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1-Aadi Parv, 45-52  of 236
Kathaa-G - 0-Prolog - page 10

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Janamejaya's Sarp Yagya-1 :

Jaratkaaru Meets His Pitar

[1-45] Soot Jee said - "Meanwhile Jaratkaaru wandered over the earth practicing great feats of penance, living on air only. he became very lean and thin. As he was wandering around he saw the spirits of his ancestors hanging downward in a hole only by roots of a tree with one thread and that thread was also eaten by a large rat who lived in that hole. Jaratkaaru got pity on them and asked them as who were they and why were they hanging in that pit like that; and if he could help them by giving them the one-third or half or even the whole of the fruit of his asceticism.

Those spirits said - "You cannot dispel our bad luck by your asceticism because we have our own asceticism also. It is for the loss of our children that we are hanging in here. Brahmaa Jee himself has said that a son is very necessary. Because we are hanging in this pit, we cannot see clearly that who are you? Although you may be well known on the Earth. Since you are showing sympathy with us, you are so worthy of pity. Now you listen to us. We are Rishi of Yaayaavar family and because of loss of our children we have fallen from one of sacred regions. But our penance has not been destroyed yet. We have only one thread, that also matters little as whether he is or he is not. We have one thread - Jaratkaaru. Unfortunately he has gone for penance. He has controlled all his desires, he observes rigid vows and free from the greed of the merits of asceticism. He has no wife and no son, no relative. That is why we are hanging in this hole as if nobody is there to take care of us. If you meet him, tell him that his ancestors are hanging down in a hole. He should take wife and produce children. He is the only thread in our family now. The rat you are seeing now, he is the Time immortal and is of infinite strength; and these roots by which we are hanging are ourselves, that Time in the form of is eating it. After us, he (Jaratkaaru) will also fall in Hell. Everything is inferior to a son, be it Tapasyaa or sacrifice. So please, whoever you are, tell him to have a son. Although we don't know you, but still we like to know who you are?"

[1-46] Jaratkaaru got very sorry to hear this and he said - "I am Jaratkaaru and you are my Pitar. I am your sinful son, punish me for my sins." His Pitar said - "It is by our good luck that you have come here. Why didn't you marry?" Jaratkaaru said - "I intended not to marry but now after seeing you in this state I have changed my mind. I will do whatever you will like. I will certainly marry of a girl of my own name and whom I wouldn't have to maintain, if I meet her anytime. And the son she will beget will be your salvation. And then you will be able to live in blessed regions forever."

Soot Jee said - "Hey Muni, After saying thus Muni Jaratkaaru started wandering again on Prithvi, but being old he couldn't get a wife. Going in a forest he started weeping bitterly. He cried saying, "I need a wife." three times. Then he said - "Listen whoever creatures are here. My ancestors are in grief. They have asked me to marry, so I am roaming around in search of a wife who has been give to me in alms. She should bear the same name as mine and whom I will not maintain." Now those snakes whom Vaasuki had sent around to find such a man were hearing this. They went to Vaasuki and informed him about this.

Hearing this Vaasuki adorned his sister with beautiful clothes and ornaments and went to the forest and gave her to him in alms, but the Rishi did not accept her at once. He asked Vaasuki his sister's name and told him that he would not be able to maintain her.

Jaratkaaru Marries Vaasuki's Sister and Aasteek is Born

[1-47] Soot Jee said - "At this Vaasuki said to him - "She bears the same name as yours. Her name is also Jaratkaaru, she is my sister and I will maintain her. Please accept her." Rishi replied - "So this is the agreement between us that I shall not maintain her and she should not do anything that I do  not like. If she does, I will leave." Soot Jee said - "When Vaasuki had promised that he would maintain his sister, he then went to Vaasuki's house and married his sister by religious rites. Then he entered a separate chamber provided by the snakes for him exclusively. There was a very comfortable bed there and they lived there happily. The Rishi said to his wife - "You must never say or do anything which is against my liking, otherwise I will leave you immediately and go away from here." His wife got very sad hearing this but said - "Be it so." And that lady started serving him with the wakefulness of a dog, timidity of a deer, and knowledge of signs possessed by a crow. Once after taking her monthly bath she got pregnant.

