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Shukracharya - The Lord of Venus

The planet of Venus, also known as Shukra is one among the Navagraha deities. Shukracharya was the son of sage Bhrigu and the chief teacher to all Asuras (Demons). He was a devotee of Lord Shiva and gained the knowledge of Sanjivani Vidya (to bring one back from death) from him. He was married to Jayanti (daughter of Indra). He governs the aspect of beauty, physical appearance, sexuality, wealth, and luxury in one’s life. The day of Friday is dedicated to his worship.

Shukracharya's birth name was Ushanas. He was born to sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyati. Bhrigu sent Ushanas to sage Angiras to learn Vedas from him. Sage Angiras accepted him as his student however was partial towards his son Brihaspati and did not pay much attention to Ushanas. Ushanas got agitated and decided to study from sage Gautama instead. Gautama taught him and he became quite a powerful sage himself. When Ushanas came to know that Brihaspati was declared as the chief teacher for Devas he became furious. He decided to become the chief teacher for demons as he sought revenge from the Gods. The Gods could easily defeat the demons under the guidance of Brihaspati. Shukracharya needed something more powerful to defeat the Gods. He wanted to learn the Mritsanjivani mantra which could bring the dead back to life. Ushanas started meditating upon Lord Shiva. His penance was severe. He hung himself upside down to a tree and gave up on food and water. Indra the king of Heaven got insecure and sent his daughter Jayanti to break his penance. Jayanti tried her best but was unable to succeed. Pleased with Ushanas penance Lord Shiva appeared before him and granted the boon of Mritsanjivani to him. He however asked Ushanas not to misuse this mantra.

Meanwhile, when Ushanas was meditating upon Shiva, the Gods decided to attack and kill the demons. Demons were vulnerable without their teacher Ushanas. The demons decided to take help from Ushanas mother Khyati and requested her to protect them from the Gods. Khyati agreed. When the Gods got to know that the demons were hiding at Khyati's house they rushed there to capture them. However, Khyati was powerful and with immense spiritual powers, she hypnotized all the Gods. Indra somehow managed to escape. He rushed to Lord Vishnu and asked him to intervene. Vishnu went there himself and instructed Khyati to let the demons free. He told her that she was going against Dharma by helping the demons. Khyati did not agree and said that she would not let the Gods attack her guests until she is alive. Hence Vishnu had to kill her with his Sudarshan chakra. The Gods captured the demons again. Sage Brighu was also not present there when all this happened. When Bhrigu came to know that his wife was killed by Vishnu, he cursed Vishnu that even he would have to go through the pain of separation from his beloved whenever he was on Earth as an avatar. We can see his curse manifesting in the tale of Ramayana.

When Ushanas came to know of his mother's death he went furious. Now, all that he wanted was to take revenge from Gods and Vishnu. He with his demon clan started attacking the Gods. With the power of Mritsanjivani, he could now bring back demons to life easily. The demons started winning again and again. This created havoc in all three worlds.

The helpless Gods went to Shiva for help. When Shiva came to know that Ushanas was misusing his powers he decided to teach him a lesson. Shiva swallowed Ushanas. Ushanas was now inside Shiva's stomach. He stayed there for thousand years. Inside Shiva's stomach, Ushanas saw all the 7 worlds and the entire cosmos. Unable to come out he started meditating upon Shiva inside Shiva's stomach itself.

After years of penance, he managed to come out from Shiva's stomach through the passage of penile or Linga. Since he came out as Shiva's Shukra or sperm Shiva declared him his son and he was named Shukracharya.

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