{hinduloka} $title={Table of Content} Chatursana (Four Kumara) and Jaya Wijaya

In Hinduism, the concepts of rebirth and curses have a very important meaning. Ravana and Kumbhkarna have such an interesting back story. In the epic Ramayana, king Ravana is shown to have a brother named Kumbhakarna. Both of these characters are portrayed as negative or evil characters of the story. 

However, what is interesting here is to note that in their true form, both of them are known to be disciples of Lord Vishnu himself. Furthermore, it was these two demon lords who chose to fight Lord Vishnu for three consecutive births on earth. This story is another interesting story from Hindu mythology.

Chatursana (Four Kumara)

The Kumaras are four sages (rishi) who roamed the universe as children. These four Kumaras roam with their free will with their cosmic powers throughout the universe.

This group is known by various names Chatursana or Chatuh sana (the four with names starting with Sana ), namely; Sanaka (ancient), Sanatana (joyful), Sanandana (eternal) and Sanatkumara (Always Young). 

Sometimes, the Kumara are mentioned as the five Kumaras with the addition of Ribhu . They are described as the first creation born from the mind of the creator god Brahma. Born to Brahma, the four Kumaras took an oath of lifelong celibacy (brahmacharya) against Brahma's own wishes. 

They are said to wander throughout the materialistic and spiritualistic universe without any desire but with the aim of teaching. These four brothers studied the Vedas from childhood, and always traveled together.

Thus they become great Jnanis, yogis and  Siddhas (perfectly enlightened). Kumaras remain in the form of children due to their spiritual virtues. They practice vows of renunciation ( Sannyasa ) and celibacy ( brahmacharya ) and remain naked. 

The four Kumaras are said in  Janah Loka  (loka or intellectual world in today's language). Another son of Brahma, Rishi Narada, who is described as their disciple, extols their virtues in the Padma Purana. Narada said even though they appeared as five-year-olds, they were great ancestors in the world.

Sanat Kumara  had taught the Puranas to Narada. Then Narada taught it to Krishna Dwaipayana, who eventually wrote it down in the 18 Puranas. The Vishnu Purana is recorded in two parts, the Vishnu Purana and the Naradiya Purana

The teachings of Sankaka brother Kumara are contained in the Naradiya Purana which is also divided into two parts, the first part contains the teachings of Sanaka and others.

They play an important role in a number of Hindu spiritual traditions, especially those related to the worship of Vishnu and his avataras, sometimes even in traditions related to the god Shiva.

Sermons of the Four Kumara

The discourses of the four Kumaras are found in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as well as the Bhagavata Purana. Shanti Parva  of the Mahabharata describes a discourse given by the four Kumaras to the demon lord Vritra and his teacher – the sage Shukra

The king and his guru worshiped Kumara and then Shukra asked them to describe the greatness of Vishnu. Sanat-kumara begins by describing Vishnu by equating Vishnu's body parts with parts of the universe and its elements, for example earth is Vishnu's feet and water is his tongue. All gods are described as Vishnu

Then Sanata kumara categorizes all beings into six colors depending on the proportions of the three gunas: Sattva (pure), Rajas (dim) and Tamas (dark). From the lowest to the foremost being, the colors are dark (high Tamas, medium Rajas, low Sattva), brownish yellow (high Tamas, medium Sattva, low Rajas), blue (high Rajas, medium Tamas, low Sattva), red (Rajas high, medium Sattva, low Tamas), yellow (high Sattva, medium Tamas, low Rajas) and white (high Sattva, medium Rajas, low Tamas). 

Sanat-kumara further describes how the Jiva (living being) journeys from dark to white in various births to finally gain moksha if he does good deeds, devotion and yoga.

The Bhagavata Purana   narrates a Catursana visit to the palace of King Pertu, the first sovereign in Hindu mythology and the avatara of Vishnu. The king adored the Rsi and asked them about the path of emancipation (moksha) that could be followed by all those who were caught in the net of worldly things. 

Sanata kumara told the king that Vishnu is the refuge for all and gives liberation to the cycle of birth and rebirth. Its worship frees one from material desires and lusts. One should be liberated from material objects, live a simple life of non-violence and devotion to Vishnu and follow the teachings of a good teacher and undergo Self-realization. One must realize that all living beings are forms of God. Without devotion and knowledge, man is incomplete. Of the four purusharthas (goals of life), only moksha is eternal, while religious obligations, wealth and pleasures - decay with this life. 

