Madhu and Kaitabh, Vishnu and Yog Nidra
At the beginning of universe, there was ocean all around. Vishnu lay on Sheshnag in deep slumber under the influence of Yog Nidra. While Vishnu slept a lotus stalk grew out of his navel. At the upper end of the stalk was a lotus flower. Brahma was born in the lotus flower and was in deep meditation at the time of his birth. At the same time when Brahma was in deep meditation in the lotus flower reciting the Vedas, ear wax flowed out of both ears of Vishnu and two Asuras known as Madhu and Kaitabh were born out of the ear wax.
There names are Madhu and Kaitabh. Both performed great penance for thousands of years. The Goddess was pleased with their devotion, appeared before them and granted them the boon that death would come to them only when they desired it. By the knowledge of their immense strength, both the asuras became arrogant. They attacked Brahma and stole away from him the four Vedas. Brahma though furious, was helpless in the before the Asuras. Hence he rushed in great consternation to Vishnu to seek his protection.
Vishnu, however, was in deep sleep under the influence of yog nidra and did not wake up inspite of the best efforts of Brahma. When Brahma realised that he could not wake up Vishnu in the normal course as he was sleeping under the influence of Yog Nidra. He then beseeched and praised ‘Yoga Nidra to help him awaken Vishnu. . The fervent prayers of Brahma pleased Yog Nidra. She took pity on Brahma’s plight and left Vishnu’s body. When yog nidra left lord Vishnu’s body, he woke up. Brahma told him about the malicious intent of Madhu and Kaitabh and requested him to destroy them. Thus Lord Vishnu engaged in a fierce and long battle with the two Asuras at the end of which he killed them.Both asuras have expressed the desire that they wanted to die at a place where nobody died before. Vishnu promptly killed them by mashing them on his thighs.
In the episode of Madhu and Kaitabh, Goddess Durga has been portrayed as the ‘Yoga Nidra’ whose powerful influence renders even Lord Vishnu helpless.