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mahAbhAratam
tasya khila bhAho

harivamsham

harivamsha parva
ch 13

 trisha~NkucharitaM
legend of trishanku

 

--o)0(o--  

vaishampAyana uvAcha - vaishampAyana continued:

satyavrataH tu bhaktyA cha kR^ipayA cha pratij~nayA |
vishvAmitra kalatraM tad babhAra vinaye sthitaH || 1-13-1
hatvA mR^igAn varAhAM cha mahiShAM cha vane-charAn |
vishvAmitra Ashrama abhyAshe mAMsaM vR^ikShe babandha saH || 1-13-2

With reverence and compassion satyavrata pledged to look after the wife and family of vishvAmitra, for which he had been hunting harts, boars, buffalos, and other forest ranging animals, and used to hang up the meat on trees near at a place where vishvAmitra is undertaking ascesis for the sake of that family.

 upAMshu-vratama AsthAya dIkShAM dvA-dasha-vArShikIm |
pitur niyogAt avasat tasmin vana gate nR^ipe || 1-13-3

satyavrata spent twelve years of his exile without others noticing his pledges according to the orders of his father. 

 tasmin vana gate nR^ipe
ayodhyAM chaiva rAShTraM cha tathaiva antaHpuraM muniH |
yAjya upAdhyAya saMbandhAt vasiShThaH paryarakShata || 1-13-4

When the king trayyaruNa also went to woods in search of his son, then sage vashiSTha safeguarded the kingdom, ayodhya and palace-chambers of queens, as he is that kingdom's royal priest, teacher and as the wheelsman of vedic rituals for that family.

 satyavratastu bAlyAt cha bhAvino.arthasya vA balAt |
vasiShThe.abhyadhikaM manyuM dhArayAmAsa vai tadA || 1-13-5
pitrA hi taM tadA rAShTrAt tyajyamAnaM svam Atmajam |
na vArayAmAsa muniH vasiShThaH kAraNena ha || 1-13-6

satyavrata always nurtured a grouse stupidly and self-conceitedly against vashiSTha, because that sage being a family advisor did not dissuade his father from ordering exile. But, sage vashiSTha has a reason for it.

pANi-grahaNa mantrANAM niShThA syAt saptame pade |
na cha satyavratastasya  tam upAMshum abuddhyata ||1-13-7
jAnan dharmaM vasiShThastu na mAM trAta iti bhArata |
satyavrataH tadA roShaM vasiShThe manasa akarot || 1-13-8

"Technically any bride and bridegroom will not be declared married unless the seventh joint-circumambulation around ritual fire is finished with chanting of hymns like - sakhA sapta-paDI mama... Till such time the bride remains a damsel. Though this rule position is known to him, and though I carried off an unwed damsel, vashiSTha countenanced the unnecessary fury of my father when my father declared me a wife-lifter..." this is the grouse nurtured by satyavrata against vashiSTha.

guNa-buddhyA tu bhagavAn vasiShThaH kR^itavAn tathA |
na cha satyavratastasya tam upAMshum abudhyata || 1-13-9

Whatever that godly vashiSTha did is with certain foreseeing, but satyavrata is not cognisant of that sage's thinking.  

tasmin na paritoSho yaH pitur AsIt mahAtmanaH |
tena dvAdasha varShANi na avarShat pAkashAsanaH || 1-13-10

When the father of satyavrata too is unhappy about the exile and proceeded in search of his son, then indra did not cause rains for twelve long years.  

tena tu idAnIM vahatA dIkShAM tAM durvahAM bhuvi |
kulasya niShkR^itiH tAta kR^itA sA  vai bhavet iti || 1-13-11
na taM vasiShTho bhagavAn pitrA tyaktaM nyavArayat |
abhiShekShyAmi ahaM putram asye tu evaM matiH muneH || 1-13-12

"This satyavrata has taken up a pledge that is impossible for others, by which his and his family's expiation will result... I wish to anoint him after the completion of pledge period..." this is the thinking of sage vashiSTha, and thus he did not resist the exile.  

