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Sage Agasthya (Agasthya Muni)According to Indian mythology, the God Agni became Sage Agasthya. The gods and the rakshasas have been enemies from time immemorial. They have always been at war with each other. Once the Lord of the Gods, Indra, gave an order to Agni and Vayu (the Gods of Fire and the Winds) to pursue the rakshasas and destroy them. Both of them followed the rakshasas. Many rakshasas were killed in battle. In order to escape from the gods a few of the rakshasas hide themselves in the ocean. As they are hiding in the ocean. No harm will come from these cowards, so thinking Agni and Vayu returned.

Indra was very angry because Agni and Vayu had spared the lives of some rakshasas. He called them immediately and said, "Why did you not complete the task given to you? Even now go and churn the ocean, if necessary, and destroy the rakshasas hiding in it. Do not leave a single trace of them. I do not mind even if the ocean dries up." So ordered Indra. Agni and Vayu were in a difficult position. They said, "Oh Indra, there are many creatures in the ocean, they have harmed no one. If we churn the ocean, they will die. Will that not be unjust?"

Destruction of the wicked is good for the world. Every one should strive to destroy the wicked. Suppose a man gives shelter to a wicked person, knowing that he is wicked - does he not deserve punishment? In such a situation, can there be any question of right or wrong? The enraged Indra cursed them both saying, "You have forgotten your duty and have come to teach me the meaning of Dharma (right conduct). For such a discussion the earth is the right place. So, be born on the earth!" Thus Agni and Vayu were born as Agasthya and Vasishta (the two great Sages of ancient India) on the earth. Indira's curse became a boon to the earth.

Agasthya's father was Mithravaruna Rishi, his mother was the divine damsel Urvashi. Agasthya was also called 'Kumbhasambhava' (the one who was born in a pot) and 'Mythravaruni' (the son of Mithravaruna). Agasthya grew up to be a great seer and a man of extraordinary spiritual power.

Video of trip to Mount Agasthyakoodam in Kerala

It was the time of Lord Shiva's marriage! And the marriage was to be celebrated on the Himalayas, the home of the bride Parvathi. Agasthya, too, was invited. All the gods, rakshasas and other superhuman beings assembled there. All the monarchs and emperors of the earth and the great rishis were there, too.

All of a sudden the earth began to wobble. The world moved from side to side like a swing. The mountains began sinking; the oceans were in turmoil. Everybody thought that the end of the world had come. The gods sought refuge in Ishwara, "Oh Lord of Lords, save us from this peril." Lord Shiva calmly said, "You have come to see the marriage of Parvathi. All of you are in one place. So the weight of the entire world rests on the Himalayas in the north. There must be something at the southern end to balance I this weight. Then the earth will regain stability and calm will return. Agasthya alone can do this, none else." He called the great sage Agasthya, and said, "You have to go to the south at once. By the power of your tapas (meditation and prayer) bring back the world to its normal state."

Agasthya was very sad. He had come with great devotion to witness the pomp and splendor of the marriage of Uma and Maheshwara. But alas, he could not be there for that auspicious occasion.

Maheshwara understood the sadness of Agasthya. He said, "Oh Sage, duty comes first. Be the means of doing well to the world. You want to see our marriage, do you not? Whenever you think of us Parvathi and I will appear before you. Do not be troubled, go." Agasthya was supremely happy at the gracious words of Maheshwara; he bowed to Parvathi and Parameshwara and left the place.

So Agasthya went to the south. He sat on the top of a mountain (Agasthyakoodam in Kerala) to perform tapas. By his holy power he made the earth stable again. The marriage of Parvathi and Parameshwara was celebrated with great pomp and splendor. The whole world rejoiced and praised Sage Agasthya.

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