Diti seeks for a son to kill Indra because Indra and other gods have killed her sons in the battle after churning Milk Ocean. But Indra, being her stepson arrives at her place of asceticism, with view to destroy that Indra-killer. On a fateful day when Diti failed to maintain the procedure of vow, Indra enters her womb and dissects the foetus into seven fragments, which later become sapta marut gaNa-s, The Seven Wind-gods.
हतेषु तेषु पुत्रेषु दितिः परम दुःखिता |
मारीचम् काश्यपम् राम भर्तारम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-४६-१
maariicam kaashyapam raama bhartaaram idam abraviit || 1-46-1
“Oh, Rama, Lady Diti was highly anguished for those sons that are killed and said this to her husband, Sage Kashyapa, the son of Sage Maareechi.” Thus Vishvamitra continued narration. [1-46-1] .
हत पुत्रा अस्मि भगवन् तव पुत्रैः महाबलैः |
शक्र हन्तारम् इच्छामि पुत्रम् दीर्घ तपो अर्जितम् ||१-४६-२
shakra hantaaram icChaami putram diirgha tapo arjitam ||1-46-2
” ‘Oh, god, I am bereaved of my sons who are killed by your great mighty sons, the sons of your second wife Aditi, as such I wish to bear a son, who is achievable by sustained penance, for he shall be the exterminator of Indra. [1-46-2].
सा अहम् तपः चरिष्यामि गर्भम् मे दातुम् अर्हसि |
ईश्वरम् शक्र हन्तारम् त्वम् अनुज्ञातुम् अर्हसि || १-४६-३
” ‘Such a bereaved mother as I am, I wish to undertake asceticism for a son who shall become an exterminator of Indra, and who shall be the ruler of worlds. As such, it will be apt of you to permit me for asceticism, and further it will be apt of you to accord me pregnancy with such a son.’ Thus Diti spoke to her husband Kaashyapa. [1-46-3]
A sage’s wife requires permission of her husband if she wishes to undertake an individual asceticism, because she will be receiving her own share of merit from her sage-husband’s penances and practises, as he is her life-mate.
तस्याः तत् वचनम् श्रुत्वा मारीचः काश्यपः तदा |
प्रत्युवाच महातेजा दितिम् परम दुःखिताम् || १-४६-४
On hearing her request the great resplendent sage Kaashyapa, the son of Sage Mareechi, replied Diti, who is deeply mournful. [1-46-4].
एवम् भवतु भद्रम् ते शुचिः भव तपोधने |
जनयिष्यसि पुत्रम् त्वम् शक्र हन्तारम् आहवे ||१-४६-५
janayiShyasi putram tvam shakra hantaaram aahave ||1-46-5
” ‘So be it… oh, ascetically wealthy lady, you be blest, if you abide by the propriety of the practises of asceticism, then you will be delivering a son who can become an exterminator of Indra in war. [1-46-5] .
पूर्णे वर्ष सहस्रे तु शुचिः यदि भविष्यसि |
पुत्रम् त्रैलोक्य हन्तारम् मत्तः त्वम् जनयिष्यसि ||१-४६-६
putram trailokya hantaaram mattaH tvam janayiShyasi ||1-46-6
” ‘If you can complete a thousand years of asceticism punctiliously, by my grace you can deliver a son who can be a husbander of three worlds.’ Thus Sage Kaashyapa advised his wife Diti. [1-46-6]
In some other versions the word trailokya hantaaram is carried forward from earlier verses of Diti, into the speech of Sage Kaashyapa also. Some have it as trailokya bhartaaram ‘a husbander of three worlds…’ Diti may have desired for a ‘killer.’ But Kashyapa, as a father of both gods and demons, cannot term the issuing son as an exterminator of three worlds, because the three worlds are in vogue at Kaashyapa’s grace. Some attach this adjective to Indra but not to the forthcoming son of Diti.
एवम् उक्त्वा महा तेजाः पाणिना स ममार्ज ताम् |
तम् आलभ्य ततः स्वस्ति इति उक्त्वा तपसे ययौ ||१-४६-७
“Saying thus that great resplendent sage patted her, and then on his touching her she is consecrated, and then that sage Kaashyapa departed for his ascetic practises, saying ‘be blest.’ [1-46-7].
गते तस्मिन् नरश्रेष्ठ दितिः परम हर्षिता |
कुशप्लवम् सामासाद्य तपः तेपे सुदारुणम् ||१-४६-८
kushaplavam saamaasaadya tapaH tepe sudaaruNam ||1-46-8
“On the exit of Sage Kaashyapa, oh, best one among men Rama, highly elated Diti reached the sacred place called Kushaplava, on which the present City of Vishala is now standing, and practised a highly rigorous asceticism. [1-46-8].
तपः तस्याम् हि कुर्वत्याम् परिचर्याम् चकार ह |
सहस्राक्षो नरश्रेष्ठ परया गुण संपदा || १-४६-९
“While she is truly practising asceticism, oh, the best among men Rama, that Thousand-eyed god Indra has indeed rendered services with his abundant and surpassing veracities to her, who is none other than his maternal-aunt. [1-46-9].
अग्निम् कुशान् काष्ठम् अपः फलम् मूलम् तथैव च |
न्यवेदयत् सहस्राक्षो यच् च अन्यत् अपि कान्क्षितम् ||१-४६-१०
“The Thousand-eyed god Indra made available fire, firewood, water, the sacred Kusha grass, fruits and like that tubers also, and whatever other items she required in her ascetic practise. [1-46-10].
गात्र संवाहनैः चैव श्रम अपनयनैः तथा |
शक्रः सर्वेषु कालेषु दितिम् परिचचार ह || १-४६-११
“All the time Indra indeed served Diti by massaging her body, and other means of removing her bodily strain resulting from her arduous practises. [1-46-11].
पूर्णे वर्ष सहस्रे दश ऊने रघुनंदन |
दितिः परम संहृष्टा सहस्राक्षम् अथ अब्रवीत् ||१-४६-१२
ditiH parama saMhR^iShTaa sahasraakSham atha abraviit ||1-46-12
“Oh, Rama, the descendent of Raghu, when ten years are less to complete the thousand years span of her ascetics, Diti is highly rejoiced as her ambition is going to fructify in just ten more years, and then she spoke to the Thousand-eyed god, Indra. [1-46-12].
तपः चरन्त्या वर्षाणि दश वीर्यवताम् वर |
अवशिष्टानि भद्रम् ते भ्रातरम् द्रक्ष्यसे ततः ||१-४६-१३
” ‘Oh, best one among the valiant ones, Indra, to me who am practising asceticism ten years are remaining to complete, then you can see your brother, you be safe. [1-46-13].
यम् अहम् त्वत् कृते पुत्र तम् आधास्ये जय उत्सुकम् |
त्रैलोक्य विजयम् पुत्र सह भोक्ष्यसि विज्वरः || १-४६-१४
” ‘Oh, son Indra, whom I am bringing up for your reason, I will bring him up as a victory-enthusiast, and oh, son, Indra, along with him conquering the three worlds you can enjoy them, without febrility from your enemies.
” ‘Oh, son Indra, whom I am now bringing up, will be enthusiastic in conquering you, but somehow I will manage him by telling that you are after all his brother, and no harm shall be done to you, and oh, son Indra, if you join him you will get rid of your febrility, caused by his emergence, and then you two can conquer all the three worlds. [1-46-14].
याचितेन सुरश्रेष्ट पित्रा तव माहात्मना |
वरो वर्ष सस्र अन्ते मम दत्तः सुतम् प्रति || १-४६-१५
varo varSha sasra ante mama dattaH sutam prati || 1-46-15
“Oh, best one among gods, Indra, on my prayer your high-souled father Sage Kaashyapa bestowed this boon on me for a son, which materialises at the end of thousand years, and only ten more years are to slip by. [1-46-15].
