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The Story of Gayasura

Hi all. I was a bit busy and so could not post stories here. Anyway, today I'm going to tell you a mythological story about one of the asuras i.e demon named Gayasura. Let's read the story.
Gayasura was the son of Tripurasura. He became the King after the death of his father. Like his father he too was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He worshiped Lord Vishnu with full devotion and got the boon that nobody except the Trimurtis i.e Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva can kill him.

As per the Hindu Puranas (ancient scripts), there are two versions of the story and here I'm mentioning both the versions.

Version 1:
King Gayasura with the power of the acquired boon his felt too high of himself and started torturing all the beings of the three worlds and made their lives miserable. Finally he became so arrogant with the acquired power that he even challenged Lord Vishnu who granted him the boon. He defeated Lord Vishnu with the power of the boon and then tied Him to a nearby tree. He felt so great and egoistic that he felt nothing is impossible for him in the three worlds and he is the supreme being of the three worlds.

When the atrocities of this wicked demon crossed the limits, people could not tolerate it any more and approached Lord Vishnu for rescue and help. Now, Lord Vishnu who was tied up to a tree by Gayasura was in a helpless condition. As per the saying 'necessity is the mother of invention', people after deep thinking said to Lord Vishnu, "Hey Parandhama!, you gave immortality to the living / animate physical form of Gayasura and not to his inanimate form.

Hey Devadeva! use your powers and turn him into an inanimate being and thus bring an end to his living form."

Lord Vishnu assured His devotees that He will do the needful.

When Gayasura approached Lord Vishnu to offer prayers, Lord Vishnu said, "Hey asura!, now it is your turn to repay me. Once when you asked me for a boon, I granted it. Now it is my turn to ask for a boon and you should grant me with the boon."

Gayasura felt great as Lord Vishnu Himself asked him for a boon. So, he readily said 'yes'.

Immediately Lord Vishnu said, "transform yourself into a stone."

The wicked asura understood that he was tricked and as there is no other go, he said, "Yes, I do."

So, slowly Gayasura's body (from the bottom i.e feet) started changing into stone. When he became stone up to his waist, he shouted, "Please wait. I have three wishes to be fulfilled."

Lord Vishnu who is known for being too Kind to His devotees said, "Yes, tell me and I shall fulfill those."

Gayasura spoke, "Narayana, (Narayana is one of the names of Lord Vishnu) I should have your two feet on my heart. Let everyone know the truth that an ardent devotee shall always have the feet of the Lord on his heart."

"So be it", said Lord Vishnu.

"My 2nd wish is that those who have Your (Vishnu's) feet on their heart should attain Moksha i.e liberation from the cycles of births and deaths."

"Yes, it shall be", said Lord Vishnu.

"And if anyone with the Lord's feet on one's heart do not get 'Moksha', I will again transform into my living form", said the asura.

Lord Vishnu said, "So be it".

And thus, the wicked asura completely transformed into a stony statue.

Version 2:
According to a plan, the Trimurtis approached Gayasura in the disguise of Brahmins i.e priests and said, "O Gayasura! we want to perform 'yagna' for continuous seven days on a pure land to bring down rains on the parched Earth. And we want to do it on your body."

Gayasura felt great for the compliment without knowing that he was being tricked by the Trimurtis. He gladly agreed for the same.

The Brahmins said, "O asura! Beware you are supposed to lie on your back on the ground and should not move till the 'yagna' is completed on the 7th day. If you move your body before the completion of 'yagna', you will meet with your death."

The asura gladly agreed with the condition and lie down still with his back on the ground. He increased his body to such an extent that his head region remained in a place called Gaya in Bihar, his abdomen region remained in a place called Jajpur in Odisha and his leg region remained in Pithikapuram (presently known as Pithapuram) in Andhra Pradesh.

The Trimurtis thus started performing the 'yagna'. Lord Vishnu performed it in the head region, Brahma in the abdomen region and Shiva in the leg region. The 'yagna' went uninterrupted continuously for six days. Before completion of the 7th day, Lord Shiva crowed like a cock before it was dawn only to trick Gayasura who thought that 7 days are completed and thus slightly moved his body.

The Brahmins thus spoke, "O asura, the 7th day is not yet completed and still the 'yagna' is going on. So, according to the condition, we are bound to kill you."

Gayasura then understood that the three Brahmins are none other than the Trimurtis and was happily agreed to meet his death in the hands of Trimurtis.

Courtesy: Google Images
Based on the story in the 2nd version, there is a statue of Gayasura at Kukuteswara Swamy temple in Pithapuram. The word 'kukuta' means cock in local language. As Lord Shiva crowed like a cock in the mythological story, He is worshiped in the name of 'Kukuteswara' in this temple.

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