A pair of twins, Jaya and Vijaya, are the gatekeepers of Vishnu’s celestial abode – Vaikuntha. Once while they were guarding the door, the four manas-putra (mind-born sons) of Brahma, the Sanat Kumaras, came to meet Vishnu. The four Kumaras are blessed with eternal youth, and thus they look like small children, although they have the wisdom of the world. Mistaking them to be mere children,
Cursed made the two dev to become demon
Jaya & Vijaya haughtily did not allow them to enter. Enraged at the insult, the four sages cursed them that they would lose their divinity and live on the earth as mortals. On realizing their mistake, Jaya-Vijaya pleaded with the Kumaras to take the curse back. Hearing the commotion outside, Vishnu himself came at the entrance to figure out the source. Jaya-Vijaya told him what had happened and also requested him to undo the curse. However a curse once given can never be reversed.
Why they choosed to become enemy of Vishnu?
Vishnu told them that he could only modify the curse and gave them. two options to choose from. They could take either seven births on earth as Vishnu’s devotees or three births as his arch enemies. After they completed these births, they could then regain their divinity. The thought of being away from their beloved Vishnu for seven births was unthinkable to the twins and so they chose to be reborn as his enemies in their three birth.
Story of Jaya’s First birth
In the Satya yuga, Jaya and Vijaya took their first ever birth on earth as mortals. Jaya was born as Hiranyakashyap (or Hiranyakashipu), a power asura and tyrant. He had a young son named Prahalad, an ardent devotee of Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu was jealous about his own son’s devotion to someone else and did not like it at all. He even tried to kill his son many times, only never managing to be successful!
Once, he pointed at a pillar in the palace and asked his son if his god would be in it, as god is supposed to be ‘omnipresent’. Prahalad replied in the affirmative. Enraged by the answer, he broke open the pillar with his mace, only to have Narasimha avatar of Vishnu (half lion, half human) pounce out of it and kill him at twilight with his nails, by laying him on his own thigh at the entrance door of the demon’s house, thereby shrewdly bypassing the boon that he had earned from Brahma which stated that no man, god or animal could kill him, neither at day nor at night, not on land, water or sky, definitely not inside his house or even outside of it irrespective of whether it is on earth, heaven or the underworld and nor with any weapons as well.
Vijaya’s First Birth story
Vijaya took his first birth as Hiranyaksha, an asura and the brother of Hiranyakashyipu. Hiranyaksha was an ardent devotee of Brahma, and did some intense penance to please him. On seeing his sincerity in performing the penance, Brahma was quite pleased and appeared before him. He also asked him for any wish that he wanted to be fulfilled.
Hiranyaksha asked for a boon that would make him extremely powerful, which Brahma granted. Thereafter, drunk with power, Hiranyaksha began harassing the devas.In a power struggle with the devas, he also plunged the earth deep in to the cosmic ocean! As only Vishnu could match his power, he took the avatara of Varaha (boar).Using his tusks, Varaha dived deep into the ocean and brought the earth back to its original place. A fierce battle then ensued between him and Hiranyaksha, which ended with Hiranyaksha’s death.
Second Birth of Jaya
In his second birth, Jaya was reborn as Ravana, the great rakshasa. Ravana was a skilful warrior and an intellectual scholar alike. He ruled the kingdom of Lanka, where he was worshipped by his people too. He was also one of the most revered devotees of Shiva. But as was destined, he was supposed to be an enemy of
Vishnu in the mortal world. To meet his destiny, he ended up abducting Sita, the wife of Rama, an avatara of Vishnu, thereby becoming his nemesis. Rama came searching for his wife, all the way to Lanka to free his wife. Ravana, filled with ego at first, resisted the attempts of Rama and his army and did not sway from his decision to keep Sita, even though he was in the wrong. Many days passed since the battle between Rama and Ravana began. Even after having such a huge army, at one point in the battle, it was clear that he would lose. Eventually, Ravana was killed by Rama and thus he completed his second life as Vishnu’s mortal enemy.
Vijaya’s second birth
Vijaya was born as Kumbhakarna, younger brother of Ravana in his second birth. He was very powerful and had even defeated Indra, in a battle for supremacy. Later, along with his brothers Ravana and Vibhishana, he performed austerities and tried to please Brahma, for a boon. However, when Brahma appeared before him, his tongue was tied & he couldn’t speak properly! Instead of asking for indrasana (throne of Indra), he had asked for nidrasana (throne of sleep) & was thus granted eternal sleep! Of course, this was the doing of the jealous Indra with devi Saraswati’s help.
Ravana requested Brahma to help correct the boon, and so it was modified to Kumbhakarna sleeping for six months of the year and staying awake for the rest six. During the war between Rama & Ravana, Kumbhakarna had woken up and was asked to fight Rama by his brother. Virtuous that he was, Kumbhakarna, knowing Ravana to be on the wrong side, even told his brother what he felt. However, his loyalty towards Ravana was of greater importance to him, and he went ahead to fight, where he was eventually killed by Rama.
Final Birth of Jaya
In his final birth, Jaya was Shishupala, son of Srutashubha (Krishna’s aunt). He was born with three eyes and four arms, and it was prophesied that the person who would cure him of this illness would also kill him eventually.
When Krishna took the baby in his lap, the extra eye and arms disappeared instantly! It also became clear that Krishna would kill him in the future. Srutashubha, overcome with motherly instinct, pleaded with Krishna to pardon her son for a hundred of his mistakes to which Krishna agreed.
While growing up, Shishupala had a friend Rukmi, brother of Rukmini. He wanted Shishupala to get married to her, but she eloped with Krishna, after which Shishupala began hating Krishna. When Yudhishthira performed the Rajasuya yagna, (a ritual to establish a king’s sovereignty), Shishupala, among several others was invited for the event. Krishna was chosen as the guest of honour. Seeing this, Shishupala lost his cool and began insulting not just Krishna but also Bhishma. Bhishma too became furious, but was calmed down by Krishna & this became the hundredth mistake of his to be pardoned by Krishna. So when he insulted Krishna again, he was free from his promise to Srutashubha, and killed him instantly with his Sudarshan Chakra.
Last birth of Vijaya
Vijaya took his last birth on earth as Dantavakra, the king of Karusha. He was the son of Shrutadeva, another sister of Vasudeva, and was therefore Krishna’s cousin too. Dantavakra was an ally of Jarasandha, the king of Magadha and Krishna’s enemy. He was also friends with Shisupala, who we now know, was also killed by Krishna. When Yudhishthira performed the Rajasuya yagna, Dantavakra was defeated by Sahadeva, his brother. He was also forced to pay a tribute to the winning side, and only then was he reinstated as the king. Many of his friends including Shisupala and Salva died attacking Krishna during the yagna.
Having had enough of Krishna and to avenge the killings of his dear friends, Dantavakra set out at once to Dwarka with the intention to slay him. Such was his anger, that he set out even without a chariot, but just on foot and carried no weapons but for one mace! He challenged Krishna for a duel, but obviously was no match for him. Krishna, with one swift move, hit him in the chest, killing him instantly. And in this way, Vijaya too was released from the curse of the Kumaras.