The Saga of Jay Vijay

Deterioration. That’s what happens when the Divine flips the calender on the Yugas. As Sage Vaishampayan explains Janmejaya in Mahabharata, with each Yuga passed, Dharma deteriorates, and with the Dharma, all that is righteous, auspicious, and decent decays. But the same rule of deterioration applies to the Rakshasas as well. The line between a demon and a human being fades away. Once, those used to be mighty, powerful, potent, and distinguishable demons end up becoming more and more like human beings, losing their demonic strengths as the Yugas proceed. This is the story of how Jay Vijay were cursed and how they achieved salvation from the sins they once committed.

Jay Vijay of Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur, Mysur, Karnataka
Door Keeper of Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur, Mysur, Karnataka

The Inauspicious Beginnings

It was evening time, and Diti, the daughter of Prajapati Daksh, was eagerly waiting for her husband, sage Brahmarshi Kashyap to get out from his meditations. Due to some reason, Diti was aroused and was expecting her husband to fulfill her desires. It was believed that the evening time belonged to the demons, ghosts, corpses, and Rakshasaj. In the Shrimad Bhagvatam, Maharshi Kashyap says,

अथापि काममेतं ते प्रजात्यै करवाण्यलम् । यथा मां नातिवोचन्ति मुहूर्तं प्रतिपालय ।।
I will satisfy your desire to have the kids as per my abilities. But you must wait for one more Muhurta (time) so that others won’t criticize me. 

Even after explaining to her, that why it was highly inappropriate to procreate at this inauspicious time, she didn’t listen, and still remain adamant on her wish. So, giving up on her wish, Maharshi Kashyap went ahead and did what Diti was expecting from him. Afterwords, realizing her mistake, she apologized to her husband and pleaded Mahadev to forgive her and her future progeny. Listening to her remorse, Sage Kashyap said, 

अप्रायत्यादात्मनस्ते दोषान्मौहूर्तिकादुत । मन्निदेशातिचारेण देवानां चातिहेलनात् ।। भविष्यतस्तवाभद्रावभद्रे जाठराधमौ लोकान् सपालांस्त्रींश्चण्डि मुहुराक्रन्दयिष्यतः || 
प्राणिनां हन्यमानानां दीनानामकृतागसाम् । स्त्रीणां निगृह्यमाणानां कोपितेषु महात्मसु ।।
तदा विश्वेश्वरः क्रुद्धो भगवाल्लोंकभावनः । हनिष्यत्यवतीर्यासौ यथाद्रीन् शतपर्वधृक् ।।

You were overpowered by lust; the time was highly inauspicious, and you completely ignored my advice and insulted the gods. Oh, inauspicious one, you will give birth to two extraordinarily ill-omened and vile children. They will repeatedly torture all the worlds and the Gods altogether. When they cross all the boundaries of killing innocent and poor lives, the women will suffer horrendous tortures due to their ominous effects when they torture the sages, the Almighty God Jagadishwar, in a fuming rage, shall take a birth. Just like Indra dominating the mountains, these two will suffer death at the hands of the Almighty. 

Realizing the mistake, righteous Diti accepted her and her children’s fate. She replied, Instead of getting killed by receiving the curses from the Sages, it would be better for my children if they were going to die at the hands of God himself. (so that they will be liberated from the endless cycles of rebirths).

Hearing her remorse, sage Kashyap said, You will have plenty of mighty powerful grandsons. one of your them shall be respected even by the sages, honest and righteous people all over the world. Due to his unparallel devotion, Shri Hari Vishnu will have to take a birth on earth. Hearing this, Diti was pleased. (Shreemad bhagvatam-1-510)

प्राजापत्यं तु तत्तेजः परतेजोहनं दितिः । दधार वर्षाणि शतं शङ्कमाना सुरार्दनात् ।।
लोके तेन हतालोके’ लोकपाला हतौजसः । न्यवेदयन् विश्वसृजे ध्वान्तव्यतिकरं दिशाम् ।।
As Diti was afraid of the possibility of her children being harassed by the gods, she kept that radiance of Kashyap (which could overshadow all the radiance in the world) inside her womb for a hundred years. And due to the radiance emitted from her womb, all the Suns, stars, and Lokpalas (lords of the directions and worlds) began to fade away, spreading the darkness in the universe. Seeing this, all the Gods, demigods, sages, and Maharshis went to Brahma, requesting him to do something about it. 

