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KACA(कच)

  • The first son of Bṛhaspati. That extremely beautiful boy was a great favourite of the devas.
    1) Genealogy.
    Descending in order from Viṣṇu-- Brahmā--Aṅgiras--Bṛhaspati--Kaca.
    2) How he studied the secret of Mṛtasañjīvanī.
    The Devas and Asuras always quarrelled with each other. Devas accepted Bṛhaspati as their guru and the asuras made Śukrācārya their guru. Śukrācārya knew an art which Bṛhaspati did not know, the secret of Mṛtasañjīvanī. When the devas cut the Asuras to pieces, Śukrācārya used to bring them back to life by his knowledge of Mṛtasañjīvanī. Mṛtasañjīvanī is the art of reviving the dead. Devas were at a loss to know what to do. They wanted to learn the secret of Mṛtasañjīvanī from Śukrācārya somehow. It was imperative that they should learn it. Then they found out a way. They sent Kaca, son of Bṛhaspati, to Śukrācārya. Kaca went to Śukrācārya and told him that he was the son of Bṛhaspati and had come to him to be his disciple for a period of a thousand years doing service to him. The modesty of the boy appealed to Śukrācārya and he accepted Kaca as his disciple. Devayānī, daughter of Śukrācārya, fell in love with Kaca. They were always together as an inseparable couple. Asuras did not like the advent of Kaca to the Āśrama of Śukrācārya. They knew that he had come to study the secrets of the Asuras. Once Kaca went alone to look after the cows and the Asuras followed him stealthily. When Kaca entered deep into the forest the Asuras killed him and gave him to the wolves. It became dusk. The cows returned to the Āśrama without the cowherd. Devayānī waited for a long time for Kaca to come. Not seeing him Devayānī went weeping to her father and said, “Oh, father, the sun has set. You have performed your nightly fire sacrifice. The cattle have come back by themselves and still Kaca has not returned home. I fear he is dead or has been killed. I cannot live without him.” The affectionate Śukrācārya could not bear the sight of his dear daughter weeping and so he went to the forest with Devayānī and employing the art of Sañjīvanī he invoked the dead youth to appear. At once Kaca came back to life and stood before them. All the three then returned to the āśrama happily. The anger of the Asuras against Kaca knew no bounds. On another occasion the Asuras seized him and after killing him pounded his body into a paste and mixed it up in sea-water. This time also, at the request of Devayānī, Śukrācārya brought him back to life. The third time the Asuras burnt the body of Kaca and mixed the ashes in wine and served it to Śukrācārya to drink. The disciple thus went inside the belly of the guru. Dusk came, the cattle came and still Kaca did not return and Devayānī reported the matter to her father. Śukrācārya sat for some time in meditation and then he knew that Kaca was in his own stomach. If he got Kaca out, he would burst his stomach and Śukra would die and if he did not get him out his daughter would burst her heart and die. Śukrācārya was in a fix. He asked Kaca how he got in and he replied that it was through the wine. Śukra imparted to Kaca the art of Mṛtasañjīvanī and Kaca lying within the stomach repeated it. Then Śukrācārya called Kaca by name and Kaca came out bursting the stomach of his guru. The preceptor lay dead and by employing the art of Mṛtasañjīvanī he had learnt, Kaca brought his guru to life. Śukrācārya eschewed wine from that day onwards and declared it as a forbidden drink to brahmins. Śukrācārya said that because Kaca was reborn from his stomach he must be deemed his son.
    3) Kaca was cursed.
    Kaca remained for some more time under the tutelage of Śukrācārya and when his education became complete he took leave of his preceptor and also Devayānī. Devayānī followed him for a long distance from the hermitage and requested him to marry her. Kaca replied he could not do so because he had become a brother to Devayānī. Devayānī got angry and cursed him saying that he would not be able to use the art of Mṛtasañjīvanī he had learnt from her father. Kaca cursed her back saying that none of the sons of sages would marry her. Kaca however felt relieved that though he would not be able to practise the art, his disciples would be able to do so. He went back to Devaloka and was heartily welcomed by all the Devas. He then imparted the art of Mṛtasañjīvanī to the devas. [Chapters 76 and 77, Ādi Parva, M.B.].
    4) Kaca visits Bhīṣma.
    Kaca was also one among the several people who visited Bhīṣma while the latter was lying on a bed of arrows awaiting death. [Śloka 9, Chapter 47, Śānti Parva, M.B.].
     
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