Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Tvashta 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 Tvaṣṭā

A Prajāpati. This Prajāpati was an asura also. (Sūkta 94, Anuvāka 14, Maṇḍala 1, Ṛgveḍa).


There are contradictory statements in the Purāṇas regarding the birth of Tvaṣṭā.

(a) Viśvakarmā got four sons named Ahirbudhnya, Tvaṣṭā Ajaikapāt and Rudra. The great ascetic Viśvarūpa was the son of Tvaṣṭā. (Chapter 15, Aṃśa 1, Viṣṇu Purāṇa).

(b) Kaśyapa got as his sons the Ekādaśarudras of his wife Surabhi. Surabhi who became pure by penance got by the grace of Mahādeva five other sons named Aja, Ekapāt, Ahirbudhnya, Tvaṣṭā and Rudra. The noble and famous Viśvarūpa was the son of Tvaṣṭā. (Chapter 18, Agni Purāṇa).

(c) Kaśyapa Maharṣi got a son named Tvaṣṭā of his wife Aditi. (Śloka 34, Chapter 226, Ādi Parva).

Because of such varied statements it is not possible to say whose son Tvaṣṭā was.

Indra’s enemy.

Even from the beginning, Tvaṣṭā hated Indra. Tvaṣṭā begot of his wife Recanā a son named Viśvarūpa to kill Indra. Viśvarūpa was the younger brother of Sanniveśa. Viśvarūpa was called Triśiras also. (See under Triśiras). While Viśvarūpa was doing penance Indra killed him by his Vajrāyudha. Enraged at this Tvaṣṭā produced another asura named Vṛtra to kill Indra. (See under Vṛtra). Indra killed Vṛtrāsura also. At last greatly disappointed Tvaṣṭā cursed Indra that he would suffer from Putraduḥkha (loss of son) and then went to the mount Meru to do penance.

Other details.

(i) Tvaṣṭā also treated as a Rudra. (Chapter 15, Aṃ a 1, Viṣṇu Purāṇa).

(ii) When the forest of Khāṇḍava was burnt, he stood on the side of Indra and fought against Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. He separated huge portions from the mountain and threw them against Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa. (Śloka 34, Chapter 226, Ādi Parva).

(iii) Tvaṣṭā shines in the court of Indra. (Śloka 14, Chapter 7, Sabhā Parva).

(iv) Kuśeru, daughter of Tvaṣṭā was once abducted by Narakāsura. (Chapter 38, Dākṣiṇātya Pāṭha, Sabhā Parva).

(v) Viśvakarmā also used to be called Tvaṣṭā. (Śloka 24, Chapter 100, Vana Parva).

(vi) The monkey called Nala was the son of Tvaṣṭā. (Śloka 41, Chapter 283, Vana Parva).

(vii) Tvaṣṭā presented Subrahmaṇya with two Pārṣadas named Cakra and Anucakra. (Śloka 40, Chapter 45, Śalya Parva).

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