Do you know about the two Dwarapalakas (guardian deities) we see in temples of Vishnu? They are Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu in Vaikunta. They were once cursed by the Sanatkumaras – the mind-born sons of Lord Brahma.
One day, the four Kumaras went to Vaikunta to visit Lord Vishnu. But they were stopped by Jaya and Vijaya who told them that the Lord was resting and He couldn’t be disturbed. This enraged the Kumaras, who said that the Lord is always available to His devotees. They cursed Jaya and Vijaya that they would have to give up their divinity, and be born as mortals on earth.
Lord Vishnu then came out and apologized to the Kumaras for what had happened. Jaya and Vijaya begged the Lord to lift the curse of the Kumaras, but He was unable to do so.
Instead He gave Jaya and Vijaya two options – to take birth on Earth, for seven births as His devotees, or for three births as His enemies. After serving either sentence, they would return to Vaikunta, and stay with Him permanently. Jaya and Vijaya couldn’t imagine being away from the Lord for seven births, so they chose to be His enemies for three births!
- In the first birth – they were born as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, who were killed by Lords Varaha and Narasimha respectively.
- In the second birth – they were Ravana and Kumbhakarna, who were killed by Lord Rama.
- In the third birth – as Shishupala and Dantavakra, they were killed by Lord Krishna.
Once Jaya and Vijaya completed their three births, they were relieved of their curse! They returned to Vaikunta, and continued to serve Lord Vishnu as His faithful gatekeepers.
Story and Jaya Vijaya Illustration by Varsha Ravi, 10 Yrs Dallas, TX
Lord Vishnu Illustration by Pranav Singaraju, 13 Yrs, Frisco TX