Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Samjna 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 Saṃjñā

Wife of Sun (Sūrya).


Saṃjñā was the daughter of Viśvakarman according to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (Part 3, Chapter 2) and of Tvaṣṭā according to Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva (Chapter 66, Verse 35). Most of the Purāṇas refer to Saṃjñā as the daughter of Viśvakarman.

Separation from husband.

Saṃjñā lacked the power to put up with the heat of Sūrya. She once went into the forest to perform Tapas after deputing her companion, Chāyā, to serve her husband. Saṃjñā left her three sons Manu, Yama, and Yamī also in the charge of Chāyā, who in the guise of Saṃjñā served Sūrya. He took her to be his wife and begot three children, Śanaiścara, (another) Manu and Tapatī of her. Chāyā once got angry and cursed Yama, son of Saṃjñā. Then it was that Sūrya realised that she was not his wife. Sūrya felt very sad at this separation from his wife and went to the forest in search of her. He knew, by the power of his meditation, that Saṃjñā was doing tapas in the guise of a mare. Then he assumed the form of a horse and begot of the mare the Aśvinīkumāras and Revanta. The Aśvinīkumāras named Nāsatya and Dasra, were born through the mare’s (Saṃjñā) nose. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 150, Verse 17).


Sūrya brought Saṃjñā back with him. She complained to her father Viśvakarman, that life with Sūrya was impossible on account of his excessive heat, and so Viśvakarman ground Sūrya on his drilling machine and reduced his heat. But, only (1/8) of the heat (effulgence) could be so reduced, and it was with that fraction of effulgence that Viṣṇu’s disc (cakra), Śiva’s triśūla (trident), Kubera’s puṣpakavimāna and Subrahmaṇya’s weapon called Śakti were made. (Viṣṇu Purāṇa Part 3, Chapter 2; Harivaṃśa, Chapter 41 and Bhaviṣya Purāṇa For details see under Tapatī.

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