Kashyap

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Kashyap / कश्यप

  • Kashyap is one of the ancient sages who is mentioned once in Rigveda. This name is mentioned a number of times in other Samhitas (scripts) as well. He is always described as veryancient, religious and mystical character.
  • According to Aitareya Brahman, he performed the coronation of king ‘Vishvakarmabahuwan’. Aitareya Brahmanas have linked Kashyaps to Janmejay.
  • In Shatpath Brahman, the king is called Kashyap.
  • In context to the origin and hierarchy of Asurs, Mahabharata and Puranas say that Marichi was one of the six sons of Brahma, who produced a son, Kashyap, a king.
  • Kashyap married the 17 daughters of Daksha. Following are the offspring of Kashyap from them:
  1. Aditya from Aditi
  2. Daitya (Daemon) from Diti
  3. Danava from Danu
  4. Ashva etc from Kashta
  5. Gandharva from Anishtha
  6. Daemon from Sursa
  7. Vraksha from Ila
  8. Apsaragana from Muni
  9. Sarpa from Krodhavasha
  10. Gau and Mahish from Surabhi
  11. Shwapad from Saramaa
  12. Shyen-Gradhra from Taamra
  13. Yadogana from Timi
  14. Garuda and Arun from Vinta
  15. Naag from Kadru
  16. Patang from Patangi
  17. Shalabh from Yamini
  1. Diti
  2. Aditi
  3. Danu
  4. Vinta
  5. Khasa
  6. Kadru
  7. Muni
  8. Krodha
  9. Rishtha
  10. Ira
  11. Taamra
  12. Ila
  13. Pradha
  • All was created from them.
  • Kashyap is the name of a clan as well. It is a prevailing clan. If somebody’s clan is not known, he/she is considered to be a Kashyap because according to tradition, all came from Kashyaps.
  • Once upon a time, Parsuram won the whole Earth and donated it to sage Kashyap. Kashyap said to him “Now you don’t stay on my land”. So Parsuram decided not to stay on Earth during night. He started going to Mahendra Parvat every night.[1]
  • Daksh had two daughters in Sat Yug: Kadru and Vinta. They both were married to Sage Kashyap. One day, happy with them, Kashyap granted them both a wish. Kadru asked for 100 courageous snake sons. Vinta asked for 2 sons but more courageous than the 100 sons of Kadru. After some time both Kadru and Vinta got 10 and 2 eggs respectively. Snakes emerged from Kadrus eggs after 500 years. As a result of jealousy, Vinta opened one of her egg. Out came a premature boy whose only upper body was developed. The underdeveloped son cursed his mother to be the servant of Kadru for 500 years and also said that if the other egg is not opened before time, then her other son will release her from the curse. First boy became Arun and was the charioteer of Surya and the second boy turned into Garuda and flew away.
  • One day Kadru and Vinta went out. After watching Uccheshrawa horse, they set a bet that whoever guesses the colour of the horse wrong; will be the maid of the winner of the bet. They decided to see the colour of the horse next day. Vinta said the horse was white but Kadru said that the horse was white with black tail. Kadru was fraud. She told her snake sons to wrap around horse’s tail so she doesn’t lose the bet. She cursed the snakes who didn’t follow her orders to turn to ash in the Janmejay’s Yagya (sacrifice). In approval of this curse, Brahma called Kashyap and told him “The counts of your snakes have increased too much. It was good that your wife cursed some of them, so don’t be angry with her.” Saying this, Brahma gave Kashyap the skill to take off the venom from the snakes. Next day when Kadru and Vinta went to see the horse, the tail appered to be black by the black snakes wrapped around it. So Vinta accepted to be Kadru’s maid as she lost her bet.
  • Garuda asked the snakes what he could do to release her mother from the curse. His snake brothers asked him to bring Amrut (ambrosia, makes immortal). Garuda left to find Amrut. He had to fight all the deities. He defeated all of them and reached where Amrut was. By turning himself into a miniscule, he crossed the Chakra rotating around the Amrut. He killed the two snake guards and flew way with the Amrut. He himself didn’t drink the Amrut, so Vishnu was happy with him and blessed him with immortality and a place in Vishnu’s flag. Garuda also accepted to be Vishnu’s carrier. On his way he met Indra. He asked him to return the Amrut because it will be a disaster if the snakes drank the Amrut. Garuda told Indra that he is taking the Amrut on a purpose. When he places it down, Indra may take it back with him. Indra was pleased with him and gave him a blessing that snakes will be his food. Garuda then reached his mother and told the snakes that he has brought the Amrut. He asked them to release her mother and take a bath. By the time when snakes returned, Indra stole the Amrut from the room. The snakes licked the cloth where the Amrut was kept, and their tongues split in two parts. [2]
  • Indra was very jealous of Balkhilya Sages. Angry sages asked Kashyap to teach Indra a lesson. Kashyap married Suparna and Kadru. When they were pregnant, he advised them to stay at home decently, and left the house. The two ladies started going to the Yagyas (sacrifices) of the sages. They spoilt the sacrifices and by the curses from the ages, they turned into rivers. Kashyap came to know about it when he returned. They worshipped Shiva after Sages advice. Shiva was pleased and blessed them that they will turn into ladies again when they will meet River Ganga. At the time of their Yagyas, Kadru again insulted the sages with on eeye, so she lost her eye. Somehow Kasup pleased the sages again and turned them to ladies back again. [3]

References

  1. बाल्मीकि रामायण, बाल कांड, सर्ग 76, श्लोक 11-16
  2. महाभारत, आदिपर्व, अध्याय 28, अ0 29 श्लोक 1 से 14 तक, अ0 30, श्लोक 32 से 52 तक अध्याय 32, 33, 34
  3. ब्रह्म पुराण, 100 ।-