Saturday, August 29, 2015

35. Mandavya

There was a sage by name Mandavya. He would sit outside his hermitage under a tree and do penance, observing a vow of silence. One day, some thieves came running towards his asylum carrying the loot. Finding  the hermitage to be a safe place to hide, they put their loot inside the hermitage and hid themselves there.

The guards chasing the thieves came near the hermitage. Seeing the sage sitting outside the hermitage, they asked him whether he saw the thieves running with the loot. The sage who was in deep meditation did not respond. The guards entered the hermitage and found the thieves hiding there.  Suspecting that the sage was protecting the thieves by not informing the guards about the thieves hiding in his hermitage, the guards took him also into custody along with the thieves.

The King sentenced the sage to be executed along with the thieves. The officers carried out the king’s order by impaling him. The sage however, remained alive for a long time by virtue of his ascetic powers. He also, through his powers, summoned other sages to the spot. Other sages visited him at night taking the form of birds. Seeing his condition, they were plunged into grief. They asked him what had happened.  The sage  replied that he was not offended by anyone other than himself.

Subsequently, the officers of justice who came to that place noticed that the sage was alive. They informed this to the king. The king after consulting his advisers realized that he had made a mistake. He came to the sage and sought his pardon  after admitting his mistake. Seeing that the sage was pacified, the king tried to get the stake extracted from his body but could not succeed in his efforts.  He then cut off the portion of the stake protruding outside his body.

The sage moved about with a portion of the stake inside his body. He continued to practice the most austere penances. He came to be called  Ani-Mandavya (Mandavya with the stake within).
One day, the sage went to the  abode of the God of Justice. The sage asked him, “Tell me what sin did I commit to deserve this agonizing punishment?”

The God of Justice replied, “You once pierced a small insect using a blade of grass. Just  as a small good deed will grow big  based on its value, a sin will also grow big depending on the pain it causes to the affected.”

The sage asked the God of Justice to tell him when this cruel act was committed by him.  The God of justice said that this was committed by him when he was a child. The sage pointed out that it had been ordained in the scriptures that  any act of a child less than twelve years of age won’t be treated as a sin.

 “The punishment you have inflicted on me for such a trivial offense is highly  disproportionate to the severity of the offense. You will, therefore, be born among men as a Sudra,“ said the sage.

As a consequence of Mandavya’s curse, the God of Justice was born as Vidura to a Sudra woman. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

34. Dirghatamas

There was a sage by name Utathya. When Utathya’s wife Mamata  was alone, she was approached by his younger brother Virhaspati (also known as Brihaspati), the  priest of the Celestials.  Mamata told him that she had conceived through his elder brother and that she could not yield to his wish. But Virhaspati, unable to contain his lust embraced Mamata and began to consummate with her.

The child in the womb of Mamata which had been listening to the Vedas recited by its father spoke to Virhaspati, “Oh father! Give up your desire. I am occupying my mother’s womb and there is no room here for another child.” Virhaspati’s  attempt was thwarted by his getting upset by the child’s words. Angered by this,  he cursed the child saying, “Because you have caused hindrance to my enjoying the pleasure sought by all creatures, you will live in perpetual darkness.”

As a result of this curse, the child was born blind and was called Dirghatamas (enveloped in perpetual darkness). Though born blind, Dirghatamas  became a learned man due to his diligence.  He married Pradweshi. Many children were born to the couple, Gautama being the eldest. But all his children were devoid of virtues and took to wicked ways. His wife also became dissatisfied with him after some years.

When Dirghatamas asked his wife why she was dissatisfied with him, she said that a man was expected to support his wife and children. But Dirghatamas being blind, she had to support him and their children. He offered to get her all the wealth she wanted by approaching a king. Pradweshi said that she was not interested in him any more and that she was abandoning him. Dirghatamas became angry and pronounced a curse on the entire women race that from that day every woman would have only one husband and that she won’t be able to marry again if her husband was dead. Even if a woman was wealthy, she won’t be able to enjoy that wealth. She would have to constantly suffer calumny.

Angered by her husband’s words, Pradweshi commanded her sons to throw their father into the waters of the river Ganges. The sons tied their father to a raft and threw the raft into the river leaving him to the mercy of the stream.

