The Deceit of Bṛhaspati

I have a theory. I try to remind my children that there really are no “bad guys,” just other people whose motivations are different from ours who believe that what they are doing is the “right way” or is justified. I often picture how the “good guys” are quite often obnoxious jerks in film – just as much as I feel empathy for the “bad guys.” Just as a graha (planet) can be harmful or a source of problems in a person’s birth chart, so can Jupiter (Bṛhaspati), the guru to the devas.

Follow me here…

Fact #1: Bṛhaspati (Brahma’s grandson) was Guru (teacher) to the Devas (gods).

Fact #2: Śūkra (Venus) was Guru to the Asuras (demons). Assume the Asuras (literally, “others”) were simply the southern/native/Tantrikas. After all, Ravana’s kingdom was in Lanka.

Fact #3: Bṛhaspati disguised himself as Shukra and re-taught the Asuras over a 10-year period of time, removing their “hatred and factionalism.” Plainly put, Bṛhaspati converted the southern population.

Is this representative of the Vedic takeover/absorption/conversion of the native Tantrikas?

Fact #4: Bṛhaspati was able to pull this off only because Indra sent his daughter, Jayanti, to spy on Shukra as his disciple while he was away worshiping Shiva in the Himalayas. Her goal was to find a way to infiltrate the “Asuras” by discovering a “spell.” Shukra marries his disciple, who takes him out of the picture (on a “honeymoon”?) for this 10 year period of time. All the while, Bṛhaspati converts, or “saves,” the Asuras.

What Ensued…

With the honeymoon over, Shukra sent away Jayanti, returning home to find that the Asuras no longer recognized him as their guru. Displeased, Shukra left and “cursed” them. Done with his work, Bṛhaspati departs, returns to the heavens, and leaves the Asuras begging for Shukra’s return. Shukra did, of course, but the damage had been done and the Asuras were no longer as powerful as they once had been.

And so, by means of planetary mythology, this seems to explain very clearly the absorption, integration, and dethroning of the Tantrikas and/or native population by the incoming influence of Indra and the new, predominant flavor of Hinduism.

This reminds me of Palpatine’s tale to Anakin Skywalker in the third episode of Star Wars. Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious) explains to Anakin that only the dark side possesses the power to bring people back from death, and briefly tells the tale of a student who steals this power from their master.

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