Agastya - 10

Initiated Sri Rama to Adithya Hridaya
Sage Agastya had his ashram in the middle of Dandakaranya and lived there with his wife Lopamudra performing tapas and anushtanas and taking part in discussions on dharma with other sages. In order to help his father Dasharatha to keep his word given to his wife Kaikeyi, Sri Rama went to the forest along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. He visited a number of ashrams of great sages and finally came to the ashram of sage Agastya. The sage along with his wife Lopamudra received Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana and played host to them as per prevailing customs. He gave Sri Rama the Vaishava Dhanus and divine arrows in a divine quiver and preached the naunces of Dharma. Lopamudra gave Sita a number of divine ornaments and blessed her. She preached her how a devoted wife should conduct herself. Then as instructed by sage Agastya, Sri Rama and others went to the bank of the Godavari and built an ashram and began to live there. Later when Sri Rama fought with Ravana, he had to face a problem. Ravana had ten heads. As soon as Rama cut one, another would grow in its place. A number of great sages were watching the epic fight and Agastya was one of them. When he realised Sri Rama's problem he went to him and initiated him to the hymn 'Adithya Hridaya'. He asked Sri Rama to chant the same with devotion and with the help of the sun god he should be able to kill Ravana. When Sri Rama did as he was told he was blessed by the sun god and that helped him to kill Ravana easily. Then Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya and began to rule from Ayodhya and it was sage Agastya who helped Sri Rama achieved success in the battle. On the advice of Agastya Sri Rama performed Aswamedha yaga for the welfare of the world.

Krauncha was cursed

While Agastya was travelling south after subduing Vindhya, a demon by name Krauncha stopped him on the way. The demon had the magical ability to cause heavy rains. When he tried his trick. Agastya took a handful of water from his holy pot and cursed him to become a mountain. When the demon surrendered, he consoled him saying that Lord Subrahmanya would go there in course of time and let an arrow fly at him and he would be relieved of the effects of the curse.

Agastya's holy pot could never be empty

Once a demon by name Sheerapadma invaded heaven and droven all the devas out. Devendra went to a place called Shiyuti and prayed to Shiva. It was raining heavily but it stopped all of a sudden. Then Agastya filled his holy pot with water of the Kaveri. We know that Lord Ganesha took the form of a crow and upset the holy pot. Angry Agastya began to chase the crow and after a long chase he saw the crow change its form and Lord Ganesha appeared before him. He narrated the story of Kaveri and blessed him saying that his holy pot would never be empty.

Urvashi, Jayantha and Narada cursed

Once Agastya went to heaven on invitation as guest of Devendra. In order to please the sage, Devendra organised a dance programme by Urvashi. During the course of a dance Urvashi fell in love with Jayantha, the son of Devendra and lost the rhythm of dance. Narada, playing on the veena also fumbled. Agastya was angry and cursed all the three of them. Jayantha became a flower bud, Urvashi was born as Madhuri, on ordinary woman in the world and Narada lost his veena, Mahati andit came to be used by mortals on the earth.

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