sa tu dvAdasha varShANi  dIkShAM tAm udvahat balI |
upAMshu vratam AsthAya mahat satyavrato nR^ipa || 1-13-13

But that might satyavrata carried on his rigid vow for twelve long years, without letting others know what he is doing.

upAMshu vratam = pareShAm avidita [vrata] niyamam - others are unaware as to what and why he is doing in his pledge.  

avidyamAne mAMse tu vasiShThasya mahAtmanaH |
sarva kAma-dughAM dogdhrIM  dadarsha sa nR^ipAtmajaH || 1-13-14
tAM vai krodhAt cha mohAt cha shramAt chaiva kShudha-ArditaH |
dasha-dharmAn gato rAjA jaghAna janamejaya || 1-13-15

But, oh, king janamejaya, once when the hunt is unavailable, satyavrata killed the cow of vashiSTha, which is a sacred cow yielding all desired objects. He did so because he is ensorcelled by ten-subversions because he is famished.  

Then ten subversions generally undergone by humans are:

mattaH pramattaH unmattaH shraantaH kruddho bubhukshu iti |
tvaramANaH ca bhIruH ca lubdhaH kAmI ca te dasha ||

tat cha mAMsaM svayaM chaiva vishvAmitrasya cha AtmajAn |
bhojayAmAsa tat shrutvA vasiShTho api asya chukrudhe |
kruddhastu bhgavAn vAkyam idam Aha nR^ipAtmajam ||1-13-16

He no only partook in that cow meat, but fed the children of vishvAmitra with it. vashiSTha's rage is heightened and he cursed satyavrata in this way.

vasiShTha uvAcha - vashiSTha's curse:        

pAtayeyam ahaM krUra tava sha~Nkum asaMshayam |
yadi te dvau imau sha~NkU na syAtAM vaikR^itau punaH || 1-13-17

"You cruel fellow... two sins carried on your head are not enough or what... you committed this third sin also... now I should quash you down, undoubtedly...

pituH cha aparitoSheNa guroH dogdhrI vadhena cha |
aprokShita upayogAt cha tri-vidhaH te vyatikramaH || 1-13-18

"You transgressed in three ways... you hurt the feelings of your father in two ways - by using an unsanctified food earmarked for manes, and  by abducting an bride; now, by killing a sacred cow of your own family priest..." vashiSTha cursed satyavrata in this way.

devI bhAgavatam, ch 10 onwards will have more mythological narrations of this legend of satyavrata.

vaishaMpAyana uvAcha - vaishampAyana continued:

evaM trINi asya sha~NkUni tAni dR^iShTvA mahAtapAH |
trisha~NkuH iti ha uvAcha trisha~NkuH iti sa  smR^itaH || 1-13-19

Because satyavrata committed three offences, vashiSTha labelled him as tri-shanku... as such he is generally identified with the name tri-shanku...

vishvAmitrastu dArANAm Agato bharaNe kR^ite |
sa tu tasmai varaM prAdAt muniH prItaH trish~Nkave || 1-13-20
ChandyamAno vareNAtha varaM vavre nR^ipAtmajaH |
sa sharIro vraje svargam iti evaM yAchito muniH || 1-13-21

On returning from his asceis vishvaamitra appreciated satyavrata for maintaining his family and blessed him to seek a boon. Satyavrata chose to go to heaven with his own mortal body and sought the same from that sage.   

anAvR^iShTi bhaye tasmin gate dvA dasha vArShike |
rAjye abhiShichya pitrye tu yAjayAmAsa taM muniH || 1-13-22

When the scare of famine ended after twelve years, vishvAmitra established satyavrata on the throne of ayodhya and conducted vedic rituals for him.  

miShatAM devatAnAM cha vasiShThasya cha kaushikaH |
sa sharIraM tadA taM tu divam Aropayat prabhuH || 1-13-23

To the reluctance of gods, as well as that of vashiSTha, vishvAmitra strived to send satyavrata to heaven with his mortal body. 

