Story of Devnarayan


The story of Devnarayan has two parts. The first concerns the exploits of Twenty four brothers who belonged to the Bagrawat lineage of the Gurjar cattle herding caste. The second part tells the story and miracles of Lord Vishnu's incarnation, Devnarayan.


In the first part, the 24 bagrawat brothers acquire a boon of extraordinary wealth from Lord Shiva (in the form of Baba Roopnath). They squander this on fine horses, finest wines and cloths and donation to the poor to earn fame in the world. Their prideful acts and free spending upset the Rajput dominated social order and the king of the underworld, Raja Basak (Serpant King). Upon Basak's insistence, Lord Vishnu arranges for the brothers to be annihilated, but only after vowing to take incarnation in their households after they are gone. The goddess coordinates the brothers' destruction when she caused a federation of Rajput rulers to rise against the brothers, after this war, little more than the chief brother's wife (Sadu), four sons, and their great herd of cattle remain.


In second Part, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Devnarayan comes to Sadu, and when Ravji (Rajput ruler) tries to kill the infant, she flees to her father's home in far away Malwa (Now state MP). Their Devnarayan spends his childhood involved in boyish pranks reminiscent of the child Krishna. This changes when his caste genealogist (Chochu Bhat) appears and tells Devnarayan about the fate of Twenty four Bagrawat brothers. Against his mother's wishes, Devnarayan leaves Malwa to find his four surviving cousin-brothers and lead them to the victory against their father's foes. One by one, Devnarayan reunites his cousin brothers and avenges the twenty four brothers by killing or punishing their enemies. In the end, Devnarayan establishes his cult and departs to the heaven.