Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 9 Chapter 7
The Descendants of King Māndhātā
yo ’mbarīṣaḥ prakīrtitaḥ
yauvanāśvas tu tat-sutaḥ
hārītas tasya putro ’bhūn
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; māndhātuḥ — of Māndhātā; putra-pravaraḥ — the prominent son; yaḥ — the one who; ambarīṣaḥ — by the name Ambarīṣa; prakīrtitaḥ — celebrated; pitāmahena — by his grandfather Yuvanāśva; pravṛtaḥ — accepted; yauvanāśvaḥ — named Yauvanāśva; tu — and; tat-sutaḥ — the son of Ambarīṣa; hārītaḥ — by the name Hārīta; tasya — of Yauvanāśva; putraḥ — the son; abhūt — became; māndhātṛ — in the dynasty of Māndhātā; pravarāḥ — most prominent; ime — all of them.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The most prominent among the sons of Māndhātā was he who is celebrated as Ambarīṣa. Ambarīṣa was accepted as son by his grandfather Yuvanāśva. Ambarīṣa’s son was Yauvanāśva, and Yauvanāśva’s son was Hārīta. In Māndhātā’s dynasty, Ambarīṣa, Hārīta and Yauvanāśva were very prominent.
narmadā bhrātṛbhir dattā
tayā rasātalaṁ nīto
narmadā — by the name Narmadā; bhrātṛbhiḥ — by her brothers; dattā — was given in charity; purukutsāya — unto Purukutsa; yā — she who; uragaiḥ — by the serpents (sarpa-gaṇa); tayā — by her; rasātalam — to the lower region of the universe; nītaḥ — was brought; bhujaga-indra-prayuktayā — engaged by Vāsuki, the King of the serpents.
The serpent brothers of Narmadā gave Narmadā to Purukutsa. Being sent by Vāsuki, she took Purukutsa to the lower region of the universe.
gandharvān avadhīt tatra
vadhyān vai viṣṇu-śakti-dhṛk
nāgāl labdha-varaḥ sarpād
abhayaṁ smaratām idam
gandharvān — the inhabitants of Gandharvaloka; avadhīt — he killed; tatra — there (in the lower region of the universe); vadhyān — who deserved to be killed; vai — indeed; viṣṇu-śakti-dhṛk — being empowered by Lord Viṣṇu; nāgāt — from the Nāgas; labdha-varaḥ — having received a benediction; sarpāt — from the snakes; abhayam — assurances; smaratām — of those who remember; idam — this incident.
There in Rasātala, the lower region of the universe, Purukutsa, being empowered by Lord Viṣṇu, 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 Narmadā to the lower region of the universe will be assured of safety from the attack of snakes.
yo ’naraṇyasya deha-kṛt
haryaśvas tat-sutas tasmāt
prāruṇo ’tha tribandhanaḥ
trasaddasyuḥ — by the name Trasaddasyu; paurukutsaḥ — the son of Purukutsa; yaḥ — who; anaraṇyasya — of Anaraṇya; deha-kṛt — the father; haryaśvaḥ — by the name Haryaśva; tat-sutaḥ — the son of Anaraṇya; tasmāt — from him (Haryaśva); prāruṇaḥ — by the name Prāruṇa; atha — then, from Prāruṇa; tribandhanaḥ — his son, Tribandhana.
