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. After narrating the story, Bruhaspati said, ―Indra! Now you think of your sins‖. Indra once again prostrated to the sage and requested. ―Sir! I am unable to realise my sins. Kindly give me details‖.

Bruhaspati replied ―In the distant past, ‗Diti‘, the second wife of Kashyapa gave birth to a son by name Danu and a daughter named Rupavati. Danu is the predecessor of the race of Danavas (demons). Rupavati was married to Brahma (the Creator). Her son was Vishwarupa. He did severe penance. He had many divine aspects. However he was a nephew of the demons. He was affectionate towards both the races – the celestials and the demons. After a while, Indra chose Vishwarupa as his Guru (at that time, Bruhaspati was not the Guru of the celestials). Indra expected that Vishwarupa would be partial towards the celestials and that he would destroy the demons. However Vishwarupa was friendly towards all. Observing this, Indra suspected that being a friend of the demons, Vishwarupa was harming the celestials. One day, Indra suddenly went to Vishwarupa and cut off all his three heads. By doing so, Indra was afflicted by the sin of Brahmahatya (killing Brahmana). Not only that. Aggrieved by the death of His son, Brahma (the Creator) cursed Indra. Terrified by these two (Brahmahatya and curse of Brahma), Indra accompanied by all the celestials, sought refuge at the feet of Vishnu, who contemplated deeply and allocated the effect of Indra‘s sins to the earth, the trees and the women. As compensation, Vishnu gave the power that the pits of earth could be filled up, the power that even the trees once cut off could revive and the power of women to beget children. Thus Indra was relieved of the effect of the sin of Brahmahatya (killing a Brahmin). However, the curse of Brahma (the Creator) still persisted. Vishnu called for Brahma and requested Him on behalf of Indra for relief from the curse. Brahma thought over the same and said, ―OK. For the present my curse won‘t take effect‖. Vishnu said nothing. Again Indra became prosperous. However, very soon his pride increased. This time, Indra was affected by the anger of Shiva and so he was cursed by the sage Durvasa‖.

Listening to all this, Indra recollected the past events and sadly asked Bruhaspati ―Master! What have I to do now‖?

When the guru was about to reply, a demon named Malaka invaded the Heaven with a huge army and seized the kingdom. Indra had to escape in a great hurry. He went straight to Brahma and prayed to Him for mercy, who also pitied Indra. However even the Creator could not decide what to do and approached Vishnu along with Indra and the celestials.

Vishnu thought of the problem deeply and advised them, ―You churn the ocean to get the Goddess of prosperity‖.

For this purpose, Indra made reconciliation with the demons and taking their help, he and the celestials churned the ocean. During the churning, very valuable things emanated from the ocean. At last, Dhanvantari (the God of Healing) came out holding the pot of Amruta (nectar). Looking at him, the demons grabbed the pot and started running away with it. A bitter battle started between the celestials and the demons. There was utter confusion. Even Brahma and Shiva escaped and reached their abodes. Observing all this, Vishnu went to a secluded spot and started meditation of Sri Lalita Devi, who dwells within Him as the aspect of power. Due to this meditation he manifested as a form of Lalita Devi. Taking this incarnation as an embodiment of eroticism, Vishnu approached the celestials and demons. The celestials could realise the form as divine and auspicious.

However, due to their predominating trait of Tamas (ignorance), the demons were enchanted by the beauty of the form and stopped fighting. She mesmerised them and took the pot of Amruta (nectar) from them, taking their consent to her to serve the nectar to all. She asked the celestials and the demons to sit in separate rows. She started to give the nectar to the celestials only first. Allured by her, the demons sat still stupefied. By the time the nectar was given to the celestials, the stock exhausted. She disappeared suddenly. The demons again started to fight with the celestials. However as the celestials have already drunk the nectar by then, the demons were defeated.

