The young wife asked Shri Guru, “What is our future? How should I live hereafter ? Please favour me with a mantra.”
Shri Guru said, “A wife should serve her husband devotedly. She needs no other advice or mantra. If a mantra is given to a woman some calamity falls. This is evident from the tale of Kach-Devayani.
“In olden days the Gods and demons were often at war. Shukracharya, the Guru of the demons, would recite Mrityunjaya mantra and the dead demons would be made alive. Therefore it was rather difficult for the Gods to win the war. Indra, the king of the Gods went to Shri Shankar and told him this fact. Shri Shankar was very angry and he asked to call Shukra. Nandi, Shri Shiva’s bull, went to Shukra, who was in meditation at that time. Nandi therefore held him in his mouth and brought him to Shri Shankar. Shri Shankar at once devoured him. After some days, Shukra came out of the body of Shri Shankar through his urine. He again started reciting Mrityunjaya mantra and brought the demons to life.
Indra told Brihaspati, Guru of Gods, about amrit Sanjivani mantra of Shukracharya and said, “The guru of the demons makes them alive with the help of this mantra. You being the Guru of the Gods why should you not protect the Gods ?”
Brihaspati said, “if Sanjivani mantra is heard by six ears, it will lose its importance. So it would be better to send someone as a pupil to learn the mantra from Shukracharya, Let my son Kacha be sent to him. He will learn the mantra and return.”
Kacha took leave of the Gods and came to Shukracharya. He bowed to him and stood before him.
Shukracharya inquired who he was and why he had come to him. Kacha replied “I am a Brahmin-kumar. Hearing your fame, I have come to learn at your feet. Shukracharya’s only daughter Devayani was standing by her father. She liked the Brahmin youth and requested her father Shukracharya to accept him as his pupil. Shukracharya agreed and Kacha started staying with him.
The demons did not approve of this as they suspected that the Gods would learn the Sanjivani mantra from Shukracharya and then it would be impossible for them to win a victory over them. Therefore, when Kacha had been to the forest for bringing darbha (a kind of grass), the demons killed him.
In the evening, when Kacha did not return home, Devayani requested her father to bring him home soon. Shukra, by intuition knew that Kacha was dead so he reci¬ted Sanjivani mantra and brought him to life. Kacha then came home. Once again when Kacha had been to the forest, the de¬mons killed him and the pieces of his body were thown in all directions. Devayani again showed anxiety for Kacha. Shukra again recited Sanjivani mantra and brought him to life, as Deva¬yani was his only daughter and Shukracharya had great affection for her.
The demons now contrived to kill Kacha on Ekadashi fast day. They then mixed his flesh in wine and offered it to Shukra¬charya for drinking. For the third time when Kacha was missing, Devayani wept and requested him to bring him to life. Shukra¬charya realised that Kacha was not seen anywhere but he was in his belly. He told Davayani that Kacha was in his belly and if he is taken out, he himself would die.
Devayani said, “You are bringing to life all people and say¬ing that you would die. How is this? Kacha is my soul. If he does not come back, I will give up my life.”
Shukracharya: “Besides myself none else knows Sanjivani mantra. There is a condition that this mantra should not be divulged to anyone. If it is heard by six ears (three persons) it will loose its effect. This is a problem with me.”
Devayani said, “Teach me the mantra. I shall recite it and make you alive.”
Shukracharya: “The Shastras prohibit telling a mantra to a woman.”
Devayani who was greatly dejected said, “Then you may live with your mantra happily. I will give up my life.” Saying so she fell on the ground senseless. Shukracharya brought her to consciousness and gave her the Sanjivani mantra. While he was reciting the mantra, Kacha, who was in Shukra’s belly, also heard it. Shukra recited the mantra and Kacha came out of his body tearing his belly. Consequently Shukracharya fell dead. Then Devayani recited the mantra third time and Shukra became alive. Thus Kacha heard the mantra thrice and made it by heart.
Now Kacha folded his hands and said to Shukracharya, ‘I have studied at your house so far. The demons do not allow me to live here peacefully. Kindly therefore allow me to go home now.’
Devayani interrupted, “I have made you alive thrice. I love you, you should marry me “
Kacha : “Being the daughter of my guru, you are my sister. You made me alive from time to time and so you are like my mother. If I marry you people will blame me.”
Hearing this, Devayani felt sorry and at the same time she was enraged. She cursed him, “Your learning will be futile. You will forget all that you have learnt.”
Kacha said, “You have cursed me in vain. You will marry a person other than a Brahmin. Your father has taught you Sanjivani mantra against the rules of Shastras. Hence it will not work now.” Saying this Kacha went away. Seeing that Kacha had returned, Indra and other Gods were delighted,
Shri Guru said, “For a woman, service of her husband is the principal mantra. She should obey him and observe vrat, etc. with his consent only.”
( To be continued )