Maha Bharata in brief

Origin of Veda Vyasa: In the times of yore, there was a pious King Uparichara  Vasu of Chedi Kingdom whose wife Girik was of compelling charm. The King secured from Indra an air-borne Vimana and in the contemporary world gained fame and respect. Once on the day of Shraddha to his father and forefathers, his wife desired union with him but the King declined due to the Ceremony and left for the forest nearby to bring an animal for sacrifice and other material required for the Shraddha. On return he was  overcome by his wife’s desire and spilt out his virility on banana leaf and commanded a trained falcon to carry the leaf as a packet to his wife since he did not wish to waste it. He falcon encounterd another falcon and forcibly took the packet away but the packet fell in the flow of water. In the meantime an Apsara found the dangling feet of a Muni who was in meditation on the banks of the water body and for fun dragged the feet into water. The Muni cursed the Apsara to turn into a fish and the fish swallowed the packet that fell in the flow and got pregnant. A fisherman who netted the fish took it home and there were two babies in its stomach and the King realised by his mystic powers that the babies were his own. Of the two babies, one was a male child and another a girl. The King returned the girl child to the fisherman with plenty of money and gifts and retained the boy whom he made as the next King. The female child eventually grew as Satyavati.

Parashara Muni, the grandson of Maharshi Vasishtha the mind-born son of Brahma, during his various travels spent a night in a hamlet on the banks of Ganga in the house of the Village chief and asked his daughter Satyavati to ferrry the Muni to the other side of the river. In the boat, he was sick of the strong smell of fish and teased her as Matsyagandhi. But noticing her body beauty desired to have a union with her then and there; he created by his mantra siddhi a misty cover in an island nearby and enjoyed her. He gave her the boon of conceiving an extraordinary son with universal reputation and called her as Yojanagandhi or a female who spread fragrance for a Yojana’s width and breadth; the boon also assured her that her chasity would be intact and that shewould be a queen. Devi Satyavati gave birth to the illustrious Veda Vyasa who was also famed as Krishna Dwipayana or who was bornin a Dwipa or an Island. Vyasa had the unique distinction of  dividing the originally  Single Veda into four parts as also six Vedangas and scripted Maha Puranas and also Maha Bharata. In an extremely rigourous penance that he performed,Vyasa attained the vision of Maha Deva and the latter blessed Vyasa to secure an eminent son. Excited about his vision of Shankara, Vyasa performed an Agni Homa by creating Agni by the process of ‘Arani ’ or rubbing wooden piecesto light up. Just then an Apsara or a Celestial Nymph took the the form of an attractive parrot crossed the Agni Kunda and as his concentration got disturbed she made a flashy appearance of her rare beauty and charm with her amorous looks The Muni could not control his pttion and dischrged his virility on the wooden sticks meant for Arani and then emerged from the Arani fire a boy of extraordinary radiance with the features of his father but with a nose resembling that of a parrot. The boy grew up with unique faculties of Spitituality as an Expert in Veda Vedangas and understandably Vyasa desired Shuka Muni to become a Grihasthi but the latter disagreed vehemently.  Vyasa used all his means of persuasion and finally asked him to visit Janaka who through persuasion and arguments succeeded  in convincing to become a Grihasta (House holder). But after a few years of house holding, Shuka Muni left for Mount Kailash to realise Paramatma and attained Salvation.

After the departure of his son, Veda Vyasa was a frustrated person and carried on with his disciples Asita, Devala, Vaisampayana, Jaimini, Sumanta and others and after their studies were over, he despatched  them with the tasks of  propagating Dharma all over. He left Meru Mountain to meet his mother Satyavati whom he left long ago on the banks of Ganges. He realised that his mother was married to the King of Hastinapur, Shantanu on the condition that another son of his, Bhishma born from his first wife Ganga, would neither marry nor beget a child since there shold not be any  progeny to claim the throne. Shantanu and Satyavati gave birth to Chitrangada and Vichitra-Virya. After Shantanu died, Chitrangada became the King but in a war with Gandharvas,  Chitrangada died and  Vichitravirya was made the King.  Bhishma desired that Vichitravirya be married as he was eligible and when the King of Kasi announced a ‘Swayamvara’ ( bride’s choice among the Invited  Kings), Bhishma forcibly took away three brides- Amba, Ambika and Ambalika to Hastinapura. On arrival, Amba requested that since she already selected the King of Salva at the Svayamvara, she might be please allowed to do so and Bhishma agreed. But the King of Salva did not agree and as she returned back insisting that as per Dharma Bhishma must marry her. Since Bhishma did not agree that even earlier, Amba left for the forest and became an ascetic. King Vichitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika but was not able to extend the progeny and died of premature death. Then came up a crisis of  Kingship falling vacant without a heir. Satyavati called for Vedavyasa who was settled on the banks of River Sarasvati to help continue the lineage through Ambika and Ambalika. Ambika closed her eyes in bed with Veda Vyasa as she was not happy with the union and thus a blind boy, Dhrita- rashtra was delivered. Ambalika sent a Servant woman into the bed and a wise boy, Vidura was born. But when the mistake was realised and Ambalika had to go into the bed, she was too frightened into paleness afraid of the Maha Muni and thus was born Pandu. No doubt Pandu became the King before his elder brother who was born blind but since he died of early death due to illness, Dhritarashtra the blind had to be the King.