The son of Purukutsa was Trasaddasyu, who was the father of Anaraṇya. Anaraṇya’s son was Haryaśva, the father of Prāruṇa. Prāruṇa was the father of Tribandhana.
tasya satyavrataḥ putras
triśaṅkur iti viśrutaḥ
prāptaś cāṇḍālatāṁ śāpād
saśarīro gataḥ svargam
adyāpi divi dṛśyate
pātito ’vāk-śirā devais
tenaiva stambhito balāt
tasya — of Tribandhana; satyavrataḥ — by the name Satyavrata; putraḥ — the son; triśaṅkuḥ — by the name Triśaṅku; iti — thus; viśrutaḥ — celebrated; prāptaḥ — had obtained; cāṇḍālatām — the quality of a caṇḍāla, lower than a śūdra; śāpāt — from the curse; guroḥ — of his father; kauśika-tejasā — by the prowess of Kauśika (Viśvāmitra); saśarīraḥ — while in this body; gataḥ — went; svargam — to the heavenly planet; adya api — until today; divi — in the sky; dṛśyate — can be seen; pātitaḥ — having fallen down; avāk-śirāḥ — with his head hanging downward; devaiḥ — by the prowess of the demigods; tena — by Viśvāmitra; eva — indeed; stambhitaḥ — fixed; balāt — by superior power.
The son of Tribandhana was Satyavrata, who is celebrated by the name Triśaṅku. Because he kidnapped the daughter of a brāhmaṇa when she was being married, his father cursed him to become a caṇḍāla, lower than a śūdra. Thereafter, by the influence of Viśvāmitra, 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 Viśvāmitra, he did not fall all the way down; even today he can still be seen hanging in the sky, head downward.
yan-nimittam abhūd yuddhaṁ
traiśaṅkavaḥ — the son of Triśaṅku; hariścandraḥ — by the name Hariścandra; viśvāmitra-vasiṣṭhayoḥ — between Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha; yat-nimittam — because of Hariścandra; abhūt — there was; yuddham — a great fight; pakṣiṇoḥ — both of whom had been converted into birds; bahu-vārṣikam — for many years.
The son of Triśaṅku was Hariścandra. Because of Hariścandra there was a quarrel between Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha, who for many years fought one another, having been transformed into birds.
so ’napatyo viṣaṇṇātmā
varuṇaṁ śaraṇaṁ yātaḥ
putro me jāyatāṁ prabho
saḥ — that Hariścandra; anapatyaḥ — being without a son; viṣaṇṇa-ātmā — therefore very morose; nāradasya — of Nārada; upadeśataḥ — by the advice; varuṇam — unto Varuṇa; śaraṇam yātaḥ — took shelter; putraḥ — a son; me — of me; jāyatām — let there be born; prabho — O my lord.
Hariścandra had no son and was therefore extremely morose. Once, therefore, following the advice of Nārada, he took shelter of Varuṇa and said to him, “My lord, I have no son. Would you kindly give me one?”
yadi vīro mahārāja
tenaiva tvāṁ yaje iti
putro jātas tu rohitaḥ
yadi — if; vīraḥ — there is a son; mahārāja — O Mahārāja Parīkṣit; tena eva — even by that son; tvām — unto you; yaje — I shall offer sacrifice; iti — thus; tathā — as you desire; iti — thus accepted; varuṇena — by Varuṇa; asya — of Mahārāja Hariścandra; putraḥ — a son; jātaḥ — was born; tu — indeed; rohitaḥ — by the name Rohita.
O King Parīkṣit, Hariścandra begged Varuṇa, “My lord, if a son is born to me, with that son I shall perform a sacrifice for your satisfaction.” When Hariścandra said this, Varuṇa replied, “Let it be so.” Because of Varuṇa’s benediction, Hariścandra begot a son named Rohita.
jātaḥ suto hy anenāṅga
māṁ yajasveti so ’bravīt
yadā paśur nirdaśaḥ syād
atha medhyo bhaved iti
jātaḥ — has been born; sutaḥ — a son; hi — indeed; anena — by this son; aṅga — O Hariścandra; mām — unto me; yajasva — offer sacrifice; iti — thus; saḥ — he, Varuṇa; abravīt — said; yadā — when; paśuḥ — an animal; nirdaśaḥ — has passed ten days; syāt — should become; atha — then; medhyaḥ — suitable for offering in sacrifice; bhavet — becomes; iti — thus (Hariścandra said).