One day, Jaratkaaru slept in his wife's lap very tired. Evening fell and Rishi's wife became feared for the loss of her husband's virtue. "What should I do? The alternatives are loss of virtue, and his anger." Deciding what she had to do, she softly tried to wake him up - "Get up, the Sun is setting. Do your evening prayers. " Jaratkaaru got angry at this and said - "You have insulted me, I will not live with you now. I will go where I have come from. I believe that the Sun cannot set when I am asleep. An insulted person should not live where he is insulted." Rishi's wife trembled with terror and said - "I did not mean to insult you, I just woke you up so that your virtue is not lost." Jaratkaaru said - "I am leaving you now. I lived happily with you. When I am gone tell your brother that there is no need to grieve for me."

Lady Jaratkaaru, with her eyes filled with tears, her face pale with fear, spoke to him - "It is not appropriate for you to leave me like this without any fault. You have always followed the path of virtue and so did I. My path is for the good of my relatives. The objective for which I was given to you has not been fulfilled yet, what shall Vaasuki tell me? The child desired to remove the curse of our mother for which I was bestowed upon you, has not yet born. Their welfare depends on the child born from you. Why do you leave me while I am faultless?" Jaratkaaru said - "O fortunate one, The child you have conceived is very virtuous and knows all Ved." Saying thus he went away for penance.

[1-48] Soot Jee said - "Hearing this Jaratkaaru went to her brother and told him everything. Vaasuki who was more miserable than her, said to her - "You know very well that whoever son will be born from him, only he can save us from that snake sacrifice. Brahmaa Jee sxaid do among the gods. Have you conceived from him? I am in full faith that my giving you to him will not go fruitless. Although it is not proper for me to ask you all this, but the gravity of situation demands this. Knowing his obstinacy, I will not follow him. Tell me everything in detail what he has done with you so that it can take out this dart from my heart?" Jaratkaaru said - "Asked about the child, he said "There is." and went away. I have never heard him speaking lie even in jest. Why should he speak lie on such a serious occasion? He said - "You should not grieve, a son will be born to you." and he went away, so I don't see any reason for sorrow."

Vaasuki got satisfied by his sister's words and he adorned his sister with great wealth. In due course of time a son was born to her. He became the reliever of his maternal relations. He studied Ved from Maharshi Chayavan. Even in his childhood he observed rigid vows. He was bestowed with great intelligence, knowledge and saintliness. He was named Aasteek (means "whoever is") because his father went to forest saying "There is,". He was brought up in Naag's house. He grew day be day to give pleasure to snakes.

How Pareekshit Died?

[1-49] Shaunak Jee asked - "Soot Jee, Tell us, what Janamejaya asked his ministers about the death of his father?" Soot Jee said - "Janamejaya asked his ministers - "Tell me about my father's death in detail. I will do something if it is for the welfare of the world, otherwise I won't do anything." The minister replied - "Listen to now how your father left this world. Your father was very kind to every creature. Nobody hated him and he also did not hate anybody. He was specially favorite of Govind. Because he was born when your father's family line was about to extinct, that is why you were named as Pareekshit (born in an extinct line). He was born to Uttaraa when the Kuru lineage was going to extinct. Your father ruled for 60 years. Then he died mourned by everyone and after that you were crowned and now you are ruling for the last 1,000 years. You became the king when you were a child only."

Janamejaya said - "In our family all have been very kind to their subjects. Then how my father who was so virtuous, died? I want to hear it in detail." Soot Jee said - "Then his Ministers told him everything. They said - "Your father got addicted to hunting and he handed over everything of his kingdom, from small to big, to us. One day he shot an arrow to a deer, the deer ran away and so did your father after him. However, he did not see the deer, but soon he got tired. Then he saw a Muni. The Muni was observing silence vow, that is why when the King asked about the deer, he did not reply. The King got angry at this. He picked up a dead snake lying nearby from the end of his bow and put it on his shoulder, still Muni did not speak, good ot bad. He was still without anger"

[1-50] Soot Jee said - "The Ministers continued - "King hungry and thirsty came back to his capital aftr putting that dead snake on Muni's shoulder. Muni had a son, born from cow, named Shringee. He was known for his great powers and energy and of even being angry. He was coming back from his Guru's house to his house, that he heard about the insult done to his faultless father by your father. He got angry hearing this. he immdiately took water in his hand and gave Shaap to your father - "See the power of my Tap, whoever has done this, Takshak will bite him to death on the seventh day from today."

