THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION, DON’T LOOK FOR FACTUAL ACCURACIES
Chapter 3The Slaying of AnAsura
When AnAsura heard about Sage Viparyasa’s vow, he laughed it off by saying `what sort of sage he is if continuance of his penance depends on a suraksha chakra? Let him execute his vow, I care a damn about it. I know my death is destined to be caused by the trick of the Devas but before that happens I will scare the shit out of them’.
Soon, a severe battle raged between the Devas and Asuras. This battle was fought in the now Bakrapur which always was a favorite hunting ground for the Asuras. It was a do or die battle for both and the Devas were loosing it badly. AnAsura was a brilliant strategist and he was in his elements during the battle. When at a particular point during the battle Devas were gaining the upper hand, AnAsura ordered his army to scatter and run towards summit of the mountain peak. Though initially puzzled, Devas thought that the Asuras were running for their life and went on a hot pursuit.
The Asura army ran with all its might and reached top of the peak, which was full of big boulders. AnAsura asked his men to push the boulders down with all their might towards the Devas. This gruesome tactic pulverized the Devas army and they had to run hither and thither. AnAsura taking advantage of the fear that had crept in the enemy’s mind ordered his army to attack from all the four sides. The Devas suffered huge losses and had to beat a hasty retreat when the sun set. The next day the Devas army fought fiercely to keep the Asura army at bay.
While on war campaigns, AnAsura was an egalitarian, he slept and ate with his army. That day after the battle, he had dinner with his Army. It was that day of the week when AnAsura refrained from liquor and his army grudgingly though followed suit. Instead of liquor, at end of the dinner kher used to be served. Asuras were sensing victory and this reflected in the grandness of the dinner. There was a lot of good food; beef; goat and every other creature whose flesh could be eaten. There were a lot of women from, now Bakrapur to satisfy carnal pleasures of the Asura army. They were getting ready for the night ahead.
Dinner was served, it was time for the kher and as it was the norm, AnAsura never consumed a sweet dish before one of his soldiers did so and survived the mandatory time limit for a poison to take effect. The same was ensured on that day also before he and his army had kher. AnAsura was mightily pleased with the taste of kher. Intentionally during battles, the worst cook was assigned with the task of preparing a sweet dish. AnAsura could not believe that his worst cook had conjured such a heavenly kher. AnAsura got a whiff of suspicion but he dismissed this thought because a solider had already tasted the kher and was still alive. He had one more serving of the Kher but was not satisfied and ordered for one more serving, as he lustily eyed the young girl he had chosen for the night. She looked like a doll that had been given life. AnAsura wondered how beautiful her mother, sisters and aunts would be. He decided that next day he would send a few soldiers and capture all the womenfolk of her family who were in the productive age and enjoy them one by one. As he raised the third bowl of offering to drink it, a strange fragrance spread in the air and a chilling stillness came into the life around him. Ignoring the signs, AnAsura happily thrust the third bowl of kher into his mouth and slowly began to drink it. He tried to lower the bowl from his mouth to catch some breath but it would not budge. It was impossible that a mere earthen bowl could become a burden for the mighty arms of AnAsura. He let go off the bowl but it would not fall down as it was stuck deep into his mouth. The flow of kher was not stopping and as AnAsura saw from the corner of his eyes; his entire army was having the same problem. What began as a trickle soon became a gushing fountain with every drop getting directed into his mouth. AnAsura realized that he had been duped by the Devas. He was on the verge of collapsing whilst his men had already collapsed. As he was getting inundated with kher, he remembered the time when he meditated to Lord Shiva for immortality. He remembered the boon, the limitation and how all his plans to counter that had now came to a naught.
AnAsura was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. At a very early stage in his life, he realized that Devas were superior to Asuras when it came to deceit. He decided that attaining immortality would be the only way to win Devas. Lord Shiva was the only god who was favourably disposed towards Asuras and AnAsura decided to seek the boon from him. He embarked upon a rigorous penance to please Lord Shiva.
The Devas did all that was possible to distract AnAsura from his penance. They used strong winds; heavy rains; raging fires; dangerous wild animals; poisonous reptiles; beautiful girls and even an offer of peaceful co-existence if he gave up his penance but nothing budged AnAsura from his penance. Lord Shiva knew what AnAsura would ask, hence, did not appear before him for many years but beyond a point he could not resist giving dharshan. He decided to test AnAsura’s much famed bravery before granting him a boon. Lord Shiva appeared before AnAsura, blessed him and said ` get up AnAsura, what is that you want from me to carry out your evil designs?’
AnAsura was not pleased with the words of Lord Shiva, yet he woke up with all the diligence and replied `God, you know what I want to ask, yet you want me to say that I want the boon of immorality’
`That is not possible, a boon of immortality to an Asura will result in destruction of the three worlds, ask something else’
`I have the army, strength and the riches; I don’t want any of them. I only want the boon of immortality’
` You cannot become immortal, you are born to die at the hands of a Deva, ask for something else’
`You may decide not to grant me the boon of immortality or even kill me at this very moment. If you go away without granting me the boon, I will reduce myself to ashes. The burden of my death will fall on your head. Either you give the boon or fight and kill me’
Shiva’s eyes became red and he stomped his Trishul. The entire surrondings began to shake; birds which had returned to their nests began to fly panic stricken; animals ran crazily; the reptiles went deeper into their holes and fruits began to vaporize but AnAsura stood still staring Lord Shiva eye to eye. The battle of the stares continued for a while and finally Shiva calmed down. He said `Dear child AnAsura, I was testing your bravery and you proved it. I am happy but I cannot give you the boon of immortality. However, I will give you a boon that you will die only during a battle but your death will not happen because of a weapon nor any living form but due to a sweet dish’
AnAsura too knew deep in his mind that it would be next to impossible to get the boon of immortality and this was the best he could get. Before he could agree, he wanted to weaken the possibilities of his death and said `Thank you, oh! Lord Shiva, thank you. I will accept your boon but with two conditions’
`Tell me, what are those conditions, I will grant them without any further ado’
`First, it is only after the third consecutive consumption of a sweet dish that I should die. When I die my soldiers will become orphans and will be tortured by the Devas. Hence, my army should die with me’
Lord Shiva impressed with him, said `so be it’ and disappeared.
AnAsura came back to his kingdom and started his conquest immediately. The Devas knew about the boon that Lord Shiva gave AnAsura and its limitation. They tried to kill AnAsura by poisoning his sweet dish but it did not go beyond the mandatory tasting by a random soldier. To add to their woes was the fact that the worst cook of AnAsura was assigned to cook sweet dishes. His cooking was so bad that nobody could complete the first serving, leave alone going in for a third serving. Further, Devas could never plant a mole in the camp of AnAsura because the integrity of his men was impregnable.
The flow of kher had become a deluge and AnAsura was nearing his end. He could not even cry at his fate. The kher was overflowing from his body, first it poured out of his nose, then ears and finally through the eyes. The flow of kher kept on increasing and did not stop till his body split into four. AnAsura was killed by the Devas as was his army. The architect of this victory was Viparyasa.
The plan to eliminate AnAsura was hatched by Sage Viparyasa on previous evening of the infamous whacking that Devas got at the hands of AnAsura. Sage Viparyasa put forward his proposal that consisted of two stages to eliminate AnAsura. The first stage was invisible Deva cooks along with Sage Viparyasa would be present on the destined evening at the Asuras’ kitchen. They would add heavenly flavours and make the entire food delicious and intoxicating. Considering the fact that, the particular Asura cook made very bad kher, it was decided that no purpose will be served by any value addition to it. Instead, the Devas cooks would replace the Asura sweet dish with a similar one made by them. Since, the dish did not contain any poison; it would pass `The Random Soldier Test’. After the Asuras had the second successive serving, Sage Viparyasa would say a mantra and convert the kher bowls into Akshaya Patras. Next, he will release the `Lepa Astra’ into the air which will ensure that the bowls will get glued to the mouth of Asuras and subsequent deluge of Kher would choke them to death. The plan was dismissed since it was inhuman and impractical, especially Sage Viparyasa and the Deva cooks reaching the Asura kitchen in an invisible mode and replacing the sweet dish made by Asuras with theirs. However, Sage Viparyasa decided to stay put keeping in mind the weak position in which the Devas were in.
After the whacking, elimination of AnAsura by the Devas became inevitable and it seemed that the only viable option to eliminate AnAsura was the plan offered by Sage Viparyasa. That night the plan was discussed intensely by Devas at a secret location.
One of the Devas said `do we have a better alternative than what Sage Viparyasa has proposed?’
Another replied `does that mean we should become heinous?’
The third one butted in by saying `rather than lose our humanity, we lose our head fighting’
The first one got back into the argument in a sharp and vitriolic way `Yes, we will only lose our heads fighting and tales of our powers, goodness, powers and morality will vanish. The Apsaras will become Asuras girlfriends and secrets of the Amrith will become known to them. Thanks to Lord Shiva, we cannot kill AnAsura on the battlefield and the only option available is to take chance with Sage Viparyasa’s plan’
The fourth supported him by saying ` we have a lot of precedence which suggest that if the interest of Devas (must be read as interest of humanity) is to be served, there is no harm in using foul means to kill an Asura’.
There was consensus about killing AnAsura through this method. The chosen time was the next day’s dinner because on that day of the week AnAsura refrained from having liquor and had a sweet dish at end of the dinner. All that was left now was, the question how to replace the sweet dish made by the Asura cook with the one made by the Devas? A few unimportant Apasaras did the job and the rest as they say is history.