UNUSUAL SONS OF LORD SHIVA – Story of Andhakasura

UNUSUAL SONS OF LORD SHIVA – Story of Andhakasura

By Dr Arundhati Hoskeri

pic3Shiva is a great ascetic who always shut his eyes towards world and worldly affairs. He was always in a blissful state for he never required any external stimulation to remain in that ecstatic state. But Devi or Parvati or Shakti was his loyal concert and wanted to raise a family with him. Shakti is a mother of this entire universe hence she always wishes to take care of the creation –animate or inanimate and this is the reason she does not want Shiva to completely alienate from the world. But beauty of their relation was she never forced her lord into any activity he despised, but loyally kept on serving him like his shadow and pursuing him to bless her with a child who could take care of the creation.

Devi Sati is born as Parvati, the daughter of Parvat Raj and Maina Devi and she goes in search of Shiva, serves him waits for him and at last marries him. Makes him a householder and moves along with him to Kashi, now Shiva is called Vishvanath ( Master of the universe). One day in a playful mood Parvati covers both of the eyes of mendicant Shiva with her palms and the entire universe plunges into darkness and to light up the world Shiva opens his third eye. Enormous heat is produced and Devis’s hands are heated up and sweat trickles down her palms on the ground and a fierce looking, ugly, blind child is born. Parvati was terrified at the child but he is a result of physical contact of Shiva and Parvati and hence he is their son. The boy was named Andhaka and was given away to a great devotee of Lord Shiva-Hiranyaksha a demon king, uncle of Bhakta Pralhad to bring up Andhaka.

Andhaka is brought up like their own son, prince with lot of love by Hiranyaksha and his wife. The boy grows up and goes away for a severe penance ( Tapasya) for many years to please Brahma and seek some boons. At last Brahma manifests before Andhaka who asks for immortality and restoration of his eyesight. Brahma restores his eyesight but refuses immortality by gently reminding Andhaka that, whatever is born on this earth has to perish one day-whether animal or plant but gives him a choice of his death. Andhaka thinks through and says that he can be killed by his own father if he ever lusted his own mother! what a choice, he was so very sure that he would never indulge into it and hence would never die.

He returns home happily and announces his intention to attack all the three worlds (Trilokas) and starts troubling, fighting and dethroning all the demons, men, yakshas, kinnaras, nagas, and Gods.

He sends his commander to go and search for the most beautiful bride for him. His commander comes back to report that,  in a cave near Kailasa is an ascetic lost in meditation and he has a woman by his side whose beauty is beyond words. Andhaka reaches there and instantly is drawn towards the lady. He develops insatiable lust for his own mother Parvati, being ignorant of his birth details. Shiva tries to convince him and asks him to go back but Andhaka smitten by Parvati’s beauty refuses to do and invites Shiva for a battle and Shiva kills him. The minute Andhaka comes to know about his relation with Devi, he is ashamed and falls at Shiva’s feet, seeks pardon and leaves his mortal body. Compassionate Shiva revives him and makes him a leader of one of his goblin troops.

Let’s now try to find out the message in this story.

This is the third time Lord Shiva opened his third eye. Opening of the third eye has always lead to some or the other destruction. First time he opened his third eye when Sati immolated herself and destroyed Daksha, his invitees –in other words he destroyed a social order. After he calmed down replaced Daksha’s head, revived all those who were killed and went back to his penance.

Second time Shiva opened his third eye was to kill Kama when he tried to provoke the Lord. Here he destroyed the lustful desires but after he calmed down he revived Kama and married Parvati.

Third time Shiva opened and Andhaka was born. Here Andhaka’s blindness is more mental than physical, as he fails to discriminate between good or bad, right or wrong and this goes to the extent of not being able to differentiate between love and lust. Overpowered by lust he casts his eye on his own mother. But once he realises his mistake and acknowledges the same, Shiva gives him a chance to lead a troupe of goblins.



Right from my childhood I am drawn towards Sanskrit, Hindu culture, Mythology, Vedas and Scriptures. My knowledge in this field is a collection of stories told by elders at home ( my father was a great Sanskrit scholar although lawyer by profession) , listening to Pravachanas and Puranas by learned Brahmins and my own reading cum understanding from various books.

I strongly believe that “Knowledge is for sharing and it is nobody’s protected property. Knowledge is free and is always in circulation” I don’t claim any mastery of what I write nor copyright of what I write in my blogs. These are my understanding of our scriptures and culture. Please share my blogs freely with others and if you can enrich my writing by adding more information, please do so..Happy reading and understanding.).

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