Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Jaratkaru 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 Jaratkāru

General information.

It occurs in Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 9, about Jaratkāru, the sister of Vāsuki and the wife of hermit Jaratkāru as follows. This devī (goddess) is the daughter of Prajāpati Kaśyapa, born from his mind. So she got the name Manasādevī (goddess born from mind). Some think that she got the name Manasādevī because she is the deity of mind. There are some who imagine that she got the name Manasādevī because she held Śrī Kṛṣṇa Paramātman (the Supreme Spirit) firmly in her mind. This devī had been meditating upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa Paramātmā for three yugas (world-ages) She is known by twelve names.


Manasādevī had been performing penance, and meditating upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa Paramātman for three complete yugas and her garments and body were worn out. So Kṛṣṇa gave her the name Jaratkāru.


Because she was comely and beautiful and of fair complexion and was worshipped all over the world, she got the name Jagadgaurī.


Because she was born from the mind of Kaśyapa, the name "Manasā" was given to her.


As the fruits of her Tapas (penance), she got the attainments of Yoga (meditation, devotion, contemplation and other ways of union with the Universal Soul) and so she was given the name Siddhayoginī.


Because she had constant devotion to Mahāviṣṇu she was called Vaiṣṇavī.


Because she was the sister of Vāsuki the King of the Nāgas, she got the name Nāgabhaginī. (Sister of Nāga).


As she was a disciple of Śiva she got the name Śaivī.


Because she saved the Nāgas (serpents) from the Sarpasatra (sacrifice for killing the serpents) of Janamejaya the son of the King Parīkṣit, she got the name Nāgeśvarī.


Because she became the wife of the hermit Jaratkāru she was called Jaratkārupriyā.


Because she was the mother of the hermit Āstīka she got the name Āstīkamātā.


Because she was the goddess who destroyed poison, she was known by the name Viṣahārī.


Since she had the attainments of vast knowledge, yoga and the power of bringing the dead to life, she was given the name Mahājñānavatī.


Once the serpents became a plague to the men of the earth and they all went to Prajāpati Kaśyapa and made their complaints. Kaśyapa and Brahmā consulted each other and at the instruction of Brahmā Kaśyapa created several Mantras (spells and incantations) and Manasādevī from his mind as the deity of these spells.

Power of her tapas (penance).

When she was very young she went to Kailāsa and performed penance to Paramaśiva for a thousand years. At last Śiva appeared before her and gave her the divine knowledge, and taught her the Sāmaveda. He gave her the divine Śrī Kṛṣṇa mantra (a spell) called 'Aṣṭākṣarī' and the Śrī Kṛṣṇa Kavaca (the armour of Kṛṣṇa) called Trailokyamaṅgala' and taught her how to use them in worship. Wearing this armour and using the spell she performed penance in Puṣkara, meditating upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa Paramātmā, for three yugas (world ages). At the end of this period Śrī Kṛṣṇa Paramātmā appeared before her and gave her all the boons she wanted. Śrī Kṛṣṇa said that all over the world she would be worshipped and that she had power to give boons to her worshippers.

Marriage and rejection.

Kaśyapa gave his daughter Manasādevī in marriage to Jaratkāru, a hermit. As they were living in the hermitage, once the hermit slept with his head on the lap of his wife. Seeing the setting sun she aroused her husband. The hermit became angry and decided to reject her. She thought of the Devas, who instantly arrived. Brahmā argued that it was not meet and right to reject his wife before a child was born to her. The hermit touched the groin of his wife and prayed and with the power of yoga (meditation, contemplation etc.) she became pregnant. The son born to her is the famous hermit Āstīka.

After giving birth to Āstīka she went to Kailāsa, where Parameśvara and Pārvatī received her.

The mantra (incantation) of worship.

To get the attainment of Manasādevī one has to utter the spell (mantra) "Oṃ Hrīṃ-Śrīm-Klīṃ-Aiṃ-Manasādevyai svāhā" five lakh times. He who has got the attainment of this mantra as given above will be equal to Dhanvantari (the physician of the Gods) and to him poison will be Amṛta (ambrosia). This goddess could be invoked into a secluded room on the day of Saṅkrānti (Transit of the Sun). If offerings of oblations and worship are carried on, he would be blessed with children, wealth and fame.

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