Of course, unsuccessfully 0 si  the finishing line, but vishvamitra created a separate heaven with heavenly bodies for this, and lodged him there. This legend of trishanku's ascent heaven can be seen in the later parts of bAla kANDa of vAlmIki rAmAyaNa.

tasya satyarathA nAma bhAryA kaikeya vaMsha-jA |
kumAraM janayAmAsa harishchandram akalmaSham || 1-13-24

satyavrata's wife is lady satya-ratha, a descendant of kekaya lineage, and she begot the impeccable king harishchandra.

 sa vai rAjA harishchandraH traisha~Nkava iti smR^itaH |
AhartA rAjasUyasya sa samrAT iti vishrutaH || 1-13-25

And, trishanku's son rAjA harishchandra is a well-known entity... he successfully performed rAjasUya-yAga, and acquired the title of emperor...

 harishchandrasya putraH abhUt rohito nAma vIryavAn |
yena idaM rohita-puraM kAritaM rAjya-siddhaye || 1-13-26
kR^itvA rAjyaM sa rAjarShiH pAlayitvA tu atha prajAH |
saMsAra asAratAM j~nAtvA dvijebhyaH tat puraM dadau || 1-13-27

harishchandra's son is a valiant one named rohita, or lohita, by whom the city rohita-puram is built for the purpose of his administration... having ruled the kingdom well keeping the interests of subjects in view, this rohita has become a kingly-saint left off that city to brahmaNA-s, as he realised that the world is pithless...

harito rohitasya atha cha~nchuH hArIta uchyate |
vijayaH cha sudevaH cha cha~nchu putrau babhUvatuH  || 1-13-28
jetA kShatrasya sarvasya vijayaH tena saMsmR^itaH |

rohita's son is harita; from him forward the princes are; harita chenchu  got two sons namely vijaya and sudeva, out of them prince vijaya became famous because he vanquished all kshatriya-s of his age...

rurukaH tanayaH tasya rAja-dharma-artha kovidaH || 1-13-29
rurukasya vR^ikaH putro vR^ikAt bAhuH tu jaj~nivAn |
shakai yavana kAMbojaiH pAradaiH pahlavaiH saha ||1-13-30
haihayAH tAlaja~NghAH cha nirasyanti sma taM nR^ipam |
na atyarthaM dhArmikaH tAta sa hi dharma-yuge.abhavat |1-13-31

vijaya's son is ruruka who is an expert in kingcraft; rururka's son is vR^ika, and his son is bAhuka, who turned out as a licentious king. So, the shaka-s, yavana-s, kAMboja-s, pArada-s, pahlava-s, haihayA-s and tAlaja~NghA-s have invaded his country and drove him to forests. His misconduct in an era of righteous conduct led him to such a misfortune.

sagaraH tu suto bAhoH jaj~ne saha gareNa cha |
aurvasya Ashramam Agamya bhArgaveNa abhirakShitaH | || 1-13-32
Agneyam astraM labdhvA cha bhArgavAt sagaro nR^ipaH |
jigAya pR^ithivIM hatvA tAlaja~NghAn sa haihayAn || 1-13-33
shakAnAM pahlavAnAM cha dharmaM nirasat achyutaH |
kShatriyANAM kuru-shreShTha pAradAnAM sa dharma-vit || 1-13-34

bAhuka's son is sagara, i.e.,  sa gara, meaning  that he took birth with poison in his body... but he is protected, educated and brought up  by sage aurva... he also obtained a missile called Agneya-astra from that sage... and that righteous emperor sagara brought whole earth under one umbrella and deprived tAlaja~NghA-s, haihayA-s, shakA-s, pahlavA-s of their institution... thus that knower of dharma, namely emperor sagara, established the the moral custom of kashatriya-s...

The legend of sagara is detailed in bAla kANDa of vAlmIki rAmAyaNa.

--o)0(o--  

iti shrI mahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshaparvanic trisha~NkucharitaM nAma trayodasho.adhyAyaH

Thus, this is the thirteenth chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating the legend of trishanku.

--o)0(o--

   

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E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 30-7-07