15

Gods give boons to different people based on what they ask but what if

  • Person A gets a boon that he will kill everyone he wars against in the next 10 years.
  • Person B gets a boon that he cannot be killed in the next 10 years.

Now if Person A faces Person B in war, what will happen? Both have the power of boon but boon of both cannot be fulfilled. It's a deadlock, what is the solution to such situations?

Is there any mention in scriptures where there has been a clash between boons and how that situation got resolved?

6
  • 1
    I think due to power of boons such cirumstances are created that they never clash each other... They might be friend... or they may never meet....
    – Tezz
    Nov 19 '17 at 16:00
  • @Tezz is right IMO. The whole point of a boon is to circumvent possible undesirable circumstances.
    – Surya
    Nov 19 '17 at 16:05
  • Well, this is not a situation which we don't encounter. "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." The answer may not be practical for this question? Nov 19 '17 at 16:06
  • Countering the downvote. IMO too such situations will not arise.
    – Rickross
    Nov 19 '17 at 16:06
  • 1
    This is an excellent question. Not sure why you received 2 downvotes. I have a few examples in mind. Will post an answer. Nov 20 '17 at 16:00
16

1. Ravana's story

As defined in your question:

Here person A is Yama and person B is Ravana.

As per UTTARA KANDA of Ramayana:

Kaladanda (the rod of time) is weapon of Yama. This rod of time, immeasurable might and incapable of being resisted by natures, was created by Lord Bhrahma as having the power of compassing the death of all beings. If this alights on any one, he doth not live for a moment.

But Ravana also got a boon from Lord Bhrahma and he was incapable of being slain by Nagas, Yakshas, Daityas, Danavas and the Devas.

How that situation got resolved

When Yama wanted to kill Ravana with his Kaladanda (the rod of time), the great father (Lord Bhrahma) manifesting himself and spoke unto Yama:

O mighty armed one, O thou of imeasurable prowess, this certainly must not be: Thou shouldst not with thy rod slay the Rakshasa (Ravana); for, O the foremost of Devas, I have conferred a boon on him; thou shouldst not render false the words that I have uttered. Verily he, that, whether a god or a human being, who falsify my words, shall render this triune universe waste. There is no doubt about this. Whether on this weapon allighting, the ten necked (Ravana) does not die, or if he dies, either way falsehood is the consequence. If thou have any care for these worlds do thou establish my truth.

Thus addressed, Yama then answered, I restrain this rod. Thou art our Lord. But as I restrain not slay this one who hath obtained a boon, what then shall I do now in the battlefield? Therefore shall I disappear from the sight of this Rakshasa (Ravana). Having said this, even thus did he vanish with his car and horses.

2. Daksha's story

As defined in your question:

Here person A is Veerbhdra and person B is Daksha.

As per the "Sati Khand" of Part 2 (RUDRA SAMHITA) of Shiva Purana

After Sati jumped into the fire during Daksha Yajna. Lord Shiva gave a curse to Daksha that he must be killed and sent Veerbhadra to kill him. From the fear of Veerbhadra, Daksha prayed Lord Vishnu and got a boon that his life will be saved by Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu decided to fight on the side of Daksha. But Veerbhadra pulled Daksha out and severed his head.

But Lord Vishnu gave Daksha a boon that his life will be saved then how he can be killed. But Lord Shiva gave him a curse that he will be killed so how his life can be saved. Hence, a clash between curse and boon (i.e Deadlock).

How that situation got resolved

Lord Vishnu asked Lord Shiva to give Daksha's life back. Daksha was absolved by Lord Shiva and the head of a male goat was fixed on the decapitated body of Daksha and gave his life back.

Note: Narada, who was listening to the divine tales of Shiva with rapt attention, was very curious to know about the reasons why Lord Vishnu attended a yagya where Shiva was not invited and why did he fight a battle against Veerbhadra. Lord Brahma told him that all this happened due to the curse of Sage Dadhichi. The story of the curse is also given in the "Sati Khand" of Part 2 (RUDRA SAMHITA) of Shiva Purana. As most of the incidents are repetitive hence other Purana might depict the story from some other Kalpa and may not mention that Lord Vishnu fought from Daksha's side.

3. Drona's story

As defined in your question:

Here person A is Dhrishtadyumna and person B is Dronacharya.

As per this chapter of Mahabharata

Dronacharya got all celestial weapons in a boon from Lord Parshurama. So it was not possible for anyone to kill Dronacharya in a straight forward battle.

On the other hand, as per this chapter of Mahabharata

After Drupada's yajna, the voice of some invisible spirit in the skies said, 'This prince (Dhrishtadyumna) has been born for the destruction of Drona'.