इति उक्त्वा च दितिः तत्र प्राप्ते मध्यन्दिन ईश्वरे |
निद्रया पहृता देवी पादौ कृत्वाथ शीर्षतः ||१-४६-१६
nidrayaa pahR^itaa devii paadau kR^itvaatha shiirShataH ||1-46-16
“When Diti was saying thus, the noontime sun was reigning high that lady is stolen over by sleep keeping her feet headward. [1-46-16]
This ‘keeping feet headward’ is variously inferred. While sitting she leaned on her knees and her braid touched feet, thus she became impious. She slept with her head neither towards east nor to south. The ancient cots in India used to have head-side and feet-side finishing. Then she placed head at feet-side and feet at head-side. Even if a cot is not there, though slept on ground, the head shall be positioned eastward or southward, but not to north or west. Finally, she slept at noontime, and for a person under a vow noontime sleep is prohibitive. anena vratasthaanaam divaa svaapaH paada sthaane shiraH sthaapanam ca ashucikaram iti suucitam – dk Hence her meticulousness is defeated.
दृष्ट्वा ताम् अशुचिम् शक्रः पादयोः कृत मूर्धजाम् |
शिरः स्थाने कृतौ पादौ जहास च मुमोद च || १-४६-१७
“On observing her who has become impious by placing her head at feet-side and braid falling on feet, Indra is gladdened and laughed at her failed asceticism. [1-46-17].
तस्याः शरीर विवरम् प्रविवेश पुरंदरः |
गर्भम् च सप्तधा राम चिच्छेद परम आत्मवान् ||१-४६-१८
garbham ca saptadhaa raama cicCheda parama aatmavaan ||1-46-18
“Oh, Rama, , being a highly courageous one, Indra the destroyer of enemy fastnesses, entered the body of Diti through her vaginal aperture and rent her foetus asunder into seven fragments. [1-46-18].
भिद्यमानः ततो गर्भो वज्रेण शत पर्वणा |
रुरोद सुस्वरम् राम ततो दितिः अबुध्यत || १-४६-१९
ruroda susvaram raama tato ditiH abudhyata || 1-46-19
“Oh, Rama, then that foetus wailed clamorously while being sliced with Thunderbolt that has hundred cutting edges, and then Diti woke up. [1-46-19].
मा रुदो मा रुदः च इति गर्भम् शक्रो अभ्यभाषत |
बिभेद च महातेजा रुदन्तम् अपि वासवः || १-४६-२०
” ‘Do not scream, do not scream…’ thus Indra was coaxing the foetus, and even though that foetus is screaming piteously the great resplendent Indra has gone on fragmenting it. [1-46-20].
न हन्तव्यम् न हन्तव्यम् इति एवम् दितिः अब्रवीत् |
निष्पपात ततः शक्रो मातुर् वचन गौरवात् ||१-४६-२१
niShpapaata tataH shakro maatur vacana gauravaat ||1-46-21
” ‘Unkillable, unkillable is my foetus…’ thus Diti raved in that way, and then Indra fell out of the womb honouring his stepmother’s entreaty. [1-46-21].
प्रांजलिः वज्र सहितो दितिम् शक्रो अभ्यभाषत |
अशुचिः देवि सुप्ता असि पादयोः कृत मूर्धजा|| १-४६-२२
ashuciH devi suptaa asi paadayoH kR^ita muurdhajaa|| 1-46-22
“Indra humbly folding his palms that are still handling his bloody Thunderbolt spoke to Diti, ‘oh, lady, you have become impious when your braid touched your feet and when you have gone to sleep in midday, and you vow is thwarted.’ [1-46-22].
तत् अन्तरम् अहम् लब्ध्वा शक्र हन्तारम् आहवे |
अभिन्दम् सप्तधा देवि तन् मे त्वम् क्षन्तुम् अर्हसि || १-४६-२३(ए)
abhindam saptadhaa devi tan me tvam kShantum ar.hhasi || 1-46-23(E)
“Thereby I gained a chance to eliminate him who can eliminate Indra in a battle. Hence I fragmented your foetus into seven fragments, and it will be apt of you to pardon me for that act of mine.’ ” So said Indra to lady Diti. Thus, Sage Vishvamitra continued narration about City of Vishaala. [1-46-23].