Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mythological Origin of Kaveri

The Kaveri Purana or Kaveri Mahatmya describes the sacred river from its source to its union with the sea, and enumerates the holy bathing places and the temples on its banks.The Kaveri Purana seeks to glorify the holy river, whose divine origin, its intimate relationship with the rishi Agastya (the settler of the Vindhya mountain range, the great son of both Mitra and Varuna), and its course through the eastern country into the sea being directed in obedience to the counsel of Agastya, all conspire to give it a character of surpassing sanctity.

The account of Kaveri's mythological origin begins with the seizure by the Asuras, of the amrita or nectar of immortality produced at the churning of the ocean, which spread consternation and despair among the hosts of the gods. They invoked Vishnu, from whom emanated the enchanting Mohini, while Lakshmi at the same time sent forth Lopamudre (a form of Parvati). Mohini, charming the Asuras by her transcendent beauty, rescued the drink of immortality and restored it to the gods. After this she retired to Brahmagiri, the hill at the source of the river Kaveri, and was changed into a rocky cave. Lopamudre was given to Brahma, who brought her up as his daughter.

Kavera muni, a devout follower of Brahma, retires to Brahmagiri, there to give himself wholly to meditation on Brahma. He asks Brahma for children. Brahma gives him Lopamudre for a daughter, this is when she obtained the name Kaveri. In order to procure beatitude for her new father, she resolves on becoming a river, pouring out blessings on the earth, and all the merits arising from this course of devoted goodness are to be appropriated to Kavera muni. For this purpose she resorts to one of the heights ot Brahmagiri, and invokes Brahma to give her the privilege, when turned into a river, of absolving all people bathing in the holy waters from every sin they may have committed. Brahma, of course grants this blessing to his daughter.

While Kaveri is still absorbed in her devotions, the great rishi Agastya espies her, and asks her to become his wife. Though longing after the fulfilment of her vow, she consents to live with Agastya, under the condition, however, that she shall be at liberty to forsake him whenever she is left alone. One day Agastya went to bathe in the river Kanake, leaving Kaveri near his own holy tank, guarded by his disciples. Thus deserted by Agastya against his promise, she plunged into the holy tank, and flowed forth from it a beautiful river. The disciples tried to stay her course. She went under ground. At Bhaganda kshetra she appeared again, and flowed on towards Valamburi. When Agastya, on his return, saw what had happened, he ran after Kaveri, begged her pardon, and entreated her to return and to remain with him. Unwilling to change her mind, yet loathing to grieve Agastya, Kaveri divided herself, one half flowing off as a river, the other half staying with the rishi. Agastya then explained to the river half which road to take to the eastern sea, enumerating all the holy places lying in the way of the new stream.

Source: Mysore and Coorg, Vol. III by Lewis Rice

2 comments:

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  2. Story of River #Kaveri as per KAVERIPURANA in PATTOLEPALAME
    Once Kavera muni performed a great thapasya to please Lord Brahma in the Western Ghats to have a child. As he had some dosha, he never had children. Lord Brahma was pleased by his thapasya & gave his daughter to Kaveramuni. As she became the daughter of Kavera muni she was named as Kaveramme. When he became old, he passed away & Kaveri was left alone. Once the great sage Agasthya wanted to perform thapasya he visited Brahmagiri where he saw Kaveri & inspired by her beauty he expressed his willingness to marry her. She agreed with a condition that any day if he gets attracted towards other women, she will leave him & flow as a river for loka kalyana. He promised her not to do so. They got married & lived happily. Years passed and once Agasthya thought of taking a bath in kanike & Sujyothi River for a change. He filled Kaveri in a pot & went to take a dip. Kaveri came to know about this and was angry about her husband’s behavior. She started flowing as a river. There were many people who went to Agasthya & told him about this & supported him just because he was a great sage. However, Kodavas stood by justice, supported Kaveri & opposed the betrayal done by Agasthya. She was very much pleased about Kodavas being just and brave. However, Kaveri continued to flow. Later Kodavas realizing that they are going to lose Kaveri gathered together prayed Kaveri & cried not to leave them. By then she already started to flow towards Kodavas. By the force of the river, the sarees of kodavathis turned front side back & this is how Kadava sari came into being. Kaveri advised kodavathis to wear only Kadava saree there after She promised that she is going to come back in Kavery Thula sankramana every year to bless the people.

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