Chain reaction of Ganga-King Mahabhisha- Ashta Vasus- King Shantanu: There was a virtuous King Mahabhisha of Ikshvaku Dynasty who pleased Indra with a series of  ‘Asvametha’ and ‘Vajapeya’ Sacrifices and attained Indra Loka after his death. Once he had attended the Court of Lord Brahma and along with him was seated Devi Ganga. He was immensely attracted to her and she too reciprocated with her amorous glances. Brahma got disturbed and cursed both of them to take to human lives as husband and wife. Mahabhisha opted to be the son of King Pratipa of Puru Dynasty. At the same time Ashta-Vasus ( Eight Vasus) of the Celestial Region  headed by Vasu Prithi and their families visited Sage Vasishtha’s ‘Ashram’ and admired ‘Kama Dhenu’ the Sacred Cow whose milk bestowed disease-less longevity and sublime happiness. The wife of one of the Vasus, Dyau was impressed with the Cow and quietly stole it and its calf. Sage Vasishtha found in his ‘Diya Drishti’           ( Celestial Vision) that  Nandini the Sacred Cow was in the custody of Vasu Dyau and cursed all the Vasus to be turned as human beings. Being highly repentant, the Vasus beseeched Vasishtha to dilute the effect of the curse and out of compassion the Sage agreed to one year’s human life to seven Vasus as their involvement was indirect but Vasu Dyau should have a full life time. The Vasus, who knew about Brahma’s curse to Ganga Devi, approached her to give birth to Seven Vasus of one  year’s human life each and one life time’s existence to the last born Vasu. But this was agreed to subject to the condition that her prospective husband should agree to freedom of her action without any reservation  and if he did not, she would quit as the husband. Eventually, Ganga  waited on the banks of  River Ganges and awaited the arrival of King Pradipa of Kuru Dynasty for meditation. The King arrived to perform ‘Surya Namaskaras’ on the river bed and Ganga appeared as a charming woman and sat straightaway on his right lap, indicating thereby that the place was to seat a son / daughter. The damsel identified herself as Ganga Devi and replied that she would await his son’s arrival who was yet to be born. In course of time, King Pradipa got his son, Shantanu, and as he grew as a handsome youth advised him to meet Ganga Devi who would propose  but cautioned that he should not ask her questions and agree to whatever she asked. Accordingly,  Ganga Devi, the eternal beauty, agreed to wed Shantanu and agreed to her conditions unilaterally. She gave immense happiness to Shantanu, who became the King after his father’s abdication of the throne. After a year, they were blessed with a boy, but she took the baby and submerged him in the flow of Ganga! To his great surprise, Shantanu witnessed the horror of the child’s cruel drowning in the flow but dared not say one word to his wife. This happening was repeated again and again for seven times and as the eight child was born, Shantanu protested  and Ganga as per their contract left, but requested that the boy be named as Gangeya.