Thereafter, when the child was born, Varuṇa approached Hariścandra and said, “Now you have a son. With this son you can offer me a sacrifice.” In answer to this, Hariścandra said, “After ten days have passed since an animal’s birth, the animal becomes fit to be sacrificed.”
nirdaśe ca sa āgatya
yajasvety āha so ’bravīt
dantāḥ paśor yaj jāyerann
atha medhyo bhaved iti
nirdaśe — after ten days; ca — also; saḥ — he, Varuṇa; āgatya — coming there; yajasva — now sacrifice; iti — thus; āha — said; saḥ — he, Hariścandra; abravīt — replied; dantāḥ — the teeth; paśoḥ — of the animal; yat — when; jāyeran — have appeared; atha — then; medhyaḥ — fit for being sacrificed; bhavet — will become; iti — thus.
After ten days, Varuṇa came again and said to Hariścandra, “Now you can perform the sacrifice.” Hariścandra replied, “When an animal grows teeth, then it becomes pure enough to be sacrificed.”
dantā jātā yajasveti
sa pratyāhātha so ’bravīt
yadā patanty asya dantā
atha medhyo bhaved iti
dantāḥ — the teeth; jātāḥ — have grown; yajasva — now sacrifice; iti — thus; saḥ — he, Varuṇa; pratyāha — said; atha — thereupon; saḥ — he, Hariścandra; abravīt — replied; yadā — when; patanti — fall out; asya — his; dantāḥ — teeth; atha — then; medhyaḥ — fit for sacrifice; bhavet — will become; iti — thus.
When the teeth grew, Varuṇa came and said to Hariścandra, “Now the animal has grown teeth, and you can perform the sacrifice.” Hariścandra replied, “When all its teeth have fallen out, then it will be fit for sacrifice.”
paśor nipatitā dantā
yajasvety āha so ’bravīt
yadā paśoḥ punar dantā
jāyante ’tha paśuḥ śuciḥ
paśoḥ — of the animal; nipatitāḥ — have fallen out; dantāḥ — the teeth; yajasva — now sacrifice him; iti — thus; āha — said (Varuṇa); saḥ — he, Hariścandra; abravīt — replied; yadā — when; paśoḥ — of the animal; punaḥ — again; dantāḥ — the teeth; jāyante — grow; atha — then; paśuḥ — the animal; śuciḥ — is purified for being sacrificed.
When the teeth had fallen out, Varuṇa returned and said to Hariścandra, “Now the animal’s teeth have fallen out, and you can perform the sacrifice.” But Hariścandra replied, “When the animal’s teeth grow in again, then he will be pure enough to be sacrificed.”
punar jātā yajasveti
sa pratyāhātha so ’bravīt
sānnāhiko yadā rājan
rājanyo ’tha paśuḥ śuciḥ
punaḥ — again; jātāḥ — have grown; yajasva — now you offer the sacrifice; iti — thus; saḥ — he, Varuṇa; pratyāha — replied; atha — thereafter; saḥ — he, Hariścandra; abravīt — said; sānnāhikaḥ — able to equip himself with a shield; yadā — when; rājan — O King Varuṇa; rājanyaḥ — the kṣatriya; atha — then; paśuḥ — the sacrificial animal; śuciḥ — becomes purified.
When the teeth grew in again, Varuṇa came and said to Hariścandra, “Now you can perform the sacrifice.” But Hariścandra then said, “O King, when the sacrificial animal becomes a kṣatriya and is able to shield himself to fight with the enemy, then he will be purified.”
kālaṁ vañcayatā taṁ tam
ukto devas tam aikṣata
iti — in this way; putra-anurāgeṇa — because of affection for the son; sneha-yantrita-cetasā — his mind being controlled by such affection; kālam — time; vañcayatā — cheating; tam — unto him; tam — that; uktaḥ — said; devaḥ — the demigod Varuṇa; tam — unto him, Hariścandra; aikṣata — waited for the fulfillment of his promise.
