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HARISCHANDRA

The Ever Truthful Harischandra

Harischandra heard the words uttered by the woman bending her head on the hangman's block. It was clear to him that the woman was his wife and it was the same woman who had gone out to fetch the cremation fees. The son's dead body was still lying nearby. 'Well, one more trick of fate,' he thought. 'Yesterday the son died and he is not yet cremated. Now I am killing the wife. This is our master'sbidding, and what fate wills. I cannot refuse to do my duty.' Thus he quietened his beating heart and lifted up the hangman's sword. He was aiming it at the wife's neck on the block.

The Sun was just rising on the mountain top and gazing at the glory of his dynasty - the 'Suryavamsha-' The angels and gods had assembled in the sky to witness the glorious occasion when an earthly king, by his heavenly conduct, was about toachieve godhood. The sage Vasishta was eagerly hoping and longing that at least, at that point, Vishwamitra would relent towards the king. The whole of creation wasanxious to witness the apocalypse of truth. Then a voice was heard 'You marry my girls and I will suspend all hostilities. I will bring back to life your dear son. I will save your wife from death and I will give back to you all the glory of your kingship."

Harischandra lifted up his head and saw. It was the voice of Vishwamitra. Then he realized that he was wrong in thinking that all his sufferings were the result of his past deeds the fruit of karma. 'All this is not the vengeance of fate - it is all due to the machinations of my 'guru.' But I didn't know why he is nursing such vengeance towards me. I shall, however, never yield to his futile fury,' he decided. He told the sage,"Oh, my revered master, never repeat those tempting offers. I yield not to temptation. I am tempted by nothing but the observance of truth. I have lived the life of a pariah. I have witnessed my son's death. Now a woman, a wife, has to be put to death. Very well. Let me not go back on my word. May you bless me with your benediction." He lifted his sword and in a wild sweep hit at his wife's neck.

There were loud exclamations all around.

But a miracle happened. Even before the blade of the sword touched the queen's neck, the sword itself took a different form. God Ishwara and his consort Parvati with the gesture of protective assurance appeared. Harischandra was found falling in prostration at the god's feet. His Harischandra extraordinary adherence to truth had enabled every one to get the darshan of god Parameshwara.

The gods were pleased. The sage Vishwamitra ran to the place and stood in obeisance to the god. The god ordered that the dead Rohitashwa be revived. Vishwamitra put the sea of official recognition on the triumph ofHarischandra. He narrated the origin and the conse- quence of the feud between Vasishta and himself. He said that the sufferings of Harischandra, and his Jamily were all an illusory drama. The Brahmin who bought the queen and prince was God Agni. Veerabahu, the outcast hangman, was none else than the god of death, Yama. He gifted away to the king, in the presence of all sages, angels and Lord Ishwara, half of the divine purity and virtue he had garnered.

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Harischandra -  A Great King, with his vow to remain truthful all the times !
About Harischandra
Introduction
"The Child Shall Be Sacrificed"
Rohitashwa
The Scales From The Eyes Fell
The Feud In Heaven
The First Test
Back To The Sage's Hermitage
The Magic Damsels
"Give Me Your Kingdom"
"Where Is My Fees?"
Nakshatraka
Wife And Son For Sale
The Watchman Of The Cremation Ground
The Son's Dead Body In The Mother's Arms
The Reunion Of The Family - How ?
Death Penalty For Chandramati
"This Is My Wish And You May Strike The Blow"
hand.gif (968 bytes) The Ever Truthful Harischandra
A Secred Story
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