Indian Purana 2 - Chandra - Episode 2
Indian Purana 2 – Chandra 2 – Tara & Brihaspati
Among the Saptarsis, Maharsi Atri fathered Chandra and Maharsi Angira fathered Brihaspati, the deity of planet Jupiter. Brihaspati was married to Lady Tara. He made a name for himself in the field of political science, Vedic rituals, astrology etc. He was appointed as the counselor or the guru of the Devas, ruled under Lord Indra. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the names like Indra, Yama, Viswakarma, Brihaspati were titles or posts like President or Prime Minister etc. There were able person, who could acquire these posts after performing yajnyas and various other acts. One, who becomes the king of the Devas, is called the ‘Indra’. Vyas is a title too, given to a person, who can categorize assorted knowledge. The son of Rsi Parashar was Krishna-dwaipayan Vedvyas, who received this title after dividing the varieties of oral Sanskrit chants under four groups, namely Rik, Sam, Yajur & Atharva. Brihaspati, holding such a post, became very significant person among the people of that time. He would have spent most of his time working meticulously at the court of Lord Indra and other Devas. As Brihaspati and Chandra shared a kind of Guru-disciple relationship, it was common to visit each other’s residence.
On a fateful day, Chandra was introduced to the beautiful wife of Brihaspati, Lady Tara, and immediately fell in love with her. Tara, too, was attracted to Chandra’s personality and prosperity, gave in to his advances. Chandra abducted her from Brihaspati’s house and kept her in his house. According to another Purana, Tara visited Chandra’s residence and never came back home. Guru Brihaspati waited for a few days, hoping that his wife would return to his house on her own. As the days passed, he decided to send one of his disciples to Chandra to bring his wife back. Multiple attempts of the disciples’ failed as Chandra rejected his appeal. At last, Brihaspati himself showed at Chandra’s residence and accused Chandra of kidnapping and having sexual intercourse with Tara against her consent. Brihaspati wanted to show that it was all Chandra’s fault and Tara was too innocent to understand Chandra’s sinister plans. But Chandra cleverly averted the allegation by saying it was Tara’s wish that she was staying with him and free to leave whenever she wanted. Brihaspati could not say anything to that and decided to go home.
After a few days, he made another attempt to persuade Chandra. Chandra mocked him by saying that a poor person like him, did not deserve such gorgeous wife, rather Brihaspati should look for an average-looking woman, who suited his stature. Brihaspati even tried to intimidate Chandra by saying that his curse would destroy Chandra’s life if he did not release his wife. Chandra understood Brihaspati’s psyche. Chandra replied that Brihaspati himself was lusting after his own wife. The Pauraniks also stated that Brihaspati was aroused by the fact that someone else was having physical relationship with his wife, whom he had not even noticed properly in his day-to-day busy working schedule. Shaking in anger, Brihaspati went straight to Lord Indra, seeking justice. Lord Indra assured him that, indeed, he would intervene in this matter to bring Tara home. Indra sent his messenger to Chandra. The messenger conveyed to Chandra that Indra was very upset by the fact that he kept his Guru’s wife in his house and advised him to let go of her as this kind of behavior was unexpected from a generous person like Chandra. The messenger even said that, if Chandra wished, even Menka, Urvasi etc, the celestial nymphs, would entertain him. It was not desirable that the Devas fought among themselves over this issue.
But Chandra was too adamant to abide by Indra’s advice. Chandra replied that he was not afraid of going into war for this and he was certainly able to defend himself from any kind of threat whatsoever. Insulted, Indra decided to declare war on Chandra. All the Devas took side of Indra in this conquest to rescue the wife of Brihaspati. Devas’ arch-nemesis Daityas joined Chandra’s side as per the advice of Daitya-guru Shukracharjya. Shukra was the son of Maharsi Bhrigu. Brihaspati and Shukra held different opinions on how to run a state. The Devas followed Brihaspati’s rules and the Daitya’s followed Shukra’s. One of the prominent Chandravansis, who learnt both the rules, was Bhishma. A full-fledged war broke out between Indra, Chandra & their respective allies. This resulted in a lot of blood-shed, with no conclusion in sight. At this moment, Lord Brahma, the creator-deity of the trinity, interfered and called for a peace treaty. He urged Chandra to give Tara back as it was the righteous thing to do and he requested Shukra to convince him. Shukra told Chandra to act as Lord Brahma wanted and said even his father, Maharsi Atri, would have wanted him to do this right thing. Ultimately, Tara came back to Brihaspati’s house. By that time, Tara was already pregnant and as months passed, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Brihaspati performed a yajnya for the new-born and inducted him in the class of priest.
Next episode: Budh & Ila
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