Vamana Purana
VAAMAN PURAN

INTRODUCTION

Narad asks Sage Pulastya about the Vaaman incarnation:

Vaaman Puraan is one of the eighteen Puraans written by sage Vyasa. It contains tales pertaining to Lord Vishnu in his Vaaman (dwarf) incarnation. Sage Pulastya while giving answers to Narad's enquiry narrates the tale of Vaaman Puraan.

All the Puraans give glimpses of Indian civilization and culture and Vaaman Puraan is no exception. It also teaches the virtue of righteousness and religiousness. Vaaman Puraan not only contains the divine tales of Nara-Narayana and Goddess Durga but it also contains tales of famous devotees like Prahlad, the salvation of Gajendra (elephant) etc.

Sage Narad asks Pulastya- "O revered sage! Why did Shri Hari take the incarnation of Vaaman? Why did Prahlad fight a battle with the deities despite being a devotee of Lord Vishnu? How did Sati, Daksha Prajapati's daughter become Mahadev's consort in her next birth? I am eager to know the answers to all these questions."

Pulastya replied- "O Narad! Once, Sati requested Lord Shankar to make arrangements for a permanent abode. At that time, Lord Shankar had his abode at Mandaar Mountain. Summer season was approaching and Sati quite rightly had apprehensions of living in the open. Lord Shankar told her that as he was a recluse, he never felt a need of a permanent dwelling. Though Sati was not satisfied by his answers yet she kept quiet. This way, both of them continued to live there. The summer season had passed and now it was the turn of rainy season to arrive. Sati made the same request to Lord Shankar. This time, Lord Shankar told her that it was impossible for him to construct a house, as he had no wealth. He also told her that he had only a tiger skin as his clothing, the king cobra- his sacred thread, Padma and Pingal (snakes)- his ear-rings and Keval and Dhananjay as his armlets.

After hearing this, Sati became worried as to how she would pass the rainy season without a home. Lord Shankar then assured her that this problem would be easily solved if she lived above the clouds. This way, she would remain untouched by the showers. After this, both of them ascended towards the sky and started living above the clouds. From that day onwards, Lord Shankar came to be known as Jeebhootvaahan (one whose vehicle is the cloud).

Tales of Lord Shiva

DAKSHA PERFORMS A GRAND YAGYA
Pulastya says- "This way, both Shiva and Sati lived above the clouds till the end of rainy season. When autumn season arrived, both decided on returning to Mandaar Mountain. Daksha had organised a grand Yagya in which he had invited all the prominent deities and sages except his own son-in-law, Shankar and his daughter, Sati."

Narad was surprised as to why Maheshwar- the lord of all splendours was not invited by Daksha. He was also curious to know why Lord Shankar had become a Kapaali (a mendicant). Pulastya told him that during the period of final annihilation, Lord Vishnu after waking up from his sleep found a divine entity, who possessed three eyes, who had a trident in his hands and who wore a Rudraksha garland around his neck. Lord Vishnu then created ego, which had its evil effects on both Brahma and Shankar. Lord Shiva in his arrogance asked Brahma, his identity and origin. Lord Brahma then arrogantly asked Shankar, his identity. This way, a dispute ensued that later on turned into a fight in which, Brahma defeated Shankar. Lord Shiva severed two of the five heads of Lord Brahma. But the second head fell and got stuck on Lord Shiva's left palm. Angrily, Lord Brahma created a terrific creature, which challenged Shankar and ridiculed him by saying that as he (Shankar) was a sinner, therefore, he would not dirty his hands by killing him.

Lord Shankar was ashamed of himself. He went to Badrikashrama and requested Lord Vishnu for some alms. Lord Vishnu asked Shankar to hit on his (Vishnu's) left arm. Shankar hit Vishnu's left arm with his trident and the impact resulted in the creation of three streams. The first stream went up in the sky and established itself as Akashganga. The second one was Mandakini, which was received by sage Atri. The third stream fell on the skull, which was stuck in Lord Shankar's left palm. This resulted in the manifestation of a divine child who was ferocious and well armed with bow and arrows. Shankar instructed him to kill that creature, which was created by Brahma.

A tremendous duel was fought between them, which was inconclusive for thousands of divine years.

ATONEMENT OF LORD SHANKAR
Lord Shiva had committed a grave sin of Brahmahatya. All his efforts of separating Brahma's skull from his left palm went in vain. In the meantime, an entity named Brahmahatya appeared before him and entered into his body.

