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Shukracharya – The Embodiment of Unselfishness

Shukracharya – The Embodiment of Unselfishness

“Shukracharya the Great Guru who liberates all Living Beings may it be Gods, Demons and Humans from Maya and the circle of the rebirths. ”

These are the lines that describe the greatness of Shukracharya, who has been considered as one who will liberate us from the cycle of birth and death. These lines tell us what powers were there with Shukracharya, but there are many wrong myths that surround his personality. He is believed by the people that he was the Guru of the Asuras and had Asuric powers.

Shukracharya, the Guru with immense powers and knowledge, was born on Friday in the year Parthiva on Sraavana, Suddha Ashtami when Svati-Nakshatra is on the ascent. His name also carries his birth day as Friday is called Shukra in Indian Languages. He was a Great, Learned, Scholar and a Yoga Expert. He was the son of Saint Bhrigu. He was sent to the Sage Angiras to acquire his teachings. At the Ashram, along with him was Brihaspati, the son of Sage Angiras, who was also acquiring knowledge. Shukracharya had a thirst for knowledge from his childhood, and that led him to perform many hard penances and acquire knowledge.

The era we are talking about was a world divided into two groups- Devas- The Gods and Asuras or the Dananvas-The Demons. Brihaspati was the son of Sage Angiras, and so Sage Angiras favoured him a lot. This was not liked by Shukracharya. The Devas accepted Brihaspati as their Guru. This enraged Shukracharya. So, this made Shukracharya become the Guru of the Asuras.

As mentioned in our Scriptures, many Devasur Sangram took place between the Devas and the Asuras. In many of the wars, the Devas won, and there was a great loss to Asuras. This enraged Shukracharya, and he went on to think about what can be done to protect the Asuras. So, he thought of going for penance to please Lord Shiva to get the Sanjeevani Mantra. This Mantra would infuse life into the body of the deceased even after he was killed. So, he went to the forest and left the Asuras under the protection of his mother. To take advantage of his absence, Lord Indra attacked Asuras, Khyati Mata’s powers stunned Lord Indra. To rescue Lord Indra, Lord Vishnu had to come for his help. In the war, Lord Vishnu went on to cut the head of Khyati Mata. This enraged Sage Bhrigu, and he gave a curse to Lord Vishnu that he would have to go through the pain of birth and death again and again. It is said that because of the curse, Lord Vishnu had to take the form of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna on the earth.

Shukracharya went through a very severe penance in the forest. He attained his objective by hanging himself upside down from a tree. He gave up food and water. He survived by inhaling the smoke coming from burnt leaves. His determination and his severe penance to get the Sanjivan enraged Lord Indra, the King of the Devas. He tried many ways to disrupt the penance.

In order to disrupt the penance, Jayanti- the daughter of Lord Indra- mixed chillies to the burnt leaves. The chillies made blood ooze out of Shukracharya’s eyes, nose and mouth. But this did not create any effect on Shankaracharya’s penance. Standing as a pillar, he continued his penance. After seeing the pain and pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva had to give the boon of Sanjeevani Mantra to Shukracharya. Shukracharya went on to use this mantra in reviving the Asuras who had been killed in the war. This made the Asuras gain victory over the Devas.

Jayanti was really sorry and impressed by Shukracharya. She asked for an apology and urged him to give her a chance for marriage. They both married, and ,thus, the daughter of the King of the Devas went on to become the wife of the Guru of the Danavas.

Brihaspati sent his son Kacha to Shukracharya for learning the MritSanjivaniVidya. Shukracharya, accepted Kacha as his pupil though he was the son of his rival Brihaspati. Danavas were not happy with the decision of Shukracharya. They tried many ways to kill Kacha. But every time, Kacha was brought back to life by Shukracharya. Then one time, the Asuras were able to kill Kacha without Shukracharya knowing about it. They burned the body of Kacha and powdered his bones and mixed it with the wine which was served to Shukracharya. When Shukracharya called for Kacha and heard the voice of Kacha from his own gut. Shukracharya gave the last part of the MritSanjivani knowledge to Kacha when he was in the stomach of Shukracharya. Kacha tore open the stomach of Shukracharya and came to life. Kacha, when he came out, brought Shukracharya to life as by this time he had learnt the MritSanjivani Vidya.

At this time, Shukracharya understood his mistake and knew what mistake he had done. He laid down a code of conduct for the Brahmins. The Mandabuddhi Brahmin who consumes “Madir”, his whole Dharma would be destroyed, if he does this than he would suffer the sin of “Brahma Hatya” and will be cursed in this Loka and the Parlok as well. In this way, Shukracharya made the code of conduct for the Brahmanas.

He was a great Bhakta of God. He was the one who was ready to impart knowledge to everyone. So devoted his life to providing Dharma Siksha to everyone. His attitude of providing everyone with religious knowledge transformed the life of Prahlad, Virochan, Bali etc, and they transformed into great Bhaktas of God. The list of the people who were his students was:

Kacha: The son Of Brishaspati, the rival of Shukracharya. Kacha learned the art of resurrection from Shukracharya.
Vrishaparva: King of the Asuras and father of Sharmishtha, one who was the ancestress of the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
Prahalad: Devotee of Vishnu and the most powerful King of the Asuras.
Bali: Grandson of Prahalada King of Asuras and a devotee of Vishnu
Danda: The youngest and the most irresponsible son of King Ikshvaku of Ayodhya. He was an obedient student of Shukracharya. But he violated Shukracharya’s daughter against her will, and as a result of it, he was slain. As a result, his former kingdom turned into the Dandaka forests.
Prithu: The first blessed King and the first true Kshatriya.
Bhishma: He was the son of King Shantanu. He studied all branches of knowledge and statecraft from Shukracharya.

