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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 4

Namaste! Today, it is all about the truthful Harishchandra. Have you heard about him? So, let’s go!

Satyavrata

Kuvalashva’s descendant was Satyavrata. He was a righteous and kind king and took good care of his people. As he grew old, he passed on his throne to his son, Harishchandra. As Satyavrata lived a righteous life, he deserved ascension to heaven, but he wished to do so in his mortal body. He requested his Guru, Vashishta, to perform the rites, but he declined, saying that ascending to heaven in one’s mortal body is impossible. Satyavrata approached Vashishta’s son, Shakti, to help him. Shakti refused as he didn’t want to go against his father’s wishes. Satyavrata attempted to lure Shakti with wealth and fame, but the act angered Shakti. He cursed Satyavrata to turn into Trishanku, with horrible form and illnesses.

Upon his wanderings, Trishanku met the king turned ascetic, Kaushika. He narrated his story to Kaushika and asked for his help. Kaushika agreed and started the rituals for Trishanku’s departure. Soon, Trishanku started his ascension to heaven. Once he reached heaven, the Devas kicked him out, as no one in their mortal body can reach heaven. Kaushika was angry and stopped Trishanku’s descent from heaven halfway and constructed another heaven around him. The Devas requested Kaushika to stop this as it will be disastrous if Trishanku overtakes Indra. Kaushika agreed and said that the new heaven shall be called Trishanku’s heaven and the king shall reside in the heaven from now on. To ensure that Trishaku does not supersede Indra, Kaushika suspended him upside down in his heaven.

Thus concludes the story of Trishanku, who is suspended in his heaven.

Harishchandra

Harishchandra was an honest, noble, and just king. Once, he was on a hunting expedition. He heard the cries of a woman asking for help. He rushed in the direction of the sound and found Sage Kaushika meditating there. The sound was produced by Lord Ganesha, to test the strength of Sage Kaushika’s penance. Seeing Harishchandra there, Ganesha entered his body and abused Sage Kaushika. Sage Kaushika was very angry. He lost all the power gained from the penance. Harishchandra regained his senses and apologized to the Sage, and promised to fulfill every desire of his. Sage Kaushika said, ‘Give me all that you have, your Kingdom, your wealth, and your subjects.’ Harishchandra gave him everything, but Sage Kaushika demanded more. He promised to give him more money after a month. Harishchandra, his wife Taramati, and his son Rohitashva left the palace and started living a simple life. Harishchandra’s subjects followed him too, but Sage Kaushika intervened and forbade them from following him. He beat the Queen with a stick to make them leave sooner. Seeing this, the five guardian deities questioned the Sage. Kaushika got enraged and cursed them to be born on earth as humans. 

A month passed after Harishchandra and his family left their kingdom. They arrived in the holy city of Kashi and saw Sage Kaushika present there. The Sage demanded his donation, but Harishchandra said that there was still some time left. 

Seeing Harishchandra’s condition, his wife, Taramati, requested him to sell her as a slave to get the money. Harishchandra refused, but Taramati pointed out that there was no other way, and he agreed. He sold her to a Brahmin as a slave, but Harishchandra’s son, Rohitashva, refused to leave his mother. Rohitashva was also sold to the Brahmin, Harishchandra took the money and gave it to Kaushika, but the money was not enough for him. Harishchandra sold himself to a Chandala (a person who works in a cremation ground) and paid the Sage. He started working in the cremation ground from then.

One day, when Rohitashva was plucking flowers for the Brahmin, a snake bit him, and he died. The devastated Taramati took her son’s body to the cremation ground to get it cremated. She met Harishchandra there, he was devastated to see his only son dead. He asked for some money to cremate his son’s body as it was customary to do so. Taramati didn’t have any money, so she tore half of her sari and gave it to Harishchandra as payment. Harishchandra and Taramati decided to give up their lives on their son’s cremation pyre.

Suddenly, Lord Vishnu himself appeared before them with all the other gods. The Chandala, who was Yama, the God of Death, revived Rohitashva. Vishnu explained that this was all a test to demonstrate their virtues and righteousness. Indra offered Harishchandra and his wife a position in Swarga, but Harishchandra wanted all of his subjects to go with him as they would suffer without him. Indra explained that it was not possible because it is decided whether someone goes to heaven or hell based on their deeds. Harishchandra decided to donate all his virtues to his subjects so that they could enter heaven. Seeing his love for his subjects, they were all granted a place in heaven. Meanwhile, in Ayodhya, Sage Kaushika brought new people to Ayodhya and made Rohitashva King.

That’s it for today! Stay tuned for the next parts!

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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 3

Hi guys! Today, we are going to read about the descendants of Kakutstha. So, let’s go!