Lord Shankar decided to go to Badrikashrama to atone for his sins. After reaching there, he became worried when he did not find Lord Vishnu. He went to take a bath in river Yamuna but as soon as he entered the river, the water dried up. He experienced this strange phenomenon at the Saraswati River as well. He then made pilgrimages to numerous sacred and holy places but still did not become free from Brahmahatya. Dejected, he ultimately went to Kurukshetra where he found Shri Narayana and requested him to free him (Shankar) from the sins of Brahmahatya. Lord Vishnu advised him to go on a pilgrimage to Varanasi where he would be liberated from his sins.

Following Vishnu's instructions, Lord Shankar went to Varanasi and visited all the sacred sites like Dashashwamedh temple, Lolarka temple and Keshav temple. While he was worshipping Keshav, he said- "Though I have become liberated from my sins, yet I fail to understand the reason why this skull still sticks in my hand." Keshav told him that his problems would be solved if he takes a bath in the lake, which was near the temple. Lord Shankar took a bath in that lake and ultimately the skull fell on the ground. The place where the skull had fallen later on became famous as Kapaalmochan.

SATI GIVES UP HER LIFE
Sage Pulastya says- "O Narad! This way, Lord Shiva became famous as Kapaali. This was the reason why Daksha did not invite him. In the meantime, Jaya, sage Gautam's daughter went to see Sati at Mandaar Mountain. Seeing her alone, Sati asked about her two sisters, Jayanti and Aparajita. Jaya revealed to her that both of them had gone to their maternal-grandfather's (Daksha) Yagya. Jaya also told her that all the deities had been invited to the Yagya. When Sati heard this, she was grieved and angry with her father. In a fit of rage, she gave up her life. Seeing her lifeless body, Jaya started wailing. Lord Shiva arrived there and upon hearing Jaya's wails, asked her why Sati was lying on the ground. Jaya then narrated the whole story. Lord Shankar became so infuriated that it resulted in the creation of numerous Ganas among whom Veerbhadra was the most prominent one.

Lord Shiva accompanied by the Ganas went to the site where Daksha was performing the Yagya. A tremendous battle ensued between them and the deities and finally, the deities were overpowered and ran away from the site. Veerbhadra, finding the time opportune, entered the oblation site. When the deities saw him entering the oblation site, they returned and tried to prevent him from doing so. Again, an intense battle erupted between both the sides. The deities used all kinds of weapons but they could not control the onslaught of Veerbhadra and fled.

Veerbhadra then went near the sacrificial fire. The sages were terrified and ran towards Lord Vishnu who attacked Veerbhadra with arrows but it did not hurt him at all. Vishnu then attacked him with other divine weapons. But still, Veerbhadra succeeded in neutralising those weapons. Vishnu was enraged and attacked him with his Sudarshan chakra that Veerbhadra swallowed. This angered Lord Vishnu further. He lifted Veerbhadra and dashing him to the ground, pressed Veerbhadra's stomach as a result of which, the Sudarshan chakra came out from his mouth. But Lord Vishnu spared Veerbhadra's life. Veerbhadra then went to Lord Shiva and narrated his woeful tale of defeat. Lord Shiva instructed Veerbhadra to leave for a safer haven and himself went to the oblation site accompanied by Bhadrakali. The sages became scared on seeing his terrifying appearance.

THE DESTRUCTION OF DAKSHA'S YAGYA
Fearing Lord Shiva's wrath, Lord Vishnu went to Hrishikesh and remained aloof for quite some time. Shiva's anger generated so much heat that it was enough to melt the eight Vasus. As a result, a river named Sita started flowing from there. After being attacked by Lord Shiva, the deities fled from the scene.

Lord Shiva then opened his third eye and furiously looked at the flame burning in the Havan-kund. The next moment, the fire went off. Even Yagya was terrified and he took the aerial route in the guise of a deer. Lord Shiva chased him in the appearance of Kaal (Lord of death) with a bow and arrow named Pashupat.

In the end, Kaal (epithet of Shiva) was successful in killing the deer, which was Yagya in reality. After his death, Yagya's body was established among the stars. After narrating the tale of destruction of Daksha's Yagya, sage Pulastya then goes on to tell Narad that the names of the zodiacs had been given just according to their appearances for e.g. Aries (Mesh) appeared like a ram. Similarly, Taurus (Vrishabh) appeared like an ox and so on.

