a solution. As the matter was serious Brahmā meditated upon Viṣṇu, who became pleased with Brahmā and to save the devas, he attracted Dakṣiṇādevī from the body of Mahālakṣmī and gave her as a present to Brahmā. Brahmā gave that devī (goddess) to Yajñapuruṣa (the god of sacrifice) so that the sacrifices of gods might become fruitful. When Yajñapuruṣa saw that supernatural beauty he was overpowered by lust and swooned. The couple spent a hundred divine years in seclusion enjoying the company of each other, as a result of which devī became pregnant. The pregnancy matured in twelve divine years and she gave birth to a child which was named Phalada. It is this same Phalada, the son of Yajñapuruṣa and Dakṣiṇā who awards fruits to all actions. The learned men say that Yajñapuruṣa, Dakṣiṇādevī and Phalada divide the fruits of actions among the doers. (Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 9).

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