Some Other Incidents of Agastya's Life
There are many incidents
documented of Muni Agastya's life, some are to do good to others and some
are curses. Both types of incidents are given here.
Agastya Muni Ate Vaataapi Raakshas
(Continued from Previous Page) So all of
them came to Ilval and Vaataapi
to take the jewels from them. After he arrived there, he came to know
that they used to eat Braahman. They used to invite Rishi Muni for food
in the name of Shraaddh and then ate them. Both brothers had the powers
to change their forms at their will. Ilval used to cook food and Vaataapi
used to enter Rishi Muni's stomach with food. After feeding them Ilaval
used to call him - "Vaataapi, come out now." And Vaataapi used
to come out tearing their stomach thus killing them.
So when they saw Agastya Jee coming to them, they got very happy and they
played this game with him also. Seeing them the kings got scared, but Agastya
Jee consoled them that they need not to be afraid as he himself will digest
the Asur. He decided to end this affair once for all and bring peace among
Rishi Muni. They welcomed Muni and said - "We will give you many jewels
but first you accept our hospitality. Agastya Jee got ready for this. Ilval
offered him the food and he ate it all, and as he finished his food, he digested
him touching his stomach and saying, "Oh, Today I ate very tasty food,
let it be digested very well." As usual when Ilval called him to come out,
his brother did not come out rather a loud sound came out of Muni's stomach.
Agastya Muni said smilingly - "Now he will never come out. I have eaten
him and digested him." Ilval got very sad hearing this. He ran away from
there. Muni took all their riches, including a gold chariot and two horses and
came back to his Aashram. Kings went back to their respective homes and he did
all that to his wife what she wanted.
She delivered a highly learned son Dridhasyu after 7 years. As he was born
he started reciting Ved and Upanishad. As a child he used to carry load of
Samidhaa so he came to be known as Idmavaha (means carrier of Samidhaa).
Muni was very happy to see his son.
After this incident Agastya Muni prohibited Braahman to eat meat.
Agastya Muni Shattered the Pride of Vindhyaachal Parvat
This story is his most popular one. It appears in
MBH, G-4-Van/18. Meru Parvat is the highest peak in the world. By its
nature it grows day by day and stands the highest. Jealous to this,
Vindhyaachal Parvat also started rising up to exceed the height of Meru
Parvat, thus obstructing the path of the Sun. Day changed to night and the
Sun and Moon's movements became irregular and the Vaidik rituals which were
tied to their movements also became irregular. Then Devtaa prayed Agastya
Muni to do something for this.
Agastya Muni came towards Vindhyaachal Parvat along with his wife and seeing
his height said to him - "O King of Parvat Vindhyaachal, We are going
towards South, we cannot climb such a height, kindly lower yourself so that
we old people can go to the other side." Vindhyaachal was a great worshipper
of saints and Rishi, so he immediately lowered his height up to the ground
level so that the old couple did not need to climb at all, they just walked.
Agastya Muni told him to lie in the same position because he would soon be
returning to North side too. Vindhyaachal readily agreed for this. He is lying
like that even today, because Agastya Muni never returned to North. Since then
everything got in order. So Aga+stya means subdued mountain. He played an important
role in uplifting of southern region and Dravidian cultures.
Agastya Muni Stabilizes the Earth
When Shiv Paarvatee were getting married, all Devtaa, Gandharv, Yaksh
etc came to Kailaash Parvat to witness their wedding. Muni Agastya was
also there. As all gathered there the Earth started swinging. The mountain
began sinking and oceans were in a turmoil. All Devtaa etc started
trembling with fear. Shiv Jee understood, he said - "Because you
have all gathered at one place that is why whole weight has centered
in North, if somebody can go to South, then this Earth will be balanced."
Now who would go to South, everybody came there to see Shiv's marriage.
Shiv Jee said - "Only Agastya Jee can go there and make it all right."
Hearing this Agastya Jee got very sad, because he also wanted to see
Shiv's marriage. Shiv understood, he said - "You want to see our
marriage, but duty is first, so you go to South and make this Earth
stabilized. Whenever you would want to see us, just remember us and
we will appear before you." Hearing this Agastya Muni went to
South and the Earth got stabilized by the power of his Tap.
Agastya Muni and the River Kaaveree
When Agastya Muni started to go to South, Shiv opened his matted locks,
took out Kaaveree River and filled his Kamandal with her water. He ordered
her to flow wherever Muni pointed her to. Muni went to South seeing many
pilgrim places of Shiv.
In South, there was flourishing a demon called Surapadm, who had
terrorized Devtaa and human beings. because of him, Indra had to
surrender his Indra Lok and went to somewhere else where he prayed
Shiv to help them. He had created a garden where he worshipped Shiv
from that garden's flowers. God of waters, Varun Dev was too frightened
of that demon to rain in that area, so there was a drought there.
Because of this drought Indra's garden became dry and without flowers.
