Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Mura 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 Mura

A ferocious asura.

Birth and acquisition of boons.

Mura was the asura born to Kaśyapaprajāpati of his wife Danu. Once Mura was shocked to find the huge heap of dead bodies of the asuras killed by the devas. Mura got afraid of death and did penance for years to propitiate his grandfather and Brahmā appeared before him and asked him to name the boon he wanted. Mura said "Lord, anybody whom I touch with my hands in a battle, even if they are immortal, should die." Brahmā the father of the universe granted him the boon. (Chapter 60, Vāmana Purāṇa).

Family life.

Mura became the guard of the boundaries of Prāgjyotiṣa, the capital city of Narakāsura. Mura begot four thousand sons. Of these ten were posted to guard the palace of the queens. Mura performed penance and obtained boons. He fenced the boundary of Prāgjyotiṣa with six thousand ropes and arrested the approach of the enemies. These ropes were known in Purāṇas as the Mauravapāśas. (Chapter 38, Dākṣiṇātya Pāṭha, Sabhā Parva).


(Conquest of the quarters). Mura who became arrogant by the power of the boons he possessed went to Mahāmeru and challenged the Yakṣas and Gandharvas to a fight. But none dared to fight with him. Then he went to Amarāvatī and challenged Indra. Indra also did not accept the challenge. Then he entered Amarāvatī with a raised hand. Nobody stopped him. Going to the palace of Indra he said "Oh, thousandeyed deva, fight with me or leave this place". On hearing it Indra left his place and came to earth. Then Mura took possession of Airāvata and Vajra. He lived in devaloka with Maya, Tāra and other dānavas enjoying the luxuries there. Along with his wife, son and other devas Devendra established himself on the southern bank of Kālindī river.

Then one day Murāsura came to the earth on the Airāvata and landed at a place on the banks of the river Sarayū where Raghu a king of the solar dynasty was conducting a yāga. Murāsura went to Raghu and said "Come on, fight with me or you should stop this yāga. You should not worship the devas." Then the great and brilliant Maitrāvaruṇi sage, Vasiṣṭha told him, "Daitya, what use is there in conquering men of the earth? You should win against those who are never defeated. If you want to fight go and challenge Antaka, the god of Death. Oh, King of asuras, that boy of an Antaka would never obey your orders. If you conquer him you will have defeated all the world."

On hearing the words of Vasiṣṭha, Mura started to fight Dharmarāja. Yama on hearing that Mura was coming to fight him went to Mahāviṣṇu on his buffalo as he knew he could kill him. Mahāviṣṇu asked him to send Mura to him. Yama returned to his place to see Mura there ready to fight. Yama told him that he would do whatever Mura ordered him and then Mura said "You should stop killing people or I will chop your head off." Dharmarāja replied "Mura, if you had been the person who had appointed me for this job I would have willingly followed your instructions. But I am under the control of somebody else." Mura asked "Who is the person superior to you? Tell me, I shall surely defeat him." Yama said "There is an individual called Viṣṇu holding a Cakra and a Gadā in his hands living in Śvetadvīpa. He is the person who has appointed me." Mura anxiously asked "Where is his abode? I shall go there myself to conquer him." Antaka replied "You go to the ocean of Milk. It is there that Viṣṇu, the omnipresent protector of the universe is residing." Mura said "Well, I am going to him. But you should in the meantime discontinue your work of killing people." Yama replied "Go and win him. If you defeat him I shall abide by your instructions."

Mura went to fight Mahāviṣṇu. It was at this time that Śrī Kṛṣṇa the incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu attacked the capital city of Narakāsura, Prāgjyotiṣa. Mura went to the help of Narakāsura. The boundary of the city was well-fenced with ropes but Kṛṣṇa cut them all and removed the barrier. In the fight that ensued both Narakāsura and Mura were killed by the celebrated weapon Sudarśana of Kṛṣṇa. From then Kṛṣṇa got the name of Muramathana. (10th Skandha, Bhāgavata).

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