Hariścandra was certainly very much attached to his son. Because of this affection, he asked the demigod Varuṇa to wait. Thus Varuṇa waited and waited for the time to come.
rohitas tad abhijñāya
pituḥ karma cikīrṣitam
rohitaḥ — the son of Hariścandra; tat — this fact; abhijñāya — having thoroughly understood; pituḥ — of his father; karma — action; cikīrṣitam — which he was practically doing; prāṇa-prepsuḥ — wishing to save his life; dhanuḥ-pāṇiḥ — taking his bow and arrows; araṇyam — to the forest; pratyapadyata — left.
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.
rohito grāmam eyāya
tam indraḥ pratyaṣedhata
pitaram — about his father; varuṇa-grastam — having been attacked with dropsy by Varuṇa; śrutvā — after hearing; jāta — had grown; mahā-udaram — inflated abdomen; rohitaḥ — his son Rohita; grāmam eyāya — wanted to come back to the capital; tam — unto him (Rohita); indraḥ — King Indra; pratyaṣedhata — forbade to go there.
When Rohita heard that his father had been attacked by dropsy due to Varuṇa and that his abdomen had grown very large, he wanted to return to the capital, but King Indra forbade him to do so.
bhūmeḥ paryaṭanaṁ puṇyaṁ
so ’py araṇye ’vasat samām
bhūmeḥ — of the surface of the world; paryaṭanam — traveling; puṇyam — holy places; tīrtha-kṣetra — places of pilgrimage; niṣevaṇaiḥ — by serving or going to and coming from such places; rohitāya — unto Rohita; ādiśat — ordered; śakraḥ — King Indra; saḥ — he, Rohita; api — also; araṇye — in the forest; avasat — lived; samām — for one year.
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.
evaṁ dvitīye tṛtīye
caturthe pañcame tathā
vipro bhūtvāha vṛtra-hā
evam — in this way; dvitīye — on the second year; tṛtīye — on the third year; caturthe — on the fourth year; pañcame — on the fifth year; tathā — as well as; abhyetya — coming before him; abhyetya — again coming before him; sthaviraḥ — a very old man; vipraḥ — a brāhmaṇa; bhūtvā — becoming so; āha — said; vṛtra-hā — Indra.
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 brāhmaṇa and forbade him to return, repeating the same words as in the previous year.
ṣaṣṭhaṁ saṁvatsaraṁ tatra
caritvā rohitaḥ purīm
akrīṇān madhyamaṁ sutam
śunaḥśephaṁ paśuṁ pitre
ṣaṣṭham — the sixth; saṁvatsaram — year; tatra — in the forest; caritvā — wandering; rohitaḥ — the son of Hariścandra; purīm — in his capital; upavrajan — went there; ajīgartāt — from Ajīgarta; akrīṇāt — purchased; madhyamam — the second; sutam — son; śunaḥśepham — whose name was Śunaḥśepha; paśum — to use as the sacrificial animal; pitre — unto his father; pradāya — offering; samavandata — respectfully offered his obeisances.
Thereafter, in the sixth year, after wandering in the forest, Rohita returned to the capital of his father. He purchased from Ajīgarta his second son, named Śunaḥśepha. Then he offered Śunaḥśepha to his father, Hariścandra, to be used as the sacrificial animal and offered Hariścandra his respectful obeisances.
muktodaro ’yajad devān
tataḥ — thereafter; puruṣa-medhena — by sacrificing a man in the yajña; hariścandraḥ — King Hariścandra; mahā-yaśāḥ — very famous; mukta-udaraḥ — became free from dropsy; ayajat — offered sacrifices; devān — unto the demigods; varuṇa-ādīn — headed by Varuṇa and others; mahat-kathaḥ — famous in history with other exalted personalities.
