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Story Of Demons Madhu And Kaitabha

The story of demons Madhu and Kaitabha happens when there was no earth and Vishnu was sleeping on the cosmic ocean. Madhu and Kaitabha appeared from the ear wax that flowed out from the both ears of Vishnu. The story of Madhu and Kaitabha is found in the Shanti Parva of Mahabharata.

The demons performed intense austerities for several thousand years dedicated to Mother Goddess. Finally Devi appeared before them and they got the boon that death will only approach them when they desired it.

Then Madhu and Kaitabha saw Brahma seated on the lotus flower which appeared from the navel of Vishnu. The demons saw him reading the Vedas. They stole the Vedas and hid it underwater.

Brahma approached Vishnu to get back the Vedas. Vishnu then fought the two demons. The demons took turns to fight Vishnu. When one rested another fought with Vishnu.

Vishnu soon realized that the demons were armed with the boon given by Mother Goddess and it is impossible to defeat them.

Vishnu then meditated on Goddess Shakti who gave Him an idea to overcome the demons.

Vishnu then approached the demons asking for a boon. The demons arrogantly declared that they were powerful than Vishnu and asked Him to ask any boon.

Vishnu asked for the boon to kill them.

The demons said that they are ready to be killed at any place but not in water. There was only water then and demons never knew about land. So they thought it was impossible for Vishnu to kill them.

Vishnu then raised his thighs over the water. Seeing that they are trapped. The demons increased their body but Vishnu enlarged his thighs and killed them above water.

The entire surface of sea was covered with fat (meda) of the two demons. The fat of these two demons later became medini (earth).

There is also another version of the origin of the demons. It is said Vishnu created two drops of water on the lotus that appeared from his navel. One drop as sweet as honey and from that drop appeared Madhu (honey) with attributes of darkness and fierce. The other drop was hard and from it was born Kaithabha with attributes of activity.