Jalandhara

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jalandhara (sometimes Jallandhar or Calantaran) is a figure in Hindu mythology. Jalandhara was the king of the asuras. Jalandhar was an able ruler and under his leadership the asuras defeated the devas. He himself was not an asura but was born out of the union of the lightning from Shiva’s third eye and the Ocean. According to Padma Purana, the city of Jalandhar is named after him.[1]

In one story, he accuses Shiva of hypocrisy, pointing out that Shiva claims to be an ascetic but keeps a wife, Parvati. Jalandhara proposes that Shiva hand over Parvati to him:

How can you live on alms and yet keep the beautiful Parvati ? Give her to me, and wander from house to house with your alms bowl. You have fallen from your vow. You are a yogi, what need have you for the gem of wives? You live in the woods attended by goblins and ghosts; being a naked yogi, you should give your wife to one who will appreciate her better than you do.

[2]

Upon hearing these insults Shiva becomes so angry that a fearsome creature (Kīrttimukha) sprang from his brow and nearly killed Rahu, the messenger who had delivered the demand.

Jalandhara had a wife of remarkable piety named Vrinda (in some versions Tulasi). So pious is she that Jalandhara's misdeeds go unpunished under the protection of her virtue. Eventually Vishnu shatters Vrinda's chastity; a path is thereby opened to the punishment of Jalandhara, who is killed by Lord Shiva. To comfort Vrinda in her grief and despair, Vishnu promises her that a beautiful plant will grow from her grave, and that its leaves would be used to make garlands (tulasi mala) for his neck.

Either way, the tulasi plant today is highly valued for its medicinal properties, and it is associated with the festival of Uthana Dwadashi(Tulsi Vivah).

Tulasi Jalandhara is a popular drama and storyline for Harikatha discourses.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Tourism". National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  2. ^ Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, "Asceticism and Sexuality in the Mythology of Siva, Part II." History of Religions, Vol. 9, No. 1. (Aug., 1969), pp. 1-41.