Ever smiling, Brahma assured them with a story.

Jay VIjay Door Keepers of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India
Door Keepers of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India

मानसा मे सुता युष्मत्पूर्वजाः सनकादयः । चेरुर्विहायसा लोकाँल्लोकेषु विगतस्पृहाः ।। 
त एकदा भगवतो वैकुण्ठस्यामलात्मनः । ययुर्वैकुण्ठनिलयं सर्वलोकनमस्कृतम् ।।  

My godsons Sanat Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat) who were the anscestors of the heavenly deities, used to roam around in the universe, denouncing all the worldly affections. Once, they reached to the Vaikuntha, the abode of Shri Hari Vishnu, located above all the heavens. 
When they reached Vaikuntha with their Yogic powers, they were ecstatic to meet Bhagvan Vishnu.

तस्मिवतीत्य मुनयः सज्जमानाः कक्षाः समानवयसावध सप्तमायाम् । 
देवावचक्षत गृहीतगदी परा-केयूरकुण्डलकिरीटविटङ्कवेषी ||
मत्तद्विरेफवनमालिकया निवीती विन्यस्तयासितचतुष्टयबाहुमध्ये | 
वक्त्रं वा कुटिलया स्फुटनिर्गमाभ्यां रक्तेक्षणेन च मनाग्रभसं दधानी ||

Neglecting other visual objects, longing for the divine Darshan, when they reached the seventh stage, they faced two equal-aged Powerful deities decorated with many priceless ornaments like bracelets, earrings, armbands, and crowns. A beautiful garland was adorned in the middle of the four dark arms. The curved eyebrows, flaring nostrils, and eyes showed signs of irritation on their faces.

Even though the age of Sanaktumar was more than thousands of years old, they physically stopped growing after five years, looking like toddlers. Like toddlers, they used to roam around naked, being free from materialistic things. Both the Vaikuntha doorkeepers stopped them and started laughing at them. Due to this grave and unnecessary insult, all the Sanatkumars got furious. And then,

तद्वाममुष्य परमस्य विकुण्ठभर्तुः कर्तुं प्रकृष्टमिह धीमहि मन्दधीभ्याम् ।
लोकानितो व्रजतमन्तरभावदृष्ट्या पापीयसस्त्रय इमे रिपवोऽस्य यत्र ।।

You are the councilor of the Lord Vaikunthnath, but your intelligence is subpar. Therefore, to do good to you, we think of a punishment worthy of your crime. You shall leave this Vaikunthalok by the fault of your discrimination and go to those sinful earthly realms, where lust, anger, greed-these three enemies of the living beings dwell.

Realizing their mistake immediately, they realized their mistakes. All of a sudden, Shri Hari Vishnu appeared there, knowing everything. Sanatkumars bowed before Vishnu and started singing praises about their beloved divine. Shri Vishnu accepted their prayers with a smile and said, “Dear Kumars, I completely accept the punishment you have given to the Jay-Vijay.  

एती ती पार्षदी मह्यं जयो विजय एव च । कदर्थीकृत्य मां यद्वो बह्वक्रातामतिक्रमम् ||
यस्त्वेतयोर्धृतो दण्डो भवद्भिर्मामनुव्रतैः । स एवानुमतोऽस्माभिर्मुनयो देवहेलनात् ||
तद्वः प्रसादयाम्यद्य ब्रह्म दैवं परं हि मे । तद्धीत्यात्मकृतं मन्ये यत्स्वपुम्भिरसत्कृताः ॥
यन्नामानि च गृह्णाति लोको भृत्ये कृतागसि सोऽसाधुवादस्तत्कीर्तिं हन्ति त्वचमिवामयः ।।

Shri Bhagwan said – sages! These Jai Vijay are my pupil. They have committed a great crime against you by not caring about me. You are a devotee of mine; Therefore, I agree to the punishment you have given to them for disobeying me. Brahmins are my supreme worshipers; The disdain that has been done to you by my followers, I consider it as my own doing. That’s why I apologize to you. The world points out to the master when the servants commit crimes. That infamy contaminates the master’s fame like a skin disease.

