ancient times, there was a bitter struggle between the devas or gods and the asuras or
demons for the lordship of the three worlds. Both belligerents had illustrious
preceptors-Brihaspati who was pre-eminent in the knowledge of the Vedas was the guiding
spirit of the devas, while the asuras relied on Sukracharya's profound wisdom.
The asuras had the formidable advantage that
Sukracharya alone possessed the secret of Sanjivini which could recall the dead to life.
Thus the asuras who had fallen in the battle were brought back to life, time and again,
and continued their fight with the devas. The devas were thus at a great disadvantage in
their long-drawn- out war with their natural foes.
They went to Kacha, the son of Brihaspati, and
besought his aid. They begged him to win his way into the good graces of Sukracharya and
persuade him to take him as a pupil. Once admitted to intimacy and confidence, he was to
acquire, by fair means or foul, the secret of Sanjivini and remove the great handicap
under which the devas suffered.
Kacha acceded to their request and set out to
meet Sukracharya who lived in the capital city of Vrishaparva, the king of the asuras.
Kacha went to the house of Sukra, and after due salutation, addressed him thus: "I am
Kacha, the grandson of the sage Angiras and the son of Brihaspati.
I am a brahmacharin seeking knowledge under
your tutelage." It was the law that the wise teacher should not refuse a worthy pupil
who sought knowledge of him. So Sukra acceded and said: "Kacha, you belong to a good
family. I accept you as my pupil, the more willingly, that by doing so I shall also be
showing my respect for Brihaspati."