The Decay of Dinakara

We are witnessing the waxing and waning of the moon in the two fortnights of a month. If you ask “Does Sun decay?”, the answer in the Purāṇas is “yes”. Shall we see the story?

The Sun god was born to the great sage Kaśyapa. He became the eye for all the worlds. Viśvakarmā, the sculptor god, gave his daughter Samjñā (Uṣā) to him. Three children were born to that divine couple, amongst whom, Vaivasvata Manu was the eldest one. The second one was Yama, the god of death. The river Yamunā was the third in the order. After giving birth to three infants, Saṃjñā couldn’t tolerate the heat of the Sun God. Hence she spoke to her shadow as follows.

Of Chāyā(shadow)! I am going to my maternal home. You, as a substitute, please take care of my children. Don’t reveal this to the lord”.

Chāyā told that “Okay madam. I shall do that. But I will not reveal the truth till my hairs are not pulled by somebody and somebody doesn’t curses me. You go as per your wish”.

Then  Saṃjñā went to her father’s house. But her father insisted her to go to her husband’s home repeatedly. Hence she took a form of a horse and went to the Kuru land for a hard penance without any food.

By assuming Chāyā as Saṃjñā, the Sun God got three children from her. The first one was Sāvarṇi Manu and the planet Śani (Saturn) was the second. River Tapati, who got married with Saṃvaraṇa was the third in the order. Chāyā didn’t shower love on the children of Saṃjñā as she did on her own children. Vaivasvata, the eldest of all could tolerate this but Yama, the god of death couldn’t do so. Due to his childishness, he went to Chāyā with intense anger and threatened her with his leg. After experiencing threat, Chāyā cursed that his leg will fall down. He reached his father and told the biased way of his mother and complained that she couldn’t be their original mother since she cursed him. Hearing this, the Sun God answered that “Every curse has expiation whereas the curse of mother won’t have such. Hence you have to undergo this agony” Having said that he called Chāyā and enquired about the truth by threatening her that failing which she will be cursed. Chāyā, revealed all out of fear. Then Sūrya went to his father-in-law and enquired about his wife. Viśvakarmā pacified him and told that the heat and the form of him doesn’t please his wife and if he permits, the form can be changed. Sūrya agreed to that and Viśvakarmā sharpened his form and reduced his heat. He collected the particles that were scattered from his body and made weapons like Sudarśana cakra, Triśula and others. He gave the weapons to other Gods. This story is described in Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa.

