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Kaitabh / कैटभ

  • Kaitabh was a demon, the younger brother of Madhu. When Vishnu was asleep on the serpent Shesh at the end of the Kalp, a lotus sprang from his navel from which Brahma was born. From his ears oozed wax, from which were born the Asurs, Madhu and Kaitabh. They both had obtained a boon of death at will from Durga.
  • Once, when Brahma was reciting the Vedas on the lotus, Madhu and Kaitabh, stole them and went to Patal (under water world). Brahma went after them, but when they attacked him he returned to Vishnu for help. Vishnu fought with them in the waters where they were hiding. The Asurs engaged him in fight for many years. Then, Vishnu realising that they would die only if they wished, told them that he was pleased with them and granted them a boon. The Asurs, arrogant of their power, told Vishnu that since they were more powerful, they would grant him a boon. Immediately Vishnu asked for the boon that he may kill them. The Asurs were shaken, and underestimating Vishnu's power, said that they were willing to be killed anywhere except in water. Vishnu then increased his size and his thighs rose above the water. On seeing this the Asurs also increased in height. Vishnu enlarged his thighs even further, caught hold of Madhu and Kaitabh, put them across his thighs and cut off their heads with his Chakra. Madhu and Kaitabh had a son named Dhundhu.