Emotions can ricochet back and forth within a society. One individual’s anger can create a ripple in mass psyche. However, a negative emotion can eventually boomerang to its origin. This is an ancient belief system. We can understand the strange story of Jalandhar in the Puranas in the context of the boomerang effect. In Summary, Jalandhar manifested as a Rakshasa out of Shiva’s anger. Shiva was enraged by Indra. Finally, events in Jalandhar’s life brought him in conflict with Shiva.
The narrator of the story weaves several smaller boomerangs into the main plot. Firstly, Lakshmi’s sisterly attachment to Jalandhar brings a predicament with Vishnu, her own husband. In this side story, Vishnu steals the identity of Jalandhar for a short while. Secondly, this side story concludes with the birth of the divine herb Tulasi.
Sri Sri Ravishankar explains the purpose of Purana stories. They can convey ideas which otherwise remain beyond the grasp of common folk. Surely, everyone loves stories. Occasionally someone gets interested in understanding the true meaning in parables. They become inspired to analyze the metaphors in a story.
Unfortunately, many cherish Puranas for the story value alone. This too is fine as long a belief in Purana stories does not turn into a dogma. For example, the Veda praises Indra as the thousand eyed. Surely, Indra is a metaphor for the collective mind. Here are a few more metaphors in the Jaladhar story
Clues from Jalandhar story
How is Lakshmi the sister of Jalandhar? Lakshmi appeared from the the ocean when Devas and Asuras churned it for Amrita. Jalandhar too appeared from the ocean.
Why did Varuna throw Jalandhar out of the ocean? Ocean water received remnants of Shiva's anger and dissolved it. However, this dissolved nagativity bothered aquatic creatures. Varuna, the ruler of Ocean and its water was fed up. He gathered the vibes and handed over it as a bundle to Brahma.
What was Brahma's role in Jalandhar's life? Brahma received a bundle of negative vibes from Varuna. Brahma is the creator. Therefore, no new beings can enter into his creation without an acknowledgement from Brahma. The bundle had no name yet. However, it oppressed Brahma's neck until he began to choke. Brahma named it Jalandhar and thereby accepted Jalandhar into his creation.
How did Brihaspati divert the anger of Shiva against Indra into the ocean? Indra and Brihaspati traveled to Kailash to meet Shiva. Shiva as a Yogi blocked their way. Immediately, Brihaspati recognized the Yogi. However, Indra began to attack in fury. Finally, Brihaspati carried away the wrath emerging from Shiva's third eye using his spiritual powers.
Shiva’s anger was against the collective mind. A mob is one illustration of how actions may originate from a collection of minds. Mob behavior is driven by insensitivity. Indra, the thousand eyed, is a metaphor for the collective mind. In the story Indra does not recognize Shiva because of his insensitivity. However, Brihaspati of refined wisdom, immediately recognizes Shiva. Sri Sri Ravishankar explains the way to decode Metaphors in the following YouTube clip