Story of King Sagara

Discussion in 'Hindu Stories' started by Aum, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Aum

    Aum New Member

    The Sage Viswamitra narrated the story of Ikshvaku King namely Sagara, who was pious and was endowed with many offspring. He had married the daughter of Vidharba king, called Kesini who was virtuous and truthful. His second wife who is also known as Arishtanemi’s daughter by name Sumati. She is the sister of Garudhman! The celestial vehicle of Sriman Narayana, the son of sage Kasyapa.

    The King reached Brghu prasravana the mountain range nearby to do tapas to beget children! At the end of hundred years of such dedicated tapas the Maharishi Brughu appeared before him and said that he is pleased with his efforts and would grant him a boon! He said that one of his wives would bear him a son to further his race and the others would bear sixty thousand sons! Then the wives asked the sage with reverence that which one among them would bear one son and the other numerous sons.

    To this the sage replied that the choice is left to them and whatever they desire would become fructified! Then they gladly decided that Kesini would have one son and Sumati many! They duly circumambulated the sage and paid their respects. Then they returned to their kingdom. In the due course Kesini gave birth to a son known as Asamanja and Sumati gave birth to a cucumber like egg that had seedlings in thousands and the maids carefully brought those seedlings and nurtured them in a pot of ghee! After some time all of them were nurtured into full grown children! They attained youthfulness as time passed.

    But unfortunately Asamanja grew up to be a cruel and sadistic prince and tormented young children by throwing them into the river and killing and enjoying their plight! Though the King tried to rein him in, all his efforts were in vain! He had got the prince married, then he had a child namely Anshuman. Due to his wayward character the King banished Asamanja from the country!

    Then the King decides to conduct an Aswamedha yagna ritual for the welfare of the citizens and chooses a horse and duly sends it to many Kingdoms to conquer them. The celestial Indra who was observing these felt that the King would reap many virtues if he was allowed to conclude the yagna and decided to thwart his efforts, and took the horse away!

    Soon the King asked his sixty thousand sons to go in search of the horse they searched all the nearby kingdoms and said they need to reach the other side of the world, and the king ordered them to dig and reach the other side!

    The story is differently narrated in Srimad Bagavata and names Anshuman as Asamoujas. It is said that they reached the nether world wherein they arrived at the asrama of a sage known as Kapila, an incarnate of Lord Vishnu, the sishyas of that seer had obviously found the horse roaming and had brought it and tied it in the asram. Soon the sagara putras reached the place and found the horse and mistook that the sage had stolen it and started tormenting the sishyas.

    This disturbed the Rishi who was doing penance there and the moment he opened his eyes the power of his concentration burnt all the sixty thousand sons of Sagara! Lord Brahma had predicted this end and said that this was destined as Lord Vishnu had desired! Since they started searching the earth for their horse they dug up earth, and many reptiles and other beings living therein were either killed or rendered homeless, they also killed many inhabitants of nether worlds, this amounted to disturbing the devotees of Vishnu!

    King Sagara was worried that he would not be able to complete the yagna, so he asked his grandson Anshuman to go in search of his uncles and also the horse and return quickly with the horse so that he can complete the yagna as per the vow! He said that the inhabitants of the nether worlds are not tormented fear or intimidation and are known to fight fierce battles so he advised him to take enough of powerful weapons!

    He advised him to salute those who should be saluted and fight with those who oppose and achieve the objective. On the way he encountered one of the Dikgajas, the elephant guardian of that direction, soon he paid his respects to that elephant and came around and did namaskaras and requested the elephant about the whereabouts of his uncles.

    He similarly encountered all other Dikgajas and did namaskaras to them and paid respects and got blessed in similar manner and then he proceeded and neared the asrama of Kapila muni and found all his ancestors turned into ash mound and was moved to tears! It was then he saw the celestial bird the mount of Lord Vishnu who is his maternal uncle, he told Anshuman to collect himself up and not feel sad over the demise of all his uncles and explained that it was the stare of the sage Kapila that reduced all of them to ashes and also added that his intension of performing last rites would not bear fruit and only washing the ashes with flow of Ganga would render their sin to vanish and take them to heaven.

    Then Garuda advised him to quickly take the horse to his grand father and help him complete the yagna! Anshuman soon hastened back to his kingdom and handed over the horse, and the King was happy and completed the yagna as scheduled and deliberated about Ganga being brought down, but could not come up with a concrete plan. In the due course he also reached the heaven. Then the learned ones enthroned Ansuman as the King and he ruled the kingdom in a just manner and he had an illustrious son known as Dhilipan!

    As he was getting old he assigned the duty to rule the kingdom to Dhilipan and retired to Himalayas and did tapas for nearly thirty thousand years and then ascended to heaven! The objective of bringing Ganga from the heavens dominated all the rulers and they were worried that nothing much could be achieved by them. All their efforts in terms of tapas only granted them their personal emancipation and nothing more!

    In this way, the King got blessed with a son worthy of his linage, called Bagheeratha! Dhilipa also grew old and sick and shed his mortal coil and reached Indraloka! He had anointed his son Bagheeratha as the King after him.

    King Bhageeratha was childless and lead a life of an ascetic and ruled the Kingdom. Soon he decided that he would pursue the goal of bringing the holy river from the heavens and retired to Gokarna mountain in the Himalayan ranges and started his sever penance by lighting five fires around him and standing upright with raised hands in prayer with all his senses subdued in perfect yoga!

    Thousands of years passed and his severe penance made Lord Brahma descend with all the Devas along to the venue where he was doing tapas, and on arrival, Brahma gently told Bagheeratha that his efforts have borne fruit and would grant him a boon.
    He was requested by Bagheeratha to facilitate flow of Ganga unto the earth and also requested that the linage shall not break after himself.

    Brahma was pleased and said so it be, and added that the descent of Ganga could not be sustained by earth, so he should invoke Lord Siva the God with the trident who alone could bear that force as he is the husband of the sister of Ganga namely Uma, the daughter of Himavan! Thus asking King to pray to Lord Siva Brahma left for his abode!

    The King Bagheeratha continued his tapas by standing on the toe in the midst of the five fires! After a lapse of one year the Umapathi the Lord Siva appeared before him! He assured him that he would bear Ganga on his head and then let her down upon the earth.

    Soon the river came down with all her potential and fury, and while descending she thought that she could sweep Him too to be kept in her confines! This tinge of egoism annoyed Lord Siva and he tied his loosened matted hair and arrested the flow within his matted locks! However much she tried to flow down she could not succeed. Again Bagheeratha did penance and requested Lord Siva to release her, and as prayed Siva released her on Bindu sarovar in the Himalayas! Thus she acquired the names Halaadini, Paavani and Nalini!

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