(Last Updated on : 16/09/2009)
Chyavana is a renowned sage, who in old age was restored to youth by the Asvins. As per the Mahabharata
, it is said that the body of Chyavana became encrusted with an ant-hill while performing austerity in a certain place. Once, king Saryati came to the place with his 4,000 wives and his single daughter Sukanya. Chyavana fell in love with her and attempted to gain her affections.
But, Sukanya could not realise that the rishi is mediating within the ant hill. The lustrous out from the anti-hill caught her attention and she pierced them with a sharp instrument. On this, Chyavana became infuriated and cursed the king's army with a stoppage of urine and of the necessary functions. When the king found out the cause of the infliction, he pleaded the rishi for its removal. Then, Chyavana insisted that it would be possible if he gets the king's daughter as his wife.
So, Sukanya accordingly lived with the rishi as his spouse. However, one day, the Asvins saw her and persuade her and asked her to desert her old husband and choose one of them in place of Chyavana. But, their attempt failed. Then the Asvins told her that they were the physicians of the gods and would restore her husband's youth and beauty. Then she can make her choice between Chyavana and one of them.
Chyavana and his wife consented to this proposal. So, as per the suggestion of the Asvins, Chyavana entered with them into a neighbouring pond. Then the three handsome men came out in front of her like celestial beauty and each asked her to be his bride. However, she recognised and chose her own husband Chyavana. At this, Chyavana was elated and offered to oblige Indra to admit the Asvins in the Soma ceremonial, and fulfilled his promise in the course of a sacrifice which he performed for king Saryati. During that occasion Indra objected to such an honour being extended to the Asvins, on the ground that they wandered about among men as physicians, changing their forms at will. But Chyavana refused to listen to the objection and carried out his intention.
Chyavana is also the name of the son of Bhrigu
, the son of Brahma
, by his wife Puloma. This Chyavana is a Rakshasa or fiend, who tried to take away Puloma when the child was prematurely born. For this reason, he was named so because 'Chyu' means to fall from. After his birth, Chyavana became very strong and powerful and diminished the insulter of his mother to ashes.