Every God that has taken form will have a predefined objective or aim to fulfill. As Krishna was born to slay Kamsa and Arjuna to kill Karna, every God in history has a story to tell that lead to their creation. The birth of Khandaakarnan was also meant for a cause. Khandaakarnan was born to Lord Shiva. He was formed inside the throat of Shiva and came out into the world through his ears, so the name Khandaakarnan, “Khadam” means “neck” and “Karnam” means “ears”.
Long ago there lived an asura named “Dharikan” who pleased Brahma through his prayers and received certain boons that made him powerful. It was the time when Dharikan let loose violence and began slaughtering innocent people from all three worlds. The ruling period of Dharikan was filled with atrocities and savagery. To put an end to Dharikan, Kali took form from Shiva and started an aggressive battle against him. Realizing the consequences of the war, Manodhari, Dharikan’s wife started to worship Lord Shiva. Years passed but Shiva was hesitant to appear in front of her as his own daughter Kaali was still fighting a battle with Dharikan. But, her devotion was so intense that Shiva could no longer neglect her and made him appear in front of her.
Shiva was pleased by her devotion and gifted her sweat drops and told her that she can take anyone under control if she sprays these droplets on their body. With the gift from the Lord, Manodhari returned to the battlefield. She was shell shocked by the sight she witnessed there. Manodhari saw Kaali dancing with her husband’s head in her hand. Kaali was celebrating the victory with the rest of the Bhootaganas. This scene made Manodhari go ballistic and she sprayed the sweat drops onto Kaali’s body. The region where the droplets fell began to swell and made Kaali sick. Vasoori engulfed Kaali and left her unconscious.
On hearing about her daughter’s fall, Shiva couldn’t resist his rage. He shivered with vexation and the anger gave birth to Khandaakarnan from his throat. Khandaakarnan left Shiva through his ears and reached out to Kaali who was struggling with the rise in body heat. Being a brother, Khandaakarnan started to lick each pox throughout Kaali’s body. Kaali started to heal slowly and regained her consciousness. Covering all the other parts, Khandaakarnan reached Kaali’s face but she stopped him. She told him that it is not appropriate to have a face to face contact with a brother and sister. So, Kaali decided to keep the poxes on her face as an adornment.
Reviving her health back, Kaali headed towards Manodhari and chopped her hands, legs, ears, and eyes forever, and warned her that she will no longer hurt anyone using any of her organs or senses. The myth says that gradually Manodhari became one of the disciples of Kaali.
Even now Khandaakarnan is worshipped as God that cured Vasoori and healed the world from such an ailing disease.