This dryness was interrupting Indra's worship and he was very sad because
Naarad felt pity on Indra's condition and he told him that there was
Kaaveree River in Agastya Muni's Kamandal. Indra did not know how to
take the River Kaaveree out of Muni's Kamndal and get that water for his
garden. So he prayed Ganesh Jee. Ganesh Jee assumed the form of a crow,
flew to Agastya Muni, sat on his Kamandal and toppled it. The water
started flowing. Muni raised his hand to shoo the crow, so the River
Kaaveree thought tat Muni is telling me to flow in that direction, so
she started flowing in that direction.
After that the crow changed himself into a small boy, Muni hit him on
his head, as he did not know that the boy was nobody else than Shiv's son
Ganesh Jee. Suddenly the boy changed his form and came into his real form
- Ganesh Jee. Now Agastya Jee knew that it was none other than Ganesh Jee.
He felt so bad that he started striking his head with his own hands in
repentance. Ganesh Jee stopped and said - "Whoever will pray him in this
manner would be blessed with wisdom."
According to another version, River Kaaveree was disrespectful to Muni
Agastya Jee, so he punished her by trapping her in his Kamandal. Naarad
Jee requested Ganesh Jee to free the River from Muni's Kamandal, that is
why Ganesh Jee took the form of the crow, toppled Muni's Kamandal and
freed Kaaveree River.
It is believed that present Kaaveree is the incarnation of Lopaamudraa.
Agastya Muni Drank the Ocean
[As Indra gave Shaap to Agni to drink ocean on Prithvi, and Agni was
born as Agastya Muni, he did drank the ocean.] This story comes in
1/14. When Indra had killed
Vritraasur (see Dadheechi also)
Devtaa started killing other Raakshas too, so some of them ran away, some
hid inside the sea. From there they started destroying Tri-Lok. They used
to trouble Muni, Rishi and Braahman. They ate thousands of Rishi. There
were Kaalakeya Daanav (sons of Kaalakaa) too who were bothering sages a
lot. They did their job in night as they knew that Muni cannot their
job at night. During the day they used to hide in the ocean. Thus Muni etc
sages were not at rest at all. Devtaa went to Vishnu for their remedy. Vishnu
said, "Only Agastya Muni can help you. Till they are in the sea, nobody
can kill them, so one has dry the ocean first" so they went to Muni
Agastya Jee and told their problem.
Agastya Jee said - "I cannot kill those Raakshas, but I can do this
much that I can bring those Raakshas out of the water, then you may kill
them. They cannot hide in the dried ocean. I can dry the whole ocean, then
you do whatever you like." Devtaa got agreed at this. So Agastya Muni
went to the ocean and drank its all water in one gulp. Now Devtaa could easily
saw those Raakshas, they fought with them, killed many of them and many ran
away to Paataal Lok. Agastya Jee said - "Now I have already drank this
water, now you make some other arrangements to fill the ocean." Devtaa
went to Brahmaa Jee, he said to them - "Do not worry about it, after a
while Bhageerath will come and he will fill this ocean with Gangaa's water."
(see Questions-1 here)
By another version Agastya Jee filled the ocean again with his Tap power.
Agastya Muni and King Shwet
Bhavishya Puraan, 4/38, there lived a Shwet named king in Dandak Aranya.
Even after death he was hungry and was satisfying himself by eating his
own body. One day he said to Agastya Muni - "I donated everything, but I
could not donate grains and water, that is why I have to eat my own flesh
daily, please, do something for me." Then Agastya Muni did his Shraaddh
through Mani (gems). As a result of that he assumed Divine body and went to
Swarg Lok. This story comes in Vaalmeeki Raamaayan also.
Agastya Muni and Raam, and Paandav
While in exile, when after blessing Suteekshn Jee, Raam came to Agastya
Muni for his Darshan. Muni welcomed them and gave them two bows, two swords,
and two inexhaustible quivers. Then he guided them to live in Panchvatee in
Dandak Van for some time to clear Gautam Rishi's Shaap.
He met Paandav (minus Arjun) also when, during their seventh year of exile,
when they went on Teerth Yaatraa on the suggestion of Naarad Jee.
Agastya Muni and Annapoornaa
Once Annapoornaa wanted to feed Agastya Muni. She expressed thos to Shiv
Jee. Shiv Jee stopped her to do this, because he knew that he ate a lot
and Annapoornaa will not be able to feed him. But Annapoornaa was adamant.
She said - "I am annpoornaa, I can feed the whole world, then he is only
one Rishi." Shiv said - "But he is not an ordinary Rishi." But
Annapoornaa did not listen to him and invited Agastya Muni for food. Agastya
Muni came and started eating. Now Annapoornaa was the owner of many Siddhi. All
Siddhi got busy in making food for Rishi but all food was getting over and Muni
was not satisfied yet. Now Shiv Jee thought "I have to save my wife."
So he also sat with Muni to eat food. A little while later Shankar Jee burped
and said - "I am satisfied now. And this is the rule that when two people
sit to eat together, they also get up together." So Agastya Jee smiled and
said - "Prabhu, Your greatness is great."
