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VISHWAMITRA

"I Shall Guide the Sacrificial Rite"

At this time a new development took place.

Trishanku was a king of lkshwaku dynasty. He desired to purify himself of his sins and go to heaven in his earthly body itself. Vashishta was his family Guru. He went to
Vashishta and sought his help to attain his desire. But Vashishta replied, "Trishanku, no one can attain heaven in this earthly body," and refused to guide the sacrificial rite to achieve such an impossible goal.

Trishanku felt very sad, but could not get rid of his desire. He left Vashishta's hermitage and set out in a southerly direction. There, in a forest, a hundred sons of Vashishta had settled down for penance. Trishanku hoped that these sages might help him in fulfilling his desire. He went to them and explained his plight and then requested them thus: "After Vashishta, you his sons are the only guides I can look to. Kindly help me." Vashishta's sons laughed at him in derision and said, "What our father has refused, cannot be granted by us also."

Trishanku was angered by their derisive laughter. He stood erect and said - "if you and your father refuse to help me out, can I not find someone to do it? I will get the' help from someone else and perform the necessary sacrificial rite." This bold reply piqued the sons of Vashishta. They said, "Because you have turned a traitor to your Guru, You shall become a 'Chandala'." Immediately king Trishanku lost his color and beauty. He became black, his hair became rough and he indeed became a 'Chandala'. His followers and ministers left him in disgust. Trishanku's grief knew no bounds.

Still his courage did not desert him. He moved further south and found Vishwamitra performing penance. He was elated by this good luck and approached Vishwamitra, with outstretched hands.

Long ago rains had failed in the country. Great famine had appeared and people were starved to death. Vashishta had gone away for performing the penance. His wives and children were residing in the kingdom of Trishanku. He had himself looked after the welfare of Vishwamitra's family members. When Vishwamitra returned home he learnt about the great famine and was worried about the fate of his wives and children. When he came to know that they were safe and that Trishanku had taken care of them he
was immensely pleased.

Though Trishanku had become ugly, Vishwamitra addressed him with sympathy and kindness. He asked, "0 King, how did this happen to you?"

Trishanku explained his plight in detail, and finally prayed thus: "0 sage, I have never uttered falsehood. I have ruled over the people according to Dharma. But now there is none to protect me. Can we not please gods by human effort? If it pleases you, help me and see that I attain heaven in this human body itself."

Realizing the great hardships that Trishanku had undergone, Vishwamitra was very kind. "Trishanku, do not worry
yourself. I will guide your sacrificial rite," he assured. Vishwamitra had another aim in helping Trishanku. Vashishta had refused to guide the sacrificial rite, which he would
now get performed and thereby put Vashishta to shame and embarrassment.

At once Vishwamitra called his disciples and followers and told them thus, "You go round and meet all the sages. Tell them that I invite them to take part in this sacrificial rite along with their disciples and followers. It any one refuses, come and inform me." They went out in all, the directions with this message and invited all the sages they knew and came across. Among these, only one sage by name Mahodaya and the hundred sons of Vashishta derided the sacrificial rite to be guided by Vishwamitra. They laughed at his disciples and followers. "Ah! A sacrifice is being performed by a 'Chandala'! How will gods receive the 'Havis' (offering)? Can you believe it - can this windbag Vishwamitra send Trishanku to heaven?" and similar were the taunts with which they derided Vishwamitra and his decision.

When the disciples returned with these reports, Vishwamitra was extremely angered. He cursed sage Mahodaya to perdition for having derided the sacrificial rite undertaken by Trishanku. And to sons of Vashishta his curse was - "Let them be burnt down to ashes." As a result of these curses, Mahodaya was ruined and Vashishta's sons were burnt to ashes.

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Vishwamitra - Guru of Sri Rama, A Confluence of valour-knowledge-sympathy
About Vishwamitra
Introduction
What A Host!
"Let Nandini Be Mine !"
Who Can Stop Me
"Grant Me All The Magical Arrows"
Defeated Again
"Let Me Be A Brahmarshi"
hand.gif (968 bytes) "I Shall Guide The Sacrifical Rite"
"I Shall Create Another Indra!"
A Child As A Sacrificial Animal
"O Child, Do Not Fear!"
"You Are A Brahmarshi," Vashishta Agrees
Vow In The Court Of Gods
"I Need A Gift"
Defeated By Harishchandra
Guru Of Sri Rama
Redemption Of Ahalya
Marriage Of Rama With Sita
A Great Personality
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