Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa | Kathaa-4
|4-Glory of Budh (Mercury)|
Budh Dev (Mercury)
After people appreciated Mangal's (Mars) Pandit's forceful description of Mangal, Budh's advocate stood up and started speaking. Everyone looked at him with curiosity as what he was going to say in appreciation of Budh Dev. He lifted his head in the honor of his master and started speaking - "Budh is even mightier than Mangal, because brain is more effectual than muscular strength. People count him as the Jewel of the nine planets because he has extraordinary powers. He is the most intelligent planet among all the planets and he relieves those who worship him. The most important thing that he causes no inauspicious event, but rather helps everyone to prosper.
His color is green like Doorvaa grass. He always speaks with distinct, pure and sweet words, but loves to use ambiguities, puns and words with double meanings. He is fond of jokes, fun and games, ever auspicious, and always clever. By caste he is a Vaishya, therefore has an aptitude for mathematics and business. He rules skin, the rational mind and the speech in the body. His metal is brass and his gem is Pannaa (emerald). He is fond of all tastes. He is Lord of the North direction, Budhvaar, (Wednesday) and of constellations Mithun (Gemini) and Kanyaa (Virgo).
Budh is the son of Chandramaa. You know that he wanes and waxes, now hear the story why he does that. Law of Karm is all-pervading. Nature's Wheel grinds slowly but it grinds thoroughly; and no living being is exempted from Karm, not even as exalted as Chandramaa.
When Chandramaa came of age, he conquered the three worlds and did many Yagya several times. Nine Devee worshipped him: Sineevaalee and Kuhoo - Devee of the two halves of the Amaavasyaa (New Moon day), Vapus (beautiful body), Pushti (nourishment), Prabhaa (luster), Vasu (the excellent), Keerti (fame), Dhriti (firmness) and Lakshmee (prosperity). Seeing his this kind of glory he became arrogant.
Chandramaa was the chief disciple of Dev Guru Brihaspati (Jupiter) and also favorite of Taaraa (Star - Brihaspati's wife) who was attracted to him for his character, nature and beauty. Once it so happened, that when Brihaspati was away for some work of Devtaa, Chandramaa and Taaraa came together and he took her away. Some say that they fell in love, while others believe that Taaraa requested him not to let her fertile moment go waste, yet others say that Chandramaa abducted her by force. When Brihaspati came, he did not find his wife gone from the house. As he came to know the whereabouts of his wife, he asked Chandramaa several times to send his wife back to him.
Of course, Chandramaa did not send her back to him and maintained that his wife Taaraa had come to him at her own will and when she would like to return, she would come back to him. Brihaspati got very angry at this and told this to his another disciple Indra. Indra also asked him to return Guru's wife, but Chandramaa was still firm on his words. This was a great insult to Indra so he broke the war with Chandramaa. Shukraachaarya (Venus) and Asur came to Chandramaa to fight with Devtaa because of the enmity of Shukra with Brihaspati. Other Devtaa, including Shiv fought from Indra's side - because Brihaspati was the son of Shiv's Guru Angiraa (one of the 10 Maanas Putra of Brahmaa Jee). 
This war continued for long time and Rishi feared that this might end the world, so Rishi Angiraa went to Brahmaa Jee to ask Chandramaa to return Taaraa to his son. At Brahmaa's order Chandramaa returned Taaraa to Brihaspati, but she was pregnant at that time. So Brihaspati got very angry at this and asked Taaraa to expel the fetus from her womb otherwise he could burn her but he would not do so because he himself wanted to have a child from her.
Taaraa then shyly ejected her fetus, which was a boy shining like gold. Seeing the beauty of the child both Chandramaa and Brihaspati started claimed their right on him. They asked Taaraa to declare his father's name. Taaraa first did not speak for some time, then the child shouted at her - "Why don't you speak the truth, why are you covering your mistake with false shyness?" Finally Brahmaa asked her in private and she told that the child was of Chandramaa's. Then Brahmaa Jee, seeing his intelligence and beauty, named him Budh. This incident annoyed his all 27 wives, and Daksh cursed him not to have any child from any of his 27 wives."
