Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 7-Post-War

14-Ashwamedh Parv, 91-92 of 92
Kathaa-G - 7-Post-War - page 24

Home | Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | 7-Post-War

14-Ashwamedh Parv-page 21

Previous | Next

About Sacrifices and Story of Mongoose

Janamejaya asked - "O Rishi, Kings are normally attached to sacrifices, Rishi are attached to penance. Learned Braahman are for tranquility of mind, peaceful behavior, and self-restraint. It seems that nothing is comparable to fruits of sacrifices. Innumerable kings after worshipping deities in their sacrifices have earned fame here and Heaven hereafter. Indra attained all his wishes fulfilled by doing many sacrifices and giving away gifts. When Paandav were deities himself, then why mongoose depreciated their sacrifice?"

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Listen to me what I say to you about the sacrifice and its fruits. Formerly once Indra performed a particular sacrifice. While its limbs were spread out, the Ritwij got busy in doing other rites ordained in the scriptures. The deities were summoned one by one. These Braahman read the Mantra of Yajur Ved in soft voice. When the time came to slaughter the animals, and they were seized, the Braahman felt compassion for them. When those Braahman saw those animals sad, they said to Indra - "This method of sacrifice is not auspicious. You want to acquire great merit, but you don't know the sacrifice. Animals have not been ordained in sacrifices. This is very destructive of merit. Killing an animal can never be an act of righteousness. If you wish then we can do it according to Aagam (according to scriptural ordinances), that will be better for you. Do your sacrifice with the grains kept for three years."

Indra did not accept this proposal and a great conflict rose between them as what should be used for the sacrifice - mobile creatures or immobile objects? Then they asked king Vasu, ruler of Chedi - "What is the Vaidik declaration about sacrifices? with animals or horses and juices?" Vasu said without considering the strengths and weaknesses of his judgment - "The sacrifice may be performed with whichever of the two kinds of objects." After answering thus he had to go to nether regions for his false statement. Therefore whenever a doubt arises, nobody, however wise, should singly decide the matter, unless he himself is the Lord of all creatures. Gifts made by a sinner, with an impure understanding, even when they are in large quantity, become lost. That person of little intelligence, who with the desire of earning great merit performs the sacrifice with the wealth obtained by unrighteous means never succeeds in earning  merits. Who earns the wealth by sinful acts attains the goal of the sinful. Men who have acquired a wealth of penance, by giving away, to the best of their power, grains of corn picked from the fields, or roots or fruits or pot-herbs or water or leaves acquire great merit. Even such gifts as compassion to all creatures, speaking truth, kindness, fortitude, forgiveness are the eternal foundation of Righteousness which itself is eternal."

Janamejaya said - "If Heaven is the fruit of wealth acquired by lawful means, then tell me about fully. You told me about Braahman who live by Uchchh mode of life through his gift of barley flour. In what way the attainment can be certain end in all sacrifices?" Vaishampaayan Jee said - "In this connection there is an old story. One time Maharshi Agastya entered into a Deekshaa which was to go for 12 years. Many high soul Rishi came in his Deekshaa. Some were subsisting on roots, some were using only two stones only for husking their stones, or on those which were supported by Moon rays only. Some took food only when it was placed before them and was solicited to eat. Some took nothing without serving first to their deities, Pitar and guests. And some of them never washed their food before eating. All of them had seen the personified form of the deity of Righteousness.

Agastya Jee acquired the food that was collected in sacrifice and that came up to a required measure and by lawful means according to the best of his power. As Agastya was engaged in performing the sacrifice, Indra stopped making rains. Continually Rishi talked about this - "This Agastya is giving food as gift without any pride in his heart. Indra has stopped rains, then how the food will grow? Agastya's sacrifice will continue for 12 years, it means there will be no rain for 12 years. So one should do some favor to Rishi of great penance." Agastya said to them - "If Indra will not make rains then I will do mental sacrifice. This is also eternal sacrifice. After that I will perform other difficult and severe vows. My this sacrifice, with seed, has been arranged out of many years of labor. I will accomplish good things from this sacrifice. Nobody can disturb this sacrifice, whether Indra makes rain or no rain. In emergency I myself can be Indra and will keep all creatures alive. Let all wealth of Tri-Lok come here of its own accord. Let all Gandharv, Apsaraa, Kinner etc also come here. The whole Heaven and Dharm should also come here."

Thus as he spoke, everything happened as he said. Rishi got surprised to see that. They said - "We do not want that your penance should suffer in any way, we want to perform our sacrifices resting on lawful means. We should follow only that understanding which does not inflict anybody. You should prohibit any injury in any sacrifice, we shall be grateful for that. After you have completed your sacrifice we will go from this place." As they were talking like this Indra seeing the great energy of Agastya Muni, poured the rain. Indra and Brihaspati came to gratify Rishi. When Rishi's sacrifice was completed, he dismissed everybody."

Janamejaya asked - "Who was that mongoose who was speaking in human language?" Vaishampaayan Jee said - "You did not ask me before, that is why I didn't tell you. Now I tell you who was he and why did he could assume human voice. In olden time Rishi Jamadagni proposed to perform a Shraaddh. His Hom cow came to him and he himself milked her. He kept that milk in a new, pure and durable jar. Dharm Devtaa entered that milk in the form of Anger. He wanted to see as what that Rishi would do if he is injured by somebody. Thus as Dharm entered the milk jar. the milk got spoiled.

Rishi knew that Anger has spoiled the milk, but he didn't get angry at all. Then Anger took the form of a Braahman woman and appeared before Rishi and said - "You have defeated me. It is said that Bhrigu Vanshee are very wrathful, but it seems wrong, because you have defeated me. I am afraid of your penance, please, do me a favor." Jamadagni Jee said - "I have seen you in person, now you go wherever you wish for without any worry. You have not done any harm to me, so I have no complaint with you. I kept this milk for Pitar, you may go to them and see what do they want." Anger disappeared and went to Pitar. Pitar cursed him for this crime to be a mongoose. On asking how that curse will be lifted, Pitar said - "It will be cleared when you will speak disrespectfully of Dharm." Since then he was wandering to many places where great sacrifices were performed. It was he who came to Yudhishthir's sacrifice. By insulting Dharm by telling the story of Prasth of powdered barley, Anger is now freed from their curse as Yudhishthir was Dharm himself.

It seems that this story of mongoose is an interpolation in the main Kathaa,
as Braahman could not digest the idea that such an Ashwamedh Yagya was condemned like this.

14-Ashwamedh Parv Ends Here
15-Aashramvaas Parv G-7/25


Home | Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | 7-Post-War


Previous | Next

Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 04/08/13