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Paandav's Teerth Yaatraa-3


[3-108] Lomash Jee said - "Hey Yudhishthir, As Bhageerath came to know about his ancestors met an awful end at Kapil's Aashram, he handed over his kingdom to his Minister and went to Himaalaya to practice austerities. He practiced it for 1,000 Divine years. He ate only fruits and roots for all these years. He pleased Devee Gangaa. Gangaa appeared before him and asked him - "What do you want from me? How should I please you? I will do the same for you, whatever you will ask from me." Bhageerath said - "My father's grandfathers were burnt by Kapil Dev while bringing back the horse for their father's Ashwamedh Yagya. By destroyed like this there is no place for them in Heaven for those 60,000 sons of Raajaa Sagar until you sprinkle your holy water on their ashes. Please take those sons of Sagar to Heavenly regions. I pray you for them."

Lomash Muni said - "Gangaa got bvery happy to hear this from Bhageerath, she said to him - "I am prepared to come, but when I will fall my force will be difficult to be borne. Only Shiv can bear my force in these three worlds, so practice austerities to please him so that he can bear me while I fall on Prithvi." So Bhageerath went to Kailaash Parvat and started practicing austerities to please Shiv Jee. he prayed to him to sustain Gangaa when she falls on Prithvi for the sake of his ancestors to take to Heavenly regions.

[3-109] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "The three-eyed Dev heard Bhageerath's prayers and replied, "So be it. For your sake I shall sustain the Dev River on my head." He came to the mountain with his attendants, stood there and asked Bhageerath to pray the River to come down." Hearing this Bhageerath prayed Gangaa to come. Seeing Shiv standing to receive her, Gangaa fell suddenly from the sky. Fishes and sharks also fell with her. She directed her course towards sea and divided herself into three streams. She went forward like a drunk woman and as she reached the Earth, she said to Bhageerath - "Show me the path that I have to take, because I have come here only for you." So Bhageerath led the way and Gangaa followed him. Shiv Jee went back to Kailaash and Gangaa came to the sea following Bhageerath and the abode of Varun, sea, was quickly filled. Bhageerath adopted Gangaa as his daughter and offered libations to his forefathers. He was happy that he did what he should have done for his forefathers. Thus I told the story of how Gangaa runs in three streams, descended on Earth to fill the sea and how Agastya Muni drank the sea to do good to Devtaa and how he ate Vaataapi.

There is no mention here that when Gangaa fell, Shiv Jee blocked her way to got out of his head and she lost the way in his hair. Gangaa was lost in the matted locks of Shiv and then Bhageerath had to pray again to Shiv, to give way to Gangaa to flow on Prithvi. Then Shiv Jee opened a lock of his hair and Gangaa came out through that lock of his hair.

Nandaa River, Hemkoot Parvat, Kaushikee River

[3-110] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Then Yudhishthir went to the two rivers, Nandaa and Apar Nandaa; then he reached the Hemkoot Parvat. It was very strange. There if one uttered the words, they could gather the clouds or thousands of stones. Seeing it people got so sad that they could not go up the hill - yet nobody was seen. In the morning and evening Fire could be seen carrying oblations to Devtaa, flies would bite to Tapaswee to disturb their Tap; a sadness would take over the people that they felt sick. Seeing these strange phenomena, Yudhishthir asked Lomash Jee the reason for them. Lomash Jee said - "I tell you whatever I heard you about it. A saint lived here by the name of Rishabh, on whose name this peak is known. He was many hundred years old. He had done lots of Tap and was a very angry saint. Once he said to this mountain - "Whoever will speak anything here, you must throw stones at him and blow winds to stop him making any noise." Since then this Mountain does so. It does some other things also. It is said that once many Devtaa came here to Nandaa, so many people came to see those celestials. Since those Devtaa did not want to be seen, they made this place inaccessible by making hills here. And after that people could not even see it, leave alone climbing on it. Thus this big Mountain cannot be seen by those people who have done Tap. So O Son of Kuntee, do not speak here. Still the Devtaa and saints live here and their sacrificial Fire can be seen in the morning and in the evening. You take bath in Nandaa River and offer oblations with your younger brothers. After that you go to Kaushikee River where Vishwaamitra practiced most difficult penance." So the King Yudhishthir proceeded toward Kaushhikee River after taking bath in Nandaa River.

Lomash Jee said - "This is Kaushikee River. Here is the Aashram of Vishwaamitra and Rishyashring Muni also. This Muni, born from a deer, forced Indra to make rain in a drought period with the influence of his Tap. He did a great magic in the territory of Rompaad's kingdom, and when the crops were restored, Raajaa Rompaad gave him his daughter Shaantaa in marriage." Yudhishthir asked - "How was Rishyashring born of a deer? And how did the so great Rishi Kashyap have sexual union with a deer? Why was Indra afraid of that sage boy so that he had to make rain in drought period? And that beautiful Shaantaa could love him when he changed himself into a stag? And Rompaad was a saintly king then why his kingdom had to suffer with drought? O Saint, please tell all this in detail as I am very keen to know about Rishyashring's life."

Story of Rishyashring

Lomash Muni said - "Listen, O Yudhishthir about Rishyashring Muni as how he was born as a son of Vibhaandak Muni. He was a great Rishi and was very fortunate to have such a son to whom even great saints paid their respects. Once Vibhaandak Muni arrived at a great beautiful lake and started his penance. he did it for a long period of time. Once he was washing his face in the lake water, that he saw Urvashee and his semen fell in to the water, and by chance, O King, a she-deer drank that water and got pregnant. That she-deer was the daughter of a Devtaa. Long before she was cursed to be a she-deer and Brahmaa Jee told her that when she would give birth to a saint, she would be free from that curse. As the Destiny goes on and as the words of Creator cannot go wrong, she gave birth to a great saint - Rishyashring. He passed all his days in the forest. He had a little horn on his head, that is how he was known as Rishyashring. Since his father did not allow him to see anybody else than himself, he had not seen anybody else than his father and he was continuously engaged in his daily ascetic life.

In those days, there was a King Rompaad ruling in Ang country. He was a friend of King Dasharath. We have heard that he was guilty of lying to a Braahman because of some pleasure, so he had no priest to assist him in his religious rites. This made Indra angry and he stopped raining in his kingdom. People started suffering from drought. Then he asked many Braahman as how he could have rain in his kingdom. Many gave him many counseling but one of them said - "Braahman are angry with you, so do something to appease them. Send for Rishi Rishyashring from the forest. He is very simple and does not know anything about women. If he comes in your territory, you will surely have rain in  your kingdom." Rompaad repented for his sins and appeased Braahman. After that the King came back to his kingdom and called his Ministers to make a plan to invite Rishyashring. They consulted each other and came to a definite plan. According to that plan they sent for some clever courtesans of the town. When they came he said to them - "O Beautiful girls, Go to that Muni and lure him to come here so that we can have rains." Those girls were scared of King's anger on one hand and Muni's curse on the other refuse to go there saying that it was out of their power. But there was one among them who said to the King - "I will go to him to bring him, but you have to give me a few things to carry out this plan." The King got very happy to hear this and he gave her all she wanted plus many good jewels and wealth. She took some women with her and left for the forest immediately.

[3-111] Lomash Jee continued - "In order to carry out her plan, she prepared a floating hermitage adorned with trees, shrubs, creepers, fruits and flowers and many other inviting things as if it was created by magic. They moved to very near to the Aashram of Vibhaandak Muni and sent some secret people sent about to know whereabouts of Rishyashring. After assessing the situation, she sent her daughter intelligent courtesan to him. She arrived at his place and said to him - "I hope, all is well with your austerities. And I hope you have enough fruits and roots with you. I have come here to pay you a visit. I hope your father is all right. I hope your studies are going well." Rishyashring said - "You are shining with luster as if you yourself are light. I feel like to worship you so I will give you water to wash your feet and fruits you might like because this is my custom. Please be seated on this mat made of Kush grass. By the way where is your Aashram? O Braahman, you look like a Devtaa and what is your religion you are observing?"

The courtesan replied - "O Son of Kashyap, I have my Aashram on the other side of the hill which covers some 3 Yojan space. It is a beautiful place. According to my faith, I do not accept any water from you for washing my feet, nor any worship from the people like you, rather I should worship you. But according to my religion, you must come into my arms." Rishyashring said - "I give you these sweet fruits, please take delight in eating them." But the courtesan kept his fruits away and gave him some other things to eat. They were nice and attractive in look and sweet to eat for Rishyashring. She gave him beautiful scented flower garlands, beautiful soft clothes and drinks. She played with him and enjoyed. Then she took out a ball and played in front of him. While playing, she touched his body and took him in her arms repeatedly. She broke a few flowers and she started tempting that Rishi's son. When she found that now Rishi was touched by her in his heart, she repeatedly pressed his body with her own she pretended that she was going to make offerings on the Fire, and she went away casting her glances around.