Gangeya, the exemplary Bhishma of Maha Bharata: For a long time since Ganga Devi left Shantanu, the latter had no interest in life and Gangeya, who was increasingly aware of his father’s disenchantment in the duties of Kingship, virtually carried on the burden lightly. As a dutiful son, he did whatever was possible or even impossible, but for the replacement of the position of a mother. Once when he accompanied his father on a royal hunt on the banks of River Yamuna and found an extraordinarily stunning woman whose body flavour was heavenly and intoxicating. Her captivating physical features sent tremors in Shantanu’s mind and asked his son Gangeya to enquire about her. The lady replied that she was a fisherwoman and any enquiry about herself be ascertained by her father only at their abode. The fisherman was not sure whether her daughter’s future would be assured since a grown up King-in-Waiting was already in place. Gangeya gave an assurance that he would not put in  a claim for Kingship. But this did not satisfy the fisherman as Gangeya’s next kin would definitely make the claim to the throne. Then Gangeya declared that in view of   the apprehensions expressed by the fisherman and subtly endorsed by his daughter, he would take a Sacred Vow before all witnesses concerned that he would never ever marry! Shantanu as well as the entire Kingdom were taken aback by the decision of Gangeya. Shantanu tried to wriggle out of the deal, but Gangeya did not allow any departure from his vow; he said that the sacrifice being performed was not comparable to that of Parasurama, who for the asking by his father Jamadagni, had cut his own mother’s head on the flimsy reasoning of her imagined flicker of mind when she saw a Gandharva bathing; or to Lohitasya who allowed himself to be sold to a Brahmin as a servant boy, for working heinous household duties leading to death, to repay his father Harischandra’s debt to Sage Visvamitra; or obeying the implicit instruction of his father Dasaratha conveyed by Queen Kaikayi to abandon the self and wife Sita to fourteen years of forest life as an ascetic couple ending by the kidnapping of his wife and undergoing untold misery and torture! Thus quoting such examples, Gangeya announced to the whole World that not only he would not marry but protect the entire progeny of the ‘Vamsa’ as long as he lived! Thus was given Gangeya the indelible name of Bhishma in the generations to follow!

