Here is an interesting story of Jalandhar, which I am writing on the request of some of my readers who seem to be trifle confused based on some popular depiction of the same.
Once, Lord Indra accompanied with Sage Brishaspati, decided to visit Lord Shiva at his abode. When Shiva came to know about it, he decided to test Indra’s devotion. He took the form of an ascetic and sat meditating at a distance from his abode. On the way,
Indra asked the ascetic, if he knew the
way to Shiva’s abode. The ascetic did not reply. On repeated asking by Indra,
when the ascetic did not reply, Indra got angry and picked up his vajra, to hurl at the ascetic.
Seeing this Shiva got angry and froze Indra’s hands. Brihaspati recognised the angry bloodshot eyes of Shiva, and sought pardon on behalf of both of them. Shiva was appeased and he diverted the radiation of his angry eyes towards the confluence of the Ganga and the sea, Gangasagar. From the confluence was born a child, who started crying ferociously and would not stop. His ranting grew louder and everybody around was quite unsettled by his shrieks. The sea approached Lord Brahma and sought a solution to the child.
Lord Brahma reached the spot and took the child on his lap. As soon as the child sat on his lap, he got hold of Brahma’s neck (some versions say, he pulled his beard so hard), that tears rolled down Brahma’s cheeks, and the lord named the child, Jalandhar! Brahma also blessed the child that he would grow up to be a brave and fearless king and would be vanquished by none other than Shiva himself. He then gave the child to the sea and asked him to bring up the child as his own.
This child grew up and on the advice of Shukracharya, his father withdrew the waters from a portion of the land, where Maya build a beautiful city. He was then appointed the king of the place and later married Vrinda, the daughter of Kalnemi, the demon king. This region went on to become the modern day city of Jallandhar. On growing up, he came to know all about the churning of the ocean, and how all that emerged from the sea was taken by the gods and the killing of Rahu by Lord Vishnu for drinking a drop of amrit, which anyways they deserved. All this enraged him and he decided to avenge the injustice.
Jalandhar sent a messenger to Lord Indra, seeking answers as to why all the wealth of his father, that emerged from the churning of the ocean was appropriated by him. The messenger was sent back without any attention or any proper answer. This antagonised Jalandhar to no end, and he waged a war on the gods, which inflicted heavy casualties on both sides. However, both seemed to be ready to fight nonetheless. On the part of the demons, their guru Shukracharya was ensuring that none died as he had the knowledge of the mritasanjivani. On the other side sage Brihaspati was also healing all those injured on the side of the gods through medicinal herbs. This was going nowhere.
Shukracharya, then advised Jalandhar to submerge the Dronagiri mountains in the ocean, thus eliminating the source of the herbs for Brihaspati. Jalandhar did so, and soon the mountain range was submerged in the sea, and the gods started losing out to the demons, as Brihaspati was not able to prepare his medicines to cure them.
The gods approached Lord Vishnu to bail them out. Vishnu agreed to help them, except that he had a problem. His consort Lakshmi considered Jalandhar as her brother, as she too was the child of the sea, and had made Vishnu promise that he would not kill Jalandhar. A fierce battle took place between Jalandhar and Vishnu, and it left Vishnu rather impressed by his bravery. He instead asked Jalandhar to seek a boon from him!
Jalandhar, asked that he and his sister, Lakshmi should make their abode in the Ksheersagar, the abode of Jalandhar. Vishnu agreed and started staying with Jalandhar. This left the gods back in trouble as Vishnu whose help was sought to bail them out, had now gone to stay with Jalandhar. This also gave an advantage to Jalandhar, and soon, his fame spread far and wide.
The gods now appealed to Lord Shiva to help them.
We will next read what Shiva did and how he helped the gods. Keep reading…