by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222
This page describes the Story of Kadru 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’).
Wife of Kaśyapa and daughter of Dakṣaprajāpati.
Kadrū—Wife or daughter of Kaśyapa?
The six spiritual sons of Brahmā are: Marīci, Aṅgiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu. Marīci got a son named Kaśyapa and he married the thirteen daughters of Dakṣa, namely, Aditi, Diti, Kalā, Danāyus, Danu, Siṃhikā, Krodhā, Pradhā, Viśvā, Vinatā, Kapilā, Muni and Kadrū. So according to this, Kadrū was the wife of Kaśyapa.
Dakṣaprajāpati got sixty illustrious daughters and of these Kaśyapa married—Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kālikā Tāmrā, Krodhavaśā, Muni and Surasā. Krodhavaśā gave birth to eight daughters. They were: Mṛgī, Mṛgamandā, Harī, Bhadramatā, Mātaṅgī, Śārdūlī, Śvetā; Śurabhi, Surasā and Kadrū.
Tāmrā another wife of Kaśyapa gave birth to five daughters, namely, Krauñcī, Bhāsī, Śyenī, Dhṛtarāṣṭrī and Śukī. Krauñcī gave birth to owls, Bhāsī to Bhāsas, Śyenī to eagles and vultures, Dhṛtarāṣṭrī to swans and Śukī to Natā. Natā gave birth to Vinatā.
Thus, according to the Rāmāyaṇa Kadrū was the daughter of Kaśyapa born of his wife Krodhavaśā. Again Vinatā who is spoken of as the elder sister of Kadrū in Mahābhārata is the daughter of the granddaughter of Kaśyapa. This means that Kadrū’s mother and Vinatā’s grand mother’s mother were sisters. But both of them looked after Kaśyapa as if they were direct sisters.
Kadrū, mother of serpents.
Kadrū and Vinatā lived serving Kaśyapa. Kaśyapa was pleased with them and asked them what boon they wanted. Kadrū asked for a thousand serpents to be born of her and Vinatā asked for two sons who would be braver and more brilliant than the sons of Kadrū. Kaśyapa granted them what they asked for and when Kadrū and Vinatā became pregnant he left for the forest.
After some time Kadrū delivered a thousand eggs and Vinatā two eggs. Both of them kept the eggs in warm jars and after five hundred years the thousand eggs of Kadrū burst letting out a thousand serpents. Vinatā became impatient and broke open an egg of hers. Out came from it a half developed being and that was Aruṇa. Aruṇa cursed her for being impatient and said "You let me out half developed because of your overanxiety and you will, therefore, become a servant of Kadrū. Keep the other egg for another five hundred years. Then a very powerful son will come out of it and that son will relieve you of your servitude to Kadrū". So saying he rose up in the air and became the charioteer of the sun. After five hundred years the other egg of Vinatā broke and Garuḍa came out. (Chapter 16, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata)
Sons of Kadrū.
Names of the prominent sons of Kadrū are given below:
Śeṣa, Purāṇanāga, Āryaka, Vāsuki, Kapiñjara, Ugraka, Airāvata, Elāputra, Kalaśapotaka, Takṣaka, Savāma, Sumanas, Kārkoṭaka, Nīla, Dadhimukha, Dhanañjaya, Anila, Vimala, Kāliya, Kalmāṣa, Piṇḍaka, Maṇināga, Śabala, Āpta, Śākha, Piṇḍāraka, Hastipiṇḍa, Vāli, Karavīra, Pīṭharaka, Śikha, Puṣpadaṃṣṭra, Sumukha, Niṣṭhānaka, Vilvaka, Kauṇapāśana, Hemaguha, Bilvapāṇḍura, Kuṭhara, Nahuṣa, Mṛṣṇāda, Kuñjara, Piṅgala, Śaṃkha, prabhākara, Bāhyakarṇa, Śirāpūrṇa, Kumuda, Hastipada, Haridraka, Kumudākṣa, Mudgara, Aparājita, Tittiri, Kambala, Jyotika, Halika, Aśvatara, Pannaga, Kardama, Kālīkaka, Śrīvaha, Bahumūlaka, Vṛtta, Kauravya, Karkara, Saṃvṛtta, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Arkara, Patta, Śaṃkhapiṇḍa, Kuṇḍodara, Śaṃkhamukha, Subāhu, Mahodara. Kūśmāṇḍaka, Virajas, Kṣemaka, Śālipiṇḍa
All the serpents in the world have been born from these prominent serpents. (Chapter 35, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).
Kadrū curses her sons.
Once Kadrū called Vinatā to her side and asked her the colour of Uccaiśśravas, the horse of Indra. It was purely a white horse and Vinatā told so. But Kadrū said its tail was black. Each stood firm in her statement and then Kadrū made a bet. She who was defeated in the bet should serve the other as her slave. Vinatā agreed. Kadrū wanted to cheat Vinatā and so asked her sons to remain suspended from the tail of the horse in such an artful way that the tail would look black from a distance. Some of her sons refused to be a party to this deceit and Kadrū cursed them saying that they would all be burnt in the Sarpasattra of Janamejaya. Kaśyapa did not like the curse. But Brahmā came there and said that the serpents as a class were injurious to society and as such a curse of that nature was necessary. Brahmā then taught him Viṣasaṃhāravidyā (Treatment of snake-poisoning). (Chapter 20, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata). 6) Kadrū and children go to Rāmaṇīyaka. Once Kadrū told Vinatā. "Vinatā, take me to the island of Rāmaṇīyaka in the middle of the ocean. It is a beautiful place to stay. Let your son, Garuḍa, take my sons to that place." Vinatā took Kadrū and Garuḍa took her children during the journey. Garuḍa rose high up in the air nearing the sun and the serpents began to feel the heat unbearable and began to get charred. Kadrū then prayed to Indra and the latter then sent a heavy downpour of rains. This saved the serpents from being burnt to death and they reached the island of Rāmaṇīyaka safe. (Chapters 25 and 26, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).
(i) Kadrū lives in the court of Brahmā worshipping him. (Chapter 11, Sabhā Parva, Mahābhārata).