Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Story of Rshyasrnga

Once there lived a sage by name Kasyapa. He did severe penance and used to perform many sacrifices for the benefit of humanity. He had a son named Vibhandaka, who in turn had a son called Rshyasrnga. Right from birth, Rshyasrnga was living with his father in the hermitage and had never seen or met any other human being other than his own father. Celibacy or the following of brahmacarya is considered very important for obtaining higher values of life and so, Sage Vibhandaka brought up his son in seclusion in the hermitage for reaching and imbibing higher values of life and for performing sacrifices for the benefit of the society.

The country of Anga was ruled by a King whose name was Lomapada. He belonged to solar race. Like other kings of the solar race he too was very efficient and took care of his subjects just like his own children.

Unfortunately, there was once a terrible famine. There was no rain for many years. Drought affected the whole country and people were suffering because of famine and poverty. The king diligently observed many austerities and sacrifices to satisfy the rain Gods and also propitiated many other Gods to bring rains. He performed many sacrifices but he got no relief.

People were suffering and the king believed that all the sufferings of the people were due to his own fault. Luckily, one of his ministers suggested that if he invited sage Rshyasrnga with due respect, there would be good rains in his country. The king tried his best to bring Sage Rshyasrnga to his place. But it was not an easy job as the sage had not seen any body except his own father and was living in seclusion. But one day the king sent many ladies, dancers with many kinds of fruits and sweetmeats to the forest. The ladies being dancers decked themselves with attractive costumes and reached the vicinity of the ashram. They sang and danced. The ascetic boy heard this captivating, sweet and melodious sound. Sage Vibhandaka, his father was not there. Following his father's words the boy never came out of the hermitage. The ladies approached the boy and started explaining who they were and they gave him sweets and delicious laddus to him to eat. The boy unaware of these types of fruits innocently asked them from which tree they got such tasty sweet fruits. These ladies were very clever and they told that they had a lot of sweets in the place where they lived and requested him to visit the place. The boy innocently accepted their request and visited their place, the country of Anga. When they entered the vicinity of that place, black clouds formed and when he kept his feet inside the city it started raining pouring heavily.

Due to the rain the whole country was flooded with water and people became very happy and paid their salutations to him. They all welcomed him. The king Romapada was so pleased that he gave his own daughter by name Santa to him as a gift to marry.
When king Dasaratha was grieving as he had no issues, his minister Sumantra reminded of this incident, which had happened long before and asked king Dasaratha to perform Aswamedha yajna sacrifice of horse under the auspicious guidance of the Sage Rshyasrnga. In the assembly hall of Romapada, the great sage Sanatkumara had a premonition about the predicament of King Dasaratha and he declared that in the future a king of solar race by name Dasaratha would be there to grant his request of having a progeny and that the sage Rshyasrnga was going to help him. Minister Sumantra referred this to King Dasaratha. As king Romapada belonged to Solar race and he gave his daughter to Rshsyasyrnga, the sage was not only a son-in-law to him but to the whole race. Sumantra suggested to Dasaratha to call sage Rshyasrnga, his own son in law and under his presence and guidance perform the horse sacrifice so that his wish be fulfilled. Dasaratha followed his instructions and by the grace of the sacrifice he got four sons Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrugna.

Source: Ramayanam
Moral: Even discipline has to be in limit and not extreme.
Scholarly saints always bring welfare and prosperity to humanity.