It is said that Shukracharya was a good observer and used to notice the things around him very minutely and keenly. The story goes that one time when King Bali, the King of Asuras was performing Yagna. Lord Vishnu takes Vaman Avataar and comes over there. He takes the vow from Bali that he would give him what he asked for. Lord Indra had come to take the three-world from King Bali. Shukracharya immediately recognizes him and pays respect to him by the following words;

“Bhagvan, all mistakes, and lapses done in Mantra, Tantra, Desh Kala, Paatra or subjects, would be condoned with Naam-Sankeertan of your name. Your name has the Power to remove all the shortcomings.”

Kin Bali did not listen to Shukracharya and kept his words, and offered the gift. This annoyed Shukracharya, so he used his powers and to shrink his body. He shrank his body and sat on the spout of the Kamndalu, from which the water was to be poured to seal the promise. Lord Vishnu, who was in the form of the Vamana, knew about the trick of Shukracharya. He picks up a grassblade from the ground to clear the outlet of the water vessel. This spout poked into the left eye of Shukracharya. Since this day, Shukracharya has become half-blind. So, he has also been called Ekaksha

Shukracharya used his powers of Yoga to bind up Kubera and rob him of his riches. So angry Kubera went to Lord Shiva and told him everything. Lord Shiva was very angry, and he took out his spear and started searching for Shukracaharya. Shukracarya was terrified. This terror did not make him understand what he should do, whether he should run or stay there. Then he used his power of Yoga and sat on the top of Lord Shiva’s spear. So, for Lord Shiva it became difficult to release the spear. Lord Shiva then bent his spear with his hands into the shape of a bow, which brought Shukracharaya into the palm of his hand. Lord Shiva then tossed Shukracharya down his mouth, and now Shukracharya started wandering in the stomach of Maheshwara. Shukracharya, again and again, prayed to Lord Shiva to allow him to come out of his stomach. Lord Shiva, at last, agreed after Shukracharya had made so many requests. He was allowed to exit from the pennis. In this way, Shukracharya emerged from the body of Lord Shiva and began to be known as Shukra. Seeing Shukra, Lord Shiva was ready to kill him. But Mahadev was restrained by his wife, Parvati. She said that someone who had emerged from Mahadev’s stomach did not deserve to be killed; Lord Shiva melted and let Shukracharya go wherever he liked. So Shukracharya owed his life to the compassionate Lord Shiva and Parvati.

A great knowledgeable person who was respected even by the Devas and Saints. He was an expert in Political Science. He founded the Shukra Niti. In his niti he has laid down the following points:

  1. One should never reveal certain things in front of others.
  2. It’s great if you are loved and respected by all, but don’t show it off in front of others- doing so will lower your respect in the eyes of others
  3. If you have to face insult at any point in your life, it’s best to keep it to yourself; telling that to everyone you know will make you feel insulted in front of others as well.
  4. If you pray to God every day and have a secret mantra that you chant for it, its best to keep that to yourself. If you tell that in front of everyone, who wishes will not get fulfilled.
  5. The amount of money you have should be strictly kept to yourself. Disclosing it puts your money at risk, and people will get jealous of you.
  6. The age of a person has nothing to do with a person’s capability, so until asked for it, do not reveal your age to anyone.
  7. Your intimate details about you and your partner should not be disclosed to anyone.
  8. Someone going through a bad phase in life and having plenty of grah doshas, he/she should keep their problems to themselves, sharing them won’t solve them.
  9. One should keep the details of the doctor they are consulting to themselves; those doctors keep all the record of the persons well being and might share their weaknesses with your enemies.
  10. Donating is an act of kindness but boasting about it in front of others makes it unkind, so if you donate, keep it to yourself.
  11. One must always do good deeds; as it is said, you reap what you sow; thus, one should always do good deeds.
  12. If destiny is not in your favour, then it will be very difficult for you to achieve the goals. So do not try to fight with destiny.
  13. Your good Karma may have the power to change destiny, so do great Karmas.
  14. All actions that you do are based on your destiny and karma based on your previous birth, so always do good karma.
  15. It is not destined that you will do bad karma in all lives. You may have done bad karma in the previous life, but you may do good karma in this one.
  16. Our mind is sometimes taken by the heart. When the heart takes our mind, many times, wrong decisions are made.
  17. According to the Caste System businessman or who sell things are businessmen and the one who does husbandry and farming are called Vaishyas.
  18. Kshatriyas are one those who are brave warriors; their main aim is to protect the world and uplift the downtrodden.
  19. Your deeds and actions define your caste.
  20. A man under the influence of a woman does, corruption gets poor owing due to his bad karmas, and he is worse than a dead man, even if he is alive.

Shukracharya- A Guru who was Personification of Selfless Love.

Om Shum Shukraya Namah||

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With Ganesha’s Grace,