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Boon and curse


Story of Tulasi and Shaligram


Once, Lakshmi was born as Tulasi to royal couple Dharmadhwaja and Malati owing to the curse of Saraswati. The beauty and charm of the child attracted everybody. Right from birth Tulasi was a very devoted girl. She performed very strict Tapasya to Brahma who appeared and asked Tulasi to seek a boon. Tulasi requested to have Sri Hari as her husband. Brahma told her that she would have to marry minor Avatar of Vishnu born as Danava King called Shankhachooda residing in Samudra, who was invincible even to Lord Shiva and that he would be her husband initially and subsequently she can have full Avatar of Vishnu as her husband.

Few days have passed, and Tulsi met Shankhachooda in forest. She instantly got attracted to mighty Shankhachooda and performed Gandharva vivaha. Owing to the service of an ideal wife Shankhachooda’s strength grew and he developed his kingdom to a great extent and threatened the whole world. Shankhachooda, essentially a Danava then tortured Devas and disturbed Indraloka. His mighty army included three crore Dhanurdhaaras, three lakh race horses, five lakh top rate elephants, Trishula dhaaris, countless chariots, and highly trained Maharathis. He was virtually an unconquerable force in the entire Universe. On top of it he was a staunch Krishna devotee and the latter himself bestowed a talisman which fortified his prowess further. Shri Krishna was no doubt aware that the Danava King was performing all acts of Viciousness, brutality and violence; yet the demon’s staunch devotion to him prevented him from doing anything against. This situation prompted Lord Shiva to advise the Danava King and mediated peace with Devas. But the good advice given by Maha Deva himself fell flat on Shankhachooda’s deaf ears and the great battle of Devas and Daanavas which could have been avoided took place.

In the battle the Danava Sena was annihilated mercilessly by the forces of God and there were streams of blood and floating dead bodies of soldiers and animals on the battle front. Maha Kali released Brahmastra at the Danava King who retaliated with another Brahmastra. Then Devi Kaali initiated the Mantra to release ‘pasupathastra’ when a Celesial Voice was heard saying King Shankhachooda is a ‘Maha Purusha’ and Pashupatastra should not be released against him, since he would not be killed by it. In fact, as long as the ‘Kavacha’(Shield) given by Shri Hari was carried on his body and as long as his wife’s ‘Pativratya’(High devotion to her husband) would last, the Danava would continue to be indestructible as these were the two boons he received from Brahma on account of intense Tapa.

Meanwhile, Bhagavan Vishnu took the form of an old Brahmana and approached Shankhachooda for a boon. When Danava King replied that he could grant him anything, the Brahmana asked for the ‘Krishna Kavacha’; the Danava King who abided by his word parted with the Kavacha. Bhagavan Vishnu then assumed the form of Shankhachooda and entered Devi Tulasi’s interior room in a delightful mood saying that he won the battle and wished to rest. Devi Tulasi was full of joy and in a celebrating mood of relaxation she devoted herself to Maya Shankhachooda and thus her pativritya got affected. Consequently, as the two conditions were breached Mahadeva terminated the Danava king Shankhachooda.

Meanwhile Devi Tulasi realized that she was cheated and her husband Shankhacooda was killed, she cursed Vishnu to become a rock piece (holy Shaligram) since he was unscrupulous and heartless .

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