Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Seven The Descendants of King Mandhata


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Chapter Seven The Descendants of King Mandhata

1. Sukadeva Gosvami said: The most prominent among the sons of Mahdhata was he who is celebrated as Ambarisa. Ambarisa was accepted as son by his grandfather Yuvanasva. Ambarisa's son was Yauvanasva, and Yauvanasva's son was Harita. In Mahdhata's dynasty, Ambarisa, Harita and Yauvanasva were very prominent.

2. The serpent brothers of Narmada gave Narmada to Purukutsa. Being sent by Vasuki, she took Purukutsa to the lower region of the universe.

3. There in Rasatala, the lower region of the universe, Purukutsa, being empowered by Lord Visnu, was able to kill all the Gandharvas who deserved to be killed. Purukutsa received the benediction from the serpents that anyone who remembers this history of his being brought by Narmada to the lower region of the universe will be assured of safety from the attack of snakes.

4. The son of Purukutsa was Trasaddasyu, who was the father of Anaranya. Anaranya's son was Haryasva, the father of Praruna. Praruna was the father of Tribandhana.

5-6. The son of Tribandhana was Satyavrata, who is celebrated by the name Trisanku. Because he kidnapped the daughter of a brahmana when she was being married, his father cursed him to become a candala, lower than a sudra. Thereafter, by the influence of Visvamitra, he went to the higher planetary system, the heavenly planets, in his material body, but because of the prowess of the demigods he fell back downward. Nonetheless, by the power of Visvamitra, he did not fall all the way down; even today he can still be seen hanging in the sky, head downward.

7. The son of Trisanku was Hariscandra. Because of Hariscandra there was a quarrel between Visvamitra and Vasistha, who for many years fought one another, having been transformed into birds.

8. Hariscandra had no son and was therefore extremely morose. Once, therefore, following the advice of Narada, he took shelter of Varuna and said to him "My lord I have no son. Would you kindly give me one?"

9. O King Pariksit, Hariscandra begged Varuna, "My lord, if a son is born to me, with that son I shall perform a sacrifice for your satisfaction." When Hariscandra said this, Varuna replied, "Let it be so." Because of Varuna's benediction, Hariscandra begot a son named Rohita.

10. Thereafter, when the child was born, Varuna approached Hariscandra and said, "Now you have a son. With this son you can offer me a sacrifice." In answer to this, Hariscandra said, "After ten days have passed since an animal's birth, the animal becomes fit to be sacrificed."

11. After ten days, Varuna came again and said to Hariscandra, "Now you can perform the sacrifice." Hariscandra replied, "When an animal grows teeth, then it becomes pure enough to be sacrificed."

12. When the teeth grew, Varuna came and said to Hariscandra, "Now the animal has grown teeth, and you can perform the sacrifice." Hariscandra replied, "When all its teeth have fallen out, then it will be fit for sacrifice."

13. When the teeth had fallen out, Varuna returned and said to Hariscandra, "Now the animal's teeth have fallen out, and you can perform the sacrifice." But Hariscandra replied, "When the animal's teeth grow in again, then he will be pure enough to be sacrificed."

14. When the teeth grew in again, Varuna came and said to Hariscandra, "Now you can perform the sacrifice." But Hariscandra then said, "O King, when the sacrificial animal becomes a ksatriya and is able to shield himself to fight with the enemy, then he will be purified."

15. Hariscandra was certainly very much attached to his son. Because of this affection, he asked the demigod Varuna to wait. Thus Varuna waited and waited for the time to come.

16. Rohita could understand that his father intended to offer him as the animal for sacrifice. Therefore, just to save himself from death, he equipped himself with bow and arrows and went to the forest.

17. When Rohita heard that his father had been attacked by dropsy due to Varuna and that his abdomen had grown very large, he wanted to return to the capital, but King Indra forbade him to do so.

18. King Indra advised Rohita to travel to different pilgrimage sites and holy places, for such activities are pious indeed. Following this instruction, Rohita went to the forest for one year.

19. In this way, at the end of the second, third, fourth and fifth years, when Rohita wanted to return to his capital, the King of heaven, Indra, approached him as an old brahmana and forbade him to return, repeating the same words as in the previous year.

20. Thereafter, in the sixth year, after wandering in the forest, Rohita returned to the capital of his father. He purchased from Ajigarta his second son, named Sunahsepha. Then he offered Sunahsepha to his father, Hariscandra, to be used as the sacrificial animal and offered Hariscandra his respectful obeisances.

21. Thereafter, the famous King Hariscandra, one of the exalted persons in history, performed grand sacrifices by sacrificing a man and pleased all the demigods. In this way his dropsy created by Varuna was cured.

22. In that great human sacrifice, Visvamitra was the chief priest to offer oblations, the perfectly self-realized Jamadagni had the responsibility for chanting the mantras from the Yajur Veda, Vasistha was the chief brahminical priest, and the sage Ayasya was the reciter of the hymns of the Sama Veda.

23. King Indra, being very pleased with Hariscandra, offered him a gift of a golden chariot. Sunahsepha's glories will be presented along with the description of the son of Visvamitra.

24. The great sage Visvamitra saw that Maharaja Hariscandra, along with his wife, was truthful, forbearing and concerned with the essence. Thus he gave them imperishable knowledge for fulfillment of the human mission.

25-26. Maharaja Hariscandra first purified his mind, which was full of material enjoyment, by amalgamating it with the earth. Then he amalgamated the earth with water, the water with fire, the fire with the air, and the air with the sky. Thereafter, he amalgamated the sky with the total material energy, and the total material energy with spiritual knowledge. This spiritual knowledge is realization of one's self as part of the Supreme Lord. When the self-realized spiritual soul is engaged in service to the Lord, he is eternally imperceptible and inconceivable. Thus established in spiritual knowledge, he is completely freed from material bondage.

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