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Purana Encyclopedia[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।

MAṄKAṆA (MAṄKANA) : A barber of Vārāṇasī who was a great devotec of Gaṇeśa. During the time of King Divodāsa II Śiva wanted to destroy the city of Kāśī and deputed his son Gaṇeśa (Nikumbha) for the same.

Gaṇeśa came to Kāśī and appearing in person before his devotee Maṅkaṇa, asked him to build a temple on the outskirts of Kāśī. Maṅkaṇa completed the temple and Gaṇeśa (Nikumbha) installed himself in that temple getting for it the name Nikumbhamandira. Devotees began to flow into the temple and Nikumbha sitting there answered the prayers of all. But he never fulfilled the prayer of the King to have a son. This annoyed Divodāsa and he destroyed the temple and then Nikumbha cursed that the city of Kāśī would become desolate. Śiva's desire thus became fulfilled. (92. 33, Vāyu Purāṇa and 3; 67, 43, Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa).

*9th word in left half of page 480 (+offset) in original book.


1) General information. He was born to Vāyubhagavān of his wife Sukanyakā. (Śloka. 58, Chapter 38, Śalya Parva).

Vāmana Purāṇa, 38th Chapter states that Maṅkaṇa was one of the spiritual sons of Kaśyapaprajāpati.

2) Juice of potherb flows from finger. The sage was living in Saptasārasvatatīrtha and one day by accident his thumb was cut off from his hand by the sharp edge of Kuśa grass. But instead of blood, the juice of potherb began to flow from the thumb and the sage, overjoyed at this strange phenomenon, started dancing. Along with Maṅkaṇa the earth and the sky also started dancing and the dancing showed no signs of stopping. Śiva then appeared before Maṅkaṇa and asked him the cause of his non-stop dancing. Śiva was in disguise and Maṅkaṇa did not recognise the new-comer and the sage told him about the strange phenomenon. As they were talking Śiva touched the thumb of the sage with his little finger and lo! the flow from the finger changed from pot-herb juice to sugar-candy juice. Vāmana Purāṇa states that it was ashes which flowed from the finger. The hermit was ashamed. He understood that the guest was Śiva and he fell at his feet. Śiva blessed the hermit and granted him boons.

3) Maṅkaṇa falls in love with Sarasvatī Devī. One day Sarasvatīdevī came to the place of his residence in the guise of a very attractive woman. Maṅkaṇa had seminal emission on seeing her and the semen fell on the surface of the water. The sage stored the water with semen in a pot and soon seven sons were born from it. They all became sages named Vāyuvega, Vāyubala, Vāyuhā, Vāyumaṇḍala, Vāyujvāla, Vāyuretas and Vāyucakra. (Chapter 83, Vana Parva and Chapter 38, Śalya Parva).

4) Birth of Kadalīgarbhā. Besides the seven sons Maṅkaṇa got a daughter named Kadalīgarbhā. Menakā was her mother. (See under Kadalīgarbhā).

5) Maṅkaṇa diverts the river Sarasvatī. It was sage Maṅkaṇa who invoked the river Sarasvatī and made it flow through Kurukṣetra. Chapter 38, Vāmana Purāṇa).

*10th word in left half of page 480 (+offset) in original book.

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