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Ch-7-Ushasti Chakraayan

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Chhaandogya Upanishad

Ushasti Chakraayan

This story demonstrates how the Vaidik sacrifices are performed without knowing the real purpose.

Ushasti Chakraayan who lived in Ibhya village of Kuru country was a poor and virtuous Braahman who himself was also highly learned. Once there was a dreadful famine in the region and food was not available easily, he went to the king and begged for food. The king who was eating some parched cereals reluctantly gave it to the Braahman and the Braahman also accepted it although it was impure because it came from the King's plate, since he was starving. However he refused to receive the water which the King had half drunk as he already had some water with him. After eating some of the cereals, he took the remaining to his wife, who already had some food from some other source.

Next morning the Braahman ate the remaining food and went again to the king for getting some money for the day. The King was doing a Yagya with the assistance of several priests on behalf of the king. He approached the chief priests and asked them to explain the significance etc of the Yagya and threatened them that if they were doing it mechanically, they would be punished.

The king who was impressed by the boldness of the Braahman inquired who that Braahman was? And when he told that him he was Ushasti Chakraayan, the King apologized to him and invited him to lead the ceremonies. Ushasti then explained to the priests that Praan is the essence of life and Praan lives with Anna which again depends on Sun god for existence and growth. Sun god is represented by Agni who can be satisfied only by offerings at the sacrifice.

He thus impressed that Vaidik sacrifices should be conducted only after knowing their significance.

"One should know the significance of everything before doing it......"


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 02/09/13