IN the Vedic times there lived two demon-brothers, Suanda and Upasunda who loved each other so much that they were willing to sacrifice their lives for each other’s sake. They were so devoted to each other that pain inflicted on one used to cause discomfort to the other. But, as was their wont, they created havoc for the gods.
One day, Brahma, tired of their destructive activities, approached Vishwakarma, the architect of heaven and suggested that to control the demons it was necessary to create a beautiful woman to entice them before leading them to their destruction. Vishwakarma pondered for some time and then created an exceptionally beautiful woman named Tilottama from whom no one could life their gaze away. On seeing her, even Lord Shiva was struck by her ethereal looks.
Brahma then called her and said, “Tilottama, as your know, the demons are creating havoc here. It would be to our advantage to talk to the demons and ask them to curb their destructive activities and spare life in our kingdom.”
As desired, Tilottama appeared before the demons Sunda and Upasunda. On seeing Tilottama’s beauty, the brothers succumbed to her charms and wanted to marry her. But Tilottama could marry only one of them and seeing this, neither of the brothers was prepared to let her go. So a fierce battle ensued between the two brothers and both perished in the fight.
Brahma had noticed that Tilottama’s beauty was captivating one for all and she had become a problem to be handled. So he cursed her, “Form now on, nobody will be able to set his eyes on you for long.” –MG