Devanga Purana


Devanga Purana

The Devanga puranam describes the Devanga cult, their goddess, rituals and customs. It is included in the Brahmanda Purana; originally written in Sanskrit, it has been translated into Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.

Summary of Devanga Purana

Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi envisioned creation, and immediately Parasakthi, the goddess of strength and energy, appeared before him along with Brahma, Vishnu and Kalarudhra. Lord Shiva apportioned to them the duties of creation, protection and destruction respectively. Brahma created the world and also created Manu the saint. Manu created all the creatures of the earth. After his selfless service, Manu attained Shiva's presence, and as a result there was no one to weave clothes for the people, leaving to suffer in leaves and bark until they appealed to Lord Shiva through Brahma.

Lord Shiva created a saint, Devala Maharshi, or "man with divine grace", and bade him to weave clothes for all creation, using yarn from Vishnu. As Devala Maharshi wove clothes and covered the bodies of the people in the heaven he was called Devangan. He ruled Amoda.

After getting the divine yarn from Vishnu, Devala Maharshi returned home but spent the night in a choultry. Devala Maharshi was harassed by evil forces. Vishnu defeated them with his charka but new evil forces appeared out of the blood of the dead evil forces. The goddess Devanga helped Devala Maharshi to overcome this difficulty by dazzling the evil forces with her bright crown and killed them, and the goddess' lion vahana of the goddess caught the arrakas' blood and prevented it from landing on the earth below. As a result of this battle, the goddess was named Sowdeswari, or the Devi with a dazzling crown.

After this adventure Devala Maharshi reached the city of Amoda. Sunaban, the king of Amoda, was informed by Lord Shiva and he welcomed Devala Maharshi to his palaces for as long as Devala Maharshi might wish to stay as his guest. At last Sunaban crowned Devala Maharshi King of Amoda and requested Devala Maharshi's permission to return to his own home, explaining that he was now cleared of Shiva's curse and the time had come for him to return home with his wife. Sunaban and his wife disappeared, leaving Devala Maharshi to rule Amoda.

Devala Maharshi had been ordered by lord Shiva to weave clothes. He was in need of handlooms and wanted to get them from Mayan, living in the Meru hills. Leaving his ministers in charge of Amoda, he travelled to Meru. After a long journey he reached the palace of Mayan, who gave him all the instruments he needed. Devala Maharshi returned home, but before he started weaving, he paid homage to the goddess chowdeswari and prayed for her blessings. chowdeswari appeared before him and gave him a bangle of Gold and blessed him so that he would soon gain fame and great wealth. Devala Maharshi put the bangle on his right arm and started weaving clothes.

Devala Maharshi went to Kailash to present clothes to Lord Shiva and Goddess choowdeswari. chowdeswari was pleased to wear his clothes, while lord Shiva presented him Sudhanthiraham (the divine sword), and a pennant bearing the divine face of Nandhi. “These will protect you and you will never face either failure of setback on your path to greatness.” the lord said.

Lord Shiva ordered Devala Maharshi to use the remaining yarn from his weaving him to make five divine threads, one of which is the sacred thread “Janjam” (a Telugu term), and offered him the hand of the sister of the sun in marriage. All the people in the heaven blessed them. The wife of Devala Maharshi bore him three sons, Divyangan, Vimalangan, and Dhavalangan. They were well versed in all the arts and experts in all the sciences, and when they reached manhood, they married Prabhai, Badhmaatchi, and Sabalaatchi, respectively. Divyangan, the eldest, succeeded Devala Maharshi.

One day the Vidhyadas went to Lord Shiva and demanded a guru to teach them 64 arts the lord replied “Oh my children, Yemavarunan of your kula has been meditating at the bottom of Meru mountain. I will bless him with a son, and you learn the 64 arts under him”. Lord Shiva ordered that Devala Maharshi be reincarnated as the newborn sone of Yemavarunan. Devala Maharshi bade farewell to his wife and children and reached the feet of the Lord Shiva, leaving his body in the form of a linga to be worshipped by his family.

Devala Maharshi took seven avatharas:

  1. Devala Maharshi
  2. Vidhyadhara
  3. Pushpadhandha
  4. Vedaalam
  5. Varamuni
  6. Devasaali
  7. Devadasa

These seven begot many children, who grouped themselves into ten thousand kulas which took seven hundred rishis as their gurus. They adopted the names of the gurus as their gothras and followed the same gothras, generations upon generations.

References


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