Agastya Muni and Titiharee
Once sea took the eggs of Titiharee. She thought and thought and then she tried to
dry the sea, so she brought sand in her beak and threw in the sea. Agastya Muni was
passing by. He asked her what happened and what are you doing? Titiharee said -
"This sea has taken my eggs, so I want to dry it." "But it will take
many births to do it. I will do it for you." And then he took out the eggs out
Curses of Agastya Muni
There are many instances of Agastya Muni's curses in scriptures
Agastya Muni killed Sund
He killed Maareech's father and
Taadakaa's husband Sund by giving
him Shaap. And because of this Taadakaa became the enemy of Agastya Muni.
Then he cursed Taadakaa, who was a Gandharv woman, to become Raakshasee.
Agastya Muni And King Indradyumn
This story comes in Bhaagvat
Puraan. Because of Muni Agastya Jee's Shaap, a Raajaa called Indradyumn
of Paandya Vansh in Dravin Desh became an elephant. Once this King left his
kingdom and started living like a Tapaswee. One day when he was worshipping
Bhagavaan that Agastya Jee saw him worshipping. So he gave him Shaap, "You
are behaving like a fool, and not following your Dharm, so you should born as
an elephant." and he became an elephant. He was liberated from that
Yoni (species) by Bhagavaan and then was appointed as Bhagavaan's Paarshad.
This story is of
Gajendra and Graah (Crocodile) in which the Graah pulled the leg of Gajendra
into the deep waters of a pond. And Gaj offered Bhagavaan a lotus flower from
that pond. Bhagavaan immediately came and killed Graah and saved the life of
Gajendra. And that Gajendra was the King Indradyumn himself.
Agastya Muni and Raajaa Nahush
This story comes in Mahaabhaarat.
Once Raajaa Nahush got the status of Indra.
He got very proud of that and considered himself the master of the Heaven. He
considered even Indraanee (Indra's wife) of his own. So he sent a message to
Indraanee that he was coming to her place. Indraanee got very upset hearing
this, but was helpless. Raajaa Nahush, in his pride, ordered Rishi to carry his
Paalakee to Indranee's palace. A thousand Rishi carried his Paalakee (palanquin).
One of them was Muni Agastya. Since they were not used to this kind of work, they
were walking slowly. But Nahush was in hurry to go to Indraanee's place, so he
hit Muni Agastya with his toe and said "Sarp, Sarp" (Sarp means "walk
fast"). As Muni Agastya heard this, he gave him Shaap - "You yourself
become Sarp and fall on Earth." On his request Muni said - "When you will
catch hold the mightiest man on the Earth, and a person will answer all your questions
of ethics then you will be released from this Shaap."
So in Mahaabhaarat times, this python could catch hold Bheem, and when
Yudhishthir came in search of his brother, he answered his questions. Then
he got released from his Shaap.
Agastya Muni and Death
Puraan, 4/38 says that in the beginning people were increasing like
anything. At that time Brahmaa Jee produced Mrityu (Death) and he started
destroying people in large number. One day that Death came to Agastya Muni
also, Agastya Muni burned Death immediately, Then Brahmaa Jee had to
produce another Mrityu in disease form.
Agastya Muni and Kuber
This story comes in MBH, G-4-Van/28, when the remaining Paandav go to
Gandhmaadan Parvat to receive Arjun from Swarg. Draupadee wishes to see Kuber,
so she sends Bheem to take control of the Gandhmaadan peak. Bheem goes and does
that. Yudhishthir comes to know about it and scolds Bheem on killing so many
Raakshas. But at the same time Kuber comes, admires Bheem and thanks him to free
him from Agastya Muni's curse. Yudhishthir asks him to tell him the reason of
Muni's curse. Kuber told him that once many Devtaa gathered at Kushsthalee, so
he was also going there. On the way he saw Agastya Muni sitting on the banks of
Yamunaa upraising his hands. Kuber's friend, Manimaan, the Lord of Raakshas was
also with him. By his ignorance, mistake, foolishness and stupidity he excreted
on Muni's head. Muni was filled with rage and cursed him that he would be killed
by a mortal along his Raakshas army. And cursed me too that since this incident
has happened in his presence I=he was also cursed. he would be free from his
curse after seeing that mortal. And if those people obeyed him they would not be
free from their curse. That is he was cursed and was freed after seeing Bheem.
Agastya Curses to a Tapaswee
Raam Charit Maanas mentions that Raavan sent two spies, Shuk nd Saaran, to
Raam's camp for spying, as Vibheeshan left for Raam's camp. They saw there
everything in disguise of monkeys but when Raam crowned Vibheeshan as the
king of Lankaa, they were overwhelmed with the kindness of Raam and started
admiring Him. In this process they forgot their disguise. Vaanar of Raam's
army recognized them and beat them. Somehow they came back to Lankaa and told
everything to Raavan including that he should return Seetaa to Raam. At this
Raavan got angry with them, and one of them, Shuk, went back to Raam and then
went back to his Aashram. Here Tulasee Daas Jee writes a Chaupaaee about him -
"Rishi Agastya kee Saap Bhavaanee, Raachhas Bhayau Rahaa Muni Gyaanee".
Nothing else is given here abut him.
Vaalmeeki Raamaayan has no such indication for Shuk that he was a Tapaswee
in his previous life and after visiting Raam's army left for his Aashram.