Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Pulastya 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 Pulastya

One of the Prajāpatis.

Birth and marriage.

Pulastya is one of the six spiritual sons of Brahmā. Pulastya was born from the Karṇa—ear—of Brahmā. (Chapter 65, Ādi Parva and Bhāgavata).

Pulastya had a son named Dattoli (Dambholi) of his wife Prīti. This Dattoli in his previous birth was the Agastya of Svāyambhuva Manvantara. (Chapter 10, Aṃśa 1, Viṣṇu Purāṇa).

Pulastya had a son named Viśravas of his wife Havirbhū. (4th Skandha, Bhāgavata). Mahābhārata states that Pulastya had two wives named Sandhyā and Pratīcī. Havirbhū mother of Viśravas had another name, Māninī.

All these statements taken together indicate that Pulastya had four wives named Prīti, Havirbhū, Sandhyā and Pratīcī.


The race formed by Pulastya is given below: Pulastya got a son named Viśravas of his wife Havirbhū alias Māninī. Viśravas had two wives named Kaikasī and Devavarṇinī alias Ilabilā. Kaikasī had three sons, Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa, and Vibhīṣaṇa and a daughter named Śūrpaṇakhā. Rāvaṇa got of his wife Mandodarī three sons, Meghanāda, Atikāya and Akṣakumāra. Kumbhakarṇa got of his wife Vajramālā two sons named Kumbha and Nikumbha. Vibhīṣaṇa got of his wife Saramā seven sons. Viśravas got of his wife Ilabilā a son named Vaiśravaṇa alias Kubera.

Birth of Viśravas.

In olden times in Tretāyuga Pulastya Maharṣi was doing penance on Mt. Meru. On a nearby hillock the sage Tṛṇabindu was also doing penance. Celestial maidens, Nāga maidens and their lovers came to the āśrama and by their erotic sports and dances vitiated the precincts of the āśrama. Pulastya got angry and cursed all the maidens to become pregnant if they entered the āśrama area. Without knowing this curse Māninī, daughter of Tṛṇabindu came to that spot and got pregnant of Pulastya. Pulastya then married her and the celebrated Maharṣi Viśravas was born to her.

How he saved Rāvaṇa.

Once Rāvaṇa who started on a victory campaign met Kārtavīryārjuna on the shores of Narmadā. Kārtavīryārjuna chained Rāvaṇa in the former’s prison. Pulastya was grieved much to hear about the plight of his grandson and going to Kārtavīryārjuna and explaining things got the release of Rāvaṇa. (Chapter 46, Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa).

Other details.

(i) Pulastya once blessed Parāśara for the writing of Purāṇas. (Chapter 1, Aṃśa 1, Viṣṇu Purāṇa).

(ii) Rākṣasas, Vānaras (monkeys), Kinnaras, Gandharvas and Yakṣas were born from the intelligent Pulastya. (Śloka 7, Chapter 66, Ādi Parva).

(iii) He was present for the Janmotsava of Arjuna. (Śloka 52, Chapter 122, Ādi Parva).

(iv) Parāśara once started to perform a Yāga to destroy all the rākṣasas. Pulastya along with other sages went and persuaded him to withdraw from his venture. (Chapter 180, Ādi Parva).

(v) Pulastya was a member of the court of Indra. (Śloka 17, Chapter 7, Sabhā Parva).

(vi) Pulastya sits in the court of Brahmā and worships him. (Śloka 19, Chapter 11, Ādi Parva).

(vii) Once Pulastya taught Bhīṣma the importance and greatness of all the holy places of Bhārata. From then onwards Pulastya is called the Guru of Bhīṣma also. (Chapter 82, Vana Parva).

(viii) Pulastya got of his wife Gau a son named Kubera. (Śloka 12, Chapter 274, Vana Parva).

(ix) Viśravas was born of half of the body of Pulastya. (Chapter 274, Śloka 13 Ādi Parva).

(x) Pulastya was present for the birth day celebrations of Subrahmaṇya. (Śloka 9, Chapter 45, Śalya Parva).

(xi) Pulastya also visited Bhīṣma lying on his bed of arrows. (Śloka 10, Chapter 47, Śānti Parva).

(xii) Pulastya was one among the twentyone Prajāpatis. (See under Prajāpati).

(xiii) Pulastya is included in the group of Saptarṣis called Citraśikhaṇḍins. (Śloka 29, Chapter 335, Śānti Parva).

(xiv) Pulastya is one of the Aṣṭaprakṛtis. (Chapter 340, (Śānti Parva).

(xv) As synonyms of Pulastya the following terms are used: Brahmarṣi, Viprayogī. (Mahābhārata).

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