The mischievous Sage Narada was travelling around the world, when he saw the Vindhya mountain. The Vindhyas was a beautiful mountain right in the centre of India. However when Sage Narada saw the beautiful Vindhya, he thought a sudden prank. He went to the mountain and bowed before it, ‘Beautiful, great Mountain. You would have been the greatest mountain in the world…I have never seen the sunrise so beautiful as I can see from you….You support all the types of lives of earth, and you also support the rishis, who stay in your caves to meditate…’ Narada pretended to be unhappy and let out a sigh.
Vindhya felt proud of itself and rose majestically. However the Vindhyas understood that the Sage was feeling unhappy. It told the Sage, ‘Thank you for your kind words, sir! But you said that ‘I would have been the greatest mountain in the world’. Am I not the greatest mountain in the world?’ Vindhya asked feeling a little self conscious.
Sage Narada hid a smile and pretended to be unhappy, ‘I want to say yes, sir! But that…that would…would not be true…’ Narada finished quickly.
Vindhya got angry and asked the sage, ‘Why? Is there a better mountain in the world? Better than me?’ It thundered.
Sage Narada knew that if he gave the answer to that question, the mountain may get angry with him and crush him. He said softly, ‘Great mountain, You are very close to the sun. Why don’t you ask him his path for the day. You will know the answer to the question yourself.’
Mission accomplished, the Sage vanished from there.
The Vindhyas, now with a burning desire to know who was better than him. It turned to the blazing sun, ‘Surya! Surya!’ It bellowed loudly as the Sun God emerged before it.
On seeing the Sun God, Vindhya did not even greet him. It continued hurriedly, ‘Surya, what is your path, you take on the way home. Surya was puzzled at the strange question. He did not know the mischief of the Sage Narada. He said, ‘I travel from the east and travel the west and go around Mount Meru in the evening and set in the West…Why do you…’
‘Meru? Where is Mount Meru?’ Vindhya asked the Sun God angrily. Surya hastily stepped back and said looking alarmed. ‘Meru is one of the mountains where Lord Brahma himself resides! Beside Mount Meru is so tall, that I have no other choice. Me and all the planets in the solar system have to circle the Mount Meru.
Vindhya said angrily, rocks flying from the mountain, ‘And you have never gone around me…Am I not that important…’
The Sun God hastily interrupted the angry mountain, ‘No Vindhya it is not like that…Meru is very tall and further this has been the practice followed since the time the planets were formed…
The Mountain was quiet but looked ready to burst. The Sun God not willing to stay there for any more time, vanished from there.
Vindhya did not even notice that the Sun God had left. The mountain thought angrily. Meru! Silly Mountain…The sun goes around it because it is taller than me…Taller…I will show these Gods what being tall is…I will become even more taller than that blasted Meru…
Thinking thus the Vindhyas became to grow. The mountain grew taller and taller. Soon the mountain grew so tall, that there was an imbalance in the earth. Because of the height of the mountain, the mountain obstructed the view of the sun from the earth. This caused a lot of problems to the Gods and the humans.
Indra, the king of the Devas, went to Sage Agasthya, who was the Guru of the Vindhya mountains. He bowed to Sage Agastiyar and told him of the problem, ‘Great Sage! Vindhya is creating a problem for all the people on earth. Please Lord, Vindhya considers you as his Guru..Do something and make the Vindhya go back to its original size and make sure Vindhya does not grow any more.
Agastiyar thought that over and smiled. He nodded to Indra. ‘I will take care of this. Do not worry!’ Hearing this, Indra went back to his heavenly home, a happy man. He had no doubt that Agastiyar would take care of the problem.
That day Sage Agastiyar went home to his wife Lopamudra and children Bringhi and Achutha. ‘Pack your belongings’, He told them after he had explained the problem. ‘We will be leaving and going to another place.’
Sage Agastiyar’s family immediately understood what he had in mind and set about packing for their travel. The next day they were walking to the south of India, when the huge Mountain – Vindhya blocked their way. The mountain had grown so big that Sage Agastiyar and his family could not find any place to cross it.
‘Vindhya, ‘ Sage Agastiyar called out, as the mountain appeared before him.
‘Greetings Sir!’ Vindhya said appearing before the sage. ‘I am so happy that you have come here. You are my teacher sir! I am…’
Sage Agastiyar interrupted as if he was in a great hurry, ‘ Vindhya, we can discuss all that later, when we both have time. I am in a hurry now…’
Vindhya apologised to the Sage, ‘Sorry sir! Please continue with your journey…’
Sage Agastiyar looked at Vindhya with twinkling eyes, ‘That is precisely what my problem is Vindhya. I want to cross the mountain to get to the other side. You have now grown so huge that I cannot even go to the other side. Can you please bow down and make way for me…’
Vindhya, did not suspect anything and immediately bowed, ‘Great Sage! Please go over to the other side and complete your work…’
Sage Agastiyar and his family immediately crossed over. Then Sage Agastiyar hesitatingly looked at Vindhya, who was still bowed. Vindhya asked the sage, ‘Sir you seem to be unhappy, what is the matter?’
‘It is…’ Sage Agastiyar said as if thinking of something, ‘It is just that I may want to come back in a hurry. It would be very helpful to me if you remain in this form, till I come back Vindhya…’ Sage Agastiyar said softly, ‘I mean if it is ok with you…’
Vindhya nodded his head, still not suspecting anything. ‘I will stay this way till you come back sir!’
Sage Agastiyar thanked the mountain and he and his family started walking south.
His mission accomplished, Sage Agastiyar with his family settled in the south and never moved north again. True to the word, Vindhya remained in a bowing position, even today awaits the return of the sage.
As Vindhya stopped growing, the imbalance of the earth stopped and the Devas and the humans thanked the sage and his family.