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Upendra: Request for Information from Sri MadhavakkaNNan

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Jun 27 1998 - 15:17:46 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :

The least that I can do is to respond with
alacrity to the request of Sriman MadhavakkaNNan 
to whom we are indebted for the MahOpakAram of
making Swamy NammaazhwAr's Thiruvaimozhi available
to us in such an eminently absorbable fashion .
It is like glucose to the brain . Hence , It is my 
pleasure to respond to his request for Information on 
Upendran among the avathArams of Sriman NaarAyaNA .

The references are in Srimadh Bhagavatham, Srimadh RaamAyaNam
Srimadh NaarayaNeeyam and ThirupullANi Divya Desa
Sthala PurANam :

1. Srimadh Bhagavatham ( chapter 2.5: The Creation of the Universe)
2. Srimadh Bhagavatham:( chapter 8.23 : Bali goes to Suthala lokam)
3.         "           ( Ch.10.3: Birth Of Sri KrishNA )
4.         "           ( Ch.10.6: The destruction of PuthanA )
5.         "           ( Ch.10.34: Sankhya YogA )
6. Srimadh RaamAyaNam : Uttara KhAndam --7th Sargam 
   dealing with the Lord's fight as UpendrA with Maali ,
   MaalyavAn and SumAli , the ancestors of RavaNA .

Upendra is the Younger brother Of Indra . This avathAram 
is after NarasimhAvathAram according to RaamAyaNam .The use
of Sudarsanam by BhagavAn to cut off the head of the offending
Maali and the routing of his Companions of the Raakshasan ,
SumAli nad Maalyavaan by Upendran on the back of 
Garudan during the battle is described 
in great detail in the 7th sargam of Uttara KhANdham by 
the Adhi Kavi , VaalmIki . Sudarsanam took bath in the chakra
pushkaraNIi at ThirupullANi to remove the dhosham of killing
these RaakshasAs , who had originated originally from 
the line of Rishis .

Srimadh Bhaagavatham & Upendran

The Lord himself being born inside the prison
of KamsA addresses His parents Devaki and VasudEvA 
and reveals to them His antecedent births  including 
the one where He was born as the son of Kasyapa PrajApathi and 
Aditi Devi . The Lord tells VasudEvA and Devaki that 
they were His parents ( Kasyapa and Aditi ) during 
His avathAram as Upendra , the younger brother Of Indran :

tayOrvAm punrEvAhamadithyAmAsa KasyapAth 
UpEndra ithi vikhyAthO VamanathvAccha Vaamana :

(Meaning ) : O VasudEvA and Devaki ! Again , it was I , 
who was born as your son in your embodiment as Kasyapa 
Prajapathi and Adithi ( in my previous avathAram ) .
I was given the well known name of UpEndrA and also
VaamanA because of my shortness of stature .

In the next verse , the Lord reveals that He 
has chosen them as parents for the third time 
in response to their prayers ( The First avathAram
was Prisnigarbhan ; the second was UpEndran and 
the third avathAram was that of KrishNA ) . 

UpEndrA as a Rkshakan  is referred to 
in the 6th chapter of Dasama skandham dealing 
with the destruction of PuthanA by the Bala KrishNan .
The people of Gokulam are very disturbed about the 
attack by the Raakshasi PuthanA and recite a marvellous
VishNu Kavacha Manthram for the protection of every
limbs of the Lord from above and below and from every
direction to ward off future dangers from BhutAs , PrEtAs ,
PisaachAs , YakshAs , RaakshasAs and all kinds of apasmArams .
UpEndrA is one of the anga RakshaNa mUrthys in this
kavacham : 

-- kONEshu sankha urugAya uparyu UPENDRA :
ThArkshya: kshithou Haladhara : Purusha: samanthAth 
IndriyANi HrishIkEsa: prANAn NAARAAYANO avathu---

(meaning ): May UrugAya with Conch protect You 
(KuttikkaNNan ) from the corners , UPENDRA from above ,
TaarkshyA from the ground , and the plough-weaponed One from
all sides . May HrishikEsA protect Your senses and May 
NaarAyaNA protect Your prANAs . 

RaamAyaNam's decscription Of the Lord's destruction of the RaakshasAs
In the uttara KhAndham , In the first few chapters , 
Sage AgasthyA explains to Lord RamachandrA the ancestors of 
the Raakshasan , RaavaNan , whom the Lord had destroyed
at LankhA for his offenses against His divine SitA piraatti .

At the battle of UpendrA with Maali , SumAli and MaalyavAn ,
Maali's head was cut off by UpEndran ( VaasavAnujan ) 
and the other two ran off from the battle field 
and run to LankhA , their capital first and then 
escape to the netherworld to escape the fury of 
the Lord .This incident is referred to by NammAzhwAr in 
the Thiruvaimozhi Paasuram 7.6.8 ( aaLiyai kaaNpariyAi ):

" Oh Lord ! I must reach You and overcome all 
the obstacles that stand in my way . If You 
will it so , these obstacles will be banished in 
one subsection of a second. Yes, I do remember 
how you fought with the powerful RaakshsAs , 
Maali , MaalyavAn and SumAli , who were the 
ancestors of RavaNA . You killed Maali with Your
Disc and the others ran away in fear. You mounted
Your Vaahanam , Garudan , and fought them and destroyed 
their entire entourage . These pitiable fellows 
fled like the jackals , when they see the king
of the forest;they ran away like the horses , when
they encounter a lion or a YaaLi . You left piles of 
RakshasA corpses in the battle field .Oh Lord ! Please
slay the demons in me like arrogance and ego , which
interfere with my joining You . Oh Lord ! HOw I long 
to join You and see You with my very eyes before long ! 

The Episode after the battle with Upendran

After centuries of hiding , Sumaali left PaathALam
and returned to earth in the guise of a Human being 
with his beautiful daughter , Kaikasi and was intent on 
her being married to Sage Visrava , the son of Pulasthya 
prajApathi , a direct descendant of BrahmA .Kaikasi
approached the Sage at the time , when he was performing
AgnihOthram .She did not realize that it was an inauspicious 
time to approach a sage and ask him to bless her by
accepting her as his wife . The sage explained to her 
that the interruption to his AgnihOthram and her request
to marry her would result in the birth of RakshasAs 
given to cruel deeds instead of pious sages . The father,
SumAli was upset and prayed to the sage to mitigate 
the inauspicious news . The Sage agreed and said 
that there will be three sons and the last of the three
sons born of his union with Kaikasi would be pious and 
the other two will be cruel RakshasAs . Thus RaavaNA ,
KumbhakarNA and VibhishaNA were born . The purpose
of RaamAvathAram was established .

In between RaamAvathAram and UpendrAvathAram ,
VaamanAvatharam took place . Here , the Lord 
( UpEndra Vaamanan ) humbled MahA Bali ,the 
grandson of PrahLAdhA and the great grandson of 
HiraNya Kasipu . During NarasimhAvathAram ,
The Lord had promised PrahlAdhA that He will not
kill any descendant of PrahlAdhA .That is why ,
Kapata VaamanAvathAram was taken to deprive
MahA Bali of his saamrAjyam and TrivikramA 
placed His foot on MahA Bali's head as the third 
step and sent him down to the netherworld .

UpEndra Vaamanan was born during a SravaNa DwAdasi 
as son to Kasyapa PrajApathi and Adithi . Indraa
and DevAs were born from their union . Kasyapa 
PrajApathi had another wife by name Tithi . Out of
that union were born AsurAs . They quarreled as 
Cousins and the story of all the AvathArams of 
Sriman NaarAyaNA from Mathsya , Koorma ,VarahA , 
Narasimha , VaamAna , Raama , KrishNa avathArams 
are threaded into the quarrels of the AsurAs and 
the DevAs and the Lord's Dharma SamsthApanam . 

That is the Story of Upendra Vaamanan and His links 
to Lord KrishNA and Lord RaamA . 

Subhamasthu ,
Oppilaippan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan