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BHAGIRATHA

Answering the Call of Duty

Bhagiratha felt as though he had been pulled down to the earth from another world. He had thought that the story would still continue and he was waiting to hear it. Not only was the story narrated to him, but a question had been posed to him. Not just a question, but a challenge too. It was not merely listening to a story; he had to shape one. He had to accomplish that task which his father and his grandfather had not been able to do. The idea took root in his mind that it was his duty to help his ancestors attain salvation. He touched his mother's feet and vowed thus: "Mother, I will fulfil the wish of my elders. I will bring to the earth the divine Ganga and help our ancestors attain salvation. I will toil for it to the last drop of my blood." His mother gently stroked his head and blessed him: "All success to you, my son."

Bhagiratha's mind was filled with only one thought -how was he to bring the divine river Ganga down to the earth? Finally he decided to perform 'Tapas' to please Lord Brahma for this, purpose. His young wife was very unhappy on hearing that he had decided to give up the pleasures of the palace and perform 'Tapas'. With tears in her eyes, she tried to persuade her husband to stay back. She again and again asked him: "Why perform 'Tapas' at such a young age? It can be done after you grow old. Now can't you live happily in the palace?" But Bhagiratha did not yield to her words. He told her with a firm mind: "Pleasure or happiness is not for me, unless I fulfil the great wish of my ancestors. Duty comes first, and pleasure next." He argued with her and finally she accepted his decision. Then he left Ayodhya for the forest.

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Ganga leaped on Ishwara's head with the speed of lightening
About Bhagiratha
Introduction
"Who Was Sagara?"
'I Do Not Want A Son Who Plagues the People'
Behind The Horse - To The House Of Death
The Duty Of The Descendants
You are Here! Answering The Call Of Duty
Bhagiratha's Tapas
Taming The Ganga
The Earth Smiles
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