The story of origin of Vaṭukas – Shiva Purana
In the chapter 13 in Section 4 of Kotirudra-saṃhita of Shiva Purana, the story of Vatukas is mentioned.
Once a Asura named Andhaka resorted to the deep ditch of the ocean and kept the three worlds under his control. He harassed the gods. He used to come out of the ditch and harrass the people. Then he re-entered the ditch. The gods were grief-stricken. Imploring Shiva again and again, they mentioned their miseries to him. On hearing the words of the gods, the lord Shiva agreed to slay that Asura Andhaka.
Shiva said: “O gods, proceed with the army. I too shall come along with the Gaṇas.”
When that terrible antagonist of the gods and the sages came out of the ditch, the gods went and occupied it. The Asuras and the gods fought a terrible battle. By the blessings of Shiva, the gods became very strong. Attacked and tormented by the gods, the Asura returned to the ditch when he was pierced through with the trident by Shiva, the supreme soul.
Remaining there he meditated on Shiva and prayed— “On seeing you at the hour of death, one becomes identical with you instantaneously.” Thus eulogised, the delighted Shiva spoke to him— “Mention the boon you wish to have. I shall grant it to you.”
On hearing these words, the Asura said again after bowing to and eulogising Shiva with pious feelings. Andhaka said: — “O lord of gods, if you are delighted grant me the auspicious devotion to you. Taking unusual compassion on me, be stationed here.”
Requested thus, Shiva hurled that Asura into that ditch. He himself stood there in the form of a phallic image with a desire to help the world. If a man worships Andhakesha every day, his desires are fulfilled within six months. The brahmin who worships the beneficent phallic image for his livelihood for six months becomes a Devalaka, the worshipper of idol for subsistence. He is not authorised in ordinary rites of brahmins.
The Story of Devaloka:
There was a brahmin Dadhichi who was well-versed in the Vedas and highly virtuous. He was engrossed in his devotion to Shiva and was interested in Shiva’s lore. His son was known as Sudarshana whose wife was Dukula. She was born of a defiled family. The husband was always under her control. He had four sons. Of course, he used to worship Shiva every day.
Once, Dadhichi had to go and live in another village along with his kinsmen. The kinsmen did not let him go back. While leaving home, Dadhichi, the excellent devotee, had already instructed his son, “Be devoted to Shiva.”
Sudarshana’s son also worshipped Shiva. Once, on a Shivaratri occasion when all observed fast, Sudarshana had his sexual intercourse with his wife and then performed the worship. But before he performed the worship, he abstained from taking bath. For this misdeed Shiva was infuriated and said:
“O knave, you had sexual intercourse with your wife on the occasion of Shivaratri. Without taking bath you performed the worship. You are an indiscreet fellow. Because you have done this consciously, be sluggish and insensible. You are an untouchable person for me. Avoid touching me.
Cursed thus by lord Shiva, Sudarshana, the son of Dadhichi, attained insensibility immediately, deluded by Shiva’s. Maya. Meanwhile Dadhichi, the excellent devotee of Shiva, returned from the other village and heard the details. He too was rebuked by Shiva. Hence, he felt much distressed. He cried— “Oh I am doomed by this foul deed of my son.”
The father then worshipped Parvati with excellent rites, sincere devotion and perseverance for the happiness of his son. Sudarshana himself performed the worship of Parvati with great devotion adopting the path of Chaṇḍi worship and with auspicious hymns. Thus, by various means and with sincere devotion the father and the son propitiated the goddess Parvati who is favourably disposed towards her devotees. By the devotion of their service Chaṇḍika was delighted. She adopted Sudarshana as her son. For the sake of her adopted son, she herself implored Shiva. Shiva who was angry had become quite calm. The son also was delighted. Then realising that lord Shiva the bull-bannered deity was delighted, she bowed to him herself and placed the son on his lap.
Making the ablution of the son with ghee, Parvati handed over to her son Sudarshana the three-stringed sacred thread with a single knot and imparted instruction in Shiva Gayatri consisting of sixteen syllables. Then the brahmin boy performed the Saṃkalpa puja (worship by mental conception) sixteen times with the five-syllabled mantra with the word Shri prefixed to Shiva. Beginning with ceremonial ablution and ending with the concluding obeisance he worshipped the bull-bannered deity by means of devotional mantras, musical instruments and adorations in the presence of the sages. He recited various names of Shiva. Then the delighted Shiva said: --
“Wealth, foodgrain etc. whatever is offered to me shall be taken by you. There is no sin in this action. In the rites concerning me you will officiate as the chief, especially so in the rites concerning the goddess. Ghee, oil etc., everything offered to me shall be taken by you. When the Prajapatya rite is performed only one of you shall be there. Then alone is the worship complete. Or everything becomes fruitless. The Tilaka must be made round. Then you shall take bath. Sandhya prayers to Shiva shall be offered and his Gayatri repeated. After rendering service to me at the outset, the other rites shall be performed according to the family tradition. When everything is thus performed there shall be welfare. Your blemishes have been excused by me.”
After saying this, the supreme soul Shiva consecrated his four sons as Vaṭukas in the four quarters. After keeping Sudarshana as her son with herself she granted boons to his sons and blessed them in several ways.
The Goddess said: — “Between you two whoever becomes my Vaṭuka shall be victorious. No doubt need be entertained in this respect. He who worships you has worshipped me too. You shall perform your duties always.”
Thus, boons were granted to the noble Sudarshana and his sons by Shiva and Parvati out of pity for the welfare of the worlds. Because they had been established by Shiva and Parvati they are known as Vaṭukas. Those who neglect penance are known as Tapodhamas.