Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Kakshivan 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 Kakṣīvān

This was a Ṛṣi well praised in the Ṛgveda.


King Kaliṅga did not have children for a long time. The King, therefore requested the sage Dīrghatamas (Gautama) to get a son for him by his queen. The sage consented. But the queen did not like to sleep with the old sage. She therefore requested her servant maid, Uśī, to lie with the sage. Kakṣīvān was the son born to Dīrghatamas of Uśī. (Sūkta 125, Anuvāka 18, Maṇḍala 1, Ṛgveda).

Other details.

(i) He was of the family of Aṅgiras and he lived in a hermitage in the east. (Chapter 208, Śānti Parva, and Chapter 135, Anuśāsana Parva).

(ii) He praised Viṣṇu by reciting the Ṛks with deep concentration and acquired many virtues. (Chapter 292, Śānti Parva).

(iii) Mahābhārata states that Kakṣīvān was the preceptor of Indra and also the creator of the world with Rudratejas (majesty equal to that of Śiva). Yavakrīta, Raibhya, Arvāvasu, Parāvasu, Kakṣīvan, Aṅgiras and Kaṇva are seven Barhiṣads (a set of manes born of Brahmā) who are also gurus of Indra living in the east. (Chapter 150, Anuśāsana Parva).

(iv) Kakṣīvān was famous among the Yajvans. (Sūkta 18, Anuvāka 5, Maṇḍala 1, Ṛgveda).

(v) To test the strength of Kakṣīvān he was once given a hundred pitchers of liquor by the Aśvins. (Sūkta 116, Anuvāka 17, Maṇḍala 1, Ṛgveda).

(vi) Kakṣīvān who was returning home from the āśrama of the preceptor after completiṇg his education spent one night at a place on the way. In the morning when he awoke he saw Svanaya son of King Bhāvayavya before him. The beautiful boy had strayed to that place by accident while playing with his friends nearby. Kakṣīvān was attracted by the enchanting features of the boy and decided to make him the husband of his daughter. Svanaya on knowing the details regarding Kakṣīvān took him to his father’s palace and the King received the sage with respect and gave him many presents. (Sūkta 125, Anuvāka 18, Maṇḍala 1, Ṛgveda).

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