But how Dhrishtadyumna can kill Dronacharya who is so powerful after Lord Parshurama's boon. Hence, a clash between two boons (i.e Deadlock).

How that situation got resolved

This is already discussed in this question.

4. Soma's story

As per the chapter 'THE ORIGIN OF SOMNATH' of Shiva Purana - Part 4 (KOTI RUDRA SAMHITA)

Chandra or Soma (the Moon god) had many wives, one of whom was Rohini. Soma loved Rohini very much, which made the rest of his wives very jealous and angry. They went to their father - Daksha and complained about Soma's behaviour. Daksha went to Soma and advised him to give proper attention to all of his wives. But it did not have any effect on him and he continued giving special treatment to Rohini. When Daksha came to know about this, he cursed Soma to become weak and devoid of radiance. Then, Soma went to Prabhas area and chanted Mahamrityunjaya mantra. Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him to demand anything he wished (boon).

Soma requested lord Shiva to liberate him from the curse given by Daksha. Hence, a clash between curse and boon (i.e Deadlock).

How that situation got resolved

Lord Shiva told Soma (the Moon god) that the words of Daksha can never became untrue. However he blessed Soma by saying that he would wane during the dark lunar phase (krishna paksha) due to the curse, but wax during the bright lunar phase (shukla paksha) due to his (Shiva's) blessings (boon).

5. Banasura's story

Described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) 10.63

6. King of Kashi's story

This story might not have scriptural basis; it may just be folklore. It is discussed in Why did Hanuman fight with Lord Rama?

7. Indra's story of becoming Sahasraksha

It is discussed in Why is Indra referred to as 'Sahasraksha' in Valmiki Ramayana?

There may be many more instances of such Deadlocks:

As per few stories, Bhishma had a boon that he can choose the time of his death and Shikhandi (or Amba in previous birth) had a boon that he/she will be the cause of Bhishma' death. So, this was also the case of Deadlock.

War between Danavas (from Rasatala) and Ravana also resulted in Deadlock which was resolved by Lord Bhrahma himself.

8
  • Daksha yagna story is inconsistent in the Puranas. In other Puranas, Daksha's head is not severed and not killed. Dec 4 '17 at 3:42
  • @NogShine Yes, but that doesn't mean that above story is wrong. As Daksha yajna happened more than onece. Other Puranas might tell the story of some other Daksha yajna from some other Kalpa. I hv mentioned this fact in my answer too...
    – YDS
    Dec 4 '17 at 3:46
  • 1
    Did you see the reason for my edit? Why are you using block quotes eventhough there is nothing like quotes? Why did you retain the wrong names? Drashtadyuman and Parshuram are not the right names. Dec 4 '17 at 4:01
  • 1
    Use block quotes only when there is something to quote. They shouldn't be used for everything? Dec 4 '17 at 4:09
  • 2
    Splendid answer Jan 17 '18 at 5:06
-1

The boons don't seem to be literal. I think they are just narrative fill to prevent a cascade of nonsense/improper inferences after important details are cut out, because they are too complicated for humans to understand or (more likely) humans throwing temper tantrums over hearing the truth (you know we'll do it). Thus, they cannot cause a deadlock, as they are not what really happened.


The most obvious case of this is with the story of Lohāsura, which does not make sense if it is literal. For starters, and probably the clearest to different sect, Sūta says he is going to talk about the exploits of the hundred sons of Bali, but then just does not. I guess those were too controversial for even an analogous, non really true, substitute story to cover.

It refers to Shiva as both being supreme and him being defeated. He also defeats Vishnu and Brahma, which causes a whole bunch of issues with other texts and makes no sense with the names used for them. Also, not really making sense, Brahma is referred to as sitting on a lotus after falling down. In general, that statement would make sense, but not at that moment.

Sūta said:

  1. Henceforth listen to the acts of Demon Lohāsura. I shall also describe the well-known (exploits) of the hundred sons of Bali.

2-4. When the two elderly brothers attained the excellent region, ever since that time, Demon Lohāsura was assailed by the feeling of non-attachment. ‘What should I do? Where should I go, to which excellent spot for the purpose of performing penance? Who is that lord to be propitiated by me, whose limit neither gods nor sages nor men know?’ He began to think within himself very much. As that noble-souled demon was thinking thus, knowledge dawned on him.

5-7. ‘I shall propitiate that Lord alone who is free from blemish; who has Gaṅgā on his head; the Sun and the Moon in his eyes; Lord Nārāyaṇa in the heart and god Brahmā in his waist. Indra and other Devas, after being reflected in his person, visualize their soul like the Sun reflected in water.’