As the courtesan left, Rishyashring was struck with love and lost his senses. His mind was constantly going towards her and was feeling an emptiness without her. He was in great distress and sighing continually. At the same time, Vibhaandak Muni, whose body was covered with hair from head to toe, came there and saw his son sitting in a pensive mood and sad. asked him - "What is the matter? Why haven't you put the wood for fuel? I hope you have performed the Fire ceremony for offering, polished the sacrificial ladle and spoons, and brought the milk of cows. You don't seem to be in yourself, why are you so sad today? Who has been here?"

[3-112] Rishyashring said - "One religious student who had lots of hair on head came here today. he was neither short nor tall. he had a golden complexion and his eyes were large as lotus and he was shining as a Devtaa. His curly hair was blue-black, neat, long, scented, and tied with golden string. He was wearing ornaments which were also shining like Sun. Under the throat he had two beautiful balls of flesh without a single hair upon them. His waist was slender and everything was neat about him. There was a golden string under his cloth just like this waist string of mine. he had something on his feet which were making jingling sound. He was wearing very beautiful clothes, my clothes are nowhere comparable to his clothes. he was very beautiful. He was carrying a strange round fruit which when he hit on the ground, went up and then went to the ground again. He looked like a Devtaa to me. He took my body in his arms, took hold my matted hair and bent down on my mouth with his and made a sound which was exceedingly pleasant. he gave me several fruits which had no rinds and they were so tasty, I have never eaten such fruits before. After that he has gone to his Aashram, and since then I am sad. My body is burning since then and I wish that I should go to him as soon as possible. I desire to live with him like his life. My soul will not rest if I don't see him."

[3-113] Vibhaandak Muni said - "O My dear son, They are Raakshas and wander around assuming beautiful form. They are very powerful and their beauty is great. They always try to create obstruction in others meditation. They always try to allure the saints and these saints also who have no control over their senses and soul lose their way to righteousness. A pious man should never even look at them. And whatever you ate or drank, that was not to be eaten or drank,  because those things are unholy. And these garlands are also not for saints." And directing thus, Muni went in search of her. He kept looking for her for three days and when he got unsuccessful in finding her he came back to his Aashram.

When Vibhaandak Muni went to gather fruits, the same girl came again to Rishyashring's Aashram and as soon as he saw her, he hurriedly ran towards her and said - "Let us to your Aashram before my father returns." O King, the same courtesan took him to her large boat and ordered it to be rowed. After a while they came to Ang Desh. The King made the arrangement of his staying in a palace where females were staying, and suddenly the rain started pouring. And happy by this Romapaad married his daughter Shaantaa to Rishyashring. To please Vibhaandak Muni he placed some cattle and plowed fields by that road which Vibhaandak was to take to come to his son. The King kept many cattle and cowherds with the order - "If Vibhaandak Muni asks you about his son, you must tell him politely with folded hands that these cattle and these [plowed field belong to his son, and you are his slaves. And you should be ready to serve him whatever he says."

Now the angry Muni Vibhaandak came to his Aashram and found it empty. he looked for his son here and there but could not find him anywhere. This made him exceedingly angry and suspected that the King must have done this to him. So he set off to Champaa city to burn the King and his whole kingdom. he felt hungry and thirsty on his way. he came to the same place where the King settled his cattle and cowherds. he asked - "To whom do you belong?" The cowherds replied - "All this belongs to your son." As he proceeded he saw some other cowherds and he asked them too the same question, they also replied the same - "All this belongs to your son." In the meantime he came to Champaa Nagaree and saw his son looking like Indra in Heaven. he also saw his daughter-in-law who was also a real beauty. Seeing them his all anger disappeared and he got pleased with the King. He said to his son - "You be here till you have a son and you should do whatever the King likes, but then you should come to forest without fail." And Rishyashring did as his father told him to do, he went back to his father and Shaantaa also went with him and waited upon him in the woods as Rohinee waits upon Moon, Shachee waits upon Indra, Lopaamudraa waits upon Agastya Jee, Damayantee was obedient to Nal, Indrasenaa (Naaraayan's daughter) upon Rishi Mudgal."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 06/23/12