Tarka was hell bent upon defeating the gods. But he realize that, prior to waging war on the gods, he would have to become powerful. Such powers could not be attained through tapasya. Taraka went to the Pariparta mountains and selected a cave there for his meditation. For some days Taraka ate nothing, for some more days he survived only on water, and on other days he ate only leaves, Every day he sliced off some flesh from his body and offered it to the fire as a token of his devotion. All this hardship pleased Brahma and he appeared before Taraka. ―Enough is enough,‖ said Brahma. ―I am pleased at your devotion. What boon can I grant you?‖ ―I want to fight with the gods,‖ replied Taraka. ―The gods have been giving the demons a hard time and I intended to reverse the tide. Please grant me the boon that I may be invincible and immortal.‖

―Immortality is not a boon that can be granted to any living being.‖ Said Brahma. ―All living beings must die. But if you want, set fairly difficult conditions for your death.‖  ―In that case, please grant me the boon that I can only be killed by a seven year old child,‖ requested Taraka. Brahma gladly granted this boon.


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