When he came to his father, he told all this to him. His father was not happy at all at this, but he could not do anything except to inform this to the King. So he sent one of his disciples Gaurmukh of good manners and virtue to the King conveying this matter to him. He came to the King and told him the words of the Muni - "You have been cursed by my son. Takshak will burn you with his poison, therefore be careful." O Janamejaya, Hearing this your father took every precaution from Takshak. When the seventh day came, a Braahman named Kashyap, wanted to come to the King. Takshak asked him where was he going so fast. He said - "I am going to the King to save him from Takshak bite. Takshak will bite him and I will cure him so that he may not bite him to death." Takshak said - "I am Takshak and I will bite him. Why do you want to save him from my bite? See the power of my poison. You cannot save him from my bite." Saying this Takshak bit a banyan tree, and as soon as he bit the tree, that tree turned to ashes. But Kashyap revived the tree bitten by Takshak. Takshak, then tempted him and asked him what was his desire? Kashyap said - "I am going there for wealth." Takshak said to him - "Take more wealth from me than you will get from the King and go back."

Kashyap went away. Takshak went in disguise and bit your father who was living in well-guarded in his mansion, with his poison. After that you were crowned as the king. This the cruel account of your father's death. Considering the discomfort of your father and the insult of Uttank Rishi, now you may decide what you have to do."

Soot Jee continued - "Janamejaya asked his Minister - "When did you know about Kashyap and his revival of banyan tree? I am sure my father could not have died of Takshak bite, if Kahsyap had revived him. Takshak thought that his bite will be useless if Kashyap had reached there and had revived him and people will laugh at him. I have a way to punish that Braahman, but first I like to know what really happened in that forest, then I will devise the means to extinguish snake race."

The ministers said - "Listen of him who told us before the meeting of that Braahman and Takshak. On that day a person climbed on that tree to break its some dry branches for sacrificial fire. Both Braahman and Takshak could not see him. When Takshak burned that tree, he was also burned to ashes along with the tree; and when Kashyap revived the tree, he was also revived. That Braahman came to us and told us everything." Soot Jee said - "Hearing all this Janamejaya wept bitterly. He then touched the water and said to the Ministers - "I think now we should not waste time any more and take revenge with Takshak. He returned Kashyap to his home because of his evil intention. He bit my father making the Shringee Rishi only a secondary cause. What would he have lost if my father was revived by Kashyap. I will surely take the revenge of this."

Janamejaya Starts Sarp Yagya

[1-51] Soot Jee said - "Thus Janamejaya determined to take revenge from Takshak. He called Braahman and his Ritwik and asked them if there was any way by which he could burn Takshak. He said - "I have to take revenge from him on the account of the death of my father. tell me what I must do." The chief priest said - "A great sacrifice, called snake sacrifice (Sarp Yagya) has been devised by Devtaa themselves for you. It cannot be accomplished alone, people who have read Puraan have told us this that it is written in Puraan."

Soot Jee said - "Hearing this Janamejaya considered Takshak already burnt. He said to his other Braahman - "I shall prepare for the Yagya, you tell me what do I need for it." The land was acquired, a platform was built and Braahman installed the King to do the sacrifice. But an incident occurred during the construction of the platform. An intelligent, professional, knowledgeable in laying in foundations, a Soot by caste, builder predicted that "the soil upon which this platform is made, indicates that this sacrifice will not be completed. A Braahman will obstruct this." Hearing this the king ordered not to let enter anybody without his permission."

[1-52] Soot Jee said - "The Yagya started causing a great fear in the hearts of snakes. As Braahman clad in black robes and their eyes red with smoke uttered Mantra and poured Aahuti of Ghee in Fire. Snakes of all kinds started falling in the fire. Those measuring Kos, those measuring Yojan, those measuring Gokarn - all started falling in the fire. Some were like horses, some were like trunks of elephants, some were huge bodied, some were thin, whoever they were."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 12/18/12