Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Uccaishshravas 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 Uccaiśśravas


A horse which emerged from water during the churning of the sea of Milk. (See under Kṣīrābdhimathana). Devendra grabbed it the moment he saw it, and thenceforth it became his vehicle. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 23, Verses 33-37).

Colour of the horse.

Once, during a controversy, Vinatā, wife of Kaśyapa, contended that the colour of Uccaiśśravas was white, while another wife of Kaśyapa, Kadrū said that its tail was black in colour. It was decided to bet that she who got defeated in this controversy should become the slave of the winner. Because the serpents, the sons of Kadrū, cheated Vinatā, she had to become Kadrū’s slave. (See under Vinatā). (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 20).

Lakṣmīdevī became mare.

Devī Bhāgavata relates a story of Mahālakṣmī becoming a mare on account of Uccaiś ravas. King Revanta, son of Sūrya and friend of Indra, once went to Vaikuṇṭha to pay his respects to Bhagavān Viṣṇu, riding on Uccaiśśravas. Mahālakṣmī, who was then with Viṣṇu was surprised at the arrival of Revanta. Seeing the scintillating form of Uccaiśśravas, her brother, Mahālakṣmi sat looking at the horse unmindful of all other things. (Mahālakṣmī and the horse were both born from the Sea of Milk and hence were sister and brother). Thus occupied Mahālakṣmī did not hear Mahāviṣṇu asking, "Who is this one who comes like a second Cupid?" Angry at this Viṣṇu said—

"So much attracted by the horse, you have not answered me. Because you enjoy (Ramasi) so much your name in future will be Ramā. You will also become frivolous like an uncultured woman. You have never been constant. Because you felt so much attracted to this horse in my very presence, you will be born as a mare in the world of men."

According to this curse Mahālakṣmī had to be born as a mare in the world; the Hehaya dynasty had its origin from her. (See under Ekavīra). (Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 6).

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