The flames generated by Taraka's tapas began to burn the
worlds. Then Brahma
manifested himself before Taraka and said, "Tarakasura, Arise. I am pleased
with your penance. What do you want? Ask for the boon." Tarakasura opened
his eyes. Right in front of him was Brahma standing. Taraka bent his head low
and saluted him. "O Lord, bless me that I will have no death," he asked.
Brahma replied, "Tarakasura, you should not ask for the impossible. Anyone
born must die. A boon against this rule can never be given. Ask for anything
|SHANMUKHA - THE SIX FACED
Tarakasura began to reflect. If he asked that he should not die at all, Brahma
would not give him that boon. But if he should ask that his death must come only
in a particular way, it might be granted. Therefore he should ask that this death
must happen under conditions that would be impossible. Then Brahma would surely
grant it. And he, Taraka, would be an immortal.
At that time Shiva was engrossed in a severe penance. For none would it be possible
to disturb or distract his mind from the tapas. Hence, Shiva's marriage was impossibility.
Taraka thought if he should now ask that his death should come about only by
a son of Shiva it would be a very clever way. Taraka thought further, "I
must be safe if he marries and a son is born, just an infant, even if it is Shiva's
son, cannot do anything to me. So it would be very clever indeed to ask that
my death should come about only by a child seven months old."
|TARAKA ATTACKING THE GODS
|THE GODS AS SLAVES IN
SHONITAPURA - TARAKA'S CAPITAL
Tarakasura prostrated again before Brahma and asked, "Lord, if then I must
die, let me die from a son of Shiva, when he is seven months old as a child." Brahma
smiled. "So be it", he said and with that disappeared from the scene.
Taraka was immensely happy that he had got a boon making him immortal.
And now with his unbearable arrogance, Taraka threw all
the three worlds into a fright. Indra was afraid of him and gave him his elephant Airavata. Kubera
made over all his wealth. Wherever there were good things, all of them became
Taraka's property. He drove out the gods from Heaven and appointed demons (Rakshasas)
in their place.
Everywhere thefts, murders and looting increased. The very deities of the Cardinal
Directions became slaves and the Apsaras (damsels of Heaven) became his maidservants.
The gods were unable to bear the rampaging of Taraka and prayed to Brahma. Brahma
knew that only a son born to Shiva could stop the wickedness of Tarakasura and
till then none would be able to control or punish him. Yet he appeared before
Tarakasura, saluted Brahma and said, "Lord, you are so kind as to come to
me. What is your command?"
"Taraka, you are unequal in courage and strength. The gods are in agony
because of you. It is not possible for them even to live in there own world of
Devaloka. Don't harass them. Allow them to live in peace in Devaloka," Brahma
advised. "Your wish will be obeyed," Tarakasura acquiesced. He left
the Devaloka, for the gods and returned to Shonitapura.