March 17, 2001
Louisville, KY

Shukracharya is part of Prajapati Bhrigu Rushi's lineage. However, Shukracharya decided to take the position as the guru of the demons. Prahlad was to be educated by Shand and Amark, the sons of Shukracharya. (Given in Bhagavat 7/5, Prahlad instead taught all of the demons' sons about devotion to God.) Prahlad's son Virochan, and Virochan's son, King Bali, were also advised by Shukracharya.

Shukracharya knew the powerful sanjeevanee mantra. This mantra had the power to bring the dead back to life. In order for the demigods to learn the sanjeevanee mantra, they sent Kach (son of Brihaspati, the guru of the demigods) as Shukracharya's disciple. The other demon disciples did not want Kach to gain the mantra, and thus plotted to kill him. However, impressed by his service to her father, Shukracharya's daughter Devyani had a liking for Kach. Devyani thus requested Shukracharya to use the sanjeevanee mantra and bring Kach back to life. While Kach remained resolute in serving Shukracharya, the demons again plotted to kill Kach. This time they cut him into little pieces. Again Shukracharya realized what happened, and brought Kach back to life. Though Shukracharya rebuked the demons, they planned a final method to kill Kach. This time, they burned him, and tricked Shukracharya into drinking the ashes by mixing them into alcohol. When Shukracharya found out that Kach was in his stomach, he was very sorry that his drinking habit had caused such events to occur. So he cursed that anyone who drank intoxicants would suffer. If Kach were brought back to life, Shukracharya's stomach would burst and he would die. So, Shukracharya taught Devyani the sanjeevanee mantra, and explained that she could bring him back to life after he brought Kach back to life. So Shukracharya first brought Kach to life (killing himself). Devyani explained the situation to Kach and continued with the first recitation. Kach took the opportunity to memorize the prized sanjeevanee mantra, and recited it the second two times, bringing Shukracharya back to life.

Afterwards, because Kach refused to marry Devyani, she cursed him to be unable to use the sanjeevanee mantra - though he teaches it to the demigods.



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