Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Stories of Vayu Deva


Love of Vaayu

King Kusha-Naabha was a highly virtuous king. He married the Apsara
named Ghritaachi, a heavenly damsel of unparalleled beauty. From
her, he begot a hundred daughters, each one lovelier than the other.
As years went by, the onset of youth only enhanced their grace
further. They would dress elegantly, wander playfully in the midst
of flowering plants, and spend their time merrily in song, dance and
music. The world over, these daughters of the saintly Kusha-Naabha
were known for their matchless beauty.

Once it so happened that lord Vaayu saw these princesses in all
their grace and youthfulness. He was at once aroused with carnal
desire towards them and said, "O' lovely ones! I want to have you as
my wives. May you then give up your human nature and accept me as
your godly husband. Having once become my wives, you would attain
long life and lasting youthfulness.

"Young age does not last too long for the earthlings. It constantly
slips away with time. Once in godly fold, you would attain
deathlessness and a never-fading youth."

The young girls were taken aback. They were aware of the might of
the Wind-god but not prepared for such a demand from him. They
laughed and said:

"O' best of the gods! You pervade this whole existence in the form
of Prana. Therefore, you also permeate the living creatures on this
earth. You certainly know the mind of everyone. Are you then not
aware of what is in our minds? All of us sisters are aware of your
immeasurable might but have no inclination to be your wives. Knowing
this, you have only insulted us by your proposal."

The girls further went on, "Lord! We are the daughters of the
saintly king Kusha-Naabha. We possess the strength of our
austerities to curse even you, a god, though we would not like to
thus waste our hard earned merit. O' exalted one! May there never
arise a situation when, driven by lust and unrighteousness, we defy
our virtuous father and go out to choose our own spouse. Our father
is our lord and the most venerable for us. We shall accept as our
husband any one whom our father deems worthy for us."

Vaayu's Anger

Lord Vaayu was incensed at the summary rejection of his proposal. He
would not be slighted without reprisal. He, therefore, entered into
the bodies of those beautiful maidens and twisted their limbs.
Distorted and hunched, they felt distressed and returned home.

Seeing them in anguish, the king was highly perturbed. He called
them to his presence and asked them the reason for their miserable
plight.

Forgiveness Praised

The physically distorted daughters narrated the whole incidence to
their father.

"The all-pervading Vaayu-deva had ill intentions on us and wanted to
physically violate us. He had forsaken the path of Dharma, O'
father. We told him: `Lord! We are not free to decide on such
matters. Go to our father and ask for our hands. We shall accept you
if our father so desires.'

"But his mind was fixed on sin. While we were thus talking to him
according to our Dharma, he inflicted this injury upon us and so we
suffer undeservingly."

The wise king offered them solace: "Dear ones! Only the highly
disciplined ones can exercise the forgiveness that you have granted
to Vaayu-deva. Resisting physical temptation, you have saved the
honour and dignity of this family, an extremely worthy action
indeed. Be one a man or a woman, the quality of forgiveness is like
an ornament to one's character. Even gods would find it hard to
match this quality of yours."

"Daughters dear," the king continued, "forgiveness is the greatest
charity, the greatest truth, the greatest sacrifice, the greatest
renown and the greatest Dharma. On forgiveness alone rests this
whole manifestation."

The king then called his ministers and discussed the unfortunate
situation with them. And they pondered over who should these
luckless princesses be given in marriage to.

Calamity Anulled

During those times, an austere sage named Chooli was engaged in
rigorous penances, following strict vow of celibacy. He was being
looked after by Somadaa, a Gandharva maiden, who served the sage
with great devotion. She would take care of all the needs of the
sage who was highly satisfied with her selfless service. After some
time, the sage said to the young maiden, "Dear one, may you be
blessed! I am very satisfied with you. Pray tell me what I should
grant you as a boon."

Somadaa was delighted. She said to the exalted sage, "O' great one!
You have attained oneness with the Lord Eternal. I desire to acquire
a virtuous and worthy son, O' sage. However, I do not have a
husband, nor do I wish to have one in future. I have come to serve
you. I want to conceive a son arising out of your austerities, not
through physical contact."

The sage granted the boon to the devoted Somadaa. This son of his,
granted to her through his mental energy, was named as Brahmadatta.

The king Kusha-Naabha came to know of the effulgence of Brahmadatta
and decided to hand over his hundred daughters to him in marriage.
Brahmadatta gracefully accepted the offer. After marriage, the very
first touch of Brahmadatta relieved the distorted princesses of all
their painful disabilities and they became healthful and lovely once
again.

Vaasuki and Vaayudeva: A Trial of Strength

Vaasuki is the powerful serpent king. In times of yore, when the
gods and the demons churned the ocean of milk for Amrita, the death-
defying elixir, this mighty serpent was used as a string around the
massive Mandarachala mountain to effect the churning process.
Vaasuki was strong enough to withstand the alternate pulls from the
demons on the head end and the gods on the tail end.

It was this valiant Vaasuki and the matchless Vaayu-deva that once
went into argument about who was the more powerful of the two. The
quarrel led to a trial of strength between the two. The serpent
Vaasuki went to the Meru mountain in the north and wrapped himself
around it so-tightly that even Vaayu could not enter the area. This
enraged Vaayu-deva, the Wind-god, who broke into a cyclone and
started shaking the whole world. But however much Vaayu-deva tried,
he could not loosen the grip of Vaasuki around the Meru mountain.
The great Meru shook around but Vaasuki remained unaffected.

Vaayu-deva applied more and more force so that the cyclone became
more and more vigorous. The whole world trembled as the two powerful
rivals continued their combat. Even the gods were frightened. They,
along with lord Shiva and lord Brahma, went to lord Vishnu and
requested Him to help stop the potentially dangerous combat. Lord
Vishnu advised both Vaasuki and Vaayu to stop their quarrel without
further delay.

Responding to lord Vishnu's bidding, Vaasuki slightly loosened his
hold on one side of the Meru where the mountain Trikoota was
located. Immediately, Vaayu entered there and broke off the Trikoota
from the rest of the Meru and its associated mountains. Vaayu-deva
took away the Trikoota and dropped it into the ocean in the south.

The Trikoota lies in the Indian ocean. The divine architect
Vishwakarma built the beautiful city of Lankaa on top of this
mountain. Kubera, the god of wealth once ruled from Lankaa. Later,
the demon king Raavana established his kingdom there. It was the
wicked Raavana who abducted Sita, the divine spouse of Lord Raama,
and met his end at the hands of Lord Raama.