Kusuma Sresti, the king of Vaisyas was ruling the kingdom making PENUGONDA as capital city for all the 18 paraganas during 10th – 11th century A.D. Kusumamba was his wife. They were ideal couple and led a peaceful life. They were worshipping Lord Siva (Nagareshwara Swami). His Kingdom was a part of Vengi desha, which was ruled by Vishnu Vardhana -7 or Maharaj Vimaladitya. Kusuma Sreshti termed as a great king and equal to ‘Satya Harischandra’ in keeping and following the truth. He was termed as cloud in giving, Meruparvatha in bravery. Samudra in knowledge and Devendra in glory. The people of all the states praised and blessed their king Kusuma.
The couple lived happily with prosperity and ruled all the 18 states with Dharma, taking the blessings of Guru Baskaracharya. Years have passed but the couple were childless. This was a worrying factor to the ideal couple. They got everything but children. They performed so many spiritual activities, helped many people. The couple visited guru Bhaskaracharya and explained their problem. Bhaskaracharya said, you do not worry.
God has created to you. God is having some thing special to you. When god is delaying the child means, it must be a devine boon to you. Maharaja Dasaradha and Maharaja Drupada were blessed with children as they performed ‘Putra Kameshti’ Yagra. So guru advised them also to perform ‘Putrakamesti Yagna’ with all devotion. Bhaskaracharya started the devine fire of Yagna with chenting of Mantras. While the mantras were chented the Kusuma Sreshti couple continuously poured ghee in the Yagna fire and during Various dhanam to all. The Gods were pleased and sent Prasadam through Yagneswara (fire God).
As the time rolled, Kasumamba completed 10 months of pregnancy. That was the year of Prabara, Season of Vasantha, Vaisakha month, Sukla Paksha, Dasami thidhi and on the auspicious day of Friday, in the early hours, at Punarvasu Nakshatra, Kusumamba gave birth to twins. One male and a female child. At that time all the planets were on the positive grace and peak. Devatas blessed with flowers from the sky.
Kusumamba gave birth to twins, one male the other female on Friday the tenth of Vaisaka at twilight during convergence of Uttara Nakshatram and Kanya (Virgo).
The male child was named Virupaksha, and the female Vasavamba. During childhood, under the guidance of Bhaskara Acharya, Virupaksha learnt the Puranas, fencing, horse riding, martial arts, archery, statecraft etc., which were essential to rule his Territory. Vasavi learnt fine arts and mastered philosophy and was proud to be an intelligent woman.
The children in the Gurukulam have learned all the four Vedas, Bhagavadgita, Slokas, 64 Art Forms, 18 Puranas, 108 upanishads and the art of Vayu, Jala, Agni Stambhana Vidhyas. They also perfected in Nava Vyakarma. Then after both becoming young, they were handed over to Kusuma couple by the guru Bhaskaracharya.
Rajamahendravaram is situated on the shores of a river, in East Godavari of Andra Pradesh. In that city Vishnuvardhan was born in Chandravamsa. As he grown up, he became the king of Rajamahendravaram in a dynastic tradition. Vishnuvardhana has so many wifes. His eldest wife son is Rajaraja Narendra. He won many battles over small kings by Gadha Yuddha. So many kingdoms were under the ruling of Rajamahendravaram. Those kings were all in praise of Vishnuvardhan’s ruling strategies, intelligence and his skills in Gadha Yuddha. He looked after his people as his own children.
Once, Vishnu Vardhana to eradicate his enemies and to extend his empire went on expedition. On the way he visited Penugonda and was honoured by King Kusumasresti. King received him and took him in a procession and arranged felicitation program in the colorful auditorium on behalf of his subjects. Among the croud, Vishnuvardhana spotted Vasavi who was glittering with her beauty after when Manamatha threw his sweet arrows on him which influenced him a lot.
The People were happy on hearing the news. The two babies were placed in a golden cradle with silver chains. All the citizens from 18 cities, along with their facilities visited the babies and astonished by seeing their divine faces. Aakashvani then said Oh…. Kusuma couple the twins you have given birth and to your Arya Vaisya community are the Aadi Parashakthi and Nandishwara. They are devine forms. The girl child is having the devine power of Thrimurthees.
After hearing the Aakashvani’s divine voice guru Bhaskaracharya observed the faces of the children. He saw the Trimurthi power in the girl child’s face. Then he named her as Vasavi.
Va – Vasudeva – Vishnu
Sa – Chaturanan – Brahma
Vi – Vishveshwara – Sivan
The boy was named as Viroopaksha. The Kusuma couple have performed Swarnadana, godana and Bhoodana in the naming ceremony.
