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Devayani and Kacha

Devayani and Kacha
Retold by P. R. Ramachander

Kacha was the eldest son of Brahaspathi, the son of Angeeras. He was an extremely handsome boy. His father was the Guru (teacher) of all devas. When he was a young lad, the fight between Devas and Asuras was continuing. Devas had a complaint that Shukra the Guru of Asuras was protecting the Asuras in a better way. Shukra had got the knowledge oh Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantram from Lord Shiva and he was using it to bring it to life all dead Asuras. The devas also wanted to learn that mantra. Kacha volunteered to help them.

He went and approached Shukra as a student. Shukra accepted him and started teaching him. Shukra had a very pretty daughter called Devayani. Devayani and Kacha being of the same age became very close friends. The Asuras were looking at this happening with lot of suspicion. They justifiably thought that Kacha’s intention was not to simply gain knowledge but learn the Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantra from Sage Shukra. So when Kacha had gone to the forest to graze the cattle of Shukra’s household, they killed Kacha and made an wolf eat him. When Kacha did not return, Devayani started crying. Since Shukra loved is daughter very much, he chanted the Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantra to bring back Kacha. Kacha came back to life in the stomach of the wolf, pierced it and came out. The Asuras were very unhappy at the turn of these events. So when next day, Kacha went to take bath in the river, they killed him, burnt him and mixed his ashes in the sea. Again the same thing happened. To please his darling child Devayani, Shukra brought back Kacha to life using his mantra. This infuriated the Asuras. So next time when they hold of Kacha, they killed him, burnt him and mixed the ashes with an alcoholic drink and gave it to their teacher Shukra. Shukra unknowingly drank the drink. This time when Shukra chanted the Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantra, he came to life in the stomach of Shukra. It became evident that if he comes out, Shukra will die. Then Shukra taught the Maha Mruthyunjaya mantra to Kacha who was within his stomach. Kacha came out of the stomach of Shukra and brought back his teacher to life by chanting the mantra. Once it was over, Kacha told his Guru that he wanted to go back. At this time Devayani requested Kacha to marry her, since she loved him. But Kacha told that since he came out of the stomach of Shukra, he was like a son to him and Devayani was like a sister. Devayani cursed Kacha that the mantra that he has learnt would not be effective, if he chanted it. Kacha also cursed Devayani that she would not get married to son’s of any devas.

Kacha went back happily and taught the mantra he had learned to others. Later Devayani married a king called Yayati. Shukra, who got into trouble because of alcoholic drink, forbade, all Brahmins from drinking it.

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