Thus, the Divine Mother who manifested and enchanted the demons was called MOHINI (the divine enchantress). Shiva, staying in Kailasha came to know of these events and wanted to note the specialty of the new form of Vishnu. Along with his consort Parvati, Shiva went to Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu and pressed Him tos how the form of Mohini. Vishnu suddenly disappeared without saying yes or no. While Shiva was searching for Vishnu, he happened to reach a new place where he continued to search. There he heard the music of Veena. He saw a beautiful young lady. Unable to resist this infatuation, Shiva embraced her. At once a son was born. He was named SASTA (one who rules). He became a commander in Shiva‘s army. At once the lady disappeared. Shiva realised that she was none else than Mohini, a form of Vishnu. He applauded her beauty and returned to Kailasha along with Parvati. Thus the Divine Mother incarnated as Mohini and granted success of the activities of the celestials.

Agastya heard the story and said, ―Hayagreeva! Kindly let me know in detail which form of Para Shakti (The Divine Mother, the Supreme Power) will bestow both food and salvation to the devotees in the Kali Yuga‖.

Hayagreeva replied, ―Lalita Devi isthe only Goddess who has the power to do so. Listen to her story‖.In the distant past, Sati Devi, a daughter of Daksha was married to Shiva. However gradually, Daksha developed hatred towards Shiva. Due to this ill will, Daksha intended to perform a Yaga (fire sacrifice) without making any offering to Shiva. He didn‘t invite even his daughter Sati Devi to the Yaga. She came to know of the forth-coming great Yaga to be done by her father. She didn‘t know other details. However, overjoyed by the news of the ritual her father was going to perform, he went to the Yaga, in spite of Shiva‘s disapproval of her visit. Sati Deha Tyaga (Self-immolation of Sati) Ignoring the natural affection to his daughter, Daksha insulted her and repeatedly abused Shiva. Unable to bear the insult to Shiva, Sati Devi burnt her body in the fire created by her power of yoga. Knowing about this calamity, Shiva became furious. Creating the terrific Veerabhadra out of the locks of hair of His head, Shiva sent him to attack Daksha.

Veerabhadra destroyed the hall of Yaga, swallowed even the Chakra (the circular weapon of Vishnu) and beheaded Daksha. The wives of Daksh aprayed to Veerabhadra who was pacified and revived Daksha back to life by joining he head of a goat to the trunk. Daksha repented and prayed to Shiva for pardon. Sati Devi was born as the daughter of Himavanta (Himalaya Mountain) and Menaka, as the couple did penance for 150 million years with the intention to beget her as their child. The newborn was named Parvati (daughter of Parvata-mountain) and brought Her up with love and affection.

One day, the sage Narada visited Himavanta and said, ―You are very fortunate. The Divine Mother is born as your daughter; Shiva is doing penance in your mountain range inhis  ―Sthanu Ashrama‖ (abode of stones). After the departure of Sati Devi, He has become an ascetic. It will benefit you considerably if you send your daughter o serve Him‖. Himavanta‘s joy knew no bounds on hearing Narada‘s words. He went to the abode of Shiva along with his daughter. After taking Nandi‘s (the Ox which is the vehicle of Shiva) permission, he approached Shiva, worshipped Him and prayed to Him to allow Parvati to serve him. Shiva said, ―OK. She may do so‖. Then onwards, Parvati used to render services to Shiva for hours together. However, Shiva used to be in a state of ecstasy of yoga continuously. Kama Dahana (Burning of Cupid)

This being so, a demon by name Taraka invaded and occupied the Heaven along with his army and started to hurt and pester the celestials. All of them approached Brahma for relief, who said, ―The son born to Shiva and Parvati only can kill the demon. Hence you make such efforts that the marriage will be performed‖. Indra, the Lord of the celestials called for Manmatha (Cupid – the God of love). He praised Cupid and asked him to see that Shiva‘s ascetic attitude was lessened and that He would start to love Parvati.

