Thinking out of the Box – A Story From Our Mythology

Every situation in life is unique and challenging and one needs to employ strategies which are workable and practical for each situation.There are several stories in our mytholgy which illustrate this principle. I will narrate here one interesting story from DEVI MAHATMYAM, which I happened to read recently:

In the beginning of creation of the Universe, Brahma was deeply involved in His task of creation sitting on a lotus seat. Much before Brahma’s arrival, two Rakhasas (demons) Madhu and Kaitabh were born out of the ear wax oozing out of the ear of Lord Vishnu. They became powerful due to a boon from Devi, according to which they would die only at a time and place of their choosing. This made them almost immortal. Fortified with the boon, they became arrogant and challenged Brahma for a fight. Brahma fled to Vaikunta to seek Vishnu’s help as He realized that the Rakshasas were invincible. Unfortunately Vishnu was in Yoga Nidra (deep meditative sleep) and would not wake up. Brahma worshipped Devi and sought Her intervention for waking up Vishnu from His deep slumber. Vishnu woke up eventually and learnt about the challenge from the two Rakshasas. Soon the demons fought a fierce battle with Lord Vishnu. Vishnu was at His wit’s end to find ways to overcome the rakshasas. The Rakshsas, on their part,  found a rare opponent in Vishnu as He countered them equally ferociously. Vishnu soon divined that the two Rakshasas were invincible because of the boons they obtained from Devi. So He had to think out of the box to succeed in the battle.

He reflected for a while to find out if the Rakshasas had any weakness at all. He started listing out different aspects of their character. He mused: “The guys are wicked and strong for sure, a difficult combination to beat. They are also working as a team taking turns to fight Me. Do they have any weakness at all?”. Then it struck Him suddenly that these guys were also very arrogant, vain and full of pride about their strength and invincibility. Vishnu realized that He should somehow exploit this weakness of the Rakshasas.  How did He do that? It is a masterpiece of strategy followed by excellent execution. Vishnu smiled at the Rakshasas and said: Guys, I am immensely pleased with your display of power and the courage with which you fight. I have decided to grant you a boon of your choice. Tell Me what you want’. The rest of the events turned out precisely as per Vishnu’s game plan. The Rakshasas told Vishnu rather condescendingly: Isn’t it ridiculous and laughable that you want to grant us a boon? It is normal for a stronger person to offer a boon to a weaker guy. Therefore, we are privileged to grant you a boon. Choose whatever pleases you’.

That was precisely the kind of opening Vishnu was hoping for and He instantly grabbed the opportunity and said:  ‘ I want you guys to die in my hands’.  For a while, the demons  looked worried as they realized they were tricked by Vishnu. At the same time they couldn’t go back on their word. Soon they recovered their composure and responded: Okay, so be it, but with one condition. You can kill us only at a place where there is no water’. They said this because the universe was filled with water back then. Seeing ocean all around, they thought they had outwitted Vishnu in His game. However, Vishnu took an immeasurably immense form and in one fell swoop placed the two demons on His massive thighs and finished them off with His Sudarshana Chakra.

Published in: on December 15, 2012 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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