All beings are subject to destruction, the soul and God in the body, the soul is eternal. So the most important thing is to surrender to God, Sanata kumara concludes.


Chatursana Curses Jaya-Vijaya in Vaikuntha

The four Kumaras came to Vaikuntha , the abode of Vishnu. The city, with the residence of Vishnu located in the middle of the seven circular walls, is considered a place of happiness and purity. 

It has seven entrance gates. The four Kumaras passed through the first six gates without any hindrance. 

When at the seventh gate, guarded by Jaya and Wijaya , two dvarapala (doorman) Vishnu palace, which looks like Vishnu with blue skin and four arms decorated with a large flower arrangements and mace. 

Jaya  and  Wijaya were  angry, stopped the four Kumaras and laughed at them because they looked like children and also naked, and did not allow them to enter through the seventh gate. 

The four Kumaras were confused by the gatekeeper's behavior as they had not encountered such situations and ridicule anywhere else. 

They expect Jaya and Vijaya to be like their master Vishnu, who has all beings in his belly and who dwells in all beings as souls and thus makes no distinction between beings. 

Angered by the behavior of the gatekeepers, the Kumaras cursed  Jaya and  Wijaya  to be reborn on earth, three times becoming three criminals with the characteristics of "lust, anger and greed". 

The gatekeeper accepted the curse and bowed to Kumaras and begged for their forgiveness. 

They asked Kumara that they should dwell in all beings as souls and thus make no distinction between beings. They asked Kumara that they should be without moha (madness), so that they would not forget their Lord Vishnu

Vishnu, who knew the incident, appeared before the Kumara with all his splendor. The four Kumaras, who on their first visit to Vaikuntha, were fascinated by the sight and figure of the shimmering god Vishnu

With deep devotion, they asked him to accept them as his worshippers and allow them to worship at his feet for all time to come and let his feet be their final emancipation. 

Vishnu complied with their request and also assured Jaya and Wijaya that they would be born as demons on earth but would be freed from all births (killed) by Vishnu's own avatar. 

The three births are as follows:

  1. Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyakasha where the first was killed by Narasimha and the last one was killed by Varaha
  2. Ravana and Kumbhakarna, where both were killed by Rama
  3. Shishupala and Dantavakra, where both were killed by Krishna.


The Kumara and Shiva About the Four Vedas

Lord Shiva who took the form of Dakshinamurti , the headmaster and mediator facing South, was performing silent tapa.

At that time the four Kumaras approached Shiva for Self Realization. Shiva taught them about the Ultimate reality which is about  Brahman by making chin mudra movements with His hands. 

The index finger touches the thumb, indicating the unification of Brahman and Jiva. Thus, Shiva made Kumara his disciple.

The Linga Purana explains that Shiva or his aspect of Vamadeva will be born as Kumaras and then some into Catursana in every kalpa  as the children of Brahma from that kalpa

In the 29th Kalpa, Swetha Lohita is the main Kumara; where they are named Sananda, Nandana, Vishwananda and Upananadana in white.

Then in the 30th Kalpa, they are referred to as Viraja, Vivahu, Visoka and Vishwbhavana, all of them are red.

And in the 31st Kalpa it is yellow; and in the 32nd Kalpa, black.

Four Kumaras became brahmins. They mastered the three Vedas; Rigveda, Yajurveda, and Samveda and assume that all knowledge is complete in these three sacred texts. 

On the otherhand Risi Atharva approached Lord Shiva to get the approval of his knowledge which he gathered from the universe using his own divine power. 

Lord Shiva was impressed with his creation and blessed Rsi Atharva that his knowledge would become the list of Vedas and would be referred to as Atharvaveda

When this was discovered by the four Kumaras, they protested against Shiva, because according to them the three Vedas  are a complete set of knowledge and there is no need for a fourth Veda

They argued with Lord Shiva and challenged his authority to ratify the fourth veda. Finally it was decided that to validate the fourth Veda or not depends on the outcome of the debate. 

Saraswati Devi was appointed as a judge. The four Kumaras asked Shiva too many and too complicated questions and the Kumaras were so sure of their victory because they underestimated Lord Shiva.

But Shiva, who is the Lord of all supreme knowledge, answers every question. Kumaras accepts their defeat and asks for forgiveness. 

Since then Artharva Veda was added to the list of Vedas, bringing the total to four Kumaras went to their brother Prajapati Daksha who was the arch rival of Lord Shiva. Hearing about the defeat of his four brothers, he cursed them to become little children. After that the four Kumaras turned into small children.