Chapter 5

Chapter 5 of the blog recounts the fascinating tale of Kacha, a pivotal character in the age of demons and devas. The story revolves around the quest to acquire the powerful Sanjivani mantra, held by Sukracharya, which has the ability to resurrect the dead. The devas, lacking this potent knowledge, turn to Kacha, the son of their guru Brihaspati, to infiltrate the enemy camp and become Sukracharya's disciple. Despite the dangers, Kacha accepts the mission, showcasing his courage and commitment to the devas' cause. The narrative explores the character of Sukracharya, a broad-minded Brahmin who serves as the guru for the demons. The linguistic connection between the names "Shukra" in Vedic astrology (associated with Venus) and "Guru" (associated with Jupiter) is highlighted, linking to the days of the week in Latin and romance languages. Kacha's journey takes an unexpected turn as demons, suspecting his true intentions, repeatedly kill him. Sukracharya uses the Sanjivani mantra to resurrect Kacha, creating a cyclical pattern. The demons, determined to break this cycle, devise a plan to permanently eliminate Kacha by incorporating his essence into Sukracharya's wine. Despite the twists and turns, Kacha emerges victorious, gaining possession of the Sanjivani mantra. However, his return home is marked by a confrontation with Devayani, Sukracharya's daughter. Their exchange leads to a series of curses, shaping the future destinies of both characters. Devayani's sorrowful encounter with the demon princess Sharmishtha adds another layer of complexity to the narrative. Sharmishtha's selfish nature exacerbates the conflict, resulting in Devayani being pushed into a well. The arrival of King Yayati, a character blessed with longevity, adds a new dimension to the story as he rescues Devayani. The chapter concludes with Sukracharya's confrontation with King Yayati, highlighting the tensions and conflicts that arise due to the mistreatment of Sukracharya's daughter. The narrative underscores the intricate relationships and consequences that unfold in this mythical world, setting the stage for further developments in the story.

12/22/20231 min read

Chapter 5: The Story of Kacha

In an age both distant and near, when the clash between demons and devas was an all-too-familiar sight, an extraordinary mantra by the name of Sanjivani existed. This sacred incantation, held by Sukracharya, possessed the power to resurrect the departed. The devas grew wary, for their guru, Brihaspati, did not possess this potent knowledge. "Our adversaries possess this arcane technique while we remain devoid," they fretted. Determined to rectify this imbalance, the devas turned to Kacha, son of Brihaspati, seeking his aid. "Go forth," they beseeched him, "become the disciple of Sukracharya and acquire the Sanjivani for our cause."

At first, Kacha hesitated, recognizing the dangers that lay ahead. After all, this mission involved infiltrating the enemy camp and studying under their preceptor. Yet, Sukracharya was no vile being. On the contrary, he possessed a noble and liberal nature that had led him to assume the role of guru for the demons. A broad-minded Brahmin, he harbored no innate bias between good and evil. When the demons approached him, seeking his guidance, he simply agreed, lacking a preconceived notion of morality. The devas gambled on this open-mindedness, hoping that Sukracharya's generosity of knowledge would extend even to Kacha's request.

It is worth noting that Sukracharya also ruled over the planet Venus, hence the name "Shukra" in Vedic astrology. In a similar vein, Brihaspati's dominion over Jupiter earned him the title of "Guru," as he guided the devas. Thus, Thursday came to be known as "Guruvar," signifying the day of Jupiter, while Friday was called "Shukravar," representing the day of Venus. There exists a linguistic connection when examining the names in Latin and other romance languages.

And so, Kacha approached Sukracharya, expressing his desire to become the guru's disciple. Sukracharya, pleased with the request, initially hesitated but eventually accepted him. Seeking to ensure his safety and secure the favor of his guru, Kacha devised an intriguing plan. He would entertain Sukracharya's daughter, Devayani, with his melodious music, effectively charming her. However, being a brahmachari, a celibate student, Kacha maintained a respectful distance, refraining from pursuing any further romantic inclinations.

But the demons remained skeptical, whispering among themselves, "We know his true intentions. These gods harbor some sinister scheme." And indeed, their suspicions held merit. Thus, they hatched a plan. As part of his student duties, Kacha would venture into the forest to gather wood for the sacred fire. Additionally, he tended to Sukracharya's cows. Consequently, he spent a considerable amount of time away from home.

Seizing the opportune moment, the demons confronted Kacha in the wilderness, accusing him of treachery. "We are well aware of your deceit," they hissed, before slaying him where he stood. The cows returned without him, and Devayani, alarmed by his absence, hastened to inform her father. "Father, the cows have returned, but Kacha is nowhere to be found!" she exclaimed. Deeply concerned, Sukracharya embarked on a search, eventually discovering Kacha's lifeless form. Employing the Sanjivani mantra, he breathed life back into his fallen disciple.

So the demons, driven by their fury, persisted in their attempts, a cycle that seemed unending. Time and again, they would slay Kacha, only for Sukracharya to find him and resurrect him—a gruesome existence, to say the least. Fortunately, Devayani played a pivotal role in urging Sukracharya to take action, for he often remained passive in such matters.

But the demons grew resolute, realizing that they needed to ensure Kacha's permanent demise. Thus, they devised a scheme to prevent his return. They killed Kacha, reduced him to ashes, ground him into a fine powder, and surreptitiously mixed it into Shukracharya's evening wine. Unbeknownst to the guru, he imbibed the wine, unaware of the presence of Kacha's essence within. Once again, Kacha did not return, prompting a search that proved futile. However, possessing profound awareness and mystical vision, Shukracharya delved into the depths of his being and discovered Kacha's presence within himself. He shared this revelation with Devayani, confessing, "I cannot bring him back, for if I do, Kacha will emerge from me and slay me." Astonishingly, Kacha, who belonged to a realm beyond human existence, retained a modicum of consciousness. He communicated with Shukracharya, saying, "Teach me Sanjivani, and when I emerge from you, I will revive you." Though hesitant, they eventually struck an agreement. Shukracharya imparted the mantra to Kacha, who then brought him back to life, emerging from within and inadvertently ending Shukracharya's life in the process. Nevertheless, Kacha swiftly resurrected his guru.

However, this turn of events granted Kacha possession of the Sanjivani mantra. In due course, he revealed to Shukracharya that he longed for his home and wearied of being perpetually slain by the demons. Such sentiments seemed justified, one must admit. Consequently, Kacha began his journey homeward. Yet, before long, Devayani caught up with him, reproachful in her tone. "What about us?" she cried. "I thought we would be together. I pleaded with my father to revive you for this reason." Kacha, however, replied, "I can only regard you as my sister. For a guru is like a father, and you are his daughter." Devayani grew incensed and filled with anger, cursing Kacha. She declared that although he possessed the knowledge to teach mantras to others, they would be rendered useless if he ever attempted to employ them. Enraged by her curse, Kacha retorted, "If you, blameless as I am, curse me, then I shall curse you in return. Despite being the daughter of a powerful Brahmin, you shall wed beneath your caste, for you cannot conduct yourself with the dignity befitting a respectable woman."

Devayani, consumed by sorrow, sought solace in the company of her friend, the demon princess Sharmishtha. However, the latter offered no comfort, as demons were inherently self-centered, and Sharmishtha proved to be no exception. Filled with anger, she lashed out at Devayani, exclaiming, "Because of your infatuation with that boy, our enemies now possess the Sanjivani mantra. Your father, who serves my father, has betrayed us." Their argument escalated, and in a fit of rage, Sharmishtha pushed Devayani into a deep, dry well, rendering her unable to climb out.

Devayani wept in the well while a king named Yayati rode by. He was the son of Nahusha and a descendant of Pururava, whose lineage stretched back to Buddha, the lord of the planet Mercury and the son of Soma, the Moon God. Yayati hailed from a race of people blessed with longevity, their lives spanning thousands upon thousands of years. Upon hearing Devayani's cries, he dismounted his horse and extended his hand into the well, effortlessly pulling her out.

Grateful and relieved, Devayani conveyed her gratitude to Yayati and hastened to inform her father of the incident. Sukracharya, the guru of the demons, confronted the king and stated, "Firstly, you repeatedly mutilated my disciple, driving him away from me. Then, your daughter insulted and belittled my own daughter, claiming that I am your servant. I now comprehend your true regard for me, so find yourself a new guru, for I shall depart."

The demon king trembled in fear at these words, for the guru bestows power through sacred rituals such as Agnihotra. He pleaded and implored Sukracharya, promising to fulfill any request. Succumbing to the situation, Sukracharya declared, "It is my daughter who has suffered the greatest offense. Consult her." Thus, all the demons bowed before Devayani, and the demon king proposed that Sharmishtha become her maidservant—an arrangement to which Devayani agreed.