Dirghatamas drifted on the waters for several days passing through many kingdoms.  A king by name Vali noticed him while performing his ablutions in the river, rescued him and took him to his palace. After learning his story, Vali told him, “Oh wise man, I would like you to raise a few wise sons through my wife.”  The sage agreed. Vali sent his wife Sudeshana to the sage. But Sudeshana, knowing that Dirghatamas was blind, sent her maid, a Sudra woman, to him.  The sage begot eleven children through her, Kakshivat being the eldest.  As they grew up, he taught them the Vedas and groomed them to become erudite and wise .  

Once King Vali came to his place. Seeing the children, he asked him, “Are they mine?” The sage said, “No. They are born to me and a Sudra woman. Taking advantage of my blindness, your wife Sudeshana had insulted  me  by sending her maid in her place.”

Vali pacified Dirghatamas and sent Sudeshana to him again. The sage merely  touched her and said, “You will have five children named Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Pundara and Sushma, who will all be equal to Surya, the Sun God in glory. Five countries will be named after them.”

The line of Vali was thus perpetuated.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

33.Yayati's Exploits

After handing over his kingdom to his youngest son Puru, Yayati retired to the woods to observe the Vanaprasta Ashrama (a life of seclusion in the forest) 

He observed many rigorous practices like living only on air for a long period, performing a severe penance by standing on one leg with fires raging on the four sides and the scorching sun emitting rays of heat from above, observing strict silence for a long period etc. He also entertained the guests by offering them fruits and other food items available. After many years, he ascended to the heaven.

Yayati was warmly  received in the Heaven by the Celestials, who respected him for his sacrificial deeds.

One day, Yayati went to meet Indra, the God of the Celestials. During the course of the conversation, Indra asked Yayati "What was the advice given by you to your son Puru at the time of your handing over the reins of power to him?"

Yayati replied, "I told Puru that the central kingdom that lay between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna were his while the peripheral regions went to his brothers. I also gave him some general advice on the following lines: 

  • One who controls anger is superior to one who comes under its sway. 
  • If you are wronged, you should not wrong the other person in return. 
  • Never cause pain to others by using harsh words. 
  • Don't subdue your enemies through despicable means. 
  • Always keep virtuous people as your models. 
  • Disregard the words of the wicked. 
  • There is no better way of worship than by showing kindness to others. Therefore, use only words that will soothe not words that will scotch. 
  • Always respect people who deserve to be respected. Always give but never beg."

Indra then asked Yayati to tell him whom he would consider equal to Yayati in the practice of austerities. Yayati replied, "In the matter of observing severe austerities, I don't see anyone equal to me among the Rishis, the Celestials or the Gandharvas."

Indra said, "Since you have disregarded people who are superior to you, equal to you and inferior to you without knowing their real merits, your virtues have suffered diminution. Therefore you should fall from the heaven."

Yatati said that he would accept the punishment for his mistake but requested that he fall among the virtuous. Indra acceded to his request and said "in course of time, you will acquire even more renown."

Yayati began to fall from the heaven immediately. A rishi by name Ashtaka, who was foremost among the royal sages saw him falling. Astounded by the resplendence and energy of Yayati, Ashtaka asked him who he was. Yayati narrated his story. He said while falling from the heaven he asked the celestials who were watching his fall "Where are the virtuous among whom I should fall?" They then pointed out your Ashram.

It turned out that Yayati was the maternal grandfather of Ashtaka. Learning about Yayati's rigorous practice of asceticism for a long period, Ashtaka asked him many questions about the means to attain heaven and about rebirth. Yayati answered him in detail.

Yayati said that beings that reach heaven because of their good deeds lose their virtues over a period of time and then are thrown back into the earth by the Devas. Such beings take a subtle form and enter the water, get transformed into semen and then enter the wombs to be reborn as human beings or as other creatures depending on the virtues and vices practiced by them.

Ashtaka wanted to know whether it was possible for anyone to permanently remain in heaven, Yayati said, "There are seven gates to the heaven - asceticism, benevolence, tranquillity of mind, self-control, modesty, simplicity and kindness to all creatures. But a person with vanity will lose all these virtues. A person who has acquired knowledge may consider himself learned. But if he uses this knowledge to destroy the reputation of other people, his knowledge will not help him to attain the Brahman, the ultimate heaven. Four things will remove fear. These are study, taciturnity, worship before fire and sacrifices. However, when contaminated with vanity, these practices instead of removing fear, will cause fear. Only a learned person who considers the unchangeable and inconceivable Brahman as his support can enjoy peace forever."

Yayati lived among Ashtaka and other sages. He answered their questions on several topics and showed them the way to heaven.

