Chapter 69 — Brahma Declares Karkati’s Tapas Complete, Grants Her Boon to Be a Pin to Cause Pain

Vasishta resumed:—

After the passing of a thousand years, Brahma appeared to Karkati in order to put an end to the intensity of her austerities and crown her with success and the reward of her tapas. She saluted him internally in her mind and remained fixed in her position thinking about the boon she should beg of him for allaying her keen appetite. She soon recollected a certain request, which she should present to her complying god. It was to transform her soft and flexible form to the shape of an inflexible iron needle with which she could torment all living beings.

At Brahma’s bidding, she thought in herself, “I will become as thin as a minute pin in order to enter imperceptibly into the hearts of animals, like the fragrance of flowers enters the nostrils. By this means will I suck blood from the heart of beings to my heart’s satisfaction. In this way my hunger will be satisfied and my appetite gratified to the greatest delight of my soul.”

As she was thinking in this manner, the god discovered her sinister motives, contrary to the character of a yogi, and approached her with a voice resembling the roaring of clouds.

Brahma said, “Daughter Karkati of the rakshasa race, who sits here like a cloud on the inaccessible top of this mountain, know that I am pleased with your tapas and bid you now to raise yourself and receive the boon that you desire of me.”

Karkati answered, “O Lord of the past and future! If you are inclined to grant my request, then please confer on me the boon of transforming my un-iron-like body to the form of an iron needle.”

Vasishta said:—

The god pronounced “Be it so,” and added, “You will be like a pin (Suchi) and you shall be called choleric pain (Vishuchika) because you give pain to all bodies. 10 You shall be the cruel cause of acute pain to all living beings, particularly to the intemperate and hard-working fools and loose libertines who are destined to be your devoted victims. 11 Moreover shall you molest the dwellers of unhealthy districts, and the practitioners of malpractices by entering their hearts with your infectious breath, and by disturbing their sleep and deranging the liver and other intestinal parts of the body. 12 You shall be of the form of wind (in the bowels) and cause bile and flatulence under the different names of colic diseases, and attack the intemperate both among the wise and unwise. 13 The wise, when attacked by you, will be healed by repeating this magical mantra, which I will here propound for their benefit.”

14 “The mantra runs thus: ‘There lives Karkati, the rakshasi, in the north of the snowy mountain. Her name is Vishuchika, and it is for repelling her power that I repeat this mantra. Om, I bow to hring, hrang and ring, rang (the powers of Vishnu) and invoke the Vaishnavi powers to remove, destroy, root out, drive away this choleric pain far beyond the Himalayas, and afar to the orb of the moon. Om and swaha, be it so.’ ”

“Let these lines be tied as an amulet on the left arm. 15 Then rub the painful part with the palm of that hand, and think the colic Karkati to be crushed under the mallet of this amulet and driven back beyond the hills with loud wailing. 16 Let the patient think the medicinal moon is seated in his heart and believe himself to be freed from death and disease, and his faith will save his life and heal his pain. 17 When the attentive adept, who having purified himself with sprinkling water in his mouth, repeats this formula, he succeeds in a short time to remove the colic pain altogether.”

18 Then, after delivering this effective amulet to the spiritual masters (siddhas) attending upon him, the lord of the three worlds disappeared in the air. He went to his splendid seat in heaven where he was received by God Indra who advanced to hail him with his praises.