एतौ सुरेतरगतिं प्रतिपद्य सद्यः संरम्भसम्भृतसमाध्यनुबद्धयोगी |भूयः सकाशमुपयास्यत आशु यो वः शापो मयैव निमितस्तदवैत’ विप्राः ।।
एतत्पुरैव निर्दिष्टं रमया क्रुद्धया यदा । पुरापवारिता द्वारि विशन्ती मय्युपारते ।।

Shri Bhagwan said – sages! The curse you gave them – know the truth, it has happened due to my inspiration. These will soon be born as Daityas (monsters). Due to the extremely focused haterade towards me, they will return to me shortly after having attained a great Yoga. (and then, by turning towards the Jay-Vijay, Shri Vishnu said,) Once when I was deeply immersed in the Yoga Nidra, you stopped Lakshmi Ji at the door, and that time, being furious, she had already cursed you the same. So, spend your time on earth, being born in the monster bodies, and achieve your freedom after some centuries.

तावेव हाथुना प्राप्तौ पार्षदप्रवरौ हरेः । दितेर्जठरनिर्विष्टं काश्यपं तेज उल्बणम् ||
-And then they entered into the womb of Diti, where Sage Kashyap’s radiance was residing.  

Jay Vijay in Satya Yuga

Varaha Hiranyaksha
Prabhu Varaha Killing Rakshas Hiranyaksha, Hoysaleshwar Temple, Halebeedu, Karnataka, Bharat
Narsimha HiranyaKashyapu, Hoysaleshwar Halebeedu
Prabhu Narsimha Killing HiranyaKashyapu, Hoysaleshwar, Halebeedu, Karnataka, Bharat


दितिस्तु भर्तुरादेशादपत्यपरिशङ्किनी । पूर्णे वर्षशते साध्वी पुत्री प्रसुषुवे यमौ ॥
As per Kashyap, Diti was afraid of her children’s devastating nuseance to the universe. That’s why when the whole hundred years passed, then that Sadhvi gave birth to two Yamaj (twin) sons.
They were named Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyaksha was killed by Varaha, the boar incarnation of Shri Vishnu. On the other hand, Hiranyakashipu was killed by Narasimha, the lion-headed ferocious Avatar of Shri Vishnu.

Jay VIjay In Treta Yuga

Ravan Fighting Prabhu Ram,
Rakshas King Ravan Fighting Prabhu Ram, Hoysaleshwar Temple, Halebeedu, Karnataka, India

 In the Treta Yuga, Jay-Vijay took another rebirth.

ततस्तौ राक्षसी जाती केशिन्यां विश्रवःसुती । रावणः कुम्भकर्णश्च सर्वलोकोपतापनी ।।
तत्रापि राघवो भूत्वा न्यहनच्छापमुक्तये ।

Both of them were born as demons from the womb of Keshini (who were fathered) by sage Vishrava. Their names were Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and because of their havoc, all the worlds were set on fire. And then, to set them free, Shri Vishnu had to take Ram Avatar and kill them. 

Jay Vijay In Dwapar Yuga

Devki Vasudev and Shri Krishna Delhi Museum
Devki Vasudev and little Shri Krishna, Gupt Era, Fifth century, Devgadh, UP, Delhi Museum

In the Dwapar Yuga they had to take their last birth. In Bhagvat Puran, Brahmarshi Narad tells Yudhishthir, 

तावेव क्षत्रियौ जातौ मातृष्वस्रात्मजौ तव अधुना शापनिर्मुक्तौ कृष्णचक्रहतांहसौ ।।
वैरानुबन्धतीव्रेण ध्यानेनाच्युतसात्मताम् । नीतौ पुनर्हरेः पार्श्वं जग्मतुर्विष्णुपार्षदौ ||

Both Jay-Vijay were born in the Kshatriya clan in the form of your aunt’s sons, Shishupala and Dantavaktra. All of their sins were destroyed by the touch of Lord Krishna’s chakra, and they were freed from the curse of Sanatkumars. Due to enmity, they constantly thought about Lord Krishna. As a result of the intense negative focus, they reached to God and once again became his pupil reaching back to him.