After sometime, Yayai along with Astaka and others reached heaven (again).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

32. Devayani and Sarmishta (continued)

After sometime, Devayani went to the same forest, along with Sarmishta and thousand other maids. They wandered in the forest, enjoying themselves by eating fruits and drinking honey. 

At that time, King Yayati also visited the place for hunting. Seeing the ladies, he asked Devayani and Sarmishta for their names. Devayani introduced herself ad Sukra's daughter and Sarmishta as the daughter of King Vrishaparvan. Devayani also told him that Sarmishta with her thousand maids was waiting on her and that everything resulted from fate. 

She then asked Yayati to marry her. Yayati declined the proposal citing the fact that he was a Kshatriya while she was the daughter of Sukra, a Brahmin. After repeated persuations by Devayani, Yayati agreed to marry her if her father would offer her to him.

Devayani sent a maid to her father with a message. Sukra came to the forest. Yayati paid obeisance to Sukra. Devayani told her father, "Oh father! This is Yayati, son of Nahusha. He held my hand when I was in distress. I want you to bestow me on him. I will not wed any other man."

Sukra told Yayati, "Since you have been accepted by my daughter, I offer her to you."

When Yayati expressed his concern that he might be committing a sin by marrying a woman belonging to a higher caste, Sukra said, "I am absolving you of this sin. But you should not invite Sarmishta to your bed."

Sukra had the marriage solemnized by performing the prescribed rites. Yayati left for his capital along with his wife Devayani, her maid Sarmishta and two thousand other maids.

Yayati put up Devayani in his palace and as desired by her accommodated Sarmishta and her 1000 maids in a mansion in the woods garden and made arrangements for her comfortable stay by ensuring the availability of food and other necessities.

After sometime, Devayani gave birth to a son. Sarmishta also desired to beget a son through Yayati and wondered whether it would happen. 

Once Yayati met Sarmishta when he was wandering in the woods where Sarmishta's house was located. Sarmishta solicited him. Yayati replied that while he was bewitched by her beauty, he was restrained by the words of Devayan's father that he shouldn't invite Sarmishta to his bed.

Sarmishta pointed out to him that it was considered permissible to lie on five occasions - while telling a joke, about enjoying a woman, in performing a marriage, while facing a danger to one's life and while facing a threat to one's whole fortune.Yayati replied that as a king, he  should be a model for his people. He said that he would not venture to tell a lie even if he was threatened by the greatest loss to his life or fortune.

Sarmishta then told Yayati "Oh King, a woman may look upon her friend's husband as her own. Since you have been chosen as her husband by my friend, you are my husband as well!"

The king began to relent. He said, "It is my vow to grant people whatever they ask of me. So, tell me what I should do."

Sarmishta said, "Oh king, wives, sons and slaves cannot earn any wealth for themselves. Whatever they earn will go the people who own them. I am the slave of Devayani, You, being the master of Devayani, are my master as well. I solicit you to fulfil my wish of begetting a son through you."

Convinced that he had a duty to protect Sarmishta's virtue, Yayati spent some time with her and then returned to his palace. Sarmishta became pregnant and eventually delivered a son who had celestial looks and had eyes that looked like lotus flowers.

Learning about Sarmishta's giving birth to a child, Devayani summoned her and accused her of  having committed a sin, Sarmishta said that the child was born to a Rishi (sage). Devayani asked for the name of the Rishi but Sarmishta said that she was so overwhelmed by the resplendent appearance of the Rishi that she didn't think of asking for his name. Devayani was satisfied with this reply. She chatted with Sarmishta in a friendly way for some time and then let her go.

Three sons Drahyu, Anu and Puru were born to Sarmishta and two sons Yadu and Turvasu were born to Devayani.

Once when Devayani went to the woods along with Yayati, she met three handsome boys. She asked them who their father was. They, being Sarmishta's children,  pointed at Yayati. They also ran towards Yayati tried to clasp his knees. Yayati, intending to prevent Devayani from  finding the truth, avoided the children.

Devayani who had realized that those three children were born to Sarmishta through her husband, went to Sarmishta and demanded her to reveal who the father of her children were. Sarmishta said defiantly, "I have not committed any sin. It is a custom to consider a friend's husband as one's own husband. However, you are my master and the daughter of a respected Brahmin. I have a lot of respect for you."

Angered by what she had learnt, Devayani burst out at Yayati "You have wronged me." She went to her father. Yayati followed her to her father's abode. Devayani told her father "Oh father, my husband has betrayed me. I have been humiliated by Sarmishta once again. He has given her three sons!"

