We all know that asuras like Mahisasura, Hiranyakashipu, Tarakasur and many others did severe tapasya to impress either Brahma, Vishnu or Mahesh in order to seek various powers/boon so that they could use them against Devas but do we have any references from scriptures or other authentic sources of Devas like Indra, Varun, Agni etc. doing severe tapasya to seek extra ordinary powers/boon in order to counter attack Asuras?

Asking this coz what I figure out from the mythological series is that whenever the Devas were under threat they always sought help either from Brahma, Vishnu or Mahesh and looked weak against the powerful asuras. It gives a wrong impression, if they can not defend themselves then how come they can defend others? It appears as if Asuras were more powerful and competent than the Devas. Correct me if am wrong.

  • It’s not that devas can not defend themselves. It’s about respecting the boon given by Trimurti. Their inability to get victory over asuras creates the opportunity for avatars. How can Devas be weak if Lord is always their to help them. Their power is in being humble and asking for help. :-)
    – Ketan
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:02
  • So if we take out Trimurti from the scenario then Devas can easily defeat Asuras? @Ketan
    – Just_Do_It
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:08
  • Yes and your question answers that. Like you said Asuras did tapsya to get boon/power from Trimurti to fight Devas. Take out Trimurti from scenario then asura wouldn’t get the power to fight devas. :-) But this is my understanding. I eagerly await for scriptural answer.
    – Ketan
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:35
  • Why do you add scripture for every question of yours? It is enough if you ask you want answers from authentic sources. It should be used when you ask about scriptures itself. Sep 20, 2018 at 17:27
  • @Sarvabhouma Why is that an issue if you can please elaborate a bit?
    – Just_Do_It
    Sep 20, 2018 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


References of Devas like Indra, Varun, Agni etc. doing severe tapasya to seek extra ordinary powers/boon in order to counter attack Asuras.

Yes in in Brahmanda Purana there is a story of Indra and all the devas performing a penance at the slopes of Himalaya in order to defeat Asura leader Bhandasura and all the other asuras , Who is later Killed By Devi Lalitha an incarnation of Shree Adi-Parashakti in a battle.

Brief Account of the Story -:

When Bhandasura got the boon from Lord Shiva that half of his opponents power in the battle will be united with himself and his arrows will make the opponents missiles and weapons futile.

He became powerful after receiving the boon and became the leader of Daityas. He performed all the Vedic activities and tapas for sixteen thousand years. Now he was becoming more powerful than the devas day by day. Indra got worried about the increasing power of Asuras and due to his deteriorating condition. Lord Vishnu by seeing Asuras influence and possibility of them of conquering three worlds created Maya and asked her to enter into the demon and thus Asuras were deluded.

Once Narada visited Indra and told him that Lord Vishnu's maya is residing in Demon Bhandasura , if he is somehow liberated from this maya he will overcome the three worlds. And this task cant be carried out without the help of Adi-Parashakti (supreme goddess) .And Asked him to do penance to get the help of the goddess in defeating him. So Indra with all the gods did the penance at Himalaya. They did the penance for Ten Thousand and Ten days.

43 Accompanied by all the devas he made due preparations for penance and went to the slopes of Himavan.

44 Along with all the gods he performed the great worship of Parashakti on the bank of Bhagirathi that was brilliant with flowers in everyone of the seasons. Even since then that place bestowing all sorts of accomplishments came to known by the name Indraprastha.

45-46 In accordance with the procedure advised by the son of Brahma , they performed the excellent and great worship of the goddess.They were engage in Japa (repetition of holy names and mantras) and mediation .They were steadyfast in severe penance without turning their mind or attention on anything else. Thus ten ten thousand years and ten days passed by.

Chandogya Upanishad is also having an interesting story in it about Indra and Virochana approaching Brahmadeva to know the nature of the self -Chapter 4: An Analysis of the Nature of the Self , It is mentioned in that Lord Brahma asked Indra to perform Tapas /penance many times ,when he was having some doubts about what is Atma or self i.e. to learn the truth about the Atman

So indra in total did one hundred and one years of tapasya in the abode of Prajapati while he was clearing the doubts about Atman or the Self.

And its because of this true knowledge of the self Indra and devas gained many victories in battle against Asuras.

Your other question basically enquires about how Devas were defeated by Daityas and how they have fled many times form the war to take shelter to Trimurtis.

"It appears that if they can not defend themselves then how come they can defend others? It appears as if Asuras were more powerful and competent than the Devas."

But it is not the case every time. As said by you the Asuras by their individual Tapas or penance satisfied /pleased either one of the Trimurti ( Brahma- Vishnu-Mahesha) and obtained peculier boon so that they can not be defeated or get killed in normal situations. And those asuras then became the leaders of Asura race and due to their boon they and their followers were able to defeat gods many times in battles. As the boons were given by the Trimurtis the Gods naturally went to them for the alternate solution to overcome the troubles caused by the Asuras and in the meantime not to override the boon given by Trimurties .

Mahabharata also tells us something different . In Adi Parva- Amsha Avataraana parva-Chapter 64 -Verse 28- it is mentioned that previously in Satya-Yuga Devas (sons of Aditi) defeated Daityas many a times.

आदित्यैर्ही तदा दैत्या बहुशो निर्जिता: युधि |
ऐश्वर्याद भ्रन्शिता: स्वर्गात सम्बभूवु: क्षिताविह || 1.64.28 ||

"And, O bull of the Bharata race, when such was the blessed state of the terrestrial world, the Asuras, O lord of men, began to be born in kingly lines. And the sons of Diti (Daityas) being repeatedly defeated in war by the sons of Aditi (celestials) and deprived also of sovereignty and heaven, began to be incarnated on the earth.

So in conclusion devas were not always weak in position but due to the boons and powers and devotion of Asuras they were unable to fight with them alone without help of the three Gods and win the battle , without taking permission or the help of Trimurties.

  • Very well explained.
    – Just_Do_It
    Sep 21, 2018 at 15:14

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