by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222
This page describes the Story of Kraunca 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’).
A mountain. There is a story about this mountain. Long ago there lived an Asura named Krauñca. He was leading a wicked life and was haughty and arrogant. Once Agastya went to Kailāsa and worshipped Śiva. Kāverīdevī also was standing close by, worshipping Śiva. God Śiva appeared before Agastya and told him that he might ask for any boon. He requested for the power to push down Vindhya by kicking and to establish a holy Tīrtha (bath) on the earth. Śiva granted the boons. For making the tīrtha Śiva turned Kāverī into a river and placed her in the water-pot of Agastya. As Agastya was returning from Kailāsa with Kāverī in his water-pot, Krauñca the Asura took the shape of a mountain and hindered his way. The Asura caused a heavy rain too. Agastya wandered through the forest without finding the path for days. At last he realized the cause. He took a few drops of water from his waterpot and with chanting of Mantras and meditation threw the drops at the Asura with the curse that he would stand there for ever as a mountain. He said that he would be liberated from the curse when pierced by the arrow of Subrahmaṇya, the son of Śiva. From that day onwards Krauñca the Asura had been standing there as a mountain. That mountain was called 'The mountain of Krauñca.' (Skanda Purāṇa, Asura Kāṇḍa).
Subrahmaṇya fought a terrible battle with the Asuras. Many died. Bāṇāsura, the son of Mahābali, fled from the battlefield and hid himself inside the mountain Krauñca. Subrahmaṇya cleft the mountain into two with the arrow given by Agni (Fire-god). Thus Krauñcāsura was liberated from the curse. (Mahābhārata Śalya Parva, Chapter 46).
In 'Meghadūta' Kālidāsa mentions about the cleavage in the mountain Krauñca. In Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 225, Stanza 33, mention is made that through this cleavage swans and vultures fly to Mahāmeru. (For the story of how Paraśurāma cleft the Krauñca mountain see under Paraśurāma).