What is Andhakasur story | How Andhakasur was killed
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Just before going to “What is Andhakasur story | How Andhakasur was killed“, let us have some brief information.
Andhakasura parents names are : Lord Shiva (father) and Goddess Sri Parvati Devi (mother). Hiranyaksha (or Hiranyanetra) is the foster father of this demon Andhakasura.
Lord Shiva was once sitting on Mount Mandara. Goddess Sri Parvati Devi came up from behind, so that Lord Shiva could not see her, and covered Lord Shiva’s eyes with her two hands. Lord Shiva could not see and everything seemed to be dark to him.
Goddess Sri Parvati Devi’s hands sweated from the exertion and the sweat fell down on the ground. From this sweat, a dark and fierce creature was born and started to roar.
“Goddess Sri Parvati Devi”, said Lord Shiva, “What are you up to? First, you cover up my eyes so that I can’t see. Next, you roar so as to frighten me”.
“Not I”, replied Goddess Sri Parvati Devi. “See for yourself. I wonder where this creature has come from”. Goddess Sri Parvati Devi removed her hands and Lord Shiva saw the being in front of them. It is our son, said Lord Shiva.
It was born from your sweat when you covered my eyes. Since it was born when my eyes were in darkness, let it be called Andhaka. Andhaka was born blind, as Lord Shiva was effectively blind when Andhaka was born.
[Note : In Sanskrit Andhaka = Andha + ka = Blind + Born = Since he was born blind, he came to be known as Andhaka.]
There was an asura (demon) named Hiranyanetra.
[Note : In Shiva Purana the name is Hiranyanetra, while in other Puranas, this same asura / demon is referred to as Hiranyaksha. This demon Hiranyaksha was the don of Maharishi Kasyyapa and Diti Devi. He was also the younger brother of the demon King Hiranyakashipu / Hiranyakashyap.]
Hiranyanetra had no sons. He therefore began to pray to Lord Shiva so that he might have a son. Lord Shiva told Hiranyanetra that it was impossible for him to have a son. However, if he so desired, he could have their son Andhaka and bring him up as his own son. Hiranyanetra gladly agreed to this.
Digressions on Hiranyanetra (Hiranyaksha) and Hiranyakashipu (Hiranyakashyap):
Hiranyanetra also called as Hiranyaksha was very strong and powerful. He conquered the three worlds and drove the Devatas (Demigods) out of Swaraga Loka (Heaven). He even took the earth down to the underworld.
In desperation, the Devatas (Demigods) prayed to the Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu for deliverance. Lord Sri Vishnu adopted the form of a boar (Lord Sri Varaha) and went down to the underworld in search of Hiranyanetra (Hiranyakashyap).
When the Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu found the asura (demon) Hiranyanetra, Lord Sri Vishnu in his avatar of Lord Sri Varaha (also called Lord Sri BhuVaraha) killed him with his Sudarshana Chakra (Disc). Lord Sri Varaha also killed several other asuras (demons) with his boar’s tusks.
Then, Lord Sri Varaha lifted up the earth with his tusks and replaced it where it should be. So far as Hiranyanetra’s kingdom was concerned, Lord Sri Vishnu crowned Andhaka king there. Hiranyanetra had a brother named Hiranyakashipu (Hiranyakashyap).
This demon Hiranyanetra (brother) prayed to Lord Sri Brahma Deva and obtained a boon that made him virtually impossible to kill. Armed with this boon, the demon Hiranyakashipu conquered the three worlds and drove the Devatas (Demigods) out of Swarga Loka (Heaven).
The Devatas (Demigods) again started to pray to Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu for deliverance. Lord Sri Vishnu adopted the form of a half-lion and half-man avatar called Lord Sri Narasimha and entered Hiranyakashipu’s capital city. Lord Sri Narasimha had a huge mane and sharp teeth and claws.
Lord Sri Narasimha killed several asuras (demons) and this news was brought to the demon King Hiranyakashipu. He decided to kill the half-lion avatar of Lord Sri Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu had several sons, one of whom was named Prahlada.
Prahalada alone thought that there was something fishy about the half-lion and about the way it had suddenly appeared. He thought that the lion might very well be Lord Sri Vishnu in disguise. Prahlada therefore tried to dissuade his father from fighting the lion.
Prahlada first asked some of his soldiers to capture the lion, but they were all killed. Hiranyakashipu then himself attacked the lion with all sorts of weapons. But all the weapons were exhausted and the demon could do the lion no harm.
Finally, the lion grasped Hiranyakashipu and tore the asura’s (demon) heart out with its claws. This was the Lord Sri Narasimha (half-man, half-lion) incarnation of Lord Sri Vishnu. Having killed Hiranyakashipu, Lord Sri Vishnu in his avatar of Lord Sri Narasimha crowned Prahlada as the king.
Andhaka Again : Andhaka had been crowned king in Hiranyanetra’s kingdom. Prahlada and Andhaka’s other cousins went to him and said, You are blind. What are you going to do with a kingdom? Give it to us. Our uncle made a mistake in accepting a blind son from Lord Shiva.
Andhaka was very hurt at these nasty words. He went away to the forest and started to perform tapasya (penance). He prayed to Lord Sri Brahma. For thosands of years he stood on one leg, with his arms raised high, and prayed.
No one since that day has been able to duplicate Andhaka’s wonderful feat of meditation. He did not eat or drink at all. He chopped off parts of his body and offered it to the sacrificial fire.
It came to such a pass that there was no more meat of blood left in his body. It had all been offered to the fire. Andhaka was just a skeleton now. It was then that Lord Sri Brahma Deva appeared before him and offered a boon.