Prithu

Kakutstha’s son, Anena, had a son named Prithu. When Prithu was the King of Kosala, there was famine everywhere. He found out that the earth goddess had hidden food, medicine, etc., in her abdomen. He asked her to release them for the welfare of humanity, but she refused and ran away in the form of a cow. 

Prithu was angry on learning this and was determined to free the world from this famine. He chased her, asking her to stop, but in vain. Prithu got on his chariot and raised his bow to free the earth from the famine by killing the cow. The earth goddess, in the form of the cow, asked for forgiveness from Prithu. She said that killing her would mean the end of his subjects too. Prithu lowered his weapon and promised to protect her.

Prithu milked the cow and received the food, medicine, etc. By granting the earth goddess protection, Prithu became her father, so the earth came to be known as Prithvi, the daughter of Prithu. King Prithu was the first Chakravartin (universal ruler).

Kuvalashva

Prithu’s great-great-great-grandson (whew!) was Brihadashva. Brihadashva had lived a full life and decided to retire to the forest. He crowned his son, Kuvalashva, as the King of Kosala and left for the forest. The wise Sage, Utanka, stopped Brihadashva from leaving, saying that a gigantic rakshasa named Dhundhu was performing awful austerities for destroying the world. Utanka asked Brihadashva to kill Dhundhu and offered to give him divine powers gained from Lord Vishnu. 

Brihadashva refused and told the Sage that his son, Kuvalashva, will go instead of him. Brihadashva’s one hundred other sons were sent first, but Dhundhu killed all of them. Enraged, Kuvalashva attacked Dhundhu, fending off his demonic powers. Infused with Lord Vishnu’s powers given to him by Sage Utanka, he slew the rakshasa. Sage Utanka granted him the name, Dhundhumara – slayer of Dhundhu.

Till next time! Stay tuned for the next parts!

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Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 2

Hi people! Today, we are going to get to the nail-biting parts of Suryavansh so, buckle up!


Vikukshi

King Ikshvaku had 100 sons. Vikukshi was the eldest. Once, Vikukshi was sent to fetch some meat for a sacrifice Ikshvaku was performing. Vikukshi finished hunting and was returning to Ayodhya when he was overcome by hunger. He ate some of the meat destined for the sacrifice. The teacher of the Ikshvaku dynasty, Sage Vashishta, advised Ikshvaku to banish Vikukshi from the Kingdom as what he did was a sacrilege. Ikshvaku respected his teacher, Sage Vashishta, so he banished Vikukshi from his Kingdom. 

I know you are wondering who Sage Vashishta is. He is a mind-born son of Lord Brahma. He undertook the responsibility of training and advising the descendants of Ikshvaku.

After the passing of Ikshvaku, Vikukshi returned to Ayodhya and ruled there. Vikukshi had a valiant son named Kakutstha.

Kakutstha

When Vikukshi’s son, Kakutstha, was ruling Kosala, a war broke out between the Devas and Asuras. The Devas could not defeat the Asuras, so under the advice of Lord Vishnu, they went to King Kakutstha for help. Kakutstha agreed to help, but on one condition, Indra, the King of the Devas, should become his vehicle. Indra had no other way, so he took the form of a bull and became Kakutstha’s mount. King Kakutstha bravely fought against the Asuras and emerged victoriously. 

King Kakutstha had a son named Anena and he had a son named Prithu. We will see about him and his descendants in the next parts! Stay tuned!

Categories
Suryavansh

Suryavansh – Part 1

Hi guys! I’m here with another new series! As you might have figured, this is about the Suryavansh. What is Suryavansh? Suryavansh consists of two words, Surya and Vansh. Surya refers to the sun god, and Vansh means lineage. So, Suryavansh means the lineage of the sun god. Suryavansh is known for its righteous kings who sacrifice many things for the good of the world. Lord Rama, the eighth Avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born in this lineage. This series will cover the stories of the kings who descended from Lord Surya, the sun.

A lotus stem emerged from Lord Vishnu’s navel from that, a lotus bloomed. In that lotus was Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma had a mind-born son named Marichi. Marichi begot a son named Kashyap. Kashyap and his wife Aditi gave birth to Lord Vivasvan, also called Surya. Vivasvan had a child called Manu. Because he was the son of Vivasvan, he was called Vaivasvata.

Yes, this is the same Manu that appeared in the Matsya Avatar story!

Vaivasvata Manu had ten children, the eldest of them was Ikshvaku. Ikshvaku was the first King of the kingdom of Kosala. He ruled from his capital, Ayodhya. Because Manu was the son of Surya, his lineage is called Suryavansh.

Things get interesting from now! Stay tuned for the next parts!