Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 0-Prolog
|1-Aadi Parv, 53-58 of 236|
|Kathaa-G - 0-Prolog - page 11|
|1-Aadi Parv-page 11|
Janamejaya's Sarp Yagya-2
Aasteek Saves the Lives of Snakes
[1-53] Shaunak Jee asked - "Who became Ritwik and who became Sadasya in that Sarp Yagya which was so frightful for snakes?" Soot Jee said - "I tell you the names of those Braahman who became Ritwik and who became Sadasya. Braahman Chand Bhaargav (born in Chyavan's family) became the Hotaa; Kautsa became Udgaataa (the chanter of Vaidik hymns); Jaimini became Braahman; and Shaarngarv and Pingal became Adhwaryu. Vyaas Jee with his son and disciples, Uddaalak, Pramatak, Shwetketu, Pingal, Asit, Deval, Naarad, Parvat, Atreya, Kundjathar, Braahman Kaalghataa, Vatsya, old Shrutshravaa. Kohal Devsharmaa, Maudgalya, Sansaurabh, and many other Braahman became Sadasya at the sacrifice performed by Janamejaya. When the Ritwik started pouring Ghee as Aahuti in the fire, terrible snaked started falling in fire in heaps, and the fat marrow of their body started flowing in rivers, and a strong smell filled the atmosphere.
As Takshak heard about the Sarp Yagya of Janamejaya, he went to Indra and sought for his protection after acknowledging his fault. Indra assured him - "You have no fear of snake sacrifice. Brahmaa Jee is satisfied with me for you so don't be afraid." Soot Jee continued - "Takshak got satisfied and he started living there in joy and happiness, but Vaasuki seeing his family burning like this became very sorry. He called his sister and said to her - "I cannot see the directions, it seems that I will have to go Yam Lok. The Time has come when Aasteek, the son of Jaratkaaru, for whom we bestowed you to that Muni, will save us from this. Brahmaa Jee himself told this. So call your son who will put an end to this sacrifice and save our lives."
[1-54] Soot Jee said - "Hearing this his sister Jaratkaaru called her son and said - "For whichever day I was given to your father by my brother, that day has come today. Go and do whatever is to be done." Aasteek asked - "Why were you given to my father by my uncle? Tell me everything so that I can do appropriately." She said - "It is said that mother of all the snakes is Kadroo who cursed her own sons in anger. She said to her sons - "Since you have disobeyed me to represent Uchchshraivaa to make Vinataa my slave, that is why the carrier of Agni, Vaayu will burn you all in Janamejaya's sacrifice and you will go to the region of unredeemed spirits." Brahmaa Jee also approved it by saying, "So be it". Then Vaasuki sought the refuge of Devtaa when Saagar Manthan was going on. After Devtaa had got Amrit, went to Brahmaa Jee and said to him - "Vaasuki is very sad about his brothers, what can be done for him?" Brahmaa Jee said - "The Rishi Jaratkaaru will take his wife as of his own name and the son born to them will save them." So Vaasuki gave me to him before the sacrifice and you are born from that marriage. Now the Time has come to protect my brothers and myself from fire. What do you think, O my son?"
Soot Jee said - "Hearing this Aasteek said - "Surely, I will." Then he said to Vaasuki as if he was injecting life in him - "Fell comfortable, do not be so sad. I promise you to save your life from this fire. I have never told lie, so believe me. I need not to say anything more than the words of blessings to the King, so that he may stop the Yagya. Believe me, my words will not be a lie." Vaasuki said - "O Son, I cannot think of anything because I am suffering from my mother's curse." Aasteek again assured him not to fear anymore that he would extinguish this fire soon. Soot Jee continued - "Aasteek, dispelling the fear of Vaasuki, set off to do good for snakes. went to Janamejaya's Yagya to bestow him for every merit. When reached there he saw many best Braahman sitting there, but he was not allowed to enter there. He gratified the door keepers, entered the compound and started praising the King, Sadasya and other Braahman on their achievements.
How Takshak Was Saved?
[1-55] He said - "Som, Varun and Prajaapti have performed great sacrifices in Prayaag but your sacrifice is greatest of all. Indra has performed 100 sacrifices, but your sacrifice is equal to thousand sacrifices of Indra. Vyaas himself is the chief priest in your sacrifice, and others who are administering it, let all those be blessed. I am very pleased with your abstinence. Your sacrifice is like the sacrifice of Yam, of Harimedh; or of King Rantidev. O Son of Pareekshit, Who are dear to us, be blessed. Your sacrifice is like the sacrifice of Maya, of King Shashabindu, or King Vaishravan. I think that there is not Ritwik equal to your Ritwik, Krishn Dwaipaayan. Indeed you are Varun, or Yam, or even Indra himself. There is no man greater than you and no king greater than you in sacrifices. In power, you are like Yayaati, Maandhaataa; in splendor you are like Bheeshm; you are like Naabhaag, Khatwaang, or Dileep, O Son of Satyavatee, in which Vyaas Jee himself was the chief priest. Your sacrifice is like the sacrifice of Nrig, of Ajameedh, of Dasharath. Like the sacrifice of Yudhishthir is your sacrifice. Like the sacrifice of Krishn (Dwaipaayan), in which he himself was the chief priest, is the priest in your sacrifice.
Soot Jee said - "Aasteek thus adored them all Ritwik, Sadasya, King and the sacrificial fire. Janamejaya said."