Prahlada and my other cousins have taken over my kingdom, said Andhaka. Please grant me the boon that I may be able to see. Please also grant me the boon that I may not be killed by Devatas (Demigods), demons, or humans, or even by the great Lord Sri Vishnu himself.
Lord Sri Brahma Deva was in a fix. Earlier, many demons had asked for similar boons, but they had generally not mentioned Lord Sri Vishnu. So that , when the need arose, Lord Sri Vishnu had been able to kill them.
But here was an asura (demon) who is asking for the boon that even the Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu would not be able to kill him. This would make him virtually immortal.
Everything that you have asked for is possible, replied Lord Sri Brahma. But all beings have to die. Indicate the circumstances under which you will die and the boons will be granted.
Since I have to die, said Andhaka, Let it be under the following conditions. If I ever wish to marry a beautiful woman who is like a mother unto me, let that be the hour appointed for my death. This condition was better than nothing at all and Lord Sri Brahma granted Andhaka the boons.
Andhaka returned to his kingdom. When Prahala and the other cousins learnt that Andhaka had become so powerful because of the boons, they not only returned to him his kingdom, but theirs as well. Remember that Andhaka could see now.
The first thing that Andhaka did was to invade Swarga Loka (Heaven). He defeated the mighty Lord Sri Indra and the other Devatas ( Demigods) and made they pay taxes to the demons. Next Andhaka defeated the snakes (Nagas), the Gandharvas, the Rakshasas, the Yakshas (companions of Lord Sri Kubera) and the humans.
Thus Andhaka began to rule over all the three worlds. For many years Andhaka ruled in this fashion. The religion of the Vedas suffered during this period, since Andhaka paid no attention to it.
Once Andhaka went to a visit to the Mount Mandara. The place was so beautiful that he made up his mind to live there. Three of Andhaka’s generals were named Duryodhana, Vighasa and Hasti. These three were exploring the environment of Mount Mandara when they came upon a cave. An ascetic was meditating inside the cave.
This ascetic was dressed in the skin of a tiger, wore a garland of skulls, his hair was matted and he wore a crescent moon on his forehead. There was a beautiful woman near the ascetic.
This beautiful woman was more beautiful than any other woman in the three worlds. The three generals concluded that this was the right wife for Andhaka. When the generals came back to Andhaka and reported on what they had seen, the asura (demon) king said:
“What are you waiting for? Go to the ascetic and ask him for the woman.” Duryodhana, Vighasa and Hasti went back to the ascetic. You are only an ascetic, they said. You don’t deserve such a pretty wife.
Our master is the Lord of everything and he is immensely rich. He is also handsome because of a boon received from Lord Sri Brahma. Give us this woman so that our master Andhaka may marry her.
Ask your master to come and take the woman himself, replied Lord Shiva, for the ascetic, as you have already guessed, was none other than Lord Shiva. And the beautiful woman was Goddess Sri Parvati Devi.
As soon as Andhaka heard this, Andhaka grasped his sword and came to fight with Lord Shiva. The door to the cave was guarded by Nandi, and Andhaka first had to fight with him. Nandi easily defeated the asura (demon) and also defeated the asura soldiers who had accompanied their king.
But, Andhaka returned and again a fight raged with Nandi for five hundred years. Lord Sri Brahma, Lord Sri Vishnu, Lord Sri Indra and the other Devatas (Demigods) also came to help in the fight with the demons.
The general Vighasa was a very strong warrior. He opened his mouth wide and swallowed up all the Devatas (Demigods). So far, Lord Shiva himself had not played any part in the fighting. But hearing what Vighasa had done, Lord Shiva ascended his bull and came out to fight.
Lord Shiva killed Vighasa and rescued the Devatas (Demigods) from the asura’s (demon) stomach. The asuras had a preceptor named Shukracharya who knew the art of bringing back dead beings to life. So Shukracharya moved around the battlefield, bringing back to life any demons that were killed.
This was not helping the cause of the Devatas (Demigods) at all. Lord Shiva’s companions (Gangas) captured Shukracharya and brought him to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva promptly swallowed up Shukracharya.
Soon all the demons were taken care of, with the exception of Andhaka. He continued to fight. Lord Sri Vishnu’s mace could do him no harm and he laughed at Lord Sri Indra’s arrows. Some of the arrows did pierce the asura’s body.
But whenever drops of blood from Andhaka’s body onto the ground, asuras (demons) who were exactly like him in appearance were created from this blood. As a result, the battlefield was soon populated with thousands and thousands of Andhakas.
Lord Shiva created a Goddess known as ‘Devi’ from his own body. ‘Devi’ was appointed the task of drinking up the blood of the asuras before it could spill onto the ground. Thus aided by ‘Devi’, Lord Shiva started to tackle the demons and soon there was only the original Andhaka left.
Lord Shiva flung a trident at Andhaka. The trident struck Andhaka on the chest and the asura (demon) king fell down dead. When the war was over, Shukracharya prayed to Lord Shiva and was released from Lord Shiva’s stomach. (The above story is according to Shiva Purana).
PS: It should always be noted that Bhagavan Lord Sri Vishnu is the ultimate and he has all the mighty powers to kill or defeat anybody in the unlimited universes.
But, Bhagavan Lord Sri Vishnu is called “Kalunaadhisha”. Thus he has to give respect to Lord Sri Brahma Deva’s words and for this reason the Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu didn’t killed or defeated Andhaka or Andhakasura.
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