Pandavas and Kuaravas- Quick proceedings of Maha Bharata: Since the elder issue of Veda Vyasa from Ambika, Dhritharashtra was born blind, Ambalika’s son Pandu was made the King with the approval of Bhishma, the driving force of the Kingdom, with Hastinapura as the Capital. The elder brother had two wives Gandhari and Sauvali, the former being the Prime Wife and the latter was a keep in the household. Gandhari, the daughter of Gandhara Desa and brother of Sakuni,  gave birth to one hundred sons, the elder two being the notorious Duryodhana and Dussasana (actual names were Suyodhana and Susasana, standing for Good Warrior and Good Administrator). Gandhari preferred to close her eyes always, out of sentiment as her husband was blind.  Sauvali’s son was Yuyutsu.  Pandu Raja , the earlier King, was married to Kunti, the daughter of King Surasena and the paternal aunt of Lord Krishna. The Raja also married Madri, the daughter of King Madra. When Kunti was a very young girl, her father asked her to assist Sage Durvasa in a four month long Sacrifice / Yagna performed by him and after the end of the Function, he was pleased  to teach a Mantra to her which could invoke any of the Demi Gods and Allied Devatas including Indra, Surya, Yamadharma Raja and Vayu, as well as allied Demi-Gods like Aswini Kumars. Out of curiosity, Kunti experimented by invoking Sun God in her private chamber and to her great surprise and dismay she found Surya Himself standing before her and asked her as to whether she desired a son or a daughter. Being of a tender age of preteens, she was flabbergasted at the odd statement of Surya’s but since the latter understood the predicament of the girl, Surya gave her the boon that her virginity would not be disturbed, but she should however be conceived. Kunti took her personal maid into confidence and even informing her mother of the incident, she did not step out of her chamber. After nine months, she delivered a boy of exceeding radiance and attraction with inborn armoury and ear-rings. With the help of the maid, she arranged the child in a floating box and placed it on a nearby waterbody. A charioteer of the Court of the King, Atiradha and his wife found the floating casket and as they did not have an issue, considered the child as a great blessing and brought him up as ‘Karna’ since he had ear-rings in-born and as Radheya after the name of the step mother. Therafter Kunti considered the incident as forgotten of her innocent childhood.  Subsequently Kunti married King Pandu in a ‘Swayamvara’( as per the bride’s own choice), but soon thereafter,  King Pandu received a curse from a Brahmana who was targetted by the King’s arrow mistaken for a deer in copulation and the curse was that if he slept with a woman, he would fall dead at once. The King knew that without begetting a son he would not be able to cross the River Vaitarani at the entry point of hell itself and the soul would get stuck there itself! Pandu suggested that Scriptures would allow a virtuous Brahmana to sleep with her and Kunti informed that she knew a Mantra as gifted by Durvasa Muni and by reciting that she could be blessed.Thus, Kunti invoked Yama Dharma Raja, Vayu, and Indra from time to time and was blessed with three sons,viz. Dharmaraja, Bhima and Arjuna respectively. She also passed on the Mantra to Madri who begot Nakula and Sahadeva as twin brothers. Once when Pandu ventured a wrong move to invite Madri in bed, Pandu died because of the Brahmana’s curse as expected, and Madri too died in self-immolation, leaving the two sons to Kunti’s care. Hence they came to be popular as Pancha-Pandavas.As Pandu died, Dhritarashtra was sworn in as the King and there were quick changes in Hastinapura, because of a blind King doting on his children especially Duryodhana who was in evil league as ‘Dushta Chatushtaya’ or the Four Wicked Men along with his younger brother Dussasana, his maternal uncle Sakuni and Karna (who was declared as the Ruler of a Subsidiary Anga Desa, as he was barred otherwise from Royal responsibilities and rights since he did not have Kshatria origin as the son of a charioteer). The Evil Four had constant quarrels with their Pandava cousins, due to  jealousy, as the cousins were far more disciplined and stronger as also since Kuru Vamsa elders and others liked them more. The Evil Four pretended sympathy for Pandavas and wanted them to move into a new Palace but their intention was to kill them while sleeping as the Palace was made of lac  and susceptible to quick fire. Thanks to Krishna’s foresight and precautionary measures, Pandavas exited safe from the burning Palace through a secret passage, as the Evil Four misled the Public that Pandavas and Kunti were burnt. Meanwhile Pandavas masqueraded as  Brahmanas and stayed in a poor family house on rent. When the turn of  sparing a person from the landlord’s house came up for Sacrifice to a Demon, named Bakasura, (as per a contract with the village heads and the Demon that  instead of his killing the Villagers indiscriminately), Bhima the strong man opted to reach the Demon’s abode away from the Village and brought relief to the Villagers by killing him in a severe duel. From thereon, Pandavas still appearing as Brahmanas, moved on to King Drupada’s Court for Druapadi’s Swayamvara and succeded in the test of destroying a fish on a quickly moving wheel kept above one’s head by an arrow while viewing its reflection down in a water pool underneath.  This feat was possible only to an ace archer. Karna and Kauvaras attended the Swayam Vara  too. Only Arjuna could perform the feat as Karna  who too was a great archer had failed, again causing jealousy on learning that the Brahmanas were fake and actually they were Pandavas. On hearing the good news that after all Pandavas were not dead, the Elders of Kuru Vamsa including Bhishna, Dronacharya, and Kripacharya were overjoyed but the Evil Four were shaken. They agreed  that a portion of the Kigdom be given away to Pandavas as a peace making measure and the Elders like Bhishna appreciated the gesture. Pandavas thus moved to a new Capital at Indrprastha where a fantastic ‘Maya Sabha’ or a Palace of Illusions built by the Divine Architect-Designer by the name Maya. Recovering from their days of misfortune, Pandavas recouped and performed ‘Rajasuya Yagna’and invited Kauravas including the Elders like Bhishma, Drona, Vidura and Kripacharya as well as the Evil Four. Lord Krishna who had always been a staunch supporter of Pandavas was honoured as the Chief Guest and when King Sisupala the evil opponent of Krishna objected and insulted the latter, his Sudarsana Chakra (Wheel) snipped his head. The Evil Four, especially Duryodhana felt highly envious of Pandavas, invited them to Hastinapura only to trap Dharmaraja into an unjust chess game with Sakuni who was an expert in it and defeated Pandavas against stiff conditions of losing their Kingdom and even themselves including Draupadi, with whom an attempt was made for disrobing. The conditions were twelve years of forest life and one year of unidentifiable destination where they should not be recognised failing which, the terms could be doubled! During the forest life of twelve years, Kauravas tormented Pandavas and during  the year long ‘Ajnanavas’ or unreconizable place, took refuge in changed status with Dharmaraja as Kanku Bhat or Brahmana Adviser to King Virat in his latter’s court, Draupadi as ‘Sairandhri’ as the  Maid in the Queen’s Chamber, Bhima as the cook in the Royal kitchen, Arjuna as ‘Brihannala’-the transgender dance teacher of the Princess Uttara;  Nakula and Sahadeva as the keepers of horses and cows. During the course of their stay in the Virat kingdom, Pandavas underwent unknown torture and humiliation including the attempted molestation of Sairandhri by the King’s powerful brother-in-law, named Keechaka who was quietly eliminated by Bhima in a night duel. At the end of their stay in cognito, Kauravas tried to capture the cows of King Virat but by that time Brihannala came into the form of Arjuna as the ‘Agyata vasa’ year was over and destroyed the Kaurava Army single handedly and having utilised the ‘Sammohana Astra’ or the ‘Mantra’ which lulled the War Stalvarts like Bhishma, Drona, Asvatthama and of course the Evil Four into long slumber and released the cows of King Virat back home. There were talks of ‘Sandhi’ or Reconcilliation held by Krishna on behalf of Pandavas but the puffed up Evil Four refused even to a pin-some space to Pandavas, let alone five villages to the five some and the Great War of Mahabharata was fought for eighteen days dragging even the Elders of Kuru Vamsa like Bhishma, Drona and quite a few pious persons by the Evil Four on one side and Pandavas on the other with Krishna as  Charioteer cum unarmed Adviser of Pandavas. A major casuality from the Pandavas side was that of brave and young Abhimanyu, the son of Arjun and Subhadra, in a ‘Chakra Vyuha’(a circular closed fight) among many- to-one unjust encounter. There was mass destruction on both sides and the tragedies of stalwarts including the entire generation of Illustrious Elders who took part in the Battle as also the Evil Four, with Duryodhana as the last to fall to Bhima, who killed Dussasana earlier.

