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Story Of Sage Kandu - How Passion Undid Years Of Penance In A Day?

Sage Kandu performed intense austerities to attain the ultimate goal – self realization. He built an ashram at secluded spot on the banks of Gomati River. He did Tapas by standing between five fires in summer and in winter he performed Tapas by staying in cold water. The story of Sage Kandu is found in the Brahma Purana.

Indra, the King of Devas, was afraid of Sage Kandu’s asceticism as he worried that the sage would unseat him in the heaven.

Indra deputed Pramolcha, an Apsara (damsel), to disturb the austerities of Sage Kandu.

With the help of Kama (god of love), Vayu (wind god) and spring, Pramolcha created a perfect setting in the Ashram. Her songs disturbed the meditation of the Sage. Passion aroused in him and He took her inside the ashram.

Sage Kandu used his powers to turn into a 16-year-old youth and made love to Pramolcha.

Hundreds of years passed. In between Pramlocha asked permission to leave but the sage asked her stay. This continued for several years.

One day Sage Kandu wanted to leave the hermitage in a hurry. When Pramolcha asked for the reason, the sage said he wanted to perform evening rites as the day was coming to an end. She laughed and asked why only today he needed to perform evening rites.

The Sage then realized that several years had passed and blamed himself for the loss of religious merit due to his passion.

Pramalocha got scared of an angry Sage Kandu and she began to tremble and sweat. She left for heaven and while flying to heaven, she wiped the sweat on the leaves of trees. Embryo in her had come out in the form of sweat. The sweat was put together by trees and it was nourished by the moon. It grew to become Marisha, a beautiful woman. She was the mother of Daksha.

Sage Kandu then performed intense austerities and attained Moksha. The Sage had realized that what was standing between him and realization was passion. The company of Pramalocha made the Sage realize the futility of lust and passion.