TALES OF DEMONS

ANDHAK- THE DEMON KING
Sage Narad was curious to know how the demon King Andhak behaved with the deities. He asked Pulastya in this regard. Pulastya replied- "After ascending the throne, Andhak did a severe penance to please Lord Shiva and received a boon according to which he could neither be killed by the deities nor by any mortal. He also received another boon according to which even fire could not burn him.

Andhak appointed Shukracharya as his chief priest. He defeated the deities and had gained control over the whole earth. Once, Andhak had gone to see the beautiful sight of Sumeru Mountain. Indra after making adequate arrangements for the security of his capital Amravati came forward to fight him with a huge army. A fierce battle was fought between both the armies. The whole atmosphere was covered in darkness due to the dust. It became difficult for the warriors of both the sides to distinguish between friend and an enemy. The whole battlefield was strewn with dead bodies and blood.

Indra unleashed a volley of arrows towards Andhak. In reply, Andhak too retaliated by unleashing a volley of arrows towards Indra. In this duel, both of them got injured. Infuriated, Indra attacked him with his Vajra, which destroyed all of Andhak's weapons. Indra's Vajra then chased Andhak who jumped down from his chariot to save his life. Andhak defended himself by attacking it with his fist. As a result, it fell on the ground. Indra then attacked Andhak by unleashing a volley of arrows in his direction. Andhak dodged the assault and ran towards him menacingly. He attacked Airavat- the elephant and mount of Indra with such force that it became paralysed. Seeing his elephant in such a pitiable condition, Indra picked up his Vajra and ran inside the fort to save himself. Andhak then single-handedly destroyed Indra's whole army.

Yamaraj was fighting from the deities' side. He attacked Prahlad who was fighting from Andhak's side. It became impossible for Yamaraj to match Prahlad's valour and bravery. As a result, he was forced to flee from the battlefield. Inspite of having mighty warriors like Varun and Agni in their ranks, the deities could not match the valour of the demon's army, which comprised of valiant and brave fighters like Virochan, Maya and Shambar. Ultimately, the deities were defeated in this battle. The victorious demon King Andhak returned to Paatal loka with his army.

SUKESHI'S QUERIES
Sukeshi was the son of demon King Vidyutkeshi. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Being pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva had blessed him with invincibility and gifted him a city, which was situated in the sky. Sukeshi was a virtuous and just king.

Once, he had gone into the Magadh forest where he found numerous sages engrossed in meditation. After introducing himself to the sages, he expressed his desire to know about the path that led to benediction. He also wanted to know how a man could achieve respectability and contentment in his life. The sages told him that a man could achieve benediction only by following the path of Dharma. "A religious man achieves both respectability and contentment", said the sages. Sukeshi then asked them about the characteristics of Dharma. The sages revealed to him that the deities engage themselves in religious activities like Yagya, self-study, study of Vedas and worship of Lord Vishnu. So, all these activities are the Dharma of the deities. "The Dharma of the demons consists of negative qualities like jealousy etc. But they have profound knowledge in policy matters and have great devotion towards Shiva", said the sages. "The Siddha's Dharma is to engage himself in activities like practice of Yoga, study of Vedas, self-realisation and devotion to both Lord Vishnu and Shiva", said the sages. In this way, the sages enlightened Sukeshi on the Dharma of different sections of divine entities.

At last, Sukeshi requested the sages to tell something about the hell (Narak). The sages replied that altogether there were 21 hells. The name of the first hell is Raurav, which covers the area of 2000 Yojans. The second hell Maharaurav is twice the area of Raurav. Similarly, the names of the remaining hells are Taamistra, Andhataamistra, Kaalchakra, Aprathisth, Ghatiyantra, Asipatravan, Taptakumbh, Kootshaalmali, Karpatra, Swabhojan, Sandansh, Lohapind, Kalmasikta, Kshaarnadi, Krimibhojan, Vaitarninadi, Shonitpayabhojan, Kshuraagradhaar, Nishitachakra and Sanshoshan.

SINFUL DEEDS
Sukeshi asked the sages about the sinful deeds, which leads to hell. The sages replied- "People who condemn Veda, deities, Brahmins etc. go to hell. Those who don't believe in religious texts like Puraan etc. or those who cause obstacles in the accomplishment of Yagya or those who prevent a charitable man from giving donation also go to hell.

People who torment others, who steal sandals etc. go to the hell named Kalmsikta. Disobedient children who don't obey their parents and elders go to the hell named Aprathisth. People who touch their elders with their feet go to Raurav Narak. A selfish person who nourishes himself during drought without caring about his relatives go to the hell named Swabhojan. A person who does not protect people who have taken his refuge goes to the hell named Yantrapeed. A man who misappropriates the deposited money of other people goes to Vrishchikashan Narak. The sinners who copulate on auspicious days or who have illicit relations with other women go to the hell named Shaalmali.