After resolving thus, the Daitya, due to his fright of terrible rebirth, performed very difficult penance that even great-souled persons could not perform.

...

After getting the boon from Śiva fortunately, he performed a great penance again on the beautiful banks of Sarasvatī for the purpose of crossing the ocean of worldly existence. The penance continued for thousands, hundred thousands, and millions of years. Lord Indra too began to become afraid of the power of his penance. He became suspicious.

...

20-23. On hearing the words of the Devas, Vāsudeva, Janārdana, Keśava fought a battle with him for a hundred years. Extremely powerful due to the boon (of Śiva) he vanquished Nārāyaṇa. On being conquered by Lohāsura, Lord Nārāyaṇa invoked again and again Rudra and Brahmā. There was another attempt after their consultation as the body of Daitya Lohāsura became fresh. The next fight between the Daitya and Keśava was very fierce.

24-28. When the Daitya did not die, despite the power of Viṣṇu, Keśava caused him to fall on the ground suddenly. On seeing him fallen supine, the Pināka-wielding Great Lord imposed his form in his heart, though he is formless really. Brahmā stood at the neck of the demon Lohāsura. Standing on his legs, Puruṣottama pressed down his feet.

Though he was bound firmly to the ground, the Daitya got up. On seeing him standing up and making the excellent Suras fall down, the lotus-seated Virañci (Brahmā) said in his divine speech:

Markandeya continued,

...

Virtuous actions are the offerings with which the god Rudra is worshipped by mortals. He who is also called Siva, the omnipotent god, armed with the Pinaka bow, is Mahesvara. He is worshipped in various forms.


Similarly, the fight between Viṣṇu and Dadhīca, in the middle of a boon, has a nonsense statement of someone preventing a motionless person from fighting. How can a motionless person be fighting in the first place to be prevented?

Brahmā said:—

...

42-43. In the meantime, Kṣuva of noble contact, came there. He prevented the motionless Brahmā, Viṣṇu and the gods from fighting. Even after hearing my words, the defeated Viṣṇu did not go near the sage, nor bowed to her.


Everything from the intent of penance to the boon giver disappearing does not really happen and is just a proxy for what really happened, so the other stories based on the real events still make sense.


Boons being metaphors also clears up a major issue for sensibility in the other races having wombs. Wombs are really only useful for protecting our ancestors as babies from predation, and are kind of useless in civilization, with other forms of reproduction being more suitable. Thus, it really does not make sense for the other races, or even future humans, to have them. Non-human sapient race wombs are referenced (to my knowledge only) in the middle of boons. A common translation of the Bhagavatam has a nonhuman female with a womb, but the Sanskrit wording just uses the accusative case. So it is more like he had a children to his wife. An understandable translation issue.

miśrakeśyām — in the womb of Miśrakeśī; apsarasi — who belonged to the Apsarā group; vṛka-ādīn — Vṛka and other sons; vatsakaḥ — Vatsaka; tathā — as well; takṣa-puṣkara-śāla-ādīn — sons headed by Takṣa, Puṣkara and Śāla; durvākṣyām — in the womb of his wife, Durvākṣī; vṛkaḥ — Vṛka; ādadhe — begot.

Thereafter, King Vatsaka, by the womb of his wife, Miśrakeśī, who was an Apsarā, begot sons headed by Vṛka. Vṛka, by his wife, Durvākṣī, begot Takṣa, Puṣkara, Śāla and so on.


Confusingly, there is an incident in the Brahma Purana where there is a lady who seems to not be human having a womb. However, because she is the sister of Lopāmudrā, who is the daughter of Vidarbha, who is the brother of Bharata, she does is actually human, even if you have to search a long time to find it.

5
  • You mean deadlocks never happened because details are left out?
    – Wikash_
    Dec 26 '21 at 8:05
  • 1
    @Wikash_ Deadlocks cannot happen because the boons never happened. They are substitute narrative filler to make the rest of the stories make sense. Its like a movie adding details to replace parts that had to be censored in a particular country. Dec 26 '21 at 19:28
  • Interesting thought yet I see no proof in the scriptures for your claims. Can you find evidence within the scriptures to support your claims?
    – Wikash_
    Dec 27 '21 at 8:15
  • @Wikash_ The story I quoted is proof. I explained why it makes no sense if it literally happened. I tried to make it applicable to different sect, even though I don't think they are a canon thing (sects). Dec 28 '21 at 18:10
  • 1
    @Wikash_ Also there is absolutely no consistency in boon rules. Some say you cannot refuse a boon, others allow it. Some say you cannot ask for immortality, others get it. Some say you exclude Vishnu, some (actually the same person) include him. Dec 28 '21 at 18:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .