Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Vishvavasu - A Prominent Gandharva


Vishvavasu is one of the prominent Gandharvas. Sometimes, he is referred to as their King (which is somewhat confusing, as Chitrasena, Tumburu and some others are also said to be their kings). He enjoyed close relations with many Apsaras, particularly Menaka, upon whom he begat the maiden Primadvara. Both parents took no interest in the child and abandoned her as an infant. She was found by a Rishi named Sthulakesa, who brought her up as his own daughter and married her to Ruru, the grandson of the sage Chyavana.

He is said to have mastered the art of illusions, the science called Chakshushi, which was communicated to him by Chandra, who obtained it from Manu. Vishvavasu in turn communicated this science to his friend Angaraparana, who taught it to Arjuna.

He also plays a minor part in the story of Urvashi and Puroorava (see 'Urvashi and Puroorava'). He is the Gandharva who brings about their separation by stealing her pet sheep, and causing her to view the naked form of the king.

Once, Viswavasu had been turned into a Rakshasa by the curse of a Brahmana. He obtained release from this fate when he was slain by Rama when the Kosala prince was beginning the search for his abducted wife.

He was also skilled in music, and very knowledgeable in the scriptures. He obtained deep knowledge by conversing with the sage Yajnavalkya on spiritual topics.

Last Modified At: Fri Jun 3 00:04:03 2005