This way, the sages told Sukeshi about various types of sinful deeds, which led sinners to different hells.

JAMBUDWEEP AND BHARATVARSH
Sukeshi expressed his desire to the sages to know about Jambudweep. The sages replied- "Jambudweep is a very large island. It is sub-divided into nine parts. Ilavritvarsh is situated in its central part while Bhadraashvavarsh is situated towards its eastern side. Some prominent places situated around it are- Hiranyakvarsh towards north-east, Kinnarvarsh towards south-east, Bharatvarsh towards south, Harivarsh towards south-west, Ketumaalvarsh towards west, Ramyakvarsh towards north-west and Kuruvarsh towards north. All these nine Varshas are full of natural beauty. The inhabitants of all the eight Varshas except India are never troubled by old age or death. The inhabitants are also religious and virtuous by nature. They attain great accomplishment without making any real effort.

Bharatvarsh has nine sub-islands. All these islands are surrounded by oceans on all sides and it is difficult to go from one island to another. These sub-islands are Indradweep, Kaserumaan, Taamravarna, Gabhastimaan, Naagdweep, Karaaha, Sinhal, Vaarun and Kumar. Kiraat live towards east of Bharatvarsh while Yavan live towards the west. People living towards the south of Bharatvarsh are called Andhra and those living towards the north are called Turuyak. Bharatvarsh is mainly inhabited by people belonging to all the major four castes i.e. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. The seven prominent mountains situated within Bharatvarsh are Mahendra, Malay, Sahya, Shukti, Maanriksh, Vindhya and Paariyaatra though there are many more mountains.

The following rivers originate from Himalaya Mountain- Saraswati, Yamuna, Hiranvati, Sutlej, Chandrika, Neela, Vitastaa, Eravati, Kuhu, Devika, Ushira, Dhaataki, Rasaa, Gomti, Gandki, Kaushiki, Sarayu etc. Similarly, many rivers originate from the other mountains.

DASHAANG DHARMA
The sages say- "Dharma consists of ten properties such as non-violence, truth, charity, not stealing the property of others, forgiveness, self-restraint, cleanliness etc. Hence it is known as Dashaang Dharma. These properties are obligatory for people belonging to all castes and creeds. A Brahmin's life is categorised into four Ashrams- Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanprastha and Sanyaas. A Brahmachari is supposed to acquire knowledge by living a celibate life. After completing his studies, the Brahmachari graduates to the life of a householder. He gets married and performs his duties towards his family. After this, he enters into Vanprasthashram where he is required to go to the forest after abandoning worldly pleasures. At last, he accepts Sanyaas, which is total renunciation. He is supposed to pass the rest of his life doing meditation and penance."

THE RISE AND FALL OF SUKESHI'S KINGDOM
Pulastya says- "After being enlightened by the sages on various subjects, Sukeshi returned to his capital. He taught the demons all that he had learnt. As a result, all the demons became very virtuous. The newly attained virtuosity and religiousness made the demons invincible and powerful. Sukeshi's capital was situated in the sky. The whole city illumined brightly due to virtuosity attained by the demons. Its illumination even subdued the radiance of Surya (Sun). Now it became very difficult to determine when the Sun rose.

The deity Surya became worried at this development. He started pondering on how the demons became so powerful and contemplated over the means to destroy the demons. While Surya was meditating, the fact regarding the demons' power dawned on him. Surya became furious and angrily glanced at Sukeshi. The city started falling towards earth. Sukeshi became worried and started praying to Lord Shiva. Seeing his devotee, Sukeshi in trouble, Lord Shiva looked angrily at Surya as a result of which, he too started falling towards the earth. When the sages and hermits saw Surya falling down, they advised him to take refuge in Lord Vishnu. Surya curiously asked as to how could he take Vishnu's refuge as he had been punished by Lord Shiva. The sages then advised him to direct his descent to Varanasi. Surya accepted their advice and landed at Varanasi between two rivers- Varuna and Asi. He was feeling restless because of severe heat and so he decided to take a bath in the Asi River. After taking his bath, he started revolving around both the rivers. In the meantime, all the sages, demons, Apsaras went to Brahma loka and requested Lord Brahma to re-establish Surya in his original abode. Lord Brahma, accompanied by all the deities went to Lord Shiva and requested him to forgive Surya. Shiva was pleased at their humbleness and forgave Surya and re-established him on his chariot. He also gave a new name to Surya- Lolaark. At last, Surya was re-established in the sky.

TALES OF NAR-NARAYAN

MANIFESTATION OF NAR-NARAYAN
Sage Pulastya says- "Dharma, the possessor of divine body and who manifested from the heart of Lord Brahma married Murti, the daughter of Daksha. Four sons were born to them- Hari, Krishna, Nara and Narayan. Hari and Krishna engaged themselves in the practice of Yoga while Nar and Narayan went to the Himalaya Mountain and started doing penance for the welfare of humans.

Indra became frightened by their arduous penance. He feared that he might lose his authority and power. He sent beautiful Apsaras to disturb their penance. He himself went to that site accompanied by Kamadev and Vasant (spring).

PRAHLAD MEETS NAR-NARAYAN
One Narayan saw all three of them coming and he treated all of them with respect. As he was aware of the reasons for their arrival, he decided to give them a surprise. He made the figure of a beautiful woman on his thigh with a flower. The next moment, the figure transformed into a live woman, which surprised all of them.

For Kamadev, the beautiful woman resembled his wife Rati. He became so infatuated by her beauty that he forgot about the actual purpose of his visit. The same thing happened to Vasant and all the Apsaras. Everybody who had come with the desire of victory had actually become a victim.

Seeing all of them surprised and amazed, Narayan told them that the beautiful woman was created by him from his thigh. He also instructed them to take away that beautiful woman to heaven. Kamadev and Vasant were captivated by Narayan's power. They also became terrified. They went back to heaven accompanied by Urvashi and narrated the whole story to Indra. Even Indra was amazed. In a short time, the amazing deeds of Narayan spread in all the directions and the various lokas.

Once, Prahlad- the son of demon King Hiranyakashipu asked sage Chyavan about the most revered and sacred place of pilgrimage in the whole world. Sage Chyavan told him about Naimisharanya- the most sacred place of pilgrimage on the earth. Prahlad visited Naimisharanya accompanied by many other demons. After reaching there, all of them took bath in a river. While roaming about in the city, Prahlad saw the trunk of a tree pierced with numerous arrows. Not far from the tree, he saw two hermits doing penance. Two divine bows and a pair of quiver were lying by the side.

Prahlad was amazed as to why the hermits would require weapons. He revealed his thoughts to the hermits. Both the hermits replied that a person who works according to his capabilities, earns respect. Prahlad became angry at their reply. He asked them as to what were their capabilities. Actually, the hermits were none other than Nar and Narayan. Both of them told Prahlad that they were invincible and nobody could defeat them in battle. Prahlad's anger crossed all limits. A tremendous battle ensued between Prahlad and Nar-Narayan.

PRAHLAD BLESSED BY NAR-NARAYAN
A ferocious battle was fought between Prahlad and Nar-Narayan in which all types of lethal weapons were used. The battle continued for 1000 divine years. Ultimately, Prahlad was defeated in this battle. He went to Vaikunth and asked Lord Vishnu as to why Nar-Narayan was invincible. Lord Vishnu revealed to them that Narayan was his own incarnation. He also told them that Narayan could be won only by devotion and not by power.

Prahlad decided to relinquish his throne and appointed Andhak as his successor. He went to Badrikashrama and made salutations to Narayan in reverence. Narayan was surprised at the sudden change in his behaviour. He asked Prahlad as to what the matter was. Prahlad then said- "Who can defeat you? You are none other than Lord Janardan. You are the one who has taken incarnation of Hrishikesh, Chakrapaani and Hayagreev."

Narayan was pleased by his devotion. He told Narayan that though he was not able to defeat him in the battle but he was successful in doing so by his devotion. Narayan also blessed Prahlad. Prahlad then returned to his capital. Andhak expressed his desire to make Prahlad the king once again but it was turned down by him. Prahlad spent the rest of his life preaching on the virtues of religiousness and truthfulness.

MANIFESTATION OF VEGETATION FROM THE DEITIES
Pulastya says- "Lotus flower manifested from Vishnu's navel in the month of Ashwin. Similarly, other vegetation also manifested from the different organs of the deities- Kadamb tree from the palm of Kamadev, Dhatura tree from the heart of Lord Shiva, Khair tree from the middle portion of Brahma's body, Kataiya tree from Vishwakarma's body.

Kundalata manifested from Parvati's palm, Sinduar tree from Ganesha's belly, Palaash tree and Gular tree from the right and left armpits of Yamaraj.

Similarly, Sarpat manifested from the body of Sheshnaag, black and white Durva grass from the tail and back of Vaasuki Naag, Harichandan tree manifested from the heart of a devotee.

MAHISHASURA'S ATROCITIES
During ancient times, there lived two demons- Rambh and Karambh who would torment people. As both were sonless, they decided to do severe penance by keeping their bodies submerged in Panchmad River with a desire of having sons. Indra becoming fearful, took the guise of a crocodile and killed Karambh while he was doing penance in the river.

Rambh became so dejected by his brother's death that he decided to give up his life by severing his head and offering it in the sacrificial fire. As he was about to turn his thoughts into reality, Agni appeared before him and prevented him from doing so and said- "Killing oneself is a grave sin. Don't give up your life. I am willing to fulfil any of your wish."

Rambh was pleased and requested Agni to bless him with a mighty and powerful son. Agni blessed him by saying- "You will beget a son from a woman of your own choice. But destiny had something else in store for him.

Once, Rambh had gone to see Yaksha King- Maalvat. He was impressed by Maalvat's prosperity and unlimited wealth. King Maalvat possessed lot of animal wealth like goats, lambs, oxen, elephant, horses, cows etc. Rambh saw a beautiful buffalo in the cowshed. He started caressing her body just to appreciate her beauty. The buffalo got aroused and forced Rambh to copulate with her and this resulted in the buffalo's pregnancy.

Rambh returned to Paatal loka accompanied by the buffalo. But the other demons came to know about this unusual incident and as a result, Rambh was excommunicated from the demons' tribe. Both of them decided to return to Yaksha King Maalvat's palace. In due course of time, the buffalo gave birth to a beautiful calf, which could change its appearance according to its wishes.

Once, seeing the buffalo alone, a bull tried to breach her modesty. The buffalo ran towards Rambh for her safety. Rambh attacked the bull with a sword and injured it. In retaliation, the bull also dashed its horns against Rambh's chest, which proved to be fatal. Seeing the dead Rambh, the buffalo became engulfed in sorrow. She had no other option but to take refuge of the Yakshas who protected her life. In the meantime, the seriously injured bull fell into a divine lake and died. Amazingly, its body transformed into a demon.

The Yakshas decided to cremate Rambh's body. The buffalo too decided to embrace death by jumping into the burning pyre. But as soon as the pyre was lit, a ferocious demon emerged from it with a sword. He drove away all the Yakshas and killed the buffalo but spared her calf. This ferocious demon later on became famous as Raktabeej. He had defeated all the deities including Indra, Rudra, Surya and Marut. But the calf, which became famous as Mahishasura was even mightier than Raktabeej. All the defeated demons had accepted him as their leader and he was crowned as their king. Mahishasura defeated all the deities and drove them out from heaven.

The defeated deities accompanied by Brahma went to Lord Vishnu and narrated their woes to him. Lord Shiva too was present there. Both of them became furious after hearing the atrocities committed by Mahishasura. Divine effulgence appeared from the mouth of all the angry deities. These effulgence got collected at a place resulting in the manifestation of Goddess Katyayani.

All the deities presented their weapons to her- Lord Shiva gave his trident, Lord Vishnu gave his chakra, Agni gave his Shakti etc. After acquiring all the weapons, Goddess Durga thundered loudly. The deities eulogised her after which she proceeded towards Vindhya Mountain mounted on her lion. Vindhya Mountain had been cursed by sage Agastya as a result of which, its enormous size turned into a hill. The tale behind this curse is as follows- In the ancient times, Vindhya Mountain was so high that it became very difficult for the Sun to make its movement. The Sun went to sage Agastya and requested him to minimise the size of Vindhya Mountain. Sage Agastya went near the Vindhya Mountain and said- "I am going on a pilgrimage but you are coming in my way. Since I am an old man, it is impossible for me to climb your steep slopes. I request you to reduce your size and remain in the same position till I return from my pilgrimage otherwise you will have to face my wrath."

Vindhya Mountain accepted his request and turned into a hill. Sage Agastya then proceeded on his pilgrimage towards south but did not return according to his promise. He constructed a magnificent hermitage and asked Lopamudra- the daughter of Vidarbha King to stay there and himself returned to his hermitage. Vindhya Mountain remained in that position waiting for sage Agastya's arrival. This way, sage Agastya solved the problem of the Sun.

Goddess Durga chose this very mountain to launch her assault. All the deities, Siddhas, Nagas, Apsaras etc. were present with her.

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