Episode # 466 – SAGE AGASTHYA – Founder & propagator of the Tamil Language!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Naarada explaining to Yudishtra about the significance of Sage Vishwamitra and how he obtained enormous “Tapo-Bhalam” in the process of seeking “revenge” against Sage Vasishtachaarya. All these narratives that are being given by Sage Naarada is in direct reference to the conversation between Sage Pulasthya and Bhishmachaarya, which readers should always remember in mind. Sage Naarada is not giving a direct answer to Yudishtra’s question on “Teertha-Yatras”, but is referring to this important conversation on the banks of River Ganga to make him understand the significance of going on “Teertha-Yatras”. We’ve witnessed this a few episodes back and readers should recollect this as we move forward. 

Moving on further, Sage Naarada talks about various other sages as well, which I’m not explaining in detail here. We shall witness these detailed descriptions at a later context. However, what is important here is the next description about River Ganga and her origin. Of course, we’ve witnessed this as a part of our Ramayana project, wherein Sage Vishwamitra himself is explaining the origin of River Ganga to Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana as they were enroute Mithilapuri for the auspicious “Sita-Kalyaanam” event. When Sage Vishwamitra explained to Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana, who were children at that time, he had narrated only one part of it – Wherein King Sagara’s 60,000 children had to be brought back to life. We’ve seen how King Sagara, King Amsuman, King Dileepa and King Bhageeratha made enormous efforts to bring down River Ganga to this earth. However, it was only with King Bhageeratha’s intense “Tapas”, River Ganga accepted to flow into the world! This is where the river originates at a place called “Tripaghata” (The Gangothri Glacier is situated in this place). This means that River Ganga branches out into three directions from Bhagawan Shiva’s head (Bhagawan Jataadhara / Bhagawan Gangaadhara). The third direction is towards the Manushya Lokha, wherein the River originates from the Gangothri glacier. Subsequently, as King Bhageeratha rides his chariot, as per the instruction of Mother Ganga, the river follows him swiftly until he reaches the shore of the Bay of Bengal, which we’ve seen in our earlier episodes as “Ganga-Dvaar”. On the route, since the river passes through the “Dvaaras” (Holes) of Jambu Maharishi, the river is referred to as “Jaanhavi”. Also, the river has other names as well, such as Bhaageerathi, Alakananda, Ganga, etc. Thus, this is the significance of River Ganga and is considered even today as one of India’s most sacred rivers! 

Moving on further, in continuation to this entire storyline, Sage Naarada also talks about the significance of Sage Agasthya and his “Ashram” situated somewhere in this place itself. We shall now witness in brief, why did Sage Agasthya come here and what did he do here. There were a few Raakshasas by name “Kaala-Keyas”. We’ve earlier witnessed that Indra (Leader of the Devas) had killed the dangerous Vridhraasura with the help of a weapon called “Vajra-Ayutha”. Because of this, Indra was caught into the “Brahma-Hati Dosham”. Bhagawan Rama too was caught into this same “Brahma-Hati Dosha” for killing Ravana, because all these people were great devotees of Bhagawan Shiva. Hence, in this context, Indra was waiting amidst the petals of a lotus flower, to free himself from this. In the meanwhile, Vridhraasura’s disciples – The Kaala-Keyas were angry that their leader had been killed! Hence, they decided to launch an assault on all the Brahmins who were residing in this world. They started chasing and killing all the Brahmana Rishis and Pandits all over the world. Wherever Yaagas and other spiritual offerings were taking place, these Kaala-Keyas went there and destroyed everything. Ad they were going on this destruction spree, the Kaala-Keyas also had obtained a boon – They can go and hide inside the ocean waters after this spree, so that nobody can destroy them! 

Fearing this, all the Devas ran to Bhagawan Vishnu for a solution to this problem. They explained how the Kaala-Keyas were wreaking havoc in the world and preventing any spiritual offering that was being made. In turn, Bhagawan Vishnu advised the Devas to go to Sage Agasthya for a solution. As per Bhagawan Vishnu’s direction, the Devas went and met Sage Agasthya, who was a very short and a stout person by nature. Sage Agasthya has another name called “Kumba-Sambhava” and he is considered to be the person who propagated the Tamil language all over the world. Even today we refer to the “Sanga-Kaala-Tamil” language, isn’t it? This old language called Tamil was found and propagated by none other than Sage Agasthya, who resided amidst the “Podhigai” mountains (Today’s southern section of the Western Ghats). Thus, the Devas go in search of this Sage Agasthya for a solution to the “Kaala-Keyas” problem. As Sage Agasthya understood the problem, he started drinking all the ocean waters and storing them into his body! With this, the Kaala Keyas were exposed, and Indra took this opportunity to attack them and finish them off! 

Hence, such is the significance of Sage Agasthya and Sage Naarada invokes him in his lengthy accord. Thus, he instructs Yudishtra and Co. to seek the divine “Anugraha” of Sage Agasthya and for today, we shall understand up to this point. We shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode as well, to witness some more details of Sage Agasthya! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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