Thereafter, the famous King Hariścandra, 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 Varuṇa was cured.
viśvāmitro ’bhavat tasmin
hotā cādhvaryur ātmavān
jamadagnir abhūd brahmā
vasiṣṭho ’yāsyaḥ sāma-gaḥ
viśvāmitraḥ — the great sage and mystic Viśvāmitra; abhavat — became; tasmin — in that great sacrifice; hotā — the chief priest to offer oblations; ca — also; adhvaryuḥ — a person who recites hymns from the Yajur Veda and performs ritualistic ceremonies; ātmavān — fully self-realized; jamadagniḥ — Jamadagni; abhūt — became; brahmā — acting as the chief brāhmaṇa; vasiṣṭhaḥ — the great sage; ayāsyaḥ — another great sage; sāma-gaḥ — engaged as the reciter of the Sāma Veda mantras.
In that great human sacrifice, Viśvāmitra was the chief priest to offer oblations, the perfectly self-realized Jamadagni had the responsibility for chanting the mantras from the Yajur Veda, Vasiṣṭha was the chief brahminical priest, and the sage Ayāsya was the reciter of the hymns of the Sāma Veda.
tasmai tuṣṭo dadāv indraḥ
tasmai — unto him, King Hariścandra; tuṣṭaḥ — being very pleased; dadau — delivered; indraḥ — the King of heaven; śātakaumbha-mayam — made of gold; ratham — a chariot; śunaḥśephasya — about Śunaḥśepha; māhātmyam — glories; upariṣṭāt — in the course of describing the sons of Viśvāmitra; pracakṣyate — will be narrated.
King Indra, being very pleased with Hariścandra, offered him a gift of a golden chariot. Śunaḥśepha’s glories will be presented along with the description of the son of Viśvāmitra.
satyaṁ sāraṁ dhṛtiṁ dṛṣṭvā
sabhāryasya ca bhūpateḥ
viśvāmitro bhṛśaṁ prīto
dadāv avihatāṁ gatim
satyam — truthfulness; sāram — firmness; dhṛtim — forbearance; dṛṣṭvā — by seeing; sa-bhāryasya — with his wife; ca — and; bhūpateḥ — of Mahārāja Hariścandra; viśvāmitraḥ — the great sage Viśvāmitra; bhṛśam — very much; prītaḥ — being pleased; dadau — gave him; avihatām gatim — imperishable knowledge.
The great sage Viśvāmitra saw that Mahārāja Hariścandra, along with his wife, was truthful, forbearing and concerned with the essence. Thus he gave them imperishable knowledge for fulfillment of the human mission.
manaḥ pṛthivyāṁ tām adbhis
tejasāpo ’nilena tat
khe vāyuṁ dhārayaṁs tac ca
bhūtādau taṁ mahātmani
tasmiñ jñāna-kalāṁ dhyātvā
hitvā tāṁ svena bhāvena
manaḥ — the mind (full of material desires for eating, sleeping, mating and defending); pṛthivyām — in the earth; tām — that; adbhiḥ — with water; tejasā — and with fire; apaḥ — the water; anilena — in the fire; tat — that; khe — in the sky; vāyum — the air; dhārayan — amalgamating; tat — that; ca — also; bhūta-ādau — in the false ego, the origin of material existence; tam — that (false ego); mahā-ātmani — in the mahat-tattva, the total material energy; tasmin — in the total material energy; jñāna-kalām — spiritual knowledge and its different branches; dhyātvā — by meditating; tayā — by this process; ajñānam — ignorance; vinirdahan — specifically subdued; hitvā — giving up; tām — material ambition; svena — by self-realization; bhāvena — in devotional service; nirvāṇa-sukha-saṁvidā — by transcendental bliss, putting an end to material existence; anirdeśya — imperceptible; apratarkyeṇa — inconceivable; tasthau — remained; vidhvasta — completely freed from; bandhanaḥ — material bondage.
Mahārāja Hariścandra 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.