Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Śukra at the Urday website.

SUKRA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] The planet Venus and its regent.

Sukra was son of Bhrigu and priest of Bali and the Daityas (Daityaguru). He is also called the son of Kavi. His wife's name was Susuma or Sataparwa. His daughter Devayani married Yayati of the Lunar race, and her husband's infidelity induced Sukra to curse him.

Sukra is identified with Usanas, and is author of a code of law.

The Harivansa relates that he went to Siva and asked for means of protecting the Asuras against the gods, and for obtaining his object he performed "a painful rite, imbibing the smoke of chaff with his head downwards for a thousand years." In his absence the gods attacked the Asuras and Vishnu killed his mother, for which deed Sukra cursed him "to be born seven times in the world of men." Sukra restored his mother to life, and the gods being alarmed lest Sukra's penance should be accomplished, Indra sent his daughter Jayanti to lure him from it. She waited upon him and soothed him, but he accomplished his penance and afterwards married her.

Sukra is known by his patronymic Bhargava, and also as Bhrigu. He is also Kavi or Kavya, 'the poet.'

The planet is called Asphujit, Maghabava, son of Magha; Shodasansu, 'having sixteen rays;' and Sweta, 'the white.'

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM