The half baked story of Bhasmasura

To read this story in Tamil, please click here.

We all know the story of Bhasmasura. He prays to Lord Shiva and obtains a boon whereby whomever’s head he touches shall become bhasma, or ash. Lord Shiva grants the boon happily and the asura wants to test the boon, on the Lord Shiva himself, making him run away. Then Lord Vishnu appears as Mohini to mislead the asura towards self-demolition. But the logic in this story seems very weak and hilarious, hence qualifying for such a title above.


The logic so weak:

It is said that Lord Shiva is easily pleased (Ashutoshi) and he is called as Bholenath, bhola meaning innocent or child-like. A person who dropped Bhilwa leaves on the lingam from a tree top so as to keep himself awake and from falling down on a Shiva Rathri day is blessed to be in Shiva Loka. The rat which unknowingly caused the lamp in a Shiva temple to brightness with its tail became the great Maha Bali. Kannappa brought him meat which is chewed by himself to ensure good taste and he poured the abhisheka theertha from his very mouth and the Lord accepted it whole heartedly as he just wants pure devotion. While it is said, being innocent is not being naïve.

It is said that Lord Shiva does not see pros and cons when granting boons, and that he suffers sometimes because of this. While this noble thought raised in few great minds, let us look in to the logical part of the story.

Who doesn’t have fear or hesitation?
Those who are in power and position, generally
Those who does not care about anything, Muni’s, Rishi’s, Siddhas and elders with wisdom

But for the Lord who possess all the attributes and for the One Supreme, what are pros and cons and why to be checked? In fact it is the Asura who must have checked the cons. Shiva grants boons then and there, no conditions apply. When Bhageeratha prayed to Ganga and Brahma, they put forth conditions, valid of course, but the moment he prayed to Shiva, there He was, with his matted hair spread, ready to bear Ganga’s full might when she descends.

Now, here’s the logic.

The boon – those who are touched by Bhasmasura on their head will become just that, Bhasma or ash.

The left out logic – here this is a offensive boon and nothing is in there as a defense, to protect the Asura unlike Hiranyakasipu, who put so many complexities in his boon:

I shouldn’t get killed in a day, or night, inside the house or outside, by a man or a woman, weapon made of living or a non-living thing and so on. Lord Narasimha offered him a customized killing plan and killed him by satisfying all his needs. Our Bhasmasura probably didn’t have time to think all these, so he goes for a straight offensive boon. Touch and gone! poof. For the Lord who burnt the Kama with a mere look, this must have been a great sport of joy and he must have controlled his laughter while granting him the boon.

Had the asura thought for a while, (or the story-teller who drafted this), he must have asked the easily-pleased Lord as to what sort of potential disasters are there in this boon. He then must have explained him with compassion on the SPOF (single point of failure) and that there is No One who can stop Him from burning the asura, with one third of his third eye opened. But they didn’t have time and so it all started ‘Swami, I want to test your boon, can I?” etc.

But on the other hand, for the sake of assuming this story as real, there could be but just one possibility and it is this. We play with children asking them to catch hold of us and we pretend to run away, and then get caught, to make the child happy. Lord Parameshwara must have played this enchanting game with the asura and that is the only way this half-baked story gets qualified to. humbly thinks that this is a cooked up story.