Maha Bhagavati allows vision of the dead at Kurukshetra Battle: Pursuant to the Great Battle, the respected ladies of both Kauravas and Pandavas who lost their husbands, sons, grand sons, grand fathers,  fathers, in-laws and nephews collected on the banks of Ganges and prayed toVeda Vyasa  to secure a glimpse of the departed, since the ladies could not go to the battle field. Among the ladies were Kunti, Gandhari, Draupadi, Subhadra and Uttara. Dhritarashtra and Pandava Heros were also invited to the expected miracle-spectacle. The Maharshi performed Pranayama and deep yoga- oriented meditation to the Unknown and Omniscient Devi Bhagavati. His intense and continued worship for quite sometime and as an indication of the positive response received from Maha Devi, there were indications on a huge sky-long celestial screen and  there were quick glimpses of the one-to-one fights and the resultant deaths and reactive celebrations; the screen views of  the Linga and Limbless Bodies of the departed souls which were recognised at once by the concerned eyes, but not the converse.

Ashvattama punished and Parikshit born: Ashvathama could not reconcile to the death of his father Drona Acharya who was otherwise invincible but as per Krishna’s advice, Bhima killed an elephant named Ashvathama and made Bhima shout that Ashvathama was killed and conveyed the news to Drona Acharya. Drona was horrified at the news, asked Dharmaraja for confirmation and the latter confirmed: ‘Ashvathama died-the elephant ! But he said further in a very low tone saying ‘ Ashvthama hata: Kunjarah’. Thus Drona was cheated, hung his bow and arrows and sat still in  meditation, when Arjuna showered arrows and killed Drona.

Desirous of killing Arjuna in sleep, Ashvathama did not find him, but thus killed the full party of Arjuna’s sons in sleep. In turn, Arjuna located Ashvathama and fought a fierce battle. Drona’s son finally used to ‘Brahmastra’, the most potent Mantric arrow. Arjuna too retaliated by the use of the same Astra and controlled Ashvathama. Yudhistara and Krishna advised not to kill Ashvathama but cut the naturally born ‘Shringa’ Jewel ( diamond  horn), which itself  was an ugly insult to him. The impact of Ashvathama’s Brahamastra would have normally torn off Arjuna’s pregnant daughter-in-law Uttara, bur for Lord Krishna’s mystic intervention. The child thus born to Uttara was Parikshith who was then the last remnant of Pandavas.

As a King, Parikshith was highly spiritual and benevolent. Once when he concluded a Royal hunt and got thirsty, he visited the Ashram ( Hermitage) of Sage Samaika who was in deep meditation and thus did not respond to the King’s visit. He was annoyed and picking up a dead snake fallen on the ground nearby picked it up and placed it around the Muni’s  head as a garland. On return to the hermitage, the Sage’s son Sringi saw the ugly sight and gave a curse that whoever did this insult to my father would be killed within a week’s time. The King having known  of the curse readied himself on the banks of River Ganges and requested Maha Muni Suka to enlighten him the Great Purana of Maha Bhagavata. On the seventh day, with all the security in a seven storeyed building on the river banks, Taksha made efforts to sneak in the building somehow and intercepted  a Brahmana by name Kasyapa desirous of making wealth from relieving the King’s problem as he knew the Mantra of anti snake bite; Daksha gave away plenty of money to the Brahmana and got rid of him; in fact he tested the Brahmana whether he could really administer the Mantra and revive an entire tree burnt by poisonous flames of serpent’s bite; the Brahmana did convert the tree’s ashes to its original position. Later in the evening Taksha asked disciples to disguise as Brahmanas to carry fruits to the King on the pretext of reciting Atharvana Veda and the fruit which the King ate contained a small insect which was Taksha himself  assuming an enormous body and  killed the King.

