Agastya - 9

Agastya's role in the marriage of Shiva and Parvathi
The Himalayan Mountain range is the king of all mountain ranges. His wife was Mane. Parvathi was their daughter. Parvathi performed severe tapas and pleased Lord shiva. She wanted to marry him. Their marriage was to be celebrated on the Himalayan mountain range and all the devas, Maharishis, Yakshas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, the best among all had ranged to witness the divine event. As the weight of the guests ranged on one side became too heavy the mountain range tilted and began to shake. As a result of it, the entire world began to tremble. Mountains cracked and came crashing down. Seas were in high tide. People were frightened that there was going to be deluge. They rushed to Shiva, prayed to him and begged him to save the world.Then Shiva address all the guests gathered there saying,"Dear friends, you have come to witness our marriage. As all of you are standing on the northern side, the excessive weight has made the mountain tilt. If the balance is to be restored we have place equal weight on the southern side. Then the earth will stand in balance and there will be peace in the world. This balancing act can be done only by sage Agastya. If he goes and stand on the southern side peace will be restored in the world."Then Siva spoke to sage Agastya who had also gone there to witness the marriage,"O sage Agastya, kindly go south and restore the balance of the earth."When the sage heard the words of Lord Shiva he was disappointed. Like any other present there he was there to take part in the celestial event. Now that he was asked to go south he was denied of the chance of witnessing the marriage ceremony. Shiva who understood the plight of the sage said,"O great sage, you have to go south just to do good to the world. So please do as I ask you to do. You desire to see our marriage, don't you? Whenever you want to see us just call me. Parvati and I will appear before you as bride and bridegroom. I will also grant you divine eyes to witness our marriage from place where you are. Now you start." Sage Agastya was very happy indeed. He went and stood on the southern end and the tilted earth regained its poise. Agastya could see the divine marriage from the point where he was standing. The marriage from the point where he was standing. The marriage ceremony went of without any further hurdle. Every one felt happy. This way sage Agastya performed Lord Shiva's work for the good of the world. He was blessed by Lord Shankara. Thus words fail us to describe the good fortune that be fell sage Agastya because he was blessed by Lord Shiva himself. He was really lucky indeed.

Agastya's curse on the Panda King
Once a king by name Indradyumna was ruling over the Pandya kingdom. He was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. He would begin his day's work only after workshipping the Lord. One day sage Agastya went to see the king while he was doing the pooja. The king asked his servant to receive the sage according to the traditional custom and make him sit inside. When the sage saw servants instead of the king was to receive him, he was angry. He shouted,"You arrogant king,you have put me to shame. Therefore be born as an elephant."So saying he was ready to go.When someone is performing the poja, if a Brahmarshi comes, immediately one has to receive him according to the prescriptionsof the shastras and then getting his permission one has to continue the pooja. The king had flouted the rule and therefore he received a curse. When the king came to know about the curse he came out and begged the sage to pardon him. Agastya realised what had happened. He came to know that the king had not purposely failed to come out to receive him. He was engaged in the pooja and therefore he did not come out to receive him. He felt sorry and said,"O king a pronounced curse and an arrow shot, can never be retrieved. Listen to me, when you see Lord Mahavishnu's chakra you will get your present form."King Indradyumna was born as an elephant. He became the king of elephants. One day all the elephants went to drink water in a lake. The king elephant got into the lake and began to play. All of a sudden a huge crocodile caught hold of the king's leg and began to pull him into the middle of the lake. The king elephant used all his force but he could not get free from the crocodile's hold. The other elephants came to their king's help but they could not free him. The elephant began to sink slowly. He realised that his end was ner. He remembered "Anatho daiva rakshakah." and began to pray Lord Vishnu. The saviour of his devotees Lord Vishnu appeared before him and wielding his divine chakra, he killed the crocodile and saved the elephant king. As soon as the elephant saw the chakra it transformed into king Indradyumna. He fell at the feet of the Lord. The Lord blessed his devotee and took him to Vaikunta. Thus king Indradyumna was able to reach the lotus feet of Lord Narayana as a result of Agastya's curse.

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