Hearing this King Vikram said smilingly - "It is interesting that all planets we call benefics, Chandramaa, Budh, Brihaspati and Shukra (Venus) showed their weaknesses in this episode. Chandramaa took his Guru's wife - a sin which can only be washed away by the most severe punishment; Shukra and Asur supported it; Shukra, the great statesman, then elected to reward Chandramaa's misconduct with military support simply because Brihaspati was his enemy. Brihaspati first asked Taaraa to expel the fetus considering it the child of Chandramaa but when he saw the beautiful and intelligent child he started claiming him as his own, so he lied. Even Budh was not right as he insulted his mother in front of others." All Pandits and other courtiers appreciate Vikram's insight in this incident.
Budh's Pandit said - "You are right, O King. We also do not approve Chandramaa's action, but Brihaspati should have evaluated his action more carefully, because when he had had his wife back, he also suffered when he impregnated his own brother's wife (read Utathya).
Now you listen to Budh's Vansh. Kashyap and Aditi had 12 Aaditya as their sons. One of them was Vivaswaan (Soorya or Sun). Vivaswaan married Sangyaa, Vishwakarmaa's daughter and had 6 children - three children Vaivaswat, Yam and Yamee from her and three children Shanaishchar, Saavarni and Tapatee from her shadow. Vaivaswat Manu organized a Yagya to have a son, but his first child was a girl - Ilaa, while Vaivaswat wanted a son. He asked his Priest Vashishth Jee the reason of this, he discovered that Vaivaswat's wife Shraddhaa (Faith) had wanted the girl first, that is why she induced the Priest to have the girl.
So Vaivaswat asked Vashishth Jee to please Naaraayan and to turn Ilaa into a boy. Vashishth Jee did this, and he became Sudyumn after he turned into a boy. Once, when he came of his age, went for hunting with his soldiers. Now there was a forest which was protected by Shiv Jee and Paarvatee Jee that whoever male would enter the forest, he would turn into a female. Unknowingly, Sudyumn and his soldiers entered that forest and found themselves turned into women immediately. They became very surprised at this, but couldn't do anything, so they kept wandering in the forest for long time. There she got named as Ilaa. Now when Sudyumn was in the form of a woman, Ilaa, and she was wandering around that she saw an Aashram. Budh was living there. Budh saw her and got attracted to her. They lived together for some time and Ilaa had a son named Pururavaa from Budh. Thus Pururavaa was the grandson of Chandramaa (because Budh was Chandramaa's son) as well Soorya Dev (because Vivaswaan was Soorya's son).
When Sudyumn didn't come back from his hunting, Vaivaswat sent his people in search for him and came to know that he had been converted into a woman. He requested Vashishth Jee again to convert him into a male. Vashishth Jee pleased Shiv Jee and got the boon that Ilaa would be male for one month and female for another month. He ruled the Earth for long time but scriptures say that his subjects could never reconciled with this arrangement (that their king was male for one month and female for another month). So after quite some time he handed over his kingdom to his eldest son Pururavaa and went to forest.
Once it so happened that Mitra and Varun saw Urvashee Apsaraa and spontaneously discharged their seed. One's seed fell in a pitcher (Kumbh) and another's fell on the ground. The seed that fell in a pitcher caused Rishi Agastya to be born (that is why he is called Kumbbhaj - means born from a Kumbh or pitcher), and the seed that fell on Earth caused Vashishth Jee to be born. But then Mitra and Varun gave Shaap to Urvashee to be born on Earth and wander among human beings. Once Naarad Jee saw Urvashee and mentioned about the King Pururavaa's beauty and qualities.
Hearing his qualities, Urvashee fell in love with him and appeared before him. Seeing her Pururavaa also got attracted to her and asked her to be his wife. Urvashee said - "I shall certainly be your wife, but I have three conditions." Pururavaa was so much lost in her that he said - "Whatever you wish." Urvashee said - "First, I have these two rams, you must protect them like treasure, they are like my children; second, I will eat only Ghee (clarified butter); and third, I must never see you naked except in the bed." Pururavaa agreed to all the conditions and Urvashee started living with him. He lived with her for many long years.
After Urvashee had left, the celestials felt a great absence of Urvashee in Swarg (Heaven), so Indra asked Gandharvas to bring her back. On one dark night Gandharvas stole away the two rams the King was asked to guard. Now Urvashee loved them like her own children so she used to keep them nearby her. As they stole them away, she started crying - "Somebody has stolen my rams and this King is still sleeping. I am lost. This King is useless who cannot even protect my two rams, how he will protect me? He acts like a man only in daylight."