As the time passes. Vasavi and Viroopaksha growing day by day and their activities were a surprise to each and everybody. From the childhood itself, Vasavi was very much involved in the worship of Nagareshwara Swamy by singing Sankeerthanas.To enquire about her he sent his minister. He was mesmerized by her beauty. He went to the extreme extend that without Vasavi, he couldnot live in the world. The desire of Vishnuvardhana was like a deathblow to Kusumasresty. He was neither in a position to accept it nor to deny. The age disparity barrier of difference of caste in addition to that Emperor was already married. All these facts crashed his mind into pieces.
After hearing the King Vishnuvardhana’s desire from Kusuma Shreshti, one of the assembled Arya Vaisya said….. King Vishnuvardhana is a King. He is kind hearted, expert in all warforms. He is Kshatriya and belong to Chandravamsa, we are honoured if he asks our girl. It will be a pride to have a king like him as our son in law. Most of the people who assembled there have supported that proposal.
Another one of Arya Vaisya said…….. No……. .please do not spoil our community, culture and tradition. You will be in the hell if you follow against Dharma. We Aryavaisyas are in Agriculture, business and cow protection, we perform yagnas and we are rich in helping others and prosperity. So it is against Dharma to give our Vasavikanya to king Vishnuvardhan. The 102 Gotra Vaisyas supported his words.
Where as contrary to this, the persons of 612 Gotras urged that the matrimonial alliance would be safer and beneficial. Later on Bhaskaracharya told, we must safeguard our respect even at the cost of our lives.
The self-sacrifice of Vasavi and the end of Vishnuvardhana was the talk of the town. People condemned the deeds of Vishnuvardhana and appreciated the epoch maker Vasavi and her non-violent principle. The son of Vishnuvardhana, Raja Raja Narendra rushed to Penugonda and repented about the incident.
Virupaksha visited many pilgrim centers like Kasi, Gaya and other under the guidance of Komati Kula guru Baskara Acharya. To commemorate the pilgrimage they installed 101 lingams for each Gotras in Penugonda. Then, Narendra installed a statue of Vasavi as a token of respect. From that day onwards all Komti's began performing.
Vasavi reached the Royal durbar and after seeing all the Aryavaiyas she said Oh…… my brothers. Though I am a form of Adiparashakthi. I have taken birth in this Kaliyuga, to establish a non violent way of war. This non violent weapon is powerful of ending any ill feelings. We have to win with kindness but not with sword, with forgiveness but not with revenge. I am giving a curse to the king and then I will sacrifice myself by entering the fire.
VAt that time the sky sounded, as if it is breaking down. There were big thunderous sounds came from the sky. Then Sri Vasavi Devi appeared with a brightness of thousand suns. Her form has gradually increased to the universe. Vasavimatha has shown here Vishwaroopa, with thousands of Arms, thousand of heads, thousands of faces, thousands of eyes, thousands of foot and countless numbers of weapons.
As all devotees rendering sutras, songs, Dandakams, the Kusumashresti couple were in all ecstasy and felt blessed as they got the Aadhiparasakthi as their daughter. Vasavi Devi pleased with the worship and transformed herself to a human and as a normal daughter.
On the banks of Godavari, the holy place Brahmakunda as per the directions of Vasavi, the royal servants arranged 103 Agnikundas (fire pits) in a special way. The whole city was observing that day as a festival day. Then Vasavi asked the couples of 102 Gotras as “will you plunge into this holy fire along with me?” everyone of them whole heartedly gave their consent, Vasavi decided to enter the sacred fire. Supporting her action, couples from 102 gothras also entered the sacred fire with her. The fire did not touch them all the people glittered like gold. The 102 Arya Vaisya couples who entered the fire were pardoned to their crushes for 16 generations.
Though Vishnuvardan felt bad Omens, he marched ahead and reached the main entrance of Penugonda. Then his detectives reported what all had happened in the city. He couldn’t bare the great shock and his heart shuttered into pieces.
At the time of sacrificial entry into the fire the Goddess has shown her Viswaroopa. She smiled and revealed her true self, which had glittering radiance surpassing in brightness of sun. She told, “I am the incarnation of Adiparasakthi. To safeguard the dignity of woman and to protect Dharma and reveal to the world the magnanimity of Vaisyas.
Then Vasavi Matha explained Vaisya Dharma and gave wishes to the people. The Goddess blessed with Moksha to the 102 Gotraits, who sacrificed themselves into the fire along with her.
Virupaksha Visted many Pilgrim centres like Kasi, Gaya and other places, under the guidance of Baskaracharya. To commemorate the pilgrimage they installed 102 lingas for each gotra in Penugonda King Raja Raja Narendra, S/o.Vishnuvardhan installed a statue of Vasavi Matha as a token of respect in the Nagareshwan Temple.
From that day and even today all Vaisyas are performing poojas to her and she is considered as Vaisyakula Devatha – Vasavi Kanyaka Parameshwari. Vasavi Devi became immortal as she has been mainly responsible for the propagation of reputation of Vaisyas throughout the world.
Vasavi Devi who had rejected worldly pleasures, won the minds of Vaisyas and the champion of peace and non-voilence should be remembered at all times by one and all.