The Venus

The Venus

Everyone expected Venus’ refined, sophisticated, sociable
pundit, whose turn came next, to respond to the slurs made against
his chosen planet. He did so, in a Venusian manner: easy-going,
accommodating, and friendly Venusians love harmony, so this authority
made his elegant ripostes gently, not aggressively.

“Jupiter is a potent planet,” he began, “of this there is no
doubt; but Venus has a talent that not even Jupiter possesses: he can
raise the dead, with the help of the Sanjivini Vidya. This is why Venus
is the mightiest of all the planets. He is the guru of the asuras, who
serve him night and day because he uses the Sanjivini Vidya to
resuscitate those of them who fall in their battles with the gods.
Venus’s capabilities are simply indescribable in full. He is acclaimed in
all the three worlds because his power is astounding and his heroism
unparalleled. Obeisance to Venus causes all obstacles, all worries, and
all diseases that surround a person to flee far away, for Venus
pulverizes negative karmas.

He is immensely astute, and, a true
Brahmana, he is an expert in every form of learning. All who worship
him achieve their most cherished desires, and those who observe his
night-vow for one year become happy and vigorous, obtain children
and good fortune, lose all obstacles, and go to Venus’s realm after death.
“The fortunate, charming Venus has a medium-sized well-nourished
body, long hands, prominent shoulders, a broad chest, and dark,
short, curly hair. Overflowing with virility, he is intelligent,
handsome, and sensuous. His constitution is Kapha-Vata, and his
color resembles that of snow, or the white jasmine flower, or the
fragrant white oleander, or the lotus stem. Fond of juicy things, of
music, and of femininity, his metal is silver and diamond his gem.
Even though Lord Venus himself has but one eye, he is the
significator of eyes in a horoscope, and a Venus who is prominent in a
birth chart gives beautiful eyes.

“Lord of semen and ova, of the southeast, of Friday, and of
Libra and Taurus, Venus is known by such names as Ushanas, the
Brilliant, the Poet, the White, the Pure, He Who Has Reached the Far
Shore of the Vedas and Vedangas, Possessor of Great Intelligence, the
Knower of Politics, and the Asura-Guru. Venus is the son of the Rishi
Bhrigu by his wife Puloma. Bhrigu Rishi was, like Angiras Rishi, born
directly from Brahma’s semen, which means that Venus and Jupiter,
those two implacable adversaries, are first cousins.

“Once Bhrigu was performing intense penance on the
Mandara mountain, and Venus, who was then a boy, used to tend to
his father’s needs. It so happened that one day, when Bhrigu was
absorbed in a deep meditative trance and the lonely Venus was
appreciating the beauty of the sky above him, the exceptionally
beautiful Apsaras Vishvachi swam into his ken. Seeing her so filled the
boy’s heart with delight that he sat stock still, absorbed in her
bewitching charm, and all his thoughts became centered on her. In
order to distract his attention from her, his mind followed Indra to
Indra’s world, where he was received with honor, but as he was
. sightseeing in heaven he unexpectedly came across the apsaras whose
beauty had drawn his mind there in the first place.

“They fell in love at first sight of each other, and to fulfill his
desire Venus created a hut from thick foliage in a small corner of
heaven, which he then enveloped in darkness. That couple thereupon
indulged in lovemaking in their bower for eight cycles of the Four Ages.
Then, when Venus’s good karmas had finally been used up, he fell from
heaven down to the Moon, whence his soul reached the earth through
rain that fell on a rice-paddy. Entering the semen of a Brahmana who
ate that rice, and then entering the womb of that Brahmana’s wife via
his semen, Venus was reborn in that Brahmana family.

“He then led an austere life on Mount Mem for as long as
the life of the Progenitor of that epoch, until his path again crossed
that of Vishvachi, who had been cursed to live there as a female deer.
He fell in love with the deer and mated with her; the result was a
human child, who distracted his mind from his meditation. The
Brahmana who had been Venus died of snake bite not long after, and
then, reborn as prince of Madra, ruled that country for many years.
Afterwards he took many other births, including one as a bamboo
forest and another as a python, until at last he was born as the son of a
Seer living on the banks of the river Ganga.

“His original body, meanwhile, had long ago dropped to the
earth after extended exposure to wind, rain and sun, but the power of
Bhrigu’s penance prevented it from decaying or being eaten. After one
thousand divine years, Bhrigu opened his eyes to find not his living
son but a famished, worn-out body lying nearby. Small birds nested in
the wrinkles of the skin, and frogs had taken refuge in the hollow of
the stomach. In his fury over his son’s premature death, he was about
to curse Yama, the god of death, when Yama appeared before him and
said, ‘Please do not waste your accumulated spiritual power by cursing
me. All created beings are my food; I have already devoured
innumerable universes. Besides, your son fell into this state because of
his own actions,’ which he then recounted to the distraught father.
Yama ending by saying, ‘He is now performing penance on the banks
of the river Ganga; open your inner eye and see for yourself!’

“Yama then revived the body of Venus, who rose up and did
obeisance to his father. Bhrigu thereupon taught the boy his past
lives.and showed him the road to spiritual success. Venus set out on
this road to gain the favor of Lord Shiva, but even after worshipping
Him for five thousand years he had achieved no result. He then
determined to live solely on smoke for one thousand years more, until
Shiva appeared to him. Lord Shiva did finally appear and blessed
Venus that he would eventually become His son.

“Shiva also taught Venus the Sanjivini Vidya, which is
otherwise known only to Shiva, His wife Parvati, and Their two sons
Ganesha and Skanda. In addition, Shiva named Venus the best of the
planets and told him that his rise in the sky would inaugurate the
performance of all auspicious rituals. It is for this reason that
marriages are performed only when Venus is rising in the sky. Venus
himself has enjoyed several wives and has been blessed with daughters
and sons.

“Venus became Lord Shiva’s son in this way: Parvati once
playfully covered Shiva’s eyes, which plunged the universe into
immediate darkness. Hurriedly freeing those eyes, Parvati returned
light to the cosmos and saw before her a young boy. When She asked
Her husband whence the child had come, He replied laughingly, ‘You
created him by creating darkness, 0 Goddess. He is your son. Let us
call him Andhaka (‘Darkness’).’ Because Parvati refused to accept the
child, Lord Shiva presented Andhaka to the asura Hiranyaksha as an
adopted son, and the boy rapidly grew into a stalwart demon who
harried the gods mercilessly. When, during a war with the devas, the
army of this Andhaka was annihilated by the overwhelming power of
the celestial army, he fled from the field of battle and took refuge with
his preceptor, Venus, who reassured him and revived the asura hosts.

“Angered at this tactic, Lord Shiva captured Venus and
swallowed him, and while he was thus trapped inside Lord Shiva, the
fortunes of war turned decidedly against the asuras. Venus wandered
about in Lord Shiva’s body for one hundred celestial years. Inside
Shiva’s belly he saw all the various universes, all the devas and the
asuras, and even the war. Eventually, finding no other way to exit, he
emerged through Shiva’s penis and then paid obeisance without delay
to that great god. Very impressed by this feat, Shiva named him
Shukra (which can mean white,’ ‘the planet Venus,’ and ‘semen’) and
acknowledged him as His son, thus fulfilling His promise. It is to this
Venus, the son of Shiva, the planet who possesses the Sanjivini Vidya,
that I bow.”

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