[1-56] Janamejaya said - "Although he is a boy, but he speaks like a wise man. I desire to bestow him a boon, please permit me to do so." Sadasya said - "Although he is a boy, but he is a Braahman, so he indeed deserves the respect of kings, but not before Takshak comes here." Soot Jee said - "But the King was inclined to give him a boon, so he asked him again to ask for a boon. Hotaa intervened - "But Takshak has not come yet." Janamejaya replied - "Make efforts to bring him here. He is my utmost enemy." The Ritwik said - "The scriptures and the Fire say that he is living in Indra's palace afflicted with fear." Soot Jee continued - "A Soot named Lohitaaksh who is read Puraan, had also said this before. When asked by the King, he again said to him - "Knowing the Puraan, Indra has granted him a boon that "till you are living here with me in hiding, Agni will not burn you."
Soot Jee continued - "Hearing this the King got very sorry, so the King asked his Hotaa to call him again. So the Hotaa started to pour Ghee in the fire again. And as he poured the Aahuti, Indra himself appeared there in his own Vimaan along with other Devtaa and Apsaraa. Takshak was hiding in Indra's upper garment. The King said to his Braahman - "If Takshak is hiding in Indra's palace then cast him also in the fire along with Takshak." Soot Jee said - "So Braahman offered the Aahuti taking the name of Takshak. He appeared in the sky along with Indra. Indra got scared seeing that sacrifice, so he cast off Takshak and ran away to his abode, and by virtue of Mantra, Takshak started coming nearer to the fire.
Ritwik said - "O King, Your sacrifice is done duly, now you can grant this boy a boon." Janamejaya said to the Braahman boy - "I wish to give you a boon so ask for it. I will give it to you even if it is not grantable." Ritwik said - "See O King, Takshak is coming to your sacrifice with a loud noise. It seems that Indra has abandoned him." Soot Jee said - "As Takshak was about to fall in the fire, Aasteek aid - "If you wish to grant me a boon, let this your sacrifice come to an end and no more snake should be sacrificed in this Yagya." Janamejaya got very sorry to hear this, so he said - "You may ask me anything else - gold, silver, land, wealth, animals, but not this that my sacrifice should come to an end." Aasteek said - "I do not want anything else - gold, silver or cow, than that your sacrifice should come to the end so that my maternal relations are relieved." Soot Jee continued - "Janamejaya asked the boy to ask for any other thing but the boy refused to ask for any other thing. Braahman said - "Let the Braahman receive his boon."
[1-57] Shaunak Jee said - "I desire to hear the names of all those snakes who fell in the fire." Soot Jee said - "Many thousands, tens of thousands and billions of thousands snakes were burnt in that fire, O Braahman, Some of their names are here. [Names of many snakes are given here in Chap 57] Hear first the names of the principal ones of Vasuki's race alone, of color blue, red and white of terrible form and huge body and deadly poison. Helpless and miserable and afflicted with their mother's curse, they fell into the sacrificial fire like libations of butter...... Thus I have recited only a few principal names of widely known snakes for their achievements. The sons of these snakes and sons of those sons... I am unable to mention them all. There are so many, some 5-headed, some 7-headed, some 10-headed, and they were burnt by thousands. Some were of huge-bodied, some of great speed, some as tall as mountain, some of the length of a Yam, some of one Yojan, some of 10 Yojan etc etc."
[1-58] Soot Jee said - "Now listen to another wonderful incident of Aasteek. When Janamejaya was granting the boon to Aasteek, Takshak thrown by Indra, hung in the midair without actually falling. Seeing this King Janamejaya wondered as he did not fall in fire at once even after the Aahuti had been offered in his name." Shaunak Jee asked - "Was the Mantra not powerful enough to bring Takshak down in the fire?" Soot Jee said - "As Takshak was abandoned by Indra, Takshak in his unconsciousness, as Aasteek said "Stay, stay, stay" three times, remained stuck in the sky with afflicted heart."
The King, on being repeatedly urged by his Sadasya, said - "Let the sacrifice end as Aasteek has said; let the snakes be safe; O Soot, let your words also be true." As the boon was granted, a wave of joy ran through the air and thus the Sarp Yagya came to an end. The King, Ritwik, Sadasya and all others were happy to see the Yagya ended. Janamejaya distributed lots of money; and the King gave much wealth, clothes food etc to the Soot Lohitaaksh also who predicted even before the construction of the platform that "this Yagya will not be completed because of a Braahman." Janamejaya was very happy with Aasteek, he requested him to come again as a Sadasya when he would perform his Ashwamedh Yagya (horse sacrifice). Aasteek said, "Sure." and came back to his mother and uncle and told them everything that happened there.
Soot Jee said - "All snakes were also very happy with Aasteek, they became fearless. They also asked him to ask for any boon from them. Aasteek said - "Let all those Braahman and others who will read this account morning or evening, cheerfully and attentively, should have no fear from you." The snakes said - "So be it. And who will take the names of Asit, Aarteemaan, and Suneeth in the day or in the night will have no fear from snakes. Those people will also have no fear from snakes, who will say, "I call to my mind to Aasteek, the son of Jaratkaaru who saved the snakes from sacrifice, therefore it is not appropriate for you to bite me." When the Time came Aasteek went to heaven leaving sons and grandsons behind. Thus I have recited you the story of Aasteek who saved snakes and which dispels the fear from snakes.
Soot Jee continued - "O Braahman, As your ancestor Pramati told to his son Ruru, and as I heard it I told you the story of Aasteek from the beginning, now I will tell you the story of Dundubh."
1-Aadi Parv - Aasteek Parv Ends Here
Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 12/18/12