In the previous episode, we had witnessed a resurgence of a kind from the Raakshasas, after they had been cheated and fooled by the Devas during the distribution of the “Amrut”. As the conspiracy unfolded with Mohini occupying the center stage, the Raakshasas realize that they were trapped by a beautiful woman, so as to divert their attention totally from the “Amrut”. Angered by this, and also by the way that Indra regained all his lost wealth and position, a huge war erupts between the two rival camps. As Indra is now all powerful, more than ever before, he ensures that the Raakshasas are chased away to some unknown place, from where, they can never ever imagine to come back to where they were before! Annoyed by this, Diti, the mother of the Raakshasas runs to her husband, Kartama Prajapati and seeks solace and protection for her sons. As this unfolds, we had witnessed the emergence of a Raakshasa by name “Bali”. He is none other than Prahlaada’s grandson. It should be understood that Prahlaada’s son was Virochana and Virochana’s son was Bali. As Bali takes birth in this world, he accepts Sage Shukraachaarya as his “Guru” and with the divine grace of Sage Shukraachaarya, regains all the lost strength! With the newly found strength and power, Bali takes on Indra and Co. singlehandedly and defeats them quite easily. With this, Bali captures all the three “Lokhas” of the world, which was under Indra’s possession till date. Thus, with this, he earned the name “Maha-Bali”.
As Mahabali ensured revenge from the Raakshasas’ side, Aditi, the mother of Devas ran to her husband, Kartama Prajapati to seek solace for her Deva sons! We can witness here, what kind of a headache did Kartama Prajapati has endured every passing day! 🙂 Whenever the Devas were under suffering, Aditi would rush to him, seeking solace. As Kartama Prajapati would find a solution to bring the Devas to normalcy, Diti would run to him, seeking solace for her Raakshasa children’s suffering. This was going on as an endless cycle. It is thus now Aditi’s turn to cry for justice for her sons, Indra and Co. Aditi demands to her husband thus, “I should obtain a son from you, who should be able to defeat this Mahabali, reinstate all the wealth and kingdoms to my son Indra and make him the ruler of the world once again! You should be of help to me for this!” Accordingly, Kartama Prajapati suggests a “Vrata” (Steadfast Spiritual practice) called “Payo-Vrata”.
As Kartama Prajapati suggests this “Payo-Vrata”, he comes up with a huge list of “Do’s and don’t’s”! This is not going to be an easy affair for his wife! Kartama Prajapati explains thus: – This “Vrata” should be commenced during the month of “Panguni” (Normally during March-April of the English calendar that we use today). During this “Panguni” month, the Vrata should be commenced during the auspicious “Shuklapaksha” time period. This “Vrata” should be performed for a period of twelve days. This “Vrata” should be focused towards Bhagawan Vishnu. Moreover, before the “Vrata” is commenced, she should apply sand that was once present in the body of a porcupine, all over her body. Doing thus, Aditi has to fold her hands and pray towards Bhagawan Vishnu thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Please accept my prayers and austerities and wash out all my sins that I had accumulated all these days, months and years! Thus, please bless me with a son who can take on the Raakshasas, defeat them, insult them and chase them away!”
As Aditi is praying Bhagawan thus, she also has to have a small “Vigraha” of Bhagawan Vishnu, perform all the spiritual practices to the “Vigraha” and consume food only once a day. There are restrictions even for the food that she has to consume. That food should have been prepared from milk, and not with water. Normally, today at our homes, we prepare most of our food items with water. But for Aditi, this should not be the case. She has to prepare her food only with milk. Moreover, there should not be any trace of salt, tamarind or spice in the food that she is preparing. In other words, the food should almost be bland in nature. Apart from this, she should offer “Vastra” (clothing) to Bhagawan’s “Vigraha”, “Aabharna” (Ornaments), “Argyam”, “Paadhyam” (Divine water to wash Bhagawan’s hands and feet), and also water for Bhagawan to drink. Along with all these, she should also offer “Gandham” (Sandalwood), “Dhoopam” (Divine and sweet-smelling agarbathis), “Deepam” (Performing Aarati), etc.
The story doesn’t end here. Apart from all these, she has to give huge quantities of ghee, jaggery, etc. as a “Daanam” to all people around her. Along with this, she has to chant Bhagawan’s divine names 108 times every day, without a break. All these should be done continuously for a period of twelve days. Thus, according to Kartama-Prajapati, if Aditi performs these austerities to perfection, she would be able to obtain a son who would totally be capable of taking over the Raakshasas and restore Indra’s prime position. Buoyed by her husband’s instructions, Aditi was all excited to undertake this stern “Payo-Vrata” with all her will power. She commences the “Payo-Vrata” and is now at the verge of completing it successfully by following all the instructions as mentioned by Kartama-Prajapati.
What is going to be the result of this austere “Payo-Vrata”? Did Bhagawan respond to Aditi’s austere practices? What was Bhagawan’s response to Aditi? Did He incarnate? An interesting event is going to unfold in our next episode! Stay tuned! 😊