Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Ilvala - A Daitya


Ilvala was a Daitya, who was the ruler of the city of Manimati. Vatapi was his younger brother. Once, the sage Agastya visited this city. Ilvala requested the sage to grant him a son equal unto Indra, the chief of the celestials. Agastya however, saw that the mind of Ilvala was impure and refused to grant that boon.

From that day on, Ilvala became an enemy of all Brahmanas. Whenever a learned Brahmana visited his kingdom, he had his brother Vatapi transform into a ram. This ram would be cooked and fed to the unsuspecting Brahmana. Once the guest had eaten his fill, Ilvala would say, 'Vatapi come out!', and his brother would emerge alive in his own form from the belly of the guest, killing that Brahmana in that process.

These brothers slew many Brahmanas using this method. Meanwhile, the sage Agastya had married Lopamudra, the princess of Vidarbha. She wanted ornaments befitting a royal and her husband went to many Kings to obtain wealth. All the Kings who he encountered, had no wealth to spare, for they used to tax their subjects in such a way that the income and expenditure were in balance. Hearing that Ilvala possessed great wealth, Agastya went to the city of Manimati.

As was his custom, Ilvala fed the cooked meat of his brother Vatapi to Agastya. However, by the power of his asceticism, the sage digested that Asura. When Ilvala cried, 'Vatapi come out!', the sage smiled and said, 'Vatapi has been digested.'

chastened, Ilvala offered to give wealth to the Rishi, if only he would correctly guess the form of the gift. Agastya correctly guessed that the gift was to be twenty thousand kine and as many gold coins, and a car of gold and a couple of horses, fleet as thought. Ilvala gave those gifts, and made peace with Agastya.

See [Maha:3.96,3.99].

Last Modified At: Tue Nov 23 21:22:08 2004