Sep 08, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A study of the famous Rishis and Munis of Vedic literature.
Pulastya Rishi is another of the Prajapati, or mind-born sons of Brahma, and is among the Saptarishis in the first Manvantara. He was the medium through which some of the Puranas were communicated to man. He received the Vishnu Purana from Lord Brahma and communicated it to Parashara, who delivered it to mankind.
All the Rakshasas are said to have come from Rishi Pulastya's line. Pulastya was married to one of Kardama muni's nine daughters, Havirbhoo. They had two sons - Maharshi Agastya and Visravas. Visravas and his wife Kekasi bore Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana. With his wife Ilavida, he had the son, Kubera.
Idvidaa was the daughter of Trinbindu and Alambushaa Apsara of the Marut lineage, who was a Chakravartee Raajaa and was in the lineage of Vaivaswat Manu Shraadhdev. He used all gold pots in his yagya, and gave so much wealth to the Brahmins that they left many things behind. This was the same gold which Yudhishthira took and used for his yagya.
Pulastya Rishi, being the grandfather of Ravana, once saved him from Sahastrabahu. Sahastrabahu was the King of Mahishmati Puree, who killed Maharshi Parasuram's father, the Rishi Jamdagni. To take revenge for his father's death, Parasuram fought with him bravely and created five ponds from their blood. Sahastrabahu is also known as Kaartveerya Arjuna, but because of his thousand arms he was known as Sahastrabahu.
Once Sahastrabahu took Ravana to his palace and imprisoned him in his stables, after a fight the two got into because the king had diverted the Naramada River's water, in which Ravana was trying to bathe. Quarreling with the king, Ravana ended up in the stables. Pulastya Rishi intervened to save his grandson, and Sahastrabahu consented out of respect for the great Rishi to let him go. Sahastrabahu then demonstrated his friendship by giving many gems, fine clothing, etc.
Among Pulastya Rishi's many pastimes, the one perhaps best loved by the Vaisnavas is the story of Pulastya delivering Sri Govardhana Hill to Vraja. As described in Sri Vraja-mandala Parikrama:
"Once Pulastya, one of the seven munis, as he was touring all the holy places, became stunned upon seeing the beautiful trees, wonderful flowers, fruits, and gardens that the exquisitely beautiful son of Dronacala, Giriraja Govardhana, possessed. Pulastya Muni went before Dronacala and, showing him great worship and honor, said to him, in this way, that he was a Kasi-vasi muni, Kasi has the Ganga, Visvesvara Mahadeva, and sinful persons there receive sadhya-mukti, liberation as their final goal, but they want to perform tapasya there by establishing Govardhana at Kasi.
Pulastya Muni prayed to Dronacala like this to give his son, Govardhana, to him. Dronacala was very affectionate to his son, but fearing the curse of the muni, said "How will you be able to take Govardhana? Govardhana is eight yojanas (64 miles) long, five yojanas (40 miles) broad, and two yojanas (16 miles) high." This question was asked before Pulastya Muni who had replied that he could easily take it on one hand!
[The Garga-Samhita describes Giriraja Govardhana's breadth as eight yojanas, namely sixty-four miles. But materialistic vision sees it and hears it as only seven miles at present. The parikrama path is fourteen miles.]
Govardhana agreed to go along with the muni on one condition, "Muni, wherever you place me down due to the heavy weight, there I will remain." Pulastya Muni promised, "He would take Govardhana to Kasi, not putting him down anywhere on the road." The powerful father of Govardhana, Dronacala, offered pranams and then the muni lifted up Govardhana in his right hand and slowly began to proceed forward. As he proceeded the best of the munis came to Vraja-mandala.
Upon seeing Vraja-mandala's unparalleled beauty where Sri Krishna's balya-lila, childhood pastimes, and kaisora-lila, adolescent pastimes, were performed, and remembrance of the Yamuna, gopas and gopis, and Krishna's pastimes with the youthful Sri Radhika and Her associates, Govardhana had no desire to go to any other place, leaving Vraja. In this way Govardhana became so heavy that the muni felt ill and forgot his own promising talk and thus set Govardhana down upon the ground of Vraja.
The best of munis, upon completing his bodily purifications, again began to request Govardhana to come and sit upon his hand as he had done previously. But Govardhana did not accept his requests to get up. The best of the munis then tried himself to lift but he was unable to do so. Again by the condition of the prayer Govardhana did not want to go, so Pulastya Muni became extremely angry and said, "Because you did not fulfill my aspiration, every day you will decrease one sesame seed." From that time on Govardhana Hill shrunk one sesame seed per day."
It is also said that when Pulastya Muni was flying over Vraja bhumi with Govardhana on his way to Kasi, it was Giriraja who increased His weight to the extent that the Rishi had to put Him down. And it was this that caused the Rishi 'sesame seed curse'. Later, giving up the veracity of his curse, the Rishi promised Giriraj that in the Dvapara Yuga, everybody would start worshipping him.