Manmatha was exuberated by praises and agreed to do as directed. Rati devi, the spouse of Manmatha came to know of this new assignment and tried her best to dissuade cupid from embarking on the hazardous venture. In spite of it, Cupid proceeded to Shiva‘s abode ―Sthanu Ashrama‖. There he suddenly created the alluring atmosphere of the spring season. The ramathaganas (the armies of Shiva) were very much disturbed in their minds with the erotic feelings. Observing this, Nandi (Ox-the vehicle of Shiva) disciplined them. In the meantime, Cupid entered the abode of Shiva stealthily and saw Shiva seated in the state of ecstasy of meditation. The very sight of Shiva in the posture suddenly unnerved Cupid.

At the same moment, Parvati came there. Looking at Her, Cupid recovered his courage. While Parvati was getting up after bending low to prostrate to Shiva, Her uppergarment slipped a bit. Exactly at that moment, Manmatha aimed an arrow (of lust) on Shiva, whose mind was affected a bit. Observing this, Parvati feet a gush of joy inwardly. However Shiva analysed His feeling immediately and looked around to know why it happened so. Shiva saw Cupid hiding behind the bushes. At once, Shiva‘s third eye (in between the eyebrows) opened and the fire rushing there from reduced Cupid to ashes. Parvati closed her eyes out of fear. By the time She opened Her eyes in a moment, Shiva disappeared with all His attendants. Himavanta came there, consoled Her and took Her home. Rati devi wept bitterly due to the death of her husband Manmatha. Vasanta, the god of spring approached Rati devi, consoled her and reminded her of the curse of Brahma to Manmatha. Curse of Brahma to Manmatha.

Once upon a time, there were two demons by name Sunda and Upasunda,who were brothers. They did penance meditating on Brahma and obtained a strange boon that their death could not be caused by anyone else except by themselves only. They were very much fond of one another. Hence they expected that no mutual harm would be possible. Thereafter they created havoc by their terrific acts in the three worlds. All the celestials prayed to Brahma who thought of a strategy to destroy the demons. He accumulated the essence of beauty of all the fine things in the world and created a woman of exquisite beauty. As she was created with a gingelly aspect of beauty in everything, she was called Tilottama (Tila-gingelly; Uttama-Best) Her beauty enchanted even the celestials. Brahma checked up keenly whether her beauty was superb in all aspects. Manmatha, who happened to be there at that time, wanted to play a practical joke. Hence he aimed an arrow (of lust) at Brahma. Due to this, Brahma forgetting that she was His daughter chased her lustily. As a last resort, Tilottama started running taking the form of a deer. Brahma also followed her in the form of a deer. The celestials were highly agitated by this untoward event. Observing this impending danger, Shiva manifested as a hunter and holding a bow and arrows came near Brahma who was in the form of a deer. Looking at the fierce form of Shiva, Brahma came to senses. He prostrated to His feet and prayed for pardon. By then, the celestials and Tilottama arrived there. Everyone was pacified. After taking Shiva‘s permission, the celestials sent Tilottamato meet Sunda and Upasunda looking at Tilottama going about in a garden, both Sunda and Upasunda competed to enjoy with her and at last the demons killed one another. Tilottama returned to Brahma, who felt happy and sent her to the Heaven with a permanent status as one of the Apsaras(celestial dancers).

After the entire affair was over, Brahma recollected what all had happened and sent for Manmatha and said ―You fellow! Blinded by the power bestowed to you, how dare you aim your arrows (of lust) at one and all, disregarding their age? Do you intend to destroy the code of righteousness? I am saved of grievous sin due to the timely arrival and protection of Shiva. Hence, one day you will be burnt to ashes by the fire of Shiva‘s third eye. Beware!

‖Hearing the curse, Rati and Manmatha were frightened and prayed to Brahma for relief of the curse. Brahma regained His composure and said, ―The Divine Mother will manifest as Lalita devi. She will marry Shiva. After the marriage, She will revive Manmatha to life‖

After narrating the story, Vasanta (the god of spring season) consoled Rati devi, saying, ―Sister-in-law! It is a must for everyone, however great he is, to undergo the suffering of a curse. However as predicted by Brahma, my brother Manmatha will be revived to life soon. Until then, be bold and continue to pray to Lalita devi. Rati devi left the place and followed the advice.