Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Marutta 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 Marutta

A wealthy king who lived in Kṛtayuga.

Genealogy.

Descended from Viṣṇu in the following order:—Brahmā, Marīci, Kaśyapa, Vivasvān, Vaivasvata Manu, Mahābāhu, Prasandhi, Kṣupa, Ikṣvāku, Viṃśa, Kalyāṇa, Khanīnetra, Suvarcas, Karandhama and Marutta.

How Marutta got gold.

As soon as Marutta became king he began to perform a Yāga. Money was required for it. He was puzzled as to how to raise funds. Besides, Indra was trying to obstruct the Yāga. At last he consulted Nārada who told him that Bṛhaspati’s brother Saṃvartaka was performing tapas in the forest and if Marutta approached him, he would give him enough money for this purpose. So Marutta went to Saṃvartaka. He advised Marutta to worship Śiva. Accordingly Marutta went to Kailāsa and got plenty of gold by worshipping Śiva and returned with it and began his Yāga. In spite of their efforts, Indra and other gods were not able to spoil Marutta’s Yāga. After the Yāga Marutta stored up the surplus wealth in the neighbourhood of Himālayas where his capital was situated.

After the Bhārata Yuddha, Dharmaputra was in need of money to re-establish his administration and for conducting an Aśvamedha yāga. At that time sage Vyāsa informed him about the gold which Marutta had left in the neighbourhood of the Himālayas. It was by fetching that gold that the Pāṇḍavas conducted their Aśvamedhayāga. (Mahābhārata Aśvamedha Parva, Chapters 3-10).

Marutta and Rāvaṇa.

Once Rāvaṇa started on a triumphal tour in his Puṣpaka Vimāna with his followers. It was at that time that Marutta was performing his famous Yāga. The various gods were also present on that occasion. Alarmed at the sight of Rāvaṇa who was invincible by virtue of a boon he had received, the gods assumed the shape of different animals and birds. Indra became a peacock, Dharmarāja (Yama) became a crow; Kubera became a chameleon; Varuṇa transformed himself into a swan, and so on. Rāvaṇa entered the precincts of the Yajña and said to Marutta:—"Either you fight with me, or else admit defeat from me." To this Marutta replied calmly:—"May I know who you are?" Rāvaṇa answered with a smile of contempt:—"I am amused at your strange pretence! Do you mean to say that you do not know Rāvaṇa who is the younger brother of Kubera? There is no one but you in all the three worlds, who does not know me. I have won the Puṣpakavimāna after defeating my elder brother." Marutta retorted with bitter irony:—"As a younger brother who has defeated his elder brother, you are certainly a great man. There is no praiseworthy hero equal to you in all these three worlds. Do you brag that you have defeated your elder brother? I do not know whether you have received the boon by your righteous conduct. I have not heard the stories which you have told just now. You wicked fellow, stop there! I don't think that you will return alive!" Saying this Marutta took his bow and arrows and got ready for a fight.

But Saṃvartaka stopped Marutta saying "O King! If you would please heed my advice, do not prepare for a fight here. We have started "Maheśvarasatra". If we do not bring it to a conclusion, the whole family will come to an end. One who performs this Yāga should not be engaged in a fight. He should not even become a victim to anger. This Rākṣasa (Rāvaṇa) is invincible. Your victory is doubtful." At this, Marutta put down his bow and began to occupy himself again with the affairs of the Yajña. Just then Śukra shouted, "Rāvaṇa has won." The Rākṣasas and their leader Rāvaṇa continued their tour after eating the Maharṣis who had come to take part in the Yāga. After Rāvaṇa left the place, the Devas resumed their own forms. (Uttara Rāmāyaṇa).

Other Details.

(i) Marutta flourished in Yama’s assembly. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 16).

(ii) Marutta is considered as one of the "Pañcamahāsamrāṭs" (five great emperors). The five great emperors are—Yuvanāśva, Bhagīratha, Kārtavīrya, Bharata and Marutta. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 15).

(iii) Once Śiva presented him a golden peak of the Himālayas. Indra, Bṛhaspati and other Devas attended Marutta’s assembly. His Yajñamaṇḍapas were all golden. His cooks were groups of Maruts. He was able to make all his subjects strong and healthy. In Māhābhārata, Droṇa Parva, Chapter 55, we see that Marutta ruled over the country for 1000 years as an ideal emperor.

(iv) Once Marutta received a sword from King Mucukunda. Marutta gave it to Raivata. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter, 166, Verse 77).

(v) Marutta gave his daughter to Aṅgiras and attained Heaven according to Mahābhārata, Śānti Parva, Chapter 234. Verse 18.

(vi) In Bhāgavata, 9th Skandha, we find a passage which says that since Marutta had no sons he had adopted Duṣyanta, a King of the Pūru dynasty, as his son.

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