Janamejaya’s ‘Sarpa Yagna’ stopped by Sage Asita and Veda Vyasa: When King Parikshith met his end, his son Janamejaya was hardly a lad of eleven years and was declared as the next King. Guru Kripacharya trained him in the Science of Archery, Administration  and Dharmasastra. He was married to Vapustama the daughter of King of Kasi and carried on with  pious activities. Meanwhile a Sage Uttanka approached Janamejaya and provoked him to take revenge on his father’s killer Taksha and perform Sarpa Yagna (Sacrifice of Serpents) and command Taksha into the Fire Pit ( Homa Kunda) and Sacrifice all the Serpents in the process. Sage Uttanka told the King that his father could not go to heaven because of snake bite. Convinced thus, the King ordered that theYagna be arranged. Thousands of snakes were burnt off and Taksha was so afraid of his life that he sought refuge from Indra. But, so revengeful were Janamejaya and Sage Uttanka that they were prepared to command not only Taksha but even Indra to Sarpa Yajna and haul them into the Fire Pit! Taksha thus approached Sage Asita to call on the King and  to refrain from proceeding further in the Sacrifice as thousands of innocent Snakes were burnt off, for the sake of Taksha. Veda Vyasa explained the Episode of Sage Asita  and King Ruru to the King. In the  olden days, there was a Sage Jaratkratu who was practising high devotion to Devi Bhagavati in a forest. He had a vision of his dead father and forefathers in a cave who asked him to marry and suggested an eligible woman named Jarat Karu, who was the sister of Vasuki. Meanwhile the co-wives of Sage Kasyapa, viz. Kadru and Vinita  had an argument as to what was the colour of the horses of the Sun God’s chariot. Vinita guessed the color as white but Kadru had a bet that the colour was black. It was agreed that whoever lost the bet would have to carry the other on her back always while going to places. Kadru asked her sons to colour the horses black to win the bet. While some of her sons obeyed her but others did not. Kadru cursed those who did not comply be burnt off in a Fire pit and Vinita virtually became Kadru’s slave. Vinita’s son ‘Garuda’ the Carrier of  Maha Vishnu, asked for the cause of her sorrow and she narrated as to what happened.  Out of his affection for his mother, Garuda approached Kadru to pardon his mother and Kadru agreed provided that Garuda could bring Amrit ( nectar) from the custody of  Vaikuntha. Garuda was bent on relieving his mother’s curse and fetched a jug of  Nector from Vaikuntha. Kadru was delighted and released Vinita. All the family members and friends of Kadru were invited and asked  to clean up themselves before taking spoonfuls of Amrit. But Indra quietly stole away the jug of Amrit. The invitees of Kadru returned from their baths and found that the jug was missing. They were disappointed but tried their best to lick any drops from out of the jar that might have spilt on the grass ( Kusa) and as they licked their tongues were cut and hence were known as ‘dvi-jihvas’ or two tongued ever since. Vasuki and others who were troubled by Kadru approached Lord Brahma and complained against Kadru, the mother of snakes. He blessed them and said that the younger sister of Vasuki, Jarat Karu, should be proposed to wed Sage Jaratkaru. But the Sage was highly short tempered and the bride should be very obedient and trustworthy and the couple would beget a child who would enlighten, control and discipline the whole community of snakes and lighten the burden of their over-haughtiness to the world. That was why, Sage Asita prevailed upon King Janamejaya to stop the unique Sarpa Yagna and Veda Vyasa too approved of  Sage Asita’s request. Maharshi Vyasa had suggested that instead of the revenge-oriented Sarpa Yagna, he should rarher build a spacious Temple dedicated to Devi Bhagavati and also perform Devi Maha Yagna and such  other Spiritual activities to release the soul of late King Parikshith and  relieve the curse of the Brahmana boy.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]