Episode # 467 – Why does Sage Agasthya reside amidst the “PODHIGAI” mountains? Sage Narada explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Naarada talking to Yudishtra about Sage Agasthya, who is also solely responsible for developing and propagating the famed Tamil language. In today’s scenario, some people “proclaim” widely about themselves that they are the “true” propagators of the Tamil language, but this is absolutely absurd. It is Sage Agasthya who has taken all the efforts to develop the Tamil language, and subsequently, the “Alwars”, “Nayanmars”, many “Aachaaryas” have taken it upon themselves to propagate the poetic and sweet Tamil language all over the world. We’ve also witnessed a brief background about Sage Agasthya and how he was responsible for destroying the “Kaala-Keyas”. Sage Agasathya started “drinking” the entire ocean waters and this exposed the hiding point of the “Kaala-Keya” Raakshasas. With this, Indra was easily able to destroy them. Explaining this, Sage Naarada advises Yudishtra and Co. to pay a visit to Sage Agasthya’s place amidst the “Podhigai” mountains (Today’s southern section of the Western Ghats in South India) and obtain his divine “Anugraha”. 

Moreover, Sage Naarada explains to Yudishtra as to why Sage Agasthya resides in the Podhigai Mountains in the south. Once upon a time, there was a big fight between the “Meru” mountain and the “Vindhya” mountain. It is a usual practice for Surya Bhagawan (Sun) and Chandra Bhagawan (Moon) to revolve around the “Meru” Mountain every passing day. However, the “Vindya” mountain was jealous about this. It was thinking within itself thus, “Oh wow! This “Meru” mountain is getting this opportunity every passing day that both the sun and the moon are constantly revolving around him! However, I’m not getting that opportunity! Hence, let me go to Surya Bhagawan and Chandra Bhagawan and request them to give me this opportunity as well!” Thinking thus, the “Vindhya” mountain went to both of them and proposed its request to revolve around it as well, along with the “Meru” mountain. However, Surya Bhagwan and Chandra Bhagawan weren’t really convinced and interested with the proposal given by the “Vindhya” mountain. Both of them replied thus, “Oh Vindhya! Whatever you’re proposing is not realistic in nature! Meru’s significance is unique, which you do not possess. Hence, we cannot revolve around you every day. You cannot compare yourself with Meru for all these. Hence, stop being jealous of Meru and mind your own business!” 

As both of them gave a straightforward reply thus, the “Vindhya” mountain became extremely angry! Thus, it decided to teach both Chandra and Surya a lesson. It decided to grow in height and stand up tall! With this intention, the “Vindhya” mountain started growing taller! The height was increasing to dangerous levels and this served as a complete blockade for people to go from the south of India to the north! Even today, we can see the “Vindhya” mountains standing tall, which is like a “divider” between the north and south of India. Upon seeing this, all the Devas, including Chandra Bhagawan and Surya Bhagawan started getting nervous. They did not know how to reduce the anger of the “Vindhya” mountain. Hence, all of them once again ran to meet Sage Agasthya for help. 

As Sage Agasthya understood the gravity of the situation, he took it upon himself to find a solution for this problem. With this, Sage Agasthya decided to take up a “Teertha Yatra” from the Himalayan mountains, all the way to the southern tip of India. En-route his journey, he came across the tall “Vindhya” mountains. As the “Vindhya” mountain spots Sage Agasthya coming towards it, it wanted to bow down in respect, fearing that Sage Agasthya might end up cursing it. With the “Vindhya” mountain bowing in front of Sage Agasthya, its height came down! Acknowledging “Vindhya” mountain’s respect, Sage Agasthya replies thus, “Oh Vindhya! I’m deeply happy with the amount of respect you have for me! If you’re bowing down like this, you look very beautiful, rather than standing tall! If you’re standing up to your full height, I somehow find it quite odd! I feel that it’s better for you to keep bowing down everytime, so that your humility is proven to the world!” Upon hearing this from Sage Agasthya, the “Vindhya” mountain replies thus, “Oh Sage Agasthya! Thank you for your compliment! However, it is not possible for me to bow down everytime, as I’m in a war with “Meru”! He is getting an opportunity in life which I’m not getting. I’m determined to teach him a lesson and I’m going to prove my worth!” 

Upon hearing this, Sage Agasthya laughs out loud and replies thus, “Oh Vindhya! I understand your rift with Meru. There is no point in fighting with him, as I truly acknowledge that both of you have your own significance. It is not wise to make such comparisons! However, please do one thing – I’m on my way to the southern tip of India. Hence, to give me some way, just keep bowing down for some time and stay like that until I come back. Once I cross over back to North India, you can once again regain your original tall form!” As the “Vindhya” mountain hears this from Sage Agasthya, it had no other option but to obey his words. On one hand, it was scared if Sage Agasthya would end up cursing it, if it doesn’t obey his words, and on the other hand, it would be a great sin if it disobeys a Sage’s words! Hence, it decides to bow down until Sage Agasthya comes back. 

As the “Vindhya” mountain bows down, Sage Agasthya makes his way to the southern part of India, but with this, he never comes back! He settles amidst the mountain ranges of the “Podhigai” mountains! Thus, it is believed that even until today the “Vindhya” mountain is bowing in respect towards Sage Agasthya and waiting for his return, and Sage Agasthya is also believed to be residing somewhere amidst the “Podhigai” mountains! Narrating thus, Sage Naarada explains why Sage Agasthya is residing amidst the “Podhigai” mountains as he wants him to meet Sage Agasthya to seek his divine “Anugraha”. Hence, for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion forward! 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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