मार्कण्डेय उवाच।

“अथ तस्मै ददौ कन्यां संज्ञां नाम विवस्वते।

प्रसाद्य प्रणतो भूत्वा विश्वकर्मा प्रजापतिः॥

विवस्वतस्तु संभूतौ मनू द्वौ चरितं तयोः।

पूर्वमेव तवाख्यातं मयैतदखिलं द्विजः॥

त्रीण्यपत्यान्यसौ तस्यां जनयामास गोपतिः।

द्वौ पुत्त्रौ सुमहाभागौ कन्याञ्च यमुनां नदीम्॥

मनुर्वैवस्वतो ज्येष्ठः श्राद्धदेवः प्रजापतिः।

तेषां यमो यमी चैव यमलौ संबभूवतुः॥

तत्तेजोऽभ्यधिकं चैव मार्तण्डस्य विवस्वतः।

असहन्ती तु तत्तेजः स्वां छायां वीक्ष्य साब्रवतीत्॥

संज्ञोवाच।

अहं यास्यासि भद्रं ते स्वकञ्च भवनं पितुः।

निर्विकारं त्वयाप्यत्र स्थेयं मच्छासनात् शुभे॥

इमौ च बालकौ मह्यं कन्या च वरवर्णिनि।

संभाव्या नैव चाख्येयमिमं भगवते त्वया॥

छायोवाच।

आकेशग्रहणाद्देवि आशापान्नैव कर्हिचित्।

आख्यास्यामि मतं तुभ्यं गम्यतां यत्र वाञ्छितम्॥

इत्युक्ता छायया संज्ञा जगास पितृमन्दिरम्।

तत्रावसत् पितृगृहे कञ्चित् कालं शुभेक्षणा॥

भर्त्तुः समीपं याहीति पित्रोक्ता सा पुनः पुनः।

अगच्छद्वडवा भूत्वा कुरून् विप्रोत्तरांस्ततः॥

तत्र तेपे तपः साध्वी निराहारा महामुने।

पितुः समीपं यातायाः संज्ञाया वाक्यतत्परा॥

तद्रूपधारिणी च्छाया भास्करं समुपस्थिता।

तस्याञ्च भगवान् सूर्यः संज्ञेयमिति चिन्तयन्॥

तथैव जनयामास पुत्त्रौ द्वौ कन्यकां तथा।

पूर्वजस्य मनोस्तुल्यः सावर्णिस्तेन सोऽभवत्॥

यस्तयोः प्रथमं जातः पुत्त्रयोर्द्विजसत्तम।

द्वितीयो योऽभवच्चान्यः स ग्रहोऽभूत् शनैश्चरः॥

कन्याभूत्तपती या तां वव्रे संवरणो नृपः।

संज्ञा तु पार्थिवी तेषामात्मजानां यथाकरोत्॥

स्नेहं न पूर्वं जातानां तथा कृतवती सती।

मनुस्तत् क्षन्तवांस्तस्या यमश्चास्या न चक्षमे॥

बहुशः पीड्यमानस्तु पितुः पत्न्या सुदुःखितः।

स वै कोपाच्च बाल्याच्च भाविनोऽर्थस्य वै बलात्॥

पदा संतर्जयामास च्छायां संज्ञासुतो यमः।

तं शशाप ततः क्रुद्धा संज्ञा सा पार्पिवी भृशम्॥

छायोवाच।

पदा तर्जयसे यन्मां पितृभार्यां गरीयसीम्।

तस्मात्तवैष चरणः पतिष्यति न संशयः॥

यमस्तु तेन शापेन भृशं पीडितमानसः।

मनुना सह धर्मात्मा सर्वं पित्रे न्यवेदयत्॥

यम उवाच।

स्नेहेन तुल्यमस्मासु माता देव न वर्तते।

विसृज्य ज्यायसोऽप्यस्मान् कनीयांसो बुभूषति॥

तस्या मयोद्यतः पादो न तु देहे निपातितः।

बाल्याद्वा यदि वा मोहात् तद्भवान् क्षन्तुमर्हसि॥

शप्तोऽहं तात कोपेन जनन्या तनयो यतः।

ततो न मन्ये जननी ममैषा तपतां वर॥

निर्गुणेष्वपि पुत्त्रेषु न माता निर्गुणा भवेत्।

पादस्ते पततां पुत्त्र कथमेतत्तयोदितम्॥

तव प्रसादाचरणौ न पतेत् भगवन् यथा।

मातृशापादयं मेऽद्य तथा चिन्तय गोपते॥

रविरुवाच।

असंशयमिदं पुत्त्र भविष्यत्यत्र कारणम्।

येन त्वामाविशत् क्रोधो धर्मज्ञः सत्यवादिनम्॥

सर्वेषामेव शापानां प्रतिघातो हि विद्यते।

न तु मात्राभिशप्तानां क्वचिच्छापनिवर्तनम्॥

न शक्यमेतन्मिथ्या तु कर्त्तुं मातुर्वचस्तव।

किं चित्ते संविधास्यामि पुत्त्रस्नेहादनुग्रहम्।

कृमयो मांसमादाय प्रयास्यन्ति महीतलम्।

कृतं तस्या वचः त्वञ्च त्राता भविष्यसि॥

मार्कण्डेय उवाच।

आदित्यस्त्वब्रवीच्छायां किमर्थं तनयेषु वै।

तुल्येष्वप्यधिकस्नेह एकत्र क्रियते त्वया॥

नूनं न चैषां जननी संज्ञा क्वापि त्वमागता।

विगुणेष्वप्यपत्येषु माता शापं न दास्यति॥

सा तत् परिहरन्तीव नाचचक्षे विवस्वतः।

स चात्मानं समाधाय युक्तस्तत्त्वमवैक्षत॥

तं शप्तुमुद्यतं दृष्ट्वा छायासंज्ञा दिनाधिपम्।

भयेन कम्पिता ब्रह्मन् यथावृत्तं न्यवेदयत्॥

विवस्वांस्तु तदा क्रुद्धः श्रुत्वा श्वशुरमभ्यगात्।

स चापि तं यथान्यायमर्चयित्वा दिवाकरम्।

निर्दग्धुकामं रोषेण शान्तयामास सुव्रतः॥

विश्वकर्मा उवाच।

तवातितेजसा व्याप्तमिदं रूपं सुदुःसहम्।

असहन्ती ततः संज्ञा वने चरति वै तपः॥

द्रक्ष्यते तां भवानद्य स्वां भार्यां शुभचारिणीम्।

रूपार्थं भवतोऽरण्ये चरन्ती सुमहत्तपः॥

मतं मे ब्रह्मणो वाक्यात् यदि ते देव रोचते।

रूपं निवर्तयाम्यद्य तव कान्तं दिवस्पते॥

मार्कण्डेय उवाच।

यतो हि भास्वतो रूपं प्रागासीत् परिमण्डलम्।

ततस्तथेति तं प्राह त्वष्टारं भगवान् रविः॥

विश्वकर्मा त्वनुज्ञातः शकद्वीपे विवस्वतः।

भ्रमिमारोप्य तत्तेजः शातनायोपचक्रमे॥

देवाश्च ब्रह्यणा सार्द्धं भास्वन्तमभितुष्टुवः।

लिख्यमानं सहस्रांशुं प्रणेमुः सर्वदेवताः॥

ततः कोलाहले तस्मिन् सर्वदेवसमागमे।

तेजसः शातनं चक्रे विश्वकर्मा शनैः शनैः॥”

इति मार्कण्डेयपुराणे सूर्यतेजःशातनम्॥

“शातितं चास्य यत्तेजस्तेन चक्रं विनिर्मितम्।

विष्णोः शूलञ्च सर्वस्य शिविका धनदस्य च॥

दण्डः प्रेतपतेः शक्तिर्देवसेनापतेस्तथा।

अन्येषाञ्चैव देवानामायुधानि स विश्वकृत्।

चकार तेजसा भानोर्भासुराण्यरिशान्तये॥

The same story is explained in the 11th Chapter of Svarga Khaṇḍa of Pādma purāṇa. The sculptural representation of this story is available from one of the pillars of the 16 pillared pavilion in front of Ekāmranātha temple, Kāñcīpuram. This pavilion was built by Īṅgol Śaṅkara Pattar during 1822 and was opened 25.10.1822 which can be traced from the Sanskrit inscriptions therein. There are so many rare sculptures available on the pillars of this pavilion. This above story is depicted in a pillar on the eastern side. The panel shows that Viśvakarmā holds the Sun God and reducing him using a śāṇa stone. Saṃjñā devī watches the same beneath the panel.

sharpening of the Sun god

sharpening of the Sun god

A significant information about the above story is the reduction of Sun which is depicted as one eighth of the original in the Purāṇas. The modern scientists too say that the present Sun is one eighth of its original size. I don’t know whether there is a relation between these two matters.

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