Maitreya Maharishi continued, “O Vidura, you are an embodiment of dharma. Your question is truly appreciable. This is because the divine stories of Lord Srihari shred the noose called death in humans. In other words they free the being from repeated births and deaths. Although being a child, Dhruva heard the glories of Lord Srihari through Maharishi Narada and also obtained initiation into Srihari’s mantra. With the power of this mantra he conquered death! He also obtained the position of the pole star, which is the abode of Lord Srihari. Such is the glory contained in the stories of this divine Lord. Vidura! I will answer your question. Listen
Long ago the Devatas put forth before Brahma the same doubt which you had now expressed. He then narrated to them a story. I will now narrate the story to you as I have heard before.
Daksha Prajapati’s daughter Diti, was married to Kashyapa, the son of Marici Maharishi. Once around evening twilight time, she was tormented with extreme lustful desire and prayed to Kashyapa to bless her with a child.
It was evening sunset time. Kashyapa was seated in deep meditation in the sacrificial hall, engrossed in offering worship to the Supreme Lord through the process of homa. Through the medium of the tongue called homa-flames the Supreme Lord accepts offerings made, with feelings of total surrender, into the homa fire.
Diti approached her husband and beseeched in a pitiable voice, ‘O all-knowing Lord! Manmatha (the Lord of love/desire) has focused his arrows upon me. I am desirous of spending some time with you in pleasurable activities. Manmatha is showing his might upon me, a helpless woman. Just as an elephant torments a banana plant he is forcefully harassing me.
All my co-wives are blessed with children and are living contentedly. My heart burns in grief seeing their prosperity. Therefore in every form please shower your grace upon me. May you be blessed with auspiciousness!
Any woman who obtains a son like you in character will receive great honor and respect from her husband. The Shastras state that the husband himself is reborn from his wife’s womb as a child. Hence the child is known as ātmaja. Undoubtedly, the fame of such woman spreads throughout the world.
Our father Daksha Prajapati had supreme love towards us, his daughters. He always sought our well-being and for this reason he wanted to know our preferences. Long back he individually enquired from each of us about our choice of husband. Having heard our opinions, he gave away in marriage to you all his 13 daughters, who were totally fascinated by your character and traits.
O Mahatma! O Supreme one! O lotus-eyed one! Please fulfill my desire without any delay. Please bless me. When a person who is ridden with difficulties approaches a great person and seeks his help, his prayer will never be in vain’. In this way Diti who was totally tormented by desire, implored her husband in many different ways.
Trying to pacify her with suitable words, Kashyapa said, ‘O timid one, I shall definitely fulfill your dearest desire. It is through the wife that a man fulfills the three aims of life viz., dharma, artha and kāma. Hence for this reason no man will ever abstain from fulfilling the desires of his wife.
Sarvāśramān upādāya svāśrameṇa kalatravān
Vyasanārṇavam atyeti jala-yānair yathārṇavam
Through the medium of a boat a boatman not only crosses the river but in addition he also helps others cross the river. Likewise, a householder (grihasta) with the help of his wife crosses this ocean that is filled with hunger, thirst and other sufferings. In addition he also enables the persons belonging to the other three stages of life to cross this terrible ocean. He ensures that their needs of food etc. are met.
O self-respecting lady! Haven’t Maharishis declared that, for a man who seeks auspiciousness, wife is the other half of his body? Thrusting upon her his responsibilities, the man wanders happily.
A king who is protected by a strong fort easily defeats petty thieves who have broken in. Likewise, in order to conquer enemies known as the senses, in accordance with the dictates of the Shastras householders like us take refuge in a wife. Through pleasurable sexual pastimes gradually we are able to defeat our enemies i.e. the senses and conquer them.
Conquering the senses is not so easy for those in other stages of life. O Diti! You are the queen of my home. One lifetime is inadequate for me, or for any other noble being, to repay all that you have done so far. Although it is impossible for me to repay you in totality, I will definitely fulfill your desire to beget children.
However, my dear, the time is not right. Be patient for just an hour. Then people will not condemn me.
Eṣā ghoratamā velā ghorāṇāṁ ghora-darśanā
Caranti yasyāṁ bhūtāni bhūteśānucarāṇi ha
Etasyāṁ sādhvi sandhyāyāṁ bhagavān bhūta-bhāvanaḥ
Parīto bhūta-parṣadbhir vṛṣeṇāṭati bhūtarāṭ
This is the terrible Sandhya (evening sunset) time. It causes fear. This time belongs to the ferocious demons. It is said that during Sandhya times, the husband and wife should not even talk to each other.
There are three Sandhya times in a day. One in the early morning Brahmi muhurtam (just prior sunrise), the second is mid-day (around 12) and the third is the evening sunset time. Mouna (silence) should be practiced at such times.
You have approached me at such an hour. During this time Shiva’s attendants known as bhuta, preta, piśāca (ghosts and spirits) will be roaming about. On gentle one! At this time Rudra, the protector of all living entities, will mount his vehicle Vṛshabha and will travel so as to protect all living entities. The ghosts and spirits follow him.
His long matted hair will be dusty. Due to the force of the winds in the crematory, they will be disheveled. He would have applied ash on his golden complexioned body. Rudra is your sister Sati’s husband. With his 3 eyes viz., Sun, Moon and Fire he will be observing everybody.
Na yasya loke sva-janaḥ paro vā Nātyādṛto nota kaścid vigarhyaḥ
Vayaṁ vratair yac-caraṇāpaviddhām Āśāsmahe ’jāṁ bata bhukta-bhogām