Yayati pleaded with Sukracharya that he didn't do anything out of lust but only out of a sense of duty. He pointed out that the Vedas described the man who did not fulfill the desire of a woman who would solicit him during the season as a slayer of the embryo.

Sukracharya said that since he had, even before giving his daughter in marriage, commanded that Yayati not invite Sarmishta to his bed, Yayati should have sought his permission before accepting the request of Sarmishta.  He cursed Yayati that he would be divested of his youth immediately and gripped by decrepitude.

Yayati then told Sukra that he had not yet attained satisfaction with his youth and that he wanted to live happily with Devayani for some more time. 
Sukra then relented a little and said that Yayati could exchange his decrepitude for the youth of another. Yayati requested Sukracharya to grant him a boon that his son who exchanged his youth for Yayati's decrepitude would become the king and attain greatness and Sukra granted his wish accordingly.

As a result of the curse, Yayati became old. However, he still had a keen desire for worldly pressures. He called his five sons and told them, “I want to be young and be enjoying the pleasures of life for some more time. Will you take my old age and give me your youth for some time? You can take my aged body and be the king.”

While four of his five sons declined his request, his youngest son Puru exchanged his youthful body with his father’s aged body. Yayati enjoyed the worldly pleasures for many years but realized at the end that the desire for pleasures won't be quenched by enjoyment but would only be intensified. 

He then gave the youthful body back to his son Puru and said, “You are my true son and my race will be known by your name.”

His other sons protested but Yayati justified his decision by pointing out that only his youngest son showed a willingness to fulfill his desire.

Yayati then went to the Mount of Brighu to do penance. He eventually left his mortal body and ascended to heaven along with his two wives.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

31. Devayani and Sarmishta

When Kacha was about to return to his home in the heavens, after taking leave of Sukra, he was approached by Devayani, Sukra's daughter, requesting him to marry her. Kacha said, "Being my receptor's daughter, you deserve to be worshipped by me. I can't marry you."

Devayani reminded him of her coming to his rescue and saving his life during the times attempts were made on his life. She said that she was devoted him and that he should accept her hand in marriage.  Kacha replied "Since I was in your father's body for a while, you are my sister. So there is no way I could marry you.  Don't ask me to commit a sin by marrying you. All along we have had a pleasant and friendly relationship. Please go back to your place after wishing me a safe journey home. Please take good care of my preceptor."

Angered by Kacha's reply, Devayani cursed him saying, "If you didn't marry me, your  knowledge won't bear fruit." Unfazed by her curse, Kacha said "I turned down your request because you are the daughter of my preceptor, not because you have any fault. You may curse me but I don't deserve to be cursed. You have said that my knowledge won't bear fruit. Let your curse may prevail. But I can impart my knowledge to another person and it will bear fruit to him."

Kacha then left her and returned home. The Devas gave him a rousing reception and commended him for having learnt the Sanjivini mantra which would help them in their fight against the Asuras. Emboldened by the advantage they have gained, the Devas decided to take on the Asuras. Some of them began to wander in the celestial sphere. On the way, they saw some ladies sporting in a lake in the garden of a Gandharva by name Chitraratha. Meghavat, one of the Devas took the form of the wind and mixed up the garments left by the ladies in the garden.

Returning from the lake, the ladies began to don their garments. Because of the mix up created by Meghavat, the garments of evayani, the daughter of Sukracharya, the preceptor of the Asuras were picked up by Sarmishta, the daughter of the Asura king Vrishaparvan. Noticing this, Devayani protested saying"Sarmishta! You can't appropriate the garments of the daughter of your father's preceptor. Irked by this remark, Sarmishta retorted saying"Devayani! Your father is occupying a seat at a lower level than the seat of my father. After all, your father is living on the alms provided by my father."

Devayani was angered by this insult and pulled the clothes of Sarmishta. Sarmishta threw Devayani into a well and went home, thinking that Devayani was dead.

King Yayati who was returning from a hunting expedition was looking for water for himself, his soldiers and horses. Looking into the well to check whether it had water, he saw Devayani lying at the bottom of the well. . He asked her who she was. Devayani introduced herself as Sukracharya's daughter and requested him to pull her out. Yayati pulled her out of the well. Then he returned to his capital.

Devayani's maid Ghurnika came in search of her and found her sitting near the well. Devayani asked her maid to go to her father and tell him what had happened to his daughter.

