Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Vihunda 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 Vihuṇḍa

An asura. This asura was the son of the mighty and great Asura Huṇḍa. At the time of the fierce battle between the devas and the asuras, this mighty asura Huṇḍa and Nahuṣa confronted each other and Huṇḍa was killed. After this Vihuṇḍa, the son of Huṇḍa fought with Nahuṣa. In the earlier part of the battle Vihuṇḍa and his army suffered defeat. Vihuṇḍa began to do penance in order to defeat the Devas who got terrified at this and went to Mahāviṣṇu and prayed for protection. Viṣṇu consoled them saying that he would take necessary steps. When the Devas were gone, Viṣṇu took the form of a beautiful woman and went in search of Vihuṇḍa. They met each other in the garden Nandana. Vihuṇḍa fell in love with her. He wanted to marry her. She said, "Oh, Handsome Vihuṇḍa, I have no objection to be your wife. But there is a condition, you, must gather seven crores of Kāmoda flowers and offer them as oblation to Śiva, and then make a garland of Kāmoda flowers and put it on my neck. From that day onwards I am yours."

Vihuṇḍa agreed to it. He went for the flowers. He wandered over forests and mountains. Nobody had any idea of such a tree or flower. Thinking that this condition, laid by the damsel, was a deceit played upon him, he stood perplexed when the hermit Śukra saw him. He told the hermit everything. Then Śukra told him, "Kāmoda is neither a tree nor a flower. She is goddess who came up from the sea of Milk at the time of the churning. She dwells at Gaṅgādvāra. When she laughs pure white fragrant flowers fall from her lips, on the water of Gaṅgā, every moment. When she is sad, the flowers that fall from her lips will be red."

Vihuṇḍa started for Gaṅgādvāra. Nārada knew this. He came to Vihuṇḍa and said, "It is difficult to reach Gaṅgādvāra and please Kāmodā, and obtain the flower. So the easiest way is to gather the flowers that come down through the water of Gaṅgā." Vihuṇḍa agreed. He took his seat on the bank of Gaṅgā and waited for the flowers to come.

Nārada decided to cause harm to Vihuṇḍa. So he went to Kāmodā and by way of telling her news, he informed her that the hermit Bhṛgu had cursed Mahāviṣṇu and changed him into a man. On hearing this Kāmodā began to cry. Red flowers fell from her lips. They were carried down in cluster by the water of Gaṅgā. Vihuṇḍa gathered them and went to the dwelling place of Śiva. Śiva and Pārvatī saw this by their inward eyes. Pārvatī did not like the idea of offering red flowers at the feet of her beloved husband. Śiva found out a remedy for it. He advised Pārvatī to offer pure white flowers at his feet standing as a boy. Vihuṇḍa came with red flowers Pārvatī appeared in the form of a boy. Both began to vie with each other in offering flowers at the feet of Śiva. Gradually it changed to a fight between the boy and Vihuṇḍa. In the fight Vihuṇḍa was killed. (Padma Purāṇa, Bhūmi khaṇḍa, some chapters from 119).

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