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How Vishnu Got Kaumodaki Mace? - Story of the Gada of Vishnu

Kaumodaki is the Gada (mace or club) of Bhagwan Shri Hari Vishnu. Krishna, the Purna Avatar of Vishnu, received the Kaumodaki Mace from Agni. Legend has it that Agni gave Vishnu the mace for helping in performing the Khandava Dahanam or the burning of the Khandava forest. The story how Vishnu got Kaumodaki mace is found in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata.

Agni had got the Kaumodaki Mace from Varuna, the sea god. 

Once there was a king named Shwetaki. He conducted several types of yajnas for several years and this filled the kingdom with smoke. The yajna place was continuously under smoke and the Rishis found it difficult to even breathe. They all left the place.

This did not deter Shwetaki who decided to conduct another yajna for 12 years but none of the Rishis were ready to take part in it.

Shvetaki then prayed to Shiva for a solution and He gave him Durvaasas as the priest for the yajna.

Durvaasas continued the yajna for 12 years pouring unlimited materials into Agni.

Agni was now overfed and could no longer take anymore food. His brilliance started to fade and this started causing imbalance in the universe.

He then approached Brahma for a solution.

Brahma said that his indigestion will be cured if he burns down the Khandava forest which has become the abode of those people practicing Adharma.

He immediately started burning down the forest but Indra created heavy rain and put out the fire. Takshaka a friend of Indra was residing in the forest so the came to his help.

Agni again approached Brahma who said that he will succeed in burning down the forest when Nara-Narayana visits the place.

He waited for the right opportunity.

One day Arjuna and Sri Krishna arrived at the Khandava forest. Agni disguised as a saint approached them knowing that they are Nara-Narayana.

Arjuna and Krishna agreed to help Agni. 

Agni then gave Krishna the Kaumodaki Mace.