Learning of Devayani's ordeal, Sukra rushed to the spot and met Devayani. After hugging and comforting her, he said,"My dear daughter! The sufferings we undergo are due to our own faults. Comfort yourself by realizing that you have expiated for some sin committed by you in the past.

Devayani replied, "Oh father, let it be that I suffered due to some wrongdoing on my part. But listen to the insulting words Sarmishta uttered about you" and narrated the derisive comments made by Sarmishta. "If, you are a person who receives gifts from the king for singing his praise, then I should also sing the praise of Sarmishta" she concluded.

Angered by what he heard, Sukra said, "Devayani, you are not the daughter of someone who makes a living by flattering the king. You are the daughter of someone who is adored and respected by all, including Indra, the chief of the celestials and Yayati, the king who saved you. Devayani! One who ignores the evil words of others can conquer everything. So shake off your anger like a snake shaking off it slough (worn out skin)."

Devayani replied "Yes father, I know about the ill effects of anger and the value of forgiveness.  But I feel that a disciple who shows disrespect to his preceptor should not be forgiven, if the preceptor is interested in  doing good to his disciple. I don't want to live in a country where there is no respect for the preceptor. The harsh words used by Vrishaparvan's daughter burn my heart. Nothing can be more pathetic than a person adoring his enemies blessed with good fortune while he himself possesses none. For such a person, death will be better than living."

Hearing his daughter's words, Sukracharya also became angry. He went to King Vrishaparvan and told him, "Oh king, sins committed by a person may not bring in punishment immediately. But over a period, one has to face the consequences of one's sins. You killed Kacha, who had done no harm to you. And your daughter has insulted my daughter. I am leaving your kingdom and you may take care of yourself."

Vrishaparvan pleaded with Sukracharya not to leave him, asserting that he had not shown any disrespect to his preceptor. "If you leave us, we will go into the depths of the ocean."

Sukrasaid, "I don't care what happens to you. I am only concerned about my daughter's grief. If you want me to stay here, you should pacify my daughter."

Vrishaparvan went to Devayani and told her that he would do whatever she wanted him to. Devayani said "Sarmishtha with a thousand maids should wait on me! She must also follow me to my husband's place after I get married."

Vrishaparvan asked a maid to bring Sarmishta. The maid told Sarmishta of what transpired. Sarmishta said, "I will do whatever Devayani wants. The Asuras should not suffer for my fault."

As instructed by her father, Sarmishta went to Devayani along with a thousand maids and told her "I, along with a thousand maids, will be waiting on you. I will accompany you to any place you may go to after your marriage."

Devayani asked her sarcastically, "How can the daughter of a king be the waiting maid to me, the daughter of one who makes his living through begging and seeking alms?"

Sarmishta replied, "One should contribute to the happiness of one's afflicted relatives by whatever means possible."

Devayani told her father, "Oh, best of Brahmins! I feel gratified. Now I will enter the Asuras' capital. I now know  the power of your learning."

When Sukra entered the capital along with his daughter, he was greeted with respect by the Asuras.

Monday, June 15, 2015

30. Kacha and Devayani

There were frequent encounters between the Asuras (the demons) and the Devas (the celestials). The Devas performed many sacrifices to get the power to destroy the Asuras. The Devas had as their mentor Brihaspati, the son of Angiras. The Asuras had  Usanas, also known as Sukra as their mentor. 

Both Brihaspati and Sukra were Brahmins well versed in many fields of knowledge. However Sukra had mastered Sanjivni, the Science of reviving the dead through the use of Mantras (divine utterances). But this Science was not known to Brihaspati.

Sukra, by making use of the Sanjivini Mantra,  was able to bring back to life the Asuras killed by the Devas, in the encounters. Since Brihaspati couldn’t revive the Devas killed in the battles, the population of the Devas was declining while that of the Asuras remained the same.

The Devas devised a plan to acquire the knowledge of Sanjivini from Sukra.  They approached Kacha, the eldest son of Brihaspati  and suggested to him that he become a disciple of Sukra, learn the Sanjivini Mantra in due course and then return to the kingdom of Devas to help them by reviving those killed by the Asuras. 

Sukra was in the court of the Asura king Vrishaparva. Kacha went to him and  introduced himself as the grandson of Angiras and the son of Brihaspati and requested him to accept him as his disciple. Sukra gladly agreed to his request.

Since Kacha was young and had knowledge of various musical instruments, he was able to please Devayani, Sukra’s daughter. He also gratified her by offering flowers, fruits etc. She began to develop a soft corner for him. 

