Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trishanku's Journey to Heaven

"Shatanand, the royal priest of Mithila continued, "At that time there was a king in Ikshwaku descendant whose name was Trishanku. He was willing to go to heaven along with his body, hence he requested Vasishtha to perform a "Yajna" to fulfill his desire. Vasishtha said that he did not have that much ability to sand a man to heaven with his body. Trishanku then went to the sons of Vasishtha who were observing atrocious penance in South province and put his request to them. The sons of Vasishtha said to him that you are a stupid. You are willing to do us the task which is impossible for our father. It appears that you have come here to insult our father. In reply of their words Trishanku abused them. Angry sons of Vasishtha cursed Trishanku to be a "Chandal" (a low quality person having no any dignity and hated by others).

"Due to the curse the handsome body of Trishanku became black. His head's hair became small and harsh. There came a garland of bones in his neck and iron ornaments in his hands and legs. All his ministers and knights went away leaving him alone. Trishanku did not abandon his desire to go the heaven with his body. He went to Vishwamitra and praised him much and requested him to fulfill his desire. Vishwamitra assured him that, as he is his retainer, he will definitely fulfill his desire. Vishwamitra called his sons, who were performing penance in South province with their wives, and instructed them to make preparations for sacrifice. He then Ordered his disciples to invite all the Rishi and Munis of South province including the sons of Vasishtha to participate in the sacrifice.

"The disciples told Vishwamitra that all the Rishi and Munis accepted the invitation but the sons of Vasishtha rejected saying that we can not participate in a sacrifice which is performed by a "Kshatriya" (instead of a Brahman) for a "Chandal". Vishwamitra treated it as his unreasonable insult and cursed all the sons of Vasishtha to become "Chandals", go to the hell, remain bounded with "Kalpash", become ugly and get meat of dogs only to eat for next seven hundred years. Then he got busy for sacrifice."

Satanand continued, "Hey Ram! All the Rishis and Munis participated inViswamitra's veneration due to fear of his curse as they had already seen the result of sons of Vasishtha. At the end of the immolation Viswamitra invoked each god but no god accepted his offerings. Then fierce Viswamitra forced Trishanku to to to heaven with his body applying his strength of penance and Trishanku went to heaven. Seeing Trishanku in heaven, Indra darted him to the Earth saying that he has been cursed by his Guru and, therefore, can not stay in heaven. Trishanku began to fall to the Earth with his body up side down. He prayed Vishwamitra to save him. Considering his prayer, Vishwamitra, with the help of the power of his penance, formed another heaven at the location of Trishanku. Then he thought to create a new Indra. All the fearing gods including Indra began to apologizing saying that that they returned Trishanku as he was cursed by his Guru and could not live in heaven.

"Vishwamitra said to Indra that, as he has promised Trishanku to send him to the heaven, the heaven created by him will remain forever and Trishanku will be king there. Satisfied with the words of Vishwamitra, Indra and gods went to there places."


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kshama said...

Visiting your blog for the first I will be a regular visitor...would like to read the whole story!