In the Shishupal Vadh Parva, which is included in the Sabha Parva of Shri Mahabharat, returning of the Jay-Vijay has been depicted beautifully. It says,

एवमुक्त्वा यदुश्रेष्ठश्चेदिराजस्य तत्क्षणात् । व्यपाहरच्छिरः क्रुद्धचक्रेणामित्रकर्षणः ।।

Enraged by saying this, Yadukulatilak, the enemy of the enemy, Lord Krishna, at that very moment, cut off the head of Chediraj Shishupala with his Sudarshan Chakra. And then, something amazing happened.

स पपात महाबाहुर्वज्राहत इवाचलः । ततश्चेदिपतेर्देहात् तेजोऽग्रयं ददृशुर्नृपाः॥
उत्पतन्तं महाराज गगनादिव भास्करम् । ततः कमलपत्राक्षं कृष्णं लोकनमस्कृतम् ।
ववन्दे तत् तदा तेजो विवेश च नराधिप॥

The mighty Shishupala fell to the ground like a mountain-top struck by thunderbolt. King! After that, all the Kings witness; that from the body of Chediraj (Shishupal) an excellent effulgence is rising up; As if the sun has risen from the sky. That glory bowed down to the world known Kamaldal Lochan (the one with the eyes like lotus petels) Shri Krishna and at the same time entered into Him.

What Murti Shastra says about Doorkeepers of Shri Vishnu

 Apart from Jay-Vijay, Roopmandan depicts a few other doorkeepers of Shri Vishnu, like Chanda, Prachand, Dhata, Vidhata, Bhadra, and Subhadra. They go into detail explaining the characteristics of each one., how they should be made dwarf-sized, and how they are considered auspicious in every aspect.

तर्जनीं शङ्खचक्रे च चण्डो दण्डं दधत् क्रमात् । वामे स्थाने प्रचण्डोsस्यापसव्ये दक्षिणे शुभः ॥

In the east direction of the temple) Chand is carved on the left side. One of his hands is in the Tarjani Mudra posture, and in the remaining three hands, he holds a conch shell, disc, and rod. To its right side, Prachanda will be standing, holding these weapons in counterclockwise order (rod, disc, conch, and Tarjani Mudra posture).

पद्मं खड्गं खेटकञ्च क्रमाद् विभ्रद् गवां च यः (जयः) । विलोमे पद्मगदयोविजयस्तो क्रमाल्लिखेत् ।।
Jaya (in the southern direction of the temple) is on the left and will be holding a lotus, sword, Khetaka, and mace, respectively. Vijaya will be standing on his right, holding these weapons in reverse order, and in his left hand, he holds a lotus and a mace.

तर्जनी (नीं) बाणचापौ च गदां धाता च सृष्टितः । मुदा (सव्या) पसव्ये तैरस्त्रविधाता वाम-दक्षयोः ॥
The posture and weapons of Dhata’s hands are Tarjani Mudra posture, arrow, bow, and club, respectively. He will be on the left side. These are the weapons that the Vidhata holds in reverse order. That is, the weapons of the right hands of the Dhata are held by the Vidhata in the left hands, and the weapons of the left hands of the Dhata are held by the Vidhata in the right hands.

तर्जनीं कमलं शङ्ख गदां भद्रः क्रमाद् दधत् । शस्त्रां (सव्यापसव्य योगेन सुभद्रस्तौ क्रमान्न्यलेत् ॥
One hand of Bhadra is in Tarjani Mudra posture, and in the remaining hands, he holds lotus, conch, and mace, respectively. Subhadra keeps all the same things in reverse order.

Jay Vijay Belur
6 Avatars, Hiranyaksha & Hiranyakashyapu
6 Avatars, Hiranyaksha & Hiranyakashyapu

1.Shrimad-Bhagvat-Mahapuran, Pratham Khand, Geetapress, Gorakhur, 21st Edition, Kolkata, India
2. Shrimad-Bhagvat-Mahapuran, Dvitiya Khand, Geetapress, Gorakhur, 21st Edition, Kolkata, India
3. Roopmandan, Doc. balram Shrivastav, Second Edition, 1996, Motilal Banarasidas, Delhi, India
4.Mahabharat, Geeta Press, 17th Edition, Gorakhpur, Up, India

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