The Asuras becoming apprehensive that Kacha would learn the Sanjivini Mantra from Sukra, decided to kill him. They slew him when he was tending the cows of Sukra, cut him to pieces and fed him to the jackals and the wolves.

In the evening, the cows returned home, without Kacha leading them. Devayani, finding that Kacha had not returned, conveyed her apprehensions to her father. Sukra uttered the Sanjivini Mantra to bring Kacha back to life. Kacha emerged by tearing the bodies of the wolves and the jackals that had eaten his body parts.  Prompted by his Guru, Kacha narrated what had happened to him.

On another occasion, Kacha was gathering flowers in a forest at the behest of Devayani.  The Asuras killed him, pounded him into a paste and dispersed the paste into the waters of the ocean. Responding to the plea of Devayani, Sukra invoked the Sanjivini Mantra again. Kacha came alive rising from the waters of the ocean. Again, Sukra got appraised of what had happened to Kacha.

The Asuras did not stop with this second attempt. In their third attempt, they burnt Kacha and mixed his ashes in  wine and offered the wine to Sukra, which he drank. When Devayani complained to her father about Kacha not returning home, Sukra said, “It seems Kacha has entered the region of the dead. I brought him to life twice but his life is being endangered again. He is not immortal. So, don’t grieve over his death.”

But Devayani was adamant and said that she would starve and follow Kacha.

Sukra then summoned Kacha to come alive. Kacha's voice was heard from Sukra's stomach. Sukra found out from Kacha how he had entered his stomach. He then told Devayani that the only way Kacha could come alive was by piercing his stomach and killing him in the process. Devayani replied that her father’s death would be as painful to her as Kacha’s death.

Sukra then told Kacha that he would teach him the Sanjivini Mantra so that Kacha could use it to bring him to life after coming out of his stomach. He then taught the Mantra to Kacha. Kacha came out of Sukra’s stomach by piercing it open. He then revived  his Guru by invoking the Sanjivini Mantra he had just learnt.

Kacha told Sukra, “Since you have given me knowledge, you are to be considered as my father. Since I came out of your stomach, I have to regard you as my mother as well. If I cause any harm to you, I will be considered the most sinful of all persons.”

Sukra realized that because of his inebriated state, he had failed to detect that Kacha’s ashes were mixed in the drink given to him by the Asuras. He felt angry and pronounced, “From now onward, the wretched Brahmin  who is unable to resist the temptation and gets drunk will be considered as having lost his virtue and will be hated by both the worlds.”

Kacha, after completing his studies, took leave  of Sukra and returned to his abode, the Celestial kingdom.

Friday, April 3, 2015

29. Worship of Indra by the Kings

In the Paurava race, there was a king by name Uparichara. He was also known by the name Vasu. He was a virtuous ruler but had a passion for hunting. He conquered the kingdom of Chedi as per the wishes of Indra, the god of the Devas (the celestials). After ruling for many years, Vasu decided to live an austere and peaceful life. He retreated to a secluded place and began to do penance.

Since some kings practicing penance in the past had aimed to become the King of the Devas, Indra became apprehensive of the intentions of Vasu approached him along with some other Gods and persuaded him to resume his duties as the king. They pointed out that his people were looking up to him for protection. They praised his rule pointing out how various sections of people and even animals were happy under his rule, how the economy of his country flourished making the people prosperous and happy. Good governance made life good for people and good life, in turn, promoted virtues and values among people. Families were united with no demand for partition from any member of the family.

Persuaded by the celestials, Vasu returned to his capital to resume his monarchy. Indra who was relieved the he was able to ward off a potential threat to his position as the head of the gods presented Vasu with a crystal car (chariot) that would move in space defying gravity. Only the gods had possession of such a car. He also presented him with a garland of lotuses that would never wilt and remain ever fresh. That garland, known in the earth as Indra's garland, would protect the person wearing it from sustaining injuries in the battle field. Indra also gave him a bamboo pole as a symbolic weapon for protecting the virtuous and punishing the wicked.

One year after receiving the pole, Vasu planted it in the ground, adorned it with clothes and flowers and worshipped it treating it as Indra itself. Indra came to the scene assuming the form of a swan to accept the worship offered. Indra blessed Vasu and and also told him that all kings who would worship him in the form of a pole would receive his blessings. From that time onwards, it has become a practice for all kings on earth to plant a pole in the ground and worship it treating it as a manifestation of Indra.