Hearing this Pururavaa got hurt. Although he was not wearing clothes, still he ran to recover them with his sword in his hand. At this Gandharvas let go the rams and speedily lit the place with lightning. Urvashee saw the King naked in this light. Her two conditions were broken so she disappeared. When Pururavaa came back he did not find Urvashee in his palace. So he started wandering in the forest in search of her. He could not live without her. One day he saw her at Kurukshetra sitting beside Saraswatee River with her friends. Seeing Pururavaa coming her friends left.
Pururavaa asked him why did she leave him alone. Urvashee said - "I am very difficult to catch." Pururavaa said - "You remember how we enjoyed our life together. Whenever you wanted, day or night, you came to me and we enjoyed together. Have you forgotten that?" Urvashee said - "Yes, you ruled my body thrice a day and I always yielded to your desires. I am pregnant now. Mortals who lust after immortals can connect with them only when the immortals want them to connect, so I allowed you to connect with me in the past." Pururavaa said - "But now you please grant me my life." Urvashee replied - "I will, Whatever we have produced together, I will send him to you when the time comes, now you go back because you cannot get me." [Later Urvashee gave him a son named "Aayu" which, in Sanskrit, means "Life".]
Pururavaa pleaded her not to go leaving him like this and threatened her to kill himself if she didn't stay with him. Urvashee pitying said to him - "Do not to kill yourself. Now I am pregnant with your son, but at the end of each year you can spend a night with me and you will have another issue from me." and she disappeared. Pururavaa came back to his capital and started to wait to see Urvashee again. Next year when Pururavaa went to Kurukshetra gain, he found Urvashee holding a beautiful child in her arms. They united together that night. At the time of leaving him Urvashee said to him - "You may propitiate Gandharv, they will give me to you, then we may enjoy together in Heaven."
Pururavaa pleased Gandharv and they gave him a firepot to keep fire in it to perform rituals so that he could obtain Urvashee. He was so much engrossed in her thoughts that he took that firepot considering it as Urvashee and took it with him. Later he realized that it was only a firepot not Urvashee, so he left it in the forest and started meditating on Urvashee each night. It was the start of Tretaa Yug (Silver Age). At this time the three Ved dawned in his mind while meditating on Urvashee.
Later he thought that he had left the firepot which Gandharv gave to him, in the forest. So he returned to the place where he left that firepot. He found there an Ashwatth tree grown from the bottom of a Shamee tree. To get Urvashee again he took two sticks of the Ashwatth tree. Meditating on the lower stick as Urvashee, and on the upper stick as himself, and on in between as his expected son, he churned those sticks pronouncing appropriate Mantras. That sacrificial fire appeared in three forms - Aahvaaneeya, Gaarhapatya, and Dakshin. The King adopted this Fire as his son and he made sacrificial offerings into this Fire. So with the help of this Fire, who was now his son, he attained the world of Gandharv and Urvashee.
In the Sat Yug (Golden Age), there was only one Ved, and one syllable Aum (Pranav), one deity Naaraayan and one sacred Fire, and all human beings belonged to one community. It was only at the beginning of Tretaa Yug that one Ved became three, and one Fire became three.
One of the powerful descendents of Pururavaa was Vishwaamitra. When King Trishanku had a deep desire to go to Swarg with his mortal body, and his Guru Vashishth Jee refused to do such a ritual which could send him to Swarg with his mortal body and cursed him to be a Chaandaal (the lowest caste in Hindu religion); Trishanku then approached Vishwaamitra Jee who helped him to go to Swarg with his mortal body. When arrived in the Heaven, the celestials pushed him downward headlong, but by the force of Vishwaamitra's Mantras he did not fall on Earth, there he hangs to this day, upside down, shining like a star.
Another descendant of Pururavaa was Jahnu who married River Kaaveree. Jahnu once drank all the water of Gangaa River, then Rishis took her out. Since that day Gangaa became his daughter and was known as Jaahnavee. His other descendants include River Kaushikee; the Great Dhanvantari who promulgated Aayur Ved; Rishi Jamadagni and his son Parashuraam (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) etc.
What further proof of Budh's predominance among the planets is needed than this striking family tree? I offer my honorable resects to him who is exceptionally handsome and mild.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 06/09/11