Kaal Sandhya - The Dark side of Evening
Question: Why it has been said that at the time of setting of the sun is considered to be unlucky time for the people of Assam?
People of Assam usually believes that at the time of setting of the sun people should not go out of their houses, neither sleep at that time nor stand or sit under the ends of the roofs. People of Assam pray at that time so that nothing misshapennings may take place at that period of time. There is a story behind it which led people to believe in such things. The story is as follows:-
Long ago, there were two brothers named Hiranyakhya and ‘Hiranyakhakipur’. ‘Hiranyakhakipur’ was the eldest. ‘Hiranyakhya’ was a devotee of ‘Lord Shiva’. He used to do ‘Tapasya’ (meditation) to get a vardaan (to get his wish fulfilled). He did ‘Tapasya’ for lot of years. Finally ‘Lord Shiva’ granted him vardaan and asked what he wanted. ‘Hiranyakhya’ asked to make him immortal. After getting the vardaan he became violent and started destruction everywhere. So, ‘Lord Vishnu’ couldn’t tolerate this and took the form of ‘Borah’ (wild pig).The Borah came on the way of ‘Hiranyakhya’, as he was very hot-tempered he would not mercy anybody coming on his way .Seeing the Borah coming on his way he wanted to kill the ‘Borah’. But it was not his day; he was killed by ‘Lord Vishnu’. Thus, ‘Lord Vishnu’ became enemy to Hiranyakhakipur.
‘Hiranyakhakipur’ hated ‘Lord Vishnu’ so much that he used to kill everyone who used to pray ‘Lord Vishnu’. But unfortunately, his son was a great devotee of ‘Lord Vishnu’. His son’s name was ‘Prahlad’. When ‘Prahlad’ was sent to ‘Ashram’ (Gurukul) he used to gather all his friends and used to tell them about Lord Vishnu’s deeds and advised to be them a devotee of ‘Lord Vishnu’. This was informed to Prahlad’s father ‘Hiranyakakhipur’. Since his father hated ‘Lord Vishnu’, he won’t able to tolerate when he came to know about his son, then he ordered to kill ‘Prahlad’. Prahlad was tried to kill in many ways.
But all went in vain. When ‘Prahlad’ was being taken to kill, he used to utter the name of ‘Lord Vishnu’ within himself. He was tried to kill in many ways like-
Once he was thrown from the top the hill, he was also put in the hot oil, he was even being poisoned, and he was even being tried to squach or to tread by the elephant. When all these didn’t work, his father’s sister, ‘Hollika’ (i.e., Prahlad’s father’s sister) came and told to her brother that she will kill ‘Prahlad’.
‘Hollika’ had a ‘sheetal –cheer’ (a piece of cloth that helps from getting burnt, i.e. a god gift).Her thinking was to kill ‘Prahlad’ through fire. She was not afraid of fire because she had ‘sheetal-cheer’ through which she could prevent herself from fire. Prahlad’s devotion towards his ‘Lord Vishnu’ protected him each and every time when he was tried to kill.
Finding no other way then his father asked ‘Prahlad’ not to worship ‘Lord Vishnu’ because he killed his uncle ‘Hiranyakhya’. Then ‘Prahlad’ advised his father to leave his hatred towards ‘Lord Vishnu’ and to worship along with him. By hearing this, his father got angry and refused to worship. ‘Prahlad’ said his father that his God is everywhere, then his father asked him to show him, where his ‘Lord Vishnu’ is. ‘Prahlad’ answered that his God lives everywhere even in the pillars. Then ‘Hiranyakakhipur’ took his ‘Gada’ (Lord Hanumaan’s weapon) and hit the pillars. Then from one of the pillars came out ‘Lord Narasingha’ (half lion half man, i.e. head is of lion and body was like man, anger form of Lord Vishnu). When his father ‘Hiranyakakhipur’ saw this he got scared, he tried to save himself from ‘Lord Narasingha’. But ‘Lord Narasingha’ didn’t mercy him and took him on his lap and with his nails he cleaved to reap his chest.
This was the time which was neither day nor night; he was killed neither by man nor any weapon. The vardaan of ‘Lord Shiva’ was fulfilled. This time at which ‘Hiranyakakhipur’ was killed is considered to be bad for everybody, so at this time people don’t go out of their houses, don’t take money in their hands and don’t do any auspicious work. So, at this time people light ‘diyas’ and ‘dhoop’ (incense sticks) and pray to the Almighty that no misfortune will happen to them, as this time is considered to be unlucky for them. No definite evidence of this story is there but still people believe as it is said, “Where one sheep goes the other follows”. So, people has been following this from the long past and it will be followed till the Earth survives.