Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: The Arrogant Door-keepers –X

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Nilanjana recounts an interesting tale from the Bhagavatam. Diti realised that she was pregnant. However, instead of joy, anxiety took over her. Since she was very scared about the chaos that her sons are likely to cause in the world, she wanted to retain the children inside herself. It is believed that they stayed in her womb for a hundred . But the unborn children seemed to emanate a glow. The glow lit up the whole world. The devas, scared and bewildered, approached . The twins were incarnations of the door-keepers of heavens, Jayah and Vijayah. Their arrogance brought about a curse on them. They were to be reborn as enemies of Lord Vishnu, who was to take incarnation to destroy (read kill) them. In this alone was their salvation. Here’s the engrossing story, exclusively in Different Truths.

This story is the cause of many incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

was married to thirteen daughters of Daksha. One evening, when the Sun was about to set Diti looked at her longingly. He was busy completing his evening rituals by pouring milk into the holy fire that he had just worshipped. Slowly, Diti approached him requesting consummation for the desire that was engulfing her and making her so restless. Kashyap smiled at her , “A wife is a man’s companion in this ocean called life. She sails with him in happy times and provides an anchor during Diti and Kashyapadistress. A married woman is called Jaya since she is born again in her husband’s heart. But this is not the right time for us to be together. The Sun has just moved westwards. Mahadeva (Lord Shiva) is about to begin his daily evening visit on his bull with his ganas (attendants). This is the sacred time when he sets his eyes on the earth. This is not the time to indulge in the senses, to make love. A little bit of patience, my dear…”

Diti felt insulted, she thought her husband was ignoring her. Finally, Rishi Kashyapa chose to make his wife happy. Later on, when she was calm she remembered the warning of Kashyapa. She approached him concerned. Rishi Kashyap was silent for a while. He sighed, “Unfortunately, the two sons born out of this union will be wicked. They will harass the three worlds and the devas (divine beings). Their ways will not be righteous. Eventually, Narayana will have to destroy them.”

Distraught, Diti pleaded, “I have only one request. May they die only in the hands of Narayana. That will give them mukti (liberation).” Rishi Kashyap agreed, “Yes, Narayana will give them Diti, as she walked away.

Soon Diti realised that she was pregnant. However, instead of joy, anxiety took over her. Since she was very scared about the chaos that her sons are likely to cause in the world, she wanted to retain the children inside herself. It is believed that they stayed in her womb for a hundred years. But the unborn children seemed to emanate a glow. The glow lit up the whole world. The devas, scared and bewildered, approached Brahma.

Brahma was calm. He said, “Let me explain. Jayah and Vijayah were the doorkeepers of Vaikuntha (the abode of Lord Vishnu). Once, my sons Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanatkumara decided to meet Vishnu. They had crossed the six gates but Jayah and Vijayah stopped them at the seventh one. The rishis (sages) saw the handsome and arrogant gate-keepers.

They did not pay any heed to their requests and again tried to enter Vaikuntha. Jayah and Vijayah were equally sure that they should not enter and placed their staff in front of the rishis. This enraged the rishis. They looked at the stubborn door-keepers and cursed them, “Your arrogance, because of your position as the Lord’s gate-keepers, has led to our insult. Hence we curse you that you will have to leave the presence of your Lord and take birth in the world of the mortals that is dominated by Kama (), Krodha () and Mada (arrogance).”

The door-keepers were in a state of shock. They prayed for forgiveness. The rishis calmed down a little and modified the curse, “Well, the Lord will dwell in your hearts because of your focused hatred towards him. This hatred will lead you back to him. For love and hatred, praise and blame are fallacies of the human mind. Just remembering the divine, be it through love or hatred, is good enough for liberation.”

Jayah and Vijayah were astounded, “How can we hate Him?”

The commotion was interrupted by the sudden presence of Lord Vishnu. The rishis worshipped him while Jayah and Vijayah looked for some kind of respite. Lord Vishnu smiled at the rishis, “Yes, my door-keepers have insulted you since they were not aware of your greatness. But any action on the part of the attendants is just reflective of their master. Hence, on their behalf, I request you to forgive me. As per your curse, let them be born in the lower worlds. In any case, they will eventually come back to me.”

The rishis looked a little sheepish at their display of short temper. They were not sure if they were being reprimanded for their lack of self-control. Lord Vishnu smiled, “Don’t worry!” Lord Vishnu looked at Jayah and Vijayah, “You will be born in the world of mortals thrice. In the first birth, Krodha (anger) will be your poison, in the next one Kama (lust) will destroy you and in the last birth Mada (arrogance) will be the reason for your downfall. But I am assuring you that you will be only by me and hence will come back to me. You will be living examples of Sambhrama Yoga (where your obsessive hatred towards me will make me stay in your hearts all the time). You will finally be released at the end of the Dvapara Yug1.

These two attendants of the Lord are in Diti’s womb now, awaiting their first birth.” Brahma smiled at the devas as he concluded his narration. After hundred years, Diti gave birth to twins, who were called Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu.


Dvapara Yug – There are four yugas – Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. The duration of each are:

  1. Krita – 1,728,000 years
  2. Treta – 1,296,000 years
  3. Dvapara – 864,000 years
  4. Kali – 432,000 years

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the are about the various avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the internet.

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Nilanjana Dey

Nilanjana Dey

A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.
Nilanjana Dey