Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Jvara 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 Jvara

(Jvaram) (Fever).

General information.

A fearful being. It is stated in the Purāṇas that living beings catch fever owing to the activities of this monster.

The origin of jvara.

Once Śiva and Pārvatī were talking with each other in the Holy Bath called Jyotiṣkam on mount Mahāmeru. On that day Dakṣa had performed a sacrifice at Gaṅgādvāra. Śiva alone was not invited. Seeing the Gods Brahmā and the others going to that place through the sky, Pārvatī asked Śiva what the matter was. Śiva explained everything to Pārvatī, who became very sorry because her husband had not been invited. Śiva grew uneasy at the sorrow of his wife. A drop of sweat fell down from his third eye. A fearful monster with the lustre of fire arose from that drop of sweat. That figure is described as follows:

"A terrible monster, with dwarfish figure, staring eyes, green moustaches, hair standing erect on head and body covered with hair all over, looking like a combination of hawk and owl, with jet-black colour, wearing a blood-coloured cloth." (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 283).

"With three legs, three heads, six hands and nine eyes, comes Jvara the terrible monster, as fierce as Yama the god of death and fearful like a thousand clouds with thunderbolt, gaping and sighing, with tight body and horrible face, rendered so by many eyes." (Mahābhārata Viṣṇu Parva, Chapter 122).

To this uncouth figure Śiva gave the name Jvara, who dashed away and entered into all devas (gods). Brahmā and the others caught fever and were laid up. At last they all came to Śiva. Hearing their request Śiva divided Jvara into several parts and separated them from devas and entered them into other living beings, and ordered that, headache for elephants, green coverings for water, shedding of skin for snakes, hoof-rot for cows, sore-throat for horses, feather-sprouting for peacocks, sore-eye for cuckoo, hiccough for parrot, weariness for tigers and fever for men will be caused by Jvara.

It was the time of the terrorization of Vṛtrāsura. Jvara caught hold of that Asura also. It was at this time that Indra used his thunderbolt and killed Vṛtrāsura. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 283; Mahābhārata Viṣṇu Parva, Chapter 122).

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