16) Andhaka

While Shiva was gone, he left his companion Nandi to look after his household. He also gave Vishnu the overall responsibility of ensuring that all was well with Parvati and the gods and the sages.


Realising that Shiva was away, Andhaka thought that this was the opportune moment for abducting Parvati. He found that Nandi stood guard at the entrance to Shiva’s house and began to fight with Nandi. Nandi struck Andhaka on the chest with a trident.


This angered Andhaka and he created a thousand other demons who were just like him in appearance. This army of demons defeated Nandi and the gods. Nandi did not know what to do and started to pray to Vishnu. Vishnu created some goddesses from his body and these goddesses killed the demon soldiers. Andhaka also fled.


After twelve years had passed, Shiva returned and learnt what had transpired.


By then, Andhaka had recovered and he returned, determined in his bid to abduct Parvati. Both

Shiva and Vishnu started to fight with Andhaka’s army.


Vishnu told Shiva, “Kill this demon. No one but you can kill Andhaka. Please kill the demon and deliver the universe.”


Shiva pierced Andhaka’s chest with a trident. He held the trident aloft, with Andhaka transfixed to one of its prongs. And with his trident held aloft, Shiva began to dance.


But all the evil had deserted Andhaka’s body and mind as soon as he had been pierced by Shiva’s trident. He started to pray to Shiva. These prayers pleased Shiva.


He lowered the trident and told Andhaka, “I am pleased with your prayers. My companions are known as the ganas. Stay by my side and be a ganapati, that is, a lord over the ganas. You will be Nandi’s companion.”

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